14 DECEMBER 1844, Page 18


THE Graphic Society held their first conversazione for the season on Wednesday, at the Thatched House Tavern. The portfolios of drawings and prints, ranged in a double row upon tables extending the whole length of the room, and other works of art on the sideboards, presented a feast far more attractive to the intellectual taste than the richest viands ; and their contents were discussed with as keen a relish as the choicest dishes by a company of epicures. The sketches made by Mr. GOODALL, the artist who accompanied Mr. SCHOMBURGE in his recent expedition to British Guiana, attracted great attention by the novelty of the subjects. They consisted of coloured draw. ings of the natives and their habitations, and the trees of the country ; the latter chiefly palms, of which there are a numerous variety, many of them very graceful in foliage. The people are by no means prepos- sessing either in form or feature ; but they have not at all a ferocious aspect. Their huts are lofty and spacious ; mostly dome-shaped, with an aperture at top ; and supported by a central pole, with cross pieces. The execution of these drawings was much admired for the union of character with artistic beauty and skill. Their beauty and finish is the more remarkable from their having been made during long and fa- tiguing journies in an enervating climate, and often under circumstances of great peril and privation. A portfolio of sketches of Irish cabins and cottiers, by Mr. TOPHAM, exhibited the rags and dirt of the poor peasantry in shapes of picturesque beauty, and invested with a charm of graceful simplicity such as GAINS- BOROUGH threw over the rustic life of England. The national cha- racter of the people is indicated, not broadly but delicately, in the phy- siognomies; and a touching expression of simplicity not devoid of grace gives an air of refinement to these faithful pictures of squalid poverty. Mr. FRIPP'S sketches of river scenery in Yorkshire showed a lively perception of the local characteristics of the landscape : the ferrugi- nous tinge of the water trickling over the moist and lichen-tinted rocks, and the verdurous freshness of the foliage were points appreciated by those who had explored this picturesque district. The vigorous free- dom of the artist's style, the beauty of his composition, and the bright aerial tone of his skies and atmospheric effects, were also eulogized. Some elaborate architectural views of the ruins of Athens, by Mr. KNOWLES, were remarkable for the minute exactness with which the forms and local hues of the temples and landscape are depicted. As graphic documents they are of great value to the archaeologist; though they would have been at once more correct and agreeable had the sha- dows been less cold and the lights more luminous. A few of TURNER'S wonderful miniature landscapes in water-colours compelled admiration, by their dazzling brilliancy of light, immensity of space, and daring skill of execution, even from those who regarded their colouring as overstepping the modesty of nature. Among other objects of interest, a model of one of the Lycian tombs, discovered by Mr. FELLOWES, attracted great attention.