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THERE is so little 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 Carnival, holiday costumes of the peasant girls of Ischia, and the little maideps of Caux. In consequence 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 as 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 cour, and high behind; the opening being filled with a rich chemisette of lace.
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 Carmélite, trimmed with a pretty noeud above of the same colour. The inside is lined with white and trimmed with nouds of white, mixed with velvet épingle of the same colour as the bonnet.
Bonnets of demi-toilettes are all made of either satin or velvet épinglé, with bands 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, &c., 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 épingle of light colours, such as
FIG. 1. FIGURE 1. Half Dress Home Toilette.-Cap of white tulle, forming somewhat of the Mary Stuart point upon the
IALY DRE 88 HOME TOILETT 2. 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 square above the hips. Sleeves largo at the bottom and to the temples and cover the ears. These noeuds are very gathered into two puftings by three bands. The revers on swelling, and made of two puffs of orange above, and two the front of the corsage and of the jupe, and also the bands of violet below, before and behind a contracted middle; on the sleeves, are trimmed with a galon of violet velvet they are arranged in such a manner as gracefully to en
stamped with dark designs. At the middle of the corsage, close the face. Two wide brides, one orange and the other and of the jupe, are seven stages or degrees of noeuds violet, are crossed upon the crown, and two long ends fall Louis XIII. composed of this galon, wound upon itself and behind.
fixed by buttons of oxydated silver, and sleevelettes of lace Redingote of dark Scotch velvet. Corsage high behind, and collared chemisette of the same. open in front with revers, and with short skirts extending FIGURE 2. Young Lady's Full Dress.-Coiffure in short but little below the waist. These skirts, which are merely bandeaux; on one side a bunch of Rose Acacia falls over prolongations of the front of the corsage, are finished the hair and a little upon the cheek; on the other is a
noeud & coques, or eggshell noeud, and two long ends of with a large bunch of roses, and broidered all round with delicate green taffetas riband.
a puffing, with swellings upright rather than horizontal. Robe of white taffetas, spotted with little bunches of The uppermost skirt is bordered with a similar pufing, flowers. Corsage rounded and full, like that of a little girl, but twice as wide. On the left side the skirt is slit to falling away a little, plain in front, but gathered near the nearly half its height, the gap being bordered with trashoulders, the gathers extending to the front of the waist. verse puffings decreasing from bottom to top; at the top Sleeves short, rather wide and gathered up at the sides by of the opening is a row of rosebuds, passing thence to the & noud of green riband. Smooth embroidered ch emisette hips and gradually diminishing in size as they ascend. On appearing above the corsage.
the right the skirt is not opened, but festooned by a bunch FIGURE 3. Ball Costume.-Coiffure composed of roses and of roses, which curb its fulness. The under skirt is long rosebuds, forming a diadem around the front part of the and bordered by a puffing twice as wide as that on the head, with mixed tufts of foliage and buds falling over the upper one, and passing all round. The arrangement of cheeks, and reaching almost to the shoulders.
this trimming is very prettily graduated. That on the Robe of rose-coloured crêpe lisse, trimmed with puffings short sleeve being narrow, that on the corsage twice as of crêpe lisse and flowers. Corsage falling away a little wide, and so doubling until that on the lower skirt is eight in the middle, of three pieces; waist long. Berthe closed times as wide as that on the sleeves.
The engraving in this number, of the Alehouse Politi- more by the time he left school at the age of fourteen, to cians, or rather the “ Village Politicians," as it is usually proceed to the study of drawing and painting at Edincalled, is after one of the two pictures which established burgh. He had always shown a strong inclination for the reputation of Wilkie in London immediately on their drawing, even from earliest childhood, and many humorbeing seen. The other is of " Pitlessie Fair.” Both were ous anecdotes are recorded of his feats in that way, some produced before he was twenty-one; and it is really won of which did not fail to bring him into trouble at the derful that such a mere youth should have been able to Manse. Accordingly with his small portfolio of drawproduce works so perfect and complete in all the requi ings, and accompanied by his father, he trudged over to sites of the class of pictures to which they belong.
Edinburgh, to endeavour to obtain admission as a student Wilkie was a native of Scotland, and the third son of a | in the academy established there for the gr elergyman in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, whose struction of youths, who might afterwards be engaged in Fery limited means rendered it a matter of some anxiety Art-Manufactures, thus improving the taste of form and as to how the necessary education and outfit could be patterns. The Secretary of the Trustees' School was provided. Of the latter, the industry and perseverance George Thomson, well known through his connexion with added to the genius of the boy created sufficient, and of the poet Burns, and, although not an artist, was the per the former he never had much, and it would seem that sonage empowered to judge of and decide on the merit of be must have been but a dull scholar, to have acquired no the candidates. This ordeal Wilkie could not pass, and
sketch of “ The Village Politicians," which he brought with
An order from Sir George Beaumont followed, for whom was painted the “ Blind Fiddler," a work unsurpassednay unequalled in its way. The innumerable engravings of this inimitable work, have rendered it familiar 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: ho 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 invitations 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 for tunate in the commission of a twenty shilling portraitoverstepped 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 his 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 daily employment. However, in 1812, he revisited the place of his birth, and saw his 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 Laidlaw, accompanied him through the valleys of Ettric and Yarrow, and intro duced him to James Hogg, the poet. After a short time the nature of the conversation led the Shepherd to exclaim,
“Laidlawl this is no' the great Mr. Wilkie?"
“It's just the great Mr. Wilkie, Hogg," said the other. STATUE OF SIR DAVID WILKIE, BY JOSEPH, IN THE VESTIBULE OF
“Mr. Wilkie," cried the poet, seizing him by the hand, THE ROYAL ACADEMY, LONDON.
“I cannot tell you how proud I am to see you in my
house, and how glad I am to see you are so young a man." they returned dispirited towards home. The admission When Sir Walter Scott was told of Hogg's reorption of however was afterwards procured through the favourable Wilkie, "The fellow!" said he, “it was the finest compliword of a neighbouring nobleman, and the result soon ment ever paid to man!” showed the mistake committed in his rejection.
The class of pictures in which Wilkie excelled, and that After a little more than two years' study, he returned to secured his fame, was that of domestic scenes ir humble his home and commenced in earnest the business of life. He life; of representations that reflected the manners, cuspainted many portraits of his father's friends and neigh-toms, and feelings of the people. He carefully avoided bours, and also the picture of a neighbouring fair (already the coarse vulgarity and indecencies of the old Dutch referred to), in which were introduced the portraits of many painters, while he more than equalled them in their skill. well-known characters, constant attendants at the return He finished elaborately and yet maintained a firn decision ing festival. It excited the wonder of all the good people, of touch, carefully painting everything from nature. and produced the offer of what everybody in that vicinity That which strikes us as extraordinary, is the mastery regarded as a munificent price-twenty-five pounds. Thus displayed in his management of a picture as a whole, the enriched, he collected in his outstanding debts for portraits, grasp of mind in arranging so many small cbjects in &c., and with sixty pounds in his pocket, departed for reference to the unity of all in one extended cou position London.
of forms, and light, and shade, and colour. For this Having procured admission as a student in the Royal nothing can surpass the “Blind Fiddler.” To read the Academy, he laboured with his characteristic perseverance, dull details of his diary, one would expect any bing but and by it attracted the notice of the veterans of the Insti this, for he describes his progress over a pictur , as if it tution. His purse, however, at the end of a year was were a mosaic pavement being laid in, stone y stone. rapidly emptying, and no commissions came, nor the We will take for instance a well-known pictu e, “The prospect of any, wherewith to replenish it. Poverty and Cut Finger." neglect stared him in the face, when an accident threw! “Dec. 1st. Put in the tongs and poker by the s de of the him in the way of success, and fame and fortune were fire.-20. The only thing I did to day was the chair in secured. He had before leaving Scotland prepared the the corner of my picture. Haydon approved of ti e pewter basin very much.—5th. Painted from ten till four, and, twelve hundred guineas. “The Visit of George the Fourth put into my little picture the small ship on the chair, and to Holyrood," finished in 1830, sixteen hundred guineas, finished the floor and small pieces of wood upon it.-7th. and the "Preaching of John Knox at St. Andrew's,” finishBegan to paint at ten, and continued till four, interrupted in 1832 for Sir Robert Peel, 1200 guineas. only by a call from Seguer. Put in the flower-pot in the Wilkie kept a keen eye after the “siller," was curious window of my picture, with the shining of the sun on the about the relative value of stocks, anxious about even the wall.-8th. Painted from ten till four; put in the blue smallest gains, descending into meanness sometimes, or handkerchief of the tallest girl, the ribands of her cap, what looks a little worse. In reply to a letter from his and touched the petticoat of the old woman.-10th. Went brother, which informed him that a picture had been well to the Academy: the only thing I painted at home to-day sold during his absence, he expressed himself delighted was the pinafore of the boy which I am not sure but I with the bargain, but says that if nothing had been exmust rub out.—11th. Rubbed out to-day what I had done pressly agreed about the gilt frame in which the purchaser yesterday to the pinafore, and painted it again of a bright had seen it, it would do to put a wooden rim round it yellow colour, which with the dark-coloured trowsers im- instead, before sending it home. After the death of his proved the look of the picture greatly.--12th. Haydon father, he invited his mother and sister to come to London, came to breakfast; approved of the boy's clothes, but and make their home with him, stating that he had never objected to the blue apron of the old woman, on account gone to housekeeping, chiefly because he had no furniture, of its being too cold for that part of the picture. When “but as my mother may now be able to provide me with he was gone I finished the cap of the old woman, and put that, there will no longer be any difficulty." His letter in the cat at her feet.”
to his sister then goes on to say—“I know you will regret He continued to paint in the line of art on which his selling many things, but I do not think there will be any future fame must rest, until his departure from England, great loss, as the same money will nearly purchase as good in 1824, for Italy and Spain. After an absence of about ones here. Of the kitchen furniture I do not know that three years, during which time he had painted several you should bring any, except the old brass pan for making pictures (mostly during his sojourn in Madrid), he re- jelly, and anything else that you may consider of value. turned, bringing with him the new fruits of his observa- There is an old Dutch press in one of the closets, that my tion of the old Italian and Spanish masters. He was mother got from Mrs. Birrell; what state is that in? If charmed with the broad and noble method of treatment it were not an article of great weight, might not that be displayed in the works of those artists, and tempted to brought?” I once knew a person who had occasion to be adopt it as far as he could in his own future practice; conveyed in a cab from one part of Philadelphia to another, partly because of the prospect of increased gain which the having in his company his lady sweetheart and her friend. change would necessarily bring; for he could produce half Having paid the driver his own fare, and observing no a dozen of these in his later style in the time that a single similar movement on the part of the ladies, he said, "If picture had formerly occupied. He was usually slow in you happen to have no money with you, I'll lend it to you." making up his mind, but a conclusion once arrived at, he One can almost imagine Wilkie doing the like. adhered pertinaciously to it. The results of these three He was always, especially in early life, diffident and years' travel were well calculated to confirm in his new silent, and extremely reverent to great people (that is to choice one so fond of money: he received 4620 guineas in say, the aristocracy), which did not diminish on more fsall, nearly 3000 of which was for the six pictures purchased miliar acquaintance. He never acquired ease of manners by George the Fourth.
in company, and many amusing anecdotes are told which It may be interesting to glance at the prices paid him place him in a ridiculous light. Washington Irving refor a few of the pictures most familiarly known, bearing lates a rich story of having been with him at a masked in mind, however, that the earlier works are not to be ball at Madrid. The painter had assumed the character regarded as inferior because the sums paid were so much of Grand Turk, but forgetting his part on entering the less than in after years. There is no better investment of room, made his salaams with his turban under his arm money than that spent in the encouragement of youthful in all humility. Again,-being on a visit for a few days artists of real genius and talent. It is only mediocre at a great house near London, some neighbouring genworks, or those but little above mediocrity, that depreciate tlemen, who had been invited to dine, entered the rein value. «The Reading of the Will," for which the King ception-room with gloves and hats in hand. Sir David of Bavaria paid Wilkie four hundred pounds, was at his started off in great confusion, and presently reappeared death sold at auction (being personal property), and com from his bedroom with hat and gloves. manded three times the price. The picture by him, en A story is told of his having accompanied a Royal graved for the present number of this magazine, cost but Academic friend, Stewart Newton, the eminent American thirty pounds, and is now worth twenty or thirty times
artist, to a dinner party. The conversation between the as much. Multitudinous are the instances of the like
two on their way home will suffice as an illustrative increase that might be quoted from the history of art on
specimen of the conversational powers of the subject of both sides of the Atlantic. The original price of Cole's
our notice. “Course of Empire” was 2500 dollars, and see what they
| Newton.--"Well, we have had a pleasant evening, are worth now. If this known principle were only borne Wilkie.” in mind by those possessed of the means, many a young
the means, many a young Wilkie. ---Raily." artist here in our American cities, now lingering heartsick
Newton.-“But you were very silent." with hope deferred, would be cheered to hopeful labour, Wilkie.-" Raily ?” and the dying flame of genius fostered into brightness,
Newton.-"In fact, you said but one word.” reflect hereafter beams of glory on the country : for,
Newton.-“There it goes again. Why, Dawvid, you “Who can tell how many a soul sublime
never do say anything but raily!”
On the death of Sir Thomas Lawrence, who had sue
ceeded Benjamin West as President of the Royal Academy, But, to Wilkie's prices. He received, in 1813, from the
the King gave unequivocal indications of his wish that Prince Regent (afterwards George IV.), five hundred guineas (2500 dollars), for the “Blind Man's Buff." In * When he was applied to for a whole-length picture of 1815, from the British Institution, for “ The Distraining for Daniel O'Connell, he hesitated to undertake it, for fear of Rent," six hundred guineas. For the " Penny Wedding," giving offence in certain quarters; but on privately con1819, five hundred guineas from George the Fourth. Insulting his Magnus Apollo, Sir William Knighton, the 1822, "The Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Gazette of the absurdity of carrying politics into such matters was Battle of Waterloo," painted for the Duke of Wellington, pointed out to him, and the commission was accepted.