Look no further than this magnificent seaside village on Italy’s Mediterranean coast to see how the vivid use of color dominates this country’s architecture, fashion, interior and automotive design, and of course its renaissance art. Brands like Alitalia, Bianchi, Schiaiparelli, Valentino, and Ferrari are a testament to how the bold and – sometimes over-the-top – use of color infiltrates Italian culture.
This montage illustrates some of the boldest uses of color in Italian architecture, culture, fashion and design. See if you can match each picture with the colors described below it.
‘Celeste Italian Sky Blue’ refers to a pale turquoise blue color that is associated with the Italian bicycle company Bianchi’s attempt to emulate the color of a clear sky.
‘Schiaparelli Pink’ is a shocking pink color more akin to magenta, and is named after the Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli who introduced the color for the packaging of her perfume ‘Shocking’ in 1936.
‘Burnt Sienna’ takes its name from Terra di Siena, or earth of Siena. The yellow-brown color refers to a pigment named after the Tuscan city where it was used by artists during the Renaissance.
‘Giallo Napoli’ with its origin in Naples is sometimes known as antimony yellow. The words are used to describe a range of yellow from an earthy, reddish yellow to a bright light yellow.
‘Rosso Corsa’ or Ferrari Rosso red refers to the brilliant red color adopted by Italian motor-racing cars in the same way British cars sport ‘British Racing Green.’
‘Rosso Tiziano’ or Titian Red is a reddish-gold color. It gained its name from the brownish-orange color seen on women’s hair in many of the paintings of the Italian artist, Tiziano Vecelli
‘Rosso Valentino’ known to fashionistas worldwide, Valentino Red is a primary red with notes of deep orange that add impact and intensify tone. Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani used a poppy-red color for a dress in his first collection. It became his signature color throughout his career.
‘Wrought-Iron Black’ is a shade which is a richer version of basic black that exudes warmth and age. It derives its inspiration in wrought-iron gates, and is a reflection of Venice’s once-booming blacksmith tradition.
‘Grand Canal Green’ is similar to sea foam but with a touch more heft and captures Venice’s famous S-shape waterway that functions as the city’s main drag. The color can be found on centuries-old statues, the shutters of the palatial palazzi, and delicate glassware.
‘Burano Blue’ color resides somewhere between cobalt and turquoise. It can be found in the rainbow-bright buildings of Burano, a small island that shares a lagoon with Venice and also lives in broken-glass mosaics of Murano, and on gondola covers lining the St. Mark’s basin at night.
One fact that cannot be denied is Italy loves its color, and loves to use it in daring and spectacular applications. Now, look around your world. How many things do you see and use every day have been influenced by i colori dell’Italia?
Sources: www.italymagazine.com; www.onekingslane.com