Colour pervades and enriches every aspect of our lives. NGV curators and guests guide participants through a study of the various facets of colour including colour theory, the history of pigments, the science behind colour and our relationship with it. This course explores the central role of colour in art and design throughout history.
We experience colour in our lives every day, but what if we stop and ask the question – what, in fact, is ‘colour’? To begin the course, we will learn the science behind colour and our perception of it and explore colour theory and the history of colour in art and design. How have artists and designers utilised the properties of colour and colour theory in their work?
From the first pigments drawn out of the earth to our ongoing ingenuity in creating colours that were previously unavailable, colour has always played an integral role in the way we describe the world around us. What are the stories behind certain colours and how did they come to be produced and eventually used by artists and designers?
Learn about how colour can be conserved, manipulated and analysed, from methods used by conservators to perceive colour, to fugitive pigments, re-touching and colour-matching. How does the colour we see in works of art and design impact their preservation and care? What can we learn about an artwork through the study of colours that have been used in their production?
What do different colours symbolise? How does this symbolism differ between people, places and cultures? How are we influenced by colour? Discover the various ways that colour has been and continues to be used throughout history and around the world.
How has colour been gendered, politicised and commodified in modern and contemporary society? Learn about the way colour continues to be used by artists and designers as a tool to effect change and communicate ideas.
- Explain the basics behind the science of colour
- Outline the key elements of colour theory
- Look at the history and development of colour pigments
- Discuss key examples of the influence of colour on art and design
- Discuss the psychology of colour and our relationship with it
- Identify, describe and analyse works of art and design in the NGV Collection with a focus on colour
Standard Course Enrolment
Includes 5-week access to learning materials from the course start date.
- General: $59
- NGV Members: $53
Homage to the square: SP-J 1971
32.2 x 32.1 cm (image) 83.0 x 62.0 cm (sheet)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Dr David Rosenthal, Governor, 1995
© Josef Albers/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Licensed by Copyright Agency, Australia Sydney