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bez which is a precept of Aristotle, given

å as well to. Poets as to Painters. Phidias raised an admiration even to astonishment, in those who beheld his statues, with the forms which he gave to his Gods and Heroes, by imitating the Idea, rather than Nature ; and, Cicero, speaking of him, affirms, that figuring Jupiter and Pallas, he did not contemplate any object from whence he took any likeness, but considered in his own mind a great and admirable form of beauty, and according to that image in his soul, he directed the operation of his hand. Seneca also seems to wonder that Phidias, having never beheld either Jove or Pallas, yet could conceive their divine images in his mind. Apollonius Tyanæus says the same in other words, that the Fancy more instructs the Painter than the Imitation ; for the last makes only the things which it sees, but the first makes also the things which it never sees. "

Leon Battista Alberti tells us, that we ought not so much to love the Likeness as the Beauty, and to choose from the fairest bodies severally the fairest parts. Leonardo

VOL. III.

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da Vinci instructs the Painter to form this idea to himself; and Raffaelle, the greatest of all modern Masters, writes thus to Castiglione, concerning his Galatea : • To paint a fair one, it is necessary for me to see а

' many fair ones; but because there is so * great a scarcity of lovely women, I am

constrained to make use of one certain • Idea, which 'I have formed to myself in

my own fancy.' Guido Reni sending to Rome his St. Michael, which he had painted for the Church of the Capuchins, at the same time wrote 'to Monsignor Massano, who was the maestro di casa (or steward of the house) to Pope Urban VIII. in this manner:

I wish I had had the wings of an angel,

to have ascended into Paradise, and there • to have beheld the forms of those beatified spirits, from which I might have copied

my Archangel : but not being able to • mount so high, it was in vain for me to • search his resemblance here below; so • that I was forced to make an introspection ' into my own mind, and into that Idea of • Beauty, which I have formed in my own

imagination. I have likewise created

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SO

* there the contrary Idea of Deformity and

Ugliness; but I leave the consideration of • it till I paint the Devil, and, in the mean 6 time shun the very thought of it as much as • possibly I can, and am even endeavouring • to blot it wholly out of my remembrance.' There was not any lady in all antiquity who was mistress of so much beauty, as was to be found in the Venus of Gnidus, made by Praxiteles, or the Minerva of Athens, by Phidias, which was therefore called the Beautiful Form. Neither is there any man of the present age equal in the strength, proportion, and knitting of his limbs, to the Hercules of Farnese, made by Glycon; or any woman who can justly be compared with the Medicean Venus of Cleomenes. And upon

this account the noblest Poets and the best Orators, when they desired to celebrate

any extraordinary beauty, are forced to have recourse to statues and pictures, and to draw their persons and faces into comparison: Ovid, endeavouring to express the beauty of Cyllarus, the fairest of the Centaurs, celebrates him as next in pere fection to the most adınirable statues

Gratus in ore vigor, cervix, humerique, manusque,

Pectoraque, artificum laudatis proxima signis.

A pleasing vigour his fair face expressid ;
His neck, his hands, his shoulders, and his breast,
Did next in gracefulness and beauty stand,
To breathing figures of the Sculptor's hand.

In another place he sets Apelles above Venus :

Si Venerem Cois nunquam pinxisset Apelles,

Mersa sub æquoreis illa lateret aquis.

Thus varied.

One birth to seas the Cyprian Goddess ow'd,
A second birth the Painter's art bestow'd :
Less by the seas than by his pow'r was giv'n;
They made her live, but he advanc'd to heav'na

“ The Idea of this Beauty is indeed various, according to the several forms which the Painter or Sculptor would describe : as one in strength, another in magnanimity; and sometimes it consists in cheerfulness, and sometimes in delicacy, and is always diversified by the sex and age.

a Poet

" The beauty of Jove is one, and that of Juno another: Hercules and Cupid are perfect beauties, though of different kinds; for beauty is only that which makes all things as they are in their proper and perfect nature, which the best Painters always choose, by contemplating the forms of each. We ought farther to consider, that a picture being the representation of a human action, the Painter ought to retain in his mind the examples of all affections and passions; as

preserves the idea of an angryman, of one who is fearful, sad, or merry; and so of all the rest : for it is impossible to express that with the hand, which never entered into the imagination. In this manner, as I have rudely and briefly shewn

you, Painters and Sculptors choosing the most elegant, natural beauties, perfectionate the Idea, and advance their art, even above Na. ture itself, in her individual productions, which is the utmost mastery of human performance.

" From hence arises that astonishment, and almost adoration, which is paid by the knowing to those divine remains of antia

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