Imatges de pàgina

is an object in which this artist soars far above his contemporaries. In this instance it is painted in the silvery grey key of the young Vandevelde, and from this passage to the foreground the picture is conducted with an infinite deal of skill; and the aerëal perspective is altogether excellent. The drag of his pencil is masterly, and we think considerably improved; but there are some of the figures which are indifferent, and one on the right in the fore-ground, we think ought to be entirely annihilated.



His dog is admirably drawn, and equally well coloured, and the drapery of his plaid is broadly and judiciously cast. No. 86, "Portrait of himself," is a good picture in a fancy dress, and very like Mr NicholWe admire the squareness of his touch in the dress; but we think it possible, still to increase the resemblance of the different substances composing the face and head in all his portraits; a remark which, by the way, may not be inapplicable to other pictures in the room, and doubt less, worthy of being attended to by every portrait painter.


No. 128, "Portrait of a Child," is one of the best portraits of this artist, and treated in a style highly creditable to him. Infancy is here very well pourtrayed (altho' perhaps too gravely) and although it will be admitted, that in this instance, the lamb which he has introduced, is appropriate enough, we still object to it being there at all; because it distracts the attention, and detracts from the value of the light on the principal figure. The back-ground, which is extremely judicious, is touched and coloured with skill and freedom. The small water-colour heads, exhibited for the first time this season by Mr Nicholson, are entitled to great praise; they are sweetly touched, well drawn, and exceedingly faithful as to likeness. We may notice in particular, No. 132, Portrait of Mr George Thomson, No. 137. Bishop Cameron, and No. 138, Mr Robert Stein,-as being altogether unexceptionable.

[ocr errors]

No. 47. "View of Derwent-Water, looking toward Borrowdale." Rev. John Thomson. Most of the remarks which we have applied, when writing of Mr Gibson's works, are equally applicable to the productions of this reverend gentleman. In the specimen just noted, he has given us a beautiful example of art. The sky

This is a portrait of the poet's faithful companion.

No. 76. "View of DuddingstonHouse." This specimen is treated in a warm key, and many of the passages are distinguished for fine feeling. We do not altogether admire the stubby character of the large tree on the left in the fore-ground; neither are the laws of perspective strictly adhered to, in designing the cattle and the swan, which last rather borders on a lusus naturæ. But the middle ground is delicate, and very true to nature; and any small faults we have pointed out are powerfully counterbalanced by the merit of the picture in general, and of the sky in particular.

No. 89. "Lower fall of Dallkairny, Airshire." From the great paucity of landscape in the present exhibition, our taste indulges in the few that are afforded with voracious appetite.— This picture, which is painted on a quarter length, canvas, we should conceive to be conducted in a style more learned and recondite than is likely to be fully understood by the public. The water, in the fall, is painted with the truth and force of Everdingen, and the sky (as is usual in the works of this artist) is painted with great excellence. The figures are judicious, both as to their position and colour, and the whole forms a landscape tres recherché.

No. 168. "Sketch from Nature, in Duddingston Park." Rev. J. Thomson," is more peculiarly to be noticed,


[ocr errors]

on account of the extent of country it exhibits, and the beauty of its distance. The sky in this specimen is not, in our opinion, so successful an effort of the author as in any of the others-it partakes too much of the purple tint, which is increased in its tone by the power of the colours with which it is opposed. No. 169. "Sketch from the grounds of Sir Patrick Inglis," is modestly called a Sketch, but it possesses, in our opinion, a vast deal of merit-the distant hills are kept in shadow, and the middle ground, with sheep browsing, on which the greatest light is brought, is a very fine passage -the fore-ground and figures are good, and the sky (the "o'er-word ay") has certainly been coloured from nature.

This is a masterly sketch-the grouping of the horses and figures breathes the sentiment, and possesses a power of colouring approaching Rubens. The air of the heads, and the disposition of the legs of the horse, form a useful study for artists who follow in this tract. The face of the Uncle is, however, too much that of a young man, and the heads of the children are very carelessly treated.

No. 60. "Portrait of a Lady," (Mrs F. Walker and Children.) John Moir. This is the only specimen afforded to us this season by the artist. The colouring of the head of the principal figure gives a fair example of his pencil-and the air, colouring, and drawing of the child leaning on the lady's lap, is decidedly better than any thing we have noticed on former occasions. The other little one is quaintly enough introduced, amusing itself with a bird, which is held in its hand; but we cannot give any opinion as to likeness-not knowing the originals.

This artist appears to have a judicious, well-constructed eye, capable of discovering beauties in the shapes and colours of the commonest objects, and even in such as are comparatively inconsiderable. Painting is an exquisite and bewitching art, and besides, being a beautiful ornament, its contemplation always gives peculiar pleasure. Painters are properly placed on a level with poets, historians, and even philosophers, because, all instruct and entertain us equally. Genius is by them excited, every good quality of the heart is improved, and the soul is awakened to feelings of which it previously had neither information nor enjoyment. Some bigots in the height of their folly have gone so far as to entertain doubts of the propriety of clergymen cultivating a knowledge of this branch of art! But we sturdily tell these persons, that in doing so, there is, in our apprehension, as great merit as was acknowledged to Principal Robertson for writing his cele

No. 72." View of Edinburgh." Hugh William Williams. We very much regret having occasion to observe, that this is a solitary specimen of this artist's pencil. The point of view is judiciously selected, and affords a choice opportunity of introducing with perfect effect the Cupulo of St George's church, (which, by the way, is the only decent part of that building;) the aerial perspective of the Castle is extremely fine, and the town in general is well painted.But we think that the powerful gleam of light brought on Nelson's Monument, and on St Andrew's Spire, have a tendency to hurt the perspective, by drawing these objects too near

brated histories,-to Home for writ--the streets in the New Town, being kept in shadow. The fore-ground appears to have been finished rather hastily; and we doubt not, that when the exhibition closes, this agreeable artist will bestow a little time on the passage we have just mentioned.


ing the tragedy of Douglas,-or to any Reverend Professor whatever, for pruning and top-dressing the pages of

a novel.

No. 55. "From the Children in the Wood." T. Stothart, R. A.

No. 93. "Fruit," and No. 111.— "Flowers." P. Syme. This artist continues to advance in the knowledge of his profession, and to represent, with truth and great taste, the different objects he introduces in his pictures. His pencil is delicious, and his works are (what all specimens in this branch of art ought to be) highly finished.

No. 80." Landscape.-Composition." David Thomson. We take this opportunity of expressing our sincere regret for the loss the arts have sustained in the premature death of this excellent young man, whose versatile genius enabled him to cultivate, with success, an intimate acquaintance with all the fine arts. To him, alas! our praise or censure is now equally indifferent; but his friends may learn No. 145 and 147. "Horses," by with pleasure, that in the pictures W. Kidd. The head of the trotting now produced, there is to be discover-mare is not well drawn, and appears, ed strong symptoms of improvement, in consequence, to be rather distorted. -in particular, as to his handling. But the favourite old brown horse is This picture is on a quarter canvas, drawn with skill, and very well coand represents, with much truth, the loured. last glow of sun set. The lights on the tops of the hills in the distance, are extremely beautiful, and well made out. The leafing of the trees, and the figures on the fore-ground, are well painted, and as well understood. The aerial perspective thrown on the wood at the foot of the hills is judiciously and tenderly managed. But we think this clever picture would have been considerably improved by having some cold colour worked on the foreground-the fury of the scarlet mantle on the girl in the cart tamed and kept down, and the boat on the lake withdrawn altogether.


The chief objects which yet remain to be noticed are the models, and we hail with pleasure the dawn of this important branch of art being practised in Scotland.

No. 173. "Satan," F. A. Legé. The general conception of this figure is impressive, and the scowling visage of his sable majesty is fraught with many of the worst passions, and well expressed. Some intrusive Goth, has dared to mutilate this figure! But every one knows, that the hand which cannot build a hovel, unfortunately has power to destroy a temple!

No. 174. Bust of Wellington." Jos. St Goerge Never having had the pleasure of seeing this distinguished warrior, we cannot offer any opinion as to the likeness-but his features are so marked, that 'twere not easy to fail in their delineation. It is freely modelled, and the drapery very well cast. This young artist appears to be making rapid advancement, and to feel his art.


No. 175. Study from the Laocoon," and No. 176. "Model of a Canopy," J. Berrie, are both works of considerable merit. The whole of the figure, which is squeezed into the niche in the canopy, is very good, -the extremities peculiarly so: but

"Death only can be dreadful to the bad: "To innocence 'tis like a bugbear, dress'd

"To frighten children :-pull but off his the impression made on us by the


"And he'll appear a friend."

piper wanting elbow room, is any thing

There is another small picture in the room by Mr Thomson, which is not introduced or numbered in the catalogue, "Harvest Scene, with figures reaping." This is a very pretty bit of the master, touched with neatness, and the distance carefully detailed. The trees are rather massy, and the colouring of the figures produce a spotty effect which last defect, however, could be easily remedied: we think it in point of size a desirable morceau for any collector, and on the whole, as to science, a good specimen of the taste of this lamented artist.

thing but agreeable. We are not disposed to close this article, without directing the attention of our Cits to No. 12. a "Design for a Villa," by this artist. It is very prettily imagined; and whilst it would form a commodious house, the same might be executed at no larger sum than is every day expended by persons who select this one, as their choice of the three things which Sterne tells us it behoves every man to carry into effect. What a melancholy and contemptible feeling is excited in our minds, in taking a walk round the environs of this city, when we look at the maukish houses which, like mushrooms, are every where rearing their heads, and deforming the beauty of the landscape! What lumpish and commonplace erections these dwellings are!

We would therefore recommend to every one, who is possessed of wealth sufficient to build for himself a Villa, to consult with some artist,-a painter, as to the site and general effect and character of the intended building; and then deliver the sketch to such judicious and tasteful architects as WILLIAM BURN, or CRICHTON, who would arrange the interior, and conduct the ulterior operations. The taste of the immortal Raffaelle frequently guided the judgement of the inhabitants of Italy in their plans, and was thus the means of adorning the features of his country. Altho' we by no means go so far as to declare Mr Berrie's design for a Villa to be a specimen of absolute perfection, we should wish to see our neighbourhood ornamented with buildings of so fair and picturesque an aspect, and which we are satisfied would both attract the attention of strangers, and give pleasure to the proprietors. We very much regretted the absence of our old friend NAYSMYTH, and his family this season, and we also know, that the want of their pictures was much felt by the public. We trust, however, that such arrangements will

now take place, as to secure the support and co-operation of this family, and of every artist in Scotland worthy of notice, by the time the next period of exhibition arrives; and we conclude, by declaring, how very much we rejoice to learn, that the receipts this season amount to a much larger sum than was expected by the associated artists.


WE have sometimes taken notice

of the sections of the mineral beds on which the city of Edinburgh is founded, or which occur in its immediate neighbourhood, as they have been laid open in the course of various operations; and shall now advert to appearances, deserving, in our opinion, of the attention of all who, in this noted theatre of conflicting geological theories, arrange themselves under the banners either of Pluto or of Neptune.

Albany-Street Quarries.-In digging out the foundations for houses in a new street between Albany and Forth streets, the interesting appearances in the strata just alluded to have of late been exposed. The rock immediately under the alluvial surface is sandstone, and this sandstone is disposed in partial beds, or layers, which continually vary in dip and direction. If these were originally deposited in a horizontal, or nearly horizontal position, they must no doubt have been disturbed and thrown into confusion by some very extraordinary means. The sandstone strata are in some places intersected by veins of greenstone, or whinstone dykes; and these have been viewed as the cause of the sud

den changes in the position of the strata, being considered as a kind of lava, which had been forcibly projected from the interior towards the surface, subsequently to the deposition of the stratified rocks. This explanation is con


nected with the geological theory of the late Dr Hutton, which has acquired much of its celebrity from the singular eloquence and indefatigable industry with which it has of late years been illustrated by some of its supporters. But such explanation seems in this case to be precluded by facts or appearances which at this time present themselves in the quarries in question. Veins are just now exposed, which do not consist of greenstone, but of sundstone. These intersecting veins are sufficiently distinct, and well defined; yet they are composed of a substance homogeneous with that of the strata penetrated. They have no analogy with "unerupted lavas ;" yet the changes in the dip and direction of the strata seem to be as effectually produced as where "whinstone dykes" occur. Two of these sandstone veins, next to Albany street, are less than a foot in thickness, and one, somewhat to the eastward, is between three and four feet thick.

It may frequently be observed in sandstone quarries, that thin partial layers occur, inclined at considerable angles, and variously directed, without affecting the general character of horizontality in the bed. If this sort of structure be supposed to have taken place on the great scale, the appearances in the quarries near Albany Street become of easy explanation.The whole may be viewed as a chemical deposit, and the veins, whether of. sandstone or of greenstone, as of contemporaneous formation with the strata in which they occur; affording an apposite illustration of Professor Jame son's ingenious views, delivered in the second volume of Wernerian Memoirs, p. 213. et seq. CANONMILLS, 29th May 1815. S

(M.S. Donat. 5247,) is one containing a collection of drawings of military ensigns, in the period of the civil wars beginning with those of the Earl of Essex and the Earl of Bedford. Lord Essex's is yellow, with this motto on it :-" Virtutis. Comes. Invidia."

Sir William Courtney's flag is red, bearing a man in full armour, with a sword in his right hand. Above is the motto," Dum spiro spero."

Captain Sandberd of Devon's flag, has a figure in armour, thrusting a sword into the body of a bishop, on a red ground. A label, from the mouth of the armed person has,-" Visne Episcopare." Another label proceeding from the bishop's mouth has,Nolo. Nolo. Nolo.

Captain West, a chandler in Cambridge, bore on a red flag a skull surrounded with laurel: motto,-" Mors vel Victoria."


MONG Sir Hans Sloane's manuscripts, in the British Museum,

The Lord Brook's ensign was a laurel-wreath, with this motto, on a yellow ground:-" Qui non est hodie, cras minus aptus erit.”

The Lord Fairfax's banner consisted of a sword pierced through a mitre, with the crown wresting on its point, on a white ground. The motta,-“ Viva el Rey y muerra il mal Governo.”

Captain Castleton, major to Colonel Mitton, gave a hand from Heaven, writing these letters on a blue ground:

"1a Petri, cap. 2a, ve. 17.” and arm with a sword, below a book, Captain Bragge, an armed hand and, under all, the words, "Ora et pugna,

Juvit et juvabit Jehovah." Captain George Withers, the poet, N. bore a red banner, with a sword and a pen crossed:" Pro Lege, Rege, Grege," on a label over them.

These serve as a sufficient specimen of the collection, which has only the word "Cornetes," for a title.



« AnteriorContinua »