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Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre
Sights of London. the Diorama - Ruins in a Fog
1827, 30 June
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction (London), volume 9, No.260, June 30, 1827, p.425.
Sights of London
The Diorama - Ruins in a Fog
The subject of the above engraving is a novel illustration for our pages; as the fine old ruin is merely an imaginative design, and does not represent a real object: nevertheless, we are assured our engraving will have many admirers, as it is a faithful copy of one of the magnificent views new exhibiting at The Diorama.
This fine picture represents a Gothic Gallery falling to decay, situate at the extremity of a narrow valley, beneath barren mountains. All is sombre, desolate, and mournful; the long-drawn aisles, at a first glance, are alone perceived, for a thick fog reigns without, and such is the illusion of the scene, that you actually fancy yourself chilled by the cold and damp air. By degrees, however, the fog disperses, and through the vast arches are plainly discovered the forests of pine and larch-trees that cover the valley. The magic of this effect ot light is indeed most extraordinary, and the illusion is complete and enchanting. The execution of this picture reflects the highest honour on Mr. Daguerres, the artist, whose talents have been frequently exercised on other subjects which have been exhibited at The Diorama, but with none of which have we been more interested, than the present specimen, which entitles Mr. Daguerres to be ranked as one of the most distinguished painters that ever lived.
Another picture, painted by Mr. Bouton, is exhibited with the Ruins in a Fog: it is a View of St. Cloud and Environs of Paris, and the eye wanders over a rich landscape, which embraces in ex tent about forty miles of the country adjacent to the French metropolis. At our feet runs a road, which looks arid and dusty, by the side of which lies a man sleeping, which is life itself; this portion at the picture is executed in the most masterly style. Beyond the bridge thrown over the Seine rise the fine chateau and eminences of St. Cloud, and the Lantern of Demosthenes, which, when illuminated, used to announce to the Parisians, that Napoleon had deserted their city for the palace of St. Cloud. Mount Valerian, the vineyards of Argenteuil, the mills of Sannoy, the steeple of St. Denis, may be recognized, and to the extreme right is Paris, the numerous edifices of which may be easily distinguished. In a work of such magnitude, and possessing so many claims to admiration, it is impossible to carry on a description which, at best, can but convey a feeble idea of thls magnificent picture to our reader. We shall then desist from further detail, especially as the major part of our friends will doubtless take an opportunity of visiting tlie Diorama, and passing, as we have done, an agreeable hour in viewing this highly interesting exhibition.