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

Page: 67
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67

ought to be intimately coirefpondent : whereas no
feledion even of ftudies from nature, can fupply the
ingredients neceffary to a compofition ; and a depen-
dence upon them will debilitate even genius itfelf, and
render languid, if not frivolous, thebeft defigns. This
remark is not meant to depreciate the,value of ftudies
from nature ; they are neceffary, to impart a precifion,
and veracity, a force, and finifhing to a compofition
after it is adjufted ; but fhould form no part of the ideal
plan of treatment, and conduct of any piece.

Nor are former ftudies, remarks, accounts, and infor-
mations, to be difpenfed with on the article Coftume ;
to the juft obfervation of which, every intelligence that
can be procured is ufeful. Every figure mould appear
habited according to the manner of its country, and the
time, and occafion of the fubjecl:: a Chinefe fhould
not appear dreffed like a European ; nor an American
Indian like a Turk.

If the laws of compofition are difpenfable, it is in
fubjedts where allegory forms part of the reprefentation :
but however allegory may claim a latitude, as well in
painting as in poetry, yet the utmcftcare fhould be taken
to guard againft licentioufnefs. Immemorial ufage has
given a kind of authenticity to certain perfonifications,
to which novelties have no pretenfions ; and becaufe by
their very nature they are not a little ambiguous, they
contribute by their ambiguity to obfeure what otherwife
might be very diftindf and explicit.

Painting may imitate poetry, in genius, ftyle, fire, and
expreffian ; but although, by Horace's rule, both are

permitted
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