Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Le cordon bleu

My blogger friend Elizabeth Stanforth-Sharpe published a post the other day entitled “Oxford Blue” that consisted of a single photograph. I was inspired to find out more about (what else?) blue.

The Free Dictionary defines blue as “the hue of that portion of the visible spectrum lying between green and indigo, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 420 to 490 nanometers” but the article in Wikipedia begins with “Blue is the colour of the clear sky and the deep sea.”

I was hooked. I kept reading the Wikipedia article.

I found this:

(Wheat- field Under Clouded Sky (July 1890), one of the last works of Vincent Van Gogh)

and this:

(In his Gare Saint-Lazare (1877), Claude Monet used several recently-invented colours including cobalt blue, invented in 1807; cerulean blue, invented in 1860; and French ultramarine, first made in 1828.)

and this:

(In Starry Night Over the Rhone (1888), Van Gogh created a mood or atmosphere with a cobalt blue sky, and cobalt or ultramarine water)

and this:

(Coronation of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castille at Reims in 1223; a miniature from the Grandes Chroniques de France, painted in the 1450s, is kept at the National Library of France.)

and this:

(Photo of seagull against an azure sky by Kiban (2009). Used by permission in accordance with GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

and this:

(Figure of a servant from the tomb of King Seth I (1244–1279 BC). Used in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

and this:

(The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by 19th-century Japanese woodblock artist Hokusai used Prussian blue, a synthetic colour imported from Europe)

and this:

(Dendrobates azureus, the poison dart frog from Brazil)

and this:

(Two horses for Münster, neon sculpture by Stephan Huber (2002). Photograph by Wikipedia user de:Benutzer:AndreKR used by permission under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

and even these:

{Photo of blueberries (2006) by Scott Schopieray. Used in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)

...which are used in the making of:

Oxford blue ice cream!

I found lots of other blue things as well.

Strangely, I was not inspired to find out more about Oxford.

I think it has something to do with these:


  1. Perhaps I can make you blue too Sir Bob? Using aerial photography, I have been able to track down your house. Perhaps you saw me passing in a hot air balloon last week? This links in nicely with your last post. A mushroom cloud over Canton GA could bring in busloads of tourists. Please may I have permission to post the picture of your house? Don't worry I didn't catch you nude sunbathing in the back yard!

  2. Lord Pudding, I didn't see you passing in a hot air balloon last week, but I definitely heard you passing something as you went by. And no, you do not have my permission to post a picture of my house. Mrs. RWP and I want to be able to do whatever it is we decide to do in our back yard in peace, free from the busloads of tourists.

  3. On the theme of blue ~ in Australia men with red hair are often called Bluey or Blue. I am sure Helsie will confirm that for me. Of course we also coin the phrase True Blue Aussie to denote authenticity ~ but does not have it's origins in Australia

    But you might like to view John Williamson's song True Blue on the You Tube for another musical reference.

  4. Okay then Sir Bob, I shall just have to content myself with a print off which I shall affix to my dartboard in the hope of scoring a direct hit - just like Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr..

    And now I am intrigued about what you and Mrs Brague do in the backyard. I am thinking tai chi in honour of Hiroshima and Nagasaki's dead. Got any photographs?

  5. Love, love, love this celebration of blue! So intriguing, and it appeals so strongly to the synesthete in me. Can you do some other colors for us in the future?? :)


  6. This came to mind straight away for me - Blue Velvet by Bobby Vinton.

    Blue velvet ...
    She wore blue velvet
    bluer than velvet was the night
    softer than satin was the light from the stars

    She wore blue velvet
    bluer than velvet were her eyes
    warmer than May her tender size
    love was ours

    Eyes love I held tightly
    feelin' the rapture grow
    like a flame burning brightly
    but when she left gone was the glow of

    Blue velvet
    but in my heart there'll always be
    precious and warm a memory through the years
    And I still can see blue velvet through my tears

    She wore blue velvet
    but in my heart there'll always be...

  7. All Consuming, I remember Bobby Vinton and his song well. I do believe you have made a slight misquote (or perhaps a Freudian slip) as it should be "warmer than May her tender sighs" and not "warmer than May her tender size"!

    LightExpectations, perhaps I will do just that. This post took a little time to assemble, though; I couldn't just throw it together.

    Carol in Cairns, you taught me something today. I did not know that Australian men with red hair are often called Bluey or Blue. I wonder why? Because "Red" would be so obvious, maybe?

  8. Hahaha, I copied and pasted the lyrics from a lyrics website, clearly I shuld have sung the whole song thrugh first to make sure they were correct! Tsk. Anyway, it's a nice post, blue is a beautiful thing indeed.

  9. Yes RWP Carol is right. Calling a red headed person Blue is strange isn't it? Here is a link to True Blue the song. It is sung before all rugby games where our national team is playing against another country along with Waltzing Matilda so it is on its way to becoming another identifying Australian song.

  10. Helsie, I guess that clip is all right, but "Waltzing Matilda" will always be Australia to me, especially these soundtrack clips from 1959's On the Beach as Ava Gardner watches Gregory Peck leave on the submarine. This movie scared the bejeebers out of all of us back in the Cold War days.

  11. Sir Robert, I have added my own "blue post" into the Melting Pot.
    Cheers :)

  12. Thank you for the link up, lovely Sir Bob. I have commented on both yours and Carol's post on my post!! x

  13. I'm tempted to change my desktop for the second time in five minutes, but assuming that death isn't imminent, I can always pick up Starry Night or The Wave later.

    Eminently yours,

  14. Elizabeth, you are quite welcome.

    Snowbrush, I'm pleased to see that you know the difference between imminent and eminent and can use both correctly in writing. What about immanent?

  15. "What about immanent?"

    Do you not view God as transcendent as opposed to immanent?