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temperament in this portrait, but still more of the modesty and good humour of a man who had no enemies and many friends, and of whom Scott said “no man possesses more justly the general esteem and affection.” 810. PARDON DAY IN BRITTANY.
Charles Poussin (French : born 1819; still living). M. Pierre Charles Poussin was a pupil of L. Cogniet, and has been an exhibitor at the French Salon since 1842, but has never obtained a prize. Many of his pictures have been, like this one, of scenes in Brittany. He has not exhibited since 1882.
The scene is that of a fête held in honour of Notre Dame de Bon Secours of Guingamp in Brittany, on the 2d of July in every year. Pope Paul V. in 1619 granted a plenary indulgence to all persons “who truly confessed and communicated, who shall visit the said church of Nôtre Dame de Guingamp on the day and fête of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which it is the custom every year to celebrate on the ad day of July ; who shall devotionally pray for the preservation of concord and peace among all Christian princes; who shall render hospitality to the poor pilgrims; who shall make peace with their enemies, and shall promote it amongst others—shall, in short, sweetly bring into the way of salvation some unfortunate and erring soul.” An English visitor published a long account of the fête in the Standard of July 5 and following days in 1870, describing “the frank but sedate festivity” and “merry-making under the trees." That was twenty years after this picture was painted. Meyerbeer's opera of Dinorah refers to a similar festival. 130. THE CORN FIELD.
J. Constable, R.A. (1776-1837).
See under XVIII. 1235, p. 459. This picture—known sometimes as “The Corn Field," sometimes as “ The Country Lane"—was presented to the Gallery by an association of gentlemen who bought it of Constable's executors. The scene depicted is very characteristic of the painter, being just such as Mrs. Browning describes as typical of lowland England
I learnt to love that England ...
Can stoop to tenderly and the wheatfields climb;
Aurora Leigh. 1207. THE HAY WAIN.
J. Constable, R.A. (1776-1837).
See under XVIII. 1235, p. 459. This picture was exhibited at Somerset House in 1821, Twelve months later it was at the British Institution, but at neither place did it find a purchaser. In 1823 a French dealer offered Constable £70 for it. This was refused ; but in 1824 the painter sold both it and “A Lock” to the same man for £250, throwing in a small picture of Yarmouth. The two larger landscapes were hung in that year's “ Salon," where they made a great stir among artists, and won a gold medal from the king, and called forth the criticisms already alluded to (see p. 460). The spot represented is the same as in 327, one looking up, the other down the Stour. There is a freshness in the landscape which explains what the French critics said: “Look,” they cried, “at these pictures by the Englishman. · The ground seems to be covered with dew." 327. THE VALLEY FARM.
J. Constable, R.A. (1776-1837).
See under XVIII, 1235, p. 459. The farmhouse on the banks of the Stour is that known as Willy Lott's house-a veritable “haunt of ancient peace," for of Willy Lott, who was born in it, it is said that he lived more than eighty years without having spent four whole days away from it. Constable lived in London, but it was his Suffolk home that he loved to paint
... the lovely laughter of the wind-swayed wheat,
JEAN INGELOW : Honours. 124. THE REV. WILLIAM HOLWELL CARR.
John Jackson, R.A. (1778–1831.) A portrait of one of the principal benefactors of the National Gallery, by an artist who owed his training to the generosity of another. Jackson was the son of a tailor in Yorkshire, of Methodist inclinations, Sir George Beaumont, seeing the promise in some of his earlier sketches, received the young man into his town house and gave him an annual allowance of £50 to enable him to study at the Academy. Jackson made good use of his opportunities, and became A.R.A. in 1815, R.A. in 1817. He painted the portraits of several of his brother academicians, and otherwise enjoyed a large practice in this branch of art, being especially noted for his speed of hand : he was able, it is said, to turn out a finished portrait in six sittings of an hour each.
The present portrait was painted by Mr. Carr's direction, in order to be included in his munificent gift to the Gallery, particulars of which may be gathered from Index II., and which included fine pictures by Titian, Claude, Tintoret, Andrea del Sarto, Rembrandt, and the Poussins. Mr. Carr was an absentee country clergyman who held a rich living, married a rich wife, and devoted himself and his fortune to the arts. He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he was elected to a fellowship. It was when travelling in Italy on the strength of this fellowship that he began to form his collection of pictures. From 1797-1820 he exhibited, as an “honorary exhibitor" at the Academy, a series of landscape views done by himself. He died in 1830, at the age of seventy-two, in his house at Devonshire Place, and his pictures came next year into the National Gallery by his bequest. 429. THE PATHWAY TO THE VILLAGE CHURCH.
Thomas Creswick, R.A. (1811-1869). Creswick-a native of Sheffield, who settled in London and had a career of uniform success as a landscape painter, broken only by some years of heart disease at the end-is entitled to particular mention as having in his early practice set an example, then much needed, of diligent sketching out of doors. To this practice must be attributed his success in rendering such sunny aspects of woodland England as we see in this picture. Mr. Ruskin instances Creswick as a typical “modern painter * not of the first class, in the faithfulness of his study from nature, in con. trast to the conventional untruthfulness in old masters such as Poussin (see under XIV. 68, p. 364). Creswick's is “the work of a man who has sought earnestly for truth: and who, with one thought or memory of nature in his heart, could look at the two landscapes, and receive Poussin's with ordinary patience? . . . Creswick has sweet feeling, and tries for the real green too, but, from want of science in his shadows, ends in green paint instead of green light” (Modern Painters, vol. i. pt. ii. sec. vi. ch. i. 88 20, 34). A young girl pauses at the stile
The “ why” is plain as way to parish church.
918. FISHERMAN WITH A GUN.
T. S. Good (1789-1872). See under 378, p. 498. A coast scene near the painter's home, at Berwick—the fisherman on the look-out for sea-gulls. 398. HAIDÉE: A GREEK GIRL.
Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, P.R.A. (1793–1866). Sir Charles Eastlake, though he was President of the Royal Academy (elected 1850), is more interesting, in a handbook to the National Gallery, as a Keeper, than as a painter, of pictures. On the death of Mr. Seguier, the original Keeper of the Gallery, in 1843, Eastlake was appointed to succeed him. This office he resigned in 1847, partly in consequence of the outcry raised in the newspapers against the management of the Gallery, and in particular the purchase of the spurious Holbein (see p. 261). The history of the dispute may be read in the fullest detail in the Report of the Select Committee of 1853, an impartial study of which shows that whatever blunders may have been committed were principally due to the system of divided responsibility. In 1855 the management of the Gallery was entirely reorganised, and Sir Charles Eastlake (who was already, in virtue of his being P.R.A., an ex-officio trustee) was appointed Director at a salary of £1000, an office which he held, being re-elected every five years, till his death. The chief feature of the new scheme was the grant of an annual sum, to be expended at the discretion of the Director in the purchase of pictures. Up to 1855 the total number of pictures purchased for the Gallery from its foundation in 1824 was only ninetysix ; during Sir C. Eastlake's directorate the number was 155. A reference to Index II. will show what the pictures bought during 18551866 were, and their prices. The most notable purchases were the great Perugino, the great Paul Veronese, the Fra Angelico, the Garvagh Raphael, and Gainsborough's “Mrs. Siddons.” But Sir C. Eastlake's purchases—in prosecution of which he used to make an annual tour on the continent-comprised 111 masters, in eight different schools, and extended over a period of seven centuries. In these generally judicious purchases he was assisted by his wide knowledge of the history of painting. His Materials for a History of Oil Painting 1 is still the standard work on the subject, and he also edited a translation of Kugler's Italian Schools of Painting. His literary and official work interfered with his professional practice as an artist, and the total num. ber of pictures exhibited by him was only ninety-six. These were chiefly either historical, or of subjects suggested by his early residence for fourteen years in Italy. He was a native of Plymouth, and was educated (like Sir Joshua Reynolds) at the Plympton Grammar School. He was then for a short time at the Charterhouse, and after studying under Haydon became a pupil at the Academy Schools. In 1817 he went to Greece and Italy. In 1827 he was elected A.R.A., in 1830 R.A In this latter year he returned from Italy to London, residing first in Upper Fitzroy Street and afterwards in Fitzroy Square. He is described as "a man of unassuming and rather courtier-like bearing," and he discharged his official duties with much dignity and tact. His son is the present Keeper of the National Gallery.
1 A review of this book by Mr. Ruskin-one of his only two anonymous articles-appeared in the Quarterly, and is reprinted in On the Old Road, vol. i.
This picture (exhibited at the Academy in 1831) is a translation to canvas of Byron's Haidée, “the greatest heiress of the Eastern Isles” (see Don Juan, Canto ii.)—
Her brow was overhung with coins of gold
441. A BASKET OF FRUIT AND A BIRD'S NEST. :
G. Lance (1802–1864). See under 443, p. 509. Very skilfully painted—especially the raspberries. Notice also particularly “the little pitted speck" in the pear and the drops of moisture upon the apple. Herein Lance shows his kinship with the Dutch flower and fruit painters. “In every flower-piece of pretension, by the masters of that old school, two accessory points of decoration are never absent. The first of these is the dew-drop, or rain-drop-it may be two or three drops, of either size, on one of the smoothest petals of the central flower. This is always, and quite openly, done to show how well the painter can do it,—not in the least with any enjoyment of wetness in the flower. The Dutchman never got a wet flower to paint from. He had his exquisite and exemplary poppy or tulip brought in from the market, as he had occasion, and put on its dew-drops for it, as a lady's dressing-maid puts on her diamonds, merely for state ” (Notes on Prout and Hunt, p. 14).