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his light blue eye, wild and wide, which seemed to drink in meaning and flash out light; his hair profuse, grizzled, and flowing in masses round his head: and his expanded brow full of poetry and power. In his deportment he is a mere child of nature, simple, careless, saying just what he feels and thinks at the moment, without regard to forms; yet pleasing from the benevolent earnestness of his manner, and intuitively polite without being polished.

After some conversation, he took us into his painting-room. As a colourist, I believe his style is criticised, and open to criticism; it is at least singular; but I must confess that while I was looking over his things I was engrossed by the one conviction ;—that while his peculiar merits, and the preference of one manner to another may be a matter of argument or taste, it is certain, and indisputable, that no one paints like Retzsch, and that, in the original power and fertility of conception, in the quantity of mind which he brings to bear upon his subject, he is in his own style unequalled and inimitable. I was rather surprised to see in some of his designs and pencil drawings, the most elaborate delicacy of

touch, and most finished execution of parts, combined with a fancy which seems to run wild over his paper or his canvas; but only seems—for it must be remarked, that with all this luxuriance of imagination, there is no exaggeration, either of form or feeling; he is peculiar, fantastic, even extravagant-but never false in sentiment or expression. The reason is, that in Retzsch's character the moral sentiments are strongly developed; where they are deficient, let the artist who aims at the highest poetical department of excellence, despair; for no possession of creative talent, nor professional skill, nor conventional taste, will supply that main deficiency.

I saw in Retzsch's atelier many things novel, beautiful, and interesting; but will note only a few, which have dwelt upon my memory, as being characteristic of the man as well as the artist.

There was, on a small panel, the head of an angel smiling. He said he was often pursued by dark fancies, haunted by melancholy forebodings, desponding over himself and his art, “and he resolved to create an angel for himself, which should smile upon him out of heaven.” So he painted this most lovely head, in which the radiant spirit of joy seems to beam from every feature at once; and I thought while I looked upon it, that it were enough to exorcise a whole legion of blue devils. It is rarely that we can associate the mirthful with the beautiful and the sublime-even I could have deemed it next to impossible; but the effulgent cheerfulness of this divine face, corrected that idea, which, after all, is not in bright, lovely Nature, but in the shadow which the mighty spirit of Humanity casts from his wings, as he hangs brooding over her between heaven and earth.

Afterwards he placed upon his easel a wondrous face, which made me shrink back-not with terror, for it was perfectly beautiful—but with awe, for it was unspeakably fearful: the hair streamed back from the pale brow—the orbs of sight appeared at first two dark, hollow, unfathomable spaces, like those in a skull; but when I drew nearer, and looked attentively, two lovely living eyes looked at me again out of the depth of shadow, as if from the bottom of an abyss. The mouth was divinely sweet, but sad, and the softest repose rested on every feature. This, he told me, was the ANGEL OF Death; it was the original conception of a head for the large picture now at Vienna, representing the Angel of Death bearing aloft two children, into the regions of the blessed; the heavens opening above, and the earth and stars sinking beneath his feet.

The next thing which struck me was a small picture-two satyrs butting at each other, while a shepherd carries off the nymph for whom they are contending. This was most admirable for its grotesque power and spirit, and, moreover, extremely well coloured. Another in the same style represented a satyr sitting on a wineskin, out of which he drinks; two arch-looking nymphs are stealing on him from behind, and one of them pierces the wine-skin with her hunting-spear.

There was a portrait of himself, but I would not laud it-in fact, he has not done himself justice. Only a colossal bust, in the same style, and wrought with the same feeling as Dannecker's bust of Schiller, could convey to posterity an adequate idea of the head and countenance of Retzsch. I complimented him on the effect

VOL. II.

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which his Hamlet had produced in England; he told me, that it had been his wish to illustrate the Midsummer Night's Dream, or the Tempest, rather than Macbeth: the former he will still undertake, and, in truth, if any one succeeds in embodying a just idea of a Miranda, a Caliban, a Titania, and the poetical burlesque of the Athenian clowns, it will be Retzsch, whose genius embraces at once the grotesque, the comic, the wild, the wonderful, the fanciful, the elegant!

A few days afterwards we accepted Retzsch's invitation to visit him at his campagna-for whether it were farm-house, villa, or vineyard, or all together, I could not well decide. The drive was delicious. The road wound along the banks of the magnificent Elbe, the gentlyswelling hills, all laid out in vineyards, rising on our right; and though it was in November, the air was soft as summer. Retzsch, who had perceived our approach from his window, came out to meet us took me under his arm as if we had been friends of twenty years' standing, and leading me into his picturesque domicile, introduced me to his wifemas pretty a piece of do

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