The Painter’s Palette

On May 13th I gave a lecture at the Lyme Academy of Fine Art in Old Lyme, CT. The focus of the lecture was the Color Palettes of Robert Henri. This lecture contained some elements from my October lecture at the Robert Henri Museum in Cozad, Nebraska. But because I was delivering this lecture to faculty and students who are artists and painters, I focused much more on the practical aspects of Henri’s palette designs. I also touch upon some other palettes that I did not get to at the Henri Conference 2021.

The lecture was recorded by a Lyme Academy student, Bess Kelpin. I am very grateful for her assistance. Here is a selection from the lecture highlighting Chords, images from my personal Chord Chart, my version of the Ross Palette #4 and the Rubens Palette #10, my Spectrum Palette of H.G. Maratta, my version of the Intensity Palette Chart of 1919, and Henri’s Triangular Palette. I will release more excerpts from this lecture soon.

Below are images that appear in my lecture but were accidentally cut out during the recording. The painting of “Nora”, 1913, was painted in the chord of RO-G-BP, O hue, GBB Bi, PR Bi, and a third line of neutrals derived from the combination of Bi colors and Hues. I took these color notes of “Nora” by Henri directly from his “Paint Notebooks.”

Robert Henri, “Nora”, 1913 in the chord of RO-G-BP. See above.

Here is an example of the Intensity Palette of Dec. 19, 1915, in the Key of OY where Henri creates a hierarchy of intensity as expressed by the pyramidal shape of the palette. At the apex is the OY placed at the highest intensity. The adjacent colors to OY descend in intensity to the P. The intensity falls again from the P to the neutralized Hues of R, Y, and B hue, with RO at the bottom appearing at the lowest intensity. This diagram should be inserted before the last video clip: “At the bottom right is the schematic diagram of the same palette…”

Robert Henri, Intensity Palette of Dec. 19, 1915, in the Key of OY, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

In the next blog, I will release more lecture excerpts, including the Triangular Palette, the Permanent Palette, and others. I hope you find Henri’s investigations as inspiring as I have- Enjoy!