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Marilyn’s rainbow theme: indigo

2014.07.22
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Well, they’re not reposts (good), but they’re a bit old (bad). At least I’m not claiming they’re burnt umber (good), but I’ve never been all that happy with indigo as a colour (bad). Just looks like dark blue to me. I have similar doubts about azure, but then I don’t think Homer was wrong in referring to the wine-dark sea.

I bet art teachers have a terrible time getting kids to add this seventh colour in the rainbow right between “real” blue and “real” violet.

Wikipedia helpfully confirms my qualms about indigo’s identity crisis and even goes so far as to quote Newton describing his seminal experiment:

“The originall or primary colours are Red, yellow, Green, Blue, & a violet purple; together with Orange, Indico, & an indefinite varietie of intemediate gradations.” [draft of “A Theory Concerning Light and Colors", 1671]

It also says Newton bought the prisms used to split white light into colours at a nearby Cambridge fair. I don’t know of any other scientific discipline founded by something picked up in the baroque equivalent of a car boot sale.

Besides, I am wary of colours named after physical objects. If an orange is called an orange, why isn't a banana called a yellow?

It doesn’t help that modern optical scientists argue about the classification of indigo: between 450 and 420 nanometres or 446 and 464 nm?

Now I have something else to worry about at 3 a.m. in the dark blue, purple violet, indigo and azure night.

Sorry for posting early, but I’ll be busy on Tuesday.

Other rainbow theme posts can be viewed here.

5 Comments
busybee Yes a difficult one but love the Lavender................
busybee · 2014-07-21: 11:56
marilynx As always - i just love your dialogue!
The photos are true - far better than mine will be!
marilynx · 2014-07-21: 14:03
LouiH Well said Stefan, indigo is an ambiguous colour and an individual interpretation....Love the indigo lavender shot!
LouiH · 2014-07-21: 20:17
MoMac These are the softer shades in the many, as you mentioned, of indigo
MoMac · 2014-07-22: 04:02
va000119 yep. I got caught with is it `indigo`..like the converging lines in the lavender one...
va000119 · 2014-07-22: 15:58
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Tagged: rainbowtheme indigo
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