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The white lamb was the center of one of the most famous paintings of the Medieval period, the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck. White was also the symbolic color of the transfiguration. The Gospel of Saint Mark describes Jesus' clothing in this event as "shining, exceeding white as snow. In his painting of the transfiguration at the Convent of Saint Mark in Florence , Fra Angelico emphasized the white garment by using a light gold background, placed in an almond-shaped halo.
The white unicorn was a common subject of Postclassical history manuscripts, paintings and tapestries. It was a symbol of purity, chastity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin.
It was often portrayed in the lap of the Virgin Mary. During the Postclassical history, painters rarely ever mixed colors; but in the Renaissance, the influential humanist and scholar Leon Battista Alberti encouraged artists to add white to their colors to make them lighter, brighter, and to add hilaritas , or gaiety. Many painters followed his advice, and the palette of the Renaissance was considerably brighter.
Until the 16th century, white was commonly worn by widows as a color of mourning. The widows of the kings of France wore white until Anne of Brittany in the 16th century. A white tunic was also worn by many knights, along with a red cloak, which showed the knights were willing to give their blood for the king or Church. The monks of the order of Saint Benedict circa — first dressed in undyed white or gray wool robes, here shown in painting by Sodoma on the life of Saint Benedict They later changed to black robes, the color of humility and penitence.
Under Pope Pius V — , a former monk of the Dominican Order , white became the official color worn by the Pope. The white lamb in the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck. The Transfiguration by Fra Angelico — White was the dominant color of architectural interiors in the Baroque period and especially the Rococo style that followed it in the 18th century.
Church interiors were designed to show the power, glory and wealth of the church. They seemed to be alive, filled with curves, asymmetry, mirrors, gilding, statuary and reliefs, unified by white. White was also a fashionable color for both men and women in the 18th century. Men in the aristocracy and upper classes wore powdered white wigs and white stockings, and women wore elaborate embroidered white and pastel gowns.
After the French Revolution , a more austere white blanc cassé became the most fashionable color in women's costumes which were modeled after the outfits of Ancient Greece and Republican Rome. Because of the rather revealing design of these dresses, the ladies wearing them were called les merveilleuses the marvellous by French men of that era.
The dresses were high in fashion but low in warmth considering the more severe weather conditions of northern France; in the former wife of Napoleon, Joséphine de Beauharnais , caught pneumonia and died after taking a walk in the cold night air with Tsar Alexander I of Russia. White was the universal color of both men and women's underwear and of sheets in the 18th and 19th centuries.
It was unthinkable to have sheets or underwear of any other color. The reason was simple; the manner of washing linen in boiling water caused colors to fade. When linen was worn out, it was collected and turned into high-quality paper. The 19th-century American painter James McNeill Whistler — , working at the same time as the French impressionists, created a series of paintings with musical titles where he used color to create moods, the way composers used music.
His painting Symphony in White No. A highly theatrical white Rococo interior from the 18th century, at the Basilica at Ottobeuren , in Bavaria. President George Washington in a white powdered wig. The first five Presidents of the United States wore dark suits with powdered wigs for formal occasions.
Portrait of Joséphine de Beauharnais in a classic Empire gown, modeled after the clothing of ancient Rome. The State Hermitage Museum. Symphony in White No. The White movement was the opposition that formed against the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War , which followed the Russian Revolution in It was finally defeated by the Bolsheviks in —22, and many of its members emigrated to Europe.
At the end of the 19th century, lead white was still the most popular pigment; but between and , chemical companies in Norway and the United States began to produce titanium white , made from titanium oxide.
It had first been identified in the 18th century by the German chemist Martin Klaproth , who also discovered uranium. It had twice the covering power of lead white, and was the brightest white pigment known. By , 80 percent of the white pigments sold were titanium white. The absoluteness of white appealed to modernist painters. It was used in its simplest form by the Russian suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich in his painting 'the white square,' the companion to his earlier 'black square. His most famous paintings consisted of a pure white canvas with grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and rectangles of primary colors.
Black and white also appealed to modernist architects, such as Le Corbusier — He said a house was "a machine for living in" and called for a "calm and powerful architecture" built of reinforced concrete and steel, without any ornament or frills. The Villa Savoye —31 by Le Corbusier; Le Corbusier called for a "calm and powerful" architecture built of steel and reinforced concrete, without color or ornament. Light is perceived by the human visual system as white when the incoming light to the eye stimulates all three types of color sensitive cone cells in the eye in roughly equal amounts.
In the RGB color model , used to create colors on TV and computer screens, white is made by mixing red, blue and green light at full intensity. White light refracted in a prism revealing the color components. In , Isaac Newton demonstrated that white light could be broken up into its composite colors by passing it through a prism , then using a second prism to reassemble them. Before Newton, most scientists believed that white was the fundamental color of light.
White light can be generated by the sun, by stars, or by earthbound sources such as fluorescent lamps, white LEDs and incandescent bulbs. On the screen of a color television or computer, white is produced by mixing the primary colors of light: White light can be fabricated using light with only two wavelengths, for instance by mixing light from a red and cyan laser or yellow and blue lasers.
This light will however have very few practical applications since color rendering of objects will be greatly distorted. The fact that light sources with vastly different spectral power distributions can result in a similar sensory experience is due to the way the light is processed by the visual system.
One color that arises from two different spectral power distributions is called a metamerism. Many of the light sources that emit white light emit light at almost all visible wavelengths sun light, incandescent lamps of various Color temperatures. This has led to the notion that white light can be defined as a mixture of "all colors" or "all visible wavelengths".
Concluding that since "all colors" produce white light then white must be made up of "all colors" is a common logical error called affirming the consequent , which might be the cause of the misunderstanding.
A range of spectral distributions of light sources can be perceived as white—there is no single, unique specification of "white light". For example, when you buy a "white" light bulb, you might buy one labeled K, K, etc. Color vision allows us to distinguish different objects by their color.
In order to do so, color constancy can keep the perceived color of an object relatively unchanged when the illumination changes among various broad whitish spectral distributions of light. The same principle is used in photography and cinematography where the choice of white point determines a transformation of all other color stimuli.
Changes in or manipulation of the white point can be used to explain some optical illusions such as The dress. While there is no single, unique specification of "white light", there is indeed a unique specification of "white object", or, more specifically, "white surface".
A perfectly white surface diffusely reflects scatters all visible light that strikes it, without absorbing any, irrespective of the light's wavelength or spectral distribution. If the reflection is not diffuse but rather specular , this describes a mirror rather than a white surface. Color constancy is achieved by chromatic adaptation. The International Commission on Illumination defines white adapted as "a color stimulus that an observer who is [chromatically] adapted to the viewing environment would judge to be perfectly achromatic and to have a luminance factor of unity.
The color stimulus that is considered to be the adapted white may be different at different locations within a scene. Snow is composed of ice and air; it scatters or reflects sunlight without absorbing other colors of the spectrum. Cumulus clouds look white because the water droplets reflect and scatter the sunlight without absorbing other colors. The White Cliffs of Dover , made of limestone. Hyams Beach , New South Wales appears white because the sunlight is reflected or scattered by the quartz or limestone sand.
Beaches with sand containing high amounts of quartz or eroded limestone also appear white, since quartz and limestone reflect or scatter sunlight, rather than absorbing it. Tropical white sand beaches may also have a high quantity of white calcium carbonate from tiny bits of seashells ground to fine sand by the action of the waves. The White Cliffs of Dover take their white color from the large amount of chalk , made of limestone , which they contain, which reflects the sunlight.
Snow is a mixture of air and tiny ice crystals. When white sunlight enters snow, very little of the spectrum is absorbed; almost all of the light is reflected or scattered by the air and water molecules, so the snow appears to be the color of sunlight, white.
Sometimes the light bounces around inside the ice crystals before being scattered, making the snow seem to sparkle. In the case of glaciers , the ice is more tightly pressed together and contains little air. As sunlight enters the ice, more light of the red spectrum is absorbed, so the light scattered will be bluish.
Clouds are white for the same reason as ice. They are composed of water droplets or ice crystals mixed with air, very little light that strikes them is absorbed, and most of the light is scattered, appearing to the eye as white. Shadows of other clouds above can make clouds look gray, and some clouds have their own shadow on the bottom of the cloud.
Many mountains with winter or year-round snow cover are named accordingly: Changbai Mountains literally meaning perpetually white mountains , marks the border between China and Korea. Titanium white, made with titanium dioxide , is the brightest white paint available. It also colors most toothpaste and sunscreen. Zinc white is made from zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is used in paints, suntan lotion, and breakfast cereals.
Chalk is a kind of limestone , made of the mineral calcite , or calcium carbonate. It was originally deposited under the sea as the scales or plates of tiny micro-organisms called Coccolithophore.
It was the first white pigment used by prehistoric artists in cave paintings. The chalk used on blackboards today is usually made of gypsum or calcium sulphate, a powder pressed into sticks. Bianco di San Giovanni is a pigment used in the Renaissance, which was described by the painter Cennino Cennini in the 15th century. It is similar to chalk, made of calcium carbonate with calcium hydroxide. It was made of dried lime which was made into a powder, then soaked in water for eight days, with the water changed each day.
It was then made into cakes and dried in the sun. Lead white was being produced during the 4th century BC; the process is described is Pliny the Elder , Vitruvius and the ancient Greek author Theophrastus.
Pieces of lead were put into clay pots which had a separate compartment filled with vinegar. The pots in turn were piled on shelves close to cow dung. The combined fumes of the vinegar and the cow dung caused the lead to corrode into lead carbonate. It was a slow process which could take a month or more. It made an excellent white and was used by artists for centuries, but it was also toxic.
It was replaced in the 19th century by zinc white and titanium white. Titanium white is the most popular white for artists today; it is the brightest available white pigment, and has twice the coverage of lead white. It first became commercially available in It is made out of titanium dioxide , from the minerals brookite , anatase , rutile , or ilmenite , currently the major source.
Because of its brilliant whiteness, it is used as a colorant for most toothpaste and sunscreen. It is similar to but not as opaque as titanium white. It is added to some breakfast cereals, [ citation needed ] since zinc is an important nutrient.
Chinese white is a variety of zinc white made for artists. Some materials can be made to look "whiter than white", this is achieved using optical brightener agents OBA. These are chemical compounds that absorb light in the ultraviolet and violet region usually — nm of the electromagnetic spectrum, and re-emit light in the blue region typically — nm.
OBAs are often used in paper and clothing to create an impression of very bright white. This is due to the fact that the materials actually send out more visible light than they receive. Bleaching is a process for whitening fabrics which has been practiced for thousands of years. Sometimes it was simply a matter of leaving the fabric in the sun, to be faded by the bright light. In the 18th century several scientists developed varieties of chlorine bleach , including sodium hypochlorite and calcium hypochlorite bleaching powder.
While most bleaches are oxidizing agents, a fewer number are reducing agents such as sodium dithionite. Bleaches attack the chromophores , the part of a molecule which absorbs light and causes fabrics to have different colors.
An oxidizing bleach works by breaking the chemical bonds that make up the chromophore. This changes the molecule into a different substance that either does not contain a chromophore, or contains a chromophore that does not absorb visible light. A reducing bleach works by converting double bonds in the chromophore into single bonds.
This eliminates the ability of the chromophore to absorb visible light. Sunlight acts as a bleach through a similar process. High energy photons of light, often in the violet or ultraviolet range, can disrupt the bonds in the chromophore, rendering the resulting substance colorless. Some detergents go one step further; they contain fluorescent chemicals which glow, making the fabric look literally whiter than white.
A white dwarf is a stellar remnant composed mostly of electron-degenerate matter. They are very dense ; a white dwarf's mass is comparable to that of the Sun and its volume is comparable to that of the Earth. Its faint luminosity comes from the emission of stored thermal energy. A white dwarf is very hot when it is formed, but since it has no source of energy, it will gradually radiate away its energy and cool down. This means that its radiation, which initially has a high color temperature , will lessen and redden with time.
Over a very long time, a white dwarf will cool to temperatures at which it will no longer emit significant heat or light, and it will become a cold black dwarf. An A-type main-sequence star A V or A dwarf star is a main-sequence hydrogen -burning star of spectral type A and luminosity class V. These stars have spectra which are defined by strong hydrogen Balmer absorption lines. The dove is an international symbol of peace. The ermine , or stoat.
Once considered the most noble of animals because it would rather die than dirty its fur. The Beluga whale lives in Arctic and sub-arctic waters, where its color is an effective camouflage. A Polar Bear in Alaska. Its color is a form of camouflage. Thousands of pilgrims in white gather in Mecca for the beginning of their pilgrimage, or Hajj.
Pope Francis at the Vatican. Popes have traditionally worn white since In the Shinto religion of Japan brides traditionally wear a white wedding kimono. The Buddhist deity Tara is often depicted with white skin. White is an important symbolic color in most religions and cultures, usually because of its association with purity.
Since the Middle Ages , priests wear a white cassock in many of the most important ceremonies and religious services connected with events in the life of Christ. White is worn by priests at Christmas , during Easter , and during celebrations connected with the other events of the life of Christ, such as Corpus Christi Sunday, and Trinity Sunday. It is also worn at the services dedicated to the Virgin Mary , and to those Saints who were not martyred, as well as other special occasions, such as the ordination of priests and the installation of new bishops.
Within the hierarchy of the church, the lighter the color, the higher the rank. Ordinary priests wear black; bishops wear violet, cardinals wear red, and outside a church, only the Pope will wear white.
Popes have worn white regularly since , when Pope Pius V , a member of the Dominican Order , began the practice.
White is the color of the Dominican Order. In Islam, white clothing is worn during required pilgrimage to Mecca, or Ihram pilgrimage Hajj. Called Ihram clothing , men's garments often consist of two white un-hemmed sheets usually towelling material. Women's clothing varies considerably and reflects regional as well as religious influences.
Ihram is typically worn during Dhu al-Hijjah , the last month in the Islamic calendar. White also has a long history of use as a religious and political symbol in Islam, beginning with the white banner that tradition ascribes to the Quraysh , the tribe to which Muhammad belonged.
The Umayyad dynasty also used white as its dynastic colour, following the personal banner of its founder, Mu'awiya I , while the Shi'ite Fatimids also chose white to highlight their opposition to the Sunni Abbasid Caliphate , whose colour was black.
In Judaism, during the rituals of Yom Kippur , the ceremony of atonement , the rabbi dresses in white, as do the members of the congregation, to restore the bonds between God and his followers. In the traditional Japanese religion of Shinto , an area of white gravel or stones marks a sacred place, called a niwa.
These places were dedicated to the kami , spirits which had descended from the heavens or had come across the sea. Later, temples of Zen Buddhism in Japan often featured a Zen garden , where white sand or gravel was carefully raked to resemble rivers or streams, designed as objects of meditation. Many religions symbolize heaven by using a sky with white clouds. Obatala is associated with calmness, morality, old age, and purity.
In Theosophy and similar religions, the deities called the Great White Brotherhood are said to have white auras. In some Asian and Slavic cultures, white is considered to be a color that represents death. In China, Korea, and some other Asian countries, white, or more precisely, the whitish color of undyed linen, is the color of mourning and funerals. In traditional China, undyed linen clothing is worn at funerals.
As time passes, the bereaved can gradually wear clothing dyed with colors, then with darker colors. Small sacks of quicklime , one for each year of the life of the deceased are placed around the body to protect it against impurity in the next world, and white paper flowers are placed around the body. I was worried about the cravat but it is elasticated and already tied which is great. Thanks very much for taking the time to follow up my order.
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