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AVEC DES NOTICES DESCRIPTIVES, CRITIQUES ET HISTORIQUES,
PAR DU CHESNE AINÉ.
The extent that will be given to this work, the variety of the objects of which it will be composed, and the manner in which its publication is effected, having rendered it impossible for any method of classification to be adopted, care has been taken, on the contrary, to give together compositions of the different schools and of different kinds. The plan already pursued will herefore be continued, namely, in each part will be given a picture of the Italian school; one of one of the German schools; one each of the ancient and modern French schools; next a statue; and the sixth plate will be alternately of one or the other of the above mentioned classes.
The order in which the plates will appear therefore will be in a great degree the result of chance, and cannot be considered as a classification suited to subscribers. We are of opinion that most of them will not leave the work in the same state as it is published; some, probably, will arrange it in the order of masters; others will place the pictures according to the public galleries or private cabinets of which they form a part, and others again will perhaps class them according to the nature of the subjects, and thus form a sacred history, a profane history, or even a fabulous history.
In order to form these divers classifications, it will be
vings from their cover. If then an accident should occur to derange the order that may have been adopted; or if it be wished to change the method to which preference may at first have been given, it would be a tiresome task to assort the notices with the engravings to which they belong. With a view to obviate this inconvenience, care has been taken to place at the bottom of the page, on the right, a number which is the same on the engraving and the notice. This number, which merely indicates the order in which the plate appeared, will be useful, 1stly, to ascertain whether there are errors; 2dly, to apply for errors to be rectified in case there are any; 3dly, to serve for reference, in case of necessity, from one notice to another; 4thly, to give a more precise and clear indication in the tables that will be published at the end of the work.
As to the capital letter which sometimes follows this number, it is a mark customary in typography to assist in finding out and classing the whole sheets; but can in no case be of service to subscribers.
It is likewise necessary to announce that each temporary volume will consist of twelve parts and an appendix, which, to complete the volume, will contain three portraits of painters with an historical and critical notice upon cach of them; and moreover two tables, the one in the order of the parts, and the other in alphabetical order, in which will be given the designation of the subjects, the NAMES OF ARTists and those of the galleries or collections. Similar appendixes will be published after the twentyfourth part, the thirty-sixth, and so on, after each multiple of the number twelve.