Pythagoras, Aristotle, Plato

An interpretation of Pythagoras’s teachings, which maintained that the root of all harmony was to be found in the positions of the planets between the earth and sphere of fixed stars; the linear arrangement of colours according to Aristotle, who was probably the first to investigate colour mixtures; and finally a personal intepretation of Plato’s colour-system taken from his Timaios, according to which the eye does not receive light, but rather transmits a ray of vision towards an object. (Detailed text)

Date: Antiquity.

Basic colours: Pythagoras: musical notes are assigned to colours; Aristoteles: colours throughout the day: white, yellow, red, violet, green, blue, black; Plato: white, black, red, “radiant”.

Form: Aristotle: line

Related systems: Grosseteste, Alberti, da VinciAguiloniusFluddChevreulFieldC.M.N

Bibliography: Aristotle, «De sensu et sensato», «De anima», «Meteorologica»; Plato, «Timaios», 67D-68C in the Stephanus numbering; A. T. Mann, «The Round Art», London 1979; Th. Lersch, «Farbenlehre», in: «Reallexikon zur Deutschen Kunstgeschichte», published by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte Münschen, Volume VII, Munich, 1981.