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found a senseless purchaser, whose mation had begun ; the fanaticks only measure of his intelligence defaced whatever they could, that was the abundance of his wealth ; the former inquisition had spared ; who would pay dearly enough for they broke painted windows and any thing that was called ancient, tombs, carried away the monuto be received into the number of mental brass, and church-plate, the cognoscenti, and join in the crying, Cursed be he, that doth outcry against modern ability, the work of the Lord deceitfully !"
Ali tnis, however, brought in a Thus the artist, terrified by the new and severer mode of study a. threats of the sovereign, the denunmong the artists, with a more dil- ciation of death or perpetual imigent attention to nature and the prisonment from the laws, and antique, and has enabled some of scared by fanatical anathemas, them exhibit performances found that his only hope of safety · much more on a level with the rested upon quitting forever a merit of those works than the in- profession, which enclosed him on sensible can feel, or the interested all sides with the prospect of mischoose to own.
ery and destruction. From this Having marked these phænom- time, and from these causes, we ena in the hemisphere of art, we scarcely hear of any attempt at should now turn our thoughts more historical art by an Englishman, particularly to England, and see until it was again called forth by in what manner it was affected the benign influence of the present by their influence. Previous to reign. the Reformation, although Italian When the liberal spirit of artists were employed in orna- Charles the First desired to adorn menting our churches and tombs, the architecture of Whitehall with yet in the old histories, records, the graces of painting, he was and contracts of publick buildings, obliged to seek the artist in a forthere are abundant names of Eng- eign land; he had no subject Jish painters and sculptors, who equal to the task : Rubens and appear to have been considered Vandyck were employed : and able masters in their time, perhaps when the king's bust was to be not inferiour to their Italian fel- done, Vandyck painted thrce views low-workmen. But after Henry of his face, a front, a side, and a the Eighth's separation from the three-quarter, which were sent to church of Rome, Elizabeth, pro- Bernini in Rome, by whom it was ceeding in the reformation, des- executed in marble. If our kings troyed the pictures and images in and nobility had continued to inthe churches ; strictly forbidding habit castles, as in the feudal times, any thing of the kind to be admit- painting and sculpture would have ted in future, under the severest been but little wanted ; for, if the penalties, as being catholick and walls of the building were suffiidolatrous. This entirely preven- ciently strong to resist battery, or ted tax exercise of historical paint shot, and contained retreats to seing, or sculpture, in England ; at cure the inhabitants from the enethe very time that Raffaelle and my, the end of that kind of dwelMichel Angelo bad brought those ling was answered : but in the arts into the highest estimation on times succeeding Charles the First, the continent.-The rebellion, in the improved state of society and 1648, completed what the refor- knowledge had induced the great
to build commodious villas and sometimes brought the taste of palaces, in which the architectural John Goujon or Puget, sometimes distribution made the sister-arts a debased imitation of John of Boabsolutely necessary to uniformity logna and the Florentine school, and completion. Still ingenious and sometimes the taste of Bernini; foreigners were employed for this but never a pure style and sound purpose, whilst the native was principles. After the Reformatreated with contempt, both at tion, the chief employment of home and abroad, for his inability sculpture was in sepulchral monuin those arts which law and relig. ments, which, during the reigns of ion had forbidden him to practise. James the First and his son Charles,
As this suppression of ability were chiefly executed by Frenchwas extremely impolitick and dis men or Flemings, scholars of John honourable to the country, let us Goujon, still regulated by the inquire for a moment on what principles their master had acscriptural authority the prohibition quired from Primaticcio, the pupil which occasioned it was support of Raffaelie. Some of these works ed. Painting and sculpture were have great merit, particularly the banished from the churches, that tombs of sir John Norris, and sir they might not idolatrously be Francis Vere, in the same chapel worshipped : and this is just; the with Roubiliac's monument of lady divine law orders they shall not be E. Nightingale in Westminster worshipped, but utters no prohi. abbey. bition against the arts themselves : The rebuilding of London, in on the contrary, divine precept di- the reign of Charles the Second, rected images of cherubim to be gave some employment to sculpmade, whose wings should extend ture. Cibber's works are the most over the ark of the covenant, and conspicuous of that period : his cherubim to be embroidered on mad figures on the Bethlehem the curtains which surrounded it. gates have a natural sentiment, but This decision in favour of the arts are ill drawn ; his bass-relief on being employed for proper purpo- the pedestal of London monument ses in sacred buildings, is so clear is not ill conceived, but stiff and and strong, that it could only be clumsy in the execution ; his overlooked, or opposed, by infatu- clothed figures in the Royal Exated bigotry.
change strut like dancing-masters, A succession of foreign artists, and have the importance of coxas has been observed, were em combs. But with all his faults, ployed in almost every work of what he left is far preferable to the importance, from the time of succeeding works. The figures Charles the First, until within for in St. Paul's church, and the conty years of the present day. The version of the saint in the pedipainters, Vandyck, Lely, Verrio, ment, partake strongly of Bernini's Kneller and Casali, succeeded to affectation ; and from that time to each other ; as did also the sculp- the establishment of the Royal tors, Cibber, Gibbons, Scheema. Academy we must expect to see kers, Rysbrack, Bertocini, and every piece of sculpture more or Roubiliac, This variety of artists less tinctured with the same bad (sculptors are more particularly taste, especially the sepulchral meant) from different countries, monuments, to which, after the French, Flemings, and Italians, statues and basso-relievos last no
Vol. IV. No. 10. 3T
ticed, we must chiefly look for the judgment and strength to correct progress of sculpture amongst us. its errors, and supply a better style
It will be proper here to remark of art. Before the time of Bernini that all the Grecian sculpture was two kinds of sepulchral monuarranged in three classes : the ments prevailed ; one from the group of figures ; the single highest antiquity, which was a statue ; and alto or basso relievo. sarcophagus, either plain, or covThe first two classes were suited ered with basso-relievos, with or to all insulated situations, and the without the statue of the deceased latter to fill pannels in walls. on its top. The other kind was These classes not only serve all introduced by Michel Angelo, in architectural purposes, but adorn, the mausoleum of Julius the Secharmonise, and finish its forms : ond; and those of the Medici famevery attempt to make other com- ily, in the chapel of St. Lorenzo, binations between sculpture and at Florence. In these the sarcopharchitecture will be found unrea agus, as in the former kind, was sonable, and degrading to one as suited to the niche or architecture well as the other ; but Bernini, against which it was placed, and whose character and works we surmounted or surrounded by stahave already noticed,seems to have tues of the deceased, and his moral thought that he had the privilege attributes. Both these practices of equally subverting art and na were rational and proper; the one ture in his works.
I shall men for plainer, the other for more tion the following instances, al inagnificent tombs. This branch though I am afraid their extreme of sculpture was of too much imaburdities will prevent such of portance to be neglected by Berthose from believing the descrip- nini ; he stripped it of its ancient tions as have not seen the things simple grandeur, leaving it neither themselves. In the area before group,statue,basso-relievo,sarcophthe church of Santa Maria sopra phagus, or trophy, but an absurd Minerva he raised a bronze ele- mixture of all, placed against a phant on a pedestal, and on the el- dark-coloured marble pyramid, and ephant's back placed an Egyptian thus sacrificing all that is valuable obelisk : the architecture of the in sculpture to what he conceived east window' in St. Peter's church a picturesque effect. The pyramid he has loaded with many tons is from its immense size, solid base, weight of stucco clouds, out of diminishing upwards, a building inwhich issue huge rays, intended tended to last thousands of years : for light or glory, of the same ma how ridiculous, then, to raise a lits terials, but long and thick enough tle pyramid of slab marble, an inch for the beams of a house. Extra- thick, on a neat pedestal, to be the vagances of this kind, and many back ground of sculpture, belongothers that he has committed, have ing to none of the ancient classes, fortunately had little effect upon foisted into architecture, with which us, because some have been nec- it has neither connection nor haressarily connected with catholick mony, and in which it appears e. churches, and others introduced qually disgusting and deformed! in fountains, which are only fre. The first monuments he raised of quent in hot countries : we were, this kind were two in the Chigi however, the dupes of his school, chapel in the church of Santa Mauntil native genius gained sufficient ria del Popolo,in Rome ; this nov
elty soon found its way into every went to Italy, in company with Mr. country in Europe ; our Westmin- Pond, an English painter ; he was ster abbey is an unfortunate in. absent from home three months, stance of its prevalence. Rysbrack going and returning, stayed three and Roubiliac spread the popular days in Rome, and laughed at the ity of this taste in England ; but sublime remains of ancient sculpas the first of these sculptors was ture! The other sculptors of this a mere workman, too insipid to time were ordinary men ; their give pleasure, and too dull to offend faults were common, and their greatly, we shall dismiss him with- works have no beauty to rescue out further notice. The other de- them from oblivion. serves more attention. Roubiliac Thus we have seen the nobler was an enthusiast in his art, pos- efforts of painting and sculpture sessed of considerable talents : he driven out of the country by recopied vulgar nature with zeal,and forming violence and puritanical some of his figures seem alive ; fury ; sculpture reduced to the but their characters are mean,their narrow limits of monument-makexpressions grimace, and their ing, and by these means degraded forms frequently bad ; his draper- to a sort of trade ; and this departies are worked with great diligence ment supplied from the corrupt and labour, from the most disagree- source of Bernini's school, and not able examples in nature, the folds unfrequently through the worst being either heavy or meagre, fre. mediums. In this state the art quently without a determined gen. continued until the establishment eral form, and hung on his figures of the Royal Academy settled a with little meaning. He grouped course of study, both at home and two figures together (for he never abroad, which developed the pow. attempted more) better than most ers of English genius, till then unof his contemporaries ; but his known to the natives, and denied thoughts are conceits, and his com- by foreigners. positions epigrams. This artist
For the Anthology.
Paris, December 15th. 1805.
the United States. They may be
considered as so many collections MY DEAR FRIEND,
of errours and blunders, of falseI HAVE always doubted, wheth- hoods and calumnies, rather than any great addition was made to of truths. In giving therefore any our stock of knowledge by visiting sketches of the countries, in which foreign countries. The view we I have travelled, I must be undertake of them is so very superficial, stood as offering them rather as that we are perhaps exposed to pictures of the impressions made form as many erroneous, as cor on my own mind, than resemblanrect notions of national character, ces of nature. manners, &c.
I have been con One benefit however generally refirmed in this idea by reading sev şults to us from these visits; we are eral of the works of travellers in induced to look into and read with
attention the history, and political, Dauphiny was added ; Charles commercial, and moral state of the VII. reunited Guienne ; Francis I. several countries through which Brittany ; Henry II. the three we pass, that we may the better bishopricks of Metz, Toul, and understand the objects which offer Verdun, and the county or earldom themselves to our notice ; and of Calais ; Henry IV. Navarre ; though this kind of knowledge, Louis XIII. Roussillon ; Louis being derived chiefly from books, XIV. Flanders, Artois, Franche might be as well acquired in our Comté, l'Alsace, and the princiclosets at home, yet wanting a suf- pality of Orange ; Louis XV. ficient stimulus to pursue it with Lorrain and the island of Corsica. zeal, we are too apt to neglect it. If you have a map of France, di
Thus, for example, I was not vided into provinces, as it was besensible that I was so totally igno- fore the revolution, you will see rant, as I find myself, of the extent, that even before the revolution population, power, and resources France had more than doubled its of France. I knew it to be a great size in two centuries ; that it was and powerful nation ; but had no gradually advancing to supreme precise ideas on any one point, con, power even under its monarchs. stituting its grandeur and power. During the revolution and since,
The science of statistique has it has absolutely annexed to its terribecome very fashionable in France, tory Belgium or the low countries, since the late rapid accession of Geneva, Avignon, Savoy, the whole power has led this nation to believe, of the left bank of the Rhine, the that she shall soon give laws to county of Nice and Monaco, Piedall the world. The violent hatred mont, the island of Elba, and late. of the English is principally occa- ly Genoa. These are indepensioned by the conviction, that that dent of the countries over which nation offers some barrier to its she has an absolute, but not a nomcommercial pre-eminence. As to inal sovereignty. its continental domination, there France, at the moment of the exists no barrier, which they can breaking out of the revolution, was not in a short time overleap ; and cstimated to contain 27,491 square they hope some Britannicus will · leagues, and the number of arise, who will remove the obsta- its inhabitants was computed at cles to their commercial supe- 24,800,000. The territory of riority.
France is now estimated at 32,026 An elementary work on the sta- square leagues, and its population tistical situation of France has just at 34,449,351. To judge rightly appeared, and as it appears to me of the quantity of land contained to have drawn its information from in these leagues it is necessary to solid sources, and as I know you observe, that, the league here res biave a taste for subjects of this ferred to is one twenty-fifth part nature, I shall give you some of of a degree, or two miles and twothe most interesting details which, fifths English. I have collected. It will save you The contributions of France, beat least the trouble of translation. fore the revolution, amounted to
The first durable aggrandize- 584,600,000 francs, or nearly twen. ment of France began under St. ty-five millions sterling ; equal to Louis, who added Burgundy to his , about 23 livres 13 sous per head: estates. Under Philip de Valois, of all the individuals of every age