VOLMAAKTHEID (n. f.)

PHIDIAS, Athena Parthenos, c. 447 BC, chryselephantine statue, lost; or : Phidias, Athena Lemnia, c. 450-440 BC, bronze statue, lost
PHIDIAS, Zeus, c. 435 BC, chryselephantine statue, lost (5th century AD)
PERFECTIO (lat.) · PERFECTION (eng.) · PERFECTION (fra.) · PERFEKTION (deu.) · PERFEZIONE (ita.) · VOLLKOMMENHEIT (deu.)
TERM USED AS TRANSLATIONS IN QUOTATION
PERFECTION (fra.)
TERM USED IN EARLY TRANSLATIONS
/ · COMELINESS (eng.) · COMPLETE (eng.) · CONSUMMATIO (lat.) · CONSUMMATION (eng.) · EXCELLENCE (eng.) · EXCELLENS (lat.) · PERFECT (eng.) · PERFECTION (eng.) · PERFECTUS (lat.) · SUMMUM (lat.) · VOLLKOMMENHEIT (deu.)
BLANC, Jan, Peindre et penser la peinture au XVIIe siècle : la théorie de l'art de Samuel van Hoogstraten, Berne, Peter Lang, 2008.

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Quotation

[...] oversulcx, als desen grooten Meester [Zeuxis] voor-genomen hadde den inwoonderen van Crotona een uytnemende schoon vrouwelick Beeldt nae te laeten, soo en vond hy het niet gheraedtsaem de gheheele volmaecktheydt van d'aller bevallighste schoonigheydt in een lichaem te soecken, maer hy heeft vijf van d'aller schoonste Maeghden uytghepickt, ten eynde dat hy uyt d'ernstighe opmerckinghe der selvigher de rechte schoonheydt, die nae 't segghen van Lucianus {In Hermetino} noodtsaeckelijck maer een wesen kan, moght ghevinden

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] …in regard to this, as this great Master had resolved to bequeath the inhabitants of Crotona an outstandingly beautiful female Image, he then did not find it wise to search for the complete perfection of the most graceful beauty in one body, but he has selected five of the most beautiful virgins, so that through earnest observation he would be able to find true beauty, which according to Lucianus {…} by necessity can only be one.

Junius connects the concept of ‘volmaaktheid’ (perfection) to that of beauty. He cites Lucianus, who stated that there exists only one perfect beauty. Zeuxis was aware of this and therefore did not seek perfection in one natural body, but combined beautiful elements from various bodies to come to perfection. [MO]

term translated by / in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p.4
term translated by PERFECTION in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.7

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Op dese verbeeldenskracht die daer in Phidias wordt aan ghemerckt, dringhen oock andere vermaerde Schrijvers dapper aen, om te betoonen op wat voet eenen rechten Konstenaer moet aengaen. Ich houde het daer voor, seght Tullius {de perfecto oratore}, dat daer nerghens yet soo schoon ghevonden can worden, of noch is dat al vele schoonder waer nae 't selvighe, niet anders als een beeldt nae de tronie uyt ghedruckt is; aenghesien sulcks noch met d'ooghen, noch met d'ooren, noch met eenighe onser sinnen doorgrondet kan worden; wy begrijpen 't maer alleen met onse ghedachten ende met ons ghemoedt. Soo is 't oock dat wy ons selven noch altijdt eenighe verbeeldinghen connen voorstellen die de schoonheydt der Beelden van Phydias ghemaeckt verde te boven gaen, alhoewel de selvighe onder alle andere wercken van dien slagh d'aller volmaeckste waeren. Oock soo en heeft dien grooten Konstenaer, als hy 't Beelt van Jupiter ende Minerva maecte, sijne ooghen niet gheslaeghen op yemant daer hy dese ghelijckenisse uyt trock, maer hy heeft in sijn ghemoedt het voorbeeldt van een seer uyt ghelesen schoonheydt gehadt, op 't welcke hy sijne ooghen standtvastighlick houdende, beyde sijne Konst ende sijn handt nae de ghelijckenisse des selvighen voorbeeldts bestierde. Daer is dan in de ghestalte der dinghen yet-wat 't welck in volmaecktheyt uytsteket, soo dat nae 't verdachte voorbeeldt deser volmaecktheydt alle d'onsienelicke dinghen door een Konstighe imitatie worden afghebeeldet.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] Other Authors likewise insist firmly on this imagination that is recognized in Phidias, to show on what foot a good Artist should continue. I consider it as such, says Tullius {…}, that nothing so beautiful can be found anywhere, or it is already much more beautiful than itself, nothing different from an image reproduced after a face; seeing that such cannot be understood neither with the eyes, nor with the ears, nor with any of our senses; we only understand it with our thoughts and with our mind. This is also why we can always imagine some representations that far surpass the beauty of the Sculptures by Phidias, although these were the most perfect amongst all works of this kind. Similarly, while he made the Sculpture of Jupiter and Minerva, this great Artist has not cast his eyes on someone from which he took this similitude, but in his mind he had the example of a very outstanding beauty, on which he steadily kept his eyes, both governing his Art and his hand after the similitude of this example. In the shape of things is something which stands out in perfection, such that all invisible things are reproduced by an artful imitation after the imagined example of this perfection.

PHIDIAS, Athena Parthenos, c. 447 BC, chryselephantine statue, lost; or : Phidias, Athena Lemnia, c. 450-440 BC, bronze statue, lost
PHIDIAS, Zeus, c. 435 BC, chryselephantine statue, lost (5th century AD)

term translated by PERFECTUS in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p.10
term translated by EXCELLENCE in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.19-20
term translated by EXCELLENS in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.10
term translated by PERFECTION in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.19-20

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

ende overmids onsen volgh-lust altemet door een heymelicke nijdigheyd, altemet door een rechtvaerdighe verwonderingh gaende ghemaeckt wordt, soo plaght oock het ghene wy met den hooghsten yver naeiaeghen, sijne hooghste volmaecktheyd vroegh te bekomen. Maer dan valt het ons heel swaer by die volmaecktheyd te blijven; ghemerckt eenigh dingh nae den ghemeynen loop der nature plagt te deynsen, als het niet meer voord en kan.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] The emulation cherishes the minds, he says {…}, and while our desire to imitate is activated either because of secretive annoyance, or because of a justified amazement, as such that which we chase after with the greatest diligence tends to obtain its highest perfection early on. But then it is very hard on us to keep up with this perfection, seen that a thing tends to recoil to the usual flow of nature, if it cannot move forward anymore.

term translated by SUMMUM in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p.67
term translated by PERFECTION in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.116

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Alhoewel wy het oversulcks met groot recht daer voor houden dat d’oude Meesters de volmaecktheyd haere Konste in dese vijf hoofd-stucken voornaemelick sochten, nochtans staet ons hier meteenen oock aen te mercken, dat sy de volkomenheyd haeres wercks niet so seer en stelden in ’t behoorlicke ghebruyck van elck bysondre hoofd-stuck, als wel in een sekere soort van bevalligheyd die uyt de schickelicke ghevoeghsaemheyd van elck hoofd-stuck in het bysonder en uyt d’onderlinghe over eendraeghinghe van alle dese hoofdstucken in ’t ghemeyn plaght te vloeyen. Dies hebben wy het oock hooghnodich gheacht den rechten aerd en d’eyghenschappen van deese bevalligheyd (die veeltijds de gratie der Schilderyen ghenaemt wordt) een weynigh te doorgronden; te meer; overmids het vast gaet dat nieman maghtigh is de wercken van groote Meesters wel te besichtighen, sonder de grondighe kennisse van de voorghemelde gratie ofte bevalligheyd.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] Although as such we uphold with great right that the old Masters sought the perfection of their art in these five chief principles, nonetheless we need to remark immediately, that they did not connect the perfection of their work as much to the proper use of every single chief principle, but rather in a certain kind of charm that tends to flow from the compliant propriety of every chief principle in itself and from the mutual conformity of all these chief principles in general. As such we believe it more than necessary to understand the true nature and the characteristics of this charm (that is oftentimes called the grace of Paintings) a little bit; more so; since it is certain that nobody is capable of viewing the works of great Masters well, without the profound knowledge of the aforementioned grace or charm.

volkomenheyd

term translated by SUMMUM in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p.130
term translated by PERFECTION in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.222

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

De schoonheyd van ’t lichaem bestaet in een sekere Symmetrie die de ghedeelten der lichaems met malckander en met het gheheele hebben, seght Stobeaus Ecolog. Ethic. Cap.5. Een lichaem, het welcke in alle sijne gedeelten schoon is, wordt voor veele schoonder ghehouden, dan de bysondere schoone leden die ’t geheele lichaem door een ordentelicke schickelickheyd opmaecken, seght St Augustinus Lib. III. Dulciloqu. Cap. 26. Want indien ’t eene of ’t andere onser lede-maeten van de rest afghesneden sijnde, alleen by sich selven besichtight wordt, seght Dionys. Longinus {De sublimi orat. 35.}, het en sal gantsch gheene aensienlickheyd hebben; vermids de rechte volmaecktheyd maer alleen in d’over-een-kominge van alle de leden bestaet; wanneerse naemelick door haere onderlinghe ghemeynschap een lichaem gheworden sijnde, met eenen oock daer in door den hand der Harmonie aen alle kanten worden opghesloten.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] The beauty of the body exists in a certain Symmetry that the parts of the body have with each other and with the whole, says Stobeaus Ecolog. Ethic. Cap. 5. A body, which is beautiful in all its parts, is thought to be much more beautiful, than the separate beautiful parts that form the body by means of an orderly compliancy, says St Augustinus Lib. III. Dulciloqu. Cap. 26. Because if the one or the other of our bodyparts, being cut off from the rest, are looked at on their own, says Dionys. Longinus {…}, it will not have any importance; as the true perfection only exists in the correspondence of all the parts; namely, once they have become a body by means of their mutual resemblance, they are immediately from all sides captured in it by the hand of Harmony.

Junius connects the esthetical concept of beauty (schoonheid) to that of symmetry (symmetrie). He refers to the human body, in which all the different parts should be in harmony (harmonie) with each other. Junius does not refer directly to art in this extract. The citation from St Augustine, where this term occurs, is missing in the English edition. [MO]

term translated by / in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p.156
term translated by PERFECT in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.259

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Ghelijck dan d’oude Konstenaers de ghelijckenisse niet t’eenemael en versuymden, soo plaghtense nochtans meer wercks van de Symmetrie te maecken; achtende dat de ghelijckenisse maer alleen uyt de Konst ontstaet, waer als de Symmetrie uyt een sekere volmaecktheyd, die de Konst verder te boven gaet, hervoord komt, siet Maximus Tyrius Dissertat. XVI. Want daer stelt hy ons een gantsch merckelick onderscheyd tussen dese twee hoofd-stucken voor ooghen.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] Just like the old Artists did never neglect the resemblance, as such they tend to make even more work of Symmetry; believing that the resemblance only springs forth from the Art, whereas the Symmetry comes forth from a certain kind of perfection, that far surpasses the Art, see Maximus Tyrius (…). Because there he shows us a rather significant difference between these two chief principles

The paraphrasing of the citation is somewhat different in the Latin edition. [MO]

term translated by / in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p.161
term translated by PERFECTION in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.265

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Die ghene onder en tusschen dewelcke het teyckenen langh ghenoegh en met eenene vlijtighen ernst gheoeffent hebben, moghen ’t hier by niet laeten blijven en d’aenghevoanghene Konste ten halven niet laeten steken; aengesien de Teycken-konst (alhoewelse met goed recht voor een gantsch ghewightigh point en voor den eenighen ghebaenden wegh tot de Schilder-Konst en d’andere Bootser-konsten gheouden wordt) maer alleenlick een aenleydinghe tot yet grootsers schijnt te wesen. De verwen hebben een sonderlinghe kracht om onse ooghen tot sich te trecken, seght Plutarchus {In Pericle circa ipsum initium}, vermids ’t menschelicke ghesicht door de bloeyende lieffelickheyd der selvighen krachtighlick opgheweckt ende ghespijst wordt. Ghelijck het oversulcks uyt ons voorighe bewijs lichtelicken is af te nemen, dat een welgheproportioneerde Teyckeningh de waere ghelijckenisse der afgheteyckender dinghen ghenoeghsaemlick uyt-druckt; soo en magh men evenwel de schaduwe deser onvolmaeckter ghelijckenisse met de levendighe volmaecktheyd van een veelverwighe Schilderye in ’t minste niet verghelijcken.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] Meanwhile those who have practiced drawing long enough and with a diligent seriousness, can leave it to this and not abandon the commenced Art halfway; since the Art of Drawing (although she is thought with good reason to be a very important point and the only common road towards the Art of Painting and the other Imitation-arts) appears to only be occasion for something bigger. The colours have a remarkable power to draw our eyes towards them, says Plutarchus {…}, as the human sight is strongly excited and fed by its blooming loveliness. Just like it is therefore easy to deduct from our previous evidence, that a well-proportioned Drawing delightfully expresses the true similitude of the drawn things; as such one may nevertheless not compare the shadow of this imperfect similitude in the least with the living perfection of a Painting with many colours.

Junius states that the (art of) drawing (tekenen, tekenkunst) is the basis for Painting (schilderkunst) and for the other arts that consist in imitation. However, he argues that an artist should never be satisfied by only producing drawings, as the colours (verf) add enormously to the impact of a painting. The liveliness of a painting with many different colours (veelverwigh schilderij) is much closer to perfection than a drawing. As such, the effect of colour is connected to the liveliness of a painting. In this citation, ‘verf’ should be translated as colour. In the English edition, Junius refers to the collection of the earl of Arundel. This reference is missing in the Latin and Dutch edition. [MO]

term translated by PERFECTUS in JUNIUS, Franciscus, De pictura veterum libri tres, Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, 1637., p.164
term translated by PERFECTION in JUNIUS, Franciscus, The Painting of the Ancients, in Three Bookes : declaring by Historicall Observations and Examples, the Beginning, Progresse, and Consummation of that most Noble Art. And how those Ancient Artificers attained to their still so much admired Excellencie. Written first in latine by Franciscus Junius, F. F. And now by him englished, with some Additions and Alterations, trad. par JUNIUS, Franciscus, London, Richard Hodgkinsonne, 1638., p.271

Conceptual field(s)

CONCEPTS ESTHETIQUES → beauté, grâce et perfection

Quotation

Dewijl het dan kennelick is, dat de meeste volmaecktheyd onser wercken voornaemelick in ’t bevormen en schicken van de Inventie bestaet; dat oock het werck selfs meer dan half schijnt afghemaeckt te sijn, alsmen den eersten voorslagh des gantschen wercks met een goed en schickelick beleyd heeft beworpen; soo konnen wy daer uyt lichtelick besluyten, dat ons alle de behulp-middelen daer toe dienstigh vlijtighlick staen waer te nemen, en dat wy de hand noyt aen ’t werck behooren te slaen, ’t en sy saecke dat alle de bysondere ghedeelten onses eersten invals door den ernst van een diepe ende innighe verbeeldinghe in haere behoorlicke plaetsen verschijnen.