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WATTS'S PORTRAIT OF CARLYLE but if the angel had said that the pictures still longer in obtaining recognition. should be attributed to — [naming a Now, however, there is scarcely anything popular painter of commonplace senti- he touches which is not received with ment), I don't think I could.
something more than a common welcome, At all events, the nation is proud, not whether it be a portrait like that of Mr. only of the artist, but of the man who has Walter Crane, a landscape like the gloridone so much to raise the level of artistic ous vision of the light and color of a work and artistic endeavor. As I said Scotch lake which is now on the walls of before, he has had to wait for his reward. the New Gallery, or a vision of the flushed He did not take the public by storm. sleep of a rosy Cupid that lately hung on His reputation, as a portrait-painter even, the walls of the Guildhall Gallery. Nor was attained only by degrees, while his among his earlier pictures is it only the moral allegories and poetical dreams were most obviously attractive which arrest the
WATTS'S PORTRAIT OF GLADSTONE interest of the visitor to the Tate Gallery. girl's head (“ Choosing ”) in the Academy Not only the “ Love and Death,” the of 1864, that his genius really lay in the ** Psyche,” the “ Faith,” the “ Hope,” the direction of refinement, grace, and fancy, “ Love and Life,” but the frantic “ Jonah,” “not force, thought, imagination ;" adding the terrible “ Minotaur,” the solemn still that “ It is his work in the latter manner life of “Sic Transit," and the amorphous which will, at any rate, be preferred by all confusion of “Chaos'' hold the attention, the world to his attempts in the terribile for behind all these things are seen the via of life-size allegories." And of his eyes of a great, pure, simple soul record- portraits Ruskin wrote in 1875, “Mr. ing its visions of human life in the past, Watts's portraits are all conscientious and the present, and the future.
subtle, and of great present interest, yet Yet this is the artist of whom Palgrave not realistic enough to last." These critiwrote, in connection with a picture of a cisms were quoted as representing current
criticism in a “ Dictionary of Artists of the " It is a magnificent creature, that Nineteenth Century," published in 1879, horse," said I. "Oh," replied the artist, or when Watts was sixty-two years of age. “the horse is nothing; the inan is every
Even his fellows in art do not seem to thing. I thought first to model him on have been in a hurry to recognize Watts’s the Elgin Theseus; but when I got Theseus real power, as it was not till 1867, when on the horse, I found he would not do at the artist was fifty years of age, that they all. His legs were not long enough. It elected him as an Associate of the Royal is not much like a horse, I am told; I Academy.
am not sure that it is much like a man. It was only the other day that I saw But none of my things are quite like the grand old artist-grand even in pres nature. They are dreams. But I think ence, despite his small stature and gen- it is Greek.”
He was in his own charming It is much to the credit of the British garden at Little Holland House, and sur- Government that some little while ago rounded by admiring and loving friends. they offered to give a splendid site for He said that they had spoiled him, and this noble work near the Serpentine, where that he had always been spoilt; but perhaps its grand design would be seen to the he has had no better friend than Time, who greatest advantage. They offered also to has given him room to develop his powers pay for the casting of it. The latter sugand assure his reputation. Though eighty- gestion was not, however, in accordance three years old, he still works on with the with the generous intentions of the artist, ardor almost of youth, now bringing a little and the offer has remained in abeyance. nearer to completion one of those many The best that can be hoped is (and the pictures which are in progress and wait work has lately been so much forwarded sometimes for years before they receive towards completion that the hope may be their finishing touches, now striking out entertained with some confidence) that some altogether fresh conception. He the statue will be completed and cast by rises and commences his work early. its designer, and that the Government Lately he has been much engaged in will renew its offer of the site. So a sculpture. When at Limner's Lease, his work which may be said to represent the pleasant country house in a valley near essence of Watts's genius, and is of its kind Guildford, Surrey, where he retreats from unsurpassed, may yet prove a permanent the winter fogs of London, he has been record of that genius, and one of the working on a statue of Lord Tennyson ; noblest ornaments of the metropolis. when in London recently, much of his As I turned from this colossus, which, time has been spent on that colossal huge as it is, seemed capable of motion equestrian statue of Physical Energy as light as air and as swift as flame, to which was commenced I do not know the small human figure by my side with how many years ago, and of the comple- the kind, keen eyes and Titianesque" head, tion of which everybody has despaired I could not help thinking that there were except the artist himself.
other Energies more strong, more victori. It is the figure of a naked man upon a ous, than the Physical. That fragile barebacked horse. The horse is a power- frame contained the maker of this great ful beast with magnificent head and neck, group, the composer of a hundred soulstill showing the fiery spirit which has moving pictures, the transmitter to posterbeen brought into subjection by its rider. ity of the outward form and inward spirit He, leaning backward, is shading his eyes of I know not how many of the greatest with one hand as if searching the horizon. and noblest of his fellow-creatures, the " It is Physical Energy,” insists the artist. supporter, not with his brush, but with his “ Physical, not Vital, Energy, as some purse, of many schemes for the benefit of writers have foolishly said [I am afraid I his race, the sustainer by a magnificent am one of these foolish persons], for all contribution of the Home Industries MoveEnergy is Vital. It is the great, irresist- ment in England, and, to say no more, the ible, never-satisfied Force which conquers raiser of a shelter for the street workers all. He has conquered the horse, but he in the city of London, on the walls of is searching the world for something else which are recorded the heroic deeds of to subdue.”
The Last of the Silhouettists
By Charles Henry Hart
tomed to read the true meaning mummy-cases, is to-day generically de
of words by their derivation or to scribed as silhouette. study out their corruptions, would have a It surely seems absurd, when seriously sorry puzzle should he tackle our title considered, that a mere slur upon a French noun. Such influence has the power of Cabinet Minister should be permitted to ridicule in France that it is from this dominate centuries and insinuate itself source alone that the word silhouette has into current language as a good word. become attached to all sharply defined But for this circumstance, however, the outlines of the round, with a flat, opaque name of Étienne de Silhouette, the ecosurface; and consequently it is without a nomical financial Minister of Louis XV., derivative root. It is a local slang that would be hopelessly forgotten. has fastened itself upon the tongue of Madame Pompadour, when in the zenith civilized Europe, and although it had its of her power, introduced the rage for flat birth only in the middle of the last century, profile portraits in black upon a white it has been retroactive in its application, ground. They were the fashion of the so that this form of art, the earliest extant hour. Easily made by casting a shadow type of pictoriology, that which we find with a lamp, every one was engaged in
the operation, and soon they struck the He was under “management," and, alpopular taste and popular pocket, and though before the days of Barnum adverprofiles à la Pompadour flooded France. tising, was very adroitly put forward in Her decline was followed by the ascend- the newspapers.
Wherever he went a ency of Monsieur de Silhouette, who " Hubard Gallery " was opened, where, became an object of derision and ridicule for the admission of “ fifty cents,” the on account of his parsimony and rigid visitor was “entitled to see the exhibition, system of retrenchment, so that every- hear the concert, and obtain a correct thing cheap, mean, or shabby was dubbed likeness by Master Hubard, cut with comà le Silhouette. The flat profiles, from mon scissors in a few seconds, without their inexpensiveness, came under the the aid of drawing or machine." There 'ban ; and thus they have
was also sold, for “ six served to keep alive the
and a quarter cents,” a name of a Minister of
memoir of Master HubFinance which otherwise
ard, with a key to the would have gone down
cuttings. This chapinto deserved obscurity.
book, which makes MasThe earliest silhouettes
ter Hubard three years --that is, black profile
more juvenile than he likenesses white
really was, tells us that ground—that were com
he made his debut at mercially made in this
Ramsgate in September, country, so far as I know,
1822, and attracted the were the famous ones cut
attention of the Duchess at Charles Willson Peale's
of Kent, who was at museum in Philadelphia,
Townley House ; that he more than a century ago.
took portraits of all the They were executed by
household, which, with an adroitly conceived ma
“the little Princess Vicchine, which traced the
toria, the future Queen profile with mathematical
of England, are in the accuracy, similar to the
gallery, and attract attenphysiognotrace, and cut
tion as the earliest proit about three inches long
ductions of Master Hubout of the center of
ard." He visited Glassheet of white paper. All
gow just before coming to the distinguished inen and
America, when the memwomen of the day flocked
bers of the Philosophical to the museum to have
Society, at the instance their faces cut, and in
of George Combe, the “ McClure's Magazine "
phrenologist, presented for February, 1897, will
him with a silver palette, be found the most impor- BISHOP WHITE, OF PENNSYLVANIA now in the possession of tant one of them all, the The first duly consecrated Protestant Episcopal his daughter, the wife of
Bishop of America. Peale Museum silhouette
the Rev. John J. Lloyd, likeness of General George Washington. of Lynchburg, Va. It is inscribed:
Without intending to trace the history “ Presented to Master James Hubard by of the art in this country, mention must admirers of his genius in the city of Glasbe made of two famous profile-cutters who gow, Scotland, February 14, 1824." This followed their vocation here; one, Will- was accompanied by an address : “ The iam James Hubard, famous as a youthful lovers of the Fine Arts in Glasgow, recogprodigy, and the other, Augustin Edouart, nizing in your productions the strong imfamous for the skill he exhibited in his press of genius, have the highest gratifiwork.
cation in presenting you with this Palatte, Hubard was English born, and landed which they trust will incite you to improve in New York, a youth of seventeen, within your powers so as ultimately to become a a few days of Lafayette's arrival, in 1824. distinguished artist."