James Sowerby (1757 – 1822) was an English naturalist, illustrator and mineralogist.
When he published his colour theory, A new elucidation of colours (1809), as his homage to Issac Newton, Sowerby sought to establish the importance of ‘light and dark’ in colour theory. His theory was that colour is composed of three basic colours: red, yellow and blue.
He wasn’t quite right. Yellow, (or gamboge as he called it – after the painting pigment) would become substituted by green in the later colour systems which were based on it.
The 1809 graphics are cool though. They resemble and foreshadow art yet to come.