Nearer he draws to the gum-tree scrubby horizon, turns the clouds to orange, scarlet, silver flame, gold! Down, down he goes. The gorgeous, garish splendour of sunset pageantry flames out; the long shadows eagerly cover all; the kookaburras laugh their merry mocking good-night; the clouds fade to turquoise, green, and grey; the stars peep shyly out; the soft call of the mopoke arises in the gullies!
In the darkness spirit hands were felt to flutter and when prayer by tantras had been directed to the proper quarter a faint but increasing luminosity of ruby light became gradually visible, the apparition of the etheric double being particularly lifelike owing to the discharge of jivic rays from the crown of the head and face. Communication was effected through the pituitary body and also by means of the orangefiery and scarlet rays emanating from the sacral region and solar plexus.
Seen from a distance, against the background of crumbling grey plaster, they look like a rich and colorful palette, like a painting of tasteful and imaginative composition. Moreover, the shopkeeper changes the layout of the colors from day to day: Brown dates lie beside pastel pistachios and green olives—and the next day white almonds have taken the place of the fleshy dates and a pile of pepper pods is burning scarlet where there had been golden millet.
(Ryszard Kapuściński, ‘The dead flame’, Shah of Shahs)
The ladies of his court – and plenty of the men too – adapted their maquillage to take advantage of artificial lighting to draw attention to their rosy cheeks, white bosoms, jet black eyebrows and scarlet lips.
(Tim Blanning ‘The reinvention of the night’, Times Literary Supplement, Sep. 2011)
And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Something in the light, the scarlet of the blood against the off-whiteness of his fleece – that, and an engrained sensitivity, bred of forty-odd years of art galleries, poetry, to a particular combination of pain, blood, softness, vulnerability, strength, light and shadow, a sort of cocktail of sign and affect that to some, myself included, can be like a drug.
(David Brooks, ‘A photograph’)