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
The Grecians had this Art in so high esteem, that they made an Edict, that no Slave should be admitted to learn this Art ; and good reason, because this Art should onely be permitted to those that were of a Free, Ingenious, Noble Mind, and such as excelled others in their sharp Ingenuity ; and this Noble Mind is soon espied in him who hath a delight to such a Liberal Art.
The Ancient Romans ordered their Children so, that among other Liberal Sciences The Art of Limning was enjoyned to them to learn. Which Commendable thing long before this was in practice among the Grecians, so that their Youth of a good Descent added to their Liberal Learnings of Geometrie, Musick, and other Mathematical Sciences, The Art of Painting also ; for this Art hath been so highly esteemed, that amongst the Feminine Sex it was held a great Honour if they had affected and delighted themselves in such an Honourable Exercise ; as the Faithful Histories bear witness of the most Potent Roman VARRO’s Daughter, called MARTIA, that she had good skill in The Art of Limning.
Nor must the Attention be diverted from what ought to be Principal, by any thing how Excellent soever in it self. Protogenes in the famous Picture of Jalissus had painted a Partridge so exquisitely well, that it seem’d a Living Creature, it was admir’d by all Greece ; but That being most taken notice of, he defaced it entirely. That illustrious Action of Mutius Scævola’s putting his Hand in the Fire, after he had by Mistake kill’d another instead of Porsenna, is sufficient alone to employ his Mind ; Polydore therefore in a Capital Drawing I have of him of that Story, […] has left out the dead Man ; it was sufficiently known that one was kill’d, but that Figure, had it been inserted, would necessarily have diverted the Attention, and destroy’d that noble Simplicity, and Unity which now appears.