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elegant observer of beauty, down to the illiterate rustic, who, as Horace humourously expresses it, ftares, contento poplite, at the daubings of the art, and is transported with the magick of a charcoal pencil,

DI A

DIALOGUE IV.

Of DESIGN.

A. UUE are told by Pliny, that all the

VV ftatues before the time of Dædalus, were represented ftiff and motionless; with winking eyes, closed feet, and arms hanging in right lines to their fides [c]: Thefe were the rude essays of design,

[c]Conniventibus oculis, pedibąs junctis, brachiis in latera demissis, ftatu rigido. -The Egyptians con. tinued to the last, even when they were masters of a perfect design, to represent their deities in the mana ner above described : We cannot suppose that this was owing to an ignorance of the advantages of a graceful action, but rather to their bigotted attachment to certain theological ideas. The motion they arcribed to their divinities, was neither that of walking nor flying; Milton, who has adopted their idea, describes it precisely in the following lines,

Soifaying, by the hand be toak me, raisd, And over fields and waters, as-in wir SMOOTH SLIDING WITHOUT STEP, laft led me up woody mountain. - D 4

Dædalus

Dædalus, and his immediate followers, unfolded these embarassed figures; they threw motion into the limbs, and life into the countenance. In the progress of the art, and in abler hands, motion was fashioned into grace, and life was heightened into character. Now, too, it was, that beauty of form was no longer confined to mere imitation, which always falls short of the object imitated; to make the copy equal in its effect, it was necessary to give it some advantage over its model. The artist, therefore, observing, that nature was sparing of her perfections, and that her efforts were limited to parts, availed himself of

Was

The Greeks who borrowed their religion, as they did their arts, from the Egyptians, followed for some time this mode of representation ; till at length, (which was, perhaps, the era Pliny mentions) their aversion to every thing that was ungraceful, overcame their prejudices; and this might have been a principal reason, that in the end they so far excelled their mal. ters,

her

her inequality, [d] and drawing these scattered beauties into a more happy and compleac union, rose from an imperfect imitative, to a perfect ideal beauty. We are informed, that the painters of Greece prefsed in crowds to design the bosom and breafts of Thais : Νor were the elegant proportions of Phryne less the object of their 1tudy. By this conftant contemplation of the beautiful, they enriched their imagination and confirmed their taste; from this fund they drew their systems of beauty ; and though we should consider them but as imitators as to the parts, we must allow them to have been inventors in the

[4] Ονπερ τροπον, και τους τα αγαλμαθα τελούς διαπλατο τεσιν, οι σαν το σαρ έκανε καλον συναγαγονες. και καλα την τεχνην εκ διαφορων σωμαίων αθροισαντες εις μιμησιν μιαν, καλλος έν υγιες και αρλιον και ηρμοσμενον αυθο αυθω εξειργασανίο: Και εκ αν ευρoις σωμα ακριβες καλα αληθειαν αγαλ. μαλι ομοιον" Ορεγουλαι γαρ αι τεχναι τα καλλισε.

Max. Tyr. Dissert. xxiii. ed. Lond.

" compofitions :

. Dral. IV. compositions. And indeed, when we re flect on the taste and judgment requisite to form these various ideas into such a wonderful agreement, we cannot set too high a value on their productions. The poets and writers of antiquity acknowledge this superiority of invented to real beauty.

Ovid thus describes Cyllarus the Centaur, [e]

A jult proportion, and a manly grace,
Spread thro' bis limbs, and kindled in his face,
Nature for once affum'd the sculptor" spart,
And in a faultlefs beauty rivalld art.

And Philostratus, speaking of the beauty of Neoptolemas, remarks, that it was as much inferior to that of his father Achilles, as the handsomest men are to the finest ftatues.

[c] Gratus in ore vigor: cervix, humerique, manusque,

Pectoraque artificum laudatis proxima fignis,
Exqua parte vir eft.

Metam. lib. xii.

Should

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