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
Gentlemen may do as they please, the following Method [ndr : pour juger un tableau] seems to Me to be the most Natural, Convenient, and Proper.
Before you come so near the Picture to be Consider’d as to look into Particulars, or even to be able to know what the Subject of it is, at least before you take notice of That, Observe the Tout-ensemble of the Masses, and what Kind of one the Whole makes together. It will be proper at the same Distance to consider the General Colouring ; whether That be Grateful, Chearing, and Delightful to the Eye, or Disagreeable ; Then let the Composition be Examin’d Near, and see the Contrasts, and other Particularities relating to it, and so finish your Observations on That Head. The same Then may be done with respect to the Colouring ; then the Handling, and afterwards the Drawing ; These being dispatch’d the Mind is at liberty carefully consider the Invention ; then to see how well the Expression is perform’d, And Lastly, What Grace and Greatness is spread throughout, and how suitable to each Character.
Every Action must be represented as done, not only as ‘tis possible it might be perform’d, but in the Best manner. In the Print after Rafaëlle, grav’d by Marc Antonio, you see Hercules gripe Anteus with all the Advantage one can wish to have over an Adversary : […]. Daniele da Volterra has not succeeded so well in his famous Picture of the Descent from the Cross, where one of the Assistants, who stands upon a Ladder drawing out a Nail, is so disposed as is not very Natural, and Convenient for the purpose.
DA VOLTERRA, Daniele (Daniele Ricciarelli), Descente de la croix, v. 1545, fresque, 337 x 221, Roma, Chiesa della Trinità dei Monti.
NATOIRE, Charles-Joseph, L'union de la Peinture et du Dessin, v. 1746, huile sur toile, Pas d'informations, Collection particulière.