Athanasius Kircher

We will meet Athanasius Kircher once more in the metasystems, where an exciting cosmological construction has a scarab moving between the planets. His system shows a linear diagram with a trichromatic base with red, green and blue as the basic colours. Possible mixtures are indicated on half-circles. Kircher had also wondered why the sky was blue, but never reached a satisfactory answer. Our illustration shows science’s explanation of the blue sky, of which Kircher could not have known. (Detailed text)

Date: 1646

Country of origin: Germany

Basic colours: Red and blue in addition to black and white

Form: Semi-circle

Related systems: WallerNewtonAstrological connectionsArs Magna

Bibliography: Kircher, «Ars magna lucis et umbrae», Rome 1646; J. W. von Goethe, «Geschichte der Farbenlehre, Part I», Munich 1963; J. Godwin, «Athanasius Kircher – A Renaissance Man and the Quest for Lost Knowledge», London 1979; John Gage, «Colour and Culture, Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction», Thames and Hudson, 1993, pp. 9 and 233 (mention and comment).

Bibliography: Jesuits and the Sciences (Loyola University of Chicago)