Original author George Field
AN ENTIRELY NEW AND PRACTICAL EDITION;
REVISED, REWRITTEN, AND BROUGHT DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME.
THOMAS W. SALTER, F.C.S.
How early, and to what extent, colouring may have attained the rank of science among the ancients, are questions not easily set at rest; but that some progress had been made, even at a very remote period, is proved by the magnificent tombs of the Egyptian kings at Thebes, where the walls of the royal mausoleum are described as being covered with paintings so fresh and perfect, as to require neither restoration nor improvement. So far from this, indeed, that with all care in copying, it was difficult to equal the brilliancy of the originals, which, as far as colours went, threw all others in the background. And yet, in spite of the scale having comprised pure vermilion, ochres, and indigo, it was not gaudy, owing to the judicious balance of the colours, and the artful management of the black. Nor was there an ornament throughout the dresses, wherein the red, yellow, and blue, were not so employed as to produce a delicious harmony.
Moreover, it is stated that in one painting eighty feet high and proportionably broad, which was divided into two ranges of gigantic figures, these were glowing with most exquisite colours, suited to the drapery and naked parts; and in which the azure, yellow, green, &c., were as well preserved as though they had been laid on yesterday. Again, an apartment was discovered among the stupendous ruins at Carnac, on the site of ancient Thebes, one hundred paces wide and sixty deep, completely crowded with pillars, which, together with the ceiling, roof, and walls, were decorated with figures in basso-relievo, and hieroglyphics—all marvellously beautiful and finely painted, and as fresh, splendid and glorious, after so many ages, as if they had just been finished.
Author THOMAS W. SALTER
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Date Added: June 18, 2012, 8:11 pm
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