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
I have heard Painters blamed for Finishing their Pieces too much : How can that be ?
Very well : For an over Diligence in that kind, may come to make the Picture look too like a Picture, and loose the freedom of Nature. And it was in this, that Protogenes, who was, it may be, Superiour to Apelles, in every part of Painting ; besides, was nevertheless Outdone by him, because Protogenes could hardly ever give over Finishing a Piece. Whereas Apelles knew, when he had wrought so much as would answer the Eye of the Spectator, and preserve the Natural. This the Italians call, Working A la pittoresk, that is Boldly, and according to the first Incitation of a Painters Genius. But this requires a strong Judgment, or else it will appear to the Judicious, meer Dawbing.
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
However I will here make him [ndr : au lecteur] an Offer of an Abstract of what I take to be those by which a Painter, or Connoisseur, may safely conduct himself, [...] VI. And Whether the Colours are laid on Thick, or Finely Wrought it must appear to be done by a Light, and Accurate Hand.
The Face, and Hands, are a Model for a Pencil in Portrait-Painting [ndr : il s’agit du portrait de la comtesse Dowager of Exeter, par Van Dyck] ; ‘tis not V. Dyck’s first Labour’d Flemish Manner, nor in the least Careless, or Slight ; the Colours are well wrought, and Touch’d in his best Style ; that is, the Best that ever Man had for Portraits ; nor is the Curtain in the least inferiour in this Particular, tho’ the Manner is vary’d as it ought to be, the Pencil is There more seen than in the Flesh ; the Hair, Veil, Chair, and indeed throughout except the Black Gown is finely Handled.
Flesh in Pictures to be seen at a common distance, and especially Portraits, should (generally speaking) be well wrought up, and then touch d upon every where in the Principal Lights, and Shadows, and to pronounce the Features ; and this more, or less, according to the Sex, Age, or Character of the Person, avoiding Narrow, or long continued Strokes, as in the Eye-lids, Mouth, &c. and too many Sharp ones : This being done by a Light Hand, Judiciously, gives a Spirit, and retains the Softness of Flesh.