Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Colors in Swann’s Way, in Order of Ascending Frequency

“There are tints in the clouds this evening, violets and blues, which are very beautiful, are they not, my friend?” he said to my father. “Especially a blue which is far more floral than atmospheric, a cineraria blue, which it is surprising to see in the sky. And that little pink cloud there, has it not just the tint of some flower, a carnation or hydrangea?”
Cineraria Blue - Plum-Colored - Fleshly White - Blushing Pink - Eggshell Yellow - Pearl Grey - Golden - Orange Red - Ruby - Silver - Coral - Cabbage Green - Ultramarine - Roseate - Blood-Red - Opalescent - Plum Blue - Emerald-Green - Wine-Colored - Pearly - Scarlet - Dark Green - Crimson - Sky Blue - Orange - Lilac - Brown - Mauve - Red - Azure - Violet - Purple - Green - Grey - Yellow - Gold - Pink - Black - White - Blue 

Blue is the most mentioned color in Swann's Way. There are blue eyes, blue feathers, cuffs and ceilings, blue tiles, and a portrait of a man with a blue mustache, among many other moods and tints.  

I had to look up cineraria, which turns out to be a flower I’ve seen but never heard named before. The “ciner” suggested it could have to do with ash, and indeed the German name is ‘Aschenblume,’ or ash flower, but in reference to the underside of the leaves rather than the petals. 

I love how Proust's characters look at the sunset and imagine flowers blooming. 

The image from a seed packet found at the Smithsonian. You can see it says "cineraria hybrida." There are other varieties I found online that are even more intensely blue, and lack the white ring around the center. 


Kathleen said...

Love this!

alphabet soup said...

The seed packet image is beautiful. Nothing like that to be seen these days!!

Ms Soup

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