Backgrounds

This passage is about the importance of creating the right background for a painting.

Lexile Level: 1690L

Categories: Art & Music


A most important part of painting consists in the backgrounds of the objects represented--against these backgrounds the outlines of those natural objects, which are convex, are always visible, and also the forms of these bodies against the background, even though the colors of the bodies should be the same as that of the background. This is caused by the convex edges of the objects not being illuminated in the same way as, by the same light, the background is illuminated, since these edges will often be lighter or darker than the background. But if the edge is of the same color as the background, beyond a doubt it will in that part of the picture interfere with your perception of the outline, and such a choice in a picture ought to be rejected by the judgment of good painters, inasmuch as the purpose of the painter is to make his figures appear detached from the background; while in the case here described the contrary occurs, not only in the picture, but in the objects themselves.


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