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jects around him, and to appreciate the finest and most subtle feeling of humanity ; and that he shall have the power of expressing the same in painting, sculpture, poetry, or music, as the case may be. It is commonly supposed that knowledge opens the eyes that they may perceive, and the ears that they may hear; but this is the case only with those who lack the artist's power. He who is born an artist, requires no teaching to perceive and feel.

“ The labours of the geological society for the last fifty years, have but now arrived at the ascertainment of those truths respecting mountain form which Turner saw and expressed with a few strokes of a camels-hair pencil fifty years ago, when he was a boy. The knowledge of all the laws of all the planetary system, and of all the curves of the motion of projectiles, will never enable a man of science to draw a waterfall or a wave; and all the members of the Surgeons' Hall helping each other, could not, at this moment, see, or represent the natural movement of a human body in vigorous action, as a poor dyer's son (Tintoret) did two hundred years ago."

It is possible that, in some cases, knowledge may help the sight. “ In watching a sunrise, the knowledge of the true nature of the orb may lead the painter to feel more profoundly, and express more fully, the distance between the bars of cloud that cross it, and the sphere of flame that lifts itself slowly beyond them into the infinite heavens ;" but as a rule, the effect is the reverse.

Each of our readers must have experienced the surprise of finding, on awaking from a reverie, that the supposed fly on the window pane, through which he had been gazing at vacancy, is a workman in a distant field, or vice-versa ; and must know how impossible it is when once he knows the dark object is a workman, to see it look so small again. All persons first attempting to sketch from nature, must have wished a thousand times that they did not know the sizes of distant objects, nor their relative positions ; this intrusive knowledge constitutes their chief difficulty.

The various colourings of different artists are another proof of the same thing. All flowers of the same species, and under the same conditions, are of one tint; all men of the same race, and under the same conditions, have one common colour; and nature generally wears the same face to one man as to another. Yet how is it that the colouring of one painter is brilliant, another subdued, a third hazy, and a fourth dark and dusky-and this to such a degree that one may recognise the pictures of each from a distance by its general colour, before one can so much as distinguish the subject ? Are the colours of nature dark to one, bright to


Variety of Style in Painting.

197 another, subdued to a third, and hazy to a fourth? This cannot be; the more so, as we know the result would be the same, were the several artists to copy the same thing, from the same spot, and at the same hour. It must be then, that each has from books, or hearsay, or habit, some pre-conceived notion of what colour men, trees, and flowers ought to be, and of this supposed knowledge he is unable to divest himself when he looks at nature herself, and tries to see her as she is. Either the pre-Raphaelite, with his dazzling red, blue, and yellow flowers, his trees so green and bright, that one fancies the sunbeam has forced its way through some crevice to shine upon them, and his water in which clouds are clearly reflected, must be right, or the painters of dim flowers, subdued greens, and opaque water-it is not now a question of which--one must go straight to nature and paint what he really sees, and the other must be blinded by knowledge, till he cannot trust his eyes. If all could throw aside pre-conceived ideas of what colours things ought to have, we should see only such inequalities of colour as would arise from greater or less skill.

We conclude our account of the “ Stones of Venice" with a passage, whichi, while it beautifully and truly explains much hitherto mysterious architectural diversity, contains a poetical picture which, once contemplated, can never be forgotten.

The charts of the world which have been drawn up by modern science have thrown into a narrow space the expression of a vast amount of knowledge, but I have never yet seen any one pictorial enough to enable the spectator to imagine the kind of contrast in physical character which exists between northern and southern countries. We know the differences in detail, but we have not that broad glance and grasp which would enable us to feel them in their fulness. We know that gentians grow on the Alps, and olives on the Apennines ; but we do not enough conceive for ourselves that variegated inosaic of the world's surface which a bird sees in its migration, that difference between the district of the gentian and of the olive which the stork and the swallow see far off, as they lean upon the sirocco wind. Let us for a moment try to raise ourselves even above the level of their flight, and imagine the Mediterranean lying beneath us like an irregular lake, and all its ancient promontories sleeping in the sun: here and there an angry spot of thunder, a grey stain of storm, moving upon the burning field; here and there a fixed wreath of white volcano smoke, surrounded by its circle of ashes ; but, for the most part, a great peacefulness of light, Syria and Greece, Italy and Spain, laid like pieces of a golden pavement into the sea-blue, chased, as we stoop nearer to them, with bossy beaten work of mountain chains, and glowing softly with terraced gardens, and flowers heavy with frankincense, mixed among masses of laurel, and orange, and plumy palm, that abate with their grey-green shadows, the burning of the marble rocks, and the ledges of porphyry, sloping under lucent sand. Then let us pass further towards the north, until we see the orient colours change gradually into a vast belt of rainy green, where the pastures of Switzerland, and poplar valleys of France, and dark forests of the Danube and Carpathians, stretch from the mouths of the Loire to those of the Volga, seen through clefts in grey swirls of rain cloud and flaky veils of the mist of the brooks, spreading low among the pasture lands; and then, further north still, to see the earth heave into mighty masses of leaden rock and heather moor, bordering with a broad waste of gloomy purple that belt of field and wood, and splintering into irregular and grisly islands amidst the northern seas, beaten by storm, and chilled by ice-drift, and tormented by furious pulses of contending tide, until the roots of the last forests fail from among the hill ravines, and the hunger of the north wind bite their peaks into barrenness; and, at last, the wall of ice, durable like iron, sets, death-like, its white teeth against us, out of the polar twilight. And having once traversed in thought this gradation of the zoned iris of the earth in all its material vastness, let us go down nearer to it, and watch the parallel change in the belt of the animal life: the multitudes of swift and brilliant creatures that glance in the air and sea, or tread the sands of the southern zone ; striped zebras and spotted leopards, glistening serpents, and birds arrayed in purple and scarlet. Let us contrast their delicacy and brilliancy of colour, and swiftness of motion, with the frost-cramped strength and shaggy covering, and dusky plumage of the northern tribes ; contrast the Arabian horse with the Shetland, the tiger and leopard with the wolf and bear, the antelope with the elk, the bird of paradise with the ospray; and then, submissively acknowledging the great laws by which the earth, and all that it bears, are ruled throughout their being, let us not condemn, but rejoice in the expression by man of his own rest in the statutes of the land that gave him birth. Let us watch him with reverence as he sets side by side the burning gems, and smooths with soft-sculpture, the jasper pillars, that are to reflect a ceaseless sunshine, and rise into a cloudless sky; but not with less reverence let us stand by him, when, with rough strength and hurried stroke, he smites an uncouth animation out of the rocks which he has torn from among the moss of the moorland, and heaves into the darkened air, the pile of iron buttress and rugged wall, instinct with work of an imagination as wild and wayward as the northern sea; creations of an ungainly shape and rigid limb, but full of wolfish life; fierce as the winds that beat, and changeful as the clouds that shade them."

In bringing to a close this review of one of the most valuable books of our day, we hoped to have been able to speak of some of the many important works which have appeared on Gothic architecture since our last general notice of that subject, but we have space only to name Mr. Sharpe and Mr. E. A. Freeman, as having contributed works of permanent value on the extremely curious and interesting subject of Gothic tracery. Mr. FreeMr. Sharpe and Mr. E. A. Freeman.


man's Essay on the Origin and Development of Window Tracery in England is written con amore, and we do not know a better volume to recommend to students who desire to acquire something more than a smattering of architectural knowledge. Mr. Freeman errs occasionally by an excess of enthusiasın for his subject, as when in his Principles of Church Restoration he speaks of "that noblest conception of human genius, the western portico of Peterborough Cathedral ;" but this amiable superfuity of admiration does not mislead him in any important respect. His writings have gained in clearness and condensation since we had first to speak of his History of Architecture. Mr. Freeman and Mr. Sharpe are, however, only two of a host of writers who have lately written on this unaccountably popular subject of mediæval art. The popularity of such works, in recent years, is a very curious sign, attended as it is with a singular absence of real feeling for any kind of art, on the part of the people generally. Britain, indeed, seems to be entering upon the first stage in the amendment of its architectural deficiencies, namely, that which consists in being ashamed of them.

If we English still stand second to other nations in matters of taste and art, it is no longer for want of will, but of knowing how to set about to be otherwise. Schools of Design, Museums of Practical Art, and Mechanic Æsthetic Conferences, are common phenomena, and, alas ! are almost as commonly failures. The reason seems to be, that, with all our complimentary dinners, speeches, and conversaziones, we do not award to the Fine Arts the honour due to them. We are in our treatment of them too much of tradespeople. The rock upon which we are likely to split in our attempted voyage towards the bourne of an artistic culture, is the tendency which is manifested among us to subordinate the Fine Arts to the lower kind of utility. We must not endeavour to raise the manufacturer and mechanic into the artist; for the chances of failure are at least ten thousand to one against success in any individual case. We ought rather to give the artistic temperament the most ample means of developing itself into the artist, who, if he is sound in his training and views of art, will not be slow to aid the mechanic and the manufacturer with his rare inspiration. There is this great peculiarity in all that has as yet been publicly done in England in connecting art with education. That connexion with it is always special and technical, instead of being also, as it certainly might and ought to be, popular and universal. Our schools of design -almost the only governmental interference upon any considerable scale with artistical education--are wholly special in their purposes; we have no Æsthetic Lectureships at our Universities, and in our private schools and colleges, art is never introduced with a more serious intention than that of providing the pupil with a harmless or graceful accomplishment which may happen, in future days, to banish ennui from an otherwise vacant hour. Indeed, even this mockery of education in art is confined almost entirely to females, being very justly esteemed a hindrance and a waste of time and labour in the more serious preparation which is ordinarily made for the fulfilment of the duties of a man.

Here, then, is a field of real education, which might be worked by a wise legislature with excellent results, and without any noticeable obstruction from sectarian jealousies. The man who had received a thorough training in any one of the Fine Arts would be extremely unlikely to make a bad citizen. It is because artists seldom receive such training that they are not famous, as a body, for orderly habits. The artistic mind is, in its essence, nothing more nor less than an unusually vivid apprehension and love of universal order; and if the lives of artists have often seemed to contradict this doctrine, it is because artists by profession are seldom artists by nature, but are men who have been forced to adopt some art as a means of livelihood, their parents having neglected to bring them up to any other handicraft or calling.

Perhaps the main cause, however, of our indifference in England to artistic education, is the very imperfectly defined position which the Fine Arts occupy in our minds with respect to other sources of human knowledge or enjoyment. The English people are divided upon the question of the Fine Arts into two main parties. One, and that immeasurably the most erroneous, regards the exercise and productions of the imaginative faculties as beneath serious consideration as somewhat lower than chess or whist, and about on a par with the tight-rope dancing and Vauxhall theatricals. The other party falls just as far into the other extreme: Art is its religion ; nature is its divinity ; artists are its prophets, priests, and apostles. The true interests of art are misunderstood and damaged even more by its idolaters than by its contemners, and, indeed, the ranks of the latter are greatly swelled by the dread with which many naturally and justly regard the heresy of the former.

A single serious effort on the part of Government, or of any large and influential association of private persons, to institute some mode and motive of a true artistic training, would do away with much of this erroneous kind of thinking—that is, provided the training in question were expressly conducted as a means of education, and not as a mere preparation for the artists' life and calling; and we are persuaded that the political and social results of a full development of the system would be more various and valuable than can easily be imagined by those who have not given the matter much consideration.

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