Et partout ce sont des Colonnes de basalte, ... la lumière tombe des voûtes
(And on every side are columns of basalt, ... the light falls from the vaulted roof)
Plate 3 of 24
This view of the Palace in Alexandria creates a shifting space out of the fluid interplay of light and dark. Unlike the grainy, textured blacks and gradual tonal variations found elsewhere (see Dans l'ombre), light and dark areas appear flat and strongly delineated. The ink was brushed on rather than drawn with the crayon and this is what has given the black its liquidity. Redon used the fluid appearance of the ink to create a face emerging from the shadows between the columns. The difference in style can be linked to Redon having used the accomplished and inventive lithographer, Auguste Clot to print this image. The background too is clear and untextured, so the light similarly flows in through the portal-like window. Rather than gradual tonal gradations, the black and white is sharply juxtaposed, giving a decorative appearance to the architectural space.