CONGRUENTIA

ANALOGIE (nld.) · CONGRUENCE (eng.) · GELIJKVORMIGHEID (nld.) · HARMOGE (nld.) · HARMONIE (nld.) · MEDEVOEGHLICKHEYD (nld.) · SYMMETRIE (nld.)
TERM USED AS TRANSLATIONS IN QUOTATION
CONGRUENTIA (lat.) · SYMMETRIE (nld.)
TERM USED IN EARLY TRANSLATIONS
CONGRUENCE (eng.) · CONGRUENTIA (lat.)

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LINKED QUOTATIONS

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Quotation

Wat nu de Konst-maetighen proportionele uytdruckinghe der ghevondener stoffe belanght, de selvighe wordt in verscheydene autheuren verscheydenlick ghenaemt; docht voornaemelick wordtse in Philostratus en vele andere schrijvers door de naemen Symmetrie, Analogie ofte Harmonie te verstaen ghegheven; dies heeft oock den jonghen Philostratus dese dry benaeminghen bequaemelick t’saemen ghevoeght. De oude wijse Mannen hebben mijnes dunckens, seght hy {in proemio Iconum}, vele gheschreven van de Symmetrie der Schilder-konste, mids ons eenighe sekere wetten ontrendt d’Analogie vanalle bysondere leden voorstellende, even als of het niet ghenoegh en waere dat de Konstenaers eenigh lichaemelicke beweghinghen bequaemelick nae haer begrijp souden uytdrucken, het en waer saecke dat sich de Harmonie haeres wercks binnen de naturelicke maete besloten hield, want de Nature (wanneerse ons naemelick een rechtsinnighe en welghestelde beweghinge vertoon) en wil gheenssins erkennen het ghene van sijnen eyghenen aard en maete beghint af te swerven. Ghelijck wy dan uyt dese woorden ghenoeghsaemlick verstaen dat de Griecksche naemen van Symmetrie, Analogie, Harmonie even het selvige beteyckenen, soo is het evenwel t’eenemael onseker ende onghewis wat Latijnschen naem dat men daer voor heeft. Het woordt Symmetrie heeft gheenen Latijnschen naem, seght Plinius Lib. XXXIV.nat.hist.Cap.8.. Nochtans schijnt den jonghen Plinius dit woordt uytghedruckt te hebben met den naem Congruentia ofte AEqualitas, dat is, medevoeghlickheyd ofte ghelijckvormigheyd. Indien nu het hoofd ofte eenigh ander deel, het welck van sijne statue afgheruckt is, voorghestelt wierd, seght hy {Lib. II. Epist.5.}, ghy en soudt misschien de medvoeghlickheydt ende ghelijckvormigheyd des gantschen wercks daer uyt soo lichtelick niet konnen afnemen, niet te min soudt ghy daer uyt konnen oordeelen of die ghedeelte in sich selven aerdigh ghenoeg is.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] What the Artificial proportional expression of the found material is concerned, it is called differently by different writers; but mainly it is described by the name Symmetry, Analogy or Harmony in Philostratus and many other writers; as such the young Philostratus has also capably connected these three terms. In my opinion the old wise Men, he says {…}, have written a lot about the Symmetrie of the Art of Painting, by proposing us some certain laws regarding the Analogy of the separate members, as if it were not enough that the Artists would express some movements of the body capably after their understanding, it was then necessary that the Harmony of their work would stay within the natural size, because Nature (namely when it shows us a rightful and well-composed movement) does not want to recognize at all that which is starting to stray from its own character and size. Just as we understand from these words that the Greek terms Symmetry, Analogy and Harmony more or less mean the same, as such it is likewise uncertain and unclear which Latin term is used for it. The word Symmetry, says Plinius Lib. XXXIV. nat.hist. cap. 8. Nevertheless the young Plinius appears to have expressed this word with the term Congruentia or AEqualitas, that is correspondence or uniformity. If the head or any other member, which is torn off a statue, is depicted, he says {…}, you would perhaps not easily deduct the correspondence or uniformity of the whole work, nevertheless you would be able to judge from it whether the part itself is good enough.

Junius extensively discusses the different terms that are used to describe the aspect of proportion in a painting. This paragraph serves as the introduction for further exploration of the different terms, although some of them are only mentioned in this citation. The terms that are mentioned are: symmetry (symmetrie), analogy (analogie), harmony (harmonie), Congruentia, Aequalitas, medevoeghlickheyd and uniformity (gelijkvormigheid). Junius mentions the Greek origins of the first three terms and suggests that Congruentia and Aequalitas might be their Latin equivalents, as suggested by Pliny jr. The two Dutch terms are Junius’ own invention. This citation is of interest, as it shows Junius’ search for and understanding of artistic terms. In the Latin edition, Junius uses the Greek term for harmony: 'αρμονια. [MO]

aequalitas · medevoeghlickheyd · gelijckvormigheyd · symmetrie · analogie · harmonie

term translated by CONGRUENTIA in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p.154
term translated by CONGRUENCE 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.255-256

Conceptual field(s)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → proportion