« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
great grandeur and severity. Velasquez is decidedly at the head of the Spanish portrait painters, and frequently approaches Titian and Vandyke. The compositions of the historical painters of Spain, namely, Coello, Morales, Murillio, Carrero, Herrera, &c. seldom rise much above mediocrity. They are full of sweet. ness and simplicity; but can rarely boast of the highest qualities of art.
The first painter of legitimate character, who appeared in France, and the classical purity of whose taste, formed on the models of an cient art, will render his name immortal, is Poussin. He flourished in the reign of Louis the XIII. Poussin was succeeded by Le Soeur, the French Raphael, a man of a refined and elevated mind, but who failed in impressing upon his coun trymen the value of the chaste principles, on which his style was founded. The more ostentatious but less estimable qualities of the pencil of Le Brun, Le Sour's contemporary and competitor, were in closer accordance with French taste; and the exhibition which Le Brun made of his really great powers, debased as they were by the utter absence of simplicity and truth, in his pictures of the battles of Alexander, won the durable favour of Louis XIV.; and induced the French nation to consider him as the head of the French School. Against the false and theatrical feeling, which Le Brun introduced, the Art in France struggled in vain. With some exceptions, among the most exemplary of which was Sebastian Bourdon, the French painters, Mignard, Jouvenet, Champagne, Rigoud, Vanloo, Bouchet, &c. seemed solely intent upon excelling one another in affectation and flutter. Since the Revolution, the painters of France have gone into the opposite extreme; and are as dry and precise, as they were formerly florid and incorrect. There are among them, however, men of very superior talents.
England, owing probably in a great degree to the change of religion, and to the coldness and insensibility to the beauties of the Fine Arts, by which the advocates of the Reformation were most disadvan tageously distinguished, was long before she manifested any native Eur. Mag. Vol. 82.
genius in the art of Painting. The talents of Dobson, who flourished in century, were confined to painting the early part of the seventeenth heads, which, however, he executed with great skill. The first English historical painter of any celebrity was Sir James Thornhill, who was employed in painting the halls and born in 1677. He was principally of the mansions of the nobility; and staircases of our public edifices, and the meretriciousness of composition, and gaudiness of colour, incident to this decorative style of art, prevent us from judging how highly his considerable, might, under more powers, which were unquestionably favourable circumstances, have rais Jervas, Richardson, and others, are ed him. The names of Greenhill, deserve to be rescued from oblivion. unconnected with any works that In fact, the practice of Painting in into desuetude, when the sudden, this country seemed nearly sunk and almost simultaneous appearance of that glorious triumvirate, Rey. cued us from the imputation of denolds, Hogarth, and Wilson, resficient genius, and abundantly proved the existence of a latent power, which required only opportunity for its full and splendid developement.
Every one of those great men has foundly learned in the principles of left an immortal reputation. Prohis profession, Reynolds communicated to that branch of it to which the taste of the times in which he lived, chiefly (and perhaps, fortunately) confined him, a character, which it is not too much to say, it portraits exhibit all the elevation had never before enjoyed; for his tion, while they are painted with and selection of historical composiunsurpassed faithfulness of resemblance, vivacity of expression, lusciousness of colour, and intensity of effect. To Hogarth, belongs the of conveying a powerful moral on rare praise of originality. The idea canvass, through a succession of pictures, was as new as it was felicitous; and the success of the execution, corresponded with the boldness of the design. In him, to use the cloquent language of Mr. Shee, of having produced one of those "Britain may confidently boast distinguished spirits, those daring
navigators of the intellectual ocean, who launch boldly forth in quest of new discoveries, and bring home unexpected treasures from territories before unknown." The chaste, though glowing tints of Wilson, and his simple breadth of light and shade, rank him with the most celebrated landscape painters of any age or nation.
In the list of eminent English artists, now no more, who obeyed the generous impulse given by the three extraordinary individuals to whom we have just adverted, the names of Gainsborough, Barry, Romney, Opie, and West, are conspicuous. In subjects of rustic simplicity and beauty, Gainsborough had no equal. The works of Barry, although not free from incongruities, evince a mind absorbed by the contemplation of the intellectual qualities of the Art. Romney infused into his portraits, which were painted with almost miraculous dex terity of execution, a grace and expression peculiarly his own; and the cartoons which have lately been presented by his son, the Rev. J. Romney, to the Univerity of Oxford, afford proof of his skill in historical, or rather poetical composition. The pictures of Opie, simple
and unaffected, and possessing a force which enfeebled every other work that came in comparison with them, justly secured to him the character of being "a truly English painter." West, always respectable, and occasionally towering into greatness, devoted a long life to the incessant pursuit of his Art; and, towards the decline of his days, enjoyed the satisfaction of finding that homage liberally paid to his talents, which had been but sparingly bestowed upon them when they were in their meridian.
Of our living painters we abstain, for reasons of a very obvious nature, from indulging in any individual description; content with the performance of the pleasing duty which we have prescribed to ourselves, of calling the attention of our readers to their works, as from time to time they are presented to the public view. This, however, we may be permitted to say, and we say it with a perfect conviction of the truth of the assertion, that they form a mass of talent, in the various departments of the Art, of which they are the professors and the ornaments, which may fearlessly challenge the competition of the world.
FOREIGN FINE ARTS.
A Picture Gallery has been established at Madrid, by order of the Government; it consists of the works of Spanish Painters only.-The number of Pictures already amount to 332, and will be augmented by a great many others, taken from the different palaces of the King. This Museum is opened to the public once a week.
Bystrom, the celebrated Swedish Sculptor, has just returned from Rome, with the intention of passing a short time in his native country, His studio is daily crowded by persons anxious to view a statue of "Hero," on which he is at present employed.
A Museum has been established in the city of Berlin, in which it is contemplated to unite the most noted statues, the most curious medals,
and the most celebrated paintings, distributed in different apartments. The King, who is the patron of this Establishment, has appointed the Minister Hut to take charge of the selection and arrangement of the different curiosities, which compose this collection.
M. Taurieus Euboeus, member of the Berlin and Roman Academies, has published a Catalogue of Prints, engraved from Raphael's works.The author himself, who resides in Germany, possesses nearly 600 prints, after the designs of Raphael.
The cast of the statue of the monument of Luther, at Wittenberg, is finished, as well as the iron canopy, under which the statue is to be placed. The pedestal and the four tables, bearing the inscriptions, now only remain to be completed.
An Italian, named Rosetti, is erecting, at his own expense, in the Church of St. Giusto, at Trieste, a monument to the memory of the celebrated Winckelmann, whose remains are deposited in the same church; and the sculptor, Bosa, has undertaken its execution.
The following is a list of subjects for the year 1823, offered by the Imperial and Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Milan; and for which premiums will be given. Foreign as well as Italian artists are allowed to compete.
Architecture. The plan of a large and magnificent edifice, to be dedicated to the encouragement of the Fine Arts, to be erected on a space of ground, covering 24,000 square metres.-The edifice must contain Schools for Architecture, Painting, and Sculpture; a large hall, for the distribution of prizes; a gallery for pictures, statues, and the annual exhibition of works of art; a Museum for antiquities; and a hall for the meeting of the Council. It must, also, be able to contain apartments for Professors, Secretaries, Guardians, and servants.-The prize is a gold medal, worth 60 sequins.
Painting.-Dante, accompanied by Virgil into the infernal regions, conversing with the shades of Paolo, and Francesco da Rimino: The picture is to represent that period of time described in the latter part of the 5th Canto of the "Divine Comedie:"
Mentre l'uno spirito questo disse,
The size is to be five feet by seven,
Sculpture.-Apollo, with the dying Hyacinthus. The group is to be composed of baked earth, 3 feet high, including the base of the pedestal. The premium, a gold medal, worth 43 sequins.
Engraving. The subject to be taken from the work of some celebrated artist. The size to be at least 60 square inches. Premium, a gold medal, worth 30 sequins.
Historical Design.-Geta, introduced into the chamber of Julia to obtain an interview with Caracalla,
attacked by him and the Centurions, concealed for that purpose. premium, a gold medal, worth 30 sequins.
Ornamental Design.-A Sepulchral Urn, to be placed by itself, on a pedestal. Premium, a gold medal, of the value of 20 sequins.
The celebrated Sculptor, Liborio Londini, of Rome, has imitated, in Palambino marble, the beautiful Trajan column, with its two thousand figures, its bridges, machines, buildings, &c. His work, which excites the admiration of all connoisseurs, is only of 6 palmes elevation.
A Milanese, Stephen Barozzi, has discovered the means of taking from walls paintings in fresco of every size, and can remove them any where without injury. He applies a prepared cloth to the wall, which draws the picture in such a manner that the artist can at the same time separate both the painting and cloth from the wall, so that the wall remains bare. The cloth is then spread out upon a frame, and another cloth applied to it, upon which the picture attaches itself without any alteration.
In making excavations at Quintiol, not far from Tivoli, a beautiful fragment of a Nereid and of a young man has been discovered. And at Tor Marancio a fine statue of Bacchus. The stair-case of the temple of Venus has been found between the arch of Titus and S. Francesca Romana.
It is said that Madame Murat, the ci-devant queen of Naples, has sold her precious collection of Etruscan and Grecian vases to the court of Austria for 100,000 florins.
The library of the Vatican has received 'a considerable addition of
Egyptian antiquities, amongst which
tain three coffins of sycamore wood, enclosing the bodies of some persons of very high rank. Nothing of this kind had ever been seen before at Rome. 2dly, The colossal head of a man in red granite, covered with the sacred veil, and resembling the Isis of the capitol, with the ornaments well preserved, painted in different colours. It is a part of a whole figure designed to cover a coffin. 3dly, a sitting figure of a priest in alabaster. 4thly, the torso of an Egyptian divinity in marble, of an unknown but very beautiful kind. The work is in an elegant style and well preserved. 5thly, one of the great colossal figures which were at the gate of the temple of Carmac, near Thebes, ornamented with a great many hieroglyphics, eighteen palms high, and which is mentioned in the grand work of the French Institute upon Egypt.
STATUE OF LOUIS XIV. This new statue, which is erected in the Place des Victoires, at Paris, is from the chissel of M. Bosio, and is worthy of the reputation of that able artist. Louis is represented on a refractory horse; but the attitude of the king is firm, and apparently incapable of being disturbed by the turbulence of his horse; the unruly animal seems to bend under the powerful weight of his rider. The king is clothed in Roman costume, an advantage which the artist doubtless availed himself of in order the better to represent the model and shape of the body. The phisiognomy is replete with dignity, force, and
grace. In the left hand is the bridle, and in the right a marshal's baton. The statue is fourteen feet six inches high, and is supported by the two hinder feet and the tail. This bold attitude, which renders the monument as light as it is elegant, has been effected by making one part of the statue solid and the other part hollow. On one side of the pedestal is inscribed, Ludovico magno-to Louis the Great; and on the opposite side, Ludovicus XVIII. alavo suo-Louis XVIII. to his grandfather.
M. Dubour, a distinguished pupil of M. Gall, has executed a medal in honour of Dr. Pariset, one of the learned and courageous French physicians, who last year went to Barcelona to stop the ravages of the plague. On one side is the bust of the Doctor, on the other the follow, ing inscription:-ire obviam Cadentis miseris ægris.—Cadiz, 1819.— Barcelona, 1821.
A work has been published in France containing the representation and description of all the medals struck in honour of Napoleon during his reign, in the different countries then united to France, or under his subjugation. Thirteen of these medals were struck in 1796; in 1797, 30; in 1798, 24; in 1799, 13; in 1800, 25; in 1801, 33; in 1802, 29; in 1803, 20; in 1804, 30; in 1805, 59; in 1807, 35; in 1808, 20; in 1809, 36; in 1810, 29; in 1811, 13; in 1812, 17; in 1813, 17; in 1814, 11; in 1815, 9; twenty medals without date. Total, 483.
VELUTI IN SPECULUM."
THIS theatre opened for the season, since our last number, with the comedy of the School for Scandal. The interior of the house has undergone a total and magnificent change; the most prominent features of which are the reduction of the area, the enlargement of the stage in width, the removal of the stagedoors, and the institution of boxes in their room; the introduction of
a new drop scene; a profusion of gilding and colouring, very tastefully distributed, and the decoration of the pannels in the dress circle with paintings from Shakespeare's most celebrated scenes. The arenues have also been fitted up and embellished, and the saloon, which is absolutely lined with lookingglass from the ceiling to the floor, presents the most splendid object of
the kind to be found in this country. Our Readers will expect that we should say something, as to the effect of those alterations. And first with regard to the reduction of the area. Though not executed to any considerable extent, or indeed to any extent apparent to the eye of a casual observer, it has much improved the theatre in point of hearing; but the variations of passion expressed in the countenance, of which so much used to be thought in the days of Garrick and Barry, still remain undistinguishable to the greater number of spectators, in consequence of the inconvenient distance at which they are placed. For this reason, amongst others, the ambition which first led to the creation of those enormous buildings, in later times, has not only contributed to the embarrassment of all theatrical property, but to the injury of the fine art which it profess ed to dignify and encourage. So far as the size has been contracted, in the present instance, it affords matter for praise, and as the attempt, however cautiously undertaken, at least implies a tacit acknowledgment of the original de fect on the part of managers them selves, the Public may look forward to its ultimate correction, when the spirit of enterprize catches fire from the rapid improvement of the age. As for the enlargement in the width of the stage, there are many who will not regard it in the light of an improvement at all. It is a general principle with theatrical judges, that the sooner a character disappears from the eye of an audience after the speaking is over the better, for the impression which a performer leaves behind. This is particularly .observable in comedy, where an
abrupt visit has sometimes added to the humour and vivacity of a whole scene, by a sort of reflective operation. In tragedy perhaps, the circumstance is of less importance, but melo-drama is that species of representation, which is most likely to profit from the change to which we have alluded. The only objec tion to the paintings from Shakespeare is one that could not he avoided, the dimensions of the pannels requiring that they should be executed on a scale too small for the size of the house. The idea itself was conceived in very pure taste, not only as it paid a just compliment to the greatest dramatic genius that ever delighted mankind, but as it was intended to combine, in one view, a more direct and sensible evidence of the variety of his poetical creations than could be accomplished, without the intervention of the sister art. A task more honorable or more congenial to the brilliant capabilities of painting can scarcely be imagined, than the effort of thus accumulating the recollections of an imperishable mind. But whatever qualifications may accompany our praise of the details, we cannot speak too highly of the general effect produced by this beau tiful theatre. The cast of The School for Scandal with which it opened, introduced Mr. Dowton to the town after an absence of two years; and he, together with Messrs. Terry, Elliston, and Munden, have conti nued to keep them in good humour by their excellent acting. Mr. Young leads in the tragic department during the absence of Mr. Kean, who is not expected until next month, with which statement we may conclude our account of Drury Lane for the present.
This theatre has also undergone alterations, but they are compara. tively of a very trifling nature. The removal of the basket boxes, however, has added something to the appearance and not a little to the good order of the house. There bas been but one new piece brought forward as yet, and that is scarcely deserving of any notice. It is called Ali Pacha and is a translation from the French by. Mr. Plancha, but
though it betrays a manifest endeavour at fine writing in some passages, the execution is, upon the whole, languid and un nteresting. The character of Ali, serious, declamatory, and without any relief, was given to Mr. Farren, as if managers had determined that though there was no comic part in the drama, there should at least be a conic performer. Among the variety of new appearances which have gone