PERFECTION

PERFECTION (n.)

PERFECTION (fra.) · PERFEKTION (deu.) · PERFEZIONE (ita.) · VOLKOMENHEID (nld.) · VOLLKOMMENHEIT (deu.) · VOLMAAKTHEID (nld.) · VORTREFFLICHKEIT (deu.)
TERM USED AS TRANSLATIONS IN QUOTATION
PERFECTION (fra.) · VOLMAAKTHEID (nld.)
TERM USED IN EARLY TRANSLATIONS
PERFECTION (fra.)

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CONCEPTUAL FIELDS

LINKED QUOTATIONS

7 sources
15 quotations

Quotation

We may paint a conceived, or intelligible thing, Perfect, by the Idea of Fancie : but, by Imitation, we may faile of Perfection. Hence it was, that the Antients intending to excell in the forms and figures of their Jupiters, would not imitate, or take a pattern, generated, but rather, by a conceived description of Him, out of Homer, or other Poets.
There is in the
form and shape of things, a certain perfection and excellencie ; unto whose conceived figures, such things by Imitation, are referred, that cannot be seen.
{To encrease fancie.} To amend
fancie, we must lodge up such rarities, as are administred to fight, to encrease the meditation of fancie ; as in your dayly view of forms and shadows, made by lights and darknesses ; […].
{And order it in a Picture.} In a
draught of designe, the Artist must fancie every circumstance of his matter in hand ; as usually Rubens would (with his Arms a cross) fit musing upon his work for some time ; […]. The Commotions of the mind, are not to be cooled by flow performance : discreet diligence, brings forth Excellence : Care, and Exercise, are the chiefest precepts of Art. But, diligence is not to stagger, and stay at unnecessary Experiments ; and therefore I have observed in excellent Pieces a willing neglect, which hath added singular grace unto it.

Anciens (les)

excellency

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → génie, esprit, imagination
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Now the Effects proceeding from Proportion are unspeakable, the Principal whereof, is that Majestie and Beautie which is found in Bodies, called by Vitruvius, EURITHMIA. And hence it is, that when behold a well-proportioned thing, we call it Beautiful, as if we should say, Indued with that exact and comely Grace, whereby all the Perfection of sweet Delights belonging to the Sight, are communicated to the Eye, and so conveyed to the Understanding.
But if we shall enter into a farther Consideration of this
Beauty, it will appear most evidently in things appertaining to Civil Discipline ; for it is strange to consider what effects of Piety, Reverence and Religion, are stirred up in mens Minds, by means of this suitable comeliness of apt proportion. A pregnant example whereof we have in the Jupiter carved by Phidias at Elis, which wrought an extraordinary sense of Religion in the People, whereupon the antient and renowned Zeuxis well knowing the excellency and dignity thereof, perswaded Greece in her most flourishing Estate, that the Pictures wherein this Majesty appeared were dedicated to great Princes, and consecrated to the Temples of the Immortal gods, so that they held them in exceeding great estimation ; partly because they were the Works of those famous Masters, who were reputed as gods amongt men ; and partly because they not only represented the Works of God, but also supplyed the defects of Nature : ever making choice of the Flower and Quintessence of Eye-pleasing delights.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Proportion is a correspondency and agreement of the Measure of the parts between themselves and with the whole, in every Work, this correspondency is by Vitruvius called Commodulation, because a Modell is a Measure which being taken at the first measureth both the parts and the whole. […] and without this a Painter (besides that he is not worthy the name of a Painter) is like one which perswadeth himself he swimmeth above Water, when indeed he sinketh, to conclude then it is impossible to make any decent or well proportioned thing, without this Symetrical measure of the parts orderly united.
Wherefore my greatest endeavour shall be, to lay open the worthiness of this part of painting unto all such as are naturally inclined thereunto, by reason of a good temperature joyned with an apt Disposition of the parts thereof, for such men will be much affected therewith, to the end they may the better perceive the force of
Nature : who by industry and help of a good conceipt, will easily attain to so deep a reach, that they will be able upon the sudden to discern any Disproportion, as a thing repugnant to their Nature : unto which perfection on the contrary Side they can never attain, whose Judgements are corrupted through the Distemperature of their Organical parts, I speak of such who not knowing the virtue of proportion, affect nothing else, but the vain surface of garish colours, wrought after their own humour, who prove only Dawbers of Images and Walls throughout the whole World ; moving the beholders partly to smile at their Follies, and partly to greive that the Art should be thus disgraced by such absurde Idiot’s : who as they have no judgement herein ; so do they run into divers other most shamefull errors, into which I never heard that any ever fell, who were acquainted with the Beauty of proportion, but have rather prooved men of rare Spirits and found Judgements, […].

Conceptual field(s)

L’ARTISTE → qualités

Quotation

{Colour.} But to return to the Definition [ndr : la définition de la peinture mentionnée p. 24], that part remaineth to be expounded, wherein it is said that Painting representeth things with Colours, like to the Life ; whence it is to be marked that the Artificial painter ought to proceed according to the course of Nature, who first presupposeth Matter (as the Philosophers hold) unto which it addeth a Forme, but because to create the Substances of things proceedeth from an infinite power, which is not found in any creature (as the Divines teach) the Painter must take something instead of Matter, namely Quantity proportioned ; {The Matter of Painting.} which is the Matter of painting, here then the Painter must needs understand that proportioned Quantity, and Quantity delineated, are all one, and that the same is the Material Substance of Painting, for he must consider, that although he be never so Skillfull in the use of his Colours, and yet laketh this Delineation, he is unfurnished of the Principal Matter of his Art, and consequently of the substantial part thereof, neither let any Man imagine that hereby I go about to diminish the power and vertue of colour, for if all particular Men should differ one from another in Matter alone (wherein out of all doubt all agree) then all Men must needs be one, and so that most acceptable variety of so many particulars are now in the world would be wanting […], so if the Painter should only Pourtrait out a Man in just Symetry agreable to Nature ; certainly this Man would never be sufficiently distinguished by his mere Quantity : But when unto this proportioned Quantity he shall farther add Colour, then he giveth the last forme and perfection to the Figure : Insomuch, that whosoever beholdeth it may be able to say, this is the Picture of the Emperour Charles the First, or of Philip his Sonne, it is the picture of a Melancholick, Flegmatick, Sanguine, or Cholerick Fellow, of one in love, or in fear of a bashfull young Man, &c. and to conclude the picture will attain to such perfection, that the party counterfeited may easily be known thereby : Wherefore I advise the Painter to be very skillfull in the use of Colours, as in that wherein consisteth the whole perfection of his Art.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → couleur
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Of the Vertue of Light.


Light hath so great force in Pictures, that (in my judgement) therein consisteth the whole grace thereof, if it be well understood, an contrarywife, the disgrace if it be not perceived, and evident example whereof we may see in a Body proportionably drawn which being yet without the lights, sheweth very beautifull, so far forth as it is wrought, but if afterwards it shall be shadowed without judgement and art, so that the shadowes be confusedly placed where the lights ought to be, and contrarywise the lights where the Middle of the shadows should be, and the concavities and convexities disorderly suited, without any Imitation of Nature it were better it had never been either drawn or lightned, whereas having lights well disposed, it doth not only add perfection to the draught but so sets it off from the Flat that it seems to be imbossed
And in this
vertue and power consisteth the chiefest excellency of the Painter […].

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → qualité de la lumière
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Of the Necessity of Motion.


The order of the
place requireth, that I should consequently speak of Motion it self, namely with what Art the Painter ought to give Motions best fitting his Pictures, which is nothing else but a correspondency to the nature of the proportion of the forme and matter thereof, and herein consisteth the whole spirit and life of the Art, which the Painters call sometimes the fury, sometimes the grace, and sometimes the excellency of the Art, for hereby they express an evident distinction between the living and the dead, the fierce and the gentle, the ignorant and the learned, the sad and the merry, and (in a Word) discover all the several passions and Gestures which Mans Body is able to perform, which here we term by the name of Motions, for the more significant expressing of the Mind by an outward and bodily demonstration, so that by this means inward motions and affections may be as well, (or rather better) signified as by their speech, which is wrought by the proper operations of the Body, […]. 
Now the perfect knowledge of this motion, is (as hath been shewed) accounted the most difficult part of the art, and reputed as a divine gift. Insomuch, as herein alone consisteth the comparison between Painting and Poetry, for as it is required in a Poet, that besides the excellency of his wit, he should moreover be furnished with a certain propension and inclination of will, inciting and moving him to versity, (which the antient called the fury of Apollo and the Muses) so likewise a Painter ought, together with those natural parts which are required at his hands, to be furnished with a natural dexterity and inborn flight of expressing the principal motions, even from his cradle ; otherwise it is a very hard (if not impossible) matter, to obtain to the absolute perfection of this Art.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Of the other different particular Studies in Painting.


The different Inclinations of Men do affect and delight to Draw one thing more then another, because either they are more pleased and prone to that which they do phansie, then to any other thing which they do not ; or else they make choice of such a Branch of Painting as is easily attained unto, because they cannot arrive to that Perfection of Drawing History, which comprehends the Study of the whole Art. Therefore the particular Studies, which are of general practice, are these which follow ; First, one phansies or betakes himself to draw Picture by the Life, another to draw Land-Battels of Horse and Foot, another Sea-fights, Storms, Calms and Sea-havens, &c. another all manner of Huntings, another Landskips or Landviews, another Fruits, another Still Life, as Instruments, Globes, Books, Deaths Heads, &c. another phasies to draw all manner of Beasts, another all manner of Fowls, another of manner of  Fish, and another all sorts of Flowers ; some phansie Perspective, other Architecture or Building, &c.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Friend,
            When a Painter has acquired any Excellency in
Desinging, readily and strongly ; What has he to do next ?
                        Traveller,
            That is not half his Work, for then he must begin to mannage his
Colours, it being particularly by them, that he is to express the greatness of his Art. ’Tis they that give, as it were, Life and Soul to all that he does ; without them, his Lines will be but Lines that are flat, and without a Body, but the addition of Colours makes that appear round ; and as it were out of the Picture, which else would be plain and dull. ’Tis they that must deceive the Eye, to the degree, to make Flesh appear warm and soft, and to give an Air of Life, so as his Picture may seem almost to Breath and Move.
                        Friend,
            Did ever any Painter arrive to that Perfection you mention ?
                        Traveller,
            Yes, several, both of the
Antient and Modern Painters. Zeuxis Painted Grapes, so that the Birds flew at them to eat them. Apelles drew Horses to such a likeness, that upon setting them before live Horses, the Live ones Neighed, and began to kick at them, as being of their own kind. And amongst the Modern Painters, Hannibal Carache, relates to himself, That going to see Bassano at Venice, he went to take a Book off a Shelf, and found it to be the Picture of one, so lively done, that he who was a Great Painter, was deceived by it. The Flesh of Raphael’s Pictures are so Natural, that this seems to be Alive. And so do Titians Pictures, who was the Greatest Master for Colouring that ever was, having attained to imitate Humane Bodies in all the softness of Flesh, and beauty of Skin and Complexion.

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → qualité des couleurs
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → nature, imitation et vrai

Quotation

Raphael del Urbin was the greatest Painter that ever was ; having made himself a Manner out of the Study of the Antients and the Moderns, and taken the best out of both ; he was admirable for the easiness of Invention, Richness, and Order in his Composition, Nature herself was overcome by his Colouring, he was Judicious beyond measure, and proper to his Aptitudes ; in a word, he carried Painting in its greatest Perfection, and has been outdone by none : His particular Talent lay in Secret Graces, as Apelles’s did among the Ancients.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Drawing consists of several General precepts to be learnt of every one that is desirous to attian to Perfection therein ; the practice of which requires Observation, Discretion, and Judgement ; in which, Proportions, Motions, and Actions are with great care and diligence to be followed : And therefore he that will attain to the perfection of this excellent Practice, it is necessary he should not be ignorant of Mathematical Demonstration in the Rules of Geometry and Perspective ; of which in this Book you shall receive Instructions. Of all other proportions, the Body of man hath the pre-eminence for excellency, from which all other Arts are derived, as many of the learned have concluded ; for Vitruvius noteth, that the Architect hence took the observations of his Buildings, Man being the first pattern of all Artificial things ; and Antiquity hath so graced Painting, (as being the chief Mistress of Proportion) so that all other Artificers are called Handy-crafts or Mechanicks.

Conceptual field(s)

L’ARTISTE → qualités

Quotation

Draught is a Physical Line, or Lineal Demonstration ; and hath always some Dimentions, if it be never so slender : and serves to represent Bodys according to their Forms, Aspects and Scituation ; Limiting and Determining the surface of an Object ; and Making out the Several Parts, which are contain’d therein. For no Superficies can Exist, without being Terminated by Lines, Streight, Circular or Mixt.
            The
Extent of Draught is Immense ; for it is not only concern’d in all the Visible Things in Nature, but in all Things which the Fancy or Imagination can form any Idea of, that can be compris’d under the Figure of Body : nay, so vast is its extent, that it adventures to Dive into the very Soul, and express its Thoughts ; for though Colour is accessary to Expression, yet nothing can be Terminated without Lines.
            They that would arrive to the Perfection in the
Practick, must dilligently observe these following Rules.
            First he must draw by the Hand,
Circles, Ovals, &c. Then the several Features of the Face by themselves, [...] then the several Members, [...]. Observing in the Hands and Feet, to draw the upper Lines first then the lower ; [...].
            When he attempts a whole Body, he must begin with a Body standing Frontwise, [...].
            For
Rustick and Country Figures, the Contours must be Gross, Equally Counterhatch’d and Notch’d, without regard to extraordinary Neatness and Roundness.
            But for Grave and serious Persons, they must be rounded, noble and Certain ; not so at adventure as the foremention’d.
            They must be strong, Resolute, Noble, Perfect and Chose for
Heroes.
            They must be Puissant and Austere, full of Greatness and Majesty, for
Deifyd Bodys.
            And for
young Women and Children, the Contours must be Smooth, Round and Delicate.
            They must Design the Nudity, Model, &c. exactly, without Charging or overburthening any of their Parts ; their being no way to obtain an entire exactness, but by proportioning every part with the first, comparing them exactly, so that we may be at liberty to Strengthen and go over again the Parts as we shall think fit, when we make use of this Design ; as it truly follows and represents the Models whither they be Antique or Natural.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTION DE LA PEINTURE → dessin
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → nature, imitation et vrai

Quotation

There is some Degree of Merit in a Picture where Nature is Exactly copy’d, though in a Low Subject ; Such as Drolls, Countrey Wakes, Flowers, Landscapes, &c. and More in proportion as the Subject rises, or the End of the Picture is this Exact Representation. Herein the Dutch, and Flemish Masters have been Equal to the Italians, if not Superior to them in general. What gives the Italians, and Their Masters the Ancients the Preference, is, that they have not Servilely follow’d Common Nature, but Rais’d, and Improv’d, or at least have always made the Best Choice of it. This gives a Dignity to a Low Subject, and is the reason of the Esteem we have for the Landscapes of Salvator Rosa, Filippo Laura, Claude Lorrain, the Poussins ; the Fruit of the two Michelangelo’s, the Battaglia, and Campadoglio ; and This, when the Subject it self is Noble, is the Perfection of Painting : As in the best Portraits of Van-Dyck, Rubens, Titian, Rafaëlle, &c. and the Histories of the best Italian Masters ; chiefly those of Rafaëlle ; he is the great Model of Perfection !

term translated by PERFECTION in RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Traité de la Peinture, Par Mr. Richardson, le Père, Tomes I. et II. Contenant, Tome I. Un Essai sur la Théorie de la Peinture ; Tome II. Un Essai sur l'art de critiquer, en fait de Peinture ; & un Discours sur la Sience d'un Connoisseur. Traduit de l'Anglois; Revu & Corrigé par l'Auteur., trad. par RUTGERS, Antoine, Amsterdam, Herman Uytwerf, 1728, 2 vol., vol. I., p. 137-138.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection
CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → nature, imitation et vrai

Quotation

Our poor and needy Life perceiving some casual Things to fall out prosperously, whilst it doth mistake and try, whilst it doth slip, reform and change ; hath out of this same assiduous Reprehension made up small Sciences of ARTS, the which it hath afterwards, by a continual Study, brought to some considerable Degree of Perfection. And therefore Ælian says, so Rude and Imperfect were the first Attemps of this ART, that to avoid the Danger of a Mistake, they were wont constantly to affix to their Works such a clear and discerning Character of distinction, as this is a Horse, an Ox, or a Tree, &c. And what higher Expectations can we derive from a Portrait, or Profile of a Face drawn from the Shadow upon a Wall ; or when we find Gyges, whom Pliny sometime calls the first Painter, born in Lydia, which, as he says, was Tuscania, went into Egypt, found out the ART there, and all his Skill arrived only to some competency of Design, probably with a Coal, or some such coarse Material. From which Sort of Picture they advanced not much further, ‘till some competent Time after, came Polignotus, the first that painted Encaustice, or by Fire ; which was not enameling on Gold, but with hot glowing Irons, to draw, or cast their Design into Wood, or Ivory, and possibly to finish with some slight Shadowing within ; for before that, as Carel van Mander, in his Lives of the Painters observes, the First Pictures were only drawn, and consisted of Out-Lines only, and therefore called Linearis Pictura.
THE next Step they advanced was by the Invention of Cleanthes and Thelephanes, who super-added some Finishing within, and filled their Out-Lines with one Colour, which was only a Piece of Red Potsheard, pounded and fine ground ; First found out, and, as some affirm, us’d by Callias the Athenian.
AND thence, […], they were called
Monocromata ; and to the Assistance of these came Higienontes, Dinias and Charmas, who also made Faces with one Colour only.

Conceptual field(s)

L’ARTISTE → qualités

Quotation

He [ndr : Cimon de Cleonen] was the First bold and daring Man that took Courage to adventure into the Ocean of this ART [ndr : la peinture], that made many remarkable Discoveries of the incognita thereof, and left the Way open and fairly obvious to all his Followers ; for he enriched it with such a Variety of Embellishments, that in him first it began to have some Form of itself, and arrive to a competent Perfection ; what in their Paintings was Dead and Stiff, he gave Motion and Life to by his Skill, that he attained to in the Art of Fore-shortenings, turning the Faces of his Figures several Ways, either looking Upward, Backward, or Downward ; and by his Kowledge in the various Motions of the Limbs and Joints, and Muscling of the whole Body, which he was the first that attained and taught, what before either they knew nothing at all of Drapery, or, however, but some very unpleasant, flat and startch’d Way, he rectify’d, and, as Pliny tells us, taught a true and natural sort of Drapery, and the proper Plaiting and Foldings of all sorts of Garments.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Apelles himself was so ingenuous to own so great a Proficiency therein, as might seem to add Confirmation, while in the Disposition, or Ordinance, he modestly yielded to Amphion ; in the Measures, or Proportions, he subscribed to Aschepiodorus ; and of Protogenes was wont to say, in all Points he was equal to him, if not above him ; but after all, there was yet one Thing wanting in them all, which was instar omnium, or, however, the Beauty and Life of all, which he only ascribed, and was proud in being the sole Master of himself, viz. his Venus by the Greeks, named ΧΑΡΙΣ a certain peculiar Grace, sometimes called the Air of the Picture, resulting from a due Observation and Concurrence of all the essential Points and Rules requisite in a compleat Picture, accompany’d with an unconstrained and unaffected Facility and Freedom of the Pencil, which together produced such a ravishing Harmony, that made their Works seem to be performed by some divine and unspeakable Way of ART ; and which (as Fr. Junius expresseth it) is not a Perfection of ART, proceeding meerly from ART, but rather a Perfection proceeding from a consummate ART.
HENCE it was that
Apelles admiring the wonderful Pains and Curiosity in each Point in a Picture of Protogenes’s Painting, yet took Occasion from thence to reprehend him for it as a Fault quod nescivit manum tollere de tabula, implying, that a heavy and painful Diligence and Affectation, are destructive of that Comeliness, Beauty and admired Grace, which only a prompt and prosperous Facility proceeding from a found Judgment of ART, can offord unto us.

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection