The history of colors


Historical Significance

  • Widows used to wear purple to mourn their husbands’ death in Thailand.
  • To obtain one ounce of Tyrian purple dye, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra asked her servants to soak 20,000 purpura snails for 10 days.
  • Richard Wagner composed his operas in room with violet shades; violet is his color of inspiration.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci believed the power of meditation increases when done in violet or purple light (light of stained glass).
  • A purple heart is a decoration for the soldiers killed or wounded in a battle by US Military.

Present Significance

  • Purple is the royal color and is symbolic to luxury and sophistication.
  • According to color theory the purple color in children’s room can help improve their imagination.
  • It is feminine and romantic.


Historical Significance

  • The Pharaohs of Egypt used to wear blue for protection against evil.
  • Blue is the color of mourning in Iran.
  • In ancient Rome public servants used to wear blue.

Present Significance

  • Blue relaxes the body, so it is often used in bed rooms.
  • It symbolizes loyalty, hence wearing blue is recommended by experts for interviews.
  • Studies show that weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms. This is because people are more productive in blue rooms.


Historical Significance

  • Green is the national color of Ireland.
  • In Scotland, people used to wear green as a mark of honor.
  • People in ancient Egypt used to color the floors of their temples green.
  • In ancient Greece, green was symbolic to victory.
  • Brides in the Middle Ages used to wear green to symbolize fertility.

Present Significance

  • Green is the healing color and relaxes patients. Hence hospitals often use this color.
  • It is a refreshing color and can improve vision.


Historical Significance

  • In Japan during the war of dynasty each warrior wore a yellow chrysanthemum as a pledge of courage.
  • In Egypt and Burma yellow is the color of mourning.
  • In India yellow is the divine color.
  • In ancient France the doors of criminals were painted yellow.
  • Actors of Middle Ages used to wear yellow to represent the dead in a play.

Present Significance

  • Yellow enhances concentration and speeds up metabolism.
  • People lose their tempers more often in yellow color rooms and it is the most difficult color for the eye to take in.


Historical Significance

  • Red was the color of House of Lancester, which defeated the House of York (white color) in English war of the Roses.
  • The soldiers of the Italian leader Garibaldi, who unified modern Italy, were called as the Red shirts.
  • Red flag was the symbol for battle for ancient Romans.
  • In China, red is the wedding and holiday color and also a color of good luck.
  • Ancient Egyptians used to paint their body with red dye for emphasis.
  • The Bolsheviks used red flag as their symbol in 19th century when they overthrew the czar.
  • Red is the color of mourning in South Africa.

Present Significance

  • Red is the color of love.
  • It is the most emotionally intense color.
  • It stimulates faster heartbeat and breathing.


Historical Significance

  • In ancient Egypt people used to believe that black cats had divine powers.
  • Black was the color of mourning for ancient Romans and Egyptians.
  • The security troops in Hitler’s German army were known as black shirts.

Present Significance

  • Black is the color of authority.
  • It implies submission; hence priests wear black to signify submission to God.
  • It makes people appear thinner for which it became popular color in fashion


Historical Significance

  • White is the color of mourning in China and Japan.
  • The people of ancient Persia used to believe that all Gods wore white.
  • The Egyptian Pharaohs used to wear white crowns.
  • White flag is the universal symbol for truce.
  • The ancient Greeks used to wear white cloths to bed to get pleasant dreams.

Present Significance

  • White reflects light, so people wear white in summer.
  • Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity; it is considered as good luck to be married in white clothes.
  • White goes well with most colors, so became popular in fashion.
  • Doctors and nurses wear white to symbolize sterility.

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4 Responses to “The history of colors”

  1. bri Says:

    my favorite color is purple.

  2. payday loan Says:

    thanks for posting. nice site.

  3. Mandy Says:

    Great and useful details, but it willbe much more better to mention how colors were made throughout ages

  4. Edawg10 Says:

    Very helpful, thanks.

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