DRYDEN, John ( 1631-1700 )

DRYDEN, John ( 1631-1700 )

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Quotation

As the Poets, so the Painters have stor’d our Imaginations with Beings, and Actions that never were ; they have given us the Finest Natural, and Historical Images, and that for the same End, to Please, whilst they Instruct, and make men Better. I am not dispos’d to carry on the Parallel, by descending to Particulars, nor is it my Present business : Mr. Dryden has done it, tho’ it were to be wish’d he had been in less Haste, and had understood Painting better when his Fine Pen was so employ’d.

Quotation

As the Poets, so the Painters have stor’d our Imaginations with Beings, and Actions that never were ; they have given us the Finest Natural, and Historical Images, and that for the same End, to Please, whilst they Instruct, and make men Better. I am not dispos’d to carry on the Parallel, by descending to Particulars, nor is it my Present business : Mr. Dryden has done it, tho’ it were to be wish’d he had been in less Haste, and had understood Painting better when his Fine Pen was so employ’d.
Sculpture carries us yet farther than Poetry, and gives us Ideas that no Words can : Such Forms of things, such Airs of Heads, such Expressions of the Passions that cannot be describ’d by Language.
It has been much disputed which is the most Excellent of the two Arts, Sculpture, or Painting, and there is a Story of its having been left to the determination of a Blind man, who gave it in favour of the Latter, being told that what by Feeling seem’d to him to be Flat, appear’d to the Eye as Round as its Competitor. I am not satisfy’d with This way of deciding the Controversy. For ‘tis not the Difficulty of an Art that makes it preferable, but the Ends propos’d to be serv’d by it, and the Degree in which it does That, and then the Less Difficulty the Better.
Now the great Ends of both these Arts is to give Pleasure, and to convey Ideas, and that of the two which best answers Those Ends is undoubtedly preferable ; And that this is Painting is Evident, since it gives us as great a degree of Pleasure, and all the Ideas that Sculpture can, with the Addition of Others ; and this not only by the help of her Colours ; but because she can express many things which Brass, Marble, or other Materials of that Art cannot, or are not so Proper for. A Statue indeed is seen all round, and this is one great Advantage which ‘tis pretended Sculpture has, but without reason : If the Figure is Seen on every Side, ‘tis Wrought on every Side, ‘tis Wrought on every Side, ‘tis then as so many several Pictures, and a hundred Views of a Figure may be Painted in the time that that Figure is cut in Marble, or cast in Brass.
As the business of Painting is to Raise, and Improve Nature, it answers to Poetry ; (tho’ upon Occasion it can also be Strictly Historical) And as it serves to the Other, more Noble End, this Hieroglyphic Language completes what Words, or Writing began, and Sculpture carried on, and Thus perfects all that Humane Nature is capable of in the communication of Ideas ‘till we arrive to a more Angelical, and Spiritual State in another World.

Quotation

As the Poets, so the Painters have stor’d our Imaginations with Beings, and Actions that never were ; they have given us the Finest Natural, and Historical Images, and that for the same End, to Please, whilst they Instruct, and make men Better. I am not dispos’d to carry on the Parallel, by descending to Particulars, nor is it my Present business : Mr. Dryden has done it, tho’ it were to be wish’d he had been in less Haste, and had understood Painting better when his Fine Pen was so employ’d.
Sculpture carries us yet farther than Poetry, and gives us Ideas that no Words can : Such Forms of things, such Airs of Heads, such Expressions of the Passions that cannot be describ’d by Language.
It has been much disputed which is the most Excellent of the two Arts, Sculpture, or Painting, and there is a Story of its having been left to the determination of a Blind man, who gave it in favour of the Latter, being told that what by Feeling seem’d to him to be Flat, appear’d to the Eye as Round as its Competitor. I am not satisfy’d with This way of deciding the Controversy. For ‘tis not the Difficulty of an Art that makes it preferable, but the Ends propos’d to be serv’d by it, and the Degree in which it does That, and then the Less Difficulty the Better.
Now the great Ends of both these Arts is to give Pleasure, and to convey Ideas, and that of the two which best answers Those Ends is undoubtedly preferable ; And that this is Painting is Evident, since it gives us as great a degree of Pleasure, and all the Ideas that Sculpture can, with the Addition of Others ; and this not only by the help of her Colours ; but because she can express many things which Brass, Marble, or other Materials of that Art cannot, or are not so Proper for. A Statue indeed is seen all round, and this is one great Advantage which ‘tis pretended Sculpture has, but without reason : If the Figure is Seen on every Side, ‘tis Wrought on every Side, ‘tis Wrought on every Side, ‘tis then as so many several Pictures, and a hundred Views of a Figure may be Painted in the time that that Figure is cut in Marble, or cast in Brass.
As the business of Painting is to Raise, and Improve Nature, it answers to Poetry ; (tho’ upon Occasion it can also be Strictly Historical) And as it serves to the Other, more Noble End, this Hieroglyphic Language completes what Words, or Writing began, and Sculpture carried on, and Thus perfects all that Humane Nature is capable of in the communication of Ideas ‘till we arrive to a more Angelical, and Spiritual State in another World.

Quotation

As the Poets, so the Painters have stor’d our Imaginations with Beings, and Actions that never were ; they have given us the Finest Natural, and Historical Images, and that for the same End, to Please, whilst they Instruct, and make men Better. I am not dispos’d to carry on the Parallel, by descending to Particulars, nor is it my Present business : Mr. Dryden has done it, tho’ it were to be wish’d he had been in less Haste, and had understood Painting better when his Fine Pen was so employ’d.