The Language of Color in the First Goetheanum

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The Language of Color in the First Goetheanum: A Study of Rudolf Steiner’s Art

Rudolf Steiner’s architectural masterpiece, the double-domed building, the first Goetheanum, featured decorated ceilings designed and partly painted by Steiner himself, using vegetable colors and a new layering technique. He emphasized that he was looking for a new artistic concept based on consciously understanding the nature of color. Contemporaries reported the extraordinary effect of the domed ceiling paintings combined with the multicolored light coming through the engraved colored-glass windows.

The cupolas depicted the creation and ages of the world, the initiators of the various cultural epochs, and the figure of Christ. Tragically, the first Goetheanum—the “complete work of art”—was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Eve 1922. Thus, today we can get only an impression of the lost paintings and windows from Steiner’s pastel sketches and drawings, as well as a handful of photographs.

In this lavish volume—the result of decades of research and study—Hilde Raske provides a detailed examination of the artistic work on the two cupolas, including Steiner’s draft sketches and his written and verbal statements. Featuring 30 color and more than 100 black-and-white illustrations, this edition presents a high-quality facsimile of the long out-of-print original edition of 1983.

About the Author

Hilde Raske, an artist and eurythmist, worked and experimented for many years to understand Rudolf Steiner’s art and use of color. Raske grew so familiar with his unique works that she could vividly and clearly describe every detail. She referred to Steiner’s artworks as “events” in color and light-and-dark, with living colors that “spoke” to her. It is said that, in the course of the many years preparing the manuscript for The Language of Color in the First Goetheanum, she would remark, “I can hear my paintings. And if I don’t hear them, then they’re just not quite right yet.”

Additional information

Weight 25 oz
Dimensions 6 × .75 × 9 in




September 2023






Rudolf Steiner Press


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