The literary works of sir Joshua Reynolds. To which is prefixed a memoir by H.W. Beechey, Volume 2

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Page 131 - The Italian, attends only to the invariable, the great and general ; ideas which are fixed and inherent in universal nature; the Dutch, on the contrary, to literal truth and a minute exactness in the detail, as I may say, of nature modified by accident. The attention to these petty peculiarities is the very cause of this naturalness so much admired in the Dutch pictures, which, if we suppose it to be a beauty, is certainly...
Page 134 - Among the various reasons why we prefer one part of her works to another, the most general, I believe, is habit and custom : custom makes, in a certain sense, white black, and black white ; it is custom alone determines our preference of the colour of the Europeans to the .(Ethiopians, and they, for the same reason, prefer their own colour to ours.
Page 132 - As we are then more accustomed to beauty than deformity, we may conclude that to be the reason why we approve and admire it, as we approve and admire customs and fashions of dress for no other reason than that we are used to them...
Page 403 - A happy genius is the gift of nature : it depends on the influence of the stars, say the astrologers ; on the organs of the body, say the naturalists ; it is the particular gift of heaven, say the divines, both Christians and heathens. How to improve it, many books can teach us ; how to obtain it, none ; that nothing can be done without it, all agree — Tu nihil invita dices faciesve Mintrva.
Page 125 - You would not then have seen an upright figure standing equally on both legs, and both hands stretched forward in the same direction, and his drapery, to all appearance, without the least art of disposition.
Page 128 - ... minute exactness in the detail, as I may say, of Nature modified by accident. The attention to these petty peculiarities is the very cause of this naturalness so much admired in the Dutch pictures, which, if we suppose it to be a beauty, is certainly of a lower order, which ought to give place to a beauty of a superior kind, since one cannot be obtained but by departing from the other.
Page 412 - that the figures of the groups must not be all on a side, that is, with their faces and bodies all turned the same way, but must contrast each other by their several positions." Thus in a play, some characters must be raised to oppose others, and to set them off the better, according to the old maxim, " Contraria juxta se posita, magis elucescunt.
Page 232 - ... better: it is here as in personal attractions; there is frequently found a certain agreement and correspondence in the whole together, which is often more captivating than mere regular beauty. RUBENS appears to have had that confidence in himself, which it is necessary for every artist to assume, when he has finished his studies, and may venture in some measure to throw aside the fetters of authority; to consider the rules as subject to his controul, and not himself subject to the rules; to risk...
Page 67 - Therefore, having once adopted a style and a measure not found in common discourse, it is required that the sentiments also should be in the same proportion elevated above common nature, from the necessity of there being an agreement of the parts among themselves, that one uniform whole may be produced. To correspond, therefore, with this general system of deviation from nature, the manner in which poetry is offered to the ear, the tone in which it is recited, should be as far removed from the tone...
Page 412 - English, the bawd of her sister, the design or drawing; she clothes, she dresses her up, she paints her, she makes her appear more lovely than naturally she is* she procures for the design, and makes lovers for her; for the design of itself is only so many naked lines. Thus in Poetry, the expression is that which charms the reader, and beautifies the design, which is only the outlines of the fables.

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