HISTORICAL PAINTER (n.)
AGLIONBY, William, Painting Illustrated in Three Diallogues. Containing some Choice Observations upon the Art. Together with The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters From Cimabue, to the time of Raphael and Michael Angelo. With an Explanation of the Difficult Terms, London, John Gain, 1685.1 quotations
The World here in our Northern Climates has a Notion of Painters little nobler than of Joyners and Carpenters, or any other Mechanick, thinking that their Art is nothing but the daubing a few Colours upon a Cloth, and believing that nothing more ought to be expected from them at best, but the making a like Picture of any Bodys Face.
Which the most Ingenious amongst them perceiving, stop there ; and though their Genius would lead further into the noble part of History Painting, they check it, as useless to their Fortune, since they should have no Judges of their Abilities, nor any proportionable Reward of their Undertakings. So that till the Gentry of this Nation are better Judges of the Art, ’tis impossible we should ever have an Historical Painter of our own, nor that any excellent Forreigner should stay amongst us.
A History-Painter must describe all the Various Characters, Real, or Imaginary ; and that in all their Situations, Pleas’d, Griev’d, Angry, Hoping, Fearing, &c. A Face-Painter has to do with all the Real Characters, except only some few of the Meanest, and the most Sublime, but not with that Variety of Sentiments as the other. The whole Business of His Life is to describe the Golden Age, […]. Every one of His People therefore must appear Pleas’d, and in Good Humour ; but Varied suitably to the Rais’d Character of the Person drawn ;