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Symmetric Color Circle, Goethe

 
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As an epitome of his research, Goethe proposed a symmetric color circle that applied in all areas he had studied. By contrast, Newton's color circle, with seven colors subtending unequal angles, did not exhibit the symmetry and complementarity that Goethe regarded as essential characteristics of color. For Newton, only spectral colors could count as fundamental. By contrast, Goethe's more empirical approach led him to recognize the essential role of (nonspectral) magenta in a complete color circle, a role that it still has in all modern color systems. Artisans such as painters, dyers, and tanners, who had to deal practically with color, generally felt much more attracted to Goethe's color circle than to Newton's.

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