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Theory of Colours

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  793 ratings  ·  31 reviews
By the time Goethe's "Theory of Colours" appeared in 1810, the wavelength theory of light and color had been firmly established. To Goethe, the theory was the result of mistaking an incidental result for an elemental principle. Far from pretending to a knowledge of physics, he insisted that such knowledge was an actual hindrance to understanding. He based his conclusions ...more
Paperback, 468 pages
Published March 15th 1970 by MIT Press (first published 1810)
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Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kuukauden kestänyt syventymiseni väreihin ja värioppiin on viimein tullut päätökseen, kun koko kirja on palalta luettu. Mieletön kulttuuriteko Teokselta viimein julkaista tämä suomeksi, suomentajien projektista nyt puhumattakaan.

Oma mielenkiintoni kirjaa kohtaan on puhtaan harrastajamainen - ja toisaalta myös jollain kutkuttavalla tavalla oman ilmiöpohjaisen opettajuuden syväluotaava kurkistus yhteen mahdolliseen opetusteemaan todella pintaa syvemmin. Goethen kaunokirjallinenkin tapa tutkia
Jan Ingemansen
Only book on color you'll ever need!
Most self-respecting books about colour mention Goethe sooner or later. Those references are simply the continued reverberations of his work, from when it was written in 1810 to the present day, and they retroactively provide the uninitiated reader with a context for his theory and the motivation to peruse it. Otherwise, facing 920 textual units that make up Goethes Theory of Colours could prove quite daunting.

If you wish garner some of that context and motivation, here are a few references I
Oct 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Goethe plays a game of marbles with his eyeballs. You can join him, but you have to play by his rules; and they won't always be fair. I wasn't able to follow along with most of the demonstrations because I didn't have prisms, colored glass and candles handy... this book should really come with a little lab kit.
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My favorite chapter was brown!
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it
End of introduction: "In looking a little further round us, we are not without fears that we may fail to satisfy another class of scientific men. By an extraordinary combination of circumstances the theory of colours has been drawn into the province and before the tribunal of the mathematician, a tribunal to which it cannot be said to be amenable. This was owing to its affinity with the other laws of vision which the mathematician was legitimately called
Feb 27, 2008 marked it as to-read
recommended by a bearded and bespectacled youth with a studious aspect on the sf muni (or was it boston? I think it was sf)
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
the detail of perception
Zubayir Kazi
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aesthetics
The contradistinction between science and phenomenology is most clear when you realize that phenomenology attempts no deconstruction through intentional being of the physical self vis a vis to perception. And that is essentially what happens with formal idealism in general. The fundamental classification of Goethe in this proselytizing enterprise.

While Goethe acknowledges fundamentally the purely perceptual nature of color and thus attempts to understand what effects the perception of the
Moniza Borges
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
O que me fez interessar por obra tão desconhecida de Goethe, foi certa vez ter ouvido na aula de Cosmologia e Astrologia Medieval do prof. Luiz Gonzaga de Carvalho Neto (Gugu) que, do ponto de vista simbólico, as cores primárias (vermelho, amarelo e azul) e as secundárias (verde, laranja e roxo) representam as etapas pelas quais passam os estados de consciência do ser humano. É um movimento descendente-ascendente que parte da consciência do ser de que não tem a posse daquilo que deseja ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Finishing Goethe's treatise on colours, such obssessive descriptions of prismastic experiments makes me imagine Goethe as a Locus Solus case. Very educative on colour theory and composition, also discovered that the sky is a great prismatic colour wheel turning every day above our heads. (I found on youtube these fine lectures that helped me visualize the experiments
Nico Battersby
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I skimmed large portions of this book which I found uninteresting.

However, the section for artists was worth the price of admission. I always found colour abstract and now I see them I need a new light!

Danke Goethe
Still reeling. I have no idea how to rate this thing, or even to describe it, other than as an unintentional, bizarre comedy.
Benjamin Stahl
You what?
tenho certeza que é uma leitura fantástica para aqueles que têm neurônios suficientes pra entender
I was curious about this book because I've come across mention of it numerous times, usually in reference to its influence on the work of impressionist painters. Published in 1810 (first English translation 1840), it was surprisingly easy to understand. I did get a bit bogged down with all of the experiments because I didn't try them myself, only imagined their results as Goethe described them - they involved setting up coloured disks on different coloured backgrounds in specific lighting ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: docu
since 1982 the color theory of goethe had my attention. but science took me on a direction that gave little chance to meet again. untill some 30y later i found myself staring at an aquaduct in spoleto (i). the same goethe had seen during his journey in italy. from then my attention once again to the color theory became afresh. and it is the best thing i've encountered about light and color so far.
Erika Mulvenna
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
I read this book twice, first when I started researching Color Theory last year, and again just this month. I got a lot more out of this the second time around, realizing that Goethe is responsible for several key established ideas about color repeated by many other artists and color theorists through modern times. A good read for anyone really interested in the history of Color Theory and art.
Alexandra Taylor
I probably would have liked it more if I was actually interested in that sort of thing and I wasn't reading it for a Uni assignment... It also would have helped if it actually had the information I needed in it :(
Marshall LeSueur
It's one of those things that's so interesting about all the stuff going on around you all the time that it almost makes you uncomfortable. I read some of this when I had too much coffee and I didn't like it but later it was really cool. Goethe seems like an all-around good guy.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved EVERY bit of it!
Cameron Chamberlain
Some drags on but some is very readable. Would have been fantastic in its own context. Still worth a look.
Oct 28, 2014 rated it liked it
More fascinating that you would expect, simply because he points out many of the things that we take for granted about how we see color and light.
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
i need to read this book
Kara Kilgore
May 08, 2013 marked it as to-read
Sounds amazing! Can't wait to read this
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-inspiration
Learn what Goethe saw in the 1800s - and live it all over again. Color by color. Whether you're an artist or an admirer of the arts, this is a classic.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, prolific-authors
Of course this compliments Liane Collot d'Herbois and is basically essential groundwork understanding, foundation for the paint-therapy work, but really quite interesting for anyone.

beyond whatever goethe could imagine via fiction
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Aug 14, 2016
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer. George Eliot called him "Germany's greatest man of letters... and the last true polymath to walk the earth." Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, humanism, and science. Goethe's magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust. Goethe's other well-known literary works include ...more

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