Updated: Mar 4, 2021
This week saw unprecedented closures of museums, galleries and auction houses across Germany and the UK in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. But the art world has rallied, with many galleries creating or updating the virtual collections on their websites for the public to see in these trying times. We'll be doing our part at Moment. We've compiled a list of virtual tours of Germany’s cultural institutions and, starting today (see below), we'll provide weekly ‘Art from Home’ articles, where you can read about and experience German arts & culture from home.
Art from Home - a feast for the senses: Goethe’s colour theory explored anew in book
Goethe’s colour wheel assigned qualities to certain colours. For example, yellow as being 'good'. Photo: Luetzling via Wikimedia Commons, CC0 1.0
Oxford professor of German literature Ritchie Robertson has reviewed an intriguing book about Goethe’s visual senses fascination with the natural sciences. The book, entitled Abenteuer der Vernunft: Goethe und die Naturwissenschaften um 1800, was edited by Kristin Knebel, Gisela Maul and Thomas Schmuck. It discusses Goethe’s 1810 Doctrine of colours, a great influence for artists William Turner, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky, for example, agreed with Goethe that colours can both impact and be affected by emotions. He perceived colours in two categories: ‘plus’, life-enhancing (reds, oranges, yellows) and ‘minus’, anxiety-inducing (blues, purples, greens). In his Doctrine, Goethe, a talented artist himself, criticised Newton’s theory of light and its refraction through a prism, preferring to base his own observations on an immediate experience of the world rather than on mathematical scrutiny.
You can read the review here.