TO THE EDITOR OF TI1E SPECTATOR.
Sia—The session is approaching its end, and in spite of all that has been written, all that has been said, notwithstanding the powerful support of the press, the consiction of many honotnable Members and many noble Lords, so stanch a friend has the Royal Academy in the House, and so shrewd a manager is he, that it will carry all its points, and be enshrined in Oui National Gallery with all its abuses, its exclusiveness, and its selfish injustice, rendered ten times more invincible by the very ordeal it has gone through, and the very opposition and attacks to which for twenty-live years it has been subject. "Would you believe that in that portion of the National Gallery where the Academe will be allowed intrusion, there will lie a grtmat room,* as usual, for the works of the select, and lesser rooms, as usual, for the condemned ?—all well lighted, but still all on the same detestable system of four centre places for favourites!—so that the same system will go on, as it has gone on for seventy years, till the art has been reduced to what it is at present, viz. an exhibition without one single glcat work of historical art on the line in the present Great Room! Did I not pre- dict this would be the result, twenty-five years ago? and has it not been fully realized?
Contrary to all Parliamentary practice, the House has first granted the sup- ply before the Committee ; so that after the Academy is snugly safe, Men will come the examination. This has been well done ; and I give them credit for their sagacity, as well as that of their powerful anal able friend. Everybody seems anxious that something should be done, and everybody fears to begin it : and why is this ?—simply because the Academy is a necessary appendage to the pleasures of people of fashion, as necessary as the Dei by Stakes, or a fhjertne la finirthelte at Chiswick ! Now is this not the fact ? They like to see their beautiful wives their lovely children, and flair noble selves painted ; they knew they do, and they must not he angry with tee for saying so. If the art advauces, well and good—if it does not, e'eat runt, they most be painted : they ought to be painted for the sake of their posterity ; and, Loa 'laid as they are, who wishes
them not to be painted ?— God knovi s not I ! except warn they iii Lolle painted, as they arc this season. Is this exaggeration ?—not in the least ; and have I
not had every imputation against my character for twentv-five yea's, bee:lose I wished high art to be added to beautiful portrait, and because I attacked the Royal Amount'', which has ever strangled awry oppintunity for that line which has occurred, and which would, if helped by them, have added high art to the portraits of the annual exhibition. I appeal to you, Sir--I appeal a.:.o to the frier(' of the Academy in the Ibmse, whose skill, talent, energy, and tact, nobody V. ill I r can do more jostle, to thou
mystlf—if it lie not shocking to see the FAO ;:•'e ;Ind :-:oveneign. possessing the means on the spot of making the : • eat Chine' y in Europe. yet utterly deptived of time inn:wine - by time it.trusien into
the National Gallery of a body of l!TC11 st 1,■■ i• I I (!tlet'd the to t already to its
present condition, who had all time vices of a eet;:oratioa tilt responsi- bility of a charter (for they had the shrewdnes- to refitse (iroimc n the Fourth's
offer of a charter), and who, by peen; y jog a spry it Melt otinlit to he occupied by the Cartoons, will further el ipp'e the art, (distinct the aill'anl.! Of de, i-II as applied to manufacture, and rerider•d the National Gallery, instead of a grandmausoleum, an animal' mart for honied productions to catch the eye fur the
It is said the occupation will only he while there is saimerdlowea room. In re- ply it might be emulate!, if the nation he done justice to, there ‘v,,,11,1 I:e now no superfluous mom. It is said the smoke of Loudon would ruin the Cartoons! How comes it that for sixty Yeats Punseu lIoa nt.'s Cat Num has remained in the same condition ? and it is a part of the same set. I have studied it for thirty-one years, and can affirm it. What is the reason of this tendency to place implicit faith in all the Aeade- mician says, and have no belief in the purity of motive in those who are not Academicians? It is this: our public men are not prepared at the Universi- ties Mine they arc statesmen in matters of art ; the sub.', et 1,1110, f ore them, and of course they consult three whom the King deli..;i,teth to honour. The keen and sagacious Ii. A.—there he stands, powileied air! pon:pois, tattling the most tremendous ti uktus in fin. profiaindest way, and by every artifice insinu- ating that the art cannot advance but by the pied ominance of t1;e Academy. If 50,000/. is voted for a Gallery, the Academy must have half ! If tie Cartoons are recommended, that the peopl,'s standard of feelinr may be raised, from having the power to (hop in as they pass, the ILA.. with a tender sin per..il ors ihr smoke ! If a noble Lord or an honourable Member reconiniends tie it hole length of the Gallery to be devoted to the piddle, the Academician suggests (with his eyes on the ground) if it would not lie extremely relief, in these times of economy. for the Academy to occupy the soprifivolo, rennin! There is nothing he does not accomplish by affecting to be toodigionsly I:o.irous of the reverse, and nothing in the present state of time mot he tines not rule, if he wishes it unaccemplished. by affeetteg to be utterly indifferent. Such is the Engli:h R. A. ; as much the consequence of being obliged to li.vp up a fictitious importance by eccupying, a station to which lie is mit entitled, as from any other cause; knowing that the instant public money is voted fur high art, and the nobility are convinced of its importance to the wealth and manufacture of the country, he will remain what he is, an eminent portrait-painter, and no- thing none.
The public and the nobility know, and the late King 'crew, I have done my
duty fur twenty. five years. I warred Lord GnEV of King consequences of the
junction ; but what did I know in comparison with the Aralemician?—nothing. What was 1?—nothing—a mere man of genius, a cat ia the streets! I have painted Dentatus, Macbeth, Solomon, Jerusalem, Lazarus, Ariadne, Xenophon, the Mock Election, Punch, Cassandra; but what have those works to do with
art ?—nothing: the immortal President's Prospero arid Miranda—this is the great work for posterity to hang ea, this renders the painter the consulted of the t—this fits him for the councils of the Minister! Sir MARTIN thinks the ational Gallery and Academy most lie joined. 1 know they (light not. The public agree with we; but wilnt of that . " The aceomphshed gentleman,- as Sir WALTEIt said the last titre I raw him, with one of his beautiful benignant smiles, as if lie was opening Lis wings to shelter poor human nature, " The ac- complished r,endcmou whom n!,ehoehly errr hard of" and the puLlic
must be wrong. B. Ii. HaYbox.
• We are glad to hear there will be use gr,at room, at 1...a.t : we had heard there is not one noble room in the whole building.— ED.