The subject of Fig. 1 1» one is the famous nature studies of Sir Edwin Landseer, who has been already spoken of in the May, 1898. issue when we studied his “Alexander and Diogenes.”
It is worthy of note that there were eight persons in his immediate family who attained distinction as artuta; namely, his father, John Landseer, a famous engraver, whose lector on engrasing before the Royal Institute and whore persistent efforts did so much to raise the statu» of his art craft; his unde. Henry Landseer, a pointer; ihis eldest brother, Thomas, an engraver, who»«finest work is hia engraving of Rrtsi Bonbexir’s “Horae Fair,” and who has done so much, by hia reproductions of Sir FA win’s paintings, to make the latter well-known; his eldest sister, Mrs. Christmas; hi» sister* Jessie and Emma (Mrs. Mnokemtie), and his brother Charlos. At the age of fire years Edwin nude sketches showing his appreciation of animal character and humor; and at ten years made sketches which were exhibited in 1874 at the Royal Academy. He was the only English man honored by a gold medal from the World’s Exposition at PWfr* 1873. Thomas and Edwin tenderer wrote and illustrated several books for young people, among them being “Stories about Dew»,’* published in 1884. and “Stories Illustrative of Instinct of Animal»,” 1864. The qualities which show kinship between all forms of animal life are forcibly portrayed by Sir Edwin Landseer, and for this nuason hie pic- ture. appeal to human sympathies.
The mother instinct of Wring protec- tion and comfort to tbe suffering offspring ia the attractive element of this picture, and ia enhanced by con- trast with the cool indifference of “paler familiar,” who b very evidently enjoy ing hi» melon, and has greedily provided himself with an- other piece of fruit, which is guarded betwren his hind paws. Grotesque os three creatures arc from a human standpoint, tha «xprcsadon of love la the touch nf nature ‘that make« “the whole world kin.” (Flora what ss this quoted?) ‘o. S, “The IMphw Sibyl,” la one of the. wwwt pirat- ing (to the general beholder) of the works ot that giant among artiste, Michael Apgrlu. There is so much one wonld like to say about thu wonderful man, and re little spare to sty it in. that the best adviee is; “Rnid hia life by Grimm.” Michael Angulo was what is called a “universal genius”—he. too, like the girat ls«nurdo da Vinci, hi* friend, was a loader of all brunrhcs of art, -painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry, ami music. He very early produced a work—u.looping Cupid—which daocsvodoonnoi^curr of the antique, so classic was bis style. He attracted the attention of Lnretuo the Mngnlfiomt, whc became his [«iron, as did I’upes Julius II. aiul l’aal III. Ill* greatest architectural work wus 81. Peter’s at Rome, which work was undertaken in order to prepare u fitting place for th« magnlficwnt mausoleum Mii’hael Angelo had made for Pope Julius II.
The mausoleum was not plnmd there, however, but in the church of Sun IVtre ’it Vincoli, On this tomb is the colossal figure of Moses. Michael Angelo’s chief characteristics in art were grandeur and sublimity; “never before nor since” (says Grimm) “has there been so powerful a genius.” Yet he was capable of port raying grace and delicate beauty, as his figure of Eve at the Creation—on the ceiling of the Vatican proves. One lesson to be learned from Michael Angelo is that faithful preparation for life’s work is a necessity, and not disregarded by those of the greatest gifts. He was twelve years studying anatomy, and may be said to be the first artist to thoroughly understand it. His great cartoon of the “Battle of Pisa” shows his profound knowledge of the human body. We must mention his great paintings in the Sistinc chapel—“The Fall of the Angels,” over the gate, and the “Last Judgment,” at the opposite end.
These were done in fresco, as he never painted in oils, though some persons have tried hard to prove he did. He declared “that oil painting was an employment only fit for women* or idlers of mean capacity.” Another lesson from Michael Angelo is: “If you wish a thing well done, do it yourself”; for he made every pinter, file, and chisel used, in his sculptural work, and prepared his own colors, which was. unusual in these days. Michael Angelo is declared to be one of the most witty men of his time and a true poet. I hope you may read some of his sonnets, in translation at least, if never in the original. The sibvls painted by him are all of great strength and no small measure of grace of pose.
I will leave you to look up the story of the Roman ruler and the sibyl*, as also the story of the Delphic Oiaelo of he Greeks, then you will appreciate the expression on the face—and the attitude—of this one represented in Fig. 2 to a greater degree. You can see that this figure needed a different treatment from one painted to be framed and hung on a wall, for its position is architectural, sitting as she does at the springing of the arches. Michael Angelo was born on the sixth of March, 1475, and died the eighteenth of February, 1504, therefore being almost ninety years of age at his death.