FACE PAINTER (n.)
To be a good Face-Painter, a degree of the Historical, and Poetical Genius is requisite, and a great Measure of the other Talents, and Advantages which a good History-Painter must possess : Nay some of them, particularly Colouring, he ought to have in greater Perfection than is absolutely necessary for a History-Painter.
‘Tis not enough to make a Tame, Insipid Resemblance of the Features, so that every body shall know who the Picture was intended for, nor even to make the Picture what is often said to be prodigious Like : (This is often done by the lowest of Face-Painters, but then ‘tis ever with the Air of a Fool, and an Unbred Person ;) A Portrait-Painter must understand Mankind, and enter into their Characters, and express their Minds as well as their Faces : And as his Business is chiefly with People of Condition, he must Think as a Gentleman, and a Man of Sense, or ‘twill be impossible to give Such their True, and Proper Resemblances.
But if a Painter of this kind is not oblig’d to take in such a compass of Knowledge as he that paints History, and that the Latter upon Some accounts is the nobler Employment, upon Others the Preference is due to Face-Painting ;
Add to all this, that the Works of the Face-Painter must be seen in all the Periods of Beginnings, and Progress, as well as when Finish’d, when they are Not, oftner than when they Are fit to be seen, and yet Judg’d of, and Criticis’d upon, as if the Artist had given his last Hand to ‘em, and by all sorts of People ; nor is he always at liberty to follow his Own Judgment.
The History-Painter is obliged oftentimes to paint all these kinds of Subjects [ndr : visages, histoires, paysages, batailles, sujets grotesques, natures mortes, fleurs, fruits, bateaux, etc.], and the Face-Painter Most of ‘em ; but besides that they in such Cases are allow’d the Assistance of other Hands, the Inferior Subjects are in Comparison of their Figures as the Figures in a Landscape, there is no great Exactness required, or pretended to.
A History-Painter must describe all the Various Characters, Real, or Imaginary ; and that in all their Situations, Pleas’d, Griev’d, Angry, Hoping, Fearing, &c. A Face-Painter has to do with all the Real Characters, except only some few of the Meanest, and the most Sublime, but not with that Variety of Sentiments as the other. The whole Business of His Life is to describe the Golden Age, […]. Every one of His People therefore must appear Pleas’d, and in Good Humour ; but Varied suitably to the Rais’d Character of the Person drawn ;