HISTORY PAINTER (n.)
BROWNE, Alexander, Ars Pictoria : or an Academy Treating of Drawing, Painting, Limning, Etching. To which are Added XXXI. Copper Plates, Expressing the Choicest, Nearest, and Most Exact Grounds and Rules of Symmetry. Collected out of the most Eminent Italian, German, and Netherland Authors. By Alexander Browne, Practitioner in the Art of Limning. The Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarged by the Author, London, Arthur Tooker - William Battersby, 1675.1 quotations
Observe (as you proceed downwards) to place all the Muscles in their right and proper places according to Nature, as you judiciously may observe in the Life, there being no certain Rules for placing and drawing the Muscles in their proper places Therefore ’tis extremely Advantageous to draw very much after the Life, and after good Prints of Anatomy, and those Statues aforementioned, and Anatomies of Plaster of Paris, which is the onely way to arrive at the perfection of Drawing a Naked Figure well ; without which never expect to be a good History Painter. Indeed a History Painter ought to understand all things, because he is to represent all things : he must be naturally a Quick, Free, Good Inventor and Designer, as also to know well how to order and Stell his Figures after that manner (if many in one Piece) that they may not seem to be Crowded, or to fall Offensive, but to order them Gracefully on the Fore Ground especially, and the rest of the Figures to decline and lessen proportionably, both in Heighth and Strength by degrees at their several distances. And a History Painter must of necessity understand Perspective, Architecture, Geometry, Anatomy, Arithmetick, &c. and not onely the true Shape of Mans Body, but of all other Creatures whatsoever, and all other Shapes and Forms that are in the World.
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.