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A Treatise on Painting, by Leonardo da Vinci
Senex and Taylor, London


LDE T2383   CID46  Proportion of the Parts

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There are three things to be considered in the proportions, viz. Justness, Suitableness, and Motion: Justness takes in the Exact measure of the Parts, considered, both with regard to one another, and to the whole. By Suitableness, we mean the Character proper to each Person, according to its Age, State, and Condition; so that in the same Figure there be not seen Parts, both of an old Man and a young one; nor those of a Woman in the Figure of a Man; nor in a beautiful Body, any other than beautiful Parts. Lastly the Motion, which is nothing but the Attitude and Expression of the Sentiments of the Soul, requires a Disposition in every Figure, that may express what it is doing; and the manner it wou'd do it in: For it must be observ'd that an old Man never appear with the briskness and vivacity of a young one, nor the Force and Vigour of a Robust one; that a Woman never have the Air of a Man; and in short, that whatever either Force or Delicacy, are shown in the Figure, be likewise seen in its Motion.