RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Two Discourses. I. An Essay on the whole Art of Criticism as it relates to Painting. Shewing how to judge I. Of the Goodness of a Picture ; II. Of the Hand of the Master ; and III. Whether ‘tis an Original, or a Copy. II. An Argument in behalf of the Science of a Connoisseur ; Wherein is shewn the Dignity, Certainty, Pleasure, and Advantage of it. Both by Mr. Richardson, London, W. Churchill, 1719.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Two Discourses. I. An Essay on the whole Art of Criticism as it relates to Painting. Shewing how to judge I. Of the Goodness of a Picture ; II. Of the Hand of the Master ; and III. Whether ‘tis an Original, or a Copy. II. An Argument in behalf of the Science of a Connoisseur ; Wherein is shewn the Dignity, Certainty, Pleasure, and Advantage of it. Both by Mr. Richardson, London, W. Churchill, 1719.

Getty Research Institute Los Angeles ND1130 .R5 281 quotations 155 terms
Après la publication en 1715 d’un Essay on the Theory of Painting, Jonathan Richardson Senior (1667-1745), peintre anglais et collectionneur de dessins et gravures, publie un second ouvrage en 1719, Two Discourses. I. An Essay on the whole Art of Criticism as it relates to Painting […]. II. An Argument in behalf of the Science of a Connoisseur […]. En 1722, paraît un troisième ouvrage, co-écrit avec son fils, Jonathan Richardson Junior (1694-1771), contenant cette fois-ci des descriptions d’œuvres d’art conservées principalement en Italie. Ces trois textes ont fait l’objet d’une traduction française revue par Richardson Senior et publiée en 1728, sous le titre Traité de la peinture et de la sculpture. À la fin du XVIIIe siècle, ils sont à nouveau regroupés et publiés sous le titre The Works of Jonathan Richardson […]. Dans cette version, le contenu des Two Discourses, texte ayant eu moins de succès que les deux autres, est réduit.
Les Two Discourses sont composés de deux parties ou « discourses » – la pagination recommence dans le second. Le titre de ce dernier discours est variable : sur la page de garde de l’ouvrage, il s’agit de An Argument in behalf of the Science of a Connoisseur (n.p., p. 7 du pdf), tandis que sur la page de titre précédant ce discours, il s’agit de A Discourse on the Dignity, Certainty, Pleasure and Advantage, of the Science of a Connoisseur (p. 1 du second discours, p. 221 du pdf).
Les Two Discourses sont présentés par Richardson comme le premier ouvrage entièrement consacré à la manière de bien juger une peinture – L’idée du peintre parfait de Roger de Piles est évoqué dans l’introduction, mais selon Richardson ce travail n’est pas assez détaillé. Dans ses Two Discourses, Richardson donne ainsi davantage de renseignements sur la manière de reconnaître l’auteur d’un ouvrage, de distinguer une copie d’un original, etc. Il justifie sa démarche en précisant qu’à cause de sa profession et de son activité de collectionneur d’art, de nombreuses personnes lui demandent des conseils sur ces différents points. Il faut noter que le marché de l’art londonien connaissait un certain essor : de plus en plus d’individus achetaient alors des œuvres d’art, ces derniers désirant bien entendu acquérir des œuvres de bonne qualité, réalisées par tel ou tel grand maître. Richardson destine son texte à un public peu familier avec l’art et sa théorie – alors que son Essay on the Theory of Painting s’adressait à des peintres et un lectorat davantage connaisseur. Le but de l’auteur est donc d’aider des acquéreurs potentiels d’œuvres d’art, afin que les marchands n’exploitent pas leur ignorance en la matière pour leur vendre des peintures de mauvaise qualité à un prix trop élevé.
Richardson prend ainsi la plume dans un contexte nouveau. En outre, le Royaume-Uni de Grande-Bretagne venait d’être créé : on cherchait alors à affirmer sa grandeur, y compris en peinture. Le premier texte écrit par Richardson, An Essay on the Theory of the Painting, allait déjà dans ce sens, puisque l’auteur tentait de promouvoir l’école anglaise de peinture, mais aussi de développer un discours britannique sur l’art, libéré des influences continentales. C’est ce qu’il poursuit dans ses Two Discourses, en tentant de développer un vocabulaire artistique anglais – quelques termes français et italiens, tels que tout-ensemble et mezzo-tinto, demeurent néanmoins présents. Richardson présente en outre une vision relativement nouvelle du Connoisseur et s’intéresse davantage à la réception des œuvres d’art plutôt qu’à leur production. Une particularité de ce texte réside dans la volonté de Richardson de promouvoir la Connaissance comme une branche de la connaissance humaine, comme une science à part entière, plutôt que comme une question d’opinion. Il développe de fait une vision très positive du Connoisseur, le présentant comme un individu cultivé, pouvant acquérir une certaine estime de la part de ses contemporains grâce à l’étude de la peinture quant à elle capable de transmettre des valeurs morales et sociales. Néanmoins, ce texte, contrairement aux deux autres écrits de Richardson, rencontra un succès moindre au XVIIIe siècle. Selon C. Gibson-Wood, cela s’explique notamment par la nouveauté du propos, mais aussi par la manière de s’exprimer de Richardson, qui réalise de nombreuses digressions sur la religion et la philosophie – toujours selon C. Gibson-Wood, l’ensemble de son propos est par ailleurs marqué par l’influence de John Locke (1632-1704) [1].
Une volonté d’indépendance de la part de Richardson se retrouve dans son absence de dédicace – c’était aussi le cas dans l’Essay on the Theory of Painting. Cette recherche se perçoit aussi dans la carrière de l’artiste puisqu’il refusa d’être nommé « Peintre du Roi » à deux reprises.
Ce texte ne comporte aucune illustration significative, seulement des bandeaux en début de chaque chapitre, ainsi que des lettrines. Néanmoins, plusieurs peintures sont citées, et notamment le portrait de la Comtesse Dowager of Exeter par Van Dyck (œuvre perdue, mais connue par une reproduction de W. Faithorne, gravure sur papier, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, P 2346-R) ou encore Tancrède et Herminie de Poussin (vers 1634, huile sur toile, 75.5 x 99.7 cm, Birmingham, University of Birmingham, The Barber Institute of Art, No.38.9), auxquelles Richardson consacre plusieurs pages.

Élodie Cayuela

[1] Gibson-Wood, 1982, p. 128-135 ; Gibson-Wood, 1984, p. 40-44 et Gibson-Wood, 2000, p. 181-182.
in-8 english
Structure
Table des matières at n.p.
Avis au lecteur at n.p.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, A Discours on the Dignity, Certainty, Pleasure and Advantage, of the Science of a Connoisseur, London, W. Churchill, 1719.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Two Discourses. I. An Essay on the Whole Art of Criticism as it relates to Painting. Shewing how to judge I. Of the Goodness of a Picture ; II. Of the Hand of the Master ; and III. Whether 'tis an Original, Or a Copy. II. An Argument in behalf of the Science of a Connoisseur ; Wherein is shewn the Dignity, Certainty, Pleasure, and Advantage of It. Both by Mr. Richardson, London, A. Bettesworth, 1725.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, The Works of Mr. Jonathan Richardson. Consisting of I. The Theory of Painting. II. Essay on the Art of Criticism, so far as it relates to Painting. III. The Science of a Connoisseur. All corrected and prepared for the Press By his Son Mr. J. Richardson, RICHARDSON, Jonathan Junior (éd.), London, T. Davies, 1773.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, The Works of Jonathan Richardson. Containing I. The Theory of Painting. II. Essay on the Art of Criticism, (So far as it relates to Painting). III. The Science of a Connoisseur. A New Edition, corrected, with the Additions of An Essay on the Knowledge of Prints, and Cautions to Collectors, Ornamented with Portraits by Worlidge, &c. of the most Eminent Painters mentioned. Dedicated, by Permission, to Sir Joshua Reynolds, London, T. et J. Egerton, 1792.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, The Works, Hildesheim, G. Olms, 1969.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Two Discourses, Menston, Scolar Press, 1972.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan et RICHARDSON, Jonathan Junior, Traité de la peinture, et de la Sculpture. Par M. Richardson, Père & Fils. Divisé en trois tomes, Description de divers fameux tableaux, desseins, statues, bustes, bas-reliefs, &c., qui se trouvent en Italie ; Avec des remarques par Mrs Richardson, père & fils. Traduite de l'Anglois : Revue, Corrigée, & considérablement augmentée, dans cette traduction, par les auteurs. Où l'on a ajouté un discours préliminaire sur le beau idéal, des peintres, sculpteurs, & poëtes, par L. H. Ten Kate, trad. par RUTGERS, Antoine, Amsterdam, Herman Uytwerf, 1728, 2 vol., vol. II.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Traité de la peinture et de la sculpture, trad. par RUTGERS, Antoine et TEN KATE, Lambert, Genève, Minkoff Reprint, 1972.

RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Traité de la peinture et de la sculpture, BAUDINO, Isabelle et OGÉE, Frédéric (éd.), Paris, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, 2008.

SNELGROVE, Gordon William, The Work and Theories of Jonathan Richardson (1665-1745), Thesis, University of London, 1936.

PAKNADEL, Félix, Critique et peinture en Angleterre de 1660 à 1770, Thèse de doctorat, Université de Provence, 1978.

GIBSON-WOOD, Carol, « Jonathan Richardson and the Rationalization of Connoisseurship », Art History, 7/1, 1984, p. 38-56 [En ligne : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8365.1984.tb00127.x/abstract consulté le 23/06/2015].

GIBSON-WOOD, Carol, Studies in the Theory of Connoisseurship from Vasari to Morelli, New York, Garland, 1988.

HABERLAND, Irene, Jonathan Richardson, 1666-1745 : die Begründung der Kunstkennerschaft, Münster, LIT, 1991.

GIBSON-WOOD, Carol, Jonathan Richardson: Art Theorist of the English Enlightenment, New Haven - London, Yale University Press, 2000.

COWAN, Brian, « An Open Elite: the Peculiarities of Connoisseurship in Early Modern England », Modern Intellectual History, 1/2, 2004, p. 151-183.

GEEST, Simone von der, The Reasoning Eye: Jonathan Richardson's (1667-1745) Portrait Theory and Practice in the Context of the English Enlightenment, Thesis, University of London, 2005.

MOUNT, Harry, « The Monkey with the Magnifying Glass: Construction of the Connoisseur in Eighteenth-Century Britain », Oxford Art Journal, 29/2, 2006, p. 169-184 [En ligne : http://www.jstor.org/stable/3841010 consulté le 23/06/2015].

HAMLETT, Lydia, « Longinus and the Baroque Sublime in Britain », dans LLEWELLYN, Nigel et RIDING, Christine (éd.), The Art of the Sublime, 2013 [En ligne : https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/the-sublime/lydia-hamlett-longinus-and-the-baroque-sublime-in-britain-r1108498 consulté le 09/05/2016].

FILTERS

CONCEPTUAL FIELDS

QUOTATIONS

Of the Goodness of a Picture, &c.
WHerefore callest thou me Good, there is none Good but One, that is God ?
Said the Son of God to the young Man who prefac’d a Noble Question with that Complement. This is that Goodness that is Perfect, Simple, and Properly so call’d, ‘tis what is Peculiar to the Deity, and so to be found no where else. But there is another Improper, Imperfect, Comparative Goodness, and no other than this is to be had in the Works of Men, and this admits of various Degrees. This Distinction well consider’d, and apply’d to all the Occurrences of Life would contribute very much to the Improvement of our Happiness here ; it would teach us to Enjoy the Good before us, and not reject it upon account of the disagreeable Companion which is inseperable from it ; But the use I now would make of it is only to show that a Picture, Drawing, or Print may be Good tho’ it has several Faults ; To say otherwise is as absurd as to deny a thing is what ‘tis said to be, because it has properties which are Essential to it.
[…].
If in a Picture the Story be well chosen, and finely Told (at least) if not Improv’d, if it fill the Mind with Noble, and Instructive Ideas, I will not scruple to say ‘tis an excellent Picture, tho’ the Drawing be as Incorrect as that of Corregio, Titian, or Rubens ; the Colouring as Disagreeable as that of Polidore, Battista Franco, or Michael Angelo. Nay, tho’ there is no other Good but that of the Colouring, and the Pencil, I will dare to pronouce it a Good Picture ; that is, that ‘tis Good in those Respects. In the first Instance here is a fine Story artfully communicated to my Imagination, not by Speech, nor Writing, but in a manner preferable to either of them ; In the other there is a Beautiful, and Delightful Object, and a fine piece of Workmanship, to say no more of it.
There never was a Picture in the World without some Faults, And very rarely is there one to be found which is not notoriously Defective in some of the Parts of Painting. In judging of it’s Goodness as a Connoisseur, one should pronounce it such in proportion to the Number of the Good Qualities it has, and their Degrees of Goodness.

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

SPECTATEUR → jugement
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

If in a Picture the Story be well chosen, and finely Told (at least) if not Improv’d, if it fill the Mind with Noble, and Instructive Ideas, I will not scruple to say ‘tis an excellent Picture, tho’ the Drawing be as Incorrect as that of Corregio, Titian, or Rubens ; the Colouring as Disagreeable as that of Polidore, Battista Franco, or Michael Angelo. Nay, tho’ there is no other Good but that of the Colouring, and the Pencil, I will dare to pronouce it a Good Picture ; that is, that ‘tis Good in those Respects. In the first Instance here is a fine Story artfully communicated to my Imagination, not by Speech, nor Writing, but in a manner preferable to either of them ; In the other there is a Beautiful, and Delightful Object, and a fine piece of Workmanship, to say no more of it.
There never was a Picture in the World without some Faults, And very rarely is there one to be found which is not notoriously Defective in some of the Parts of Painting. In judging of it’s Goodness as a Connoisseur, one should pronounce it such in proportion to the Number of the Good Qualities it has, and their Degrees of Goodness.

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

If in a Picture the Story be well chosen, and finely Told (at least) if not Improv’d, if it fill the Mind with Noble, and Instructive Ideas, I will not scruple to say ‘tis an excellent Picture, tho’ the Drawing be as Incorrect as that of Corregio, Titian, or Rubens ; the Colouring as Disagreeable as that of Polidore, Battista Franco, or Michael Angelo. Nay, tho’ there is no other Good but that of the Colouring, and the Pencil, I will dare to pronouce it a Good Picture ; that is, that ‘tis Good in those Respects

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → qualité du dessin

There never was a Picture in the World without some Faults, And very rarely is there one to be found which is not notoriously Defective in some of the Parts of Painting. In judging of it’s Goodness as a Connoisseur, one should pronounce it such in proportion to the Number of the Good Qualities it has, and their Degrees of Goodness.

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

SPECTATEUR → jugement

There are certain Arguments, which a Connoisseur is utterly to reject, as not being such by which he is to form his Judgement, of what Use soever they may be to those who are incapable of judging otherwise, or who will not take the Pains to know better. [...] One of the commonest, and most deluding Arguments, that is used on this Occasion is, that ‘tis of the Hand of such a One. Tho’ this has no great Weight in it, even admitting it to be Really of that Hand, which very often ‘tis not : The best Masters have had their Beginnings, and Decays, and great Inequalities throughout their whole Lives, as shall be more fully noted hereafter. That ‘tis done by one who has had great Helps, and Opportunities of improving himself ; Or One that Says, he is a great Master, is what People are very ready to be cheated by, and not one Jot the less, for having found that they have been so cheated again, and again before, nay, tho’ they justly laugh at, and despise the Man at the same Time.

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

L’ARTISTE → qualités

There are certain Arguments, which a Connoisseur is utterly to reject, as not being such by which he is to form his Judgement, of what Use soever they may be to those who are incapable of judging otherwise, or who will not take the Pains to know better. Some of these have really no Weight at all in them, the Best are very Precarious, and only serve to perswade us the Thing is good in general, not in what Respect it is so. That a Picture, or Drawing has been, or is much esteem’d by those who are believ’d to be good Judges ; Or is, or was Part of a famous Collection, cost so much, has a rich Frame, or the like. Whoever makes Use of such Arguments as these, besides that they are very fallacious, takes the Thing upon Trust, which a good Connoisseur should never condescend to do. That ‘tis Old, Italian, Rough, Smooth, &c. These are Circumstances hardly worth mentioning, and which belongs to Good, and Bad. A Picture, or Drawing may be too old to be good ; but in the Golden Age of Painting, which was that of Rafaelle, about Two Hundred Years ago, there were wretched Painters, as well as Before, and Since, and in Italy, as well as Elsewhere. Nor is a Picture the Better, or the Worse, for being Rough, or Smooth, simply consider’d.

terms translations

smooth

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → touche
terms translations

rough

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → touche

There are certain Arguments, which a Connoisseur is utterly to reject, as not being such by which he is to form his Judgement, of what Use soever they may be to those who are incapable of judging otherwise, or who will not take the Pains to know better. Some of these have really no Weight at all in them, the Best are very Precarious, and only serve to perswade us the Thing is good in general, not in what Respect it is so. That a Picture, or Drawing has been, or is much esteem’d by those who are believ’d to be good Judges ; Or is, or was Part of a famous Collection, cost so much, has a rich Frame, or the like. Whoever makes Use of such Arguments as these, besides that they are very fallacious, takes the Thing upon Trust, which a good Connoisseur should never condescend to do. That ‘tis Old, Italian, Rough, Smooth, &c. These are Circumstances hardly worth mentioning, and which belongs to Good, and Bad. A Picture, or Drawing may be too old to be good ; but in the Golden Age of Painting, which was that of Rafaelle, about Two Hundred Years ago, there were wretched Painters, as well as Before, and Since, and in Italy, as well as Elsewhere. Nor is a Picture the Better, or the Worse, for being Rough, or Smooth, simply consider’d. One of the commonest, and most deluding Arguments, that is used on this Occasion is, that ‘tis of the Hand of such a One. Tho’ this has no great Weight in it, even admitting it to be Really of that Hand, which very often ‘tis not : The best Masters have had their Beginnings, and Decays, and great Inequalities throughout their whole Lives, as shall be more fully noted hereafter. That ‘tis done by one who has had great Helps, and Opportunities of improving himself ; Or One that Says, he is a great Master, is what People are very ready to be cheated by, and not one Jot the less, for having found that they have been so cheated again, and again before, nay, tho’ they justly laugh at, and despise the Man at the same Time. To infer a Thing Is, because it Ought to be, is unreasonable, because Experience shou’d teach us better ; but often we think there are Opportunities, and Advantages where there are none, or not in the Degree we imagine ; and to take a Man’s own Word, where his Interest, or Vanity shou’d make us suspect him is sufficiently unaccountable. Whoever builds upon a Supposition of the good Sense, and Integrity of Mankind has a very Sandy Foundation, and yet ‘tis what we find many a Popular Argument rests upon, in Other Cases, as well as in This. But, (as I said) whether These kind of Arguments above-mention’d have any thing in them, or not, a Connoisseur has nothing to do with them ; his Business is to judge from the Intrinsic Qualities of the thing itself ;

terms translations

judge

Conceptual field(s)

SPECTATEUR → jugement
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

SPECTATEUR → jugement

However I will here make him [ndr : au lecteur] an Offer of an Abstract of what I take to be those by which a Painter, or Connoisseur, may safely conduct himself, [...] V. The Colouring whether Gay, or Solid, must be Natural, Beautiful, and Clean, and what the Eye is delighted with, in Shaddows as well as Lights, and Middle Tints.

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
MANIÈRE ET STYLE → le faire et la main
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
EFFET PICTURAL → qualité des couleurs
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → dessin
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → expression des passions
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → convenance, bienséance
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

SPECTATEUR → perception et regard
terms translations

solid

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → qualité des couleurs
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → touche
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
MANIÈRE ET STYLE → le faire et la main
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → lumière
CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → composition
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → nature, imitation et vrai
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → convenance, bienséance
L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → expression des passions
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → proportion
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → lumière
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → lumière
CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
terms translations

Gay

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → qualité des couleurs
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → expression des passions
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

MANIÈRE ET STYLE → le faire et la main
CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur

However I will here make him [ndr : au lecteur] an Offer of an Abstract of what I take to be those by which a Painter, or Connoisseur, may safely conduct himself, referring to the Book it self for further Satisfaction. [...] VI. And Whether the Colours are laid on Thick, or Finely Wrought it must appear to be done by a Light, and Accurate Hand. [...] The Picture is highly finish’d, even in the parts the most inconsiderable, but in once, or two places there is a little heaviness of Hand ; The Drawing is firmly pronounc’d, and Sometimes, chiefly in the Faces, Hands and Feet ‘tis mark’d more than ordinary with the point of the Pencil.

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

MANIÈRE ET STYLE → le faire et la main
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → touche
MANIÈRE ET STYLE → le faire et la main
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

MANIÈRE ET STYLE → le faire et la main

However I will here make him [ndr : au lecteur] an Offer of an Abstract of what I take to be those by which a Painter, or Connoisseur, may safely conduct himself, referring to the Book it self for further Satisfaction.

I. The Subject must be finely Imagin’d, and if possible Improv’d in the Painters Hands ; He must Think well as a Historian, Poet, Philosopher, or Divine, and moreover as a Painter in making a Wise Use of all the Advantages of his Art, and finding Expedients to supply its Defects.

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → sujet et choix

All the different Degrees of Goodness in Painting may be reduc’d to these three General Classes. The Mediocre, or Indifferently Good, the Excellent, and the Sublime. The first is of a large Extent ; the second much Narrower ; and the Last still more so. I believe most people have a pretty Clear, and Just Idea of the two former ; the other is not so well understood ; which therefore I will define according to the Sense I have of it ;

terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → merveilleux et sublime
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → merveilleux et sublime
terms translations

Conceptual field(s)