Now remark the glitter and sparkle given to the whole scheme by those wonderful flying folds above the arm of the Bacchus, crowning and leading the eye across the whole composition. It is the keystone of the arch. Cover it out with your hand and you will realise the important part it plays here, with its rich glazes of lake on a golden ground against the warm blue of the sky. You will note that, unlike the more modern painters, Titian introduces no shining lights in his flesh, yet it suffers no loss of roundness or solidity. It is the bigger view.<< Previous page
Observe the joyous handling of the little satyr in the foreground ; the realism of the silver timbrel against the blue and gold harmony and, what is perhaps the most notable achievement of all, the underlying grey in the leg of the Bacchante. Such a quality of grey, seen in some form or other in the work of nearly all the great colourists, cannot be realised in direct painting. Only fine tones beneath a warm translucent covering will give it.
Then those majestic clouds tied together with long decorative horizontals, the blue hills and the middle distance broken with accidental sunlight and shadow in a landscape that has rarely been surpassed, and certainly not equalled by earlier painters.
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