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By Quentin Matsya. Contributed by Her Majesty, from Windsor Castle, to the Manchester Exhibition.
No. 445 of the Catalogue.
period. At this point I may observe that, Italian art having existed long anterior to the earliest efforts of the Teutons, all antecedent examples were placed on the cross wall, running north and south, forming, therefore, an isolated range of art, down to the year 1400.
With the fifteenth century German and Flemish art began, and the starting subject at Manchester was a very imposing one. It presented the entire series of pictures, in their undoubtedly original order of arrangement, forming the great altarpiece, or Retable, in the cathedral church of St. Bavon, at Ghent. This old copy, probably of the sixteenth century, was painted on large sheets of strained canvas, whereas the originals, by the Brothers Van Eyck, having been painted on separate panels, have been unfortunately dispersed. The copy at Manchester afforded the only extant authority, or clue, for their original arrangement.
Of the succeeding period a most valuable series of pictures was contributed by the Prince Consort. Indeed without this bounty and the aid of Lord Carlisle, the Duke of Newcastle, the Rev. J. M. Heath, Mr. Beresford Hope, Mr. J. H. Green, and Sir Culling Eardley, the earlier productions of the German school would have been wanting altogether. At the period of the Manchester Exhibition, not one of the following masters, although great and important in their way, was to be found in our National Gallery catalogue :—Van der Weyden, Meister Stephan, Grünewald, Memling, Wohlgemuth, Mabuse, Quentin Matsys, Martin Schön, Cranach, Lucas Van Leyden, Bervard Van Orley, Burgkmayer, Herri de Bles, Patenier, Horenbout, Van Cleef, Pourbus, Sir Antonio More, and Janet. All these masters were admirably represented at Manchester; a few of these names however had been already familiar to the public who visited Hampton Court. Most prominent among the foregoing pictures were two comparatively small ones, by Memling, t belonging to the Rev. Messrs. Heath and Fuller Russell ; the far famed Misers, from Windsor Castle ; f an altar piece, by Quentin Matsys, contributed by Mr. J. H. Green; St. Peter and St. Dorothea, | by Meister Cristoph, from Kensington palace, and the universally admired Chef d'œuvre of Mabuse, the Adoration of the Kings, 91 from Castle Howard. The portaiture by Sir A. More, Van Cleef, and Pourbus,
• No. 375–See the accompanying key-illustration of the entire series of this important work, with one portion enlarged, drawn by G. Scharf, and contributed by Mr. Murray.
+ Nos. 397 and 399. No. 145–See accompanying illustration contributed by Mr. Murray. § No. 416. No 411. I No. 1:36.
created no small surprise; but Holbein was seen to less advantage, since many of his most finished works had necessarily been assigned to the series of distinguished persons, in the British Portrait Gallery. Lord Warwick's famous picture* was seen in excellent light, and it was only to be regretted that Holbein's two great pictures, containing large groups of figures, introducing Henry VIII in one and Edward VI in the other, had not been forthcoming from the precincts of the City of London.
The Exhibition was remarkably deficient in the Flemish masters who led up to Rubens and Van Dyck; but of this glorious period little could be devised to increase the effect which saloon B afforded. It will suffice here to mention the fine St. Martin † from Windsor Castle, Lord Darnley's Queen Tomyris,; and a scarcely known but immense picture of Juno with the eyes of Argus, belonging to Mr. Wyatt, and Rubens and his wife in several pictures. Snyders the great fruit painter, and Jordaens were seen in great truth and brilliancy. Van Dyck's glowing picture of St. Jerome from Charlecote manor fully rivalled his master in intensity ; but it was in saloon C, by the side of Rembrandt in portraiture, that he was best seen. The Three Children || painted by Van Dyck at Genoa, contributed by Earl de Grey, and the King Charles on Horseback, I from Windsor castle, formed a magnificent termination to the gallery, and indeed the last-named work afforded an excellent type of all his productions. Most of these pictures were contributed by some long-established family, and generally by the noble descendants of those for whom they had originally been painted. This was indeed a fact remarkable to foreigners, since, notwithstanding the numerous vicissitudes and destruction which have raged at various times, family property has been to so great an extent respected and preserved. Rembrandt was seen at Manchester principally as a portrait painter. A very small but exquisite picture of the Magdalen at the Tomb,*2 contributed by Her Majesty, from Buckingham Palace, exhibited the painter's powers with extraordinary effect, and an extensive landscape,t the property of Lord Overstone, distinctly claimed for him the foremost rank in this line.
Of Dutch landscape, on a large scale, an unequalled series was collected in this part of the gallery. It is not possible to do more than enumerate
By Vandyck. Contributed by Fer Maenty from Windsor Castle to the Manchester Exhibition.
No. 737 of the Catalogue.
By Fandyck. Contituted by