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"to half-artists. There is a copy of Buckshorn's painting
after Vandyck, which I like * much better than any of
St. ne’s: I mean the pi&ture of the Earl of Strafford and his Secretary, in the Marquis of Rockingham's collection, which is well painted, and defervedly esteemed.'
Hiving thus happily transformed Rubens and Vandyck into Copiers, and Cispiers into Skimmers of Cream; and given us a short digreffion on Connoisseurs, Virtuosi, and Picturecleaners, he re-assumes his subject, talks of Blushing Copies, of Obscuro, of Colouring infected with teints, of tainted Copies, and infected Painters; and then introducing a paragraph of weighty argument, concludes, in triumph, that he has rescued Copying from contempt, and demonstrated, that
it ought to be encouraged, as a thing highly useful, and
worthy of esteem.' But his own meaning will be best feen in his own words.
• I believe,' says he, every one that has heard of Andrea
del Sarto's copy of Leo the tenth, painted by Raphael and « Julio Romano, will be convinced of the great use and me
rit of an art, to which is owing that great number of originals now abounding in every country. By originals, I
mean pictures imposed as such, by our ingenious and ho' nest dealers, to adorn the cabinets of the Virtuosi and Con« noiffeurs.'
Thowe dare answer for Mr. Bardwell's innocence in this respect, we cannot but observe with what satisfaction he in* dulges the thoughts of imposing on these confounded Virtuosi and Connoisseurs. He puts us in mind of Willy Cummins, a North-British Rotterdamer, who being one day reproached with over-reaching a Jew, exclaimed, . How man! to nick a
Jew, is na’a muckle fin; they are aw' dam'd rascals, and an honest man canna' leeve by them.' But to go on with Mr. Bardwell's chapter on Copying.
It is surprising,' continues he, that since the age of these great masters, (viz. Stone, Hanneman, 'and Buckthorn) we • have not had a man able to make a fine copy from any one o of their pictures: and, I believe, if such a genius fhould
hereafter arise, it is to be feared the destroyers of the art, if they are suffered to go on, will scour off the remains of their beauties, so that very little will be left for him to study; and by the end of the century there will be none fit for co-. pying.-
* This puts us in mind of. Scaligers' animadversion on Montagne's egotiím. For my part, says Montagne, I am a great lover of your white wines. " What the devil signifies it to the public whether he is a lover of white wines, or of red wines ?' SPEGT.
A Painter that has acquired any sort of manner; will always tincture his copying with the fame. Now-adays we
are too apt to fall into a manner, before we understand the « nature of Colours : which is the case where some predomi(nant colour, or hue, appears in all the complexions alike. For this reason, a Painter whose Carnations are too red,
will certainly make his copies blush: or, if his Colouring
and Shadows be heavy, they will, of course, fall into the « Obscuro. By the same rule, whatever teints infect his Co« louring, the same will unavoidably taint his copying; for (which (alass!) there is no cure, because he himself is in©fected.
« Monsieur de Piles says, “ It is very rare to change a bad " manner in Colouring for a better : That Raphael, Michael “ Angelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Julio Romano, and other “great masters, spent their whole lives without truly under
Itanding good Colouring." . And tho' Colouring is the • principal excellence in Copying, yet it is neceflary that
every artist should avoid a particular manner with his pencil, • otherwise it will certainly be seen in his work.'-From his filence in this respect, one would be apt to imagine that our Author has not heard of such things as Form or Outline.
Tho' we fancy our Readers are by this time pretty well acquainted with the merits of Mr. Bardwell's performance, yec we cannot omit taking some notice of his Perspective, both as we promised it in our last, and as it will be a kind of Introduca tion to our account of Mr. Ware's translation of Sirigatti, in a future number..
The book entitled New Principles of Linear Perspective, by Dr. Brook Taylor, (a second edition of which, much more. ample than the first, was printed by Knaplock in 1719) contains the most ingenious and most useful improvements, hitherto made, in that branch of Optics which particularly regards the arts of Painting and Designing, and which is diftinguished by the name of Perspective.
But notwithstanding the excellence of this book, it was not of such general advantage to our artists, as might have been' expected, because it required some little acquaintance with the Elements of Euclid, five of whose Propositions are therein quoted, to demonstrate the truth of that theory, on which Dr. Taylor has founded the universal practice of this art; and we doubt if, for the first fifteen years after the Doctor had published his book, more than one of our Painters had made himself thoroughly master of the principles it contains: tho'it mighthave been expected from the warmth with which on alloccalons, this one eminent Painter, recommended Dr. Taylor's 3
book, and the affiduity with which he applied himfelf to illuftrate its meaning, (in an excellent manufcript, which hath never been published) it would have met with a more eager reception from those who studied the arts of Design, and have come much sooner into vogue amongst them. A foreigner," however, to whom the art of Engraving is much obliged in this country, availed himself of the afore-mentioned Gentleman's opinion touching Dr. Taylor, and not only made himself mafter of this new method, but taught it to his disciples here, and composed a book on this subject, (which likewise hath not yet been printed) in order to render these new principles more easily attainable; and adapted a set of very ornamental examples, invented by himfelf, to illustrate the Doctor's Propofitions.
We omit, for the prefent, mentioning what more hath been performed on this subject, till the ingenious Mr. Kirby's late endeavours to render this new Perfpective intelligible to every capacity : an attempt in which he seems to have succeeded very happily, as well in explaining the principles, as in facilitating the practice; yet fome artists, either from a tardinefs of apprehension, or want of application, enemies to Geometry, have still opposed every improvement in this art; and seem still resolved, in order to excưse their own incapacity or idleness, to decry Dr. Taylor's method, and whatever may be deduced from it. What share Mr. Bardwell has in this controversy, the Introduction to that part of his book treating on Perspective, will inform us. He fets out thus:
• We are much obliged to the learned in the Mathematics,* ' who, in the beginning of this century, made fuch great
improvements in the Principles of Perspective, and who have « done their utmost to render them useful: but for want of
understanding the art of Painting t, and the practice of De
figning, they are intelligible I only to those readers who ' have a sufficient fund of Geometry to comprehend all their
A's Mr. Bardwell, in the Introduction to his Art of Colouring, sets out with citing Pliny, whom he certainly did not under. stand, fo he begins this with talking of the learned in the Mathematics, when, in all appearance, he has not the least tincture of real mathematical learning.
+ This is a mistake. Brook Taylor was well versed in the art of Painting, and the practice of Designing :-how disingenuously then does our Author here endeavour to shift the charge of ignorance from himself, and fix it on the learned Dr. Taylor.
# Why then will. Mr. Bardwell thus expose himself, by giving his opinion on what he does pot at all comprehend?
+ schemes and examples. They found that all planes were alike* in Geometry; and followed their geometrical geni
which led them into such constructions as they thought would explain their properties in general, and give a new . turnt to Perspective. Indeed, their schemes are lo very in• tricate, that none but those who are well acquainted with
the Mathematics can understand them. Dr. Taylor .neglected the Horizontal Plane, I and in his book made no difference between that plane and any other whatsoever. Here it is that I am quite of the reverse opinion to that learned
Gentleman, and believe that the term of Horizontal Line 'fhould confine our nocions to the Horizontal Plane: And,
I think, that that plane which represents the earth on which we live, enjoys some particular privileges which makes the planes || in it more easy and more convenient to be described, notwithstanding all planes are alike in Geometry : for which reason I have followed Nature, and have united the old and new principles: and believing the objects are best
understood by their natural appearance, I have given the Hoc orizontal Plane to all my work, with the Vanishing Line in
its proper position. Here I found it absolutely necessary to
consider the subject in a manner as yet unattempted, and < which should require no mathematical knowlege to under
stand it. This obliged me to find one general method for (the whole work: and finding the principles few and simple
upon which the art depends; and that there are no more than 5 three planes, and six different lines, required to understand, in order to represent any object whatsoever; I * Dr. Taylor says, “And fince planes, as planes, are alike in
Geometry, it is most proper to consider them as such, and to ex• plain their properties in general.'
+ Giving a new turn to Perspective, must be an elegance, the peculiar property of Mr. Bardwell.
I Dr. Taylor has shewn how to treat all planes with equal facility. How can he chen be faid to have neglected the Horizontal Plane?
|| All this is miserable Jargon; and the meaning iç seems to ina culcate is absurd.
$ We could with he had given us the names of these three planes and fix lines. · We find, that a few'inore planes are required to una derstand, in order to represent any objeĉt whatsoever ; (e.g.) there is one called the horizontal plane. There are three species of planes perpendicular to the horizontal plane, io wit, chose parallel to the picture, those perpendicular to the picture, and those whose posle tion is oblique in respect of the picture. We find, that declining and reclining planes, may each of them, is like manner, be distin guilhed into three species, and that, on each of these ten planes, chrce species of right lines may be drawn, besides all the variety of curves. Rev. Sep. 1756.
composed such a variety of objects as I conceived would
drazi on the knowlege of Perspective, and which, I think, • cannot fail of rendering the useful principles of this art gene • and intelligible." What purposes the useful principles of this « art are to anfwer, the following passage will inform us.
A Painter is not to be confined strictly to the rules of Perspective ; --nothing should tie up his hands; he should be at
liberty to express his idea, like Gotto, with one stroke of • his pencil. + I defign not to trouble the reader with a multitude of
ex « amples, but to explain the general rules of Perspective in « such a manner as may be intelligible to him.
All this (and more of the same sterling) Mr. Bardwell hath hath thought fit to say, by way of Introduction, prefixing to it (very improperly, in our opinion) the title of Principles of Perspective: he now proceeds to what may be called his Practice, for Principles we can find none. * Were we ever so much inclined to pass over his tota! neglect of demonstrating this Practice to be rational or just, we ought, by no means, to neglect observing, 1.' That is iş defective ; treating neither of the Limits of Shadows, or the Images of Objects seen by reflection, on water, or polished furfaces. 2. "That'his method is every where confused, and, of consequence, ill adapted to convey his meaning, if he has any. Likewise, that his definitions are generally obscure, og false, or both. And, lastly, that notwithstanding his pretenfions to novelty, there is nothing (blunders excepted) that can be called new in his work.' He seems conscious of the firft part of this accusation, and gives us a very unsatisfactory reason for his omission : asserting, that the geometrical or perspective knowlege of Shadows, is of very little consequence to Painters. And he has thought reflected objects of too little consequence, even to apologize concerning them. Touching his other mistakes, we shall mention only 'some few of the most obvious.
** The distance which we are from the imaginary plane, • when at the station where we propose to take the Perspective
View, is the distance of the picture.'
He should have faid, the shortest distance of the eye from the imaginary plane, &c.
In the sixth paragraph of his comment on plate the first, without having defined the principal ray, he says it cuts the imaginary plane at right angles; of consequence its seat on the picture is a point. But in the fixth paragraph of the lecond piate, he talks of it, as of a line drawn on the imaginary. plane : which is contradictory, and absurd,