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Idea Della Perfezione Della Pittura Di Mr. Rolando Freart Tradotto Dal Francese Da Anton Maria Salvini E Pubblicata Per La Prima Volta Dal Canonico Domenico Moreni Con una Dissertazione Apologetica in fine Di Michelangelo Buonarroti Scritta Dal Sig. Onofrio Boni

Roland Freart Sieur de Chambray

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Idée de la perfection de la peinture démontrée par les principes de l'art, et par des éxemples., Italian., Salvini., 1809.]


Firenze: Appresso Carli E Compo. In Borgo SS. Apostoli, M. DCC. IX.

Physical Description

xxxii, 96, 59, [1] p.; 208 mm. (Octavo.)


[T.p., dedic.] - Prefazione Del Can. Domenico Moreni - Indice degli Articoli di questo Trattato - Spiegazione di alcune voci tralasciate dal Salvini - [Dedic. by Fréart] - [Text] - [Divisional title page, 'Riflessioni Sopra Michelangelo Buonarroti Del Cav. Onofrio Boni In Riposta A Quanto Ne Scrisse Rolando Freart Sig. De Chambray Nell' Opera Idée de la perfection de la Peinture etc.'] - [Dedic.]; [Text] - Indice.

Responsibility Note

This edition of the translation is dedicated by Editore N. Carli to Giovanni degli Alessandri, Presidente Dell'Imperiale Accademia Delle Belle Arti. O. Boni's 'Riflessioni Sopra Michelangelo ...' is dedicated by Boni to Gio. Batista Lodovico Seroux D'Agincourt.

Summary Note

The work was first published in French in 1662. (An English translation by John Evelyn was published in 1668, as An Idea of the Perfection of Painting: demonstrated from the Principles of Art and by Examples.) Fréart stressed the primacy of drawing and linear perspective over colour in painting, and the intellectual over the sensual and visual. He regarded the paintings of Raphael and Poussin as the realisation of the classical ideal; and was critical not only of Rubens, Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Veronese but also of Michelangelo, for extravagant and capricious composition. In the Indice the treatise is divided as follows: Invention, the 1st part of painting; Proportion, the 2nd.; Color, or application of light and dark, the 3rd.; Movement, or expression of passions, the 4th.; Perspective, or positioning of figures, the 5th; Raphael's Judgment of Paris, in a print; his Massacre of the Innocents, in a print; his Deposition, in a print; explanation of Custom, the fundamental and universal principle of all parts of painting; Michelangelo's Last Judgment, in a print; the Deposition; the Cyclops painted by Timas, an ancient painter; an imitation of the same by Giulio Romano, a modern; Raphael's School of Athens, in a print. Boni's 'Riflessioni' are analysed in their Indice as: Reason for writing on Michelangelo's merits; 1. Plan of Fréart's work; 2. Disadvantages of judging from prints; 3. Michelangelo's fame founded on merit; 4. In painting, practice more important than theory; 5. Michelangelo's drawing; 6. His chiaroscuro; 7. His coloring; 8. His composition; 9. His ideal; 10. Some defects in human productions do not destroy their merit; 10. Michelangelo was of the highest Christian morality.

Copy Note

The verso of the front loose endpaper is inscribed in red pencil, 'Gamba, No. 2126.'

Binding Note

19th-century quarter white paper resembling vellum, marbled-papered boards; pink spine-labels lettered 'Freart Perfezio Della Pittura' and 'Firenze 1809'.

Name as Subject


Art - Painting - Theory
Treatises - Essays - France - 17th century
Art history - Essays - Italy - 19th century