SMITH, Marshall, The Art of Painting According to the Theory and Practise of the Best Italian, French, and Germane Masters. Treating of The Antiquity of Painting. The Reputation it allways had. The Characters of severall Masters. Proportion. Action and Passion. The Effects of Light. Perspective. Draught. Colouring. Ordonnance. Far more Compleat and Compendious then hath yet been publisht by any, Ancient or Modern. By M. S. Gent., London, The Vendüe, 1692.2 quotations
Too force Atittudes must be avoided, which cause extravagant Contorsions : but the boldest Action are allowed (not exceeding Nature) which may be advantagious to the Design.
RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Two Discourses. I. An Essay on the whole Art of Criticism as it relates to Painting. Shewing how to judge I. Of the Goodness of a Picture ; II. Of the Hand of the Master ; and III. Whether ‘tis an Original, or a Copy. II. An Argument in behalf of the Science of a Connoisseur ; Wherein is shewn the Dignity, Certainty, Pleasure, and Advantage of it. Both by Mr. Richardson, London, W. Churchill, 1719.1 quotations
Never was a Calm Becoming Sorrow better Express’d than in this Face [ndr : il s’agit du portrait de la Comtesse Dowager d’Exeter, par Van Dyck] chiefly there where ‘tis always most conspicuous that is in the Eyes : Not Guido Reni, no, nor Raffaelle himself could have Conceiv’d a Passion with more Delicacy, or more Strongly Express’d it ! To which also the Whole Attitude of the Figure contributes not a little, her Right Hand drops easily from the Elbow of the Chair which her Wrist lightly rests upon, the other lies in her Lap towards her Left Knees, all which together appears so Easy, and Careless, that what is Lost in the Composition by the Regularity I have taken notice of, is Gain’d in the Expression ; which being of greater Consequence justifies V. Dyck in the main, and shows his great Judgment, for tho’ as it Is, there is (as I said) something amiss, I cannot conceive any way of Avoiding That Inconvenience without a Greater.
Every Historical Picture is a Representation of one single point of Time ; This then must be chosen ; and That in the Story which is the most Advantageous must be It. Suppose, for Instance, the Story to be painted is that of the Woman taken in Adultery, the Painter Seems to be at liberty to choose whether he will represent the Scribes and Pharisees accusing her to our Lord ; Or our Lord writing on the Ground ; Or pronouncing the last of the Words, Let him that is among you without Sin cast the first Stone at her ; Or lastly his Absolution, Go thy way, Sin no more. […] When our Saviour says the Words, Let him that is without Sin cast the first Stone, He is the principal Actor, and with Dignity ; the Accusers are asham’d, Vex’d, Confounded, and perhaps Clamorous ; and the Accused in a fine Situation, Hope and Joy springing up after Shame, and Fear ; all which affords the Painter an opportunity of exerting himself, and giving a pleasing Variety to the Composition ; For besides the various Passions, and Sentiments naturally arising, the Accusers begin to disperse, which will occasion a fine Contrast in the Attitudes of the Figures, some being in Profile, some Fore-right, and some with their Backs turn’d ; some pressing forward as if they were attentive to what was said, and some going off : And this I should chuse ;