Monday, 28 April 2014

"An Introduction to the General Art of Drawing" by Willem Goeree. Full text.



In 1668 Willem Goeree (1635-1711) published an influential treatise on drawing, Inleydinge tot de Al Ghemeene Teycken-Konst.  In comparison to the treatise of Leonardo which it borrows from, it contains an unusually large amount of technical information about drawing materials and techniques.  It also deals with interesting practical matters of learning and teaching drawing, that other treatises don't touch upon.  The book in Dutch was republished and reworked several times and translated to German and English in the 1600s and later. I also find bits and pieces of its text used in numerous other drawing manuals and treatises (e.g. Salmon, de Piles, Jombert) without a mention of Goeree's authorship.

I have transcribed and posted the 1674 English translation keeping the original spelling.  There are three illustrations in the text.  I substituted them with corresponding plates from editions of Goeree publicly available on-line.  

This English translation also contains many plates at the end that I haven't included because of their copyright status.  These plates don't appear in Goeree books in Dutch or German. They represent the traditional drawing book repertoire: eyes, noses, mouths, hands, feet, faces, and whole figures, most of them rather unrefined copies of well-known drawing book prints (I could recognise Fialetti, Palma il Giovane, Reni, Cousin, maybe Bloemaert and Guercino; others I have not yet identified). 

I've done this project on my own and without feedback, so I will appreciate any comments, corrections, suggestions and any other input.   I would also be happy with a greeting from anyone who studies this subject.



Illustration from a 1678 German edition (digitized here)
________________________________________________________

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE GENERAL ART OF DRAWING 
(for full name see title page)


CHAPTER I
What the Art of Drawing is, and in what it doth consist 

list of side notes:
Wherein the Art of Drawing doth consist. 
The Art of Drawing necessary to all men.
Principally to Picture-drawers.
The Art of Drawing is the soul  of the art of Painting. 
The Art of Drawing needeth the whole man
The Art of Drawing ought to have his Fundamental Rules as well as other Arts.
In the instruction you must go from step to step
A Simile or Similitude.
You must begin for the first step and go not the second before you well understand the first.
The Art of Drawing, beloved of all men.
The first Mover in this desire which comes of a natural inclination
Parents ought to observe the natural inclination of their children.
How you may know whether a child be born to the Art of Drawing or not.
Drawers and Picture Drawers must be of a singular nature.
Similitude.
What a young Learner must do.
How instruction is given.

Observation of this introduction
The Learner must apply himself to a good Master
Wherefore?


CHAPTER II

The first Beginning of the Art of Drawing.
 

The first exercise.
Perspective.
The first beginnings are about some particular Members.
Faces subject to most changes.
Oval.

What the Oval doth signifie.
Reason wherefore this Cross in the Oval is not understood of the young Learner.
A great fault.

Means to understand to draw with judgment all manner of faces.
A Fore-right face.
a 3/4 face
A face looking downward
A face looking upward.
A side face 
The profit that comes by the manner of this instruction.
Good Masters not always good Teachers


CHAPTER III
Of the Order and Manner to be Observed in the Art of Drawing.
 

First step. To draw after Draughts very profitable
Second step.  To draw after Pictures. Requires greater judgement. For what reason

The third Step.
A good Figure necessary to draw after.
The reason

The fourth Step
Perswasion to much drawing.
Example to others.
Custom in Rome
This should invite us to imitation.

CHAPTER IV
Of those things which in every degree of the Art of Drawing are necessary to be observed.
 

Drawing after Draughts.
Drawing after a Picture.
How to place a picture.
Distance.
Put your Principal right before you

The beginning of a Draught.
You must assure your self of every stroke.

With patience your must overcome your passions.
The Actions must appear as first in your scetzing.

To use care, thus in drawing a Schetz neater, that you lost not the action. 
Confer your draught with your principal.
Faulss (as soon as seen) to correct.
Better is one good Draught, then 100 without observation
You must sometimes behold your work with a fresh eye.
How it comes to pass that we better discern faults. 
Reason wherefore
Example


CHAPTER V 

Of the things which in the third Step, viz. in Drawing after Plaister-Rounds, or Embossed Works, are necessary to be observed.

To chuse a good light to draw after Plaister-Rounds.
Means how to amend the light.
At what height you shall chuse your light.
Night-light.
How to use the same.
Night-light giveth hard shades.
Remedy

What distance to use in sitting.
To observe how the parties the one under the other do appear.


CHAPTER VI

Of the anatomie, or Knowledge of the inward and outward forme of the Humane body, concerning Muscles and Motions of the Arteries.
 

To know Anatomy necessary.
Profitable.
Abuse.
Means to exercise themselves herein.
Anatomy in Plaister
Divers Books of Anatomy.
From the Books go to the life.
Not to make all Muscles.
Wherefore.
In what part you must observe your Muscles most.
Wherefore
Fat bodies have small Muscles.
Fair bodies must not be muscled hard.
Wherefore.

Of Muscles, many changes.
In what parts the most changes are incident.


CHAPTER VII
Of those things, which in drawing after the life, are necessarie to be observed and understood.
 

The natural Life reacheth all things.
To chuse a College
To what purpose
Place, light.
Model of what shape.
Place, light.
Divers manners to set the Model in action.
In all actions Members must make a Compact together. 
What Principally is to be observed in the good actions.
Examples of four footed beasts.
The good Position Of a figure.
Out of the tending of the Members to see what doth the figure.
The manner how to sit to draw. You shall not look too much, or imitate anothers Draught. 
Unskilful Drawers may place themselves with them that are experienced
For what reason. 
What is to be observed commonly. 
The Model shall not stand too long in his action.
Wherefore
Observation
To learn to draw compleatly
To draw Landskips


CHAPTER VIII

Of the several sorts of Chalks and Crions for the Use of Drawing, and upon what they are to be used.
 

Charcoal.
Black lead good for to scetch withal, principally for Masters, that are sure in their drawing.
Red chalk.
Black chalk.
Faults
Use.
Charcoal dipt in Linseed-oyl.
One or two houres.
Tobaccho---Pipe-clay.
White Chalk
Coloured Crions how to make them
Whereupon to draw

White Paper.
Coloured paper.


CHAPTER IX
Of the Use and Manner of Drawing.
 

Learners are counselled to follow their Principal
Manner how to do.
How to hold your drawing Pen.
Rouseling
Rouseling alone not very graceful.
Hatching and doseling a good manner.
Doesling.
Common mishap.
Remedie.
Manner how to smooth som heightenings.
Washing.

Use.

CHAPTER X

Of the General and his Parts, and how they must be understood and observed.
 

What Parts and Generals are.
Use
How to see them.
For what reason.
Example
Distinction.
Parts also have a generality in themselvs, altho' they are Part to the general.
Example.
Likeness of things dwelleth most in the general.
Example.
2 Example.

Contrapositio.

CHAPTER XI
What light and shadows be, and how thorow the same all things come to have their being.
 

Lights and shades can express all things.
Lights and Shades can express all things.
Prove.
General shadow.
Shadows upon shadows.


CHAPTER XII
Of the Plain, smooth, sharp, and sweet drawing.
 

Learners abhorre plain drawing.

CHAPTER XIII

Of the Heightenings.

CHAPTER XIV
Of the Reflection.
 

Reflections wheron they fall most.
Reflection by what occasioned.

Use not too much of reflection.
Wherefore.
Not to make reflection without cause.


CHAPTER XV
Of the Observation of Perspective of light and dark.
 

Necessitie of observation.
Similitude.
What you shuld take heed of in your observation
Dark comes forward as well as light.


CHAPTER XVI (one illustration)

Of the Circumferent or out-stroke, and his looseness and a good Position, as also of keeping of their Parts.
 

Scetch.
Circumferent stroak.

Strokes on the side of the light to make sweet.
Draughts must be drawn without circumferent strokes,
The life is without strokes.
Example
Strokes you must not draw till necessitated.
Small things are drawn without strokes, and appear as if they were.


CHAPTER XVII
Of the Finishing of a Draught.
 

Profit of this observation.
Heightenings never to make so high as the highest wont.
Observation
In Pictures dark and light difficult to distinguish.
Wherefore.


***
An Addition


PLATES (see my introduction above)