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Of his works in the particular form of art which is our subject this evening, there exist, perhaps, a score. Of these, there are four examples in the royal collection at Windsor, of the highest excellence, and reproductions of these will now be shown to you in colour, and magnified to the size of life.
The first of these is Henry Brandon, the eldest son of the great Duke of Suffolk, the husband of Mary, sister of Henry VIII. This miniature was painted in 1535, on his fifth birthday, the 6th of September. He died in 1551, having succeeded his father in the dukedom. He fell a victim to the falling sickness, and must always have been of a weakly constitution, as may be noticed by the pathetic look in his eyes.
The workmanship of this painting is of the most marvellous delicacy, and the lines of the features, though the face is only half an inch wide, are of a strength and firmness equal to those in the drawings still preserved at Windsor, of which the facsimiles are known over the whole world of art.
The next slide is the portrait of his younger brother Charles, who was born in 1537, and died on the same day and of the same sickness as his brother, whom he succeeded, though he held the title only for a few hours.
This miniature was painted also on his birthday when he was three years old.
These two miniatures have been always in the Royal collection, and are well known from the facsimiles published early in the last century with the other works of Holbein in the Royal library.
Of the Lady Audley here represented little is known. The same head occurs in crayon, the flesh only slightly tinted; in the same collection of drawings the dress and ornaments in both are identical.
This portrait, also by Holbein, is of Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. She was born in 1520, and was executed at Tower-hill in 1542.
The next slide is a fine and not wellknown portrait of Queen Elizabeth, taken when first she came to the throne.
It is a most characteristic work of Nicholas Hillyard, the earliest of our native miniature painters, and the real founder of that great school of workers in this branch of art, which has flourished here without rivalry, till the advent of photography extinguished it altogether.
of the county which has given birth to so many of our great masters. His father was Richard Hillyard, of that city, and afterwards High Sheriff. Nicholas, his younger son, was born in 1537, and was originally apprenticed to a goldsmith, but he left this trade for miniature painting. At the age of thirteen he painted a miniature of himself, which was formerly in the Harleian Collection, and may be the one still preserved at Welbeck with the rest of that collection. He was appointed goldsmith, carver and limner to Queen Elizabeth, of whom many portraits by him exist in the various great collections of this country. He survived the Queen sixteen years, and till his death in 1619 had the exclusive right of making and engraving all portraits of his Majesty James I. In his treatise on the art of limning he says, "Holbein's manner of limning I have ever imitated and howld it for the best." He painted miniatures with little shadow, and gives in the same treatise the reasons for this prac. tice in a conversation which he had with Queen Elizabeth, where he explained that pictures painted with " "grosse shadows"
The picture now shown may well be the one to which he refers in this short extract from his treatise, for there is certainly no trace of a shadow in it. As might be expected of one who was a goldsmith and jeweller, the objects of jewellery are represented in his work with extraordinary care and precision.
I have included in this series one miniature by a French artist, Francis Clouet, known as Janet, because it is as interesting histori cally, as it is from its merits as a portrait. This is one of Mary Queen of Scots, taken before her widowhood. It is identified by an entry in the catalogue of the limnings in the collection of Charles I., as “Queen Mary of Scotland," and is fully described among the portraits of His Majesty's progenitors. The dimensions
Hillyard was born in Exeter, the capital city of it are given, three inches by two, It agrees
"Show very well afar off which to limning work needeth not because it is to be veewed of necessity in hand neere the eye. Heer Her Majestie conseved the reason and therefore chose her place to sit in for that purpose in the open ally of a goodly garden, where no tree was neere, nor any shadowe at all.
"This Her Majestie's curious demand hath greatly bettered my judgment, besides divers other like questions in art by Her most excellent Majestie, which to speke or writ of were fitter for some better clarke. This matter only of the light let me perfect, that no wise man longer remain in error of praysing much shadows in pictures which are to be viewed in hand."
entirely in feature with the drawings by the artist preserved in Paris, and may be accepted as an undoubted portrait of the Queen, and a standard by which the authenticity of any attributed likeness may be judged.
Following this, I now show another reputed portrait of the same unfortunate Queen. This is from a beautiful specimen of the work of Isaac Oliver, and has been engraved as Mary Queen of Scots, by Houbraken, in his series of Heads of illustrious personages. In workmanship and detail it would be almost impossible to surpass this, but there is no doubt that though the miniature was called Mary more than a century ago, it is quite wrongly so-called. It is more probable that it is the portrait of that Countess of Nottingham, of whom the legend-by no means authenticated -runs that she detained the ring given by Queen Elizabeth to the Earl of Essex, and thereby prevented the stay of his execution.
Of the painter, I now show a portrait painted by himself. This is one of the smallest miniatures I know, and it is a great triumph for this process of reproduction that all its minute details are given with such accuracy for the oval is not much more than an inch in its widest diameter. Like most artists Oliver was fond of keeping his hand in practice by painting himself, and I have lately seen another, on a larger scale, in the private collection of the Queen of Holland at the Hague.
Oliver was born about 1536. He may have been of French origin, but has always been looked upon as an Englishman. He was pupil of Nicholas Hillyard, and at first always used the same ultramarine background, which had been introduced by Holbein. Later, he relieved his heads against crimson curtains, and occasionally resorted to landscape.
Of this, there is a remarkable example in the portrait of Sir Philip Sidney, one of the most celebrated of all his works. This, formerly in the possession of Dr. Mead, was among the many objects of art which the Royal collection owes to one not generally credited with so much taste or generosity Frederick Prince of Wales.
Time does not permit me to give a full account of the life of this painter, or to enumerate even the best of his works-they are to be found by scores in the collections of this country, and they have always been esteemed abroad.
He was much patronised in his time, and painted nearly every one of note. His drawing
of Queen Elizabeth for the well-known engraving by Crispin de Pass is preserved at Windsor; but I have not reproduced it here, as it is in pen and bistre, and my principal object has been to show only works in
Henry, Prince of Wales, was a frequent sitter to Oliver, and the picture you now see is one of the finest portraits of that lamented Prince, and one much cherished by his brother Charles, who succeeded to his heritage. It is mentioned in the catalogues of his works of art, and of those of James II., and remained always in the royal collection. It mysteriously disappeared, and was discovered by the late Sir John Cowell, Master of the Household to Queen Victoria, hanging in one of the lodges in the Great Park, whence by his means it was restored to its proper place.
Isaac Oliver's son Peter followed in his father's footsteps, and was, perhaps, even more dexterous. His copies of pictures by Correggio, Titian, and Raphael, which he made for Charles I. from the originals in his gallery at Whitehall, are still preserved at Windsor. He seems to have been regularly employed as Court painter in little during the reigns of James I. and Charles I. The latter monarch he painted often as Prince of Wales and as Sovereign.
The portrait selected for exhibition this evening is one of the earliest, and it may be noticed how closely the features resemble those of his elder brother, which we have just seen. They both inherit from their mother, Anne of Denmark, the peculiarly heavy chin, which in Prince Henry is more pointed, while in Charles I. it is broader, and was so prominent that the King grew the pointed beard with which we all are familiar, to hide what became almost a deformity. This peculiar formation of the jaw may be noticed for many generations in the later Stuarts.
This characteristic feature will be readily discerned in the portrait of the King now produced. This is the work of John Hoskins, a miniaturist of great merit, though, perhaps, surpassed by Peter Oliver, and certainly by his pupil, Samuel Cooper. It has been sometimes asserted that there were two miniature painters of this name, as the letters of the signature J. H. are combined in different ways, but there is no evidence further than this in support of the theory.
Hoskins had two brothers as pupils, Alexander and Samuel Cooper-of the former, the elder brother, not many authentic works
can be identified; of the younger brother, Samuel, there fortunately exist enough to prove how much the glory of English art is due to his genius. Walpole, in continuing the paragraph from which I took the text of this discourse, says: "If his portrait of Cromwell could be so enlarged (that is by a magnifying glass) I don't know but Vandyck would appear less great by comparison." This portrait of Cromwell is now preserved in the magnificent collection of the Duke of Buccleuch, at Montagu-house. Walpole continues: "His works are too many to be enumerated; seven or eight are in Queen Caroline's closet at Kensington; one of them, a head of Monk is capital, but unfinished. Lord Oxford had a head of Archbishop Sheldon" this last is still preserved in its old filagree frame at Welbeck.
The head of Monk is now shown upon the screen. It deserves, I think, fully as much praise as that bestowed on the head of Cromwell. Most of the portraits of Monk have a coarse expression, like that of a butcher, but beneath the rugged features, Cooper has given to the head a determination and a nobility of character which make this the finest representation of the great General of the Restoration.
The skill of Cooper was confined to the head, his painting of feature and of hair cannot be surpassed; but in the hands and general pose of figure he was never at home.
Of his remarkable power in delineating the head, the present slide is an admirable example. It is the face of James, Duke of Monmouth, natural son of Charles II., and gives exactly that nameless grace which attracted all hearts to this illfated noble in his youth.
Of his father, Charles II., we have here a portrait as flattering as any of that hard featured monarch can be. It is exceedingly delicate in finish, and in this as in all other examples of Cooper's work the masterly treatment of the hair is particularly distinguishable.
Of his brother and successor James II. as Duke of York no finer portrait can be found than this. Regular as it is in feature, and at first sight attractive, it yet on examination betrays all the qualities which history tells us united in this most deservedly unpopular of kings. Arrogance, weakness, cruelty, and sensuality, are all portrayed here with a skill as masterly as is the painting of the peruke.
Of the younger sister of the king and the
Duke of York, the Princess Elizabeth, who died at Carisbrooke, Cooper has left a pathetic and beautiful picture. She died when 16, but sickness and sorrow have aged her face-the eyes are sunken in their sockets, the nostrils contracted, the lips pinched and pale, the eyelashes and brows have gone, and the figure fallen away. A look of premature old age has so settled upon her features that many will not believe that this can be the face of a young girl, but rather esteem it that of a woman of middle age.
In succession and in contrast with this, we can see the figure of one of the most famous beauties of the voluptuous court of Charles II. This is Frances, La belle Stewart," of the Grammont Memoirs, who married the Duke of Richmond. Here she is represented in a sort of page's dress, for she was not remarkably particular as to the fashion, quality, or quantity of her raiments. Her face and figure are better and more widely known and circulated than those of any other person. For over two centuries they have been seen on the reverse of the copper coinage of the realm in the figure of Britaania, for which she sat as model.
We shall close the series of the works of Cooper with one of the painter Walker, who so often painted Cromwell. This is not inferior to any of those already exhibited, nor do I know any which is its superior; and being highly finished in every part it shows, in perfection, the great power of this extraordinary man. It is dated in front 1645, and on the back also is scratched by Cooper himself, "Feb. 1644, old stile." This scratching is on the peculiar enamel-like surface, which Cooper used as a ground for his work. Up to this date and till the close of the century, all miniatures were painted in body colour or gouache. It was not till after 1700 that ivory was used. The earliest specimen of its use with which I am acquainted is a portrait of herself by Rosalba Carriera, the well-known pastellist. This she painted in 1704, and greatly excited the admiration of Carlo Maratta, the President of the Academy of St. Luke, at Rome, to which body she was in consequence admitted. This miniature is painted in gouache, except in the face and arms, which are painted in transparent tints to show the texture of the ivoryit remained unknown in a cupboard in Rome, and was only described and photographed within the last few years. A replica of the miniature had long remained unidentified in the Cabinet at Windsor, ever since it came
into the possession of George III. by the purchase of the collection of Consul Smith, of Venice, who was a great friend of the artist.
No account of miniature painting in this country would be complete without a reference to the greatest master of the art in modern times, Richard Cosway. He was a Devonian and was born in 1740. To illustrate the qualities of his work I have had these slides prepared, by which you will be able to see how thoroughly his work deserves the great reputation in which it has always been held.
The first is a small but very delicately finished head of George IV. as Prince Regent. Here, as in all good portraiture from the time of the Greek head artists till now, the treatment of the hair is a sure test of the power of the artist and Cosway is no exception to this rule. He never relied on force or strong contrast of colour, but entirely on the delicate precision of his drawing, which enabled him to seize the features, and to exhibit the character of his sitters. Genuine examples of his work are, as you know, of great value, but he had many pupils, and followers without number, whose works are pretentiously put forward under his name, and with many seriously damage the proper estimate of his place in art. Most of the members of the Royal Family were painted by him, and you may see in this slide how thoroughly he was a master in the art of painting female beauty. This is the Princess Mary, daughter of George III., who married her first cousin, William, second Duke of Gloucester, and who left her well-known house in Piccadilly to the late Duke of Cambridge. Princess Sophia, her sister, died unmarried in 1848.
Ozias Humphry, also of Devon, was born in 1742. He painted a miniature of Maria, Duchess of Gloucester, in 1769, when she was just thirty years old.
I must ask your kind indulgence for this very imperfect survey of a great subject. It has been in a large measure an experiment, and I regret that the difficulties of reproduction have caused me to omit half a dozen of the slides which had been prepared. The process of reproduction is one that demands the greatest skill and accuracy, and in some cases there has been slight failure. I would not exhibit any but specimens of the highest class, as my object has been to vindicate for miniature painting a larger appreciation and a higher estimate of the place which may be claimed for the masters of the art. Nor would I encumber this paper by biographical or his
torical detail as I wished the miniatures to speak for themselves.
Till now, no means existed by which this result could be obtained. Made, as Hillyard says, to be viewed in the hand, they could never be placed in comparison with the portraits by the great masters which look down upon us from the walls of national galleries or of the ancestral halls where they themselves worked when they lived; but I hope the time will come when by permanent facsimiles in colour, such as you have seen this evening, they will be admitted to take that place which only their size has debarred them from obtaining already.
Mr. HUMPHREY WARD said that their thanks were due to Mr. Holmes, for having made such admirable use of the magnificent treasure-house of which he was custodian. In every way the paper had been instructive; it had been a lesson in history; it had been a lesson in art; and last, but not least, it had been a lesson in practical science. All sorts of historical considerations must have passed through the minds of the listeners as they contemplated the pathetic features of that unfortunate young man, Henry Prince of Wales, whose early death was perhaps the most important single event that ever occurred in the history of England. If he had lived there might have been no Civil War, and the whole course of our history might have been changed. However, perhaps those were not the primary reflections that should be suggested by a paper on art. One reflection was how admirable were the works of those miniaturists; and he wondered, as he looked at them, whether their perfection, as compared with the work—he would not say of to-day, because he thought the work of to-day was very greatly improving-but the work of yesterday, was not due to the absence of photographic assistance. He was afraid that at the present time a good many miniature painters, instead of making that precise, exact, and penetrating study of the face of their sitter that they saw in Holbein and Cooper, depended far too much on the camera. The camera itself had given them a most admirable lesson that night. If it could speak, he thought it would say, 'Leave me alone until after you have finished your miniature, and then I will do everything for you." Thanks to the process in which Sir William Abney and his friends had had so great a share, that wonderful three-colour process, they were able to see miniatures like other pictures translated, and by the aid of the lantern magnified in a way that their fathers, thirty years ago, may have dreamed of, but certainly could not have foreseen. It was now an accomplished fact, and showed what photography could really do to help the
miniature painter; but they must let the photographic work come after and not before.
Mr. HOWARD INCE said that there was one hint which the early miniature painters gave us, and that was the position of the head on the discs in relation to the top of the oval. That might be seen by reference to the portrait of the Duke of Monmouth. In that case the head practically touched the top of the oval. In later instances, and as one got down to modern photography, it would be noticed that the frame got larger and larger, and this happened to the great loss of decorative art.
The CHAIRMAN said that he thought they were greatly indebted to Mr. Holmes for having brought forward this beautiful series of pictures. It was quite impossible for him (the Chairman) to criticise the paper from an artistic point of view. He might be able to criticise it perhaps from the scientific point of view which, in this instance, would be the photographic. The beautiful pictures which had been exhibited had been produced by Mr. Sanger Shepherd's process. Anyone who was acquainted with the work that Mr. Sanger Shepherd had done must know the amount of labour which it cost him to bring the process to such perfection as he had brought it up to the present time. His was not a ruleof-thumb photography. It could not be done by pressing a button and then leaving somebody else to do the rest. It must be a work of extreme accuracy of measurement, and of thought and artistic care. All these points Mr. Sanger Shepherd had devoted to the process, and consequently he had been able to bring a knowledge of the necessities of the case to bear on the reproduction of the miniatures under the supervision of Mr. Holmes, who was a critic of the first order. They might congratulate themselves that the reproduction of miniatures, at all events by three-coloured photography, was an accomplished fact. The gradations which Mr. Holmes had shown on the screen were gradations which were vouched for as true by Mr. Holmes himself. Mr. Holmes had justly valued the reproductions which had been shown, and he had wisely withheld those reproductions which did not satisfy his fastidious eye. If only other people who produced three-coloured photographs would be equally fastidious, and not allow such abominations to appear as were occasionally seen as productions of the threecoloured photography, the three-colour process would not have the bad name which it had at the present time. He would ask the meeting to pass a very hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Holmes for his interesting paper, not only on account of its historical value and its art value, but also for its scientific value.
Mr. HOLMES thanked the meeting for their appreciation. The present paper was entirely an experiment. Some of the slides, which he had shown, he had not seen until that afternoon. What
the Chairman had said about the care and trouble which had been bestowed by Mr. Sanger Shepherd upon the pictures was well deserved. The process was, he would not say in its infancy, for it was full grown, but was one which would doubtless develop. He had never seen anything finer than some of the details of the pictures and the way in which the various subtle tones of the miniatures had been reproduced. He did not think that they could have been treated in a better way than they had been. He might state that all of the pictures exhibited were photographed from miniatures which were under his charge in the Royal Library at Windsor. If he was allowed the privilege of addressing the Society on a future occasion he might be able to reproduce some of the fine work which existed in other collections.
In reply to questions from the audience,
Mr. HOLMES said that the carnations and carmines had a tendency to fade. Miniatures were generally kept in the dark as they could not stand much light. Strong sunlight would destroy the carnation colours immediately. Ultramarine would stand even fire. Carmine had a tendency to turn yellow. All the early miniatures were painted with what was called body colour on card. No portrait was painted on ivory until after the year 1700. The first ivory portrait that he knew with a date was about 1704. At that time the ivory was only shown in the flesh tints. The background and all the dresses were still painted in thick body colour.
THE MINERAL WEALTH OF PERU. In Peru, the main production of silver and copper is obtained at Cerro de Pasco. For several centuries this famous mineral centre overflowed the world with its silver, although the working of the mines was merely superficial, and the system of amalgamation entirely deficient. The depth of the mines very seldom exceeds 150 feet. It is only in recent times that the existence of copper in enormous quantities was discovered at Cerro de Pasco, which has become one of the largest deposits of copper in the world. In the case of gold it is rather difficult to estimate the annual production, as the mine owners do not issue any complete statistics. The mercury or quicksilver of Huancavelica will, it is stated in a recent report by the United States Vice-Consul at Callao, become, in in the near future, a rival of the famous mines of Almaden in Spain, and of New Almaden in California. The exploitation of iron is at present of no great importance in Peru. A considerable quantity of this metal is found at Tambogrande (Piura); also