Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Burne-Jones and the Colors of the Week

I recently finished the excellent book The Pre-Raphaelites at Home. One delightful thing about this book is that there were so many little tidbits of information scattered throughout. One of my favorite tidbits was the fact that Edward Burne-Jones saw the days of the week as different colors. I thought "oh why not" and decided to try for a week wearing the colors on their designated days.

Burne-Jones' colors are as follows (my pictures above start with Monday):

  • Sunday: Gold
  • Monday: Yellow
  • Tuesday: Red
  • Wednesday: Blue
  • Thursday: Amethyst
  • Friday: Sapphire
  • Saturday: "Wet...ever since I was tiny -- but I don't know why"

The "wet" comment especially amuses me...I could just see a child Ned getting his bath every Saturday, and that sticking with him (total theorizing on my part).

What I learned from wearing the colors? Well, first, I apparently have nothing yellow in my entire closet. Second, where's the green? I love green, and with the Pre-Raphaelite affection for the outdoors, I'm really surprised that he didn't see a day as green.


Margaret said...

I'll have to try this! (I've got yellow in my closet, but gold may be a bit of a problem).

I loved your post on decorating like Rossetti and Morris! Very cool!

Anonymous said...

That's fascinating--I never knew that! And I, too, am surprised that there's no green there! I simply can't live without green. If I saw my week in colors, it would be:

Monday - green (because I need all the help I can get)
Tuesday - black (so people don't think I wear green all the time)
Wednesday - green (surely they've forgotten the green I wore on Monday by now, right?)
Thursday - green (getting excited for the weekend)
Friday - blue (because I've run out of green)
Saturday - green (because I'm so happy to be FREE again!!!)
Sunday - green (because I can)

Yeah...that about covers it for me... ;)

Grace said...

Thanks Margaret! It's a fun challenge to pick outfits with a color limitation, and can create some pretty crazy ensembles :)

Aurora, I love your color chart! LOL. Mine would have to have purple in it and black. Purple, black, and green.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly monochromatic, so I think I'd fail at this attempt. Most of my clothes are black or wine-hued, maybe I could do a velvet of the week theme:)

I wonder how Ned incorporated those colors into his wardrobe? A different waistcoat or cravat?

Grace said...

It seems it would be distracting to try to paint if the days of the week affected your "color mood", huh?

Anonymous said...

I know that this post is older, but I'd like to mention that this is an example of synesthesia. Synesthesia is a common and benign condition in which the stimulation of one cognitive pathway (such as hearing or reading) triggers stimulation of another cognitive pathway (such as color or taste). Although the notion of the days of the week having colors may sound fanciful, it's very matter of fact for a lot of people. Wikipedia has a surprisingly good article on this subject.

Grace said...

Thank you, anonymous! I had forgotten about that term, and you're absolutely right...this is a great example of it.

I find it rather romantic, definitely :)