Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

modification of this colour. The green fundamental 
colour corresponds to a highly saturated yellowish 
green of the spectrum (between 540 ^ and 560 ^), 
or the colour of vegetation. The blue fundamental 
colour corresponds to a highly saturated ultramarine. 
The colour triangle is not adequate to represent our 
whole colour system. The area included by the 
spectrum curve and the line joining red and violet 
will represent all the colours of nature and their 
combinations, for any one system of intensities. But as 
we darken the spectrum colours, the whitish colours 
and white itself, we get a steady series of changes in 
the system that cannot be represented unless we have 
recourse to a solid figure. 
Suppose all the colours of nature, the reds, greens, 
browns, pinks, greys, &c., to lie before us in the form 
of little cubes. If we attempt to arrange them accord¬ 
ing to similarity, we find it impossible to do so on 
a flat surface. Beginning, say, with green, we find 
colours that lead us by just perceptible steps over 
toward blue, and from that to violet on one side, and 
over toward yellow, and from that toward red on the 
other side. This series of colours we might arrange in 
a straight line. We also find colours that lead us 
gradually from each colour in our straight line over 
toward white. We might arrange these colours in 
lines on one side, at right angles to the first line. Again, 
there are colours leading from the original ones steadily 
toward black. These can be arranged on the other side 
of the first line. But the great majority of colours is 
still left. These are the more or less greyish colours 
that lead by continuous steps from one of the whitish 
colours to one of the blackish ones. There is no place 
for these colours on the flat surface. Our colour system, 
to use Riemann’s expression, has three dimensions ; that


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