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Butterfly by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel

Butterfly by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel


This 400-page volume provides a comprehensive overview of color theory, summarizing the ideas of eminent color theorists. But the work’s originality is in the 117 color plates, including 54 grids (some of which we’ve selected here), or “Color Analyses,” created on a 10x10 grid, that break down the color proportions of real objects in 100 squares. Her goal was to teach practical color theory for everyone, from hobbyists to designers. She wasn’t the first theorist to organize colors into grids, but rendering pixel-like representations of real objects to capture the optical effect had never been done before.



  • Series title: Color problems: A practical manual for the lay student of color
  • Series size: 12 artworks
  • Edition: Limited edition of 1000
  • Proof of Ownership: Certification on the Ethereum blockchain under the ERC1155 protocol. Each artwork is delivered privately and directly to collectors as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that guarrante proof of ownership.
  • Format: Pieces consist of PNG files sized 2160x3840 pixels - 150 dpi.
  • Medium: Illustration
  • Artwork materials:  Color plates
  • Contract Address: 0x495f947276749ce646f68ac8c248420045cb7b5e
  • ID: 2749212597480566...



As an artist, Vanderpoel used primarily watercolor but also painted with oils. She enjoyed a modest reputation as a watercolorist at the turn of the century, painting seascapes, country landscapes and the occasional industrial scene. Her greatest achievement was her guide to color theory “Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color.” Her vivid color grids for that book, though made over 120 years ago, look like contemporary art. She anticipated midcentury design and minimalism decades ahead of those movements. Color, she wrote, is “the music of light.” As a woman operating in what was seen as a scientific field,