THE whole of drawing is an artificiality. It is nothing else but a symbolism based on a veritable abstraction of which the following are some of the most obvious assumptions. The first assumption is that it may be possible to represent three-dimensional objects in an intelligible way on a two-dimensional surface such as that of a piece of paper. Then sometimes we make another assumption, namely, that solid bodies may be represented by a more or less tenuous line drawn in a certain fashion, and generally marking the outside limit of the mass. Sometimes we do not use this method at all ; we replace it by darkening, by some means or other, parts of our surface in* the belief that these variations of light tone and dark tone will suggest to the observer the play of light and shade over the real object. Sometimes, again, we make use of both these last-named conventional suppositions in the same drawing, and count on the goodwill of the observer to accept in one place the convention of use of line, and in another, but hardly removed, to admit our use of tone as means of provoking illusion. One of the most recondite points in aesthetics is the curious fact that the most primitive peoples and children at once accept and employ that amazing hypothesis : that a line drawing can represent a volume. We never find such people attempting light and shade modelling, though it is evidently largely by means of light and shade that we perceive, on the retina, the shapes of things. The most primitive people see shadow. Even an animal will walk towards
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