Go back far enough into art history and you will find that the colour blue simply did not exist. The ancient Greeks didn’t seem to have a word for it, and described the sea as ‘wine-dark’ rather than calling it blue.
In nature, blue pigment is hard to come by, it wasn’t until the Egyptians started mining and found lapis lazuli that people were able to create art featuring the colour blue.
Due to its value, the colour blue was used to depict important people and it became associated with royalty.
While blue continued to be seen as a prestigious colour in art, the introduction of plant-based dyes for clothes meant that blue became available to the masses. Working class people were able to don this ‘luxurious’ colour, but artists still struggled to find a cheaper alternative to ultramarine to use in their paintings.
Today, blue is used in a great variety of ways. It can be a serious colour, like the blue uniforms ofthe New York City Police Department; or it can be emotional and used to display sadness or faith.