Saturday, 6 February 2010

Viewing the world as an artist

Self-portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds - Oil on canvas (63.5 × 74.3 cm / 25.00 × 29.25 in) - National Portrait Gallery [source - Wikimedia Common]

“I cannot help imagining that I see a promising young painter, equally vigilant, whether at home, or abroad in the streets, or in the fields. Every object that presents itself is to him a lesson. He regards all nature with a view to his profession; and combines her beauties, or corrects her defects. He examines the countenance of men under the influence of passion; and often catches the most pleasing hints from subjects of turbulence or deformity. Even bad pictures themselves supply him with useful documents; and, as Leonardo da Vinci has observed, he improves upon the fanciful images that are sometimes seen in the fire, or are accidentally sketched upon a discoloured wall.”

Sir Joshua Reynolds - A discourse Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of the Prizes, December 11, 1769, by the President.

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