« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Annals of England
Bingham's (Rev. W. P. s.) Lecture on Ecclesiastical Sculpture 579
Bishop of Salisbury's Letter on Cathedral Reform
Blatch's (Rev. W.)
Memoir of the Right Rev. David Low, formerly
on the Atonement and the At-one-maker 338
Carter's (Rev. T. T.) First Five Years of the House of Mercy, Clewer · 191
The Bible, and how to use it
Dubois' (M. l'Abbé) Pratique du Zèle ecclesiastique, ou moyens infal-
libles pour tout Prêtre de rendre son Ministère fructueux
Faber's (Mr. Frederick) Essay on Catholic Home Missions
Receiving of the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper
couragement of His ministers in the visitation of the Sick
Pamphlet, Our Cathedrals and their Mission
Memoir of the Life and Death of Sir John King
Moberly's (Dr.) Address read to the Hampshire Church School Society 488
Morgan's (Arthur M.) Poems
Neale’s (Rev. J. M.) Lent Legends
Our Christian Calling; or Conversations with my Neighbours
Plain Commentary on the Gospels
Revised Liturgy of 1689
Salkeld's (Mr.) Tract, The Godly sincerity of the Prayer Book vindi-
Seven Fairy Tales
Williams' (Rev. I.) Sermons on the Epistles and Gospels (concluding
Pre-Raphaelitism. By the Author of “Modern Painters.” Lon
don: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1851. Lectures on Architecture and Painting. By John Ruskin. Lon
don: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1854. Art : its Constitution and Capacities. A Lecture. By the Rev.
EDWARD YOUNG, M.A. London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co. 1854.
In a former article we criticised Mr. Ruskin's architectural principles and the manner in which he puts them forth to the world, as exhibited in the two first of his lectures at Edinburgh. We propose at present to examine the two last lectures in that volume, together with the author's former pamphlet on Pre-Raphaelitism. We have added the book which stands last on our list, as exemplifying some characteristics of Mr. Ruskin's antagonists.
The progress of Pre-Raphaelite art forms a curious chapter in the history of public opinion. Five years ago critics were divided between virulent abuse and contemptuous silence, and even those who thought they could discern powers in the new school not much inferior to the mass of artists whose works crowd the walls of our exhibition rooms, could utter no more favourable prediction than that they would soon outgrow their folly, and give no better advice, than that they should abjure, as soon as possible, both their name and their theory, and subside into common sense.
Time enough has elapsed for those predictions to be realised, and that advice followed, and what is the result ? Neither the name nor the theory has been surrendered, and yet no pictures command a larger share of attention and admiration than those of Millais and Hunt. They have grown indeed in artistic power, but not outgrown their principles. They have proved that the realization of those principles affords scope for the highest efforts, and has its issue in the noblest results. They have borne their full share of obloquy and
VOL. XVII.-JANUARY, 1855.
contempt, and if the foundation of a new school of English painting, and the inauguration of a new era in the history of art, be anything, they have their reward. It may be of service perhaps to some of our readers, if we state in a few words, what the principles of Pre-Raphaelitism are. They will be found developed at greater length in Mr. Ruskin's fourth lecture. Now there is one common error which lies at the
threshold of the subject, and stands in the way of any correct estimation of the merits and position of the artists in question. They are supposed to desire the reduction of art precisely to the state in which it existed previous to the time of Raphael, and to ignore, or rather condemn, all the improvements which it has undergone since that period. And on this hypothesis it is very justly argued that art was never designed to be stationary, any more than science or politics, and that to despise progress in the one, must be just as ridiculous as it is admitted to be in the others. But unfortunately for the point and application of the argument, the Pre-Raphaelites have never denied its truth, and the most casual glance at one of their works would, one might have thought, have convinced any one that its execution evinced an advance on the great painters of early Italy, at least as marked as could be furnished by any of their cotemporaries. Art is made up of principles and practice. The latter is susceptible of constant improvement, but in the former (except by the discovery of principles always in existence, but hitherto unperceived) change is impossible. It is in this respect only that the Pre-Raphaelites desire to imitate the early schools. Up to a certain point in the bistory of art, marked with great precision by the middle period of Raphael's career, two leading principles pervaded its manifestations—the presence of a moral purpose and the preference of truth to beauty. The distinction between modern and mediæval works, as regards the first of these, cannot be drawn out without reference to many things which do not come within the domain of art, and we refer those who wish to follow it up to the Stones of Venice. The other is of narrower compass. In all early painters there will be found rigid adherence to the truth of nature. It does not conflict with this assertion, that there is much in nature which they do not represent at all, and much in what they do represent which stops far short of the reality. Their works indeed are imperfect, but they are always true. painted what they saw around them, and where they are unable to do that fully, they give with the utmost accuracy what they can, and use a conventional formula for that which is beyond their power of execution, so that their imperfections and shortcomings shall not detract from the value of that wbich they do represent. Each successive generation of painters exemplified the same principle with constantly increasing power and mastery over the resources of their art, but the last step was coincident with the advent of the Renais