Sunday 27 April 2014

Goeree: Title page, Introduction

An introduction to the general art of drawing

A 1674 English translation of 
a drawing treatise by Willem Goeree (1635-1711)
Transcript by Lala Ragimov


General Art

Wherein is set forth
The Grounds and Properties, which of this infallible
and judicious ART are necessary to be
known and understood.

Not only Profitable unto them that Practise Drawing;
Picture-Drawers, Engravers, Carvers, Stone-Cutters,
Jewellers, Goldsmiths, Silversmiths,

But Also
To all Lovers and well-affected, as well to this as to other ARTS (flow-
ing from thence) a commodious Knowledge Communicated: With
an Illustration of twenty five Copper-Prints of Figures,
for young Learners to practise by.
An Excellent Treatise of the Art of Limning, in the which the true Grounds, and the perfect Use of Water-Colours, with all their Properties, are clearly and perfectly taught.


Formerly set out by that Excellent Limner Mr. GERHARD of Brugge.    And now much
Augmented and Amended, with some Observations, teaching (besides Illumination)
the Colouring and Painting with Water-Colours.
Set forth at Middleburgh by W. GORE.  Truly Translated into English by J.L.   Published
by ROBERT PRICKE for the Lovers and Practitioners of this Noble and 

Admirable ART.

Printed for Rob. Pricke, and are to be sold at his Shop Adjoyning to Cripple-Gate within :
Where likewise is very good Choice of Italian, French, Dutch and English Prints 1674.


To the Lovers and well-affected to the Art of Drawing.

IT will not be necessary to detain you with a long Prologue, or to make the Noble Art of Drawing more Palletable in dressing of it, with many elegant, Rhetorical and Figurative speeches, because it is by all men of sound judgement in that esteem that she needeth not in the least those kind of Palliations; it is known sufficiently that all men want and stand in need of the Art of Drawing, being as a Fountain from whence all and singular the other Arts do flow and proceed; and although they may not stand in need of the daily practice or exercise of Drawing; yet if the knowledge and the Ground-Rules belonging unto that Art, none should be ignorant of, for the reason aforesaid; and therefore at all times I much have admired, that among so many brave, known, well-experienced, esteemed and renowned Artists, there has bin none found to undertake that labour and travel, as to bring forth somthing unto the world, touching the profitable and infallible instruction in the Art of Drawing; but not of Figures only, Drawing-books, and innumerable images, (of which the world is full) which to the young scholars, (Pict re-drawers, Silver-smiths, Glass-Painters, Carvers and Stone-Cutters, which commonly do meet in the Art of Drawing afar off, and beget a horror and aversion to understand the same judicially and fundamentally) are given to draw after, and Ape-like to imitate, just as Parrots are taught to speak; but that thorow judicial, infallible and incontradictory Reasons according to a certain Rule in the which the Art of Drawing now in our days doth flourish, and hath set forth some light in the dark understandings of the young Practitioners, might arise, and to continue the same light; and communicate the same to all Posterity (as their heir) after them.
    This (to speak plain) hath moved me, for to finish that, which others (whom it would have becom far better in respect of their office and place) have left undone: and to bring forth unto the view of the World this short Introduction to the Art of Drawing in general, not that I intend hereby to gain unto me great commendations and praises, but that (besides the benefit hereby intended unto youth) others (whom God and Nature hath indued with a greater talent of knowledge,) might not bury their better knowledge herein in the grave of Oblivion, but put and give forth the same to their Neighbor, considering that sentence,
Non nobis tantum natifumus sed etiam Posteritati; like as we then also have no sinister ends in this, but only the sole good, benefit and profit of the young Practitioner.
Hoping that in case I have bin so happy, as to have (thorow a clear and judicious expression of my sense and meaning, done any good and profit to the publick, you would be pleased favourably to accept of it; and if it falls out otherwise, I acknowledge however, that I have spared no labour to set forth this Book with as few words as possibly my ability would permit, and therefore I desire that this my 


short lesson may be read and read again; and then according to the cast which the Ballance of infallible Reason will give, may be judged, and finde your favourable acceptance.  Be not offended with the common stile, neither the strange words, for I have used such as are proper to the Art, and makes the nearest expressions of my meaning.
    I expect then, that this small labor which I have bestowed to pass away time, and taken as a repose from my daily and usual employment, to the good and benefit of all Lovers of the Art of Drawing, will be favourably accepted of and that it will be made use of with profit, in the exercise of the Art, that we seeing your good inclination to this small Introduction, might thereby be spurred on (if God be pleased to grant us health) to write some further thing of the Art of Painting also, of which very little is written, and that not in our Mother-tongue, which can add anything to the daily exercise, or give any certain rules how best to further that Art of Painting.
    Although I am not ignorant, that some things is come forth appertaining to this study, and the same such as carry the name of the light of Painting, and the Art of Drawing in the Front, which has many Exemplars of Heads, Armes and Legs, Academy Figures, and other Proportions measured according to the Proportion of the Five Orders of Columes; and beside those, Exemplars of all sorts of Beasts.

    But how sleightly, and with what little care is written of the same, let those judge, that have the right and full knowledge of the Art; being certain, that no less then the property of the same is thought in it: so that till now, little profit is conveyed thereby to the young Practitioners, wherein the secret Mysteries, Power and Propertie of the Art of Painting, naked and clear, is discovered, which then was most necessary, neither is it to be doubted, but that many with earnest desire do long after it.
    Nevertheless, I hope that such shall have once their desires answered, for to that end and purpose I have already many rare an choice pickt-out observations, and profitable lessons, concerning which I have made a rude draught, wherein the reasonable content (of Drawing, Building, Measuring, Perspective, Ordination, Invention, or Composing of Histories, ordering of Figures, dismembring of Figures; of Muscles, Actions, Motions, good Position, Beautie, Proportion, Measure, expression of Passions, even them of the heart, cloding, Presentation of the natural life, and in them the becoming incidents, Landskips, far-off Prospects, Skies, Storms, Sun-shines, Lights, Shadows, Reflections, Colouring, Observations of strong and faint, Disputes, outwardbendings, besides dissolving of many speculative questions, and all things which further appertained to that excellent and most famous Art of Painting,) shall be put forth in one easie and rational Method, and demonstrated with infallible reasons and figures, in such a manner, that none to this day has yet produced the like; use this in the mean-while, as a fore-Runner of that which I intend to bring forth to the publicke view of the World.


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