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

Page: 115
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and noble : Thefe ought to attract the artift's
attention; nor fhould he think himfelf fuccefsful,
fhort of that perfection which Nature is capable of pro-
ducing. Nature is the fovereign and arbitratrix of Art,
yet rarely or never is totally free from defects ; thefe the
artift muft correct:, in one inftance, by affiftance drawn
from obfervation of other inftances, which are free from
fuch blemiflies. Moreover, many of the beauties of Na-
ture are fugitive, and tranfitory ; thefe, though of mo-
mentary duration, the artift muft, as it were, feize, and
appropriate, in order to introduce and imitate them in
his works.

We muft not, however, fo implicitly attach ourfelves
to Nature, as to forbid the exertion of genius or ftudy ;
for mod parts of Nature, when combined with, or op-
pofed to others, are liable to ill effects, unlefs they receive
from the artift a certain turn, difpofition, and harmony,
fweetening them, and rendering them acceptable to their
aflociates.

Unfortunately many artifts, perhaps molt, fee Nature
in a falfe, or artificial light, fuch as they have learnt
to fee her. Whereas, although Art, as we have faid, is
neceffary and ufeful, yet its province is not to controul or
contradict, but to regulate Nature: It may be termed the
Editor of Nature. The ancients arrived at their per-
fection upon this principle, and by judicious affemblage
of beauties, they exceeded the beauty of general Na-
ture ; not by furpafling, but by combining of Nature's
excellencies.

NIMBUS is an obfolete term, fignificate of the rays
placed by painters, &c. around the heads of faints, &c.

Q 2 At
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