Friday, February 24, 2017

Franciscus Junius on the Heroical Mind

Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier
Young Man with Book
1860s
oil on panel
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

"This conceived presence of antient, and the true presence of moderne masters will do us more good, if wee doe constantly beleeve, that the estimation of these present and following times dependeth on the judgement of those whom we made choice of for the reforming of our works. 'It is impossible that hee should entertaine any abject and meane thoughts, who knoweth that all ages will speak of him,' sayth Mamertinus. 'Verily so it is,' saith Quintilian, 'they do inforce their mindes to great things, who account not only the present age, but the memory of all posterity, to be the space of an honest life, and the race of their glory.'  Whosoever therefore doth with an heroical minde conceive the true image of the glory that is to come, and looketh for a perpetuall and unchangeable fruit arising not out of a poor reward, but out of the contentment of his mind, delighting it selfe in the contemplation of Art, the same shall easily bee perswaded to spend that time in framing magnificent Images and inventions, which others bestow upon idle spectacles, uncertaine wanderings, wastefull dice, unprofitable discourses, a sleepy drowsinesse, and unseasonable banquets. 'It is a singular gift of providence,' sayth Quintilian, 'that honest things should take us most of all.'"

– from Book Three (chapter one) of The Painting of the Ancients by Franciscus Junius, first published in English in 1638  edited by Keith Aldrich, Philipp Fehl and Raina Fel for University of California Press, 1991

Several magnificent Images and inventions of the sort advocated by Junius are set out in reproduction below 

Bacchiacca
Portrait of a woman with a book of music
ca. 1540-45
oil on panel
Getty Museum, Los Angeles


Gregorio Martínez after Michelangelo
 Tityus enchained
ca. 1590-96
oil on canvas
Prado, Madrid

Marie Laurencin
Bacchante
1911
oil on canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg


Lorenzo Lotto
Rest on the flight into Egypt with St Justina
ca. 1529-30
oil on canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg


Antonio Molinari
St Sebastian and St Irene
ca. 1695
canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg


Friedrich Paul Nerly
Fountain in St Peter's Square, Rome
ca. 1860
oil on canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg


Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva
Quirinal Horse Tamers with Fountain, Rome 
1911
watercolor, gouache
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg


William Young Ottley
Old Testament warriors
1796-97
wash drawing
British Museum


Jean-Baptiste Santerre
Two Actresses
1699
canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg


Pietro Tempesta
Bucolic landscape
17th century
oil on canvas
private collection


Gerard ter Borch
Portrait of Catarina van Leunink
ca. 1654
oil on canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

David Teniers
Shepherd
1650s
oil on canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg


René Bouvet
Brooch
ca. 1902
gold, coral, mother-of-pearl, diamond, ruby, pearl
British Museum