Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[graphic]
[merged small][graphic][graphic]
[graphic]

the master mind of Turner, without effort, showers its knowledge into every touch, and we have only to trace out even his slightest passages, part by part, to find in them the universal working of the deepest thought, that consistency of every minor truth which admits of and invites the same ceaseless study as the work of nature herself.

There is, however, yet another peculiarity in Turner,s painting of smooth water, which, though less deserving of admiration, as being merely a mechanical excellence, is not less won«io. The uxture derful than its other qualities, nor less unique—a ner°rfpdi)t"ngorf peculiar texture, namely, given to the most delicate calm water. tints of the surface, when there is little reflection from anything except sky or atmosphere, and which, just at the points where other painters are reduced to paper, gives to the surface of Turner the greatest appearance of substantial liquidity. It is impossible to say how it is produced ; it looks like some modification of body color; but it certainly is not body color used as by other men, for I have seen this expedient tried over and over again without success; and it is often accompanied by crumbling touches of a dry brush, which never could have been put upon body color, and which could not have shown through underneath it. As a piece of mechanical excellence, it is one of the most remarkable things in the works of the master; and it brings the truth of his water-painting up to the last degree of perfection, often rendering those passages of it the most attractive and delightful, which from their delicacy and paleness of tint, would have been weak and papery in the hands of any other man. The best instance of it I can give, is, I think, the distance of the Devonport with the Dockyards.

After all, however, there is more in Turner,s painting of water surface than any philosophy of reflection, or any peculiarity of means, can account for or accomplish ; there is a jn. ita united might and wonder about it which will not admit qualities. of our wnys and ]1ows. Take, for instance, the

picture of the Sun of Venice going to Sea, of 1843, respecting which, however, there are one or two circumstances which may as well be noted besides its water-painting. The reader, if he has not been at Venice, ought to be made aware that the Venetian fishing-boats, almost without exception, carry canvas painted

« AnteriorContinuar »