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not see much to be desired. But dissolved in turpentine, answer to then, again, when I see a Coreggio, paint with, and quite like varnish. a Rembrandt, a Claude, a Poussin, I There is another fact verystriking. The see something so different in the tex. old masters used some colours which ture and brilliancy, that appears un- we cannot-verditer, for instance ; attainable by any known medium, I with our oils it will change in a few am unwillingly half a convert to those days—and so of other colours. And assertions.
I have heard picture-cleaners declare Sketcher. I have often felt my opi- that they can easily get off the paint nions, as yours, vary; but there are or retouches a century old, by a profacts that are very strange, if there cess which will not touch the older. be not something lost; there is cer. Now, these facts are grounds for entainly a very striking difference be- quiry; much valuable matter might tween the old and modern masters. be accumulated, and successful exI am not, observe, here saying one is periments made. Sir Joshua must preferable to another, but would have seen something he did not poscontent myself with insisting that sess, or he would not bave destroyed there is a difference. One would old pictures to find out the medium imagine there was something in the wherewith they were painted. power of the medium that tempted Pictor. Some say age has mellowed them beyond the imitation of com- and given beauty to the works of the mon pature-something in that of the old masters, and that ours will acmodern that confines them to the aim quire that peculiar look. of reaching it. We see it, perhaps, Sketcher. May be so; but hitherto reached, successfully reached, in our Time has not worked very favourabest artists, and when we see a thing bly. He has totally destroyed some, perfect in itself, we are satisfied, and and made many dingy. Then, is it think not of things of a different not curious that you never see an kind, we do not then make compari. old picture crack, that is, the paint sons, perhaps, and, if we do, they are separate, leaving vermicular opennot likely to be just. Then considerings, now-a-days so common? I think for a moment, what did Van Eyck it very probable that we never were discover ? It is to be presumed he did more secure in our medium than now, discover something unknown before and that the best pictures of the pre-yet painting in oil was known be sent day stand a fair chance of being fore, and even practised in England. handed down to posterity whole at And Walpole seems to be of opinion, least, and probably without deteriothat he found it here, and took the ration from time. But that consihonour of it to himself abroad. Un- deration does not remove from me questionably the documents brought the desire that attention were paid to forward by Walpole show that paint. the subject among scientific men, ing in oil was practised in England backed by an authority. A friend of in 1239—and Van Eyck died in 1441. mine, a very able person, has beNot only oil, but varnish was, it ap- stowed much pains upon the subject; pears, known; “pro oleo et vernici, I have often wished him to publish et coloribus emptis," runs the docu- his experiments-the facts he has ment. Amabue, the reviver of established. He has occasionally painting in Italy, who died in 1300, supplied me with his preservative used yolk of egg. Yet it is asserted medium, and it is quite surprising that pictures were painted even in how perfectly colours stand, which, Italy in oil before the time of Van under the common process, will not Eyck. But is there not a vast dif. stand a week. I painted a small picference in the paintings executed ture with it some few years ago, and since the time of Van Eyck? It is afterwards altered a part that did not said, too, that he made the discovery please me with the common medium, while trying to make a varnish. And linseed oil ; that part alone has Leonardo da Vinci speaks of a var. changed, and is a spot on the rest. nish made of linseed oil. This was He had not then brought the medium probably oil boiled to the hardness to the perfection that it could be of a gum, and afterwards dissolved; used with facility on a large scale. for I have often found a very small Happy should I be, and the arts would quantity boiled to this consistence, be thankful to him, would he publish
his discoveries. For my own part, more than life about it-of charmed I do not pretend to any great know- life-of sensibility and power. ledge in art; but it appears to me, in se a matter of such experimental prac. “L'aura soave, e l'alba rugiadosa tice as painting, persons of very mo
L'acqua, la terra in suo favor s'inchina." derate powers may discover some.
ARIOSTO. thing; and if they fancy they do, How strange it is that that little there can be no very great harm or flower should make the picture deconceit in their making their fancies termine the character of every part known.
of the scene, and give the whole the Pictor. Whether England may charm of enchanted modesty and claim the honour of inventing paint. obeisance to the queen and emblem ing in oil, is a point that may be dig- of purity! The colour, too, of the puted; but undoubtedly we may scene is so accordant with the feel. claim the invention of painting in wa- ing. The light brown over the shalter colours, and preeminence in that lower part of the water runs off so art beyond comparison.
gradually into a mysterious depth, My sketch being finished, I was and that again partly relieved by, putting it into my portfolio, when and partly blended with, every ra. Pictor, who seemed more inclined riety of green, that I cannot conceive to remain than to move, told me I a more perfect harmony; and obhad better revise it, for that he did serve, there are masses here, but no not think I had thoroughly enjoyed large individual forms, to take off the scene, my observation having from the consequence so singularly been taken from it by the remarks I acquired by an object so minute as had been making, -and that, hown that simple flower. With what a ever I might flatter myself with ha- striking purpose of bomage do tbe ving executed a portrait, I bad missed white froth bubbles make their cir. the poetry : that always requires un- cuit-slowly approach the Sovereign divided attention. I looked at my Beauty, and then more rapidly glide sketch again, and being satisfied that away to their exit from the audience Pictor's judgment was correct, I tore and levee ! it, and threw the parts into the Sketcher. By all means paint the stream, as an offering to the "genius picture; and you, I am confident, loci.” Pictor observed that my sa. will let the eye that sees your poeti. crifice was of a common character, cal conception, have all the benefit not of much value, but that Jupiter of your botanical ignorance. Who bimself had never much better-no- with any brains, would here wish to thing but the smell and the smoke. know to what family that object of He then reluctantly rose from the all attraction belongs ? Classifica. bank, and we pursued our way up. tions are a barbarous insult upon wards, slowly-for every step offer. Nature-an inquisitorial census of ed something to admire-and very her mystic population. You will soon came upon a scene that arrest. not mark it with a name of seven ed us both instantaneously. There, syllables-nor swear away its purity quoth Pictor, is poetry-beautiful! by stamping it a Polyandrian. Look at that tall flower, with its ele- Pictor. Not I; I am a painter, gant stem, raising its crowned head and meddle not with impertinent over the dark brown placid water, studies. that flows on here so tranquilly, Sketcher. If we had the power of singing its hymn of homage as it Montesinos, and could conjure to passes. All is enclosed as in a spot our presence the shades of the de. of sanctity. The turbulence of the parted, now would I call upon Sir water above and below is not heard, Uvedale Price to eat his words-no but as the murmur of bees. The very solid meal for an Umbra-and branches of the trees drop down to own that flowers and blossoms are the water, and bend and make their not always unfavourable to landsalutation. All the objects, even in scape. He asserts that, “ from their their deepest retirement, turn reve- too distinct and splendid appear. rently to that elegant stemmed ance, they are apt to produce a flower. It has the persuasion of glare and spottiness, so destructive
of that union which is the very es. Emperor of his own flower-beds. sence of a picture, whether in nature But, Sir Uvedale, you never should or imitation.” And not content with have put your foot within the dothis censure, this “ murder of the main of littleness; but if you paid innocents,” he kills them over again bim a visit on the recommendation in a note. I have copied the passage of Mr Lock and Mr Gilpin, tell them in my pocket-book, to confute him they were truants, and quite out of from nature. Here it is. “White the bounds of Nature's school. Milblossoms are, in one very material ton does not disdain even “ Mea. respect, more unfavourable to lands- dows trim, with daisies pied.” Milcape than any others, as white, by ton knew very well the care Na. bringing objects too near the eye, dis- ture takes to keep a good tone in her turbs the aërial perspective and the pictures, that shall preserve the ingradation of distance. On this sub- tended sentiment, (they are all her ject I must beg leave to refer the reader best moral lessons,) and that she not to some remarks by Mr Lock, in Mr only uses the pearly atmosphere, Gilpin's ' Tour down the Wye,' page but likewise dips her pencil in the 97, which I should have inserted here, clouds, and if there be any thing were not the book in every person's “Whose saintly visage is too bright, hands."
To hit the sense of human sight," Now there he is wrong; the book she therefore glazes them overis not in my hands, but if I ever meet with it, and find a passage si
“ To our weaker view milar to the one quoted, I will fing O'erlaid with black, staid wisdom's hue.” into the margin my mark of defiance. Pictor. I am loth to leave this Now Nature takes very good care spot, and yet am I not much dispogenerally, that the texture of her sed to use my colours; why do not white flowers and blossoms shall be you make a study here? so delicate, as seldom to obtrude; Sketcher. What-after my failure! they are not stuck on like lumps of but, in truth, the best reason I can white lead, they present not one give is, that I have the scene, and am bald hard substance, but have intri. rejoiced to find that I felt the poetry cate parts retiring within each other, of it just as you do, and hope I have and are more delicate than threads marked it in my sketch. But would of silk or the lightest cotton, and un- it not be best at once to extend our less injudiciously assorted in silly walk to the great rock and waterparterres by the hand of man, never fall at the top of the valley, and take obtrude themselves, and nature won these scenes at our leisure on our derfully prepares and matches her return? greens to suit them. I will venture We now ascended the narrow to say, the whitest flowers may be pathế" the hinder foot still firmin the deepest shade, without dis- er.” Nor did we omit what is usuturbing it, any more than the stars ally done in ascents, to pause and offend and harm the blue of heaven, look back; and many were the beauthat ever keeps for them, and through tiful sights that met our eyes, whether them, the greater serenity. Pure we looked up the stream, or followmodest white!! you might as well ed its course to the sea, which boundvilify or vilipend the pearl crescented the prospect in that direction, on Dian's raven top-knot. Besides, As we ascended, the scene opened good Sir Uvedale, for I understand somewhat more; the masses of rock your présence, Nature is a great were larger, and more tossed about painter, and is always walking about in wild confusion ; and instead of with her palette and brushes, and flowers and bushes growing out from touching up her pictures, and dips them as lower down, large trees her delicate pencils into most hea. were growing out of their fissures, venly atmosphere, that there shall and ivy crept round them, and uninot be an atom of spottiness, except. ted them more with the adjacent ing indeed it be from the meddlings parts of the rocks; and the water was of man, and then and there she does pouring down superbly in every dileave the deformity in disgust, while rection, as it appeared from the prothe ignoramus struts about his little jecting rocks, into cavernous abyssminiature paradise, the Brobdignages. Innumerable are the studies to VOL. XXXY, NO, CCXX.
be made hereabouts; especially if painter of Views, presented a very you leave the path, descend, and choice subject. But the composer then climb over some of the large would rather have stored his portmasses of stone, and become insula. folio with the many exquisite parts, ted amidst the waters. But taking which would have charmed with this view from the path, it is very greater fascination by their separastriking, backed as it is by the wood. tion, and this even in sketches : For ed hill that leads to Linton, Pictor sketches of parts of scenes, becoming noticed the extreme beauty of the principal subjects, often give more detail of the immediate foreground, complete pleasure where all is not and particularly the exact detail, the filled up, the imagination being left penciling or the etching of the leaf- free to supply, and that too with a age of some young ash, spreading rapid change, the complements of the out their fan-like boughs over the picture. But the true admirer, who grey whirling water. But the scene looks into Nature's retirements for was too grand to admit of the obser- the poetry she lavishly throws around vation of this handling in nature, her, will descend from the path, which until it had been studied long he can do without much difficulty, as a whole. A light breeze follow to the water's edge; and among the ing, the rushing torrent was moving larger stones he will find full emthe trees throughout, and therefore ployment for his pencil, and the delineating them. All was in mo. whole power of his colours, whichtion, trees and water; and even the ever way he may look. The deep immovable masses of rock seemed brown pools of refuge, and the water as if they were monster forms ar- with all its variety of silvery green, rested and turned into stone in their grey, and brown, circling, loitering, attempt to ascend. The animation, bastening-and the falls from above the motion of wood and water, was (edged with sunshine, and thereby all in communion, as if teeming with shewing their depth of colour) seen audible intelligence of combat, and amid boughs and fragments of mossconfusion, and rout beyond them. brown rocks, will delight him many There was a stir, in which humanity an hour in a spot so sheltered, as if could not partake, and that made it Silence had lingered there, and ever little.
after charmed the turbulence of the Curiosity here must be awakened. water into gentle music. A very If alone on this spot, you would feel few steps brought us within sight courageous, perhaps,as knight-errant of the high rock that terminates the benton encounterof“dragon horrible path. Had we come suddenly upon and stern;" but at the same time a tho this scene, splendidly beautiful as it rough sense of some danger over the is, I doubt if we should have felt its turn of the path above you. I should power so much as we did, by the say it was a scene for the danger of preparation the mind had received romantie encounter. The mind is by the gradation of impressions fed with high thought of adventure made in the course of this singularly bold, asserts its hardihood, and recoe picturesque walk, all accumulating an vers from the humility at first en enthusiastic feeling, which this grand gendered. As we were two, we scene demanded, to be the more walked boldly forward, and reach fully enjoyed. We had, as it were, ing the higher point, looked back passed the precincts of an oracular from a high mass of grey rock, to place, and had been within the sense Lyumouth, the sea and the opposite of an awe, that imparted a sanctity coast faintly seen. The downward to render us fit for homage and in. passage of the water, bursting its spiration. We remained for a while way by the woods, and over rocks, in mute admiration. I never saw in full activity, and the broad bosom any scene so completely overpowerof the Bristol Channel, to which it ing; so thoroughly seizing the judge was hastening, and insinuating its ment, as to deprive it of its right of way as with an affection,-the heath- scrutiny. You believe it to be perery hill immediately beyond, and the fect, and it is not until after repeated bare rocky hill on this side the vil trials in every point of view, and relage to the right, contrasted with the peated failures of attaining any adewood to the left, to an admirer or quate expression, that you can adı mit that it may have defects. The from humility learn to be great. defects are in composition-defects Nature's Poet and Nature's Painter the less discernible in our admira- may here worship and have his retion of Nature, because we receive ward. impressions from many, more than Sketcher. Yes, and praise Nature's from one point of view. The compo- God that he has made her so beaunent parts all agree in character, they tiful, and given us capacity to perare grand and simple, yet each having ceive it,-more-to enjoy it. Then, in itself most wondrous variety in when we consider that this which detail. It would be presumption to excites our wonder is scarce an say that this view cannot be accu- atom in creation, that angelic beings rately and effectively taken-but have a wider range, denied to us, among the numerous sketches that I and that the eye of Omnipotence have made of it, there is not one of surveys all, fills all, and is sensitive which I could make a picture with- even now with us of all that we enout much license—and there is a joy in this very place, we stand as difficulty here, for there is no one favoured creatures connected with part that you could alter without re- heaven and with earth by the unluctance, and to its particular dete- seen yet certain bonds of feeling rioration. Pictor and I fully agreed and imagination. Long did we rethat by far the best view was that main in this spot; and when we left which few but sketchers and pain- it, it was to survey the scene from ters would take, from a little low many others. We climbed over the ledge, on the other side of the huge fragments that lay around us, stream which we crossed, thigh-deep, bestrode their tops, having the falls without difficulty. The wondrous before us and at our backs, thrilled rock before us, towering into the with the grandeur of the great whole. blue sky,—the trees growing from its Having reached the highest point, summit, the stems that shoot over we descended down to the foot of from the sides, under which the eye the great blocks that formed, as I looks into intermingled shades of mentioned, the foundations; with deeper foliage and projected rocks, our backs close against these we and cavernous hollows, the light looked in a direction of the turn boles of trees, and twisted roots ri. whence the river came and here veting huge masses together, bound the scene was very striking. The imwith ancient ivy,—the precipitous mediate falls were very grand, and sides, terminating in immense above them you could just see the blocks, like squared foundations, line of the rocky banks admitting stamped and fixed by an omnipotent the passage; they did not reach far, fiat, deepened in colour and mystery taking a sudden turn to the left, up by the vapours of the roaring foam- the valley—80 that the background ing waters, rushing over the rocks, of our view was now the woody (from whence unseen,) and taking and rocky hill on which Linton new direction - the immense dis- stands, and we could see partly the lodged fragments that lie tumbled wall of the road which wound from over each other, and form a fore- Lynmouth upwards. This hill was ground most appropriate, with deep particularly beautiful as seen from recesses with "marvellous darkness hence, admirably broken with rock shadowed o'er"_tbe colours perfect and trees, some larger growing in themselves and in their blending, gracefully upwards, uniting the -all these, closely comprehended, whole, from immediately above the and at once palpable to the vision, dark masses, from whose tops and impart a satisfaction so entire, that down whose sides the foaming I do not recollect ever experiencing sparkling water was pouring, and any thing to be compared with it. which thence whirled away over We did not now open our portfolios, ledges below us, into an abyss black but we did not the less enjoy the with overhanging foliage, and dark hour.
moss.covered precipitous side of Pictor. This little area is a fine the mountain pass. I made a large school wherein the mind may learn coloured study here, which I value nobility, cast off with shame every both for its representation, and for littleness of pursuit or fancy, and the materials for composition which