The Unknown Masterpiece (La Comédie Humaine)
A line is a method of expressing the effect of light upon an object; but there are no lines in Nature, everything is solid. We draw by modeling, that is to say, that we disengage an object from its setting; the distribution of the light alone gives to a body the appearance by which we know it.
However," he continued, "this canvas is preferable to the paintings of that varlet Rubens, with his mountains of Flemish flesh sprinkled with vermilion, his waves of red hair and his medley of colors.
[...]O que está faltando? Um nada, mas um nada que é tudo. Vocês têm a aparência da vida mas não expressam o seu excesso transbordante, esse não sei o quê que talvez seja a alma e que flutua enevoadamente sobre o invólucro[...]
[Raphael's] great superiority is due to the instinctive sense which, in him, seems to desire to shatter form. Form is, in his figures, what it is in ourselves, an interpreter for the communication of ideas and sensations, an exhaustless source of poetic inspiration. Every figure is a world in itself, a portrait of which the original appeared in a sublime vision, in a flood of light, pointed to by an inward voice, laid bare by a divine finger which showed what the sources of expression had been in the whole past life of the subject.
You have wavered uncertainly between two systems, between drawing and coloring, between the painstaking phlegm, the stiff precision, of the old German masters, and the dazzling ardor, the happy fertility, of the Italian painters.
Young man,' Porbus said, seeing Poussin stare open-mouthed at a picture, 'Don't look at the canvas too long, it will drive you to despair.