The Project Gutenberg EBook of English Painters, by Harry John Wilmot-Buxton This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org/license Title: English Painters with a chapter on American painters Author: Harry John Wilmot-Buxton S. R. Koehler Release Date: March 25, 2012 [EBook #39265] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ENGLISH PAINTERS *** Produced by Chuck Greif and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images available at The Internet Archive)
ILLUSTRATED HANDBOOKS OF ART HISTORY.
BY H. J. WILMOT-BUXTON, M.A.
WITH A CHAPTER ON
BY S. R. KOEHLER.
ILLUSTRATED HANDBOOKS OF ART HISTORY OF ALL AGES.
Crown 8vo, cloth extra, per volume, 5s.
Architecture: Classic and Early Christian. By Professor T. Roger Smith and JOHN SLATER, B.A. Comprising the Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Early Christian. Illustrated with 212 Engravings, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheum at Athens, the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, the Colosseum, the Baths of Diocletian at Rome, Saint Sophia at Constantinople, the Sakhra Mosque at Jerusalem, &c.
Architecture: Gothic and Renaissance. By Professor T. Roger Smith and Edward J. Poynter, R.A. Showing the Progress of Gothic Architecture in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, and of Renaissance Architecture in the same Countries. Illustrated with more than 100 Engravings, including many of the principal Cathedrals, Palaces, and Domestic Buildings on the Continent.
Sculpture: A Manual of Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, and Roman. By George Redford, F.R.C.S. With 160 Illustrations of the most celebrated Statues and Bas-reliefs of Greece and Rome, a Map of Ancient Greece, Descriptions of the Statues, and a Chronological List of Ancient Sculptors and their Works.
Painting: Classic and Italian. By Edward J. Poynter, R.A., and Percy R. Head, B.A. Including Painting in Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Pompeii; the Renaissance in Italy; Schools of Florence, Siena, Rome, Padua, Venice, Perugia, Ferrara, Parma, Naples, and Bologna. Illustrated with 80 Engravings of many of the finest Pictures of Italy.
Painting: German, Flemish, and Dut ch. By H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M.A., and Edward J. Poynter, R.A. Including an Account of the Works of Albrecht Dürer, Cranach, and Holbein; Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, and Memline; Rubens, Snyders, and Van Dyck; Rembrandt, Hals, and Jan Steen; Wynants, Ruisdael, and Hobbema; Cuyp, Potter, and Berchem; Bakhuisen, Van de Velde, Van Huysum, and many other celebrated Painters. Illustrated with 100 Engravings.
Painting: English and American. By H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M.A. Including an Account of the Earliest Paintings known in England; the Works of Holbein, Antonis More, Lucas de Heere, Zuccaro and Marc Gheeraedts; the Hilliards and Olivers; Van Dyck, Lely, and Kneller; Hogarth, Reynolds, and Gainsborough; West, Romney, and Lawrence; Constable, Turner, and Wilkie; Maclise, Mulready, and Landseer; and many other celebrated Painters. With 80 Illustrations.
Painting: French and Spanish. By GERARD SMITH, Exeter Coll., Oxon. Including the Lives of Ribera, Zurbaran, Velazquez, and Murillo; Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Le Sueur, Chardin, Greuze, David, and Prud'hon; Ingres, Vernet, Delaroche, and Delacroix; Corot, Diaz, Rousseau, and Millet; Courbet, Regnault, Troyon; and many other celebrated Artists. With 80 Illustrations. Nearly ready.
ILLUSTRATED HANDBOOKS OF ART HISTORY
THIS brief sketch of the rise and progress of Painting in England has been drawn from a variety of sources. The little that can be traced of artistic work previous to the end of the fifteenth century does not fill many pages. Ignorance, carelessness, and "iconoclastic rage" all contributed to the defacement of paintings which we have every reason to believe at one time abounded in our churches and public buildings, as they did at the same period in Italy; and there is good evidence that some of our early English artists are not to be despised.
Our forefathers were too much engaged in the rough contests of war to care much for the arts of peace. In the sixteenth century several foreign artists of more or less celebrity were induced to visit and stay in England. Foremost of these was Holbein, and to his example English artists are deeply indebted. In the next century there were a few excellent miniature painters, whose work is not to be surpassed at the present day, and then came a succession of foreigners—Rubens and Van Dyck from Flanders, Lely and Kneller from Germany, and a host of lesser men, who seem to have in a great measure monopolized portrait painting—then in vogue among the nobility—for more than a hundred years.
Early in the eighteenth century came Hogarth, followed by Reynolds, Gainsborough and Romney, and from that time to the present, Art has year by year progressed, till now English Painters have become a recognised power in the state, and contribute, in no small degree, to the enlightenment, pleasure and refinement of the age.
|PAINTING IN ENGLAND.|
|Early English Art||1|
|English Art in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries||9|
|English Art in the Eighteenth Century—William Hogarth||36|
|The Royal Academy and its influence||44|
|The Progress of English Art in the Eighteenth Century||60|
|Book Illustrators—Miniature Painters||85|
|Painters in Water Colours||100|
|English Art in the Nineteenth Century—Sir Thomas Lawrence|
and his contemporaries
|PAINTING IN AMERICA.|
|First, or Colonial Period||190|
|Second, or Revolutionary Period||195|
|Third Period, or Period of Inner Development||201|
|Fourth, or Present Period||217|
|INDEX OF NAMES||223|
|1.||The Valley Farm||Constable||Frontispiece|
|2.||Age of Innocence||Reynolds||xiv|
|3.||From St. Ethelwold's Benedictional||Godeman||3|
|4.||Arthur, Prince of Wales (Miniature)||7|
|5.||Henry, Prince of Wales (Miniature)||10|
|7.||Edward, Prince of Wales (Miniature)||Holbein||14|
|8.||A Dutch Gentleman||More||18|
|9.||Countess of Pembroke||Hilliard(?)||21|
|10.||Sir Philip Sidney (Miniature)||Isaac Oliver||23|
|11.||James I. (Miniature)||Hoskins||24|
|12.||Countess of Devonshire||Van Dyck||27|
|15.||William Hogarth and his Dog Trump||Hogarth||39|
|19.||Titania and Bottom||Fuseli||63|
|20.||Death of Wolfe||West||65|
|21.||Death of Major Peirson||Copley||68|
|22.||Mercury inventing the Lyre||Barry||70|
|23.||Marquis of Stafford||Romney||73|
|26.||From Dante's Inferno||Blake||86|
|33.||The Tomb of the Scaligers at Verona||Prout||109|
|34.||Berncastle, on the Moselle||Harding||111|
|35.||The View from Richmond Hill||De Wint||113|
|36.||Old English Hospitality||Cattermole||115|
|38.||Trial of Queen Catherine||Harlow||122|
|39.||Swiss Peasant Girl||Howard||124|
|40.||The Grand Canal, Venice||Turner||128|
|41.||Trent in Tyrol||Callcott||132|
|42.||The Fisherman's Departure||Collins||134|
|43.||St. Gomer, Brussels||Roberts||136|
|44.||Francis I. and his Sister||Bonington||138|
|47.||The Pleasant Way Home||Creswick||146|
|48.||The Rape of Europa||Hilton||149|
|49.||The Dangerous Playmate||Etty||153|
|51.||Joash shooting the Arrows of Deliverance||Dyce||157|
|52.||Harold presents himself to Edward the Confessor||Maclise||159|
|53.||The Maid of Saragossa||Wilkie||165|
|54.||Choosing the Wedding Gown||Mulready||168|
|55.||Sancho Panza and the Duchess||Leslie||171|
|58.||The Arab Scribe||Lewis||181|
|60.||Death on the Pale Horse||West||194|
|62.||Death of Montgomery in the Attack of Quebec||Trumbull||198|
|63.||Jeremiah and the Scribe||Allston||203|
|66.||Noon by the Sea-Shore—Beverly Beach||Kensett||216|
|67.||Sunset on the Hudson||Gifford||218|
|68.||Lambs on the Mountain-side||Hunt||220|
THE current English school of art is a creation of a comparatively modern date. It is a mistake, however, to assume that there were no native painters in England under the Plantagenets, and that we were entirely dependent on foreigners for such art as we possessed. The little care which has been taken of early English pictures and their destruction, sometimes accidental, sometimes wilful, have led many to imagine that ancient England had no art of her own. It has been customary to imagine that in Italy alone, in the thirteenth century, existed the Renaissance and growth of modern design. Later research has, however, shown that the Renaissance in painting was not the sudden creation of Giotto, nor that of sculpture the work of Niccola Pisano. The Renaissance in Italy was a gradual growth, and there was in England and in other countries a similar Renaissance, which was overlooked by those whose eyes were fixed on Italy. It has been shown that there were English artists, contemporaries of Giotto and Pisano, whose works were as good as any paintings or sculptures which the Italians produced in the thirteenth century. It is quite true that we know very little of these Englishmen. Some gave themselves to illumination, and produced delicate representations of human beings, as well as of animals, leaves, and flowers. In the British Museum there are several manuscripts of a very early date, which are ornamented with paintings undoubtedly by English artists. The Duke of Devonshire possesses a manuscript, the Benedictional of St. Ethelwold, written between A.D. 963 and 970, and illuminated, with thirty drawings, by a monk of Hyde Abbey, named GODEMAN, for Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester. It is a folio of 119 leaves of vellum, 11½ inches in height by 8½ in width. Other artists painted and gilded the images of wood or stone by their brother craftsmen, and were classed in the humble category of Steyners. They devoted much of their time to heraldic devices, and by degrees passed from the grotesque to the natural, and produced what were styled portraits on board. Painting on glass was a favourite art in this early period, and, although the artists had no more noble title than that of Glaziers, some of their works survive to prove their merits. Many of these craftsmen combined the arts of the painter, sculptor, or "marbler," and architect. Among these obscure pioneers of English art was WILLIAM TORELL, a goldsmith and citizen of London, supposed to be descended from an English family whose name occurs in Domesday Book. Torell modelled and cast the effigy of Henry III. for his tomb in Westminster Abbey, as well as three effigies of Eleanor of Castile, about A.D. 1291. These latter works were placed in Westminster Abbey, Blackfriars' Monastery, and Lincoln Cathedral. The figures in Westminster Abbey show the dignity and beauty of the human form, and are masterpieces of a noble style. The comparison between the effigy of Margaret of Richmond, executed for Henry VII.'s Chapel by the Florentine Torrigiano, and the figures by Torell, is decidedly in favour of the latter. No work in Italy of the thirteenth century excels in beauty these effigies by the English sculptor. At an earlier period than this, during the life of Henry III., some English artists, as well as foreigners, were employed to embellish the cathedrals and palaces of the King. These native craftsmen, who seem to have been at once artists, masons, carvers, upholsterers, or sometimes tailors,[A] are mostly forgotten, but we can trace the names of MASTER EDWARD of Westminster, or Edward Fitz Odo—probably the son of Odo, goldsmith to Henry III.—MASTER WALTER, who received twenty marks "for pictures in our Great Chamber at Westminster," and MASTER JOHN of Gloucester, who was plasterer to the King. The names of the "imaginators" of Queen Eleanor's Crosses are also well known. The early pictorial art of England has been so neglected or forgotten, that it is commonly said to have commenced with the portrait painters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Ignorance, indifference, and bigotry have destroyed, or suffered to perish, the paintings which adorned the walls of almost every church, and the panels of nearly every rood-screen, hundreds of years before the date assigned to the English school. In Kempley Church, Gloucestershire, the walls appear to have been painted early in the twelfth century with large figure subjects. Those in the chancel are in a good state of preservation, and represent the vision in the Apocalypse, and Christ in majesty, attended by the twelve apostles and the saints, painted in life size. In Chaldon Church, Surrey, the chancel walls are ornamented with subjects illustrating the Scala humanæ Salvationis, works apparently of the twelfth century, which, though necessarily rude, are as good as any Italian examples of the same period. In Westminster Abbey there is an important series of small paintings by an English artist contemporary with Cimabue. These pictures once formed the chief ornaments of a frontal, and belonged to the high altar.[B] The work in question consists of a rectangular piece of framed and richly panelled wood-work, about eleven feet long by three feet high. The general design consists of three central figures painted under canopies. On each side are four star-shaped panels filled with painted groups of figures; beyond these on each side is another single figure under a canopy. The wood is covered with fine stucco, or gesso, to the thickness of cardboard, as is always the case with old paintings on panels, and generally when on stone. The pictures still extant on the frontal comprise, in the centre, a figure of Christ in the act of benediction, holding an orb in His left hand. At the right hand is the Virgin Mary, bearing her emblem of the lily; on our left is St. John, with a book; on our right is St. Peter, with the keys. In the star-shaped panels we find the miracles of the raising of Jairus's daughter, the loaves and fishes, and the restoration of the blind man. These figures, though somewhat like those of the early Florentine school, possess a character of their own, and are undoubtedly English. The well-known portrait of Richard II. (died 1400), now in the Abbey at Westminster, is believed to have been painted by an English artist of the fourteenth century. The figure of the King is of large life size, seated in a coronation chair. He is in royal robes, with the globe in one hand and sceptre in the other. This picture for many years hung near the altar.
The history of art in England during the reigns of Edward I. and Edward II. is a blank; probably men were too busy with swords and bucklers to turn to the gentle arts of painting and sculpture. The reign of Edward III. shows a revival in art and letters, and the patron of Chaucer adorned the Chapel of St. Stephen, Westminster, with the best works of native artists. The fire of 1834, which destroyed the old Houses of Parliament, almost obliterated these interesting relics. The walls of the chapel were painted in oil colours with scriptural and historic episodes on the prepared surface of the stonework. There seems to have been at this period a method, peculiar to London, of producing a blue colour, which is mentioned in a German MS. of the fourteenth century as "the London practice." It is noticeable that a blue colour can still be traced in the relics saved from St. Stephen's. The Society of Antiquaries has published coloured copies of the paintings which adorned the chapel. When we recall the state of England at the period which succeeded the death of Edward III., the turbulence of the feudal barons, the constant lawlessness and blood-shedding, and the ignorance which prevailed even among the upper classes, we cannot wonder that art made little progress. Some advance doubtless took place, but we look in vain for originality among the artists who were alternately employed to decorate a baron's pageant, or adorn an altar.
There is a good portrait of Henry IV., removed from Hampton Court, Herefordshire, and now at Cassiobury.
To the reign of Henry V., or at latest to the early days of Henry VI., belongs the earliest authentic specimen of historical portraiture in England. It represents Henry V. and his Relations, painted on wood, less than life size, and was at one time the altar-piece of Shene Church. The portraits which were attempted in the troublous period of the Wars of the Roses, though unlovely and ghastly to look upon, show that art was gradually emerging from the fetters of monastic teaching, where bad pupils copied bad masters, and reproduced saints and angels, whose want of form and symmetry was atoned for by a liberal allowance of gilding. A fairly expressive portrait of Richard III., which must have been painted about this time by a very capable artist, is among the treasures of Knowsley. In the well-known tapestry in St. Mary's Hall, Coventry, there is a representation of King Henry VI. kneeling before the altar, attended by Cardinal Beaufort, the Duke of Gloucester, and many courtiers, in which the drawing will bear comparison with similar work executed in Italy or Flanders at the same time. This tapestry was probably made at Arras, from English designs.
The gradual spread of knowledge at this period induced the English nobility to promote the adornment of manuscripts, chiefly Missals and Romances of Chivalry. These pictures comprise the best specimens of English later mediæval art, and in richness and delicacy of colour they closely approach oil paintings. With the discovery of printing came a check to the art of illuminating manuscripts, and the wild fanaticism of the first Reformers led them to burn at once the religious manuals of Rome, and the wit and wisdom of poet or philosopher. To these ruthless iconoclasts we owe the obscurity in which early English pictorial art remains. It must have been during the later years of the reign of Henry VII. that two miniatures, now at Windsor Castle, were painted, probably for the King. One represents Arthur, Prince of Wales, who, at the age of fifteen, married Catherine of Aragon; the other is his brother, who became Henry VIII. (See Engravings.)
In the reign of Henry VI. there was an artist of note, undoubtedly an Englishman, who may not be passed in silence. This was William Austen, sculptor, to whom we owe the monument ("in fine latten," i.e. brass) of Richard, Earl of Warwick, in the Church of St. Mary, Warwick, a work which Flaxman somewhat courageously considered equal to the productions of Austen's Italian contemporaries, Ghiberti and Donatello.
THE period of the Renaissance found all eyes directed to Italy, and presently England welcomed a number of foreign artists who became the teachers, more or less worthy, of our countrymen. Henry VII. was fonder of money than of art, yet he invited several of these strangers to England; but there are no grounds for supposing, though it is frequently stated, that Mabuse was among the number. Among the foreign artists of this period who visited England, were GERRARD LUCAS HOREBOUT, or HORNEBOLT, of Ghent (1475—1558), who was employed by Henry VIII., and probably by his predecessor; and SUSANNAH HOREBOUT, daughter of Gerrard Lucas, a miniature painter, is said to have married an English sculptor named Whorstley. Dürer, in his journal, says of her, "it is a great wonder a woman should do so well." Henry VIII. was as lavish as his father had been careful of money; naturally fond of display, and jealous of the magnificence of Francis I. and Charles V., the King became a liberal patron of artists. He is said to have invited Raphael, Primaticcio, and Titian to visit England, but if so, the invitations were declined. Among lesser names, however, we find that of ANTONIO TOTO, who came here in 1531, and was appointed Serjeant-Painter to the King. None of his works is now recognised. GIROLAMO DA TREVISO is supposed to have designed the historic painting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, formerly at Windsor, and now in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries at Burlington House.
LUCAS CORNELISZ of Leyden (1493—1552), son of Cornelis Engelbrechtsen, came to England and entered the service of the King. It is said that he taught Holbein in some branches of art, and, as he survived the great painter of Augsburg for nine years, it is possible that some of the works attributed to Holbein after 1543 were painted by him.
Henry VIII. seems to have had two other Serjeant-Painters besides Antonio Toto, and previous to the coming of Holbein. These were ANDREW WRIGHT and JOHN BROWN, whose names proclaim them to be natives. These artists or craftsmen had positions of trust and honour, wore a special dress, and received a weekly wage. Jan van Eyck had a similar post as varlet de chambre to Philippe le Bon. It was the age of pageants, and one great duty of the King's artists was to adorn these singular spectacles. Among the archives of the Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, is the following curious notice of a religious pageant held at a somewhat earlier date:—
"Memorandum: That Master Cumings hath delivered, the 4th day of July, in the year of Our Lord 1470, to Mr. Nicholas Bettes, Vicar of Radcliffe, Moses Couteryn, Philip Bartholomew, and John Brown, procurators of Radcliffe, beforesaid, a new sepulchre, well gilt, and cover thereto; an image of God rising out of the same sepulchre, with all the ordinance that longeth thereto: that is to say—Item, a lath, made of timber, and iron work thereto. Item, thereto longeth Heaven, made of timber and stained cloth. Item, Hell, made of timber and iron work, with devils in number thirteen. Item, Four knights, armed, keeping the sepulchre, with their weapons in their hands, that is to say, two axes, and two spears. Item, Three pair of angels' wings; four angels, made of timber, and well painted. Item, the Father, the crown, and visage; the ball, with a cross upon it, well gilt with fine gold. Item, the Holy Ghost coming out of heaven into the sepulchre. Item, Longeth to the angels four chevelers."
It is not surprising that art made little progress whilst it was mainly directed to the painting and gilding of timber angels and of solid devils for a hell of iron and wood-work. Things were not much better in the reign of Henry VIII. His love of ostentation made him fond of pageants, and the instructions which he left for his own monument are curious. "The King shall appear on horseback, of the stature of a goodly man while over him shall appear the image of God the Father holding the King's soul in his left hand, and his right hand extended in the act of benediction." This work was to have been executed in bronze, but was never finished. Elizabeth stopped the necessary payments, and the uncompleted figure was sold by an unsentimental and Puritan Parliament for £600. The influence of the Reformation was decidedly antagonistic to art in England and elsewhere. In attempting to reform, the leaders tolerated destruction, and whilst pretending to purify the church they carried away not only the "idols," but much that was beautiful. They literally "broke down the carved work thereof with axes and hammers." Pictures and altar-pieces were ruthlessly destroyed. Fortunately a considerable number of old paintings still exist in our churches. A little work on "Wall Paintings in England," recently published by the Science and Art Department, mentions five hundred and sixty-eight churches and other public buildings in England in which wall paintings and other decorations have been found, all dating from an earlier period than the Reformation, and there are doubtless many not noticed. The branch of art which suffered least from the iconoclastic Reformers was that of portrait-painting, and this received a great impetus in England by the opportune arrival of—
HANS HOLBEIN, the younger, of Augsburg (1497—1543), who came, in 1526, with a recommendation from Erasmus to Sir Thomas More, by whom he was welcomed and entertained at Chelsea. Unlike Albrecht Dürer, the other great German painter of the Reformation epoch, Holbein was a literal painter of men, not a dreamer haunted by visions of saints and angels. His ideas of heaven were probably modelled far more on the plan of the Bristol pageant, than on that of the Italian masters. Such an artist came exactly at the right moment to England, where Protestantism was becoming popular. Holbein's wonderful power as a colourist and the fidelity of his likenesses exercised a lasting effect on English art. He founded no school, however, though he had many imitators among the foreign artists whom Henry had invited.[C]
In 1532 Holbein was made Painter to the King, with a salary of £34 a year, in addition to the payment given for his works. The chief pictures painted by Holbein in England are portraits; and tradition says that Henry specially employed him to delineate the features of any fair lady on whom he had cast a favourable eye. Among the portraits we may mention those of Nicolas Kratzer, Erasmus, Anne of Cleves, and Sir Richard Southwel (in the Louvre); Archbishop Warham (Lambeth Palace); Sir Henry Guildford, a Merchant of the Steelyard, and Lady Rich (Windsor); Lady Vaux and John Reskimer (Hampton Court); Henry VIII.; the Duchess of Milan[D] (Arundel Castle); Sir William and Lady Butts (Mr. W. H. Pole Carew); The Ambassadors, a most important work, and Erasmus (Lord Radnor, Longford Castle). There is at Windsor a series of eighty portraits of the English nobility, drawn by Holbein in black and red chalks, which are of infinite value as works of art; and at Windsor likewise, and in other galleries, are many carefully painted miniatures ascribed to him, of the greatest artistic and historic value.
Hans Holbein, like most artists of his age, could do more than paint portraits. At Basle are noble subject pictures by him. He was an architect, a modeller, and a carver. He was specially gifted in designing wood-blocks for illustrating books, and in the ornamentation of sword-hilts, plate, and the like. A book of designs for jewels, by Holbein, once the property of Sir Hans Sloane, is now in the British Museum. Holbein died of the plague, in London, between October 7th and November 29th, 1543.
Another painter in the service of King Henry VIII. at this time was the above-named GIROLAMO PENNACCHI, who was born at Treviso, in 1497. He was an imitator of Raphael, and painted portraits—chiefly at Genoa, Faenza, Bologna, and Venice, and in 1542 came to England. He was killed by a cannon-ball while acting as a military engineer in the King's service near Boulogne, in 1544. There is an altar-piece by him, signed IERONIMVS TREVISIVS P (No. 623 in the National Gallery.) In the "Old Masters" Exhibition of 1880, was a portrait of Sir T. Gresham (No. 165), a fine whole-length, standing, life-size picture of the famous merchant, with a skull on the pavement at our left. This work is dated 1544, the year of Sir Thomas's marriage, in his twenty-sixth year, and, as we have seen above, of Treviso's death. It is the property of the Gresham Committee of London, and every expert has accepted it as a work of the Italian painter, engineer, and architect, who was important enough to be honoured with a separate biography by Vasari in his "Lives of the Painters." Girolamo's salary from the English King was 400 scudi per annum. Much likeness exists between the art of Gresham's portrait and that of the masterly life-size, whole-length picture of the Earl of Surrey, with his motto, Sat super est, which is one of the chief ornaments of Knole, and almost worthy of Velasquez himself. This picture (which is dated 1546) is attributed to the undermentioned GWILLIM STRETES (or STREET). It is much more like an Italian production than a Dutch one, and so fine that Da Treviso might have painted it at his best time. It is not like the beautiful portraits of Edward VI. at Windsor and Petworth, which are exactly such as we attribute to a man in Stretes's position, and which, while differing from the productions of Holbein, are, technically speaking, by no means unworthy of him. The charming Windsor portrait of Edward VI. was No. 172 in the National Portrait Exhibition of 1866. In the same collection were more works of the same period, including the portrait of Henry VIII., No. 124, lent by the Queen.
The following are among the painters who flourished at this time of whom records exist and are more or less confused, yet are so valuable that they deserve to be sifted in comparison with the large numbers of pictures. The artists' names are important because they prove how many of the owners were Englishmen. These persons were all employed by Henry VIII. They were JOHN BROWN, who received a pension of £10 a year; Andrew Wright, died 1543; VINCENT VOLPE, who translated his name into "Fox" and died 1529. He, c. 1529, was paid at the rate of £20 a year, a great sum in those days, when Holbein himself had but £30 a year. ANTONIO TOTO succeeded Wright as Sergeant-Painter to the King, a dignity which afterwards fell to Sir James Thornhill and Hogarth successively. Gerrard Lucas Horebout, or HORNEBOLT (1475—1558), and LUCAS HOREBOUT (died 1544), his son, Flemings, were painters of distinction here and abroad, whose works have been added to those of Holbein. Their wages were more than £30 per annum each. SUSANNA HOREBOUT was a painter of miniatures, much employed by the King and his courtiers. A picture of Henry VIII. at Warwick Castle has for centuries borne the name of Lucas of this family. It is doubtless rightly named, and may some day furnish a key to the style of the distinguished owner himself. It was No. 99 in the National Portrait Exhibition of 1866, and No. 471 of the Manchester Art Treasures of 1857. A somewhat similar picture is now in the National Portrait Gallery. We may, in future, recognise in some of the beautiful miniatures of this period, which are now ascribed to Holbein, the much-praised works of Susanna Horebout. Doubtless some of the works of Lucas have been bestowed on Lucas de Heere, who is mentioned below. BARTHOLOMEW PENNI, and ALICE CARMILLION succeeded in honour. Lavinia Terling (born Benich), "paintrix," as they called her, had for quarterly wages £10, and was mentioned by Vasari as of Bruges.
In the reign of Edward VI. GWILLIM STRETES was made Painter to the King. Strype records that he was paid fifty marks for two pictures of the King, and one of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, who was beheaded in 1547. KATHERINE MAYNORS and GERBACH FLICK—evidently a Dutchman, one of whose drawings belonged to Richardson and is dated 1547—were here at this time; Flick's likeness of Cranmer (signed GERBARUS FLICIUS), painted in 1546, is now in the National Portrait Gallery. They continued the practice of art in this country. At Irnham is a fine full-length portrait of Lord Darcy of Chirke, dated 1551. Nicholas Lyzardi was second painter to King Edward, and succeeded TOTO, as Sergeant-Painter to Elizabeth. JOHANNES CORVUS painted the likeness of Fox, Bishop of Winchester, which belongs to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and which was at the National Portrait Exhibition, 1866, No. 46. Corvus has been identified by Mr. Scharf as the artist of a fine portrait, dated 1532, of Mary Tudor, wife of Louis XII., and the Duke of Suffolk. WILLIAM KEY, or CAIUS, as he called himself, was born at Breda in 1520 and died 1568. Some of his pictures were, as Mr. Scharf has noticed, in the collections of Charles I., and the Duke of Buckingham. A carver, and probably painter, well known at this period in England, whose works are, however, no longer to be identified, was Nicholas of Modena, who made pictures, possibly small coloured statues, of Henry VIII. and Francis I. It is worth while to mention that one P. Oudry, apparently a Frenchman, was busily employed in this country about 1578, and painted various portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, one of which is in the National Portrait Gallery, while others are at Cobham, Hardwick, Hatfield, and Welbeck.
In the reign of Mary I. we find art represented by SIR ANTONIS MOR, MORO, or MORE (1512—1576—78), a native of Utrecht, who had painted and studied in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Philip II. was his especial patron, and gave him a gold chain for the portrait of his gloomy Queen. He came to England in 1553, was made painter to the Court, and received very large prices for his pictures. He remained till the Queen's death, in 1558, when he returned to Madrid. He afterwards established himself at Brussels, under the protection of the Duke of Alva, but in 1572 removed to Antwerp, where he died. His portraits of Jeanne d'Archel, in the National Gallery, and of Sir T. Gresham, in the National Portrait Gallery, are excellent examples of his skill. Joost van Cleef (15001536?), a native of Antwerp, also painted portraits at this time with considerable success. From his overweening conceit, which led him into furious quarrels, he was called Zotte (foolish) Cleef. His portrait, by himself, is in the Althorp Gallery.
It has been said of Elizabeth, that although she had not much taste for painting, she loved pictures of herself. Her court painter was a Fleming, Lucas de Heere (1534?—1584), who had also been employed by Queen Mary, whose portrait (dated 1554) by him belongs to the Society of Antiquaries, and was at the "Old Masters," in 1880, No. 202. He painted, in 1570, the gallery of the Earl of Lincoln, describing the characteristics of different nations. With a sarcastic wit, which Elizabeth doubtless appreciated, he represented the typical Englishman as naked, with a pair of shears, and different kinds of clothes beside him, unable to decide on the best fashion. DE HEERE painted Elizabeth in full state, as she loved to be depicted, attended by Juno, Minerva and Venus. This picture remains at Hampton Court (No. 635), and is dated 1569. Mr. Wynne Finch has a capital picture of small figures, representing Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, and her second husband Adrian Stokes, dated 1559, by this able painter. Many other works by him exist in English seats. Other foreign artists of this reign were CORNELIUS VROOM, who drew designs for tapestry, representing the victory of Lord Howard over the famous "Armada" of the Spaniards (these tapestries were burnt with the Houses of Parliament in 1834); Federigo Zucchero (1643—1609), whose portrait of the Queen in a fantastic dress is in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire, and was No. 229 in the National Portrait Exhibition, 1866; and MARC GHEERAEDTS, or GARRARD (1561—1635), of Bruges. There are three portraits ascribed to Gheeraedts in the collection of the Marquis of Exeter, and others were exhibited in the first (1866) National Portrait Exhibition. The most important of all the works attributed to Gheeraedts is the group of eleven English and Spanish Statesmen assembled at Somerset House, which has been recently acquired for the National Portrait Gallery at the Hamilton Palace sale.[E] A very fine little example, signed "M.G.," is a full-length portrait of Queen Elizabeth, standing, holding a branch of olive, with a sword and a little shock dog at her feet. It belongs to the Duke of Portland, and was long lent to the South Kensington Museum. A head of Camden, in the Bodleian, is signed with the artist's name in full. A very fine full-length portrait is at Woburn Abbey; other signed specimens are at Barron Hill and Penshurst.
More interesting than these foreign artists is the name of Nicholas Hilliard (1547—1619), an Englishman, and the first native artist of importance, whose fame remains to the present time. The "Old Masters" Exhibition of 1879 contained many likenesses said to have been painted by Hilliard; among these was one of Queen Elizabeth. Hilliard's skill was specially shown in his miniatures, of which that of Jane Seymour, at Windsor, is a crowning piece. The Duke of Buccleuch has a noble series of Hilliard's and Oliver's paintings of this kind. Dr. Donne says of the former—
The influence of Holbein is traceable in the works of Hilliard, and in those of his successor, and, probably, pupil, Isaac Oliver. One of the most able painters of this age was SIR NATHANIEL BACON, half-brother to the great Sir Francis Bacon, whose life-size portrait of himself, belonging to the Earl of Verulam, has been engraved in Walpole's "Anecdotes." Sir N. Bacon died in 1615.
The miniatures of ISAAC OLIVER (1556—1617) are considered by some critics to rival those of Holbein. Both Isaac and his son PETER OLIVER (1601—1660) painted in the reign of James I., who, if not a great patron of Art, yet encouraged foreign portrait painters to work in England. Most famous among these were DANIEL MYTENS, PAUL VAN SOMER, and CORNELIS JONSON. Van Somer, a Fleming, is specially noted for his fidelity, Mytens for the spirit and dignity of his likenesses and his landscape backgrounds, and Jonson for the accuracy of his portraits. JEAN PETITOT (1607—1691), of Geneva, also came to England and painted portraits in enamel for Charles I. But native art was not altogether unrepresented. Nicholas Stone, the sculptor, flourished; and John Hoskins, who died in 1664, was celebrated as a miniature painter. The special art of miniature painting was at this time lucrative to its professors, as it was the fashion to wear pictures of friends, set in gold and precious stones. There were symptoms of a growing taste for art in England, and men were learning that it was possible to paint a good picture without living on the Continent.
The first Englishman of high degree who collected works of art in the manner to which we apply the phrase, was the Earl of Arundel, who was followed by Prince Henry, son of James I. The accession of Charles I. marks a new and bright period in the history of English painting. Walpole, in his "Anecdotes of Painting," speaking of Charles I., says, not very accurately, "The accession of this Prince was the first era of real taste in England. As his temper was not profuse, the money he expended on his collections, and the rewards he bestowed on men of true genius, are proofs of his judgment. He knew how and where to bestow." The King was not only a patron of art, but an artist. We are told by Gilpin that Charles "had singular skill in limning, and was a good judge of pictures." Another authority states that he often amused himself by drawing and designing. Charles inherited pictures which had been collected by Henry VIII. and Prince Henry, all of which were scattered in the different royal palaces. To these works, one hundred and fifty in all, the King added a vast number of valuable examples. The manuscript catalogue, left incomplete by Vanderdoort, the keeper of the royal galleries, mentions 497 pictures at Whitehall, including 28 by Titian, 9 by Raphael, 11 by Correggio, 11 by Holbein, 16 by Giulio Romano, 7 by Parmigiano, 7 by Rubens, 7 by Tintoretto, 3 by Rembrandt, 16 by Van Dyck, 4 by Paolo Veronese, and 2 by Leonardo da Vinci.[F] Charles bought, in 1627, the collection of paintings belonging to the Duke of Mantua for £18,280 12s. 8d.; and many foreign courts made presents of rare and valuable pictures to the King of England. The good example of their master was followed by some of the nobility, and the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Somerset, the Earl of Pembroke, and the Earl of Arundel were liberal patrons of art. The last made a noble collection of statues and drawings; some of the latter are in the British Museum; many of the sculptures are at Oxford. Charles vainly invited Albani to visit England, but in 1629 RUBENS arrived as a confidential diplomatic representative of the Archduchess Isabella, Infanta of Spain, and was induced to remain for about nine months. The King delighted to honour the great painter, and made him a knight. During his stay in England, Rubens, among other works, painted his allegoric picture of Peace and War (National Gallery); St. George (Buckingham Palace); the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, for the Earl of Arundel; and the designs for the ceiling of Whitehall. The influence from this brief sojourn was very marked, and it was followed by that of—
ANTHONY VAN DYCK (1599—1641), a native of Antwerp, after a brief and unsatisfactory visit to England, returned here and was created Court Painter in 1632. Charles I. knighted him in 1632. His influence affected the portrait painters who lived a century after him, and survived till the advent of Reynolds. The best of Van Dyck's pictures are in the possession of the Crown and private collectors in England. There is one famous Portrait of Charles I. in the Louvre, and another in the Hermitage at St. Petersburg. The Three Children of Charles I. is among his pictures in Windsor Castle. In the National Gallery the best specimen of Van Dyck's art is the Emperor Theodosius and St. Ambrose, No. 50. The Gevartius, No. 52, is probably by Rubens. There are magnificent portraits by Van Dyck in many private galleries.
Gerard van Honthorst (1590—1656), a native of Utrecht, passed some years in England, painting portraits for Charles I. and his courtiers, and giving lessons to his daughter Elizabeth, afterwards Queen of Bohemia.
WILLIAM DOBSON (1610—1646), a dwarf, was apprenticed to Sir Robert Peake, an obscure painter and picture dealer, and learnt to copy Van Dyck so accurately, that he attracted the notice of the great master, who introduced him to the King. He became, after his patron's death, Serjeant-Painter, and Groom of the Privy Chamber. His career, like himself, was brief. When the Civil War broke out, Dobson was a prisoner for debt, and he died three years before the execution of his royal master. His portraits are often mistaken for those of Van Dyck. At Hampton Court is a fine picture of the painter himself with his wife. The Beheading of St. John the Baptist, which resembles a Honthorst, is at Wilton House; and a portrait of Cleveland, the poet, is in the Ellesmere collection. Several of Dobson's portraits have been exhibited in the National Portrait Exhibition, and in the collections of works by the "Old Masters" at Burlington House.
GEORGE JAMESONE (1586—1644), the son of an Aberdeen architect, is styled by Cunningham "the Scottish Van Dyck." He studied abroad under Rubens, in the company of Van Dyck, and in 1628 commenced a prosperous career in Scotland. He painted the portrait of Charles I., in 1633, when the King visited that country. Jamesone also painted historic pictures, landscapes, and subjects from the Bible. During the contest of the King with his Parliament, the arts could not but languish. Some of the great collectors fled to the Continent, where more than one of them existed by the sale of portable works of art, such as medals. The Parliament ordered the furniture of the royal palaces and the contents of the picture galleries to be sold by auction, and the proceeds to be applied to the expenses of the war in Ireland and the North. By an order of the House of Commons, 1645, all such pictures and statues at York House as bore the image of the Virgin Mary were to be forthwith destroyed as gendering superstition. Although art, as represented in England at this time, had been devoted to any but religious purposes—and many of its manifestations were grossly indecent and infamous, or, at best, shocking to unaccustomed eyes—these orders were not obeyed universally. Many pictures were bought by foreign princes, some by Cavaliers, others by the Puritans, among whom Colonel Hutchinson was an extensive purchaser. Cromwell, on becoming Protector, stopped all the sales of royal paintings and property. To him we owe the preservation of Raphael's cartoons. They were valued by the Commissioners at £300 and ordered to be sold, but Cromwell stopped the sale. In the reign of Charles II., these cartoons would have been lost to England; the King had offered to sell them to Barillon, minister of Louis XIV., and it was only by Lord Danby's means that the sale was prevented. Cromwell employed as his portrait painter—
ROBERT WALKER, who died in 1658. The Protector insisted upon having the warts and pimples on his face faithfully portrayed, and gave strict injunctions both to Walker and Sir Peter Lely not to flatter him. One of Walker's portraits of Cromwell is at Warwick Castle. Some capital examples of his skill are in the National Portrait Gallery. The Restoration was not favourable to design. Charles II. had neither taste for art, nor money to encourage painters. The unbridled license of the Court defiled the studio as it did the stage; and the most popular pictures were the portraits of the rakes and wantons who clustered round the King.
Sir PETER LELY (1618—1680), originally named Van der Faes, was the very accomplished painter of the Court, some of whose better works may be compared with Van Dyck's. He came to England in 1643, and profited by his art under Charles I., the Protectorate, and Charles II. Walpole said of Lely's nymphs that they are "generally reposed on the turf, and are too wanton and too magnificent to be taken for anything but Maids of Honour."
The well-known collection of Lely's portraits at Hampton Court includes, among others, those of the Duchess of Richmond; the Countess of Rochester; Mrs. Middleton the celebrated beauty; the Countess of Northumberland; the Duchess of Cleveland, as Minerva; the Countess de Grammont, and Jane Kellaway, as Diana (misnamed Princess Mary). Mrs. Middleton, in the National Portrait Gallery, by Lely, is remarkably good. Lely fell dead before his easel, while painting a portrait of the Dowager Duchess of Somerset, November 30th, 1680.
Several English artists practised in this reign.
HENRY ANDERTON (1630—after 1665) was a portrait painter employed at Court. ISAAC FULLER (1606—1672) painted portraits and allegoric pieces. He is described as extravagant and burlesque in his tastes and manners, and his works bear the mark of this character. An epigram on a "Drunken Sot" is to this effect:—
JOHN GREENHILL (1649—1676) was the most celebrated of Lely's pupils. ROBERT STREATER (1624—1680) was made Serjeant-Painter to Charles II., and painted landscapes and historic works. His work still survives in the Theatre at Oxford, but we cannot echo the praise accorded to it by a rhymester who says—
That most delightful of gossips, Samuel Pepys, has much to say about art, of which he was no mean critic. Writing on February 1st, 1688, Pepys said: "I was carried to Mr. Streater's, the famous history-painter, whom I have often heard of, but did never see him before; and there I found him and Dr. Wren and several virtuosos, looking upon the paintings which he is making for the new Theatre at Oxford; and indeed they look as if they would be very fine, and the rest think better than those of Rubens in the Banqueting-house at Whitehall, but I do not fully think so. But they will certainly be very noble; and I am mightily pleased to have the fortune to see this man and his work, which is very famous, and he is a very civil little man, and lame, but lives very handsomely."
SAMUEL COOPER (1609—1672) was a miniature painter of a high order, whose art attested the influence of Van Dyck; the Duke of Buccleuch has the two famous unfinished portraits of the Protector by him, and a galaxy of other works of this class. Pepys, speaking of a portrait-painter named JOHN HAYLS, of whom he thought highly, said: "He has also persuaded me to have Cooper draw my wife's picture, which though it cost over £30, yet I will have it done." He called Cooper "a limner in little," and referred to him several times in his Diary. On the death of Sir Peter Lely, another foreigner became the popular painter of the Court. This was—
Sir GODFREY KNELLER (1648—1723), a native of Lübeck, who came to the Court of Charles II. in 1674, and maintaining his popularity during the reign of James II., William III., and Anne, lived to paint the portrait of George I. Kneller's works are chiefly portraits. Of these the famous Kit-Kat series of likenesses of distinguished men is invaluable. His portrait of his fellow-countryman, Grinling Gibbons, is one of his best paintings. He was the fashionable painter of the age, and kings and fine ladies, wits and statesmen, are embodied in his art. Dryden was amongst his sitters, and the poet has left the following praises of the painter:—
The popularity of allegoric painting did much to hinder the progress of English art. Nature gave place to naked gods and impossible shepherdesses, who were painted on walls and ceilings at so much a square foot. Charles II. had probably acquired a taste for such painting abroad, and it retained its popularity for a considerable period. Fuseli said: "Charles II., with the Cartoons in his possession and the magnificence of Whitehall before his eyes, suffered Verrio to contaminate the walls of his palaces, or degraded Lely to paint the Cymons and Iphigenias of his Court, while the manner of Kneller swept completely away what might be left of taste among his successors. It was reserved for the German Lely and his successor Kneller to lay the foundation of a manner which, by pretending to unite portrait with history, gave a retrograde direction for nearly a century to both; a mob of shepherds and shepherdesses in flowing wigs and dressed curls, ruffled Endymions, humble Junos, withered Hebes, surly Allegros, and smirking Pensierosos usurp the place of propriety and character." We can see the triumphs of allegory over nature fully illustrated in Hampton Court Palace. Chief among painters of this class of art was Antonio Verrio (1634—1707), who received from Charles II. £10,000 for the decoration of Windsor Castle. LOUIS LAGUERRE (1663—1721) was associated with Verrio, and carried on similar work after Verrio's death. His best works are at Blenheim. In his later years Laguerre found a coadjutor in SIR JAMES THORNHILL (1676—1734), whose decorations are superior to those of Verrio or Laguerre. His chief productions are in the cupola of St. Paul's Cathedral, the Great Hall of Greenwich Hospital, an apartment at Hampton Court, and a saloon in Blenheim Palace. Thornhill was knighted by George I., being the first English artist who received that honour, and he sat in Parliament for his native place, Melcombe Regis. Perhaps the most enduring fact about him is that he was the father-in-law of Hogarth. Walpole said of the reign of George I.:—"No reign since the arts have been in any estimation produced fewer works that will deserve the attention of posterity." It was not only in England that art slumbered. The Flemish, Dutch, and Spanish schools had passed from the brilliance of their seventeenth-century period. In Italy art had shrivelled with the last of the Bolognese school. France possessed some original painters, but not of the highest order.
Before passing on to the period of Hogarth and the creation of the English school, we may mention a few names of painters in England. These were JOHN RILEY (1646—1691); JAMES PARMENTIER (1658—1730); WILLIAM AIKMAN (1682—1731); MARY BEALE (1632—1697); JOHN CLOSTERMANN (1656—1713); MICHAEL DAHL (1656—1743); Gerard von Soest (1637—1681); JOHN VANDERBANK (1694?—1739); WILLIAM WISSING (1656—1687); Joseph Michael Wright (1625?—1700?), a pupil of Jamesone; JONATHAN RICHARDSON (1665—1745), a pupil of Riley; CHARLES JERVAS (1675—1739), a follower of Kneller, and the friend of Pope, who, with the fulsome flattery of the day, compared him to Zeuxis. GEORGE KNAPTON (1698—1778) was famous for crayon portraits; a large group, in oils, representing the Princess of Wales and her family, by his hand, is at Hampton Court.
In the middle of the eighteenth century, THOMAS HUDSON (1701—1779) became the fashionable portrait painter. His chief remaining claim to fame is that he was the first master of Joshua Reynolds. FRANCIS HAYMAN (1708—1776) lived long enough to write himself R.A. among the earliest members. His Finding of Moses may be seen at the Foundling Hospital; and his own portrait in the National Portrait Gallery. He seems to have been highly esteemed, and, among other works, executed some for Vauxhall Gardens. His fame is now almost as extinct as the lamps of that once famous place of entertainment.
HITHERTO we have seen painting in England confined to foreign artists, or to natives who more or less slavishly copied them. We have seen, likewise, that many of the English painters of the latter days of the seventeenth century were decorators rather than artists, who, forsaking all truth and nature, covered the walls and ceilings of houses with simpering shepherdesses and impossible deities. The time of change came, however, and with it the man who was to be the first original painter of his country. It is to plain William Hogarth, the son of the Cumberland schoolmaster, the apprentice of the silver-plate engraver, Ellis Gamble, that we owe the origin of the English school of painting. The term "school of painting" is, however, hardly correct, as Hogarth founded no school, nor has there existed one in England till very recently. We should rather say that Hogarth was the first English artist who forsook exhausted conventionalities for large truthfulness and original thought, and thus paved the way to a new life in art. A man who laughed at the "black masters," as he called the painters of the most popular works of the period; and who declared that copying other men's pictures was like pouring wine from one vessel to another, a process which did not increase the quality, and allowed the flavour to evaporate, was naturally regarded as an innovator of a monstrous order. Like all reformers, Hogarth had to defeat opposition and ridicule. But he dared to think for himself, and in that courage lay the secret of success.
WILLIAM HOGARTH was born in 1697 in Ship Court, Old Bailey, hard by Ludgate Hill, in a house which was pulled down in 1862. His father, who had received a good education at St. Bees, kept a school in Ship Court, and sought work from booksellers. But, like many another poor scholar, he could not make a living, and died disappointed. After spending some time at school, William Hogarth, warned by the example of his father, determined to pursue a craft in preference to literature, and was apprenticed, probably in 1711, to Ellis Gamble, a silversmith in Cranbourne Alley. Here, though his drawings and engravings were mostly confined to heraldic devices and the like, the young artist gained accuracy of touch, to which he added truthfulness of design, and prepared himself to delineate that London life which was to furnish him with models for his art. He tells us how he determined to enter a wider field than that of mere silver-plate engraving, though at the age of twenty to engrave his own designs on copper was the height of his ambition. The men and women who jostled him in London streets, or rolled by him in their coaches, were his models. Besides the keenest powers of observation, and a sardonic, sympathizing, and pitying humour, he possessed a wonderfully accurate and retentive memory, which enabled him to impress a face or form on his mind, and reproduce it at leisure. Occasionally, if some very attractive or singular face struck his fancy, he would sketch it on his thumb-nail, and thence transfer it. Hogarth tells us that "instead of burdening the memory with musty rules, or tiring the eye with copying dry or damaged pictures, I have ever found studying from nature the shortest and safest way of obtaining knowledge of my art." Thus, whether he was watching "society" on its way to court, or mingling in the midnight orgies of a tavern, Hogarth was storing portraits which were to appear, some in silks and satins, as in the Marriage à la Mode, others among the humours of Beer Street and the misery of Gin Lane. Hogarth's apprenticeship ended probably in 1718; we find him studying drawing from the life in the Academy in St. Martin's Lane. In 1721 he published An Emblematical Print on the South Sea (Scheme), which was sold at one shilling a copy, and though defective in the sardonic humour which marked his later works, shows promise of what was to come. In the same year The Lottery was published. In 1724 he engraved Masquerades and Operas, a satire, which represents "society" crowding to a masquerade, and led by a figure wearing a cap and bells on his head, and the Garter on his leg. This engraving delighted the public whom it satirised, and Hogarth lost much through piracies of his work. He was employed by the booksellers to illustrate books with engravings and frontispieces. In "Mottraye's Travels" (1723) there are eighteen illustrations by Hogarth, seven in the "Golden Ass of Apuleius" (1724), and five frontispieces in "Cassandra" (1725). Walpole says, somewhat too severely, that "no symptoms of genius dawned in those early plates." In 1726 was published, besides his twelve large prints, which are well known, an edition of "Hudibras," illustrated by Hogarth in seventeen smaller plates. Of this Walpole says, "This was among the first of his works that marked him as a man above the common; yet in what made him then noticed it surprises me now to find so little humour in an undertaking so congenial to his talents." The designs of Hogarth are not so witty as the verses of Butler, but we must remember that the painter had never seen men living and acting as they are described in the poem; they were not like the men of whom he made his daily studies. At this period he who dared to be original, and to satirise his neighbours, had much trouble. The value set upon his work in those early days may be estimated when we read that J. Bowles, of the Black Horse, in Cornhill, patronised Hogarth to the extent of offering him half-a-crown a pound weight for a copperplate just executed. In 1727, we find a certain upholsterer named Morris refusing to pay thirty pounds to the artist, because he had failed, in Morris's opinion, to execute a representation of the Element of Earth, as a design for tapestry, "in a workmanlike manner." It is on record that the verdict was in favour of Hogarth, who was paid £20 for his work and £10 for materials. In 1730, Hogarth made a secret marriage at old Paddington Church, with Jane, only daughter of Sir James Thornhill, Serjeant-Painter to the King. He had frequented Thornhill's studio, but whether the art of the court painter, or the face of his daughter was the greater attraction we know not. There is no doubt that Hogarth's technique was studied from Thornhill's pictures, and not from those of Watteau or Chardin, as has been supposed. Hogarth was painting portraits years before 1730. Mr. Redgrave, in his "Century of Painters," describes some wall pictures in the house No. 75, Dean Street, Soho, which is said to have been a residence of Sir James Thornhill. Some of the figures here are thoroughly of the Hogarth type, especially that of a black man in a turban, a familiar form in the Marriage à la Mode. For a time after his marriage Hogarth confined himself to painting portraits and conversation pieces, for which he was well paid, although Walpole declares that this "was the most ill-suited employment to a man whose turn was certainly not flattery." Truthfulness, however, is more valuable in a portrait than flattery, and we surely find it in Hogarth's portraits of himself, one in the National Gallery, and in that of Captain Coram, at the Foundling. In 1734, Hogarth published the first of those wonderful unspoken sermons against vice and folly, A Harlot's Progress, which was followed immediately by A Rake's Progress, issued in 1735. A Harlot's Progress, in six plates, met with an enthusiastic reception; it was a bold innovation on the cold stilted style of the day, and its terrible reality stirred the hearts of all beholders. A Rake's Progress, in eight plates, was scarcely so popular, and the professors of the kind of art which Hogarth had satirised found many faults with the reformer. Hogarth was now a person of consequence, and the once unknown and struggling artist was the talk of the town. The Sleeping Congregation is a satire on the heavy preachers and indifferent church-goers of that period. The Distressed Poet and A Midnight Modern Conversation soon followed. The latter, in which most of the figures are actual portraits, is considered in France and Germany the best of this master's single works. In due course appeared The Enraged Musician, of which a wit of the day observed that "it deafens one to look at it," and The Strolling Actresses, which Allan Cunningham describes as "one of the most imaginative and amusing of all the works of Hogarth."[G]
One of the best of Hogarth's life stories is the Marriage à la Mode, the original paintings of which are in the National Gallery; they appeared in prints in 1745. These well-known pictures illustrate the story of a loveless marriage, where parents sacrifice their children, the one for rank the other for money. Mr. Redgrave ("A Century of Painters") tells us that "the novelty of Hogarth's work consisted in the painter being the inventor of his own drama, as well as painter, and in the way in which all the parts are made to tend to a dramatic whole; each picture dependent on the other, and all the details illustrative of the complete work. The same characters recur again and again, moved in different tableaux with varied passions, one moral running through all, the beginning finding its natural climax in the end." Some of the most striking points in the satire of Hogarth's picture are brought out in the background, as in the first picture of Marriage à la Mode, where the works of "the black masters" are represented ludicrously, and the ceiling of the room is adorned with an unnatural picture of the destruction of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. In 1750 appeared The March of the Guards to Finchley, which is "steeped in humour and strewn with absurdities." It was originally dedicated to George II., but, so the story goes, the King was offended by a satire on his Guards, and he declared "I hate boetry and bainting; neither one nor the other ever did any good." Certain it is that Hogarth was disappointed by the reception of his work, and dedicated it to the King of Prussia. The painting of The March to Finchley, on publication of the print, was disposed of by lottery, and won by the Foundling Hospital. We cannot do more than mention some of the remaining works by which the satirist continued "to shoot Folly as she flies." Beer Street, and Gin Lane, illustrate the advantages of drinking the national beverage, and the miseries following the use of gin. The Cockpit represents a scene very common in those days, and contains many portraits. The Election is a series of four scenes, published between 1755 and 1758, in which all the varied vices, humours, and passions of a contested election are admirably represented. The pictures of this series are in Sir John Soane's Museum, Lincoln's Inn Fields.
Hogarth's last years were embittered by quarrels, those with Churchill and Wilkes being the most memorable. The publication in 1753 of his admirable book, called "The Analysis of Beauty," in which Hogarth tried to prove that a winding line is the Line of Beauty, produced much adverse criticism and many fierce attacks, which the painter could not take quietly. He was further annoyed by the censures passed on his picture of Sigismunda, now in the National Gallery, which he had painted in 1759 for Sir Richard Grosvenor, and which was returned on his hands. Two years previously Hogarth had been made Serjeant-Painter to the King. He did not live to hold this office long; on October 26th, 1764, the hand which had exposed the vices and follies of the day so truly, and yet with such humour, had ceased to move. Hogarth died in his house at Leicester Fields; he was buried in Chiswick Churchyard, where on his monument stands this epitaph by Garrick;—
And yet it is of this man that Walpole says, that "as a painter he has slender merit." Charles Lamb remarks wisely, in his fine essay on "The Genius and Character of Hogarth, that his chief design was by no means to raise a laugh." Of his prints, he says, "A set of severer satires (for they are not so much comedies, which they have been likened to, as they are strong and masculine satires), less mingled with anything of mere fun, were never written upon paper, or graven upon copper. They resemble Juvenal, or the satiric touches in Timon of Athens."
HOGARTH was the first original painter of England, and he was too original either to copy or to be copied; but he founded no school. What he did was to draw aside the curtain and show the light of nature to those who had been hitherto content to grope amid the extravagances of allegory, or the dreams of mythology. Two circumstances specially stood in the way of the progress of English art—the absence of a recognised academy, where a system of art-study could be pursued, and where rewards were offered for success; and the want of a public exhibition where painters could display their works, or learn from one another. There were no masters, properly speaking, in England, and therefore no pupils. Instead of gathering around them students on the atelier system of the Continent, painters in England had apprentices, who were employed to grind their colours, clean their brushes, and prepare their canvas. Such apprentices might become mechanical copyists of their employers. Nevertheless, such was the system under which all the pupils of all the great Italian Masters, some of whom became great masters in their turns, were trained. Several attempts to supply the want of a recognised system of art-teaching in London had been made from time to time. Sir Balthasar Gerbier had a drawing school in Whitefriars so long ago as the days of Charles I.; Van Dyck promoted studies of this kind at his house in Blackfriars; the Duke of Richmond in 1758 endeavoured to form a school at the Priory Garden, Westminster; Sir Godfrey Kneller supported an academy for drawing and painting at his house in Great Queen Street, till his death in 1723; another society existed in Greyhound Court, Arundel Street, Strand, till 1738, when the members joined the St. Martin's Lane Academy. These, like the following, were drawing and painting schools, under recognised teachers, but neither honour-bestowing, benevolent, nor representative bodies. Each pupil paid for the use of the models and premises, except those which were supplied by the Duke of Richmond to his guests. In 1724 Sir James Thornhill had opened an art academy at his house in James Street, Covent Garden; it existed till his death in 1734; he suggested to the Prime Minister, Lord Halifax, the idea of a Royal Academy. Vanderbank for a time had a school with living models in a disused Presbyterian chapel. William Shipley maintained an art academy in St. Martin's Lane for thirty years, and we know that Hogarth studied there. But none of these schools had a prescribed system of teaching. The absence of a public exhibition was felt as a great misfortune by the artists of this period. Hogarth, however, who regarded the painters of his country from a gloomy point of view, had no belief in the regenerating power of academies or paid professors.
Apart from the Exhibitions of the Society of Artists in 1760 and 1761, for which Hogarth designed the frontispiece and tailpiece to the catalogue, the first public exhibition of pictures was that of sign boards, promoted by Hogarth and B. Thornton in 1762. The impetus which Hogarth's success gave to native art, however, was soon visible; and the Society of Arts and the Dilettanti Society encouraged young painters by giving prizes, and by suggesting the formation of a guild or confraternity of artists. The first private exhibitions of pictures were held in the Foundling and St. Bartholomew's Hospitals, to which Hogarth and some of the leading painters of the day presented their works. This happened in 1746. In 1761 the Society of Artists was rent in two, and a new body, the Free Society, remained in the Adelphi. The Society of Artists removed to Spring Gardens, and in 1765 obtained a charter of incorporation: it was thenceforward called the Incorporated Society. Owing to the mismanagement and consequent dissensions in this body arose the Royal Academy of Arts, established by George III. on December 10th, 1768, though without a royal charter of incorporation. This institution, which was to exercise so marked an influence on the art of England, supplied two wants—a definite system of teaching, and an exhibition of meritorious works.
Before noticing the three eminent painters who mark a new era in English painting, and who became members of the new Academy, we must speak of others who were not without their influence on the world of art. Allan Ramsay (1713—1784) was considered one of the best portrait painters of his time. He was the son of Allan Ramsay, the poet, and was born at Edinburgh. After studying in Italy he came to London and established himself there, frequently visiting Edinburgh. Walpole specially praises his portraits of women, even preferring some of them to those of Reynolds. In 1767 Ramsay was made painter to George III., and his portraits of the King and Queen Charlotte are still at Kensington. As a man of literary tastes and great accomplishments, Allan Ramsay received the praises of Dr. Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds. In the Exhibition of 1862 was exhibited a portrait of the Duke of Argyll, by Ramsay. Portrait painting was still the popular branch of art in England, and the influence of Hogarth had produced no advance towards the study of landscape. Among those, however, who attempted it was GEORGE LAMBERT (1710—1765), a scene-painter, and founder of the "Beefsteak Club." This latter distinction makes him remembered, whilst his landscapes, after the manner of Poussin, are forgotten. William Smith (1707—1764), GEORGE SMITH (1714—1776), JOHN SMITH (1717—1764), usually known as the Smiths of Chichester, were very popular in their day. They painted landscapes from the scenery round Chichester, but gave it a foreign and unnatural air by copying Claude and Poussin. Though they exercised considerable influence on English landscape-painting, we cannot wonder at the popularity of these painters when we remember how utterly barren this branch of art still remained in England. Peter Monamy(1670?—1749) was a marine painter of the school of the Van de Veldes, whose pupil he may have been. A Sea piece by him at Hampton Court (No. 915) shows that he was an artist of a high order. Portraits of Monamy and his patron are in a picture by Hogarth at Knowsley. Samuel Scott (1710?—1772) was a friend of Hogarth, and a marine painter after the mode of the Van de Veldes. Walpole considered him "the first painter of his age, one whose works will charm in any age." They have, however, ceased to do so in this. Another marine painter was CHARLES BROOKING (1723—1759), one of whose productions is at Hampton Court. He occasionally worked in concert with DOMINIC SERRES (1722—1793), a Royal Academician (a native of Gascony), whose four large pictures of The Naval Review at Portsmouth, painted for George III., are likewise at Hampton Court. The works of Dominic Serres have been confounded with those of his son, JOHN THOMAS SERRES (1759—1825), who was a far superior painter to his father.
We pass on to speak of three celebrated painters, who when already famous became members of the Royal Academy—Wilson, Reynolds, and Gainsborough. The story of RICHARD WILSON (1713—1782) is the story of a disappointed man. Born at Pinegas, Montgomeryshire, the son of the parson of that place. Wilson's early taste for drawing attracted the attention of Sir George Wynne, by whom he was introduced to one Wright, a portrait painter in London. Following the popular branch of art in his day, Wilson in due course became a portrait painter, and although nothing remarkable is known of his portraits, he managed to make a living. In 1749 he visited Italy, and whilst waiting for an interview with the landscape painter Zuccarelli he is said to have sketched the view through the open window. The Italian advised the Englishman to devote himself henceforth to landscapes, and Wilson followed his advice. After six years' stay in Italy, during which period he became imbued with the beauties of that country, Wilson returned to England in 1755, and found Zuccarelli worshipped, whilst he himself was neglected. His Niobe, one version of which is in the National Gallery, was exhibited with the Society of Artists' Collection, in Spring Gardens, 1760, and made a great impression, but, in general, his pictures, infinitely superior to the mere decorations of the Italian, were criticised, and compared unfavourably with those of Zuccarelli, and it was not till long after Wilson's death that he was thoroughly appreciated. He was often compelled to sell his pictures to pawnbrokers, who, so it is said, could not sell them again. Poverty and neglect soured the painter's temper, and made him irritable and reckless. He had many enemies, and even Sir Joshua Reynolds treated him with injustice. Wilson was one of the original thirty-six members of the Royal Academy, and in 1776 applied for and obtained the post of Librarian to that body, the small salary helping the struggling man to live. The last years of his life were brightened by better fortune. A brother left him a legacy, and in 1780 Wilson retired to a pleasant home at Llanberis, Carnarvon, where he died two years later. Mr. Redgrave says of him: "There is this praise due to our countryman—that our landscape art, which had heretofore been derived from the meaner school of Holland, following his great example, looked thenceforth to Italy for its inspiration; that he proved the power of native art to compete on this ground also with the art of the foreigner, and prepared the way for the coming men, who, embracing Nature as their mistress, were prepared to leave all and follow her." Wilson frequently repeated his more successful pictures. The Ruins of the Villa of Mæcenas, at Tivoli (National Gallery), was painted five times by him. In the same Gallery are The Destruction of Niobe's Children, A Landscape with Figures, three Views in Italy, Lake Avernus with the Bay of Naples in the distance, &c. In the Duke of Westminster's collection are Apollo and the Seasons and The River Dee. Wilson, like many another man of genius, lived before his time, and was forced one day to ask Barry, the Royal Academician, if he knew any one mad enough to employ a landscape painter, and if so, whether he would recommend him.
Singularly unlike Wilson in his fortunes was a painter of the same school, named GEORGE BARRET (1728?—1784), an Irishman, who began life by colouring prints for a Dublin publisher, and became the popular landscape painter of the day, receiving vast sums for his pictures, whilst Wilson could hardly buy bread. Patronised by Burke, who gained him the appointment of Master-Painter to Chelsea Hospital, and receiving for his works £2,000 a year, Barret died poor, and his pictures, once so prized, are neglected, whilst the works of Wilson are now valued as they deserve. Another artist who derived his inspiration from Wilson was JULIUS CÆSAR IBBETSON (1759—1817), who painted landscapes with cattle and figures and rustic incidents with much success.
JOSHUA REYNOLDS (1723—1792) was born at Plympton, Devon, the son of a clergyman who was a master in the grammar school. His father had intended him for a doctor, but nature decided that Joshua Reynolds should be a painter. He preferred to read Richardson's "Treatise on Painting" to any other book, and when his taste for art became manifest he was sent to London to study with Hudson, the popular portrait painter of the day. Before this time, however, the young Reynolds had studied "The Jesuit's Perspective" with such success that he astonished his father by drawing Plympton school. There is at Plymouth a portrait of the Rev. Thomas Smart, tutor in Lord Edgcumbe's household, which is said to have been painted by Reynolds when twelve years old. It was in 1741 that Joshua Reynolds began his studies with Hudson, and as that worthy could teach him little or nothing, it is fortunate for art that the connection only lasted two years. On leaving Hudson's studio Reynolds returned to Devonshire, but we know little about his life there till the year 1746, when his father died, and the painter was established at Plymouth Dock, now Devonport, and was painting portraits. Many of these earlier works betray the stiffness and want of nature which their author had probably learnt from Hudson. Having visited London, and stayed for a time in St. Martin's Lane, the artists' quarter, Reynolds was enabled, in 1749, to realise his great wish, and go abroad. His friend Commodore Keppel carried him to Italy, and Reynolds, unfettered and unspoilt by the mechanical arts of his countrymen, studied the treasures of Italy, chiefly in Rome, and without becoming a copyist, was imbued with the beauties of the Italian school. Michelangelo was the object of his chief adoration, and his name was the most frequently on his lips, and the last in his addresses to the Royal Academy. A love of colour was the characteristic of Reynolds, and his use of brilliant and fugitive pigments accounts for the decay of many of his best works; he used to say jestingly that "he came off with flying colours." Doubtless the wish to rival the colouring of the Venetians led Reynolds to make numerous experiments which were often fatal to the preservation of his pictures. It has been said of him that "he loved his colours as other men love their children." In 1752 Reynolds returned to England, and settled in London, first in St. Martin's Lane, then in Newport Street, and finally in a grand house in Leicester Fields. His course was one of brilliant success. At his house, wit and wisdom met together, and the ponderous learning of Dr. Johnson, the eloquence of Burke, and the fancy of Goldsmith, combined to do honour to the courteous, gentle painter, whom all men loved, and of whom Goldsmith wrote:—
Most of the leaders of the rank and fashion of the day sat for their portraits to the painter who "read souls in faces." In 1768 Joshua Reynolds was chosen first President of the Royal Academy, and was knighted by George III. He succeeded, on the death of Ramsay, to the office of Court Painter. His "Discourses on Painting," delivered at the Royal Academy, were remarkable for their excellent judgment and literary skill. It was supposed by some that Johnson and Burke had assisted Reynolds in the composition of these lectures, but the Doctor indignantly disclaimed such aid, declaring that "Sir Joshua Reynolds would as soon get me to paint for him as to write for him." A lesser honour, though one which caused him the greatest pleasure, was conferred on Reynolds in 1773, when he was elected Mayor of his native Plympton. In the same year he exhibited his famous Strawberry Girl, of which he said that it was "one of the half dozen original things" which no man ever exceeded in his life's work. In 1789 the failure of his sight warned Sir Joshua that "the night cometh when no man can work." He died, full of years and honours, on February 23rd, 1792, and was buried near Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul's Cathedral.
Reynolds was a most untiring worker. He exhibited two hundred and forty-five pictures in the Royal Academy, on an average eleven every year. In the National Gallery are twenty-three of his paintings. Amongst them are The Holy Family (No. 78), The Graces decorating a Terminal Figure of Hymen (79), The Infant Samuel (162), The Snake in the Grass (885), Robinetta (892), and portraits of himself, of Admiral Keppel, Dr. Johnson, Boswell, Lord Heathfield, and George IV. as Prince of Wales. Mr. Ruskin deems Reynolds "one of the seven colourists of the world," and places him with Titian, Giorgione, Correggio, Tintoretto, Veronese, and Turner. He likewise says, "considered as a painter of individuality in the human form and mind, I think him, even as it is, the prince of portrait painters. Titian paints nobler pictures, and Van Dyck had nobler subjects, but neither of them entered so subtly as Sir Joshua did into the minor varieties of heart and temper."[H]
It is as "the prince of portrait painters" that Sir Joshua will be remembered, although he produced more than one hundred and thirty historic or poetic pieces. Messrs. Redgrave, speaking of his powers as an historic painter, declare that "notwithstanding the greatness of Reynolds as a portrait painter, and the beauty of his fancy subjects, he wholly fails as a painter of history. Allowing all that arises from 'colour harmony,' we must assert that, both as to form and character, the characters introduced into these solemn dramas are wholly unworthy to represent the persons of the actors therein." They argue that the Ugolino fails to represent the fierce Count shut up in the Tower of Famine, on the banks of the Arno, and that the children of the Holy Family "for all there is of character and holiness, might change places with the Cupid who fixes his arrow to transfix his nymph." The child who represents The Infant Samuel, delightful as it is, in common with all Sir Joshua Reynolds's children, has nothing to distinguish it as set apart to high and holy offices. We may mention as among the best known of the historic and poetic subjects of this master:—Macbeth and the Witches, Cardinal Beaufort, Hercules strangling the Serpents, painted for the Empress of Russia, and The Death of Dido. Famous, too, as portraits, are Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse (Duke of Westminster's and Dulwich Gallery), Garrick between Tragedy and Comedy, The Strawberry Girl, The Shepherd Boy, The Little Girl in a Mob Cap (Penelope Boothby), The Little Duke, and The Little Marchioness; many others which are scattered in the galleries and chambers of the English nobility and gentry, and which are now frequently seen on the walls of Burlington House as each "Old Masters" Exhibition passes by.
THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH (1727—1788), the son of a clothier, was born at Sudbury, in Suffolk. He early showed taste for art, and would linger among the woods and streams round Sudbury to sketch. Nature was his model, and to this fact we owe the pictures which make him and Wilson the founders of our school of landscape painting. The details of this master's life are few and uneventful. When between fourteen and fifteen years of age, his father sent Thomas Gainsborough to London to study art. His first master was Gravelot, a French engraver of great ability, to whose teaching Gainsborough probably owed much. From him he passed to Hayman in the St. Martin's Lane Academy, a drawing school only. Gainsborough began as a portrait and landscape painter in Hatton Garden, but finding little patronage during four years of his sojourn there, returned to his native town, and presently married Margaret Burr, who had crossed his line of sight when he was sketching a wood. The lady's figure was added to the picture, and in due course became the wife of the artist. For a man so careless as Gainsborough, an early marriage was good, and we owe the preservation of many of his works to the thoughtfulness of his wife. Settling in Ipswich, he began to make a name. Philip Thicknesse, Governor of Landguard Fort, opposite Harwich, became his earliest patron, and officiously maintained a friendship which was often trying to the painter. Gainsborough, at his suggestion, painted a view of Landguard Fort (the picture has perished), which attracted considerable attention. In 1760 he removed to Bath, and found a favourable field for portrait-painting, though landscape was not neglected. Fourteen years later Gainsborough, no longer an unknown artist, came to London and rented part of Schomberg House, Pall Mall. He was now regarded as the rival of Reynolds in portraiture, and of Wilson in landscape. Once, when Reynolds at an Academy Dinner proposed the health of his rival as "the greatest landscape painter of the day," Wilson, who was present, exclaimed, "Yes, and the greatest portrait painter, too." One of the original members of the Royal Academy, Gainsborough exhibited ninety pictures in the Gallery, but refused to contribute after 1783, because a portrait of his was not hung as he wished. A quick-tempered, impulsive man, he had many disputes with Reynolds, though none of them were of a very bitter kind. Gainsborough's Blue Boy is commonly said to have been painted in spite against Reynolds, in order to disprove the President's statement that blue ought not to be used in masses. But there were other and worthier reasons for the production of this celebrated work, in respect to which Gainsborough followed his favourite Van Dyck in displaying "a large breadth of cool light supporting the flesh." It is pleasant to think of the kindly minded painter enjoying music with his friends; and, rewarding some of them more lavishly than wisely, he is said to have given The Boy at the Stile to Colonel Hamilton, in return for his performance on the violin. It is pleasant, too, to know that whatever soreness of feeling existed between him and Sir Joshua, passed away before he died. When the President of the Royal Academy came to his dying bed, Gainsborough declared his reconciliation, and said, "We are all going to heaven, and Van Dyck is of the company." This was in 1788. Gainsborough was buried at Kew. The Englishness of his landscapes makes Gainsborough popular. Wilson had improved on the Dutch type by visiting Italy, but Gainsborough sought no other subjects than his own land afforded. Nature speaks in his portraits or from his landscapes, and his rustic children excel those of Reynolds, because they are really sun-browned peasants, not fine ladies and gentlemen masquerading in the dresses of villagers. Mr. Ruskin says of Gainsborough, "His power of colour (it is mentioned by Sir Joshua as his peculiar gift) is capable of taking rank beside that of Rubens; he is the purest colourist—Sir Joshua himself not excepted—of the whole English school; with him, in fact, the art of painting did in great part die, and exists not now in Europe. I hesitate not to say that in the management and quality of single and particular tints, in the purely technical part of painting, Turner is a child to Gainsborough."
Among the most popular pictures by this great master are The Blue Boy, The Shepherd Boy in the Shower, The Cottage Door, The Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher, The Shepherd Boys with their Dogs fighting, The Woodman and his Dog in the Storm (burnt at Eaton Park, engraved by Simon, and copied in needlework by Miss Linwood). There are thirteen pictures by Gainsborough in the National Gallery, including The Market Cart, The Watering Place, Musidora, Portraits of Mrs. Siddons, and Orpin, the Parish Clerk of Bradford-on-Avon. In the Royal Collection at Windsor are seventeen life-size heads of the sons and daughters of George III., of which, say the Messrs. Redgrave, "it is hardly possible to speak too highly."
We may here fittingly mention a contemporary of Gainsborough, Hugh Robinson (about 1760—1790), who only gained a tardy though well-merited right to rank among England's portrait painters by the exhibition at the "Old Masters," in 1881, of his Portrait of Thomas Teesdale, which was followed in the next exhibition by the Piping Boy. The remainder of the works of this talented young Yorkshireman—who exhibited but three pictures at the Royal Academy (in 1780 and 1782), and who died on his way home from Italy, whither he had gone to study art—are chiefly family portraits. The two mentioned above best display his happy blending of landscape and portraiture, and, though somewhat recalling the manner of Gainsborough, are full of natural talent.
IT will here be convenient to notice briefly some foreign painters who worked in England in the middle of the eighteenth century.
GIOVANNI BATTISTA CIPRIANI, R.A. (1727—1785), a Florentine, came to London in 1755 and remained here, gaining a great reputation as an historic painter at a time when foreign artists were specially popular. He was one of the original members of the Royal Academy, and designed the diploma of that body. To Cipriani the English school owes some refinement tempering the rough originality of Hogarth, but his art, "the worn-out and effete art of modern Italy," left few permanent traces on that of England.
ANGELICA KAUFFMAN, R.A. (1740—1807), a native of Schwartzenberg, in Austria, came to London in 1765, and, aided by fashion and the patronage of Queen Charlotte, became prominent in the art world. Her romantic and sad fortunes added to her popularity. "Her works were gay and pleasing in colour, yet weak and faulty in drawing, her male figures particularly wanting in bone and individuality." (Redgrave.) Her pictures were often engraved in her own days, but they are now thought little of. A specimen of Angelica Kauffman's work may be seen in the ceiling of the Council Chamber of the Royal Academy, of which she was a member; another is in the National Gallery.
JOHANN ZOFFANY, R.A. (1733—1810), was born at Frankfort, and on his first arrival in England met with little success. He was, however, one of the original Royal Academicians, and was patronised by George III., whose portrait he painted, together with those of many members of the Royal family. As a portrait painter Zoffany was truthful, natural, and unaffected, and his influence for good was not lost on the art of his adopted country. In 1783 he went to India, where he remained fifteen years, painting pictures of incident, of which The Indian Tiger Hunt is an example; works produced after his return to England are less interesting than these.
FRANCESCO ZUCCARELLI, R.A. (1702—1788), born in Tuscany, has already been mentioned as advising Wilson to cultivate landscape-painting. After becoming famous abroad, he came to London in 1752, and secured a fortune, whilst Wilson, his superior, was too poor to buy a canvas to paint on. Zuccarelli's landscapes and rural villages are of the stage rather than nature. He was the last of that artificial school of painters who tried to paint a beautiful world without looking out of doors.
PHILIPPE JAMES DE LOUTHERBOURG, R.A. (1740—1812), a native of Strasburg, studied in Paris, under Casanova, the battle-painter. He acquired fame by delineating landscapes, battles, and marine subjects, and was already a member of the French Academy when he came to England in 1771. For a time De Loutherbourg was employed as a scene-painter at Drury Lane, receiving a salary of £500 a year from Garrick. His scenery was extremely meritorious, effective, and popular, but he too frequently obtruded scenic characteristics into his other pictures. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1780, and a full member in the following year. Becoming somewhat deranged in his latter days, he assumed the gift of prophecy, and pretended to cure diseases. He was buried at Chiswick, near Hogarth. De Loutherbourg was a clever draughtsman, but neglected nature. Peter Pindar laughed at his "brass skies, and golden hills," and his "marble bullocks in glass pastures grazing." Nevertheless Turner owned great obligations to him, and he succeeded in varying the aims of landscape painters, and gave what may be called animation and dramatic expression to their art. His best-known works are, Lord Howe's Victory on the 1st of June, The Fire of London, The Siege of Valenciennes, A Lake Scene in Cumberland (National Gallery), Warley Common (Windsor Castle). The Eidophusicon was a moving diorama in Spring Gardens, painted by De Loutherbourg, which "all the world went to see."
HENRY FUSELI, or more correctly, Fuessli (1741—1825), born at Zürich, exercised very considerable influence on English art by his pictures and lectures. He was a scholar as well as a painter, and had been educated for the church. On first coming to England Fuseli turned his attention to literature, but was advised by Sir Joshua Reynolds, who had seen his sketches, to cultivate art. When nearly thirty years old he went to Italy, where, like Reynolds, his chief devotions were paid to the shrine of Michelangelo. Returning to England after eight years' absence, Fuseli made his first decided mark by The Nightmare, painted three years after his return. It is said that fully to realise the horrors of this subject the enthusiastic Swiss supped on raw pork! In 1786, Alderman Boydell, a successful engraver and art publisher, proposed a Shakespeare Gallery, with the view of proving that England contained really good painters of history. Fuseli executed nine out of the eighty-six examples in this gallery. His studies of the works of Michelangelo fitted him for the just treatment of the subjects, including Hamlet and the Ghost, and Lear and Cordelia. It has been objected that his men are all of one race, whether in reality classic, mediæval, or Scandinavian, and that Shakespeare's women are, in his pictures, all alike, too masculine and coarse. Shakespeare is thoroughly English in taste and character, and his men and women, even if represented in Verona, or Prospero's Isle, are still English in heart. Fuseli was scarcely able to enter into this characteristic of our greatest poet. He was more at home with the majestic creations of Milton, to which he next turned his thoughts. He projected a Milton Gallery of forty-seven large pictures, which, however, was not a financial success, therefore in 1780 Fuseli complained that the public would feed him with honour, but leave him to starve. He became a Royal Academician, and Professor of Painting, a post which he held till his death.
In proceeding to speak of artists of the English school, we must remember that we have not to deal with men gathered round a great master, as is the case with many foreign painters. Each English artist has originality, and stands by himself. It will be most convenient therefore to treat them according to the special branch of art which they severally followed, i.e. Historic, Portrait, Landscape, or Animal painting. HISTORICAL PAINTING had hitherto found little favour in England, nor were the pictures produced in that line worthy of much regard. Reynolds attempted it in Ugolino and the Infant Hercules, but it is not by means of such pictures he will be remembered. There were others who devoted themselves to what they styled high art, with earnestness worthy of greater success than they achieved.
BENJAMIN WEST (1738—1820) was born at Springfield, Pennsylvania, and of Quaker parents who descended from a Buckinghamshire family of the same persuasion. He early showed signs of artistic genius, and strange stories have been told of the precocity of the child. West received his first colours from Indians, and made his first paint-brush from a cat's tail. A box of colours, given by a merchant when he was nine years old, encouraged him to persevere; and we know that the donor of the box introduced him to a painter named Williams, of Philadelphia, from whom he derived instruction. West started in life at eighteen as a portrait painter; first at Philadelphia, then at New York. In 1760, he visited Italy, and, after remaining there three years, proceeded to England. He had intended to return to America, but became so successful that he settled in London. In Rome the young American created a sensation, and the blind Cardinal Albani, whose acquaintance with Americans must have been limited, asked if he was black or white. In London West was greatly sought after, and in 1766, three years after his arrival, he finished Orestes and Pylades (National Gallery); his house was besieged by the fashionable world, eager for a glimpse of the picture. West now found many patrons, among them the Bishops of Bristol and Worcester, and Drummond, Archbishop of York. The Archbishop was so charmed by Agrippa with the Ashes of Germanicus, that he introduced West to George III., who became a warm and faithful supporter of the artist. From 1767 to 1802 West was almost exclusively employed by the King, and received large sums of money. He was one of the original members of the Royal Academy, and on the death of Reynolds, became President. His inaugural address, which, like all he did, was highly praised, had two subjects—the excellence of British art and the gracious benevolence of his Majesty. The illness of George III. put an end to West's attendance at Court, and he proceeded into a wider field of art, choosing that of religion. Here he was more successful than in many of his former pictures, as in Christ healing the Sick (National Gallery), Christ rejected, and Death on the Pale Horse. He died on the 11th of March, 1820, aged eighty-two. West, so popular in the days of George III., is utterly neglected now. If he aimed at being great, he succeeded only in the size of his pictures. A cold, passionless mediocrity was the highest point to which he attained, and of his pictures we may say as the old Scotsman said of Rob Roy, that they are "too bad for blessing, and too good for banning." Redgrave says: "His compositions were more studied than natural, the action often conventional and dramatic; the draperies, although learned, heavy and without truth. His colour often wants freshness and variety of tint, and is hot and foxy." We owe to West, however, the example of courage in attempting great religious subjects, and in departing from the absurd custom of representing the warriors of all nations clad like ancient Romans. In his Death of Wolfe, West insisted, contrary to the advice of Reynolds, in painting his soldiers in their proper dress.
JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY, R.A. (1737—1815), was born at Boston, America, then one of our colonies, his father being English and his mother Irish. Boston in those days could offer no facilities for art-education, but Copley went to Nature—the best of teachers. He commenced with portraits and domestic life, and between 1760 and 1767 sent pictures to London, where they excited considerable interest. In 1774, he visited the Old World, first England, then Italy, and finally settled in London in 1775. In the following year he exhibited a "conversation" piece at the Royal Academy, and was elected an Associate in 1777. In 1778, William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, whilst speaking in the House of Lords against the practice of taxing our colonists without their consent, was seized with a fatal illness. This incident, specially interesting to an American, suggested The Death of the Earl of Chatham (National Gallery), which at once raised the painter to a high place in the ranks of British artists. The popularity of Copley was greatly owing to his choice of subjects. Instead of dealing with ancient history or classic fables, with which the general public was but imperfectly acquainted, he selected events of the day, or of modern times, and contrived to combine portraiture, ever popular in England, with the dramatic incidents of his pictures. Copley was made a full member of the Royal Academy in 1779, and maintained his popularity by The Death of Major Peirson (National Gallery)—which represents an attack of the French on St. Helier's, Jersey, in 1781, and the fall of young Major Peirson in the moment of his victory. Following the path thus wisely selected, Copley produced Charles I. ordering the Arrest of the Five Members, The Repulse of the Spanish Floating Batteries at Gibraltar by Lord Heathfield (painted for the City of London, now in the Guildhall), The Assassination of Buckingham, The Battle of the Boyne, &c. He exhibited only forty-two works in the Royal Academy, all of which were portraits except The Offer of the Crown to Lady Jane Grey, and The Resurrection. In sacred subjects, Copley was far less successful than in the particular style of art to which he mainly adhered. His son became famous as Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst.
JAMES BARRY, R.A. (1741—1806), who was a contemporary of Benjamin West, and, like him, aimed at high art, formed a marked contrast to the favourite painter of George III. Whilst West was well fed and well clothed, rich, easy-tempered, and happy, Barry was often ragged, sometimes starving, always poor, and seldom out of a passion. He was born at Cork, the son of a small coasting trader who kept a tavern. From such uncongenial surroundings Barry made his way to Dublin, and exhibited The Baptism of the King of Cashel by St. Patrick. This work attracted considerable notice, and secured for the artist the patronage of Burke, who sent him to Italy. This was in 1765, but previously to this date Barry had already visited London, and lived by copying in oil the drawings of "Athenian Stuart," the Serjeant-Painter who succeeded Hogarth. Barry's studies in Italy confirmed his ambitious design to become a painter of high art subjects. With characteristic boldness he entered the field against the greatest masters, and whilst at Rome painted Adam and Eve, which he thought superior to Raphael's masterpiece of the same subject. Returning to England in 1770, Barry exhibited this picture, and began Venus rising from the Sea, which was exhibited in 1772; he was elected a R.A. in the following year. His undisciplined temper ensured him many enemies, and estranged his few friends; he even quarrelled with Burke. His pride and courage were indomitable, and he worked on through good and ill reports, never swerving from the course he had marked out, and contemptuously dismissing any chance sitter for a portrait to "the fellow in Leicester Square," as he styled Sir Joshua Reynolds. In 1777, Barry undertook to paint in the Great Room of the Society of Arts at the Adelphi a series of pictures illustrating Human Culture. He had previously offered to decorate the interior of St. Paul's. He began to work at the Adelphi with sixteen shillings in his pocket, and toiled there during seven years, being often in absolute want. The Society provided him with models and materials only, and Barry was to receive the proceeds of exhibiting his work in return for his unpaid labours. The hope of fame enabled "the little ordinary man with the dirty shirt" to support himself through the long years of want and semi-starvation, whilst he was working for the glory which never came. Barry finished the pictures at the Adelphi in 1783, and called them severally The Story of Orpheus: A Thanksgiving to Ceres and Bacchus; The Victors of Olympia; Navigation, or the Triumph of the Thames; Distribution of Premiums in the Society of Arts; and Elysium, or the State of Final Retribution. The luckless artist had been appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy in 1772, but outbursts of passion and furious attacks on his brethren led to his removal from the post, and, in 1779, to his expulsion from the Academy. He died miserably, in 1806, at the wretched house he called a home, and the honours which had never blossomed for the living man were bestowed on the corpse, which lay in state at the Adelphi, surrounded by the work of his hands. He was buried in St. Paul's. "There he rests side by side with the great ones of his profession. Posterity had reversed the positions of West and his competitor, the first is last, and the last first; but it was hardly to be expected that the young would be anxious to follow Barry in a line of art in which neither ability nor perseverance seemed to succeed, or to start in a career for which not even princely patronage could obtain public sympathy, nor innate genius, with life-long devotion, win present fame, hardly indeed a bare subsistence." (Redgrave.)
Returning for a moment to Portrait Painters, we find two of that class who were contemporary with Sir Joshua Reynolds, and of whom the first nearly equalled the president in popularity.
GEORGE ROMNEY (1734—1802) was born near Dalton-in-Furness, North Lancashire, and for some years followed his father's craft of cabinet-making. The story of his life is one of marked success and singular selfishness. He first studied art with Edward Steele, of Kendal, a portrait painter of some skill and reputation, who had painted Sterne. Whilst assisting his master to elope with his future wife, Romney fell ill, and was nursed by young Mary Abbot. He rewarded the devotion of his nurse by marrying her, and when she was the mother of two children, by leaving her at home poor and alone, whilst he was rich and famous in London. During a long and successful career Romney only visited his family twice, to find on the second occasion his daughter dead, and his son grown up and in Holy Orders. The painter's strange, selfish life ended in imbecility, and the patient wife who had nursed the youth of twenty-three, soothed the last hours of the man of seventy, whose fame she had never shared. Romney was as eccentric in life as in his genius. Shunning the society of his fellow artists, he complained of their neglect, and refused to enter the Royal Academy. It was said of Sterne that "he would shed tears over a dead donkey whilst he left a living mother to starve." In like manner Romney wrote gushing words of sympathy for the widow of another man, whilst his own wife had been practically widowed for more than thirty years. Of the intercourse of Romney with the fair and frail Emma Lyon, who, as Lady Hamilton, exercised an influence for evil over him and over Nelson, it is not our province to speak. The fitful temper of the painter led him to begin numerous pictures he never finished, cart-loads of which were removed from his house at Hampstead. Romney's want of steadfastness often compelled him to abandon works of which the conception was greater than the power to carry it out. There was a want of thoroughness about him, and even the pictures which he finished seemed incomplete to those who did not understand them. Noteworthy among these are Ophelia, The Infant Shakespeare, and The Shipwreck, from "The Tempest." His portraits, however, form the greater class of his productions. In the National Gallery are Study of Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante, and The Parson's Daughter. "We may sum up all that is to be said of Romney in this: that whatever he did Reynolds had done much better; that his art did not advance the taste of the age, or the reputation of the school, and that it is quite clear, however fashion or faction may have upheld him in his own day, the succeeding race of painters owed little or nothing to his teaching." (Redgrave.) A harsh and unsympathizing judgment. Truer is it that he never offended the finest taste in art, that he was a very fair draughtsman, a sound and accomplished painter, who delineated ladies with the taste of a Greek, and children with exemplary sweetness.
JOSEPH WRIGHT (1734—1797) is, from his birth-place, commonly known as Wright of Derby. Quitting his native town, where his father was an attorney, he reached London in 1751 and became a pupil of Hudson, the portrait painter. Wright aimed at historical painting, but his works are chiefly single portraits, and conversation pieces. After revisiting Derby, he returned to Hudson's studio for a while, and then settled in his native town, where he practised his art with success. He often represented candle-light and fire-light effects, as may be seen in The Orrery, The Iron Forge, and The Experiment with the Air-Pump (National Gallery). Marrying in 1773, Wright went with his wife to Italy and remained there two years. He witnessed an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and painted that event with success, as well as the display of fire-works at the Castle of St. Angelo, at Rome, which is known as the Girandola. Returning to England, Wright painted at first at Bath; but being unsuccessful, he returned to Derby, where he died in 1797. He contributed a few works to the Royal Academy after quitting Italy; Vesuvius, and the Girandola were exhibited there in 1778. Wright was elected an Associate in 1782, but removed his name from the Academy books two years later. This step was taken either because Edmund Garvey, a landscape painter, was elected a R.A. before him, or because Wright had refused to comply with one of the Academy rules, and present works to the society before receiving his diploma. He was said to be a shy, irritable man, always ill, or fancying himself so, and ready to take offence easily. Such are the unconfirmed statements of the advocates of the Academy. He painted landscapes in his latter days, The Head of Ulleswater was his last picture. Best known among his works are The dead Soldier, Belshazzar's Feast, Hero and Leander, The Storm (from "Winter's Tale"), and Cicero's Villa. Wright's most remarkable fire-light effects are The Hermit, The Gladiator, The Indian Widow, The Orrery, and, already mentioned, the Air-Pump. Like Hogarth and Copley, he painted in that solid old English method which insured the preservation of his works. "On the whole it cannot be said that Wright's pictures have added much to the reputation of the British school. As a portrait painter he is hardly in the second rank." His portraits have a heavy look; of his landscapes it has been averred that "they are large and simple in manner, but heavy and empty."
Portrait-painting, always popular in England, continued to flourish after the deaths of Reynolds and Gainsborough. Although the magic touches of these masters cannot be found in the art of their immediate followers, their influence produced several original and independent artists, who, though successors, were not imitators.
NATHANIEL DANCE (1734—1811) studied art under Frank Hayman, R.A., and visited Italy with Angelica Kauffman. Returning to England he achieved success as a painter, both of portraits and historic pieces. He was one of the original members of the Royal Academy, from which he retired in 1790, on marrying a wealthy widow: he took the name of Holland and was made a baronet ten years later. His best-known works are the Death of Virginia, Garrick as Richard III., Timon of Athens (Royal Collection) and Captain Cook (Greenwich Hospital).
JAMES NORTHCOTE (1746—1831), the son of a watchmaker of Plymouth, spent seven years as an apprentice to his father's craft, all the while longing to be a painter. He was a man of indefatigable industry, who, in spite of a defective education and few opportunities for improvement, made his mark both as an artist and a writer on art. He was the favourite pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds and his first biographer. Leaving Reynolds in 1775, Northcote returned to Devonshire, and for two years successfully painted portraits. From 1777 to 1780 he was in Italy studying the old masters, especially Titian. He settled in London on returning home, and maintained himself by portrait-painting. He was, however, ambitious to succeed with historic pictures, though compelled to confine himself to more saleable subjects, such as A Visit to Grandmamma, and similar domestic scenes. Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery gave Northcote a new opening in the line he yearned to practise. Among nine pictures produced for this series, that of the Murder of the Young Princes in the Tower, painted in 1786, brought the artist prominently into notice. The Death of Wat Tyler, now in Guildhall, London, is one of his best works. His Diligent and Dissipated Servants, a series suggested by Hogarth's Idle and Industrious Apprentices, falls very far below the standard of the original series. Noteworthy facts in Northcote's historic pictures are the incongruity of the dresses, and frequent gross anachronisms. Thus we have Sisera lying on a feather bed and attired like a trooper of Cromwell's Ironsides, and Jael dressed like a modern maid-of-all-work. In the Shakespearian pictures Hubert of the thirteenth century, and Richard III. of the fifteenth century, alike wear the dress of Elizabeth's day. Wat Tyler and the murderers in the Tower wear the same armour, which belongs to the Stuart period. Such mistakes, however, were common among all painters of his time.
JOHN OPIE (1761—1807), the rival and friend of Northcote, was like him a West countryman, and like him rose from the ranks. Born at St. Agnes, near Truro, the son of a carpenter, Opie early showed intelligence and quickness in acquiring knowledge which marked him out for a higher sphere than a carpenter's shop. After evincing taste for art, and disgusting his father by decorating a saw-pit with chalk, he found patrons in Lord Bateman and Dr. Wolcot, the famous Peter Pindar. Some biographers have described Opie as becoming the doctor's footboy, but this is a mistake. Walcot brought the young painter to London and introduced him to Sir Joshua Reynolds, but the selfish patronage of the doctor soon came to an end. Opie was at first vigorously advertised in London as "the Cornish Wonder"—
Reynolds told Northcote that Opie was "like Caravaggio and Velasquez in one." In 1782 the painter married his first wife, from whom he was subsequently divorced owing to her misconduct. Although Opie was no longer the wonder of the hour in fickle London, he was achieving more enduring fame. His defective education, both in literature and art, left much to be learned, and he set himself to supply his defects with a laborious zeal which finally affected his brain and prematurely ended his life. His earliest works in London were studies of heads and portraits. In 1786, he produced the Assassination of James I. of Scotland, a Sleeping Nymph, and Cupid stealing a Kiss. Next year saw his Murder of David Rizzio. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1787, and a full member within a year. In the next seven years he exhibited twenty pictures, all portraits. Opie was engaged to paint for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery, and contributed five pictures, which improved as they progressed. Portrait-painting continued to be, however, the most lucrative pursuit, and having been introduced to some patrons at Norwich, Opie saw and married Amelia Alderson, who afterwards wrote Memoirs of her husband, and described the hard struggles which he had at times to encounter. His love for art and untiring industry remained to the last. Even when dying, and at times delirious, he gave advice about the finishing of pictures which he wished to send to the Academy. It was said of him, that "whilst other artists painted to live, he lived to paint." He was buried in St. Paul's. Opie wrote several works on art, and was Professor of Painting in the Royal Academy. His answer to a troublesome inquirer truly expresses the character of his work. "What do I mix my colours with? Why, with brains." Two of Opie's pictures are in the National Gallery—a Portrait of William Siddons, and Troilus, Cressida, and Pandarus. Of his art generally it may be said that he possessed considerable power and breadth of treatment. His handling was often coarse, and his colouring crude, especially in female portraits; in fact, coarseness was the leading characteristic of works which were never tame or spiritless.
SIR WILLIAM BEECHEY (1753—1839) was a portrait painter who received a considerable share of Court favour. He is variously stated to have begun life as a house-painter, or as a solicitor's clerk. He devoted himself to the study of art at the Royal Academy. He lived for a time at Norwich, produced conversation pieces in the style of Hogarth, but finally settled in London as a portrait painter, and practised with considerable success. In 1793 Beechey was elected A.R.A., and executed a portrait of Queen Charlotte, who was so well pleased with it that she appointed him her Majesty's portrait painter. Thus introduced to Court, Beechey trod "the primrose path" of success, and in 1798 painted an equestrian portrait of George III., with likenesses of the Prince of Wales and Duke of York at a review in Hyde Park. The painter was knighted, and elected a Royal Academician. The picture of George III. Reviewing the 3rd and 10th Dragoons is at Hampton Court. His Portrait of Nollekens, the sculptor, is in the National Gallery. Beechey's chief merit is accuracy of likeness.
JOHN HOPPNER (1759—1810) was another portrait painter who prospered at Court. At first a chorister in the Chapel Royal, he studied art at the Academy schools, became an Associate in 1793, and was elected full member in 1795. He enjoyed vast popularity as a portrait painter, finding a rival only in Lawrence. Many of Hoppner's best works are at St. James's Palace. Three of them are in the National Gallery—William Pitt, "Gentleman" Smith, the actor, and the Countess of Oxford. Three of his works are at Hampton Court; among them is Mrs. Jordan as the Comic Muse.
Examples of the work of nearly all the above-mentioned portrait painters may be consulted in the National Portrait Gallery at South Kensington.
The first animal painters in England were willing to win money, if not fame, by taking the portraits of favourite race-horses and prize oxen for the country squires, who loved to decorate their walls with pictures of their ancestors, and their studs. The first to make a name in this branch of art was JOHN WOOTTON, a pupil of John Wyck. He became famous in the sporting circles of Newmarket for his likenesses of race-horses, and received large sums for pictures of dogs and horses. Later, he attempted landscapes, chiefly hunting scenes. His works are in country mansions, especially at Blenheim, Longleat, and Dytchley. Wootton died in 1765.
JAMES SEYMOUR (1702—1752) was famous also as a painter of race-horses and hunting-pieces; he is best known by the engravings after his works.
GEORGE STUBBS (1724—1806) was the son of a Liverpool surgeon, from whom he probably inherited his love for anatomy. He worked at painting and conducted anatomic studies with equal zeal throughout his life, and is said to have carried, on one occasion, a dead horse on his back to his dissecting-room. This story is more than doubtful, though Stubbs was a man of great physical strength. He was the first to give the poetry of life and motion to pictures of animals, and to go beyond the mere portrait of a Newmarket favourite or an over-fed ox. The Royal Academy elected him an Associate in 1780, but as he declined to present one of his works, he was never made a full member. Among his works are a Lion killing a Horse, a Tiger lying in his Den, a noble life-size portrait of the famous racing-horse Whistle-jacket, which is at Wentworth Woodhouse, and The Fall of Phaeton. The last picture he repeated four times. He published The Anatomy of the Horse, with etchings from his own dissections.
SAWREY GILPIN (1733—1807) attained considerable success as an animal painter. He was born at Carlisle, and was sent to London as a clerk. Like many others he preferred the studio to the office, and having obtained the favour of the Duke of Cumberland at Newmarket, Gilpin was provided with a set of rooms, and soon became known as a painter of horses. In 1770 he exhibited at Spring Gardens Darius obtaining the Persian Empire by the Neighing of his Horse, and next year Gulliver taking Leave of the Houyhnhnms. Gilpin was elected a R.A. in 1797.
GEORGE MORLAND (1763—1804), though not exclusively an animal painter, is best known in that branch of art. His life's story describes wasted opportunities, reckless extravagance, and misused talents. Brought up with unwise strictness by his father, HENRY ROBERT MORLAND (died 1797), a portrait painter of note, George Morland no sooner escaped from home discipline than he began that course of riotous living which ended in a dishonoured grave, for which he prepared the epitaph:—"Here lies a drunken dog." It is a mistake to suppose that Morland was a self-taught genius, since, although his father objected to his entering the Academy schools, he himself was his teacher, and so assiduously kept the boy at his studies that he learned to hate the name of work.
As early as 1779 young Morland was an honorary exhibitor of sketches at the Academy. At nineteen he had thrown off home ties, and was living a reckless life of debauchery. Like most prodigals who think themselves free, Morland became a slave. His task-master was a picture dealer, who made money by the genius of the youth whose ruin he promoted. Leaving him, the artist went to Margate, and painted miniatures for a time, going thence to France. He would settle to no regular work, although his necessities compelled him at times to labour lest he should starve. The next scene in Morland's life is his sojourn with his friend William Ward, the mezzotint-engraver, where an honourable attachment to Nancy Ward for a time induced him to work. The pictures he painted at this time were suggested by Hogarth's works, and had subjects with which Morland was only too well acquainted. The Idle and Industrious Mechanic, The Idle Laundress and Industrious Cottager, Letitia, or Seduction (a series), were studied from the life. In 1786 Morland married Miss Ward, but there was no improvement in his manner of life. Sometimes he was surrounded by eager purchasers, and using his popularity as a means for greater extravagance. At one time we see him keeping ten or twelve horses, and cheated right and left by profligates who combined horse-racing, betting, and picture dealing. The luckless Morland was the ready victim of these associates. His pictures were copied as he painted them, during his temporary absence from the studio. In 1790 Morland was at his best, The Gipsies being painted two years later. His last days were dark indeed. Loaded with debt, and dreading arrest, he laboured like a slave, seldom leaving his studio, where his pot-companions alternately rioted and acted as his models, and dogs, pigs, and birds shared the disorderly room. In 1799, he was arrested, and lived within the Rules of the Fleet, amid all the debaucheries of that evil place and time. Freed by the Insolvent Act in 1802, the painter, broken in health and ruined in character, was once again arrested for a tavern score, and ended his life in a sponging-house on October 29th, 1804. His wife died of grief three days later, and was interred with her husband in the burial-ground of St. James's Chapel, Hampstead Road.
Morland chiefly painted country scenes, the memories of happier days, and introduced animals, such as pigs and asses, to his works. Produced for existence, and in a fitful, uncertain manner, his pictures were hastily conceived, and painted with little thought or study. He did much to bring the simple beauty of English scenes before the eyes of the public, and to teach Englishmen that they need not go to Italy in search of subjects for their art. Morland loved low company, even in his pictures, and was at home in a ruined stable, with a ragged jackass, and "dirty Brookes," the cobbler. In the National Gallery are: The Inside of a Stable, said to be the White Lion at Paddington, and A Quarry with Peasants, by him. In the South Kensington Museum is an excellent example of his art, called The Reckoning; and in the National Portrait Gallery is his own portrait, painted by himself at an early age.
THE earliest book illustrations in England were illuminations and repetitions of them on wood. Frontispieces followed, in which a portrait was surrounded by an allegory. Of this branch of art WILLIAM FAITHORNE (1616—1691) and DAVID LOGGAN (about 1630—1693) were practitioners. Topographical views, subjects from natural history, and botany followed. Hogarth's designs for "Hudibras" were among the earlier illustrations of a story. FRANCIS HAYMAN (1708—1776), his friend, illustrated Congreve's plays, Milton, Hanmer's Shakespeare, and other works. He was followed by SAMUEL WALE (died 1786), and JOSEPH HIGHMORE (1692—1780), who illustrated "Pamela." Towards the close of the eighteenth century, book illustrations had become a recognised class of art-works. Bell's "British Poets," commenced in 1778, the British Theatre, and Shakespeare, opened a wide field for artists of this order. Cipriani, Angelica Kauffman, William Hamilton, and Francis Wheatley, all members of the Royal Academy, were employed to illustrate Bell's publications. Famous among book illustrators was—
WILLIAM BLAKE (1757—1827).—Though born in no higher grade than that of trade, and in no more romantic spot than Broad Street, Golden Square, William Blake, a hosier's son, was a poet, a painter, an engraver, and even a printer. His genius was of an original, eccentric kind, and there were many who believed him crazed. During his long life he was "a dreamer of dreams" and a poetic visionary. Now he was meeting "the grey, luminous, majestic, colossal shadows" of Moses and Dante; now believing that Lot occupied the vacant chair in his painting-room. Anon he fancied that his dead brother had revealed to him a new process of drawing on copper, which he practised with great success. Neglected and misunderstood, Blake was always busy, always poor, and always happy. He lived beyond the cares of every-day life, in a dream-world of his own, occasionally "seeing fairies' funerals, or drawing the demon of a flea." In spite of poverty and neglect, the poet-painter was contented. Rescued from the hosier's business, for which he was intended, Blake at the age of fourteen was apprenticed to the younger Basire, an engraver. Throughout his life he worked not for money but for art, declaring that his business was "not to gather gold, but to make glorious shapes, expressing godlike sentiments." Hard work with the graver gave him bread, and when the day's toil was over he could illustrate teeming fancies in pictures and in verses. He worked at first chiefly at book illustrations. Marrying in his twenty-fifth year, his wife, named Katherine Boucher, proved a faithful and useful helpmeet, one who considered her husband's excursions to be dictated by superior knowledge. Blake's courtship was brief and characteristic. As he was telling his future wife of his troubles, caused by the levity of another damsel, she said, "I pity you." "Do you pity me?" answered the painter; "then I love you for it!" And they were married. It is not wonderful that Blake's contemporaries thought him mad, as he often did strange things. In 1791 Blake designed and engraved six plates to illustrate "Tales for Children" by Mary Wollstonecraft, and later, his "Book of Job," Dante's "Inferno," Young's "Night's Thoughts," Blair's "Grave," and other series. Many of his designs show majestic and beautiful thoughts, a bizarre, but frequently soaring and stupendous invention, great beauty of colour, energy, sweetness, and even beauty of form; they were rarely otherwise than poetic. Some are natural and simple, with occasional flashes, such as belonged to all Blake's productions. The process of drawing on, or rather excavating copper, which he declared had been revealed to him by his brother's ghost, furnished a raised surface, from which Blake was able to print both the design and the verses he composed. By this process he produced his own "Songs of Innocence and of Experience," sixty-eight lyrics, of which it has been said that "they might have been written by an inspired child, and are unapproached save by Wordsworth for exquisite tenderness or for fervour." Then followed "America, a Prophecy," and "Europe, a Prophecy," irregularly versified, imaginative, and almost unintelligible productions. He was illustrating Dante when he died, and, happy to the last, passed away singing extemporaneous songs.
THOMAS STOTHARD (1755—1834) began life as a designer for brocaded silks, but, on finding the true bent of his genius, he made designs for the "Town and Country Magazine," and the "Novelist's Magazine," "Ossian," and Bell's "Poets." His works deal with the gentler and sweeter side of human nature, and we can trace the quiet, simple character of the man in them. His eleven illustrations of "Peregrine Pickle" appeared in 1781, and are excellent examples of his truthfulness and grace. He was essentially a quietist, and scenes of passion and tumult were foreign to his genius. Trunnion and Pipes became living men under his pencil, and "Clarissa" and others of Richardson's romances gained from him an immortality which they would never have acquired by their own merits. In 1788 Stothard produced illustrations of the "Pilgrim's Progress," which, though possessing sweetness and beauty, deal with subjects beyond his grasp. His designs for "Robinson Crusoe" are among his best works. Stothard was made an A.R.A. in 1791, and a full member of the Royal Academy in 1794. His best known painting is Intemperance, on the staircase of Burghley House, in Northamptonshire. There are eight works by him in the National Gallery, including the original sketch of Intemperance. One of his most popular, though not the best of his pictures, is the Procession of the Canterbury Pilgrims. A collection of Stothard's designs is in the British Museum.
JOHN HAMILTON MORTIMER (1741—1779), a native of Eastbourne, came to London, and made a promising beginning in the world of art. He gained the Society of Arts's premium of a hundred guineas with St. Paul converting the Britons, and painted other large historic pictures. Mortimer, however, fell into extravagant habits, and neglected art. His oil paintings are "heavy and disagreeable in colour;" his drawings are better. He drew designs for Bell's "Poets," "Shakespeare," and other works, choosing scenes in which bandits and monsters play conspicuous parts.
THOMAS KIRK (died 1797), a pupil of Cosway, was an artist of much promise. His best works were designs for Cooke's "Poets."
RICHARD WESTALL (1765—1836) was a designer for books as well as a water-colour painter. He made designs for Bibles and Prayer-books, which were very popular. His best-known works are illustrations of the "Arabian Nights." His brother WILLIAM WESTALL (1781—1850), was a designer of considerable note, especially of landscapes.
ROBERT SMIRKE (1752—1845), a native of Wigton, in Cumberland, is chiefly known by his illustrations of Shakespeare and Cervantes. He came early to London, and, as an apprentice to an heraldic painter, decorated coach panels. He studied at the Academy, and in 1786 exhibited Sabrina, from "Comus," and Narcissus. When chosen a full member of the Academy Smirke's diploma picture was Don Quixote and Sancho. In the National Gallery are twelve illustrations of "Don Quixote," three representing scenes of the same story, and a scene from the "Hypocrite," in which Mawworm, Dr. Cantwell, and Lady Lambert appear.
THOMAS UWINS (1782—1857) began life as an apprentice to an engraver, entered the Royal Academy schools, and became known as a designer for books, as well as a portrait painter. His book designs were chiefly frontispieces, vignettes, and title-page adornments. Uwins for a time belonged to the Society of Water-colour Painters—from 1809 to 1818. In 1824 he visited Italy, and, after seven years' sojourn, returned to win fame and honour by oil paintings. He was elected an A.R.A. in 1833; a Royal Academician in 1839, and subsequently held the offices of Librarian to the Academy, Surveyor of her Majesty's Pictures, and Keeper of the National Gallery. Among his best pictures are Le Chapeau de Brigand, and the Vintage in the Claret Vineyards (National Gallery); The Italian Mother teaching her Child the Tarantella, and a Neapolitan Boy decorating the Head of his Innamorata (South Kensington Museum).
Before quitting this branch of art mention must be made of one who, though an engraver and not a painter, occupies an important place among book illustrators:—
THOMAS BEWICK (1753—1828), born at Cherryburn, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, adopted a fine mode of wood-engraving. Hitherto many illustrations of books had been engraved on copper, and were necessarily separate from the letterpress. Bewick's process allowed the cut and the words it illustrated to be printed at the same time. In this way he adorned "Gay's Fables," a "General History of Quadrupeds," and his most famous work, "The History of British Birds" (1797), in which he showed the knowledge of a naturalist combined with the skill of an artist. His last work was the illustrations of Æsop's Fables, upon which he was engaged six years. He was assisted by his brother John Bewick, who founded a school of wood-engravers, and by some of John's pupils, among whom were Robert Johnson and Luke Clennell.
We have already seen that modern English art began with portraiture, which always has been, and always will be, popular. We have noticed some miniature painters, or "limners in little," who flourished in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when miniature painting had among its greatest masters Samuel Cooper, who has never been surpassed.
THOMAS FLATMAN (1633—1688), an Oxford man and a barrister, who deserted the Bar and became a painter, obtained great success in miniature.
ALEXANDER BROWNE, his contemporary, painted portraits of Charles II. and other members of the Court. He was also an engraver and published, in 1699, a work entitled "Ars Pictoria," with thirty-one etchings.
LEWIS CROSSE (died 1724) was the chief miniature painter of Queen Anne's reign.
CHARLES BOIT, a Swede by birth, practised at this period as a miniature painter. Failing in his business as a jeweller, he left London in order to teach drawing in the country. Here he is said to have induced a pupil, daughter of an officer, to promise him marriage, and the intrigue having been discovered, the expectant bridegroom was thrown into prison for two years, where he employed himself in acquiring the art of enamel-painting. Miniature painting is of two kinds—portraits in water colour on ivory and in enamel on copper, the latter being the more complicated mode. Boit on his release practised miniature-painting in London, and gained high prices for his works, although his colouring is by no means pleasant. He was in favour at Court, but, while attempting to prepare a plate larger than ordinary to contain portraits of the Royal family and chief courtiers, Queen Anne died, and Boit, having borrowed money for the plate, was left without hope of being able to pay his creditors. Escaping to France, he again succeeded in his art, and died at Paris in 1726.
CHRISTIAN FREDERICK ZINCKE (1684—1767), though a native of Dresden, identified himself with art in England. He was a pupil of Boit, but soon outshone his master. His enamel painting was simple yet refined, his drawing graceful, his colour pleasing. George II. was among his numerous patrons. Several of Zincke's enamels are in the Royal Collection.
JAMES DEACON succeeded Zincke as a tenant of his house in Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, and bid fair to succeed to his place as a miniature painter, when he caught gaol fever at a trial at the Old Bailey, and died in 1750.
JARVIS SPENCER, who had been a domestic servant, gained by his talent and perseverance a high place among miniature painters of this period. Indeed, after the death of Deacon, he was the fashionable painter of his class. He died in 1763.
Other artists combined the skill of a jeweller and goldsmith with that of an enameller. It was the fashion to decorate watches, brooches, snuff-boxes, and other trinkets with portraits of friends and lovers of the owner, and thus the work of the goldsmith and the miniature painter were allied.
GEORGE MICHAEL MOSER, R.A. (1704—1783), the son of a sculptor at St. Gall, in Switzerland, came to England in his early days, and first gained notice as a chaser of brass-work, the favourite decoration of the furniture of that period. As an enamel painter he was justly celebrated, and employed to decorate the watch of George III. with portraits of the two elder Princes. He designed the Great Seal. Moser was a member of the St. Martin's Lane Academy, and in 1766 joined the Incorporated Society of Artists. He was a founder of the Royal Academy, and its first Keeper.
NATHANIEL HONE (1718—1784) stands next to Zincke as a miniature painter, although there is a wide gulf between them. He was self-taught, and on quitting his native Dublin, spent some time in the provinces practising as a portrait painter, and afterwards achieved great success in London. He was one of the foundation members of the Royal Academy, but brought himself into disgrace with that body by lampooning the President in a picture which he sent for exhibition.
JEREMIAH MEYER (1735—1789) is said to have been a pupil of Zincke, but this is probably an error. Passing from the St. Martin's Lane Academy, Meyer, a native of Würtemberg, became Enamel Painter to George III., and Miniature Painter to the Queen. Careful study of Reynolds is apparent in his works. He was one of the original members of the Royal Academy.
RICHARD COLLINS (1755—1831), a pupil of Meyer, held the post of Miniature Painter to George III., and his works formed important elements in the Academy exhibitions.
SAMUEL SHELLEY, though born in Whitechapel, surely an inartistic locality, and having little art education, became a fashionable miniature painter. He studied Reynolds with advantage, and treated historic incidents in miniature. He was one of the founders of the Water-Colour Society, and died in 1808.
JAMES NIXON, A.R.A. (about 1741—1812), was Limner to the Prince Regent, and a clever designer of book illustrations.
OZIAS HUMPHREY (1742—1810) commenced miniature-painting at Bath, after being a pupil in the Academy in St. Martin's Lane. He returned to London at the invitation of Reynolds. A miniature exhibited by him in 1766 attracted universal notice, and gained for him patronage from the King. Compelled by ill health to go abroad in 1772, Humphrey studied Italian art, and came back in five years fired with a desire to attempt historical painting. Here he failed, and neither by historic subjects nor portraits in oil could he gain the success attending his miniatures. Disappointed, he went to India in 1785, and painted illustrious natives of that country. Three years later Humphrey was re-established as a miniature painter in London, where he was elected a Royal Academician in 1791. Six years later his eyesight entirely failed. It is said of his miniatures that they are the nearest to the pictures of Reynolds. Humphrey was also successful in crayons.
GEORGE ENGLEHEART, who exhibited miniature portraits at the Royal Academy as early as 1773, was, in 1790, appointed Miniature Painter to the King. He painted on both enamel and ivory. He exhibited until 1812.
RICHARD COSWAY (1740—1821) was famous for skill in miniature-painting, in which no one of his day could approach him, and for vanity, extravagance, and eccentricity. A specialité of his was the composition of small whole-lengths, the bodies of which were executed in pencil, the faces in colour. No beauty of the day was happy unless her charms had been delineated by Cosway; the fair companions of the Prince Regent were among his warmest patrons, and the Prince was a frequent visitor to the artist. Cosway's wife, Maria, was a clever miniature painter, and worked for Boydell's Shakespeare and Macklin's "Poets." Of the scandals concerning her and her husband we need not speak. In his latter years Cosway professed to believe in Swedenborg, and in animal magnetism, pretended to be conversing with people abroad, claimed to have the power of raising the dead, and declared that the Virgin Mary frequently sat to him for her portrait. He was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1770, and full member in 1771.
HENRY BONE (1755—1834) commenced life as an apprentice to a porcelain manufacturer at Plymouth, where he painted flowers and landscapes on china, and secured success as an enameller. Passing from the manufactory, Bone began work in London by enamelling small trinkets. He first came into general notice in 1781, by means of a portrait of his own wife. Bone's success was rapid. He was made an Academician in 1811, and was Enamel Painter to George III., George IV., and William IV. His most famous works were miniatures after Reynolds, Titian, Murillo and Raphael. Remarkable also are his portraits of the Russell family from Henry VII.'s reign, the famous royalists of the civil war, and eighty-five likenesses of Elizabethan worthies.
HENRY EDRIDGE (1769—1821) was another miniature painter, who owed some of his success to careful following of Reynolds. He painted miniatures on ivory, and for a time on paper, using the lead pencil over Indian ink washes. He was also highly successful as a landscape painter in water colours.
ANDREW ROBERTSON (1777—1845), the son of a cabinet-maker at Aberdeen, came to London on foot in 1801, and gained the patronage of Benjamin West, the President, whose portrait he painted. Robertson became, in due course, a very successful miniature painter, and practised his art for more than thirty years. His likenesses are truthful, but do not stand in the first rank of miniature-painting.
ALFRED EDWARD CHALON (1781—1860), born in Geneva, and of French extraction, holds a high place in the history of English art as a portrait painter in water colours; his miniatures on ivory are full of life, vigour, and originality. He was elected R.A. in 1816. As a painter in oils, Alfred Chalon achieved a high degree of success. Hunt the Slipper, Samson and Delilah (exhibited for the second time at the International Exhibition in 1862), and Sophia Western deserve notice among his oil paintings. Chalon could not only paint with originality, but could catch the manner of the old masters with such accuracy, that some of his works were attributed even by the skilful to Rubens, Watteau, and others. His elder brother, JOHN JAMES CHALON (1778—1854), obtained celebrity as a landscape painter.
WILLIAM ESSEX (1784—1869) painted in enamel, and exhibited a portrait of the Empress Josephine, after Isabey, at the Royal Academy in 1824. In 1839 he was appointed painter in enamels to the Queen, and in 1841 to the Prince Consort. He was one of the last of the painters in enamel.
WILLIAM DERBY (1786—1847) was celebrated for his careful copies in miniature of celebrated portraits. He was largely employed on Lodge's "Portraits of Illustrious Persons."
With SIR WILLIAM CHARLES ROSS (1794—1860) ends the school of deceased miniature painters. Ross was an artist even in the nursery. He became an assistant to Andrew Robertson, and although his forte was miniature-painting, he longed for the higher flight of historic art. His Judgment of Brutus, Christ casting out Devils (exhibited in 1825), and The Angel Raphael discoursing with Adam and Eve (to which an additional premium of £100 was awarded at the Cartoon Exhibition in 1843), are specimens of his power in this branch of art, at different periods. It is as a miniature painter that he will live in the history of art. He was elected to the full rank of R.A. in 1839, and was knighted in the same year. The Court smiled upon him. He painted miniatures of the Queen and Royal Family, the Saxe-Gotha Family, and the King and Queen of Portugal. The late Emperor of the French, when Prince Louis Napoleon, was among his numerous sitters.
WATER-COLOUR painting is in one sense the most ancient mode of pictorial art. We find examples of it in the tombs of the Egyptians, in the Roman catacombs, and in the houses of Pompeii. Oil painting is, in comparison, a modern process, though the statement that it was only discovered by the Van Eycks in the beginning of the fifteenth century, is now known to be a mistake. The earliest pictures were produced with colours soluble in water and mixed with certain ingredients necessary to fix them. In this way wall paintings were executed in tempera, a process familiar to us as painting in distemper. Raphael's cartoons are specimens of tempera-painting on paper, and Mantegna's Triumph of Cæsar (Hampton Court) furnish examples of the like process on canvas. The art of water-colour painting was practised by the early Italian and German artists, and by those of the Flemish and Dutch schools. In most of the illuminations of missals, in this and other countries, water colours were used, mixed extensively with body white. Such was the case with the early miniature painters of England, who began by using opaque colours, and gradually advanced to transparent pigments. Notwithstanding the antiquity of painting in water colours, the creation of a School of Water-Colour Art, in the sense in which that term is now understood, belongs to this country. It was not to the tempera painter, nor to the illuminator of missals, nor to the early miniaturist that we owe this modern school. We must look for its germ in the practice of the topographer, who drew ruins, buildings, and landscapes for the antiquary. The earliest of such works were executed in outline with a reed pen. Examples are to be seen in some small pictures by Albrecht Dürer, in the British Museum. The pigments used were transparent, and applied on paper. The earliest of these pictures are in monochrome, black or grey; next, colour was added here and there, and the whole effect was something like that of a coloured print. Such were "the tinted," or "steyned" drawings in which our modern water-colour paintings originated. The early method prevailed for a long time, as may be seen in the historic collection of water-colour paintings at South Kensington, but gradually the art developed, better pigments were used, and, as early as 1790, a marked improvement accrued, which led to the triumphs of Girtin and Turner, and the more brilliant examples of later days. One great advantage belongs to the modern school of water colours—it started from nature, untrammelled by conventional rules or traditions. The early topographers were brought face to face with nature; some of them, like Webber and Alexander, extended their observations to foreign lands; others, finding out the beauties of their own country, were content to copy nature. It remained to our artists towards the end of the last, and early in the present century, to give a new and higher character to water-colour art, which from obscure beginnings has risen to be a purely national and original school. Practised by a succession cf men of great genius, a distinct branch of art has been created, taking rank with works in oil. More luminous, and hardly less powerful than pictures in that medium, it has lent itself, in skilled hands, to the fullest expression of nature, and perfect rendering of the ideal.
PAUL SANDBY (1725—1809) has been called "the father of water-colour art;" but as he never advanced beyond the tinted mode, and to the last used Indian ink for shadows, and the pen for outlines, the title is unmerited. Sandby was a native of Nottingham, and having served in the Drawing Office in the Tower, he settled at Windsor in 1752, and became instructor in drawing to the children of George III. He was one of the original members of the Royal Academy in 1768, and at the same time was made drawing master in the Military School at Woolwich. He painted many scenes in the neighbourhood of Windsor, and for Sir Watkin W. Wynn and Sir Joseph Banks landscapes in Wales. Specimens of his art in body-colour and tinting are in the South Kensington collection, including An Ancient Beech Tree, which is painted in body-colour; The Round Temple is in Indian ink, slightly tinted; Landscape with Dog and figures, is in the fully tinted manner.
THOMAS HEARNE (1744—1817) came early from Wiltshire to London, and was intended for trade. He was, however, apprenticed to Woollett, the engraver. In 1771, he went to the Leeward Isles as draughtsman to the Governor, and this new occupation induced him to abandon engraving for topography. He tinted landscapes, with local colour largely used. His Village Alehouse, View of Richmond, two shipping scenes after Van de Velde, and Caistor Castle are at South Kensington.
WILLIAM PAYNE, who at one time held a civil appointment in Plymouth dockyard, came to London in 1790. He had previously exhibited tinted pictures of Devonshire scenery, which attracted the notice of Reynolds. He is best known as the introducer of a neutral colour, styled Payne's Grey.
ALEXANDER COZENS (died 1786), a natural son of Peter the Great, was born in Russia. After studying art in Italy he came to England in 1746, and practised as a teacher of drawing. Gifted with a fine poetic feeling, and having a noble sense of breadth, this artist made a deep impression on those who followed him.
JOHN WEBBER (1752—1793) travelled in Italy, France, and Switzerland, and made numerous drawings. He was draughtsman to Captain Cook in his last voyage, and a witness of his death.
JOHN ROBERT COZENS (1752—1799), son of Alexander Cozens, was one of the earliest who practised water-colour painting in the modern sense of the term. His works in the tinted manner are full of poetic beauty, and exhibit a marked improvement on those of his predecessors. At South Kensington may be seen his Chigi Palace near Albano. Constable, who was much impressed by Cozen's art, said that he was "the greatest genius who ever touched landscape." He was the first to go beyond topography, and to impart pathos to his pictures. Although he worked mainly in the received method of tinting, there are signs in his pictures of a noble progress, which was soon to become more marked.
JOHN SMITH (1749—1831), called "Warwick Smith," probably because he travelled in Italy with the Earl of Warwick, or on his behalf. Six of his Italian sketches are at South Kensington. Gainsborough said "he was the first water-colour painter who carried his intention through." In 1816 he was President of the Society of Painters in Water Colours. We must here briefly mention THOMAS ROWLANDSON (1756—1827), who is best known by caricatures, including illustrations to "Doctor Syntax," "The Dance of Death," and "Dance of Life."
WILLIAM ALEXANDER (1767—1816) accompanied Lord Macartney to China, in 1792, as draughtsman to the Mission. He was afterwards made Keeper of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. He illustrated many books of travel.
JOSHUA CRISTALL (1767—1847), one of the foundation members of the Water-Colour Society, of which he was more than once President. He usually painted classic figures with landscape backgrounds, and genre subjects. His Young Fisher Boy and Fish Market on Hastings Beach are at South Kensington.
HENRY EDRIDGE, who made excellent drawings in Paris and in Normandy, we have already mentioned among the miniature painters.
ROBERT HILLS (1769—1844) represented animal painting in water colours, and may be styled the father of this branch of art. He frequently worked in conjunction with other artists; as in Deer in a Landscape (South Kensington), where the deer are painted by Hills, and the landscape is by Barret.
MICHAEL ANGELO ROOKER (1748—1801) originally practised as an engraver, but, having been instructed in painting by Paul Sandby, forsook the graver, and worked as a student at the Royal Academy. Subsequently, he became principal scene-painter at the Haymarket Theatre. He used much local colour in tinted drawings, as may be seen in St. Botolph's Priory, and Boxgrove Priory Church (South Kensington Collection).
Conspicuous among those artists who showed that the power and richness which were supposed to belong to oil painting only, could be produced in water colours, was—
THOMAS GIRTIN (1773—1802), who entirely revolutionised the technical practice of his forerunners, by laying in a whole picture with the local colours of its parts. Girtin found a friend and helper in Dr. Monro, who possessed many fine drawings, and allowed the young painters of the day free access to them. In the riverside scenery visible from the Doctor's house at the Adelphi, Girtin found congenial subjects for his art, as well as amid the old-world spots about Chelsea and Wandsworth. Later, he extended his travels, choosing cathedral cities in England, and visiting the Lake district, Scotland, and Wales. Girtin loved to depict scenes of gloom and grandeur, such as the melancholy Cumberland hills, and the sterner scenery of Scotland, whilst Turner, his friend and fellow-worker at Dr. Monro's house, depicted light, even when treating similar subjects to those which his friend affected. Girtin spent a great deal of valuable time in painting a panorama of London, which was much admired. He died at the age of twenty-nine, but he had lived long enough to make a great advance in water-colour painting, and to add power of effect, of colour, and of execution to the poetry with which Cozens had invested it. Favourable specimens of Girtin's art may be seen in a View on the Wharfe and Rievaulx Abbey (South Kensington).
GEORGE BARRET the younger (1774—1842) was one of the foundation members of the Water-Colour Society. He especially delighted in sunset effects.
William De la Motte (1780—1863) was originally a pupil of President West, but abandoned oil for water colours. He painted landscapes in the style of Girtin, but more chiefly architecture and marine pieces.
Of JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER (1775—1851), we shall speak hereafter as a painter in oils; here we must describe his influence in water-colour art, which was greater even than that of Girtin. "Many date the perfect development of water-colour painting from Girtin, but it is far more due to Turner, who, while he could paint in that medium with the power and strength of Girtin, added to that strength, delicacy and quality" (Redgrave). Turner is famous as a painter both in water colour and in oil, and as the artist of "Southern Coast Scenery," "England and Wales," "Rivers of France," Roger's "Italy" and "Poems." His Liber Studiorum is a collection of valuable studies in monochrome, now in the National Gallery. His etchings from them are very celebrated. Mr. Redgrave says of him, "If ever writer dipt his pen in poetry, surely Turner did his facile pencil, and was indeed one of nature's truest poets." His water-colour drawings are well represented in the National Gallery.
In spite of the marked progress of water-colour painting, there was as yet no adequate accommodation for the exhibition of drawings produced in that mode. The room assigned to works in water colour at the Royal Academy exhibitions was described as "a condemned cell." The general public still believed in the superiority of oil painting, and worshipped a big, indifferent picture in that mode, whilst they allowed gems of art to hang unnoticed in the water-colour room. To remedy this the Water-Colour Society was founded on November 30th, 1804, the originators being Hills, Pyne, Shelley, Wills, Glover and Varley. William Sawrey Gilpin was the first President. This society gave new and increased vigour to water-colour art, and a second body, the Associated Artists in Water Colours, was formed in 1808. The older society exhibited the works of members only, the new association was less exclusive: the career of the latter was brief. The Water-Colour Society also lost popularity after a while, and in 1813 the members determined to dissolve it. Twelve of their number, however, were averse to this course, and maintained the annual exhibition during a few years, with small success. Meanwhile, the other members, in 1814, opened an exhibition in New Bond Street, and invited contributions from British water-colour artists who belonged to no other society. This effort failed. The original body styled itself "The Society of Painters in Oil and Water Colours," for a time admitted oil paintings, and made other alterations in its rules, but in 1821 returned to its original constitution. In 1823 it was established in its present premises in Pall Mall East, since which date it has flourished. In 1881 it became The Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours.
In 1831 The New Water-Colour Society was formed, a body which two years later changed its title to that of The New Society of Painters in Water Colours. In 1863 it became the Institute of Painters in Water Colours, a title it still retains. The great increase in the numbers of artists of this class rendered the formation of the second society necessary. A third exhibition of water colours was formed in the Dudley Gallery, which has recently undergone a reorganization in its Committee of Management.
JOHN VARLEY (1778—1842) was at first the assistant of a silversmith, then of a portrait painter, and subsequently of an architectural draughtsman. After a time he found his true vocation in landscape-painting with water colours. He was as we have seen, one of the founders of the Water-Colour Society. His works are noteworthy for simplicity and pathos, but his later productions, owing to the necessity of working against time, are very slight. Varley chiefly painted Welsh scenes, many of which are at South Kensington, e.g. Beddgellert Bridge and Harlech Castle.
WILLIAM HAVELL (1782—1857), another of the foundation members of the Water-Colour Society, was a constant exhibitor till 1817, when he visited India. On his return he chiefly contributed oil paintings to the Royal Academy. Havell was one of those who aided to carry water-colour painting beyond mere topography, and in later works he adopted the "sunny method" of Turner.
SAMUEL PROUT (1783—1852) is best known by his sketches of continental scenery, e.g. Würzburg, the Arch of Constantine at Rome, and the Porch of Ratisbon Cathedral (South Kensington). He excelled as a painter of cottages and ancient ruins, but rarely succeeded with foliage. He published drawing-books, containing studies from nature.
DAVID COX (1783—1859), the son of a blacksmith, was born at Birmingham. He was a weakly child, and amused himself with drawing instead of the rougher sports of his companions. Instructed by a local artist, he found employment in painting lockets, and as a scene-painter at the theatre at Birmingham and at Astley's Amphitheatre in Lambeth. Devoting himself to landscape, and assisted by John Varley, Cox soon became one of the most eminent artists of his school, remarkable for the truthfulness of his colouring, the purity and brilliancy of the light in his pictures. He was elected a member of the Water-Colour Society in 1813. His style may be studied at South Kensington. His works are now highly prized.
THOMAS MILES RICHARDSON (1784—1848), a native of Newcastle-on-Tyne, is said to have been seized with a desire to become a painter on seeing a landscape by Cox. He began as apprentice to a cabinet-maker. Exchanging this vocation for that of a schoolmaster, he finally accepted art as his calling, and became a distinguished landscape painter.
ANTHONY VANDYKE COPLEY FIELDING (1787—1855) proved worthy of the names he bore. He was a pupil of Varley, and contributed his first picture to the Water-Colour exhibition of 1810. From that time his success was assured. During his life his works commanded very high prices. He was elected President of the Water-Colour Society in 1831, and held that office till his death. Fielding executed some excellent oil paintings. "He delights in distances, extensive flats, and rolling downs. It is true that while space is often obtained, the result is emptiness." An example of this is The South Downs, Devon, at South Kensington. Marine pieces are among Fielding's best works, but even these are mannered.
Peter de Wint (1784—1849) was born in Staffordshire, and of Dutch origin. A constant contributor to the Water-Colour Society, painting scenes direct from nature, he chose the northern and eastern counties of England. Corn-fields and hay-harvests are among his favourite subjects. He is very largely represented in the South Kensington collection.
GEORGE FENNEL ROBSON (1790—1833), after leaving his native Durham, exhibited many pictures at the Royal Academy, but his best works appeared at the exhibitions of the Water-Colour Society. He illustrated many books, and painted in conjunction with Hills, who contributed animals. Three of his works are at South Kensington.
THOMAS HEAPHY (1775—1835) was born in London, and having been, like many other artists, apprenticed to an uncongenial craft, left it to pursue the art of an engraver. This, however, gave place to painting, and he commenced with portraiture. He exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time in 1800, and was admitted an Associate Exhibitor of the Water-Colour Society in 1807, and a member in 1808. For a time he accompanied the English army in the Peninsula, and found patrons among the officers. At South Kensington are two of his figure subjects, Coast Scene, with figures, and The wounded Leg.
WILLIAM HENRY HUNT (1790—1864) was one of the most original as well as the most versatile of the water-colour school. Starting as a landscape painter, he, in later years, excelled in rustic figure subjects, whilst as a painter of fruits and flowers he was without a rival. Hunt was a pupil of Varley, and had the advantage of Dr. Monro's friendship. The varied character of his art may be seen at South Kensington, in Boy and Goats, and a Brown Study (a negro boy puzzling over an addition sum), which illustrate his figure subjects, whilst Hawthorn Blossoms and Bird's Nest, Primroses and Birds' Nests, and Plums, are examples of another side of Hunt's genius. His humorous pictures The Attack, The Defeat, The Puzzled Politician, and The Barber's Shop are well known.
JAMES DUFFIELD HARDING (1798—1863), the son of an artist, was intended for a lawyer, but chose to become a painter. At the age of fifteen he was a pupil of Samuel Prout, and at first his works owed much to that artist. Like his master he did not succeed in foliage. Harding gained the silver medal of the Society of Arts for a water-colour drawing, and became very popular as a drawing-master. He published many lesson books, in which he called in lithography to his aid. His visit to France and Italy resulted in numerous studies, which are embodied in The Landscape Annual. He is represented at South Kensington by A Landscape with Hovels. Harding is described as the first water-colour artist who used, to any extent, body-colour mixed with transparent tints. His example was almost always injurious.
GEORGE CATTERMOLE (1800—1868) was a native of Dickleburgh, Norfolk. He started in life as a topographical draughtsman, and studied architectural antiquities. This fitted him for the mediæval and romantic subjects in which he delighted Brigands, robbers, and knights figure largely in his works. His travels in Scotland bore fruit in illustrations to the Waverley novels. His pictures were due to his memory, rather than to new inspirations, and as he advanced in years they became tame. Among Cattermole's principal works are Sir Walter Raleigh witnessing the execution of Essex in the Tower, Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh preparing to shoot the Regent Murray, The Armourer's Tale, Cellini and the Robbers, Pirates at Cards, which are all at South Kensington.
JAMES HOLLAND (1800—1870) began as a flower painter and teacher of that branch of art. He found a wider sphere, and is known as a painter of landscapes and sea subjects. In his works high colouring is remarkable. His Nymwegen, in Holland, is at South Kensington, where there is also a series of sixteen of his drawings made in Portugal.
SAMUEL PALMER (1805—1881) first exhibited, at the British Institution, in 1819. In 1843 he was elected an Associate of the Water-Colour Society, and became a full member in 1855; and it was at the exhibitions of that society that his works were most often seen.
His paintings are chiefly pastoral scenes, treated in an ideal manner, and display imaginative and poetic genius of a high order. He drew inspirations for his paintings from the writings of Milton and Virgil, with which he was very familiar. He was influenced in his art by the work of William Blake, and to some extent by that of his father-in-law, John Linnell. Samuel Palmer executed a few highly-prized etchings.
EDWARD HENRY WEHNERT (1813—1868), FRANCIS WILLIAM TOPHAM (1808—1877), AARON EDWIN PENLEY (1806—1870), EDWARD DUNCAN (1803—1882), George Shalders (1826—1873), GEORGE HAYDOCK DODGSON (1811—1880), were all members of one or other of the Water-Colour Societies, and attained fame in their various walks of art.
IN tracing the progress of British painting, we have seen that early in the eighteenth century the English public thought most of foreign artists. There was no belief in the power of Englishmen to create original works, and therefore no encouragement was given against the "slavery of the black masters." No one dared to hang a modern English painting which aimed at being original. If a portrait was desired the artist considered it necessary to imitate Kneller. If a landscape were needed, it was thought right to seek it in Italy. If a painter desired to prosper, he was forced to be more of a house-decorator than an artist. We have seen also how this spell was broken, first by Hogarth, who had the courage to abide by his originality, although but one purchaser appeared at a sale of his pictures; next by Reynolds, who painted portraits like living persons, and not mere dolls. We have seen Wilson and Gainsborough create a school of English landscape-painting, and show the hitherto neglected beauties of our own land. We have marked historic painters bravely struggling against neglect, like Barry uncared for, believing in his art; and like Copley, who treated history with freshness and truth. To West we owe an attempt to depict scenes from Scripture, and a bold stand against the ridiculous fashion which represented any warrior, even a Red Indian, attired as a soldier of ancient Rome. And we must not forget the poetic fancies of Romney, the dramatic force of Opie, the grace of Stothard, the great inspiration of Blake, and the wild nightmare illustrations of Fuseli. We have seen art too long wedded to literature, and yet making great advances under the treatment of those who turned their attention to book illustration and miniature-painting, rising to a high pitch of popularity. We have observed how the Royal Academy improved the social position of English painters, who had previously been regarded as representing a better kind of house-decorators, and how the establishment of the Water-Colour Societies promoted a branch of art which, starting from the topographer's sketch, has attained high excellence and beauty.
Among the foremost men of the beginning of the nineteenth century was—
THOMAS LAWRENCE, who was born, in 1769, at Bristol; his father, trained as a lawyer, being at that time landlord of an inn. At an early age the future painter was removed with the rest of the family to the "Black Bear" at Devizes, whither the fortunes of the elder Lawrence led him. The inn was a well-known posting-house on the way to Bath, and young Thomas had abundant opportunities for displaying his precocious talents to the guests who stopped there. His father had given him desultory lessons in reading and recitation. Nature furnished him with a wonderful gift of art; and when only five years old the beautiful child, with long flowing hair, was introduced to all customers, and would recite Milton and Collins, or take their portraits, according to their several tastes. We are told of his drawing a remarkably truthful likeness of Lady Kenyon at this early age. Of regular education Lawrence had little or none beyond two years' schooling at Bristol, but he learnt much from the conversation of distinguished patrons and friends in early life. In 1779 the Lawrence family moved from Devizes to Oxford, where the boy drew many portraits. Leaving Oxford and settling at Bath, Lawrence contributed to the wants of the family by drawing portraits in crayons for a guinea and a guinea and a half each. His fame rapidly spread. Mrs. Siddons sat to him, so did the Duchess of Devonshire, and, in 1785, the Society of Arts awarded him their silver pallet, "gilded all over," for a crayon copy of the Transfiguration by Raphael, executed when Lawrence was only thirteen. London was the fittest place for the development of such talents as his, and accordingly the elder Lawrence went thither with his son in 1787, and the latter was entered as a student in the Royal Academy. He contributed seven works to the exhibition of the same year, was introduced to Sir Joshua Reynolds and kindly treated; the great painter encouraged the youthful genius, and advised him to study nature instead of the old masters. Lawrence took this advice, and avoided the temptation to try processes of colouring, which proved fatal to many of Sir Joshua's works. The course of the youth was one of unvarying success. The King and Queen were interested in him. In 1791, he was elected an Associate of the Academy, and a year after was appointed Principal Painter-in-Ordinary to the King, a post rendered vacant by the death of Reynolds. The Dilettanti Society broke its rules to make Lawrence a member, and painter to the society; in 1794, when nearly twenty-five years old, the artist was elected a Royal Academician. Never, perhaps, did painter rise so rapidly and from such slight foundations, and never was studio more crowded by sitters than that of Lawrence. Messrs. Redgrave, in criticising his portraits, say, "After Reynolds and Gainsborough, Lawrence looks pretty and painty; there is none of that power of uniting the figure with the ground—that melting of the flesh into the surrounding light which is seen in the pictures of the first President. Lawrence's work seems more on the surface—indeed, only surface—while his flesh tints have none of the natural purity of those by his two predecessors; we think them pretty in Lawrence, but we forget paint and painting in looking at a face by Reynolds or Gainsborough." The same critics remark of Lawrence's portraits of children that Sir Joshua was greatly his superior in this branch of art, and that the former "had no apparent admission into the inner heart of childhood." On the other hand, Fuseli, his contemporary, considered Lawrence's portraits as good or better than Van Dyck's, and recommended painters to abandon hope of approaching him. In 1797, Lawrence exhibited his Satan calling his Legions, now the property of the Royal Academy. Various and conflicting are the criticisms on this picture, a fair specimen of the painter's powers in history. A contemporary critic says of it, "The figure of Satan is colossal, and drawn with excellent skill and judgment." Fuseli, on the other hand, characterizes the principal figure briefly and strongly as "a d—d thing, certainly, but not the devil." Lawrence himself rightly thought Satan his best work. On the death of West, in 1820, Lawrence was unanimously chosen President of the Royal Academy. Five years earlier the Prince Regent had knighted him. Foreign Academies loaded him with honours. He made a foreign tour at the request of the Government to paint portraits of the various illustrious persons who had engaged in the contest with Napoleon I. Ten years after his accession to the President's chair Lawrence died. The best critics declare that no high place among painters may be accorded to him. Much of his popularity was due to the fact that he flattered his sitters, and led the artificial style of the day. He lost in later years the fresh vigour of his prime. It must be allowed, however, that he was no copyist of Reynolds, nor of any one, but treated his subjects in a style of his own. He is accused of introducing "a prevailing chalkiness" into his pictures, derived from his early studies in crayon. When he died there was no one to take his place. The Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle contains the pictures of Pius VII., the Emperor Francis, and Cardinal Gonsalvi. Famous among his portraits of children are Master Lambton, Lady Peel and Daughters, and Lady Gower and Child; for the last he received 1,500 guineas. In the National Gallery are nine of his works, including Hamlet with Yorick's Skull, and portraits of Benjamin West and Mrs. Siddons. The contemporaries of Sir Thomas who practised portraiture were all indebted to Reynolds.
GEORGE HENRY HARLOW (1787—1819) emerged from a childhood, in which he was petted and spoilt, to a brief manhood which the society of actors and actresses did not improve. He was, for a time, a pupil of Lawrence, and it is supposed that if he had lived Harlow would, as a portrait painter, have been his successful rival. After a foreign tour, he, like many of his brethren, longed to succeed in historic painting. His Queen Catherine's Trial, in which Mrs. Siddons appears as the Queen, does not prove that he would have succeeded in this branch of art. It was at the "Old Masters" Exhibition, 1882.
WILLIAM OWEN (1769—1825), the son of a bookseller at Ludlow, came to London in 1786, after receiving a good education at the Ludlow Grammar School. He became a pupil of Charles Catton, landscape and animal painter, and of the Academy. In 1792 he exhibited a Portrait of a Gentleman, and a View of Ludford Bridge. He is chiefly known as a portrait painter, and found that branch of art remunerative, but his real tastes appeared in Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, The Fortune Teller, The Village Schoolmistress, and other simple stories of country life. A picture of two sisters gained him one of the two as a wife; and portraits of Pitt, Lord Grenville, the Duke of Buccleuch, and other noteworthy persons brought him into fashion. Owen was elected full member of the Academy in 1806, and appointed portrait painter to the Prince of Wales in 1810. He was an unwearied worker, and his subject-pictures commanded an interest which does not continue. In the National Gallery is The Dead Robin. His William Croker and Lord Loughborough are in the National Portrait Gallery.
MARTIN ARCHER SHEE (1770—1850), a native of Dublin, commenced art studies in the Dublin Academy. In Dublin he became known as a portrait painter. He came to London in 1788, where he was introduced to Burke, and by him to Reynolds, who advised the young painter to study at the Royal Academy, advice which he somewhat unwillingly followed. Gradually winning his way, he became a successful portrait painter of men. In 1800, he was made a R.A. Though devoting himself to portraiture Martin Shee turned ever and again to subject-pictures, of which Belisarius, Lavinia, and a Peasant Girl are specimens. A more ambitious work was Prospero and Miranda, exhibited in 1806. Shee owed his election to the Academy to his position as a portrait painter, and he justified the choice by his defence of the institution against those who attacked its privileges. In 1830, he was elected President, and knighted. Three of his works are in the National Gallery, The Infant Bacchus, and portraits of Morton the comedian, and Lewis as the Marquis in the 'Midnight Hour.' The first illustrates Shee's later style; the picture of Lewis, painted in 1791, his early method. Besides paintings, Shee was the author of several literary productions, including a tragedy, a novel, "Rhymes on Art," and art criticisms.
HENRY HOWARD (1769—1847), though not intended originally for an artist, early showed a talent for drawing, became a pupil of Philip Reinagle and the Academy, where, two years later, he gained the silver medal of the Life School, and the gold medal in the Painting School for Caractacus recognising the dead Body of his Son, which Reynolds, then President, warmly praised. From 1791 to 1794 Howard travelled in Italy, and painted The Death of Abel for the travelling studentship of the Academy, which he did not obtain. The promise of his youth was not fulfilled. "His works are graceful and pretty, marked by propriety, and pleasing in composition; his faces and expressions are good, his drawing is correct, but his style cold and feeble." (Redgrave.) Most of Howard's works are small: he selected classic and poetic subjects, such as The Birth of Venus, The Solar System, Pandora, and The Pleiades, and occasionally he painted portraits. He was Secretary and Professor of Painting to the Royal Academy. In the National Gallery is The Flower Girl, a portrait of his own daughter.
JAMES WARD (1769—1859) began life as an engraver, and was thirty-five years old before he devoted himself to painting. He selected animal portraiture, and bulls and horses were his favourite subjects. His most famous, but not his best picture is A Landscape, with Cattle (National Gallery), produced at the suggestion of West to rival Paul Potter's Young Bull, at the Hague, which Ward had never seen. Ward's cattle were all painted from life. Morland was a brother-in-law of Ward, and his influence is obvious in the latter's pictures. The life-size cattle in the before mentioned picture are an Alderney bull, cow, and calf in the centre, another cow, sheep, and goat in the foreground. In the National Gallery, too, is his large landscape of Gordale Scar, Yorkshire.
THOMAS PHILLIPS (1770—1845) was a native of Dudley, and began as a glass painter at Birmingham. Coming to London, he was assisted by West, then President of the Academy, and in 1792 exhibited a View of Windsor Castle, and next year The Death of Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, at the Battle of Chatillon. Phillips was more successful as a portrait painter: his likenesses are faithful, his pictures free from faults, and possess a pleasant tone, though as a colourist he does not occupy a high place. He was Professor of Painting in 1829. In the National Gallery are a portrait of Sir David Wilkie, and a Wood Nymph. The latter looks more like a young lady fresh from a drawing-room.
HENRY THOMSON (1773—1843), the son of a purser in the Navy, was born at Portsea, or, as some say, in London. His works consist of historic and fancy subjects, and portraits. His first picture exhibited at the Academy was Daedalus fastening wings on to his Son Icarus. Thomson was, in 1825, appointed Keeper of the Academy in succession to Fuseli. He exhibited, from 1800 to 1825, seventy-six pictures, chiefly portraits. The Dead Robin is in the National Gallery.
JOHN JACKSON (1778—1831) rose from the simple home of the tailor, his father, to a high place in the world of art. He was freed from the craft of his father by Lord Mulgrave and Sir George Beaumont. The latter encouraged him to visit London, and allowed him £50 a year and a room in his house while he studied in the Academy. The young painter soon obtained success as a portrait painter, and in 1817 was elected a full member of the Academy. In 1819, he visited Rome with Sir F. Chantrey, and painted for him a portrait of Canova. A portrait of Flaxman, painted for Lord Dover, is considered Jackson's masterpiece. Leslie, speaking of the subdued richness of his colouring, said that Lawrence never approached him; and Lawrence himself declared that the portrait of Flaxman was "a great achievement of the English school, one of which Van Dyck might have felt proud to own himself the author." Three portraits by Jackson are in the National Gallery—the Rev. W. H. Carr, Sir John Soane, and Miss Stephens, afterwards the late Countess of Essex. Jackson's own portrait, by himself, is in the National Portrait Gallery.
JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER (1775—1851) stands at the head of English landscape painters. It has been said that though others may have equalled or surpassed him in some respects, "none has yet appeared with such versatility of talent." (Dr. Waagen.) The character of Turner is a mixture of contradictory elements. He possessed a marvellous appreciation of the beautiful in nature, yet lived in dirt and squalor, and dressed in a style between that of a sea-captain and a hackney coachman. The man who worked exquisitely was sometimes harsh and uncouth, though capable of a rude hospitality; disliking the society of some of his fellow-men, he yet loved the company of his friends, and though penurious in some money transactions, left a magnificent bequest to his profession. Turner owed nothing to the beauty or poetic surroundings of his birth-place, which was the house of his father, a barber in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden. But as Lord Byron is said to have conjured up his loveliest scenes of Greece whilst walking in Albemarle Street, so the associations of Maiden Lane did not prevent Turner from delineating storm-swept landscapes, and innumerable splendours of nature. The barber was justly proud of his child, who very early displayed his genius, and the first drawings of Turner are said to have been exhibited in his father's shaving-room. In time the boy was colouring prints and washing in the backgrounds of architects' drawings. Dr. Monro, the art patron, extended a helping hand to the young genius of Maiden Lane. "Girtin and I," says Turner, "often walked to Bushey and back, to make drawings for good Dr. Monro at half-a-crown a piece, and the money for our supper when we got home." He did not, of course, start from London.
In 1789, Turner became a student in the Academy, and exhibited a picture in the next year at Somerset House, View of the Archbishop's Palace at Lambeth. He was then only fifteen. From that time he worked with unceasing energy at his profession. Indeed, the pursuit of art was the one ruling principle of his life. He frequently went on excursions, the first being to Ramsgate and Margate, and was storing his memory with effects of storm, mist, and tempest, which he reproduced. In 1799, when made A.R.A., Turner had already exhibited works which ranged over twenty-six counties of England and Wales. In 1802 he was made full Academician, and presented, as his diploma picture, Dolbadarn Castle, North Wales. In this year he visited the Continent, and saw France and Switzerland. Five years later Turner was appointed Professor of Perspective to the Royal Academy. We are told his lectures were delivered in so strange a style, that they were scarcely instructive. Of his water-colour paintings and of the Liber Studiorum it is impossible to speak too highly; he created the modern school of water-colour painting, and his works in oil have influenced the art of the nineteenth century. He visited Italy for the first time in 1819; again ten years later, and for the last time in 1840. His eccentricity, both in manner and in art, increased with age. Though wealthy, and possessing a good house in Queen Anne Street, he died in an obscure lodging by the Thames, at Chelsea, a few days before Christmas, 1851, Turner bequeathed his property to found a charity for male decayed artists, but the alleged obscurity of his will defeated this object. It was decided that his pictures and drawings should be presented to the National Gallery, that one thousand pounds should be spent on a monument to the painter in St. Paul's, twenty thousand pounds should be given to the Royal Academy, and the remainder to the next of kin and heir at law. The National Gallery contains more than one hundred of his pictures, besides a large number of water-colour drawings and sketches. In his earlier works Turner took the old masters as his models, some of his best pictures showing the characteristics of the Dutch school, as The Shipwreck, and The Sun rising in a Mist. In The Tenth Plague, and The Goddess of Discord, the influence of Poussin is visible, whilst Wilson is imitated in Æneas with the Sibyl, and A View in Wales. Turner was fond of matching himself against Claude; and not only did he try his powers in rivalry with the older masters, he delighted to enter into honest competition with painters of the day, and when Wilkie's Village Politicians was attracting universal notice, Turner produced his Blacksmith's Shop in imitation of it. In his later pictures Turner sacrificed form to colour. "Mist and vapour, lit by the golden light of morn, or crimsoned with the tints of evening, spread out to veil the distance, or rolled in clouds and storms, are the great characteristics of Turner's art as contrasted with the mild serenity of the calm unclouded heaven of Claude." (Redgrave.) Turner in his choice of colours forsook conventionality, and "went to the cataract for its iris, to the conflagration for its flames, asked of the sea its intensest azure, of the sky its clearest gold." (Ruskin.) The same critic considers Turner's period of central power, entirely developed and entirely unabated, to begin with the Ulysses, and to close with the Téméraire, a period of ten years, 1829—1839.
JOHN CONSTABLE (1776—1837) was born at East Bergholt, in Suffolk, June 11th, 1776, and the sunny June weather in which the painter first saw the light seems to pervade all his pictures. Constable's father was a miller, and intended that his son should succeed to his business; it has been said also that it was proposed to educate him for holy orders. Constable, however, was meant for a painter, and became one of the best delineators of English scenery. In 1800, he became student in the Royal Academy. In 1802, he exhibited his first picture. In 1819, he was elected A.R.A., and became a full member ten years after. Constable's earlier efforts were in the direction of historical painting and portraiture, but he found his true sphere in landscape. He was thoroughly English. No foreign master influenced him, and rustic life furnished all he needed. He said, "I love every style and stump and lane in the village: as long as I am able to hold a brush, I shall never cease to paint them." To this determination we owe some of the most pleasant English pictures, full of fresh, breezy life, rolling clouds, shower-wetted foliage, and all the greenery of island scenes. He loved to paint under the sun, and impart a glittering effect to his foliage which many of his critics could not understand. Indeed, Constable was not appreciated thoroughly till after his death. He seems to have known that this would be the case, for early in his career he wrote, "I feel now more than ever a decided conviction that I shall some time or other make some good pictures—pictures that shall be valuable to posterity, if I do not reap the benefit of them." Constable did not attempt bold or mountainous scenery, but loved the flat, sunny meadows of Suffolk, and declared that the river Stour made him a painter. In the National Gallery are his: The Corn-field, The Valley Farm (see Frontispiece), (a view of "Willy Lott's House," on the Stour, close by Flatford Mill, the property of the painter's father), A Corn-field with figures, and On Barnes Common.
SIR AUGUSTUS WALL CALLCOTT (1779—1844) has been styled the English Claude. He was born at Kensington Gravel Pits, then a pretty suburban spot. He was, for some years, a chorister at Westminster Abbey, but early adopted painting as his profession. Callcott was a pupil of Hoppner, and began as a portrait painter. He soon devoted himself to landscape, with an occasional attempt at history. He became a full member of the Academy in 1810, his presentation picture being Morning. His best pictures were produced between 1812 and 1826, during which period he produced The Old Pier at Littlehampton (National Gallery), Entrance to the Pool of London, Mouth of the Tyne, Calm on the Medway (Earl of Durham). Callcott married in 1827, and went to Italy. On his return in the following year he soon became a fashionable painter. "His pictures, bright, pleasant of surface, and finished in execution, were suited to the appreciation of the public, and not beyond their comprehension; commissions poured in upon him." (Redgrave.) The Queen knighted him in 1837, and in the same year he exhibited his Raphael and the Fornarina, engraved for the Art Union by L. Stocks, which, if it possesses few faults, excites no enthusiasm. In 1840 appeared Milton dictating Paradise Lost to his Daughter, a large picture, which overtaxed the decaying powers of the artist. Among Callcott's later pictures are Dutch Peasants returning from Market, and Entrance to Pisa from Leghorn. As a figure painter he does not appear at his best. Examples of this class are Falstaff and Simple, and Anne Page and Slender (Sheepshanks Collection).
WILLIAM COLLINS (1788—1847) was born in London, where his father carried on business as a picture dealer, in addition to the somewhat uncertain calling of a journalist. The future painter was introduced to Morland, a friend of his father, and learnt many things, some to be imitated, others to be avoided, in that artist's studio. From 1807 he exhibited at the Academy, of which he became a full member in 1820. He exhibited one hundred and twenty-one pictures in a period of forty years, specially devoting himself to landscape, with incidents of ordinary life. Now he would paint children swinging on a gate, as in Happy as a King (National Gallery); children bird-nesting, or sorrowing for their play-fellows, as in The Sale of the Pet Lamb. Collins was also specially successful in his treatment of cottage and coast scenery, as in The Haunts of the Sea-fowl, The Prawn Catchers (National Gallery), and Fishermen on the look-out. After visiting Italy, Collins forsook for a time his former manner, and painted the Cave of Ulysses, and the Bay of Naples; but neither here nor in the Christ in the Temple with the Doctors, and The two Disciples at Emmaus, do we see him at his best. He wisely returned to his first style.
WILLIAM LINTON (1791—1876) was employed in a merchant's office in Liverpool, but quitted it to begin an artist's career in London. In 1821, he exhibited his first picture, The Morning after the Storm. After visiting the Continent, Linton returned to England, and produced pictures of the classic scenes he had studied. After a second foreign tour, in which he visited Greece, Sicily, and Calabria, he exhibited The Embarkation of the Greeks for Troy, The Temples of Pæstum (National Gallery), and several works of a like character.
PATRICK NASMYTH (1786—1831), son of a Scotch landscape painter, was born in Edinburgh, and came to London. His first exhibited picture at the Academy was a View of Loch Katrine, in 1811. In the British Institution Gallery of the same year his Loch Auchray appeared. It is by his pictures of simple English scenery that Nasmyth is best known. He took Hobbema and Wynants as models, and chose country lanes, hedge-rows, with dwarf oak-trees, for his subjects. Nasmyth was deaf in consequence of an illness, and having lost the use of his right hand by an accident, painted with his left. In the National Gallery are a Cottage, and The Angler's Nook; at South Kensington are Landscape with an Oak, Cottage by a Brook, and Landscape with a Haystack.
DAVID ROBERTS (1796—1864), a native of Stockbridge, near Edinburgh, began life as a house-decorator, and, becoming a scene-painter, found employment at Drury Lane in 1822. Marked success in this capacity led him to attempt a higher flight in architectural landscape. He exhibited Rouen Cathedral at the Academy in 1826, and very often contributed pictures to the British Institution and Society of British Artists; of the last-named body he was a foundation-member. Roberts made a tour in Spain for materials of pictures and sketches; noteworthy among the results of this journey are The Cathedral of Burgos, an exterior view, and a small Interior of the same, now in the National Gallery. Extending his travels to the East, Roberts produced The Ruins of Baalbec, and Jerusalem from the South-East. He was made a full member of the Academy in 1841, and lived to see his pictures sold for far higher prices than he had originally assigned to them. David Roberts is well known by "Sketches in the Holy Land, Syria, and Egypt."
RICHARD PARKES BONINGTON (1801—1828) passed most of his life abroad. He studied in the Louvre when a child, and gained his knowledge of art exclusively in Paris and Italy. His influence on the French school of genre and dramatic art was very great indeed, almost equal to that which Constable produced on the French artists in landscape. He died, aged twenty-seven, from the effects of a sunstroke received while sketching in Paris. Bonington excelled in landscape, marine, and figure subjects. He exhibited in the British Institution, among other pictures, two Views of the French Coast, which attracted much notice, and The Column of St. Mark's, Venice (National Gallery). Sir Richard Wallace possesses several of his best works, notably Henri IV. and the Spanish Ambassador.
WILLIAM JOHN MÜLLER (1812—1845) was another landscape painter whose career was brief, and who chiefly painted foreign scenery. He travelled in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, and for a time practised as a landscape painter at Bath, though with little success. In 1838 Müller visited Greece and Egypt, and in 1841 he was in Lycia. He had previously settled in London. His pictures were chiefly of Oriental scenes, and his fame was rapidly growing when he died. His works now command high prices. In the National Gallery we have a Landscape, with two Lycian Peasants, and a River Scene.
JOHN MARTIN (1789—1854) held a distinguished place as a painter of poetic or imaginative landscapes and architectural subjects. He was born near Hexham, and began the study of art in the humble field of coach painting at Newcastle. Coming to London, Martin worked at enamel painting, and in 1812 exhibited his first picture at the Academy, Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion, which is one of his best works. This was followed by Joshua commanding the Sun to stand still (1816), The Death of Moses (1838), The Last Man (from Campbell's poem), The Eve of the Deluge, Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, &c. Martin's most famous works were not exhibited at the Academy, e.g. Belshazzar's Feast, The Fall of Babylon, and The Fall of Nineveh. Many of his compositions were engraved, securing for them a wide circulation. Mr. Redgrave said: "We can hardly agree with Bulwer, that Martin was 'more original, more self-dependent than Raphael or Michael Angelo.'" But if in his lifetime Martin was over-praised, he was unjustly depreciated afterwards. Many of his brother artists and the public, when the first astonishment his pictures created had passed away, called his art a trick and an illusion, his execution mechanical, his colouring bad, his figures vilely drawn, their actions and expressions bombastic and ridiculous. But, granting this, wholly or partially, it must be remembered that his art, or manner, was original; that it opened new views, which yielded glimpses of the sublime, and dreams and visions that art had not hitherto displayed; and that others, better prepared by previous study, working after him, have delighted, and are still delighting, the world with their works.
We must now speak of a provincial school of landscape painters which was founded by JOHN CROME (1769—1821). The father of the Norwich Society of Artists is generally known as "Old Crome," to distinguish him from his son, who was likewise a painter. Crome, the son of a journey-man weaver, born in a small tavern at Norwich, was in due course apprenticed to a house and sign-painter. The young house-painter spent his spare time in painting something more attractive than the walls of houses, and chose the scenery round Norwich for his subjects. The flat, sunny landscapes, dotted with farms and cottages, through which the sleeping river glided slowly, and the Norfolk broads, with their flocks of wild fowl, remained to the last the frequent subjects of Crome's pencil. Determining to be a painter in good earnest, Crome, when his apprenticeship was over, eked out his scanty resources by giving lessons in drawing and painting. At the Royal Academy he exhibited only fourteen pictures, but in his native town one hundred and ninety-six. With the exception of The Blacksmith's Shop, all the works shown at the Academy were landscapes. "He wanted but little subject: an aged oak, a pollard willow by the side of the slow Norfolk streams, or a patch of broken ground, in his hands became pictures charming us by their sweet colour and rustic nature." "Crome seems to have founded his art on Hobbema, Ruysdael, and the Dutch school, rather than on the French and Italian painters; except so far as these were represented by our countryman, Wilson, whose works he copied, and whose influence is seen mingled with the more realistic treatment derived from the Dutch masters." (Redgrave.) In the National Gallery are his Mousehold Heath, View of Chapel Field, and Windmill on a Heath: all views near Norwich. A Clump of Trees, Hautbois Common (Fitzwilliam Gallery, Cambridge), is another favourable specimen of his art.
JAMES STARK (1794—1859) was a pupil of Crome, and takes rank next to him in the Norwich school. In 1812, he was elected a member of the Norwich Society of Artists. In 1817, he came to London, and became a student in the Royal Academy. There appeared some of his best works: Boys Bathing, Flounder Fishing, and Lambeth, looking towards Westminster Bridge. Illness obliged Stark to return to Norwich, where he produced his "Scenery of the Rivers Yare and Waveney, Norfolk;" a series of illustrations engraved by Goodall and others. Stark lacked the vigour of Crome in colour and drawing.
GEORGE VINCENT (1796—about 1831) is best known for his View of Greenwich Hospital, shown from the river. It was painted for Mr. Carpenter, of the British Museum, and was in the International Exhibition of 1862. Vincent was specially fond of sunlight effects or clouds in his pictures.
JOHN SELL COTMAN (1782—1842) having escaped the life of a linen-draper's shopman, devoted himself to art, and coming to London found a friend and patron in Dr. Monro. From 1800 to 1806 Cotman exhibited pictures at the Academy, and, returning to Norwich, was made a member and secretary of the Society of Artists there. In the year 1808 he contributed to the Norwich exhibition sixty-seven works. Cotman paid many visits to Normandy, and after 1834 was Professor of Drawing in King's College School, London. He was more successful as a water-colour artist than a painter in oils. He painted chiefly landscapes, marine pieces, and executed many engravings of architecture.
The Norwich school no longer exists as a distinct body.
FRANCIS DANBY (1793—1861) excelled Martin in the poetry of landscape art. He was born near Wexford, and gained his first knowledge of art in Dublin, where, in 1812, he exhibited his first picture, Evening. In 1813, he was established at Bristol as a teacher of drawing in water colour. He became known to the artistic world of London by his Upas Tree of Java, which was at the British Institution of 1820, an intensely poetic work, now in the National Gallery. His Sunset at Sea after a Storm, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1824, was purchased by Sir Thomas Lawrence. A year later Danby exhibited The Delivery of Israel out of Egypt, for which he was elected an A.R.A. He is most famous, however, for quiet scenes, calm evenings at sea, sunset effects, combined with some poetic incident, and always remarkable for great brilliancy of colour, among which are The Artist's Holiday and The Evening Gun. In the National Gallery is The Fisherman's Home, Sunrise. He never became a R.A.
WILLIAM CLARKSON STANFIELD (1793—1867) holds one of the highest places among English landscape and marine painters. Beginning life as a sailor in the Royal Navy, he sketched vessels as they passed his own. A severe fall compelled retirement from the navy. He began his art career as a scene-painter in the Old Royalty Theatre, Wellclose Square, and later became scene-painter to Drury Lane Theatre. His first exhibited picture was A River Scene in the Academy, 1820. In the same year A Study from Nature was at the British Institution. He exhibited Ben Venu, and A Coast Scene, at the Institution in 1822. In 1824, he was a foundation-member of the Society of British Artists, and sent five pictures to their first exhibition in that year. Stanfield's large Wreckers off Fort Rouge, was exhibited at the British Institution in 1828. In 1827 appeared A Calm, in the Royal Academy. From that time Stanfield's success was assured. His truthfulness in reading nature, whether in naval battle scenes, views of foreign sea-ports, or mountain and river scenery, has seldom if ever been surpassed. He became a full member of the Academy in 1835. An unwearied worker, he exhibited one hundred and thirty-two pictures at the Royal Academy. We may mention The Battle of Trafalgar; The Victory, with Nelson's Body on board, towed into Gibraltar; Entrance to the Zuyder Zee; Lake of Como, and The Canal of the Giudecca, Venice (all in the National Gallery). Among his earlier works are Mount St. Michael, Cornwall; A Storm; A Fisherman off Honfleur, and The Opening of New London Bridge.
JAMES BAKER PYNE (1800—1870), born in Bristol, began life in a solicitor's office, which he quitted to make a precarious subsistence by painting, teaching, or restoring pictures. He went to London in 1835, where a picture exhibited a year after at the Academy attracted notice, and opened the way of success. He became famous as a delineator of lake scenery, and for pseudo-Turner-like treatment of sunlight effects.
THOMAS CRESWICK (1811—1869), one of the most pleasing modern English landscape painters, was born at Sheffield. He came to London when only seventeen, and his pictures were exhibited by the British Institution and the Royal Academy in that year, 1828. Having settled in London, he delighted lovers of landscape with views in Ireland and Wales, and, later, turned his attention to the North of England, the rocky dales and rivers of which furnished subjects for his finest works. In 1842, he was elected an Associate of the Academy, and received a premium of fifty guineas from the British Institution for the general excellence of his productions. In 1851, Creswick became a full member of the Academy, and somewhat later executed pictures into which Frith and Ansdell introduced figures and cattle. There is a charm in his paintings, the character of which may be gathered from The Old Foot Road, The Hall Garden, The Pleasant Way Home, The Valley Mill, The Blithe Brook, Across the Beck. In the National Gallery is The Pathway to the Village Church. "He painted the homely scenery of his country, especially its streams, in all its native beauty and freshness; natural, pure, and simple in his treatment and colour, careful and complete in his finish, good taste prevailing in all his works, and conspicuously so in his charming contributions to the works of the Etching Club, of which he was a valued member, and also in his many designs on wood." (Redgrave.)
JOHN LINNELL (1792—1882) the son of a carver and gilder in Bloomsbury, was at first brought up to his father's trade, and had many opportunities of studying pictures. At eight years of age he copied Morland so well that his versions were often taken for originals. Soon afterwards he became a pupil of John Varley, and in his studio met Mulready and W. H. Hunt, with whom he frequently went on sketching tours. In 1807, when only fifteen years of age, Linnell sent his first pictures, A Study from Nature, and A View near Reading, to the Royal Academy Exhibition, to which for more than seventy years he was a regular contributor. He frequently painted portraits, and was particularly successful in landscapes with many trees. Mr. Ruskin says, "The forest studies of John Linnell are particularly elaborate, and in many points most skilful." For many years towards the close of his life he lived at Redhill, with his two sons and his son-in-law, Samuel Palmer, all landscape painters, near him.
During his long life he painted many hundred pictures, which are now for the most part scattered in private galleries in England. Two of his works are in the National Gallery, Wood Cutters, and The Windmill; and three at South Kensington, Wild Flower Gatherers, Milking Time, and Driving Cattle.
EDWARD WILLIAM COOKE (1811—1880), the son of an engraver, was intended for his father's profession; but he preferred the brush to the graver. In 1851 he was made an associate and in 1864 a full member of the Royal Academy, to whose exhibitions he was a most constant contributor: he also exhibited at the British Institution. His works are, for the most part, coast and river scenes, generally in England, and frequently on the Thames or Medway. Paintings by him are in the National Gallery and the South Kensington Museum.
MANY of our painters who aspired to high art in the field of history were forced to abandon these ambitious designs, and confine themselves to the more lucrative branches of their calling. It was not so with
WILLIAM HILTON (1786—1839), who, although chilled and saddened by neglect, and generally unable to sell his pictures, maintained his position as a history painter, and suffered neither poverty nor the coldness of the public to turn him aside. Few details are known of his life; he was a gentle, silent, and retiring man, who knew much sorrow and shunned publicity. Rescued from a trade to which he was destined, Hilton was allowed to learn drawing, and became a pupil of J. Raphael Smith, the mezzotint engraver. He entered the Academy schools, and paid special attention to the anatomy of the figure. His earliest known productions were a series of designs in oil to illustrate "The Mirror," and "The Citizen of the World." Hilton's early exhibited works had classic subjects, such as Cephalus and Procris, Venus carrying the wounded Achilles, and Ulysses and Calypso. In 1810, he produced a large historic painting, called Citizens of Calais delivering the Keys to Edward III., for which the British Institution awarded him a premium of fifty guineas. For the Entombment of Christ he received a second premium, and for Edith discovering the Dead Body of Harold a third of one hundred guineas. Nevertheless, the public did not appreciate his works, and they were unsold. The Directors of the British Institution, who had already marked their sense of this painter's ability, purchased two of his sacred pieces, Mary anointing the Feet of Jesus, which was presented to the Church of St. Michael, in the City, and Christ crowned with Thorns, which was given to that of St. Peter's, Eaton Square, but which has since been sold. In 1819 Hilton became a full member of the Academy, and was appointed Keeper in 1827, a position for which he was specially fitted, and where he gained the affection of the students. In the next year he married. The death of his wife, in 1835, crushed his energy and hope. He saw himself painting for a public which did not value his art.
In addition to the above examples, we may mention Hilton's Serena rescued by the Red Cross Knight, Sir Calepine, and The Meeting of Abraham's Servant with Rebekah (National Gallery), and a triptych of The Crucifixion, which is at Liverpool. Most of Hilton's works are falling to decay through the use of asphaltum.
BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON (1786—1846) was the son of a bookseller at Plymouth, and his "fitful life"—marked by "restless and importunate vanity"—was ended by his own act. Haydon refused to follow his father's business, and insisted on becoming a painter. Of his thoughts, hopes, and dreams, we have been well informed. He was in the habit of writing in an elaborate diary all that concerned himself. He came to London in 1804 with £20 in his pocket, entered the Academy schools, and worked there with vigour and self-reliance. Northcote did not encourage his enthusiastic countryman when he told him that as an historic painter "he would starve with a bundle of straw under his head." We admire the courage of Haydon in holding fast to the branch of art he had embraced, but his egotism fulfilled the prophecy of Northcote. When twenty-one, Haydon ordered a canvas for Joseph and Mary resting on the Road to Egypt, and he prayed over the blank canvas that God would bless his career, and enable him to create a new era in art. Lord Mulgrave became his patron, and this may have added to the painter's hopes. He painted Dentatus, and, intoxicated by flattery, believed the production of this his second work would mark "an epoch in English art." Dentatus, however, was hung in the ante-room of the Royal Academy, and coldly received. In 1810, he began Lady Macbeth for Sir George Beaumont; quarrelling with his patron, he lost the commission, but worked on at the picture. Although deeply in debt, he quarrelled with those who would have been his friends. His Judgment of Solomon, a very fine picture, was painted under great difficulties and privations. West, the President, whom the painter accused of hostility to him, is said to have shed tears of admiration at the sight of this work, and sent Haydon a gift of £15. Solomon was sold for 600 guineas, and the British Institution awarded another hundred guineas as a premium to its author. In 1820 Haydon produced Christ's Entry into Jerusalem, and during its progress he, as he recorded, "held intercourse only with his art and his Creator." This picture was exhibited at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, and brought a large sum of money to the painter. Unsold in England, the work of which Haydon had expected much was purchased for £240, and sent to America. He established an Art school, where several able painters were trained, but the master was constantly in great pecuniary difficulties. In 1823, he exhibited the The Raising of Lazarus, containing twenty figures, each nine feet high, which is now in the National Gallery. Of this work Mr. Redgrave says: "The first impression of the picture is imposing; the general effect powerful, and well suited to the subject; the incidents and grouping well conceived; the colouring good, and in parts brilliant. The Christ is weak, probably the weakest, though the chief figure in the picture." Misfortune still dogged the painter. He was thrown into prison for debt; released, he worked in poverty, afraid of his "wicked-eyed, wrinkled, waddling, gin-drinking, dirty-ruffled landlady." The closing scenes of his life grew darker and darker. In 1826, he painted Venus and Anchises, on commission, began Alexander taming Bucephalus, and Euclus, and was once more in prison. An appeal in the newspapers produced money enough to set him again at liberty. Then appeared the Mock Election, and Chairing the Member, the former being purchased by the King. No success, however, seemed to stem the tide of Haydon's misfortunes. He lectured on Art with great ability in 1840, continued painting for bread, and finally, disgusted by the cold reception of Aristides, and Nero watching the Burning of Rome, the over-wrought mind of the unfortunate man gave way, and he committed suicide, leaving this brief entry in his journal—"God forgive me! Amen. Finis. B. R. Haydon. 'Stretch me no longer on the rack of this sad world.'—Lear." A sad finish to his ambitious hopes! Of Haydon's art generally Mr. Redgrave says: "He was a good anatomist and draughtsman, his colour was effective, the treatment of his subject and conception were original and powerful; but his works have a hurried and incomplete look, his finish is coarse, sometimes woolly, and not free from vulgarity."
WILLIAM ETTY (1787—1849), the son of a miller at York, had few advantages to help him on the road to fame. His education was slight, and his early years were spent as a printer's apprentice in Hull. But he had determined to be a painter; and his motto was, as he tells us, "Perseverance." In 1806, he visited an uncle, in Lombard Street, and became a student at the Academy, though his earliest art-school was a plaster-cast shop in Cock Lane. Through his uncle's generosity, he became a pupil of Lawrence, who had little time to attend to him. Though overwhelmed with difficulties Etty persevered bravely. He laboured diligently in the "Life School," tried in vain for all the medals, sent his pictures to the Academy only to see them rejected; unlike Haydon, he never lost heart. In 1820 The Coral Finders was exhibited at the Academy, and in the following year Cleopatra. His patience and diligence were rewarded; henceforth his career was one of success. In 1822, he visited Italy, and in 1828 became a full member of the Academy. His art was very unequal. He chiefly devoted himself, however, to painting women, as being the embodiments of beauty. As a colourist few English painters have rivalled him, and as a painter of flesh he stands high. As showing the different forms of his many-sided art, we may mention Judith and Holofernes, Benaiah, The Eve of the Deluge, Youth on the prow and Pleasure at the Helm, The Imprudence of Candaules, The dangerous Playmate, and The Magdalen (all in the National Gallery). Etty died unmarried, and the possessor of a considerable fortune.
HENRY PERRONET BRIGGS (1792—1844), distinguished as an historic and portrait painter, began his art studies at the Academy in 1811, and was made a full member of that body in 1832. His best-known works are Othello relating his Adventures, The first Conference between the Spaniards and Peruvians, and Juliet and her Nurse; the two latter are in the National Gallery. This master in his later years forsook historical painting for portraiture.
CHARLES LOCK EASTLAKE (1793—1865), son of the Solicitor to the Admiralty in that town, was born at Plymouth, and educated first in Plympton Grammar School, where Reynolds had studied, and afterwards at the Charterhouse, London. Choosing the profession of a painter, he was encouraged, doubtless, by his fellow-townsman, Haydon, who had just exhibited Dentatus. Eastlake became the pupil of that erratic master, and attended the Academy schools. In 1813, he exhibited at the British Institution a large and ambitious picture, Christ raising the Daughter of the Ruler. In the following year the young painter was sent by Mr. Harman to Paris, to copy some of the famous works collected by Napoleon in the Louvre. The Emperor's escape from Elba, and the consequent excitement in Europe, caused Eastlake to quit Paris, and he returned to Plymouth, where he practised successfully as a portrait painter. A portrait of Napoleon, which Eastlake enlarged from his sketch of the Emperor on board the Bellerophon when bound for St. Helena, appeared in 1815. This picture now belongs to Lord Clinton. In the same year he exhibited Brutus exhorting the Romans to avenge the Death of Lucretia. In 1819 Eastlake visited Greece and Italy, and spent fourteen years abroad, chiefly at Ferrara and Rome. The picturesque dress of the Italian and Greek peasantry so fascinated him that for a long period he forsook history for small genre works, of which brigands and peasants were the chief subjects. A large historical painting, Mercury bringing the Golden Apple to Paris, appeared in 1820. Seven years later, The Spartan Isidas, now in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire, was exhibited at the Academy, and procured for the painter the Associateship. It illustrates the story told by Plutarch, in his "Life of Agesilaus," of the young warrior called suddenly in his bath to oppose the Thebans. Rushing forth naked with his sword and spear, he drove back the Thebans and escaped unhurt. In 1828, Eastlake produced Italian Scene in the Anno Santo, Pilgrims arriving in sight of St. Peter's, which he twice repeated. In 1829 Lord Byron's Dream, a poetic landscape (National Gallery), was exhibited, and Eastlake becoming an Academician, returned to England. Then followed Greek Fugitives, Escape of the Carrara Family from the Duke of Milan (a repetition is in the National Gallery), Haidee (National Gallery), Gaston de Foix before the Battle of Ravenna, Christ blessing Little Children, Christ weeping over Jerusalem (a repetition is in the National Gallery), and Hagar and Ishmael. To his labours as a painter Eastlake added the duties of several important offices, and much valuable literary work. He was Secretary to the Royal Commission for Decorating the New Palace of Westminster, Librarian of the Royal Academy, and Keeper, and afterwards Director of the National Gallery. In 1850, he succeeded Sir Martin Shee as President of the Royal Academy, and was knighted. From that time till his death, at Pisa, in 1865, he was chiefly engaged in selecting pictures to be purchased by the British Government. He was editor of Kugler's "Handbook of the Italian Schools of Painting," and author of "Materials for a History of Oil Painting."
WILLIAM DYCE (1806—1864), a native of Aberdeen, commenced his art studies at the Royal Scottish Academy. Visiting Italy he studied the old masters, and their influence had a lasting effect upon his style. In 1827 Dyce exhibited at the Royal Academy Bacchus nursed by the Nymphs. In 1830, he settled in Edinburgh, and achieved marked success. The Descent of Venus appeared at the Academy in 1836. Having removed to London, Dyce exhibited, in 1844, Joash shooting the Arrows of Deliverance, and was elected an Associate. In 1847, he produced the sketch of a fresco executed at Osborne House, Neptune assigning to Britannia the Empire of the Sea. Dyce was chosen, in 1848, to decorate the Queen's Robing-Room in the Houses of Parliament, and commenced, but did not quite finish, a large series of frescoes illustrating The Legend of King Arthur. He produced other historic works, chiefly of Biblical subjects, and of great merit.
GEORGE HARVEY (1805—1876) was born at St. Ninian's, Fifeshire, and apprenticed to a bookseller at Stirling. He quitted this craft at the age of eighteen, and commenced his art career at Edinburgh. In Scotland he gained a wide popularity. He took an active part in the establishment of the Royal Scottish Academy, and was knighted in 1867. His favourite subjects were Puritan episodes, such as Covenanters' Communion, Bunyan imagining his Pilgrim's Progress in Bedford Gaol, and The Battle of Drumclog.
THOMAS DUNCAN (1807—1845), a native of Perthshire, first attracted notice by his pictures of a Milkmaid, and Sir John Falstaff. In 1840, he exhibited at the Royal Academy his historical painting, Entrance of Prince Charlie into Edinburgh after Preston Pans, and next year produced Waefu' Heart, from the ballad of "Auld Robin Gray," which is now at South Kensington.
DANIEL MACLISE (1811—1870) was born at Cork, and was intended for the unromantic calling of a banker's clerk. Fortunately for the world he soon left the bank stool for the studio of the Cork Society of Arts. In 1828, he transferred his attention to the Academy schools in London, and soon obtained the gold medal for the best historic composition, representing The Choice of Hercules. He had previously exhibited Malvolio affecting the Count. In due course appeared, at the British Institution, Mokanna unveiling his features to Zelica, and Snap-Apple Night, which found a place at the Royal Academy. Maclise became a full Academician in 1840. His latter years were chiefly occupied with the famous water-glass pictures in the Houses of Parliament, The Interview of Wellington and Blucher after Waterloo, and The Death of Nelson at Trafalgar. The noble cartoon (bought by subscriptions of artists, who likewise presented the designer with a gold port-crayon) of the former is now the property of the Royal Academy. Maclise executed many book illustrations, including those for "Moore's Melodies," and "The Pilgrims of the Rhine." He executed a noble series of designs delineating The Story of the Norman Conquest. A collection of his drawings has been bequeathed to the South Kensington Museum by Mr. John Forster. Maclise painted a few portraits, among them that of Charles Dickens, who spoke thus of the dead painter, "Of his prodigious fertility of mind and wonderful wealth of intellect, I may confidently assert that they would have made him, if he had been so minded, at least as great a writer as he was a painter. The gentlest, and most modest of men; the freest as to his generous appreciation of young aspirants; and the frankest and largest-hearted as to his peers. No artist ever went to his rest leaving a golden memory more free from dross, or having devoted himself with a truer chivalry to the goddess whom he worshipped." The most remarkable works of Maclise are Macbeth and the Witches; Olivia and Sophia fitting out Moses for the Fair; The Banquet Scene in Macbeth; Ordeal by Touch; Robin Hood and Cœur de Lion; The Play Scene in Hamlet (National Gallery); Malvolio and the Countess (National Gallery).
CHARLES LANDSEER (1799—1879), the elder brother of the more famous Sir Edwin Landseer, was a pupil of Haydon and the Royal Academy Schools. In 1836 appeared his Sacking of Basing House (now in the National Gallery). He was elected an A.R.A. in the following year, became a full member in 1845, and Keeper in 1851. Amongst other good works by him are Clarissa Harlowe in the Spunging House (National Gallery), Charles II. escaping in disguise from Colonel Lane's House, and The Eve of the Battle of Edgehill.
CHARLES LUCY (1814—1873) began life as a chemist's apprentice in his native town of Hereford. He soon forsook the counter, and went to Paris to study painting. Coming to London, he exhibited Caractacus and his Family before the Emperor Claudius, a work which formed the introduction to a long series of historic pictures, noteworthy among which are The Parting of Charles I. with his Children, The Parting of Lord and Lady Russell, and Buonaparte in discussion with the Savants, all of which were exhibited at the Academy. Lucy established a great reputation in Europe and America.
JOHN PHILLIP (1817—1867) was one of the best colourists of the English school. He was a native of Aberdeen, began life as an errand boy to what the Scotch call a "tin smith," and afterwards became an apprentice to a painter and glazier, and seems to have had instruction in his early pursuit of art from a portrait painter of his native town, named Forbes, who was very generous to him. A picture by Phillip secured him the patronage of Lord Panmure, who sent him to London. In 1837 the young painter entered the Academy Schools. He exhibited two portraits in 1838, and two years later returned to Aberdeen, exhibiting in the Royal Academy Tasso in Disguise relating his Persecutions to his Sister. Once more returning to London, Phillip exhibited The Catechism, and several pictures of Scottish life, as The Baptism, The Spae Wife, The Free Kirk. Illness compelled him to visit Spain in 1851, and here he produced many excellent pictures of Spanish life, which greatly added to his reputation, and gained for him the sobriquet of "Don Phillip of Spain." A Visit to Gipsy Quarters, The Letter-writer of Seville, and El Paseo are examples of his Spanish pictures. In 1857 Phillip was elected Associate of the Royal Academy, and exhibited the Prison Window in Seville. Elected a full member in 1859, he painted next year The Marriage of the Princess Royal, by command of the Queen. La Gloria, one of his most celebrated works, appeared in 1864. His pictures combine correctness of drawing with boldness, if not refinement, of colouring—which is seldom met with in the works of our best painters.
ALFRED ELMORE (1815—1881), an Irishman by birth, won for himself fame as a painter of historic scenes and genre subjects. Among his works are Rienzi in the Forum; The Invention of the Stocking Loom and The Invention of the Combing Machine; Marie Antoinette in the Tuileries; Marie Antoinette in the Temple; Ophelia; and Mary Queen of Scots and Darnley. He was elected a R.A. in 1857.
DOMESTIC subject, or genre, painting in England may be said to have originated with Hogarth, but it made slow progress after his death till the commencement of the nineteenth century. Historic pictures of a large size were neither popular nor profitable. Corporate bodies did not care to spend money on the adornment of their guild halls, and ordinary householders had no room for large pictures. Englishmen are essentially domestic, and pictures small enough to hang in small houses, and illustrative of home life, suit their necessities, and appeal to their feelings far more strongly than vast canvases representing battles or sacred histories. In genre painting the Dutch school has ever been prominent; to it we doubtless owe much of the popularity of this branch of art in England, where our painters have chosen familiar subjects, without descending to the coarse or sensual incidents in which some old Dutch artists delighted. The genre painters of this country have mainly drawn their subjects from our national poets and prose writers and the every-day life of Englishmen, sometimes verging on the side of triviality, but on the whole including pleasing works, which, as it has been well said, "bear the same relation to historic art as the tale or novel does to history."
DAVID WILKIE (1785—1841) was born in his father's manse at Cults, Fifeshire. It was fully intended that Wilkie should follow in his father's steps, and become a minister of the Scottish Kirk, but it was not to be so. He was placed, at his own earnest desire, in the Trustees' Academy, at Edinburgh, and there in 1803 justified the wisdom of this choice by gaining the ten-guinea premium for the best painting of the time, the subject being Callisto in the Baths of Diana. Next year young Wilkie visited his home, and painted Piltassie Fair, which he sold for £25. He painted portraits, and with the money thus acquired went to London in 1805. Having entered himself as a student at the Academy, Wilkie soon attracted attention by the Village Politicians, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1806. One hundred of his paintings appeared from time to time on the Academy walls; each succeeding early work added to its author's fame. All his earlier works were genre pictures. His favourite subjects are shown in The Blind Fiddler, Card-Players, The Rent Day, The Jew's Harp, The Cut Finger, The Village Festival, Blindman's Buff, The Letter of Introduction, Duncan Gray, The Penny Wedding, Reading the Will, The Parish Beadle, and The Chelsea Pensioners, the last painted for the Duke of Wellington. Wilkie was elected A.R.A. in 1809, and a full member in 1811. He went abroad in 1814, and again in 1825, when he visited Germany, Italy, and Spain. The study of the old masters, especially Correggio, Rembrandt, and Velazquez, had a marked effect on Wilkie, who changed both his style and subjects. He forsook genre for history and portraiture, and substituted a light effective style of handling for the careful execution of his earlier works. John Knox Preaching (National Gallery) is a good specimen of this second period of Wilkie's art. He succeeded Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1830 as Painter in Ordinary to the King, and was knighted six years later. In 1840 Wilkie visited the East, and painted the portrait of the Sultan Abdul Medjid. Next year, whilst far from home, on board a steamer off Gibraltar, he died, and found a grave in the sea. There are eleven of his pictures in the National Gallery. Her Majesty possesses most of the pictures painted by Wilkie in Spain, such as The Guerilla Council of War, and The Maid of Saragossa. Another Spanish picture, painted in England, is Two Spanish Monks in the Cathedral of Toledo, belonging to the Marquis of Lansdowne. In it we notice the painting of the hands, which are full of life and action, a characteristic in which Wilkie excelled. "His early art certainly made a great impression on the English school, showing how Dutch art might be nationalized, and story and sentiment added to scenes of common life treated with truth and individuality. As to his middle time, such pictures as the John Knox also had their influence on the school, and the new mode of execution as supported by Wilkie's authority, a very evil influence, bringing discredit upon English pictures as entirely wanting in permanency. His methods and the pigments he used were soon discarded in England, but at the time they influenced, and have continued to influence, his countrymen long after his death." (Redgrave.)
WILLIAM FREDERICK WITHERINGTON (1785—1865) combined landscape and subject painting in his art. He exhibited his first picture, Tintern Abbey, in 1811, and his succeeding works were principally landscapes and figure subjects in combination. Witherington was elected A.R.A. in 1830, and became a full member ten years later. Favourable specimens of his thoroughly English and pleasing pictures are The Stepping Stones and The Hop Garland in the National Gallery, and The Hop Garden in the Sheepshanks Collection at South Kensington.
ABRAHAM COOPER (1787—1868), the son of an inn-keeper, was born in London, and early showed singular skill with his pencil. The inn stables furnished his first and favoured subjects, and the portrait of a favourite horse belonging to Sir Henry Meux gained him his first patron. In 1814 Cooper exhibited at the British Institution Tam o'Shanter, which was purchased by the Duke of Marlborough. In 1817 The Battle of Marston Moor secured his election as an Associate of the Academy: he became a R.A. in 1820. There is little variety in the subjects of this painter's works. The best known are The Pride of the Desert, Hawking in the Olden Time, The Dead Trooper, Richard I. and Saladin at the Battle of Ascalon, and Bothwell's Seizure of Mary, Queen of Scots.
WILLIAM MULREADY (1786—1863), the ablest genre painter in England except Wilkie, was born at Ennis, in the County Clare. Although his works are familiar to most of us as household words, few details of his life are known. We know that his father was a maker of leather-breeches, and that he came to London with his son when the latter was about five years old. The child is said to have shown very early the artistic power which was in him. He sat as a model for Solomon to John Graham, who was illustrating Macklin's Bible and probably the surroundings of the studio stimulated young Mulready's artistic instincts. By the recommendation of Banks, the sculptor, he gained entrance to the Academy Schools; at the age of fifteen he required no further pecuniary aid from his parents. Mulready worked in the Academy Schools, as he worked through life, with all his heart and soul. He declared he always painted as though for a prize, and that when he had begun his career in the world he tried his hand at everything, "from a caricature to a panorama." He was a teacher all his life, and this accounts, perhaps, for the careful completeness of his pictures. Mulready married when very young, and did not secure happiness. He began by painting landscapes, but in 1807 produced Old Kasper, from Southey's poem of "The Battle of Blenheim," his first subject picture. The Rattle appeared a year later, and marked advance. Both pictures bear evidence that their author had studied the Dutch masters. In 1815 Mulready was chosen A.R.A., but before his name could appear in the catalogue he had attained to the rank of a full member. This was in 1816, when he exhibited The Fight interrupted (Sheepshanks Collection). From this time he was a popular favourite, and his pictures, of which he exhibited on an average scarcely two a year, were eagerly looked for. We may specify The Wolf and the Lamb, The Last in, Fair Time, Crossing the Ford, The Young Brother, The Butt, Giving a Bite, Choosing the Wedding Gown, and The Toyseller (all in the National Gallery or in the South Kensington Museum). "With the exception perhaps of some slight deterioration in his colouring, which of late years was obtrusively purple, he was in the enjoyment of the full powers of his great abilities for upwards of half a century. * * * He was distinguished by the excellence of his life studies, three of which in red and black chalks, presented by the Society of Arts, are in the Gallery." (National Gallery Catalogue.)
ALEXANDER FRASER (1786—1865), a native of Edinburgh, exhibited his first picture, The Green Stall, in 1810. Having settled in London, he became an assistant to his countryman Wilkie, and for twenty years painted the still-life details of Wilkie's pictures. The influence of his master's art is visible in Fraser's pictures, which are usually founded upon incidents and scenes in Scotland, as, for example, Interior of a Highland Cottage (National Gallery) and Sir Walter Scott dining with one of the Blue-gown Beggars of Edinburgh. Other examples are The Cobbler at Lunch, The Blackbird and his Tutor, and The Village Sign-painter.
CHARLES ROBERT LESLIE (1794—1859) was born in London, probably in Clerkenwell, of American parents. His father was a clockmaker from Philadelphia, who returned with his family to America when the future painter was five years old. The boy was apprenticed to a bookseller, but his true vocation was decided by a portrait which he made of Cooke, the English tragedian, who was performing in Philadelphia. This work attracted so much notice among Leslie's friends that a subscription was raised to send him to England, the bookseller, his master, liberally contributing. In 1811, Leslie became a student of the Royal Academy, and received instruction from his countrymen Washington Allston and Benjamin West. Leslie, however, considered teaching of little value. He said that, if materials were provided, a man was his own best teacher, and he speaks of "Fuseli's wise neglect" of the Academy students. Influenced, probably, by the example of Allston and West, Leslie began by aiming at classic art. He mentions that he was reading "Telemachus," with a view to a subject, and among his early works was Saul and the Witch of Endor. Even when he commenced to draw subjects from Shakespeare, he turned first to the historic plays, and painted The Death of Rutland and The Murder Scene from "Macbeth." Unlike Wilkie and Mulready, Leslie did not strive to create subjects for his pictures. He preferred to ramble through literature, and to select a scene or episode for his canvas. Wilkie invented scenes illustrating the festivities of the lower classes, Mulready chose similar incidents; it was left to Leslie to adopt "genteel comedy." Like his countryman and adviser, Washington Irving, he had visited, doubtless, many scenes of quiet English country life, and one of these is reproduced in his well-known picture of Sir Roger de Coverley going to Church, which was exhibited in 1819. He had previously shown his power in humorous subjects by painting Ann Page and Slender. Leslie had discovered his true vocation, and continued to work in the department of the higher genre with unabated success. The patronage of Lord Egremont, for whom he painted, in 1823, Sancho Panza in the Apartment of the Duchess, was the means of procuring him many commissions. The picture in the National Gallery, of which we give an illustration, is a replica with slight alterations, executed many years later. He married in 1825, and became a full member of the Academy a year later. In 1831 he exhibited The Dinner at Page's House, from "The Merry Wives of Windsor"—one of his finest works. No painter has made us so well acquainted with the delightful old reprobate, Falstaff, with Bardolph, and the merry company who drank sack at the Boar's Head in Eastcheap. There is a repetition of The Dinner at Page's House in the Sheepshanks Collection, slightly varied from the first, and bearing traces of Constable's influence. In 1833, Leslie was appointed teacher of drawing at the American Academy at West Point, and with his family he removed thither. It was a mistake, and the painter returned to England within a year. He illustrated Shakespeare, Cervantes, Goldsmith, and Sterne, the latter furnishing him with the subject of Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman. In 1838, Leslie, by request of the Queen, painted Her Majesty's Coronation—which is very unlike the usual pictures of a state ceremonial. In 1841 he was commissioned to paint The Christening of the Princess Royal. The domestic life of Leslie was peaceful and prosperous, till the death of a daughter gave a shock from which he never recovered. He died May 5, 1859. Mr. Redgrave says of his art, "Leslie entered into the true spirit of the writer he illustrated. His characters appear the very individuals who have filled our mind. Beauty, elegance, and refinement, varied, and full of character, or sparkling with sweet humour, were charmingly depicted by his pencil; while the broader characters of another class, from his fine appreciation of humour, are no less truthfully rendered, and that with an entire absence of any approach to vulgarity. The treatment of his subject is so simple that we lose the sense of a picture, and feel that we are looking upon a scene as it must have happened. He drew correctly and with an innate sense of grace. His colouring is pleasing, his costume simple and appropriate."
GILBERT STUART NEWTON (1794—1835), connected with Leslie by friendship and similarity of taste, was a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1817, when travelling in Europe, Newton met with Leslie at Paris, and returned with him to London. He was a student of the Academy, and soon attracted attention by The Forsaken, Lovers' Quarrels, and The Importunate Author, which were exhibited at the British Institution. Newton began to exhibit at the Academy in 1823, and delighted the world with Don Quixote in his Study, and Captain Macheath upbraided by Polly and Lucy. In 1828 he surpassed these works with The Vicar of Wakefield reconciling his Wife to Olivia, and was elected an A.R.A. Yorick and the Grisette, Cordelia and the Physician, Portia and Bassanio, and similar works followed. In 1832 Newton became a full member of the Academy, and visiting America, married, and returned with his wife to England. The brief remaining period of his life was clouded with a great sorrow; his mind gave way, and having exhibited his last picture, Abelard in his Study, he became altogether insane.
AUGUSTUS LEOPOLD EGG (1816—1863) was born in Piccadilly, and on becoming a painter chose similar subjects to those of Leslie and Newton. He had not the humour of Leslie; indeed, most of Egg's subjects are melancholy. His first works were Italian views, and illustrations of Scott's novels, which attracted little notice. The Victim promised better. Egg showed pictures in the Suffolk Street Gallery, and, in 1838, The Spanish Girl appeared at the Royal Academy. Failing health compelled him to winter abroad, and on the 23rd of March, 1863, he died at Algiers, and was buried on a lonely hill. Three years before his death Egg had become a full member of the Academy. He is described as having a greater sense of colour than Leslie, but inferior to Newton in this respect. In execution he far surpassed the flimsy mannerism of the latter. His females have not the sweet beauty and gentleness of Leslie's. In the National Gallery is A Scene from "Le Diable Boiteux," in which the dexterity of Egg's execution is visible. He partially concurred with the pre-Raphaelites in his later years, and their influence may be traced in Pepys' Introduction to Nell Gwynne, and in a scene from Thackeray's "Esmond." Other noteworthy pictures are The Life and Death of Buckingham; Peter the Great sees Catherine, his future Empress, for the First Time; The Night before Naseby; and Catherine and Petruchio.
EDWIN HENRY LANDSEER (1802—1873) was eminent among English animal painters. No artist has done more to teach us how to love animals and to enforce the truth that—
Not only did Landseer rival some of the Dutch masters of the seventeenth century in painting fur and feathers, but he depicted animals with sympathy, as if he believed that "the dumb, driven cattle" possess souls. His dogs and other animals are so human as to look as if they were able to speak. The painter was the son of John Landseer, the engraver, and was born in London. He received art lessons from his father, and, when little more than a baby, would sketch donkeys, horses, and cows at Hampstead Heath. Some of these sketches, made when Landseer was five, seven, and ten years old, are at Kensington. He was only fourteen when he exhibited the heads of A Pointer Bitch and Puppy. When between sixteen and seventeen he produced Dogs fighting, which was engraved by the painter's father. Still more popular was The Dogs of St. Gothard rescuing a Distressed Traveller, which appeared when its author was eighteen. Landseer was not a pupil of Haydon, but he had occasional counsel from him. He dissected a lion. As soon as he reached the age of twenty-four he was elected an A.R.A., and exhibited at the Academy The Hunting of Chevy Chase. This was in 1826, and in 1831 he became a full member of the Academy. Landseer had visited Scotland in 1826, and from that date we trace a change in his style, which thenceforth was far less solid, true and searching, and became more free and bold. The introduction of deer into his pictures, as in The Children of the Mist, Seeking Sanctuary, and The Stag at Bay, marked the influence of Scotch associations. Landseer was knighted in 1850, and at the French Exhibition of 1855 was awarded the only large gold medal given to an English artist. Prosperous, popular, and the guest of the highest personages of the realm, he was visited about 1852 by an illness which compelled him to retire from society. From this he recovered, but the effects of a railway accident in 1868 brought on a relapse. He died in 1873, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. On the death of Sir Charles Eastlake, in 1865, he was offered the Presidentship of the Royal Academy, but this honour he declined. In the National Gallery are Spaniels of King Charles's Breed, Low Life and High Life, Highland Music (a highland piper disturbing a group of five hungry dogs, at their meal, with a blast on the pipes), The Hunted Stag, Peace (of which we give a representation), War (dying and dead horses, and their riders lying amidst the burning ruins of a cottage), Dignity and Impudence, Alexander and Diogenes, The Defeat of Comus, a sketch painted for a fresco in the Queen's summer house, Buckingham Palace. Sixteen of Landseer's works are in the Sheepshanks Collection, including the touching Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner, of which Mr. Ruskin said that "it stamps its author not as the neat imitator of the texture of a skin, or the fold of a drapery, but as the man of mind."
WILLIAM BOXALL (1800—1879), after study in the Royal Academy Schools and in Italy, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1829 his first picture—Milton's Reconciliation with his Wife—and continued to contribute to its exhibitions till 1866. Though his first works were historic and allegoric, he finally became famous as a portrait painter, and reckoned among his sitters some of the most eminent men of the time—poets, painters, writers on art, and others, e.g. Copley Fielding, David Cox, Coleridge, Wordsworth. In 1852 Boxall became an associate, and in 1864 a full member of the Royal Academy; he was Director of the National Gallery from 1865 to 1874; and received the honour of knighthood in 1871, in recognition of the valuable services which he rendered to art.
PAUL FALCONER POOLE (1810—1879), a painter of high class of genre pictures as well as of history, exhibited his first picture at the Academy in 1830, The Well, a Scene at Naples. In 1838 he produced The Emigrant's Departure. Other pictures are May Queen preparing for the Dance, The Escape of Glaucus and Ione, The Seventh Day of the Decameron. Among the historic works of this artist are The Vision of Ezekiel (National Gallery) and others. Poole became a full member of the Academy in 1860.
GEORGE HEMMING MASON (1818—1872), a native of Witley, Staffordshire, found art to be surrounded by difficulties. His father insisted on his following the profession of medicine, and placed him with Dr. Watts, of Birmingham. A portrait painter having visited the doctor's house, young Mason borrowed his colour-box, and, unaided, produced a picture of such promise that the artist advised him to follow art. Mason left the doctor's house, made his way to Italy, and, without any teacher, developed an original style which is marked by simplicity of design, refinement of colour, delicacy of chiaroscuro, and pathos of expression. He was elected A.R.A. in 1868, but died of heart-disease before becoming a full member. Mason's best-known works are Campagna di Roma, The Gander, The Return from Ploughing, The Cast Shoe, The Evening Hymn, and The Harvest Moon, unfinished.
ROBERT BRAITHWAITE MARTINEAU (1826—1869), son of one of the Masters in Chancery, nephew of Miss Martineau, commenced life as an articled clerk to a solicitor. After four years' study of the law he forsook it for the brighter sphere of art, and entered the Academy Schools. In 1852 Martineau exhibited at the Academy Kit's Writing Lesson, from "The Old Curiosity Shop," which indicated the class of subjects which he delighted in. His Last Day in the Old House, and The Last Chapter, by their originality of conception, and exquisite painting, won the artist a renown which he did not long live to enjoy. He died of heart-disease.
JOHN FREDERICK LEWIS (1805—1876), the son of an eminent London engraver, began his career in art by painting studies of animals, and in 1828 was elected a Member of the Society of Painters in Water-Colours. He afterwards travelled in Spain and Italy, painting many subjects, such as a Spanish Bullfight, Monks preaching at Seville, &c., and thence went to the East, where he stayed some years. He returned to England in 1851, and four years afterwards was made President of the Water-colour Society. In 1856 he exhibited A Frank Encampment in the Desert of Mount Sinai, which Mr. Ruskin called "the climax of water-colour drawing." In the same year he began to paint in oil colours, and frequently exhibited pictures of Eastern life, such as The Meeting in the Desert, A Turkish School, A Café in Cairo, &c. In 1859 he was made an Associate of the Royal Academy, and in 1866 a full member. In the South Kensington Museum there are two of Lewis's water-colour drawings, The Halt in the Desert and Peasants of the Black Forest, and a few of his studies from nature.
EDWARD MATTHEW WARD (1816—1879) became a student at the Academy by the advice of Wilkie, who had seen his first picture, a portrait of Mr. O. Smith as Don Quixote. In 1836 Ward was a student in Rome. Thence he proceeded to Munich, and studied fresco-painting with Cornelius. In 1839 he returned to England, and exhibited Cimabue and Giotto. Joining in the competition for the decoration of the Houses of Parliament, he produced Boadicea, which was commended, but did not obtain a premium. Dr. Johnson reading the MS. of Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield", first brought him to notice. It was followed by Dr. Johnson in Lord Chesterfield's Ante-Room, and the painter was elected an A.R.A. This work as well as The Disgrace of Lord Clarendon, The South-Sea Bubble, and James II. receiving the news of the landing of William of Orange, are in the National Gallery. In 1852 and later Ward executed eight historic pictures in the corridor of the House of Commons. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1855. His pictures are too well known to need description; most popular among them are Charlotte Corday led to Execution, The Execution of Montrose, The Last Sleep of Argyll, Marie Antoinette parting with the Dauphin, The Last Moments of Charles II., The Night of Rizzio's Murder, The Earl of Leicester and Amy Robsart, Judge Jeffreys and Richard Baxter.
FREDERICK WALKER (1840—1875) died just as he had fulfilled the promise of his youth. After spending a short time in the office of an architect and surveyor, he left this uncongenial region to practise art. He occasionally studied in the Academy Schools, and began his artistic career by illustrating Thackeray's "Philip" in the "Cornhill Magazine," thus winning much praise. He became a member of the Old Water-Colour Society, and an A.R.A. A career full of promise was cut short by death at St. Fillan's, Perthshire, in 1875: the young painter was buried at his favourite Cookham, on the Thames. His chief works are The Lost Path, The Bathers, The Vagrants, The Old Gate, The Plough, The Harbour of Refuge, and The Right of Way. Mr. Redgrave said, "His genius was thoroughly and strikingly original. His works are marked by a method of their own; the drawing, colour, and execution, alike peculiar to himself. They are at once refined and pathetic in sentiment, and novel in their conception of nature and her effects. His figures have the true feeling of rustic life, with the grace of line of the antique."
GABRIEL CHARLES DANTE ROSSETTI (1828—1882), poet, and painter of sacred subjects and scenes inspired by the writings of Dante, was the son of an Italian patriot, a political refugee, who became Professor of Italian in King's College, London. He exhibited at the Portland Gallery his first picture, The Girlhood of the Virgin, in 1849, and became the founder of the pre-Raphaelite school, which included Millais, Holman Hunt, and other artists now celebrated. Rossetti's best-known pictures are Dante's Dream (now at Liverpool), The Damosel of the Sancte Graal, The Last Meeting of Lancelot and Guinevere, The Beloved (an illustration of the Song of Solomon), and Proserpina. He seldom exhibited his paintings in public, but they were seen by art-critics, one of whom wrote (in 1873)—"Exuberance in power, exuberance in poetry of a rich order, noble technical gifts, vigour of conception, and a marvellously extensive range of thought and invention appear in nearly everything Mr. Rossetti produces."
He was equally celebrated as a writer of sonnets and a translator of Italian poetry.
It is not within the province of this work to include notice of living artists. To give an account of all the celebrated painters would require another volume. During the past decade Art has advanced with steady progress, and we can confidently say that at no time have the ranks of the Royal Academicians and the two Water-Colour Societies been filled more worthily than at the present day. The last quarter of the nineteenth century is likely to be a golden era in the history of British Art.
THE history of art in America is in reality the record only of the dying away of the last echoes of movements which had their origin in Europe. Although the western continent has given birth to new political ideas and new forms of government, not one of its States, not even the greatest of them all, the United States of North America, to which this chapter will be confined, has thus far brought forth a national art, or has exercised any perceptible influence, except in a single instance, on the shaping of the art of the world. Nor is this to be wondered at. The newness of the country, the mixture of races from the beginning, and the ever-continuing influx of foreigners, together with the lack of educational facilities, and the consequent necessity of seeking instruction in Europe, are causes sufficient to explain the apparent anomaly. Even those of the native painters of the United States who kept away from the Old World altogether, or visited it too late in life to be powerfully influenced, show but few traces of decided originality in either conception or execution. They also were under the spell, despite the fact that it could not work upon them directly. The attempt has been made to explain this state of things by assuming an incapacity for art on the part of the people of the country, and an atmosphere hostile to its growth, resulting from surrounding circumstances. These conclusions, however, are false. So far as technical skill goes, Americans—native as well as adopted—have always shown a remarkable facility of acquisition, and the rapidity with which carpenters, coach-painters, and sign-painters, especially in the earlier period of the country's history, developed into respectable portrait-painters, almost without instruction, will always remain cause for astonishment. Of those who went abroad at that time, England readopted four men who became famous (West, Copley, Newton, Leslie), and she still points to them with satisfaction as among the more conspicuous on her roll of artists. Nor has this quality been lost with the advance of time. It has, on the contrary, been aided by diligent application; and the successes which have been achieved by American students are recorded in the annals of the French Salon. There is one curious trait, however, which will become more and more apparent as we trace the history of art in America, and that is the absence of a national element in the subjects treated. If we except a short flickering of patriotic spirit in the art of what may be called the Revolutionary Period, and the decided preference given to American scenes by the landscape painters of about the middle of the present century, it may be said that the artists of the country, as a rule, have imported with the technical processes also the subjects of the Old World; that they have preferred the mountains of Italy and the quiet hamlets of France to the hills of New England and the Rocky Mountains of the West, the Arab to the Indian, and the history of the Old World to the records of their own ancestors. Even the struggle for the destruction of the last vestiges of slavery which was the great work entrusted to this generation, has called forth so few manifestations in art (and these few falling without the limits of the present chapter), that it would not be very far from wrong to speak of it as having left behind it no trace whatever. All this, however, is not the fault of the artists, except in so far as they are themselves part of the nation. The blame attaches to the people as a whole, whose innermost thoughts and highest aspirations the artists will always be called upon to embody in visible form. There is no doubt, from the evidence already given by the painters of America, that they will be equal to the task, should they ever be called upon to exert their skill in the execution of works of monumental art.
The history of painting in America may be divided into four periods:—1. The Colonial Period, up to the time of the Revolution; 2. The Revolutionary Period, comprising the painters who were eye-witnesses of and participators in the War of Independence; 3. The Period of Inner Development, from about the beginning of the century to the civil war; 4. The Period of the Present. It will be seen that the designations of these divisions are taken from the political rather than the artistic history of the country. And, indeed, it would be difficult to find other distinguishing marks which would allow of a concise nomenclature. As to the influences at work in the several periods, it may be said that the Colonial and Revolutionary were entirely under the domination of England. In the earlier part of the third period the influence of England continued, but was supplemented by that of Italy. Later on a number of American artists studied in Paris, without, however, coming under the influence of the Romantic school, and towards the middle of the century many of them were attracted by Düsseldorf. A slight influence was exercised also by the English pre-Raphaelites, but it found expression in a literary way rather than in actual artistic performance. In the fourth or present period, finally, the leadership has passed to the Colouristic schools of Paris and Munich, to which nearly all the younger artists have sworn allegiance.
The paintings which have come down to the present day from the Colonial Period, so far as they relate to America, are almost without exception portraits. Many of these were, as a matter of course, brought over from England and Holland; but that there were resident painters in the Colonies as early as 1667, is shown by a passage in Cotton Mather's "Magnalia," cited by Tuckerman. It is very natural that these "limners," to use a favourite designation then applied to artists, were not of the best. The masters of repute did not feel a call to dwell in the wilderness, and hence the works belonging to the beginning of this period are for the most part rude and stiff. Several of these early portraits may be seen in the Memorial Hall of Harvard University, at Cambridge, Mass.
The first painters whose names have been preserved to us were not born to the soil. The honour of standing at the head of the roll belongs to JOHN WATSON (1685—1768), a Scotchman, who established himself at Perth Amboy, N.J., in 1715. Of his portraits none are at present known, but at the Chronological Exhibition of American Art, held in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1872, there was shown an India ink drawing by him, Venus and Cupid, executed on vellum. A better fate was vouchsafed to the works of John Smybert, another Scotchman, who came to Rhode Island in 1728 with Dean, afterwards Bishop, Berkeley, in whose proposed college he was to be an instructor—probably the first movement towards art education made in the Colonies. Smybert settled and married in Boston, where he died in 1751 or 1752. He was not an artist of note, although his most important work, The Family of Bishop Berkeley, a large group, in which he has introduced his own likeness, now in the possession of Yale College, at New Haven, Conn., shows him to have been courageous and not without talent. Not all the pictures, however, which are attributed to him, come up to this standard. A very bad example to which his name is attached may be seen in the portrait of John Lovell, in the Memorial Hall of Harvard University. The influence exercised by Smybert on the development of art in America is due to an accident rather than to actual teaching. He brought with him a copy of the head of Cardinal Bentivoglio, by Van Dyck, which he had made in Italy, and which is still preserved in the Hall just named. It was this copy which first inspired Trumbull and Allston with a love of art, and gave them an idea of colour. Of the other foreigners who visited the Colonies during this period, the more prominent are BLACKBURN, an Englishman, who was Smybert's contemporary or immediate successor, and is by some held to have been Copley's teacher; WILLIAMS, another Englishman, who painted about the same time in Philadelphia, and from whose intercourse young West is said to have derived considerable benefit; and COSMO ALEXANDER, a Scotchman, who came to America in 1770, and was Stuart's first instructor.
The earliest native painter who has left any lasting record is Robert Feke, whose life is enveloped by the mystery of romance. Sprung from Quaker stock, and separated from his people by difference of religious opinion, he left home, and was in some way taken a prisoner to Spain, where he is said to have executed rude paintings, with the proceeds of which he managed to return home. Feke painted in Philadelphia and elsewhere about the middle of the last century, and his portraits, according to Tuckerman, are considered the best colonial family portraits next to West's. Specimens of his work may be seen in the collections of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Me.; the Redwood Athenæum, Newport, R.I.; and the R. I. Historical Society, Providence, R.I.
Nearest to Feke in date—although his later contemporaries, West and Copley, were earlier known as artists, and the first named even became his teacher in England—is MATTHEW PRATT (1734—1805), who started in life as a sign-painter in Philadelphia. Pratt's work is often spoken of slightingly, and does not generally receive the commendation it deserves. His full-length portrait of Lieutenant-Governor Cadwallader Colden, painted for the New York Chamber of Commerce in 1772, and still to be seen at its rooms, shows him to have been quite a respectable artist, with a feeling for colour in advance of that exhibited by Copley in his earlier work. Still another native artist of this period, Henry Bembridge, is chiefly of interest from the fact that he is said to have studied with Mengs and Battoni, which would make him one of the first American painters who visited Italy. He seems to have painted chiefly in Charleston, S.C., and his portraits are described as of singularly formal aspect.
The most celebrated painters of this period, however, and the only ones whose fame is more than local, are John Singleton Copley and Benjamin West. But as both of them left their country at an early age, never to return, they belong to England rather than to America.
COPLEY (1737—1815) was a native of Boston, and did not go to Europe until 1774, when his reputation was already established. In 1760 he gave his income in Boston at three hundred guineas. He first went to Italy and thence to London, where he settled. Some speculation has been indulged in as to Copley's possible teachers. He must have received some aid from his stepfather, Peter Pelham, a schoolmaster and very inferior mezzotint engraver; and it has also been supposed that he may have had the benefit of Blackburn's instruction. This does not seem likely, however, judging either from the facts or from tradition. Copley was undoubtedly essentially self-taught, and the models upon which he probably formed his style are still to be seen. Several of them are included in the collection in the Memorial Hall of Harvard University. One of these portraits, that of Thomas Hollis, a benefactor of the university, who died when Copley was only six years of age, is so like the latter's work, not only in conception but even in the paleness of the flesh tints and the cold grey of the shadows, as to be readily taken for one of his earlier productions. In England Copley became the painter of the aristocracy, and executed a considerable number of large historic pictures, mostly of modern incidents. He is elegant rather than powerful, and quite successful in the rendering of stuffs. His colour, at first cold and rather inharmonious, improved with experience, although he has been pronounced deficient in this respect even in later years. Copley's most celebrated picture is The Death of the Earl of Chatham. Many specimens of his skill as a portrait-painter can be seen in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and in the Memorial Hall of Harvard University, the latter collection including the fine portrait of Mrs. Thomas Boylston. The Public Library of Boston owns one of his large historic paintings, Charles I. demanding the Five Members from Parliament.
BENJAMIN WEST (1738—1820) was born of Quaker parentage at Springfield, Pa., and was successfully engaged, at the age of eighteen, as a portrait-painter in Philadelphia. In 1760 he went to Rome, and it is believed that he was the first American artist who ever appeared there. Three years later he removed to London, where he became the leading historic painter, the favourite of the King, and President of the Royal Academy. His great scriptural and historic compositions, of which comparatively few are to be seen in his native country (King Lear, in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; Death on the Pale Horse and Christ Rejected, at the Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia), show him in the light of an ambitious and calculating rather than inspired painter, with a decided feeling for colour. His influence on art in general made itself felt in the refusal to paint the actors in his Death of Wolfe in classic costume, according to usage. By clothing them in their actual dress, he led art forward a step in the realistic direction, the only instance to be noted of a directing motive imparted to art by an American, but one which is quite in accordance with the spirit of the New World. West's influence upon the art of his own country was henceforth limited to the warm interest he took in the many students of the succeeding generation who flocked to England to study under his guidance.
The Revolutionary Period is, in many respects, the most interesting division, not only in the political, but also in the artistic history of the United States. It is so, not merely because it has left us the pictorial records of the men and the events of a most important epoch in the development of mankind, but also because it brought forth two painters who, while they were thoroughly American in their aspirations, were at the same time endowed with artistic qualities of a very high order. Gilbert Stuart and John Trumbull, the two painters alluded to, have a right to be considered the best of the American painters of the past, and will always continue to hold a prominent place in the history of their art, even if it were possible to forget the stirring scenes with which they were connected.
GILBERT STUART was born in Narragansett, R.I., in 1755, and died in Boston in 1828. He was of Scotch descent, and it has already been mentioned that Cosmo Alexander, a Scotchman, was his first teacher. After several visits to Europe, during the second of which he studied under West, Stuart finally returned in 1793, and began the painting of the series of national portraits which will for ever endear him to the patriotic American. Among these his several renderings of Washington, of which there are many copies by his own hand, are the most celebrated. The greatest popularity is perhaps enjoyed by the so-called Athenæum head, which, with its pendant, the portrait of Mrs. Washington, is the property of the Athenæum of Boston, and by that institution has been deposited in the Museum of Fine Arts of the same city. The claim to superiority is, however, contested by the Gibbs Washington, at present also to be seen in the museum alluded to. It was painted before the other, and gives the impression of more realistic truthfulness, while the Athenæum head seems to be somewhat idealized. Stuart's work is quite unequal, as he was not a strict economist, and often painted for money only. But in his best productions there is a truly admirable purity and wealth of colour, added to a power of characterization, which lifts portraiture into the highest sphere of art. It must be said, however, that he concentrated his attention almost entirely upon the head, often slighting the arms and hands, especially of his female sitters, to an unpleasant degree. Many excellent specimens of his work, besides the Washington portraits, are to be found in the Museum of Fine Arts at Boston and in the collection of the New York Historical Society, the latter including the fine portrait of Egbert Benson, painted in 1807. His chef-d'œuvre is the portrait of Judge Stephen Jones, owned by Mr. F. G. Richards, of Boston, a remarkably vigorous head of an old man, warm and glowing in colour, which, it is said, the artist painted for his own satisfaction. Stuart's most celebrated work in England is Mr. Grant skating. When this portrait was exhibited as a work by Gainsborough, at the "Old Masters," in 1878, its pedigree having been forgotten, it was in turn attributed to all the great English portrait-painters, until it was finally restored to its true author.
Still more national importance attaches to JOHN TRUMBULL (1756—1843), since he was an historic as well as a portrait-painter, took part in person as an officer in the American army in many of the events of the Revolution, and was intimately acquainted with most of the heroes of his battle scenes. America enjoys in this respect an advantage of which no other country can boast—that of having possessed an artist contemporaneous with the most important epoch in its history, and capable and willing to depict the scenes enacted around him. Colonel Trumbull, the son of Jonathan Trumbull, the Colonial Governor of Connecticut, studied at Harvard, and gave early evidences of a taste for art. At the age of nineteen he joined the American army, but in 1780, aggrieved at a fancied slight, he threw up his commission and went to France, and thence to London, where he studied under West. Trumbull must not be judged as an artist by his large paintings in the Capitol at Washington, the commission for which he did not receive until 1817. To know him one must study him in his smaller works and sketches, now gathered in the gallery of Yale College, where may be seen his Death of Montgomery, Battle of Bunker Hill, Declaration of Independence, and other revolutionary scenes, together with a series of admirable miniature portraits in oil, painted from life, as materials for his historic works, and a number of larger portraits, including a full-length of Washington. As a portrait-painter, Trumbull is also represented at his best by the full-length of Alexander Hamilton, at the rooms of the New York Chamber of Commerce. The most successful of his large historic pieces, The Sortie from Gibraltar, painted in London, is at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Goethe, who saw the small painting of The Battle of Bunker Hill while it was in the hands of Müller, the engraver, commended it, but criticized its colour and the smallness of the heads. It is true that Trumbull's drawing is somewhat conventional, and that he had a liking for long figures. But his colour, as seen to-day in his good earlier pictures, is quite brilliant and harmonious, although thoroughly realistic. In his later work, however, as shown by the Scripture pieces likewise preserved in the Yale Gallery, there is a marked decadence in vigour of drawing as well as of colour. Owing to an unfortunate concatenation of circumstances, Trumbull has not received the full appreciation which is his due, even from his own countrymen. Thackeray readily recognised his merit, and cautioned the Americans never to despise or neglect Trumbull—a piece of advice which is only now beginning to attract the attention it deserves.
Among the portrait-painters of this period, CHARLES WILSON PEALE (1741—1827) takes the lead by reason of quantity rather than quality. Peale was typical of a certain phase of American character, representing the restlessness and superficiality which prevail upon men to turn lightly from one occupation to another. He was a dentist, a worker in materials of all sorts, an ornithologist and taxidermist, rose to the rank of colonel in the American army, and started a museum of natural history and art in Philadelphia. But his strongest love seems, after all, to have been for the fine arts. Among the fourteen portraits of Washington which Peale painted, according to Tuckerman, is the only full-length ever done of the father of his country: it shows him before the Revolution, attired as an officer in the colonial force of Great Britain. A large number of Peale's portraits may be seen in the Pennsylvania Academy and in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. The New York Historical Society owns, among other works by his hand, a Washington portrait and a group of the Peale family comprising ten figures. Much of Peale's work is crude, but all of his heads have the appearance of being good likenesses.
Among a number of other painters of this period we can select only a few, whose names receive an additional lustre from their connection with Washington.
JOSEPH WRIGHT (1756—1793) was the son of Patience Wright, who modelled heads in wax at Bordentown, N.J., before the Revolution. While in England he painted a portrait of the Prince of Wales. In the year 1783 Washington sat to him, after having submitted to the preliminary ordeal of a plaster mask. Tuckerman speaks of this portrait as inelegant and unflattering, and characterizes the artist as unideal, but conscientious. Wright's portrait of John Jay, at the rooms of the New York Historical Society, authorizes a more favourable judgment. It is, indeed, somewhat austere, but lifelike, well posed, and cool in colour.
E. Savage (1761—1817) seems to have been nearly as versatile as Peale, emulating him also in the establishment of a museum, at first in New York, then in Boston. His portrait of General Washington, in the Memorial Hall of Harvard University, is carefully painted and bright in colour, but rather lifeless. His Washington Family, in the Boston Museum (a place of amusement not to be confounded with the Museum of Fine Arts), which he engraved himself, has similar qualities. A little picture by him, also in the Boston Museum, representing The Signers of the Declaration of Independence in Carpenters' Hall, is interesting on account of its subject, but does not possess much artistic merit. The portrait of Dr. Handy, on the contrary, which is assigned to him, at the New York Historical Society, is a very creditable work, good in colour, luminous in the flesh, and simple in the modelling.
WILLIAM DUNLAP (1766—1839), finally, may also be mentioned here on account of his portrait of Washington—painted when the artist was only seventeen years old—although he belongs more properly to the next period, and is of more importance as a writer than a painter. He published, in 1834, a "History of the Arts of Design in the United States," a book now quite scarce and much sought after. A group of himself and his parents, painted in 1788, is in the collection of the New York Historical Society.
The example of Trumbull found no followers. The only other American painter who made a specialty of his country's history seems to have been JOHN BLAKE WHITE (1782—1859), a native of Charleston, S.C., who painted such subjects as Mrs. Motte presenting the Arrows, Marion inviting the British Officer to Dinner, and the Battles of New Orleans and Eutaw, placed in the State House of South Carolina. White's fame is quite local, however, and it is impossible, therefore, to judge of his qualities accurately. Had there been more painters of similar subjects, a national school might have resulted; but neither the people nor the Government took any interest in Colonel Trumbull's plans. It was necessary to employ all sorts of manœuvring to induce Congress to give a commission to the artist, and the result was disappointment to all concerned; and when, later, the further decoration of the Capitol at Washington, the seat of government, was resolved upon, the artist selected for the work was CARLO BRUMIDI (1811—1880), an Italian artist of the old school. The healthy impetus towards realistic historic painting given by Trumbull thus died out, and what there is of historic and figure painting in the period now under consideration is mainly dominated by a false idealism, of which Washington Allston is the leading representative. To rival the old masters, to do what had been done before, to flee from the actual and the near to the unreal and the distant, to look upon monks and knights and robbers and Venetian senators as the embodiment of the poetic, in spite of the poet's warning to the contrary, was now the order of the day; and hence it was but natural that quite a number of the artists who then went to Europe turned to Italy. It was in this period, also, that the first attempts were made to establish Academies of Art in Philadelphia and New York—attempts which, while they were laudable enough in themselves, inasmuch as these institutions were intended to provide instruction at home for the rising generation, still pointed in the same direction of simple imitation of the expiring phases of European Art.
WASHINGTON ALLSTON (1779—1843) was a native of South Carolina, but was sent to New England at an early age, and graduated from Harvard College in 1800. The year following he went to England, to study under West, and thence to Italy, where he stayed four years, until his return to Boston in 1809. After a second absence in Europe of seven years' duration, he finally settled in Cambridge, near Boston. Allston's art covered a wide range, including Scripture history, portraiture, ideal heads, genre, landscape, and marine. It is difficult to understand to-day the enthusiasm which his works aroused, if not among the great public, at least within a limited circle of admiring friends. He was lauded for his poetic imagination, and called "the American Titian," on account of his colour; and this reputation has lasted down to our own time. The Allston Exhibition, however, which was held two years ago at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, has somewhat modified the opinions of calm observers. Allston was neither deep nor very original in his conceptions, nor was he a great colourist. One of his most pleasing pictures, The Two Sisters, is full of reminiscences of Titian, and it is well known that he painted it while engaged in the study of that master. In the case of an artist upon whose merits opinions are so widely divided, it may be well to cite the words of an acknowledged admirer, in speaking of what has been claimed to be his greatest work, the Jeremiah and the Scribe, in the Gallery of Yale College. Mrs. E. D. Cheney, in describing the impression made upon her by this picture after a lapse of forty years, says:—"I was forced to confess that either I had lost my sensibility to its expression, or I had overrated its value.... The figure of the Prophet is large and imposing, but I cannot find in it the spiritual grandeur and commanding nobility of Michel Angelo. He is conscious of his own presence, rather than lost in the revelation which is given through him. But the Scribe is a very beautiful figure, simple in action and expression, and entirely absorbed in his humble but important work. It reminds me of the young brother in Domenichino's Martyrdom of St. Jerome." The same lack of psychological power, here hinted at, is still more apparent in the artist's attempts to express the more violent manifestations of the soul. In The Dead Man revived by touching Elisha's Bones—for which he received a premium of 200 guineas from the British Institution, and which is now in the Pennsylvania Academy—the faces of the terrified spectators are so distorted as to have become caricatures. This is true, in a still higher degree, of the heads of the priests in the great unfinished Belshazzar's Feast, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The unnatural expression of these heads is generally explained by the condition in which the picture was left; but the black-and-white sketches, which may be examined in the same museum, show precisely the same character. The unhealthy direction of the artist's mind is apparent, furthermore, in his love of the terrible—shown in his early pictures of banditti, and in such later works as Saul and the Witch of Endor and Spalatro's Vision of the Bloody Hand; while, on the contrary, it will be found, upon closer analysis, that the ideality and spirituality claimed for his female heads, such as Rosalie and Amy Robsart, resolve themselves into something very near akin to sweetness and lack of strength. In accordance with this absence of intellectual robustness, Allston's execution is hesitating and wanting in decision.
A somewhat similar spirit manifested itself in the works of John Vanderlyn (1776—1852), Rembrandt Peale (1787—1860), Samuel F. B. Morse (1791—1872), and Cornelius Ver Bryck (1813—1844).
JOHN VANDERLYN is best known by his Marius on the Ruins of Carthage, for which he received a medal at the Paris Salon of 1808, and his Ariadne, which forms part of the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy. Vanderlyn, as the choice of his subjects, coupled with his success in France, shows, was a very good classic painter, trained in the routine of the Academy. The Ariadne is a careful study of the nude, although somewhat red in the flesh, placed in a conventional landscape of high order. A large historic composition by him, The Landing of Columbus, finished in 1846, fills one of the panels in the Rotunda of the Capitol at Washington. As a portrait painter Vanderlyn was most unequal.
REMBRANDT PEALE—the son of Charles Wilson Peale, best known through his portraits—deserves mention here on account of his Court of Death, in the Crowe Art Museum of St. Louis, and The Roman Daughter, in the Boston Museum. Technically he stands considerably below his leading contemporaries.
S. F. B. Morse, whose fame as an artist has been eclipsed by his connection with the electric telegraph, was a painter of undoubted talent, but given somewhat to ostentation both in drawing and colour. Good specimens of his style are found in his Dying Hercules, Yale College, New Haven, and the rather theatrical portrait of Lafayette in the Governor's Room of the City Hall of New York. Morse essayed to paint national subjects, and selected for a theme the interior of the House of Representatives, with portraits of the members; but the public took no interest in the picture, although it is said to have been very clever, and the artist did not even cover his expenses by exhibiting it.
CORNELIUS VER BRYCK painted Bacchantes and Cavaliers, and a few historic pictures, with a decided feeling for colour, as evidenced by his Venetian Senator, owned by the New York Historical Society. He stands upon the borderland between an older and a newer generation, both of which, however, belong to the same period. Thus far the influence of Italy had been paramount; in the years immediately following Düsseldorf claims a share in shaping the historical art of the United States. The only names that can be mentioned here in accordance with the plan of this book, which excludes living artists, are Emmanuel Leutze (1816—1868), Edwin White (1817—1877), Henry Peters Gray (1819—1877), W. H. Powell (died 1879), Thomas Buchanan Read (1822—1872), and J. B. Irving (1826—1877).
LEUTZE was a German by birth, and his natural sympathies, although he had been brought to America as an infant, carried him to Düsseldorf. The eminence to which he rose in this school may be inferred from the fact that he was chosen Director of the Academy after he had returned to America, and almost at the moment of his death. Although of foreign parentage, he showed more love for American subjects than most of the native artists, but the trammels of the school in which he was taught made it impossible for him to become a thoroughly national painter. His most important works are Washington crossing the Delaware, Washington at the Battle of Monmouth, and Washington at Valley Forge; the two last named are at present in the possession of Mrs. Mark Hopkins of California. In the Capitol at Washington may be seen his Westward the Star of Empire takes its Way; The Landing of the Norsemen is in the Pennsylvania Academy; The Storming of a Teocalle, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
EDWIN WHITE, an extraordinarily prolific artist, who studied both at Paris and Düsseldorf, also painted a number of American historic pictures, among them Washington resigning his Commission, for the State of Maryland. The bulk of his work, however, weakly sentimental, deals with the past of Europe.
H. P. Gray's allegiance was given, almost undividedly, to the masters of Italy, and his subjects were mostly taken from antiquity. In his best works, such as The Wages of War, he appears in the light of an academic painter of respectable attainments; but there is so little of a national flavour in his productions, that the label "American School" on the frame of the picture just named is apt to provoke a smile. Gray's Judgment of Paris is in the Corcoran Gallery at Washington.
W. H. Powell is best known by his De Soto discovering the Mississippi, in the Rotunda at Washington, a work which is on a level with the average of official monumental painting done in Europe, in which truth is invariably sacrificed to so-called artistic considerations. As a portrait-painter he does not stand very high. T. B. READ, the "painter-poet," enjoyed one of those fictitious reputations which are unfortunately none too rare in America. Without any real feeling for colour, and with a style of drawing which made up in so-called grace for what it lacked in decision, he attained a certain popularity by a class of subjects such as The Lost Pleiad, The Spirit of the Waterfall, &c., which captivate the unthinking by their very superficiality. Several of his productions, among them his Sheridan's Ride, may be seen at the Pennsylvania Academy. J. B. Irving, a student at Düsseldorf under Leutze, was a careful and intelligent painter of subjects which might be classed as historic genre, including some scenes from the past history of the United States.
Among the foreign artists who came to America during this period must be named CHRISTIAN SCHÜSSELE (1824—1879), a native of Alsace, who has exercised some influence through his position as Director of the Schools of the Pennsylvania Academy, in Philadelphia. His Esther denouncing Haman, in the collection of the institution just named, shows him to have been an adherent of the modern French classic school, in which elegance is the first consideration.
A place all by himself must finally be assigned to WILLIAM RIMMER (1816—1879), of English parentage, who spent much of his life in the vicinity of Boston. Dr. Rimmer, as he is commonly called, since he began life as a physician, is of greater importance as a sculptor than as a painter. He, nevertheless, must be mentioned here on account of the many drawings he executed. To an overweening interest in anatomy he added a somewhat weird fancy, so that his conceptions sometimes remind one of Blake. His most important work is a set of drawings for an anatomical atlas, in which special stress is laid upon the anatomy of expression. His oil-paintings, such as Cupid and Venus, &c., are marred by violent contrasts of light and dark, and an unnatural, morbid scheme of colour, which justifies the assumption that his colour-vision was defective. But Rimmer will always remain interesting as a brilliant phenomenon, strangely out of place in space as well as in time.
The same absence, in general, of a national spirit is to be noticed in the works of the genre painters. Among the earliest of these are to be named CHARLES ROBERT LESLIE (1794—1859), many of whose works may be seen in the Lenox Gallery, New York, and at the Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia; and GILBERT STUART NEWTON (1794—1835), a nephew of Stuart, the portrait-painter, who is represented at the New York Historical Society and in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. These two artists are, however, so closely identified with the English school, and draw their inspiration so exclusively from European sources, that they can hardly claim a place in a history of painting in America.
The one American genre painter par excellence is William Sydney Mount (1807—1868), the son of a farmer on Long Island, and originally a sign-painter. No other artist has rivalled Mount in the delineation of the life of the American farmer and his negro field hands, always looked at from the humorous side. As a colourist, Mount is quite artless, but in the rendition of character and expression, and the unbiassed reproduction of reality, he stands very high. His Fortune Teller, Bargaining for a Horse, and The Truant Gamblers, the last named one of his best works also as regards colour, are in the collection of the New York Historical Society; The Painter's Triumph is in the gallery of the Pennsylvania Academy; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, has The Long Story. Several inferior artists have shown, by their representations of scenes taken from the political and social life of the United States, how rich a harvest this field would offer the brush of a modern Teniers. But in spite of the popularity which the reproductions of their works and those of some of Mount's pictures enjoyed, the field remained comparatively untilled.
Of other painters of the past, HENRY INMAN (1801—1846), better known as a most excellent portrait-painter, executed a few genre pictures based on American subjects, such as Mumble the Peg in the Pennsylvania Academy; and RICHARD CATON WOODVILLE (about 1825—1855), who studied at Düsseldorf, became favourably known, during his short career, by his Mexican News, Sailor's Wedding, Bar-Room Politicians, &c.; while among the mass of work by F. W. Edmonds (1806—1863) there are also several of specifically American character; but the majority of artists preferred to repeat the well-worn themes of their European predecessors, as shown by W. E. West's (died 1857) The Confessional, at the New York Historical Society's Rooms, or the paintings of James W. Glass (died 1855), whose Royal Standard, Free Companion, and Puritan and Cavalier, are drawn from the annals of England.
The Indian tribes found delineators in GEORGE CATLIN (1796—1872) and C. F. Wimar (1829—1863), while William H. Ranney (died 1857) essayed the life of the trappers and frontiersmen. None of these artists, however, approached their subjects from the genuinely artistic side. As an ornithological painter, scientifically considered, JOHN JAMES AUDUBON (1780—1851), the celebrated naturalist, occupied a high rank. The animal world of the prairies and the great West in general was the chosen field of William J. Hays (1830—1875). A large picture by him of an American bison, in the American Museum of Natural History at New York, shows at once his careful workmanship, his ambition, and the limitation of his powers, which was too great to allow him to occupy a prominent place among the animal painters of the world.
The skill in realistic portraiture, eminently shown by the American painters of the preceding century, was fully upheld by their successors of the third period. Most of the historic painters named above were well known also as portraitists, and their claims to reputation are shared with more or less success by J. W. Jarvis (1780—1851), THOMAS SULLY (1783—1872), SAMUEL WALDO (1783—1861), CHESTER HARDING (1792—1866), WILLIAM JEWETT (born 1795), EZRA AMES (flourished about 1812—1830), Charles C. Ingham (1796—1863), J. Neagle (1799—1865), Charles L. Elliott (1812—1868), JOSEPH AMES (1816—1872), T. P. Rossiter (1818—1871), G. A. Baker (1821—1880), and W. H. Furness (1827—1867). Specimens of the work of most of these artists, several of whom were of foreign parentage, will be found in the collections of the New York Historical Society, the Governor's Room in the City Hall of New York, the Pennsylvania Academy, and the Museum of Fine Arts at Boston. The most prominent among the later names is Charles Loring Elliott, who was born and educated in America, but whose work, when he is at his best, nevertheless shows the hand of a master. E. G. Malbone (1777—1807), whose only ideal work, The Hours, is in the Athenæum, at Providence, R.I., is justly celebrated for his delicate miniatures, a department in which R. M. Staigg (1817—1881) likewise excelled. As a crayon artist, famous more especially for his female heads, Seth W. Cheney (1810—1856) must be named.
The most interesting, however, because the most original, manifestation of the art instinct in this period is found in landscape. In this department also it seemed for a time as if the influence of the old Italian masters would gain the upper hand. But the influence of Düsseldorf, aided by that of England, although not through its best representatives, such as Constable, gave a different turn to the course of affairs, and in a measure freed the artists from the thraldom of an antiquated school. Although, naturally and justly enough, the landscape painters of America did not disdain to depict the scenery of foreign lands, they nevertheless showed a decided preference for the beauties of their own country, and diligently plied their brushes in the delineation of the favourite haunts of the Catskills, the Hudson, the White Mountains, Lake George, &c., and, at a later period, of the wonders of the Rocky Mountains and the valley of the Yosemite. It has become the fashion in certain circles to speak rather derisively of these painters as "the Hudson River School," a nickname supposed to imply the charge that they preferred the subject to artistic rendering and technical skill. There is no denying that there is some truth in this charge, but later experience has taught, also, that a more insinuating style is apt to lead the artists to ignore subject altogether. It is precisely the comparative unattractiveness of the methods employed which enabled these painters to create what may be called an American school, while, had they been as much absorbed in technical processes, or in the solving of problems of colour, as some of their successors, they would probably have rivalled them also in the neglect of the national element. It is worthy of note that the rise of this school of painters of nature is nearly contemporaneous with the appearance of William Cullen Bryant, whose "Thanatopsis" was first published in 1817, and who is eminently entitled to be called the poet of nature.
The first specialist in landscape of whom any record is to be found is JOSHUA SHAW (1776—1860), an Englishman, who came to America about 1817. The specimens of his work preserved in the Pennsylvania Academy show him to have been a painter of some refinement, who preferred delicate silvery tones to strength. In the same institution may also be found numerous examples by THOMAS DOUGHTY (1793—1856), of Philadelphia, who abandoned mercantile pursuits for art in 1820, and who may claim to be the first native landscape-painter. His early work is hard and dry and monotonous in colour, but nevertheless with a feeling for light. As he advanced, his colour improved somewhat. ALVAN FISHER (1792—1863), of Boston, also ranks among the pioneers in this department, but he was more active as a portrait-painter.
The greatest name, however, in the early history of landscape art in the United States is that of THOMAS COLE (1801—1848), who came over from England with his parents in 1819, but received his first training, such as it was, in America. Cole spent several years in Italy, and remained for the rest of his life under the spell of Claude, Salvator Rosa, and Poussin. He aspired to be a painter of large historic, or rather allegoric landscapes, and some of his productions in this line, as, for instance, The Course of Empire (New York Historical Society), a series of five canvases, showing the career of a nation from savage life through the splendours of power to the desolation of decay, will always secure for him a respectable place among the followers of the old school. He therefore shared, with most of his American colleagues, the fatal defect that his work contained no germ of advancement, but was content to be measured by standards which were beginning to be false, because men had outlived the time in which they were set up. Cole did not, however, confine himself to such allegoric landscapes. He was a great lover of the Catskills, and often chose his subjects there, or in the White Mountains. But in the specimens of this kind to be seen at the New York Historical Society's rooms, he shows himself curiously defective in colour, and mars the tone by undue contrasts between light and dark. He is at his best in the representation of storm effects, such as The Tornado, in the Corcoran Gallery at Washington.
Among the ablest representatives of the "Hudson River School" were J. F. Kensett (1818—1873), and Sanford R. Gifford (1823—1880). For Kensett, it may indeed be claimed that he was the best technician of his time, bolder in treatment than most of his colleagues, and with a true feeling for the poetry of colour. Gifford, who divided his allegiance about equally between America, Italy, and the Orient, loved to paint phenomenal effects of light, which often suggest the studio rather than nature. One of the principal works of this very successful and greatly esteemed artist, The Ruins of the Parthenon, is the property of the Corcoran Gallery, which also owns several pictures by Kensett.
As one of the leading lights of the little cluster of American pre-Raphaelites, we may note John W. Hill (died 1879), who painted landscapes chiefly in water-colour.
The United States being a maritime power, it would be quite natural to look for a development of marine painting among her artists. Until lately, however, very little has been done in this branch of art, and that little mostly by foreigners. THOMAS BIRCH, an Englishman (died 1851), painted the battles between English and American vessels in an old-fashioned way in Philadelphia, while Boston possessed an early marine painter of slender merit in Salmon. A. Van Beest, a Dutch marine painter, who died in New York in 1860, is chiefly of interest as the first teacher of several well-known American painters of to-day. John E. C. Petersen (1839—1874), a Dane, who came to America in 1865, enjoyed an excellent reputation in Boston. The leading name, however, among the artists of the past in this department is that of JAMES HAMILTON (1819—1878), who was brought to Philadelphia from Ireland in infancy, and went to England for purposes of study in 1854. In many of his phantastic productions, in which blood-red skies are contrasted with dark, bluish-gray clouds and masses of shadow, as in Solitude, and an Oriental landscape in the Pennsylvania Academy, the study of Turner is quite apparent. But he loved also to paint the storm-tossed sea, under a leaden sky, when it seems to be almost monochrome. One of his finest efforts, The Ship of the Ancient Mariner, is in private possession in Philadelphia. His Destruction of Pompeii is in the Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, in the same city. Hamilton, whose somewhat unsteady mode of living is reflected in the widely varying quality of his work, very properly closes our review of this epoch, as he might not inappropriately be classed with the artists of the period next to be considered.
It has been remarked already that the American students who went to England up to the middle of the present century were not influenced by those painters who, like Constable, are credited with having given the first impulse towards the development of modern art. This is true also of those who went to France.
They fell in with the old-established Classic school, and were not affected by the rising Romantic and Colouristic school until long after its triumphant establishment. Within the last ten or fifteen years, however, the tendency in this direction has been very marked, and the main points of attraction for the young American artist in Europe have been Paris and Munich. One of the results of this movement, consequent upon the preponderating attention given to colour and technique, has been an almost entire neglect of subject. What the art of America has gained, therefore, in outward attractiveness and in increase of skill, it has had to purchase at the expense of a still greater de-Americanisation than before. The movement is, however, only in its inception, and its final results cannot be predicated. Nor will it be possible to mention here more than a very few of its adherents, as, self-evidently, the greater part of them belong to the living generation.
One of the first to preach the new gospel of individualism and colour in America was WILLIAM MORRIS HUNT (1824—1879), who, after his return from Europe, made his home in Boston. In 1846 he went to Düsseldorf, which he soon exchanged for Paris, where he studied with Couture, and later with Millet. Hunt was in a certain sense a martyr to his artistic convictions, and his road was not smoothed by his eccentricities. Had he found a readier response on the part of the public, he might have accomplished great things. As it was, those to whom he was compelled to appeal could not understand the importance of the purely pictorial qualities which he valued above all else, and instead of sympathy he found antagonism. As a fact indicating the difficulties which stood in his way, it is interesting to know that the first idea for the mural paintings, The Flight of Night and The Discoverer, which he executed in the new Capitol at Albany, shortly before his death, was conceived over thirty years ago. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that his mind was embittered, and his work even more unequal than that of so many of his older colleagues. But even so he has left a number of works, as for instance the original sketch for the Flight of Night, several portraits, and a View of Gloucester Harbour, which will always be counted among the triumphs of American art.
Prominent among the American students in the French school was Robert Wylie, a native of the Isle of Man, who was brought to the United States when a child, and died in Brittany at the age of about forty years in 1877. His Death of a Breton Chieftain, in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and Breton Story-Teller, in the Pennsylvania Academy, two very fine pictures, although somewhat heavy in colour, show him to have been a careful observer, with a power of characterisation hardly approached by any other American painter.
As a remarkable artist, belonging also to the French-American school, although he never left his native land, we must mention R. H. Fuller, of Boston, who died comparatively young in 1871. Fuller had a most extraordinary career and displayed extraordinary talent. Originally a cigar-maker, and later a night watchman, he was almost entirely self-taught, his study consisting in carefully looking at the French landscapes on exhibition at the stores, and then attempting to reproduce them at home. The knowledge thus gained he applied to the rendering of American landscapes, and he had so assimilated the methods of his French exemplars, that his creations, while they often clearly betrayed by what master they had been inspired, were yet thoroughly American.
This sketch of the history of painting in America is necessarily very fragmentary, by reason of its shortness, as well as by the limitation imposed by the plan of this book, which excludes all living artists. Many prominent representatives of the various tendencies to which the reader's attention has been called, have, therefore, had to be omitted. It is believed, nevertheless, that, while the mention of additional names would have made the record fuller, the general proportions of the outline would not have been materially changed thereby. Nor is the apparently critical tone, the repeated dwelling on the lack of originality in subject as well as method, to be taken as an expression of disparagement. A fact has simply been stated which admits of a ready explanation, hinted at in the introductory remarks, but which must be kept steadily in view if American Art is ever to assume a more distinctive character. The painters of America, considering the circumstances by which they have been surrounded, have no reason to be ashamed of their past record. They have shown considerable aptitude in the acquisition of technical attainments, and the diligence and enthusiasm in the pursuit of their studies on the part of the younger artists, promise well for the future. It rests altogether with the nation itself whether this promise shall be fulfilled.
|Audubon, John James,||211|
|Bacon, Sir Nathaniel,||22|
|Baker, G. A.,||212|
|Barret, George, the younger,||105|
|Beechey, Sir William,||79|
|Bonington, Richard Parkes,||137|
|Boxall, Sir William,||178|
|Briggs, Henry Perronet,||154|
|Brown, John, 11,||17|
|Callcott, Sir Augustus Wall,||131|
|Chalon, Alfred Edward,||97|
|Chalon, John James,||97|
|Cheney, Seth W.,||212|
|Cipriani, Giovanni Battista,||60|
|Cleef, Joost van,||19|
|Cooke, Edward William,||147|
|Copley, John Singleton,||67, 192|
|Cotman, John Sell,||142|
|Cozens, John Robert,||103|
|De Heere, Lucas,||20|
|De la Motte, William,||105|
|De Loutherbourg, Philippe James,||61|
|De Wint, Peter,||110|
|Dodgson, George Haydock,||114|
|Eastlake, Sir Charles Locke,||154|
|Edmonds, F. W.,||211|
|Edridge, Henry,||97, 104|
|Egg, Augustus Leopold,||175|
|Elliott, Charles Loring,||212|
|Fielding, Anthony Vandyke Copley,||110|
|Fuller, R. H.,||221|
|Furness, W. H.,||212|
|Gerbier, Sir Balthasar,||45|
|Gifford, Sandford R.,||215|
|Glass, James W.,||211|
|Gray, Henry Peters,||207|
|Harding, James Duffield,||112|
|Harlow, George Henry,||121|
|Haydon, Benjamin Robert,||150|
|Hayman, Francis,||35, 85|
|Hays, William J.,||211|
|Hill, John W.,||216|
|Horebout, Gerrard Lucas,||9, 17|
|Horebout, Susannah,||9, 17|
|Hunt, William Henry,||112|
|Hunt, William Morris,||219|
|Ibbetson, Julius Cæsar,||50|
|Ingham, Charles C.,||212|
|Irving, J. B.,||208|
|Jarvis, J. W.,||212|
|Kensett, J. F.,||215|
|Kneller, Sir Godfrey,||32|
|Landseer, Sir Edwin Henry,||176|
|Lawrence, Sir Thomas,||117|
|Lely, Sir Peter,||30|
|Leslie, Charles Robert,||170, 209|
|Lewis, John Frederick,||180|
|Malbone, E. G.,||212|
|Martineau, Robert Braithwaite,||179|
|Mason, George Hemming,||179|
|Modena, Nicholas of,||19|
|Mor, Sir Antonio,||19|
|Morland, Henry Robert,||82|
|Morse, S. F. B.,||206|
|Mortimer, John Hamilton,||89|
|Moser, George Michael,||94|
|Mount, William Sydney,||209|
|Müller, William John,||137|
|Newton, Gilbert Stuart,||173, 209|
|Peale, Charles Wilson,||200|
|Penley, Aaron Edwin,||114|
|Petersen, John E. C.,||217|
|Poole, Paul Falconer,||179|
|Powell, W. H.,||207|
|Pyne, James Baker,||45|
|Ranney, William H.,||211|
|Read, Thomas Buchanan,||208|
|Reynolds, Sir Joshua,||50|
|Richardson, Thomas Miles,||108|
|Robson, George Fennel,||110|
|Rooker, Michael Angelo,||104|
|Ross, Sir William Charles,||99|
|Rossetti, Gabriel Chas. Dante,||184|
|Rossiter, T. P.,||212|
|Serres, John Thomas,||47|
|Shee, Sir Martin Archer,||123|
|Smith, George (of Chichester),||47|
|Smith, John " ",||47|
|Smith, William " ",||47|
|Smith, John (of Warwick),||103|
|Soest, Gerard von,||35|
|Staigg, R. M.,||212|
|Stanfield, William Clarkson,||143|
|Stretes, Gwillim,||16, 17|
|Thornhill, Sir James,||34|
|Topham, Francis William,||114|
|Toto, Antonio,||9, 17|
|Treviso, Girolamo da,||10, 15|
|Turner, Joseph Mallord William,||105, 127|
|Van Beest, A.,||217|
|Van Dyck, Sir Anthony,||26|
|Van Honthorst, Gerard,||26|
|Van Somer, Paul,||22|
|Ver Bryck, Cornelius,||206|
|Ward, Edward Matthew,||180|
|Wehnert, Edward Henry,||114|
|West, Benjamin,||64, 193|
|West, W. E.,||211|
|White, John Blake,||202|
|Wimar, C. F.,||211|
|Witherington, William Frederick,||166|
|Woodville, Richard Caton,||211|
|Wright, Andrew,||11, 17|
|Wright, Joseph (of Derby),||74|
|Wright, Joseph Michael,||35|
|Zincke, Christian Frederick,||94|
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|The following typographical errors were corrected by the etext transcriber:|
|Several English astists practised in this reign.=>Several English artists practised in this reign.|
|the first English artist who receveid=>the first English artist who received|
|an innvoator of a monstrous order=>an innovator of a monstrous order|
|Durin his life=>During his life|
|Like his master he not succeed in foliage=>Like his master he did not succeed in foliage|
[A] At least, like most of the great Italian masters before and after their time, and like Clouet the Frenchman, they designed garments, and painted banners of state; they decorated coffers and furniture, book covers, and, like Holbein and Cellini, made designs for jewellery.
[B] When we discover that the whole frontal has been used as the top of a cupboard, we need not wonder at the present scarcity of specimens of early English art.
[C] Many pictures executed during the ten years after his death, some even in the Windsor collection, have been attributed to Holbein.
[D] Now lent to the National Gallery. She was the youthful daughter of the King of Denmark, and widow of the Duke of Milan. Holbein was sent to Brussels to paint her portrait for his royal master.
[E] See The Athenæum, August 19th, 1882.
[F] This is Dallaway's summary, note to p. 266 of Walpole's "Anecdotes," as above, 1849. Of course, all the pictures were not really by the artists whose names they bore. There must have been more than sixteen Van Dycks in the Royal collection. The above are Whitehall pictures only. The entire gatherings of King Charles were far more numerous.
[G] His painting of this subject, for which he received only twenty-six guineas, was destroyed by fire in 1874.
[H] Northcote, "Conversations," 1830, p. 32, said, "Sir Joshua undoubtedly got his first idea of the art from Gandy." James Gandy (1619—1689), who painted in Ireland and Devonshire, was the last representative of the art of Van Dyck, whose pupil he was.
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