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Those three original styles underwent many modifications, from the taste of various artists, of which it is unnecessary to mention more than one, the eclectic school, founded at Bologna by the three Caracci, who strove to combine the peculiar excellences of the Florentine, Venetian, and Lombard schools.
We confine our observations, for the sake of brevity and perspicuity, to painting, sculpture, and architecture, whose progress is amply suflicient to illustrate the progress of the minor arts of design. The advancement of sculpture and architecture in Italy, although less rapid than that of painting, for the causes which we have hinted at, was nevertheless by no means slow. To the fame of Nicolo Pisano in sculpture, succeeded Andrea Pisano, Giotto the painter, and afterwards Ghiberti, Donatello, and Brunelleschi, who wrought in wood, clay, metals, and marble; and they were followed by Michel Agnolo, a greater than all his immediate predecessors combined, since in him was united the highest excellence in all the sister arts. The first great genius in architecture, whom modern Italy produced, was Brunelleschi, born in 1377, who obtained distinction by raising the cupola of the cathedral church of S. Maria del Fiore at Florence. After him flourished Bramante, who conceived, but could not execute, the grand design of the dome of St Peter's, at Rome; and at length we arrive at the celebrated names of Raffaello, San Gallo, Michel Agnolo, Palladio, and Bernini, who gave permanent fame to this art in Italy. Of Michel Agnolo Buonaroti, whose life covers nearly a whole century, and represents the history of all the fine arts a: the most glorious period of their modern splendour, of him who was for seventy years eminent as a poet, philosopher, painter, sculptor, and architect, hardly any terms of eulogy can be considered extravagant. The sublime and versatile genius of this extraordinary man, certainly goes far to justify the inscription of his countryman, Colpani :
Giusta all' Italia invidia
Having thus traced the re-establishment of the fine arts in modern times, it is not our purpose to follow their further spread in Italy, and from Italy all over the rest of Europe,
down to the present day, when the brilliant success of the English, or shall we not say American painters, has demonstrated that the fine arts are not inseparably wedded to their most genial soil, the sunny climes of Italy and Greece.
And to conclude, although we abstain, at the close of a long article, from entering upon the prolific question of what the destinies of our country are, yet we cannot forbear observing in how many obvious particulars our condition resembles the combination of circumstances, which attended the original perfection of the arts in Greece, and their restoration in modern Italy. One thing, however, ere we part, to men of timid minds, who doubt concerning the expediency of cultivating the fine arts in this country, as a question of political economy,
Giving the narrowest construction to utility, of which the word is susceptible, we apprehend it is demonstrable that the study of the ornamental arts is eminently useful to a nation. It might be shown to contribute to the national wealth, as well as to national honour, the encouragement of genius, and the laudable gratification of opulent individuals,— by the plainest considerations. It provides a new field for the exercise of labour, and thereby augments the productive industry of the nation. It cannot diminish the productive labour of any other branch of industry. In many countries, and nowhere more evidently than here, the number of hands employed in cultivation is much greater than is needed to produce the requisite amount of agricultural products demanded for domestic and foreign consumption. There being a surplus of labour devoted to agriculture, the creation of a new branch of productive industry would naturally draw labour away from that department, in which there is now an excess of it; and the whole value of the labour thus diverted into a new channel would be so much clear gain to the community.
The wealth expended on public or private buildings, on paintings, or on sculpture, is not lost nor consumed. It still remains in the country, being merely transferred from the rich to the ingenious, from the hands of those who have a surplus over their wants and over what they can profitably employ, to the hands of the industrious classes. A portion of it is fixed in a new object, in a beautiful statue or church, in a commodious house, or in an elegant picture ; but nevertheless it still exists.
The employment of labour in the fine arts increases the demand, and with the demand, the value of the products of
other branches of industry. It creates a new class of men to be fed, and clothed, and supported in comfort; it calis marble and granite from the quarry; it causes the mine to be wrought for its metal; it demands a supply of colours, wood, and all the other various materials used in the ornamental arts.Thus it gives, at once, occupation to additional labourers; it converts vegetable and mineral substances, of no value intrinsically, or at least of no value whilst in the earth or the forest, into profitable articles of trade; and it adds by the whole operation to the value of lands and to the aggregate of national wealth. Besides, surplus wealth will be expended by its holders, in the purchase of objects of taste and luxury, such as the fine arts produce. If those objects cannot be found at home, the money will depart into foreign lands, to discourage domestic industry, and encourage that of some rival nation.
And there is another point of view, wherein it is important to regard the subject. We have spoken thus far only of the supply of objects of the fine arts, and of a supply of them only for domestic consumption. The subject has vastly more extensive relations. It is estimated that, in England, of the students devoted to professional improvement in the fine arts, but one out of forty or fifty rises to the rank of a distinguished painter or sculptor. Not every aspirant after fame becomes a West, a Chantrey, an Allston, or a Newton. The hundreds of others, oftentimes men of genius too, who spend their lives in the practice of the fine arts, find more profitable employment for their talents in the manufactories of clay, glass, metals, cottons, and the like, than they would in the higher walks of the profession. These are the artists, who communicate that beauty of design and exquisite finish to the meanest as well as richest articles of British manufacture, by means of which, among other things, they have hitherto obtained a preference in all the markets of the world. Thinking men amongst us are beginning to perceive that the most advantageous investments of capital, so far as the interest of the nation is concerned, is in manufactures. It is for them to consider whether we can compete with Great Britain in foreign markets successfully and upon equal footing, before we have secured, not only a sufficient capital and the excellent machinery which we now possess, but also the same taste in giving finish and grace to our manufactured productions. And we hazard nothing in predicting the time to be close at hand,
when, with the blessing of heaven, the same country, which now produces artists of unequalled skill in the strictly useful and inventive arts, shall be not less fertile of ornamental and imitative genius.
Reform of Harvard College.
[Continued from page 18, Vol. III.] 11. Remarks on Changes lately proposed or adopted in Harvard
University. By GEORGE TICKNOR, Smith Professor &c. Boston, 1825. 8vo. pp. 48.
SINCE the appearance of our last article on this subject, the pamphlet whose title we have just recited, has been published. It contains a general account of the causes of dissatisfaction with the state of things at Cambridge; an elaborate argument against the Memorial, on the grounds both of law and expediency; a history of the manner in which the proceedings originated and were pursued, that have resulted in the adoption of a revised code of laws at Cambridge; and an account of the principal features of this code.
As several former articles in this Gazette have been devoted to many of these topics, and we have made a commencement with the subject of the Memorial, we shall pass over the preceding portions of Mr Ticknor's pamphlet; and only take along with us, at present, that part of it, in which he contests the claim of the Memorial. The whole of Mr Ticknor's pamphlet is entitled to consideration, both for the source from which it proceeds and the manner in which it is executed. That part which treats of the subject of the Memorial is deserving of peculiar attention, being, as we have understood, drawn up with the assistance of the very full minutes of Judge Story's powerful speech during the debate of last winter, and presenting, accordingly, the fruits of the research and ingenuity of that eminent jurist. The appearance in so authentic a form of the most able argument against the Memorial has induced us, contrary to our original intention, to enter somewhat at length into the discussion.
It must be confessed, that all the advantage in this argument, from first to last, has been on the side opposed to ihe Memorial. It is well known to the profession, that no question is ripe for legal adjudication, that has not been solemnly argued by counsel learned in the law, on both sides. An in
accuracy of form crept into the Memorial itself, of which the consequences clung to it in every stage. The Memorial professed to inquire, and did exclusively inquire, what a Fellow ought to be, of right, according to the charter of Harvard College; and, as we think, proved that the charter intended fellows to be resident instructers. In the close, however, of their statement, in the very last sentence, the memorialists, as resident instructers, put in the claim to be elected to vacancies in the Board of Fellows. Technically speaking, the error was fatal. Although the proof might be positive, that the charter required the fellows to reside, it was not proved, it had not been pretended by the memorialists, that residence was a condition precedent. The difference in substance was insignificant; in form and in law it was destructive. Mr Lowell, in his pamphlet against the Memorial, argued triumphantly against this supposed claim. Mr Everett, in his Reply, strongly and repeatedly disavowed that interpretation; and strove to fix the discussion on the pretensions really urged in the Memorial. In his rejoinder Mr Lowell speaks of his disavowal as a shifting of ground. The Report of the Committee alludes to it, as the act of one of the memorialists. Judge Story, in his speech, in making the same allusion, added, that “ he was well informed the other memorialists still adhered to the claim of residence, as a condition precedent to election as a Fellow.” Mr Everett accordingly, when authorized to appear in defence of the Memorial, again strongly disavowed this interpretation. Notwithstanding which, the Board of Overseers passed a resolution against this interpretation of the claim; and Mr Ticknor appears to revive it. As none of these gentlemen, and still less the body of Overseers, can be suspected of any intentional unfairness, the imprudence of the memorialists, in not causing their petition to be drafted by a lawyer, and the fatal effects of an error in the first concoction, are strongly illustrated. Considering the Board of Overseers as a paternal and visitatorial, not a judicial or parliamentary tribunal; and recollecting that the memorialists were some of them the oldest and most faithful instructers of the University, it might perhaps not have been a misplaced indulgence, to extend some statute of jeofails to their case ; non observatâ, in the language of an ancient English statute, illâ durâ consuetudine, Qui cadit a syllabâ cadit a totâ causâ.
But there appears to have been another circumstance, creative of some confusion, as to the nature of the claim of the memorial; and in the result, decisive of its failure.