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

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

Page 112

TX2            ANALYSIS of BEAUTY. 
Let breadth be introduced how it will, it always 
gives great repofe to the eye; as on the contrary, . when 
lights and fhades in a compofition are fcattered about 
in little fpots, the eye is conflantly difturbed, and the 
mind is uneafy, efpecially if you are eager to under- 
fland every obje& in the compofition, as it is painful 
to the ear when any one is anxious to know what is 
faid in company, where many are talking at the fame 
SIMPLICITY (which I am laft to fpeak of) in the dif- 
pofition of a great variety, is beft accompliflied by fol- 
lowing nature's conftant rule, of dividing compofition 
into three or five parts, or parcels, fee chap. 4. on fim- 
plicity: the painters accordingly divide theirs into fore- 
ground, middle-ground, and diftance or back-ground; 
which fimple and diftIinf quantities mafs together that 
variety which entertains the eye; as the different parts 
of bafe, tenor, and treble, in a compofition in mufic, 
entertain the ear. 
Let thefe principles be reverfed, or negle&ed, the 
Fig. 9z. obje&  will appear as difagreeable as fig. *, whereas, 
T. p. z. 
was this to be a compofition of lights and fhades only, 
properly difpofed, tho' ranged under no particular fi- 
gures, it might Rill have the pleafing effe& of a pidture. 
And here, as it would be endlefs to enter upon the dif- 
ferent effets of lights and lhades on lucid and tranfpa- 
rent bodies, we fhall leave them to the reader's obferva- 
tion, and fo conclude this chapter. 

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