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
There are certain Arguments, which a Connoisseur is utterly to reject, as not being such by which he is to form his Judgement, of what Use soever they may be to those who are incapable of judging otherwise, or who will not take the Pains to know better. Some of these have really no Weight at all in them, the Best are very Precarious, and only serve to perswade us the Thing is good in general, not in what Respect it is so. That a Picture, or Drawing has been, or is much esteem’d by those who are believ’d to be good Judges ; Or is, or was Part of a famous Collection, cost so much, has a rich Frame, or the like. Whoever makes Use of such Arguments as these, besides that they are very fallacious, takes the Thing upon Trust, which a good Connoisseur should never condescend to do. That ‘tis Old, Italian, Rough, Smooth, &c. These are Circumstances hardly worth mentioning, and which belongs to Good, and Bad. A Picture, or Drawing may be too old to be good ; but in the Golden Age of Painting, which was that of Rafaelle, about Two Hundred Years ago, there were wretched Painters, as well as Before, and Since, and in Italy, as well as Elsewhere. Nor is a Picture the Better, or the Worse, for being Rough, or Smooth, simply consider’d.