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, 1675.2 quotations
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.
Notwithstanding, I am of Opinion, that it is possible to attain unto this so excellent a faculty [ndr : dans le choix des meilleures actions], (though perhaps not with that special eminency of natural facility,) as by industrious study in the knowledge of these motions ; and the causes whence they proceed. For from hence a Man may easily attain to a certain understanding, which afterwards putting in practice with patience, together with the other points, he may undoubtedly prove a judicious inventor, who never had any extraordinary natural inclination, my meaning is, that such an inventor, as guideth himself by understanding, shall attain to better perfection then the other, who is naturally indued with the dexterity, without industry and patience : for example, if a Man shall diligently peruse the whole History of Christ, out of doubt he shall gather the true Idea and Method, how he ought to represent the motions of Christ, the Apostles, the Jews, and all the rest, who had any part in that cruel Tragedy, so sufficiently, that the Mind of the beholder, shall be no less moved to pitty, tears and sorrow, at the sight of the picture, then Men are usually at the reading of the History, […].
Now amongst the worthy Painters who excelled herein, Raphael Urbine, was not the least, who performed his Works, with a Divine kind of Majesty, neither was Polidore much behind him in his kind, whose Pictures seemed as it were passing furious, nor yet Andreas Montagnea whose vain shewed a very laborious curiosity. Nor yet Leonard del Vincent, in whose doings there was never any errour found in this point : Whereof amongst all other of his works, that admirable last supper of Christ in Refect. St. Mariæ de gratia in Milane, maketh most evident proof, in which he hath so lively expressed the passions of the Apostles minds in their countenances, and the rest of their Body, that a Man may boldly say, the truth was nothing superiour to his representation, and need not be afraid to reckon it amongst the best works of Oyl-painting, […] for in those Apostles, you might distincly perceive admiration, fear, grief, suspition, love &c. all which were sometimes to be seen together in one of them, and Finally in Judas a Treason-plotting countenance, as it were the very true counterfeit of a Traitor, so that therein he hath left a sufficient argument of his rare perfection, in the true understanding of the passions of the Mind, exemplified outwardly in the Body, which because it is the most necessary part of painting, I propose (as I say) to handle in this present Treatise.
I may not omit Michael Angelo in any case, whose skill and paintfulness in this point was so great, that his Pictures carry with them more hard motions, expressed after an unufual manner, but all of them tending to a certain stout boldness. And as for Titian he hath worthily purchased the name of a greater Painter in this matter, as his Pictures do sufficiently witness ; […].
Finally, Gaudentius (though he be not much known) was inferiour unto few, in giving the apt motions to the Saints & Angels, […].
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
The Kind of Picture, or Drawing having been consider’d, regard is to be had to the Parts of Painting ; we should see in which of These they excell, and in what Degree.
And these several Parts do not Equally contribute to the Ends of Painting : but (I think) ought to stand in this Order.
Grace and Greatness,
The last can only Please ; The next (by which I understand Pure Nature, for the Great, and Gentile Style of Drawing falls into another Part) This also can only Please, Colouring Pleases more ; Composition Pleases at least as much as Colouring, and moreover helps to Instruct, as it makes those Parts that do so more conspicuous ; Expression Pleases, and Instructs Greatly ; the Invention does both in a higher Degree, and Grace, and Greatness above all. Nor is it peculiar to That Story, Fable, or whatever the Subject is, but in General raises our Idea of the Species, gives a most Delightful, Vertuous Pride, and kindles in Noble Minds an Ambition to act up to That Dignity Thus conceived to be in Humane Nature. In the Former Parts the Eye is employ’d, in the Other the Understanding.