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Smirke's Lady Pentweazle calling up a look, is a delightful version of an old favourite. We have seen this design roughly criticised somewhere—we are happy to differ from the censurer. That it is broad farce, we admit; but it is not a whit more broad than the original demanded.
Wilkie's fine picture of the Princess Doria washing the feet of the pilgrims,-furnishes the subject of an excellent plate by Charles Heath.
Upon the whole, the selection of the subjects, as well as the execution of the plates, does high credit to the Editor of this splendid Annual; and were the literary matter of corresponding quality, it would be entitled to take the lead ; but the contributions do not rise above a patrician mediocrity.
We must now, agreeably to our promise, advert more specifically to the embellishments of some of the volumes noticed in our last Number. Those of the Amulet, we have already stated to be of a very superior order of merit, and they will be among the favourites of the print-shops. An enormous sum has been lavished upon the engravings, but we cannot say that the execution is uniformly in correspondence to the price given. The frontispiece, the Minstrel of Chamouni', is a rich picture exceedingly well engraved. We cannot help wishing, however, that the rich painting and skilful tooling had been bestowed upon a more agreeable countenance. We do not know how it is, but we do not fancy Mr. Pickersgill's beauties. The Cru'cifixion' is striking and thoroughly Martinesque; but there is no discrimination in the figures, and the grouping is commonplace. The engraving has certainly nothing so super-excellent about it as to warrant the extravagant sum which is said to have been paid to the artist. The plate, nevertheless, will please the public, and so far answer the Editor's purpose.
There are, however, far better things in the Amulet. For instance, the • Sisters of Bethany' is a bit of the old school, reminding us rather of Ludovico Caracci : the countenance of Our Saviour is mild and dignified, though somewhat deficient in intellectual expression; the figure of Martha is graceful; and the whole composition is finely conceived. •The Dorty Bairn', though not one of Wilkie's most interesting designs, is good and expressive; and the engraver has done justice to the painting. • The Gleaner' is a highly finished picture, beautifully engraved: the countenance is extremely sweet and pleasing. In the Pe* dagogue', the figure of Mrs. Page is almost too graceful for the merry wife of Windsor', while the face of Sir Hugh is rather too fierce and silly, and does not exhibit the genuine humour of the naif Welch parson: still, the design is Smirke all over. The Italian Scene from Uwins, is a beautiful picture;
. but the engraver has not done justice to the richness or expres
sion of the original. "The Fisherman's Children is a simple but well treated subject, cleverly engraved. Preparing for the • Festa', is a rich plate, but rather a common-place design. 'The * Anxious Wife' is an interesting design, though not of the highest order of the class in which Mulready is unrivalled : it is excellently engraved by Engleheart. Taking the interest of the subjects into consideration, the Amulet is second to none of the Annuals in its embellishments this year.
The Forget-me-not is better got up as to the engravings, than in former years, although it cannot compete with some of its rivals. Wilkie's Spanish Princess, by Graves, is a rich and characteristic print; but the striking beauty celebrated in the illustrative poetry, is not very perceptible in the engraving. Of the Place de Jeanne d'Arc', it is enough to say, that it is drawn by Proút, and engraved by Le Keux. Gaugain's Flower Girl, by Robinson, is a characteristic figure and an excellent plate. The Land Storm is a well rendered plate, from a clever and spirited design by Clennell. Stephanoff's Exile is spoiled by the affectation of the design, though the engraving does credit to Portbury. We are getting rather tired of Mr. Stephanoff: he should study simplicity and variety,—in a word, naturę. Chisholme's Orphan Family' is the promising effort of (we hope) a young man, well engraved by Davenport. In Collins's • Tempting Moment, the story is well told, but it is wanting in rich humour: considerable and effective pains have been bestowed upon the plate by Shenton. Owen's 'Greenwich Hos'pital', by Wallis, is too crowded. "The Death of the Dove' is a pretty design by Stewardson, engraved by Finden. Shipwreck, by Smart, from Reinagle, is well conceived, but not well managed. •The Ghaut', from Daniell, is a clever composition of plantains and palms with native figures, by Finden. Retsch's Undine, we mention last, as being worth all the rest,-a fine original design from a most singular tale. The fine knightly figure of Hulbrand striding through the torrent, with the wild, beautiful, tricksy water-nymph in his arm, is admirable; the old
herman is in good style; and the grim smile of Kuhleborn is in admirable character with the mischievous glance of Undine. Warren has given an admirable expression of the picture.
The Literary Souvenir has for its frontispiece, Mrs. Siddons, in the character of Lady Macbeth, from one of the finest productions by Harlowe, well engraved by Rolls. There is a rich portrait of the Hon. Miss Fox, from Leslie, and one of Viscountess Belgrave, from Sir Thomas Lawrence. The Brigand's Cave is a well managed and characteristic design by Uwins, beautifully engraved by Rolls. Jacob's Dream, by Goodall, from a painting by Allston, in the possession of Lord Egremont, is more splendid' than happy in the conception. Ste
phanoff's Discovery' has not had justice done to it by the engraver. Chalon has a very grotesque and dramatic groupe of figures, La fille bien gardée'. The Sale of the Pet Lamb, from Collins, is a beautiful little print. There is a gorgeous landscape, 'the Tournament', from Martin, and a classical • Oberon and Titania ', from Howard.
The Iris seems to have been entrusted to young hands, and we regret that we can bestow only very modified praise upon its embellishments. The Madonna and Child, from Morillo, by Graves, is a creditable plate ; but there is a want of precision in parts, which is perhaps meant to imitate the fleecy style in which the artist sometimes painted,--though we have seen something like it in other works of this engraver, where he had not the
The vignette is an interesting half-figure of Christ, by Humphreys, from Carlo Dolce. There is a Claude, by Smith, which we are compelled to pronounce black and
The Infant Christ with Flowers ', from Carlo Dolce, by Sangster ;--the attitude of the figure is by no means particularly graceful, nor does the engraving happily express the style of Carlo." The Magdalen'too, gives us nothing of Carlo's gloss and glow. The best imitation, by the burin, of this artist's peculiar manner, is a Madonna, by Bartolozzi.
· Christ expounding the Law', by Smith, from Da Vinci,-is, loose and
We can speak in no higher terms of Raddon's · Incredulity of Thomas ', from Ludovico Caracci. • The Raising of · Lazarus ', from a scarce and celebrated print, by John Lievens, is a singular and striking, though not a very pleasing composition, exceedingly well engraved by Warren. Christ in
. • * Gethsemane', from an antique ;--the figure is strangely
' elongated, and reminds us of Bellini; the effect is cold and hard; nor is there any landscape accompaniment to relieve and harmonise. Yet, Correggio has evidently been indebted to it for the hint of his celebrated · Agony', in the National Collection. • St. John in the Wilderness', from Carlo Cignani, by Ensom; --the head is vulgar, but original and expressive; the attitude, happy; the engraving good, but unequal. Hagar and Ishmael', taken, we suppose, from the large print by Garavaglia, is a promising engraving by Smith. The idea of selecting the subjects from the old masters, was in itself a happy one; yet, it should have occurred to the Editor, that their works require to be rendered by the burin with very peculiar care and feeling. Besides which, the qualities of high merit to which they owe their celebrity, are not always of a nature to be obvious to persons who have not made the arts their study. The public will judge of a print chiefly as pleasing or unpleasing; and the name of Carlo Dolce, or Caracci, or Correggio, will not be accepted as an apology for impropriety in treating a subject, whatever
genius and skill may be exhibited in the conception and composition. There is another objection also, founded on our religious feelings as Protestants, against such subjects as the Madonna and Child, Infant Christ with Flowers, &c., and others which are more nearly related to Romish legends than to Scripture history. We should really consider subjects less ostensibly sacred as more in harmony with the character of a religious work, than portraits of Madonnas or Magdalens, which please merely when viewed as works of art, and neither illustrate Scripture, nor minister to devout feeling.
And now we are upon this subject, we must advert to another Annual, which, but for its objectionable title, we should have been tempted to pass over altogether, as contemptible alike in the literary character of its contents and the style of its embellishments. The Editor of the volume designated by the word Emmanuel, is, we make no doubt, a pious and well-meaning man; but the apology he offers for giving the name of Christ to his insipid olio of tales, acrostics, and indifferent poetry, shews that he is a man not very easy to reason with. We do not charge him with intentional profaneness or frivolity', but with a very singular want of judgement.
· He considers that he is no more open to attack for making it the title of his work, devoted as it is entirely to religion and virtue, than was Pope, or Handel, or Klopstock, for affixing to their several works of human composition the name of the Messiah. If, indeed, it is impious to use the word Emmanuel to designate a religious publication, how can we absolve from the charge of profaneness, divines and legislators, and the whole body of Christian believers, who, for the last eighteen centuries, have used, in conversation and acts of Parliament, to record the date of even the most common transactions, the general but no less sacred expression, “In the year of Our Lord”.'
Is it possible that the reverend Editor can gravely produce these as parallel cases? By the same mode of reasoning, any misuse of the Divine name might be vindicated. Because the name of Our Lord is necessarily introduced into acts of Parliament, in referring to the Christian era, therefore it may wantonly be used to name a book! Because Klopstock composed a poem called the Messiah, therefore we are at liberty to call any thing else Messiah, whether Messiah be the subject or not! As there is an Emmanuel College at Cambridge, so Mr. Shepherd does not see why there may not be an Emmanuel shop in Newgate Street, and an Emmanuel Christmas-box, with the facade of Emmanuel College as a frontispiece! Perhaps next year, we shall have another Annual, designated by the holy name of the Trinity, and defended by the similar plea, that we have a Trinity College, a Trinity House, and a Trinity Lane! But we must take leave to tell Mr. Shepherd, that whoever be the devout
and influential individuals' who have passed high encomiums' upon his title, and hailed it as one of peculiar fitness for a
publication so truly Christian in design and principles',-he has committed a palpable offence against religious propriety, by his unmeaning use of a Divine name of peculiarly sacred character, as the catch-title of a bookseller's speculation. He would have scrupled, we presume, to call his book Christ, or Jehovah, notwithstanding that it might have opened with a hymn to the Saviour, or a poem upon the Omnipresence of the Deity. Yet, the word Emmanuel is not less sacred; unless Mr. Shepherd will contend that it has been divested of its sacred character by being assumed as a Christian name. If so, he cannot object to being himself henceforth denominated, the Rev. Emmanuel Shepherd. But seriously, if the title were merely of equivocal propriety, since the Editor admits that animadversions had been made upon it by some pious in lividuals, why persist in going counter to a feeling which every devout man must respect, and create a subject for awkward and unsatisfactory apology? Our objections to the title of the work would remain
the same, were its contents of superlative excellency. But, if our readers wish for a few specimens of the poetry, they shall have them. • The Spread of the Gospel', by John Hicklin, opens with the following stanza :
«« Go forth ", said the Saviour,“ go forth in my name,
To declare the bright hope of salvation to man.'
Ye spirits of happiness, haste !
- SEMI CHORUS.
The theme of our praises is love;
And glories prove,