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essential beauties : therefore it stands to reason that these limbs must have been lengthened on purpose, otherwise it might easily have been avoided.
So that if we examine the beauties of this figure thoroughly, we may reasonably conclude, that what has been hitherto thought so unaccountably excellent in its general appearance, hath been owing to what hath seemed a blemish in a part of it: but let us endeavour to make this matter as clear as possible, as it may add more force to what has been said.
Statues by being bigger than life (as this is one, and larger than the Antinous) always gain some nobleness in effect, according to the principle of quantity', but this alone is not sufficient to give what is properly to be called, greatness in proportion; for were figures 17 and 18, in plate 1, to be drawn or carved by a scale of ten feet high, they would still be but pigmy proportions, as, on the other hand, a figure of but two inches, may represent a gigantic height.
Therefore greatness of proportion must be considered, as depending on the application of quantity
to those parts of the body where it can give more P. 83 scope to its grace in movement, as to the neck for the
larger and swan-like turns of the head, and to the legs and thighs, for the more ample sway of all the upper parts together.
By which we find that the Antinous's being equally magnified to the Apollo's height, would not sufficiently produce that superiority of effect, as to greatness, so evidently seen in the latter. The additions
necessary to the production of this greatness in proportion, as it there appears added to grace, must then be, by the proper application of them, to the parts mentioned only.
I know not how further to prove this matter than by appealing to the reader's eye, and common observation, as before.
The Antinous being allowed to have the justest proportion possible, let us see what addition, upon the principle of quantity, can be made to it, without taking away any of its beauty.
If we imagine an addition of dimensions to the head, we shall immediately conceive it would only deform-if to the hands or feet, we are sensible of something gross and ungenteel,-if to the whole lengths of the arms, we feel they would be dangling and awkward
if by an addition of length or breadth to the body, we know it would appear heavy and clumsy--there remains then only the neck, with the legs and thighs to speak of; but to these we find, that not only certain additions may be admitted without causing any disagreeable effect, but that thereby greatness, the last P. 89 perfection as to proportion, is given to the human form; as is evidently expressed in the Apollo: and may still be further confirmed by examining the drawings of Parmigiano, where these particulars are seen in excess; yet on this account his works are said, by all truc connoisseurs, to have an inexpressible greatness of taste in them, though otherwise very incorrect.
Let us now return to the two general ideas we sat out with at the beginning of this chapter, and recollect that under the first, on surface, I have shewn in
what manner, and how far human proportion is mea, surable, by varying the contents of the body, conform, able to the given praportion of two lines. And that under the second and more extensive general idea of form, as arising from fitness for movement, &c, I have endeavoured to explain, by every means I could devise, that every particular and minute dimension of the body, should conform to such purposes of movement, &c. as have been first properly considered and determined ; on which conjunctively, the true proportion of every character must depend; and is found so to do, by our joint-sensation of bulk and motion, Which account of the proportion of the human body, however imperfect, may possibly stand its ground, till one more plausible shall be given.
As the Apollo * has been only mentioned on account of the greatness of its proportion, I think in
justice to so fine a performance, and also as it is not P.90 foreign to the point we have been upon, we may subjoin an observation or two on its perfections.
Besides, what is commonly allowed, if we consider it by the rules here given for constituting or composing character, it will discover the author's great saga. city in choosing a proportion for this deity, which has served two noble purposes at once; in that these very dimensions which appear to have given it so much dignity, are the same that are best fitted to produce the utmost speed. And what could characterise the god of day, either so strongly or elegantly, to be ex. pressive in a statue, as superior swiftness, and beauty
Fig. 12. p. 1,
dignified ? and how poetically doth the action it is put into, carry on the allusion to speed', as he is lightly stepping forward, and seeming to shoot his arrows from him; if the arrows may be allowed to signify the sun's rays? This at least may as well be supposed as the common surmise that he is killing the dragon, Python; which certainly is very inconsistent with so erect an attitude, and benign an aspect.
Nor are the inferior parts neglected: the drapery also that depends from his shoulders, and folds over his extended arm, hath its treble office. As first, it assists in keeping the general appearance within the boundary of a pyramid, which being inverted, is, for a single figure, rather more natural and genteel than P.91 one upon its basis. Secondly, it fills up the vacant angle under the arm and takes off the straightness of the lines the arms necessarily makes with the body in such an action; and lastly, spreading as it doth, in pleasing folds, it helps to satisfy the eye with a noble quantity in the composition altogether, without depriving the beholder of any part of the beauties of the naked ; in short, this figure might serve, were a lecture to be read over it, to exemplify every principle that hath been hitherto advanced. We shall therefore close not only all we have to say on proportion with it, but our whole lineal account of form, except what we have particularly to offer as to the face; which it
in the sun: which cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant to run his course. Psalm xix. 5.
. The accounts given, in relation to this statue, make it so highly probable that it was the great Apollo of Delphos, that, for my own part, I make no manner of doubt of its being so.
will be proper to defer, till we have spoken of light and shade and colour.
As some of the ancient statues have been of such · singular use to me, I shall beg leave to conclude this chapter with an observation or two on them in general.
It is allowed by the most skilful in the imitative arts, that though there are many of the remains of antiquity, that have great excellencies about them ; yet there are not, moderately speaking, above twenty that may be justly called capital. There is one reason, nevertheless, besides the blind veneration that generally is paid to antiquity, for holding even many very imperfect pieces in some degree of estimation: I mean that peculiar taste of elegance which so visibly runs
through them all, down to the most incorrect of their P. 92 basso-relievos: which taste, I am persuaded, my
reader will now conceive to have been entirely owing to the perfect knowledge the ancients must have had of the use of the precise serpentine-line.
But this cause of elegance not having been since sufficiently understood, no wonder such effects should have appeared mysterious, and have drawn mankind into a sort of religious esteem, and even bigotry, to the works of antiquity.
Nor have there been wanting of artful people, who have made good profit of those whose u nbounded admiration hath run them into enthusiasm. Nay there are, I believe, some who still carry on a comfortable trade in such originals as have been so defaced and maimed by time, that it would be impossible, without a pair of double-ground connoisseur-spectacles, to see whether they have ever been good or bad: they