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Should Be Of Some Colour--never Black Nor Approaching Black They

should be evidently and always of a luminous nature, and the black
should look strange among them; never occurring except in a black
object, or in small points indicative of intense shade in the very
centre of masses of shadow. Shadows of absolutely negative grey,
however, may be beautifully used with white, or with gold; but still
though the black thus, in subdued strength, becomes spacious, it should
always be conspicuous: the spectator should notice this grey neutrality
with some wonder, and enjoy, all the more intensely on account of it,
the gold colour and the white which it relieves. Of all the great
colourists, Velasquez is the greatest master of the black chords: his
black is more precious than other people's crimson. Yet it is not simply
black and white that must be made valuable, rare worth must be given to
each colour employed; but the white and black ought to separate
themselves quaintly from the rest, while the other colours should be
continually passing one into the other, being all plainly companions in
the same gay world; while the white, black, and neutral grey should
stand monkishly aloof in the midst of them. Crimson may be melted into
purple, purple into blue, and blue into green, but none of them must be
melted into black.

All colours are comprehended in the synthesis of black, consequently the
whole sedative power of colour is comprised in black. It is the same in
the synthesis of white; and, with like relative consequence, white
includes all the stimulating powers of colour in painting. It follows
that a little white or black is equivalent to much colour, and hence
their use as colours requires judgment and caution. By due attention to
the synthesis of black, it may be rendered a harmonizing medium to all
colours, to all which it lends brilliancy by its sedative effect on the
eye, and its powers of contrast: nevertheless, we repeat, it must be

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