Since the 16th Century orange has been the national color of the Netherlands. Around that time, the country was ruled by the House of Orange-Nassau, and though that name had nothing at all to do with the fruit or the colour, the connection was soon made and never forgotten.
Banquet of the Officers of the St George Civic Guard (1627) by Frans HalsFrans Hals Museum
But what came first, the fruit or the color? Before the 1500s, there was no word in English for the color. It was known as ġeolurēad, literally 'yellow-red'. The colour comes from the Old French fruit name orenge, which derives from Provençal auranja, based on Arabic nāranj.
Still Life of Oranges and Lemons with Blue Gloves (1889) by Vincent van GoghNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Still Life with Watermelons (1953) by Frida KahloMuseo de Arte Moderno
No. 22 - Special (1916-1917) by Georgia O'KeeffeGeorgia O'Keeffe Museum
Delve deeper with more orange artworks, or explore any other corner of the spectrum, with Explore by Color.
Orange and Yellow (1956) by Mark RothkoAlbright-Knox Art Gallery