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Greeks. Antiquity has transmitted nothing to us that is satisfactory on the origin of all these different discoveries. They attribute to Love the first essay that Greece had seen of the art of designing, and casting objects in earth.
A young girl violently smitten with her lover from whom she was to be separated for some time, endeavoured to find ways to foften the rigour of absence. Taken up with this business, she remarked on the wall the shadow of her lover, designed by the light of a lamp. Love makes us ingenious. It inspired that young person with the idea of preserving that dear image, by drawing about the shadow a line which followed and marked exactly the contour. Hi. story adds, that our lover's father was a potter of Sycione, named Dibutade. This man having considered the work of his daughter, applied clay on these strokes, by observing the contours such as he saw them designed : He made by this means a profile of earth which he burnt in his fur
We are not assured of the time in which this Dibutade lived. Some authors place him in very, remote ages o.
Such had been, according to ancient tradition, the ori. gin of design and in figures of relief in Greece. We are ignorant of the consequence of this first essay. We can say nothing of the degrees that the greatest part of the arts which have relation to design, went through successively among the Greeks. We may conjecture, that these practices have not begun to make any great progress till after the arrival of the colonies conducted by Cecrops, Cadmus, &c. These princes came out of Egypt and Phoenicia, countries, where the arts concerning design were known from time immemorial. Whatever it be, a number of facts reported by Homer shew, that, in the ages we are now upon, the Greeks were instructed in many arts which depended entirely upon design.
They knew how to work in ivory, and apply it to diffe.
m Plin. 1. 35. Test, 43. p. 710.
* See Junius, in Catalog. p. 56.
rent uses o.
They applied it to the adorning of chairs and other furniture p. These works were of very great value, and much sought after. They must even then have had in Greece, artists distinguished for their taste and skill. Homer speaks of one Icmalius, as of a workman who excelled in these forts of works ..
It is certain also, with respect to gold work, that the Greeks knew many parts of that art. We fee frequently in the writings of Homer, the princes of Greece using cups, ewers, and basons, of gold and silver. The fhield of Nestor was composed of frames or sticks of gold". This prince had also a cup of pretty elegant workmanship. It was adorned with studs of gold, with two double handles, and other different ornaments r. Homer farther speaks very often of workmen who knew how to mix gold with filver to make precious vessels The Greeks knew also, in the heroic ages, the art of soldering these metals.
We might say, that all these works, of which I have spoken, had been brought into Greece from foreign countries. Yet I do not know that there is room to presume it. Homer does not say it. We know his exactness in this respect.
As to the art of ingraving metals, I do not think that the Greeks had then done any of these works. I ground this, first, because there is never any mention made in Homer of rings or of seals. Secondly, on the ways which the Greeks, according to the relation of this poet, used to seal the trunks and the coffers in which they put their most valuable effects. The use of locks and padlocks was entirely unknown to them. That one might not open their packets, without their knowing of it, they wrapped them round with cords very artfully tied. These sort of knots were used instead of seals and fignets. They were so ingeniously invented, and so complicated, that he alone
• Odyff. I. 4. V. 73. &C. 9 Ibid. I. 19. V. 56. & 57.
Ibid. 1. 11. v.631. Ót.
p Ibid. 1. 19. y. 56. & 1. 23. V. 200.
r Iliad. 1. 8. V. 192.& 193. * Odyil. 1. 6. v. 232. &C.1. 23. v. 159. & 160.
who had made them could unloose and open them. Homer, to extol the skill of Ulysses in making these fort of securities, says, that it was from Circe that he had learned the secret u. If the Greeks had then known the art of ingraving seals, they would not have had recourse to these knots, the common use of which must have been very incommodious and very troublesome.
Yet if we will believe certain authors, the Greeks, in the heroic times, had rings and seals in use. Plutarch speaks of the ring of Ulysses, on which that hero had ingraved a dolphinx, Helen, by the report of Hæphestion, cited by Photius, had for a seal a very uncommon stone, the ingraving of which represented a monstrous fiih y, Polygnotus, lastly, a Greek painter, who flourished about 400 years before Christ, in his picture of the descent of Ulysses into hell, had painted young Phocus, having on one of the fingers of his left hand an ingraved stone set in a ring of gold 2.
But these authors were too distant from the times we are speaking of, for their testimony to be capable of balancing the authority of Homer, the sole guide we ought to follow 'for the customs and manners of the heroic ages. Pliny has been very sensible of this. That great writer has not fuf- . fered himself to be imposed upon. He has not hesitated to advance, that seals and rings were not in use at the time we are speaking of at present a.
The Greeks were at that time ignorant of the art of drawing gold into wire, and of using it in gilding. The custom was anciently, to enrich with gold the horns of bulls or heifers which they offered in facrifice. Homer describes the nianner in which they proceeded at the time of the war of
it was on occasion of a sacrifice offered by Nestor to Minerva. The poet says, that they made a workman come to apply the gold on the horns of the victim. This man brought with him utensils proper to perform that ope, ration. They consisted of an anvil, a hammer, and pincers.
"Odyff. 1. 8. v. 447. bc.
* T. 2. p. 995. Cod. 193. p. 493.
z Paus, 1. 10. c. 35. : L. 33. lect. 4. p. 632. See allo Fiefych. voce Θριπποερωτος.
Nestor Odys. 1. 3. V. 432. &e. This is the sense of the verb trigixéw, used in all this description.
Nestor gave the gold to this workman, who immediately reduced it into very thin plates. He afterwards wrapped these plates about the horns of the heifer b. We do not remark in this proceeding any thing that could make us believe that the Greeks then knew the art of gilding, as they knew it afterwards, and such as we practise at this time. There is no mention neither of glue, nor of the white of an egg, nor oil, nor glutinous earth, nor, in a word, any ingredient proper to keep the gold on the horns of the viâim. The manner in which they gilded then, confifted in covering with plates of gold extremely thin, the things to which they would give the colour and the brilliancy of that metal.
Homer does not furnish us with any other lights about the working of metals in Greece for the times we are speaking of at present. Let us go to sculpture.
This art had been a long time unknown to the Greeks. We may judge of this by the manner in which they anciently represented the divinities whom they adored. Their images were then of simple posts or large stones; often even of pikes dressed in a particular manners. The idol of Juno, fo revered among the Argives, was, in the early times, only a piece of plank, a piece of wood worked very rudelyd. I could cite many other examples, which I omit for the sake of brevity. The idols of the Laplanders, of the Samoyedes, and the other people situated towards the extremities of the North “, bring back to us the image of the grossness and ignorance of the ancient inhabitants of Greece.
It is probably from Egypt that these people had re. ceived their first knowledge in sculpture. We may refer this epoch to Cecrops. In effect, this first sovereign of the Athenians had passed in antiquity for having introduced into the temples of Greece the use of images'. The 4thenians shewed, in the time of Pausanias, a statue of wood represențing Minerva, which, they said, had been given by Cecrops &. The works of sculpture which the Grecks made for fome time, favoured too much of the Egyptian manner. Without taste apd knowledge, their sculptors contented themselves at first with following the models which had been presented to them ". The reader has not forgot what I have said in the first part of this work on the taste of Egyptian ftatues i. We find again the fame defects in those of the ancient Greek sculptors. They were for the most part squared figures, having the arms hanging down and joined to the body, the legs and feet joined one against the other, without gesture and without attitudek, The Greeks at first still imitated the taste of the Egyptians for gigantic figures '.
Lucan. Phars. 1. 3. V. 412. &c.; Justin. 1. 43. c. 3. ; Clem. Alex. in protrept. p. 40. & 41. ; Strom. 1. 1. p. 418.; Plut. t. 2. p. 478. A.; Paul. 1. 2. C. 9. 1. 7. c. 22. I. 9. c. 24. & 27.; Tertullian. apolog. c. 16. p. 16. ; Ai Nation.l.1. c. 12. p. 49.
& Paul. 1. 2. c. 19. ; Clem. Alex. in protrept. p. 43.
e Rec. des voyages au Nord, t. 8. p. 193. & 410; Hik. gen. des cerem. pelig. t. 6. p. 71. & 81.
Sculpture remained long in this state among the Greeks. They reckon more than 300 years from Cecrops to the ages in which they make Dædalus live. It was then that the Greek artists began to recognise the deformities and the want of agreeableness in the ancient statucs. They thought they could make better. Dædalus, (that is to say, the sculptors who appeared in the ages in which they placed that artist), in copying the Egyptian models, did not stick to them fervilely. They tried to correct the defects, and they succeeded at least in part. Nature was the model which they proposed. The face and the eyes of ancient statutes had no expression. The artists of whom I speak
? Euseb. chron. I. 2. p. 55. ; Pracpar. evan. I. 10. C. 9. P. 486.; Isidor. orig. I. 8. c. 11. 5. 69.
& L. 1. c. 27. See also Euseb. pracp. evang. I. 19. C. 9. P. 486. b See Diod. 1. i. p. 109.
i Book 2. chap. 5. * Diod. 1. 4. p. 319. ; Palaephat. de incred. c. 22. ; Scaliger, in Eufeb. diron. p. 45.
Strabo, l. 17. 7. 1959. ; Paul. I. 30. C. 19. p). 257.