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Hogarth, William, 1697-1764 / The analysis of beauty : written with a view of fixing the fluctuating ideas of taste

Chap. IV: of simplicity, or distinctness,   pp. 21-23

Page 21

Simplicity, without variety, is wholly infipid, and at 
beft does only not difpleafe; but when variety is 
join'd to it, then it pleafes, becaufe it enhances the 
pleafure of Variety, by giving the eye the power of en- 
joying it with cafe. 
There is no objedt compofed of firaight lines, that 
has fo much variety, with fo few parts, as the pyramid: 
and it is its confiantly varying from its bafe gradually up- 
waids: in every fituation of the eye, (without giving the 
idea of famenefs, as the eye moves round it) that has 
made it been efteem'd in all ages, in preference to the 
cone, which in all views appears nearly the fame, being 
varied only by light and fhade. 
Steeples, monuments, and moft compofitions in paint- 
ing and fculpture are kept within the form of the cone 
or pyramid,. as the mot eligible boundary on account 
of their fimplicity and variety.  For the. fame reafon 
equefirian  atues pleafe more than the fingle figures. 
The authors (for there were three concern'd in the 
,work) of' as fine a group of figures in fculpture, as ever 
'was made, either by ancients or moderns, (I. mean Lao- 
coon and his two fons) chofe to be guilty of the ab- 
furdity of making the fons of half the father's fize, tho' 

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