Archive for March, 2008

Color theory

In 1914 Ostwald was asked by the German Werkbund to prepare a “rational” atlas of colors (see Figure 2). His ideas to create art from a scientific viewpoint were com-bated by most contemporary artists.

Kleiner Farbkreis / Small circle of colors

His imperative “order = legality = harmony” and his color theory had influence on the German Werkbund, the Bauhaus and the Dutch artistic movement De Stijl.

Theory of forms

In connection with his color theory Ostwald was also engaged in the “harmony of forms”. Using the rules he developed Ostwald created ornaments and new forms “according the laws of combinatorics” which were “all beautiful, without any exception”!

Welt der Formen / World of forms

  • Wilhelm Ostwald, Die Welt der Formen : Entwicklung und Ordnung der gesetzlich schönen Gebilde (Leipzig 1922).
  • Wilhelm Ostwald, ‘Warum sind Kristalle schön?’, Hamburger Fremdenblatt 94 (1922) No. 150