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were the most remarkable for their independence on them?

In my very humble judgment, an exemplar in any of the fine arts can only be of use, so far as it helps us by a shorter road to understand the principles of that art, and stirs up emulation to originate, not to copy. But the danger is, that we slide insensibly into a habit of following the letter of the details; and a passive habit can only produce a slave instead of a master. If we would propitiate the Muse to any purpose of producing great things ourselves, we must get rid of this idolatry, and invoke her creative power upon our own proper spirits. It is within myself I must look for the model, if I would soar with wings of my

own.

Tentanda via est quâ me quoque possum
Tollere humo, victorque virûm volitare per ora.

“ The Greeks,” says a late writer, “ had no gallery of Egyptian sculpture; and if they had, we should not now have the Venus de Medicis and Apollo. The Romans, on the contrary, were overwhelmed with Greek originals, and what did they produce?” In fact, the genius of Greece was trained in the only school where it will ever learn to produce great things—the school of Nature. The Olympic games, exhibiting the feats of wrestlers and gladiators, where the anatomy of expression could be studied in its full force and effect, supplied the only models they knew, or would know; and these, aided by an unlimited demand for their works, and the high prize of fame, the estimation of which may be guessed at, when so much was encountered to gain a chaplet of laurel, did what nothing else but a concurrence of the same causes will ever do again.

The unbounded veneration of our Flaxman for the Greek school, led him to suspect that even the Apollo Belvedere might be a copy; and nothing could more fully express the extent of this veneration than the reason he assigns for the suspicion ; “because,” said he, “it appears to me possible to make another as good.” Let it not be supposed that the danger of an injudicious use of a model, is to be obviated by any excellence in the original. So far otherwise, it may much more frequently prove the cause of failure. I am satisfied that it was the utter despair of being able to make any thing like an approach to the miracles of the Greek chisel that mainly repressed the emulation of their successors, and made them content with the glory of following, at a humble distance, the excellencies which they never would allow themselves to hope could be equalled.

The gallery of the Louvre, though dismantled of many of its most valuable paintings, still contains a great number of the very best schools. But to antique statuary I own my preference rises above any thing I can feel for painting. When we can assure ourselves of the authority both of the sculptor and his handiwork, the predilection I think not difficult to account for. Those classic recollections, which are entwined with our earliest devotion for the great names of antiquity, are brought into full play, in heightening the interest we take alike in the artist, the subject, and the performance. To the halo. shed round these sacred relics, there is added the no less imperishable fame of him by whose art these names are a second time illustrated and immortalized. To think that I behold the identical performance of a Phidias or a Praxiteles, and besides, that I am looking on the correct likeness, the figure, the lineaments, the very person of Demosthenes, Euripides, Eschylus, rivets one to the spot. It “makes us marble with too much conceiving,” while lost in this reverie on the mighty dead, in whose venerated presence we stand. It is as if we passed back over the gulf which time had interposed, and were admitted to their society; and in all this the mind is so willingly accessory to its own delusion, that it almost forgets it is a delusion: “ we become as it were a part of what has been.” Of the authenticity of the two heads of Demosthenes in this Museum, there can be no doubt. They were found, one in Greece and the other at Antium, and are as like as if they were reflections of each other. But it so happens that we are able to put the matter beyond all reasonable

question, by their close resemblance to a Hermes of

the orator in bronze, found in Pompeii, which has the name sculptured on the base. It will be observed how remarkably the under lip retreats below and within the upper, which appears almost like malformation, and accounted (to my fancy at least) for the difficulty he found in articulation. It is the mouth of a man you would almost expect to stutter; and there is the peculiar droop of the ears mentioned by authors.

The next piece of sculpture that interested me most was the Hermaphrodite (Borghese), and is accounted, I believe, by the best judges, to be one of the most finished and beautiful specimens of this subject that have been discovered. Certainly it is a very surprising incorporation of the graces of the youth of both

One is lost in wonder how art could impart to cold rigid stone such an appearance of softness palpable. We have a high authority for the merit of this statue. Winkleman is of opinion that it is, beyond all doubt, the work of Polycles. It was discovered in

sexes.

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