AFTER THE LIFE (expr.)
TERM USED AS TRANSLATIONS IN QUOTATIOND'APRÈS NATURE (fra.)
BROWNE, Alexander, Ars Pictoria : or an Academy Treating of Drawing, Painting, Limning, Etching. To which are Added XXXI. Copper Plates, Expressing the Choicest, Nearest, and Most Exact Grounds and Rules of Symmetry. Collected out of the most Eminent Italian, German, and Netherland Authors. By Alexander Browne, Practitioner in the Art of Limning. The Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarged by the Author, London, Arthur Tooker - William Battersby, 1675.1 quotations
Several Observations, in drawing a Head after the Life
And because the greatest difficulty, and principal parts of this Art consist in some part in drawing the lively Resemblance of a Face, therefore I thought it very necessary to add this as a further Direction to draw any Face after the life. Therefore if you will draw any Face after the life, that it may resemble the party you draw it after ; take notice in the First place of the Physiognomy or circumference of the Face, whiter it be round or long, Fat or Lean, Big or Little, […], then you must diligently and judiciously observe and discern all the Gentle Master Touches, which gives the Spirit and Life to a Face, and discovers the Grace or Disposition of the Mind, wherein lieth the whole Grace of the Work, and the Credit of the Artist, you may easily discern a smiling Countenance in the Corners of the Mouth, when they turn up a little ; […] ; there are also some touches about the Eyes and Mouth which you must diligently observe, which gives the Spirit and Life to a Face.
AGLIONBY, William, Painting Illustrated in Three Diallogues. Containing some Choice Observations upon the Art. Together with The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters From Cimabue, to the time of Raphael and Michael Angelo. With an Explanation of the Difficult Terms, London, John Gain, 1685.2 quotations
Design is the Expressing with a Pen, or Pencil, or other Instrument, the Likeness of any Object by its out Lines, or Contours ; and he that Understands and Mannages well these first Lines, working after Nature still, and using extream Diligence, and skill may with Practice and Judgment, arrive to an Excellency in the Art.
Me thinks that should be no difficult Matter, for we see many whose Inclination carys them to Draw any thing they see, and they perform it with ease.
I grant you, Inclination goes a great way in disposing the Hand, but a strong Imagination only, will not carry a Painter through ; For when he compares his Work to Nature, he will soon find, that great Judgment is requisite, as well as a Lively Fancy ; and particularly when he comes to place many Objects together in one Piece or Story, which are all to have a just relation to one another. There he will find that not only the habit of the Hand but the strength of the Mind is requisite ; therefore all the Eminent Painters that ever were, spent more time in Designing after the Life, and after the Statues of the Antients, then ever did in learning how to colour their Works ; that so they might be Masters of Design, and be able to place readily every Object in its true situation.
Now you talk of Nature and Statues, I have heard Painters blam’d for working after both.
It is very true, and justly ; but less for working after Nature than otherwise. Caravaggio a famous Painter is blam’d for having meerly imitated Nature as he found her, without any correction of Forms. And Perugin, another Painter is blam’d for having wrought so much after Statues, that his Works never had that lively easiness which accompanies Nature ; and of this fault Raphael his Scholar was a long time guilty, till he Reform’d it by imitating Nature.
There remained in Græce some little footsteps of the Art [ndr : au Moyen Âge] ; and from thence it was, that about the Year 1250, there came some Painters, who could hardly be called Masters, having scarce any more knowledge of the Art than just to draw the Out-lines without either Grace or Proportion ; the first Schollar they made in Italy, was at Florence, and was called Cimabue ; who being helped by Nature, soon outdid his Masters, and began to give some strength to his Drawings, but still without any great Skill, as not understanding how to manage his Lights and Shadows, or indeed, how to Design truely ; it being it those days an unusual and unattempted thing to Draw after the Life.