The Art of Painting

The Art of Painting, with remarks, translated in English with an original preface containing a parallel between painting and poetry by Mr Dryden, also a short account of the most eminent painters both ancient and modern by R.G. esq., 2nd ed., C. A. Du Fresnoy.

Journeyman, painter, noted writer and Parisian, Du Fresnoy spent over thirty years in Italy, following the artistic studies of his youth. The admired result of his sojourn is his Latin poem, De Arte Graphica. Although not highly regarded for its poetic merits, its value as a critical treatise on the practice of the art of painting was well esteemed and seen as an essential text for students of painting for many years afterwards. After being translated into several different languages, Poet Laureate John Dryden produced this popular English prose version.

Printed by B.L. at Pater-Noster Row, 1716. Layton Collection 127.

  • Richard Graham’s Short Account of the Most Eminent Painters, included in this volume, forms a precursor to George Vertue and Horace Walpole’s later Anecdotes of Painting (also in the Layton Collection). Engraver George Vertue’s mutual friendship with both men provided a conduit of knowledge between the trio, which Walpole would late work up into his successful publication.


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