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her, that if she should not be then perfectly satisfied, he would never more importune her. He had contrived, with the painter's assistance, just at the time the lady was appointed, to thrust his own face through a canvass hung where the picture had before been placed. She, on viewing it, persisted in asserting, that it was no more like than before. Upon this he could not keep his countenance, but, by laughing out, discovered his own stratagem, and her obstinacy.

This story is introduced, to shew how necessary the concomitant circumstances, either of a picture, or of nature, are, in order to produce the proper effects of the one or the other, on the spectator.

[The above remarks were made immediately after the publication of Mr. Webb's book, (in 1760) and were intended to be then printed in this Magazine; but by some accident, were omitted. The author of them has since heard so high a character (from the best judges) of the works of Mr. Stubbs, on some of the subjects in which Rubens excelled, that he should not think himself excusable in neglecting the comparison of two such great masters, if he had had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Stubbs's performances ; but of that he has been hitherto deprived by his distance from London.]

1766, August.

LXXX. Strictures on Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting.

Lothbury, Feb. 13. MR. URBAN, I HAVE lately turned over the new edition of the “ Anecdotes of Painting in England," from the former perusal of which I had received much pleasure and information. I need not expatiate here on the merit of a work which hath been so well received by the public. It appears now with the advantage of some additions and improvements; and it it be perhaps too much to say, that upon the whole it is superior to the lives of the painters which have been published in Italy and France; yet one may, venture to assert, that the reading of it is more agreeable, being equally free from the triling particulars which disgust you so often in the works of Yasari, Malvasia, Ridolti, and other Italian

authors, and from the indiscriminate and exaggerated praises lavished with so liberal a hand by Felibien, D'Argenville, and other French writers, upon many artists of no very great merit.

By this publication Mr. Walpole hath rendered us the same service which Vasari hath to Italy. He hath preserved sundry notices which in all probability would soon have been lost, and recorded many which would never have been known. The beginning of the history of the arts in Great Britain would have continued without him, involved in darkness. We may hope, since the foundation of the Society of Artists, and of the Royal Academy, that those two bodies will be the means of transmitting the sequel of it to our posterity.

In my cursory reading of this useful and entertaining work, I took notice of some mistakes and some omissions ; and, as I apprehended that rectifying the first, and supplying the others, might be of some service in a future edition, I wrote them down upon loose papers, with the intention of revising and improving the whole when more leisure should afford me the opportunity of doing it properly. But having, by some accident, mislaid those papers, and not having at present time to read over again the “ Anecdotes of Painting,” I shall transmit you two or three remarks which I have found, giving you the liberty to insert them in your useful Magazine, if you think them deserving the notice of the public, and worthy of a place in your valuable collection.

Mr. W. upon mentioning (Vol. v. p. 40.) a print of James I. with his arms supported by a lion and a griffin, makes this remark: “ As Crispin Pass executed this abroad, it is not extraordinary that he should have continued Queen Elizaþeth's griffin, not knowing that James on his accession had assumed the Scottish supporter.” This observation is true, generally speaking; but I believe that more instances might be given, where the griffin hath been used by James and his successors of the Stuart family. I shall only mention a remarkable one which may be seen at the hospital of St. Catharine by the Tower. There is, in the wall of that building which runs parallel to the church, a compartment in stone, wherein are carved the arms of King Charles II. impaled with those of his consort, Queen Catharine of Portugal, supported by the lion and griffin. It is in very good preservation, well executed, and, on account of its being placed in a public edifice, it claims our particular attention.

In Vol. v. p. 194. a print is mentioned of Lord Chancellor

Jeffreys by Isaac Oliver, where he is styled Earl of Flint; a title, says Mr. W. which none of our historians mention to have been given to, or designed for him*. The sagacity of our author might have pointed out to him, that this print hath preserved us this very curious anecdote, that the title of Earl of Flint was the reward intended by James II. for the cruelties committed by the bloody and merciless Jeffreys, who, upon the promise of this new dignity, very probably bespoke this print with his new title, intending that it should appear in public at the same time with the patent of his creation. The temper of the times very likely prevented this last being published as soon as it was intended; and events crowding fast one upon another, brought on the flight of the king, and the death of the minister.

I wonder that these reflections should not have occurred to Mr. W. when something of the same kind had before, upon a similar occasion; for in p. 116, after mentioning a print of Henry Somerset, marquis of Worcester, by Wm. Faithorne, he says, this print hath the garter, though it never was given, and he adds very judiciously, probably it was promised, which, I think, is very likely the case, by reflecting upon the history of those times.

I cannot help remarking here, as a corroborating proof of what is said above, that very lately a print of a noble Duke, with the insignia of the garter hath been published so soon after his receiving it, as to make it evident, that the print was begun, if not finished before the creation was known to the public at large; so that had a revolution in politics or death prevented the bestowing this mark of the royal favour, still the print would have remained to perplex posterity. One may further observe, that the noble Duke appears in the print with the star upon his breast, although, if I be not mistaken, the knights do not wear it till after their installation, and previous to it are only entitled to wear the blue ribbon.

In Vol. iv. Mr. W. giving some account of Bellucci, an Italian painter, who was employed at Canons, the seat of the first Duke of Chandos, observes, that this palace was pulled down as soon as he was dead, and, as if in mockery of sublunary grandeur, the scite and materials were purchased by Hallet, the cabinet-maker. In the first edition this passage

* Some have thought this a sarcasm, in allusion to the hardness of his heart. EDIT.

was expressed in a more contemptuous style, by using the expressions of one Hallet, a cabinet-maker. "Ovid says some. where, that literature emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros. This is very true; but as there is no rule without an exception, the author under our consideration affords us a very striking instance of the truth of this common proverb. I always wondered at the reason which could induce Mr. W. to speak in so familiar and disrespectful a manner of a gentleman, who by his ability, prudence, good management, ceconomy, and success in his business, had been placed in a situation which enabled him to purchase an estate from a family, who, in the care of its fortune, had followed a different line of conduct. If Mr. W. was so fond of morality, and of making reflections upon the changes of this world, he might have seen an instance of the instability of sublunary grandeur in his own family, an instance too which was connected with his work, and to which his subject ought to have naturally led him. Every body will perceive that I allude to the princely collection of pictures intended by the founder to be an everlasting useful ornament to England, and which in the lapse of a few years hath been sold by his successor, and removed to a country, reputed not long ago, unlettered and uncivilised*.

Yours, &c. 1784, July


LXXXI. Mixed Passions sometimes not improperly expressed,


THE discourses of the President of the Royal Academy not only display a profound knowledge of professional theory, but also contain many general incidental principles of all the finer arts. The student of poetry or eloquence may derive from them almost equal instruction with the painter. It is therefore with the greatest hesitation I venture to examine the justness of a decision made by so accurate an observer of human nature,

In the discourse delivered Dec. 10, 1772, he cautions the

* Our correspondent should be informed, that it was no' in the power of Mr. W. to prevent this unfortunate event, which would not have taken place had a certain lady of the family died a little sooner. EDIT.

young artist against aiming at the union of contradictory excellencies, which must necessarily be mutually exclusive of each other. He then censures some persons who have been fond of describing the expression of mixed passions, which they fancied to exist in some favourite work. Such expression he pronounces to be out of the reach of art; and only ascribed to such works by persons, who not being of the profession, know not what can or cannot be done.

What Sir Joshua Reynolds declares to be beyond the reach of art, it is indeed hardiness not to admit as impracticable; yet as the question does not turn upon the technical skill of a painter so much as on the powers of the human countenance, it may not be improper to discuss it.

I must first observe, that the examples of false judgment taken by the President from Pliny, relate to fixed, habitual, characteristic qualities, not to passions occasionally exerted.

But to come near to the question : can it be doubted, that every

indication of inward emotion which the countenance is capable of assuming, the pencil of the painter can imitate on the canvass?

If this maxim be incontrovertible, as I think it is, we have only to inquire, whether in fact the countenance ever expresses a mixture of emotions? While the soul is affected by any passion, if it be assailed by another of a different or discordant nature, the former will either give way, or contend for predominance. In the first case, there will be a moment of fluctuation, during which the expression will be uncertain; that of the former not being totally effaced, nor the other yet exclusively ascendant. Thus the lover in Lucretius viewing his mistress in vultu videt vestigia risus. This transient interval resembles those points of time, so happily seized by Ovid in the Metamorphoses, before the entire recess of the first form, or consummation of the new one. Though the painter's art, confined to a single instant, could not delineate the rapid train of passions, which dimm'd the face of Satan on the view of Eden, and thrice chang'd with pale ire, envy, and despair ; yet were he even to select the moment, when his griev'd look he fixed sad, still it must be Satanic sadness, tinged with deep malice and revenge. I could almost conceive, that as the sculptor in the station of a statue can imply its being in actual motion, so the magic of the painter can suggest to us, how transient the emotion expressed is intended to be. If the first impressed passion be firm enough to contend for superiority with that superinduced, does not experience prove, that the features wear

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