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EW College is situated cast of the Schools and
the Theatre, and is separated from Queen's College only by a narrow lane. It is dedicated to St. Mary Winton, and has been called New College from its first foundation, being at that time highly regarded for its extent and grandeur.
We enter this college by a portal, leading into the first court, which is a quadrangle of about 168 feet long, and 129 broat, with a statue of Minerva in the middle of it. This court, as built at the foundation of the College, was low, with narrow arched tranfom windows, in the fathion of the times. But soon after the Restoration of King Charles II. another story was added over the old building, and the windows altered to their present form. The magnificent Gothic building on the north side is the Chapel and the Hall ; on the east the Library; on the south the Fellows Apartments, and on the west the Warden's Lodgings, which are large and commodious, furnished with some valuable Portraits.
In the north-west corner of the court is the entrance into the Chapel; by much the grandest in the University. The form of it is like that of Magdalen College, but larger. The Ante-chapel is supported by two beautiful staff-moulded pillars. This part is upwards of 80 feet long, and 36 broad.
As the PAINTED WINDOWS of this Chapel make one of its chief Ornaments, it will not be improper to bestow on them a more particular Description.
Of those there are four distinct forts.
I. All the windows of the Ante-chapel (the great one excepted) are nearly, if not quite, as old as the Chapel itself, and contain the Portraits of Patriarchs,
Prophets, Saints, Martyrs, &c. to the number of 64, and 50 smaller above them : curious for their antiquity, but for little else, being drawn without perspective, without the effect of light and shade, and ill proportioned; yet in these are some remains which shew the brilliancy of their colours, and fome traces of fimplicity and beauty; particularly in the Heads of the female Figures in the window on the righthand of the entrance to the Chapel.
2. Of the second sort are the windows on the north fide of the Chapel. These are done in the coinmon modern style by Mr. Peckitt of York. The three nearest the Organ contain, in the lower range, the chicf persons recorded in the Old Testament, from Adam to Mofes; in the upper, twelve of the Prophets. Mr. Rebecca gave the designs for these. The two other windows contain our Saviour, the Virgin Mary, and the twelve Apostles.
3. The third fort are on the south side of the Chapel. These were originally Flemish Windows; and done (as it is reported) from designs given by some scholars of Rubens. Being brought out of Flanders, they came into the possession of Price the son, whose skill inglass-painting is well known. Of him they were purchased by the Gentlemen of the College, who alsoemployed him to repair what injuries they had sustained, and to fit them for the places where they now stand, A.D.' 1740. In each window are eight Figures, of Saints, Martyrs and Prelates, with their respective symbols ; and for expression, colouring, and effect, they were esteemed equal, if not superior, to any painting executed on glass, till the appearance of the fourth fort, of which we now come to speak.
4. The west window of the Ante-chapel. This great window consists of seven compartments in the lower range, each near three feet wide and twelve
high. In these stand feven allegorical Figures, representing the four Cardinal, and three Christian Virtues, in the manner following:
TEMPERANCE, pouring water out of a larger vessel into a smaller one. Her common attribute, the Bridle, fies at her feet.
FORTITUDE, in armour; 'her hand resting on a broken column, which though half destroyed remains upright; her form robust, her look bold and resolute. A Lion, her attendant, couches below her.
Faith, standing fixedly on both feet, and bearing a Cross, the symbol of her belief: her
and hand raised up to Heaven.
On the other side of the middle group (of which more hereafter) Hope, looking toward the same Heaven, and springing forward it so eagerly that her feet scarce touch the ground. Part of an Anchor, her attribute, is seen in the corner of her compartment.
JUSTICE, looking with a steady and piercing eye through the dark shade which her arm casts over her face: in her left hand the Steelyard, a kind of balance less cumbrous, if not less vulgar than the scales which are usually given her. Her right hand supports the sword.
PRUDENCE, beholding (as in a mirror) the actions, and manners of others, for the purpose of regulating her own by observation thereon. Upon her right arm an Arrow joined with a Remora, the respective emblems of swiftness and flowness; Prudence being a medium between them,
The middle group, mentioned above, represents CHARITY, and deserves especial notice for the expression of the Figures therein contained. 'The fondling of the Infánt, the importunity of the Boy, and the placid affection of the Girl, together with
the divided attention of the Mother, are all distins guishably and judiciously, marked with a knowledge of character, for which the great Artist who gave this design is fo justly, celebrated.
Such are the Figures which fill the lower compartments; yet they are but a subordinate part, and (as it were) a basis to the fuperb work erected over them. In a space ten feet wide and eighteen high, is represented the Nativity of JESUS CHRISŤ: å composition of thirteen human Figures, besides fome animals. 1. The blessed Virgin, whose attention is wholly engaged with her Infant. 2. A group of Angels descended into the stable, and kneeling around him. The face of the least of these exhibits an idea of youthful beauty that perhaps was never surpassed. 3. A company of Shepherds, whose de votion and rude eagerness to behold him are strongly expressed. 4. St. Joseph, looking on the spectators, and pointing to the Child, as to the promised feed, the expectation and hope of all nations. 5. In the clouds above, an Angel contemplating the mystery of the Cross; and near him a scroll, whereon is written the original Greek of this text, Mysteries which the Angels themselves desire to look into,
In this composition the Painter has taken for his light that which is supposed to proceed from the body of the Infant: herein
imitating a fainous picture now preserved in the Gallery at Dresden, and known by the name of the Notte of Corregio *. This beautiful idea has often been adopted, but never so judiciously applied as in this instance, where the substance on which the Infant is delineated being transparent, and the light actually passing through him, his body thereby receives a higher glow; and gives to the whole an appearance of reality. A small copy of this picture is in the Collection at Christ Church.
The remaining parts of this grand design consist of groups of Shepherds and other persons who are approaching the Stable to pay their devotions to the new-born Saviour. Among these, the compartment next to the great picture on the south contains the portraits of the two artists by whom this admirable work was executed; viz. Sir J. Reynolds, and Mr. Jervais: the portrait of the latter, who is represented as looking upwards, is esteemed a very fine and strong resemblance.
For this work, which was begun about the year 1776, finished Cartoons were furnished by Sir Joshua Reynolds. These were copied by Mr. Jervais; to whose skill the world is indebted for a new style in glass-painting, which in beauty and truth of repreTentation exceeds all that have hitherto been seen, as much as the common productions excel the first rude attempts of the art.
The Choir is 100 feet long, 35 broad, and 65 high. As we enter the inner Chapel the most striking object is the Altar-piece; which is now, A. D. 1793, restored nearly to the fame state that the Founder originally gave it. It consists of fifty niches, dispoled in four ranges over the whole east end of the Chapel; ornamented with canopies, pinnacles, and tracery of the richest Gothic workmanship. These niches were filled by the Founder with the figures of divine and holy Personages; but soon after the Reformation they were all taken away and destroyed, and the architecture itself much broken and defaced. Some remains however were still discernible; and from these, by the skill and abilities of Mr. Wyatt, the design of the present structure was made out and executed. By the same eminent Architect the Chapel has lately been new roofed, the Choir enlarged in Jength and breadth, the Seats decorated with canopies,