Where do colours come from and how do they get their names? What was the “Venetian secret” of the 18th century? Were the Impressionists more than seekers after transitory sensations-to what extent were they exploring the optical science of perception according to the colour theories of Michel Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889)? Do artist’s select their colours or do the colours choose themselves as Matisse suggests?
Ian George helps us look at recent studies showing us how observant (or unobservant) we are: what are our favourite colours and why: where our colours come from: and asking how much colour there is in our lives
DR IAN GEORGE AO has been an art critic and historian since the 1960's. His postgraduate work was in aesthetics. Since then he has served on the Visual Arts Committee of the Festival of Perth, as a Trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery and Vice-President of the Queensland Festival, had two terms on the Community Arts Board of the Australia Council and is a regular lecturer at the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of SA and the National Gallery of Victoria.
image caption: Michel Eugène Chevreul (French, 1786-1889), Colour wheel, Paris, 1861 (Public Domain)