« EelmineJätka »
work; but these, like nearly all the ceiving that it would never have been works of these three painters in the painted, had not the works of Mr. gallery, are of earlier date, and lent by Leighton been in existence first; the present owners. But Mr. Watts though, to say truth, the work does contributes a recent painting of great not come too near to its model. The power, and which alone, perhaps, of artist may rest with more confidence all the works exhibited here, can merit on his portraits, which, however, are the title of a great picture. A great- not painted for the occasion. That of ness of style is perceptible, as was Mrs. Freshfield, though unquestionably observed, in two of the larger figures open to a charge of mannerism, is very of Mr. Burne Jones ; but in Mr. unusual and very charming in its semiWatts's Love and Death there is a grand idealised treatment, its delicate harand impressive idea, appealing to our monies of colour in the elegant decorimaginative faculty as well as to our ative adjuncts, the fine drawing of the sense of form and colour, shadowing hands, and in a certain serene digforth one of the profoundest enigmas nity of pose and manner imparted to of life, and embodied with a sombre the whole. grandeur worthy of the subject. There Among those whose works is something that sends a chill through largely represented in the gallery is us in the sight of this heavily-draped, Mr. Legros, than whom no one exslow-moving, portentous figure, which hibits a style more manly, sincere, advances irresistibly towards the en- and unpretending. His Le Chautrance, as we may say, of the House dronnier is a painting which at once of Life, its back to the spectator, compels our respect by its simple the terror of its countenance only to truthfulness and straightforwardness be guessed from the reflected agony of of style. This and the other larger protest and repulse in the action of the works of this artist are not, however, rosy winged boy who is ready to sink
exhibited by himself; his own contriunder his doom. The figures are in butions comprise a landscape and four sense supernatural, but it is
studies of heads painted before the noticeable how Mr. Watts's super- Slade school class in the course of his natural differs from that of his
duties as instructor, and which are “opposite” at the further extremity full of spirit and character. In the of the room. Mr. Burne Jones's larger works there is a certain defiangels are supernatural in virtue of
ciency, a dulness of tone and a too the elimination of
every characteristic uniform quiescence in the figures, of human feeling or passion; Mr. which cannot but be felt as a shortWatts's figures represent moods of coming; and it is in fact, so far, by human feeling in its most intense and this artist's studies and especially by concentrated ideal expression. Before his etchings, that we know how forcible a picture like this we fe 1 that paint he can be. Possibly he may transplant ing can still do something for us in- this force and vivacity in time into tellectually; can quicken our deepest his larger works, which only require sympathies, and stir our profoundest some such brightening up as that emotions, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual." 1
pear too long! If the line of the ankle down Mr. Richmond's Electra at the Tomb
to the heel (partially hid by the right leg)
be followed out by the eye, and compared with of Agamemnon is also a work of high
the perspective distance between the two feet and imaginative aim, but one in regard of the figure on the pavement, it certainly to which we cannot help at once per
appears that the lower part of this limb must
be of disproportionate length. If it be so, it May it be suggested, though doubtfully and is a small blemish in a great work, easily corwith deference, whether there is not an over- rected: if those more learned in technicalities sight in perspective, by which the left leg of of drawing decide that there is nothing wrong, the figure representing “Love" is made to ap- 80 much the better.
would imply, to render them works dress of our countrywomen; he porof very high interest, as they are trays a certain type of girl, the style already of very solid and enduring of the figure, the sit of the dress, merit. Then there is Mr. A. Moore, to perfection : but why this type of another painter with a marked indi- girl always? That there are young viduality, whose principal contribu- women to be found, even among those tions here represent his peculiar who rank socially as “ladies," so qualities, grace of form, very fine “dressy," so inanely handsome, so pert drawing, and most delicate combina- and essentially vulgar in expression, tions of colour in decorative drapery, we unfortunately know; that an artist -in perfection; a perfection, how- desirous of painting “society” in ever, which has rather restricted England should perversely select this aims, and moves within narrow bounds. disagreeable type for illustration is Indeed, the artist has not apparently not altogether creditable either to his claimed in general to be more than a taste as an artist or his truthfulness as painter of the outward graces of elegant an illustrator. It would be hardly courfigure, and subtle tones of colour; he teous to quit the Grosvenor Gallery generally gives his beautiful little works without a word for the fine portrait by some merely conventional distinctive Sir Coutts Lindsay himself, of Lady title, “pansies,” “ beads,” and so on. Lindsay; a full-length figure holding In the present case one figure holds a a violin; a work combining considerbook closed in the hand, and is en- able individuality in expression with titled The End of the Story : à title a rich, though not obtrusive, decorawhich rather unfortunately forces upon tive effect. The portrait of the same our attention the limits of his art. lady by Mr. Watts, apparently at a Such a title naturally excites our in- considerably earlier date, also apterest; we expect to see in the ex- pears ; a portrait full of life and pression of the figure something that energy, and very fine in colour. Sculpmay suggest to our imagination the ture is but scantily represented. Mr. nature of the story and of its effect Maclean's Ione (presumably the heroine on the reader. But Mr. Moore gives of The Last Days of Pompeii) has fine us nothing of this. His figure is a qualities, and is in a pure and sculpgraceful woman, charmingly draped, turesque style: and we cannot but and she holds a book; but that is all contrast the advantageous circumthat he tells us. The larger figure, stances under which such a figure is Sapphires, is evidently finished con seen here, in the midst of a large and amore, and is so perfect in its delicate handsomely furnished room, with the physical charm of contour and colour as conditions under which sculpture is to tempt us for the moment to forget exhibited at the Academy rooms. The that we may tire of an art, however little sculpture gallery at the Grosvenor lovely, which makes little appeal to rooms is unfortunately too narrow,
but the intellect and none to the emotions. here also the conditions of sculptural
Of the collection in the smaller room effect, in regard to lighting and accesthere is not much to suggest special sories, have been kept in view. comment, except the fact that The comparative absence of landusually very realistic French painter scape from the collection is a deficiency of modern English society has sud- to be regretted. The paintings of this denly taken to allegory, and that it class are few in number, and no one is to be earnestly hoped he will find of them can be said to be really out his mistake before going any fur- important. But landscape is so pecuther with it. As to his portrayal of liarly the modern form of the art, the English "Meess,” M. Tissot has at that in which the greatest things least got over the prejudice of his have been accomplished almost within countrymen in regard to the looks and
the present generation, that no exhi
bition of contemporary painting can vacy? we are gravely rebuked, and be thought at all complete which does asked on what principle an artist is not adequately represent what is being bound to make public his work at all. aimed at and accomplished in land- To which the simple answer is that scape painting
all genuine and robust human genius If the Grosvenor Gallery can be seeks the light of day; craves, in made to realise the object which has obedience to what in lofty irony has been professed, of providing an annual
been defined for all time as “that last exhibition of high-class pictures only, infirmity of noble minds," for the sufarranged effectively and without crowd- frage of mankind, for the “applause ing, it will be an inestimable boon. We and universal shout” which stir the have far too many promiscuous exhi- blood and confirm the hopes of him bitions for real enjoyment, and the
“ Who thinks he hath done well in people's sense gets absolutely wearied with ranging over the waste of commonplaces among which the good things From one point of view, therefore, it at Burlington House are disposed. It is a step in the right direction, that cannot be said that commonplace, and some of these specialists in painting even worse, is unrepresented in the have in this case come out of their first exhibition at the Grosvenor concealment and appealed to a more Gallery. Dire things are to be found public verdict : and it is much to be there, but the principal gallery is regretted, in the real interests of art, kept fairly clear of them; and even that one remarkable painter whose the eccentricities which figure there praise is loud on the lips of those who have some aim beyond that of painting are admitted to familiarity with his the first thing that comes to hand, works, should not have availed himself “ because they find it so, and like it of the same opportunity : for most assomehow,” which has been said to be
suredly it is only in the great air of specially characteristic of English life that a great and healthy art can artists. But it is impossible to over- grow and flourish. Only let it be look the presence of an element of urged that this very end would be eccentricity, the prominence given to defeated if the new exhibition were to types of painting which form the be made a field for the especial display special cultus of small groups of wor- of artistic eccentricities, however brilshippers who offer up a blind admira- liant; and that if the Grosvenor Gallery tion, each to their own special high is to hold the position and exercise the priest. There is far too much at pre- healthy influence on contemporary sent of this private clique spir't in painting which has been professed connection with painting in England. and hoped for, it must be by promoting An artist declines public notice, and the art which app als to the widest shows his productions only as a special sympathies and culture of the edufavour to a special circle, who kiss the cated world, rather than by enabling hem of his garment and see nothing certain limited circles of dilettanti to but perfection in his work; and if we indulge each in its favourite flavour inquire, why this mystery and pri- of caviare.
H, HEATHCOTE STATHAM,
The history of the town in which we which is shared by no other city or are now met, as far as it concerns the borough of England. The first begingeneral history of the island, belongs nings of its history are not to be mainly to three distinct periods; and, found in British legend or in English in two of these, Colchester, placed as it annals ; they are recorded by the pen is in the extreme east end of the island, of the greatest historian of Rome. It has a singular historical connexion with is in the pages of Tacitus hinuself that events which went on at the same time we read of the foundation of that in the western parts of the island. In veteran colony which, swept away in strictly English history, the time when its first childhood by the revolted Colchester plays its really most im- Briton, rose again to life, first to be portant part is in the tenth and eleventh emphatically the Colony of Rome, and centuries. But on the surface of history, to become in after days the fortress as history is commonly written, the which the men of the East-Saxon land name of Colchester stands out in greater wrested by their own swords from the prominence at an earlier and at a later grasp of the invading Dane. But, in date, in the first century of our æra and the very page in which he records the in the seventeeth. To most minds beginnings of the Trinobantine colony, Colchester will be the town which was he brings that colony, into a strange, overthrown by Boadicea, and which and at first sight puzzling, connexion was taken by Fairfax. The events of with movements in the far Silurian the intermediate age have had more land. Later on in his Annals, he has to direct bearings on the real destinies of record the overthrow of the new-born the English kingdom and nation ; but colony, the first of all the sieges of Colit is the earlier and later dates which chester. His narrative of that stage have most firmly fixed themselves in of British affairs brings in in its first popular memory. And, both at the clause a name which, in legend at least earlier and at the later date, there is if not in history, is held to be preserved a singular historical connexion between in the name of the greatest fortress of Colchester and the land in which it Morganwg. Before Tacitus can tell us stands, and a widely distant part of how much Suetonius did in the east of Britain. It seems a wide step indeed Britain, he has first to tell us how little from the land of the Silures to the Didius had done in the west. Now this land of the Trinobantes, from Mor- same Didius is, at least by a legendary ganwg to Essex, from British Cardiff etymology, said to have given his name to to Saxon Colchester. And yet there Caerdydd, the fortress of Didius, as a are points of connexion between the more certain etymology sees, in the name two lards and the two spots. Colches- of the town where we are met, the name ter bas in its earlier days a privilege of the fortress of the Colony. If then
there be any truth in the popular * Read at the opening of the Historical etymology of Cardiff, the beginnings Section of the Archæological Institute at
of Cardiff and of Colchester must Colchester, August 1st, 1876. Some of the purely personal and local references have been
be dated from nearly the same time. cut short.
And, even without trusting too much to 80 doubtful a legend, we at least find points of controversy. I presume the land of the Silures and the land of however that I may at least assume the Trinobantes brought close together that Camulodunum is Colchester and in our earliest glimpse of both. The not any other place, in the kingdom foundation of a Roman colony in the of the East-Saxons or out of it. I east, is directly connected in the narra- feel sure that, if I had any mind so tive of Tacitus with patriotic movements to do, my East-Saxon hearers wonld in the west. Alike in the days of Boadicea not allow me to carry the Colony of and in the days of Fairfax, warfare in the Veterans up to Malton in Yorkthe Silurian and in the Trinobantine shire ; and I certainly cannot find any land has to be recorded in the same safe or direct road to guide them thither. page. In the royalist revolt of which I trust too that there may be no civil the fall of Colchester was the last stage, war in the East-Saxon camp, that no no part of the island took a greater share one may seek to wile away tbe veteran than the land to check whose earliest band from the banks of Colne to the revolt Colchester was first founded. banks of Panta. Maldon has its own When the royal standard was again un- glories: its name lives for ever in the furled at Colchester, it had but lately noblest of the battle-songs of England; been hauled down at Chepstow; it was but I at least can listen to no etymostill floating over Pembroke. And one logies which strive to give a Roman of the fortresses of the land of Mor origin to its purely English name. Let ganwg, one of the lowlier castles which more minute philologers than I am exsurround the proud mound and keep of plain the exact force of the first syllable Robert Fitzhanion, saw perhaps the last alike in Northumbrian Malton and in encounter in that last stage of the civil East-Saxon Maldon. Both cannot be war which even local imagination can contractions of Camulodunum ; what one venture to dignify with the name of is the other must surely be ; one is the battle. The fight of St. Fagans does town, the other the hill, of whatever the not rank in English history along with syllable common to both may be taken to the fights of Marston and Naseby : and be. I at least feel no doubt that it is the the siege of Colchester, with all its town in which we are now met which deep interest, military, local, and per- has the unique privilege of having its sonal, can hardly, in its real bearing earliest days recorded by the band of on English history, be placed on a Tacitus. level with the siege of Bristol. Yet But if it is Tacitus who records the the siege of Colchester and the war foundation of the colony, it is not in in South Wales were parts of one last what is left to us of his pages that we and hopeless struggle. The remem- find our first mention of the name of brance of its leaguers and skirmishes Camulodunum. That unlucky gap in lives in local memory there as keenly his writings, which every scholar has as the last siege of Colchester lives to lament, sends us for the first surin local memory here. And if the viving appearance of the name to name of Fairfax may be bracketed in the later, but far from contemptible, the East with the name of Suetonius narrative of Dio. Claudius crossed Paullinus, in the West the name of into Britain, and went
far as Oliver Cromwell has left but small room Camulodunum, the royal dwelling place for the memory of Aulus Didius. of Cynobellinus. That royal dwelling
Throughout the earliest stage of the place he took, and, on the strength of history of the two districts their histor- that and of the other events of his short ical connexion is as clear as it is strange. campaign in the island which men I am not going here to give a com- looked on as another world, be enlarged plete history of Colchester or of Essex, the pomoerium of Rome and brought or to dispute at large on any minute the Aventine within the sacred precinct.