Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

years ago, at Paris; and another of are powerful, free, and distinguished Mr. Matthews the comedian) was late by masterly handling. He has done ly exhibited in London. I have never but little in history. seen it, but am told that it was a mas SULLY-PORTRAIT AND HISTORY.* terly thing. His portraits are beauti- Mr. Sully, who is the “ Sir Thomas fully painted, but rather cold, formal, Lawrence" of America, is an Englishand, until very lately, wanting in flesh- man, born, I believe, in London. His iness. He has changed his manner, father, when Master Sully was about however, of late, and is now a very five, went over to America with his fine portrait painter.

whole family. Many years after, the His essays in historical painting are son returned, and continued in Lonnumerous, and quite wonderful, when don for a considerable time, pursuing we consider the disadvantages under the study of his art, and copying some which he must have laboured in Ame- fine old pictures for his friends in rica; with no models, no academy fig- America. That over, he returned, and, ures, no fellow-labourers, to consult; after years of great assiduity, has benobody even to mould a hand for him come, without question,one of the most in plaster, and few to hold one, long beautiful portrait painters in the world. enough for him to copy it, of flesh and His general style is like that of Sir blood. His “ Court of DEATH,” it Thomas Lawrence, by whom he has is probable, will pay a visit here. It profited greatly; in fact, his composiis a very large picture, and has parts tion, sentiment, and manner, are so of extraordinary power.

much of the same character, now and ALSTON HISTORICAL PAINTER. then, that were it not for the touch, Mr. Alston is an American ; studied some of his portraits could not be disin London--at Rome; and is undoubt- tinguished from those of Sir Thomas. edly at the head of the historical de- He is remarkably happy in his women. partment in America. He is well un- They have not so much of that elederstood, and very highly appreciated, gant foppery which characterizes most in this country, and should lose nó of Sir Thomas Lawrence's females, time in returning to it. His “ JACOB's but, then, they are not heroic, and, VISION" has established his reputa- perhaps, not quite so 'attractive, or, if tion ; but he owes to this country a

as attractive, for that were a hard debt which he will never pay if he question to settle, there is not that remain at home. We have claims exquisite flattery in his pencil that we upon him here, for

see in the pencil of Sir Thomas Law"He is, as it were, a child of us ;"

rence, which, while it preserves the and his countrymen will never give

likeness, will make a heroine, or an him that opportunity which we would,

intellectual woman, of anything; and if he were here.

yet there is flattery enough in the penMr. Alston's faculties are a very un

cil of Mr. Sully to satisfy any reason

able creature. Nobody can feel more common union of the bold and beautiful; and yet, there is a sort of arti- astonishment or pleasure than I do at ficial heat in some of his doings, much

the address and power of Sir Thomas as if it were latent, elaborated with Lawrence, in transforming the most great care, and much difficulty ; not absolute, and, I should think, somethat sort of inward fervour which times the most unmanageable corpoflashes into spontaneous combustion, real beings, into spiritualities; but, I whenever it is excited or exasperated.

confess, at the same time, that I can

not bear to meet any of his originals, Morse--HistoRICAL AND Por- after I have been looking at their picTRAIT PAINTER. Mr. Morse is an

tures by him. My emotion, whenever American ; studied in the Academy, I do, is unqualified astonishment, in some degree, under Mr. West. His model of the dying Hercules ob

* The “ Passage of the Delaware," a copy of

which is now in Scotland, (on a smaller scale,) is tained the medal here. His portraits by Mr. Sully. It is a remarkably spirited picture.

19 ATAENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series.

astonishment, first, at the likeness ; ture. It must be for the world, then, and astonishment, secondly, that there that a man has painted, if his pictures should be a likeness between things are such startling resemblances, that that are so unlike when compared. while we are ready to cry out with How he contrives it I cannot imagine. pleasure at the likeness, we are ready I have seen a picture of his, indicating to cry out yet louder with astonisha fine, bold, poetical temperament; a ment, if we see the originals, that handsome and expressive countenance, there should be any likeness. a frame above the middle size, and, STEWART-PORTRAIT PAINTER. altogether, a princely fellow. I have Mr. Stewart is an American. He was met the original, whom I had never a long time in this country, many seen before ; been struck instantane- years ago,-painted the principal noously by the resemblance, and yet bility, and ranked, even then, among the original was a paltry, diminutive, the first masters. He is old now, but sordid-looking chap, with no more unquestionably at the head of Amesoul in his face than

-, nay, nor rican painters. In fact they all bow half so much as I have seen in a fine to his opinion as authority. Some noIrish potato.

tion of his prodigious power may be By the way-a remark occurs to gained from this fact. The best porme here, which may explain this trait in the Somerset Exhibition, this phenomenon. A stranger will see a year, that of Sir William Curtis by resemblance where a friend would not. Sir T. Lawrence, and that which is The more intimate one is with any least after his own style, is exceedobject, the less easily satisfied will he ingly like the pictures of Stewart, so be with a drawing of it. Anybody much so, indeed, that I should have may see a resemblance in a carica- thought it a Stewart, but for two or ture, an outline, or a profile, while he three passages, and the peculiar touch who is familiar with the original, will of the artist. There is, however, see nothing in the same caricature, more breadth in Mr. Stewart's picprofile, or outline, but a want of re- tures than in those of Sir T. Lawsemblance. This would seem to ex- rence, but much less brilliancy and plain a common occurrence in por- gracefulness. Mr. Stewart hardly ever trait painting. Strangers know the painted a tolerable woman. His wopicture immediately, perhaps, or the men are as much inferior to those of original, (having seen the picture,) Sir T. Lawrence, as his men are suwherever they may happen to en- perior to the men of almost any other counter it ; mere acquaintances burst painter. His manner is dignified, siminto continual exclamation at the sight ple, thoughtful, and calm. There is of it, while the intimate friends of the no splendour, nothing flashy or rich original are dissatisfied, exactly in in the painting of Stewart, but whatproportion to that intimacy. Painters ever he puts down upon canvass is attribute this to the foolish partiality like a record upon oath, plain, uneof affection or friendship; the multi- quivocal, and solid. tude, perhaps, to affectation, blind Leslie--HISTORICAL AND PORness, or want of judgment. “What !” TRAIT PAINTER. Mr. Leslie was born they say, “when we, who are stran- in this country, (a circumstance not gers, know the portrait at a glance, generally known ;) went to America how is it possible that it cannot be à in his childhood, attracted some atlikeness !” They do not know that, tention there, while he was a clerk in because they are strangers, they can- in a book-store, by a few spirited not perceive the ten thousand defi- sketches of George Frederick Cooke, ciencies, or the innumerable delica- and some other actors ; was persuaded cies of hue and expression, which go to return to this country and study to make up a likeness to the eyes of the art of painting as a profession. love or veneration. The world see He has been here twice, in the only the whole ; the intimate friends whole, from ten to a dozen years,) and love to look at the parts, at the minia- has now a reputation of which we, his

countrymen, as well as the Americans, every great artist will be found rohave reason to be proud. His por- markable for their accurate resemtraits are beautiful, rich, and pecu- blance, and the later ones remarkable liar ; his compositions in history, for everything else rather than for graceful, chaste, and full of subdued that quality. Their likenesses fall off pleasantry. There is nothing over as their painting improves. charged in the work of Mr. Leslie. Still, however, (the last remarks If anything, there is too strict an ad- have no especial application to Mr. herence to propriety. His last pic. Newton,) some of this gentleman's ture SANCHO BEFORE THE Duchess, portraits are not only good pictures, though very beautiful, is, nevertheless, but striking likenesses. rather tame as a whole. This, of In history, it is hardly fair to judge course, proceeds from his constitu- of him ; for what he has done, though tional fear of extravagance and cari- admirable on many accounts, are racature, which is evident in almost ther indications of a temper and feeleverything that he has done, or, per- ing which are not yet fully disclosed, haps it would be better to say, from than fair specimens of what he could his exceedingly delicate sense of what produce, were he warmly encouraged. is classical. But that must be got His “ author and auditor” is the best over. A classical taste is a bad one, that I know of his productions; and where men are much in earnest, or a capital thing it is. The last, which disposed to humour, Whatever is was lately exhibited at Somerset classical is artificial, and, of course, House, is rather a fine sketch, than a opposed to what is natural. One is finished picture. It is loose, rich, and marble, the other, flesh; one, statu- showy; wanting in firmness and sig. ary, the other, painting. No great nificance; and verging a little on the man was ever satisfied with what is caricature of broad farce ;-broad, classical.

pencil farce, I mean. For this, of NEWTON-PortraiT AND HISTOR- course, he is excusable, with Moliere ICAL PAINTER.-Mr. Newton is an for his authority. It is a very good American, but born within our Cana- picture, to be sure, but not such a das; a nephew of Mr. Stewart, (al- picture as he should have produced ready mentioned,) and a man of sin. for the annual exhibition. He did gular and showy talent. He has been himself injustice by it. pursuing his professional studies in C. BIARDING-PORTRAIT PAINTLondon for several years, and begins Ing. This extraordinary man is a fair to be regarded as he deserves. His specimen of the American character. portraits are bold and well coloured, About six years ago, he was living in but not remarkable for strength of the wilds of Kentucky, had never resemblance, or individuality of ex seen a decent picture in his life; and pression. But, then, they are good spent most of his leisure time, such as pictures, and, of the two, it is higher could be spared from the more lapraise even for a portrait-painter, to borious occupations of life, in drumallow that he makes good pictures, ming for a Militia company, and in than that he makes good likenesses. fitting axe-helves to axes; in which It is easy (comparatively) to make a two things he soon became distinresemblance, but very difficult for any guished. By and by, some revolution man to make a picture which deserves took place in his affairs ; a new amto be called good. All portrait-paint- bition sprang up within him; and, beers begin with getting likenesses. ing in a strange place, (without friends Every touch is anxious, particular, and without money-and with a famiand painfully exact; and it is a gen- ly of his own) at a tavern, the landlord eral truth, I believe, that as they of which had been disappointed by a improve in the art, they become less sign painter, Mr. H. undertook the anxious about the likeness, and more sign, apparently out of compassion to about the composition, colouring, and the landlord; but in reality to pay his effect. Thus, the early pictures of bill, and provide bread for his chil

dren. He succeeded, had plenty of or two of H. R. H. the Duke of Susemployment in the profession” of sex, the head of which is capital : one sign-painting ; took heart, and ven- of Mr. Owen, of Lanark; a portrait tured a step higher—first, in painting of extraordinary plainness, power, and chairs; and then portraits. Laughable sobriety; and some others, shown at as this may seem, it is, nevertheless, Somerset House, and Suffolk Street. entirely and strictly true. I could Mr. H. is ignorant of drawing. It m tion several instances of a like is completely evident, that he draws nature; one of a tinman, who is now only with a full brush, correcting the a very good portrait-painter in Phila- parts by comparison with one another. delphia, U. S. A. (named EICKHALT); Hence it is, that his heads and bodies another of a silversmith, named Wood, appear to be the work of two differwhose miniatures and small portraits ent persons-a master and a bungler. are masterly ; and another of a por. His hands are very bad ; his compotrait painter named Jarvis, whose sition, generally, quite after the fashion paintings, if they were known here, of a beginner ; and his drapery very would be regarded with astonishment like block-tin; or rather, I should say, -All of whom are Americans. But, this was the case ; for there is a very as they are not known here, and have visible improvement in his late works. not been here, to my knowledge, I Thus much to shew what kind of

and return, for a men our American relations are, when minute or two, to Mr. Harding. fairly put forward. There is hardly

Mr. H. is now in London ; has one among the number of painters, painted some remarkably good por above-mentioned, whose life, if it were traits (not pictures); among others, sketched, as that of Mr.H. is, would not one of Mr. John D. Hunter, (the hero appear quite as extraordinary; and as of Hunter's Narrative,) which is de- truly American in that property which I cidedly the best of a multitude; one have chosen to call a serious versatility,

shall pass

them over;

NELL GWYNN. (Written after viewing a Portrait (supposed to be of this celebrated beauty) by Sir Peter Lely, from the collection of R. Cracroft, Esq. in the Gallery of the Northern Society at Leeds.) I.

III. BEAUTIFUL and radiant giri!

But they've wronged thee--and I swear We have heard of teeth of pearl,-

By thy brow so dazzling fair,-. Lips of coral,-cheeks of rose;

By the light subdued that flashes Necks and brows like dristed svows,

From the drooping 'lids' silk lashes,Eyes--as diamonds sparkling bright,

By the deep blue eyes beneath them,Or the stars of sunumer's night

By the clustering curls that wreath them, And expression, grace and soul.

By thy softly blushing cheek,But a form so near divine,

By those lips that more than speak,--With a face so fair as thine,

Glossy white without a speck, And so sunny-bright a brow

By thy slender fingers fair, Never met niy gaze 'till now !

Diodest mien--and graceful air, Thou wert Venus' sister twin

'Twas a burning shame, and sin, If this sbade be thine, NELL GWYX!

Sweet, to christen thee NELL GWYN!
II.

IV.
Cast that carcanet away!

Wreathe for aye thy snowy arms, 'Thou hast need of po display

Thine are, sure, no wanton's charms! Gems, however rare, to deck

Like the fawn's-as bright and shySuch an alabaster neck !

Beams thy dark, retiring eye ;Can the brilliant's lustre vie

No bold invitation's given With the glories of thine eye?

From the depths of that blue heaven; Or the ruby's red compare

Nor ope glance of lightness bid With the two lips breathing there !

'Neath its pale, declining lid ! Can they add a richer glow

No!-I'll not believe thy name To thy beauties ? No, sweet, no!

Can be aught allied to shame! Thougb thou bear'st the name of one

Then let them call thee what they will, Whom 'twas virtue once to shun,

I've sworn--and I'll maintain it still It were, sure, to Taste a sin

(Spite of tradition's idle din) Now-to pass thee by, NELL GWYN !

Thou art not--canst not be NELL GWYX!

BLAKESMOOR.

I a

fecting than to range at will over yard? Whereabout did the out-houses the deserted apartments of some fine commence ? a few bricks only lay as old family mansion. The traces of representatives of that which was so extinct grandeur admit of a better pas- stately and so spacious. sion than envy; and contemplations Death does not shrink up his huon the great and good, whom we fancy man victim at this rate. The burnt in succession to have been its inhabi- ashes of a man weigh more in their tants, weave for us illusions, incompa- proportion. tible with the bustle of modern occu Had I seen these brick-and-mortar pancy, and vanities of foolish present knaves at their process of destruction, aristocracy. The same difference of at the plucking of every pannel i feeling, I think, attends us between ene should have felt the varlets at my

heart. tering an empty and a crowded church. I should have cried out to them to In the latter it is chance but some pre- spare a plank at least out of the cheersent human frailty-an act of inatten- ful store-room, in whose hot windowtion on the part of some of the auditory, seat I used to sit, and read Cowley, or a trait of affectation, or worse, vain- with the grass-plat before, and the hum glory, on that of the preacher-puts us and flappings of that one solitary wasp by our best thoughts, disharmonizing that ever haunted it, about me-it is in the place and the occasion. But mine ears now, as oft as summer rewouldst thou know the beauty of ho- turns—or a pannel of the yellow liness ?-go alone on some week-day, room. borrowing the keys of good Master Why, every plank and pannel of Sexton, traverse the cool aisles of some that house for me had magic in it. country church-think of the piety The tapestried bed-rooms-tapestry that has kneeled there—the congrega- so much better than painting—not tions, old and young, that have found adorning merely, but peopling the consolation there—the meek pastor- wainscots-at which childhood ever the docile parishioner-with no dis- and anon would steal a look, shifting turbing emotions, no cross conflicting its coverlid (replaced as quickly) to comparisons-drink in the tranquillity exercise its tender courage in a moof the place, till thou thyself become as mentary eye-encounter with those fixed and motionless as the marble ef- stern bright visages, staring reciprofigies that kneel and weep around thee. Gally—all Ovid on the walls, in co

Journeying northward lately, I lours vivider than his descriptions. could not resist going some few miles Actæon in mid sprout, with the unout of my road, to look upon the re- appeasable prudery of Diana ; and mains of an old great housewith which the still more provoking, and almost I had been impressed in this way in culinary coolness of Dan Phæbus, infancy. I was apprized that the eel-fashion, deliberately divesting of owner of it had lately pulled it down ; Marsyas. still I had a vague notion that it could Then, that haunted room-in not all have perished, that so much so- which old Mrs. Battle died—wherea lidity with magnificence could not have into I have crept, but always in the been crushed all at once into the mere day-time, with a passion of fear; and dust and rubbish which I found it. a sneaking curiosity, terror-tainted, to

The work of ruin had proceeded hold communication with the past.with a swift hand indeed, and the de- How shall they build it up again? molition of a few weeks had reduced it It was an old deserted place, yet to—an antiquity.

not so long deserted but that traces of I was astonished at the indistinction the splendour of past inmates were of every thing. Where had stood the everywhere apparent. Its furniture

« AnteriorContinuar »