When therefore we are to make a Judgment in what Degree of Goodness a Picture or Drawing is we should consider its Kind first, and then its several Parts. A History is preferrable to a Landscape, Sea-Piece, Animals, Fruit, Flowers, or any other Still-Life, pieces of Drollery, &c ; the reason is, the latter Kinds may Please, and in proportion as they do so they are Estimable, and that is according to every one’s Taste, but they cannot Improve the Mind, they excite no Noble Sentiments ; at least not as the other naturally does : These not only give us Pleasure, as being Beautiful Objects, and Furnishing us with Ideas as the Other do, but the Pleasure we receive from Hence is Greater (I speak in General, and what the nature of the thing is capable of) ‘tis of a Nobler Kind than the Other ; and Then moreover the Mind may be Inrich’d, and made Better.
An Essay on the whole art of criticism […] ; Of the Goodness of a Picture, &c., p. 44-45
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.