7 JANUARY 1832, Page 16


Tile lack of patronage for Historical Painting has been justly com- plained of. To remedy this evil by partial favour, is to do a little service at the expense of great injustice. Individual encouragement, guided by individual taste, will be influenced by personal predilections. With this we have no business—we can only wish the patron were more enlightened; but the patronage of public bodies, of royalty, or of the nation, is a subject for criticism. The Edinburgh Academy of Painting, &c. have purchased five of Mr. Ern's great pictures,—" The Combat," " Benaiah slaying the Moabites," and three of the story of "Judith and Holofernes." Why this monopoly of patronage in the encouragement of a liberal art? A single commission, allowing of competition, does more good than twenty "orders," or purchases of a painter's "stock on hand." These works of Mr. ETTY are an honour to the British school; they are physically grand in style and splendid in colour ; but are there not other painters of history equally worthy of encouragement? Why not give commis- sions to liAYDON, BRIGGS, or HILTON? What is the fancy of the Edin.. burgh Academy for having three pictures. by the same artist of the same subject,—it being, moreover, a deed which is only rendered fit for representation by the motive of the principal actor in the scene? The whole interest of the picture should be concentered in the expres- sion of sublime enthusiasm in the countenance of the Jewish maiden ; and in this particular Mr. ETTY failed. His Judith, in the only pic- ture where her face was shown, looked like a statue. In the second, he gave the back of her head; and in the third, drew still more strongly on the imagination of the spectator, by omitting the heroine altogether, and giving her maid instead. He has only now to complete the series by painting the gory trunk of Holofernes. This division of subjects may be necessary to young surgeons with whom they are scarce ; but with painters subjects are numerous enough; ideas; 'however, seem to be scarce with them.

Apropos of Historical Painting—a paragraph or puff is going the round of the papers, stating that Mr. Paulus has been appointed His- torical Painter to the Queen. Either this is a hoax, or her Majesty has been imposed upon, or Mr. PARRIS is some great unknown, for whose appearance the world of art waits in awful expectation. The only Mr. PARRIS we know is the ingenious artist who painted the greatest (and best) part of the Panorama of London at the Colosseum, and the buildings in the Panorama of Madras. He is also a clever imitator of splendid still-life, and likely to rival LANCE in this way. He is the painter of "The Bride," a popular picture, which was en- graved last year; and altogether a rising artist in these departments of painting. Nay, further, be painted the temporary room erected at the entrance of Westminster Abbey for the convenience of their Majesties on the occasion of their coronation : and we take this opportunity to re- commend him to the attention of Mr. Moscx MASON, as a very talented artist in scenic representation and deception. What genius Mr. PARRIS possesses for painting history, we have yet to learn, never having seen any specimen or indications of this talent in him. Were Mr. ROGERS the carver appointed Sculptor to her Majesty, we should not be much more surprised, than to hear that the rumour is true.