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for art in the present German public than the great admiration in which all these specimens of · laborious idleness' are held.
We pass on still further. We go to the line where close imitation is legitimate, if it be legitimate anywhere: we mean among the painters of still life-of fruit, flowers, game, &c. There are not many in the Düsseldorf school, but what there are, are all of a piece with the rest. They paint apples with every speck, and leaves with every vein, and the table-cloth too with every check; for here again it is a mere inventory, and all is equally noted down. We have nothing of the animating and beautifying spirit of our own living master in this department (though by no means confined to it), Mr. Lance. The change of subject has made no difference, and could not; for the rules of art apply equally to every walk in it. As Lessing says in his Laocoon, when speaking of mean and common subjects, ' Enough that by dint of truth, and manner of expression, what is ugly in nature becomes what is beautiful in art.' Teniers has given us the beauty of pots and pans in many a tinker's heap in the corner; Titian, the beauty of ugliness in his old nurse; Hogarth, that of vacancy in the morning scene of his Marriage à la Mode. Everything may be made beautiful, from the highest to the lowest, for everything has a spirit as well as a letter ; but the Düsseldorf painters have chosen only the letter, and the letter killeth.'
It is impossible to stand before such pictures without speculating in some way upon the moral causes for such coincidence of error. Is it because they see no better pictures than their own? Is it because the very love of labour, so native to Germans, is their snare? Or because common sense, which carries one half-way up everything, is rarer in Germany than elsewhere? Without doubt some of the causes lie here; but the inost important we are inclined to attribute both to the absence of influence and to the bad influence of the upper schools. In old times the practical and mechanical principles of painting were first applied to the highest subjects, and so descended gradually to the lowest, which was right reason and sense ; for what gave unity and breadth, and preserved the leading idea most conspicuous in the one, was applicable equally to the other. But we find now that the present religious and historical painters in Germany, having, as we have shown, confined themselves to the two extremes of the pencil-drawing and the fresco, have never themselves developed the real practical rules of art. To their humble brethren, therefore, they have afforded no help, or rather, they have afforded the reverse. For it is impossible, in the want of unity, breadth and chiaro oscuro, and in the laboured execution
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of the oil-painters, not to recognise the mechanical joining of dețached parts—the heavy, opaque shadows—the hatchings and frequent retouchings of the same colour, inseparable from the line of fresco. But there is yet a deeper reason which, to our view, includes all those already mentioned, and which must be obvious to any one who may have studied the subject—we mean that imitative tendency so strongly seen in these higher schools. Whether this be attributable to the example of the original revivers, or to some property inherent in the German character, matters but little to the question. The fact is, that as the religious and historical painters have only imitated a certain type, so the landscape and subject painters have only imitated Nature.
So much for the general reasons to account for these strange Düsseldorf mistakes. At the same time there is no doubt but that the most direct one will be found in the system of bad teaching to which the school is subjected. We turn, therefore, to Schadow, the Director of the Academy. Count Raczynski dwells with warmth, and, we doubt not, with equal justice, upon the eminent Christian virtues of Mr. Schadow. And, though recognising no necessary connexion between the artist and the man, yet we are willing in this instance to follow the Count's lead, and not separate them. For though Mr. Schadow's own productions are the exaggerated models of the general manner of the artists we have described, and, in point of talent, far below them, yet these are only the standards to judge him by, not others. There has been many an admirable teacher who could never practise wbat he taught. It is, therefore, his system of teaching that must bear the blame, and of this there is all-sufficient specimen in the • Pensées sur l'éducation d'un peintre, par Guillaume Schadow,' contained in M. Raczynski's volume on Düsseldorf. If any one should wish for an infallible receipt for Düsseldorf painting in any part of the world, we should simply recommend the strictest adherence to the rules laid down in the Pensées.' Thus, after conducting the student from straight lines to curved, and so on to geometrical figures, with a mechanical pedantry which it would require very uncommon abilities to survive, he comes to the all-important article in Düsseldorf com. position, viz. the draperies :
Pour l'étude des draperies, je recommande ce qui suit: le maître doit commencer par draper un automate, et, autant que possible, alternativement avec des étoffes différentes. L'élève en fait un dessin complet et détaillé, en portant son attention sur les lois d'après lesquelles se forment les plis, et sur les particularités spéciales à chaque étoffe.'— vol. i. p. 275.
Again, as the lay figure used on such occasions is probably smaller than nature, he urges that it should only be called in for draperies, pourvu que l'on emploie alors des étoffes un peu plus fines que celles qui doivent être représentées.'-p. 278.
Magnifying and minifying glasses we should suggest as an improvement upon the · Pensées ;' to swell sarcenet into satin, or reduce sheeting to cambric, as occasion might require. But what would Sir Joshua say to such rules, with his injunction, · It should be drapery-it should be nothing more?
Under such a system of instruction it is easy, or rather not easy, to conceive the depths of the tea-tray and sign-post exhibited in the productions of the so-called second-class artists in this part of the world-a very numerous body, who deal chiefly in landscapes and portraits. Justice, however, to Birmingham demands that the comparison should be restricted to the earlier stages of her art. Nor may the sign-post be taken without qualification; perhaps the style of heads usually seen above the mantel-piece in a country milliner's little back parlour, presents the fairest analogy with a 'second-class' Düsseldorf portrait.
Count Raczynski dwells with peculiar satisfaction upon the edifying spectacle of so many artists living together in peace and unity. In Düsseldorf, according to him, there is no envy, malice, or uncharitableness. From Schadow downwards to the lowest
second-class' the artists present one unbroken line of Christian excellence. Two painters share one atelier. Four or five work together on one picture (we should have thought at least five hundred). Their manners are patriarchal—their pleasures simple. After the labour of the day is over, a walk, a pipe, a glass of beer, is all their recreation. They sit conversing together, sans aigreur et sans envie,' their wives knitting by their sides.
Combien une telle existence diffère de celle des peintres d'Italie au temps des Medicis lorsqu'on voyait Titien travailler le couteau au côté-Giorgione s’armer d'une cuirasse pour peindre dans un lieu public-Borroccio mourir empoisonné-Le Domenique forcé de quitter Naples par suite des menaces de l'Espagnolet; et qu'on se rappelle la fin tragique de tant d'autres peintres—les haines et les passions de tant d'autres artistes !'~vol. ii. p. 129.
Too true! Monsieur le Comte !- and Michael Angelo's broken nose too, which you have forgotten !—but who painted the best?
Even, he adds, if they had no other motives for becoming firstrate geniuses, the love with which Schadow has inspired them would be enough. On peut être sûr que, ne fût-ce que par affection pour leur maître, tous feraient toujours de leur mieux.' How very amiable of them! and how very virtuous, too, of M,
Raczynski ! Raczynski! Upon us, we are ashamed to say, all this wonderful unanimity makes a less satisfactory impression. Contentions and heart-burnings are not necessarily the offspring of mediocrity. Even the sweet little picture of domestic happiness fails to touch us as it ought. We feel somewhat as Paley did when, on the Bishop of Durham's telling him that Mrs. Barrington and he had never differed for thirty years, the Archdeacon answered, “ Rayther flat, my Lord ?' Connubial felicity is, nem. con., a most respectable thing, but somehow a small Düsseldorf ménage does not strike the imagination as particularly conducive to poetical inspirations. There is no exaggeration in all that M. Raczynski has said-four or five artists do work together on one picture like brethren, and nestle two together in one atelier like doves, and praise and ad. mire indiscriminately all each other's performances like so many Magazine poetasters. They would do anything also to oblige their director, and prepare him all sorts of little surprises for his jour de fête, or his Christmas tree. It is true, too, that they make most excellent husbands; and that their wives knit them the best possible stockings in return; but if the Düsseldorf style of picture be the especial result of all these Christian virtues operating in conjunction with the arts, we must say, give us a little vice!
M. Raczynski calls this a 'vie d'artiste.' We see nothing in it that does not apply equally to a 'vie d'artisan'-honest, wellconducted artisans, who have each their set work, do not interfere with one another, and are sure of a good market-and that market the Art-Union. For it is on this line of patronage that Düsseldorf principally depends for existence.
We have not space to enter into the question of these associations, though it might be the more interesting to examine those in Germany, because thence all the other Art-Unions in the world have been derived. There they were established as early as 1792, and now amount to above thirty in number. There is no doubt that they are not without some beneficial results, especially in the attention and preservation they have secured to objects of ancient art; but, acting as they do, in such a community as Düsseldorf, there is no doubt also that they are chiefly a lottery for those who have no business with pictures, and a stimulus for those who have no business to paint. Here again, however, a virtuous plea is brought forward, quite new in the canons, whether of art or religion. These Art-Unions are such very benevolent things! There is many a poor artist, who, but for them, would never have a chance of selling a picture. Whoever, therefore, like ourselves, may have been puzzled to account for the extraordinary trash selected for purchase by the Art-Unions at the late exhibitions of Düsseldorf, Cologne, and Aix-la
Chapelle, Chapelle, are now answered. It was all pure charity. Like M. Raczynski, they know how to distinguish amiable motives. The picture itself might be a failure, but then the painter has done his best to please Schadow.
One feature in these German Art-Unions is new to us, and deserves commendation. This consists in setting aside a portion of their funds for the undertaking of great public works. The Town Hall at Elberfeld, decorated with frescoes by Mücke; the great Crucifixion in the Franciscan Church at Düsseldorf by Sättegast, have been thus accomplished. The Town Hall at Frankfort is, we believe, also to be commenced from the same resources. For though the Rhine may be called the special home of modern oil painters, yet the fresco works now scattered on and near its banks are considerable both in number and merit. It is true, the four compartments in the Academical Hall of Bonn are pitiable failures, and portions of the great room at Heltorf, near Düsseldorf, fearful to behold;—yet the worst never descend to the second class' of oil and canvas doings, while the best comprise the only real excellence that we have seen in this part of the world.
Among the various conspicuous buildings in progress or nearly completed on the banks of the Rhine-some of thein restorations no longer suited to modern use, such as Rheinstein-others erections in the worst possible taste, such as the Château at Rheineck -it must have given pleasure to many to observe one building in particular, the taste of which especially harmonises with the Rhine banks, and the use of which is applicable to all times. We mean the beautiful new church upon the Apollinaris Berg, close to Remagen :-its four delicate spires rising clean and taper in the first bloom of fresh-hewn stone against the round grey hills, and breaking with their long light lines the broad reflections in the river. This graceful and grateful object is the erection of the munificent Count Fürstenberg Stammheim, a great Roman Catholic landholder both here on the Rhine and in Westphalia, and the truly noble representative of one of the oldest families in this part of Germany. To most of our readers, however, he may be better known as the Count Fürstenberg at whose mansion in Bonn her Majesty was lately entertained at the inauguration of the Beethoven monument. In order to make the building worthy in every way of its destination, as well as to profit by a judicious opportunity for conferring patronage, the Count has engaged the services of four artists to adorn the interior with suitable frescoes, which are accordingly now in progress. On entering the western door, therefore, the eye is met by