"Pink Teacup and Blue Cloth"
This week’s featured painting is “Pink Teacup and Blue Cloth” from 2023. It is done with oil on panel, and measures 5 x 5 inches.
Over the last year, I’ve fallen in love with the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, and spent hours and hours looking at as many as I can see.
One of the things I’ve noticed is the extensive use of the color pink.
Of course pink appears in paintings of all ages, and you don’t have to look far at all to see paintings making beautiful use of it.
But – it’s my subjective impression that the paintings of the Middle Ages used pink more often, and frequently used it as a main color around which the rest of the painting was organized.
Here’s a beautiful example from the “Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry”, painted by the Limbourg brothers around 1415.
Pink permeates this entire painting, ranging from the faint salmon coloring of the distant walls, to the saturated near-reds of the chapel vaults.
Although in modern usage, pink is viewed as a predominantly feminine color, that has not always been the case. In fact, that convention likely arose with the beginnings of the modern fashion industry in the 19th century.
In the art of the Middle Ages, pink was often associated with innocence and purity – it’s no accident that the above painting depicts the Purification of the Virgin, a scene from the life of the Virgin Mary.
In modern times, it has also become the symbolic color of hope, as seen in the pink ribbon denoting support for those touched by cancer.
Without even thinking of those connections, however, I simply see a delicate, beautiful, and beguiling color.
To see more of this painting, click the blue button below.