- question of the week - color of the week  
   
 
                                 
           

Orange

Orange is a radiant color, associated with energetic qualities. Orange can express e.g. strength, success, appeal, authority and joy. "Orange is like a man, confident of his strength", said the artist Wassily Kandinsky. In addition to the vitality, orange can also suggest straightforwardness and self-centeredness.

In China and Japan, orange is related to happiness and love. Orange is the color of Buddha and Buddhist monks. In Buddhist art, orange represents the highest level of enlightenment. In India and Nepal, orange is a sacred color, resembling the color of gold.

Orange can be produced by mixing red and yellow. A mixed orange, however, is not as bright as a genuine orange pigment. The mixed color absorbs more light than the genuine one; thus the color appears darker. There has not been a good, pure orange shade available to artists until the 19th century.

Plants have not been used as a source of orange as early as of other colors. Plants used to provide for dyeing only shades bordering on orange, "rusty" colors. Of an old dye plant, Wild Madder, orange was extracted allegedly as late as in the 19th century.

Orange is the only basic color named according to a tangible thing, the orange. However, the word "orange" is not very old in European languages. It did not appear until oranges were imported to Europe towards the beginning of the 11th century. The word remained merely a name of the fruit up to the 17th century. In Finnish language, the word did not become established until the second half of the 20th century.