Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Blue Doors

NOTES FROM NANTES

Oh! Darkly, deeply, beautifully blue, 
As someone somewhere sings about the sky. 
- Lord Byron 


The rain has finally stopped, more or less, and the days are clear, warm and summery, more or less. At about the same hour each afternoon, we slip into our light weather jackets and slip out of the apartment for a stroll.



Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a source of delight. 
John Ruskin 


I am struck by the color blue. The French are usually so discreet, the buildings the color of sand, washed out beige, dusty eggshell white. Elegant balcony ironwork painted the regimented black or pale blue the color of robin's eggs. I'm always astonished when stopped by a splash of color, a spray of cherry red geraniums, deep orange roses the colors of sunset tangled along the side of a house, a drooping swag of mauve wisteria twining along the top of a stone wall, a pair of bright, lemon yellow chairs sitting all alone in a street, in front of a shop, sunshine against dirty gray. And blue doors. Bleu Klein.

The whole world, as we experience it visually, 
comes to us through the mystic realm of color. 
Hans Hofmann 


Why blue doors? Blue doors hold traditional truths in many cultures. Superstitions, you might say, but such lovely superstitions. Blue is a heavenly color, calm, serene, relaxing, boding well for all who enter through a blue door.

Blue denotes royalty and loyalty, an invitation one certainly cannot, must not refuse. Welcome. Bienvenue.


Blue doors betoken a place of refuge, announce the home as one where owner and visitors, family and friends will find the perfect retreat from an often harsh and demanding world. Blue the color of water, a peaceful lake, a cool river. Clear blue skies on a summer day. Blue the color of silence. Children's fingers stained the lovely blue of blueberries, blackberries, blue M & M's.




And blue doors, shutters and window frames repel evil spirits. I never knew the French to be superstitious creatures and tend to think that the blue of their doors reflects the nearby ocean of this former port city, fishing city, marine city. I tend to think that the blue of their doors is regal, reflecting the royal city of Nantes. But I can't help stopping and shooting all the blue doors no matter how picture perfect, no matter how scruffy and aged, no matter home, church or school.


9 comments:

Jenni said...

I love that Ultra Cobalt color--they all pop the more for living in a dusty beige world. Thanks for sharing the doors of Nantes with us!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. The city of Tzfat in northern Israel also has many blue doorways. I've heard various reasons, here's one with a lot of traction: the Kabbalah says blue stands for heaven, and Tzfat is known as a mystical city.

I hope this link works: https://www.google.com/search?q=blue+doors+in+tzfat&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=PdehU9yUGtPLsQTMp4GwCA&ved=0CCgQsAQ&biw=1643&bih=858

Liz Berg said...

These pops of blue would definitely catch my eye. The unique knockers, the trim, the colors... I need to slow down and observe more...there may even be some beauties in my own neighborhood :)

Nuts about food said...

I loved these on IG and still love them here!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Wonderful post, Jamie. That is the most beautiful color of blue. I have been accumulating a little album of French door photos since I first visited Paris years ago. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

I've never really noticed colored doors until I red this post. My sister has a red door and I love it. I'm going out today to see if people have colored doors here. :)

Barb | Creative Culinary said...

When my house was ready to be painted I didn't get to choose paint colors; only choose a color scheme. While the house is a warm mocha; the doors and shutters are more of a muted blue; not a color I would have ever picked but I love it...and I really love that it wards off evil spirits!

Elizabeth said...

How interesting! I associate this blue colour for doors and windows with Greece or Turkey. I had no idea it was in France too.

And I suddenly wish that our front door was blue too! It's so calming! I particularly like the shade on the door just above the blue chairs.

But, but, but; how to decide whether to have a blue wrought iron gate with a regularly coloured door, or to go with a blue door. Decisions.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh Jamie, I do love the blue doors of France ... since our first visit, I've had a fasciation for all the doors we've seen as we walk the streets in Paris and every other city we've been in. Doors are so inviting (or not) and also mysterious!

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