Imágenes de página

the minds of the people were poisoned and public decency outraged. This expectation was fulfilled to a great extent. Aided by the Clergy, as well as by active and pains-taking Laymen, the Saturday Magazine was quickly circulated throughout the length and breadth of the land, while the obnoxious publications sank into contempt, and one after another disappeared.

The Saturday Magazine, therefore, was from the first a magazine for the times. Well has it done its work, and vast and durable have been the benefits it has conferred on Society. It has been, under Providence, the means of conveying light into dark places, of purifying the streams and invigorating the sources of knowledge, and of conducting the inquiring mind through Nature up to Nature's God.

But when the Saturday Magazine had acquired circulation, which is power, and was seen to work well and freely in an atmosphere cleansed and purified by its own motion, it was felt that much more remained to be done than could possibly be achieved within the limited space, and under the stringent conditions, to which, in order to render it available for its original purposes, the work had necessarily been confined. This conviction has been gradually extending, and it is now generally admitted that though the Saturday Magazine may have excited and met an inquiry for secular knowledge, collected and combined with Christian spirit, sound doctrine and spiritual knowledge have yet to be supplied.

Faithfully adhering to the principles laid down in the first instance, the Saturday Magazine has extended to twenty-five volumes, filled with facts and principles in Science and the Useful Arts with Antiquities, History and Biography-Natural History and Illustrations of Natural Phenomena-Topographical Descriptions, and Sketches of Voyages and Travels-and with select portions of poetry and light prose literature-abundantly garnished throughout with small pieces in verse and prose, wherein some fact or precept worthy of remembrance is conveyed, while the pieces themselves furnish agreeable specimens of the works of their respective writers and of the literature of their day.

More than this the limits and constitution of the work do not permit. To continue it therefore subject to existing conditions would involve the risk of becoming monotonous, and less practically useful, as well as the certainty of making the work so large as to render it on that account alone difficult for many of its present subscribers to perfect their sets: and place it wholly out of the reach of others who may desire to obtain it in a completed state.

To depart from the original conditions, even were a new series to be commenced, in order to make it, as it is now deemed right and desirable to do, a vehicle for the expression of opinions, as well as a journal of recreative literature, would be a breach of faith to two parties, namely, those who commenced, and those who supported, the work on its first-mentioned conditions. It is therefore determined that the Saturday Magazine shall be completed in twenty-five volumes, including a copious INDEX TO THE WHOLE, and in this form it will be kept permanently accessible in parts, volumes, or entire sets, at the option of old or new purchasers.

The concluding Number, Part, and Volume, are now published, and on the 1st of January, 1845, its successor commences, under the title of




IN announcing the appearance of a new Magazine, to take the place of one which for twelve years past has enjoyed the confidence of the public, and which is now discontinued, from a convic tion that it has answered the end which its projectors had in view, it is felt that the very large body of subscribers to the Saturday Magazine have a particular, as the public at large have a general, interest in learning the manner in which PARKER'S LONDON MAGAZINE will be conducted.

The new Magazine, like its predecessor and pioneer, will set forth instruction and amusement in a popular form. It will contain not only light and entertaining articles in miscellaneous Literature, but other original papers on more grave and solid subjects, that so each member of the family circle, the aged and the young alike, may welcome its periodical appearance for reasons separately, and especially their own.

In addition, however, to articles and papers of this description, PARKER'S LONDON MAGAZINE will be distinguished by a firm and temperate avowal of sound views on matters of interest to the different classes of the community. Reverence for the Church, and loyalty to the Queen, will be conspicuous in its pages; and we shall seek to find or to make our readers hearty Churchmen and loving subjects. The duties of the rich, and the rights of the poor-the blessings of subordination, and the responsibilities of high office-will be faithfully and fearlessly maintained.

[ocr errors]

When measures affecting the temporal well-being of the people pass under review, Religion, not Policy, will be our guide; and men shall be judged, not by their party, but by their words and their actions. In like manner, on matters more directly involving the interests of Religion, we shall recognize as the fitting object of our allegiance the Church of our Baptism—" the CHURCH of ENGLAND as it is distinguished from all PAPAL and PURITAN innovations." Our principles, therefore, will be found to be at once essentially Catholic, and distinctively Anglican. Thus shall we hope to be the means of drawing together, by a common bond of union, minds and hearts which have of late been too much estranged: securing for the Church of our Fathers that hold upon the affections of high and low among our people, which made the Home of our Fathers the land of contentment and of joy, even

Happie and Merrie England.

PARKER'S LONDON MAGAZINE will be published monthly, in Octavo, price One Shilling, and it is intended that each Number shall comprise a leading article upon some subject of general interest: Original Papers and Communications, in Prose and Verse: Historical Notes in connexion with the Month: Reviews and Notices of Books: Remarks on Public Events: together with the occasional introduction of Anecdotes and Amusing Extracts.

Bishop Ken.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]




Kind too late,
Relenting Fortune weeps o'er Wilson's fate;
Remorseful owns her blindness, and to fame
Consigns, with sorrow, his illustrious name.-SHEE.

IT has been justly observed, that the name of Richard Wilson is a reproach to the age in which he lived. He was the most accomplished landscape painter this country ever produced, uniting the composition of Claude with the execution of Poussin, yet with powers which ought to have raised him to the highest fame, and the most prosperous fortune, Wilson was suffered to live embarrassed and to die poor. "Conscious of his claims, however, he bore the neglect he experienced with firmness and dignity; and though he had the mortification to see very inferior talents preferred in the estimation of the public, yet he was never seduced to depart from his own style of painting, or to adopt the more fashionable and imposing qualities of art which his superior judgment taught him to condemn, and which the example of his works ought to have exposed and suppressed.' From the life of Wilson, as given by Wright, we collect the following particulars.

Richard Wilson, the distinguished ornament of the British school of landscape painting, was the third son of a lergyman in Montgomeryshire. His father possessed a small benefice in that county, but soon after the birth of Richard he was collated to the living of Mould, in Flintshire. The family consisted of six sons and one daughter, all of whom died unmarried. The eldest son was a collector of customs in the town of Mould; the second was a clergyman, and obtained good preferment in Ireland; the third was our artist, born in 1713; the fourth was a tobacconist at Holywell, who afterwards went to Pennsylvania and there died; the youngest, when a little boy, was killed by the falling in of the Barley Hill at Mould, under which he was playing; Miss Wilson was an attendant on Lady Sandown, a lady of the bed-chamber to Queen Caroline, and it was through her means that Richard Wilson afterwards obtained an introduction to the royal family.

French paper, and is treated in a bold and masterly


Though Wilson appears fully to have reached the standard of portrait painting, as it then prevailed among his contemporaries, yet his works in this department are not much known, and no decided character has been affixed to them. His skill in drawing a head was, nevertheless, highly creditable, and a proof of this formerly existed in the collection of J. Richards, Esq., one of the founders, and secretary to the Royal Academy. It is a portrait of Admiral Smith, executed in black and white chalk, as large as life, upon brown

Wilson continued to practise portrait-painting in
London for some time, when he was enabled, by the
assistance of his relations, to travel into Italy. There
he still followed the same department, not being aware
that this was not the true direction for his talents. He
was much respected by his countrymen abroad, and
frequented good society. Of the circumstances which
led him to turn his attention to landscape painting the
following account is given.-One day, while waiting for
the coming home of Zucarelli, upon whom he had
called at Venice, Wilson made a sketch in oil from the
window of the apartment, with which that artist was so
highly pleased that he strongly recommended him to
apply himself to landscape painting. Soon after another
incident occurr
urred, tending to confirm him in an inclina-
tion he now experienced to follow that pursuit. The
celebrated French painter, Vernet, whose works at that
period were held in the highest estimation, happening
one day, while both these artists were studying at
Rome, to visit Wilson's painting-room, was so struck
with a landscape he had painted, that he requested to
become the possessor of it, offering in exchange one of
his best pictures; the proposal was gladly accepted, and
the picture delivered to Vernet, who, with a liberality as
commendable as it is rare, placed it in his exhibition-
room, and recommended the painter of it to the cog-
noscenti, as well to the English nobility and gentry
who happened to be visiting the city." Don't talk of
my landscapes, when you have so clever a fellow in
your countryman, Wilson," was the observation of this
liberal-minded man.

There is very little doubt but that Wilson had painted some landscapes before he went abroad; but it is still more certain, that he never went through a regular course of study in landscape-painting until some time after his arrival in Italy. Unlike most artists he did not spend his time in copying the pictures of the old masters, but he contented himself with diligently studying their works, and then confirming his observations by reference to nature. Thus, instead of a decided imitation of the pictures of Italian masters, he struck out a manner of his own, which was, both in design and execution, classical, grand, and original.

Wilson's studies met with rapid success in Italy. He had pupils in landscape painting while at Rome, and his works were so much esteemed that Mengs painted his portrait, for which Wilson in return painted a landscape.

It does not appear that a taste for painting exhibited itself in any other member of the Wilson family, except Richard, but in him it was an early and marked predi.ection not to be mistaken. When quite a child he was frequently seen tracing, with a burnt stick, figures on the wall. Of his education and progress in general Wilson remained abroad six years, having left Engknowledge we have no account, but it appears that a land in 1749 and returned in 1755. On his arrival in relation, Sir George Wynne, at length took him to London he took up his abode over the north arcade of London, and placed him under the tuition of an obscure the Piazza, Covent-garden. He afterwards lived in painter of portraits, named Wright, living in Covent- Charlotte-street, Fitzroy-square, and also in Great garden. Whatever knowledge his master was capable Queen-street, Lincoln's Inn-fields, in apartments afterof imparting Wilson rapidly acquired; and it seems wards occupied by Mr. Theed, the sculptor. Several that he must have gained for himself no mean rank other places of abode are also mentioned, especially the among portrait painters, for, in 1748, that is, when he neighbourhood of Marylebonne, where the country was was thirty-five years of age, he executed a large picture at that time much more open than it is at present. of the Prince of Wales, afterwards George the Third, Wilson is said to have changed his quarters whenever and of his brother the Duke of York. This was done his view was intercepted by the erection of a new buildfor Dr. Hayter, Bishop of Norwich, at that time tutoring, and this with more regard to his love of nature to the princes. He also painted another portrait of the than to his pecuniary circumstances. At one period he prince, from which there is a mezzotinto print by Faber. resided at the corner of Foley-place, Great PortlandThe original picture bears the date of 1751. street; his last abode in London was a mean house in Tottenham-street, Tottenham-court-road, in which he occupied the first and second floors, almost without furniture.

To the first exhibition of 1760, in the Great Room at Spring-gardens, Wilson sent his picture of Niobe, which confirmed the reputation he had previously gained as a landscape painter. It was bought by William Duke of Cumberland, and came afterwards into the possession of the Duke of Gloucester. In 1765 he exhibited, with other pictures, a view of Rome, from


« AnteriorContinuar »