'Make the perspective of the colours so that it is not at variance with the size of any object, that is, that the colours lose part of their nature in proportion as the bodies at different distances suffer loss of their natural quantity.
Of colours of equal whiteness that will seem most dazzling which is on the darkest background, and black will seem most intense when it is against a background of greater whiteness.
Red also will seem most vivid when against a yellow background, and so in like manner with all the colours when set against those which present the sharpest contrasts. c.a. 184 v. c
The more white a thing is the more it will be tinged with the colour of the illuminated or luminous object. c.a. 262 r. c
But in the far distance that object will show itself most blue which is darkest in colour. c.a. 305 r. a
Every object that has no colour in itself is tinged either entirely or
in part by the colour [of the object] set opposite to it. This may be
seen by experience, for every object which serves as a mirror is tinged
with the colour of the thing that is reflected in it. And if the object
which is in part tinged is white, the portion of it that is illumined by
red will appear red, and so with every other colour whether it be
light or dark.
Every opaque object that is devoid of colour partakes of the colour
of that which is opposite to it: as happens with a white wall.
a 19 v.
OF COLOUR AND FRAGRANCE
Note how spirit (aequo, vite) collects in itself all the colours and
scents of the flowers; and if you wish to make azure, put cornflowers
and then wild poppies. b 3 v.
[Of distant colour]
The variation in the colours of objects at a great distance can only
be discerned in those portions which are smitten by the solar rays.
c 12 v.
As regards the colours of bodies there is no difference at a great
distance in the parts which are in shadow. c 13 r.
A dark object will appear more blue when it has a larger amount of
luminous atmosphere interposed between it and the eye, as may be
seen in the colour of the sky. c 18 r.
[A discussion on the colours of shadows]
Colours seen in shadow will reveal more or less of their natural
beauty in proportion as they are in fainter or deeper shadow.
But if the colours happen to be in a luminous space they will show
themselves of greater beauty in proportion as the luminosity is more
The varieties in the colours of shadows are as numerous as the
varieties in colour of the objects which are in the shadows.
Colours seen in shadow will reveal less variety one with another
according as the shadows wherein they lie are deeper. There is evi-
dence of this from those who from a space without peer within the
doorways of shadowy temples, for there the pictures clad as they are
in divers colours all seem robed in darkness.
So therefore at a long distance all the shadows of different colours
appear of the same darkness.
Of bodies clad in light and shade it is the illuminated part which
reveals the true colour. e 18 r.
No white or black is transparent. f 23 r.
Since white is not a colour but is capable of becoming the recipient
of every colour, when a white object is seen in the open air all its
shadows are blue; and this comes about in accordance with the fourth
proposition, which says that the surface of every opaque body par-
takes of the colour of surrounding objects. As therefore this white
object is deprived of the light of the sun by the interposition of some
object which comes between the sun and it, all that portion of it which
is exposed to the sun and the atmosphere continues to partake of the
colour of the sun and the atmosphere, and that part which is not
exposed to the sun remains in shadow, and partakes only of the
colour of the atmosphere.
And if this white object should neither reflect the green of the fields
which stretch out to the horizon nor yet face the brightness of the
horizon itself, it would undoubtedly appear of such simple colour as
the atmosphere showed itself to be. f 75 r.
OF THE ACCIDENTAL COLOURS OF TREES
The accidental colours of the leaves of trees are four, namely shadow,
light, lustre and transparency.
OF THE VISIBILITY OF THESE ACCIDENTAL COLOURS
The accidental parts of the leaves of plants will at a great distance
become a mixture, in which the accidental colour of the largest will
predominate. g 24 r.
The colour of the object illuminated partakes of the colour of that
which illuminates it. g 37 r.
The surface of every body participates in the colour of the body that
illuminates it: •
And in the colour of the air that is interposed between the eye and
this body, that is to say in the colour of the transparent medium inter-
posed between the object and the eye.
Among colours of the same quality, the second will never be of the
same colour as the first; and this proceeds from the multiplication of
the colour of the medium interposed between the object and the eye.
Of the various colours other than blue, that which at a great distance
will resemble blue most closely will be that which is nearest to black,
and so conversely the colour which least resembles black will be the
one which at a great distance will most retain its natural colour.
Accordingly, the green in landscapes will become more changed into
blue than will the yellow or the white, and so conversely the yellow
and the white will undergo less change than the green, and the red
still less. l 75 v.
The shadow of flesh should be of burnt terra verde. l 92 r.
The image imprinted in a mirror partakes of the colour of the said
mirror. b.m. 211 v.
The surface of every dark body will participate in the colour of the
bodies placed against it. Forster in 74 v.
The surface of every opaque body will be capable of participating and
will be tinged with the colour of the bodies placed against it.
Forster in 75 r.
[The apparent colours of smo\e on the horizon]
The density of smoke from the horizon downwards is white and
from the horizon upwards it is dark; and, although this smoke is in
itself of the same colour, this equality shows itself as different, on
account of the difference of the space in which it is found.
Quaderni iv 3 r.
I Colour of flame \
As flame extends it becomes yellow in its upper part, then saffron
in colour, and this ends in smoke. Quaderni iv 10 v.
The surface of every opaque body participates in the colour of its
The surface of the opaque body is the more completely steeped in
the colour of its object, in proportion as the rays of the images of these
objects strike the objects at more equal angles.
And the surface of opaque bodies is more steeped in the colour of
their object, in proportion as this surface is whiter, and the colour of
the object more luminous or illuminated. Quaderni vi 22 r.
WHETHER THE COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW ARE CREATED
BY THE SUN
The colours of the rainbow are not created by the sun, because in
many ways these colours are produced without the sun, as happens
when you hold up a glass of water close to the eye, for in the glass of
it there are the tiny bubbles which are usually seen in glass that is
imperfectly refined. And these bubbles although they are not in sun-
light will produce on one side all the colours of the rainbow; and this
you will see if you place the glass between the atmosphere and your
eye in such a way as to be in contact with the eye, the glass having
one side exposed to the light of the atmosphere, and on the other the
shadow of the wall on the right or left side of the window, which side
does not matter. So by turning this glass round you will see the afore-
said colours round about these bubbles in the glass. And we will speak
of other methods in their place.
HOW THE EYE HAS NO SHARE IN THE CREATION OF THE
COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW
The eye in the experiment described above would seem to have some
share in the creation of the colours of the rainbow, because the bub-
bles in the glass do not display these colours except through the me-
dium of the eye. But if you place this glass full of water on the level
of the window, so that the sun's rays strike it on the opposite side, you
will then see the aforesaid colours producing themselves, in the im-
pression made by the solar rays which have penetrated through this
glass of water, and terminated upon the floor in a dark place at the
foot of the window; and since here the eye is not employed we clearly
can say with certainty that these colours do not derive in any way from
OF THE COLOURS FOUND IN THE FEATHERS OF CERTAIN
There are many birds in the various regions of the world in whose
feathers most radiant colours are seen produced in their different
movements, as is seen happen among us with the feathers of peacocks,
or on the necks of ducks or pigeons.
Moreover on the surface of ancient glass found buried, and in the
roots of radishes which have been kept a long time at the bottom of
wells or other stagnant water [we see] that each of these roots is sur-
rounded by a sequence of colours like those of the rainbow. It is seen
when some oily substance has spread on the top of water; as also in
the solar rays reflected from the surface of a diamond or beryl. Also,
in the facet of the beryl, every dark object which has as its background
the atmosphere or other clear object is surrounded by this sequence of
colours interposed between the atmosphere and the dark object; and
so in many other ways which I leave because these suffice for this
present theme. Windsor: Drawings 191 50 r.