London: John Murray, 1840.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003376
8vo (212 x 140 mm). xlviii, 423  pp., including 4 engraved plates of which 3 hand-colored. Bound without half-title and the publisher's ads. Contemporary panelled diced calf, neatly rebacked in old-style. First few leaves worked loose and re-attached, occasional light mainly marginal spotting and staining. Very good copy. ----
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Farbenlehre. The original German work was translated into English in 1840 by Sir Charles Eastlake (1793-1865), painter and later keeper of the National Gallery. "Goethe's 1810 work was rejected by many contemporary scientists because it appeared to contradict the physical laws laid down by Newton. However, its focus on the human perception of the colour spectrum, as opposed to the observable optical phenomenon, was attractive to, and influential upon, artists and philosophers. As Eastlake says in his preface, the work's dismissal on scientific grounds had caused 'a well-arranged mass of observations and experiments, many of which are important and interesting', to be overlooked. Eastlake also puts Goethe's work into its aesthetic and scientific context and describes its original reception. His clear translation of Goethe's observations and experiments on colour and light will appeal to anyone interested in our responses to art." (JISC). "For a profoundly creative and challenging response to Goethe's science by a painter of real genius we have to look to Britain, to the art of Turner. Turner was almost seventy by the time he made his detailed study of Goethe's Farbenlehre in Charles Eastlake's 1840 annotated translation, but his response was not that of an old man rigidly set in his ways. Two complex paintings of supreme quality were the remarkable result of his 'dialogue' with Goethe. His immediate reactions on reading Goethe's treatise are contained in a series of marginal notes in his copy, ranging from approbatory references to terse exclamations of disagreement. 'Poor Dame Nature' he wrote, when he felt that Goethe was doing less than justice to the ultimate source of all visual beauty. He was attracted by much of what the German author was saying, particularly with respect to the integral relationship of colour and tone" M. Kemp, The Science of Art, 1992, p.299). References: Buckley, Color theory, p. 128; Babson 151; Birren Coll. 271; Ruhemann/Plesters, p. 457; Robertson, Sir Charles Eastlake and the Victorian art world, pp. 1978. - Visit our website to see more images!
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