What I talked about as the pictoral reality of how the small figures are rendered is not due to their form, incomplete, merely suggestive, but to the magisterial way that the "light" plays on them to provide dimension and depth. And what is this light but strokes of the various colors applied? As puzzlers know, it is often not easy to find a puzzle piece of a color that one sees as blue-grey, but which, obscured in a field of randomly colored pieces appears almost to have no color at all. It is also always surprising when any shade whatsoever, once in place, becomes "the light on the color" and not the color itself.
I think Goethe got things a little muddied up in his Theory of Colours (which I have only dipped into briefly in the past), as Wittgenstein notes too, in that Goethe conflates some principles from physical science and some from psychology creating paradoxes where a more Einsteinian color relativity might have been proposed. When I note that a beige is the highlight of a dark brown surface does it then become light brown, or is the rest of the surface dark beige? Or why should we care, once noted?
From Ludwig's Remarks on Colour in my today's reading, I found W describing the same things as my last post, but better of course. My comments in brackets. And it seemed somewhat uncanny, as Joculum noted about W, that he could capture a real experience I was having, as a specific example for his theoretical proposition:
"60. Imagine a painting cut up into small, almost monochromatic bits which are then used as pieces in a jig-saw puzzle. [I don't have to imagine, since pieces are on hand] Even when such a piece is not monochromatic it should not indicate any three-dimensional shape, but should appear as a flat colour-patch. [Most puzzle pieces this small do] Only together with the other pieces does it become a bit of blue sky, a shadow, a high-light, transparent or opaque, etc. Do the individual pieces show us the real colors of the parts of the picture?"
Yes they show the colors of physical science (well, in the right light they would). They however do not show the psychological application of the colors in the context of the painting. Therein lies the genius of the artist.