TERM USED AS TRANSLATIONS IN QUOTATIONDIVERSITÉ (fra.)
TERM USED IN EARLY TRANSLATIONSVARIÉTÉ (fra.)
AGLIONBY, William, Painting Illustrated in Three Diallogues. Containing some Choice Observations upon the Art. Together with The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters From Cimabue, to the time of Raphael and Michael Angelo. With an Explanation of the Difficult Terms, London, John Gain, 1685.1 quotations
There is another thing to be considered likewise upon the viewing of any Story ; which is, whether the Painter has used that Variety which Nature herself sets us a Pattern for, in not having made any one Face exactly like another, nor hardly any one Shape or Make of either Man or Woman. Therefore the Painter must also vary his Heads, his Bodies, his Aptitudes, and in a word, all the Members of the Humane Body, or else his Piece will Cloy, and Satiate the Eye.
Every Historical Picture is a Representation of one single point of Time ; This then must be chosen ; and That in the Story which is the most Advantageous must be It. Suppose, for Instance, the Story to be painted is that of the Woman taken in Adultery, the Painter Seems to be at liberty to choose whether he will represent the Scribes and Pharisees accusing her to our Lord ; Or our Lord writing on the Ground ; Or pronouncing the last of the Words, Let him that is among you without Sin cast the first Stone at her ; Or lastly his Absolution, Go thy way, Sin no more. […] When our Saviour says the Words, Let him that is without Sin cast the first Stone, He is the principal Actor, and with Dignity ; the Accusers are asham’d, Vex’d, Confounded, and perhaps Clamorous ; and the Accused in a fine Situation, Hope and Joy springing up after Shame, and Fear ; all which affords the Painter an opportunity of exerting himself, and giving a pleasing Variety to the Composition ; For besides the various Passions, and Sentiments naturally arising, the Accusers begin to disperse, which will occasion a fine Contrast in the Attitudes of the Figures, some being in Profile, some Fore-right, and some with their Backs turn’d ; some pressing forward as if they were attentive to what was said, and some going off : And this I should chuse ;
Any of the several Species of Colours may be as Beautiful in their Kinds as the others, but one Kind is more so than another, as having more Variety, and consisting of Colours more pleasing in their own Nature ; in which, and the Harmony, and Agreement of one Tinct with another, the Goodness of Colouring consists.
To shew the Beauty of Variety I will instance in a Geldër Rose, which is White ; but having many Leaves one under another, and lying hollow so as to be seen through in some places, which occasions several Tincts of Light, and Shadow ; and together with these some of the Leaves having a Greenish Tinct, all together produces that Variety which gives a Beauty not to be found in this Paper, tho’ ‘tis White, nor in the inside of an Egg-shell tho’ whiter, nor in any other White Object that has not that Variety.
And this is the Case, though this Flower be seen in a Room in Gloomy, or Wet Weather ; but let it be expos’d to the open Air when the Sky is Serene, the Blue that those Leaves, or parts of Leaves that lye open to it will receive, together with the Reflections that then will also happen to strike upon it, will give a great Addition to its Beauty : But let the Sun-beams touch up its Leaves where they can reach with their fine Yellowish Tinct, the other retaining their Sky-Blue, together with the Shadows and brisk Reflections it will then receive, and then you will see what a Perfection of Beauty it will have, not only because the Colours are more Pleasant in themselves, but there is greater Variety.