BROWNE, Alexander, Ars Pictoria : or an Academy Treating of Drawing, Painting, Limning, Etching. To which are Added XXXI. Copper Plates, Expressing the Choicest, Nearest, and Most Exact Grounds and Rules of Symmetry. Collected out of the most Eminent Italian, German, and Netherland Authors. By Alexander Browne, Practitioner in the Art of Limning. The Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarged by the Author, London, Arthur Tooker - William Battersby, 1675.1 quotations
Of Colouring and Shadowing of History in Limning, and also other Necessary Observations.
The differences between Limning Pictures to the Life, or History, are Infinite ; notwithstanding the same Colours that are used for one do also for the other. And to particularise but part of what may be well said upon this Subject, would be too tedeous, if not endless. The most Remarkable is most certainly in the Variety of Colouring of things according to their several Sexes and Ages ; and also of Invention of ordering and well Stelling. All things which are to be represented, are many times according to the Humour, Judgement, and Discretion of the Master. We see generally in the Practice of the best and most Famous Painters, that they that do follow the Life, do tie themselves strictly and precisely to follow what they see in the Life, to immitate it as near as possible ; yet in their Inventions they assume to themselves such a Gentile Liberty and Licence, both in Colouring and Ordering ; but not so far as to run into those Extremes as Bartholomæus Spranger, Henry Goltzius, Abraham Blomart, and Outeawale, and several other Dutch Painters, run into about the Year 1588 ; for their Inventions at that time and Actions were so extravagantly strain’d and stretch to that degree beyond Nature, that made their Works seem to the Judicious Eye very Ridiculous, and contrary to Nature ; and at that time it was grown to such an Imposture or Mode, that he was counted no Master that could not strain his Actions in that extravagant manner. Which Mode was afterwards laid aside, and the Works that those Masters afterwards made were incomparably Good, by their Embracing more the Ancient Italian way of DESIGNING, which was more Modest, Gentile, and Graceful. So far they abused the Modest Licence, that so Graced the Admirable Works of Titian, Michael Angelo, and most of the Eminent Italians of that Age. And others have been as Extravagant in their Colouring. Which two Extremes may be both avoided by imitating that Divine Titian for Colouring, who was of all others esteemed the best.