Eastlake's Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters
Eastlake, Sir Charles Lock [One-time President of the Royal Academy], Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters [Formerly titled: Materials for a History of Oil Painting]. Vol. One. New York; Dover Publications, Inc. 1960 [Originally published by Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans in 1847]
When the system of preparing a cool underpainting was introduced, [by the Bellini and their followers] the warm glazings began in the darks, then toned the half-lights, and , lastly, tinted the lights. But, when all was tinted, the breadth of colour was sustained by keeping the focus in the darks. One consequence of this system was that the cheeks could not be much coloured--a general glow was rather attempted, for the colour being given in the shadow, contrast required that it should be less strong in the light. Ludovico Dolce, noticing this as the practice of Titian, gives a reason for it in his own way. It might be observed that the Venetians in adopting this system only copied the nature which they saw: if so, it must be concluded that Nature in Italy suggests a higher style of colour than elsewhere. The warm glazings [always semi-opaque in the lights and half-lights, though perfectly transparent in deepest shades] were even suppressed in a great measure by some Venetians in the lights; the effect was to give a certain effect of transparency, as if the skin were thin. [For, if we suppose a column of glass, we shall see the colour crowded towards the edges, and less strong in the centre; the colour is, as it were, accumulated in the foreshortened parts.] This effect had also, in heads, its use in expression. [p. 360] Zanetti speaks of "certi lividi," introduced by Basaiti. These "lividi" were merely parts less covered with the warm tintings, such warmth being suffered rather to accumulate in the darker, and less prominent portions. The coloured [not reddened] features, and paler cheeks of Basaiti's saints give them a look of passion and emotion, not to be rendered in an engraving.
The system easily degenerates into foxiness. Paduanino is often an instance of the abuse. The warm brown shadows [as opposed to Paduanino's red] in Titian--for example, in hands and feet--contrast agreeably with cool lights and middle tints. [pp. 359-361]
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