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Color (American English), or colour (Commonwealth English), is the characteristic of visual perception described through color categories, with names such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple. This perception of color derives from the stimulation of photoreceptor cells (in particular cone cells in the human eye and other vertebrate eyes) by electromagnetic radiation (in the visible spectrum in the case of humans). Color categories and physical specifications of color are associated with objects through the wavelengths of the light that is reflected from them and their intensities. This reflection is governed by the object's physical properties such as light absorption, emission spectra, etc.

By defining a color space, colors can be identified numerically by coordinates, which in 1931 were also named in global agreement with internationally agreed color names like mentioned above (red, orange, etc.) by the International Commission on Illumination. The RGB color space for instance is a color space corresponding to human trichromacy and to the three cone cell types that respond to three bands of light: long wavelengths, peaking near 564–580 nm (red); medium-wavelength, peaking near 534–545 nm (green); and short-wavelength light, near 420–440 nm (blue). There may also be more than three color dimensions in other color spaces, such as in the CMYK color model, wherein one of the dimensions relates to a color's colorfulness).

The photo-receptivity of the "eyes" of other species also varies considerably from that of humans and so results in correspondingly different color perceptions that cannot readily be compared to one another. Honey bees and bumblebees have trichromatic color vision sensitive to ultraviolet but insensitive to red. Papilio butterflies possess six types of photoreceptors and may have pentachromatic vision. The most complex color vision system in the animal kingdom has been found in stomatopods (such as the mantis shrimp) with up to 12 spectral receptor types thought to work as multiple dichromatic units.

The science of color is sometimes called chromatics, colorimetry, or simply color science. It includes the study of the perception of color by the human eye and brain, the origin of color in materials, color theory in art, and the physics of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range (that is, what is commonly referred to simply as light).

Color Media

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The upper reaches of Frost Bank Tower, a prominent Austin, Texas, skyscraper

The upper reaches of Frost Bank Tower, a prominent Austin, Texas, skys...

Title, date, and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. The 33-story building was developed by Cousins Properties from November 2001 to December 2003. It was the first high- rise building t... More

Steam locomotives in the roundhouse of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Scenic Railroad in Durango, Colorado

Steam locomotives in the roundhouse of the Durango & Silverton Narrow ...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. Credit line: Gates Frontiers Fund Colorado Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photograp... More

Shrine of the Annunciation Nazareth April 20th 1839 / David Roberts, R.A.

Shrine of the Annunciation Nazareth April 20th 1839 / David Roberts, R...

Illus. in: The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia / from drawings made on the spot by David Roberts ... ; lithographed by Louis Haghe. London : F.G. Moon, 1842-1845, v. 1, pts. 5-6, p. 1. Surroga... More

Hackberry General Store, Route 66, Hackberry, Arizona

Hackberry General Store, Route 66, Hackberry, Arizona

Title, date, and subjects provided by the photographer. Credit line: Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Gift and purchase ; Carol M. Highsmith; 2009; (DLC/PP-201... More

Stained glass in Neiman Marcus store, San Francisco, California

Stained glass in Neiman Marcus store, San Francisco, California

Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer. This stain glass in Neiman Marcus on Union Square, was once in The City of Paris store. The architectural centerpiece of the building is the original rotu... More

Pops Route 66 Restaurant and gift shop, Arcadia, Oklahoma

Pops Route 66 Restaurant and gift shop, Arcadia, Oklahoma

Title, date, and subjects provided by the photographer. Credit line: Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Gift and purchase; Carol M. Highsmith; 2009; (DLC/PP-2010... More

Sculpture "Eagle; Justice Above All Else" at Jacob K. Javitz Federal Building, New York, New York

Sculpture "Eagle; Justice Above All Else" at Jacob K. Javitz Federal B...

Artist: Theodore Roszak, 1970. Bronze. Photographed as part of an assignment for the General Services Administration. Title information, date, and subject note provided by the photographer. Credit line: Photogr... More

Dude sweet music, superb costumes.

Dude sweet music, superb costumes.

Harry Montague's Comedy Company. Forms part of: Theatrical poster collection (Library of Congress)

[Holstengate, Lubeck, Germany]

[Holstengate, Lubeck, Germany]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J foreign section. Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, 1905. Print no. "1879". Forms part of: Views of Germany in the Photochrom print collection.

Neon sign at the Horseshoe Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Neon sign at the Horseshoe Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Digital image produced by Carol M. Highsmith to represent her original film transparency; some details may differ between the film and the digital images. Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer.... More

[Da Mulla Palace, Venice, Italy]

[Da Mulla Palace, Venice, Italy]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905. Print no. "6997". More information about the Photochrom Print Collection is available at ht... More

Déesse 16, rue Halévy, Paris / / PAL.

Déesse 16, rue Halévy, Paris / / PAL.

Poster shows semi-nude goddess in flight holding bicycle above crowd of bicyclists from all over the world. Title from item.

Britons! Your country needs you / Printed by Saunders & Cullingham, 2 & 3 Burgon Street, Carter Lane, London, E.C.

Britons! Your country needs you / Printed by Saunders & Cullingham, 2 ...

Poster showing map of British Isles behind text. Poster no. 23. Wt. 8936. 50M. 1632/12/14. Title from item.

Coronation 1965, the King & Queen

Coronation 1965, the King & Queen

Photograph shows the newly-crowned King Palden Thondup Namgyal and Queen Hope Cooke walking in procession, Gangtok, Sikkim. Title from item. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim"... More

HM the Gyalmo, HH Prince Palden, HH Princess Hope

HM the Gyalmo, HH Prince Palden, HH Princess Hope

Photograph shows Queen Hope Cooke with her children, Prince Palden and Princess Hope Leezum, Gangtok, Sikkim.

[Lamas playing cymbals during New Year's ceremony, Gangtok, Sikkim]

[Lamas playing cymbals during New Year's ceremony, Gangtok, Sikkim]

Title devised by Library staff. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Congress, March 13, 2010. Webcast available at: http://... More

Zeichnet 7. Kriegsanleihe / Alfred Offner.

Zeichnet 7. Kriegsanleihe / Alfred Offner.

Poster shows soldiers and their weapons behind a barricade of Austrian coins. Text: Subscribe to the 7th War Loan, Vienna Commercial Bank. Title from item.

Mountaineers and farmers trading mules and horses on "Jockey St.," near the Court House, Campton, Wolfe County, Ky.

Mountaineers and farmers trading mules and horses on "Jockey St.," nea...

Photograph shows Sign on building: Wolfe County Office WPA Project Superintendent; sign on car: Jesus saves.

Queen Hope on throne at coronation

Queen Hope on throne at coronation

Title from item. Date from information on related slide: LC-KAN 0124. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Congress, March 13... More

Coronation 1965, Queen accepts traditional white scarf

Coronation 1965, Queen accepts traditional white scarf

Title from item. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Congress, March 13, 2010. Webcast available at: http://www.loc.gov/tod... More

[King Palden Thondup Namgyal accepting scarves, including one scarf from Alice Kandell, at his coronation, Gangtok, Sikkim]

[King Palden Thondup Namgyal accepting scarves, including one scarf fr...

Title devised by Library staff. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Congress, March 13, 2010. Webcast available at: http://... More

[Queen and Prince of Sikkim playing outdoors, Sikkim]

[Queen and Prince of Sikkim playing outdoors, Sikkim]

Title devised by Library staff. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Congress, March 13, 2010. Webcast available at: http://... More

Queen and son in Palace playground

Queen and son in Palace playground

Title from item. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Congress, March 13, 2010. Webcast available at: http://www.loc.gov/tod... More

[King and Queen of Sikkim and their daughter Hope Leezum watch birthday celebrations, Gangtok, Sikkim]

[King and Queen of Sikkim and their daughter Hope Leezum watch birthda...

Title devised by Library staff. Date from information for related slide: LC-KAN05-69. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Co... More

Sikkimese princess in ceremonial dress

Sikkimese princess in ceremonial dress

Photograph shows Princess Suang La, half-length portrait, seated facing front, wearing headress and necklace, Sikkim. Title from item. Label in color reference copye slide page: "Coronation, people at the Palac... More

Princess Hope & Queen Hope in the palace, Sikkim

Princess Hope & Queen Hope in the palace, Sikkim

Date from information on related slide: LC-KAN05-0072. Title from item. Forms part of: Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs (Library of Congress). Also represented in LOT 14034-2, pg. no. 027 ... More

King of Sikkim

King of Sikkim

Photograph shows Palden Thondup Namgyal, King of Sikkim, receiving white scarves as a sign of purity and an open heart on his birthday, from a Bhotia man, Gangtok, Sikkim.

King of Sikkim receives scarves, Sikkim

King of Sikkim receives scarves, Sikkim

Photograph shows Palden Thondup Namgyal, King of Sikkim, receiving white scarves as a sign of purity and an open heart on his birthday, from a Lepcha man, Gangtok, Sikkim.

[Hope Cooke, Queen of Sikkim, seated, three-quarter length portrait, facing left]

[Hope Cooke, Queen of Sikkim, seated, three-quarter length portrait, f...

Title devised by Library staff. Date from related slide: LC-KAN05-072. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Congress, March 1... More

[Palden Thondup Namgyal, King of Sikkim, and Hope Cooke, Queen of Sikkim, in brocaded dress, walking to the Tsuklakhang Main Temple (Palace Temple) during the King's birthday celebration, Gangtok, Sikkim]

[Palden Thondup Namgyal, King of Sikkim, and Hope Cooke, Queen of Sikk...

Title devised by Library staff. Date from information for related slide: LC-KAN05-69. Slide used for the presentation: "A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim" by Dr. Alice S. Kandell and Hope Cooke, Library of Co... More

Historic Electric City sign, restored in 2008, shines again. Scranton, Pennsylvania

Historic Electric City sign, restored in 2008, shines again. Scranton,...

Title, date, and subjects provided by the photographer. Credit line: Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Gift and purchase ; Carol M. Highsmith; 2009; (DLC/PP-201... More

The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, San Francisco, California

The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, San Francisco, California

Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer. Street names commemorate two early San Francisco leaders: Pioneer and exchange banker Henry Haight and Munroe Ashbury. The district is noted for its role ... More

Mardi Gras Parade, New Orleans, Louisiana

Mardi Gras Parade, New Orleans, Louisiana

Title, date, and subjects provided by the photographer. Mardi Gras is organized by Carnival krewes. Krewe float riders toss throws to the crowds; the most common are strings of plastic colorful beads, doubloons... More

Detail of a historic car with license plates from the 1940s. San Francisco, California

Detail of a historic car with license plates from the 1940s. San Franc...

Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer. Credit line: The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs... More

Memorial Church on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California

Memorial Church on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, Califo...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. Credit line: The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Pr... More

Kellar

Kellar

Caption: Levitation. Created and "copyright 1894 by The Strobridge Lith. Co., Cin'ti & New York." No. 6152B. Forms part of: Magic poster collection (Library of Congress)

Kellar

Kellar

Caption: Levitation. Created and "copyright 1894 by The Strobridge Lith. Co., Cin'ti & New York." No. 6152B. Forms part of: Magic poster collection (Library of Congress)

Steam locomotives in the roundhouse of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Scenic Railroad in Durango, Colorado

Steam locomotives in the roundhouse of the Durango & Silverton Narrow ...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. Credit line: Gates Frontiers Fund Colorado Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photograp... More

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Wa...

Formerly the National Bank of Washington which was the oldest bank in Washington, D.C. It closed around 1999 when it was taken over by the FDIC. It was designed by Alfred C. Bossom and Jules-Henri de Sibour. Pl... More

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Wa...

Formerly the National Bank of Washington which was the oldest bank in Washington, D.C. It closed around 1999 when it was taken over by the FDIC. It was designed by Alfred C. Bossom and Jules-Henri de Sibour. Pl... More

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Wa...

Formerly the National Bank of Washington which was the oldest bank in Washington, D.C. It closed around 1999 when it was taken over by the FDIC. It was designed by Alfred C. Bossom and Jules-Henri de Sibour. Pl... More

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Wa...

Formerly the National Bank of Washington which was the oldest bank in Washington, D.C. It closed around 1999 when it was taken over by the FDIC. It was designed by Alfred C. Bossom and Jules-Henri de Sibour. Pl... More

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Classical Revival style building built in 1925, 14th and G St., NW, Wa...

Formerly the National Bank of Washington which was the oldest bank in Washington, D.C. It closed around 1999 when it was taken over by the FDIC. It was designed by Alfred C. Bossom and Jules-Henri de Sibour. Pl... More

Stained-glass window in the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Stained-glass window in the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette Univer...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. It was dedicated to Joan of Arc in 1966 after it had been moved from its previous location on Long Island, New York. It was originally... More

Stained-glass window in the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Stained-glass window in the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette Univer...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. It was dedicated to Joan of Arc in 1966 after it had been moved from its previous location on Long Island, New York. It was originally... More

Mission San Juan Capistrano, Southern California

Mission San Juan Capistrano, Southern California

Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer. Mission San Juan Capistrano was a Spanish mission in Southern California, located in present-day San Juan Capistrano. It was founded on All Saints Day Nov... More

Sanctuary of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sanctuary of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Mil...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. It was dedicated to Joan of Arc in 1966 after it had been moved from its previous location on Long Island, New York. It was originally... More

Altar of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Altar of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Milwauk...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. It was dedicated to Joan of Arc in 1966 after it had been moved from its previous location on Long Island, New York. It was originally... More

Sanctuary of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sanctuary of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Mil...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. It was dedicated to Joan of Arc in 1966 after it had been moved from its previous location on Long Island, New York. It was originally... More

[Medieval universe, with heaven above, bands containing stars, and earth below]

[Medieval universe, with heaven above, bands containing stars, and ear...

Illus. in: Buch der natur / Konrad von Megenberg. Augsburg : Johann Bamier, 1481. Ref. copy in: The tradition of science / Leonard C. Bruno. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1987, p. 8.

Fortitude

Fortitude

Allegorical print showing a woman as Fortitude, one of the cardinal virtues, snapping off a portion of a pillar. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washing... More

Scene from "The Lost Colony," a historical outdoor drama that marked 80 years of productions in 2017 in Manteo, a community on Roanoke Island in North Carolina's Outer Banks

Scene from "The Lost Colony," a historical outdoor drama that marked 8...

Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer. The play describes the late 16th-century attempt to establish a permanent English settlement, founded by Sir Walter Raleigh, in North ... More

Mural at Amargosa Opera House, a remarkable image from what is largely a ghost town: Death Valley Junction, just outside Death Valley National Park in Inyo County, California

Mural at Amargosa Opera House, a remarkable image from what is largely...

Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer. The community, once a dusty mining, railroad, and mill town, was known as Amargosa, after the desert valley that surrounds it. A recreation hall at the no... More

The Tiburtine sibyl and the Emperor Augustus

The Tiburtine sibyl and the Emperor Augustus

Print shows a female prophet directing Emperor Augustus's gaze upward towards a group of spirits in the clouds. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washingt... More

Raphael and his beloved

Raphael and his beloved

Print showing Raphael standing before Margherita Luti, seated, looking up at him. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress, 1979... More

Pan

Pan

Print showing Pan, right profile view, resting his pipes against a rock.

The Virgin, St. Sebastian and a holy bishop

The Virgin, St. Sebastian and a holy bishop

Print shows three separate vignettes: the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus, Saint Sebastian, and a bishop wearing a mitre.

St. Philip

St. Philip

Print shows St. Philip standing with a cross in one hand and a book in the other hand. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress,... More

Circe

Circe

Print showing Circe, standing on a wharf with dragon-like serpents, offering a drink to sailors as their ship passes. Title provided by researcher 10/2017. Alternate title from "The 'Pembroke' album of chiarosc... More

Prudence

Prudence

Allegorical print showing a woman as Prudence, one of the cardinal virtues, seated with left elbow resting on left knee, looking to the left into a mirror which she is holding in her right hand; with a large ur... More

Faith

Faith

Allegorical print showing a woman as Faith, one of the theological virtues, holding a chalice, with one knee on a low wall outside a temple(?). Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints an... More

The marriage of St. Catherine

The marriage of St. Catherine

Print shows St. Catherine kneeling next to the infant Jesus seated on his mother's lap. Jesus gives Catherine a ring. Anonymous artist after Correggio. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, ... More

Prudence

Prudence

Allegorical print shows a woman as Prudence, one of the cardinal virtues, seated with left elbow resting on left knee, looking to the left into a mirror which she is holding in her right hand; with a large urn ... More

St. Philip (or Andrew?)

St. Philip (or Andrew?)

Print shows St. Philip standing with a cross in one hand and a book in the other hand. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress,... More

An apostle (Paul?)

An apostle (Paul?)

Print shows a bearded man turned to the left with his right hand on his shoulder. Title provided by researcher 10/2017. Alternate title from "The 'Pembroke' album of chiaroscuros : A revised list by Alan M. Fer... More

Diogenes with the featherless cock

Diogenes with the featherless cock

Print showing Diogenes, full length portrait, sitting before an open book, holding a stick in right hand; a featherless rooster, plucked by Diogenes to challenge Plato's definition of Man, stands on the right, ... More

The resurrection

The resurrection

Print shows Jesus, dressed in a shroud, stepping out of his tomb as it rests in a cave. On the right, the women weap, and on the left, the guards tumble over each other in fright. Title from Graphic sampler / ... More

St. Peter preaching the gospel

St. Peter preaching the gospel

Print shows the apostle Peter, at left, with arm extended, preaching to a group. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress, 1979,... More

Ceiling with three angels / IV.R.,IVE.

Ceiling with three angels / IV.R.,IVE.

Print shows three angels in flight just below a ceiling, surrounded by columns. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress, 1979, ... More

Venus and cupids / perugo da carpo.

Venus and cupids / perugo da carpo.

Print shows Venus standing among a group of cupids. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress, 1979, pp. 24-28. Print originally ... More

Faith

Faith

Allegorical print shows a woman as Faith, one of the theological virtues, holding a chalice, with one knee on a low wall outside a doorway. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Ph... More

Fortitude

Fortitude

Allegorical print shows a woman as Fortitude, one of the cardinal virtues, snapping off a portion of a pillar. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washingto... More

The virgin, child and St. John

The virgin, child and St. John

Print shows the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus with his cousin in the background. After Francesco Mazzuoli who was called Il Parmigianino. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints a... More

Fortitude

Fortitude

Allegorical print showing a seated woman holding onto a column. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress, 1979, pp. 24-28. Print... More

[Man seated, seen from behind]

[Man seated, seen from behind]

Print shows a man, possibly Narcissus, seated on a rock in a glade, turned away from a woman, possibly Echo. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington ... More

The philosopher Diogenes and the allegory of astronomy

The philosopher Diogenes and the allegory of astronomy

Allegorical print showing a seated man thinking and another figure looking at a globe. Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress,... More