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second type of artistic composition in portraiture, which consists in the grouping of the subjects to be delineated, and the recording of the same in one picture by a single effort of the artist. This is by far the simpler method, and partakes less of the imputation of being mechanical. As far as our science can at present carry us, this course seems more likely to secure satisfactory results, in an artistic point of view, than the former method. For in constructing a work of art piecemeal, the mind of the artist has to grapple with a great number of independent ideas all tending towards the same centre. Each individual effort has to be studied in a twofold light, as a separate picture, and in relation to the position assigned for it in the composition. A very slight mistake in any of the parts endangers the acceptation of the whole as a finished work of art, although there may possibly exist nothing which the most fastidous critic would condemn in any one of its components taken independently.

In the branch of photographic composition I am now endeavouring to illustrate, although we have greater optical difficulties with which to contend, we have greater scope for the formation of artistic groups, because the object contemplated is effected by a single stroke of genius, harmonizing with the inspiration of the true artist, which most frequently manifests itself in flashes of his intellect. Not that I would have you suppose that less mental labour is expended. He first has carefully to study his subject in all its bearings, coping manfully with his increased optical difficulties, at the same time pondering over his pictorial requirements, spending thus days of thought and ofttimes nights without repose until all the details are thoroughly impressed upon his mind's eye. He then commences with all the enthusiasm of his elder brethren to embody his conception by aid of the truthful photograph, often, to his great chagrin, too truthful, for it reveals to him vividly how far he has gone astray. Nothing daunted, he returns to his task again and again with renewed vigour, nor flags until his labour is rewarded with success.

I now enter upon the second division of the descriptive portion of my subject, the endeavour to illustrate the method by which it has been sought to produce the pictorial in landscape photography.

In this branch of the art-science mechanical difficulties, which have hitherto proved such barriers in the path of portraiture, exert less influence and are gradually being surmounted. The great fault which artists have pointed out in photographic landscapes is the absence of those qualities which constitute many of the chief features of a painting. I allude to the delineation of clouds and general atmospheric effects. No one has regretted these failings more than the artistic photographer. Happily, however, for our art, optical science has been making and is still effecting rapid strides ; the exposure to light in the camera has gradually been diminished, until pictures, possessing all the vigour and definition of the best productions, can be secured in the small fraction of a second of time. By this means the most transient appearance in nature can be registered in all the beauty and truthfulness with which it flashes on the retina of the artist. He who years ago when toiling at his sketch, was perhaps transfixed by some gorgeous outburst of nature's own magnificence, and has longed for some fairy spell by which the enchanting but momentary scene could be indelibly impressed upon

has now the vision realized, as far as can be, by the beauteous gradations of light and shade in the photograph.

Moreover, the resources of chemistry are bestowing on the photographer increasingly greater boons. He is gradually

. becoming more and more independent of his laboratory and chemicals, able to give his almost undivided attention to the

art bearings” of his profession. He looks upon his camera

his canvas,

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and its accessories with less veneration than formerly; his thoughts are concentrated upon the picturesque selection of his subject; he waits patiently until the ray falls in such a direction as will ensure him the correctly balanced light and shadow; he watches for those atmospheric effects which will harmonize with the whole ; and, when he considers that he is favoured by the presence of all these elements of success, his mental labours terminate, and all that remains for him then is to secure the desired result.

It may, however, be said truly of landscape photography, that it is not the rule, but rather the exception, for everything to progress so smoothly as I have described. The painter is not bound to embrace all within the boundary of his vision. An objectionable tree can be omitted from his sketch, or a straight line can be curved to suit the requirements of his taste. It is not so with the photographer. He has obvious barriers to contend with that his brother limner would skip over with the greatest ease, but which present impracticable obstacles in his path. He it is, however, who proves himself the most worthy of the name of artist who, in the face of the greatest difficulties, succeeds in spite of them all.

In conclusion, allow me to recur to a statement I have already advanced, that doubtless photography has already effected much for art itself--much in its encouragement, but more in the practice. For illustrations, I will not refer you to your portrait albums on the drawing room table, nor even to your portfolio of choice photographs. By the possession of these you at least acknowledge the utility of the art by which they have been produced. I would invite you to examine the productions of our modern engravers prepared for the beautifying of our serials and standard literature. How often do we find in the margin the important words recurring “from a photograph,” thus guaranteeing at least a certain amount of fidelity. This, however, if viewed in the spirit of the Times critic, presents no argument in favour of art-photography. But I would with pride draw your attention to the pictures which emanate from the studio of the veritable artist himself as they hang upon the walls of our exhibitions; to his delineations of draperies, his foliage and in his appreciation of detail, instead of being altogether satisfied with dashes for effect; and this the photograph has taught him can be consummated without any sacrificing of those noble qualities which stamp his productions with the utmost refinement of artistic gepius.

Photographers are now sanguine of success in one of the most important strides that their beautiful and useful art could possibly have achieved; no less than the transfer to the metallic plate, by means of light's own influence, of the results which have been obtained in the camera. This point being gained, a mighty impulse will be given to the interesting science whose claims to the sisterhood of art I have so feebly brought before you. If I have succeeded in convincing the members of this important society that those claims are worthy of discussion, I shall consider that the object of my task is fully completed.

THE MEDALLIC HISTORY OF NAPOLEON

THE FIRST.

By Frederick J. Jeffery, Esq.

(READ 12TH NOVEMBER, 1863.)

An original MS. list* gives the number of medals issued under the auspices of the first Napoleon as one hundred and thirtyseven ; there are, however, several besides that are not included in this list. I am able to lay before you a collection of eighty-four, which afford specimens of the best and most important, and will, perhaps, warrant my speaking of the whole series as fairly represented by those now exhibited. No one person ever produced so numerous or so valuable a set of medallic illustrations of great events, as Napoleon the First; and it is fortunate that he turned his attention to their production at an early period of his career, omitting no opportunity to continue the series. They thus form, perhaps, the most complete numismatic record that ever existed ; and their interest is obvious. A glance at these remarkable works of art carries us back in thought to the scenes they illustrate and to the man

those wondrous story they tell ; bringing before us the more striking points and tragic scenes of the grand historic panorama which forms the opening of the nineteenth century. They are curious as shewing the variety of the devices adopted ; and some of them have a special interest as affording proof of a magnanimity not always discernible in the actions of Napoleon. When the time of disaster arrived, and the end of all the pomp and circumstance of his career was plainly at hand, he had the

* Note, p. 102.

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