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of the division this fellow belonged. Next, to keep all female visiters at a distance, stands a naked youth (gracefully sculptured, I allow), who represents Genius. The naked truth every one hears of, though it is rarely exhibited ; but this genius might have had clothes on, for in the cold cavity of St. Paul's the boy looks as if freezing. Is there not generally a committee appointed to decide on the designs, and if nothing more in character was submitted to them, did it not become their duty, with only the wish to honour the memory of Picton, a regard for sculpture, and a disregard as to the country of the artist, to have procured a design, such at least as would have led the spectator into the secret—that a soldier of the 19th century was thus honoured by the gratitude of his country? A free trade is as judicious in the Fine Arts as in those which are necessary to existence.*
The object of the public is to have fine structures and monuments. There is, in fact, scarcely a composition in St. Paul's that would not be in Italy broken up to make cement; and yet every one knows that these things might have been procured, of elegant conception and high finish, at an inferior expense. If one of these monuments could show itself, in its Italian
in its new British shape, “ 'twould make the stones of Rome to rise and mutiny," ere they would submit to embarkation for England.
Another monument lately erected, standing near the door of entrance, is actually better, though the artist might have made the figures in relief more effective and graceful. The principal figure is of General Hay, who is dressed in uniform, and the effect of the costume is not ungraceful as might be supposed. In these things we have been too much slaves to old ideas." If a man of the present day looks dignified in existence and becoming in modern costume, does he not give the idea of more active and manly power than the philosopher in his cumbrous robe ? and, ephemeral as the fashion is, should he not be represented as he lived? How comes it that the painter alone has stepped over this narrowness of taste? Our nobles stand in the frame in their official dresses, or in the common costume, our military as British military; allegory is not crowded into the painting containing the modern portrait. And what artist would pencil but the bust, surrounded by the personified attributes of the mind ?
Now we may inquire what is the course most likely to succeed in eliciting a better taste for the arts, and in the artists themselves. First, as to the obligation entailed on the Country, to disgrace the appearance of its religious edifices, in particular, by the exclusive patronage of native art. The profession of the Fine Arts is of optional adoption, because the student, before he can feel necessity, must incur expenditure, and pass much time without emolument.
I do not deny the skill of the sculptor in what he has done (the lion not being sculptured), but I assert that a parliamentary grant is not to be given for copies or ideas of antique figures, when the country wanted the full represen. tation of a contemporary personage. Bad as the composition and workmanship of many other monuments are, stiil, where the principal figure of the subject is presented in the principal representation, we experience some feeling of satisfaction.
If a young man without the natural requisites for success, voluntarily enters on the career of an artist, the country is certainly not called on to indemnify him for his miscalculation of his powers. But, from the system pursued by the public guardians and fosterers of art, a few leaders in the particular branches have an exclusive certainty of employment, and allow, in the indolence even of genius, much of their powers to remain dormant. If invitations for designs for the next required monumental group were extended to all Europe, we should either produce amongst ourselves something of perfect beauty, or we should be the means of introducing such sculpture as might originate a new school in England. Something of this kind should be done, to save us from the laughter of the Continent. Our painters, whose art is more difficult, have completely outstripped the architect and sculptor. They introduce with a superior effect the modern female face, and on the neck of a goddess or a Virtue it is appropriately placed. But if they acted like our sculptors, we might expect to see the combatants in the Peninsular battles in Roman or Greek caparison, as well as a Bri
Speaking of battles brings me to the third illustration of my premises. The Directors of the National Academy have given a sum of public money for the most rhapsodical picture that ever adorned the walls of an exhibition-room. The picture is entitled “The Triumph of England.” Of course, allegory is largely employed ;not classical allegory, but the wildest fantastical expression is given to dreams, which could have sprung alone from the oppression of the incubus. The composer of this picture is, by declaration, and all previous study, an animal-painter, and unsurpassed as such; but in this instance, when the noblest embodying of idea was requisite to give a conception of the proudest era of the British monarchy, the competition should have been thrown open to the world. We wanted to illustrate a crowd of splendid achievements, and should not have been restrained in the gratification of that wish by the narrow and quite unnecessary care of attending to the interests of a well-established artist. The British School of Painting (in a rapid state of advancement) owes its best success to private patronage; but the hitherto existing ordinances and rules of its academic direction have not much benefited it. Let the Directors of the Academy reject all designs that possess incongruities. Let us no longer see buildings disfigured by unprecedented orders; nor a Greek structure surmounted by a spire ; nor a female with Greek features introduced in the same group with a male figure of Roman lineament: when those faults are avoided, architecture and sculpture may derive improvement from national encouragement, and painting be prevented from degenerating into wild imagination. But, to succeed, the competition must be thrown open to all England; and occasionally, according to the importance of the subject, to all Europe. The talent of the British artist should alone procure him the monopoly in the market. When England produces the best artists, it will be against our interest any longer to encourage those of the Continent. In
the most justly cherished branch of painting the portrait, who thinks of employing an Italian?
Finally, as the most abundant exercise of sculpture is in the field of monumental commemoration, we ought, in common fairness, to consider what might be the fleeting and self-inspiring reflections of some of those men who are the sculptor's subjects, if they were alive. Would not Picton think his inemory neglected, if he saw it only perpetuated by a bust? Did Crauford lead in at Rodrigo's breach, and M.Kinnon over its mine, and think only to be clustered in the same wretched medallion or tablet? Did Le Marchant charge for immortality, to be handed to posterity in profile? If we do not correct these matters, let us renounce our pretensions to a share in the encouragement of judicious art, and remain a commercial people. But if we would still make the attempt to unite taste to the other parts of the national character, let the field of Art be as the Olympic, open to all comers. Propose the prize for excellence to all the Continent, and England may become the field of all competition, the arena of European talent, the emporium of the fine arts; and it may before long be her's to boast her Milo. Why not act, in respect of the fine arts, as we would in the sciences? If we require the solution of a problem in astronomy or mechanics, do we not propose the prize of discovery and elucidation to all the talented of every country? Did we limit the proposal of reward for the chronometer to the native of England ? If we thought the naval architecture of another state superior to that of our own, whether ought we to adopt the foreigner's, or lavish our patronage on the less skilful native constructor's? Had the principles which at present direct us in the mode of encouraging the Fine Arts always swayed public opinion, England could not have been the favoured country of Holbein, Vandyke, and Kneller; nor should we have had a Reynolds, or a Lawrence, and portrait-painting would have been as imperfect as some other departments of the art. W.W. W.
Written on visiting the spot where the earlier years of the Writer were passed.
Loved haunt of guiltless hearts and golden hours !
Home of my youth, and theme of youthful song!
My thoughtless boyhood chased its days along!
May many a sweet rose in the desert find-
Home of my youth! like that I left behind.
Breathe the deep dirge of hopes and pleasures fled;
May people vacancy, and list the dead:
glittering lakes in the plains below, and the white broken majestic Alps glittering in the far horizon; and, perhaps, Nature can hardly supply a more enchanting scene of beauty and all-varied grace and luxuriance. A tone of retired peace and primitive repose reigns throughout the place. The old Swiss warrior of the 13th century, who stands on the fountain in the little market-place, looks as if he had lifted his stone sword without molestation for centuries. A fine beech-tree luxuriates on the walls of the gate of entrance, and the cascade formed by the Orbe, under the picturesque stone bridge, murmurs in harmony with the beauties of nature and the tranquil spirit of the place. The day after our arrival we went to dine with one of the old fainilies of the country. The dinner was at one o'clock. The house and establishment had an air of respectability, and, without
any indications of wealth or luxury, a certain air of gentlemanlike simplicity. Its inhabitants we found hospitable, sim ple, and well-informed. A veteran Swiss gentleman, an officer of rank in the Swiss guards, was particularly pleasing. Though his life had been half spent with his regiment at Paris, he was perfectly Swiss in character and manners; plain, unaffected, loyal, and sensible, attached in every thing to the old regime, eloquent on all matters of rural economy, crops, vintages, seasons, &c. much like an English country squire, with the exception of more of polish in his manners, and less of shrewdness in his conversation. In the evening (that is, at six o'clock) we accompanied our hospitable friends to a soirée dansante, at the house of a Juge de paix for the districtman officer of modern introduction since the suppression of the old aristocratic jurisdiction of Bailiffs, and the erection of the Pays de Vaud into an independent republican canton. Here we saw united all the beau monde of Orbe and the neighbourhood. Coffee, tea, liqueurs, delicious fruit, and home-made confectionary, were handed about in great abundance-not by liveried lacqueys, but by the neat handed Phyllises of the establishment. The old family-nurse, of portly dimensions, and adorned with a stately well-starched mob-cap, presided over the refectory and its administrators. A bright galaxy of Swiss mothers and daughters, dressed with simplicity and taste, encompassed the saloons; while the gentlemen, without any of the English display of silk stockings and pumps, occupied the centre of
poms in clusters, as they used of yore to do in London, and still do, we believe, in card-parties at two days' journey from the inetropolis. A spacious temporary saloon was lighted up as a salle de danse, where waltzing, in all its varieties, was kept up with great spirit. 'The ladies appeared to be passionately fond of dancing, and many more married women, and women of " a certain age,” were among the couples than are seen in an English ball. The Juge de paix was among the most conspicuous waltzers; and members of the Grand Conseil," and Deputies to the Diet, did not disdain the pleasures of a ball. A rational, unpretending, and sociable mirth reigned in the entertainment, with an absence of all luxury and costly preparation which I never saw equalled in any society of equal rank in other countries. We took leave at midnight-no crush of carriages and servants blocked up the gateway. The moon had risen high above the Jura, and was glittering on the river Orbe