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school of Athens is more purely his happened long before the ascension, and is own production, and being free from recited in the ninth chapter of St Luke, the traces of imitation, is, upon the when the countenance of Jesus was changed, whole, a more perfect work.
and he became 'Etipov, and his clothing was The pictures which he executed im- white and lightened. The robe of the as
cending Christ is blue. mediately after these, with the excep
“ The painter brings different incidents tion of his Heliodorus, which, per- together to constitute one plot. The pichaps, in dignity and enlargement of ture consists of three different groups, comstyle, is superior to them both, are bined or united in one scheme or action. marked with the negligences of a more 1. Jesus ascending perpendicularly into careless pencil. This has been attri- the air, clothed in blue raiment, and attendbuted, not without plausibility, to the ed by two other figures. dissipated habits into which he was at who see the ascent, and lie dazzled and con
2. Some of his disciples on the mount, that time allured, by the mistaken founded by the sight. kindness of his admirers and the patrons of his talents. They drew him of the mount, who appear to look intently
3. A number of persons at the bottom from his studies into company, and on a young man possessed by a devil and forgot, that every moment which he convulsed; none of them see the ascension, spent in their convivial entertainment, but the young man, or rather the devil who subtracted something from his ability, is in him, does see it. On all similar occaand tended to impair his fame. His sions these fallen angels know the Christ mind, however, was of too high a cast and acknowledge him. The other figures to be entirely enslaved by their dan- variously and distinctly expressed in every
are agitated with astonishment and terror, gerous adulation, and, with an effort
one of them at the sight of the effect which that could not have been performed they see is made upon him by some object without a strong inherent taste for which they do not see. This is the sub. purity and virtue, he broke from the lime imagination by which the lower part Circean enchantment of dissipation, of the picture is connected with the upand resumed the proper path of his glorious destiny. The Cartoons .at Had the life of Raphael, which Hampton Court, and the Transfigura- closed on his birth-day, in his thirtytion, are the monuments at once of seventh year, been prolonged to the his repentance and his power. And period of Leonardo da Vinci, Michel here I am enabled to present you, Angelo, or Titian, when in so short Sir, with a very curious piece of cri- a time he produced so many great, so ticism on the latter production, from many unrivalled works, to what exthe pen of no less a personage than cellence might he not have carried the the probable author of the celebrated art ! letters of Junius. It was transmitted The next eminent artist who comes to a friend of mine, and it serves to under our consideration is Titian.show that what has ever hitherto been The grandeur which Michel Angelo considered as a fault in the Transfigu- gave to the human figure-Titian has ration, is, perhaps, its greatest and rivalled in colouring. But I do not most skillfully contrived beauty. Be propose, on the present occasion, to this, however, as it may, the critique investigate the merits of his colouring, is a literary curiosity, not merely on but to pursue the consideration of the account of the pen from which it has intellectual powers of the artists whom come, but the intellectual acumen it falls within the scope of my present which it exhibits.
purpose to notice. It is the mental, “ The title of this picture is a misnomer. not the mechanical department of the The picture tells you it is the Ascension. - art to which I wish, in this historical The transfiguration is another incident which view, to draw your attention. Per
In the common version thus : “ And, as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias ; who appeared in glory, and spake of his de. cease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
+ We possess some curious facts about Junius, which, on some other occasion, we may be permitied to divulge.
haps at some other time you may give The terror which the murderer has
room and verge enough" to spread, is denoted by the speed of the treat of that also. I shall, therefore, horseman passing into the dark recesspass over the numerous portraits of es of a distant part of the forest. Titian, and only notice one of those This picture is the first work in works in which the mind was even more art, wherein the human figure and employed than the hand--for exam- the scene are combined as an historiple, his St Peter martyr, which, per, cal landscape, where all the objects haps, as a composition, may deserve to are the full size of nature. be ranked among the finest concep- It is unnecessary, Sir, I presume, tions of genius; in execution it had to remind you, that this sublime prono superior. As the legend on which duction was greatly damaged while in it is founded is not much known in the possession of the French. The our presbyterian region, it may be vessel, you will recollect, in which it necessary to give you some account of was shipped, with other plunder of it.
Venice, in passing down the Adriatic This St Peter was the head of a re- Sea, was chased by one of our cruizligious sect in some part of a foreign ers, a shot from which struck the piccountry, but the particular place I ture, and shivered the panel on which really cannot exactly tell; and on it was painted. his
way from Germany to Milan, with The next great master, in point of a companion, he was attacked by an time and rank to Titian, is Corregio. adversary to his religious opinions Enthusiasm, in contemplating his while passing through a wood and works, might be almost led to fancy murdered. His death is the subject that he had received his instructions of the picture.
in another and a better world. His The prcstrate figure of the saint just figures seem to belong to a higher fallen beneath a blow from the assassin, race of beings than man, and possess raises one of his hands towards heaven a holiness and grace of semblance too with a countenance of confidence in celestial for this earth. His celebrated eternal reward for the firmness of his Note is a fine illustration of his pecufaith ; while the assassin grasps with liar taste and sentiment. The idea of his left hand the mantle of the vic- representing the body of the infant tim, the better to enable him, by Jesus as resplendent, is not only a his uplifted sword in the other, to sublime poetical conception,considering give the fatal blow.
that he was sent to illuminate the mind panion is seen flying off in terror, from Pagan darkness, but a beautiful having received a wound on the head. allegory, told, if the expresssion may The ferocious and determined action be allowed, with all the propriety of of the murderer, bestriding his victim, a classical mythologist. completes a group of figures which The inspiring power of Corregio's have not their rival in art, no not genius is always supposed to have had even in the Laocoon. The majestic a great effect on the mind of Parmetrees of the wood, as well as the dark giano, whose graceful figures have so and shaggy furze, form an awful and much ease and motion, that they have appropriate back-ground, in deep and rarely been equalled. His Moses dreadful harmony with the tragedy breaking the tables, and the vision of of the subject.
St Gierolimo, are full of the impress The heavenly messengers seen in of intellectual power, and works of the glory above, bearing the palm the first class of art. branches, the emblems of reward for After these great masters, the demartyrdom, form the second light of cline of the general prosperity of Italy the subject. The first is the sky and caused a falling off in the arts for cloud which give relief to the black some time. They began, however, to drapery of the wounded companion. revive again under the three CarThe rays from the celestial effulgence racci at Bologna, and the names of above, sparkling on the gloomy branch- Guido, Dominichino, and Guercino, es and foliage of the trees, like so may in some respects be deservedly many diamonds, link, as it were, to- placed with those elder worthies, to gether, all the other gradations of light whose peculiar powers I have so pare from the top to the bottom of the ticularly drawn your attention. Where picture.
I can refer to examples, I will not
trouble you with description. In the sequently detrimental to excellence, collection of Mr Gordon in Great and this nationality and mannerism King Street, we possess, in our own affected artists of the most opposite “ romantic town," three of the fairest genius and principle. If, for exam productions of Guido; and his libe- ple, Watteau and Le Brun were rerality has afforded all reasonable ac- quired to paint a nuptial feast, the cess to them, not only to artists, but former would have represented a even strangers, actuated merely by crowd of French peasants under a curiosity. It is by the possessors of wire-covered alcove, animated with a good pictures so opening their collec« joy ple and natural, but also gross, tions, that the public taste is improved. and perhaps licentious; while the latThe eye, in this way, receives from ter would have chosen the nuptials of the contemplation of excellence a de- Thetis and Peleus, or of Cupid and gree of instruction that assists its dis- Psyche, honoured by the presence of crimination forever after.
the immortal gods, indulging in their The fine arts were first effectually august pleasures, * and these gods and introduced into France by Francis I.; goddesses would in all probability but the subsequent civil wars did not have been lords and ladies of the allow them to make any considerable court of Versailles. progress. In the reign of Henry IV. In my next I propose to trace the however, they began to evince more history and progress of the arts in our vigour, and the munificence of the own island. Perhaps it might have great Cardinal Richelieu gave them been expected that I should have prenew life. To enumerate the names viously taken a view of the Flemish of the artists who may be said to have school, but the chief works of the owed their existence to the liberality great masters of that school being in of his administration, would be to this country, I shall have an opportuform a long catalogue of names, and, nity of adverting to it incidentally moreover, great as their merit was, I with more effect. Besides, the Fleam, I confess, not disposed to think mish painters only excelled in the that any of them actually attained the mechanical department, a lower branch highest rank in the profession. There of art, and more allied to the handihas ever been a nationality and man- craft productions of the calico-printer nerism in the French school, which, and paper-hanger, than to the moral I am inclined to think, must be at va- exhibitions which it is, as I conceive, riance with universal taste, and con- the great purpose of art to produce.
Boxíana; or, Sketches of Pugilism,
BY ONE OF THE FANCY,
It is an axiom, we have heard, in po- any of the fine arts. During the site litical economy,—for we despise the ting of the General Assembly of the study too much to know it from our Kirk of Scotland, there is a loud cleown reading, -that a demand for any rical cry of " fish! fish !” and fortharticle always produces a supply. if with there is a profusion of cods and this be a mistake of ours, that elegant flounders. Were the kirk to exclaim economist, the Scotsman, with his “ fowls ! fowls !" there would, in like usual suavity, will be pleased to set us manner, be a massacre of turkeys and right. It may be so in the meal-mar- how-towdies.t So much for de. ket-and also in Billingsgate ; but we mand and supply of vivres, and good think the principle applies neither to substantial vivres too, for a vast body poetry nor pugilism-nor, indeed, to of divinity. But let the Moderator of
* Cavaliere Ferro, vol. i. p. 52.
+ See again Dr Jamieson.
the said General Assembly cry out country's honour in the champion,
oratory, oratory," and will an im- TOM. mediate supply follow the demand ? Alas! there will haply be a small
“ Johnson's first set-to, in 1783, was voice heard crying from the synod of with a fighting Carman,
of the name of Moray, or a gruff one heard growling Jarvis; and though Tom was looked upon
as as a mere novice in the art, yet he dis. from the presbytery of Dumbarton, played so much superiority over the Carman, but the ladies in the galleries will not that his fame was soon made known. Jarbe satisfied, and will all look weeping vis had milled a few good men himself—but towards the bar, with many a sigh for in the hands of Johnson he got most dreada Mr Jeffrey and Mr Cockburn. "True fully beaten, that he was scarcely able to it is that there is a demand for elo- walk out of Lock's Fields, where the con quence, but there are no commission- test was decided,
“ The Croydon drover, a man of pugilistic ers of supply. The futility of this principle is equally obvious when ap- nington Common; but Johnson finished
notoriety, now fought Johnson upon Kenplied to pugilism. Search the records him in a very short period. of the ring. There was a loud cry “ Steevy Oliver, the noted death, although for a champion, during several years growing old fast, and who had been fightbefore the apparition of Tom Johnson ing ever since the days of Broughton, en, --but no champion came forth from tered the lists with Tom Johnson, and proved our boxing population. True it is, himself a good bit of stuff_but his day was that the growth of genius is not, in gone by—and Johnson was not long in getany department, caused by the same
ting the victory. Some thousands of spec
tators were upon Blackheath to witness this principles as the growth of corn. Pol
display of science. lux and Belcher-Phidias and Chaun
* Bill Love, a butcher, challenged Johnson try-Homer and Walter Scott-did for fifty guineas, which was decided at Barnot come into the world, because the net ; but the knight of the cleaver was, in a world demanded them. On the con- few minutes so completely cut up, as to trary, they brought a supply—and leave Johnson in possession of the ground. then a demand arose. The ring was
" Jack Towers, who had overcome death, formed by the champions—the cham- thought he had little more to fear, and
therefore, without hesitation, agreed to pions were not begotten by the ring. The character of a people is to be had likewise got the better of death, and, in
fight Johnson at the above place; but Tom sought for and found in their amuse- a very short time, Towers was completely ments. It is melancholy, therefore, to satisfied that he stood no chance with Johnreflect on that of Englishmen, during son, and so gave in. the period that elapsed between the “ A man of the name of Fry, offered to defeat of Slack, and the first peeling fight Johnson for fifty guineas, at Kingsof Tom Johnson, alias Jackling.
ton, which Tom cheerfully agreed to; but, There was no principle in the ring; - broiled, as to be very glad to put an end to
in less than half an hour, Fry got so much Honour had Aed to heaven from fight- the contest, and Tom walked off the ground ing men. No dependence could be
not even pinked. placed on the favourite at stripping or “ Johnson about this period (1787)punishsetting-to-and betting was little short ed so many of the minor coves, that it was of an act of insanity. Bolting was the deemed necessary, by the sporting world, to order of the day, and it seemed as if look out for a customer who might be able pluck were rooted out from the soil of to stand something like a mill with him. England. This is not the place to character, Bristol was searched, (the hot
As the metropolis could produce no such enter into a review of the government bed for pugilists,) when Bill Ward was seof the country during that disastrous lected, as a decent article that could be deera of our history. No doubt, the ade pended upon; and accordingly he was backministration must have been most cor- ed to fight Johnson for two hundred guineas, rupt, and a reform wanted in every at Oakingham, in Berkshire. In the first department of the state, before the round, Ward found out that he had got a spirit of pugilism could have sunk so trump to deal with, by receiving near a low among the most boxing people in doubler from Johnson, and immediately
In fact, it was the universe. But this inquiry would acted upon the defensive. lead us beyond our limits, nor, we
scarcely worthy of being called a fight; and
the amateurs were not only disappointed, confess, does it ever please us to dwell but much displeased. Ward was convinced on the prospect of national degrada- that he could not beat Johnson by standing tion. So let us hail the restorer of his up to him, and therefore, determined to try whether he could not tire him out! And conflict, Johnson was challenged by generally when Tom attempted to put in a Isaac Perrins of Birmingham, supposed good blow, Ward was down on his knees.
to be the most powerful man in EngThis humbugging lasted for nearly an hour land, and against whom no pugilist had and a half-Johnson's intentions being con-,
ever been able to stand up five minutes. tinually frustrated by Ward's dropping on his knees : At length, a prime blow made. He was six feet two inches high, and him cry out “ foul,” and he instantly weighed seventeen stone,-three stone bolted ; notwithstanding the remonstrances more than the champion. of his second, to come back and finish the “ On stripping, Perrins looked, in com. fight. Johnson was now firmly established parison, like a Hercules, and Johnson, who, as the champion—his fame ran before him, in other fights, appeared as a big man, by and it was some months before any person the side of Perrins, now looked as a could be found hardy enough to dispute his boy; the spectators were struck with the well-earned title.”
difference, and even Johnson's friends began Johnson was next matched against to shake. The awful set-to at length com. Ryan, an Irishman of surpassing menced, and anxiety was upon the utmost strength, skill, and bravery,--and the stretch-Johnson stedfastly viewing his battle, which was one of the most des mighty opponent, and considerable skill
was manifested by both the combatants for perate ever witnessed, terminated in favour of the champion. In conse
nearly five minutes,-Perrins then made a
blow, which, in all probability, had he not quence, however, of a supposed foul have missed his aim, must have decided the blow by Tom, the men contended again contest, and Johnson been killed, from its for six hundred guineas.
dreadful force ; but Tom was awake to the “ It was a contest of great anxiety, and intent, and eluded it; and in return, put in the whole of the bruising world were there ; a hit, which could be of no trifling nature, from the Corinthian Pillar, to the Coster- to knock a man doron of seventeen stone ? Monger! Johnson, with his second, [Great applause ; bravo Tom! well done, Humphries, and Jackson as his bottle- Tom !] Johnson followed up this advanholder, mounted the stage at three o'clock ; tage for three more rounds with success, and and were immediately followed by Ryan, his science was of great service, in puzzling who was seconded by a Mr Rolfe, a baker, his antagonistPerrins now went into Johnand Noulan as bottle-holder. The set-to
son, regardless of all danger, and knocked was one of the finest ever witnessed in the him down without ceremony, and continued annals of pugilism : the science was display- punishing for several more rounds ; Tom, ed in all its perfection; and the parryings finding he was over-matched, was obliged, and faints were as well executed, as if they for the first time in his life, to have recourse had been fencing-masters of the first repu- to shifting, to prevent his being beat straight tation : the silence and anxiety were so forward ; which conduct, occasioned some great among the spectators, that a pin al- murmuring from the spectators, and Perrins most might have been heard to fall. At began to treat him with contempt, by exlength, Ryan put in a severe blow upon claiming, “ Why, what have you brought Johnson's chest, that brought him to the me here ! this is not the valiant Johnson, the ground. The second round, which con- champion of England, you have imposed tinued above two minutes, was terrible be- upon me with a mere boy.”—Tom's manly yond description ; science seemed forgotten, heart felt most bitterly this keen sarcasm, and they appeared like two blacksmiths at and, bursting with indignation, instantly an anvil, when Ryan received a knock-down cried out, “ By G-d! you shall soon blow. The battle was well sustained on know that Tom Johnson is here ! and diboth sides for some time ; but Ryan's pas- rectly made a spring at Perrins, and put in sion getting the better of him, and which a lunge over the left eye, that closed it up was much increased by the irritation of in a twinkling ; and his wind likewise getJohnson's second, in reflecting upon his ting bad, Johnson's friends took the hint, country, that he began to lose ground. and began to sport their money upon the Ryan's head and eyes made a mnost dreadful champion's head. Perrins, like a brilliant appearance ; and Johnson was severely pu- of the first water, appeared not the least nished. The contest lasted for thirty-three dull or dismayed by this loss, but rallied in minutes, when Ryan gave in. A hat or
fine style, and went into Johnson, and namented with blue ribbons, was placed closed his right eye in return. The odds upon the conqueror's head ; and Johnson began to waver immediately, and the Birgained a considerable sum of money, inde- mingham men offered to lay it on thick. pendent of twenty pounds per annum, which Forty rounds and upwards had now taken was settled upon him by his master, who place, and the combatants still game; won some thousands in backing Tom ; the Johnson began to be extremely careful, door money, amounting to upwards of five and to make the best use of his one eye, hundred pounds, was divided between the finding that it was still up-hill work; and combatants."
gave Perrins a desperate blow upon the In a few months after this terrible nose, which slit it down so completely, as VOL VI.