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disgusting in large ones. I never hear thing for such an age as this. one word of genuine feeling issue from a different race altogether from the men any one's mouth but yours and the two of old time: we live in drawing-rooms Richmonds”; and if it did, I don't be- instead of deserts, and work by the light lieve the public of the present day would of chandeliers instead of volcanoes. I understand it. It is not the love of fresco have been perfectly prostrated these two that we want: it is the love of God and or three days back by my first acquainthis creatures ; it is humility, and charity, ance with Tintoret; but then I feel as if and self-denial, and fasting, and prayer; I had got introduced to a being from a it is a total change of character. We planet a million of miles nearer the sun, want more faith and less reasoning, less not to a mere earthly painter. As for strength and more trust. You neither our little bits of R. A.'s calling themwant walls, nor plaster, nor colors, - ça selves painters, it ought to be stopped ne fait rien à l'affaire ; it is Giotto and directly. One might make a mosaic of Ghirlandaio and Angelico that you want, R. A.'s, perhaps, with a good magnifyingand that you will and must want until glass, big enough for Tintoret to stand this disgusting nineteenth century has — with one leg upon if he balanced himself I can't say breathed, but steamed its last. like a gondolier. I thought the mischief You want a serious love of art in the

peo was chiefly confined to the architecture ple and a faithful love of art in the ar here, but Tintoret is going quite as fast; tist, not a desire to be R. A. and to dine the Emperor of Austria is his George with the Queen ; and you want some

Robins. thing like decent teaching in the Acade I went to the Scuola di San Rocco the my itself, good training of the thoughts, other day, in heavy rain, and found the not of the fingers, and good inpouring floor half under water, from large pools of knowledge, not of knocks. Never tell, from droppings through the pictures on or think to tell, your lank, cockney, lead- the ceiling, — not through the sides or en-headed pupil what great art is, but mouldings, but the pictures themselves. make a great man of him and he 'll find They won't take care of them, nor sell out. And a pretty way, by the bye, Mr. them, nor let anybody take care of them. Eastlake takes to teach our British pub I am glad to hear that the subjects for lic a love of the right thing, going and our frescoes are to be selected from pobuying a disgusting, rubbishy, good-for-ets instead of historians; but I don't like nothing, bad-for-everything Rubens and the selection of poets. I think in a matwo brutal Guidos, when we have n't got tional work one ought not to allow any a Perugino to bless ourselves with! But appearance of acknowledgment of irreliit don't matter, not a straw's balance. I gious principle, and we ought to select see what the world is coming to. We those poets chiefly who have best illustratshall put it into a chain armor of railroad, ed English character, or have contributed and then everybody will go everywhere to form the prevailing tones of the Engevery day, until every place is like every lish mind. Byron and Shelley I think other place; and then when they are tired inadmissible. I should substitute Wordsof changing stations and police they will worth and Keats or Coleridge, and put congregate in knots in great cities, which Scott instead of Pope, whom one does n't will consist of club-houses, coffee-houses, want with Dryden. I think The Ancient and

newspaper offices; the churches will Mariner would afford the highest and be turned into assembly rooms; and peo- most imaginative method of touching on ple will eat, sleep, and gamble to their England's sea character. From Wordsgraves.

worth you get her pastoral and patriIt is n't of any use to try and do any archal character; from Scott her chival

I know you

resque ; I don't know what you would oils, it was with marked success. He get from either Dryden or Pope, but I was elected surveyor of the Queen's picsuppose you must have one of them. tures in 1845, and two years later was However, anything is better than histo- appointed keeper of the National Galry, the most insipid of subjects. One lery. One of his best works in wateroften talks of historical painting, but I colors is The Hay Harvest, now in the mean religious always, for how often South Kensington Museum, and in oils does one see a picture of history worth The Vintage in the Claret Vineyards, in a straw? I declare I cannot at this in- the Dundee Gallery. After some prestant think of any one historical work liminaries Severn proceeds :that ever interested me.

I beg your pardon very much for this I think it is a most important defect hurried sulky scrawl ; but conceive how in any one to be entirely without vanity, little one is fit for when one finds them because there is nothing brings out and covering the marble palaces with stucco applies so well all the inner man. I and painting them in stripes !

mean all the grasping and achieving Allow me again to thank you exceed comes of this; for, you see, a man with ingly for your kind letter and to express this feels his own importance (he overmy delight at the good news it contains, feels it, but what of that?), and tries and believe me, with compliments to Mrs. grand things and succeeds, when anSevern,

other may have the greatest talents, but Ever most truly yours,

nothing to bring them out. J. RUSKIN. will call this by some fine name, as

laudable ambition, aspiring virtue, and In a short article which appeared so forth; but, as the preacher says, “all recently, it was asserted that, with all is vanity” at bottom, so we will be honhis good qualities, Severn was singularly est and let it stand as vanity. The Gerlacking in common sense. The writer mans are a people making little figure could have known little of Severn, and and doing little good in the world, on still less of his correspondence. A re this account. They have the highest talmarkably acute and straightforward com ents and morals, but pursue their intelmon sense was, as it happens, one of his lectual aims only as solitary pleasures, most characteristic traits. Scores of his and so society is nothing the better for letters, from youth to old age, might be them. Then your English, who have the selected to bear out this counter-asser- vanity to seek perpetual notice, are altion, but a single one will suffice. It ways benefiting the world with useful is taken from his correspondence with intuitions or innocent pleasures, and all his friend Uwins, and was written in his this with but a small part of the talent thirty-third year, a time when, though of the Germans. When a man underby temperament and habit youthful in rates himself he blunts his talents and aspect and tastes to a remarkable degree, minces his steps in life; and, on the his character was developed. Thomas contrary, if he overrates, although it Uwins was his elder by about ten years, may make his manners displeasing at and, like himself, began his art life as the moment, yet if there is genuine talan engraver's apprentice. In 1824 he ent in his matter he will sink into that went to Italy, and stayed there till 1831. at last, with his first presumption modHe gained his position both as an As- ified into something useful or pleasing. sociate and Royal Academician as a Such a man as for instance, would painter in water - colors ; nevertheless, never have done anything but from his when, in 1850, he began to paint in vanity; his talents are very mediocre,

but he has humbugged himself into the esting as coming from so distinguished a same high notion of his genius with man as Seymour Kirkup. He was for which he has humbugged others, and long the most notable English resident produced works of some stamp, whereas in Florence, and even in earlier days his energy is all he has. Now I would ranked only second to Walter Savage contrast you with him. You have the Landor, with whom and the Brownings finest talents, and even advantages of gen and many others, from first to last, he tlemanlike accomplishments, but withal was intimate. He was a painter of sinsuch a shameful way of underrating your gular delicacy, and as a student of art self that I always doubt if you have was as thorough and conscientious as his ever truly exercised your powers to their lifelong friend Charles Eastlake. In his true extent in anything; nor can you


he devoted much time to litwhile

you have not the vanity of an aim. erary studies, and in particular to occult I can well remember the days (some problems and speculations. No doubt three or four years back) when I thought he is best known to the present genermyself a very poor creature; but yet I ation as the discoverer of the now fawas too vain to tell it to all, and


mous youthful portrait of Dante, - a distle vanity kept up a show, even in abor covery for which, as he tells us in one tions, and even lost more than putting of these letters, he was created a baron my shoulder to the wheel; and now I (count?) of the Italian kingdom. have persuaded myself into my fancied These letters may be read as reprecapability, like one who, loving an un sentative examples of his long-continued truth and telling it oft, makes such a correspondence with Severn. The secsinner of his memory as to credit his ond was written after an interval of a own lie. Here lies the mystery: you year's silence on the part of Severn, will consider yourself the wax taper,” which was broken at last by a letter narand not the gaslight, when you can say rating the circumstances of Mrs. Sevthat you have turned on your gas to the ern's death, in April, 1862. Late in full.

the fifties Kirkup turned his attention to Now all this means that you should Spiritualism, and erelong became a conundertake a work to the full extent of firined believer in the actuality of spirityour power; not a great ugly mess, but ualistic phenomena. The Miss Ironsides something dictated by your own feeling to whom he alludes as a medium was a of beauty and splendor. Let us have young American artist of great promise, some of your magnificent Neapolitan whose early death prevented her making background, with equally magnificent a name as a painter, like Kirkup's “old groups upon it, only one picture as a friend William Blake,” or as a more trial, and then you 'll see.

conventional illustrator of worn-out I must tell you that I don't quite es Bible subjects.” It is strange to learn timate your praises about my talent in that, in the early part of our century, painting, since you judge so ill of your not only William Blake, but Flaxman, own; for a true taste would also extend Fuseli, and even artists such as Stothto the judging its own productions, or ard and Varley, were looked upon as in how do they come forth? Now take

some degree mad. up your brush and answer all this, and prove me right, and truly your friend and admirer, J. SEVERN.

FLORENCE, August 18, 1861.

My DEAR SEVERN, - I never thought The following letters are not only read- Overbeck a fine intellectual creature, able in themselves, but are further inter- but an ignorant humbug. Gibson de


scribed his great picture to me with example of it. Lazarus is disgusting, admiration and equal ignorance. The and therefore eclipsed by the prevailsubject was a bad one, a collection of ing wealth of Dives pervading all the portraits of old painters, taken, as you scene, but The Marriage at Cana has say, from prints, — all the schools, — the one contradiction beyond this. Here is English represented by an infant. This a wedding dinner of poor country people, dauber of brick dust and pewter, without so poor that even the wine falls short. drawing, presumed in his ignorance to Then think of the scene of Paul Verodespise such giants compared to him as nese! An absurdity, but such execution Reynolds, Opie, Stothard, West, Law


all. Who can hope to surpass rence, Fuseli, Turner, Flaxman, etc., that? I do not like sacred subjects in etc., — ignorance and vanity. As for general, nor costume painters. David his imitation of the ancients, he should was a failure, but the classic is not exhave looked at the works of Giotto hausted by him. There is still a field here for color, and he would not have open : drawing from nature, with the abounded in such detestable lead-color help of the antique, and color like Tias I have seen. In fact, he has only tian's. Our Bacchus and Ariadne and copied the defects of the old time, name the Spanish Sleeping Ariadne are the ly, hardness, meagreness, and sameness. models of a new school, which someNay, he


look at the Florentine M. body will find out. We are too old. Angelo in the Sistine, and he will see There are other specimens and hints effects of color worthy of Venice, — the even in Rome (the Borghese). Etty Jerome, Daniel, Zechariah, Sibyls, etc. might have done much if he had hit You say he is devout to the political on it, or Haydon. A combination of church. So is many a solemn ass and great talents in those two elements, and many a Jesuitic knave.

then a genius of imagination worthy of What is your Gothic or Christian treat the rest. Who can bear to think of ment of The Marriage ? What would the poor child’s-play of the solemn Mr. you call that of Paul Veronese? Nei- Overbeck, and you, coming from Engther, but the princely magnificence and land, and I suppose Paris ! But I am worldly splendor of Venice, eclipsing in the dark about them in the present even the story itself. Wealth, luxury, day. I fear they are wofully gone down. palaces, concerts, and a blaze of color, Eastlake had better have stuck to his so fine in its way as to make the subject palette than the study of after-dinner commonplace, and leave it beyond the speechifying! Detestable! By the bye, reach of any follower. You have no they said that you had been favored by chance, nor Miss Ironsides, who is all him at the expense of Haydon in the wrong, and has mistaken her vocation. affair of the cartoons.

Take care Scripture subjects are worn out. They of yourself. You talk a new Jerusalem make no impression, like old-fashioned of art, and speak of breathing in commusic or sermons. The public sleep over pany of “its immortal spirits.” Now, them, like the bedstead of Baucis that real Spiritualism is a science that rewas turned into pews,

quires the greatest exercise of reason.

You are afraid of being carried off your " Which still their old employment keep Of lodging folks disposed to sleep.”


I hate the cant about art and artists, The Venetians sacrificed their Chris- So-and-So's art and my art, artistic gostianity, if they had any, to worldly mag- sip of art and artists, and early art and nificence. That fine picture of Boni- primitive art, etc., etc.

I never called fazio, Dives and Lazarus, is another myself an artist. I said painter at once.


I had rather have added “glazier” than “artist.” All the tea-drinking old maids

FLORENCE, April 12, 1863. were full of their pretty artists, and MY DEAR SEVERN, Your sad news all the little drawing - masters, daubers, is the history of a great affliction, and I and parasites of art were full of the condole with you most sincerely. I supname, while “the great were always pose the illness must have been a long sneering at it. One told me he had a one for a landlord to claim so large an clever artist traveling with him. It was indemnity. Time is the great consoler, his cook. A lady bestowed the title on and your children. Have you none of her hairdresser. It is not that I care them with you? Your continual occupafor such classification, for I am very tion is now a benefit, if it is not too much democratic ; but I am sick of the vul- for your health. That is the first thing. gar cant, and find that others are so All the benevolence that you are engaged

So if you publish anything avoid in will be a comfort to you. I supposed it. The word is prostituted and black- you were too busy to be able to write. balled.

You must have an immense deal to do Your “ pergola ” is better than col- in your present difficult and unusual staumns (that is, in the composition of Sev- tion, and more than unusual ; it is what ern's picture of The Marriage at Cana], has never happened till now. and your idea of the water in the act of You say the Roman finances are totchanging is new, but I fear it is not tering to a close. What will be the enough to be “the making of it,” even if consequence? Will there be a great it can be done, which is difficult. number of innocent and ignorant people

I have a drawing of Miss Ironsides' ruined by a national bankruptcy? Will of an angel and a child which she saw it affect the finances of the kingdom of in a crystal of mine. It is not much, Italy? I have put all the money I could but it is enough to prove that she has raise into these funds to provide for my the faculty, a rare one, and more valu- little Italian daughter, and they give a able than worn-out Bible pictures ! I good interest, - about double what the have some wonderful and curious draw- English funds afford. ings of visions. I have only wished to I found an old letter of yours of forty succeed, myself, as has been done in years ago. The handwriting is the same America, but I have not the power ; I and so are the thoughts. Strange have only that of bringing it out in it is, for your whole carcass has been others.

renewed thirteen times in that period. I know no

one to carry books to I look on that as a greater sign of the Rome. They won't do it, — they are immortality of the soul than all the nonafraid; and I have lost so many books sense of an old Jewish book of forgeries that I have lent, or commissions sent, and falsifications. But I have more that I have long refused, and have a positive proofs than either. You should paper pasted in my library many years see the life of my friend Daniel Home, ago to say so. I am a collector, and just published. Books are no proof, for have many thousand. I have a hundred they lie as much as living men; but I and more of Dante, and seven manu know that a part of that book is true. scripts of his ; many on our English If you had the means of knowing the Round Table, in all languages; a great truth that Home has, I make no doubt many on occult sciences, literature, an


would see, hear, and feel with joy tiquities, painting, etc. They amuse me that your poor wife is often with you. more than painting. ..

A satisfaction of that sort I have often Yours sincerely,

S. KIRKUP. had, and it continues.

as now,

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