Purity to pitch

“We are used to seeing the dark-colored as the deep-toned, the light as the high.” Thus Kurt Badt, who has distilled a color theory from the pictures and the innumerable letters of Van Gogh.

And dark and light colors do actually have effects which are comparable to low and high musical tones. Dark colors are sonorous, powerful, mighty like deep tones. But light colors, like those of the Impressionists, act, when they alone take up a whole work, with the magic of high voices: floating, light, youthful, carefree, and probably cool too.

Karl Gerstner, The Forms of Color, 1986, 173.