Chapter XIII, pp. 145-169:
COLOR BEING THAT WHICH ESPECIALLY DISTINGUISHES PAINTING FROM THE OTHER ARTS, IT IS INDISPENSABLE TO THE PAINTER TO KNOW ITS LAWS, SO FAR AS THESE ARE ESSENTIAL AND ABSOLUTE.
If there is affinity between chiaro 'scuro and sentiment, much more is there between sentiment and color since color is only the different shades of chiaro 'scuro.
Supposing the painter had only ideas to express, he would perhaps need
only drawing and the mono-chrome of chiaro 'scuro for with them he can
represent the only figure that thinks, - the human figure, which is the
chef d'oeuvre of a designer rather than the work of a colorist.
With drawing and chiaro 'scuro he can also put in relief all that depends
upon intelligent life, that is life in its relation to other lives, but
there are features of organic, of interior and individual life that could
not be manifested without color. How for instance without color give, in
the expression of a young girl, that shade of trouble or sadness so well
expressed by the pallor of the brow, or the emotion of modesty that makes
her blush? here we recognize the power of color, and that its role is to
tell us what agitates the heart, while drawing shows us what passes in
the mind, a new proof of what we affirmed at the beginning of this work,
that drawing is the masculine side of art, color the feminine.
As sentiment is multiple, while reason is one, so color is a mobile, vague, intangible element, while form, on the contrary, is precise, limited, palpable and constant. But in the material creation there are substances of which drawing can give no idea; there are bodies whose distinctive characteristic is in color, like precious stones. If the pencil can put a rose under the eye, it is powerless to make us recognize a turquoise or a ruby, the color of the sky or the tint of a cloud. Color is par excellence, the means of expression, when we would paint the sensations given us by inorganic matter and the Sentiments awakened in the mind thereby. We must, then, add to chiaro 'scuro, which is only the external effect of white light, the effect of color, which is, as it were, the interior of this light.
We hear it repeated every day, and we read in books that color is a gift of heaven; that it is an impenetrable arcanum to him who has not received its secret influence that one learns to be a draughtsman but one is born a colorist, -- nothing is falser than these adages; for not only can color, which is under fixed laws, be taught like music, but it is easier to learn than drawing whose absolute principles cannot be taught. Thus we see that great designers are as rarme, even rarer than great colorists. From time immemorial the Chinese have known and fixed the laws of color, and the tradition of those laws, trans-mitted from generation to generation down to our own days, spread throughout Asia, and perpetuated itself so well that all oriental artists are infallible colorists, since we never find a false note in the web of their colors But would this infallibility be possible if it were not engendered by certain and invariable principles ?
What, then, is color?
Before replying, let us take a look at creation. Beholding the infinite variety of human and animal forms, man conceives an ideal perfection of each form ; he Seeks to seize the primitive exemplar, or at least, to approach it nearer and nearer, but this conception is a sublime effort of his intelligence, and if, at times, the soul believes it has an obscure souvenir of original beauty, this fugitive memory passes like a dream, and the perfect form that issued from the hand of God is unknown to us; remains always veiled from our eyes. It is not so with color, and it would seem as if the eternal colorist had been less jealous of his secret than the eternal designer, for he has shown us the ideal of color in the rainbow, in which we see, in sympathetic gradation, but also in mysterious promiscuity, the mother-tints that engender the universal harmony of colors.
Whether we observe the iris, or look at the soap-bubbles with which children amuse themselves, or, renewing the experiment of Newton, use a triangular prism of crystal to analyze a ray of light, we see a luminous spectrum composed of Six rays differently colored, violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red. How do these colors strike the eye? As sounds do the ear. As each sound echoes in modulating itself upon itself and passes, by vibrations of equal length, from fullness to a murmur, and from a murmur to silence, so each color seen in the solar spectrum has its maximum and minimum of intensity; it begins with its lightest shade and ends with its darkest Newton saw seven colors in the prism, doubtless to find a poetical analogy with the seven notes of music; he has arbitrarily introduced, under the name of indigo, a seventh color which is only a shade of blue. It is a license that even the greatness of his genius cannot excuse. These seven colors he called primitive,. but in reality there are only three primitive colors. We cannot put in the same rank yellow, red, and blue, which are simple colors, and violet, green, and orange, which are composite colors, because we can produce them by combining two by two the first three, the orange, by mixing yellow and red, the green, from yellow and blue, the violet, from blue and red.
Antiquity, which did not wait till Newton's day, to observe the colored light of the iris, admitted only three as truly mother-colors, and the evidence of truth forces us to-day to return to the principle of the ancients, and to say, there are three primary colors, yellow, red, blue, and three composite or binary colors, - orange, green, violet. In the intervals that separate them, are placed the intermediate shades whose variety is infinite, and which are like the sharps of color which precede, and the fiats which follow them.
Separated, these colors and these shades enable us to distinguish and recognize all the objects of creation. Reunited they give us the idea of white. White light is the union of all colors, all are contained and latent in it.
This composition of white light once known, we can define color. It is the property all bodies have of reflecting certain rays of light, and absorbing all others. The jonquil is yellow, because it reflects the yellow rays and absorbs the red and blue. The oriental poppy is scarlet, because it reflects only the red rays and absorbs the blue and yellow. If the lily is white, it is because, absorbing no ray, it reflects all, and a body is black because absorbing all rays, it reflects none. White and black, properly speaking, are not colors, but may be considered as the extreme terms of the chromatic scale.
White light containing the three elementary and generative colors, yellow, red, and blue, each of these colors serves as a complement to the other two to form the equivalent of white light. We call complementary each of the three primitive colors, with reference to the binary color that corresponds to it. Thus blue is the complement of orange, because orange being composed of yellow and red, contains the necessary elements to constitute white light. For the same reason yellow is the complement of violet, and red of green, Reciprocally each of the mixed colors, produced by the union of two primitive colors, is the complement of the primitive color not employed in the mixture thus orange is the complement of blue, because blue does not enter into the mixture that produces it.
Law of complementary colors. If we combine two of the primary colors, yellow and blue, for in-stance, to compose a binary color, green, this binary color will reach its maximum of intensity if we place it near its complement - red. So, if we combine yellow and red to form orange, this binary color will be heightened by the neighborhood of blue. Finally, if we combine red and blue to form violet, this color will be heightened by the immediate neighborhood of yellow. Reciprocally, the red placed beside the green will seem redder; the orange will heighten the blue, and the violet the yellow. It is the reciprocal heightening of complementary colors in juxtaposition that M. Chevreul called "The law of simultaneous contrast of colors."
But these same colors that heighten each other by juxtaposition, destroy each other by mixture. If you place red and green in equal quantities and of equal intensity upon each other, there will remain only a colorless grey. The same effect will be produced if you mingle, in a state of equilibrium, blue and orange, or violet and yellow. This annihilation of colors is called achromatism.
Achromatism is also produced if we mingle in equal quantities, the three primitive colors, yellow, red, blue. If we pass a ray of light across three cells of glass filled with three liquids, yellow, red, blue, the ray that has traversed them will pass out perfectly achromatic, that is colorless. This second phenomenon does not differ from the first, for if the blue destroys the orange, it is because the orange contains the two other primary colors, yellow and red; and if the yellow annihilates the violet, it is because the violet contains the two other primary colors, red and blue. Thus we see how just is the expression, friendly and hostile colors, since the complementaries triumphantly sustain or utterly destroy each other.
To enable one to recall this phenomenon it is in-dispensable to the reader to form a chromatic rose or to have present to the mind that of which we give a drawing accompanied by a colored engraving.1
At the angles of the upright triangle are the three primary colors, yellow, red, blue; at the angles of the reversed triangle, the binary colors, orange, green, and violet; between these six colors combined two by two are placed the intermediate shades; sulphur, turquoise, campanula garnet, nasturtium, saffron.
1. This rose of colors is a mnemonic image. It in some sort renders visible the law of complementaries, and expresses its truths. if we divide the circumference into 3600 we see clearly that each of the perfect binary colors is equally distant from the two primaries that compose it. Thus orange is 60 from the yellow and 60 from the red. We see also where the domain of the six colors begins and ends.
Observe; if we choose in this rose three colored points, that form an
equilateral triangle, the colors situated at these three points will have
all the properties of the complementaries. Let us take, for instance, the
sulphur, nasturtium, and campanula; these three tints, being placed at
the angles of an equilateral triangle, will be perfectly achromatic, that
is, united in equilibrium, they will absolutely destroy each other, while
if we place together the sulphur and the garnet which is exactly opposite
it, they will reciprocally heighten each other, because they are complements
each of the other.
But the complementary colors have other virtues not less marvellous than those of mutually heightening and destroying each other. "To put a color upon canvas," says Chevreul, " is not merely to tint with this color all that the pencil has touched, it is also to color with its complement the surrounding space; thus a red circle is surrounded by a light green aureole, less and less strongly marked according to its distance from the red; an orange circle is surrounded by a blue aureole, a yellow circle by a violet, and reciprocally."
This had already been noticed by Goethe and by Eugene Delacroix. Eckermaun relates ("Conversations de Goethe"), "that walking in a garden with the philosopher, upon an April day, as they were looking at the yellow crocuses which were in full flower, they noticed that turning their eyes to the ground, they saw violet spots." At the same epoch, Eugene Delacroix, occupied one day in painting yellow drapery, tried in vain to give it the desired brilliancy and said to himself: "How did Rubens and Veronese find such brilliant and beautiful yellows?" He resolved to go to the Louvre, and ordered a carriage. It was in 1830, when there were in Paris many cabs painted canary color; one of these was brought to him. About to step into it, Delacroix stopped short, observing to his great surprise that the yellow of the carriage produced violet in the shadows, He dismissed the. coachman, entered his studio full of emotion, and applied at once the law he had just discovered, that is, that the shadow is always slightly tinged with the complement of the color, a phenomenon that becomes apparent when the light of the sun is not too strong, and "our eyes," as Goethe says "rest upon a fitting background to bring out the complementary color."
Is this color produced by the eye? It is not for us to decide; but it is certain that in going out of a chamber hung with blue, for instance, for some moments we see objects tinted with orange. " Let us suppose, says Monge ("Geometrie Descriptive"), that we are in an apartment exposed to the sun, whose windows are covered with red curtains; if in the curtain there is a hole three or four lines in diameter, and a white paper be held at a little distance to receive the rays of light that pass through this hole, these rays will make a green spot upon the paper; if the curtains were green the spot would be red."
Monge does not give the reason of the phenomenon. I believe it is, that our eye being made for white light, needs to complete it when it receives only a part. To a man who perceives only red rays, what is necessary to complete the white light? Yellow and blue; but these are both contained in green. It is green then that will reestablish the equilibrium of the light in an eye wearied by red rays.
From having known these laws, studied them profoundly, after having intuitively divined them, Eugene Delacroix became one of the greatest colorists of modern times, one might even say the greatest, for he surpassed all others, not only in the aesthetic language of his coloring, but in the prodigious variety of his motives and the orchestration of his colors.
Like a Singer endowed with the whole register of the human voice, he has widened the limits of painting by adding new expressions to the language of art.
Again, if we mix two complementary colors in un-equal proportions, they will partially destroy each other, and we shall have a broken tone that will be a shade of grey. Make, for instance, a mixture in which there shall be ten parts yellow and eight violet; there will be destruction of color or achromatism for eight tenths, but the other two tenths will form a grey shaded with yellow, because there was excess of yellow in the mixture. Thus are formed all the innumerable varieties of color that we call lowered tones, as if nature employed for her ternary colorations the destruction of color, as she uses death to maintain life.
The law of complementary colors once known, with what certainty the painter will proceed whether he wishes to attain brilliancy of color, to temper his harmony or to make it striking by abruptly bringing together tints that suit the expression of a warlike or tragic scene. Suppose it is necessary to lower a vivid vermilion, the artist learned in the laws of color, instead of softening by soiling it at hazard, will lower it by the addition of blue, and thus will follow the path of nature.
But without even touching a color, one can strengthen, Sustain, lower, almost neutralize it, by working upon its neighbor. If we place in juxtaposition two similars in a pure state, but of different degrees of energy, as dark red and light red, we shall obtain a contrast by the difference of intensity and a harmony by the similitude of tints. If we bring together two similars, one pure, the other broken, for instance, pure blue and grey blue, there will result another kind of contrast that will be moderated by resemblance. The moment colors are not to be employed in equal quantities, nor of equal intensity, the artist is free, but within the limits of infallible laws. He must try his doses, must distribute to his tints their places and roles, calculate the extent he will give them, and make, as it were, a secret rehearsal of the drama his coloring will form. He must employ the resources of white and black, foresee the optical mixture, know the vibration of the colors, and finally take care of the effect the diversely colored light is to produce, according as it is of the morning or the evening, from the North or the South.
White and Black. Two centuries before Newton, Leonardo da Vinci wrote, " White is not a color by itself, it contains all colors." White, in truth, is never whiter, that is more perfect, than when it reflects the most light and is absolutely colorless. Of black there are several kinds: negative black, that produced by the thickest shades of night; black by intensity, that produced by a primary color at its highest degree of concentration. Suppose three cylinders of glass filled with the most concentrated yellow, the darkest blue, the most intense red; each of these three primary colors will give the notion of black. But if you mix white with this black, the quality yel-low, red, or blue of the color in the cylinder will reappear, and the coloration will become more brilliant in proportion as you increase the quantity of white, in other terms, the quantity of light, - normal black is formed by the mingling of the three primary colors, in a state of equilibrium, and at their maximum of intensity, a mixture that produces, as we have seen, achromatism. " The richer the colors are in coloring principles," says Charles Bourgeois ("Manuel d' Optique experimentale"), " the more obscure is the achromatism." As the least excess of yellow, red, or blue suffices to shade the achromatism, the painter in composing his black may leave in it an imperceptible coloration, in view of the effect he wishes to obtain. But freed from all shade, in a pure state, black is no more a color than white.
What, then, will be the effect of black and white in painting?
If the coloring of the picture is of extreme magnificence and of great variety, the white and black - whether in pure state or as grey - acting as non colors will serve to rest the eye, to refresh it, by moderating the dazzling brilliancy of the whole representation. But applied against a particular color ~ the white heightens, the black lowers it Why? Because a red, for instance, is less luminous the redder it is, if we place white near it becomes comparatively less light, consequently redder. On the contrary, if you place black beside the red, the latter will seem less red; for all that a color gains in light it loses in energy. The proof is that by force of light it would vanish in white, as by force of vigor and concentration it would resolve itself into black. One more example. Let us take cinnabar, a substance composed of sulphur and mercury, from which we obtain the brilliant red used in glass painting. The ore is a dull red, but as it is broken it acquires more surface, and penetrated by the white of the light loses the dull, dark color, and when reduced to an impalpable powder, becomes of a brilliant scarlet - vermilion.
Independent of these actions and reactions, - I say reaction because every color put beside white or black tints them slightly with its complement, - black and white have an aesthetic value, a value of sentiment. Thus the spot of white upon the mantle of Virgil in Delacroix "Barque du Dante," is a terrible lighting up in the midst of the darkness; it shines like the lightning that furrows the tempest. At other times this powerful colorist uses white to correct the contiguity of two colors like red and blue. In one of the pendentives that so magnificently decorate the Library of the Corps Legislatif, the executioner who has cut off the head of John the Baptist is dressed in red and blue, two colors whose juxtaposition is softened by a little white which unites them without sacrificing the energy suitable to the figure of an executioner. Thus we realize a rare harmony, that of the tricolor-flag. Ziegler has observed that this flag spread out horizontally presents a discordant whole, but through the effects of the folds, the quantities become unequal and one color dominating another harmony is produced. " The wind that agitates the stuff in varied undulations makes the three colors pass through all the attempts at proportion that an intelligent artist can do; sometimes the effect is admirable."
White and black should appear in the picture only in small doses, black especially, which, instead of being extended over a great space, should be divided and repeated upon narrow spaces as a sordine to the color in a lugubrious picture. Black and white thus dispersed produce a tragic effect in the " Shipwreck of Don Juan," in which, upon a dark emerald sea, they detach themselves like funeral notes that express to the eye the anguish of these shipwrecked ones whom hunger has maddened and who are tossed between the hope of life and the grasp of death.
The Optical Mixture. One day in the library of the Luxembourg we were struck with the marvellously rich effect produced by Delacroix, the painter of the central cupola, where the artist had to combat the obscurity of the concave surface he had to paint, and to create an artificial light by the play of his colors. Among the mythological or heroic figures that made up the decoration, and which were walking in a sort of enchanted garden, we distinguished a half-nude woman, seated in the shadows of this Elysium, whose flesh preserved the most delicate, the most transparent tints. As we were admiring the admirable freshness of this rose-tone, an artist friend of Delacroix, who had seen him at work, said smiling, "You would be surprised if you knew what colors had produced the rosy flesh that charms you. They are tones that seen separately would seem as dull as the mud of the street." How was this miracle wrought? By the boldness with which Delacroix had slashed the naked back of this figure with a decided green, which partly neutralized by its complement rose, forms with the rose in which it is absorbed a mixed and fresh tone apparent only at a distance, in a word a resultant color which is what is called the optical mixture.
If at a distance of some steps, we look at a cashmere shawl we generally perceive tones that are not in the fabric, but which compose themselves at the back of our eye by the effect of reciprocal reactions of one tone upon another. Two colors in juxtaposition or superposed in such or such proportions, that is to say according to the extent each shall occupy, will form a third color that our eye will perceive at a distance, without having been written by weaver or painter. This third color is a resultant that the artist foresaw and which is born of optical mixture.
But how to obtain these mixtures without making the form bend to the intentions of the colorist? That is the feeble side of all painting in which color dominates. When our eye perceives simultaneously several colors, the resultant effect depends upon the form of the objects colored, their proportions, their manner of being, their dependence, their grouping. To understand this let us suppose two complementary colors, red and green, placed in juxtaposition
upon a rectangular panel divided into two bands R. G. the two colors will reciprocally heighten each other, especially along the frontier that separates them.
If now we cut another panel in very narrow parallel bands, and paint these bands alternately red and green, the eye no longer perceiving distinctly the red and green bands, the individuality of the color will disappear with the individuality of the form, and it will happen that the red and the green mingling with and destroying each other by this apparent mixture, optical mixture, the second panel will appear grey and colorless.
If the line of junction be broken so as to permit the mutual penetration of the contraries, it will produce upon the lines A B a perfectly colorless tint, upon condition that the indentations shall be small enough to be confounded to the eye. But if the proportion changes and the indentations are unequal there will appear a reddish grey or a greenish grey of charming delicacy.
A similar phenomenon will be produced upon a yellow stuff starred with
violet and upon a blue stuff sown with Orange spots.
The Vibration of Colors. "The parallel between sound and light is so perfect it is sustained even in the least particulars." Thus said a savant of genius, Euler ("Lettres a une princesse d' Allemagne"). As the grave or sharp sounds depend upon the number of vibrations of the stretched cord in a given time; so we may say that each color is restricted to a certain number of vibrations which act upon the organ of sight as sounds do upon the organ of hearing. Not only is vibration a quality inherent in colors, but it is extremely probable that colors themselves are nothing but the different vibrations of light. Why does the flower, so fresh and brilliant, lose its color if we detach it from the stem ? Because for want of the nourishing juice it will lose all vigor, all spring, and the tissue, like a relaxed cord will not render the same number of vibrations.
The Orientals, who are excellent colorists, when they have to tint a surface smooth in appearance, make the color vibrate by putting tone upon tone in a pure state, blue upon blue, yellow upon yellow, red upon red; thus they obtain harmony in their stuffs, carpets, or vases, even when they have employed but a single tint, because they have varied its values from light to dark. A man who possessed marvellous knowledge of the laws of color and of decoration from having studied them in the Orient, Adalbert de Beaumont, was the first among us to react against that equality of color we sought in our fabrics as a perfection, and which the Chinese properly regard as a fault "The more intense the color, whether red, lapis-lazuli, or turquoise," says de Beaumont, " the more the Orientals make it miroiter, shade it upon itself, to render it more intense and lessen its dryness and monotony, to produce, in a word, that vibration without which a color is as insupportable to our eyes as under the same conditions a sound would be to our ears."
Color of the Light. In nature the light comes to us variously colored, according to climate, the medium, the hour of the day. If the painter have chosen an effect of colorless light, of diffused and grey light, the laws of the heightening and enfeebling of the colors will not be contrary to those of chiaro scuro, that is to say it will suffice to render vigorously the colors in the light and to soften them in the shadow (except for shining Stuffs and polished bodies like satin, coats of mail, etc). But if the painter chooses a cold and blue light, or warm and orange, he cannot represent the phenomena produced if he has not the notions of color.
Blue drapery, for example, under the cold light of the north will have its blue heightened in the light, attenuated in the shade. On the contrary if the light is orange like that of the sun, this same drapery will seem much bluer in the shade and less so in the light. Why? Because the mixture of the complementary colors Will have substituted a tinted grey for the pure blue of the stuff in the lightest portions. Now replace the blue by orange drapery, pour upon it the light from the north, the blue of this light Will partly neutralize the orange, but that Will happen only in the light, for in the shadow the orange, find-ing itself sheltered from the rays that would have taken its color, will preserve all the value the shadow can give it. Whence it results that the effect of colored light upon colors can be obtained only by the absolute knowledge of the phenomena We have described.
Such are the laws that must guide the painter in the play of colors; such are the riches at his disposal. Happy if he adds to optical beauty the expression of the wished-for sentiment, if tuning his palette to the diapason of the fable or history, he knows how to draw from it the accents of poetry. In truth it is Only in our days that the eloquence, the aesthetic value of color has been discovered. Veronese and Rubens are always intent upon presenting a fete, playing a serenade, even when the drama represented demands sombre, austere, or cold harmonies. Whether Jesus Christ is seated at the marriage at Cana, or marches to Calvary, or appears to the disciples at Emmaus, Veronese scarcely changes the moral character of his colors. He does not renounce the enchantment of the eye, with naive serenity he contradicts at need the severity of the theme by external magnificence. In his turn Rubens scarcely makes a difference in the coloring he uses to paint those superb women in the " Garden of Love," and that which will show us in a "Last Judgment," these same women, like a stream of fresh and rosy bodies, precipitated into hell. Even when he wishes to frighten he is determined to seduce.
More poetical, more penetrated by his subject, more moved by his emotion, Eugene Delacroix never fails to tune his lyre to the tone of his thought, so that the first aspect of his picture shall be the prelude to his melody, grave or gay, melancholy or triumphant, sweet or tragic. Afar off, before discerning anything, the spectator forebodes the shows that will strike his soul. What desolation in the crepuscular sky of the " Christ at the Tomb." What bitter sadness in the picture of " Hamlet and the Grave-diggers." What a Sensation of physical well-being in the " Jewish Wedding in Morocco," whose harmony, composed of two dominant and complementary colors, red and green ' gives the idea of coolness while allowing us to divine without an incandescent sun. What a flourish of trumpets in the coloring of the " Justice of Trajan," in which we see the Roman Emperor in his pomp and his purple issuing from a triumphal arch, accompanied by his generals, his trumpeters, and his eagles, while a woman bathed in tears, throws at his feet a dead child. Below, livid tones; above, the splendid, radiant gamut, an arch filled with azure, a sky that becomes dazzling by the contrast formed by the tones of an orange-colored trophy.
Thus colorists can charm us by means that science has discovered. But the taste for color, when it predominates absolutely, costs many sacrifices; often it turns the mind from its course, changes the sentiment, swallows up the thought. The impassioned colorist invents his form for his color, everything is subordinated to the brilliancy of his tints. Not only the drawing bends to it, but the composition is dom-inated, restrained, forced by the color. To introduce a tint that shall heighten another, a perhaps useless accessory is introduced. In the " Massacre of Scio," a sabre-tache has been put in the corner solely because in that place the painter needed a mass of orange. To reconcile contraries after having heightened them, to bring together similars after having lowered or broken them, he indulges in all sorts of license, seeks pretexts for color, introduces brilliant objects; furniture, bits of stuff, fragments of mosaic, arms, carpets, vases, flights of steps, walls, animals with rich furs, birds of gaudy plumage; thus, little by little, the lower strata of nature take the first place instead of human beings which alone ought to occupy the pinnacle of art, because they alone represent the loftiest expression of life, which is thought.
In passionately pursuing the triumph of color, the painter runs the risk of sacrificing the action to the spectacle. Our colorists go to the Orient, to Egypt, Morocco, Spain, to bring back a whole arsenal of brilliant objects; cushions, slippers, narghilehs, turbans, burnous, caftans, mats, parasols. They make heroes of lions and tigers, exaggerate the importance of the landscape, double the interest of the costume, and of inert substances, and thus painting becomes descriptive; high art sensibly declines and threatens to disappear.
Let color play its true role, which is to bring to us the cortege of external nature, and to associate the splendors of the material creation with the action or the presence of man. Above all let the colorist choose in the harmonies of color those that seem to conform to his thought. The predominance of color at the expense of drawing is a usurpation of the relative over the absolute, of fleeting appearance over permanent form, of physical impression over the empire of the soul. As literature tends to its decadence, when images are elevated above ideas, so art grows material and inevitably declines when the mind that draws is conquered by the sensation that colors, when, in a word, the orchestra, instead of accompanying the song, becomes the whole poem.