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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 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 
time. 
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. 
CHAP. 


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