The color language

Goethe teoria dei colori
Fine Art Photography by Manuela Metra


How to use colors and how to combine them? Which pairs work and why?
Anyone interested in the color theme has asked these questions.
In addition, by going to the theme of the sense of beauty, a wider window opens with regard to aesthetics.
When arts and science are separated, giving the aesthetic role first, second the role of pursuing the truth, art has paid the price to become relative, subjective, just beautiful. Steiner studies and deepens Goethe’s theory of colors, develops and creates his own color theory in the light of the science of the spirit. Color is something real and objective, towards which to go with the right disposition of the soul: only by entering a state of inner listening, color can reveal to us its essence. According to goethian theory everything is played between light and darkness, between yellow and blue, an affirmation based on the empirical observation from which the circle of colors comes.
Goethe continues with the observation of the tone and harmony between the colors.
And he orders them in a circle to observe each other’s relationships and their totality. The chromatic circle is divided into six parts: Yellow, Orange, Purple, Violet, Blue, Green. In the Treaty Goethe speaks of an eye action, easily experimentable, so, seeing a color, produces the complementary color. This complement remains imprinted in the retina for a few seconds if we look at a white or black surface.
Red-purple produces green, Yellow violet, blue orange.
For this reason, in the circle the pairs on the opposite sides are defined as harmonics, they are also called complementary pairs.

– An example of water color harmony by waldorf students –

Harmonic pairs:

red-purple / green
yellow / violet
orange / blue

The second criterion is that of the characteristic pairs.
They are determined within the circle, jumping a color. Yellow / purple, yellow / blue, blue / purple etc. These couples are called such because they have something that strikes us, even without giving us complete satisfaction.

Charatcteristic Couples:

Purple / blue
The violet / green
The blue / yellow
Green / orange
Yellow / purple
orange / purple.

Finally, monotonous couples are those pairs of colors that are not particularly harmonious, they are not equilibrated.

Monotone couples:

Those adjacent within the circle, such as blue / green, green / yellow, and so on.

Goethe’s color theory finds endless applications, from fashionable graphics, from photography to art, from furniture to composition to a bouquet. Applying it will immediately notice a quality of harmony and rewarding beauty.

Color theory

I am an Artist, located in Italy, the country of Art and Dolce Vita, in love with wabi sabi ceramics. I am specialized in art laboratories, helping people to meet the creative side of life, and helping creative entrepreneurs and companies with branding through my artworks with a dash of clean style to capture the harmony of life. I also work in Hospitals with clay therapy laboratory for children. This blog is my Artistic Salad, filled with creativity, beauty, joie de vivre, passion and tools for creative minds.

Find me on: Web

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.