"When we consider the combination of excellence requisite to produce the sublime in painting; the union of propriety with dignity of character; the graceful grouping; the noble folding of drapery, and the deep sombrous tones of the clair-obscure, with appropriate colours harmoniously blending into one whole; if there is a picture entitled to the appellation of sublime, from the union of all these excellences, It is that which I have described: considered in all its parts, it is, perhaps, superior to any work in painting, which has fallen under my observation.
Thanks so much. Good-night." Some ten minutes later Julius March, after kneeling in prayer, as his custom was, before the divinely sorrowful and compassionate image of the Virgin Mother and the Dead Christ, looked forth through the many-paned study window into the clair-obscure of the windless autumn night.
He halted a moment, dazzled by the warmth and light within after the clair-obscure of the frosty dusk without, and looked round the room before recognizing the identity of its remaining occupant. Then: "Ah! you dear witch," he said. "So you're home. And what of your drive?" Damaris turned round, all of a piece.
In the pictures of Bartolomeo we behold, for the first time, that breadth of the clair-obscure the deep tones of colour, with their philosophical arrangement, united to that noble folding of drapery appropriate to, and significant of, every character it covered; a point of excellence in this master, from which Raphael caught his first conception of that noble simplicity which distinguishes the dignity of his draperies, and which it became his pride through life to imitate.