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The Italian School

The Art Of Painting - The Italian School - 3, a brief series of articles on the art of painting and drawing
 
 
CANALETTO
Among the Canalettos of our gallery is a view of " Venice," which is one of the master's finest examples. In it, remark the nature of the great shadows cast by the house on the left and by the campanile on to the body of the church. Then, again, the tonality of the rest of the picture with the sunlit masonry and other white stone passages. The dark brick of the church, although in sunlight, is low in tone and has that sense of weight and body due to justly contrasted values. The liquidness of the water is superb.
Here are none of the ruled, upright, and perspective lines to be seen in the " Grand Canal" from the same master's brush, which, to be hypercritical (for the painting is a fine one), detract from the solidity of the buildings and give an air of thinness and incompleteness to the work.
In mural decoration outlines are reasonable. The flatness felt by their *use is desirable, for much relief is not to be sought when a picture is to be considered as part of the wall itself.
Of this I shall treat in the closing chapter, but I wish you to remember that artifices that have their proper functions to fulfil in one form of art may be hurtful when applied to another. We must seek for the origin and purpose of these conventions, and not use them indiscriminately.



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