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EFFECTS OF LIGHT RENDERED BY MODERN ART.
I Have before given my reasons (Sect. II. Chap. III.) for not wishing at present to enter upon the discussion of particular effects of light. Not only are we incapable of rightly viewing them, or reasoning upon them, until we are ac
$1. Reasons for .,-, .,-. ,, ... »,, , ,-., ,
merely at present quainted with the principles of the beautiful ; but, examining the as I distinctly limited myself, in the present por
particular effects .. , .. . .. ,. - ,
of light rendered tion of the work, to the examination of general truths, it would be out of place to take cognizance of the particular phases of light, even if it were possible to do so, before we have some more definite knowledge of the material objects which they illustrate. I shall therefore, at present, merely set clown a rough catalogue of the effects of light at different hours of the day, which Turner has represented: naming a picture or two, as an example of each, which we will hereafter take up one by one, and consider the physical science and the feeling together. And I do this, in the hope that,
$ 2. Hopes of the . b h * ±~ »
author for assist- in the mean time, some admirer of the old masters
ance in the future •,-,-,-,•-, , , , - .- t .#
investigation of will be kind enough to select from the works of any one of them, a series of examples of the same effects, and to give me a reference to the pictures, so that I may be able to compare each with each; for, as my limited knowledge of the works of Claude or Poussin does not supply me with the requisite variety of effect, I shall be grateful for assistance.
The following list, of course, does not name the hundredth part of the effects of light given by Turner ; it only names those which are distinctly and markedly separate from each other, and representative each of an entire class. Ten or twelve examples, often many more, might be given of each ; every one of which would display the effects of the same hour and light, modified by different circumstances of weather, situation, and character of objects subjected to them, and especially by the management of the sky; but it will be generally sufficient for our purposes to examine thoroughly one good example of each.
The prefixed letters express the direction of the light. F. front light (the sun in the centre, or near the top of the picture ;) L. lateral light, the sun out of the picture on the right or left of the spectator; L. F. the light partly lateral, partly fronting the spectator, as when he is looking south, with the sun in the south-west; L. B. light partly lateral, partly behind the spectator, as when he is looking north, with the sun in the south-west.
L..... An hoar before sunrise in winter. Violent
storm, with rain, on tbe sea. Light
hoases seen through it. P.... .An bour before sunrise. Serene sky, with
light clouds. Dawn in the distance. L Ten minutes before sunrise. Violent
Clear sky, with light cirri.
with light cirri.
ered with scarlet clouds. L.F...Serene sky. Sun emerging from a bank
of cloud on horizon, a quarter of an hour
risen. L.F... Same hour. Light mists in flakes on hill
sides. Clear air. L.F.. .Light flying rain-clouds gathering in val
leys. Same hour. L.B . .Same hour. A night storm rising off the
mountains. Dead calm.
L Sun half an hour risen. Cloudless sky.
L Same hour. Light mists lying in the val
leys. F Same hour. Bright cirri. Sun dimly seen
through battle smoke, with conflagration. L Sun an hour risen. Cloudless and clear.
NAXZS OF P1CTURE3.
Vignette to Voyage of Co-
Vignette to Human Life.
Alps at Daybreak.
Lake of Geneva,
NOON AND AFTERNOON.
L.B...Midday. Dead calm, with heat. Cloud
less. L Same hoar. Serene and bright, with
streaky clouds. L Same hour. Serene, with multitudes of
the high cirrus.
L Bright sun, with light wind and clouds.
F Two o'clock. Clouds gathering for rain,
with heat. F Rain beginning, with light clouds and
L Soft rain, with heat.
L.F.. .Great heat. Thunder gathering.
L Thunder breaking down, after intense
heat, with furious wind.
L Violent rain and wind, but cool.
L.F.. .Furious storm, with thunder.
L.B.. .Thunder retiring, with rainbow. Dead
calm, with heat. L About three o'clock, summer. Air very
cool and clear. Exhausted thunder
clouds low on hills. F Descending sunbeams through soft clouds,
after rain. L Afternoon, very clear, after rain. A few
clouds still on horizon. Dead calm. F Afternoon of cloudless day, with heat.
Nakes or FICttTRrS.
Lantern at St. Clond.
Shylock, and other Ven
ices. Richmond, Middlesex. Warwick. Blenheim.
Caldron Snout Fall.
Llamberis, Coventry, &c. Stonehenge, Psestum, &c. Nottingham.
Mercury and Argus. Oberwesel. Nemi.
L An hour before sunset. Cloudless.
F Half an hour before sunset. Light clouds.
F Within a quarter of an hour of sunset.
Mists rising. Light cirri.
L.F...Ten minutes before sunset. Quite cloudless.
F Same hour. Tumultuous spray of illumined rain-cloud.
F Five minutes before sunset. Sky covered
with illumined cirri.
L.B...Same hour. Serene sky. Full moon rising.
Luke Albano. Florence.
Dater Hora Quieti.
Solomon's Pools. Slaveship.
Temeraire. Napoleon. Various vignettes.
F Sun setting. Detached light cirri and clear
L Same hour. Cloudless. New moon.
L.F.. .Same hour. Heavy storm clouds. Moon-
New moon setting.
with storm clouds. Full moonrise.
and evening star.
struggling through storm clouds, over
NAME* OF riCTUBIS.
First vignette. Pleasures
of Memory. Caudebec.
Wilderness of Engedi.
Pyramid of Cams Cestius.
F An hour after sunset. No moon. Torch- St. Julien. Tours.
light. F Same hour. Moon rising. Fire from fur- Dudley.
L.F....Same hour, with storm clouds. Moon rising.
L Same hour, with light of rockets and fire.
F Midnight. Moonless, with light-houses.
Same hour, with fire-light.
Juliet and her Nurse.
Burning of Parliament
F Ditto. Full moon. Clear air, with delicate; Towers of the Heve.
F Ditto, with conflagration, battle smoke, and
storm. F Ditto. Moonlight through mist. Buildings illuminated in interior.
F Ditto. Full moon with halo. Light rain-! St. Denis.
F Full moon. Perfectly serene. Sky cov-[ Alnwick. Vignette of Ri
ered with white cirri. alto, and Bridge of Sighs.
Vignette. St. Herbert's
OF GENERAL STRUCTURE.
By truth of earth, we mean the faithful representation of the facts and forms of the bare ground, considered as entirely divested of vegetation, through whatever disguise, or under whatever modification the clothing of the landscape
II. First lawsor . . "~^ . . »
the organization may occasion. Ground 18 to the landscape painter their importance what the naked human body is to the historical. The growth of vegetation, the action of water, and even of clouds upon it and around it, are so far subject and subordinate to its forms, as the folds of the dress and the fall of the hair are to the modulation of the animal anatomy. Nor is this anatomy always so concealed, but in all sublime compositions, whether of nature or art, it must be seen in its naked purity. The laws of the organization of the earth are distinct and fixed as those of the animal frame, simpler and broader, but equally authoritative and inviolable. Their results may be arrived at without knowledge of the interior mechanism; but for that very reason ignorance of them is the more disgraceful, and violation of them more unpardonable. They are in the landscape the foundation of all other truths—the most necessary, therefore, even if they were not in themselves attractive; but they are as beautiful as they are essential, and every abandonment of them by the artist must end in deformity as it begins in falsehood.
That such abandonment is constant and total in the works of the old masters, has escaped detection, only because of persons generally cognizant of art, few have spent time enough in hill