Quotes about the Color Brown

Welcome to my page of quotations about the color brown. For most, perhaps not the most exciting color, but it’s a pleasant, comforting earth tone and the color of some of my favorite things — soil, tree trunks, chocolate, and coffee!  —ღ Terri

Brown is the color of Mother Earth. ~Suzy Chiazzari, The Complete Book of Color, 1998

Brown exudes the feeling of simplicity, endurance, stability, home, and nature. ~Joen Wolfrom, Adventures in Design, 2011

Brown is neither one of the basic color perceptions nor a primary color used in color mixtures, but for human beings it is constantly present both in nature and in their everyday surroundings. It is the color of the earth itself — of rocks and sand, of the bark of trees, of the fur of animals. In that sense, at least, it could be called the basic color of everyday life. ~Kunio Fukuda, The Colors of Japan, 2000

I cannot pretend to feel impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns. ~Winston Churchill, 1932

I never use colors. Black and white are all I need. Most of my clothes are black and white, too. I suppose the most flamboyant color in my wardrobe is dark brown. ~Leonard Baskin, 1964

The brown pigments are:  earth brown, burnt umber, burnt ochre, burnt sienna; all earths cooked to red hot. Cooking is present in brown. The names of brown dyes are sweet and edible; you can buy a coat in caramel, toffee, almond, coffee, chocolate or curry. There was once a color called toast. Sepia is the odd one out — the ink of the cuttlefish… ~Derek Jarman (1942–1994), “How Now Brown Cow,” Chroma: A Book of Colour — June ’93, 1994  [a little altered —tg]

…Kate like the hazel-twig
Is straight and slender, and as brown in hue
As hazel-nuts, and sweeter than the kernels.
~William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew [II, 1, Petruchio]

ANGELA:  Am I pure?
AUTHOR:  Purity would be as violent as the color white. Angela is the color of hazelnut.
~Clarice Lispector (1920–1977), A Breath of Life: Pulsations, written 1974–1977, published posthumously 1978, edited by Olga Borelli and Benjamin Moser, translated from the Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz, 2012

Brown is a sober and sedate colour, grave and solemn, but not dismal, and contributes to the expression of strength, stability, and solidity, — vigour, warmth, and rusticity, — and in minor degree to the serious, the sombre, and the sad; not with the painter only, but also with the rhetorician and poet, with whom, nevertheless, many of the broken colours are yet “airy nothings” and “without a name.” ~George Field, “Of Brown,” Chromatography, 1835

Brown is the color of hearth and home — of dried herbs and stone-ground bread and freshly baked cookies. It represents all of the nurturing, life-sustaining, down-to-earth qualities of terra firma, the very shade of earth itself. Just as in the sturdy oak, brown represents roots, a steady, stable source of security, comfort, and normalcy. It is the color of fertile soil and plowed earth, buckskin and rawhide, weathered redwood, bison and mustang, frontier land — rugged and outdoorsy. It is pine cone and bracken, chipmunk and acorn, beaver and doe. Brown is considered a classic shade of solid substance. ~Leatrice Eiseman, “Brown: Earthy and Real,” Colors For Your Every Mood, 1998

The autumn leaves dissolve in the mist and winter rain. Slow as a tortoise. It was on a tortoiseshell lyre that Apollo played the first note. A brown note. From the trees came the polished woods to make the violin and bass, which snuggled up to the golden brass. In the arms of yellow, brown is at home. ~Derek Jarman (1942–1994), “How Now Brown Cow,” Chroma: A Book of Colour — June ’93, 1994

I was attracted to generic or “industrial” colors: paper bag brown, file cabinet gray, industrial green, that kind of thing. ~Robert Mangold, quoted R. Shiff, 2000

Purplish brown? Let’s agree it
is a color so bad we all flee it
it has no good use
so let’s name it Puce
from the sound we make when we see it.
~Walter Darby Bannard (1934–2016)

Spanish brown is a dark, dull red, of a horse flesh colour. It is an earth, and is dug out of the ground; but a colour pleasant enough to the eye, considering the deepness of it. It is of great use among painters, being generally us’d as the first and priming colour, for the seasoning of the wood in order to lay other colours on. Tho’ this is a dirty brown colour, yet of great use to shadow vermilion, or yellow berries, &c. It is the best and brightest colour when it is burnt in the fire till it be red hot, for colouring wood, bodies of trees, or any thing else of wood, or any dark ground. For distinction or variety’s sake, you may use it unburnt, or for a sadder colour, put in more copperas. If you would have a variety of brown dye, you may use: iron rust colour, London brown, clove brown, purple brown, barley straw brown, and walnut tree brown. ~John Barrow, Dictionarium Polygraphicum: Or, the Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested, 1735  [a little altered –tg]

Color Brown Quotations
Original post date: 2009 Apr 25
1st major revision: 2018 Mar 15
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