Page images

upon the notion which prevails of the coloring point of knowledge. It must be obvious that a hering faded and perished in the majority man unacquainted with the construction and of Sir Joshua Reynolds's works. This is not form of the several bones that govern aud supcorrect : far the greater part of his pictures pre- port the human frame, or who does not underserve their original hue, and are in perfect stand the way in which the muscles moving preservation. Those which have failed have these bones are fixed to them, can make nothing been mentioned again and again, and thus have of what appears to them through the integubeen multiplied in the imaginations of con- ments with which they are covered; which apdoisseurs.-Nor should it be forgotten, that the pearance, however, is one of the noblest objects pictures of other considerable painters have not of the pencil. It seldom happens that the been more durable than his. As many perished painter's business is limited to the mere exact pictures of Gainsborough are, it has been copying of an object before him. For instance, affirmed, to be found in cabinets as of Sir if he has to depict gestures any way sudden, or Joshua Reynolds. Even the great colorists of motions any way violent, a living model would the continent were not wholly free from this scarcely answer his purpose, since it holds but defect. Several pictures of Titian and Van- two or three instants, soon growing languid, and dyck, and more particularly of the exquisite settling into a fixed attitude, which is produced French painter Watteau, have entirely lost that by an instantaneous concourse of the animal brilliancy which, without doubt, they once pos- spirits. Here then the painter's acquaintance sessed.

with anatomy should come into play, his knowWhat Reynolds did for portrait-painting, his ledge not only of the skeleton, but of the origin, distinguished contemporary, Wilson, did for progress, and shape of the muscles which cover landscape. He also had studied at Rome, and the bones, and also the different degrees in brought home thence a refined taste, and a which nature has clothed these muscles with fat. power of execution at once chaste, glowing, and It was the intention of Michael Angelo to give brilliant : while, in the historical department, the public a complete treatise on this subject, Sir Joshua's successor, the late lamented Mr. and it is much to be regretted that he never West, without rivalling either of the three great should have accomplished so desirable a purnames just mentioned, yet displayed sufficient pose. This sublime painter having observed ability to throw completely into the background (as appears in Condivi's life of him) that Albert what had been previously produced by the suc

Durer was deficient with respect to anatomy, cessors of Sir James Thornhill

, Hayman, Pine, resolved to compose a theory founded on his and Whale. Besides West, we cannot forbear long practice: and surely no one could be better to make honorable mention of the names of qualified to furnish anatomical precepts than he Romney, Opie, and Barry.

who, as competitor of Leonardo da Vinci, formed The present state of painting in this country that famous cartoon of naked bodies which was is very encouraging to the lover of art. In por- studied by Raffaelle himself, and subsequently trait, besides the highly-gifted president of the obtained the approbation of the Vatican. The academy, Sir Thomas Lawrence, we have several want of Michael Angelo's precepts may be in other eminent professors : in landscape and ma- some measure compensated by books written on rine subjects, Turner and Callcott are at the the same subject by Moro, Cesio, and Tortelat ; head of a numerous body of followers. The and more recently by Boucherdon, one of the pencil of Wilkie throws a brilliant lustre over most famous statuaries of France. Nothing, both the humorous and pathetic departments however, can be of equal service with the lessons of art; and in the arduous walk of history of some able dissector, besides which a good (a walk of art which, although it is entitled, deal of improvement may be acquired by the when successfully pursued, to the highest honors, study of anatomical casts. is too often followed without either profit or It was the particular happiness of the Greeks distinction,) there are several names which we to be capable of characterising and expressing might select, whose bearers appear to us quali- the various parts of the human body much better fied to elevate the national reputation far higher than we can pretend to do; towards this end than it has ever hitherto been raised. For the their earnest study of the naked figure mainly truth of these observations, we need only appeal contributed, as did also the constant exercise to the annual exhibitions both at Somerset House taken by the Grecian youth in gymnastic games, and at the British Institution.

which, by development and display of the musIt would lead us beyond the limits of this cular system, afforded the painter and statuary work to go much at large into the theory and far more perfect models than those at present practice of painting. This article would be, employed. It has been well suggested, that the however

, incomplete did we not subjoin a few student might make himself more thoroughly observations on these subjects.

master of the science of anatomy by taking one

part of any well-known figure, the thighs of the PART II.

Laocoon, for instance, and adding to them legs THEORY AND PRINCIPLES OF THE suitable to that state in which the muscles of the ARTIST'S STUDIES.

thighs are represented. To the simple contour

of an anatome, or statue, he might add the parts Sect. I.-GENERAL PRINCIPLES.

included by it, and give it a system of muscles And first, of anatomy. It would be unneces- conformable to the quality of that particular sary to cite what the greatest authorities have contour. Exercises of this nature would soon declared with respect to the requisiteness of this establish him in the most fundamental principles


of painting, especially if he had an opportunity entirely opposed :. eaci, other. One is, by reof comparing his drawings with the statue or cast ducing the colors to little more than chiaro-scuro, from which the parts given him to work upon which was often the practice of the Bolognian were taken. See ANATOMY.

school; and the other, by making the colors very It cannot fail to appear obvious that the study distinct and forcible, such as we see in those of of symmetry should immediately succeed that of Rome and Florence; but still the presiding anatomy; since it would not much avail us principle of both these manners is simplicity. to be acquainted with the different parts of Certainly, nothing can be more simple than mothe human body, and their several otřets, were notony; and the distinct blue, red, and yellow we, on the other hand, ignorant of the relative colors which are seen in the draperies of the order and proportion of those parts to one

Roman and Florentine schools, though they have another. The Greek sculptors were as eminent not that kind of harmony which is produced by for the just symmetry of members as for anato- a variety of broken and transparent colors, have mical skill. Polygnotus executed a statue which that effect of grandeur which was intended. he denominated the Rule, from which other art. Perhaps these distinct colors strike the mind ists might take measures for every part of the more forcibly, from there not being any great human body. These measures, not to speak of union between them; as martial mus'c, which is those books which professedly treat of them, intended to rouse the nobler passions, has its may now be derived from the Apollo Belvedere, effect from the sudden and strongly marked the Laocoon, the Venus de Medici, and particu- transitions from one note to another, which that larly the Antinous, which was the rule adopted style of music requires ; whilst, in that which is by Nicholas Poussin. See SYMMETRY.

intended to inove the softer passions, the notes Perspective, according to Leonardo da Vinci imperceptibly melt into one another. (an authority from which there can be no appeal) Drapery, being also a most important branch is to be considered as the reins and rudder of the art, accordingly requires the greatest study of painting. It teaches the proportion in which and attention. It but seldom occurs that a the parts fly from, and lessen on, the eye; how painter has only naked figures to represent; and figures should be marshalled upon a plane sur- may be observed, that the fowing of the folds face, and foreshortened. It contains, in a word, in every garment depends principally on the the whole rationale of design.

relief of the parts which lie under it. A certain As the demonstration of the rules of perspec- author, whose name we do not recollect, remarks, tive depends on the doctrine of proportions, on that as the inequalities of a surface are discoverthe properties of similar triangles, and on the able by the inequalities in the water that runs intersection of planes, it is desirable that an over it, so the shape and posture of the members abridgment of Euclid should be put into the must be discernible by the folds of the vestment hands of the young painter, in order that he may which covers them. understand these rules fundamentally, and not Of landscape and architecture. — The most stand confined to a blind practice of them: eminent landscape painters are Claude Lorraine, at the same time, there is nothing in this author Poussin, and Titian. The former of these celerelative to the art of painting which might not brated men, although he reigns triumphantly in easily be acquired in a few months. See Per- every department of landscape, and in marine

subjects also, yet might be said to have applied The study of opties, so far as it is requisite to hianself principally to express the various phenodetermine the proportion in which objects are to mena of light, particularly those observable in be illuminated or shaded, should proceed hand the heavens; and thanks to the delicious climate in hand with that of perspective: and this of Italy, where he studied and practised, he has in order that the shades cast by figures upon the bequeathed us the brightest skies, and the most planes on which they stand may fall properly, splendid horizons, that can be imagined. Pousand be neither too strong nor too light :- sin was distinguished, and deserved to be so, for in a word, that those most beautiful effects his uncommon application. His compositions of the chiaro-scuro may run no risk of ever de- are fraught with imagery of a classical as well as viating from truth, which, sooner or later, is delightful character, being set off with learned sure to render itself visible. See OPTICS. episodes, such as poets reciting their verses in

• Coloring,' says Sir Joshua Reynolds, though the woods, Grecian youths exercismg gymnastic it may at first sight appear a part of painting games, &c. Titian may be styled the Homer of merely mechanical, yet it still has its rules, and landscape painting. One of the finest landscapes those grounded upon that presiding principle that perhaps ever issued from mortal hands is which regulates both the great and the little in the background of his Martyrdom of St. Peter; the study of a painter. By this, the first effect which has so much truth, so much variety, so of the picture is produced, and, as this is per- much bloom, that it is almost impossible to beformed, the spectator, as he walks the gallery, hold without desiring to make an excursion into will stop, or pass along. To give a general air it. Paolo Veronese is, in architecture, what of grandeur at first view, all trifling, or ariful Titian is in landscape. To excel in landscape, play of little lights, or attention to a variety we must, above all things, study nature; to of tints, is to be avoided; a quietness and sim- excel in architecture we must regard principlicity must reign over the whole work; to pally the finest among the works of art: such, which a breadth of uniform and simple color for instance, as the elevations of ancient edifices, will very much contribute. Grandeur of eflect together with the fabrics of those moderns who is produced by two different ways, which seems have best studied and best copied antiquity.


Invention in painting does not,' according to person should also have that expression which Sir Joshua Reynolds, imply the invention of men of his rank generally exlibit.—The joy or the subject; for that is commonly supplied by the grief of a character of dignity is not to be the poet or historian. With respect to the choice, expressed in the same manner as a similar pasno subject can be proper that is not generally sion in a vulgar face. Upon this principle Berinteresting. It ought to be either some eminent nini, perhaps, may be subject to censure. This instance of heroic action or heroic suffering. sculptor, in many respects admirable, has given There must be something either in the action, or a very mean expression to his statue of David, in the object, in which men are universally con- who is represented as just going to throw the cerned, and which powerfully strikes upon the stone from the sling; and, in order to give it the public sympathy. As it is required that the expression of energy, he has made him biting subject selected should be a general one, it is no his under lip. This expression is far from being less necessary that it should be kept unembar- general, and still farther from being dignified. rassed with whatever may any way serve to di- He might have seen it in an instance or two; vide the attention of the spectator. Whenever and he mistook accident for generality.' a story is related, every man forms a picture in Of Portraiture. There are four things nehis mind of the action and expression of the per- cessary to make a portrait perfect; viz. air, sons employed. The power of representing this coloring, dress, and attitude. mental picture on canvas is what in a painter we 1. The air respects the lines of the face, the call invention. And as, in the conception of head attire, and the size. The lines of the face this ideal picture, the mind does not enter into depend upon exactness of draught, and agreethe minute peculiarities of the dress, furniture, ment of the parts; for it is not exactness of deor scene of action; so, when the painter comés sign in portraits that gives spirit and true air, so to represent it, he contrives those little necessary much as the agreement of the parts at the very concomitant circumstances in such a manner, moment when the disposition and temperament that they shall strike the spectator no more than of the sitter are to be caught. We see several they did himself in his first conception of the portraits, which, though correctly designed, have story. The great end of the art is to strike the a cold, languishing, and stupid air; whilst imagination. The painter therefore is to make others, less correct in design, strike us, howno ostentation of the means by which this is ever, at first sight, as a resemblance. done; the spectator is only to feel the result in Few painters are careful enough to put the bis bosom. · An inferior artist is unwilling that parts well together : Sometimes the mouth is any part of his industry should be lost upon the smiling, and the eyes are sad ; at other times the Spectator. He takes as much pains to discover, eyes are cheerful, and the cheeks lank; by which as the greater artist does to conceal, the marks means their work has a false air, and looks nnof his subordinate assiduity. In works of the natural. Of all the parts of the face, that which lower kind, every thing appears studied and contributes most to likeness is the nose; it is encumbered; it is all boastful art, and open therefore of great moment to set and draw it well. affectation. The ignorant often part from Though the hair of the head seems to be part of such pictures with wonder in their mouths, the dress which is capable of various forms withand indifference in their hearts. But it is out altering the air of the face; yet the head atnot enough in invention that the artist should tire which one has been most accustomed to, restrain and keep under all the inferior parts creates such a likeness, that we scarce know a of his subject; he must sometimes deviate familiar acquaintance on his putting on a wig, or from vulgar and strict historical truth, in pur- any other head attire, different from that which he suing the grandeur of his design. How much used to wear. It is necessary, therefore, as far the great style exacts from its professors to con- ás possible, to take the air of the head ornament, ceive and represent their subjects in a poetical and make it accompany and set off that of the manner, not confined to mere matter of fact, face. may be seen in the cartoons of Raffaelle. In all As to the stature, it contributes so much to the pictures in which the painter has represented likeness, that we very often know people without the apostles, he has drawn them with great no- seeing their face: it is, therefore, extremely probleness; he has given them as much dignity as per to draw the size of a full length portrait, the human figure is capable of receiving ; yet after the sitter hineself, and in such an attitude we are expressly told in Scripture they had no as he usually appears in. In sitting, the person such respectable appearance; and of St. Paul, appears to be of a less free make, through the in particular, we are told by himself that his heaving of his shoulders : wherefore, to adjust bodily presence was mean. 'Alexander is said his size, it is proper to make him stand for a to have been of a low stature: a painter ought short time in the posture we would give him, and not so to represent him. Agesilaus was low, then make our observations. All deformities, lame, and of a mean appearance: none of these when the air and temper may be discovered defects ought to appear in a piece of which without them, ought to be either corrected or he is the hero. In conformity to custom, I call omitted in portraits. But in some faces we canthis part of the art history painting; it ought to not be too exact, whether the parts be beautiful be called poetical, as in reality it is.

or not; as every thing in an important picture ' As in invention, so likewise in expression, is precious that is faithful. But, after whatever care must be taken not to run into particulari- manner the painter acquits himself in this point, ties. Those expressions alone should be given let him never forget good air and grace; and to the figures which their respective situations that there are moments particularly advantageous generally produce. Nor is this enough; each for hitting them off.


and quali

2. Coloring, in portraiture, is an effusion of the former is a bright chestnut, we are often emnature, often connected with the true tempers of barassed, unless helped by means of a curtain, persons; and, the temper being essential to like- or some accident of the claro-obscuro, supposed 16.stot to be tandled as exactly as the de- to be behind, or unless the ground is a skv.

This part is the more valuable, as it is Where a ground is neither curtain nor landrate and dust cult to hit. Many painters have scape, but is plain like a wall, it ought to be correo a likeneza brokes and outlines; but very much party-colored, with almost imperfew have shown in colors the tempers of persons. ceptible patches or stains; for, besides its being Two points are necessary in coloring; exactness in nature, the picture will look the more of this, and the art of setting them off. The stand. former jo acquired by practice, in examining and 4. Attitudes ought to suit the

ages comparing the colors we see in life with those by ties of persons and their tempers. In old men wuch we would imitate it; and the art of those and women they should be grave, majestic, and tin's consists in knowinz what one color will sometimes bold: and venerally, in women, they produce when set by another, and in making ouzht to have a noble simplicity and modest good what either distance or time may abate on cheerfulness: a charm infinitely beyond cothe glow and freshness of the colors. À painter quetry: and indeed coquettes themselves care who does nothing more than what he sees, will not to be painted such. Attitudes are of lwo never arrive at a perfect imitation; for, though kinds: one in motion, the other at rest. Those his work may seen on the easel to be good to at rest may suit every person : but those in mohim, it may not appear so to others, nor perhaps tion are proper for young people only, and are Even to himself at a distance. A rint, which, hard to be expressed; because a great part of bear, appears disjoined, and of one color, may the hair and drapery must be moved by the air; look of another at a distance, and be confounded motion, in painting, being never better expressed in the mass it belongs to. If you would have than by such agitations. The attitudes at rest your work, therefore, to produce a good effect in must not appear so much so as to seem to rethe place where it is to hang, both the colors present an inactive person, and one who sits for and lights must be a little loaded, but with dis- no other purpose but to ve a copy. And, though cretion. In this point consult Titian, Rubens, the figure that is represented be at rest, yet the Vandyck, and Rembrandt's methods : for indeed painter, if he think fit, may give it a flying drathentárt is wonderful. The tints usually require pery, provided the scene or ground be not a three times of observation. The first is at the chamber or close place. person's first sitting down, when he has more It is above all things necessary that the figures spirit and color than ordinary. The second is which are not employed should appear to satisfy when, being composed, his look is as usual. the spectator's curiosity; and for this purpose And the third is when, through tiresomeness by show themselves in such an action as suits their sitting in one posture, his color alters to what tempers and conditions, as if they would inform weariness usually creates. On which account, him what they really were. In a word, attitude it is best to keep to the sitter's usual tint, a little is the language of portraits; and the skiltul improved.

painter ought to give great attention to it. The 3. In the dress and draperies of men's por- best attitudes are such as induce the spectator to traits, we need only observe great truth and think that the sitter took a favorable opportunity force; but in women's there must also be charms; of being seen to advantage, but yet without afterwhatever beauty they possess must appear in a tation. With regard to women's portraits, in fine light, and their blemishes must be softened. whatever attitude they are placed, they should For this reason a white, lively, and bright tint, sway in such a manner as to give their face but ought never to be set off by a fine yellow, which little shade ; and we should carefully examine would make it look like plaster; but rather by whether the face appear more beautiful in a colors inclining to green, blue, or gray, or such smiling or in a serious air. others as, by their opposition, may make the According to De Piles, portraiture requires tint appear more fleshy than usual in fair women. three different sittings and operations : viz. dead Vandyck often made a fillemot-colored curtain coloring, second-coloring, and retouching or for his ground; but that color is soft and brown. finishing. Before the painter dead-color, he Brown women, on the other hand, who have must attentively consider what aspect will best yellow enough to support the character of fleshi- suit the sitter, by putting him in different posiness. may very well have yellowish draperies, tions, if he have not any settled design; when to bring down the yellow of their tints, and this is determined, it is of the utmost consemake them look the fresher; and, near very quence to put the parts well together, by comhigh-colored and lively carnations, linen does paring always one part with another ; for not wonders.

only the portrait acquires a greater likeness when In grounuls, two things are observable; the well designed, but it is troublesome to make tone and the color. The color is to be consi- alterations at the second sitting, when the artist dered in the same manner as those of draperies, should only think of painting, that is, of diswith respect to the head. The tone must be al- posing and uniting his colors. ways different from the mass it supports, and of i. The dead-coloring ought to be clean, because which it is the ground, that the objects coming of the slope and transparency of the colors

, esupon it may not seem transparent, but solid and pecially in the shades; and when the parts are raised. The color of the hair of the head usually well put together, and become clammy, they determines the tone of the ground; and, when must be judiciously sweetened and melted in

each other; yet without taking away the air of end of the sitting, fatigue diffuses a general yelthe picture, that the painter may finish it, in pro- lowness, which makes us forget what parts were portion as he draws. But if fiery geniuses do of this color, and what were not, unless we had not like this method of scumbling, let them only taken due notice of it before.

For this reamark the parts slightly, and so far as is neces- son, at the second sitting, the colors must be sary for giving an air. In dead-coloring it is every where readily clapped in, and such as approper to put in rather too little than too much pear at the first sitting down; for these are always hair about the forehead ; that, in finishing, we the finest. The surest way to judge of colors, may be at liberty to place it where we please, is by comparison; and, to know a tint, nothing and to paint it with all possible softness and de- is better than to compare it with linen placed licacy. If, on the contrary, you sketch upon the next it, or else placed next to the natural object forehead a lock which may appear to be of a if there is occasion. The portrait being now good taste, and becoming the work, you may finished, nothing remains, but, at some distance of be puzzled in finishing it, and not find the time, to view both the picture and sitter together, life exactly in the same position as you would to determine with certainty, whether there is any paint it.

thing still wanting to the work. . The business of the second sitting is to put Of theatrical decorations, 8c.—Theatrical the colors well in their places, and to paint them decorations require a particular art which unites m a manner that is suitable to the sitter and to several of the general parts of painting with the the effect we propose; but, before they are made knowledge of architecture, perspective, &c. clammy, we ought to examine afresh whether the They who apply themselves to it would do well parts are rightly placed, and here and there to to design their decorations by day, and to color give some touches towards likeness, that, when them by candle light, as they will be much better we are assured of it, the work may go on with able to judge of the effect of a painting intended greater satisfaction. If the portrait be justly de- to be viewed by that light. signed, the painter ought, as much as possible, The designs for furniture, carriages, porcelain, to work quick, as the work will thus have the and other branches of manufacture, form also a more spirit and life. But this readiness is only very important article of painting in general, and the effect of long study and experience. of academy painting in particular. This is a

ni. Before we retouch or finish, it is proper to distinct branch of the art; and without doubt not terminate the hair, that, on finishing the carna- the least useful, as it contributes so essentially to tions, we may be able to judge of the effect of the success of manufactures, and consequently to the whole head. If, at the second sitting, we the prosperity of a state; and it is an art to which cannot do all we intended, which often happens, it were much to be wished that youth of ability the third makes up the loss, and gives both and invention would apply themselves. See JAspirit , physiognomy, and character.

PANNING and PORCELAIN. would paint a portrait at once, we must load the These may be deemed the chief principles of coloring; but neither sweeten nor drive, nor the art of painting, which it behoves the student very much oil it; and, if we dip the pencil in indispensably to acquire not only the knowledge varnish as the work advances, this will readily but likewise the practice of. There are also enable us to put color on color, and to mix them others, which must not by any means be overwithout driving. There is nothing so rare as tine looked, and among these are to be enumerated hands, either in the design or coloring. It is, -disposition, costume, and illusion. This latter therefore, convenient to cultivate a friendship quality cannot

, perhaps, in its strictest sense, with some women, who will take pleasure in be attained by painting: there is, however, á serving for a copy.

But if an opportunity oc- species of it (although probably the name is not curs of copying hands after Vandyck, it must not fairly applied) which demands the greatest atbe let slip; for he drew them with a surprising tention, and forms one of the chief fascinations delicacy and an admirable coloring. It is of of the art. It is this : that the painting shall great service to copy after the manners which resemble truth to such an extent, by the justness come nearest to nature; as are those of Titian of its forms, the combination of its colors, and

all its general effects, that the image thereby Before we begin coloring, we must catch the presented shall afford all the gratification resultvery first moments, which are commonly the most ing from the imitation of reality. This, it is agreeable and most advantageous, and to keep admitted, is not illusion in the stricter sense of them in our memory for use when we are finish- the word; for it exists as well in pictures on a ing; for the sitter, growing tired with being long small scale as in those of equal dimensions with in the same place, loses those spirits which, at the thing represented : but it is that exactness of his first sitting down, gave beauty to the parts, imitation of which painting is susceptible, even and conveyed to the tint more lively blood, and in pictures which comprise any number of figures a fresher color. In short, we must join to truth a at a reasonable distance from each other. probable and advantageous possibility, which, We shall now proceed to illustrate the theorefar from abating likeness, serves rather to set it tical part of our subject by a few practical obseroff. For this end, we ought to begin with ob- vations. serving the ground of a tint

, as well what it is And, first :-Let us warn the young artist in lights 'as in shades; for the shades are only against being led astray by the ambition of combeautiful as they are proportioned to the light. posing facilely, or acquiring that which is termed We must observe, if the tint be very lively, whe- a masterly handling of the chalk or pencil. To ther it partake of yellowness, and where that yel- this mistaken aim, however, young men are inlowness is placed'; because usually, towards the cited in various ways. There is something dash

If we

and Vandyck.

« PreviousContinue »