The artists repository and drawing magazine: exhibiting the principles of the polite arts in their various branches — 4.1790

Page: 43
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https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/artists_repository_drawing_magazine1790/0051
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CHI 43

by management, produce effects infinitely beyond unre-
gulated application of the fame materials.

A picture may be fuppofed divided into four parts, to
have two of thofe parts in middle tint, or flight fhade ;
one part dark or ftrong fhadow, and one part enlight-
ened or refplendent. It is evident, that if thefe parts
were fubdivided and intermingled, they would no other-
wife relieve each other than do chequers at an ale-houfe
door ; whereas, if the relative parts are harmonized and
affembled, i. e. fhade to fhade, and light to light, they
form by their union a powerful combination, whofe
effect is to attract: the eye toward itfelf. Perhaps, it is
not too much refining to fay, that this idea is allied to
the nature and properties of the eye, as the organ of
vifion. Is the eye attracted by a dead, flat, uniformity
of colour ? Certainly no : nor is it gratefully affected
by intenfe black, relieving in fome part this flat-
nefs ; after a fmgle infpection it is fatisfied. But it
is certain, that a bright light (as a white wall for
inftance,) attracts the eye very powerfully, much more
powerfully than any caufe yet affigned ; I fay the eye is
Jlartled, as it were, by brilliant white placed on a dead
flat; this is heightened by fuppofing the intenfe black
brought near to, and placed by the fide of the brilliant
white, which by fuch oppofition becomes very greatly
increafed in its force, and effect. If force was the only
requifite in Chiaro Ofcuro, this fuppofition might ex-
plain the matter ; but as, befide force, harmony is ne-
ceffary, we have to add to our fuppofition certain grada-
tory intervals between the fplendor of the white, and
the depth of the black; thefe, by tempering and accom-

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