aphorisms on drawing

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: XII. Guard against mannerism and fashion. Do not, therefore, draw in such or such a style, because some great master does it; but be more independent, and copy Nature. And, as to admiring anything, only because others do so, without feeling admiration for it yourself, it would argue in you no knowledge of drawing, and no faculty to appreciate its merits. I recollect being one day at Citta di Pieve, where, as a matter of course, I was taken from one end of the town to the other, in order to see some of Perugino's pictures. I got weary of his figures awry and dressed in buckram, and of his buildings out of perspective, and I was reluctantly passing through the sacristy of a church, to be shewn some more of them; when I beheld, nailed against the wall, but without a frame, a beautiful oil-painting of Our Saviour giving the keys to St. Peter. It was a relief, at last, to dwell on those fine figures, dressed in good drapery; and I asked my guide if he could tell me the author of that painting. He shrugged his shoulders, and said, " he did not know; it was nobody's; for it had no frame!" On another occasion I was asked to accompany a few friends to see some of Raphael's pictures, in one of the palaces at Rome. While my companions, Murray in hand, were inspecting the works of the great master, I strolled into a room adjoining, in which, among other pictures I noticed a very beautiful Virgin and Child; author unknown. I went to call my friends, and begged they would come and admire the face and the expression of the female figure. " What, that!" said one of them; " Let us see : oh, it is not in Murray!" And so saying he left the room. That absurd imitation of others in drawing is often carried as far even as the touch ; but this is, assuredly, a waste of time and of labour...
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