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Exhibition of the Royal Academy. the examination of questions connected Mr. Hilton's large picture of “ Venus, with the cultivation of the Arts, which in search of Cupid, intruding on the have been often diseussed, and perhaps bath of Diana,” is entitled to particular never satisfactorily decided :—whether a observation. The rich and harmonious School of Painting is more likely to colouring of this picture affords' a coup create imitators, than to assist extraordid'æil highly pleasing, but on examina- nary talents ; whether the facilities tion the favourable impression is soon which it affords, are of material advaneffaced. The subject suggests the only tage to the Artist; whether real genius source from which the picture might will not more probably lead to excelhave derived excellence, which is fe- lence by following its own course; and male beauty; and the painter has by no whether it will not surmount all diffimeans succeeded in its representation. culties, and shew itself still more tranHis Venus is a slight sketch from scendant, because it has had to contend the antique, in proportions, which, with them--are questions we do not however beautiful in marble deities, attempt to solve. Our purpose is to lose all their attractions when imbued extend to a wider circle the love and with colour. Diana's attitude has no- admiration, and patronage of the Arts • thing of grace or dignity; the surround- if we succeed in this attempt, we ading nymphs are negligently drawn. vance the cause we have undertaken." The landscape is in a very rich, grand This exhibition affords fine specimens style. If Mr. Hilton has failed through of the works of Holbein, Sir Antonio his adherence to the forms of the an- More, Rubens, Vandyke, Lely, Kneller, tique, Mr. Hayter has been equally Reynolds, Copley, Gainsborough, &c. unlucky in the indiscriminate imitation It is an assemblage of persons who at of nature. The figure, supported by various periods, and in every walk of Iris, complaining to Mars, and shewing life, have distinguished themselves, and him the wound received from Diomed, influenced the fate of England. In these is certainly not Venus. We do not almost breathing images, we behold the mean to call it an ugly figure. Many great, the noble, and the wise, from tight-laced, made-up, shewy dames, Henry IV. to George III. We seem to would suffer greatly in comparison with be introduced into their presence, and, this figure; but as there certainly are in spite of the anachronism, to behold many individual forms far superior, we at once the Plantagenets, the Tudors, cannot agree to let it pass for a Venus. the Stuarts, and the Guelphs. When
Mythological subjects require, above we contemplate these vivid lineaments, all things, beauty of form; they are glancing around us on every side, looks only valuable as illustrations of classical animated by sentiment, by passion, and poetry, from which we have already by pride—when we discern their very derived impressions of perfect beauty. characters, their virtues, and their failWe naturally expect to find, in a pic. ings, legibly written in their faces--when ture of this class, the perfect images of we resign ourselves to the illusion of the the poet rendered visible: and we feel art, and unconsciously regard them as every fault as a disappointment. living and moving-how awfully does
British Institution.—The Directors of the stern voice of truth remind us this national establishment are THEY ARE ALL DEAD. We confess that exhibiting a collection of portraits of although we went to criticize, we could characters distinguished in the history not resist a propensity to moralize : but and literature of the United Kingdom. as we wish our readers to do that for The intention of this exhibition is thus themselves, we shall conclude by parexplained in the preface to their Ca- ticularly recommending them not to talogue.
omit this opportunity of seeing, among " Our object in forming the Collec- other admirable portraits, the equestion has been to interest, rather than to trian portrait of Charles I. by Vandyke; instruct. We attempt to guide the portraits of the same monarch with Artist no farther than to offer for his Queen Henrietta Maria, and two of the observation, from time to time, speci- royal children, by the same artist, Copmens, from which we think he may ley's grand historical works of King derive improvement—the rest depends Charles I. demanding the five members; upon himself. As little do we enter into and the Death of Lord Chatham; Van
dyke's Earl of Strafford, Countess of Bed- image of the awful majesty of mighty fórd, portrait of himself, and two sons Snowdon, which has ever been created of the Duke of Buckingham ; Rubens' hy the pencil. The light which brighportraits of himself, Helena Forman, tens the vale in the foreground, is inand the family of Sir Balthazar Gerbier; tercepted by clouds, whose shadows Sir Thomas Gresham, by Sir Antonio wrap the mountains in gloomy granMore; Reynolds' portraits of himself deur. “ Morning Twilight," by this and Dr. Johnson, and the extraordinary artist, is a very fine composition. fine picture by the same artist, of the Barret's large picture of “ Evening," Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Ashbur- is a grand and solitary scene, illuton, and Colonel Barré. Every stage of mined by the rays of the declining the art of portrait painting, from the sun. A sublime, serene, and elevated hard, dry, meagre manner of the prede- feeling is produced by the contemplacessors of Holbein in this country, and tion of these majestic woods and waof many of his own works, to the magic ters. Perhaps the warm brown colour effects of Rubens, Vandyke, and Rey- is too general in this picture. The nolds, which art will never surpass, is “ Harvest Moon,” by the same artist, displayed in this rich and interesting is a very fine picture. It represents an collection.
extensive harvest scene, over which the The Exhibition of the Society of moon is rising in full splendour, while Painters in Oil and Water Colours, at the foreground is still faintly illumined the Great Room, Spring Gardens, by the yet bright western sky supposed evinced this year some improvement in to be behind the spectator. Richter's Art, though perhaps not more attractive Tight Shoe” is admirably conceived pictures than have appeared in former and executed. The glow of the rich exhibitions. From many of the artists colouring, the high finish which realizes whose works are annually exhibited at every object, entitle it to the highest this room, we cannot now look for the praise as a picture for the eye. But the rapid progressive advancement which humour which pervades it, is as rich marked their early career: while their as the colour. A country fellow having masterly performances will nevertheless with great effort forced his foot into a prevent our taking that interest in the shoe which bids fair to cripple him, the efforts of the present race of rising ar- pert shoemaker insists that it is “an tists, which we felt in their earlier en excellent fit,” though he can scarcely deavours. Landscape is, from several suppress a laugh, and maintains his concurrent causes, the predominant point with such pertinacious impubranch of art in this society; and seve- dence, that he seems likely, if not to ral pictures of this class in the present convince his customer, at least to sell collection are truly excellent. A great his shoes. A veteran, whose stumps variety of pieces from the fertile pencil are accommodated with two wooden of Robson are distinguished by their legs, stands behind the countryman fidelity to nature, and the profound heartily enjoying a practical joke, from knowledge of natural appearances, and which he is effectually exempted. A the means of imitation, which generally corn-cutter has run over from his shop characterize this artist's works. His to participate in the jest, but is recalled distant view of “ Penrhyn Castle” is a by his angry spouse; whose interbright clear picture, in which an ex- ference, as well as a matrimonial squabtensive landscape is seen through the ble seen in the background, seems to medium of a dry and subtle atmo- imply that no one knows where the sphere, stretching beneath an almost shoe pinches so well as the wearer. unclouded sky to an immense dis- John Varley, in his “ Evening,” has tance in the truest aërial perspec- very successfully embodied Milton's tive. In his beautiful moonlight of idea. We were much pleased with the “Stratford Church,” the “ pale beams glowing sunsets in the fine sea views of of the wat’ry moon” glancing through Copley Fielding; as well as with his the ancient windows on the spot where “ Turf Cutters.” D. Cox's “ Hayfield “sweetest Shakspeare, fancy's child” and Ploughing scene," and Prout's rests silent in the tomb, is an elegant “ Dismasted Indiaman,” and several tribute to the memory of the poet, and views in France, are very masterly perhonourable to the feeling by which it formances. Mr. Cristall's fine classiwas suggested.
sical taste is displayed in a noble compoIn one of Robson's larger pictures we sition, representing Jupiter mursed in are presented with the most effective the island of Crete by the Nymphs and
Corybantes. We regret that our limits We learn that this Society, will in preclude us from deseribing this sub- future exhibit only Paintings in Water ject, and from expressing more parti. Colours, and that their exhibitions will cularly the high satisfaction we have take place at the Egyptian Hall in Picderived from many excellent pictures cadilly. in this exhibition.
DRURY LANE THEATRE.
of his final despair-with a thousand THE close of the season at Drury-lane delicate touches of pathos which excite Theatre was brightened by the re-ap- thoughts too deep even for tears--are pearance of Mr. Kean for a few even- beyond description or praise. But we ings, during which he played Shylock and must not “let go by the divine DesOthello, the first of which has fewer demona,” who on this occasion was faults, and the last deeper beauties, than represented by a Lady, new to the Lonany of his performances. His Shylock, don theatres, who also performed Portia though his expression of mere fiendish in the Merchant of Venice. Her figure malignity is less striking and prominent and person are well suited to the first than that which we remember in Cooke, line of parts, in comedy or in tragedyis almost perfect. The total absence of her genius, we think, inclines most to all tragic pomp, which would so ill the former. A certain mixture of beft the old usurer, is admirably sup- gaiety and feeling, like that required in plied by the human intensity and Jewish the scene where Bassanio examines the fervour of his spirit, crushed, mangled, caskets, seems to be her best property, and stung into agony by Christian in- and might be displayed to great advanjuries. His scene with Tubal, where tage in the sentimental drama, as well the Jew hears of his daughter's extrava as in some of the finest of the old gance and of his foe's losses, is the finest comedies. The best part of her Desdein the play--the quickness of his transi- mona, was her intercession for Cassio, tions here astonishes like lightning - where her manner was as irresistible as and his joy in the prospect of revenge, her reasonings. For tragic declamation, which seems thrilling through every or passion, her voice seems as yet to have nerve, and trembling in every tone, and scarcely sufficient power; but this is a dilating his weary and wasted heart, defect which practice, and a careful agitates the spectator with a strange and enunciation, will probably remove. fearful sympathy: His acting in the The season has, we 'fear, scarcely trial scene is admirable-blending, with fulfilled its early promises to the spirited wonderful art, or rather intuition, the and enthusiastíc manager. There apspirit of the aged and avaricious mer- pears to have been no judicious inchant, with that of the Hebrew burning spector of the pieces offered for repreto avenge his national and individual sentation -for, with the exception of wrongs--and arouses all our indigna- The Lady and the Devil, none of the new tion against the base injustice of Shy- pieces have met with any thing like lock's enemies. We may excuse a genuine success. The fate of some of quibble to frustrate his bloody, inven- them as the comedy and tragedytions-but when he is stripped of his might have been foreseen, we should property, and compelled to abandon the think, by any one gifted with an acfaith of his fathers, our Christian hearts quaintance with stage - effect, though rise up within us to take his part, and destitute of any higher power of critito resent the insult which such a repre- cism. The revivals have been more sentation of persecuting injustice offers fortunate. If we were to point out to the mildest and purest of religious the chief remediable causes of the comsystems.
parative want of success, exclusive of Mr. Kean's Othello was, to the full, ihe defect in the taste which has seas grand as ever. “ The force of acting lected the new pieces, we should refer can no further go.” The marble still it to the protracted repetition of Lear ness of his surprise the terrific flow of the want of an actress in elehis
rage—the sighs which faintly relieve gant comedy-and the too frequent rethe labouring soul-the beautiful returns liance placed on the attraction of the of his love which suffuse his eyes with first piece, instead of bringing forward childlike tears and the quiet fixedness the comic strength of the house in farces,
during the many nights of opera and lines, written by the author of the tragedy. The first was necessarily comedy :grievous to the habitual frequenters of Since in Lionel first your protection I carned, The theatre, whose tastes the manager The hour-glass of Time miglity often has turn; should as far as possible consult, be. And in counting the grains that have dropt, ' to cause it is on their enthusiasm that he appears, must rely for keeping up the theatrical The sum total of sand comes to thirty long years. spirit, and on their judgment that he Were it not for my having two strings to my bów, must depend for his fame. The want I'd have certainly taken my leave long ago ; of a high comic actress has almost pre. But the young Lover's strains ere t thought to cluded true comedy from being repre- By the powers I was snug in the Paddy-whack line. sented by a comic company, with this exception, scarcely exceeded within our But, alas ! man must finish, whate'er be his cast, memory. And if, in farce, we had
And even the Pats can't eternally last ; *
If the Thistle, though tough, like the Rose will oftener enjoyed the delightful whim of
decay, the manager himself-the sturdy hu- Sure the Shamrock of Erin can live but its day." mour of Dowton-the ever fresh sim
I have blundered through many an Irishman's part, plicity of Knight --- the sublime gro- But no blunder, 1 trust, will be found in this tesque of Munden-and the unceasing
heart; variety of Miss Kelly-we think the re- For 'tis throbbing with thanks, as I falter Adieu! sults would have been not only very de- And, oh! how it aches, now I am going from you. lightful to the audiences, but beneficial to Then, farewell, honoured patrons, and kindest of the treasury. We have heard numerous
friends: stories of the alleged misconduct of the Though as Dennis, or Teague, here my mockery manager towards the performers—but we are willing to believe many of these Till the pulse of his heart discontinues to beats
Recollection shall gladden your Actor's retreats, untrue, and to refer the rest to the harrassing situation which he fills. We During this affecting farewell Mr. earnestly hope that his high and hearty Johnstone evidently struggled with great spirit may be rewarded with more com- emotion, and, at its close, retired with plete success in the ensuing season. slow and trembling steps from the scene
which he has gladdened so often, amidst The closing evenings of the last sea- the loud, deep, and long-protracted son presented nothing worthy of parti- cheers of the audience. May he, in the cular remark, except the retirement of erening of his days, enjoy no small Mr. Johnstonc, commonly known by portion of that pleasure which he has the name of “ Irish Johnstone,” for imparted ! his rich and true delineations of Irish This theatre closed on Monday the character. He first appeared on the 17th of July, when an address of thanks London stage in the part of Lionel, and neatly worded, but not very particular played and sung in young operatical in allusion—was delivered by Mr: Faw. characters with great success. In his cett. There were at least two grounds latter years—during which only we have on which the managers might have known him-he has confined himself built a well-founded claim to praise, within the small but choice circle of for their conduct during the past season Irish parts, and in those has been en- —the production of a genuine tragedy, tirely at home and without a rival. His and the developement of the powers of humour was as quiet and unobtrusive as it a great and genuine actor, Virginius is was rich and genuine :---with scarcely a not, indeed, a revival of the dramatic distortion of feature, or the motion of a style of our elder writers; but we do limb, he embodied in expressive looks not, on that account, think the less and in rich tones, all the pleasantest pe- highly of its beauties. It has no pasculiarities, and the true and generous sages of strange power, no rapid sucheart of the nation to whose honour his cession of delicious fancies, like those talents were devoted. His farewell be- which abound in the plays of the Elizanefit, which took place on the 28th of bethan age; nor is it so rich in the June, was well attended, and its profits materials of passion or of imagination increased by many well deserved tributes as the works of that golden period. But to his worth, among which was a pre- it is more simple, more pure, more consent of £100 from His Majesty. “At sistent; more capable of producing a the end of John Bull, in which he per- single and sweet impression on the formed Deunis Blunduggery with una- heart; and infinitely better adapted for bated spirit, he delivered the following representation on the stage, than any
COVENT GARDEN THEATRE.
of these, excepting the works of the from any other actor, rendered the play first of all dramatists. We shall rejoice attractive for nine or ten nights, at a to perceive the spirit of our old writers period when theatrical enthusiasm was imbuing all our literature with its rich comparatively feeble. In Coriolanus, tinges; but we freely confess that we the fresh recollection of past greatness do not desire to see our poets attempt- presented almost as severe an obstacle, ing to produce works exactly similar to as the admiration of present excellence theirs, nor do we think that such works in Richard; for an attempt so soon would succeed in the theatre. The ex- after Mr. Kemble's retirement, to quisite grouping of all the persons--the body the part which the imagination pure, yet intelligible, beauty of the do- identified with him, was regarded as mestic scenes—and the manly and sweet little less than sacrilege: Mr. Macready, cast of the sentiments in Virginius, however, so skilfully brought out the appear to us far more calculated to de- more human traits of the characterlight, to more, and to refine a vast con- the young patrician enthusiasm—the course of spectators, than the marvellous filial love the swelling and noble con! but ill-connected scenes, the wild lux- tempt of base disguise-and the terrible uriance of language, and the strange, struggle of affection with pride—that he bewildering passion of our old drama- gave a new and striking idea of the tists. As a poem, Virginius has many part, without disturbing that which his genuine passages such as the speeches great predecessor had bodied forth with of the father in the forum—the mis- equal vividness and majesty. His Macgivings of the innocent girl and the beth also was an attempt of great peril ; whole courtship of the lovers, which is because he had not only the long shadows a rare instance of the union of scenic cast by Mr. Kemble's fame, to cross his effect with delicate loveliness of fancy path, but was unaided by any support We feel assured that this piece, which in Lady Macbeth which could' heighten does so much honour to Covent Garden the attraction; and the play, with all its theatre, will, whenever the theatrical unearthly grandeur, is a fearful weight spirit shall revive, be as fruitful a for one individual to sustain. Yet here source of profit, as it now is of fame. his bewildered air-his looks of a haunt
The past season will also be well-re- ed wildness--and his gallant bearing-membered by the lovers of the drama, presented a picture of the character beas having shewn to the world the re- fore but dimly seen even by the mental sources of Mr. Macready's genius, eye. His success in Virginius is less which before were hidden, or only extraordinary, because he had less to guessed by a few attentive observers. overcome than in either of his other No perforiner, within our memory, has principal efforts; and assuredly never succeeded in spite of such formidable has there been exhibited on the stage obstacles. His appearance had not the a performance of more variety, yet more freshness of novelty—he had been seen entirely harmonious. We think, therein a variety of inferior and often dis- fore, that this season will be fondly reagreeable characters—and except in a membered hereafter in theatrical annals, very few instances, had acted parts of as that which developed the genius of mean malignity, not only beneath, but an artist, who has made the oldest
granwholly unsuited to his powers. His deurs of romance familiar to us, and performance of Rob Roy first shewed given to young affections an antique the cordiality and nobleness of his grace-who has set characters which spirit, and that of Mordaunt in the scemed exhausted, in a fresh and harSteward, the intensity of his passion. monizing light-and has shed a new But these were prose parts at the best; breath of sweetness over our acted and success in them was no proof of tragedy. capability to succeed in Shakspeare's principal characters.
His attempt to
We hail the opening of our two sumplay Richard was adventurous almost mer theatres---for they are happily alike without parallel from the great excel in the facility which they afford of seelence of Mr. Kean in the part, and from ing and of hearing-while in other rethe violent feeling of exclusive attach- spects they as happily differ. The Hayment which so many cherished towards market is the place for winter comfort, that admirable performer. Yet he tri- the snug retreat to which the joys of umphed over prejudice and party; gave cold weather obstinately retire, and hold to this often-repeated character the air out against sunshine and where they of novelty; and necessarily without aid nestle in gay defiance of the elements. New MONTHLY MAG: -No. 79.
ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE.