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of days gone by. So have I heard the reverberations of the water-fall and the echoings of thic huntsman's horn,
*As if another chase were in the sky,' and have listened to two farmers conversing in short interrogations over the hedge, or separated from each other by the length of a field, saying, as they placed the hollow of their hands at the corners of their mouths, on a high key : “When are you going to mow those oats ?'
Echo. Mow those oats.
Echo. By the boy.
Echo. Plash. “What 'll you take for that yearling heifer?'
Echo. Lingafer. * Two Pounds.
Echo. Two pounds. Then do I wander away from this shirt-sleeved couple, whose faces are bedewed with perspiration from working in the fields and mowing the new hay, with Milton's beautiful apostrophe echoing on my ears from the hard and rocky surface of the times in which he lived.
"SWEET Echo, sweetest nymph, that livest unseen
Within thy airy shell,
And in the violet-embroidered vale,
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well;
That likest thy NARCISSUS are ?
Sweet queen of parley, daughter of the sphere!
JUNE 23.- In a secluded cove or indentation of the shore, where the trees were imaged downward from the bank upon the smooth water, I observed a pair of swans, accompanied by four beautiful cygnets, lifting their snow-white plumes to catch the breeze, and gliding about with a queen-like motion. While I gazed at this unsullied group, which seemed to be native to the spirit-land rather than something earthly, the thumping sound produced by the paddle-wheels of a steam-boat began to be heard; and as she rounded the point, the water became agitated and swelled upon the shore. At this apparent danger, the parent-bird received all the four cygnets upon her back, and erecting her trembling wings into a fan-like shape, sailed away toward the green-sward--a spectacle of ineffable grace and beauty. I have noticed these birds for two years, sometimes near the shore, but oftener afar-off, like specks of white, where the blue wave seemed to mingle with the horizon; but until the present season, they were unattended by the cygnets. They now form a pure and aristocratic society, intermingling their snowy necks in the most affectionate communion. At first they were placed in a small pond for safe-keeping; but when the winter broke up, catching a glimpse of the broad waters of the bay, they enterprised in that direction, and could by no means be prevailed upon to return to the little pond. They left it in possession of the ducks, the geese, the perch, the pickerel, and the mud-turtles, and went to share the company of the sleek and gracefuller wild-fowl who plumped into the bay. Generally, however, they prefer to keep by themselves, and show in all their buoyant air and gliding pace the influence of the pure and upper realms in which they have been bred. Oh, how superior are they to the common-people geese! Gazing at them as they sail about their own beautiful cove, whose shores are like a paradise, I am reminded of the honeyed, almost celestial poetry of the spirit-rappers :
'ANGEL with the diadem of light,
Wherefore dost thou tread this vale of sorrow?
Cheerless is the life from earth' we borrow.
Gliding on a dark, tumultuous river;
It twinkled like a star, yet shone for ever!
EXHIBITION OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN. — In the notice of several of the pictures which we had prepared for our last number, and which has gone with the missing 'copy' before alluded to, we treated the exhibition at greater length than we are enabled to do in the present issue. But as the Gallery does not close before the fifteenth of July, some readers may be reminded, by a reference to the fact, to pay it a visit, and few metropolitan objects could be visited that would better repay the time that may be passed there. We beg leave, however, in the outset, to say, that our opinion of the pictures 'hereinafter mentioned' is not intended to guide that of others. There is no subject in the exemplification of which there are more assumption, more ignorance, more 'twattle,' in short, exhibited, than in what are termed by courtesy * criticisms' upon art. Sometimes we see a native critic' who has passed once through the Louvre; who has seen (devoting half an hour to each, perhaps) the galleries of Florence and Rome, who returns with a ‘knowledge of art' which, being conceded, enables him to sit in judgment upon the works of artists who could tell him more of the true spirit and aim of art than he could acquire in five years. Yet, after all, such "criticisms,' while they certainly do little good, do quite as little harm. Those who visit picture-galleries judge for themselves. They do not take their opinions of works of art at second-hand. They have eyes, and they see - perception, and they judge. Nor can unjust or ill-natured criticism seriously affect an artist of genius. He has but to possess the genius, and to show it, and all the pretentious criticisms' of literary amateurs in the world may pass by him unheeded. Suppose, for example, a visitor enters the balls of the Academy, and wanders around for a couple of hours, admiring here a beautiful landscape, there a portrait, so life-like that it seems to speak to you from the canvas; here a sweet and touching scene in domestic life, and there a humorous sketch that makes him laugh as if he himself were on the spot, and saw it all passing before him; supposing, we say, a visitor were to see and feel all these, and the next morning were to take up a newspaper which should say that Hicks' portrait of the old Quaker lady was 'bad;' that Durand's landscapes were 'tame and unpleasing;' that Elliott's portraits 'approached the verge of caricature;' that CHURCH would do very well, if he would n't attempt the painting of skies;' that Baker ‘failed in color;' and that KENBETT “must look a little more carefully to the elaboration of his rocks;' does any one suppose that such remarks could do the slightest harm to such artists ? No: whether they
arose from the nil admirari spirit, or, what is more frequently the case, from blind partisanship in relation to some favorite exhibitor, they would fall innocuous to the ground. Every true portrait, true in drawing, coloring, and matchless in individuality -- like those of Elliott, for example, acknowledged, even by his brothers in the profession, to stand at the very head of his branch of the art-is itself a contradiction to all unjust or * cynical criticism, and by that 'first appeal, which is to the eye,' does more to keep his studio preëngaged with sitters than would all the fulsome, learned, indiscriminate commendation that could be poured out without stint in their favor. But let us try to replace a few of the ‘lost leaves' of which we have made mention. We have already indicated the general character of the exhibition: we now proceed to speak of a few of the artists and their pictures.
We have nine portraits from the pencil of BAKER. This fine artist promises to stand at the head of his profession as a pure and truthful artist. His coloring is truly deli. cious; and some one or two of his female heads are without a rival in their kind in the exhibition.
CARPENTER sends six pictures, which betoken great improvement in this young and rising artist. Our space permits us to mention but one, a portrait of President FILLMORE, painted in Washington. The likeness is excellent, and the drawing good. The only fault is a lack of strength in color; but this is a defect which may be easily avoided hereafter; and as it is, it is less exceptionable than an indiscriminate superabundance of paint.
CHURCH sends four landscapes, and truly wonderful productions they are. They are not, however, so effective as some of his with which the public are already familiar; yet they all possess that charm of completeness, that truthful and yet not labored effect, which enables one to lay out an imaginary journey over hills, across streams, to take a sail on the slightly-ruffled lake, or make a friendly call in one of those away-off farmhouses. Take any of CHURCH's land-scenes, and cut them into any number of pieces, and each piece would present a perfect picture in itself. Yet, as a whole, there is no want of unity. Every thing is in its proper place. One of this artist's peculiarities is the correctness of every thing represented. An elm or an oak, six or eight miles off, is as individual as the model-tree in the fore-ground, whether elm or oak. A person could purchase a farm on one of his brain-productions, and say the precise amount he could afford to pay per acre; for he can see the nature of the soil, the extent of cleared land and wood-land, the kinds of timber, the course of the streams, and the distance from market. So truly is every thing represented, that the American practical farmer could 'make a note' of all these. We wish, however, that Mr. CHURCH might see the necessity of raising his horizons: they are too low; although we have some compensation for this defect in his magnificent clouds; yet the land part of his scene seems sinking, the fore-ground coming almost to the bottom of the picture. On his return from South America, he will probably furnish us with views so true as to do away with the necessity of travel to gratify mere curiosity. We shall then have the Andes in all their glory.
Mr. CASILEAR's landscapes are too well known to require comment. They come under the general denomination of 'gems.' He confines himself altogether to the painting of 'gems. There are no sham diamonds in his 'cabinets.'
COLEMAN (a new name on the lists of the Academy) has three landscapes. He is probably the only artist who exhibits this year, who has achieved a surprise:' the only one who has called forth that significent interrogatory, 'Who is he?' We understand that he is very young; and, judging from the excellent qualities of his pictures, we infer that, so far as he is concerned, the query “Who is he?' will very soon become obsolete.
Cranch contributes six landscapes, which evince a marked propensity to go ahead' on the part of their poetical author. Mr. Craxch, one can scarcely help thinking, can have little sympathy with the great city, which has so little in common with the peaceful nooks, by-places, and quiet lakelets he so delights to paint.
In looking through CROPSEY's list of pictures in the present exhibition, we do not
find them so satisfactory as on former occasions. Number Three Hundred and Twentyfour, The Second Beach from Newport, Rhode Island,' comprises, to our conception, more of his peculiar excellences than any other. He is always felicitous in representations of far-reaching views; the wide-extended plain, and the perspective accuracy of every object depicted, both aërial and linear, are here well given. Mr. CROPSEY sends eleven landscapes; but in all of them we think we discern a desire to excel in mere mechanism -- in dexterity of touch, and what artists sometimes call 'slap-dash effects.' These are beautiful in subjection, but when too apparent, are suggestive of theatrical scene-painting. Notwithstanding these defects, however, we regard Mr. Cropsey as one among our best landscape-painters, for he possesses a soul that breathes on all his canvas.
Durand has seven landscapes this year, all marked by his peculiar excellences. In Number Thirty-one, ‘Progress,' we observe a higher degree of perfection than this fine artist has ever previously attained. It is purely American. It tells an American story out of American facts, portrayed with true American feeling, by a devoted and earnest student of Nature. DURAND is always peaceful, quiet, picturesque, and beautiful. No one artist among us has done more for true art than DURAND. He woos us, by their gentleness and repose, to love his pictures, rather than by attempting to 'astonish’us, and to enforce our admiration. Long may it be before he falls into the position of his own matchless representations of the sere, the yellow leaf!'
ELLIOTT sends eleven portraits this year. We say he sends; but it is not always inferable that an artist sends, of his own choice, a great number of pictures to the same exhibition. The subjects, or their friends, have often a voice in the matter, and their wishes are not to be disregarded. The number, however, has insured a good variety. Manhood in its prime; ‘frosty but kindly' old age; womanly beauty; childhood, 'in its innocent age cut off,' all live here in such expression and color as Elliott only presents. of the male beads, we are the most forcibly impressed with Number Four Hundred and Thirty-three, which is in the artist's best manner. But it requires not our praise. As a likeness and as a work of art, it'speaks for itself' literally. The same praise may justly be awarded to Number Twenty-eight, another characteristic head. The portrait of a lady, Number Three Hundred and Seventy-two, is a fine picture of an excellent subject — womanly beauty in its prime. Number Three Hundred and Twelve is a beautiful portrait of a lovely child, a copy in ‘little' of the portrait above-mentioned. It is pronounced perfect in expression and color by the parents of the subject.
Gifford has five pictures, all showing that uninterrupted approach to excellence which we have remarked for the last two or three years. Macte virtute !
The only landscape by that favorite and genial artist, Gignoux, is 'A Snow-Scene,' but it is one of the very best in its kind. One thing, however, seems somewhat amiss. The race-way, or 'flume,' wants a little ‘fixing,' it strikes us. As it is now, it appears to better calculated to supply the pond than the pond to supply the 'flume' with water.
Hicks has but three pictures; but he required no more, to give us a satisfying 'touch of his quality.' His portrait of a Quaker lady is a most admirable production. It is painted with honest paint, as solid as marble; and as to the likeness, one could swear, in a court of justice, to have seen the original, although he may never have ‘set eyes' on the calm, dignified, real features in his life. We have heard one of the male portraits, by the same artist, placed before it; but we say no: it is very fine, doubtless, but this is every way masterly. It is the very best portrait in the exhibition.
Mr. Innes contributes five landscapes. By a careful comparison with the pictures painted before he went abroad, it must be admitted that he has made very decided improvement. This is not always the case with our travelled artists.' A compromise between world-renowned pictures and Nature cannot be successfully accomplished without insensibly weaning the painter away from the latter. Number Thirty-seven, 'Land-Storm,' we regard as one among the best pictures in the exhibition. There is no timidity, either in the mind or the hand of the artist. It is bold, grand, effective. It is something more than merely a 'pretty' picture. Those old gnarled, deep-rooted forest-giants fairly 'fight their battles with the storm.' In the other pictures from Mr. INNES' hand, he seems to have sacrificed effect to his great love of mere tone. In this respect he will find that TIME, a greater toner than he, will entirely obliterate them. They are too much like the 'old masters' for a young master.' Kept up a little higher, they would go down' much better.
We have but three pictures from KENSETT, albeit he occupies about his usual space of wall-room, Number Forty-nine, 'Landscape,' being of unusual size. We always love to look upon KENSETT's pictures. There is always a strong affinity between them and the scenes in nature that touch us most: the wild, tangled, briery effect, with the broken sheen of light that sparkles like stars on the sea,' illuminating the otherwise cool, quiet, refreshing scene. Number Forty-nine gives us a bold, broken fore-ground, with magnificently-painted rocks on the left, and a high palisade on the right, which leave in the opening above a distant view of mountain, water, and sky. There is a bad fault, to our eye, in the stunted appearance of the principal tree. We think it would have been more effective had it been raised higher upon the face of the rock on which it now seems embedded for want of relief, causing a confusion in the forms. This, however, may very easily be remedied. The sky and clouds, also, do not, to our thinking, come quite up to Mr. KENSETT's standard of excellence, showing carelessness in making the farthest distance, cloud and sky, 'one and the same thing.' But still there is beauty enough in the fore-ground, beside the features indicated, to neutralize the faulty points of half a dozen pictures. We have so often encountered, in a wild-wood hunt, just such places, accompanied by torn garments and scratched limbs, that we cannot but feel that this is a true transcript from Nature herself. We congratulate the possessor of this noble picture, and the profession which names its author among her gifted sons.
We have eight pictures from Mr. T. ADDISON RICHARDS, and in the works of no exhibitor do we remark a more constant improvement. His color is growing deeper and richer, his distances more clearly defined, and his representations of nature more truthful and impressive. Mr. RICHARDS is destined to take a high rank among our landscapeartists.
In our “last leaves' we had spoken of the lovely full-length by Louis Lang, the most charming picture we have ever seen from his pencil; of William S. Mount's Who let down the Bars ?' so full of his characteristic excellences; of the great improvement of his brother in portrait-painting; of Peele's exquisite ‘Children and Game; 'of works by EDMONDS, TALBOT, CAFFERTY, DARLEY, TERRY, and four or five others; but our other matter has so usurped our space, that we are compelled here to draw this desultory and imperfect notice to a close.
LORD JOHN RUSSELL'S MEMOIRS, JOURNAL, ETC., OF THOMAS MOORE. — Messrs. APPLETON AND COMPANY continue, in numbers, this work. With much that is interesting, and mainly new, there is intermingled, as far as we have had an opportunity of observing, in the progress of the work, a great deal that it seems to us a judicious editor would have omitted. Moore's Journal' is a record of a thousand unimportant things, which tend only to show the great company' he was in the habit of keeping, and the indifferent things which are said over‘rich men's feasts.' It seems almost impossible not to regard MOORE, judging from his own exposition, as frequently the veriest trifler, and by no means always sincere or ingenuous. Reading him piecemeal, however, without knowing as yet how one act may possibly eventually justify another, his reader may be led, at this early stage of the work under notice, to do its illustrious subject injustice. We shall take occasion to review the volumes at large when they shall have been completed. The numbers, even as far as completed, have furnished much, both of extract and comment, for the English journals, and public opinion seems much divided upon the character of some of its revelations. The typographical execution is such as might be expected of the well-established press whence they proceed.