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ESSAY ON THE ORIGIN, &c. of ENGRAVING. [199]

courfe, his moft early productions least skill; but all of them are eare the rudeft, and manifest the qually defective in point of drawing, efpecially when he attempted to exprefs the naked parts of the figure.

multifarious as thofe of Martin Schoen's, was born at Mecheln, a fmall village near Bocholt, where he chiefly refided. The latter is a town fituated upon the banks of the Aa, in the bishoprick of Munfter, in Weftphalia. He died, A. D. 1523. According to the tradition of the inhabitants of Bocholt, the father of this artist was a goldfmith, and his baptifmal name was Ifrael. Hence M. Heineken concludes, that he alfo was an engraver, and that a great part of the prints, attributed to the fon, belong to him. attentive examination (concludes "An that author) will make it appear, that all these prints are not by the fame hand. I am almoft certain, that Ifrael the father engraved feveral, thofe efpecially, which have the greatest marks of antiquity, and are executed in a rude ftyle, approaching nearest to the work of the goldfmith."" Nor (adds he) will I deny, but that the fon may have commenced originally as a goldfmith, by armorial bearings, foliages, croffes, and other ornamental works. But as he was a painter as well as an engraver, and a man of tolerable abilities in the art of defign, confidering the time in which he lived, it is not at all aftonishing, that among the prints produced by his graver, we fhould find fome by no means wanting in merit." How far thefe obfervations may be confidered as just by the experienced collector, I cannot pretend to fay. for my own part, I fee no reason to divide the works of this artist; nor can I find, upon ftrict examination, any other difference in the prints, which I have seen at tributed to him, than what one might reafonably expect to find in the works of any one man, who with his own hand performed fo great a number of engravings. Of

manner of engraving, adopted by "It is certainly true, that the Martin Schoen, differed exceedingly from that of Ifrael van Mechelen. The works of the former are more firm and determined, and, upon the whole, greatly fuperior. Let any the print reprefenting St. Anthony one take the trouble of examining carried into the air by the demons, which was firft engraved by Martin Schoen, and afterwards copied by Ifrael, and the question will be rea dily decided in favour of the for mer, without adding the anecdote, recorded by Vafari, that Michael Angelo was fo pleased with this engraving, which is truly a masterpiece of Schoen's, that he copied it in colours. The inferiority of If rael van Mechelen, when compared to Martin Schoen as an artist, is by no means any proof of his priority in point of time. The only advantage which M. Heineken gains by making the father of van Mechelen an artist, as well as himself, is a greater length of time for the execution of those works attributed he fays, "I place the engravings to him; and upon this fuppofition 1450 and 1503." The fon was cerof the two Ifraels between the years tainly a more modern artist than Martin Schoen; and we have a print by him, which bears fo late a date as 1502. He was contemporary with Albert Durer; and fome have fuppofed, that he visited that artist at Nuremberg. Sandrart at tributes to Ifrael van Mechelen the invention of engraving, and tells us, that his firft prints were exeN4 cuted

lifts are depicted with St. Jerom, and three other faints. Upon the defk of St. Jerom, who is feated and writing, is the date 1466. There are several copies of this plate, and one of them by Ifrael van Mechelen, apparently not greatly pofterior to the original, which probably was executed by the fame mader as the print, dated 1461, mentioned already in the prefent chapter.

"What has been faid will, I doubt not, fufficiently prove, that there is the greatetheafon to believe, that the art of taking impreffions from engraved plates was prac tifed in Germany before it reached Italy; efpecially if we agree with Vafari, who exprefly declares it did not appear in that country before the year 1460; when, on the other hand, we may, I think, with the greatest juftice, place it at leaft ten years earlier among the Ger« mans,"

cuted about the year 1450. If this account. indeed be true, it must make much in favour of M. Heineken's conjecture, concerning the engravings of the father; but the argument at prefent unfortunately wants fufficient proof to be admitted as abfolutely conclufive; and, until fome more fatisfactory account fhall be produced, I cannot help declaring, that I am of a different opinion. The earliest dated print which I have seen by Ifrael van Mechelen, is in the collection of Dr. Monro. It represents the Virgin and Child with four angels. The engraving is rude, and coarfer than the works of that artist are in general; and the date is 1480. He engraved, however, I believe, fomething earlier than this period. In the fame collection is preferved a circular print, where the Deity appears furrounded by an ornamental border, in which the fymbolical reprefentations of the four Evange

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MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS:

RISE and PROGRESS of the FIRST COMMEMORATION of HANDEL.

[From Dr. BURNEY's Account of the Mufical Performances in Weftminster Abbey, and the Pantheon, in May and June, 1784.]

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HOW

OW this great idea was ge. nerated, cherished, and matured, will probably be a matter of curiofity to the public, as well as the manner in which it was executed. And having had the honour of attending many of the meetings of the diretor and conductor, while the neceffary arrangements were under confideration, as well as opportunities of converling with them fince, I fhall ftate the principal facts as accurately as poffible, from fuch authentic information as thefe favourable circumftances have furnished.

In a converfation between lord viscount Fitzwilliam, fir Watkin Williams Wynn, and Joah Bates, cfq. commiffioner of the victualling-office, the beginning of laft year, 1783, at the houfe of the fatter, after remarking that the number of eminent mufical performers of all kinds, both vocal and instrumental, with which London abounded, was far greater than in any other city of Europe, it was lamented that there was no public periodical occafion for collecting and confolidating them into one band; by which means a perform ance might be exhibited on fo grand and magnificent a fcale as no other part of the world could equal. The

birth and death of Handel naturally occurred to three fuch enthufiaftic admirers of that great mafter, and it was immediately recollected, that the next (now the prefent) year, would be a proper time for the introduction of fuch a custom: as it formed a complete century fince his birth, and an exact quarter of a century fince his decease.

"The plan was foon after communicated to the governors of the Mufical Fund, who approved it, and promifed their affiitance. It was next fubmitted to the directors of the concert of Ancient Mufic, who, with an alacrity which does honour to their zeal for the memory of the great artist Handel, voluntarily undertook the trouble of managing and directing the celebrity. At length, the defign coming to the knowledge of the king, it was honoured with his majefty's fanétion and patronage. Westminfter Abbey, where the bones of the great musician were depofited, was thought the propereft place for the performance; and application having been made to the bishop of Rochester for the ufe of it, his lordship, finding that the fcheme was honoured with the patronage of his majesty, readily confented; only

only requesting, as the performance would interfere with the annual benefit for the Westminster Intirmary, that part of the profits might be appropriated to that charity, as an indemnification for the lofs it would fuftain. To this the projectors of the plan acceded; and it was afterwards fettled, that the profits of the first day's performance fhould be equally divided between the Mufical Fund and the Westminfter Infirmary; and thofe of the fubfequent days be folely applied to the ufe of that fund which Handel himself fo long helped to fuftain, and to which he not only bequeathed a thousand pounds, but which almost every musician in the capital annually contributes his money, his performance, or both, to fupport.

"Application was next made to Mr. James Wyatt, the architect, to furnish plans for the neceffary dccorations of the abbey; drawings of which having been fhewn to his majefty, were approved. The general idea was to produce the effect of a royal musical chapel, with the orchestra terminating one end, and the accommodation for the royal family, the other.

"The arrangement of the performance of each day was next fettled, and I have authority to fay, that it was at his majetty's inftiga tion that the celebrity wes extended to three days inftead two, which he thought would not be fufficient for the difplay of Handel's powers, or fulfilling the charitable purposes to which it was intended to devote the profits. It was originally intended to have celebrated this grand mufical feftival on the 20th, 22d, and 23d of April; and the 20th being the day of the funeral of Handel, part of the mufic was, in fome meature, fo felected as

to apply to that incident. But, in confequence of the fudden diffolution of parliament, it was thought proper to defer the festival to the 26th, 27th, and 29th of May, which feems to have been for its advantage: as many perfons of tender conftitutions, who ventured to go to Westminster Abbey in warm wea ther, would not have had the courage to go thither in cold.

"Impreffed with a reverence for the memory of Handel, no fooner was the project known, but moit of the practical musicians in the kingdom eagerly manifefted their zeal for the enterprife; and many of the most eminent profeffors, waving all claims to precedence in the band, offered to perform in any fubordinate station, in which their talents could be most useful.

"In order to render the band as powerful and complete as poffible, it was determined to employ every fpecies of inftrument that was capable of producing grand effects in a great orchestra and fpacious building. Among these the facbut, or double trumpet, was fought; but fo many years had elapfed fince it had been used in this kingdom, that neither the inftrument, nor a performer upon it, could easily be found. It was, however, difcovered, after much ufelefs enquiry, not only here, but by letter, on the continent, that in his majesty's military band there were fix musicians who played the three feveral fpecies of facbut; tenor, bafe, and double bafe. The names of thefe performers will be found in the general lift of the band.

"The double baffoon, which was fo confpicuous in the orchestra, and powerful in its effect, is likewife a tube of fixteen feet. It was made, with the approbation of Mr. Handel, by Stainfby, the flute-maker,

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for the coronation of his late majefty, George the Second. The late ingenious Mr. Lampe, author of the justly admired mutic of The Dragon of Wantley, was the perfon intended to perform on it; but, for want of a proper reed, or for fome other caufe, at prefent un known, no ufe was made of it at that time; nor indeed, though it has been often attempted, was it ever introduced into any band in England till now, by the ingenuity and perfeverance of Mr. Afhly, of the Guards,

"The double-bafe kettle-drums were made from models of Mr. Afhbridge, of Drury-lane orchestra, in copper, it being impoffible to procure plates of brafs large enough. The tower-drums, which, by permiffion of his grace the duke of Richmond, were brought to the abbey on this occafion, are thofe which belong to the ordnance ftores, and were taken by the duke of Marlborough at the battle of Malplaquet, in 1709. These are hemifpherical, or a circle divided; but thofe of Mr. Afhbridge are more cylindrical, being much longer, as well as more capacious, than the common kettle-drum; by which he accounts for the fuperiority of their tone to that of all other drums. Thefe three fpecies of kettle-drums, which may be called tenor, bafe, and double-bafe, were an octave below each other.

"The excellent organ, erected at the west end of the abbey, for the commemoration performances only, is the workmanship of the ingenious Mr. Samuel Green, of İflington. It was fabricated for the cathedral of Canterbury; but before its departure for the place of its deftination, it was permitted to be opened in the capital on this memorable occafion. The keys of

communication with the harpfichord, at which Mr. Bates, the conductor, was feated, extended nineteen feet from the body of the organ, and twenty feet feven inches below the perpendicular of the fet of keys by which it is ufually played. Similar keys were first contrived in this country for Handel himself, at his oratorios; but to convey them to fo great a distance from the inftrument, without rendering the touch impracticably heavy, required uncommon ingenuity and mechanical refources.

"In celebrating the difpofition, difcipline, and effects of this most numerous and excellent band, the merit of the admirable architect, who furnished the elegant defigns for the orchestra and galleries, muft not be forgotten; as, when filled, they conftituted one of the grandest and moft magnificent fpectacles which imagination can delineate. I am acquainted with few buildings, that have been conftructed from plans of Mr. Wyatt, in which he exercised his genius in Gothic; but all the preparations for receiv ing their majefties, and the first perfonages in the kingdom, at the eaft end; upwards of five hundred muficians at the weft; and the public in general, to the number of between three and four thousand perfons, in the area and galleries, fo wonderfully correfponded with the style of architecture of this venerable and beautiful structure, that there was nothing vifible, either for ufe or ornament, which did not harmonize with the principal tone of the building, and which may not metaphorically have been faid to be in perfect tune with it. But, befides the wonderful manner in which this conftruction exhibited the band to the fpectators, the orcheftra was fo judicioufly contrived, that

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