« AnteriorContinuar »
truth I have experienced ; and confess,t that the works of * Vandyck and Rembrandt are the surest guides to Nature. It is
out of these most excellent masters that I have established my method: it is from their pictures I have found the first Lay
of Colours; and from them I have learned the Virgin Teints " and the Finishing Secrets; tho’I always applied them to prac& tice from Nature.
In the method of my work, I begin with a short and <plain account of the principal COLOURS used in the
FLESH: next I follow with the principal Teints. FIRST< PAINTING, or DEAD-COLOURING. SECOND-PAINTING. « THIRD, or LAST-PAINTING. Of Painting Back« GROUNDS. Some Remarks on COPYING. OF DRAPES RY-PAINTING, Of LANDSCHAPE-PAINTING. A new, * short, and familiar Account of the Art of PERSPECTIVE.
. All these particulars I have endeavoured to make familiar, s clear, and instructive, without design to flatter or offend; $ and thro’ the whole course of the work I have had the utmost regard to truth.
Mr. Bardwell appears throughout his book, a professed enemy to Theory; and disgraces the Art he attempts to teach, by supposing it may be got, like a knack, by mere practice, rather than communicated as a Science, consisting of certain principles founded on invariable and fixed laws; from which Nature never deviates.
Whoever would institute a method of Colouring, must first make us conceive the alteration of Colour any object suffers, either from the diversity of angles which the rays of light make with different parts of its surface, or from the intervention of a greater or less quantity of aerial medium between the object and the spectator's eye, or from the vicinity of another object, whose colour, by being reflected, will affect the colour of its neighbouring object, He should likewise point out the
has hit on the right path ; but any Dreamer who flattered himself ever so absurdly, with having made wonderful discoveries, might, if he had assurance enough, say as much.
+ He might confess, that he has, in his endeavours to attain a juft manner of imitating Nature, found great affiflance by copying after the works of Vandyck and Rembrandt; he might tell us, thạc he had endeavoured to eliablish his method in conformity to what he imagines were their principles, and practice; and so far he had been intelligible: but to confess, that the works of those great masters are the furelt guides to Nature, (to the prejudice of Titian, Rubens, &c.) and that out of them he has established his method, is not a confefțion, but an affertion, full of arrogance and falfity; and expressed in the most nonsenfical terms.
general relation between the various tints of the fame Carnation, or Flesh-colour. This, or something like this, muft necessarily be explained, before we can be taught to express those accidents in a picture; and we should know what
particular effect of light we are to imitate, before the method of imitating it can be conveyed in precepts : so that suppose all his tints mixed up to the greatest perfection, what avails it, unless we are taught to discern with what part of the original object each tint corresponds ? without this, whatever method of Colouring can be proposed, will be absurd, and unintelligible; how vain then must this Author appear, when he thus compliments himself and his book in the following strange terms ?
• The motive of my publishing, is solely the benefit of the ' Art. Such as are born with a happy genius, tho' destitute
of a master or guide, may, from these instructions, acquire ' a competent knowlege of Colouring, almost without study<ing. Here the lovers of Painting, who study for their plea
fure and amusement, may be conducted easily, step by step, to the secrets of that Art, which, of all the designing ones, af
fords, perhaps, the greatest pleasure to the mind. Here follows a modest account of himself and his performances, with which we shall not trouble our Readers. He then proceeds.
Monsieur de Piles says, “ Titian and Rembrandt prepared " their first lay, or grounds, very near alike ; and with co“ lours that kindly united, and were as near to the life as “ possible; on which they laid their virgin Teints with light « strokes of a pencil ; and thus they imitated the force and “ freshness of Nature. --They were convinced that there were « certain colours, which destroyed each other, if they were " mixed to excess; and that they should be as little fhaken as
poffible by the motion of the pencil.” . It would be folly* in any man, at this present time, to affume so much knowlege in the Art of Painting as Monsieur . de Piles really had; who was a man of genius and learning,
Why? Monsieur de Piles was a man of genius and learning, says Mr. Bardwell, (who is an excellent judge). But these men of genius and learning, are now, it seems, all dead. He made Painting his principal study; which no body now does. So far we can conceive ; but that Mr. Bardwell should praise him for travelling to complete his knowlege in painting, is somewhat inconsistent with what he says in the last paragraph of this Introduction.
"I cannot • but indulge a sort of compassion for those Artists, as I do for other • miftaken men, who conceive it abfolutely necessary to traverse Italy, and other countries.'
• that made Painting his principal study, and travelled on pur« pose to complete his knowlege in that delightful art; was • intimately acquainted with the Painters in his time, who « affifted him in studying the works of the great masters,
which he carefully examined ; and from which he made his
reflections, and judicious remarks. This was when the < works of Vandyck and Rembrandt were more in perfection,
and in an age when Painting was better understood.
• Is it possible for any thing to be more plain and intelligible 6 than these two moft excellent remarks of Monsieur de Piles, • which contain the principal matter and foundation of Co
louring? *This is vastly different from theirs, whose Co• louring is, as they pretend, to change and wear to the com
plexion : tho' this may answer their purposes, yet none that study the art of Colouring will, I hope, believe it.
Wits have short memories, and Blockheads none, says Pope.---Mr. Bardwell's desire of being witty on the very ingenious Artist, and excellent Colourist, here hinted at, probably occasioned his forgetting the necessity he would so soon be under, of recommending the following precepts.
“We muft remember this colour will grow darker. Page 9. - The Rose Tint in changing,' says he, will sympathize and mix kindly. P. 10.
Again, Remember the Oker is too ftrong for the White, therefore we should make a little allowance in using • it.' And page 20, Greens should be more beautiful than
we intend them, because they fade and grow darker.'
What we have already said will give a tolerable idea of Mr. Bardwell's abilities, as an Author, and as a Painter; we shall therefore proceed to the last paragraph of his Introduction, and then take leave of him for the present: in a future Number we may consider the merits of his scheme of Colouring, and his system of Perspective.
* This is vaftly different from what Mr. Bardwell says in a former paragraph, wherein he complains, that no good Colourift had treated on this subject: we are informed, that Monsieur de Piles was a good Colourilt ; and that Du Fresnoy having employed most of his time in a profound attention to the theory of painting, had a partiçular veneration for Titian, as the most perfect imitator of nature ; followed him in his manner of colouring, and came nearer to him than any other French master. Moreover, Mr. Bardwell finds that these two remarks (which he says contain the principal matter and foundation of Colouring) are as plain and intelligible as it is poftible for any thing to be. May we not, therefore, fufpect that he is as much indebted to Meffrs. de Piles and du Fresnoy, for his great knowlege in Colouring, as to his tedious course of mistakes, his enere dint of labour, or any other concurrent cause.
« I can
• I cannot,' says he, but indulge a sort of compaffion for « those Artists, as I do for other mistaken men, who think it • absolutely necessary to traverse Italy, and other countries,
wasting that time abroad which, in my humble opinion, may be employed, at least, as well at home, in studying the works of Vandyck, and the inimitable beauties of the Eng
lith Ladies; which, I think, as much preferable to the an« tiques, as the animated beauties of Nature are to the cold imitations of her in stone.'
The first part of this paragraph is already noticed, as inconsistent with what he delivers in praise of Monsieur de Piles's acquirements. We, however, entirely agree with him, that men who waste their time in one place, might as well have. wafted it in any other place; even tho' it were in imitating inimitable beauties. And tho' we are persuaded, that our young students will readily approve his hint, that real Ladies are preferable to cold images of stone ; yet, as it has been generally reckoned a fure mark of ignorance, and want of taste, to decry the ancient statues, we dare not profess ourselves of Mr. Bardwell's party, till he has impeached those Grecian beauties of other and greater defects than the coldness of their constitutions, and the rigid insensibility of their marble bosoms.
The Case of Marriages between near Kindred particularly consi
dered, with respect to the Doctrine of Scripture, the Law of Nature, and the Laws of England, &c. By John Fry. 8vo. 25. Whiston.
S matrimony is an ordinance, which not only diffuses
natural and social happiness through a State, but by increasing the numbers of the community, strengthens and perpetuates it; and as it is the duty of every free State, to secure to its subjects the gratification of every natural and honest defire, confiftent with the good of the whole, and the rights of particulars; and as it ought especially to be the care of every Christian government, to maintain the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, ~from the yoke of Levetical bondage :this pamphlet will, therefore, no doubt, obtain--what the Author so much wishes, -the serious attention, and candid dis. cussion, of those under whose examination it
may In the Preface, among other explanations of the Author's motives for this publication, we meet with these. 6 To have ca true and consistent idea of this affair, more immediately
concerns the welfare of the public, than many are aware • of; as from the numerous branches of the present royal fa
< mily, from whom, under Providence, the nation so juftly • felicitates itself, upon the most promising prospects of ex• tensive advantage, it may, on many occasions, be judged • highly expedient, that intermarriages should take place be
tween some of their near kindred. The consequences of " which may be not only conducive to their own personal sa• tisfaction and felicity, but likewise intimately connected with
the national security, and the establishment and enlargement 6 of the Protestant interest.
Again, the conduct of the enemies of our holy religion, suggests the propriety of a critical and free decision of this
subject. In their abusive insults on revelation, some of them ' have urged, with a peculiar fatisfaction, the advantages with ' which they pretend the scripture history hath furnished them upon this head. Thus the author of Christianity as old as the Creation,
hath charged with immorality that renowned Patriarch « Abraham, on this account.
“ Was not Abraham, (says he) though a prophet, and so « dear to God, that he would not destroy a neighbouring “ town withput acquainting him with it, guilty of an incestu
ous marriage, his wife being his sister by the father's side* ?”
Whereas, if it appear, upon an impartial review, that this, " and such other marriages as the following Dissertation at • tempts to justify, were not contrary to the law of Nature,
nor forbidden by any positive law of God, before the intro• duction of the Mosaic Dispensation, no just cause of re
proach can be alleged against the alliance Abraham cons tracted with his near relation ; but the severe aspersion cast
upon him, on account of his marriage, muft, in the judge “ment of the impartial, be altogether groundless and unjust.
« The late Viscount Bolingbroke bath, indeed, attempted • to disparage the Scriptures by a different measure. He was
of opinion, that marriages between near collateral kindred, • were not forbidden by the law of Nature, but that the Scrip“tures had prohibited them. From hence he endeavours to şvilify the sacred writings, as being inconsistent with the law
of Nature. But it is presumed, that in the ensuing tract it
is clearly proved, that the inconsistency is not real, but only • pretended and imaginary.'
The summary of what our Author delivers, in investigating the doctrine of Scripture, respecting marriages between near kindred, is as follows.
Chap. xii, p. 219, 2d edition,