merit. In the house of a priest, who officiates in one of them, I observed a "Crucifixion," without a frame, apparently quite newly painted, and, on inquiring, I found it was the work of an artist in Antwerp; that it had been bought by the glass-makers of the district, or rather obtained in exchange for some part of a cargo sent to that city, from which they had brought and presented it to their little chapel; it was valued at Antwerp, against the glass, at seven hundred florins ($150).
The little chapels in the glass districts are also beautifully decorated with colored glass, the rich ruby lamps suspended before the altars, with their ever-burning lamps, the clusters of prisms in the great centre chandelier, reflecting the ruby lights, and gold, and flowers, from the altar, are always—independent of any other feeling—subjects worthy the contemplation of the artist. All the vases for flowers which richly decorate the country churches are of native manufacture—ruby, emerald, topaz, chrysophras, turquoise, and crystal chalices, full of the rarest of those flowers which form so much the delight and pastime of the inhabitants to cultivate, shed their delicious perfume through their chapels, mingled with the incense which, renewed daily, at morning and evening service, fills the buildings with perpetual fragrance. Another great resource for the arts in this country, which is offered by the Church, is the sculpture of wood. I have often been surprised and confounded by seeing an exquisite Virgin, or Crucifixion, or figure of a patron or local saint, in some far out of the way chapel in the hills, or in some lonely shrine, and even in the niches on the exterior of these buildings: but on inquiry I found that these were often the works of the first artists! the foreman of some native Canova, or Max, whose health, impaired by inhaling the fine dust of the marble, was not obliged to work on till death put an end to his talent; but, before the disease had become incurable, forsook marble for oak, and reproduced in that material all the beauties of the original; and under the fostering wing of the Church recovered his health, and filled his native village church with works of the highest order. It is the same with artists, natives of larger towns; I do not speak of such works as are to be seen in Antwerp, and other cities of note—wonderful productions of rare art in carving, such as the figures which stand on each side of the numerous confessionals in the north transept of the glorious cathedral of the former, nearly as large as life, all emblematical of repentance and forgiveness, and other attributes of contrition and mercy; with many others of nearly, if not quite, the same merit, in the various churches with which this town abounds. These are the works of great masters whose celebrity is European; but to find in the wild and unknown districts of these mountains such works of art—to know there is a sure and safe means for the suffering artist to continue his work and regain his health, while he fills his country with fine objects of art, carved in wood, and which could never be obtained in any other way, is a blessed encouragement to talent, and a field for the arts which can only be appreciated by those who are relieved by it, or those who are dying for want of its protecting hand. Mr. Steel, in Edinburgh, the last time I had the happiness of visiting him in his studio, when he was engaged on that exquisite work the Scott statue, and which has since been placed within the monument erected to that illustrious man, told me he had, then, lately lost one or two of his best men from pulmonary complaint, brought on by inhaling the marble dust; that he had tried every means to counteract its effects, by providing the men with veils and masks, but to no purpose. His best man then at work upon this national masterpiece, was fast failing beneath the effects of the same cause, and is now probably laid with all his talent in the dust, lost to his country in the prime of life, when here such a man would soon be restored to health, while he reproduced his works in wood, and maintained himself and family in a comfortable and illustrious independence, enriching his country, and carrying the arts into the remote valleys of his native home.
Thus far we make use of a letter to the Art Journal. In the Great Exhibition we perceive that the glass of Bohemia has attracted much attention, not more for the grace and beauty of its forms than for the recent improvements which have been made in its colors. The principal agent for the sale of Bohemian Glass in the United States is Mr. Collamore, of 447 Broadway, in whose extensive establishment may be seen in particular all the varieties of those vases, and other mantel ornaments, of Bohemian Glass, which, to a great extent, are taking the place of porcelain fabrics, of the same description, in the more fashionably furnished houses. One of these vases we copy here from the Art Journal Catalogue of the Hyde Park Exhibition; others are of different forms, and of colors equalled in richness only in other manufactures of the same country.
Of other industrial pursuits in this class we shall give accounts hereafter.