« السابقةمتابعة »
reward, and with reward snares and like are the garments, and so innopenalties.
cent of action is every limb. We This Society, which was never in believe that Mr Jones has been so strong a position as at the pre- worshipped by a select brotherhood sent moment, has admitted within as a designer for painted glass; the last year several new Associates, and a certain blurred quality of exesome of whom will render the gal- cution would seem to suggest close lery more attractive through merit, connection with worsted-work also. others more notorious by eccentri- A range of willow-pattern plates, city. Of the former class we must again, as a background to poor rank as pre-eminent F. Walker, "Cinderella,' might indicate an alwhose two drawings, 'Spring' and liance with the ceramic arts, and * The Church - Pew,' have become point to a long pedigree stretching prime favourites with all visitors. far away towards the Great Wall of The first of these subjects consists China. Certain it is that we shall of a little girl, who, gathering have to go far enough off before primroses on the confines of a wood, we can meet with the prototypes of has become entangled in a bush, these singular works. It is, howthe interlacing branches of which ever, just possible that in the recover the figure as by a network. mote depths of the darkest of The first effect produced on the medieval centuries, innocent of spectator is that of surprise, and then anatomy, perspective, and other
-as in certain works of sculpture, carnal knowledge, something like wherein, for example, a man strug- these non-natural figures might be gles to extricate himself from the found. And so, after all, Mr Jones meshes in which he is entrapped - may turn out not quite as original it is discovered that the artistic as he would at first sight seem, by difficulty overcome is of easy mas- these forms so studiously grotesque, tery. In the present instance the by his contempt for beauty, and figure, of course, is drawn first, his persistent pursuit of unmitiand then, when finished, the inter- gated ugliness. Yet on the whole, vening branches are pencilled in as witness the 'Knight' and 'The front. The other topic treated by Kissing Crucifix,' also “The AnunMr Walker-a family seated in a ciation,' we incline to the judgchurch - pew-is praiseworthy for ment that Mr Jones has surpassed quiet, unostentatious qualities, re- all that ever went before him. We lying on accuracy of drawing and are told that these compositions a treatment which, to its minutest should be approached with reverdetail, is governed by intention. ence, and we think so; especially
We have reserved the extraordi- the angel Gabriel, who seems as nary productions of a new Asso- simple and unadorned as any maidciate, E. B. Jones, for strong pro- of-all-work. This servant, up in test. In the name of nightmare, the morning betimes, was sweeping convulsions, delirium, and apoplexy, one of the outer courts of heaven we would demand to what order of when requested to hook on a pair created beings do these monstrosi- of wings and descend to earth with ties belong? Ought these figures an errand. We beg to observe that to be allowed to walk the earth, or if holy things are here brought to shall they, as lunatics, be put in ridicule, the fault is with the painter, strait-waistcoats and thrust into an not in us. aslyum? We are not quite sure, With this egregious exception, however, whether the considerate and with the addition of a few soliartist has not already provided tary examples scattered through against the possibility of harm to other galleries, the much-vaunted quiet neighbours, by binding his Preraphaelite school of figure and incipient maniacs hand and foot, landscape painting may be said to so mighty stiff are they, so shroud- be extinct. The pictures and draw
ings of Mr Hamerton certainly, in- graphic fidelity. We regret that deed, show-as did a book, The space does not enable us to survey Painter's Camp in the Highlands,' in detail two other Exhibitions, to of which Mr Hamerton was the which, since the close of the Interauthor-decided Prerapbaelite and national Galleries at Kensington, Ruskinite proclivities. These pic- the English public have been intorial efforts, kindly submitted to debted for the knowledge of recent public view under the care of the productions of Continental schools. man " Thursday," must be admitted The French and Flemish Exhibias every way creditable to an amateur, tion of the present year is chiefly to They, however, by no means induce be remembered by two noble works us to alter the opinion we have of the Belgian Gallait ; a cabinet long entertained of the impractica- picture, great, nevertheless, in genbilities of this thankless school-a ius, by Gerome, the painter of school which makes of its disciples 'The Duel,' 'The Gladiators,' and slaves, and reduces art to drudgery. 'Phryne;' and a masterpiece by These penalties, attaching to the Edouard Frere-small, of course, carrying out of certain plausible but choice. To the Scandinavian but essentially false principles, seem Gallery, at a moment when the to have disgusted the leaders of a sympathies of our countrymen are schism which at one time threatened directed towards the sufferings and in its consequences to grow serious, heroism of a brave nation, peculiar if not fatal. However, as we have interest attaches. Denmark, in said, this eccentric school is now literature, science, and the arts, all but extinct. The pictures of can boast of illustrious antecedents. Mr Millais, and even of Mr Holman Thorwaldsen the sculptor, Oersted Hunt, are naturalistic, and nothing the man of science, Worsaae the more. The landscape this year antiquary, and Hans Christian exhibited in the Academy by Mr Andersen the writer of romance, Brett, an artist hitherto identified have given to this comparatively with the most ultra of dogmas, is small kingdom no inconsiderable wholly free from extravagance, and renown in the realms of intellect. may be commended for a beauty And walking into this Scandinavian which, in the Bay of Naples,' Gallery, it is satisfactory to obtain no Preraphaelite spectacles were ocular proof that genius has not needed to discover. These and abandoned her favourite shores, other vigorous men, it is to be washed by the storm-lashed wave. hoped, have at length thrown off a A review of the London Art-Seabondage which became intolerable son were incomplete did it not conto bear. Still it is to be feared tain some notice of the great mural that others of the weaker sort have paintings executed in the Palace of foundered in deep and troublous Westminster. Two years since we waters, and will remain for ever spoke in terms of more than comlost. Thus-less fatally, on the mon admiration of the power and whole, than might at one time have mastery displayed in a vast waterbeen expected-ends a drama which glass painting, twelve feet high by was put upon the stage with more forty-five feet wide, The Meeting than ordinary pomp and flourish of of Wellington and Blucher after the advertisement.
Battle of Waterloo,' then recently We have been much pleased with completed in the Royal Gallery by a brilliant series of drawings exe- Mr Maclise. The companion piccuted by Mr William Simpson dur- ture, 'Trafalgar—the Death of Neling a tour of three years through son,' has engaged the untiring lathe most renowned portions of our bour of the same artist during the Indian empire. They are remark- past year, and is now in a forward able alike for their artistic beauty, state. Within the last few months their historic truth, and their topo- have been put up, in the Peers' and
Commons'corridors, the slabs which the admission of Sir Tristram to received on their plaster surface the fellowship of the Round Table; * The Expulsion of the Fellows of "Religion' or 'Faith,' as seen in a College at Oxford for refusing to the vision of Sir Galahad and his sign the Covenant, painted by Mr company; 'Generosity,' extended Cope, and 'The Landing of Charles to King Arthur when unhorsed and II.,' executed by Mr Ward. We spared by Sir Launcelot ; 'Courhave limited ourselves to the bare tesy,' as when Sir Tristram harped enumeration of these works, each to La Belle Isonde; and Mercy, admirable after its kind, in order vouchsafed when Sir Gawaine to leave greater space for the fres- swore on bended knee never to be coes by Mr Dyce, and the water- cruel to ladies. As an indication glass picture by Mr Herbert-works of the time and study involved which, long talked of, now on their in these compositions, it may be completion elicit, as they deserve, the enough to state that the first of the warm encomium of the public. Mr above subjects, the large picture, Dyce was cut off in the midst of his The Admission of Sir Tristram to labours, and thus has never been the Fellowship of the Round Table,' permitted to enjoy the honour which contains upwards of thirty life-size years of earnest devotion would figures, each executed, after the have amply won. Those who now piecemeal process of fresco, upon enter, perchance for the first time, something like two hundred slabs the Queen's Robing-Room, in which of wet mortar, each day freshly this artist was immured so long, laid upon the wall to receive the will stand in admiration, not un painter's colours. A close examimingled with sadness, in the midst nation of this dovetailed mosaic of of works which serve as monu- mortar scarcely reveals the lines of ments to the genius and the per- junction, so faultless has been the sistent industry of the great painter manipulation of both painter and whose untimely loss we have to plasterer. Neither can the execudeplore. It is a melancholy fact tion be found to betray the haste that the last days of Mr Dyce were or the incompleteness said to be inembittered by hostile discussions, separable from this fresco method: which arose from the prolonged on the contrary, not only are the delay in the execution of these ar- heads fully mature in expression, duous compositions. During the but even the accessories of chain last days of Mr Dyce's life, it was armour, sword-hilts, and horses' our privilege to see him here in the trappings, have been pronounced in midst of his pictures, palette in hand. elaborate detail. Taken as a whole, His health evidently had been we incline to think that these noble broken, and the feeling which arose and deliberate works may be acdominant in our mind was, not that cepted as a fulfilment of those santhe painter had done so little, but guine hopes which some years since rather with thankfulness we re- were entertained when fresco was joiced he had been enabled, encom- still in this country a tempting but passed by difficulties, to accomplish untried experiment. It were, of so much, and that so well. We re- course, too much to say that these visited this chamber a few weeks pictures equal the master works since, and the subjects with which executed in the same material by its walls are decorated now lie again the great artists of Italy. In some before us in a series of photographs points, however, they will not be taken from the frescoes themselves. found to suffer by comparison, at The theme allotted to Mr Dyce was least with any of the modern rethe legend of King Arthur, in illus- vivals in Europe. In colour they tration of the virtues of chivalry; are certainly less crude than and the subjects already carried out German frescoes, and in outline are 'Hospitality,' as exemplified in less severe and hard. The style is, after Mr Dyce's accustomed man- approach the rulers and the conner, academic. The fault, perhaps, gregation of the people with wonder may be found that these compo- and dismay. The figure of Moses, sitions want vigour and vitality, the personation of a law given amid -deficiencies which usually afflict thunder and lightnings, stands the schools given to careful compila- centre of the composition. Around tion.
him, some retreating back through It remains that we should notice awe, others drawing near by fellowthe great water-glass picture by Mrship in office, are grouped the LeHerbert, which has been received, vites and princes of the people, as it deserves, with a favour wax- Aaron and his two sons, Nadab ing to furor. Some ten years ago and Abihu, Joshua, his father Nun, Mr Herbert accepted a commis- and Eleazar, Caleb the guide of sion to prepare designs for a the camp, and Miriam, the singer series of paintings to be executed and prophetess, kneeling, her timon the walls of the Peers' Robing- brel lying on the ground. Above Room. The theme committed to rise the heights of Sinai, beneath his charge was Justice on Earth, stretches the valley in which the and its development in Law and tribes of Israel are seen encamped. Judgment, subjects commencing Such is the subject of this grand with Moses bringing down the composition, occupying the entire Tables of the Law,' proceeding by end of the room, a space upwards intermediate steps to "The Judg- of twenty feet in length by ten ment of Solomon,' 'The Visit of the in height. As a work of art, variQueen of Sheba,' and ending with ous excellencies are worthy of * The Vision of Daniel.' Other note. The composition is symmeevents are included in the series, tric and equally balanced. Moses, which, if ever completed, will con- crowned by a nimbus traversed sist of no less than nine composi- with radiant horns, is made the tions. The first of these only is centre or culminating point, and finished, “Moses bringing down the all subordinate or accessory figTables of the Law.' We read in the ures encircle or radiate from him, 34th chapter of Exodus, that "it the hero of the scene. The colcame to pass, when Moses came our is varied, but not decorative; down from Mount Sinai with the serious, as befits the subject, withtwo tables of the testimony, that out being austere. The light is Moses wist not that the skin of his luminous to the last degree-more face shone while he talked with the radiant, indeed, than in any fresco Lord. And when Aaron and all we can recall ; qualities, no doubt, the children of Israel saw Moses, in great measure dependent on the behold, the skin of his face shone, painter having covered the wall as and they were afraid to come nigh a preliminary with a coating of unto him." This is the moment white paint. For detail, also, we selected by Mr Herbert. It will must concede that this work, exbe remembered that, for the sake of ecuted in water-glass — a process dramatic action, Leonardo, in the which admits of retouching and composition of his ‘Last Supper,' endless elaboration-goes far bechose the time when Jesus said, yond the comparatively broad "One of you shall betray me.” For a sketchy manner which usually conlike reason—that is, for the purpose tents the rival method of fresco. of attaining variety in action and in- This power of expressing the minuttensity of expression_Mr Herbert est of facts has by the painter has seized the situation indicated in been turned to good account : not the text, when Moses, having been only does he reproduce the Oriwith the Lord forty days and forty ental turban in its richness and nights, his countenance radiant variety of colour, but be is enwith light and glory, fills at his abled at the same time, in his
figures, to mark the anatomy of spects for the future. We had every limb, and in the faces to thought that the Report of the work out delicate traits of expres- Royal Commission, recommending sion. Speaking generally of the bold reforms in the Academy, would style, we should say it is more have been followed by immediate naturalistic than academic or ideal. and salutary results. But from the Yet at the same time the work notorious incapacity of the present maintains a naturalism which, by Government in the department of its nobility, is delivered from the public works, and from the feeling degradation which Horace Vernet now strong in the House that every and others of the French school plan propounded by the Ministry brought upon sacred art. The fres demanding supplies for the erection coes of Mr Dyce we have desig- or purchase of public buildings nated as pertaining to the style must be nothing else than a weak academic. The treatment adopted compromise and a job, the wellby Mr Herbert is in great degree grounded hope that the Academy free from any such traditional re- and the National Gallery were straint. Thus his picture becomes about to be put in a position as we have said, in the best sense worthy of a great nation has been of the word, naturalistic—that is, once more frustrated. Melancholy it seeks after forms realistic, yet at is it thus to see the arts in this the same time noble, truthful, and country ever made the sport of facbeauteous; and herein art and na- tion, the victims of ignorance and ture are, in the end, shown to be incapacity. By a capricious and one and indivisible. In fine, taken ill-considered vote of the House for all in all, Moses bringing of Commons the well-considered down the Tables of the Law' is scheme of the Royal Commissioners the grandest and most satisfactory is rendered, at least for an indemural painting yet revealed in this finite period, absolutely nugatory. country. We have here, indeed, a And thereby the Academy is now signal example of high historic art, again under a premium to maintain in the best and truest sense of the existing abuses in fullest force, in
order to raise still higher the price We had hoped to have concluded to be paid by the nation as the conthis article with brightening pro- sideration for imperative reforms.