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tell to future ages the national mind to the living image, and the power and and the national might. Sculpture a- ease with which the character is exlone has refused to receive this strong pressed, the free and unconstrained atand original stamp-it speaks with no titude, have been often remarked and Dative tongue, it wears no native garb. acknowledged. In this department of It grows not out of our minds and art his earliest busts placed him besouls, nor does it. claim limb or linea- yond rivalship, and there he is likely ment of the heroic islanders.
to continue. His name and his works In his twentieth year, Mr Chan- were already known beyond the limits trey purchased the remainder of his of London, when he became the suc engagement from Ramsay, and the se cessful candidate for a statue of George paration gave mutual pleasure. In the III. for that city. Competition among month of May 1802, he went to Lon- artists in finished works is the fair race don, and began to apply himself with of reputation, and public criticism ardent diligence to the study of sculp- compels genius to finish her labours ture. But those who expect this are with an elegant and scrupulous exactdour to continue unabated must con- ness. Not so with sketches and drawSent to be disappointed, for in June ings. Simplicity is the presiding star the same year, we find him on his of art a simple design has a mean way to Dublin, resolved to make a look, and a man may make imposing tour through Ireland and Scotland. sketches on paper, who has not the With his motives for this journey, we capacity to follow them to finished exprofess not to be acquainted; these are cellence. Gentlemen, whether of the not regions eminent for the produc- city or the plain, may be imposed uptions of art, and likely to attract young on by handsome sketches, as Fluellan artists. A dangerous fever arrested was by the valour of ancient Pistol ;his progress at Dublin, and he did not “ He spoke as brave words, look you, entirely recover till the ensuing sum- as a man would wish to hear on a mer. His illness cured him of love for summer day.” In truth, genius must travelling; he returned to London in feel reluctance at thus measuring its autumn, and, with his return, his might in the dark with inferior minde, studies were recommenced.
and the field of adventure is usually His application was great, and his occupied either by men of moderate or progress was rapid and visible. He dubious merit, or youths, who are had already conceived the character of willing to risk a chance for distinction. his works, and wanted only opportu. Thus an inferior hand has been per nity to invest them with their present mitted to profane the dust of the illustruth and tenderness. One of his ear trious Robert Burns. A statue of the liest works is a bust of his friend, Ra- inspired peasant from the hand of his fel phael Smith, created with a felicity at low-plowman, Chantrey, was what his that time rare in bust sculpture. Surfame deserved, and what Scotland, had rounded, as it now is, with the busts she consulted her fame, would have of more eminent men, it is usually given. singled out by strangers as a produc- A curious circumstance had nearly tion of particular merit. Akin to this deprived London of the fine statue of is his bust of Horne Tooke, to which the king. To the study of sculpture, he has communicated an expression of it seems Mr Chantrey had added that keen penetration and clear-sighted sa- of painting, and some of his pictures gacity. A colossal head of Satan be- are still to be found : of their merits, longs to this period; and, in the at we are unable, from personal inspec tempt to invest this fearful and unde- tion to speak, but we have been told, fined fiend with character and form, by one well qualified to judge, that he has by no means lessened his own they do his sculpture no discredit. reputation. Eclipsed, as it is now, His pencil portraits are esteemed by with more celebrated works, its gaze many as admirable as his busts, and of dark and malignant despair never are still more difficult to be obtained. escapes notice.
When he presented his design for the Sometime in 1810, he fixed his re- king's statue, it was approved of in sidence in Pirolico, and constructed a preference to others, but a member of study of very modest dimensions. The the Common Council observed, that absolute nature and singular felicity of the successful artist was a painter, and his busts procured him immediate and therefore incapable of executing the extensive employment. Their fidelity work of a sculptor. Sir William Curtis said, " You hear this, young man, passed over it in a more delicate man what say you-are you a painter or a ner--but the general resemblance was sculptor."-" I live by sculpture," pot rendered more perfect. His bust was the reply, and the statue was im- of the lady of a Seottish 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. Vid T aimsenin 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 me translator of Froissart, to make a mo- mory of Colonel Cadogan and General nument-& 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 mo. and tenderness-a scene of domestic numents in memory of our warriors, sorrow exalted by meditation. Invene no heroes were ever 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 mono. human 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 un. gant and intelligible race of allegorical changeable vocation, and this proscripbeings, but for the want of 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 dithat 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. 11. 8. o Joirirsand 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 Chantman 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 MrChantrey ge- with drawings of the pure and impresnerally 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 been quaintance with the divine works of stowed a single hour;- she 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. A This may be true of second-rate minds; guardian angel, a just man made perbat 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 Eations. 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 devotional statue of Lady St Vindaneing 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 pleep 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 the young- now placed in the chancel of Cavers. est 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- 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 awa Naturally it is a head of evident exten. sive oapacity 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 me. a 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 & versation and surprise. Institutions journey, which he had long meditat. to 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." Geo 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 Devonnot 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 unpace 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 producpostures, 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 im.
mortal sculptors of Greece saw in sun and their powers are essentially difshine, he sees in twilight-his art is ferent, and widely removed from each dimly reflected back from the light of other. Canova seeks to revive the ancient ages. The Grecian beauty and might and beauty of Greek art on nature which he has chosen for his earth-the art of Chantrey is a pure models, he sees through the eyes of emanation of English genius-a style ocher men-he cannot contemplate without transcript or imitation-rem Living, the very excellence he seeks to sembling the ancients no more than attain. of the meek austere com- the wild romantic dramas of Shak. posure of ancient art, he seems to feel speare resemble the plays of Euripibut little, and that late in life he re- des, or the heroes of Walter Scott's tires from the awful front of Jupiter, chivalry, the heroes of heathen song. to pipe with Apollo among the flocks It seeks to personify the strength and of Admetus. Though with the severe the beauty of the “ mighty island." and the majestic, he has limited ac- From them both the Dane differs, and quaintance with the graceful, the we are sensible of a descent, and a gentle, and the soft, he seems particu- deep one, when we write his name. larly intimate, and this, though a high, He has not the powerful tact of speis but a recent acquirement. His culating on ancient and departed exearlier works are all infected with the cellence like the Roman-nor has he theatrical or affected styles-every fi- the native might, and grace, and ungure strains to make the most of the borrowed vigour of the Englishman in graces of its person. He was polluted hewing out a natural and noble style by his intercourse with the French. of his own. The group of the graces He seems not a sculptor by the grace which he modelled in feverish emulaof God alone, but has become emi- tion of those of Canova, measure out Dent by patient study and reflection. the immense distance between them ; The character of his works lives not they are a total failure, and below me in living nature, he deals with the diocrity. His figure of the Duke of derni-gods, and seems ambitious to Bedford's daughter is unworthy of the restore the lost statues of older Greece company of her sister Louisa by to their pedestals. He looks not on na- Chantrey. He studies living nature, ture and revealed religion as Raphael but with no poet's eye. looked he has no intense and passion of the impressions which the works ate feeling for the heroes or the hero of Michael Angelo made on our Enga ines of whom Tasso sung so divinely- lishman, we may be expected to say he seeks not to embody the glorious something-it would be unwise to be forms of the Christian faith. He has silent, yet what we have to say must no visions of angels ascending and de- be of a mixed kind; we have to speak scending-he feels for a race which of great excellencies and grievous forsook the world when the cross was faults. Of the powers of this wonder seen on Calvary, and he must be con- ful man the world is fully sensible, tent to feel alone. He has no twie but he seems always to have aspired light visitations from the muse of mo- at expressing too much-grasping at dern beauty. The softness, the sweet. unattainable perfections beyond the ness, and grace of his best works have power of his art. He wished to embeen felt and echoed by all. His Hebe body and impress the glowing, the is buoyant and sylphlike, but not mo sublime, and extensive associations of dest-with such a loose look and air, poetry, and was repulsed by the limits she never had dared to deal ambrosia of art, and the grossness of his mateamong the graver divinities. The rials. Amid all his grandeur he has Cawdor Hebe came from the hands constrained elevations, and with all of Canova, with her cheeks vermilion- his truth, an exaggeration of the hued. His statue of Madame Mere, the man form, which he mistook for mother of Napoleon, is a work of great strength. He was remarkably ardent merit-easy and dignified; and his and impatient; few of his works are colossal statue of Buonaparte, now in finished. A new work presented it.' Apsley-house, aspires to the serene self to his restless imagination, and he, majesty of the antique.
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