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nature: like that extraordinary work, they are at once the amusement of childhood and ignorance, and the delight, instruction, and admiration, of the highest and most cultivated minds.
It is not, however, to be supposed, that theory and observation alone will enable us to judge either of pictures or of nature, with the same skill as those, who join to the practical knowledge of their art, habitual reflection on its principles, and its productions; between such artists, and the mere lover of painting, there will always be a sufficient difference to justify, the remark of Cicero :* but by means of the study which I have so earnestly recommended, we may greatly diminish the immense distance that exists between the
* There is an anecdote of Salvator Rosa, which shews the very just and natural opinion that painters of eminence entertain of their superior judgnient with regard to their own art: it is also highly characteristic of the lively, impetuous manner of the artist of whom it is related, and whose words might no less justly be applied to real objects, than to the imitation of them. Saldator Rosa, essendogli mostrata una singolar pittura da un dilettante, che insiememente in estremo la lodava; egli, con un di quei suoi soliti gesti spiritosi esclamò; O pensa quel che tu diresti, se tu la vedessi con gli occhi di Salvator Rosa!
eye of a first rate painter, and that of a man who has never thought on the subject. Were it, indeed, possible that, a painter of great and general excellence could at once bestow on such a man,-not his power of imitating, but of distinguishing and feeling the effects and combinations of form, colour, and light and shadow,-it would hardly be too much to assert that a new appearance of things, a new world would suddenly be opened to him ; and the bestower might preface the miraculous gift, with the words in which
Venus addresses her son, when she removes the mortal film from his
Aspice, namque omnem quæ nunc obducta tuenti
In this edition, the reader will find some considerable additions ; but the chief difference is in the arrangement, which I am very conscious, was in many parts extremely defective. Several of the chapters in the first volume are entirely new modelled ; and in the second, a great deal of new arrangement has taken place, especially in the middle part of the dast Essay. Those readers only (should there be any such) who may have the curiosity to compare the present with former
editions, can judge of the pains that the new modelling has cost me : but I shall think them well bestowed, if I should be less open to those criticisms, which must have presented themselves to every reader of a methodical turn of mind. Another alteration, which I trust will be thought an improvement, is that of throwing the greater part of the notes to the end of the volumes. One note, of much greater length than I could have wished, is added to the second volume, in consequence of a very pointed attack from my friend Mr. Knight, in the second edition of the Analytical Inquiry; it is indeed almost a controversial dissertation on the temple of Vesta, usually called the Sybill's temp at Ti. voli : I am persuaded, however, that I have made po small amends for the tediousness of controversy, by some very curious information I received on the subject,