Concerning the Spiritual in Art eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 103 pages of information about Concerning the Spiritual in Art.

Two great divisions of colour occur to the mind at the outset:  into warm and cold, and into light and dark.  To each colour there are therefore four shades of appeal—­warm and light or warm and dark, or cold and light or cold and dark.

Generally speaking, warmth or cold in a colour means an approach respectively to yellow or to blue.  This distinction is, so to speak, on one basis, the colour having a constant fundamental appeal, but assuming either a more material or more non-material quality.  The movement is an horizontal one, the warm colours approaching the spectator, the cold ones retreating from him.

The colours, which cause in another colour this horizontal movement, while they are themselves affected by it, have another movement of their own, which acts with a violent separative force.  This is, therefore, the first antithesis in the inner appeal, and the inclination of the colour to yellow or to blue, is of tremendous importance.

The second antithesis is between white and black; i.e., the inclination to light or dark caused by the pair of colours just mentioned.  These colours have once more their peculiar movement to and from the spectator, but in a more rigid form (see Fig. 1).


First Pair of antitheses.           (inner appeal acting on
A and B.                           the spirit)

A. Warm Cold Yellow Blue = First antithesis

Two movements: 

(i) horizontal

Towards the spectator <-----<<< >>>-----> Away from the spectator
(bodily)                                  (spiritual)

Yellow Blue

      (ii) Ex- and concentric

B. Light Dark White Black = Second Antithesis

Two movements: 

(i) discordant

Eternal discord, but with Absolute discord, devoid possibilities for the White Black of possibilities for the
    future (birth) future (death)

(ii) ex-and concentric, as in case of yellow and blue, but
more rigid.

Yellow and blue have another movement which affects the first antithesis—­an ex-and concentric movement.  If two circles are drawn and painted respectively yellow and blue, brief concentration will reveal in the yellow a spreading movement out from the centre, and a noticeable approach to the spectator.  The blue, on the other hand, moves in upon itself, like a snail retreating into its shell, and draws away from the spectator. [Footnote:  These statements have no scientific basis, but are founded purely on spiritual experience.]

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Concerning the Spiritual in Art from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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