Time for round 3?  Ok!

Part 1 and Part 2 are here.

In the book, Delsarte studies colors from stained glass windows, colors from India & Biblical tradition, and even Aztec painting, and splits the 3 primary colors into head/heart/body. 

 Heart is a cinch.  Red.  I never would have considered blue powerful or yellow enlightening, but it is surprising to see how it all fits.  Some iconic pics:


 Yellow was especially surprising to me, since it doesn’t strike me as a smart color.  But light bulbs pop up over a character’s head when they get an idea and kings wear yellow crowns, so it makes sense.

The secondary colors are a mix of these.  Purple is considered an immature color–is it because there’s no head color in it?  Brown is considered down-to-earth, which is just a dark version of orange.  I don’t know as much as I wish I knew about color, but our perceptions of it seem to match Delsarte’s.  (Color though is so wibbly-wobbly…desaturated blue can mean something completely different than a zingy blue.)

WHITE and BLACK are iconic of course.  White is pure and inspirational, whereas black symbolizes darkness and evil.   Thank you Mr. Phantom :)

 I will never get tired of this picture

Ok!  Practical application time!  Keeping Delsarte poses & gestures & colors in mind, take a look at these Disney princesses below and see if you can peg which one is:
1)  The most romantic
2)  The most powerful
3)  The most willful
4)  The hardest to relate to

You have 5 seconds.


 Got your guesses?  Ok!

Most romantic goes to:

Briar Rose!   Check out the huge contrast in her heart zone.  Not only that, but her hair flows to the heart zone, her dress’s hem and sleeves flow to the heart part of her body zone, and one hand is in the heart zone (& her feet are in heart position, I believe.)  Totally romantic…which completely matches her character too.
Most powerful:

Pocahontas.  She is in complete body stance–splayed gesture, her hair flows past her heart zone to the body zone, and her hem ends in the body zone too.  (She also has a shoulderband you can’t see in the body zone that adds more contrast.)  I think the yellow dress and necklace offsets this a little, but she is definitely a vital.

Most willful:

Rapunzel.  Convex gesture (very willful) hand on hip (sensual) (Delsarte thought a gesture like this was “vulgar”) Purple, which has no head color in it.  (She does have her feet on a head position, which gives her a sassier tone.)
Hardest to relate to:
Mulan, because her armor is masking her form.  So, in Delsarte world she is less readable and relatable.
Which segues into the last Delsarte design stuff this will cover.  Which is: the more the form of the character is shown, the more sympathetic, vulnerable, and relatable they will be.
Han Solo has some wicked good Delsarte design.  Lots of contrast in his heart zone, and because you can see his form, you can read and empathize with him pretty easily.

 At the other end of the scale, this picture of Lady Gaga.  She’s masked her face, form, and head, and so the audience is distanced emotionally from her.

 Like a mask, the character’s clothes & shape can alienate the audience from the character.  With the Delsarte theory it makes sense why big poofy dresses are considered so romantic–because they distance the person from the body/power zone and focus on the form in the heart zone.

And it makes sense now why melodramatic villains had capes–it covered their form and distanced them from the audience (and if he’s wearing black, you know he’s super bad)
So that’s Delsarte in a cup.  Lots to take in and a lot of it is speculation.  It seems like Delsarte went out of fashion because the system was being used as shortcuts, instead of actual figuring out the character.  At any rate, I do think it’s good for the animation/design person to know, because more information is always better than less.*
To end on a happy note, here’s an excerpt from the book.
You brought me this wreath?  How it smells of the woods!