Ogden Rood’s Chromatics

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Ogden Rood divided colour into three constants: purity, luminosity, and hue. His theory of contrasting colours was particularly influential on Georges-Pierre Seurat, the founder of Neo-Impressionism and the foremost Pointillist. Rood suggested that small dots or lines of different colours, when viewed from a distance, would blend into a new colour. He believed that the complementary colours of his color wheel, when applied in pairs by the artist, would enhance the luminosity of a painting.

The Library’s 1890 edition of Rood’s Colour: a text-book of modern chromatics with applications to art and industry includes some beautiful colour plates illustrating his colour wheel and his theories of chromatics

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