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Till we from an author's words paint his very Even that great improvement in painting, tha thoughts in our minds, we do not understand him. Claro-Obscuro, was discovered by the Greeks
Locke. before the invention and proper application of The church of the annunciation looks beautiful in colors. the inside, all but one corner of it being covered
Plato, who lived 400 years before the Chriswith statues, gilding, and paint.
tian era, states, that painting had been practised To copy out ideas in the mind :
in Egypt for 10,000 years. Without regarding Words are the paint by which their thoughts are
his Egyptian chronology as accurate, we may shown,
consider it as designed to impress us with the And nature is their object to be drawn. Granville. very remote antiquity of the art. "Tis in life as 'tis in painting,
The monuments of Egyptian painting with Much may be right, yet much be wanting. which we are best acquainted, says Winckel
Prior. man, are the chests of mummies. These have Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day, resisted the injuries of time, and are still subCharmed the small-pox, or chased old age away, mitted to the examination of the curious. The To patch, nay ogle, might become a saint,
white, made of white lead, is spread over the Nor would it sure be such a sin to paint. Pope. Her charms in breathing paint engage,
ground of the piece; the outlines of the figure Her modest cheek shall warm a future age. Id.
are traced with black strokes, and the colors are Arts on the mind, like paint upon the face,
generally blue, red, yellow, and green, laid on Fright him, that's worth your love, from your em
without any mixture or shading. The red and brace.
blue prevail most; and these colors seem to have The showery arch
been prepared in the coarsest manner. The With listed colours gay, or, azure, gules,
light is formed by leaving those parts of the Delights and puzzles the beholder's eye,
ground where it is necessary covered with the That views the watery brede with thousand shews white lead, as it is formed by the white paper in Of painture varyed.
Philips. some of our drawings. This description is suffiSir Bens. Nay now, Lady Sneerwell, you are cient to convince us that the whole art of paintsevere upon the widow. Come, come, 'tis not that she points so ill—but when she has finished her face, ing in Egypt consisted in coloring; but every she joins it so badly to her neck, that she looks like person knows that without tints, and the mixa mended statue, in which the connoisseur sees at
ture of colors, painting can never arrive at peronce that the head's modern, though the trunk's an
fection. Pliny says, that the Egyptian artists tique.
Sheridan. painted the precious metals; that is, they varPAINTING is the art of representing to the nished or enamelled them. It is doubtful what eyes, by means of figures and colors, every ob- this art was, but most probably it consisted in ject in nature that is discernible by the sight; Egyptians are supposed to have continued this
covering gold or silver with a single color. The and of sometimes expressing, according to the principles of physiognomy, and by the attitudes coarse style till the reign of the Ptolemies. of the body, the various emotions of the mind.
The ancient Persians were so far from excelA smooth surface, by means of lines and colors, ling in the arts, that the paintings of Egypt were represents objects in a state of projection; and highly esteemed among them after they had
The only ancient may represent them in the most pleasant dress, conquered that country. and in a manner most capable of enchanting the painter of Persia, whose name is preserved, is senses. The art of painting is extremely diffi- Manes ; and he is more celebrated for his’atcult in the execution ; and its merit can only be tempt to accommodate the Persian theology of appreciated by devotees to the art.
two first principles to the Christian system, than The painter who is distinguished for noble for his skill
as a painter. He was famed, howand profound conceptions; who by means of a The modern Persians bave made no progress in
ever, for drawing straight lines without a ruler. perfect delineation, and colors more capable of
the art. fixing the attention and dazzling the eye, conveys to the spectators the sentiments with which he
In India the art seems to be confined to monhimself was inspired; who animates them with strous figures connected with their religion. See his genius, and makes a lasting impression on
POLYTHEISM. And the paintings of Thibet are their mind; this artist resembles a poet, and is only remarkable for the fineness of their strokes.
The Chinese seem never to have had the least worthy to share even in the glories of Homer.
idea of perspective. Their landscapes have no PART I.
plan, no variety in the appearance of the clouds, HISTORY OF THE ART.
and no diminishing of the objects in proportion
to their distance, and their representations of Sect. I.-OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF
human beings are caricatures upon the human PAINTING IN ANCIENT TIMES.
figure. Painting originally consisted of simple out- It is undoubtedly to the Greeks that we are lines, and long continued in this state before the indebted for the highest cultivation which the expression of relievo, or the application of color. imitative arts have known. In sculpture this is
The next step in the art was to render the even now sufficiently palpable, since at this day imitation more complete by applying colors; their performances remain not only unequalled which was done in the same way that we color but unapproached. The same observation holds maps, and several nations, as the Egyptians, with respect to architecture ; and it is probable the Chinese, and the different nations of India, that, so far as relates to the perfect representation have never yet painted in a better manner. of a single figure, it might be applied also to
the painting; but there is great reason to con- certain. The tool was a style or pen of wood clude that in many branche; of this art they or metal; the materials a board, or a levigated are surpassed by the great names among the plane of wood, metal, stone, or so.ne prepared inoderns. In Égypt the knowledge of that compound; the method, letters or lines. principle which is most desirable in art (selec- "The tirst essays of the art were skiagrams, tion) never appears to have operated far. simple outlines of a shade, similar to those When a specific form of character was which have been introduced to vulgar use by adopted, there it remained, and was repeated the students and parasites of physiognomy, iunchanged for generations. Little action was under the name of Silhouettes; without any given to figures, and no aitempts at all made at other addition of character or feature but what
pression. Pliny reports, that the statues the profile of the object, thus delineated, could "secuted by the Egyptians in his time dittered afford. in no respect whatever from those maile by them • The next step was the monogram, outlines 1000 years befor“. Of their paintings a few of tizures without light or shade, but with some remain to the present era, but the date of these addition of the parts within the outline, and relies is by no means evident. Two of them from that to the monochrom, or paintings of a (seen at Thebes and described by Bruce) are single color on a plane or tablet, primed with referred by him to the time of Sesostris (about white, and then covered with what they called 700 years B. C.), who is said to have restored punic wax, tirst amalgamated with a tough and embellished that city ; but this is Tesinous pigment, generally of a red, sometimes conjecture. He remarks of these paintings, dark brown, or black color. In, or rather that they might be compared with good sign- tirough, this thin inky ground, the outlines were paintings of his day.
traced with a firm but pliant style, which they Me cannot here detail the reasons and the called cestrum; if the traced line happened to be coincidence of fortunate circumstances which incorrect or wrong, it was gently effaced with the raised the Greeks to be the arbiters of form. finger or with a sponge, and easily replaced by a * The standard they erected,' says Fuseli, the fresh one. When the whole design was settled, canon they framed, fell not from heaven : but as and ne farther alteration intended, it was suffered they fancied themselves of divine origin, and to dry, was covered, to make it permanent, with religion was the first mover of their art, it fol- a brown encaustic varnish, the lights were worklowed that they should endeavour to invest their ed over again, and rendered more brilliant with authors with the most perfect form; and, as man a point still more delicate, according to the possesses that exclusively, they were led to a gradual advance from mere outlines to some complete and intellectual study of his elements indications, and at last to masses of light and and constitution; this, with their climate, which shade, and from those to the superinduction of allowed that form to grow, and to show itself to different colors, or the invention of the polythe greatest advantage; with their civil and chrom, which, by the addition of the pencil io political institutions, which established and en- the style, raised ibe mezzotinto or stained drawcouraged exercises and manners best calculated ing to a legitimate picture, and at length proto develope its powers; and above all, that sim- duced that vaunted harmony, the magic scale of plicity of their end, that uniformity of pursuit, Greciin color. which in all its derivations retraced the great If this conjecture, for it is not more, on the principle from which it spranz, and, like a cen- process of linear painting, formed on the evitral suamen, drew it out into one immense con- dence and comparison of passages always unnecte I web of congenial imitation; these, I say, connected, and frequently contradictory, be are the reasons why the Greeks carried the art founded in fact, the rapturous astonishment at to a height which no subsequent time or race the supposed momentaneous production of the has been able to rival or even to approach. Herculanean dancers, and the figures on the Great as these advantages were, it is not to be earthen vases of the ancients, will cease; or supposed that nature deviated from her gradual rather, we shall no longer suffer ourselves to be progress in the development of human faculties, deluded by palpable impossibility of execution: in favor of the Greeks. Greck art had lier in- on a ground of levigated lime, or on potter's funcy, but the graces rocked her cradle, and no velocity or certainty attainable by love taught her 10 speak. If ever legend de human hands can conduct a full pencil with that served our belief, the amorous tale of the Corin- dree of evenness equal from beginning to end thian maid, who traced the shade of her de- with which we see those figures executed, or, if parting lover by the secret lamp, appeals to our it could, would ever be able to fix the line on sympathy to grant it; and leads us at the sand the glassy surface without its flowing: to make time to some observations on the first mechani- the appearances we see possible, we must have cal essays of painting, and that linear method recourse to the linear process that has been dewhich, though passed nearly unnoticed by scribed, and transfer our admiration to the perWinckelman, seems to have continued as the severance, the correctness of principle, the elebasis of execution, even when the instrument gance of taste that conducted the artist's hand, for which it was chiefly adapted had long been without presuming to arm it with contradictory laid aside.
powers : the figures he drew, and we admire, The etymology of the word used by the are not the magic produce of a winged pencil, Greeks to express painting being the same with they are the result of gradual improvement, exthat which they employ for writing, mahes the quisitely finished monochromis. similarity of tool, materials, method, almost • Hlow long the pencil continued only
assist, when it began to engross, and when it at nies never penetrated. But there have been last entirely supplanted the cestrum, cannot, in discovered, adds he, a great number of Campathe perplexity of accidental report, be ascer- nian vases covered with painting. The design tained. Apollodorus, in the ninety-third olym- of the greatest part of these vases, says he, is piad, and Zeuxis in the ninety-fourth, are said such, that the figures might occupy a distinto have used it with freedom and with power. guished place in the works of Raphael. Those The battle of the Lapithæ and the Centaurs, vases, when we consider that this kind of work which, according to Pausanias, Parrhasius paint- admits of no correction, and that the stroke ed on the shield of the Minerva of Phidias, to be which forms the outline must remain as it is chased by Mys, could be nothing but a mono- originally traced, are wonderful proofs of the chrom, and was probably designed with the perfection of the art among the ancients. But cestrum, as an instrument of greater accuracy. the count de Caylus is persuaded that the CamApelles and Protogenes, nearly a century, after- panian vases are of Greek origin. wards, drew their contested lines with the The name of Phidias is as familiar to every pencil; and that alone, as delicacy and evanes- man of education as his own. That of Panænus, cent subtlety were the characteristics of those his brother, is known only to the few who trace lines, may give an idea of their mechanic ex- back to their starting-post the early and obscure cellence. And yet in their time the diagraphic footsteps of the muse of painting. The perprocess, which is the very same with the linear formances of Phidias, particularly those in the one we have described, made a part of liberal temple of Minerva, called the Parthenon, reeducation. And Pausias of Sicyon, the con- main even to the present day a source of admiratemporary of Apelles, and perhaps the greatest tion, of wonder, and envy. Those of Panænus master of composition amongst the ancients, exhibited his art still in its infancy, and have when employed to repair the decayed pictures been for many revolving ages buried in the of Polygnotus at Thespiæ, was adjudged by stream of oblivion.–To this man, however, general opinion to have egregiously failed in the Greece appears to have been indebted for an attempt, because he had substituted the pencil anxious zeal, at least, to advance the art he pracfor the cestrum, and entered a contest for su- tised to a more equal station with sculpture; periority with weapons not his own.
and in his time there were prizes established Here it might seem in its place to say some- both at Delphos and Corinth, for its encouragething on the encaustic method used by the an- ment, whereat he himself contended, but was cients; were it not a subject by ambiguity of excelled by Timogras of Chalcis. expression and conjectural dispute so involved The first great name of that epoch of the prein obscurity that a true account of its process paratory period, when facts appear to overbalance must be despaired of: the most probable idea conjecture, is that of Polygnotus of Thasos, who we can form of it is, that it bore some resemb- painted the Pæcile at Athens, and the Lesche, lance to our oil-painting, and that the name was or public hall, at Delphi. Of these works, but adopted to denote the use of materials, inflam- chiefly of the two large pictures at Delphi, which mable or prepared by fire, the supposed durabi- represented scenes subsequent to the eversion of lity, of which, whether applied hot or cold, Troy, and Ulysses consulting the spirit of Tiresias authorised the terms évekavoe and inussit.' See in Hades, Pausanias gives a minute and circumour article ENCAUSTIC PAINTING.
stantial detail; by which we are led to surmise The ancient inhabitants of Etruria were that what is now called composition was totally among the first who connected the arts with the wanting in them as a whole; for he begins his study of nature. In some of their monuments, description at one end of the picture, and finishes which still remain, there is to be observed á it at the opposite extremity-a senseless method, first style, which shows the art in its infancy; if we suppose that a central group, or a principal and a second which, like the works of the Flo- figure to which the rest were in a certain degree rentine artists, shows more of greatness and subordinate, attracted the eye; it appears as exaggeration in the character than precision or plain that they had no perspective, the series of beauty. Pliny says that painting was carried figures on the second or middle ground being to great perfection in Italy before the foundation described as placed above those in the foreof Rome; but it appears that even in his time ground, and the figures in the distance above the the painters of Etruria were held in great repu- whole: the honest method, too, which the painter tation. The only Etrurian paintings which chose of annexing to many of his figures their remain have been found in the tombs of the names in writing, savors much of the infancy of Tarquins. They consist of long painted friezes, painting. This circumstance, however, weshould and pilasters adorned with huge figures, which be cautious in imputing either to ignorance or occupied the whole space from the base to the imbecility, since it might rest on the firm base of cornice. These paintings are executed on a permanent principles. The genius of Polygnotus ground of thick mortar, and many of them are was, more than that of any other artist before or in a state of high preservation.
after, a public genius, his works monumental Winckelman is of opinion that the Greek works, and these very pictures the votive offercolonies established at Naples and Nola had at ings of the Gnidians. Polygnotus was, in fact, a very early period cultivated the imitative arts, a man endowed with uncommon ability, and cerand taught them to the Campanians established tainly advanced his art very far in point of exin that country. He considers as works purely pression and action in his figures, and in ideal Campanian certain medals of Capua and Teanum, coloring. Of the truth of this observation, his cities of Campania into which the Greek colo- figure of the demon Eurynomus, in one of the pictures abovementioned, namely, Clysses con- to destroy firmness, solidity, or weight; nor gulung the shade of Tiresias in Hades, affords strength and weight agility; elegance did not sufficient proof. His color,' says Pausanias, degenerate to effeminacy, or grandeur swell to * is between black and azure, like that of the huveness; such were his principles of style: his fries which infest ineat; he shows his teeth, and expression extended them to the mind, if we sits upon the skin of the vulture.' Lucian and may judge from the two subjects mentioned by Pliny both speak in high commendation of this Pliny, in which he seems to have personified the artisi; the former, in particular, invoking his aid characters of devotion and impiety; that in the to finish his perfect woman, exclaims :-- Polyg- adoring figure of a priest, perhaps of Chryses, potus shall open and spread her eyebrows, and expanding his gratitude at the shrine of the god give her that fine, glowing, decent blush, which whose arrows avenged his wrongs and restored beautifies so irresistibly his Cassandra. He also his daughter; and this, in the tigure of Ajax shall give her a Howing, unconstrained attire, wrecked, and from the sea-swepe rock hurling which, with all its delicate wavings, shall partly defiance unto the murky sky. As neither of these adhere to her body and partly Hutter in the subjects can present themselves to a painter's wind.'
mind without a contrast of the most awful and Polygnotus, says Aristotle, improves the the most terrific tones of color, magic of light model. His invention reached the conception and shade, and unlimited command over the of undescribed being in the demon Eurynomus; tools of art, we may with Pliny and with Plufilled the chasm of description in Theseus and tarch consider Apollodorus as the first assertor Pirithous, in Ariadne and Phædra; and im- of the pencil's honors, as the first colorist of his proved its terrors in the spectre of Tityus; age, and the man who opened the gates of art whilst color to assist it became in his hand an which the Heracleot Zeuxis entered. From the organ of expression ; such was the prophetic essential style of Polygnotus, and the specific glow which still crimsoned the cheeks of his discrimination of Apollodorus, Zeuxis, by comCassandra in the time of Lucian. The improve- parison of what belonged to the genius and what ments in painting which Pliny ascribes to him, to the class, framed at last that ideal form, which, of having dressed the heads of his females in in his opinion, constituted the supreme degree variegated veils and bandeaus, and robed them of human beauty, or, in other words, embodied in lucid drapery ; of having gently opened the possibility, by uniting the various but homogelips, given a glimpse of the teeth, and lessened neous powers scattered among many, in one obthe former monotony of face; such improvements ject, to one end. Such a system, if it originated were surely the most trilling part of a power to in genius, was the considerate result of taste rewhich the age of Apelles and that of Quintilian fined by the unremitting perseverance with which paid equal homage: nor can it add much to our he observed, consulted, compared, and selected, esteem for him, to be told by Pliny that there the congenial but scattered forms of nature. existed, in the portico of Pompey, a picture of Quintilian remarks of Zeuxis that he conhis with the figure of a warrior in an attitude so sidered the poetic unity of character adopted by ambiguous as to make it a question whether he Homer, in the descriptions of his heroes, as his were ascending or descending. Such a figure model; giving to each individual he painted the could only be the offspring of mental or technic peculiar distinction of a class. It is said, and imbecility, even if it resembled the celebrated the anecdote bears on the remark, that, previously one of a Diomede carrying off the palladium to commencing a picture of Juno for her temple
and holding a sword in the other hand, at Agrigentum, he requested to see all the most on the intaglio inscribed with the name of Dios- beautiful maidens of the city naked, and from corides.
them selected five whose shape he most admired; With this simplicity of manner and materials purposing to exhibit the most perfect combinathe art seems to have proceeded from Polygnotus, tion of female forms, by selecting and adopting Aglaophon, Phidias, Pana'nus, Colotes, and the most beautiful parts of each. Of the coloring Evenor, the father of Parrhasius, during a period employed by Zeuxis, little is known with cerof more or less disputed olympiads, till the ap- tainty; but it may doubtless be inferred with pearance of Apollodorus the Athenian, who ap- some fairness that it rivalled the excellencies of plied the essential principles of Polygnotus io his design; and, from his alleged method of the delineation of the species, by investigating painting monochroms on a black ground, adding the leading forms that discriminate the various the lights in white, we may deduce that he unclasses of human qualities and passions. The derstood the extension of light and shade to acuteness of his taste led him to discover that as all men were connected by one general form, so Timanthes, Eupompus, Androcides, and Parthey were separated eacli by some predominant rhasius the Ephesian, all flourished during the power, which fixed character, and bound them to sume era with Zeuxis. The latter, however, is a class: that, in proportion as this specific powe the only one who may be said to have rivalled partook of individual peculiarities, the farther it Umt eminent artist; and indeed it is hard to tell was removed from a share in that harmonious which of the two bore the palm, system which constitutes nature, and consists ir sufficiently claimed it. The story related by a due balance of all its parts: thence he drew Pliny of their contest is not decisive on the his line of imitation, and personified the central former point, since those pictures had little to form of the class to which his object belonged, do with the real excellencies and to which the rest of its qualities administered cept in the one quality of coloring. Zeuxis without being absorbed : agility was not suttered painted grapes; and, on exhibiting his picture,
or most self
her artist, ex
the birds came with the greatest avidity to pluck on roses, his own on flesh: emasculate softness them. The rival artist then proceeded to dis- was not in his opinion the proper companion of play his performance, and, on being introduced the contour, or flowery freshness of color an to the spot, Zeuxis exclaimed, · Remove your adequate substitute for the sterner tints of heroic curtain that we may see the painting. The cur- form. tain was the painting, and Zeuxis confessed him- None of the ancients seem to have united or self vanquished, exclaiming,Zeuxis has deceived wished to combine, as man and artist, more birds, but Parrhasius has deceived Zeuxis him- qualities seemingly incompatible than Parself. Now, how does this fact, if it be regarded rhasius :—the volubility and ostentatious insoas one, tally with the limitation of Pliny as to lence of an Asiatic with Athenian simplicity and the colors used by the ancient artists ? & cur- urbanity of manners; punctilinus correctness tain may, it is true, be of a dull color, and such with blandishments of handling and luxurious a one might possibly have been imitated by color; and with sublime and pathetic conception Parrhasius with such materials, and so perfectly, a fancy libidinously sportive. If he was not the as to have deceived Zeuxis: but it is to be pre- inventor, he surely was the greatest master of sumed that the luscious transparency, color, and allegory, supposing that he really embodied, by brilliancy of the grape, in those days, were not signs universally comprehended, that image of very widely different from what it now exhibits; the Athenian Ahmos" or people, which was to and those pure qualities can only be represented combine and to express at once its contradictory by the purest and most perfect of colors. Par- qualities. Perhaps he traced the jarring branches rhasius is reported to have had a surer eye than to their source, the aboriginal moral principle of this celebrated rival for proportion and symmetry: the Athenian character, which he made intuitive. he circumscribed the ample style of Zeuxis, and, This supposition alone can shed a dawn of posby subtle examination of outline, established that sibility on what else appears impossible. We standard of divine and heroic form which raised know that the personification of the Athenian him to the authority of a legislator from whose Anuoc was an object of sculpture, and that its decisions there was no appeal. He gave to the images by Lyson and Leochares were publicly divine and heroic character, in painting, what set up; but there is no clue to decide whether Polycletus had given to the human in sculpture, they preceded or followed the conceit of Parby his Doryphorus, a canon of proportion. rhasius. It was repeated by Aristolaus, the son Phidias had discovered in the nod of the Ho- of Pausias. The decided forms of Parrhasius, meric Jupiter the characteristic of majesty, in- Timanthes the Cythnian, his competitor for fame, clination of the head : this hinted to him a higher attempted to inspire with mind and to animate elevation of the neck behind, a bolder protrusion with passions. No picture of antiquity is more of the front, and the increased perpendicular of celebrated than his immolation of Iphigenia in the profile. To this conception Parrhasius fixed Aulis, painted, as Quintilian informs us, in a maximum; that point from which descends the contest with Colotes of Teos, a painter and ultimate line of celestial beauty, the angle within sculptor from the school of Phidias; crowned which moves what is inferior, beyond which with victory at its rival exhibition, and since the what is portentous. From the head conclude to theme of unlimited praise from the orators and the proportions of the neck, the limbs, the ex- historians of antiquity, though the solidity or tremities; from the father to the race of gods; justice of their praise relatively to the ut has all the sons of one, Jupiter ; derived from one been questioned by modern criticism. source of tradition, Homer; formed by one The art now continued to advance with rapid artist, Phidias: on him measured and decided strides. Nature was the guide; and to develope by Parrhasius. In the simplicity of this princi- her various charms, in expression, shape, and ple, adhered to by the succeeding periods, lies color, the object of the artists. The leading ibe uninterrupted progress, and the unattainable principle of Eupompus may be traced in the superiority, of Grecian art. With this preroga- advice which he gave to Lysippus, as preserved tive, which evidently implies a profound as well by Pliny, whom, when consulted on a standard as general knowledge of the parts, how are we of imitation, he directed to the contemplation of to reconcile the criticism passed on the inter- human variety in the multitude of characters mediate parts of his forms as inferior to their who were passing by. “Behold,' said the painter, outline? or how could Winckelman, in contra-behold my models! From nature, not from art, diction with his own principles, explain it, by a by whomsoever wrought, must he study who want of anatomic knowledge ? how is it possible seeks to acquire reputation and extend the scope to suppose that he who decided his outline with of his art.' The doctrine of Eupompus was such intelligence that it appeared ambient, and adopted by Pamphilus the Amphipolitan, the pronounced the parts that escaped the eye, most scientific artist of his time, and by him should have been uninformed of its contents ? transmitted to Apelles of Cos, or, according to Let us rather suppose that the defect ascribed Lucian, of Ephesus, his pupil
. This wonderfu. to the intermediate forms of his bodies, if such a person was, if we may credit the tradition resfault there was, consisted in an affectation of pecting him, gifted with such a combinatiot. of smoothness bordering on insipidity, in something natural and acquired endowments as never, pereffeminately voluptuous, which absorbed their haps, either before or since, fell to the lot of character and the idea of elastic vigor; and this another individual. In addition, he had the Euphranor seems to have hinted at, when, in happiness to live at that period wherein the comparing his own Theseus with that of Par- genius of his country had reached its highest rhasius, he pronounced the Ionian's to have fed point of elevation. The name of Apellis in