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industry, requiring no effort of the mind, or of those powers of invention and disposition that ought to be particularly called out and put in action; and which otherwise would lie torpid, and lose their energy
for want of exercise." In acting thus he showed equal judgment and self-control ; for the opposite course was the one commonly pursued by foreign students; who, though they did not thereby improve their talents, certainly found it for their interest, in other respects, to copy pictures. In a letter to Barry, when that artist was in Italy, Reynolds gave his opinion more explicitly on this practice. “Whilst I was at Rome,” says he, * I was very little employed by the cicerones, and that I always considered as so much time lost: copying those ornamental pictures which the travelling gentlemen always bring home with them as furniture for their houses, is far from being the most profitable manner of a student spending his time. Whoever has great views, I would recommend to him, whilst at Rome, rather to live on bread and water than lose those advantages which he can never hope to enjoy a second time, and which he will find only in the Vatican, where, I will engage, no cavalier sends his students to copy for him. I do not mean this as any reproach to the gentlemen ; the works in that place, though they are the proper study of an artist, make but an awkward figure painted in oil, and reduced to the size of easel pictures. The Capella Sistina is the production of the greatest genius that was ever employed in the arts : it is worth considering by what principles that stupendous greatness of style is produced ; and endeavouring to produce something of your own on those principles, will be a more advantageous method of study than copying the St. Cecilia, in the Borghese; or the Herodias of Guido; which may be copied to eternity without contributing one jot towards making a man a more able painter.”
Mr. Reynolds, during his residence at Rome, indulged his playful fancy occasionally in strokes of humour. There was then in that city a small society of gentlemen, artists, and others, who lived on terms of the greatest amity, and somewhat like the Bentvogel confraternity of a former day, amused themselves in scenes of frolic and festivity. While Reynolds was engaged in his studies at the Vatican, the School of Athens, by Raffaelle, particularly engaged his attention, and, in one of his hours of relaxation, the thought struck him of taking the portraits of his companions, and grouping them in a sort of burlesque imitation of the celebrated picture which had occupied so much of his notice. Having formed his sketch, he showed it to his friends, each of whom recognised his part in the piece, and all were pleased with the ingenuity of the representation. This caricature, as it hath been erroneously called, is in the possession of Mr. Joseph Henry, of Strabane, in Ireland.
Another incident that happened to Reynolds during his abode at Rome, must be here mentioned, as it is one that reflects great honour upon his benevolence. Meeting with a youth, aged about fifteen, named Marchi, who appeared to be of a very docile disposition, and fond of painting, he took him into his employ, and not only gave him instruction, but support. Marchi became so much attached to his patron, that he entreated permission to accompany him to England, and being destitute of friends in his own country, his request was complied with, though the circumstances of his master were then exceedingly contracted. From Rome Mr. Reynolds travelled to Florence, where he found his fellow pupil, John Astley, who was then patronised by Sir Horace Mann, the English envoy, and principally employed in copying pictures in the ducal gallery. Here also was Joseph Wilton, the sculptor, whose portrait Reynolds painted in a manner that excited general admiration. The next city visited by our great artist was Bologna, where his stay was but short, which circumstance be used very much to regret; for he considered the frescoes of the Caracci, which are only to be found there, more fitted to impart instruction to the student than the splendid productions of Titian.
" And therefore,” says he, “ I think those who travel would do well to allot a much greater portion of their time to that city, than it has been hitherto the custom to bestow."
After a short stay at Parma, where he contemplated with admiration the works of Corregio, he visited Modena, Milan, and Padua, in his way to Venice, at which place he continued a month, taking up his residence in the house of Zuccarelli, the celebrated painter of landscape. While there he drew some portraits, which commanded the applause of the best artists in Venice, no less than of his host, who beheld his facility of execution and power of expression with astonishment. His principal employment, however, at Venice, was to study the works of Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Tintoretto, the great masters of light and shade, who first reduced to a system what was before practised without any fixed principles. Of the method he adopted to make himself acquainted with their manner, he has himself given an account. • When I observed,” says he, “ traordinary effect of light and shade in any picture, I took a leaf of my pocket book, and darkened every part of it in the same gradation of light and shade as the picture, leaving the white paper untouched, to represent the light, and this without any attention to the subject, or to the drawing of the figures. A few trials of this kind will be sufficient to give the method of their conduct in the management of their lights. After a few experiments I found the paper blotted nearly alike: their general practice appeared to be to allow not above a quarter of the picture for the light, including, in
this portion, both the principal and secondary lights: another quarter to be as dark as possible, and the remaining half kept in mezzotint, or half shadow.” Thus did our illustrious traveller endeavour to penetrate into the secret principles, by which the masters of the great school of art attained that distinction which has rendered their works generally estimable, as well as the objects of particular imitation. Another practice adopted by Reynolds, when in Italy, was to procure, at every place he came to, one of those useful books which abound there, called Guides, or Descriptions of the several Cities, containing an account of the curiosities to be found there in public and in private buildings. Having taken a view of all that was worth seeing at each place, he used to minute down his observations on what he saw, in the margin of his Guide, and sometimes, upon reflection, he would expand these hints, and illustrate them by sketches. What became of these interesting books we are not told; but, judging from the recollections of his early travels, occasionally interspersed in his Lectures, and by the notes of his Tours in Flanders, the wish is excited that something more were ascertained respecting his Italian memoranda.
On leaving Venice he went to Turin, but made a very short stay there, being desirous of reaching England before the winter. In his route from thence, at the foot of the Alps, he had the unex