2016年2月15日 星期一

Joshua Reynolds, Fifteen Discourses Delivered to the Royal Academy

Sir Joshua Reynolds | Cupid Untying the Zone of Venus | Oil on canvas | 1788

note:zone   archaic A belt or girdle worn round a person’s body.
Today is National Sisters Day and the perfect day to highlight Sir Joshua Reynolds’s “The Ladies Waldegrave” from “Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland,” depicting the three Waldegrave sisters. Bring your sister to see this masterpiece, among many others, in our exhibition today.‪#‎ScotlandSunday‬

"A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts". Happy birthday Sir Joshua Reynolds! ow.ly/PHQqG

16 июля 1723 года родился крупнейший английский живописец и первый президент Королевской академии художеств Джошуа Рейнолдс.
Major English painter and the first president of the Royal Academy Joshua Reynolds was born on this day in 1723.
Джошуа Рейнолдс | Амур развязывает пояс Венеры | 1788
Joshua Reynolds | Cupid Untying the Zone of Venus | 1788

Sir Joshua Reynolds was born on this day in 1723. This painting by Constable depicts the memorial to Reynolds erected by Sir George Beaumont in the grounds of his Leicestershire home, with busts of Raphael and Michelangelo at either side: http://bit.ly/1IURHx5

Born ‪#‎onthisday‬ in 1723: artist and first President of the Royal Academy of Arts Sir Joshua Reynolds http://ow.ly/PEnV3

Self-portrait at the age of 27 http://ow.ly/PGgyk

Join us for a Twitter tour of ‪#‎JoshuaReynolds‬' London later today. We will be joining the Wallace Collection, the Royal Academy and the National Portrait Gallery to explore his life and work, including this painting 'Lady Cockburn and her Three Eldest Sons'.
Follow us on Twitter @NationalGallery:https://twitter.com/NationalGallery

Reynolds, Joshua. Fifteen Discourses Delivered to the Royal Academy. 1920 264pp.
作者簡介 :
約書亞•雷諾茲爵士(1723-1793年),英國18世紀後期最富盛名且頗具影響力的歷史肖像畫家和藝術評 論家,英國皇家美術學院的創辦人。雷諾茲強調繪畫創作的理性一面,他的許多觀點是英國18世紀美學原理最典型的體現。代表作有《羅賓涅塔》、《撒母耳•瓊 森博士*》、《羅勃特•歐姆上尉》、《希斯菲爾德勳爵》等。

Seven Discourses on Art, by Joshua Reynolds

約書亞 雷諾茲爵士于17691790 年間陸續在英國皇家美術學院發表了十五次演講。這些演講奠定了他整個宏偉風格理論的基礎,不僅為當時的英國畫家樹立了一個完美的典範,也是當今文化藝術研 究者、愛好者學習的必經之路。本書為第一個完整收錄十五篇講稿的中文版本。

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.

XI. Letter-Writers.

§ 14. Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Discourses.

It may not seem inappropriate to add in his place a few words concerning the series of Discourses delivered by Sir Joshua Reynolds, from 1769 to 1790, to the students of the Royal Academy. These Discourses have become a classic of our language, because they are justly regarded as a model of art criticism, devoted as they are to essentials and written in a style of great beauty and distinction, and exhibiting in every page Reynolds’s love and knowledge of his art, as well as the literary powers of his mind. The advice of a master grounded on his own knowledge and practice must always possess a real value, and Reynolds is severe in his condemnation of the futility of much art criticism by amateurs.
“There are,” he writes, “many writers on our Art, who not being of the profession and consequently not knowing what can or what cannot be done, have been very liberal of absurd praises in their descriptions of favourite works. They always find in them what they are resolved to find.” And, again: “It has been the fate of Arts to be enveloped in mysterious and incomprehensible language, as if it was thought necessary that even the terms should correspond to the idea entertained of the instability and uncertainty of the rules which they expressed.”
In urging the duty of industry and perseverance, he has been supposed to imply a doubt as to the existence of genius; but, when he affirms that the supposed genius must use the same hard means of obtaining success as are imposed upon others, a deeper scepticism than was really his need not be imputed to him. It was a false idea of genius which he desired to correct.
Genius is supposed to be a power of producing excellences which are out of the reach of the rules of art: a power which no precepts can teach, and which no industry can acquire.
In another place he says:
“The industry which I principally recommended is not the industry of the hands, but of the mind.” Further, when advocating the duty of clear expression: “If in order to be intelligible, I appear to degrade art by bringing her down from the visionary situation in the clouds, it is only to give her a solid mansion upon the earth.”
The first Discourse was delivered at the opening of the Royal Academy and deals with the advantages to be expected from the institution of that body. The ninth Discourse is, again, general, and was delivered on the removal of the Royal Academy from Pall Mall to Somerset place. The fifteenth and last contains the president’s farewell to the students and members of the Royal Academy and a review of the scope of the Discourses, ending with an eulogium on Michel Angelo:
I reflect not without vanity that these Discourses bear testimony of my admiration of that truly divine man; and I should desire that the last words which I should pronounce in this Academy, and from this place, might be the name of MICHEL ANGELO.
Burke, who was in the president’s chair, then descended from the rostrum, taking the lecturer’s hand, and said, in Milton’s words:
The Angel ended, and in Adam’s ear
So charming left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him still speaking, still stood fix’d to hear. 36
The incident illustrates the deep interest taken by Burke in his friend’s Discourses; and it has been suggested that he had much to do with their composition. But they so evidently contain Reynolds’s own individual views, and the thoughts are expressed so naturally and clearly, that such an idea must be put aside as absurd. Reynolds was a highly cultured man, and, doubtless, he gained much in clearness of literary insight by his intimate association with such men as Johnson and Burke; but a careful study of the Discourses would prove to most readers that the language as well as the thoughts were Reynolds’s own. He was, however, not the man to reject suggested improvement in style from his distinguished friends, and, doubtless, both Johnson and Burke proposed some verbal improvements in the proofs.
The general reception of the work was extremely favourable; and that it was appreciated abroad is evidenced by the empress Catharine of Russia’s present to Reynolds of a gold snuff-box, adorned with her portrait in relief, set in diamonds, as an expression of her appreciation of the Discourses. 51
The plan of the Discourses, carried on through many years, is consistent throughout. The writer did not interfere with the teaching of the professors; but it was his aim to deal with the general principles underlying the art. He started by pointing out the dangers of facility, as there is no short path to excellence. When the pupil’s genius has received its utmost improvement, rules may, possibly, be dispensed with; but the author adds: “Let us not destroy the scaffold until we have raised the building.” In claiming the right to teach, he modestly says that his hints are in a great degree founded on his own mistakes. 52
The earlier half of the series dealt with the objects of study, the leading principles to be kept in view and the four general ideas which regulate every branch of the art—invention, expression, colouring and drapery. Much stress is laid upon the importance of imitation; but this word must be accurately defined:
Study Nature attentively but always with those masters in your company; consider them as models which you are to imitate, and at the same time as rivals with whom you are to contend.
The second half is appropriated to the consideration of more general points, such as genius and imagination. The tenth Discourse, on sculpture, is the least satisfactory of the series. The fourteenth Discourse is of special interest as relating to Gainsborough; and the particulars of the meeting of the two great painters at the death-bed of Gainsborough are charmingly related. 54
Although great changes have taken place in public opinion in the relative estimation of various schools of painting, most of Reynolds’s remarks, dealing as they do with essentials, remain of value. The book is charming reading for all who love art, and the reader will close it with a higher appreciation of the character of the man and the remarkable insight of the great painter.