NPG 41 (1a)

 

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Notes on 'Facility', undated, written by Sir Joshua Reynolds in preparation for his lectures on art, known as the Discourses, given at the Royal Academy.
Notes

Facility - a Subject

I have spoke much of the refinement of art, perhaps too much, when it is considered that I am addressing Students I am perhaps recommending what would be ruin to practice till they are ripe, what may be justly recommended at one period of study would be wrong at another. The highest delicacys of art are not to be attempted till the artist is arrived to certain degree of maturity, the ground must be prepared before this ornament can be properly applied; but when labour and science has prepared the ground, it is facility alone, the air of easy negligence that gives the grace to all arts and the risque of attempting it like all other attempts to fame is ever in proportion to the praise & fame that Results resounds from its success.