Colour is infinitely more complex than the means we have to describe it. Despite our changing perspectives on colour, it is still often used on a secondary basis, like an addition of lesser importance. In Europe, up to the birth of abstract art, colour was always subjugated by line. When the two are combined, colour is less well regarded and generally associated with more infantile, kitsch or even anecdotal repertoires. And when colour is not denigrated in this way, it is considered superficial. This dissertation proposes to identify certain causes in the values scales of colour in the West. It explores, in an intentionally non-exhaustive way, a wide range of work by theorists and practitioners.