Imatges de pÓgina

enabled to perfect the adaptation of his admirable invention to lighthouses; which

Fine Arts.

circumstance renders his early death an event of national regret.

[graphic][merged small]


THE full tide of unanimous approbation has evidently set in towards this year's Exhibition; which is certainly the best collection of pictures, by contemporary artists, yet assembled within the walls of the soi-disant National Gallery. This merit has been tolerably well bruited; for every one is anxious to say something favourable of the contents of the Gallery, as a relief to the universal censure which has been adjudged to the place itself. Hence, the attraction is up; and the rooms are crowded with visitors; from the artistical parties, who come with clear heads, in the freshness of morning, to the idlers who flock thither in the blaze of noon, or towards "dusk." All this curiosity and expectation will, doubtless, be well repaid; for the collection, though it number very few, if any, specimens of high art, is varied and pleasing, and is rich in attractive subjects for the largest class of admirers. The portraits are less numerous than usual; wherefore the interest is more general: and, if it seldom rise to the sublime, it must be allowed that it presents but few specimens of the ridiculous. We have already reported our first glance at the collection; and we now subjoin a few notes of our revisit.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Gentleman's No. 10. The reduced Daughter, R. Redgrave, is a scene from the Rambler, No. 12, in which "the daughter," in applying for a situation, is shewn in to Mr. Courtly and his lady at picquet, who have thrown down their cards in hope of better sport: the affected gravity of the lady, in her inquiry of the girl, is well told, in contrast with the modest demeanour of the beautiful applicant. In short, the story is admirably related, and the picture is well painted throughout: the accessories, as the furniture, especially the French clock and table, in the left foreground, are very carefully detailed.

13. Citara, in the Gulf of Salerno, looking towards the Coast of Calabria, C. Stanfield, R. A., is one of the finest pictures in the collection, in brilliancy of colouring and effective management: and, whether we consider the reality of the atmosphere, the tranparency of the water, or the picturesque grouping of the figures, this picture must be regarded as nearly approaching some of the most beautiful realities of nature.

15. Town and Château of Pau, Pyrenees, France, W. Oliver, is interesting as the birth-place of Henry IV.; or, rather in subject than in treatment. It is full of detail, much of which is lost from its being placed immediately beneath the cornice of the room.

18. Children of the Hon. Baron Alderson, with a favourite Pony, H. B. Briggs, R. A., deserves notice, for the exquisite expression of the younger girl in the righthand foreground; her peering archness is very delightful.

21. Nell Gwynne, C. Landseer, A., represents the handsome orange-girl having just entered a tavern, where are Charles II., Rochester, and others, taking wine. The figures are cleverly drawn, and are gay, but not theatrical: the gusto of Rochester, who has just risen to a toast, is admirable: Nelly is not too handsome, recollecting that old Pepys describes her "a most pretty woman," "a mighty pretty woman she was too," &c. accessories, as the antique furniture, glass, &c., are nicely painted, and the colouring is, throughout, admirable.


24. Robert Burns, C. Hancock; a very unpoetical embodiment of "his hand on the plough, and his heart with the Muse."

We now come to the bevy of Mr. Turner's pictures, which are: 27. Bacchus and Ariadne; 55. Venice, the Bridge of Sighs; 71. Venice; 202. The new Moon; 419. Rockets and Blue Lights, to warn Steam-boats; 464. Neapolitan Fisher-girls; to all of which, the same remark will apply that neither in drawing, colouring, subject, nor treatment, do they present any novelty in the artist, though abounding in effects that never yet had existence. Luckily, they stand, or, rather, hang, per se, and the painter is alone in his fantastic glory. One picture, however, remains for notice. 203. Slavers throwing overboard the dead and dying; Typhon coming on. This scene is indescribable, except we call it "an anti-slavery picture" the Typhon appears to have worked upon the artist's palette, in the myriads of fishes, and the substantial bait of the negro's leg.

26. Andromeda, Perseus coming to her rescue; 30. Mars, Venus, and Attendant, derobing her mistress for the bath; both by W. Etty, R. A., and, to our minds, a sad waste of colouring, from their treatment being ultra-commonplace.

31. Henry I. receiving Intelligence of the Shipwreck and Death of his only Son, S. A. Hart, R. A. Elect, wants the dignity of historical painting, and even the semblance of real life.

38. The Hon. Baron Gurney; H. P. Briggs, R. A.; an admirable portrait.


41. Stacking Hay, W. F. Witherington, R. A. Elect; has the usual finish of the artist, but mostly wants the freshness. 48. Benvenuto Cellini presenting silver Censer, of his own workmanship, to Pope Paul III.; Sir D. Wilkie, R. A.; a fine picture: the confident expression of Cellini, the approving air of the Pope, and

the management of his flowing drapery, are very clever and effective.

56. Hope, W. Boxall; a beautiful composition, though of a class which is somewhat passé in general appreciation.

61. The Salutation of the Aged Friar; C. L. Eastlake, R. A.; a very interesting picture, of first-rate artistical merit-as purity of style, beauty of colouring, and fine treatment. It would be difficult to name a more satisfactory performance.

62. Portrait of the Queen; Sir D. Wilkie, R. A.; altogether unsuccessful in likeness, as well as in the requisites of first-class portrait-painting. The robes of state are very poorly treated.

67. The Duke of Sussex, in the chair of the Royal Society; T. Phillips, R. A. This portrait has been painted for the Society's council-room: it appears to lack the natural ease of the illustrious original; though he disliked the velvet costume and insignia of his office, he is here too evidently "sitting for his portrait."

72. Scene from the Gentle Shepherd; A. Johnston:

"Last morning I was gay and early out, Upon a dike I lean'd gloaming about: I saw my Meg come linkan o'er the lee; I saw my Meg, but Meggy saw na me." Vide Gentle Shepherd. The drawing of this picture is beautiful, but the colouring feeble. Meggy is a charming creature.

74. Our Saviour with Doctors in the Temple; W. Collins, R. A.; a meritorious picture, but lacking divine dignity in the principal character: though the colouring is excellent.

75. Lord Denman; the President's (Sir M. A. Shee) best portrait: but the justiciary robes might surely have been more gracefully treated.

89, 92. Two pleasing pictures, by T. Uwins, R. A.-1. A Neapolitan Boy decorating the Head of his Inamorata at a Festa; 2. The Loggia of a Vine-dresser's Cottage in the afternoon of a saint's day. The colouring of both is very chaste: in the latter, the child learning to dance the Tarantella, and the female musician, are very characteristic, but far from novel. Do we not remember a similar group by the same artist?

96. Near Leyden, moonlight; J. B. Crome; a clever picture.

99. An Interior; W. Mulready, R. A.; a brilliant, sun-lit picture, of high merit.

100. Scene from Le Diable Boiteux; A. E. Chalon, R. A. Barring the indelicacy of the incident of the rose-coloured stocking and silver garter, this is a work of merit, and proves that we are as competent as our neighbours to illustrate Le Sage.

112. A very clever sketch, by Wilkie, for a picture from Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd.

120. Horses taken in to bait; the property of J. Marshall, Esq.; E. Landseer, R.A. Excellent portraits of noble animals.

123. Scene from a Legend of Montrose; F. Stone; Annot Lyle, Allen M'Aulay, and the Earl of Monteith: "She sat down at a little distance from Allan, and, turning her chair back, she accompanied it with her voice." A very interesting picture.

125. Milton dictating to his Daughters; Sir A. W. Calcott, R. A.: a great painting, of little merit; though pains have been taken with the accessories; the basrelief, in the background, of the Temptation and Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, having been copied from a ceiling picture of M. Angelo, in the Sistine Chapel; and the picture above it, of Paradise Regained, being from a Raffaelle, in the collection of Mr. Rogers. Yet these niceties do not redeem the commonplace of the blind poet and his daughters: the divinity of the incident is altogether marred.

132. Mrs. Ferguson, of Raith. This is, beyond comparison, Sir David Wilkie's best portrait. The picture is of oblong form: the lady, wearing roseate velvet, and a striking hat and feathers, is seated at a table, upon which are spread bijouterie and artistical curiosities; whilst, in the distance, through an open window, lies a landscape of picturesque wildness and beauty. The picture, altogether, partakes very little of the English style; and the colouring is far beyond it.

133. First Love; W. Mulready, R. A.; a very charming scene, full of truthful nature and beautiful sentiment.

[blocks in formation]

attended by Viscount Melbourne, the Marquis of Conyngham, &c.; F. Grant. The party are just issuing from one of the gateways of Windsor Castle. The portrait of Her Majesty is one of the best likenesses, if not the best, yet painted; the likeness of Lord Melbourne is also very striking. Altogether, this is a very superior picture of its class, and is the work of a rising artist. It is to be wished that equal praise could be awarded to 173, Portrait of Prince Albert, in the Robes of the Garter, G. Patten, A. Its only merit is in the likeness, which is allowed to be correct; but, in general treatment, we take it to be one of the least successful pictures in the collection. The velvet, ermine, embroidery, feathers, and jewels, have a very factitious appearance; the attitude is ungraceful, and the colouring, in our humble judgment, falls far short of what we had been led to expect by the published encomiums upon this picture.

392. William Fawcett, Esq., by the same artist, is a decidedly superior painting. Throughout the accessories of the first portrait there is nothing to compare with Mr. Fawcett's plain, black satin waistcoat, which, we predict, will delight the weavers of Lancashire, when this picture is placed in the Mechanics' Institute at Liverpool, for which establishment it has been painted.

184. Lord Glenelg; H. P. Briggs, R. A. The drawing of the figure, from the knee to the chin, is surely very incorrect: we cannot describe its gaucherie; and, as is said of excellence, this performance of mediocrity must be seen to be appreciated. However, the New Brunswickers, for whom this portrait has been painted, may think better of it.

185. Charcoal-burning; F. R. Lee; a pleasing picture.

191. Lady Anne Walsh and Child; F. Grant; beautifully painted, and reminding one of Gainsborough's life-like portrait style, and his natural tone of colour.

189. Terrace of the Capuchin Convent, Bay of Naples; J. Uwins; a charming picture in composition and colouring.

Miss Nasmyth has three cabinet pictures of great merit; viz., 86. Cottage in Epping Forest; 93. View in Essex; 206. Mount Claret, looking towards Ben Lomond and Stirling; all of which are in the beautiful crisp style of this accomplished artist.

The Naturalist.


IN Blackwood's Magazine for April, is a notice of several papers, by Mr. John Shaw, "On the Development and Growth

of Salmon Fry, from the exclusion of the Cod to the age of two years." These papers were presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in December, 1839, and published in the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, in 1836 and 1838. The article in Maga is too long for extract, but the facts it shews are these, that the young of the salmon, in the state of smelts, as they are called here, and smolts in Scotland, instead of passing to the sea, when three weeks old, and from six to nine inches long, as all authorities, learned and practical, (from the great naturalist, John Ray, who, in conjunction with his friend Willughby, published, at Oxford, in 1686, a Latin folio, entitled De Historia Piscium, the writer glances at Dr. Arthur Young, Pennant, Baron Cuvier, Dr. Fleming, Dr. Knox, M. Agassiz, of Neufchatel, Sir W. Jardine, the Rev. Leonard Jenyns, Dr. Richardson, Mr. Yarrell, "Ichthyology," in the Encyclopædia Britannica, and Dr. Parnell, down to the fishermen, the labour of whose lives is devoted to the watching the habits of the fish,) have for two centuries believed, they, at that period, change their appearance and tangible characteristics so completely as to have been considered another fish, and named parr in the north. Mr. Shaw had long doubted the prevailing opinions as to the early exit of the smolt, in its youth and weakness, for the perils of a descent to the sea, and suspected that the parr was of the salmon's brood. He took some of these small fishes in July, 1833, placed them in a pond supplied by a wholesome streamlet. There they throve and prospered till the month of April following, when they began to assume a somewhat different aspect; and, in the early part of May, they were converted into what are usually called salmon smolts, or fry; that is, they became of a fine deep blue upon the back, the sides and under portions of a delicate silvery aspect, with the scales very deciduous, or easily adhering to the hand. At this time, also, they exhibited what may be called a migratory instinct, several of them insisting to leap out of the pond, on to the surrounding bank, where they died. This experiment he repeated, and ascertained that the larger parrs observable in autumn, winter, and early spring, were, in truth, young salmon, advancing to the conclusion of their second year; while the smaller spring and summer parr, (called May-parrs in certain parts of Scotland,) were younger individuals of the same species, only entering upon their second year.

This, then, our ingenious friend regarded, (and we think truly,) as the detection of the great leading error of the preceding

observers, who had uniformly maintained that salmon fry grow to the length of six or eight inches in as many weeks, and that after the lapse of this brief period, they take their gregarious departure to sea. Nor was this all: he made a minute examination of the streams where old salmon had spawned in the preceding winter; and he there found, in vast numbers, a small, but extremely active fish, which he naturally concluded to be the young parr, or actual samlet of the season. To test the truth of this, he scooped up a few dozen of them on the 15th May, 1834. They then measured not more than an inch in length, and the small transverse bars which mark the parr were already clearly distinguishable. He placed them in his ponds, where they throve well; and by the ensuing May, (1835,) when they had been a year in his possession, they were found, on examination, to measure, on an average, about three inches and a half. At this period, they entirely corresponded with the small parr seen in the natural streams of the river; and neither the free nor the captive brood of these dimensions exhibited any tendency to assume the silvery aspect of the smolt. They were allowed to remain; and in May, 1836, they were transmuted into smolts, or salmon fry. They then measured six inches and a half in length; their colour, on the dorsal region, being of a fine deep blue, the sides and abdomen silvery white, the dorsal, caudal, and especially the pectoral fins, tipped or tinged with black. The smolts of the river were then descending seawards, and no difference could be discovered between them. Mr. Shaw asks: "Is it likely that those in the river, which so identically resembled them, were only a few weeks old?"

The result of all the experiments, (detailed at length in Blackwood's Magazine,) “shew, 1st, that parr are the young of salmon, being convertible into smolts; and, 2ndly, that the main body, if not the whole of these smolts, do not proceed to the sea until the second spring after that in which they are hatched."-We perceive confirmation of this in the Worcestershire Guardian, which says: "We have already received information proving the distinct existence of the fry, in the two forms, in the Teme, since we have been in possession of Mr. Shaw's discovery. It tells us that, in the past week, a very fine and beautiful specimen of the smolt in the forward state, measuring ten inches in length, was taken in the Teme, within a few miles of Worcester. The fish had lost the transverse bars and spots indicative of the parr state, and the belly and sides were of a most brilliant silvery whiteness. In the same river, at

Powick, about a mile from its confluence with the Severn, two days previously, a parr, four or five inches long, had been taken, fully answering to the description of Mr. Shaw." [We quote this very interesting précis from the Gloucestershire Chronicle, ably edited by our Correspondent, Vyvyan.]

New Books.

ASMODEUS; OR, THE DEVIL ON TWO STICKS. LE SAGE'S inimitable Diable Boiteux having lately been illustrated, in France, by the fertile pencil of Tony Johannot, Mr. Thomas has retranslated this richly imaginative work, for the sake of introducing Johannot's designs to the British reader. The publication is periodical, at a price almost beyond competition, as thirty-two pages, with twenty-three wood-cuts, and a larger engraving upon India paper for one shilling! The wrapper, as usual, is a spirited composition: a Spanish billman and billsticker upon ladders are posting a large bill (the title-page) beneath a window, out of which peers a Don of importance. Asmodeus forms the vignette; and below is a Spanish crowd, one of whom points, in high glee, to the printing on the wall. The portrait of Asmodeus is a vivid incarnation of Le Sage's monster, two feet six inches high, and supported by crutches: it is a very impersonation of Satanic grace, arrayed in all the finery of this wicked world. Of the incidental cuts, we most admire, Cleophas escaping over the housetops; the Spanish lady; the miser counting his gold; the gallant sexagenarian, and his valet easing him of an arm and leg; undressing the coquette; the amateur concert, (somewhat too coarse ;) and the registrar of civil courts and the demon. All these are rich in biting yet pleasant satire, and possess the breadth and vigour requisite for the illustration of the humorous text; to the illustration of which this style of design is better adapted than for the grave realities of working-day life. Its eccentricity, or extravagance, is, in such cases, its best recommendation.


A copy of these royal chansons has only just reached us; or, we should have before introduced them to the reader. The publication has, doubtless, been very popular; the circumstance of the two princes alternately writing the words, and composing the music, rendering the whole a performance of extreme attractiveness: a circumstance which reminds us that, at

no period, within our recollection, has the court of England been more characterized by the refined intellectuality of its pursuits and objects of patronage, than at the present time. It has likewise afforded us much pleasure to witness the interest which the distinguished authors of these Ballads appear to take in the prosperity of our literary and scientific associations; more especially the enrolment of Prince Albert as a fellow of the Royal Society, and the Royal Society of Literature; and a patron of the Statistical Society. And, this scholarly predilection has not induced His Royal Highness to withhold his patronage from pursuits of less gravity; as our firstclass public amusements, tasteful labours of art, and productions of meritorious ingenuity: all which countenance, (we speak not with "the candied tongue,") is calculated to produce a very beneficial effect upon the literature and the arts of the country. Such conduct is altogether characteristic of the pre-eminently intellectual nation of which His Royal Highness is so illustrious a scion.

The "Songs and Ballads" have been very neatly translated from the original German, by Mr. G. F. Richardson, of the British Museum, whose spirited translation of the Life and Works of Körner may be in the reader's remembrance. The words are given in English and German; and the contents are fourteen poems and forty-two pages of music, illustrated with an engraved portrait of Prince Albert, from a drawing by Mr. G. Howard. Eleven of the airs are the composition of Prince Albert; the words being generally by Prince Ernest, who, in three instances, has supplied both music and words. The melodies are graceful and pleasing, as are also the words: of the latter we subjoin a specimen :

The Bark Dashes Wildly.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »