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Hogarth, William, 1697-1764 / The analysis of beauty : written with a view of fixing the fluctuating ideas of taste
(1753)

Introduction,   pp. [1]-12


Page 4

  INTRODUCTION                 . 
The reafon why gentlemen, who have been inqui.- 
fitive after knowledge in pi&ures, have their eyes lefs 
qualified for our purpofe, than others, is becaufe their 
thoughts have been entirely and continually employ'd 
and incumber'd with confidering and retaining the va- 
rious manners in which pitures are painted, the shifto- 
ries, names, and charaders of the mailers, together 
with many other little circumfiances belonging to the 
mechanical part of the art; and little or no time has 
been given for perfefting the ideas they ought to have 
in their minds, of the obje&s themfelves in nature: for 
by having thus efpoufed and adopted their firft notions 
from nothing but imitations, and becoming too often 
as bigotted to their faults, as their beauties, they at 
length, in a manner, totally neglect, or at leafi difregard 
the works of nature, merely becaufe they do. not tally 
with what their minds are fo ftrongly prepoffefs'd with' 
Were not this a true ftate of the cafe, many a re- 
puted capital pifture, that now  adorns the cabinets of 
the curious in all countries, would long ago have been 
committed to the flames: nor would it have been pof- 
fible for the Venus and. Cupid, reprefented by the fi- 
t under gure t, to have made its way into the principal apart- 
F. 4   ment of a palace. 
It is alfo evident that the painter's eye may not be a 
bit better fitted to receive thefe new impreffions, who 
is in like manner too much captivated with the works 
of art; for he alfo is apt to purfue the fladow, and drop 
the 


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