Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 45 (5), 407-15

The Dilemma of Color Deficiency and Art

Affiliations

The Dilemma of Color Deficiency and Art

M F Marmor et al. Surv Ophthalmol.

Abstract

No "major" painter is known to be color deficient. Are there truly no color deficient artists, or have they not been recognized? The historical literature cites criteria for recognizing color deficiency in artists, but they are hard to apply without knowing the intentions of an artist. The work and commentary of a color-deficient artist who works currently in Paris are presented as an example. He uses a limited palette of colors, based on advice from colleagues as much as his own perceptions, and he uses colors in ways that do not always fit with expectations for color deficiency. Biographies of earlier painters suggest that there were a few whose color sense was poor, but these painters used assistants to help. The color sense of others, such as the English landscape painter John Constable (1776-1837), has been questioned because of a preponderance of suspicious color, such as murky green. However, there are good reasons to doubt that Constable was color deficient. It is instructive to know how proven color deficiency has influenced an artist's style. When medical information is unavailable, the best advice for the diagnostically-inclined observer is just to enjoy the art.

Similar articles

  • [Dyschromatopsias and Pictorial Art]
    P Lanthony. J Fr Ophtalmol 14 (8-9), 510-20. PMID 1779122. - Review
    The influence of color vision defects on pictorial art was studied using three methods. 1) From a theoretical standpoint, the possibilities of choice of the color-blind p …
  • An Artist With a Color Vision Defect: Charles Meryon
    JG Ravin et al. Surv Ophthalmol 39 (5), 403-8. PMID 7604364.
    Charles Meryon, an important artist of the 19th century, had a congenital defect in color vision. Meryon recognized this defect during his study of art, and he gradually …
  • [Painters and Color Vision Disorders]
    P Lanthony. Rev Prat 50 (1), 9-11. PMID 10731820.
  • [Daltonism and Painting]
    P Lanthony. Bull Soc Ophtalmol Fr 82 (4), 509-13. PMID 7049435.
  • Medical Conditions in Works of Art
    V Salter et al. Br J Hosp Med (Lond) 69 (2), 91-4. PMID 18386738. - Review
    With their stark contrast and blurred boundaries, the relationship between science, medicine and art has long been a fascinating area of exploration. The depiction of med …
See all similar articles

Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles

  • Vision, Eye Disease, and Art: 2015 Keeler Lecture
    MF Marmor. Eye (Lond) 30 (2), 287-303. PMID 26563659.
    The purpose of this study was to examine normal vision and eye disease in relation to art. Ophthalmology cannot explain art, but vision is a tool for artists and its norm …

Personal name as subject

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback