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
I will give a Specimen of what I have been proposing [ndr : dans sa manière de juger une peinture], and the Subject shall be a Portrait of V. Dyck which I have, ‘tis a Half-length of a Countess Dowager of Exeter, as I learn from the Print made of it by Faithorn, and that is almost all one can learn from That concerning the Picture besides the General Attitude, and Disposition of it. [...] But so far as the Head, and almost to the Wast, with the Curtain behind, there is an Admirable Harmony, the Chair also makes a Medium between the Figure, and the Ground. The Eye is deliver’d down into that Dead Black Spot the Drapery with great Ease, the Neck is cover’d with Linnen, and at the Breast the top of the Stomacher makes a streight line. This would have been very harsh, and disagreeable but that ‘tis very Artfully broken by the Bowes of a Knot of narrow Ribbon which rise above that Line in fine, well-contrasted Shapes. This Knot fastens a Jewel on the Breast, which also helps to produce the Harmony of this part of the Picture, and the white Gloves which the Lady holds in her Left Hand, helps the Composition something as they vary That Light Spot from That which the Other Hand, and Linnen makes.