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Of the Vertue and Efficacy of Motion.

It is generally confessed of all Men, that all such
Motions in Pictures, as do most neerly resemble the Life, are exceeding pleasant, and contrarywise those that which do farthest dissent from the same, are void of all gracious Beauty, committing the like discord in Nature, which untuned strings do in an instrument. Neither do these motions thus lively imitating Nature in Pictures, breed only an Eye-pleasing contentment, but do also performe the self same effects, which the natural do, for as he which laugheth, mourneth, or is otherwise effected, doth naturally move the beholders to the self same passion, of mirth or sorrow, so a picture artificially expressing the true natural motions, will (surely) procure laughter when it laugheth, pensiveness when it is grieved &c. […], All which points are (in truth) worthy of no less admiration then those miracles of the antient Musicians, who with the variety of their melodious harmony, were wont to stir Men up to wrath and indignation, love, warr, […]. 
But to return thither were I left, I am of Opinion that insomuch as these Motions are so Potent in affecting our Minds, when they be most artifcially counterfeited, we ought for our bettering in the knowledge thereof, to propose unto us the example of Leonard Vincent above all others : Of whom, it is reported, that he would never express any motion in a Picture, before he had first carefully beheld the Life, to the end he might come as neer the same, as was possible : whereunto afterwards joyning Art, his Pictures surpassed the Life.

Conceptual field(s)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → expression des passions
SPECTATEUR → perception et regard


Notwithstanding, I am of Opinion, that it is possible to attain unto this so excellent a faculty [ndr : dans le choix des meilleures actions], (though perhaps not with that special eminency of natural facility,) as by industrious study in the knowledge of these motions ; and the causes whence they proceed. For from hence a Man may easily attain to a certain understanding, which afterwards putting in practice with patience, together with the other points, he may undoubtedly prove a judicious inventor, who never had any extraordinary natural inclination, my meaning is, that such an inventor, as guideth himself by understanding, shall attain to better perfection then the other, who is naturally indued with the dexterity, without industry and patience : for example, if a Man shall diligently peruse the whole History of Christ, out of doubt he shall gather the true Idea and Method, how he ought to represent the motions of Christ, the Apostles, the Jews, and all the rest, who had any part in that cruel Tragedy, so sufficiently, that the Mind of the beholder, shall be no less moved to pitty, tears and sorrow, at the sight of the picture, then Men are usually at the reading of the History, […]. 

Conceptual field(s)

SPECTATEUR → perception et regard