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THE

SENTIMENTS

OF

CHARLES ALPHONSE DU FRESNOY,

ON THE WORKS OF THL

PRINCIPAL AND BEST PAINTERS OF THE TWO LAST AGIS.

PAINTING was in its perfection amongst the Greeks. The principal schools were at Sycion, afterwards at Rhodes, at Athens, and at Corinth, and at last in Rome. Wars and Luxury having overthrown the Roman Empire, it was totally extinguished, together with all the noble Arts, the studies of Humanity, and the other Sciences.

It began to appear again in the year 1450, amongst some Painters of Florence, of which Domenico Ghirlandaio was one, who was Master to Michael Angelo, and had some kind of reputation, though his manner was Gothick, and very dry.

Michael Angelo, his Disciple, flourish

He was a

ed in the times of Julius II. Leo X. and
of seven successive Popes.
Painter, a Sculptor, and an Architect, both
civil and military. The choice which he
made of his attitudes was not always beauti-
ful or pleasing; his gusto of design was not
the finest, nor his outlines the most elegant;
the folds of his draperies, and the ornaments
of his habits, were neither noble nor graceful.
He was not a little fantastical and extrava-
gant in his compositions ; he was bold, even
to rashness, in taking liberties against the
rules of Perspective; his colouring is not
over true, or very pleasant: he knew not
the artifice of light and shadow; but he
designed more learnedly; and better under-
stood all the knittings of the bones, and the
office and situation of the muscles, than any
of the modern Painters. There appears a
certain air' of greatness and severity in his
figures, in both which he has oftentimes
$ucceeded. But above the rest of his ex-
cellencies; was his wonderful skill in Archi-
tecture, wherein he has not only surpassed all
the moderns, but even the antients also;
the St. Peter's of Rome, the St. John's of

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Florence, the Capitol, the Palazzo Farnese, and his own house, are sufficient testimonies of it. His disciples were, Marcello Venusti, Il Rosso, Georgio Vasari, Fra. Bastiano, (who commonly painted for him,) and many other Florentines,

Pietro Perugino designed with sufficient knowledge of Nature; but he is dry, and his manner little. His Disciple was

Raffaelle Santio, who was born on GoodFriday, in the year. 1483, and died on Good-Friday, in the year 1520; so that he lived only thirty-seven years 'compleat, He surpassed all modern Painters, because he possessed more of the excellent parts of Painting than any other; and it is believed that he equalled the antients, excepting only that he designed not naked bodies with so much learning as Michael Angelo; but his gusto of design is purer, and much better. He painted not with so good, so full, and so graceful a manner as Correggio ; nor has he any thing of the contrast of light and shadow, or so strong and free a colouring as Titian; but he had a better disposition in his pieces, without comparison, than either Titian, Correggio, Michael Angelo, or all the rest of the succeeding Painters to our days. His choice of attitudes, of heads, of ornaments, the arrangement of his drapery, his manner of designing, his variety, his contrast, his expression, were beautiful in perfection; but above all, he possessed the Graces in so advantageous a manner, that he has never since been equalled by any other. There are portraits (or single figures) of his, which are well executed. He was an admirable Architect. He was handsome, weil made, civil, and good natured, never refusing to teach another what he knew himself. He had many scholars; amongst others, Julio Romano, Polydore, Gaudenzio, Giovanni d'Udine, and Michael Coxis. His Graver was Mark Antonio, whose prints are admirable for the correctness of their outlines.

Julio Romano was the most excellent of all Raffaelle's Disciples.: he had conceptions which were more extraordinary, more profound, and more elevated than even his Master himself; he was also a great Architect; his

gusto was pure and exquisite. He was a great imitator of the antients, giving a

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clear testimony in all his productions, that he was desirous to restore to practice the same forms and fabricks which were antient. He had the good fortune to find great persons, who committed to him the care of edifices, vestibules, and porticoes, all tetrastyles, xistes, theatres, and such other places as are now in use. He was wonderful in his choice of attitudes. His manner was drier and harder than any of Raffaelle's school. He did not exactly understand either light and shadow, or colouring. He is frequently harsh and ungraceful; the folds of his draperies are neither beautiful nor great, easy nor natural, but all of them imaginary, and too like the habits of fantastical comedians. He was well versed in polite learning. His Disciples were Pirro Ligorio, (who was admirable for antique buildings, as towns, temples, tombs, and trophies, and the situation of antient edifices,) Æneas Vico, Bonasone, Georgio Mantuano, and others.

Polydore, a Disciple of Raffaelle, designed admirably well as to the practical part, having a particular genius for freezes, as we may see by those of white and black,

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