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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 other men-he cannot contemplate without transcript or imitation-reliving, the very excellence he seeks to sembling the ancients no more than attain. Of the meek austere com- the wild romantic dramas of Shakposure 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 sòng. 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 nent 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 Engines 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 sending-he feels for a race which of great excellencies and grievous forsook the world when the cross was faults. Of the powers of this wonderseen on Calvary, and he must be con- ful man the world is fully sensible, tent to feel alone. He has no twi. 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 sylph like, 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 sorne 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

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EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No XXXVII.

APRIL 1820.

VOL. VII.

FRANCIS CHANTREY, SCULPTOR. A man of genius and taste, Gray the self in making resemblances of various poet, lamented that his native country objects in clay, and to this employ. had made no advance in sculpture. ment he was much attached. But his This reproach has been removed, and affection thus early shown for art was removed too by a masterly hand. but a matter of amusement-he calThose who wish to trace the return culated as little of the scope it presentof English sculpture from the foreign ed to the ambition of genius, as he was artificial and allegorical style, to its unconscious that it was the path which natural and original character—from nature had prepared for his fame. cold and conceited fiction to tender The day named for commencing his and elevated truth, will find it chief- new profession arrived, and with the ly in the history of Francis Chantrey usual eagerness of youth for novelty, and his productions. Of him, and of he reached Sheffield a full hour soonthem, we shall try to render some ac- er than his friends had appointed to count. For it is instructive to follow meet him. As he walked up and the progress of an original and power- down the street, expecting their ful mind, from the rudeness of its coming, his attention was attracted by farhy conceptions, till it comes forth some figures in the window of one with native and unborrowed might in Ramsay, a carver and gilder. He creations of grace, and beauty, and stopped to examine them, and was not dignity.

without those emotions which original Francis Chantrey was born at Nor- minds feel in seeing something congeton, a small village on the borders of nial. He resolved at once to become Derbyshire, on the 7th of April, 1782. an artist; and perhaps, even then, His ancestors were in respectable if associated his determination with those not opulent circumstances, and some ideas and creations of beauty from heritable possessions still belong to the which his name is now inseparable. family. He was deprived of his father Common wonder is fond of attributing very early in life, and being an only the first visible impulse of any extrachild, was educated by his mother ordinary mind to some singular cirwith abundance of tenderness and soli- cumstance, but nothing can be better citude. He attended the school at Norauthenticated than the fact which deton-but of his progress there, we have cided the destiny of his talents. What been unable to obtain any particular his friends thought of his sudden reaccount.. Education and agriculture solution it is useless to inquire-we shared his time between them till his have heard that they did not condole seven teenth year; and a farmer's edu- with him, like the illustrious Burns cation is not always the most liberal. over the pursuits of Fergusson : About this time he became weary of

“ Thy glorious parts the pursuits of his forefathers, and re- Il suited laws dry musty arts." solved to study the law under a re- The labours in which Ramsay em. spectable solicitor at Sheffield. Whe- ployed him were too limited for his ther this was his own choice or that of powers; his hours of leisure were therehis relations we have not learned, and fore dedicated to modelling and drawit matters not, for another destiny ing, and he always preferred copying awaited him. To accident, we owe nature. He had no other idea of style much of what we are willing to attri- but that with which nature supplied bute to our wisdom; and, certainly to him-he had his own notions of art pure accident, we owe whatever de- and of excellence to rough-hew for light we have received from the pro- himself, and the style and character ductions of Mr Chantrey.

he then formed, he pursues with sucDuring the hours of intermission cess now. These we have learned from labour at the farm, and instruc- were much more pleasant speculations tion at the school, he had amused him to him than to Ramsay, who, incensed Vol. VII.

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