Colour Wheels, Charts, and Tables Through History
January 4, 2020 7:20 AM   Subscribe

A chronology of various attempts through the last four centuries to visually organise and make sense of colour. From the Public Domain Review, which draws in turn on Sarah Lowengard's The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe.

This particular link has not previously been posted, but there is a previous post on Lowengard's book.

There are also previous posts on color, some of them gathered here.
posted by carter (5 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, this is fascinating. I am teaching myself to illustrate and color is so frustrating. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.
posted by rebent at 9:51 AM on January 4, 2020

pretty amazing how only europeans ever thought to consider or organize color in the last 400 years.
posted by mulligan at 3:24 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I thought color was invented in the 1930's. At least, that's what Calvin's dad said.
posted by webmutant at 4:38 PM on January 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

To @mulligan's point, "Color Theory and Color Order in Medieval Islam: A Review" article is paywalled, but
Breaking with the theories of Aristotle, al-Kindi proposed that it is not the medium that produces color, but the object, by blocking light. Similarly, Ibn Rushd and Ibn al-Haytham promoted the role of light for color vision from being a mere catalyst to the very object of sight. And instead of the classical one-dimensional color order, gradually a two-dimensional color order emerged in the writings of Ibn Sina ["Avicenna"] and al-Tusi. Further, Nishaburi described the first partial hue scale.
(Naggingly, this excerpt doesn't specify which Nishaburi this is; not her, and is Ghiyās od-Dīn Abul-Fatah Omār ibn Ibrāhīm Khayyām Nishābūrī referred to that way?
posted by away for regrooving at 10:38 PM on January 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

According to Color Theory in Medieval Islamic Lapidaries: Nıshābūrı, Tūsı and Kāshānı (paywall):
The first author is Muhammad ibn Abı al‐Barakāt al‐Jawāharı al‐Nıshābūrı, a jewel‐maker and expert on precious stones. His work Jawāhir Nāmeh‐i Nizāmı (‘The book of stones for Nizām’) was written in 1195–1196 (Porter, 2008, pp. 609–610). It deals with minerals, metals and stones, and color obviously plays an important role in characterizing them.
posted by zamboni at 7:14 AM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

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