MECHANICAL ART (n.)

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But some will tell me, Mechanicall Arts, and those wrought with the hand are for the most part base, and unworthy the practise of great personages, and Gentlemen […]. But forasmuch as their ends are honest, and themselves but the exercises of pregnant and the finest wits, I see no reason (as one saith) why nature should be so much wronged in her intention, as not to produce at her pleasure that into action whereto shee is well inclined {Exam. de Ingenios.}. And surely it can bee no more disgrace to a great Lord to draw a faire Picture, then to cut his Hawkes meate, or play at Tennis with his Page. […].
Pomponius Atticus a man of singular wisedome, and so much beloved of Cicero, after he had composed a Poeme of sundry devises, beautified the same with pictures of his owne Drawing.
[…]. Since Painting then hath beene so well esteemed, and of it owne nature is so linked with the other Arts, as many of them can hardly stand without it. I thinke it not for pleasure onely, but of necessitie most needfull to be practised of all such, that either studie the Mathematikes, the art Military, or purpose to travell for the benefit of their friends and countrey. I have heard many excellent Captaines and Schollers lament so great a want in themselves, otherwise being most absolute.
My Scholler then I would make choise of, should be a young Gentleman, if it might be, naturally inclined to drawing, at least a welwiller and lover of it.

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PEINTURE, TABLEAU, IMAGE → définition de la peinture

Quotation

Hence it appeareth that Painting is an Art, because it imitateth natural things most precisely, and is the counterfeiter and (as it were) the very Ape of nature ; whose Quantity, Eminency and Colours, it ever striveth to imitate, performing the same by the help of Geometry, Arithmetick, Perspective, and Natural Philosophy, with most Infallible Demonstrations, but because of Arts some be Liberal, and some Mechanical, it shall not be amiss, to shew amongst which of them Painting ought to be numbred. {Painting is a liberal Art.} Now Pliny calleth it plainly a liberal Art, which authority of his may be proved by reason, for although the Painter cannot attain to his end, but by working both with his hand and pencil, yet there is so little pains and labour bestowed in this Exercise, that there is no Ingenious Man in the World, unto whose Nature it is not most agreeable, and infinitely pleasant.
For we read of the French King
Francis, the First of that name, that he oftentimes delighted to handle the pencil, by exercising, drawing and painting ; […], so that in these and the like Exercises, nothing is Base or Mechanical, but all Noble and Ingenious.
[…]. Farthermore it cannot be denied, but that the
Geometrician also worketh with the Hand, by drawing Lines, as Circles, Triangles, Quadrangles and such like Figures ; neither yet did ever any Man therefore account Geometry a Mechanical Art because the Hand-labour therein imployed is so sleight, that it were an absurdity in respect thereof, to reckon it a base condition.
The like reason is there of
painting, the Practice whereof, doth so little weary a Man, that he which was Noble before, cannot justly be reputed Base by exercising the same ; but if besides all this, we shall farther consider, that Painting is subordinate to the Perspectives, to Natural philosophy, and Geometry (all which out of question are Liberal Sciences) and moreover that it hath certain Demonstrable conclusions, deduced from the First and immediate Principalls thereof, we must needs conclude that it is a Liberal Art.

Conceptual field(s)

PEINTURE, TABLEAU, IMAGE → définition de la peinture