Sir Issac Newton.
I took myself to Britannica for an introduction into colour theorists. My notes here are paraphrased from there and referenced below.
Aristotle hypothesized that colour was arrived at from a mix of black and white and this was the general understanding until Sir Issac Newton arrived in 1666 having discovered the colour spectrum by splitting light wavelengths through a prism. The colours became ‘white light’ again when merged back together.
Newton’s colour wheel was arrived at through 7 colours found when splitting the light. These colours are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
Newton was more concerned with the science of light and colour then the use of colour itself.
He made other observations on the effect of mixing light on a white surface and how the eye picks the mix up as one colour, unlike the ear that picks up the sound of two notes simultaneously.
colour 2014. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 07 January, 2014, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/126658/colour
Needless to say there are many diagrams and scientific writing that I could absorb myself in. For now though I am satisfied that I am aware of some of the concepts even if I don’t entirely appreciate the magnitude of Newtons research. I am anticipating revisiting this subject when studying the next module of ‘Light’