Other Schools. For Drawing, &c. 173

Other Schools. For Drawing, &c.

There be also kept in the City and Suburbs divers other Schools, for teaching many commendable Arts and Accomplishments: As Schools for Navigation, and the Uses of the Compass, fair Writing and Arithmetick, Fencing, and the Use of the Weapons. A Mathematical School is lately set up by the Reverend Mr. Harris, where young Gentlemen are taught the Grounds of Geometry, Astronomy, Geography, History. Another School for Drawing, Limning, Painting, set up Anno 1697, by one Mr. B. Lens, now, or late living in Fleet Street. An Art exceeding useful for almost all sorts of People; as for Gentlemen that travel, to take Landskips of the Places of Remark, as Churches, Monasteries, Castles, Fortifications, Towns, Prospects, Rivers, Rarities, Antiquities, &c. And for Tradesmen, such as are concerned in Building, as Masons, Carpenters, Joyners, Painters, and the like.

Other Schools.

The Professor of this Art teacheth on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, in the Morning, from Eight to Eleven; and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in the Evening from Six to Nine. The Price a Guinea Entrance, and a Guinea a Month. He also goeth to the Houses of such as chuse rather to learn at home; as Persons of Quality, Ladies, &c. He hath very well set forth the general Usefulness of this Art by a printed Paper, which may deserve to be here inserted.

A School for the Art of Drawing.

Graphice by Aristotle is generally taken for the Art of Drawing any thing whatsoever with the Pen or Pencil, and was reckoned among the chiefest of those his P.d.mata, or generous Practices of Youth; as rendring them so many ways serviceable to their Country, and profitable to themselves.

Mr. Len's Description thereof.

Of incredible Service and Advantage it would be to our Smiths of all sorts, Masons, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Joyners, Carvers, Turners, Embroiderers, Tapestry-Workers, Silversmiths, Jewellers, nay to all our Handicrafts in general.

For shew most of these Workmen abovesaid a Draft of what you would have done, their want of Skill in Drawing renders it almost useless to them.

For Example, Should an Engineer invent a Machine, and draw it in all its Parts, with its Views per Front and Sides, the whole in Perspective, a Ground Plot thereof, with a Scale annex'd thereto; With what Difficulty do they work, and the Projector must be always by, or all will be marr'd; whereas could our Handicrafts and Mechanicks draw, a Man might send his Work from a Hundred Miles Distance, drawn as abovesaid, and be satisfied it would be performed to his Mind, and according to his Directions.

By what has been said, I would not have it thought, that none of our Handicrafts and Mechanicks can draw; for some do of my own Knowledge very well: Which Qualification hath made them the most excellent of all others; for the Best Drafts-Man will be the Best Artist in what Art soever.

The Design of this School is to have a constant Nursery or Breed of Youths proper for Artificers; for as two, three, or more, wise, rich, and artful Citizens, make it not a wise, rich, and artful City or Country, but the general Bent, Genius and Inclination, and the greater Part of them so qualified.

The School.

For Proof of what hath been said, discourse with the meanest of all our Handicrafts, tho' he cannot draw, yet will endeavour to chalk out after his fashion, your Meaning and his; knowing by pure Instinct, that all the Rhetorick in the World cannot convince like a Drawing. What an Honour would it be for our Workmen and Handicrafts, and Satisfaction to the Employer, when he comes to bespeak anything of them qualified with Drawing; to see them Sketch out as fast as you speak, with a Pen or Pencil, what you would have done, and be sure to please you even before a Stroak be struck therein; and this would prevent an Error which the unskill'd in Drawing often commit, in asking extravagantly too much sometimes, and as often too little; by Drawing, they would compute the Charge to a Tittle.

If Parents sent their Children to Drawing as customarily as they do to Latin and Writing, it being altogether as useful to them; they would soon find the Advantage themselves and their Children would reap thereby.

For a Master would take a Servant qualified with Drawing, with half the Money, and be a Gainer thereby; for the Boy would come to Work in half the Time, and both be assured, the Master of a Servant for his Turn, and the Boy of being a Master of his Calling; and not serve seven Years, as many do, to little or no Purpose.

Neither would our Handicrafts and Mechanicks alone be advantaged hereby; it is an Accomplishment for Noblemen and Gentlemen, Scholars, all Students in Art or Nature; Generals, Engineers, Mathematicians, Surveyors, Surgeons, and an Infinity of others.

How defective are the best Historical Accounts of Animals; as Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Insects, Plants, Descriptions or Countries, Cities, Castles, Manners, Habits, Customs, &c. without Drawings or Sculptures; being little more useful than a Demonstration of Euclid would be without a Scheme?

The greatest Master of Words cannot describe in the verbosest manner any Object, as Beast, Bird, or Insect (if never seen before) so as to make it be known when seen; which Drawing performs infallibly, and with few Strokes.

I shall only add, what Veneration and Esteem the Artists of this kind have met with in the World: The Profession hereof being admitted into the first Place among the Liberal Arts, and throughout Greece taught only to the Children of Noblemen, and forbidden to their Servants and Slaves. Of no less Account was it among the Romans, since one of the most Noble Families in Rome, the Fabii, thought themselves much honour'd by the Surname of Pictor. Claudius Titus the Son of Vespatian, the Two Antonines, and divers other Emperors and Princes, were excellent in this Art; as were also in these latter Times many of the greatest Princes of Europe; Francis I. King of France; Margaret Queen of Navarre; Emanuel Duke of Savoy; with many others.

To conclude, speaking of France: The prodigious Height that Nation is arrived to in this present Age in most Arts, may be attributed to the Publick Academies and Schools, erected at the King's own Charge for Drawing, Painting, &c. which hath produced such Plenty of Artists of most kinds. Thus that ingenious Professor of Drawing.

There be also in and about the City, Schools for the Education of young Gentlewomen in good and graceful Carriage, Dancing, Singing, playing on Instruments of Musick; in Reading, Writing, speaking French, raising Paste, &c. which render Women, that have these commendable Qualifications, so much beyond others in their Behaviour, Conversation, and good Housewifery.]

Schools for young Women.