Indigo Color Symbolism – Royalty and Spirituality on the Rise
Throughout history, ‘color symbolism’ has been associated with different human emotions. The vision of a color awakens certain emotions and channels the thought process in one direction. Therefore, artists and psychotherapists use the colors in graduated tones and combinations, to strike the ‘correct’ chords in the hearts of the spectators. In keeping with the other colors of the ‘purple family’, indigo was also a color of nobility and aristocracy. In Elizabethan times, people of distinction and class could only wear this color. The “sumptuary laws” of England directed such nobles.
The indigo color also “symbolizes” spirituality and is said to be a faithful guide on the path to the higher self. This association has its roots in gemstones: azurite and lolite. When constantly in contact with the skin, these two stones enhance a person’s sixth sense and problem-solving ability. They stimulate creativity and help a person find innovative solutions to old problems. The presence of indigo in life helps a person acquire wisdom and academic knowledge.
This color was used in paintings of almost all genres, to define uniqueness, preciousness, royalty and sacredness. Hence, indigo often found a place in ‘medieval’ paintings in the form of the dresses of priests and saints. It was also represented as a “divine” color and was associated with gods and goddesses. It has played an equally significant role in modern genres of painting, such as Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, either individually or in combination with the other colors of the same family. Here, it’s mostly about mysticism, silent introspection, and self-control. Indigo is a combination of two fundamental colors, blue and red, in unequal proportions. Due to the predominance of blue, indigo carries calmer qualities, related to calm and peace.
In Indian and British cultures, the color indigo was a symbol of skin and abundance, because it was derived from an extremely expensive Indian plant of the same name. Therefore, only the wealthiest could afford to wear clothes and paints, where the pigment of the indigo plant was used. An overuse of indigo in any form can lead to morbid tendencies, especially if a person is already in a dark state of mind. This explains the frequent use of indigo to “symbolize” the discouragement and misfortune of painters throughout the centuries. In various cultures around the world, indigo is linked with discipline, balancing karma, honesty, good fortune, dignity, integrity, etc.