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Ttterk is so Httle that is decidedly new in the European world of fashion, that even the 'Moniteur de la Mode' finds opportunity to amuse its readers with delineations of extravagances for the CarniTal, holiday costumes of the peasant girls of Ischla, and the little maidens of Cauz. In eonsequence of this dearth of novelty, we are unable to give this month our usual number of figures of costumes. There are, however, indications of much activity and great changes for the future. It is said, for instance! that waists are to be made quite short, and that skirts are to fit tight upon the hips. The Moniteur, in mentioning this change ss one of the on dits of fashionable society, alludes to the hardihood and boldness of the innovation, and says, that it will not yet say that it is fully determined upon. Meanwhile the high, close corsages continue in vogue. Robes of rich heavy material, such as brocade, damask satin and velvet, are almost universally made with the corsage open in front en coeur, and high behind; the opening being filled with a rich chemisette of laoe.
Dress robes are generally much ornamented with trimming, for which purpose much use is made of application of velvet and chenille. Sleeves, which are made easy at the top, should be open and very large below, with flots of lace and other trimmings, widening as they fall upon the hand. This aristocratic fulness is much in favour, being rightly considered to give the hand a genteel and neat appearance.
Beaver bonnets for morning wear are fashionable at present, of the colour called CarmdiU, trimmed with a pretty uoeud above of the same colour. The inside is lined with white and trimmed with noeuds of white, mixed with velvet cpingle of the same colour as the bonnet.
Bonnets of demi-toilettes are all made of either satin or velvet eplngle, with bauds of satin fixed upon the crown and cape. The under-trimming is a mixture of velvet and ribands.
For the afternoon, rich bonnets of velvet, black, dark blue, deep garnet, Ac. are fashionable, ornamented with a very small bird on each side, without other trimming. Blond and ribands intermingled form the under-trimming.
Visiting bonnets are of velvet epingle of light colours, such as
Figure, 1. Half Drest Home Toilette.—Cap of white tulle, forming somewhat of the Mary Stuart point upon the forehead, and bordered all round with ruches of tulle, four rows in front but only two on the back part. On each side are noeuds, two orange and two violet, which extend to the temples and cover the ears. These noeuds are very iwelling, and made of two puffs of orange above, and two of violet below, before and behind a contracted middle; they are arranged in such a manner as gracefully to enclose the face. Two wide brides, one orange and the other violet, are crossed upon the crown, and two long ends fall behind.
Redingote of dark Scotch velvet . Corsage high behind, open in front with revers, and with short skirts extending but little below the waist. These skirts, which are merely prolongations of the front of the corsage, are finished
HILp DBE8S BOMB TOILETTE.
square above the hips. Sleeves large at the bottom and gathered into two puttings by three bands. The revers on the front of the corsage and of the jupe, and also the bands on the sleeves, are trimmed with a galon of violet velvet stamped with dark designs. At the middle of the corsage, and of the jupe, are seven stages or degrees of noeuds Louis XIII. composed of this galon, wound upon itself and fixed by buttons of oxydated silver, and sleevelettes of laoe and collared chemisette of the same.
Fiouxi 2. Young Lady's Full Dress.—Coiffure tn short bandeaux; on one side a bunch of Rose Acacia falls over the hair and a little upon the cheek; on the other is a ncrurt & coquet, or eggshell noeud, and two long ends of delicate green taffetas riband.
Robe of white taffetas, spotted with little bunches of flowers. Corsage rounded and full, like that of a little girl, Calling away a little, plain in front, but gathered near the shoulders, the gathers extending to the front of the waist. Sleeves short, rather wide and gathered up at the sides by a noeud of green riband. Smooth embroidered chemisette appearing abovo the corsage.
Figure 3. Ball Costume.—Coiffure composed of roses and rosebuds, forming a diadem around the front part of the head, with mixed tufts of foliage and buds falling over the cheeks, and reaching almost to the shoulders.
Robe of rose-coloured crepe Hue, trimmed with puffings of crepe lisse and flowers. Corsage falling away a little in the middle, of three pieces; waist long. Berthe closed
with a large bunch of roses, and broidered all round with a puffing, with swellings upright rather than horizontal. The uppermost skirt is bordered with a similar puffing, but twice as wide. On the left side the skirt is slit to nearly half its height, the gap being bordered with traverse puffings decreasing from bottom to top; at the top of the opening is a row of rosebuds, passing thence to the hips and gradually diminishing in size as they ascend. On the right the skirt is not opened, but festooned by a bunch of roses, which curb its fulness. The under skirt is long and bordered by a puffing twice as wide as that on the upper one, and passing all round. The arrangement of this trimming Is very prettily graduated. That on the short sleeve being narrow, that on the corsage twice as wide, and so doubling until that on the lower skirt is eight times as wide as that on the sleeves.
Tin engraving in this number, of the Alehouse Politicians, or rather the u Village Politicians," as it is usually eaTied, is after one of the two pictures which established the reputation of Wilkie in London immediately on their being seen. The other is of " Pitlesste Fair." Both were produced before he was twenty-one; and it is really wonderful that such a mere youth should have been able to produce works so perfect and complete in all the requisites of the class of pictures to which they belong.
Wilkie was a native of Scotland, and the third son of a clergyman in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, whose very limited means rendered it a matter of some anxiety M to bow the necessary education and outfit could be provided. Of the latter, the industry and perseverance added to the genius of the boy created sufficient, and of the former he never had much, and it would seem that he must have been but a dull scholar, to have acquired no
more by the time he left school at the age of fourteen, to proceed to the study of drawing and painting at Edinburgh. He had always shown a strong inclination for drawing, even from earliest childhood, and many humor. ous anecdotes are recorded of his feats in that way, some of which did not fail to bring him into trouble at the Manse. Accordingly with his small portfolio of drawings, and accompanied by his father, he trudged over to Edinburgh, to endeavour to obtain admission as a student in the academy established there for the gratuitous instruction of youths, who might afterwards be engaged In Art-Manufactures, thus improving the taste of form and patterns. The Secretary of the Trustees' School was George Thomson, well known through his connexion with the poet Burns, and, although not an artist, was the personage empowered to judge of and decide on the merit of the candidates. This ordeal Wilkie could not pass, and
BTATOS Or SIR DAVID WILKIE, BY JOSEPH, IN TH£ 1
they returned dispirited towards homo. The admission bowerer was afterwards procured through the favourable word of a neighbouring nobleman, and the result soon showed the mistake committed In his rejection.
After a little more than two yearn' study, he returned to his home and commenced in earnest the business oflife. He painted many portraits of his father's friends and neighbours, and also the picture of a neighbouring fair (already referred to), in which were introduced the portraits of many well-known characters, constant attendants at the returning festival. It excited the wonder of all the good people, and produced the offer of what everybody in that vicinity regarded as a munificent price—twenty-five pounds. Thus enriched, be collected in his outstanding debts for portraits, Ac,, and with sixty pounds in his pocket, departed for
Having procured admission as a student in the Royal Academy, he laboured with his characteristic perseverance, and by it attracted the notice of the veterans of the Institution. His purse, however, at the end of a year was rapidly emptying, and no commissions came, nor the prospect of any, wherewith to replenish it . Poverty and neglect stared him in the face, when an accident threw him in the way of success, and He had before leaving
sketch of " TKt Village Politicians," which he brought with him, and on its being shown to Lord Mansfield by one whose acquaintance he had chanced to make, an order for a painting was the result. The price agreed on was fifteen pounds, although twice that was paid; bat the picture was worth hundreds. It was sent to the exhibition of the Royal Academy, and was at once pronounced to be the star of the collection; thus was its author, at the age of twenty-one, placed in the very front rank of his profession.
An order from Sir George Beaumont followed, for whom was painted the "Blind Fiddler," a work unsurpassed— nay unequalled in its way. The innumerable engraving* of this inimitable work, have rendered It f*wnin«.T to everybody. The price received for this was a considerable advance on that of the former commission, but ridiculously small compared with its intrinsic value. Benjamin West, on seeing it, said, "Never in my whole experience have I met with a young artist like Wilkie: he may be young in years, but he is old in the experience of art: tie is already a great artist." This picture Is now part of the national collection of England.
Commissions were now poured in upon him plentifully, and invitation* freely tendered to paint them at the country residences of his employers, that the advantages of rural exercise and fresh air might aid in the restoration of his health, now somewhat shattered. Thus had our artist, who, but a short time before, thought himself fortunate in the commission of a twenty shilling portrait— overstepped a formidable barrier, and found himself domesticated for as many weeks as he pleased in one palace after another, and—the morning of delightful labour over,—spending his evenings amidst society the most elegant and accomplished. In five years after the exhibition of bis first picture he was unanimously elected a Royal Academician; this was at the age of twenty-six.
He was a man of method, and applied himself closely to the regular routine of his dally employment. However, in 1812, he revisited the place of his birth, and saw bis father for the last time, who died the following winter. In 1814 he accompanied Haydon to Paris to see the then wonderful collections of art in the Louvre, and in 1817 returned once more to Scotland. He now visited Abbotsford; and Scott's friend, William Laid law, accompanied him through the valleys of Ettric and Yarrow, and introduced him to James Hogg, the poet. After a short time the nature of the conversation led the Shepherd to exclaim'
"Laidlaw I this is no' the great Mr. Wilkie?"
"It's just the great Mr. Wilkie, Hogg," said the other.
"Mr. Wilkie," cried the poet, selzing him by the hand, "I cannot tell you how proud I am to see yon in my house, and bow glad I am to see you are so young a man."
When Sir Walter Scott was told of Hogg's reception of Wilkie, "The fellow!" said he, "it was the fines1, compliment ever paid to raanl"
The class of pictures in which Wilkie excelled, ind that secured his fame, was that of domestic scenes li humble life; of representations that reflected the manners, customs, and feelings of the people. He carefully avoided the coarse vulgarity and indecencies of the ol i Dutch painters, while he more than equalled them in tl eir skillHe finished elaborately and yet maintained a firn decision of touch, carefully painting everything from nature. That which strikes us as extraordinary, is the mastery displayed in his management of a picture as a n bole, the grasp of mind in arranging so many small c hjects in reference to the unity of all in one extended coi lposition of forms, and light, and shade, and colour. For this nothing can surpass the "Blind Fiddler." To read the dull details of his diary, one would expect any hing but this, for he describes his progress over a pictur , as if it were a mosaic pavement being laid in, stone ty atone. We will take for instance a well-known pictu «, "The
and poker by the s de of the thi chair in of tl e pewter