Topics covered in this chapter include:

- The physics of colour
- Primary and secondary colours
- Colour contrast
- Unique hues
- Implied motion
- Perceiving static images to move

Recommended readings

For more detailed background information about human colour vision, see Solomon and Lennie (2007).

Kemp (1990) gives a detailed history of colour in European art.

Mollon (2006) delves into the careers and discoveries of two French pioneers of colour science, Gaspard Monge and Michel Eugene Chevreul.

Pridmore (2006) discovered the windows in the Alhambra palace in Spain that contain unique hues. Forder et al. (2017) discuss what the unique hues tell us about human perception.

The history of horses in nineteenth century European society as well as in artistic depictions is recounted in Mayer (2010). Galton's ideas about the 'flying gallop' depction of horses were published in Galton (1882).

The artistic significance of Muybridge's action photography is assessed here. A BBC documentary about Muybridge can be viewed here.

MoMA still has a comprehensive website devoted to the 1965 Responsive Eye exhibition, including downloadable copies of press releases and the exhibition catalogue, A grainy black-and-white film about the exhibition, made during the exhibition, can be viewed here.

MacKay's shimmering radial pattern was published in Mackay (1957).

Westheimer (2001) gives a detailed summary of how the mathematical theory of Fourier Analysis can be applied to vision.

Scientific investigations into the illusory movements seen in Op Art are reported in Zanker and Walker (2004) and Murakami et al. (2006). Akiyoshi Kitaoka's website contains many attractive and ingeniously designed Op Art style images that evoke sensations of movement and colour.

Additional material

New material will appear here as I find it.