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from prejudice to a manner adopted by some favourite Painter then in vogue. ; When it is recommended to preserve a breadth of colour or of light, it is not intended that the Artist is to work broader than Nature ; but this lesson is insisted on because we know, from experience, that the contrary is a fault which Artists are apt to be guilty of; who, when they are examining and finishing the detail, neglect or forget that breadth which is observable only when the eye takes in the effect of the 'whole.
Thus again, we recommend to paint soft and tender, to make a harmony and union of colouring; and for this end, that all the shadows shall be nearly of the same colour. The reason of these precepts being at all enforced, proceeds from the disposition which Artists have to paint harder than Nature,
to make the outline more cutting against the ground, and to have less harmony and union than is found in Nature, preserving the samne brightness of colour in the shadows as are seen in the lights : both these false manners of representing Nature
were the practice of the Painters when the art was in its infancy, and would be the practice now of every student who was left to himself, and had never been taught the art of seeing Nature.
There are other rules which may be said not so much to relate to the objects represented as to the eye; but the truth of these are as much fixed in Nature as the others, and proceed from the necessity there is that the work should be seen with ease and satisfaction : to this end are all the rules that relate to grouping and the disposition of light and shade.
With regard to precepts about moderation, and avoiding extremes, little is to be drawn from them. The rule would be too minute that had any exactness at all: a multiplicity of exceptions would arise, so that the teacher would be for ever saying too much, and yet pever enough. When a student is instructed to mark with precision every part of his figure, whether it be naked, or in drapery, he probably becomes hard ; if, on the contrary, he is told to paint in the most tender manner, possibly he becomes insipid. But
among extremes some are more tolerable than others; of the two extremes 1 have just mentioned, the hard manner is the most pardonable, carrying with it an air of learning, as if the Artist knew with precision the true form of Nature, though he had rendered it with two heavy a hand.
In every part of the human figure, when not spoiled by two great corpulency, will be found this distinctness, the parts never appearing uncertain or confused, or, as a musician would say, slurred; and all those smaller parts which are comprehended in the larger compartment are still to be there, however tenderly marked.
To conclude. In all minute, detailed, and practical excellence, general precepts must be either deficient or unnecessary : for the rule is not known, nor is it indeed to any purpose a rule, if it be necessary to inculcate it on every occasion,
NOTE LVII. VERSE 772.
passes over in silence many things which will be more amply treated in his Commentary.
“ Multa supersileo quæ Commentaria dicent.” But as he never lived to write that Commen-. tary, his translator has taken the liberty to pass over this line in silence also.
NOTE LVIII. VERSE 775.
Du Piles, and after him Dryden, call this Hero Louis XIII, but the later French Editor, whom I have before quoted, will needs have him to be the XIV. His note is as follows: at the accession of Louis XIV. Du Fresnoy had been ten years at Rome, therefore the epoch, marked by the Poet, falls probably upon the first years of that Prince; that is to say, upon
the or 1644. The thunders which he darts on the Alps, allude to the successes of our arms in the Milanese, and in Piedmont; and the
Alcides, who is born again in France for the defence of his country, is the conqueror of Rocroy, the young Duke of Anguien, afterwards called Le Grand Condé.” apt to suspect that all this fine criticism is false, though I do not think it worth while to controvert it. Whether the Poet meant to compliment Louis XIII. or the little boy that succeeded him, (for he was only six years old in the year 1644,) he was guilty of gross flattery. It is impossible, however, from the construction of the sentence, that Lodovicus Borbonidum Decus, & Gallicus Alcides, could mean any more than one identical person;
person; and consequently the Editor's notion concerning the Grand Condé is indisputably false. I have, therefore, taken the whole passage in the same sense that Du Piles did; and have also, like him, used the Poet's phrase of the Spanish Lion in the concluding line, rather than that of the Spanish Geryon, to which Mr. Dryden has transformed him: His reason, I
suppose, for doing this was, that the monster Geryon was of Spanish extraction, and the Nemean Lion, which Hercules killed, was of Pelo