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TO

THE MEMBERS

THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

GENTLEMEN,

THAT

you

have ordered the publication of this discourse, is not only very flattering to me, as it implies your approbation of the method of study which I have recommended; but likewise, as this method receives from that act such an additional weight and authority, as demands from the Students that deference and respect, which can be due only to the united sense of so con

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DISCOURSE I.

THE ADVANTAGES PROCEEDING FROM THE INSTITUTION

OF A ROYAL ACADEMY.-HINTS OFFERED TO THẾ CONSIDERATION OF THE PROFESSORS AND VISITORS; THAT AN IMPLICIT OBEDIENCE TO THE RULES OF

ART BE EXACTED FROM THE YOUNG STUDENTS ;

THAT A PREMATURE DISPOSITION TO A MASTERLY DEXTERITY BE REPRESSED;—THAT DILIGENCE BE CONSTANTLY RECOMMENDED, AND (THAT IT MAY BE EFFECTUAL) DIRECTED TO ITS PROPER OBJECT.

GENTLEMEN, AN Academy, in which the Polite Arts may be regularly cultivated, is at last opened among us by Royal Munificence. This must appear an event in the highest degree interesting, not only to the Artists, but to the whole nation.

It is indeed difficult to give any other reason, why an empire like that of BriTAIN should so long have wanted an ornament so suitable to its greatness, than that slow progression of things, which naturally makes elegance and refinement the last effect of opulence and

power.

An Institution like this has often been recommended

upon

considerations merely mercantile; but an Academy, founded upon

such principles, can never effect even its own narrow purposes. If it has an origin no higher, no taste can ever be formed in manufactures ; but if the higher Arts of Design flourish, these inferior ends will be answered of course.

We are happy in having a Prince, who has conceived the design of such an institution, according to its true dignity; and who promotes the Arts, as the head of a great, a learned, a polite, and a commercial nation; and I can now congratulate you, Gentlemen, on the accomplishment of your long and ardent wishes.

The numberless and ineffectual consultations which I have had with many in this assembly, to form plans and concert schemes for an Academy, afford a sufficient proof of the impossibility of succeeding but by the influence of Majesty. But there have,

perhaps, been times, when even the influence of MAJE's Ty would have been ineffectual ; and it is pleasing to reflect, that we are thus embodied, when every circumstance seems to concur from which honour and prosperity can probably arise.

There are, at this time, a greater number of excellent artists than were ever known before at one period in this nation; there is a general desire among our Nobility to be distinguished as lovers and judges of the Arts; there is a greater superfluity of wealth among the people to reward the professors ; and, above all, we are patronized by a Monarch, who, knowing the value of science and of elegance, thinks every art worthy of his notice, that tends to soften and humanise the mind.

After so much has been done by His MAJESTY, it will be wholly our fault, if our progress is not in some degree correspondent to the wisdom and generosity of the Institution : let us shew our gratitude in our diligence, that, though our merit may not

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