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nicate and receive, reverberate, and prove teciprocally their beauties.

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B. I could never read the passage you have just quoted, without being struck with the beauty of this image ; but you have supplied me with an adventitious pleasure : The correspondence of these fifter arts, acts, in fome degree, like the harmony of consenting voices; the idea, which they express, is the same, but the effect is doubled in their agreement. When warmed by the description of Virgil's Laocoon, we gaze on that at the Vatican, his cries are more piercing, his pains more exquisite, and the ideas of the poet are as unisons to those of

the statuary.

A. Thus far I have touched on the two leading objects of the Clear obscure ; first, That roundness or projection, by which figures are disengaged from their fond, and



spring, as it were, from canvass into life.Secondly, The distinctive or picturesque distribution of light to the several characters introduced on the scene.

I SAY, I have only touched on these subjects, it being my design, rather to trace the outlines, than to give the full image of painting. To be equal to this laft, I must have, not only an informed judgment, buc a creative hand; for, without a knowledge, and practice in the mechanic, there is no venturing into the depths of this art. However, I Hatter myself, that this sketch, rude as it is, will carry with it more of the true features of the original, than any you could collect from the writings of our painters, or the authority of our Cicerones; and though it should not give us a perfect knowledge, it will give us a pleasing and classical view of our subject. The third care of the paintør, in the Clear obscure, if not so obvious,

is no way less effential than the former. When several objects present themselves in one view to the eye, we may observe, that they all differ in the force of their appearance, each receiving and reflecting the rays of light variously, according to its peculiar form, texture, or position : This variety in nature, exerted in its imitation, gives to painting a wonderful air of truth; the eye meeting the same effects in the


which it has been ufed to in the original, loles sight

and receives the new creation as from the hand of nature. To this, no doubt, Philostratus alludes, when having proposed [b] hills, woods, and rivers, as the objects

of art,

[6] Αλση, και όρη, και πηγας, και τον αιθερα εν


taula. In exod. Icon. p. 763. Ed. Lip.

That the ancients excelled in Landscape painting, we have the testimony of Pliny ; Ludius, Divi Augufti, ætate primus inftituit amæniffimam parietem pi&turam, villas, et porticus, ac topiarca opera lucos, nemora, solles, piscinas, euripos, amnes, litora qualia quis opfatet: Varias ibi obambulantium fpecies, aut navi. gantium. Lib. xxxy. 10.


of paint, he adds, and the air in which they áre: Now, there is no representing the air otherwise than by its effects; the which, can be sensible only, in the relative appearances of such objects, as are contained in it. But, of all these circumstances of diversity, the difference arising from their respective distances, is the most obvious and extenfive; this is to be distinguished two ways by the diminution of forms; and the degreeing of colours. These vary, according to the density, or depth of the medium; through which they are seen. The first, being the measurement of proportions, is regulated by the laws of perspective: But the second, though it must co-operate with

And Pliny the younger, describing one of his Villas, in a letter to a friend, endeavours to give him the highest idea of it, by comparing it with a well painted landscape. Lib. v. Ep. 6.

Let those, who affirm so confidently, that the ancients were unacquainted with the Clear obscure and perspective, explain, how these things are to be represented without them.


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the former, can be governed only by the
eye, and comes within the province of the
Clear obscure ; which, by setting its objects
in full or diminished lights, can mark mi-
nutely their withdrawing from the eye, and
determine their several distances, by the re-
lative force of their appearances.

knowledge the ancients had of thefe laws,
and what use they made of them, may be
collected from many passages in their writ-
ings; it will be sufficient to quote an exam-
ple of each ; touching the measurement of
forms.“ [c] How pleasing, says Philostratus,
" is the artifice of the painter ; for, hav-

ing manned the walls with armed sol“ diers, he presents some intire, some half

figures; of some we see the breasts, now

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[c] Ηδυ το σοφισμα του ζωγραφου περιβαλλων γαρ τοις τειχισιν ανδρας ωπλισμενους, τους μεν αρειους σαρεχει οραν,

δε ημισιας, και στερνα ενιων, και κεφαλας μονες, και κοριθας μινας, ειια αιχμας. Αναλογια ταυλα, 1 σαι, δει γαρ κλετεσθαι τους οφθαλμους τους επίληδεεοις κυκλους συνατιουλας. . Philostratus, lib. i. p. 768. Ed. Lips.

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