A warm colour, red brings strength, passion, or incandescence to creations. It’s necessary for the base of all creations, especially ones depicting people. Synonym for both strength and femininity, the duality of this colour makes it universal.
This is an essential colour for artists from every horizon, both for figurative uses (such as the representation of nature or the human body) and abstract uses (such as the representation of an energy or emotion).
Used very often, red covers a large palette of shades: vermilion, scarlet, garance, garnet, pure purple, etc.
On the colour spectrum, it’s the first colour because it is the lowest limit on the visible solar spectrum, radiation then moves into infra-red.
In painting, it’s a difficult colour to produce because it involves mixing several secondary colours (violet, orange, and magenta). It’s easier to find in the form of natural pigments, such as saffron, iron oxide, or insects. Indeed, like black and brown, we find red in Palaeolithic caves, such as Chauvet.
The association of this colour with the working class is recurrent in the 20th and 21st centuries: in an engaged social action, the artist Raphael Juillard presented a thousand red canvases at FIAC 2005. The canvases were outsourced in China and signed by the workers who painted them – not by him.