LIBERAL ART

LIBERAL ART (n.)

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Quotation

And that you should not esteem basely of the practise thereof, let me tell you, that in ancient times ; Painting was admitted into the first place among the liberall Arts, and throughout all Greece taught only to the children of Noble men in the Schools, and altogether forbidden to be taught to servants or slaves. 
In no less honour and esteem was it held among the Romans, as we find in
Pliny and many others […].

Conceptual field(s)

PEINTURE, TABLEAU, IMAGE → définition de la peinture

Quotation

The Grecians had this Art in so high esteem, that they made an Edict, that no Slave should be admitted to learn this Art ; and good reason, because this Art should onely be permitted to those that were of a Free, Ingenious, Noble Mind, and such as excelled others in their sharp Ingenuity ; and this Noble Mind is soon espied in him who hath a delight to such a Liberal Art.
The Ancient Romans ordered their Children so, that among other Liberal Sciences The Art of Limning was enjoyned to them to learn. Which Commendable thing long before this was in practice among the Grecians, so that their Youth of a good Descent added to their Liberal Learnings of Geometrie, Musick, and other Mathematical Sciences, The Art of Painting also ; for this Art hath been so highly esteemed, that amongst the Feminine Sex it was held a great Honour if they had affected and delighted themselves in such an Honourable Exercise ; as the Faithful Histories bear witness of the most Potent Roman VARRO’s Daughter, called MARTIA, that she had good skill in The Art of Limning.

Conceptual field(s)

PEINTURE, TABLEAU, IMAGE → définition de la peinture

Quotation

Hence it appeareth that Painting is an Art, because it imitateth natural things most precisely, and is the counterfeiter and (as it were) the very Ape of nature ; whose Quantity, Eminency and Colours, it ever striveth to imitate, performing the same by the help of Geometry, Arithmetick, Perspective, and Natural Philosophy, with most Infallible Demonstrations, but because of Arts some be Liberal, and some Mechanical, it shall not be amiss, to shew amongst which of them Painting ought to be numbred. {Painting is a liberal Art.} Now Pliny calleth it plainly a liberal Art, which authority of his may be proved by reason, for although the Painter cannot attain to his end, but by working both with his hand and pencil, yet there is so little pains and labour bestowed in this Exercise, that there is no Ingenious Man in the World, unto whose Nature it is not most agreeable, and infinitely pleasant.
For we read of the French King
Francis, the First of that name, that he oftentimes delighted to handle the pencil, by exercising, drawing and painting ; […], so that in these and the like Exercises, nothing is Base or Mechanical, but all Noble and Ingenious.
[…]. Farthermore it cannot be denied, but that the
Geometrician also worketh with the Hand, by drawing Lines, as Circles, Triangles, Quadrangles and such like Figures ; neither yet did ever any Man therefore account Geometry a Mechanical Art because the Hand-labour therein imployed is so sleight, that it were an absurdity in respect thereof, to reckon it a base condition.
The like reason is there of
painting, the Practice whereof, doth so little weary a Man, that he which was Noble before, cannot justly be reputed Base by exercising the same ; but if besides all this, we shall farther consider, that Painting is subordinate to the Perspectives, to Natural philosophy, and Geometry (all which out of question are Liberal Sciences) and moreover that it hath certain Demonstrable conclusions, deduced from the First and immediate Principalls thereof, we must needs conclude that it is a Liberal Art.

Conceptual field(s)

PEINTURE, TABLEAU, IMAGE → définition de la peinture