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tis said, “ You hear this, young man, passed over it in a more delicate manwhat say, you-are you a painter or a ner-but the general resemblance was sculptor."- " I live by sculpture," not rendered more perfect. His bust was the reply, and the statue was ime of the lady of a Scottish judge belongs mediately confided to his hands to this period --Nature furnished him statue of equal ease and dignity will with a beautiful form, and his art not readily be found.
reflects back Nature. He had made some progress in this On his return from Scotland, he was work, when he was employed by Mr employed by the government to exeJohnes of Hafod, the accomplished cute monuments for St Pauls, in metranslator of Froissart, to make a mo- mory of Colonel Cadogan and General nument-a very extensive one--in me- Bowes, and afterwards of General Gilmory of his only daughter. This was a lespie. These subjects are embodied congenial task, and confided to his in a manner almost strictly historical, hands under circumstances honourable and may be said to form portions of to English sculpture. It has long been British history. Though the walls of finished, and is a production of beauty our churches are encumbered with moand tenderness—à scene of domestic numents in memory of our warriors, sorrow exalted by meditation. Inven- no heroes were so unhappy. tion does not consist in investing ab. Sculptors have lavished their bad taste stract ideas with human form-in con- in the service of government. Fame, ferring substance on an empty shade and valour, and wisdom, and Britanor in creating forms, unsanctioned by nia, are the eternal vassals of monohuman belief, either written or tradi- tonous art. A great evil in allegory is tional. Much genius has been squan- the limited and particular attributes of dered in attempting to create an ele- each figure-each possesses an gant and intelligible race of allegorical changeable vocation, and this proscripbeings, but for the wantof human belief tion hangs over them as a spell. The in their existence, the absence of flesh art, too, of humble talents is apt to and blood, nothing can atone. No one evaporate in allegory~it is less diffiever sympathised with the grief of cult to exaggerate than be natural, and Britannia, or shared their feelings with vast repose is obtained among the dia that cold, cloudy, and obscure genera- vinities of abstract ideas. Simple nation. Mr Chantrey's talents refuse all ture, in ungifted hands, looks degradintercourse with this figurative and ed and mean ; but a master-spirit frozen race.
works it up at once into tenderness A statue of President Blair, a judge and majesty. of singular capacity and penetration, Amid a wide increase of business, and a statue of the late Lord Melville, Mr Chantrey omitted no opportunity were required for Edinburgh, and Mr of improving his talents and his taste. Chantrey was employed to execute In 1814, he visited Paris, when the them. He has acquitted himself with Louvre was filled with the plundered great felicity. The calm, contempla- sculptures of Italy, and admired, in tive, and penetrating mind of Blair is common with all mankind, the grace, visibly expressed in the marble. It the beauty, and serene majesty of must be difficult to work with a poet's these wonderful works. Of the works eye in productions which the artist's of the French themselves, his praise own mind has not selected and conse- was very limited. In the succeeding crated. During his stay in Scotland, year he paid the Louvre another visit, he modelled a bust of the eminent during the stormy period of its occuPlayfair, in which he appears to have pation by the English and Prussians. hit off the face and intellect of the He was accompanied by Mrs Chantinan--and they were both remarkable rey, and his intimate friend, Stothard ones-at one heat. Many artists ob- the painter. He returned by the way tain their likenesses by patient and of Rouen, and filled his sketch-book frequent retouchings--MrChantreyge- with drawings of the pure and imprese nerally seizes on the character in one sive Gothic architecture of that anhour's work. Once, and but once on- cient city. It has been said that acly, we saw a bust on which he had be- quaintance with the divine works of stowed a single hour ;-the likeness Greece dispirits rather than encourages was roughed out of the clay with the a young artist. Images of other men's happiest fidelity and vigour. We saw, perfections are present to his mind too, the finished work--his hand had ideas of unattainable excellence damp
his ardour; and the power of imagin- ful grandeur of his character. A subing something noble and original is ject selected from Christian belief is swallowed up in the contemplation. worthy of a Christian people. А This may be true of second-rate minds; guardian angel, a just man made perbut the master-spirits rise up to an fect, must be dearer to us than all the equality of rank, and run the race of dumb gods of the heathens. They exexcellence in awe, and with ardour. ist in our faith and our feeling we French sculpture profited little by the believe they watch over us, and will admirable models which the sweeping welcome our translation to a happier ambition of Bonaparte reft from other state. · But the gods of the Greeks nations. The inordinate vanity of the have not lived in superstition these nation, and the pride of the reigning eighteen hundred years. We do not feel family, encouraged sculpture to an un- for them--we do not love them, neilimited extent. Yet with all the fe ther do we fear them. What is Jupiverish impatience for distinction which ter to us, or we to Jupiter. They are rendered that reign remarkable, not a not glorious by association with Parasingle figure was created that deserves dise, like our angels of light--nor terto go down to posterity. The French rible, like those of darkness. We are have no conception of the awful repose neither inspired by their power, nor and majesty of the ancient figures, and elevated by their majesty: Revelling into native grace and simple elegance among forgotten gods has long been the they never deviate. Their grave and reproach of sculptors. The Christian austere matrons are the tragic dames world has had no Raphaels in marble. of the drama, and their virgins the A devotional statue of Lady St Vindancing damsels of the opera.
cent is a work created in the artist's On Mr Chantrey's return from happiest manner. The figure is kneelFrance, he modelled his famous group ing--the hands folded in resignation of Children, now placed in Lichfield over the bosom--the head gently and Cathedral, and certainly a work more meekly bowed, and the face impressed opposite to the foreign style could not deeply with the motionless and holy well be imagined. The sisters lie composure of devotion.
All attempt asleep in each other's arms, in the at display is avoided a simple and nemost unconstrained and graceful re- gligent drapery covers the figure. It is pose; the snow-drops, which theyoung- now placed in the chancel of Caversest had plucked, are undropped from well-church, in Staffordshire. her hand. Never was sleep, and inno- Along with many other productions, cent and artless beauty, more happily his next important work was a statue expressed. It is a lovely and a fearful of Louisa Russel, one of the Duke of thing to look on those beautiful and Bedford's daughters. The child stands breathless images of death. They were on tiptoe, with delight fondling a dove placed in the exhibition by the side of in her bosom, an almost breathing and the Hebe and Terphsicore of Canova- moving image of arch-simplicity and the goddesses obtained few admirers innocent grace. It is finished with the compared to them. So eager was the same felicity in which it is conceived. press to see them, that a look could The truth and nature of this figure not always be obtained-mothers stood was proved, had proof been necessary, over them and wept; and the deep by a singular incident. A child of impression they made on the public three years old came into the study of mind must be permanent.
the artist-it fixed its eyes on the A work of such pathetic beauty, and lovely marble child-went and held finished with such exquisite skill, is up its hands to the statue, and called an unusual sight, and its reward was aloud and laughed with the evident no common one. The artist received hope of being attended to. This figure various orders for poetic figures and is now at Woburn-abbey, in company groups, and the choice of the subject with a group of the Graces from the was left to his own judgment. Such chisel of Canova. commissions are new to English sculp- Many of Mr Chantrey's finest busts ture. The work selected for Lord belong to this period. His head of Egremont has been made publicly John Rennie, the civil-engineer, is by known—a colossal figure of Satan: many reckoned his masterpiece; and we The sketch has been some time finished; have heard that the sculptor seems not and we may soon expect to see the unwilling to allow it that preference. fiend invested with the visible and aw- Naturally it is a head of evident exten
sive capacity and thought, and to ex- him make something very like such an press these the artist has had his gifted admission himself. But the subject, moments. A head of the great Watt, though an eminent and venerable man, is of the same order.
is by no means so interesting as that Sometime in the year 1818, he was of the famous Two Children. The made a member of the Royal Society, very circumstances of the untimely a member of the Society of Antiqua- death of two such innocent and lovely ries, and finally a member of the Royal beings, is deeply affecting, and the Academy. To the former he presented power of association, a matter for mea marble bust of their president, Sir ditation to all artists, is too strong for Joseph Banks—a work of much power the statue, admirable as that producand felicity; and to the latter he gave, tion is. In the same year, he placed as the customary admission proof of the statues of Blair and Melville in genius, a marble bust of Benjamin Edinburgh, and was treated by the West. The tardy acknowledgment people of Scotland with great kindness of his talents, by the Royal Academy, and distinction. has been the frequent subject of con- In the following year, he made a versation and surprise. Institutions journey, which he had long meditatto support or reward the efforts of ge- ed, through Italy. Rome, Venice, nius may be salutary; for they can and Florence, were the chief places of cherish what they cannot create ; but attraction ; but he found leisure to they seem to take away the charm or examine the remains of art in many spell of inspiration which artists are places of lesser note. He returned presumed to share in common with through France, and arrived in Lonpoets. The magic of art seems re- don, after an absence of eighteen duced to the level of a better kind of weeks. Of the works of Canova, he manufactory, in which men serve an speaks and writes with a warmth and apprenticeship, and try to study an admiration he seeks not to conceal. « The art unteachable untaught.” Ge- These two gifted artists are on the nius too, is wayward, and its directors most friendly terms, “ Above all may be capricious—they may be wed- modern art in Rome,” he thus writes ded to some particular system--may to a friend, “ Canova's works are the wish to lay the line and level of their chief attractions. His latter producown tastes, and their own works, to tions are of a far more natural and those of more gifted minds, and by pe- exalted character than his earlier dantic and limited definitions of sculp- works; and his fame is wronged by ture; confine their honours to those his masterly statues which are now who worship their rules. They were common in England. He is excelling slow in honouring their academy; and in simplicity and in grace every day. in all the compass of art, they could An Endymion for the Duke of Devona not have admitted one who deserved shire, a Magdalen for Lord Liverpool, it more, or who needed it less, than and a Nymph are his latest works and Francis Chantrey.
his best. There is also a noble equesIn 1818, he produced the statue of trian statue of the King of Naples Dr Anderson, which, for unaffected the revolutions of its head have kept ease of attitude, and native and un- pace with those of the kingdom. A borrowed and individual power of poet in Rome has published a book of thought, has been so much admired. Sonnets, on Canova's works, each proThe figure is seated, and seems in duction has its particular sonnet-of deep and grave meditation. When their excellence I can give you no inwe look at the statues of this artist, formation.” we think not of art, but of nature. Such is the account given by our Constrained and imposing theatrical illustrious Englishman, of the produce postures, make no part of his taste.- tions of the famous Roman ; but there All his figures stand or sit with a na- is a kindness, a generosity, an extreme tural and dignified ease; and they tenderness about the minds of men of are all alike remarkable for the truth high genius, when they speak of the and felicity of their portraits, and the works of each other, which must not graceful simplicity of their garb. The glow on the
page of stern and candid statue of Anderson has been esteemed criticism. The character of Canova's by many as the most masterly of all works seems neither very natural nor his large works; and we have heard original. What Phidias and the ima.
mortal sculptors of Greece saw in sun and their powers are essentially dif-
left an hero with his hand or his foot It is customary to couple the names for ever in the block, to relieve the of Canova and Chantrey together, and form of some new beauty of which some have not scrupled to add that of his fancy had dreamed. Had he not Thorwaldsen, the Dane. Their styles aimed at so much, he would have ac
complished more, and his name would at her feet, and buries her face in an. have gone to posterity without abate guish in her parent's robe. The mar. ment or drawback.
ble is in a forward state. 3. A Statue Of the beauties of Italian scenery, as of Francis Horner, M. P., for Westwell as those of Italian art, Mr Chan- Ininster Abbey-a production of great trey made many drawings--they are dignity and tranquil power-is also in executed with great skill and facility. marble, and will be finished in the Those from the martyrdom of St course of the Autumn. 4. A sleeping Stephen are eminently beautiful; the child, the daughter of Sir Thomas originals are diminutive and little Acland, is a gentle and lovely creation, known, but are inspired with much and equals or surpasses the beauty and of the serene and divine repose of repose of the famous Children now in Raphael.*
Lichfield Cathedral. 5. Another reWe close with reluctance this nasty posing child, the daughter of Mr Bos. and imperfect account of our illus- well of Auchenleck, is a work of great trious countryman and his produc merit. There is a softness and silent tions. We have omitted to notice grace about all the artist's labours of some of the peculiar excellencies of his this kind. 6. A Statue of General style, and to mention many of his Washington, for America, not in a conworks-of numbers and of importance dition for criticism. Canova has finishenough to form a fair reputation of ed a Statue of this eminent person for themselves. We have confined our- the same country. The unequalled selves to those with which we are most talent of the English artist in expressconversant. In the conception and in ing grave and vigorous character, will the finish of his works, the artist is be doubtless put forth here. 7. A Staextremely fastidious, and meditatės tue of Chief Baron Robert Dundas, for with a care, and works with a dili Edinburgh ;-and many Busts of regence, of which there are too few ex- markable men, and Monuments of imamples. He is an early mover, and portance. may be found labouring in summer- Of the poetic groupes and figures time, before sunrise, on some favour, which he has been commissioned to ite work, nor has he forgot his early execute, it may be imprudent to speak, and intense application ; with a candle and our information might be inaccuin the front of his hat, and a chisel rate. Something in the highest poetiin his hand, we have seen him at cal walk of sculpture has been long midnight, and far in the morning, expected from his hand; and whether employed in finishing some of his he may choose to come before the principal works. +
world in the soft and gentle, or in the Of works nowin progress we shall en- dignified and impressive, it is useless deavour to give a brief notice. 1. A Mo- to conjecture. Before the world he nument in memory of David P. Watts, will come, in a subject of his own of Dovedale in Derbyshire; the sub- choice and election, and that soon. He ject is a father blessing his children is now modelling the Bust of Walter This extensive work is partly model. Scott. From the gifted hand we reled, and promises to become one of the quire the inspired head, and can connoblest productions of his mind-mo- sent to take it from no other. This ral, pathetic, and exalted. 2. A Mo- is a circumstance we have long desirnument for Mr Wildman of Chilham ed. The “ form and pressure” of the castle is of the same character, though great poet will now remain on the the subject is different. A mother re- earth; and the names of Walter Scott clines on her husband's tomb in settled and Francis Chantrey will descend to and serene sorrow; her daughter kneels posterity together.
* Drawing seems a favourite pastime with this artist. The popular excursion of Mr Rhodes, in Derbyshire, is indebted to his pencil for its best illustrations romantic scenes, and several ancient and beautiful Saxon crosses. These have been presented to the author by the artist, from the love he bears to his native country.
+ The writer of this brief notice once saw a sketch of great talent from the hand of the late Edward Bird, R. A., in which his friend, Mr Chantrey, is represented employed in this nocturnal labour. The light from below shot upwards on the front of the figure the statue of Louisa Russel,--and the head and busy hand of the sculptor, were in a manner half-seen half-hid. The painter said he made the sketch at midnight, in the study of his friend. He did not live to finish what he had so beautifully begun.