Page images
PDF
EPUB

it contains: treasures, very few of which can now be met with-and, when found, are well known how to be appreciated!

But the present article being already sufficiently extensive, I shall therefore give a bibliographical sketch of the contents of this incomparable library in my next number. Its magnitude and value are not so generally known as they deserve to be.

Royal Institution.

Mr. Dave's fourth lecture, on the Chemical Phenomena of Nature, related to temperature, to the capacities of bodies for heat, and to latent heat. The conducting powers of different bodies were described ; and it was stated, that good conductors, such as the metals, communicate a much higher sensation of heat than bad conductors, the temperature of which is much higher. Moist air

being a much better conductor than dry air, produces upon the sensations a much stronger effect, and moist air, at 40o, feels colder than dry air, at 30°. The power possessed by animal bodies, of resisting heat and cold, was described, and the relations of the subject to the economy of nature discussed.

Mr. Wood's third lecture on Perspective, began with a recapitulation of the second, and proceeded by giving the representation of a point in the picture, in which were contained the elements of practical perspective. The square was then put into perspective, and followed by the method of cutting off a given portion, from a line in perspective, in any direction; planes, perpendicular and oblique to the picture, were then represented, as also the cube ; below, upon, and above the horizontal line, applied to buildings. The lecture concluded with observations upon the necessity of supposing the picture, and point of distance, fixed and immoveable.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

On Thursday, March 5, Mr. Douglas Guest read his second lecture on the state of the fine arts in Spain. The subject was prefaced with examples from antient history, of the importance and esteem in which they have ever been held; their near affinity to morals was deduced from many points. The inquiry then extended to the principles on which the fine arts are founded, and the sources of a correct taste. Mr. Guest endeavoured to prove from the practice of the different schools, that it is only to be obtained, by the frequent contemplation of the higher excellencies. He then reverted to the state of the arts in this country, from which he drew favourable conclusions, and mentioned, with every respect and admiration, the promoters and founders of the British Gallery, for their exertions in encouraging, and protecting the fine arts in the British Empire. Throughout the whole, a deeided preference was given to the nobler pursuits of the art, as not only tending to correct the public taste, but proving their

encouragement to be the only means of perfecting it among ourselves. Mr. Guest then resumed his subject on Spain, beginning with Seville, and a description of its public edifices and paintings. The palace of Madrid, its academies, theatres, and dramatic writers concluded the dis

In describing the works of the Spanish painters, Mr. G. was assisted by the original sketches of Titian's last supper, in the Escurial, and the Infanta of Spain on horseback, by Velasquez.

course,

British Gallery.

No. 19. Crucifixion of our Saviour.

B. West, P. R. A. 28. The Ascension of our Saviour.

Do. Of these two pictures, which are treated with the usual learning and accuracy of the President, the latter will probably be preferred, from its being free

from allegory. In the former, the attention is withdrawn from the principal object by the variety of the surrounding allegorical groupes. They are both, however, executed in that firm and spirited manner which distinguish the smaller pictures of Mr. West.

No. 32. Nathan reproving David.

R. Cook. Mr. Cook is, we understand, an elève of the celebrated Mr. Smirke; and in this picture that soft and quiet tone of colouring may be observed which are among the best characteristics of his master's style. The antique is evidently imitated in the composition ; and though perhaps the piece is, upon the whole, rather of too formal and theatrical a cast for the familiar yet encrgetic manner in which Nathan reproves David, it is nevertheless justly entitled to all the praise which connoisseurs have bestowed upon it.

Purchased by T. IJope, Esq.

« PreviousContinue »