Leonardo And Chiaroscuro

under its true aspect such a drawing as that drawn by Euphronios and reproduced on p. 89, without at least sketching in the mind-cast which dictated its making, and the differences which exist between such a mind-cast and that of England. But perhaps it will be better to leave these pages a little incomplete in this respect and to refer the reader, whom the subject may interest, to the fuller treatment of it in Relation in Art ; while I content myself here by asking him to meditate on these words from The Works and Days of Hesiod : They know not, unhappy ones, by how much the half is preferable to the whole, and what riches lie in the mallow and the asphodel.

Leonardo is' continually lost in admiration of chiaroscuro, the new discovery of his age ; like all new discoveries, salvation lay in its use. Four centuries of use have habituated us to its marvels ; we are, consequently, better placed than he to estimate its real qualities and defects. Light and shade brings with it intimacy, concentrates the attention on the individual, on the particular ; it is thus well fitted to an analytic, to an emotional, a subjective art, to an art which deals in sentiment it is fully adapted ; so Dickens makes great use of its literary analogy of violent contrast. To the clear harmony of sunlit thought it is less fitted. On Mediterranean shores, in other lands of the sun, it seems always to dwell as an alien. The direct acceptance of life natural to the peoples born in such regions finds a gayer, lighter transcription in the evident lines of the Euphronios (Fig. 21) sooner than in the tawny and shaded inconclusiveness of the Rembrandt (Fig. 62). Compare the quality of the lines of the two drawings. The Rembrandt line is hardy but not delicate ; it is there not so much as an element of expression as it is as a means of marking out volumes, its reason for existence is more practical than aesthetic. It may seduce us by its decision, but scarcely by

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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