Color Theorist Research Presentation Wilhelm von Bezold
WILHELM VON BEZOLD
Wilhem von Bezold, a professor in meteorology, was born in Munich, Germany on June 21, 1837. His father was the holding rank of royal privy councilor in the Bavarian cabinet of foreign affairs and he had ancestors that count back to the 15th century residing in the imperial city of Rotenbur on the upper Tauber. Bezold’s uncle, Gustav, was a prominent Art Historian. It is believed that he may be the influence on Bezold’s relationship to color theory.
Bezold devoted himself to the universities of Munich and Gottingen, where he studied mathematical physics. In 1868 he accepted a position as a professor at the technological institute in Munich. Around this time he married Marie Hormann von Horbach.
Bezold was primarily interested in the atmosphere and he contributed much to the theory of electrical storms. His career ranged in variety of scientific fields such as papers on color vision and retina, electrical discharge, climatology, rainfall, meteorology and magnetic observations.
His interest for art may have grown from the problem of color being unteachable to painters. Munich had one of the earliest painter groups to test the properties of the proliferating new synthetic materials. Bezold was fascinated by light and color and had great curiosity for art in relationship to science.
Wilhem von Bezold discoveries contributed to the creation of the color systems we have today. He is best known for Bezold Effect or optical interaction of color. He found that he could change the entire appearance of his designs by substituting a different color for the color which occupied the most area. When one is looking at a specific hue, the hue can appear to change in color depending on what colors are surrounding it. Often, the surrounded color takes on a tint of the color that surrounds it. The colored regions assimilate their border contrast relative to brightness and hue.
Bezold was one of a few who intended to create a color-system directly based on perception. One of his predecessors was Johann Christoph Frisch, a historical painter who had introduced an asymmetrical color construction in the form of a circle with eight segments.
Von Bezold’s color-cone is based off of Frisch’s construction. Bezold’s color-cone starts with white in the center which forms the base. The colors darken towards the tip of the cone until black is reached. The circle is derived from his experience. “If the...