TERM USED AS TRANSLATIONS IN QUOTATIONHISTORICAL (eng.)
RICHARDSON, Jonathan, Traité de la Peinture, Par Mr. Richardson, le Père, Tomes I. et II. Contenant, Tome I. Un Essai sur la Théorie de la Peinture ; Tome II. Un Essai sur l'art de critiquer, en fait de Peinture ; & un Discours sur la Sience d'un Connoisseur. Traduit de l'Anglois; Revu & Corrigé par l'Auteur., trad. par RUTGERS, Antoine, Amsterdam, Herman Uytwerf, 1728, 2 vol., vol. I.
A Portrait is a sort of General History of the Life of the Person it represents, not only to Him who is acquainted with it, but to Many Others, who upon Occasion of seeing it are frequently told, of what is most Material concerning Them, or their General Character at least ; The Face ; and Figure is also Describ’d and as much of the Character as appears by These, which oftentimes is here seen in a very great Degree. These therefore many times answer the Ends of Historical Pictures. And to Relations, or Friends give a Pleasure greater than any Other can.
There are many Single Heads which are Historical, and may be apply’d to several Stories. I have many such ; I have for Instance a Boy’s Head of Parmeggiano in whose Every Feature appears such an overflowing Joy, and that too not Common, but Holy, and Divine that I imagine him a little Angel rejoycing at the birth of the Son of God. I have another of Leonardo da Vinci of a Youth very Angelical, and in whom appears an Air such as Milton describes
This I suppose to be present at the Agony of our Lord, or his Crucifixion, or seeing him dead, with his Blessed Mother in that her vast Distress. Single Figures may be also thus apply’d, and made Historical. But Heads not Thus Applicable, must be reckoned in an Inferiour Class and more, or less so according as they happen to be.
Every Historical Picture is a Representation of one single point of Time ; This then must be chosen ; and That in the Story which is the most Advantageous must be It. Suppose, for Instance, the Story to be painted is that of the Woman taken in Adultery, the Painter Seems to be at liberty to choose whether he will represent the Scribes and Pharisees accusing her to our Lord ; Or our Lord writing on the Ground ; Or pronouncing the last of the Words, Let him that is among you without Sin cast the first Stone at her ; Or lastly his Absolution, Go thy way, Sin no more.
Robes, or other Marks of Dignity, or of a Profession, Employment, or Amusement, a Book, a Ship, a Favourite Dog, or the like, are Historical Expressions common in Portraits, which must be mention’d on this occasion ;
If some Grace Characters require an Air of Thoughtfulness, as if engag’d in a diligent Search after Truth, or in some Important Project, they must however not appear Displeas’d, unless in some rare Instances, as Van-Dyck has put something of Sorrow in one Picture of his Unfortunate Patron King Charles I. (I mean that at Hampton-Court) which I believe was done when he was entring into his Troubles, and which is therefore in that respect Historical.