Vasari: Lives ...
I am aware
that it is commonly held as a fact by most
writers that sculpture, as well as painting, was
naturally discovered originally by the people of
Egypt, and also that there are others who
attribute to the Chaldeans the first rough
carvings of statues and the first reliefs. In
like manner there are those who credit the Greeks
with the invention of the brush and of colouring.
But it is my opinion that design, which is the
foundation of both arts, and the very soul which
conceives and nourishes in itself every part of
the intelligence, came into full existence at the
time of the origin of all things, when the Most
High, after creating the world and adorning the
heavens with shining lights, descended through
the limpid air to the solid earth, and by shaping
man, disclosed the first form of sculpture and
painting in the charming invention of things.