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Painting and politics at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1832 1982

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PAINTING AND POLITICS AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY EXHIBITION OF 1832 by BRIDGET JANE ELLIOTT B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto, 1978 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Fine A r t s ) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1982 0 B r i d g e t Jane E l l i o t t , 1982 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Fine Arts The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date September 23, 1982 i i ABSTRACT The Royal Academy e x h i b i t i o n of 1832 opened i n London i n the midst of a p o l i t i c a l c r i s i s over the passage of the Great Reform B i l l . An a n a l y s i s of the c r i t i c a l response to four of the l e a d i n g p i c t u r e s i n the e x h i b i t i o n : A Family P o r t r a i t by C.R. L e s l i e , The Preaching of Knox by David W i l k i e , The Destroying Angel by W i l l i a m E t t y , and Chiide H a r o l d 1 s . P i l g r i m a g e - I t a l y by J.M.W. Turner, pro- vides evidence t h a t the ongoing p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t permeated the Academy e x h i b i t i o n . In an atmosphere of i n c r e a s i n g t e n t i o n caused by p a r l i a m e n t a r y deadlock and s t r e e t r i o t i n g , a r t c r i t i c s argued about the p i c t u r e s ' q u a l i t y and meaning i n h i g h l y p o l i t i c i z e d terms. This i n v e s t i g a t i o n focuses upon these four p i c t u r e s and t h e i r c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n , i n order to probe the extent to which a r t and p o l i t i c s were connected at t h a t s p e c i f i c h i s t o r i c a l moment. Documentary evidence of viewer responses i s p r ovided by anonymous reviews of the p i c t u r e s which were p u b l i s h e d i n ten. major London newspapers and j o u r n a l s during the weeks.following the opening of the show. The bia s of each p u b l i c a t i o n i s c a r e f u l l y examined s i n c e , during the 1830's, mos.t p u b l i c a t i o n s were h i g h l y p a r t i s a n i i i a f f a i r s , o f t e n r e c e i v i n g d i r e c t s u b s i d i e s . f r o m p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t groups. The a n a l y s i s of these p a i n t i n g s o f f e r s a new p e r s p e c t i v e on the t e n s i o n s , alignments, s h i f t s , and ambiguities of B r i t i s h s o c i a l c l a s s e s and p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s i n 1832. While the r e c e p t i o n of L e s l i e ' s p o r t r a i t p o i n t s out the short-term d i v i s i o n s between Whigs and T o r i e s over the i s s u e of p a r l i a m e n t a r y reform, that of W i l k i e 1 s h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g demonstrates t h a t d e s p i t e t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s , these two groups were u n i t e d by a shared f e a r of the r a d i c a l working c l a s s . E t t y ' s academic sketch provides an example of how members of the c o n s e r v a t i v e upper c l a s s r a t i o n a l i z e d r e j e c t i n g the n o t i o n of reform, while Turner's landscape r e v e a l s how p r o g r e s s i v e middle- c l a s s reformers c h a l l e n g e d t r a d i t i o n with a p o s i t i v e a s s e r t i o n of modernity. By examining the response to these p i c t u r e s , one f i n d s there i s no c l e a r s e p a r a t i o n between p o l i t i c a l and a r t i s t i c spheres. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i LIST OF FIGURES •- v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i INTRODUCTION 1 Chapter I. A FAMILY PICTURE BY C. R. LESLIE . . . . . . . U I I . THE PREACHING OF KNOX BY DAVID WILKIE . . . . 42 I I I . THE DESTROYING ANGEL AND DAEMONS OF EVIL BY WILLIAM ETTY 7 ^ IV. CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE - ITALY BY J . M. W. TURNER 99 CONCLUSION 127 APPENDIX A 133 APPENDIX B 134 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 135 V LIST OF FIGURES Fi g u r e 1. C.R. L e s l i e , A Family P i c t u r e 38 2. Johan Zoffany, S i r Lawrence Dundas and His Grandson. . . • 39 3. Robert Seymour, John B u l l and His Burdens . . . 40 4. Edwin Landseer, W i l l i a m Spencer Cavendish, - 6th Duke of Devonshire 41 5. David W i l k i e , The Preaching of Knox 71 6. John Doyle, Reform and Reformation 72 7. Robert Seymour, The Reform M i l l f o r G r i n d i n g the Old C o n s t i t u t i o n Young 73 8. W i l l i a m E t t y , The D e s t r o y i n g Angel and Daemons of E v i l 94- 9. Raphael, The E x p u l s i o n of H e l i o d o r u s . . . . . 9$ 10. P.P. Rubens.,. The Great. Last Judgement 96 11. South Metope VII ( E l g i n C o l l e c t i o n ) 97 12. W i l l i a m E t t y , Youth on the Prow and Pleasure at the Helm 98 13. J.M.W . Turner, C h i l d e Harold's Pilgrimage - I t a l y 125 14. Claude, Landscape: The Marriage of Isaac and Rebe'kah 126 v i ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to acknowledge the a s s i s t a n c e of my second reader, Dr. Serge G u i l b a u t , who pro v i d e d many h e l p f u l c r i t i c i s m s and suggestions at d i f f e r e n t stages of my r e s e a r c h . S p e c i a l thanks are extended to my a d v i s o r , Dr. David S o l k i n , f o r h i s i n s i g h t s , encouragement, and enthusiasm f o r B r i t i s h a r t . 1 INTRODUCTION The judgment formed upon a hasty glance at the w a l l s of the Academy on the day of the p r i v a t e view has since been confirmed by a more c a r e f u l examination of the i n d i v i d u a l works of which the e x h i b i t i o n i s composed, although f o r such indulgence the t u r m o i l of. p o l i t i c s has given us but l i t t l e mental l e i s u r e . Review of the Royal Academy E x h i b i t i o n , Morning Post (May 29, 1832) As i n d i c a t e d by the a r t s c r i t i c of the Morning Post, "the t u r m o i l of p o l i t i c s " was unavoidable i n London during May of 1832. E v i d e n t l y the ongoing p o l i t i c a l c r i s i s over the Great Reform B i l l ov.ershad.owed the reviewer's task of a s s e s s i n g the Royal Academy's s i x t y - f o u r t h annual e x h i b i t i o n of B r i t i s h a r t i s t s which o f f i c i a l l y opened to the " p u b l i c " on Monday morning May 7th, 1832. The e x h i b i t i o n h e l d at Somerset House c o n s i s t e d of 1,229 works which were d i v i d e d i n t o three main c a t e g o r i e s : p a i n t i n g , s c u l p t u r e and a r c h i t e . c t u r a l design. P a i n t i n g dominated the e x h i b i t i o n both by v i r t u e of i t s t r a d i t i o n a l preeminence at the Academy and i n terms of sheer volume - 981.of the e n t r i e s were p a i n t i n g s , occupying f i v e of the seven galleries."'" The e x h i b i t i o n was the most p r e s t i g i o u s 2 annual a r t i s t i c event i n London. The p r i v a t e view, h e l d * two days before.the " p u b l i c " opening was r e s t r i c t e d by i n v i t a t i o n to the upper echelons of the n o b i l i t y and wealthy 2 who were s p e c i a l f r i e n d s and, supporters of the Academy. In p r a c t i c e , " p u b l i c " entry, was. l i m i t e d to, those who could a f f o r d the two s h i l l i n g fee f o r admission and catalogue, and who f e l t s o c i a l l y comfortable i n the imposing atmos- phere of Somerset Hous.e. The e x h i b i t i o n was. d i s c u s s e d i n many of London's, l e a d i n g newspapers and j o u r n a l s as an important s o c i a l a n d . a r t i s t i c o c c a s i o n — r e v i e w e r s commented on both those a t t e n d i n g the p r i v a t e view and the p a i n t i n g s 3 that were e x h i b i t e d . According to the e x h i b i t i o n reviews, which were p u b l i s h e d d u r i n g May and e a r l y June, four of the most im- p o r t a n t works i n . the show were C..R..-Leslie ' s A Family P i c t u r e ( f i g . l ) , D a vid.Wilkie's The Preaching of Knox ( f i g . 5 ) , W i l l i a m E t t y ' s The D e s t r o y i n g Angel and Daemons of E v i l ( f i g . 8 ) , and. J.M.W. Turner's Ch.ilde; .Harold's Pilgrimage - I t a l y ( f i g . 1 3 ) . ^ The f a c t t h a t these four, .pictures r e c e i v e d so much a t t e n t i o n , can be e x p l a i n e d by bo.th the l e a d i n g s t a t u s of the academicians, .who p a i n t e d . them, and. the f a c t t h a t a l l of the p a i n t i n g s e x e m p l i f i e d genres, that were t r a d i t i o n a l l y important i n academic c i r c l e s . ( i . e . the grand, manner group p o r t r a i t , h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g , the nude, and. c l a s s i c a l l a n d s c a p e ) . 3 A l l ten of the e x h i b i t i o n reviewers seem to have taken the importance of these p i c t u r e s f o r granted, and they d i s c u s s e d • them at c o n s i d e r a b l e l e n g t h , ( r e g a r d l e s s of whether they a c t u a l l y l i k e d the works o r . f e l t t h a t they were w e l l executed).^ Each one of the paintings, was. r e c e i v e d q u i t e d i f - f e r e n t l y , r e v e a l i n g the ex i s t e n c e of p a r t i s a n f a c t i o n s w i t h i n the academy p u b l i c : L e s l i e ' s Family P i c t u r e c r e a t e d a s p l i t between c o n s e r v a t i v e and l i b e r a l , critics.;.. W i l k i e ' s Preaching of Knox was i n t e r p r e t e d . i n c o n t r a d i c t o r y ways; E t t y ' s D e s t r o y i n g Angel s e r i o u s l y offended p r o g r e s s i v e m i d d l e - c l a s s reviewers; while Turner's I t a l y p a r t i c u l a r l y upset upper- c l a s s conservatives... The s h i f t i n g p a t t e r n of the c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n r e v e a l s that i n the h i g h l y charged . p o l i t i c a l con- t e x t of 1832, e x h i b i t e d works at the Royal.Academy e x h i b i t i o n were anything but. transcendent or neutral, a r t o b j e c t s . Instead thes.e p i c t u r e s raised, contentious s o c i a l and p o l i t - i c a l i s s u e s t h a t were argued, out,by the e x h i b i t i o n reviewers i n an atmosphere o f . i n c r e a s i n g c r i s i s . In the afternoon of May'7th, while people were f l o c k i n g to .opening day at the Royal Academy, an event occurred i n the House of Lords which r a p i d l y heightened A e x i s t i n g t e n s i o n s surrounding the passage of the Great Reform B i l l - - L o r d Lyndhurst, a . l e a d i n g Tory peer, i n t r o - duced a motion t h a t attempted to sabotage the Reform . l e g i s l a t i o n . The Reform B i l l was b a s i c a l l y a Whig propo- s i t i o n to enfranchis.e commercial and. i n d u s t r i a l m i d d l e - c l a s s males by r e d i s t r i b u t i n g p a r l i a m e n t a r y seats and reducing e l e c t o r a l p r o p e r t y q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . I t had passed three readings i n the e l e c t e d House of Commons only to be ob- s t r u c t e d i n the appointed House of Lords. The n o t o r i o u s Lyndhurst motion f e l l e d the Whig government, c r e a t i n g a se r i o u s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l , impasse: the Whig m i n i s t r y was compelled to r e s i g n because i t r e f u s e d to drop the Reform l e g i s l a t i o n , while the Tory o p p o s i t i o n was e q u a l l y unable to form a government because i t l a c k e d the necessary support i n the House of Commons. The temporary stalemate between the Whigs supported by the House of Commons and the T o r i e s backed by the House of Lords focused, p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n on the p a r t i c u l a r l y thorny q u e s t i o n that.was c e n t r a l to the Reform C r i s i s : which group and/or groups should be allowed to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the p o l i t i c a l power s t r u c t u r e - - t h e landed a r i s t o c r a c y , the r i s i n g middle c l a s s , and/or, the i n d u s t r i a l working c l a s s ? 5 D i f f e r e n t London newspapers, presented answers that were v i g o r o u s l y supported by competing f a c t i o n s w i t h i n E n g l i s h s o c i e t y i n 1832: The Peers can. only save us from t o t a l wreck by s t r i k i n g f e a r l e s s l y at the democratic c l a u s e s of the B i l l ; . . . Morning Poat (May 12, 1832) The B i l l , the whole B i l l and.nothing but the B i l l , we repeat the c r y . Spectator .(May 12, 1832) The B i l l ; or more than the B i l l , i s now the c r y . . . i n so d e l a y i n g Whig Reform he (Lord Grey) has advanced ..Radical Reform, to which we have incomparably a stronger p r e f e r e n c e . Examiner (May 6., 1832) The Tory Morning Post, advocated suppressing the Reform B i l l e n t i r e l y , l e a v i n g the government i n the hands of the landed i n t e r e s t , while the Whig, Spectator- approved of the B i l l and i t s . l i m i t e d enfranchisement of p r o p e r t i e d m i d d l e - c l a s s males.. In c o n t r a s t , the R a d i c a l Examiner sought more than the B i l l , arguing s t r e n u o u s l y f o r u n i - v e r s a l ( i . e . .male.) s u f f r a g e , d e s p i t e the s o l i d o p p o s i t i o n of both Whigs and T o r i e s to the p r i n c i p l e of any concessions to the working c l a s s . 6 The c r i s i s of 1 8 3 2 . s e r i o u s l y threatened the o l d r u l i n g e l i t e by d i v i d i n g i t i n t o reforming Whigs and r e - a c t i o n a r y T o r i e s , both of. whom sought to preserve the establishment's e x i s t i n g hegemony through a n t i t h e t i c a l short-term . p o l i t i c a l . t a c t i c s . The Whigs b e l i e v e d that the proposed concessions ...were necessary to prevent, t o t a l r e v o l u t i o n , and that, by extending v o t i n g r i g h t s to the middle c l a s s they could..f.arm. .an a l l i a n c e , to c o n t r o l the working class;- on the. ,other hand, the T o r i e s argued that any concessions .would,, open the f l o o d g a t e s to. u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e and mob rule.,,. Both. Tory and Whig p o s i t i o n s r e - present c o n f l i c t i n g s t r a t e g i e s of p o w e r — s t r a t e g i e s that were formulated i n response to i n c r e a s i n g pressure from the two excluded classes, who demanded-a. l a r g e r r o l e i n the p o l i t i c a l •process. In g e n e r a l , the middle class, whole-heartedly endorsed the Whig p r o p o s i t i o n and formed, s p e c i a l p r essure groups to lobby f o r reform. By c o n t r a s t , the working....class' was s p l i t into, those who supported the Whig p r o p o s a l as a step towards u n i v e r s a l . s u f f r a g e , and those who maintained that the B i l l would, simply f u r t h e r empower the middle c l a s s to achieve i t s . g o a l . o f oppressing .and e x p l o i t i n g working people.^ 7 The c o n s t i t u t i o n a l , deadlock stemming from the Lyndhurst ;Votion: of May 7th unleashed a.wave of popular d i s t u r b a n c e s i n London. Whig s u p p o r t e r s , • t e m p o r a r i l y aided by a s e c t o r of working c l a s s . R a d i c a l s , once again m o b i l i z e d mass- demonstrations, c i r c u l a t e d , angry p o l i t i c a l l e a f l e t s and s t a r t e d . o r g a n i z i n g a run on the banks to over- Q come the T o r i e s ' l a s t .stand.in the House of Lords. Through mounting p u b l i c , pressure,, the Whigs and t h e i r R a d i c a l a l l i e s a s p i r e d to persuade the King to a s s i s t Lord Grey and the passage, of the B i l l . b y a p p o i n t i n g a ma- j o r i t y of new Whig peers to the House of L.ords. Meanwhile, the T o r i e s hoped that the King would back, the Duke of We l l i n g t o n ' s e f f o r t s to. form, a m i n o r i t y Tory government which would i n i t i a t e as l i t t l e reform a s . p o s s i b l e . During the remainder of the. month, complicated p o l i t i c a l manoeuver- ing ensued, u l t i m a t e l y c u l m i n a t i n g i n a Whig v i c t o r y with the f i n a l passage, of the B i l l on .June 7th., 1832. The c o n f l i c t surrounding the Reform B i l l at the h e i g h t of the c r i s i s i n May, and during the aftermath i n June, was not r e s t r i c t e d to the. Houses, of Parliament, p o l i t - i c a l a r t i c l e s .and the streets., of London. I t was a l s o a c t i v e l y conducted on'other l e v e l s and.-fronts--an important one being the p u b l i c .arena.of the Royal Academy e x h i b i t i o n . The follow-^ in g i n v e s t i g a t i o n w i l l analyze how t h i s c o n f l i c t was waged 8 at the Academy, f o c u s i n g upon the l e a d i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s , t h e i r motives, and the p o l i t i c a l l y charged f u n c t i o n of the four most widely discussed, and .debated.paintings i n the show. In t h i s study, the emphasis.is on probing the extent to which p o l i t i c s permeated.the c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n of the four p r e v i o u s l y c i t e d p i c t u r e s . The c r i t i c a l d i s c o u r s e surrounding these p i c t u r e s appeared i n h i g h l y p a r t i s a n newspapers, and. j o u r n a l s t h a t c a t e r e d to s p e c i f i c . s o c i a l c l a s s e s and i n t e r e s t groups w i t h i n the general p u b l i c . By the e a r l y 1830's, pro-. f e s s i o n a l j o u r n a l i s t s .wer.e i n c r e a s i n g l y r e p l a c i n g amateurs 11 i n the production, of p u b l i s h e d a r t c r i t i c i s m . The c a r e e r s of these p r o f e s s i o n a l s depended upon t h e i r s k i l l i n a p p e a l i n g to t h e i r papers' buyers. An a r t s reviewer l a r g e l y f u n c t i o n e d as. ..an i n t e r m e d i a r y between e x h i b i t e d work and r e a d i n g p u b l i c — d e s c r i b i n g judging, and e x p l a i n i n g the work•to h i s / h e r r e a d e r s . i n terms, they would, understand and a p p r e c i a t e . I t should.be. noted that because the c i r - c u l a t i o n of some . p u b l i c a t i o n s . .far exceeded ..the e x h i b i t i o n attendance,, the Academy show, was i n d i r e c t l y presented to the more numerous and. v aried.audiences who read^the wide range of r e v i e w i n g p u b l i c a t i o n s ( i . e . t r a d i t i o n a l monthlies, Whig and Tory newspapers, and r e c e n t l y i n t r o d u c e d a r t s and 12 science w e e k l i e s ) . An a n a l y s i s of the format, content, 9 and c i r c u l a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l reviewing p u b l i c a t i o n s w i l l be used ..to answer important questions. concerning how the c r i t i c a l , commentaries f u n c t i o n e d , i n g u i d i n g t h e i r r e a d e r s ' responses to., the Academy, the e x h i b i t i o n of 1832, and to s p e c i f i c images, i n the show. I t must be noted that as reviews, the c r i t i c s / , commentaries never formed a f i n a l end i n themselves. In a d d i t i o n to being addressed, to p a r t i c u l a r groups of readers, the reviews were simultaneously d i r e c t e d towards and l i m i t e d by the .paintings they d i s c u s s e d . Therefore, an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the form and content of these p i c t u r e s i s e s s e n t i a l i f one i s to understand, the nature of the o b j e c t to which the c r i t i c and.his/her p u b l i c . r e s p o n d e d . However, the a r t h i s t o r i a n ' s t.ools of formal and. .thematic a n a l y s i s must be s t r i c t l y c o n t r o l l e d by the s p e c i f i c h i s t o r i c a l framework surrounding the e x h i b i t i o n . The purpose i s to analyze what, the p a i n t i n g s ' formal q u a l i t i e s , and s u b j e c t matter r e p r e s e n t e d to a s p e c i f i c audience i n 1832, not to d e s c r i b e the p a i n t i n g s ' appearance i n t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y terms. In other "words, these, methodological t o o l s , w i l l be used to read.between the l i n e s of the reviews to provide a b a s i s f o r e v a l u a t i n g what the comments and s i l e n c e s of the . c r i t i c s s i g n i f y . 10 The c o n s t e l l a t i o n of agreement, d i s c u s s i o n , d i f f e r e n c e , discord,, s i l e n c e and o u t r i g h t h o s t i l i t y among the c r i t i c s p r o v i d e s crucial... information, f o r understanding how these pa i n t i n g s , operated f o r var i o u s groups i n s o c i e t y . I t should be noted that, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between works of a r t on the one hand, and .. c l a s s ..and/or . p a r t y d i v i s i o n s on the other, i s not co n f i n e d to p e r i o d s . o f i n t e n s e s o c i a l c o n f l i c t such as.May of .1832. But by b r i n g i n g these d i - v i s i o n s to the surface,, the Reform,. C r i s i s makes the com- p l e x i t i e s , of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n e a s i e r . t o u n r a v e l and analyze on both the p o l i t i c a l , and a r t i s t i c f r o n t s . 11 Footnotes x T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i s p r o v i d e d by the catalogue of the E x h i b i t i o n of the Royal. Academy. MDCCCXXII The S i x t y - f o u r t h . 2 The p r i v a t e , view took p l a c e on Saturday, May 5th and was discussed., by the reviewers . of the. .Morning. Post, the Morning 'Chronicle and.the. Morning Herald. 3 The p r i v a t e view of the Royal Academy E x h i b i t i o n formed an important event i n the e l i t e s o c i a l calendar of the London s o c i a l , season. . This i s d i s c u s s e d by. Leonore D a v i d o f f , The Best Circles.,., S o c i e t y , ..Etiquette and the Season (London: Croom} Helm. Ltd.'/ 1973) t P- 28. She" mentions how the c l o s e d and e x c l u s i v e atmosphere of the p r i v a t e view p a r t i c u l a r l y s u i t e d the t a s t e of the r u l i n g e s t ablishment. ^The f u l l t i t l e s and catalogue entry f o r e'ach p a i n t i n g are p r o v i d e d i n Appendix. A. C e r t a i n l y by twentieth- century a r t ' ' h i s t o r i c a l standards, there were other import- ant p a i n t i n g s i n the e x h i b i t i o n , i n c l u d i n g s e v e r a l works by John Constable. . (e . g. Waterloo Bridge,' from W h i t e h a l l S t a i r s , June 18, 18,17), other works by J.M.W. Turner (e.g. S t a f f a , F i n g a l ' s Cave) and. e n t r i e s by A.W. C a l l c o t t and E. Landseer to c i t e only a few. However, these works r e c e i v e d c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n than the four works I have s e l e c t e d , being overlooked.. by many reviewers e n t i r e l y . Although.in t h i s study only four of the 981 p a i n t i n g s have been s e l e c t e d f o r d e t a i l e d , a n a l y s i s , t h i s can be j u s t i f i e d by t h e i r s p e c i a l status as the s t a r s of the show a c c o r d i n g to the academy p u b l i c of 1832. 5 A l l f our p a i n t e r s c o n t r i b u t e d more than one work to the e x h i b i t i o n . For a. l i s t of t h e i r other c o n t r i - butions c o n s u l t Appendix B. In the .cas.e.of each p a i n t e r , however, the .works d i s c u s s e d i n the t e x t appear to have been the most "academic" or c o n v e n t i o n a l i n terms of genre and e x e c u t i o n . This w i l l be f u r t h e r e x p l a i n e d i n the f o l l o w i n g study of the i n d i v i d u a l p i c t u r e s . ^The ten reviews were p u b l i s h e d i n the Athenaeum, Examiner, E r a s e r ' s Magazine, L i b r a r y of the Fine A r t s , L i t e r a r y Gazette, Mornin.g C h r o n i c l e , Morning Herald, Morning Post, Seectator and Times. ^For a b r i e f and u s e f u l d i s c u s s i o n of the events surrounding the passage of the Reform B i l l , see Asa B r i g g s , The Age of Inrpr.o.vement (London: Longman Group L t d . , 1959) chaps. 4-5. These chap.ters a l s o provide, f u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s to the e x t e n s i v e b i b l i o g r a p h y of ,the.Reform B i l l C r i s i s , as does R.J.. Morris', C l a s s and Class.. Consciousness i n the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n 1780-1650 (London:. Economic H i s t o r y S o c i e t y , 1979). The • connected emergence, of r a d i c a l working c l a s s consciousness and the Reform B i l l i s dis.cussed by E.P. Thompson, The Making of the E n g l i s h Working Cl a s s (Harmonds- worth: Penguin Books, 1963; rev.is.ed. .ed.., P e l i c a n Books, 1968), chap. 16. The d i v i s i o n s , .within the r a d i c a l working c l a s s are t y p i f i e d by the p o s i t i o n s of. F r a n c i s . P l a c e , a London t a i l o r and l e a d i n g labour o r g a n i z e r who was one of the most important l e a d e r s of the R a d i c a l Campaign to support the Reform B i l l . d u r i n g the. May c r i s i s , and Henry Hetherington, E d i t o r of the i l l e g a l .unstamped.Poor Man's Guardian, a penny paper p u b l i s h e d f o r the urban working c l a s s which c a r r i e d several, a r t i c l e s denouncing the sham l e g i s l a t i o n . For i n f o r m a t i o n on the. a c t i v i t i e s o f Place and Hetherington and the two d i v e r g i n g streams of R a d i c a l a c t i v i t y c o n s u l t D.J. Rowe, ed., London R a d i c a l i s m 1830 - 1843; A S e l e c t i o n from the Tapers of F r a n c i s : Place (Chatham:. W. & J . Mackay • & Co. L t d . , 1970). and P a t r i c i a H o l l i s , ed..., The Poor Man's Guardian 1831 - 1835, .vol.; 1 (London:. M e r l i n Press, 1969); see both the i n t r o d u c t i o n by H o l l i s . on Hetherington and the r e p r i n t s of the o r i g i n a l j o u r n a l f o r the months of A p r i l and May of 1832. 9 F u r t h e r d e t a i l s are provided, by Derek F r a s e r , "The A g i t a t i o n for. Parliamentary Reform, !' i n Popular Move- ments 1830 - 1850, ed. J.T. Ward. (London:. Macmillan and Co_. L t d . , 1970), pp. 31-53. " ^ S e v e r a l important studies, have d i s c u s s e d the r o l e p l a y e d by the Lond.on press during the Reform . C r i s i s , a n a l y z - i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p , of i n d i v i d u a l , papers, to s p e c i f i c p a r t i e s - and..social, .organizations . An important ni n e t e e n t h century sour ce, is. H . R. Fox. Bourne, E n g l i s h Newspapers: Chapters i n the History, of. .Journalism, 2 .vols. (New York: R u s s e l l & R.ussell, 18.87; r e p r i n t ed., 1966). Modern stud i e s - o n t h i s - t o p i c include,: A. A s p i n a l l , . "The C i r c u l a t i o n of Newspapers i n t h e . E a r l y Nineteenth Century," Review of •English Studies 22. (.January,. 194-6): .29-43; A.. A s p i n a l l , 13 P o l i t i c s and oho ̂ r e s s .17.8 0 - 1850- (London:. Home & Van T h r a l L t d . , 194-9 ), and.. R i c h a r d , A l t i c k , The English. Common Reader: A S o c i a l H i s t o r y of the Mass. Reading P u b l i c J 800 - 19C0 (Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of. .Chicago Press, 1957). "'""'"The r i s e of a new p r o f e s s i o n a l , a r t c r i t i c i s m was t y p i f i e d by .writers l i k e . A l l a n Cunningham., who i s di s c u s s e d In L e s l i e Marchand,: The Athenaeum.:,...A M i r r o r of V i c t o r i a n C u l t u r e (Chapel Ii.i-11.: U n i v e r s i t y of. North C a r o l i n a Press, 194.1), pp. 57. and. 1.78-181,; and. I n Henry Ladd... The V i c t o r i a n M o r a l i t y of A r t (New York:... Octagon ..Books., Inc., 1932; r e p r i n t ed. , 1968). pp. 39-4-3. 12 C l e a r l y the .detailed .descriptions, which p r e f a c e d the reviewers ' ..dis.cus.sion.s ...of. i n d i v i d u a l , works were i n - tended to. acquaint, readers.. with the Important f e a t u r e s of images they had never seen. CHAPTER I A Family. P i c t u r e by C. R. L e s l i e Few c r i t i c s .remained ambivalent, i n t h e i r a s sess- ment of C.R. L e s l i e ! s. group p o r t r a i t , of the Grosvenor f a m i l y , commis sioned. ..by. the Marquess.of Westminster i n 1831. The p a i n t i n g ' s . f u l l t i t l e - - A Family P i c t u r e ; con- t a i n i n g p o r t r a i t s of .'the. Marques.s. .and. Marchioness of Westminster, the E a r l ...and . Countess .Gro.svenor, the E a r l ' and Countess, of. Wilton,. Lord and .Lady, Robert Grosvenor, Vi s c o u n t Bo I grave, the.Ladies Grosvenpr, and Lady Mary 'Egerfon ( f i g . l ) , l i s t s the ranks of the f i f t e e n f a s h i o n - ably dressed f a m i l y members ( i n c l u d i n g the f i v e daughters of the E a r l and . Countess Grosvenor.). The p a i n t i n g was ordered to commemorate, the Marquess.of Westminster's new t i t l e which.had.been conferred, i n W i l l i a m IV's coro- n a t i o n honours of 1831. L e s l i e d e p i c t s the., f a m i l y gathered f o r an amateur musical -performance . i n Old Grosvenor House.,.. t h e i r , p r i n c i p a l 2 London residence.. The f a m i l y ' s wealth .and s o c i a l im- portance is., emphasized. by t h e i r c o s t l y c l o t h i n g and surround- i n g s . The monumental . s c a l e of. the c l a s s i c a l columns and 15 frieze-, suggests, tha.t. this. is. no o r d i n a r y home — a f a c t which i s r e i n f o r c e d by. the women's .profusion: of f a s h i o n a b l e and expensive satins:.,- lae.es, .jewellery and a c c e s s o r i e s . S p a r k l i n g h i g h l i g h t s ..reflect, from the musical, instruments, silverware,, polished.. furniture., c l othing- and. j e w e l l e r y . Yet d e s p i t e the- imposing, nature, of .the. a r c h i t e c t u r e and vast array- of material..posse.ssion.s,. L e s l i e has managed to capture- a - s u r p r i s i n g a i r of i n f o r m a l i t y . . The f a m i l y does not seem to pose f o r .the,viewer, instead, they are pre- occupied with, wa.t.ching. the two. young..girls, dancing i n the foreground. The Grosvenors .were one o.f the most powerful f a m i l i e s .in. England.. In 1819,. Lord Grosvenor ( l a t e r the Marquess of Westminster). had. been .cited as one of the country's four .richest- men with a...net annual income f a r exceeding j=700;,.0Q0..̂  Much, of the. f a m i l y fortune d e r i v e d from owning and developing large, tracts., of re a l , e s t a t e i n c e n t r a l . London. . B e f i t t i n g ; his., s t a t u s ,. the. Marquess had amassed an. enormous private, a r t c o l l e c t i o n , i n c l u d i n g four huge religious,.canvases, by Rubens.,. which . ne.eessitated the buildin g , of a new .art gallery, and s p e c i a l . Rubens Room., that were added, to. Old Grosvenor House i n 1827.^ L e s l i e presented the f a m i l y i n the midst of t h e i r new g a l l e r y , 16 surrounded by important p a i n t i n g s , , s c u l p t u r e s , p i e c e s of silverwar.e and other. c o l l e c t o r . ' s . items... To the l e f t of the Marchioness. hangs. Velasquez,'s, Don B a l t a s a r C a r l o s on 5 Horseback;, while, the Marquess, s i t s , under h i s l a r g e s t p a i n t i n g by Rubens., Abraham..Reced'v.ing 'Bread•-•and .Wine from Melchizedeck, which p r o v i d e s a backdrop for' the e n t i r e scene. Since the p o r t r a i t was commissioned,. L e s l i e ' s options were l i m i t e d from, the o u t s e t . The.extent to which the Marquess of. Westminster d i c t a t e d the terms of the p i c t u r e ' s appearance i s not. known., . but i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d he was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r s e l e c t i n g the f a m i l y members .to be d e p i c t e d , the lo c a t i o n , , and. general .conversation-piece, arrangement. The p o r t r a i t recalls,, the great t r a d i t i o n of eighteenth century c o n v e r s a t i o n - p i e c e s which had. been e s t a b l i s h e d by such e a r l i e r a r t i s t s , as. W i l l i a m Hogarth., Arthur Devis and Johan Z.offany.. The. c o n v e r s a t i o n - p i e c e with i t s emphasis on i n f o r m a l i t y , domestic f u r n i s h i n g s a n d ; f a m i l y l i f e has f r e q u e n t l y been discus.sed as. a bourgeois a l t e r n a t i v e to formal o r . s t a t e p o r t r a i t u r e which.focused .on the s i t t e r ' s w o r l d l y rank. . ( i . e . court, army, government or church).^ However, in. England the c o n v e r s a t i o n - p i e c e was a l s o com- missioned by the n o b i l i t y from, the e a r l y e i g h t e e n t h century onward,/} r e a c h i n g a. h i g h p o i n t with Johan Zoffany d u r i n g 17 the 1760s - 1780s.. Zoffany's S i r Lawrence Dun das and h i s Grandson- of 1770' ( f i g . . 2) e x e m p l i f i e s . t h e t r a d i t i o n upon 7 which L e s l i e drew. over, s i x t y years l a t e r . Despite d i f - ferences of f a s h i o n and f a m i l y s i z e , c e r t a i n e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s are shared: the relaxed, f a m i l y p a t r i a r c h i s shown seated with h i s grandson, and f u t u r e h e i r in. the magnificent surroundings- of. h i s home. I d e n t i f i a b l e p a i n t i n g s and a r t o b j e c t s a t t e s t to,, the. p a t r o n ' s wealth, c u l t u r a l p u r s u i t s and good t a s t e . A j u x t a p o s i t i o n of. f o r m a l i t y and i n f o r m a l i t y under- l i e s the e n t i r e s t r u c t u r e . o f L e s l i e ' s p i c t u r e : the d i s c i p l i n e of the dancing g i r l s , i s countered, by the group of smaller c h i l d r e n p l a y i n g with, the p a r r o t , and Lady Mary Egerton sprawled across her father's, lap.; the r e s t r a i n t of Belgrave and Lady Robert i s .balanced..by the. r e l a x e d p o s i t i o n s of Lord W i l t o n and Lady Elizabeth.; and .Lord,Robert, f o r m a l l y a t t i r e d i n h i s court uniform, .as. Comptroller of the House- hold , c a s u a l l y leans, a g a i n s t a. t a b l e . The h e r e d i t a r y l i n e of male descent traced, from, the Marquess to. h i s e l d e s t son and grandson i s presented i n the.low-key context of a p r i v a t e f a m i l y g a t h e r i n g , which.in turn s.ee.ms s t r a n g e l y out of p l a c e i n the imposing c l a s s i c a l a r c h i t e c t u r e of the g a l l e r y . 18 The Grosvenor's a c t i v i t i e s and. a r t c o l l e c t i o n s i m i l a r l y connote . both . i n f o r m a l domestic . value.s and formal w o r l d l y ones. Although the f a m i l y i s . shown r e l a x i n g at home, i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t they are not i d l e . S e v e r a l of the women p r e s e n t . t h e i r a c q u i r e d musical and dancing s k i l l s f o r the appr o v a l , o f t h e i r husbands and f a t h e r s . The womens' virtuous.. accomplishments and. the demonstrated a f f e c t i o n among f a m i l y members.(i.e. Hugh Lupus at h i s grandfather's knee,. Lord Wilton, gazing a f f e c t i o n a t e l y a t h i s wife and supporting h i s young daughter) r e v e a l s t h a t even i n p r i v a t e this., i s an, i n d u s t r i o u s and happy f a m i l y . Yet the musical performance.,, surrounding a r t c o l l e c t i o n , monumental a r c h i t e c t u r e , c o s t l y . c l o t h i n g , court uniform, and d i g n i f i e d po.s.e.s.of. the. a d u l t s , immediately remind the viewer t h a t these, are people of a s u p e r i o r s o c i a l c l a s s . These s t a t u s symbols.. not . only a d v e r t i s e the f a m i l y ' s wealth, good t a s t e , .and. p o s i t i o n , at court, they a l s o demonstrate, the Grosven.or.s' l o y a l t y to the monarchy and s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for, m a i n t a i n i n g s o c i e t y ' s high l e v e l 8 of c u l t u r e . T h i s a l t e r n a t e • s t r e s s i n g and.downplaying of the f a m i l y ' s.- rank , and p r e s t i g e merits f u r t h e r i n v e s t i - g a t i o n . This p a r t i c u l a r , blend of f o r m a l i t y and i n f o r m a l i t y may have stemmed, from the f a c t , t h a t t h i s type of commission 19 was e s s e n t i a l l y a new v e n t u r e . f o r the a r t i s t . . The Marquess' s e l e c t i o n -of. L e s l i e f or<-.-this, p r o j e c t seems, somewhat unusual c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t .Leslie',s. r e p u t a t i o n was, .based, upon annec- d o t a l l i t e r a r y and h i s t o r i c a l scenes which appealed p r i - 9 m a r i l y to middle-class, reviewers 'and buyers.. In f a c t , L e s l i e seldom executed ...aristocratic p o r t r a i t s , , and e v i d e n t l y f e l t somewhat pre s s u r e d by the Grosvenor. commission, a c c o r d i n g to a' l e t t e r he. r e c e i v e d from his. f r i e n d , John. Constable, i n June of 1831. A f t e r d i s c u s s i n g L e s l i e ' s p rogress on "The Grosvenor .Gang", Constable r e a s s u r e d him: S t i l l i t i s a bad,.thing to r e f u s e the "Great". They are always angered--and.their reasoning powers being, g e n e r a l l y blinded, by t h e i r rank, they have no other, ide.a .of a r e f u s a l than i t i s t e l l i n g them...to., kiss, your bottom. Although Constable's l e t t e r does not shed any l i g h t on the Grosvenors' e x p e c t a t i o n s , i t nevertheless, conveys some sense of . t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s L e s l i e encountered when p a i n t i n g t h i s enormously powerful f a m i l y . While L e s l i e was c l e a r l y impressed by, the Grosvenors' sta t u s which he m e t i c u l o u s l y recorded, he was, more accustomed,to a m i d d l e - c l a s s l i f e - s t y l e and audience.. Thus.the a r t i s t could h a v e . u n i n t e n t i o n - a l l y t r a n s p o r t e d some m i d d l e - c l a s s values into. Old Grosvenor House. On the other hand, i t i s a l s o conceivable that the Marquess d e l i b e r a t e l y s e l e c t e d . L e s l i e ' s more r e l a x e d approach i n p r e f e r e n c e to the. formal s t y l e s , of t r a d i t i o n a l a r t i s t s 20 such a s - W i l l i a m Beechey and George Hayter, who s p e c i a l i z e d i n t h i s type of commission... There i s c e r t a i n l y reason to b e l i e v e t h a t the Grosvenors., as a l e a d i n g Whig f a m i l y , wanted to. see themselves... i n a m.o.dern, s o c i a l l y p r o g r e s s i v e l i g h t , d e s p i t e the f a c t . t h a t they were s t i l l i n t e r e s t e d i n r e t a i n i n g as many, of t h e i r p r i v i l e g e s as p o s s i b l e . F i r m l y b e l i e v i n g tha.t . p o l i t i c a l reform was necessary, the Marquess nonetheless had.much to l o s e through the im- pending re o r g a n i z a t i o n . o f p a r l i a m e n t a r y r i d i n g s . Lady E l i z a b e t h Grosvenor, his. daughter-in-law (seated second from the l e f t i n L e s l i e ' s p i c t u r e ) , d e s c r i b e d the s i t u a t i o n i n a l e t t e r of 1831: The boroughs are completely knocked up, which Lady Grosvenor and . I maintain i s a very good t h i n g . As to Lord.Grosvenor (soon to be the Marquess of Westminster), he takes i t with as much . good, humour, as I f he had. gained 1=150, 000 i n s t e a d of l o s i n g i t , which he says thereby he has. Anybody but. him would. be. vexed at them- s e l v e s f o r a l l . the annoyance and. immense ex- pense he has. e n t a i l e d .upon h i m s e l f f o r nothing. However, that, w i l l a l l .be ended and I imagine t h a t the great towns w i l l be soothed. I t w i l l be odd. to hear, of the member f o r Marylebone, Holborn e t c . This w i l l c l i p the a r i s t o c r a c y , but a good.deal must.be s a c r i f i c e d to save the r e s t . i l Responding to. gr.owing pressure from the middle c l a s s , a r i s t o c r a t i c ideolo.gy was undergoing the slow process of r e v i s i o n . Many bourgeois values ( i . e . d i l i g e n c e , temperance, domestic harmony, r e s p e c t a b i l i t y ) were 21 g r a d u a l l y being adopted by the a r i s t o c r a c y and used to 12 j u s t i f y t h e i r s o c i a l s u p e r i o r i t y . . This i d e o l o g i c a l s h i f t was an e s s e n t i a l .part.'.of Whig Reform s t r a t e g y : as Lord Grey commented, the point, was to prove t h a t " i n these days of. democracy, and .Jacobinism, i t i s p o s s i b l e to f i n d r e a l c a p a c i t y i n the arist.o.cracy."13 ^ n a r i s t o c r a c y t h a t could a l s o l a y c l a i m ..to .middle.-.class merits would be s u f f i c i e n t l y strengthened to weather the storms of reform. However, i f the p o r t r a i t had been intended to p r e s e n t an updated .and. m.ore acceptable, image of the a r i s t o c r a c y , i t i s . i r o n i c , t h a t i t s . only admirers were Tory c r i t i c s w r i t i n g .for l i m i t e d . c i r c u l a t i o n Tory p u b l i - c a t i o n s ( i . e . Fr.a.ser 1 s Magazine, the . L i t e r a r y Gazette, the Morning Post and. the. Library, .of the Fine A r t s ) • who defended the work as- " t a s t e f u l " , "elegant", and. " d i s c r i m i n a t i n g " . This g r o u p . o f . w r i t e r s was impressed by the formal element^ of the Grosvenors' p a i n t i n g s , f u r n i s h i n g s and f a s h i o n s . The L i t e r a r y Gazette concluded t h a t " A l l appear i n t h e i r proper p l a c e s ; . n a t u r a l l y , t a s t e f u l l y and .elegantly brought t o g e t h e r . " " ^ For t h i s reviewer the image s i g n i f i e d the n a t u r a l s o c i a l order, with a r i s t o c r a t s l i k e the Grosvenors occupying t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l p l a c e . a t the top of the pyramid. 22 Although Tories, r e f u s e d to qu e s t i o n the a r i s t o c r a c y ' s supremacy in, 1832,, there were p l e n t y of other groups eager to take up. the challenge... In fact, the Whig Reform B i l l was designed . to p a r t i a l l y r e d r e s s the p o l i t i c a l imbalance of power between the a r i s t o c r a c y ,and,middle c l a s s by ex- tending voting- r i g h t s to the. ten-pound m i d d l e - c l a s s house- h o l d e r , and r e d i s t r i b u t i n g p a r l i a m e n t a r y seats i n a move 15 towards e q u a l i z i n g the .number of vo.ters i n each r i d i n g . The proposed e l i m i n a t i o n of many "rotten." or "pocket" boroughs g r e a t l y .concerned .a. l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n . of the a r i s t o - c r acy who were the major, owners, and purchasers of votes i n these c o r r u p t . r i d i n g s . As. the main b e n e f i c i a r i e s of the " r o t t e n " borough system, and p r i n c i p a l source of o p p o s i t i o n to the R e f o r m , B i l l , i n the House of Lords, the a r i s t o c r a c y were.repeatedly p o r t r a y e d as the r e a l enemies of reform.(even .though many l e a d i n g Whig p o l i t i c i a n s were a r i s t o c r a t s ) . Countle ss . v e r b a l . and. v i s u a l , a t t a c k s on the a r i s t o - cracy's monopoly of p r i v i l e g e were mounted,in a r t i c l e s , 17 l e t t e r s , cartoons, and c a r i c a t u r e s of the Reform p r e s s . A t y p i c a l example, of such, an a t t a c k i s . the c a r i c a t u r e , John B u l l and .His Burdens,,, p u b l i s h e d i n the r a d i c a l F i g a r o i n London d u r i n g January.of 1832 ( f i g . 3 ) . An accompanying 23 t e x t e x p l a i n e d the c a r i c a t u r e : The above c a r i c a t u r e represents, the p r e s e n t s t a t e of Poor John B u l l , who.really must excuse us f o r comparing him. to an. ass. overburdened with the weight of. a r i s t o c r a c y , which he has f o r a long time consented, to c a r r y . While the Tory peers would.render him stupid.by a s s a i l i n g h i s head, bishops,, placemen, and pensioners combine to overload, h i s . back, while Hunt and h i s adherents worry the. poor, animal at the t a i l . In t h i s c a r i c a t u r e the strong .connection between the a r i s t o c r a c y and Tory p a r t y i s e s t a b l i s h e d by the presence of the Duke of W e l l i n g t o n , the l e a d e r of the Tory government, who s i t s f a c i n g backwards., l e i s u r e l y smoking h i s p i p e . Such widespread . c r i t i c i s m s , of the s.o.clal. and p o l i t i c a l r o l e s of the a r i s t o c r a c y suggest.that p o r t r a i t s of l e a d i n g a r i s t o c r a t s w e r e . p o t e n t i a l l y contentious m a t e r i a l d u r i n g the Reform C r i s i s . C o n s i d e r i n g the widespread, o p p o s i t i o n of the a r i s t o c r a c y . t.o,.th.e Reform B i l l , i t i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g that L e s l i e ' s p o r t r a i t of the Grosvenors was i n no way p a l a t a b l e to more p r o g r e s s i v e middle - clas.s c r i t i c s who supported, the Reform cause.. The Athenaeum w r i t e r read the p i c t u r e .as an. o f f e n s i v e a s s e r t i o n of a r i s t o c r a t i c p r e r o g a t i v e . The c r i t i c , mockingly o f f e r e d L e s l i e some ad v i c e : 2/ . ...but as you wish, f o r e i t h e r (money or fame), never p a i n t a. f a m i l y p i c t u r e of people of mark and c o n d i t i o n again. W.e have heard, of a nobleman who claimed, for. h i s f a m i l y .that. kind, of f a r descended g l o r y both i n beauty and. blood :which the Arabs c l a i m f o r t h e i r horses; we know not t h a t the Marquis of Westminster c a r r i e s h i s n o t i o n s of caste so. far.; but of t h i s we are c e r t a i n , t h at an unwonted, .awe has oppressed .the p e n c i l of the a r t i s t i n this, domestic p i c t u r e , and that h i s c o l o u r i n g . i s heavy--his d i v e r s i t y of c h a r a c t e r l i t t l e - - a n d . h i s p o s tures g e n e r a l l y made up and a f f e c t e d . ! 9 Although the c r i t i c was less, than complimentary towards the Grosvenors.,. h i s /.her main o b j e c t i o n s to the p i c t u r e seem to have been based, on s t y l i s t i c grounds-. The Times c r i t i c s p e l l e d out,.the problem q u i t e c l e a r l y : The personages represented are very g e n t e e l , a m i a b l e - l o o k i n g f o l k s , and the young l a d i e s i n t h e i r red f r o c k s , very plea.sant and a r i s t o - , cra.tic c h i l d r e n , with a..healthy w e l l - b r e d a i r ; - - e v e r y t h i n g , i n short, that could be d e s i r e d . The only f a u l t , i s having them p a i n t e d i n t h i s s t y l e . 2 d E v i d e n t l y the Whigs.' o b j e c t i o n s were not-to- a r i s t o c r a t i c , s u b j e c t s per se.. In fact, many p o r t r a i t s of l e a d i n g a r i s t o c r a t s such as thos.e by Thomas P h i l i p s , H.W. P i c k e r s g i l l , . and'E .H .. Landseer seems to have been popular with a.number of Whig reviewers. Landseer's p o r t r a i t of the.Duke, of Devonshire ( f i g . U) which presented a three q u a r t e r view of the duke s i t t i n g i n h i s t h e a t r e box watching a p l a y , was s i n g l e d , out, as. p a r t i c u l a r l y ad- mirable. In s p i t e of the program, before him, and the viewing g l a s s e s i n his.hand, s e v e r a l . c r i t i c s seem to have mistaken the l o c a t i o n , t h i n k i n g tha.t the Duke was simply l o o k i n g out of a. window., T h e i r confusion p o s s i b l y stemmed from the Duke's extremely p l a i n . c l o t h i n g and surroundings. Nothing beyond the t i t l e of the p i c t u r e and the face of the s i t t e r identified... the s u b j e c t as a person of great wealth or rank--.no .uniforms, p e r s o n a l p o s s e s s i o n s , or f e l l o w f a m i l y members. Landseer's. only a l l u s i o n was to the Duke's c u l t u r a l , p u r s u i t s , but t h i s was s u b t l e enough to be e n t i r e l y overlooked by several, reviewer s. While Tory w r i t e r s were l e s s t h a n . e n t h u s i a s t i c about the p i c t u r e , i t was e s p e c i a l l y p r a i s e d by.Whig reviewers f o r being n a t u r a l as opposed to the charge of . " a f f e c t e d " which they l e v e l l e d at L e s l i e ' s work... The Spectator concluded t h a t "the a r t i s t appears. ..to have s t r u c k . o f f the resemblance 21 at once, .so unconscious. are you of- e f f o r t or manner." In c o n t r a s t , the same group o f . p r o g r e s s i v e c r i t i c s was o b v i o u s l y i r r i t a t e d by L e s l i e ' s s t y l e . . The Athenaeum had objected to L e s l i e ' s "oppressed p e n c i l " and "unwonted awe", while the- Times and ..the Examiner expressed a s i m i l a r d i s t a s t e f o r the c o n s t r a i n t s , p l a c e d on L e s l i e ' s genius 22 and good t a s t e . A l l three reviewers much p r e f e r r e d h i s only other work i n the e x h i b i t i o n , A. Scene from the Taming of the Shrew, which was p r a i s e d f o r i t s dramatic n a r r a t i v e 26 and wide range -of characters, and emotions. Best known f o r such l i t e r a r y s u b j e c t s which he r e g u l a r l y e x h i b i t e d at the Royal Academy, the c r i t i c s seemed/to r e a l i z e t h a t L e s l i e was e s s e n t i a l l y , experimenting with the l a r g e f a m i l y 23 p o r t r a i t of the Grosvenors. I t was an experiment t h a t Whig c r i t i c s d i d not want...repeated. - not only was i t a genre they d i s l i k e d , , i t wa.s ..corrupting the t a l e n t s of an a r t i s t they u s u a l l y admired. The Examiner was p a r t i c u l a r l y annoyed by the wealth of st a t u s symbols, clu.tter.ing the p i c t u r e : I f unable to. exercise.. h i s i n v e n t i o n , fancy and good tas.te, he ( L e s l i e ) has c a r e f u l l y r e p r e s e n t e d e v e r y t h i n g p l a c e d before h i m - - l a d i e s , gentlemen, c h i l d r e n , gowns, coats, bonnets, f e a t h e r s , f l o u n c e s , musical instruments, French c l o c k s — i n a word, a l l . the household s t u f f , l i v i n g and dead, u s u a l l y c o l l e c t e d . i n the p r i n c i p a l apartment of a wealthy nobleman's r e s i d e n c e . The work i s consequently g l i t t e r i n g , t r i m , p o l i s h e d , and~, unmeaning — a d i s p l a y of. matter., not mind, . . . The charges l e v e l l e d i n the l a s t sentence summed up the c r i t i c ' s impression of the p a i n t i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r and the paper's views on wealthy noblemen, i n g e n e r a l . Throughout the e a r l y months of .1832., the Examiner had r e g u l a r l y p r i n t e d e x t r a c t s from,' The Tour of '.a German P r i n c e , by P r i n c e P u c k l e r Muskau, a r e c e n t l y r e l e a s e d . b o o k . c r i t i c i z i n g the E n g l i s h n o b i l i t y , exposing t h e i r enormous wealth and 27 f l a s h y but m o r a l l y bankrupt l i f e s t y l e . In a lengthy review of the work,,.the Examiner dwelled on the a r i s t o c r a c y ' s e x p l o i t a t i o n of t h e i r s o c i a l i n f e r i o r s : P h i l a n t h r o p y , i n the vocabulary of our beau monde, means s u b s c r i p t i o n s to c h a r i t i e s , perhaps the g i v i n g away of. a score of b l a n k e t s and a cauldron of c o a l s . a t Christmas; but by no means.admits of. sympathy.with f o l k s of another c l a s s . On the other hand, no idea i s more f a m i l i a r than. that, of the great d e s t r o y i n g the ? r l i t t l e f o r the g r a t i f i c a t i o n of t h e i r a p p e t i t e s ; . . . The Examiner 1s f r e q u e n t l y a r t i c u l a t e d h o s t i l i t y towards the a r i s t o c r a c y '.s . showy d i s p l a y s and conspicuous consumption, must have coloured the. c r i t i c ' s response to L e s l i e ' s p i c t u r e . This c o n c l u s i o n i s . borne out by a n a l y z i n g the p r e c i s e wording of the review. The use of the term " g l i t t e r i n g " probably r e f e r r e d to L e s l i e ' s m e t a l l i c h i g h l i g h t i n g on. the c l o t h i n g , p i c t u r e frames, s i l v e r w a r e , and musical, instruments, while "polished." d e s c r i b e d both the shiny s a t i n surfaces, of the women's dresses, and the h i g h l y glazed f i n i s h of the work. This c r i t i c (and s e v e r a l others) a l s o carped about the work's "heavy" or "gaudy" 2 6 c o l o u r i n g , p r i m a r i l y the predominance of r e d . M e t a l l i c . h i g h l i g h t s , b r i l l i a n t . s a t i n s u r f a c e s , and v i v i d colour schemes seem to have been devices c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with S i r Thomas. Lawrence, and there i s reason 28 to b e l i e v e t h a t Whig c r i t i c s o b j e c t i n g to these f e a t u r e s i n L e s l i e ' s p a i n t i n g made. t h i s , connection. E v i d e n t l y • there was a. widespread c o n v i c t i o n , i n academic c i r c l e s t h a t Lawrence's death., i n .18.30, had l e f t a vacuum, i n the f i e l d of p o r t r a i t u r e . S e v e r a l Whig, w r i t e r s s e i z e d what they con- s i d e r e d a golden .opportunity to press f o r an improved new school i n t h i s branch of. a r t . . In i t s review of the ex- h i b i t i o n , the Morning C h r o n i c l e di.s.cu.s.se.d,-why upcoming p o r t r a i t p a i n t e r s . should . s t e e r c l e a r . o f Lawrence's dan- gerous i n f l u e n c e : S i r Thomas Lawrence was. w e l l . i n h i m s e l f - - s u i g e n e r i s - - b u t . h i s t h i n milk w i l l not bear r e - ducing. The showy, the m e r e t r i c i o u s , and the u n r e a l genius may do.in the hands of a s i n g l e genius i n t h i s l i n e , but i t w i l l not bear i m i t a t i o n , and i s not bearable c a e t e r i s non p a r i b u s . ' In March of 1832, the Examiner had also, a t t a c k e d S i r Thomas Lawrence condemning him a.s a ."cringing pet of the a r i s t o c r a c y . . ...painting t h e i r stupid, f a c e s , the only branch of a r t which they. enco.urage because i t m i n i s t e r s to t h e i r 28 c o n c e i t s . " . The Examiner objected., to- Lawrence's s e r v i l i t y as something which, r e i n f o r c e d , the aristo.cracy' s i n f l a t e d s e lf-image. Both of these c r i t i c i s m s i n d i c a t e t h a t Whig review- ers f e l t t h a t the heyday of Lawrence's showy d i s p l a y s and 29 L e s l i e ' s " g l i t t e r i n g " p o r t r a i t of the Grosvenors was over. Both belonged to the a r i s t o c r a c y of a bygone era. Despite the f a c t t h a t the Grosvenors supported the Reform B i l l , Whig c r i t i c s seem to have read. Les.lie' s p i c t u r e as an a n t i q u a t e d a s s e r t i o n of a r i s t o c r a t i c grandeur. In other words, they o b j e c t e d to an image of the unreformed a r i s t o - cracy which connoted o p p o s i t i o n to t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s f o r upward s o c i a l m o b i l i t y . Such, an image was p a r t i c u l a r l y o f f e n s i v e i n the context of the Royal. Academy, an i n s t i - t u t i o n t h a t many members of the middle, c l a s s s u s p i c i o u s l y regarded as.a. b a s t i o n of a r i s t o c r a t i c p r i v i l e g e . In s p i t e of the f a c t that, l a r g e numbers of the middle class, attended., the academy e x h i b i t i o n , or at l e a s t read reviews of the p a i n t i n g s , they s t i l l f e l t snubbed as second-rate p a r t i c i p a n t s . An i n c i d e n t at a B r i t i s h I n s t i t u t i o n e x h i b i t i o n of 1831 which i n c l u d e d some p a i n t i n g s from the c o l l e c t i o n of . Thomas... Hamlet, a, wealthy goldsmith, demonstrated the s u r v i v a l .of an a r i s t o c r a t i c p r e j u d i c e a g a i n s t the middle c l a s s . In a review of the show, the L i t e r a r y . Beacon f e l t obliged, to re.min.d Thomas Hamlet of h i s p l a c e i n s o c i e t y : By the catalogue i t (a p a i n t i n g ) appears to be the p r o p e r t y of "Thomas. Hamlet,: Esq . "--now we would ask any d i s p a s s i o n a t e person why t h i s quackery i s s u f f e r e d .to e x i s t ? Mr. JUamlet i s of a c l a s s of persons h i g h l y r e s p e c t a b l e , but-' 30 why, because, he has been, s u c c e s s f u l i n trade and has. sense enough to buy good p i c t u r e s and t a c t enough to. s e l l .them at a good p r i c e , i s he to be dubbed an. e s q u i r e ? "Mr. Hamlet" would read, much be.tter i n the catalogue. ' R e t a l i a t i n g a g a i n s t . a t t i t u d e s . l i k e t h i s one, and the i n - s t i t u t i o n s t h a t f o s t e r e d ..them, c r i t i c i s m s . of. the a r i s t o - cracy's c u l t u r a l , e l i t i s m . a n o n y m o u s l y appeared i n l e t t e r s , and a r t i c l e s p u b l i s h e d ..by. such, papers as, the Times and 30 the Athenaeum from : 1830. onwards. A s e r i e s of charges were l e v e l l e d at.England's three l e a d i n g . a r t s i n s t i t u t i o n s - - the Royal. Academy, the N a t i o n a l ...Gallery, and the B r i t i s h 31 I n s t i t u t i o n . P r o g r e s s i v e c r i t i c s wanted a.reformed government ( i n which the middle c l a s s , would have a v o i c e ) to oversee the o p e r a t i o n of various, a r t s . in s t i t u t i . o n s , . e l i m i n a t i n g 32 many of t h e i r l o n g s t a n d i n g d i s c r i m i n a t o r y p r a c t i c e s . 3 3 " P u b l i c " access ( i . e . . m i d d l e - c l a s s access) was e s s e n t i a l , as the Athenaeum.',s preface to i t s . review of the Academy e x h i b i t i o n of 1831 p o i n t e d out: The Academy i s a corporate and a. c h a r t e r e d body-- i t grubs on i n the d a r k - - i t toad-eats the a r i - s t o c r a c y . Who are the men i n v i t e d to t h e i r annual f e s t i v a l ? men eminent i n l i t e r a t u r e - - men of informed minds, the a s s o c i a t e s of the academicians.in p r i v a t e . l i f e , the g l o r y and.boast of England? No;.-but my Lord. A and B; and other n o n e n t i t i e s . T h i s i s the interchange between 31 corporate a r t and patronage. There must be more l i f e got i n t o , the Academy; as we s a i d once be- f o r e , we must r a t t l e i t s o l d hones about. The p u b l i c must, .somehow, or other, be allowed to take an i n t e r e s t i n i t s . p r o c e e d i n g s . Had i t not been f o r the annual. E x h i b i t i o n and the p u b l i c p r e s s , we should, ha.ve sunk . below the K n e l l e r s and Hudsons.of our f o r e f a t h e r s . - ^ S p e c i f i c a l l y , t h i s c r i t i c and others d i s l i k e d the Royal 35 Academy's ingrown,.. s e l f - e l e c t e d - s t r u c t u r e . E x i s t i n g academicians, e l e c t e d new.members, formed the school's t e a c h i n g s t a f f , j u r i e d , the s e l e c t i o n and. hanging of works i n the annual e x h i b i t i o n , and voted on the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p r i z e s to i t s members. A l s o condemned was i t s l a r g e share of p r i v a t e funding which enabled, the academy to r e f u s e a p u b l i c or government a u d i t i n g of i t s accounts. A f i n a l source of .considerable, i r r i t a t i o n was the academy's obvious pandering to the. upper echelons of s o c i e t y . Es- p e c i a l l y g a l l i n g from a. m i d d l e - c l a s s vantage p o i n t was the p r i v a t e view, an e x h i b i t i o n preview that was r e s t r i c t e d by • 37 i n v i t a t i o n only.. As. the Athenaeum had observed, i n v i - t a t i o n s were the p r i v i l e g e . o f a r i s t o c r a t i c b i r t h , not m i d d l e - c l a s s merit. While on one hand m i d d l e - c l a s s c r i t i c s a t t a c k e d the academy's, openly d i s c r i m i n a t i n g p r a c t i c e s , they were a l s o anxious to d i s p l a y t h e i r r e c e n t l y a c q u i r e d a e s t h e t i c q u a l i - f i c a t i o n s i n a b i d to secure the a r i s t o c r a c y ' s a p p r o v a l . 32 This ambivalent response towards the .old establishment c h a r a c t e r i z e d both the.middle c l a s s ' r e f o r m i s t s o c i a l p o s i t i o n and t h e i r a r t . c r i t i c i s m which a l t e r n a t e d between angry denunciations... and... obsequious. acceptance of the a r i - s t o c r a c y ' s value structure.. The m a j o r i t y of the p r o g r e s s i v e middle c l a s s d i d not q u e s t i o n the a r i s t o c r a c y ' s b a s i c r i g h t to e x i s t . Instead., they were seeking a more equal p a r t n e r - ship with the old, upper cla.ss t h a t had t r a d i t i o n a l l y dominated government, s o c i e t y , and i n s t i t u t i o n s l i k e the Royal Academy . ( ^ / E s s e n t i a l l y , they sought an a l l i a n c e with the a r i s t o c r a c y to safeguard t h e i r p o s i t i o n from working- c l a s s encroachment. Ne v e r t h e l e s s , In order to gain the concessions they demanded, m i d d l e - c l a s s Whigs were prepared to condemn b l a t a n t forms,, of a r i s t o c r a t i c r e s i s t a n c e . While they d i d not o b j e c t .to the Grosvenors per se,. they resented the t r a d i t i o n a l aspects of L e s l i e ' s . s t y l e which c a r r i e d e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y connotations of the a r i s t o c r a c y ' s mono- pol y of power. 33 F ootnotes "'"Gervas Huxley, Lady E l i z a b e t h .and the Grosvenors: L i f e i n a "Whig' Family '1822-1839 (London:. Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965), p. 28. 2 For a d i s c u s s i o n of the a r c h i t e c t u r e and reno- v a t i o n s of.Old Grosvenor House c o n s u l t John C o r n f o r t h , "Old Grosvenor Ho.use," Country L i f e 154- (November 15, 1973): 1538-1541. 3 Huxley, Lady E l i z a b e t h , p. 2. ^Huxley., Lady E l i z a b e t h , p. 59 and C o r n f o r t h , Country L i f e , p. 1539- The four, p a i n t i n g s were Gathering the Manna, A Procession. .of the Four L a t i n F a t h e r s of the Church, The Four 'Evangelists , and .  Abraham ..Receiving Bread and Wine from Melchizedeck. 5 Twentieth century a r t h i s t o r i c a l s c h o l a r s h i p has r e - a t t r i b u t e d , t h i s work to Mazo who. i s b e l i e v e d to have copied s e v e r a l o r i g i n a l s , by Velaquez, see August Mayer, Velaquez: A Catalogue. Raisonne of. the..Pictures and Drawings (London: Faber and Faber, 1936), number 267. However, i n the nineteenth century the p a i n t i n g was considered to be the o r i g i n a l by Velaquez. ^Mario Praz, Conversation Pieces ( U n i v e r s i t y Park: Pennsylvania State U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1971.), see the i n t r o - d u c t i o n "The a r t of the B o u r g e o i s i e " . 7 Here I am d i s c u s s i n g the general genre' of con- v e r s a t i o n p i e c e s , and not the p r e c i c e f u n c t i o n of each p a i n t i n g which.was c e r t a i n l y very d i f f e r e n t . g The Grosvenor C o l l e c t i o n was open to s e l e c t e d members of. the p u b l i c on. s p e c i a l days.. In h i s l e t t e r s , Constable f r e q u e n t l y c i t e d t r i p s to t h i s c o l l e c t i o n which seems to have., .been mainly v i s i t e d by a r t i s t s and other f r i e n d s of the academy. The c o l l e c t i o n was probably never attended by l a r g e s e c t o r s of the p u b l i c — members of the working c l a s s and lower middle c l a s s probably being un- aware of i t s e x i s t e n c e . 3A L e s l i e ' s middle c l a s s o r i g i n s and p o p u l a r i t y are d i s c u s s e d to some extent i n J e f f r e y Daniels., "C.R. L e s l i e : A Rediscovery, ", .Art and A r t i s t s 11 (January 1977): 12-15. ~^R.B. Beckett, ed. , John Constable's Correspondence V o l . 3 : The Correspondence., with C.R. L e s l i e . R.A~] (Ipswich : S u f f o l k Records S o c i e t y , 1965) , V~. 4~1̂  In s p i t e of h i s i r r e v e r e n t comments, about -the a r i s t o c r a c y , i n t h i s i n s t a n c e , Constable, l i k e L e s l i e , was q u i t e c o n s e r v a t i v e and vehe- mently opposed to. the Reform B i l l , and i t s s o c i a l i m p l i - c a t i o n s . • However, the.quotation.does.demonstrate the s o c i a l g u l f s e p a r a t i n g the a r t i s t and patron i n a commission of t h i s k i n d . "'""'"Huxley, Lady E l i z a b e t h , p. 98 12 This i s d i s c u s s e d by Mark Girouard, The V i c t o r i a n Country House (Oxford: Clarendon Press., 1971), p. 3. This s h i f t gathered c o n s i d e r a b l e momentum by. the middle of the decade. I t s development, i s d i s c u s s e d by D a v i d o f f , The Best C i r c l e s , chaps. 1-2; S t e l l a Margeton, V i c t o r i a n High S o c i e t y (London: B.T. B a t s f o r d L t d . , 1980), and..David Spring, "The E n g l i s h Landed, E s t a t e .in the Age of Coal and Iron: 1830"-" 1880, " J o u r n a l o f : Economic H i s t o r y 11 (Winter 1951): 3-23. Spring d i s c u s s e s how economic n e c e s s i t y f o r c e d many a r i s t o c r a t s to adopt a more temperate l i f e s t y l e i n order to a f f o r d the up- keep of l a r g e f a m i l y e s t a t e s . 13 B r i g g s , Age of Improvement, p. 298 ^ L i t e r a r y Gazette (May 12, 1832), p. 298. " ^ B r i g g s , Age of Improvement, pp. 263-264-. "^According to Lord John R u s s e l l 1 s reform p r o p o s a l the " r o t t e n " boroughs to be eliminated, were r i d i n g s of l e s s than 2, 00.0. v o t e r s . Most of the votes i n these small boroughs were e i t h e r owned or d i r e c t l y i n f l u e n c e d by a p a r t i c u l a r l o c a l patron.. The m a j o r i t y of. " r o t t e n " boroughs, which were l o c a t e d i n the . a g r i c u l t u r a l south, were to be r e d i s t r i b u t e d to the l a r g e r towns of the i n d u s t r i a l north. Such was the famous case of Old.Sarum. which had.seven votes t h a t went to l o c a l p r o p e r t y owners because nobody, had. l i v e d on the o l d v i l l a g e s i t e , f o r years. See B r i g g s , Age, of Improvement, p. 102. John Croker, a prominent Tory, estimated that the T o r i e s h e l d 203 " r o t t e n " boroughs, while the. Whigs c o n t r o l l e d 73, see Raymond G. Cowherd,. The P o l i t i c s of E n g l i s h D i s s e n t (New York: New York U n i v e r s i t y Pre ss, 1956), p! 186, n~. 65. 35 17 Many a n t i - a r i s t o c r a t i c cartoons are recorded i n M. Dorothy George., Catalogue. of P o l i t i c a l .and P e r s o n a l S a t i r e s Preserved i n the. Department of. P r i n t s and Draw- ings i n the B r i t i s h Museum, V o l . 11: 18.28'..- 1832 (London: P r i n t e d by Order of the Trustees, 1954). Numbers 16673 The D i s s o l u t i o n of A r i s t o c r a t i c .Tyranny or !Vo'x.'Po'p'ul'i, - Vox Dei and 1694-6, The Great Comet, of 18.32. are t y p i c a l examples. . 18 The F i g a r o in. London ..(.January 2.8, 1832), p. 30. 1 9Athenaeum (May 19., 1832), p. 324. 2 0 T i m e s (May 8, 1832). 2 1 S p e c t a t o r . (May 26., 1832.), p. 496. The Examiner f e l t t h a t the p o r t r a i t was "marked by that look of l i f e , n a t u r a l action., and.truth of colour,, which c o n t r i b u t e to make h i s v a r i o u s performances so g e n e r a l l y admired." - Examiner ( J u l y 1, 1832), p. 4-21. I t Is i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Tory w r i t e r s seem to. have found the work too p l a i n . N e i t h e r the L i b r a r y of the Fine Arts.,, nor F r a s e r ' s Magazine l i k e d the p i c t u r e . In t h i s case the d i v i d e d response to the p i c t u r e : seems to have had l i t t l e to do with the Duke's a r i s t o c r a t i c s t a t u s . or.. h i s p e r s o n a l stance on the reform q u e s t i o n , s i n c e he was.widely known to have had l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n government and p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s . 22 Although these, terms would, have h e l d s p e c i f i c connotations f o r the review readers., they were a p p l i e d to a wide v a r i e t y of works.. In t h i s i nstance the i m p l i - c a t i o n s were .that .had. L e s l i e been l e f t to. h i s own d e v i c e s , he would have painted, h i s t y p i c a l l i t e r a r y s u b j e c t s . 23 Aside from, h i s l a t e r L i b r a r y at H o l l a n d House of 184-1, t h i s was the only c o n v e r s a t i o n p i e c e p o r t r a i t that L e s l i e ever e x h i b i t e d at. the Royal Academy. 24 Examiner (June 3, 1832), p. 358. 25 "Review of A Tour of a German.Prince," Examiner March 4, 1832)., pp. 147-149. B r i e f extra.cts f r om t h i s book were p r i n t e d i n the Examiner.'s " N o t a b i l i a " column d u r i n g February, March and A p r i l . 36 26 The Examiner used the word, "gaudy". L e s l i e ' s extensive use of red was also, c r i t i c i z e . d by the "Spectator, the Times and the. Athenaeum, a l l of which were papers of the reform, pre ss . T h e i r a t t a c k s . provoked • the. c o n s e r v a t i v e Morning Post c r i t i c w r i t i n g • l a t e r . o n June 9th, to defend L e s l i e ' s c o l o u r i n g : I t i s not always i n the power of an a r t i s t who agrees to execute a commission of t h i s k i nd to p r e s c r i b e , to. h i s f a i r s i t t e r s ' t h e c o l o u r s or f a s h i o n s of t h e i r , garments, and i f he must i n t r o - duce a s c a r l e t , f r o c k or a b r i g h t l i l a c gown, he must not leave such c o l o u r s by t h e i r e c l i p s i n g splendour to absorb every other c o l o u r i n the p i e c e . Such c o l o u r s .must be repeated, and c a r r i e d i n b igger o r ' l e s s e r patches i n t o every corner of the composition. 27 Morning Chroni c l e (May 5, 1832) ' 2 8Examlher '("March A, 1 832) , p." U 8 . . - ;- ' 2 9¥illiam Whitley, A r t i n England 1821 - 1837 (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1930) , p~! 21/. 30 L a t e r on i n the decade, as the charges accumu- l a t e d , l e a d i n g Whig and Ra d i c a l , p o l i t i c i a n s . ..( i . e . Lord John R u s s e l l , W i l l i a m Ewart and. Jos.eph .Hume) took up the cause of c u l t u r a l . r e f o r m . A f f a i r s f i n a l l y culminated i n the S e l e c t Committee I n q u i r y of. 1835 which was set up to ex- amine the Academy's general .performance, and the s p e c i f i c grievances of B.R .X'Haydon., George C l i n t , John Ma r t i n , George Foggio and. others. See Quentin B e l l , . The Schools of De sign (London: Routledge and Kegan .Paul,. 1963), chap. 3 "Haydon and the R a d i c a l s " and chap.. 5 "The. S e l e c t Committee of 1835", and Sidney Hutchinson,.. The H i s t o r y of the Royal Academy 1786 - 1968.. (London:. Chapman, and H a l l , 1968), p. 101, 3 1 W h i t l e y , A r t i n England, pp. 206.-20.7, and 220-222. He c i t e s several., s p e c i f i c a t t a c k s on the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y and the B r i t i s h I n s t i t u t i o n . T h i s was proposed by. the Times ( J u l y 20, 1830). 33 Nobody, except the. r a d i c a l Examiner, even con- s i d e r e d that the working c l a s s should be i n c l u d e d i n e i t h e r the government or the o p e r a t i o n of the Academy. 37 3^The Athenaeum (May 1/, 1831), p. 315. -^The Examiner (January 8, 1832), p. 20. The Examiner c a l l e d the Academy, a " s e l f - e l e c t e d and s e l f - c o n - t r o l l e d t r i b u n a l , of the A r t s " . Examiner (December 18, 1831), p. 804- 37 In 1832 the p r i v a t e view, was b i t t e r l y a t t a c k e d by the Whig Morning C h r o n i c l e before .the e x h i b i t i o n was reviewed. \ T h e G r o s v e n o r F a m i l y i n G r o s v e n o r H o u s e , 1831 (from left to right) I.or J Robert, iMy Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Proline, Evelyn, Hugh Lupus, Marquess of llestmiuster, Bel grave, Eleanor, l.a,ly Robert, Marchioness«f llestmiuster, Lttrd Wilton and .laughter, Mary, LaJy Milton F i g u r e 1. C.R. L e s l i e , A Family P i c t u r e . 1832 C o l l e c t i o n of the Duke of Westminster (Gervas Huxley. Lady E l i z a b e t h and the Grosvenors. London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965. F r o n t i s p i e c e . ) 39 F i g u r e 2. Johan Zoffany, S i r Lawrence Dundas and His Grandson, 1770 C o l l e c t i o n of the Marquess of Zetland (Mary Webster. Johan Zoffany 1733 - 1810. London N a t i o n a l P o r t r a i t G a l l e r y , 1976. P l a t e 56.) 40 F i g u r e 3. Robert Seymour, John B u l l and His Burdens, 1832 F i g a r o i n London, (January 28, 1832), Page 30. i g u r e 4-. E. H. Landseer, W i l l i a m Spencer Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire, 1832 C o l l e c t i o n of the Duke of Devonshire (Anthony Bl u n t . Treasures from Chatsworth The Devonshire I n h e r i t a n c e . I n t e r n a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n s Foundation, 1979. Page 110.) 42 CHAPTER I I The P r e a c h i n g of Kno.x by D avid W i l k i e U n l i k e the s h a r p l y d i v i d e d r e a c t i o n t o L e s l i e ' s p a i n t i n g , v i r t u a l l y , a l l of. the r e v i e w e r s , c o n s i d e r e d David W i l k i e ' s , The P r e a c h i n g of.. Knox .Before the L o r d s of the C o n g r e g a t i o n .1.0th ..June .1559 ( f i g . 5 ) , the most s u c c e s s f u l work i n the e n t i r e e x h i b i t i o n . I t was h a i l e d i n g l o w i n g terms as the " l i o n o f . t h e g a l l e r y " and the " p o l a r s t a r which a t t r a c t s a l l . e y e s " . ^ The r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l ( 4 8 i x 6 5 i n - c h e s ) , h i g h l y f i n i s h e d h i s t o r i c a l p a n e l p o r t r a y s John Knox, the P r e s b y t e r i a n r e f o r m e r , d e l i v e r i n g h i s h i s t o r i c sermon i n S t . Andrew's church i n F i f e s h i r e . Denouncing the C a t h o l i c , government of S c o t l a n d ' s . Queen Regent, and d e f y i n g t h r e a t s of.. as.sass.ination,. Knox urged h i s P r o t e s t - ant f o l l o w e r s t o purge the church of i t s p r o f i t e e r s . A f t e r Knox's sermon, h i s adherents s t r i p p e d the l o c a l C a t h o l i c churches of t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n s , d e s t r o y e d the p r i o r y , and l e v e l l e d a l l of the m o n a s t e r i e s i n the town. T h i s sermon, l o n g c o n s i d e r e d the c r u c i a l t u r n i n g p o i n t i n the P r o t e s t - ants'^.: r e s i s t a n c e to the C a t h o l i c , crown, l e d t o the f i n a l v i c t o r y of P r e s b y t e r i a n i s m which repla.ced C a t h o l i c i s m as 2 S c o t l a n d ' s o f f i c i a l r e l i g i o n . 43 W i l k i e d e p i c t e d Knox at. the p u l p i t i n the midst of h i s f i e r y sermon, with h i s l e f t arm o u t s t r e t c h e d and h i s r i g h t hand g r i p p i n g the B i b l e i n d e t e r m i n a t i o n . The f o r c e of h i s o r a t o r i c a l gesture causes.his black cape to f l y out behind him. While t h e . e l e v a t e d f i g u r e of Knox at the p u l p i t , form's., the f o c a l p o i n t , :.his c h i e f C a t h o l i c opponents, the Archbishop of St. Andrews., Bishop Beatoun and the Abbot .of Cross. Raguel, who are s i t u a t e d under the ornate canopy i n the l e f t , middle ground, provide a counter- weight to the preacher. However, t h e i r lower and s t r a t e g i c - a l l y l e s s important p o s i t i o n i n the church, and t h e i r p a s s i v e a t t i t u d e s r e i n f o r c e Knox's dominance. In f a c t , a l l of Knox's audience, i n c l u d i n g h i s f e l l o w reformers and the P r o t e s t a n t Lords., of the Congregation remain motionless as they l i s t e n to the sermon. The p a s s i v i t y of h i s l i s t - eners, who seem v i r t u a l l y anchored to. the church a r c h i - t e c t u r e , and the open space around the .figure of Knox, combine to make.his a c t i o n s seem even more impr e s s i v e . S e v e r a l l i s t e n e r s near Knox draw ba.ck. from the f o r c e of h i s p reaching ( i . e . , the man. and boy at the r a i l i n g , the woman and baby, and Lord. James. .Stuart at the t a b l e i n the l e f t f oreground). A p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r i k i n g c o n t r a s t i s drawn between the simple bla.ck. and white robes of the P r e s b y t e r i a n m i n i s t e r s and the e l a b o r a t e g l i t t e r i n g cos- tumes of the C a t h o l i c bishops, while another more direct- u v i s u a l i n d i c a t i o n of the ensuing r e l i g i o u s c o n f l i c t i s the presence of armed, guards and the many weapons c a r r i e d ' by the Lords of the Congregation.. Lord James S t u a r t and the E a r l of Morton- c l a s p swords, and. a dagger and an iv o r y - h a n d l e d p i s t o l . l i e s on the. t a b l e next to the open B i b l e and r e l i g i o u s books. Although the .painting was s t a r t e d i n 1822, s e v e r a l major i n t e r r u p t i o n s delayed i t s completion u n t i l 1832 when i t was f i r s t p u b l i c l y e x h i b i t e d at the Royal Academy. W i l k i e ' s completion of the work was delayed by a nervous breakdown, 'Continental recovery tour, and a change of patron s . O r i g i n a l l y , the work was commissioned by Lord L i v e r p o o l , the Tory Prime M i n i s t e r of England from 1812 to 1826. In terms of. W i l k i e ' s f i r s t patron, there can be l i t t l e doubt that, the p i c t u r e ' s theme of a. P r o t e s t a n t v i c t o r y must have held, c o n s i d e r a b l e app.eal f o r Lord L i v e r - pool,who wa s . f i r m l y opposed to g r a n t i n g E n g l i s h C a t h o l i c s any, r e l i e f from, the l e g a l . l i m i t a t i o n s p l a c e d upon t h e i r worship and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p u b l i c l i f e . The qu e s t i o n of o f f i c i a l , t o l e r a t i o n f o r C a t h o l i c s was one. of the most p r e s s - i n g i s s u e s f a c i n g the Tory government throughout the twenties u n t i l the C a t h o l i c .Emancipation B i l l f i n a l l y passed through parliament i n 1829 ( a f t e r Lord L i v e r p o o l ' s death). Throughout h i s term of o f f i c e , -Lord L i v e r p o o l 45 remained one of the staunchest defenders of the C o r p o r a t i o n and Test Acts which e f f e c t i v e l y barred C a t h o l i c s (and other non-Anglicans) from c i v i l and . m i l i t a r y o f f i c e s by r e q u i r i n g a l l o f f i c e holders, to r e c e i v e the sacrament of the Lord's Supper a c c o r d i n g to. the r i t e s of the Church of England.^" A f t e r Lord. L i v e r p o o l ' s ..death i n 1828.,. the work was taken over by S i r Robert P e e l , another l e a d i n g Tory p o l i - t i c i a n , f o r the l a r g e sum of <£l,300.^ I r o n i c a l l y , i t was S i r Robert P e e l who l e d the .Tories to reverse t h e i r stand on the C a t h o l i c q u e s t i o n , and f o r c e d the C a t h o l i c Emanci- p a t i o n B i l l through p a r l i a m e n t .in 1829. Peel's motives f o r p u r c h a s i n g the p i c t u r e remain, u n c l e a r , although he was known to have g e n e r a l l y l i k e d W i l k i e ' s work, and to have been a major patron of contemporary B r i t i s h a r t i s t s . For W i l k i e , a S c o t t i s h a r t i s t working i n London, the s u b j e c t represented an important episode of h i s own n a t i o n a l h i s t o r y . He was a c t i v e l y committed to the r e - v i v a l of S c o t t i s h l i t e r a t u r e . a n d h i s t o r y and worked towards e s t a b l i s h i n g a S c o t t i s h school of p a i n t e r s . ^ As the devout son of a Pres.b.yterian m i n i s t e r , t h i s h i s t o r i c a l event must have had.a f u r t h e r p e r s o n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the a r t i s t . In order to e x p l a i n the scene to h i s . London audience, the 4-6 p a i n t e r added an excerpt from h i s h i s t o r i c a l source, Thomas McCr.ie's, L i f e of Knox, to the e x h i b i t i o n catalogue 7 (see Appendix A). ' The t e x t i d e n t i f i e d the major f i g u r e s and discussed, how. Knox, had d e f i e d the Archbishop of St. Andrews' threats.. to. have the reformer a s s a s s i n a t e d i f he dared to preach, i n the bishop's church. Yet d e s p i t e W i l k i e ' s i n t e n t i o n s , the lengthy- catalogue d e s c r i p t i o n , and h i s e f f o r t s to r e p r e s e n t the event a c c u r a t e l y , v i r t u a l l y a l l of the e x h i b i t i o n reviewers e x t r a p o l a t e d q u i t e d i f f e r e n t meanings from the p i c t u r e - - meanings that were, more c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to. the Reform C r i s i s than the S c o t t i s h . Reformation. I t seems...that the i n t e r - vening time between t h e . p a i n t i n g ' s i n c e p t i o n and e x h i b i t i o n s u b s t a n t i a l l y a l t e r e d i t s . p u b l i c meaning. Only one reviewer from the Examiner d i s c u s s e d the p i c t u r e mainly as a.question of r e l i g i o u s controversy, but, i r o n i c a l l y , t h i s one w r i t e r who seemed, to understand, .what the. a r t i s t had o r i g i n a l l y t r i e d to convey, was t o t a l l y opposed, to. W i l k i e ' s viewpoint and c r i t i c a l of the p i c t u r e i n g e n e r a l . T h i s e x c e p t i o n a l negative review w i l l be analyzed, further,, a f t e r the p o s i t i v e assessments, o f The Preaching of Knox have been i n v e s t i g a t e d . The other nine academy reviewers achieved concensus on two b a s i c grounds f o r championing W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e : 4-7 f i r s t on the b a s i s of i t s p a t r i o t i c . B r i t i s h s u b j e c t , and second as a f i n e academic h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g . The c r i t i c s were e s p e c i a l l y moved by the " n a t i o n a l a n d . s p i r i t - s t i r r i n g s u b j e c t " . Speaking f o r most of the reviewers, the Times c r i t i c observed: I t i s a p i c t u r e of which the a r t i s t may w e l l be proud, and.which, while i t e x c i t e s the warm applause of the s p e c t a t o r s , suggests the f e e l i n g s of c o n g r a t u l a t i o n that we can, as a n a t i o n , give the world as.suran.ce of a p a i n t e r who may challenge competition, with any l i v i n g , and with the works of those departed men who have devoted t h e i r genius to t h i s branch of A r t . 9 Since W i l k i e ' s r e t u r n 'from the Continent ..in 1828 he had. . e x h i b i t e d an i n c r e a s i n g number of Spanish and I t a l i a n scenes.--in f a c t so many th a t s e v e r a l c r i t i c s had expressed concern l e s t he abandon his. former i n t e r e s t i n B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s a l t o g e t h e r . " ^ The W i l k i e episode of. the Athenaeum' s s e r i e s on l i v i n g a r t i s t s , p u b l i s h e d i n January of 1831, had t y p i c a l l y expressed t h i s p o i n t of view: We l i k e him ( W i l k i e ) , because he i s at once n a t u r a l and n a t i o n a l . - ...Scotland and England share him. between them, and though I t a l y and Spain have had him ..worshipping there f o r a season he has. now r e t u r n e d to h i s duty and a l l e g i a n c e , and i s busied with h i s magnificent p i c t u r e of John Knox subduing the S c a r l e t Lady. For t h i s w r i t e r and others, W i l k i e ' s Preaching of Knox marked a t i m e l y r e t u r n to the n a t i o n a l themes they p r e f e r r e d . 48 Not t h a t these nine c r i t i c s b e l i e v e d W i l k i e ' s 'Continental . tour had. been a waste, of time. On the -contrary, they f e l t t h a t h i s t r a v e l s and s t u d i e s of the European old masters had greatly, r e f i n e d h i s s t y l e . T h i s r e f i n e - ment was a c r u c i a l element i n supporting t h e i r second, claim t h a t the p i c t u r e was a f i n e academic h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g . Like L e s l i e , W i l k i e was p r e s e n t i n g the academy p u b l i c with a l e s s e r known s i d e . o f h i s work. H i s r e p u t a t i o n was not based on h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g , but r a t h e r on h i s scenes of S c o t t i s h and E n g l i s h low l i f e . As one reviewer u n k i n d l y remembered,. h i s previous, two, attempts at h i s t o r y 12 p a i n t i n g had f a i l e d miserably. By t u r n i n g to a le a r n e d and morally e l e v a t i n g , h i s t o r i c a l , theme,. W i l k i e was attempt- ing to enhance h i s a r t i s t i c s t a t u s , s i n c e i n academic c i r c l e s h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g was. considered s u p e r i o r to a l l other genres. More than any other category, h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g r e q u i r e d the f u l l range of academic s k i l l s : the p a i n t i n g had to be h i g h l y f i n i s h e d , , the s u b j e c t s u i t a b l y stressed,, and.human, f i g u r e s had, to be c o r r e c t l y p r o p o r t i o n e d , harmoniously grouped, and:noble i n c h a r a c t e r . Emphasis was- to be p l a c e d .on i d e a l , forms r a t h e r than s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s . . . . In the minds..of. the e x h i b i t i o n reviewers, W i l k i e ' s three-year study of the o l d masters had equipped him with the 49 necessary s k i l l s to make, the important t r a n s i t i o n from genre to h i s t o r y p a i n t e r . The L i t e r a r y . G a z e t t e observed: I t not. i n f r e q u e n t l y happens that our a r t i s t s , i n t h e i r v i s i t s , to the . c e l e b r a t e d g a l l e r i e s of the c o n t i n e n t , have c o n t r i v e d to weaken the powers.-.iwhich they c a r r i e d with them: Mr W i l k i e has not. only strengthened h i s , but appears to have awakened t a l e n t s h i t h e r t o dorman,t, of a h i g h e r c h a r a c t e r than the p u b l i c supposed him to possess.13 The w r i t e r was r e f e r r i n g to the e v o l u t i o n of W i l k i e ' s mature s t y l e which ..was. c h a r a c t e r i z e d by darker c o l o u r i n g , l o o s e r brushwork and h e a v i e r g l a z e s . W i l k i e c r e d i t e d h i s Spanish experience f o r developing what he c o n s i d e r e d a f a s t e r , bolder and.more, e f f e c t i v e s t y l e , which was b e t t e r s u i t e d f o r l a r g e r s c a l e h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g than h i s e a r l i e r more l a b o r i o u s technique."^ W i l k i e ' s new i n t e r e s t i n a r t i s t s . l i k e Rubens and Velasquez must have c o n t r i b u t e d to the. unprecedented . dynamism and mo.nu- me n t a l i t y which the. Spectator' detected i n the p i c t u r e : We f e e l a l i t t l e personal, e x u l t a t i o n at W i l k i e ' s success i n a:.picture of t h i s c l a s s ; because, when we saw h i s sketches of Spanish s u b j e c t s . . . wherein he gave the f i r s t i n d i c a t i o n s of that power and grandeur of .which, c h a r a c t e r i z e the p r e s e n t p i c t u r e , we....hailed them as m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of a s o a r i n g genius a n d , a n t i c i p a t e d f o r him the fame of an h i s t o r i c a l p a i n t e r . 15 However,, d e s p i t e the c r i t i c s ' enthusiasm f o r h i s t o r i c a l p i c t u r e s , by 1832 they seem to have been a dying 50 breed i n academy e x h i b i t i o n s . . T h i s f a c t . e v i d e n t l y worried the m a j o r i t y of c r i t i c s , l i k e the writer, f o r the Morning: Herald, who. .commented, on t h e i r disappearance: I t i s g r e a t l y to be r e g r e t t e d that i n t h i s land of wealth and .luxury there i s found so l i t t l e r i g h t f e e l i n g or encouragement f o r h i s t o r i c a l p a i n t i n g , that men of high and o r i g i n a l genius, are o b l i g e d to abandon t h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l , walk of a r t to l i v e by p a i n t i n g p o r t r a i t s . The p i c t u r e before us i s another proof of what our n a t i v e school can.. achieve i n the higher grades of t h i s i n t e r e s t i n g p r o f e s s i o n . ° A c t u a l l y , with, the exception of. The Preaching of Knox, there was only a h a n d f u l of other q u a s i - h i s t o r i c a l s u b j e c t s i n the whole e x h i b i t i o n . However, these were v a r i o u s l y d ismissed as. s e r i o u s contenders: two.being only sketches, another more of a marine p a i n t i n g , and a t h i r d e n t i r e l y 17 l a c k i n g h e r o i c sentiments.. This meant that W i l k i e was e s s e n t i a l l y competing i n a c l a s s by h i m s e l f , as the Spectator pointed.out, " W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e i s the f i n e s t , nay almost the o n l y . r e a l h i s t o r i c a l p i c t u r e i n the Ex- h i b i t i o n " . Under these circumstan.ces, one wonders why h i s t o r - i c a l p a i n t i n g was., defended and • even. promoted In the face of i t s apparent demise. I t seems that c r i t i c s w r i t i n g f o r Tory and Whig papers had . d i f f e r e n t motives f o r applaud- in g W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e . . Tory c r i t i c s used W i l k i e ' s success 51 as a co.unter-offensive manoeuvre to defend the academy ag a i n s t mounting Whig and R a d i c a l demands f o r i t s reform. Old standards l i k e t h a t of h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g were r e v i v e d to p r o t e c t the academy from new c h a l l e n g e s . The success of the p i c t u r e demonstrated the c o n t i n u i n g v i a b i l i t y of the e x i s t i n g academic . s t r u c t u r e - - a f t e r a l l , i t s t i l l produced the f i n e s t examples.of B r i t i s h a r t . While Whig c r i t i c s shared the T o r i e s ' p a t r i o t i c sentiments, they seem to have h e l d a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t view of the s i t u a t i o n . They dwelled on W i l k i e ' s achieve- ments as an outstanding.exception to the academy's dismal r u l e of m e d i o c r i t y . Furthermore, f o r s e v e r a l Whig w r i t e r s W i l k i e seems to have represented the c l a s s i c m i d d l e - c l a s s success s t o r y . The Athenaeum 1s a r t i c l e on W i l k i e had focused on h i s humble S c o t t i s h o r i g i n s , emphasizing that "he was d i s c i p l i n e d , i n no school and t r a i n e d i n no academy" The a r t i c l e continued .to o u t l i n e how. W i l k i e , an o u t s i d e r , had won academic, stat u s through a combination of hard work and n a t u r a l a b i l i t y . On t h i s l e v e l , Wilkie.'s accomplish- ment was.an i n s p i r a t i o n , f o r a l l s o c i a l l y a s p i r i n g members of the middle clas.s.--if he could acquire an i n f l u e n t i a l p o s i t i o n at the .Royal • Acade.my, then so. could they i n the Academy,, f a s h i o n a b l e s o c i e t y , and even i n parliament. 52 The p r o g r e s s i v e p o l i t i c a l connotations of W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e were a l s o an e s s e n t i a l , i n g r e d i e n t i n the Whig c r i t i c s ' pos-itive assessment, of the image. Three Whig papers e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y , p r a i s e d Knox's, r o l e i n the Re- formation, an. event, which, c o r r e c t e d many abuses i n the o l d C a t h o l i c a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . . . D i s c u s s i o n focused on the f i g u r e of Knox as a. dynamic, agent of reform, and p r o g r e s s , as the Spe c f a t or recorded.: Knox. .. appears., l i k e a great black eagle about to swoop down, on the p r i e s t l y band before him; he leans .over the p u l p i t , from which he i s launching f o r t h . h i s d enunciations, h i s eyes f l a s h i n g f i r e , and h i s hands clenched as i f he would s e i z e upon, t h e i r g i l d e d mitres i n h i s f a n a t i c rage. Nothing can be f i n e r on con- ception, or be.tter expressed than t h i s f i g u r e ; i t i s at once c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the man and h i s sect.^Q The words " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of. the man and h i s s e c t " are p a r t i c u l a r l y r e v e a l i n g . The Reform C r i s i s had provoked a renewed outbreak of r e l i g i o u s c o n f l i c t between the o f f i c i a l A n g l i c a n church, on the. one hand and. Roman C a t h o l i c s and the pre-1828 d i s s e n t i n g , s.ects. ( i n c l u d i n g P r e s b y t e r i a n s i n r n - l l \ +i„ 21. The A n g l i c a n church s t r o n g l y England.} on the other. B & J supported the Tory p a r t y ' s opposition, to reform, while C a t h o l i c s a n d . d i s s e n t e r s united.behind the Whigs to form a powerful., reform lobby. As the Reform C r i s i s i n t e n s i f i e d , the A n g l i c a n . church became- i n c r e a s i n g l y unpopular since many A n g l i c a n bishop.s sat i n the House, of Lords and a c t - i v e l y endorsed the Lyndhurst motion to delay the Reform B i l l . 53 A cartoon e n t i t l e d Reform and Reformation ( f i g . 6) by John Doyle, p u b l i s h e d by McLean.in November of 1831, r i d i c u l e d , the Anglicans', u n p o p u l a r i t y . Doyle d e p i c t e d an angry crowd of reformers attacking, what they b e l i e v e d was an A n g l i c a n bishop's coach, but i n s t e a d . i t was a C a t h o l i c bishop i n s i d e who was...able to. claim,. "I am the reform 22 bishop not the P r o t e s t a n t bishop". In 1832 even the most orthodox.Catholics.were more s o c i a l l y p r o g r e s s i v e than the A n g l i c a n church.. The sub j e c t of P r e s b y t e r i a n reform s i m i l a r l y c a r r i e d strong pro-reform connotations i n 1832, s i n c e a f t e r a l l . P r e s b y t e r i a n s were p a r t of t h i s 23 a c t i v e outspoken; reform lobby. By p r a i s i n g Knox's reform as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c .of, h i s sect., the Spectator, and the other papers i n t h i s group implied, approval of p r o g r e s s i v e Pres- 2/ b y t e r i a n a c t i v i t i e s . b o t h . h i s t o r i c a l l y and i n 1832. However, the p i c t u r e ' s . a p p e a l was. not l i m i t e d . t o a Whig audience.. C r i t i c s w r i t i n g f o r Tory p u b l i c a t i o n s were a l s o q u i t e e n t h u s i a s t i c , although t h e . s u b j e c t of Presby- t e r i a n reform with, i t s pro-Reform B i l l connotations must have r e q u i r e d a. c e r t a i n amo.un.t of r a t i o n a l i z i n g from Tory reviewers. The, L i t e r a r y Gazette nervously v o i c e d some m i s g i v i n g s : 5U I t i s impossible to contemplate .this p i c t o r i a l r e c o r d of a n . h i s t o r i c a l f a c t without being awfully, sensible, of.the powerful e f f e c t s which have, i n former times., r e s u l t e d from the o r a t o r y of the p u l p i t . 2 5 E x p r e s s i n g a s i m i l a r a n x i e t y , the F r a s e r ' s c r i t i c c a l l e d 2 6 Knox an "apostle, .of denunciation., and t e r r o r s " . Neverthe- l e s s , these conservative, c r i t i c s , managed, to n e u t r a l i z e the p a i n t i n g ' s pro-reform connotations .by f o c u s i n g upon the p a s s i v e r e a c t i o n s of. Kno.x.'.s genteel,, l a r g e l y a r i s t o c r a t i c audience. The c r i t i c s w r i t i n g f o r Tory papers claimed that W i l k i e had s u c c e s s f u l l y moderated . Knox' s vehemence by surrounding the preacher .with q u i e t , gentle,, female f i g u r e s who abs orbed ..his .energy ( i . e . , the two women and baby who almost .timidly draw., away, from the speaker, and the Countess of A r g y l l . a n d her female, attendant i n the c e n t r e ) . As the, Morning. Post, w r i t e r noted: The f i g u r e and. a c t i o n of. the preacher are wrought to. the h i g h e s t p i t c h of p i c t o r i a l energy, which i s s k i l f u l l y d i f f u s e d i n the l e s s e n i n g c h a r a c t e r s throughout•the crowded congregation., u n t i l I t is. at. length e n t i r e l y l o s t i n the repose.- of. the unconscious babe i n i t s mother's arms.^V By c o n f i n i n g the a c t i v i t y to Knox and emphasizing the r e f i n e d q u a l i t y of the audience, the Tory c r i t i c s e f f e c t i v e l y dismantled the p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous conno- t a t i o n s of the s u b j e c t . A r e s p e c t a b l e group of a r i s t o c r a t s 55 and e c c l e s i a s t i . e s . c o u l d . h a r d l y be equated with revo- l u t i o n a r y , r a b b l e , and.furthermore, the s i t u a t i o n c ould not have been very, dangerous.with no.ble ladies, and c h i l d r e n i n attendance. In f a c t , the Tory w r i t e r s seem to have be- l i e v e d t h a t Knox's- w e l l - d r e s s e d , p o l i t e l y a t t e n t i v e l i s t e n e r s were f i r m l y rooted., to. t h e i r seats and i n c a p a b l e of forming the angry mob; which . attacked, a number of C a t h o l i c churches a f t e r the sermon. Despite the i n - accuracy of t h i s .interpretation.. (Knox's sermon d i d i n c i t e h i s f o l l o w e r s to s.uch. acts.).,, the Tory c r i t i c s ' comforting i l l u s i o n of calm,, s t a b i l i t y and . g e n t i l i t y enabled them to e x t r a p o l a t e a . d i f f e r e n t s t r u c t u r e of values from the p a i n t i n g ; a s t r u c t u r e which str e s s e d . t h e importance of a u t h o r i t y , r e s p e c t and. the maintenance of order. These were important concepts in. Tory i d e o l o g y and key words i n Tory anti-reform, r h e t o r i c i n 1832... In the eyes of these reviewers, W i l k i e had . depicted, a ..religious reform movement c a r e f u l l y d i r e c t e d by i t s l e a d e r and,.the, upper echelons of s o c i e t y ; a movement which, bore l i t t l e resemblance to the Reform C r i s i s with i t s mass a g i t a t i o n from the lower and middle c l a s s e s . Although W i l k i e '.s p i c t u r e was p r a i s e d by both Whigs and Tories., i t h e l d c o n s i d e r a b l y less, appeal f o r the c r i t i c of the r a d i c a l Examiner. The f i r s t sentence of the 56 Examiner's review.condemned the s u b j e c t of W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e f o r being " s e c t a r i a n and exclusive.... and t h e r e f o r e not so 28 w e l l c a l c u l a t e d ,to- g r a t i f y the general t a s t e " . In con- t r a s t to I t s f r e q u e n t l y negative, i m p l i c a t i o n s i n conser- v a t i v e language to.mean, the debased t a s t e of the lowest common denominator., i n this., i n s t a n c e "general t a s t e " connoted the p o s i t i v e q u a l i t i e s of a l l . s o c i a l c l a s s e s . Instead of claiming,, t h a t The.. Preaching of Knox re p r e s e n t e d the B r i t i s h nation,, the Examiner p o i n t e d out that the p a i n t i n g had. a l i m i t e d and e x c l u s i v e appeal. Here the c r i t i c seems to .have been r e f e r r i n g to the f a c t t h a t c e r t a i n r e l i g i o u s .groups, p a r t i c u l a r l y C a t h o l i c s , would have been unable to ..appreciate the image. In a d d i t i o n , and even more. imp or.tant fr.om t h i s w r i t e r ' s p o i n t of view, was the f a c t t h a t both. the.academy and the type of high a r t i t championed ( i . e . , W i l k i e ' s p a i n t i n g ) were beyond the reach...of the. working masses. The Examiner reviewer disapproved, of the " s e c t - a r i a n " nature of the subject, f o r s p e c i f i c reasons. In c o n t r a s t to-Whig w r i t e r s f o r whom the concept c a r r i e d progressive, connotations of the. P r e s b y t e r i a n reform lobby, the Examiner c r i t i c f o u n d . i t c a r r i e d r e t r o g r e s s i v e asso- . c i a t i o n s of r e l i g i o u s i n t o l e r a n c e , p a r t i c u l a r l y the r e p r e s s i o n of C a t h o l i c s - - a n i s s u e .about which the paper 57 was most s e n s i t i v e . . As d i s c u s s e d e a r l i e r , o f f i c i a l t o l - e r a t i o n f o r C a t h o l i c s had., been .a burning p o l i t i c a l i s s u e throughout the l a t e twenties... The Examiner had l e d the crusade f o r C a t h o l i c Emancipation, v i g o r o u s l y denouncing the A n g l i c a n establishment, f o r r e s i s t i n g the measure. E v i d e n t l y the Examiner c r i t i c , read W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e as an o l d - f a s h i o n e d and.dangerously.narrow-minded p r o - P r o t e s t a n t statement. Confronte.d with W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e , the c r i t i c f e l t i t necessary to e x p l a i n that although Knox's r e l i g i o u s i n t o l e r a n c e was excusable i n the s i x t e e n t h century, i t was unfortunate . t h a t s.uch. views p e r s i s t e d , i n the 183"0s. both i n t o l e r a n t , .and. oppressive, i t must be r e - membered, t h a t j u s t i c e i n matters of r e l i g i o n was a . v i r t u e unknown t o h i s age, and i s one. which has h a r d l y taken root, i n the p r e s e n t . v By s u p p o r t i n g the cause, of r e l i g i o u s t o l e r a t i o n , the Examiner c r i t i c i n d i c a t e d h i s / h e r support f o r p o l i t - i c a l reform. In 1832 the r e p e a l of the C o r p o r a t i o n and Test Acts and. C a t h o l i c , Emancipation were, d i r e c t l y l i n k e d to p o l i t i c a l reform, being considered major.steps towards s e c u r i n g a new c o n s t i t u t i o n . The r a d i c a l unstamped F i g a r o i n London p u b l i s h e d .a cartoon on. June l 6 t h , 1832 i n t o l e r a n c e and o p p o s i t i o n was h i m s e l f o c c a s i o n a l l y 58 e n t i t l e d , The.Reform M i l l G r i n d i n g the O l d . C o n s t i t u t i o n Young, which i l l u s t r a t e d this, conne.ction ( f i g . 7). The rungs on the reform ladder l a b e l l e d Emancipation and Test Acts l e a d to a . m i l l . An old., hag. p e r s o n i f y i n g the c o r r u p t o l d system which, is., supported by the " r o t t e n " borough crutches of Sarum. and. Gratton. f a l l s . i n t o the m i l l where she i s transformed, .into, a young lady by the power of the Whig l e a d e r s , Lords Grey and Brougham,, while John B u l l watches the. procedure with a p p r o v a l . The Examiner c e r t a i n - l y supported, the n o t i o n . o f progress, that t h i s cartoon d e p i c t e d . However, the paper detected.no evidence of such p r o g r e s s i v e sentiments i n W i l k i e ' s Preaching of Knox. In a d d i t i o n to. c r i t i c i z i n g W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e f o r i t s l i m i t e d , appeal and i n t o l e r a n t , .subject, the Examiner u n h e s i t a t i n g l y p o i n t e d out. a . number of formal f l a w s : Had the l i g h t been more concentrated, the f i g u r e s , l e s s crowded., some vacant space l e f t to r e l i e v e the .eye and show o f f to advantage the d i f f e r e n t groups - had the. g a l l e r y not come so.forward, i n the p i c t u r e , the e f f e c t would have been improved.30 Although the reviewer p r a i s e d W i l k i e f o r attempting an h i s t o r i c a l p i c t u r e , c l e a r l y she/he d i d not t h i n k i t was very s u c c e s s f u l . U n l i k e the other nine c r i t i c s , the Examiner, f e l t W i l k i e ' s t a l e n t s were b e t t e r employed p a i n t i n g popular genre s u b j e c t s : 59 I t (The Preaching of, Knox) i s by an a r t i s t who has obtained, a name by works of a very d i f f e r e n t c l a s s , , and to which, we suspect, he w i l l i n the end be mainly indebted f o r -his deservedly high reputation.31 The deviant nature o f . t h e Examiner 1s review can be l a r g e l y explained.by the f a c t t h a t i t appeared i n England's most r a d i c a l le.gall.y p u b l i s h e d newspaper. Although the Examiner was produced, and read mainly by m i d d l e - c l a s s u t i l i t a r i a n s . , i t a l l i e d , i t s e l f with the working c l a s s ..on many i s s u e s , i n c l u d i n g u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e , f o r which i t was of t e n p r a i s e d by the Poor.Man's Guardian, one of the l a r g e s t , most outspoken and i n f l u e n t i a l un- 32 stamped newspapers. .The Examiner's support f o r u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e and.the unstamped press s i g n i f i c a n t l y separated t h i s paper from the more moderate Whig and. Tory p o s i t i o n s of the other nine p u b l i c a t i o n s reviewing the e x h i b i t i o n . Support f o r W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e and i n t e r e s t i n the academy, e x h i b i t i o n i n general, came. from, a p a r t i c u l a r s e c t o r of the pr e s s - - t h e l e g a l stamped newspapers- and p r e s i t g i o u s monthly journals.. In the e a r l y 1830s.the E n g l i s h press was d i v i d e d . i n t o ..two d i s t i n c t and mutually h o s t i l e cate- g o r i e s : the . l e g a l stamped .press of. the establishment which p a i d the four penny tax on each paper s o l d and the i l l e g a l r a d i c a l unstamped, press, which was. v i g o r o u s l y prosecuted by 60 the government, on the grounds., of. tax evasion.^" 5 However, the government's r e a l reason f o r suppressing unstamped newspapers was t h e . t h r e a t they posed to p u b l i c order through t h e i r p e r s i s t e n t . a.tta.c.ks on p r o p e r t y and p r i v i l e g e , demands for, u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e and cheap knowledge, and e n t h u s i a s t i c support f o r s o c i a l i s t a n d . r a d i c a l labour o r g a n i z a t i o n s . . During the R e f o r m . C r i s i s , unstamped newspaper s a l e s skyrocketed, f a r s u r p a s s i n g those of the 35 stamped press... P r e d i c t a b l y i t . was the stamped press that covered events at. the f a s h i o n a b l e Royal Academy. Readers of the unstamped penny p r e s s , members of the urban working c l a s s . and. lower m i d d l e - c l a s s R a d i c a l s , had l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n an e x h i b i t i o n t h a t was. f i n a n c i a l l y and s o c i a l l y beyond, t h e i r means. The unstamped, press, g e n e r a l l y seems to have r e g a r d e d . a r t and l i t e r a t u r e as the contaminated p r o p e r t y of s o c i e t y ' s e l i t e . An advertisement, p u b l i s h e d i n the Poor Man's Guardian i n October of 1831, promoted the f i r s t and only uh.s tamped. c u l t u r a l review, the L i t e r a r y Test, by s t a t i n g , that..this paper was designed to judge l i t e r a t u r e and the f i n e a r t s . w i t h improved independent 37 standards .that .would be r e l e v a n t to a l l s o c i a l c l a s s e s . As the advertisement pointed, out, t h e i r new approach was warranted since the e x i s t i n g reviews i n the stamped press spoke only f o r . the upper classe.s. The purpose, of the j o u r n a l was t o : 61 ...expose the cru e l . a n d oppressive f a l l a c i e s which support the p r e s e n t outrageous system of i n e q u a l i t y , and. which i t i s the aim of almost a l l th.e past, and .present l i t e r a t u r e to e s t a b l i s h u p to the present time, both authors and reviewers have . i n v a r i a b l y belonged to the upper classes, o.f s o c i e t y , to. whose views and. i n t e r e s t s they have, n a t u r a l l y conformed themselves, not only from i n c l i n a t i o n , but a l s o f o r the sake of patronage on which they have been so .dependent... but t h e i r dependence i s u n f o r t u n a t e l y degenerated i n t o the most a b j e c t s l a v e r y ; and they are.content to become the h i r e l i n g s c r i b e s of i n t e r e s t e d p a r t i e s... 38 Even though readers and w r i t e r s of the unstamped press n e i t h e r attended .nor. reviewed, the academy e x h i b i t i o n , the nine establishment c r i t i c s defended. W i l k i e ' s p i c t u r e i n response to the t h r e a t they b e l i e v e d t h i s group posed. T h e i r p a r a n o i a was ..based, on the surrounding atmosphere of p o l i t i c a l c r i s i s . R a d i c a l groups i n the lower middle and working, c l a s s e s were marching out i n the s t r e e t s demanding the r i g h t to. vote, and p a r t i c i p a t e i n a govern- ment that had . t r a d i t i o n a l l y governed them--a f a c t which t e r r i f i e d T o r i e s who f i r m l y r e j e c t e d u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e . Even moderate Whigs were growing more anxious about the mounting expressions of R a d i c a l d i s c o n t e n t d u r i n g May of 39 1832. For respectable.academy viewers of both p a r t i e s , the demand.s . of the Radicals, .had f r i g h t e n i n g i m p l i c a t i o n s - - i f granted p o l i t i c a l , power, s u r e l y these new groups would demand a share, i n the establishment's p r o p e r t y and p o s i t i o n s . 62 In terms of.the academy, they would a l s o expect to e x e r c i s e a e s t h e t i c judgements which.would.undermine the e x i s t i n g form of high, c u l t u r e . The c o n s e r v a t i v e c r i t i c of F r a s e r 1 s Magazine v o i c e d these f e a r s : Our modern reformers on the c o n t r a r y of a l l c l a s s e s , .reverence.nothing - not even themselves. No sympathy have they with, aught t h a t i s generous i n f e e l i n g . o r d i g n i f i e d i n sentiment; and whatever i s not d e c i d e d l y i n unison with t h e i r sympathies, that do they s u l l e n l y hate. Of our present i l l u m i n a t i , newspapers and c a r i c a t u r e s c o n s t i t u t e almost e x c l u s i v e l y t h e i r whole of l i t e r a t u r e and of a r t ; and these, again, are popular i n p r o - p o r t i o n as they are /brutal, and f e r o c i o u s . Unless something occurs to i n t e r p o s e a t i m e l y check to our p r e s e n t unnatural, po.si.tion, the m i l l i o n w i l l , ere l ong, be the p r i n c i p a l i f not s o l e a r b i t e r s • i n a l l matters of t a s t e . . . 4 U The F r a s e r ' s reviewer .demonstrates.a type of c u l t u r a l defence me onanism.often employed to safeguard the estab- lishment's hegemony. In the same review, popular a r t forms ( c a r i c a t u r e s ) were att a c k e d f o r t h e i r b i a s e d p o s i t i o n , , while the establishment's a r t at the academy was p r a i s e d for. t r a n s c e n d i n g s p e c i f i c i n t e r e s t s and r e - p r e s e n t i n g the e n t i r e B r i t i s h nation.. Such claims were c l e a r l y i d e o l o g i c a l , because, i n r a l i t y academic a r t was e q u a l l y one-sided embodying the. i n t e r e s t s of an e l i t e t h a t was i n c r e a s i n g l y threatened by impending changes i n the balance of power. The only paper to p o i n t out the p a r t i s a n nature 63 of academic . a r t was.-the. Examiner which was c r i t i c a l of both W i l k i e ' s a r t , and. the aca.de.my i n general.. The Examiner' s readers•sought' more than simply t h e i r own access to the House of Commons and. the Royal. Academy. In f a c t , d u r i n g the s i x months pre ceding,. the e x h i b i t i o n , , the Examiner had s y s t e m a t i c a l l y attacked.the Academy, not f o r e x c l u d i n g the middle c l a s s from i t s . .previews and. d i n n e r s , but r a t h e r as p a r t of. a .larger oppressive power, s t r u c t u r e . In one a r t i c l e the .Academy had. be.en. s a r c a s t i c a l l y compared to the House of Lords: ...the Royal Academy makes .the p a i n t e r , and not the p a i n t e r the t i t l e . ; j u s t as patents f o r peerage make . f i t n e s s for. l e g i s l a t i o n , and not f i t n e s s f o r l e g i s l a t i o n peers. 4-1 Both i n s t i t u t i o n s r.equired sweeping a l t e r a t i o n s to make them p u b l i c l y a c c e s s i b l e to a l l members of s o c i e t y and not the p r o p e r t y of. a. s e l e c t few.. For. the Examiner c r i t i c i t was neither, imperative to. promote .Wilkie' s p i c t u r e , nor to p r o t e c t the Academy, i n s t e a d both, were sh a r p l y c r i t i c i z e d f o r t h e i r l i m i t e d appeal and. an t i q u a t e d v a l u e s . The response to W i l k i e ' s Preaching of Knox demon- s t r a t e s a new l e v e l of c o n f l i c t at the .Royal Academy. Aside from d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m , by the Examiner reviewer who objected to the Academy i n ge n e r a l , and to W i l k i e ' s s h i f t to a more academic.genre a n d . s t y l e i n p a r t i c u l a r , the 64 p a i n t i n g appeared to transcend the. partisan., d i v i s i o n s which c h a r a c t e r i z e d the reviewers' responses, to L e s l i e ' s p i c t u r e . C e r t a i n l y the nine reviewers from the stamped press shared an .aversion to the. i n c r e a s i n g r a d i c a l i s m of the lower classes, and sought .to p r o t e c t the Academy a g a i n s t t h i s t h r e a t by r a l l y i n g to defend, the old, academic stand- ard of h i s t o r y painting... However, des p i t e the u n i t e d o p p o s i t i o n of Whigs and. T o r i e s .against the a g i t a t i o n of the working class., t h e i r c o n f l i c t i n g s.olutions to t h i s t h r e a t l e d the .two groups, of c r i t i c s to e x t r a p o l a t e opposite meanings from the image.. For T o r i e s , the p a i n t i n g j u s t i - f i e d the s t a t u s quo, while f o r Whigs, i t r e p r e s e n t e d t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s . f o r reform. Exposure of.the c r i t i c ' s c o n t r a - d i c t o r y motives s h a t t e r s the i l l u s i o n a r y concensus. Furthermore, the d i f f e r e n c e s between Whig and R a d i c a l p o s i t i o n s i n d i c a t e , that.even the p r o g r e s s i v e middle c l a s s was f a r from homogeneous. 65 Footnote s "'"The f i r s t comment appeared i n the Times (May 8, 1832) and the second i n . the. Spectator (.May. 12, 1832), p. 449 U n f o r t u n a t e l y , W i l k i e ' s extensive use of bitumen glazes d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d has..caused, extensive damage to the p a i n t e d s u r f a c e , p r i m a r i l y i n terms of c r a c k i n g , f l a k i n g , and darkening which, have almost, destroyed some p a r t s of the p i c t u r e e n t i r e l y . For a d i s c u s s i o n of W i l k i e ' s l a t e r d i s a s t r o u s < technique., see Lord. Ronald. Sutherland Gower, S i r David W i l k i e (London:.George B e l l and Sons, 1902), • pp. 88-88, and David ..and . Francina...Irwin, S c o t t i s h P a i n t e r s at Home and Abroad 17.00. - . 1900, (London.: Faber and Faber, 1975), p. 183. Whitley.,' A r t i n England, pp. 233-234 i n c l u d e s an account from. a. contemporary witness, Salomon Hart, who commented.on the d e t e r i o r a t i o n of the Knox pane l between the time he. saw i t on W i l k i e ' s e a s e l and when i t was l a t e r purchased f o r the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y i n 1871: The c o l o u r i n g was b r i l l i a n t a n d . r i c h , and the shadows, even i n the.extreme depths, pure and t r a n s p a r e n t . Now a l a s ! How changed, and how p a i n f u l i s the memory of that.change! I t can h a r d l y be r e a l i z e d , save by one who saw i t on the e a s e l . The composition, the drawing, the char- a c t e r , of course remain, but the tone has become black and the "keeping" destroyed. N e v e r t h e l e s s , i n the foreground area.one can s t i l l see the p a i n s W i l k i e .took...to render accurately- the s u r f a c e s and t e x t u r e s of the garments., f u r n i s h i n g s , and a r c h i - t e c t u r a l d e t a i l s . ^For a d i s c u s s i o n of the importance.of t h i s sermon, c o n s u l t Jasper R i d l e y , John Knox (New York: Oxford Uni- v e r s i t y Press, 1968.), pp. 324-327. 3 C a t h o l i c . Emancipation meant that. the. Roman C a t h o l i c s e r v i c e was no.longer i l l e g a l and t h a t .Catholics could now l e g a l l y i n h e r i t p r o p e r t y , give t h e i r c h i l d r e n a C a t h o l i c education, hold...of f i c e , i n i t i a t e l e g a l , a c t i o n , l i v e i n London, and not be banished, f o r t h e i r r e l i g i o u s f a i t h . For f u r t h e r d e t a i l s , . . c o n s u l t Cowherd,. P o l i t i c s , of E n g l i s h D i s s e n t , chap.2 "The Growth of R e l i g i o u s L i b e r t y " . 66 I t was. mainly on account, of Lord L i v e r p o o l ' s strenuous o b j e c t i o n s .thai.. Canning's C a t h o l i c R e l i e f B i l l f a i l e d to pass parliament in. 1822. For a d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s and other of Lord L i v e r p o o l ' s acts opposing C a t h o l i c t o l e r a t i o n , .consult The D i c t i o n a r y of N a t i o n a l Biography under Robert Banks. Jenkinson, Second.Earl, of L i v e r p o o l (1770 - 1828)', pp. 748-752.. Acc o r d i n g to the. Irwins.., S c o t t i s h P a i n t e r s , p. 176., W i l k i e : f i r s t t r i e d to . i n t e r e s t .King George IV i n the Knox s u b j e c t , but the King ap p a r e n t l y d i s l i k e d the subj e c t , e x p r e s s i n g a...strong preference f o r something humorous. Gower mentions j£l,30.0. as .the p r i c e P e e l p a i d f o r the commission, see Gower, W i l k i e , p. 75. ^W i l k i e ' s n a t i o n a l i s m i s d i s c u s s e d by the Irwins, S c o t t i s h P a i n t e r s , chap. 10. Among other t h i n g s , the Irwins mention Wilkie.'s: membership i n v a r i o u s S c o t t i s h n a t i o n a l i s t s o c i e t i e s . . ( i . e. The Highland S o c i e t y ) , and c i t e h i s w i l l i n g n e s s to help young S c o t t i s h a r t i s t s secure patrons, admission..to famous c o l l e c t i o n s and good l o c a t i o n s f o r t h e i r p i c t u r e s i n the Royal Academy e x h i - b i t i o n . In 1827 at a.dinner, given i n h i s honour i n Rome, W i l k i e gave a speech about.the common purpose and i d e n t i t y of S c o t t i s h p a i n t e r s . 7 The L i f e of John Knox by Thomas McGrie was f i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n 1814-.. By 1831, a. f i f t h e d i t i o n of t h i s biography had been released.. According to v a r i o u s book reviews' of the f i f t h e d i t i o n , t h i s seems, to have been considered the most, accurate and. i n f o r m a t i v e biography on Knox, by both Whig and Tory reviewers. 8 Spec t a t or (May .12,. 1832), p. AA9 • 9Times (May 8, 1832). ~^0f the fourt e e n p i c t u r e s , that W i l k i e had ex- h i b i t e d at the. Royal Acade.m.y since h i s r e t u r n from Spain i n 1828, nine were Spanish .and I t a l i a n s u b j e c t s . 1 1 ( . A l l a n Cunningham), "The L i v i n g A r t i s t s No. IV: David Wilkie,." Athenaeum. (January 1, 1831), p. 11. 67 Spectator .(May; 12, 1832)., p. 4-4-9- c i t e d h i s p i c t u r e s of A l f r e d and .The V i s i t , of. George ..the... Fourth to Holyrood as evidence of h i s previous. f a i l u r e s . The former was not e x h i b i t e d at .the ..Royal. Academy., while the. l a t t e r met with widespread . c r i t i c i s m .at the Royal Academy e x h i b i t i o n of 1830. 1 3 L i t e r a r y Gazette, (May 12, .1832), p. 298 "^Gower," W i l k i e , pp. 64-65 1 5 S p e c t a t o r .(May. 12, 1832), p. 449 l 6 M o r n i n g Herald (May. 7, 1832). 17 The f i r s t sketch .was W... E t t y ' s D e s t r o y i n g Angel which w i l l be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r . Although the c r i t i c s f e l t the work was - very . important., they t r e a t e d i t as a r e l i g i o u s or m y t h o l o g i c a l v i s i o n , r a t h e r than as a h i s t - o r i c a l s u b j e c t . In addition.,, i t s . " u n f i n i s h e d " q u a l i t i e s r u l e d i t out from being;a s e r i o u s contender to W i l k i e ' s p a i n t i n g . The other sketch, .was C. Arnald's B a t t l e of Na_s_eby (ho. 37), and the h i s t o r y .- marine p a i n t i n g was J.M.W. Turner's' The.' P r i n c e of .Orange,, afterwards W i l l i a m I I I , l a n d i n g at Torbay, November 5th,' 1688. (no. 369) which was d i s c u s s e d .with Turner's three other marine p a i n t i n g s S t a f f a,. Van Tromp.' s Shallop and H elvoe t s l u y s as a sea p i e c e . Constable.'s ..Waterloo Bridge from W h i t e h a l l S t a i r s (no. 279), commemorating the opening of the br i d g e , was h a r d l y an eleva.ted. h i s t o r i c a l theme., and George Jone's' Death of S i r John Mo.ore (no. 7) seems to have been r e j e c t e d f o r i t s lack, of her oic, sentiment s. I t was only summarily mentioned by a couple of c r i t i c s . 1 S p e c t a t o r . (May 12, 1832), p. 450. ~*"9Athenaeurn (.January . 1, 1831), p. 10. 2 S p e c t a t o r , (May .12,. 1832), p. 449. Under the Act of Union (1707), England and Sco t l a n d had r e t a i n e d t h e i r d i f f e r e n t . o f f i c i a l . r e l i g i o n s , - - A n g l i c a n i s m i n England and Presbyterianism. i n Scotland. P r e s b y t e r i a n s were co n s i d e r e d d i s s e n t e r s i n .England u n t i l 1828. 68 22 Doyle drew the idea, f o r the cartoon from an i n c i d e n t which i s be l i e v e d . t o . have taken.place near Bath when a mob atta c k e d the coach of.the C a t h o l i c Bishop of Cork, mistaking him f o r an A n g l i c a n bishop. See G.M. Trevel y a n , ed. , The Seven' Years., of William. .IV : A R.eign Cartooned by John Doyle (London: Avalon.Press and W i l l i a m Heinemann Lt d . , 1952)., no. XXV. 23 Although the subject, of. the P r e s b y t e r i a n Re- formation simultaneously c a r r i e d connotations of C a t h o l i c r e p r e s s i o n , only the c o n s e r v a t i v e Morning H e r a l d (May 7, 1832) used the oppo r t u n i t y to. c r i t i c i z e the " p r i e s t l y tyranny and u s u r p a t i o n " . .Instead Whig, papers dwelled on the Reform theme. 2/ For a d i s c u s s i o n . of. the important r o l e of the d i s s e n t i n g sects i n a g i t a t i n g f o r the Reform B i l l , see Cowherd,. P o l i t i c s , chap.. 5 "The Reform B i l l of 1832". 2 5 L i t e r a r y Gazette (May 12, 1832), p. 298. 26 F r a s e r ' s Magazine.(July, 1832), p. 717 2 7 M o r n i n g Post. (May. 5, 1832). 2 8 E x a m i n e r (June 3,. 1832), p. 357. 2 9 I b i d . 30 T, . , I b i d . 3 1 E x a m i n e r (May 27, 1832)., p.. 340... The f a c t t h a t the' Examiner c r i t i c accepted., the high status of h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g , and admired. W i l k i e ' s. genre subj.ec.ts, which pre- sented a f a i r l y p a t r o n i z i n g view of the lower c l a s s , seems at odds with the paper's s u p p o r t . f o r the R a d i c a l cause. To some extent, t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n . c a n .be e x p l a i n e d by the paper's p e c u l i a r p o s i t i o n , as. a r e s p e c t a b l e . m i d d l e - c l a s s stamped newspaper, which supported equality"f/or-~ the working " c l a s s . 69 32 The Examiner's support f o r u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e was c i t e d i n an. ar.ti.cle by Henry Hetherington e n t i t l e d "Mr. Carpenter and. the Reform B i l l , " The Poor Man' s Guardian (November 19, 1831). 3 3 The i l l e g a l i t y of the unstamped.press stemmed from the S i x Acts of December 1819 which f o l l o w e d the c o n f r o n t a t i o n a t P e t e r l o o . The. S i x Acts t i g h t e n e d up the d e f i n i t i o n of a newspaper, and r e q u i r e d a l l papers to pay a four penny tax.. The . laws.were . p r i m a r i l y d i r - ected towards suppressing, cheap r a d i c a l ..working c l a s s t r a c t s and newspapers. U s e f u l d i s c u s s i o n s on the unstamped pr e s s can be found i n J . Holland. Rose,. "The .Unstamped, Press__1815_- 1836," E n g l i s h H i s t o r i c a l Review 12 .'(October, 1897): 711-726, and i n P a t r i c i a H o l l i s , . The: Pauper. P r e s s : A Study i n Working-Class' R a d i c a l i s m of. the 1830s (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press,. 1970). 3 5 Sales f i g u r e s f o r Henry HetheringtonVs Poor Man's Guardian, the leading•unstamped newspaper duri n g 1832 - 33 ranged from 12, 00.0. - 15,000 copies per i s s u e , while f i g u r e s f o r the stamped press ..are estimated as. f o l l o w s : the Times was approximately. 10, 000. . c o p i e s t h e Morning H e r a l d was 7,000 copies, and b.o.th the Morning Po.s.t. and Morning C h r o n i c l e hovered around the 5,000 copy mark, see, H o l l i s , Pauper Press, p. 123. Rose, E n g l i s h H i s t o r i c a l , p. 721 estimates the Poor Man's Guardian'.s c i r c u l a t i o n to,.he 16, 000 copies i n 1833. Of course, the number of readers was. much higher than the s a l e s f i g u r e s i n d i c a t e . Stamped newspapers c i r c u l a t e d i n reading-rooms, c o f f e e and.public houses and p r i v a t e c l u b s , while unstamped .newspapers were exchanged at w orking-class c o f f e e houses east-end p u b l i c houses, and read to groups .at work. . It. i s estimated t h a t the unstamped newspapers were read twenty times f o r each, paper s o l d . The f i g u r e f o r stamped,. newspapers . would, have . been c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s s i n c e more stamped .readers could., a f f o r d t h e i r own copy. The e d i t o r of the Poor Man's Guardian, James O'Brien, estimated that about 3, 0.00.. of "the • paper 1 s 12, 000 - 15, 000 buyers belonged .to the middle c l a s s . See H o l l i s , Pauper Press, p. 123' 70 37 The L i t e r a r y Test., only put out four i s s u e s i n the month of January of 1832 .and then ceased p u b l i c a t i o n , which suggests, that. l i t e r a t u r e and., the a r t s were not top p r i o r i t y i s s u e s f o r penny pr e s s readers i n 1832, see H o l l i s , . Pauper /Press, p. 322. - 3 8Poor Man'.s Guardian... (October 8, 1831) 39 The Whigs' mounting .anxiety d u r i n g the "days of May" i s discus.s.ed. .by Derek F r a s e r , "The A g i t a t i o n f o r Parl i a m e n t a r y Reform," in. Popular .Movements .1830 - 1850, ed. J.T. Ward (London: Macmillan .and .Co.. L t d . , 1970), pp. 4-6-4-7. The f i r s t , two. weeks of May saw an unprecedented number of popular.demonstrations, r a l l i e s and p r o t e s t meetings supporting, the B i l l , which a t t r a c t e d enormous crowds. F r a s e r estimates, t h a t i n only one week f i v e hundred meetings were h e l d and n e a r l y one thousand p e t i t i o n s were produced. AO. F r a s e r ' s Magazine ( J u l y , 1832), p. 711, Examiner (January 8, 1832), p. 20. F i g u r e 5. David W i l k i e , The Preaching of Knox, 1832 Tate G a l l e r y F i g u r e 6. John Doyle, Reform and Reformation, November 18, 1831 (G. M. Trevelyan, ed. The Seven Years of W i l l i a m IV: A Reign Cartooned by John Doyle. London: Avalon Press and W i l l i a m Heinimann Ltd., 1952. P l a t e 25.) 73 T H E B . E F O R J V X XvZXXiX, F O R G-IVIiaZDIIJG TBS OZiB C O n S T I X T J T I O N T O U K G . F i g u r e 7. Robert Seymour, The Reform M i l l f o r G r i n d i n g the Old C o n s t i t u t i o n Youn^, 1832 F i g a r o i n London (June 16, 1832), Page 115. 74- CHAPTER I I I The D e s t r o y i n g Angel, and Daemons.of E v i l by W i l l i a m E t t y F u r t h e r d i v i s i o n s , w i t h i n the ranks, of the pro- g r e s s i v e middle class... surfaced..during the d i s c u s s i o n surrounding W i l l i a m E.tty's three c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the Royal Academy, e x h i b i t i o n , the most c o n t r o v e r s i a l being The Pes t r o y i n g . Angel .and Daemons., of E v i l I n t e r r u p t i n g the Orgies of the .Vicious, and Intemperate. "A f i n i s h e d sketch of that, class, of compositions, c a l l e d by the Romans " V i s i o n s " not having t h e i r o r i g i n i n h i s t o r y or poetry.""'" ( f i g . 8 ) . This, paper. . on canvas "sketch" was q u i t e l a r g e (36 x 4-6 i n c h e s ) , .and h i g h l y f i n i s h e d , i n terms of c o l o u r i n g and d e t a i l s . I t had been commissioned by Henry Payne of L e i c e s t e r , about., whom l i t t l e i s known other than t h a t he p a i d £l30. f o r the p i c t u r e , 2 and apparently gave E t t y the freedom..to s e l e c t both the subject, and...style, a c c o r d i n g to a l a t e r review of the p a i n t i n g , by the c r i t i c , W i l l i a m Carey (under the pen-name R i d o l f i ) p u b l i s h e d i n the 3 Y o r k s h i r e Gazette i n November of 1832. Alexander G i l - c h r i s t , Etty,'s f i r s t biographer, noted..that a p r e l i m i n a r y sketch, of. the sub j e c.t. .dated, from 1822, although the f i n a l v e r s i o n was .not s t a r t e d u n t i l 1831.^ 75 The sketch depicts, the d e s t r u c t i o n of a crowd engaged-in. the " v i c i o u s " a c t i v i t i e s . o f gambling and sexual indulgence,,.in a .Roman temple of p l e a s u r e - - o r 5 v i c e as E t t y described.it... The d e s t r o y i n g angel descends on the temple. s t r i k i n g down. its..walls with b o l t s of l i g h t n i n g , while . the demons, of e v i l as.sist by s e i z i n g and c h a i n i n g various, .men and. women. Et.ty captured the moment- of greatest, i n t e n s i t y - - t h e b u i l d i n g i s c o l l a p s i n g , the demons are f o r c i b l y , abducting t h e i r v i c t i m s , while other humans... f l e e i n f e a r . The p r e v a i l i n g panic and con f u s i o n i s heightened by. clouds of smoke, s w i r l i n g d r a p e r i e s and f l a i l i n g g estures. The composition i s c a r e f u l l y . constructed,.according to the r u l e s of grand manner academic.painting which means that E t t y p a i d homage to the great t r a d i t i o n of the o l d masters. Although E t t y ' s sketch was, never, intended, f o r l a r g e s c a l e execution, i t s curved shape, composition, and. structure, of the background a r c h i t e c t u r e , n e v e r t h e l e s s .echo that,.of Raphael's Stanze frescoes, i n the. V a t i c a n . The three l a r g e arches s p r i n g i n g from p i e r s and .engaged, C o r i n t h i a n columns p a r t i c u l a r l y r e c a l l Raphael's E x p u l s i o n of Hellodorus.from the Temple ( f i g . 9). E t t y had seen the Stanze f r e s c o e s i n 1822, the same year t h a i he started,.the. preliminary, study f o r h i s sketch. E t t y ' s ..figures , l i k e those of h i s Renaissance 76 predecessor, were c a r e f u l l y arranged to. both, f i l l i n the s t a g e - l i k e a r c h i t e c t u r a l spa.ce and. contain, the dramatic scene. ̂  The muscular, p r o p o r t i o n s of the male f i g u r e s , e s p e c i a l l y the d e s t r o y i n g angel p o s s i b l y d e r i v e d from E t t y ' s a p p r e c i a t i o n . o f Michelangelo's S i s t i n e C e i l i n g 7 which he had. a l s o admired i n 1822. Beyond the obvious, importance of. such Renaissance models, Etty. a l s o. .seems to. have, drawn i n s p i r a t i o n from seventeenth-century Flemish p a i n t i n g . The crowded, over- l a p p i n g arrangement . of the f i g u r e s . a n d the d i a g o n a l l i n e s of t h e i r gestures resemble Ruben's' s Last Judgement a l t e r - p i e c e s ( f i g . 10)--a..comparison which was drawn by con- temporary r e v i e w e r s . F i n a l l y one should note t h a t the v a r i e d types, and poses, of E t t y ' s f i g u r e s c l e a r l y belonged to the academic p r a c t i c e of l i f e - d r a w i n g and copying from A n t i q u i t y . E t t y included, several..quotations, from c l a s s i c a l s c u l p t u r e which some of. the e x h i b i t i o n reviewers recog- nized.. The male. head, i n the lower l e f t was. modelled on the Laocoon, the seated male i n the centre turned away from the s p e c t a t o r r e c a l l s the Belvedere t o r s o , and s e v e r a l other f i g u r e s , were b e l i e v e d to have, been i n s p i r e d by metopes from the E l g i n Marbles, p a r t i c u l a r l y the demon s t r i d i n g o f f with, a f a i n t i n g woman thrown over h i s Q shoulder. 77 E t t y ' s a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n was p a r t of <sa widespread i n t e r e s t i n such, themes duri n g the e a r l y 1830s. P a i n t i n g s and engravings by John Martin, essays by Thomas C a r l y l e and sermons by, Henry I r v i n g which prophesied* - the end of the world a t t r a c t e d , huge , follo.wings . The great con- t r o v e r s i e s surrounding. C a t h o l i c Emancipation, the J u l y R e v o l u t i o n i n Fran.ee and., the Great Reform B i l l made Whigs, Tories, and. R a d i c a l s f e e l as though they were standing on the b r i n k of a new s o c i a l order — f o r b e t t e r or worse. Although E t t y ' s sketch g e n e r a l l y projected, a t i m e l y theme of chaos and .destruction, i t a l s o c a r r i e d r a t h e r more s p e c i f i c connotations, f o r d i f f e r e n t groups, not a l l of whom l i k e d the image. Conservative c r i t i c s h e a r t i l y approved of E t t y ' s v i s i o n of super-human vengeance. For them i t a p t l y i l l u s t r a t e d . the.ir own gloomy b e l i e f that England, l i k e E t t y ' s Roman scene, wa.s doomed ..to r u i n . This theme of nat i o n a l , d e c l i n e wa.s. discussed. at . great ..length i n an anony- mous. Tory a r t i c l e on the subversion of a n c i e n t governments which appeared i n the .Quarterly Review i n J u l y of 1831. The a r t i c l e , b a s i c a l l y argued. that. "... the f a t a l blow- to the l i b e r t i e s of both Athens and. Rome was. d e a l t through the 11 v i o l a t e d r i g h t s of.the p r i v i l e g e d orders." Only d i v i n e 78 i n t e r v e n t i o n could turn back the advancing t i d a l wave of democracy t h a t threatened .to.. engulf them. In June of 1831, another Tory a r t i c l e i n Blackwood 1 s Magazine a r t i c u - l a t e d these concerns: ...By whatever means.the i n f e c t i o n of d e m o c r a t i c a l f r e n z y had .been, communicated,., we c e r t a i n l y have caught, i t : . - the poison rushes, through the veins of the country producing l i k e e f f e c t s of vast and intemperate . . f o l l y ; and i t . i s only i n the providence of God to-say where i t s h a l l have an end, .and wha.t. s h a l l b r i n g back the h e a r t s and minds, of t h i s .people, t.o" a h e a l t h f u l s t a t e , i f indeed, t h a t can be hoped a t . a l l , without a f e a r f u l i n t e r v a l of scourging and s u f f e r i n g . The w r i t e r d i s c u s s e d the impending catastrophe which was beyond human. c o n t r o l , capable of r e s o l u t i o n only by the "providence of God". She/he e v i d e n t l y b e l i e v e d that the "vast and intemperate" f o l l y of the reformers might w e l l invoke d i v i n e r e t r i b u t i o n . The punishment of such intemperance was a key f a c t o r u n d e r l y i n g the T o r i e s ' support f o r E t t y ' s . p i c t u r e . During the e a r l y n i n e t e e n t h century sexual m o r a l i t y was widely b e l i e v e d to be both a, .cause. and .a . consequence . of r e v o l u t i o n . Many w r i t e r s dwelt upon the sexual and, s o c i a l excesses of the French . Re volution,. which were considered i n e x t r i c a b l y 13 connected. During the Reform C r i s i s , the T o r i e s e x p l o i t e d t h i s i d e a , charging the Whigs, and other reformers with 79 immorality. By tampering with the c o n s t i t u t i o n and " n a t u r a l " s o c i a l .order, they claimed, the Whigs were f u r t h e r endangering the alre a d y .precarious moral . f a b r i c , of s o c i e t y . A l l of the Tory c r i t i c s p r i a s e d E t t y f o r te a c h i n g a f i n e moral l e s s o n . . The p i c t u r e v i n d i c a t e d t h e i r con- s e r v a t i s m — p o i n t i n g out that the roads, .of. vice,. intemperance, and Whiggism i n e v i t a b l y l e d to d e s t r u c t i o n . The L i t e r a r y G a z e t t e 1 s review opened with a B i b l i c a l q u o t a t i o n from Mark 3:25. "'A house,divided a g a i n s t i t s e l f cannot stand.' Satan Is here d e s t r o y i n g h i s own. work; an op e r a t i o n i n which we h e a r t i l y i^ish him success..""'"^ The s e l e c t i o n of t h i s quota.tion . seems, .to be a t h i n l y v e i l e d comment on the c r i s i s w i t h i n E n g l i s h s o c i e t y . Durin.g t h i s p e r i o d , the word " d i v i d e d " was.almost I n v a r i a b l y a s s o c i a t e d with the Reform Controversy — i n f a c t , so much so, that E t t y , a worried.Tory, r e f u s e d . t o .use the word, e x p l a i n i n g why i n a l e t t e r to a. f r i e n d . dated.. August. 16, 1831. D i s c u s s i n g h i s t r a v e l s , E t t y wrote: ..By which, means,, as. I was, l a s t week at Bri g h t o n , at one extremity of our dear I s l a n d , I s h a l l cut through i t - though not. d i v i d e i t , - from one end to the other. I t i s i n f a c t . d i v i d e d enough. I am l i k e y o u r s e l f , s i c k of the hackneyed phrase REFORM.; f e a r i t w i l l , l i k e the Whigs, never do much good f o r us.15 80 E t t y ' s own conservatism . further- sugge sts .. t h a t h i s sketch may w e l l have been designed to f u n c t i o n i n the way that Tory c r i t i c s read i t . " ^ The form of E t t y ' s academic .exercise appealed to the Tory c r i t i c s as.much as .his moral message. They p a r t i c u l a r l y admired h i s vigorous drawing, harmonious c o l o u r i n g and v a r i e d poses, of the figures.. The Morning Post considered E t t y "the best p i c t o r i a l anatomist of the age" and h i g h l y approved of the f a c t . t h a t he had " v . . .drawn 17 l a r g e l y upon the c l a s s i c a l s t o r e s of h i s mind;" the L i t e r a r y Gazette compared, him to Michelangelo, and W i l l i a m - Carey d i s c u s s e d the c l a s . s i c a l sources f o r E t t y ' s f i g u r e s 18 at c o n s i d e r a b l e l e n g t h . As supporters of the Academy and i t s t e a c h i n g techniques, thes.e c r i t i c s a p p r e c i a t e d E t t y ' s c l a s s i c a l q u o t a t i o n s and t r a d i t i o n a l composition. They a l s o g r e a t l y r e l i s h e d h i s sensual, d e p i c t i o n s of the nude female, v i c t i m s . The L i t e r a r y Gazette h a p p i l y observed that t h e i r " f l e s h i s p a i n t e d with a f u l n e s s and l u x u r i a n c e 19 of p e n c i l " . W i l l i a m Carey l i n g e r e d over the s p e c i a l charms of. the women's "round voluptuous . forms and tender 20 p e a r l y c o l o u r i n g " . For him the most appealing fiigure was that of the passive, f a i n t i n g female f l u n g over the shoulder of her aggressive abductor. E v i d e n t l y such v i c a r - ious sexual .pleasures were, s t i l l p o s s i b l e w i t h i n the l a r g e r moral, meaning of the work. 81 The apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n the moral stance of these c r i t i c s - can be. e x p l a i n e d by t h e i r adherence to the e t h i c a l code, of. the l e i s u r e c l a s s .for. which they wrote. While the c r i t i c s f i r m l y approved.of E t t y ' s theme of the punishment of widespread, p u b l i c immorality and the t h r e a t i t posed to the ..social. order, they d i d not o b j e c t to the p r i v a t e g r a t i f i c a t i o n of one's d e s i r e s . - T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n between p u b l i c and p r i v a t e sexual .codes, was e s p e c i a l l y c r u c i a l to the aristocracy.'s . standard, of acceptable be- haviour i n . the early. 1830s... Mounting pressure f o r moral reform had p r i m a r i l y .originated i n the middle c l a s s who objected to what, they p e r c e i v e d as .the open moral l a x i t y and. degenerate, behavior of the a r i s t o c r a c y on one hand, and as. the b e s t i a l , s e x u a l i t y of. the working c l a s s on the 21 other. While most m i d d l e - c l a s s m o r a l i t y movements were d i r e c t e d . a g a i n s t the "smut" of the.poor, pressure was a l s o e xerted upon, the a r i s t o c r a c y u r g i n g them to. c l e a n up t h e i r p u b l i c behaviour and. set a. .good . example f o r t h e i r s o c i a l 22 i n f e r i o r s . . As the middle class, p r o g r e s s i v e l y secured greater economic and p o l i t i c a l power, the a r i s t o c r a c y became i n c r e a s i n g l y w i l l i n g to conform outwardly to more s t r i n g e n t m i d d l e - c l a s s . sexual, codes . However,, i n the 1830s, t h i s , .conformity was s t i l l at.an e a r l y , f a i r l y super- f i c i a l stage... The moral, l a x i t y of the Regency era was not 82 yet f o r g o t t e n , and. the .propriety of the V i c t o r i a n court 23 not yet e s t a b l i s h e d . . During t h i s p e r i o d of t r a n s i t i o n , Tory reviewers w r i t i n g f o r e l i t e papers, d i d not see a c o n t r a d i c t i o n , between enj o y i n g E t t y ' s . e r o t i c f i g u r e s and approving of h i s moral condemnation, o.f sexual indulgence. While the . public,., morally . conformist and p o l i t i c a l l y charged i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , r e c e i v e d more emphasis, the presence of such a r o u s i n g imagery was. something t h a t c o n s e r v a t i v e , p r o - a r i s t o c r a t i c readers .could, s t i l l , openly a p p r e c i a t e . However, the e x p l i c i t e r o t i c content of E t t y ' s p i c t u r e was . p r e c i s e l y what the. Whig, Sp.e eta t o r and r a d i c a l Examiner c r i t i c s , .could...not t o l e r a t e . They found a l l three of E t t y ' s e x h i b i t i o n e n t r i e s m o r ally o f f e n s i v e . W r i t i n g f o r a middle-cla.ss r e a d e r s h i p that i n c l u d e d many d i s s e n t e r s and moral.reformers, these c r i t i c s were quick to condemn E t t y ' s p u b l i c display, of l u s t and. naked) f l e s h , which i n the con.tex.t of the R o y a l Academy, must, have c a r r i e d conno- t a t i o n s of a r i s t o c r a t i c decadence. Instead of being r e - a s s u r i n g , E t t y ' s h i g h l y academic approach, to,.such a s c a n d a l - ous scene, mu.s.t: have magnified, the c r i t i c s ' .doubts about the e x i s t i n g s t r u c t u r e of the Academy .and. i t s t e a c h i n g methods. The Spectator, directed., much', of i t s h o s t i l i t y towards Youth on the .Prow ( f i g . 12) c o n c l u d i n g that, " I t i s p h y s i c a l 24. voluptuousness, of.not the.most f a s c i n a t i n g k i n d . " This 83 v e r d i c t was extended. .to The De.stroy.ing Angel which the same c r i t i c dismissed'with the. comment.', '". . . as a whole we 25 cannot a p p r e c i a t e i t highly".. The. Examiner was more e x p l i c i t : I t i s c a l l e d a. "vis.ion",. and Is suggested, we suppose by Rubens's " F a l l , of the Damned", or one of B r e u g h e l l ' s f r i g h t f u l f a n c i e s . Such s u b j e c t s are not i n accordance with the f e e l i n g s of the present age. Mr. E t t y should.not. t r e a t the f a i r sex i n t h i s harsh, and. wanton manner. 2" E v i d e n t l y these c r i t i c s . found the., women ' s. round voluptuous forms so indecent .that they d i d not even c o n s i d e r the p o s s i b i l i t y that. the. sketch als.o . c a r r i e d a l a r g e r moral meaning. This .is. s i g n i f i c a n t because the f a l l of Rome was an i d e o l o g i c a l . c o n s t r u c t employed by both T o r i e s and Whigs to support t h e i r p o s i t i o n .on the reform q u e s t i o n . While the T o r i e s a s c r i b e d .Rome',s f a l l to the v i o l a t e d r i g h t s of the p a t r i c i a n s , the Whigs reversed., the . argument, c l a i m i n g t h a t the u n f a i r oppression of the p l e b e i a n s had l e d to 27 numerous.uprisings and i n t e r n a l i n s t a b i l i t y . However, i n t h i s s p e c i f i c . i n s t a n c e , E.tty's h i g h l y academic and e r o t i c forms seem to have prevented., the. Examiner and Spe c t a t o r c r i t i c s , from imposing a.Whi.g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . on the p i c t u r e which could have j u s t as. l o g i c a l l y been read, as the d i v i n e punishment, of. Tory excesses.. Instead Whig c r i t i c s f l a t l y r e j e c t e d i t as. the corrupt, p r o p e r t y of the a r i s t o c r a c y . 84 The d i s p l e a s u r e . o f the Examiner c r i t i c was a l s o r e v e a l e d by the w r i t e r ' s c l a i m , t h a t E t t y ' s " v i s i o n " had been drawn from Ruben's " F a l l of the Damned". Although the suggestion was q u i t e c r e d i b l e s i n c e E t t y ' s r i c h c o l o u r i n g , v i o l e n t a c t i v i t y and. h e a v i l y p r o p o r t i o n e d f i g u r e s and demons, do.resemble Rubens's La s t Judgments the comparison was p r i m a r i l y intended to be i n s u l t i n g . Throughout the twenties and. t h . i r t i e s, Rubens ' s d e p i c t i o n s of women seem to have been considered vulgar by a wide range of c r i t i c s . On one occasion a Tory c r i t i c from Blackwood ' s Magazine had found . Rubens.'s women t y p i c a l l y 28 f a t and overfed, while other a r t i c l e s i n the Examiner 29 had detected a c o n s i s t e n t coarseness. There also, seems to have been a general c r i t i c a l concensus that t h e . f i g u r e s of c l a s s i c a l , and Renaissance a r t i s t s were s u i t a b l y chaste. Therefore, i n the case of E t t y ' s p i c t u r e , the disagreement over the m o r a l i t y of h i s f i g u r e s appears to have been t r a n s l a t e d . i n t o an argument over s t y l i s t i c sources: the Examiner claimed t h a t the a r t i s t had used immoral .northern models, while the T o r i e s emphasized t h a t he had s e l e c t e d r e s p e c t a b l e I t a l i a n p r o t o - types. In t h i s i n s t a n c e , a l l of the c r i t i c s ( i n c l u d i n g the Examiner w r i t e r ) seem to have agreed.on.the b a s i c standards of assessment which r e v e a l s . a n u n d e r l y i n g thread of 85 c o n t i n u i t y , among c r i t i c s w r i t i n g f o r the stamped p r e s s . However, they c l e a r l y a p p l i e d these standards i n a par- t i s a n way. F u r t h e r p r o o f of t h i s . l i e s , i n the judgement of the moderate upper-middle c l a s s Whig c r i t i c s o f the Athenaeum and the Times who s t r a d d l e d .the Tory and more extreme Whig p o s i t i o n s . . F u l l y prepared.to p r a i s e E t t y ' s grand manner, academic style, which.they proudly r e c o g n i z e d , these c r i t i c s were c l e a r l y uncomfortable with the p i c t u r e ' s content which, they discu.s.s.ed. i n a vague and r a t h e r con- fused fashion.. . The two c r i t i c s r e a l i z e d t h a t E t t y was attempting to i l l u s t r a t e . w h a t , the Athenaeum c a l l e d "a great moral l e s s o n " , 'but. they claimed h i s message was incompre- 30 h e n s i b l e . The Athenaeum d i d not understand why the demons of e v i l - w e r e p u n i s h i n g the v i c i o u s and intemperate i n s t e a d of encouraging them, while the Times was confused by E t t y ' s term ."vision! 1 and.his. " w i l d unmeaning s u b j e c t " . Although t h e i r f i n a l , v e r d i c t , was. • g l o s s e d .over with compli- ments on E t t y ' s .drawing s k i l l s . , both w r i t e r s concluded that the p i c t u r e would not appeal .to. t h e i r r e a d e r s . I t i s s i g - n i f i c a n t . , t h a t n e i t h e r reviewer e x p l a i n e d . what ..was. unappealing about the p i c t u r e nor d i s c u s s e d the.presence of E t t y ' s contentious .sensual..nudes . These c o n s t r a i n t s on t h e i r d i s c o u r s e merit f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . 86 Throughout the twenties, and . t h i r t i e s the n u d i t y i n E t t y ' s p a i n t i n g posed .a, r e c u r r i n g . moral . dilemma f o r many of h i s upper middle.-class. reviewers. Were E t t y ' s works decent? Papers h a d . g r e a t , d i f f i c u l t y e s t a b l i s h i n g c o n s i s t e n t - g u i d e l i n e s , . a s , demonstrated,by two reviews of Youth on the 'Prow, p u b l i s h e d by .the. Times.. In 1822 the Times commented on a sketch . of. the. work exhibited, at the B r i t i s h I n s t i t u t i o n : We t a k e . t h i s o p p o r t u n i t y of a d v i s i n g Mr E t t y . . . not to. be. ..seduced ..into, a, s t y l e which can g r a t i f y only the most vicious,,taste.. Nakedj f i g u r e s when p a i n t e d with the p u r i t y of.Raphael may be en- dured; b.ut nakedness ..without- p u r i t y i s o f f e n s i v e and indecent, and i n Mr. E t t y ' s canvas i s mere d i r t y f l e s h . 3 1 Yet by 1832 when the f i n i s h e d p a i n t i n g was e x h i b i t e d at Royal Academy, the Times detected.nothing o f f e n s i v e and vaguely p r a i s e d i t s " r i c h , beauty" and " g r a c e f u l fancy", although again the c r i t i c . f o u n d . t h e subject incompre- h e n s i b l e . In t h i s instance, the ten—year i n t e r v a l . a n d l i k e l i - hood of d i f f e r e n t c r i t i c s , do, not. t o t a l l y , account f o r the s h i f t . Throughout, t h i s , p e r i o d the Times, and/other papers were f r e q u e n t l y changing -their minds. In f a c t , i n the Times review of the Royal Academy, e x h i b i t i o n of 1830, E t t y ' s four contributions- .were h i g h l y p r a i s e d , i n the May preview n o t i c e but condemned., i n the. more d e t a i l e d review of J u l y : 87 We. have o f t e n bestowed, the most u n q u a l i f i e d p r a i s e upon: Mr. E t t y ; indeed, we admire h i s devotion to a r t , and. h i s attainments i n colour and e x e c u t i o n ; but he must pay more a t t e n t i o n to design, and p u r i f y h i s f e e l i n g s f o r the naked form,...32 Apparently many upper-middle-class c r i t i c s seem to have been t o r n by the c o n f l i c t i n g d e s i r e to defend t h e i r r i g i d moral, standards, without appearing aesthet- i c a l l y i l l - i n f o r m e d .or gauche. The F r a s e r 1 s c r i t i c , w r i t i n g i n J u l y of 1832, p o i n t e d out the d i f f i c u l t i e s i n v o l v e d i n c r i t i c i z i n g E t t y ' s work: E t t y has the a r t of i n s i n u a t i n g the l o o s e s t ideas without a c t u a l l y alarming modesty, - of being impure without being gross, - nay; without l a y i n g h i m s e l f open to the charge of indelicacy,, - d e x t e r o u s l y managing so as to keep i n r e s erve a r e t o r t of "prudery", "squeamish- ness" a g a i n s t h i s censors. 33 The charges of "prudery" and "squeamishness" seem to have dete r r e d the Times and the Athenaeum from r a i s i n g any moral i s s u e s , however uncomfortable they might have been with E t t y ' s images. T h e i r nebulous., terms of p r a i s e and confused treatment of the s u b j e c t suggest attempts to avoid the naked sexual f a c t s . Any d i s c u s s i o n of E t t y ' s nudes would have been h o p e l e s s l y awkward,for these upper-middle-class c r i t i c s . U n l i k e t h e i r Tory counterparts they d i d not even mention, l e t alone enjoy E t t y ' s nude women. On one 88 hand, the more s t r i n g e n t m i d d l e - c l a s s . m o r a l i t y of t h e i r readers made., i t impossible to .approve openly of such f i g u r e s , and.yet, on. the other hand,, t h e i r r e a d e r s ' keen a s p i r a t i o n s to be accepted,by the a r i s t o c r a t i c e l i t e t h a t dominated the. Academy, made, i t e q u a l l y u n d e s i r a b l e to de- nounce d i r e c t l y the values of, t h e i r s o c i a l s u p e r i o r s . Hence the c r i t i c s .,of,. the:,. Times and,,, the Athenaeum r e f u s e d to commit themselves to either, p o s i t i o n and remained uncomfortably s i l e n t . I t i s worth n o t i n g t h a t . t h e two most evasive Whig c r i t i c s wrote.for.papers which catered to the upper echelons of the. middle c l a s s and were p o l i t i c a l l y more moderate than., the o.ther Whig p u b l i c a t i o n s r e v i e w i n g the 3L e x h i b i t i o n . V i g o r o u s l y s u p p o r t i n g reforms f o r g r e a t e r m i d d l e - c l a s s access.to,the government and i n s t i t u t i o n s l i k e t h e . R o y a l Academy, t h i s upper sector of the middle c l a s s was .nevertheless.. ..more I n c l i n e d to compromise with the s t a t u s --quo on. issues,-, that, d i d ..not . d i r e c t l y thwart t h e i r ambitions. A f t e r c r i t i c i z i n g E t t y ' s . l a c k of, p u r i t y i n 1830, the Times seems to, have c o n s i s t e n t l y found h i s p a i n t i n g s more respectable,. Since other.more p r o g r e s s i v e papers continued to q u e s t i o n E t t y ' s m o r a l i t y , t h i s s h i f t seems to be l a r g e l y e x p l a i n e d by the Times' growing a e s t h e t i c and p o l i t i c a l conservatism. A f t e r the passage of the Reform B i l l , the Times. s h i f t e d i t s , a l l e g l a n c e back to the Tory 35 p a r t y i n 1834-. 89 The emerging d i v i s i o n s w i t h i n the ranks of the middle c l a s s - o v e r E t t y ' s p i c t u r e s reveals, that, the c o n f l i c t w i t h i n the Academy was more complicated than i n d i c a t e d by the simple Whig versus. Tory s p l i t over L e s l i e ' s p o r t r a i t of the Grosvenors., and the c o n f l i c t i n g p o l i t i c a l i n t e r - p r e t a t i o n s of W i l k i e ' s. p i c t u r e of Knox.. Even d u r i n g the hei g h t of the Ref orm . C r i s i s , . a growing rapprochement between a r i s t o c r a t i c . a n d . h a u t e bourgeois values was occur- r i n g . Mounting Radical., .working-class pressure was d r i v i n g t h e i r i n t e r e s t s . together,. whether or. not the two groups r e a l i z e d i t . While a r i s t o c r a t s l i k e the Grosvenors were adopting v a r i o u s ..middle - cla.s s . value s to r e i n f o r c e t h e i r threatened s o c i a l ..p o s l t i o n , . moderate Whig c r i t i c s were i n c r e a s i n g l y prepared to adapt, to. the a e s t h e t i c codes of the r u l i n g e l i t e i n order to prove t h e i r s u i t a b i l i t y f o r p o l i t i c a l a n d.social.promotion. However, more extreme Whigs and Radicals., from ..the lower ranks of the middle c l a s s were c l e a r l y l e s s c o n c i l i a t o r y . 90 Footnotes E t t y ' s two other p a i n t i n g s i n the e x h i b i t i o n were no. 196 'Youth on 'the' Prow and 'Pleasure at the Helm and no. 360 Phaedria and .'CymochlesVo'n. the I d l e Lake, see Appendix B. 2 Between.the F e b r u a r i e s of. 1832.and 1833, three l e t t e r s were exchanged between Payne and.Etty concerning the payment, shipment, and, framing, .of. the p i c t u r e which was intended f o r Payne'.s drawing-room.. U n f o r t u n a t e l y the l e t t e r s shed l i t t l e l i g h t on the reasons m o t i v a t i n g Payne's purchase. These l e t t e r s are i n the North York- s h i r e County L i b r a r y . T h e i r exact, dates are February 16, 1832, August 4, 1832,.. and,February 8, 1833. They are c i t e d by Dennis- Farr.,' W i l l i a m E.tty (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958'), p. 132. 3 W i l l i a m Carey, a .Conservative a r t c r i t i c who wrote f o r v a r i o u s j o u r n a l s ( i . e . the L i t e r a r y Gazette and the New Monthly Magazine,), p e r s o n a l l y championed the genius of W i l l i a m E t t y , claiming, that, he had been the f i r s t to r ecognize the a r t i s t . . Responding.to what he considered u n f a i r criticisms., of t h i s p i c t u r e , i n the. e x h i b i t i o n r e - views he wrote three . l e t t e r s , to the. e d i t o r .of the Y o r k s h i r e Gazette i n November o.f 18.32.. defending the p a i n t i n g under the pen name R i d o l f i . "^Alexander G i l c h r i s . t , L i f e of W i l l i a m E t t y R.A. (London: David . Bogue,. 1955), p. 34-5. 5 According t.o Farr., E t t y , p. 132., E t t y had c a l l e d the p i c t u r e The D e s t r u c t i o n of the. Temple of V i c e , although i t was not, l i s t e d , by this, t i t l e i n the Royal Academy catalogue. ^Note;-the, r e p o u s s o i r f u n c t i o n s of the demon s e i z i n g a woman i n the lower r i g h t and the. f a l l e n couple i n the l e f t , and the placement of v a r i o u s f i g u r e s f a c i n g inwards i n c l u d i n g a demon and three r a i s e d s t a t u e s . 91 7 T h i s was E t t y ' s f i r s t t r i p to Rome and he was e s p e c i a l l y e n t h u s i a s t i c about the work of Raphael and Michelangelo which,he p r a i s e d , I n a l e t t e r to h i s brother. Although . the .sketch was not ..completed u n t i l 1832, i t seems to r e t a i n E t t y ' s enthusiasm f o r the works of these painters., see F a r r , E t t y , p. 36. Examiner (June 10,.. 1832), p. 373. o Note the s i m i l a r i t i e s between E t t y ' s demon and South Metope VII,of. the .Elgin. C o l l e c t i o n ( f i g . 11). W i l l i a m Carey was p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t e d .in i d e n t i f y i n g the c l a s s i c a l sources, f o r E t t y ' s f i g u r e s . "^For a. di.scus.s.ion .of these a p o c a l y p t i c themes see P a t r i c k Brantlinger.,; T h e . S p i r i t of Reform (Cambridge, Massachusetts: H a r v a r d . U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1977), chap. 1 "The L i t e r a t u r e of the 1830s". "'""'"Anon., " O u t l i n e s of H i s t o r y : Subversion of Ancient Governments", Q u a r t e r l y Review 4-5 ( J u l y 1831), p. 469. 12 Anon., " L e t t e r from the Whig-Hater on the Late E l e c t i o n s , " Blackwood's. Magazine.29 (June :183l), p. 1012. 13 Edward Bri.s.to.w, Vice, and Vigilance.: P u r i t y Move- ments i n . B r i t a i n Since 1700. (London.: G i l l and Macmillan L t d . , 1977), p.. 4-0. Bristow has s t u d i e d the development of a c o u n t e r - r e v o l u t i o n a r y i d e o l o g y among the founders of the V i c e S o c i e t y (,i..e. William, W i l b e r f or ce,. the Bowdlers, Hannah More and . Za.ch.ary Macaulay), an . o r g a n i z a t i o n which persecuted, a l l forms.of immorality from pornography to p r o s t i t u t i o n throughout, the twenties and t h i r t i e s . Although much of the impetus f o r moral,reform came from m i d d l e - c l a s s Whigs and d i s s e n t e r s , the m a j o r i t y of m o r a l i t y groups were not d i r e c t l y connected to a p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l p a r t y . " ^ L i t e r a r y Gazette (May 19, 1832), p. 314-. The i t a l i c s and c a p i t a l i z a t i o n are_ p a r t of the o r i g i n a l l e t t e r of which an excerpt i s p u b l i s h e d i n G i l - c h r i s t , E t t y , p. 325. 92 ^ F a r r , E t t y , pp. 59-6.0,. d i s c u s s e s E t t y ' s c o n s e r v a t i v e s o c i a l stance. 1 7 M o r n i n g Post . (June 9, 1832). 1 8 L I t e r a r y Gazette (May, 19, 1932)", p. 314, and R i d o l f l ( W i l l i a m , Carey)', . "Fine Arts.'Letter .3," Y o r k s h i r e Gazette (November 17,. 1832. 1 9 L i t e r a r y .Gazette (May 19, 1832), p. 314. 2 0 R i d o l f i (William. Carey), "Fine A r t s L e t t e r 2," Y o r k s h i r e Gazette (November 10, 1832). 21 For a d i s c u s s i o n .of the middle c l a s s ' o b j e c t i o n to the sexual .codes .of both, the a r i s t o c r a c y and the working c l a s s , c o n s u l t Ronald P e a r s a l l , ...The Worm.:.in the Bud: The World of V i c t o r l a n ..Sexuality,, (London: Weidenfeld and N i c o l s o n , 1969)., pp. x i - x v i i and chaps. 1-2. 22 The precedents, f o r t h i s type of pressure were the w r i t i n g s of Hannah. More,.. Thoughts, on the Importance of the Manners of the. Great to .General S o c i e t y (17881 and ^Estimate', of the R e l i g i o n of the Fashionable World (1791) which continued, to,be.very popular i n m o r a l i s t i c c i r c l e s throughout, the e a r l y n i n e t e e n t h century. 23 E r i c T r u d g i l l , Madonnas., and •'Ma.gdalens : The O r i g i n s and Development' Of . V i c t o r i a n S.ex.ual. A t t i t u d e s (London: W i l l i a m .Heinemann. Ltd.., 1976), pp. 168-179. He d i s c u s s e s t h i s t r a n s i t i o n a l . period, .and. the p l a y of values between the i n c r e a s i n g l y powerful middle, c l a s s and the old a r i s t o c r a c y . ^ S p e c t a t o r (May 12, 1832), p. 450. 2 5 I b i d . 2 6 E x a m i n e r (June. 10., 1832), p. 373. 27 The Whig i n t e r p r e t a . t i o n of t h i s event p l a y e d an Important r o l e i n the assessment of J.M.W. Turner's C h l l d e Harold'.'s .,Pilgrimage . - I t a l y which.will.be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r . 93 28 "Ignoramus, on the Fine A r t s , " Blackwood 1s Magazine (.March, 1831),. p. 521. Despite the t i t l e , the a r t i c l e was intended., to be s e r i o u s . 29 "Review of Rubens', Chapeau de. P a i l l e , " Examiner (March 16, 1832), p. 186. 30 I t i s a l s o , quite, l i k e l y t h a t they d i d not want to understand E t t y ' s p o l i t i c a l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e statement. 31 "Review of the B r i t i s h I n s t i t u t i o n , " Times (January 29, 1822). 3 2 T i m e s (May 1, May U, and ..July 12, 1830). 3 3 F r a s e r ' s Magazine ( J u l y 1832), p. 719. The Morning Chronicle., Spectator and Examiner were a l l e d i t e d , by Benthamite u t i l i . t a r i a n s who were more p r o g r e s s i v e than, the .Whigs. However, The Examiner was by f a r the most r a d i c a l . . See Bourne, EnglIsh Newspapers, 2, pp. 38-51. 3 5 I b i d . , pp. 79-81. W i l l i a m E t t y , The D e s t r o y i n g Angel and Daemons of E v i l , 1832 Manchester C i t y A r t G a l l e r y (Dennis F a r r , W i l l i a m E t t y . London: Routledge & Kegan Paul L i m i t e d , 1958. P l a t e U . ) F i g u r e 9. Raphael, The E x p u l s i o n of H e l i o d o r u s , c.1511-1514 V a t i c a n , Stanza d ' E l i o d o r o ( L u i t p o l d P u s s i e r . Raphael. London: Phaidon Press L t d . , 1971. P l a t e 135.) 96 F i g u r e 10. P. P. Rubens, The Great L a s t Judgment, 1615-1616 Munich, A l t e P i n a k o e h t k (P. P. Rubens; des M e i s t e r s Gemalde. S t u t t g a r t : Deutsche V e r l a g s - A n s t a l t , n.d. Page 118.) 97 Pig. 1. South Metope VTI (Elgin C o l l e c t i o n ) . . - i f . 2 . " C a r r e y ' s " Drawing of South Metope V I I . F i g u r e 11. South Metope VII E l g i n C o l l e c t i o n , B r i t i s h Museum (Jacob Rothenburg. "Descensus Ad Terram": The A c q u i s i t i o n and Reception of the E l g i n Marbles. New York: Garland P u b l i s h i n g Inc., 1977. P l a t e 10. ) 98 Fi g u r e 12. W i l l i a m E t t y , Youth on the Prow and Pleasure at the Helm, 1832 Tate G a l l e r y 99 CHAPTER IV Childe Harold 's .Pilgrimage'.'- I t a l y by J.M.W. Turner The Whigs' answer to the c o n s e r v a t i v e images by- L e s l i e and E t t y was . J..M.W. . Turner's Childe .Harold's P i l - grimage - Italy, ( f i g . 13), a landscape, which a t t r a c t e d almost as much a t t e n t i o n as David W i l k i e ' s Preaching of Knox. The Spectator cautioned i t s readers to v i s i t the e x h i b i t i o n when i t opened, at, e i g h t o'clock i n the morning, i n o r d e r . t o a v o i d the huge crowds which gathered around these two p a i n t i n g s between the hours of eleven and five.""" I t a l y was Turner's l a r g e s t (56 x 97i inches) and most 2 pr.pminently displayed, .exhibition entry. The p a i n t i n g ' s t i t l e r e f e r r e d to Byron's p.oe.m,. C h i l d e .Harold 1 s Pi l g r i m a g e of 1818, i n which the poet meditated.upon.the b e a u t i e s of the I t a l i a n countryside.. Turner a l s o added.an excerpt from the twenty-sixth stanza of Canto .IV to the e x h i b i t i o n catalogue: and now, f a i r I t a l y ! Thou a r t the. garden . of the world. Even i n they d e s e r t what, i s l i k e to thee? Thy very weeds . a r e . b e a u t i f u l , thy waste More r i c h than other climes' f e r t i l i t y : Thy wreck a g l o r y , and thy r u i n graced ^ With an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced. According to some l a t e r notes by Ruskin, the p a i n t i n g was based.on Turner's r e c o l l e c t i o n s of the r u i n s near N a r n i . ^ 100 However, i f t h i s was.the case,.Turner d i d not i d e n t i f y the s i t e f o r his- v i e w e r s . e i t h e r through the t i t l e or d e p i c t i o n of s p e c i f i c . l a n d m a r k s . . Instead he presented an i d e a l i z e d v a r i a t i o n , of a-landscape.based upon.a well-known Claudean theme. Pa i n t i n g s , by Claude had. been p r i z e d by E n g l i s h grand t o u r i s t s and a r t c o l l e c t o r s s i n c e the beginning of the eighteenth century. His compositions were valued as i d e a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of the order and s t a b i l i t y under- 5 l y i n g the seemingly c h a o t i c f o r c e s of nature. Order was imposed on nature through a s e r i e s of a r t i s t i c d e vices ( i . e . framing t r e e s , measurable d i s t a n c e s , harmonious c o l o u r i n g ) . Time was. suspended i n a t r a n q u i l a r c a d i a where people l e d simple p a s t o r a l l i v e s . The i n t r o d u c t i o n of f i g u r e s from .ancient h i s t o r y or mythology and the r u i n s of s p e c i f i c monuments p r o v i d e d i n t e l l e c t u a l stimu- l a t i o n f o r the connoisseur who could i d e n t i f y them. The Royal. Academy had. long upheld t h i s type of i d e a l I t a l - i a n a t e landscape as the h i g h e s t . f o r m of landscape p a i n t i n g , as opposed to the more r e a l i s t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of the Dutch s c h o o l . ^ 101 Turner recorded h i s own admiration f o r Claude i n his. l e c t u r e s . as. P r o f e s s o r of P e r s p e c t i v e , and. even more imp o r t a n t l y through a number of can.va.ses i n which he 7 d e l i b e r a t e l y set out to r i v a l the I t a l i a n , o l d master. His p a i n t i n g of I t a l y can be compared, to Claude's Landscape with the Marriage, of .Isaac, and. Rebekah ( f i g . 14-) from which he probably derived, the f i g u r e s in' the foreground. Despite some minor . a l t e r a t i o n s by Turner, there are s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t i e s between the dancing couples and arrangement of the onlookers i n t o three seated groups 8 and two standing f i g u r e s . In both p a i n t i n g s baskets of food, jugs and, musical.instruments i n d i c a t e t h a t the f i g u r e s are l e i s u r e l y e n j o y i n g a . p i c n i c and musical enter- tainment. C e r t a i n l y .Turner and h i s academy p u b l i c would have- been f a m i l i a r , with t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p a i n t i n g by Claude since i t was p a r t of the A n g e r s t e i n C o l l e c t i o n which had 9 been pur chased ...for the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y i n 1824-. On a more general le-vel,, the o r g a n i z a t i o n of Turner's landscape continues to u t i l i z e the basic.Claudean s t r u c t u r e . A broad v i s t a extends- from a. low foreground across an u n d u l a t i n g middleground to a f a r d i s t a n t mountain range. A calm'i c u r v i n g r i v e r with v a u l t e d Roman r u i n s along i t s h i l l y l e f t bank u n i f i e s the landscape, by drawing the viewer's a t t e n t i o n back towards, the glowing h o r i z o n . The 102 r e c e d i n g frames, of landscape and, a r c h i t e c t u r e are f u r t h e r t i e d together by the l a r g e pine t r e e and medieval b r i d g e . In the lower l e f t the detailed..treatment of the ground v e g e t a t i o n and ..toppled, class.i.cal . vase emphasize the presence of l i f e among, the decaying r u i n s of A n t i q u i t y , a device f r e q u e n t l y used by Claude. Furthermore, Turner has captured the t r a n q u i l evening atmosphere and p e r v a s i v e golden l i g h t of sunset which he and other. E n g l i s h connois- seurs p a r t i c u l a r l y a s s o c i a t e d .with the Roman painter.^® In .spite of these unmistakable s i m i l a r i t i e s , Turner's departures from.the Claudean t r a d i t i o n are e q u a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . One of the most i m p o r t a n t . d i f f e r e n c e s i s h i s d i f f u s e d h a n d l i n g of l i g h t . Although Turner r e t a i n s the convention., of o v e r l a p p i n g s e c t i o n s of l i g h t and shade, h i s shadows are more r e a l i s t i c , be.ing fragmented by s t r a y s h a f t s of .sunlight which break, down and b l u r s u r f a c e s and ou t l i n e s . . Less c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d r e c e d i n g frames and the absence of framing t r e e s challenge the Claudean sense of order and s . t a b i l i t y . In Turner's landscape a boundless panorama.unfolds.before the viewer. Another s i g n i f i c a n t a l t e r a t i o n i s Turner's ex- t e n s i v e use of b r i g h t c o l o u r s — p a r t i c u l a r l y the glowing reds and yellows i n the landscape.. I t should be noted that 103 t h i s v i v i d c o lour scheme was. even more conspicuous i n the t h i r t i e s than i t i s at present."'""'" In I t a l y warm and coo l c o l o u r s are played, o f f a g a i n s t one another i n a s h i f t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p - - a s . one comes forward, the other recedes. This p e r p e t u a l movement, often on the same plane, f u r t h e r upsets Claude's c l e a r l y d e l i n e a t e d system of per- s p e c t i v e which r e l i e d upon g r a d u a l l y c o o l i n g colour t r a n - s i t i o n s to i n d i c a t e i n c r e a s i n g d i s t a n c e ( i . e . from a brown foreground to a. green middleground ending i n a blue h o r i z o n ) . Turner's b r i g h t c o l o u r s a l s o u n d e r l i n e h i s departure from the subdued t o n a l i t i e s of o l d master p a i n t i n g s . In f a c t , Turner takes c o n s i d e r a b l e pains to emphasize that I t a l y i s a modern .painting s i t u a t e d i n the n i n e t e e n t h century r a t h e r than i n a t i m e l e s s a r c a d i a . The most v i s i b l e temporal i n d i c a t o r i s the modern c l o t h i n g of the foreground f i g u r e s , while f u r t h e r i n the d i s t a n c e , the white-washed b u i l d i n g s of a contemporary v i l l a g e peek out behind the r u i n s on the l e f t bank. The c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n of Turner's I t a l y over- turned the p a t t e r n of academy c r i t i c i s m t h a t has been t r a c e d up to t h i s p o i n t : i n t h i s i n s t a n c e Whig reviewers e n t h u s i a s - t i c a l l y h a i l e d the p i c t u r e , while t h e i r Tory counterparts found much to c r i t i c i z e . An e s p e c i a l l y r e v e a l i n g c o n t r a s t can be drawn between the.responses to Turner's I t a l y and to 104 E t t y ' s D e s t r o y i n g Angel,,both of which d e a l t with the f a l l of Rome, but which were championed by opposing p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r s . As d i s c u s s e d i n connection with E t t y ' s p i c t u r e , the des- t r u c t i o n of empires theme was a n . I d e o l o g i c a l c o n s t r u c t used by both p a r t i e s d u r i n g the Reform C r i s i s . While E t t y ' s p i c t u r e seems to have h e l d c o n s e r v a t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s , Turner's work appears to have c a r r i e d a.number of aesthet- i c a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y p r o g r e s s i v e connotations. I t seems t h a t these p r o g r e s s i v e connotations were even powerful enough to o v e r r i d e the Whig c r i t i c s ' strong 12 d i s t a s t e f o r Turner's p e r s o n a l i t y . T h e i r c h i e f ob- j e c t i o n s were d i r e c t e d .towards.his excessive p r i c e s (which they could not afford.) and h i s complete l a c k of s o c i a l graces (which offended, t h e i r acute sense of decorum). The Morning C h r o n i c l e b e l i e v e d t h a t "great patronage".and i n - f l a t e d p r i c e s were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r c o r r u p t i n g Turner's t a l e n t : He (Turner) i s a tubby l i t t l e man, and has every mark of f e e d i n g w e l l , and "sleeps o'nights". L i k e Vandyke, the progress of h i s e a r l i e r stages was wonderful but pecu n i a r y rewards made him wanton and careless... . Great patronage never improved a p a i n t e r . The c r i t i c r e sented the f a c t t h a t both Turner and h i s wealthy patrons had l i t t l e r e g a r d f o r p u b l i c ( i . e middle- c l a s s ) t a s t e . . Yet although Turner was c r i t i c i z e d f o r 105 p a i n t i n g f o r the a r i s t o c r a c y and. the wealthy, h i s appear- ance and behaviour .were considered embarrassingly p l e b e i a n . Turner's working-class London background .jarred with the m i d d l e - c l a s s ..perception, of high a r t . In an a r t i c l e on the a r t i s t published., i n A p r i l of 1831, the Athenaeum complained: ...we never heard.one. (Turner) who f l o u n d e r e d so sadly i n c o n v e r s a t i o n . . He i s a l t o g e t h e r de- f i c i e n t i n courtesy of address; and the l i t t l e he ventures to do or say i n the c o u n c i l s of the Royal Academy, i s recommended by no grace e i t h e r n a t u r a l or a c q u i r e d . ^ However, i n t h i s instance, the m i d d l e . c l a s s ' b a s i c o b j e c t i o n to Turner's p e r s o n a l i t y does.-not seem to have dampened t h e i r enthusiasm f o r h i s p i c t u r e . The Whig c r i t i c s .of .the Athenaeum., Morning C h r o n i c l e and Spectator.were p a r t i c u l a r l y e n t h u s i a s t i c about the work's n a t u r a l c o l o u r i n g , expan.sive view and p o e t i c q u a l i t i e s . The Spectator ca r e . f u l l y i n s t r u c t e d i t s readers how to view the canvas, i n order to. experience the maximum p o e t i c e f f e c t : Let the reader, f i r s t go.-close up to the I t a l y of Turner., and. look a t . the way i n which i t i s p a i n t e d ; .and then, t u r n i n g h i s back (as one does sometimes to the sun.) t i l l , he reaches the middle of the room, look round at the stre.aky, scrambled, u n i n t e l l i g i b l e chaos of c o l o u r , and. see what a scene has been conjured up before him.as i f by magic. Let him dwell upon i t t i l l the ruddy hues begin to 106 burn and .become b r i l l i a n t . w i t h l i g h t , and the r e t i r i n g p a r t s of the p i c t u r e appear to come forward, .so that the p e r f e c t keeping of the whole has mellowed it.s..refulgent tone i n t o one r i c h harmonious whole...He w i l i ' f e e l t h a t i t i s the p o e t r y of. a r t and nature combined - t h a t i t bears the. same r e l a t i o n , to the r e a l scene as does Byron's d e s c r i p t i o n . ^ 5 The Spe c t a t o r c r i t i c c l e a r l y . f e l t . Turner's i n n o v a t i v e c o l o u r i n g and h a n d l i n g of. l i g h t were p a r t i c u l a r strengths that admirably captured Byron's, d e s c r i p t i o n . For t h i s w r i t e r , the s h i f t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p . between foreground and background and warm . and., c o o l tones, p o e t i c a l l y transformed Turner's "chaos of colour." i n t o ,a . b e a u t i f u l landscape. L i k e nature, Turner's t r a n s i t o r y , scene was i n a p e r p e t u a l s t a t e of motion.. The Spe c t a t o r e s p e c i a l l y admired the way the a r t i s t , had. cap.tured nature's f l e e t i n g e f f e c t s , s i n g l i n g out the s u n l i g h t r e f l e c t i n g from the b u i l d i n g s and the mist h o v e r i n g over the mountain-tops. The Whig reviewers a p p r e c i a t e d the. f a c t that Turner's depiction'>of nature.belonged to the modern world of the n i n e t e e n t h century. The Spe c t a t o r s t a t e d t h a t an appre- c i a t i o n of Turner's t r u t h and. beauty c a l l e d . f o r the same s e n s i b i l i t y t h a t Beethoven's P a s t o r a l Symphony (1809) and Haydn's C r e a t i o n . (1801) r e q u i r e d from t h e i r l i s t e n e r s . 107 The Morning C h r o n i c l e compared.Turner, to P a g a n i n i who astounded London audiences d u r i n g the e a r l y 1830s with his, f l a s h y t e c h n i c a l v i r t u o s i t y and" i n c r e d i b l y emotional v i o l i n performances.- "He (Turner) i s a. s o r t of P a g a n i n i , and performs wonders .on a. s i n g l e s t r i n g — i s as a s t o n i s h i n g with h i s chrome, as Paganini i s with, h i s chromatics. """"̂ These comparisons.to .leading contemporary m u s i c a l composers and performers, were used. to. .assert bath Turner's genius and modernity. C e r t a i n l y one. of the most important aspects of the n o t i o n of modernity was. Turner's connection with Byron. The fact. that. Turner,'s I t a l y was. seen through the eyes of C h i l d e H a r o l d was a c r u c i a l f a c t o r i n the Whigs' favourable, .assessment of the image. C h i l d e Harold's P i l g r i m a g e .was one of the poet's most i n t e n s e p e r s o n a l statements, of h i s b e l i e f i n s o c i a l .and p o l i t i c a l freedom. Although the f i r s t , two. c antes d e s c r i b e d . the journey of C h i l d e Harold, a..thinly d i s g u i s e d , B y r o n i c surrogate, by the t h i r d .canto, Byron had, abandoned, .this ruse and r e - corded h i s own sentiments d i r e c t l y . During t h i s canto, Byron made h i s well-known defence. .of .Napoleon whom the poet saw c h a l l e n g i n g the o l d r u l i n g d y n a s t i e s and oppressive governments of Europe.. The f o u r t h canto, from which Turner excerpted the l i n e s f o r h i s p i c t u r e , contained r e f l e c t i o n s 108 on the ruined, empires of Venice and Rome. R e c a l l i n g I t a l y ' s g l o r i o u s pas.t, Byron p o i n t e d out that, the decay of empires was i n e v i t a b l y connected to a.corresponding l o s s of freedom: There i s the.moral of a l l human t a l e s ; 'Ti s but the .same r e h e r s a l of the past , F i r s t Freedom., and. then G l o r y - when th a t f a i l s , Wealth, vice,, c o r r u p t i o n , - barbarism at l a s t . 1 7 Sentiments l i k e these made Byron's p o e t r y very popular i n En g l i s h . Whig c i r c l e s . Although many l e a d i n g T o r i e s admired the form of h i s poetry, they i n v a r i a b l y 18 found i t s c o n t e n t . d i s t u r b i n g . Byron, who was connected with the e l i t e Whig l e a d e r s h i p of the H o l l a n d House c i r c l e , assumed, h i s seat .in the House of Lords, as p a r t of the Whig o p p o s i t i o n in. 180.9. Although he was never a d e d i - cated p o l i t i c i a n , he f i r m l y supported a range of p r o g r e s s i v e measures i n c l u d i n g C a t h o l i c Emancipation and e a r l y propo- 19 s a l s f o r p a r l i a m e n t a r y reform. . A f t e r .leaving England, Byron's involvement f i r s t with the Carbonari, a' m i l i t a n t I t a l i a n n a t i o n a l i s t movement. f o r a. united., independent I t a l y , and f i n a l l y his. support f o r the Greek r e s i s t a n c e to the Turks, s o l i d i f i e d h i s r a d i c a l . r e p u t a t i o n . This r e p u t a t i o n s t e a d i l y grew,after h i s death, i n Greece, at M i s s o l o n g h i i n 1824-. During the. next decade, mounting p u b l i c i n t e r e s t i n the poet, s t i m u l a t e d numerous biographies, and c o l l e c t e d an- 20 t h o l o g i e s of h i s work. 109- ' Turner p r o v i d e d landscape i l l u s t r a t i o n s f o r three such e d i t i o n s of Byron's works, the most important being h i s seventeen v i g n e t t e s f o r the f o u r t e e n volume s e r i e s by Thomas Moore e n t i t l e d .The Works., of Lord. Byron:' with h i s L e t t e r and Journals,.. and h i s L i f e which was p u b l i s h e d by 21 Murray from 1832 - 1843« Nor s u r p r i s i n g l y a copy of 22 t h i s work was i n c l u d e d . i n Turner's l i b r a r y . However, Turner's apparent f a m i l i a r i t y with Byron's poetry, and the f a c t that he e x h i b i t e d s e v e r a l l a r g e o i l p a i n t i n g s on Byronic themes suggests.that the p a i n t e r ' s i n t e r e s t was more than t h a t of a. p r o f ession.al i l l u s t r a t o r . C h i l d e Harold's P i l g r i m a g e - I t a l y wa.s. the second of Turner's s i x o i l paintings, from t h i s peom shown at the Royal Academy 23 between 1818 and 184.4-. There can be l i t t l e doubt that Turner had a. f r e e hand. in. .executing I t a l y .which was n e i t h e r 2 / commissioned.nor ever s o l d . In c o n t r a s t to the f a i r l y s t r a i g h t f orward.. i l l u s t r a t i o n s of . s p e c i f i c , t o p o g r a p h i c a l views, Turner's l a r g e o i l s were c l e a r l y intended to convey more complex meanings. The f a c t t h a t Turner chose to e x h i b i t a Byronic s u b j e c t with strong Whig connotations becomes s i g n i f i c a n t i n the context of the surrounding p o l i t i c a l debate i n 1832. The p i c t u r e g r e a t l y appealed to. Whig supporters who saw themselves as the proponents of l i b e r t y , arguing that the c r e a t i o n . o f a strong and f r e e middle c l a s s would safeguard 110 the i n t e r e s t s of the B r i t i s h . E m p i r e . Opposing a r i s t o - c r a t i c tyranny, Whig p o l i t i c i a n s . u r g e d the Tory o p p o s i t i o n to c o n sider.the h i s t o r i c consequences . of r e f u s i n g reform. In a speech i n the Hous.e of Commons, on March 2, 1831, Thomas Maeaulay defended, the p r i n c i p l e s of the Reform B i l l by t h r e a t e n i n g the T o r i e s with the. l e s s o n of Rome: A l l h i s t o r y .is f u l l of r e v o l u t i o n s produced by causes s i m i l a r to those, which are. now oper- a t i n g i n England. A port i o n , of. the community which has. been of no account expands and be- comes strong. .It demands, a place i n the system,, suited,, not. to i t s . former weakness, but to i t s p r e s e n t power. I f t h i s be granted, a l l i s w e l l . I f t h i s i s r e f u s e d , then comes the s t r u g g l e between the. .Plebeians and. the P a t r i c i a n s of Rome. 25 E s s e n t i a l l y Maeaulay was drawing the same connection between tyranny and ..the. d e c l i n e of empires that Byron had p o e t i c a l l y d i s c u s s e d i n Canto.IV of C h i l d e Harold's P i l g r i m a g e . Beyond these r a t h e r g e n e r a l . a s s o c i a t i o n s between Byron and. the Whigs, more s p e c i f i c . connotations accompanied Turner's l i n k i n g of Byron and I t a l y . Between 1830 and 1834-, the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n the I t a l i a n s t a t e s was extremely v o l a t i l e . In 1815 the Congress of Vienna had r e d i v i d e d Napoleon's I t a l y i n t o the ten former kingdoms and duchies.- of the eighteen t h century. A l l c o n s t i t u t i o n a l concessions of the Nap o l e o n i c . p e r i o d were revoked andcabso- lute- monarchies - were' imposed on the I t a l i a n s t a t e s by A u s t r i a n I l l m i l i t a r y power. The Carbonari and. Young I t a l y s o c i e t i e s l e d p e r i o d i c , u p r i s i n g s a g a i n s t the oppressive governments of v a r i o u s states, ( i . e . Piedmont, Moderna and the Papal S t a t e s ) i n a. b i d to secure l i b e r a l reforms and the u n i - 2 6 f i c a t i o n . of. I t a l y . In England,'throughout the e a r l y t h i r t i e s , the I t a l i a n , s i t u a t i o n was. a contentious p o l i t - i c a l f o o t b a l l . . On one hand, the Whigs f e l t England should support the n a t i o n a l i s t s . . a r g u i n g that i t was i n t o l e r a b l e f o r the r e a c t i o n a r y government, of A u s t r i a to suppress the I t a l i a n states, whi.ch. had experienced a long h i s t o r y of democratic s e l f - r u l e , while') on.. the other hand, the T o r i e s f i r m l y opposed.English i n t e r v e n t i o n and condemned the subversive a c t i v i t i e s , of the " r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s . " Con- s e r v a t i v e s b e l i e v e d that, the weak democratic structure- of the h i s t o r i c I t a l i a n states, had .made f o r e i g n i n t e r v e n t i o n i n e v i t a b l e . In an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Sismondi and. I t a l i a n L i b e r t y " p u b l i s h e d i n the October i s s u e of Blackwood 1s Magazine i n 1832, an.anonymous Tory w r i t e r cautioned E n g l i s h reformers to learn.from the I t a l i a n example: S h a l l we, need, we, dare we., apply the lesson? England has f o r c e n t u r i e s been the f r e e s t , h a p p i e s t , and w e a l t h i e s t country i n the world. She has l a t t e r l y grown d i s s a t i s f i e d with h e r prosperous c o n d i t i o n . A c r a v i n g f o r power - an unnatural and morbid appetite. - produced by unwholesome stimu- lands. - has seized, upon some of her c h i l d r e n , who are by education and .occupation, l e a s t q u a l i f i e d to e x e r c i s e i t . A great, an enormous concession 112 has been made to. them (the Reform B i l l ) ; and as we f o r e t o l d , they are as ravenous, as d i s - s a t i s f i e d , as b e f o r e . Must'we proceed? C i v i l war we doubt, cannot.but be the r e s u l t . But to what. w i l l , t h a t . f e a r f u l r e s u l t lead? Be i t our. d a i l y prayer to Heaven, that for. once c i v i l war and not i n despotism!2? However, the Whigs r e f u s e d to take, heed. Instead they e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y r e c a l l e d . Byron's i n s p i r a t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s i n I t a l y , where he had j o i n e d the Carbonari and p a r t i c i p a t e d . i n the Neopolitan U p r i s i n g of 1822. Byron .had even taken the a d d i t i o n a l r i s k of s e c u r i n g arms f o r the n a t i o n a l i s t s , and e s t a b l i s h i n g a 28 clandestine, a r s e n a l i n h i s home. A t y p i c a l Whig a r t i c l e i n the Edinburgh .Review i n J u l y of 1832 e n t i t l e d "The P o l i t i c a l C o n d i t i o n of the I t a l i a n S t a t e s " a r t i c u l a t e d t h e i r p o s i t i o n : A u s t r i a i s to. ..Italy what. Turkey was to Greece. The I t a l i a n s , f e e l i t to be so.. So does the r e s t of Europe. We see no d i s t i n c t i o n . Lord Byron saw none.,, and would, have shed h i s blood as g l a d l y i n one cause a s . i n the other. U n t i l A u s t r i a returns, w i t h i n her own boundaries, and u n t i l her system. of . domination, over I t a l y i s renounced, A u s t r i a must make, up her mind to be d e t e s t e d as an o p p r e s s o r 2 9 S e v e r a l pages, of the. a r t i c l e d i s c u s s e d .the importance of Byron's I t a l i a n , observations.and p o l i t i c a l c o n v i c t i o n s . Advancing the,, same argument t h a t was made.'in Canto IV of C h i l d e Harold Is .Pilgrimage.,, the Edinburgh w r i t e r s t a t e d 113 t h a t I t a l y ' s previous, c o n t r i b u t i o n s to European c i v i l - i z a t i o n made.her present s i t u a t i o n d e p l o r a b l e : I f there i s a time f o r a l l t h i n g s , thank God, ours bids fair., to. .be the time, f o r freedom.. In t h i s case shame w i l l not,permit Europe, much longer to abandon the b a r b a r i a n i n s o l e n c e and oppression that I t a l y by which our quarter of the globe.was s t a r t e d i n i t s career o r . g l o r y . To her we owe both the science a n d . p r a c t i c a l example of every a r t - i n t e l l i g e n t a g r i c u l t u r e , l i b e r a l commerce, - the r e v i v a l of a n c i e n t l e a r n i n g - the c r e a t i o n of modern l i t e r a t u r e . - the f i r s t schools of medicine, theology, and j u r i s p r u d e n c e - a r t i s t , poet's, and p h i l o s o p h e r s , ... 30 This ' time : the .writer" drew p o s i t i v e p a r a l l e l s between l i b e r t y f o r I t a l y and. reform i n England, s t a t i n g t h a t s i n c e England had achieved l i b e r a l reforms, i t . was e s s e n t i a l to 31 help the I t a l i a n s do l i k e w i s e . C o n s i d e r i n g the controversy surrounding Byron and I t a l y , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to b e l i e v e that Turner could have been unaware of t h e ' l i b e r a l i m p l i c a t i o n s , of h i s I t a l y . I t has been, suggested,, that, three of h i s f i v e other p a i n t i n g s 32 i n the e x h i b i t i o n were also. i l l u s t r a t i o n s . of reform themes. Although there i s no s p e c i f i c evidence .demonstrating which s i d e , i f any, Turner supported d u r i n g the Reform C r i s i s , e v i d e n t l y Whig c r i t i c s i n t e r p r e t e d h i s I t a l y as a . p r o g r e s s i v e 33 statement. They admired h i s theme of Byron and l i b e r t y which w a s . v i s u a l l y r e i n f o r c e d . by the p a i n t e r ' s i n n o v a t i v e h a n d l i n g of form. Contrasts, between an c i e n t and modern 1 U o b j e c t s , warm and cool, t o n a l i t i e s , l i g h t and dark areas, and foreground and. .background spaces were p e r p e t u a l l y changing. The p l a y of opposites became, a- p o s i t i v e value which challenged, the c a r e f u l l y contained and ordered Claudean frame/work. Arcadia., was transformed i n t o a nine teen th~ century world, where a new order was p o s s i b l e . For Whig c r i t i c s , the. c h i e f value of' Turner's new order seems to have been i t s negative q u e s t i o n i n g of the status--: quo, r a t h e r than it.s p o s i t i v e d e f i n i t i o n of a modern value s t r u c t u r e . By c h a l l e n g i n g the Claudean t r a d i t i o n through an a s s e r t i o n of h i s own o r i g i n a l i t y , Turner was paving the way f o r f u t u r e experimentation. However, the p i c t u r e r e p r e s e n t e d freedom., not l i c e n c e . By h a n d l i n g Claude r e s p e c t f u l l y , Turner wa.s not t o t a l l y r e j e c t i n g the past, he was simply reforming i t . were aware of the p i c t u r e ' s l i m i t e d .appeal. The Morning Chronicle, p r e d i c t e d t h a t Turner's canvas., would be a f a i l u r e with viewers who lacked, i m a g i n a t i o n , or i n other words-- "no small number i n the B u l l f a m i l y " . The Spectator c r i t i c also- defended.. Turner a g a i n s t a n t i c i p a t e d a t t a c k s : However, even the most e n t h u s i a s t i c Whig c r i t i c s 115 An unexpec.te.d source of c r i t i c i s m came from the Examiner c r i t i c who , dismissed the p i c t u r e with two s h o r t sentences : Mr Turner's I t a l y , no. 70, h a s . l i t t l e to recommend i t as a composition. I t s c o l o u r i n g i s gorgeous, but monotonous. 36 The c r i t i c made no e f f o r t t o . e x t r a p o l a t e . t h e p r o g r e s s i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s p r a i s e d . b y the Whigs. Yet she/he d i d not experience the Tories'annoyance.with the p i c t u r e ' s b r i g h t modern c o l o u r scheme. Instead, the w r i t e r simply con- s i d e r e d the p a i n t i n g d u l l and. unworthy of prolonged con- s i d e r a t i o n . D i s c r e d i t i n g . w o r k s by l e a d i n g academicians seems to. have been a popular pastime with t h i s c r i t i c . As p r e v i o u s l y discussed,, the Examiner reviewer had been c r i t i c a l of the .works.by L e s l i e , W i l k i e and E t t y . The reviewer g e n e r a l l y seems to have promoted p i c t u r e s by l e s s e r known a s s o c i a t e s of the Academy, or by a r t i s t s who di d not belong at a l l . On.this b a s i s , i t seems reasonable to suggest that the .Examiner's p a r t i c u l a r h o s t i l i t y towards the i n s t i t u t i o n made, i t s reviewer u n w i l l i n g to compliment p i c t u r e s by i t s . l e a d i n g p a i n t e r s . C e r t a i n l y the p i c t u r e aroused, c o n s i d e r a b l e h o s t i l - i t y from "unimaginative" Tory w r i t e r s who found the theme too e l a b o r a t e and..Turner's, s t y l e exceedingly a r t i f i c i a l . 116 Uncomfortable with the p r o g r e s s i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s of Byron and h i s p o e t r y , these w r i t e r s c a r e f u l l y d i r e c t e d t h e i r c r i t i c i s m towards .Turner, r a t h e r than a t t a c k i n g the more famous poet. Byron's pos t-iiiumdus preeminence i n the l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s of, the t h i r t i e s made, i t awkward to condemn h i s p oetry, so instead, contemporary c o n s e r v a t i v e c r i t i q u e s of Byron used different., t a c t i c s , , r e p u d i a t i n g h i s p e r s o n a l excesses•and immorality. However, such f a c t o r s were s c a r c e l y r e l e v a n t to the l i n e s accompanying Turner's p a i n t i n g , and furthermore would have, been i n a p p r o p r i a t e m a t e r i a l for.an. academy.review. Nevertheless these c r i t i c s found i n d i r e c t ways of e x p r e s s i n g t h e i r d i s a p p r o v a l . . The Morning H e r a l d countered, the.Whigs' enthusiasm by simply d i s m i s s i n g the p a i n t i n g f o r l a c k i n g the grace and d i g n i t y of Byron's poem. The Morning Pos.t took, a d i f f e r e n t tack and accused Turner of committing a. " c a p i t a l misdemeanor i n an a r t which i s e s s e n t i a l l y i m i t a t i v e " . 3 7 c v ^ ^ - c found Turner's b r i g h t colouring, e s p e c i a l l y o f f e n s i v e when 3 8 measured, a g a i n s t the. " t r u t h " of Claude: F o r t u n a t e l y we have a few Claudes, i n the G a l l e r i e s of t h i s country to i n s t r u c t our u n t r a v e l l e d - e y e s i n the true f e a t u r e s .and hues of the c l a s s i c l a n d , or we might be bourne down by the author- i t a t i v e . a s s e r t i o n , of. c e r t a i n p i l g r i m s of a r t , who would persuade u.s t h a t there are no c o l o u r s beyond the Alps but the c o l o u r s of the rainbow. 117 Mr Turner makes, an unusual attempt to impose t h i s b e l i e f upon h i s E n g l i s h admirers by the p a r r o t plumage i n which, he dresses out h i s Italian.-scenery.; but f o r our p a r t s we are determined., o b s t i n a t e l y to persevere i n r e - j e c t i n g , h i s seductive e f f o r t s as unholy and defamatory l i b e l s . 3 9 I t appears that..the. Morning Post w r i t e r was upset because Turner had. broken the r u l e s of i d e a l , landscape a r t which was considered the ..most .noble form of i m i t a t i n g nature. By d e p a r t i n g from... the conventions of Claude, who as the acknowledged, genius of t h i s .medium best, i m i t a t e d nature, Turner's landscape was only a shadow, twice removed from the t r u t h of nature. Of course, i n r e a l i t y the i d e a l , landscapes of Claude were. no. l e s s c o n t r i v e d than those of Turner, but by promoting Claude .as a standard. of t r u t h i n 1832, the Morning Post w r i t e r was. adhering to t r a d i t i o n and e x p r e s s i n g a c o n s e r v a t i v e p r e f e r e n c e f o r the ordered t r a n q u i l l i t y of an imaginary p a s t . This v i s i o n c a t e r e d to the views of the e l i t e Tory, r e a d e r s h i p of. t h i s paper,--a small s e c t o r of s o c i e t y that.was.highly i n t e r e s t e d i n defending the values of t h e i r old., master, p a i n t i n g s and the f o r c e of t r a d i t i o n i n g e n e r a l . ^ Yet. i r o n i c a l l y , the r e c o g n i z a b l y Claudean.. framework of I t a l y was. p r e c i s e l y what made the image so d i s t u r b i n g f o r these c o n s e r v a t i v e viewers. I t 118 was a Claudean composition, turned, upside down. Rather than o r d e r i n g a s u p e r f i c i a l l y c h a o t i c world, .'the f o r c e s of nature p l a y e d havoc with the. c o n t r o l l i n g d e v i c e s . Instead of s upporting t r a d i t i o n a l . a e s t h e t i c values, Turner r e s p e c t - f u l l y undermined them. The i n o r d i n a t e l y h o s t i l e language of the Morning Post w r i t e r suggests .more than, the q u e s t i o n of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e was at stake. By r e j e c t i n g Turner's I t a l y , the c r i t i c was defending the f o r c e of t r a d i t i o n a g a i n s t the t h r e a t e n i n g concepts of o r i g i n a l i t y , modernity and change. E s s e n t i a l l y the c r i t i c accused, the a r t i s t of spreading l i e s about I t a l y — l i e s that, had, to be f i r m l y r e j e c t e d d e s p i t e t h e i r s e d uctive appearance. A p a r a l l e l argument had been used by Tory p o l i t i c a l w r i t e r s to r e j e c t t h at Whigs' support f o r .the I t a l i a n , n a t i o n a l i s t s — no matter how tempting l i b e r t y and. democracy looked., they u l t i m a t e l y brought r u i n . to.. those who accepted t h e i r p r i n c i p l e s . The response to Turner's p a i n t i n g once again under- l i n e s the tremendous g u l f s e p a r a t i n g Whig and.. Tory supporters i n 1832. By r a i s i n g the c o n t e n t i o u s issue.s of Byron and the I t a l i a n s t a t e s , Turner presented the academy p u b l i c with a p i c t u r e t h a t was. hard, f o r most c r i t i c s to ignore. \l9 His h i g h l y innovati.ve h a n d l i n g of. the c o n v e n t i o n a l Claudean f o r m u l a , l e d t h e . m a j o r i t y of c r i t i c s to read the p i c t u r e as a. p r o g r e s s i v e statement, f u e l l i n g the Whigs' cause f o r the modernization .of e x i s t i n g a e s t h e t i c and p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e s . 120 Footnotes "Spectator (May,12, 1832), p. 450. 2 Turner's, other f i v e e n t r i e s are l i s t e d i n Appendix B. For d e t a i l s . concerning these p a i n t i n g s , c o n s u l t Martin.. B u t l i n and Evelyn J o l l , The P a i n t i n g s of J.'M.W.' Turner (New. Haven: Yale U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1977). Ch i l d e Harold's P i l g r i m a g e - I t a l y was.the f i r s t and most prominently hung of. Turner's p a i n t i n g s i n the Great Room which was the most p r e s t i g i o u s ape«t of the e x h i b i t i o n . 3 The catalogue, excerpt. condensed these l i n e s from Byron, o m i t t i n g one l i n e . The o r i g i n a l r eads: Thou a r t the garden .of the world, the home Of a l l A r t y i e l d s , , and Nature can decree; Even i n they d e s e r t , . . . ^John Ruskin,. Notes on the. Turner G a l l e r y at 'Marlborough House 1856-7 (London:. Smith, E l d e r & Co. , 1857), p. 49. For a d i s c u s s i o n of how i d e a l landscapes are intended to f u n c t i o n , ; c o n s u l t J . B a r r e l l , The Idea of Landscape and the Sense of. Place. (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press,. 1972),, chap. I;. als.o.M. K i t s o n , The A r t of Claude L o r r a i n (London:. A r t s C o u n c i l , 1969), pp. 5-8. ^In h i s t h i r t e e n t h d i s c o u r s e (December 1786), Joshua Reynolds had.discussed the s u p e r i o r q u a l i t i e s of the i d e a l landscape. Consult S i r Joshua Reynolds, Discburses on A r t , ed. Stephen 0. M i t c h e l l (New York:. B o b b s - M e r r i l l Company, Inc., 1965)',. pp. 200-201. 7 Turner acknowledged, the importance of Claude i n the l a s t l e c t u r e of. a. s e r i e s on p e r s p e c t i v e which he gave at the Royal Academy from,1811-1816. The t e x t of t h i s l e c t u r e appears. i n . J e r r o l d Z i f . f , "'Backgrounds, I n t r o d u c t i o n of A r c h i t e c t u r e and Landscape' A Lecture by '-J.M.W. Turner," J o u r n a l of the Warburg and. ..Courtauld. I n s t i t u t e s 26 (1963): 124-147. Turner's sense of r i v a l r y with Claude has been widely discussed,. see' i n p a r t i c u l a r two r e c e n t a r t i c l e s by 121 P h i l l i p F e h l "Turner's C l a s s i c i s m and the Problem of P e r i o d i z a t i o n . i n the H i s t o r y , of A r t , " C r i t i c a l Enquiry 3 (Autumn, 1976), pp. 119-120, and Kathleen N i c h o l s o n , "Turner's 'Appulia i n Search of Apulus' and the d i a l e c t i c s of the Landscape T r a d i t i o n , " B u r l i n g t o n Magazine 122 (October, 1980j : 6.79-68.6.. Some of Turner's most d i r e c t l y Claudean compositions include.: .Crossing the Brook (1815), A p p u l i a i n Search of,.Apulus (1814..)., Dido Building" Carthage (1815) and The Decline, of ~h.e C a r t h a g i n i a n Empire (1817) Turner reduced, the t o t a l number of f i g u r e s , and made more of them female . He also, reversed the l o c a t i o n of the dancing couple and.. standing viewers, and made some v a r i a t i o n s i n the pos.es and, .gestures of. v a r i o u s i n d i v i d u a l s . Q The N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y was f i r s t l o c a t e d i n Anger- s t e i n ' s house...in P a l l M a l l . I t opened i t s door i n May of 1824, and. w i t h i n the f i r s t s i x months some 24, 000 people had v i s i t e d i t s . c o l l e c t i o n . For f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n c o n s u l t Gregory Martin "The Founding of the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y P a r t 3." Connoisseur 186.. (.May 1974): 124-128. "'"'"'in h i s "Backgrounds" l e c t u r e , Turner p r a i s e d the "golden .orient or the amber-coloured, ether" of Claude L o r r a i n , see Z i f f , ! J o u r n a l of the Warburg and C o u r t a l d I n s t i t u t e s , p. 144- "'""'"John Ruskin commented at length on the d e t e r i o r - a t i o n of the picture's., s u r f a c e which began to d e t e r i o r a t e two decades a f t e r , i t s completion.. See h i s Notes on the Turner G a l l e r y , pp. 46.-49. He mentioned that the- upper co l o u r s had. .sunk i n t o , the. ground., and. that extensive c r a c k i n g and f l a k i n g . had,, taken, place... B u t l i n and J o l l c i t e the m i s s i n g span, of.the bridge as f u r t h e r evidence of s e r i o u s d e t e r i o r a t i o n . See B u t l i n and J o l l , J.M.W. Turner, p. 176. 12 Turner's p e r s o n a l i t y . d i d not seem o f f e n s i v e to the Tory c r i t i c s . w h o only r e f e r r e d to him as a h i g h l y r e s p e c t e d academician.or as the Professor- of P e r s p e c t i v e . 1 3 M o r n i n g C h r o n i c l e (May 7, 1832). 122 Anonymous. "The L i v i n g A r t i s t s . : No. V Turner," Athenaeum ( A p r i l 23, 1831), p. 266. The a r t i c l e was w r i t t e n by A l l a n Cunningham. • 15Syectator.(May 12,.1832), p. 450. Morning C h r o n i c l e (May 7, 1832) 17 Byron, Childe. Harold's Pilgrimage and Other Roman t i c Poems, John D. Jump (London.: J.M. Dent and Sons L t d . , 1975), p. 119 Canto CVIII. 1 8 I b i d . , p. 184. 19 Anthony Burton .and. John Murdoch, Byron, V i c t o r i a and A l b e r t Museum .May 30 - August 25, 1974 (London: HMSO, 1974), pp. 38 -41 . 20 Between 1828 and 1832. s e v e r a l major e d i t i o n s on Byron appeared which were, widely reviewed i n the p r e s s . The most notable, of these i n c l u d e d : Leigh Hunt, Lord Byron and Some of His Contemporaries .(.London: Henry Colburn, 1828), John G a i t , The L i f e of Lord. Byron .(London:. Henry Colburn and R i c h a r d Ben t i c y., 1 830).,. E. Bagn.ell, Lord Byron with Remarks on His. Genius and .Character (Oxford: Talboys, 1831), and the w e l l known multi-volume s e r i e s on Byron by Thomas Moore, The Works., of., Lord. Byron with H i s L e t t e r s and Jour- n a l s , and His. L i f e 14. v o l s . (London : Murray, 1832-34) • For some idea. of... the outpouring of work on Byron d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , consult, the b i b l i o g r a p h y of Samuel C. Chew, Byron i n England. (.New York: R u s s e l l &. R u s s e l l , 1965 r e - p r i n t of 1924)• G e n e r a l l y speaking, the more sympathetic biographies.were w r i t t e n by Byron's Whig and R a d i c a l a s s o c i a t e s ( i . e . Thomas.Moore), while the more c r i t i c a l ones were p r i m a r i l y by c o n s e r v a t i v e authors. There were i n d i v i d u a l exceptions ( i . e . Leigh Hunt's b i t t e r p e r s o n a l a t t a c k on Byron;., but a general pattern, i s d i s c e r n a b l e . 21 The other two Byron e d i t i o n s c o n t a i n i n g Turner i l l u s t r a t i o n s were Lord Byron's Works 11 vols.. (London: Murray, 1825), and Finden's Landscape and P o r t r a i t I l l u s t r a t i o n s , to .the L i f e and Works, of Byron 3 v o l s . (London: Murray and T i l l , 1833-34), which i n c l u d e d the seven i l l u s - t r a t i o n s of 1825 with, two a d d i t i o n a l new p l a t e s . ' For f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n , c o n s u l t Morde.cai Omer, Turner and the Poets, Greater London .Arts.Council, . A p r i l 12 - June 1, 1976 (London: Greater .London.Arts C o u n c i l , 1976). 123 For a., l i s t of the contents of Turner's l i b r a r y , see Bernard F a l k , Turner the , Painter:,. His Hidden L i f e (London: Hutchinson S Co. L t d . , 1938), p. 258. 2 3 T h e s e p a i n t i n g s were The F i e l d of Waterloo (1818 - l i n e s from C a n t o . I l l 28th .verse,), The B r i g h t Stone~of Honour ( E h r e n b r e i t s t e i n ) 1835 - l i n e s , from. Canto I I I 56th v e r s e ) , Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino (1839 - l i n e s from Canto IV 27th v e r s e ) , Venice the Bridge of Sighs (1840 - l i n e s from Canot IV 1st v e r s e ) , and Approach to Venice (184-4 - l i n e s from Canto IV 2.7th v e r s e ) . 2 ^ B u t l i n and J o l l , J..M.W. Turner, p. 176. The p a i n t i n g formed p a r t , o f the Turner Bequest. 2 5 Thomas Macaulay, excerpt from a speech i n the House of Commons.,. March, 2, 1831 quoted i n Sydney W. Jack- man, ed., The E n g l i s h ..Re. form T r a d i t i o n .1790 - 1910 (Englewood C l i f f s - : Pren.tice H a l l , . Inc., 1965), pp. 58-59. 26 For a dis.cussion of the I t a l i a n , s i t u a t i o n , c o n s u l t G.F.H. Berkeley, I t a l y i n the. Making 1815 - 1846 (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press., 1932)., chaps. 1-2. The ten r e - e s t a b l i s h e d I t a l i a n , .states were the Kingdom of Lombardo- Ve n e t i a , the Grand,Duchy of Tuscany, the- Duchies of Moderna, Parma, Massa, Lucca and. C a r r a r a , the. Papal S t a t e s , and the Kingdoms, of. S a r d i n i a , (or Piedmont) and, the Two S i c i l i e s . A u s t r i a n Hapsburg . r u l e r s c o n t r o l Led. Lombardo-Venetia, Tuscany, Moderna,.. Parma, and Massa. 27 Anon., "Sismondi and I t a l i a n L i b e r t y , " Blackwood's Magazine (October 1832), p. 524. 28 Burton and. Murdo.ch, Byron, pp. 101-2. 2 9 Anon., "The P o l i t i c a l . C o n d i t i o n , of the I t a l i a n S t a t e s , " Edinburgh Review. ( J u l y , 1832), p. 367. 3°Ibid., p. 396 31 The a r t i c l e ' s f i n a l paragraphs drew a t t e n t i o n to the f a c t that. I t a l i a n s , i n Perugia and Umbria had p u b l i c l y c e l e b r a t e d when Lord Grey was r e c a l l e d , to o f f i c e to r e - int r o d u c e the Ref orm . B i l l . . .This i n c i d e n t was used to demon- s t r a t e how much the. I t a l i a n , p o p u l a t i o n l o v e d l i b e r t y , which f u r t h e r emphasized, how oppressed they were under A u s t r i a n domination. 124 32 This suggestion has been- made by Jack. Lindsay, The Sunset Ship: The Poems.of J.M.W.' Turner (London: Evelyn Adams- & Mackay Ltd.., 1966), pp. 61-63.. The p a i n t i n g s are:' 'The' Prince' of O r a n g e > : W i l l i a m I I I , who. Is. shown l a n d i n g at Torbay which marked, the beginning of .the G l o r i o u s Re- v o l u t i o n of. .1688,...an event Whigs, o f t e n c i t e d , as a precedent f o r the Reform . B i l l ; S t a f f a., an image o.f a modern steam- ship d e f i a n t l y , weathering a storm at sea;, and Nebuchad- nezzar, which showed, three f a i t h f u l Jews r e s i s t i n g t y r a n n i c a l r u l e . 3 3 A . J . F i n b e r g , The L i f e of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. 2nd ed. , (Oxford:, Clarendon Press, 1961), ~p~. 353. -^Morning C h r o n i c l e .(May 7, 1832). -^Spectator. (May. 12, .1832), p. 450. 3 6 E x a m i n e r ( J u l y 15, 1832), p. 453. 3 7 M o r n i n g Post (May 27, 1832). o o Turner's heavy use. of red and yellow offended a l l of the Tory reviewers. The L i b r a r y of the Fine A r t s f e l t t h a t the warm tones i n the landscape d i d not harmonize with the c o o l blue of the sky, while the Morning H e r a l d found the r e c u r r i n g red l a k y glow f a t i g u i n g . 3 9 M o r n i n g Post (May 27, 1832). ^ T h e Morning Post was .estimated to have a c i r c u - l a t i o n w e l l under . 5» 000,, .see..Hollis , Pauper Press, p. 123. W r i t i n g some f i f t y years l a t e r , H.R. Fox. Bourne c h a r a c t e r - i z e d the Post, of the t h i r t i e s as a."dispenser of 'fashionable i n t e l l i g e n c e ' , and a r i s t o c r a t i c t i t t l e - t a t t l e " . I t was w e l l known f o r i t s extremely r e a c t i o n a r y stance, see Bourne Engl.ish' Newspapers, 2, p. 19. 326. (Cat. 342) Childe Harold's Pilgrimage—Italy, exh. 1832; Ta te Gal lery F i g u r e 13. J . M. W. Turner, C h i l d e Harold's P i l g r i m a g e - I t a l y , 1832 Tate G a l l e r y (Martin B u t l i n and Evelyn J o l l . The P a i n t i n g s of J . M. W. Turner. New Haven: Yale U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1977. P l a t e 326.) ~ F i g u r e 11+. Claude, Landscape: The Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah, I 6 4 . 8 London, N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y ( P i e r r e Courthion. Claude G e l l e e d i t Le L o r r a i n . P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e F l o u r y , 1932. P l a t e 27. ) t 127 CONCLUSION The a n a l y s i s of the p r e c e d i n g p i c t u r e s and t h e i r c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n i n d i c a t e s . t h a t the Royal Academy ex- h i b i t i o n p r o v i d e d an important p u b l i c forum f o r advancing i n t e g r a l l y c o n n e c t e d . a e s t h e t i c , moral and, p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s . We have seen that the c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p between i n d i v i d u a l c r i t i c s and the i n t e r e s t groups f o r which they wrote was of c r u c i a l importance f o r understanding how the p i c t u r e s f u n c t i o n e d f o r s p e c i f i c s e c t o r s . of . the. viewing and r e a d i n g p u b l i c . Whether or not the a r t i s t s intended t h e i r works to be i n t e r p r e t e d , i n a p a r t i s a n way, the p i c t u r e s p r o v i d e d v e h i c l e s f o r the extension of contemporary arguments over the i s s u e s of. p a r l i a m e n t a r y and. s o c i a l reform. The most s t r i k i n g d i v i s i o n to emerge from the c r i t i c a l response was .the s p l i t between the c r i t i c s w r i t i n g for. openly committed. Whig and. Tory p u b l i c a t i o n s . While the content of the p i c t u r e s was often open to con- f l i c t i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s by both sides,, assessments of t h e i r formal q u a l i t i e s were more l i m i t e d . In general, s t y l i s t i c judgements were c l o s e l y l i n k e d , to the c r i t i c s ' p e r c e p t i o n s of the Academy. Conservative reviewers, who 128 supported .the i n s t i t u t i o n ' s- - e x i s t i ng s t r u c t u r e , c l e a r l y p r e f e r r e d .the c o n v e n t i o n a l . s t y l e of E t t y who used h i s academic, t r a i n i n g to perpetuate, the forms- and genres of the o l d masters.. In c o n t r a s t , Whig reviewers, who wanted a reformed and more., a c c e s s i b l e , academy, p a r t i c u l a r l y admired Turner's formal . i n n o v a t i o n s ...which., ch a l l e n g e d the statuscquo without, e n t i r e l y d e v a l u i n g i t . Although the c o n f l i c t between Whigs and T o r i e s was h i g h l y p u b l i c i z e d . d u r i n g the Reform C r i s i s , other s o c i a l alignments and ..divisions p l a y e d an important r o l e i n shaping c r i t i c a l o p i n i o n . The most s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r i n the minds of Academy reviewers was the t h r e a t of u n i v e r s a l , s u f f r a g e which d i v i d e d the middle c l a s s i n t o a predominantly Whig m a j o r i t y who f i r m l y opposed the n o t i o n , and a Radical, m i n o r i t y who f u l l y s u p p o r t e d . i t . In s p i t e of f r e q u e n t l y b i t t e r arguments,. T o r i e s and Whigs from the upper and middle. classe.s were drawn together by the f r i g h t e n i n g p r o s p e c t of the working c l a s s g a i n i n g s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l .equality.- Many Whigs shared the f e a r of the conservative' F r a s e r ' s reviewer that the masses* par- t i c i p a t i o n i n high c u l t u r e would i n i t i a t e a d r a s t i c d e t e r i o r a t i o n of e x i s t i n g . l i t e r a r y and a e s t h e t i c standards. A f t e r a l l working-clas.s p o l i t i c a l c a r i c a t u r e s and academic 129 o i l p a i n t i n g s remained.poles apart on the c r i t i c s ' s c a l e of a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t y . . (A.scale whose biases s t i l l permeate twentieth-century a r t h i s t o r y . ) Even d u r i n g the h e i g h t of the Reform C r i s i s i n May, growing signs of compromise appeared.within the ranks of the peerage and.upper m i d d l e - c l a s s . At the Academy e x h i b i t i o n , t h e . i n c r e a s i n g alignment of these i n t e r e s t s explains, on one hand,.the c o n c i l i a t o r y p o s i t i o n s of Whig peers, such as the .Grosvenors, who accepted l i m i t e d r e - forms i n order to .preserve many a r i s t o c r a t i c p r i v i l e g e s , and on the . other hand,, the. unwillingness, of many upper middle - class- writers, to challenge the a r i s t o c r a c y d i r e c t l y , except, where t h e i r upward . s o c i a l , m o b i l i t y was a c t u a l l y blocked. T h i s s p i r i t of compromise f a c i l i t a t e d a p e a c e f u l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n w i t h i n . t h e r u l i n g e l i t e from the o l d peerage to a new hybrid, establishment of reformed a r i - s t o c r a c y and the upper middle class.. . By the 1830s, the g u l f between t h e i r values a n d , l i f e s t y l e s had narrowed c o n s i d e r a b l y : the a r i s t o c r a c y had. long been i n v o l v e d i n commerce and. the middle c l a s s : e q u a l l y . i n t e r e s t e d i n the a c q u i s i t i o n , of pr o p e r t y . While c e r t a i n r i g h t s were s t i l l denied to the upper middle . c l a s s , . p a r t i c u l a r l y equal access to parliament, and f u l l acceptance by high s o c i e t y , they 130 p r e f e r r e d to. throw i n t h e i r l o t . w i t h the a r i s t o c r a c y , even at the r i s k of being second-rate., p a r t n e r s u n t i l f u r t h e r concessions could .be. won. An a r i s t o c r a t i c a l l i a n c e was c l e a r l y more a p p e a l i n g than the p r o s p e c t . o f s h a r i n g t h e i r p r o p e r t y and. accumulated, c a p i t a l . with the hungry hordes below. Upward s o c i a l m o b i l i t y was i n f i n i t e l y more d e s i r - able than the descent .to s o c i a l democracy. In sharp contras.t, the views of the r a d i c a l m i d d l e - c l a s s . m i n o r i t y were represented.by the Examiner , which was c o n s i s t e n t l y more c r i t i c a l of the Academy and i t s a r t i s t s than, any of the other p u b l i c a t i o n s . Regardless of whether the middle c l a s s had. f u l l access to the i n s t i - t u t i o n , the Examiner b e l i e v e d that, the Academy f o s t e r e d an u n p l e a s a n t . e x c l u s i v i t y among i t s members and patrons, and e l i t i s t a t t i t u d e s toward ..art. T y p i c a l of the Examiner ; n w r i t e r ' s a l i e n a t i o n .was h i s / h e r n.egat.ive comments on the p a i n t i n g s of W i l k i e and Turner which appealed to Whig reformers .as p r o g r e s s i v e . The f a c t , that these works were executed by two of the Academy's l e a d i n g p a i n t e r s seems to have made the Examiner r e l u c t a n t to p r a i s e them, f o r f e a r of c r e d i t i n g both the.Academy and the establishment which p a t r o n i z e d i t . 131 Although, the. s o c i a l and . p o l i t i c a l d i v i s i o n s surrounding the. Reform C r i s i s had. a s i g n i f i c a n t impact on the Royal Academy.exhibition, the e x h i b i t i o n seems to have had a .much les.s dramatic, e f f e c t on the r e s o l u t i o n of the p o l i t i c a l c r i s i s . . It. was. p a r l i a m e n t a r y manoeuvres, mass demonstrations, and. the. king's a c t i o n s t h a t made the h e a d l i n e stories., while e x h i b i t i o n reviews appeared i n small p r i n t on. the i n s i d e pages. Yet the e x h i b i t i o n ' s i n f l u e n c e was subtle, r a t h e r than n e g l i g i b l e . . On one l e v e l , the show was a demonstration of the r u l i n g e l i t e ' s supreme self-confidence... A t t e n d i n g t h e i r p r i v a t e view i n the midst of p r o t e s t s and s t r e e t r i o t s , the upper s t r a t a of s o c i e t y presented an. imperturbable image to t h e i r h o s t i l e s o c i a l i n f e r i o r s . However, i n the pages of the press 'that reviewed the. e x h i b i t i o n at Somerset House, the atmosphere was l e s s t r a n q u i l . . Here l i v e l y d i s c u s s i o n s and heated debates broke out, e s p e c i a l l y i n response to the four p i c t u r e s under i n v e s t i g a t i o n . F a c t i o n s w i t h i n the upper and middle c l a s s e s ad.opted d i f f e r e n t s t r a t e g i e s of power arguing over, who painted, good, p i c t u r e s , who should have access to. the Academy, who should set the standards of c u l t u r e , and u l t i m a t e l y who should govern England. The v i s i o n of each group was. c o n d i t i o n e d by t h e i r s o c i a l p o s i t i o n and p o l i t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e , but the process of en- c o u n t e r i n g the p i c t u r e s and.. d i s c u s s i o n surrounding them, 132 was a l s o a formative experience. I t i s here that the l i n e s s e p a r a t i n g a r t , d a i l y l i f e , and even p o l i t i c s begin to b l u r and break down. . 133 APPENDIX A E n t r i e s from the Catalogue of the Royal Academy E x h i b i t i o n of 1832 70 Childe Harold's pilgrimage—Italy . / . M . W . T u r n e r , R.A. " and now, fair Italy ! Thou art the garden of the world. Even in thy desert what is like to thee ? Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste More rich than other climes' fertility : Thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced With an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced." Lord Byron, Canto 4. ' 121 A family picture, containing portraits of the Marquis and Marchioness of Westminster, the Earl and Countess Grosvenor, the Earl and Countess of Wilton, Lord and Lady Robert Grosvenor, Viscount Belgraye, the Ladies Grosvenor, and Lady Mary Egerton . C.R. Leslie, R.A. 134 The preaching of Knox before the Lords of the Congrega tion, 10thJune, 1559. . 1 ) . J V i l k i e , K k , In Dr. M'Crie's Life of this extraordinary person is described the event this picture is intended to represent, which took place during the regency of Mary of Guise, in the parish church of St. Andrews in Fifeshire, where John Knox, having just arrived from Geneva after an exile of thirteen years, in defiance of a threat of assassination, and while an army in the field was watching the proceeding's of his party, appeared in the pulpi and discoursed to a numerous assembly, including many of the clergy when "such was the influence of his doctrine, that the provost, bailies, and inhabitants harmoniously agreed to set up the reformed worship in the town. The church was stripped of all images and pictures, and the monasteries were pulled down." Close to the pulpit on the right of Knox are Richard Ballenden, his amanuensis, with Christopher Goodman, his colleague ; and, in black, the Maltese Knight, Sir James Sandilands, in whose house at Calder the first Protestant sacrament was received. Beyond the latter, in the scholar's cap and gown, is that accomplished student of St. Andrews, the Admirable * Crichton. Under the pulpit is Thomas Wood, the precentor, with his* hour-glass; the school-boy below is John Napier, Baron of Merchiston, inventor of the logarithms; and further to the right is a child which has been brought to be baptized when the discourse is over. On the other side of the picture, in red, is the Lord James Stuart", afterwards Regent Murray; beyond, is the Earl of Glencairne; and in front, resting on his sword, is the Earl of Morton ; behind whom is the Earl of Argyll, whose Countess, the half-sister of Queen Mary, and the lady in attendance upon her, make up the chief light of the picture. Above this group isJohr. ilarnilton, Archbishop of St. Andrews, supported bvihe Bishop Beatoun, of Glasgow, with Quinten Kennedy, the Abbot of Cross Raguel, who maintained against Knox a public disputation. In the gallery is Sir Fatrick Learmonlh, Provost of St. Andrews and Laird of Dairsie, and with him two of the bailies. The boy on their lest is Andrew Melville, successor of Knox; and beyond him, with other P r o - fessors of the University of St. Andrews, is the learned Buchanan; at ilie back of the gallery is a crucifix, attracting the regard of Catholic penitems; and in the obscurity above is an escutcheon to the memory of Cardinal Beaton. 215 The destroying angel and daemons of evil, interrupting the orgies of the vicious and intemperate. A finished sketch of that class of compositions called by the Romans " Visions," not having their origin in history or poetrv. IV. Etly, R.A. 134 APPENDIX B Other Works Exhibited, at. the R.A.' of 1832 "by E t t y , L e s l i e , Turner and Wilkie"'" W i l l i a m E t t y 196 Youth on the Prow and Pleasure at the Helm 215 The D e s t r o y i n g Angels and.Daemons of E v i l 360 Phaedra..and, Cymochle's, or the I d l e Lake C. R. L e s l i e 121. A Family P i c t u r e I4.O . A Scene, from the Taming of the Shrew J . M. W. Turner 70 C h i l d e Harold's P i l g r i m a g e - I t a l y 153 The P r i n c e of Orange, ..William I I I 206. Van Tromp's.Shallop at the Entrance of the Scheldt 284 H e l v o e t s l u y s - The.City of U t r e c h t , 64, Going to Sea 355 Then Nebuchadnezzar Came Near to the Mouth of the Burning F i e r y Furnace 453 'Staffa,. F i n g a l ' s Cave David W i l k i e 71 His Majesty King W i l l i a m IV 134 The Preaching of Knox Information was .compiled from the catalogue of the Royal Academy E x h i b i t i o n of 1832. 1 3 5 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Books 1. 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