Abstracts: Blue

"It is curious that in English the word 'blue' should represent depressing as well as transcendent things; that it should be the most holy hue and the color of pornography. Perhaps this is because blue recedes into the distance — artists use it to create space in their paintings; TV stations use it as a background on which they can superimpose other footage — so it represents a place that is outside normal life, beyond not only the seas but the horizon itself. Fantasy, depression and God are all, like blue, in the more mysterious reaches of our consciousness. Until the eighteenth century it was spelled 'blew,' and I sometimes think of it as related to the doldrums — the areas between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn where sailors sometimes had to wait for weeks for breezes to blow and let them resume their journeys."

Victoria Finlay, Color: A Natural History of the Palette

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