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truths. Few are aware how very rapidly objects diminish in apparent size as they recede from the eye; because it is known that objects are really not smaller, there is a difficulty in seeing that they appear so. If a man be placed at the distance of two feet from the human eye, and another at the distance of eight feet, the farthest off will be diminished one-fourth. Again, if any object be viewed reflected upon the ground glass of an ordinary camera, it will appear very small-but if the glass and lenses are removed, and the eye placed exactly where the reflection on the glass appeared, it will be found that the object was scarcely, if at all, diminished; from this it would appear that groups of figures represented life-size, are incorrect, as under no circumstances could groups appear that size; indeed it is questionable if the pictorial representation of every figure that is life-size is not a falsity, for unquestionably no artist can see his sitter of such a size, as the distance is always about six or eight feet from the artist. It is not a sufficient answer to this, to say that the picture is to be viewed at that distance, and will diminish in the same ratio, because the picture is to represent the object as if at the same distance from the base line of the picture, that the object is really distant from the artist's eye.

When we look at any group of objects in nature, it is self-evident that we only see one particular local part at the same moment; while regarding the foreground the distance is all but invisible: and if the eye be kept steadily on one point, the appearance would be, only a very small portion distinct-in fact, a picture truthfully representing such appearance, would resemble the view reflected in a camera, when everything is out of focus, except one prominent object in the foreground; but the observer of nature can, by moving his eye, see almost every object equally distinct in turn, save only, that distant objects seem less defined on account of the atmosphere intervening, an effect termed by artists" aerial perspective." In a picture treated as we suppose, this could not be done by the spectator, and a feeling of disappointment would of course result; the artist is therefore driven to make a compromise-he gives us a conventional representation, and the art consists in so balancing those opposites, that no sense of incongruity is felt a result which, in our opinion, the Pre-Raphaelites have not achieved: in their great effort to be truthful they become untrue

-for they show almost every object equally distinctly; and although such is the fact in nature, there is this difference in the pictorial representation, that all the objects are necessarily on the same plain, but in nature, being on different ones, the eye, as it travels further off, pitches itself to a different focus, and as it does not require to do this when opposite a picture, a sense of the want of naturalness is the result. This, also, is the cause of that seeming hardness of form and harshness of outline, so evident in their works. Draperies are by them most accurately and carefully studied-yet they give us the idea of being hard and unbending, instead of soft and textile, liable to be displaced by the smallest movement. A very marked change has taken place of late years in the treatment of draperies by artists, and in their attention to propriety of costume. Sir Joshua Reynolds' axiom, “it should be drapery, it should be nothing more," is now deservedly exploded; but the taste of his time was to look on all such matters as quite secondary. Inflated ideas of the classical were the only ones considered legitimate; and artists, in painting historical and scriptural subjects, generally invented their costumes, and thereby saved themselves a world of trouble. The old masters, too, for the most part, followed the same course. We have often fancied, in looking at some of their paintings, that if the people they represent wore such costume, they must have been so constantly occupied in keeping their pieces of cloth from falling to the ground, that they could not possibly have had leisure to do anything else. The artist of the present day requires to be a more generally informed man than sufficed heretofore; anachronisms, which then passed current, would not be tolerated now. How different are the paintings by Horace Vernet, illustrating the patriarchal age. He travelled in the East, and saw the resemblance between the manners and customs of the Nomadic tribes of the desert and those mentioned in holy writ—and, knowing how unchangeable are the habits of these people, he transcribed their costume and physiognomy to his canvas, and produced the most striking and characteristic illustrations of that age, that have ever been produced. Barry's treatment of the death of Wolfe was the very opposite. Allan Cunningham says, that the people who knew all the different regiments that were engaged, even to the colour of their facings, were astounded to see nothing but naked men.

The Germans have unquestionably been foremost in their strict attention to detail, and in giving the appropriate costume of the period represented. In looking over some back volumes of the Quarterly Review, we lately met with an article on Modern German Painting, in which it is very severely handled-too severely, in our opinion. There are many points of resemblance between the works of the German artists and the Pre-Raphaelites — and both have fallen into similar mistakes. The Reviewer is particularly caustic in his remarks on Mr. Hildibrandt's picture of the Murder of the Young Princes in the Tower-because of the satin mattresses, arabesque patterns, gold borders, and load of finish in every part. "Who," he says, "in telling the tale, would stop to point out the pattern of the coverlid, or the border of the smock, or excruciate you by faddling over the binding of the book? The narrator would feel that these minutia— though they might be there - in no way helped to tell the story." If they were there the artist ought to represent them; and Shakspeare says

"A book of prayers, too, on their pillow lay."

Lord Chesterfield was of opinion "that anything that is worth doing at all, is worth doing well," and we think all the details of a picture should be carefully and accurately rendered for these matters do help to tell the story; but they should be given with such art as only to appear when looked for like the real objects — and should not equally arrest attention with the principal subject matter of the picture and this is precisely the art which the Pre-Raphaelites scem most to lack. The writer commences by stating that for several years an impression has been gaining ground that the Germans are leaving us far behind in art" and with the national absence of self-esteem, which works in us so strongly, for good and for evil, we are at once ready to draw disparaging comparisons, and discouraging conclusions." We thought how a German or a Frenchman would smile at this; for if there is one character of John Bull's more marked than another, it is his perfect conviction that every thing English is right, and that whatever differs must be wrong—and this, probably, accounts for the rough handling he has given to German art.

In the last Exhibition of the Royal Academy, David Roberts had

a painting of an Attack on a Caravan in Syria, which gave the effect of nature most charmingly; it was remarkable, also, as being not at all labored; indeed, on a near inspection, it was almost coarse — but there were all the evidences of great care and consummate art. In the same Exhibition was the painting, by Maclise, of Caxton's Printing Office, in the Almonry, at Westminster, which, in point of high finish and extraordinary attention to every minute detail, surpasses anything that the Pre-Raphaelites have produced, and is much more truthful, as well as graceful. The smallest and most trifling object is as carefully labored as the more prominent and important. In the left hand corner are scattered some brushes and colors, and one little glass vial contains a yellow pigment in powder, in which the different appearance of the loose grains on the top and the closely compressed part at the sides, is plainly distinguishable. In looking at this picture it is impossible to disassociate from the mind an idea of the immense quantity of labor bestowed upon it. In our opinion, Landseer's method is more desirable, for, with great care, and all requisite attention to detail, he has combined a mastery and play of the pencil exceedingly captivating; his pictures are, also, pre-eminent for great natural truth. The following passage from Mr. Ruskin is quite true, and shows that, however partial he is to the Pre-Raphaelists, he is not insensible to their demerits :—

"I have a word to say to the Pre-Raphaelites specially. They are work. ing too hard. There is evidence in failing portions of their pictures, showing that they have wrought so long upon them that their very sight has failed for weariness, aud that the hand refused any more to obey the heart. And besides this, there are certain qualities of drawing which they miss from over-carefulness. For, let them be assured, there is a great truth lurking in that common desire of men to see things done in what they call a masterly, or 'bold,' or 'broad' manner; a truth oppressed and abused, like almos every other in this world, but an eternal one nevertheless; and whatever mischief may have followed from men's looking for nothing else but this facility of execution, and supposing that a picture was assuredly all right if only it were done with broad dashes of the brush, still the truth remains the same; that because it is not intended that men shall torment or weary themselves with any earthly labour, it is appointed that the noblest results should only be attainable by a certain ease and decision of manipulation. I only wish people understood this much of sculpture, as well as of painting, and could see that the finely finished statue is, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, a

far more vulgar work than that which shows rough signs of the right hand laid to the workman's hammer."

One thing that they are successful in, is propriety of attidude and expression. The painting by J. E. Millais, illustrative of Tennyson's lines

"She only said 'my life is dreary,

He cometh not!' she said;
She said I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead.'"

The perfect truth with which the idea is portrayed, and the utter weariness evident in the attitude and air of the figure, cannot be exceeded. His other picture of the Woodman's Daughter, is equally successful. The sullen and abrupt air with which the rich squire's young son offers the fruit to the little girl, and the open, confiding and gratified manner evident in her reception of his gift, is exceedingly truthful-but one cannot help saying, what a pity they are not handsome!

Whether those gentlemen will realize the high hopes and expectations Mr. Ruskin indulges in—and "found a new and noble school in England," remains to be seen, but that they possess the essential qualities likely to lead them to greatness-industry, perseverance, and earnestness, is undeniable.

Painters and poets, but especially the former, are by general consent of mankind classed as the genus irritable. Mr. Ruskin, we fancy, has mixed much with artists-and probably had this peculiarity of theirs in his mind when penning the following:

"In general, the men who are employed in the Arts have freely chosen their profession, and suppose themselves to have special faculty for it; yet, as a body, they are not happy men. For which this seems to me the reason, -that they are expected, and themselves expect, to make their bread by being clever not by steady or quiet work; and are, therefore, for the most part, trying to be clever, and so living in an utterly false state of mind and action."

With the following passage we conclude. It may be read with advantage by legislators, by painters, and by amateurs:—

Suppose that every tree of the forest had been drawn in its noblest aspect, every beast of the field in its savage life that all these gatherings were al

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