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Chap. CCLXX.—Gradation in Painting.
What is fine is not always beautiful and good: I address this to such painters as are so attached to the beauty of colours, that they regret being obliged to give them almost imperceptible shadows, not considering the beautiful relief which figures acquire by a proper gradation and strength of shadows. Such persons may be compared to those speakers who in conversation make use of many fine words without meaning, which altogether scarcely form one good sentence.
Chap. CCLXXI.—How to assort Colours in such a Manner as that they may add Beauty to each other.
If you mean that the proximity of one colour should give beauty to another that terminates near it, observe the rays of the sun in the composition of the rainbow, the colours of which are generated by the falling rain, when each drop in its descent takes every colour of that bow, as is demonstrated in its place.
If you mean to represent great darkness, it must be done by contrasting it with great light; on the contrary, if you want to produce great brightness, you must oppose to it a very dark shade: so a pale yellow will cause red to appear more beautiful than if opposed to a purple colour.
There is another rule, by observing which, though you do not increase the natural beauty of the colours, yet by bringing them together they may give additional grace to each other, as green placed near red, while the effect would be quite the reverse, if placed near blue.
Harmony and grace are also produced by a judicious arrangement of colours, such as blue with pale yellow or white, and the like; as will be noticed in its place.