Theory of Colours

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(3.9 stars; 27 reviews)

Newton's observations on the optical spectrum were widely accepted but Goethe noticed the difference between the scientific explanation and the phenomena as experienced by the human eye. He did not try to explain this, but rather collected and presented data, conducting experiments on the interplay of light and dark. His work was rejected as 'unscientific' by physicists but his color wheel is still used by artists today. - Summary by Lynne Thompson (8 hr 58 min)


Translator's Preface and Preface to the First Edition 29:04 Read by Lynne T
Introduction 16:11 Read by Nathan Rosquist
Part I - Physiological Colours Section 1 - Effects of Light and Dark on the Eye 5:12 Read by Dylan Campbell
Section II - Effects of Black and White Objects on the Eye 13:32 Read by Nathan Rosquist
Section III - Grey Surfaces and Objects; Section IV - Dazzling Colourless Objec… 9:19 Read by Deborah Balm
Section V - Coloured Objects 13:39 Read by Deborah Balm
Section VI - Coloured Shadows 12:43 Read by Deborah Balm
Section VII - Faint Lights; Section VIII - Subjective Halos 8:55 Read by Kieren Metts
Pathological Colours - Appendix 14:15 Read by Kieren Metts
Part 2 - Physical Colours - Section IX - Diotropical Colours 6:19 Read by playonwords
Section X - Diotropical Colours of the First Class 18:55 Read by playonwords
Section XI - Diotropical Colours of the Second Class - Refraction 8:10 Read by Gillian Hendrie
Subjective Experiments - Section XII - Refraction Without the Appearance of Col… 7:13 Read by Gillian Hendrie
Section XIV - Conditions Under Which the Appearance of Colour Increases 5:23 Read by Lynne T
Section XV - Explanation of the Foregoing Phenomena 12:01 Read by Michelle Tan
Section XVI - Decrease of the Appearance of Colour; Section XVII - Grey Objects… 6:53 Read by Lynne T
Section XVIII - Coloured Objects Displaced by Refraction 19:50 Read by Gillian Hendrie
Section XIX - Achromatism and Hyperchromatism; Section XX - Advantages of Subje… 11:02 Read by DrPGould
Objective Experiments - Section XXI - Refraction Without the Appearance of Colo… 9:02 Read by DrPGould
Section XXIII - Conditions of the Increase of Colour; Section XXIV - Explanatio… 8:27 Read by DrPGould
Section XXV - Decrease of the Appearance of Colour; Section XXVI - Grey Objects… 11:14 Read by Katarina Petric
Section XXIX - Combination of Subjective and Objective Experiments; Section XXX… 8:24 Read by Simona Rusu
Section XXXI - Catatropical Colours 11:11 Read by Simona Rusu
Section XXXII - Paroptical Colours 17:22 Read by Simona Rusu
Section XXXIII - Epoptical Colours 29:59 Read by Simona Rusu
Part III - Chemical Colours - Section XXXIV - Chemical Contrast 3:25 Read by jcrosbie
Section XXXV - White; Section XXXVI - Black; Section XXXVII - First Excitation … 10:23 Read by jcrosbie
Section XXXVIII - Augmentation of Colour; Section XXXIX - Culmination; Section … 9:25 Read by ToddHW
Section XLII - Inversion; Section XLIII - Fixation; Section XLIV - Intermixture… 10:59 Read by ToddHW
Section XLVI - Communication, Actual; Section XLVII - Communication, Apparent 8:26 Read by ToddHW
Section XLVIII - Extraction; Section XLIX - Nomenclature 12:41 Read by Suzie
Section L - Minerals; Section LI - Plants 9:45 Read by Chris Gray
Section LII - Worms, Insects, Fishes; Section LIII - Birds 12:31 Read by Gillian Hendrie
Section LIV - Mammalia and Human Beings 15:32 Read by jenno
Section LV - Physical and Chemical Effects of the Transmission of Light Through… 7:59 Read by Chris Gray
Part IV - General Characteristics 18:10 Read by brianna
Part V - Relation to Other Pursuits 30:04 Read by Lynne T
Part VI - Effect of Colour With Reference to Moral Associations; Yellow; Red-Ye… 18:15 Read by Availle
Completeness and Harmony; Yellow and Blue; Yellow and Red; Blue and Red; Yellow… 19:20 Read by Availle
Aesthetic Influence; Chiaro-Scuro; Tendency to Colour; Keeping; Colour in Gener… 14:47 Read by Availle
Harmonious Colouring; Genuine Tone; False Tone; Weak Colouring; The Motley; Dre… 13:10 Read by Availle
Allegorical, Symbolic, Mystical Application of Color; Concluding Observations 8:56 Read by Availle


A bit of a slog

(3 stars)

Even as a visual artist, and even with the help of the wonderful people who recorded the audio, even then this was quite a slog. It helps to look into a bit of background insight into as to where this book sits in the wider study of colour theory, semiotics and art history - or at least it helps to understand who took their influence from goethe (Turner, kandinsky etc), and the origins of the colour wheel concept. Even so, it is difficult to really give full attention to Göethes theory when much has been either disproved, or explained with much more relevance and insight. However, this book does one thing which few other texts succeed in, which is to say that it looks at colour from a purely subjective perspective, and could inform a budding artist or colour theorist as to How To See colour. And I mean truly see it - observe it and document it and use this knowledge to push the boundaries of representation.

this book by Goethe is both a great scientific read. enjoyed it

(4 stars)

I would have given more stars but some of the contributors had a very low quality of sound

Tá em inglês

(1 stars)

Poderia ser em português