GID: 2_14 Designation: Newton's colour circle Description: The colour topology developed by Newton (1704) inspired many similar colour orders, eg., Taylor, Goethe, Runge, Helmholtz, Hering, Hauer, CIE-Lab. The circumference of the circle is at the same time a pitch diagram of the diatonic scale based on the circular diagrams in the Compendium musicae by Descartes. The distance from the centre of the circle measures saturation. Points on diameters represent complementary colours.
GID: 1_91 Year: 1650 Description: In this image we see the correspondence between the circular musical diagrams created by Descartes in 1618, and the colour wheel published in Newton's Opticks in 1704. Newton's diagram reflects a choice of musical scale similar to that of Descartes, and presumably the use of similar mathematical means to compute the sizes of the angles.