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Color Resources: Internet Resources

Websites with a Historical Emphasis

Colorsystem - 59 easy-to-understand, richly illustrated color theories from antiquity to modern times: in short, a complete cultural history of color written by Professors Narciso Silvestrini and Ernst Peter Fischer.

Color Wheels, Charts, and Tables Through History - A chronology of various attempts through the last four centuries to visually organize and make sense of color. A wide variety of forms and methods are represented: from simple wheels to multi-layered pyramids, from scientific systems to those based on the hues of human emotion.

Goethe’s Zur Farbenlehre (Theory of Colors) - By 1840, this theory was widely accepted by the art world after being translated into English.

Pigments Through the Ages - Discover how pigments have evolved over time through the exploration of color theory, artist's palettes, time periods, material studies, and techniques.

Werner's Nomenclature of Colors - German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner invented a color system, as detailed and thorough a guide as an artist might need. But rather than only cater to the needs of painters, designers, and manufacturers, Werner’s "Nomenclature of Colors" also served the needs of scientists. “Charles Darwin even used the guide,” writes "This is Colossal," “during his voyage to the Madeira, Canary, and Cape Verde islands on the H.M.S. Beagle.”

Practical Color Websites for Artists

Colorspace - Find the perfect matching color scheme for your next project! Generate color palettes, color gradients, and more.

The Dimensions of Color - Written by David Briggs, this website presents an account of the dimensions of color and light perception, keeping in mind painters using either traditional or digital media. 


Adaptation of Tobias Mayer's triangle from Beschreibung einer mit dem Calauschen Wachse ausgemalten Farbenpyramide as interpreted by Johann Heinrich Lambert, 1772, source: wikimedia
College for Creative Studies website