Monday, November 21, 2011

Goethe's Color Wheel.

Goethe, Johann W. Goethe's Color Wheel. 1810. Goethe's Theory of Colors. Wikimedia Commons.

This is Goethe's color wheel, published in "Theory of Colors." Goethe believed that colors arose only at the edges between light and dark due to his observation of light through a prism, wherein colors are only visible when there is contrast between light and dark. What Goethe didn't realize is that the separation of light into colors from the prism is only visible at the edges of light and dark, and is not visible in a purely white area
even though it is occurring. The image above is Goethe's version of the color wheel. It is interesting to note that Goethe related different colors to different moods (such as "gut"--good--and "gemein"--mean) written on the inner half of the wheel.

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