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purity, innocence, and grace! With still exercises over the public taste. visions like the patriarch's dream, It is an idle thing to argue with his where angel's foot just touched and worshippers. They take high ground, blessed the earth, from that ladder and tell you, you have not yet arwhose highest step was in the glory rived at sufficient knowledge of art to of heaven! Thinking thus highly of admire Turner-inferring, of course, the present Exhibition in comparison that they have. We can understand with any
former, we shall not be the what the education of the eye means, less critical where we think there are but that is subservient to the educa. great aberrations from the sound prin- tion of the mind. The great rules ciples of taste; nor the less lament the of poetry, are rules of all art, of every almost entire deficiency in Landscape. branch. Where these are defied, we There is not, properly speaking, a ought not to be pleased ; or we are single landscape in this Exhibition. children delighted with gewgaw, the Views, indeed, there are, and river tinsel and beads in a glass, that look scenes, but not many; and some very very pretty, and mean nothing. We clever garden-scenes, somewhat in the suspect, however, that there must be style of Watteau, though in many re- some defect, some disease in Mr Turspects better-but Landscape, for its ner's eyes, or it would be next to imown sake, for the poetry it contains possible that he should commit to canand imparts, there is none. There is vass such infant efforts of colour and no view of this earth, but such as the execution, such a sick man's dream uncultivated clown sees it.
It is unvisited by genius, and its old divinity Fingentur species; ut nec pes nec caput uni
“Cujus velut ægri somnia, vanæ hath left it. And why is this? We
Reddatur formæ.” will venture to give one reason. There is a modesty in nature that is averse
Yet these have their
substantial to rivalry and glare. Even the admirers, while we cannot but think
superhuman power of nature is something the powerful mind of Turner must subdued-a mystery partly veiled;
condemn his own works. but the taste of the day is to attract,
" At mihi plaudo and be conspicuous. The landscape Ipse domi simul ac nummos contemplor painter is not the idler who may say,
in arcâ.” “ Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius. If we really have not reached the proHe may indulge his passion for woods per point of taste to discern beauties and rivers; and, inspiring others with in Turner's pictures, we ought to be the same love, acquire a fame wor- ashamed to tell so plain a truth, as thy his ardent ambition. We could that for any pleasure we can extract wish that greater temptation were held from them, we would not purchase out to this deserted walk of art, by them at twopence the dozen. What devoting one room solely to it-nor the illegitimate sons of taste see, we would it be a bad practice, as much cannot tell ; but there are so many on as may be, to concentrate the por. our side who have spent not very traits, that, by their largeness, they short lives in the legitimate studies may not overpower, as they do ge- that have led them up to the admiranerally, all that is beneath and about tion of the great masters, of Raphael, them. We might partly have attri. of Titian, of Coreggio, and in landbuted this laek of landscape to the scape to the admiration of Claude, eccentricities of so great a name as and Poussin, and Berghem, and others, Turner's; but we do not see that he whose works the world still earnestly has many precise imitators now. Yet seek for, and purchase at large sums, he has too many admirers, blind in and yet have not come up to Turtheir admiration, who strangely re- ner—that we feel ourselves sufficiently concile themselves to his entire aban
numerous to set up for ourselves, and donment of all the known principles to protest against the inference. We of art. We should have passed him have stood before Turner's pictures at by, in our remarks, with sorrow, were this Exhibition with one of his worshipit not that the conspicuous places he pers, one of the initiated, and were holds upon the walls too strongly de. quite astonished at all he saw, not an mand the public attention, and show iota of which crossed our vision. that the able professors yet bow to Fancy goes a great way—but all that! a name, where little else is left, and it is truly wonderful l-are we legithat we know the evil influence he timate in taste ? Let us speculate by
Oelen Spiegel, in one of his mired all that he said, privately conadventures, came to a prince who was vinced that there were some flaws in very ostentatious, and was then em. their birth; and so away they went, ployed in building a palace to increase and expressed to the Prince their the splendour of his court. He credu- astonishment at the wonderful work lously received all who flattered him and and genius of the painter, reckoning complimented him on his magnificence. up, without the omission of an item, Being ambitious to engage celebrated all the beautiful things Oelen Spiegel artists, Oelen Spiegel made up to the had enumerated to them. After this, court, and introduced himself to the others were admitted, who acted in the Prince as a distinguished painter. same manner; and last of all the He offered him the painting of a grand Prince came. At first he doubted hall, which the pretended artist readily how he should act, but determined undertook, and proposed to the Prince very wisely – declared that Oelen a design of many wonderful things, Spiegel was the greatest of painters, triumphal processions, palaces, gar and rewarded him most amply; and dens, rivers, fountains, cascades, all the courtiers vied to confer honour mountains, valleys, suns, moons, and upon him, and concluded that their stars, in wondrous variety of effects, Prince was the most, if not the only, yet all in the best order of arrange- legitimate prince in the world. ment. But he made it a condition What, then, must be said of No. that no one should be admitted till the 43. Here is a Turner; “ The Fighting painting was finished, and the Prince • Temeraire,' tugged to her last berth himself had inspected the performance, to be broken up. 1838.”
"The excepting, as it might be, some few of flag which braved the battle and the his nobles, who might be qualified to breeze, no longer owns her.” Is this, give him some advice. Oelen Spiegel then, one of the dozen held so cheap ? locked himself into the hall, where No; we retract. It is very
beautiful none should see him work, and where -a very poetical conception; here is the best fare, the richest viands, were genius. But we think it would have taken to him, and there he occasionally lost none of its beauty, had it been splashed and daubed a few splatches more true. The unsubstantial and
colour that happened to be near wbite look of the vessel adds nothing him, on the walls. After some time, to the feeling-rather removes it; and great impatience was expressed to see the sky, glorious as it is, would not be this work of art, which the long shut- less so, if the solemnity were kept up on ting himself up, and secret working, both sides. It is, however, a work of had led the imagination to conjecture great effect and feeling, and worthy of to be far above all that had ever been Turner when he was Turner. How done before. Oelen Spiegel then se- painful is it to turn from such a picture lected the most foolish and vain of the as this, and look at 360,“ Pluto carrying courtiers, and informed them that off Proserpine?" Here we have a redthose who were base-born would not be hot Pluto frying the frigid Prosergifted with the power of seeing the pine. Fire hissing in contact with ice. picture-his art having been acquired Why is all the ground (how unlike the from an alchymist whose colours were plains of Enna) an iceberg ? but that peculiarly compounded, and possessed fire may blaze to represent the passion properties different from all others, so of the god, and that heaven and earth that the work could only be visible to should personify the unmelting heart those who were not base-born. Oelen of the cold goddess. But here is Spiegel then took them into the hall, something very miraculous. Here are and, pointing to the daubed and dis- red-hot stones, and clothes upon them figured walls, desired them to observe, unburnt. Turner's draperies are all here the Prince on his throne—there asbestos: and here are figures that warriors- there philosophers--there look like sulphureous tadpoles. It is groups of ladies--there palaces, ter really detestable and childish in colour, races, gardens, fountains, rivers, composition, and in every thing bemountains, valleys, sun, moon, and longing to it. And here, 463, “Cicero stars; and all in the best order of ar- at his Villa"-of the same character. rangement. After some time lost in this Poor Cicero !-leaving the complication of bewilderment, they acknowledged that they saw, and ad- “Fumum, et opes, strepitumque Romæ,"
to find his Villa and all his neighbours' with his wet, his dripping textures, domains reduced to powder, alterna- and drab colours ; but he can and ting from red to white heat; the ought to attend to expression. He is slightest shake, and all will sink like very kind in the catalogue to tell us ashes into a shapeless nothing, and is what Sir David Baird is doing in his very near it already. Poor Ci. great picture, for we should not have cero! whose Villa, he fondly thought, found it out ; never was there a figure would have yielded him a green and less like a hero, insignificant, in the shady repose: and there he stands, middle of the picture. Yet in this having dipped his head and arms into picture, so deficient as a whole, are à vermilion pot, as red-hot as a sala- beautiful parts, especially in groupmander, with his slave behind him, ing, though, we think, colour is wantthat cannot help him to a drop of wa- ing. But, is it possible that 503, ter to plunge them in! How lucky it Portrait of “ Master Robert James is their garments are asbestos; but Donne," can be by Sir David Wilkie ? he must lose his head and arms, they It is most childish and weak-hard are turning to red cinders : and, looking dots for eyes, and scratches for nose, closer, we see down below that such and mouth, and hair! Straw dipped must have been the fate of his domes in mud !! Wondrously bad. He must tics, for they seem to have leaped have scratched it in joke, and exhibits upon the inverted flower pots from the it to win a wager. We can easily earth in its conflagration, and there imagine that a painter from working they stand-vitrified tadpoles. Are too much upon one picture, may not they meant for statues ? Poor Cicero! only lose his correct judgment with his Villa vanishing before him, and he regard to that picture, but temporarily crying out, uncertain which will vanish in art generally. The eye, by intenfirst, he or his Villa, “ Fumus et sity of observation, loses its nice perno, not " Umbra sumus," for there is ception of colour. This may partly no shadow_crying out, his red-hot account for the eccentricities of great poker arms uplifted in his agony to men in art. heaven and earth—no, not that; it There is a sad story in one of Balwould puzzle geologist, architect, and zac's Tales (le chef d'æuvre) of an old horticulturist to say what is there- painter, who had devoted years of his neither heaven, earth, nor any known life to one picture, meant to represent element. And this is Cicero's Villa! perfect female beauty. The old man's If it is come to this, let not man here- fame, and the real learning and knowafter take pride in any thing. Now, ledge of art shown in his conversation, is this either nature or art ? and such led to the most extravagant expectaconfusion_such fuzzy unmeaning exe. tions of the perfection of the picture, cution! it looks scratched in with old which he had never shown to any eye, broken combs, not with painters' and which he always declared to be brushes. And this is that height of yet unfinished. Daily did he shut taste which we have not yet attained. himself up with his wonderful work, We sincerely hope we never may! adoring his own creation. At that But that is an argument that sets aside time, Nicholas Poussin, being in Paris, all reasoning, and under which any a young man, with his newly married thing may stand for any thing. And beautiful wife, is induced, after being here we have Ancient and Modern delighted with the scientific conversa. Rome, both alike in the same washy- tion of the old painter, to suffer his flashy splashes of reds, blues, and wife to sit to enable the old man to whites, that, in their distraction and complete his work. The inducement confusion, represent nothing in heaven to Poussin is, the permission afterwards or earth, and least of all that which to see the picture, now, as the painter they profess to represent, the co-exist said, complete, all but one foot. Pousent influence of sun and moon. It sin is admitted. He sees a canvass is too painful ; and we stay our hand daubed over and splashed with colours, in disgust and in sorrow.
without form ; at the bottom of the Nor is Turner the only one that canvass there is to be seen one beautiplays strânge vagaries. Why will not ful foot—this was the part the enthuSir David Wilkie let his genius shake siast had not completed. Doubtless, hands with better judgment ? We all the rest had been equally well have before had occasion to find fault painted, the impression of the figure
permanently fixed in the mind of the his pictures. This, of the Bay of Na. artist, not thence to be obliterated ples, and Peasants, is of that characwhen he had destroyed it on the can- ter. Mr Uwins is, with some others, of
He saw and pointed out elo- the school of one Peter Schlemel, who quently beauties which only existed in sold his shadow. We see pictures his own imagination.
now-a-days, which, in that respect at We knew an artist of great talent least, have been sold, and sold again. who had thus overworked himself, 221, “ Calvin on his Death-bed,” T. and, from being the most modest of Hornung ; admirably painted, has men, became impatient of every re- some very fine heads, perhaps Calmark in which praise was not the vin's the least good. 241, principal ingredient. On looking at carrying off Proserpine,” W. Etty. a picture he had painted a few years There is very striking beauty here. before, he told the possessor he could The car and horses are worthy of the greatly improve it; permission was management of Dis; but has not Mr given, and he brought his palette- Etty made a mistake in Pluto? We with his palette knife he plastered little do not remember ever to have heard white clouds all over the sky, and that he was a native of the coast of called in the possessor with pride, to Guinea. Who can wonder at Prosershow how he had improved his picture pine's objections to a subterranean by “ peopling the sky with angels!” Nigger? Is not one of the attendant
Maclise has great power of drawing, nymphs, with an extraordinary bosom, and is master of character; and very out of drawing ? His models were original. He should pay more atten- probably nipped in the waist by tight tion to his colour and chiaro scuro. stays. The picture is well coloured, His scene from “ Midas," his “ Robin and of poetical conception altogether. Hood,” and his “ Gil Blas,” are de- 264, “ Rhyme of Ancient Mariner,” serving of great praise, and are full J. Severn. This is admirably imaof the best characteristics of his style. gined, and the colour keeps up the 103,“ Christ blessing little children.” awful mystery perfectly. 351, " Van There is a female and child in the Amburg and his Animals," Landseer. corner very lovely, and worth all the Landseer is here quite himself, and rest of the picture; we will venture to fully keeps up his reputation in all suggest to Mr Eastlake, that a little his pictures this year. This picture more vigour in the handling would has been animadverted upon, as a not hurt the subject. It is, however, tasteless order. We are quite of ana very sweet picture ; we should have other opinion. The subject is surely preferred the children if more varied in itself good. This extraordinary in size. 129, “ The Sonnet and its and true friendship between man and Companion” are very beautiful, by the most savage beasts. The velvet Mulready ; somewhat too hot, but texture of the creatures is admirably they are gems... 138, “ The Rising preserved ; to speak of their character of the Pleiades.” This is the oddest would be superfluous. He is the poetfancy of Mr Howard, of being for painter of animals. His human figures ever among the stars. We cannot in comparison with them, are failures. imagine the Pleiades, who have their We wish we could prevail upon this heavenly duties to fulfil, to be in the great painter to discard or moderate least like these women in the clouds, his drab colour, of which he seems so with their lower extremities so bun- fond. It makes all his ground, which dled up in bags. This is their rising— should be substantial, a disagreeable would they would set, and for ever! surface, and frequently very washy. Leslie's • Dulcinea del Toboso” is 377, “Quentin Matsys, the blacksmith capital; but isit the character? Perhaps of Antwerp,” R. Redgrove. Well Mr Leslie's conception of it is right. done, Mr Redgrove! The story is 204, “ A Protestant Preacher," H. told excellently well. The admiration Scheffer. This picture has some ca- of the old man, the suspense and . pital heads—the black back of the anxiety, yet not without hope, of the principal figure is rather unfortunate. maiden, and the manly expression of 210, Much as we admire the grouping the patient lover, confident that he and drawing of Mr Uwins, we cannot had performed his task, are proofs of reconcile our eyes to the hot colour, very high talent. 389, “ Lady Jane which so preposterously abounds in Grey at the place of Execution,” S,
A. Hart. This is surely a very fine pic. that loves to look into nature's mirror. ture ; the figure and expression of We doubt if the cottage is not an inLady Jane Grey perfect. It is near trusion, and, besides, dislike its colour. being well coloured; a very little more This style of subject wants more subwould make it so. This picture stance, and rich substance of paint; it raises English art in the line of his is too flimsy and conventional. Are tory. We are scarcely less pleased we hypercritical? What will Mr Lee with his “ Edward and Eleanor," 187. think? Still we want landscape. 428, These are subjects of deep pathos, the « The Bride of Lammermuir,” R. S. painter may congratulate himself upon Lauder. To this very expressive picsuch choice; may he find substantial ture, we returned again and again. reasons for pursuing them. 471,“ St It is highly pathetic—the story could Dunstan separating Edwy and Elgi. not be better told. The Master of “va," W. Dyce. This is another Ravenswood is quite a masterpiece. specimen of our advance in the histo- The character could not have been rical line; it bespeaks great promise ; more perfectly conceived ; we augur the energy of the principal figure is that Mr Lauder will do great things. admirable; if there be a failure, it is, How many must we pass over that perhaps, in a deficiency of grace and are in our note-book ; but not 394, of feeling in Elgiva. But there is no “ Othello relating his adventures," failure here in that respect in 505, D. Cowper. It is broad and simple, « Olivia's return to her Parents from and admirably painted, with good exthe Vicar of Wakefield.” How beauti- pression : if we doubt at all, it is if ful, very beautiful, are the two sisters ! Othello should express any wonder at Perhaps the Vicar and Mrs Primrose his own tales ; we think he does, more are less true, but we can only think of particularly in the hand. the two loveliest of sisters, and congra- haps, out of our province to say much tulate Mr Redgrove, and hope it is no of portraits. There are so many, and great sin to say, we covet his picture. some of them so hideous; sometimes The story of“ Columbus asking Bread the fault of sitters, and sometimes of for his Child," William Simson, 519, painters, that, after seeing a few, we is another proof of our advancement generally pass over the rest. There of improvement in painting, as well as are two that struck us as the best. subjects. We like 524, “ Invocation 301, Portrait of " Author of the City to Sabrina,” J. Wood; not that we of the Sultan," H. W. Pickersgill ; think it quite successful; the attempt and 498, Portrait of “ Robert Peel, is one of difficulty ; it has the merit of Esq.," J. Linnell. We take our poetical thought. We said there were leave of the Exhibition with the greatno landscapes, what shall we say then est hopes of the English schools; and of Lee ? What is his river scene, repeat that, however severe we may Devonshire, 13? It is good, at first appear to have been upon some works sight very pleasing ; but we look for -and, we believe, we have been only what it does not but should give, just—there is so much excellence per. more of the brilliancy of such a scene; vading the Exhibition generally, that in lieu of which we have conventional, the country may be proud of British loose execution, to represent, not to be, Artists, the sweet, green, and jewelled leafage
It is, per