« AnteriorContinuar »
My eyes are closed, yet still I see
And hear the care-free singers pass,
Are heard two voices at the gate,
And she is pleading, “Wait, 0, wait ! ” Her eyes are dusk, her arms are bare ; His fierce plume mingles with her hair. Now on the wind again there comes The stern, remorseless beat of drums, Joined with the cymbal's clang, and blare Of brazen trumpets on the air ; One last embrace, and from her side He leaps to join the sullen tide Of marching men, whose footfalls fail As trumpet's note dies in a wail, Above the deep, receding hum, And far, faint throbbing of the drum. Again the dancers on the grass,
Eternal youth untouched by scars ! Like flights of flowers their faces pass.
The sunlight fades, and splendid bars
Vast lances gemmed with yellow stars.
Within thy charmed boundaries
With numb, cold heart and haggard eyes. Thy wars are only pictured wars,
Thy very woes but pageantries; Thy stately heroes bear no scars,
And silver songs thy maidens' cries. Would we might lose our way, and stand Forever tranced in Music Land.
AN AMERICAN LANDSEER.
By Frank T. Robinson.
MONG the many artists who are sketches of horses before he was seven
deserters from their original com- years old, and these disclose a fair idea of
mercial employment, none stand how a horse looks both in repose and more prominent in their professions than action. They were not awkward scrawls, Alexander Pope, the animal painter. Like hurried scratches; they were studies, Quentin Matsys, who began with wrought- showing a desire to locate the parts where iron in his native Antwerp and ultimately they belong. Later on, birds, game of all painted the “ Banker and his Wife," now kinds, dogs, insects, every creature which in the Louvre,
might be assohe departs from
ciated with the the narrow lim
life of a sportsits of his origi
man, attracted nal, ordinary
his eye, and he occupation,
never was conand seeks with
tented until he anxious mind
had either to elevate him
made a drawself above the
ing of them or low horizon to
reproduced the more crea
them in some tive sphere;
intelligible becomes an in
form. We find terpreter of
him at the age nature, a por
of twenty entrayer of ani
grossed in an mal life, — an
earnest way artist-painter.
with wood carPope was
ving ; and nat born in Boston
urally enough, in 1849, is a
being 'fond of graduate of her
out-of-door public schools,
life, riding, and and at an early
hunting, he inage entered
variably selecinto mercantile
ted game for pursuits, where
his models. In in he discov
this specialty, ered, after sev
Pope gained eral years, that
quite a notohis instincts
riety, and for were not at all
cause. I have inclined to rou
before me a tine matters, albeit the ultimatum proved couple of his pheasants, carved and colthat there was nothing lost in the training. ored to the life. The modelling is perfect, As a youth, when but an aproned boy, he the feathery textures as light as air; the evidenced his love for a horse, not alone birds seem to be only temporarily inanifor the fun he could have with him, but mate. Works like this found their way for the character, nobleness, and spirit of into many collections, conspicuous among the animal. He drew many pencil his patrons being the Czar of Russia, who has hanging in his dining apartments two felt that it was but a transitory period, examples by Pope, representing life-sized that his surer hold lay in the more decopheasants and ducks.
rative phases of art; although a recent The artist's inclination for sculptural superb study of a lion lying down would work led him to attempt the human figure, indicate that his sculptural powers were of for, if he could model game, could use no ordinary nature. He had been succlay in fashioning delicate forms, why not cessful, had shown artistic characteristics, try the more subtle planes? After mak- and having gained in facility of hand, ing several study heads, feeling his way as well as in the knowledge of how to see
along, endeavoring to control the im- things, he was well prepared to study into pulse as it escaped from his finger tips, that fascinating and tempting realm, color. he essayed several commissions, and in For several years he had, aside from
torious busts, perhaps the best being the ioning clay, used pigments; and up to portrait of Father Merrill, now hanging in 1886 had painted a number of dog porWesleyan Hall. Pope's work in clay was traits more or less interesting as portraits characterized by sensitiveness of touch, and generally pleasing in ensemble. was not in the least mechanical, and yet His first important commission, or it showed the amateur at tools, though rather his first publicly recognized canalways animated by intelligence and love; vas, was that of the game cocks, “Blood it was progressive. The defiant palpa- will Tell,” owned by Mr. Allen of the bility of material not only gave Pope an Astor House, New York. Several worthy idea of his own conventional powers, but groups of still life — birds, baskets, and it awoke within him the consciousness of sportsmen's implements, comprising the the fact that at best he could not attain compositions -- followed this effort; then eminence in that specialty. Indeed, he came the St. Bernard dog, painted for a
Portland gentleman, which attracted the considered, part for part, and the whole attention of dog fanciers, and to such an balanced remarkably well. In large colextent that Pope received several com- lections where it was shown, it would be missions, among them being one from Mr the first to be noticed, and the last also, John E. Thayer, of his Gordon setter, “ Argus," and a life portrait of Mr. Bayard Thayer's pointer, “ Rue." The latter was shown at Goupil's New York galleries, and unquestionably paved the way to his success in that city.
In the fall of 1886, the artist took up the canvas which really established his reputation as an animal painter and by which he made his debut as an artist. In company with Emil Carlsen, who laid in the background, Pope
"Rue." executed the heroic canvas which is now hung in the Boston Tavern, and which for it started and ended the color note of shows a hunting party just forming. The the exhibition. This fact was not due picture was full of color, of manly vigor, particularly to the red-coated huntsmen, and from the first public exhibition of the whose colors were arrayed against the work, which was entitled “Calling out autumn gray of clouds, and the barren, the Hounds,” Pope's art future seemed brown tree-branches, but was largely assured. The canvas was shown in several attributed to the freshness of the color, galleries, and it was conceded by the its liveliness, newness of subject and airy artists and critics to be not only a decor- naturalness. At all events, the painter ative work, but to contain the elements gained the respect of his contemporaries of “ go" and insight into composition for his endeavor, and of the critics for his quite beyond the grasp of the average promise. painter of the day. Here was displayed Following this work, Pope produced much knowledge of the hunt, of costumes, several realistic exhibition pictures of of anatomy, of the action of dogs, their still-life, which were shown in New York characteristics and earnestness in the and were the means of bringing him into time of action; the details were carefully contact with many prominent gentlemen,
lovers of animals, who were able to comprehend the artist's interpretations as well as his artistic ability. In 1888, Pope began to enlarge his sphere of action, outgrew the mere portrait phases of his art, became a picture painter, introducing incident and appropriate surroundings in all his works. He executed in the winter of 1887 and '88 a commission for Mr. Whitney of Rochester, N. Y., entitled “Waiting," which was the beginning of a series of interesting canvases.