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Venice.-Diplomas.-Return to England.
In 1822, he visited Italy. He thus writes of Venice: “Venezia, caro Venezia! thy pictured glories haunt my fancy now. Venice, the birthplace of colour, the hope and idol of my professional life! I felt at home most at Venice, though I knew not a soul. I soon began my labours, in sucking like a bee the sweets of Venetian colour. Nostro Paolo-divine! Nostra Tintoretto! Tiziano! the grand Tiziano Vecelli, Bassano, Bonifacio, and all the radiant glories of that beloved city, which seemed to love and cherish me as I loved it. Its grand and glorious Academia, where the godlike statuary, after the antique, stand in a circle, and hold their council. It is one of the best appointed, and most complete academies in Europe. Here I studied, and they did me the honour to elect me an Honorary Academician. Charleston, America, gave me the first diploma; Venice, the second; England, the third; last not least in my estimation.
"Behold me, then, after a year's sojourn in dear Venice, and with labour infinite, returning back to Florence, to copy Titian's celebrated Venus, as large as life; after difficulties were surmounted, I was allowed to copy it; and brought it, and numerous copies and studies-studies of all the numerous works I had set my mind to do-and, having got with difficulty through the various doganas and states and snowy mountains and seas, I brought them in safety-stopping and copying and painting, in the Louvre, as I returned in 1824, having spent about two years in Italy and France.
"Pandora, formed by Vulcan, and crowned by the Seasons, from Hesiod, claimed my first attention; and a picture of eight or nine figures, with accompaniments, was begun and finished in a few weeks, and sent to the exhibition of the Royal Academy: my dear master, Sir Thomas Lawrence, bought it, and the Royal Academy elected me an Associate for it." Strike while the iron
Colossal pictures.-Present British school of painting.
is hot," was the advice of Sir Thomas Lawrence; and the picture last named was followed by nine colossal paintings: Woman pleading for the Vanquished, Judith, and Joan of Arc, each in three pictures; Benaiah, Origin of Marriage, and Ulysses and the Syrens. "It was my desire," he says, "to paint three times three." This was the mere outset; the productions of his long and industrious lifetime were exceedingly numerous. His works were chiefly from poetic and historic subjects.
Etty died in 1849, of a disease of the heart, in the sixty-third year of his age. "Etty was an enthusiast in his art, but his enthusiasm was not of that fitful kind which comes and goes where and when it wills; it was steady, continuous, and abiding; cheering and lighting him through many a toilsome path, till he had reached the highest point of all his greatness. He lived just long enough to witness the triumph of his genius. over prejudice and narrowness of mind, and has left behind him name to which his fellow-countrymen may point with pride and exultation."
Of the present British school of painting, Cleghorne says: Deprived of national patronage, British painters have not succeeded in forming a religious and historical school, properly socalled; still isolated attempts may be made by such artists as Barry, Hilton, and Haydon, whose enthusiasm prompted them to sacrifice their private interests to their love of high art, but such attempts, like exotics transplanted to an ungenial soil, soon languish and droop. The painters of the present day have, however, attained great excellence in a style which rising above the domestic and genre, borders closely on the historical, for examples of which, generally executed in the cabinet Poussin size, reference may be made to the works of EASTLAKE, MACLISE, SIR
Living Scotch artists.
WILLIAM ALLAN, MULREADY, Leslie, George HARVEY, WARD, THOMAS DUNCAN, &c. In the first line of portrait, we find PICKERSGILL, LESLIE, PHILIPS, WATSON GORDON, PARTRIDGE LANDSEER, FRANCIS GRANT, COUNT D'ORSAY, BUCKLER, &c. In rural subjects, equestrian, hunting, and animal compositions, the works of EDWIN LANDSEER, MULREADY, WETHERINGTON, COOPER, and FRANCIS GRANT, are distinguished for beauty and truth.
“Of living Scotch artists, Mr. Watson Gordon is distinguished for pure, chaste, and vigorous colouring, truth of character, wonderful relief, and close adherence to nature. His portraits attraet much attention in the exhibitio of Trafalgar Square. In the difficult department of battle-pieces, Sir William Allan has been very successful. His Battle of Preston, and Battle of Waterloo, are pictures that may vie with any similar works of modern times. The latter, on its first exhibition in London, was purchased by the duke of Wellington. As a proof of his versatility of talent, we may refer to his naval picture of Nelson boarding the San Nicolas, at the battle of St. Vincent. In landscape, the REV. JOHN THOMSON, of Duddingston, D. O. HILL, HORATIO MACCULLOCH, GEORGE SIMPSON, JOHN A. HOUSTON, MONTAGUE STANLEY, J. GILES, E. T. CRAWFORD, A. PERIGAL, are well known for their eminence in their different styles. The marine-pieces of Montague Stanley, J. F. Williams, and E. T. Crawford, are full of truth and character. Of amateur contributors in landscape, MISS FRANCES STODDART takes the first place for picturesque sylvan scenery, beauty of colour, and delicacy of touch. Miniature is successfully cultivated by J. FAID, KENNETH MACLEAY, MRS. MUSGRAVE, H. J. STEWART, B. W. CROMBIE, &c."
American painters.-First easel.-Influence of Smybert.
THE first easel set up in the North American Colonies, was that of JOHN WATSON,* a Scotchman, who settled, as a portrait painter, at Perth Amboy, in 1715. The only token of his success is that he amassed considerable wealth by his profession, but none of his paintings are now to be found.
JOHN SMYBERT, also of Scotland, settled in Boston in 1728. He served his time with a house-painter, but finally went to Italy, where he spent three years in copying the works of Raphael, Titian, Vandyke, &c. His talents attracted the attention of Dean Berkeley, afterwards bishop of Cloyne, who persuaded him to accompany him to America, where he intended to establish a university for instructing the savages in Christian duties and civil knowledge, and Smybert was to be professor general of the fine arts. The scheme was abandoned, but Smybert
remained in Boston "We see," says Dunlap, "the influence of Smybert and his works upon Copley, Trumbull, and Allston. Copley was a youth of thirteen, at the time of Smybert's death, and probably had instructions from him-certainly from his pictures. Trumbull having retired from the army, resumed the study of painting, in Boston, in 1777, amidst the works of Copley, and in the room which had been built by Smybert, and in which remained many of his works. And Allston says, in a letter to a friend, after speaking of the paintings of Pine, "But I had a higher master in the head of Cardinal Bentevoglio,
*This account of American artists is chiefly drawn from Dunlap's Arts of Design in the United States.
Copy from Vandyke.-Pratt.-Studies with West.
from Vandyke, in the college library, (Cambridge,) which I obtained permission to copy, one winter vacation. This copy from Vandyke was by Smybert, an English painter, who came to this country with Dean, afterwards Bishop Berkeley. At that time, it seemed to me perfection; but when I saw the original, some years afterwards, I had to change my notions of perfection; however, I am grateful to Smybert for the instruction he gave me-his work rather."
It is thus that science, literature, and art, is propagated; and it is thus that we owe, perhaps, the colouring of Allston to the faint reflection of Vandyke in Sinybert. The best portraits which we have of the eminent magistrates and divines of New England and New York, who lived between 1725 and 1751, are from his pencil.
Mathew Pratt was born in 1734, and at the age of fifteen was placed an apprentice to his uncle, James Claypole, from whom to use his own words-he learned all the different branches of the painting business, particularly portrait painting, which was his favourite study from the age of ten years. This allusion to the different branches of the painting business, shows plainly the degraded state of the arts, at that time, in this country.
Mr. Pratt afterwards studied with Benjamin West. Ho remained in England four years-eighteen months of that tine being spent in the practice of his profession in the city of Bristol. In 1768 he returned to Philadelphia. Many of his portraits extant prove him to have been an artist of talent and capacity. Among these I would notice, as works praised by competent judges, a