9 APRIL 1836, Page 19


AT the first glance round the room, we perceived the improvement of this exhibition beyond that of last season. The coup d'ccil is rich and harmonious, which before was crude and discordant. This is in part owing to the young Society working better together; but also to the advance made by many of the members individually. On the whole, this is a most interesting display of rising talent in a thriving branch of art. There are few drawings which will not please, and many that will afford a high degree of gratification. The gem of the collection is " The Trial of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel" (85), by W. H. KEARNEY. The similarity of the subject calls to mind HATTER'S famous picture of the Trial of Lord William Russell; but though KEARNEY'S may be made, what it is worthy to be, a companion picture to HATTER'S, it is no imitation. The scene is represented with completeness, distinctness, and impressive force: the mind is carried back to the time and place, and the sympathies are awakened for the illustrious victim and his distressed family. The scene of the trial is Westminster Hall, at the upper end of which the court is held. On the highest bench, beneath a canopy of state, are seated the Peers in their rich costumes, the President in the centre; below, on separate chairs, are ranged the Judges ; and under them the Crown Lawyers. Opposite, on a platform raised above the crowd, stands the noble prisoner, whom the Lieutenant of the Tower is delivering up to the court; and behind him kneels the Chamberlain of

the Tower bearing the axe with its edge averted from the prisoner,--.a light breath will suffice to turn that bloody vane in the opposite di

rection. On the floor of the hall in front of the platform, are grouped the Countess of Arundel, with her children and friends. The Earls

In obedience to the summons of the Clerk of the Crown, raises his band "very high," writes CAMDEN, "saying, here is as true a man's heart and hand as ever came into this hall." His figure, relieved against the background formed by the roof and great window of the hall, arrests the attention ; and his attitude and look, in conjunction with the ghastly comment of the axe, express the danger of his situation. The solemnity of the scene is greatly aided by the cold vacuity and dim light of the distance, imparting a sobriety to this part of the picture that increases the effect of the gorgeous colouring of the costumes of the Peers and Judges. The principal characters are por traits of historical personages, and the costumes are accurately repre sented. The composition of the picture is judiciously arranged in an orderly manner befitting the scene ; all unpicturesque formality being avoided by a felicitous variation of the positions. The painting is elaborate, and the colouring rich and powerful: each figure is well defined, yet the masses are preserved ; and these again unite to form an harmonious arid effective ensemble.

KEARIVEY also exhibits some smaller designs of merit ; of which "Isaac of York awakened by the Palmer" (259), has the most dramatic force.

Among the new members whose works we see for the first time, is one who evinces remarkable and varied talent, and great power of execution H. WARREN. His two large architectural landscapes, " Temple of Jupiter Netnews at Nemnea" (28), and" The Sitting Colossal Statues at Thebes, as they appear during the Inundation 4 the Nile" (140), are admirable for the forcible effect of light, colour, and atmosphere, and, which is a rarer quality, imaginative feeling. His group of "Fairies Dancing on a Dock-leaf' (127), is a rich poetical fancy, of the fantastic kind; and in a more sober style of design, "Amy Robsart and the Pedlar in the Summer-house at Cumnor " (148), possesses great merit.

The pictures of Lours HAGUE, the lithographer, show a great improvement upon those he exhibited last year. "Interior of the Church

of St. Guciuk, Brussels" (174), has almost the boldness of relief of the Diorama interiors ; and the buildings in the picturesque old town " Dinant on the Meuse" (62), are only too solid, since they have a de gree of hardness which is injurious to the pictorial effect. Less rigidity of outline and greater variety of texture are requisite in his out-door views.

DUNCAN is the COPLEY FIELDING of the new Society. "A Wreck" (19), and "Shipwreck on the G untied Sands" (181), convey the wild

desolation of these scenes, of which painters are too fond. The forms and appearance of motion and fluidity in the waves are admirably Imitated. There is a great defect in the aerial perspective of the first, which the enormous buoy in the foreground (painted with surprising

force) increases. " The Outward-bound West Indiaman in Woolwich Reach" (221), is a more pleasing subject, and treated with equal power and mastery. But the "Heath Scene" (180), with a distant rainbow, and an old woman with a red cloak in the foreground, is our especial favourite; ; t is the perfection of simple truth.

If DUNCAN be the COPLEY FIELDING here, Howse is the CATTERmom His igteriors of old buildings with figures are treated with a picturesquene. : 2!anacteristic of the subjects, but with a facility and

similarity of r,`.nd,ing that may degenerate into mere mannerism. Looking at suth oissures as "Interior with Figures" (79), one cannot

help wishing th..t the talent shown in selecting and arranging the mate

rials were tur.ied to better account ; as in 110, " Trial by Bier-right," an impressive scene from the Fair Maid of Perth. Howse's views on the Rhine-" At Bacharach" (70) -" At I3oppart " (99)-" At Caub" (126), &c. show that he can represent earth, air, awl water, as well as buildings and figures.

DowNiso exhibits numerous brilliant indications of landscapes-we cannot call them pictures or sketches, they are too unsubstantial for either; but criticism is silenced by the fact of many of them having been painted on a sick bed.

SIDNEY SHEPHERD'S literal and gayly-coloured portrait-pictures of localities in town and country are very numerous ; and cannot fail to attract attention, and admiration too, by the vivid fidelity with which each scene is placed before the eye. It is the prose of painting, but it is very pleasant and lively reading. The artist's sensorium is a plane mirror that reflects common images as they are, rather brightened by the clear medium through which they are presented to us. He paints whatever strikes his eye, be it a stone-yard or a wheat

field, or scene on board a steamer : he is equally at home in town and country. He is a lover of crowded streets and brick houses, as well as of stately buildings and rural landscapes ; and he delineates all with equal troth. He also gives us portraits of the "House at Chalford

St. Giles's, Bucks" (250), to which MILTON retired during the Great

Plague of 1665, and where be finished his Paradise Lost; and of " Quebec House, Westerham, Kent" (175), in which General 1VOLFE

was born. We hope be will proceed with other dwellings rendered famous by illustrious occupants. His " View of Amwell" (51), has a greater air of truth for being more mellow in tone. LINDSAY, though be has but few drawings, shows marked improvement in the completeness of his imitations of natural appearances and effects of light. There is an unaffected elegance of style in 227, " St. Paul's, from the Surry side of Waterloo Bridge."

HARDWICK'S landscape sketches, street scenes, and studies of armour and figures, are bold, brilliant, and truthful sketches, full of promise. RIYIERE'S studies of rustic figures are true to nature, though with too little to interest. He has improved in force and richness of colour this year. His two Welsh landscapes, "Castle Dinas Bran" (57), and " View up the Dee, with a Storm coming on" (73), are vigorous and truthful.

Castrum exhibits a number of sketches of marine and coast scenes, and mountainous landscapes, that indicate power and an eye for nature ; but they are too slight in execution and dull in colour. OLIVER'S architectural landscapes, "Buildings at Thiers" (71), and "Chateau de Tournailles" (199), display more than ordinary talent. Fauev's landscapes are fresh and bright,-see " Conway Castk" (105); and his two street-scenes near Hungerford Market (69 and 264), are realities. PENSON'S Coast Scene" (242), is a hard imitation of BONINGTON ; but both it and "An Interior" (275), promise well. MAISEY'S " View on the Thames at Gravesend" (94), and " Geneva " (145). Moaisoses sketches, and other slighter landscapes by ROBERTSON, BRADLEY, FIRMINGF:R, and Mrs. CHASE, deserve notice. SCHARF'S homely but truthful drawings want the vigour and brilliancy requisite to attract attention ; but the "Roman Catholic Procession-the Bavarian Costume" (171), has at least the merit of fidelity. LAPORTE'S studies of animal* and hunting scenes are clever. Mrs. Ilmaaisou's " Fruit " (22), and "Flowers" (117), are richly pictorial imitations of nature. In figure-drawing there is a bold and striking portrait-picture called "Writing the Despatch," by B. R. GREEN; and some of WEIGALL'S humorous designs from Roderick Random (50, 91, and 135): his "Smuggler's Retreat" (50), and "Runaway Slave" (254), are equally good of their kind. LANCE exhibits a life-size "Study of a Black" (168), that is nature itself: but the material is disagreeable ; it has the thinness of watercolour with the glaze of oil, without the solidity of one or the transparency of the other. His "Kate" (159), is a rich piece of watercolour painting, with a deep tone of colour. ROCHARD'S female heads are very highly wrought miniatures ; PARRIS'S "Peasant Girl" (141), (It serves especial praise, for it is what few of his figures are-natural and unaffected.