IN PRAISE OF GREY
Goyardine is now available in grey. A safe choice? Rather, a subtle and misunderstood shade that is not what it seems.
Hindus consider it to be a sacred colour: that of the clouds of incense carrying the prayers of believers up to the sky and to the countless gods of the Hindu pantheon.
In Scandinavian mythology, it is the colour of dusk, a moment of perfect harmony between day and night, good and evil. In the Catholic liturgy, it is the vehicle of the transmigration of the souls of men freed at last from their fleshly envelope. The Scottish monks of the medieval Brotherhood of Holyrood chose it as their order’s emblematic colour, for they believed it to be the true colour of purity, standing at equal distance from the obviousness of darkness and the arrogance of light.
Grey is not an ordinary colour. In fact, it is not even a colour, but a variation of the luminous intensity shining from a light source. In other words, it is an illusion. When it comes to painting, grey is exactly the opposite of what one might assume: certainly not a predictable blend of black and white, but rather the unexpected encounter of vivid pigments such as magenta, cyan and yellow. At once spiritual and serene, its unfathomable mystery has fascinated generations of artists. Turner spent his whole life trying to capture the ever-shifting shades of slate, silver and pearl of the English sky. Hokusai used it as the central colour for his famous One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji. Picasso called it “an intelligent colour” that only fools disregard, and only real painters can touch. It should then come as no surprise that in neurology, the substance that composes the brain is referred to as “grey matter”. Grey is indeed an intellectual colour.
Grey is anything but safe. It is a discerning choice, a visual treat for chromatic connoisseurs, almost a mystical calling. Or at least that is what Graham Greene seemed to believe when he wrote in his novel The Power and the Glory that “the human soul is neither black nor white: it is made of infinite shades of grey”.
Goyardine will be available in grey at all Goyard boutiques around the world in December 2012.