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.

Due to government restrictions, you may only visit with members of your household, not as a mixed group. If you need to rebook your visits, please contact us at 020 7300 8090 or tickets@royalacademy.org.uk, 10am – 5pm

The Art Of Painting: By C.A. Du Fresnoy: With Remarks: - Translated into English, 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: By R.G. Esq; - The Second Edition, Corrected, and Enlarg'd. -

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 for Bernard Lintott, between the Temple Gates, in Fleetstreet., 1716.

Physical Description

[16], lxviii,[4], 397, [7] p., add. engr. t.pl.; 173 mm. (Quarto).


[T.-pl., t.-p., dedic.] - To Mr. Jervas, With Frensoy's Art of Painting, Translated by Mr Dryden [by A. Pope] - Preface Of The Translator, With a Parallel of Poetry and Painting - The Preface Of Mons. de Piles, The French Translator - A Table of the Precepts contain'd in this Treatise - Errata - [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 ... By Richard Graham, Esq; The Second Edition ... London: Printed for Bernard Lintott, between the Temple-Gates, in Fleet-street.'] - The Preface - Ancient Masters - Modern Masters - Ancient (Modern) Masters [indices].

Responsibility Note

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

This edition is dedicated by Ri. Graham to Richard, Earl of Burlington.


ESTC, N14579
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.

Summary Note

The engraved title-plate reads, 'De Arte Graphica · Liber'. 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, Continued down to the Present Times, According to the Order of their Succession. By Richard Graham, Esq; The Second Edition, with large Additions. [Epigraph] London: Printed for Bernard Lintott, between the Temple-Gates, in Fleet-street.'). The ESTC catalogues an issue in which the imprint of the title page reads, 'London: Printed for B.L.and sold by William Taylor, at the Ship in Pater-Noster-Row, 1716.'

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 Du Fresnoy's Latin poem and Dryden's English prose translation the present volume includes a translation of the Remarks with which Roger de Piles accompanied his French version of the poem (1668), Richard Graham's 'Short Account Of the most Eminent Painters', and Pope's poem 'To Mr. Jervas'.

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 copy was published in 1986 (Woodbridge CT: Research Publications).


The front pastedown carries the 18th-century armorial bookplate of Saml. Wegg. The front loose endpaper is inscribed in pencil, 'Pur. 2/95 (Europa Bks) £125'.

Binding Note

18th-century calf, upper and lower covers with panel decoration; 20th-century red morocco spine-label lettered 'Du Fresnoy Art Of Painting'.


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, draughtsman, engraver
Roger de Piles, L'art de peinture de Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy, traduit en francais, avec des remarques
Barnaby Bernard Lintot, publisher
Alexander Pope
Samuel Wegg, previous owner
Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, dedicatee