The Habits are not those of the Age in which the Scene of the Fable is laid, These must have been Gothick, and Disagreeable, it being at the latter end of the 11th, or the beginning of the 12th Century [ndr : il s’agit ici du Tancrède et Herminie, réalisé par Poussin]. Erminia is clad in Blue, admirably folded, and in a great Style, something like that of Giulio, but more upon the Antique, or, Raffaelle ; one of her feet is seen which is very Gentile, and Artfully dispos’d ; her Sandal is very particular, for ‘tis a little rais’d under the Heel as our Children’s Shoes. Vafrino has a Helmet on with a large, bent Plate of Gold instead, and something with the turn of a Feather. We don’t remember any thing like it in the Antique ; There is no such thing in the Column of Trajan, nor that of Antonine (as ‘tis usually call’d tho’ ‘tis now known to be of M. Aurelius) nor (I believe) in the Works of Raffaelle, Guilio, or Polydore when they have imitated the Ancients, tho’ These, especially the two former have taken like Liberties, and departing from the Simplicity of their Great Masters have in these Instances given a little into the Gothick tast : This is probably Poussin’s own Invention, and has such an effect that I cannot imagine any thing else could possibly have been so well. The Figure is in Armour, not with Labells, but Scarlet Drapery where those usually are which also is Antique.The two Cupidons are admirably well dispos’d, and enrich, and enliven the Picture ; as does the Helmet, Shield, and Armour of Tancred which lyes at his Feet. The Attitudes of the Horses are exceeding fine, One of them turns his head backwards with great Spirit, the other has his Hinder part rais’d, which not only has a Noble effect in the Picture, but helps to tell what kind of place it was, which was rough, and unfrequented.
An Essay on the whole art of criticism […] ; Of the Goodness of a Picture, &c., p. 79-81
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.