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· The Greeks and Romans were certainly acquainted with the same, for Pliny roeaks of it and distinguides it froin the lime or fresco-ground. He calls it Creta or Cretula, and describes it as a dry ground, fit to receive and to imbibe certain colours, which cannot be easily laid on the wet lime or fresco-ground . He might have recommended it as being the fittest for boards, whether designed foć distem per or oil painting, and as being better calculated for oilpainting than any other harder ground, since imbibing the oil it naturally prevents its forming a kin over the colours, and accordingly keeps them clearer and brighter. .
"The whiteness of its colour, and the smoothness which it takes by polishing, are two other advantages of some consequence. It is for very good reasons then, that the Egyptians, the Greeks, and Romans used it, that the practice has been handed down to us unintersupled and unforgotten. The old Gothic paintings on boards are constantly laid on this ground; and the first and modern masters of the Roman and Venetian schools, Raphael, Paul Veronese, and many others have recommended it by their example to the latest po. fterity,'
This curious and learned enquiry concerning the painting of che ancients, is continued through several pages, in which it is shewn, that the use of chalk or whiting grounds, and the application of varnishes on pictures, are practices of the higheft antiquity ", and were continued from the remote ages, in which mummies were made by the Egyptians, down to the times of Raphael, Titian, &c. Though from what Mr. R. has collected, it seems impossible to prove that either the Egyptians, or the ancient Greeks and Romans, ever made use of oil as a vehia cle for their pigments.
And here we may observe, that whoever discovers the vehicle used by the ancient painters, will perform a grateful and important service to the art, since it certainly gave their works an advantage over those of the most celebrated moderns in point of duration. Pausanias describes the paintings in the Poikile at Athens, without using any expreflion that can occasion a surmise of their being in the least decayed or faded, yet Pausanias must have written upwards of 600 years after these paintings were finished ; and the ancient picture, generally called the Aldobrandine marriage, now to be seen in the palace of that name at Rome, continues to this day a fine picture, though probably painted 2000 years ago. Another advantage which it possessed, was, that it did not change or corrupt the pigments tempered
«f Ulus in Creta, calcis impatiens, Plin. H. Nat. xxxiii. c. xiii. ex omnibus coloribus Cretulum amant, udoque illini recusant purpuriffum, &c. Ibid. xxxv. c. vii.'
. Vide what has been said by us concerning the varnisk used by Apelles, in our account of Mr. Bardwell's Practice of Painting, &c. Rev. vol. xv, p. 168. No. for Aug. 1756.
with it, witness the Aldobrandine picture already mentioned, and those found at Herculaneum. The best judges of this art, who have seen them, agree, that their vehicle (to express ourselves in technical terms) covered well, and wrought freely.
Our Author afterward pursuing his enquiries concerning the painting of the ancients, proceeds to treat of paintings in wax. He remarks, that both Vitruvius * and Pliny t, in the palsages quoted by him, mention the propriety of mixing oil with the wax employed in painting on walls. He then observes, that it may be doubted, whether, in the practice of this art, the methods of employing wax recommended by Count Caylus, M. Muntz, Fratrell, or Kablo, were the same with those the ancients used. The three first named of these gentlemen, have given to the Public their different processes, but that of M. Kablo is a composition, which we are in foroved by a note at the bottom of page 34, was advertised to be sold by the inventor M. Kablo at Berlin. The wax prepared by this ingenious artist, we are told, had the property of diliblving in water, as well as in oil, and since this secret is supposed likely to prove of great use to the art of painting, and many of our Readers may wish to be acquainted with it, we shall here give the entire process of making this composition, as communicated to us, by a gentleman who has made many experiments relative to the practical part of the art of painting; it is as follows :
Salt of Tartar, one ounce ;
fix ounces ;'
Diffolve the falt over the fire, in the water, in a clean, or rather a new, earthen pipkin; then, by little and liccle, add the wax; which will incorporate with the water and salt ; and make a composition as white as snow, with which colours ground either in oil or water may be 'mixt, and used with a pencil.
Note, the pipkin hould be capable of containing two quarts of water; as the composition, when it boils, rises up
furprifingly. Having finished these disquisitions, our Author gives an account of a curious old manuscript of Theophilus Monachus on the Art of Painting, which he discovered in the library of Trinity College Cambridge, it wa's bound up in the same vo. Jume with another, equally curious, Eraclius de coloribus et artibus Romanorum ; they are written in vellum, both by the fame hand, full of abreviations such as were used in the thirteenth century, though from some circumstances Mr. R. is of opinion with Mr. Lesling, that the author, Theophilus, lived in the tenth or eleventh century. • B. vii, c. 9.
+ Nat. Hift. xxiii. c. 7.
What What scanty remains of ancient art and literature were preserved in those most barbarous ages, were in the polletion of priests and friars; the language of their liturgy obliged them to maintain some little acquaintance with the Latin language, and the decorating their churches occafioned them to preserve some documents relating to painting, varnishing, gilding, &c. A monkish treatise on architecture would be a desirable curiosity, as we observe much ingenuity in the construction of old Gothic churches.
The Treatise of Theophilus on Painting, in the barbarous Latin of the original; that of Eraclius, and an Appendix containing a Review of the Lumen inimæ of Farinator, another Monkish production, conclude this fingular publication.
Amongst other interesting particulars in Theophilus, we find the method of making linseed oil for the use of painters, and two receipts for making oil varnish, which complete the evidence against the claim set up by Vafari in favour of John Van Eyck, and form an article in the history of painting, which had long been consigned to oblivion.
ART. III. Anecdotes of Olave the Black, King of Man, and the He
bridian Princes of the Sonerled Family. To which are added,
1 be a most acceptable present to the antiquary; while the critic in philology will find some amusement from the little poetical Eulogies of the Islandic Bard.
The Editor informs us, that the work from whence this Fragment was taken, was the composition of Thordr, an Illandic writer of the thirteenth century. The original is extant in the celebrated manuscript of Flatey, now in his Danish Majesty's library; where the poems of Snorro are likewise preserved.
The events recorded in this Fragment bear date 1229, and 1230. The relation is simple, unembellished, and wholly confined to facts. We will give the Reader a brief view of them,
Allan, a Scottish Earl of Galloway, had made great havock in the Sudereys (or Western isles of Scotland), and committed many ravages in Ireland. Olave, the son of Godred, was at chat time King of Man. That island was subject to Haco, the Norwegian king. The princes of the Sudereys were not attached to Haco-efpecially those who were of the Somerled fa
mily; but Olave preserved his allegiance with unshaken fidelity and arriving in Norway, acquainted Haco with the hostilities of Allan, and of his threats of carrying them on still further. On this an armament was fitted out to check his proceedings, and the command was given to Upfat, who, though a Sudereyan, and of the Somerled family, was nevertheless confided in by the King of Norway. At the arrival of the forces in Ila-Sound, a dissention arose between the Sudereyans and the Norwegians, which was fomented by mutual jealousies, and a skirmish ensued, which ended in the death of the chieftain of Ina, and the imprisonment of Dugal, Upsac's brother. Upsac, however, was totally blameless, and by his prudence and conduct reconciled the contending parties. After the Norwegians had collected troops from the Islands, and got themselves equipped with eighty ships, they failed South, to the Mull of Kintire, and from thence proceeded to the Isle of Bute. Here the Scots had fortified themselves in a castle, under the command of a STEWARD of Scotland [Enn STIVARDR af Skotum), who behaved with much gallantry; but was afterwards killed by an arrow, as he was leaping on the ramparts of the fortress. The Scots bore the fierce assault of the Norwegians with great bravery, and threw down upon them pitch * and lead. To avoid this annoyance, the assailants erected over their heads, a covering of wood, and then hewed down the wall (for the stone was very soft), so that the ramparts fell down, and the very foundation of the castle was razed.
The Norwegians (as the Fragment farther relates) now heard that Earl Allan was South, at the Nesses, and had drawn together an hundred and fifty ships, intended against them ; wherefore they failed under Kintire, lay there for some time, and made several descents. Uprac the king now caught a dirorder, and lay a little while, and died, and was much lamented by his men. Upon this King Olave was made commander over all the armies, and going to the Merchant-Iles, remained there a great part of the winter. They next went South, against the Mankfmen (the inhabitants of the Isle of Man), who were led by a person called Thorkel, the son of Niel. But the Mankrmen would not fight against Olave, and they broke up their confedesacy (i. e. dispersed) in the presence of Thorkel, and the Norwegians took him into their hands, and held him in fetters some time. They laid as a tribute on the Manksmen, three English pennies for every cow, and also maintainance for the whole army ihrough winter.
Afterwards, the Norwegians steered their course away from Man, though King Olave remained behind. They failed North
* Melted, we take it for granted.
cMonks of Ruffwreserved by Camafeer relat
under Kintire, and there went on shore; but the Scotch came to meet them, and fought with them, and darting too and fro, were very irregular in battle, and many fell on either side ; and when the Norwegians came to their fhips, then had the Scotch killed all the servants that were on land preparing of victuals, and all the Heth-kettles were carried away. They next made many descents in Kintire, and proceeded thence North to the Orkney Islands.
Soon after, most of the Norwegians failed East to Norway, having, in this expedition to the Western Illes, won great renown for their King. And when they came into his presence, he thanked them well for their voyage. —Here ended the acts of the Sudereyans.
This little Fragment is a strong confirmation of the authenticity of the “ Chronicle of the Kings of Man,” supposed to have been written by the Monks of Russin- Abbey, the most diftinguished monastery in that island, and preserved by Camden in his Britannia, as a very curious and valuable Memoir. After relat. ing some particulars omitted in this landic Fragment, refpecting the depredations of Allan and Reginald (Olave's brother) on the land, the Chronicle gives this brief account of the occurrences now more circumstantially related in the Fragment. « Olave after this (viz, about the year 1229) went to the King " of Norway: but before his arrival, Haco King of Norway " had appointed a certain nobleman, called Husbac ( Uplac Ilan“ dice] the son of Owmund to be King of the Sodorian Inands, " and gave him his own name, Haco. This Haco, accom" panied with Olave, Godred Don, the son of Renigald, and as many Norwegians, came to the Isles; but in taking a certain "castle in the Ile of Bote, he was killed with a stone, and bu" ried in Iona.
os 12 20. Olave came with Godred Don, and Norwegians so to Man, and they divided the kingdom. Olave was to have “ Man. Godred being gone to the Illes, was slain in Lodhus. “ So Olave came to be role King of the Isles.”
Of Olave, the Chronicle further says, that "he died on the “ 14th of the calends of June, in St. Patrick's Ille, and was “ buried in the Abbey of Ruffin.”
The principal difference in the Fragment and the Chronicle, lies in the account of the death of Upsac, furnamed Haco, after the Norwegian monarch. In the former, it is said that he fell fick at Kintire, after the expedition to the Idle of Bute, and died there. In the latter, he is said to have been killed at the aflaule on the castle of Bute. Perhaps the apparent contradiction may be reconciled, by admitting, that the wound he received at the Jast mentioned place was the occasion of his death; which, however, did not happen, till after the arrival of the army at Rev. Aug. 1781.