MAGNIFICENTIE (n.)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGUREsujet et choix
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUESgrandeur et noblesse
PHIDIAS, Zeus, c. 435 BC, chryselephantine statue, lost (5th century AD)
MAGNIFICENCE (eng.) · MAGNIFICENCE (fra.) · MAGNIFICENTIA (lat.) · MAJESTÄT (deu.) · PRACHT (deu.)
TERM USED IN EARLY TRANSLATIONS
/ · GRANDITAS (lat.) · GREATNESS (eng.) · MAGNIFICENCE (eng.) · MAGNIFICENTIA (lat.) · PRACHT (deu.)

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4 quotations

Quotation

… de selvighe moet noch voorder met ons uyt d’oude schrijvers aenmercken dat de voornaemste deughd van een nette en welghestelde Inventie aller meest in dese vier dinghen bestaet. In de waerheyd. In d’Opertuniteyt, ofte in de waerneminghe van een bequaeme geleghenheyd van tijd en plaetse, in de discretie, ofte in de bescheydenheyd van een tuchtigh ende eerbaer beleyd. In de Magnificentie, ofte in de staetelickheyd. Wat de waerheydt belanght; De Schilder-konst maeckt altijd vele wercks van de waerheyd, seght Philostratus Iconum Lib. I. in Narcisso. Ende ghelijck dien Historie-schrijver soo wel met bedrogh schijnt om te gaen, seght Ammianus Marcellinus {Lib. XXIX.}, de welcke eenighe warachtighe gheschiedenissen wetens en willens voor by gaet, als die eenighe valsche gheschiedenissen verdicht; even alsoo plaght de maelkonste in het uytdrucken der waerheydt op dese twee dinghen goede achtinghe te nemen, sy wil aen de eene sijde daer toe niet verstaen dat se yet soude uytdrucken ’t ghene men in de nature niet en vindt, men kanse wederom aen d’andere sijde daer toe niet brenghen datse yet soude overslaen ’t ghene men in de nature vindt.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] …the same has to remark with us from the old writers that the main virtue of a neat and well-composed Inventie mainly consists of four things: In the truth. In the Opportunity, or in the observation of an appropriate situation of time and place, in the discretion, or the modesty of a disciplinary and honorable policy. In the Magnificence, or in the stateliness. For as far as the truth is concerned; The Art of painting always pays a lot of attention to the truth, says Philostratus Iconum Lib. I. in Narcisso. And like the History-writer manages to deal so well with deceit, says Ammianus Marcellinus {…}, that it appears to consciously pass by any truthful histories, when he poetizes some false histories; as such the art of painting tends to pay attention to these to things when expressing the truth, on the one hand she does not want it to happen that she would express that which one cannot find in nature, and on the other hand she cannot bring herself that she would neglect that which one finds in nature.

In the Latin edition (1637), most of the terms are given only in Greek. The Greek term used for 'magnificentie' is σεμνοτης. [MO]

staetelickheyd

term translated by / in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p. 142
term translated by MAGNIFICENCE in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p. 238-239

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → grandeur et noblesse

Quotation

Nu komen wy eyndelick tot de Magnificentie ofte staetelickheyd, die sich ghemeynlick in een welbeleyde Inventie laet vinden, ghemerckt het d’Inventie altijd een sonderlinghe aensienlickheyd toebrenght, dat den Konstenaer bevonden wordt de waerheyd, d’occasie en de discretie omsichtighlick daer in waerghenomen te hebben. Want ghelijck de gantsche Schilder-Konst niet vele om ’t lijf en heeft ’t en sy saecke datse met een sonderlinge stemmigheyd vergeselschapt sijnde, d’aenschouwers door den aenghenamen schijn van een hoogwaerdighe bevalligheyd beroere, soo maghse evenwel niet al te seer op d’opghepronckte verlustinghe van een overarbeydsaeme nettigheyd steunen, vermids de grootsche heerlickheyd des gantschen wercks door sulcken optoyssel verhindert ende vermindert wordt, dies plagten oock de Konstenaers selver d’achtbaerheyt haerer Konste te verliesen, als d’aenschouwers op d’aenmerckinghe van ’t al te sorghvuldighe cieraet beghinnen te vermoeden, dat het maer enckele affectatie, en gheen rechte magnificentie en is, diemen in ’t werck speurt, dat is, als de Konst-vroede aenschouwers beseffen, dat den Konstenaer sijn werck maer alleen met den ghemaeckten schijn van staetelickheyd en niet met de staetelickheyd selver heeft soecken te vervullen. ’t Gebeurt daghelicks dat veele, by gebreck van de kennisse en de ervaerenheyd die tot dese curieuse nauluysterende Konste vereyscht wordt, met eenen gantsch besighen arbeyd kasteelen in de lucht bouwen, op datse benevens andere ghemeyne werck-Meesters niet en souden schijnen langhs de grond te kruypen.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] Now we finally reach the Magnificence or stateliness, which can commonly be found in a carefully considered Invention, seen that it always provides the Invention with a remarkable distinction, when the Artist is found to have carefully observed the truth, occasion and discretion in it. Because just like the whole Art of Painting does not amount to much unless it is accompanied by a remarkable modesty, moving the spectators by a pleasant appearance of an excellent grace, as such she may not lean too much on a affected amusement of an overworked neatness, as the greatest delight of the whole work is blocked and diminished by such decoration, this tends to also make the Artists themselves loose the respect of her Art, when the spectators begin to suspect the criticism of the all too careful jewel, that it is but affectation, and not real magnificence, that one finds in the work, that is, if the Art-loving spectators understand, that the Artist has tried to fill his work just with the artificial appearance of stateliness and not with stateliness itself. It happens daily that many, lacking the knowledge and experience that is demanded for this curious meticulous Art, busily build castles in the sky, so that they do not appear to crawl on the ground like other common artisans.

Junius describes the importance and characteristics of magnificence (magnificentie), also called stateliness (statigheid), in an art work. He explains that it should entail modesty (stemmigheid), grace (bevalligheid) and not too much unnecessary ornament (opghepronckte verlustinghe; optoyssel; affectatie) or extreme neatness. An artist needs knowledge (kennis) and experience (ervaring) to obtain the right level of magnificence in his work. In this citation, Junius uses the terms ‘statigheid’, and to a lesser degree ‘achtbaarheid’ and ‘aanzien’ as equivalents for magnificence. In the Latin edition of 1637, Junius provides the Greek terms 'megaloprepeia' and 'semnotes' for this term. I would like to thank Wieneke Jansen (Leiden University) for her precious assistance with regard to the Latin and English translation of this citation. [MO]

statelijkheid · aanzien · achtbaarheid · heerlijkheid

term translated by MAGNIFICENTIA in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p. 147
term translated by GRANDITAS in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p. 147
term translated by MAGNIFICENCE in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p. 245

Conceptual field(s)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → sujet et choix
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → grandeur et noblesse

Quotation

Plinius, en andere oude schryvers meer, prysen den wyd-beroemden Phidias van weghen de staetige en gantsch hooghwaerdige Magnificentie die in sijne wercken wierd gevonden; en misschien sullen wy ons selven niet vele vergissen, indien wy staende houden dat desen Konstenaer de voornaemste kracht sijner Inventie uyt de poetische schriften heeft getrocken, want hy sich niet en schaemde te belijden, dat hy het voorschrift van sijnen Eleaanschen Iupiter in Homerus hadde gevonden, siet Valerius Maximus Lib. III, Cap. 7. ex. ext.4.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] Plinius, and other old writers as well, praise the widely famous Phidias for the stately and rather eminent Magnificence that can be found in his works; and perhaps we would not make such a big mistake, if we uphold that his Artist pulled the principal power of his Invention from the poetical writings, as he was not afraid to admit, that he had found the instruction for his Helladic Iupiter in Homeros, see Valerius Maximus Lib. III, Cap. 7. ex. ext.4.

PHIDIAS, Zeus, c. 435 BC, chryselephantine statue, lost (5th century AD)

term translated by MAGNIFICENTIA in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p. 150
term translated by GREATNESS in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p. 249
term translated by MAGNIFICENCE in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p. 249

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → grandeur et noblesse

Quotation

Aengaende de Poëten, soo is seecker, dat men door het lesen der selve veel cierlijcke inventeringen komt te begrijpen, gelijck dat oock al van overlangh in menigh Constenaer is gebleecken, datse demeeste magnificentie van haere wercken uyt haere Verdighselen gehaelt hebben. Soo vertelt ons Valerius Maximus, dat Phidias seer geerne bekende dat hy het Model van sijnen Eliaenschen Iupiter by den Poët Homerus gevonden hadde: van gelijcke betuygen eenige schrijvers dat Thimanthes en Praxiteles veele van haere aerdigheden uyt den Poët Euripides ontleent hadden.

[suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] Regarding the Poets, that much is clear, that one comes to understand many graceful inventions by reading them, like it has long become clear about many Artists, that they have obtained most magnificence in their works from those Poems. As such Valerius Maximus tells us that Phidias gladly admitted that he had found the model for his Helladic Jupiter with the poet Homeros: similarly some authors recount that Thimanthes and Praxiteles had borrowed many pleasant things from the poet Euripides.

PHIDIAS, Zeus, c. 435 BC, chryselephantine statue, lost (5th century AD)

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → grandeur et noblesse
L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → sujet et choix