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

Page: 140
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140 VI G

the refult of fkill and facility, of promptitude and judg-

VIGOROUS picture, is one wherein the lights
are ftrong and bold, the fhadows give a roundnefs to
the objects, and where the natural oppofition between
the lights and fhadows is well managed; fo that
making a ftriking impreffion on the eye, its effect is
neverthelefs foft and agreeable.

We muff diftinguifh between a black or dark picture,
and a vigorous one : the firft is bad ; either occafioned
by a bad choice, or bad breaking of colours, and is in a
maiter a negligence, but oftener the effect of inex-
perience, either in the mixture, or handling of colours.
Many Flemifh painters have fo far adopted a black
manner, as to confound the objects in {hade ; and fome
Italians have been no lefs fond of brown: but nature
is neither black nor brown, nor does vigour arife.from
excefs of fuch principles ; for even in a moon-light, the
reflections and foftened lights muft be fo managed, as
to permit the contours of objects to be diftinct. The
major part of thofe pictures of great mailers which are
obfcured by the prevalence of brown, are thus in-
jured, by the lapfe of time, and we ought rather to
give them credit for the harmony they once poffeffed,
than to criticife too feverelyon their prefent appearances ;
for it is to be noted that oil tarnijhes colours even on the
palette, but much more in a courfe of years after a pic-
ture is finifhed. A mafterly hand, therefore, rifques
nothing in keeping his picture of clear, bright, and vi-
gorous tone ; that when fomewhat moderated by time

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