صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Ward's ' Princes in the Tower' is well-considered intent, can put toa picture of tender pathos, painted gether an episode just as it might with rare skill and care, and ad- have happened in the side-scenes of mirable for an even moderation, our national drama. 'La Reine Malwhich bespeaks calm strength and heureuse' represents the devoted balanced judgment. J. Hayllar's queen of Charles I. a victim to the 'Queen's Highway in the Sixteenth Parliament wars. She had just reCentury,' a road then deemed mar- turned from Holland, whither she vellously good, but which we should had been seeking supplies, and was now hold as villanously bad, the scarcely landed when five ships Queen's coach being by the country entered Burlington Bay and com“hinds and folk of a base sort lifted” menced an active cannonade. The with poles out of the mire, is a cle- Queen and her companions take ver composition, spiced with satire. shelter in a ditch, yet in this humiIn the same room, not far distant, liation is no safety : “ the cannon is G. Storey's 'Meeting of William bullets," writes Henrietta Maria in a Seymour and the Lady Arabella letter to the King, “fell thick about Stuart at the Court of James I.' us, and a servant was killed within We are told that “ the nearness of seventy paces of me.” Mr Yeames the Lady Arabella to the English contributed a noteworthy picture throne seems to have inspired James to the Academy of last year; his with an unworthy jealousy, and to present work evinces steady adhave caused him to form the reso- vance: we shall expect of this artist lution of keeping her single.” How- good fruit in coming seasons. E. ever, here at the Court she meets Crowe has also been quietly winning with a friend of her childhood, Mr his way to renown, and must now William Seymour; they converse, rank among the expectants upon they fall in love, they are secretly whom the Academy will at no dismarried, then separated and im- tant period confer well-won honour. prisoned, and five years after the His chief picture of the year, Lady Arabella dies in the Tower a ‘Luther posting his Theses on thé pitiable lunatic! Mr Storey has Church-door of Wittenberg,' is contold the incident of the meeting at scientious and literal even to the the Court with point and perspicu- portraits well known in the land of ity, but the execution of the paint the Reformation. Mr Crowe is a ing is so sketchy as barely to little hard in his execution, and escape being slovenly. J. Pettie's rather forbidding and unalluring in picture of George Fox refusing to his treatment, as specially seen in take the Oath at Houlker Hall' a smaller composition, 'Dean Swift belongs to that class of works in looking at a Lock of Stella's Hair,' a which biography widens into his- picture callous and devoid of emotory, wherein an act in the life of tion as the Dean of St Patrick's an individual is made to stand for a himself. Lastly, among our rising principle, and to operate as a public artists who give themselves to the protest. This picture, like the last, pages of history, we must mention would have been better for more P. H. Calderon, this year repreelaborate detail : canvasses on this sented by a powerful and impresmoderate scale have no right to sive work The Burial of John indulge in a large dashing hand. Hampden.' The sun has gone Ranging as they do between the down among the hills and woods of wide region of history and the nar the Chilterns just as the bier which row confines of domestic incident, carries the patriot's corpse is borne they ought to reconcile a certain by his devoted followers to its largeness of manner with somewhat last resting-place. His comrades in of the finish which was bestowed arms, sturdy fellows of bold hands on a Dutch interior. W. F. Yeames and brave hearts, are bowed down is another of our artists who, with in sorrow. Their heads are un

[ocr errors]

covered, their drums muffled, their respect. Thus, Mr Elmore's 'Exensigns furled, and as they march, celsior' is altogether a different the ninetieth psalm is chanted: sort of thing from what we have the colour, which sinks into sombre, been accustomed to see done on has been kept in consonance with music-covers. This, indeed, is a the solemnity of the scene.

figure which redeems once more Painting, when it passed, some to our admiration lines which have two centuries ago, from the sacred been sadly massacred and mouthed. to the secular sphere, ran the dan- A youth bears, ger of becoming coarse or common

“ 'Mid snow and ice, place, as witness the schools of A banner with the strange device, Caravaggio in Italy and of Teniers

Excelsior!” in Holland. An escape from the The spectral glaciers shine, and dark lower world of everyday life was the tempest lowers, yet onward, by for a season sought in the regions an upward impulse borne, towers of Greek and Roman mythology. the brave head, and climbs the firm But of late years gods and god- foot to the mountain-height around desses have fallen to a discount, which the eagle floats. Mr Elmore and so the painter is once again has eschewed all grandiloquence brought down to the level and of manner, and by an unadorned reality of earth. To soar upwards, simplicity escapes the dangers of however, is the instinct of imagina- a subject fatal to a hand less firm. tion, to spurn the ground is the 'Contemplation,' by C. W. Cope, impulse of winged genius ; and ac- is another figure which calls for cordingly our painters essay pretty commendation - less vigorous, inpoetic flights, just as fledglings deed, than the brave mountaineer venturing from their mother's nest we have just left; for Contemplamay be seen with a hop and a chirption is of the valley, serene and to launch into air. A Royal Aca- lovely, her eyes gazing heavenwards demician, however, or even an As- in rapt devotion, her bodily frame sociate, is generally a bird of full and the gentleness of her spirit not growth, and so when he flies let fitted to wrestle in the warfare of no ignoble groundling croak. Mr the world. This is a head which Richmond, à venerable name, in- might have been painted by Carlo dulges in " a light fantastic round” Dolce, who loved a liquid eye, from 'Comus'

tearful, and yet beaming as with “ Break off, break off! I feel the different pensive starlight. pace

Undoubtedly the picture of the Of some chaste footing near about this year pre-eminent for power and

ground: Run to your shrouds, within these brakes

display is ‘La Gloria, a Spanish and trees;

Wake, painted by J. Phillip, who Our pumbers may affright; some virgin seldom indeed has been seen in sure

such force. The subject is well Bonighted in these woods!”

chosen, and the scene skilfully laid. Another of our Associates, Mr Pat The shadow of death on the one ten, who, we think, might by this hand is thrown in contrast to the time have known better, attempts sunshine of the dance on the other. semi-nudity-a sansculottism which Woe has bowed down the head of a obtained more favour with the gods bereaved mother, couched nigh to of Greece than in our modern eyes. her little child, lying ready for the 'The Youthful Apollo,' by Jove, burial. But the eye passes by this what a genius! Look at him, and group, given to mourning, to feast love him if you can, as he prepares on the beauty and delight in the to show his power “in a musical joy which fills to overflowing the contest with Paris”! Some pic- remainder of the canvass. Here tures, nevertheless, there are, which does the painter exult in the reinstinct with noble aspiration, merit velry of the Spanish dance, mad

dened by the stirring stroke of shade upon the green and gold of music, and passionate with love's the lady's robe-a dazzling effect, outburst. Here are lavished the of which this artist has been long gayest of colours; here arrayed the fond, here carried to consummate most picturesque of costumes; here perfection. Several other painters, shine faces bright as flowers, spark- such as Webb, Herbert junior, ling with eyes brilliant as gems. Walton, Fisk, and Goodall, have In a scene such as this, which most either visited the East in person, or travellers witness in Seville or sent as their delegate a photograGranada, Mr Phillip is triumphant. phic apparatus. With one excepMr Lewis may have portrayed Spain tion, we must pass these respective with minute detail, but no one has products by, and that exception we caught, like Mr Phillip, the very of course make in favour of F. life of these children sporting in Goodall's Messenger from Sinai the passionate south.

at the Wells of Moses.' Mr GoodThe post of honour in the large all may be quoted as the represenroom has, by an error in judgment, tative of that careful, well-balanced, been assigned to “The Courtyard and eclective style, towards which of the Coptic Patriarch, Cairo,' by our English school is now tending; J. F. Lewis—a canvass which, as a a style in which accurate drawing mirror shattered in a thousand frag- gives truth and attains expression, ments, shows the too crowded life in which close and detailed study is of Cairo in direst confusion. Mr directed to strict topographic accuLewis, to our mind, has never been racy, wherein colour is forced up able to give to his oil-pictures the to a pitch little short of decorative matchless qualities possessed by his splendour; and lastly, where comdrawings. Even the opacity of his position becomes an intricate calwater-colour pigments was redeem- culation, whereby all these several ed by a brilliancy which in oil- elements may be set off to best adpaints is lost in dead density. We vantage. It is notorious that in incline to the opinion, indeed, that art the world has arrived at an age for works within the limits of a in which everything has been in cabinet size, no medium which the generations past already attempted world has yet known attains ex- and done. The Roman school was cellencies which equal those now pre-eminent in form, the Venetian reached by the water-colour pro- resplendent in colour, the Bologcess, which is, in fact, tempera paint- nese skilful in composition, and ed on paper in lieu of the ancient perhaps in any one of these sepapanel. Therefore in the interest rate qualities it is hard for us now of art, and with the remembrance in these last days to make an adof such drawings as the 'Encamp- vance on the attainments of former ment on Mount Sinai,' we have again times. Yet a super-excellence which to question the policy of the step may be impossible in dissevered taken by Mr Lewis, when he trans- units becomes practicable in a ferred his allegiance from the Old balanced and collective whole. And Water-Colour Gallery to the Acade- this is just that eclecticism to which my in Trafalgar Square. Perhaps, our English schools, whether of however, the very best work which painting, of sculpture, or of archithis artist has yet executed in oil, tecture, are now tending—a procliis to be met with in the present vity, moreover, not limited to the doExhibition, under the title 'Caged main of the arts, but extending into Doves, Cairo;' doves of two species every realm of knowledge,-found caged in a diverse sense—a winged in science, through her accumuladove, the pet of a houri, who is tive stores ; in metaphysics, by the herself caged in a harem. The lat mass of chop-logic and seedy chaff ; tice-work of the window floods a in political philosophy, by the heap sparkling light, and casts a dappled of compiled maxims and tabulated statistics; in prose literature, ting moment back to their former through the inveterate building-up and better selves ;—why, all these of tombs to the prophets; in poetry, problems, we say, find in the preby the reiteration of approved me- sent aspect of English and Contitaphors, and the shooting down, or nental schools forcible and vivid rather the re-serving up, of whole illustration. cartloads laden with old materials. With the guidance of some such

Thus, as we have said, do we see principles as those just enunciated, on all sides, and in every direction, it were interesting to trace the pediboundless stores wherewith to con- gree and to pronounce upon the struct an elaborate eclecticism. antecedents of the styles of high And far be it from us to call in art, of domestic incident, and of question the originality which may landscape, which are now dominant remain possible notwithstanding in our Exhibitions. It were inand even, perhaps, through the aid structive to show how the grand of, this systematic copyism. We school of Italy was carried to the believe, for example, the picture shore of Britain, how it suffered already quoted, The Messenger at shipwreck, and then, at a moment the Wells of Moses,' is just as ori. when all might be deemed lost, how ginal as works produced in any up it rose once more into life, though prior epoch. A scrutiny into the in garb how changed, in the works history and development of art dis- of Mr Leighton and Mr Watts. In covers a slow, sure, and accumula- like manner, though with much tive progression, step by step. The more detail and precision, we should building which we worship as a desire to set forth the causes which wonder of the world was put to- at this moment conspire towards gether stone by stone; and even the literal naturalism manifest on the original conception of the archi- the walls of every gallery in the tect, if original it ever were, will country. And then, coming to be found to be but a conglomerate specific departments, it were a task, of scattered elementary ideas, which if not tempting, at least profitable, prior men had conceived and put to trace the various styles of porinto rudimentary form. We dwell trait-painting back to their historic with emphasis upon this line of originals—to point out how Vandyke thought, because it is this eclectic and Titian formed our English cism, this compilation, and the Reynolds-how their manner, broad growth that comes from concerted in handling and senatorial or plepower, which can alone enable the beian in bearing just as the subject critic and connoisseur to adjudicate might suggest, descended upon Waton the merits, and to decide upon son Gordon, Knight, and others of the coming prospects, of our English the school — and then how, when school. Scarcely more certain are people grew perhaps a little tired of the laws which guide the planets, being painted afterthe good old fashthan the dynamics which impel, and ion in which their grandfathers and yet control, the cycloid movements grandmothers descended to posterof the arts. How genius repeats ity, suddenly set in a reaction; and herself, and yet is never twice the so Sandys, with the detail of Van same; how the arts retrace their Eyck and Holman Hunt, in the former steps, and yet never tread severity of Albert Durer, rise to precisely along the same path; how the zenith. The multiplication of they gather strength in their orbit, small cabinet - pictures after the and gain progressive velocity as Dutch practice demands no elaborthey approach to central nature, ate analysis. A school so simply which stands as the sun in the fir- naturalistic springs indigenous to mament; and then again, at sea- every soil; as a wayside flower it sons, how wildly they wander into blooms in all hedgerows, and dedarkness, only to return at the fit- mands little culture save such as nature in shower and sunshine be- they do earnestly strive to get stows on her favoured children. upon canvass-the truth and the Wilkie was, we all know, one of the beauty which dwell among the hills first among us who gathered this and the woods and the streams. plant growing a little rudely and This they seek after, and not in coarsely on the flat lands of Hol- vain. land, and gave to the foundling a Having launched into general dressing more decorous. A glance dissertation, we must now, in a few into the Academy, or indeed at any supplementary notes, concentrate of our Exhibitions, will at once in attention upon some leading works dicate what industry and aptitude which still remain without compainters, whose names are legion, ment. In portraiture we have have brought to the formation of distinguished between schools of this Anglo-Scottish or Dutch school. breadth and of detail. The porWebster, T. Faed, Hardy, Smith, trait by F. Sandys may be quotProvis, and Nicol, not to enumerate ed as a favourable example of the others, form of themselves a phalanx high finish known to Denner. Two sufficiently strong. As for our Eng- full-length figures, 'Mr James lish landscape, the glory of our native Hodgson' and Mrs Stewart Hodgart, its pedigree is soon told. Sal- son,' by H. T. Wells, are commendvator Rosa and Gasper Poussin, who able for the happy combination of were still towers of strength down a detail loved by Van Eyck, with to the commencement of the pre- a colour in which a Titian might sent century, are now wholly over- glory. When we possess native thrown in their ancient dominion. artists capable of painting pictures Claude, however, is not yet quite such as these, we scarcely underforgotten. He still reigns in the stand wherefore Mr Jensen should elements of air and water; he yet, have been called upon to perpetrate through the glories of Turner, who two parodies upon The Prince of was more than a Claude for England, Wales' and 'The Princess of Wales,' shines in the sunset sky and illu- -pictures which, by the prominent mines the radiant sea; and even in positions which they usurp, disfigure the present year, when a Danby en- the Exhibition. By far the most thrones the sun in mid-heaven, can felicitous rendering of Royalty we not wholly forget the tribute due comes from the easel of H. Weigall. to placid and poetic Claude, whose ‘Alexandra, Princess of Wales,' soul never found its surfeit in serene painted by this artist, is certainly sunsets. Yet in this our analysis a work of much refinement and deliof the present phasis of England's cacy. Among the products which in landscape-art, we were indeed re- balanced eclecticism happily blend miss not to mention the master to varied excellencies, we must signawhom every one of our painters is lise Mr Beccani's full-length figure alike indebted. If we cast an eye of Lady Mary Fox, which ranks to the works contributed by Cres- as one of the best portraits in the wick, Leader, the Linnells, Cole, Exhibition. Lastly, as examples of Hulme, Knight, and Brett, we can- the broad generalisation which has not fail to see that these several descended in the English school artists in their studies have thought from the time of Vandykeor of Remlittle of Salvator, Poussin, or Claude, brandt, we may enumerate the porbut in simple earnestness devote traits of 'General Cabrera,' by J. P. their best days and years to nature. Knight; “The Earl of Dalhousie,' by The old masters have been, for these J. Phillip; and “John Gibson,' by modern men, dead. No resuscita- W. Boxals. In the treatment of tion or resurrection of a form or a life female heads, this manner, somewhich has passed away, is by our times sturdy, is mitigated and softpresent school of landscape-painters ened, as in the heads of the Countess desired or attempted. But one thing of Home, by G. Richmond, and of

« السابقةمتابعة »