efface the aerial distance of ... where tint melts into tint

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Senior Member
The context comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 12

On the hill-top above me sat the rising moon; pale yet as a cloud, but brightening momentarily, she looked over Hay, which, half lost in trees, sent up a blue smoke from its few chimneys: it was yet a mile distant, but in the absolute hush I could hear plainly its thin murmurs of life. My ear, too, felt the flow of currents; in what dales and depths I could not tell: but there were many hills beyond Hay, and doubtless many becks threading their passes. That evening calm betrayed alike the tinkle of the nearest streams, the sough of the most remote.

A rude noise broke on these fine ripplings and whisperings, at once so far away and so clear: a positive tramp, tramp, a metallic clatter, which effaced the soft wave-wanderings; as, in a picture, the solid mass of a crag, or the rough boles of a great oak, drawn in dark and strong on the foreground, efface the aerial distance of azure hill, sunny horizon, and blended clouds where tint melts into tint.

Hi everyone! I failed to got the idea of "efface the aerial distance of ... where tint melts into tint". What does it mean? :confused:
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    In a picture the crag or tree painted in the foreground effaces (hides) the background image. The background image is painted in fainter colours to provide perspective - distant objects always look less colourful in reality as well as in paintings. Hence "tint melts into tint". The contrast between more substantial colours nearby and fainter, less distinctive colours in the distance, which allows us to decide the relative positions of objects, is called "aerial perspective".
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