Page images
PDF
EPUB

and elegance of his design: While thofe who are of a contrary opinion, grounded on imperfect relations of his life, or the lapses and unsteadiness of his pencil, are forced to impute that beauty and elegance to a pure strength of genius. Certainly, his manner seems to have in it all the warmth of invention, as it has a certain boldness, superior to imitation, and productive of uncommon graces. Upon the whole, I think, we may affirm of his design, where it is not facri. ficed to his more favourite aims, that it is often masterly, and always pleasing; a quality, rarely met with in those servile and unideal painters, who think they have attained every perfection, if they keep within the rules of drawing; “ [s] with these, leanness passes for

[s] Macies illis pro sanitate, et judicii loco inhrmitas eft; et dum satis putant vitio carere, in

“ health,

“ health, and weakness for judgment; « and, while they think it sufficient “ to be free from faults, they fall in“ to that capital fault, the want of 66 beauties."

virtutibus ca.

id ipfum incidunt vitium, quod rent. Quint. xi. 4.

[blocks in formation]

DIALOGU Ë V.

OF COLOURING.

A. HOULD the most able master in

D design, attempt to represent, by that alone, a rose or grape, we should have but a faint and imperfect image ; let him add to each its proper colours, we no longer doubt ; we smell the rose, we touch the grape; hence the poet [t]:

So glow'd the grape, so perfect the deceit,
My hand reach'd forward, ere I found the cheat.

It seems then, that the first gives a generaf idea ; the second a particular existence. It was this, no doubt, that induced Plutarch

(0) Μικρε καλεσχον τον βόρυν τους δακτυλοις,

Υπεραπαληθεις τη θεα των χρωματων.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

to affirm,“ [u] that in painting, 'we are “ more struck by colouring than drawing, ci by reason of its similitude' and decep" tion:” And another observes, “ [*] That " the painter may design the outlines and “ proportions of a man, but it is by co« souring, that he brings it to represent a • Socrates or Plato." The ancients were not contented with attributing to colours the power of realizing objects ; they make them to be their chief ornament, the very soul of beauty : [y]. Thus Tully, “ There 6 is in the body a certain harmony of pro“ portions, united to the charm of colour“ing, and this is called beauty. An au

[u] Ev yaapais Kuunlouwlepov bolo Xgwhece yaapafens, dice to ανδρεικελον και απαληλον.

De Poetis aud. [*] ο ζωγραφος σοιει πρωθον κοινον ανθρωπον εν σκιαγραOvą, sula xewqalogywu ayet as to wongan Ewxgalny, n 11nzo TWIA.

Ammonius in x. Categ. Ariftot. [y] Corporis est quædam apta figura membrorum, cum coloris quadam suavitate, eaque dicitur pulchria.. tudo,

: “thor,

F4

“tbor, of no less authority, observes ; [z] “ that such a body may be deemed truly 6s beautiful, in which a temperate and « pure blood fills the limbs, and swells “ the muscles, spreading through the whole “ a ruddy tinge and glow of beauty." Hence it was, that a Grecian lady of admired taste, being asked, which was the finest colour in nature, answered, the blush of an ingenuous and beauciful youth.

B. You need not draw all your examples from antiquity : Whatever rank our painters may hold, we have Titians in our poets. -Observe how Shakespear pencils :

'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white Natures own sweet and cunning hand laid on.

[x]. In quo temperatus ac bonus fanguis implet membra, et exsurgit toris ; ipfos quoque nervos rubore tegit, ac decore commendat. De caus. corrupt. eloq. c. 21. "...;' ...... .

And

« PreviousContinue »