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not turn to look upon her face, until they are both again in the upper air. Joyful he leaves behind the abode of Death, and Eurydice follows unseen by him-yet still she follows. But who shall impose restraints upon the longings of love? Forgetful of the stern condition, thinking only of her, he casts one look behind. He saw his Eurydice; but with that vision she disappeared for ever, as a wreath of smoke fades into the air. He stretched forth his arms to embrace her, but she was not there. He raised his voice to speak to her, but she heard him not. He endeavored to retrace his steps, but the gates of Acheron closed harshly against him. What shall he do? With what words shall he seek to bend the will of the Gods? How shall he assuage his own grief? All is vain; and he soon meets with a violent death, at the hands of the Thracian women, enraged at his continued fidelity to the memory of his lost wife, and indifference to their living charms. His head is thrown into the Hebrus, and as it floats down to the sea, the cold tongue lisps the name of Eurydice, and the river's banks send back the sound,—

"Eurydicen vox ipsa et frigida lingua, Ah, miseram Eurydicen, anima fugiente, vocabat; Eurydicen toto referebant flumine ripæ."

From the sweetest poet of antiquity we draw the story. Another poet of modern times, whose great fame in his own age has subsided since like a flood, has made it the subject of a drama, which has been called the earliest of the better sort of dramatic writings of which Italy can boast. The drama is entitled Orfeo, Tragedia; and the author is Angelo Poliziano. It was written in 1472, in the space of two days, at the instance of the Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga, and, as it was first acted, Orpheus was made to sing an ode in Latin Sapphics in honor of the Cardinal. This, however, now gives place to a beautiful chorus, in imitation of the Greeks, where the Dryads lament the death of Eurydice. The history of Orpheus is pictured by Poliziano with a felicity from which Virgil might have mended even his exquisite verses. This is his first lament as he appears at the entrance to the Infernal Shades:


Pietà, pietà; del misero amatore
Pietà vi prenda, o Spiriti Infernali :
Quaggiù m' ha scorto solamente amore;
Volato son quaggiù con le sue ali.
Deh posa, Cerber, posa il tuo furore;
Che quando intenderai tutti i miei mali,
Non solamente tu piangerai meco,

Ma qualunque altro è quà nel mondo cieco.

Non bisogna per me, Furie, mugghiare,
Non bisogna arricciar tanti serpenti :
Che se sapeste le mie pene amare,
Compagne mi sareste ai miei lamenti.
Lasciate questo miserel passare,
Ch' ha il ciel nemico, e tutti gli ele-

E vien per impetrar mercede o morte. Dunque mi aprite le ferrate porte.

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"Deh posa, Cerber, posa il tuo furore." It is the moment when Cerberus has yielded to the music, and closed the eyes of his three heads in sleep, that the artist has selected for his chisel. The dog lies on the ground, no longer offering any impediment to the passage. Orpheus steps forward with earnest action reaching with his body, as it were, into the shades impenetrable to mortals. In one hand he holds the lyre, which has done its first work of conquest; and with the other he shades his eyes, that he may better collect the light to guide his adventurous progress. The expression of the body and of the countenance are in harmony, and they denote the strong resolve which inspires the heart of the lover to seek his lost companion. Nothing shall make him hesitate. He sees already her image-he catches the sound of her voice. He has left the light of day behind him, and he knows not fear. Move on, then, eager soul; such devotion shall not be without its reward. The torments of hell shall cease at your approach; the company of the damned shall bless your coming; and at least one fleeting vision of her whom you have loved so well shall be yours! Too much cannot be said in praise of the manner in which the artist has arranged his little group. The attitude of the principal figure, the position of the arms, and the apt employment of drapery, strike the most careless eye. But it is in the selection of the scene, and the poetical conception of it, that Crawford challenges our warmest admation. It is not known that any

other sculptor-we believe no other artist of any kind—has illustrated this scene. From the pictured urn of the past, our young countryman first drew it forth and invested it with the light of his genius.

It was the writer's good fortune, in the summer of 1839, to see this work, while under the artist's hands, in his small studio in Rome. He was still engaged on the plastic clay, devoting to it the daily labor of his hands, and, it may be said, the daily and nightly thoughts of his mind; for his soul was absorbed by it, as by a poem. The model, when completed, excited the most gratifying commendation from the highest quarters. An English gentleman, familiar with works of art in all the capitals of Europe, wrote of it in language which no American could employ without exposing himself to the suggestion of an undue partiality to a fellow-countryman, warping his better judgment. The Englishman shall speak for himself: "If Crawford is sustained in his art," he says, "and keeps his health, he will be the first of modern sculptors; nay, an American may rival Phidias. He has completed the mould of his Orpheus, which some of the best judges even in the mould compare to the Apollo. Gibson, chary and cold in praise, spoke of it to me as a most extraordinary promise of eminence in the art. I knew that Thorwaldsen (himself the greatest of modern names, not even excepting Canova) has expressed the same opinion, and esteems Crawford as his successor in the severe classic style of sculpture. I send you some lithograph engravings, privately struck off, of the Orpheus, which I brought from Rome. Here in London, at Mr. Rogers's, and elsewhere, I have shown the print, to the great admiration of all who saw it. But Crawford is still struggling. The moneyed Americans who visit Rome follow names, and as yet know not the rising merit of their countryman. He has bespoken the marble for the statue. He has no order for the work! New York will disgrace itself if fifty gentlemen do not club £10 each together, and send it to your Consul at Rome to contract for such an exquisite work, that his native city may have such a first work, and first encourage such a selftaught man of genius. I shall next week put a paragraph in our papers calling attention to the model. But the


print speaks for itself. Further, Crawford has the merit of virtuous habits, and an honest independent spirit. I found him just recovered from a nervous brain fever. It is hard work to go up hill; but he is up at his work now. Waiting for the Carrara marble for Orpheus, he is moulding an inimitable model of Washington on a charger-a most grand and simple design. Indeed, he has formed his own style, and highly classically stored a mind of great genius. We shall live to see him the most eminent artist of our times. only wish he were an Englishman. How such a man can emerge from your back woods into the eternal city I cannot imagine. But it will reflect eternal disgrace on New York, if, with its opulence, he is not sustained in early life. The most delightful part of his mind is the utter absence of conceit-the independent but mature formation of his views of art-his just, without idol estimate of Michael Angelo-his boldness of opinion, and withal his real diffidence and desire still further to advance his intellect and powers. He is the artist who, and whose works, most struck me in all our journeys on the Continent; and I write the above as you will know, who know me, from admiration of a struggling man of merit."

Since the above letter was written, this admirable work has been ordered for the collection of the Boston Athenæum. We have not yet heard that it is completed, though the artist hoped to be able to send it home this spring. In a letter written during the last year he says: "The marble is superb. The workmanship thus far has been entrusted to the most skilful hands Rome offers." Our accomplished consul at Rome, Mr. Greene, writes of the work and its progress with constant admiration. "The marble," he says, "is without a spot, and of the most beautiful color you can conceive. I was there with Thorwaldsen the other day, and he could not keep his hand off of it, the clear, bell-like ring was so delightful to his ear." When received, it will take its place in the Athenæum among the casts of the great works of antiquity, near the Apollo, the Venus de Medici, the Diana of the Louvre; and it shall claim kindred there, nor find that claim denied.

titled himself to the regard of the friends of art. He has produced several basreliefs of very great merit. Among these, some from Anacreon are destined to the Boston Athenæum. He has also been engaged on a large bas-relief for Mr. Tiffany of Baltimore, in illustration of the words, "Lead us into life everlasting." It is understood that this is intended for a monument. Another work by him is a small figure, the Genius of Autumn, made for Mr. Paine of New York; also, a small statue for Mr. Jonathan Phillips of Boston, a repetition of which has been ordered by Mr. Tiffany of Baltimore. Crawford's busts are not extensively known, for a very few of them have reached our country. But they are remarkable for the fidelity with which they portray the countenance, and for the classic elegance and simplicity of their composition. The bust of the late gallant Commodore Hull, made in Rome while he was in command of our Mediterranean squadron, is a beautiful_production; and that of Mr. Consul Greene has given very great pleasure to his friends at home. We have also seen the bust of Mr. Kenyon, the English poet, which has great merit. That of Sir Charles Vaughan, the late most popular representative of the British court at Washington, we have not seen; but we have heard it mentioned in terms of high praise.

But the statue of Orpheus is not the only work by which Crawford has en

The following sentences from a letter written by Crawford during the last year, will show his more recent occupations, and the ardor of his soul in the pursuit of excellence in his art:-“I have commenced a small statue of Youth, for Mr. Hicks of New York. odel will be completed in about a month. It is a boy of seven or eight years, dancing in great glee, and tinkling a pair of cymbals, the music of which seems to amuse him exceedingly. The sentiment is joyousness throughout. It is evident no thought of the future troubles his young mind: and he may consider himself very fortunate in being made of marble; for thus his youth remains without change..

I intend commencing seven bas-reliefs, which will contain compositions representing the great poets of ancient and modern times. I have Homer, Virgil, Dante, Petrarch, Tasso, and Milton, and an ideal arrangement of Apollo with the horse Pegasus. I


may possibly add Shakspeare, but I think of reserving him to place in another series intended for the Tragic Poets. Soon as I have completed these, you shall have outline engravings of them. I have composed many other things, and I regret that I have not a hundred hands to keep pace with the workings of the mind. The most important of these will be, perhaps, illustrations of the whole of Ovid. I intend engraving these; for to model them would require too much time, unless they were ordered. They will be simple drawings in outline, composed with a sculptural feeling in such a way that they might be modelled in basrelief, and still preserve the harmony of composition so necessary in art. have often thought that works such as these might be ordered in plaster, if not in marble. The expense would be but one-half, probably, and they would answer every purpose connected with the ornament of our literary institutions. Many persons think it is absolutely necessary that all works of sculpture should be in marble. If it is possible, so much the better; but after all, casts give to the instructed mind quite as much pleasure; and the reputation of the artist may be placed as well upon fine impressions of his works in gesso, as though they were executed in a more durable material. Witness the Triumph of Alexander, the great work of modern times. It was ordered to be made in plaster of Paris originally. Besides, we have the immortal casts of the antique throughout the world. I do not mean to say that I should desire an order for a statue in plaster, nor for a single bas-relief; but an order for a series of compositions I should consider a most fortunate consummation, and devoutly to be wished." In another part of his letter Crawford says: -"I look to the foundation of a pure school of art in our glorious country.

We have surpassed already the republics of Greece in our political institutions, and I see no reason why we should not attempt to approach their excellence in the fine arts, which, as much as anything else, has secured undying fame to Grecian genius.”

Such a spirit is worthy of our country. New York-nay, America, should be proud of THOMAS CRAWFORD, for he was born in that city.* It is now as many as six years that he has been pursuing sculpture with an earnest attention, rising almost to rapture, amidst the remains of ancient Rome, in the long galleries of the Vatican, and that modern continuation of the Vatican, as it may be called, the studio of Thorwaldsen. Here he has formed that correct and classical taste, with the freedom of Canova, but without his meretricious style, which manifests itself so exquisitely in all his productions. "He left his home in New York," says one who saw him much, "a very young man; and few knew the immortal aspirings of the enthusiast save the one to whom he came with every new model, and by whose side he sat night after night, reading, drawing, poring over the Musée des Antiques, and other works of art, laughing at the eccentricities of Benvenuto Cellini, forming tableaux in which Homer and his heroes, Phidias and Michael Angelo, Guido and Raphael, Salvator Rosa and Leonardo da Vinci, Flaxman and Thorwaldsen, were strangely mingled with Nymphs and Baccanti, winged seraphs and apostles." A youth like this was the natural prelude to a noble manhood.

From such works as the Orpheus, and the wonderful statue of Washington by Greenough, and, if report speaks true, the scarcely less wonderful representation of Eve by Powers, we may augur proudly for American art. The star of Art, perhaps, shall follow that of Empire in its westward way. Already we see and bless its mild effulgence.

This is believed to be a mistake. Crawford, we are informed, is a native, not of the City, but of one of the interior counties of the State, of New York. Not that this diminishes in the least the obligation of the great metropolis of the western world to foster such genius in any American-and à fortiori in one who may still be regarded as a son of her own. It is a sin and a shame that Boston should have been suffered by New York to possess itself of the Orpheus, and for the utterly inadequate price of only $2500, barely covering the mechanical cost of its execution. The only atonement that can be made, alike to the spirit of art and to a just pride of patriotism, will consist in an order for some other work of kindred inspiration from the same chisel. It may not be improper to mention here, to the credit of Mr. Charles Sumner (who is also the author of the above paper), that it is mainly to his exertions that his native city will owe the honor and advantage of possessing this noble sculpture.-E. D. P

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