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some recent drawings of Switzerland. These latter are not to be described by any words, but they must be noted here not only
as presenting records of lake effect on grander face associated scale, and of more imaginative character than any
other of his works, but as combining effects of the surface of mist with the surface of water. Two or three of the Lake of Lucerne, seen from above, give the melting of the mountain promontories beneath into the clear depth, and above into the clouds; one of Constance shows the vast lake at evening, seen not as water, but its surface covered with low white mist, lying league beyond league in the twilight like a fallen space of moony cloud ; one of Goldau shows the Lake of Zug appearing through the chasm of a thunder-cloud under sunset, its whole surface one blaze of fire, and the promontories of the hills thrown out against it, like spectres; another of Zurich gives the playing of the green waves of the river among white streams of moonlight : two purple sunsets on the Lake of Zug are distinguished for the glow obtained without positive color, the rose and purple tints being in great measure brought by opposition out of browns : finally, a drawing executed in 1845 of the town of Lucerne from the lake is unique for its expression of water surface reflecting the clear green hue of sky at twilight. It will be remembered that it was said above, that Turner was the only painter who had ever represented the surface of calm or the force of agitated water. He obtains this expression $ao. Hi«drawing °' f°rce in falling or running water by fearless and witha!"'c»iiaratex- ^u^ rendering of its forms. He never loses himpressionof weight. self am\ nis subject in the splash of the fall—his presence of mind never fails as he goes down; he does not blind us with the spray, or veil the countenance of his fall with its own drapery. A little crumbling white, or lightly rubbed paper, will soon give the effect of indiscriminate foam; but nature gives more than foam—she shows beneath it, and through it, a peculiar character of exquisitely studied form bestowed on every wave and line of fall ; and it is this variety of definite character which Turner always aims at, rejecting, as much as possible, everything that conceals or overwhelms it. Thus, in the Upper Fall of the Tees, though the whole basin of the fall is blue and dim with the rising vapor, yet the whole attention of the spectator is directed to that which it was peculiarly difficult to render, the concentric zones and delicate curves of the falling water itself; and it is impossible to express with what exquisite accuracy these are given. They are the characteristic of a powerful stream descending without impediment or break, but from a narrow channel, so as to expand as it falls. They are the constant form which such a stream assumes as it descends; and yet I think it would be difficult to point to another instance of their being rendered in art. You will find nothing in the waterfalls even of our best painters, but springing lines of parabolic descent, and splashing, shapeless foam; and, in consequence, though they may make you understand the swiftness of the water, they never let you feel the weight of it; the stream in their hands looks active, not supine, as if it leaped, not as if it fell. Now water will leap a Soninem and little way, it will leap down a weir or over a stone, cataracts, now but it tumbles over a high fall like this; and it is when we have lost the parabolic line, and arrived at the catenary,—when we have lost the spring of the fall, and arrived at the plunge of it, that we begin really to feel its weight and wildness. Where water takes its first leap from the top, it is cool, and collected, and uninteresting, and mathematical, but it is when it finds that it has got into a scrape, and has farther to go than it thought for, that its character comes out; it is then that it begins to writhe, and twist, and sweep out zone after zone in wilder stretching as it falls, and to send down the rocket-like, lance-pointed, whizzing shafts at its sides, sounding for the bottom. And it is this prostration, this hopeless abandonment of its ponderous power to the air, which is always peculiarly expressed by Turner, and especially in the case before us; while our other artists, keeping to the parabolic line, where they do not lose themselves in smoke and foam, make their cataract look muscular and wiry, and may consider themselves fortunate if they can keep it from stopping. I believe the majesty of motion which Turner has given by these concentric catenary lines must be felt even by those who have never seen a high waterfall, and therefore cannot appreciate their exquisite fidelity to nature.
In the Chain Bridge over the Tees, this passiveness and swinging of the water to and fro are yet more remarkable; while we have another characteristic of a great waterfall given to us, that the wind, in this instance coming up the valley against the current, takes the spray up off the edges, and carries it back in little torn, reverted rags and threads, seen in delicate form against the darkness on the left. But we must understand a little more about the nature of running water before we can appreciate the drawing either of this, or any other of Turner,s torrents.
When water, not in very great body, runs in a rocky bed much interrupted by hollows, so that it can rest every now and then in a pool as it goes along, it does not acquire a continuous 122. Difference in velocity of motion. It pauses after every leap, ?«, whenneonftinS: and curdles about, and rests a little, and then terrapted.WThein- g°es on agam 5 and if m this comparatively tranfliiatli'e<uoiiotwsc? cll"l and rational state of mind it meets with an its bed. obstacle, as a rock or stone, it parts on each side
of it with a little bubbling foam, and goes round; if it comes to a step in its bed, it leaps it lightly, and then after a little plashing at the bottom, stops again to take breath. But if its bed be on a continuous slope, not much interrupted by hollows, so that it cannot rest, or if its own mass be so increased by flood that its usual resting-places are not sufficient for it, but that it is perpetually pushed out of them by the following current, before it has had time to tranquillize itself, it of course gains velocity with every yard that it runs; the impetus got at one leap is carried to the credit of the next, until the whole stream becomes one mass of unchecked, accelerating motion. Now when water in this state comes to an obstacle, it does not part at it, but clears it, like a race-horse; and when it comes to a hollow, it does not fill it up and run out leisurely at the other side, but it rushes down into it and comes up again on the other side, as a ship into the hollow of the sea. Hence the whole appearance of the bed of the stream is changed, and all the lines of the water altered in their nature. The quiet stream is a succession of leaps and pools; the leaps are light and springy, and parabolic, and make a great deal of splashing when they tumble into the pool ; then we have a space of quiet curdling water, and another similar leap below. But the stream when it has gained an impetus takes the shape of its bed, never stops, is equally $23. But the con- deep and equally swift everywhere, goes down into lake" th/shapS every hollow, not with a leap, but with a swing, not of its bed. foaming, nor splashing, but in the bending line of a
strong sea-wave, and comes up again on the other side, over rock and ridge, with the ease of a bounding leopard; if it meet a rock three or four feet above the level of its bed, it will neither part nor foam, nor express any concern about the matter, but clear it in a smooth dome of water, without apparent exertion, coming down again as smoothly on the other side; the whole surface of the surge being drawn into parallel lines by its extreme velocity, but foamless, except in places where the form of the bed opposes itself at some direct angle to such a line of fall, and causes a breaker; so that the whole river has the appearance of a deep and raging sea, with this only difference, that the torrent-waves always break backwards, and sea-waves forwards. $ 24 Its exquisite Thus, then, in the water which has gained an imcurved lines. petus, we have the most exquisite arrangements of curved lines, perpetually changing from convex to concave, and vice verm, following every swell and hollow of the bed with their modulating grace, and all in unison of motion, presenting perhaps the most beautiful series of inorganic forms which nature can possibly produce; for the sea runs too much into similar and concave curves with sharp edges, but every motion of the torrent is united, and all its curves are modifications of beautiful line.
We see, therefore, why Turner seizes on these curved lines of the torrent, not only as being among the most beautiful forms of nature, but because they are an instant expression of the $ 25. Tumer's utmost power and velocity, and tell us how the th^hUtarklS0 °f torrent has been flowing before we see it. For the truth- leap and splash might be seen in the sudden freak
ishness of a quiet stream, or the fall of a rivulet over a milldam ; but the undulating line is the exclusive attribute of the mountain-torrent,* whose fall and fury have made the valleys
* On a large scale it is so, but the same lines are to be seen for the moment whenever water becomes exceedingly rapid, and yet feels the bottom as it passes, being not thrown up or cast clear of it. In gentral, the drawing of water fails from being too interrupted, the forms Hung hither and echo for miles; and thus the moment we see one of its curves over a stone in the foreground, we know how far it has come, and how fiercely. And in the drawing we have been speaking of, the lower fall of the Tees, in the foreground of the Killiecrankie and Rhymer's Glen, and of the St. Maurice, in Rogers,s Italy, we shall find the most exquisite instances of the use of such lines; but the most perfect of all in the Llanthony Abbey,
which may be considered as the standard of tor?t« drawing of the rent-drawing. The chief light of the picture here rent in the Lian- falls upon the surface of the stream, swelled by
recent rain, and its mighty waves come rolling down close to the spectator, green and clear, but pale with anger, in gigantic, unbroken, oceanic curves, bending into each other without break or foam, though jets of fiery spray are cast into the air along the rocky shore, and rise in the sunshine in dusty vapor. The whole surface is one united race of mad motion ; all the waves dragged, as I have described, into lines and furrows by their swiftness, and every one of these fine forms is drawn with the most studied chiaroscuro of delicate color, grays and greens, as silvery and pure as the finest passages of Paul Veronese, and with a refinement of execution which the eye strains itself in looking into. The rapidity and gigantic force of this torrent, the exquisite refinement of its color, and the vividness of foam which is obtained through a general middle
thither, and broken up and covered with bright touches, instead of being wrought out in their real unities of curvature. It is difficult enough to draw a curved surface, even when it is rough and has texture; but to indicate the varied and sweeping forms of a crystalline and polished substance, requires far more skill and patience than most artists possess. In some respects, it is impossible. I do not suppose any means of art are capable of rightly expressing the smooth, multitudinous rippling of a rapid rivulet of shallow water, giving its transparency lustre and fully-developed forms; and the greater number of the lines and actions of torrent-waves are equally inexpressible. The effort should, nevertheless, always be made, and whatever is sacrificed in color, freedom, or brightness, the real contours ought always in some measure to be drawn, as a careful draughtsman secures those of flesh, or any other finely-modelled surface. It is better, in many respects, the drawing should miss of being like water, than that it should miss in this one respect the grandeur of water. Many tricks of scratching and dashing will bring out a deceptive resemblance; the determined and laborious rendering of contour alone secures sublimity.