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THE FINE ARTS.
HISTORY OF SCULPTURE. The orłyin of SCULPTURE, like so that their single figures are much that of many other arts, is complete- superior to their attempts at grouphy lost in obscurity. It is frequently ing: alluded 'to in the Old Testament. The Greeks are generally consiMention is made of images in Gene dered to have derived their earliest sis and Exodus, and the description notions of Scnlpture, as of all other of the Cherubim in Solomon's Tem- knowledge, from Egypt. The first ple suficiently shews that the He Grecian Sculptor, of whom the anbrews were acquainted with Sealp- cient historians speak in praise, is ture. Ancient historians speak of Dædalus, a man of royal blood, the sculpture in Syria, in Babylon, who lived thirteen hundred years and in Persia. The mutilated figures before Christ. One of his works, discovered in Persepolis are of a
which is noticed with peculiar apvery rude character, and are remark- plause, was a naked Hercules, in able only for their gigantic size. wood. Dipænus and Scyllis, Cre
There can be no doubt that Sculp- tans, who lived seven hundred and ture was known at a very early pe- seventy-six years before Christ, were riod among the Hindoos. The ca celebrated for their statues in marble. verns of Elephantis and Ellora, and After their time, elaborate finishing the banks of the Ganges, abound was carried to excess, which is mawith sculptured illustrations of the difested in some of the earliest Greek Brahmin mythology.
Sculpture now in existence; among But the most stupendous remains which are the colossal busts of Her. of Sculpture are to be found in cules and Apollo, in the British Egypt, which was unquestionably Museum. We omit a dry list of the the most intelligent and refined names of Grecian Sculptors from the country of antiquity. Herodotus de time of Dipænus and Scyllis to that scribes statues of Sesostris, who lived of Phidias, during which period the a thousand years before Christ. – art of Sculpture was gradually acAmong the existing relics of Egyp- quiring that perfection which then tian Sculpture, the colossal statues became fully developed. When the of the Sphinx and the Memnon are abasement of the Persian monarchy perhaps those which most forcibly gave to the Greeks, and particularly seize the imagination. They both to the Athenians, a degree of power prove (and especially the former) which communicated itself to the that the art was highly cultivated at whole of their moral and intellectual the era of their production. There character--at that memorable period, are many other fragments of colos- nearly five hundred years before the sal statues in Egypt. The great Christian era—when Athens was Egyptian temples, which are all rendered illustrious by the wisdom now in ruins, are covered with spe- of her statesmen and philosophers, cimens of Egyptian Sculpture; the genius of her dramatic poets, among the most admirable of which and the bravery and skill of her are those on the walls of the city of commanders-Phidias appeared, and Dendera. The sepulchres of the was engaged by Pericles in decoratEgyptian kings are also lighly and ing and superintending the decoradeservedly celebrated. Almost the tion of the Temple of Minerva and whole of Egyptian Sculpture is other public works in the city of sacred in its character. It exhibits Athens, in which he exhibited a some excellent first principles of grandeur of composition, a grace in art. The proportions of the figures grouping, a softness in his flesh, are natural; but there is not much and a tlow in his draperies, until anatomical detail. The Egyptian that time unknown. The works of Sculptors were also evidently defi- Phidias were very numerous, One cient in the expression of motion ; of the most celebrated was an extra
The most extraordinary specimen of Egyptian Sculpture is the Zodiac of Dendera, of which we have given an accurate Engraving and description in the present Number : page 441. Enr. Mag. Vol. 82.
ordinary statue of Jupiter, at Elis, changed the seat of empire from of which Pausanias furnishes an Rome to Byzantium, he took from elaborate description Praxiteles, a the ancient capital of the world as successor of Phidias, excelled in re many of the finest works of art as presenting the highest graces of could possibly be removed. The youth and beauty. A Venus from Greek artists were also employed, in his chissel was so esteemed by the their own country, to assist in the citizens of Gnidos, that they refused decoration of the new capital, of to part with it to King Nicomedes, which the sacred volumes of Chriswho would have forgiven them an tianity afforded them the subjects. immense debt on that sole condition. The successors of Constantine, how. It is probable that this statue gave ever, influenced by a bigotted zeal the first idea for the Venus de Medi- , for religion, abolished the schools cis. The colossal statues now on of Athens and Alexandria, and, at the Monte Cavallo in Rome, one of various periods, issued orders for which (as we noticed in a late num the removal and destruction of paber of the European Magazine) was gan idols. It is believed that, in the the model for the magnificent bronze
fourth and fifth centuries the Olymcast recently erected in Hyde Park, pian Jupiter at Elis, by Phidias, and are ascribed to Phidias and Praxite- the Venus at Gnidos, by Praxiteles, les. The Apollo Belvidere, that with others of the most distinguishsingularly sublime and beautiful sta ed productions of Sculpture were tue, is believed to have been the destroyed, either by the imperial work of a sculptor called Calamis. mandate, or by the ravages of bar. The Farnese Hercules is attributed barians. Subsequently, the irrupto Glycon. Three sculptors of tions of the followers of Mahomet Rhodes (an island which was one of nearly annihilated the remains of the greatest schools of Sculpture) the finest Grecian Sculpture, in the Apollodorus, Athenodorus, and Age- East as well as in western Europe. sander, are said to have produced From this brief review of ancient, the Laocoon. But it would be a de we proceed to one, equally rapid, of parture from the slight character of modern Sculpture. In the fourth this sketch, and indeed would be and fifth centuries the art of Sculpincompatible with our limits, if we ture was in the lowest possible state were to attempt to enumerate the of degradation throughout Europe. various splendid works which ema Nor indeed was it until about the nated from Grecian genius during eleventh century that the arts in gethe era of the perfection of Sculp- neral began to revive. In the com ture. The art did not appear seri mencement of that revival the Pisans ously to decline in Greece until the led the way; Taking the remains of reign of the Antonines; and, al- the ancient bas reliefs as their guides, though great compositions of Sculp- Nicolo Pisano and his scholars proture were no longer required, the duced at Sienna, at Pisa, at Lucca, Greeks, down to the fifteenth cen at Orvietto, and in other parts of tury, continued to execute small Italy, a number of works evincing works with the utmost elegance. great simplicity, and in some in.
It is evident that the early Sculp- stances much expression. John Piture of Italy, from the period at sano, the son of Nicolo, deviating which it at all deserved to be noticed, from his father's rigid imitation of was the produce either of Greek emi- antiquity, imparted a more waving grants, or of their immediate scho- line to his figures, and broader folds lars. After the ravages of the Ro to his drapery; and in the general mans at Corinth and at Athens, they character of his productions there is filled their palaces, villas, theatres, much grace and delicacy. The esand other public places, with the tablishment of the Florentine Acaspoils of Grecian art. All the nobler demy, in 1350, which was subseworks of Sculpture executed at quently encouraged and patronized Rome were also the productions of by the princes of the House of MeGreek artists. Among them, the dicis, soon brought the various busts of the twelve Cæsars, from branches of the Fine Arts to perferJulius to Domitian, inclusive, are tion. Of the Scnlptors of ability the finest specimens existing of por- who speedily appeared in Florence, trait-sculpture. When Constantine Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Bru
peleschi, Andrea Verrochio, and Do- rival the antique. But, with the minic Ghirlandaio, were the most most unfeigned admiration of Cacelebrated. The advance of modern nova's genius, it may, perhaps, be art was also greatly accelerated by permitted us to say, that there is, the progressive discovery of those occasionally, in his compositions miraculous productions of ancient we will not use so coarse a word as Greek art, which had been buried for affectation, but-an absence of that many ages, and which were by de- perfect simplicity and purity which grees restored from the bowels of constitute the highest charm of the earth. At length, in the year sculpture. 1474, was born at Florence, Michael France derived the greatest part Angelo Buonarotti. He was warm of her knowledge of the Fine Arts ly patronized by Lorenzo de Medicis, from Italy. In the reign of Francis who made him his companion, gave the First, Leonardo da Vinci, Benhim an apartment in his palace, and venuto Cellini, and Primaticcio, esallowed him a pension. "In
return, tablished in that country a School Michael Angelo adorned Florence of Painting, Sculpture, and Archiwith many works of inimitable tecture. Soon after that period, the beauty, energy, and grandeur. Sub- French sculptors Pilon, Cousin, and sequently, Julius II. sent for him to John Goujon, distinguished themRome, where he was liberally em selves very much, especially by their ployed both by that Pope and by his bas reliefs ; and from their time a illustrious successor, Leo X. Among respectable School of Sculpture has the Sculptors of merit who succeed been maintained in France. ed Michael Angelo, John of Bologna To Italy Spain also owes whatwas one of the most eminent. His ever has been atchieved in that groups are remarkable for their good country, in Sculpture as well as in composition, and the fine undulation Painting. of their lines. Benvenuto Cellini In Germany, Sculpture has not also distinguished himself very much been wholly neglected. One of the at Florence. But soon after his most extraordinary and magnificent time, the Florentine school sunk into specimens of sepulchral sculpture, insipidity.
in the world, is the monument of During the papacy of Urban the the Emperor Maximilian, father of VIIIth. Bernini, who was origi. Charles the Vth. in the Church of nally a painter and educated in the St. Anthony, at Inspruck, by AlexLombard school, executed a number ander Collins, of Mechlin. of figures and groups in sculpture. England originally drew from Sometimes manifesting considerable her Roman conquerors her scanty powers of invention, his style, ne- knowledge of the arts, which she vertheless, was very depraved and subsequently improved by her comflimsy, in consequence of his de- munication with Italy. Down to parture from the severe simplicity the period of the Reformation, the which is the true character of sculp- English sculptors equalled, in point ture, and of his endeavouring to in- of talent and acquirement, their controduce those minor graces, which tinental contemporaries, of which a painting alone can attempt with ad- number of proofs still exist, and no vantage. The disciples of Bernini where more unequivocally than in pushed his defects to excess; and the remarkably fine sculpture which sculpture was at a very low ebb in decorates Henry the Seventh's chaItaly, until about the middle of the pel in Westminster Abbey. Unlast century, when the Italian sculp- happily, the Reformation, however tors again applied themselves to the conducive to the interests of true study of nature, and of the princi- religion, was most destructive of ples of ancient art. Canova, who the Fine Arts. The slenderness of was born in 1757, was chiefly in the encouragement given to sculpstrumental in this second revival. ture having damped the exertions He was, beyond all comparison, the of native artists, their place was greatest sculptor that lialy had for supplied by foreigners. Of those, many years produced, and has left the most celebrated were Cibber, a number of works, which, on the Roubilliac, and Scheemacher: none Continent, are considered even to of whom produced any works of
extraordinary excellence. The est try; and well it deserves it. The tablishment of the Royal Academy,' same motive of delicacy which for: however, and the impulse thereby bade us in our last Number to advert given to the public feeling, in fa- to our distinguished living painters, vour of the Fine Arts, bad the effect in any manner which might wear of stimulating our native artists to the appearance of an invidious comfresh exertions. Of the English parison of individuals, of course, sculptors, who flourished during the operates as forcibly, with respect to last thirty or forty years, Bacon our distinguished living sculptors; and Bankes were among the most otherwise it would be easy for us distinguished. ---The latter, especi- to mention, not a few, some of longcially, has left many works of very established, others, of rising reputasuperior character. At the present tion, whose productions are calcumoment, sculpture is experiencing lated to reflect lasting honour on great encouragement in this coun their country.
On the last two days of October, with producing something approach the Students of the British Institu, ing to the general effect of those tion having completed their labours works; and that they do not look for the present season, the public, with sufficiently inquisitive eyes into or at least those who were favoured the means by which that effect has with tickets, were admitted to see been produced. the various studies that had been To us, it seems, that when a young made from the different works of student plants his easil by the side the old masters, left in the gallery of a fine Titian or Vandyke, he ought for that purpose. They are very to suspend the recollection of every numerous, and, upon the whole, do thing, that he conceives he has higreat credit to the talents and in therto learnt. By whatever modern dustry of the students, several of master of ability he may have been whom, (as we observed on a former instructed, whatever may be the way occasion), are ladies.
in which he has been hitherto taught Without, however, entering upon to set his palette, on whatever the ungracious task of individual ground he may have bitherto comcriticism, which, indeed, under the menced his pictures, whatever may circumstances of the case, would be the process which he has hitherto scarcely be fair, we may, perhaps, pursued, whatever may be the vehibe allowed to make a few obserya- cle which he has hitherto used, howtions, which are prompted solely by ever much he may have hitherto anxiety, that the evidently good been accustomed to paint solidly, tendency of this part of the plan of however much to glaze, however the Governors of the British Institu« much to scumble, of all this knor. tion may be rendered as productive ledge, and of all these babits, he of benefit to the young artists as should, for the time, as much as possible.
possible, divest his mind, and en It does appear to us, then, that deavour to resolve the plain and ex. many of the students--there are se clusive question—"How did Titian veral admirable exceptions, but that or Vandyke do this?". There are many of the students-do not exactly only two, and those conjoint modes aim at that which ought to be one of ascertaining :-close inspection, of their principal objects, namely, and multiplied experiment. Instead the acquisition of the mechanical of attempting to copy the wbole pieşkill exhibited in the works of the ture in his own established method, great masters placed before them. which is too often what SirJoshna has It does appear to us, that they are happily termed “laborious idleness," too frequently (we again beg leave let him fix npor some small part of to guard ourselves from being sup: it, which comprehends all the de. posed to say universally), satisfied sirable folicities of tone and execil
tion. Let him make twenty little and Chiaro-scuro from prints. It is studies from that part ; all with colouring, and above all it is exesome definite intention; all upon cution, that he should try to obtain. some principle that he may believe We by no means object to slight he has detected in the original. By sketches, serving as memoranda of degrees, and especially if he care the general disposition and harmonifully notes down as he proceeds ous arrangement of colours in a fine the changes that he introduces in old picture ; but we contend, that his process, he will approach more the best way to make a young artist and more nearly to his object. His colour and execute well, when he mind will not be fatigued by a great comes to paint from nature, is the deal of useless exertion, (for of the mode of study which we have taken best picture a large portion is utterly the liberty to recommend. Nor, we useless in the way of instruction) trust, shall we be answered by any and, by comparing the result of his affeeted depreciation of “ mechavarious essays, he will gradually nical skill." The acquisition of meacquire a knowledge of that, which chanical skill in the art of Painting he goes to the British Gallery to requires great mental power; and acquire, much more profound and we are persuaded, that no artist can extensive than by any means more ever devote himself advantageously imposing in their appearance. to what we most readily admit are
For what is it that a student does higher purposes, until he has obgo to the British Gallery to acquire ? - tained this technical, but valuable Drawing he learns from the antique, facility, and from the life : - Composition,
INTELLIGENCE RELATIVE TO THE FINE ARTS. We understand that the Right The celebrated Brentford Election Hon..Sir Charles Long has, by the Pictures, painted by Hogarth, and command of the King, intimated to the theatrical portraits and dramatic F. L. Chantrey, Esq., R.A. his Ma. scenes from the correct pencil of jesty's desire that lie should under Zoffany, by the death of Mrs. Gartake the execution of the equestrian rick, are to be sold. statue to be erected in commemora Mr. Landseer's two animal pic tion of the Royal Visit to Scotland. tures, The Alpire Mastiffs, and Rat
The equestrian statue of his late catchers, the one exhibited in the Majesty, executed by R.Westmacott, British Gallery in 1821, the other Esq., R.A., is elevated on its pedes at Somerset - Hlouse last May, are tal, in London-road, near Liverpool. now engraving, and will shortly be It is of fine bronze, but of a tint less ready for publication. dark than Nelson's monument • is Mr. Lane Fox, who lately purof the size of life, and an excellent chased a full-length Portrait of the likeness of the late King.
Duke of Wellington, painted by Mr. On the 4th instant, a General Douglass Guest, whilst his Grace reAssembly of the Academicians was sided in Paris, has presented it to held at their apartments in Somer. his Constituents, the Corporation of set-House, when Mr. Jeffrey Wyatt, Beverly. Architect, and Mr. George Jones David's celebrated Picture of the and Mr. H. W. Pickersgill, Painters, Coronation of the Emperor Bona. were elected Associates of the Royal parte is now in this country, and Academy of Arts.
will be exhibited to the public in The new monument to the memory a short time ; we believe in the of the late Mr. Fox, executed by Mr. course of the present month. Westmacott, on the north side of An extraordinary Picture, painted Westminster Abbey, has been within by Rembrandt, has been recently these few days opened to the public discovered, and the progress of the view, as have the old monuments of discovery is cuvious. The PresiQueen Elizabeth, and Mary Queendent of the Royal Academy saw this of Scots, which have lately under- picture by chance, with a great mass gone a thorough repair, and been of other rubbish and inferior probeautified.
ductions, which were preparing for