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Here every artist who paints in crayons, is arraigned for want of talents by the ingenious Mr. Bardwell; nor does he finish his book till he has insulted Mr.R-, Mr. H-th, Mr. H-,Mr.BT-, Mr. ķ-y, and every other distinguished name he was acquainted with.

His introduction to what he calls the Principles of Perspective, is equally singular; for tho’ he endeavours (how insufficiently we shall observe on another occasion) to explain some principles, which he thinks it will require no mathematical knowlege to understand *; and in order to render them intelligible, bas composed such a variety of objects, as he conceives will draw on the knowlege of this art, he afterwards afferts, that

a painter is not to be confined strictly to the rules of perspec☆ tive,'—and that nothing should tie up his hands: he should

not have his genius imprisoned; but be at liberty to express $ his idea- with one stroke of his pencil.'

It is too obvious, what mischievous impressions such documents as these may make on the mind of a young student of genius, whose sprightly imagination is perhaps of itself too apt to run away with his judgment, and tranfgress those necessary bounds which a well-founded theory has let to the painter's fancy : bounds beyond which all is absurdity and error.

Thus much for the design of his introduction, let us now examine, in order, the paragraphs that compose it.

Mr. Bardwell fets out, unluckily, with what he calls an observation of Pliny's; but which, we suspect, he hath never read, except in an imperfect quotation, through the medium of Moni. de Piles. However, that he hath mistaken Pliny's words, is of little consequence; for unfortunately they are now thing to his purpose, either as he has, or as he should have quoted them.

It is an observation of Pliny's,' says Mr. Bardwell, that the antients painted with four colours only, and out of them made all their teints. Mons. de Piles is of opinion, that it

was out of these they made their grounds, or what we call ! the dead colouring.--How it really was, time has put it out

of our power to determine; but if we suppose those four { principal colours in perfection, then, I think, it can be no

longer doubted, but that from them might be made all the various colours in' nature.

Let us see Pliny's words; they are in the seventh chapter of his thirty-fifth book of Natural History. Quatuor coloribus

folis immortalia illa opera fecere, ex albis melino, ex silaceis attico, ex rubris finopide pontica, ex nigris atramento. * Mr. Bardwell is tețribly averse to mathematics.

Apelles

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res, &c.'

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Apelles, Echion, Melanthius Nicomachus clarissimi picto.

If Mr. Bardwell had known, that the four colours mentioned by Pliny were no other than black, and white, and red oker, and yellow oker, he would have known, that were they in ever so great perfection, it was not only impoffible to compound blue, green, and purple from these colours, but even the tints of a tolerable carnation, or fesh.colour : much less, that out of them the antients made all their teints.

However, notwithstanding his ignorance of the subject on which he has taken upon him to treat, he, with a decisive air, thus proceeds. "For my part, I cannot believe, that the four capital colours of the antients would mix to that surprizing

perfection we see in the works of Titian and Rubens.' Certainly no man can believe, or disbelieve, a fact, the circumstances of which he is so much a stranger to, as Mr. Bardwell is to the matter he is now discussing.--But we could wish he had explained what he means by the four capital, or the four principal, colours of the antients. They cannot be mentioned in contradistinction to colours less principal ; there is not in Pliny the most distant hint of this fort ; he exprefly says, that the pictures he mentions were painted with four colours only. If by the last quotation our Author would intimate, that he does not conceive how the antients, with four colours only, could produce pictures, which, for harmony, truth, force, variety of tints, and vivacity of tone, should equal those which Titian or Rubens performed with a greater variety of colours ;-it should not only be observed, that he has expressed himself aukwardly, but that, from Pliny's words rightly understood, there seems to be no reason for supposing, that the paintings he celebrates were of a species to be properly compared with those finished pieces, and that more perfect kind of painting, in which the master proposes to imitate every effect of light and colour on the objects he represents.

Before we proceed any farther with Mr. Bardwell, it may not be amiss to examine the passage which, to evince his erudition, he has thus stuck in the front of his book; and here it will be necessary to premise, that there is a species of painting, which, without attempting to imitate the variety of tints, the degrees of opacity and transparency, or other particulars which discover to us the texture of objects, is contented with expreffing their forms only; which, in this manner of representation, are generally supposed to be all of the same hue (whence the Greek name monochromata, appropriated to this kind of painting) and of the fame unvaried texture : and which it exhibits by means of light and shade only. Hence the ex

preslions,

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pressions, depinto a chiaro-scuro, among the Italians, and peint en clair obscur, among the French; tho' in our language, we frequently express the same thing by the phrase, paintings in one colour ; which has more analogy with the Greek. Of this kind (to mention an example) are the paintings which represent basso-relievos on the stair-case of the British Museum.

Now Pliny *, when he treats of the progress of painting, supposes these monochromata, which we may properly translate pictures in one colour, or chiaro-fcuro's, to have been the moft antient kind of painting; which, however, we must not confine to the first rude essays of this art. The greatest masters seem to have exercised themselves in this species of painting, and it is even yet frequently practised.

Pliny exprefly says, that Zeuxis, who began to distinguish himself in the last year of the 95th Olympiad, painted monochromata t; and in another place he tells us, that the antients painted with cinnabar I, what, in his time, were still called monochromata.

Thus we see, this kind of painting was practised by Zeuxis, and from Pliny's manner of expressing himself, it seems to have been in use at the time he wrote ; what wonder then if Apelles, Echion, &c. who lived in the 107th and 112th Olympiads, should have sometimes exercised themselves in this species of painting, the execution of which, to the greatest perfection, required no other colours than the four just mentioned by Pliny? That Apelles sometimes painted with brighter colours, may surely be inferred from what the same Pliny says. Speaking of that great artist, he informs us, that when his pictures were finished, he covered them with a varnish, which, at the same time that it preserved them from duft and dirt, brought out the colours, giving them force and vi

* Græci autem alii Sicyone, alii apud Corinthios repertam, lele picturam contendunt) omnes umbra hominis lineis circumducta itaque talem primam fuifle: secundam fingulis coloribus et monochromaron di&tam, 35, 3.

+ Zeuxis pinxit nionochromata ex aibo. 35. 10.

I Cinnabaris veteres quæ etiam nunc vocant monochromata pin. gebant. 33. 7. Note, of this kind are several of the antient paintings lately discovered at Herculaneum.

Inventa ejus et cæteris profuere in arte. Unum imitari nemo potuit, quod absoluta opera atramento illinebat ita tenui, ut idipsum repercussus claritates colorum excitaret, cuftodiretque a pulvere et sordibus, ad manum intuenti demum appareret. Sed et tum ratione magna ne colorum claritas oculorum aciem offenderet, veluti per lapidem (pecularem intuentibus è longinquo; et eadem res nimis floridis coloribus aulleritatem occulte daret. 3;. 10.

vacity;

vacity: tho' in such a manner as that the glare or brightness of these colours, did not offend the eye of the spectator ; for the varnish gave to these exceeding florid colours a certain mellow, ness and solemnity, &c.-We may likewise remember, that even before the goth Olympiad. Polignotus || the Thalian had distinguished himself for the lucid drapery and changeable coloured head-dresses he introduced in his pictures; but that these, or the bright and florid colours of Apelles, could be painted with only black, and white, red okre, and yellow okre, is a supposition almost too absurd to be laughed at. How ever, if any smatterer who takes it in his head to fcribble on painting, should still think fit to doubt if the antient painters, in the time of Apelles, were acquainted with more colours than the four mentioned by Pliny, Theophrastus *, who was contemporary with Apelles, will entirely set him right: this author enumerates a variety of earths and minerals used by the painters of his time; among which are orpiment, fandarach, chrysocolla, ruddle, okre, native cerulean, or ultramarine, factitious cerulean, which perhaps was smalt; and he describes ceruse and verdigreafe, as likewise cinnabar, or vermilion; a species of which, he observes, was discovered in Athens about ninety years before he wrote his book: nor fhould it be forgot, that on many Egyptian mummies, ornaments remain, painted with a red and blue, that to this day preserve great vivacity. And Theophrastus says t, that those who wrote the history of the Egyptian Kings exprefly mention that King who first made artificial cerulean, or smalt.

From what has been said, it appears, first, that Apelles could not be ignorant of those bright colours used by other painters in his time. Secondly, that the bright colouring of his pictures, mentioned by Pliny, indicate his use of such colours; and lastly, that those pictures of his, in which he employed only black and white, and red oker, and yellow oker, were no other than monochromata, or paintings in one colour. Thus far have we digressed from Mr. Bardwell. We shall now take him up

where we left him. He goes on, if we have no certain knowlege of their " method of colouring, who lived in the last century, how

Sicut Polygnotus Thafius, qui primus mulieres lucida vefte pinxit, capita earum, mitris versicoloribus operuit. 35. 9.

* Αλλα μαλλον αν τις Τους Τους Χρωμασι διαριθμησειε, διπερ δε οι γραφεις Xgwulas, &c.

Theophrastus de Lapidibus. + Σκευασος (Κυανος) δ' ο ΑιγυπliG- και οι γραφονίες Τα σερι Ίους Βασιλεις, και 180ο γραφεσι, τις πρώτος βασιλευς εποιησε τεχνηθον Κυανον, μιμησαμενος τον αυτοφυη. .

« Ihall

< fhall we understand theirs who lived near two thousand years

ago*? And why the method and practice of colouring, • which was so well known to Rubens and Vandyck, should

not be continued down to the present masters, is to me sur( prizing ti'

He then proceeds to give some account of the declension of painting (of which notice has been already taken) and goes on, In the

course of studying this part of my art, as I could « have no alifance from the living I, I found myself obliged to < make my court to the dead; I mean their works. And tho' • I have had very little opportunity to study even them; yet

from the few I have copied, I have, after a tedious course of

mistakes, at last, by mere dint of labour, and the assistance of • genius, such as it is, found out the following method of colouring very easy and expeditious. “ Painters, says de Piles, spend many years in the search

of knowlege, which they might have attained in a little " time, had they hit at first upon the right path 5.*

« This

truth * It is not merely the distance of time, but the want of hiftorians, that hinders us from knowing facts ; and it were wrong to ask, how we shall know what men were doing at Athens or Thebes, in the time of Pericles and Epaminondas, when we are ignorant of what passed there even ten years ago. Besides, the question is, whether Pliny understood the method of colouring used by Apelles, &c. Jc is plain he might, for Apelles is among the authors from whom he professes to have taken his knowlege.

+ The reader must not be surprized that Mr. Bardwell talks so contemptuously of our present matters : to depreciate them and their works, seems one of the principal purposes of his book.

It appears, nevertheless, to us, that we have some artists, even in England, whose colouring may vie with the school of Titian, or of Rubens: tho' their modesty might take offence were we to name them.

I This is evidently an absurd abuse of all the living artists in England. Did our Author, when he first began to apply to painting, (that is, before he knew any thing himself) immediately discoover that nobody else knew any thing of the matter? Was it in confequence of this discovery, that he fought no affistance from mafter? Or did he seek, and find nobody that conld give him one useful hint? Happy genius ! when the Richardsons, descended in a right line from Rembrandt, forgot their art, you rise, self-taught, and applying your finishing secrets to the virgin-tints, produce your leful and agreeable method of colouring! Vid. Introduction, p. 3.

Mr. de Piles's observation may be applied to any art, as well as to the art of Colouring.–That Mr. Bardwell has experienced the truth of what Monsieur de Piles says, is a modest hint that he

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