The color blue is so prevalent in artwork across the ages that it is arguably the single most explored color in the history of art. It has universally attracted artists of all time periods, genres and mediums, a force as compelling and enigmatic as the worlds these artists investigate. Blue means many things from sadness and melancholy to dreaming and the deep subconscious, to meditation, joy and even happiness — its rich character steeped in an emotional realm that is, above all else, undeniably human.
This enchanting color has graced the canvases of some of our art world’s greatest trailblazing artists, from Matisse and Picasso to Rothko, Miro, Lautrec and so many more. Blue tones seem perhaps to be the only right ones when investigating some of the deeper philosophical enigmas or life experiences— expression with blue lends itself to introspection and soul-searching, and for the artists at work and the viewers appreciating the work alike, it is somehow deeply confirming of our individual life process.
Piet Mondrian-Blue Tree-1996 Poster
Piet Mondrian’s Blue Tree is a wild deep calling to the inner parts of the spirit— both energetic and somber, uplifting and full of sorrow, it captures the heart with an uncanny truth, cutting straight to the core.
Henri Matisse-Blue Nude I-2006 Poster
Henri Matisse’s infamous Blue Nude I carries its worth effortlessly, a figure study so mesmerizing in its simplicity and description of forms that it has become one of the most recognized works of art of all time. His use of blue makes it immediately relatable, and sets an appropriately meditative mood.
Mark Rothko-No. 61-1999 Poster
Mark Rothko’s color field painting No. 61 opens the door for us to appreciate the experience of blue in a purely abstract and tactile way— we are magnetically drawn in, the variation of tones and shifting textures leading us through their subtleties as though a piece of music engulfing our consciousness.
Georges Braque-Frontispice-1953 Mourlot Lithograph
Frontispice by Georges Braque is a calming reflection of an ordinarily boisterous animal, inspiring a closer look at the underlying balance inherent in its nature— friendly and humorous, raw and volatile, blue brings out the complexities and resonates with familiarity.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec-La Gitane de Richepin-1966 Mourlot Lithograph
The small touch of blue in the face and over the horizon in Toulouse-Lautrec’s La Gitane de Richepin is all that is needed to give his dynamic and dramatic composition the grounding that it seeks, while simultaneously injecting an electric, upbeat wave to offset its dark flavor.
Ernest Trova-Male Figure & Shadow-1991 Poster
Male Figure & Shadow by Ernest Trova speaks for itself, with man contemplating the human condition, the sun and his shadow projecting volumes. Trova’s choice of a blue background functions as a tangible symbol of his inner investigation.
A.M. Cassandre-La Route Bleue-1998 Poster
And Cassandre’s characteristic distilled forms, tonal haze and glimmering typography sweep us up in La Route Bleue— reminiscent of nostalgia with its moody atmosphere and fading light. It is no wonder that blue artwork has a captivating influence over us, offering images we can fluidly relate to. As such, these pieces are instilled with the capability of a natural fit in many environments, irresistible to all who encounter them.
Victor Vasarely-Recent Tapestries
Jean Tinguely-Stedelijk Museum
Javacheff Christo-Blue Umbrellas-Ibaraki, Japan Site-1991 -SIGNED