PAINTERS IN THE REIGN OF KING GEORGE II.
IT is with complacency I enter upon a more shining period in the history of arts, upon a new era; for though painting made but feeble efforts towards advancement, yet it was in the reign of George II. that architecture revived in antique purity ; and that an art unknown to every age and climate not only started into being, but advanced with master-steps to vigorous perfection—I mean the art of gardening, or, as I should choose to call it, the art of creating landscape. Rysbrach and Roubiliac redeemed statuary from reproach, and engraving began to demand better painters, whose works it might imitate. The king, it is true, had little propensity to refined pleasures; but Queen Caroline was ever ready to reward merit, and wished to have their reign illustrated by monuments of genius. She enshrined Newton, Boyle, and Locke ; she employed Kent, and sat to Zincke. Pope might have enjoyed her favour, and Swift had it at first, till insolent under the mask of independence, and not content without domineering over her politics, she abandoned him to his ill-humour, and to the vexation of that misguided and disappointed ambition that perverted and preyed on his excellent genius.
To have an exact view of so long a reign as that of George II. it must be remembered that many of the artists already recorded lived past the beginning of it, and were principal performers. Thus the style that had predominated both in painting and architecture in the two preceding reigns, still existed during the first years of the late king, and may be considered as the remains of the schools of Dahl and Sir Godfrey Kneller, and of Sir Christopher Wren. Richardson and Jervas, Gibbs and Campbell, were still at the head of their respective professions. Each art improved before the old professors left the stage. Vanloo introduced