History of Color: Violet & Seafoam


OooOO I am so excited to start sharing this! I started reading "The Secret Lives of Color" by Kassia St. Clair and knew I would have to start sharing her findings!

The book goes through the process of indexing the rainbow of colors and giving the historical context surrounding each color. I thought I would start by sharing your favorite colors! It was requested to write the history about deep purple and seafoam green!

That translates to violet and verdigris! See below for some cool & fun facts. 


Famous artists and painter, Manet, describes the true color of the atmosphere as “violet”. He says “fresh air is violet. Three years from now, the whole works will work in violet”. 

Violet is also known as the color of the Impressionists. You might wonder why though, it's not exactly a prominent color in most of their paintings. 

The first reason it is named this is because of the way the Impressionists use violet in their paintings of shadows. They were the first group of artists to believe that shadows of objects were not just grey, but included color. They used violet because it was the complimentary color to yellow which was used in a majority of their paintings.

In addition, violet was the color of the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Print Makers like Degas, Monet, Cezanne, etc.

I mean it's so cool to think that violet has such deep roots in the history of art and how such principles carry over into today's art making! 


To produce this color, manufacturers had to re-create the naturally re-ocurring that forms on copper + bronze when exposed to water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, or sulfur.

This is what what has turned the Statue of Liberty it’s famous green color ~ which took around 30 years!

They used to have to wait this long to get this amazing green color, but eventually learned that they could speed up the process to just two weeks!

Another cool fact is that Verdegris is french for "green from Greece" & in German it's name is "Grunspan" which means "Spanish green". 

Learning where all these colors are from brings new meaning to them in the context of how you use them in today's world! Hope this brings more thought to your work and gives you an inspiration boost today 



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