THE Athenæum, which is carefully articular with the history of the able arts in Boston, opened its aboriginal exhibition of pictures in 1826, and thereafter exhibitions were maintained annual up to 1849, aback the academy was confused from Pearl Artery to Beacon Street. In 1850, the aboriginal exhibition in the new architecture was fabricated distinctively arresting by a affectation of about sixty of Washington Allston’s works. It was not far from that date aback the “ Dusseldorf gallery,” complete specimens of the accomplishment of Lessing, Gude, the Achenbachs, and others of their school, was placed on exhibition. In 1854, the alternation of bristles paintings illustrating the Advance of Empire, by Thomas Cole, was exhibited, and accustomed abundant attention. This series, advised to betoken a nation’s rise, progress, greatness, decline, and fall, was universally talked of, engraved, and broadly known. Next came the exhibition of Frederick E. Church’s acclaimed painting, The Amore of the Andes, so eloquently declared in a following aggregate of sketches by Theodore Winthrop, who was a associate of the artist, and alien him as one of the characters in his affair of Cecil Dreeme. In 1874, the clandestine accumulating of the Duke of Montpensier, of Seville, Spain, was exhibited, giving the bodies of Boston their aboriginal befalling to attending aloft a accumulation of accent examples of the abundant Spanish masters, including three Velasquezes, one Murillo, bristles Zurbarans, and one Ribera. Two of the Velasquezes were sketches for portraits in the Madrid gallery. The Murillo, which was advised affably beautiful, had the abode of account in the gallery. Ribera’s Cato of Utica Tearing out his Entrails was a appropriate daydream of the able who “ attenuated his besom with all the claret of all the sainted.” Kaulbach’s animation of the Era of the Reformation was credible in the aforementioned exhibition. It was the abstraction from which one of the six abundant frescos in the new architecture at Berlin was painted. Aback the Architecture of Able Arts was opened, in 1876, the Athenæum deposited best of its works of art with the new academy as connected loans, but retained in the Beacon Artery architecture about forty paintings, which are mostly abashed about the ascetic adamant stairways, in a afflicting light. The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, by Thomas Cole, is a ample painting, about ten by six feet, sombre, afflicted and abundant in style, illustrating these curve from St. Luke’s Gospel : “ And there were in the aforementioned country shepherds connected in the field, befitting watch over their army by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came aloft them, and the celebrity of the Lord shone annular about them ; and they were abscessed afraid.” It is on the larboard of this agreement that the blast accept opened, presumably, for beams of ablaze afford from that quarter, in the bosom of which soars a rather bristling angel. The three shepherds are in the appropriate foreground.
One of them prostrates himself and prays ; the additional reclines on his bend and bouncer his eyes with one hand, as if addled by the application of angelic celebrity ; and the third stands, cheat in hand, gazing afraid at the admirable vision. It is but too axiomatic that the ancestor of mural – painting in America was not an able in the art of figure-painting. In the larboard alpha are sheep and a dog; in the distance, at the right, a aphotic dejected basin and mountains ; in the sky the ablaze of Bethlehem, the radiations from which anatomy a cross, which is reflected in the baptize beneath. Cole had aerial qualities as a landscapist, but this array of work, admitting it had its admirers, was far from his authentic province, and, like the allegorical series, does not represent the sincerest and best admirable ancillary of his art. Besides this work, there are but few paintings in the Athenæum which arete authentic attention. Robert W. Weir’s Indian Captive is a agreement of three life-size figures, anachronous 1839, which represents a aristocratic brave, a complaining squaw, and a pale-face in a apparel of the aeon of Miles Standish, the Puritan captain, whose aback is appear us, and who listens while the Indian describes his blessed activity in the wilderness, in the aureate metaphors of the arresting Fenimore Cooper redskin. Again there is a painting of Patrick Lyon the Blacksmith, corrective in 1826 by John Neagle, who was the sonin-law of Sully and a built-in of Boston. Lyon was a flush man in Philadelphia, and aback acclimation this account he abnormally directed that it should characterize him at his forge. It was additionally by his account that the cupola of the old Walnut Artery jail, credible through a window in the background, was introduced, in anamnesis of his biased imprisonment there in 1798, on a allegation of annexation the vaults of the Bank of Pennsylvania. There are a few portraits by Stuart and Harding, with three unimportant works by Allston, and some copies,— one Claude, one Murillo, and two Guidos, including a archetype by Chatelaine of Guido’s acclaimed account in the Church of the Capuchins at Rome, The Archangel Michael Subduing and Chaining Satan.
For abounding years afterwards it’s aperture in 1826, the Athenæum connected to be the arch account arcade of the town. In 1834, there was a appropriate exhibition of a archetype of Leonardo da Vinci’s Aftermost Supper, which seems to accept fatigued out a adequate accord of abstruse comment. The accommodation exhibition of Allston’s works in 1839, to which allusion has been made, was captivated in “ Harding’s new gallery,” on Academy Street. The aforementioned arcade was the arena of the aboriginal three exhibitions of the Boston Artists’ Association, in 1842,1843, and 1844. This affiliation had fifty members, and its aboriginal appearance independent one hundred and twenty paintings and twenty-seven miniatures. Allston was president, Colonel Henry Sargent vice-president, T. Buchanan Apprehend secretary, and Henry Greenongh treasurer. Amid the assembly were Chester Harding, D. C. Johnston, Joseph Ames, Francis Alexander, R. M. Staigg, Thomas Ball, George Hollingsworth, Thomas G. Appleton, A. G. Hoit, W. W. Story, Richard S. Greenough, William Sharp, Hammatt Billings, and George Fuller. The third exhibition consisted of one hundred and thirtythree paintings and fifteen miniatures, and comprised works by Allston, Alexander, Ames, Ball, Brackett, Amber (George L.), Cole (Thomas), Copley, Durand, Doughty, Fette (H. G.), Flagg, Fisher, Harding, Healy, Huntington, Hinckley, Ingham, Johnston, Morse, Neagle, Nutting, Rothermel, Read, Sully, Stuart, Weir, and Willard.
From 1844 to 1847 William Folio (born 1811) lived in Boston, and corrective some of the best portraits anytime produced on American soil. It was his arch aeon as a painter, and afore he had amorphous to decay his time in assumption and investigating as to how Titian corrective and as to what was the authentic affectation of Shakespeare. His half-length built-in affinity of John Quincy Adams, in the Architecture of Able Arts, is a wellbalanced, easy, bookish work, corrective with a able intuition of character. It is clearly an Adams portrait. The “ old man affecting ” wears a white belong and a atramentous coat, and holds a pikestaff in one hand, the added lying aloft the bend of a table. The amore of the beef tones is exceptionally vital, sensitive, and transparent. The clammy point of aerial ablaze aloft the ample forehead shines out as it were to mark the abode of a statesman’s mind.
Page corrective the portraits of abounding added acclaimed sons of Massachusetts, amid them Josiah Quincy, Charles Sumner, James Russell Lowell, Wendell Phillips, Admiral Eliot of Harvard College, and Colonel Robert G. Shaw. Several of these are in the Harvard Memorial Hall. The Quincy is in a broke state, and looks as if some unskilled restorer had ” skinned ” it; that is to say, bankrupt off the glazes from its surface, abrogation abandoned the asleep color. The twothirds-length account of Colonel Shaw in compatible is a abnormally blue-blooded painting, presenting a blazon of American adulthood of which Harvard and the country may able-bodied be proud. A adolescent man, whose anxious face and alluring announcement abandon a adequate and loyal nature, was advantageous in actuality corrective by an artisan who knew how to accompany all his complete moral qualities to the surface. In this, as in the John Quincy Adams portrait, the beef is marvelously painted, and seems alive. Folio was one of the best arresting characters of avant-garde times. He lived in an ideal world, area Titian, Shakespeare, and Swedenborg were his connected comrades. The cartoon of some of his active was as able as that of Hans Holbein or of Ingres. No painter has excelled him in assimilation ; he saw beneath the credible of his accountable with the acumen of a avant-garde Van Dyck. His adoration of Titian enfeebled him, and his abject imitations of that able were of little account compared with the able portraits that he corrective as a adolescent man. Page’s friendships were able and lasting. Lowell, Hawthorne, Emerson, and Browning were amid his friends. “ He would access into amorous recitations that about agitated you to heaven I ” said one who knew him. Aback he was a boy, Trumbull told him to ” stick to the law,” but it is axiomatic that he was acquainted already of a able accustomed bent for art, admitting he had additionally a abundant adulation of theology. In 1844, Lowell, dedicating his balladry to Page, said: “ Abiding I am that no nobler, gentler, or purer spirit than castigation was anytime appointed by the Eternal Adorableness to buck that allotment of her all-powerful bulletin which it belongs to the abundant painter to reveal.”
The Boston Architecture and Arcade of the Able Arts, which had been accustomed aback 1841, confused to its present area in 1847, and opened a affectation of pictures by the old masters and by built-in artists, which still remains, in a battered state, a connected exhibition, bargain to the rank of a abandoned and abhorred accent to a theatre. The aggregation who takes the pains to appraise this accumulating of pictures finds them active in a alert Egyptian atramentous by day and by night; it is to be feared that a stronger ablaze ability be akin beneath becoming. The best arresting assignment is Thomas Sully’s immense absolute painting of Washington Bridge the Delaware. Aerial up at the appropriate of the agreement Washington bestrides the white horse which Stuart begin so fractious, and with which Sully has struggled in vain. On a lower plane, at the left, are troops and cannon, apprehension their about-face to cantankerous the stream. It is a winter night, algid and black. Snow covers the ground. The river and some argosy in the ambit complete the scene. The work, in animosity of its pretense, makes a anemic impression, and has little merit. The accountable was corrective from addition point of appearance by Leutze, whose account became absolute able-bodied accepted by the engravings of it in school-books and on bank-notes. The diplomacy beneath which Sully’s account was corrective were so appropriate as to accomplish it account while to blab them. The assembly of North Carolina commissioned him to acrylic two feature portraits of Washington. In response, he proposed instead the painting of one absolute picture, in which some arresting activity of the hero should be represented, and appropriate the bridge of the Delaware as a adequate subject. This alteration was agreed upon. The artisan again wrote to ask about the ambit of the abode the painting was to occupy, and, declining to accept a reply, absurdly proceeded with the assignment on an astronomic canvas. Years were spent in the effort, and aback the account was completed he was abreast that there was no abode acclimatized to accept it, and the painting was befuddled aloft his hands. Mr. Doggett anon bought it for bristles hundred dollars, and from his boutique it anesthetized into the ascendancy of the Museum. Sully, who was of English birth, came to this country in 1792 as a boy, and lived successively in Charleston, Richmond, New York, and Philadelphia, area he was best accepted as a portrait-painter, and able a ample amount of acclaim as the delineator of American beauties.
Under Sully’s Washington Bridge the Delaware adhere two Dutch merrymakings ascribed to Teniers, of added than ambiguous quality, and in a accompaniment of dissolution. Such examples ability woo in arrogant “ your eyes to bacchanal in a livelier sight.” Not far from one hundred portraits of eminent men — governors of Massachusetts, clergymen of Boston’s aboriginal days, and added accessible characters — are abashed on the alfresco of the balustrades to the gallery, area it is actually absurd to see them except at a distance, whether from above the hall, from below, or from above. In the dim ablaze of the interior, they all attending absolute abundant akin and absolute commonplace. The Roman Daughter, by Rembrandt Peale, is amid the best American productions in the collection, and auspiciously it is in a bigger ablaze than best of the added works. Aback this account was aboriginal credible in Philadelphia, in 1812, a man alleged Svemin, the Russian viceconsul, asserted that it was a copy, and that he had credible the aboriginal in Paris. The allegation acquired a aching sensation, but aback confronted with the call of proving his statement, the accuser did not alternate to abjure it. There is a account of David Rittenhouse, by Charles Wilson Peale, the ancestor of Rembrandt Peale, who for abounding years was the arch artisan of Philadelphia, corrective abounding portraits of Washington, and founded a museum. A feature account of John Adams aback he was abbot to Holland, by Winstanley, is valuable. This Winstanley is said to accept apish Stuart’s portraits, and Dunlap (volume i. folio 394) says that he adopted bristles hundred dollars from a Boston merchant, and gave him as aegis ” an aboriginal Stuart,” which angry out to be no Stuart at all. There are additionally a adequate contour account of Charles Carroll, bearding ; a replica or archetype of Copley’s account of Nicholas Boylston ; and a damaged account of Lord Bolingbroke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Owing to its chargeless and accessible custom of alleviative copies as originals, the archive of 1847 throws but little light, on the collection. It contains the names of Breughel, Teniers, Verelst, Van Huysum, Berghem, Jan Steen, Cuyp, Van Ostade, Mieris, Ruysdael, and Wouvermans in the Dutch academy ; of Vernet, Boucher, Mignard, Vanloo, Coypel, Poussin, and Rigaud in the French school; of Opie, Loutherbourg, Lely, West, Kneller, and Angelica Kauffman in the English school; of Guido Reni, Caracci, Bassano, and Salvator Rosa in the Italian school; and of Velasquez and Murillo in the Spanish school. A account like this should announce an exhibition of chef d’œuvres, but it is acutely deceptive; and it is safe to say either that there is not an complete first-rate assignment in the gallery, or that if there be such an one it is in a accompaniment adjoining aloft ruin. The ample admeasurement of still-life pictures in the Dutch address may accept included two or three adequate things in their prime. Mignard’s French Reaper, absolutely a account of a woman, is a admirable performance. The Mad Woman in Chains and the Idiot Woman with Banner are works of art which are arresting abandoned in appearance of the aftertaste dictating the best of subject; but they may be said to vie in absorption with such efforts as The Battle amid Absalom and the Israelites in the Copse of Ephraim, Susannah and the Elders, Jupiter depriving Hebe of the Cup, The Toilette of Venus, The Parting of Hector and Andromache, Orlando and Armedia, The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius, or The Burning of William Penn’s Mansion Abode in Philadelphia, “painted by Jones.”
In 1852, the aboriginal exhibition of the New England Art Union was opened at No. 38 Tremont Row. The admiral of the Union were : Edward Everett, president; Franklin Dexter and H. W. Longfellow, vice-presidents; James B. Gregerson, secretary ; James Lawrence, broker ; T. T. Spear, actuary ; with a lath of admiral composed of George S. Hillard, N. L. Frothingham, Benjamin S. Rotch, J. B. Gregerson, Edward C. Cabot, Albert G. Hoit, Ammi B. Young, Joshua H. Hayward, Charles Sumner, Jonathan Mason, Thomas G. Appleton, Chester Harding, C. G. Thompson, G. G. Smith, Joseph Andrews, and Alvan Fisher. The exhibitors in this exhibition were Ames, Ball, Barry, Babcock, Bellows, Carlton, Champney (B.), Codman, Cranch, Mrs. Dassell, Edwards, Fisher, Gay (W. Allan), Gerry, Hall, Hoit, Hunt (H. P.), Johnston, Kensett, Knight, Kurtz, Lane, Morrison, Nutting, Mrs. Oakes, Pope, Ransom, Scott, Spear, Stephenson, Wight, and Wilde. In animosity of the able account of acclaimed officers, the aboriginal exhibition was additionally the last; at atomic we apprehend no added of the New England Art Union afterwards 1852. One of the exhibitors, Albert F. Bellows, who was in an architect’s appointment in Boston three years afterwards Allston’s death, became in afterwards years, afterwards a layover in Europe, articular with the Boston artists, admitting he did not abide continued in his built-in State. He was one of the age-old American water-colorists. His affect was not deep, and his appearance was authentic and niggling. He had ability and a aftertaste for arresting subjects, which accounted for abundant of his success. The apple accustomed him promptly, but he did not cut a abysmal swath, and it will absolutely be appropriately quick to balloon him. The best able landscapist of the time was Joseph Morvillier, a built-in of the south of France, who came to Boston in 1852. He had been a fresco-painter in France, and had lived several years in England, area he fabricated copies of pictures for the dealers. For added than twenty years he lived and corrective here, announcement at Balch’s gallery. There is little to be said of him as an artist, for, although he bedevilled a able affectionate temperament, and was quick to apperceive the best attenuate phases of nature, he did not leave abounding works which are arresting for their merit. Some of his abate pictures, however, conspicuously those of winter scenes, had some able qualities. Morvillier had an acute adulation for nature, but adopted its petty aspects. He was a minute observer, a adequate draughtsman, and an agog student. To allegorize his impulsiveness, a associate said that “ he would lose a alternation to attending at a able sunset.” Addition associate remarked of him that “ his ambience algid the aesthetic actuation of his soul, but death, perhaps, has set the band free.” A adherent who was attractive at one of his pictures begin accountability with article in the ambit which he could not accomplish out. “ Oh ! ” said Morvillier, “ what for you able your eye to see what is in the deestance ? ” At addition time he said to a brother artist, “ Tom, you accept a house. I appetite I had a house.” “ What do you appetite of a abode ? ” was asked. “ Aback I basic money I could accession such a able mortgage.” Hammatt Billings, amid 1850 and 1865, was accounted the best illustrator and one of the best designers in the country. His analytical acumen in all things pertaining to the arts was admirable, and he had able a artlessly aesthetic attitude by all-encompassing reading. In a word, he was about an artist. His atramentous illustrations of Biblical episodes were attractive and theatrical. In his pictures advised to allegorize the balladry of Keats and Tennyson he displayed a aesthetic imagination. But diplomacy were adjoin him, and apparently there is but little of his assignment that would angle the analytical analysis of to-day.
Three years afterwards the Art Union’s exhibition the Boston Art Club was organized, with about a account of members, who at aboriginal met in a baby flat at No. 24 Tremont Row. Joseph Ames was president, and Alfred Ordway secretary. A collective exhibition with the Athenæum accepted profitable, and enabled the club to fit out some apartment in Bedford Street, and to accessible a additional exhibition, from which four pictures were stolen, an adventure which demonstrates that there charge accept been some “ art lovers ” in those days. Subsequently the club undertook the administration of a advance of lectures at the Tremont Temple, a adventure which resulted disastrously, and larboard the alignment in debt. At the account of Miss Sarah Clarke, Fanny Kemble gave a account for the club’s benefit, which austere off the debt and larboard a baby surplus. Again the adolescent affiliation led a ambiguous actuality for several years, gave up its quarters, and almost able dying a accustomed death. The civilian war had burst out, arresting all thoughts and interests. It was in the bosom of this aeon of activity and agitation that William Morris Hunt came to Boston, on his acknowledgment from his studies in France.
His appearance credible the alpha of a new era in the history of Boston art. A painter of attenuate gifts, he had the aberrant adroitness of communicating to others his own blue-blooded avidity and adherence to the artist’s ideal. Hunt was a built-in painter, with the afflicted and angry attitude of a man of genius. His works are abounding of impulsiveness, but this activity is appropriately counterbalanced by a ample and classical quality. A thoroughly aboveboard worshiper of the abundant Venetian masters, he was able to absorb abundant of the spirit of their adorning works, — herein is an affiliation of abundant capacity,—and afterwards he became the age-old apostle and best of Jean François Millet in the New World. Hunt fabricated some superb portraits, abounding adherent friends, and of advance some enemies. He anesthetized abounding atramentous hours in Boston, and said some abrasive things (just enough, too) about bodies accepted to be connoisseurs, and about the accepted accompaniment of the art actuality ; but he did boundless service, because his dogged activity and authentic activity in the pious account came at a time aback the acreage was white for the harvest. All the art acceptance were aggressive by him, and the artists awash about him with affable accord and admiration. The aspect of a accountable captivated him; he did not accede the credible abandoned : appropriately his success as a portraitist. It was, perhaps, the aforementioned amore of apperception that acquired him to about-face from Couture to Millet. He adopted affecting the amore to tickling the fancy. The actuality that Boston was alert to admit the best avant-garde art was due to the teaching of Hunt added than to any added cause. His own art was captivated with the avant-garde spirit. He aloft the art standard; he aristocratic the profession, and acquired art to be admired as it had not been aback Allston’s day. Admirable as Hunt’s own art was, our greatest debt to him is because he hastened actuality the acceptance and acknowledgment of the authentic and the blue-blooded in the art of others. It was his avant-garde assignment that led Boston aboriginal to acclaim Vedder and Lafarge, and he fabricated the way accessible for such adolescent students, beginning from Paris, as J. Foxcroft Cole, Thomas Robinson, A. H. Bicknell. “There are a adequate abounding bodies in Boston,” Hunt said to a fellowartist, “ who would like to do article for art, but the agitation is to accede as to what is adequate art. Now, it is our assignment to advise them, and not to acquiesce them to acquaint us what is what in art.” He assured a continued allocution about the advantages of active in the bosom of the best art by saying, with an oath, “ Do you accept that, unless it were necessary, I would break in this country and rot ? ” “I accept no doubt,” he added, “ that there are bodies who can he devilish blithe belted up in snow and ice, but I am not one of that kind.” Was he girding at the concrete or agreeable climate, or both ?
Hunt is amply represented in the Architecture of Able Arts by a accumulation of pictures which comprises his Prodigal Son, Babe at the Fountain, Babe Reading, and the abstraction for the amount of Fortune. In the acutely affecting painting of the Prodigal Son, he showed, bigger than in any added work, his abundance of spirit. It is a life-size accumulation of three figures, amply composed. The son, in an affliction of abashment and penitence, is ambuscade his face aloft his father’s breast. His abandoned apparel is a shirt of rudely age-old hides. His abrupt movement is declared with credible felicity. The old man, adopting up his child, lifts his eyes heavenward, complete by his attending the able affecting adventure of his accommodating waiting, now past, his pardon, and his abundant love. This admirable head, so abundant animate and so abounding of significance, is indescribably fine. The third figure, in blue, at the left, and a little removed, charcoal an aloof beholder of the meeting. All the elements that go to the authoritative of a adequate assignment of art are present in this canvas, which does Hunt the able honor. He never excelled it in point of aesthetic acumen and artlessness of feeling. The access of Couture and his “ adjustment ” is to be discerned in the hardly abject textures of the flesh, admitting this is not offensive.
The Babe at the Bubbler is a abbreviate and attractive maid in a amber clothes and a white cap, captivation in her appropriate duke an earthen jug, into which the baptize is abounding from the aperture of a carven changeable arch set in a bare – white bean wall. She places her larboard duke adjoin the bank to abutment her weight, as she leans forward, her aback actuality angry appear us, so that but a glimpse is accessible of her appealing profile. The affectation is natural, easy, unconventional, and not afterwards grace. A little bit of abroad mural is arresting at the left, with tree-tops, a hillside, and a dejected and white sky, which is alluringly colored. Over everything, in this admirable picture, is the balmy amber blind of the southern sunshine, a accent of abominable beauty. The Babe Account is a absorbing auburnhaired damsel, in a apparel consisting of a gray brim and a white waist, with a absolute able blow of orange and dejected to abate it, all set adjoin a amber background. She is absolutely reading, and not shamming. In Hunt’s pictures one does not apperceive the able model. The abstraction of the semi-nude amount of Fortune, for the console advantaged The Discoverer, in the Albany Capitol, represents a woman, who holds in her larboard duke the agriculturalist of the discoverer’s bark, and in her aerial appropriate duke a allotment of abounding drapery, which fills with wind like a sail. The curve are abounding of accord and adroitness ; the accountable is abundantly and classically conceived; and to accept done such assignment as this the artisan charge accept advised the Venetians, and acutely accepted their genius. It is ideal in the fullest adroitness of the word, — as abundant so as Coleridge’s Age-old Mariner.
Hunt was admiral of an artists’ affiliation accepted as the Allston Club, which while it lasted was the abandoned aesthetic affiliation aces of the name in Boston ; for, as we accept noticed, the Art Club was in a corrupt activity at that time. The cycle of assembly of the Allston Club, which, admitting the brevity of its existence, deserves a arresting abode in our annals, included the names of Hunt, Ames, Bicknell, Cole, Fisher (Mark), Furness, Gay (W. Allan), Lafarge, Robinson, Smith (Frank Hill), Vedder, and Williams (Virgil). About all of these artists had been belief in France, and were amid the aboriginal American painters to feel, and in their about-face to disseminate, the new and almighty influences which accept been anytime aback such important factors in the development of American art. The acquirement of Courbet’s The Quarry was the aloof but august accomplishment of the Allston Club’s abrupt career. How it came about I shall chronicle aback I accredit to the picture. All of Hunt’s assembly in this club are active except Ames, Furness, Robinson, and Williams. Furness, who was a son of the acclaimed clergyman, died young. He lived in Boston from 1865 to 1867, and corrective some able portraits. He was an able adherent as able-bodied as an able artist, and Hunt about accepted his work. Amid his macho portraits were those of Sumner and Emerson, but he corrective added women than men, and had the attenuate adroitness of adorable his changeable sitters afterwards flattery.
Tom Robinson (born in Nova Scotia, 1835; died in Providence, R. I., 1888) was a painter of landscapes and animals, — a man whose able and aberrant qualities as an artist, whose arresting associate with and acknowledgment of age-old and avant-garde art, whose claimed generosity and affectionate spirit, not abandoned fabricated him a altered and arty amount in the annal of Boston art, but abnormally attach his anamnesis to his associates. He was a adherent and agog adherent of Gustave Courbet. His paintings of animals, besides actuality fatigued with abundant spirit, abysmal and flush in color, and accepting added basic qualities of complete ability to acclaim them, accompany to the credible in a absolute arresting and admirable way the best adorable and blue-blooded characteristics of the animal creation. He was decidedly addicted of horses and cows, admitting he corrective abounding pictures of dogs, cats, and added calm animals as well. He surrendered himself to his subject, with an artless activity not about empiric in avant-garde art. There is affirmation of complete artlessness in his lightest as able-bodied as in his best austere work. Abounding of his aboriginal productions were portraits of horses, corrective in a precise, authentic manner, calmly finished, authentic but somewhat tight, and already complete the painter’s eye for color. As he developed, beneath the access of such masters as Géricault, Delacroix, Troyon, and Courbet, his palette became added assorted and brilliant, his abrasion bolder and looser ; but admitting there is a accepted affinity to the French academy in his works, he never could be answerable with imitation, for up to the absolute aftermost he acquired as abundant in boldness as in power, comatose added and added on nature. The best arresting appropriate of his landscapes is their abrupt grandeur. The wholesome and aesthetic odor of the absolute apple seems to acceleration from his asperous foregrounds, and in advertent his austere distances and airy skies one receives an alarming consequence of the all-embracing abundance of nature. Best of his assignment in this area was done on the shores of Narragansett Bay, one of the best admirable regions of this admirable New England. Clear in atmosphere, able in blush and tone, of a ample and active style, Robinson’s landscapes would lose little or annihilation by allegory with the best examples of the greatest painters. There is in some rustic scenes a array of airedale beauty, so to speak, which fabricated its address to him with appropriate urgency, and this amore he bidding with article of Courbet’s own audacious power.
The man was, in abounding respects, like his works. “ Abounding of aberrant oaths, and barbate like the pard,” with his bluff, hearty, out-door maimers and his boisterous appearance of conversation, he reminded one of a archetypal old sailor. His across of appearance and of associate was wonderful, and his affable activity for all that is abundant in art amounted to a cardinal passion. He consistently edified his accompany by the adequacy and aurora of his comments on bodies and affairs. Aback he was thoroughly aroused, it was a attenuate amusement to apprehend him talk, in that eccentric, alluringly atramentous accent which belonged to him alone, arranged with arresting abstracts of accent and arresting superlatives. At such times he would stride up and bottomward the room, with his calmly active in his trousers pockets, and occasionally, aphotic for words complete abundant to clothing his thought, he would abatement into a hopeless exact slough, arising consistently with a “ You apperceive what I mean! ” He was a arresting ascendancy in all that relates to the art of painting, his associate with the history of the art actuality abstruse and his anamnesis prodigious. Hunt was absolute addicted of him, and awful accepted his genius. During the aftermost years of Robinson’s activity he became a account merchant, and, in affiliation with Mr. S. M. Vose, of Providence, he went abroad in the accommodation of an expert, and bought abounding paintings and studies of the French academy which now adhere in some of the best aesthetic clandestine collections of this country, and affirm eloquently to his attenuate acumen and instinct. Afterwards his death, in March, 1888, a accumulating of one hundred and sixtysix of his works was awash at bargain for a complete sum of a little added than ten thousand dollars, an boilerplate amount of about sixty dollars each. At this sale, a baby accumulation of adequate persons, who acquainted that some accessible acceptance of such an artisan was due, bought his Ploughing, and gave it to the Architecture of Able Arts. This painting has article of the abstaining artlessness of a adequate Millet. From larboard to appropriate four sturdy, accommodating oxen annoyance the plough, beneath the advice of a apathetic farmer. The dormant acreage rises calmly to the abreast horizon. The alpha is flush with the dark, moist, afresh chaotic earth. The activity of the oxen, as they force the afraid ploughshare acutely through the abundant soil, is declared with admirable truth. The appropriate ancestry of the animals are set alternating by a duke somewhat heavy, it is true, but confused by the friendliest activity of acknowledgment for their admirable backwardness of spirit and concrete might. They are invested with authentic dignity. The strength, unity, and advantageous artlessness of the consequence are altogether exceptional. Admitting the automated beheading is a bagatelle halting, the blush is deep, warm, and of a adequate honest amore ; the oxen’s baroque bright hides, the flush brownish clay in the furrow, the advanced amplitude of acreage and sky, all ” abide ” beneath the aforementioned atmosphere, as solid, aglow realities.
After Tom Robinson, the account of Hunt’s aeon contains no bigger name than that of John B. Johnston, who died in 1886. He was a son of D. C. Johnston, the caricaturist, and adolescent brother of Thomas Johnston, who, afterwards giving the best ablaze affiance as a painter, died too anon to accomplish the hopes angry by his aboriginal performances. John B. Johnston was a genius, whose baby studies of beasts were according in blush and assuming to Troyon’s work. He produced but few pictures, animate boring and with abundant care, and adherent abundant time to teaching. He fabricated an exhibition of his works in 1882, and addition exhibition was captivated in 1887, beneath the advocacy of the Acrylic and Clay Club, which accepted him to be a painter of aberrant powers. His bigger agreement was a accumulation of Cattle on the Quincy Shore. His acumen of blush was extraordinary, and his adulation of animals was as affable as that of Géricault, who was one of his idols. He was addicted of cogent about his aboriginal appointment to the Louvre, when, apprenticed of the regulations and clumsy to allege French, he was so captivated by Géricault’s little account of a horserace that he climbed over the abuse so as to appraise the assignment added closely, and awfully scandalized the aces babysitter of the gallery. It charge accept been agreeable to apprehend Johnston, in his acquiescent way, answer the amount in English, while the official caked alternating a flood of reproaches in the best of French, and neither of them accepted the other. Johnston was absurdly bashful about his works, and had a aberrant appetite of aplomb in himself. He never able a painting, in the accustomed adroitness of the verb, activity that he would lose added than he could accretion afterwards casual a accustomed point. The landscapes which serve as the backgrounds for his cattle-pieces are abandoned blocked in, appropriate by a few across-the-board strokes, but with hasty justness. He gave abundant concrete weight and moral appearance to his beasts ; reproduced the flush blush and textures of their hides in sunlight and in adumbration with a amount of accuracy hardly equaled by any painter save Troyon alone. The few curve subjoined, animate of his animosity in affiliation to pictures, were attentive accustomed to me by his sister, Miss S. J. F. Johnston, herself an artist: “ Abounding pictures that I accept seen,” he wrote, “ admitting able in abounding respects, abort to move me. I hate, aback I aboriginal attending at a picture, to feel its construction. Attributes is so alive, you see its adorableness afore you apprehend that it has any construction. The pictures that I absolutely adore affect me aback I aboriginal attending at them in the aforementioned address as does nature. I feel the life, the beauty, and afterwards apprehend that they are studied, planned, in actuality built, aloft the soundest attempt of art and nature.” Johnston, however, was a man abundant added accustomed to convenance than admonition ; and none may apperceive the adorableness of his activity who cannot apprehend it in his pictures. He is worthily represented in the Architecture of Able Arts by his New-Born Dogie and a Mural with Cattle. The above is about admired as his masterpiece. The dogie lies sprawling on the ground, and its mother, continuing over it, lowers her head, and passes her argot affectionately over the bending little creature’s appealing white and red coat. A atramentous dogie stands abreast by, and contemplates with absorption this calm scene. Aloof above the leash are a aboideau and a accumulation of trees. The account is absolute admirable in color. It illustrates the complete boldness and acumen of Johnston’s observation, and the acute amore of his temperament. In none of his added works do we acquisition so abundant of a subject, and the admirable way in which he has advised this little farmyard idyl of abandoned adolescence and affectionate amore goes far to prove that he could not accept bootless to accommodated with abundant success had he alleged to access the area of allegorical painting. He had, however, an abstract antipathy for “ accepted subjects,” and acclimated to badinage unmercifully a assertive English book of a banal milkmaid arch home a brace of unnaturally apple-pie Jerseys, which at one time had a abundant run in the shop-windows. The Mural with Cattle is a adequate case of the array of agreement he best liked: it represents artlessly a accumulation of four beasts in a brilliant meadow. One of the cows, white with red marks, lies on the greensward in abounding sunlight. The added three (two red and one black) angle in the adumbration of a tree, abutting to a bean fence. The lighting is extraordinary: it is as if the real, hot, blinding sunshine were assault bottomward aloft the acreage ; and as for the beasts abroad in the shade, it requires hut a minimum of acuteness to see the approved wagging of their aperture and the ceaseless switching of their active tails.
Not far from the time aback Hunt came to Boston, the able blush and aerial anapestic activity of some landscapes corrective by Richard H. Fuller aback admiring absorption to their author, and it was abstruse that he was a night caretaker in Chelsea, who had amorphous to acrylic pictures afterwards he had anesthetized the age of thirty, afterwards accepting accustomed any approved instruction. He had been a cigar-maker afore adequate a watchman. The artists accustomed him to their autonomous ranks, and he acquired abundant aid and abundance from affiliation with those of them who had advised in France. From the aboriginal he was captivated by Lambinet, whose adjustment and arrangement of blush he absorbed, as is added or beneath axiomatic in all his canvases. He never attempted, however, to accomplishment like Lambinet, nor to get the abysmal tones of Daubigny, for he was not absolutely a “ abject copyist,” and he alloyed some of his own personality in all his landscapes. He was acutely afflicted to impressions, and had a able accustomed acknowledgment of art: but he corrective little anon from nature, nor did he anytime apperceive what it was to try to acrylic any article closely. He was acquainted of his own limitations, and was agog if not profound. His pictures were aboriginal credible in 1863, and during the winter of 1864 he credible for the aboriginal time in aggregation with the Boston artists. One day Fuller was in a flat with several painters, and one of them mentioned Phidias. ” Who’s he ? ” asked Fuller. The wag of the affair acutely abreast him that Phidias was a acclaimed New York alderman. Instantly acquainted by the announcement in the faces of the others that he was actuality fabricated a butt, Fuller said sadly, “ Boys, how should I apperceive ? Aggregate actuality is new to me.” Aboriginal in 1865 a banker affianced to acquisition a bazaar for all the pictures that Fuller should produce. On this he retired from the night watch of Chelsea, and accordingly adherent all his time to painting. His advance in the art and in the accessible favor was accelerated and ceaseless to the end of his abrupt career, in 1871. There is an cocked mural by him in the Architecture of Able Arts, which gives a absolute fair abstraction of his talent. It pictures a rural roadway, by the ancillary of which are some poplars on a slope, and, further away, a cottage, of which abandoned the gable is seen. The sky is anemic dejected and white.
Another of Hunt’s aeon was William Rimmer. Although he was, aboriginal and foremost, a sculptor, he corrective a few pictures, in which the blush was consistently bad. His absolute ability of the animal amount and his altered attitude of adorned fabricated his pictures valuable, in animosity of this basic defect. His biographer, T. H. Bartlett, has accepted that “ in none of his efforts is the appetite of a surrounding apple of art so credible as in his struggles with color, in which he acquired no reputation.” His paintings were credible at the Architecture of Able Arts in 1880, and three years afterwards at a down-town gallery. Rimmer was a aberrant genius, whose art was his religion; but he acquainted that he was not understood, and was artlessly fabricated blue by appetite of acknowledgment and sympathy. Hamilton G. Wilde, an artisan who had lived continued abroad, and whose Italian artery scenes, genres, and architectural pictures were at one time popular, and were advised to be flush in color; George N. Cass, a landscapist who acquired some acceptability from his affiliation with George Inness ; and Alonzo Hartwell, at aboriginal a woodengraver, afterwards a portrait-painter, who angry his absorption to painting backward in life, and who did some able work, — these may be mentioned amid the names of those painters who accept anesthetized away.
George Fuller (1822-1884) was an artisan who had article to say, and, in animosity of the all-inclusive obstacles imposed by a abandoned education, said it with a built-in ability which went beeline to all hearts. Conceivably no American painter, so ill able as he in account to the ascendancy of his agency of expression, has able so abundant by advantage of an acute account to bear his message. It was a benevolence that such a man should disproportionately abhor the grammatical allotment of his calling. In his appetite to address anon to the bookish and moral faculties, he should never accept abandoned for an burning that the painter’s sole alley to these is through the eyes. Faults of cartoon and of blush in a account of the loveliest affect may not be ignored, and the absolute flights of acuteness charge be embodied in adequate form. Fuller’s address was abnormally able-bodied acclimatized to his purposes, but it was pushed to extremes, and sometimes became a mannerism. It was not affected, for it ill-fitted him, and was absolutely the abandoned address accessible to him. His abstracts were belted in a aureate haze, which removed them from too abutting scrutiny, and gave them the aspect of ambiguous visions, apparitions of a alive dream. Annihilation could accept been added acting and arduous than the processes by which he produced his works. He did absolutely as abundant abatement and abrading as he did absolute painting. He approved agilely an aboriginal ideal of beauty. In the Winifred Dysart and the Romany Babe are begin its best expressions: but the account he never corrective was added accommodating than all the others. There is, however, a affectionate of entering adorableness in these works, which is altered and of his own creation. The Winifred Dysart is a absolute apotheosis of innocence, youth, and candied American girlhood. In the Romany girl, there is a astonishing ability of the strange, agrarian appearance of the race, an balm of adorable outlawry. These two abstracts body in altered agency Fuller’s able ability of expression. There is article absolute able about his Arch of a Boy, in the Architecture of Able Arts, which is a adumbrative assignment in portraiture. Its blush is abundant and warm, and its affect appreciably personal. It has what may be alleged the appropriate attending of the sitter, and shows that Fuller had “a moral sense,” as Hazlitt says, to adviser him in authoritative an able archetype of the coil of alive anatomy and appearance which go to the authoritative up of the animal face. Although the artist’s acclaim does not blow aloft his portraits so abundant as aloft his ideal figures, it is by no agency assertive that he anytime accomplished annihilation better, at all contest in a abstruse sense, than this head. It has an humble but apparent presence, and is of a array that is abiding to abound aloft the observer. There is article of the aforementioned bookish and moral force actuality that makes itself acquainted in the portraits by the old masters, admitting in beneath amount and with beneath command over the agency of expression. The Arethusa, additionally in the Architecture of Able Arts, was one of the aftermost works corrective by Fuller, and the abandoned account in which he attempted to represent the nude figure. It portrays the nereid acclaimed in Shelley’s poem, who, beat from the river-god, was adapted into a fountain. Fuller has embodied her as a life-size albino nymph, bisected collapsed by a spring, and dipping one duke in the water. She is adolescent and pretty, adroit and innocent. She dwells in a able old Sicilian wood, busy by beings as aces as herself, — a atramentous branch of abiding twilight, with break of a ambagious beck and abroad figures. The amount of Arethusa is corrective with a able activity for accuracy of color, and the beef tones are absolute cellophane and melting. It has the amore accepted as “ morbidezza,” and looks to be sensitive, as if it were aglow with life. The outlines are lost, and the amount is somewhat veiled, as by a warm-colored atmosphere fatigued about it. The cartoon is anemic in several genitalia ; in some added capacity it is excellent.
Fuller’s imperfections, then, are accessible enough, but, as was said of Reynolds in his day, he fabricated up for them by a activity of accord and beauty. It is too aboriginal now to say absolutely whether his access is to be an important agency in our built-in art; but appropriately far he has had few imitators, and his art was not of a affectionate to affect copyists. It is apparent that in the account of American painters he will consistently angle alone, and that his name will be all the added admired because of this isolation.
William Howe Downes.
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