The poet Goethe (1749-1832) rejected Newton’s theories and instead championed a more traditional approach based on the interaction of light and dark. Goethe was also more interested in investigating the phenomena on the edges of color vision—the way that colors shift as they recede into the distance, the after-image effect, the way colors look at dusk and dawn, etc. His theories drew more from experience in nature than experiments in the lab.

image from Goethe's book
von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. {Zur Farbenlehre.} Erklarung Der Zu Goethe’s Farbehlehre Gehörigen Tafeln. Tübingen, Cotta, 1810. Special Collections: ND1489.E744