FINE ARTS. '
THE NELSON AND WELLINGT )N MONUMENTS.
THE project of the Monument to NELSON is now fairly hurtiel At the public meeting on Wednesday, at which the Duke of way LINGTON presided, it was determined that a free competition shouleb, had ; the artists being unfettered by any prescriptive limitation'' to; designs to be publicly exhibited, and the best one chosen. Theti: for sending in models is very properly extended to the 31st Joel; next year ; leaving a full term of six months, for the benefit oft‘ prepared to compete.
bited hr(hre the selverinn is made? There is a prevailing ; not generally :mare of the intentions of the aCoviiniimtil: eteme,oadnedlsfle:evelt:— otherwise necessary, indeed ; for the sculptors in this country wet English sculptors at present in Rome. An extension of t.sitntreus.lotto Su tar, welt : nut who are to decide ? an the fairness of competitions among artists ; and in order to inspire witi confidence the competitors and the country, the impartiality and j„,‘ ness of the decision ought to be placed beyond doubt. Public* Ilion, to be of any avail, should be invited previously to the decision; however incompetent the multitude may be to enter into the detailtoi a work of art, or to give a reason fur their judgment, the popular pe, ference is pretty vermin to be in favour of the best design. Itis4 enntimh that the public approve the choice; they ought to have a mitt in the matter.
It is certainly rather bard upon those who had already complete their models by the time originally appointed, to have to wait months longer, and to stand the in ux of a fresh competition: hoe ever, they will have time to reconsider the subject, and revise thit. first ideas. Meanwhile, we may mention one that we have seas which is too extraordinary to pass unnoticed : the sculptor is %lc PARK, who has already distinguished himself by daring originalitytt4 masterly skill and power in his art. His conception is grand and coos preliensive, and full of character and meaning. A colossal statue of Nelson raised on is lofty pedestal appropriately ornamented, forme lie centre, and is, of course, the principal figure: around and below, MI little distance, are live statues of heroic proportions, representing de different stages of manhood, from the youth first setting out in life, to the old men mourning the death of the hero: on the bases of thee figures are bas-reliefs of Nelson's achievement; ; and in the rent* between them are emblematical groups, the life size, combining vii the other figures to illustrate the attributes and character of Neltes career. The whole forms a composition of a pyramidical form; le on the plinth are four sentinel lions, pacing round, as it were, to geld the sacred ground. 'Ile sculpture is proposed to be of bronze, sal the bases, with the fountain-shells between them, of stone; and the estimated cost is 30,0901.
A monument of this description is new in England. Hitherto on sculptors have not got beyond a portrait and a bit of allegory: they have never worked out a lofty purpose by means of a grand display d their art. Neptunes and Minimills and sea horses and Tritons art trite enough : we want an intelligible illustration of the life of the he. in sculpture—the sole epitaph his history recorded in marble or bronze.
The scale of operations in the case of the Nelson trophy, reduce the petty pretensions of the Wellington Memorial to a misentlie
insignificance. The dissentient members of the Wellington COO} mittee, however, seem resolved not to let Pigtail WyArr perpetrate bad equestrian statue to be stuck on the top of an unmeaning sub The remoristrante, finding it useless to address the contrivers of th job, have appettlea to the subscribers ; who have answered by with holding their contributions—the Government very properly setting t example. The stoppage of the supplies has alarmed others of t Committee ; and a private meeting has been called for Wednesday net at Lord WILLIAM BENTIN2K.S, to consider what is best to be dons Why not call a public meeting? Is the Duke of RUTLAND omnipotent that his clemency must be propitiated? or are the resolutions oft meeting irrevocable like the laws of the Merles and Persians ? cacy is out of the question in dealing with persons who have evince an utter want of common decency throughout. It is urged that WYATT has begun his work—of course be has—ati that though the statue be modelled, the Government has a veto agent its being placed on the arch. But this is a Tory job ; and we ms have a Posy Ministry by that time : or, supposing the arch were fused, would there be no other site found? Only let it go quietly to completion, and the job is done. Some well-meaning persons are still found who advocate the t sculptor's merits as a maker of bronze horses ; as if he were the o artist who could model a horse. That WYATT understands the poi of the animal, we allow ; but that he represents it properly in scale tore, we deny. He goes to work on the principle of the rocking-hors carver, who copies the form as closely as lie can in wood : Wyerrdoe the same in metal. But, as we have shown before, this is riot the pts cess of the sculptor ; whose art consists in so imitating the appestat of life in marble or bronze, that the effect of animated reality fro, be seen from a distance. Neither CIIANTIIEY nor Wes.rstncoree believe, understands the anatomy of the horse: and the same operatic: we are told, was employed to model that on which George the This is mounted in Windsor Park and the one which George the Fourths to bestride in front of Pimlico Palace. But are there no other !Cola tors beside them ? There is LOUGH, who is thoroughly versed In 0 anatomy of the horse, and models it with a boldness and mastery inn rolled—his group of the Battle of the Standard, for instance. Loss is only one of many : but equestrian statues have not been in mos, till lately, and there being no competition, talent hits not been deli loped. The horse, however, is only part, and the least important pt' of an equestrian figure. WYAr'r cannot model a human being—I has proved his incompetency superabundantly: and until it be shot that we have no sculptor w lo can properly represent both horse s man, it is absurd to contend for the fitness of one whose reputate rests on his assumed ability to represent the horse only. A word as to the design. Since we have as yet commemorat Wellington's victories with nothing better than a copy of an snug figure of a naked groom checking a horse, (under the pseudonyme Achilles,) it becomes us to make amends for the error. A $11;0 20,0001. may be safely calculated on : it would be loon increased
SO OWL -0
occasion, Now haw can ,( 00.. be hm.esily expended on an o The colossal absurdity in the Park eo,t :)-...1',000/., and c0 estrian statue? the George the Third at Windsor about a, much, we believe ; the seven or eight thousand that VYATT got for Li; cocked- hut arid pigtail effigy so„ net considered ot remunerating mice ; and CDANTitey stipulates for 10,0001. for his Wellington on horseback. These sums are " beyond all
reasonable proportion,- we are assured : but even at this extravagant rate, there will be nearly twice as much money subscribed as would be re- quired for an equestrian statue. What is to be done with the rest?
If the estimate for PARK'S design for the Nelson monument, which Includes six colossal figures, five groups of three figures each, the life else, and as many bassi relievi, with lions to boot, be only 30,000/, surely we have been paying for patronage of mediocrity with a ven• geance. Mr. PARK computed his figures at about 1.0001. each. We are not advocates for cheapness as an essential quality in a work of but may not the excessive price have operated to cheek the encourage- pent of sculpture ? Bronze surely ought not to cost so much more than marble.