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finished pictures, the “ Pyramids of Ghizeh,” and this one of Jerusalem, which was painted on the spot, and took five months' continuous work in its execution. “After visiting every part of the city,” he wrote from Jerusalem, “and surrounding country to determine what I would do, I have encamped upon the hill to the south, looking up the valley of Jehoshaphat; I have sketched the view which I see from the opening of my tent. I am painting from one hundred yards higher up, where I see more of the valley, with the Tombs of the Kings and Gethsemane. I get up before five, breakfast, and begin soon after six. I come in at twelve and dine, and sleep for an hour; and then, about two, paint till sunset." During all this time Seddon camped out-sleeping in a deserted tomb in the field of Aceldama, on the Hill of Evil Counsel. On his return to London, Seddon opened an exhibition of his Eastern sketches at 14 Berners Street (March - June 1855). “Mr. Ruskin came," he writes, “and stayed a long time. He was much pleased with everything and especially · Jerusalem,' which he praised wonderfully; and in good truth it is something for a man who has studied pictures so much to say, "Well, Mr. S., before I saw these, I never thought it possible to attain such an effect of tone and light without sacrificing truth of colour.'” Shortly afterwards Seddon, who resided at 27 Grove Terrace, Kentish Town, married. In 1856 he had another exhibition of his works, this time at Conduit Street. In the autumn of that year he set out for a second journey to the East, but was seized with dysentery and died at Cairo, where he is buried. A committee was formed in London-consisting of Mr. Ruskin, Mr. Ford Madox. Brown, Mr. Holman Hunt, Mr. W. M. Rossetti, and others - to arrange an exhibition of his works and promote a memorial, which was to consist of the purchase of this picture from his widow for 400 guineas and its presentation to the National Gallery. Mr. Ruskin, speaking at a conversazione at the Society of Arts on behalf of the fund, said “that the position which Mr. Seddon occupied as an artist appears to deserve some public recognition quite other than could be generally granted to genius, however great, which had been occupied only in previously beaten paths. Mr. Seddon's works are the first which represent a truly historic landscape art ; that is to say, they are the first landscapes uniting perfect artistical skill with topographical accuracy ; being directed, with stern self-restraint, to no other purpose than that of giving to persons who cannot travel trustworthy know. ledge of the scenes which ought to be most interesting to them. Whatever degrees of truth may have been attained or attempted by previous artists have been more or less subordinate to pictorial or dramatic effect. In Mr. Seddon's works, the primal object is to place the spectator, as far as art can do, in the scene represented, and to give him the perfect sensation of its reality, wholly unmodified by the artist's execution." The question before them, he added, was “ whether they would further the noble cause of truth in art, while they gave honour to a good and a great man, and consolation to those who loved him ; or whether they would add one more to the victories of oblivion, and suffer this picture, wrought in the stony desert of Aceldama, which was the last of his labours, to be also the type of his reward; whether they would suffer the thorn and the thistle to choke the seed that he had sown, and the sand of the desert to sweep over his forgotten grave.” In response to this appeal a sum of £600 was raised; the picture was duly presented to the National Gallery, and the balance of the money was given to Mrs. Seddon as a further tribute of respect to her husband's memory (Memoirs and Letters of the late Thomas Seddon, Artist. By his brother, 1858).
The foreground from which the view of Jerusalem is taken is the southern summit of the Olivet mountains which “stand round about Jerusalem," known as the Hill of Evil Counsel, whereon the chief priests “bought the potter's field to bury strangers in ” with Judas's thirty pieces of silver. The sleeping figure under the pomegranate tree represents the painter's Syrian servant, resting during the heat of the day. Facing the spectator on the left are seen the modern walls of Jerusalem, and the mosque of El-Aska on Mount Moriah, supposed to be on the site of the ancient Temple. “As now the dome of the mosque El-Aska, so then must have risen the Temple-tower; as now the vast enclosure of the Mussulman sanctuary, so then must have spread the Temple-courts ; as now the gray town on its broken hills, so then the magnificent city, with its background - long since vanished away — of gardens and suburbs on the western plateau behind. Immediately below was the valley of the Kedron, here seen in its greatest depth as it joins the valley of Hinnom, and thus giving full effect to the great peculiarity of Jerusalem seen only on its eastern side—its situation as of a city rising out of a deep abyss."I Below the walls of the city are the terraces of Mount Zion and the village of Siloam. Running north and south is the valley of the Kedron, identified with the valley of Jehoshaphat or of the Divine judgment, long regarded by Christian and Mussulman pilgrims as the destined scene of the judgment of the world. On the east of the valley is the ridge of the Mount of Olives, with the garden of Gethsemane
Dean Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 1873, p. 193). But the same peculiarity sometimes strikes the spectator as he looks at the city in this view of it from the south. I was once standing before this picture when two French visitors came up to it. They missed the inscription, and gave the picture only a momentary glance. “What can it be?” asked one of them. "Why, it must be a recollection of Monaco, of course," replied his friend.
sloping down to the valley, and nearer to the spectator the “ Mount of Offence," so called from Solomon's idol-worship. “I am told,” wrote the artist (June 10, 1854) in describing the view represented in his picture, “that, a month ago, the Mount of Olives was covered with beautiful flowers ; now they are all over, and, as most of the corn is cut, it is rather bare. It is dotted over with scattered olive trees which, in our Saviour's time, were probably thick groves, giving a good shelter from the heat of the sun. Its present look is peculiar; the rock is a light-gray limestone, showing itself in narrow ledges all up the sides; the soil is whitish, and the grass, now burned to a yellowish colour on the ledges in narrow strips, forms altogether a most delicate and beautiful colour, on which the gray-green olives stand out in dark relief. The evening sun makes it at first golden hued, and afterwards literally, as Tennyson writes, the purple brows of Olivet.'"
The topographical accuracy of the picture has been noticed in Mr. Ruskin's words above. Anything short of it would have seemed sacrilege to the painter. The spirit in which he set himself to depict the Holy City comes out very clearly in the same letter from which we have just quoted. “Besides the beauty of this land,” he writes, “one cannot help feeling that one is treading upon holy ground; and it is impossible to tread the same soil which our Lord trod, and wander over His favourite walks with the apostles, and follow the very road that He went from Gethsemane to the Cross, without seriously feeling that it is a solemn reality, and no dream.” It was one of the dearest wishes of his heart that this picture should find its way to the National Gallery. He had offered it to a gentleman, who expressed a wish to purchase it, for a lower sum than he would otherwise have taken, on the condition that he would promise to leave it to the nation on his decease ; and he left behind him a memorandum of plans for a larger version of the same subject to be placed in some public gallery, so as to give the public a "correct representation of the very places which were so often trod by our Redeemer during His sojourn on earth.” One cannot have a more instructive lesson in Pre-Raphaelitism than by comparing this picture-painted in such a spirit and depicting a scene as it really looks—with Sir Charles Eastlake's representation, in the next room (397, p. 554), of the scene as he supposed it might gracefully and prettily have looked. The latter version will often attract more than
Seddon's, the clear blue sky and complete absence of atmosphere here being in particular a block of offence to those unacquainted with the East. But the very unattractiveness of the true scene is not without significance. “The first view of Olivet impresses us chiefly by its bare matter-of-fact appearance; the first approach to the hills of Judæa reminds the English traveller not of the most, but of the least, striking portions of the mountains of his own country. Yet all this renders the Holy Land the fitting cradle of a religion which expressed itself not through the voices of rustling forests, or the clefts of mysterious precipices, but through the souls and hearts of men; which was destined to have no home on earth, least of all in its own birthplace; which has attained its full dimensions only in proportion as it has travelled farther from its original source, to the daily life and homes of nations as far removed from Palestine in thought and feeling as they are in climate and latitude ; which, alone of all religions, claims to be founded not on fancy or feeling, but on Fact and Truth” (Stanley: Sinai and Palestine, p. 156).
231. THOMAS DANIELL, R.A. Sir D. Wilkie, R.A. (1785-1841). See under XX. 99, p. 490.
Thomas Daniell, born 1749, was the son of an inn-keeper at Chertsey, and had been apprenticed to an heraldic painter. In 1784 he set out with his nephew William for India, where he stayed for ten years, and acquired a competence as a landscape painter. There is an Indian landscape by him in this room, 899, p. 562. On his return to London he set to work on the publication of six large volumes of Oriental Scenery, the plates being executed by himself and his nephew. He published many other illustrated works of architecture and travel, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society as well as R.A. He died at Kensington at the age of ninety-one.
402. A SCENE FROM “DON QUIXOTE.” C. R. Leslie, R.A. (1794-1859). See under XX. 403, p. 514.
This picture, exhibited in 1844, is a repetition (for Mr. Vernon), with some slight alterations, of a picture painted for Lord Egremont, and exhibited in 1824, when the following quotation was affixed
“First and foremost I must tell you I look on my master, Don Quixote, to be no better than a downright madman, though sometimes he will stumble upon a parcel of sayings so quaint and so lightly put