JUDGE (TO) (v.)
TERM USED AS TRANSLATIONS IN QUOTATIONJUGEMENT (fra.)
TERM USED IN EARLY TRANSLATIONSJUGEMENT (fra.)
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, 1719.2 quotations
There never was a Picture in the World without some Faults, And very rarely is there one to be found which is not notoriously Defective in some of the Parts of Painting. In judging of it’s Goodness as a Connoisseur, one should pronounce it such in proportion to the Number of the Good Qualities it has, and their Degrees of Goodness.
There are certain Arguments, which a Connoisseur is utterly to reject, as not being such by which he is to form his Judgement, of what Use soever they may be to those who are incapable of judging otherwise, or who will not take the Pains to know better. Some of these have really no Weight at all in them, the Best are very Precarious, and only serve to perswade us the Thing is good in general, not in what Respect it is so. That a Picture, or Drawing has been, or is much esteem’d by those who are believ’d to be good Judges ; Or is, or was Part of a famous Collection, cost so much, has a rich Frame, or the like. Whoever makes Use of such Arguments as these, besides that they are very fallacious, takes the Thing upon Trust, which a good Connoisseur should never condescend to do. That ‘tis Old, Italian, Rough, Smooth, &c. These are Circumstances hardly worth mentioning, and which belongs to Good, and Bad. A Picture, or Drawing may be too old to be good ; but in the Golden Age of Painting, which was that of Rafaelle, about Two Hundred Years ago, there were wretched Painters, as well as Before, and Since, and in Italy, as well as Elsewhere. Nor is a Picture the Better, or the Worse, for being Rough, or Smooth, simply consider’d. One of the commonest, and most deluding Arguments, that is used on this Occasion is, that ‘tis of the Hand of such a One. Tho’ this has no great Weight in it, even admitting it to be Really of that Hand, which very often ‘tis not : The best Masters have had their Beginnings, and Decays, and great Inequalities throughout their whole Lives, as shall be more fully noted hereafter. That ‘tis done by one who has had great Helps, and Opportunities of improving himself ; Or One that Says, he is a great Master, is what People are very ready to be cheated by, and not one Jot the less, for having found that they have been so cheated again, and again before, nay, tho’ they justly laugh at, and despise the Man at the same Time. To infer a Thing Is, because it Ought to be, is unreasonable, because Experience shou’d teach us better ; but often we think there are Opportunities, and Advantages where there are none, or not in the Degree we imagine ; and to take a Man’s own Word, where his Interest, or Vanity shou’d make us suspect him is sufficiently unaccountable. Whoever builds upon a Supposition of the good Sense, and Integrity of Mankind has a very Sandy Foundation, and yet ‘tis what we find many a Popular Argument rests upon, in Other Cases, as well as in This. But, (as I said) whether These kind of Arguments above-mention’d have any thing in them, or not, a Connoisseur has nothing to do with them ; his Business is to judge from the Intrinsic Qualities of the thing itself ;