I want to tell you a prophecy: If you are going to draw a picture and you have no idea about it, you will probably use blue to find the idea and then green. This is due to the widespread use of these colors. But today I’m just going to talk to you about the effect of green color.
To know anything, one must look at its history. Because we know that everything has a story, even if it is a color!
In the following, we will examine the history of green color, its psychological meaning and examples of it in paintings. Let’s see:
History of green color in painting
The ancient Egyptians considered green a symbol of rebirth. So they were trying to get the green color from the mineral copper malachite and call it green malachite. But over time, the green designs drawn by this malachite turned black. It also cost a lot.
In addition, the ancient Romans soaked copper plates in wine and exposed them to the air to use green in their murals. The result was an oxide that was a green pigment called verdigris.
Later in the Middle Ages, people were able to produce green from other natural materials. However, these green pigments did not last long. Moreover, the color of the clothes determined the social status of the people. For example, wearing green clothes has been the monopoly of bankers, nobles and businessmen.
Renaissance painters painted a layer of green under the pink of the face to make people’s faces more natural and realistic in their paintings. However, over time, the pink color faded and the underlying green prevailed. So it made the face look sick and gloomy in the painting.
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The meaning of green color in art
The color green in everyone’s mind is reminiscent of nature and spring. Green is a secondary color that is obtained from a combination of blue and yellow. So it is natural to have yellow energy and blue calm. The symbolic meaning of green can be the power of will and confidence, self-confidence, hope, growth, progress, purity, youth, freshness, stability and restart. Finally, one of the pleasant and widely used colors of color wheel is green.
Green is the most soothing color. This color has no wave reflections containing freshness, suffering or fear and does not move in any direction, but is calm, still and satisfied with itself. But if yellow is added to it, it comes to life.Kandinsky
Different types of green color shades in art
Well, it is natural that in world famous paintings, different shades of green have been used. In the following, we will talk about the different shades of famous paintings and the story of their emergence.
Let’s understand the life story of each of them:
Scheele’s Green in art
In 1775, a Swedish chemist named Carl Wilhelm Scheele obtained a green dye from the chemical arsenite, called scheele’s green. This chemical was toxic, so the dye obtained from it was also toxic. Gradually, by the end of the 19th century, this new green color became very popular among the people and was even able to replace the old green colors. But at the cost of losing human lives?!
Paris green in art
Then, at the end of the 19th century, French Impressionists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, and Claude Monet replaced another green pigment that was as toxic as Scheele’s green. Because the creators of this green pigment were French, they named it Paris green. Still no one paid attention to the toxicity of this color?!
Maybe Monet’s blindness and Cézanne’s diabetes were due to the use of this green color in their paintings! Some believe that Napoleon Bonaparte’s death in 1821 was also due to the green painting of the walls of his room with Paris green.
Emerald green color in art
Finally, in 1808, some obtained a green color from copper-acetoarsenite to improve the color of scheele’s green. It was known in the UK as Emerald green, but it was also poisonous. However, no attention was paid to its toxicity and it was also used commercially.
Cobalt green in art
Green cobalt was invented in 1780 by Sven Rinmann, a Swedish chemist. In fact, you could never find this color in the color palette of all the painters of that time for two reasons: First, it was very expensive. The second did not have high staining power. However, there were painters who used this color in their paintings.
Green earth in art
In the Middle Ages, Italian painters tended to use natural green pigments. For this reason, they used green soils and plant extracts to paint their paintings.
Viridian green in art
In fact, the inventor of this pigment is Guignet of Paris, who obtained it in 1859 by oxidizing chromium. This color became very popular because it had a high durability, was not expensive and most importantly was not toxic. So it could be a good replacement for all the previous green pigments. Maybe that’s why Van Gogh uses this color a lot.
Greenery in art
The new greenery shade is just as popular as other shades and green pigments. This popularity is probably due to the freshness that this color brings. That is why Pantone dedicated the color of 2017 to this shade of green.
The last word
You see? It seems that in the past, it did not matter what the green color was supposed to be. Toxic or not? There just has to be! Because the color green is undeniably important in art.
Finally, green is always the color of the environment. But green can be used in painting to show emotions such as fear, lies and jealousy. What is important is what message do you have to convey to others through art?