Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

The Color Black

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"

The Color BlackThe Meaning of the Color Black
The color and material used in Elizabethan Clothing was extremely important. People who could wear the color Black was dictated by English Law. These were called the Sumptuary Laws. The colors of Elizabethan clothes, including the color Black, provided information about the status of the man or woman wearing them.

This was not just dictated by the wealth of the person, it also reflected their social standing. The meaning of colors during the Elizabethan era represented many aspects of their life - the social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism was reflected in the color Black.

The Symbolic and Religious Meaning of the color Black
Some interesting facts and information about the symbolic, religious, Christian and Biblical meaning of the color Black

  • The symbolic meaning of the color black was authority and power
  • King Philip II of Spain ( 1527 - 1598 ) is often portrayed wearing sumptuous black clothes
  • Expensive dyes were used to produce the true color black. This, the darkest of all colors, was difficult to produce in a color-fast format without the tendency to fade
  • Black is also symbolic of death, and as such is used as the Christian / Biblical color for Good Friday
  • Black clothing also symbolized humility and plainness, and for this reason was associated with monastic life and could be cheaply produced by using coarse, rough, undyed dark wool
  • People who were allowed to wear the color black during the Elizabethan era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws, were lower and upper classes
Elizabethan Clothing
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