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, 1685.1 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 ; [...] Friend,
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.
In a Figure, and every part of a Figure, and indeed in every thing else there is One part which must have a peculiar Force, and be manifestly distinguish’d from the rest, all the Other parts of Which must also have a due Subordination to It, and to One Another. The same must be observ’d in the Composition of an entire Picture ; And this Principal, Distinguis’d part ought (Generally speaking) to be the Place of the Principal Figure, and Action : And Here every thing must be higher Finish’d, the Other parts must be Less so Gradually.
Pictures should be like Bunches of Grapes, but they must not resemble a great many single Grapes scatter’d on a Table ; there must not be many little Parts of an Equal Strength, and detach’d from one another, which is as odious to the Eye as ‘tis to the Ear to hear many People talking to you at once. Nothing must Start, or be too strong for the Place where it is as in a Confort of Musick when a Note is too high, or an Instrument out of Tune ; but a sweet Harmony and Repose must result from all the Parts judiciously put together, and united with each other.
The Distance also alters the Colouring because of the Medium of Air through which every thing is seen, which being Blue, the more remote any Object is the more it must partake of that Colour, consequently must have less Force, or Strength ;