It is questionable whether even the best early patronage would have enabled Blake to succeed in any high degree. We shall see, as we proceed, that the inherent qualities of his mind—the marked and settled characteristics of his work, chosen and cultivated with a strength of conviction which no opinion of others, no baits of fortune, no perception of self-interest, could have shaken. In so far as he becomes more and more recognised, it will be through a medium of interpretation, partly literary, partly artistic, which will enable thoughtful and refined minds to read his works as they read the classics in the dead languages. The lapse of a century has altered all the external conditions of art. There is no longer a need for patronage, in the ancient sense of the the word. No painter has to take his turn in Lord Chesterfield's ante-room—pictured for us. Ward—with the yawning parson, who comes to dedicate his volume of sermons; the widow who wants a place in the charity school for her son; the wooden-legged, overlooked, sea-captain, who indignantly lugs out his turnip of a chronometer; the insolent, red-coated man of the turf. The men to whom the painter addresses himself with hope are the wealthy merchant, the successful tradesman, the tasteful lawyer, the physician in good practice.
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The whole field and apparatus of design have been enlarged. In the year 1767 there was nothing like the variety write of occupation for the painter which there is now. In those days the artist, like the poet, had little chance of success unless he were taken by the hand and "patronised in the old sense of the word. As the likelihood of being thus noticed depended greatly on accident, it was a dangerous risk for a lad to run when he resolved on throwing his life into the pursuit of painting or sculpture. Reynolds was so fortunate as to obtain high patronage early in life, and was of a constitution of mind able to use, without abusing, his opportunities. Wilkie, when only twenty years of age, gained the life-long friendship and support of Sir george beaumont and Lord Mulgrave. He, too, had that admiration for grand society, and that placid and humble temper, which promoted the stability of such aids to success. Jackson was found on a tailor's shop-board by the same kindly and noble lord Mulgrave, and was allowed 200. A year to enable him to study, until it became evident such good fortune was ruining him, and the annuity was mercifully withdrawn. No doubt many young painters have been "taken up" by eminent patrons, who have never made their way in life. Patronage will not qualify a painter, though the want of it may prevent the highest abilities from being fairly developed.
The rays which kindle the blossoms turn his gathered tears to prisms, through which snow-white and ruby blooms, shaken along with the leaf-emeralds, quiver and dance. The impressible brain, already filled with thoughts of the "might of stars and angels kindles suddenly into a the dream-like, creative energy, and the sunny orchard becomes a mahanaim, even to his outward eye. So it must have been with that other similar incident. He rambles among hayfields, where white-robed girls, graceful as those whom Mulready has represented in the hay-making scene. Baring's gallery, are raking the fragrant fallen grass, and singing as they move. There are times when men not particularly imaginative, looking on the bloom of girlhood, and softened by the music of youthful voices, come very near to the illusion by which the imagination raises "a mortal to the skies or draws "an angel down." Blake, under. It was one of the happy circumstances of Blake's career that his parents did not attempt to throw hindrances in the way of his becoming an artist: most men observe with considerable anxiety any traces of special inclination to the pursuit. A few words may here be worth setting down on this head. Times have greatly altered in this, as in so many other particulars, since Blake's day.
We know painters of the highest imagination who do not possess this extravagant sensibility and completeness of parts in the regions of conception. They have resume the animation of a labouring, inward idea, which glimmers before the vision. They have judgment and taste, by which they know when it is successfully translated into outward form. But all the greatest painters have referred to and depended most minutely on the aid of natural models for the whole series of facts by means of which the image was to be realised on canvas. Young Blake's vision of angels, when analysed, would probably occur in some such way as the following:—It was in no green-topped, suburban tree that he saw the heavenly visitants. We must rather suppose him returning, after the oxygen of the surrey hill winds had exalted his nerves, among the orchards of some vale into which the last rays of the sun shine with their setting splendours. Here he pauses, leans over a gate, looks at a large, blossom-loaded tree, in which the threads of sunlight are entangled like gossamers which "twinkle into green and gold." a zephyr stirs the cloud writings of sun-stricken bloom, where white, commingled with sparkling red, flushes over. Tears of boyish delight "rise from his heart, and gather to his eyes as he gazes.
Blake, but may, i ask where you saw this?'. Here, madam answered Blake, touching his forehead. The point of view from which Blake himself regarded his visions was by no means the mad view those ignorant of the man have fancied. He would candidly confess that they were not literal matters of fact, but phenomena seen by his imagination, realities none the less for that, but transacted within the realm of mind." we must say that there is something baffling in this double-minded assertion. That ideas in "the realm of mind" become, where the faculty of imagination is strong, equivalent in importance to realities, is never questioned; it is a waste of our interest and sympathy to claim for them more than a mental life, since no end can. But even in regard to what is called vision by the inward eye, there are certain limitations which should not be forgotten. Fuseli wished he could "paint up to what he saw." we have heard of other instances where this clearness of mental vision was laid claim to, where nevertheless, the artist made abundance of various preparatory sketches. It appears to us that if the interior image does indeed possess the actual completeness of life, there is nothing to do but copy what is before the mind's eye.
Make hay while The sun Shines - essay - 682 Words
It will give him ineffable joy to see how the valley lifts itself towards the mountains, and how the streams meander from their recesses. He is not taught this; it comes to him as blossoms come to the spring, and is the first file mark of his vocation. It was this inward thirst and longing that sent out the boy blake into the fields and lanes, and among the surburban hills. The force of boyish imagination must have been stronger in him than in most, even of the children of genius, for, as early as the age of thirteen or fourteen, the conceptions of his mind began to assume an external form. He saw a tree sparkling in the sun, and discovered that it was filled with angels. When he narrated this event at home, his father was disposed to beat him for telling a lie, and would have done so but for the interposition of his mother.
Yet he continued to maintain the substantial truth of his story. In later life he perplexed friends and strangers by his mingling of the inward and outward. He was, on one occasion, "talking to a little group gathered round him, within hearing of a lady whose children had just come home from boarding-school for the holidays. 'The other evening said Blake, in his usual quiet way, 'taking a walk, i came to a meadow, and at the further corner of it I saw a fold of lambs. Coming nearer, the ground blushed with flowers, and the wattled cote and its woolly tenants were of an exquisite pastoral beauty. But I looked again, and it proved to be no living flock, but beautiful sculpture.' The lady, thinking that this was a capital holiday-show for her children, eagerly interposed, 'i beg your pardon,.
Human powers and opportunities act and re-act on each other. The fledgling bird has, enfolded in its bosom, the passion for flight and for song, and realises by foretaste, one might think, as the winds rock its nest, the music of the woods and the rapture of the illimitable air. So there are premonitory stirrings, as sweet and inexpressible, in the breast of the heaven-made child of genius. They are its surest sign. Talent grows insensibly, steadily and discreetly. Genius usually has, in early years, a joyous restlessness, a keen, insatiable relish of life; an eye soon touched with the 'fine frenzy and glancing everywhere.
It is— 'nursed by the waterfall, that ever sounds and shines, a pillar of white light upon the wall. Of purple cliffs aloof descried. it is as various, as incessant, as full of rainbow colour and mingled sound. One of our most unquestionable men of genius tells us how, as a child, landscape nature was effectually haunted to him. The cataract chimed in his ears and sang mysterious songs; the 'white lady of avenel' fluttered about his path, or sank in the black swirl and foam of the whirlpool. A child-painter will find it a bliss to notice that the distant hills are of a fine titianesque blue, long before he knows who titian was, or has seen a picture.
Why do we say make hay while the sun Shines?
They forget that life is short; health, variable; opportunity, mutable; means, precarious; memory, feeble; days, dark; "models impracticable; paper pigments, dull; and media, disappointing. Let us implore the visitor of gallery and studio to reflect for a while on these inexorable limitations and distinctions, and to endeavour rather to extract pleasure out of what is absolutely there, than to repine over the lack of sufficiencies which, probably, if demanded. For our own part, with any such persons we should hesitate until this investigation has been comprehensively and satisfactorily made, to draw forth, on a winter evening, and in the sober quiet of the study, where alone such an action should be performed, that plain. Illustrations of the book of Job, invented and engraved by william Blake. And yet our inward thought on the subject is that in the whole range of graphic art there is no epic more stately, no intellectual beauty more keen and thrilling, no thinking much more celestial and profound. The history and career of the designer of this noble poem are as interesting as his work, * * * he was a dreamy child and fond of rambling into the country, to Blackheath, norwood, and Dulwich. His faculties and proclivities were soon enough seen, and in startling forms. He not only imagined, but said that he actually saw angels nestling in a tree, and walking among the haymakers in a field. In these country rambles, we have one of the germs of his peculiar character and genius.
There are moments when the sincere devotee of pays Blake is disposed to claim for him a place as great as that occupied by michael Angelo; when, carried away by the ravishment of his fiery wheels, the thought is lost beyond the confines of sense, and. But, having granted thus much, let us not spoil one of the most original and charming of the many joys to be found "in stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find" along the meads of art, by hankering after what will not. Before we can come to a true initiation into, and an abiding enjoyment of, the domains of representative art, we must have a keen, clear, settled, and contented view of its limitations. Far less of the fruitlessness of discontent enters into poetry and literature than into the subject of painting and sculpture. One would think that the reason of this was obvious; yet it is lost sight of continually. Our experience has shown us that there are few who receive from works of a plastic kind a tithe of their power to please, because of their narrow, uncatholic, querulous condition of mind, arising from a false standard and unwarrantable expectations. They will not be at the pains to recollect the wide chasm of difference between a medium in which only that need be told which can be told with truth, and one in which all must be told, either truthfully or untruthfully: they will not.
mean? It is a recommendation to the biography. He must have a dull soul indeed, who, having seen that face, does not long to know who and what the man was who bore it; and it shall be our endeavour, in our humble way, to act as a guide to the solution. But before we give some account of "who we must be permitted to offer some preliminary reflections, enabling us better to understand "what" he was. No question in art or literature has been more discussed and with less decisiveness than that of the relations of subject-matter to style or form, and on the view taken by the critic of the comparative value of these relations will depend the degree. To those who look on the flaming inner soul of invention as being of far more importance than the grosser integuments which harbour and defend it, giving it visibility and motion to the eye, blake will stand on one of the highest summits of excellence. To those who, having less imagination and feeling, are only able to comprehend thought when it is fully and perfectly elaborated in outward expression, he must ever seem obscure, and comparatively unlovely. There can be no doubt that the true ideal is that which unites in equal strength the forming and all-energising imagination, and the solid body of external truth by which it is to manifest itself to the eye and mind.
At the exhibition of National Portraits at south Kensington, there was a portrait of the same man by Thomas Phillips; but very different in treatment see frontispieces to vols. The skin covers the bones and sinews pdf more calmly; the attitude is eager, wistful, and prompt. Comparing the two so fine and so various portraits, you are able adequately to conceive the man, and in both you feel that this awful eye, far-gazing, subduing the unseen to itself, was the most wonderful feature of the countenance. It is the countenance of a man whose grave is not to be recognised at this day, while linnell lives on in venerable age, producing his glorious representations of the phenomena of nature as she appears out of doors; and, we believe, enjoying a large. If we wished by a single question to sound the depths of a man's mind and capacity for the judgment of works of pure imagination, we know of none we should be so content to put as this one, "What think you of William Blake?". He is a stumbling-block to all pretenders, to all conventional learnedness, to all merely technical excellence. Many a notorious painter, whose canvases gather crowds and realise hundreds of pounds, might be, as it were, detected and shelved by the touch of this "officer in plain clothes." In him there is an utter freedom from pretence. Thackeray with all his minute perception of human weaknesses and meannesses could not have affixed upon this son of nature any, the smallest, accusation of what he has called "snobbishness." As soon might we charge the west wind, or the rising harvest moon, or the.
English Proverbs - make hay while the sun shines-new
Essay on blake, by james smetham. Reprinted from the, london quarterly review, january 1869. For a reference to the author of this essay see the supplementary Chapter to the life of Blake, vol. The omitted portions are extracts or summaries from the foregoing "Life of Blake as a review of which the essay originally appeared. The great landscape-painter, linnell —whose portraits were, some of them, as choice as Holbein's—in the year 1827 painted a portrait of William Blake, the great idealist, and an engraving of it is here before us as we write. A friend looking at it observed that it was "like a landscape." It was a happy observation. The forehead resembles a corrugated mountain-side worn with tumbling streams "blanching and billowing in the hollows of it the face is twisted into "as many lines as the new map with the augmentation of the Indies it is a grand face, ably anatomised, full.