Black is the darkest color resulting from the absence or complete absorption of light. Like white and grey, it is a color, literally a color without hue. It is one of the four colors in the CMYK color model, along with cyan, yellow. Black is often used to represent darkness, it is the symbolic opposite of white, Black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. In the 14th century, it began to be worn by royalty and it became the color worn by English romantic poets, businessmen and statesmen in the 19th century, and a high fashion color in the 20th century. In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, according to surveys in Europe and North America, it is the color most commonly associated with mourning, the end, secrets, magic, force, violence, evil, and elegance. More distant cognates include Latin flagrare, and Ancient Greek phlegein, the Ancient Greeks sometimes used the same word to name different colors, if they had the same intensity. Kuanos could mean both dark blue and black, the Ancient Romans had two words for black, ater was a flat, dull black, while niger was a brilliant, saturated black. Ater has vanished from the vocabulary, but niger was the source of the country name Nigeria the English word Negro, old High German also had two words for black, swartz for dull black and blach for a luminous black. These are parallelled in Middle English by the terms swart for dull black, swart still survives as the word swarthy, while blaek became the modern English black. In heraldry, the used for the black color is sable, named for the black fur of the sable. Black was one of the first colors used in art, the Lascaux Cave in France contains drawings of bulls and other animals drawn by paleolithic artists between 18,000 and 17,000 years ago. They began by using charcoal, and then made more vivid black pigments by burning bones or grinding a powder of manganese oxide, for the ancient Egyptians, black had positive associations, being the color of fertility and the rich black soil flooded by the Nile. It was the color of Anubis, the god of the underworld, who took the form of a black jackal, and offered protection against evil to the dead. For the ancient Greeks, black was also the color of the underworld, separated from the world of the living by the river Acheron and those who had committed the worst sins were sent to Tartarus, the deepest and darkest level. In the center was the palace of Hades, the king of the underworld, Black was one of the most important colors used by ancient Greek artists. In the 6th century BC, they began making pottery and later red figure pottery. In black-figure pottery, the artist would paint figures with a clay slip on a red clay pot
Image: Philip the good
Hussar from Husaren-Regiment Nr.5 (von Ruesch) in 1744 with the Totenkopf on the mirliton (ger. Flügelmütze).
Namesake of the idiom "black sheep"
Image: Gisele Bündchen at the Fashion Rio Inverno 2006