Letter from Mr. Jones to Mr, Cotes. The paper concerning Sir Isaac Newton's method of interpolation, which you have been pleased to send me, being done so very neat, that it will be an injury to the curious in these things to be kept any longer without it ; therefore must desire that you would grant me leave to publish it in the Philosophical Transactions. You may be assured that I do not move this to you without Sir Isaac's approbation, who I find is no less willing to have it done. We have nothing considerable in hand here at present, only M.
Dcmoire's Tr-tatise on Chances, which makes a whole transac- tion. He is very fond of it, and we expect it well done. Kaphson has printed off four or live sheets of his History of Fluxions, but being shewed Sir Isaac Newton's who it seems would rather have them write againist him, than have a piece done in that manner in his favor he got a stop put to it, for some time at least. Halley has almost finished the printing of the Greenwich Observations, which will be a work of good use, especially as it is now freed from the tf ifies it was loaded with.
Sir, I have one thing which I would trouble you with fur- ther, and that is, to let me know what lectures, or other papers of Sir Isaac Newton's, remain in your University unpublished. It would be a great satisfaction to me, if I could be any way serviceable to you here at London ; and should readily embrace any opportunity to approve and express myself, what I am exceedingly obliged to be, Your most affectionate friend, And faithful servant,.
William Jones. Having tarried some time for a convenient opportunity, I was obliged to send you at last Moreton's book by the carrier, though it will only satisfy you that Dr. Gregory had but a very slender notion of the design, extent, and use of lib. I hope it will not be long before you find leisure to send me what you have further done on this curious subject.
No excuse must be made against the publishing of them, since, with respect to reputation, I dare say it will be no way to your disadvantage. I have nothing of news to send you, only the Germans and French have in a violent man- ner attacked the philosophy of Sir Isaac Newton, and seem resolved to 5tand by Des Cartes. Keil, as a person concerned, has undertaken to defend and answer some things, as Dr. Friend and Dr. Mead do, in their way, the rest.
I would have sent you the whole controversy, was I not sure that you know, those only are most capable of objecting against his writings, that least understand them. However, in a little time you will see some of them in the Philosophical Transactions. I have looked over what relates to his way of in- terpdation; but I find no cause from thence to make any alteration.. One Mr.
Green, a fellow of Clare- Hall, seems to have nearly the same design with those German and French objectants, whom you mention. His book is now in our press, and almost finished, I am told. He will add an Appendix, in which he undertakes also to square the circle. I need not recommend his per- formance any further to you. Sir, your obliged friend.
And humble servant, R. I have sent you here enclosed the copy of a letter, that I found among Mr. The contents thereof seem in a great measure to have relation to what you are about, as being the application of the Doctnne of Differences to the making of tables ; and for that reason I thought it might be of use to you, so far as to see what has been done already. I shewed this to Sir Isaac : he remembers that he applied it to all sorts of tables. I have more papers of Mr. J should be very glad to see what you have done upon this subject all published ; and I must confess, tliat unless you design a large volume, it were much better to put them into the Philosophical Transactions, for that would sufficiently preserve them from being lost, which is the common fate of small single tracts, and, at the same time, to save the trouble and ex- pense of printing them, since the subject is too curious to expect any profit from it ; and besides now, as the Royal Society having done them- selves the honour of choosing you a member, something from you can- not but be acceptable to them.
Sir Isaac himself expects these thing-s of you, that I formerly mentioned o him as your promise. I am, Sir, your much obliged friend, and humble servant, William Jones. From Mr. The Royal Society having ordered one of their books for you, and anpther for Mr. Saunderson, also one for Trinity-College library, and. Under his tuition she became a consi- derable proficient in Algebra, and, with a view to qualify herself for the office of preceptor to her sister's son, who one for the University library, I would not lose the opportunity of paying you my respects, by sending them.
I need not tell you the occasion and design of that collection. Keil thinks he has discovered a very easy and practical solution of the Keplerean problem. If Moreton's book is of no use to you, please to aend it to me, though I fear it will yield me but small assistance, having occasion for variety of modern solstitial meridiail altitudes of the Sun, such as may be depended upon.
Helvetius, Flamstead, and the French cbservations, seem defective. I should be glad to be informed where I can be supplied best. You are much in the right of it to print your lectures, and other papers, in a book by itself: it is better than to have them lie up and down among other things. What I fbrmerly proposed, as to the putting of things in the Philosophical Transactions, is only fit for a sheet or two, but not exceeding that. I very much long to see those valuable pieces, and hope you will let me know in what time I may expect them.
Ever since I received your very kind letter, and Moreton's book, I waited for an opportunity of sending you some old manuscripts I had by me, and at last am obliged to venture them by the carrier. They relate, la some measure, to the method of Differences : the folio one, I find, was written by one Nath. Torperly, a Shropshire man, who, when young, was amanuensis to Vieta, but afterwards writ against him. He was coteroporary with Briggs. I shall be in some pain till I hear that fouhave received my old- manuscript, it being a favourite purely on account of sonse extravagancies in it ; but I shall think it safe in your hands.
Jones for the instruction of her son, she proposed to reject the severity of dis- cipline, and to lead his mind insensibly to knowledge and exertion, by exciting his curiosity, and directing it to useful objects. By this method, his desire to learn be- came as eager as her wish to teach; and such was her talent of instruction, and his facility of retaining it, that in his fourth year he was able to read, distinctly and rapidly, any English book. She particularly attended at the same time to the cultivation of his memory, by making him learn and repeat some of the popular speeches in Shakespeare, and the best of Gsiy's Fables.
If, from the subsequent eminence of Sir William Jones, any general conclusion should be eagerly drawh in favour of early tuition, we must not forget to advert to the uncommon talents both of the pupil and the teacher. A short time afterwards, when his attendants were putting on his clothes, which were imprudently fastened with hooks, he struggled, either in play, or in some childish pet, and a hook was fixed in his right eye.
By due care, under the directions of Dr. Mead, whose friend- ship with his family continued unabated after his father's death, the wound was healed ; but the eye was so much weakened, that the sight of it ever remained imperfect,. His propensity to teading, which had begun to dis- play itself, was for a time checked by these accidents; but the habit was acquired, and, after his recovery, he indulged it without restraint, by perusing eagerly any books that came in his way, and with an attention pro- portioned to his ability to comprehend them. In his fifth year, as he was one morning turning over the leaves of a bible in his mother's closet, his attention was for-' cibly arrested by the sublime description of the angel, in the tenth chapter of the Apocalypse ; and the impres- sion which his imagination received from it was never effaced.
At a period of mature judgment he considered the passage as equal in sublimity to any in the inspired writers, and far superior to any that could be produced from mere human compositions ; and he was fond of retracing and mentioning. At Michaelmas, , in the close of his seventh year, he was placed at Harrow School, of which the worthy and amiable Dr.
Thackeray was then head- master. During the two first years of his residence at Harrow, he was rather remarked for diligence and application, than. His faculties, however, necessarily gained strength by exercise ; and, during his school vacations, the sedulity of a fond parent was, without intermission, exerted to improve his know- ledge of his own language. She also taught him the rudiments of drawing, in which she excelled.
But his progress in classical learning, during this in- terval, was altogether suspended; for although he might have availed himself of the proffered instruction of a friend, in whose house he resided, to acquire the rudi- ments of Latin, he was then so unable to comprehend its utility, and had so little relish for it, that he was left unrestrained to pursue his juvenile occupations and amusements; and the little which he had gained in his two first years was nearly lost in the third. On his return to school he was, however, placed in the same class which he would have attained, if the pro- gress of his studies had not been interrupted.
He was, of course, far behind his fellow-labourers of the same standing, who erroneously ascribed his insufficiency to laziness or dulness; while the master, who had raised him to a situation above his powers, required exertions of which he was incapable ; and corporal punishment and degradation were applied, for the non -performance of tasks which he had never been instructed to furnish.
But, in truth, he far excelled his schoolfellows in general, both in diligence and quickness of apprehen- sion; nor was he of a temper to submit to imputations, which he knew to be unmerited. Punishment failed to produce the intended effect; but his emulation was roused. The behaviour of the master to Jones made an im- pression on his mind, which he ever remembered with abhorrence. Little doubt can be entertained that he might have been stimulated to equal exertions, if encouragement had been substituted for severity, and instruction for disgrace.
The accumulation of punish, ment, for his inability to soar before he had been taught to fly, I use his own expression might have rendered the feelings callous ; and a sense of the injustice attend- ing the infliction of it was calculated to destroy the respect due to magisterial authority, and its influence over the scholar. It is a material and, perhaps, un- avoidable defect, in the system of education at public schools, that the necessity of regulating instruction, by general rules, muslt often preclude that attention to the tempers and capacities of individuals, by which their attainments might be essentially promoted.
In his twelfth year, Jones was moved into the upper school. Of the retentive powers of his memory, at this period, the following anecdote is a remarkable instance. His school-fellows proposed to amuse themselves with the representation of a play ; and, at his recommendation, they fixed upon the Tempest. He performed the character of Prospero. Still Discord raves, Bellona fiercely storms, Mars calls, and Caledonians exclaim. Which gently gathered roimd its impious prey ; And now in absent flames the hero bums.
His shiver'd hair hangs dangling o'er his fiice ; He rends his silken vest, and wrings his hands, And groans, possess'd with agonizing pain. These juvenile efforts contributed to establish the influence and reputation of Jones in the school; and the success, with which his studies had latterly been pursued, left him no reason to regret the disadvantages under which he had at first laboured.
IS in the knowledge of prosody was truly extraordinary ; he soon acquired a proficiency in all the varieties of Roman metre ; so that he was able to scan the trochiac and iambic verses of Terence, before his companions even suspected that they were any thing but mere prose. He also learned to taste the elegance of that writer,;and was frequently heard to repeat, with parti- cular satisfaction, the rule in the Andria : Facile omnes perferre et pati Kunquam praeponens se alils. Such was the extent of his attainments, and such his facility of composition, that for two years he wrote the exercises of many boys in the two superior classes, who often obtained credit for performances to which they had no title, whilst the students in the same class with himself were happy to become his pupils.
During the holidays his studies were varied, but not relaxed; in these intervals he learned the rudiments of French and arithmetic, and was particularly gratified with an invita- tion to attend the meetings of learned and ingenioiis men, at the house of that amiable philosopher, Mr. Baker, and his friend, Mr.
As an introduction to the know- ledge of the subjects discussed in this literary society, by the particular recommendation of his mother, he read the Spectacle de la Nature: he acknowledged, however, that he was more entertained with the Arabian Tales, and Shakespeare, whose poems and plays he repeatedly perused with increased delight.
In the usual recreations of his school-fellows at Harrow, Jones was rarely a partaker; and the hours which they allotted to amusement, he generally devoted to improvement. The following anecdote strongly indicates the turn of his mind, and the impression made by his studies. Parr, were his principal associates. The chiefs vigorously defended their respective domains, against the incursions of the enemy ; and, in these imitative wars, the young states- men held councils, made vehement harangues, and composed memorials, all doubtless very boyish, but calculated to fill their minds with ideas of legislation and civil government.
In these unusual amusements, Jones was ever the leader; and he might justly have appropriated to himself the words of Catullus : Ego gymnasii flos, ego decus olei. Thackeray retired from the superintendence of the school at Harrow, when his pupil had attained his fifteenth year. Asaph, dated Kovember , mentions Sir William Jones, in terms of respect and affection : " I knew him he writes from the early age of eight or nine, " and he was always an uncommon boy.
But the opinion wliich he gave of Jones, in private, was, that he was a boy of so active a mind, that if he wxre left naked and friendless on Salisbury plain, he would nevertheless find the road to fame and riches. Thackeray was succeeded by Dr. Sumner; and, for his information of the course of study pursued at Har- row, a plan of the lectures and exercises, in the upper school, was accurately delineated by Jones, at the sug- gestion of the principal assistant, who presented it to the new master, with many encomiums on the talents of his favourite scholar.
He annexed to it a collection of his compositions, including his translation of the pas-' torals of Virgil. Sumner quickly distinguished him ; and of the two complete years which he passed under that excellent instructor, it is sufficient to say, that he employed them iii reading and imitating the best an- cient authors. Nor did he confine himself merely to the compositions of Greece and Rome; he learned the Arabic characters, and studied the Hebrew language sufficiently to enable him to read some of the original Psalms. His ardour for knowledge was so unlimited, that he frequently devoted whole nights to study, taking coffee or tea as an antidote to drowsiness; and his im- provement, by these extraordinary exertions, was so rapid, that he soon became the prime favourite of his master, wTio, with an excusable partiality, was heard to declare, that Jones knew more Greek than himself, and was a greater proficient in the idiom of that language.
During the last months of his residence at Harrow, Dr. Sumner not only dispensed with his at- tendance at school, but was obliged to interdict his application, in consequence of a weakness of sight con- tracted by it. His compositions were not, however, discontinued ; and he obtained the assistance of the younger students to write them from his dictation. During the vacations, his application was directed to improve his knowledge of French and arithmetic, to which he also added the study of the Italian. I shall. And yet, to reason phi- losophically, I cannot help thinking any grief upon a person's death very superfluous, and inconsistent with sense ; for what is the cause of our sorrow?
Is it be- cause we hate the person deceased? If, on the other hand, we grieve for one who was dear to us, I should reply that we should, on the contrary, rejoice at his having left a state so perilous and uncertain as life is. The common strain is Besides, though a man should pursue a constant and determinate course of vir- tue, though he were to keep regular symmetry and uni- formity in his actions, and preserve the beauty of his reputation to the last, yet while he lives his very vir- tue may incur some evil imputation, and provoke a thousand murmurs of detraction; for, believe me, my dear sister, there is no instance of any virtue, or social excellence, which has not excited the envy of innume- rable assailants, whose acrimony is raised barely by seeing others pleased, and by hearing commendation which another enjoys.
It is not easy, in this life, for any man to escape censure : and infamy requires very little labour to assist its circulation. But tiiere is a kind of sanction in the characters of the dead, which gives due force and reward their merits, and defends them from the suggestions of calumny. But to return to the point ; what reason is there to disturb yourself on this melancholy occasion?
I am ashamed to add more, lest I should seem to mistrust your prudence ; but next week, when I understand your mind is more composed, I shall write you word how all things go here. I designed to write you this letter in French; but I thought I could express my thoughts with more energy in my own language.
S5 I come now, after a long interval, to mention some tnore private circumstances. Pray give my duty to lay Mamma, and thank her for my shirts. I never thought our bleak air would have so good an effect upon him. As for news, the only article I know is, that Mrs. Far is dead and buried. Sumner arc well : the latter thanks you for bringing the letter firom your old acquaintance, and the former has made me an elegant present. I am now very much taken up with study ; am to speak Antony's speech in Shake-i speare's Julius Csesar which play I will read to you when I come to town , and am this week to make a declamaticm.
I add no more than the sincere well- wishes of your faithful friend. And affectionate brother, William Jones. If I am not deceived by my partiality for the memory of Sir William Jones, this letter will be perused with interest by the public. Sumner passed rapidly, to the mutual satisfaction of the master and scholar, until Jones had reached his seventeenth year ; when it was determined to remove him to one of the Universities. It is.
The law, however, at that time, had little attraction for him ; and he felt no inclination to renounce his Demosthenes and Cicero for the pleadings in Westminster-Hall. This disinclination on his part, the solicitude of Dr. Sumner, that he should devote some years to the completion of his studies at the university, and the objections of his mother, founded on reasons of economy, to a profession which could not be pursued without considerable expense, fixed her decision against the advice of her legal friends. The choice of an uni- versity was also the occasion of some discussion.
Cam- Ixidge was recommended by Dr. Sumner, who had received his education there ; but Dr. Glasse, who had jHrivate pupils at Harrow, and had always distinguished Jones by the kindest attention, recommended Oxford.
His choice was adopted by Mrs. Jones, who, in com- pliance with the wishes of her son, had determined to reside at the university with him, and greatly preferred the situation of Oxford. They separated soon after, with mutual regret; and in tlie following term he fixed him- self at Oxford. The name of Jones was long remembered at Harrow, with the respect due to his superior talents and un- rivalled erudition ; and he was frequently quoted by Dr. Sumner, as the ornament of his school, and as an example for imitation. In the varied talents, which constitute an orator, Dr.
Sumner himself excelled : and his pupil had equally benefited by his example and instruction. Of the friendships which he contracted at school, many were afterwards cultivated with reciprocal affection ; and, among the Mends of his early years, some still survive, who remember his virtues with delight, and deplore his loss. His friend Pamell, whose departure from school he laments in the letter to his sister, was the late Sor John Pamell, who held the office of chancellor of the Exchequer, in Ireland. Jones, at Harrow, was presented by him to his friend Parnell, in The first and longest of the collection, containing more than three hundred and thirty lines, is entitled Prolusions, and is a critique on the various styles of pastoral writers.
This was written by Mr. Jones, at the age of fifteen, and is the original of the poem, which he afterwards published, under the title of Arcadia. Spenser speaks in his own dialect, and, as the poet says. Masks in the roughest veil the sweetest song. In the original essay, Mr. Jones gives the prize to Tityrus, or Virgil ; but, in the latter, Theocritus divides the kingdom of Arcadia between Virgil and Spenser, and assigns to them his two daughters.
Daphne and Hyla, by whom he understands the two- sorts of pastoral poetry : the one elegant and polished, the other simple and unadorned ; in both which Theocritus excels. The remaining poems in the collection consist of translations and imitations of Horace, Sophocles, and Theocritus ; Saul and David, an Ode ; and a Satire on the inordinate Love of Novelty. A manuscript of these poems, in the hand- writing of Mr.
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I select, as a specimen of Mr. Jones's poetical talents, at the age of fourteen, the shortest in the collection, in imitation of a well-known Ode of Horace, and addressed to his friend Pamell. How quickly fades the vital flow'r! Sweet innocence, and dove-eyed truth, Are destined to' decay.
Can zeal drear Pluto's wrath restrain? No ; tho' an hourly victim stain His hallow'd shrine with blood, Fate will recal her doom for none : The scepter'd king must leave his throne, To pass the Stygian flood. Our house, our land, our shadowy growth The very mistress of our love. Ah me! Jones, at the university, did not at first correspond with his expectations Under the tuition of a master, who saw with admira- tion his capacity and application, who was anxious to assist his exertions, and rewarded their success with unlimited applause, his ardour for learning had been raised to a degree of enthusiasm: at the university, he expected to find a Sumner or Askew in every mas- ter of arts, and generally the same passion for literature, which he had himself imbibed.
It was evident that such extravagant expectations must be disappointed; and from the public lectures he derived little gratifica- tion or instruction: they were much below the standard of his attainments, and, in fact, were considered as merely formal. The only logic then in fashion was that of the schools; and, in a memorandum written by himself, which is my authority for these.
With the advice of Dr. Sumner, he was preparing for the press his Greek and Latin compositions, includ- ing a comedy, written in the language and measures of Aristophanes. But his solicitude to appear as an author was perhaps prudently checked by the advice of his friends ; and the proposed publication, from which he expected'an increase of reputation, was reluctantly post- poned. This comedy, which bears the title of Mormo, still exists; but in a state of such mutilation, from the depredations of worms and time, that it cannot be pub- lUhed without very copious conjectural emendations.
Alter the residence of a few months at the univer- aity, on the 31st of October, , Mr. Jones was unanimously elected one of the four scholars on the fbufjidaXion of Sir Simon Bennett, to whose munificence be was ever proud to acknowledge liis obligations The prospect of a fellowship, to which he looked with natural impatience, was, however, remote, as he had tbiree seniors. S3 who spbke and wrote the vulgar Arabic fluently, but Was without any pretensions to the character of a scholar. This promise he was obliged exclusively to fulfil for several months, at an expense which his finances could ill afford, being disappointed in the hopes which he had entertained, that some of his brother- collegians might be inclined to avail themselves of the assistance of the Syrian, and participate with him in the expense of his maintenance.
The disgust expressed by Mr. Jones, after his first introduction into the university, soon subsided, and his time now passed with great satisfaction to himself. He found in it all the means and opportunity of instruc- tion which he could wish ; and adopted that respectful attachment to it which he ever after retained.
His college tutors, who saw that all his hours were devoted to improvement, dispensed with his attendance on their lectures, alleging, with equal truth and civility, that he could employ his time to more advantage. Their ex- pectations were not disappointed: he perused with great assiduity all the Greek poets and historians of note, and the entire works of Plato and Lucian, with a vast apparatus of commentaries on them ; constantly reading with a pen in his hand, making remarks, and composing in imitation of his favourite authors.
Some portion of every morning he allotted to Mirza, whom he employed in translating the Arabian Tales of Galland into Arabic, writing himself the translation from the mouth of the Svrian. He afterwards corrected the grammatical inaccuracies of the version, by the help of Erpenius and Golius. His vacations were past in London, where he daily attended the schools of Angelo, for the purpose of acquiring the elegant accomplishments of riding and fencing.
He was always a strenuous advocate for the practice of bodily exercises, as no less useful to invi- gorate his frame, than as a necessary qualification for any active exertions, to which he might eventually be called. If the literary acquisitions of Mr. Jones, at this period, be compared with his years, few instances will be found in the annals of biography, of a more successful appli- cation of time and talents, than he exhibits; and it is worthy of observation, that he was no less indebted to his uncommon industry and method for his attainjnents, tlian to his superior capacity.
If the prospect of acquiring that advantage had not been remote, no temptation would have seduced him from the university ; but at the period when he began to despair of obtaining it, he received, through Mr. Arden, whose sister was married to his friend Sumner, an offer to be the private tutor of Lord Al- thorpe, now Earl Spencer. He had been recommended to the family of this nobleman by Dr. Shipley, to whom he was not then personally known, but who had seen and approved his compositions at Harrow, and particularly a tjreek oration in praise of Lyon, an honest yeoman, who founded the school at that place, in the reign of Elizabeth, The proposal was cheerfully accepted by Mr.
Jones, and, in his nineteenth year, he went to London, and was so delighted with the manners of his pupil, then just seven years old, that he abandoned all thoughts of a profession, and resolved to devote him- self to the faithful discharge of the important duties of his new situation. He had the satisfaction to find that this determination would probably restore him to the society of his best and most respected friend. Sumner; as he understood from Mr. Arden, that his pupil, after some preliminary instruction, would be fixed at Harrow. He returned for the present to Oxford, where he re- mained for a few months, and, in the summer of , went, for the first time, as had been proposed, to Wim- bledon Park, to take upon himself the charge of his pupil's education.
He had new objects to engage his obser- vation, and an interesting occupation, from the dis- charge of which he derived great satisfaction ; his appli- cation to literature was pursued without interruption ; for although he resided at Wimbledon until the ap- proach of the winter only, he found sufficient leisure to compose many of his English poems, and to read the greatest part of the Old Testament in Hebrew, parti- cularly the book of Job, and the prophets, which he studied with great attention.
He was, accordingly, elected fellow, on the foundation of Sir Simon Bennet, on the 7th of August, The idea of deriving an absolute independence from an annual income, not exceeding, upon an average, one hundred pounds, may appear ridiculous, when con- trasted with the enlarged estimate of a competence in these times. But this sum, in fact, was more than the wise economy of a college life then made necessary for a single man, whose habits of prudence were formed; and Mr.
Jones considered his fellowship as a freehold, in a place for which he had now contracted an enthu- siastic fondness, where he had access to extensive libraries, rare manuscripts, the company of learned men, and all, as he expressed himself, that his heart could wish; and, if he had obtained it a year sooner, he would SIR WILLIAM JONES.
V ZT probably have been induced to decline the delicate iand responsible task of education. On his return to Wimbledon, he was flattered by an oflTer from the duke of Grafton, then at the head of the Treasury, of the place of Interpreter for Eastern lan- guages : but, although the acceptance of it might not have interfered with his other pursuits, or engagemisnts, he declined it politely, but without hesitation, earnestly requesting that it might be conferred upon Mirza, whose character he wrote.
This disinterested solicitation was unnoticed; and his disappointment made him regret his ignorance of the world, in not accepting the prof- fered office, under a resolution to consign the entire emoluments of it to his Syrian friend. During his summer residence at Wimbledon he formed an acquaintance to which he owed the future happiness of his life. He there saw, for the first time, Anna Maria, the eldest daughter of Dr.
Shipley, then dean of Winchester : but whatever impressions her person and conversation made upon the heart of Mr. Jones, bis fixed ideas of an honourable independence j and a determined resolution never to owe his fortune to a wife, or her kindred, excluded all ideas of a matri- monial connection. In different circumstances he might, ,, perhaps, have then solicited an alliance, which he after- wards courted and obtained. The family of Lord Spencer removed late in autumn to London; and Mr. Jones, with his usual avidity to acquire the accomplishments of a gentleman, as well as those of a scholar, privately arranged a plan with Gallini, who attended the younger part of the family, for receiv- ing instructions from him in dancing; at the same time he continued his morning attendance, without inter- mission, at the two schools of Angelo, with whose manners he.
The acquisition of his new accomplishment, by Gal- lini's assistance, had been made with secrecy ; and the display of it enabled him to participate, with much satis- faction, in the evening amusements at Althorpe, where he passed the winter with his pupil. But his greatest delight was furnished by an excellent library, in which he found intellectual treasures of the highest value, in his estimation : scarcely a single book escaped- his inspection; and some of the most rare he perused with indefatigable application.
It was at this period, in the twenty-first year of his age, that he began his Com- mentaries on Asiatic Poetry, in imitation of Dr. The summer of opened a new scene to him. The indisposition of lord Spencer rendered a journey to Spa advisable for the restoration of his health ; and Mr. Jones attended the family: but his residence on the continent was too short to gratify his curiosity. At Spa he remained only three weeks, part of which he dedicated to the lessons of Janson, of Aix-la-Chapelle, a most incomparable dancing-nlaster, and part to the acquisition of the German language, in which he so far -succeeded, as to be able to read Gesner with delight, assisted only by an excellent German grammar and dictionary : the pronunciation he had formerly learned from a fellow-collegian, who had passed some years at Brunswick.
Ji9 to the expense of procuring that assistance from Aix- la-Chapelle. Notwithstaivcling these occupations, he found leisure to participate in all the amusements of the place. In the winjter of , Mr. Jones resided with his pupil at Althorpe: the attention of Lord Spencer's family was then much occupied in the contested election at Northampton ; but as he had neither inclination nor inducement to take any part in it, he confined himself chiefly to the library, which never failed to supply him with increasing sources of entertainment and improve- ment.
His excursions into the regions of literature were unlimited; and as his application was directed with his usual perseverance, he nearly completed his Commentaries, transcribed an Arabic manuscript on Egypt and the Nile, borrowed from Dr. Russel, and copied the keys of the Chinese language, which he wished to learn.
The close of the year is marked with an occurrence, which, probably, had a material influence on the deter- mination of his future pursuits. From a motive of mere curiosity he was prompted to peruse the little treatise of Fortescue, in praise of the laws of England ; and, although he was more diverted with the simplicity of the Latin style, than attracted by the subject, he felt so much interest in the work, as to sudy it with consider- able attention. In the course of the reflections which it excited, he was naturally led to a comparison of the laws of England with those of other countries, and he marked with delight their uncontroverted claim to.
He was not, however, regardless of the deviations in practice from the theoretical perfection of the constitution in the contested election, of which he was an unwilling spectator. From Althorpe he removed, in the spring of , to Wimbledon, where he received a proposal froin Mf. Sutton, then under- secretary to the duke of Grafton ; the account of which I shall relate nearly in his own words. The secretary of state, with whom the Danish minister had conversed upon the subject, sent the volume to Mr.
Jones, request- ing him to give a literal translation of it, in the French language; but he wholly declined the task, alleging, for his fexcuse, the dryness of the subject, the difficulty of the style, and chiefly his want both of leisure and ability, to enter upon an undertaking so fruitless and laborious. He mentioned, however, a gentleman, with whom he was not then acquainted, but who had distinguished himself by the translation of a Persian history, and some popular tales from the Persic, as capable of gratifying the wishes of his Danish majesty.
Major Dow, the writer alluded to, excused himself on account of his numerous engagements; and the application to Mr. Jones was renewed. Works, TOl. The task would have been far easier to him, if he had been directed to finish it in Latin ; for the acquisition of a French style was infinitely more tedious, and it was necessary to have every chapter corrected, by a native of France, before it could be offered to the discerning eye of the public ; since, in every language there are certain peculiarities of idiom, and nice shades of meaning, which a foreigner can never attain to perfection.
The translation was not, however, published until Forty copies, upon large paper, were sent to Copenhagen; one of them, bound with uncommon elegance, for the king himself, and the others as presents to his courtiers. Such were the circumstances which induced him, as be modestly observed against his inclinations, to de- scribe the life of a conqueror, and to appear in public as an author, before a maturity of judgment had made lum see the danger of the step.
What marks of distinction he received, or what fruits he reaped from his labours, he thought it would ill be- come him to mention, at the head of a work, in which he professed to be the historian of others, and not of himself; but, to repel the false assertions which appeared in an advertisement on this subject, in the public papers, containing a most unjust reflectiqn on the king of Den- mark, he considered it a duty imposed upon him, by the laws of justice and gratitude, to print, at the begin- ning of his translation, the honourable testimony of regard which his majesty, Christian VIL sent publicly to London, a few months after the receipt of the work, together with the' letter of thanks which he returned for so signal a token of his favour.
To the history of Nadir Shah he added a Treatise on Oriental Poetry, in the language of the translation; and 1 may venture to assert, that Mr. Indeed, when we consider the ac- curacy of the translation, which has been acknowledged by the most competent judges, the extreme difficulty attending a literal version of Oriental imagery and idioms, the errors common to all manuscripts, which he had no means of amending by the collation of dif- ferent copies, and the elegance and correctness of his French style, we cannot but express our astonishment at the perfection of his performance, and the rapidity with which it was completed.
This work was executed by a young man in his twenty-third year; and the motives which induced him to undertake it had an equal influence on his exertions to render it as perfect as possible. In detailing the circumstances attending the first publication of Mr. Jones, I have carried the narrative to its conclusion, with some anticipation of the order of time.
Part of the summer of he passed at Tun- bridge, where his private studies formed his chief oc- cupation, and the winter of that year, in London. He availed himself of the opportunity, which his situation there afforded, of beginning to learn music; and having made choice of the Welch harp, for which he had a national partiality, he received lessons from Evans, as long as he remained in town ; but, as he was then igno- rant of the theory of music, the mere practice, without a knowledge of the principles of the art, gave him little delight. In the beginning of this year Mr. This learned and accom- plished nobleman was deeply captivated with the charms of Oriental literature ; and the reputation of Mr.
They generally wrote in Latin, occasionally in French, on literary subjects chiefly, but more parti- cularly on Oriental literature. From that part of the correspondence, which took place in , I select such letters as seem to fall within my plan, and now present a familiar translation of them to my readers. Jones to C. ReviczkL How pleasing was that half hour to me, in which we conversed on Persian poetry, our mutual delight. I considered it the commencement of a most agreeable friendship and intercourse between us ; but my expec- tations are disappointed by the circumstances in which we are unavoidably placed ; for my business will con- fine me to the country longer than I wish; and you, as I am informed, are preparing to return immediately to Germany.
In menti xiing our friendships I shall not, I trust, be deemed guilty of an improper freedom. Similarity of studies, fondness for polite literature, congenial pursuits, and conformity of sentiments, are the great bonds of intimacy amongst mankind. Our studies and pursuits are the same, wiiii this difference, indeed, that you are already deeply versed in Oriental learning, whilst I am incessantly labouring, with all my might, to obtain a proficiency in it.
But I will not allow you to excel me in partiality for those studies, since nothing can exceed my delight in them. C Reviczki to W. Jonesj Esquire. I must ac- ' knowledge that I feel not a little proud of them ; but still more that an interview of a quarter of an hour has procured me the honour of your friendship.
I should be most happy to cultivate it, if my plans allowed mc to remain longer in this country, or if I could, at least, see you at Oxford, which I purpose visiting before I leave England. I hear, with pleasure, that you have undertaken to publish a Treatise on Oriental Prosody. As I am convinced that you will perform this task most ably and successfully, I anticipate with satisfaction the mortification of all our European poets, who must blush at the poverty of their prosaic language, when they find that the Oriental dialects independently of rhyme, which is of their invention have true syllabic quantities, as well as the Greek, and a greater variety of feet, and consequently the true science of metre and prosody.
I take the liberty of sending you a rough sketch oi one of my latest translations from Hafez, with whom I sometimes amuse myself in a leisure hour. You are too well acquainted with the genius of the Persian lan- guage, not to perceive the rashness of my attempt. I do not, indeed, pretend to give the beauty of the original, but merely its sense, simple and unomament- ed. The Persian poet, indeed, speaks of his mistress in the first verse. Reviczki to Mr.
I received your learned and obliging letter on the same day on which I wrote to you ; and I read it with the greatest pleasure, though I could have wished that it had been more just to your own merit, and less flatter- ing to me. I will not, however, take your expressions literally; and, notwithstanding your declarations, the taste and judgment which you have displayed, in the pas- sages quoted by you, evidently prove that you have ad- vanced far in Oriental literature.
I rejoice that you havq made so much progress in your work, and that I may hope soon to see it published ; but how to assist you with my advice I know not, as I have not with me a single treatise upon the subject of Oriental prosody It is, in truth, an ocean; and such. I am very anxious to learn under what head you class the Kasidah, a species of composition highly admired by the Arabs, and very successfully cultivated by them. That thus, thy grief pours forth such copious showers.
I am rather inclined to believe, that the mystical exposition of this great poet, by the Mahommedans, may be imputed to their venera- tion and respect for his memory; and that their object in it is to justify his conduct as a poet, by representing him equally irreproachable in his morals and composi- tions. After a long dispute, they left the decision to a divination in use amongst them, by opening his book at random, and taking the first couplet which occurred.
It happened to be this : Turn not away from Hafez' bier, Nor scornful check the pitying tear ; For tho' immers'd in sin he lies, His soul forgiven to Heav'n shall rise. This passage was deemed a divine decision; the religious withdrew their objections, and he was buried in Mosella, a place rendered famous by his own verses. This anecdote, I think, is related by Kalcb Celebi.
In an essay on the mystical poetry of the Persians and Hindus, com- posed some years afterwards in India, Vl'orks, vol. As to the Turkish poets, I confess I do not read them with the same pleasure, although I am willing to allow that some of them have merit. In my opinion, Ruhi, of Bagdat, is the most agreeable of them all; he has written some admirable satires. Perhaps you are not acquainted with him. The Turkish poets, in general, are no better than slavish imitators of the Persians, and often deficient in taste and harmony.
I cannot comprehend how you have discovered an indelicate meaning in these beautiful lines of Mesihi : Send me not, O God, to the tomb, before I have embraced my friend Unless you annex an idea of obscenity to the expression of embracing a youth, a subject which perpetually occurs not only in Oriental poetry, but in Greek and Latin. I send you a recent translation, with a request that you will return it when you are tired with it, as I have no copy.
JRcviczki to Mr. I am at a loss to determine whether your letter has afforded me most pleasure or instruction ; it is indeed so admirable, that I must point out the only fault which I find in it, that of brevit '', although you seem appre- hensive of being thought tedious. I suspect that I am indebted to your partiality and politeness only, for the excessive encomiums which you have bestowed updn my translation of the two Odes which I sent to you, as well as for the favourable opinion which you entertain of my trifles.
I am, however, seriously obliged to you for your animadversions upon my inaccuracies, though, when I consider their number, I must impute it to your indulgence that you have been so sparing in your cor- rections. Without wishing to lessen my obligations to your kindness, I cannot avoid mentioning, by way of apology, that it is only three months since I resumed the task of writing verses, which I renounced when I left school ; and not from any motive of vanity, or desire of reputation, but merely as an amusement of my leisure hours.
My relapse has produced the translation of about fifty odes of our learned Hafez, For whom, each hour a Rowing fondness bringSif As by degrees the venial alder springs. But observing, in the progress of the work, the immense inferiority of my version to the original, I began to be disgusted with it.
I recollect to have read somewhere, with great plea- sure, the Prelections of the bishop of Oxford, of which Appendix, No. The Grecian and Oriental flowers, scattered throughout your letter, delighted me exceedingly ; and your selection of them shews your judgment. I also approve your idea of visiting the East; but, previously to your undertaking it, I would recommend to you, to make yourself master of ' the common language pf the Turks, or of the vulgar Arabic, not only as indispen- sably necessary to your communications with the Mahommedans, but as a mean of deriving pleasure and profit from the journey.
Nor can Hafez himself deny the imputation of plagiarism ; having actually transcribed w hole lines from other poets. Far from it; for who can read without extacy the first page of Sadi. Indeed, my passion for Orien- tal literature was first excited by hearing the following lines of Sadi, accidentally repeated by my teacher at Constantinople, who explained them to me : All bounteous Lord! But who can suppress his indignation, when he reads the wretched translation of this elegant writer by Gen- tius?
With respect to Jami, whose works I do not at present possess, I remember enough of what I read at Constantinople to venture to assert, that he is the most successful of the Persian poets. In the judgment of Sadi, Hafez is unequal; some of his odes are excellent, others very inferior, and some very tame, whilst Jami preserves an equality throughout. In the mean time, I send you my latest pro- duction, not complete indeed, but a mere embrio. I was highly delighted with your letter, particularly with your various translations, imitations, and compo- sitions ; they not only prove you have Made the Greek authors your supreme delight, Read them by day, and studied them by night ; f but that you have attained all the peculiar elevation, as well as elegance, of that language.
Your Ode to Venus is AS beautiful as Venus herself; and you have imitated with wonderful success so divine an original.
Is it not melancholy to reflect that not only so much of the compositions of this elegant writer should be lost, but that the little which remains is so mutilated and corrupted? That the text of the ode selected by you, and even that preserved by Dionysius, and published by Upton, is preferable to that of Stephens, or, whoever made the emendations such as they are , I freely admit; for the rules of dialect are not only better observed, but it contains stronger marks of being genuine; yet, after all, it is impossible to deny that there are many chasms in it, as well as errors, which 'cannot be satisfactorily amended by any explanation or twisting of the sense.
That Sappho wrote in the dialect of her own coun- try, which cannot at this time be perfectly understood, is sufficiently probable ; but it would be absurd to sup- pose the iEolic dialect irreconcileable to metre and prosody; not to mention the evident corruption of the sense in some passages. For on thy voice my fate depends. I send you, as I promised, a prose translation of the Persian ode, together with an attempt at a poetical version of it, which I will hereafter improve.
The ode, of which you praise the concluding verse, is elegant; I remember only the first couplet: Bring wine, and scatter flow'rs around, Kor seek the depths of fate to sound. What say'st thou, warbler of the vale? Although I have begun the preparations for my de- parture, and have packed up my books, if you wish to have a translation of this ode, or if it will be of any use to you, I will undertake it before I go. I wait your commands.
Reticzki to Mr. You will not, I trust, be disposed to blame a delay occasioned by the attention of a foreigner to customs which are peculiar to your country, and which I never observed in any other; for I confess to you tliat I never saw any thing similar to the mode here pursued of electing members of parliament. The novelty of it at first amused me ; but the increasing tumult sickehed and disgusted me, and, by compelling me to remain at home, afforded me an opportunity of writing to you.
I rejoice that my version of the Persian ode pleases you, and that it has induced you to think me equal to the translation of the whole collection. But, highly as I am honoured by your opinion, I cannot but think your advice somewhat un- merciful ; for what mortal, unless Or oak, or brass, with triple fold, Around his dnring bosom roird,t would undertake a translation, in prose and verse, of six hundred odes.
The attempt would not only require many years, but an entire exertiption from all other occupations, which is not my case ; I can only make these studies my occasional amusement. I mean, how- ever, some time or other, to publish as much as I can. If you have one at hand, oblige me by just looking into it; for, if my memory does not fail me, there is a catalogue prefixed, mentioning the work which I want, and the name of the printer.
Although your politeness has excused any forther efforts, I nevertheless send the ode which you requested in your last letter but one, as I think it will please you. It is by no means one of the easiest, either to under- stand, or translate; and, indeed, the force of the peculiar idioms of a foreign language cannot be well conveyed by any circumlocution. You ask my opinion of the affinity between the Hebrew and Arabic, and of an idiom, common to both, of using the past for the future. In the autumn of a competition was opened.
Thirty entries were submitted anonymously; a shortlist of six was drawn up, and the winner was discovered to be by a young twenty-eight-year-old from Paris, Charles Questel. In this he was encouraged by Whittaker, who was already involved in a large church-building programme in and around Blackburn and realized that he could readily employ the younger man.
Rickman, however, tried to dissuade him, arguing, quite reasonably, that Sharpe had absolutely no training in the profession. At about the same time, the Vicar of Preston, Carus Wilson, like Whittaker, was pursuing a highly active policy of church building, and in the mids was experimenting with non-Gothic designs. He was familiar with the adventurous historical relativism adopted by his teachers. One of those was French Romanesque.
Hewitson, Churches and Chapels. The Romanesque Revival in Britain: 1 55 developed in this period, and produced a large crop of churches elsewhere in Britain and particularly in the North West. This was followed by his most dramatic example, Christ Church —6 in Preston itself. Here, the Norman corner towers are less formidable, but the whole building is constructed in a severely rectilinear manner giving it a prefabricated appearance. It has an air of joviality about it, and particularly successful are the large numbers of small round-arched windows that punctuate the walls, while the Lombard frieze, impressed under the string-courses, rises as dwarf arches under the roof like the icing around a large cake.
In contrast the nearby school building is much more energetic. Here, the Lombard frieze hangs like lace that runs along under the roof and then jumps over the main entrance. The interior has been totally remodelled but the vertical bands and Lombard frieze in the tower are undoubtedly Romanesque, if of a rather starved variety.
Similarly Christ Church , a rural church standing on a mound on the edge of the village, has also been much altered. Its slightly carnivalesque effect is created by deeply incised Lombard friezes hanging everywhere like bunting. The Romanesque Revival in Britain: 1 57 8. But while he was away two books were published in 72 Letter from Sharpe to Whewell, Lancaster, 21 Dec.
Willis was born in and by the age of 19 had patented a gadget connected with the pedal of the harp. He went up to Caius College, Cambridge, in , received his B. His Remarks earned him the title of honorary member of the Institute of British Architects. He created a substantial of collection paintings, sculpture, and antiques, and he moved in the early nineteenth-century world of connoisseurs and artists. The Romanesque Revival in Britain: 1 59 9. This style, Hope believed, was an amalgam of Roman and Byzantine elements, whose adoption by the Masonic guilds had spread the style across Europe.
Beginning with the work of Gunn in the early part of the century, interest in the earlier styles of Norman, Lombard, and Romanesque had been largely archaeological. Towards the end of the s more and more writers urged architects to experiment with Romanesque for modern building. But other movements were abroad, and towards the end of the s a new tone in architectural criticism set in.
Architecture Oxford, quotes Whewell as an authority. Christopher Webster and John Elliott Stamford, , p. It was probably at his suggestion that Whewell was appointed vice-president, and his suggestion, too, that Willis was offered membership. That Gothic Architecture is, in the highest sense, the only Christian Architecture.
And 3. The proposed introduction by Mr Petit and his followers of a new style, whether Romanesque, Byzantine, or Eclectic, is to be earnestly deprecated, as opening a door to the most dangerous innovations, and totally subversive of Christian Architecture as such. Seeing which way the wind was blowing he abandoned Romanesque87 and rapidly joined the growing numbers of the Camden Society. Sharpe as an elected member.
See Ecclesiologist, 1 , 7. The choice of style for these churches placed them outside the mainstream of British building and in a category which threatened the orthodoxies of the Camden Society. This was built by a remarkable Cumbrian woman, Sara Losh, and was perhaps the most original example of a Romanesque revival building in Britain.
But the story does not stop there and in chapter seven we will move to the use of Romanesque at the end of the century and to its crowning glory in Britain, The Natural History Museum, London. With energetic missionary zeal he set out to bring the gospel to the islands and to begin a programme of church building. Romanesque was adopted because, like the natives themselves, it was primitive and unsophisticated. In the late s the poverty there reached such distressing proportions that it was even mentioned by Friedrich Engels in The Condition of the Working Class in England in John Shaw, as we have seen see p.
Between and ten churches were rapidly commissioned and equally rapidly built. Six were round-arched, built of brick, had very little ornament, and were extremely utilitarian. There he saw a church and some other buildings designed by a local woman, Sara Losh. She built a church in the Byzantine style, which is full of beauty and imaginative detail, though extremely severe and simple. So impressed was Margaret Losh with Rossetti that she lent him money8 and talked to him about her remarkable cousin Sara, who had died in Sara Losh was remarkable for a number of reasons, for her personality, for her unusual interests, but above all for her architectural achievements.
Rossetti was an early admirer; Nikolaus Pevsner was a more recent one, and though he 7 The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ed. Fredeman, 4 vols. Cambridge, , iv, John Bryson Oxford, , p. Letter dated 23 Aug. She was born in Her father came from the old Cumbrian family Arlosh and had been to school at Sedbergh and then Trinity College, Cambridge, where he developed a love of science.
He published widely on medical matters and in gave up medicine to pursue his interest in Italian art and write his six-volume Worthies of Cumberland. He was a political radical and as a friend of Mazzini and Garibaldi strongly supported Italian unity. He was also a friend of the medical mythographer, Thomas Inman, who published a two-volume Ancient Faiths Embodied in Ancient Names in Inman believed in a phallic basis for the religious impulse.
On his death in his brother William continued to run the business which had been inherited by Sara. It was her uncle James Losh, however, who seems to have provided for her a window on the larger world. He was a lawyer, and Recorder of Liverpool. His mainly unpublished diaries14 make it clear that he was well read in contemporary literature and drama. He was friendly with Sarah Siddons and had a passion for politics both British and European.
She enjoyed the novels of Scott, Lytton, and Dickens. She excelled in music and mathematics, and according to her classics teacher was a scholar of outstanding ability. Lonsdale, who was thirty years her junior, was clearly a great admirer. As a friend he had the advantage of access to privileged knowledge about her, yet he is never entirely candid. He never explains, for example, why she never married. The Diaries and Correspondence of James Losh, ed. Edward Hughes , was published by the Surtees Society but is extremely incomplete. See Laurie Kemp, Woodside Wreay, , p. Howard, who became M.
She was without children or husband, and had already suffered more than her fair share of bereavements. Surrounded by death, she seems to have become fascinated with philosophical and religious ideas which involved the generation of life, the migration of the soul and the continuity of life 16 Lonsdale, iv, James Losh, Diaries — Unpublished MSS. Entry dated 30 Sept.
Robin Cormack and Elizabeth Jeffreys Aldershot, , p. Entry for 7 Aug. Lonsdale, iv, Later Sara designed a primitive Cyclopean mausoleum in memory of her sister. This must have been completed by because it is mentioned in a local guidebook. Inside it contains a pale marble statue of her sister by a local sculptor, Dunbar, done from a sketch which Sara did when the two women were in Naples in She was thirtyone, and went with her uncle William and her sister Katherine on a continental tour.
The full extent of their journey is uncertain, but we know that they travelled through France to Italy down as far as Spoleto, Naples, Pompeii, and Terracina. From there they went on to Paestum and returned via Rome. Losh wrote seven volumes of energetic prose to accompany her travels and these were packed with details of society, paintings, landscape, and architecture. Her uncle James, who was a severe critic, even of Wordsworth, was impressed by them. The fragments extracted by Lonsdale, though they do not mention Romanesque, provide a fascinating insight into her temperament and interests.
Entry for 28 Mar. Dr Jeffrey Smith pointed this out to me. The motive was the state of Wreay parish church, which by 26 27 28 Lonsdale, iv, and Lonsdale gives no date for this. Entries for 4, 6, and 7 Apr. This may have been the architect Joseph Woods, whose Letters of an Architect from France, Italy, and Greece were published in the following year.
Woods was a convinced neo-classicist. His letters, however, betray some affection for Romanesque. Letters , p. Her involvement at this point is highly professional.
Characteristic of her record is the account of the foundations of the church. In a small oratory church emerged out of the shifting sand-dunes near Perranzabuloe in north Cornwall, where it had been buried for more than seven hundred years. Entry for 11 Nov. Internal evidence is indicative of the authenticity of this document. Material about the church is kept in Truro Museum, and after various phases of excavation it has once again been covered by the sand.
In the early s before her sister died Losh had donated some land half a mile from the village of Wreay for use as an interdenominational burial ground. She obtained details—plan and elevation—of the extremely simple, plainly decorated structure, and she carefully reproduced the two sculpted heads which serve as imposts to the single window, the leonine animal which serves as the keystone, and the double chevron which surrounds the door.
Immediately she moved on to her major achievement. The building is unique. William Minto, 2 vols. On the outside all the windows are notable for their repetitive simplicity and for the absence of imposts.
The windows and door of the west end, however, are unusually encrusted with the strangest decorations in a style unmatched in the s. According to Lonsdale, Losh employed only local craftsmen, particularly Hindson and his family. Locally it was believed that she sent him to Naples for a brief period to study the art of sculpture and carving. For the decorations of the church it seems that she made clay mouldings that Hindson and his men copied in stone. Hall, Wreay Carlisle, , p. From one end comes a serpent, from another a tortoise, and the west end is crowned by a small bell tower surmounted by an eagle.
One of those involved the mythographic connection between ancient religions and Christianity. In fact he had been preceded by several mythographers to whose work Sara Losh would have had access. Richard Payne Knight investigated the connection between natural symbol, myth, and religion in his book An Inquiry into the Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology This was reissued in , at precisely the 50 52 51 Losh transcript, p. Michael Clarke and Nicholas Penny Manchester, , pp. They are representative, in other words, of the passage from birth, life, through death to immortality.
For him all creeds had elements in common, and Christianity was just one among others ancient and modern in the pantheon. But it is the phallus, the lingam and other symbols of male generative power that he perceives as being fundamental to many religious beliefs.
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It appears everywhere, inside and outside. Cones are attached to the window openings, they appear on the west door, they are sculpted in wood over the locks on the interior of the door, and they hang pendulously down from the centre of each of the large roof beams. When she was in Rome we know that she visited the Vatican, and there she would have seen the colossal pine cone in the Giardino della Pigna. It was made about 1 ad, is three and a half metres over 11 feet high, and forms part of a fountain.
It was the fruit of the arbor vitae. In it was moved to the Belvedere where it now stands. This is particularly evident when we move inside the church. Even on a bright day it is mysteriously crepuscular the Bishop wanted more Anglican light in it 60 with small windows carefully calculated to produce the effect of sombre intensity. There are no aisles, no presbytery, and no organ loft. The baptismal font in local alabaster was carved by Sara and her cousin William Losh. In her Apotheosis and the After Life , Mrs. Further, it has been argued that the conical stone placed over the tumulus is simply the phallic emblem of life.
The however he afterwards dispensed with. They derive originally from the oratory of St Piran where they looked outwards. They were replicated in the mortuary chapel at Wreay where they also look outwards, but here in the church they are turned inwards to look at each other. The male and female face each other across the altar, on which are placed two large, open candlesticks in alabaster. In the last phase the communicating worshipper has to ascend six high steps to approach the altar, behind which are clustered fourteen heavy romanesque pillars whose capitals are decorated with bats, water birds, leaves, grasses, and serpents.
Each of the openings between the pillars creates a sedilia, with each space allotted to one of the apostles and bearing his monogram. Christ is seated in the centre to welcome the pilgrim through life. In the basilica this position behind the altar was occupied by the bishop and his clergy in a manner reminiscent of the duomo of Torcello. Above and behind the pillars seven coloured jars or lamps are placed in the small window 62 Lonsdale, iv, Gerd Heinz-Mohr , pp.
The Romanesque Revival in Britain: 2 79 openings letting through pale and mysterious yellow, red, and orange light. There are few images connected with Christ, his teachings or his works and there are no details which record the history of the Church. Instead, the bishop found a building which was structurally simple but which pulsated with details of primitive organic, vegetable, and pagan life. Losh herself was keen to keep it that way. She 65 66 Lonsdale, iv, Entry for 30 Mar. The reason for this contrast is now clear. In a sense the whole chapel is a funerary monument, albeit an unconventional one.
It is not one which so much memorializes death as celebrates the whole life process. Its inspiration was undoubtedly personal, triggered by the deaths in the family and that of her sister in particular, but it is ultimately a monument to humankind caught up in the process of generation, birth, life, and death. The achievement is considerable. A notice in the British Magazine in recorded that on Monday 17 May the foundation stone was laid by the Revd Richard Jackson72 and the rest is silence. The appearance of these two churches is equally foreign and unusual, but in very different ways.
The contract drawings for Christ Church were 70 Losh transcript, p. The church was rapidly constructed in 19 months. The Romanesque Revival in Britain: 2 81 Clarke, Parish Churches of London , pp. Inside Wild adopted the basilican style from Ravenna. There is no chancel, and the apse is covered with a semi-dome and has nine windows at the same level as the clerestory. The voussoirs come in alternating red and yellow stressing the slightly oriental shape of the doors on the west end; red and yellow chequerboard banding runs around the church just under the roof cill, and vertical bands of red brick immediately under the roof stress its strong, shallow continental look.
The mention of Owen Jones suggests a possible source of inspiration for this remarkable church. Wild, when he designed this building, was only twenty-four years old and had hardly travelled abroad. Two exchanges came out of this friendship. Italian journeys of , , and were followed by a grand tour of Egypt, Spain, Sicily, and Greece between and At this time he made studies of Hagia Sophia and other buildings in Constantinople, and became interested in Lombardic and Byzantine decoration in Turkey, Greece, and Italy.
Soon after completing the church Wild explained some of his reasons for choosing his design. It was begun in and consecrated in It stands on a raised plinth of six steps Owen Jones. The lions which support the pillars of the central porch are not uncommon in Italian Romanesque architecture, but two are placed prominently in the thirteenth-century porch of Sta Maria. San Pietro has no campanile. According to contemporary accounts, the idea of a basilica came from Sidney Herbert himself, and Herbert was also responsible for overseeing the detail both inside and out.
He was an excellent draughtsman and loved architecture. In the steps of Edmund Sharpe in the same year he passed through Lyons, Orange, Vaucluse, and Avignon, and like Sharpe he was enthusiastic about the buildings that he saw. In the following year, , he set off for Germany, and once again architecture dominates his interest. Yet in a British setting his was a very controversial choice. The daughter of the Russian ambassador to London, Simon Woronzow, and with eclectic taste for sumptuousness, she may have been responsible for the Russian orientation of the church from north to south instead of west to east.
In the years before building actually began Herbert and his mother organized large shipments of objects from the Low Countries, France, and Italy. At the end of the aisles nearest the altar stand black columns brought from the second-century Temple of Venus at Porto Venere, La Spezia, and here we can see that in recycling ancient materials the Pembrokes were emulating the building processes of the designers of the earliest basilicas.
The most dramatic incorporation at Wilton, however, set the seal on the Pembroke endeavour, and that is their almost successful attempt to instate at the heart of the basilica a thirteenth-century tabernacle from Sta Maria Maggiore. All the pieces are there but not in quite the way in which Catherine intended. The Capocci tabernacle, as it is called, stood on the right-hand side of the apse of Sta Maria from the time that Giovanni Capocci and his wife had commissioned it in When the nave of the basilica was remodelled by Ferdinando Fuga in the eighteenth century the mosaic panel was sent to San Michele at Vico in Lazio and the rest was bought by Sir William Hamilton, who sent it around as a gift to Horace Walpole.
Catherine wanted it restored to its place over the altar, but the Bishop of Salisbury was obliged to point out to her that the Church of England allowed only a wooden table, and the parts of the tabernacle are now distributed about the church. Four cosmati colonettes are placed in the extraordinary pulpit in a design reminiscent of the thirteenth-century work in Pisa or Pistoia, where the densely clustered columns rise in a graceful upward whorl.
WINTERING IN THE RIVIERA
Already a writer in the same journal probably J. He had not yet begun work on the Stones of Venice, and he had not yet been converted to the merits of Romanesque architecture. Like many of his contemporaries he saw this style as a foreign importation that posed a threat to the Gothic style, the symbol of British culture and British Protestantism.
The foreign and primitive style chosen by Losh, Wild, and Herbert must have seemed to the architects themselves fresh, bold, and somewhat daring. They are all unsettling buildings, and even today strike the visitor with surprise and amazement. This cultural shock was too much for many of their contemporaries, and the allusion to forms that were simple, direct, and less sophisticated than Gothic was disturbing. Romanesque seemed retrogressive, and though it might be suitable for the natives of New Zealand or the poor of the East End, it would hardly do for the Home Counties or suburbs of London.
Letter dated 20 July , after a visit on the previous day. We have already seen how important Pisa had become as a centre for both early Italian art and Romanesque architecture, and when the Brownings arrived it was probably at the height of its fame. Robert does, and I shall get him to open my eyes. His father was an accomplished draughtsman with a passion for Dutch art, and the son grew up in a household well versed in the established canon of Renaissance and post-Renaissance painting. But on inspection much can be said about the identity of Pictor Ignotus and even more can be said about the contemporary issues which may have stimulated Browning into writing this poem.
But the revaluation of early art was not a simple shift in taste. Instead it had come about, initially in the s in Europe and then in the s in Britain, as the result of a number of epistemological and social factors. These opened the eyes of connoisseurs and collectors to what was considered the untutored directness of medieval painting, connoisseurs who were more accustomed to the elegance of Classical art or the luxuriance of Renaissance work.
We have seen how the activities of collectors like the Earl Bishop and William Roscoe gave precedence to historical series pp. Very soon, however, early art was adopted by a more doctrinaire group within the Catholic Church. For them it became an emblem of ecclesiastical antiquity and a symbol of spiritual revival in the nineteenth century. As a result, the history and interpretation of early art were rewritten in terms of religious intensity, pious emotion and conformity to Catholic doctrine.
He was particularly struck with Fra Angelico c. In this Shelley wrote about the work of Fra Angelico in a manner that irritated Browning. Behind them stand a crowd of men. From Cimabue to Bassano , p. In this poem the protagonist acts out the disabling effects of an aesthetic based on doctrinaire religious belief, a belief that takes him to the point of anonymity and self-erasure. Phillip Drew , pp. Isobel Armstrong , pp. Ian Jack et al. Oxford, — , v, , l. Two things tend to contradict this view. There are suggestions of the energy 9—10 of Raphael, his penetrative vision 10—12 , and above all his psychological realism 14— He also speaks of the new art of easel painting, the products of which, unlike those of the older fresco work, could be widely dispersed, and with them the reputation of a great painter.
Clarence Tracey , p. The imaginative world of past creative potential is overtaken by the realization of the inevitability of present conditions. As an artist he represents this choice in terms of two different visual styles, one secular, naturalistic, and vigorous, the other ecclesiastical, hieratic, and repetitive. The shift from a positive frame of mind to a negative one suggests that this was a wrong choice.
Was this the warning of a friend, the prompting of an enemy or even the delusion of an unbalanced mind? We know that he was familiar with the older, standard art histories of Giorgio Vasari and Filippo Baldinucci,19 and we have seen that he had read the newer interpretations of art in the work of A. Rio and Anna Jameson. He was christened in ; in his youth he was called Baccio della Porta, and later, after entering the priory of San Marco, Fra Bartolommeo; and it is by this name he has 19 Browning refers to Vasari on a number of occasions e.
He began a course of sermons in an attempt at moral reform in Florence, and one of the objects of his attack was what he considered to be the lasciviousness of the nude in art. He says: It is true that having but very little courage, being indeed of a timid and even cowardly disposition, he lost heart, on hearing the clamours of an attack, which was made upon the convent shortly after, and seeing some wounded and others killed, he began to have grievous doubts respecting his position.
Thereupon he made a vow, that if he might be permitted to escape from the rage of that strife, he would instantly assume the religious habit of the Dominicans. Vasari 20 Two contemporary works support this. Henry Fuseli , p. Mrs Jonathan Foster , ii, Foster , ii, Filippo Baldinucci, Notizie dei professori del disegno da Cimabue, 5 vols. Florence, —7 , i, Translation by L.
Rio, The Poetry of Christian Art , trans. Much of this information, of course, was not available to Browning. Foster , ii, —8. Rio , p. Franz Kugler and William Young Ottley, for example, emphasized the crippling limitations of a religious withdrawal which cut him off from the centres of contemporary artistic activity.
He might also have visited Sta Maria Nuova where Fra Bartolommeo painted a fresco of the Last Judgement for a mortuary chapel in the church. It has about it a proto-Raphaelesque quality with a wide range of characters, splendid vigorous aerial movement and a strong sense of spatial perspective. Lucas in his A Wanderer in Florence 10th edn.
See Padovani , pp. He lived at the very dawn of a pagan age, but was tempted back into a medieval world of religious dogmatism and monasticism. He was talented, but denied that talent for doctrinaire reasons. The answer lies partly in issues involving contemporary art theory. In this system art was ranked, not for its formal or expressive excellence, but for its ability to communicate religious sentiment.
The new art history had hugely increased the status of early, medieval art, and the stress on spirituality had boosted the reputation of various neo-medieval groups in Europe but principally that of the German Nazarenes led by Johann Friedrich Overbeck. In the British government was considering the decorative scheme for the new Houses of Parliament.
Gombrich, The Preference for the Primitive , pp. The Nazarenes emerged around Art, they claimed, should serve only the highest religious ends and it should not pander to the vanity of the rich or the royal. The group lived ascetic lives and worked on archaizing principles. They chose fresco as their medium because they saw it as more democratic than oil. Fresco, they argued, with its huge narrative potential and its exposure on church walls, might become the appropriate medium for restoring the rapport between art and the people that existed in the Middle Ages.
Millington , p. Eichner Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgale , iv, 48— Turning away from the late work of Raphael, the Nazarenes modelled their art on painting from Cimabue to the early Raphael. It diffuses a sort of calm and sacred dream. The Nazarenes, too, decided to remove themselves from contemporary events by withdrawal into a legendary past. John Macray 2nd edn. In the same year, , Edward Pusey visited Overbeck in Rome. The historian Lord Lindsay visited Munich in , where he developed an enthusiasm for the Nazarene work of Hesse and Overbeck.
Overbeck, Hesse etc. Vaughan is extremely illuminating on the relationship between the Nazarenes and British artists in this period. Although he was a Member of Parliament, he was probably best known at this time as a poet, hence his interest in meeting Browning.
He was wealthy, cultivated, sociable, well travelled, and had a taste for art. He also began a long and close friendship with Rio, who was gathering material for his history of art and enthusing about the painting of the Nazarenes. Ruskin, Works, iii, p. Works, iii, Rogers, independently of Rio, had many years previously begun his own small collection of Primitives, and as we have seen p.
Various possibilities were examined but fresco seemed the most appropriate, and the acknowledged masters of fresco painting in Europe were, of course, the Nazarenes. The publicity given to modern German art as the result of this enquiry was enormous. Witness after witness expressed enthusiasm, admiration, and approval for the work of Cornelius in Munich and Overbeck in Rome, and again 67 See Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie von Goethe, ed.
Needer Oxford, , p. Schnorr von Carolsfeld had joined the Nazarenes in and had been called to Munich by Ludwig I in Patch thought that they were by Giotto and published them in his Life of Masaccio. See Lygon and Russel , p. In it was reattributed to Spinello Aretino. RB to Alfred Domett, 31 Sept. Strangely Browning does not seem to have met Rogers until Milnes took a prominent part in the discussion, and in keeping with the attitudes of his friend Rio was keen to press the connection between modern art and the study of the Primitives.
His publication One Tract More in support of the Tractarians bears out this impression. Theodor Vischer, picking this up, compared Overbeck with Raphael, and found the German wanting. His genius is that of a blossoming virgin whose bud is not entirely broken. Who summoned those cold faces that begun To press on me and judge me?
Both groups were perceived to share similar goals, aims, objectives, and techniques, and their work was thought to be the product of mysticism and strong religious belief. But this approach was problematic for Browning and many of his British contemporaries. Laura Morowitz and William Vaughan Aldershot, , p. In order to admire fully both Primitive and modern it was necessary to reject a large portion of the traditional canon, and many refused to do this. Avoidance tactics were imperative, and these produced a whole range of attitudes in the British.
At one extreme, for example, Nicholas Wiseman welcomed equally the growing popularity of the Primitives and the ascending fortunes of the Germans, since in his eyes both advanced the Catholic cause. Haydon also launched an attack on the Germans in the Spectator 12 Nov. The second writer is Elizabeth Rigby, later Eastlake, who having spent two years in Germany between and and having visited again in , returned to live in Edinburgh and write for the Quarterly Review.
Sceptical of revivals in general, she believes that advancement in art cannot be made by always looking backwards. Like Rippingille, Rigby distrusts particularly the work of Overbeck. She had been a friend of Browning from the late s and shared many of his tastes.
She was more knowledgeable even than Milnes about early Italian art and she was the leading authority in Britain on modern German painting. This came later, and not in Italy, but in Germany. A second, much longer stay took place in the years and This time she learned the language, developed a knowledge of the culture and discovered groups of intellectuals ready to address topics that interested her. Both had a highly developed interest in the culture of the Middle Ages, and this prepared her for her time in Munich.
For it was in Munich that she was fully exposed to medieval art and to the modern enthusiasm that it generated. By Munich had become a major centre of medieval culture. On coming to the throne Ludwig 87 Elizabeth Rigby, RB to Alfred Domett, 5 Mar. He wished to be seen as a king with discriminating taste, a king who promoted the Catholic cause, and a king who supported Bavarian nationalism and Bavarian traditions. Ludwig was also keen to stimulate modern German Catholic art. In she met Rio in Paris and toured the Louvre with him.
But where he came to art as a committed Breton Catholic, she came as a somewhat sceptical Protestant. Jameson , ii, 48—9. Beatrice Caroline Erskine , p. Piety in art, she says, was created by contemporary religious doctrine. Poetry in art, however, is transhistorical and could be felt by an audience even when the cultural or religious conditions had changed. Both have good accounts of this. The echoes of the debate about Christian art have long died away, but it drew in and fascinated many of the people Browning knew, some of whom, like Milnes and Anna Jameson, were professionally involved.
At the heart of the matter was the connection between belief and the creation of works of art, and whether it was possible to achieve success in the present by resurrecting the conditions of the past. Pictor Ignotus, of course, is neither Fra Bartolommeo nor Overbeck, but by cunningly parodying the ambitions and motives of both, Browning provides a remarkable commentary on the vexed issue of the place of religion in art. But what impressed him most was the Ventetians. Fredeman et al. The Rossetti Correspondence , i, Venice has never been neglected or ignored, but it has always existed in a peripheral relationship to the work produced by those other major centres, Rome and Florence.
Renaissance painting was probably not as centralized about the Rome—Florence axis as the histories would suggest, but the myth that Renaissance art was the sole creation of these two centres was powerful and durable. Venice was then, and remains, on the edge of the central axis; its art was never overlooked or ignored, but its relationship with the painting of central Italy was an unstable one.
If we add to this map Bologna, Pisa, and Siena, and then simulate the passage of time, the rise and fall of these schools in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries can be graphically illustrated. For eighteenth-century critics, in spite of their misgivings about Michelangelo, the Florence—Rome axis was of primary importance—Bologna coming a close third. About Venice there was a mixture of admiration, uncertainty, and suspicion. As the eighteenth century drew to a close, the reputation of Pisa and Siena began to grow, and within a few decades the whole disposition of this sidereal map of taste had changed.
The bright constellation of Rome, dominated by its principal star, Raphael, had noticeably dimmed; Pisa had overtaken Siena in reputation and the Campo Santo rivalled almost anything at Florence; Bologna was fading fast like a dead or 4 Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William Michael Rossetti, 8 Oct.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Pisa and Siena were centres of the new vogue for the primitive in art, and we know a great deal about the dramatic change in the fortunes of the paintings of early Italian artists. The change in attitudes to Venetian art in this same period has received much less attention, presumably because it was less dramatic. It was, however, not less interesting, and at least a part of that interest lies in the fact that the Venetians and the Primitives were very closely linked. They were both reviled, then historicized, then worshipped—both for very different reasons but often, strangely enough, by the same people.
It focused on central Italy and included Venetian painting, but only painting of the Renaissance and post-Renaissance periods. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the art of Florence and Rome was discovered to have a history. The general fascination with the Middle Ages produced a large number of antecedents for Raphael and Michelangelo, who, without necessarily coming into competition with the Renaissance masters, were now thought to have produced works of art of serious aesthetic merit.
This was for two reasons. Consequently, well into the second or third decades of the nineteenth century Venetian art Venetian Painting in England persisted in being associated almost exclusively with the painting of Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.
Now the art of the Venetian High Renaissance can be distinguished from central Italian Renaissance painting in one very important respect. The painting of Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese never achieved the same status within the canon as that of Michelangelo and Raphael, and there was never the same consensus about their standing, either as individuals or as a group.
There are various possible reasons for this, but I should like to suggest that one of them derives from the language adopted by successive generations to explain Venetian painting. The status of art objects in the culture is powerfully dependent on the language of critical discourse. We might go as far as to say that the reputation of any school, or artist, or even a single work of art lives in the language created to appreciate, or criticize it. Now the language of these discourses—the terms of admiration or disapprobation—change over time, and some discourses evolve more slowly than others.
It took the obvious form of disagreement between individuals about the achievement of the school or disputes about the standing of individual members— most notably Tintoretto. It also took the form of inconsistencies within the explanatory discourses of individuals. These were not necessarily conceptual self-contradictions; more usually they took the form of discrepancies between intellect and feeling, concept and percept, and the stresses are detectable most prominently in the metaphoric rhetorical structures.
Stephen Heath , p. Reynolds was well-known among his contemporaries for his love of Venetian colour. John Opie was one of them. Geoffrey Keynes Oxford, , p. Roger Fry , p. Reynolds, Discourses, pp. Ralph N. Wornum , p. Opie — gave his lectures just before his death in Venetian Painting in England rant of design, composition, and drawing, and in their neglect of form they had abandoned themselves to colour.
How could Reynolds, who spent so much time trying to imitate the effects of Venetian colour, abuse it so roundly in public? The pedagogic context of the Discourses is often offered as a reason for their uncompromising and extreme tone, but this does not explain why Reynolds felt so uneasy about Venetian art and its effect on the young. The burden of complaint was that the Venetians lacked substance. The 12 13 14 15 Reynolds, Discourses, p. Opie, in Lectures on Painting , p. James Barry — gave his lectures from to Venetian art was prominent and important in the history of art, and that prominence lent power to the clash.
The paintings themselves were of high status, and what was in dispute was the nature of that status. Thus Venetian art offered the critic, writer, and historian a wider scope for personal interpretation and preference than the work of more established masters. Venetian art was an admirable vehicle for the expression of personal bias as well as more broadly held aesthetic values. One of the reasons for the evolution of taste for Venetian art was reactive, even dialectical. As is not infrequent in these matters, what was asserted by one generation was denied by the next. But, in the case of Venetian painting, this movement was eminently paternalistic; the imperatives of the father were denied by the son.
Venetian Painting in England painting. Reynolds was a formidable authority. On the one side they felt the need to assert themselves against Reynolds, but on the other they had inherited the paternal mantle of teacher and instructor of the young. In public, the academic debate over the Venetians was gentlemanly and polite; it took the form of judiciously weighing up the relative technical and historical merits of the school, of placing it in the context of the history of art, and assessing its value for modern practice.
At a deeper level, however, a more primordial struggle was being waged. The reasons for this can be attributed partly to tradition. From the Renaissance onwards, central Italian theorists of art had consistently favoured form above colour. In the eighteenth century, the strength of feeling about colour suggests that something was operating beneath reason.
Sometimes, its role was dramatized and the drama in which it took part often had a curiously libidinal tone. Reynolds, in his discussion of colour, assumes the role of the parent warning the son. John Dryden , p. I am grateful to Dr Catherine Maxwell who pointed this out to me. Reynolds in his Seventh Discourse quotes the analogy from Dufresnoy. Reynolds, Discourses, p.
The connection between colour and sexual allure is ubiquitous in the literature of this period, but Opie makes an interesting distinction within the metaphors. He discriminates between the dangerous pleasures of Venetian jouissance and legitimate procreation. Fuseli, in Lectures on Painting, p. Henry Fuseli — gave his lecture on colour from Many Royal Academicians were duped by her. Fuseli, a well-travelled continental, knew that once experienced, Venetian jouissance is hard to give up.
Full text of "Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Correspondence, of Sir William Jones"
Venetian Painting in England sual, and connect it with something more ethereal—love. In the context of earlier discourses which interpret colour as sexually subversive it seems less eccentric for Ruskin to claim that there is a parallel between colour and human sexuality. But if shallow, faithless, misdirected, it is also one of the strongest corrupting and degrading elements of life.
A rough guide to the shift in attitudes can be had from the changes in the price of Venetian pictures. Fuseli was of Swiss origin; he led a dramatic political life on the Continent and did not take up painting until he was twenty-nine, when, encouraged by Reynolds, he spent eight years in Italy studying the art.
Fuseli was, by birth and temperament, an outsider. Ruskin, Works, vii, note. For a startling contrast between English and American attitudes in this period see Zorzi, pp. He extended for the English-speaking audience the very historiography of Venetian art. For Pilkington Giovanni Bellini scarcely existed and before him Venetian painting was a blank. Antonio Zanetti, the conservator of the library of San Marco, published his Della pittura veneziana in and Luigi Lanzi his multi-volume Storia pittorica della italia in Early nineteenth-century readers were also introduced to other names which would have previously meant very little to them: Gentile da Fabriano c.
John Knowles , ii, — In these, Fuseli adopted a critical discourse rarely heard before in art history, and amongst them, his remarks on Tintoretto are the most innovative. Its primary concern is with the affective power of the work, and only at a secondary level is it concerned with technical or stylistic detail. In the argument which Fuseli develops in favour of Tintoretto, the sensibility of the audience is integral to the act of full appreciation. A General Dictionary of Painters , pp.
Venetian Painting in England William Etty was just the kind of traveller of whom Cunningham disapproved. In Etty, it becomes fanciful. Engravings of High Renaissance and early Italian art had been distributed all over Europe.
Venetian art, however, presented insuperable problems for the engraver since colour was, as yet, unreproducible. The stern admonitions of Sir Joshua Reynolds and his successors certainly made Venice alluring, so what could be more attractive to young artists than a pilgrimage to the very fountainhead of colour followed immediately by Pisa and Florence? In the steps of Etty in , came his friend Charles Eastlake. He was followed by David Wilkie in , William Collins in , by Watts in the mids, and many others.
Gilchrist, Life of William Etty, i, Fewer pictures had left Venice in the eighteenth century. Compared with Florence, Rome, and elsewhere in Italy, Venice had been largely spared the plundering of the French under Napoleon. One person, however, who actively brought the Venetians closer to the mainstream of British taste was Charles Eastlake. Have you drank at her enchanted fountain? Roy Park , pp. Venetian Painting in England ested in its earlier history. The historical sense dominated in the reception of early Italian art, and Venetian painting achieved intellectual respectability only when its history was laid bare.
As we saw in Chapter One pp. Since Venetian art had not been collected in this way, and in spite of the valiant efforts of the Venetians themselves—Bellori, Boschini, Lanzi, and, above all, Zanetti— Venetian art seemed to lack antecedents. Etty, for example, demonstrates this when writing to Sir William Richmond in The paintings of Titian, Tintoretto, and Giorgione were indeed wonderful, but they hung in the vacuum of historical space. I think much of the essence of Venetian art is to be understood by tracing it from the beginning.
But it was not historical importance alone that lent substance to the appeal of the paintings at this time. Their study was given a new and special urgency by A. As we saw in the last chapter, most of the text is devoted to establishing levels of excellence amongst the early Italians according to the degree to which they expressed Christian piety and sentiment.
Unusually for the time, however, Rio concludes his history with a section on 57 Gilchrist, Life of William Etty, i, Eastlake, Contributions, p. Suddenly, Venetian art, which had for so long been associated with debauchery, now appeared in the garb of holiness and piety. From to , the Venetians were the only painters worthy the name in Italy. When Ruskin went to Italy in it was in search of a deeper and more extensive education in Italian religious art. The reputation of Fra Angelico has already been mentioned p.
But the effect of Tintoretto on him was quite different. In , however, he went to Italy to discriminate between artists and schools, mainly in respect of the spiritual achievement or failure of each. The previous generation of British art lovers looked to Michelangelo and particularly to 60 Rio , pp. Ruskin in Italy: Letters to his Parents , ed. Ruskin dutifully paid his respects to these masters in Florence but was clearly tiring of them. Once, these had seemed very revolutionary.
But by the time that Ruskin was in Italy, as we saw in the last chapter, a taste for early Italian art was becoming something of an orthodox cult with Catholic associations. This posed some problems for the extremely Protestant Ruskin, and it was at this point and with evident relief that he encountered the work of Tintoretto. By the time that he reached Venice in the autumn of , Ruskin was already in a state of high excitement about his experiences elsewhere in Italy, and now in Tintoretto he made a real discovery.
We have already seen that in England Tintoretto had always been a minority taste, and how his admirers, either by fortune or choice, had always been on the fringes of the establishment. Ruskin was no exception, and his ecstasy before the works in the Ducal Palace and the Scuola di San Rocco was as much an act of rebelliousness and self-assertion as it was a state of aesthetic euphoria. His oedipal rejection of the views of Vasari and Reynolds has already been mentioned. Throughout, active verbal structures take precedence over the substantives so that a Venetian Painting in England sense of movement overwhelms the pictorial image.
In an inversion of the neoclassical ideal, everything in Tintoretto that was for Reynolds a vice, has become for Ruskin a virtue. Yet for Ruskin, Tintoretto is no less a spiritual artist than the monk of Fiesole. In fact he is more so. Like Fra Angelico, his principal subject is the Christian legend, yet, in Tintoretto, the commonplace and the quotidian combine with the transcendent and the spiritual. Most importantly, however, for Ruskin, Tintoretto, unlike Fra Angelico, dramatizes life; he depicts it as a struggle; life in Tintoretto is a complex interaction of active deeds which invite the moral participation of the perceiving consciousness.
In this way, Ruskin has transformed Tintoretto into a Protestant artist, perhaps into the Protestant artist par excellence. Fra Angelico is the painter of the world of Catholic faith; Tintoretto, the painter of the world of Protestant deeds. Louvre, Paris Rossetti visited the Louvre within a month of each other in Ruskin was already drifting away from his preoccupation with early Italian art and was developing a strong interest in the Venetians.
Giorgione was certainly not a neglected or unknown painter. This visit was made on 8 Sept. The attribution to Giorgione was questioned by Gustav Waagen as early as and the debate about the relative contribution to this work of Giorgione and Titian still continues. See Pignatti, T. It is worth quoting in full, since its mood is so far removed from the mossa of Ruskin on Tintoretto. Blue, and deep away, The heat lies silent at the brink of day. The hand trails weak upon the viol-string That sobs; and the brown faces cease to sing, Mournful with complete pleasure.
Let be: Do not now speak unto her lest she weep, — Nor name this ever. Be it as it was: — Silence of heat, and solemn poetry. Even here, though, the stress lies upon narrative. Everything is enigmatic. And so it was with Giorgione. Rossetti considerably revised this poem in later life. Hill Berkeley, , p.
Venetian Painting in England By , attitudes to Venetian painting were much richer and more diverse than they had been in The changes had been wrought largely from the margins of current art discourse. But, by the end of the nineteenth century, the Venetians had moved into the centre of established taste and had been vested with High Victorian virtues. The language is not neoclassical, but the sentiments are.
This is Roger Fry in endorsing the views of Joshua Reynolds who is no longer the father but the grandfather in a new and sympathetic edition of the Discourses. Roger Fry London, , p. One of the most telling ways of locating their salient features has been to place them within the context of traditions already established in nineteenth-century writing, and to draw attention to the ways in which Ruskin operated within those traditional forms to create something of his own.
Elizabeth Helsinger, for example, develops an idea originally suggested by Richard Stein that one of the central preoccupations of the books is with travel and journeying. Robert Rhodes and D. I Janik Athens, Ohio, , — Furthermore, it allows us to speculate on the relationship between the literal journey and metaphorical journeys such as the imaginative one into the past and the symbolic one into the self.
Many of the imaginative sources of The Stones of Venice can be traced to this important year when Ruskin, removed from his parents, journeyed to Italy but journeyed also into himself, testing his inner reactions to art and architecture by what he perceived in the outer world. Helsinger also raises the question of what kind of history is written in the context of such a travel document.
One way of seeing it, at least in the context of nineteenth-century historiography, is against what was accepted as a more orthodox form of historical writing—against that of, say, Hallam or Macaulay, or perhaps, more appropriately, Daru or Sismondi, to whose work Ruskin was indebted. Helsinger, p. Rosenberg, p. Inevitably the history of politics is propelled forward by time and events; Ruskin deals, instead, with the much slower time of the development of artistic style.
Not only are the contending forces located in a single place—Venice—they are focused, as by a burning glass, within a single art—architecture.