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going extract, instead of quoting from the very interesting evidence of the Baron Von Klenze, then in England, and himself the architect both of the sculpture and picture galleries of Munich. But a brief description of both, extracted from that evidence, will be found in the Appendix.
Removal of the Car
With reference to the removal of the Cartoons to toons, Evid. London, a
so desirable in every respect if unattended with injury to these invaluable works, 1875-1881.
Messrs. Edward Solly, Haydon, and George Foggo, with others of the witnesses, concur in strongly recommending it, feeling well assured that if proper care be taken, no injury whatever would result, and they cite facts in support of their opinion. Mr. Seguier concurs in this view of the subject, provided glasses be placed before them. Surely the expense of this will not be found an insuperable difficulty ?
Sunday The exhibition of the Cartoons and other pictures at exhibitions.
Hampton Court on Sundays, has induced many persons to ask themselves why the National Gallery in London should not be opened on Sundays also ? and they do not appear to have yet received any satisfactory reply. But there are many reasons why such an exhibition in London, it being always understood as exclusive of the hours of divine service, would be less capable of leading indirectly, and by possibility, to any mixture of moral evil, than one so far removed from the metropolis. *
* Any one, acquainted with the road to Hampton Court and cognizant of its distance, will readily apprehend one of these reasons. In London, such an exhibition would not keep people away from their homes for many hours, besides those spent within its walls, as one at Hampton Court must necessarily do.
The question is not in what way it is most of all desirable that the Sabbath should be kept; for few will think that in a good and healthy state of society one day in seven is too much to be devoted to the cultivation of thoughts and feelings purely religious, (using that word in its strict, though not in its conventional sense.) But the question is, in what way shall that day of rest, which was instituted for the purification and elevation of the mind and soul of man, be redeemed from being, as it is, an instrument of perdition, both physical and moral, to thousands and tens of thousands of our fellow-men in this one metropolis?
It is of no avail to close our eyes to the real state of things. Sunday is, in London, an evil day, and not a good day, to multitudes. On that day their passions and their vices are less restrained than on any other. Our prisons and our hospitals tell their tale but too plainly.
Will “Sabbath bills,” expressly and exclusively for the poor, cure this tremendous evil? With unfeigned respect for the motives of many of those who frame and support them, I strongly doubt it. And many Sundays of observation, spent in London, have made my doubts still stronger.
Compulsory obedience in matters of religion is not quite so sufficient as compulsory obedience in matters of police. But some of the advocates of Sabbath bills seem to understand police better than they understand religion, and accordingly put the one in place of the other.
Will more churches and chapels cure the evil ? I have recently seen scores of those which we have already, less than half filled; and this in populous parts of the town. And unfortunately those who can be induced, with but little difficulty, to attend upon divine worship, are not those we have, at this moment, chiefly in view.
But would there be less difficulty in getting them to visit exhibitions of pictures and public gardens, such as promote the study of natural history, and the like? I think there would, and I believe that any one who will take the trouble to visit our present National Gallery or the British Museum, upon a public holiday (as Easter Monday), will come to the same conclusion, whatever his former opinion.
If this be true, here is a step towards improvement. Grant it an uncertain one: still the evil is great; the remedial measures cannot be too many. Those who are led to visit a gallery of pictures by mere curiosity may, despite themselves, receive better impressions. And from taking delight in a picture representing one of Christ's beneficent miracles, to taking delight in the hearing of his divine words, there is, perhaps, less distance than some men suspect.
Is it then too much to suggest that the experiment be tried? Possibly it may be good. The suggestion is no new one, and I repeat it with the humblest deference. A subject which leads so naturally to the remembrance of Christ is least of all one to be dogmatized upon, on either side.
Collection The propriety of making a collection of the best works of the works of
of our native artists part of our National Gallery, forins native ar- an important portion of another and larger subject tists; referred to -the encouragement by the State of the higher order chapter vi. of Art, which will be considered in its place.
Occupation Of the present occupation of part of the buildings of of part of the National Gallery, by the Royal Academy, I have as
yet taken no direct notice. All that has been said National regarding those buildings is true, irrespective of such Gallery by occupation, which may be considered accidental to the Academy. present subject. I am well aware that they have been very much mixed up together, but although yielding to no one in earnest desire to see important reforms in the Royal Academy, as I shall presently have occasion to See next show, I cannot but think every question is discussed to on Royal most advantage, when discussed upon its own proper Academy,
and effects merits. The Royal Academy occupies its portion of the gal
general, lery buildings, in consequence of its having given up to government its portion of Somerset House. It occupies the former, therefore, on the same terms as it did heretofore occupy the latter: except that the government has made a proviso that it may again remove the Royal Academy to some other building, in order to the enlargement of the National Gallery.
Now there are certain grave charges against the Royal Academy, a full and complete investigation of which is on all accounts most desirable and important. Suppose it to be proved:
“That the purposes for which the Royal Academy was established were never purposes of public utility,'-it would then be right that the academy should cease to derive any kind of support from public sources;--or suppose it to be proved:
• That the purposes for which the Royal Academy was established, although at the time of its establishment purposes of public utility, yet have now ceased to be such,' - then the same consequence would follow. But suppose it were only proved:
“That the purposes for which the Royal Academy was established, although then and now purposes of public utility, were, by its own abuses and mismanagement not
attained, or attained but imperfectly,'-what then is the consequence which follows?
Surely that the abuses of the Academy be reformed, and that it be made adequate to the attainment of its original objects, or of so many of them as are really useful to the public.
Mark then what results if the Academy were struck down, as to its partially public character, by a side attack, on the ground of enlarging the National Gallery, (the only thing we have to do with at present:)
First, that the two former questions are left wholly unsettled by any public and responsible tribunal, and that the last is not only left similarly unsettled, but if it should happen to involve the true solution of the difficulty, its natural consequences are arbitrarily prevented.
And it is noticeable besides, that the National Gallery might be greatly enlarged both to the west and to the north, without interfering with the Academy at all, were such a proceeding desirable.
But, in truth, like many who have given their best consideration to the subject, I am inclined to think it would be far better for the public interest to give the whole of the present building to such artistic institutions as should be proved to merit it, than to retain a National Gallery which can never be made properly adequate to its object.
The Academy question, I repeat, is altogether a distinct one; and I therefore deprecate any attempt to terminate its discussion without settling it.
The claim concerning free admission for the public at certain times to its exhibition, as some repayment for its free occupancy, is another distinct question, resting upon its own merite, which will also be treated of presently.
See next chapter.