centerlogobigAAD logo


The color blue is associated with two of Earth’s greatest natural features: the sky and the ocean. But that wasn’t always the case. Some scientists believe that the earliest humans were actually colorblind and could only recognize black, white, red, and only later yellow and green. As a result, early humans with no concept of the color blue simply had no words to describe it. This is even reflected in ancient literature, such as Homer’s Odyssey, that describes the ocean as a “wine-red sea.”

Blue was first produced by the ancient Egyptians who figured out how to create a permanent pigment that they used for decorative arts. The color blue continued to evolve for the next 6,000 years, and certain pigments were even used by the world's master artists to create some of the most famous works of art. Today it continues to evolve, with the latest shade discovered less than a decade ago. Read on to learn more about the color's fascinating history.

To Read More on My Modern Met:

Lead Image "The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Katsushika Hokusai, 1831. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons {{PD-US}})

Screen Shot 2018 02 04 at 12.44.58 copy

You may also like to read:

*  Fine Art Restoration and Conservation: In Conversation with Massoud Shiraz

*  Fine Art Restoration and Conservation: In Conversation with Simon Gillespie

*  Deep, Absorbing Black


About the Author



AAD REPORTS   Reports, news and opinion from