Conference | Color between Science, Art, & Technology

Colour in the 17th and 18th Centuries:
Connexions between Science, Art, and Technology
Technische Universität, Berlin, 28-30 June 2012

Organized by Magdalena Bushart, Reinhold Reith, and Friedrich Steinle

Knowledge of how to use, combine, analyse, and understand colour has always been widely distributed, if not dispersed. Painters and architects, dyers and printers, pigment producers and merchants, physicists and chemists, natural historians and physiologist, among others, have been dealing with colour, its properties, mixtures, harmonies, meanings and uses. For long periods, different communities that were concerned with colour and the knowledge about it did not interact? at least so it appears.

One of the first to come up with fundamental claims concerning colour in full generality was Newton whose 1704 Opticks indeed quickly became a common reference point for most of those who reflected on colour. Throughout the 18th century, however, the reactions to Newton remained wildly controversial, from unrestricted appraisal via indifference to open and fierce opposition. Several attempts to reconcile Newton’s account with practitioner’s knowledge remained unsuccessful, and this was still the case in early 19th century, when the physiology of colour perception opened yet another field of colour research. The central aim of the conference is to bring together scholars who are interested in how the various strands of colour use and knowledge were interwoven and connected.

Technische Universität Berlin, Architekturgebäude, Room A 053, Straße des 17. Juni 150/152, 10623 Berlin,

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Thursday, 28 June

12:00  Registration

13:00  Welcome

13:30  Sarah Lowengard (New York), Analogies, Adaptations and Disorientations in the Mechanization of Color-Printing

14:30  Coffee Break

15:00  PRACTICES Chair: Reinhold Reith (Salzburg)
• Ad Stijnman (Amsterdam) and Elizabeth Upper (Cambridge), Early Modern Colour Printing 1600-1700
• Susan Wager (New York), Coloring the Rococo: Intermedial Reproduction and the Invention of Color in Eighteenth-Century France
• Carole Blumenfeld (Rome), Colors for Paintings Sold at Market in Rome and Paris

17:00  Coffee Break

17:30  COLOURS IN NATURE Chair: Magdalena Bushart (Berlin)
• Karin Leonhard (Berlin), Painting the Rainbow: Colour in Nature versus Colour in Art
• Ulrike Kern (Los Angeles), Broken Colours: A Key Concept in Seventeenth-Century Colour Theory

18:50: Snacks

20:00  PUBLIC LECTURE — Jenny Balfour-Paul (Exeter), Indigo: Not Just a Colour

Friday, 29 June

9:15  Alan Shapiro (Minneapolis), Newton’s Theory of Color and Painters’ Primaries

10:15  Coffee Break

10:30  COLOUR AND NEWTONIANISM Chair: Friedrich Steinle (Berlin)
• Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis (Twente), Perception of Colours by Different Eyes
• Gerhard Wiesenfeldt (Melbourne), Practitioners’ Materials and Optical Theories: Colour in Dutch Eighteenth-Century Natural Philosophy
• Heiner Krellig (Berlin/ Venice), Algarotti, Newton, and the Advantage of Their Theory of Light for Painterly Practice

12:30  Lunch Break

14:00  NATURAL PHILOSOPHY BEFORE NEWTON Chair: Sven Dupré (Berlin)
• Tawrin Baker (Bloomington), Colour in Seventeenth-Century Natural Philosophy Textbooks
• David Brafman (Los Angeles), Broken Colours: A Key Concept in Seventeenth-Century Colour Theory

15:20  Coffee Break

15:40  PRACTICE AND SYSTEM Chair: Lissa Roberts (Twente)
• Sachiko Kusukawa (Cambridge), The Colour Chart of Richard Waller, FRS, 1686
• Bruno Belhoste (Paris), Dyeing at the Gobelins in the Eighteenth Century: The Challenge of Quémizet

17:00  Coffee Break

17:20  COLOURS AFTER NEWTON Chair: Sven Dupré (Berlin)
• Robin Rehm (Basel), ‘Beauty and Perfection of the Pure Colours’: Anton Raphael Mengs and the Singularity of Yellow, Red, Blue
• Olaf L. Müller (Berlin), Border Spectra in the Atmospheric Colours of Hokusai and Hiroshige?

Saturday, 30 June

9:15  Ulrike Boskamp (Berlin), Primary Colours in the Eighteenth Century: Concepts and Uses

10:15  Coffee Break

10:30  MEANINGS Chair: Regina Lee Blaszczyk (Philadelphia)
• Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset (London), Words of Fashion: Words of Colours in Parisian Textile Trade in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
• Theresa M. Kelley (Madison, WI), Fugitive and Variable: Color, Material Practice, and Aesthetic Contingency
• Romana Filzmoser (Florence), Color Knowledge and Color Practice in English Cosmetic Treatises of the Seventeenth Century

12:30  Lunch Break

14:00  ARTISTS’ ACCOUNTS I Chair: Ulrich Heinen (Wuppertal)
• Audrey Adamczak (Paris), A Dry Coloured Powdery Medium: The Art of Making Pastel and the Artistic and Technical Literature in France Ancien Régime
• Matthias Vollmer (Berlin), Disegno versus Colorito: Science versus Illusion?

15:20  Coffee Break

15:40  ARTISTS’ ACCOUNTS II Chair: Ulrich Heinen (Wuppertal)
• Ioana Magureanu (Bucharest), Colour: From Damnation in the Scientific Discourse to Its Recovery in Art Theory
• Petra Schuster (Berlin), How Knowledge of Color Affected Value Judgments in Siglo de Oro Painting Technique Innovation: Carducho’s Diálogos de la Pintura (1633) in Comparison to Pacheco’s Arte de la Pintura (1649)

17:00  Coffee Break

17:20  BLUE! Chair: Lissa Roberts (Twente)
• Aida Yuen Wong (Boston), Kingfisher Blue in Ming China
• Francois Delamare (Paris) and Bernard Monasse (Paris), Dyeing with Berliner Blue: A Jointed French Venture

18:40  Closing Remarks

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