Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)

by Nandia Foteini Vlachou

…as if the blue component of the grey had faded, like the indigo from the same kind of colour in Turner’s pictures (p. 82).

A Pink Sky above a Grey Sea circa 1822 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

J. M. W. Turner, A Pink Sky above a Grey Sea, circa 1822, gouache and watercolor on paper, 18.8 x 22.7 cm, Tate Gallery, London (

The beauty her features might have lacked in form was amply made up for by the perfection of hue, which at this winter-time was the softened ruddiness on a surface of high rotundity that we meet with in a Terburg or a Gerard Douw; and, like the presentations of those great colourists, it was a face which kept well back from the boundary between comeliness and the ideal (p. 122).

In an instant Bathsheba’s face coloured with the angry crimson of a Danby sunset (p. 185).

cropped to image, recto, unframed

Francis Danby, Sunset at Sea after a Storm, ca. 1824, oil on pressed card, 11.4 x 17.8 cm, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (

Faint sounds came from the barn, and he looked that way. Figures stepped singly and in pairs through the doors – all walking awkwardly, and abashed, save the foremost, who wore a red jacket, and advanced with his hands in his pockets, whistling. The others shambled after with a conscience-stricken air: the whole procession was not unlike Flaxman’s group of suitors tottering on towards the infernal regions under the conduct of Mercury (p. 314).

Mercury Conducting the Souls of the Suitors to the Infernal Regions 1805 by John Flaxman 1755-1826

John Flaxman, Mercury Conducting the Souls of the Suitors to the Infernal Regions, 1805, engraving and etching on paper, 17.5 x 29.8 cm, Tate Gallery, London (

[All references are to the 1978 Penguin edition, reprinted in Penguin Classics in 1985]