Chippendale, Thomas (1718-1779) / The gentleman and cabinet-maker's director: being a large collection of the most elegant and useful designs of household furniture in the Gothic, Chinese and modern taste.
The preface, pp. iii-vi
iv The PREFACE. I HAVE been encouraged to begin and carry on this work not only (as the puff in the play-bill says) by persons of distinction, but of eminent taste for performances of this sort; who have, upon many occasions, signified some surprize and regret, that an art ca- pable of so much perfection and refinement, should be executed with so little propriety and elegance. How far the following sheets may remove a complaint which I am afraid is not altogether groundless, the judicious reader will determine: I hope, however, the novelty, as well as the usefulness of the performance, will make some atonement for its faults and imperfections. I am sensible there are too many to be found in it ; for I frankly confess, that in executing many of the drawings, my pencil has but faintly copied out those images that my fancy suggested ; and had they not been published till I could have pronounced them perfect, perhaps they had never seen the light. Neverltheless, I was not upon that account afraid to let them go abroad, for I have been told that the greatest masters of every other art have laboured under the same difficulty. A LATE writer, of sistinguished taste and abilities, speaking of the delicacy of every author of genius with respect to his own per- formances, observes, that he has the continual mortification to find himself incapable of taking entire possession of that ideal beauty that warms and fills his imagination. NEVER, says he, (in a quotation from Tully) was any thing more beautiful than the Venus of Apelles, or the Jove of Phidias, yet were they by no means equal to those high notions of beauty which animated the geniuses of those wonderful artists. The case is the same in all arts where taste and imagination are con- cerned ; and I am persuaded that he who can survey his own works with entire satisfaction and complacency, will hardly ever find the world of the same favourable opinion with himself. I AM not afraid of the fate an author usually meets on his first appearance, from a set of critics who are neve wanting to shew their
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