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Disks of Newton (Study for
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Disks of Newton (Study for "Fugue in Two Colors")

František Kupka, Czech (active France), 1871 - 1957

Made in France, Europe


Oil on canvas

39 1/2 × 29 inches (100.3 × 73.7 cm) Framed: 41 3/8 x 30 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches (105.1 x 77.5 x 3.8 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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The title of this work refers to the seventeenth-century English physicist Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered that the light of the sun is composed of the seven colors of the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Kupka’s radiant composition incorporates circular bands of vibrating color, including the full range of the spectrum as well as white.


Collection of the artist, Paris, as of 1936; sold to Louise and Walter C. Arensberg, Los Angeles, through Marcel Duchamp as agent, 1937 [1]; gift to PMA, 1950. 1. See letter from Arensberg to Duchamp dated Oct. 27, 1937: "We have had notice that the Kupka has arrived". Duchamp's provenance notes dated September 8, 1951 (PMA, Arensberg Archives), record that the painting came from the Kupka's collection (although he was off by two years on the date of the sale, which he gives as 1939).