STILL LIFE (n.)
TERM USED IN EARLY TRANSLATIONS/
AGLIONBY, William, Painting Illustrated in Three Diallogues. Containing some Choice Observations upon the Art. Together with The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters From Cimabue, to the time of Raphael and Michael Angelo. With an Explanation of the Difficult Terms, London, John Gain, 1685.1 quotations
There is a thing which the Italians call Morbidezza ; The meaning of which word, is to Express the Softness, and tender Liveliness of Flesh and Blood, so as the Eye may almost invite the Hand to touch and feel it, as if it were Alive ; and this is the hardest thing to Compass in the whole Art of Painting. And ‘tis in this particular, that Titian, Corregio, and amongst the more Modern, Rubens, and Vandike, do Excel.
I have heard, that in some Pictures of Raphael, the very Gloss of Damask, and the Softness of Velvet, with the Lustre of Gold, are so Expressed, that you would take them to be Real, and not Painted : Is not that as hard to do, as to imitate Flesh ?
No : Because those things are but the stil Life, whereas there is a Spirit in Flesh and Blood, which is hard to Represent. But a good Painter must know how to do those Things you mention, and many more : As for Example, He must know how to Imitate the Darkness of Night, the Brightness of Day, the Shining and Glittering of Armour ; the Greenness of Trees, the Dryness of Rocks. In a word, All Fruits, Flowers, Animals, Buildings, so as that they all appear Natural and Pleasing to the Eye.
SMITH, Marshall, The Art of Painting According to the Theory and Practise of the Best Italian, French, and Germane Masters. Treating of The Antiquity of Painting. The Reputation it allways had. The Characters of severall Masters. Proportion. Action and Passion. The Effects of Light. Perspective. Draught. Colouring. Ordonnance. Far more Compleat and Compendious then hath yet been publisht by any, Ancient or Modern. By M. S. Gent., London, The Vendüe, 1692.1 quotations
After you have attain’d to a Mastership in Draught, [...] ; you may begin the great Mistery of Colouring. [...] First Practise your Hand in Boylt Plate, not Burnish’d, and other things of fewest Colours, then Fruits, Flowers, &c. [...].
Observe in things which require a strong Yellow as Peaches &c. that although you may obtain much of that Colour, with White, Pink and Vermilion, yet you must use only Masticots, as being of more Force.
When you have attain’d to a good Knowledge in the Mistery of Colouring, by Copying after many things in the Stillife that have the greatest variety of Colours, so that at first sight you can perceive most of the Colours in a Picture, and Judge when they are Compounded, you may adventure on the Profoundest part of the Science viz Painting of a Face.
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, 1719.2 quotations
When therefore we are to make a Judgment in what Degree of Goodness a Picture or Drawing is we should consider its Kind first, and then its several Parts. A History is preferrable to a Landscape, Sea-Piece, Animals, Fruit, Flowers, or any other Still-Life, pieces of Drollery, &c ; the reason is, the latter Kinds may Please, and in proportion as they do so they are Estimable, and that is according to every one’s Taste, but they cannot Improve the Mind, they excite no Noble Sentiments ; at least not as the other naturally does : These not only give us Pleasure, as being Beautiful Objects, and Furnishing us with Ideas as the Other do, but the Pleasure we receive from Hence is Greater (I speak in General, and what the nature of the thing is capable of) ‘tis of a Nobler Kind than the Other ; and Then moreover the Mind may be Inrich’d, and made Better.
ALL that is done in Picture is done by Invention ; Or from the Life ; Or from another Picture ; Or Lastly ‘tis a Composition of One, or More of these.
The term Picture I here understand at large as signifying a Painting, Drawing, Graving, &c. [...] We [ndr : présence du déterminant « a » à cet endroit du texte, mais est à supprimer, voir l’errata au début de l’ouvrage] say a Picture is done by the Life as well when the Object represented is a thing Inanimate, as when ‘tis an Animal ; and the work of Art, as well as Nature ; But then for Distinction the term Still-Life is made use of as occasion requires.