Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

only as an æsthetic feeling. Hence these cases are strictly 
analogous to the instance of hearing. Recurrent interfer¬ 
ences up to a certain point of frequency are cognized as beats : 
beyond it, we saw that they were only known as dissonance. 
It may, however, be objected that this principle of fatigue 
could only apply to successive, not to simultaneous and ad¬ 
jacent colours. Such is actually the fact. Our eyes are 
perpetually moving in a restless manner from point to point 
in the field of vision, even when we are not aware of it ; 
and only a very small area in that field can be distinctly 
cognised at one and the same instant Hence the portions of 
the retina affected by adjacent regions of the visual field are 
in a constant state of interchange. Accordingly, if we have 
in one place a patch of red, the portion of the retina which 
is receiving light from it will have its red-perceiving fibres 
strongly excited and, as a necessary consequence, fatigued. 
If, next, it is directed upon a neighbouring patch of green, 
the red-perceiving fibres will be at rest, and undergo repair, 
while the fresh and vigorous green-perceiving structures will 
receive normal stimulation. Hence such interchange of 
colours will be pleasurable. But if, on the contrary, it is 
immediately directed upon a patch of purple or orange, 
which will make fresh demands upon the wearied red-per¬ 
ceiving fibres, the effect will be that disagreeable feeling 
which we call a discord. So that all colour-harmony consists 
in such an arrangement of tints as will give the various 
portions of the retina stimulation in the least fati^uin^ 
O O 
order, and all colour-discord in the opposite.* 
* 1 learn from milliners and dress-makers that after sewing for a loDg time


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