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CHRISTIAN ART.
From the DUBLIN REVIEW for J2me, 1847.

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CHRISTIAN ART.
————o—-——-—

ART. X.—--1. Sketches of the Ilistorg of Christian Art. By LORD
LINDSAY. 3vols. Murray, 1847.
2. The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1847. (Catalogue)

THE pages of our Review have been more than once
devoted to the subject of Christian art. Both directly
and indirectly, we have sought to excite an interest in
it, and to explain its principles. And we have many
reasons for believing that we have not laboured in
vain. We do not pretend to have produced a painting
by anything that we may have written, nor even perhaps to have laid down a single new principle. But,
debarred as Englishmen have been from acquaintance
with an art essentially religious, and from the power

of contemplating its results —— unconscious as English
Catholics necessarily were of the artistic power of
principles and doctrines, rites and practices of their
Church, from not having witnessed their fruits—the
first step towards creating a school of English religious art, naturally was to bring before the mind
such general information on the subject as would excite
curiosity, and such more definite views as would give
riseto hOpes at least, and even to endeavours.
Besides, therefore, articles devoted expressly to this
matter, we have never failed to embrace any Opportunity that presented itself, of pointing out the beauties and artistic elements of the Catholic ceremonial,
as well as the poetry of our ritual, and forms of prayer,
2 a 2

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CHRISTIAN ART.

conclusion, that the time is at length come for practice rat-her than theory; and that we must earnestly
think of embodying in actual representation those
forms of beauty, which we have till now contemplated
as either reflections of past realities, or as shadows of
possible futurities. If it has been given to this Review
to lead forward the Catholic mind to higher and better
views, upon the more @sflzetic parts of ecclesiastical
and religious institutions; if its mission had been in
the past to Open brighter prospects, which have not
been disappointed; if it has successfully seconded and
promoted the ecclesiological movement, such as it has
been amongst us, and the theological movement which
has been without, we feel that it is only fulfilling a
portion of its duty as an exponent of Catholic feeling
and Catholic truth, by turning the minds of our
fellow Catholics to a more practical realization of what
till now have been but hOpes, of the foundation of a
religious school of design and art in England.
We have uniformly observed, that in our age as in
every other, indefinite instincts precede clear indications of great beneficial changes; there is a silent
yearning, a consciousness of want, before active measures are even thought of; a discontent of the past
and actual state of things, before plans are gone into
for the future. We could illustrate this course of
things in various ways, having reference to the religious occurrences of the last few years. But in regard
to religious art, we think the manifestations of desire
for better things are very clear, and sufficiently strong
to make us think of how they may be attained.
First, there has been more knowledge obtained and

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357

Catholics in particular, on the existence, and perhaps
the characteristics, of Christian art. Many have become acquainted with them by travelling, and more
works have been lately written on the subject. The
one before us is a remarkable one, not as a popular,
but as a very learned and diligent, and often even
eloquent, book, though far from Catholic. But we
will reserve our remarks on it to a later portion of our
article. At present we will content ourselves with
remarking, that the names of Christian artists, dead
and living, have become much more familiar to us than
they used to be. Catholics, even the less learned in
such things, would know, if they were told of a painting
of the Blessed Angelico or Overbeck, that there would
be necessarily a religious tone and character in it,
such as they would never expect to find in one by
West or Sir Joshua Reynolds.
But secondly, our taste has as much to do in the
matter as our knowledge. We have learnt what is a
religious tone and character. A few years ago, specimens of art, worthy of the name, were not within
our reach. A few costly engravings of older masters
might indeed be found in the portfolios of rich connoisseurs, from which the character of Christian artists
might be studied; but nothing could be more paltry,
more degrading to their subjects, than the majority of
prints furnished by France, or by our own country,
to the bulk of our peOple. Wretched in design as in
execution, devoid of all feeling, of all expression, of all
mere beauty even, they were calculated only to give
the idea that religious representations stood below,
rather than above, every other department of art.
Tawdrily-coloured prints, ill-defined mezzotintos, or
rude etchings of meanly-imagined figures, formed the
staple of decorations for the room, or of illustrations

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for the prayer-book. Neither devotion nor even a
pious thought could be inspired by such abortions of
art. By degrees, however, engravings of a superior
style have found their way from France and Germany.
The Academy of Dusseldorf has become the regenerator
of religious taste all over Europe. The beautiful designs of Overbeck, Deger, the two Miillers, and other
artists, have been exquisitely engraved by Keller and
his school; and, through the modern machinery of an.
association, have been scattered on every side at the
lowest price; a price which would bring them within
the reach of the poorest peasant in this country, but
for the barbarous duty, which is fully equal to the
cost of the print.a The importation of these admirable
specimens of religious art, has led to a successful
imitation, or rather COpying, both of their subjects
and style, in England. Mr. Dolman reproduced Ourmer’s designs from Overbeck (which, though published
in Paris, were executed at Diisseldorf), with great
success; and most of the Dusseldorf Society’s series
has been re-engraved at Derby, and published by
Messrs. Richardson, with their usual spirit.
The effect of these publications has been very important; they have, as we have observed, brought
home to the eyes and feelings of Catholics of every
rank, specimens of real Christian art. Few, perhaps,
can judge of the accuracy of the design, or the delicacy
of the engraving; but every one can feel the accordance between the expression and ideas and sentiments,
While on every other article subject to duty, 10 per cent. is the
average rate of duty, on prints it still continues to be a penny each.
This is a trifle upon large and expensive engravings, but on the
Dusseldorf prints, which cost only one penny, it amounts to 100 per
cent. Having imported a large number, chiefly for distribution among
the poor, we had to pay £25 for duty, and appealed, in vain, to the
inexorable Vandalism of financial officials.
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CHRISTIAN ART.

which his heart tells him are good and holy. Instead
of the vague stare of a figure, which, but for a pair of
keys or a sword in its hand, might as well represent
Pontius Pilate as an apostle, one now expects dignity
of attitude, nobleness of features, holiness of expression, majesty of action. Instead of the unmeaning
beauty of feature (if even this) by which the best
is
attempts at a Madonna were characterized, no one
satisfied without an approach at least to the sweetness,
the grace, the purity, and the queenly grandeur, that
befit the Virgin-Mother of God. In like manner we
now desire and expect to see, in the representation of
sacred histories, the simplicity of action, naturalness
of arrangement, and power of expression, which enables
the feelings to apprehend
the eye to read them, and
them—the truest test of real religious art. We are
alive to that holy, calm, and quiet beauty which pervades the compositions of the older Italian, and modern
German, masters, where one can almost divine what
each person is saying and thinking, as well as one
can see what he is doing.
It may be said that all these observations apply
only to Catholics, and afford no indication of a similar
taste springing up in the country in general. Perhaps
not; although at the same time we sincerely believe
that symptoms of it are appearing among the peOple
in general. We shall have more to say presently on
the subject. But, first, we are anxious to express our
_

_

art writing entirely about the arts of design, and principally on painting and drawing, though many of
our observations will apply likewise to sculpture and
carving. We say, then, that the taste and feeling for

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CHRISTIAN ART.

Christian art, to which we have alluded, must not be
confounded with the architectural movement, which,
however valuable in itself, goes upon different principles, and, in some respects, may be considered as
discouraging of what we wish to see revived in art.
The tendency of architectural movements is to return
to given models, and to reproduce, as nearly as possible,
the works of other times. This is the case with every
sort of architecture. If a man revive Egyptian
patterns, he must needs introduce sphinxes and
hieroglyphics, though they are worse than absolute
nonsense; and the restorers of Grecian architecture
give us most punctually the wreathed skulls of victims, the paterae, and other heathen symbols, devoid of
meaning, and of beauty too, when out of place. The
better ecclesiological movement which has taken place
in England (most happily, we own) has a similar,
though better-directed tendency to reproduce the rudenesses, and even deformities, of past ages. It so happened, by a very obvious process, that the various
branches of what are called the fine arts did not develop
equally in any country; that while architecture, for
instance, in England and France had reached its prime
of matchless beauty, drawing and painting were not
equally advanced: hence, splendid canOpies overshadow
but indifferent figures, and the few remains which we
have of painting generally present but inferior specimens of conception or design. Unfortunately, in COpying, as they deserve, the architectural monuments of
our forefathers, we have taken to admire, and even to
copy, their very unequal embellishments in the way of
sculpture and drawing.
But this is not even the worst: we have almost
canonized defects, and sanctified monstrosities. What
was the result of ignorance or unskilfulness, we attrié

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361

bute to some mysterious influence, or deep design. A
few terms give sanction and authority to any outrato stiffness,
geousness in form, anatomy, or position;
hardness, meagreness, unexpressiveness—nay, to imhuman
possibilities in the present structure of the
frame. Feet twisted round, fingers in wrong order on
the hand, heads inverted on their shoulders, distorted
features, squinting eyes, grotesque postures, bodies
stretched out as if taken from the rack, enormously
elongated extremities, grimness of features, fierceness
of expression, and an atrocious contradiction to the
anatomical structure of mam—where this is displayed,
are not only allowed to pass current, but are published
into stained
in the transactions of societies, are copied “
,”
glass, images, and prints, and are called mystica

or “ symbolical,” or conventional” forms and representations. And this is enough to get things praised
and admired, which can barely be tolerated by allowseen
ance for the rudeness of their own age. We have
declare
representations of saints such as we honestly
we should be sorry to meet in flesh and blood, with
the reality of their emblematic sword or club about
them, on the highway at evening. And because these
were the productions of an age eminently Catholic,
they are considered as the types of an art equally so.
But religious art does not look at time, but at nature,
which changes not, and at religion, which is equally
immutable. To make rude carvings, because the
building on which they are placed is Norman, or to
make a stiff design because the glass is framed in Early
English tracery, may be all quite characteristic, but it
is not artistic. The object of all art is to speak to the
of
eye, and, through it, to the feelings ; and the object
religious art is consequently to excite, through the
or
sight, religious emotions adequate to the subjects

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CHRISTIAN ART.

persons represented. It is not intended that the spectator should have to say, “ How well the Norman
style is carried out even in the carvings !” or, “ How

admirably the glass of Edward the Fourth’s time has
been imitated!” or, “ One could really fancy that
crucifixion to have been painted in the thirteenth
century I” but it is to be desired and aimed at, that the
beholder, antiquarian or simple, scholar or peasant,
should at once feel himself penetrated with a sense of
the beautifully holy, be enamoured of the virtues which
beam from the face, and seem to clothe the form of the
figure before him; that from earthly comeliness his
thoughts should rise to the contemplation of heavenly
charms; that he should at once weep or exult, be
humbled or gain confidence, as he gazes—not to study
or criticise, but to feel.
While, therefore, we will join to the full pitch of our
voice in the cry of condemnation that has been raised
against all that is frivolous, trumpery, and trivial in
sacred art; while we utterly anathematize all representations of the Immaculate Mother in modern Parisian
fashions, and of angels in the attitudes of a posturemaster, we are not prepared to admire a figure of the
former merely because enve10ped in a diapered mantle,
nor of the latter simply because he wears a cope. We
want more than these accessaries, however valuable;
we want truth, according to our noblest conceptions.
The devout mind loves to contemplate the Incarnate
Glory of heaven as the type of dignified and hallowed
beauty—as the “ speciosusformat pm; filiis Izomi/Imm,”
figuring in Himself all that humanity could ever con.
tain of out-ward comeliness as expressive of inward
perfection. He was a man—-—“ in si/mz'htudinem hominum
factus, ct habitu invent/ms at Izomo”——-—and therefore he
is to be represented with features, limbs, bones, muscles,

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and sinews like those of other men. But whether as
an infant, or as a youth, or as grown to full manhood
--—-at Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, or Calvary—
His effigy must be to the eye (so far as art can portray
it) what loving thought of Him is to the soul, the
combination of all that is nobly beautiful. Even in
the agonies of death, even extended on the cross, the
Christian
eye of faith, and consequently the eye of
art, cannot contemplate Him otherwise. We are repulsed, therefore, rather than attracted, by those
mediaeval representations of Him, which place before
us a body painfully extenuated, with ill-proportioned
or distorted limbs, and with a haggard, if not an illfavoured countenance; nor are we gained to admiration by being told, that such an effigy is more mystical
or symbolical. For we cannot see how mysticism
should require that which is supremely fair to be set
forth as ugly, nor how external disproportion or uncOmeliness should be the rightful symbol of what is

infinite perfection,—
“ Quaecumque ostendis mihi sic incredulus odi.”

And in like manner, we have no toleration for any
intended likeness of His Virgin Mother, which ex“
hibits her other than as the iota pulckra Maria” of
the Church’s song. Sweet, graceful, maidenly in
countenance and carriage we wish to see her ever
represented; full of peace, benignity, and cheering
joy, whether smiling on her own infant or on us;
blending the Mother and the Virgin only by the
tempering with majesty of the unfading bloom of
celestial charms.
Strange indeed, it may seem, that while the mental
so
type of this unparalleled being should have been
clearly, so sublimely brought out by a Bernard, its

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artistic type should have been locked up in the
hard
and dark delineations of the Byzantine school,
waiting
as it were for a germ of life to bring them
into the
warm and bright existence of the Christian
school.
But this only proves what we have before remarked,
that the various arts deve10ped at different periods,
and thus the poetry of religion opened into blossom
before its painting.
What we have already written may suffice to explain
our conviction, that if a Catholic school of art has to
be raised in England, it must not only be independent
of the architectural school which has been formed, but
must rest on principles totally different from those on
which this is based. First, it must not set out with
the idea of mere reproduction, or of c0pying
older
masters, or of having a warrant and authority for everything it does. In other words, a school of Christian
art, to succeed, must not be an antiquarian establishment. It must start on the principle that it is
essentially a creative art, that it must invent as well
as the old masters did, that it must
study them and
cull out their excellencies, but must not servilely c0py
them : it may imitate, but not transcribe. Hence we

must have no Sax on, or Mediaeval, or Gothic, or Cinquecento styles, but a pure Christian style, wherever and
whenever it has to be used.
Secondly, the work must begin from the
Till now, we have taken an old brass, beginning.
or an old
window,b or an old statue; we have rubbed the
one,
traced the other, and pressed or moulded the
third 3
We must gratefully acknowledge, however, that
a great improvement has been visible of late in the stained glass,
in I‘GSpect to
'
b

accurate drawing, breadth, and expression

much remains to be done.

CHRISTIAN ART.

.

365

and have got artists that could copy exactly. But this
is not art. We can thus indeed create clever workmen,
and accurate imitators; but we give them no principles, and they can never materially get beyond what
they find. The study of Christian art must begin
where every other branch begins,——by accurate drawing, by studies from nature, and then by studying
and copying the best models, chastening and purifying
as it proceeds, the mere animal forms and traits, and
drawing out, and learning to embody, those characters,
as
expressions, and feelings, which belong to religion
distinct from nature, and to the inward, rather than
to the outward, life.
Now this last can only be done by three different
means combined. The first is the study, to which we
have already alluded, of the great Catholic masters of
is
every country, particularly of Italy. The second
the use of proper models. Academical models will
do well enough for anatomy and attitude; and a lay
figure will answer for hanging on drapery; but the
living characteristics of Christian art, expression not
merely of features, but of form, must be sought among
those whose lives exhibit the practice, and consequently whose exterior presents the type, of the virtues
to be represented. For, as was intimated above, truth
must be the aim of art; and, thank God, in the Catholic Church the type of art is not ideal, in a strict
sense, but real. The older artists may have elevated
and purified the models which they used, but they
nevertheless did not invent them. They found them
in the Church, and they formed their style upon them;
and in the same place the Catholic artist must look
for the same guidance. He will still find his St.
Brunos, as Zurbeyran did, among his disciples the
Carthusians, and his St. Bernards among the Cister-

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CHRISTIAN ART.

cians ; and he will be surprised to see again and again,
before and round the altar, the attitudes, the arrange.
ments, and even the countenances and bearing of
figures and groups, which have appeared to him
masterly inventions, when seen in the old masters.
But the third means, and the principal one, by
which any one can hope to attain the true principles
and practice of religious art, is meditation and devout
study of its objects, joined to holiness of life, and the
attempt, at least, to realize in himself the character
that he wishes to depict. Without this, all other
efforts are vain. We wish the full extent of the cost
to be known by those who may be gloriously bold
enough to bid for this crown. We may easily have a
school of religious naturalists, such as interrupted the
succession of great artists in Italy, and such as France
now has; men who, by combining natural beauty
with studied attitude, have fancied, if they thought at
all about it, that they were painting saints. Such
men may call themselves religious and Catholic artists,
but they will never accomplish anything worthy of
the name: they will be cold, insipid, and eventually
mannered. We have been struck with the character
and even appearance of the modern Catholic artists of
Germany: no one can know them without seeing at
once that they believe in all that they express, that
their hearts go with their hands in their work, that
they are impressed with the feeling that what they
are doing is a holy thing. It would be invidious,
and hardly delicate, to mention names: but let any
one make the acquaintance of the principal Catholic
painters at Rome; or let any lover of the arts, who is
making the usual trip of the Rhine, stOp to visit the
splendid church built by Count Fiirstenberg at Apolli—
narisbcrg, near Bonn, and converse with the Diisscl-

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dorf academicians engaged on its beautiful frescoes,
and we are sure he will be satisfied, that the work
which he admires is the fruit of sincere faith and
religious meditation.
But if the artist look back for his models among
the great religious painters of the Middle Ages, he will
find, not mere piety, but absolute sanctity become the
guarantee of success in its perfection. The connection
between the two—between perfection in virtue (where
abilities are not deficient) and perfection in Christian
art—becomes demonstrated, as well as exhibited, in
the Blessed Giovanni, or, as he is oftener called,
Angelico da Fiesoli. We will quote his character as
given by Vasari, whose own. style, life, and disposition,
were diametrically Opposite to his.
“ He was simple, and most holy in his. manners,——and let this serve

for token of his simplicity, that Pope Nicholas one morning offering
him refreshment, he scrupled to eat flesh without the license of his
superior, forgetful for the moment of the dispensing authority of the
pontiff. He shunned altogether the commerce of the world, and
living in holiness and in purity, was as loving towards the poor on earth
as think his soul must now be in heaven. He worked incessantly
at his art, nor would he ever paint other than sacred subjects. He
might have been rich, but cared not to be so, saying that true riches
consisted rather in being content with little. He might have ruled
over many, but willed it not, saying there was less trouble and hazard
of sin in obeying others. Dignity and authority were within his
grasp, but he disregarded them, affirming that he sought no other
advancement than to escape Hell and draw near to Paradise. He
was most meek and temperate, and by a chaste life loosened himself
from the snares of the world, oft-times saying that the student of
painting had need of quiet and to live without anxiety, and that the
dealer in the things of Christ ought to dwell habitually with Christ.
Never was he seen in anger with the brethren, which appears to me
a thing most marvellous, and all but incredible; his admonitions to
his friends were simple, and always softened by a smile. Whoever
sought to employ him, he answered with the utmost courtesy, that he
would do his part willingly so the prior were content. In sum, this
never sufficiently to be lauded father was most humble and modest in

I

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all his words and deeds, and in his paintings graceful and devout,
and the saints which he painted have more of the air and aspect of
saints than those of any other artist. He was wont never to retouch
or amend any of his paintings, but left them always as they had
come from his hand at first; believing, as he said, that such was the
will of God. Some say that he never took up his pencils without
previous prayer. He never painted a crucifix without tears bathing
his cheeks; and throughout his works, in the countenance and attitude of all his figures, the correspondent impress of his sincere and
exalted appreciation of the Christian religion is recognisable. Such,
adds Vasari, “ was this very angelic father, who spent the whole of his
time in the service of God and in doing good to the world and to his
neighbour. And truly a gift [virtu] like his could not descend on
any but a man of most saintly life; for a painter must be holy himself
before he can depict holiness.”——Pp. 195-6-7.

We have given this character by Vasari from Lord
Lindsay’s work; and we are sure we shall further
illustrate our subject by another extract, in which
the noble author describes the results of the saintly
character, as exhibited on the artist’s canvas. The
following is his description of B. Angelico’s chief
excellence :——-

“ Expression, accordingly—the special exponent of Spirit, as Form

is of Intellect, and Colour of Sense—is the peculiar prerogative of
Fra Angelico. Ecstasy and enthusiasm were his native element, and
the emotions of his heart animated his pencil with a tenderness and
repose, a love and a peace in which no one has yet excelled or even
equalled him. These are the unvarying characteristics of the Madonna
in his paintings. The true theory of her likeness presumes her outward form to have been so exquisitely moulded and etherealized by
inward purity and habitual converse with heaven, that Gabriel might
have known her among mankind by her face alone, had he been in
search of her, with no other token. Subsequently to the Nativity,
the mother’s love must be supposed to blend with the innocence of
the Virgin, and a beauty to result from the union, combining the
holiness and purity of both estates, as inconceivable as that union
itself was supernatural. Hence, evidently, an ideal for the artist’s
imagination, impossible of attainment, but which he will ever seek
after, whether by spiritualizing the lineaments of her most dear to
him, or by appropriating and reanimating some one of the many
ancient portraitures of the Virgin,——for there is no one fixed traditional



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resemblance, as of our Saviour. Every great painter, accordingly,
of his domestic
has his distinctive type, born (for the most part)
rose,
affections, —— daughters of loveliness are they, sweet as the
but
pure as the dew, capable of the holiest and loftiest of thoughts,
in almost every instance marked with an individuality which disas
tresses the imagination, while the absence of that individuality
and
invariably infers vagueness and insipidity. Now the peculiarity
merit (as it appears to me) of Fra Angelico is, that his Virgins are
neither vague nor individua1,———even while doing nothing, they breathe
of heaven in their repose—they are visible incarnations of the beauty
of holiness, and yet not mere abstractions—they are most emphatically feminine—the ideal of womanhood as the chosen temple of the
Trinity; they are to the Madonnas of other painters what Eve may be
lineasupposed to have been to her daughters before the Fall—their
ments seem to include all other likenesses, to assume to each several
was because
votary the semblance he loves most to gaze upon.
Fra Angelico’s whole life was love—diverted by his vow of celibacy
from any specific object, that his imagination thus sought for and
found inspiration in heaven. Next to the Madonna, may mention
the heads of our Saviour, of the apostles and saints in Fra Angelico’s
pictures, as excelling in expression and beauty, as well as those of the
elect, in his representations of the Last Judgment; his delineations
of the worldly, the wicked, the reprobate, are uniformly feeble and
inadequate; his success or failure is always proportioned to his moral
sympathy or distaste.” °——Pp. 191-2-3.

It

I

Let us, then, at once draw our conclusion. We
must not expect, nor ought we to desire, the formation
of a religious school of art otherwise than by the
formation of a school of religious artists ; that is, of
men who will do their work with faith and for love,
whose outward performances will be only counterparts
of an inward devotion; so that what they strive to represent in form and colour shall be the visions of their
of the most beautiful productions of B. Angelico’s pencil is
his Last Judgment, in the gallery of the late Cardinal Fesch. Lord
Lindsay has described it (vol. iii. p. 187). It was bought in, at
the sale of the cardinal’s pictures, by his nephew, the prince of
This
Canino; and has just been purchased from him by Lord Ward.
will be a most valuable addition to the small share of specimens of
Christian art possessed by England.
° One

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2b

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CHRISTIAN ART.

own pious meditations, and the fruit of their constant
conversation with things spiritual and holy.
We have before said, that a school of Christian art
must Spring up under the conviction that this is
creative, and not merely imitative; and this may call
for some eXplanation here. There is a medium to
be kept, not binding on the pursuer of any other
branch of art: the one between traditional modes and
original ideas. Here, too, we are in danger of being
cramped by prejudices in favour of the mere antique.
It is certain, indeed, that the first revivers of painting,
how much soever they cultivated and perfected design,
colouring, and expression, allowed themselves to be
severely fettered in composition, by the standard or
traditionary manner of representing given subjects;
so as to have departed but slowly and cautiously from
the stiff and formal arrangement of a preceding period.
This is easily accounted for. They painted essentially
for the peogale. Let that never be forgotten. Their
pictures might be ordered by a prince or a wealthy
merchant; but it was never with a view of putting
them into a gallery, only to be Opened by a ticket or a
shilling, but to be hung over some altar, or to adorn
the walls of a Cloister, or perhaps a public hall. They
painted, therefore, so that the people should at once
understand their pictures; and therefore, as they had
been accustomed to see the subjects treated. To have
left out, or violently displaced, figures which always
formed part of a subject, would have been to disturb
the habitual train of thought, and consequently the
devotion of those who came to be edified, and to pray
before them. And here let us pause for one moment,
to express our feeling, of how glorious a sight must
have been presented by one of the churches of Florence

in part adorn
altar-pieces of the old masters, which yet
and
them, were all fresh, not merely in their gold
of expression
paint, but in that heavenly sweetness
from
which, even in their present faded state, beams
the
their panels. But, still, the observer will note
formality of composition that gives them a family
resemblance, though otherwise belonging to different
authors, nay, to different schools and ages. For, from
this
Giotto to Pietro Perugino, the same rules for
portion of art prevailed.
The reason which we have given will sufficiently
clear that
account for this. At the same time it is
and
every advance in correctness of design, beauty,
of exharmony of colour, and above all in perfection
even those who could
pression, would please naturally,
would
not discover the cause of their emotions, or

side of the composition, as we find it later in Correggio or Guido. But these traditions of ancient
Christian art have been totally broken, and there are.
no associations in existing monuments around us, and
before the people, nor in devotional forms of con-

meditation,
ception familiar through preaching or
to give them now any particular empire over the
of
affections of beholders, or over the standard rules
2 b 2

372

CHRISTIAN ART.

composition. To bind Christian art, on its revival, to
the conventional forms of representation admitted in
old times, would be a groundless tyranny, and in fact
would tend to strangle it in its very cradle. In this
respect we think the Germans have given us a uSeful
lesson, and we should be prepared to follow it. We have
no hesitation in stating our conviction, that however
short the best modern Catholic artists may fall, in
giving that truly devout and heavenly character to
individual figures, which belongs to the older masters,
they have gained upon them (regard being had to the
character of our age), in the giving of more action
and more varied expression to subjects that naturally
require it, in bringing forward as subjects for art,
events and circumstances which, for the reasons above
given, were not handled by the more ancient artists;
and finally, in conceiving new and often most exquisite representations of subjects often before treated.
We shall perhaps shock the antiquarian artist by such
an avowal; but we shall do no good with art in this
country till many prejudices are broken down. We
will put one case. Let a modern artist be desired to
paint the Sposalizz’o, or espousal of Mary to Joseph,
and that for a public church. Would he venture to
take the old type, such as Pietro and Raffaello have
given it, in their exquisite pictures of this subject,
based, that is, on the traditional history of the blossoming rod of Joseph? Would he introduce the youth
breaking his barren rod over his knee? If he did,
who in a thousand, that looked on it, would understand it? And if a long explanation were given, would
that move to piety which is not based on any belief?
At the time, and in the country, of those older artists,
the history was at any rate known; the tradition was
alive, the spectators understood the meaning of each

CHRISTIAN ART.

circumstance.

373

Now and here, the chain has been

an uncertai
Overstand and to appreciate, nay to be .moved by,
and
so
beck’s conception of the subject ; espousals pure
there but angels,
so unearthly, that no witnesses are
of heaven heavenly,
so that the whole function is one
We could
without example and without imitation?
all to
multiply instances of what will be admitted by
scenes in our
be purer and sublimer conceptions of
artists, but we
Saviour’s life by modern than by older
first numremember having given several in one of our
anciently treated,
bers.‘1 Then as to new subjects, not
but worked out by meditation and earnest thoughtfuland his
ness, the illustrious artist already mentioned
must hold a
many followers, among whom Steinle
abundant
distinguished place, would furnish us with
to our purexamples; but fortunately we have one
This year’s Catalogue of the
pose nearer home.
a
Royal Academy’s annual exhibition, contains picture
the eye of every
(No. 130), which cannot fail to arrest
is Mr. Herbert’s picture
visitor of that collection.
of our Saviour, subject to His parents at Nazareth. ,It
not historepresents a circumstance, which, though
rical, is not merely possible, but highly probable.
Some wood, thrown on the ground beside Joseph’s
humble workshOp, has formed a cross. This naturally

It

lights up a train of thought in the mind of the Divine
Youth, who stands for a moment as if fixed in a
painful trance, while His Mother, who lays up every
look, as every word, in her heart, gazes on Him, with
work suspended, in intense and loving, and therefore
d

Vol. i. p, 459.

CHRISTIAN ART.

374k

sympathizing, interest.e Here is a subject which every
one will at once acknowledge to be worthy of the
pencil of any truly Christian artist. To the mere
Bible Christian it may appear fanciful: but not so
to the Catholic. Long before Mr. Herbert’s successful
attempt to give it outward life by design and colour,
it had suggested itself to the devout meditation of
the most tender, the most poetical, and the most
sweetly loving of the ancient Fathers, St. Ephrem the
Syrian. It will not be long, we trust, before we call
our reader’s attention to the admirable and most
learned translation of his Rhythms, just published by
the Rev. J. B. Morris, late of Exeter College, Oxford,
and now of St. Mary’s, Oscott; but we trust that, in
the mean time, no Catholic who can procure the book
will fail to feast his devotion on its delightful stores of
spiritual refreshment. In the seventeenth Rhythm we
meet with this remarkable passage: “ Hail! Son of
the Creator! hail to the Son of the carpenter! who,
when creating, created everything in the mystery of
the cross. And haply, even in the house of Joseph
that carpenter, with the cross He was busied all the
day.”f Thus we have a Father of the fourth century
considering it probable that our Blessed Saviour, from
passing his early youth in a carpenter’s house, would
have the thought of the cross constantly brought
before His mind.
[The picture was described in the Exhibition Catalogue by the
following verses, written at the artist’s request :—
9

“ Perhaps the Cross, which chance would

oft design,
Upon the floor of Joseph’s humble shed,
Acress Thy brow serene, and heart divine,
A passing cloud of Golgotha would

'

f Select Works

p. 164:.

spread.”]

of St. Ephrem the Syrian; Oxford,
Parker, 1847,

on One. The
on the figures, and principally
centrated
minds, a little too overcast
eXpression of this is, to our
slight defect
with pain; but this is a comparatively
merit is
the beauties of the piece. Its great
amidst
it makes, through
decidedly the direct appeal which
tells
to religious feelings, while it simply
expression,
erver, and enables him to
its whole history to the obs
eac
enter fully into the part acted by
requires no book-learning
sented.
cannot make any but
to comprehend, and to feel it; it
it will leave
a tender and devout One ;
reflection of itself on the mind, which

It

of Turner’s
the warm and feeling
incomprehensible dreams, nor by
noble painting.
exhibition of religious chivalry in Etty’s
All this is in accordance with what we
a true religious school of art.
the subject more
But we have almost lost sight of

will not be efiaced by the ghastly brilliancy

°

37 6

CHRISTIAN ART.

imitator of what have been called “ conventional,” or
“ traditional,” forms. This picture we quoted as
an instance of the possibility, even in this degenerate
age,
of finding subjects not treated before, and making them
fit vehicles for the conveying to the mind of believers
most religious impressions. We repeat, therefore,
that to such traditional forms as belong purely to art
and not to religion, in other words, to traditions for

cause misunderstanding, and would be equivalent to
a

new creation.

But, as we remarked, it is necessary to keep a
medium; so as not to depart too far from certain
conventional forms and modes of representation-—
such, that is, as have a ground in ecclesiastical
learning, and have a truth about them that would soon be
intelligible. And this, we conceive, would be one of
the advantages of a recognised Catholic school of
art
in England, as it certainly has been in
Germany: that

many being trained on given principles, they would
have their individual fancies checked; and
gradually,
such forms and characters of religious
representations
would be established, as would at once be
intelligible
to all, and yet be conformable to all real
traditions,

CHRISTIAN ART.

377

examples
where some rule is necessary. Perhaps a few
then,
will best explain our meaning. 1. We would,
of
for instance, have strict regard paid to the symbols
tradition,
the saints, such as, partly history, and partly
their marhas appointed them. The instruments of
tyrdom, the emblems of their dignity, the representation of some great work (as a church), or an object
allusive to their occupation, are fitting modes of giving
St. Peter
those holy personages individual character.
should not be deprived of his keys, nor St. Lawrence
nor
of his gridiron, nor St. Catherine of her wheel,
lion, by
St. Agnes of her lamb, nor St. Jerome of his
is at once
any innovation of art. Such symbolism
natural, intelligible, and historical. We believe that
would
these saints, were they to appear in vision,
make themselves cognizable by these, their respective,
the
badges. 2. The same we would say respecting
insignia of office or robes, distinctive of ecclesiastical
dignity. Too severe an attention to historical costume
is
would be pedantic, fatiguing, and perplexing.
true, a bishOp of the third century did not wear a cOpe
and mitre of the same form as now are in use; but these
have become the well-known emblems and garments
of persons in that office, and as such should be given
to pontiffs who, though they lived ages ago on earth,
in
are represented to the piety of the faithful as living
heaven now.
In the public square at Milan is a statue in marble,
of modern sculpture, representing a person in a Roman
toga; and we remember being almost shocked on being
told, in answer to an inquiry, that it represented
St. Ambrose. We could not give assent to our friendly
truer
and learned guide’s arguments, that this was the
the saint
representation. We could not bear to see
otherwise than as a bishop. In like manner, we would

It

378

CHRISTIAN ART.

.

have the raiment of the celestial hierarchy, where
they appear upon earth, COpied from that of the Church
here below. For the angels are represented to us as
ministering at the altar in heaven, and our faith
teaches us to consider the triumphant and the militant, but as portions of one indivisible Church, and
those blessed spirits as fellow-ministers with our visible
priesthood. Moreover, the eye of the faithful is accustomed to consider the ecclesiastical garments, used only
at the altar, as the most sacred of outward apparel,
and more dignified, in truth, than the most splendid
distinctions of mere secular rank.
3. We would have due observance of the appropriation of established colours in the draperies of Our
Divine Saviour, our Blessed Lady, and other saints.
For the eye has been accustomed to the choice, and it
is in itself appropriate; and every one would be
offended at mixed and fancy colours being applied to
such figures. In the same manner, we should never
object (in pictures not meant for historical, but for
devotional), to a richness being given to these accessaries of a picture, such as certainly never existed.
But in this respect too, we would have great sobriety
of taste.
45. Where there is no certain belief or tradition to
guide us, and the one followed by old artists is natural
and devout, we should deprecate departure from this.
For instance, in the Annunciation, the Blessed Virgin
is always represented as at prayer, or as rising from
prayer, when the angel enters. We should be sorry to
see an attempt to alter this, and to have the mystery
take place, while any meaner or more homely occupation was going on. But we cannot reconcile ourselves to adherence to certain forms, merely because
they are old; as our Saviour, at his resurrection,
.

of our Lady
hand. Nor can we tolerate the transit
salvation might
made like the death-bed of one whose
of anxious piety is
be doubtful, where every appliance
of them and
made by the attendant apostles, instead
at the passage
us gazing in silent awe and edification
to the
of that sinless soul from its spotless tabernacle
even
bosom of its Lord. No amount of precedent
make us
from the most hallowed names, will ever
submit to such traditionary modes.
Our readers will however see, that our concessions
to secure
to established usages, are sufficiently ample
their being preserved, where intelligible and really
good.

of what
Having now discharged our consciences
but having at
perhaps many will not wholly approve,
of
the same time, we are sure, cleared the ground
in the way of
prejudices, which have stood powerfully
of a
engaging real artists to attempt the foundation

one,
ture affords us one. It must have struck every
on such
who follows the course of public Opinion
matters, that this painting has met with universal,
disand almost with unbounded, praise. Without
has
tinction of religious character, every paper that

380

CHRISTIAN ART.

mentioned it, has spoken of it as one of the most.
beautiful in the exhibition. Nor is this all; it has
riveted the gaze, and won the admiration, of the
multitudes that have flocked around it; nor have we
heard of any feelings expressed before it, but such as
proved how completely it addressed itself at once to
the minds and hearts of the peOple. This we own has
given us almost our first ray of 110pe, on the practical
possibility of establishing a Catholic school of art.
When there is sentiment enough in the people to
appreciate so peculiar a subject, treated so quietly, so
differently from what they are accustomed to on the
walls of the Royal Academy, we have secured to us
the basis, the priming, if we may so speak, upon which
Christian art can work.
But further let us remark, that similar taste has
been shown in other ways. Thus we have been
struck with the evident manner in which the splendid
Francias in the National Gallery arrests the eye of
those who visit that collection, although they present
neither intensity of action, nay, nor action at all, nor
subjects with which the English mind is familiar.
But while passing by the awful and stern magnificence
of Sebastiano’s masterpiece, which few can prize, we
see young and old won by the soft and sweet radiance
of the angels mourning over the sacred corpse of their
Lord, feeling, if they do not fully comprehend, the
essentially Catholic spirituality of the scene, and the
deep mysteries which it conceals.
We could add some other reasons for our opinion;
but it is not necessaryfi For it would be folly to
[Since this was written, what is called the Pre-Raphaelite school
has arisen, and made a progress, which may one
day, under the
religious influences, which it clearly wants, become the germ
of a
truly Christian school of art. At present, with some exceptions, it
3

CHRISTIAN ART.

381

not
opportunity of see1ng a trulv religious painting; and
so many
one in ten times that number, of seeing

All that we can
ciate this highest department of art.
in prOportion as
reasonably expect, therefore, is that,
trial, the result should
Opportunities are afforded for
are enough
be favourable; and the instances mentioned
of time.
for this. Development must be the work
one such
Let us but give to the English public but
of Bavaria has
chance of showing its taste, as the king
let us throw
done at Munich, or is doing at Spire;
from its ceiling to its
Open one good church, glowing
colour,
lower panelling, not with diaper and mere
not even with single figures in separate compartments,
histories, combut with a series of large and simple
and the life of the
prising the chief Gospel mysteries
Blessed Virgin or any other great saint; let expression
in
of the most refined and dignified character reign
the tints be harmoevery head and countenance; let
and
nious, grave, yet warm and bright; let holiness
soon see,
calm reign through every part; and we shall
first, whether the English heart is not as fully attuned
in art,
to the sentiment of the beautiful and delicate
and, secondly, whether
as that of any other nation;
sides for this
encouragement will not spring up on all
to
higher sphere of art, enough both to give employment
all formed artists, and to enkindle genius, that otherTo expect more
wise might for ever have wanted life.
a love
than this would be as absurd as to suppose, that
of Niccolo di Fuligno do to
stands to real Christian art, as the works
those of Beato Angelica]

382

CHRISTIAN ART.

of naval life and glory could exist in an inland tribe of
Africa, that had never seen a ship.
Now comes the great question, Is this practicable?
Is it hOpeful? How is this first effort to be made?
How is this first specimen to be given? We could
answer by following up our illustration; and say, “ Do
as the Romans did when they determined to rival the
Carthaginians at sea. They took the wreck of a galley
cast on their shore, and copied it, and they trained
their future sailors on dry land. Begin by imitating
the works of others; take your models and examples
from abroad. Fiat emperimentum in corpora m'li ; try
on a small scale, and produce something less perfect to
begin with.” But this will never do. We must begin
with something great and noble at once. Christian
art must not come out before the public, for the first
time, mean and imperfect. Her unfiedged efforts at
flight must be sacred, in the retreat of the academy or
the studio. On the walls of the sanctuary she must
appear bright, golden, queen-like, from the first, fit
associate for adoring angels and heavenly mysteries.
Are we, then, dreaming of some chimera, the brood of
an over-heated imagination? On the contrary, we
are writing on what we believe—dare we say, intend?
——to be a most practical and a most certain result.
Lord Lindsay, at the conclusion of his work, asks
this significant question: “ And why despair of this”
(of painting like Raphael and Michael Angelo), “ or
even of shaming the Vatican? For with genius and
God’s blessing nothing is impossible.” (Vol. iii. p. 420.)
Now to this we answer, that without presumption itmay be really said, that the blessing of genius for
Christian art is not one which it has pleased the
Almighty to give out of the Catholic Church. N o
Protestant country has yet produced a religious artist

a school.
of any sort; every Catholic one has produced
hard and
Account for it as you please, the fact stands
faces—it
incontrovertible; and as such it has two
looks to the future as well as to the past. Protestantism
book
is barren as to religious art ; and Lord Lindsay’s
wanted it, of this
gives us additional proof, if we
truth. We shall not be departing from our subject by
a few paragraphs in evidence of this.
Lord
Protestantism is essentially irreverent; and
it. He
Lindsay’s work, great as is its merit, shows

it by a long preface on “ Christian Mythology.”
begins
And this is synonymous with the materials of Christian art during the middle ages.” Imagine the posa sect,
sibility of a school of art springing up among
old art, conwho, while they pretend to copy or rival
artists
sider its materials—a mythology! Can their
reverence, or to
be expected to look on it with more
treat its subjects with more feeling, than they would
But
those of Grecian or of Egyptian mythology?
The
just let us look at some of these mythologies.
torments of hell, as painted in the middle ages, were
suggested by Buddhist doctrines. (Vol. i. p. XXXiii.)
The origin of the nine orders or choirs that compose
the heavenly hierarchy, from seraphim to angels
(though each is mentioned by St. Paul, and from him

the order is drawn by the Fathers), must be sought
for apparently in the remote east, among the Chaldeans

and Medo-Persians l” (P. XXXiv.) The Nativity and
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin (p. XL), her woes
at the foot of the Cross (p. l.) are all mythologies! as
is her Assumption! (P. lxii.) The same is to be said
of the Discovery of the Cross, of its Exaltation, and
of many other historical subjects. But we are not
left merely to induction for our conclusion that Protestantism is void of that reverence, which is as

384:

CHRISTIAN ART.

necessary an ingredient in religious art, as oil, or
some other vehicle, is in the composition of its colours.

Lord Lindsay’s language in speaking of these subjects
is blasphemously irreverent, nay even to Anglicanism
heterodox. He tells us that the apocryphal gospels
may be traced to Leucius, a Gnostic heretic, who
forged them chiefly “ with a view of supporting the
peculiar tenets of the sect, namely
that the
Blessed Illary was ever Virgin,” &c. “The early
Church,” he adds, “in rejecting the leading principle
of the heresy, and condemning the heretics, sanctioned,
or at least winked at, the circulation of the fables devised by them in its support, and these have become
the mythology of Christianity
while many of
the dogmas which they were grounded upon have
crept into the faith.” (P. XI.) The belief therefore in
the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Mother of God
is, according to Lord Lindsay, a peculiar tenet of Gnosticism, which has crept into the Church! Again,
“ The transfer to her” (the Blessed Virgin) “ of the
pOpular veneration for a female deity, whether Diana,
Astarte, or Isis, universally current among the Southern nations, is the key to the whole mystery of her
various representation in early art.” (1?. lxiii.) We
pass over other similarly afflicting passages ; for these
will suffice. If the enthusiastic admirer of early
Christian art can thus think of all that inspired it,
and looks upon it with the irreverent eyes, and
speaks
of it with the flippant tongue, wherewith he might
, what hope
can there be that the religion (sit verhc
venia) which

......

......

°

can generate such feelings, will ever give birth to
any
noble or tender inspirations of that very art P In
the
'
next place, Protestantism, as regards art, is es
unholy. Two characteristics

.

purity. The entire outline

countenance is sweetetherealized by the former, the
the Idea
irradiated by the latter. Disconnect
ened and

I

need not remind you that
comment.
which brands our wives and
chastity thus commended is that
the
upon the melancholy consequences
mothers with a slur—nor dwell
by the fatal and most unhuman virtue and happiness entailed
to
idea, and the term, to virginity and
scriptural restriction of the
date, and inherited alike by
celibacy,——a delusion of most ancient
West, the Buddhists and the Gnosthe Mystics of the East and the
referred the origin of sin
tics,-—the latter of whom, more especially,
of matter to the evil principle
to the creation of matter, the creation
with Jehovah! St. Francis shared
——-and identified that evil principle
2 c

“ This fresco needs little

3

386

CHRISTIAN ART.

to the full in the agonies of the early ascetics,h—it is a subject that
can but be alluded to. —May God in His mercy shield us from such
1n
horrors England!”—-—Vol. ii. p. 225.

Let any artist imbued with these notions sit

down
he would

to meditate upon the countenance which
give to a “ Virgin-Saint,” whose chief characteristic
must be the virtue thus unchristianly denounced,
beaming from every feature. As to his attempting to
depict the Queen of Virgins, to set forth the lily, after
he has scorned its whiteness, we defy him.
Furthermore, Protestantism presents no types of
Christian art. It has destroyed the types of the past.
It excludes as legendary all the most beautiful histories of the early saints: it has quenched all sym.
pathy for the favourite themes of mediaeval painting,
the Fathers of the desert, St. Benedict, and the great
monastic heroes, and still more, the inspirer and the
maturer of art, and of its poetry, the glorious St.
Francis of Asisium. And as to the present, it allows
no communion with saints in heaven, and consequently
no interest in having their effigies before our eyes: no
loving intercourse with blessed spirits, and therefore
no right to bring them visibly into action. All
ecstasy, supernatural contemplation, vision, and rapturous prayer, with the only approach to heavenly
expression that earth can give, all miracles and marvellous occurrences, with the store of incident which
,
they supply all mingling, in any one scene, of the
living and the Blessed, the past and the present—in
fine, all the poetry of art is coldly cut out, nay,
strangled and quenched. by the hard hand of Protestantism.
And as to the living types which the Catholic
Church supplies, where is Anglicanism to find them?
h

Vita, p.

413.



'

old, as nobly and as perand yet fully represent the
fectly as it can be done.
observe the same
to establish the same links, and
thus,
truthfulness; let him endeavour
beholders,
eye, to convince Protestant
by their
venerable personages are fully represented

' '

It

tenderness and affectionatethat
has no sympathies with the mysteries
'
The crucifix is, to it, what it was
.
Gentile,
time dividedly to Jew and

in St. Paul’s

the Mother
both a stumbling-block and foolishness;
Meditation on the
sevenfold grief is a superstition.
of
of youthful
infancy or passion of our Lord is not part
it has not produced a tender

writer on these subjects.
Not
Now from all this, what are we to conclude?
to
that Protestantism will never give reality
merely
of Christian
Lord Lindsay’s day-dreams, on the revival
for all
in England, not merely that it is efl’ete
art
2
2 c

388

CHRISTIAN ART.

artistic purposes; but that Christian art is a noble
and a divine existence, not to be commanded by patronage, not to be bought by wealth, not to be coaxed
by flattery, not even to be wooed and won by genius.
It must spring up, either like the phoenix, from the
ashes of its great predecessors,——and this it may do in
Italy,——or like the first light, by creation, from the void
of a preceding chaos. Protestantism has neither a
smouldering spark nor a creative vigour, to quicken
it; but the Catholic Church has it everywhere, and
therefore here. And this is our answer to our former
queries. The time is come; and Catholic art is even
now ready to spring into life. we are sure, we know
it as a certainty, that there are at this moment in

England, artists of the highest name and character
ready to lend the powerful guidance of their abilities
and experience, towards directing the formation of
such a school. We know, too, that there are not
wanting youthful artists ready to constitute its body
under such guidance; men full of confidence, because
full of faith; enamoured of all that the Church teaches
them to love as well as to believe; admirers of all that
is truly beautiful in ancient art and in living virtue;
trained already, and skilled in the mechanism and
material portion of their art; and what is more important than all, enured to the exclusively Catholic
principle of self-devotion, self-dedication to what is
fair, good, and holy, for its own sake. Here is all
ready, the materials are compounded; only the quickening touch is wanted, and all will burst into life.
Let it not be thought that we are basing our conclusions on vague data or uncertain conjecture; that
our wishes are the only groundwork for our assertions.
We have carefully weighed the whole matter, we have
Within reach all that we have reckoned on; we have

of praise.
it thus. It is, without exception,
most
the most intelligent, and the
.
art, which English
Christian
the eye of a
traVelled through Italy with
Lindsay has
of an enthusiast.
connoisseur and the admiration
his works, the history
has traced, as far as possible'by
his influence through
of each great master, followed
out the
schools, and endeavoured to make
the various
Any one travelfiliations and connections of these.
will find this
into Italy for artistic purposes,
ling
seriou
panion. Besides the more
Catholi
religion, and are painful to a
a second
emishes and mistakes, which
We have not made

390

CHRISTIAN ART.

ancient baptistery; of which there is no evidence,“
in fact, it was originally an Open portico, perhaps a
public hall. Page 7 8, the mosaic on the triumphal
arch of the Basilica of St. Paul, near Rome, fortu.
nately was not destroyed. It was taken down after
the fire, and carefully repaired, to be again replaced.
Page 86 (note), we are told that “ of the intermediate
Dedication” (Presentation) “ of the Virgin (her ascent
of the steps of the temple when a child) there certainly existed a traditional representation in the tenth
and eleventh centuries; but it is very rare and of inferior merit, and was never, that am aware of, copied
by Italian artists.” We are writing this almost at the
foot of a painting, most ' probably by Giotto, representing this very subject. Page 89, the mosaic of our
Lord’s Baptism at Ravenna is said to be probably the
original of the traditional representation of this subject. We can refer further back to the painting over
an ancient font of living water in the Catacombs, in
the cemetery of Pontianus, out of the Porta Portese.
Page 92 we have the two usual male figures, engaged
in the Deposition from the Cross, described as “ Joseph
and Nathanie .” In vol. ii. p. 192, the same two
persons are called “ Nicodemus and Nathaniel.” We
need not observe that the second name in each enumeration is an error, and that Nicodemus and Joseph of
Arimathea should stand together in both places. Page
159, St. Nicholas of Myra and St. Nicholas of Bari
are made two distinct persons, uncle and nephew.
But the great archbishOp of the East is the same
whose body now reposes at Bari, from which he
consequently has taken his name.
These, however, are small inaccuracies compared
with one which pervades the work—the German theorizing Spirit in which the author attempts to explain

I

mation, for principles, and 0c
is o
or bursts of feeling, one
description
Medoto find the Hindoo, or the
and almost disgusted,
in
element of art brought
Persian, or the Teutonic
no connection
for results Which can have
to account
this is carried so far, that
with any of them. Nay,
rstand the reason Why
ards the

calculated to do much



.

it is ‘ as utterly immuch fear that Mr. Pugin is right—that
rites as to
tholic building With the present
to build
‘those who think merely

392

CHRISTIAN ART.

chancels without reviving the ancient faith, will be miserably
deceived

in their expectation,’-——‘the study of ancient church architecture’ (in
such an exclusive spirit) ‘is an admirable preparation for the old faith,’
——and that ‘ if the present revival of Catholic antiquity is sufi'ered
to
proceed much farther, it will be seen that either the Common Prayer

or the ancient models must be abandoned.’ (Ecclesiastical Antigui.
ties, pp. 130, 137, &c.) But what is the alternative? the meeting.
house? By no means. The Church of England is neither Catholic
nor Protestant—she does not, with the Catholics, exalt imagination
and repudiate reason, nor, with the Protestants, exalt reason and
repudiate imagination ; but includes them both, harmoniously opposed,
within her constitution, so as to preserve the balance of truth, and
point out the true ‘ via media ’ between superstition on the one hand
and scepticism 011 the other, thus approximating (in degree) to the
ideal of human nature, Christ Incarnate, of whom the Church is the
Body, and ought to be the Likeness and the Image. This, then, is
the problem—England wants a new architecture, expressive of the
epoch, of her Anglican faith, and of the human mind as balanced in
her development, as heir of the past and trustee for the future—a
modification, it may be, of the Gothic, but not otherwise so than as
the Gothic was a modification of the Lombard, the Lombard of the
Byzantine and Roman, the Byzantine and Roman of the Classic
Greek, the Classic Greek of the Egyptian. We have a right to
expect this from the importance of the epoch, and
see no reason
why the man to create it, the Buschetto of the nineteenth century,
may 'not be among us at this moment, although we know it not.”—
Vol. ii. p. 29, note.

I

What chance is there for Christian painting in the
Church which has not yet raised fitting walls on which

it can be executed?