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Board of Directors, James Phalen, Esq. second tier, and not around the balconies (whose efforts in this matter deserve espe blinding the eyes,—but somehow disposed cial praise), has measurements and draw that every thing may be seen, except ings from all the great European opera lights. houses; nothing remains for the stock The performance must be the best posholders but to have the house built, and sible, not the best attainable, in the world. to take care that it pays six per cent. at Why should it not be made the interest the very least, and nothing remains for us of all great singers to sing in New York, critics but to insist upon all kinds of im as it is now in St. Petersburgh ? Dispossibilities, and skilfully find fault with criminating editors in elbow chairs comall the arrangements; proffer the most plain that the great singers demand imample advice, and accept the most eligible possible prices. But the complaint lies seats, gratis.
against the giver, not the taker. We all First of all, it is our business to instruct ask the highest possible sum for our silks the committee what kind of house must and sugars. We should vend gloves at be built, and then, what kind of perform twenty dollars a pair, if there were purance will insure the six per cent. afore chasers at that rate. Why should we said.
suppose that the celebrated cantatrice” Remember then, 0 Committee! that Giulia Grisi, or the great tenor Mario, or New-York is an American, and not an the eminent and aspiring soprano Cruvelli, English, nor a French, nor a Russian, nor will ask ten thousand dollars a month an Italian city. Let the building be large when they can get twenty thousand ? If, and convenient. Have doors and windows however, Paris, or London, or St. Peterswithout end. Achieve the impossibility burgh will pay ten thousand, New-York of perfect ventilation, and a sense of per will not secure the prize for less than sonal security in the breasts of the audi twelve thousand. If New-York cannot
Have some boxes in the rear of a pay the twelve thousand, then the corner balcony as at Astor Place and at the Roy lot had better be used for a hotel or a al Opera in Berlin, if you choose; but, in hospital. any case, have some boxes. Let the If the stockholding mind is infested acoustic arrangements be more successful with the idea of founding a national school than we understand they are in the prov of music, and the undertaking is to be ince of Massachusetts Bay, at the new affected by that idea, it might, in that Music Hall in Boston. The prices should case also, be as well to consider the probe moderate, ranging from two shillings priety of leaving the lot vacant. To teach to eight. The leap beyond into the un the science of music is not the province of certain realm of “two and three dollar an opera-house. But, by the best perseats" is dangerous. Let the exterior of formance of the best works to cultivate a the building be comely, and an ornament taste for the art, is a laudable aim, and to the broad and beautiful street upon
essential to success. If we truly underwhich it stands. May the Muses avert a stand the present effort, it is not to form Grecian temple, or a Gothic Cathedral, or an institution to educate singers and coma renaissance palace, from the corner of posers, but to secure a place in which, Irving Place and Fourteenth-street! A with a fair profit to those who have risked covered entrance de rigueur. Remem money, the public may hear the finest ber the San Carlo at Naples, and the operas sung in the finest style. The rest London Haymarket and Covent Garden. may follow. If there be the germs of an And a foyer, for our gregarious Ameri- original musical taste in our people, academan race--for the single gentlemen who mies will necessarily follow. But it is visit the opera not only to see the queens unnecessary to exaggerate the scope of upon the stage, but the princesses off the present intention, and, surely, very will be not only a most attractive novelty, foolish not to eat good cake because it is but, of itself, an attraction. Unparalleled not frosted. There are but two schools of splendor of scenery, that, in assisting at music, properly speaking; the Italian and the spectacle of Le Prophète and Robert the German. The French is but a modile Diáble, we may not regret Paris,-and fication of the Italian. The Royal operas a corps-de-ballet indispensable to the in Berlin, St. Petersburgh, Madrid, and great Meyerbeer ('tis true, 'tis pity), Vienna are Italian. Soinetimes, as is de cannot well be omitted. Ó Committee! rigueur in Berlin, and occasional at the there must be munificent regardlessness French Opera in Paris, there is a translaof expense, and always constellations, nev tion of the Libretto into the vernacular. er single stars, and roomy seats, each sep It is the praise of Viardot Garcia that she arated by arms from its neighbor, and sings the music of many operas in the verbrilliant lights, not in chandeliers, which nacular of four countries. Our New-York spoil the view from the best half of the opera at the corner must be, like every thing
else, American, eclectic. Good German, will be no lack of the best musical instrucand Italian, and French works must all be tion. produced; only there must not be a Sig We look for Jullien, and his colossal ornor Salvi for primo tenore, who will re chestra, which, it seems to us, in Crystal spect only one kind of music. Der Frei Palace and no opera times (unless Sontag schütz must not be committed to Italian sing at Castle Garden), must have a great minds and mouths, except under very rigid training. There is no doubt that the Italian method of singing is much su
FINE ARTS. perior to the German ; but there is equally The Twenty-eighth Annual Exhibition no doubt that the Italian method of con of the National Academy of Design was ceiving German music is to despise it. In opened last month, with its customary which case Mozart, Beethoven, and Weber, number of works of art. It oddly hapthe three composers who have written the pens that there are always just about 450 three finest of all operas, will be mangled To works” of one kind and another to exin their music, and their lovers with them. hibit; rarely less, and never more. But The language in which a work is sung is the number of pictures and sculptures of small importance; at least until Herr which ought to have been exhibited among Wagner, the musical revolutionist in Ger those to be found in the rooms of the Acamany, shall have made manifest that the demy, is smaller this year than it has words are as essential to an opera as the been in several years past. An inspection music. When his ideas have been more of the catalogue and a walk through the developed, and begin to affect musical galleries of the Academy do not excite the composition, it will be time for us critics highest state of enthusiasm in the lover to take the field in favor, or against. of high art," but produce quite a conBut meanwhile, in our present cimmerian trary effect. It is a sad truth, but it canstate, we hope to be spared Still so gen not be helped. Every thing in the New tlys, and Ah! don't mingles !
World appears to be progressive; but the Grisi and Mario are announced (not, art which, by common consent, is called however, by their impresario, Mr. Hack “fine.” That, it cannot be denied, is antiett), as the probable inaugurators of the progressive. If it takes no rapid strides new house. Twenty-five years ago excited backwards, it at least stands still. It is Poets wrote sonnets to Grisi, and she has an instructive fact that, on this Twentynow, superb that she is reached the eighth Anniversary of the National Acaperiod at which critics say she is still ” demy of Design, there are no greater pro great. Ah! treacherous “still !” Grisi is mises of progress than there were on the past her prime. Sontag is a G-dm-th first opening of the Academy in Chambers-r!
We fear that public expectation street, in the small chamber above the feeding upon the fame of Grisi will be dis bath-house, which is now a theatre. The appointed. If it wavered a moment, in city has more than quadrupled in populathe beginning about Jenny Lind, now in tion, wealth, and refinement, since then; the dazzling zenith of her genius, and (if millions of dollars have been expended on Malibran was as great; then, the other) artistic productions ; a revolution has been greatest singer that has ever lived, it inay effected in our social habits; innumerable inore than waver, if it forgets that Grisi "first rate notices” of our artists have is a mortal woman,—that her instrument been written in the daily papers; hunis only the human voice, and that woman dreds of young painters have been sent to and voice obey the eternal laws that reg Europe; Art Unionism has grown up and ulate the summer and its flowers. Mario, declined ; merchants' houses have extoo, yet a young man, is an uncertain panded into brown-stone palaces; ocean singer. Undoubtedly he is the first of steam - navigation has been perfected, living and singing tenors, but Rubini and clipper ships invented, Gothic architecture Duprez, sing no more. We must have has been revived, the Croton aqueduct Cruvelli and Tamberlik, and Ronconi, and constructed, the railroad system introFormes, and Staudigl. We must have duced, fresco painting, and painted winevery body and every thing at the corner. dows have come into fashion once more,
Apropos of musical teaching, a Normal the Italian opera has become a permanent Musical Institute has just been established institution, penny papers have sprung by several of the most thoroughly trained into existence, “pictorials” have become musicians, and Richard Storrs Willis, the common, the electric telegraph has been Editor of the Musical World, has deliver discovered, and all the arts that embellish ed an introductory lecture upon Harmony. life and add to the pleasures of Christians It is simple and learned, full of true taste have been marvellously expanded among and good feeling, and if the lectures are us, but the National Academy of Design all to be as earnest and intelligent, there has stood still while the rest of the world
has been rushing forward with breakneck on casting our eye over the catalogue, rapidity. It exhibits hardly more, or the strange fact suggested itself that this better “works” now than it did twenty exhibition was like all the other exhiyears ago.
bitions of the Academy; there are the It has designed nothing. It has given same names, the same subjects, the same us no architects; the splendid mansions number of works, and the same sameness which have grown up all around us, with of style. We only miss the “portrait of their richly sculptured fronts and deco a lady—Ingham." Why has not Ingham rated walls, were not designed by “ acade a portrait of a lady in the Exhibition? inicians," nor were our Gothic churches • Does he think it time to quit, after Exwith their painted windows hatched in hibiting twenty-seven years.” But why? this eccaleobion. It was the first presi there is still the "Landscape-Durand." dent of the Academy, to be sure, that in The same birch tree, the same yellow sky, vented the electric telegraph, but that was the same amiable cattle, the same mild not a design which the institution had in 'trees and quiet water. What a mild, view when it was founded. Looking up quiet, and amiable world is this to Duon the progress of the country in true art, rand! It would be a curious study to upon its splendid achievements and rapid examine all the catalogues of the Acadegrowth, we cannot detect the influence of my, and see how nearly the whole of the our National Academy upon the brilliant twenty-eight pamphlets are alike. The period in which it has existed. Among only change we notice is in the list of its members are some very clever painters honorary members. The progressive of landscapes and portraits, but the works movement of the Academy in adding to it has produced have been mere toys in pri this ornamental part of our National Invate houses-family portraits and pleas stitution of Design, is in very marked ing little landscapes, which are hung up contrast to the other parts of their annual as ornaments in darkened parlors, and pamphlet. There are now four full pages with which the nation has no more to do of honorary names. Among the 442 than Patagonia or New Zealand. The works exhibited 48 are portraits of “ Academy, we cannot avoid thinking: is an lady;" 66 are portraits of " a gentleman;" injury rather than an aid to art; it de 17 are portraits of “ a child ;" 3 are porludes amiable young men of talent with traits of “a boy ;” 3 of “a girl ; " 3 are false theories of “high art,” and leads portraits of “children;" 2 are portraits them away from profitable and honest of “a horse;" and 1 of “a terrier and employments, to a sad and wearisome "“a celebrated racer ;
" and a "dog waste of life in the vain attempt to do and game;" besides some
“families, things which the age does not require, from which it will be seen that the deand they have not the ability to accom partment of portraiture is well filled; and, plish. The days of the pre-Raphaelites in truth, it is in this practical department may return, but the days of Raphael that our artists, much to their credit, ex
If Raphael and Michael Angelo hibit their strength. Portrait painting were now alive— and, for that matter, and bust making are better rewarded than there is never a lack of Raphaels and any other kind of art, and consequently Michael Angelos—they would not devote it is in these branches that we excel. their lives to painting pictures and hew There are some as good portraits in this ing statues. They would compose operas, present Exhibition, as England, France, write books, edit newspapers, or build or Germany could produce, and a marble ships and houses. They would not give bust of a lady, by Palmer of Albany, that themselves up to a work which nobody might be placed by the side of any piece would reward, and then go about whin of antique sculpture that Time has preing because they were neglected. Raph served for us. Our landscape artists, too, aels and Michael Angelos never are neg give us views of our scenery on their lected.
canvas, that are like reflections in a mirBut there are good fellows among our ror. They knew nothing of such landacademicians, and their supper on their scapes as those of Church, Kensett, and opening night was a much better one than Durand in the days of Michael Angelo, ever Rome saw in the days of Leo X. for then Art worked in a higher province The old masters never served up such an than that of the mere ornamentalist. entertainment to their patrons and the Pictures were then painted for the masses, “ gentlemen of the press,” in the palmy and the artist was the instructor of the days of high art.
people. He embodied upon his canvas, We had no idea, when we begun, of and in his marble, great religious ideas, discussing the prospects of Art, or the and made popular the legends of the influences of the Academy; all that we Church. Our artists cannot do such intended was to notice the pictures. But things. We have no legends, and, what
is worse, we have fifty different reli advertising for artists to make woodcut gions. The people are taught in a dif drawings for their illustrated paper. It ferent manner, and we do not quarrel was no wonder that George the Second with the Academy for not filling its walls said, “If beebles will be boets and baindwith broiling Saints and flayed Martyrs, ers, let 'em sdarve." Let our artists rebut because they will persist in a hanker member that this is the age of Clippers, ing after such things when they are no and turn their talents into a channel that longer needed.
will pay. It is really one of the saddest The Madonna now is de trop, in our spectacles to see so much good honest houses and public places, yet our artists effort, so much genius, perseverance, and will persist in painting her, when nei intelligence thrown away, as the Annual ther they nor their patrons have any exhibition of our National Academy exlonger faith in her. Before Guido went poses to public gaze. Let the Academy to his easel, he first fell upon his knees institute a wood-engraving department, before the Madonna della Guardia, and a glass-staining department, an architecput upon his canvas the image which the tural department, and a calico-designlittle black figure left upon his devout ing department, and Art will flourish imagination. Our artists cannot do that, here as it did in Rome in the days of but they can go into the dark woods, among Leo X., and as it now does in France in the breezy hills, and by the sea side, and the days of Napoleon III.; for art, literareproduce for us the pleasant effects of ture, and science are nought unless they sunlight and shadow which they see minister to the public needs and conform there. It is a good thing to do, and the with the popular taste. It is now some pictures are good things to have; but six years since a most strenuous and they are, after all, mere ornaments of encouraging effort was made by an assoour parlors, and the artist becomes merely ciation of our mighty men of wealth, to a decorator, and not a teacher. If, there establish a New-York Gallery of Art; fore, the Academy would but tell its aco meetings were held, oysters eaten, and lytes that to be useful men and good citi champagne drunk according to the most apzens, to be good providers for their fami proved methods; resolutions were passed. lies, and to give themselves comfortable and committees formed, and one wealthy positions in society, they must abandon enthusiast swore the oath of Uncle Toby all the fol-de-rol which they have been that the project should succeed. But it accustomed to hear and read about “high has not succeeded, and the pictures which art," and be content to fulfil their true were to form the nucleus of the great mission, without looking for any other gallery, which was to be the Louvre or commissions than such as upholsterers, Vatican of the New World, are now lying silversmiths, and pastry-cooks receive in a very nucleus condition in some dusty from the opulent and liberal, they will chamber of which the world knows nohave a much better time of it than they thing and cares less. What of it? were now have, or are likely to have. An not the mighty men of wealth in earnest ? excellent artist, intelligent, skilful, indus Of course they were, or thought they trious, and amiable, told us, and seemed were ; but they lacked the co-operation rather to think he was telling something of the very public, for whose benefit they of which a man of his abilities ought to were laboring, and, therefore, all their be proud that, if it were not for the oaths, oysters, and efforts came to noassistance of a kind friend he should
thing. starve. They won't buy my pictures, said But, since then these very men have he; then why not paint such pictures as built the Erie Railroad at a cost of thirty they will buy, or go into some other busi millions of dollars, and engaged in other ness that will give you bread and butter. great undertakings for the public good, He only shrugged his shoulders in reply, besides increasing their private fortunes and felt, we have no doubt, great con so that they may well be forgiven for not tempt for our opinions. Yet there we giving us à gallery of paintings. They were admiring one of his large pictures might as well have attempted to build a in the “high art” style, and he had re pyramid in the style of King Cheops. Piecently returned from Italy.
ture galleries, pyramids, and railroads, What a confession was this from a man were never intended for the same people of his abilities and acquirements, while and the same century. If we have one we waiters in hotels and private coachmen must forego the other, and we are sensible were striking for higher wages! Here is of our good fortune in living in an age a man who cannot obtain the wages of a which gives the preference to railroads. flunkey in executing works of high art, There is abundant scope for the artistie while pastry-cooks get the wages of Am genius of our people, and rich rewards in bassadors, and Barnum and Beach are store for all who have the good sense to
employ their talents in meeting the de much afraid of water as though they be mands of our countrymen. We send hun longed to the feline species, and never dip dreds of millions of value to Europe to pay in that lively element without appearing for works of art which had better be ex to decided disadvantage. It is very repended at home; and it only needs that markable that in a land of lakes, rivers, the Academy, or some other well-meaning and cataracts, and with one of the finest institution, should clear away from the bays in the world of such ready access, atmosphere of Art in this country the our artists have such a dread of the sea mists of old fogyisz, to make us as pre and all marine effects. There is but eminent in decorative art as we are in the one tolerably well-executed marine paintarts of government and ship-building. ing in the Exhibition ; and that one, we It is a disgrace to us that all our public are sorry to confess, is a water-color buildings which are worthy of notice have drawing by an artist of London, named been planned and decorated by foreigners. Robbins. Our National Academy of Design should Thomas Hicks has three remarkably retrieve itself by designing a calico pat fine heads in the Exhibition, unlike in tern, the steeple of a church, or the façade manner, but alike in sober dignity of of a dwelling-house.
treatment and characteristic expression. It would surprise a foreigner, we ima Elliott's eleven portraits show that he gine, who should come to New-York and has lost nothing of his adroitness, and see the prodigal expenditure of our men that he has still the same felicitous touch of wealth in building houses and churches, in giving a graceful and striking resemon going into the Exhibition of the Na blance of his sitter. tional Academy of Design, not to find a sin There is a portrait of Sir Charles Eastgle architectural drawing, nor any indica lake, President of the Royal Academy, by tions that we make use of more ornamenta Huntington, which is highly creditable tion in our dwellings than any other peo to both artist and sitter. It is the best ple in the world. It strikes us that the portrait of Huntington's that we have Academy either ought to do something to seen, and, though less marked by his justify its name, or else abandon it, and mannerisms than usual, it is still recog. call itself a society of portrait and land nizable as his production. Kensett and scape painters.
Church come out in their full strength in Among the paintings in the Exhibition landscape, and Durand, Cropsey and there are a few of great excellence, which Gignoux will not suffer in reputation by we have not the space to particularly their present pictures. There are somo notice; and, being by artists who are al pictures by Innes which show a marked ready well known, they do not require a improvement; and, among the rising arreintroduction to the public. One of the tists whose works in the present Exhibition most attractive pictures is a very sweet give indications of ripening powers, are and delicious oil painting, thoroughly Eng the portraits by Baker, Cafferty, Pratt, lish in character and treatment, by Peele, and Louis Lang. The Exhibition is a perrepresenting three young children and fectly satisfactory one, as an indication of dead game. It is exquisitely tender, and the amount and degree of artistic ability imbued with the purest feeling. But Mr. possessed by our artists; but it would be Peele is an Englishman by birth, and the much more so if there were any indications picture was painted in London. He is, that they were all well employed, and rehowever, an American artist, inasmuch ceiving the reward to which their talents as he has lived here from an early age, justly entitle them, and which they could and received here his education.
not fail to receive if they would but give Our landscape painters appear to be as the right direction to their efforts.
We have received a communication from Mr. Le Ray de Chaumont, of Paris, in reference to an allu. sion to his father, in Rev. Mr. Hanson's first article on the Bourbon question, which would have been published in the present number of the MONTHLY, but for an accident. It will appear in our next number.