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Which I have told thee of my father's death :
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face. Macready, the actor, who took a great interest in this picture of the scene by his friend Maclise, passed a curious criticism upon it. “To Maclise;" he writes in his Diary (April 5, 1842), “and was very much pleased to see his grand picture of Hamlet, which was splendid in colour and general effect. With some of the details (!) I did not quite agree, particularly the two personages, Hamlet and Ophelia.” This is praising a picture of Hamlet “with Hamlet left out.” But indeed the figure of Hamlet here is entirely without any suggestion of that subtle mixture of jesting madness with grim earnest, of sickly irresolution with righteous anger, which is the point of the character; whilst in Maclise's Ophelia there is nothing surely, either of the charm which makes her weakness the more pitiable, or the passion which makes her subsequent madness explicable. 1156. ON THE OUSE, YORKSHIRE.
George Arnald, A.R.A. (1763-1841). Arnald was elected A.R.A. in 1810, and in the following year his name appears in the Academy Catalogue as “ Landscape Painter to H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester.” In 1812 he exhibited a view of Coleorton, Sir George Beaumont's place, and from this time forward he was a regular contributor to the Academy ; but in 1820 and 1826 his name is absent from the Catalogue. He travelled and painted on the Continent, and among the results of his labours is a series of views on the Meuse, engraved in mezzotint from his drawings, and accompanied by descriptive text written by the author. 340. HOME FROM MARKET.
Sir A. W. Callcott, R.A. (1779-1844).
See under XVIII. 343, p. 464. 346. ENTRANCE TO PISA FROM LEGHORN.
Sir A. W. Callcott, R.A. (1779-1844).
See under XVIII. 343, p. 464. On the right is a portion of the quay of the Arno, with the buildings about the gate leading into the city from Leghorn. The old tower, now destroyed, flanks the western bridge (now replaced), and was a remnant of the days when Pisa was a strong city with command of the river and the neighbouring seas. This view was taken about 1833.
898. LORD BYRON'S DREAM.
Sir C. L. Eastlake, P.R.A. (1793–1866).
See under XX. 398, p. 533. This picture was painted at Rome in 1823 in illustration of the poem, “ The Dream,” which Byron had written at Diodati in 1816, and in which he had embalmed the story of his first love
There was a mass of many images
900. THE COUNTESS OF OXFORD.
John Hoppner, R.A. (1759–1810). It is much to be regretted that Hoppner is only represented in the National Gallery by a single portrait ; for he is the greatest of all the followers of Reynolds. Like another painter, Callcott, he was originally a choir-boy ; but he had court connections (his mother was a German lady-in-waiting), and on the strength of a pension from the king he entered the Academy Schools. In 1782 he won the gold medal ; in 1783 he was elected A.R.A., and two years later R.A. Patronised by the Prince of Wales, he soon became a fashionable portrait painter, the Whig ladies making a point of sitting to him, just as the Tory ladies sat to Lawrence. “ You will be sorry to hear," wrote the latter painter to a friend, when Hoppner was dying, “that my most powerful competitor, he whom only to my friends I have acknowledged as my rival, is, I fear, sinking into the grave. ... You will believe that I sincerely feel the loss of a brother artist, from whose works I have often gained instruction, and who has gone by my side in the race these eighteen years." Hoppner, who resided in Charles Street, at the gates of Carlton House, was a man of wide culture and information, and was something also of a poet, having published in 1805 a volume of verse translations from Eastern Tales.
A portrait, taken when she was twenty-three, of Jane Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. J. Scott, and wife of the fifth Earl of Oxford—exhibited at the Academy in 1798, and bequeathed by her daughter, Lady Langdale, in 1873. It is interesting before so good a specimen of Hoppner's work to recall what was the artist's own ideal for his portraits of beautiful women. “ The ladies of Lawrence," said he, “show a gaudy dissoluteness of taste, and sometimes trespass on moral, as well as professional, chastity." For his own he claimed, by implication, purity of look as well as purity of style. “ This sarcastic remark found wings in a moment, and flew through all coteries and through both courts; it did most harm to him who uttered it ; all men laughed, and then began to wonder how Lawrence, limner to perhaps the purest court in Europe, came to bestow lascivious looks on the meek and sedate ladies of quality about St. James's and Windsor, while Hoppner, limner to the court of the young prince, who loved mirth and wine, the sound of the lute, and the music of ladies' feet in the dance, should, to some of its gayest and giddiest ornaments, give the simplicity of manner and purity of style which pertained to the quakerlike sobriety of the other. Nor is it the least curious part of the story that the ladies, from the moment of the sarcasm of Hoppner, instead of crowding to the easel of him who dealt in the loveliness of virtue, showed a growing preference for the rival who 'trespassed on moral as well as on professional chastity'” (Allan Cunningham, v. 247).
894. THE PREACHING OF JOHN KNOX.
(June 10, 1559). Sir D. Wilkie, R.A. (1785-1841). See under XX. 99, p. 490.
The scene represented took place in the parish church of St. Andrews when the great Reformer had returned to Scotland after thirteen years of exile, and joined the Congregation, as the Protestants were called—the lay leaders of the party, mostly noblemen, being known as the Lords of the Congregation. Undismayed by the threats of the archbishop, Knox preached before them, and "such was the influence of his doctrine, that the provost, bailies, and inhabitants harmoniously agreed to set up the Reformed Worship in the town.” Close to the pulpit, (which is a drawing of the one in which Knox actually preached, Wilkie having discovered it in a cellar), on the right of Knox, are Richard Ballenden, his amanuensis, and Christopher Goodman, his colleague ; and in black the Knight Templar, Sir James Sandilands, in whose house the first Protestant Sacrament was received. Beyond, in red cap and gown, is that famous scholar of St. Andrews, the Admirable Crichton. Under the pulpit is the precentor, with his hour-glass. The schoolboy below is John Napier, the inventor of logarithms. On the other side of the picture are Lord James Stuart, afterwards Regent Murray; and the Earls of Glencairne, Morton, and Argyll, whose countess, the half-sister of Queen Mary, and the lady in attendance upon her, form the chief light of the picture. Above this group are the Archbishop of St. Andrews, the Bishop of Glasgow, and Quinten Kennedy, who maintained a public disputation with Knox; Kennedy is whispering to the archbishop, while a "jackman,'a retainer of the Cathedral, stands ready with the harquebuss, waiting the signal of the archbishop to fire upon the preacher. The Admirable Crichton, however, has his eye upon the jackman, and his hand on his sword, though his mind seems with Knox. In the gallery are the provost, the bailies, and some professors. At the back of it is a crucifix, attracting the regard of Catholic penitents, and in the obscurity above is an escutcheon to the memory of Cardinal Beaton.
The picture, though only completed (for Sir Robert Peel) in 1832, was commenced (for Lord Liverpool) ten years before. It was indeed in its conception Wilkie's first important attempt in his second manner. The minute Teniers-like execution of his earlier pictures is exchanged for a broader handling; and instead of being historical, in the sense of painting the actual events of his own time, Wilkie joins the army of “historical painters” who are so called from painting their ideas of the events of former times. Carlyle refers to this picture as a typical instance of the worthlessness of historical painting in this latter sense. “ There is not the least veracity," he says, "even of intention, in such things; and, for most part, there is an ignorance altogether abject. Wilkie's ' John Knox, for example: no picture that I ever saw by a man of genius can well be, in regard to all earnest purposes, a more perfect failure! Can anything, in fact, be more entirely useless for earnest purposes, more unlike what ever could have been the reality, than that gross Energumen, more like a boxing Butcher, whom he has set into a pulpit surrounded by
draperies, with fat-shouldered women, and play-actor men in mail, and labelled "Knox??" (Project of a National Exhibition of Scottish Portraits, in Miscellanies, people's ed., vii. 134). Carlyle's criticism upon the “boxing butcher" is the more interesting from the fact, probably unknown to him, that his old friend Edward Irving was the model from whom Wilkie drew his conception of Knox. Wilkie went to hear Irving preach in London; and the preacher, “ tall, athletic, and sallow, arrayed in the scanty robe of the Scotch divines, displaying a profusion of jet-black glossy hair reaching to his ample shoulders," unconsciously sat to the painter for the study of John Knox. Some of Carlyle's blame may therefore be shifted to the model, whose “performances did not inspire me with any complete or pleasant feeling ; there was a want of spontaneity and simplicity, a something of strained and aggravated, of elaborately intentional, which kept jarring on the mind” (Carlyle's Reminiscences, Norton's ed., ii. 135). Visitors who cannot endorse Carlyle's condemnation of the picture may comfort themselves with Scott's praise, not indeed of the picture in its final state (which he probably never saw), but of the first sketch for it. “I recollect," writes Collins, “Wilkie taking a cumbrous sketch in oil, for the picture of John Knox, all the way to Edinburgh, for Sir Walter Scott's opinion. I was present when he showed it to him ; Sir Walter was much struck with it, as a work of vast and rare power." 1091. THE VISION OF EZEKIEL.
P. F. Poole, R.A. (1806-1879). Paul Falconer Poole was born at Bristol, and was strictly selftaught. “A self-taught painter,” said Constable, “is one taught by a very ignorant person ;” and to this cause must be attributed the faultiness in the execution of Poole's pictures-his claim to distinction resting rather on the ambitious flights of his fancy. He passed through many hardships in early life, but ultimately attained much success. He first exhibited at the Academy in 1830, was elected A.R.A. in 1846, and R.A. in 1860.
" And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber . . . came the likeness of four living creatures ” (Ezekiel i. 4, 5).
Of this picture, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1875 at the same time as one by Mr. G. F. Watts, called “Dedicated to all the Churches,” Mr. Ruskin said : “Here at least are