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Of the Necessity and Definition of Proportion.

It was not without just Cause, that the antient
Græcians (at which time the Art of Painting had fully attained to his Perfection, by the Industry of Timantes, Eusenidas, Aristides, Eupompus, Sicyonias and Pamphilus, the famous Macedonian Painter, and Master of Apelles, who also was the first learned Painter directing his Workes by the Rules of Art, above any of his Predecessors, and well considering that whatsoever was made without measure and proportion, could never carry with it any such congruity as might represent either Beauty or Grace to the judicious beholder) were wont to say, that it was impossible to make any tolerable, much less any Commendable Picture, without the help of Geometry and Arithmetick, wherefore they required the Knowledge thereof, as a thing most necessary, which saying was also approved by Philip Macedo. And surely it is impossible (to omitt the meere Artizans) that he who is ignorant of these two Sciences, should understand the exact measure and proprotion of any probable or true Body, the necessity of which proportions shall be shewed hereafter.

Conceptual field(s)

L’ARTISTE → qualités


Appelles added the last Perfection [ndr : à la peinture] by the help of Geometry and Arithmetick ; without which, as his Master Pamphilus would say, no Man could prove a Painter ; and Bernard Lovinus would say, a Painter without Perspective was like a Doctor without Grammer.
            And indeed it is a Compound of many Arts ; as
Geomitry, Architecture, Arithmetick, Perspective, &c. for a Painter cannot perform without Lines, Superficies, Profunditys, Thickness and Geometricall Figures.
            Nor can
Churches, Pallaces, Amphiteaters, Bridges, Ports and other Buildings be Represented without Skill in Architecture.
            Nor without
Arithmetick can he Understand the Proportion of Mans Body, to take it in any fise ; or the Proportion of other Things either Artificiall or Naturall.

Conceptual field(s)

L’HISTOIRE ET LA FIGURE → figure et corps