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Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843   By:

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BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCXXXVIII. DECEMBER, 1843. VOL. LIV.

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of each article.

CONTENTS.

LECTURES AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY. 691 SOMETHING ABOUT MUSIC. 709 THE PURPLE CLOAK; OR, THE RETURN OF SYLOSON TO SAMOS. 714 LOVE AND DEATH. 717 THE BRIDGE OVER THE THUR. 717 THE BANKING HOUSE. A HISTORY IN THREE PARTS. PART II. 719 COLLEGE THEATRICALS. 737 LINES WRITTEN IN THE ISLE OF BUTE. 749 TRAVELS OF KERIM KHAN. CONCLUSION. 753 NOTES ON A TOUR OF THE DISTURBED DISTRICTS IN WALES. 766 ADVENTURES IN TEXAS. NO. II. 777 DEATH FROM THE STING OF A SERPENT. 798 GIFTS OF TÉREK. 799 MARSTON; OR, THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN. PART VI. 801

INDEX TO VOL. LIV. 815

LECTURES AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

HENRY FUSELI.

At a time when the eye of the public is more remarkably, and we trust more kindly, directed to the Fine Arts, we may do some service to the good cause, by reverting to those lectures delivered in the Royal Academy, composed in a spirit of enthusiasm honourable to the professors, but which kindled little sympathy in an age strangely dead to the impulses of taste. The works, therefore, which set forth the principles of art, were not read extensively at the time, and had little influence beyond the walls within which they were delivered. Favourable circumstances, in conjunction with their real merit, have permanently added the discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds to the standard literature of our country. They have been transferred from the artist to the scholar; and so it has happened, that while few of any pretension to scholarship have not read the "The Discourses," they have not, as they should have, been continually in the hands of artists themselves. To awaken a feeling for this kind of professional reading yet not so professional as not to be beneficial reflectingly upon classical learning; indeed, we might say, education in general, and therefore more comprehensive in its scope we commenced our remarks on the discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds, which have appeared in the pages of Maga. There are now more than symptoms of the departure of that general apathy which prevailed, when most of the Academy lectures were delivered. It will be, therefore, a grateful, and may we hope a useful, task, by occasional notices to make them more generally known.

The successors of Reynolds labour under a twofold disadvantage; they find that he has occupied the very ground they would have taken, and written so ably and fully upon all that is likely to obtain a general interest, as to leave a prejudice against further attempts. Of necessity, there must be, in every work treating of the same subject, much repetition; and it must require no little ingenuity to give a novelty and variety, that shall yet be safe, and within the bounds of the admitted principles of art. On this account, we have no reason to complain of the lectures of Fuseli, which we now purpose to notice. Bold and original as the writer is, we find him every where impressed with a respect for Reynolds, and with a conviction of the truth of the principles which he had collected and established. If there be any difference, it is occasionally on the more debatable ground particular passages of criticism.

In the "Introduction," the student is supplied with a list of the authorities he should consult for the "History and Progress of his Art... Continue reading book >>


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