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Ribera," a merry Spanish beggarboy, among a crowd of his like, drawing sketches of them under a gardenwall. The figures are very prettily thought and grouped ; there is a fine terrace, and palace, and statues in the background, very rich and luxurious; perhaps too pretty and gay in colours, and too strong in details.
But the king of the painters of small history subjects, is M. Robert Fleury; a great artist indeed, and I trust heartily he may be induced to send one or two of his pieces to London, to shew our people what he can do. llis mind, judging from his works, is rather of a gloomy turn ; and he deals somewhat too much, to my taste, in the horrible. He has
" A Scene in the Inquisition.” A man is howling and writhing with his feet over a fire; grim inquisitors are watching over him; and a dreadful executioner, with fierce eyes peering from under a mysterious capuchin, is doggedly sitting over the coals. The picture is downright horror, but admirably and honestly drawn; and in effect rich, sombre, and simple.
“ Benvenuto Cellini" is better still ; and the critics have lauded the piece as giving a good idea of the fierce, fantastic Florentine sculptor; but I think M. Fleury has taken him in too grim a mood, and made his ferocity too downright. There was always a dash of the ridiculous in the man, even in his most truculent moments; and I fancy that such simple rage as is here represented scarcely characterises him. The fellow never cut a throat without some sense of humour, and here we have him greatly too majestic to my taste.
Old Michael Angelo watching over the Sick-bed of his servant Urbino," is a noble painting; as fine in feeling as in design and colour. One can't but admire in all these the muanliness of the artist. The picture is painted in a large, rich, massive, vigorous manner; and it is gratifying to see that this great man, after resolute seeking for many years, has found the full use of his hand at last, and can express himself as he would. The picture is fit to hang in the very best gallery in the world; and a century hence will no doubt be worth five times as many crowns as the artist asks or has had for it.
Being on the subject of great pictures, let us here mention,
712. “ Portrait of a Lady," by Hippolyto Flaudrin.
Of this portrait all I can say is, that if
take the best portraits by the best masters—a head of Sebastian or Michael Angelo, a head of Raphael, or one of those rarer ones of Andria del Sarto—not one of them, for lofty character and majestic nobleness and simplicity, can surpass this magnificent work.
This seems, doubtless, very exag, gerated praise, and people reading it may possibly sneer at the critic who ventures to speak in such a way. To all such I say, Come and see it. You who admire Sir Thomas and the Books of Beauty will possibly not admire it; you who give ten thousand guincas for a blowsy Murillo will not possibly relish M. Flandrin's manner; but you who love simplicity and greatness come and see how an old lady, with a black mantilla and eyes, and grey
hair and a few red flowers in her cap, has been painted by M. Flandrin of Lyons. If I were Louis-Philippe, I would send a legion-of-honour cross, of the biggest sort, to decorate the bosom of the painter who has executed this noble piece.
As for portraits (with the exception of this one, which no man in England can equal, not even Mr. Samuel Lawrence, who is trying to get to this point, but has not reached it yet) our English painters keep the lead still, nor is there much remarkable among the hundreds in the gallery. There are vast numbers of English faces staring at you from the canvasses ; and among the miniatures especially one can't help laughing at the continual recurrence of the healthy, vacant, simpering, aristocratic English type. There are black velvets and satins, ladies with birds of paradise, deputies on sofas, and generals and marshals in the midst of smoke and cannon-balls. Nothing can be less to my taste than a pot-bellied, swaggering Marshal Soult, who rests his baton on his stomach, and looks at you in the midst of a dim cloud of
The Duchess de Nemours is done by M. Winterhalter, and has a place of honour, as becomes a good portrait ; and, above all, such a pretty lady. She is a pretty, smiling, buxom
blonde, with plenty of hair, and is, I always turn away now, and look rather too much hands, not to speak at a fat woman with a parroquet opdisrespectfully; and a slice of lace posite. For what's the use of being which goes across the middle of her uncomfortable ? white satin gown seems to cut the Another great picture is one of picture very disagreeably in two. about four inches
-" The There is a beautiful head in a large Chess - players,” by M. Meissonnier portrait of a lad of eighteen, painted — truly an astonishing piece of by himself; and here may be men- workmanship. No silly tricks of tioned two single figures in pastel by effect, and abrupt startling shadow an architect, remarkable for earnest, and light, but a picture painted with spirituel beauty ; likewise two heads the minuteness and accuracy of a in chalk by De Rudder; most charm- daguerréotype, and as near as possible ing sketches, full of delicacy, grace, perfect in its kind. Two men are and truth.
playing at chess, and the chess-men The only one of the acknowledged are no bigger than pin-heads ; every great who has exhibited this year is one of them an accurate portrait, with M. Delacroix, who has a large pic- all the light, shadow, roundness, ture relative to the siege of Con- character, and colour, belonging to it. stantinople, that looks very like a Of the landscapes it is very hard piece of crumpled tapestry, but that indeed to speak, for professors of has nevertheless its admirers and its landscapes almost all execute their merits, as what work of his has not ? art well; but few so well as to strike
His two smaller pieces are charm- one with especial attention, or to ing. " A Jewish Wedding at Tan- produce much remark. Constable giers,” is brilliant with light and has been a great friend to the new merriment; a particular sort of mer- landscape-school in France, who have riment, that is, that makes you gloomy laid aside the slimy, weak manner in the very midst of the hey-day: and formerly in vogue, and perhaps have his “ Boat" is awful. A score of ship- adopted in its place a method equally wrecked men are in this boat, on reprehensible — that of plastering a great, wide, swollen, interminable their pictures excessively. When you sea — no hope, no speck of sail —and wish to represent a piece of old timthey are drawing lots which shall be ber, or a crumbling wall, or the ruts killed and eaten. A burly seaman, and stones in a road, this impasting with a red beard, has just put his method is very successful, but here hand into the hat, and is touching his the skies are trowelled on; the light own to the officer. One fellow sits with vapouring distances are as thick as his hands clasped, and gazing-gazing plum-pudding, the cool clear shadows into the great void before him. By are mashed-down masses of sienna Jupiter, his eyes are unfathomable! and indigo. But it is undeniable that he is looking at miles and miles of by these violent means, a certain lead-coloured, bitter, pitiless brine ! power is had, and noon-day effects Indeed one can't bear to look at him of strong sunshine are often dashingly long ; nor at that poor woman, so
rendered. sickly and so beautiful, whom they How much pleasanter is it to see may as well kill at once, or she will a little quiet grey waste of David save them the trouble of drawing Cox than the very best and smartest straws; and give up to their maws of such works! Some men from that poor, white, faded, delicate, Düsseldorf have sent very fine scienshrivelled carcass. Ah, what a thing tific faithful pictures, that are a little it is to be hungry! Oh, Eugenius heavy, but still you see that they Delacroix ! how can you manage, with are portraits drawn respectfully from a few paint - bladders, and a dirty the great, beautiful, various, divine brush, and a careless hand, to dash face of Nature. down such savage histories as these, In the statue-gallery there is noand fill people's minds with thoughts thing worth talking about ; and so so dreadful? Ay, there it is; when- let us make an end of the Louvre, ever I go through that part of the and politely wish a good morning to gallery where M. Delacroix's picture every body.
A SERIO-COMIC REVIEW or THE SAYINGS AND DOINGS OF THE SCOTCH NON-INTRUSIONISTS IN, AND CONNECTED WITH,
THE LAST GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
BY A STRATHBOGIE CHURCHMAN.
THE WITNESS-SIR DAVID BREWSTER-DR. CHALMERS: HIS DIVINITY HALL, HIS IEAD
MR., alias PROFESSOR, CANDLISH: HIS DIMENSIONS BY MILTON'S COFFIN – MR. CUNNINGHAME: HIS LOGICAL SEQUENCES -- DR. WELSH MAITLAND MACGILL - DR. MACFARLANE- ANDREW GRAY AND SOCRATES-THE PHARISAIC WITNESS-ASSEMBLY EXPLOIts-DR. COOK-THE “SEVEN" DEPOSED FOR DOING THEIR DUTY.
The Witness, be it understood, is knowing organs, stands out like a the principal newspaper organ of the tower, shading the locks, as it were, Non-intrusionists, or (as we shall to either side, and strongly catches henceforth generally style them for the light on its rounded upper line, the sake of brevity) the Nons. Its as in the portraits of Burke and conductor, as in propriety he ought, Franklin." That the owner of a is himself a Non-intrusionist; and it head like this should be - a man of therefore follows by the most cogent more than European reputation," and logical deduction, that his “ Sketches” that - no writer of the present age" aforesaid make part and parcel of the should unite“ in a higher degree sayings specified in our title. That literary ability to exact science," is title was indeed framed with an ex- no doubt exceedingly natural. We press view to comprehend them ; for feel inclined, notwithstanding, to give they are in fact most curious docu- Sir John Herschel, and Professor ments, and well worthy of attention. Whewell, and half-a-dozen other
Placing them, then, in the van of philosophers we could name, some the matter which we have to discuss, preference over Sir David, both as one of the first Nons which the regards science and literature. This, Witness brings under our notice is however, may be all mere prejudice, Sir David Brewster ; who, not being united with want of discrimination on a clergyman, sat in last Assembly as our part. a ruling elder. Of this great per- But to proceed with the picture :sonage the sketcher informs us that his hair is quite grey, and that he has
We stake,” says the Witness, "the “ a slight stoop of the shoulders;"*
intellect and accomplishment of that one defects which, we are happy to be
man, not merely against those of any
other individual on the opposite side, told, are compensated by such per
but against the intellect and accomplishsonal advantages as a compression
ment of the whole opposite side put of mouth indicative of firmness ;"
together, appealing confidently to the “ a cast of sober thought which country for its verdict in the case, and dwells in the singularly significant yet confining our statement of the merits lines of the forehead ;" * a deeply to the mere pronunciation of a name." contemplative expression of eye, " &c. &c.; "all" of which, it is affirmed, You are a gentleman, Mr. Witness, we * indicate an intellect in its prime;" are aware, of very great acumen, and a remark of which the correctness can see farther into a stone, especially will be appreciated, when it is known if be a red sandstone,t than most that Sir David had fallen consider- men. But pray, sir, by what peculiar ably into dotage some time before process do you combine the powers of he became a Non-intrusionist. We any given number of intellects so as have next the philosophic knight's to be able to calculate their gross head-piece described phrenologically.
To do this, we should Causality,” we are told, rising, think, were absolutely necessary befull, broad, and high, from an ample fore you can with safety stake the base, formed by amply developed intellect of Sir David against the
* When the precise words of the Witness are quoted, they are put within inverted commas.
+ The editor of the Witness (we speak from intimate and personal knowledge ) bad made some valuable geological discoveries in that species of rock by personal manipulation, before he exchanged the pickaxe for the pen.
united intellects of all the Moderate these can be flat countries; they must side of the church. What way, then, be hilly — even mountainous. Sir we beseech you, do you solve the David Brewster has been a Whig all problem, for it really appears to us his days; and it was for his Whiggery, to be as difficult as it is undoubtedly quite as much as for his science, that interesting? In physics, as you are he was, in the first place, made a well aware, two or more forces, and Guelphic knight; and, secondly, the their several directions being given, principal of a college at St. Andrew's. their united effect can easily be esti- But every Whig has, by the necessity mated, supposing them to proceed in of his nature, a liking for the main one direction. Is it by some process
chance. He has not only the proanalogous to this that you obtain the pensity to “ do what he will with his resultant of all the intellects on the own,” but likes to grab all he can of constitutional side of the church, so what belongs to the country, as some as to enable you to compare them to small return for his patriotism, pubthat of Sir David Brewster? Or do lic spirit, and hatred of abuses. Sir you proceed by what is called the David, then, as having been from resolution of forces, and parcel out youth to age, with some lucid inSir David's into as many separate
tervals, known to us as a Whig ----a parts (each corresponding in momen- most consistent, out-and-out, undetum and direction to some entire in- viating Whig, - one, as the Witness tellect) as there are individual minds
was born a Reformer, in the party against which you stake and has been throughout life the him? *If you adopt none of these determined opponent of sinecurists;" methods, what other plan do you --this same Sir David must, or phiefollow? Do you employ balances, nology is not worth a pin, have the or use measures of capacity ? We organ of acquisitiveness very prowould press these questions; for if minent indeed, and rearing its loft, you have no means either of com- peak like an Atlas or a Mont Blanc bining or breaking down intellects, over the lesser hills that surround it. your proposal to stake Sir David But the Whigs are also proverbially against the Moderates is a mere tenacious of office; they make every empty boast, and you will get no sacrifice of policy and principle to one to take a bet on the other side. retain it; and cling to it like drownYour appeal to the verdict of the ing men to a plank, amidst every country upon the point regarding kind of opposition, obloquy, and diswhich the country knows nothing grace. Now all this betokens a very is as sheer folly as it would be to powerful developement of adhesivemake a blind man arbiter in a dispute ness, which Sir David must of course concerning colours; or one born deaf possess, otherwise he would be a and dumb, an umpire between musi- monster among his Whig brethren. cians in a contest about musical Why, then, has the Witness, in giving sounds.
us his portrait, taken no notice of this The Witness, we think, has left most characteristic organ? Farther; Sir David's portrait incomplete. We Sir David, as is well known, is fond are told in the phrenological descrip- of controversy. Ile wrote as keenly tion of his head of “high, broad, against those who denied him the and full causality, based upon large merit of inventing that foolish, and knowing organs;" but we hear no- now nearly forgotten toy, the kaleidthing of protuberances on the fore
oscope, as most people would have part of the “ coronal region,” nor done had some matter of real im: of bumps either in flank or rear of portance been at issue. His reviews the skull. Now, though the reason in the Edinburgh are as remarkable of the former of these omissions is for their severity, at the very least. obvious enough, as benevolence, con- as for their fairness. In his Encyclo. scientiousness, and all the moral and pædia he demolished, or attempted to nobler sentiments, are well known to demolish, Lord Bacon himself. What occupy the situation first mentioned, phrenologist can be cognisant of such why a silence so profound should be facts without deciding at once in the preserved about the back settlements fullest confidence of being borne out and lateral regions, it is not easy to by the principles of his science, that conjecture. It is impossible that they indicate a large developement
VOL. XXIV, NO. CXXXIX.
behind the ears - combativeness of heads around it seem but of moderate threatening aspect, and the twin size. The front portion, however, from organ of destructiveness, of most for- the ear to the forebead, is considerably midable size?
massier in proportion than the posterior But calling a truce in the mean
region, and stands up more conspicuously,
and there is a noble developement a-top.” time to phrenology, we must now state our honest conviction that the When a name is given in a portrait portrait which the Witness has drawn it is commonly placed at the foot of of Sir David Brewster is not a true the picture, and to this rule the likeness. It errs both in excess and Witness adheres in regard to all his in defect; the merits of the original Di majorum gentium throughout his being ludicrously exaggerated, and picture-gallery. As it would, howthe demerits entirely concealed from ever, be inconvenient for the deview. There is nothing venerable velopement of our remarks, that he or striking about Sir David's per- should remain anonymous till in the sonal appearance. His outward man process of quotation we reach his is plain (we speak from personal toes, we here divulge the secret that acquaintance) ; and whatever our the man with the largest head in sketcher may say about “the con- Europe (by the way, can he fit himtemplative expression of his eye," he self with a chapeau in a retail hatwas, if we are not grossly misinform- seller's shop, or must he get that ed, short-sighted from his youth. indispensable article of dress made to That he has considerable merit as a measure like his shoes?), that man theoretical optician, will not be de- we say is no other man than Dr. nied ; but it is there that his great Chalmers. Now the great mystery strength lies, and in no other de- being solved, let us go back to our partment of science is his name men- first extract, and take notice that the tioned as of any account. He may Doctor has no sooner entered, than have a fair knowledge of many
" a loud rufting* noise has broken branches of philosophy ; but in none out in the galleries” (an indecency has he risen above mediocrity, except we may remark, en passant, that in his researches regarding the polar
would not be tolerated in the galleries isation of light.
of the reformed House of Commons), But we have looked at Sir David that at least two-thirds of the Aslong enough, and will now, with the sembly (the Non-intrusion members, reader's permission, turn to another of course) have joined” in the disportrait. But here we must quote a
turbance, and that “the business of passage or two :
the court is interrupted.” Now, con“ The Moderator,” says the Witness,
sidering that the * venerable" Asvery solemnly, “ bas again risen. A
sembly constitutes itself in the name loud ruffing noise has broken out in the
of One, none of whose sacred titles galleries ; at least two-thirds of the As. or designations we dare introduce sembly have joined in it, and the business among these light remarks; that they of the court is interrupted. A very dis- profess to carry on all their proceedtinguished member has just entered.” ings by the appointment and under Who this very distinguished mem
the special direction of that Great ber is, we are not yet told; but here
Being; and that at the very time is a description of the “
when this “ruffing noise" and in
great unknown's" caput :
terruption took place, a reverend
gentleman was addressing the court “ And mark the head. It would be
on a question which he and many marvellous little were we but to say that there is not such another bead in the
more of his party hold no concern, house ; we may add, not such another in
in the deepest degree, the honour and Edinburgh-in Scotland— Britain - Eu.
glory of that LORD, we think many rope. The breadth across the forehead is
of our readers will agree with us, what the phrenologists term not simply
that this theatrical greeting of Dr. large, but enormous ; the length, too, in Chalmers — this reception of him as protile, is so very great, that the bulky if he had been a platform declaimer,
* Ruffing is Scotch for applauding, by stamping with the feet.
The Nons perform the operation with such vigour, that the noise is tremendous; while if there happen to be any dust on the floor, it rises in a dense cloud.