« PreviousContinue »
JOHN MARTIN, Esq. Historical Painter to his Serene Highness the Prince Leopold, and her late
Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte, of Saxe Cobourg,
PORTRAIT TAKEN FROM LIFE EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK.
The history of Literature, Arts always provide an adequate reward ; and Sciences is replete with the mis and the best market, that can be fortunes of men of genius; and we sought for, exists directly or indican discover but few men, who have rectly in the mental cultivation of done honour to the human species, all classes, which must be inevitably whose shining abilities have been followed by an admiration of the fostered by the benevolence of power, highest powers of intellect and by reor rewarded by the still more legiti- fined taste. To this enviable state mate patronage of an enlightened England, at the present time, seems public. The age of Pericles, the ce making a rapid approximation. The lebrated reign of Augustus, and the encreasing knowledge of the lower times of Cosmo and Lorenzo de Me orders necessarily commands a more dici are, perhaps, the only periods refined and extensive intelligence in the annals of the world, during among the higher classes of society; which the page of history has been and it is nothing but strict justice brightened by the rays of protected to assert that in no period of the hisgenius. Persecutions have almost tory of this country were the arts so invariably followed and obscured generally patronised, or so successthe dawn of genius, and its posses- fully cultivated. This observation sion has more frequently been a particularly applies to sculpture and curse than a blessing to its posses- painting, and the subject of the pre$or. New lights, shed on the dark sent memoir is a living instance of hemisphere of ignorance, have ge the fact. On him the patronage of Derally been immediately darkened the powerful and the rich is beamand destroyed by jealous power, or ing, while the public in general en. persecuting superstition. 'We may courage him with their eagerness lament over the sad fate that has to view his exhibitions, and the jusawaited the sons of genius, but the tice of this united patronage, due circumstances are more calculated to transcendant talents, will
be conto awake sympathy than create sur firmed and eulogized by posterity. prise. In proportion as the public Mr. Martin was born at Haydonmind encreases in knowledge, so will bridge, an obscure town in Northumencrease the patronage of the arts berland, on the 19th of July, 1789; among the powerful and the rich; although born in a place that presents who are ever ambitious to signalize no opportunities for the developethemselves by the acquisition of qua ment of talent, this son of
genius lities, that render them conspicuous rose from the obscurity in which he in the eyes of the world. A demand was nurtured, by the native powers for the productions of genius will of his mind, assisted by undeviatEur. Mag. Vol. 83.
ing perseverance, and an exercise conduct and invincible perseverenee. of the moral virtues. ' At a very He left Newcastle with a strong reearly age, his mind was directed to commendation from his earliest friend the art of painting from seeing some
Mr. Muss, to his son, who was alefforts of drawing executed by his ready established in London as an brother, who had practised that art, enamel painter, and with a portrait in a minor degree, at some other of his master and a view, as speciplace: these efforts he instantly sur mens of his abilities. Under Mr. passed, and the generous and san Muss, junr. he soon distinguished guine praise of his brother fanned himself, but seeretly sighed for emithe latent flame of his nascent genius, nence in the highest walk of the which has since risen into meridian pictorial art, historical painting. He splendour. When he was about the was scarcely twenty years of age age of fourteen his father removed before he ventured on matrimony, to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and this and although this proceeding incircumstance, perhaps, decided his creased his difficulties, it animated destiny. Even the signs suspended his exertions, and after spending the before the inns were objects of ad- day upon a tea cup or a vase, he miration to his untutored mind, and employed his evenings in some roafforded him rude materials on which mantic designs, generally made in he exercised his incipient powers. Sepia, in the working of which he Although at this time particularly has excelled every artist of his time. partial to boyish active sports, he At this period he made many beautwould frequently forsake them in tiful drawings which were very much order to compare the signs with each admired, particularly by the late Earl other, and continually traversed the of Warwick, and the late Princess town from one end to the other for Charlotte ; however, these testimothat purpose. His friends were at nies rather delighted than satisfied first decidedly averse to his follow- his aspiring ambition, and his aring the arts in any shape as a pro- dent mind panted for the premium fession: but at last were prevailed at that time annually given at the upon to comply with his decided British gallery, for the best histori, inclination, and with laudable care cal painting. His first essays, like selected herald painting, as all attempts at original style, met branch of the art which would at with few admirers; the defects of a all events be lucrative; with this young artists are but too palpable provident design he was apprenticed to the most common observer, and to a coach-painter iņ Newcastle; but, it requires penetration and judgin consequence of some disagreement, ment to discover latent excellences, he did not serve the full time of his and the bursting irregular energies apprenticeship. At this critical pe- of rising genius. riod of his life, Mr. Martin found a The first picture that attracted friend in Mr. Muss, (father of the any considerable praise, SADAK IN celebrated enamel painter of that name now iin London) by whom he VION, was purchased by Wm. Manwas kindly noticed and faithfully in nig, Esq, the Bank Director. structed: and to whom he owes ob The second was, ADAM AND EVE ligations, which he unceasingly, ac IN PARADISE, purchased by knowledges with all the gratitude Spong, Esq. of Kent. and respect, that can be felt by a man The third was, Joshua, first excapable of the most honourable and hibited at the Royal Academy, and lasting attachments About the age the year after at the British gallery, of seventeen Mr. Martin ventured where it obtained the premium. up to town, buoyed up by all those The fourth was the DesTRUCTION vast hopes, that animate an aspiring OF BABYLON, exhibited at the Brimind conscious of extraordinary tish gallery. The purchase of this powers. He could no longer bear picture, by H. P. Hope, Esq. for four to be a burthen on his parents; and hundred guineas, was made in the with the slenderest pecuniary means, most liberal manner, and with the at this early age, he entered on the politest attention.' arena of life, confidently relying on The fifth picture, BELSHAZZAR'S his talents, assisted by propriety of Feast, exhibited at the British Gal
SEARCH OF THE WATERS OF OBLI
lery, raised the subject of this me the arts, who have honoured Mr. moir to the highest pitch of cele- Martin with their liberal patronage. brity; and we are sorry to be obliged The late Earl of Warwick, her Royto say, that the purchase of this ex al Highness the Princess Charlotte, cellent production was attended by Lord Ennismore, the Duke of Buck circumstances of the most disgrace- ingham, Thomas Wilson, Esq. Wm. ful nature, which prevented it from Manning, Esq. and John Belisario, becoming the property of the Duke Esq. who has proved himself not of Buckingham. It was exhibited af- only a liberal patron but a kind terwards to the public, and more than friend. 50,000 persons paid for admission to Mr. Martin is engraving his Josh. see it, although it had been previously va and his BelSHAZZAR, from the exhibited at the British Gallery. original design in the possession of
The sixth and last picture, painted Thomas Wilson, Esq. and is further by this eminent artist, : was the employed on a work of perhaps much DESTRUCTION. OF HERCULANEUM. greater sublimity and dificulty of This is, at present, Mr. Martin's chef execution, than he has hitherto paintd'auvre, and is sufficient to hand his ed—the subject is SARDANAPALUS, name down to the latest posterity : OR THE PALL OF NINE EH. it was painted for his Grace the Duke We must here conclude this meof Buckingham, for the sum of 800 moir, with wishing the subject of it gnineas, and was exhibited together a long, healthy, and prosperous life; with Belshazzar's Feast, &c. at Mr. in order that he may still further add Bullock’s Museum. While this pic- to our elegant enjoyments, and the ture was in progress, the artist was honour of his country. Let those three times offered the sum of one who would profit by his example and
arrive at his envied distinction, imiWe cannot conclude this memoir tate his industry, his, temperance, without mentioning the names of his activity, and his perseverance. some admirers and encouragers of
TO THE MOON.
So purely, mildly, sweetly gleaming,
The effigy of God is beaming.
Thou castest comfort, rest on me ;
The dark robe of futurity.
To watch thee is my fondest duty ;
Thou smil'st on me in silent beauty.
Towards the high Eternal's throne,
The music of the seraph's tone.
My heart from thy soft beam can borrow
In smiles and tears, in joy and sorrow.
And darkness o'er our path-way lieth,
The clouds are gone, the tempest diethi.
On thee, with wishes undefin'd,
Their holy influence o’er my mind.
APHORISMS, OPINIONS AND THOUGHTS ON MORALS. As the meanest scrap of gauze, of to choose your offence.” The der bead, or of tinsel, looks beautiful and vise instantly chose to be guilty of costly through the mirror of the drunkenness, as the least fault of kaleidiscope, so does the most com the three--the consequence was, that mon and dreary scene acquire attrac while intoxicated, he committed the tion and value, when beheld through other two. the beautifying medium of gratified .“ In the adversity of our best affection, and in the society of those friends," says Rochefoucauld, in his whom we tenderly love.
two hundred and forty-first maxim, Whatever merits we possess, I fear we often find something which that it is always better for us not to does not displease us.” This is true, allow ourselves to be seen too often, I believe ; but whatever there is and too long, as we all grow tired
offensive in the sentiment may be of concealing our defects; and con explained away, thus :-We all love sequently, the more we are known, to render services to those who are the less we are esteemed.
dear to us; and it is only in their If we took as much trouble to con afflictions that our friends require quer as to disguise our faults, we our aid. A somewhat similar exshould get rid of them very soon.
cuse for his own maxim, which has It is always a mark of true supe
often been severely censured, is conriority, to be able and willing to talk tained in his next--the two hundred on trifles with those who can con and forty-second. “We easily converse of nothing else-it is the sur sole ourselves for the disgrace of our est
way of pleasing also ;—for most friends, when they serve to prove persons charm less by displaying our tenderness for them." their own talents, than by calling In maxim 267, Rochefoucauld forth the powers, or kindly throwing says, that " the pleasure of love a veil over the deficiences of others. is loving, and that one is happier
“ Thou shalt not put a stumbling through the passion one feels, than block before the blind, but shalt fear that which one inspires. I think this thy God.” Lev. xix. 14.-I could is only true; where the affections write pages on this text--as nothing are stronger than the vanity, and is more common than, in a figura- that is a rare case ; where the selftive sense, to" put a stumbling love is stronger than the affections, block before the blind;" that is, to delight results not from feeling, put temptation to fall, in the way of but from inspiring passion. How those who are, we well know, little ashamed should we often be, were able to withstand it: as for instance, we resolutely to unveil to ourselves to urge the man, who has a propen the true motives of our actions ! sity to drink, to fill his glass, is put- For instance—we praise the beauty, ting a stumbling block in the way or the talents of such an one, and of the blind, and is disobeying the with an ardour that appears most commandment to fear God; for what generous and exemplary; but search ever crimes or immoralities that man our motive, and it will often be may commit, while under the influ- found, to be the wish of mortifying ence of the wine which you have some one who listens to us, or a dethus led him to drink, you have sire of appearing candid and liberal made yourself responsible in the in the eyes of the company. The eyes of a Just Judge.-I must in- poet Thyrsis is notorious for never dulge myself with inserting here praising any one, except when he the following short but instruct fancies he mortifies the person to ive tale: – Å dervise, walking in whom he speaks by doing so, as his his little garden, looked up, and envy is far greater than his talents. lo! a genius stood before him—" I "I met Thyrsis to-day,” said a wit, am commissioned,” said he, "to in of his acquaintance,
u and I told form you, O! dervise, that you are him, that I could not read ten lines destined to commit one of three of C's. poetry--asked me to dinner great faults-murder, adultery, or directly.” drunkenness; but you are allowed “When Bifrons smiles in my face,
and hopes I am very well,” said scious, that so tempted, they should Levihanes, of a very treacherous have erred themselves.—T'he truly acquaintance, " I know that he virtuous woman is not only pure means go to h--11.'"
herself, but is slow to give credit “ Love,” says the Italian pro- to the impurity of others. Ferb, “is like a hole in a black Familiarity and intimacy have the stocking-itis discovered instantly." same effect on the light in which “If (says Rochefoucauld) there be some characters appear to us, when a love, pure and exempt from any viewed at a distance, which sunwixture of other passions, it is that shine has on those towers and buildwhich is concealed at the bottom of ings which we beheld and venerated, the heart, and of which we are igno- when seen by the pale moon-light. rant ourselves.” This might be true, Sun-sbine divests them of the awful were it not (in my opinion) impossi- ness and grandeur which moon-light ble for any such love to exist. I had bestowed, and the supposed cannot believe that a passion, which, greatness and beauty of a character if it exists at all, is always the often disappear on a nearer apgoverning motive of one's actions, proach to, and on a further knowand the ruler of all one's feelings, ledge of it.--I scarcely know a betcan remain long undiscovered by ter lesson than is contained in the the person whose heart has con- following proverb :-“ It is difficult ceived it, though it may be hidden for an empty purse to stand upright.” from the knowledge of every one Jealousy and Love are twins; but else. There are many persons who it is lamentable to think, that when never like or dislike any one, but Love, the pleasing twin, dies, Jealfrom the mean instigation of gratified ousy, the unpleasing one, usually or offended self-love ; and one be- survives, and is as vigorous as ever. comes, in turn, a fiend or an angel – The cause is, that Jealousy had in their eyes, only as one has fed or the strongest and most attentive mortified their vanity. I am con nurse-namely, Self-love; and Selfvinced, that vanity is not only a
love shrinks with aversion from the universal feeling, but that it is oftener mortification of being forsaken. a deep-seated and all-pervading pas How affecting are a man's tears ! sion than we are any of us aware of. Those of women are as common as
That person is very far from being dew-drops, which are the production pure, who is apt to see impurity in of every evening, and every night; the most indifferent actions. When therefore, but little regarded. But I see women given to suspect other the tears of men are like the rare women of unchastity, I am apt to be and costly drops of Attar of roses, lieve, that they know the secret weak- and every drop is precious, in proness of their own hearts, and are con portion to its rarity.
DESCRIPTION OF ATTUSH KUDDA, OR THE TEMPLES
OF FIRE OF THE GUEBRES,
FORMED FROM BURNING FOUNTAINS OF NAPHTA,
The ancient sect of the Guebres, brethren, through the oppression and different from all other worshippers exaction of the government they are of fire, derived its opinions from Zo- reduced to the most abject state of roaster. The Guebres were of Per- ' degradation. sian origin, but after having met The Persian Guebres principally with great persecution, many of them inhabit the banks of the Caspian Sea, quitted the kingdom and formed an and the towns of Ispahan, Yerd, and asylum at Bombay and other esta Kerman. Their great temple of fire blishments on the Malabar coast. called Attush Kudda, Atashgah, or Those who remained in Persia are A techgah, is in the neighbourhood more miserable than their emigrated of Badku, which, before it was con