Homage to the new Pantone colour for 2013

Every now and then I get a hankering to write a post that is more personal than my usual art reportage so please allow me a little self indulgence and let me tell you about my recent predilection for all things green.

It all began last year after visiting the enticing waters of Fontaine de Vaucluse, the largest spring in France. The water is an otherworldly shade of aqua green, and it offered such a cool respite from the heat of Provence that the memory of its calming colour has stayed with me.

Fontaine de Vaucluse 1Fontaine de Vaucluse – yes, the water really is this colour.
Fontaine de Vaucluse 4

And have you ever noticed that once something embeds in your consciousness, you start to see it everywhere? Lush emerald hues have been popping up wherever I go (they can even be found on the Artin’ Geelong blog header) and as it turns out, my flirtation with glorious green was a prescient choice…

Every year Pantone, a company specialising in colour matching systems for graphic designers and printers, forecasts the trending colour for the next twelve months. And this year, the colour for 2013 is Emerald. Viva vibrant verdant!

“Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other colour in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a press release. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.”

According to Pantone, Emerald enhances our sense of well-being by inspiring insight, and promoting balance and harmony. It’s also the colour of growth, renewal and prosperity. Pantone fails to mention that green can also be the colour of envy (green-eyed monster), sickness (green about the gills) and even the devil himself back in the 15th century.

Of course we all know that the hype is really just a clever marketing ploy to sell merchandise produced in the new ‘colour of the year’. I am not convinced that Pantone connects with the zeitgeist to identify the definitive colour of the times but there is no denying Emerald connects with me!

So, being right on-trend, here is my homage to green in all its luxurious splendour, with a focus on art portraiture. Enjoy.

Jan Van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait, 1434. National Gallery, London. Source
portrait-of-a-lady-in-green Agnolo Bronzino
Agnolo Bronzino, Portrait of a lady in green, 1530 (?). Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, London, UK. Source
Alonso SANCHEZ COELLOAlonso Sanchez Coello, The Infante Don Felipe, 1580. San Diego Museum of Art, USA. Source
Claude Monet, The Woman in the Green Dress, (Camille Doncieux), 1866. Kunsthalle Bremen. Source
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Salutation of Beatrice, 1869. Private collection. Source
Vincent Van Gogh, Self-portrait with bandaged ear, 1889. Courtald Institute Galleries, London. Source
Picasso, Queen Isabella, 1908. Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow, Russia. Source
Mary Cassatt, Françoise in Green, Sewing, 1909. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, US. Source
Henri Matisse, Standing Moroccan in Green (Standing Riffian), 1913. Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. Source
Juan Gris, The Smoker, 1913. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Spain. Source
Gustave Klimt, Portrait of a Lady, 1917. Galleria Ricci-Oddi, Piacenza, Italy. Source
Moise Kisling, Girl with Green Shawl, 1919. Private Collection. Source
Reclining-Woman-With-Green-Stockings-Egon-Schiele-1917Egon Schiele, Reclining Woman with Green Stockings (Adele Harms), 1917. Source
Portrait of Chagall
Left: Marc Chagall, Autoportrait en vert (Self Portrait in Green), 1914. Source
Right: Yury Pen, Portrait of Marc Chagall, 1915.  Source

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