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cordiality and friendly feeling that should exist amongst gentlemen. No tinkering will make the arrangement better. To add to the number of associates will only increase the evil, and render each associate more discontented, his chances being rendered so much the less by the increase.'
But the most objectionable feature in the arrangement consists in the conditions prescribed for candidature to associateship; more especially the regulation by which candidates are required not to be 'members of any other society of artists established in London.' The object of this provision cannot be doubted. It was to establish a wide neutral waste around the Academy, and to create a large expectant body of artists who, in view of academic honours, should abstain from joining any other institutions which might come in rivalry with it. Sir Charles Eastlake-in a memorandum for a proposed alteration of the laws relating to associates, presented to the Academy in 1860, but which he did not persevere with-states as much, in connexion with the significant fact that the Academy at its commencement had for a time a rival in the Associated Artists,' who had been previously embodied by a charter; and it was therefore important to include within the new institution as many adherents as possible, and this regulation which was adopted professedly against the Associated Artists' in 1769 has operated ever since to the discouragement of the Society of British Artists, the Institute of Fine Arts, the Water-Colour Societies, and other independent bodies of artists which from time to time have been formed to supply a requirement which the Academy did not fully and satisfactorily meet.' So fully aware of all this, indeed, is the worthy President that, when questioned upon the subject, he does not hesitate to resort to a little diplomatic evasion to avoid an obvious embarrassment, stating, when his attention was directed to the first page of the Catalogue, where the obnoxious rule was printed at length, 'I find that the regulation
remains, but I know that it has not been acted upon for many years;' and further, in answer to another question, 'At this moment I can only explain the circumstance by supposing that it was an oversight.' We can only reconcile this extraordinary statement with known facts in the history of many living artists by supposing that Sir Charles Eastlake considered that the rule had not been acted upon,' inasmuch as it had never been employed to veto the candidature of any artist being a member of another society. But this would be fairly attributable to the circumstance that artists, warned by the tenor of the rule, so prominently and repeatedly asserted, had never presented themselves under circumstances challenging its application. The question really is, and that was not put as it ought to have been put to the witness, 'Has the rule ever been relaxed in favour of any wouldbe candidate being at the time a member of another Society ofArtists?' Was it waived in the cases of Mr. Stanfield, of Mr. Roberts, of Mr. Frank Stone, or of Mr. Lewis, who have been annexed' from other societies, or in those of Mr. Harding, or Mr. Absolom, or Mr. Mark Anthony, whose names occur to us amongst recent unsuccessful candidates? The cases of Sir Charles Barry and Mr. Hardwick, who were elected to the Academy whilst they were members of the Royal Institute of British Architects, are not to the point, architecture being an art held in little account at the Academy; and may be looked upon as an exception, proving the rule, to all purposes, when its operation is considered essential. And it does operate effectually, spite of all that may be suggested to the contrary, not only in the cases of the twenty associates, but of some fifty or sixty candidates for associateship, to say nothing of the still larger number of intending candidates who look on from afar, awaiting the first condescending nod or encouraging hint from the powers that be' to put themselves in nomination. Yet, with exquisite mockery, the Academy authorities hint that this
rule, if not absolutely established out of deference to the interests of rival societies, operates as a 'protection' to them, by interposing some formalities before the Academy can'take away their best men.'
Nor does the injustice of the affair end here. By the regulations of the annual exhibitions the unsuccessful candidate for academic honours is denied even an appeal on anything like equal terms to public opinion. It is the privilege' of the members of the Academy to send in eight works each, large or small, which are to be hung, irrespective of their merits, in the best places; and although this right is not availed of to the full extent by all, it is generally so, as Mr. Millais tells us, and we all are painfully aware of, by the portrait painters. The effect of this crowding in of the favoured few is, that when they are comfortably placed, there remains very little available space on the walls for the 'outsiders, and this in awkward patches of various shapes and sizes, which have often to be fitted according to the dimensions rather than the intrinsic merit of the performances. Throughout the whole of this scramble-from the fashionable R.A. portrait painter, with his eight huge cartoons of over-dressed inanity, down to the humblest daubers of cottage-interiors or flowerpieces-the grossest intrigue and favouritism, combined with the most reckless disregard of the artistic value of the resulting show, prevail; at least, the hangers of the Academy have suffered from imputations of this kind from the earliest times, down even to the date of the very last exhibition (which, by the way, was considered a more than usually flagrant example), without any attempt on the part of themselves or the Academy generally, to justify their proceedings before the public. Wilkie, who had always a spice of humour about him, used to treat the matter as a capital joke, saying, in reference to the duties of the hangers: 'First, take care of yourselves; next, of your friends; and then of the poor devils who have no friends.' Mr. Frith, who was one
of the functionaries in this unenviable service last season, gives before the Commissioners a practical account of the manner of proceeding. He tells us that 'the arranging committee' consider themselves bound to provide for every work of every member, and to hang them in good places, 'irrespective of any notion we may have of the relative talent displayed in the pictures. We have nothing to do with that,' he says; we must place them, good, bad, or indifferent.'
respect to the general lot of pictures sent in, the Council first settle which are to be accepted, which are doubtful pictures, and which are to be rejected.' But so cramped are 'the arranging committee' for space, after the claims of the members have been satisfied, that they have not room to hang all the accepted pictures, and are compelled to resort indiscriminately to the doubtful and even the rejected pictures. In this predicament, which appears to be of usual occurrence, Mr. Frith says: 'We are free to choose from the doubtful ones, and we even put crossed pictures (I mean those rejected) in places so high that they cannot be properly seen-places not good enough for doubtful pictures.' The importance to an 'outsider' of obtaining in this unseemly struggle an occasional good place for his picture, as not only improving his position in the eyes of the public, but also as indicating his prospect of election to associateship, is keenly appreciated by those who submit themselves to this ordeal, as well as by every one who has at all watched these matters; the Academy thus absolutely controlling the evidence upon which public opinion is formed, and upon which they are supposed to act in making their selection to honours. Mr. Roberts in his evidence states in the case of Mr. Harding, that he must have seen from the way in which his pictures were hung that he had no chance; and Mr. Dafforne, in his memoir of Mr. Absolom inserted in the Art Journal, suggests the same in a less positive manner in that gentleman's case, observing that he (Mr. Absolom) having withdrawn
from the New Water-Colour Society in order to exhibit at the Royal Academy, eventually, after some years' experience, returned to his former colleagues, 'the places given to his pictures at the Academy during the two or three seasons he exhibited there, not being calculated to make him very desirous to appear on the walls of that institution.'
These facts suggest, as we apprehend, ample grounds upon which to condemn the arrangement by which the award of Academic honours, and the exhibition of the works of the practitioners aspiring to them should be vested in the same hands. For the evil is one of principle, and not of degree. No restriction of members' privileges from eight to four works; no extension of exhibition space; no increase in the number of academicians and associates; no participation in the management of affairs by the latter; no infusion amongst the academic body of a 'lay' or amateur element -all which things are recommended by the Commission-will be of any avail to cure a vice which is inherent in the system. Any and all these expedients could only extend the ramifications of an abuse already too potent and too widely operative; render reform hopeless, and justify the dogma pronounced by Lord Elcho, that any attempt to establish 'free trade' in art would be 'a Quixotic' absurdity.
Considered as an educational institution, the Academy, in the opinion of the Commissioners, falls very short of what it ought to be; at least 'the system of teaching hitherto followed in the schools cannot be considered as having been in all respects satisfactory.' This may be owing, it is suggested, partly to the existence of evils which at first sight might not be anticipated or surmised,' and partly to the fact that the original framework or constitution of the Academy has proved inadequate to the largely increased number of artists and the growing requirements of art'-the latter, in our opinion, being the more important consideration of the two, and apparently an insuperable one under the present conditions of the Aca
demy. The late Mr. Howard, who was Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy, in his evidence before the Committee of 1835, described how 'in this manner are young artists admitted to a course of gratuitous instruction which is to render them rivals to those who have fostered them, and perhaps ultimately to deprive their teachers of the patronage of the public and their means of subsistence.'
It strikes us that this is not exactly the character of the relationship nor the sort of feeling which ought to subsist between the teacher and the pupil in a national school of art, much less would it be worthy of the nation to accept gratuitous service attended by such professional sacrifices, when by the vote of a few thousands it might provide a wellappointed school, with adequately remunerated professors, who would take an interest in their labours, and consider themselves responsible for the efficacious performance of their duties. Sir Charles Eastlake and Sir E. Landseer admit that there is 'not much teaching, in the ordinary sense of the word, in the Academy.' Indeed the system extends little farther than to the providing of materials, models-life and sculptured, dressed and undressed-from which to copy; with the addition of a certain number of visitors,' elected from amongst the academicians, who drop in for a couple of hours at a time to look over the performances of the students and make any suggestion that may occur to them; and four professors, whose duties are confined to the delivery of half-adozen lectures each in the course of the session. Some of the Academic party consider this laissez aller system the best that could be devised for the purpose of developing our art talent. Mr. Millais, for instance, declares it to be satisfactory ---sufficiently so, at any rate, to give a man who has ability every opportunity of succeeding;' adding, in reply to another question, it appears to me that the advantage of a teacher is very small: the students gain more from one another.' (Is there not some covert sarcasm in this?) On the other hand, Mr. Westmacott
is in favour of the appointment of a general director and competent teachers; Messrs. Layard, Lindsay, and Ruskin argue the necessity for a more systematic teaching in the technicality of art; and a still more general assent appears to be given to the desirableness of extending to the would-be artist the advantages of a sound general education, and, indeed, of making this a test for admission to the schools of the Academy. Mr. Harding,* who had had much experience in teaching, was decidedly in favour of this suggestion, having observed that 'persons who have gone through a general education, and have been highly educated, are, as art-students, more apt and more likely to make good artists than persons who have not received such education,' and that 'out of an uneducated mind ideas can hardly come.'
Apart, however, from all speculations upon the proper mode of teaching, which, under the present circumstances of the case, we consider to be quite premature, we cannot help remarking upon the very limited extent to which the advantages of the meagre modicum of educational appliances provided by the Academy are thrown open to the public, and the proportionately inconsiderable amount of pecuniary outlay bestowed upon it. In the ninety-four years ending 1862, since the foundation of the Academy, the gross amount of money expended upon the schools has been £142,716, being at the average rate of a little more than £1500 per annum; and the number of students admitted during the same period has been 2825, being at the average rate of about 30 every year. It appears, however, that whilst the cost of the schools during the latter half of this period have shown a considerable increase over that of the earlier half, and over the average, the number of students admitted has not increased in the same ratio, being 350 in the course of the last ten years, or 35 yearly.
Whilst, however, the educational proceedings of the Academy have been almost unprogressive, the op
portunities presented by a continually increasing revenue (amounting now to upwards of £15,000 a year), have not been altogether overlooked. They have been taken advantage of to provide pensions for Royal Academicians, and associates and their widows, upon a regularly defined scale, which has exhausted £30,695 in the last sixty years, besides donations to artists, members of the Academy, and others, to the extent of £34,485, since the first formation of the Academy, being a gross sum of some £75,000 bestowed in charity, or in support of decrepid art, as against £140,000 expended in the nurture and promotion of young and rising art. The engrossing of so large an amount of the funds of the Academy for their own purposes by its members, or in the relief of a selected few recipients, is wholly contrary to the spirit and letter of the original instrument,' which provided that of the profits arising from the exhibition £200 should be given to indigent artists or their families,' irrespective of their being or not being members of the Academy; and the remainder employed in the support of the institution.' Now we are not so wedded to utilitarian doctrines as to disbelieve in the possibility of ‘eminent' talent falling into the position of occasionally requiring pecuniary aid; but we do not think that the relief of such exceptional cases ought properly to engross so large a proportion of the funds of an institution intended for the promotion and encouragement of art.
But it is not only in their charities that the Royal Academy has been so splendid; the honorary staff of officers of the establishment have reciprocated and enjoyed pecuniary acknowledgments to a still greater extent. Sir E. Landseer, brother of the keeper of the Academy, says that 'the salaries received by the officers are most contemptible.' We can quite believe that they were intended to be so on the original foundation of the institution, in which all the members took so direct and lively an interest, these emoluments
*This gentleman, we regret to hear, is since deceased.
being, with the exception of the case of the keeper, looked upon merely as a nominal fee, or honorarium, to pay for coach-hire and absolute loss of time. Accordingly we find that in the original instrument' the keeper's salary was fixed at £100 a year, with convenient apartments allotted to him in the Royal Academy; the secretary's, £60 a year; the treasurer's, £60 a year; the four professors, each £30 a year; the porter, £25 a year; and the sweeper, £10 a year-making a total establishment charge of £365 a year. All these salaries, however, have since been increased -the secretary's to £400, the keeper's to £200, the treasurer's to £100, the professors' to £60 each, the porters', increased to three in number, £60 each; besides which there have been new salaried officers
established the president £300, a registrar (whose duties are jointly within the departments of the secretary and the treasurer) £200, a librarian (whose duties are part of those originally prescribed for the keeper) £120, and a housekeeper £100 a year-making a total for establishment charges of £2240 a year, being an increase at the rate of upwards of six hundred per cent. Besides this, the fee to visitors has been increased from 10s. 6d. to a guinea for each attendance, and two guineas in the case of the visitor of the school of painting, and the allowance for council meetings from £2 58. to £4 10s., to be divided amongst those attending.
For the most part, we have no desire to scrutinize these items with undue particularity: they shall be left to speak for themselves; and they prove at least that whilst the income of the Academy has shown great elasticity, the capacity of the officials to appropriate it has increased proportionately. One salary, however that of the Presidentcalls for a word of remark. Under the first three Presidents-Reynolds, West, and Lawrence-the office was strictly honorary, and conferred upon one of the leading, and therefore, supposed to be best-paid members of the profession, who considered the post an eminence of
distinction, in itself its own reward, and would have spurned the idea of receiving a paltry dole in the shape of a salary. The first idea of subsidizing their chief occurred to the academicians in 1845, in the case of poor Shee, who, being an artist of very moderate ability, and having devoted his best years to fighting the battle of Academic monopoly against Parliamentary inquiry (one of his colleagues pertinently remarked of him that he ought to have been a lawyer, and not a painter'), found himself towards the close of 'a career in art more honourable than profitable,' in considerable pecuniary straits. It was under these circumstances that, he having already had conferred on him an annuity of £200 from the crown, the Royal Academy, anticipating a fund in expectancy, derivable under the will of Sir Francis Chantrey, voted him a farther annual stipend of £300, and the precedent thus set was acted upon in favour of his successor, Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, who in addition has for many years drawn a salary of £700 as Secretary of the Royal Commission on the Fine Arts and another of £1000 a year, as Director of the National Gallery-total £2000 a year-showing in the most gratifying manner how a President of the Royal Academy may be placed in the enjoyment of a handsome income without the slightest occasion for the exercise of his talents as an artist. In truth, the office is one which of late years has been viewed as requiring rather social qualifications than artistic gifts, a decent. presence, a courtly habit, a certain amount of literary acquirement, to be displayed in the shape of correspondence, &c., advantages not ordinarily falling to the lot of the artist profession. Leslie relates that when Sir Thomas Lawrence died Newton said, 'Either Philips or Shee must be the new President: they are the only academicians that wear hairpowder!' The idea is suggestive.
The Commissioners report that they consider the President's salary 'wholly inadequate remuneration for the duties he is expected to perform,' though what these duties are