Three figures from Johannes Itten‘s The Elements of Color, 1961.

Colors of equal brilliance

“Colors of equal brilliance” (p39).

“The doctrine to be developed here is an aesthetic color theory originating in the experience and intuition of a painter. For the artist, effects are decisive, rather than agents as studied by physics and chemistry. Color effects are in the eye of the beholder. Yet the deepest and truest secrets of color effect are, I know, invisible even to the eye, and are beheld by the heart alone. The essential eludes conceptual formulation” (p7).

Color juxtaposition

“Combinations showing how the same blue… [is] altered in expression by different juxtaposed colors” (p87).

“Symbolism without visual accuracy and without emotional force would be mere anemic formalism; visually impressive effect without symbolic verity and emotional power would be banal imitative naturalism; emotional effect without constructive symbolic content or visual strength would be limited to the plane of sentimental expression” (p13).

Harmonious proportions

“Harmonious proportions of areas for complementary colors” (p60).

“Doctrines and theories are best for weaker moments. In moments of strength, problems are solved intuitively, as if of themselves” (p7).

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