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Rhodes, and an equal number at Del- | the great national achievement it was phi, Athens, and Olympia.
erected to record, and of those heroes The changes which took place on the to whom the world is still indebted death of Alexander, so greatly affected for repose. With this noble object in the arts, that this branch may be said view, about ten thousand pounds were to date the period of its decline from speedily raised; and but for some that event. It rose to perfection misunderstanding and misrepresenunder Lysippus, and with him, if it tation respecting the nature, characdid not expire, it partially disap- ter, and attitude, of the monument to peared.
be erected, it is more than probable, The military spirit which governed that this sum would have been consithe Romans, and entered into nearly derably augmented. all their transactions, left them no The artist employed on this great time to cultivate the arts; and it was occasion, was Mr. Westmacott, whose not until their acquaintance with the abilities have been long known, and Greeks, that they acquired a taste for deservedly appreciated ; and, in the those productions, which led them to accomplishment of the present work, despoil the towns they conquered, and he has added fame to his former repudecorate their own with thosc statues tation. The want of pecuniary means and monuments for which they have has, however, in some degree, cirbeen renowned. Under the reign of cumscribed the operation of his geAugustus, the arts were revived; but nius, and prevented spectators and this branch appears to have made a posterity from contemplating those retrograde movement, as they had emblematical representations, that again returned to the period of its would have imbodied the conquests infancy, their most celebrated statues of Wellington and his companions in having been formed by the hammer, arms, and have presented a group of and afterwards riveted together. figures, which would have added much
It was not until the reign of Domi- to the effect produced. tian, that this art began to revive, The figure chosen, is presumed to be when Celon, a Greek artist, was em- a statue of no less a character than ployed to cast a colossal statue of that Achilles ; but of the famous model emperor. In the time of Severus, whence the present cast is taken, the another colossal work appeared in remote history is scarcely known. bronze, to commemorate an event that The original, though a work of consihad occurred during a preceding reign. derable magnitude and superior excelBut from this period downward, al- lence, is not mentioned by any anthough the knowledge of the art has cient writer who has employed his been preserved, and numerous statues pen on the arts. The workmanship, have appeared, nothing that can be which is attributed to Phidas, has termod colossal, equal in dimensions been a subject of admiration among to that lately erected in Hyde Park, all modern artists. During the Pahas been produced during the last pacy of Sixtus V. this original statue
was found at the baths of Constantine, The splendid and decisive victory from which place it was removed, unobtained by the Duke of Wellington der the direction of Fontana, to the on the plains of Waterloo, is too well Quirinal Hill, at Rome, where it now known throughout Europe, and every stands. The horse which accompanies portion of the civilized world, to ren- the statue, and was discovered near der a detail even of its outlines neces- it, is now applied to form the group; sary. It was a battle which issued in but whether between them there was the total overthrow of Napoleon, and originally a connection, cannot at prerestored peace to the European na- sent be ascertained. The horse, howtions. To commemorate this great ever, is allowed by competent judges event, and transmit some permanent to possess considerable merit, but memorial to posterity, the British many connoissieurs say, that it is inladies, with a truly patriotic spirit, ferior to the grandeur of form displayentered into a voluntary subscription, ed in the statue. that, with the sum advanced, they Of this statue and this horse, plasmight employ an artist to produce a ter casts were exhibited some years statue, that should at once be worthy since, in the Mews, at Charing of his talents, of their gratitude, of Cross. At that time, one of the most
scientific horse dealers in London, The height of this bronze statue whose acquaintance with the anatomy alone, is upwards of eighteen feet. of the horse was universally acknow- This is erected on a basement and ledged, observed, that he was asto- plinth of gray granite, brought from nished at the knowledge and skill dis. Dartmoor, in Devonshire, surmounted played by the ancient artist, in throw- on a simple pedestal of red granite, ing the animal into an attitude, which from Peterhead, near Aberdeen. The none but horses of the highest blood whole, including the mound on which could assume.
it stands, taking the road as being But while the statue is admitted by parallel with its base, is thirty-six feet the most enlightened antiquaries to be in height. The situation which it octhat of Achilles, the evidence in fa- cupies is just within the angle, where, vour of the fact is not indubitable. after entering by the gate at Hyde Some have imagined, from the horse Park Corner, the carriage roads dihaving been found near it, that it was vide, one turning down Oxford-street, erected to represent Castor; but even and the other leading to the Serpenon this supposition, in several re- tine. The statue fronts the corner, spects there will be found deficiencies. and the head is so turned as almost to Mr. Westmacott has adopted the for- face the residence of the Duke, whose mer of these opinions, having placed deeds it commemorates. a shield in one hand, while in the other On the pedestal, in bronze letters, he is presumed to grasp a short sword. lit presents the following inscription :
TO ARTHUR, DUKE OF WELLINGTON,
THE STATUE OF ACHILLES,
PLACED ON THIS SPOT
BY COMMAND OF
HIS MAJESTY, GEORGE IIII. This statue was brought from the , inches as the figure descends. In the foundry at some distance, on the interior of the body is the core, which anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, it was impossible to extract. This from which time, until about the mid- adds considerably to its weight, which, dle of August, the workmen were to remove from the foundry to the employed in elevating and placing it pedestal, required a mechanical force on the pedestal.
of stupendous power. In the composition of this colossal The extraordinary magnitude, and statue, twelve twenty-four pounders prodigious weight of this statue, alwere melted ; but as the metal of the though they did not present insurcannon was deemed too brittle for a mountable obstacles to its being cast work which required so much nicety, | in one mass, must unavoidably have it was found necessary to add about occasioned many difficulties, consione-third more of different metals, that derable hazard, and much additional the whole mass in fusion might acquire expense, bad that course been adoptthat toughness and pliancy, without ed. It would also have interfered which perfection could not be attained. with the plan which the artist had The whole of the metal thus incorpo- determined to pursue, in copying his rated in the statue is equal to eighteen model, so as to make his statue a factwenty-four pounders, and in weight it simile of the original. Having flo ed has been estimated at between thirty- the parts which time had corroded, three and thirty-four tons. The real with a composition that restored the thickness of the metal varies in diffe- anatomical details, he followed a rent parts of the statue, being about mode frequently practised by the anan inch at the head, and increasing to cients, that of separating the extremian inch and half, and thence to two ties from the trunk in casting. These 969
The Old Soldier.
were afterwards united by fusion, so of the British champion, a microscope as to leave no blemish, and to ren- is not required to discover more amider the junction of the parts invi- able qualities. sible.
In the formation of this statue, fuThe figure itself reflects lasting cre- ture generations perhaps may regret, dit on the artist. Nothing can exceed that the taste of the present age had the beauty, the harmony, the propor- not rather imbodied a philosophical tions, and the anatomical peculia- abstraction, than an individual charities, by which it is distinguished. racter. The personification of CouNot a flaw, not a scratch, could be rage, Valour, Conquest, Triumph, or detected on the surface of the body, Victory, would probably have answerthe parts of which are finished with the ed every purpose intended by the greatest exactness; and in the eyes British fair, and have exhibited a naof posterity, little doubt can be enter- tional monument, which the present tained that it will reflect a distin- generation and posterity might be as guished honour on the age and pa- proud to own, without having any triotic spirit which called it into ex- thing to fear from the animadversion's istence.
of criticism, or the reproaches of foThe state of nakedness in which this reign smiles and sneers. statue appears, has, since its erection, been made the subject of severe and indelicate criticism; and in the march
THE OLD SOLDIER. of animadversion, many unhandsome reflections have been thrown on the English ladies, by whose liberality it
-Oh yes! I knew him well, was erected. On a question of this And time had left deep furrows on his once
venerable looking man; nature, many things of considerable Smooth brow ;-and changed his hair, (at least weight may be urged on each side. what hair Were the limbs arrayed in drapery, Was left by age and grief;) which once was the state of the muscles must have dis
black appeared, and all the anatomical As the best feather in the raven's wing, skill of the artist would have been oft I have heard him tell the wond’ring hind, concealed. Under such circumstan- How armies marshall’d on the battle dayces, the figure might have secured our And how the welkin rang with clash of arms, esteem, though it would no longer And din of warriors, rushing on to death.have been an object commanding uni- How unperceiv'd the messengers of fate,
Which few at random through opposing versal admiration. But even these
hosts, advantages are insufficient to compen- Would rob the bravest veteran of his breathsate for the wounds which the figure | Would stretch him lifeless on the bed of homay unconsciously inflict on the feelings of delicacy, especially as the Anl wing his soul to dread eternity. object is so exposed, as to invite and Perhaps unprovided for the sudden change
And unprepar’d to meet its awful Judge. even attract the eye of every passen
Then would he tell him how his messmate ger. On this subject we cannot but
dear, regret that the following hint of the Who had for many a long severe campaign poet has been neglected,
Stood by his side, and fought where he had • What would offend the eye in a good pic
Struck blow for blow, and gloried in his The painter casts discreetly into shades.”
strength, By the statue of Achilles being upon some fatal, well remembered day,
Like a brave warrior sell, unconquered. erected to commemorate the achieve- On that
same day, e'en he bimself had ments of the Duke of Wellington, the fallen, reader and spectator are almost inevi. Yet 'twas to rise again, tho' wounded sore, tably led to trace some resemblance And faint and nerveless with the loss of
blood. between these two heroes; but on
But he was prouder now of those same making an appeal to fact, the simili
wounds tude will not appear exceedingly ob- Than e'er was monarch of his costly crown, vious. Personal strength, ferocious Or wandering Arab of his matchless steed. valour, brutality of disposition, and And when be boasted of bis martial deeds, savage vengeance, are among the dis- He'd shew them round to ev'ry wond'ring tinguishing characteristics of the Gre- They were his honours! honourable scars! cian warrior; but in the composition
H. D. No. 45.-Vol. IV.