The Artist's Assistant, In the Study and Practice of Mechanical Sciences: Calculated for the Improvement of Genius. Illustrated with Copper-Plates — Birmingham, [ca. 1785]

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r | iHE fir ft and indifpenfible requifite towards
forming a painter is Genius, for the abfence
of which divine gift no human acquirements
can compenfate ; as, without that fpark of astherial
flame, ftudy. would be mifapplied, and labour thrown
awav, Paintincr bears a very near refemblance to
her after Poetry, and the Painter, like the Bard,
muft be born one. A pifture, as well as a poem,
would afford little pleafure, though formed accord-
ing to the flrifteft rules, and worked up with the moft
indefatigable attention, were genius wanting to com-
plete the defign : a defign, which may be faid to be
like the celebrated ftatue, fafhioned by Prometheus,
lovely but lifelefs, unlets genius (like the fire which
he is fabled to have fholen from Heaven) darts its in-
vigorating ray, and gives a foul to the finifhed piece.

But, though genius is abfolutely neceffary, fince
nothing can be well done without it, it will not,
alone, do all things, but muft be aflifted by rules,
reflection, and affiduity. The memory may be, not
improperly, called the renohtory where genius
treafures up the ideas which pafs before it in con-
tinual fucceffion : from this repchtory the artift
felects fuch materials as the occahon demands, di-
rected bv his judgment.

A 2 Abo
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