Greeks And Blue

November 19, 2021  •  1 Comment

Blog 21 11 19 Greeks and BlueBlog 21 11 19 Greeks and BlueCopyrighted Digital Image Paul Grayson Photeinos.com

There was no word for the colour “blue” in ancient Greek. Clearly, they saw it, but could not name it as a distinct colour. In the texts of Homer, black, white, yellow, red and green are all mentioned, but never blue. Amazingly, the same is true in ancient Chinese, Hebrew and Sanskrit. The only ancient peoples who could name blue were the Egyptians. Scholars believe that the order of recognition of colours in languages followed the sequence of: first black and white, then red. Names for colours follow cultural development. I had never thought about that until researching for this image text.

As a lover of Greece, I have been drenched in the light and colours of this enormously beautiful place. I still have not been to Santorini, so my experience of “Greek blue” is short of its full expression. Confusingly, I am extremely happy that we have been prevented from seeing just how garishly the ancient Greeks could use colour. The spare, pure, gaunt shapes of ancient buildings, glowing white in the Greek sunlight, are my delight. They used to be painted and garishly covered in what I consider to be awful primary colours. The same was true of the statuary. Evidently, they loved it! The Romans did the same, apparently.

So, while I love the use of primary colours in today’s Hellenic culture, I am hypocritically and erroneously enamoured of a false impression of classical Greek architecture. As a lover of history, I am constantly having my balloon pricked, when things turn out not to be what they seemed.

I leave you with this scene in the entryway to my hotel on the island of Hydra in the Peloponnese. Do not die without having gone there.

Settings

Camera: Nikon D70

Lens: 18-70mm zoom f/3.5 – 4.5

Focal Length: 40mm

Autofocus Area Mode: Single

Drive Mode: Self Timer

Aperture: f/4.

Shutter Speed: 1/1,250s

Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

Exposure Compensation :  0.0 OEV

Metering: Pattern

ISO Sensitivity: 250

Tripod Mounted

Place : Hydra, Peloponnese, Greece

Year: 2007

 


Comments

Eric Bontemps(non-registered)
Pour moi, la photo en elle-même n'a pas beaucoup d'intérêt même si la composition est bonne. En fait, elle prend tout son sens grâce au texte qui l'accompagne. Ce qui est une des forces de ton blog.
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