The journal of design and manufactures
Miscellaneous, pp. 89-96 ff.
Mr. Pugin in his own walk has induced us to take this opportunity of giving a warning against a servile application of the principles he so valorously asserts. in the amusing and spirited pamphlet at the head of this notice, Ar. Pugin has the best of an argument with some Roman Catholics, who seem to think they can have the old faith manifested in new art. On the side of the latter it may be granted, that though the faith be old, still the wants of the present time are new. But to examine this position with all necessary detail, to guard against misconception, would be beyond the scope of this Journal, and we must content ourselves with simply noticing so much of Mr. Pugin's pamphlet as seems legitimately to belong to our specialty. In the following, Mr. Pugin admits that the old faith which made painters does not now exist:- "As for getting devout men in these days to paint for the love of God, it is not to be done. It was all very well for religious men, like Angelico, and Fra Bartolomeo, and a host of other great painters, who were the inmates of monasteries, professed religious, provided for life, and by their positions removed far beyond all ordinary care and casualties, to devote their talents and lives to the decoration of the temple without recompense or reward. But in these days, painters (and devout painters, too) fall in love, marry, have large families, and require to be well paid for what they do. Indeed a painter, by his position, is entitled to large remuneration. In most professions, a man can gain by the labour of others; but a painter is alone. But a few years of a short life are open for him to obtain a competence for his declining years: he has not only to look to the present, but the future; and, by an illness or an accident, he may be disabled for life. Painting that is worth having can never be cheap. You may catch some rising man to do one work for fame; but, that obtained, it is not likely he will repeat it on the same terms. Some visionary people imagine that Ger- man artists can be procured for almost nothing; but let those who labour under this delusion try the scheme in practice, and they will soon discover their mistake. I, to my cost, have endeavoured to import religious painters, and the result was my paying a good sum to get rid of my engagement. It is quite true that at Munich, where beer and tobacco are cheap, some painters of considerable ability live on a few kreusters a-day; but once in England the case is changed-it is the El Dorado of the foreigner, a Londres on marche sur l'or, and nothing satisfies them. All the foreign artists, with the exception of poor Ghrente (who was half an Englishman), with whom I have had the misfortune of being in any way connected, have been the most idle, exorbitant, dissatisfied people possible; and it would take the resources of a nation, or at least of a prince, to keep a few of them going." We quite agree with Mr. Pugin, that it is better first to have glass than mural decoration. Further on he adds very justly - "It is a great mistake to expend large sums of money on painting, gilding, and decorating buildings, which are essentially poor in character and construction. The ecclesiastical buildings, so richly decorated during the middle ages, were most elaborate and splendid structures, not plain plaster walls,but moulded and sculptured from groin to pavement." Ab lIlautous. Wx understand that it is proposed by the Board of Trade to increase the par- liamentary grant to the Scuoors oF DE- smN this year to 12,0001. We believe the country would not grudge this, or even a much larger amount, if the system of management guaranteed its judicious ex- penditure. In common with many others we are waiting patiently to see the results of the present system, and at least we hope for the best. Apropos of the sub- ject, and as proof of the general willing- ness to assist the Schools, we may men- tion that the Potteries' Schools are sup- plied with cuttings of the finest flowers from the Duke of Sutherland's green- houses at Trentham. VOL. I. The BEIFAST SCHOOL OF DxsieN has been inaugurated with a heartiness which seems to promise well for its future suc- cess. The occasion furnished quite a festi- valfor the town. The chairman, Lord Duf. ferin, who evidently takes something more than a mere commonplace interest in the institution, made an excellent address. A military band attended. Flowers were displayed, and works of art and numerous specimens of the various local manu- factures were collected together effect- ively. In the course of his speech the chairman observed, that "though it was immediately to the designers and manu- facturers this artistic education was to be offered, there was another pupil no Misceltaneow.
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