[1930] Whitley, William T. - Art in England 1821-1837

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Transcript of [1930] Whitley, William T. - Art in England 1821-1837

ART

IN

ENGLAND

1821-1837

Cambridge University PressFetter Lane,

London

New

Tork

Bombay^ Calcutta^ MadrasToronto

MacmillanTokyo

Maruzen Company, Ltd.AJJ rights reserved

Exhibited at the Royal

Academy 1827

LADY PEELBySir

Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A.

ART

IN ENGLAND,1821-1837By

WILLIAMArtists

T.

WHITLEYEngland,

Author ofThomas Gainsboroughandtheir Friends in

andArt in England, 1800-1820

CAMBRIDGEAT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN

PREFACETHE present volumeandtheiris

intended as a continuation of

my Artists

Friends in England, ijoo-ijgg\ and Art in England^ 1800-1820. Its object is to give information, additional to that already published in books on the subject, concerning the

history of art in England from 1821 to 1837 when the Victorian era commenced. During this period the principal event was the establishment of the National Gallery, of the origin and

foundation of which, and of its early history, I am able to give a much fuller description than any that has appeared as yet. My

found the Gallery, and of the apathy opening in 1824 was received, includes the hitherto unpublished correspondence between the Governmentaccount of theefforts to

with which

its

and the executors ofJohn Julius Angerstein. The original National Gallery was composed of the collection formed by Angerstein and regarded as one of the best in the country and the correspondence contains a detailed valuation of the pictures made for the Government in 1823. The newspaper comments, inletters

and articles, on the administration of the infant National Gallery and the pictures purchased for it, throw interesting light on the progress of the institution, and are sometimes exa

pressed in terms of singular frankness. The inner history of the Royal Academy, from the early days of Lawrence as President to its removal to the newly built

Square, is described from the Minutes and other records preserved at Burlington House. I give, among many other interesting details, the figures, never before pub lished, of the elections of the Academicians and Associatesgalleries in Trafalgar

during the period covered. The story is told in Chapter iv of the foundation of a rival institution to the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists, and of the building of the gallery whichthe Societystill

occupies in Suffolk Street.

v

PREFACEFrom contemporary newspapers and magazines I have ob tained many comments on the pictures exhibited at the Royal Academy, the British Institution and other galleries. Some ofthese are curious, especially those that deal with the later develop ments of the artof Turner. There are many criticisms of Constable,

who was by no means

neglectedtell,

by the

press, as

some of his bioof the

graphers suggest; and I

for the first time, the story

long and bitter persecution of this great artist begun by an anonymous newspaper correspondent in 1830, a persecution of which Leslie says nothing.

change of policy made by The Times in connection with is noticed in Chapter in. Details are given in xiv of the failure of Eastlake s effort to procure for the Chapter nation Sir Thomas Lawrence s famous collection of drawings by Old Masters. In the same chapter is an account, based onart criticism

A

material supplied by Eastlake, of the formation of the collection and the sources from which Lawrence obtained the drawings. Notes are given on some of the important art sales of the period, including those of Watson Taylor in 1823 an d 1832.

The second of these, at Erlestoke, is unrecorded by Redford or Graves, although Beckford declared that the treasures then dispersed exceeded in magnificence even those of Fonthill. list of a collection of paintings by Highmore, sold in 1826, will be found in Chapter vi; and among other sales noticed are those of the Marchioness of Sir Thomond, Lord de

A

Tabley,

Thomas Lawrence, and Benjamin West. An account is given in Chapter xiv of an unsuccessful attempt to sell by auctionGainsborough s Morning Walk, a picture regarded to-day as one of the finest and most valuable works of that artist.Letters are included in thiston,Sir

volume from the Duke of Welling Lord Liverpool, Lord Farnborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds,

Walter Scott, Sir William Beechey, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Sir George Sir Henry Beaumont, Raeburn, Sir David Wilkie,Constable, Bewick, Etty, John C. R. Leslie, Turner, Maria

Flaxman, Cosway, Haydon and Nollckens.for the first time.

Nash

the architect,

Many

of these letters are

now published

New

PREFACEinformationis also given concerning Fuseli, Bonington, Lord William Ward the engraver. Lord de Tabley, Crome, Egremont, William Seguier and others. The Appendix contains a descrip

tion of the National Gallery and its contents in 1838, was first established in Trafalgar Square.

when

it

My thanksAcademy

are due to the President

for

allowing

me

to

and Council of the Royal examine and quote from theto 1837; to

Minutes of that institution from 1821for his permission to include in this

Captain Holme

book some of

my

notes in

The Artto

Collections

Mr EL M.

of the Nation, published by The Studio in 1920; Hake, the Director of the National Portrait Gallery,s

of February 2nd, 1828; and to Mr H, Isherwood Kay of the National Gallery, for the letter, quoted in Chapter iv, from Thomas Birch Wolfe, nephew of Sir Henryfor Constableletter

Bate Dudley.

WILLIAM

T.

WHITLEY

CONTENTSChapterI,

1821

Eighteenth-century survivals Lawrence as President The British Institu tion Painters of the period Constable Popularity of Martin John Crome His library Crome s twenty-four children G6ricault at the Academy

Constable s picture The Hay Wain and a French critic The Ben West Exhibition James Ward s Waterloo Glover and Hofland jamin Cosway sells his collections Sale of Lady Thomond s pictures Turner bids for Sir Joshua s notebook The Lock sale Two hundred and twenty drawings by Richard Wilson The Academy buys the copy of Leonardo s Last Supper Death of Cosway Rubens paintbox Carlisle s lectures on anatomy at thedinner

Academy

Death ofJoseph Farington

Riotous proceedings The remuneration of Academy models His business capacity and power at the Academy

Alleged connection with LawrenceLife of Sir Joshua Reynolds

Condemned by Haydon

Faringtonp.

si

Chapter

II,

1822

Richard Cook elected an Academician The King and the sale of Cosway s pictures A letter from Mrs Cosway Her husband s miniatures left on her hands by sitters Singular Hanging Committee at the Academy The Exhibition Abuse of Turner s picture What you will The Reverend Richard Hume Lancaster Wilkie s Chelsea Pensioners The picture of the year A rail to keep off theConstable retouches The Hay Wain

A scandalous election

crowd Errors of the painter Oysters in June Wilkie s interview with Marshal Soult The Academy assists Blake Gruesome cast of a crucifiedfigure in the Schools

The Academy s

bill for

candles

Rumour

of the ins

tended foundation of a National Gallerygenerous proposal

Story in The Times of the King.

p. 23

Chapeau de Faille The picture exhibited in London Suggested explanation of its title Bought by Sir Robert Peel The Times and art criticism change of policy Election of an Academician Reinagle

Chapter III, 1823 The King and Rubens

A

defeats Constableletter

Death of Nollekens

His bad spelling

An extraordinaryTurners

Opening of the

Academy

Difficulties of the critics

Bay of

ix

CONTENTSBaiae

Wilkiefirst

s

change of stylesale

The

Watson Taylor

Harry Phillips the auctioneer His Death of Raeburn Our scanty knowledge of him William Carey s notes on Raeburn His financial difficulties The post of Limner to the King The Academy s receipts and disbursements during fiftyfour years Foundation of the Society of British Artists Building the gallery in Suffolk Street Letter from John Nash, the architect The last sale at Fonthill Unpleasant stories of added pictures Constable s comment on the sale "An auctioneer s job" Dispute about a topaz cup A reputed CelliniChristies

Tragic Muse King Street

The scene

at

and asphaltum Mrs Siddons as the Bidding Christie s Removal of Christie from Pall Mall toThe Parish Beadlefor Sir

Wilkies

Joshua

farewell speech

attitude in the rostrum

AChapter IV, 1824

37

Death of Sir Henry Bate DudleyHis portrait by Gainsborough Letter from the donor Academy elections George Jones succeeds Raeburn Openingof the British Artists gallery

Haydon

s

opinion ofs

it

The Academy ExConstable

hibitionA contemptuoussells

critic

Lawrence

Calmady Children

a picture

Wilkie out of favourto

No picture from Turner The reason

Lettersorigin-

from Turner

Schetky

The Angersteins

collection

The Prime Minister s letterwith Angersteintion

Story of its Proposal to purchase it for the State to the Duchess of Devonshire His correspon