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Ex sese faciles, ut inobservatus,
Non desint Mox quodcumque mari, terris, et in aere pulchrum Contigerit, chartis propera mandare paratis,
Dum præsens animo species tibi fervet hianti.
475. Non epulis nimis indulget pictura,
Parcit: amicorum nisi cum sermone benigno
Exhaustam reparet mentem recreata; sed inde
Litibus, et curis, in cœlebe libre vita,
Secessus, procul à turba, strepituque
remotos, 480. Villarum, rurisque beata silentia quærit.
Namque recollecto, totâ incumbente
Ingenio, rerum species præsentior
Commodiusque operis compagem amplectitur omnem.
* Be ready to put into your table- of tablebook (which you must always carry books. about you) whatsoever you judge worthy of it; whether it be upor the earth, or in the air, or upon the waters, while the species of them is yet fresh in your imagination.
* Wine and good cheer are no 475. great friends to painting; they serve only to recreate the mind, when it is oppressed and spent with labour; then indeed it is proper to renew your vigour by the conversation of your friends. Neither is a true painter naturally pleased with the fatigue of business, and particularly of the law, but delights in the liberty which belongs to the bachelor's estate. * Painting naturally withdraws from noise and tumult, and pleases itself in the enjoyment of a country retirement; because silence 480. and solitude set an edge upon the genius, and cause a greater application to work and study; and also serve to produce the ideas, which, so conceived, will be always present in the mind, even to the finishing of the work; the whole compass of which the painter can at that time more commodiously form to himself, than at any other.
* Let not the covetous design of growing rich, induce you to ruin your reputation, but rather satisfy 485. yourself with a moderate fortune; and let your thoughts be wholly taken up with acquiring to yourself a glorious name, which can never perish, but with the world; and make that the recompense of your worthy labours.
*The qualities requisite to form an excellent painter, are a true discerning judgment, a mind which is docible, a noble heart, and a sublime
Sublimes, firmum corpus, florensque juventa
490. Commoda res, labor, artis amor, doctusque magister.
Et quamcumque voles occasio porrigat ansam,
Ni genius quidam adfuerit, sydusque benignum,
Dotibus his tantis, nec adhuc ars
Distat ab ingenio longè manus. Optima doctis
495. Censentur, quæ parva minus; latet omnibus error:
Vitaque tam longa brevior non sufficit arti.
Desinimus nam posse senes, cùm
Incipimus, doctamque manum gravat
ægra senectus; Nec gelidis fervet juvenilis in artubus ardor.
Quare agite, O juvenes, placido
Quosque suo fovet igne, sibique op-
Eja agite, atque animis ingentem in
gentibus artem Exercete alacres, dum strenua corda juventus 505. Viribus extimulat vegetis, patiensque laborum est;
Dum vacua errorum, nulloque imbuta
Pura nitet mens, et rerum sitibunda novarum,
sense of things and fervour of soul;
And remember, that whatsoever your subject be, whether of your own choice, or what chance or good fortune shall put into your hand, if you have not that genius or natural inclination, which your art requires, you shall never arrive to perfection in it, even with all those great advantages which I have mentioned. For the wit and the manual operation are things vastly distant from each other. It is the influence of your stars, and the happiness of your genius, to which you must be obliged for the greatest beauties of your art.
Nay, even your excellencies sometimes will not pass for such in the opinion of the learned, but only as things which have less of error in 495. them; for no man sees his own failings; and life is so short, that it is not sufficient for so long an art. Our strength fails us in our old age, when we begin to know somewhat; age oppresses us by the same degrees that it instructs us; and permits not, that our mortal members, which are frozen with our years, should retain the vigour and spirits of our youth.
* Take courage therefore, O ye 506. noble youths! you legitimate offspring of Minerva, who are born under the influence of a happy planet, and warmed with a celestial fire, which attracts you to the love of science! Exercise, while you are young, your whole forces, and employ them with delight in an art, which requires a whole painter. Exercise them, I say, while your boiling youth sup-595. plies you with strength, and furnishes you with quickness and with vigour; while your mind, yet pure, and void of error, has not taken any ill habitude to vice; while yet your
Præsentes haurit species, atque hu- spirits are inflamed with the thirst of
novelties, and your mind is filled with the first species of things which present themselves to a young imagination, which it gives in keeping to your memory, and which your memory retains for length of time, be
LXX. In geometrali prius arte parumpèr adulti,
510. Signa antiqua super Graiorum ad-
Nec mora, nec requies, noctuque
Illorum menti atque modo, vos
Praxis ab assiduo faciles assueverit
Mox, ubi judicium emensis 'adole-
Romani, Veneti, Parmenses, atque
Partibus in cunctis pedetentìm, at-
Ut monitum suprà est, vos expendisse
reason of the moisture wherewith at LXX.
Hos apud invenit Raphael mira- Bolognese. Amongst those excel
520. Ducta modo, veneresque habuit quas
Quidquid erat formæ scivit Bona-
Julius à puero musarum eductus in
Aonias reseravit opes, graphicâque
Quæ non visa prius, sed tantùm au-
lent persons, Raphael had the tal-
525, Ante oculos spectanda dedit sacraria and all the rarest ornaments which
that god is capable of communicating
"The shining eminence of Cor-
LXXI Natura et experientia artem perficiunt.
In propriam mentem, atque modum mira arte coegit.
Plurimus inde labor Tabulas imitando juvabit
management of colours." And Ti. tian understood so well the union of the masses, and the bodies of colours, the harmony of the tints and the disposition of the whole together, that he has deserved those honours and that wealth which were heaped upon him, together with that attribute of being sirnamed the divine painter. The laborious and diligent Annibal Caracci has taken from all 535. these great persons already mentioned whatsoever excellencies he found in them, and, as it were, converted their nourishment into his own substance.
experience Ferfect art.
It is a great means of profiting Nature and yourself, to copy diligently those exEgregias, operumque Typos; sed cellent pieces, and those beautiful de
plura docebit Natura ante oculis firmat et auget
540. Vim genii, ex illâque artem experientia complet.
Multa supercilio quæ Commentaria dicent.
signs: but Nature, which is present before your eyes, is yet a better mistress; for she augments the force and vigour of the genius, and she it is from whom art derives her ultimate perfection, by the means of sure 540. experience. * I pass in silence many things which will be more amply treated in the ensuing commentary.
And now, considering that all things are subject to the vicissitudes of time, and that they are liable to destruction by several ways, I thought I might reasonably take the boldness *to intrust to the muses (those lovely and immortal sisters of painting) these few precepts, which I have here made and collected of that art.
I employed my time in the study 545. of this work at Rome, while the glory of the Bourbon family, and the just avenger of his injured ancestors, the victorious Louis XIII. was darting his thunder on the Alps, and causing his enemies to feel the force of his unconquerable arms; while he, like another Gallic Hercules, born for the benefit and honour of his country, was griping the Spanish Geryon by 550. the throat, and at the point of strangling him.
THE ART OF PAINTING.
CHARLES ALPHONSE DU FRESNOY.
t1. PAINTING and Poesy are two sisters, &c. It is a received truth, that the arts have a certain relation to each other. "There is no art, (said Tertullian, in his Treatise of Idolatry, which is not either the father, or the near relation of another." And Cicero, in his oration for Archias the poet, says, "That the arts, which have respect to human life, have a kind of alliance among themselves, and hold each other (as we may say) by the hand." But those arts, which are the nearest related, and claim the most ancient kindred with each other, are painting and poetry; and whosoever shall thoroughly examine them, will find them so much resembling one another, that he cannot take them for less than sisters.
They both follow the same bent, and suffer themselves to be rather carried away, than led by their secret inclinations, which are so many seeds of the Divinity. "There is a god within us, (says Ovid, in the beginning of his sixth book De Fastis, there speaking of the poets,) who by his agitation warms us." And Suidas says, "That the famous sculptor Phidias, and Zeuxis that incomparable painter, were both of them transported by the same enthusiasm which gave life to all their works." They both of them aim at the same end, which is imitation. Both of them excite our passions, and we suffer ourselves willingly to be deceived, both by the one and by the other: our eyes and souls are so fixed to them, that we are ready to persuade ourselves, that the painted bodies breathe, and that the fictions are truths. Both of them are
The number at the head of every observation serves to find in the text the particular passage on which the observation was made.
set on fire by the great actions of heroes; and both endeavour to eternize them. Both of them, in short, are supported by the strength of their imagination, and avail themselves of those licenses, which Apollo has equally bestowed on them, and with which their genius has inspired them.
"Pictoribus atque poetis Quidlibet audendi, semper fuit æqua potestas." "Painters and poets, free from servile awe, May treat their subjects, and their objects draw." As Horace tells us in his "Art of Poetry." The advantage which painting possesses above is this; that amongst so great a dipoesy versity of languages, she makes herself understood by all the nations of the world; and that she is necessary to all other arts, because of the need which they have of demonstrative figures, which often give more light to the understanding than the clearest discourses we can make:
"Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem,
Quam quæ sunt oculis commissa fidelibus." "Hearing excites the mind by slow degrees: The man is warmed at once by what he sees."
Horace in the same " Art of Poetry."
"For both those arts, that they might ad- †9. vance," &c. Poetry, by its hymns and anthems; and Painting, by its statues, altar-pieces, and by all those decorations which inspire rehave been serviceable to religion. Gregory of spect and reverence for our sacred mysteries, Nice, after having made a long and beautiful description of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac, says these words:" I have often cast my eyes upon a picture, which represents this moving