Cave paintings contain no green pigments. It was rarely found in Greek art; black, red, yellow and white being considered the four classic colors.
Egyptians used green since it represented rebirth and health, especially in tombs which were painted with hieroglyphics made from ground malachite. The color of Venus is green and the Romans used it for wall paintings.
Green comes from an old English word with the same root as grass and grow which can trace its way back to Old Norse. In most languages there is no word for green only words that interpreted mean grass, meadow, vegetation, new growth, or the bluish green seen in the Mediterranean Sea. Viridis is a Latin word that means green.
Green used for dying fabric was difficult to come by but the pigments for painting were easier to produce and led to a variety of greens.
The colors a person wore was a symbol of their status in Medieval times such as; Mona Lisa wears a green dress.
The Bride in the Arnolfini portrait wears green. It denotes Bankers, merchants person from the Gentry. Green clothing was also worn by young people not yet married as it represented the youth and pureness of spring.
Green is associated with hope, spring, Islam, and environmental issues as well as with inexperience and St. Patrick’s Day.
This week we will look at some interpretations of green.