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, 1719.2 quotations
‘Tis an entertaining thing to the Mind of Man to see a fine piece of Art in Any kind ; and every one is apt to take a sort of Pride in it as being done by one of his Own Species, to whom with respect to the Universe he stands related as to one of the Same Countrey, or the Same Family. Painting affords us a great Variety of This kind of Pleasure in the Delicate, or Bold management of the Pencil ;
and I believe it very rarely happens, that any One Circumstance of Life is so well consider’d as it might be with the Design of extracting all possible Pleasures from it. However (besides that of Connoissance which is my main Business, and which I shall fully prosecute anon) I will not omit One which every body finds the benefit of in some measure, but which might be improv’d to a Vast Degree, and that is the getting a fine Collection of Mental Pictures ; what I mean is furnishing the Mind with Pleasing Images ; whether of things Real, or Imaginary ; whether of our own forming, or borrow’d from Others. This is a Collection which every one may have, and which will finely employ every vacant moment of ones time. I will give a Specimen or two in these in the Delicate, and in the Great kind, or to speak more like a Connoisseur, in the Parmeggiano, and in the Rafaelle Taste ;
In that admirable Carton of S. Paul preaching, the Expressions are very just, and delicate throughout : Even the Back-Ground is not without its Meaning ; ‘tis Expressive of the Superstition S. Paul was preaching against.