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.
BELL, Henry, The Perfect Painter : or, a Compleat History of the Original, Progress and Improvement of Painting. Shewing, I. The Antiquity, Excellency and Usefulness of that Divine Art, to Those who are desirous of being Acquainted with the true Knowledge and Secrets therein contain'd. II. Plain Instructions to form a right Judgment of the real Value of good Pictures, and how to distinguish Originals from Copies. III. A Chronological Account of the most celebrated Painters, from their Rise, to the Present Time, London, s.n., 1730.1 quotations
Apelles himself was so ingenuous to own so great a Proficiency therein, as might seem to add Confirmation, while in the Disposition, or Ordinance, he modestly yielded to Amphion ; in the Measures, or Proportions, he subscribed to Aschepiodorus ; and of Protogenes was wont to say, in all Points he was equal to him, if not above him ; but after all, there was yet one Thing wanting in them all, which was instar omnium, or, however, the Beauty and Life of all, which he only ascribed, and was proud in being the sole Master of himself, viz. his Venus by the Greeks, named ΧΑΡΙΣ a certain peculiar Grace, sometimes called the Air of the Picture, resulting from a due Observation and Concurrence of all the essential Points and Rules requisite in a compleat Picture, accompany’d with an unconstrained and unaffected Facility and Freedom of the Pencil, which together produced such a ravishing Harmony, that made their Works seem to be performed by some divine and unspeakable Way of ART ; and which (as Fr. Junius expresseth it) is not a Perfection of ART, proceeding meerly from ART, but rather a Perfection proceeding from a consummate ART.
HENCE it was that Apelles admiring the wonderful Pains and Curiosity in each Point in a Picture of Protogenes’s Painting, yet took Occasion from thence to reprehend him for it as a Fault quod nescivit manum tollere de tabula, implying, that a heavy and painful Diligence and Affectation, are destructive of that Comeliness, Beauty and admired Grace, which only a prompt and prosperous Facility proceeding from a found Judgment of ART, can offord unto us.