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Volght nu dat wy mede een weynigh van de uyterste linien handelen. Want ghelijck den Konstenaers sorghvuldighlick daer op heeft te letten, dat sijne verwen, als het passe heeft, aerdighlick in malckander moghten verschieten; soo behoort hy met eenen oock goede achtinghe op d’uyterste linien te nemen; vermidts de hooghste volmaecktheyt der Konste wierd oyt gheoordeelt voornaemelick daer in te bestaen, dat den omvangh ofte omtreck der figuren met sulcken aerdighen ende onbedwongen soetigheyd sy getrocken, dat d’aenschouwers daer in meynen te sien ’t ghene onsienelick is. Ons ooghe laet sich lichtelick voorstaen, dat het achter de schilderije iet meer siet dan daer te sien is; wanner d’uyterste linien, die het beeld omvanghen ende in sich besluyten, soo gantsch suyverlick sijn getrocken datse een goedt stuck weegs in ’t tafereel selfs sonder eenighe schaerdighe uytkantigheyt schijnen te sijn verdreven. Het maeckt dat de figuren, niet plat, maer rondachtigh schijnen te sijn; als de kanten der selviger met gantsch dunne en fijne verwen-streken, sich allenghskens omrondende, uyt ons ghesicht ontwijcken. De aller treffelickste Konstenaers hebben eertijds ongeveynsdelick beleden, seght Plinius {Lib. xxxv. Cap. I.}, dat Parrhasius sijn werck in het maeken van goede omtrecken aller best plaght te voldoen. Dit is d’opperste volmaecktheyd daer een goed Konstenaer toegheraecken kan. Ende alhoewel het gheen kleyne saecke en is de lichaemen selver met haere binnewercken behoorlicker wijse af te maelen, nochtans hebben vele daer in eenen sonderlinghen lof behaelt; maer d’uyterste lichaemen wel te maecken, als oock de maeten van d’aflaetende schilderije bequaemelick binnen sijne linien op te sluyten, is gheen ghemeyne saecke, ende wordt maer alleen gheacht het werck te sijn van een gheluckighe hand. Want den uytersten omtreck moet sich selven soo blijckelick omvanghen, en soo gheestighlick in een aerdigh omrondsel eyndighen, dat het niet alleen schijnt te beloven wat daer achter schuylt, maer dat het met eenen oock schijnt te vertoonen ’t ghene daer onder verborghen light. Ghelijck dan d’oude Meesters den oppersten lof in d’uyterste streken vrijhertighlick aen desen Parrhasius gaven, soo wierd hy nochtans gheoordeelt sich selven in het binnenwerck dapper ongalijck te sijn.

[Suggested translation, Marije Osnabrugge:] Now follows that we also discuss the outer lines a bit. Because like the Artist pay close attention that his colours, when necessary, would nicely fade into eachother; as such he should simultaneously pay attention to the outer lines; as the highest perfection of the Art is also thought to exist mainly in this, that the circumference or contour of the figures are drawn with such a nice and unrestrained sweetness, that the spectators believe to see that which is indiscernable in it; when the outer lines that encompass and comprise the image, are drawn so very purely that a big part of the scene appears to have been dissipated without any sharp outer edges. It makes that the figures appear to be not too flat but roundish; as its edges, with very thin and fine brushstrokes, gradually rounding, disappear from our view. The most capable Artists have confessed honestly, says Plinius {…}, that Parrhasius did the best job in making good contours. This is the highest perfection that a good Artist can achieve. And although it is no small matter at all to paint the bodies themselves with their interiors in an acceptable manner, nonetheless many have achieved exceptional praise in it; but making the outer bodies well, as well as capturing the size of the painting capably within its lines, is not a common thing, and is thought to only be the work of a fortunate hand. Because the outer contour has to encompass itself so clearly and finish so cleverly in a nice rounding, that does not only suggest what lies behind it, but that simultaneously appears to show that which lies underneath. Like the old Masters gave the highest praise regarding the outer strokes generously to this Parrhasius; as such he was nonetheless judged to be very uneven with the interior [NDR: of the figures].

Junius addresses the necessity to soften the contour (uiterste lijn, omvang, omtrek) of the different shapes in a painting. If the artist manages to round off (omronden) the contours well, the figures will appear to be round (rondachtig) instead of flat and without any harsh edges (uytkantigheyt, approximate translation). To achieve this effect, one needs to dissipate (verdrijven) the colours as well as a delicate brushstroke (verfstreek). By referring to Parrhasius, Junius explains that it is more difficult to form the contours well in comparison the interior (binnenwerk) of the figures. This term does not occur in the Latin and English edition. I would like to thank Wieneke Jansen (Leiden University) for her assistance with regard to this citation. [MO]

Conceptual field(s)

EFFET PICTURAL → qualité du dessin