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diate contact-wall against wall—with the barracks, and within a very few feet of the workhouse.*
But not all the blame of this most unwise proceeding belongs to the government; the outcry was, doubtless, somewhat formidable, and the assailants having proceeded to such lengths as actually to get up a parish meeting, the government was naturally compelled to yield.
These are circumstances not to be lost sight of, in considering the undeniable and very serious defects which so unfortunately characterize the present erection. I proceed to the selection of evidence on this point.
When questioned respecting the arrangement of our Evid. ut national pictures, Mr.Seguier expressed his opinion,“that 1597.9. they could not be better arranged than those are at the Louvre,” but doubted if our new gallery would afford room for such an arrangement.
When asked, “Has there been no provision in the plan of the National Gallery for the historical arrangement of pictures according to schools, and for making a distinction between the great schools of Italy and the different national schools?” he replies: “I should doubt whether there is room for that. But has there been no arrangement with that view? -Certainly not.”
• It was much regretted at the time that a brother architect of considerable distinction was induced to lend himself to this outcry against Mr. Wilkins' original plan. He went so far (and so much beyond the matter at issue) as to print bis “ doubt whether anything half so good as the front of the King's Mews,” (erected by Kent, and then on the site of the proposed gallery,) “were likely to occupy its place.” And this was said, by anticipation, of the work of one who had sufficiently proved himself, at least not the inferior of his opponent, whether we regard the attainments of the scholar, the taste of the travelled artist, or the successful labours of the architect. I mention this as one indication of the unfair treatment to which Mr. Wilkins was then exposed.
† And the famous portico of Saint Martin's is, after all, seen to less advantage than it would bave been had the former arrangement been adbered to.
Want of communication between keeper and architect.
When examined touching the magnificent pictures by Rubens at Whitehall, Mr. Seguier says: “where they are they are thrown away; nothing can be so absurd as to have those in a chapel: they would be desirable works indeed for a National Gallery.” The examination continues :
“And if they should come into the possession of the National Gallery, do you think you would be able to dispose of them?"Mr. Seguier after stating the dimensions of the centre picture (40 feet by 30), replies (1654), “it would be quite impossible to place them in the National Gallery.” When further asked, “if the public should ever obtain possession of any of the larger specimens of the Venetian school, do you think you would be able to dispose of them in the National Gallery?”—the reply is, “I do not think in the present building there would be room." And Mr. Wilkins adds: “Certainly not, for pictures of these dimensions. These galleries are planned more with reference to our present collection than to any larger pictures." (1657.)
Mr. Seguier states (No. 1659), that (although principal keeper of the National Gallery) he was “not consulted as to the formation of the present building.” Among the minor bad consequences of the want of a communication, so obviously essential, may be mentioned the absence of any copying-room, in which pictures might be copied without obstructing the public access to those not in use for that purpose. Mr. Seguier assuming it to be desirable that the public should be afforded such access (instead of having four days in the week only as at present), replies to the question:
“ You think it advisable that there should be a room expressly for copying attached to the National Gallery ?-Most decidedly. What advantage do
you think it would be productive of?-It would interfere with the public completely if copying were allowed in the other rooms; and, on the other hand, the public would interfere with the artists. . . . I am aware it has been already adopted in some countries, and I think it a very good plan.” (1677-80.)
While Mr. Wilkins, in reply to the question, “have you had a room expressly for copying in view, in the
Want of a copyingroom.
tion of the
theca. Evid. ut
construction of the National Gallery?” replies, “certainly not, because any one room is equally well adapted, I consider, for copying."
Before leaving this subject of construction, and with Construcreference to the same point of communication between Munich architect and keeper, I quote, from the examination of PinacoMr. Seguier, respecting the Pinacotheca of Munich :
“ Are you aware that there are three peculiarities in that gallery; et seq. See the first, that there is a long corridor from which you can branch off Evidence into any school, without going through the intermediate schools, by of Baron which the eye of the visitor may at once take in a first impression,
von Klenze without being disturbed by seeing any other school?—I think that a tect, Ib. very desirable arrangement. What do you think in the second place of 2881-2. this; for the separate schools there are large rooms formed, and appropriated to the largest and most magnificent pictures, and attached to these are smaller rooms for the mere cabinet pictures ?-I think that an exceedingly good plan.” (The third point relates to the copying-room, which has been already mentioned.)
But Mr. Wilkins, on the same subject, replies to the Ib. Mr.
1216-20. “When you say that you have had no reference to foreign galleries, did you ever consider whether the gallery at Munich, the Pinacotheca, is one worthy of imitation ?-As architectural rooms it may be, not as rooms for exhibition. Have you been in it?-I know it by designs; I have not been in it: in a room for the exhibition of pictures, I conceive that what is wanted is plenty of wall and plenty of light. ... Do you know how the Pinacotheca is lighted ?—No, I do not. In our galleries there is abundance of light, it is so much more easy to modify light than to add it, and I was determined they should have enough, and in fact there will be too much light, a great deal. Are you aware that in the Munich gallery, a corridor runs the whole length from which you can get to any one school, without going through the others ?-Yes. Is not that an advantage?—I do not conceive it to be so. I think our distribution of the galleries will be found infinitely more convenient.”
In order to put this singular diversity of opinion between architect and keeper on an important feature of the plan into juxtaposition, I have made the fore
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 measure 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