Islamic Tradition

In the Islamic tradition, colour is primarily seen from a metaphysical viewpoint which allows the duality of light and shadow to be recognised as the continuous possibility pervading the universe. The number seven dominates the traditional palette of colours, which are arranged in groups of three and four, with the two systems being linked. One order is based on the three colours black, white and sandlewood (related to the colour of the earth), while the other is centred on the four colours red, yellow green and blue. (Detailed text)

Date: Uncertain

Related systems: Grosseteste, Alberti, da Vinci

Bibliography: N. Ardalan und L. Bakhtiar, «The Sense of Unity, The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture», London 1973; John Gage, «Colour and Culture, Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction», Thames and Hudson, 1993, pp. 61-64.