Meaning of Colour Red

Written by Naomi

On August 6, 2021
red is the color of passion

Australian Art featuring Red.

Red is the colour of passion, spice and drama. It is hot, alluring and seductive. But it is also the colour of childhood delight a simple primary colour that is rich and warm. One fo my favourite films as a child is of  the French child’s story, The Red Balloon.

You can’t go wrong with the use of red; every painting should have red in it.
George De Groat, American painter, 1927-1994

I love red, it brings any space to life. If I’m feeling slightly sad or a little down, a red lipstick will bring life and happiness and make me smile. Red is the great clarifier, bright and revealing.

“I can’t imagine becoming bored with red, it would be like becoming bored with a person you love,” Diana Vreeland, former editor of Vogue in 1979.

Red is powerful, the colour of Catholic cardinals, royal authority, and the colour of blood and war. Roman generals, Japanese Samurai, and British Red Coats. For Indigenous Australians, red is symbolic of the Earth and their spiritual connection to the land. Red is also the symbol of revolution, socialism, and communism. Yet for many cultures, red is symbolic of happiness, good fortune, and protection. Chinese women traditionally marry in red and the gates torii of Japan, Shinto shrine are painted red to ward off evil and disaster.

Painters use red like spice.
Michael Derek Elworthy, English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and author, 1942–1994

Red is one of the first ochres to have been mined by humans. Red lead was the first manufactured pigment produced by the ancient Greeks, and it remained the dominant pigment in Western art until the discovery of vermilion in 18th century. Vermilion was based on the mercuric sulphide mineral, cinnabar, and for centuries offered artists brilliant shades of opaque red and scarlet. But it was not until the introduction of lac pigments derived from textile dyes from the cochineal, kermes, and lac insects, almost with vegetal dyes from the madder root that translucent glowing crimson and carmine pigments became available to artists.

Red protects itself. No color is as territorial. It stakes a claim, is on the alert against the spectrum.
Michael Derek Elworthy, English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and author, 1942–1994

And of course for me there is also my entrepreneurial story of RedBalloon.

Red, the rich red of power, of love, of fruit, of decadence. Red brings vibrancy to any space. A touch of red brings passion to a room.

Australian Paintings featuring Red

Australian Art

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