Our Painters: Ii

THOMAS SULLY. — He, too, was English by birth, but, in his character, manners, appearance, and style of painting, he was the very opposite of Jarvis. Wanting breadth and strength, but being refined, sensitive, courteous, and gentlemanly, he threw his own character into all his pictures, and came to be the Sir Thomas Lawrence of America. Wanting the robust heartiness, and the rich, unctuous humor of Jarvis, he had a sense of beauty, a perception of the graceful and bewitching — of that which gives a high-bred woman dominion over man —of which Jarvis was wholly destitute. Hence the women of Sully, like the men of Stuart and Jarvis, were generally masterpieces. Of a slight frame, a kindly temper, and a pleasant voice, looking, at the age of fifty, as if he were still a young man, like Leigh Hunt ; with an air of high breeding which could not well be counterfeited, Mr. Sully has always been a favorite with the better part of mankind,— the women of his day. His female portraitures are oftentimes poems, — full of grace and tenderness, lithe, flexible, and emotional ; their eyes, too, are liquid enough and clear enough to satisfy even a husband — or a lover. Nobody ever painted more beautiful eyes, — not even Gainsborough, nor Sir Thomas Lawrence, nor West the Kentuckian, who, after his return to New York, painted these cairn-gorms and crystal wells, just as we see them in our young dreams, while yet overcharged with poetry, and the blood goes “a rippling to the finger-ends.” But Sully’s men were failures; even Mr. Patterson, the father of Madame Jerome Bonaparte, with his fine classical head of the Roman type, though an excellent likeness of the outward man, was but a shadow in comparison with what Jarvis or Stuart would have made of the subject, while his portrait of Mrs. Robert Gilmore would be enough to establish his reputation as a devout and earnest woman-worshipper.

Sully used to play the flute like a master, and may do so yet, although, when I last heard from him, he did not happen to say so, while speaking of his pastimes; and he continues, I dare say, what is called a ladies’ man, — by which we are not to understand that he ever was a coxcomb, or effeminate, or intensely fashionable ; but that, by nature, he was made for the companionship of lovable women, being always gentle, considerate, and reverential to the sex.

He never attempted an historical picture but once, and that only to give away. Having been called upon for a full-length of Washington by the corporation of a Southern city — Charleston, perhaps — he fixed the price, — not more than five hundred dollars, I believe, — and then, the treatment being left wholly to himself, he painted him on horseback, with trimmings or accessories, and gave to the world what he called a portrait, while others, who saw the truth more clearly, called it a remarkably fine historical picture,— the “ Passage of the Delaware,” with General Knox, and a corps of artillerymen shouting and tugging at the guns. The white horse on which he had mounted Washington was so emphatic and spirited, that, when I first saw Vandyck’s William of Orange at Warwick Castle, I thought he had borrowed largely from that; and so I dropped him a line on the subject, to which he replied by sending me a sketch of his battlecharger and the majestic rider, and showed that I was altogether mistaken as to the position, drawing, and character.

After a triumphant career of twentyfive or thirty years, Mr. Sully had realized as we say Down-East, a handsome property, which he invested in Pennsylvania bonds, or something of the sort, and, like Sydney Smith and the Austins, lost the whole, or nearly the whole, of his life-long accumulations and hoarded savings. But, undiscouraged, and full of heroic resolution, he set to work afresh, and built himself a large painting-room, and began life anew, for the second or third time, with a large family upon his hands, and hardly a shot in the locker.

At one time, while I was abroad, he wrote me to say that he had a plenty of applications, but no orders ; and as he had been long in the habit of making studies in black and white crayons, whenever a subject offered, the good people of Philadelphia, his patrons, seemed to think that such views, being only sketches, you know, were but a pleasant pastime for the artist, and hardly worth acknowledging. He once made three or four studies of a charming female face for the family and friends, or mayhap the husband, to choose from, and chancing to be near the window, after having waited several days for the answer, his attention was attracted by a negro coming round the next corner with a handful of papers fluttering in the wind. He began to have his misgivings, and after a few minutes the sketches were left at his door, without a word of explanation or apology ; and that was the last he heard of the order.

Moved with a just indignation, I slipped a paragraph into the next Blackwood, telling the story, as I tell it now, I suppose, though I am not sure, and have no time to verify the details ; and the effect upon the brotherhood Of “ Athenians,” I have reason to believe, was quite a help to Sully, for they grew ashamed of their own heartlessness, and he was soon overrun with applications, which have continued from that day to this, at handsome prices, notwithstanding his great age, and the multiplication of portrait-painters and “damnable face-makers,” not one in fifty of whom could draw a hand, if his life depended on it. Mr. Sully is a capital draughtsman, and has seldom or never made a mistake in face or figure. One habit he had, well worthy of being commemorated. Instead of drawing the whole figure when he blocked out the face, or determining the attitude, he finished the face first, and then threw forward a shoulder, after the manner of Vandyck, whereby he obtained a lifelike, spirited air, oftentimes wholly unexpected.

DOUGHTY, the Landscape-Painter. — Twenty-five or thirty years ago, the landscapes of Doughty were among the very best of the age. He was a Pennsylvanian, I believe, and had been brought up to some mechanical pursuit, — coach-painting perhaps, — and his first pictures were of scenery along tire Susquehanna, with beautiful skies, foliage dripping with sunshine, or golden river-mist, — such water as you seldom see anywhere on canvas, and an atmosphere you could breathe. His range was narrow, but within that range he had no rival; and he never passed the boundaries he had established for himself at the beginning ; the beautiful, instead of the sublime, dealt he with, even to the last. A man of average size, with a generous, warm-hearted, healthy look and manner, which, if not absolutely genial, were something better, sincere and hearty, he went about making friends to the last, and multiplying pictures of the Susquehanna, till you never could think of the artist apart from the river, nor of the river but as a running accompaniment for the artist, — a transcript of himself, broad, full, and plenteous. I knew him well, and must say that I never knew a worthier man, or a truer artist; but he was exceedingly unfortunate, a doomed man from the first. Again and again after he had gone under, without a hope left, he would reappear on the fcurface, full of courage and strong purpose, swimming for his life, and striking out like a hero. But the last time he went under he stayed too long, and I do not know that he ever came up again. He had been living in Boston, where he met with such encouragement, poor fellow ! that he began to breathe freely once more ; and, while he had the means, he determined to go South and seek his fortune. With this view, he put everything he had in the world, pictures and all, on board a packet, and let her sail without insurance; and she went to the bottom, and he followed.

LESLIE, C. W. — Another Englishman by birth, if not by persuasion, although “ having been caught young, much was made of him ” here, beiore he went back to his mother. He was at one time in the retail bookstore ot Matthew Carey, if I remember aright; and his first remarkable efforts were water-colored portraits of Cooper and Cooke, the tragedians. They were very clever, to be sure, and, though not above six or eig.ht inches high, they were full length, and capital likenesses. They were on exhibition in the Philadelphia Academy for a long while, and it was there I saw them. After this, he went to England, — took to West, — and ventured upon a picture on a large scale of the “ Murdered Princes in the Tower,” of which it may be enough to say, that it was no better than the worst of Northcote’s, if we may judge by report.

After this, he fell into portrait-painting, but failed, wanting an eye for color, and being unable to see or seize character, though his drawing was both exact and beautiful ; then he took to the composition of small cabinet pictures, which soon made him famous. It was in the very meridian of his glory and strength that I first met him ; he had just finished his Sancho before the Duchess, which, with the Malade Imaginaire and the Importunate Author, by his friend Newton, were on exhibition at Somerset House.

I found him tall, stiff, and taciturn, with the air of a country schoolmaster, and a serious, though inquisitive look, deep, clear eyes, and the general bearing, not certainly of a fashionable man, or a man of the world on good terms with himself, and everywhere at ease, but of a man to be trusted and believed in. After a long and free conversation about matters and things in general, and authors and painters in particular, and his friend Washington Irving, whose portrait he had painted for love not long before, — a commonplace affair and a bad likeness, — he offered to secure me the lodgings which had been occupied by Irving while the SketchBook was under way, in Warwick Street, Pall Mall, commonly called Cockspur Street by all save members of Parliament and lodging-house keepers ; which offer I accepted, of course, with many thanks. Next, having asked what exercise I was fond of, and what I thought of the small-sword, for an artist or sedentary man, and, being told that with me fencing had long been a passion, and that I looked upon it as a sort of chess for the body, he invited me to Angelo’s rooms, where he went occasionally ; and then he proposed to take me to the National Gallery, which was in full blast at the time.

We went to Angelo’s on what might well be regarded as a field day, for the large hall was crowded with amateurs and others who seemed to be taking lessons of one another. After introducing me to the elder Angelo, he lost no time in equipping himself and entering the lists, interchanging a few passes with his teacher, but I must say, though unwillingly, that he was a wretched player; being there only for exercise, and not knowing, perhaps, that he might as well fence with the broadside of his painting-room, as to lunge out in the way he did, without an object in view, or feeling tire excitement which comes of playing loose. Fencing I regarded as comprehending in itself all the advantages of dancing, riding, swimming, and sparring ; smallsword fencing, I mean, — for the broadsword, like the lance drill, whether on horseback or afoot, requires too large an outlay of strength for a delicate hand, which has been trained to deceive or tromper pépée, and I told him so ; but he only smiled, as if it were a waste of time to get much in earnest on the subject. with or without an adversary.

Not long after this, we went to the National Gallery together. Soon after entering, he called my attention to a crowd collected before a Christ in the Garden, by Correggio. I had always wanted to look upon something — anything, indeed — of Correggio’s, and we moved up to the corner where it was hung. “ And this you call a Correggio,” said I, after examining it carefully, and studying the composition. The figure of Christ, about six inches high, was meagre and unsatisfactory, the landscape gloomy enough to pass for a Poussin, and the picture itself a decided failure, no matter by whom painted. (On second thought, it may have been Christ at the Well, though I remember nothing of the Samaritan woman.) “ Yes, a veritable Correggio,” said Leslie. “How do you like it ?” “Not at all ; in fact, excuse me, but I don’t believe it was ever painted by Correggio.

It wants all his leading characteristics,” &c. By this time I was talking louder than I ought, and the people about us were listening with evident uneasiness. “ But you never saw a Correggio, I think you said.” “ Never.” “ How, then, are you able to speak so decidedly?” “From instinct, a sort of intuitive perception which amounts to assurance with me.” Leslie looked as if he thought so too ; for he added, with a grave smile : “That very picture was bought on the judgment of Mr. West and Sir Thomas Lawrence, — two presidents of the Royal Academy, you know, — and cost,” I think he said, “ three or four thousand guineas.” “ Can’t help it,” said I, “ that picture was never painted by Correggio ” ; and as I turned away I heard a low tittering about me, though Leslie kept his countenance, and appeared to enjoy my positiveness and presumption, as a capital joke. Nor did I hear the last of it so long as I remained in England ; but, just before I returned to this country, I had the satisfaction of seeing that very picture taken down from the walls, and utterly discarded for imposture, and another, which was truly a Correggio, The Mother and Child, one of the most beautiful things ever painted by mortal man, occupying its place, at an outlay of about four thousand guineas. It was even said that the picture which our academicians thought they had secured, was still in the possession of the Duke of Wellington, by whom it had been captured with Soult’s baggage in the Peninsular War.

By far the best portrait ever painted by Leslie was that copy of Sir Thomas Lawrence’s “West,” nowin the Philadelphia Academy. There we find, for the first and only time, what appears to be an eye for color, and the picture of itself might almost rank with Titian’s ; but then it was only a copy, and, of course, the coloring might be copied, as well as the composition. Good copies are often made by painters wholly incapable of using the same colors for themselves. It was so with Teniers, with Rembrandt Peale, and with Hazlett, to whom we are indebted for some of the finest copies in the world. Even Page, when he copies Titian, appears to work with a feeling for color, not often found in the flesh-tints of his own best pictures.

But Leslie’s small cabinet pictures were often admirable, and were always alive with a sly, quiet humor, of the Irving type, a decided individuality ; his women were almost always painted from his wife, and Were full of character. What on earth should have carried him to West Point not many years before his death, and there converted him into a drawing-master, I never could understand. He had always a plenty of orders ahead, and Earl Grosvcnor alone, his first patron, would have kept him employed on his own terms; and, of course, he could not expect orders from abroad while at West Point, even if he should have that abundant leisure busy men so foolishly covet for their old age.

I have this moment lighted on a stray leaf which escaped our Portland fire, summer before last, whereon I find the following notices of Leslie, made at the time we were together: —

“May 11,1827. — Called with Sully on old Mrs. Pridgen, 8 Buckingham Place, Cleveland Street, where King, Leslie, Morse, Allston, and Bowman had lived. For twenty years she had not been without an American painter. She liked painters, ‘ they were an innocent kind of people,’ she said. King lived with her four years. For nine months he took the clothes off a good bed, which was made every day. wrapped himself up in them, and lay on the floor, that he might have it to say, that ‘ he had slept on the floor and lived on potatoes.’ At last, he was persuaded to sleep in the bed, as winter came on. Sully used to have breakfast and tea. Four pounds of potatoes were bought for the dinner of both. He stayed fourteen months, — all the time he was in London. Leslie was with her eleven years. She has a picture of him at the age of seventeen in a fancy dress, by Morse, — a striking likeness now. I knew it immediately, though Leslie would seem to be altered in every feature ; but the expression is there, — the expression of the eyes, and a sort of smile. One point I saw characteristic of the artist, — a sculptured figure, like Venus of the Bath in the background, very well done for a block of shadow ; he began with sculpture before he tried the brush.

“ Leslie’s early attempts were veryodd. Yet there was a good deal of the man’s nature in them. There was a church, with children playing about the tombs; one child, a boy. leans back on his left arm, with his back toward you, catching lights on the drapery, — quite in Leslie’s best manner. The church would remind you of that in Sir Roger de Coverley. Another sketch by him, of a child sitting up with a Shawl wrapped round him, and hanging down below his feet, and a great black bonnet overhung with ostrichfeathers, was charmingly characteristic ; shadow on the face admirable, and the face itself not unlike one in his Sir Roger. Portraits very poor — unlike, labored, and wretchedly colored — no flesh-tints. Morse was there [at Mrs. Bridgen’s] five years. Allston painted but few portraits ; tried with her twice ; went to Bristol with his wife, returned, and took a house, partly furnished it, moved in, and lost his wife before the first week was over. She left him, he said. He stayed there the first night after her death, and never entered it again ; returned to Mrs. Bridgen’s. Morse managed to dispose of the pictures. The Dead Man restored to Life on touching the bones of the Prophet he was preparing to exhibit in Pal] Mall ; was dissuaded, and promised the premium ; got it, —it was a trifle only, — and lost the whole profit of the Exhibition (whatever that might be). Allston, Leslie, and Morse had rooms on the opposite side of the street, — a wretched place at the best, where they painted, but fed at Mrs. Bridgen’s. Bowman had a good deal to do among the Quakers ; he ‘painted so fast,’ they said, ‘ and thee could see the comb and the hair through the muslin caps.’ Morse was there five years.

“There was a picture of Lear and Cordelia by King, very good, strong, and graceful, better in conception than anything else of his I remember. Another of a boy stealing his sister’s fruit while she is catching a soap-bubble that he holds over the plate, high up, with one hand, while he seizes the fruit with the other. A good idea, well expressed, though badly colored, and what I should have called promising, when it was painted.”

ROBERT M. SULLY, nephew of Thomas, a Virginian by birth, and so like his uncle — great uncle, I should say, but for the fear of being misunderstood — in speech, voice, and manner, that I never doubted his having copied him, till I Found that he had never seen that uncle till he had got his growth, and his habits were all established. He was a fine colorist, a capital draughtsman; and while at London, occupying one of my rooms in Warwick Street, was quite happy in his portraitures. One of Northcote, now in the Philadelphia Academy, — the original drawing of which in lead-pencil I have in my portfolio, on a fragment of paper not two inches square ; a capital likeness, — may be regarded as the best he ever painted ; and another of myself, a head only, now in England somewhere, as the next. With the former, Northcote himself was delighted ; and, with the latter, Leslie ; yet mine was too much idealized for a portrait, and would never satisfy a person who respected himself, warts and all, like the Lord Protector. JNorthcote sent him the following note, which I have now before me : —

“ DEAR SIR : — I very much approve of the portrait you have painted of me. It possesses many requisites of a good picture : it has a very striking effect of light and shadow ; the attitude is natural and well chosen, and also well drawn. In the countenance you have given expression and character, and, from the manner you have treated the subject as a whole, it is a well-managed picture.

“The portrait of Mr. B—, as well as that of myself, seems to promise much ; and that you may succeed to the utmost of your wishes is the sincere desire of, clear sir, your true friend and very humble servant,

“ JAMES NORTHCOTE.

“ARGYLE PLACE, July 19, 1826.”

Northcote, when Sully painted him, looked like a little, dried-up, withered magician, with his bright black eyes and flowered dressing-gown, and very diminutive figure. One day he was seen pasting upon the pages of a manuscript, figures of animals which he had cut out of different books. He was getting out his “ Fables.” “ You wonder, perhaps, at seeing me do this ; but, as everybody knows I can paint animals, I choose to borrow — or steal — in this way.” He wanted to murder Opie, as he acknowledged, out of sheer jealousy, — when he foresaw the career he was entering upon. He hated West, — the only American painter he ever did hate, he said. West could n't tell the trut, he declared ; caught him once in a downright — fib. Northcote had signed an address, or a petition, to the king from the academy, “James Northcote,” and nothing more. West asked why he did not add R. A. Northcote gave his reasons. West complimented him, and said the king himself had spoken of Northcote’s modesty on that score in some other address. “ I told West I had never before signed a petition or address to his Majesty in all my life,” he added, with unspeakable scorn. Leslie called on Northcote, according to the etiquette of the school, after he had been elected R. A., to thank him for his vote. Northcote did not even ask him in, but received him in the hall. “O, sir,” said he, “you needn’t thank me. I had no hand in your election. You did n’t have my vote, I promise you.”

Sully had some pleasant experiences too. A Scotchman asked his price. Ten guineas. Ten guineas for that ! Well, take your choice. Man chooses a three-quarters length and has one sitting, the largest size in the room,— supposing them all of a price. Afraid of being done, he measures them with a pocket-handkerchief, getting down on his knees. “ Aha ! Mr. Sully,” said he, “you have put eyelashes here, — no eyelashes in mine, sir. Oho ! this cravat is neatly done ; will mine be as well done ? Some pictures will follow you with their eyes, you know.” His master’s did so ; and when he looked up from the breakfast-table, it took away his appetite. Sully promised to make this look at everybody in the same way.

Another charming incident of a similar character he related to me one day on his return from the Exhibition, white with rage. He had painted the portrait of a military man of high rank ; and, having a horror of the costume that goes out of fashion every two or three years, and of all your close-fitting garments, like that which George IV. used to have stitched upon his back, he painted the coat as much like drapery as it would bear. The picture was up in Somerset House, and one day Sully found a very substantial, well-dressed man of middle age and portly presence standing before it with an expression that startled him. “Mr. Sully,” said he, — for it seems he knew Sully by sight, and had seen the picture before it was finished, — “Mr. Sully, sir, allow me to say that I am sorry to see that picture here.” “ Ah ! ” said Sully, “ and why so ? ” “ Why so ? my good sir, can you ask why so? Just look at that coat.” “Well, sir, and what of that coat? ” “Why, Mr. Sully, every man that sees that picture will naturally ask who made that coat?” “ Well, sir, and what then ? ” said Sully. “What then ! well, sir, I made that coat.” He was the Duke of York’s tailor, and just the man to satisfy the “fat friend” above mentioned, after he had begun plumping up, till he was ready to burst, and was still in favor with the Marchioness of Conyngham, and others of the “fat, fair, and forty” type.

CHESTER HARDING. — Of course, our people do not require to be told much of this man’s doings either abroad or at home ; for a man, he was indeed — altogether a man, full of generous impulses and large ambition, — and a capital portrait-painter, though a faulty draughtsman, the moment he undertook a full-length. I knew him well. Our acquaintance — our friendship, I might say — began while he was painting John Dunn Hunter, the hero of Hunter’s narrative, which had just been reproduced by Mr. John Murray, and all the “upper crust” of London was in a stew about him. This portrait of Hunter, though badly drawn, had so much of the man’s character, an'd so much of real flesh and blood in it, as to engage the attention of “most thinking people,” when it was hung up at Somerset House. It was painted for the Duke of Sussex, and led to the painting of His Royal Highness at Kensington Palace,— the best of all Harding’s pictures, by the way, except, perhaps, the Duke ot Hamilton, and one other (of which a word or two hereafter), though the hand looked like a mass of raw beef, being both unshapely and unmeaning; yet the drapery was well managed, the likeness admirable, and the coloring worthy of Rubens himself. The other portrait above referred to was mine. It happened, one day, after my return with Harding from Somerset House, where he had seen a portrait of the Duke of Buckingham, just painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence, — a light-haired gentleman in the prime of life, just about embarking for St, Petersburg as the princely representative of his sovereign, — that he insisted on my sitting, as I had promised long before, and at once, instead of waiting month after month. He wanted to try certain effects of a purple shadow under light hair, after the style of Lawrence. I consented ; and, at the end of a fourth sitting, he turned off what he himself acknowledged to be an atrocious caricature. He had gone out of the way preappointed for him, and failed utterly, of course. The picture was tturned to the wall, and there remained until about a month before I left London forever, when I, happening to be in his room one day, he took the portrait up, and, after looking on it a few minutes, begged me to give him another sittings that he might see if anything could be done with it. I consented ; and, within two hours at furthest, he produced — I say it with all seriousness — by far the finest picture he ever painted in his life. It was a two-thirds life-size, and had something of Sir Thomas, and something of Sully too, in the air and carriage, and enough of Harding, in its truthfulness and strength, to make it a treasure. It was sent forthwith to my friend, the late Henry Robinson ol Brookline, Mass., and, after his death, presented to my eldest daughter by his widow. On her removal to Portland the picture came with her, and was destroyed in the great fire. Would it were extant now ! It would show what no other picture of Harding’s ever did show, — what the mail was capable of, when pushed to the uttermost

Hunter, before introducing our friend to the Duke of Sussex, assured his Royal Highness that Harding was a backwoodsman, who, without any help, or instruction, had taken to portraitpainting in a fit of enthusiasm, or inspiration. This delighted the Duke, who was a thoroughgoing republican at heart — or in theory — and he sent off immediately for Harding, and sat for his picture, which opened the way for all the success that followed, with Mr. Coke, the Duke of Hamilton, and others, both in England and Scotland.

WEST, the Kentuckian. — This fine artist, known all over the earth now, wherever Byron has been heard of, is best known by his portraits of that unhappy man, and his cheère amie, the Countess Guiccioli. I met with him first in London, where much of his time was spent in multiplying copies of his Lordship, at five hundred guineas apiece, and of the Countess for something less than half price. Lady Caroline Lamb, who, it must be acknowledged, knew Byron well, and had reason to know him, used to come and sit down before his picture, and stay hour after hour, breathing hard, and wiping her eyes when she thought herself unobserved, saying it was the only likeness of his Lordship that had ever been painted; that by Phillips being a caricature, and half a score of others only supposititious, — all the painters being determined to represent the poet instead of the man. West gave him with a full, pleasant face, a clear complexion, large blue eyes, chestnut hair: blue eyes, I say, though I may be mistaken, for the eyes of West were wonders, — iridescent, clear, and changeable ; but there was no melancholy, no pouting, no sulking, as if somebody else had “ got a bigger bun,” — to borrow an idea of Mrs. Leigh Hunt, — which Byron never forgot nor forgave. And here it may not be amiss to give some of West’s reminiscences that just occur to me.

The first time he ever saw Guiccioli, she came to a window and looked in, while he was painting Byron. He was quite startled, thinking the face that of a young girl, out for a romp among the daisies and buttercups, and never dreaming that the Countess herself was there, overseeing his work with her innocent, girlish face. Byron was a sad dog at the best, and used to speak of her, just as he did of a little plump chambermaid, with whom he was on rather familiar terms, sometimes acknowledging a preference for the contadina while coquetting with the contessa.

Once Byron complimented West extravagantly on his courage, because he did not hide himself, when a servant of his Lordship was running a muck through the court-yard, and threatening everybody that came in his way — all which ended with the man’s kissing and hugging his Lordship. Byron had retreated to his chamber ; but West, believing it only a bit of acting, a mere flourish on the part of Pietro, went forth and met him m the midst of his tantrums, whereupon, after a few more extravagances, he burst into tears, and finished by beslobbering his Lordship, who met him at the top of the stairs, after the fit was over. Of course, we all remember how Byron complimented Lady Hester Stanhope for her horsemanship, when she was mounted on a very commonplace animal, neither vicious nor spirited, which anybody might have ridden.

One day, when West was hard at work on his Cupid and Psyche, which was soon after engraved for a London annual, a sculptor tried to borrow the idea ; but West said, “ No ; if you should outlive me, I may be charged with borrowing from you,” and he appealed to me. I took the same view. While chatting with him at this time, he told me that Byron liked borrowing, as he proved ; and that he said something West admired very much in Childe Harold was " gin, only gin.” But one of the richest things he told me was the following. He was engaged on the portrait of a young and beautiful girl, and had nearly finished, when the mother came to see it, bringing with her a sister from the country. After looking at the picture for several minutes without speaking, the sister exclaimed. “Why, Maria ! why didn’t you have blue eyes ? ” ” Blue eyes ! why, my eyes are brown ! ” " O, but bine eyes are so much prettier ! ”

Not long after this, he undertook my portrait, chiefly, I dare say, that I might be led to unsay what I had published about his chalkiness. The drawing was beautiful. the coloring bad ; but long before he had finished what everybody who knew us both acknowledged to be one of his triumphs, he managed to introduce a yellow pocket-handkerchief with small red stars in it, which completely demoralized the picture. I never saw it again. He was incorrigible, and what nature had denied, no study or labor could give him.

CHARLES COD MAN. — Landscape. — One of our earliest and finest landscapepainters. Until his day, our painters, with a few exceptions (Sargent, Dunlap, Allston, Morse, and Peale), had confined themselves to history and portraiture, seldom or never venturing upon landscape. One day, soon after my return from abroad, I happened to dine at the Elm Tavern in Portland. While at table, my attention was directed to what seemed the strangest paper-hangings I had ever seen, — a forest of large trees, reaching from the floor to the ceiling, and crowded with a luxuriant undergrowth. Upon further examination, I found these paper-hangings to be painted in oil ; and learned, upon inquiry, that they were the work of a sign-painter. They were masterly, and I lost no time in hunting the artist up. I found him in the midst of his workshop half buried in signs, banners, fire-buckets, and all sorts of trumpery, which he had collected as a curiosity-hunter. I ordered a picture, which he spoiled by overdoing ; and then another, which I have now, — the first he ever painted worth mentioning, though he went over the foliage with a pin before he considered it finished. After this I obtained orders from the late T. A. Deblois, Simon Creenleaf. and others of my acquaintance ; and he continued improving, not slowly and step by step, but by leaps and strides, until he produced some of the most beautiful things I know of. One day, when he was just beginning to paint freely and heartily, I told him I thought he must have begun life with some painter of tea-trays, or pottery, or dockiaces. He laughed, and acknowledged that he had been apprenticed to Willard, the clock-maker of Roxbury, where he did paint nothing but clock-faces ; and that after this, he worked for Penniman, the sign-painter of Boston.

JOHN ROLLIX TILTON. — Landscape. — This wonderful man deserves a chapter, and we can barely afford him a page or part of a page, — a touch-andgo notice at most. Our acquaintance began as follows. Mr. John A. Poor, one ot the directors of the Montreal and St. Lawrence Railway, called on me to look at some car-panels, which had just been painted in landscape for the corporation. The late Judge Preble, President of the road, it seems, had complained of Mr. Poor’s extravagance, believing the panels must have been very costly, — not less than twenty or thirty dollars apiece. They were very clever and spirited, with water and atmosphere such as we see in life ; but had evidently been dashed off in a fit of inspiration. “ What should they have cost ? ” said Mr. Poor. “ They would be cheap at ten or fifteen dollars apiece,” I said, “ though the astonishing facility of touch I see might have enabled the painter to do them for much less.” “ Well, sir, they cost us just twenty-five cents apiece : we paid him a dollar and a half a day, and he painted them all in one day. There he is now, — shall I introduce him ?” “ By all means,” and straightway we became acquainted. Pie was a tall, pleasantlooking fellow, a mere stripling, — not over nineteen, I believe, and rather shy. He was a New Hampshire boy, and, when urged to undertake something worthier of his fine talents, he answered that he had a mother to support, and, with the wages he was earning, — a dollar and a half a day, — he could get along very well, and was not inclined to run any risk. Nevertheless I persisted, and got him into my back office, where he began to throw off his landscapes with a most alarming readiness ; though the first he painted for me, instead of being full of poetry and fine atmospherical effects, was overlabored to such a degree as to leave nothing of his natural manner. But he soon broke away from such finishing, and produced landscapes of extraordinary merit, though full of errors and extravagances. In bringing out effects, he paid little attention to drawing ; and, though his trees were distinguishable, they were never characteristic. He generalized nature, and soon fell into a style astonishingly like that of Claude de Lorraine, though he had never seen a picture of that master at the time ; and I have now on my walls a picture of “ Cape Cottage,” a sort of marine villa, then belonging to me, on Cape Elizabeth, and now converted into a watering-place, which was wonderfully like some of Claude’s in treatment,and coloring. After this he went to Italy, where he has remained ever since, occupying a place in the very foremost rank of landscape-painters, whether living or dead, and having his own prices, and orders from all parts of the world, until, of late, he has refused to make any more engagements. He is now married to a woman of fine literary taste, and, as they have two charming children, of course he may be regarded as being settled for life.

In Portland, where we always have had for the last thirty years one or more landscape-painters worthy of high praise, we have now Harry Brown, whose pictures are making their way rEht and left all over the land ; and two or three more, like Hudson, who will find it no easy matter, with all their cleverness, to keep up the reputation of our city for landscape. In portraiture we have done just nothing at all. Portland never produced a portraitpainter worth mentioning, except the younger Cole, whose brother went to Boston, and there painted some very clever pictures. But enough.

P. S. In my last, (see December, 1868, Atlantic, page 647,) where I have to do with Mr. Titian Peale, now in the Patent Office at Washington, where his fine talents, accuracy, and large experience are turned to the best account, I wrote “ Lewis and Clarke,” when I should have written “ Major Long’s Expedition.” I am reminded also by Dr. J. Ray, that Franklin Peale was a fifth son of Rembrandt.

For “ enthroned mysteries,” with a comma, page 645, please read “ enthroned mystery — ” with a dash. If a spare arid could be slipped into another period on page 649, after “more than once,” so that it might read “more than once, and, I drove Breckenridge,” &c., it would be a relief to my friend Ray and myself.