Зображення сторінки

66 fre


despotic countries far more development has been given to genius, and greater encouragement to industry, by a more liberal diffusion of the enlightening influence of the Arts."

With particular reference to manufacturing industry, the Committee further state that the witnesses quently, if not uniformly, felt themselves compelled to Tbid. p. iv draw a comparison more favorable in the matter of design) to our foreign rivals, and especially to the French, than could have been desired either by themselves or by the Committee.”

After expressing their anxiety “to investigate the pervading cause which seemed to justify this conclusion,” the Committee proceed : “ It appears that the great advantage which foreign manufacturing-artists possess over those of Great Britain, consists in the greater extension of art throughout the mass of society abroad. Art is comparatively dear in England. In France it is cheap, because it is generally diffused. In England a wealthy manufacturer has no difficulty in procuring superior designs. Our affluent silversmiths have called to their aid the genius of Flaxman and of Stothard; but the manufacturer of cheap plate and of inferior jewellery cannot procure designs equal to those of France, without incurring expense disproportioned to the value of the article on which his labour is employed.”

In following the Committee into the more important of the details here given, with the view of exhibiting the general results of their enquiries, it will be expedient, for the sake of brevity and clearness, to depart somewhat from the arrangement adopted in their Report.

I think the subjects treated of may be naturally arranged under these three principal heads :

First, the means of elementary instruction in the principles of design, more especially with regard to the

manufacturing population. Under this head will be
1. The connexion of the elementary principles of

2. The formation of specific Schools of Design.
3. Mechanics’ INSTITUTIONS, and the like.

4. Elementary Books ON ART. Second, the means of extending the love of art, in its highest departments, and of cultivating and refining the public taste; and this will comprise, 1. The connexion of the plastic arts, or of the

principles of taste in relation to them, with SUPERIOR EDUCATION, -as in the Universities

and higher schools. 2. PUBLIC GALLERIES and Museums. 3. Voluntary AssOCIATIONS for the encouragement

of Art.
Third, the legal protection of artistic property, and
the rewards and distinctions of successful exertion in
the Arts; comprising,
1. The bearing of certain FISCAL DUTIES on the

Fine Arts.
2. The protection of artistic COPYRIGHT.
3. The constitution of ACADEMIES.
4. Competitions for Public Works.

All these subjects receive more or less illustration in the Report we are considering. I proceed to state its substance, under each head, before making any comment on the specific measures recommended by the Committee.

1. Of ele

“The want of instruction,” proceeds the Report, mtencerenin “experienced by our workmen in the Arts is strongly the princi- adverted to by many witnesses. This deficiency is said

to be particularly manifest in that branch of our industry

ples of Design ;-its


which is commonly called the fancy trade; more espe- connexion cially in the silk trade; and most of all, probably, in the nary educaribbon manufacture.

“This scanty supply of instruction is the more to be lamented, because it appears that there exists among the enterprising and laborious classes of our country an earnest desire for information in the Arts. To this fact, Mr. Howell, one of the factory inspectors, has borne ample testimony. Mr. Morrison, a member of the House of Commons, has given evidence to the same effect.

“It appears to the Committee most desirable, with a Instruction view to extend a love and knowledge of art among the in the elepeople, that the principles of design should form a principles

of Design portion of any permanent system of nationAL EDUCA

should form TION. Such elementary instruction should be based part of any on an extension of the knowledge of form, by the system of adoption of a bold style of geometrical and outline- national

education. drawing, such as is practised in the national schools of Bavaria.


“Much importance has justly been attributed to the Schools of Schools of Design so generally diffused throughout Design in

France. France. These schools (in number about 80) are superintended by the Government.......

“ According to the evidence of a distinguished foreigner, Dr. Waagen, the intelligent administration of Prussia has felt the necessity of paying great attention to the instruction of the Prussian manufacturers in art.

In Bavaria there are thirty-three schools of design. Outline-drawing, to a considerable extent, forms an element in the system of national education.

“ His Majesty's Government has this year, for the England. first time, proposed a vote in the Estimates for the establishment of a Normal School of design.

“It appears to the Committee that, in the formation of such an institution, not mere theoretical instruction

only, but the more direct application of the Arts to
manufactures ought to be deemed an essential element.*
In this respect local schools, where the Arts reside as
it were with the manufacture to which they are devoted,
appear to possess many practical advantages. In such
situations it is probable the Arts will eventually strike
root and vegetate with vigour. But if a mere central
system be adopted, the inventive power of the artist
ought equally to be brought to bear on the special
manufacture, which he is destined thereafter to pursue.

Unless the Arts and Manufactures be prac-
tically combined, the unsuccessful aspirants after the
higher branches of the Arts will be infinitely multiplied,
and the deficiency of manufacturing artists will not be

Perhaps the Government would most judiciously interpose, not only by creating a Normal School, but by applying to local institutions the species of assistance now extended to the building of School-houses.

[ocr errors]

Books on
Rep. p. vi.

“In our own country, manufacturing artists have been greatly indebted to such institutions as the Board of Trustees in Edinburgh and the Royal Society in Dublin.

In England, the more matured MECHANICS' INSTITUTIONS have disseminated much valuable instruction in the Arts. The Reports of the Mechanics' Institutes of Glasgow, Manchester, and Coventry indicate, in the present year, the awakened attention of the inhabitants of those great towns to the importance of education in design.

Mechanics' Among the advantages possessed by the manufac-
tions, &c. turing artists of foreign countries, the attention of your

* “ This principle is judiciously adopted in the Gewerb Institute at
Berlin; in which, after one year of general instruction in Art, the pupil
selects a branch of manufacture as his trade, and passes two years in the
practical application of art thereto.”-Dr. Waagen's Evidence, Sess, 1835,
pp. 4 & 55,



Committee has been directed to the BOOKS ON ART,
published by the Governments for the instruction of
their workmen. Among these, the works issued by
M. Beuth, Director of the Gewerb Institut at
Berlin, particularly deserve to be mentioned.
The chief excellence of these works seems to consist in
their general correctness and classical purity of taste.

“It is gratifying to observe, that British capital and – in Engintelligence, unaided by the Government, have been turned in the same direction. Cheap publications upon

Art are studied with interest by our workmen. “But though cheap publications are thus circulated by individual enterprise, there are works, such as those issued by the Government of Prussia, which probably require too great labour of design, and are too expensive of execution to be profitably undertaken by individuals."

We come now to our second division of the subject- 2. Means of matter of the Report—the means of extending the the love of love of art, and of cultivating and refining the public cultivating taste.

and refining

the public As evidence that, even in superior education, the Fine taste: Arts do not as yet receive their fair share of attention, First, in the Committee “notice, with regret, the neglect of any


with higher general instruction, even in the history of Art, at our education. UNIVERSities and public schools; an omission noticed long ago by Mr. Burke, and obvious to every reflecting mind.

“In nothing have foreign countries possessed a Public Galgreater advantage over Great Britain than in their Museums numerous PUBLIC GALLERIES devoted to the Arts, of Art. and open gratuitously to the people. The larger towns of France are generally adorned by such institutions. In this country we can scarcely boast of any. Our

« НазадПродовжити »