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ANATOMY AND PHILOSOPHY

OF

EXPRESSION

AS CONNECTED WITH THE FINE ARTS.

SIR CHARLES BELL, K.H.

TDhird Brition, enlarged.

LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

mMDpoce.xtiv. ‘/) “4.

Cambridge University Library, On permanent deposit from

the Botany School

LONDON: ST EET PRINTED BY MOYES AND BARCLAY, CASTLE STREET, LEICESTER SQUARE.

CokLe 72 C7.

London liblished by Sohn Murray, Tan2lE44.

PREFACE.

Turse Essays formed the earliest and the latest occupation of the lamented author’s leisure hours ; and they now appear under the disadvantages which must attend a posthumous publication.

It was the habit of the author, in his literary com- positions, to sketch his first ideas as they arose ; and parts of this work were found, evidently intended to be revised and corrected. They are faithfully added to the text of the last edition, where they bear upon the subject.

The following prefatory remarks are from the pen of the late Professor Bell,* to whom, in the warmth of brotherly affection, the second edition of the work had

been inscribed.

The Essays which are now presented to the public

in their enlarged form, were originally composed, as the

* George Joseph Bell, Professor of the Law of Scotland in the University of Edinburgh. He died September 23, 1843. :

at i Rha wsesdciai sie Co el he ee te a an

SSE I PIE LTB ER ere

poli

lv PREFACE.

author fondly said in his dedication, “‘ when we studied

together before the serious pursuits of life began;” but

were not published till the year 1806, after the author had left Edinburgh and fixed his residence in London. A second edition appeared in 1824; but he resisted every

call for a new impression, until he should have had an opportunity of verifying in Italy the principles of criticism in art, by the study of the works of the great masters in painting and sculpture.

With this view he visited the Continent in 1840; - and on his return he recomposed the whole for a new edition, introducing occasional extracts from his journal, sometimes to enforce the text and sometimes to shew from what authority he drew his conclusions.

In a declining state of health he had taken advantage of a recess in his professorial duties in the University of Edinburgh to revisit his friends m England. He hoped in the leisure of the country to give this work a final revisal for the press; but before he had fulfilled his wishes in this respect, his life was terminated by an access of his illness at Hallow Park, in Worcestershire, on the 29th of April, 1842.

In the speculations of which this work is the result, and in the interesting imquiries to which they led, Sir Charles Bell was accustomed to seek relief from the wearing anxiety which, from his exquisite sensibility to

human suffering, had ever attended the practice of his

PREFACE,

profession: but a still greater effect was to follow. It was from these investigations that he was first led to make those discoveries in the system of the nerves, which are now acknowledged to be the most important con- tributions of modern times to the science of Physiology. Before Sir Charles Bell’s time, the nerves, which per- vade every the minutest portion of our frame, seemed, in the studies of anatomists, a mass of inextricable con- fusion and a subject of hopeless obscurity; but he believed that in the works of the Creator there is nothing imperfect or unnecessarily complex, and that the solution of this apparent confusion was not beyond the reach of human inquiry. In tracing the causes of move-

ments in ‘the countenance and in the frame of the body

under the influence of passion or emotion, he engaged

im a very careful inquiry into the origin, course, and destination of the nerves; and consequent investigations led him to those fundamental truths, hitherto unperceived, by which he, and those who have followed his course, have revealed to the medical world the beautiful sim- plicity of this part of the animal economy. To the phy- Slologist it will be particularly interesting to trace in this work the steps by which the author was led to the com- prehension of that most intricate portion of the nervous system, the class of nerves which he has named respira- tory; a subject so difficult, that it was long before his

vlews were acknowledged by the medical profession.

PREFACE.

Meanwhile his labours and his anxiety were relieved by the variety of his pursuits. He was a true lover of nature, and to trace the proofs of perfection and design in all the works of the Creator was to him a source

of ever new delight. Constantly he had some useful,

some noble purpose in view, whether in following up

scientific inquiry, or in enthusiastically pursuing nature or art. ‘Those who knew him best, and had seen him in the most trying circumstances of life, were most sen- sible that there never was a man whose mind was more

uniformly attuned to grateful happiness.

CONTENTS,

PAGE Inrropuction.—Comparison of Ancient and Modern Art—

Studies of the Italian Masters Essay I. Theory of Beauty in the Countenance—Of the Form and Proportions of the Head and Face Essay II. Changes from Infancy to Age Of the Skull, as a Protection to the Brain

Characteristic Organs of Man Theories of Ideal Beauty National Peculiarities in the Form of the Head .... 71 Essay III. Of those Sources of Expression in the Countenance which cannot be explained on the idea of a direct Influence of the Mind upon the Features 82 Blushing Essay IV. Of the Muscles of the Face in Man Muscles of the Forehead and Eyebrow Expression of the Human Eye Muscles of the Nostrils

Expression in the Lips and Moustaches ....

Essay V, Of the Expression of Passion, illustrated by a Com- parison of the Muscles of the Face in Man and in Animals; and of the Muscles peculiar to Man, and their effects in bestowing Human Expression

Expression in Animals

The Muscles of Animals

Vill CONTENTS.

Terror Despair Admiration

Jealousy Rage Madness

Essay VIII. Of Expression in reference to the Body The Emotions modified by controlling Expression 199

Essay IX. The Study of Anatomy, as necessary to Design... 201 Of the Genius and Studies of Michael Angelo

Buonarotti

Essay X. Uses of Anatomy to the Painter

Faults mto which the Artist may be betrayed in Studying the Antique

or in Drawing from the Academy Figure... .

Anatomy, as conducting to Truth of Expression and of Character

APPENDIX.

Of the Nerves, by Alexander Shaw Explanation of the Plates

EXPRESSION,

INTRODUCTION.

Ir is not an easy task to reconcile two subjects so far apart in the minds of most readers as anatomy and the fine arts ; but if prejudices, early imbibed, be thrown off, it will be found that there is no science, taken in a compre- hensive sense, more fruitful of instruction, or leading to

More interesting subjects of inquiry, than the knowledge of the animal body.

The academies of Europe, instituted for the improve- ment of painting, stop short of the science of anatomy, which is so well suited to enlarge the mind, and to train the eye for observing the forms of nature; or if they enforce the study at all, it is only in its more obvious application, that of assisting the drawing of the human figure. But my design in this volume goes farther :— I purpose to direct attention to the characteristic forms of man and brutes by an inquiry into the natural functions, with a view to comprehend the rationale of those changes in the countenance and figure which are indicative of passion.

A just feeling in the fine arts is an elegant acquire- ment, and capable of cultivation. Drawing is necessary to many pursuits and useful arts: Locke has included it

B

Z INTRODUCTION,

amongst the accomplishments becoming a gentleman, and, we may add, it is much more useful to the artisan. Good taste and execution in design are necessary to manufac- tures ; and consequently they contribute to the resources of a country.

I am not without hope that a new impulse may be given to the cultivation of the fine arts, by explaiming their relation to the natural history of man and animals, and by shewing how a knowledge of outward form, and the accuracy of drawing which is a consequence of it, are related to the interior structure and functions.

Anatomy, in its relation to the arts of design, is, in truth, the grammar of that language in which they address us. The expressions, attitudes, and movements of the human figure are the characters of this language, adapted to con- vey the effect of historical narration, as well as to shew the working of human passion, and to give the most striking and lively indications of intellectual power and energy.

The art of the painter, considered with a view to these interesting representations, assumes a high character. Every lesser embellishment and minuteness of detail is regarded by an artist who has those more enlarged views of his profession as foreign to the main design, distracting and hurtful to the grand effect, admired only as accurate imitations, almost appearing to be what they are not. ‘This distinction must be felt, or we shall never see the grand style in painting receive that en- couragement which results from public feeling and good taste. The painter must not be satisfied to copy and represent what he sees; he must cultivate this talent of imitation merely as bestowing those facilities which are to give scope to the exertions of his genius; as the instru- ments and means only which he is to employ for com-

_ INTRODUCTION. 8

municating his thoughts, and presenting to others the creations of his fancy; it is by his creative powers alone that he can become truly a painter; and for these he is to trust to original genius, cultivated and enriched by a con- stant observation of nature. Till he has acquired a poet’s eye for nature, and can seize with intuitive quickness the appearances of passion, and all the effects produced upon the body by the operations of the mind, he has not raised himself above the mechanism of his art, nor does he rank with the poet or historian.

It is a happy characteristic of the present times, that a love of the fine arts is becoming more and more preva- lent among the affluent; but still, rich furniture, mere ornamental painting and gilding, usurp the place of art properly so called. The mansion of an English nobleman and that of a Roman of the same rank present a singular contrast. ‘The former exhibits carpets, silk hangings, lamps, mirrors, china, and perhaps books. The palazzo, on the other hand, in its general aspect, may betray antiquity and decay; yet respect for ancestry retains on its walls the proofs of former grandeur and taste; there hang many pictures, each of which would purchase an English villa or furnish a London mansion in all the extravagance of fashion. Vulgar curiosity may seek admittance to the finery of the one, while princes are gratified by admission to the other.

Original genius seems peculiarly necessary to excellence in design. Good taste may be acquired by familiarity with statues and paintings, and by the conversation of the in- genious ; but the power of execution depends on deeper sources. In reading Vasari, we are struck by the diffi- culties with which the famous painters had to struggle. There is hardly one of them who had not to combat

4 INTRODUCTION.

parental authority before obtaining leave to give up his days to painting; nor is it surprising that there should be an unwillingness to permit a youth to dedicate his life to an

art so little gainful, where extraordinary excellence alone

obtains notice, and hardly ever an adequate reward. I speak of the higher department of art.

Much has been done at home by the force of genius alone. Our native artists have vindicated us from the aspersion of Winckelman, that genius for the fine arts is stinted in these northern climes,— a notion which has so extensively prevailed, as even to have influenced our own Milton :—

‘“‘ Unless an age too late, or cold Climate, or years, damp my intended wing.”

Winckelman, in his history of ancient art, seems to attribute all to climate; not only the perfection of form of the inhabitants of Greece, but their serenity of mind, sweetness, and love of beauty. Such a theory would imply that the people of Sparta and Athens must have had the same qualities. But when Sparta triumphed, it was in pride and rapacity: neither the general inter- course between nations, nor commerce, nor intellectual nor moral excellence, derived any benefit from her ascend- ancy.* Athens has been the mistress of the world, leaving the examples of the greatest virtues and excellence in phi- losophy, eloquence, poetry, and art; yet she has also left humiliating instances of tyranny, cruelty, and blood. The history of Greece is the record of incessant wars, where towns were sacked and citizens inhumanly massacred ; and in Athens, war was always justified if it promised advantage. When tried by misfortune, she was found

* Arnold’s History of Rome.”

INTRODUCTION. ae

wanting: during pestilence, every affection was blunted ; and licentiousness abounded to such a degree, that history informs us the people became brutalised. It is strange that Winckelman should give so much to the influence of climate, seeing that where the olive still ripens, in the long summer of Greece, there exists not a vestige of those virtues which were the admiration of the world; and cen- turies have passed without a poet or philosopher appearing in the country of Homer and Plato.

In the soil and climate of Italy, there have existed together states of society the most dissimilar. The arts and civilisation of Egypt and Phoenicia had taken root among the Etruscans, and the cities of Central Italy had

made a great advance in civilisation, and certainly in the

arts, when Rome* arose to crush them. Her policy, and the leaning of her most virtuous citizens, were adverse to

* A more just estimate is now made than formerly of the early Romans, and of the virtues of the surrounding tribes. (Dr. Arnold’s History of Rome.”) The remains discovered in the tombs of Tar- quinii, Tuscania, Argylle, Veii, and Clusium, leave no doubt of the high advancement of art in these cities, centuries before the founda- tion of Rome —at least of its fabled rise under Romulus. These cities were the adversaries of the early Romans; and, though subdued, furnished to their masters the elements of government and of civil policy. Rome had conquered the surrounding states, and sought to blot out all memory of them; when new settlements of Greeks (giving name to the district of Magna Grecia) again offered to her a more extended field of enterprise, in which the arts of peace were once more subjugated under her iron sway.

IfI did not believe that Providence rules in the march of nations, I should say, that the world would have more rapidly advanced in phi- losophy, literature, and art, but for that stern, remorseless people, ob- stinate against instruction. We are biassed in favour of Rome from her language containing the only record of much that, but for her conquests, would have earlier, and with happier influence, spread over the western world.

6 INTRODUCTION.

the arts. They feared that whilst they refined, they should soften away those rugged and sterner qualities of the Roman soldiers which were bestowing on them the empire of the world. But the old virtues at length de- clined, and the Romans came to covet the luxuries of conquered nations, whom they could not rival in refine- ment or the arts; so that Rome became the centre and the common receptacle of the spoils of Egypt, Greece, and Italy.

The inquiry into the effects of climate were an idle one, if it did not lead to the conviction, that institutions, much more than climate, influence the faculties of man. Indolence steals upon communities as well as individuals. | In the same regions, and in the same climate, the in- habitants are at one time overwhelmed in ignorance and superstition, and at another, elevated to the most admired intellectual exertions. When the energies of a people are roused, there is an improvement in the arts of peace, however gloomy and foreboding the struggle may at first appear. The mind excited by public events does not subside into indolence. In Athens the struggle for power, and the desire of independence, forced the highest talents to the highest station.* It was during the contests of the free states of Italy that the arts revived.

Perhaps we should attribute the cultivation of lite- rature and the arts in Italy more to the smallness of the states than to the forms of their governments, for these were of every kind. While in Rome the Pope was an absolute sovereign, in Venice the nobility had raised an oligarchic authority on the necks of the people; and

* See Roscoe’s introductory chapter to the “Life of Lorenzo di Medici.”

INTRODUCTION. 7

both were distinguished from the democratic turbulence of Florence.

In the great kingdoms of Modern Europe, princes are surrounded by a dense body of courtiers, political agents, and soldiers, numerous and clamorous in proportion to the offices of command and places to be bestowed. All who are distinguished by excellence in liberal studies are jostled aside, and the prince knows little of men of genius, far less does he think of making them friends. But in the smaller states of Italy, princes sought the acquaint- ance of men remarkable for their talents, for the cultivation of philosophy, of the language of Greece, or of Ancient Rome, for the improvement of their native Italian, and of poetry, or of the fine arts; and it is pleasant to notice how easily the presence or absence of such men affected the splendour of the court. Amidst the more than barbaric magnificence and riches of modern courts, certainly of our own, the exit or entrance of such men would be unmarked.

Perhaps the circumstance that all negotiations were formerly conducted in Latin, and the consequent necessity for courtiers being acquainted with the learned languages, gave a liberal tone to the men of influence in the several States, and a disposition to promote literature and science.

Some authors have attributed the genius of the Greeks, and their love of philosophy and art, to the conformation oO} tHE: Drain. ta ihe don of the skull! On this subject I may have occasion to touch hereafter. But does not history determine the question? The Greeks were .not extirpated by the Roman conquests. The skulls of a people do not change. During all the period of the Byzantine Empire, between the reigns of Constantine and

8 INTRODUCTION.

Paleologus, luxury, sloth, and effeminacy prevailed, whilst the people of the West of Europe were rising in moral and intellectual energy, and in the cultivation of the mind.* During the latter periods of Ancient Rome, a fashion arose which conduced much to the advancement of art, and filled the city with its thousand statues. The Romans, like the Greeks, sought a species of immortality by the erection of their busts and statues; they con- secrated their friends by setting up their busts in their temples. These being given in honour of the divinity whom they worshipped, were preserved, even when the personages they represented had incurred the odium of the people, and when their statues placed in public were cast down. This desire of obtaining the busts of illus- trious ment explains the reason of the multitude of those found collected in the Vatican: they are chiefly m mar- ble; for the statues and busts in bronze and other metals,

tempted the cupidity of men in the middle ages, and were melted down. We are struck, too, with the number of the busts of celebrated men in proportion to those

of princes, which Visconti believes to have been owing to the desire which, in the better ages both of Greece and Rome, prevailed among private citizens to have them copied, as appropriate ornaments for their libraries, porticos, and gardens.

The remains of antiquity in Italy, the presence, though in ruins, of temples, statues, sarcophagi, altars, and re- lievos, account for the early revival of art in that country.

* See Prichard’s Physical History of Man.” He justly controverts the idea of Blumenbach. + On this subject, see the Preface to Visconti’s Iconographie.”

INTRODUCTION. 9

These must have been the studies of Donatello* and Ghiberti, as afterwards of Buonarotti; for sculpture led

the way to painting. Our countrymen, pursuing their

studies there, are placed under similar influences, and give proof that it is neither genius nor devotion to the imitative arts which is wanting in the north. But the time is past when the people knelt down before the works of a sculp- tor’s hands; when the Amphictyons, the council of all Greece, gave him solemn thanks, and assigned him a dwelling at the public expense in every city! t

It is in vain that we dream of equalling the great works of antiquity; they were raised under tyranny and false religions. We must hope for excellence, in a dif- ferent condition, as the fruit of a religion of love, joy, and peace. If the arts of design bear no relation to

that which has the greatest influence on mankind; if a

* Tf all the great works of Grecian art had been at once disclosed, it might not have produced the happy effect of the successive exhumation of the splendid works of antiquity ; the excitement or, as Cicognara has expressed it, un certo fermento,” kept up by the contest of princes for these works of art, gave importance to all who sought to imitate them, and raised them in the estimation of even the most vulgar minds. The progress in the history of art seems to have been First, the esta- blishment of new families; then, the erection of splendid palaces and the necessity or convenience of digging for materials in the foundation of ancient buildings; next, the exhumation of fine statues, and the emulation thence arising; lastly, the desire of having professors and universities arose, and this took place at a time when the pontiffs were banished from Rome.

+ Tiraboschi refers to an ancient chronicle regarding the Dominican church of Reggio, erected in 1233, for an example of the enthusiasm under which great edifices were built, and where all grades of society wrought as common labourers, like emmets in an ant-hill. Tam parvi, quam magni, tam nobiles, quam pedites, tam rustici, quam cives, ferebant lapides, sablonem, et calcinam, supra dorsum corum .... et beatus ille qui plus portare poterat,” &¢.

10 INTRODUCTION.

they stand related neither to religion, nor to the records of history, nor to the progress of empire,— they must be ever, as a dead language, associated with ancient times ; and with us, nothing more than a handmaid to domestic ornament and individual refinement and enjoyment.

Our artists should be brought to consider the changed frame of society. No one in these modern times, however much he may deserve the gratitude of mankind, is exalted, as they would desire to see the proficient in art. The young artists madden themselves by the contemplation of antiquity, which leads to disappointment and repining age. The last conversation I had with Flaxman, whose genius was better estimated abroad than at home, was whilst the old man was elevated on a great block of marble, in his studio (Anglice, a shed). « Ay,” says he, * we shall see what is thought of these ¢hings two hundred years hence.” Yes, but they will have the record of these things in stereotype, not in marble. Printing banished sculpture, and no man now, or hereafter, in addressing the people, will, like Fabius Maximus, or Scipio, point to the statues of his ancestors.

Without cherishing vain regrets, there is a source of infinite delight in art, even as cultivated among us; and we may hold the remains of antiquity as superlative models. Gods and goddesses we shall not again see in marble, but the human figure in its perfection we certainly may. The Greeks gave prizes for excelling beauty. Among them a youth might be celebrated for the perfection of his eyebrow; and the proportions of an Aspasia were trans- ferred to the statue of a goddess. ‘The forms of strength and the proportions of the victor in the games were scl- entifically noted and recorded, whether it was for wrest-

ling, running, or pitching the discus. Here, then, were

INTRODUCTION. ll

-

studies for the sculptor, and a public to judge of the per- fection of his work. Our connoisseurs never see the naked figure, or, if they do, it is an academy figure,— probably some hired artisan, with his muscles unequally developed by the labour of his trade, pale and shivering, and offering none of those fine carnations which more constant exposure gives to the body, as we see in the face, nor haying that elegant freedom of limb, which youth, under a genial climate and the various exercises of the

gymnasium, acquired.*

For the improvement of art, there must be a feeling in the public in correspondence with the artist’s aspirations.t In visiting the Sistine Chapel, I said to the eelebrated artist who accompanied me, How could Michael Angelo venture to do such things? Were such a man to arise among us, he would meet with ridicule, or live in neglect.”

%* So conscious were some of the Grecian states of the advantages derived from exercise, that they denied them to their slaves.

+ I cannot withhold the following instance of public feeling in England: When Lord Elgin brought to London the figures of the beautiful frieze from the Parthenon of Athens, and while they remained in his court-yard in Piccadilly, he proposed a great treat to his friends. He had entertained an ingenious notion that, by exposing the natural figures of some of our modern athletics in contrast with the marbles, the perfeetion of the antique would be felt, and that we should see that the sculptors of the best time of Greece did not deviate from nature. The noblemen and gentlemen whom he coneeived would take an interest in He had the boxers, the choice men of what

They stripped and sparred before the ancient sooner

this display were invited. is termed “the fancy.” statues, and for one instant it was a very fine exhibition; but no was the bulky form of Jackson, no longer young, opposed to the fine elastic figure of the champion of all England, than a ery arose, and “the ring” pressed forward, and ancient art and the works of Phidias were forgotten. Such I fear is the feeling of even the better part of the English public. Let not the young sculptor be too sanguine of

support.

12 INTRODUCTION.

But my friend said, “Do you not remember the impa-

tience of Julius to see these paintings during their exe- cution? For Michael Angelo being unwilling to let his unfinished work be seen, the Pope threatened to break down the whole scaffolding on which the painting was raised.” It was by such enthusiasm, and the consequent encouragement of art, that Julius has justly participated in the fame of those who made his days an era in the world.

It is, perhaps, favourable to painting, that it has not to contend with the excellence of antiquity. In visiting the schools of Florence and Bologna, and the galleries of the Vatican, we can trace the successive works of the early painters and the progress of modern painting. In the commencement, the subjects are such as could only be suggested by monkish superstition and enthusiasm. They are the representations of the wasted figures of anchorites, or if of women, they are suffering martyrdom. Even the Saviour, represented so full of beauty in after-time, is painted from the dead of the lazar-house or hospital. The purpose must have been to subdue the mind.* With better times the influence of the Church was more happily exercised, and finer feelings prevailed. ‘The sub-

* In the old library in Basle there is a remarkable painting of Christ by the younger Holbein. The painter must have been where anatomy was to be learned; for I am much mistaken if he has not painted from ‘the dead body in an hospital. It is horribly true. ‘“ There is here the true colour of the dead body: (the Italian painters generally paint the dead of an ivory white). Here is the rigid, stringy appearance of the muscles about the knee. The wounds where the nails have penetrated, the hands and feet are dark red, with extravasation round the wound, and the hand itself of the livid colour of mortification. The eyes, too, shew from whence he drew; the eyelids are open, the pupil raised, and a little turned out. Holbein born here in 1489.”— Note from Journal.

INTRODUCTION. 13

jects were from the Scriptures, and noble efforts were made, attesting a deep feeling of every condition of hu- x manity. What we see in the churches of Italy, and almost in every church, is the representation of innocence and tenderness in the Madonna and Child, and in the young St. John. Contrasted with the truth, and beauty, and innocence of the Virgin, there is the mature beauty and abandonment of the Magdalen. In the dead Christ, in the swooning of the Mother of the Saviour, and in the Marys, there is the utmost scope for the genius of the painter. We see there, also, the grave character of mature years in the Prophets and Evangelists, and the grandeur of expression in Moses. In short, we have the whole

/ range of human character and expression, from the divine ~ loveliness and purity of the Infant Saviour, of angels and saints, to the strength, fierceness, and brutality of the exe- cutioners. ‘There, also, we may see the effort made, the

greatest of all, in imitation of the ancients, to infuse divinity into the human beauty of that countenance, which, though not without feeling, was superior to passion, and in which benevolence was to be represented unclouded by human infirmity. These were the subjects to call forth the exertions of genius, while the rewards were the riches of the church, and the public exhibition, m unison with the deep feelings of the people. Thus did religion at a later period tend to restore what it had almost destroyed on the overthrow of Pagan idolatry. For the new-born zeal of the first Christians sought to efface every monu- ment of the antique religion, throwing down the statues, destroying the mosaics and pictures, effacing every me- morial, and razing the ancient temples, or converting them into Christian churches.

The Church of Rome has favoured the arts in a

14 INTRODUCTION.

remarkable manner. The ceremonial and decorations of the altar have been contrived with great felicity. He is insensible to beauty who, being a painter, does not there catch ideas of light and shade, and colour. The Gothic or rich Roman architecture, the carved skreen, the statues softened by a subdued light, form altogether a magnificent scene. The effects of light and colour are not matters of accident. ‘The painted glass of the high window represents to the superficial observer no more than the rich garments of the figures painted there. But the combination of colours evinces science; the yellows and greens, in due proportion with the erimsons and blues, throw beams of an autumnal tint among the shafts and pillars, and colour the volumes of rising in- cense. The officials of the altar, the priests m rich vest- ments, borrowed from the Levites under the old law, are somewhat removed from the spectator and obscured by the smoke of the incense.* ‘The young men flinging the silver censers, in themselves beautiful, and making the volumes of incense rise, give the effect of a tableau, defying imitation; for where can there be such a com- bination to.the eye, joimed to the emotions inspired by

the pealing organ, the deep chant, and the response

of the youthful choristers, whose voices seem to come from the vaulted roof? There is something too in the

* If the painter requires to know these vestments, he will find an ~ account of them in Eustace’s “Classical Tour through Italy,” vol. ii. Antiquity characterises every thing in the Roman Church; and to the English traveller this affords additional interest. The ceremonies are ancient; the language of the service is that which prevailed at the period of the introduction of Christianity; the vestments are Jewish at all events very ancient and majestic. Like every thing else in painting, the artist should know the origin and uses of the drapery, or his lines and folds will be unmeaning.— (See Preface to Vasari.)

INTRODUCTION. 15

belief that the chant of the psalms is the early Jewish measure.

It was scarcely possible, during the struggles of the Reformation, to keep the middle course; and in re- jecting the corrupt and superstitious parts of its cere- monial, to retain the better part of the Roman Church. Enthusiasm would have the recesses of each man’s breast to be the only sanctuary; that, even while on earth, and burdened with the weakness, and subject to the influences, of an earth-born creature, he should attain that state of purity and holiness, when, as in the Apocalypse, there is ‘‘no temple.” Philosophy came to countenance the po- verty and the meanness of our places of public worship. Climate, it was inferred, influenced the genius of a people and, therefore, their government, and mode of worship. The offices of religion in hot climates were said to require some sensible object before the eyes, and hence the ve- eration paid to statues and paintings; whilst in the colder climes we were to substitute internal contemplation and the exercise of reason for passion.*

We trust, or hope, that in the breasts of those who fill the family pew, in these northern churches, there may be more genuine devotion; but to appearance all is pale and cold: while to the subject we are now considering, at least, no aid is afforded. What a contrast is offered to the eye of the painter by the figures seen in the churches of the Roman Catholic countries of the south, as compared with those in our own! ‘There are seen men in the remote aisles or chapels, cast down in prayer, and abandoned to