69. The accompanying wood-cut is a copy of one of Raphael's draw-ings,at the margin of which is the following memorandum:" It is to be observed that the first thing to be con-sidered in an historical composition, is where the point (that is the spectator's eye) is to be placed, whether in the middle of the work or on one side, and so to determine its situation that the important figures be distinctly visible, not concealed by others; and then begin the design. It is my opinion, confirmed by the practice of the most skilful men, that the mode explained by a drawing in the margin is generally fittest; viz.. by contriving that those figures which are nearest to the point should present their back, those furthest removed, their sides, and so on in perspective; as if a circle were drawn and figures were arranged around it, so should an historical composition."
70. The student is again referred to the engravings, which are now so else; only they do not expect their fellow-men to fall down and worship them. They have a curious under - sense of powerlessness, feeling that the greatness is not in them, but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them, and they see something divine and God-made in every other man they meet, and are endlessly, foolishly, and incredibly merciful. - John Ruskin.
69. Figures should be more or less varied in attitude, because an exact repetition of lines produces formality. The manner and extent of variation must be decided by the subject. They must also vary in regard to prominence. The artist who represents all the figured introduced in his picture as holding the same rank, making each one equally prominent, understands nothing of the principles of nature or the laws of art. The same artist will, with great labor, bring forward on his canvas the most insignificant objects; for trivial minds ever value trivial things. - M. A. Dwight.
70. Experience tells me the best way to "elevate our art" is for each one to do the very best work he can under all circumstances, and let our customers know something of the work and expense needed to attain the end desired; and the better they understand the intricacies easily accessible, for further studies in this form of composition. It not needful to multiply them here, since enough has already been said to give you a clear insight into the matter, with the hope, too, that you are fully interested enough to pursue it and profit by it largely. The circular form in its internal lines also requires the use of the angular and pyramidal in the arrangement of its parts. They always come into play - are always useful in the great work of elevating our art
71. Much has been written, and very properly, too, on the best method of constructing the glass-house or photographic atelier, and doubtless the papers which have appeared on the subject have been of good service to many, But it is believed the subject about to be treated is one of graver importance; the former being the means to the end, while the present topic is the end or purpose itself, viz., chiaro-oscuro, or light and shade; and it is affirmed that if the recognised principles of light and shade as applied in art, were more fully understood by photographers, there would be much lees information required on how to construct a light, for knowing how to use it would solve many a difficulty.
72. Let the light be ever so perfectly arranged, it must, of necesof the art the more it will be appreciated; and a picture that is well paid for is treasured far more, and its good qualities more apparent, than when a few cents will purchase a peck or less. People always appreciate anything according to its cost, no matter what it is Mrs..
71. On the proper management of his light depends the chief success of the photographer. This is the most difficult part of the art to learn, because no absolute rules or exact formulas can be laid down. It is as well it should be so, as each one who studies to light his pictures artistically is certain to receive his immediate reward by the superior results he will produce. Mere mechanical skill is easily acquired; but artistic excellence is only secured by a study of the conditions of light and shade.
The first thing a photographer has to learn on this subject is that no reliance whatever is to be placed on lens, camera, and chemicals. These, valuable enough in their places, can teach him nothing here. He must go to the fountain-head - light itself.. Whatever light falls on, it enlightens, whitens. White is the representative of light; Meet that of darkness. If an object be wished to be represented white, it must be placed in the light; if blank, the light must be excluded from it; if partially white and partially blank, the light must be so allowed to fall on it that while the parts that are to be represented white must be illuminated, the others that are to be black must be protected from illumination. If the object is to be represented as being neither white nor black, but of some of the manifold gradations that separate the two, then the object must be so illuminated that just such amount of light and shade falls on it as represents the desired tint. - Jabez Hughes.
72. We are here reminded of a passage in Ruskin's Modern printers, wherein he observes: "When the eye is quite uncultivated, it sees that a man is a man and a face is a face, but has no ideas what shadows or light fall upon the form or features. Cultivate it to some degree sity, vary with the season or the day, and still more, different models require different arrangements of light and shade. The subject is one deserving of deepest study, and those who know most will assuredly seek for a better acquaintance still with its subtle gradations.
73. This rendering of light within light and shadow within shadow, is peculiarly the province of photography, and there is no branch of the art that affords more scope for constant study.