The history of the colour pink is as colourful as the hue itself. Pink’s association with fashion, gender and symbolism has undergone considerable changes throughout history.
Early humans used pigments such as ochre to create colours, including shades of pink, and the ancient Egyptians used pink in wall paintings. Pink also appears in Roman wall frescoes like this depiction of Venus at Pompeii.
Before the invention of synthetic dyes, pinks could be created by artists using minerals, berries and plant extracts, insects and snails, or by mixing other pigments. Available dyes and pigments varied across different regions and throughout history, leading to unique colour palettes and artistic expressions.
Artists like Raphael would use pink to add blushes to skin during the Renaissance, and the Rococo period saw a significant emphasis on pastel shades, including pink, which featured in fashion, paintings and decorative arts.
Later, during the Romantic period, pink would become associated with themes of beauty, love, and nature and, in the mid-1800s, the development of synthetic dyes gave artists access to a wider range of pink shades, leading to its increased use in fashion and interior design during the Victorian era.