transcribed by Lala Ragimov, 1674 original spelling kept
An introduction to the general art of drawing.
A 1674 English translation of
a drawing treatise by Willem Goeree (1635-1711)
The first Beginning of the Art of Drawing.
The first exercise.
TO come now to the first exercise of a young Learner, it is then most necessary, that he in the first place learn to understand the Art of Perspective, that by the knowledge of the same he may come to understand, how to give unto all things a due and just proportion of augmentation and diminution, without which knowledge the Ground of this Art, neither the reason of all things that are, and may be made, cannot be judged nor understood
And in this respect that this Art of Perspective doth consist in certain lines, which appear to foreshorten and diminish all things which we behold with our eyes, and to the same (as to a particular study) many demonstrations and figures are necessary, we have nevertheless resolved to pass them by, in regard there be several Books written, even of great and famous Masters, viz. The Works of Serlius, Marelois and Vignola; or de Vries, the Lord de Sargus and Boss; and principally that most famous work of the Learned Jesuit, but a little while since set forth in our English Language, in which is taught the Fundamentals of Perspective, out of the Geometrical square or Platform, to bring all things thorow a Geometrical square foot in Perspective; and to do the same also by the same means in Arches, and roofs of Churches, unto whom I will recommend all Learners, and go forward with our Art of Drawing; but in regard that most Learners at their first begining may be too young, and know not how to apprehend those things compleatly, yet shall the Master as soon as possible open the Learners eyes, and teach him the Art of Perspective, and that the Learner together with the Art of Drawing, might also learn to know and understand the Art of Perspective also.
The first beginnings are about some particular Members.
Faces subject to most changes.
Faces subject to most changes.
The beginings then in the Art of Drawing, are first about the knowledg how to draw some particular members of the bodies of men, viz. Heads, Faces, Armes, Hands, Legs, Feet, &c. of which there are many Copies extant in Print, which also with profit for the first begining is best to be used principally for to learn how to draw a face or head thereby, being subject to most changes, and there we will instruct the Learner, first of the Oval, with his several changes and variations, and of the Cross in the same, because the Learner may learn to understand the better all bowings and returnings, reclinations and inclinations of all sorts of faces, according to the Examples at the End of this Book.
What the Oval doth signifie.
Now it is necessary, that in short they are instructed in this, viz. that the Head in general has the form or shape of an Egge, and therefore according to the Latin is called Ovale; the things belonging to such an head or face, are the eyes, eye-brows, nose and ears; and that they may have their due situations and places, comes to pass by means of the Cross thorow the Oval. Thus the perpendicular in the Oval being divided in four equal parts, makes the whole head to be four Noses in Height, but the face only of three noses; and the diameter crossing the perpendicular is divided into five equal parts, each being the bredth or wideness of one eye, and this Diameter is the ocular line wherein the eyes are to be placed, and therefore a streight line is to be drawn from the top of the right ear, thorow both eyes, to the top of the left ear, and from above thorow the midst of the Nose, Mouth and Chin is drawn the whole line which is called Perpendicular crossing the Diameter or ocular line at right angles, which together is called the cross of the Oval, upon which cross then (let the face turn which way it will) the eyes, nose, mouth and ears must be placed in their due and proper places, as in this face foreright you may observe.
(German edition, 1678,
Reason wherefore this Cross in the Oval is not understood of the young Learner.
But because experience doth teach, that the Learner can neither understand nor conceive the ground and right use of this cross in the Oval, and by consequence the many variations of the same, and much less the declinations, reclinations and inclinations of faces, although they do spend several days and weeks, to imitate such and the like faces, according to the draughts of their drawing-books; the reason is, (as I believe) because the drawing is done in plano, and therefore this strange changing of the cross they cannot understand. I therefore have invented another way, thorow which (according to my judgement) the most stupid and dullest Learner may be instructed to understand and apprehend the same; and although this is but a small beginning for the Learner, nevertheless it is a thing of great consequence and importance;
A great fault.
A great fault.
in respect it is observed that many Masters commit errors in the same, either thorow ignorance or neglect, not taking due observation of the change of the cross of their faces, which fault in a Master is the bigger, because it is the first A B C in a Learner.
German edition, 1678
Means to understand to draw with judgment all manner of faces.
You shall then (to gain this understanding) go to a Tourner, and cause him to turn the form or shape of an egge, round, smooth and even, out of a piece of wood fit for that purpose, like as the figure 1. doth direct you; draw then a line from point to point longways, thorow the midst of the same egge, as is to be seen in the figure 2. Divide this line in two equal parts, and draw a line overthwart from the left hand to the right, cutting the former line in that division at(?) right Angles, as you may observe in the figure 3. This being done, you have your desire now to bring this into practice, and to make the learner to understand the changes and alterations of the cross, and thorow the same to draw all manner of faces, as well those that turn aside, as those that turn backwards or forwards; and to shew them that this way (and no other way) it is done put then (as for the first proof) this egge strait before him, like as you see the Figure 3. to be; shew him therewith a few lines, the division of the face, each particular Member drawn in his place in the line upon paper, as in the Figure 4. and according to that Figure how to draw a face fore-right;
A Fore-right face.
then turn the Oval from the left hand to the right a little about, then the streight Perpendicular of the cross shall change and stand bent like a bowe or arch, as is to be seen in the Figure 5.
A 3/4 face.
Shew him there also the particular Members in his lines, as is to be seen in the Figure 6. and make him observe how that the Nose doth project beyond the round of the Oval; and like as in this Figure the same is in the contrary turning, viz. from the right to the left, as is to be observed in the figure 7
A face looking downward
Again turn the oval inclining downward, then the cross will appear as in the figure 8. it appeared to shew him there a face looking downward, as you may see in the Figure 9;
A face looking upward.
then let the Oval be turned backward, then the lines of the Cross will change again, as is to be seen in the Figure 10. and a face drawn according to them lines, appear as in the figure 11. And after this manner you may shew so many variety of faces as you please, with this oval,
A side face.
(except those that come side-ward, which commonly are directed, or thought to be drawn by means of a Perpendicular, as to be noted in the figure 12. upon which Perpendicular, Forehead, Nose, Mouth and Chin, are drawn as you may observe in the figure 13.) let them be of what manner soever. Nevertheless, this is easie and less subject unto errors.
The profit that comes by the manner of this instruction.
This then being well engrafted in the Learner, and being well understood by him, he then in little time will begin to draw out of his own invention, and fancy good fancies with good judgement and reason, and give Master-like Master touches to the same; where otherwise, if they draw only after a Print, Draught or Picture, they know not what they do, neither know they what they have to observe in the same, but learn just like unto Parrets, without any reason, and therefore consequently know not how to draw any thing out of their own invention; it is also observable before I go any further, to shew how necessary then is good instruction, and therefore the learner ought to chuse a good Master, as is able to give good instruction, and is well-experienced in well-drawing and painting,
Good Masters not always good Teachers
for it is not always certain, that good Masters are also always good instructors or Teachers; but happy is that scholar that finds both these qualities in a Master, nevertheless, teaching with judgement is most necessary and profitable to the learner; the great Mastership must come afterwards out of the Practitioners own industry and natural inclination.