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Note to the reader:
Although complete in text and illustrations, this book is not an exact PDF reproduction of A Treastise on the Art of Painting in All its Branches published in English 1817 but an OCR'd version in WORD document format which makes it searchable and far easier to consult than the cumbersome original.
The reader should be aware, however, that even the best OCR program produces literally thousands of misspelled words, wrongly inserted characters when the original PDF document presents, as in the present case, such significant variences in font clarity and horizontal alignment. The author has proof read the text to the best of his ability although such a large document is a serious challenge to those like myself who do not possess professional editing skills. All attempts were made to preserve the formatting and spelling of the original as as closely as possible.
Even though this WORD version may present occasional spelling or puncttuation errors as well as a few jumbled words, de Lairesse’s treastise is of such cultural importance, that despite occasional imperfections, it can be of great help to anyone who wishes to familiarize himself with seventeenth-century painting concepts as well as the cultural mindset of the history painters of the time. De Lairesse’s work constitutes the most complete seventeenth-century painting treatise of its kind.
If one wishes resolve eventual questions of transcription errors or use this book for scholarly research and citation, it is best to consult the original version, available online at:

https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=TffVAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&authuser=0&hl=it&pg=GBS.PP16

or

http://ia700506.us.archive.org/7/items/treatiseonartofp01lair/treatiseonartofp01lair.pdf
The Table of Contents display the original pages numbers or each chapter so that thereader mae consult the original version if he needs to verify text accuracy. Please feel free to notify me with any observations or corrections, I will be only be too glad to improve the quality of the transcription, formatting or illustrations.
Jonathan Janson

<jonathanjanson@essentialvermeer.com>

A TREASTISE

ON THE
A R T O F P A I N T I N G
IN ALL ITS BRANCHES
ACCOMPANIED BY
SEVENTY ENGRAVED PLATES
AND EXEMPLIFIED BY
REMARKDS ON THE PAINTINGS OF THE BEST MASTERS,
IULLUSTRATING THE SUBJECT BY REFERENCE TO THEIR BEAUTIES
AND IMPREFECTIONS

BY GERARD DE LAIRESSE

REVISED, CORRECTED, AND ACCOMPANIED BY AND ESSAY,
W. M. CRAIG

PAINTER TO HER MAJESTY AND DUKE AND DUCHESS OF YORK


LONDON
PUBLISHED AND SOLD BY EDWARD ORME,
PUBLISER TO HIS MAJESTY AND HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE REGENT
BOND STREET, CORNER OF BROOK STREET.
1817

CONTENTS
PENCILLING, SECOND TINT, AND BEAUTY.


CHAP. I. Of Handling the Pencil 1

CHAP. II. Of Painting after the Life 3

CHAP. III. Of Dead Colouring, and how to perform it

with Certainty and Expedition 5



CHAP. IV. Of the Second Colouring, and its Requisites 6

CHAP. V. Of Retouching, or Finishing ib.

CHAP. VI. Of the Second Tint, and the Relief it occasions 7

CHAP. VII. Of Beauty, and the Proportions of the Members

in the Human Body 11



CHAP. VIII. Of the Motion of the Members 16

CHAP. IX. Of Passionate and Violent Motions 19

CHAP. X. Of the different Colouring of the Naked, in a Child, Man,

and Woman; in Health, Sickness, and after Death 21



CHAP. XI. Of the Colours, and their Uses, with respect to both the Sexes 23

CHAP. XII. Of agreeable and beautiful Colouring 25
BOOK II. OF ORDONNANCE, OR COMPOSITION.
CHAP. I. Of the Qualities necessary to the first Idea, or Sketch 27

CHAP. II. Of` Composition 28

CHAP. III. Of` the Ordonnance of Histories 29

CHAP. IV. Of the Uses of fine Prints, Academy Figures, and Models 31

CHAP. V. Of` Probability; and what is Painter-like in a
Composition of few or many Figures 33

CHAP. VI. Of the Difference between Youth and Age, in both Sexes 38

CHAP. VII. Of the Property and Choice in the Motion

of the Members, in order to express the Passions 41



CHAP. VIII. Of the issue, or result of Thoughts, touching Histories 46

CHAP IX. Remarks on some Mistakes in Historical Compositions 51

CHAP. X. Of Richness and Probability in History 56

CHAP. XI. Of the Ordonnance of Hieroglyphic Figures 61

CHAP. XII. Of the Order, or Succession of the Motions

proceeding from the Passions 64



CHAP. XIII. Of Use and Abuse in Painting 70

CHAP. XIV. Of particular Inclination for one Branch,

whether Figures, Landscapes, Buildings, Seas, Flowers 72



CHAP. XV. Of the four Sorts of Pictures; or Compositions; what they are 76

CHAP. XVI. Of the Uses of Ovid’s Metamorphosis; and what is

further necessary to the sketching, and executing a

Composition, or Picture 80

CHAP. XVII. Of Rules for the Management of

small Figures in a large Compass; and the contrary 85



CHAP. XVIII. Of the Composition of Histories, Portraits,

Still-Life, &c. in a small Compass 87



CHAPS XIX. Of the Division of History 90

CHAP. XX. Of the Observables in a Frontispiece ·P1ate 93

CHAP. XXI. Necessary Observations in continuing a History

in several Pictures, for Halls, Galleries, &c. 103


BOOK III. OF THINGS ANTIQUE AND MODERN.
CHAP. I. The Difference between what is Antique and Modern 108

CHAP. II. Method for representing what is City-like, or elegant Modern 113

CHAP. III. The Nature of City-like Subjects; which daily afford plentiful

Materials a Modern Painter 118



CHAP. IV. Continuation of the same 123

CHAP. V. Of Dresses 127
BOOK IV. OF COLOURING.
CHAP. I. Of the Colours, and the ordering them 133

CHAP. II. Of the Property, Nature, and Colours of Dresses 140

CHAP. III. Of the Colours of Dresses, and their suiting with each other 143

CHAP. IV. Of the Disposition of shady Objects, either

distant or near, against a light Ground 147



CHAP. V. Of the Harmony of Colours 150

CHAP. VI. Of the Disposition of Irregular Objects, and

Light against Darkness; and ` the contrary 153



CHAP. VII. Of Agreeableness in Irregular and Contrasting Objects 157

CHAP. VIII. Of strong Objects against faint Grounds, and the

contrary; or, Darkness against Light, and Light against Darkness 159



CHAP. IX. Of the painting Objects dustily 161
BOOK V. OF LIGHTS AND SHADES.
CHAP. I. Of the different Lights of a Picture 163

CHAP. II. Of the Condition of the Air or Sky 166

CHAP. III. Reflections in the Water 170

CHAP. IV. Of Ground-shades according to the Difference of Light 173

CHAP. V. Of` Reflections in General 174

CHAP. VI. That Sun-shine has no more Force than common Light

with respect to Shades 177



CHAP. VII. Of the Ground Shades in Sun-shine 181

CHAP. V1II. How Sun-shine is to be represented in a Picture having

a common Light 185



CHAP. IX. That the Shades of Objects in Sun-shine are not more Glowing

than in common Light 187



CHAP. X. Of the Difference of Ground-shades, proceeding either

from the Sun or Radial Point 189



CHAP. XI. Of the Representation of different Lights in the same Picture 191

CHAP. XII. Curious Observations on Sun-shine 193

CHAP. XIII. Of the Sun’s three Qualities 194

CHAP. XIV. Of the Nature of the Sun, with respect to different Countries 107

CHAP. XV. Of the Sun’s Light upon Objects at rising and setting 199

CHAP. XVI. Of the Application of Sun-shine and other Lights 200

CHAP. XVII. Of the Properties of the Sun and other Lights in their

Essential Representations ; and of the chief Times of the Day 203



CHAP. XVIII. Of the Moon and her Representation 206

CHAP. XIX. Of the Effects of Artificial Lights, as of a Torch,

Lamp, Candle, or Fire 209



CHAP. XX. Necessary Hints in the Use of Perspective 213

CHAP. XXI. Of the different Colouring in great and small Pieces 216

CHAP. XXII. Of the Difference of Force in large and small Painting;

and the Effects of magnifying and diminishing Glasses 217



CHAP. XXIII. An Inquiry into the Difference between a large Landscape

ornamented with small Figures, and a small one with large, with

respect to the Air; the Day being supposed clear in both 221

CHAP. XXIV. Of the Lights within Doors 225

CHAP. XXV. Of the Application of Lights to the different Species

of Histories; with a Table or Ordonnance of all the Lights 227


BOOK VI. OF LANDSCAPES.
CHAP. I. Of` Landscapes in general 230

CHAP. II. Of the Light, Form, and grouping of Objects in Landscape 235

CHAP. III. Of the By-ornaments in Landscapes 236

CHAP. IV. Of immoveable Ornaments; Tombs, Houses, &c. 239

CHAP. V. Of beautiful Colouring in Landscapes 241

CHAP. VI. Of the leafing of Trees 243

CHAP. VII. Of the placing and fellowing of Landscapes 244

CHAP. VIII. Of the Lights in a Landscape 216

CHAP. IX. Of Landscapes in a small Compass 249

CHAP. X. Of painting Rooms with Landscape 252

CHAP XI. Of ornamental Painting without-doors 255

CHAP. XII. Pictures or Compositions of Venus and Adonis, for the

Embellishment of Landscapes 260



CHAP. XIII. The Fable of Dryope, for the Embellishment of Landscapes 272

CHAP. XIV.-Table of Ordonnance of Erisichton; and the Emblem

of a Satyr’s Punishment: both serving for the Embellishment

of Landscapes 280

CHAP. XV. Of the Word (Painter-like) 285

CHAP. XVI. Of Painter-like Beauty in the open Air 287

CHAP. XVII. Of Things deformed and broken, falsely called Painter-like 292
BOOK VII. OF PORTRAITURE.
CHAP. I. Of Portraits in general 1

CHAP. II. Of the Defects in the Face and other Parts 5

CHAP. III. The Observables in a Portrait, particularly that of a Woman 8

CHAP. IV. Of the Choice of Lights, Draperies, and Grounds in a

Portrait; and of the Point of Sight 11



CHAP. V. Of Portraits in Small 16

CHAP. VI. Of the Application of Requisites with respect to the different

Conditions of Persons 19



CHAP. VII. Of the suiting of Colours in Draperies 92

CHAP. VIII. Of the Imitation of great Masters in painting Portraits ;

and of copying their Pictures in general 23


BOOK VIII. OF ARCHITECTURE.
CHAP. I. Of Architecture in general 28

CHAP. II. Of the Rises of the Ornaments, Columns, and their Pedestals 31

CHAP. III. Of the Property of a Building, and Observations thereon 32

CHAP. IV. Of the Matching of the various coloured Marbles, as well

without as within a Building; with tie Management of Tombs,

Vasa, and Bacchanalian Term 36

CHAP. V. Of the Veins and Eyes in Stones used in Architecture,

as well without as within ; and how to dispose them 39



CHAP VI. Of Ruins 41

CHAP. VII. Principal Directions for painting the Ornaments of

Halls, Rooms, &c. 42



CHAP VIII. Of the Pictures proper to various Apartments 45

CHAP. IX. Description of several Pictures adapted to the Five

Orders in Architecture 51



CHAP. X. Of the Pictures in the second Story, built after the Doric Order 63

CHAP. XI. Of the Pictures in the third Story, built after the Ionic Order 71

CHAP. XII. Of the Pictures in the fourth Story, built after the Roman Order 78

CHAP. XIII. The Fable of Calisto, adapted to the Corinthian Order,

in the upper Story 87



CHAP. XIV. Description of the inward View of the Temple of Apollo 91

BOOK IX. OF THE PAINTIN OF CEILINGS, OR PLAFONDS.


CHAP. I. Of Ceiling-painting in general 93

CHAP. II. Of the usual Difficulties in Ceiling painting 94

CHAP. III. Of fore-shortening Objects in Ceilings 95

CHAP. IV. Of the Sizes of Ceiling Figures 96

CHAP. V. Method for viewing a Ceiling-piece on the Easel, as if

on the Ceiling 98



CHAP. VI. Of designing after the Life, for the Use of Ceiling Painters ib.

CHAP. VII. Of the colouring of flying Figures 101

CHAP. VIII. General Observations in Painting the Ceilings of

Halls, Galleries, &c. 102



CHAP. IX. Method for Drawing fore-shortened Buildings, Figures, Trees, &c.

after the Life 106



CHAP. X. Of the Harmony and Union of Colours in Ceiling Pieces 108

CHAP. XI. Of the Deities in sacred and profane History and Fables; and,

first, of the Difference between a sacred and profane Representation 110



CHAP. XII. Disquisition touching the Representation of the Trinity 112

CHAP. XIII. Of the Glories proper to Angels and Heathenish Deities 117

CHAP. XIV. Of the Representations of Angels and Heathenish Genii 119

CHAP. XV. Of sacred Emblems 122

CHAP. XVI. Of the Penates, Lares, and Cupids 126

CHAP. XVII. Devotional Actions of Nature 129

CHAP. XVIII. Of the different Offerings of Nations, and their Rites 134

CHAP. XIX. Of the Sacerdotal Dresses, Vessels, and other Materials

belonging to Offerings 147


BOOK X. OF STATUARY.
CHAP. I. Of Statuary in general 152

CHAP. II Of the Execution of Statuary 154



CHAP. III. Of Bass-reliefs 155

CHAP. IV. Of the Force, Property, and Management of Bass-reliefs 160

CHAP. V. Of the Draperies of Statues and Bass-reliefs 162

CHAP. Vl. Of the Attitudes of Statues 166

CHAP. VII. Of the placing of Figures upon Pedastals, Frontispieces, in

Niches, and .other Places 169



CHAP. VIII. Of the Usefulness of Modelling 173

CHAP. IX. Of the visual Decorum of a Statue, with its Pedestal, as well

within as without Doors: as also the suiting of Vases and Busts 175



CHAP. X. Of the Ornaments of the Frontispiece of Temples, Houses, &c. 176
BOOK XI. Of STILL LIFES.
CHAP. I. Of Still Life in general 178

CHAP. II. Designs for Bass-reliefs roper to Still Life 180

CHAP. III. Representations of Still Life, applicable to Particular Persons 184

CHAP. IV. Of the Origin, Nature, and Quality of the Roman Triumphal

Crowns, and other Rewards of Honour 202



CHAP. V. Of the Solemnities of the Roman Triumphs 207

CHAP. Vl. Of the Manner of the four principal and public Grecian Games,

and to whose Honour instituted 213



CHAP. VII. Of the Military Dresses and Arms of several Nations, particularly

of the Greeks and Romans 223



CHAP. VIII. Of the Origin of the several Ensigns and Shields and their

Devices, for Distinction of Nations and particular Perrsons 229


BOOK XII. OF FLOWERS.
CHAP. I. Of Flowers in general 239

CHAP. II. Of painting Flowers in Halls, Apartments, Galleries, but

principally on Ceilings for Ornament 241



CHAP. III. That a Flower painter should understand Perspective: also

the Mistake of representing Things improperly 242



CHAP. IV. Of Flowers on all Sorts ot? Grounds 243

CHAP. V. Of the Disposition of Flowers and their Colours in Festoons

and Groups 244



CHAP. VI. Continuation of the ordering and placing the Flowers 247
BOOK XIII. OF ENGRAVING.
CHAP. I. 250

CHAP. II. Of the Art of En raving in general 251

CHAP. III. Of the general Elegance requisite in a good Print; and of the

Difference between Book and other Prints 252



CHAP. IV. Of the Difference of Engraving and Etching 253

CHAP. V. Remarks on Hatching 257

CHAP. VI. Curious Remarks concerning Stippling 259

CHAP. VII. Of Etching Bass-reliefs 261

CHAP. VIII. Of Engraving, and the Management of the Strokes 263

CHAP. IX. Of the Black Art, or Mezzotinto 268

Conclusion by W. M. Craig

THE



ART OF PAINTING.
BOOK I.
OF PENCILING, SECOND TINT AND BEAUTY.




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