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Whipple Library

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Arthur Herbert Church (1834-1915) was appointed professor of chemistry at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1879. Also a talented painter, he became a leading authority on the chemistry of painting. The illustration shown here demonstrates the difference between the subtractive colour mixing of pigments (top) and additive colour mixing of lights (bottom).

This book represents one of the earliest textbooks devoted exclusively to the science of colour. Church synthesises theoretical and practical approaches to colour from across scientific disciplines. It contains chapters on the physical properties of light, the structures of the eye, qualities of colour such as hue and brightness, and the differing behaviours of colours of metals and vegetable fibres. The manual was very successful and went through numerous editions during Church’s lifetime.


Colour : an elementary manual for students, by A.H. Church
New and enlarged edition
London, Paris, New York & Melbourne : Cassell & Company, Limited, 1887


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