Thursday, 17 May 2012

Imperial Yellow

Hello everyone,

Some of you will already have seen it, but for those that haven't, there is a particularly beautiful and intriguingly titled painting by Jenny Matthews in the gallery at the moment, as part of her two person exhibition with Janet Melrose.

And here is is:

'Imperial Yellow', acrylic on paper, by Jenny Matthews.

So where does this title come from?  In China, yellow has been a highly significant colour for centuries.  Yellow is seen as the colour of earth, the most important of the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water and, as an emperor rules the earth, it is the colour of Imperial power.  Emperor's decorated their palaces with yellow glazed tiles, and dressed in robes made from a special 'imperial' tint of yellow silk.  This colourful display of power was the exclusive domain of the emperor, so if anyone else dared to wear it or decorate their home with it, they risked execution for such an insult.  Of course,it is entirely reasonable to assume that the emperor's decorated their vases in the same way.....

Luckily for us, this practice never reached the shores of Scotland, and have in all probability become obsolete on China too.  So there is no punishment for gazing upon the 'sacred' 'Imperial Yellow' that we are lucky enough to have in the gallery at the moment.  In fact, there is only reward for doing so, and we recommend that you find the time to come in and have a look for yourself.

Speak soon.

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