23 JUNE 1860, Page 12

rtituE Iii ty.t etutnr.


Sin back, the artist world was startled by the announcement that D -of France, had delivered the sun of a picture—in plain

phrase, *satin had started artist. Rapidly the new-found light, under the nametiffspilotography, advanced into the realm of portraiture, to th,e Feat dismay of painter and printseller. Truly formidable rivals, meehan- Ism and science, invading the domain of head-cunning and hand-skill, robbing equally the clever artist of his work, and the poor printseller of his secret commission for disinterested recommendation.

What was to be done ? The sun, rebellious God, had dared to invade the

separate realms of fine art and trade perquisite. Photography was open to.' any man with 20/. to invest in camera and chemicals, tact to hire room and doorpost in a leading thoroughfare and cheek enough to call himself "Artist. Grocers without shops, doctors without patients, lawyers with- out clients, and pantaloons out of season, in artist style, let their hair run wild ; read up a little about light, perspective, pose, and keeping; bought paints for flesh and hair—vermilion, carmine, brown, black, and sandy— and turned painters. Photography became a refuge for the destitute. John Bull soon found out what a mute of art talent had lain, hitherto undis- covered; and saw that the sun could, under glass, raise and force a crop of art as easily as Cornwall cauliflowers and early Shaw potatoes. Hun- dreds of" artists" offered to take off your head at any price, from 501. to la. (brass-setting included).

Portrait and miniature-painters of ability felt rivalry useless, and their

occupation, "like Othello's, gone." Here and there a clever man took to subject-paintings and slowly struggled into a new position, whilst many condescended to help their illustrious sun rival by colouring his works and putting the best face upon his distortions. But, if the artist gave in, should the printseller do so likewise? Were vested rights of recommendation and commissions to be surrendered without a struggle ? "Never I Man the breach!" said the printseller. Let us ourselves enlist the sun in our ranks;

let us leave vulgar trade, and take up high art. Soon there arose that happy combination of trade, mechanism, and fine art feeling, so delightful to John Bull.

Suddenly itis whispered that even a great firm of printsellers were about to establish sh upon a grand scale a Fine Art Manufactory. The print- shop suddenly sent trade to Coventry, banished to the regions below, paper, paints, stumps, and chalks, the shop shed its shop-skin, and changed at once as if by harlequin's wand, and there sprung up in Pump Street, a Gallery or Temple of Art. But what use is matter without mind What a cage

without a bird ? What a home, without inhabitants, to love or quarrel, as the case may he ? What use even an art manufactory without the taste and talent to adorn, and the tact and address to show its address, and trumpet its merits ? Judiciously, therefore, to work the Art Manufactory, it would be a clever thing for the partners to divide in separate departments the provinces of trade and art. At the head of the Board of Trade let there be presiding-the business partner, a gentleman of good address and experienced eye, with honeyed voice and soft speech, to win its way, and get orders from visitors of every rank and station. Even those who only came to look, remain to pay. Let Messrs. Bland and Co. be ready for all comers. Is it a heavy father ? Who knows so well to picture paternal duty artistic partner ? Is it a fond mother ? Bland is a father himself, it understands a mother's feelings. Is it an illustrious military man, full orders, who had served with distinction in the Irish Colonies, and even made campaigns in the Scotch highlands ? The artist executes all his orders, puts a rampant horse behind, and a background of battle and smoke in the dig,- tance. With the like profound reverence are treated the illustrious Fits Lancaster and De Manchester, these charges in the field obviously justifying proportionately spirited charges in the bill. The swell bachelor man, and bold ballet girl, Vietoire, are thoroughly appreciated. The art pari- ner understands selfishness, and takes up the fine animal points. Is it a spinster waning ? To her the art partner delicately insinuates, like Viola to Olivia, that of such charms, it is cruel to leave the world no copy. To youth and beauty, he almost speaks naturally„for even wary middle age is thrown off its guard, and, for awhile, it forgets its cunning. Still, all this clever business management and tact will be wasted, unless there be real talent in the artist brother and his skilled corps of assis- tants, who may be, without compliment, described a board of Fine Art. Now, the Artist partner should, of course, be artistical in his attributes, dark, hirsute, and picturesque ; and if he be really a clever man, with good address and powers of conversation, besides overflowing with the milk of human kindness, so much the better. It adds 80 much to the effect if you can throw in a spice of the genuine. Let us suppose it done. The firm is established. You cannot resist the in- viting attraction of the house. You pay-the visit preliminary, you are pho- tographed. A few days after your sunstroke, you call at the artist's studio, in good taste arranged, and adorned with clever sketches and pictures, and many fine proper plaster casts, draped to satisfy the modesty of the bench of Bishops. Upin the corner stands the well-known figure of the primi- tive Miss Lay, from whose classic form our Ruskinite pres-Raphaelite friends have borrowed so many of their antediluvian charms and graces. Chairs of all kinds are scattered around, fit for sitters of a weight and respectability whisa imply the ability to pay. On the easel stands your miniature, taken by camera, now transferred and magnified by mechanical means into a head of such size and power that you would doubt the ownership but for the like- ness. Then you are chaired, enthroned, and properly worshipped if a MGR, delicately if a woman ; the time passes pleasantly away in converse with our friend hard at your head ; you leave your clothes (or rather send them) to be painted in by another gentleman, from sheer practice matchless in satin and broadcloth.

You return in a day or two for another sitting ; accidentally, the busi- ness partner drops in, marvels much at the resemblance, looks at it from all points of view, shades his eye with his band, gradually steals over his mobile countenance the artist's gaze at the first sight of a fine work of art, and delicately it is hinted that, thanks to the qualities of the sitter, of course, that your portrait may be, perhaps, considered the finest work ever yet pro- duced by the firm of Bland and Co. This truth cannot be disputed, and you yourself feel at length so convinced of it, that your are half inclined to order a duplicate for presentation to friend Scharf's National Portrait Gallery in Great George Street. Simple sitter, do you believe that the best photo- graph joint portrait ever produced in pails by art manufacture and mechani- cal combination, with head by the sun, hands by one man clothes by an- other, can equal the master-work of one great mind's hand? , As regards truthful representation alone, can an object with so many-in- equalities and planes as the human face be truly reflected by the bent glass of the best camera ever made, and taken in the most successful manner by the very beat of the photographic artists? No true reflection can take place on account of the convex surface of the lens, as the mathematician will prove to you. If you doubt, carefully examine the photographic whole-length, and you will find the most central or prominent parts too large, making the delicate hand of the fair lady rival in size the boxer's bunch of fives, and the tiny foot and smart anek to appear drop- sical or gouty, and never presenting their true relation to the head. If still unconvinced, place the best of photograph manufacturers side by aide with a high class miniature by Ross, Thorburn, Wells, Carrick and many more, and you will find that, although it holds its ground in a degree, it wants homogeneousness, and as much resembles the fine work of one master mind and hand as the Parian so called statue modelled (in bits by many hands) in true spirit approaches the grand antique Greek statue of which it cannot be called even a reduced copy, but only a weak imitation. Lastly, intelligent reader, blame not the art manufactory or its talented proprie- tors, Messrs. Bland and Co. both skilful men, the one possessed of diploma- tic method, and tact enough to fit him for an attaché to St. Petersburgh, the other with artistic knowledge and skill enough to paint portraits better single-handed, and one cannot but feel that, to such a man, his present pur- suit is degradation. Still, as the sagacious public require, and will have the photographic counterfeit, the talented firm of Bland and Co., who are but the type of the whole trade, supply the demand with their great ability and intelligence.

Lastly, may we be allowed like the judge upon the bench (occasionally a judge of art) briefly to sum up the true merits and demerits of photo- graphy, which its disciples seem now resolved to press into all kinds of pur- poses, fit and unfit ? The prisoner Photograph has been accused in the foregoing article of the wilful defacing of faces ; of the wilfully, or un- wilfully, turning ugly the men, and even misrepresenting the beauty of the women of England. That void of art education and ignorant of its true principles, he has dared by degrees to dub himself artist, and that in com- pany of his accomplice, greedy of gain, he has also dared to manufacture portraits, like biscuits, by machinery. That he has under false pretences, even called himself painter' without even (as poor Peake said) adding glazier on his card, to define the kind of painter. Photography, the unri- valled and matffiless discovery of the genius Daguerre, stands alone as the invaluable assistant to the tsue artist, giving to him living and won- drous studies of subjects living and dead, and momentary glimpses of cha- racter and expression fleeting as cloud, but still to him invaluable from his profound love and interest in his work. But the mere photograph manu- facturer, with his trade spirit, has no such love and interest. The sooner you are done the better, for he gets the money. Presuming your features do happen to fade, you may be answered in shop style very sorry,— such a thing never before happened in such a respectable establishment." It is always the first time. Anti you discover that photographic portraits, like the originals, may suffer from cold, damp, or mildew. Therefore, Sir, through you, I would call upon every man of fellow-feeling to resist and repel such invasions of the land of art, and to transport the false knave Photograph, to the penal colony of trade, fraud, and sham ; for in the pure realm of high art, there is no resting-place for him and greed of gain, whose presence degrades, and whose breath pollutes one of God's greatest gifts for the true progress and civilization of man.

I am, &c., H. D. T.