Orange is associated with energy, excitement, and enthusiasm. It is highly stimulating.
Orange is a color often encountered in NATURE:
- The hues of autumn leaves
- Fruits and vegetables rich in carotenes (carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, oranges, apricots)
- Red caviar from the roe of salmon fishes
- Saffron – a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus (used both as a dye and as a spice)
- Curcuma – a plant used to make turmeric, a common and less expensive orange (used as a dye, and later as spice and as medicine)
- Flowers (calendula, begonia, daylily, dahlia, hibiscus)
- Animals (Bengal tiger, squirrels, foxes)
- Birds (canary, flamingo, Altamira)
Orange is embraced in FASHION industry because of its energetic vibrations:
- The Sicilly Collection by D&G
- High-fashion accessories in a pop of color, a mix of fire and light, red and yellow
- Hermès branding package
The use of orange color in ARTS had an entire evolution and different use.
In ancient Egypt, a mineral pigment called realgar was used for tomb paintings.
Always ancient times, another natural mineral known as orpiment, was very much appreciated, and had different applications:
- Making pigments for painting and decorating
- It was an important item of trade in the Roman Empire (bartering was very common)
- In Cina it was used as a medicine, although it contains arsenic and is highly toxic (however in ancient times it wasn’t known)
- Later, it was used to poison arrows
- Alchemists loved this mineral for its yellow-orange color, and were using it for making gold (in China and in the West)
Minium, a pigment from red lead, was used in the Byzantine Empire for making the red-orange color on manuscripts and had a wide use in the Middle Ages for painting and decorating manuscripts. Since it was toxic, it was replaced in the 20th century by other synthetic pigments, like chrome orange and cadmium orange.
In the 18th century orange was sometimes used to depict the robes of Pomona, the goddess of fruitful abundance.
In 1797 a French scientist Louis Vauquelin discovered the mineral crocoite, or lead chromate, which led in 1809 to the invention of the synthetic pigment chrome orange (used by Renoir and other painters). Followed other synthetic pigments, like cobalt orange.
In Britain orange became highly popular with history painters. The flowing red-orange hair of Elizabeth Siddal, model and wife of the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti became a symbol of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
In France painters took orange to the impressionist movement, which started in 1872 with Claude Monet painting “Impression, Sunrise”, centered with a tiny orange sun reflected on the water and on the clouds surrounded by blue landscape. Orange became an important color for all the impressionist painters: Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec. They all had studied the recent books on color theory, and they know that orange placed next to azure blue made both colors much brighter.
The post-impressionist painters went even further with orange:
- Paul Gauguin used different orange hues for backgrounds, clothing, and skin color.
- Vincent van Gogh created his own orange colors with mixtures of yellow, ochre, and red, used to express the pure sunlight of Provence placed next to sienna red, bottle green, blue and violet. He put an orange moon and stars in a cobalt blue sky.
The high visibility of orange color made it a first-choice in the 20th and followed in 21st centuries for certain equipment, first used on naval, but later civilian and aircrafts, like inflatable life jackets, which could be spotted by searchers and rescue planes. Orange is also widely worn (to avoid being hit) by workers on highways and by cyclists. Moreover, it is used for astronaut costumes, prison uniforms, even the “black box” on airplanes is actually bright orange to make it easily visible.
Orange has a strong presence in POLITICS, particularly used by the Christian democratic political ideology. In Ukraine 2004, it became the color of the “Orange Revolution”, a popular movement which took Viktor Yushchenko into the presidency.
Orange is the national color of the Netherlands. The royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau, derives its name in part from its former holding, the principality of Orange.
Different tints of orange are strongly present in RELIGIONS, particularly in Asia:
Confucianism – orange was a color symbolizing transformation. According to Confucianism, existence was governed by the interaction of the male active principle (yang) and the female passive principle (yin). Yellow was the color of perfection and nobility; red was the color of happiness and power. Out of the interaction between the two came orange, the color of transformation.
Hinduism - the divinity Krishna is commonly portrayed dressed in yellow or yellow orange. Yellow and saffron are also the colors worn by sadhu (wandering holy men) in India.
Buddhism – saffron is seeing as the color of illumination, the highest state of perfection. The Buddha himself defined saffron robes to be worn by monks in the 5th century BC. The robe and its color are a sign of renunciation of the outside world and commitment to the order. These robes should be boiled in water a long time mixing saffron and ochre, usually made with dye from the curcuma longa plant or the heartwood of the jackfruit tree, to get the correctly sober color.