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concealment, in the unsculptured block of Pentelic or of Parian marble." Modern institutions, however necessary to the splendour of variety, are too much connected with parade; and they have often proved not only insufficient, but inimical to the true culture of the Arts, in their progress to the higher excellencies. Their state in the Grecian Republics of Antiquity depended on the dispositions of the citizens, and the manners of the several commonwealths. As these were virtuous in promoting the enthusiastic love of country, or as the pure flame of liberty abated in their bosoms, so arose or fell the thermometer of excellence in the Sister Arts of Design.
Wherever the arts are considered merely as matters of capricious ostentation, where patronage is made a stalking horse, and litile or nothing is done essentially to cultivate that wbich alone is truly valuable, what rational benefit can be expected by multiplying institutions ? To give birth to works that constitute sound Art, the generality of artists, and the public at large, should be supplied with the means of obtaining better information than they possess, by the exhibition of the first examples of human skill. This object might be obtained by forming a public gallery on a magnificent scale of collection, and by adopting a liberal system of general admission. We would hope, though we fear that the hope is vain, that the rare example of the Marquis of Stafford will be followed by the majority of the numerous other possessors of private collections, though some objections to the mode of admission at Cleveland Row may be fairly made ; for the churlish manner, in which the public are debarred access to most of these repos sitories, meets no parallel in the civilized world. To the dis. credit even of the Legislature, free ingress and egress have formerly been denied at a National Museum, of which the sarities have been chiefly purchased and are maintained at the National charge: but we learn with sincere satisfaction that here a more liberal regulation will henceforth be adopted.
It may be inferred from these preliminary observations, that we regard the subject of the present work as of considerable interest and importance; and we are disposed to offer our remarks on it at rather unusual length.-Mr. Hoare states in his preface;
• It is not my design, in this short treatise, to present to the reader a complete investigation of the faculties of Painting and Sculpture, but to offer to his perusal such remarks as my particular situation has enabled me to form. The Honorary Office which I hold in the Royal Academy, and the task in which I have there engaged, have led me to many reiections on the various degrees of exertion
made by different States, in proportion to their respective powers, for the advancement of the Plastic Arts ; and thence, forsaking the ungrateful office of comparison, I have been induced to examine abstractedly, how far, in this particular point, a full and adequate use has been made of the means and talents of my own country, for the discharge of that most important of all trusts, the due cultivation of the strength and faculties of a nation.'
This object is pursued in three Parts, (subdivided into Chapters and Sections) treating, ist, Of the Advantages arising from the Cultivation of the Arts, and on the Methods most conducive to their Advancement; 2dly, Of the Establishment, Design, and Progress of the Royal Academy of Arts, and of its Annual Exhibi. tions; and, 3dly, Of the Powers of English Genius, conducive to Excellence in the Arts.
Respecting the importance of the Arts in exalting the National Character, and their influence in the Grecian republics, Mr. H. cites the following remarks from Mr. Harris :
"The Grecian commonwealths,” says the elegant author of Hermes, " (while they maintained their liberty), were the most heroic confederacy that ever existed; they were the politest, the bravest, and the wisest of men : in the short space of little more than a century, they became such statesmen, warriors, orators, historians, physicians, poets, critics, painters, sculptors, architects, and philosophers, that one can hardly help considering that golden period as a providential event in honour of human nature, to shew to what perfecrion the species might ascend."
Now, (adds Mr. Hoare) if the fame of the Greek states be thus pre-eminent, and if it must necessarily occur to every reader of history, ihat, of all the various parts of character enumerated in the passage from Hermes above mentioned, the three which regard the plastic arts, are those alone wherein the Greeks have as yet found no equal competitor, it appears just to conclude, either that those arts possess ia themselves, exclusively, the privilege of conferring the laurel of fame, or that their influential effect on the nation that cultivates them is that of rousing it to such superiority of effort, as equally to deserve the palm in all the various points of character. Either of these conclusions must sufficiently demonstrate the imporlance of the arts to the fame of a nation,
The propriety of the preceding quotation, on this occasion, must be admitted ; and it is evident that the excellence, thus strongly depicted, is materially to be attribu:ed to a combination of propitious circumstances, at Athens under Pericles, and at Rome under the virtuous Anionines, and under the pontifi. cate of the second Julius.-In France, where a noble foundation was laid by Francis l. great talents have existed ; and these were regulated by the times. It is but justice to say also of our counfrymen, that England has felt no want of sufficient talents to cultivate the Arts with the best success, in all their highest departments; though numberless concurring causes have arisen to the depression and final prevention of considerable attempts. The competency of Britons in these branches has been so often and so ably discussed, that it seems scarcely necessary to descant farther on the fallacious reasonings and vague aspersions of Monte quieu, Dubos, Winckelmann, &c. The labours of Bacon, Locke,and Newton,in science, and those of Milton and Shakspeare in literature, under all the supposed disadvantages of climate and of the nature of our food, are evidences which alone suffice to refute such syllogistic reasonings; and the exertions that have been made in the liberal Arts are facts which render incontrovertible our sufficiency to farther attainments. Instead of wondering that more has not been done, it ought to excite the astonishment of the contemplative that so much has been performed; especially in the higher provinces of the Plastic Arts. Barry's Inquiry should be ever attentively read ; and be it remembered that Sir James Thornhill's public works as Mr. H. observes, referred to mercantile Commissioners, and estimated by the yard.—The powers of Giles Hussey, who had education and talents equal to the highest undertakings in the historic line of painting, were lost to the world from his native timidity and unassuming deportment; unable or unwilling to contend against faction and vulgar prejudices, his acquirements fell a prey to the bawling ignorance of self-sufficient cabals. Had he painted live Mackerel, or the ribs of roasted Beef, his works would have been noticed by numerous em ployers, his reputation have been extolled, and his fortune have been made.--Hogarth’s inimitable pictures, tracing the progress of human follies and vices from their source to their despicable or their tragic ends, could meet no adequate sale, until his decease ; and it was from the product of inconsiderable prints, that he gained his daily bread. --The noblest effusions of Wilson's classic mind, committed to canvass, in many instances remained on his hands partially noticed; while Dalton's execrable descriptions of antiquities that are miserably represented gained admittance into the library of a Prince. Mortimer's early talents, if susiciently cultivated, might have shone conspicuously by the works of Annibal Caracci : but ere they were patronized, he unfortunately fell a prey to dissipation and debauchery. - Revett lived in gloomy yet serene obscurity, amid his studious avocations; and the nature of his retired disposition having led him to but slender employ, he died unrewarded.-On the canvass of Stubbs, we behold the rapid and energetic courses whirl the Chariot of the Sun through the subliine expause of Ather; freed from the restraint of the vain and incompetent Phaeton, and setting fire to
all that comes in contact with the wheels. This incomparable production of native genius was, with several others, so far lost to public notice, as to have remained for a very long succession of years unpurchased on the walls of his show-room ; works of which, in more propitious times, for the encouragement and the advancement of the Arts, kings would have contended for the possession.
How illustrative of cultivated genius are the writings of Richardson on the Arts! while the discourses of Reynolds, Thos. Sandby, and Barry, add lustre to their practical emia nence.
Barry has left to the present and to the succeeding generations of British Artists, a legacy of memorable examples, and of the wonderful effects of unremitting perseverance ;-the only means of attaining the rugged heights of Parnassus, to which so many content themselves with looking up, without displaying the fortitude required by the attempts to climb. His paintings, which were executed with the sole view of proving what opportunities had been lost, and what Englishmen were capable of achieving, display the sublimest effusions of the human mind, directed to the inculcation of sound morals, so essential to the elevation and dignity of man: yet, as in the case of Hogarth, they obtained no purchasers, and like Hogarth he supplied his wants by the sale of his own engravings. Barry had his faults, as no man is without; while he had virtues and talents which few can boast. His principal performances were a series of Epic paintings and of Attic conceptions which depict the origin and progress of human culture, through its varied combinations, to the final retribution of beatitude or misery. Placed on the walls of the Adelphi Society for the Encouragement of Arts, &c. they are in every respect appropriate to their situation, and they form a work which, for its unique combination of mental and of manual powers, would have been recognised with unbounded approbation in the best ages of antiquity.
At his death only did Barry receive the honours due to his talents and his disinterested exertions. When the publication before us made its appearance, he reposed from his labours, like another Hercules; and to the credit of that Society to which he had been an uncommon ornament, his remains had been placed in their apartments in all the state of funereal grandeur, surrounded by his immortal productions. The spec. tacle was of the most impressive nature: the shade of Barry was the very Victor at Olympia, whose works gave interest to the venerable corpse, and whose memory was adorned by the union of the palm and the laurel.
Such is a brief and imperfect sketch of the merits and the fate of Barry! Yet in Mr. Hoare's book, professing to be an • Inquiry into the requisite cultivation and the present state of the artsof design in England,' his paintings, which form sosuperioran example in illustration of that Inquiry, find no mention! This, surely, is a fact to be equally reprobated and lamented; how. ever grating a due tribute to him might have been to the advocates of that Institution, with which Mr. H. is connected by the important office of Secretary for Foreign Correspondence !
The influence of the Arts, and their effect in advancing the holy ordinances of Religion, are thus described :
• The pleasure, naturally arising from the contemplation of works of painting and the other imitative arts, a pleasure felt by, and conamon to, the people in common life, of all nations and characters, will of necessity find its vent in society in some channel or other. How many channels of public depravation are constantly opening, how many artifices of moral pollution are every hour put in practice and every moment kept in play, by profligate dexterity and mercenary cunning, need not be mentioned to any inhabitant of a metropolis. It cannot therefore be considered unworthy of a legislature, seduously watchful of the morals of a great people, to assign a proper province for the gratification of this natural, and naturally innocent, pleasure, by means of such an institution as shall provide a safe and beneficial store of continual public amusement. The activity of desire, if not properly directed, must either idly dissipate itself in tifles and insipid. vanity, or suffer perversion and depravation from the allurements of vice. The open avenues to the heart, if virtue and diligence are once suffered to be driven from their guard, will be quickly, although inaensibly, filled with the wildest phantasms of indecent and tumultu. ous riot. Gross, debasing images of sensuality, rude chimeras of civil disgust, and deformities of political satire, will usurp the place due to ihe charms of chastened beauty and historic truth.
• The first effort towards the regular employment of the arts on great moral purposes, was made by the artists of the Royal Academy, and others, in an offer to contribute their gratuitous labours to the farther decoration of St. Paul's Cathedral, by presenting, each, a picture or sculpture of a religious description. The pious prelate, then bishop of the diocese, actuated no doubt by the most consien. tious motives, esteemed it his duty to discourage such a design, and the proposal was accordingly dismissed.
* It was objected by the bishop, that the charms of painting were of a nature too seductive for his congregation, and that the forms and varied tints of beauty might divert their thoughts from heavenly to earthly objects, and excite emotions inconsistent with religion !
I cannot wholly divest myself of surprise, that in a cultivated mind, whose professional studies had necessarily been so abstracted from all seductive objects of a sensual nature, the idea of painting