Color Symbolism of Indigo – Mounting Royalty and Spirituality

Throughout history, ‘Color Symbolism’ has been associated with different human emotions. The sight of a color arouses certain emotions and channelizes the thought process in a direction. Therefore, artists and psychotherapists use the colors in graded tones and combinations, to touch the ‘right’ chords in the hearts of the viewers. In line with the other colors of the ‘purple family,’ indigo was also a color of nobility and aristocracy. In the Elizabethan times, People of distinction and class only were allowed to wear this color. ‘Sumptuary Laws’ of England directed such noblemen.

Indigo color also ‘Symbolizes’ spirituality and is said to be a faithful guide on the path to one’s higher self. This association has its roots in the gemstones – azurite and lolite. When constantly in touch with the skin, these two stones enhance a person’s sixth sense and problem-solving ability. They boost creativity and help a person come up with innovative solutions for old problems. The presence of indigo in life, aids a person in attaining wisdom and gaining academic knowledge.

This color was used in paintings through almost all genres, to define uniqueness, preciousness, royalty, and sacredness. Therefore, indigo often found place in the ‘Medieval’ paintings in the form of the robes of the priests and holy people. It was also depicted as a ‘divine’ color and was associated with gods & goddesses. It has had an equally significant role in the modern genres of painting, such as Impressionism & Post-impressionism, either singly or in combination with the other colors of the same family. Here, it mainly deals with mysticism, silent introspection, and self-mastery. Indigo color is a combination of two fundamental colors – blue and red – in unequal proportions. Due to the predominance of blue, indigo carries, qualities that are more tranquil, related to calm and peace.

In Indian and British cultures, indigo color was a symbol of pelf and abundance, because it was derived out of an extremely expensive Indian plant of the same name. Therefore, only the wealthiest could afford to wear garments and paintings, where the pigment from indigo plant was used. An excess use of indigo in any form may give rise to morbid tendencies, especially if a person is already in a gloomy state of mind. This explains the frequent use of indigo to ‘Symbolize’ despondency and misfortune by the painters, through ages. In various cultures across the globe, indigo is linked with discipline, balance of karma, honesty, good fortune, dignity, integrity, and so on.