Abbildungen der Seite
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

M HE phenomena of a brilliant sun and garden front, and descending a flight or

I a cloudless sky tempted us forth upon two of stairs, emerge upon the upper teran expedition to the Crystal Palace at race, along which runs a gravel walk fifty Sydenham. We catch a distant view of feet in width, and exceeding in length that the building almost as soon as we glide of the entire building. From this upper out of the Brighton railway station, and terrace three broad fights of steps lead know it immediately, though it appears down to a lower and larger one, whose but an undefined gray spot upon the sum- area is not much less than thirteen acres, mit of a hill six or seven miles off, by the which is about equal to that occupied by flashing reflection of the sun's rays from the palace itself. It is laid out in walks its coating of glass. A ride of some half- and flower-beds, after the manner of an hour brings us to the Annerley station, Italian garden, and ornamented with six whence we have to climb the hill for fountains of novel design, symmetrically another mile ere arriving at our destina- arranged. On either side of the central tion. As we advance, the proportions of flight of steps leading from the upper to the building come gradually into view, and, the lower terrace, and in front of the grand long before reaching the level upon which central transept, two pairs of colossal it stands, we are struck with the immense sphinxes, reposing upon ponderous basesuperiority of such a site for such a struc-ments of granite, look out with stony eyes ture compared with that occupied by the upon a glorious English landscape, stretchbuilding of 1851 in Hyde-park.

ed far away before them, and fading out We enter, with other visitors, in the gradually in the misty atmosphere of disrear of the edifice; and desirous, before tance. These sphinxes are close and an examination of its contents, of contem- faithful copies of the Egyptian original plating its appearance and effect as viewed now at Paris, and are placed with adfrom its own grounds, we cross to the mirable effect on their present site. De

Vol. V.-34

scending the slope yet further, and verging the size of a hippopotamus, and by his to the right among natural mounds and side the frog of the fable has actually swo!. declivities, planted with flowering shrubs | len to the dimensions of the ox. Here and evergreens, with here and there a are creatures with the body of a duck, the noble tree whose spreading branches yield fins or flappers of a phoca, the neck of a a welcome shade in summer, we arrive at boa-constrictor, and the head of a crocoa point of view favorable for a glance at dile. Here is the ichthyosaurus, clothed the entire structure of the palace. We with his invulnerable armor, and furnished feel at the first impression the justice of with his screw-propeller tail. Here is the the universal praise which has been award-lordly elk standing erect among a congreed to the improved design. The reduction gation of prostrate lizards of colossal lonof two hundred and forty feet in the length gitude. Here are ravenous-looking levia. enables the spectator to embrace the whole thans of the alligator family, with jaws building within the compass of his vision, above a yard in length, bristling with without withdrawing to a distance too countless fangs as large as fingers-togreat for observation of its details. It is gether with monsters which we cannot true that much of the idea of vastness is pretend to name, and which Adam never lost; but if that be a loss,—though we are named at all, (belonging as they did to an inclined to think it is not,-ample amends antecedent period,) of shapeless form and are made by the imposing spectacle of hideous aspect. Here, too, is the stupen

just, elegant, and grand proportions—ele- dous iguanodon, in whose body a score of ments to which, notwithstanding its super- gentlemen met to dinner. Professor Owen, lative merits of adaptation to a specific it is reported, did the honors of the table, purpose, the building in Hyde-park had and seasoned the substantial fare with a but little pretension. The erection of three colloquial lecture on the subject of ante. transepts in place of one, the noble ele- diluvian remains. He dwelt briefly on the vation of the central transept, and the sub- discoveries of Cuvier and John Hunter, stitution of an arched roof for a flat one and of Buckland, who, from a single tooth, along the entire length of the nave, alto-constructed the megalosaurus; and at the gether have, by replacing parallel lines close of his remarks proposed as an appro. and sharp angles by flowing lines and priate toast the memory of Mantell, the graceful curves, entirely altered the char discoverer of the iguanodon—a toast which acter of the general outline. The result is a was received in mournful silence. These structure upon which the eye loves to rest, | strange monsters, suggestive as they are and toward which it instinctively turns so of the history of the earth ere its inhabitlong as the object is in sight. From either ants were subjected to the mastery of end of the building, wings bearing the ap- mankind, will form one of the most striking pearance of conservatories, and termin- and significant of the numberless attracating in square towers, project forward tions of the new palace, and will render sufficiently far to embrace the whole of the valuable assistance to the study of geterraces, which are thus partially inclosed ology. from the rest of the grounds. Into one Water, whether in motion or at rest, of these wings the railway from London forms a principal feature as well in the runs, and thus discharges its passengers palace itself as in the delightful gardens beneath the roof of the palace.

mapped out before it. The ornamental The grand avenue, which may be said fountains spout water to a great height, to terminate between the sphinxes in front and, in order to effect this, water is pumped of the central transept, extends in a straight into tanks placed on the summit of the line down the entire slope of the park to lofty towers at either end of the building. a distance of two thousand feet,-some- | The outer casing of the towers being formthing more than a third of a mile.

ed of hollow cast-iron columns, the water We follow mechanically a party of vis descending through them supplies the jets itors who are making their way toward a of the fountains. These towers also serve long, low building in the lower grounds, the purpose of chimneys to the furnaces and, being courteously admitted, find our used for heating the water required for selves in the presence of a portentous warming the building in cold weather; group of monsters terrific to behold. Here and further, being fitted with a spiral stair is what seems a common toad amplified to | rising to the height of nearly two hundred feet, form a succession of available gal- race, we find ourselves in an underground leries for viewing the surrounding scenery. chamber, to which has been given the name There are broad basins of water between of Paxton's tunnel. We mentioned above the flights of steps leading from the upper that the ground slopes downward from the to the lower terrace, into which numerous rear to the front of the building ; the dedolphins, ranged in the vaulted niches of scent from one side to the other is as the terrace-wall, spout a continuous stream. much as twenty-five feet, and of this cirThe grand water-works are arranged at cumstance the architect has availed himthe bottom of the main avenue.

self in constructing a long tunnel or baseBefore entering the building for a brief ment story, extending the whole length of survey of its contents, we may as well the edifice. A portion of this long champerform what will be expected of us, by ber is allotted for the exhibition of working stating, as shortly as possible, the actual machinery, and another portion is fitted dimensions of the present structure, refer- up with boilers for the heating of the waring at the same time to that of the Hyde- ter designed to raise the temperature of park palace. The entire length of the the interior in cold weather. To effect new pile is 1608 feet, that of the former this, above fifty miles of iron piping, seven being 1848 feet; the entire length of the inches in diameter, are laid down beneath central transept is 384 feet, against 456 the floors, and connected with ventilators feet, the greatest depth in the first build-traversing the galleries, making together ing; the height from the floor to the roof a huge arterial system dispensing warmth of the nave is 110 feet, against 66 feet, to every part. The pipes are so arranged the height of the former nave; and the that the water, after circulating through height from the floor to the center of the them, and parting with its caloric, returns middle transept is 180 feet, against 108 to the boilers to be again heated. The feet, the height of the first transept. Ow- | furnaces will consume their own smoke, ing to the fact that the ground upon which and thus there will be no visible effluvia the new palace is built shelves considerably projected through the central shafts of the toward the park, the elevation on that side water-towers at either end of the buildis 194 feet, an increase in height which ing. Experiments which have been made tells well upon the general appearance. with the warming apparatus have satisfacThe actual space inclosed by the new torily proved its efficiency. building is 542,592 feet, or about 134 acres, ! On ascending to the level floor-line, and against 767,150 feet, or about 19 acres, in proceeding to the end of the nave toward the old one. Thus it will be seen that the Dulwich Road, we are enabled to comwhile the inclosed area is nearly one-third pare the effect of the interior view with less in the new pile than in the old, the our recollections of the same effect in height is about two-thirds greater—and it the former structure. Indisputably, one will be readily imagined that proportions striking charm is nearly lost altogether. so entirely different give a new character | We allude to that dim, mysterious, hazy, to the present undertaking. Add to this, and eminently picturesque effect which that what was formerly the side is now arose from the much greater length of the the front of the edifice—that the device of Hyde-park palace, which delighted, bebreaking the long flatness of the façade by cause it deluded the eye of the spectator deep recesses at the ends of the transepts with the idea of unfathomable depth and has been resorted to, and the immensely- distance. Here there is no mystery to improved effect is readily conceivable, deal with ; the eye commands the entire even without the aid of pictorial repre-perspective, and, as it were, takes possentation. But without such aid, or a session of the whole with a glance. In personal visit, it is not easy to conceive all other respects, however, the interior what a really picturesque object the new aspect of the Sydenham Palace is infinitely palace becomes when seen from one of the superior to that of its predecessor. The many favorable points of view which the perspective of the long, lofty, arching park presents. Our engraving perpetuates nave excels the low, flat roof of the exhibut one aspect of the picture, which the bition as much as the vaulted arch of a spectator may contemplate with renewed Roman temple does the ceiling of a barpleasure from a hundred different spots. | rack. The addition of forty-four feet to

On entering the building from the ter- | the height gives an air of sublimity and

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

grandeur to the new building wanting to works of art which form the principal feathe old. Again, the monotonous repetition tures of attraction to this realm of fairy of columns and girders, complained of as land. We enter first, as it happens to be wearisome to the eye in the first building, nearest at hand, what is called the Pomis avoided in the new one by the projection, peian Court, which is nothing more or less at regular intervals, of pairs of columns, than a fac-simile of a Roman mansion rewhich, advancing forward into the nave, stored to its beauty and brilliancy as it break the perspective lines on either side, existed in Pompeii nearly eighteen hundred and impart a degree of variety to the view. years ago. The building, as it stands On ascending to the galleries, where space here, complete in all its ornate elegance is allotted for the different classes of manu and luxury, presents a spectacle which can factured goods, and viewing the area be nowhere else be witnessed. In design it low from various points, the old idea of combines the most enchanting simplicity vastness grows upon us again, and by a with the most elaborate art, and, though judicious arrangement of the botanical and never overloaded with ornament, is yet an artistic specimens, that picturesque ele- example of all that ornamentation can acment of indefinite extent is fully restored. complish in the production of chaste archi

We must now turn our attention to the tectural effect. The apartments, which

are small, are adorned with exquisite paint-expects to see the Roman himself step ings, mostly of marine and mythological forth in the toga virilis, and take the place subjects-cupids, dolphins, satyrs, bac- of that policeman A 2001, as guardian of chantes, sea-bulls, tritons, and Venuses. | the dulce domum. In looking around upon They open into the compluvium or open the delicate gorgeousness of the painted court, in the center of which is the foun- columns and ceilings, it is curious to note tain. Here all around tells of the Roman how colors which, less artistically comage and Roman customs, and one almost / bined, would have produced a tawdry and

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

repulsive effect, are so learnedly employed | ing toward the other end of the building, as to harmonize thoroughly, and to sug- we advance through groups of busts, and gest, as they should do, the ideas of tran statues, and colossal fragments, toward the quillity and repose. This has been the Fine Arts Courts. A colored plan of the work principally of foreign artists—the lower floor, exhibited on a boarding, shows ornamentation having been intrusted to us that the several courts have been arSignior Abbati.

ranged with a view to chronological order, Leaving behind us the collection of and that we are in the right direction for plants and botanical specimens, and turn- | the first, which is the Egyptian Court.

« ZurückWeiter »