Definition: The definition of color symbolism is the use of visual images that reflect the social customs and beliefs as symbols in a specific culture. A symbol is something that represents an idea, a legend, a process, or a being. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. In ancient Egypt color symbolism conveyed meaning at a glance.
The Color Symbolism of Ancient Egypt
The Color Symbolism used by the ancient Egyptians was extremely important and conveyed a range of silent messages to everyone who lived in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians used six basic colors in their artwork - white, black, red, yellow, blue and green. The colors were not chosen randomly, each of the colors had special meaning, significance and symbolism. The color symbolism and the same meanings of colors were used from each generation to the next and the color symbolism of ancient Egypt remained the same for over 3000 years. The use of color symbolism was evident in the numerous wall paintings in the artefacts, tombs, temples and monuments of the ancient Egyptians and understanding color symbolism will bring a new perspective and unlocking the secrets of the art of Ancient Egypt.
Examples of Color Symbolism -Osiris
Colors were often used purely as symbolism, rather then for realistic accuracy of a subject. An example of this are the depictions of the god Osiris. Osiris was the ancient Egyptian god of death, the Underworld and rebirth and depicted in human form but with green colored skin.
The green colored skin of Osiris symbolizes Fertlity, Vegetation, New life, Joy, Growth and Regeneration. This example of color symbolism also conveys the legend and mythology of Osiris in which he is murdered but was resurrected by the gods as the god of the underworld giving the hope of new life after death to humankind.
The color symbolism of his white shroud, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, is a reminder that he was the first to undergo the process of mummification and symbolizes omnipotence and purity. The color symbolism and symbols of Osiris continue. His white headdress was the Atef Crown a symbol of Upper Egypt. The plumes are believed to be of the sacred Bennu bird who featured strongly in the creation myth.
Osiris wears the beard of a deceased pharaoh, a reminder of the myth that he was the first pharaoh of ancient Egypt.. This type of beard is called an “osird” or “the divine beard” that was distinguished with an upward pointed curl that symbolized that the person wearing it was dead. Living Pharaohs were depicted with beards that have a straight edge. The hair and beards of ancient Egyptians were depicted as black. The color symbolism of the red colored belt represents life and also the stars of Orion that were associated with Osiris.
The color symbolism of blue and gold. Gold was often paired with blue in Egyptian royal regalia symbolizing. Osiris holds the royal regalia of the crook and flail. The color blue symbolized items that were imperishable, eternal and indestructible and the gold color symbolized divine authority, birth and re-birth. The Flail symbolized the king's role as provider of food for the people and the crook symbolized the king's role as the 'shepherd' of the people.
This simple image is a perfect example to conveys meaning of color symbolism to the ancient Egyptians. Every picture tells a story...
Color Symbolism of Ancient Egypt
To the people of ancient Egypt colors possessed meaning and symbolism. Understanding the symbolism of colors in ancient Egypt is a necessary element when studying the history, culture, civilisation and art of ancient Egypt. Color was considered an integral part of the nature of an item or object. The ancient Egyptian word for color was 'iwen' which could also could also be translated to mean "nature", "being" or "character".
Color Symbolism in Hieroglyphics
Color symbolism was also used in Hieroglyphics, the ancient Egyptian form of writing. The colors used in hieroglyphics demonstrated the dual use of colors. Some hieroglyphics reflected the realistic colors seen in nature such as green plants and blue water whilst others were assigned colors to which they are symbolically linked such as knives which were often colored red, signifying danger. The symbols and colors of hieroglyphics did not vary for over 3000 years.
Ancient Egyptian Blue Color Symbolism
Blue symbolism: To the ancient Egyptians the color blue symbolized the Sky, Water, the Heavens, Primeval Flood, Creation and Rebirth. The color blue also symbolized birth and rebirth because the annual flooding of the River Nile brought fertility to the land. For comprehensive facts and information refer to the Color Symbolism & Meanings of Blue.
Blue Colors of Ancient Egypt
Egyptian Blue 2
Ancient Egyptian Red Color Symbolism
Red symbolism: To the ancient Egyptians the color red symbolized life, fire and victory and was also used to convey anger, hostility and chaos. The color red was deemed to be a powerful color because of its association with blood. The color red invoked the protective power of the blood of Isis. For comprehensive facts and information refer to the Color Symbolism & Meanings of Red.
Red Colors of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian Green Color Symbolism
Green symbolism: To the ancient Egyptians the color green symbolized Fertlity, Vegetation, New life, Joy, Growth and Regeneration. The Egyptian name for green was 'wadj' which also meant "to flourish". For comprehensive facts and information refer to the Color Symbolism & Meanings of Green.
Green Colors of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian Yellow Color Symbolism
Yellow symbolism: To the ancient Egyptians the color yellow symbolized items that were Imperishable, eternal and indestructible. Any objects portrayed as yellow in ancient Egyptian art carried all of these meanings. Gold (newb) represented the flesh of the gods. For comprehensive facts and information refer to the Color Symbolism & Meanings of Yellow
Yellow Colors of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian Black Color Symbolism
The ancient Egyptian concept of black covered different shades of the color. The Black colors of Ancient Egypt were ivory black and lamp black. Black symbolism: To the ancient Egyptians the color black symbolized death, the night and the Afterlife, endurance and stability. Black was also associated with fertility and regeneration of the land. For comprehensive facts and information refer to the Color Symbolism & Meanings of Black.
Black & White Colors of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian White Color Symbolism
The ancient Egyptian concept of white covered different shades of the color including the different shades of grey. The white colors of Ancient Egypt were chalk white, lead white and silver. White symbolism: To the ancient Egyptians the color white symbolized Purity, Power, Cleanliness and Simplicity. The color white was also a symbol of Upper Egypt. For comprehensive facts and information refer to the Color Symbolism & Meanings of White.
The Color Symbolism of Ancient Egypt
Discover fast, interesting fun facts about the symbols and meanings of colors for kids with some amazing, cool and quick information about ancient Egypt and Egyptians. Ideal for children, homework, schools, teachers and kids of all ages! Find fascinating fun facts about Color Symbolism for kids and the history, culture and civilisation of the ancient Egyptians and ancient Egypt. Interesting, fun facts about the symbols and meanings of colors for research, schools, students and kids of all ages.
Egyptian Color Symbolism