We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

We plan to reopen on Tuesday, 18 May! Find out more.

De Arte Graphica. - The Art of Painting, By C.A. Du Fresnoy. With Remarks. - Translated into English, Together with an Original Preface containing A Parallel betwixt Painting and Poetry. - By Mr. Dryden. - As also a Short Account of the most Eminent Painters, both Ancient and Modern, continu'd down to the Present Times, according to the Order of their Succession. - By another Hand. - [Epigraph] -

Charles Alphonse Du Fresnoy

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[De arte graphica., Latin and English.]

Variant Title

Art of painting
Short account of the most eminent painters


London,: Printed by J. Heptinstall for W. Rogers, at the Sun against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleetstreet., MDCXCV.

Physical Description

[ii], lxiv, 355, [1] p., add. engr. t.-pl.; 205 mm. (Quarto).


[T.-pl., t.-p.] - Preface Of The Translator, With a Parallel, Of Poetry and Painting - The Preface Of The French Author - A Table of the Precepts Contain'd in this Treatise - [Text, in Latin and English] - Observations On The Art of Painting Of Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy - The Judgment of Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy, On the Works of the Principal and Best Painters of the two last Ages - [Divisional title-page, 'A Short Account Of the most Eminent Painters Both Ancient and Modern ... London, Printed for W. Rogers at the Sun against St. Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet. 1695'] - The Preface - Ancient Masters - Modern Masters - Ancient (Modern) Masters [indices] - Errata.

Responsibility Note

The added engraved title-plate is signed as designed by H. Cooke and engraved by S. Gribelin.


J. Thuillier, 'Propositions pour Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy, peintre', in Rev. A. [Paris], 61 (1983), p.29-52; J. Thuillier, 'Les Observations sur la peinture de Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy', in Walter Friedlaender zum 90. Geburtstag (1965), p.193-210; L. Salerno, 'Seventeenth-century English literature on painting', in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 13 (1951); W.G. Howard, 'Ut pictura poesis', in PMLA, 24 (1900 March).
ESTC, R18532

Summary Note

Although the pagination runs continuously throughout the volume, the 'Short account of the most eminent painters' has its own title-page ( which reads: 'A Short Account Of the most Eminent Painters Both Ancient and Modern, Continu'd down to the Present Times According to the Order of their Succession. London, Printed for W. Rogers at the Sun against St. Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet. 1695.').

Du Fresnoy's Latin poem was originally published shortly after his death in 1668. It was followed by translations into French (1668), English (prose) (1695), German (1699), Italian (1713) and Dutch (1733). Du Fresnoy opens his poem by declaring that 'As poetry shall be like a painting, so should painting be like poetry'. Beauty should be interpreted in different ways - as may be seen in such famous ancient statues as the Antinous, the Hercules, the Venus, the dying Gladiator.

Besides Dryden's translation of Du Fresnoy's poem, the present volume includes a translation of the Remarks with which Roger de Piles accompanied his French version of the poem (1668).

While President of the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds published extensive notes on Du Fresnoy's Art of Painting (in William Mason's new translation) (1783).


A microfilm version was published in 1962 (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms).


Acquired by 1802. Recorded in A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Binding Note

Mottled calf, by Bernard Quaritch, 2006; spine unlettered.


Painting - Theory
Painters - History
Treatises - Latin poetry - Biography - France - 17th century
Treatises - Translations into English - Translations from Latin - Great Britain - 17th century


John Dryden, translator
Richard Graham
Simon Gribelin, engraver
Henry Cooke, draughtsman
Roger de Piles, L'art de peinture de Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy, traduit en francais, avec des remarques
John Heptinstall, printer
William Rogers, publisher, bookseller
Bernard Quaritch, binder

Images from this book

2 results