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"An Academy" 1728

Watermark: Lily in a double circle; lengthy inscription begins : "A Giovani Studiosi del Disegno...Vivete felici." CRE DORIGNY, Nicolas; (French; 1652-1746) AFTER MARATTA, Carlo; (Italian; 1625-1713) PUB FREY, Jacob NFA assisted purchase. Dorigny has an important place in the development of the arts in Britain. Born in Paris, he was the grandson of Simon Vouet, a French painter in the Roman tradition. Dorigny arrived in England in 1711, just as Kneller was founding the Academy in Great Queen Street, and was immediately elected a director. He had been invited to London to engrave the Raphael Cartoons in the Royal Collection, on which he worked from 1712-1719. The value of these engravings to students of painting at the time was inestimable. Maratta's allegory was important, for he was understood to be the last in the line of masters whose practice stemmed from Raphael's workshop. Although published in Rome, Dorigny's engraving records a drawing by Maratta now at Chatsworth, but then already in an English collection, as we know from Richardson's Essay on the Theory of Painting (1725 edition, vii). Richardson describes how 'Carlo Maratta, in a very Capital Drawing I have seen, (amongst many others) in the Collection of Mr. Davenant, has represented Painting; 'Tis, indeed, a sort of Treatise on the Art; There is Perspective, Geometry, and Anatomy.' The phrase "tanto che basti" inscribed in three places is one used by Dante in his Inferno, and Raphael seems to have been fond of it. To Italian 17th century artists the phrase was probably easily associated with Raphael. It means 'as much as necessary', and Maratta quotes Raphael, probably on the authority of his friend Giovan Pietro Bellori. Bellori, whose manuscript essay comparing Raphael and Apelles ( cites a letter from Raphael to Castiglione in which he confesses anxiety about the task of completing St Peter's Basilica. Raphael says that his text of Vitruvius has shown him a great light, but not sufficient: "Me ne porge una gran luce Vitruvio: ma non tanto che basti".