Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

IL OBSER- fervations in reply.-Yet, I mean not effed to Sir to criticife on any of your Orations; 1. President my intention is only, in return for f Arts. them, to give you fome occafional thoughts of mine, which may prove of academical ufe. To you I thall leave the honour of expatiating on ancient Painters and Painting; my obfervati ons fhall be conûned to the works of modern Painters, which you could not fo well comment upon, without breach of friendlhip with your brothers of the Brush.

nious, and ft hath, in admirable of a Tub, boden ma. ed for the e Orators, ge of talk

tion; and adder, and there is a

invention could not is left for

itic, to rechine, Sir pful, preair of the y of Arts; eral years liberty of , without to intere leaft rehowever, Public, as ers in the tions are ad no law r readers and ob

The perfection of Painting confifte in deceiving the fight; in making an object on canvafs appear to the eye as a reality and a fubftance, inflead of being difcerned to be nothing but the image of a thing defcribed. -The nearer a refemblance of any thing in Painting approaches to that perfection, the more excellent, in my opinion, is a Painter's art.

I can conceive a face with a bad complexion; a robe that does not hang perfectly loofe; an unbecoming drefs; a long nofe; a wry mouth; hands and fingers out of all proportion, and other members equally out of fize;for fuch Nature herself prefents every day to my fight;--but I can never conceive an object on canvafs to be natural, that is flat; it can never deceive my fight if it wants Relief.Without That, though the colours of a Painting may be uncommonly beautiful, and it's Drawing most elegant and A

correct,

correct, it will not, in my estimation, they will ever return to meet her looks; be a Picture, but a, coloured Plan- her eyes. I find constantly fixed. on In this art of giving a Relief, many of mine, which is a moit pleasing gratis the modern Painters are very defec. fication to my vanity. In this partitive; and among These, I am sorry to cular many of Vandyke's Portraits fay, the President of the Royal Aca- are peculiarly flattering and satisfacdemy is the chief. His portraits are, tory; infomuch, that were I to fit in general, unexceptionable, imme- alone for a whole day in Lord Pemdiately as they come from his hand; broke's great room at Wilton, with they are elegantly drawn, great fancy his beautiful family piece in front of is displayed in them, and the resem: me, I hould never fancy myself withblances are strikingly like;- but their out company: colours foon fade and leave the Paint- I acknowledge that this rule of ing, to my eyes, as if I beheld it Painting the eyes of a Portrait lookthrough a veil or a mist. As your de- ing on the spectators, cramps the gefect, then, Sir Joshua, does not pro- nius of the Painter, and confines him ceed from want of judgment, but to a small variety of attitudes. But from an imperfection in your colours, for the sake of preserving the likeness I hope you will not think it beneath of a friend, which can never be very you to learn the art of mixing them striking without displaying the eye, I from Mr Wright of Derby, Mr Weit, would willingly exempt' the Painter Mr Dance, Mr Romney, or some of from exerting the powers of his imagithose masters who leem to have made nation, and adding to the Portrait the it their particular itudy. ---By expe- graces of an Historical Piece. rience I know, that you have sufficient I believe you will agree with me, good sense and good nature, not to take Sir Joshua, that nothing teaches the amiss any friendly advise that is given force of Light and Shade, and the Art you. It is not many years ago, since. of giving a Relief, so much as drawing I used the freedom to observe to you, in black and white. I would therefore that your Portraits would receive ado: recommend to the students of the Acaditional beauty, if you would be at the demy to perfect themselves in drawing trouble of shewing the eyes, and finish- before they attempt to paint. I have, ing them, instead of throwing a shade in Flanders and Holland, seen imitatiover them; which saved you indeed, ons of sculpture that would deceive the a great deal of Painting, but which keeneit light; and Mr. Berens, of rendered your Portraits dead and un- Southgate, has a piece of that kind, by interesting. You accordingly took the a master of Antwerp, which might be hint; your Eyes have ever since, been, exhibited as a model of the Relief. more in the light, which has certainly If, then, such an extraordinary effect given more life to your Painting. The can be produced by plain black and seasons for my advising this alteration, white, it would surely be more easy you must allow, were well grounded. to effect the deception when the arIf the Eyes of a Portrait are painted tist has the powers of all the colours as if- looking at me, and if they are

to his aid. natural, finithed in the light and There is a custom of some of the highly executed, I overlook many de- great masters of antiquity, which is: fects in the rest of the figure, and ale adopted by many of our modern most forget it is but an inanimate Painters, and which is often very un. Picture; more especially fo, if it natural and abfurd; that is, of paintshould be the Portrait of a handsome ing a dark back-ground, in order to woman; for, let my eyes wander ever give their figures a Relief. This may so much over the rest of her beauties, be very proper, if the back.ground be

a dead

, a hanging caof a room; but the fky, as frething fo much do not rememremarkable inthis kind, as in r Dance when mention it, be er refpects unir Dance will have painted a as then on his deep confumpwhofe features of his difeafe. with his back his hand and s dog couched waistcoat engive him air, untenance and preffive of exfport of the nt of the artift rtfman and his glaring day around them heads repreght. I muft lofs to guefs thrown light icture, till I on I enjoyed ling; which velling friend pon, and had he light of a

imagination paints, are the more un-
pardonable if they do not endeavour
to correct their tafte.

Till next mouth, Sir Joshua, I take my leave.

SIR,

T is a received maxim that the
French are the moft polite people
in the world. This opinion feems to
arife from their language and fathions
being fo very prevalent throughout Eu
rope. It is, indeed, doing them too
much honour to pay them fo much re-
gard; it is really aftonishing that the
courts of Europe fhould tamely fubmit
to confer and negociate in their lan-
guage, and allow even the treaties to
be drawn up in their tongue; this muft
not only allow their fuperiority in dic-
tating to us the mode of these conven-
tions, but muft give them palpable ad-
vantages in explaining thefe treaties
according to the letter or fpirit, as best
fuits their purpofe; for they muft cer.
tainly be more competent judges of
their own language than foreigners,
and may by a subtle nicety, worthy of
Machiavel, conftrue away the real
meaning, in order to fubftitute an ima
ginary one.
If there must be an uni-
verfal language, let it be a dead lan-
guage, in which all civilized nations
are upon a par. The Latin is certain-
ly the pureft that is written, and its
ftandard is admitted by all Europe:
but if our statesmen are not fufficiently
verfed in it to write or speak it with
fluency, why should not the English,
which is certainly the moft copious and
energetic of any living language, claim
the preference?

nthorn-pieces next public ; for I fall f, after this ar.The fhall be put owlers; tho' pon the procan be matemy intention ftakes of the ho, as they hatever their

We are told that it was the policy of the minifters of Lewis XIV. to make their language and fafhions univerfal, in order to pave the way for univerfal monarchy: but though they have not hitherto fucceeded in their defign, and they feem to be farther from it now than ever: yet for the courts of London and Vienna, which may be confidered as the moft fplendid in the world, A 2

tamely

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »