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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. XIV: of colouring,   pp. 113-122


Page 119

ANALYSIS of BEAUTY. 
,but never quite uniform, as fnow, ivory, marble or wax, 
like a poet's miflrefs, for either of thefe in living-fiefh, 
would in truth be hideous. 
As in nature, by the general yellowiff hue of the 
cuticula, the gradating of one colour into another ap- 
pears to be more delicately foften'd and united toge- 
ther; fo will the colours we are fuppofed to have been 
laying upon the buflo, appear to be more united and 
mellowed by the oils they are ground in, which takes 
a yellowifh caft after a little time, but is apt to do more 
mifchief hereby than good; for which reafon care is 
taken to procure fuch oil as is cleareft and wvil beft 
keep its colour 1 in oil-painting. 
Upon the whole of this account we find, that the ut- 
nof beauty of colouring depends on the great principle of 
varying by all the means of varying, and on the proper 
and artful union of that variety; which may be farther 
proved 
Therefore how is it poffible that fuch different materials, ever varioufly
changing (vifibly after a certain time) ifhould accidentally coincide with
the artift's intention, and bring about the greater harmony of the piece,
when it is manifeftly contrary to their nature, for do we not fee in molt
colleaions that much time difunites, untunes, blackens, and by degrees 
deftroys even the beft preferved pidures. 
I But if for argument fake we fuppofe, that the colours were to fall 
equally together, let us fee what advantage this would give to any fort 
of compofition. We will begin with a flower-piece: when a mafter hath 
painted a rofe, a lily, an african, a gentianella, or violet, with his beft
art, and brighteft colours, how far fhort do they fall of the freffinefs
and 
rich brillancy of nature; and fhall we wifh tq fee them fall fill lower,
more faint, fullied, and dirtied by the hand of time, and then admire 
them 
r 9 


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