Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

grace and pathos. A large number of very handsome marble and alabaster tombs were erected throughout England during the 17th century. The effigies are poor and coarse, butthe rich architectural ornaments are effective and often of beautiful materials, alabaster being mixed with various richly coloured marbles in a very skilful way. Nicholas Stone (1586-1647), who worked under the supervision of Inigo Jones and was master mason to King Charles I., ~was the chief Englishsculptor of his time. The De Vere and Villiers monuments are usually attributed to him.1 One of the best public monuments of London is the bronze equestrian statue of Charles I. at Charing Cross, which was overthrown and hidden during the protectorate of Cromwell, but replaced at the Restoration in 1660; it is very nobly modelled and was produced under Italian influence by the French sculptor Hubert Le Soeur (d. 1670). The standing bronze statue of James II., formerly behind the Whitehall banqueting room, very poorly designed but well executed, was the work of Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721), a native of Holland, who waschiefiy famed for his extraordinary skill in carving realistic fruit and flowers in pear and other white woods. Many rich and elaborate works of his exist at Trinity College, Oxford, at Cambridge, Chatsworth, and several other places in England. In the early part of the 18th century he worked for Sir Christopher Wren, and carved the elaborate friezes of the stalls and screens in St Paul's Cathedral and in other London churches. During the 18th century English sculpture was mostly in the hands of Flemish and other foreign artists, of whom Roubiliac (1695-1762), Peter Scheemakers (1691-1773), and E'f'“””“' J. M. Rysbrack (1694-1770) were the chief. The centuryln . . .

E, , g, ,, ,, d ridiculous custom of representing Englishmen of the 18th and 19th centuries in the toga or in the armour of an ancient Roman was fatal alike to artistic merit and eikonic truth; and when, as was often the case, the periwig of the Georgian period was added to the costume of a Roman general the effect is supremely ludicrous. Nollekens (1737-1823), a pupil of Scheemakers, though one of the most popular sculptors of the 18th century, was a man of very little real ability. John Bacon (1740-1799) was in some respects an abler sculptor. John Flaxman (1755-1826) was in England the chief initiator of the classical revival. For many years he worked for Iosiah Wedgwood, the potter, and designed for him an immense number of vases covered with delicate cameo-like reliefs. Many of these, taken from antique gems and sculpture, are of great beauty, though hardly suited to the special necessities of fictile ware. Flax1nan's large pieces of sculpture are of less merit, but some of his marble reliefs are designed with much spirit and classic purity. He modelled busts as well as small portrait medallions for production in Wedgwood's pottery. His illustrations in outline to the poems of Homer, Aeschylus and Dante, based on drawings on Greek vases, have been greatly admired, but they are unfortunately much injured by the use of a thicker outline on one side of the figures-an unsuccessful attempt to give a suggestion of shadow. Flaxman's best pupil was Baily (1788-1867), chiefly celebrated for his nude marble figure of Eve. On the whole the 17th and 18th centuries in Germany, as in England, were periods of great decadence in the plastic art; little of merit was produced, except some portrait gig; figures. Among the rare 'exceptions mention must

, ,, ,, ,, ,.e be made of Andreas Schliiter, of Hamburg (c. 1662-1714),

who produced many decorative bronze reliefs for the royal castle in Berlin, and the famous colossal equestrian statue of the Great Elector on the bridge in Berlin. Another artist who approached greatness in a period of utter degradation was Rafael Donner, whose principal work is the large fountain with lead figures of -Providence and the four rivers of Austria (the Enns, Ybbs, Traun and March), in Vienna, a very remarkable The Villiers monument is evidently the work of two sculptors working in very opposite styles. These monuments, however, are not included in the list of his works drawn up by Stone himself and printed in Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, i. 239-243. This sculptor's receipts, recorded by his kinsman, Charles Stoakes, amounted to £19,889-an enormous sum for an English sculptor and “ tomb-maker ” of those days.

example of baroque sculpture which to this day is known as the Donner fountain. In the second half of the 18th»century, there was a strong revival in sculpture, especially in the classic style; and since then Germany has produced an immense-quantity of large and pretentious sculpture, mostly dull in design and second-rate in execution. Gottfried Schadow of. Berlin (1764°'f 18 50) finished a number of .portrait figures, not in the customary antique guise, but in the costume of the period; Some of=hiS works are ably modelled., He was followed by Christian Rauch (1777-1857), whose works are, however, mostly weak and sentil mental in style, as, for example, his recumbent statue of Queen Louisa at Charlottenburg (1813), and his statues of 'generals Bülow and Scharnhorst at Berlin. Rauch became the leader of an important school in Berlin, but will be most honourably remembered by this splendid monument of Frederick the Great, in Berlin-an elaborate work, modern in feeling and of great technical accomplishment. Friedrich Drake was the ablest of Rauch's pupils, but he lived at a very unhappy' period for the sculptor's art. His chief work is perhaps the 'colossal bronze equestrian statue ofiKing William of Prussia at Cologne. Albert Wolff was a sculptor of more ability; he executed the equestrian portrait of King Emest Augustus at Hanover, ~and a “ Horseman attacked by a Lion "now in the Berlin Museum, Augustus Kiss (1802-186 5) produced the companion group to this, the celebrated Amazon and Panther in bronze, as well as the fine group, of St George and the Dragon: in a courtyard of the royal palace at Berlin. The St Georgefandhis horse are of bronze; the dragon is formed of gilt plates of hammered iron. Kiss Worked only in metal. The bad taste of the first half of thefpresent century is strongly shown by many of the works of Theodore Kalidé, whose “ Bacchanal sprawling on a Panther's Back ” is a marvel of awkwardness of pose and absence of any feeling for beauty. Ernst Rietschel (1804-1861) was perhaps the -best German sculptor of this period, and produced work superior to that of his contemporaries, such. as Haagen, Wichmann, Fischer and Hiedel. Rietschel's career was marked by steady progress from a meaningless classicism to serious realism. It was his task to erect monuments in memory of some of the greatest intellectual heroes of'Germany, such as his Lessing monument in Braunschweig, the monument to Goethe and Schiller in Weimar, and that 'to Martin Luther at Worms. Some revival of a better style is shown in certain sculpture, especially reliefs, by Hiihnel, whose chief works are at Dresden. Schwanthaler (1802-1848), who was largely patronized by King Louis of Bavaria, studied at Rome and was at first a feeble imitator of antique classic art, but later in life he 'developed a more romantic and- pseudo medieval style. By him are a large number of reliefs and -statues in the Glyptothek at Munich and in the Walhalla, also the colossal but feeble bronze statue of Bavaria, in point of size one of the most ambitious works of modern times.” Iohannes Schilling (b. 1826) is the author of the colossal national monument on the Niederwald -near Rtidesheim, and Ernst Bandel of the imposing monument of Hermann Arminius in the Teutoburg Forest near Detmold. 1 » 1 " 9 »

It was Reinhold Begas (b. 1831) who definitely broke away from the all-pervading classicist tradition. His art has more in common with that of the Rococo period than with that of Canova and his followers. Not only did he excel in the rendering of textures, and in giving life and animation to his n'gures, 'but his earlier work was marked by unconventionality and great boldness of disposition. Unfortunately his rapid success, and the' official favour that was shown to him, led him subsequently to hasty a-nd what might almost be described as factory-like production. His work became pretentious, and though some of the reliefs and single figures on his monuments are remarkable for his keen gift of observation, the whole effect is frequently spoilt by the unnecessary introduction of disturbing decorative features, ill-disposed and singularly lacking in sculptural dignity. The monument of the emperor William I. with the two beautiful 2 In size, but not in merit, this enormous statue was surpassed by the figure of Liberty made in Paris by Bartholdi and erected as a beacon in the harbour of New York city.