A Reflection On Reading Visual Culture

2407 Words May 8th, 2015 10 Pages
Assignment 2

Colour is one of the dominant symbolic aspects of representation; another is the use of words. Expand upon the use of both in the construction of meaning.

When it comes to representation, there is no aspect more important than that of colour. Whilst words can be used to describe what kind of emotion it is portraying, colour can change the emotion and meaning of a representation simply by just being there. A good example of the power that colour has can be seen in the painting by Raphael Sanzio called School of Athens (1510-1511). In this painting, Plato and Aristotle are at the centre, both wearing fashionable robes. Plato’s robe can be seen as different colours: Red which symbolises excitement, passion and energy and pink which symbolises acceptance (Incredible Art Department, 2012) – all which describe the kind of character Plato has been recorded as being. Aristotle however is in a blue robe which symbolises a lot of different aspects like: integrity, seriousness, power, truth, loyalty and, of course, knowledge (Incredible Art Department, 2012). This is no coincidence, these colours were chosen because of the information they provide, but these are very specific to this particular painting and may be lost upon those with not a great deal of knowledge about colour and meaning.

A simpler example would be to use a specific colour like green. Green is described as being “the color of balance and harmony. From a meaning of colors…
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