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Book, Opticks, or, A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. . . .

This is a Book. It was published by S. Smith and B. Walford.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Smithsonian Libraries and Archives as part of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color.

It is dated 1704. Its medium is letterpress and engraving on paper.

By passing sunlight through a series of prisms, physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton proved that “white” light is composed of the all the colors of visible light. By scientifically establishing the visible spectrum, Newton laid the foundations of color theory, leading to breakthroughs in optics, physics, chemistry, and perception. He also created the first science-based color wheel by bringing together the two ends of his spectrum. “In one sense this is not right at all, but in another it all works out rather well: the resulting circle feels balanced and is functional.” (David Batchelor, The Luminous and the Gray)

It is credited Gift of Burndy Library, Smithsonian Libraries, QC353 .N56 1704.

Our curators have highlighted 8 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Fragment (India)
  • cotton ground, beetle elytra, gold foil strips, gilt sequins, gold....
  • Gift of Sarah Cooper Hewitt.
  • 1931-43-20
  • Brisé Fan
  • carved and pierced ivory sticks, peacock and peahen feathers, gilt metal....
  • Gift of Mrs. James M. Breed.
  • 1964-18-1
  • Peacock Vase Vase
  • mold-blown, iridized glass.
  • Gift of Stanley Siegel, from the Stanley Siegel Collection.
  • 1975-32-11

Its dimensions are

H x W (open): 24.1 × 62.2 cm (9 1/2 × 24 1/2 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108749913/ |title=Book, Opticks, or, A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. . . . |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=5 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>