TERM USED IN EARLY TRANSLATIONSAGRÉABLE (fra.)
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, 1685.1 quotations
Michael Angelo Buonaroti was the greatest Designer that ever was, having studied Naked Bodies with great Care ; but he aiming always at showing the most difficult things of the Art, in the Contorsions of Members, and Convulsions of the Muscles, Contractions of the Nerves, &c. His Painting is not so agreeable, though much more profound and difficult than any other ; his Manner was Fierce, and almost Savage, having nothing of the Graces of Raphael, whose Naked Figures are dilicate and tender, and more like Flesh and Blood, whereas Michael Angelo doth not distinguish the Sexes nor the Ages so well, but makes all alike Musculous and Strong ;
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, 1719.1 quotations
The Composition is unexceptionable [ndr : dans Poussin, Tancrède et Herminie] : There are innumerable Instances of Beautiful Contrasts ; Of this kind are the several Characters of the Persons, (all which are Excellent in their several kinds) and the several Habits : Tancred is half Naked : Erminia’s Sex distinguishes Her from all the rest ; as Vafrino’s Armour, and Helmet shews Him to be Inferiour to Tancred, (His lying by him) and Argante’s Armour differs from both of them. The various positions of the Limbs in all the Figures are also finely Contrasted, and altogether have a lovely effect ; Nor did I ever see a greater Harmony, nor more Art to produce it in any Picture of what Master soever, whether as to the Easy Gradation from the Principal, to the Subordinate Parts, the Connection of one with another, by the degrees of the Lights, and Shadows, and the Tincts of the Colours.
And These too are Good throughout ; They are not Glaring, as the Subject, and the Time of the Story (which was after Sun-set) requires : Nor is the Colouring like that of Titian, Corregio, Rubens, or those fine Colourists, But ‘tis Warm, and Mellow, ‘tis Agreeable, and of a Taste which none but a Great Man could fall into : And without considering it as a Story, or the Imitation of any thing in Nature the Tout-ensemble of the Colours is a Beautiful, and Delightful Object.
The truth is, ‘tis a little choquing to see such a Mixture of Antique, and Modern Figures, of Christianity, and Heathenism in the same Pictures [ndr : Le cycle de Marie de Médicis par Rubens] ; but this is much owing to its Novelty. […] He had moreover Another very good Reason for what he did on this Occasion : The Stories he had to paint were Modern, and the Habits, and Ornaments must be so too, which would not have had a very agreeable effect in Painting : These Allegorical Additions make a wonderful Improvement ; they vary, enliven, and enrich the Work ; as any one may perceive that will imagine the Pictures as they must have been, had Rubens been terrified by the Objections which he certainly must have foreseen would be made afterwards, and so had left all these Heathen Gods, and Goddesses, and the rest of the Fictitious Figures out of the Composition.