Gauguin and many painters before as well as after him left their homes in search of new sets of colours to add to their palette. Colours are the painter’s biggest joy and nature’s greatest splendour. Most of the time we are surrounded by an innumerable variety of them and most of us love the diversity although it doesn’t always look so. We, the supposedly intelligent bipeds inhabiting – or should I say infesting? – the blue planet, don’t always appreciate them. Who wants to dress elegantly will preferably choose black or a shade of grey, wouldn’t she or he?
We all have favourite colours. It’s in our nature to make differences, to hold one colour high in esteem and to despise another. We also make rules about which colours match and which don’t, about which colours we should favour in one season and which we should ban from our wardrobes if we wish to be chic. Of course, those conventions of fashion don’t apply to other cultures, just to our own. And nature? Nature doesn’t care about all this. Human preferences and conventions are no laws binding it! The planet goes about its job as it likes mixing colours at random.
Also scientists have long discovered colours as their field of action and experiment. They explained to us why we (well, most of us) can see colours. They told us why there are different colours after all. They measured the wave-length of every thinkable colour of the rainbow. They found out that the colour of the light emitted by a star allows them to calculate its distance from the earth. Despite all, there remains the magic that makes painters and nature create incredible beauty in a chaotic as well as glamorous sea of colours. Paradise must be a colourful place!