The secret of blue is well kept. Blue comes from far away. On its way, it hardens and changes into a mountain. The cicada works at it. The birds assist. In reality, one doesn’t know. One speaks of Prussian blue. In Naples, the virgin stays in the cracks of walls when the sky recedes. But it’s all a mystery. The mystery of sapphire, mystery of Sainte Vierge, mystery of the siphon, mystery of the sailor’s collar, mystery of the blue rays that blind and your blue eye which goes through my heart.
∆ Jean Cocteau, from The Secret of Blue, Tempest of Stars: Selected Poems (Enitharmon Press, 1997)
In an interview with Edouard Roditi that was published in 1960, Giorgio Morandi said: “I believe that nothing is more abstract, more unreal than what we actually see. We know all that we can see of the objective world, as human beings, never really exists as we see and understand it. Matter exists, of course, but has no intrinsic meaning of its own, such as the meanings that we attach to it. Only we know that a cup is a cup, that a tree is a tree.” This is a restatement of a similar comment he made in 1957 in a radio interview: “For me nothing is abstract. In fact, I believe there is nothing more surreal, nothing more abstract than reality.”
∆ Siri Hustvedt, Living, Thinking, Looking
Homer referring to the sea as the "the wine-dark sea" or "wine-faced sea" because he had no word for blue yet