the fascinating colour chart of Auguste Herbin

The Plastic Alphabet of Auguste Herbin

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Auguste Herbin develops his -alphabet plastique- in 1946, a coding system in which colours are connected to letters, shapes and sounds.

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The Plastic Alphabet

(Table of relationships between the complete alphabet, color, form and summarily notes of music, placing pink at the highest point, relating to the letter A.)

A: Pink. Resulting from the action of four eternal forces, pink is accompanied by a form resulting from the combination of spherical triangular, hemispherical, and quadrangular forms. Musical correlation: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si.

B: Crimson Red; combination of spherical and quadrangular forms; sonority of do, si.

C: Dark Red; combination of spherical and quadrangular forms, sonority of do, sol.

D: Light Red; spherical form; sonority of do, re.

E: Red; spherical form; sonority of do.

F: Red Orange; combination of spherical and triangular forms; sonority of re, do.

G: Deep Orange; spherical and triangular forms combined sonority of re, do, sol.

H: Yellow Orange; combination of spherical and triangular forms; sonority of re, mi.

I: Orange: combination of spherical and triangular forms; sonority of re

J: Deep Yellow; combinations of triangular and spherical forms; sonority of mi, re, do

K: Medium Yellow; combination of triangular and spherical forms; sonority of mi, re.

L: Lemon yellow: triangular form; sonority of mi

M: Barium Yellow; triangular form; sonority of mi

N: White; accompanied by all the forms; sonority of do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si

O: Green; combination of triangular and hemispherical forms; sonority of fa.

P: Light Green; combination of triangular and hemispherical forms; sonority of fa, mi.

Q: Deep Blue-Green; combination of triangular and hemispherical forms; sonority of fa, sol.

R: Light Blue; combination of hemispherical and triangular forms; sonority of sol, fa, mi.

S: Deep Green-blue; combination of hemispherical and triangular forms; sonority of la, sol, fa.

T: Deep Blue-violet; combination of hemispherical and quadrangular forms; sonority of la, sol, si.

U: Blue; hemispherical forms; sonority of sol, la.

V: Black; accompanied by all forms; sonority of do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si.

W: Blue Violet; combination of quadrangular and hemispherical forms; sonority of si, la.

X: Red Violet; combination of quadrangular and spherical forms, sonority of si, do.

Y: Violet; quadrangular form; sonority of si.

Z: Deep Violet; combination of quadrangular, spherical and hemispherical forms, sonority of si, do, la.

Translated from french  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23156147-herbin

 

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Auguste Herbin, Orphée, 1957

You can consult Herbin’s online collection from the Musée Matisse in Le Cateau Cambresis, France here:

http://museematisse.lenord.fr/fr/CollectionHerbinenligne/tabid/761/Default.aspx

 

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