Two vols. Text vol.: two folding printed tables. xv, 735 pp., one leaf of errata. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed marbled boards (several signatures foxed), flat spine gilt. [with]: Atlas vol.: 40 plates, most of them colored & folded, many of them signed by the author, and nine printed sheets, each of a different color, and two printed leaves of text (including title). Large 4to, binding as above. Paris: Pitois-Levrault, 1839.
First edition of this classic work — one of the most influential treatises on color of the 19th century — by the great French chemist Chevreul (1786-1889).
“Chevreul made an intensive study of the principles governing the contrast of colors, which resulted in his monumental De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs (1839), the most influential of his many books. This book was the outcome of his discovery that the apparent intensity and vigor of colors depended less on the pigmentation of the material used than on the hue of the neighboring fabric. After many experiments on color contrast Chevreul formulated for the first time the general principles and effects of simultaneous contrast, the modification in hue and tone that occurs when juxtaposed colors are seen simultaneously…Chevreul designed his De la loi du contraste simultané less for scientists than for painters, designers, and decorators. He devoted much of the book to the applications of the principles of contrast to the various problems that the artist and designer encounter in the use of color and to the harmonizing of colors and their use as agents of pictorial harmony…The neo-impressionist painters derived their methods of painting from Chevreul’s principles, applying separate touches of pure colors to the canvas and allowing the eye of the observer to combine them.”–D.S.B., III, p. 241.
❧ En Français dans le Texte 237. Kemp, The Science of Art, pp. 306-07.
Item ID: 7676