« AnteriorContinuar »
5. Inoculation is but little practiced among the Chriftians, and not at all among the Turks, who truft to their fatum. In Georgia, according to the report of a phyfician of that country, the practice is common, and had its rife from mere fuperftition.
6. There is now no printing-house in Conftantinople. One Ibrahim Effendi, an Hungarian, introduced the art of printing; but it was of no long continuance. His adoptive son, who, Mr. Porter tells us, is now fecretary under the interpreter of the Porte, has all the materials; but could never find money fufficient to carry on it: that the jealoufy and fuperftition of the people, tho' the government should permit Chriftians to raise a printing-house, would be an irrefiftible impediment; and they are too ignorant themselves to be ever capable of doing it. With regard to the maps, they did not exceed three or four, one of Perfia, one of the Bosphorus, and one of the Euxinus, or Black Sea, and thefe are only to be found in private hands.
7. The progrefs of arts and sciences, and literature,' fays Mr. Porter, feems travelling on, gradatim, to the weftward, 1 from Egypt to Greece, from Greece to Rome, thence to the weft of Europe, and I suppose at laft to America. We find few traces in the eaft: the Greeks, who fhould be the depofitaries of them, are the fame Greeks they ever were, homines contentionis cupidiores quam veritatis. They have retained all the vices, imperfections, and ill habitudes of their ancef❝tors; but have loft all their public fpirit and public virtues. There are neither grammarians, critics, hiftorians, nor philofophers, among them; nor have they preceptors, or mafters to instruct.'
With regard to the Turks, their learning confifts principally in abftruse metaphyfics; fome few touch the furface of fcience: their favourite philofophy is the Epicurean, called by them the Democratical, from Democritus. • The infti
tutes and practice of phyfic,' adds Mr. Porter, are taken from Galen. Eben Zina, or Avicena, is a principal guide. Mathiolus is known. But with all this, as the fole drift and end of their study is gain, there does not seem the least emulation towards true knowlege: fo that the state of letters may be faid to remain deplorable, without the leaft glimmering 6 or remote profpect of a recovery.'
Conclufion of Mr. Bardwell's Treatife on Painting, &c.
N our last we attempted to give our readers a general idea of Mr. Bardwell's fcheme, and the manner in which he propofed to execute it. We then particularly obferved fome of the incoherences, and blunders, which compofe his introduction to the Practice of Painting; and now, on examining the precepts themfelves, we find, that they are really, as he himfelf confeffes, the refult of a tedious courfe of mistakes: and that his Introduction, bad as it has proved, is by no means the worst part of his book.
The method by which he proposes to teach the Art of Colouring, is extremely unartificial and defective; for, were he ever fo well acquainted with the properties of those material Colours that ufually furnish the Painter's pallet; were he ever fo expert at compounding them, fo as to obtain from their mixture all the imaginable variety of beautiful tints; and did he, even with the greatest perfpicuity, convey this knowlege to his readers: yet, while he conceals from us thofe principles which ascertain the precife parts of the original object, to the exact imitation of which, these tints are particularly appropriated, he can never be faid to teach the Art of Painting. And in this refpect Mr. Bardwell is so much wanting, that he appears to us in the fame light with an author who should write a treatise shewing how to articulate a fet of founds, but without any regard to their meaning, or that arrangement neceffary to constitute language;-fuch a book would as well answer the title of a Practical Grammar, as this of Mr. Bardwell's the title he hath bestowed on it. This averfion to theory, however, appears the more excufeable in our Author, as, in all probability, he is totally unacquainted with that Branch of his Art. He feems really to have confined his genius, and directed his Rudies merely to the nature of Material Colours :-and this is the knowlege he seems peculiarly confcious of poffeffing. A flight fcrutiny will fhew how far he is mafter of the fubject. He begins thus
Of the principal Colours ufed in Flesh, from which all the • Teints are made.
. 1. Flake White, or fine White, is the very beft White
we have.-White is a friendly working colour, and comes
• forward with Yellows and Reds, but retires with Blues and < Greens.'
If this is true, how unlucky are our Landschape Painters, who, to represent the glowing colours of an evening fky, or a morning, like that in Milton,
Where the great Sun begins his ftate,
Rob'd in flames, and amber bright.
are obliged, on the fky and the horizon, (that part of the picture which retires moft from the eye) to employ White mixed with the brightest Yellows, and warmeft Reds; while, for the nearer herbage, in order to bring it forward, they avail themselves of White mixed with Green! and, in the representation of Water, frequently obtain the fame effect by a mixof Blue and White: All which, is quite the reverse of Mr. Bardwell's doctrine.
< 2. Ivory-Black is the beft Black we have-Black is a ⚫ cold retiring Colour.'
How can this be, Mr. Bardwell? Painters, you know, ufe this cold retiring Colour plentifully, in the nearest objects, because it contributes to bring them forward: for the lefs air is interpofed between the eye and the object, the darker the fhades will appear
6 3. Ultramarine is the fineft Blue in the world; it is a • tender retiring Colour, and never glares.'
We fufpect he is only joking a little with us, now; for, doubtless he knows very well, that, in fact, Ultramarine is the brighteft, or most glaring Blue in the whole Materia Pictorica, and, of all others, comes the moft powerfully forward! Ah! he's a fly one!-He's at the fame fport again below, viz. 6 4. Pruffian Blue is a very fine Blue.-It fhould never be ⚫ used in the Flesh, but in the Green Teint, and the Eyes.'
Our Wag, however, like other Wits, fometimes forgets himself. Who would expect, after fuch a prohibition, [it fhould never be used in the Flesh] to find this green tint, in the next chapter fet down by Mr. Bardwell, as one of those principal Teints which are abfolutely neceflary for painting Flesh,' and exprefsly prefcribed by him for the middle Tints of Flesh, and for foftening the red fhadows of Flesh ?
Comical, however, and diverting as, we fee, Mr. Bardwell can make himself, when he has a mind to be droll, we might, perhaps, trefpafs too much on the tafte of our Readers, should we follow him thro' all his Humbugs, to the end of this chapter on Colours; we have faid enough to demonftrate how intimate a knowlege he poffeffes of the qualities peculiar to those principal and fimple Colours from which all his Teints are made; in the compofition of which teints, how he is likely to fucceed, will appear from the following extracts,
All Yellows are strengthened with Reds, and weakened with Blues and Greens.'-Now, to be ferious, for we cannot always be in humour to laugh, when our Author is difpofed to rifibility, this maxim is really false; and if Mr. Bardwell had heard of one NEWTON, who formerly wrote a book on Light and Colours, he would, perhaps, among many other pretty hints, have learned, that Reds degrade Yellows to Orange or Tawney, and of confequence cannot be faid to ftrengthen Yellows, but to weaken them.
Again, Light-Red, and White, in mixing, produce the moft perfect Flesh-colour that can be made.' In the next chapter the Author feems to be of another opinion; for he there tells us, that this most perfect Flesh-colour should be improved by mixing it with fome Vermillion and White.
No Vermillion but what is made of the true native Cinnabar, fhould ever be used.'
Vermillion is not made of Cinnabar, but is another name for Cinnabar, of which the fhops diftinguifh two forts, the native and the factitious.
From these extracts our Readers will probably have formed a true judgment of Mr. Bardwell's deep skill in the nature of Colours, and their mixture. However, what relates to the application of them fhould, we find, be read, cum grano falisand when he talks of glazing with White, (page 34.) we must fuppofe he means fcumbling; for he elfewhere tells us, that White is the deftruction of all glazing. (Page 39.) On the contrary, when he recommends fcumbling with transparent colours, he must be understood, glazing.
When he would puzzle us by prefcribing folid Colours for painting fome parts of the picture, we fhould remember, that Colours ground with oil are not falid. We must therefore conclude he means opake: and fo in other inftances.-And now, Reader, may we not be allowed to congratulate ourselves on having played the OEdipus, with fome fuccefs, thus far? but alafs! when he talks of blending the Gradations with the Blue Teints which follow the Yellows-When he recommends driving of Colours, or breaking of fkies, our decyphering art fails us, and we fairly own ourfelves driven beyond our knowlege.
In the middle of his Differtation on Colouring, Mr. Bardwell has inferted an entire chapter, which he ftiles, On Copying. From its place and title we really expected here fome important documents on the method of imitating an original picture; but how great was our disappointment, when, throughout the whole chapter, we could not difcover the most diftant hint of this myftery! not even the fecret of cracking a Varnish, of difcolouring a recent piece of daubing, or a wretched
wretched copy, fo as to impofe it as an original, on the injudicious or unfufpecting purchafer.
On reflection, however, we find it will be no difficult task for our Readers to guefs at his motive for inferting this chapter in his work, when they are informed, that it is, notwithftanding its title, no Treatife on Copying, but an Apology for Copiers: a fet of operators whom our Author fuppofes to have been injurioufly treated by Mr. Hogarth.
We can conceive, that the ingenious Mr. Hogarth, who is all original, may treat this flavish herd of Copiers (to ufe Virgil's phrafe) with a degree of contempt, to which even their dullness may be not infenfible. He may fay, that they are mere mechanical drudges, without genius; that they knavifhly depreciate the merit of ingenious men now living, the eafier to impofe their vile copies, on the unwary, as rare originals of mafters long fince deceased; he may even expose fome of their iniquitous tricks, the lamp-black and oil, the Smoaky chimney, &c. by means of which their uncouth productions are taught to vie for complexion and obscurity with The facred fmut of twice two hundred years.
and the too fufficient or too credulous purchaser falls an eafy prey to their impoftures.
Such treatment of these wonder-working artists, who can multiply originals without making one, is, indeed, intolerable; and Mr. Bardwell, who honours the calling, has taken on himself its defence; and here fhews, that not contented with merely inftructing his brethren, he is equally able, and refolved, to vindicate their quarrel.
He begins with hinting, that Mr. Hogarth has no skill in this branch of the art, nor understands the true merit of Copying; and even infinuates, that he wants common sense: which, from what we judge of Mr. Hogarth, will, doubtlefs, not a little mortify' him: efpecially as it comes from Mr. Bardwell; who thus proceeds. • Rubens ftudied the works of Titian, Paul Veronefe, and Tintoret.-Vandyck copied Titian, and all the Vene-' tian school; or, in De Piles's phrase, skimmed their cream. • Teniers is celebrated for transforming himself into as many mafters as he copied; which he did fo exactly, that it is hard to distinguish the copies from the originals. Hanne• man's copies of Vandyck are taken for the originals of that great mafter. I have feen copies by Stone fold at great • prices for undoubted originals, notwithstanding they were' divefted of that free pencilling, and charming variety of • teints, which are so apparent in Vandyck. Buckfhorn was one of the laft good copiers we have had in England; the reft that followed him and his mafter Lely, foon dwindled.