Sunday 27 April 2014

Goeree, Chapter X

transcribed by Lala Ragimov, original spelling kept

An introduction to the general art of drawing
A 1674 English translation of
a drawing treatise by Willem Goeree (1635-1711)

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Of the General and his Parts, and how they must be understood and observed.
What Parts and Generals are.
How to see them.
For what reason.
NOW I come to speak of some particular properties, which in Art of Drawing are necessary to be understood. The First then is general, the other particular, the knowledge of which (is very necessary) youth should be very well endued withal, for there a great light will arise in our understanding.-- All things composed together consist in certain parts, which together carry a correspondence: they have the one with the other made a general mass or lump, and by our sight, are (either in general or particular) distinguisht; if therefore you draw either after print, drrught, picture, or the life, you must observe the general forms which is presented unto you, and consisted of several parts, viz. whether it be a round, square, triangular, long or short forme; and this is best observable with an half-pinking eye, without observing the parts as may be contained in the general, without observing almost what the general mass it self cometh to siginfie, viz. whether it be a Head, Arm, Leg or Foot, but only observing the circumferent stroke of the whole lump or mass; for without this circumferent stroke nothing can be what must or ought to be, for the general makes manifest all the particulars, and this may be proved by this example: 


Suppose a Head be compleatly finished, the circumferent stroke it has doth signifie the general mass; the eyes, nose, mouth, chin, ears, are the particulars contained in the general mass of the head; now is the question whereby it may be known, whether thorow the parts in particular, or thorow all the parts in the cirucumferent stroke, in their proper places contained, whereof the circumferent stroke presents the whole lump or mass in general. To this the example shall answer for me, which Apelles standing before the King, and having something to say to the King, concerning a man whom he would have the King to know, took a coal in his hand and scetcht therewith upon the wall the shape and form of the man (which he had retained in memory) in such a manner, that the King out of this general draught, could see and know what man Apelles intended to signifie unto him. And to demonstrate this yet more clearer, suppose there be two faces drawn with somthing that may at pleasure be wiped away, which are very like each other, wipe the circumferent stroke of the one face clean away, so that nothing remain but the small parties, viz. eyes, nose, mouth, &c. and you will finde presently that the likeness of the face is much diminished and worn away; the same may also be proved another way, viz. make another circumferent stroke about the parts aforesaid, differing from the former, and you shall behold another likeness in your face, much differing from that it had before; so that it is certain, that the parts observed in themselves, do not represent themselves in their being, before they are joyned to their general out-stroke; of which much more might be said, which for brevity-sake is omitted. --- 

Parts also have a generality in themselvs, altho' they are Part to the general.
The general is also distinguisht, viz. in the generality of the parts, that is, general parts, containing in themselves other, but smaller general parts; example there is, the arm, legs, hands and feet, which in respect of the whole body are but parts; but in respect of themselvs they also may be observed as great general parts, containing some parts subject under them, as they are contained in the whole body; Example, the Arm hath his muscles, the bending of the elbow, and such like; the hands have their fingers, and fingers again their members, and so forward, in the same manner as we heretofore have said of the head. 

Likeness of things dwelleth most in the general.
And as the knowledge of things dwelleth most in the generality of the great parts; in the same manner also is the knowledge of the things hidden in the generality of all, which may be demonstrated after this manner; let a man (whom we know very well) be at some reasonable distance from us, so that we cannot know him by some small parts, as by his brown or gray eyes, neither his great or small nose, nor by his red or pale face, nor by some other small parts that might belong to the whole body; notwithstanding we shall know, this man after to be that which indeed he is; 

2 Example.

yea, let it be duskish in the evening, so that we only may distinguish betwixt a man and an horse, and some of your acquaintance should chance to meet with you, it will happen many a time that you shall begin to know him, although distance and darkness do hinder to observe him, either by his face or the colour of his clothes, or by any other small parts. Quest. By what means comes this to pass? Answ. By means of the general, for the general lump being seen by you, and the form and shape of that lump being represented (by means of the eyes) to our senses, we presently apprehend him to be what he is;


so far distant, and so dark, a great mist will not only take away the parts from our sight, but the general lump also, for there is scarce a Rule that hath not his exceptions.

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