Colour chart

  • De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs.
    Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1889. -
  • Author: CHEVREUL, Michel Eugène (1786-1889)
  • The present edition (1889) was published to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first edition in 1839. Chevreul, the famous French chemist, was director of the Gobelin tapestry works, where he was expected to improve the dyes used to colour the fabrics. He discovered that the intensity of colours as they appear to the eye depend largely on their neighboring colours. He made an intensive study of the principles governing the contrast colours, which resulted in his monumental De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs. He drew up scales to represent every possible colour modification to meet the need for precise standards in the applied arts, and effected a revolution in painting, inspiring the impressionists Manet and Monet and providing a scientifically-based palette for the neo-impressionists Seurat, Signac and Pissarro. In recent time a colourprint, ”LSD”, by Damien Hirst, reminds indeed of Chevreul’s plates.