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with bright colors, the favorite design for the centre being either a cross or a large sun with many rays, the favorite colors being red, orange, and black, blue occurring occasionally. The radiance of these sails and of the bright and grotesque vanes at the mast-heads under sunlight is beyond all painting, but it is strange that, of constant occurrence as these boats are on all the lagoons, Turner alone should have availed himself of them. Nothing could be more faithful than the boat which was the principal object in this picture, in the cut of the sail, the filling of it, the exact height of the boom above the deck, the quartering of it with color, finally and especially, the hanging of the fish-baskets about the bows. All these, however, are comparatively minor merits, (though not the blaze of color which the artist elicited from the right use of these circumstances,) but the peculiar power of the picture was the painting of the sea surface, where there were no reflections to assist it. A stream of splendid color fell from the boat, but that occupied the centre only; in the distance, the city and crowded boats threw down some playing lines, but these still left on each side of the boat a large space of water reflecting nothing but the morning sky. This was divided by an eddying swell, on whose continuous sides the local color of the water was seen, pure aquamarine, (a beautiful occurrence of closely-observed truth,) but still there remained a large blank space of pale water to be treated, the sky above had no distinct details and was pure faint gray, with broken white vestiges of cloud : it gave no help therefore. But there the water lay, no dead gray flat paint, but downright clear, playing, palpable surface, full of indefinite hue, and retiring as regularly and visibly back and far away, as if there had been objects all over it to tell the story by perspective. Now it is the doing of this which tries the painter, and it is his having done this which made me say above that "no man had ever painted the surface of calm water but Turner." The San Benedetto, looking towards Fusina, contained a similar passage, equally fine ; in one of the Canale della Guidecca the specific green color of the water is seen in front, with the shadows of the boats thrown on it in purple; all, as it retires, passing into the pure reflective blue.
But Turner is not satisfied with this. He is never altogether content unless he can, at the same time that he takes advantage
of all the placidity of repose, tell us something either about the
past commotion of the water, or of some present
J12. Relation of * . . . , . , .
various cireum- stirring of tide or current which its stillness does
stances or past . . ... , ...
agitation, etc.. by not show, or give us something or other to think
tfie m,,st trifling , , °„ , ,
incidents, as in about and reason upon, as well as to look at.
Take a few instances. His Cowes, Isle of Wight, is a summer twilight about half an hour, or more, after sunset. Intensity of repose is the great aim throughout, and the unity of tone of the picture is one of the finest things that Turner has ever done. But there is not only quietness, there is the very deepest solemnity in the whole of the light, as well as in the stillness of the vessels ; and Turner wishes to enhance this feeling by representing not only repose, but power in repose, the emblem, in the sea, of the quiet ships of war. Accordingly, he takes the greatest possible pains to get his surface polished, calm, and smooth, but he indicates the reflection of a buoy, floating a full quarter of a mile off, by three black strokes with wide intervals between them, the last of which touches the water within twenty yards of the spectator. Now these three reflections can only indicate the farther sides of three rises of an enormous swell, and give by their intervals of separation, a space of from twelve to twenty yards for the breadth of each wave, including the sweep between them, and this swell is farther indicated by the reflection of the new moon falling, in a wide zigzag line. The exceeding majesty which this single circumstance gives to the whole picture, the sublime sensation of power and knowledge of former exertion which we instantly receive from it, if we have but acquaintance with nature enough to understand its language, render this work not only a piece of the most refined truth, fas which I have at present named it,) but to my mind, one of the highest pieces of intellectual art existing.
Again, in the scene on the Loire, with the square precipice and
fiery sunset, in the Rivers of France, repose has been aimed at in
the same way, and most thoroughly given ; but the immense
width of the river at this spot makes it look like
$ 18. In scenes on . i «
ihe Loire and a lake or sea, and it was therefore necessary that we should be made thoroughly to understand and feel that this is not the calm of still water, but the tranquillity of a majestic current. Accordingly, a boat swings at anchor on the right; and the stream, dividing at its bow, flows towards us in two long, dark waves, especial attention to which is enforced by the one on the left being brought across the reflected stream of sunshine, which it separates, and which is broken in the nearer water by the general undulation and agitation caused by the boat,s wake ; a wake caused by the waters passing it, not by its going through the water.
Again, in the Confluence of the Seine and Maine, we have the repose of the wide river stirred by the paddles of the steamboat, (whose plashing we can almost hear, for we are especially $h. Expression compelled to look at them by their being made Mu»0edtrby recoi! tne central note of the composition—the blackest irom shore. object in it, opposed to the strongest light,) and
this disturbance is not merely caused by the two lines of surge from the boat,s wake, for any other painter must have given these, but Turner never rests satisfied till he has told you. all in his power; and he has not only given the receding surges, but these have gone on to the shore, have struck upon it, and been beaten back from it in another line of weaker contrary surges, whose point of intersection with those of the wake itself is marked by the sudden subdivision and disorder of the waves of the wake on the extreme left, and whose reverted direction is exquisitely given where their lines cross the calm water, close to the spectator, and marked also by the sudden vertical spring of the spray just where they intersect the swell from the boat; and in order that we may fully be able to account for these reverted waves, wc are allowed, just at the extreme right-hand limit of the picture, to see the point where the swell from the boat meets the shore. In the Chaise de Gargantua we have the still water lulled by the dead calm which usually precedes the most violent storms, suddenly broken upon by a tremendous burst of wind from the gathered thunder-clouds, scattering the boats, and raising the « is. various water into rage, except where it is sheltered by the other instances. hi]|s In ^e Jumieges ana Vernon we have farther
instances of local agitation, caused, in the one instance, by a steamer, in the other, by the large water-wheels under the bridge, not, observe, a mere splashing about the wheel itseK, this is too far off to be noticeable, so that we should not have even known that the objects beneath the bridge were waterwheels, but for the agitation recorded a quarter of a mile down the river, where its current crosses the sunlight. And thus there will scarcely ever be found a piece of quiet water by Turner, without some story in it of one kind or another; sometimes a slight, but beautiful incident—oftener, as in the Cowes, something on which the whole sentiment and intention of the picture in a great degree depends; but invariably presenting some new instance of varied knowledge and observation, some fresh appeal to the highest faculties of the mind.
Of extended surfaces of water, as rendered by Turner, the Loch Katrine and Derwent-water, of the Illustrations to Scott, and the Loch Lomond, vignette in Rogers,s Poems, are charac% i6. Tnmei-s teristic instances. The first of these gives us the SfnfeJfaSLfof most distant part of the lake entirely under the tOTuptedbyrip- influence of a light breeze, and therefore entirely Ple- without reflections of the objects on its borders;
but the whole near half is untouched by the wind, and on that is cast the image of the upper part of Ben-Venue and of the islands. The second gives us the surface, with just so much motion upon it as to prolong, but not to destroy, the reflections of the dark woods,—reflections only interrupted by the ripple
of the boat,s wake. And the third gives us an crossed by'sun- example of the whole surface so much affected by
ripple as to bring into exercise all those laws which we have seen so grossly violated by Canaletto. We see in the nearest boat that though the lines of the gunwale are much blacker and more conspicuous than that of the cutwater, yet the gunwale lines, being nearly horizontal, have no reflection whatsoever; while the line of the cutwater, being vertical, has a distinct reflection of three times its own length. But even these tremulous reflections are only visible as far as the islands; beyond them, as the lake retires into distance, we find it receives only the reflection of the gray light from the clouds, and runs in one flat white field up between the hills; and besides all this, we have another phenomenon, quite new, given to us,—the brilliant gleam of light along the centre of the lake. This is not caused by ripple, for it is cast on a surface rippled all over; but it is what we could not have without ripple,—the light of a passage of sunshine. I have already (Chap. I., § 9) explained the cause of this phenomenon, which never can by any possibility take place on calm water, being the multitudinous reflection of the sun from the sides of the ripples, causing an appearance of local light and shadow; and being dependent, like real light and shadow, on the passage of the clouds, though the dark parts of the water are the reflections of the clouds, not the shadows of them ; and the bright parts are the reflections of the sun, and not the light of it. This little vignette, then, will entirely complete the system of Turner's universal truth in quiet water. We have seen every phenomenon given by him,—the clear reflection, the prolonged reflection, the reflection broken by ripple, and finally the ripple broken by light and shade; and it is especially to be observed how careful he is, in this last case, when he uses the apparent light and shade, to account for it by showing us in the whiteness of the lake beyond, its universal subjection to ripple.
We have not spoken of Turner's magnificent drawing of distant rivers, which, however, is dependent only on more complicated application of the same laws, with exquisite perspective. $is His drawing The sweePs °f river in the Dryburgh, (Illustraof distant rivers, tions to Scott,) and Melrose, are bold and characteristic examples, as well as the Rouen from St. Catherine,s Hill, and the Caudebec, in the Rivers of France. The only thing which in these works requires particular attention, is the care with which the height of the observer above the river is indicated by the loss of the reflections of its banks. This is, perhaps, shown most clearly in the Caudebec. If we had been on a level with the river, its whole surface would have been darkened by the reflection of the steep and high banks; but being far above it, we can see no more of the image than we could of the hill itself, if it were actually reversed under the water; and therefore we see that Turner gives us only a narrow line of dark water, immediately under the precipice, the broad surface reflecting only the sky. This is also finely shown on the left-hand side of the Dryburgh.
But all these early works of the artist have been eclipsed by