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
Of the Vertue of Light.
Light hath so great force in Pictures, that (in my judgement) therein consisteth the whole grace thereof, if it be well understood, an contrarywife, the disgrace if it be not perceived, and evident example whereof we may see in a Body proportionably drawn which being yet without the lights, sheweth very beautifull, so far forth as it is wrought, but if afterwards it shall be shadowed without judgement and art, so that the shadowes be confusedly placed where the lights ought to be, and contrarywise the lights where the Middle of the shadows should be, and the concavities and convexities disorderly suited, without any Imitation of Nature it were better it had never been either drawn or lightned, whereas having lights well disposed, it doth not only add perfection to the draught but so sets it off from the Flat that it seems to be imbossed.
And in this vertue and power consisteth the chiefest excellency of the Painter […].
Of the Necessity of Motion.
The order of the place requireth, that I should consequently speak of Motion it self, namely with what Art the Painter ought to give Motions best fitting his Pictures, which is nothing else but a correspondency to the nature of the proportion of the forme and matter thereof, and herein consisteth the whole spirit and life of the Art, which the Painters call sometimes the fury, sometimes the grace, and sometimes the excellency of the Art, for hereby they express an evident distinction between the living and the dead, the fierce and the gentle, the ignorant and the learned, the sad and the merry, and (in a Word) discover all the several passions and Gestures which Mans Body is able to perform, which here we term by the name of Motions, for the more significant expressing of the Mind by an outward and bodily demonstration, so that by this means inward motions and affections may be as well, (or rather better) signified as by their speech, which is wrought by the proper operations of the Body, […].
Now the perfect knowledge of this motion, is (as hath been shewed) accounted the most difficult part of the art, and reputed as a divine gift. Insomuch, as herein alone consisteth the comparison between Painting and Poetry, for as it is required in a Poet, that besides the excellency of his wit, he should moreover be furnished with a certain propension and inclination of will, inciting and moving him to versity, (which the antient called the fury of Apollo and the Muses) so likewise a Painter ought, together with those natural parts which are required at his hands, to be furnished with a natural dexterity and inborn flight of expressing the principal motions, even from his cradle ; otherwise it is a very hard (if not impossible) matter, to obtain to the absolute perfection of this Art.
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 must then repeat to you what I told you at our first Meeting [ndr : Dialogue I, « Explaining the Art of Painting »] ; which is, That the Art of Painting has three Parts ; which are, Design, Colouring, and Invention ; and under this third, is that which we call Disposition ; which is properly the Order in which all the Parts of the Story are disposed, so as to produce one effect according to the Design of the Painter ; and that is the first Effect which a good Piece of History is to produce in the Spectator ; that is, if it be a Picture of a joyful Event, that all that is in it be Gay and Smiling, to the very Landskips, Houses, Heavens, Cloaths, &c. And that all the Aptitudes tend to Mirth. The same, if the Story be Sad, or Solemn ; and so for the rest. And a Piece that does not do this at first sight, is most certainly faulty though it never so well Designed, or never so well Coloured ; nay, though there be Learning and Invention in it ; for as a Play that is designed to make me Laugh, is most certainly an ill one if it makes me Cry. So an Historical Piece that doth not produce the Effect it is designed for, cannot pretend to an Excellency, though it be never so finely Painted.
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
That the Pleasure of Connoissance is a Virtuous, and a Useful one, and such a one therefore as is worthy the Pursuit of a Wise, and Good Man appears by what has been said heretofore. Wherein this Pleasure consists is what I am Now about to shew : Which will also serve as a Specimen of what may be done in other Instances, a Vast many of which I have observ’d are overlook’d and neglected as well as This :
What is Beautiful, and Excellent is naturally adapted to Please ; but all Beauties, and Excellencies are not naturally Seen. Most Gentlemen see Pictures, and Drawings as the Generality of People see the Heavens in a Clear, Starry Night, they perceive a sort of Beauty there, but such a one as produces no great Pleasure in the Mind : But when one considers the Heavenly Bodies as other Worlds, and that there are an Infinite Number of these in the Empire of God, Immensity ; and Worlds which our Eyes assisted by the best Glasses can never reach, and so far removed from the most distant of what we see (which yet are so far removed from us that when we consider it our Minds are fill’d with Astonishment) that These Visible ones are as it were our Neighbours, as the Continent of France is to Great Britain ; When one considers farther, That as there Inhabitants on this Continent tho’ we see them not when we see That, ‘tis altogether unreasonable to Imagine that those Innumerable Words are Uninhabited, and Desart ; there must be Beings There, Some perhaps More, Others Less Noble, and Excellent than Men : When one Thus views this Vast Prospect, the Mind is Otherwise affected than Before, and feels a Delight which Common Notions never can administer. So those who at Present cannot comprehend there can be such Pleasure in a good Picture, or Drawing as Connoisseurs pretend to find, may Learn to see the same thing in Themselves, their Eyes being once open’d ‘tis like a New Sense, and New Pleasures flow in as often as the Objects of that Superinduc’d Sight present themselves, which (to People of Condition Especially) very frequently happens, or may be procur’d, whether Here at Home, or in their Travels Abroad. When a Gentleman has learn’d to see the Beauties and Excellencies that are really in good Pictures, and Drawings, and which may be learnt by conversing with Such, and applying himself to the consideration of them, he will look upon That with Joy which he Now passes over with very little Pleasure, if not with Indifference : Nay a Sketch, a Scrabble of the Hand of a Great Master will be capable of administering to him a Greater Degree of Pleasure than those who know it not by Experience will easily believe.
Neatness, and high Finishing ; a Light, Bold Pencil ; Gay, and Vivid Colours, Warm, and Sombrous ; Force, and Tenderness, All these are Excellencies when judiciously employ’d, and in Subserviency to the Principal End of the Art ; But they are Beauties of an Inferior Kind even when So employ’d ; they are the Mechanick Parts of Painting, and require no more Genius, or Capacity, than is necessary to, and frequently seen in Ordinary Workmen ; […] ; These properties are in Painting, as Language, Rhime, and Numbers are in Poetry ; and as he that stops at These as at what Constitutes the Goodness of a Poem is a Bad Critick, He is an Ill Connoisseur who has the same Consideration for these Inferious Excellencies in a Picture.