Plate 36, Fig. 68, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Iron sulphate, equal quantities mixed :A close observation will reveal that this is a very delicately formed picture. The colours are the usual pinkish purple, but the background of Iron sulphate prevails. The borderline is yellow and is characteristic for Iron sulphate alone. The lower part, especially the centre, has a subtle, intricate pattern of rhythmically distributed waves. They give to this picture a certain character and beauty. But it is not of outstanding value.
Plate 37, Fig. 70, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Tin chloride, equal quantities mixed :There is a completely horizontal distribution of the pattern in this experiment, but a few radiating lines in the vertical direction are interwoven. The colours are not so pleasing, because the purple turned brownish-yellow. This picture is difficult to describe ;an underground of yellow gives the whole a certain warmth, but mars the purity.This result is not of special value, neither in respect of colour, nor of form tendency.Tin chloride and Gold chloride are usually more beautiful.
Plate 38, Fig. 72, 1% Gold chloride and 1% Lead nitrate, equal quantities mixed:This is the best picture in the whole series. The colours are beautiful and also the forms show some of the characteristic qualities. We consider this a really expressive, beautiful Spring picture of Gold chloride and Lead nitrate. Therefore we selected this experiment for our recent publication “Gold and the Sun” (Experiments conducted during the Total Eclipse, 1947) to demonstrate a typical Spring experiment in contradistinction to a typical Mid-Winter experiment.
This series of seven pictures cannot be described as forming an obvious unit, as the other two series do. Here we could easily remove one or another picture and replace it by an experiment of the day before or the day after, without producing a disturbance,with the sole exception of Fig. 72. This is a beautiful Spring type and is not so easily replaced.
OBJECTIVE COMPARISON OF THE THREE SERIES OF EXPERIMENTS
When we start to compare the three series of experiments described above, we must be clear from what point of view we undertake this comparison. From the standpoint of the scientist alone, it would be rather difficult to find a basis for judgment.We have to deal with form and colour and something even beyond form and colour,expressed in what we might call ” the mood ” weaving through the pictures. We have to look at them from an artistic point of view as well. The scientist is called to judge definitely, but he has to look with the eye of an artist. It would not do to look at a work of art like a Madonna of Raphael; and to appreciate only how the blue and red and green are arranged here and there in space, and forget the lovely expression on the face of the Madonna. It would be just as foolish to look at the experiment obtained by the use of Gold chloride and Copper sulphate on March 28th and only stare at the distribution of purple and yellow and green in the filter paper and overlook the total expression presented in the picture. Of course it will depend on the observer: can he see it, or can he not? Here our possibilities come to an end. But the same thing applies to every work of art. Can the observer see anything in it beyond a splash of colour or not?
What we see in the above experiments, is certainly penetrated by beauty; they are pictures painted by nature. The scientist only offers the opportunity for nature to paint, by choosing the right substances and the right time.
We now make a choice from the three series of experiments according to our principles explained previously.
Plate 25, Figs. 46 and 47 and Plate 32, Fig. 60, three experiments with the same substances, Gold chloride and Silver nitrate mixed in equal quantities. Without doubt we select Fig. 47 on Plate 24. The other two experiments are less expressive in their whole character and coloration.
Plate 26, Figs. 48 and 49, and Plate 33, Fig. 62, three experiments with the same substances, Gold chloride and Quicksilver chloride mixed in equal quantities. It is again easy to choose as the most beautiful and impressive Fig. 49 on Plate 26. The other two experiments do not reach the same standard.
Plate 27, Figs. 50 and 51, and Plate 34, Fig. 64, three experiments with the same substances, Gold chloride and Copper sulphate, equal quantities mixed: The choice is equally easy and falls on Fig. 51, Plate 27. As we have mentioned already, it is a“unique” picture. The other two experiments are neither outstanding in colour nor in specific forms.
Plate 28, Figs. 52 and 53, and Plate 35, Fig. 66, three experiments with the same substance, gold chloride: Here, perhaps, we might hesitate between Fig. 52 and Fig. 53. After careful consideration, we still come to the conclusion, that the most impressive result is obtained in Fig. 53, Plate 28. Here the final judgment can only be arrived at by studying the original, or, if the experiments could have been reproduced in colour. Although Fig. 52 is very beautiful and displays all the qualities a beautiful Spring experiment can show, it lacks the golden tints of Fig. 53 and the special quality of being alive, which weaves through Fig. 53. Comparing over and over again, we come to the judgment that Fig. 53 is more alive than Fig. 52. If we allow ourselves to be guided from an artistic standpoint only, a personal note might creep in, overruling objective judgment. This personal note is understandable, if I use the term “taste” for it. One person’s taste may differ from that of someone else. So if this is excluded, we decide objectively from a scientific as well as an artistic view point for Fig. 53 on plate 28.
- V – EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIMENTS WHICH MAY BE OBSERVED DURING THE COURSE OF A YEAR
- VII – PECULIARITIES IN THE MANIFESTATION OF THE FORMATIVE FORCES IN MATTER