Theory of Colours
The wavelength theory of light and color had been firmly established by the time the great German poet published his Theory of Colours in 1810. Nevertheless, Goethe believed that the theory derived from a fundamental error, in which an incidental result was mistaken for a elemental principle. Far from affecting a knowledge of physics, he maintained that such a background would inhibit understanding. The conclusions Goethe draws here rest entirely upon his personal observations.
This volume does not have to be studied to be appreciated. The author's subjective theory of colors permits him to speak persuasively of color harmony and aesthetics. These notions may evoke a positive response on their merits, but even among those who regard them as pure fantasy, the grace and style of Goethe's exposition provide abundant rewards. Although his scientific reasoning on this subject has long since been dismissed, modern readers continue to appreciate the beauty and sweep of Goethe's conjectures regarding the connection between color and philosophical ideas. In addition, he offers insights into early nineteenth-century beliefs and modes of thought as well as a taste of European life during the Enlightenment.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
accessory image according alluded appearance of colour Aristotle beautiful become blue edge blue-red Boschini bright catoptrical chemical colours chromatic chromatic circle chromatic scale circle colour appears coloured objects colourless combined considered contrast dark ground darker degree disk doctrine of colours effect elementary employed especially excited exhibit experiments Giorgione glass Goethe Goethe’s gradations green grey halos harmony hence illumined impression increased instance lamellæ Leon Battista Alberti Leonardo Leonardo da Vinci light and dark Lodovico Dolce look luminous image manner means mode nature observed opposite owing oxydation painters painting paroptical Paul Veronese phenomena phenomenon physical colours Pittura plates portion present principle prism prismatic produced pure red reflected refraction relation remarkable retina seen semi-transparent mediums shadows shine side speak square substance sun’s image takes place theory of colours tints tion Titian transparent treatise varnish Vasari Venetian white surface whole yellow-red