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much resemblance to the substance of this face. There are many better pictures in the upper tier, and few worse any where. I am therefore unable to see why this should be in so good a place.
No. 63, a Landscape, by H. C. Hows. This picture has many of the merits, and some of the defects, of the present English landscape painters. It has good management of light and dark, good imitation of objects in the fore and middle grounds, and considerable spirit and boldness of execution ; but its tone of color is cold; its shadows, in the flesh and some other objects, are made impure, by excess of red and other colors. The sky is too blue, when seen by common daylight, the clouds are proportionably cold, and the light in the fore-ground, inteuded for weak sunlight, is in the same proportion remote from the warmth of real sunlight. When illumined by gas, it is probably even too warm; but this kind of light is fit only for suck pictures as aro painted expressly for it, and has been applied to others only by the 'well-enough-for-the-public' policy of American exhibitions. Clear day-light is much inclined to blue ; and pure white and gray pigments, when illumined by it, reflect the same excess of blue, and are therefore cool enough for the azure tints of the sky; but when the orange-colored light of gas is applied, a great excess of blue paint is necessary, to compensate for the difference of color in the light; and beside this intolerable evil, gas-light makes yellow, orange, and red tints appear much lighter, and blue tints much darker, than they do by daylight, and thus changes the effect of light and dark, and often impairs the barmony of coloring. Some years ago, an Englishman obtained a patent for a mode of qualifying gaslight for panoramas, by transmitting it through blue glasses, of such thickness as lo absorb the excess of red and yellow rays; and, if there were not more quacks than men of science among the managers of this feeble ape of the Royal Academy, this method would have been adopted here, if known, or invented, if not previously known. But to return to Mr. Hows, (whose name has been misspelled in the catalogue.) lle paints skies very blue, and clouds, distances, etc., of corresponding coldness; consequently, the general hue appears much colder than nature, which may be a great improvement, but which seems to me a great defect; and in this practice, he agrees with most of his countrymen, and nearly all the French and Americans, who study the paintings of their contemporaries more than the optical treatises of Newton and Brewster, or the paintings of Titian, CLAUDE, and the Dutch, or the source of all beautiful art, Nature. The two other pictures of this artist are better than this, in the main ; indeed they are very clever; and although I can see defects in them, I can perceive excellencies that afford me great pleasure. The light and dark, (chiaro-scuro,) he manages well, as English artists generally do; and this alone will make a picture pleasing, if not prevented by offensive color, or some other disagreeable quality.
Nos. 188, 45, 23, 36, by Ingham, MARSIGLIA, GAMBARDELLA, and Marr. These gentlemen possess, in perfection, the manner I alluded to, which may be much better than any thing in Titian, Correggio, Paul Veronese, or any of the celebrated masters of color, or even in nature ; but which I cannot see in any of thoso authorities. It consists in excessive brightness, smoothness, and minuteness, and total absence of mellowness, freshness, tone, and richness. Could I say what it results from, I should expose a chief cause of the corruption of taste and the decay of art, and render a most im. portant service to the world; but I confess my inability to give any thing more than the conjecture, that it arises from bad taste and fulse theories, and from thut narrowness of mind, whicb, in pursuing some good qualities, tramples on all others, and pushes to an offensive excess the few it notices at all. In the fine fine art of painting, or as the French and Italians more aplly term it, the beautiful art,' the spiritual predominates, the physical is subordinate, as its vehicle; and each physical element keeps its rank, and gives its proper aid in bodying forth the emotions of the soul, but is never shown for its own sake. "Beautiful art' is essentially ideal; it makes composition subordinate to expression, imitation to composition, copying to imitation, and has nothing to do with fac-simile. The trade of copying, which these men mistake for art, subjects all things to itself, and never thinks of soul or character. I ask any sensible person if Mr. Ingham's portraits do not generally appear seeble in intellect, affected and ungraceful in expression and action, without just resemblance in substance and color, and false, even in mere shape ? And the others of this sect, and more who might be named, are not much more or less distinguished by merit, or by vulgar popularity, than is this idol of those silly women, who chalk their skins until they produce the delicate whiteness' of kid gloves. Take any of their pictures, regard them with your own eyes, unaided by reciprocated puffery, and see if they possess diguity or refinement of character and expression, beauty of form, or the dewy freshness and bloom of healthy flesh; see if they discriminate between the substances of vegetables and minerals; the juicy flower and the sapless rock; the transparent atmosphere and the painted wall; the liquid and the dry; or mark the degrees of transparency which distinguish flesh from images of crockery-ware, or painted wood; marble from plaster, or muslin from paper; and do not allow any excuses on the score of defective pigments; for in the hands of Titian, Bassano, Paul
Veronese, Correggio, and others, materials less varied and efficient than we possess, were made to rival every beauty that adorns the visible creation.
No. 110. Portrait of a Lady, by DURAND. This possesses gentility, grace, and even beauty ; qualities that do not abound in this show-room. The dress is tasteful and neat, and carefully painted; and the chiaro-'scuro of the picture is effective, yet unobtrusive. I think this the best picture I have seen of Mr. Durand's ; indeed, no portrait in the room appears more lady-like in character, or more pleasing in its general effect; and had I a hundred dollars to spare for such a purpose, I would rather give it for this than for all Mr. Ingham ever painted. But it grieves me to see that Mr. Durand's taste has suffered by exposure to the pestilent manner of Messrs. Ingham and Company. Even as an accomplished scholar, despite his habitual care to avoid them, will sometimes catch and repeat the vulgarisms of the rabble; or as very refined people in the last century could endure and even admire powdered wigs; or as ancient Lombards were charmed to see heads shaven behiod, and ancient Britons to see themselves painted blue, and South-Sea islanders with tattooing, and so forth, and so forth ; so this artist, and many others, and most of the public, have beheld this dry, feeble, insipid manner, until they can tolerate, aud even like it. At the hazard of appearing vain, I advise him and them to go to Nature ; look at her in the morning, when the dew gives moisture and fresbness to color; at noon, when her splendor is greatest; and in the vapory twilight, when all things are idealized and mellowed by the shadowy gleam that soothed the eyes of Titian, Carracci, and Reynolds; Go! subject your eyes and feelings to these genial influences; and you will be cured of a corruption of taste, which, is allowed to keep its hold, will degrade you from artists to tradesmen; from amateurs to mere twaddlers for fashion's sake.
No. 40. ‘lodiau Captives,' by Weir. Something historical, and of course a treat. The female has good action, drapery, and light and shade; the male has tolerable drapery, but is feeble in drawing, and somewhat statuesque, especially in the right leg and foot. His color has a dry and dirty appearance, and somewhat hard, like a wooden figure. Of the expression, I had better not speak; as I have little sympathy with those who ascribe the virtues and lofty sentiments of civilization to these half stupid barbarians. The soldier is a very good one, but not remarkable for mellowness of color. His armor, weapons, and the log on which he sits, could hardly be painted with greater truth; but they should have been more subordinate. There is considerable tone, and unity of shade, which gives simplicity of general effect; but the coloring lacks richness, inellowness, and force; and the chiaro-'scuro is feeble, monotonous, and unsatisfactory to the eye. Mr. Weir has seen too much of the present Italian school, and its flourishing branch in this city.
No. 42, Portrait by W. H. PoweLL, has a look severely disagreeable. There is no resemblance to the substance of flesh, and the bands are quite shocking to an anatomist. The coat and etceteras are not so bad ; but they are not so difficult to paint. Mr. PowELL is young, and has done quite as well as could bave been expeciel; but I fear he is a spoiled child, and in a way to miss the art altogether, and become a mere tradesman. He has been wofully deluded by the puffery of several very bogorahle and warm-hearted friends, who are by no means competent to judge of art, or his progress in it; and the instruction under which he has suffered, has been of that most dangerous kind, respectably mediocre, with merit enough to win the confidence of the inexperienced, but not enough to be of any essential service to a truly ambitious studeot, who desires to feel and possess those excellencies by which the great masters have won the admiration of ages. He has wasted his time under no instruction at all, or under that of men who were never well taught themselves, and who know of the art only so much as busy ingenuity could catch from inferior productions, and the casual hiots of such as themselves; when he should have been in the schools of Europe, if possible, or under the instruction of Mr. Morse, who is the best educated artist in this city, and the most likely to make a young man sensible of the beauties of nature. Mr. Powell will not feel offended at the apparent severity of any remarks, or at my singling him out from among many who are in the same predicameut, and to whom my censures will apply with equal or greater force. I choose him, because he is one of the most promising ; and it is not expedient to speak of each particularly.
No. 91, by J. T. Harris, is a portrait of a gentleman, who seems to think more of the utile than the dulce. Supposing the color to resemble the original, it is much better than the majority of portraits in the room, being less hard and dry.
No. 59, by W. Hamilton, is a portrait of a little girl, made of something like very fine unglazed crockery, and a little dog, made of a mixture of plaster and pipe-clay.
No. 49. Portrait by F. R. SPENCER. Very creditable to him; although the flesh is too much like Signor Ingham's.
No. 47, by J. WHITEHORNE, is a portrait of a lady. If this artist would take as much pains to get tolerable expression, as he takes to make his colors glaring, and his substances hard, he might be a respectable manufacturer of portraits. I fear he does not possess a very artist-like ambition. VOL. XIII.
No. 34. D. DICKINSON. Hylas and Nymphs.' One of the chief vices of our artists, is a propensity to that species of theft, which consists in purloining the materials of their pictures from priots, paintings, or any thing else, and palming them on the public, without stating whether they are or are not original, in order to wiu praise from incautious journalists. But as such deception, whether it result from mean dishonesty, or from ignorance of its impropriety, candot but excite doubts respecting the originality of worka of artists who would scorn to receive credit that was not their due, it is proper that all who are concerned in such matters should be admonished, and the imposture exposed. This picture is copied chiefly from one by Henry Howard, Royal Academician, which was engraved for Charles Heath's annual, the Keepsake; but there are several figures added, whether original or not, I cannot say, and some heads and limbs put in different and worse positions. Our artist's other picture, of 'Oberon and Titania,' is much in the manner of Mr. Howard, and I must suspect it to be taken from him, although the coloring and execution are so wretched, that one should be slow to thiok they could have come, even so indirectly, from that clever artist. According to the published rules of this academy, copies are not admissible; therefore, the public have a right to presume that whatever appears in it, is original, or believed to be so, by the committee. I wish to be distinctly understond, that I do not impugn the motives of Mr. Dickinson or the committee. I am bound in courtesy to presume that such free use of intellectual property is considered by him, as it is hy the public at large, perfectly excusable. The committee, however, were not sufficiently guarded.
No. 73. E. Mooney. This portrait bas tolerably good imitation of form, substance, and color, excrpring in the flesh, with an approach to unity and purity of sbade; but the composition is faulty; the red curtain is too conspicưo'ls, and in general, the material not subordinate to the mental. You see too distinctly, and feel but vaguely ; and although portraiture gives but slight opportunity for the manifestation of the vital principles of art, still almost every respectable person has moments of activity of spirit, which the painter shoold watch for, avd the expression of which be should catch, and adapt to it the whole composition of his picture, in order that there may be no incongruity, and that the vehicle, form, color, etc., may not draw to itself the attention that is due to the subject, mind.
No. 202. Landscape. E. LIVINGSTON. The lower part very agreeably colored; the water transparent and well managed ; tbe sky rather too fat and unbroken.
No. 200 and 223. Portraits by J. B. Flagg. The first is very bad ; the other has considerable inerit, but is too pinky in color, and somewhat defective in substance, especially the nose, which is • woodeny.' Mr. Flagg is very young, considerably less than twenty ; and his performances are highly ereditable to him.
No. 22. T. P. Rossiter. This is a very clever sketch; the chiaro-'scuro and color very agreeable to the eye. If, as I am informed, Mr. Rossiter is quite a young man, it njay be hoped tbat he will become an excellent artist, if he will but study; for he certaialy has a good eye for color and effect, and some perception of beauty in forma; but I see by another picture of his, that he needs to be severely drilled in drawing. If he can muster two hundred dollars a year, for five years, he had better go to London, and study in the Royal Academy, which is the best school in the world, and the only safe one.
No. 64. H. Inman. If this resembles the substance and color of flesh, and the shape and construction of a lady's shoulders and neck, the resemblance is not sufficient to deserve such elaborate praise as this artist is accustomed to receive. The dress, bowever, is better painted; as well it may be, for it is easier executed. Mr. Gray, a mere lad, without doing a very extraordinary feat, has painted a head, No. 71, quite as good as this, and a hand considerably better. Mr. Inman's picture of children, No. 185, is much more artist-like, at least in the composition and general effect, which are very elever, and far better than most things here. But the children are not very childlike in expression, nor very well proportioned. The arms and hands, particularly, are too small, and would become a toy-shop better than a National Academy;' a name, let me add, so pompous, as to reinind me of one I saw over a dingy hole in Paris, ' Case de l'Univers !' But the coloring of the drapery, the carpet, the cushion, the basket, and ribbon, is very good; nay, quite delightful to the eye, after looking at the brainless, boneless, fleshless libels on human substauce and mind, on either side, by INGHAM. But why did he paint the necks of these little folks so dirty? Why did he not first wash them, and wipe them moderately, which would have made the skin more transparent, and given a freshness of color, which is sadly needed.
No. 231. Portrait by F. ALEXANDER, of Boston. As this artist happens to paint in a deep tone, with some attention to mellowness and harmony of coloring, it has been considered necessary to incline his picture a little more than the one next it – a very little; which diminishes the light from the proper direction; and to place around it a plenty of bright frames, and staring colors,
which makes the flesh appear too dark. Beside, owing to the inclination, the light from the floor makes a very slight but very mischievous glisteniog over the surface of the varnish, producing great disturbance and irregularity of effect. But this picture is very well composed, and executed ; yet the flesh seems to want that dewy freshness, wbich you see when the atmosphere is moderately humid, and the perspiration unchecked. If it were hung in any tolerable light, it would probably appear sufficiently bright in the flesh; but it is not painted in the New-York manner, and therefore bas not found favor with the committee.
No. 254. Portrait, by W. Page. This is the best colored of his pictures, and is as good as any in the room, so far as hue is concerned. The face, beluw the forehead, is well drawn, and has very mueh the substance and color of flesh; but the forehead is too indiscriminately rouoded, as if it were turned in a lathe, aod is not entirely free from objection on the score of hardness. The hands are carefully painted, with tolerable color; but a little overwrought and hord, and the right one not anatomically correct, nor drawn with much skill. His other pictures are inferior to this, particularly in substance and color. No. 117 is decidedly hard and dry.
No. 74. Landscape, by T. Doughty. This is a very pleasing picture, and one of the best, if not the very best, that I have seen from this artist. The general effect of color and ehiaro-'scuro is agreeable; the trees, aud other objects, well grouped; the imitation good, and the coloring of individual objects has much truth.
Nos. 31 and 32. Landscapes, by A. RICHARDSON. This artist has several very clever little pictures here. He composes with facility, and bas a good feeling for chiaro-'scuro and color. Owing to their small size, they do not appear so well here as they would if hung on walls with reasonable spaces between them.
No. 20. The Great Adirondack Pass. Painted on the spot, by C. Ingham, N. A. If there be any persons of laste, who are not already convinced of the justice of my remarks upon this person's labors, they need but look at this daub. In the description which he quotes, it is said: “The shadows of night are veiling the awful precipice, which forms the back ground of the picture.' With the spirit of mere mechanical deliveation, destitute of all poetic feeling, he has failed to profit by the hiut of the writer, to give the obscurity of evening shade, and the glow of an evening sky, wbich might have imparted magnitude and effect to this precipice,' which he has made more abominable than awful.' Such lilliputian minuliæ, such tame monotony, such absence of all truo substance, color, space, and atmosphere, I never saw, to my remembrance.
No. 97. Portrait of ADMIRAL WALTON, R. N., by J. FROTHINGHAM. I suppose this bero looked as surly as he could, for the sake of his own dignity, wheu he sat for his picture ; but that is bis concera. At a moderate distance, this flesh appears very dry, like a mixture of chalk and brickdust; but ou coming near it, the dryness almost disappears, and you perceive a very curious patch. ing, or pencilling, or whatever else it may be called, which is probably designed to contribute some desirable quality, but which seems quite unnecessary; as Mr. F. has done much better without ic, than I have seen him do with it. I think this picture unskilfully composed, spotty in light and color, and somewhat fantastically false in the hues of the back-ground.
Of the miniatures, I can only say, from a hasty glance, that Mr. Hite's seem the best, although Mr. Fanshaw has a very pretty one. This first-gamed gentleman deserves great credit, not less for his talents, than for bis perseverance to ultimate success, against the most adverse circumstances. His first miniature, I have heard, was painted from colors that he gathered and preserved on his thumb-nail, ia 'trying the quality' of a box of paints, which, trifling as was its price, he was unable to purchase.
There are several other works, some of which deserve commendation, and many that demand severe censure, which the limits of this article will not permit me to notice.
The condition of painting, in this country, is low, and sculpture has as yet scarcely a being. The causes of this may be, the general diffusion of wealth; the moderate circumstances of the many; the very limited number of those who can afford to pay a stimulating price for the best productions; the consequent demand for quantity, and toleration of inferior quality, from which necessarily result a retrogression of taste, and farther toleration, farther superficial dispatch, farther action and reaction of taste ou production, and production on taste, which will contivue, until conmou sense is startled from its dream, by the hideousness of the objects imposed on it. What I desire to impress on the public mind is, that taste, our sole guide to the beautiful, is modified by every object we contemplate, corrupted by every error we imbibe, and should, therefore, be vigilantly guarded by reason, and subjected to whatever test reason may decide to be the true one. This test, probably, is nature, if the united and unanimous voice of all painters, sculptors, and poets, that have survived the cri. ticisin of ages, is to be relied ou, as a rational ground of probability, in opposition to a temporary fushion, a popular opinion, even though that opinion should coincide with one's own.
1. K. 1.
Park Theatre.— The public's old favorite is again lifting up its energies from their late tempo rary depression, and the consequence is, a return of old faces, and large receipts. Miss Tree is soon expected, to fulfil her last engagement in this country, when the many thousand acquaintances whom her delicate and effective personations of character have warmed into friends, will crowd the house, to be charmed once more with the eloquence of her art. We shall all regret the final departure of Miss Ellen Tree. She is the last, and we had almost said, the best, of that trio of female talent, consisting of FANNY KEmble, the Phillips, and herself, with which we have, witbir a few years, beep favored. When she is gode, her place cannot be filled.
Miss Clifton has lately been fulfilling a short engagement at this house, but has confined herself to the personation of the character of Anna Boleyn,' as it is drawn for her, is the new play of that name. It is well for Miss Clifton, that she is really a beautiful woman; otherwise, we fear the critics would be less amiable in the display of their tender mercies toward her. Ladies' eyes have wondrous power, even upon the obdurate hearts of the most stubborn of theatrical reporters, Growing ourself gray, and -(we may say it with complacency.) venerable in our batchelorbood, we confess to a calm, general indifference to the witching charms of that sex which inspired our juvenility; yet are there glances from starry eyes, shot across the pit, which, even in our retired snuggery, we can feel to be laden with the full force of woman's strong artillery. Miss CLIFTON, as she treads the stage with the grace and look of an empress, scatters far and wide these resistless beams. Her adınirers, in glorious bewilderment, feel the warmth, and see the brightoess, of the sun, but take no cognizance of the spots upon its surface. The glare of the beauty dazzles them, and the defects of the actress are unnoticed, if not uoknown. Not so with your sexagenarian. Juno might smile her sweetest, and glance her brightest, and Jupiter might stay his thunderbolts to ap. plaud, but your cool, well-tempered, honest critic of sixty, would take snuff, and quietly wait for the flash that tells of the spirit withio. Laying aside our gallantry, which is more natural to us than our wig, we must proceed to declaro, that Miss Clifton has, in her fine person, but one of the attributes of a good aetress. She has neither the genius por talent, which are necessary, in the opinion of many, to the constitution of a great tragedian. She wants the faculty of identifying herself, in the smallest degree, with the personage she would represent. She seems never to enter into the feelings of the eharacter, and being herself udpossessed of the passion to be displayed, it is tot strange that her audiences are unmoved by it. It is not enough for an actor merely to give utterance to the high-sounding words of passion, in a voice tempered to the subjeet, but there should be an expression more powerful than words depicted in the countenance and action of the performer; as if language could not alone declare the mighty workings of the spirit. Miss Clifton's art does not reach so high. On the eontrary, there is ao affected prettiness in all her efforts at expression ; as if to portray hate, anger, revenge, or any other unamiable feeling, would destroy the beautiful in her face, and distort those lineaments which enrapture the souls of her admirers. But if she really has talent, the public, more than herself, is to blame, that it has not displayed itself before. The indiscreet and fulsome flatteries which the press has lavished upon her, have been enough to turn the brain of any pretty woman, and induce her to rest satisfied with the attractions which pature has lavished upon her person, as if they would endure for ever, without seeking to bring forward those richer charms of the mind, which do not pass away with the roses of the cheek, but bloom the brighter the longer they are permitted to ripen, under the culture of study and experience.
Mons, and M'd'lle Paul Taglioni made their first appearance, during the month, in the ballet af "La Sylphide.' Expectation was on tip-toe, and great anticipations were entertained of the superior skill of the brother of the Taglioni, and favorable hopes of the lady. A house crowded to the dome, bringing back remembrances of the prosperous days of the old time, restified, by the most cheering applause, their unqualified approbation of the new artists. Until we saw Mr. Paul TAGLIONI, we had not supposed that one of the masculine gender could dance,' in the ineaning applied to the graceful movements and bewitching gyrations of the ballet. But he has settled that question ; and if his sister is worthy the title of the greatest danseuse that Europe ever saw, he may justly claim for himself the distinction of the first bonors in the male lipe, 'of that departmeut of art in America, if not in the world. His performances are not only as graceful as nature and study can make them, but they are really wonderful, in their dexterous agility. Upon Madame Taglioni we have almost the same unqualified praise to bestow. She did more, far more, than the most sanguine expected of her. Her grace is equal to her husband's, and her style of dancing quite original to American audiences; and we venture nothing in affirming, superior to any that they have ever before beheld. The picturesque and lovely tableaur vivants' of the pair, can never be forgotten. They were studies for the sculptor; as effective and classic as the schools of any country can afford. But it is the ease and perfect freedom from apparent effort, with which the most difficult feats are accomplished, that