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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.
(1754)

The preface,   pp. iii-vi


Page v

The PREFACE.   V 
their wit and malice on the performances of others: I shall 
repay 
their censures with contempt.   Let them unmolestled deal out 
their 
pointless abuse, and convince the world they have neither
 good- 
nature to commend, judgment to correct, nor skill to execute 
what 
they find fault with. 
THE correction of the judicious and impartial I shall always
 re- 
ceive with diffidence in my own abilities and respect to theirs.
 But 
tho' the following designs were more perfect than my fondness 
for 
my own offspring could ever suppose them, I should yet be 
far 
from expecting the united approbation of ALL those whose senti- 
ments have an undoubted claim to be regarded; for a thou- 
sand accidental circumstances may concur in dividing the 
opi- 
nions of the most improved judges, and the most unprejudi- 
ced will find it difficult to disengage himself from a partial 
affec- 
tion to some particular beauties, of which the general course 
of 
his sfudies, or the peculiar cast of his temper may have rendered 
him most sensible.  The mind, when pronouncing judgment upon 
any work of taste and genius, is apt to decide of its merit
 ac- 
cording as those circumstances which the most admires either 
prevail 
or are deficient.  Thus, for instance, (says the ingenious 
author 
before quoted) the excellency of the Roman masters in painting 
consists in beauty of design,  nobleness of attitude, and delicacy 
of expression, but the charms of good colouring are wanting
: 
On the contrary, the Venetian school is said to have neglected 
design a little too much, but at the same time has been more 
at- 
tentive to the grace and harmony of well-disposed lights 
and 
shades.  Now it will be admitted by all admirers of this noble
art, that no composition of the pencil can be perfect, where 
either 
of these qualities are absent; yet the most accomplished
 judge may 
be so particularly struck with one or other of these excellencies, 
in 
preference to the rest, as to be influenced in his censure 
or applause 
of the whole tablature, by the predominacy or deficiency of 
his fa- 
vourite beauty. Something of this kind, tho' the following 
sheets had 
all the perfection of human composition, would no doubt subject 
them in many things to the censure of the most approved judges, 
whose 


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