In comparing the two methods of which I have just written, we must remember that the " grisaille " method has endured throughout the ages ; that painting a prima is comparatively modern, and was rarely resorted to by painters of old for elaborate work.<< Previous page
A rich impasto, variety of texture, the beauty of underlying grey tones, a lasting luminosity, a sense of oneness, are the distinguishing characteristics of the " monochrome." Vitality and spontaneity are perhaps more closely associated with direct painting.
Titian, in his portraiture, makes his appeal to the lovers of the reposeful and the dignified ; Frans Hals's portraits teem with vitality.
The qualities of each master, like their methods and their temperaments, are diametrically opposed.
Let us analyse the technical difficulties of the two manners.
The tendency in colouring the white and grey preparation is to under, rather than fully, colour the carnations.
Owing to this tendency, we see in many of Gainsborough's finest portraits a certain lack of colour fulness. To avoid this effect, many masters in some way gilded their pictures finally with a glaze of rich yellow or coloured varnish. Titian is said to have warmed his flesh with asphaltum, which is of a golden hue when applied thinly.
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