EXPRESS (TO) (v.)
The Robes, and other Habits of the Figures ; their Attendants, and Ensigns of Authority, or Dignity, as Crowns, Maces, &c. help to express their Distinct Characters ; and commonly even their Place in the Composition. The Principal Persons, and Actors must not be put in a Corner, or towards the Extremities of the Picture, unless the Necessity of the Subject requires it. A Christ, or an Apostle must not be dress’d like an Artificer, or a Fisherman ; a Man of Quality must be distinguish’d from one of the Lower Orders of Men, as a Well-bred Man always is in Life from a Peasant. And so of the rest.
Every body knows the common, or ordinary Distinctions by Dress ; but there is one Instance of a particular kind which I will mention, as being likely to give useful Hints to this purpose, and moreover very curious. In the Carton of Giving the Keys to S. Peter, Our Saviour is wrapt only in on large piece of white Drapery, his Left Arm, and Breast, are part of his Legs naked ; which undoubtedly was done to denote him Now to appear in his Resurrection-Body, and not as before his Crucifixion, when This Dress would have been altogether improper. And this is the more remarkable, as having been done upon second Thoughts, and after the Picture was perhaps finish’d, which I know by having a Drawing of this Carton, very old, and probably made in Rafaëlle’s time, tho’ not of his hand, where the Christ is fully Clad ; he has the very same large Drapery, but one under it that covers his Breast, Arm, and Legs down to the Feet. Every thing else is pretty near the same with the Carton.
Polydore, in a Drawing of the same Subject [ndr : la descente de la croix] […] has finely express’d the Excessive Grief the Virgin, by intimating ‘twas Otherwise Inexpressible : Her Attendants discover abundance of Passion, and Sorrow in their Faces, but Hers is hid by Drapery held up by both her Hands : The whole Figure is very Compos’d, and Quiet ; no Noise, no Outrage, but great Dignity appears in her, suitable to her Character.