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Hogarth, William, 1697-1764 / The analysis of beauty : written with a view of fixing the fluctuating ideas of taste
(1753)

Chap. XIII: of composition with regard to light, shade, and colours,   pp. 106-112


Page 106

io6 
ANALYSIS of BEAUTY. 
Where light to fhades defcending, plays, not flrives, 
Dies by degrees, and by degrees revives. 
C H A P. XIII. 
Of COMPOSITION With regard to LIGHT, SHADE 
and COLOURS. 
U   N D E R this head I lhall attempt fhewing what it 
is that gives the appearance of that hollow or 
vacant fpace in which all things move fo freely; and in 
what manner light, thade and colours, mark or point 
out the diftances of one objed from another, and oc- 
cafion an agreeable play upon the eye, called by the 
painters a fine keeping, and pleafing compofition of 
light and fhade. Herein my defign is to confider this 
matter as a performance of nature without, or before 
the eye; I mean, as if the objeds with their fhades, &c. 
were in fa& circumfianced as they appear, and as the 
unlkill'd in optics take them to be. And let it be re- 
marked throughout this chapter, that the pleafure arifing 
from compofition, as in a fine landfkip, &c. is chiefly 
owing to the difpofitions and affemblages of light and 
thades, which are fo order'd by the principles called 
OPPOSITION, BREADTH and SIMPLICITY, as to produce 
a juft and diffind perception of the objeds before us. 
Experience teaches us that the eye may be fubdued 
and forced into forming and difpofing of objecs even 
quite contrary to what it would naturally fee them, by 
the 


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