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that they are preparing for publication a series of manuals of what may be termed Christian Archæology intended to guide research, and to settle terminology.
The committee are further engaged in the preparation of statistical and monographical model accounts of some of the most important edifices, on a plan to which future accounts of a similar nature may be made to conform. For the former--the statistical—the arrondissement of Rheims and the city of Paris. have been selected; for the latter, the Romanesque Cathedral of Noyon (Oise) and the splendid Cathedral of Chartres (of the twelfth and fourteenth centuries). The statistical account of Rheims is in the hands of MM. Durand (for the drawings), C. Paris (for the historical account), and Didron, secretary to the committee (for the description); that in Paris is intrusted chiefly to the distinguished architect and antiquary, M. Albert Lenoir.* Both these works are in a state of considerable forwardness. The description of Noyon Cathedral is in preparation by M. Vitet, the former inspector of monuments, and the drawings are nearly completed by M. Ramée. The historical account of Chartres is undertaken by the Minister himself, its archæological description by M. Didron; the architectural drawings (which are on an immense scale) are executing by M. Lassus, and those of the statuary by M. Amaury Duval.
* The son of M. Alexandre Lenoir, the enthusiastic and laborious conservator of that Musée des Monumens Français, which was the means of saving so many of the finest antiquities of the middle ages from utter destruction during the revolution of 1789. The dispersion of that Museum, which contained the finest sculptures of seven successive centuries, and, more recently, of that remnant of it which (with many additions), formed M. Lenoir's private gallery, must ever be regretted by the lover of art and antiquity. M. Lenoir bas however the consolation of leaving a worthy successor to continue his exemplary career, with, it is to be hoped, a happier fortune.
In addition to these spirited proceedings, the expenses of which are of course defrayed by legislative grants, two admirable courses of lectures on Christian Archæology have been delivered at the Bibliothèque du Roi, by MM. Albert Lenoir and Didron,* which have aided greatly in arousing the public attention to this interesting subject. And these are to be periodically continued.
It is not undeserving of notice that the commission found the French schoolmasters and school-inspectors the most efficient organs of information; and that their labours have been zealously promoted by the most distinguished of the French clergy. The Comité Historique mentions in its report, that the Abbé Fournier, rector of Saint Nicholas at Nantes, a corresponding member of its body, is about to erect an entire church in the noble style of the thirteenth century, at a cost of two millions of francs.
I conclude this long, but not, I trust, uninteresting digression, by adding that the comunittee-after lamenting that, despite the best-directed attempts at preservation, many monuments are daily falling into partial ruin, and that a vast number of monumental fragments exist which it is desirable to collect and preserve,-announce that the minister of the interior has given up the ancient abbey of Saint Martin des Champs at Paris, for the purpose of forming in it a National Museum of objects of that nature.
I proceed to offer some remarks and suggestions 2. Improve
• M. Lenoir's course was on Christian Architecture ; M. Didron's on Christian Painting and Sculpture; they were attended by overflowing auditories, and excited great enthusiasm. When shall we see chairs of Christian Arcbæology in our own Universities ?
ments of respecting the condition and management of our existing collections. was
s Gallery and Museum ; (for here we must resort to the
singular number.) And first of the
NATIONAL GALLERY OF PICTURES.
To attempt any detailed view of the deficiencies of this collection, in point of its extent, would be at present a superfluous, if not an useless task. It is admitted on all hands to be merely the nucleus of the collection, which will one day, it is hoped, do honour to our country. While our present National Gallery, possesses* several capital pictures of the Lombard, Venetian, and Flemish schools, with admirable specimens of Murillo, of the Caracci, of Claude, and of the Poussins, it has not a single work by the greatest masterst of either
• The Gallery was commenced in 1823, hy the acquisition of Mr. Angerstein's collection for £57,000. It contains 35 pictures, including the noble one, the Lazarus of Seb. del Piombo. In July, 1836, the total number of pictures, good, indifferent, and bad, was 126. The celebrated gallery at Berlin was commenced about the same time, and few bave been formed with more careful selection. Its number in July, 1836, was between 700 and 800. In July, 1838, the pictures in our National Gallery bad increased to 163. An enumeration of them, according to schools, will be found in the Appendix. In addition to the Angerstein pictures, there are 34, the bequest of the Rev. Holwell Carr; 18, that of Sir George Beaumont; 16, that of Lord Farnborough ; 5 presented by the British Institution (including the magnificent Parmegiano), and 6, by the late King William. Of miscellaneous bequests and donations, there are 36 (including 17 by Lieut.-Col. Ollney),—in all, 115 by gift; the number purchased is 13, (including 2 from Lord Londonderry, and 1 from Mr. Byng,) wbich, with the Angerstein, make 48 by purchase; together 163.
The number of pictures in the Munich Gallery appears to be about 1600, selected from between 6 and 7,000, contained in the different Royal Palaces, &c. I mention this on the authority of Mr. Edward Solly.
† I have ventured to assume that it is now quite certain that No. 18, (The Christ reasoning') is no Lionardo, but in all probability by B. Luini;
the Florentine or the Roman schools, the sources whence proceeded the highest excellence ever yet attained in design, in composition, and in expression. Yet these are precisely the qualities most important to be studied in England, in order to counteract the prevalent faults and deficiences of the English school.
kins on its extent. Arts' Evid. 1836,
Without then, as I have said, attempting to pursue Mr. Wilthis question of deficiency as to extent, it is worth while to quote a passage from the evidence of Mr. Wilkins, as to the number of really important pictures in the collection, which puts the matter in a very striking light.-“If ten pictures, he says (No. 1434), “were in a room not accessible to the public, [say for the purpose of copying,] little would be left in the highest department open to the inspection of visitors.” And this statement was sufficiently liberal to continue true notwithstanding some subsequent accessions.
It must indeed be acknowledged that there has been i. Want of altogether a great want of system in the management of to inc this important institution. Some of its best accessions
that Michael Angelo's Dream (No. 8) is not by Michael Angelo, though after his design; and that the portrait of Julius II. is not from the band of Raffaelle, although an admirable copy. Dr. Waagen, whose opinion deserves great respect, is, I believe, inclined to attribute the latter picture to Angelo Bronzino. There are several other pictures whose originality is more than doubtful. With respect to the Christ in the Garden of Corregio, Mr. Seguier acknowledged it to be a copy, (Evidence before Arts' Committee, II. 1502,) but its name is still retained in the catalogue (1838). The Holy Family (perhaps by Poligo ?)attributed to Andrea del Sarto, “the faultless,” is full of faults, and has been emphatically called an "abortion," it too retains its old designation. Respecting Claude's Mill there is greater difference of opinion. The evidence of Messrs. Woodburn, Stanley, and Edward Solly on these subjects, together with that of Mr. Seguier, may be consulted with advantage, as well as Dr. Waagen's book and the clever and companionable Descriptive Catalogue of Mr. John Landseer, published in 1834.
might fairly be ascribed to accident, yet but little care seems to be taken to give it the benefit of such favorable, and often fortuitous opportunities of increase as of late have not infrequently occurred, and no sort of plan for its enlargement appears ever to have been considered.
The precise responsibility of the officers of the gallery appears also to be very uncertain.
i. Wunt of The utter want of all arrangement, which distinguishes arents as to this from all the other national collections in Europe, is school and a fault the mischief of which can scarcely be exaggerated. period.
It is obstructive in a very great degree of that benefit which the gallery, even in its present narrow extent, is
calculated to afford to artists and to the public. ii. Want of These and the capital mistake of providing for its any ap
to reception the half of a building, of which the whole adequate neither affords a room large enough for the exhibition accommo
of the National Cartoons of Raffaelle or the Whitehall New Gallery.
paintings of Rubens, nor is yet extensive enough to contain (so has to be seen) even a collection tolerable for a country like Great Britain, may be considered as the principal defects of our National Gallery of pictures, as at present constituted. And they are grave enough to
require clear and indisputable proof. Evidence
Fortunately these were among the subjects of enquiry in proof.
before Mr. Ewart's Committee of 1836, and the requisite proof may be obtained from the unexceptionable evidence of Mr. Seguier, chief keeper of the gallery, of Mr. Wilkins, architect of the new building, and of Messrs. Edward Solly and Samuel Woodburn, both known throughout Europe, for their acquaintance with
pictures : Uncertain To the question, “To whom are you responsible ?" Mr. Seguier responsibi- replies,—“To the treasury, I should conceive, or rather perhaps I lity, and
should say to the trustees. Who are the trustees?-Lords Grey, plan : Mr. Aberdeen, Goderich, and Farnborough ; Sir J. Graham ; Messrs.