The artists repository and drawing magazine: exhibiting the principles of the polite arts in their various branches — 4.1790

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As to determining what is, or is not antique, it is
now no eafy matter, fince the imitations are, perhaps,
as numerous as the originals. Michael Anoelo
Buonarotti, defirous of deceiving certain connoiffeurs,
made a ftatue in imitation of the antiue, which he
broke in a certain part, and having buried it where he
knew they would dig, all who beheld it, judged it an-
tique, till they were undeceived by its author, who con-
firmed his right to it by producing the broken fragment.

The fentiments of fo great a matter as Rubens, on
the ftudy of the antique, cannot fail of being accepta-
ble to our readers ; we fhall therefore offer them a trans-
lation of his Elfay, De Imitatione Statuarum. The
original was publifhed by Monf. Du Piles, who pof-
feffed the MS.

" To fome [painters] the imitation of the antique
ftatues is extremely ufeful ; to others dangerous, even to
the ruin of their art. I conclude, neverthelefs, that for
the perfection of painting, an intelligence, and even deep
relifh of the antiques, is neceffary ; but their application
ought to be judicious, and diverted of every peculiarity
of the marble. Many unlearned, and even fome learned
artifts, do not diftinguifh the form from the material,
the ftone from the figure, nor the difficulty the fculptor
labours under in treating marble.

4C It is a principle readily granted, that the beft fta-
tues are very ufeful, as the bad are not only ufelefs, but
alfo hurtful. Young artifts fometimes imagine themfelves
improved, when they have gathered from them, I know
not what, of the crude, rugged, difficult, and thorny in
anatomy : but the coloured marble they reprefent in-

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