SCIENCE OF A CONNOISSEUR (expr.)
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
Here I recommend a NEW SCIENCE to the World, Or one at least little known, or consider’d as such : So New, or so little Known that ‘tis yet without a Name ; it may have one in time, till then I must be excus’d when I call it, as I do, The Science of a Connoisseur for want of a Better way of expressing my self : I open to Gentlemen a New Scene of Pleasure, a New Innocent Amusement ; and an Accomplishment which they have yet scarce heard of, but no less worthy of their Attention than most of those they have been accustomed to acquire. I offer to my Countrey a Scheme by which its Reputation, Riches, Virtue, and Power may be increased. And This I will do (by the help of God) not as an Orator, or as an Advocate, but as a strict Reasoner, and so as I am verily persuaded will be to the Conviction of every one that will impartially attend to the Argument, and not be prejudiced by the Novelty of it, or their own former Sentiments.
My present business then in short is to endeavour to persuade our Nobility, and Gentry to become Lovers of Painting, and Connoisseurs ; Which I crave leave to do (with all Humility) by shewing the Dignity, Certainty, Pleasure, and Advantages of that Science.