LIGHT AND SHADOW (expr.)
TERM USED AS TRANSLATIONS IN QUOTATIONCLAIR-OBSCUR (fra.)
BROWNE, Alexander, Ars Pictoria : or an Academy Treating of Drawing, Painting, Limning, Etching. To which are Added XXXI. Copper Plates, Expressing the Choicest, Nearest, and Most Exact Grounds and Rules of Symmetry. Collected out of the most Eminent Italian, German, and Netherland Authors. By Alexander Browne, Practitioner in the Art of Limning. The Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarged by the Author, London, Arthur Tooker - William Battersby, 1675.1 quotations
Again Titian to make known his art his lights and shadows, when he would express the lightest part of the Body used to add a little too much white, making it much lighter then his pattern, and in the obscure parts, where the light fell by reflexion, a little too much shadow, in resemblance of the decay of the light in that part of the Body, and so his work seemeth to be much raised, and deceive the sight, for the light which cometh to the Eye, in a Pyramidal forme (as shall be shewed in the ensuing discourse) cometh with a blunter and bigger Angle, and so is seen more evidently, whence ariseth a wonderfull eminency, the especial cause whereof is, because there is much more shadow then needeth in that part, where the light decayeth most, so that the vusual lines failing, that part cometh to the Eye in an accuter and sharper angle, and therefore cannot be seen so perfectly, insomuch that that part seemeth to fly inwards, and stand farther off. Thus when the Four parts of a Body are much raised, and the hinder fly sufficiently inwards, there appeareth a very great heightning, which giveth a wonderfrll Spirit, and after this sort Titian beguiled the Eyes of such as beheld his most admirable works.
AGLIONBY, William, Painting Illustrated in Three Diallogues. Containing some Choice Observations upon the Art. Together with The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters From Cimabue, to the time of Raphael and Michael Angelo. With an Explanation of the Difficult Terms, London, John Gain, 1685.2 quotations
Wherein particularly lies the Art of Colouring ?
Beside the Mixture of Colours, such as may answer the Painter’s Aim, it lies in a certain Contention, as I may call it, between the Light and the Shades, which by the means of Colours, are brought to Unite with each other ; and so to give that Roundness to the Figures, which the Italians call Relievo, and for which we have no other Name : In this, if the Shadows are too strong, the Piece is harsh and hard, if too weak, and there be too much Light, ’tis flat. I, for my part, should like a Colouring rather something Brown, but clear, than a bright gay one : [...] But the Painters must particularly take Care, that there be nothing harsh to offend the Eye, as that neither the Contours, or Out-Lines, be too strongly Terminated, nor the Shadows too hard, nor such Colours placed by one another as do not agree.
Is there any Rule for that ?
Some Observations there are, as those Figures which are placed on the foremost Ground, or next the Eye, ought to have the greatest Strength, both in their Lights and Shadows, and Cloathed with a lively Drapery ; Observing, that as they lessen by distance, and are behind, to give both the Flesh and the Drapery more faint and obscure Colouring. And this is called an Union in Painting, which makes up an Harmony to the Eye, and causes the Whole to appear one, and not two or three Pictures.
Some Observations there are about the Number of Figures fit to be employed in an Historical Piece. Hannibal Carrache was of Opinion, that a Piece that contained above twelve Figures, could never be free from Confusion ; and the Reason that he used to give, was ; first, That he thought that no Piece could be well with more than three great Gruppos, or Knots of Figures : And Secondly, That that Silence and Majesty which is necessary in Painting, is lost in that Multitude and Croud of Figures. But if your Subject be such as constrains you to a Multitude, such as the Representation of a Battle, or of the Last Day of Judgement, then you are likewise dispensed from that great Care of Finishing ; but must chiefly study Union, and the disposing of your Lights and Shadows.
SMITH, Marshall, The Art of Painting According to the Theory and Practise of the Best Italian, French, and Germane Masters. Treating of The Antiquity of Painting. The Reputation it allways had. The Characters of severall Masters. Proportion. Action and Passion. The Effects of Light. Perspective. Draught. Colouring. Ordonnance. Far more Compleat and Compendious then hath yet been publisht by any, Ancient or Modern. By M. S. Gent., London, The Vendüe, 1692.1 quotations
All Shaddow must have a Sympathy with the Lights in their Colour as likewise the Reflections with the Bodys Reflecting. Arteficial Lights, if very bright, give a quick Heightning, and dark and deeply shortned Shaddows.
Lastly it must be carefully observ’d that betwixt all Lights and Shaddows there must be such Mediums, as may take of all Hardness, and so Arteficially wrought in as may not foul either with the other and so take away the Beauty and strength of the Picture.
Neatness, and high Finishing ; a Light, Bold Pencil ; Gay, and Vivid Colours, Warm, and Sombrous ; Force, and Tenderness, All these are Excellencies when judiciously employ’d, and in Subserviency to the Principal End of the Art ; But they are Beauties of an Inferior Kind even when So employ’d ; they are the Mechanick Parts of Painting, and require no more Genius, or Capacity, than is necessary to, and frequently seen in Ordinary Workmen ; […] ; These properties are in Painting, as Language, Rhime, and Numbers are in Poetry ; and as he that stops at These as at what Constitutes the Goodness of a Poem is a Bad Critick, He is an Ill Connoisseur who has the same Consideration for these Inferious Excellencies in a Picture.
How much more if for the sake of These, a Picture is esteemed where the Story is Ill Told, and Nature is Ill represented, or not well chosen : If it be imagin’d to be good, because a Piece of Lace, or Brocade, a Fly, a Flower, a Wrinkle, a Wart, is highly finish’d, and (if you please) Natural, and well in its Kind ; or because the Colours are Vivid, or the Lights and Shadows Strong, though the Essential Parts are without Grace or Dignity, or are even Ridiculous.