Blue as an expression of sorrow
Van Gogh's The Starry Night is an excellent example of the use of blue to indicate sadness and loneliness. Deep rich blues coupled with swirling lines give a sense of confusion and separation.
Georgia O'Keeffe shows an interesting use of blue in abstract expressionism with this piece. The object resembles a human figure, with one arm raised and head thrown back as though wailing in sadness.
In this wonderful composition blue walls, seats and the clothing of the lone figure in the room go together to create a lonesome, heavy, apathetic atmosphere. It seems to hint at a contented sadness.
This painting beautifully illustrates perceived isolation, with ethereal blue figures surrounding the main subject, laughing and happy but ignored and apparently invisible.
This large outdoor piece shows a quite different side of sadness. The blue background isolates the lower face. The mouth is contorted in fury, showing that sorrow is often not without anger.
This piece by Edvard Munch is a fantastic representation of his native Norwegian landscapes in his own signature style. The deep colors, primarily blue, give the piece a vast, sombre feel.
This landscape, like Munch's, utilizes blue to achieve a unique feel. However this is an image of Streeton's native Australia, and the lighter hues help indicate a high, empty note to the composition.
This piece uses light blues much like Streeton's, but with a slightly surrealist feel. The one character in blue stands out, perhaps showing isolation from his peers and identification with nature.
This piece is an excellent example of the use of blue in cubism, a style that is known for demonstrating the bizarre and isolating nature of human existence.
This piece exemplifies the use of blue to add sorrow. Picasso, known for his cubist works, paints this woman alone at night with the blue moonlight shining on her shoulders: sadness personified.
This piece involves soft blues to create a peaceful composition, showing that there is peace in sorrow.
This work includes a brilliant use of blues to bring magic and melancholy to a simple composition.
Paul Signac employs impressive skill in the pointillism style, bringing out a variety of blues in this work. The deep shadows and soft colors give a sense of quiet and weight to the simple scene.
The use of blue in this piece is subtle, but it pervades the entire composition. However, Roberts has shown sunlight shining through the oppressive clouds, perhaps indicating hope.
This portrait uses a heavier amount of blue in its composition than Van Gogh's others. It was completed at San Remy asylum, and much like The Starry Night seems to show Van Gogh's isolation.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Korean Art Museum Association
Detroit Institute of Arts
Galeria de Arte Urbana
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
MoMA The Museum of Modern Art
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
The J. Paul Getty Museum
The Kröller-Müller Museum
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
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