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commands to discover and subjugate them author of the “ Manual of the Fine Arts,"
the cloudy steam, the fugitive electricity,“ will not create moral principles in the the expansive gas, new esculents, new mind where they do not exist, it is mainmedicinal elements—so the ductile metal, tained that there is an affinity between the the finely veined wood, and the yielding refinements of taste and the virtues of the marble are all as direct intimations of the soul; between the beautiful and the good. divine will and purpose. In the mind God Heaven, the peculiar abode of holiness, is has implanted the restless urgency to represented as a place of transcendent realize, in beautiful forms, the spiritual beauty and glory. And granting that the ideas that rise into life within its pregnant fine arts are utterly powerless to implant bosom-a craving more powerful than the pure principles, still, if not abused, they cry for bread, and even conquering the will foster and expand them, and imbue strong natural instinct for rest and for them with a fine sensibility.” The same life. And he has himself provided the un. author remarks with much propriety : “A approachable paradigms, which ever in- | cultivation of the taste, by a proper degree spire and excite the human powers to their of attention to literature and the fine arts, utmost ability. A beckoning hand, and a elevates the mind above trivial cares and spiritual voice whispering excelsior, ever conventional jealousies, giving it a vigorous invite the reverent imagination to a higher independence, and a fund of inexhaustible conception, and the cunning fingers to a resources within itself.” The increase of more delicate execution. The world is material wealth, with us, exhibits itself too hung with pictures, adorned with statuary, often in the gratification of appetite or of and piled up in sublime forms of architec- | the lower affections—in the over-luxuriousture. The great Sovereign of the universeness of our dwellings and their furniture, is evidently worshiped and glorified as and in those forms of domestic art that truly in an effort to develop and cultivate strike the sight with the most glaring the imagination, as in the toils of daily effect—in plate and jewelry. “I cannot labor and the investigations of science; but think,” says Ruskin," that part of the and the work may be as devout. Sir God wealth which now lies buried in these frey Kneller was accustomed to say :- doubtful luxuries, might most wisely and “When I paint, I consider it as one way, kindly be thrown into a form which would at least, of offering devotions to my Ma- give perpetual pleasure, not to its pos. ker, by exercising the talent his goodness sessor only, but to thousands besides, and has graciously blessed me with ;” and neither tempt the unprincipled, nor inFrancis I., when his noblemen expressed / flame the envious, nor mortify the poor; their surprise at his grief upon the death while, supposing that your own dignity of Leonardo da Vinci, exclaimed: “I can was dear to you, this, you may rely make a nobleman; but God Almighty | upon it, would be more impressed upon alone can make an artist.” Indeed, the others by the nobleness of your house inspiration to accomplish these noble and walls than by the glistening of your sidebeautiful results is ascribed in Holy Writ boards." to the Almighty : “ Then wrought every No form of art is better adapted to wise-hearted man in whom the Lord put accomplish these high purposes than wisdom and understanding, to know how sculpture. Ruskin is of the opinion that to work all manner of work for the service there is less liability of a perverted taste of the sanctuary ;" and in the disclosures in this form of art than in painting. “You of the “new heavens” and “new earth," are aware," he says in his interesting the adornments of art are the chosen lectures, “ that the possibilities of error in symbols of its glory : “Behold I will lay sculpture are much less than in painting; thy stones with fair colors and thy foun- it is altogether an easier and simpler art, dations with sapphires, and I will make thy invariably attaining perfection long before windows of agates, and thy gates of car- painting, in the progress of a national buncles, and all thy borders of pleasant mind.” Our young country has presented stones."
its full share of claimants to the honors The effect of a true and pure work of of this noble art, and among the living and art upon the mind of the beholder can but the dead can point, with national pride, to be wholesome and ennobling. “ Though names that the world will not readily let the cultivation of the taste," says the die. The lamented Horatio Greenough
-a Boston boy—whose valuable life was of De Witt Clinton, in bronze, was a great finally fretted out, in the prime of his achievement of art; Thomas Ball, of years, by the vexatious delays of our Charleston, whose head of Webster has government in sending for the group of | been much admired; Clark Mills, whose statuary executed by him in Italy, which equestrian statue of Jackson adorns the had been ordered, under the administration National Capitol ; and Miss Hosmer, the of Mr. Van Buren, to embellish the pedi- latest, and in some respects most remarkment of the eastern portico of the capitol able cultivator of the art of sculpturema at Washington, had lived long enough to young lady of Watertown, Mass., whose secure a European reputation. To him “ Hesper” is considered an extraordinary belongs the honor of the severe and sub-production, affording an eloquent prophecy lime design of the monument upon Bunker of fame. Hill. His younger brother, Richard John C. King, whose name stands at Greenough, is an emulator of his genius, the head of this sketch, is intimately conand is rising to fame in the same province nected, in his early artistic history and of art. Eve, the Greek Slave, and the fortunes, with his warm friend and comNeapolitan Fisher Boy have rendered the panion, Hiram Powers. Mr. King is a name of Hiram Powers immortal-a New- | native of Scotland, having been born in Englander by birth, but early transplanted the town of Kilwinning, Ayrshire, on the to Ohio, and claimed by Cincinnati as one | 16th of October, 1806. His later studies of her noblest sons. The majestic bronze and labors were foretold by his early statue by Ball Hughes of Dr. Bowditch, tastes and passion for painting. At five in Mt. Auburn, and other equal works, years of age, he began with chalk sketches, have placed the author's name among the and the gift of his first box of water colors, conspicuous sculptors of the day. Henry he says, made him “ happier then, than a Dexter, of New-York, became a painter, fortune could make me now.” He pracby the irresistible force of genius, and a ticed as an amateur artist, without insculptor almost involuntarily. About the struction, until the age of manhood. He time of his coming to Boston, Greenough was persuaded to learn the business of his was leaving the country for Italy, and a father, (a machinist,) that the aid of his friend of the young painter advised him to services might be secured to the family. obtain the molding clay left behind in the In 1829, Mr. King, having become restsculptor's rooms, as modeling might helpless at home, and having heard glowing him in acquiring a knowledge of forms. accounts of the openings for business in The suggestion was followed, and the clay America, embarked for New-Orleans, obtained. “I mixed it with water," he where he arrived in due season, and soon says, “and prepared a mass of it in the after sailed for Cincinnati. His time was way I supposed it was to be used. My occupied in various forms of his trade until hands were in the clay when Mr. White, 1836, when, in the financial crisis of the painter, came in. I requested him to that memorable period, all manufacturing let me make his face in the mud. He business was paralyzed. In 1832, while readily assented. In about half an hour, residing in Cincinnati, he became acwith only my fingers for instruments, I quainted with Hiram Powers, and a warm astonished my sitter, and almost frightened and lasting friendship was the result. myself. This was my first attempt at “In 1834," writes Mr. King, in his sketch modeling." His marble “ Binney Child” of his life prepared for Mrs. Lee," a young in Mt. Auburn will not soon leave the friend of Mr. Powers died of cholera. memory of the observer. Clevenger, and Powers was applied to, to model a bust Crawford, the latter of whom conceived of him from memory. I had an invitation and chiseled the striking monumental to look at it when it was finished. This representation of the death of Dr. Amos was the first model in clay I had ever Binney, in Mt. Auburn, have both justified seen, and it possessed great interest for by ample results their right to a position me. After examining it carefully, and in the “goodlie” company of sculptors. making remarks on the parts that pleased And then there is Stevenson, who ex- me most, Powers came directly in front ecuted the “Wounded Indian;" Bracket, of me, threw his hands behind his back, the sculptor of the “ Shipwrecked Mother looked at me with his large, serious eyes, and Child;" Brown, whose colossal statue l as if he saw through to the back of my
head, and said, 'King, if you had as much the likeness was apparent. I summoned practice as I have had, you could model courage to ask Powers to look at it. as good a bust as I can.' I asked him I confess that I was quite nervous about why he said so; he replied, I know it the time the model was uncovered. He from the remarks you have just made on looked at it, and said, “Did I not tell you that model. Get a piece of clay, and I | that you could model ? And if circumwill give you my modeling stand, and stances should occur that make it exlend you my modeling tools, and if your pedient for you to resort to sculpture as a modesty will not allow you to ask any means of supporting your family, you need gentleman to sit, make a bust of your no teacher: you have that within you wife; and if you should fail, don't be dis- that will guide you better than any master." couraged, as a female study, for a begin- Thus was one artist quickened into life by ner, is rather a severe test.' The clay the genial and unselfish kindness and apwas procured, and the block set up, into preciation of another. From this time which I was to work my way, to come at Mr. King continued to cultivate the art the likeness. Most of the work had to be which he had espoused with all the done at night, as early in the morning I warmth of a first love, modeling busts and had the duties connected with my business medallions. to attend to. About two weeks served to In 1837 he removed to New-Orleans, throw aside the clay in the front of the and gave himself up to his profession, head, and, somewhat to my astonishment, leaving in this city when he removed, as
the evidences of his peculiar skill and of the House of Representatives, on the success in copying nature, among others, very spot where Mr. Adams breathed his the busts of Rev. Theodore Clapp and last — a perpetual remembrancer of the Honorable Pierre Soulé, and a number of fearless and faithful sage of Quincy, and his remarkable likenesses in cameo. In honor to the sculptor. In the spring of 1840 he removed to Boston, continuing 1850, Mr. King had the privilege of a his work of modeling busts with great series of sittings from Mr. Webster. He assiduity, and multiplying his accurate and saw him under the most favorable circumbeautiful cameos. His great works in stances, and by careful measurements was marble are the busts of John Quincy enabled to secure an exact counterpart of Adams, Dr. Samuel Woodward, and the illustrious statesman. The majestic Daniel Webster.
subject, in both physical and mental proMr. King has not yet illustrated his portions, was all that art could ask for a genius by. any ideal statuary; indeed, noble display of her handiwork. And the although in the simple sketch that we have success of the artist was complete ; he given, the life of the artist may seem to has suceeded in perpetuating in marble have run quietly and happily on, behind that wonderful “ personification of intellect this outward and visible life there may and power, and of self possession and have been the keen inward struggle energy in repose." against the pressure of daily necessities, of this work the discriminating critic and also against the mental despondency of the Boston Post remarked : “ The likearising from the inadequate returns of ness, the expression, the character of the labors that had become a craving and an remarkable man are all faithfully and almost necessary condition of happiness wonderfully presented, the bust is lifeand life.
like, impressive to an astonishing degree, A more touching and painful record and must rank altogether among the best could hardly be written than the confiden- efforts of modern art.” Another Boston tial history of most of our artists. Long critic, the editor of the Transcript, remonths of toil, without resources to meet marked : “ It is the true historic head of the continual wants of a family, must be Webster—that by which he will be best passed, before the speaking marble or known to posterity—that which his most canvas returns even its limited recom- | intimate friends will most confidently refer pense; and with the comparatively few | to, as, at once, the most agreeable and the appreciators of art, the supply ordinarily most minutely accurate of the many likeis in advance of the demand. The won- nesses of the man.” A marble copy of der is, that art is still so generously culti-l this bust was ordered for Faneuil Hall; vated by its devotees, at such a price of and when completed and the object of neglect and agony. But the ideal power universal commendation, the memorable is not lacking in Mr. King : it reveals fire which consumed the Tremont Temple itself by unmistaken symbols in his marble destroyed this noble result of months busts. The original forms of beauty stand of toil, together with the artist's casts, around his mental gallery awaiting the models, valuable busts, all his cameos and hour of hope, when they shall come all the implements of the art which he had forth and assume a material embodiment collected in his studio. The gentlemen, “Those can know but little of the miracles however, who had ordered the original in primitive clay,” says the Washington bust, generously called for another; a National Intelligencer, “ who have not plaster cast, happily, having been preseen King's gorgeous, but truthful bust served. Mr. Grinnell, of New York, is of the great expounder of the constitu possessor of another marble bust of tion.” His power of seizing upon the Webster from the hand of Mr. King; best expression and producing a likeness and the artist is at present in England of extraordinary precision both in cameo with his fine copy of the American and in marble, is not more marked than senator, ordered by Lord Ashburton. the ethereal grace of original genius with We hope he may bring with him, upon which he invests the perfect images that his return, orders for many more of his rise under his hand.
great work. His noble bust of the “old man elo. If life and an opportunity for the develquent” stands in the room of the speaker | opment and cultivation of his genius are
enjoyed by Mr. King, we may confidently finish. In his admirable busts he has the predict a still richer recompense of emolu- rare skill to retain a well-marked inment and fame for him. He is but in- dividuality and life-like portraiture, with spired by his early successes, and the an ideal dignity and grace, seldom revealcunning of his hand has not yet expresseded by other artists without sacrificing itself as it may when the pressure of ne- truth and resemblance." We trust that cessity is removed from it, and it follows | brighter days are beginning to beam upon unembarrassed the conceptions of an un- the pathway of the artist, and that his trammeled mind. A keen observer, and genius will have yet an unobstructed path. one well qualified to form a comparative However this may be, the true artist may estimate of the genius exhibited by the ever say of his art as Coleridge said of cultivators of art, says in a letter to the his poetry : “I expect neither profit nor writer: “I know of no artist of our own general fame from my writings, and I day so well entitled, whether in cameo- consider myself as having been amply cutting, or in modeling, or in exquisite repaid without either. Poetry has been skill in chiseling, to unqualified eulogy to me its own exceeding great reward: and ample patronage, yet securing so it has soothed my afflictions ; it has multilittle in proportion to his merits. In plied and refined my enjoyments; it has cameo work, we have no living artist, at endeared solitude, and it has given me the home or abroad, who, in his characteristic habit of wishing to discover the good and style, unites, with original life and fresh- the beautiful in all that meets and surness, so much classical elegance and rounds me."