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sketch which the artist may have himself made, owing to certain optical illusions to which his eye is subject. The hills and other vertical lines in the distance will be lower in the photograph than in his sketch.1 The vertical lines of buildings will converge upwards in the photograph, as they ought to do, in receding from the eye; and in the same picture there will be a confusion, as we shall afterwards shew, in the delineation of near and minute objects in the foreground, increasing with the size of the lens which he has employed.
In his admirable chapter "On Finish," Mr. Ruskin has established, beyond a doubt, the most important principle in the art of painting. "The finishing of nature," he states, consists not in the smoothing of surface, but the filling of space, and the multiplication of life and thought;" and hence he draws the conclusion, that "finishing means, in art, simply telling more truth." Titian, Tintoret, Bellini, and Veronese have, as he has shewn, wrought upon this principle, delineating vein by vein in the leaf of the vine, petal by petal in the borage-blossoms, the very snail-shells on the ground, the stripe of black bark in the birch-tree, and the clusters of the ivy-leaved toad-flax in the rents of their walls; and we have seen that a modern artist, Delaroche, considers a finish of inconceivable minuteness as
1 Sir Francis Chantrey, the celebrated sculptor, shewed me, many years ago, a Sketch-Book, containing numerous drawings which he had made with the Camera Lucida, while travelling from London to Edinburgh by the Lakes. He pointed out to me the flatness, or rather lowness, of hills, which to his own eye appeared much higher, but which, notwithstanding, gave to him the idea of a greater elevation. In order to put this opinion to the test of experiment, I had drawings made by a skilful artist of the three Eildon hills opposite my residence on the Tweed, and was surprised to obtain, by comparing them with their true perspective outlines, a striking confirmation of the observation made by Sir Francis Chantrey.
neither disturbing the repose of the masses, nor interfering with the general effect in a picture.
The Pre-Raphaelites, therefore, may appeal to high authority for the cardinal doctrine of their creed; and whatever be their errors in judgment or in taste, they have inaugurated a revolution which will release art from its fetters, and give it a freer and a nobler aim. Nature is too grand in her minuteness, and too beautiful in her humility, to be overlooked in the poetry of art. If her tenderest and most delicate forms are worthy of admiration, she will demand from the artist his highest powers of design. If the living organizations of the teeming earth, upon which we hourly tread, are matchless in structure, and fascinating in colour, the palette of the painter must surrender to them its choicest tints. In the foreground of the highest art, the snail-shell may inoffensively creep from beneath the withered leaf or the living blade; the harebell and the violet may claim a place in the sylvan dell; the moss may display its tiny frond, the gnarled oak or the twisted pine may demand the recognition of the botanist, while the castle wall rises in grandeur behind them, and the gigantic cliffs or the lofty mountain range terminate the scene.
If these views are sound, the man of taste will no longer endure slovenliness in art. He will demand truth as well as beauty in the landscape; and that painter may change his profession who cannot impress geology upon his rocks, and botany upon his plants and trees, or who refuses to display, upon his summer or his autumn tablet, the green crop as well as the growing and the gathered harvest. Thus enlarged in its powers and elevated in its purposes, the art of painting will be invested with a new character, demand
ing from its votaries higher skill and more extended knowledge. In former times, the minute and accurate delineation of nature was a task almost impossible, requiring an amount of toil which could hardly be repaid even when slightly performed; but science has now furnished art with the most perfect means of arresting, in their most delicate forms, every object, however minute, that can enter into the composition of a picture. These means are the arts of photography and stereoscopic re-combination, when rightly directed, and it is the object of the present chapter to shew how the artist may best avail himself of their valuable and indispensable aid.
Every country and district, and even different parts of the same district, have a Flora and Geology peculiar to themselves; and the artist who undertakes to represent its beauties owes to truth the same obligations as the botanist who is to describe its plants, or the mineralogist its rocks and stones. The critic could not, in former times, expect more details from his unaided pencil than it has generally furnished; but with the means now at his command, he must collect, like the naturalist, all the materials for his subject. After the camera has given him the great features of his landscape, he must appeal to it for accurate delineations of its minuter parts, the trunks, and stems, and leafage of his trees the dipping strata of its sandstone beds-the contortions of its kneaded gneiss, or the ruder features of its trap and its granite. For the most important of these details he will find the camera, as at present constructed, of little service. It is fitted only to copy surfaces; and therefore, when directed to solid bodies, such as living beings, statues, &c., it gives false and hideous representa
tions of them, as I have shewn in a preceding chapter. It is peculiarly defective when applied to parts of bodies at different distances from it, and of a less diameter than the lens. The photograph of a cube taken by a lens of a greater diameter, will display five of its sides in a position, when its true perspective representation is simply a single square of its surface. When applied to trees, and shrubs, and flowers, its pictures are still more unsatisfactory. Every stem and leaf smaller than the lens, though absolutely opaque, is transparent, and leaves and stems behind and beyond are seen like ghosts through the photographic image.
This will be understood from Fig. 48, in which LL is the
lens of the camera, AB the breadth of the trunk or stem of a tree less than LL in width. Draw LA, LB, touching AB in the points A, B, and crossing at c. Objects behind AB,
and placed within the angle ACB, will not have any images of them formed by the lens LL, because none of the rays which proceed from them can fall upon the lens, but objects placed within the angle ECF, however remote be their distance, will have images of them formed by the lens. If D, for example, be a leaf or a fruit, or a portion of a branch, the rays which it emits will fall upon the portions Lm, Ln of the lens, determined by drawing Dm, Dn touching AB, and an image of it will be formed in the centre of the photographic image of AB, as if AB were transparent. This image will be formed by all the portions of the surface of the lens on which the shadow of AB, formed by rays emanating from D, would not fall. If the object D is more remote, the shadow of AB will diminish in size, and the image of the object will be formed by a greater portion of the lens. If the sun were to be in the direction M N, his image would appear in the centre of the trunk or stem, corresponding to AB, Fig. 49.
If the stem occupies any other position, ab, Fig. 48, in the landscape, objects, such as d, within the angle ecf, will have