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A Treatise on Painting, by Leonardo da Vinci
Senex and Taylor, London


LDE T0197   CID100  What Colour produces the darkest shadow

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The Shadow bordering the most upon Black, is that which is cast on the Whitest Surface; and this Surface is more peculiarly disposed to produce variety of Shadows, than any other: For White being no Colour of it self, but barely a disposition to receive all Colours indifferently, White Surfaces partake more intensely of the Colour of their Objects, and render it more vivid, than a Surface of any other Colour: This is particularly observable where the Object is Black, or of any obscure Colour, far removed from White; in which case the White appears sensibly clouded, and there is a visible difference between the principal Lights, and principal Shadows.