With Regard To The Perspective Of Colours Or The Manner In Which They

affect the eye, according to position and distance, it is a branch of

aerial perspective or the perspective of light and shade. This is

distinguished from linear perspective, or the perspective of drawing, as

drawing is from colouring; and they have progressed alike in the art.

The most ancient painters seem to have known little of either; and

linear perspective was established as science before the aerial, as

drawing and composition preceded colouring.

The perspective of colours depends upon their powers to reflect the

elements of light, powers which are by no means uniform. Accordingly,

blue is lost in the distance before red, and yellow is seen at a point

at which red would disappear; yet blue preserves its hue better than

yellow, because colours are cooled in the distance. In this respect,

the compound colours partake of the powers of their components, in

obedience to a general rule, by which local colours closely connected

with black are first lost in the distance, and those nearly related to

white disappear last. The same may be said of local light and shade, the

latter of which is totally lost at great distances; and it is for this

reason the shadowed side of the moon is not generally seen. These powers

of colours are, however, varied by mist, air, altitude, and mixture,

which produce evanescence; and by contrast, which preserves the force of

colours by distinguishing them. Colours do not decline in force so much

by height as by horizontal distance, because the upper atmosphere is

less dense and clouded with vapour: and hence it is that mountains of

great elevation appear much nearer than they really are. From all these

circumstances, it is evident that a simple scumbling or uniform

degradation of local colours will not effect a true perspective--for

this will be the aerial of light and shade only--but such a

subordination of hues and tints, as the various powers of colours

require, and as is always observable in nature.

With Regard To Colours Individually It Is A General Law Of Their With The Exception Of Madder Those Colours Mostly Affected By Light facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail