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JANUARY, 1822.





Masterly done!

The very life seems warm upon the lip;
The fixture of the eye has motion in it,
And we are mock'd by art!

[F, in the distinguished catalogue of Britain's bravest, and, best, and wisest ;-her Legislators, ber Heroes, and her Philosophers, our native land may proedly compete not only with all contemporary kingdoms, but with all past ages; it is no less her boast and glory to enrol also professors of every art, and masters of every science, second to none in talent and ability; and paying back their country's patronage and protection, with an encreasing lustre to her peerless fame. Many are the names of those, whose persevering genius has elevated at once their own, and their country's glory; and while securing for themselves a long futurity of renown, have aided also the extension of Britain's greatness, and added new laurels to her wreath of immortality. Few have more nobly earned this fame and this distinction, than the subject of our present Sketch; and our readers will, we trust, coincide with us, in feeling that it is no less gratifying than instructivé to follow the progress of an original and powerful mind, from the first rudeness of it's early conceptions, until it comes forth with native and unborrowed might in it's maturer creations of beauty, grace, and dignity.


respectable and opulent, He was deprived of his father very early in life and being an only child, was educated by his mother with much tenderness and solicitude. Education and agriculture shared his time between them until his seventeenth year; when he became weary of the pursuits of his forefathers, and resolved to study the law under a respectable solicitor of Sheffield.

During the hours of intermission from labour at the farm, and instruction at the school, he had, however, amused himself in making resemblances of various objects in clay, to which employment he was much attached. But he then calculated as little of the scope it presented to the ambition of his genius, as he was unconscious that it was the path which nature had prepared for his fame. The day named for commencing his new profession arrived, and with the usual eagerness of youth for novelty,' he reached Sheffield a full bour sooner than his friends; when as he walked up and down the street, expecting their coming, his attention was at→ tracted by some figures in the window. of one Ramsay, a carver and gilder; and he stopped to examine them, with those emotions which original minds feel in seeing something congenial. He resolved at once to become an artist; and perhaps, even then, associated his determination with those creations of beauty from 824009

FRANCIS CHANTREY, Esq. was born at Norton, a small village on the borders of Derbyshire, on the 7th of April, 1782, where his ancestors were

which his name is now inseparable. This decided the destiny of his talents, and with Ramsay Mr. Chantrey was immediately settled. The labours in which he was employed, however, were far too limited for his powers, and too confined for his genius; as he even then perchance loved to expatiate in secrecy over his future plans, to contemplate his growing powers with silent joy, and was preparing to come forth upon the world, in all the fulness of might, and all the freshness of beauty, which he has since revealed.

During the intervals of ordinary labour, therefore, at Sheffield, Mr. Chantrey did not amuse himself like most other young men ; but when retired to his lodgings, lights might be seen in his window at midnight, and there he would be found working at groupes and figures, with unabated diligence, and unwearied enthusiasm. Of these early efforts, little is visible, except the effect they wrought. His mother, however, took great interest and delight in his early productions; and this venerable woman enjoys the unspeakable felicity of still living to rejoice in her son's reputation.

He had continued nearly three years in the employment of Ramsay, when the clandestine labours of his leisure hours began to obtain notice. Judicious counsellors seldom fall to the lot of early genius, and Mr. Chantrey found friends who, in the warmth of misjudging zeal, wished to obtrude him upon the world before his talents were matured, or his hand or mind disciplined. Others, of more discernment, confirmed him in his own correct notions of art, and directed his enthusiasm. Among the latter was Mr. Raphael Smith, who soon discovered that the young artist's powers to excel equalled his ambition, and encouraged him to pursue the attainment of excellence: for, as in all other arts, no one is charmed with mediocrity, though all are doomed to endure it.

Sculpture, indeed, is a profession infinitely more laborious than painting, depending on shape and expression for it's fascination, demanding an acquaintance not only with varied nature, but with many delicate mechanical operations, and with that rare talent of combining the conceptions of genius with the niceties of

acquired skill. The march, therefore,
of the sculptor to distinction is a long
one, and with much of this mechanical
knowledge Mr. Chantrey had to be-
come acquainted when he came to
London. He had also to surmount
the mightier obstacles of that arti-
ficial and unnatural style imported
from Italy and France, and which
had been supported by the ablest
sculptors of England.

Until lately, indeed, our sculpture
never sought to free itself from the
absurdities and allegories of the fo-
The common figures
reign school.
of poetry and speech were formerly
exalted into monumental heroes and
heroines, illustrated by symbols as
unintelligible as themselves:-Death
was made to extend his figurative dart
at the substantial bosom of a lady,
whose husband endeavoured to avert
it with an arm of flesh and the Duke
of Argyle is seen expiring on his mo-
nument, while the pen of Fame iз
writing him Duke of Greenwich,-a
title which he had not yet received,

thus turning the monument of a hero into the record of a contemptible conceit, and carving puns upon a tomb-stone.

In his twentieth year, Mr. Chantrey purchased the remainder of his engagement from Ramsay, and the separation gave mutual pleasure. In the month of May 1802, he came to London, and applied himself with diligence and ardour to the study of sculpture. In June, however, in the same year, we find him in Dublin, resolved to make a tour through Ireland and Scotland; when a dangerous fever arrested his progress, from which he did not entirely recover till the ensuing summer. This illness cured him of the love of travelling; he returned to London in the autumn, and, with his return, his studies were recommenced.

His application was great, and his progress rapid and yisible. He had already conceived the character of his works, and wanted only opportunity to invest them with their present truth and tenderness. One of his earliest works, a bust of his friend, Raphael Smith, was created with a felicity at that time rare in bust sculpture. Surrounded, as it now is, with the busts of more eminent men, it is even still singled out by strangers as a production of particular merit. Akin to this is his bust of Horne Tooke, to which

he has communicated an expression of keen penetration and clear-sighted sagacity. A colossal head of Satan belongs also to this period; and, in the attempt to invest this fearful and undefined fiend with character and form, he has by no means lessened his own reputation; for eclipsed, as it now is, with more celebrated works, it's gaze of dark and malignant despair never escapes notice.

In 1810, he fixed his residence in Pimlico, and constructed a study of very modest dimensions. The absolute nature and singular felicity of his busts procured him immediate and extensive employment. Their fidelity to the living image, and the power and case with which the character is expressed, the free and unconstrained attitude, have been often remarked and acknowledged. In this department of art his earliest busts placed him beyond rivalship, and there he is likely to continue. His name and his works were already known beyond the limits of London, when he became the successful candidate for a statue of George III. for the Corporation, which must remain "long as our own renowned City shall exist," a monument of his unrivalled talent and his imperishable fame.

He had made some progress in this work, when he was employed by Mr. Johnes, of Hafod, to make a monument in memory of his only daughter. This was a congenial task, and confided to his hands under circumstances honourable to English sculpture. It has long been finished, and is a production of beauty and tenderness, a scene of domestic sorrow exalted by meditation. A statue of President Blair, a judge of singular capacity and penetration, and a statue of the late Lord Melville, were required for Edinburgh. Mr. Chantrey was employed to execute them; and in these he acquitted himself with great felicity. The calm contemplative, and penetrating mind of Blair are visibly expressed in the marble; though it must be difficult to work with a poet's eye in productions, which the artist's own mind has not selected and consecrated. During his stay in Scotland, he also modelled a bust of the eminent Playfair, in which he appears to have hit off the face and intellect of the man, and they were both remarkable ones, at one heat. Many artists ob

tain their likenesses by patient and frequent retouchings,-Mr. Chantrey generally seizes on the character in one hour's work, and even in the outline of a bust on which he has bestowed but a single hour; the likeness is roughed out of the clay with the happiest fidelity and vigour. Compared with the finished work ;-his hand has passed over it in a more delicate manner, but the general resemblance is scarcely rendered more perfect. His bust of the lady of a Scottish judge is also of this period; Nature furnished him with a beautiful form, and his art reflects back Nature.

On his return from Scotland, he was employed by government to execute monuments for St. Paul's, in memory of Colonel Cadogan and General Bowes, and afterwards of General Gillespie. These subjects are embodied in a manner almost strictly historical, and may be said to form portions of British history. Though the walls of our churches are encumbered with monuments in memory of our warriors, no heroes were ever so unhappy: Sculptors have lavished their bad taste in the service of Government; and Fame, and Valour, and Wisdom, and Britannia; have been the eternal vassals of monotonous art. The great cause of which, perhaps, is, that simple nature, in ungifted hands, looks degraded and mean; but a masterspirit works it up at once into tenderness and majesty.

Amidst a wide encrease of business, Mr. Chantrey omitted no opportunity of improving his talents and his taste. In 1814, he visited Paris, when the Louvre was filled with the plundered sculptures of Italy, and admired, in common with all mankind, the grace, the beauty, and serene majesty of those wonderful works. In the succeeding year he paid the Louvre another visit, during the stormy period of it's occupation by the English and Prussians; when he was accompanied by Mrs. Chantrey, and his intimate friend, Stothard the painter. He returned by the way of Rouen, and filled his sketch-book with drawings of the pure and impressive Gothic architecture of that ancient city.

On Mr. Chantrey's return from France, he modelled his famous groupe of Children, now placed in LichfieldCathedral, and certainly a work more opposite to the foreign style could not

well be imagined The sisters lie asleep in each other's arms, in the most unconstrained and graceful repose; and the snow-drops, which the youngest had plucked, are yet grasped in her hand. It is a lovely and a fearful thing to look upon those beautiful and breathless images of death; and though placed in the exhibition by the side of the Hebe and Terpsichore of Canova, the goddesses obtained few admirers compared to them. So eager was the press to see them, that a look could not always be obtained: mothers stood over them and wept; little children knelt and kissed them; and the deep impression they made on the public mind was permanent.

A work of such pathetic beauty, and finished with such exquisite skill, is an unusual sight, and it's reward was no common one: for the artist received various orders for poetic figures and groupes; and the choice of the subject was left to his own judgment. The work selected for Lord Egremont has been long publicly known, -a colossal figure of Satan; in which Mr. Chantrey has invested the fiend with the visible and awful grandeur of his demoniac character.

A devotional statue of Lady St. Vincent is also a work created in the artist's happiest manner. The figure is kneeling, the hands folded in resignation over the bosom, the head meekly bowed, and the face impressed with the motionless and holy composure of devotion. Along with many other productions, his next important work was a statue of Louisa Russel, one of the Duke of Bedford's daughters, The child stands on tiptoe, with delight fondling a dove in her bosom, an almost breathing and moving image of arch simplicity and innocent grace. It is finished with the same felicity in which it is conceived; and the truth and nature of this figure was proved, had proof been necessary, by a singu lar incident. A child of three years old came into the study of the artist, and fixed it's eyes upon the lovely marble infant, went and held up it's hands to the statue, and called aloud and laughed with the evident hope of being attended to. This figure is now at Woburn Abbey, in company with a groupe of the Graces from the chisel of Canova.

Many of Mr. Chantrey's finest busts belong to this date. His head of

Mr. Rennie, the civil engineer, is by many reckoned his masterpiece; and it is said, that the sculptor seems not unwilling to allow it that preference. Naturally it is a head of evident extensive capacity and thought, and to express these the artist has had his gifted moments. A head of the great Watt is of the same order. In the year 1818, Mr. Chantrey was made a member of the Royal Society, a member of the Society of Antiquaries, and, finally, a member of the Royal Academy. To the former he presented a marble bust of their president, Sir Joseph Banks, a work of much power and felicity; and to the latter he gave, as the customary admission proof of genius, a marble bust of Benjamin West.

In 1818, Mr. Chantrey also produced the statue of Dr. Anderson; which, for unaffected ease of attitude, and native and unborrowed power of thought, has been so much admired. The figure is seated in deep and grave meditation. In the following year, he made a journey, which he had long meditated, through Italy; when Rome, Venice, and Florence, were the chief places of attraction; though he found leisure to examine the remains of art in many places of lesser note.. Of the works of Canova, he spoke and wrote with a warmth and an admiration he sought not to conceal. "Above all modern art in Rome," he wrote to a friend, "Canova's works are the chief attractions. His latter productions are of a far more natural and exalted character than his earlier works; and his fame is wronged by his masterly statues which are now common in England. He is excelling in simplicity and in grace every day. Endymion for the Duke of Devonshire, a Magdalen for Lord Liverpool, and a Nymph, are his latest works and his best. There is also a noble equestrian statue of the King of Naples ; the revolutions of it's head have kept pace with those of the kingdom. A poet in Rome has published a book of Sonnets, on Canova's works, each production has it's particular sonnet; but of their excellence I can give you no information."


Such is the account given by our illustrious Englishman, of the productions of the famous Roman; but there is a kindness, a generosity, an extreme tenderness about the minds of men of

high genius, when they speak of the works of each other, which must not glow on the page of stern and candid criticism. The character of Canova's works seems neither very natural nor original. What Phidias and the immortal sculptors of Greece saw in sunshine, he sees in twilight; his art is dimly reflected back from the light of ancient ages. The Grecian beauty and nature which he has chosen for his models, he sees through the eyes of other men; he cannot himself contemplate the very excellence he seeks to attain. Of the meek austere composure of ancient art, he seems to feel but little, and that late in life; he retires from the awful front of Jupiter, to pipe with Apollo among the flocks of Admetus. Though with the severe and the majestic, he has limited acquaintance, with the graceful, the gentle, and the soft, he seems particularly intimate, and this, thongh a high, is but a recent acquirement. His earlier works are all infected with the theatrical or affected styles; every figure strains to make the most of the graces of it's person. The character of his works lives not in living nature, he deals with the demi-gods, and seems ambitious to restore the lost statues of older Greece to their pedestals. He has no twilight visitations from the muse of modern beauty. The softness, the sweetness, and grace of his best works have been felt and echoed by all. His Hebe is buoyant and sylphlike, but not modest; and with such a look and air, she had never dared to deal ambrosia among the graver divinities. It is customary to couple the names of Canova and Chantrey together, and some have not scrupled to add that of Thorwaldsen, the Dane. Their styles and their powers are essentially different, and widely removed from each other. Canova seeks to revive the might and beauty of Greek art on earth; the art of Chantrey is a pure, unmixed emanation of English genius; a style without transcript or imitation, resembling the ancients no more than the wild romantic dramas of Shakspeare resemble the plays of Euripides, or the heroes of Sir Walter Scott's chivalry, the heroes of heathen song. It seeks to personify the strength and the beauty of the "mighty island." From them both the Dane differs, and we are sensible of a descent, and a

deep one, when we write his name. He has not the powerful tact of speculating on ancient and departed excellence like the Roman, nor has he the native might, and grace, and unborrowed vigour of the Englishman in hewing out a natural and noble style of his own. The groupe of the graces which he modelled in feverish emulation of those of Canova, measure out the immense distance between them; they are a total failure, and below mediocrity; while his figure of the Duke of Bedford's daughter is unworthy of the company of her sister Louisa by Chantrey. He studies living nature, but with no poet's eye.

We close with reluctance this brief and imperfect account of our illustrious countryman and his productions. We have omitted to notice some of the peculiar excellencies of his style, and to mention many of his labours, of numbers and of importance enough to form a fair reputation of themselves. In the conception and in the finish of his works, the artist is extremely fastidious, and meditates with a care, and works with a diligence, of which there are too few examples. He is an early mover. He may be found labouring in summer-time, before sunrise, with early and intense application; and with a candle in the front of his hat, and a chisel in his hand, he may be seen at midnight, and far in the morning, employed in finishing some of his principal works.

Of Mr. Chantrey's later efforts, and works now in progress, it is scarcely necessary to speak; as being confessedly at the head of his art, they are as universally known as they are extensively admired. Amongst them, therefore, we notice only his monument of the late David Pike Watts, Esq. the subject of which is a Father blessing his Children; - A sleeping Child, the daughter of Sir Thomas Dyke Ackland; and another reposing infant for Mr. Boswell, of Auchenleck. The statues of Washington, the late Francis Horner, Esq. M.P. for Westminster Abbey, and a bust of Scotland's mighty poet, and, may we add, mightier novellist? Sir Walter Scott. As we never concluded a Memoir in which professional encomium was better merited, nor less required, than in the present instance; so, gifted as he is with

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