Philipp Otto Runge

The colour-sphere has the pure colours around the equator, starting with the three primary colours of red, yellow and blue. Three mixed colours take their place in each of the equal intermediate spaces between the primaries, while white and black form the sphere’s poles. Runge wished to capture the harmony of colours — not the proportions of mixtures. He wished to bring a sense order to the totality of all possible colours, and sought an ideal colour-solid. (Detailed text)

Date: The painter Runge introduced his spherical construction in 1810 after eight years work with colours.

Country of origin: Germany

Basic colours: Blue, red and yellow

Form: Sphere

Related systems: LambertGoetheBenson

Bibliography: Ph. O. Runge, «Farbenkugel», Hamburg 1810; J. Pawlik, «Theorie der Farbe», Cologne, 1976; H. Matile, «Die Farbenlehre Phillip Otto Runges», 2nd edition, Munich 1979; John Gage, «Colour and Culture, Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction», Thames and Hudson, 1993, p. 221 (various illustrations; mention and comment). Catalogue, Runge Centre, Wolgast, Germany.

Links: Virtual colour- space