Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Colours.

 Colour, Colours.Colours for Church Decoration. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Colours.
 
(1) Black:   1
       
In blazonry, sable, signifying prudence, wisdom, and constancy.
In art, signifying evil, falsehood, and error.
As a mortuary colour, signifying grief, despair, death. (In the Catholic Church violet may be substituted for black).
In metals it is represented by lead.
In precious stones it is represented by the diamond.
In planets it stands for Saturn.
In heraldry it is engraved by perpendicular and horizontal lines crossing each other at right angles.
   (2) Blue:   2
       
In blazonry, azure, signifying chastity, loyalty, fidelity.
In art (as an angel’s robe) it signifies fidelity and faith.
In art (as the robe of the Virgin Mary) it signifies modesty.
In art (in the Catholic Church) it signifies humility and expiation.
As a mortuary colour it signifies eternity (applied to Deity), immortality (applied to man).
In metals it is represented by tin.
In p’ecious stones it is represented by sapphire.
In planets it stands for Jupiter.
In heraldry it is engraved by horizontal lines.
   (3) Green:   3
       
In blazonry, vert, signifying love, joy, abundance.
In art, signifying hope, joy, youth, spring (among the Greeks and Moors it signified victory).
In church ornaments, signifying God’s bounty, mirth, gladness, the resurrection.
In metals it is represented by copper.
In precious stones it is represented by the emerald.
In planets it stands for Venus.
As a railway signal it means caution, go slowly,
In heraldry it is engraved from left to right.
   (4) Purple:   4
       
In blazonry, purpure, signifying temperance.
In art, signifying royalty.
In metals it is represented by quicksilver.
In precious stones it is represented by amethyst.
In planets it stands for Mercury.
In heraldry it is engraved by lines slanting from right to left.
   (5) Red:   5
       
In blazonry, gules; blood-red is called sanguine. The former signifies magnanimity, and the latter, fortitude.
In metals it is represented by fron (the metal of war).
In precious stones it is represented by the ruby.
In planets it stands for Mars.
In heraldry it is engraved by perpendicular lines.
   (6) White:   6
       
In blazonry, argent; signifying purity, truth, innocence.
In art, priests, Magi, and Druids are arrayed in white. Jesus after the resurrection should be draped in white.
As a mortuary colour it indicates hope.
In metals it is represented by silver.
In precious stones it is represented by the pearl.
In planets it stands for Diana or the Moon.
In heraldry it is engraved by shields left white.
   (7) Yellow:   7
       
In blazonry or signifying faith, constancy, wisdom, glory.
In modern art or signifying jealousy, inconstancy, incontinence. In France the doors of traitors used to be daubed with yellow, and in some countries Jews were obliged to dress in yellow. In Spain the executioner is dressed in red and yellow.
In Christian art Judas is arrayed in yellow; but St. Peter is also arrayed in golden yellow.
In metals it is represented by gold.
In precious stones it is represented by the topaz.
In planets it stands for Apollo or the Sun.
In heraldry it is engraved by dots.
 


 Colour, Colours.Colours for Church Decoration. 

 
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