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The Greek Diana.
characters, prophets, sibyls, etc., and adorned with birds, flowers, and fruits, all most exquisitely carved.
Around the room, below the cornice, are casts from the frieze of the Parthenon. "Like the original, they consist of tablets three feet and a half high, nearly square, and embrace the seated deities, virgins bearing offerings, and groups of horsemen—considered the choicest portions of the entire frieze." Some of the statues by modern sculptors are admirable; but we have lingered so long over the ever charming, ever glorious and new-found characteristics of the antique, that we feel diffident about claiming too much space.
In a small side gallery are three Venuses, by
Gibson, by Canova, and by Thorwaldsen—all beautiful; but Thorwaldsen's seemed to us far more excellent than the others. It is a perfect embodiment of youthful beauty, delicacy, and grace—almost too spiritual, perhaps, for a Venus. Up stairs, in the centre of an octagon room, which opens into the picture galleries, stands Power's Greek Slave, in marble. As we gazed upon its "passionless perfection," from the lips of one of the ladies of our group involuntarily burst Mrs. Browning's perfect sonnet, so wholly applicable that I cannot refrain from giving it entire:
They say ideal beauty cannot enter
The house of anguish. On the threshold stands
An alien image, with enshackled hands,
Called the Greek Slave (as if the artist meant her
That passionless perfection which he lent her,
Shadowed, not darkened, when the sill expands),
To so confront man's crimes in different lands
With man's ideal sense. Pierce to the centre,
Art's fiery finger! and break up ere long
The serfdom of this world! Appeal, fair stone,
From God's pure heights of beauty against man's wrong!
Catch up in thy divine face, not alone
East griefs, but West, and strike and shame the strong.
By thunders of white silence ftverthrown!
care by Charles L. Elliott. On either side hangs a picture by Cole, the Departure and the Return. In the former a gallant knight comes forth from his castle on a bright summer morning, followed by a cavalcade, all "on warlike thoughts intent," unmindful of a holy palmer, who waves a palm branch before them. In the other picture we see, at the close of an autumn day, the wounded leader brought back upon a litter, while but one of all his brilliant escort follows, dejectedly, the riderless horse. Sad as the story is, the figures in these pictures impress one less than the scenery, which is very beautiful and true. A few steps further bring us to the most restful, quiet-toned picture in the room, the Edge of the Forest, by Durand. Though it is only a group of trees and rocks, with a little glimpse of the Hudson, it is rendered so perfectly faithful in the minutest detail, so soothing in its dreamy aspect, in the soft, dreamy haze that lingers over it, that looking at it is nearly as satisfactory as being in the woods themselves.
The ladies were reluctant to leave it, and it seemed as if. the eye could never weary of it. In fact, when one has seen everything else, and are utterly wearied with much seeing, they love to make it a farewell visit, and drink in its tender, quiet beauty, until they are thoroughly rested in body and mind. Near this picture hangs the Vestal Tuccia, by Leroux. Tuccia, charged with want of chastity, stands on the brink of the Tiber with a sieve, which she raises above her head with both hands, and prays to Vesta that if she be pure the goddess will allow her to prove it by filling the sieve with the water of the Tiber, and carry it into her temple. There are soft gray shades over the picture which give it a singular effect, and at first we thought it too cool; but after looking at it critically and repeatedly from different standpoints we liked it, for this coloring seemed to harmonize well with the story. The form and face of the maiden are very symmetrical and noble, pure and beautiful.
crossing a cool, transparent brook, overshadowed by trees; scenery on the Magdalena River—full of rich tropical warmth and exquisitely painted foliage, by Church; Rebecca at the Well, a lovely, dreamy, almost spiritual face, overflowing with the delicate freshness of youth, yet with a certain depth which promises a noble maturity. The red, curved lips are very sweet and tempting;
Rebecca At The Well.
softly the dark-brown hair droops over the pure, young brow, and the brown eyes are soft and beautiful. This picture is very suggestive of Longfellow's ideal:
Maiden, with the meek, brown eyes,
In whose orbs a shadow lies
Like the dusk of evening skies.
A very pleasing picture in its truthfulness and rich, elevated tone, is the Emigrant's Letter, by Howard Helmich, a Philadelphia artist now re
siding abroad and winning laurels by his fine delineations of Irish peasant life. This picture represents the interior of a French cottage, and a peasant's family listening to a letter from an emigrant brother. The sturdy boy lying on the floor neglects his playthings; the old father has taken his pipe from his mouth; the mother stops her cooking operations; the young wife holds her white-capped baby in her arms, with a look of wistful eagerness in her gentle face and soft blue eyes; all are listening intently to the young girl who reads the letter.
A Cascade, by Robbe, is a refreshing little picture, and so truthful that one almost seems to hear the dash of the water in its musical rhythm foaming over the noisy rocks. There is an excellent picture of scenery in the Catskills, by Weber; a picture of Cromwell and Milton, by Leutze, painted for Mr. Corcoran; the poet is represented as playing upon the organ for the pleasure of the Protector and his family. The children's faces were painted from the artist's children. There is a flowerpiece by Conder, one of the leading llower-painters of France. It is a vase of flowers upset by a cat. The roses are delightfully perfect in their pure and varied coloring, but the cat seemed to us hardly a success. Her expression of anger and fright is good, bat her fur has an unnatural —as a critic observed, a wooden look. The most striking and powerful picture in the gallery is Caesar Dead, by Gerome. It is ,; supposed to be the study which he used in his more elaborate picture of the Death of Caesar, where the conspirators are represented retiring from their bloody work; and the interior of the Senate Hall is shown with imposing rows of columns, desks, and other accessories." Many persons think this picture the more impressive of the two. In this the Senate Hall is deserted; alone the body of Caesar lies stretched upon the floor, "even at the base of Pompey's statue," the blood pouring from his wounds. His fallen chair and the base of the statue are the only objects to