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said “a mannerism”-of his own, which he is not likely to lose-a very decided and constantly shown preference for certain combinations of colour—combinations, by-the-by, which, in the early days of the preRaphaelites, were as a sign-mark to their work—a very
subtle sense of harmony (which rarely, if ever, fails him); a habit of depicting emotions rather than incidents—all these things characterise the painter, and must have been observed by those who know his pictures. I think he is one of the most truthful, as he is certainly one of the most attractive, painters of children—not in their lighter, but in their most serious moments. To justify this opinion, one has only to recal to one's memory the “ Woodman's Child” and “ Home from Work,” shown in the Inter. national Exhibition of 1862 ; and that pathetic little picture of a child, brooding and melancholy, sitting apart from her playmates—a picture exhibited at the Academy during last season.
This year Mr. Hughes contributes two important works, perhaps scarcely so marked in that general character as others that have come from his easel, but possessing certain features which he alone could give them. The single face, for instance, in “Good Night," is eminently a face by Mr. Hughes; and so is the woman's face-not so, perhaps, the man's—in that charming picture of “ The Guarded Bower." Upon the frame there are written some lines by Christina Rossetti-lines worthy of the poetess, and of the painter and his picture—but in the Academy's catalogue we read this motto from Mr. Browning :
head his arm he flung
Against the world; and that reminds us of the story of the Tournament-Queen, who, finding her chastity and truth assailed, found as soon a champion in the Count Gismond ; and we remember how Count Gismond smote the false accuser, and, turning to the lady, flung his protecting arm around, she knowing nothing of the crowd shouting approval :
For he began to say the while,
How south our home lay many a mile. I have said the picture is worthy of the painter; some may, perhaps, think one could say more by saying what I will say now—that it is worthy of the subject; that it exactly expresses the sentiment fit to be conveyed.
Had Mr. P. F. Poole given greater attention to correctness of drawing than he has chosen to do, he would occupy (may I presume to say it ?) a higher position than he occupies now-good though that is. A man of such strong imagination-an imagination fearful or graceful, almost at will —could not possibly be suppressed; but I think it is not too much to say that, apparently with greater care, the painter of “ The Goths in the Garden of Italy,'
,''“ Solomon Eagle," and " The Parting Moment,” could have given us even better things than these. A delightfully fresh young face is that of the girl in his “Going to the Spring ;” and many
very many-good points are there in his scene from “ Cymbeline, where Imogen addresses those she intrudes upon :
Good masters, harm me not:
I have stolen nought, nor would not; though I had found
With prayers for the provider. Appealing to a larger number of those who visit the Academy than does the work of Mr. Poole—for everybody knows “Enoch Arden" and the “ Story of Little Dombey," while “Cymbeline” to some is unfamiliar—the pictures of Mr. Moschelles and Mr. Sant are sure to have received already their meed of admiration. Mr. Tennyson-great, as no one needs to be told, in a thousand places-is unfortunately not very great in the lines from his latest poem which Mr. Sant has illustrated. The little picture of juvenile jealousy may be very interesting to some people ; we knew before this season that the artist could paint wellbehaved children, now we know that he can paint children who are eminently disagreeable, and, if that is any satisfaction, let us admit that he has done it well.
Mr. Moschelles has chosen a better subject; and, if it is a little worn, his own happy treatment might make one forget it. Florence Dombey, leaning her head on the bedside of her brother, is even more attractive on the canvas of Mr. Moschelles than in the novel of Mr. Dickens. The face is not only pretty, but very full of feeling; and though faults might be found in the picture, one would willingly forget them in the contemplation of one point so good.
Let us pass on to the work of a painter who has given many excellent representations of historical scenes, and of the thrilling incidents of our
pause for a moment before Mr. H. O'Neil's picture of the “ Last Moments of Rafael.” It may be said, and said with some truth, that Mr. O'Neil lacks certain qualities that an historical painter ought to possess. Breadth and power are not, it is urged by some, conspicuous in his works. But at least, it may be said in reply, he is not a painter of upholstery ; velvet and lace and jewels are not the most attractive things in his pictures; his faces are not dolls with unexceptionable features, who have
been made beautiful for ever. He is between the two schools. When he paints scenes historical or semi-historical, he does not grasp his subject as the greatest painters of history have grasped theirs; but at least he sees below the surface ; knows that there is a heart, blood-tinctured, beneath the smooth and medalled breast. He who aims high cannot always aim with success; but to have aimed high, though at last the arrows were found to be behind- to have seen the goal, and desired and striven to reach it—that is in itself much to do, and much to be praised for. In the “ Last Moments of Rafael,” Mr. O'Neil has treated a great subject with a not unworthy hand.
Mrs. E. M. Ward has this year been more ambitious than usual, and her ambition is rewarded with a very fair success.
There is much clever painting in her “ Palissy the Potter," and I do not think the faces are at all open to the charge of exaggerated expression. What one might urge against them is that the complexions would scarcely have been so dread. ful, even at the harrowing moment at which Mrs. Ward has represented the group. Very much more serious than they now seem to us, seemed to Palissy and his wife the consequences of the accident here shown; and
it is not an every-day incident, but a domestic tragedy that Mrs. Ward has depicted, with earnest effort and no little success. Let us confess that though Amy Robsart is very
fair to look upon, and though Leicester is sufficiently gallant and gay, we are not so much pleased with Mr. Ward's chief work of the present year.
be a little too much of the outward brilliancy—too strong a hint of tinselto show forth the characters as they were. We see them “ in their habit, as they lived ;” but they seem a little self-conscious, and scarcely at their
Maclise's “ Death of Nelson,” though occupying for the first time the position that it does, can hardly be called a picture of the year; and so familiar must the readers of this Magazine be with it, that it would be useless-perhaps impertinent—to detain them with any consideration of its merits and its faults.
A word of praise to M. Signol for his “ Holy Family;" to Mr. Goodall for his “Hagar and Ishmael;" to Mr. J. Archer for the delightful faces -all alive with expression—in “Hearts are Trumps;" to the painter of “The Story of a Life," for the admirable disposition of his figures and the variety of his faces; to Mr. Watts, who has sent a “Thetis," intensely graceful, but with flesh-tints not of the purest, is all that I can give; and some apology is needed for thus briefly and awkwardly classing together painters and pictures so different. But landscape-painting, said (with little truth, apparently) to be the point in which English art excels, must not pass unnoticed when such pictures as those this year contributed by Mr. V. Cole are open to our inspection. “Summer's Golden Crown” is perhaps even a more worthy work than “ Evening Rest,” though it is hard to be asked to choose between two paintings so admirable. A corn-field in the glowing August weather, with the occasional breezes passing over the wheat, and making the ripe ears bow, has not, I think, so often been made the subject of a painter's study as the stream's side in the many-coloured end of evening. Sunset-tints find great
favour with our artists, and form backgrounds to many a picture that is not a landscape pur et simple; but the sun's light over the farstretching fields—that is more rarely painted, though the Linnells have got the secret. Such a picture of the brightest of bright days in the country as Mr. Vicat Cole has now produced is almost as pleasant as the scene itself, and runs no risk of being forgotten. It is the very height of summer; the trees are thick-leaved, and welcome is their shade ; over the wide corn-fields "little breezes dusk and shiver," and over all the blinding sun looks down. Full-blown are the poppies among the corn. The year is at its best and brightest, for there is placed upon it “Summer's Golden Crown.” I am sorry that a description so inadequate of a work so entirely and wonderfully successful must be the last that I can write of the pictures of the year.
T. FREDERICK WEDMORE.
BRIARS AND THORNS.
BY BLANCHE MARRYAT.
As soon as Captain Travers had left her, a feeling of despair crept over Gabrielle, and sinking into the nearest chair, she leant her face in her hands, and for some minutes wept bitterly.
“ This is the very last alternative I ought to have chosen," she murmured ; " but there was no other course open to me, except, as he said, of passing the night in the streets.”
The half mad, bewildered state into which the cruelty and injustice of her husband had driven her, had for the moment incapacitated her for reflection; and now, for the first time, she awoke, with a cold shudder, to a sense of the perilous position in which she was placed. Like a trapped bird, which has at length become conscious of its inability to escape, a dull, hopeless sensation seemed to take possession of her.
The rooms in which she so strangely found herself opened one into another ; regular bachelor apartments, fitted up with every convenience tending to the comfort of those unfortunate members of society.
The folding-doors were thrown widely apart, and as Gabrielle, after her first fit of weeping was over, raised her head, she could clearly discern, by the light of the taper which Captain Travers had handed to her before he took his departure, the little camp-bedstead in the adjoining chamber, with its pretty chintz hangings; the portable bath, with the owner's name painted outside in large white letters ; the rack against the wall, from which boots were seen in numbers sufficient to have lasted any ordinary mortal for a lifetime ; and, finally, the dressing-table, small in its proportions, and totally bereft of any muslin trimmings, but, nevertheless, resplendent with all the thousand-and-one et cæteras supposed to be necessary to a man of fashion now-a-days.
The loss of fortune, apparently, had not abated in any very great degree Captain Travers's expenditure on his personal adornment.
Gabrielle longed to bathe her aching head in the cold water, to still the throbbing of her temples ; but she checked the desire at once, and, rising from her seat, quietly closed the folding-doors, and after having locked them securely, sat herself again in the large arm-chair, anxiously to await the coming day. She attempted to think over the past, and form some plans for the future ; but as, ever and anon, she glanced across the little gaily furnished sitting-room, some object met her eye which recalled to her so forcibly the unseemliness of her present position, that she was unable to bring her thoughts to bear upon anything else.
The morning coat flung across the chair on which her head reclined, agreeably perfumed with “extrait de Tabac;" the fancifully embroidered smoking-caps and slippers, wrought by the fair hand of some passing divinity; the cigars, cigar-cases, German meerschaums, Turkish pipes with long stems and amber mouthpieces.
The open soda-water bottle, with its glass and accompanying smell of brandy, also bore evidence of the ownership of the locale wherein she found herself so unexpectedly placed, and reminded her that even her great distress was no excuse for having consented to seek so equivocal a place of refuge. Tired out by the excitement of the last few hours, Gabrielle at length fell into a doze, or fancied that she must have done 80, when a clock on the chimney-piece, striking the hour of six, caused her to start up nervously.
Sounds denoting the commencement of the traffic, which, even during the Sabbath, is never altogether absent in the great city, began to make themselves heard in the vicinity, and caused her thoughts to wander to the unloved home to which she could never return, and to the dreary future which was, probably, in store for her.
The foreign extraction of the only parent she had ever known had prevented any great intimacy between Gabrielle and her English relatives ; indeed, save at the time of her wedding, their very names had been unfamiliar to her. She knew no one, therefore, to whom she could apply for shelter, with the exception of one or two who were living at a distance, and who, from what she knew of them, she thought unlikely to give a willing reception to a cast-off (though innocent) wife.
As the difficulties of her situation presented themselves to her imagination, she rose from the chair on which she had been seated, and paced rapidly up and down the chamber, lamenting in vain over the folly of the step which, in the helplessness and agitation of the moment, she had been induced to take.
The bells had begun to ring for morning service when Captain Travers ascended the staircase to pay his first visit to the unhappy occupant of his rooms.
A feeling of the deepest commiseration came over him as he called to mind the look of helplessness which had overspread her face when he last quitted her.
As he knocked gently at the door of the sitting-room the bolt from inside was noiselessly withdrawn, and on entering he found Gabrielle in a state of great nervous distress. Not long before he arrived she had been annoyed by the repeated demands for admittance and whispered conversations of some women outside.
Her usually radiant face looked wan and haggard, and the strangeness of her voice so startled her visitor that he proceeded at once to try and restore her to something like her customary self.
Perhaps I had better explain matters to them,” said he. “ Doubtless my landlady imagines that I have taken a fancy for suicide, and that when the bolt is forced later in the day I shall be found suspended by a rope to the ceiling. I never thought that they might want to do the room. But how wretchedly pale you look !” he added, giving a glance at her face.
Gabrielle made a faint attempt to conceal her utter wretchedness by lightly assuring him that she had passed the night very comfortably in the arm-chair ; but it proved so sad a failure, that Captain Travers turned away, anxious to avoid the sight of her misery, saying that he would, at least, contrive to obtain some breakfast for her.
After ringing the bell, he went out for the purpose of stopping the