Grondt & Inleyding



 [unnumbered page: print, URANIA, de Hemelhefster. 9.]

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The Raiser-up to Heaven {De Hemelhefster}.

The ninth Book.


The journey now at an end, Urania will
Show us the many kinds of painting,
And explain the use of Noble Pictures,
And how this beautiful art of the Painters came about.
What satisfying reward through Divine generosity,
What purses heavy with gold, what branches rich in glory
Are to be gathered, neither death nor the grave shall ever devour
The name of an Artist: but ennobled without equal
His fame shall rise up to the Starry sky.
Who would refuse his sweat and labour for such a favour?

On the Print.

She who is able to attempt to get the spirit to Heaven,
And who is therefore here rightly crowned with Stars,
Is shown in this plate with three children,
Who represent Honour, Riches, and complete satisfaction:
Satisfaction grants the soul on earth a blessed life:
Riches bodily pleasure; and Honour quickens the spirit:
Whenever one sees branch after branch of fresh laurel,
One is raised out of the Grave to immortality.
Whoever then is unremitting in art, and spares himself no pains,
Will find here a haven free of storm and sorrow.



Who other than you, O Divine Muse, shall help me finish this account of the Art of Painting? You who shows us Heaven in a mirror, and has prepared your white picture, as if you would yourself paint? Tell us, in how many costumes art has appeared to us {zich wel verkleed heeft}; and how many kinds of Painting have been brought into the world, and then, to cheer us, describe your rewards, and with a loveable nod, make the stars on your head twinkle.


Concerning the various employments of paintings.

That the Art of Painting is the ape of nature, we have handled to some extent, in so many indeed in infinite reflections, in so far as it is grasped by the understanding; but let us before we come to our conclusion, go as if into the past, and review the forms and manners of painting, which have been in use, from the beginning up until these times, in so far as we know of them.

We will speak mostly of painting, from when it had already reached its peak, and its practitioners were crowned with glory. But let us first discover, why it was that Paintings were made, and what things were chosen to be painted. As regards the rise and fall of art Melpomene has reported, principally in relation to the Christian Religion. The which we shall now review.

In Rome art came most into regard, when Marcus Valerius Maximus Messala had the sea battle, which he won against the Carthaginians, and the victory over Hiero in Sicily, [marg: The painting of Sea Battles on the walls of town halls; begun in the Year 490 after Rome's foundation.] painted on one side of the Curia Hostilia {Hostilische raethuis}, which originated the custom thereafter of painting the bloody assaults of the Romans on their enemies in Town Halls.

What employment the Art of Painting also had in triumphs, Appian of Alexandria describes for us, in the account of the Victory Celebrations of Pompey; [marg: Its use in Appian of Alexandria, bk. 4.] for according to what he says, some great personages proceeded at the front of their triumphs, and he says, that as well as those who were in attendance,


likenesses and portraits were also carried of those who were dead, that is to say, of Tigranes and Mithridates, and such as they had fought with, and had conquered or who had fled: [marg: Paintings in Triumphs.] also how Mithridates had been besieged, and fled in silence by night, his death, with both of his daughters, who preferred to die with him, painted next to him, as well as all his other children, of both Sexes, who had already died before him. And furthermore images of their Gods dressed and apparelled in a barbaric fashion. Then a picture was carried, in which the ships, which he had overcome in the war, were portrayed and painted, that is, eight hundred galleons, with the cities, which he had taken, or which were held by him under tribute, as eight in Cappadocia, and twenty in Cilicia and Syria; next to this stood again the Kings defeated by him, painted, Tigranes King of the Armenians, Artoces of Iberia, Oroezes of Albania, Darius of Media, Aretas of Nabatea, and Antiochus King of Commagene; all painted most naturally, and the meanings, as well as the Paintings, explained in the pictures in writing. But we have experienced a time, in which the painting of victory pictures has reached such high disapproval, that on their account alone a horrible and bloody war was nearly brought about, with yet more violence, as if Helen were unchained; but it is easy for someone to take offence, if he wants to stumble.

To return now to the use of Paintings: there still exists a most excellent oration by Marcus Agrippa, said Pliny, concerning the making public of all manner of Paintings and Sculptures: which was considered more appropriate, than consigning them to country houses. It was also said of Apelles, that he would make no Paintings, unless they were to be displayed in public places, and that is why even in his own house there was nothing at all painted.

The noble Romans, at the time of Seneca, had their own portraits, and those of their ancestors, with their names, in a long row, bound with many bows and ties, displayed proudly in the atrium. And if any of them died, then they straight away had many painted copies on hand, to accompany their funeral. They also set portraits and images of learned men in their libraries.

When Emperor Claudius, who died of plague, was honoured by the Roman people on account of his virtue, a beautiful image of him was erected in the capitol, [marg: The Emperor's image on a shield.] and beneath it was displayed a golden shield, containing his likeness painted in miniature, as in a medal.


And when the Athenians, celebrated a feast day in honour of King Demetrius, [marg: The King's image in the theatre. Theatres.] they displayed him as large as life in a painting, riding and sitting on a globe, on their proscenium {voortoneel}. And as regards theatres, they were frequently extremely finely painted, indeed, so much so that the ravens were deceived by the painted roof of that of Claudius Pulcher.

When the triumvir Lepidus built a house in a woody place, [marg: Monsters.] and could not rest on account of the singing of the birds, a terrifying dragon was painted onto a long parchment roll, and the place was surrounded with it, and it is said, according to Pliny, that on account of this scare the birds no longer sang. And so ever since then this has been done, when it was necessary, to quieten them

Next city gates, [marg: Painted gates and doors.] and also the doors of private houses were painted with Minerva's image, and the figure of Mars was to be seen at the entrance to the town. And doors were also embellished with the images of other gods or heroes. And in large houses, or around citizens' dwellings, one commonly saw a large dog drawn on the wall, with the motto, CAVE. CAVE. CANEM.

The battle between the weasels and the mice [marg: Shops.] was painted on the boards of little shops, and at the ends two snakes; so that no one would befoul those spots.

Around those places, [marg: Martyr pictures. Aesculapiuses.] where ancient Christian martyrs had been killed, they painted accounts of their resolute suffering. And the Heathens, cured of a sickness, had an image of Aesculapius painted, and hung in their best rooms. Christians, urged by this example to show gratitude, whenever they were relieved of some sickness, shipwreck, or other distress, had the story painted, with such and such a saint next to it, [marg: Pictures in gratitude.] the assistance of whom they believed they had most of all received; and this custom continues among the Romans to the present day.

Marcus Agrippa [marg: Paintings in Baths.] embellished the hottest parts of the baths with little pictures, which were skilfully fitted into the marble.

The Egyptians painted their silver drinking vessels, [marg: On drinking vessels.] instead of engraving them, with the image of Anubis. The Ancients also frequently painted on glass.

Next for the beautifying also [marg: Tackle painted.] of the bridles of horses, and harness-straps, boots, quivers, tents, and shields. The shields of new soldiers remained blank, until they had done a praiseworthy deed. [marg: Shields {schilden} origin of the word painting {schilderen}.] It is believed that painting in the netherlandish language, comes from painting shields {schilden beschilderen}: since the ancient

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Batavians would have known no other Paintings, other than their shields, it is easy to accept.

Sculptures or Statues were also sometimes painted, not only vermilion red, but sometimes with all their colours, like the Bacchus at Creusis. At their celebrations the Egyptians carried around the wooden figure of a dead man, [marg: See Herodot. bk. 2. and 3.] painted so that it appeared to be a natural corpse, the Moors also did this.

And finally I would very much wish, that the most important employment of Painting should be as a benefit {voordeel} to the commonwealth, and for the support {voorstant} of the Republic, as was brought about by the Sicyonian Captain Aratus: who through his love for the Art of Painting advanced it mightily, [marg: Last and best employment of Painting.] thereby freeing his citizens and Fatherland from a bloodbath, and complete destruction, winning for himself the greatest honour, that ever man could achieve. Sicyonia always bloomed in art, but it was in extreme distress through civil disunity: [marg: See Plutarch's Aratus.] for eighty exiles, some of whom had wandered for at least fifty years, being called back, and once again taking possession of their forfeited possessions, raised an unstoppable revolt. Aratus seeing this, and loving his Fatherland, set to Sea for Egypt, in order to seek aid from King Ptolomy, whom he was accustomed to support, sending him too many of the best and most beautiful Paintings, notably by Pamphylus and Melanthus. For which Ptolomy had already sent him twenty-five Talents, but on account of his love for art, as well as for his City rich in art, he wanted to be known as Magnanimous {Koninklijk}, and honoured him with yet another hundred and fifty, or, as others have it, 175 Talents, [marg: 105000 crowns.] forty of which Aratus took with him to the Peloponnese, and the King sent the rest after him in several deliveries. By means of this money Aratus silenced the conflict in his City, unified the citizens, and delivered his Fatherland into the honour and respect, of enemy and ally. And the exiles also had a bronze figure made in his honour, underneath which they had this text engraved:

Aratus acquitted himself nobly,
With piety in the appalling conflagration,
His glory rises to a great height,
Only to be compared to the fame of Hercules.
We Exiles are set free once again,
Peace is renewed in the Fatherland,
And house and Church restored to the ancient order:
Thus, so as not to forget his Virtue,


We here erect this bronze figure in his honour.
O Saviour, beloved of the Gods! Who sought
Our salvation more than your own: at last, we again
Enjoy freedom, and delight
In Communal right, and peace and true contentment;
Where we so long sighed in misery.

What do you imagine, had this employment for Paintings had not come about? Henry IV {Hendrick de Groot} King of France, realising very well how much money annually departed the land of France for Italy in order to buy Paintings, was the first, to breed up his own countrymen in art, so as thereby to bring the goldmine to himself, which has since developed so much, that Italy seems transplanted to France. And somewhat further to this, I wish to advise our Republic's Mighty governors {Hoogmogende gezachebbers}, and pray them, That they vouchsafe to consider, that the Art of Painting in our state is, as in a new Greece, in the fullness of its bloom; [marg: Useful to the Fatherland and Inhabitants.] that it can provide for the Fatherland itself, like a priceless mine, pearl-fishery, and quarry of noble gemstones, many rich jewels daily of cabinet-pieces, that, without much cost expended, and solely through the ingenuity of few eaters {eeters} can be brought to a high value, far exceeding the porcelain of the Chinese in durability, and worth an incredible treasure; and that they vouchsafe to contrive means to have these treasures sold outside these lands: to favour the merchants, who deal in them; or, which would provide even higher honour for art, whenever their Mightinesses are pleased to do some honour to nearby or far-distant princes, that it should consist of unusually good new Paintings. Certainly, neither Emperors, Kings, nor any great princes would spurn them, and the state would thereby store up no small honour. Then I see art in our Fatherland defy France and Sicyonia, and raise its head up to Heaven; and, what is most desirable of all, to eradicate slander {schrobbery}. As regards its wider uses, and also abuses, we shall speak in the last part of this book.

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Concerning several kinds and forms of Painting, and ways of painting.

It is truly an entirely obscure matter, to discover the correct way of painting, used by the ancient Greeks. We certainly know of some, who employed a sponge, in order to erase something, in which they had erred, but this provides us with no certainty as regards the nature of their colours; [marg: Uncertainty regarding the manner of painting of the ancients.] for one can just as easily apply oil- as water-colour, indeed even glue-colour, if it is still warm, with a sponge. Pliny writes of a tragic actor, accompanied by a youth, painted by the hand of Aristedes, brought from Thebes to the Temple of Apollo in Rome, which, was given by Brutus {Marcus Junius,}, consul {schout} of Rome, to an ignorant Painter to be cleaned and dried, ready for the festival of the games of Apollo: but on account of the bestial stupidity of this workman all of its charming graces were destroyed. However this can not prove, Van Mander believes, that the ancients did not know oil- or fast-colours; for a fool can destroy everything.

Neither does the drawing contest {trekstrijt} between Apelles and Protogenes strike us as strange, but first listen, to how it went: Apelles went to Rhodes, attracted by the fame of Protogenes, so as to satisfy himself by seeing him, with regard to what was said concerning the excellence of this artist, but when he landed, and arrived at the shop, he found Protogenes was not at home, but only an old woman, and a prepared picture on the Easel; he wanted to leave, but the old woman asked him to give his name, so that her master might know, who had asked for him. At this Apelles took a brush and some paint, and with it drew wonderfully fine line, saying: Tell him, that it is this man, who seeks him, and he went away. Now when Protogenes returned, and had listened to the woman, and saw what had happened, he knew immediately that it must have been Apelles: for, he said, it is impossible, that anyone other than Apelles, could have drawn such a perfect line. And he took a brush himself, with another kind of colour, and cut through {doorkloofde} the line of Apelles, with a much thinner line, and leaving charged the old woman to show it to the stranger, should he return, and to tell him: that this was the hand


of the man, whom he sought. And thus it turned out, for Apelles came again, and stood completely ashamed to see himself defeated. Then he cut through {deursneeden} the previous line, with a third colour in such a way, that Protogenes had to acknowledge himself defeated, and ran to the harbour to find him, and, as a noble-natured artist ought, welcomed him affectionately, and courteously entertained him. And this picture, on which stood nothing other, than these three lines, and which were invisible from a distance, was for a long time preserved, and hung in the palace of Caesar, among the excellent works of the greatest masters, where, in the time of Pliny, it too was burned along with the rest. But this story still does not content us with regard to understanding the manner of handling, and the brushwork of the ancients. [marg: Gives no clear explanation.] Some convince themselves that it was made only of fine lines: lines, as Junius said, softly drawn with an accomplished and light hand, lines, which were cut through {deursneeden} in the most subtle of ways by lines in another colour. And this puts all the praiseworthiness in the hand's grip, never more highly esteemed than in Giotto's O; [marg: The O. of Giotto.] which now comes to my mind. When Pope Benedict the ninth intended to have some works made in Saint Peter's Church, he sent a courtier, to visit Painters in Siena, Florence, and elsewhere, asking for some drawings from them, to show to his Holiness. This courtier eventually visited the spirited Giotto, and asked for a drawing from his hand too. Giotto took a piece of paper, on which he drew with a brush, his arm held to his side like a compass, with one turning hand, not bending the arm, a circle drawn so perfectly precisely, that it was astonishing. This being done, he gave it with a big smile to the courtier, saying: Behold the Drawing; at which the other, thinking himself insulted, was indignant. But Giotto said, that it was more than enough, to be shown to the Pope, and that he would see, whether it was recognised. The other left unsatisfied, but nevertheless showed it among the drawings, to the great satisfaction and astonishment of the Pope, and all those who understood, since they realised, how Giotto had made his O without a compass, at which he was also summoned to Rome. [marg: Saying.] And from this comes the saying, which one commonly hears addressed to people as fat as a doughball: You are rounder than Giotto's O. But to return to the contest between Apelles and Protogenes, Karel Van Mander, in my opinion, gives a better judgment. I do not believe, he said, that this was made merely of drawn lines or strokes (as many believe, who are no Painters), but some outline of an arm or leg, or even a face from the side, or something like that, the outline of which they drew very neatly, and in some places through

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each others lines in different colours, which Pliny here names as cutting through {doorklieven}, in the way that the learned, who have no good understanding of our art, speak and write ignorantly about it. And I add my own interpretation here, because Pliny tells us, that those, who understood the Art of Painting, were greatly astonished and amazed: from which it is readily understood, that it was artistic outlines, and not simple lines, which were painted by these so excellent top masters in our art when competing with each other: for drawing a line straight or curved by hand, will be done much better by many a schoolmaster, writer, or any other, who is no Painter, than by the best Painter in the world. And this was not much esteemed by the Painters; for to that end one employs an edge or a rule. But those who understand art are astonished and astounded, whenever they see a charming and artistic outline, drawn with an excellent and intelligent skill, in which the Art of Drawing stands at its highest; but the straight line would be passed over unnoticed. So much for Van Mander. But we, in order to discover the ancient fashion of doing things, will make a more precise enquiry.

Pliny described three methods of painting, as in wax. [marg: Relief work.] Which I believe was a kind of imitation, like the charmingly coloured pieces I saw in Vienna by Nieuberger; and which were called relief work {verheven werk}.

The second method was Encaustic, Paintings painted or burned by fire, [marg: Encaustic burned Painting, and Monochrome.] which possibly has some association with the Glass-writers' method of baking colours, or even with enamelling on gold, since they also used a burin: although, it seems, they did it on ivory too, which must have been a method of inlay, though it is difficult to judge. However Van Mander believed, that it was merely a way of drawing with glowing irons on wood, or ivory: and that this was called Pictures in Lines {Linearis Pictura}, invented by a certain Philocles of Egypt. And that others coming later filled these outlines with some colour, which form of painting was called Monochrome by the Greeks; which Zeuxis and others employed successfully. But I think that Encaustic painting was not so inconsiderable, and was good enough to appear on the artistic piece, Augustus received from Nicias, which bore a title saying, that it was burned by Nicias.

The third form of work was with a brush and molten wax-colours, [marg: Wax-colours, possibly lacquer-work.] which, in my opinion, had something in common with the Japanese method of lacquer-work, the more so, since such Paintings were damaged neither by the Sun, by the wind nor by sea water: and even though lacquer-work has for a long time had some prestige among the Japanese, perhaps one could in Europe,


where art now blossoms at a level so much higher than in the east, indeed invent an art of making flat Painting with lacquer-work, which surpasses oil painting in durability, and which would outdo it in affect {kracht}; if we properly knew the technique, that they have in Japan.

And I discover another method, [marg: Parergon, like grotesque.] that they called Parergon, which was a work like grotesque.

What sort of Painting it was, that they called Meandrum, I cannot say, [marg: Meandrum Painting.] simply that it is said, that it borrowed its name from the River Meander, because, on account of numerous curves and bends, it seemed to be comparable to this wandering River.

And after the art-enlivening Roman empire was destroyed, by the inundation and flood of barbarous peoples, not only were the Ancient art-pieces wholly annihilated, but also the manners of painting were lost, and all of the techniques of working. All one found around the year 1200 were some Greek Painters in Italy, of whom some painted with egg- and also glue-paint, and others on walls in wet plaster; or who inlaid many-coloured baked glass into plaster, which was called Mosaic, which art Tafi the master of the joker Buffelmacco learned from the Greeks. And Gaddo Gaddi also employed this art to work on small Panels, and with egg shells too. [marg: Mosaic. The Venetians boasted that they had invented the art of Mosaic.] But Giotto much improved the art of Mosaic, as is still to be seen in the forecourt of St Peter's Church, in the Navicella {scheepken Petri}, where the little pieces of glass are as neatly worked, as if it were painted with a brush. St Mark's Chapel, which they held to be the most beautiful, for a Chapel, in the world, was formerly made of Mosaic. But the most important Mosaic work, known in the world, is the vault of St Sophia's Church at Constantinople, made, according to Sandys, of coloured and gilded rectangular pieces of marble, set together in such a way, as if it were a carved work, most noble and of great durability. One also still comes across some mosaic works here and there in Italy: indeed at the pool of Avernus, in the grotto of the Cumaean Sybil: the circular dome of the Chapel of the nativity in Bethlehem is also hung with a Mosaic border, according to Sandys; as too the Church of the Virgin Mary. Similarly in the Temple of the holy sepulchre, below the top of the wall in several niches, Paintings of saints in Mosaic, but in the Greek style, without shadows.

Floors in Greece were formerly very paved very painstakingly, in the form of Paintings, [marg: Lithostrata.] and it is believed they were called Lithostrata {Lithostrota}. Sosos, who excelled all his contemporaries in this art, according to


Pliny, made a great name for himself, with the floors of a house in the city of Pergamon, which was called Asarotos Oikos, that is, the unswept house: because he had so nicely, out of small variously-coloured little stones, made the scraps and crumbs from the Table, as if they were lying there carelessly scattered on the ground, after the end of a meal. Here one saw a wonderfully worthy dove drinking, which seemed to darken the water with the shadow of her head, while another escaped with the food. [marg: Plin: 36.25] Others sat and played on the edge of the jug, others as if they were Sun-bathing, passing their time with pecking, and caressing their feathers.

Julius Caesar, even though he was on his war campaign, had certain floors that were laid with little rectangular stones, or with carved pieces of marble, ivory, or made of any kind of material most artistically set together, carried after him. [marg: Floor painting. C. Sueton: The Divine J. Caesar.]

Formerly a certain Duccio of Siena, in around the year 1356 began paving floors with large stones in various colours, into which he put figures, histories and all manner of embellishments, filling the grooves, which set forth the Drawing and outlines, with black Pitch. And Dominico Beccafumi, his countryman, practised this invention very splendidly, as I have seen in the Cathedral of Siena, where the Histories of the first Parents are inlaid, and depicted in a wonderful manner. The Noble Governors of Amsterdam too have in this fashion also embellished the floor of the large hall, in their new Town Hall, with a World Globe, and it is possible that the cabinetmakers learned their technique of inlaying many-coloured wood, to depict flowers, figures, and buildings, from these examples in Siena.

Since one paints not only with stones, as has been related, but also by means of inlaying wood, which with various colours arranged together, will sometimes outdo the brush. [marg: Inlaid Painting of wood.] And it is said that outside Bologna, in the Cloister of San Michele in Bosco, there are very fine chairs, decorated with Landscapes, grounds and buildings, wonderfully fine to see.

But to return to painting with the brush, the grandest manner of the Italians is in Fresco, [marg: Fresco.] in plaster with plaster-water, mixed with natural earth-colours, which later, when it is dry, can be enhanced with lake or Azure-green, or glazed with other translucent egg-colours. But this manner of painting will not tolerate our atmosphere, even though it was esteemed by the great Michelangelo as being Masters' work, as opposed to painting in oil-colours, which he called women's work.

Anyone accustomed to painting in wet plaster, also employs


a technique for drawing on it, [marg: Sgraffiato.] which looks very nice, and is suitable to be used here in our country. First, when the surface or wall is given its first rough coat, one takes crushed charcoal, burned straw or hay, and mixes that in the plaster, with which one thus smears the wall black, and afterwards spread pure plaster on top of this dark ground, and then onto this, having sponged-down {gesponsijt} one's cartoons, set to work with a iron point, tracing the hatchings and scratching what one has devised, and for greater softness one can also employ the help of fine and broad brushes {pinseel of borstel} with some black, suitable for fresco. It is believed that this technique of painting or scratching was first invented by the Florentine Andrea di Cosimo; and is known as sgraffiato.

It is no small embellishment for works in fresco, that the great masters in Italy themselves embellished their works with stucco and set them into compartments with grotesques. [marg: Stucco {stcco} and Grotesques.] Even in the times of the Ancients, it would seem, for a certain Morto da Feltre, during the life of Pope Alexander the sixth, being a melancholic man, went in his solitude to copy the compartmentalised vaults in the ancient Roman ruins, beneath as well as above the ground in Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, and for many months at Pozzuolo, and in the Campagna on the ancient road to Trullo by the sea, in the Temples and grottos under the ground at Baia and Mercato; so that it seemed that he who gave grotesques, which, because people in those days had not found them anywhere other than in Grottoes under the ground, the name grotesque, had swallowed them all up, granting him through his great skill greater connectedness {binding} in his painting, and richer decorations, his foliage a more graceful nature, and more proficient combination of little figures. But Giovanni da Udine, as if born for decoration, when in the ruins of the Palace of Titus, by San Pietro in Vincoli, they dug for some statues, they discovered there some vaulted rooms full of grotesques and little Histories decorated besides with stucco, which, although many hundreds of years old, still appeared fairly fresh, and which were excellent in their art and drawing; he had the good fortune not only to return grotesque-painting {grotisschilderen} back to its perfection, but he revived the art of stucco once more from the dead. For many before him had already sought how to make stucco from plaster, lime, rosin {Griex pek}, wax, and broken brick, and how to gild it, and no one had yet achieved the quality of that produced by the Ancients. He mixed together lime and pozzolana, a sand dug up from outside Rome, and from that made figures in the half-round, but he still could not reach the smoothness and whiteness of the Antique stucco. At another time, to make it somewhat whiter, he took pozzolana, and had two rough pieces of Travertine stone crushed, mixing that

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in Travertine lime, and found this better, but eventually he had the most beautiful white marble crushed and sifted to a powder, mixed in lime, and found this to be the proper stucco of the ancients. And this art of making stucco, combined with his charming grotesques, paintings of plants and rushes, birds and animals, gave special ornament to the noblest works of Raphael. And Baldassare Peruzzi {Baltasar da Siena} imitated the half-relief stucco with colour and brush in his flat Paintings so nicely, that the best Painters were tricked by them; but the higher powers of colours ought to be explained with examples.

And while we here discuss stucco, [marg: Casting plaster.] we also allow ourselves to say something about plaster-casting, for although it has less to do with Painting, than stucco, it is nevertheless has great usefulness, as I wish here to explain.

Plaster-casting, according to Pliny's testimony, first began with Lysistratus, brother of the celebrated Lysias, he crushed Lime {Gijps} or plaster, damped it, and made faces {tronien} with it, by moulding it on the face {aengezicht}, which when dry he filled again with melted wax. This plaster grows in special veins, which run through the limestone mountains of Syria, Greece, Italy, Spain and Germany. And this worthy invention, having been long forgotten, was once again brought back into use and renewed by Andrea Verrocchio, in around the year 1340. He burned and crushed a soft stone, dug up near Siena, Volterra and other places in Italy, which being sifted and mixed with warm water, was then able to take an impression, which dried into a shape, from which to cast the original once again. Those who are inclined to know more, turn to the masters of this art. For a Painter will nor regret it, should he pass some empty hours in casting some beautiful things.

Plaster and egg-colours are certainly not to be excluded, firstly, because of their lively brightness, and then again, on account of their tractability in painting rapidly; [marg: Glue- Size. and Egg-paints.] and especially, because they are suitable for so many uses, where oil-colours fall short. The brightness of Size- and Egg-colours are very suitable for portraying something by candlelight, or seen from far off, as in all distant views, or indoor theatrical performances. Also, whenever a piece has to hang directly opposite the light or a window, then Glue- or Egg-colour is better, than oil-colour; because it is not shiny. And because it flows smoothly from the brush, it is more suited to sumptuous works, like curtains, hangings, or painted tapestries; as it has been used for more than two hundred years; for one can


bend and fold them without damage, like the portrait, which Dürer sent to Raphael, and the beheading of Saint James by Jan Gossaert {Mabuse}.

Beccafumi, Painter of Siena, maintained, that Egg-colour was more durable, than even oil-colour, since, he said, the work of Fra Angelico {broer Joan}, Fra Filippo Lippi {broer Philips Benozzo} which were Egg-colour, and very old, were less perished, than the pieces by Luca Signorelli {Lukas van Kortona}, or Pollaiuolo {Polaivoly}, done in more recent times. But our Netherlandish atmosphere would perhaps cause the opposite to happen.

There is perhaps yet another compound for mixing colours to be discovered, which is employed by the East Indians: they paint flowers, fruits and figures on silk linen and cotton, and this is so fast, that one can wash it a hundred times, without the colour fading. [marg: Colour-fast compound.] Herodotus said in Clio, that the inhabitants of the Caucasus mountain crushed leaves from the trees, and mixed them with water, and painted animals on their clothes, which did not fade, but wore with the wool, and always remained so beautiful, as if they had been woven there from the beginning. And surely, who knows whether we too will not find such a tree.

After so many methods of painting, [marg: Oil-varnish.] which time has either altered or transformed, it appears, that some lively {vlugge} spirits, who use Size- and Egg-colours, were anxious that their works could not suffer water and washing as well as it was claimed could Paintings in ancient times. From very early on a certain Baldovinetti, a certain Pisanello, a certain Antonello, and even our own Jan van Eyck began to varnish their Egg- and glue-works, with some oils distilled for the purpose, just as it was told, that Apelles used to varnish, with a varnish, which was so thin and smooth, that when one touched it, one imagined that one's hand became smeared by it: which protected the Paintings from all dust, and kept their beautiful lustre, and which nevertheless could be made by no one other than him. And no one, except Van Eyck, had any luck with this varnish, so that everyone was astonished at the shine of his work, but he was not contented, until he, after lengthy, alchemical research, discovered linseed- and nut-oil, mixed and boiled with other materials, as the most drying and best varnish; indeed eventually, he mixed the colour into it wholly, and found it easier to work, than any of the previously used media {vochten}. [marg: Oil-colour.] And thus oil-colour was invented in the Netherlands, and first brought into use in Bruges by Jan van Eyck, in about the year 1410. The which invention a certain Sicilian Antonello da Messina came to learn from Van Eyck, and he then went to Venice and put it into practice, from where it spread forth over Italy, indeed the whole of Europe. But it is astonishing, how the works of our first

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inventor of oil-colour have remained so beautiful and lasting, so that almost nobody has since been able to approach the freshness of his colours, as Lucas de Heere said of him:

As well as his artistry, it is a Miracle {Hemelval},
That all his colours, beautiful through age, have not succumbed
In almost two hundred years, but remain enduringly fast;
Which ones sees occurring in few works nowadays.

But if one considers how careful our old Painters were, to invest in their works, then one will not take it for such a wonder. [marg: Painting on various materials.] For first of all, as is usual on wet plaster, with great patience they made a drawing, of the same size as the intended work, which they then sponged {sponsten} onto the first white of their panels, and outlined and shaded it exquisitely, over which they then laid a flesh-coloured primer layer, which, almost until half-done, showed through the work, and on top of this they directly completed their pieces. A certain Bernard van Orley {Barent van Brussel} had a piece, on which he intended to paint the Judgment, first completely gilded, and Holbein had his under-laid with silver {zilverlakenen}, or if not with Silver, at least with tin or white foil. Others used gold, silver and copper plates: others had whole entire altarpieces, as I have seen, moulded from tin. Sebastiano del Piombo invented, a way to paint on walls with oil-colour; and to protect it from any damp, he prepared limestone {steenkalk} with mastic, and rosin, melted together, and spread it on the wall, and then smoothed this with a mixture of reddish chalk, very suitable for making his nudes last. Others plastered untreated {onbestreeke} walls with a mixture of fine wheat flour, and under that small crushed stones, mixed with white of Egg; and this was as hard as marble. Hugo van der Goes and Holbein followed this in Bruges and London. And Sebastiano del Piombo painted with the help of his mixture on all manner of large stones. Some merely coated the wall with a mixture of one measure of cement and a half measure of freshly quenched {geleste} lime, mashed in linseed-oil. Noble gemstones, such as agate and touchstone {toets}, do not need this help. Bassano made charming night-scenes on black touchstone, touching-in the flaming beams with a golden pen {goudpen}, which when varnished blended naturally. But linen, gauze, or ticking is most suitable for large pieces, and when well primed are the lightest to carry.

As regards Gum-colour {Gomverwe}, illumination, or limning, London has long worn the crown, [marg: Miniature.] having had for more than a hundred years the over-neat Holbein and his followers, and more recently boasting the inimitable Cooper, who puts more wonders into each part of his faces, than the mother of Lucas de Heere, who depicted a mill with full sails, a mill-wall,


miller, horse, wagon, and onlookers, painted so small, that one could cover them all at the same time with one half grain of corn.


Following from the former Chapter, and how Nature itself sometimes paints and shapes images.

The Art of Painting, while constrained only, be it from nearby or far off, to imitate nature in form and colour, is nevertheless free to change its means of achieving that, and its selection of subject matter, and since nature has thousands of ways of being seen, there is nearly no end to it. Indeed a master in the art will find not only that in all countries, but also in almost every house, there are tools available to him, so as to produce wonders with his art.

Embroidery {Naeldschildery} is attributed to the Phrygians. [marg: Embroidery Needle painting. {Naeltschildery Acu pingere.}] Thus Embroiderers {Borduurwerkers} were previously called Phrygians, since the art of making embroidery {stikselwerk} was invented in Phrygia; however Lucian grants the Egyptians this honour.

Weave- or Tapestry painting is nowadays once more esteemed as highly, as in olden days, and originated from Babylon. [marg: Textile painting. Jewish veil. {Textilis picture. Iudaïcavela.}] The Jewish veils were embellished with strange monsters, said Claudian; but whether that is true, I dare not confirm.

In the time of Pliny, the Egyptians coloured their clothing, as if they were painted. They overlaid their cottons or linens, after they had been well rubbed {gevreven}, not with colour, but with one or another colour-absorbing liquid {verwdrinkend nat}; so that nothing could be seen on them, before they were dipped into a simmering dye-vat {verwketel}, and then straight afterwards they were pulled out completely painted. And it was astonishing, that by means of the single colour, which was in the vat, the cloth was made many-coloured, being transformed by the properties of the colour-absorbing fluid. And these colours were impossible to wash out. And the vat, in which the colours must without a doubt have got mixed up, had the cloth been thrown into it already painted, patterned {schakeerde} and painted it while cooking, indeed the scorched {verzengde} clothes were much stronger, than if they had never been scorched.

But I shall pass over Embroidery, Tapestry making, and many-coloured patchwork (for the Painter's hand is too noble for that), [marg: Tapestry- and Patchwork-painting.] although these are all natural children of the Art of Painting, but disinherited

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on account of their slowness and difficulty as handicrafts; [marg: Sea-creature-painting. {Zeetuig-Schildery}] certainly illustrious spirits of ancient as well as modern times have enjoyed themselves, drawing and painting on shells, horns and Sea-creatures, and even assembling well-coloured figures from shells; which from a distance appear to be painted, and in shadowy grottos to be alive. Methinks that I would not be guilty in adding as a conclusion, the artistic invention of the Mexicans; as described by Acosta: There are, he says, some good masters among the Indians, who know how to imitate Paintings with plumes and feathers, [marg: Featherpainting.] to such fine effect {welstant}, that the Spanish Painters have no advantage over them. And this method of painting is as follows: first, from the Tominejos, Guacasmayas {Guaca, Mayas} and from other many-coloured-feathered birds, when dead, they pull with pincers, such coloured little feathers, as they wish, sticking them, with a suitable glue, with such dexterity and neatness, so smoothly and evenly, next to each other, that it seems altogether to have been painted: besides having such clarity and lustre, that it numbs our painting; so that King Philip of Spain, who saw three small pieces of this so strange Painting, serving as a bookmark in a book of hours, said: that he had never seen such worthy things in such small figures. And Pope Sixtus the fifth was delighted to receive a picture, in which Saint Francis was painted thus with feathers: and when he learned that it was made by Indians with feathers, he wanted to test it, stroking it a little with his finger, and being thus convinced by touch, that it was nothing but feathers, he reflected, that it was certainly a thing of wonder, to fit so many coloured little feathers together so neatly, that one could not distinguish it from colours painted with the brush.

Finally, we ought here to observe, haw artfully nature itself sometimes paints: [marg: Natures Painting. See Monsr. Gaffarel in unheard curiosities.] I will not speak here of dappled {gevlekte} Tigers and Leopards, Peacocks with eyes, or many-coloured birds, Oystershells from Pergamon, or Indian Conches, flowers or suchlike, that nature has certainly given many-coloured touches, but rarely by painting anything that is recognisable. They say of noble gemstones, that one sees Lightning in in the Thunderstone; fire in the Ruby; in the Hailstone, the form and coldness of Hail, even if one were to throw it into the middle of the fire; the Emerald deep and transparent Sea waves. The Lobsterstone traces the form of a Sea-lobster. The Toadstone, which was not known by any name by the Latins, bears within it the form of a Toad which is so natural, that no art could outdo it. Thus the Adderstone an adder, the Scharites the Schary fish,


the Hawkstone a Hawk, the Cranestone an ornate Crane's neck, and the Goatseyesstone the eye of a Goat. There is one, which looks like a Pig's eye, and another three human eyes. The Wolfseyesstone depicts a Wolf'e eye in four colours, which are fire-red, blood-red, and in the middle black surrounded by white. If you open a Beanstone, you will find a Bean in the middle. The Oaktreestone portrays a plank from a tree; and also burns just like wood. The Cissites and Narcissites paint Ivy. The Astropia radiates half-white sky-blue lightning. The Firestone looks burnt inside. In the Coalstone one can see sparks flashing back and forth. The Saffronstone gives the colour of Saffron, and the Rose stone Rose, the Copperstone Copper, and the Eaglestone gives the impression of an Eagle, with a shining tail; and these forms are also sought in cut ferns. The Peacockstone contains the Painting of a Peacock, the Chelidonia of an Asp. The Antstone has the impressed figure of an Ant; the The Beetlestone that of a Beetle, the Scorpionstone of a Scorpion, and each most astonishingly. But why do I list these things, which are numberless, since it is clear, that nature itself seems to be pleased to delight in the Art of Painting. We have also seen many Agate-paintings, [marg: Landscapes in Agate.] in which Nature has artistically depicted in the stone spirited skies, charming horizons, lifelike landscapes, cities, buildings and wonderfully strange rocks. The veins of stone of Nogent-sur-Seine similarly portray woods naturally. But the Agate of Pyrrhus of Epirus was notable, [marg: Apollo and the Muses.] for it was said that Apollo with his harp, and our sisters the nine Muses, each with their specific attribute, were to be seen in it.

Albertus Magnus said that in St Mark's Church in Venice he had seen an Agate, in which there was a most natural King's head, crowned with a crown (a). [marg: (a) However I have found that according to another, that this is to be seen on the Wall. {te zien te zien is}] And in Rome they display a Porphyry stone with a head with a papal crown; all painted by nature.

In Mansfeld stones were dug from a mine, which had the forms of fish, frogs, and other vermin {gewormte} naturally depicted. There are still some living, said Lambert van den Bos, who saw a stone, taken out of a woman's bladder after her death, on which a toad was traced so naturally, or, to put is better, inscribed (for the image stood in high relief) as if carved by an artistic chisel.

Olaus Magnus makes mention of wonderful Paintings in frosted glass beneath the arctic circle. [marg: Frozen painting.] We must here add something further regarding inherited marks {erfmerken}


in human families, as a manner of natural painting or drawing. The descendants of King Seleucus had an anchor as their family mark, just as he had the shape of an anchor on his thigh. [marg: Family marks.] The descendants of Pelops were marked on the right shoulder: and Iphigenia recognised that the Olive tree on the right shoulder of her brother Orestes, was the true sign, that he was descended from Pelops. The family of the Sparti, in Thebes, were identifiable by a lance on their bodies. Warts, marks or freckles, said Plutarch, frequently disappear in children, and appear again in the children's children. A Greek woman, who bore a black child into the world, being accused of adultery, was discovered to be one quarter descended from Moors. Heliodorus made his Moorish Queen pregnant with the beautiful Chariclea, by looking at a white Painting. Nature, it seems, paints artistically enough by means of feminine imagination: [marg: Mothers imaginations paint their fruit.] for a certain adulteress being pregnant by her sweetheart, impressed the betrayed husband so firmly in her thoughts, that the illegitimate child, which she later bore, looked more like her husband than his real children. I speak not of mulberries, fruit-marks, and other forms, imparted to children by feminine terror or craving; for Jacob's ewes painted the lambs well as a consequence of the half-painted sticks.

Nature is sometimes a sculptor in the mountains, and makes wonderful likenesses, but a sculptor must sometimes look at them with closed eye. [marg: Nature's sculpture. Mountain figures in China.] In China, near Chunking, on the River Feu {Feustroom}, lies mount Fe, which looks like a figure of a man seated, in Chinese fashion, with the legs one over the other, and the hands in like fashion on the chest, and so terrifyingly large, that one can distinguish its eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth clearly from a distance of two German miles. On mount Kiu there is a figure, which alters its colour according to the weather. On mount Gaulo there is a rock, which naturally portrays the shape of a man's nose, out of the nostrils of which flow two fountains, the one cold the other hot. Mount Chinkang looks like a hen. Monien seems to see through two very natural stone eyes. In a deep abyss, on mount Cokieu, some human and animal figures were seen. But this is all in China. In the north one can find the rock of the monk with the head and cap. [marg: All manner of shapes growing.} And it is said that near the beach of the Ostrogoths, beyond the city of Horkop, a river flows, which produces nearly every shape in its boulders, as if they had been made by nothing else than art; for some have the form of a human body, or of a hand or foot, or finger, or suchlike.

But this is even richer in art, near the city of Sneen, in Upper Poland {Opperpoolen?}, earthenware


pots, containers, jugs, [marg: Household utensils growing,] and suchlike household utensils, grow spontaneously in the earth, being soft, when they are dug up, but hard, as soon as they are exposed to the air. [marg: A Banquet.] And what can I say about the stone Banquet sugar-bowl, picked up in the little stream, and preserved by art lovers? Nature sometimes imitates art, just as art nature.

But what Carneades relates is even stranger. [marg: Pan.] There was found, he says, in the quarries of the Island Chios long ago the head of a small Pan, when the mason broke a large block of stone into pieces. [marg: Silenus.] Pliny also tells that in the Parian pits a great stone being broken through the middle, the image of Silenus was found in it. But I pefer to believe, that a head of Silenus's beast of burden was mistaken for it {mistook it for it; dat een hooft van Silenus rybeest het daer voor heeft aengezien}. [marg: Imps {Pisdiefjes}.] As to little wooden men or women, called Alrunes or rather Imps, much is made of them by extremely learned men, as if a natural process had given them this form. Lauremberg, who is otherwise rather over-credulous, speaks of them thus: [marg: In the 37th History of the third hundred.] They are small figures (he says) carved after the form of men and women with all their limbs, whose heads are covered with long hair, and who wear little white shirts, and in short, are made to look like the Alrunes or charms {wichlaressen} of the ancient Germans, but, to speak the truth, are mere deception. The root of the herb Mandragora is similarly naturally formed, like a small naked human: these roots are dug out of the earth by fraudsters, wiped down, cleaned up, and by means of spirited trimming are made so, that they look like a little man or woman, or whatever they choose. Those who want some hair, plant some barley or other seed in it, allow it to grow and dry out, then it is firmly fixed, and it does not look unlike natural hair: then they put charming shirts onto them, gird them, and keep them in simple little box, seeking to sell them expensively, telling the buyers to look after them well, to wash them every week, and to take good care of them: promising them thereby luck and good fortune, in trading, buying and selling. In such a manner is the blind world deceived, and thus the Devil performs his Role. I have seen various ones, and among others two belonging to Mr Pandelaere in Beijerland: but whoever understands out art, must laugh at such trifles {beuzelingen}, which are much too foolish, to impress someone of intelligence.

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What rewards {vruchten} an Artist can expect in payment of his labour.

The task of Urania, Mistress of our ninth book, is the selection of the best. But what is better than the life of a famous Painter? [marg: Urania is a celestial thing, because in choosing the best part (as has been said) one obtains the name celestial and divine. {Urania tanto é quanto cosa celeste, perche con l'elegger las miglior parte (come s'è detto) si vien a l aquistare il nome di celeste, & divino.}] What business, what condition would he want to exchange for his own? Our life is a common gift of Nature, but to be able to choose a happy life, is a special favour of God. We shall therefore describe here, at the closing of this work, the fortunate lives of some art-full Painters, who climbed to an outstanding level, and the rewards, they could have expected for their labour and enduring application. And since the spurs to art are threefold, the outcomes themselves too, which the Artist struggles to achieve, are threefold. And this, O Young Painter, will be the substance of what you have to learn in this our ninth and last workshop of Urania.

The fruit of art, said Seneca, is something other, that that of work; [On Benefits, chap. 33.] Phidias makes a sculpture, the reward of art is, that he made that which he wanted to make; and that of the work, is that he made it with reward and profit. Phidias completed his work, even if he had not sold it. He had three rewards {vruchten} for his work: the first is the gratification of his conscience, which he obtains by the perfection of his work; the other from fame; and the third from the profit and usefulness, which he, by means of gift, sale, of some other kind of profit, shall have obtained. Noble recompense in truth, and very worthy, which one pursues with such fiery passion and eagerness: since there is nothing greater nor more desirable on earth to chase after. We shall hang it up in this verse, so as to place it continually before the eyes of youth, as the highest prize:

Three desires are the spurs, why one leans arts:
For love, for earnings, and to be honoured by all.

And even Seneca sets the last two, earnings and honour, as fruits of the first, as they indeed are, and each on its own is powerful enough to animate a brave soul.

The first passion then, which encourages someone to the Art of Painting, [marg: The love of art.] is a natural affection for these more than ordinarily attractive Goddesses,


who make their practitioners happy solely by means of their virtuous reflections in the most beautiful pieces of work {werkstukken} of the wonderful creator, indeed so much so, that they feel a twinge of conscience, whenever they have neglected any opportunity to serve their loveable Mistresses. And just as Titus {Titus Vespasiaen} lamented the joy of the world, whenever for one day he had omitted to do any good deed, so too our great predecessor Apelles set for himself this rule:

Nulla dies abeat, quin linea ducta supersit.
No Day shall ever pass me by,
Without my tracing a good line.

We shall not distress ourselves regarding what Plutarch said of Archimedes, [marg: In Marcel. 6.] that he considered all arts which, in the course of their employment, produced profit, to be mean and despicable, and fit only for a journeyman. Neither with something pronounced by Seneca: that he could not bear, that Painters be accepted as liberal artists {vrye konstenaers}; indeed as little, he continued, as Sculptors and Marble-carvers {Beeldsnijders en Marberhouwers}, or other servants of splendour and excess. And, following the division of Posidonius, he set our art among the Play Arts {Speelkonsten}, which extend only to the pleasing of eyes and ears. As to what concerns the other liberal arts, called the Eleutherae by the Greeks, [marg: Concerning the freedom of our art,] these he called childish arts; and he recognised none as being liberal, excepting those concerned solely with virtue; for he had before already confessed, that he respected no science, which one could learn for money, except only insofar as it prepared the spirit for Virtue, and did not hold it back. That the only target of our Art of Painting should be, to prepare the spirit for Virtue, we do not insist, we know another and more certain way, but that it should hold back no one from virtue, is incontrovertible: and indeed that it lifts up an upright practitioner, by means of continuous reflection on God's wondrous works, to the lofty attention of the Creator of all things, is obvious enough. And that it belongs among the liberal arts, is apparent in that, one only calls free, that which is deemed worthy to be learned by free people. Among which the Art of Painting was not counted the least. [marg: In reply to the others,] And why should anyone not call it a liberal art, who reckons the Literary Art {Letterkonst}, or Grammar, the first among them? for the Art of Painting does the same thing. Indeed as much as the Reasoning Art {Redenkonst} or Dialectic; or the Rich-in-Reasoning Art {Redenrijkkonst} or Rhetoric, anyway inasmuch as concerns the understanding, for although it is said to be dumb, it nevertheless speaks abundantly, in a Hieroglyphic way. And what is there that is noble in the Counting Science {Talkunde} Arithmetic, and in Geometry or Measuring Science {Meetkunde}, that is not in the Art of Painting? Certainly, they are both Handmaidens to the Art of Painting. And as to what concerns Music or

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Song Art {Zangkonst}, what difference is there between her and Pictura? Nothing except, that it works on the hearing with high and low sounds: but our art brings about the same for the sight, through a unison of thousands of colours; or will it possibly be confounded by Astrology, or the Power-of-Stars Science {Starrekracht-kunde}, the last of the seven free sisters? Surely, this most of all not, since that might possibly not itself deserve to be called an art, and I remain silent, whether it ought to aspire to the pre-eminence accorded Pictura.

It must also serve to disparage the practitioners of art, whenever one reminds them of Plutarch's judgment, when at the beginning of the life of Pericles he writes thus: that there was never a honourable man, who, seeing the figure of Jupiter in the city of Pisa, would wish to be Phidias, nor indeed Polykleitos, having seen that of Juno at Argos: for it does not necessarily follow {ten volgt niet nootzaekelijk}, he said, that when the work pleases, the workman is always praised, [marg: And Plutarch contradicted.] as previously he had quoted Antisthenes, who, whenever a certain Ismenias was praised for being a good Player and piper, replied, that it was true, but that he was principally a rascal, and could not otherwise have been such a good piper. And he also mentioned Philip, who berated his son Alexander; saying, shame on you for singing so well, implying, that the arts, and the Muses themselves, received honour enough, when illustrious persons occasionally spent time looking at or listening to the works of their practitioners, Then placing Anacreon, Philemon, and Archilochus delightful writers, into the same context {de zelve ry}, he praised only virtue, and concluded, that one ought to be satisfied, to receive artistic works from others, and indeed all the goods of rolling fortune {toeloopenden geluks}, but that all others should receive virtue from us. We will reply to this as follows: we most willingly accept, that the arts, however high the peak of achievement, indeed even the beautiful Muses themselves, grant to no one as much adornment and worth, as the true actions of virtue and piety, which deify souls, and place people, wherever they are, into a Heaven, and neither can we allow, that it is a necessary consequence {een nootzaekelijk gevolg}, that the vicious are associated with the arts; from which it might follow that Phidias or Polykleitos, or indeed even Ismenias, might have been as pious and honourable, as his Pericles, who, like many illustrious men are wont to do, learned music from Damon or Pythokleides, also, and so as to stay on the matter of our art, I cannot discover, that it is more diverted {afleyt} from Virtue, of whatever sect it might be described as, than are arms, or the government of cities: but that it, being a true Sister of reflective philosophy, investigates visible nature, with the help of


of Geometry and Arithmetic {meet- en telkunst}. [marg: She researches visible nature.] And in truth, so as to detach myself from Plutarch, I have to say this, and without imputing his most estimable judgment: that there was never a man of honourable mind, but that he would wish to be as artistic a sculptor as Polykleitos or Phidias, rather than a furious Hannibal, a turbulent Pyrrhus, or an all-destroying Alexander; for however great their deeds, they were brought about by fury, injustice, and evil desires; whereas in the practice of the Noble arts, quiet observant devotion to the secrets of nature, are in unison and go hand in hand with the practice of the virtues. I would have wished to be Diogenes, said Philip's Son, were I not Alexander. His birth forbad that. But Diogenes would perhaps rather have been a Dog, than an Alexander.

Which is why I dare to assert, that it would truly be unjust to criticise an honourable practitioner of the Art of Painting, who follows it only for its own sake, and on account of its virtuous nature. Not all philosophers are employed to govern states or cities, and nonetheless in Plutarch's criticism of the world's governors {hoogheden}, when he comes across them, they are praised highly enough, even though they offer no greater adornment to the world, nor achieve more tranquillity and satisfaction for themselves, in the practice their charming philosophy than our Painters. [marg: Repaid with satisfaction.] From which I therefore conclude, that those, who follow art only on account of a pure love, have from the very first achieved their aim, which is, the delight of a pleasing satisfaction.

Indeed so much so that, as Seneca teaches us, [marg: In his ninth letter.] an attentive Painter, realises more pleasure in the process of painting, than in having painted: for the activity, which he expends on his work, provides great pleasure in the labour itself. And someone, who has removed their hand from a finished work, finds no such great pleasure. He then enjoys the reward {vrucht} of his art, but while he is painting, he delights in art itself. This most certain, and from this one can understand, how fortunate this wise man deemed those to be, who were worthily associated with our blessed Goddesses.

For that reason Frans Floris, had this saying on his lips: When I am painting, I am alive, and I die when I go to play. Nicias was so elated and delighted, while he was busy, that he had to ask, whether he had had his lunch. [marg: gives the practitioners life and nourishment.] And Protogenes through all the disturbance of the Soldiers, who came to besiege Rhodes, could not be frightened so much that he abandon his work. Indeed the Art of Painting was so beloved and desirable to him, that while he was making his outstanding Ialysos, he ate nothing, but moistened

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lupini, fig-beans or wolf-shot, {geweikte lupynen, seigboonen of wolfschoten}, which is to say fig-seeds which served him for food and drink, [marg: Delicacy,] so that his body could remain unencumbered and his attention unobstructed. The great Titian was so immersed in the pleasures of art, that he was still to be found painting in his eighty-sixth year, so that it appeared, that he was rejuvenated by art. [marg: And youth.] Michelangelo loved art like a Wife, given to him by Heaven: for when it was said to him, that it was a pity that he had neither wife nor child, to take pleasure in the fruit of his labour and honour: he replied: art has been a sufficiently difficult wife for me, but worthy of being loved: and my works will be my children, if they survive {zooze iets dogen}. Ghiberti, who made the doors of San Giovanni, would have been fortunate had he died with no other children: for they wasted everything he left behind, and the doors are still standing; as we have already observed in Calliope.

If this is not helpful to all, I must raise the tone yet higher, [marg: The Art of Painting outdoes the pen,] and say, that to the satisfaction of the Artist the brush challenges not only the pen, [marg: And indeed the voice.] but the living voice. For, said Ovid, if Apelles had not painted Venus, for the inhabitants of the Island of Kos, she would still lie deep beneath the seawater. Observe here, whether he not only grants paintings the honour of being the books of the laypeople; and whether he does not count them as guardians of the mysteries of the God's?

Eyes are much keener witnesses than ears, said another. Thus Nazarius: the things we take in through our ears, are nowhere so decisively impressed in our minds, as those we drink in through our eyes. And here Quintilian, The Painting, a silent work, and always maintaining the same appearance, penetrates and moves the mind on such a way, that it often seems to exceed the power of rhetoric. And hear how St. Basil exalted the power of Painting higher than his oratory: Arise now, O you illustrious Painters, who portray the more-than-extraordinary deeds of Warriors, honour now by means of your art the wounded figure of the Lord of All: illuminate, with the colours of your wisdom, the pious deeds of the crowned Champions, which I have all too obscurely painted. I travel by my path, conquered by you people in the Painting of the brave deeds of the Martyrs. Indeed I rejoice, that I am thus conquered. For I see the hands in the fire, the whole of the struggle, and the great wrestler expressed much more properly and suitably in your portrayals, than in my words. Seneca said too, that terrifying Paintings of an unhappy consequence moved our souls. The Jesuits too, well knowing how much seeing went before saying, adopted a custom


of displaying representations of the suffering of our Redeemer, both by means of paintings, as well as living figures, and testify that these displays moved ordinary minds more to compassion and concentration, than the best preaching was able to do. And they did this not only in the heart of Christendom, but more among those peoples, who knew nothing of our faith. And certainly, these first stirrings caused by means of Paintings or other representations, awaken in the convert a desire to enquire about everything, and a readiness to be quickly instructed. [marg: Example.] And even though to my countrymen this will seem idolatrous {nae de mustaert ruikt}, I must add the following example. Boris the ruler of Bulgaria, who was addicted to the hunt, wished also to fill his palace with hunting-scenes and other Paintings: to which end he a commissioned a certain Monk, Methodus, a native of Rome, who painted them capably: commanding him to decorate richly the newly-built Palace with substantial pieces: meanwhile allowing him, as was proper, the freedom to follow the inclination {zwier van} of his own spirit and ideas. Among other works, Methodus painted the Last Day, where the souls, dressed once more in their old cast-off flesh, appeared before the righteous Judge, in order to receive Eternal joy or punishment; with an infinite number of Heavenly Hosts of Angels, who comfort and raise up the blessed on the one side, and who drive away the multitude of wicked spirits, the damned on the other side. This Painting created such an effect on Boris and all who saw it, that the Prince, being first instructed about the whole matter, embraced the Christian religion along with all his people, and to that end received baptism. If the illustrious men returned once more, and boasted of their deeds: if Philip's son paraded freely with the spoils of victory from the east; if Julius recounted how many hundred thousand necks of Gauls and Germans he broke; if Octavius appeared with the list of his fellow citizens, murdered during his triumvirate: Methodus shames them and all Heroes, and an honest man would rather be Methodus, than a tyrant over all peoples. I shall omit a thousand other deeds, achieved by Painters and their Paintings, and reveal by means of one old example, what a work of art can do. [marg: One more.] A dissolute youth, said Nazarius {Nazianzenus}, had summoned a pleasing girl to him: but when she arrived in the Gateway of her lover's house, her eye fell by chance on the stately Painting of Polemo, a man who also, during his youth had repented in an extraordinary way, and later increased in sobriety. The maid, considering this stately face, took such fright and alteration, that she turned herself around,


and immediately returned home. What honest man would not wish to have made such a Painting? But let this be enough for art lovers as regards the peace of mind provided by our art.


The second reward of art. Gain and Riches.

The second spur is hope for gain. We do not wish to honour greed with any poems of praise, but agree with Cassiodorus, that the practice of the arts ought to be nourished by a reasonable return. The Hunger for Gold, said Theophilactus, is most beneficial to the race of men: for by that means all good arts in this restless life are invented; great cities are made populous, and every trade is brought into a convenient harmony. The greater part of the Earth will remain un-built and unembellished, if the mediation of gold does not show people, in what way they can enjoy each other's help. Sailors will leave off from sailing, and the Traveller will stay at his hearth. The Farmer will not follow his plough. Princes and governments will lack respect, and the Soldier will neglect to take up his gun except in need. But gold, he adds, controls the bridle of both virtue and vice, it tests the secret movements of our souls; and exposes bastard virtues. Certainly, poverty depresses the spirit, and servile preoccupations hold a noble mind imprisoned as if in a deep Dungeon. So that a Painter cannot perfectly enjoy proper satisfaction in the art, of which we have already spoken, if he is burdened with the bitter pack of troubles of earning his bread. Nor can the spirit proceed with those lofty passions, which belong to art, so long as everyday cares hold it enthralled in the straits of necessity. Let these anxieties, O Young Painters, go free. Pictura here seems very unlike her impoverished sister Poetry: for her followers can hope for good profits, indeed as much, as any art in the world can obtain; as long as they, as Euterpe requires of them, are suitable to ascend to a high level; for mediocrity in this art is more loathsome, than in others, unless Fortune contrives something unusual {zonderling onder roeje}. Listen now, how richly art has sometimes been paid.


Candaules King of Lydia [marg: Art well paid.] paid for a Picture by Bularchus with its weight in gold.

Aristides of Thebes painted the battle with the Persians, in which there were a hundred figures, and Mnason paid him ten minas for each figure; and Attalus gave a hundred talents for one of his pictures. [marg: Varro estimates the Attic Talent at 16000 pence {penningen}, but Budeus says six thousand. This is estimated to be 60000 crowns.]

When Lucius Mummius saw that King Attalus, at the auction of Corinthian booty, offered six thousand sesterces for a piece by Aristides, he was utterly astonished at such a high price, and he thought, that some mystery was concealed behind this painting, and he held on to it, and would not sell it, at which Attalus was very displeased.

The same Attalus, or according to others, King Ptolomy, offered Nicias 60 Talents for a piece showing Ulysses in Hell, that is thirty-six thousand gold crowns, but he did not want to sell his work, and donated this piece to his native city of Athens.

When Apelles had painted the large Alexander with lightning in his hand at the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, his payment was measured out in pure gold by the bushel. But Quintius Curtius says, that 20 gold talents were paid for it.

Asclepiodorus painted the twelve gods, and Mnason gave him three hundred minas for each piece. [marg: 3600 silver minas {mienen} for twelve gods.] The Attic mina is valued at seventeen and a half guilders, which comes to 5250 guilders for each figure; and for all twelve three thousand six hundred guilders.

This same King Mnason also paid a hundred mina {mienen} apiece to Theomnestes for each demigod {halfgoden}.

And Caesar gave to Timomachus for one piece, others say two, of Ajax and Medea, eighty talents, that is, eighteen thousand crowns, so as to present it to the Goddess Venus. But these pieces, I find elsewhere, were painted by Aristides.

Marcus Agrippa gave twelve thousand sesterces for two pieces, Ajax and Venus.

It is said that the Koans enjoyed a hundred talents for the Venus Anadyomene, which they took from their treasure.

King Nicomedes wanted to release the Knidians from their debt, which was unbelievably large, for the Venus of Praxiteles, but they refused; however this was no Painting, rather a statue.

From these few examples one can sufficiently establish, at what high value artistic works were held by the ancients, indeed their price was eventually raised so high, that Caesar had to limit them by law; even though he was himself such a great art lover, that, notwithstanding

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his severe penalties, he bought up old Pictures, figures and carved pieces of art, at high prices.

In later times, when Art had once again risen from the grave, such extremely high prices were not known, but earnings are however sufficient to satisfy a reasonable soul.

Emperor Charles gave Titian a thousand crowns for his Portrait {Konterfeitsel}, each time he painted him. And his son Philip gave him two hundred crowns a year for that.

Francesco Marquess {Markgraef} of Mantua gave Francesco Monsignori a noble house with a hundred morgens of land. And Frederic his successor treated Giulio Romano generously. Giuseppe d'Arpino, as soon as he laid his hand on the work on the capitol, was granted a hundred gold crowns, in order to stimulate his desire.

I will deal here no longer with those whose works are well paid for according to their wishes. [marg: Against the will.] And the same thing has also happened against their will, for when Alcibiades for a while held the unwilling animal-painter Agatharchus prisoner in his house, until he had wholly painted it, he then recompensed him for his art with beautiful gifts, despite the outrage done to him.


Concerning the third reward of Art, that is, what honour and glory is to come from it.

The third target, at which the magnanimous {grootmoedige} Painting Spirit takes aim, is honour and glory, and praiseworthy fame, upon which the serious {deftig} Painter waits. Imagine {Stel u … voor} now, O Generous {Edelmoedige} pupils, most noble banquets. Imagine {Beelt u … in} the pleasure that you will enjoy, if you are allowed to sit among the Pages at Court, and eat and drink your fill at Princely Tables. Consider the joy, you will relish, when you are invited with the best in your city to a Wedding feast. [marg: Inspiring honour.] And how meagre will all this seem to you, if you compare it to the exultation {wellust}, that enters into the enjoyment of glory, which comes to an excellent Painter through the practice of his art; when the best of men stand in a circle around him, and admire him and his art in unison; when he sits quietly indoors, at his own pleasure, and receives nearly as much respect, as the bravest of Heroes, who risk both life and honour on land and sea; when he


sees that Princes, Kings and Emperors treat him so familiarly; when he notes that arriving in foreign lands, although he knows no one, nevertheless he is straight away recognised by another; that his name is mispronounced in foreign languages, and that everyone already expects something great from him. Who would not for this honour and for the pleasure that comes from it, not treasure it above all goods, and roused by this stimulation, not strive night and day? For as Ovid says:

Peoples' applause, and the clapping of so many hands
Can inflame even the unhappiest to effort.

I will not feed you with any idle hope, that you will get to enjoy the beautiful concubines of Princes: as is related of Apelles, who while painting his Venus Anadyomene, who emerges from the Sea, became enamoured of Campaspe, the mistress {vriendinne} of Alexander the Great, as she sat naked for him, so as to portray this Goddess most beautifully: and how Alexander noticing this, gave her to him, preferring that he himself be defeated, than this great artist be disappointed. One ought rather to consider this honour a dishonour: and have honest Artists expect glory by means of their praiseworthy works, and not from pleasures {wellusten}. The honour of those, who spurn not only pleasures, but even earnings, is indeed enduring. Zeuxis, already rich by means of his art, gave his art-full works away, to Kings, to free cities, and to the Churches or Temples of the Gods: and he satisfied himself with the glory, which he thereby obtained. Polygnotus, the lover of Cimon's sister Elpinice, painted Laodice, in the painted Poecile {Plasianacteon}, concerning the Trojan women, after her, so it is said, and scorned the high price, that was offered him for this work, taking satisfaction in the noble reputation, that he got by it. The Poet Melanthius composed these verses about it.

No journeyman made these Paintings for profit,
And filled the domed Poecile thus with half-Gods,
For these Heroes, who lament the downfall and disasters
Of Troy's high estate sorrowfully and impatiently
Are here all Beautifully painted by Polygnotus
From life, and offered out of devotion {kerkplichtelijk}.

How many honours have obtained by Artists by means of their wonderful works, would be difficult to say: for as well as the fame and praiseworthy reknown, which fills the whole world, [marg: Fame and praiseworthy reknown.] they have also been especially esteemed by Emperors, Kings and Princes with great favour and respect; and considered as wonders in their time. For they certainly know that it is within their power to make great men,

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but that artists are only sent by Heaven.

The Art of Painting must have been a most noble art in former times, said Pliny, since Kings and Princes competed so much for it. And certainly, the privileges, which one obtains by it, witness sufficiently, how much it was honoured in olden days: for according to the decisions of the Laws, [marg: See the Introduction to Holland's Jurisprudence by Hugo de Groot. vol. 2. c. 8. and 10.], the honour of the art of Painting was understood in such a way that, whoever in good faith painted something on another's canvas or panel, became the owner of it, whereas anyone who wrote something on another's paper or sheet, did not have that right: neither did the weaving of gold, into another's linen, nor the fixing of a silver lid to another's pot: for these may only demand payment.

As regards the Nobility of art, one cannot deny, that this is as certain, as can be, for Noble dignities were often distributed to persons without merit; and inherited blood often deceives {liegt menigmael} in the descendants of the most noble. On the other hand an Artist obtains Nobility by means of pure worthiness, and he parades as if in his own feathers, without getting or borrowing from anyone else.

How nobly the great Masters in art, were honoured by Monarchs {Alleenheerschers}, one perceives among other things in the encounter between Albrecht Dürer and the German Emperor: [marg: Favourable judgment of Princes concerning the nobility of Artists,] for when a certain Nobleman, on account of his nobility, vehemently refused to hold steady a ladder for Dürer to climb, while he was occupied drawing something large on the wall for Emperor Maximilian, the Emperor replied, that Dürer was more Nobleman, than him; since he had reached this estate by means of his art, and that he could certainly make a Nobleman from an ordinary Peasant, but not such a noble Artist from a Nobleman. And from that time the Emperor commanded {afgeboot} that Painters bear noble arms, so as no longer to have to dispute their nobility, to wit, three silver shields on a blue field; but each must see to it, that first of all he was noble in art, before flaunting himself with these arms: so that he was not abused for being some illegitimate child or adulterous bastard {onecht kind of overwonnen bastaert}. We have something similar concerning Hans Holbein. For when a certain English Earl, complained of him to King Henry the eighth, that during a certain dispute, while forcibly entering his room, he had been most roughly thrown downstairs, he asked that the Painter therefore be punished, or that he would do it himself: and so the King took him under his protection, saying to the Earl: That he no longer dealt with Holbein, but that he now had to do with his own Royal person,


and, he added, what do you think, that I am so little inclined towards this man? I tell you Earl, that from seven peasants, if I wish, I can readily make seven Earls, but from seven Earls not one such artistic Holbein.

Likewise, just as brave Warriors and victorious Soldiers used to be honoured with victory crowns and wreaths, [marg: Supported {bestaeft} with gold chains, medals,] the custom also continues among generous Princes, when they see some artist excel above others. We have ourselves in recognition of the first fruits of our labours received, from Ferdinand the third, Roman Emperor, a gold chain with his Imperial Medal. Certainly, an act of generosity, that gave more encouragement than satisfaction. It was no small spur to Veronese {Paulo Calliary}, when he understood, that the council of the Venetians had promised as well as remuneration to the best performer, out of various Painters, whom they were employing, also a golden chain, and it was thus no small honour to him, when he received that token of victory on his shoulders. Parrhasius hung the necklace for the best painter on Zeuxis, but he won back the prize and symbol, with greater honour, than seemed possible. But is there a more beautiful chain than this, which is said of Michelangelo? That he was not only loved and honoured by seven Popes, but also sought for and coveted by King Francis of France, Emperor Charles, and Soliman the Turkish Emperor; as well as by the state of Venetians. [marg: And knightly dignities.] And what is more, how many Painters have received Knightly dignities for their great services, are too many to relate here, I only mention those here, which come immediately to mind. Titian {Titaen Usel) was made a Knight by Charles the fifth: so too was Baccio Bandinelli, and richly rewarded for his art; Bartholomeus Spranger by Emperor Rudolph; Giuseppe d'Arpino by Pope Clement the eighth; Anthony van Dyck by Charles the first, King of England. And in what honour and and esteem Mister Pieter Lely lives in the Court at Whitehall, is sufficiently known everywhere. I do not speak of the Knights Cavalier Bernini, Mattia Preti {Calabreeze}, Hendrick Goudt, Zwart, and innumerable others. Indeed Raphael of Urbino, even sought a Cardinal's Hat. [marg: Art and Artists always held in honour by Princes,] But all of that is nothing new, for how much art and artists were honoured in ancient times, is well enough known. But the reply, which Demetrius gave the Rhodians, impressed many greatly, I would rather raise my hand against my Father's image, he said, than damage such a painting; and even less, had the painter fallen into his hands, would he have mistreated him. And how could Artists and their work be held in low regard by noble minds, [marg: See Caron.] when even Barbarians are astonished at their virtue and esteem them. [marg: Also by Barbarians.] Whenever the Japanese Emperor enjoys himself, he has among those, who are called his companions, wonderful Painters too.

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Great artists, said Chancellor (a) Bacon, [marg: (a) In Dedalus. They fear no exile] have this noble privilege, that they are welcomed by all peoples. So that no exile (so much feared by other people) can affect them as a punishment or as an affliction; astonishment at an artist spreads itself widely, even more so with a foreigner, for it is in peoples' nature, in anything that appears artistic or wonderful, to esteem their own countryman, less than foreigners. What often causes this?

The wild little bird that sings, when free:
All the open air belongs to me;
Nevertherless it hangs around, so as to be
By its beloved nest, where it is happiest.

One always longs, once back in the Fatherland to see the old hearth, to speak with old acquaintances, and to relate one's misadventures to friends, who will scarcely believe them. After which frequently follows repentance and sorrow. If on account of your art you have gained the favour of an art-loving court, take you time and harvest it, for it will soon be Winter: and the flower of your capacities can also wither. Art can win the hearts of the mighty and Princes, but one must look after these gifts from Heaven carefully.

Further, our art also has the power to soften the most barbaric hearts, and to awaken favour and affection, quite against nature. As happened with Fra Filippo Lippi, [marg: Lippi freed from slavery.] who captured at sea, and being taken to Barbary as a slave, and beyond all hope, on one occasion drew his Master, to pass the time, on a wall with charcoal, at which the moor, being astonished, had him immediately released from his chains, and after he had painted some things for him, he gave him his freedom, and sent him under safe conduct to Naples. To the ignorant art is something wonderful, and gives the impression of some supernatural power. [marg: Frightened by the figures in a tapestry.] A certain Vasco Lourenco was sent by the Portuguese, to the King of Borneo, to ask for free trade, having made this request, he presented the King with a costly tapestry, in which the marriage of the King of England with the aunt of the Emperor was portrayed after life. The King of Borneo asked about the interpretation of the figures? And hearing that, just like him, it was a crowned King of England, he suspected that the Portuguese wanted to play an evil trick on him, and that by means of sorcery he would make these figures, and the others come to life, and kill him and his people; so as to gain possession of his kingdom: which disturbed him so much, that he had the figured-tapestry quickly taken away, and would have treated the Portuguese badly, had some Moorish merchants and others, not


advised him; eventually he instructed the envoy to leave the island with his tapestry.

How much god-like honour is nowadays sometimes accorded to Paintings in our Christendom, goes well beyond all measure: for here a figure of Our Lady does miracles, and there too a Christ: not those in Heaven, but this or that Painting, which are thanked for it, praised, prayed to, and honoured and decorated with offerings.

But this foolish and over-credulous honour, sometimes granted to Paintings, certainly does not happen on account of the art, this is not the artistic Painter's intention, but the goal of religious imposters. [marg: The abuse of Paintings is not brought about by art.] I once copied for Emperor Ferdinand a smoke-darkened our lady with little Child, which it was said, Saint Luke had painted from life: but the original was so poor, that it made me ashamed of Saint Luke on that account, and even though my copy much excelled the original in art, it remained none the less an ordinary Painting, whereas the other was kept as a Sacred relic, locked up and adorned: the head of the Virgin bore a gold crown, set with expensive jewels and pearls; indeed the whole ground was studded with jewels.

This is with regard to Paintings, but unless the Holy Bible were to tell us that we artists are endowed with divine spirit, we have yet another little example from Plutarch in conclusion, which testifies to this, albeit unprepossessingly: That Silanion and Parrhasius were honoured Religiously {Kerkplichtelijk} by the Athenians, because they painted and cast Theseus.

But this god-like honouring of, and praying to Paintings, even the blindest Pagans are ashamed to do: For when Adam Olearius travelled through Tartary to Persia with the Holstein Embassy: and the Russians, who worship the Paintings of the Saints, criticised certain Cheremis Khazaks: because they honoured the Sun and Moon as their Gods: a Cheremis replied: that they received great benefits from these Heavenly lights, that they  appeared to give and maintain life, and that they displayed the highest Majesty anywhere to be found. But what is there in your saints (He continued) who hang dead on the wall, and are nothing other than corruptible wood and paint? It is to be wished, that not only the Russians, but also all other peoples were awakened by this reproach, to turn to the living God and Creator, and to keep Paintings merely as a memorial. [marg: Hist. Ecc. ib. 9.] For Paintings and images have, as the Priest Lucian says in Eusebius, no more value, than is given them by the artist. Therefore David says in Psalm 97:

They must be ashamed, however much they cover it up,
Who serve these images, and who glorify their Idols


For as he sings in the hundred and fifteenth Psalm, they are worse than dead:

The Idols are silver and gold,
Constructed by human art and hands,
Their mouths do not speak,
Their eyes do not see, whatever is happening,
They have ears, but they do not hear,
Their noses lack Smell.
Their hands never hold onto anything,
Their feet are useless for moving,
Their throat produces no breath:
Those who make them, and all that trust in them,
Are equally bad, and quite rightly
All those same things are ascribed to them.

Thus the abuse of Painting against God's command, is punished and despised by all who understand. But that their appropriate use should therefore be abolished, is as unreasonable, as if one banned Wine from the world, because when it is misused, it makes one drunk: [marg: Instit. lib. 1. cap. 11.] or that one reduces all pleasure-grounds and gardens to wildernesses, because our ancestors offended wantonly in the first paradise, or indeed that one condemn the whole female sex, because the first sin was initiated by their Sex.

I am not so superstitious, said Calvin, that I would consider absolutely no image tolerable: but since cutting or engraving, and painting {maelen of schilderen} are gifts from God, I demand their honest and pure employment: so that that which is given to us by the Lord for his honour and our benefit, is not polluted by abuse, nor perverted to our corruption. To make God in a visible form, we deem to be unlawful, since he himself forbad it, [marg: One is not allowed to portray God in bodily form; But everything that can be seen is allowed to be painted.] and it cannot be done without misrepresenting his Glory. And further, if it is unlawful, to give God a bodily figure {lichamelijk beeldt}, then is it much less lawful, to honour such a figure as if it were God, or as God in it. And one cannot fake God's Majesty, which is invisible, by means of any improper representation: for one can only carve, engrave or paint things, which the eyes can understand. For there are Histories or narratives, which can serve for instruction and warning: or bodily things {lichaemelijke dingen}, which signify nothing, and therefore can do nothing, other than delight the eye.

As regards the Religious honour, accorded to Painters and Artists (I willingly pardon those who have only practiced art)


who have busily seduced the people, by making and displaying idols, in the Book of wisdom they are considered cursed by God despite their works. [marg: Cap. 14. 15.] For what is Painting? The wise man says, a shape, which is covered in different colours. Again, what is a maker of Idols? The same replies: his heart is ashes, his hope less than dirt, his life more despicable than clay. He has no better reward to expect than, that which Ptolomomy {Pholomeus} agreed with the Masters {Werkbaezen} of the great Goddess Diana, of which it was later claimed that it fell from Heaven, that is to say, when they had completed this Divine figure, and were invited to dine sat joyfully, and were full of hope of enjoying honour and payment for their art, then the banqueting house, which had been intentionally undermined, fell down, and flattened these earthly fathers of the afterwards imagined-to-be Heavenly Goddess.

Therefore, my Pupils, you must practise moderation, and honour the noble Art of Painting only as an art; and content yourself with legitimate glory. [marg: Leave behind a seemly reputation.] An honourable fame and a praiseworthy reknown, that will continue into the following ages, satisfies those souls hungry for glory; and even more, if they know, that even the least of their works will be honoured on account of the celebrity of their name. For the sake of their names the Rhodian canvas, on which was recorded the outline-contest between Apelles and Protogenes, even though there were only three curved lines on it, was looked at by all the world with wonder, and kept among the greatest rarities of Rome, preserved in the Palace of Caesar, until fire destroyed the building and the art within it. [marg: Incomplete.] On account of their names the last and incomplete works of illustrious Masters are held in greater awe, than the completed ones: like the Iris of Aristides, the Tyndarides of Nicomachus, the Medea of Timomachus, and the Venus of Apelles. So that, as Pliny says, one can trace in these first indications and lines the thoughts of these great Masters; by means of which one grasps the inner desires and wishes of these hands, obstructed from completing such noble conceptions by death. And this also happened in later ages.

For the sake of their names the childish drawings of pupils, who later became famous, are also honoured: [marg: And childish works.] thus were the drawings of Domenico Ghirlandaio preserved by Vasari, because Michelangelo, though still a child, had corrected them. For the sake of the name the youngest works of Lucas van Leyden are still highly esteemed. There are among his prints some, that he published in his eighth or ninth year. But why am I saying so much concerning slight works, when Art lovers lock up in some family album {stamboek} the mere handwriting of an ancient

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or a celebrated artist, like a costly Relic among their best jewels.

When all this has be considered by you, O my Young Painter, then set yourself to work in good spirits and diligently, [marg: Farewell,] lovable Euterpe has accepted you into her service: Polyhymnia has taught you Swordsmanship and drill: great Clio has made you a Captain and a leader: Erato has supplied you with provisions, and the necessities of life: prudent Thalia taught you to set ranks and groups into formation: Terpsichore to strike well, and Melpomene to drive through: now conquer, and stand by Calliope's Palm branch, and thus Urania's Crown will also be yours, and you will see a fortunate conclusion to your labours; which I wish as a outcome for all who love art: and therewith that intelligent people, should they come across any misunderstanding in this my work, or that I have failed to deal with art in any part of it, please let me know, so that I have further material so as to call upon Apollo to be protector of a tenth book.

And here we come to the ultimate limit of our undertaking. [marg: And conclusion.] Even though our work remains unfinished, yet shall this little thing, however much protected by the Muses, shall, whether by time, or the wrath of Jupiter, or by fire, or by steel, be wholly devoured, destroyed and forgotten. But come, O day, who grants power to our works and bodies, and you, O death, shalt not annihilate me. My best part without fear of death, shall fly up to Heaven, and even though my name be obliterated on earth, and though people forget the Hollandish name and language, my soul will await a life, which shall outlast the existence of this world. Which is granted by God: and that all artists laying aside their brushes might say with Michelangelo:

The derelict Ship of my life is driven unremittingly,
Across the wild Sea, towards the harbour, where each of us
Is required to give a reckoning and explanation
Of all their deeds, thoughts and undertakings.
The world's favour flattered me wanting to claim
That I was a God, and that I alone had
Understood art, which are both idle follies
And falsehoods, which will not endure among people.
What is it then, that I enjoy on earth,
Since here I receive a double death?
Of the first I am certain, but the other threatens to squeeze me.
Poeticised, painted and slaved enough:
My soul now quietly moves {draeft} toward the Love,
Who spread his arms on the Cross, to receive us.