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Barry himself becomes vapid and trifling, his letters respecting his own works are crowned with egotisms, and never did inordinate appetite for praise appear to such melancholy advantage as in these motley effusions of distempered vanity. Nor is our Nor is our attention greatly relieved by the sketch of his "genius and learning," with which this part of the work concludes. Barry is unfortunate in every instance, and in few more so than in the person who has undertaken to edite his works. His advocates, indeed, have generally done him more injury than his detractors. The virulence of the latter induces every good and feeling mind to sympathise with the unhappy victim; but the indiscriminate panegyrics of his friends are so extravagant, that they provoke opposition from the excess of their absurdity. It would not be difficult to select many instances of this injudicious conduct, but we shall content ourselves with the following, which will serve to justify our assertions, and prove the utter incompetence of the editor to the task which he has undertaken. To waste a single remark on it, would be to insult at once the taste and understanding of our readers. After observing that it was Barry's "principal object" to supply the deficiencies of Michael Angelo and Raphael in the "beau ideal" of their forms, the editor says,

"Is Barry the artist who has supplied this most important desideratum? has he approached the perfection of the Greek Antiques, in the beau ideal? He may go farther, and ask, has he, in no instance, improved on that supposed perfection? Any of these questions answered affirmatively, (and they cannot all be denied), will entitle him to rank as a master; by this term is meant an artist who has advanced the progress of his art by his skill and invention; who has advanced a step, and that step an important one; and, whether the writer may be accused of ignorance and presumption or not, he affirms, that neither Michael Angelo, nor Raphael, nor the eminent masters who have followed them, have produced, for truth, science, beauty, character, and expression, any figures that equal, much less excel, the angelic guard, in the picture of Elysium, the youth on horseback, and group of the Diagonides, in the Olympic Games-the three figures of Jupiter. Juno and Mercury, in the picture of Pandora; the Adam and Eve; or, for exquisite ideal beauty in the female form, his Venus, in which, if he has not rivalled the Venus de Medicis, he

has, at least, avoided what he thought a defect in the ideal beauty of that statue, the visible marks of maternity. This exquisite ideal, which, from the Greek statues, he is the first who has transferred on Canvas, was the forté of Barry, for which his scientific and poetic mind amply qualified him; for the mechanic of colouring, though what he has adopted seems always appropriate to his subjects, he is not so famous; but it cannot be said to be defective, unless the tinsel and glare of less accomplished artists should be preferred to it."

Where was this gentleman's pru➡ dence, when he consented to expose himself and his departed friend in so lamentable a manner? and in what school did he acquire his notions of art? The figures of Jupiter, Juno, &c. in the picture of Pandora, never surpassed by any production of the two greatest geniuses that ever adorned the art, and the Venus rising from the sea, which many of our readers will remember at Barry's sale in Pall Mall, actually held up as the rival of the Venus de Medicis. The colouring too, of these pictures, together, we presume, with that of the pictures in the Adelphi, cannot be said to be de fective!!! Surely this gentleman must have been educated in that part of Germany where, we have been credibly informed, the visual organs are so singularly constructed that they cannot discriminate between red and green, for on no other principle can we account for his extraordinary "ignorance and presumption;" but we will leave him to the enjoyment of his own refined taste and critical discernment.

We have dwelt the longer upon Barry's correspondence, because it conveys a just idea of his characterand to the generality of readers will prove far the most interesting part of his works. With respect to the remainder, it embraces so many subjects, so strangely and incoherently treated, that, with the exception of the "Lectures," and the "Inquiry into the Causes, &c." we shrink from the task of regular investigation. His practical remarks frequently discover strong sense and excellent feeling, but they are commonly insulated, and require sounder intellect and a more methodical hand than Barry possessed, to arrange and turn them to advantage.We proceed to his professional charac→ ter and opinions. It may appear a bold and hazardous assertion, but it,

nevertheless, strikes us, that the structure of Barry's mind was less adapted for painting than for almost any other pursuit. He appears never to have foved and followed the art for itself alone, nor to have possessed that steadiness and expansion of mind necessary for its successful cultivation, but merely to have considered it as a fit means to accomplish his ambitious


Finding that it failed to procure him the immediate honours which he had anticipated, he seems, after making one strong and enthusiastic effort, to have retreated in sullen indolence from the world; his inherent love of a profession, in which his expectations had been deceived, proved insufficient to induce a perseverance in the art, and prevented his seeking distinction by less legitimate means. Hence we find him courting attention by fulsome panegyrics on himself, and wasting his time in miserable disputes with the society, or still more miserable engravings from his own pictures.

Instead of endeavouring to rally the powers of his mind, and increase the portion of fame which he had justly acquired from the exhibition of his labours at the Adelphi, he stopped short in his course, and lived, if the expression be allowable, upon the This principal of his reputation. stock, as he made no subsequent efforts to augment it, gradually diminished, and left him, in his old age, forgotten, and almost unknown. In censuring Barry, however, as an indolent man, we are far from wishing to be understood literally; few men, probably, were ever more constantly employed, or spent less time in absolute idleness or dissipation-but there is a species of application which, from the want of a determinate object, is perhaps more inimical to advancement in art, and more destructive of excellence, than inattention, or even downright indolence. There are occasions, when the idle and dissipated, unable to stifle the sense of reflection and shame, have roused from their lethargy, and started into energy and life; but when the force of the mind is

frittered away in unconnected pursuits, the matter becomes altogether hopeless, for activity itself proves an insuperable bar to advancement. Barry appears to have been precisely in this situation; he gained a kind of half

knowledge of the parts of his art, and of various other matters, though he neither knew how to apply his desul. tory acquirements, nor bring them to bear on any definite object. This natural defect of his mind was strengthened and confirmed by his habits, and the circumstances of his situation; and, perhaps, it may be extremely doubtful whether he had ever any distinct view of that great style of art, concerning which he says so much, and in which he has executed so little.


Judging from his writings, as well as from such of his pictures as have come within the scope of our observation, we should conclude, that his mind was not sufficiently expansive to comprehend the magnificent systems upon which many of the great This masters formed their works. seems evident from the manner in which he speaks of the productions of Raphael and Michael Angelo, many "laid of which, he confesses, he aside," merely because he could not "reconcile them with the rigid Greek examples by which he would square his conduct," page 208, vol. i. deed, he seems completely to have mistaken the perfections for which he ought to have looked in the works of No figures these extraordinary men. of Michael Angelo or Raphael can probably be considered as standard forms, or, in this respect, be brought into competition with the works of antiquity; but as instruments of grandeur and sublimity, or vehicles of character and pathos, they have never been rivalled. Instead of employing himself in measuring the respective figures, and in ascertaining how far their proportions might vary from the antique standard, he would have been occupied to much greater advantage, if, following the liberal and enlarged instructions of Reynold's, he had devoted his attention to the study of the Vatican, and particularly to the Capella Sistina, and had spent his time in "considering by what principles that stupendous greatness of style is produced," page 85, vol. i.

"Endeavouring," continues Sir Joshua, "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. If you neglect

visiting the Vatican often, and particularly the Capella Sistina, you will neglect receiving that peculiar advantage which Rome can give above all other cities in the world. In other places, you will find casts from the antique, and capital pictures of the great painters, but it is there only that you can form an idea of the dignity of the art, as it is there only that you can see the works of Michael Angelo and Raphael. If you should not relish them at first, which may probably be the case, as they have none of those qualities which are captivating at first sight, never cease looking till you feel something like inspiration come over you, till you think every other painter insipid in comparison, and to be admired only for petty


It was in this light that Sir Joshua beheld these astonishing productions, and that he wished Barry to study them. Unfortunately he either neglected to avail himself of the advice, or was incapable of profiting by the example. During his stay in Italy, he appears to have been occupied chiefly in making mechanical drawings from the antique, by the help of a delineator; a mode of study which, as it neither exercises the hand nor the eye, is extremely injurious to the accuracy of both. Such a practice too, by lulling the mind to security, and flattering it with the semblance of employment, saves the trouble of thinking, and greatly tends to annihilate that energy which competition with great excellence often inspires. That Barry indeed ever felt any considerable portion of enthusiasm, is somewhat problematical; we do not remember many traces of it in his works; and whatever may have been his resolution on beholding the Stanzas of the Vatican, " of breaking a spear with Raphael, on his own ground," he certainly failed of his purpose in his picture of Pandora, and his work upon human culture at the Adelphi. As to the former, it is affronting both to the memory of the artist and to common sense, to consider it as a picture at all; it is at best a crude and unfinished production, and this circumstance alone ought to shield it from criticism. With regard to the latter, we are far from wishing to depreciate the grandeur of the plan, the excellence of many of the figures considered individually, or the intrepid and independent spirit with which it was undertaken and finally accomplished. It was assuredly a great efVOL. VIII.

fort, and the attempt alone ought to entitle the author to an eminent station in the rank of British artists; but whatever may be his merits in these and other respects, the pictures are certainly deficient in some of the qualities most essential to the perfection of the great style, particularly in composition and expression. Invention he has rarely discovered, his single figures being generally little more than imitations of the antique statues, without their correctness, and his groupes not only unconnected among themselves, but appear to have

no more intercourse with the surrounding objects than the unfortunate knights condemned to wander in the enchanted domains of Ariosto. This fault prevails throughout the whole series, but particularly in the crowning of the victors at the Olympic Games, which in other respects is the best picture; considering, however, the nature of the scene, the supposed situation of the actors, and the immense field opened for an endless variety of expression, we have seldom seen any production which partook less of enthusiasm and the fire of genius. The whole is coldly and unfeelingly arranged, and gives no idea of an assemblage of human beings. When we first looked at the picture, a chilling sensation came over us, somewhat resembling that which many of our readers may have experienced in the deathlike and uncomfortable stillness of a wax-work exhibition. With all its defects, however, and with many absurdities in the design (on which it is unnecessary to dwell) the work is certainly one of the greatest attempts that has been made in this country. No one can behold it, without perceiving, that it is the production of a mind richly fraught with the stores of antiquity, which it could occasionally call forth and employ to advantage; with respect to colouring, chiaroscuro, and what is called the management of a picture, the defects of Barry are, we believe, too obvious to escape the notice of any one, except the editor of his works. They are such as we should have supposed would be the faults of a man, apparently so insensible to the immense powers of Rubens Tintoret, and Paul Veronese, in these very important departments of the art; yet this strangely inconsistent being, had a just veneration for the


works of Titian; and to judge from his writings, appears to have entered into most of his excellencies. The following observation, upon the principles on which that artist commonly conducted the light and shadow of his pictures, strikes us as highly judi


"A general reflection which I have

made on Titian's works is, that he keeps as much as possible the light and shadow from halving his figures. He avoids putting one half of the leg or the arm in the light, and the other in the shadow, which is practised by others. Titian supposes his light, generally speaking, to be near the centre of his picture, or rather near the point of sight, by which means, the shadows are projected into the fondos, and upon the extremities of his figures. When he brings in a shadow, it occupies a large space, it covers a whole limb, from the knee down, &c. His light is one, and his shadows one, (which is an excellent rule;) and, as he always takes care to link all the shadows together, ingeniously, and as he does the same with his lights, the strongest lights are near the centre, and the strongest and broadest dark always in the extremity of his picture." Vol. 2, p. 51.

His remarks however upon Titian's mode of painting, are by no means to be always relied on; and we are inclined to believe, that the artist who should follow his instructions, would find it somewhat difficult to produce the brilliant and rich effects of that great master with such colours as umber, "black, and burnt, and unburnt ochres," that hand too, must indeed be a practised one, which, with a single dead colour and a few subsequent touches, can produce the truth, solidity, and exquisite finish, which distinguish the works of Titian above those of almost every other master. That a man of Barry's versatility and want of method should have fallen into these and other errors, ought not perhaps to excite our surprise, when we reflect, that some very able commentators on his works have, amidst a variety of sound and perspicuous observations, introduced some doc trines of a very different description, and have endeavoured to establish principles utterly subversive of the higher departments of painting. But possibly these writers may imagine, that they are doing a service to mankind, by depreciating an art which, though it has hitherto been considered as one of the greatest efforts of hu

man intellect, is, in their opinion, utterly incapable of conveying either "religious, moral, or political instruction." How far this assertion may be just, we shall not stop to inquire, yet we cannot help thinking that many a youthful Athenian has been warmed by the picture of the hero of Marathon conducting his fol lowers to glory, and has caught, at the moment, that noble spark of enthusiasm, which might subsequently prompt him to merit, by his actions, an equal portion of the praise and veneration of his countrymen. Our own times have furnished an instance applicable to the present occasion; and few Britons, we believe, can behold the late Mr West's death of Wolfe, without feeling deeply affected by the impressive lesson, and powerfully stimulated to imitate the illustrious example. The same observations may be made upon religious subjects; and however Mr Barry may have failed in his attempt, it is evident, from the suffrages of all who have visited Italy, that Michael Angelo and Raphael, by their noble productions in the Vatican, have advanced the cause both of morality and religion. Nothing indeed can be of more essential service to a feeling and reflecting mind, than those elevated thoughts and solemn musings, which the serious contemplation of such works irresistibly inspires. In their presence, time and space seem to vanish before us, and we feel ourselves transported into the society of those who greatly "fought, and spoke, and sung," till, catching a portion of that noble enthusiasm which animated them, and directed their energies, we feel the mind become enlarged, and ready to share in their trials and their sufferings, to participate in their glory and renown. These are sensations which cannot be too frequently nor too variously excited, and it is to the glory of painting, that, with the exception of poetry, she awakens them in a more intense and lively manner than perhaps any other art or science. To multiply the means of excitement, should form one grand object with every wise and enlightened government; and accordingly we find, that in the brightest periods of human history, the arts, and particularly the imitative arts, have been fostered and cultivated with peculiar care and at

tention, not because, in the strict sense of the word, their productions were merely" pleasing" to the eye, but because they recorded the achievements of warriors, statesmen, and philosophers, and perpetuated the memory of departed greatness. An art however like painting, which is addressed chiefly to the feelings and the passions, we are aware, may be perverted to the most hateful and dangerous purposes, and become, in the hands of vice, the instrument of seduction and depravity: Yet, let us not thence conclude, that it may not also be applied to the noblest and the best designs. Like every other human pursuit, it is liable to vicious application, but, for this reason precisely, were others wanting, it is peculiarly incumbent upon us not to depress it below its proper station, by stripping it of all its dignity and brightest ornaments. So long as the art shall be looked upon with admiration and respect, so long will men of liberality, intellect, and genius, feel disposed to devote themselves to its study. The instant, however, when it shall be considered as the instrument of mere sensual gratification, it will become the trifle of the hour, and its professors will be classed with those whose talents are confined to the mimicry of the stage, or the amusing efforts of the fiddler and the opera dancer.

These ideas of art and of its professors, were already too prevalent to need support from the commentators to whom we have alluded. We are aware indeed, that there is a certain description of persons in this country, to whom these doctrines may appear highly just and salutary, and it would not be difficult, (were it within the sphere of our function) to point out some among them, who not only think that want" is a necessary stimulus to improvement in the art, but also, that artists in general ought never to aspire even to the comforts and decencies of life, but should confine their ambition to the limits of their painting garret, the delights of their profession, and the ample rewards of posthumous fare. All this, we can assure our readers, however enthusiastical and delightful in theory, is not quite so agreeable when reduced to practice. It is true, indeed, that affluence may, and we believe generally

does produce, an inactivity and indolence very detrimental to the progress of genius, but absolute want and misery are yet more destructive of its advancement. Few occupations demand closer attention or require more incessant application, than the study of painting-in order to produce any thing excellent in the art, it is indispensably necessary, that the mind should be calm, and capable of devoting itself to the object exclusively which it has in contemplation; it should be in good humour with itself, and have no "rating cares" to harass and perplex it, like those which are attendant upon the victims of poverty and misfortune. Perhaps, from the very nature of his profession, a painter is peculiarly alive to the mortifications of neglect and disappointment, for in general, he is a man of strong passions and of irritable feelings, and possesses almost constitutionally, a decided taste for the elegancies of life.

"Seul il suffiroit pour faire sa propre misere, en se livrant indiscrettement aux attraits divins de l'honnête et du beau, tandis que les pesantes chaines de la nécessité attachent a l'ignominie." This taste is fostered and encouraged by the habits of his life, and by his necessarily mixing in the polished circles of the higher classes; hence, acquiring a relish for that fascinating society which, when wit and education are blended with high birth and refined manners, possesses charms for those who have once experienced it, which render every other comparatively tasteless and insipid. Unfortunately, however, the enjoyment of these refined pleasures is unavoidably attended by a correspondent draft upon the pocket of the painter, who, in order to be admitted to such society, must live like a gentleinan, or be frequently exposed to that species of reception which is not very agreeable to a man of feeling and spirit. Now, though the necessary expenses of a person, so situated, may not appear very enormous to those accustomed to live in affluence, yet, to gentlemen condemned to take up their abode in the aerial apartments we have mentioned, it becomes a very serious affair; to refuse, however, the invitations of patrons, or to decline mingling in their society, would prove the worse alternative; would, in fact,

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