H.G. Maratta and color theory

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H.G. Maratta and color theory

Postby Styxcolor » Wed May 17, 2017 10:38 pm

Dear fellow permanoobers,


I have a very specific art literature question about H.G. Maratta, but I'm open to other suggestions as well so color theory in general also is in the thread title.

Robert Henri's "The Art Spirit" mentions the color teachings of H.G. Maratta. My first googling of his work provided me with these two great essays from other people using Marattas color theory:

https://attentiveequations.com/sloan-an ... or-theory/
https://attentiveequations.com/category ... g-maratta/


Really short round-up: Give a picture a dominant base tone and mix this tone into every other tone you will be using on the piece (up to 25% of the tone) to create a harmonious color scheme.
And: have in mind you can also mix/change colors by adding secondary colors, not only primaries.


Have any of you a copy of Maratta's oil pigment scale book or otherwise worked with his theory?

Which books can you recommend for deciphering the secrets of color (choices and effect) apart from that?

Thank you!
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Re: H.G. Maratta and color theory

Postby AEBL » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:48 pm

I don't have a copy, but I will continue to do some research to help out. A quick google search will bring you to some colour charts and an ebook. I would add John Sloan's studies to your readings as recommended by users in other threads. Let me know what you find.
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Re: H.G. Maratta and color theory

Postby Styxcolor » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:10 am

Thank you for reminding me about this matter, would have almost forgotten it myself.


Thanks for the feedback/the new suggestions.


- I cannot use the bare color charts (at least not with my knowledge at the moment)

- The e-book you refer to, could it be this one:
https://books.google.de/books/about/H_G ... edir_esc=y
http://www.worldcat.org/title/hg-maratt ... lc/4109640

I guess this is a dissertation and both websources basically say the book exists. At least I missed links to somewhere I can see or buy the text.

But searching for it I found another ebook, that sounds promising: Denman Waldo Ross, The painter's palette
https://archive.org/stream/painterspale ... h_djvu.txt


Okay, I will proceed this way:

1. I will definitely reread that passage from The Art Spirit and the essays I put in my previous post (revision)

2. I will check out Ross's ebook and probably also summarize here in this thread as a shortcut for other readers whether it's yay or nay for this cause.

3. I will look for Sloan's studies and add them to my reading list. Thanks for the hint others already mentioned him here.

4. Hngh... I will not procrastinate any longer and read "Color Choices" by Stephen Quiller. I always thought I would already have a marvellous sense for colors in my paintings but my newest paintings prove that this assumption was wrong.

5. And I will take a look into Gurney again -.- I always feel so incredibly dumb when I try to read him. No idea what to do with his incredible book most of the time.


Hm, if I'm good, I could finish Nr. 1 + 2 this weekend, the rest will have to wait a bit, but I want to have finished this list by the end of Juni, at least until Nr. 4. I really cannot use what Gurney is offering, at least not now, maybe later.
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Re: H.G. Maratta and color theory

Postby AEBL » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:40 am

There's an old youtube video somewhere discussing colour that I loved. I'll find that and bring it back here for you as well. Such a long reading list! Don't be like me and get stuck reading theory more often than drawing. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing how to do something and not being able to properly execute it.
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Re: H.G. Maratta and color theory

Postby Styxcolor » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:32 am

Oh, thank you for your concenr, AEBL, but don't worry. I try not to overdo it.

So far, my revision was successful:

I have The Art Spirit on my kindle and can't give you proper page numbers, only Pos. , so on Pos. 709 Maratta is mentioned, on Pos. 718 (the next page) Denman Ross is recommended, so the ebook I found must be a win :D
Already began reading Ross' book and had to stop, because it literally blew my mind with few words. Yes, maybe this all is so impressive for me, because I'm not yet shaped by other masters/books about this, but it really is impressive for me so I'll take my time ^-^

What I will have to do to proceed, is thinking about Ross and doing the color mixing exercises as proposed by Ross and Henri.

Also, the first of the two essays from Judith Reeve (this link: https://attentiveequations.com/sloan-an ... or-theory/) makes clear, what actually happened back in the beginning of the 20th century, that coined Sloan, Henri and the others so much... there must have been a workshop with Maratta.

I extracted another reading recommendation John Sloan "The Gist of Art" from that essay and will add that to my reading list.

And after revising/reading this, I have a new question...is color arithmetics? I have a value- figure between zero (no light) and ...well...100 as end of scale? (pure, gleaming white) = quantity of light and a hue figure translated into length of light waves we know as "blue" or "yellow".

My husband also suggested for me to look up color space theory.
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