The 18th century was an era of great significance for knowledge about color and its practicalities. Both quantity and diversity increased enormously in all practical – commercial and economic – spheres relating to color, as did knowledge about color. By the end of the 18th century the situation was radically different from that at the beginning. In this article, after a brief look at the economic aspects, I wish to attempt to outline knowledge about color, all the while keeping the practical applications in our sights. Although it is not always possible to draw clear distinctions between the different areas, such classification helps us to clarify the main features.