We investigated the responses of single neurons in primary visual cortex (area V1) of awake monkeys to chromatic stimuli. Chromatic tuning properties, determined for homogeneous color patches presented on a neutral gray background, varied strongly between cells. The continuum of preferred chromaticities and tuning widths indicated a distributed representation of color signals in V1. When stimuli were presented on colored backgrounds, chromatic tuning was different in most neurons, and the changes in tuning were consistent with some degree of sensitivity of the neurons to the chromatic contrast between stimulus and background. Quantitatively, the average response changes matched the magnitudes of color induction effects measured in human subjects under corresponding stimulus conditions.