27 SEPTEMBER 1930, Page 12

A Hundred Years Ago


FUSELI'S LECTURES DELIVERED AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY. If the students of this academy must be supposed to have overcome the rudiments, and to be arrived at that point from which it may be discovered whether nature intended them for mere craftsmen or real artists, near that point, where, in the phrase of Reynolds, genius begins and rules end,' it behoves us not to mistake the mere children of necessity, or the pledges of vanity, for the real nurselings of public hope, or the future supporters of the beneficent establishment that rears them. Instruction, it is true, may put them in possession of every attainable part of the art in a decent degree ; they may learn to draw with tolerable correctness, to colour with tolerable effect, to put their figures together tolerably well, and to furnish their faces with a tolerable expression—it may not be easy for any one to pick any thing intolerably bad out of their works ; but when they have done all this—and almost all may do this, for all this may be taught—they will find themselves exactly at the point where all that gives value to art begins—genius, which cannot be taught—at the threshold of the art, in a State of medio- crity.


This is a splendid and captivating picture, and as a sketch it is one of the most finished and ornamental that we have seen. It is also the largest specimen of its kind in lithography, and one of the most successful.. The young Princess is represented sitting on an ottoman, apparently busy with the arrangement of a wreath of flowers, one end of which she holds in her left hand, while her right hand is raised to a superb vase containing the remainder of the wreath ; at the moment of time when the artist has caught the expression of bet countenance, she has turned her head round to regard a favourite parrot, so that nearly- her full face •is shown to the spectator. She is simply dressed in a white frock, her hair falling on her shoulders in a profusion of natural ringlets. The likeness is the most successful that we have seen of the Princess; and it bears a resemblance to the characteristic Marks of the faces of the Royal Family.