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Paul Cezanne

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Colour, if I may say so, is biological. Colour is alive and colour alone makes things come alive.. ..Without losing any part of myself, I need to get back to that instinct, so that these colours in the scattered fields signify an idea to me, just as to them they signify a crop. Confronted by a yellow, they spontaneously feel the harvesting activity required of them, just as I, when faced with the same ripening tint..
What he told me – The motif, Joachim Gasquet, as quoted in Joachim Gasquet’s Cézanne, - a Memoir with Conversations, Thames and Hudson, London 1991 p. 162

Paul Cezanne

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The more I think about colour, the more convinced I become that this reflected half-tint is the principle that must predominate, because it is this that gives the true tone, the tone that constitutes the value, the thing that matters in giving life and character to the object. Light, to which the schools teach us to attach equal importance and which they place on the canvas at the same time as the half-tint and shadow, is really only an accident. Without grasping this principle, one cannot understand true colour, I mean the colour that gives the feeling of thickness and depth and of that essential difference that distinguishes one object from another.

Eugene Delacroix

The King's colours were white and black, which he always wore in honour of the Duchess of Valentinois, who was a widow. The Duke of Ferrara and his retinue had yellow and red. Monsieur de Guise's carnation and white. It was not known at first for what reason he wore those colours, but it was soon remembered that they were the colours of a beautiful young lady whom he had been in love with, while she was a maid, and whom he yet loved though he durst not show it. The Duke de Nemours had yellow and black; why he had them could not be found out: Madam de Cleves only knew the reason of it; she remembered to have said before him she loved yellow, and that she was sorry her complexion did not suit that colour. As for the Duke, he thought he might take that colour without any indiscretion, since not being worn by Madam de Cleves it could not be suspected to be hers.

Madame de La Fayette

In 1942 when I was in New York, I was struck by the neon advertisements flashing all over Broadway. You are there, you talk to someone, and all of a sudden he turns blue. Then the colour fades - another one comes and turns him red or yellow. The colour – the colour of neon advertising is free; it exists in space. I wanted to do the same in my canvases.

Fernand Leger
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