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The excellence of the following Treatise is so well known to all in any tolerable degree conversant with the Art of Painting, that it would be almost superfluous to say any thing respecting it, were it not that it here appears under the form of a new translation, of which some account may be expected. Of the original Work, which is in reality a selection from the voluminous manuscript collections of the Author, both in folio and quarto, of all such passages as related to Painting, no edition appeared in print till 1651, though its Author died so long before as the year 1519; and it is owing to the circumstance of a manuscript copy of these extracts in the original Italian, having fallen into the hands of Raphael du Fresne; that in the former of these years it was published at Paris in a thin folio volume in that language, accompanied with a set of cuts from the drawings of Nicolo Poussin, and Alberti; the former having designed the human figures, the latter the geometrical and other representations.
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Table of Contents
Chap. I.—What the young Student in Painting ought in the first Place to learn.
Chap. II.—Rule for a young Student in Painting.
Chap. III.—How to discover a young Man’s Dispositionfor Painting.
Chap. IV.—Of Painting, and its Divisions.
Chap. V.—Division of the Figure.
Chap. VI.—Proportion of Members.
Chap. VII.—Of Dimensions in general.
Chap. VIII.—Motion, Changes, and Proportion of Members.
Chap. IX.—The Difference of Proportion between Children and grown Men.
Chap. X.—The Alterations in the Proportion of the human Body from Infancy to full Age.
Chap. XI.—Of the Proportion of Members.
Chap. XII.—That every Partbe proportioned to its Whole.
Chap. XIII.—Of the Proportion of the Members.
Chap. XIV.—The Danger of forming an erroneous Judgment in regard to the Proportion and Beauty of the Parts.
Chap. XV.—Another Precept.
Chap. XVI.—The Manner of drawing from Relievos, and rendering Paper fit for it.
Chap. XVII.—Of drawing from Casts or Nature.
Chap. XVIII.—To draw Figures from Nature.
Chap. XIX.—Of drawing from Nature.
Chap. XX.—Of drawing Academy Figures.
Chap. XXI.—Of studying in the Dark, on first waking in the Morning, and before going to sleep.
Chap. XXII.—Observations on drawing Portraits.
Chap.XXIII.—The Method of retaining in the Memory the Likeness of a Man, so as to draw his Profile, after having seen him only once.
Chap. XXIV.—How to remember the Form of a Face.
Chap. XXV.—That a Painter should take Pleasure in the Opinion of every body.
Chap. XXVI.—What is principally to be observed in Figures.
Chap. XXVII.—Mode of Studying.
Chap. XXVIII.—Of being universal.
Chap. XXIX.—A Precept for the Painter.
Chap. XXX.—Of the Measures of the human Body, and the bending of Members.
Chap. XXXI.—Of the small Bones in several Joints of the human Body.
Chap. XXXII.—Memorandum to be observed by the Painter.
Chap. XXXIII.—The Shoulders.
Chap. XXXIV.—The Difference of Joints between Children and grown Men.
Chap. XXXV.—Of the Joints of the Fingers.
Chap. XXXVI.—Of the Joint of the Wrist.
Chap. XXXVII.—Of the Joint of the Foot.
Chap. XXXIX.—Of the Joints.
Chap. XL.—Of the Naked.
Chap. XLI.—Of the Thickness of the Muscles.
Chap. XLII.—Fat Subjects have small Muscles.
Chap. XLIII.—Which of the Muscles disappear in the different Motions of the Body.
Chap. XLIV.—Of the Muscles.
Chap. XLV.—Of the Muscles.
Chap. XLVI.—The Extension and Contraction of the Muscles.
Chap. XLVII.—Of the Muscle between the Chest and the lower Belly.
Chap. XLVIII.—Of a Man’s complex Strength, but first of the Arm.
Chap. XLIX.—In which of the twoActions, Pulling or Pushing, a Man has the greatest Power, Plate II.
Chap. L.—Of the bending of Members, and of the Flesh round the bending Joint.
Chap. LI.—Of the naked Body.
Chap. LII.—Of a Ligament without Muscles.
Chap. LIII.—Of Creases.
Chap. LIV.—How near behind the Back one Arm can be brought to the other, Plate III. and IV.
Chap. LV.—Of the Muscles.
Chap. LVI.—Of the Muscles.
Chap. LVII.—Of the Bending of the Body.
Chap. LVIII.—Thesame Subject.
Chap. LIX.—The Necessity of anatomical Knowledge.
Chap. LX.—Of the Equipoise of a Figure standing still.
Chap. LXI.—Motion produced by the Loss of Equilibrium.
Chap. LXII.—Of the Equipoise of Bodies, Plate V.
Chap. LXIII.—Of Positions.
Chap. LXIV.—Of balancing the Weight round the Centre of Gravity in Bodies.
Chap. LXV.—Of Figures that have to lift up, or carry any Weight.
Chap. LXVI.—The Equilibrium of a Man standing upon his Feet, Plate VI.
Chap. LXVIII.—Of the Centre of Gravity in Men and Animals.
Chap. LXIX.—Of the corresponding Thickness of Parts on each Side of the Body.
Chap. LXX.—Of the Motions of Animals.
Chap. LXXI.—Of Quadrupeds and their Motions.
Chap. LXXII.—Of the Quickness or Slowness of Motion.
Chap. LXXIII.—Of the Motion of Animals.
Chap. LXXIV.—Of a Figure moving against the Wind, Plate VIII.
Chap. LXXV.—Of the Balance of a Figure resting upon its Feet.
Chap. LXXVII.—Of a Man standing, but resting more upon one Foot than the other.
Chap. LXXVIII.—Of the Balance of Figures, Plate IX.
Chap. LXXIX.—In what Manner extending one Arm alters the Balance.
Chap. LXXX.—Of a Man bearinga Weight on his Shoulders, Plate X.
Chap. LXXXI.—Of Equilibrium.
Chap. LXXXIII.—The Level of the Shoulders.
Chap. LXXXIV.—Objection to the above answered, Plate XI. and XII.
Chap. LXXXV.—Of the Position of Figures, Plate XIII.
Chap. LXXXVI.—Of the Joints.
Chap. LXXXVII.—Of the Shoulders.
Chap. LXXXVIII.—Of the Motions of a Man.
Chap. LXXXIX.—Of the Disposition of Members preparing to act with great Force, Plate XIV.
Chap. XC.—Of throwing any Thing with Violence, Plate XV.
Chap. XCI.—On the Motion of drivingany Thing into or drawing it out of the Ground.
Chap. XCII.—Of forcible Motions, Plate XVI.
Chap. XCIII.—The Action of Jumping.
Chap. XCIV.—Of the three Motions in jumping upwards.
Chap. XCV.—Of the easy Motions of Members.
Chap. XCVI.—The greatest Twist which a Man can make, in turning to look at himself behind.Plate XVII.
Chap. XCVII.—Of turning the Leg without the Thigh.
Chap. XCVIII.—Postures of Figures.
Chap. XCIX.—Of the Gracefulness of the Members.
Chap. C.—That it is impossible for any Memory to retain the Aspects and Changes of the Members.
Chap. CI.—The Motions of Figures.
Chap. CII.—Of common Motions.
Chap. CIII.—Of simple Motions.
Chap. CIV.—Complex Motion.
Chap. CV.—Motions appropriated to the Subject.
Chap. CVI.—Appropriate Motions.
Chap. CVII.—Of the Postures of Women and young People.
Chap. CVIII.—Of the Postures of Children.
Chap. CIX.—Of the Motion of the Members.
Chap. CX.—Of mental Motions.
Chap. CXI.—Effect of the Mind upon the Motions of the Body, occasioned by some outward Object.
Chap. CXII.—Of those who apply themselves to the Practice, without having learnt the Theoryof the Art.
Chap. CXIII.—Precepts in Painting.
Chap. CXIV.—Of the Boundaries of Objects called Outlines or Contours.
Chap. CXV.—Of linear Perspective.
Chap. CXVI.—What Parts of Objects disappear first by Distance.
Chap. CXVII.—Of remoteObjects.
Chap. CXVIII.—Of the Point of Sight.
Chap. CXIX.—A Picture is to be viewed from one Point only.
Chap. CXX.—Of the Dimensions of the first Figure in an historical Painting.
Chap. CXXI.—Of Objects that are lost to the Sight in Proportion to their Distance.
Chap. CXXII.—Errors not so easily seen in small Objects as in large ones.
Chap. CXXIII.—Historical Subjects one above another on the same Wall to be avoided.
Chap. CXXIV.—Why Objects in Painting can never detach, as natural Objects do.
Chap. CXXV.—How to give the proper Dimension to Objects in Painting.
Chap. CXXVI.—How to draw accurately any particular Spot.
Chap. CXXVII.—Disproportion to be avoided, even in the accessory Parts.
Chap. CXXVIII.—Precept for avoiding a bad Choice in the Style or Proportion of Figures.
Chap. CXXIX.—Variety in Figures.
Chap. CXXX.—How a Painter ought to proceed in his Studies.
Chap. CXXXI.—Of sketching Histories and Figures.
Chap. CXXXII.—How to study Composition.
Chap.CXXXIII.—Of the Attitudes of Men.
Chap. CXXXIV.—Variety of Positions.
Chap. CXXXV.—Of Studies from Nature for History.
Chap. CXXXVI.—Of the Variety of Figures in History Painting.
Chap. CXXXVII.—Of Variety in History.
Chap. CXXXVIII.—Of the Age of Figures.
Chap. CXXXIX.—Of Variety of Faces.
Chap. CXL.—A Fault in Painters.
Chap. CXLI.—How you may learn to compose Groups for History Painting.
Chap. CXLII.—How to study the Motions of the human Body.
Chap. CXLIII.—Of Dresses, and of Draperies and Folds.
Chap. CXLIV.—Of the Nature of Folds in Draperies.
Chap. CXLV.—How the Folds of Draperies ought to be represented, Plate XVIII.
Chap. CXLVI.—How the Folds in Draperies ought to be made.
Chap. CXLVII.—Fore-shortening of Folds, Plate XIX.
Chap. CL.—The Character of Figures in Composition.
Chap. CLI.—The Motion of the Muscles, when the Figures are in natural Positions.
Chap. CLII.—A Precept in Painting.
Chap. CLIV.—Of Attitudes, and the Motions of the Members.
Chap. CLV.—Of a single Figure separate from an historical Group.
Chap. CLVI.—On the Attitudes of the human Figure.
Chap. CLVII.—How to represent a Storm.
Chap. CLVIII.—How to compose a Battle.
Chap. CLIX.—The Representation of an Orator and his Audience.
Chap. CLX.—Of demonstrative Gestures.
Chap. CLXI.—Of the Attitudes of the By-standers at some remarkable Event.
Chap. CLXII.—How to represent Night.
Chap. CLXIII.—The Method of awakening the Mind to a Variety of Inventions.
Chap. CLXIV.—Of Composition in History.
Chap. CLXV.—Of expressive Motions.
Chap. CLXVI.—How to paint Children.
Chap. CLXVII.—How to represent old Men.
Chap. CLXVIII.—How to paint old Women.
Chap. CLXIX.—How to paint Women.
Chap. CLXX.—Of the Variety of Faces.
Chap.CLXXI.—The Parts of the Face, and their Motions.
Chap. CLXXII.—Laughing and Weeping.
LIGHT and SHADOW.
COLOURS and COLOURING.
Chap. CCXXII.—What Surface is best calculated to receive most Colours.
Chap. CCXXIII.—What Surface will shew most perfectly its true Colour.
Chap. CCXXIV.—On what Surfaces the true Colour is least apparent.
Chap. CCXXV.—What Surfaces shew most of their true and genuine Colour.
Chap. CCXXVI.—Of the Mixture of Colours.
Chap. CCXXVII.—Of the Colours produced by the Mixture of other Colours, called secondary Colours.
Chap. CCXXIX.—How to increase the Beauty of Verdegris.
Chap. CCXXX.—How to paint a Picture that will last almost for ever.
Chap. CCXXXI.—The Mode of painting on Canvass, or Linen Cloth.
Chap. CCXXXII.—Of lively and beautiful Colours.
Chap. CCXXXIII.—Of transparent Colours.
Chap. CCXXXIV.—In what Part a Colour will appear in its greatest Beauty.
Chap. CCXXXV.—How any Colour without Gloss, is more beautiful in the Lights than in the Shades.
Chap. CCXXXVI.—Of the Appearance of Colours.
Chap. CCXXXVII.—What Part of a Colour is to be the most beautiful.
Chap. CCXXXVIII.—That the Beauty of a Colour is to be found in theLights.
Chap. CCXL.—No Object appears in its true Colour, unless the Light which strikes upon it be of the same Colour.
Chap. CCXLI.—Of the Colour of Shadows.
Chap. CCXLIII.—Whether it be possible for all Colours to appear alike by means of the sameShadow.
Chap. CCXLIV.—Why White is not reckoned amongthe Colours.
Chap. CCXLVI.—Of the Colouring of remote Objects.
Chap. CCXLVII.—The Surface of all opake Bodies participates of the Colour of the surrounding Objects.
Chap. CCXLVIII.—General Remarks on Colours.
COLOURS IN REGARD TO LIGHT AND SHADOW.
Chap. CCXLIX.—Of the Light proper for painting Flesh Colour from Nature.
Chap. CCL.—Of the Painter’s Window.
Chap. CCLI.—The Shadows of Colours.
Chap. CCLII.—Of the Shadows of White.
Chap. CCLIII.—Which of the Colours will produce the darkest Shade.
Chap. CCLIV.—How to manage, when a White terminates upon another White.
Chap. CCLV.—On the Back-grounds of Figures.
Chap. CCLVI.—The Mode of composing History.
Chap. CCLVII.—Remarks concerning Lights and Shadows.
Chap. CCLVIII.—Why the Shadows of Bodies upon a white Wall are blueish towards Evening.
Chap. CCLIX.—Of the Colour of Faces.
Chap. CCLX.—A Precept relating to Painting.
Chap. CCLXI.—Of Colours in Shadow.
Chap. CCLXII.—Of the Choice of Lights.
COLOURS IN REGARD TO BACK-GROUNDS.
Chap. CCLXIII.—Of avoiding hard Outlines.
Chap. CCLXV.—Of Back-grounds.
Chap. CCLXVI.—How to detach Figures from the Ground.
Chap. CCLXVII.—Of Uniformity and Variety of Colours upon plain Surfaces.
Chap. CCLXVIII.—Of Back-grounds suitable both to Shadows and Lights.
Chap. CCLXIX.—The apparent Variation of Colours, occasioned by the Contraste of the Ground upon which they are placed.
CONTRASTE, HARMONY, AND REFLEXES, IN REGARD TO COLOURS.
Chap. CCLXX.—Gradation in Painting.
Chap. CCLXXI.—How to assort Colours in such a Manner as that they may add Beauty to each other.
Chap. CCLXXII.—Of detaching the Figures.
Chap. CCLXXIII.—Of the Colour of Reflexes.
Chap. CCLXXIV.—What Body will be the most strongly tinged with the Colour of any other Object.
Chap. CCLXXVI.—Of the Surface of all shadowed Bodies.
Chap. CCLXXVII.—That no reflected Colour is simple, but is mixed with the Nature of the otherColours.
Chap. CCLXXVIII.—Of the Colour of Lights and Reflexes.
Chap. CCLXXIX.—Why reflected Colours seldom partake of the Colour of the Body where they meet.
Chap. CCLXXX.—The Reflexes of Flesh Colours.
Chap. CCLXXXI.—Of the Nature of Comparison.
Chap. CCLXXXII.—Where the Reflexes are seen.
PERSPECTIVE OF COLOURS.
Chap. CCLXXXIII.—A Precept of Perspective in regard to Painting.
Chap. CCLXXXIV.—Of the Perspective of Colours.
Chap. CCLXXXV.—The Cause of the Diminution of Colours.
Chap.CCLXXXVI.—Of the Diminution of Colours and Objects.
Chap. CCLXXXVII.—Of the Variety observable in Colours, according to their Distance, or Proximity.
Chap. CCLXXXVIII.—At what Distance Colours are entirely lost.
Chap. CCLXXXIX.—Of the Change observable in the same Colour, according to its Distance from the Eye.
Chap. CCXC.—Of the blueish Appearance of remote Objects in a Landscape.
Chap. CCXCI.—Of the Qualities in the Surface which first lose themselves by Distance.
Chap. CCXCII.—From what Cause the Azure of the Air proceeds.
Chap. CCXCIII.—Of the Perspective of Colours.
Chap. CCXCIV.—Of the Perspective of Colours in dark Places.
Chap. CCXCV.—Of the Perspective of Colours.
Chap. CCXCVII.—How it happens that Colours do not change, though placed in different Qualities of Air.
Chap. CCXCVIII.—Why Colours experience no apparent Change, though placed in different Qualities of Air.
Chap. CCXCIX.—Contrary Opinions in regard to Objects seen afaroff.
Chap. CCC.—Of the Colour of Objects remote from theEye.
Chap. CCCI.—Of the Colour of Mountains.
Chap. CCCII.—Why the Colour and Shape of Objects are lost in some Situations apparently dark, though not so in Reality.
Chap. CCCIII.—Various Precepts in Painting.
Chap. CCCIV.—Aerial Perspective.
Chap. CCCV.—The Parts of the Smallest Objects will first disappear in Painting.
Chap. CCCVI.—Small Figures ought not to be too much finished.
Chap. CCCVII.—Why the Air is to appear whiter as it approaches nearer to the Earth.
Chap. CCCVIII.—How to paint the distant Part of a Landscape.
Chap. CCCIX.—Of precise and confused Objects.
Chap. CCCX.—Of distant Objects.
Chap. CCCXIII.—Of the inferior Extremities of distant Objects.
Chap. CCCXIV.—Which Parts of Objects disappear first by being removed farther from the Eye, and which preserve their Appearance.
Chap. CCCXV.—Why Objects are less distinguished in proportion as they are farther removed from the Eye.
Chap. CCCXVI.—Why Faces appear dark at a Distance.
Chap. CCCXVII.—Of Towns and other Buildings seen through a Fog in the Morning or Evening.
Chap. CCCXVIII.—Of the Height of Buildings seen in a Fog.
Chap.CCCXIX.—Why Objects which are high, appear darker at a Distance than those which are low, though the Fog be uniform, and of equal Thickness.
Chap. CCCXX.—Of Objects seen in a Fog.
Chap. CCCXXI.—Of those Objects which the Eyes perceive through a Mist or thick Air.
Chap. CCCXXIII.—Of Objects seen at a Distance.
Chap. CCCXXIV.—Of a Town seen through a thick Air.
Chap. CCCXXV.—How to draw a Landscape.
Chap. CCCXXVI.—Of the Green of the Country.
Chap. CCCXXVII.—What Greens will appear most of a blueish Cast.
Chap. CCCXXVIII.—The Colour of the Sea from different Aspects.
Chap. CCCXXIX.—Why the same Prospect appears larger at some Times than at others.
Chap. CCCXXXI.—In what Part Smoke is lightest.
Chap. CCCXXXII.—Of the Sun-beams passing through the Openings of Clouds.
Chap. CCCXXXIII.—Of the Beginning of Rain.
Chap. CCCXXXIV.—The Seasons are to be observed.
Chap. CCCXXXV.—The Difference of Climates to be observed.
Chap. CCCXXXVII.—How to represent the Wind.
Chap. CCCXXXIX.—Of the Horizon seen in the Water.
Chap. CCCXL.—Of the Shadow of Bridges on the Surface of the Water.
Chap. CCCXLI.—How a Painter ought to put in Practice the Perspective of Colours.
Chap. CCCXLII.—Various Precepts in Painting.
Chap.CCCXLIII.—The Brilliancy of a Landscape.
Chap. CCCXLIV.—Why a painted Object does not appear so far distant as a real one, though they be conveyed to the Eye by equal Angles.
Chap. CCCXLV.—How to draw a Figure standing upon its Feet, to appear forty Bracciahigh, in a Space oftwenty Braccia, with proportionate Members.
Chap. CCCXLVI.—How to draw a Figure twenty-four Braccia high, upon a Wall twelve Braccia high.Plate XXII.
Chap. CCCXLVII.—Why, on measuring a Face, and then painting it of the same Size, it will appear larger than the natural one.
Chap. CCCXLVIII.—Why the most perfect Imitation of Nature will not appear to have the same Relief as Nature itself.
Chap. CCCXLIX.—Universality of Painting; a Precept.
Chap. CCCL.—In what Manner the Mirror is the true Master of Painters.
Chap. CCCLI.—Which Painting is to be esteemed the best.
Chap. CCCLII.—Of the Judgment to be made of a Painter’s Work.
Chap. CCCLIII.—How to make an imaginary Animal appear natural.
Chap. CCCLIV.—Painters are not to imitate one another.
Chap. CCCLV.—How to judge of one’s own Work.
Chap. CCCLVI.—Of correcting Errors which you discover.
Chap. CCCLVII.—The best Place for looking at a Picture.
Chap. CCCLIX.—Of Employment anxiously wished for by Painters.
Chap. CCCLX.—Advice to Painters.
Chap. CCCLXII.—On the Measurement and Division of Statues into Parts.
Chap. CCCLXIII.—A Precept for the Painter.
Chap. CCCLXIV.—On the Judgment of Painters.
Chap. CCCLXV.—That a Man ought not to trust to himself, but ought to consult Nature.
A Treatise on Painting (Illustrated)
Leonardo da Vinci
First digital edition 2018 by Anna Ruggieri
Theyoung student should, in the first place, acquire a knowledge of perspective, to enable him to give to every object its proper dimensions: after which, it is requisite that he be under the care of an able master, to accustom him, by degrees, to a good style of drawing theparts. Next, he must study Nature, in order to confirm and fix in his mind the reason of those precepts which he has learnt. He must also bestow some time in viewing the works of various old masters, to form his eye and judgment, in order that he may be able to put in practice all that he has been taught.
Theorgan of sight is one of the quickest, and takes in at a single glance an infinite variety of forms; notwithstanding which, it cannot perfectly comprehend more than one object at a time. For example, the reader, at one look over this page, immediately perceives it full of different characters; but he cannot at the same moment distinguish each letter, much less can he comprehend their meaning. He must consider it word by word, and line by line, if he be desirous of forming a just notion of these characters. In like manner, if we wish to ascend to the top of an edifice, we must be content to advance step by step, otherwise we shall never be able to attainit.
A young man, who has a natural inclination to the study of this art, I would advise to act thus: In order to acquire a true notion of the form of things, he must begin by studying the parts which compose them, and not pass to a second till he has wellstored his memory, and sufficiently practised the first; otherwise he loses his time, and will most certainly protract his studies. And let him remember to acquire accuracy before he attempts quickness.
Manyare very desirous of learning to draw, and are very fond of it, who are, notwithstanding, void of a proper disposition for it. This may be known by their want of perseverance; like boys, who draw every thing in a hurry, never finishing,or shadowing.
Paintingis divided into two principal parts. The first is the figure, that is, the lines which distinguish the forms of bodies, and their component parts. The second is the colour contained within those limits.
Theform of bodies is divided into two parts; that is, the proportion of the members to each other, which must correspond with the whole; and the motion, expressive of what passes in the mind of the living figure.
Theproportion of members is again divided into two parts, viz. equality, and motion. By equality is meant (besides the measure corresponding with the whole), that you do not confound the members of a young subject withthose of old age, nor plump ones with those that are lean; and that, moreover, you do not blend the robust and firm muscles of man with feminine softness: that the attitudes and motions of old age be not expressed with the quickness and alacrity of youth;nor those of a female figure like those of a vigorous young man. The motions and members of a strong man should be such as to express his perfect state of health.
Ingeneral, the dimensions of the human body are to beconsidered in the length, and not in the breadth; because in the wonderful works of Nature, which we endeavour to imitate, we cannot in any species find any one part in one model precisely similar to the same part in another. Let us be attentive, therefore, to the variation of forms, and avoid all monstrosities of proportion; such as long legs united to short bodies, and narrow chests with long arms. Observe also attentively the measure of joints, in which Nature is apt to vary considerably; and imitate herexample by doing the same.
Themeasures of the human body vary in each member, according as it is more or less bent, or seen in different views, increasing on one side as much as they diminish on the other.
Inmen and children I find a great difference between the joints of the one and the other in the length of the bones. A man has the length of two heads from the extremity of one shoulder to the other, the same from the shoulder to the elbow, and from the elbow to the fingers; but the child has only one, because Nature gives the proper size first to the seat of the intellect, and afterwards to the other parts.
A man, in hisinfancy, has the breadth of his shoulders equal to the length of the face, and to the length of the arm from the shoulder to the elbow, when the arm is bent. It is the same again from the lower belly to the knee, and from the knee to the foot. But, when a man is arrived at the period of his full growth, every one of these dimensions becomes double in length, except the face, which, with the top of the head, undergoes but very little alteration in length. A well-proportioned and full-grown man, therefore, is ten times the length of his face; the breadth of his shoulders will be two faces, and in like manner all the above lengths will be double. The rest will be explained in the general measurement of the human body.
Allthe parts of any animal whatever must be correspondent with the whole. So that, if the body be short and thick, all the members belonging to it must be the same. One that is long and thin must have its parts of the same kind; and so of the middlesize. Something of the same may be observed in plants, when uninjured by men or tempests; for when thus injured they bud and grow again, making young shoots from old plants, and by those means destroying their natural symmetry.
Ifa man be short and thick, be careful that all his members be of the same nature, viz. short arms and thick, large hands, short fingers, with broad joints; and so of the rest.
Measureupon yourself the proportion of the parts, and, if you find any of them defective, note it down, and be very careful to avoid it in drawing your own compositions. For this is reckoned a common fault in painters, to delight in the imitation of themselves.
Ifthe painter has clumsy hands, he will be apt to introduce them into his works, and so of any other part of his person, which may not happen to be so beautiful as it ought to be. He must, therefore, guard particularly against that self-love, or too good opinion of his own person, and study by every means to acquire the knowledge of what is most beautiful, and of his own defects, that he mayadopt the one and avoid the other.
Theyoung painter must, in the first instance, accustom his hand to copying the drawings of good masters; and when his hand is thus formed, and ready, he should, with the advice of his director, use himself also to draw from relievos; according to the rules we shall point out in the treatise on drawing from relievos.
Whenyou draw from relievos, tinge your paper of some darkish demi-tint. And after you have made your outline, put in the darkest shadows, and, last of all, the principal lights, but sparingly, especially the smaller ones; because those are easily lost to the eye at a very moderate distance.
Indrawing from relievo, the draftsman must place himself in such a manner, as that the eye of the figure to be drawn be level with his own.
Accustomyourself to holda plummet in your hand, that you may judge of the bearing of the parts.
Whenyou draw from Nature, you must be at the distance of three times the height of the object; and when you begin to draw, form in your own mind acertain principal line (suppose a perpendicular); observe well the bearing of the parts towards that line; whether they intersect, are parallel to it, or oblique.
Whenyou draw from a naked model, always sketch in thewhole of the figure, suiting all the members well to each other; and though you finish only that part which appears the best, have a regard to the rest, that, whenever you make use of such studies, all the parts may hang together.
In composing yourattitudes, take care not to turn the head on the same side as the breast, nor let the arm go in a line with the leg. If the head turn towards the right shoulder, the parts must be lower on the left side than on the other; but if the chest come forward,and the head turn towards the left, the parts on the right side are to be the highest.
I haveexperienced no small benefit, when in the dark and in bed, by retracing in my mind the outlines of those forms which I had previously studied, particularly such as had appeared the most difficult to comprehend and retain; by this method they will be confirmed and treasured up in the memory.
Thecartilage, which raises the nose in the middle of the face, varies in eight different ways. It is equally straight, equally concave, or equally convex, which is the first sort. Or, secondly, unequally straight, concave, or convex. Or, thirdly, straight in the upper part, and concave in the under. Or, fourthly, straight again in the upper part, and convex in those below. Or, fifthly, it may be concave and straight beneath. Or, sixthly, concave above, and convex below. Or, seventhly, it may be convex in the upper part, and straight in the lower. And in the eighth and last place, convex above, and concave beneath.
The uniting of the nose with the brows is in two ways, either it is straight or concave. The forehead has three different forms. It is straight, concave, or round. The first is divided into two parts, viz. it is either convex in the upper part, or in the lower, sometimes both; or else flat above and below.
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