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CONTENTS. 1. The State of English PAINTING, . . Quarterly Review, . . . 707 II. INNOCENT: A Tale of Modern Life. By Mrs.
Oliphant, author of “Salem Chapel," " The
Graphic, . .
. . 734 III. The Sons OF HAM, . . . . Cornhill Magazine, . , . 748 IV. The Two BROTHERS. A Tale by MM. Erck
mann-Chatrian, authors of “The Conscript,”
etc. Part VI., . . . . . . St. James Magazine, . . . 756 V. THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA, . . . Saturday Review, . . . 765
POETRY. BEAUTIFUL HANDS, .
. . 706 | HOPE DEFERRED, . . ECHO. By Christina G. Rossetti, . . 706 SONNET. — LOVE FOR THE YOUNG, . 706
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My spirit longed to enter Such beautiful, beautiful hands!
Into the fields of bloom. They're neither white nor small,
The tempest's wild repining, And you, I know, would scarcely think
Made sorrow in my soul; That they were fair at all.
I craved the cheerful shining
When heavy clouds unroll.
I saw a gleam on heather,
Stray through a rifted cloud; Such beautiful, beautiful hands!
The masses swept together,
The winds spoke fierce and loud. Though heart were wcary and sad, These patient hands kept toiling on
The mist upon the mountain That children might be glad.
Dropped down in hopeless rain; I almost weep, as looking back
Fell in a bitter fountain To childhood's distant day,
Over the grieving plain. I think how these hands rested not,
All The Year Roood
Where all is bright and fair,
SONNET. – LOVE FOR THE YOUNG.
Which you, not knowing, bring to me anew, And where the old grow young again,
Are you so dear that I consider you
With this persistency of quiet tears;
Making me fancy for a little while
That hands I cannot clasp are in my reach;
| And my soul cries, “ What can I do or bear" COME to me in the silence of the night;
(I that have lost so much and wept so long) Come in the speaking silence of a dream; Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as
“How make myself your servant, to re
move bright As sunlight on a stream;
The sting and weight of that remembered
Which was my joy, but may have had some O memory, hope, love of finished years. I
wrong O dream, how sweet, too sweet, too bitter"
From slights unknown, ere Time had taught
me care!" sweet,
M. B. SMEDLEY. Whose wakening should have been in Para
WELCOME Thy gentle scourge, Thou precious That opening, lets in, lets out no more.
Small are the cords Thy love hath interYet come to me in dreams that I may live
twined, My very life again, though cold in death;
And light the stroke. I own Thy just award Come back to me in dreams that I may give
Of stripes, when in Thy temple Thou dost Pulse for pulse, breath for breath :
find Speak low, lean low,
Unmeet intruders, traffickers abhorred, As long ago, my love, how long ago!
That grieve Thy loving Spirit's gracious CHRISTINA G. ROSSETTI.
mind, Making the holy place where Thou should'st
Alone a den of earthliness again.
Thou wilt destroy this temple; for within A DREARINESS came o'er me
A fretting leprosy is on the walls,
Nor can the plague-spot of indwelling sin The summer on before me
Be purified, until the fabric falls;
And though at times to feel Thy work begin
Disinays the sinking flesh, yet faith recalls Full dark had reigned the winter, | The blessed hope, that, as Thy word is true,
With cloud, and mist and gloom; | Thou wilt return and build it up anew.
From The Quarterly Review. ltained something more and better than THE STATE OF ENGLISH PAINTING.* Ithat which the pretentious canvases of
The announcement at a Royal Acad- show-painters bring to the walls of those emy dinner that large sums of money are millionaires who invest their superfluous given for pictures is no evidence that Art' thousands in them. Perhaps we should is flourishing among us. When one or hardly go beyond the truth in saying that two thousand pounds are paid for a Chel- scarcely one of the ambitious collectors sea vase, we need not assume that similar who crowd their dining-rooms and drawsums given for paintings by popular art. ing rooms with pictures selected from a ists indicate anything more than abun- fashionable and materialistic point of dant wealth and corresponding vanity. view, would be found willing to give five The price set upon a picture by art-trad-pounds for a picture by Titian or Tintoers and in the sale-room, has, in nine retto not inscribed with his name or othcases out of ten, nothing whatever to do erwise externally authenticated. It is with the real value of the work. The difficult to make such “ patrons " underwhims of individuals, the despotism of stand that the buying of a name is not fashion, the catchword of the frivolous the buying of a picture ; and that a genand ignorant, often carry a temporary in- uine work of art has quite another kind fluence with them, before the deliberative of value than that of a Dutch tulip or a judgment of the thoughtful has been able piece of Dresden china. This vulgar and to come to a definite conclusion. But he commercial Mæcenism is the bane of art ; who neither bounds his horizon by the it gives fictitious money-value to bad motives of the moment, nor shares the un- work, and by ill-judged expenditure robs reflecting prejudices of his time, will take the true artist of his merited reward. It a broader view. He will be little disposed exorbitantly raises the commercial value to submit to the unquestioning tyranny of the work of fashionable favourites, and of the present, but casting his eye over depresses that of all others, however the whole kingdom of Art he will contrast worthy it may be. Its tendency is to dethe capabilities and powers that it dis- velop shallow sentiment, and by a clever played in the past with the aimless way- meretricious execution - a mere facility wardness and trivial self-seeking that char- of representation - to supersede artistic acterize its dissipated efforts now. The as- dignity and genuine seriousness of aim tute and judicious lover of Art for its own and purpose. sake will follow quite another lead than For these and other reasons which we that of an illusory prestige in gratifying shall examine, we find our English Art his æsthetic tastes. He will look patient in so depressed a state as to suggest the ly and closely to the genuine qualities of inquiry if we have Art at all existing as a what he selects; choosing that' which school among us. The epic spirit cersuits his own temperament and sympa- tainly has left our canvases, the idyllic thies, without reference to the false touch-too has vanished, and in their stead we stone of popularity ; and though unknown find merely clever imitations in detail of out of his circle as an art-patron, he may nature, analytic studies, infinite variety of find ultimately that, in surrounding him- material means ; but of the spirit that self with artistic work thus carefully and could bring these into contact with the independently chosen, he will have ob- ' highest sentiments and feelings, we have
nothing left. The dramatic idealism and * 1. The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1872.
concentration of Hogarth; the imagina2. A Descriptive Handbook for the Pictures in the tive grace of Reynolds and GainsborHouse of Parliament. By T. J. Gullick. London, 1866. ough : the picturesque diffusiveness of
3. Descriptive and Historical Catalogue of the Pictures of the National Gallery, with Biographical
aphical rustic Morland ; the scenic breadth of Notes of the Painters. By R. N. Wornum. London, plain, downright John Crome ; the suf1872.
fused tenderness and poetic glow of Rich4. Catalogo degli Oggetti d' Arte esposti al Pubblico! nella R. Accademia di Belle Arti in Venesia. Vene- ard Wilson ; the idyllic simplicity and zia, 1872.
I sweetness of Stothard ; the glory of the
early Turner, are all passed away. These correctness in the studies from both the things are as far above the mere vulgar “ fiat” and the “round,” though not imitation of nature and the dexterous wholly reprehensible in themselves (har. painting of draperies or flesh, as the dra- ing, in fact, something to be said for matic scenes and characters of Shake- them), are yet parts of an erroneous speare or of Scott transcend the dull rou- method, and are highly detrimental to the tine of ordinary life. Our recent pictures future destiny of the true artist. We are of an entirely different class. Com- must, nevertheless, protest unreservedly pare the huge masses of raw white, the against one element of the teaching pur. hard lines, the bald literalisms of some sued in these schools, which allows an of our most celebrated modern paintings, unlimited repetition of similar forms with the diffused tone, the eclectic con- within the same piece of design, supsistency, the intellectual ease and refine- posed to be “ornamental.” A number of ment, the thoroughly-felt and well-bal- geometric or conventional figures are conanced values, both æsthetic and material- structed; they are then reversed to fill istic, of Reynolds and Gainsborough. In up a corresponding portion of the allotted our modern pictures we have a hetero-space, and the result is called " ornamengeneous network of lights and shadows, a tal design," though without any of that dispersion of colour utterly without cen- vitality of principle which in dealing with trality, and perplexing alike to the eye decorative forms strives to make them and the mind. All arrangement is lost, subservient to some ruling idea or mental and there is no more trace of mental plan which can alone confer a right to the effort, of the exercise of the art-function, title, and have the power to please the than is mechanically displayed by the lens eye and satisfy the mind from a right of the photographer. A noble, thoughtful point of view. This mode of training is style, broad and vigorous views, healthy almost sure to be disadvantageous to and natural motive, united with whole those students who should afterwards ersome moral meaning, have given place to tend their practice to the painting of picmere cleverness of touch and slavish imi-tures, as their works must naturally ex. tations of nature.
hibit traces of it in a formality of arrangeOne of the chief causes of our presentment and distribution quite as fatal to the shortcomings is undoubtedly the nature spirit of Art in the one case as the other. of the Art education prosecuted at the A singular instance of the correction Government schools of Art throughout of repetition, and at the same time prothe kingdom. Of course drawing, as a test against its use, occurs on the façade piece of general education, or as an uni- of a small church at Pistoia, across which versal “ accomplishment,” is entirely dis- runs a simple stone moulding, consisting, tinct from the art of expressing individual with a slight exception, of repeated forms. ideas and sentiments in a picturesque | The artist has been well aware that if his manner. This cannot be taught, and can ornament had been allowed to repeat it. only be directed. We must not therefore self punctually throughout its whole expect too much from these useful, but course, a single glance at the first of its far from perfect institutions. But while component elements would have sufficed all are taught the use of lines and the ele- the spectator ; but, wishing his moulding ments of form, there is no reason why in- / to be more particularly examined, he has struction should not be given in those sculptured a symbolical eagle quite out forms and those lines which contain an of character with the rest of his design artistic idea. At present this is by no about one-third of the distance across; means the case. The endless use of consequently when the eye falls upon this geometric examples in the “flat” (geomet- it is at once arrested and is compelled to ric, at least, in a more or less modified make a careful examination of the reform), the absolute indifference to any- mainder, if only to ascertain if there are thing like an artistic sentiment, and the more irregularities. One, however, has complete slavery to a mere photographic | been sufficient. It has caused a careful
and thorough examination of the whole | solid and certain because they are diffipiece of workmanship, and it is quite cult to express or explain. Modern critbeautiful enough to preclude disappoint- icism, for the most part, not only avoids ment, which is all the artist desired. A the trouble and repudiates the necessity lesson like this in its full instruction, of mastering these principles, but actucould only come out of an artistic mind ally denies their existence altogether; capable of finding a remedy for every and, as every one can see if a line be evil. Such an expedient would have no crooked or straight, and perceive if a colsignificance in our day, and would be suf- our be deeper or paler or different from ficient to condemn the work of the most that which is found in nature, criticism is hopeful pupil or developed artist, if it confined to these qualities alone, the ulever occurred to him and he should have terior object of all lines and colour in the hardihood to adopt it.
| painting being entirely overlooked. UnAnother hindrance to the progress of der such a supervision as this, true and true Art is the tone of modern criticism. large Art, the Art which appeals to the For every other faculty or function an instincts of the soul rather than the crieducation is supposed to be required : forterion of measure and rule, must necesthat of art-critic none is exacted. With- sarily at first languish and then fail altoout any attempt to ascertain the æsthetic gether. It is precisely in this condition laws and principles by a process of induc- that we find ourselves ; and until the gention from universally accepted standards, eral tone of criticism, both of the public only to be gained by long courses of and the press, is altered, its depressing study and observation, we continually influence must be felt in every kind of find personal opinions thrust forward as Art and in every picture that is painted. the statutes and canons of judgment, ! Another cause of injury to Art is the without regard to any central principle large use of machinery in art manufacwhatever, as if, indeed, no such thing ex-tures, in which all trace of human work isted. It is true that a thing may be good is lost, and the mind but faintly reflected or bad according to the point of view or not at all. The very essence and nataken ; but that does not annul the fact ture of a work of Art is its visible expresthat nevertheless there is something un-sion of some human sentiment, emotion, doubtedly good and something undoubt- or conception. Everything destitute of edly bad. For example, it is a sound and this expression loses claim to the title of established certainty that the Venetians, Art, whatever may be its qualities or recat their good time, painted on the whole ommendation. We do not say that these good pictures, and that the Bolognese on universal means of reproduction may not the whole, at all times, painted very bad bring special advantages of their own in pictures. From the highest point of view other ways; but they bring none of the -- the point of view which refers all genuine artistic kind. What makes artworks of Art to a central artistic princi- manufactured reproductions the more ple, not only dwelling in the eye but mischievous is, that generally the worst rooted in the mind — there is no more things instead of the best are chosen. In doubts as to what is a good painting or articles of domestic use, at least, fine a bad painting than there is as to whether shapes and good designs might be prea piece of glass be dim or transparent. ferred; since the one kind is quite as All men do not love apples or potatoes, easy to produce as the other, and it would but the common judgment, and undoubt- also be natural, that in selecting examedly the true one, accounts them both ples of picturesque art for reproduction, good and wholesome. The same thing worth should obtain a preference over holds true of works of Art. Their intrin- worthlessness; the contrary, however, is sic value is not a matter of supposition the case. It is thus that we are so over. or personal opinion at all, but a matter of ridden by the emasculated smoothness fact, to be ascertained from an applica- and regularity of machine-work and other tion of rules and principles not the less I appliances of the time, that if it should