The earliest use of the term art criticism was by the English painter Jonathan Richardson in his 1719 publication An Essay on the Whole Art of Criticism. In this work, he attempted to create an objective system for the ranking of works of art. Seven categories, including drawing, composition, invention and colouring, were given a score from 0 to 18, which were combined to give a final score. The term he introduced quickly caught on, especially as the English middle class began to be more discerning in their art acquisitions, as symbols of their flaunted social status.
In France and England in the mid 1700s, public interest in art began to become widespread, and art was regularly exhibited at the Salons in Paris and the Summer Exhibitions of London. The first writers to acquire an individual reputation as art critics in 18th-century France were Jean-Baptiste Dubos with his Réflexions critiques sur la poésie et sur la peinture (1719) which garnered the acclaim of Voltaire for the sagacity of his approach to aesthetic theory; and Étienne La Font de Saint-Yenne with Reflexions sur quelques causes de l'état présent de la peinture en France who wrote about the Salon of 1746, commenting on the socioeconomic framework of the production of the then popular Baroque art style, which lead to a perception of anti-monarchist sentiments in the text.
The 18th-century French writer Denis Diderot greatly advanced the medium of art criticism. Diderot's "The Salon of 1765" was one of the first real