Johan Constable on Art and Painting
Johan Constable: On Landscape Painting
" I am here on behalf of my own profession, and I trust it is with no intrusive spirit that I now stand before you; but I am anxious that the world should be inclined to look to painters for information on painting. I hope to show that ours is a regularly taught profession; that is scientific as well a poetic; that imagination alone never did, and never can , produce works that are to stand by a comparison with realities; and to show by tracing the connecting link in the history of landscape painting that no great painter was ever self-taught."
Johan Constable: The Decline of Art
" The deterioration of art has everywhere proceeded from similar causes, the imitation of preceding styles, with little reference to nature. In Italy [ in the eighteenth century ] the taste was for the beautiful, but the beautiful in the hands of the mannerists became insipid, and from that descended to the unmeaning ... "
Johan Constable: Painting is a Science
" It appears to me that pictures have been over-valued; held up by a blind admiration as ideal things, and almost as standards by which nature is to be judged rather than the reverse; and this false estimate has been sanctioned by the extravagant epithets that have been applied to painters, as the 'divine', 'the inspired', and so forth. Yet in reality, what are the most sublime productions of the pencil but selections of some of the forms of nature, and copies of a few of her evanescent effects; and this is the result, not of inspiration, but of long and patient study, under the direction of much good sense .. "
" Painting is a science, and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature."
Goldwater, R & Treves, M. 1976. Artists on Art, From the 14th to the 20th Century . John Murray.
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