In making proportion the subject of a separate chapter, the Student is informed that his familiarity with it will have but little to do with his advancement in art. Volumes have been filled with accurate measurements which have no practical influence on the Student, and tend rather to confuse than to assist.* (* Five minutes, a foot rule, and a trained eye will do more to help than all the books in the world.) The general standard of proportion in the Antique may be given in small compass; deviations in the several statues being in accordance with their respective characters; -and as to nature, there are scarcely two individuals to be found who measure the same. It is like Perspective, simple enough in its general rules, but turned into a bugbear by its complicated criticisms and explanations. "From Vitruvius with his commentators and Leonardo da Vinci, to Albert Durer, Lomazzo, and Jerome Cardan, -from the corrected measurements of Du Fresnoy, and De Piles to Watelet, Winkleman and Lavater, it would be easy to show that the mass of variance, peculiarity, and contradiction greatly overbalances the coincidence of experiment and measure."* (* Fuseli.)
It will be only necessary to give the general divisions, and although the painter should be familiar with these, he can only use them subject to the alterations caused by position and perspective.
The bodily ideal may be considered as an union of the essential and characteristic with the addition of the beautiful and sublime ; or as it is expressed by Cicognara, “The ideal in art is nothing more than the imitation of an object as it ought to be in perfect nature, divested of the errors or distortions which secondary causes produce."
Now the realization of this is a gradual process developed only by the most accurate study and knowledge of nature. A combination of circumstances is also necessary in order to carry out this study with any success. The fittest subject for it is a race of men naturally well developed and trained from infancy in the constant but moderate use of natural exercises, with sufficient and regular food, and inhabiting a climate where the changes are not too sudden. And if we add to this the constant opportunity of witnessing the human frame under the influence of every exercise and feeling, and the familiarity with its action and appearance thus necessarily acquired ; together with a highly educated perception of the beautiful, and a hand trained and able to transcribe it ; we see at once the means by which Greece attained so high a standard of ideal form.
But in such a climate as that of England, and among a people of our habits, such opportunities are not attainable; and therefore, though thankful for the change, in this we must