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especially well arrived at, and secured. The eyes are exquisite touches of liquidity and colour. The drawing, even where after-labour was intended, is admirable, and the method in which the angered sea and the solitary star-lit firmament are treated, extremely poetical.
No. 2, Diogenes, by George Bullock. This artist is singularly careful in finish, but he carries it too far. His pictures would be more pleasing when viewed from a proper distance, if he left off at a much earlier period. Nature does not require labour in her imitation; so soon as the task commences, so soon does injury to the work begin,
Mr. Hulme has several pleasing landscapes, the best of which is (No. 8) An Old Water Mill. The passage amidst the trunks of the trees to the left carries the delighted eye over and in a great extent of beauty, the whole of which is admirably managed, Sunny Gleam (No. 10), is good in its middle distance; the sky is too cold in effect, and the rays, moreover, of the sun require a slight indication to denote their origin. The bold dash of a dry hog's-hair tool, while the sky was wet, would have been all sufficient for this.
Highland Girls Grinding Corn (14), Mr. R. R. McIan, is a well-painted picture, and the girl to the left is nicely and easily composed.
Mr. Oliver has many of his bright landscapes; they are very beautiful, and always faithful. We wish he would lock up all his smaller brushes but for a season, and force himself to paint with the larger tools; it requires no gift of prophecy to foretel that the effect upon the public would be as though ten years of the best study had been accorded to him during that space. No. 31, Bridge over the Nar, is in Mr. Oliver's lucid style ; but it is broader than usual, and, withal, a most charming picture.
No. 20, At Redbrook on the Wye, by W. J. Lukeing, is deserving of especial mention, for the treatment of the sky.
Mr. Aglio has several pictures from which many portions might be taken upon which to descant in flattering terms. There is, however, a want of unity about them all which does not permit of individualising any one as good in itself. We perhaps, therefore, should not point out blemishes, but as the object of our criticism is more to instruct than to praise, we would direct Mr. Aglio to his figure of Moses, in No. 25, where he has decidedly placed the right arm of the lawgiver on the wrong way. The delusion is complete if the head is hidden with the hand-presto and his back is turned towards you!
Mr. W. Fowler's landscapes hung here (Nos. 44, 15, and 54 to 57) have, if we mistake not, been exhibited before at the Royal Academy and elsewhere. The brush with which he manipulates is even finer than that of Mr. Oliver, and moreover, he works with the very tip of it. Mr. Fowler is, however, a devoted lover of nature, and a most indefatigable searcher after her beauties.
Mr. Alfred Corbould, a son of the late book illustrator, has struck out for himself the portraiture and pourtrayal of animal life and instincts. Without being a copyist of Ed. win Landseer, he at times recals that wonderful painter to our minds. Mr. Corbould's handling is broad, rich, and glowing. He draws with a decision perfectly marvellous when his age (but 21) is considered; and if he spurns the abjectness of following in the steps of others, he cannot fail to take a leading position in British art. His Trespassers (No. 73), horses that have made their way into a private garden, are treated with a breadth most bewitching to the eye, while in his Cow and Calf (No. 79) we get the bleat of the calf, so life-like is it. In The Groom in Waiting (No. 128) subjects evidently portraits are treated judiciously enough to remove all conventionality and to render the whole a pleasing subject. The neck of the gentleman is stiff, if not awry. The Loose Box (219) is far from a loose picture, although knocked off with a touch perfectly con amore, each movement of the brush with earnest and sportive willingness, receiving and acting from the dictates of the mind. 323, Study of a Head—brilliantly broad.
Thomas S. Robins has some rare records of effects. Coast of Holland (No. 91), is fresh and salt. Brill, Coast of Holland, smells more of sea-weed than of paint. Coming to Anchor off Dover (188) would save a fortune to the sedentary by its perfectly refreshing breezes which leave the brine upon the lip of the gazer. 238, Upnor Castle, is equally suggestive of a close adherence to truth. Mr. Robins has the great power of giving motion to his skies and seas, nor do his boats appear stationary in the element, but cheat the eye into the idea that that fellow with the red cap will be overboard should the boat lurch, and begets the notion that if we wait awhile we shall witness the success of a haul of that fishing smack.
We prefer T. C. Dibdin in his water-colours to those of a more opaque medium. He is much too florid, and requires neutrality of tints and harmony throughout. Too green here-too blue there, and yet but a little would render his works of twice their value. His pictures in this room are fair average specimens of his qualifications.
The Retainers' Gallery at Knowle (No. 118) is a beautiful bit by Samuel Rayner. Such subjects as these are interesting in many senses, and now that we have lost Mr. Scandnett (so far as production is concerned), and Mr. Cattermole produces much less than usual, we heartily hail the appearance of one so efficiently capable of supplying their loss. The old flooring and ceiling, and indeed all the accessories in this petite work, are put together with a gentlemanly, and consequently artistic feeling. Lanercost Abbey (No. 258) exhibits a similar happy tendency to impart and incorporate purity with an absence of all vulgarity and commonplace,
Amongst the works of J. Peel, of which we find no less than fifteen here, we prefer (130) Richmond, Yorkshire, its distance and perspective being the best of them. The sky is hard and outlined, yet there is a freshness about most of his works that in some measure counterbalances such faults, which, we must add, are far from few. The touch of the foliage is too much alike, being obtained in almost all instances by the flat sable brush, which takes a half-moon shape when charged with the pigment, and slightly drawn upon the palette. Our advice to Mr. Peel is to get more out of doors; to make many separate studies of trees, distant from any thought of a marketable result; and when amidst nature to keep there. He may rely upon it, although not endowed with any very lofty poetic feeling, he has the wherewithal within him to give a faithful transcript of what may present itself, and taste sufficient to select only that which will prove at least acceptable.
No. 146, Night-a River Scene, by Arthur Gilbert, augurs future excellence. It is a moonlight. The light is arranged in the correctest gamut of harmonious blending, and diffused, and returns in so musical a manner that the eye runs over its score until it is awakened to a sense of the presence of a coloured overture. Its price (15 guineas) is far below its value—an additional corroboration of inherent modesty in those of the rarest gifts. It is marked as sold.
J. C. Bentley has five pictures. 153, Scene below Pont Aberglasslynn, a well-chosen subject, is smudgy, and requires air ; 154, Banks of a Rivulet, is far better, and has much of Gainsborough in it; 247, The Old Canal at Shipley, Yorkshire, a gem, -and 310, The River Ure, at Hackfall, near Ripon, is another.
Cattle on the Banks of a River, and Winter-Clear Bright Afternoon, J. Wallis, marked 100 guineas each. This is a struggle between pictures and price, which shall be the most absurd. Curious enough, art (?) and money take two dissimilar ways of gaining the victory. Money goes as high as possible, the painter as low as painter is capable.
A Study of Hemlock Trees, &c., New York, G. Harvey, A.N.A., that is, Associate National Academy of New York, is positively execrable. Again, 181, 182, and 183 may be placed in the same category.
187, Maternal Advice, J. A. Cahusac, F.S.A., should be similarly classed, with this addendum : that although such“ maternal advice" can be of no earthly use to any one, a well-known maternal inquiry might be made respecting its author, which, peradventure would have the salutary effect of awakening his attention to the fact that he is a long
No. 216, The First Translation of the Bible into English, F. M. Brown, possesses much to admire, the drawing being good in most cases. The touch is, however, very feeble, and too close an imitation of the German school. The principal head, which should be the best, is the worst in the picture—a proof of feebleness and timidity, for here the painter would have dared the most had he had courage; but, knowing it was requisite to give it the greatest attention, he consequently gave it the greatest of his weakness.
218, Champion of England against all comers, Edward Corbould. Almost faultless in drawing. Armour not of the proper colour, hués being introduced for which the surrounding facts do not find excuse.
Mrs. Oliver-the wife, we presume, of the artist-surpasses her husband in many respects. Her translations of nature are not so mapped out into distinct parts, and she seems more fond of focusing her effects, and thus gives an eye to her pictures from whence to begin, and after travelling from and over the canvass, where to return to and rest upon. She has several most delightful cabinet pieces here. They all look like Mr. Oliver's, only improved.
Portrait of the Rev. Robert Montgomery, Minister of Percy Chapel. Fernando Giachosa. (No. 230.) Although a likeness of this really eminent divine and brilliant orator, we are inclined to believe that the painter has powers, which, if more matured attention were given thereto, would produce a far better picture than is this. The head, as we have said, although like, requires illumination, and, as the hands signify action, so ought the face to accord to such eloquence of mechanical speech. The mouth lacks refinement, being carried even beyond a “pout," and a degree of drapery is crowded about the figure
way from home.
with the avowed intention of giving massiveness and dignity to it, and, at the same time, to secure by contrast smallness to the head, which fails in the one object, and albeit successful in the other, is not attended with the ideal result sought for. Moreover, one-half of the canvass being occupied by the pulpit only, under which the eye is permitted to lose itself without being able confidently to catch the means by which the rostrum is supported, a struggle for precedence of attention between the animate and the inanimate, the pulpit and its occupier, is the consequence. These arrangements tend to give a notion that from the perilous position of the divine, he is pleading more to be let down himself than in the fervent and holy exercise of raising others up. As a painting, there is muchmore particularly in the treatment of the hands which betokens future excellence, but great study will be absolutely necessary for the working out of such a consummation.
Mr. Lauder has many surprising instances of his power to render the most glaring colour subservient to art. They are placed at the end of the room fronting the spectator, on a sort of dais there erected, and they at once win and hold the lover of rarity captive. The Evening Star (401) is undoubtedly the finest of these. We class it at once for colour in the rank of high art. To say that it is surpassing fine is to use too weak a term to explain what admiration would pour forth. We scarcely can bring ourselves to believe that (404) Amine on the Raft is painted by the same hand. If so, it must have been intended as a foil to the other, so utterly bad is it, in sentiment and execution.
There is a great rawness in all Marshall Claston's works here, but there is an exception in The Death of Abel (381), in which we would direct serious attention to the sky upon the horizon and the flying figure—both attuning with excellent and refined taste. The Bacchante (383) has his name attacked it in the catalogue, but without a price fixed. We hope the one is an error, the other is none-it is literally priceless ;-canvass spoiled.
Passing over (409, marked sold) A Study from Nature, by Niemann, of the nutmeg. grater school (which, however, could be rasped), we come to his Sunset (427), against which we have placed three notes of admiration in our list. In so small a space we know of no living artist now who could concentrate so many passages of such positive poetic beauty, His Thames-near Maidenhead (429) is certainly very fine, bating a little too much off-handness in the left corner; but this a mere mechanical Talbotype of nature, compared with The Sunset. Comparisons are here, then, certainly odious, for without bringing the one in contact with the other both would be excellent. Another picture (434), A Study, shows the versatile powers of this master-for a master, unshackled by manner or plagiarism, he may be honestly and fearlessly pronounced-while, to go back in the Catalogue, let us again look at a con-amore bit (382), Composition; and, further, to retrace our steps, at the unimpeachable evidence to be found of thorough, well-directed artistic endowment in (No. 13) Norwich-a Study from Nature. The daring brain that can conceive, and the gifted hand that can carry out such a sky as Niemann has here not hesitated to introduce, induces in us as much pain as pleasure. We have seen 80 many artists who have been similarly instructed by the unmistakeable school of nature, who, having obtained honours, have quitted college but to retrograde-the brilliant senior wrangler, as it were, falling into the dull monotony of a third-class fag. Nature's mossy banks are the artist's college benches. The rustic smock-frocked ploughboy and the one-sided tucked petticoat milkmaid being amongst the few witnesses of his pleasing lessons. Let him not, then, quit a school in which there is so much to be learned ; let him not, then, turn his back upon the moss that he once had a lichen for to copy himself in a chamber, mayhap, composed of four brick walls, with the smallest portion of the light of heaven admitted therein, the latter stinted, as an excuse for effect, but having the fatal consequence of blinding the artist to the knowledge of the defects which are arising in his mental vision,
Mr. J. G. Middleton's two pictures (88 and 89) are deserving of high commendation, but as this gentleman gets his meed of praise when exhibiting at most of the other galleries, where he appears to be ever welcome, we are convinced that he, as well as many similarly situated, will willingly give up the space, otherwise their legitimate due, to less fortunate claimants.
LBTTBRS ADDRESSED TO THE COUNTESS OF Ossory, from the year 1769 to 1797. By
Horace Walpole Lord Orford. Now first printed from original MSS. Edited, with notes, by the Right Hon. R. Vernon Smith, M.P. In two volumes. London:
Bentley. 1848. This correspondence extends over a period of nearly thirty years, and in its course we mark the changes of temper in a man already at the commencement verging upon the vale of years, suffering acutely from infirmities, but with a vigorous intellect rising superior to the pains with which his body was afflicted. Nothing else could have supported him during so many years of pain with few intervals of cessation. We find in his tetter certain allusions to his sufferings, which increase in the later years of his life. While under the influence of his worst attacks his temper becomes sharp and irritable; he is satirical, fancies himself almost on the verge of the grave, and finds pleasure neither in politics, amusement, nor scandal. Then again we perceive the trammels of sickness falling from around him; he is again all cheerfulness and gaiety, full of animal spirits, and the enthusiasm of a much younger man. His letters are then longer and more amusing. We find in them many hints upon the manners of the period, many curious revelations of character which will be peculiarly interesting to the readers of history, or, indeed, all who take any interest in the proceedings of the past age. The Counters of Ossory appears to have been a charming woman, full of esprit, and amiability. Some portions of the letters addressed to her, readers of the present day may with justice object to; but many allowances must be made for the state of the manners and society at that period which seemed to give a licence to conversation and actions which would not be tolerated in our own day. It seems strange how any lady could suffer such things to be said to her, but the age in which we live is the criterion of our morals for the time being, and so thought the persons of the eighteenth century. Much delightful gossip, many amusing anecdotes, will be found contained in the volumes before us, which we strongly recommend to our readers. Our limits do not permit us to dwell at greater length upon the work, which we can only cordially pronounce as among the most interesting that have appeared this season. Five YEARS IN KAFIRLAND; with Sketches of the late War in that country, to the con
clusion of peace. Written on the spot by Harriet Ward. London: Colburn, 1848.
No work relating to operations carried on by the arms of our country against hostile races ever appears without exciting some degree of interest. The present volumes, replete as they are with amusing matter and information, contain, however, we think, a too long series of complaints against the provisions supplied to the campaigners in the wilds of Africa by the British Government. Our authoress deals too freely in blame. Every incident or anecdote related is made to form the excuse for throwing discredit on the home authorities, whose province it was to attend to the conduct and carrying out of the Kaffir war. Nevertheless, though this circumstance may somewhat detract from the pleasure we experience in perusing the narrative of Mrs. Ward's African experience, it does not at all deteriorate the real value of the work. The complaints of inefficient accommodation, of carelessness in the management of affairs, are doubtless often well grounded, but still we imagine they might have been compressed into a somewhat less space than they at present occupy. In saying this, however, we must not be understood to imply that " Five Years in Kafirland” is a work in which speculation and dissertation make up for the want of a stirring narrative, full of wild adventures and graphic accounts of manners and customs; on the contrary, few productions of the present season can lay claim to so high a degree of interest. Our authoress, a woman of the most powerful energy, full of strong but yet feminine impulses, for the sake of accompanying her gallant husband in his perilous journey in Kafirland, voluntarily left her own shore, and threw herself into the heart of a wild and savage country, inhabited by barbarous races and convulsed by all the horrors of a war between the civilised troops of the west and ruthless hordes of men, practised in all the arts of savage warfare.
The volumes will well repay perusal. Among the most striking passages in the whole work is the account of the wrecks of the Abercrombie Robinson and Waterloo, off the
Bay of Algoa. From these we are led deep into the bosom of a wild country, amid scenes the most exciting and wild, pictured with the skill of a practised writer. Years in Kafirland” is a work which will doubtless be popular during this and many ensuing seasons. Its fair author may reckon on acquiring a wide degree of popularity by its publication. To those who would acquire a knowledge of the events of the late war in Kafirland, of the plan of operations pursued, and the manner in which savage warfare is conducted, we recommend Mrs. Ward's book; and we trust to see more from the same hand. LITERARY Chit-Chat. With Miscellaneous Poems, and an Appendix of Prose Papers.
By David Lester Richardson, author of “Literary Leaves," &c. London: Madden, 1848.
Mr. David Lester Richardson is a writer of considerable polish and ease. He contrives out of the merest trifle to raise a superstructure of amusement of the sweetest description. There is little pretence in his writings, and for that reason, perhaps, they are the more worthy of admiration. "Graceful, easy, and light, he presents us with a series of agreeable sketches of almost all the writers of the present day. With his opinions of some we cannot agree. We say this, for though our author seeks to cast a veil over his sentiments, by placing them in the mouths of other people, yet it needs not great art to discover how far he thinks proper to “fraternise" with his ideal conversationalist. These dialogues remind us of Landon’s “Imaginary Conversations,” the transition from one person to another being natural, and by no means either too rupt or too studied. We admire the whole work exceedingly, and deem it admirably suggestive of what it professes itself to be-chit-chat. Society is mostly made up of chit-chat, and in the circle to which the present charming volume addresses itself the book before us is more par. ticularly likely to be read and admired. Every author likes to know what another thinks of his contemporaries, and here he will find opinions very freely expressed. To ladies, also, the volume presents many attractions. It is lively, animated, and contains speci. mens of letters from most of the writers mentioned. We would fain have made a selection from some of Mr. Richardson's charming poems at the end, to present to our readers as a specimen, but our limits are this month more than ordinarily brief. REVOLUTION IN EUROPE. A Monthly Record of Events Passing on the Continent.
Edited by Percy B. St. John. There can be little question that, of all the writers on the late stirring events in the French metropolis, Mr. Percy St. John is the most eminently adapted to present the public with a rapid and graphic record of passing events. Quick of perception, ardent, fiery, and easily moved, if not possessed of the requisites for forming a calm judgment, his mind naturally moulds itself to the circumstances of the times, and he feels as much at home in all the bustle and turmoil of a revolutionary city as the oyster in his shell.
“ The Revolution of Europe” is a narrative of the movements which have, since the upsetting of the French monarchy, swept, like the typhoon, over the whole face of Europe. Every nation in Christendom was agitated by the revolutionary shock save England, and England is too far elevated in the scale of nations to be influenced by the circumstances which agitate and throw other kingdoms into convulsions. She stands like the forest on a mountain top, beneath whose foot the storm blows by, and the clouds, loaded with thunder, are driven by the wind. Mr. Percy St. John, therefore, allows his language full swing when ling with the progress of events on the Continent. He has thrown together, in the first part of his serial work, a succinct and rapid narrative of all the events which, in their order, have passed before the public eye since the three great days of February. Politics, the social condition of the countries of Europe, commercial and financial intelligence, the press, theatres and amusements, the clubs of the French metropolis, in turn engross his attention. We trust that he will continue his monthly record of events. No one now will have an excuse for remaining ignorant of the progress of those great changes now visibly coming over the face of Europe, and doubtless, in time, of the whole world. Enthusiastic republican as he is, Mr. Percy B. St. John does not, while expounding his own principles, unnecessarily depreciate the political views of others. To each and every party he gives its due meed of praise and blame; though on the classes favourable to anarchy, to the renewal of confusion, and the recurrence of a reign of terror, he lets his blows fall with a heavy hand. We predict a wide circulation for this serial, and are convinced that its able editor will support the promise of the opening number.