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must care for something more than the means of erely taining, and pampering, and adorning mere anima if every man be bound to minister to the cra intellect as well as to the craving appetite,-to cultivate his moral being as well as his physical being; and if in that moral being there exist a capacity of receiving cultivation by the perception of beauty in form and in colour,--if that craving intellect feel a void which can only be filled by such perceived beauty; then it is a matter of deep and solemn obligation to seek to discover under what forms and by what modes of exertion we may realize all that excellence in the production of Art which it may be permitted us, as a nation, to attain; and all that generally diffused capacity of obtaining enjoyment from those productions, which may be compatible with the diversified duties and employments of human life. And hence it is surely to be in ferred, that the original cultivation of the feeling for Art, should, to use Bacon's fine comparison, belong to that part of the tree of education—the trunk-only above which the branches begin to shoot off in their various directions.
Should this be realized, it may be that the prophecy of an enthusiastic and excellent Frenchman will have its fulfilment. “There have been," said he, “four ages which men have agreed to honour before all others, on account of the high excellence to which the Fine Arts have been carried in them ;-those of Periclesof Augustus --of the Medicis — and of Louis XIV. One other epochal age has yet to appear-that which, uniting all the discoveries of the ages which have preceded it; thoroughly impregnated with their knowledge; rich in their acquisitions; strong, even in acquaintance with their errors and their faults, shall assure to the Arts an indestructible domination, and defy all the Vandalism to come.”
('Losf this proceed to what has appeared to me the second Second
point proved laint, clearly proved by the Report of the Committee, by the Comamely: that our own Government has not hitherto mittee-tbat
the English done what it might to promote the progress of the Arts Governin this country.
not hitherto I think this proved quite irrespective of the limits, be promoted
the progress they more or less wide, beyond which the useful : interposition of Government may become injurious Arts. interference.
For in matters wherein the obligation of the Government is beyond all question, and to which no power short of that is adequate, we are clearly wanting, even if we still content ourselves with the humble standard of what has been done and is doing elsewhere.
In support of this assertion, I shall again select, although but very briefly, from the mass of evidence before me:
T. C. Hofland, Esq., Secretary of the Society of British Artists :
“I think the inaccessible character of most of our Exhibitions, both Evid. on public and private, has greatly retarded the cultivation of art .... Arts, 1816, Abroad, every great country, except England, has had a National Gallery open to its public; and at an early period of life, the public become acquainted with fine works of art, and, to a certain degree at least, these galleries create a love of Art among the people, and they respect the Art, and look up to the artists...... In France an Artist is looked upon in a very different point of view to what he is in this country. In France he is infinitely more respected; he is patronized by the State, and he feels bis weight and consequence . . . . . and the diffusion of the love of Art is very much the same thing as the elevation of Art.”
The Reverend Josiah Forshall, Secretary to the British Museum, &c. “In France the savans may possibly have some little political beforeCom
mittee on influence, and the Government of the day may be anxious to con- y.. ciliate their good opinion and favour; such has not hitherto been the seum, 1835.
case in England. We have also an impediment in the very free and one
Sir Martin Archer Shee, President of the Royal
Academy: National “When it is considered at what a trifling charge all the great encourage- obiects which necessarily result from an enlightened patronage of the ment, Rhumes on arts might be obtained; it seems scarcely credible that a people Art; p. 17, generous to prodigality in every other department of expense, should Preface.
• in this instance display a parsimony, as ungracious as it is ineffective." Evid. on
“The public are ignorant, to an extraordinary degree, upon the Arts, 1836, subject of the Arts; . . . . even those who are considered as p. 165. the enlightened classes of society,---who are considered competent
to legislate on all other points, are incompetent judges of the Arts."
Charles Robert Cockerell, Esq., R.A., &c. Id. 1835, “The Governments of the Continent have been always better and p.3.
more systematically directed to Arts and Manufactures than by our own scattered endeavours, especially in the higher departments; by establishment of professors of archæology furnishing the learning necessary, academies providing accomplished hands, by premiums on manufactures, direction of some of them, by exhibitions of Art of all ages gratuitously, thus diffusing taste through every class of society, from the manufacturer to the purchaser..... My enquiries have resulted in a conviction of the necessity of such means in this Country as they have on the Continent, which, superadded to the capital and industry of this country, would give us the superiority over every other, in both Arts and Manufactures."
Charles Toplis, Esq., Manager of the Museum of National Manufactures, in Leicester square:
bricas a subject of heavy complaint with manufacturers that they Protection moint ow so little protection in their original designs: so little pro- of inventive
design; in' On, indeed, that they feel in many cases little disposed to incur 1
cur Id. p. 116, D e xpense of paying artists to produce designs for their particular seq.
establishments, knowing that after they have incurred that expense they are open to piracy the next day, if they produce anything likely to take with the public. . . . . The present protection is little available; it is an expensive process in Chancery, which very few men choose to resort to."*
George Foggo, Esq., historical painter:
“So doubtful is the recovery, and so great the expense attending Idem; p.47. it, that, where otherwise fifty guineas would be expended on a design, no more than £5 would now be ventured by the silversmith .
“I think that the advantage of the copyright in France depends on the circumstance of the cheap law. I was lately in court in a case where the sale of spurious works was most clearly proved. The expenses, I was informed, amounted to £100, and the award for the sale of five different and distinct prints was £15. From what I recollect of such cases in Paris, I should say that the expenses would have been under £15, and the award might have been £100. It is, therefore, in France, worth while (particularly when we consider the certainty of recovery) for the man of talent to claim his protection.
“The encouragement given to art in France arises principally from Museums, the liberality of exhibitions, and most particularly of the libraries and &c. Idem, of the museums. The opportunities of study in the libraries and Pet museums are far superior to anything in this country. I may
* “I will ask any professional man, common law as well as equity lawyers, and upon the answer I will be content to rest the issue of this part of the argument,—whether, when the case has been sent him of a person kept out of a property of small amount wbich belonged to him, and when, by his skill, he bas discovered the precise nature of the wrong, if he found that the only remedy was the Court of Chancery, he would not think he has reduced the problem ad absurdum. No man, who ever put a forensic habit on his back, would think of advising a suit in equity to recover £50, £80, or £100. Can there, then, be a greater libel upon the law of a country than to say that a man [a manufacturer] must be kept out of his right (the infringed copyright of a design, because, if he sought it, the costs of the Court of Chancery will be bis inevitable ruin?” -Lord Brougham's Speech on Chancery Reform.
mention in proof, that the works of Flaxman, of Hope, and to be post lications on Etruscan vases of Sir William Hamilton, were sh o kut up in private collections in England, and produced little effect on the applic taste; but being placed in libraries in Paris, and other towns,
w ere not only artists but the public had free access, the knowledge and taste of Flaxman and of Hope became there generally appreciated, instead of being, as in England, confined to a few. A fine example of their museums was that of the French monuments, where, in appropriate halls, samples of French statuary of seven successive centuries afforded an excellent opportunity of studying the taste and the history of the nation."
It were easy, but surely unnecessary, to multiply evidence to the same effect, from equally competent authorities, differing indeed amongst themselves on minor points, but all agreed in reprobating the past apathy of the English Government to this most important subject, and its neglect of duties, to which smaller powers, and less extensive combinations than it alone can command, are wholly inadequate.