ABSURDITY (n.)

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{Of lamenesse.} The first absurdity is of proportion naturall, commonly called lamenesse, that is, when any part or member is disproportionable to the whole body, or seemeth through the ignorance of the Painter, to bee wrestled from his naturall place and motion […] : and it is ordinary in countrey houses to see horsemen painted, and the rider a great deale bigger then his horse. [...] {2. Of local distance}. The second [ndr : erreur fréquemment commise par le peintre] is of Landtskip, or Locall distance, as I have seene painted a Church, and some halfe a mile beyond it the vicaredge ; yet the Vicars chimney drawne bigger then the steeple by a third part, which being lesse of it selfe, ought also to be much more abated by the distance. [...] {4. In expressing the passion or disposition of the mind, Qualis equos Threissa fatigat Harpalice. Æneid I.} The fourth [ndr : erreur fréquemment commise par le peintre] is in expressing passion or the disposition of the mind, as to draw Mars like a young Hippolytus with an effeminate countenance, Venus like an Amazon, or that same hotspurd Harpalice in Virgil, this proceedeth of a sencelesse and overcold judgement. [...] {5. Of Drapery.} The fifth [ndr : erreur fréquemment commise par le peintre] is of Drapery or attire, in not observing a decorum in garments proper to every severall condition and calling, as not giving to a King his Robes of estate, with their proper furres and linings : to religious persons an habite fitting with humility and contempt of the world ; a notable example of this kind I found in a Gentlemans hall, which was King Salomon sitting in his throne with a deepe lac’d Gentlewomans Ruffe, and a Rebatoe about his necke, upon his head a blacke Velvet cap with a white feather ; the Queene of Sheba kneeling before him in a loose bodied gowne, and a Frenchhood. […].

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L’ARTISTE → qualités

Quotation

I am of opinion that Francis Mazzalinus would have proved the only rare Man of the World, if he had never Painted any other kind of Pictures (as rude, gross, and melancholly) then these slender ones which he representeth with an admirable dexterity as being naturally inclined thereunto ; so that if he had only represented Apollo, Bacchus, the Nimphes, &c. he had sufficiently warranted this his most acceptable proportion, which was ever slender, and oftentimes to sleight, but when he took upon him to express the Prophets, our Lady and the like in the same ; as appeareth by his Moses at Parma, our Lady at Ancona, and certain Angells not farr from thence, and divers other things quite contrary to the Symetry they ought to have, he gave a president to all other Painters to shunne the like error : which himself might also have easily avoided, being reputed little inferiour to Raphael Urbine, whom he might have proposed to himself as a patterne ; for Raphael ever suited his personages answerable to the variety of the Natures, and Dispositions of the Parties he imitated : so that his Old Folks seem stiff and crooked, his Young Men agile and slender and so forth in the rest, which example admonisheth us, that a Painter ought not to tye himself to any one kind of proportion, in all his Figures ; for besides that he shall lose the true Decorum of the History : He shall commit a great absurdity in the Art by making all his Pictures like Twinns : […]. And for our better understanding of this kind of proportion […] Raph: Urbine hath very well expressed it in St. George fighting with the Dragon, now to be seen in the Churches of St. Victore de Fratri in Milane ; in St. Michaell at Fontainblew in France, and in that George, which he made for the Duke of Urbine on a Peice richly guilt, according to which Observation of his, every Man may dispose of this proportion in the like young Bodies, […].

Browne cite ici une Madonne du Parmesan, semble-t-il conservée à Ancône, qui n'a pu être identifiée précisément.

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L’ARTISTE → qualités