Color through Phenomenon

In his meteorological studies at the University of Jenna, Goethe collected 17,800 rock samples in order to gain a breadth of understanding for his subject. He took the same approach to colour. Instead of relying on a single experimentum crucis, Goethe collected specimens — examples of colour, sifting and sorting them to their most essential form of manifestation, and presenting them in a well ordered sequence in order to render comprehensible the 'deeds and sufferings of light'.

We want to further Goethe's endeavors by fostering a community of color enthusiasts who will contribute to making available the largest and most complete repository of color phenomenon in the world.


  • First and only open source version of Theory of Colours in English.
  • First and only complete digital text of Eastlake's translation of Goethe's Theory of Colours.
  • Best German version of Zur Farbenlehre currently on the internet.
  • AudioBook version of the original 1840 translation of Zur Farbenlehre. (Aug.2014)
  • User friendly tools for collaborative translation and formatting of "Theory of Colours".

Short Term Goals

  • The translation of Theory of Colours into English has never been completed — we want to complete the English translation of Goethe's Theory of Colours.
  • Refine the English version with footnotes & color plates.
  • Publish the German and English editions of Theory of Colours in eBook formats.

Long Term Goals

  • Create a community driven repository of video and images that illustrate every known light phenomenon.
  • Create a collaborative effort to improve upon the 1910 translation including linking of the light phenomenon database to relevant sections of the text to create a study guide.
  • Create a section of academic articles on Goethe's observations of Colour, to foster an academic understanding of Goethe's work on Colour.
  • Using resources made available through the website, create a freely available movie on Colour
  • Creation of a 3D colour renderer — capable of rendering scenes in Colour based on volumetric differentials of light and dark as described in Theory of Colours.

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