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utter neglect of all botanical detail, this · Holy Family' has lost every atom of ideal character, and reminds us of nothing but an English fashionable flower-garden ; the formal pedestal adding considerably to this effect” (Sir Joshua and Holbein, in 0. O. R., i. 221-236; Modern Painters, vol. i. preface to ad ed., p. xxviii.) 105. A SMALL LANDSCAPE.
Sir George Beaumont (1753-1827)
See under XVII. 119, p. 427. A little picture, now in very bad condition, of a wooded stream, with mountains in the distance, and a stormy sky, 123. A LANDSCAPE: BY MOONLIGHT.
Edward Williams (English : 1782-1855). This artist (a nephew of James Ward, R.A.) was the son of an engraver, and combined the trade of carver and gilder with miniature and landscape painting. 136. PORTRAIT OF A LADY. Sir T. Lawrence, P.R.A. (English : 1769–1830).
See under 144, p. 445. A portrait of the wife of Mr. Francis Robertson of Brighton. 139. RELIGION ATTENDED BY THE VIRTUES.
Angelica Kaufmann, R.A. (English : 1741-1807). This artist was born in Switzerland, but in 1766 came to England, where she was received with great distinction, and two years later was elected one of the original members of the Academy. She knew all the celebrities of the day, and Sir Joshua Reynolds was ever her “firmest friend.” Her work, which was immensely popular (especially in engravings), has indeed a faint and faded resemblance to Sir Joshua's; but her pictures no longer meet a popular craze or command high prices, and she is now best remembered for her romantic story, which has been so prettily idealised in Miss Thackeray's Miss Angel. 140. PORTRAIT OF A LADY.
Bartholomeus van der Helst (Dutch : 1613–1670). Little is known of the life of this painter (who appears to have studied under De Keyser, X. 212, p. 246) except that he resided constantly at Amsterdam, and was in good practice there as a portrait motherly girl-one so little worthy to have been selected as the mother of the Saviour, that she seems to have neither heart nor feeling to entitle her to become a mother at all."
painter. He had a part in founding the Painters' Guild there, whilst his likeness of Paul Potter at the Hague (1654), and his partnership with Bakhuizen, who laid in the backgrounds of some of his pictures in 1668, indicate a constant companionship with the best artists of the time. He married at an advanced age, and had one son, who also painted portraits, but with little success. His masterpiece is in the Museum at Amsterdam. It contains thirty-five portraits, whole length, and represents a banquet given by a company of the civil-guard of Amsterdam, in commemoration of the Peace of Münster, in 1648. Sir Joshua Reynolds, in his Journey to Flanders and Holland, says of that work that it “is, perhaps, the first picture of portraits in the world, comprehending more of those qualities which make a perfect portrait than any other I have ever seen.” Whilst delighted with Van der Helst, Sir Joshua was disappointed by Rembrandt; and certainly “Van der Helst attracts by qualities entirely differing from those of Rembrandt and Frans Hals : nothing can be more striking than the contrast between the strong concentrated light and the deep gloom of Rembrandt, and the contempt of chiaroscuro peculiar to his rival, except the contrast between the rapid sketchy touch of Hals and the careful finish and rounding of Van der Helst.” 147. CEPHALUS AND AURORA. Agostino Carracci (Eclectic-Bologna : 1557–1602).
See under 148, p. 651. A cartoon, like the companion picture (148), for a fresco in the Farnese Palace. Cephalus, while on a hunting expedition on Mount Hymettus, is forcibly carried off by Aurora. 167. THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI.
Peruzzi (Sienese : 1481-1537). See under II. 218, p. 40.
A drawing in chiaroscuro, which was engraved by Agostino Carracci in 1579, of the same composition as in 218. 178. SERENA AND THE RED CROSS KNIGHT.
William Hilton, R.A. (English : 1786-1839). Hilton, born at Lincoln, was the son of a portrait painter, and studied under J. R. Smith, the engraver. He was elected A.R.A. in 1813, R.A. in 1819, and Keeper in 1827. “ Already, in 1803, he appeared as an exhibitor at the Academy, and very soon acquired distinction for his choice of subject, his refined taste in design, and a harmonious and rich style of colouring, though, from an injudicious method of mixing and applying his colours, his pictures are now rapidly perishing The use of asphaltum seems to be the chief cause of this mischief” (Wornum's Catalogue).
A large picture illustrating Spenser's Faërie Qucene, book vi. canto viii.
225. BEATIFIC VISION OF THE MAGDALEN.
Giulio Romano (Roman : 1498–1546).
See under XIII. 624, P. 309. A semi-circular fresco, showing the Magdalen borne upwards by angels to witness the joys of the blessed. 315. THE INSTALLATION OF THE ORDER OF
THE GARTER. B. West, P.R.A. (English: 1738–1820). See under 144, p. 446. 333-336. EDITH AND HAROLD. W. Hilton, R.A. (English: 1786-1839). See under 178, p. 656.
No. 333 is a very large picture, showing Edith and the monks discovering the dead body of Harold after the battle of Hastings. Nos. 334-336 are studies of heads for 333. 355. DULL READING.
Andrew Geddes, A.R.A. (English : 1789-1844). Geddes, a native of Edinburgh, and a friend of Wilkie, was chiefly a portrait painter, but he also painted landscapes and a few historical pieces. He was elected A. R. A. in 1832.
A portrait of Terry, an actor, and his wife, who was a sister of Patrick Nasmyth (see XVIII. 380, p. 458). The wife has read her husband to sleep. 454. STUDY OF A FEMALE HEAD.
E. V. Rippingille (English : 1798-1859). 507. SCENE FROM BOCCACCIO.
J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (1775–1851). See on p. 574. This picture, as well as most of those by Turner which are not publicly exhibited, belongs to the worst period of his Academy pictures (see p. 590). It is, says Thornbury (i. 306), "a careless, sketchy, and unpleasing picture in imitation of Stothard, called 'Boccaccio relating the tale of the Birdcage.' The trees of the glen are pleasantly grouped, but the figures are bad, and the distant white castle is very crude and glaring.
No such story as the Birdcage is in the Decameron,' says Mr. Wornum ; but I perfectly remember the obscene story to which Turner alludes reservedly in his title.” “Of the peculiar, and almost the only serious weakness of Turner's mind—with respect to figures—this,” says Mr. Ruskin,"and the ‘Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego' (517, below), are very lamentable instances. Except as subjects for curious study, they are of no value whatsoever” (Notes on the Turner Gallery, p. 43). 510. PILATE WASHING HIS HANDS.
J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (1775-1851). See on p. 574. Exhibited at the Academy in 1830. A very unsuccessful picture on the text :
“And when Pilate saw he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person ; see ye to it” (Matthew xxvii. 24). 514. WATTEAU PAINTING.
J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (1775-1851). See on p. 574. This and the following picture (515) were exhibited at the Academy in 1831. The full title was “ Watteau Painting : Study by Fresnoy's Rules”.
White, when it shines with unstained lustre clear,
May bear an object back, or bring it near. These two lines are a translation from Du Fresnoy's Latin poem on the Art of Painting—a work which Dryden translated, and Sir Joshua Reynolds annotated. The picture is only interesting as showing Turner's study of the precepts and practice of his art : note the introduction of an artist's name into the title (cf. under XXII. 536, p. 612). 515. LORD PERCY UNDER ATTAINDER, 1606.
J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (1775–1851). See on p. 574. A poor picture, showing Lucy, Countess of Carlisle, and Dorothy Percy, visiting their father, Lord Percy, when he was under attainder on suspicion of being implicated in the Gunpowder Plot-interesting only as showing the persistence with which, in spite of failure, Turner attempted figure subjects. 517. THE FIERY FURNACE.
J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (1775-1851). See on p. 574. Exhibited in 1832, and painted in friendly rivalry with Jones's picture (see under XX. 389, p. 514). The figures are very bad (see under 507, p. 657); but “there is a smirched blackness and sweeping flame about this small picture that is very grand, obscure as all else in it is ” (Thornbury, i. 321).
529. WAR. THE EXILE AND THE ROCK LIMPET.
J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (1775-1851). See on p. 574. Exhibited in 1842, as a companion to “ The Burial of Wilkie” (XIX. 528, p. 637), which Turner called “ Peace." The picture represents Napoleon on the shore of St. Helena at sunset, watching a solitary shell. “Once a noble piece of colour, now quite changed just at the focus of light where the sun is setting, and injured everywhere. The figure is not, however, in reality quite so ill-drawn as it looks, its caricatured length being in great part owing to the strong reflection of the limbs, mistaken by the eye, at a distance, for part of the limbs themselves. The lines which Turner gave with this picture are very important, being the only verbal expression of that association in his mind of sunset colour with blood before spoken of (under XXII. 508, p. 620)
Ah! thy tent-formed shell is like
M.S. “Fallacies of Hope." The conceit of Napoleon's seeing a resemblance in the limpet's shell to a tent, was thought trivial by most people at the time; it may be so (though not to my mind); the second thought, that even this poor wave-washed disc had power and liberty, denied to him, will hardly, I think, be mocked at” i (Notes on the Turner Gallery, pp. 70, 71). 531. SHADE AND DARKNESS. THE EVENING
OF THE DELUGE. J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (1775-1851). See on p. 574. This and the companion picture (532) were exhibited in 1843, when “Turner, tired now of plain sober truth, or deter
1 The picture was ridiculed at the time of its appearance by Thackeray, and also parodied in Punch, which called it “ The Duke of Wellington and the Shrimp (Seringapatam, early morning)
And can it be, thou hideous imp,
That life is, ah! how brief, and glory but a shrimp!" These criticisms hurt Turner sorely, says Mr. Ruskin, and his want of articulateness (see p. 583) had its tragic side. But the comic critics were not without excuse, for Mr. Ruskin himself records how Turner“ tried hard, one day, for a quarter of an hour, to make me guess what he was doing in the picture of Napoleon, before it had been exhibited, giving me hint after hint in a rough way; but I could not guess, and he would not tell me" (Modern Painters, vol. v. pt. ix, ch, xi. & 30 n.)