27 JULY 1850, Page 19


Mr. .Allom has prepared for the London panorama-tourist a highly gra- phic survey of a most interesting and beautiful region. Guided by the artist, you enter the Dardanelles, pass up that remarkable strait, viewing Constantinople and its villages on your way, seeing no little of the Asiatic shore; reach the Black Sea; look back and survey the ground traversed, with many striking objects in a new aspect; return, and enter Constanti- nople, traversing its streets, and seeing its most characteristic sights—its mosques, its bath, its bazaars, its fountains, its seraglio and gardens, and the Sultan's room in the harem. In short, you see the Turkish strait, Europe and Asia where they meet, the Black Sea, and the capital of Tur- key with its daily life In completeness of execution, the picture falls short of its scope and its artistic power. Whether we are right in our conjecture or not, It will help to illustrate the impression made upon us by the work, when we say that we ascribe its peculiar condition to the history of the artist. Mr. Allom was a landscape-drawer, whose main characteristic was a certain force and delicacy of effect. His use of chiaroscuro was rather conven- tional, as in the employing darks to fetch out the middle-distance or the tips of objects nearer the foreground; but it was always workmanlike and telling. In later years, we believe, Mr. Allom has devoted himself to architecture. The work before us indicates seine such change: the finish is in the architectural parts; the foliage is "dashed in" often so rudely that the lights are visibly produced by straight "splotches" of pigment—ribandlikc bands, wholly unlike any leaves that ever grew. Yet the chiaroscuro is so ably designed, that even where the more distant trees are laid on with a faint flat wash, half closing the eyes—which conceals the raw handling and brings the harsh tints together—fetches out the truth of the scene. A piece of painting just beyond the first fountain illustrates our meaning. The ornamental architecture is beautifully finished and in these portions the effect rises to illusion, but in these alone. The general impression is that Mr. Allom has produced a beauti- ful design for a panorama, which, if it were executed by artists com- petently versed in scene-painting and the representation of the figure, would be one of the finest ever shown. It is one of the most interesting to all, and to the artistic eye it sng- gests a world of beauty. Indeed, all may gather enlarged ideas from it, especially in the modern too exclusive love of Greek architecture. The lightness, grace, and grandma- of Oriental architecture, may rebuke those bigoted minds. The use of colours and the precious metals, with the broad shades of overhanging eves, as in the fountains, is a beautiful adaptation of design to climate.