When the newly appointed American cardinal Edward Egan returned home from his investiture in Rome in 2001 he sported a red silk hat, signifying that the Pope had made him a prince of the Church. ‘What does the red symbolise?’ a New York reporter asked him. Cardinal Egan said it meant you had to be so willing to protect the faith that you would even go to death. Mary Queen of Scots might have agreed. On the day in 1857 she was fated to meet the hooded executioner she chose to wear a black-and-red dress. The black was for her death, but the red dye (no doubt made with beetle blood) symbolised, or perhaps summoned her courage meeting it.
For many cultures red is both death and life- a beautiful and terrible paradox. In our modern language of metaphors, red is anger, it is fire, it is the stormy feelings of the heart, it is love, it is the god of war, and it is power (130).
They didn’t always listen, the Great Masters. Turned had been warned many times not to use paints that faded, but that day in 1835 or so when he was gazing at his workbox thinking of the pink sunset and a violent sea, he chose his brightest red, even though he knew it would not last. Or perhaps he even liked the idea (125).
Colour: Travels through the Paintbox
Eastman Color lacked Technicolor’s rich saturation, transparent shadows, and detailed textures. Still, the monopack stock was easier to use with widescreen dimsensions of the day. Unfortunately, Eastman images tended to fade — especially if the footage was hastily processed. By the early 1970s, many prints and negatives had turned a puttyish pink or a sickly crimson (301).
Kristin Thompson & David Bordwell
Film History: An Introduction (third edition)
Long faded crimson dreams in J.W. Turner’s Waves Breaking Against the Wind