It must be consider’d they [ndr : les cartons de Raphaël] were made for Patterns for Tapistry, not profess’d Pictures, and painted, not in Oil, but in Distemper : If therefore one sees not the Warmth, and Mellowness, and Delicacy of Colouring which is to be found in Correggio, Titian, or Rubens, it may fairly be imputed in a great measure to these Causes. A Judicious Painter has other Considerations relating to the Colouring when he makes Patters for Tapistry to be heightned with Gold, and Silver, than when he paints a Picture without such View ; nor can a sort of Dryness, and Harshness be avoided in Distemper, upon Paper : Time moreover has apparently chang’d some of the Colours. In a word, the Tout-Ensemble of the Colours is Agreeable, and Noble ; and the Parts of it are in General Extreamly, but not Superlatively Good.
There are certain Arguments, which a Connoisseur is utterly to reject, as not being such by which he is to form his Judgement, of what Use soever they may be to those who are incapable of judging otherwise, or who will not take the Pains to know better. Some of these have really no Weight at all in them, the Best are very Precarious, and only serve to perswade us the Thing is good in general, not in what Respect it is so. That a Picture, or Drawing has been, or is much esteem’d by those who are believ’d to be good Judges ; Or is, or was Part of a famous Collection, cost so much, has a rich Frame, or the like. Whoever makes Use of such Arguments as these, besides that they are very fallacious, takes the Thing upon Trust, which a good Connoisseur should never condescend to do. That ‘tis Old, Italian, Rough, Smooth, &c. These are Circumstances hardly worth mentioning, and which belongs to Good, and Bad. A Picture, or Drawing may be too old to be good ; but in the Golden Age of Painting, which was that of Rafaelle, about Two Hundred Years ago, there were wretched Painters, as well as Before, and Since, and in Italy, as well as Elsewhere. Nor is a Picture the Better, or the Worse, for being Rough, or Smooth, simply consider’d.