« PreviousContinue »
opinion on the subject, and who dare Europe without an academy for the express their sentiments honestly and cultivation of science, more especially freely; and it must be the conviction of as such institutions are permitted to any man of science or literature who exist in other parts of the empire, as at there mixes in that rank of society from Prague, Pesth, Venice, and Milan.” which science and literature have ever emanated. How is this? Is there not
" The fear of change,” he continues, material for such ? Will the mere want
even of a truly scientific and literary of patronage thus completely crush the
nature, seems almost as great a bugbear growth of so noble and fast-flowering a
to the Austrian rulers as political adplant? No-I fear we must seek in
vancement or reform. But let not, the some deeper source for the stubborn
government of Austria suppose that by rock that thus blights the roots of the tree of knowledge. Even the casual
giving encouragement to the progress
of science, it would thereby encourage foreigner, or the amusement-hunting
a revolutionary spirit in the heart of visitor, who in his short sojourn in the
its dominions. The author has resided imperial city, is led about by his valet
sufficiently long in the capital, and has de-place from institution to museum,
had such opportunities of observing the from academy to university-who spends
condition of the people at large, as a delightful day in the Ambrass or the
enables him to see and feel that the Belvedere Gallery-beholds the richest
trading and working classes of the comtreasures of the animal and mineral
munity (the only materi l by which the kingdom, crowded into the different
educated and the political can ever hope splendid collections of natural history,
to effect any revolutionary change in is lost in wonder at the brilliancy of the
their state or government) are too comSchatzkammer-and sees in the museums
fortable, contented, and happy to beof antiquities the noblest efforts of
come their instruments. He has seen Etruscan and Grecian art-whose mind
with regret how much superior was the is powerfully impressed with the pater.
condition of the burghers and trades. nal government which has erected and
men of Vienna to the corresponding endowed such noble hospitals and sana
classes in England; and how much sutory institutions—and looking at these
perior the Viennese mechanic was to things through the purple veil that wellordered diplomacy has encompassed
the gin and whiskey-drinking, sallow
faced, discontented artisan of Great them, says to himself, surely with such
Britain—too often, alas ! rendered un'encouragements arts and science must
happy and discontented by the inciting flourish here the savans of Vienna
declamation of some ale-house orator, 'must be numerous and celebrated. But noble and impressive as are these insti.
or by the blasphemous and revolutionary
sentiments of some Chartist periodical, tutions and museums, they have not that lead him to brood over fictitious produced the effects that similar esta
wants, or drive him forward to deeds of blishments have in other countries. The
outrage, at once ruinous to himself and higher branches of science are at a very disgraceful to the community to which low ebb in Vienna, particularly at this
he belongs. But look at the same class moment, and have been so since the
in Austria-enjoying their pipe and decease of its astronomer, botanist, and
supper, listening to the merry strains mineralogist - Littrow, Jacquin, and
of Strauss and Lanner, while their famiMohs. Chemistry has never had exis
lies, the gay, light-hearted daughters of tence there; astronomy is buried in the
the Danube, are whirling in the waltz grare of its late professor ; mineralogy
or gallope, both helping to maintain, as is locked up within the glass cases of well as their betters, the well-known the K.K. cabinet of the emperor (unless motto of the Viennese, “ Man lebt um zu it may again flourish in the person of leben." The author has heard of, and Mr. Haidinger); physiology is but a
also seen much of what is called Austrian name; and geology and comparative
tyranny; but ardently as he loves liberty, anatomy are still unborn in the Austrian
and venerates the glorious institutions capital-the former because it is, or
of Great Britain, he is now constrained was, forbidden to be taught, lest it to say that he would willingly exchange should injure the morality of the relic much of the miscalled liberty for which gious Viennese !--and the latter because it has not yet been specified in the cur
the starving, naked, and often houseless
peasant of his father-land hurrahs, for riculum of education prescribed by the à moiety of the food, clothing, and sustate."
perior condition of the like classes in
Austria. Without entering on the " It certainly sounds strange, and dangerous subject of politics, which loudly demands inquiry, why the im- should not find its way into a work of perial city should be the only capital in this description, even had its author
the desire of doing so, he cannot but notice the boast of one of the latest writers on Vienna_that, while its rulers, or, to speak more correctly, its Ruler, has retained this great empire, steady and unmoved, although formed of such an incongruous mixture of tongues and nations, when other countries of Europe have been shaken to their foundations, or had their governments completely overturned by war and internal revolution, Austria has, during the last half century, remained like a ship in a calm, sluggishly rolling on the windless swell, while her helmsman simply rights his wheel when the occasional jarring of his rudder reminds him that he is still director of the barque.
“ This may, in political affairs, be all for the benefit of the country-time will yet inform us; but it is not alone in such matters that this great country has remained in statu quo ;-while the surrounding kingdoms have increased their commerce, extended their fame, and benefitted mankind, by their culture, patronage, and advancement of science; Austria can still boast that her rulers have preserved her unmoved and unaffected by the scientific progress and scientific revolution of the last forty years.
“It may be for her political advan. tage that her double-headed national emblem should keep a watchful eye upon innovation from without, or alteration from within ; but we greatly fear that in this over-anxious care the outstretched wings of the Schwarzen Adler have shaded the extensive dominions of Aus. tria, and its imperial city in particular, from the light of science, and cast a gloom upon the ardour necessary to discovery and improvement."
to the emperor in person. The follow. ing twelve persons petitioned the Kaiser to establish an academy, and grant government assistance towards its support. The representatives of the mathematical and physical section were-Jacquin, the botanist; Baumgartner, director of the China factory; Ettingshausen, professor of physics ; Schreibers, director of the natural history cabinet ; Pruhel, director of the polytechnic institute; andLittrow, the astronomer. The philological and historical class was supported by the names of Kopiter and Wolf, both of the imperial library; Buchholz Arneth, director of the cabinet of medals and antiquities ; Chonel, curator of the im. perial archives ; and Hammer Purgstall, the orientalist. This petition was received by the archduke Lewis, on the 20th of March, 1837, at the same time that the academy at Milan was reerected. It was then forwarded to the chancellary, and from thence to the police department; and it remained in its passage through the public offices for about two years, till it at last gained its way back to the bureau of the minister of the interior, where it now remains, and is likely to do so, til a new generation and a more enlightened era forces its attention upon the government. Jacquin, Littrow, and Buchholz, are no more: while they lived, comparisons might have been made as to the respective merits of the individuals who composed the leading persons of this desirable undertaking ; but as the list now stands, Von Hammer remains without a competitor,undoubtedly the person of most literary reputation in Vienna.'
Dr. Wilde has, with considerable industry and literary labour, collected from various sources, accounts of the several learned societies that have ex. isted in Vienna since the erection of the celebrated Danube Society, by Coprad Celtes, in 1493, in order to show that the abstract and least popular sciences have not progressed since the days of the philosopher, Leibnitz:
But Dr. Wilde has not been its only advocate. Littrow, one of the most distinguished philosophers that Austria can boast of for the last half cen. tury, wrote warmly and energetically in its behalf. His eloquent appeals to the state are thus described by our author:
“ From time to time, and by writer after writer, has this lamentable deficiency been alluded to; still the go. vernment, from whom all here must emanate, took no step to remedy the defect ; at length a few of the men most eminent in science and literature, finding no minister willing to assist them, or put forward their claims for this pur. poso, determined to address themselves
“In his own beautiful and peculiar style, he details the erection, and recounts the labours of the different European academies. When speaking of those in Spain, a poetic spirit worthy of the great astronomer breaks forth. He eloquently sketches the history of that country in her golden age; not during the period in which she discovered a world, but already, in the eighth and ninth centuries, when warmed with Arabic fire, she poured forth her spiritual light, in the richest streams, over the whole of Europe, then sunk in the dark night of barbarity and superstition, and even
into the regions of the distant east. each professor (especially in Southern With the pen of a practised artist, and Germany) must teach not only certain the graphic powers of an historian, he doctrines, but teach them according to paints the splendour of the court of the specified rules framed for his direction, Onunajaden, which added to the renown and beyond which he dare not advance; of arms an equal fame in arts and sci. while the latter is intended not only for ences, and calls to our recollection the the advancement of abstract science, day when the philosopher, abandoning but for the instruction of the professors his cell in the most distant parts of themselves." Europe, and even in the remote lands of Asia, sought instruction in the academy
We understand the reason at preof Cordova. Nerer,' says he, was sent assigned by the heads of the Ausscience higher esteemed, or every blos- trian dominions for refusing this boon som of the human mind more honoured, to the literati of their capital, is that than in the resplendent court of Hakem the Second. The renown of the academy to give it stability or eclat; but
there is not a sufficiency of talent there of Cordova leaves far behind it the longest echoes of Alexandria, great as it was “ If,” says our author, “such a in its day. It leaves behind it even the want does exist, then the science and fame of the high schools of Bagdad, literature of the Austrian capital must Kufa, Bassora, and Bocara, and even have degenerated since the days of the erections of Haroun Al Raschid, and Leibnitz and the time of Maria TheAlmamon; and never was Spain (in resa; and such a deficiency at present comparison with its time, and with the
can only be accounted for, as I have surrounding world) more intelligentalready stated, by the misdirection or richer, or happier ; never was its admi- mal-administration of the Studium-Hofnistration, finances, or industry — its Commission, and by the absence of the internal or external commerce_its agri- necessary care and support of science in culture, and even the condition of its the heart of the Austrian dominions. It roads better attended to, than in the is generally but erroneously supposed, glancing period of the Omunajaden.' that the Viennese possess but little taste He next alludes to the men brought for- for literary and scientific matters. I do ward by academies, foremost among firmly believe, that were the barrier that whom stands Pope Sylvester the Second, now dams up the stream of learning at the renowned teacher of kings and its source but once removed, Vienna princes. He adduces the benefits, na- would pour forth a flood of light that tional, scientific, and individual, con- would soon rival every capital in Europe. ferred by the societies of London, Ber- Surely, with such men as Hammer lin, Paris, and St. Petersburgh. He Purgstall, the first of living orientalists, holds up to Austria, the many great and who undoubtedly stands at the head masters that these academies have pro- of the Austrian literati; mathemati. duced_the Newtons, Eulers, D'Alem- cians and chemists of such eminence as berts, with Copernicus, Lagrange, La- Baumgarten and Ettingshausen ; novel. place, Monge, Gauss, and others; who, ists like Caroline Pichler ; poets like fostered by academic institutions, have Grillparzer, Sedlitz, Lenau (Nimpsch), extended their researches into the re- and "Castelli ;* travellers like Hügel ; gions of the unknown; and by enlarging naturalists, who count among their num. the boundaries of science, advanced the bers John Natterer, Endlicker, Screi. interest and honour of their countries. bers, Haidinger, Diesing, and Heckell, In a style of the most withering sar- besides such men as Count Bruenner, casm, but with such admirable tact, the friend and pupil of Cuvier, and Praas to escape the red pen of even an tobavaria, the lawyer ; together with Austrian censor, he compares his own those persons whose names have been eountry to the present stereotype con- already enumerated in the petition of dition of China ; and in the same clas. 1837, and many others that I might with şical, argumentative, and cutting vein, great justice enumerate ;- there is a be clearly defines that difference so hard sufficiency of talent to render the liteto impress upon the Austrian govern- rary society of the capital both useful, ment, between a university and an aca- brilliant, and agreeable." demy: the former being designed but for the instruction of youth, and where So strenuously has our author taken
* The number of poets in Vienna is very remarkable : independent of those I have enumerated above, we find Count Auersperg, (the Anastasius Griln,) Fränkel, Feuchtersläbed, and Betty Paoli, who have all written with much spirit and effect.
VOL. XXII.-No. 127.
up this subject, that we cannot for- As our author treats principally of bear, even at the risk of being te- medical subjects, the contents of his dious, quoting his observations upon most important chapters are not suited the establishment of an academy as a to our pages, and consequently we political movement from another por- must content ourselves with one more tion of his work:
extract referring to the state of the
fine arts in Austria:“ With reference to the present state of science in Vienna, and the want of an
“ Although the fine arts are not paracademy in particular, two subjects have
ticularly cultivated in the imperial city started into notice since this work was
or the provinces of Austria Proper, yet originally composed, both pregnant with
the splendid galleries of the former, events that must one day influence the
added to the patronage bestowed upon welfare of Austria. It is well known
modern artists, and its academy of to those conversant with the present painting, has created no unworthy state of affairs in that part of Europe,
school of art since the commencement that during the last two years Magyarism of the last general peace; and even in and Sclavism have raised their heads
the year 1820 there were seven hundred from out of the literary darkness, and
students and young artists studying in much of the political thraldom in which
Vienna : but while Venice, Milan, and they have been sunk for upwards of
Prague are numbered among the cities half a century; and one of the first
of the empire, sculpture, painting, and efforts of this new spirit has evinced
engraving, music and the drama, find itself in various attacks upon true Ger
there a more congenial home. manism. Should not, therefore, sound
“Generally speaking, the fine arts policy grasp at every means of opposing flourish most in the German, Bohemian, to those growing influences such a
and Italian provinces; while Hungary, powerful scientific organ as an Austrian
Transylvania, Gallicia, and the Military academy. The urgency of this becomes
Borders, as might be anticipated from the greater, as the Hungarians and
the present condition of these countries, Bohemians rejoice in such institutions,
neither possess much art, nor feel its and from these bodies have issued many
want. Yet although this applies to of the works to which I now allude.
Hungary as a nation, the observation The Austrian monarchy, and the reign- is daily losing force in the capital of ing house in particular, being truly
that country. German, it is more than Egyptian blind.
“ The imperishable reputation of ness in them to remain passive spec- Italy as a school of art, the magnifitators of the overpowering efforts of cence of its galleries, the number and the Sclaves and Magyars, and not to
the value of its antiques in marble and strengthen and bind together, as they on canvas, the remembrance of its thus might, the German elements of the
ancient glory, and the very tread of constitution. Is it not an unaccountable
its classic ground, have long since and unwarrantable neglect of the Ger- created it the centre of European art ; man race, whose scientific worth and
and while Rome forms the nucleus of capability is so much underrated in
this centre, the cities of the Austrian comparison with the Hungarians, Bo
dominions in the Lombardo-Venetian hemians, and Italians, to whom aca- states still continue to uphold, as far demies are permitted, thus to prohibit as the state of art in the present day one in the capital city of the empire, will permit, the name and celebrity from the days of Leibnitz to the pre- bequeathed to them by the ancient mas. sent?
ters: and the spoils of the Byzantine “But if patriotism has no avail, the kingdom, which adorn the lovely daughconsideration of foreign policy should ter of the Adriatic, still mould the have its weight. All Germany, as we · Venetian artists. have lately bad many instances to prove, “So early as the end of the fouris rallying its nationality against France. teenth century, the school of Padua The Zollverein is the great bond of had arisen, with Andreas Montegna 'union which holds the various states and - and his followers, and that of Verona, principalities of this vast dominion in with Gianfrancesco Carotto. In those, connection; but from this Austria still
if the outline was sharp or even harsh, stands aloof. Can we, therefore, while still the drawing was correct. In the she neither leagues with the one, nor second half of the fifteenth century permits the other, consider her fully the Venetian school arose ; and while alive to her own and the common in it softened the lines of the two former, terests of Germany ?".
first brought into play those wonderful
powers of its magnificent colouring, which has since become its characteristic, and has never been surpassed. As we advance in the sixteenth centurythe golden age of painting in ItalyRome, Florence, and Venice vie for the mastery in the art bequeathed to them by Giorgione and the celebrated Tizianno Vercelli; and even in later years, when the glory of painting had departed from the other Italian schools, that of Venice still flourished, and could boast a Tintoretto and a Paul Veronese. - In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, those stars of the first magnitude which had illuminated the horizon of Italian painting had set; the age of imitation ensued, for the artists of that day acknowledging the superiority of their forefathers, seemed as it were awed by the perfection attained by the masters of the early school, and seldom ventured to test their own powers of originality; and thus, although the schools of Milan, Venice, and Cremona still produced many distinguished artists, they were but disciples of an earlier and more resplendent period.
** This condition of the art in Italy continues to the present day; for although a hundred pieces of sculpture, and four hundred and ninety-seven paintings, by modern artists, were produced in the Milanese exhibition in 1838, there were but few works among them of any merit, whereupon 'copy' could not bave been read.
" While the arts were undergoing this change in Italy, the peculiar schools of Austria and Bohemia shot forth, and even in their infancy were characterised by much taste and genius, particularly in miniature painting. Το Bohemia undoubtedly belongs the honour of having created the first national school in the Austrian dominions, for even so early as the latter end of the fourteenth, and beginning of the tifteenth century, when the Einperor Charles IV. held his court in Prague, the encouragement which painters, sculptors, and architects of every pation there received, soon raised a healthful spirit of emulation among the native artists of that country, among whom the names of Kunze and Theodorich of Prague stand pre-eminent.
** The works of the early Bohemian school possess all the errors in drawing and perspective which characterize the old German style. The last and the present centuries have, however, produced many distinguished Bohemian artists, who justly earned for themselves and their country considerable reputation in painting. The imperial city was
one of the last places in the monarchy where dative art commenced to flourish; how far this circumstance may have arisen from the want of that encouragement to artists and that fostering care of art, (such as she now denies to science,) the records I have consulted make no mention; for, although we read of the protection afforded by Rudolph II., the school has made but little progress till the present time.
" In 1704, an academy of painting and sculpture, under Leopold the First, was founded in Vienna, and furnished with models of the best antiques from Rome and Florence; thus the foundation was laid, but no superstructure arose upon it, and a very few years after its erection it fell into decay. In 1726 it again rose into life, and a school of architecture was connected with it; but the first great step towards the formation of a school of art had its origin in the collections commenced by the noble families of Lichtenstein and Schwartzenberg, and by the protection and patronage which they afforded to architects, sculptors, and painters, during the latter part of the eighteenth century.
“Under Joseph II. the academy was enriched with many new and splendid works of art, liberally endowed by this patriotic emperor, divided into separate schools for its several branches, and placed under the direction of Frederick Füger, a painter of acknowledged and superior merit
* The splendid public and private galleries of Vienna are now too well known to require comment or description—the present school is chiefly distinguished for its success in portrait painting and landscape. Although sculpture has never fourished to any extent in the capital, the statues and monuments of which are principally by Italian masters, yet Austria has sent forth many distinguished artists in this department, at the head of whom stands Raphael Donner, one of the most celebrated European sculptors during the early years of the last century. Some years ago the Viennese school of engraving was more distinguished than any other of southern Germany, and received much eclat from the works of Jacob Schmutzer ; but this art has bere, as in other parts of Germany, given way to the softer touches of lithography. We are indebted to a Bohemian, Alois Senefelder, for the invention of this latter art, which was first brought into general use in Munich, and afterwards in Vienna, from whence it has spread to all parts of the globe.
“ Singing and music, which have hail