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“ Agricola et minio suffusus, Bacche, ru- which contradicts the solid painting. bente,
... Pliny is rather ambiguous with regard Primus inexpertâ duxit ab arte choros.”
• to this Nicias—whether he was the TIB.
celebrated one or no. But it should But to suppose that Praxiteles and be noticed that the anecdote, as told Phidias could endure to submit their in Mr Owen Jones' “ Apology," is loveliest works to be stuccoed and intended to show that the painter's solidly painted over with vermilion, skill, as a painter, was added-subseems to us to suppose a perfect im- stantially added — to the work of possibility. That they could not have Praxiteles, whereas this Nicias may willingly allowed the defilement we have been one who was nice in the have shown by the nature of their making and careful in the use of his work, all the picety of touch and real varnish; and we readily grant that proportion of parts lying under the ne some kind of varnishing or polishing cessity of alteration, and consequently may have been used over the statues, damage thereby. Whatever apparent both for lustre and protection. Cerproof might be adduced that such tainly at one time, though we would statues were painted—and we doubt not say there is proof as to the time the proof, as we will endeavour to of Phidias, such varnishes, or rather show-we do not hesitate to say that waxings, were in use. But even if it the daubings and plasterings must were the celebrated Nicias to whom have been the doing of a subsequent the anecdote refers, we cannot for less cultivated people, and possibly at a moment believe he would have the demand of a vulgarised mob. touched substantially, as a painter, ocracy. The clown at our panto- any work of Praxiteles. But as gemimes is the successor to the clown nius is ever attached to genius, he who smeared his face with wine-lees, may have supplied to Praxiteles the and passed his jokes wbile he gave means of giving that polish which he orders to have his idol painted with gave to his own works, and probably vermilion. Yet though it must be aided him in the operation, not impossible that Phidias or Praxiteles "had under his hands," as translatwould have allowed solid coats of ed— " quibus manum admovisset." paint or stucco, or both, to have Pliny had in his eye the very modus ruined the works of their love and operandi of the encaustic process, the genius, under the presuming title holding heated iron within a certain is historical evidence" an anecdote is distance of the object. But wbat culled from the amusing gossip Pliny, was the operation ? Does the text to show what Praxiteles thought of authorise anything like the painting it. “There is a passage in Pliny the statue ? Certainly not. And howwhich is decisive, as soon as we un- ever triumphantly it is brought forderstand the allusion. Speaking of ward, there is a hitch in the argument Nicias (lib. xxxv. cap. 11), he says which must be confessed. that Praxiteles, when asked which of In making this confession, it would his marble works best satisfied him, have been as well to have referred to Teplied, “Those which Nicias has bad Pliny himself for the meaning. Pliny nder his hands." "So much," adds uses the verb illinebat, in grammatical
liny,“ did he prize the finishing of relation to circumlitio, in the sense Niciás"-(tantum circumlitioniejus tri- of varnishing, in that well - known buebat). This finishing of Nicias," passage in which he speaks of the by its location, professes to be a trans- varnish used by Apelles — “ Unum lation from Pliny, which it is not. imitari nemo potuit, quod absoluta Had the writer adopted the exact opera illinebat atramento ita tenui," wording of the old English translation, &c. from which he seems to have taken The meaning of this passage hangs the former portion of the sentence, it on the word circumlitio. Winckelwould not have suited his purpose, mann follows the mass of commentabut it would have been more fair: tors in understanding this as referring it is thus, “So much did he attribute to some mode of polishing the statues. unto his vernish and polishing”- “But Quatremère de Quincey, in his magnificent work Le Jupiter Olym- of it, he or the writer writes without pien, satisfactorily shows this to be any fixed ideas, and all this assumpantenable, not only “because no tion, all this absurd theory, is after sculptor could think of preferring such all built upon a word which these of his statues as had been better people are determined to misunderpolished, but also because Nicias be- stand, and yet upon which they caning a painter, not a sculptor, his not help but express the doubt. But services must have been those of a why should there be any doubt at all? painter." If these are the only "be- As far as we can see, the word is a causes" of Quatremère de Quincey, plain word, and explains itself very they are anything but satisfactory; well, and even expresses its modus for a sculptor may esteem all his operandi. A writer acquainted with works as equal, and then prefer such such a schoolboy book as Ainsworth's as had the advantage of Nicias's cir. Dictionary might have relieved his cumlitio. Nor does the because of mind as to any doubts or forced conNicias being a painter at all define struction of circumlitio; he might have the circumlitio to be a plastering with found there, that the word comes stucco, or a thick daubing with ver- from Lino, to smear, from Leo, the milion ; for, be it borne in mind, this same-and that Circum in the comvermilion painting is always spoken position shows the action, the mode of of as a solid coating. As to Nicias's smearing. Nay, he is referred to two services, “ What were they?" asks passages in Pliny, the very one from the author of the Historical Evidence which the quotation in the Historical in Mr Jones's Apology. “Nicias was Evidence is taken, and to another in an encaustic painter, and hence it is the same author, Pliny-and authors clear that his circumlitio, his mode of generally explain themselves—where finishing the statues, so highly prized the word is used in reference to the by Praxiteles, must have been the application of medicinal unguents. application of encaustic painting to We can readily grant that the ancient those parts which the sculptor wished sculptors did employ recipes of the to have ornamented. For it is quite most skilful persons in making uncidle to suppose a sculptor like Prax- tuous varnishes, which they rubbed iteles would allow another sculptor to into the marble as a preservative, finish his works. The rough work and also to bring out more perfectly may be done by other hands, but the the beauty of the marble texture-not finishing is always left to the artist. altogether to hide it. It may be, withThe statue completed, there still re- out the least concession towards Mr mained the painter's art to be em. Owen Jones's painting theory, as ployed, and for that Nicias is re- readily granted that they gave this nowned."- Indeed! This is exceed- unctuous composition a warm tone, ingly childish: first the truism that with a little vermilion, as many still one sculptor would not have another do to their varnishes. Pliny himself, to finish his work-of course, not; in his 33d book, chap. vii., gives sach and then that the work was not a recipe : White Punic wax, melted finished until the painter had reguwith oil, and laid on hot; the work larly, according to his best skill and art afterwards to be well rubbedover with —which art and skill were required— cere-cloths. To return to the “ Cirbeen employed in the painting it as he cumlitio," we have the word, only would paint a picture, " for which he with super instead of circum, used in was renowned;"—that is, variously the application of a varnish by the colour all the parts — till he had Monk Theophilus, of the tenth cenvariously coloured hair and eyes, tury, who, if he did not take the word and put in varieties of flesh tones, from Pliny, and therefore in Pliny's show the blue veins beneath, and all sense, may be taken for quite as good that a painter renowned for these Latin authority. After describing things was in the habit of doing in the method of making a varnish of oil his pictures. If this be not the mean and a gum—" gummi quod vocatur ing of this author, and the object of Mr fornis" —he adds, “Hoc glutine omnis Owen Jones in making such a parade pictura superlinita, fit et decora ac omnino durabilis. The two words vulgar, for whom no finery can be too Superlitio and Circumlitio,*--the first fine, no colours too gaudy. However applicable to such a surface as a pic refined the Athenian taste, we know ture; the last to statues, which pre- from their comedies they had their sent quite another surface. But if it vulgar ingredient: there could be no could be proved-and it cannot—that security among them even for the the works of Praxiteles were in Mr continuance in purity of the genius Owen Jones's sense painted over, which gave them the works of Phidias would that justify the colouring the and Praxiteles; nor were even these frieze of the Parthenon, the work of great artists perhaps allowed the exPhidias, who preceded Praxiteles ercise of their own noble minds. The more than a century, during which Greeks had no permanent virtuesmany abominations in taste may have no continuance of high perceptions : been introduced? We are quite aware as these deteriorated, their great sim. that, at a barbarous period, images of plicity would naturally yield to petty gods, probably mostly those of wood, ornament. They of Elis, who apwere painted over with vermilion, as pointed the descendants of Phidias to a sacred colour and one of triumph. the office of preserving from injury We extract from the old translation his statue of Jupiter Olympius, did of Pliny this passage :-" There is little if they neglected to secure their found also in silver mines a mineral education also in the principles of the called minium, i.e. vermilion, which taste of Phidias. The conservators is a colour at this day of great price would in time be the destroyers; and and estimation, like as it was in old simply because they must do, and time; for the ancient Romans made know not what to do. When images exceeding great account of it, not their innumerable idols—were caronly for pictures, but also for divers ried in processions, they were of course sacred and holy uses. And verily dressed up, not for veneration, but Verrius allegeth and rehearseth many show. We know that in very early authors whose credit ought not to be times their gods were carried about in disproved, who affirm that the man shrines, and, without doubt, tricked ner was in times past to paint the up with dress and daubings, pretty very face of Jupiter's image on high much as are, at this day, the Greek and festival daies with vermilion : as Madonnas. Venus and Cupid have also that the valiant captains who descended down to our times in the rode in triumphant manner into Rome painted Madonna and Bambino. had in former times their bodies cov- Whatever people under the sun have ered all over therewith ; after which ever had paint and finery, temples, manner, they say, noble Camillus gods, and idols have had their share of entered the city in triumph. And them. We need no proofs, and it is even to this day, according to that surprising we have so few with re. ancient and religious custom, ordinary spect to the great works of the anit is to colour all the unguents that cients, that these corruptions would are used in a festival supper, at & take place. It is in human nature: solemne triumph, with vermilion. barbarism never actually dies; it is And no one thing do the Censors an ill weed, hard entirely to eradicate, give charge and order for to be done, and is ready to spring up in the most at their entrance into office, before the cultivated soils. The vulgar mind will painting of Jupiter's image with min make its own Loretto : imagination nium." Yet Pliny does not say much and credulity want no angels but in favour of the practice; for he adds themselves to convey anywhere a _"The cause and motive that indaced " santa casa ;" nor will there be want. our ancestors to this ceremony I mar. ing brocade and jewels, the crown and vel much at, and cannot imagine what the peplos, for the admiration of the it should be." The Censors did but ignorant. Are a few examples, if follow a vulgar taste to please the found and proved, and of the best
" Circumlitio."-See Mr Henning's evidence before Committee of House of Commons on the preservation of stone by application of hot wax penetrating the stone, and his mode of using it, similar to the encaustic process.
times—which is not clear-to establish will be restored until funds shall be the theory as good in taste, or in any found for stucco, inside aud out, as way part of the intention of the great preparation for Mr Jones's bright blue sculptors? If authorities adduced, and and unmitigated vermilion and gold. to be adduced, are worth anything. It is frightful to imagine Mr Owen they must go a great deal farther. Jones and his paint-potover every inch Take, for instance, a passage from of Westminster Abbey, inside and out. Pausanias, lib. ii. c. 11: Kai Let us take a nearer view of the 'Yyelas de coc Kata Tavrov ayalua oùk historical evidence. We are told, w oùde touto idors paðiws, OÛTW, TEPLE- “Ancient literature abounds with rexovou åuTÓ Kópai te yuvalkov áŮ KELPOV- ferences and allusions to the practice ται τη θεώ, και εσθητός Βαβυλωνίας τε of painting and dressing statues. dažāves." And after the same man- Space prevents their being copiously Der is a statue of Hygeia, which you cited here.”. We venture to affirm, may not easily see, it is so complete that the lack of existence is greater ly covered with hair of the women than the lack of space, if by ancient who have shorn themselves in honour literature is meant the best literature of the goddess, and also with the the literature contemporary with fringes of the Babylonish vest." Here, the works of the great sculptors. surely, is quite sufficient authority for There were poets and historians-can Mr Jones to procure ample and vari, any quotation be given at all admisously-coloured wigs for the Venus de sible as evidence? It is extraordinary Medicis, and other statues, and to or- that the advocates for the theory, if it der a committee of milliners to de- were true, can find no passages in the vise suitable vesture. Images of this poets. Is there nothing nearer than kind were mostly made of wood, easy what Plato puts into the mouth of to be carried about; and were often, Socrates? “Let it be remembered that doubtless, made likest life, for the de- Socrates was the son of a sculptor, ception as of the real presence of a and that Plato lived in Athens, acdeity. The view of art was lost when quainted with the great sculptors and im posture commenced. Mr Jones ad- their works; then read this passage, mits that the Greek sculptors did not wherein Socrates employs by way of intend exact imitation, but his theory simile the practice of painting statues goes so close to it, it would be difficult – Just as if, when painting statues, to say where it stops short. Indeed, a person should blame us for not plache had better at once go the whole ing the most beautiful colours on the way, or we may better say, " the most beautiful parts of the figure-inwhole hog," with bristle brushes, for asmuch as the eyes, the most beautiwhen he has got rid of the prejudice" ful parts, were pot painted purple but in favour of white marble, his spec- black,-we should answer him by saytators will be satisfied with nothing ing, Clever fellow, do not suppose less than wax-work.
we are to paint eyes, so beautifully We remember hearing, in a remote that they should not appear to be village, the consolation one poor wo eye.'-PLATO, De Repub., lib. iv. This man gave another " Look up to passage would long ago have settled them pretty angels, with their lovely the question, had not the moderns black eyes, and take comfort from been preoccupied with the belief that 'em." These were angels' heads in the Greeks did not paint their statues ; plaster, round the cornice, which the they therefore read the passage in anchurch-wardens, year after year, with other sense. Many translators read the official taste and importance of the pictures' for statues. But the Roman Censors, had caused to be so Greek word Avòpias signifies 'statue,' painted when, as they apnounced on a and is never used to signify " pictablet, they "beautified” the church. ture.' It means statue, and a statuOf late years we have been removing ary is called the maker of such stathe whitewash from our cathedrals, tues—AvopuaVTOTTULOS. (Mr Davis, in thicker, by repetition, than Mr Owen Bohn's English edition of Plato, avoids Jones's prescribed coats of stucco. the difficulty by translating it huShould his theory, prevail, we shall be man figures')."--Mr Lloyd, in bis re. again ashamed of stone; white-lime marks upon this passage, confesses
VOL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXVII.
that it does not touch the question midwife, and that consequently bis concerning the painting the flesh, but father was not very rich, it may not refers to the eyes, lips, and ornaments. be an out-of-the-way conjecture to We object not to admit more than suppose that the family trade may this, and, as we have before observed, have had its humbler employments, of that certain images, mostly of wood, which the painting images may bave were painted entirely, excepting where borne a part. Ships had their images clothed ; and, for argument's sake, ad- as well as temples, and we know that mitting that Socrates alluded to these the ship's head was “MATônápños." common images, if we may so speak, The custom has descended to our the ancestors of our common dolls, times. But we are not to take the word should we be justified in building a put by Plato into the mouth of Socratheory subversive of all good taste tes - av plavras- necessarily in the upon such an ambiguity ? For nothing highest sense, and imagine he speaks is here said of marble statues ; and of such works as those of Phidias or there is nothing to show that marble Praxiteles. Although the Greeks did statues are meant. The writer in the distinguish the several words by " Apology" says, with an air of tri- which statues were understood, they umph, that Avòpias always means sta were not very nice in the observance tue, and never picture ; but these were of the several uses. Avdpaytas may figures, that he would call statues, of have been applied to any representawood and of clay, and of little value- tion of the human figure. Avòpiara kind of marketable goods for the TOTTOLOs, says the Apologist, was a vulgar, as we have already shown. statuary-So may have been said to But if the writer is determined to be AvopLavrondons the modellist in make them marble statues, and of the clay or wax; but neither word is best, he might certainly have made used by Socrates-simply Avdplavras, his case the stronger ; for when he (images). There is not a bint as to says, and truly, that Socrates was the how, or with what materials, they son of a sculptor, he forgets that So- were made. The scholiast on the crates was himself a sculptor,—and passage in Aristophanes respecting some have supposed him to bave been the work of Socrates (the Graces), a painter also, but Pliny is of an- makes a distinction between avoparother opinion. The three Graces in tas and ayaluara-noticing that Sothe court before the Acropolis of crates was the son of Sophroniscus, Athens were his work; and it is Audotos, with whom he took his share probably to the demands these Graces in the polishing art, adding that he made upon his thoughts the philoso- polished ανδριάντας λιθινες ελαξεύε, and pher alluded in his dialogue with that he made the “ayaluara" of the Theodote the courtesan. She had in- three Graces. Now, let avopias be a vited him to her home; he excused statue, or human figure, of whatever himself that he had no leisure from material, and grant that some such bis private and public affairs," and figures had painted eyes, and probably besides," he adds playfully, “I have partially coloured drapery, possibly Oihat-female friends-at home who the whole body painted—what then ? will not suffer me to absent myself from they might have been low and inferior them day or night, learning, as they works. Who would think, from such do from me, charms and powers of en- data, of inferring a habit in the Greek ticement."* So that we may suppose sculptors of painting and plastering him to have been no mean statuary. all their marblestatues—asserting too, Yet, considering that his mother fol- so audaciously, that we the moderns lowed the humble occupation of a have, and not they, a prejudice in
* In the Clouds, Aristophanes makes Socrates swear by the Graces-sofas as vin rles xagites—twitting him, as the scholiast remarks, upon his former employment, alluding to his work of the Graces.-Clouds, 771.
op “Inter statuas Græci sic distinguunt teste Philandro, ut statuas Deorum vocent lidorax ; Heroum Eodeve ; Regum ärderarras : Sapientum cirtas ; Bene-ineritorum Betria ; quod tamen discrimen auctoribus non semper observatur."-HOFFMANN'S Lexicon.