Yellow: Colour of light and warmth, effects stimulation, cheerfulness and warmth

In his theory of colours Goethe wrote "In its highest pureness it always brings the nature of the light with it and has a cheerful, merry, soft delightful quality, (...) According to experience the yellow colour gives a warm and comfortable impression. Therefore it is used for the shining things in painting. This warming effect you can notice the best, if you watch a landscape through yellow glass, especially on a grey winter day. The eye becomes delighted, the heard opens wide, the feeling cheerful. An immediate warmth seems to arise". (Goethe, Theory of colours; giving the gist of his words)

In his book "About the spiritual in art" Kandinsky describes a different effect of the (shrill) yellow: On the other hand, the yellow colour - watched directly - disquiets you, upsets, excites and shows the character of the violence, expressed in the colour, which at last has an impudent and obtrusive effect on your mind. This quality of the yellow colour can be increased to a level which the eye and the mind cannot stand. During this increasing it sounds like a very loud played trumpet." (Kandinsky, 1952 - giving the gist of his words)

These both quotations show the conflicting effect of the colour yellow. Warm gold-yellow in its effect is quite different from the shrill lemon yellow.

(Thomas Seilnacht)


Yellow: favourite colour of Vincent van Gogh

Yellow: colour of envy - colour of the outlaws - colour of misfortune

Yellow: colour with signal effect (caution)