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though not less to be blamed, than the declamation of moralists has generally supposed. When excluded from the pleasures which the use of money might procure, we substitute, if I may be allowed the expression, the archetype of enjoyment for enjoyment itself, and prize wealth as the end, when it has ceased to be the means. Old men are niggard of their money as they are profuse of their talk, because the poffeffion of wealth is one of those pleasures in which they can equal younger men; as daws and starlings can
pilfer and hoard, who are deftitute of plumage . and of song.
But there are afes of wealth which some worthy and wise old men discover, that may supply this want of object for its appropriation. To bestow it in the purposes of beneficence, is one of the ways of spending money for which a man is never too old ; or if some are so unhappy as to have outlived the relish of this, it is only where they have been at little pains to keep up in their minds those better feelings, which prompt and reward good deeds. That pleafure which Colonel Caustic mentioned, of make ing happy faces, is a sort of fine art, which fome people never attain, and others easily lose.
TI N° 73. SATURDAY, June 24, 1786.
AMIDST the various branches of the Fine * Arts in which Ancient Greece excelled, there seems to be none in which her pre-eminence stands more undisputed than that of Sculpture. In Music she was far distant from any perfection; and indeed it is in modern times only that this art has received it's highest improvements. In painting, too, whatever we may be told of the high admiration in which a Zeuxis and an Apelles were held by their countrymen, yet there is very good reason to believe that the moderns have far exceeded the ancients. In Poetry, though we shall not prefume to fay that other nations have gone beyond the Greeks; yet surely it must be allowed, that the Roman poets, as well as those of modern times, approach fo near the Grecian models, as to suffer very little from the comparison. But in Sculpture the Greeks stand confessedly unrivalled, as having attained the summit of perfection. All the productions, not only of modern, but even of Roman Sculpture, are acknowledged to be inferior to those perfect and finished models. which Greece produced. In short, however
perfect an in Thort, ho much
much the partisans of modern times may be inclined to dispute the palm with the ancients in others of the Fine Arts, yet in that of Sculpture all seem to concur in confessing the superiority of the Grecian artists. And I think their arriving at such excellence in this art may be accounted for from very obvious and satisfactory causes. ; :
. • Sculpture or Statuary is one of the imitative arts which mankind would very early practise ; and accordingly there are few, even of the most uncultivated nations, among whom we do not find some rude attempts to form images in wood or in stone, if not in metal. To represent with any correctness and; accuracy a solid figure upon a plain surface, would not so readily occur as the idea of forming the resemblance of a man, or any other animal, in stone or marble. Painting, therefore, is of later invention than Statuary; and being an art of much greater difficulty, would consequently be much flower of coming to any considerable degree of perfection. To acquire the art of properly distributing light and shade, so as to make the several figures stand out from the canvass; to possess the power of animating those figures with the most natural and glowing colours; to throw them into groupes of a pleasing form ; to preserve that perfect proportion of size and distance which
perspective demands; are those excellencies of Painting which it has required the efforts and the experience of many successive ages to attain. To form a finished ftatue is neither so complex nor so difficult an art. To be able, by means of the chisel, to bring the rude block of marble to prefent the exact resemblance of the most graceful human form, is no doubt a furprising and beautiful effort of industry and genius; and it would require a considerable time before such an art could attain perfection ; but that perfection being obviously much more easily attainable than any excellence in painting, so it would necessarily be much fooner acquired. As more readily to be acquired, it would naturally be more generally practised; and this circumstance again would, in its turn, accelerate the progress. of the art.
The athletic exercises of the Greeks, joined to the natural beauty of the human form, for which their country and climate were distinguished, furnished ready models for Sculpture. To Painting they afforded much less assistance. The mere muscular exertions of the body are favourite objects of imitation for the Statuary, and from the successful copy he acquires the very highest degree of renown. Painting draws its best subjects from other sources; from the combination of figures, from the features of
emotion, emotion, from the eye of passion. Groupes in Sculpture (if we except works in relief, which are much less distinct and striking than pictures) are perhaps, too near nature to be pleasing. It is certainly true, as a most ingenious and excellent philosopher has observed, that we are not pleased with Imitation when she presses too close upon reality : a coloured ftatue is offensive; and the wax-work figures of Mrs. Wright, · which she dresses in the habits of the times, and
places in various attitudes in different parts of the room, excite surprise indeed, but never produce delight. Sculpture, therefore, thus confined to single figures, seems little less inferior to Painting, than was the ode recited by one person at the feast of Bacchus, to the perfect drama of Sophocles and Euripides.
When Statuary reached its highest excellence in Greece, the art of Painting had made but a flender progress. The admiration of the works which their painters produced, feems to have proceeded more from a sense of the great difficulty of the art, and from furprise at the effects it produced, than from the pictures truly meriting the high praises we find bestowed upon them, To the eye of taste, the work of the Statuary was the more complete and finished production ; the art was accordingly more generally cultivated; and by the authors of antiquity the statues i