was a great relief to my mind; and on inquiring further of other students, I found that those persons only who from natural imbecility appeared to be incapable of ever relishing those divine performances, made pretensions to instantaneous raptures on first beholding them.-In justice to myself, however, I must add, that though disappointed and mortified at not finding myself enraptured with the works of this great master, I did not for a moment conceive or suppose that the name of Raffaelle, and those admirable paintings in particular, owed their reputation to the ignorance and prejudice of mankind; on the contrary, my not relishing them as I was conscious I ought to have done, was one of the most humiliating circumstances that ever happened to me; I found myself in the midst of works executed upon principles with which I was unacquainted: I felt my ignorance, and stood abashed. All the indigested notions of painting which I had

brought with me from England, where the art was in the lowest state it had ever been in, (it could not indeed be lower,) were to be totally done away, and eradicated from my mind. mind. It was necessary, as it is expressed on a very solemn occasion, that I should become as a little child.-Notwithstanding my disappointment, I

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ceeded to copy some of those excellent works. I viewed them again and again; I even affected to feel their merit, and to admire them, more than I really did. In a short time a new taste and new perceptions began to dawn upon me; and I was convinced that I had originally formed a false opinion of the perfection of art, and that this great painter was well entitled to the high rank which he holds in the estimation of the world. The truth is, that if these works had really been what I expected, they would have contained beauties. superficial and alluring, but by no means such as would have entitled them to the

great reputation which they have so long and so justly obtained.

Having since that period frequently revolved this subject in my mind, I am now clearly of opinion, that a relish for the higher excellencies of art is an acquired taste, which no man ever possessed without long cultivation, and great labour and attention. On such occasions as that which I have mentioned, we are often ashamed of our apparent dulness; as if it were to be expected that our minds, like tinder, should instantly catch fire from the divine spark of Raffaelle's genius. I flatter myself that now it would be so, and that I have a just and lively perception of his great powers: but let it be always remembered, that the excellence of his style is not on the surface, but lies deep; and at the first view is seen but mistily. It is the florid style, which strikes at once, and captivates the eye for a time, without b


ever satisfying the judgement. Nor does painting in this respect differ from other arts. A just poetical taste, and the acquisition of a nice discriminative musical ear, are equally the work of time. Even the eye, however perfect in itself, is often unable to distinguish between the brilliancy of two diamonds; though the experienced jeweller will be amazed at its blindness; not considering that there was a time when he himself could not have been able to pronounce which of the two was the most perfect, and that his own power of discrimination was acquired by slow and imperceptible degrees.

"The man of true genius, instead of spending all his hours, as many artists do while they are at Rome, in measuring statues and copying pictures, soon begins to think. for himself, and endeavours to do something like what he sees.—I consider general copying (he adds) as a delusive kind of industry :

the student satisfies himself with the appearance of doing something; he falls into the dangerous habit of imitating without selecting, and of labouring without any determinate object as it requires no effort of the mind, he sleeps over his work, and those powers of invention and disposition which ought particularly to be called out and put in action, lie torpid, and lose their energy for want of exercise. How incapable of producing any thing of their own, those are, who have spent most of their time in making finished copies, is an observation well known to all who are conversant with our art."" We may be assured, therefore, that this great painter did not fall into the errour here pointed out ;did not long continue the practice of copying the great works which were at this period


" This observation occurs nearly in the same words in the first Discourse.

1 Of the few copies which he made while he was at Rome, two are now in the possession of the Earl of Inchiquin, who married his niece, Miss Palmer; St. Mi

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