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but a very imperfect notion of the sterling worth of these four volumes. Our readers are well aware that Lord Lindsay exerts his distinguished talents on all occasions under the influence of deep religious feelings. He dwells accordingly at more length on the piety which has distinguished very many of his family, male and female, than on any of the secular triumphs and honours of his ancient lineage. But we have hardly felt ourselves entitled to extract passages which, however pleasing and instructive in themselves, seem to be more especially designed for the eyes and hearts of the rising generation of the Lindsays.
Art. VI.-1. Noticias de los Arquitectos y Arquitectura de
España. Por Juan Agustin Cean-Bermudez. 4 vols. Madrid,
1829. 2. Sketches in Spain. 2 vols. 1834.-Spain and Spaniards.
By Captain Widdrington. 2 vols. London, 1844. 3. Plans, Elevations, Sections, and Details of the Alhambra. 2
vols. folio. By Owen Jones. London, 1842. 4. Handbook for Spain. By Richard Ford. London, 1845. 5. The Picturesque Antiquities of Spain. By Nathaniel A.
Wells. London, 1846. 6. España Artistica y Monumental. Por Don Genaro Perez
de Villa-amil. 3 vols. folio. Paris, 1846. W HEN Wilkie, after his voyage of art-discovery into the
W Peninsula, called Spain the Timbuctoo of painting, he might well have added, and of architecture; for while the names of Morales, Velazquez, and Murillo are familiar among us as household gods, those of the Siloes, Berruguete, Hontañon, Valdelvira, Herrera, and others, have scarcely reached our distant hemisphere; nay, is not the reader already exclaiming, Who, forsooth, are these great unknown? What and where are the memorials of their genius ?-And yet they were men worthy in every respect to take rank in the glorious company of the Brunneleschis, Bramantes, Buonarrotis, Palladios, and Wrens, whose universal fame posterity will never let die. Such, however, are the 'things of Spain,' whose wants, indeed, are blazoned abroad, but whose talents lie buried in a napkin. The incurious natives, indifferent as the Orientals who slumber under the porticoes of Palmyra, have neither cared to make known themselves their claim to the world's admiration nor to encourage the stranger who would have done them justice. They have rather repelled the barbarian eye; and while Ionian Italy was luring into her
forsoosphere; nay, and others. Siloes, Bern
embrace all lovers of the beautiful, hard and Spartan Iberia frowned forbiddingly upon the foreigner, and saw in his investigations nought save a prying into the nakedness of her land's defences, or a seeking for her lost and hidden treasures. Thus the stream of intelligent inquiry was turned aside by the Pyrenees—fit barrier of a country long supposed to be as deficient in roads and inns as superabounding in Goths, bandits, and inquisidors. Accordingly, while elsewhere every bone of antiquity has been picked bare, this pays de Cocagne for the architect this land, overflowing with church and convent, and 'potted' for the ecclesiologist, has long remained unforaged; yet here, however larderless palace and venta, the table groans under an æsthetic banquet, untasted from the want of a bill of fare-and curiosity starves amid the broken meats of departed empires; for the very soil is deeply impressed with the seal of Roman, Moorish, Mediæval, and Cinque Cento magnificence.
The few Spaniards who previously to this century wrote on architectural antiquities, were either overlaid with the rubbish of pedantry and superstition, cowed by the inquisition, or devoid of critical judgment, and deficient in good taste and accuracy of detail. Compared to the researches of Winckleman, Muratori, Piranesi, Wood, and Stuart, the works of Florez, Risco, Masdeu, Ponz, and others, are more voluminous than valuable; and much less so were the notices which filtered into England through stay-at-home critics, who put forth as information their own preconceived prejudices, until—such is the lot of ill-fated Spainthese errors obtained a prescriptive authority, and the correcter statements of real travellers were set at nought because they unsettled settled conventionalities. Thus the other day that bulky and best public instructor the · Encyclopædia Britannica' dismissed the architecture of the Peninsula in one fell swoop :
'The Spaniards, less patriotic (!) than the French, have for their greatest works employed the architects of France and Italy, so that of course that country can boast of no peculiarity of style redounding to its own credit. The palace of the Escurial, being by a French architect (!), and abounding with the deformities of French and Italian schools, cannot be cited in favour of Spain.'
When Sir Oracle opes his lips let no dog bark; yet never were more incorrect conclusions drawn in bow-wow style from falser premises, since the best periods of Spanish architecture are stamped by an absence of French taint and the presence of distinctive features and racy nationality. Analogy might indeed have led to the expectation of such a Borracha in all who are acquainted with the art, literature, and other exponents of a people whose genius, like their blood, is the produce of the
Phanician Phoenician crossed by the Roman, of the Goth wedded to the Moor. Whenever the real Spanish architect has turned aside, it has been to a Norman, Teutonic, or Classical guide rather than to the antipathetic Gaul. The few strictly French buildings at Aranjuez and La Granja, the works of the intrusive Bourbons, are the exceptions which prove the rule.
In introducing to our readers the authors from whose pages we hope to extract a general view of this interesting subject, precedence must be given to Cean-Bermudez. He possessed qualities which are indeed rare in the Spaniard; to the sure eye and taste of the Italian connoisseur he united the patience and research of a German professor, the method and lucid order of a French classificator, and the honesty, good faith, and freedom from superstition of an English scholar. His notices were based on collections made by Eugenio de Llaguno; they are admirably arranged, enriched with notes and original documents, and furnished with careful indexes, which facilitate research through this mine of information. It enumerates no less than 1160 artists connected with Spanish architecture, whose works are pointed out in more than 400 different localities a pretty tolerable list: the · Encyclopædia Britannica' to the contrary notwithstanding.
Cean-Bermudez was soon followed by Captain Widdrington, who did not sit down in his study at home to depreciate objects which he had never seen, nor to dogmatise on subjects which he did not understand, but devoted many years to personal investigation, visiting every site, sketching and measuring every monument. His style pourtrays the author; while the language is unpretending, concise, and unadorned even to a fault, every page discovers good sense, observation, and earnestness, a love of the beautiful, and a single-hearted desire to obtain and impart correct information. His second publication details the results of a subsequent visit to the Peninsula after a ten years' interval, and, like the former, must ever be reckoned among the classical works on Spain.
The magnificent folios of Mr. Owen Jones have ensured the degraded Alhambra from the further vandalism of foreign invaders and the fatal apathy of domestic tastelessness. This Aladdin palace of the Moor has revived as a phænis in his brilliant engravings, which, like the edifice itsell, must be seen to be appreciated. Mr. Jones qualified himself for the task by a previous residence in Cairo, the modern Athens of the Arab; and although an artist as well as an architect, he never permitted his painter-eye to be seduced even by the Houri Alhambra, nor sacrificed truth of outline and elevation to the temptation of inaking an effective picture at the espense of
accuracy, which extends alike to exterior elevation and interior decoration. His new style of printing in gold and colours on stone, although the names Lithochrysography and Lithocromatography are formidable, seems to have been invented to do justice to the gorgeous subject. The value is enhanced by his original analysis of the principles and practice of Moorish architects, together with a history of Granada, and Arabic translations by Don Pascual Gayangos: thus the pen of the scholar is combined with the pencil and graver of the artist, and, like the Graces, these sisters three are never so fascinating as when, linked in fond embrace, they support and illustrate each other. .
Having in a recent number discussed the merits of the Handbook for Spain, we pass on to the elegant volume of Mr. Wells. Nursed on the beautiful bosom of the Wye in his paternal paradise of Piercefield, amid rock and fell, wood and water, feudal castle and holy ruins, he was well schooled by Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey for the towers of Toledo and cloisters of Seville, for the sunny meadows of the Guadalquivir and the lonely gorges of the Tagus. His subjects are faithfully delineated, and his running comment of description conveys the fresh and agreeable impressions which the scenes themselves could not fail to produce on a man of a cultivated mind; there is a daylight alike in ais views as in his text. It is evident that he has lived familiar y with the people of Spain, and that his kindness of heart and good humour made his path one of peace, safety, and pleasantness; he saw the natives and their homes on the bright side, and drew them when sparkling in the cheerful light of their unclouded heaven and they welcomed him as warmly; the Castilian heart expands like the flower to the sunshine of courteous manner, but contracts tremblingly sensitive to cold or rudeness. It is to be wished that Mr. Wells had somewhat more diverged from the rich but hacknied route of Burgos, Toledo, and Seville, which our sinpar Roberts, Villa-amil, and others have anticipated and almost exhausted. We cannot afford that an amateur so perfectly competent should devote his time and talents in doing what has already been done, and well done. The architectural field of Spain is wide, the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; let Mr. Wells revisit the Peninsula with the first swallow, and shunning that beaten track which scarcely embraces a tithe of its marvels, present us at next merry Christmas with another volume to adorn our drawing-rooms and enrich our libraries; especially let him give us the Western Provinces, from Gallicia down to Merida, returning by Avila to Oviedo. This delightful summer circuit includes the noblest Roman monuments, and presents an epitome of Gothic architecture from its VOL. LXXVII, NO, CLIV.
1, and of peacen the both of
beginning to its end. The extraordinary incunabula lurk, carent quia vate sacro, amid the glens of the Asturias, the rocky cradle of the lion of Castile, or in the holy Thebais of the Vierzo, that hill-girt valley of Rasselas, which, says the Red Book, is all but unknown to the English tourist.' Its singular ecclesiastical details have only just been nibbled at by Southey.
Here indeed,' continues Mr. Ford, is a fresh ground open to all who aspire in these threadbare days to book something new , here is scenery enough to fill a portfolio, and subjects enough for a quarto. How many flowers pine unbotanized, how many rocks harden ungeologized; what views are dying to be sketched, what trout to be caught and eaten, what valleys expand their bosoms longing to embrace the visitor, what virgin beauties hitherto unseen await the happy member of the Travellers' Club, who in ten days can exchange the bore of eternal Pall Mall for these untrodden sites; and then what an accession of dignity in thus discovering a terra incognita, and rivalling Mungo Park!
Surely a district at once so piscatory and picturesque might rouse honest Izaak Walton and his rods from the grave, and must make every particular hair of Mr. Wells's brushes stand on end; so we bid him good speed and all success. He is too real a Spanish traveller to be deterred by the exaggerated nonsense with which cockney critics scare delicate writers in albums, and ladybird tourists. He knows how safely and easily the Peninsula may now be visited; the steamers are regular, the roads good, the mails swift, the mules sure-footed; the Posadas are increased and the bandits diminished, insomuch that some ingenuity must be evinced in getting starved or robbed; nor is a guide wanting, since our good friend Mr. Murray, the grand monarque of handbooks, has proclaimed from Albemarle Street, Il n'y a plus de Pyrénées.
The · España Monumental,' now coming out in numbers at Paris, is a splendid publication, and worthy in many respects to be placed near the Alhambra of Owen Jones. It is the work of two nations, of Spain and France, peaceably united in an artistical family compact; it was conceived by Señor Villa-amil, one of the best modern painters of Madrid, and an imitator, at a respectful distance, of David Roberts, whose charming landscapes and architecture have long been to his continental colleagues at once a model and a stumbling-block. The ingenious French, unable to compete with his excellence, adopted the shorter process of piracy, and their · Espagne Pictoresque' glitters with his plumes, nor is one whisper given whence the splendours are stolen. This example and the money-profits were not lost on Spaniards, who, bankrupt and effete for originality, borrow all and everything, from gold bars down to copper plates. The projector, finding