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Page 176 - All the objects which are exhibited to our view by nature, upon close examination will be found to have their blemishes and defects. The most beautiful forms have something about them like weakness, minuteness, or imperfection. But it is not every eye that perceives these blemishes. It must be an eye long used to the contemplation and comparison of these forms ; and which by a long habit of observing what any set of objects of the same kind have in common, has acquired the power of discerning what...
Page 41 - I do not hesitate to say, that the road to eminence and power, from obscure condition, ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. If rare merit be the rarest of all rare things, it ought to pass through some sort of probation. The temple of honour ought to be seated on an eminence. If it be open through virtue, let it be remembered too, that virtue is never tried but by some difficulty, and some struggle.
Page 29 - I know none who attempts, that does not succeed tolerably in that part : but that exquisite masterly drawing, which is the glory of the great school where you are, has fallen to the lot of very few, perhaps to none of the present age, in its highest perfection. If I were to indulge a conjecture, I should attribute all that is called greatness of style and manner of drawing, to this exact knowledge of the parts of the human body, of anatomy and perspective. For by knowing exactly and habitually, without...
Page 31 - ... by a laborious and accurate investigation of nature upon the principles observed by the Greeks ; first, to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the common forms of nature, and then, by selecting and combining, to form compositions according to their own elevated conceptions. This is the principle of true poetry, as well as of painting and sculpture.
Page 18 - Every truth of shape, the result of the inherent organization of man as an intellectual being ; every variation of that shape, produced by the slightest variation of motion, in consequence of the slightest variation of intention, acting on it ; every result of repose on flesh as a soft substance, and on bone as a hard — both being influenced by the common principles of life and gravitation ; every harmony of line in composition, from geometrical principle — all proving the science of the artist...
Page 56 - And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.
Page 229 - Angelo's works have a strong, peculiar, and marked character : they seem to proceed from his own mind entirely, and that mind so rich and abundant, that he never needed, or seemed to disdain, to look abroad for foreign help. Raffaelle's materials are generally borrowed, though the noble structure is his own.
Page 30 - Without the power of combining and abstracting, the most accurate knowledge of forms and colours will produce only uninteresting trifles ; but without an accurate knowledge of forms and colours, the most happy power of combining and abstracting will be absolutely useless...
Page 30 - ... thinking, what was to be done in every figure they designed, they naturally attained a freedom and spirit of outline ; because they could be daring without being absurd ; whereas ignorance, if it be cautious, is poor and timid ; if bold, it is only blindly presumptuous. This minute and thorough knowledge of anatomy, and practical as well as theoretical perspective, by which I mean to include foreshortening, is all the effect of labour and use in particular studies, and not in general compositions.
Page 46 - The commands for destroying sacred paintings and sculpture prevented the artist from suffering his mind to rise to the contemplation or execution of any sublime effort, as he dreaded a prison or a stake, and reduced him to the lowest drudgery in his profession. This extraordinary check to our national art occurred at a time which offered the most essential and extraordinary assistance to its progress.