Composed as lectures to the students at the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynold's Discourses both summarised the art theory of the previous 300 years and pointed towards attitudes which were to become prevalent in the 19th century. Reynolds' general theme is the education of the artist: the purpose of art, the nature of the creative process, and the artist's relation to tradition.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Academy acquired admiration advantage ancient appear artist attempt attention beauty become better called character colouring common composition considered copy correct criticism defects difficulty dignity directed discourse distinguish drawing Edited effect employed endeavour equally excellence expression figure finished follow genius give given grace grandeur greater habit hand higher highest idea imagination imitation instance invention Italy kind knowledge labour learned less light lives look manner masters means method Michel Angelo mind minute nature necessary never object observed opinion original ornamental painters painting particular passions perfect perhaps picture possessed practice present principles produced proper Raffaelle rank reason received recommend represented respect Reynolds rules Sculpture seems seen sense simplicity speak Students style sufficient suppose taste things thought tion true truth variety Venetian Venetian school whole wish young
Page 30 - There is no excellent Beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion. A man cannot tell, whether Apelles or Albert Durer were the more trifler; whereof the one would make a personage by geometrical proportions, the other by taking the best parts out of divers faces to make one Excellent.
Page 228 - ... defrauded of the due reward of his merit by the wits of his time who did not understand the principles of composition in poetry better than he, and who knew little or nothing of what he understood perfectly, the general ruling principles of architecture and painting.
Page 216 - Such men will always prefer imitation to that excellence which is addressed to another faculty that they do not possess; but these are not the persons to whom a painter is to look, any more than a judge of morals and manners ought to refer controverted points upon those subjects to the opinions of people taken from the banks of the Ohio, or from New Holland.
Page 272 - Angelo; with all the rest of the cant of Criticism, which he emitted with that volubility which generally those orators have, who annex no ideas to their words. As we were passing through the rooms, in our way to the Gallery, I made him observe a whole length of Charles the First, by...
Page 29 - It must be an eye long used to the contemplation and comparison of these forms ; and which, by a long habit of observing what any set of objects of the same kind have in common, has acquired the power of discerning what each wants in particular.
Page 153 - To what Falconet has said, we may add that supposing this method of leaving the expression of grief to the imagination to be, as it was thought to be, the invention of the painter, and that it deserves all the praise that has been given it, still it is a trick that will serve but once; whoever does it a second time will not only want novelty, but be justly suspected of using artifice to evade difficulties. If difficulties overcome make a great part of the merit of art, difficulties evaded can deserve...
Page 244 - His handling, the manner of leaving the colours, or, in other words, the methods he used for producing the effect, had very much the appearance of the work of an artist who had never learned from others the usual and regular practice belonging to the art ; but still, like a man of strong intuitive perception of what was required, he found out a way of his own to accomplish his purpose.
Page 97 - Study therefore the great works of the great masters, for ever. Study as nearly as you can, in the order, in the manner, and on the principles, on which they studied. Study nature attentively, but always with those masters in your company ; consider them as models which you are to imitate, and at the same time as rivals with whom you are to contend.
Page 282 - ... but, because it is uncommon, is it therefore beautiful? The beauty that is produced by colour, as when we prefer one bird to another, though of the same form, on account of its colour, has nothing to do with this argument, which reaches only to form. I have here considered the word beauty as being properly applied to form alone.