What does rose colors mean?While the concept of assigning symbolic meaning to flowers has existed since ancient times, the popularity of communicating through the “language of flowers” peaked in the Western world during the Victorian era. Both men and women consulted “flower dictionaries” to choose and interpret the appropriate flowers to send, wear, and display. Flowers were given meaning based on both their species and their color. So while the rose, in general, is a symbol of love, different rose colors provided different shades of meaning (or even, in some cases, a completely different meaning) to this base meaning of rose = love.
The mania for flower dictionaries may have passed, but a fascination with flower symbolism—particularly with roses, one of the most popular flowers—has persisted. If you’d like to give a bouquet of roses that’s especially thoughtful and meaningful, consider the symbolism of the colors you select. Read on for a comprehensive guide to what different colored roses mean and what occasions they are most appropriate for. Over the course of visual arts, colors have become embedded with a rich symbolic history. While red can denote love and passion, blue can imbue a sense of calm. The pairing of colors and flowers in both nature and art has influenced the reading of floral imagery throughout history. For example, the Ancient Egyptians often painted artistic renderings of the blue and the white lotus. However, the blue lotus was used as a symbol of rebirth whereas the while lotus represented innocence and modesty.
In Renaissance artworks, a red carnation was symbolic of love. A pink carnation, on the other hand, stood as a symbol of marriage or betrothal, while in Japan, yellow chrysanthemums have historically signified the Emperor and Imperial family whereas white chrysanthemums indicate purity, truth or grief.
Melding color psychology with floral symbolism touches on our perceptions of visual art history. This is especially relevant if you are presenting your images as a conceptual artwork or as a gift with a heartfelt message layered in meaning. If you are looking to convey peace or emotional depth, try photographing blue flowers. Incorporating yellow flowers into a photograph stimulates an energetic reading and sympathy is conveyed with white floral blooms. You can also alter the color of flowers completely in post-production, or strip it of its colorful meaning by working in black and white. This draws greater attention to a flower’s form rather than its biological pigmentation.