Page:The letters of William Blake (1906).djvu/68

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14
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE

very little oil, but then oil painters consider Fuseli no colourist. What is colouring? It is a most vague term, and is generally used in a still more vague manner. Blake wrote thus upon it:[1]

"The eye that can prefer the colouring of Titian and Corregio and Rubens ought to be modest, and doubt its own powers. Connoisseurs talk as if Raphael and Michael Angelo have never seen the colouring of Titian and Corregio; they ought to know that Corregio was born two years before Michael Angelo, and Titian but four years after: both Raphael and Michael Angelo knew the Venetian, and contemned and rejected all he did with the utmost disdain, as that which is fabricated for the purpose of destroying art. The eyes of stupid cunning will never be pleased with the work any more than the look of self-devoting genius. The quarrel of the Florentine with the Venetian is not because he does not understand drawing, but because he does not understand colouring. How should he, when he does not know how to draw a hand or foot, know how to colour it? Colouring does not depend on where the colours are put, but on where the lights and darks are put, and all depends on form or outline, on where that is put; where that is wrong the colouring never can be right."