Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Evaluation of Franz Marc’s Color Theory using Implicit Testing Procedures

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Art & Perception

In the early 20th century, the German expressionist painter Franz Marc formulated assumptions concerning the meanings of color, based on his individual sensations. He characterized the ‘cool’ blue as the ‘masculine principle’. Yellow represented the ‘feminine principle’ which he declared as ‘gentle, cheerful, and sensual’. This leaves red, the color he perceived as ‘brutal and heavy’. Here, we tested some of the color–meaning associations assumed by Franz Marc via implicit measures based on response times, using Single Category Implicit Association Tests. The participants had to classify words as belonging to one of two semantic categories (e.g., masculine or feminine) by pressing one of two response buttons. One of the semantic categories shared a response button with a hue (e.g., masculine–blue), and this button needed to be pressed whenever a color patch was presented on the screen. The results showed that response times were faster when related hues and meaning categories (according to Marc’s assumptions) shared the same response button, compared to when unrelated hues and meaning categories were assigned to the same button. The pattern of response times was compatible with the associations of blue–masculine, yellow–feminine, blue–cool and yellow–gentle as proposed by Marc. In addition, our data indicate associations of yellow–warm and red–warm, which were not explicitly formulated by Franz Marc. However, the proposed red–brutal association was not confirmed.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Psychology, Section Experimental Psychology, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Wallstr. 3, 55122 Mainz, Germany


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Adams F. M., and Osgood C. E. (1973). "A cross-cultural study of the affective meanings of color", J. Cross-Cult. Psychol. 4, 135156.
2. Bluemke M., and Friese M. (2008). "Reliability and validity of the Single-Target IAT (ST-IAT): Assessing automatic affect towards multiple attitude objects", Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 38, 977997.
3. Cohen J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences , 2nd ed. L. Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ, USA.
4. Commission Internationale de l’Éclairage. (2006). Colorimetry—Part 1: CIE Standard Colorimetric Observers . CIE S 014-1/E:2006 / ISO 11664-1:2007. URL:
5. Cunningham W. A.,, Preacher K. J., and Banaji M. R. (2001). "Implicit attitude measures: Consistency, stability, and convergent validity", Psychol. Sci. 12, 163170.
6. Dael N.,, Jonauskaite D.,, Oberfeld D.,, Zhang M.,, Papadatou-Pastou M. A.,, Havelka J., and Mohr C. (2017). Common Factors Underlying Colour–Emotion Associations in China, Germany, Greece and United Kingdom . Poster presented at the International Convention of Psychological Science, Wien, Austria. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29787.87846.
7. D’Andrade R., and Egan M. (1974). "The colors of emotion", Am. Ethnol. 1, 4963.
8. Fauth D. (2010). Kunstlexikon: Expressionismus . URL: Accessed 22 December, 2017.
9. Fazio R. H., and Olson M. A. (2003). "Implicit measures in social cognition research: Their meaning and use", Annu. Rev. Psychol. 54, 297327.
10. Gao X. P., and Xin J. H. (2006). "Investigation of human’s emotional responses on colors, Color Res". Appl. 31, 411417.
11. Gao X. P.,, Xin J. H.,, Sato T.,, Hansuebsai A.,, Scalzo M.,, Kajiwara K.,, Guan S.-S.,, Valldeperas J.,, Lis M. J., and Billger M. (2007). "Analysis of cross-cultural color emotion", Color Res. Appl. 32, 223229.
12. Goethe J. W. von (1867). Zur Farbenlehre. Didaktischer Theil . (Band 33). Verlag der Cotta‘schen Buchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.
13. Granzier J. J. M., and Valsecchi M. (2014). "Variations in daylight as a contextual cue for estimating season, time of day, and weather conditions", J. Vis. 14. doi: 10.1167/14.1.22.
14. Greenwald A. G., and Farnham S. D. (2000). "Using the implicit association test to measure self-esteem and self-concept", J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 79, 10221038.
15. Greenwald A. G.,, McGhee D. E., and Schwartz J. L. K. (1998). "Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The Implicit Association Test", J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 74, 14641480.
16. Greenwald A. G.,, Nosek B. A., and Banaji M. R. (2003). "Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test. I. An improved scoring algorithm", J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 85, 197216.
17. Hernandez-Andres J.,, Romero J.,, Nieves J. L., and Lee R. L. (2001). "Color and spectral analysis of daylight in southern Europe", J. Opt. Soc. Am. A Opt. Image Sci. Vis. 18, 13251335.
18. Hochberg Y. (1988). "A sharper Bonferroni procedure for multiple tests of significance", Biometrika 75, 800802.
19. Huebner G. M.,, Shipworth D. T.,, Gauthier S.,, Witzel C.,, Raynham P., and Chan W. (2016). "Saving energy with light? Experimental studies assessing the impact of colour temperature on thermal comfort, Energy Res". Soc. Sci. 15, 4557.
20. Hupka R. B.,, Zaleski Z.,, Otto J.,, Reidl L., and Tarabrina N. V. (1997). "The colors of anger, envy, fear, and jealousy: A cross-cultural study", J. Cross-Cult. Psychol. 28, 156171.
21. Ishihara S. (2013). The Series of Plates Designed as a Test of Colour Deficiency. 24 Plates Edition . Kanehara Trading Inc., Tokyo, Japan.
22. Karpinski A., and Steinman R. B. (2006). "The Single Category Implicit Association Test as a measure of implicit social cognition", J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 91, 1632.
23. Kobayashi S. (1981). "The aim and method of the color image scale", Color Res. Appl. , 6, 93107.
24. Lee R. L., and Hernandez-Andres J. (2005). "Short-term variability of overcast brightness", Appl. Opt. 44, 57045711.
25. Makin A. D. J., and Wuerger S. M. (2013). "The IAT shows no evidence for Kandinsky’s color–shape associations", Front. Psychol. 4. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00616.
26. Marc F., and Macke A. (1964). Briefwechsel 1910–1914 . DuMont, Köln, Germany.
27. Melcher D., and Bacci F., (2013). "Perception of emotion in abstract artworks: A multidisciplinary approach", in: The Fine Arts, Neurology, and Neuroscience: New Discoveries and Changing Landscapes , Finger S.,, Zaidel D. W.,, Boller F., and Bogousslavsky J. (Eds), pp. 191216. Elsevier, Oxford, UK.
28. Nosek B. A.,, Greenwald A. G., and Banaji M. R. (2005). "Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test. II. Method variables and construct validity", Pers. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 31, 166180.
29. Oberfeld D., and Franke T. (2013). "Evaluating the robustness of repeated measures analyses: The case of small sample sizes and nonnormal data", Behav. Res. Meth. 45, 792812.
30. Osgood C. E.,, Suci G. J., and Tannenbaum P. H. (1957). The Measurement of Meaning . University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chigaco.
31. Ou L. C.,, Luo M. R.,, Woodcock A., and Wright A. (2004). "A study of colour emotion and colour preference. Part I: Colour emotions for single colours". Color Res. Appl. 29, 232240.
32. Partsch S. (2005). Franz Marc 1880–1916 . Taschen, Köln, Germany.
33. Partsch S. (2010). Kunst Epochen 20. Jahrhundert I . Reclam, Stuttgart, Germany.
34. Peirce J. W. (2007). PsychoPy—Psychophysics software in Python, J. Neurosci. Meth. 162, 813.
35. Penke L.,, Eichstaedt J., and Asendorpf J. B. (2006). "Single-Attribute Implicit Association Tests (SA-IAT) for the assessment of unipolar constructs—The case of sociosexuality", Exp. Psychol. 53, 283291.
36. Sato T.,, Kajiwara K.,, Hoshino H., and Nakamura T. (2000). "Quantitative evaluation and categorising of human emotion induced by colour", Adv. Colour Sci. Technol. 3, 5359.
37. Scherer K. R. (2005). "What are emotions? And how can they be measured?" Soc. Sci.Inf. 44, 695729.
38. Sutton T. M., and Altarriba J. (2016). "Color associations to emotion and emotion-laden words: A collection of norms for stimulus construction and selection", Behav. Res. Meth. 48, 686728.
39. Taft C. (1997). "Color meaning and context comparisons of semantic ratings of colors on samples and objects", Color Res. Appl. 22, 4050.
40. Tukey J. W. (1977). Exploratory Data Analysis . Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., Reading, MA, USA.
41. Valdez P., and Mehrabian A. (1994). "Effects of color on emotions", J. Exp. Psychol. 123, 394409.
42. Van Paasschen J.,, Zamboni E.,, Bacci F., and Melcher D. (2014). "Consistent emotions elicited by low-level visual features in abstract art", Art Percept. 2, 99118.
43. Vriesen G., and Imdahl M. (1967). Robert Delaunay—Licht und Farbe . DuMont, Köln, Germany.
44. Webster M. A.,, Mizokami Y., and Webster S. M. (2007). "Seasonal variations in the color statistics of natural images", Network 18, 213233.
45. Wilms L., and Oberfeld D. (2017). "Color and emotion: Effects of hue, saturation, and brightness", Psychol. Res.Vol 2017. doi: 10.1007/s00426-017-0880-8.
46. Wright B. (1962). "The influence of hue, lightness, and saturation on apparent warmth and weight", Am. J. Psychol. 75, 232241.
47. Wright B., and Rainwater L. (1962). "The meanings of color", J. Gen. Psychol. 67, 8999.
48. Wyszecki G., and Stiles W. S. (2000). Color Science: Concepts and Methods, Quantitative Data, and Formulae (Wiley classics library ed.). John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, USA.
49. Xin J. H.,, Cheng K. M.,, Taylor G.,, Sato T., and Hansuebsai A. (2004). "Cross-regional comparison of colour emotions. Part I: Quantitative analysis", Color Res. Appl. 29, 451457.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Art & Perception — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation