Grondt & Inleyding



[unnumbered page: print, THALIA, de Klùchtspeelster. 5. Signed S. v. H.]

[173 Y3]


The Farceuse.

The fifth Book.


Thalia, as Chatelaine to the Noble art, is accustomed
To take part joyfully in plays and farces,
Here she teaches eager young folk the gracefulness of Composition {zwier van't Ordineeren}:
The attraction, togetherness and fitness {gevoeghlijkheit} of tone:
Disposition {sprong} and grouping and the most beautiful art of arrangement, too.
In the Print, appropriately, she advises us to bring forth in practice
The produce of extended application. Although in this life
One cannot sing one single note continuously at the same pitch;
She therefore tells us too, in order to drive away sadness,
To let the spirit from time to time enjoy freedom honourably.

On the Print.

Here the Art Goddess's fullness reaches term,
The guests in place, she sings a joyful song:
Her Love Child {Speelkint} dons the Mask: she can unravel and explain to us
The arts of composition {schikkunst}, Greek and Roman.
Here a company of painters {schilderbendeling} tranquilly looks on at
The strange conceptions of her ingenious government,
And they behold the disposition of the performance dumb and blind,
Where so many delightful things of the most wonderful kind are gathered.
A crown of ivy adorns her Head, as it does for Liber:
She wears bootees, and changes like the Moon.



In order to arrange a spirited and pleasing composition, we must now beseech the helping hand of Thalia, the mistress of comedy and farce. And she who treads the stage in comic socks, and shadows her forehead and horned grin with ivy, will alert our senses to the arrangement of things. For in composition one must most of all beware melancholy. Grant to us therefore, O Goddess! who is forever green and blooming, the spirit of Virgil, your sworn Poet: and teach us to gather together cheerfully, and to arrange charmingly. O Mistress of the night, who sets in motion the passage of the shining Moon, between her playfellows the Stars, in such an orderly fashion! advise us what we must show completely, and what me must show but in part. I shall in your honour, before I finish this book, relax the bow, and relate the amusements and pleasures, which accord with your nature. You have been credited since ancient times with intelligence, or understanding: and certainly this is of the highest necessity in the art of good composition. For it is futile to begin the Art of Arrangement {Schikkunst} without understanding.


Concerning composition {ordineeren} in general.

[marg: Thalia means ability, for he who wants to learn must be able to understand what he reads. Vincenzo Cartari, Images of the Gods, etc. {Thalia significa capacita, essendo bisogno à colui che vol imparare, esser capace, & inteligente di quello che legge. V. Cartaro. In Imagine de I Dei, &c.} Learn to compose early, and to draw from the imagination {uit den geest}.] I would set the young to composition very early, so that, being made aware of their errors in the knowledge of things, they might make greater effort, to gather all kinds of matters {zaken} and forms of things together in their understanding, and by assiduous attention, and by doing it frequently, obtain subject matter.

Through being busy the spirit starts to perform,
And swells {en zwanger}, so as to produce pictures from/by itself {van zelf}.
However badly it goes, press on, and make strenuous effort,
With sense and spirit, put all your might to work.
Sketch again the sketches of what you have gathered together;
Intelligence is best pruned {gesleepen} by an error


And whatever you trim from your own will
Reveal to what extent you are either apprentice or master.
[marg: Why.] A necessary thing to spur on your spirit,
So as to purchase more stuff by labour:
So as to store {te gebiên} in the attention and memory,
Through the seeing of a piece of art or a work of nature,
Gathering all the delightful things as treasures.
Thus a bee {bie} collects honey from many flowers.

But just as there are various kinds of Poetic talents, these, spurred on by the Spirit of our Thalia, produce nothing but delightful things: those, in creaking buskins, taken by Melpomene, roar forth on stage, an elevated language: and a third, by the grace of Clio come forth with grander heroic verses; [marg: The temperament and Nature of spirits varies.] so too the spirit of the Painter is shod, using similar lasts.

It is allowed to us (said Cicero) to follow the lead of our own nature, and to pursue our inclinations: for we would chase in vain after what we are powerless to do: just as it was said, that it impossible to make anything gracefully in art in defiance of Minerva. Certainly the Painters stand here once more with the Poets, just as those who received this advice from Horace:

If you wish to write, you must find material,
Conformable to your ability, so you do not get stung.
Think what you can bear, what you can readily achieve,
Then you will lack neither clear style nor composition.

All choices {verkiezingen} are equal, but, as they say, not all are equally productive. With regard to this everyone must discover, which one of them it is that it best suits them to undertake: for something that succeeds for another, may not be suitable for us, but that which is our own, will come easily to us. Actors do not always chose the best fables, but the most appropriate, which are suited to their characters. Those with loud voices, should play Epigonis and Medea. Those mobile of gesture, would prefer to play Melanippus and Clytemnestra. Rupilius portrayed Antiope, but Aesopus never took the role of Ajax. In the same way the chief Painters have always done, aomething that best suited them. He will make his own preferences apparent, whatever subject matter he takes up, by means of making those pleasing parts wonderfully attractive, as if he took more pleasure in the depiction of some subordinate element, than in the main part of the topic; be it in spirited movements, faces, minor details or coiffures. Another will strangely exaggerate those same parts with an artificial emphasis {gedwongener ordre}, with compositional shadow {schikschaduwe} and figural disposition {beeldesprong}.


However the third appreciates only simple and unforced depiction and declaims his performance in the right scale, imitating the Roman elegance of Raphael and Michelangelo, holding fast, that decorum is not distorted by the representation of minor passions: that the Art of Painting remains uppermost, paying attention only to heroic virtues: that the reliance on lights and shadows is a fragile crutch: and it is wrong that in order to beautify one thing, one darkens another. In what concerns us, we allow to all of them, and to as many other different spirits as there are, that each has the freedom to follow their inclination; and we do not reject a tulip because it is not a rose, nor any rose because it is not a lily. [marg: But we leave each free to make his choice.] We shall deal with the elements of art, and each can choose that which he thinks most worthy. All that any piece of art shows us, is an imitation of natural things, but it comes by means of arrangement and organisation out of the spirit {uit den geest} of an artist, who at first keeps the parts, which are presented to him, all confused in his imagination {inbeelding}, until he shapes them into a whole, and arranges them together, so that they form an image: and frequently many figures are composed in such a way to make a single History, so that there is not the least appearance of to too much or too little. And one rightly calls this Symmetry, Analogy, and Harmony {Simmetrie, Analogie, en Harmonie}. It is not enough for a Painter to place his figures side by side with each other in rows, as one can see here in Holland in the Doelen {Schuttersdoelen} all too often. The true masters make it so, that their whole work is unified, as Clio teaches in Horace:

Bring forward in every piece of work,
Appropriately, some single unified thing.

Rembrandt achieved this very well in his piece in the Doelen in Amsterdam, although according to many opinions rather too much, choosing to invest more in the larger picture, than in the individual portraits, that were set before him. Certainly that work, however condemned, will outlast all its rivals, being so painterly in conception, so elegant in its poses, and so powerful, that, according to some, all the other pieces stand next to it like playing cards. Although I would very much have preferred, that he kindled more light in it.

[marg: What the art of good composition is.] We shall use Dutch words for this art of composition, an astute coming together of balance {medevoeglijkheyt}, harmony {overeendracht} and proportion {maetschiklijkheyt}: without which all is turmoil and full of strife. How necessary it now is, for the spirit to be able to put the inventions into the work according to these Rules, is easily understood. [marg: And how necessary. Example.] For even if you know all the details that belong to a History, and you are strong, this does not produce a good composition. Just as all the individual parts of a cast figure,

[177 Z]

lying heaped in a foundry, are not capable of becoming a figure, until each limb is set into its proper joint. For it will produce a horrible monster, should one misplace the parts, and put an ear in the place of a nose, or a leg in the place of an arm. I have nevertheless seen an old wooden Angel repaired by a German Sculptor, who had fixed the right arm firmly on the left shoulder, and the left under the right wing. [marg: Concerning deformity.] But the mistake may have been made by his apprentices. This verse by Horatius Flaccus also relates to disorderly composition:

[marg: In the Art of Poetry.] Should a Painter portray a person's head
With a horse's neck, and with motley feathers,
An arm, a leg, a trunk, willfully arranged:
Or imitated a most beautiful woman's figure,
Whose lower body was just like a misshapen fish,
Who would not laugh to look at such deformity?
Things that are beyond good order, cannot exist, but fall to pieces.
Regular and orderly manners,
Are the foundations of states, houses, cities,
And realms. For where there is neither law nor rule
All falls apart, and turns to uncertainty.
All creation is full of order. Even animals
Like useful bees, and laborious ants.
Do you want, O Young Painter, to lay out your work
Properly? Come and apply yourself, and aim,
This prize, so dear, to win:
But first organise your invention {zinnen} by means of rules.
Just as a figure consists of many members,
[marg: A history is compared to a figure.]
So imagine, that a narrated deed,
Which you have chosen, to represent with your art
Also has parts; for from a troupe of people,
This one is the head, these the body, this the hand,
Together they configure the meaning of the image {zinnebeelds verstant}.



How one must set about composition.

Strive now for the honour, made famous by Amphion, for Apelles set him above himself in composition. Come, let us now open the royal Theatre, and depict memorable deeds: produced out of ourselves, or, to put it better, raise within ourselves the curtains, and first portray the historic deed in our minds, and set all our powers to work to that end. For as Seneca teaches, it would not be right, actually to shed peoples' blood, because it happened that a Painter were to depict some battles. [marg: Choice is free.] But we are free, with the celebrated Painter Theon, to have a trumpet sound, in order to awaken the spirit. For this Theon was not satisfied, to have depicted his belligerent Soldier full of courage and valour, but he also by surprise had a trumpet blast, as the curtain in front of this picture was lifted for the art lovers, so as effectively to portray the passions of this warrior, When the topic, that you propose, is properly grasped by your mind, then, in accordance with your inclination, take hold of a momentary action, for a Painter's choices are freer than those of a writer of History, he being bound to deal with things from the ground up, whereas an artist can leap immediately either to the beginning, the middle, or the end of the History, according to his preference and discretion, He depicts either the past, the present, or the future, and, depicting something that can be seen in the glance of an eye, is not obliged to depict the eternal succession of things. And to set that out in the most appropriate, most well composed, most pleasing, most lively, most gracious, and most generous way. These inventions now set in place, one must, as they say, bear them continuously in mind. [marg: To consider well]

Before you begin to depict some worthy thing,
Let the deed play in your senses and
Leave an impression: indeed, so that in your spirit you can
See the things exactly as they actually happened.

[marg: And imagine to oneself,] Your thoughts thus trained, will in time picture them in imagined scenes, as if they were happening before you. But so that this begins in the very best way, it is most necessary, that one remembers Clio's advice, and that, on account of too much timidity,

[179 Z2]

one does not do things half-heartedly. [marg: Appropriate grandeur.] And again on the other hand that one avoids presumptuous grandeur. Nicophanes was praised, that his work was thoroughly infused with a particular decorum and Tragic gravity. Which virtue was ascribed to his habitual dignity. That which is truly great, said Junius quoting Longinus, is that which appears to each of us fresh before our eyes; that we find difficult, or rather impossible to put out of our minds; the memory of which endures, and seems to be irremovably impressed in our hearts; which affects all men equally. For the unanimous judgment of so many different schools of thought must necessarily reinforce the authority of true grandeur. Elsewhere he requires, [marg: Bk. 3.] that invention not be puffed-up, but properly grand; not in an abrupt style, but softly modelled; not reckless and thoughtless, but perfectly full of force; not painfully sad, but gravely severe; not painfully slow, but quietly demure; not facetiously wanton, but blithely joyful, and so forth; by means of which he made known, that one must hold to the middle way as best and safest. And furthermore that no one remains stuck in these reflections too long, but boldly presses on. Zeuxis, being entered through the door which Apollonius had opened for him, advanced boldly; this brought greater honour and respect for the brush, which now dares all things. You too, who now understand the subject matter properly, step forward boldly. Descartes wrote this fundamental rule for himself: [marg: In his method. 3rd part] that whatever he had decided upon to the best of his ability to be right, he would resolutely carry through, as if it were the best, for the time being, until wholly convinced by more compelling reasons; and he believed that this conviction much more useful, than that one should remain wavering between many doubts. Francesco Rustici said, that one must first carefully consider, from which then a rough design {ruw bewerp} can readily be produced: and that that sketch can gradually be re-worked until it is eventually brought to greater perfection in Drawings. For in the consideration of all the necessary elements of the subject, the restless spirit very properly and in an orderly way arranges every thing in its own place, and the parts, which are needed for it, are tied together so dextrously and originally, that they no longer appear to be parts, but to be an entire and perfect body. [marg: Sketches, And putting them aside.] Furthermore the above-mentioned Rustici, desires that this Drawing be left unlooked at for weeks and months, so that with a fresh mind one can then select the best, and put it into the work; in this he more or less follows the teaching of Horace, who says: Keep your writings at home for nine years, for what is not published can be revised again and again. But I find


this difficulty here, that by putting aside compositions one has begun the spirit generally falls asleep, and its ardour cools; indeed that those charm which are already assembled flee and diminish, if they are not remarked and put into the work in a timely fashion; also too much faintheartedness is an obstacle in art. Therefore I advise, that one rather puts all one's powers to work, and as far as is possible, zealously brings to perfection the subject that one has begun, and after nine years you will be at liberty, to improve upon this one with a another. [marg: To improve it afterwards.] The success or failure of the entire work hangs on one skilled invention in composition: for would you want to put a lot of work into the particular parts, when you are not pleased with the whole thing? On the other hand, when you are satisfied with the whole, then you will not come across any part, however difficult it is, where enthusiasm will not assist you. Painters, Sculptors, indeed even Poets, said Cicero, want admirers to submit their works to the closest scrutiny: to the end that, whatever is criticised with good reason, might be improved. It will not be unnecessary therefore, for you to ensure, that your general concept {stelling} and composition is good. [marg: How necessary that composition must be good.] And it will not be a problem, if, like Apelles, you had made an error with a shoe fastening: or like Phidias when he sometimes made a nose too fat or too long. Do not then be ashamed, that an error is pointed out, it will all be useful and beneficial. You might also, so as to reassure yourself in judging your well-made composition, show it to a true friend in the art, and pay attention to his criticism: for thus did Apelles submit himself to the opinions of Lysippus, and he in return to the judgment of Apelles: and Praxiteles maintained that his best work was that which he had made with the advice and help of Nicias. For that reason think it through before you begin, or it will go no better with you than it did with Pontormo, who sometimes sat from morning to evening in front of his work, in order to think, and then left without adding or improving anything: perhaps because he saw that it was too late, to correct that which had been begun badly.

If you see your error too late, you may well grasp your head:
When the stone is thrown, no repentance will avail:
Thus, one in on a wrong path, straightaway turning can often succeed;
But it is best, after thorough reflection, to begin your work again.

[181 Z3]


Concerning loveable harmony, or agreement and proportion in scale {gevoeglijkheyt en maetschiklijkheit in hoegrootheit}.

When I was still an Apprentice we had this question: What is the fundamental lesson and rule of good composition: Fabritius replied, To chose the noblest things in nature, and to arrange them together. [marg: Compose next to each other those things that have mutual affection.] But then it was asked, what are the noblest things in nature? To which he answered the following, That things in nature revealed themselves to be noble, when they were set next to other things, and they appear to be related by a kinship {maegschappy}. Certainly one must allow, that many things, are good in themselves, though not joined to others, and that on the other hand many things, though mean and simple, acquire a great elegance from combination with others. But, one might say, how can greater kinship be thought of, if many things of similar form are joined together? [marg: Not too much of one form.] I reply, that Hens do not prosper {geen tier hebben}, without a Cock, and that too much of one thing, produces loathing. A certain Painter, a compatriot, recently showed off his brave conscientiousness: he had neatly painted a large and well-stacked dish of beautiful, exceptionally juicy, Peaches, one by one, and had acquitted himself valiantly. Seeing it, I was astonished by his assiduousness and patience: but I was revolted by the dullness of the choice, and the excess of so much identical fare; and reckoned, that he had spent his time without profit: for in the same time he could have served up nearly every kind of fruit on this plate, and pleased the eye with a choice of tasty things: as the ancient Painters well understood, when they conceived of the little pictures they called Xenia; as you shall hear from Thalie in Calliope. Whoever wants to make feast enjoyable, must set out a variety of foods: for who shall say that they are well served before whom has been set nothing but partridges, or pheasants? Hopman de Rijk, during the civil war of the last century, imprisoned by the Spanish side, was stuck in a dark hole in the Gent blockhouse, and there he was asked to make a choice, of what food and drink he wished to be served: he chose calf meat and some wine, and thereafter he was allowed to have nothing else. He was so sated by this good food and drink over seven months, that for the rest of his life


he was sickened by it. Variety of food renews the appetite, and in the same way the eye delights in a variety of things. Take care, that difference does not produce conflict, but that an amiable Harmony holds sway. It is not proper for slender maidens to embrace Serpents, or hungry Lions to listen to a Shepherd's song. The voice and lyre of Orpheus alone had the power to tame their fierceness, and this familiarity with wild beasts is decreased, since father Adam's golden age. Chaste Diana suffered no Satyrs among her company of virgins, nor did Venus have fun with grey sharks. Silenus wallowed among the wild Bacchante, and squeezed the juice from the swollen grape, which dripped down his fat chest. And father Liber cannot be without Silenus. Pomona and Flora adore each other, and Pluto the God of Hell does not acknowledge himself brother to Mars. So that things can be compared with each other in terms not only of large against small, but also in terms of harmony, friendship, and aversion: and just as great an error was committed by he who portrayed the horse larger than the stable, as by he who set Lions and Pigs to feed from the same trough, Omphale quite rightly sets Hercules to the distaff, but nothing suits him better than the club and the Lionskin.

[marg: Propriety. {Voeglijkheyt}] I will not warn here that one should not, as often happens, put dwarves' shoulders under Giants' heads, and combine children's arms with an adult face. This belongs to the proportions of the human body, dealt with by Polyhymnia, and it is as laughable, as that which was previously borrowed from Horace. Nor do I wish to win over those, who paint a misshapen chest and body with a beautiful woman's face: for this is matter of beauty and proper selection. All we observe here is, what things go together well and what things badly. We say with Horace:

[marg: Painter's freedom must not be abused.]
The Painter's freedom must be limited by the character of the thing depicted:
One strives to distinguish between the hard and the soft:
Serpents must not mate with birds,
Tigers must not graze with Lambs.

One must also not mix Holy subjects with anything pagan, as Cedrenus relates, that a certain Painter in the time of Emperor Leo at Constantinople tried to do, that was, to paint Christ with lightning in his hand, and in the form of Jupiter: which went so badly for him, that his hand dried into bone, and remained thus, until he realised his error, and was helped by Bishop Gennadius. Rather one must put things into their own proper Element, and avoid all contradiction. What is not appropriate, is absurd, and, as Horace advises, is to be criticised:


As if a Painter combined a seascape with images of pigs,
Or portrayed a landscape where Dolphins played.

The cleverest of the Poets, said Seneca, depicted the Flood in the right scale, when he sang thus:

The sea swallows the land,
And doesn't recognise the shore.

He spoke of great things, and depicted the great confusion in these verses:

The floods, burst from their bed, overwhelm
The Whole Empire of Land. Mountains, trees,
And high towers are submerged by the sea.

All this would have been splendid, he said, had he not continued:

The Wolf swims with the Sheep, and the Lion floats on the waves.

Can one swim in such a flood and mass of water? Or were not all the animals drowned in the same current, which carried them away? Whether Seneca criticises Ovid rightly here I leave to those more experienced to judge: but it will make the Young Painter cautious, and serve as a warning, not to dishonour a splendid composition with nonsense. It reminds me of having seen, in a certain nicely composed little piece by Rembrandt, depicting a John preaching, a wonderful attentiveness in the listeners of all classes: this was most highly to be praised, but one also saw a dog, mounted on a bitch in a disgusting way. Of course you can say, that it is normal and natural, I say that it is a repulsive impropriety for this History; and that according to this detail {byvoegzel}, one could just as soon claim that this little piece represented the Preaching of the Cynic Diogenes, as that of Saint John. Such depictions reveal the fatuity of masters; and are to be ridiculed, even if they are found only in minor details. A certain Painter in Amsterdam recently painted a jolly wineglass on a table with astonishing charm: What else? He also painted a splendid velvet cloth under it: that might yet do: but on this neat Tablecloth he also painted a slimy Haddock. From which one must conclude, that this painter must be a slovenly housekeeper: for who ever let such a dirty slut into their kitchen, as would lay a filthy fish on plush or velvet in that way? And it was nevertheless looked upon by stupid art lovers as wonderfully good. It is also improper, to depict sins of a private nature in Paintings, or impure and violent deeds, done somewhere undercover, making what is inacceptable public, as Horace advises:

You must conceal many matters from the eyes:
One thing may be seen, another may be heard;

[176 {misprint}]

Impurity provokes the sight with scandal.
Medea must not kill her children before the people,
Nor Atreus cook any cursed food
Of Whore's brood, out of revenge, before any eyes.
The transformation of Cadmus, full of horrors,
None must see, nor that of Procne, when she took flight.

Beware then, O Noble spirits, of portraying the shameful depravities of Tiberius on the Isle of Capri in your Pictures. [marg: Caesars Suetonius {C. Sueton.} In Tiberius.] Nor allow the Ancient father Noah to lie shamelessly naked, where Shem and Japheth turn away their faces. For those who are inclined towards such shamefulness, deserve to be cursed as much as Ham and Canaan. And while I speak of Tiberius, do not imitate Parrhasius either, by whom there was in Rome such a scandalous Picture of Atalanta and Meleager to be seen, which it shames me to describe: it was so much loved by this tyrant, that he refused ten times the number of Sesterces that he could have got for it.

[marg: Improper and misshapen Monsters.] And since we mentioned Horace with regard to misshapen members of the body in the previous chapter, I say with Junius, that it is not proper for an artist to conjure up weird monsters, unknown to nature. As Vitruvius said, decadent custom had brought it about, that one more often saw freaks and monsters depicted in grotesques, than any truthful things: as opposed to the custom of the ancients, whose rooms, galleries and dining halls, were embellished with artistic imitations of natural things. He desired that a ship should look like a ship, a statue like a person, or an animal, or something recognisable, or indeed any natural creature. And it upset him, that anyone took delight in things, which went contrary to probability. Plutarch said, that there were several in Rome, who condemned good Paintings and Sculptures, and spent time at the market of monsters, observing people with no arms or legs, or three eyes, an ostrich head, or whatever else unsightly; which nevertheless they could not look upon for long, without abhorrence. I am certainly nauseated by these, and likewise by the terrifying monsters, which Lucian portrays in his wholly unlikely true History, and has skirmishing in the air. And I find no satisfaction in looking at the Hellish monstrosities of Hell Breugel, Hieronymus Bosch, or Saftleven, however full of spirit they might be considered. Since they appear to do violence to nature through their unregulated deformity. The Hell of the Poets is opened up with more moderation and edification; and even though they are elaborated, they bear significations of what might be {gebeurlijkheyt}: as can be seen in Virgil, when he soars thus:

[185 A a]

[marg: Aeneid 6th book.] At the gateway of Hell's fortress,
The mouth of the abyss, lives dejected sorrow, and trouble,
Which devours and gnaws the heart.

And then he gracefully describes the rest of the Hellish afflictions: like Ovid who also portrays it very nicely and naturally, beginning simply thus:

[marg: Metamorphosis 4th book.] The dark entrance to Hell is mortally cold,
Poisonous, stinking, and filled with many thorns.
There the souls, directly after separation from the body,
Wander lost, until they find the
(*) thousand-gated city. [marg: (*) Styx Pluto's residence.]

Next it is to be observed, how things are to be compared to each other according to proportion: one must attend carefully, to how one body contrasts with another. With regard to attention to size, Pliny gave the example of Timanthes' sleeping Giant; [marg: Satyrs compared to a giant.] for, he said, he painted some Satyrs alongside it, measuring his thumb with wild ivy, so as to give a better impression, of the scale of a Giant, in such a small work (for it was only a little picture). And hereby he earned this praise: That one always discovered a deeper meaning in his works, than was perceived at first glance. And so it was that, great though his art was, his intelligence by far exceeded it.

Next how foolish was it, to put an Elephant and a Mouse into a single harness? And not to differentiate a flea from a camel by height? [marg: Proportion.] One must respect nature, which gives to large things a Giant massiveness, and to small an indistinguishable tininess, contrasting them the one to the other in a pleasing way. So too an artist must not spoil one part of his work with another. Sculptors should pay heed in this regard when making statues {stokbeelden}, when they set them on a footing or Pedestal, that there is a proportion or conformability between the pedestal and the figure. At the time of the Emperor Hadrian the statue of Mercury by Philesius was criticised, for being too small for the Temple at Trebizond. Plutarch disparaged those, who, by making Pedestals much too large, made their figures smaller. For it is most important that a figure, when set high, should be to the same scale, as that upon which it stands. The Temple of Jupiter, in the Greek city of Olympia, was considered one of the World's seven wonders, but it was, by those who understood art, reckoned to be inexcusably ugly: namely, that the seated Idol, which had been made by Phidias, was so large, that, had he stood up, the roof would have been too low to contain him. [marg: In size.] For just as, according to the Architect's ruler {zetregel}, all the parts of a complete building, must correspond


to each other in a proportionate arrangement; figures, too, whether carved or painted, must be neither too large, nor too small. One should take care, that one does not make any gate or door smaller than the people, which was the case at Philemon's house, where they had to stoop to enter: so that one does not suffer the criticisms of the great architect Apollodorus: for when the Emperor and Painter Hadrian had made a model or design of the Temple of Venus, and wishing possibly to avoid the same mistake as the sculptor of the above-mentioned building at Trebizond, fell into the same error as the Olympians we described; and Apollodorus let him know, that the Goddesses, seated beneath the vault inside, were unable to stand up and leave, and that furthermore their temple was too low, to allow theatrical apparatus conveniently to be set up there at night, so that it could be revealed impromptu in the theatre in the morning; and the figures, which were designed, were too gross and large for such a small space: adding that the Emperor, ought rather to go and paint gourds {kouwoerden}, that being a business, he understood better, and in which he was accomplished: which criticism and reproach offended the mighty Painter so much, that he had Apollodorus killed; feeling a greater smart from his mistake being revealed, in this comparison of his building with his sculptures, than the life of such a man was worth to him, who had revealed sufficiently well what a master he was, in making Trajan's column, which made his name nearly as famous, as that of his all too strict disciplinarian.


Moderation in composition.

As regards moderation I first recommend, that you do not burden {overlasten} your work too much with unnecessary things: Not how much, but how nobly as de Heem wrote. And many figures, doing nothing, is repulsive. [marg: Do not crowd {overlasten} the work;]

When Varro sought joy, he needed few guests.
Thus one also praises a work as being best not crowded.
The ancient advice of the Tragedians {Treurdichters} holds good, not to bring too many
Characters into the Play on account of their importance.

[187 Aa 2]

Whoever formerly listened to the ancient philosophers with judgment,
Praised most the arguments, contained in few words.
Therefore carefully reveal that which you intend in a measured fashion,
Distinctly and clearly.

To depict a history properly {eygentlijk} is praiseworthy: but do not use so many improper additional elements {oneygen bywerk}, as Mander describes in a Judgment of Paris by Sannazaro.

Nor should one produce too scanty {sober} a History, leaving the Cow, so to speak, behind the Dike; [marg: Nor portray it too scantily either,] nor follow too closely he who painted a Princely Palace without a single living figure, and was on that account criticised, and in one doorway showed part of a halberd, as if a bodyguard, who was entering, had it on his shoulder: as an incoming foot on the threshold implies a spur. Nor like a Berincx {Beerings} either, who painted Noah's Ark in the water under a rainy sky, without any figures human, animal or vegetable: and when he was asked, what was it? he answered, the Flood: and where were the people? He replied drowned, and they would see the people when the water subsided. Ausonius' judgment is very appropriate here: The pleasure of a painted mist, he said, disappears upon viewing. And certainly, whoever makes an effort to depict something, not worthy to be seen, employs their effort badly. We do not here specifically criticise sometimes painting mist or fog: but rather, together with the same Ausonius, we praise such a choice, if required by the subject matter. As he said with regard to a piece, where the pale ghosts of Hero, Sappho, Pasiphaë, Dido, and other unfortunate ancient heroines, confronting {te keer gaende} the god of love in the subterranean kingdom, which appears for the most part clothed in a thick fog, very splendidly painted, but we condemn righty the dull spirits, who cover their pieces in smears, without revealing anything worth seeing in them: [marg: Nor too little,] and we agree with Socrates: Even though a painted suit of armour is sufficiently pleasing in itself, he said, it is nonetheless never of any use. But, O Hercules! What are we to do with mostly a heap of rubbish, bodged together by many of our compatriots? Here with a Lemon, there with a Quince, incapable of rising to the value of a suit of armour. [marg: But one perfect sense;] The least thing that one undertakes, ought to have a perfect sense to it; as is always recommended by the greatest masters, ancient as well as modern. It is true, they used frequently diligently to make a single figure with some appropriate additional element: but they were careful not to allow anything to pass from their hand, that was unworthy of being called a work, and which might diminish their reputation.


Now to establish some rules of composition, we desire, that each piece of work consists of three parts, in accordance with the common saying:

That all good deeds,
Consist of threes.
[marg: A piece should consist of at least three elements.] Three completes your Play, said the master of Poetry. The number three is the number of the Graces; on that account Aulus Gellius believed that for company one needed no fewer than three, and no more than nine: others found the number seven the most suitable, believing three to be too scant, and nine too wild. But Pliny said, that in the earliest times no more than five appeared at a banquet, although others stretched the number to twelve: adding the Graces to the Muses. Someone might well laugh, that wishing to speak of painterly composition, I begin with guests and banquets. [marg: Plutarch in Aemilius Paulus.] But they could listen to Aemilius Paulus, who gave this response, to those who were astonished, that he, who had defeated Perseus, and destroyed the kingdom of the Macedonians, interfered so busily and carefully in choosing his company, and distinguished between his guests according to their worthiness to be entertained. There is, he said, the same foresight required properly to arrange a banquet, as the order of battle: the one to be more terrifying to the enemy, the other to be more delightful to one's friends. To confirm that identical foresight is required in the composition of matters, however much they differ from each other, Sir [Thomas] Povey, and very great art lover in London, and treasurer to the Duke of York, was celebrated by everyone for his wonderfully well designed and decorated house, and even more for his agreeable company: and I noted on one occasion, how accomplished he was at composition: for he did me the honour of inviting me, together with four or five gentlemen of the Royal Society, and five courses were served. When then one of the company remarked, that this was now the last one: He made it known with a graceful word: that we were only half-way through. And so it was that we were served and the dishes taken away ten times, and everything so elegant, various and orderly {sierlijk, veranderlijk, en ordentelijk} that it was astonishing; and not too extravagant, even though he had us taste four-and-twenty sorts of foreign wine.

However modest the topic you may have before you, O Young Painters, you must enrich it with at least one piece of additional detail. Do not paint a single wine glass on an empty table. [marg: Or four,] Bacchus must have Ceres and Venus: the farce {kluchtspelen} consists of no less than three parts. If you seek honour and glory; then divide your work into at least three or four groups, or bands {benden}. The Roman army in former times consisted of the Velites or lightly-weaponed; the Hastati, or spear-bearers, the Principi or most important, and the Triarii or veterans, which were the most powerful. Equate the principal element of your work with the Triarii: the second,

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which is of a little less value, with the Principi: the third, in the distance {verschietende} or partly-visible with the Hastati: and the least with the Velites. But a perfect piece of work, which is pleasing often to be seen, must have no more and no less than five acts {leden}, as Horace says of plays:

[marg: Five,] A play that will endure

Will have exactly five acts {bedrijven}.

Five acts {handelingen} are proper for a well organised play. L. van den Bosch says this:

The first presents us with the matter that you have chosen,
By means of your characters and poetry:
The second sets to work the action previously described:
The third is in motion, and the argument is stoked up higher:
The fourth reveals [from a distance/with a feather {toont van veer}?] the outcome of the business:
The fifth closes the work with distress or with delight.

Although a play is different from a Painting, in that each act deals with a specific time, place, or action: whereas the Painting only depicts a momentary action or topic, we prefer to rest with what we have said regarding the orders of the Roman army. That is, that the chief personages are set forth as the most important, those of lesser significance, although they belong to the subject matter, are seen and recognised; and the supplementary ones are least in evidence. Or put another way, that the most important group depict the History: those second to them fill the most necessary supplementary roles: and that the third serve for the enhancement and embellishment of the work as a whole.

[marg: And more,] Just as at high feasts one sees the number of guests increase. and the ranks of the army form more companies with auxiliaries: and sometimes also the tragedies are doubled, or lengthened by the addition of a comedy: So the Painter's Spirit sometimes expands more widely in great works, and divides itself into ten or twelve main groups, each of which must again have its Triarii, Principi, and Velites. As is readily to be observed with Michelangelo in his great Last Judgment, and by many others, which it would be too exhausting for me to list. [marg: As is required.] And these rules must be observed not only in figures or still lifes, but also in architectural paintings and landscapes.

As to the placing of the main action in the composition, that which will give the work its title, one must ensure that it is displayed without any obstruction, as we have already begun to explain: and one must sets it in the best part of the work. Karel Van Mander sings very nearly like this:

The main action, which you are to undertake, put in the best
Part of the piece, and then play gracefully with the rest.


[marg: In the principle part of the work. A view through {Deurzicht} is pleasing.]

You should completely fill the corners on both sides,
But do not crowd the inner parts too much.
A view through gives a structured natural character {welstandicheit en aert},
Through which the delighted playful eye travels.
Take care, that what you undertake, is not constrained,
Or squeezed into the frame, or contorted.

One must avoid much confusion of arms and legs, also of lights and shadows. [marg: Awkward and negligent composition.] But to arrange beautiful lights and large shadows well in their proper places is another thing. It sometimes gives a fitting appearance, if in a rich and well-furnished house some things are scattered about negligently, and just as tasty food sometimes on account of a certain sharpness in the sauce is made more delicious, it also helps achieve attractiveness in composition, if one can introduce a look of easy negligence; an overly laborious composition lacks this fittingness. But this negligence must be checked by artfulness {kunstgreep}, or one would wander far from the path.


Combined movement, figural balance and grouping, or the Muse of Drawing. {Samenbeweging, sprong en troeping, of de Muza der Teykenkonst.}

[marg: Combined movement.] Let your figures enjoy well-integrated movement {welstandige beweging} with each other: not like stupid actors, who come to the front of the stage to speak the lines, which they ought to exchange with each other, to the audience. [marg: Balance. {Sprong}] Maintain a graceful balanced truth {aerdige sprong waer}, that is an artful, but apparently unforced placement of your figures: so that one could not strike off their heads altogether with one blow, so to speak (as in some Militia portraits). In applying yourself to do this, you will discover rich stuff, and learn to look at famous works with judgment.

[marg: Grouping, and] Let your work be divided deftly into groups or troupes; for a large composition to appear to be the right size, it is most necessary, to divide it into groups. [marg: Distribution increases.] A rich man seems richer, when his goods are divided between various businesses, than when all are concealed under one name. Flowers growing in order in several beds, are more remarkable, than if they are all confused in one bed. A long argument properly divided up, will have greater impact, than numberless aphorisms. He who speaks vaguely,


but lengthily, tires his listeners: and he who shows too much at the same time, blinds the viewers.

Put trees, buildings and figures all in troupes,
And divide your work into elegant groups.
If things are scattered here and there, even if each part
Is done well, it does not give good structure {welstand} to the whole.

So that your figures are not crowded too closely together, you must allow them free movement. Our poet spoke in almost the following way:

Allow the horse and rider to collapse,
Or tumble or lie entangled in foreshortening.
Set one in the most beautiful part, in armour, or half-naked;
Whatever is hidden behind him is already done.
Combine the figures together succinctly,
It must be like the playing of many strings,
According to the requirements of art, now high and now low.
[marg: Is like a song.] Variety of many tones makes
A song, to the delight of all who hear it;
So too must one seduce the eyes of each by means of art.

This area of art was intelligently observed by Leonardo da Vinci in his celebrated Battle Cartoon. Tintoretto and Paulo Veronese were masters in this: and graceful Raphael astonishing. Rembrandt often achieved this well, and the best pieces by Rubens, and his follower Jordaens, have especially well-structured balance and grouping {welstandige sprong en troeping}. This art of pleasing order and artistic arrangement, strikes me as being in fact music or song, which, just like the expression {vois} of a well-made song, enriches the words, as well as greatly improving the matter {de dingen}, and enhancing the effect of the whole {welstand}.

The way to become certain and sure in composition is, by accustoming oneself to making many Sketches, and by drawing many Histories on paper; for theoretical knowledge will hardly serve, if you do not fix it fast with practice. [marg: To draw many compositions from the imagination {uyt den geest}.] It will be most advantageous to a student, when he tires of his brushes, to apply himself in the evenings to drawing Histories from his imagination, from time to time putting something into them that he has gathered from life {nae't leven}. But I advise, that whatever he has made in the evening, he reviews in the morning, and improves it; for a fresh eye at dawn is sometimes better than the advice of a master. I would also insist, that he completes everything that he has begun, so that he does not decline into whimsicality, and that every week he completes at least one thing, to the best of his ability. Certainly, by means of this method one will


progress unbelievably, and through making many errors, learn the rules described above. So what deters you? You say that you lack many things: Do not delay: it will be no shame for you to make mistakes. Sketch and re-sketch, and perform the histories, and each character first in your imagination; your paper can tolerate a great deal; and do not give up until you have invented a good composition. And if it happens that you can get the assistance of two or three of your companions, have them see whether they can pose together {eens te zamen vertoonen} for the principal group of the action, that you are wanting to portray. Such a performance {kamerspel} has been employed to help many great masters. However this is more necessary for the teaching of Clio, in order to observe actions and passions; our Thalia teaches only arrangement. [marg: Example.] Formerly in The Hague I saw a certain Samuel Smits, a practised painter: he had the custom that, whatever he wished to compose, he modelled first in small scale in Wax: in his Painter's workshop I observed various Panels with small, sketchy figures, roughly shaped: here was Tiresias, adjudicating the dispute between Juno and her husband: there one saw Pan and Apollo in musical competition, and yonder Narcissus mirrored in the crystalline brook, when he was in love with his own reflection: the draperies were of white and coloured paper which had first been damped, and amply and nicely pleated, the trees were of oak and branches of others, the ground and caves enlivened {geestich van} with moss, and the water was mirrored glass. This is very easy to copy, but take care, that by employing too much assistance, you do not lose your own self. I advise masters, when looking over their pupils' Drawings, that they also improve them by sketching on top of the design. [marg: Sketch a lot.] Excessive exercise like this has helped many to become prodigious in the art of arranging {schikkunst}.


How one can help oneself from the work of another.

Try with all your might, O diligent Young Painter, to become proficient in producing your own inventions. Apelles and Protogenes turned from the path of their predecessors Micon, Diores, and Arimmas. So too did Paulo Veronese {Kalliary} and Tintoretto, and took a new route. Who knows whether art is to be raised even higher. Push bravely on, and risk your paper, perhaps practice will make an inundation of compositional riches for you. Nevertheless it will be allowed you, whenever you come before another's well-composed piece, to borrow the voice {vois} or manner of singing, that is to say,

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its gracefulness of combination and figural balance {zwier van de koppeling en sprong}. [marg: Copy the good composition of others.] Just like the poet, who makes a new song from an old tune. It is no disgrace to compose some verses for a well-known tune {vois}, which already pleases the whole world. But one must here see to it, that one treats different subject matter: and thus they considered the Painter worthy of praise, who achieved the same power of art in his Painting of Achilles, that had previously been noted in the Alexander of Apelles. Thus Virgil was honoured as a Prince of Latin Poets, because in his wandering Aeneas, he followed the wandering Ulysses of Homer, never ceding to his predecessor. And even though one can say, that sometimes he copied, one cannot say, that he anywhere stole from him. But he seemed to be spurred on by the same spirit to run for the prize in the race for honour. The Painters spirit also readily launches itself into this race, indeed it would be no small honour, to struggle thus with Paulo Veronese {P. Calliary}; even if one were left a little behind. Some also borrow whole pictures {wel stukken} from another's work; but this should not be done often, and only with caution: so that Michelangelo's criticism is not deserved: for this great artist seeing a Painting, taken entirely from others, and being asked, what did he think of it? Replied: it is fine. But I do not know, when at the judgment all the parts are returned to their proper places, what will happen to this piece, for there will be nothing left.

[marg: Turnips,] Well cooked Turnips {Raepen = 'to steal'} make good soup, they say: but those who always follow, will never get ahead. [marg: How generally praiseworthy.] Should you happen to take something from antiquity, the rest of your work will make it look borrowed, and most likely be outdone in virtue. Rubens was criticised by one of his opponents, saying that he borrowed whole figures from the Italians: and that, in order to do this more easily, he hired draughtsmen in Italy at his own cost; [marg: Rubens under fire.] copying all the beauties and sending them to him: upon finding out what had been said this great spirit replied, that they were free to do the same, if they could see the benefit. Thereby implying, that not everyone was able to get any benefit from that. And it is certain that the works of our predecessors are just as available to us, as the books of the ancients are to the scholars. But always using these to get by, copying them, would deserve no greater praise, than transcribing and joining together different poems.

Because Poetry and the Art of Painting proceed in many similar ways, it will be allowed our Young Painter, to follow the speaking pen of the Poet, with the mute brush. [marg: Imitate poets.] Phidias was not ashamed to confess, that he had borrowed the form and the scale of his Eleian Jupiter from Homer. Apelles also painted his Diana following


the same Poet's prescription. Timanthes showed Agamemnon, covered in a veil, as he was presented by Euripides, at the sacrifice of Iphigenia. Praxiteles copied the same Euripides in his Bacchus. And furthermore all other Painters and sculptors followed that same author in the portrayal of Medea.

If the things, that you intend to do, are not to hand, but only to be found in the work of others, then set about gathering and copying wholesale. Thus did Raphael and his Julius help themselves to Roman antiquity, the Trajan and the Antonine columns showed them the forms of Roman eagles, pennants, battle insignia; helmets and all manner of armour. You might also, following Vitruvius and others, in some corner, reconstruct the buildings of the Ionians, and the ancient Corinthians; or borrow the shape of some strange animal from a geographer. I could hardly bear {spaenen} the pity, when once I saw in Rome most diligent, as they believed, youths so busy, indiscriminately copying every kind of Painting and Antiquity, believing that they were accumulating a treasure, and that they would carry off all the art with them in a book at their departure from Rome. Certainly this is a good way, but it is far from being the shortest. Hear what Van Mander tells of Elsheimer: There remains in Rome, he said, an excellent German Painter Adam, born in Frankfurt, a tailor's Son, who when he arrived in Italy, was not very good: [marg: Study the works of others.] but in Rome he wonderfully improved, and through industry became an artful workman. He did not draw much, but sat in Churches and other places, where there were things by clever {fraeje} masters and looked, impressing everything firmly in his mind. [marg: Example of Elsheimer and Rubens.] O Elsheimer! What fruits of your study {betrachtingen} would you have left us, had your unhappy {onmedoogent} fate left you free. Rubens, a gushing source of art and nature, was, when in Rome, criticised by one of his industrious companions: that he copied, or drew after, so few Italian Paintings and passed his costly time walking about, looking, and sitting still, when, in order to become a great master in art, one ought to labour night and day. But Rubens laughing replied with the famous saying: I am busiest, when I sit still. The other accused him of arrogance, and he teasingly replied: I think I will remember something I have looked at properly better, than you, who have copied it. So they made a wager, which of the two of them could best draw from memory, there and then, a certain piece, which Rubens had but carefully looked at, and the other had copied: and Rubens trounced his critic, with the treasure of his imagination, in this just as much as he did in the rest

[195 Bb 2]

of art. A Painterly spirit must be like the useful Bee, which flies to every flower, but not then sucking honey, but drawing forth all manner of useful things from the examples of others. To copy everything is too servile, and even impossible: and to trust in your imagination is possible only for a Rubens. Painters, who give their hearts over entirely to copying the work of others, and taking pains only to complete the work, were ranked with peasants, shepherds, and workmen by Jesus Siracides; {marg: Ecclesiastes. chap. 38.] ignorant of understanding, that the true Art of Painting comprises as a combination of all manner of knowledge and wisdom. Should you by chance go to Italy, or anywhere, where in a short period of time you can see good things, and if you are advanced enough in art, so that you can identify the virtues, go to it, you will almost always observe some specific virtue in the works of fine masters: inscribe this virtue not only on your paper, but in your heart, and then again with the others: and thus neither the time nor the load will tire you: and you will eventually obtain the horse's tail of art hair by hair. Here you will see spiritedly combined groups of figures and graceful balance, and a history arranged and orderly, depicted as if you watched it happening {als zaegt gyze gebeuren}. Yonder you will see in a wonderful invention the high spirit of the masters. Here again are the movements of the emotions and bodies, and persons, as if you knew them; and there the greatest beauties and perfections depicted. When some excellent work appears before you, you will know the excellences by name: or even doubt, whether the virtue, for which it is famed, is actually there to be found. But so that you do not become lost in your own self-conceit, allow the judgment of another to cool with you, especially if you feel shouted down {daer gy overstemt zijt}, before discarding or accepting it.

As regards copying the antique well, and following their manner, Michelangelo said, he who always follows, never overtakes.


Making one's Art public.

When you have developed your invention into a composition, and you wait upon the judgment of friend and foe, have your work appear in print, and thus your name will the more rapidly fly all over the world. Albrecht Dürer and Lucas van Leyden, wonderful painters, nonetheless acquired their greatest fame by means of


the burin. But since then the burin has become wholly estranged from the brush, and become a task, that requires the entire man. And certainly, the engravers have since become the praise-singers and trumpeters of the greatest Painters, and prints have became messengers and spokesmen, that proclaim the content of works of art, which are either far away, or have nowadays become old. [marg: Engraving. Wood print. And with various plates.] The engraver cuts either into copper with burins, or into wood with chisels and knives. The copper plate gives the darkest image first, but the woodblock becomes coarser {grover} with use.

[marg: Print-painting.] The method of printing using three wood blocks produces painterly prints. But Hercules Seghers first gave papers or fabrics a colouring, with soft grounds, skies, horizons and foregrounds, and then printed onto them, most graceful and painterly. [marg: tin plates.] Dürer also engraved things into tin, which gives a very light effect {licht manier}. [marg: Etching.] But etching is much more like drawing, one uses various coarse and fine needles for this, and the plate must be given a ground of mastic, asphaltum, and whitewash. And because this makes the plate dark, one can over-paint it with lead-white mixed in egg-white, and then draw into the copper, red on white. But whoever is attracted to this art, read Abraham Bosse, who has most naturally described it and all that appertains to it; or go to School with that most spirited of men {aldergeestigsten} Romeyn de Hooghe.

More recently Prince Rupert Count Palatine, or some other before him, cooked up {toegerecht} another means of preparing plates, which seem as if made without lines, and this is done as follows: [marg: Black art.] the plate being well flattened, is scratched in both directions, very closely, so that the whole plate, were it to be printed from, would be completely black; onto this they sponge {sponsien} their intended work, and begin, using burnishers, wholly to smooth, those parts, which must be the lightest, and the rest to a lesser degree; in the way one draws with gold on black touchstone, or rather with light Crayon {Kryon} on black paper: and this invention was called the black art {zwarte kunst}. The first print of this kind that I saw was a torturer after Ribera {Spanjolet}, and the aforementioned Prince, who had made it, honoured me with a copy. One fault with this art, is that a plate produces so few prints; but then the good thing is, that one can begin something new again on the same plate.

[marg: Some natural things printed.] Before this invention just described, now an established art, some had begun to print from nature itself: such as the leaves of shrubs, plants, and mosses, with the help of washing and cleaning {loogen en zappen}, and indeed butterflies too {witties of kappellen en schoenlappers}, with their colours blending {afgaende} naturally, at which they succeeded wonderfully. Since in the previous Chapter I stated, that it is useful and profitable for eager-to-learn spirits,

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to imitate sometimes the works of other celebrated masters, [marg: Good copies make good pieces famous.] it also suits art lovers, that the artistic works of the great masters through being copied by good assistants {gezellen} are made well-known. For since they are commonly shut up in collections of art, and Copies are sent into every Kingdom, they would thereby achieve such a lustre, that Lovers of Art would not forbear from journeying many days, just in order to see the original. Which commonly comes about too with so great a prejudice, that they imagine seeing something that is not there; I have experienced proofs enough of this: for I have seen with astonishment eyes rolled upwards at vanities, that they could have improved upon themselves, and over things, that the artists had thrown together without any effort or attention; although I know very well, that sometimes the highest art plays with the appearance of negligence. Whatever we know by the name of a virtue must shine. For to say there is something hidden in it but I do not know what it is; is as much as to say that I see that there is nothing in it.

[marg: Difference of copies.] The Art of Painting is established in our Schools, and if it is at its highest, then it does not err from the lessons of Calliope. But no one imagines, that he will discover in copies, the perfect power of Art, that is only to found in the original or authentic work of outstanding Masters. For it would be impossible, for some God to endow the follower with the same spirit as the first master.

[marg: An original.] There is always a charming attractiveness in the original, which the copy lacks, said Dionysius of Halicarnassus: for however well it is copied, nevertheless something here or there is revealed, which is not natural, but seems to come about from a painful laboriousness. Also one observes, that the virtues of the first originals in copies are surrounded by numerous errors, more or less like printed pages, cobbled together by some ignorant letter-setter from some difficult text, full of printing errors and faults, which either obscure or corrupt the sense. They are most of all lacking in a general well-structured Harmony and Grace. Certainly, it is a laughable thing sometimes, to hear the deluded judgments of the connoisseurs {konstkenners} concerning some Painting: for they deceive not only ignorant art lovers, selling trashy copies as honest originals, and that apparently cheaply and at a low price, but they also deceive themselves, taking pleasure in this, rather than in the virtues, setting up the worst mistakes and errors before us as wonders, praising that, which deserves all contempt, to the diminution {kleynmaking} of the master of the originals, who should have been ashamed of these things, that these people so extravagantly praise. Nevertheless


in many towns these Donkeys have such credit, that their judgment is esteemed above that of honest connoisseurs {konstkenders}; nonetheless it is sure and certain, that no one can judge rightly of the virtue of a Painting, than those who correctly and properly understand the foundations of art, and such matters as we deal with in this work. Therefore, O lovers of art, if you wish to avoid mockery and offence, do not trust to the judgment of these haggling cheats; but consult with Painters and Practitioners of Art, who are of good conscience; and who themselves, in the collecting of good art, show that they also love the work of others. And so that you can be sure of their judgement, test the artworks against our foundational rules; for I will assure you, not only will you discover, that the most outstanding masters observed our laws, but also, that the longer you look at their pieces, the more you will find in them, that they were guided by our Muses.

[marg: Conclusion of the composition.] Now, since it is unusual for Thalia, to remain long on the Stage, and she is accustomed to close up her shop early, I shall summarise the lessons of my Young Painters in brief. She requires therefore, that one practices composition early on in the art, for thereby one gains certain boldness, which is especially necessary for a pupil. She requires, that one predominantly depicts such things, as seem to be sown or planted in our imaginations, and the each Painter's spirit will produce such fruit, as is natural and particular to them; for no one is so universal in art, that he does not discover something, which pleases him better than all other choices, She requires, that that which one intends to depict, one portrays purely and simply {zuiver en enkelt}, not like the foolish poets, who in wedding songs thunder about dreadful war. She requires that therefore one first purifies one's own soul, and thoroughly considers, the subject matter, that one is to undertake. I have only a head, and a tail, with a sharp point, which is necessary, when I write lyric poem; but for elegies I must first wash away frivolous thoughts with tears, before I set pen to paper. She requires that one should join together those things which do each other good, and arrange them together most appropriately; and that one maintains a suitable proportion {maetschiklijkheit}. She orders that one be neither too miserly nor too open-handed in composition, but requires that one enriches a history with its requisite apparatus: and she teaches, how one should divide the work into its component parts {leeden}; so that the Principal element has its appropriate scale. Further she directs, how one should give the figures an agreeable balance {sprong}, that is, that high or low, they form shapes with each other, which is pleasing to the eye, and that, on account of their variety, they appear to be playing with each other; and how one combines them together in graceful groups and troupes,


in order to avoid them appearing scattered and monotonous. She requires that one makes great effort in these practices, and establishes means, which advance this science {deeze kennisse}. She determines, broadly how allowable it is, to help oneself with the work of another: and finally she advises, so as not to scorch in your own flame, that one makes one's works public by issuing prints, in order to hear the judgment of others: so as in future to avoid the mistakes, reasonably identified by friend or foe.


Forms of Relaxation.

My spirit, now tired by writing, longs to rest awhile, so as to proceed the more alertly with colouring, which stands ready. [marg: Relaxation.] But this will be our rest, that we shall deal for a while with relaxation, of which the overworked Spirit of Painting sometimes has need. After listing fifteen means of reaching one's goal, in his treatise on Peace of mind, Seneca sets this one down as the last: That the mind should not be occupied in doing the same things all the time, but that it sometimes requires pleasure. He continues thus: Socrates was not ashamed to play with children. Cato gladdened his mind sometimes, when it was troubled by everyday worries, with wine. Scipio exercised his warlike and triumphant body with dancing. One must allow the soul some pleasure: for having had rest, it rises again better and refreshed. [marg: Continuous labour makes the spirit dull.] Just as one ought not to overburden fruitful lands, lest that great fruitfulness be diminished; the power of the mind is also ruined by labour that is too prolonged. Who ever allows themselves a little relaxation, and who rests a while, gains new strength. The relentlessness of labour causes a weakening and dulling of the Spirit. Human desires cannot endure this much, without an injection of natural delight in play and humour {spel en jokkery}; the employment of which drives away all melancholy. Sleep is necessary for refreshment, although you would be nothing other than dead, if you slept day and night. The Law-givers apportioned feast days, so that people should be compelled to enjoy themselves publicly: adding that these days had been included, as a necessary mitigation of labour. Indeed some important


men maintained feast days of their own, on certain days of the month, some divided each day between work and rest. The orator Pollio did nothing after the tenth hour, not even read a letter, but during the two remaining hours he eased the anxieties of the whole of the day. [marg: How one can refresh the spirit.] One must allow the mind something, and a little rest provides that which serves as food for the spirit, and which gives it strength. One should allow the soul to wander in the open air, so that it increases, and can look upon the Sky with an unconstrained spirit. One sometimes finds new energy travelling in foreign lands: by dining with others, and drinking deeply, indeed until drunk: not to drown ourselves in Wine, but to wash away our cares. For wine drives away care, and raises up the spirit from below; and just as it cures some sicknesses, so too it dispels sadness. [marg: The use of wine.] The inventor of wine was not called Liber because he loosened the tongue, but because he relieved the mind from worry, and reassured it, and made every deed more bold and resolute. But like moderation in freedom, moderation in wine is also necessary and wholesome. Indeed it is believed that Solon and Arcesilaus both enjoyed wine. Cato was accused of drunkenness. But those, who accused him of this, more readily make drunkenness seem honourable, than Cato guilty. However one should do this but rarely, so that the mind does not adopt a bad habit. One might however sometimes extend the spirit in happiness and freedom, and cast off sad sobriety for a little time. [marg: In what way.] For, if we believe the Greek poets, It is sometimes pleasing to play the fool: Thus Plato, Whosoever is in his right mind, knocks in vain on the Poet's door: Thus Aristotle, There has never been great genius {vernuft} without mixture of folly. Only a Spirit that is moved {bewooge Geest} can achieve something great, which surpasses others, and leaving behind ordinary things, and raised up by holy inspiration, sings for the first time something, which is loftier, than anything that can come from mortal mouth. Indeed the mind, as long as it is left to itself, cannot reach anything high and difficult to achieve. It must change its usual pace, and rising upwards, take the bridle between its teeth, and bear the rider off, and arrive at the place, to which it did not dare go by its own inclination. Seneca teaches us this, and in such relaxation we really need a Seneca constantly by our sides, in order to hold to the mean. I for one, would not contradict what Plato said, that genius bursts out, as if lifted off its hinges, by three motivations: namely Divine inspiration, the elevation of Poetic spirit, and uplifting by wine: but I would say, that this last causes increased lustiness,

[201 C c]

or slothful somnolence, though it might well bring alertness of spirit and refreshment of the intellect {vernufts}. And I remain silent too about the danger, of a thousand kinds of offence, of the tongue and the hand. And it is likely also that you, driven by the Painter's common urge, will wish to visit foreign lands: so much the better, I remember still, that I was driven by this desire: since Thalia grants us leave, to wander a little beyond the rules of art, then listen a little to the beginning of my first journey; from Dordrecht to Vienna in Austria.

[marg: 1651. The 16th May from Dordrecht to Utrecht]
As the Crane, in the height of the season,
Follows the Sun, and stirs his swift feathers,
So did I the same: I departed my city, far from
These bounds to pass time with strangers.
I mounted my horse, armed with courage
No less, than with Swords and Pistols,
And set forth on the journey: three times I paused
And looked back, and said: Why do I wander?
Do I not love my Fatherland?
Where can one find more comfort?
Why is my soul so sad? and my spirit
So very unsettled? Why does my resolution waver?
The Nightingale replied: come, aye come,
And develop a taste for meadows and parks;
Freedom is a fine Kingdom,
Go seek it now in far-flung lands.
I gave the view of my city the last salute:
Shook the bridle, and pricked with the spurs my Steed,
Which snorted and sneezed, and ran, quick of foot,
Along dyke and dale, through meadow and cornfield,
As far as Utrecht, in the widely famed Bishopric,
Onto the Veluwe, in unsteady winds,
In storm after storm, accompanied by Lightning,
But soon sweeten by May-time's beautiful days.

[marg: The 18th of the same, through De Bilt, Doorn, Amerongen, Rhenen and Wageningen, and the evening to Renkum. The 19th to Arnhem, over the Eltenberg and to Emmerich. The 20th via Rees to Wesel. The 27th to Uerdingen.]
Thus I rode across the Eltenberg, thinking of
Robbery, so feared by Travellers,
Through Emmerich, Rees and Wesel. Soft
And gently flows the Rhine with its streams
Beside the banks: its atmosphere so sweet
Began to give my lungs a lighter breathe:
But alas! What complaints and sighs
From the poor people, exiled by war?


The Protector of the Rhine lies violated and torn,
On the rubble, in the ashes of overthrown cities,
And although the Peace has restored him,
Terror and Fear still sit in all his members.
Here a Snake curls, there howls a nest of Wolves,
Still I think it a Tempe, proud Thessaly:
On the far bank arose a high fortress,
A broad building, covered with blue slates:
[marg: The 28th through Neuss to (a) Cologne.]
It used to be (a) Agrippina, famed and great of name
In ancient times, and now because of the grave of the Eastern Magi,
And Ursula's procession: henceforth its name and honour
Will rise to heaven with greater radiance
On Vondels's feathers. O German Mantua!
Raise up his image on your Principal buildings.
This I spoke firmly, and approached meanwhile closely enough,
So that I could gaze upon her Churches to my desire.
And then satiated, returned to the journey,
[marg: The 1st of June. Out of Cologne first across the Rhine and to Bonn again over the Rhine, and there overnight. The 2nd past the Seibengebirge and Breisach, along the Andernach over the Mosel bridge and to Koblenz. The 3rd over the Rhine, and to Lahnstein over the Lahn: to Braubach to climb the mountain, to Nachtsteede and on to the Sour Source of Schwalbach, through the Schwalbach forest, and overnight at Wiesbaden. The 4th to Frankfurt and received well by de Heer Merian. The 7th out of Frankfurt over the Main, through Obertshausen, and as far as Obernburg. The 8th through Miltenberg, Eichenbühl, and to Gissigheim. The 9th over hill and dale, and overnight at the Post House. The 10th to Riedern, and as far as Königshofen.]
And over the Lahn, the mountains rising up,
Planted with vines, which also dampen Dordrecht's Doel,
Past Mosel's stream and the Rhine, that sweeps slippery over
The soft ground, and along the damp Neckar:
Quench my thirst at Schwalbach's pure springs:
To Wiesbaden to wallow in the bath,
Which shoots out of the ground already boiling hot.
This gave me a longing, which elevated my spirit
To praise the Creator of these wonders.
The German market of Frankfurt arose before my eye,
So well known in every Prince's court.
Here the Main grants its fame to Merian;
He constantly urged me to climb upwards:
So, bid good luck, I took the nearest road
Through the Fir Wood with Sky-high crests;
The crabbed Oak touched the tall Lime tree
In the dense shadow of the dark wilderness.
And while my heart was thus, full of delight,
I saw a stream, and so to quench my thirst,
I dismounted: but what a strange prospect!
Tears that flowed from a Goddess,
A beautiful Maiden, with eyes clear and bright
Like the Sun, her bosom appeared pierced by a shot,

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The beautiful face wounded, the hand bloodied,
The clothing torn, the hair wild.
I stood astonished, and asked: Who is so furious.
That would not reverence the lightning of these eyes?
She did not hear, but uttered this complaint:
My Germany, ah! How are you thus reduced?
My Maidens are violated or murdered:
My Cities felled, with their Towers, Churches, Walls:
The field is filled with stinking corpses;
As one sees everywhere around Nördelingen:
The soul {'t Gemoed} of my people, turned to stone by War's riot,
Is sullen and surly, and not inclined to kindness.
[marg: The 11th through Wemding and as far as Donauwörth. The 12th to Augsburg, I observed this city carefully and also the famous sites listed here. I sold my horse and on the 17th left Augsburg on the Lech, on a long raft of logs, in the middle of which there was a proper little cabin built for us. In the afternoon we arrived at the Danube and slept at Neuburg. On the 18th past Ingolstad, Kelheim through the terrifying pass to Prüfening. Saw Regensburg on the 19th, then past Donaustauf, near Straubing and to Deggendorf. The 20th past Osterhofen, Vilshofen, Passau and by night in Wesenurfer. The 21st past Aschach, Linz, Wallsee Castle, the Town of Grein, and through the rushing whirlpool, past the Werfenstein, and at night in Ybbs. The 22nd past Melk, past Stein, and slept one hour from Vienna]
Thus she complained, the celebrated Protector
Of the German Nation: her lament made me sigh
The entire road. Next I saw Donauwörth,
And Swabia, formerly so peaceful;
And Augsburg, proud with splendid architecture,
A fine jewel, a showpiece of German cities,
It complained bitterly, and mourned in sorrow,
But showed off {bralde} too with handsome parts:
In well-built Towers, Church, and Houses,
And Streets, rich with flowing Fountains,
And Statues: the citizen who receives
The stranger respectfully. And then on to Vienna,
To see the Court, with Imperial splendour,
I make my way on bound-together logs,
And tree trunks down the Lech, which on account of its force
Rolls stones, and foams with rapid streams,
Into the ancient bed of the wide Danube. Ay!
The most beautiful flood, Princess of the river-goddesses,
The Water-snake, her rushing cries are adored by
The Water-god {Watergoon} with caresses:
She kisses the Inn, which tumbles in from the far Alps,
The Drave, and the Enns! she bursts with seven mouths
Into the Black Sea. I am astonished, she bears
Our Log-raft on her back in a few hours
Past City, and Village, and Field, and Mountain, and Rocks,
And curves past terrifying cliffs on both sides
Or wallows in the broads; and then proudly
Slips away with great foaming tumult,


Or twists down into Charybdis' abyss,
And swallows one gulp to drench deep Hell.
Famous river! I pity your tears,
Brought to you by the Swedish army in its circuit.
Here I saw a town, razed to the ground,
Its head begun again half faintly to rise,
And Field and Vineyard, formerly tidy
Battered showing the first signs of peace;
Thanks be to peace. The Prince of Peace lives
And wields his sceptre in Vienna's Chief Castle,
There our raft lands, we walk in the Town, and are shown
A thousand wonders. What jewels
Mistress Nature wears in her many-coloured costume!
[marg: on the 23rd July in the morning land in Vienna.]
My Heart rejoices to see these strange things {vremdigheen}:
I gaze open-eyed: my eye forgets itself
In house, in street, and fine buildings.
The Courtly youth bestride the Horse of Hunger {beschrijt het Hongers Ros};
Followed by graceful corteges, they hasten
To the Court, decorated with proud plumes
In the midst of their Pages and Lackeys.
This rejoices my soul, and fills me with thoughts:
I decide to set my Art Goddess on her throne
Here. So, not to have a wasted journey,
To whet my genius to its sharpest before the Throne of Caesar.
Thus was my desire exhausted night and day,
In painting the forms of Mistress Nature:
Sweat flowed from my forehead from effort;
My soul burned for immediate triumph.
No pleasure drew my proud and youthful heart
Other than to beseech this alone of my art goddess.
The knot was cut with force and steel.
Given time one can break down the strongest wall.
Thus I fed myself with a longed-for hope,
And finished my poem in mid-step.
At Vienna in the month of July 1651.

I will not belabour you with more diary entries; however neither can I not offer the following verse for the Eager-to-travel youth, which is now fresh from the pen; they will find some instruction in it, that will be of no small service, were they actually to follow, even so far as to Rome.

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If there is one thing that is charming, then it is the sweet joy,
To be found in travel, through distant and strange lands.
My heart opens up, in remembering my youth,
When I burned with curiosity in the heat of the desire to travel.
I bridled my sighs, sought out many fine towns,
I saw many extraordinary things, Woods, Mountains, Valleys,
The Chief rivers of Europe, and the strange things
That one shows to foreigners, Princely salons,
And the life of the court that one follows when with Princes.
Opportunity did not oppose me, but seem to drive me on.
But when I remember all the danger, I am anxious,
Of all that went over my head. I have to shudder.
Not one Scylla alone, or one throat of Charybdis,
Threatened to swallow me unpredicted,
But all the Harpies, and Sirens, took part
In confusing me, be it with traps or with lures.

Youth tastes the beautiful charming crop blindly,
[marg: Travel lessons.]
The snake and the Adder hide concealed behind.
Therefore, if the desire to travel plays in your head,
I prudently anticipate for you all these mortal pitfalls:
Beware anything you do not know for certain,
No nation is more easily led than our little folk,
They are rowdy, easily seduced, and many are habituated
To Bacchus. And so that you do not come to bewail it,
Never reveal to anyone, how long your journey is.
Avoid light company, and spend your time with serious people,
And if you are carrying money, be sure to hide it from all;
For there are always those, who watch you out of a desire to steal.
Never stay at an inn, unless kept by an acquaintance:
Small inns often conceal a gang of thieves.
See that you do not needlessly waste your savings,
So that, when need arises, you can spend it honourably.
Be polite of eye and mouth, and never defame the manners,
That Cities or peoples esteem to be the best:
Leave State and Religion in peace, however displeasing to you;
Or you will eventually reveal your folly at the last moment.

There are three things, which you must avoid,
That is, never or rarely to pass time with your countrymen:
For out of twenty you will find only one that is good,
And at the least they will hinder you in learning the language.


Secondly, you must beware of wine;
For what one does when drunk, one regrets when sober,
And that which gives you joy, changes into an angry venom.
But the last and the worst is, the danger of loose women.
My dear young Painter, I pray you,
Be neither tempted nor seduced by this riff-raff;
Here roguery hides behind a feigned laugh,
And a sweet glance: you will be surely lost,
If you do not courageously play the role of Joseph here.
Always bear in mind, why you are abroad?
That is so that you can expend your costly time
On knowledge and art, and not on luxury; try to live
Wisely. Well, I assume that you are in Rome,
This is the celebrated School, the masterpieces are here,
The beautiful statues, the memorials of antiquity,
Here you will find flowers, which are well worth being picked.

Rise early, spend your time from day to day,
In seeing everything: preferably with your drawing pens
Copying after the best, and, as much as you can,
Harvest Antiquity, and sift out the grain.

And since it is impossible, to draw after all
The countless number of Marble statues,
And famous Paintings, O Young Painter, it will not be
Of no use to you, in order to develop in art and knowledge,
That you yourself become accustomed to painstakingly
Learning the very best kind and manner of painting:
So that that you do not blindly ape the masters, however famous,
But seriously, as if you would challenge them.

As well as enriching yourself in this way with art,
It is also most necessary, that you note the unusual things,
The Antiques, and everything the foreigner diligently
Notes; and also the conduct of courts, strange manners,
Customs, and everything experience has constantly
Taught you: for since a Painter must frequently pass
Among the great and the worldly-wise, so he requires
Affability suffused with knowledge {gespraekzaemheyt met kennis overgooten}.

Whoever arranges his travel in this way, whether he returns or remains,
It will be no surprise, wherever he is, that he will thrive.

But I think that I, in writing this verse, am once again back in Rome. Certainly indeed, for here we are just in front of the famous


Farnese Palace. [marg: Farnese Palace,] Here we pass by the great Hercules, and the Flora, and other fine sculptures. And inside in the galleries, guarded by iron doors, we shall see female figures by Raphael and Parmigianino, and portraits by Titian: the Christ by Michelangelo, and the art of Da Vinci, and Caracci {Carats}. Also a room by Taddeo Zuccharo, and further on many statues, the greater and the lesser vaults, and various small rooms by Carracci, and another by Lanfranco.

In the Ludovisi [marg: Ludovisi,] you will find a beautiful garden {hof} with innumerable statues, and in a rectangular casino the excellent Fama in the vault by Guerchino {Guartsin Dacent}. I do not speak of the cabinet with rarities {rariteyten}, and the bed with noble gemstones; for you will find the Gallery and three small chambers full of excellent stone statues much rarer and nobler. And in the large palace the Pluto and Proserpine by the Knight Bernini, and, as well as many other statues and pieces, four beautiful figures by Guido Reni.

Should you go to that of Montalto, [marg: Montalto,] you will be astonished by many delightful fountains, as well by as the statuary art and pieces.

In that of the Aldobrandini, [marg: The Aldobrandini.] you shall, among a hundred other Paintings, discover the art of Paulo Veronese, and the beautiful Bacchus by Titian.

But hello, it is not now my intention to walk through the whole of Rome, the Bentveughels {Bendvogels} can serve me for greenness {groen, i.e., inexperience} again, and I can cut out the stone {de key snyden, i.e., cure stupidity} a second time.

The Netherlandish Painters' Bend [marg: Roman Bend,] was established in Rome in the time of our forefathers, for the awakening of slumbering spirits. The green initiates were there received with ingenious ceremonies {geestige toestel}, and nude performances, before the cave of secrets, by the ancient Sybil; and they were awarded a new name of powerful significance. There one rinses off care and arrogant vanity in the sweet Albano, and cradles {herwiegtmen} those, not yet fully asleep {niet wel gebakert zijn}. [marg: It is dangerous.] O How lucky they are, who thrive on this! and who leap forth, like the rejuvenated Ram of Medea, from the Bend-cauldron, where so many remain suffocated like Pelias; indeed they are more than fortunate, who survive their stupidity, and look back on their follies. These diversions are certainly memorable {heuglijk}, but full of danger, and even more so for a lively spirit, who is easily enamoured, and easily led. [marg: The Bend of the Tas.] The Vauxhall Tas provides sweet entertainment when in London, graceful spirits always gathered together for the interpretation of Renjans Reliquen, on the matter of which such things were said, that our lives are too short, for us to conceive of them in their entirety, and I speak not of rediscovery. However this has disappeared with our perpetual motion finder, or rather seeker, Kalthoff. [marg: The Guild of the Pan.] The painterly Florentines, both Painters and art lovers, now a hundred and fifty years since, organised twelve of their number into a delightful, but expensive companionship {gild}, that they called the Cauldron {Pan}:


among them was the excellent painter Andrea del Sarto, and the outstanding Giovanni Francesco Rustici: at certain times they organised an evening meal at which, each taking it in turn, one of them was host or lord: each of the guests had to ask four others with them, as well as bring a special contribution to the meal {gastmael}, and when two of them brought something similar, they had to pay a fine. When in his turn Giovanni Francesco was in charge, he made a large Cauldron of linen, painted, which served as a table, within which they all sat: the handle of the Cauldron curved over the top with candlesticks on it, providing plenty of light, the guests sitting all around the Cauldron opened in the middle, a tree rising up bearing a plate with food for each pair of guests, carried on the branches, which when unburdened withdrew back down, all the while music was played artistically, and the guests enjoyed themselves: later the tree brought the second, and after that the third course; and they drank a lovely Etruscan wine. Rustici's gift to the Cauldron at that meal was a cauldron {ketel} made of pastry dough {pasteydeeg}, into which Jason dipped his father in order to rejuvenate him; these two figures were two cooked capons, shaped wholly like men or pygmies, all of it good to eat.

Andrea del Sarto contributed a Temple, like that of San Giovanni of Florence, with eight sides, but standing on columns. The foundation was a very large plate of Gelée, that is, thickened pottage, in various colours of Mosaic, delicious to eat: the porphyry columns were sausages, the Bases and capitals Parmesan cheese, the cornices cooked sugar, the choir was layered {gestoelt} marzipan, the pulpit calf meat, the songbook dough, and the notes and letters grains of pepper: the singers were roast thrushes with open beaks, with choristers surplices made of fine pigskin. The basses were pigeons, and six linnets held the treble. A certain Spillo brought a tinker {ketelaer}, made from a large Goose, equipped with all the tools, in order, were it necessary, to fix the Cauldron. A certain Puligo furnished a roast pig in the form of a spinster, guarding a brood of chickens in front of the Cauldron. Another a tasty anvil from a pig's head, and other stuff serving as the Cauldron. O Lucullus! What diversions are these! [marg: Truffel-guild.] What more beautiful bulwark for the Land of Cockayne {Luylekkerland}. But wait, let us hear about the guild of the Trowel. These pleasure-loving Tuscans were once dining in a garden, occupied with Cream cheese {Roomkaeskens}, which they were throwing playfully into each other's mouths, meanwhile one of them found a Trowel, with some plaster on it, it seems that there was building work thereabouts. Entering the game with agility, he threw the plaster into the mouth of another who was gaping for Cream cheese; this made the company laugh, and

[209 D d]

cry out the Trowel, the Trowel. And from this was born the companionship of the Trowel of twenty four persons, twelve deemed to be major, and twelve to be minor members: their emblem was the Trowel, and their patron Saint Andrew. This guild, which existed for nothing other than pleasure, play and hilarity, attracted great lords to it, as the Medici and others. They were held, on their Feast day, at a place, appointed by the master, each to be in a specific fancy dress; and if any looked alike, they were in breach; also each was placed at the table and honoured according to the way he was dressed. At one time among others it happened, that at the command of the master they all appeared in mason's dress, with Trowel and hammer in their belts, and the chief labourers with their tools: [marg: Masons's meal.] the Lord of the guild led them to the table, showing the ground plan of a Palace, which he commanded them to build. The chief labourers fetched damp stuff to work with, that is, tasty fare of thin pastry {dun deeg}, which they call Lasagna, in their buckets, in the place of plaster. Also fresh cheese and cream cooked hard, that they call Ricotta, well dusted and mixed with sugar, grated cheese, and spices: and in place of sand they used preserves, sugar-bread, and batter {struiven}. The cut stone brought in baskets and buckets were white bread, biscuits, tarts, and suchlike, so as to lay out the foundations firmly. Certain larger stones were rejected as badly cut by the master and were split up: these were filled with roast thrushes, liver sausage, and suchlike, the first snack for the chief labourers. Next they brought a large column, which they broke up, and found to be filled with cooked tripe {kalfspensen}, calf meat, capons, and so forth, which they ate, as well as the base of Parmesan cheese, as well as the capital, astonishingly finely made of roast capons, calf meat and tongue. Lastly on a trolly an exceptionally artistic architrave, with frieze and cornice included, made with so much good food, that to relate it would take too long, and then it was time to part, and after several claps of thunder, it rained; at this they left their work, and each went to home. On another occasion, when a certain Panzona was master of the guild, it went as follows: The company of the guild having come to the place, and sitting with the master, Ceres appeared, seeking her daughter Proserpina, who had been carried off by Pluto, beseeching them to follow her in to Hell. The bretheren, after a discussion, agreed, and going into a room with little light, they came across the wide-open mouth of a Serpent, whose head alone covered the entire wall, Cerberus having barked three times, Ceres asked, whether her lost daughter was not inside? The reply was yes: but Pluto refused to give her back, however he invited the mother and all the company to the wedding. This was eventually agreed; they entered in groups stepping between


the teeth: for the serpent opened and closed its mouth, until they were all inside. Eventually they entered a circular room, in which there was only a dim light, so that they could hardly make each other out. [marg: The Hell feast.] An ugly demon with a fork appeared, who sat them at a table draped with black. Pluto decreed that, in honour of his wedding, the pains of hell would be suspended; then they saw, through a variety of gaps in the head of a whale, clever views, and the pains of hell, as described by the poet Dante, terrifyingly depicted. The dishes at this feast looked like fearsome beasts, but on the inside were various kinds of good food. The aforementioned demon with a fork was the chief waiter of the service, and several of his companions supplied delicate wine from a glass horn, shaped on the outside like an ugly snake. The banquet at this wedding was not then the bones of the dead, but baked from sugar. Then Pluto announced, that he was going to bed with his bride, and that the condemned were to begin again their sufferings. Suddenly all the lights were blown out by a gust, and one heard a horrible clamour; but straight away the light returned and the mournful banquet had been taken away, in in its place a princely dinner served up. At the end of this a ship arrived, bearing as its merchandise all manner of costly deserts. The sailors pretended to load up again, and little by little brought all the men in the guild to an Upper room, where a spirited performance of the play Philogena was given, which finishing towards morning, the guests went happily home.


Following on from the foregoing.

From these two examples one readily understands what the Towel Guild was. Leonardo da Vinci also belonged among these merry spirits, although he might have been the master of them all. Immediately following the election of Pope Leo the tenth, he made many charming things: he made several birds and animals from thin dough which, having inflated them with air, he made fly. He took the fat from many Sheep's intestines, making them thin, and joined them together, so that they could all be concealed in the palm of one hand: and in another room had had them inflated from both ends, with two Smith's bellows, so that the whole room in which he was with the Lord, as soon as it got to a certain size, was filled up. He compared this to art,

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which signifies the large from the small. [marg: Making Tableaux {Schoutoneelen}, victory chariots, triumphal arches,] Now that we are discussing the election of a Pope, I shall add this: that the diversions of a Painterly spirit can frequently enhance the elections of Princes, Coronations, receptions, or welcomes. This spirit can here delight in inventing Tableaux, Victory Chariots, Triumphal Arches and Trophies: by this means praise and wealth are playfully earned, and an artist is honoured with the respect of prince and people.

[marg: And other art inventions.] You may also, if you wish, seek to rediscover the lost inventions of the ancient Architects, who made certain Statues to rise by themselves: and secretly to scatter paintings into the air, and other unexpected entertainments; [marg: Seneca Epist. 88.] and bring it about that whatever was closed, opens, and whatever was previously opened, closes up; or that which was projecting, shrinks, and contracts into itself. For by these means artful deceptions astonish all the world, and give people a high opinion of the inventor. The Egyptian Priests, experienced in art, sought to set up their idols in the churches in order to inspire awe, and sometimes in this way, so that through hidden openings, in walls or ceilings, a sudden light from the rising Sun, by means of which the gilded Suns, or crowns, that they wore on their heads, seemed to burn, and illuminate all around them, to the great terror of attentive spectators, who, not knowing the cause of this effect, fancied, that these Gods, favoured their devotion as if with a miracle. Certainly a shocking abuse of the inventions of these artistic inventions, of which I wish very much our so-called Christianity was free. And I have also observed, that similar deceptions of the eye have been employed in Chapels and Churches, which one calls a holy deception, and however well they seem to enhance the attention of spectators, as I do not myself deny, I nevertheless hold them to be an intolerable means, of wicked deception, and the establishment of superstition and damnable Idolatry. Art would lose the name of art, if one used it to persuade spectators, that a more than human power was at work, indeed one could then justly call it a knavish deception and Sorcery. But this steps outside our shop. I shall not teach you the particulars of devices, of how to make huge Horses or Giants with battens, hurdle-branches, and straw frameworks, and then plastered, or faced with paper, much less how to devise Victory Arches and Chariots, the Art of Painting and her eloquent Sister will discover enough to do in their common enterprises {gezamendehand werks}. [marg: The practise of Poetry.] In suchlike works one must first seek a device {zinspreuk}, and then arrange the whole composition to its statement and explication. Poetic invention is discussed


above. The practice of Poetry, or at least the reading of it, is so much a part of the Art of Painting, that it seems almost obligatory; but each must beware that this Siren does not lead him too far astray. [marg: Go out drawing.] I do not discuss the diversions, which the Young Painter enjoys, going out and drawing from life with others, it being of more importance to art, than is appropriate for a diversion. We wish only to touch upon, that which sets one playfully to work. [marg: Drawing games First,] In Italy we had three games, by means of which, if we found some charcoal, we covered all the walls. The First was to portray this or that acquaintance, be it his face, posture, or movement, using extremely few, or indeed hardy any, lines, so that he was immediately identified; which sometimes came off so wonderfully well, that one could with difficulty have improved it in a diligently done Drawing. [marg: Second,] The second was, that each drew some animal, half moon, or spool, or whatever, on the wall: ordering another, to make something of it, a Drinking cup, mountain, or tool, or whatever came into his mind: and each gazing at it, the imagination was bravely awakened, and from it one sometimes saw amusing, and sometimes wonderful forms appearing, which would with difficulty have been capable of emerging from a single person's understanding, all the more so as this command went out, to make this or that from the already existing work, from the second or the third, and so forth to the last. [marg: Third.] The third was, that two or three, without any plan on a large wall in various places each began to draw a face, hand or foot, or back or elbow, or whatever he wanted, until the wall was fairly covered with bits and pieces, as when each begins to produce something on the others' already-begun pieces, and seeks the way, to bring it by the best means into some kind of order; either by additions or supplements {door byvoegingen of aen}, or by joining it with another. In doing which no small observation and power of imagination are required. [marg: Awaken Maecenases.] Polyhymnia has already told us about a certain Fréminet, who also painted using this method. Furthermore it is a necessary pleasure to cultivate art lovers, to which end the trade in paper-art is wont to give no little opportunity. Certainly, it is most proper for an Artist, that he esteem the prints and drawings of Masters who have gone before him: for as well as reinforcing art's esteem in general, he will also constantly come across objects, which will awaken his spirit, and make him think up new inventions. This love of paper-art is in our times come to such a height, that I have seen Rembrandt give nearly eighty rijks-dollars for a bagpipe-player, the so-called Uilenspiegel, by Lukas van Leyden: and the round passion by the same master is sold for an even higher price. But this

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foolishness is nowadays overwhelmed by an even greater conceit; and the ancient paper-art is robbed of esteem by stupidity, and trodden underfoot by reckless Donkeys: in that, being infatuated with their own rubbish, they can see no deeper into the old art, than into a whetstone. [marg: And Paintings.] The buying, selling, and exchanging of Paintings, is also proper for a Painter, because others, encouraged by his example, are stimulated to do it. For who will develop a love of art, if Painters do not set a precedent? And by this means also one obtains the favour of other masters, when they see, that you also do their work the honour of desiring it. Apelles bought everything by Protogenes that he could get, likewise our worthy Lely, everything on the market by the Knight van Dyck. Rubens, observing that he was resented on account of his high reputation by a certain Painter, immediately commissioned a piece of work from him, paying him the full price asked, and by means of this civility, poked him right in his envious eye. Certainly it is a major activity {zaek}, to bring lots of powerful art lovers into the fold {in de kap te brengen} by being an example of how to love art: to the extent that they never forget art. I very much wish, however strange it might sound, to have known art lovers like Caesar Augustus myself: [marg: Strange sale of Paintings. Suetonius. in Augustus.] this powerful prince sometimes, at his banquets, allowed Paintings, turned round or back to front, to be sold from bench to bench: for which the guests bid by guesswork, and the highest bidder was the buyer, whether he turned out a winner or a loser. And those who would thus, as they say, buy a pig in a poke, submitted in order to compete for Augustus' favour. We advise our art lovers rather to find out the value of the pieces, so that they are not deceived, and do not become disgusted by art. [marg: Read Histories.] Finally, the reading of good books, and exploring the histories of ancient and modern times for pleasure, is a most necessary thing to do {zaek}, and too well understood by everybody, to have to be stated here. [marg: Practice of virtue.] And as to what concerns the practice of pious virtue, and the upright and true diversion of the Painters spirit, that need not be taught here; perhaps something more will be heard about that from our Calliope.