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Full text of "Sir Francis Chantrey, R. A. Recollections of his life, practice and opinions"

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til KY AND EVANS, PBIXTERS IV II n K till Alt?, . 







-*- C36071 

THESE Notes have been written under the 
influence of respect and affection. They have 
been made at various times, and at long 
intervals, with no other view than to offer a 
slender record of exalted merit. 

The author apologises for his errors, and 
begs to acknowledge the kind assistance of 
Sir Henry Russell, Mr. Leslie, and other 

December, 1849. 


SIR FRANCIS CHANTREY was born at Norton, 
in Derbyshire, not far from Sheffield, in 178# 
His father cultivated a small property of his own. 
To his son Francis he wished to give an education 
suited to his station, and based on the best dic- 
tates of common sense, which through life the 
sculptor developed in a most exemplary manner, 
for whatever may be the opinion of the world as 
to his merits as an artist, or his accomplishments 
as a man, all agree in acknowledging his remark- 
able and undeviating sagacity. Chantrey's father 
died when he was eight years of age, and his 



mother soon married again, which probably pre- 
vented an earlier consideration of her son's course 
of life, and his profession was not determined by 
his friends until he had reached his sixteenth 
year, at which period their intention was to place 
him with a lawyer in Sheffield. 

Chantrey saw in a shop window in that town 
some carving in wood, which induced him to de- 
clare his wish to be a carver instead of a solicitor, 
which was acceded to by his relatives, and he was, 
in consequence, bound apprentice to Mr. Ramsay, 
a carver in wood, at Sheffield, where he commenced 
a career for his future maintenance. At the house 
of his master, he met Mr. Raphael Smith, the 
distinguished draftsman in crayon. 

The works of that ingenious artist soon at- 
tracted the attention of young Francis, who took 
pleasure in seeing Mr. Smith paint, and rendered 
himself agreeable and serviceable in useful offices 
about the artist whilst he was painting, and he 


became so impressed with the desire of practising 
art in a higher class than wood carving, that at 
the age of twenty- one he gave the whole amount 
of his wealth, that being fifty pounds, to his 
master, to induce him to cancel his indentures ; 
for Chantrey's impatience to commence his course 
as an artist would not allow him to wait during 
the six months of his unexpired apprenticeship. 
With his freedom he began his studies and prac- 
tice in the liberal arts, and painted the portraits 
of his friends and others, by which he gained a 
small sum of money, and having borrowed a 
little, he ventured to try his fortune in London ; 
but with sagacious caution he sought employment 
as an assistant carver in wood, rather than as a 
painter in a metropolis, where so many able com- 
petitors were ready to impede, contest, and rival 
his progress. 

Soon after this time Chantrey went to Ireland, 
where he suffered so severely from a fever, that 

B 2 


his recovery was doubtful ; and in the progress of 
the disease he lost his hair, and was bald at his 
restoration to health, and so he remained during 
the rest of his life, which, however, rather im- 
proved than injured the character of his head ; 
and to those who never saw the sculptor, a por- 
trait of Shakspeare may supply a resemblance, as 
the pictures and prints of the immortal poet 
have often recalled his open countenance to 
the memory of his friends. Alluding to this 
supposed likeness he once observed, " Shakspeare 
might have been the ruin of me, for when I was 
young, and knew no better, I had been told I 
was like his picture, and that notion very nearly 
made me a coxcomb ; " for although Chantrey 
was confident in his capacity, yet he was quite 
free from conceit. At his return to England he 
continued carving, and executed some figures in 
wood, in the possession of Mr. Hope. During 
the time that Chantrey was a carver in Avood, he 


saw Mr. Rogers, and received employment from 
him. At an after period, when the artist 
had risen to eminence, the poet was reminded 
by the sculptor of their previous interview ; and 
the frank, courteous, and friendly recognition of 
each other cannot be described adequately by 
any one after having been heard by many in the 
admirably descriptive language of the author of 

the " Pleasures of Memory/' The intercourse 

of these persons, both distinguished for talent 

and conduct, was frequent and friendly; each had 
confidence in the ability and sincerity of the 
other, and their opinions and judgment often led 
the influential in the world, who were inexperi- 
enced in the arts, into the estimation of their 
beauties and advantages, and thereby rendered 
an important benefit to the taste of the country, 
and the professors in art. 

Chantrey became weary of carving, and recom- 
menced portrait painting, which he did in most 


instances gratuitously ; by this means he ob- 
tained some notice as an artist, and during this 
time he lived in various places, not being able 
to establish himself in any permanent residence 
by his efforts and ability in painting ; for he 
would have been a good painter, as his works, 
though few, are remarkable for colour and ex- 
pression ; the former is striking, from its entire 
freedom from the too prevailing fault of black- 
ness, being rich without gaudiness or positive 
colour, and they show that he was impressed by 
the tints of Velasquez, Murillo, Jan Stein, and 
Hogarth ; but it would have been difficult for him 
to finish very highly, as his sight was imperfect 
for diminutive objects. However, he continued 
his studies, and improved his talents in carving 
and modelling, by making models in clay of the 
human figure, and then hanging pieces of drapery 
on them, that he might get a perfect knowledge 
of the way, and the best way, that it should be 


represented. In this manner he was accustomed 
to work, and when he had completed one figure 
or mass of drapery, he pulled it down, and 
began to model another from drapery differently 
arranged ; for at that time he never did any thing 
without nature, or the material being before him. 
His first imaginative work was the model of the 
head of Satan, which was exhibited at the Royal 
Academy in the year 1808. His next work of 
any consequence was a monument to the memory 
of the Rev. J. Wilkinson, Vicar of Sheffield, and 
Prebendary of Ripon; his employers obliged 
him to complete the work in that town, as they 
suspected his ability to execute any thing of im- 
portance in marble. Soon after this his friend 
Mr. Tappin, the architect, introduced him to 
Mr. Daniel Alexander, from whom he received an 
order to execute four colossal busts for Greenwich 
Hospital, of the Admirals Duncan, Howe, Vin- 
cent, and Nelson, and this probably was the 


source which produced and forwarded his future 
employment and success ; for consoling as it 
may be to the unsuccessful, yet it should be 
cautionary to those entering the profession to 
know, that during eight years after the sculptor's 
commencement he avowed that he did not gain 
five pounds by his labour as a modeller, and until 
he executed the bust of Home Tooke in clay, he 
had but little prospect of success ; yet this single 
effort obtained for him commissions to the 
amount of 12,000. At this time he had 80 or 
100 guineas for a bust, and he continued to work 
at that rate for three years, when he raised his 
prices to 120 and 150 guineas, which he main- 
tained till 1822, when he raised the amount to 
200 guineas ; and when he modelled the bust of 
George the Fourth, the King wished him to 
encrease his price and insisted that the portrait 
of himself should not be carved by him in 
marble for a less sum than 300 guineas, what- 


ever might be his practice with respect to other 

In 18#& Chantrey married his cousin, Miss 
Wale; with the lady he received 10,000; this 
money enabled him to pay off some debts he had 
contracted, to purchase a house and ground, on 
which he built two houses, a studio and offices, 
also to buy marble to proceed in the career he 
had begun, with a reasonable chance of success. 
At this period circumstances seemed both favour- 
able and hazardous, for it was at this time that he 
was introduced by Mr. Raphael Smith to Home 
Tooke, then residing at Wimbledon, to which 
place Chantrey often went, accompanied by his 
wife, and there he joined in the society of the 
distinguished for ability and station, and became 
acquainted with Sir F. Burdett. This intercourse 
was very useful to the young professional man, 
for many were his opportunities of seeing the 
remarkable characters of the day, of profiting by 

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their conversation, and of exercising his own 
judgment respecting persons engaged in the great 
and busy career of the world, both in literature 
and politics ; and with regard to the latter, he 
received from his host, during the visits he made 
to Wimbledon, most salutary counsel, for he 
advised the young sculptor with earnest friend- 
ship to avoid even the appearance of disposition 
towards any party in politics, and in proof of 
indifference to get some known men of opposite 
opinions to those held by Home Tooke to sit to 
him for their portraits. 

These admonitions were carefully cherished 
and followed by Chantrey, at least during the 
time that he was dependent on public opinion; 
and through his life he never gave utterance to 
any sentiments that could shock a zealot in what- 
ever might be his favourite opinion or pursuit. 
This tender respect for the feelings of others is 
worthy of remark in a man who was peculiarly 


frank and unceremonious, with a jocular spirit 
and freedom of expression which was not agree- 
able to all. His rough manner was really 
an unconscious disguise to the most refined 
and almost Utopian notions with respect to 
character and conduct ; he expected the most 
rigorous attention to honour in an artist, with 
the most profound respect for truth, both pro- 
fessional and social; he also expected every ac- 
complishment that time, opportunity, or ability, 
could facilitate or achieve. Chantrey believed 
that the mind and the morals are improved by 
the contemplation of beautiful objects ; he valued 
everything for its intrinsic and rational import- 
ance, and almost underrated mere embellish- 
ments ; simplicity was the characteristic of the 
man and of his work ; he deemed every adventi- 
tious aid an error and deviation from the purity 
that should be sought for in the human form, 
and in historic composition. 


It would be difficult to overrate Chantrey's 
elevated feelings with respect to the completion 
of that character which in this country is deno- 
minated a gentleman; he gave due respect to 
rank, and willingly acknowledged its precedence, 
hut his devotion was to those by whom human 
intellect is cultivated for the promotion of virtue 
and general benevolence, and also to those 
engaged in the investigation of nature, and in 
the illustration of the wonders and beauties of 
creation. He cautiously and sometimes humor- 
ously avoided debates upon all subjects of con- 
troversy ; and to show his readiness to get rid 
of implication in any discussion, the following 
anecdote is a fair example. Chantrey dining 
with a large party where a royal personage, fond 
of being thought free in more than political 
opinions, was talking in his jocose tone of the 
religious principles entertained by various men, 
and of the different sects into which they were 


divided, his eye happening to catch that of 
Chantrey, he said, "What do you think about 
all this, Mr. Chantrey? and of what sect shall 
we call you ? " " Why, sir," said Chantrey, 
" when I lived in the north, my friends used to 
call me Derbyshire ; " which occasioned a laugh, 
and terminated the discussion. 

For the advantages he received from Home 
Tooke, his feeling of gratitude continued to the 
end of his life. About a year previous to Home 
Tooke's death, he desired Chantrey to procure for 
him a large black marble slab to place over his 
grave, which he intended should be in his garden 
at Wimbledon. This commission Chantrey exe- 
cuted, and went with Mrs. Chantrey to dine with 
Tooke on the day that it was forwarded to the 
dwelling of the latter. On the sculptor's arrival, 
his host merrily exclaimed, "Well, Chantrey, 
now that you have sent my tombstone, I shall be 
sure to live a year longer," which was actually 


the case. The marble was placed in the garden 
to await the termination of the earthly career of 
its owner, and Chantrey's sensibility made him 
regret that Home Tooke's will was not com- 
pletely complied with, for whether prudently or 
imprudently, his feeling of duty to a friend 
was not to be shaken by conditions or circum- 

In 1812 Mr. Stothard, the Academician, an 
artist distinguished for simplicity and beauty of 
style in his designs, introduced Chantrey to Mr. 
Johns, of Hafod, who entrusted to him the exe- 
cution of a very large monument to the memory 
of his daughter, which monument could not be 
exhibited at the Royal Academy on account of 
its size, but appeared in an exhibition at Spring 
Gardens. This work established the character of 
the artist for ability ; and in that year he obtained 
a commission from the City of London to execute 
a statue in marble of George the Third, for the 


Council Chamber at Guildhall; which is a good 
type of the whole-length statues he subsequently 
produced with such eminent skill in grandeur 
of design and boldness of execution. The late 
Sir William Curtis was chairman of the com- 
mittee for erecting this statue, and was 
friendly to Chantrey in consequence of the 
sculptor's plain and unpretending manner. The 
Committee thought his responsibility so doubt- 
ful, that they obliged him to procure two 
sureties for its erection, and these sureties were 
Mr. Alexander and Mr. Sloane, who bound 
themselves in responsibility for 600 before the 
City would issue any money for the progress 
of the work ; however, Sir W. Curtis, with the 
good feeling which prompted him to aid aspiring 
and assiduous merit, told the sculptor that in 
case he could not find such sureties for the 
completion of the work, that his countenance 
and conduct were sufficient guarantees to 


him, and that he, Sir W. Curtis, would be 

Soon after the peace of Amiens he went to 
Paris with Mr. Dennis, but of this journey he 
has left no document nor relative observations. 
When he revisited that capital in 1815 in com- 
pany with his wife, Mr. Stothard, and Mr. Alex- 
ander, he gave much attention to the works 
which then graced the Louvre ; those of Raphael 
gave him the most satisfaction, from the grandeur 
of the outline, the fulness of the parts, the pathos 
and force of the whole. Titian excited his ad- 
miration for his colour and chiaroscuro, and 
in particular, " The Entombment," which he 
always spoke of as a pre-eminent work, yet 
not so excelling as to disparage the subjects 
of "Christ at Emmaus," and the "Deriding of 
the Saviour " by the same hand ; if works were 
not of first-rate quality he gave them little 


From this period Chantrey's progress was steady 
and successful, and his busts and monumental 
works all tended to augment his reputation. 
Amongst his portraits may be named the bust of 
Lady Gertrude Sloane ; Professor Playfair ; the 
bust of the King ; that of J. "Watt ; the Marquis 
of Anglesea ; Sir Joseph Banks ; Earl St. Vincent, 
and others. 

In 1817 he produced the monument of the two 
children now in Lichfield Cathedral, which was 
exhibited at the Royal Academy in Somerset 
House, where it had a distinguished place ; this 
able production attracted the attention and ex- 
acted the admiration of all persons, whether mere 
spectators alive to natural feelings, or the more 
cultivated in taste and practised in art ; and such 
was the impression on the public, that the 
sculptor was raised to the highest class of merit 
in his profession. The following letter from the 
learned and accomplished Lord Grenville is a 


proof of the attention and admiration this piece 
of sculpture excited : 

Charles Street, May 1, 1827. 

" Qualem virgineo demessum pollice florem 
Seu mollis violae, seu languentis hyacinth!; 
Cui neque fulgor adhuc, nee dum sua forma recessit; 
Non jam mater alit tellua, viresque ministrat." 

EID. xi. 68. 


The above are the lines I mentioned to 
you this morning; I have always considered 
them as among the most beautiful in Virgil, but 
I know not whether even they are not surpassed 
in my judgment by their graphical illustration 
in that admirable work which I again saw this 
morning, and, as I always see it, with increased 
delight. This is no compliment, but the real 
expression of my feelings. 

I looked into Dryden for his translation of the 
above verses, and was mortified to see that it is 


among the very worst parts of that extremely 
unequal work. 

Believe me ever, dear Sir, 

Most truly and sincerely 
Your obedient humble servant, 


This work was carefully attended to in all its 
parts ; and a friend of Chantrey's being at Lich- 
field Cathedral, and looking with others at the 
monument, heard a spectator observe, " How ad- 
mirably the mattress on which the children are 
lying is represented," but made no comment on 
the figures. When Chantrey was told of this 
remark, he observed, " that he who said so was a 
sensible honest man, for he spoke of that which 
he understood, and of nothing else." In the 
following year, 1818, he confirmed and secured 
the respect of all lovers of the tender and the 
beautiful in representative art, by his small 


statue of Lady Louisa Russell, the beauty of 
which made every parent covet portraits of their 
offspring hy the hand of an artist so capable of 
transmitting to posterity a cherished recollection 
of infantile loveliness. Academic honours also 
attended the demonstration of such ability, and 
he was elected an Associate, and an Academician 
as soon after as the custom of the Royal Academy 

The commission to execute the President Blair's 
statue for Edinburgh, was the source of Chan- 
trey's acquaintance with his friend Mr. Macono- 
chie (now Lord Meadowbank), who was chairman 
of the committee for that work, and whose zeal 
and confidence in Chantrey's capability served 
him in the metropolis of the North. This statue 
is a very beautiful example of portrait sculpture, 
and is worthy of any country or period of art. 
Lord Melville's statue was also executed by him 
for Edinburgh, but it is of a heavier and less 


agreeable character than his other works. Chan- 
trey's monuments and monumental statues were 
always touching and replete with sentiment, 
whilst his statues of children went to the heart of 
every mother, and delighted every parent. He 
was accustomed to laugh at what he called the 
classic style, though no one came so near to it as 
himself; for his works are free from every ex- 
traneous ornament or decoration, and he rejected 
everything that called the attention from the 
simple dignity of the subject represented. He 
objected to modern warriors in the Roman 
cuirass, and statesmen with bare arms and legs, 
yet he did not fail to develop the noblest forms 
through his drapery. 

Chantrey soon had several commissions for 
works in bronze ; and, although he always dis- 
liked and contemned that class of statuary, yet, 
f as it became his duty to follow the wish of his 
patrons, he intended to employ some of the great 


founders in brass of the Metropolis to cast his 
figures; but as he could not succeed in that 
respect as he desired, he determined to render 
his work as perfect as possible, and built a large 
foundry in Eccleston Place, which was conve- 
niently near to his residence. The equestrian 
statue of Sir Thomas Munro, now at Madras, 
which excites the wonder of every Indian, and 
the esteem of those more advanced in taste for 
art, the statue of George the Fourth in Trafalgar 
Square, and that of the Duke of Wellington in 
front of the Royal Exchange, were founded in 
the new building. He thought that in these 
statues he would endeavour, if it were possible, to 
take a position for the horse which had not been 
adopted by former artists ; and the simplest, and 
certainly the most reasonable presented itself, 
namely, that of standing: in this intention he 
was encouraged by Lord Egremont and others. 
Before he commenced these equestrian statues, 


he sought every information he could as to what 
had already been done and what might be done 
of a novel character; he searched and examined 
all the casts and prints of figures on horseback, 
and seemed more struck by the equestrian 
statue by Verrocchio,* which he had seen when 
at Venice, from the spirited character of the 
rider, which is unlike any other : and if he had 
lived to execute any more statues of this class, 
he would, if consistent with the subject, have 
attempted something of the kind. 

In 1819 he went to Italy, in company with 
J. Jackson, R. A., and his early friend Mr. Read, 
and united business with pleasure in a most 
sensible way ; for by a visit to Carrara, he 
secured marble of the finest quality, and his 

* " II cavallo ha molto energia nel suo movimento, e senza esser 
punto esagerato, mostra totalmente d'avanzare nel passo che sem- 
bra voler scendere dal piedestallo. Nessun cavallo che posa su 
tre jambe avendone elevata una sola, espresse mai con altrettanta 
giustezza il suo movimento, comme quello del Verrocchio." 

CICOGNARA, lib. vi., cap. 6, vol. 3. 


sagacious liberality was rewarded by having the 
choicest blocks reserved for his use. An amus- 
ing occurrence took place when he first visited 
the quarries ; for, although he was expected there, 
he went without announcing himself otherwise 
than as a purchaser. He desired to be shown 
specimens of marble ; he was taken to various 
places, and many inferior samples were shown to 
him, all of which he rejected ; when, either recol- 
lecting or having indulged himself long enough 
with the dissimulation of the Italians, he avowed 
who he was ; and in a briefer space than he could 
calculate, he was hurried to places where most 
beautiful portions of the choicest marble had been 
already selected for his approval. Yet it must 
not be supposed that the mercantile in any way 
superseded or interfered with the feelings of the 
artist, for he gave great attention to all the 
sculpture and -all the paintings he saw whilst in 
Italy ; and it is to be lamented that he did not 


commit to paper his opinions, so that few can be 
known except by the recollection of his friends. 
At Venice he was so much struck by the works 
of Titian and Tintoretto, that he wrote to a 
painter in England, in whose opinion he had 
much confidence, to ask him what he thought of 
these masters, when he obtained for answer, 
" That Titian was the most beautiful painter, but 
that Tintoretto was the greater man :" he avowed 
the like to be his opinion, as well as that of 
Jackson, the Academician. 

Chantrey's notes in a sketch-book inform us 
that he arrived with his party at Rome, on the 
13th of October, 1819, and engaged apartments 
at the Hotel de Londres, consisting of five bed- 
rooms, a dining-room, and a sitting-room. On 
the ensuing day, he went to St. Peter's and the 
Vatican, with the intention of taking merely 
a cursory view, for which he thought an hour or 
two might be sufficient; but his interest was 


excited, and he remained there till late in the 
clay. It was not easy to get Chantrey to speak 
of the collection of antique figures in the Vati- 
can ; for, excepting general approbation of the 
" Laocoon " and the " Apollo," little could be 
gained from him with respect to his opinion ; 
but he looked curiously, and with assiduity, into 
many things that were unheeded by others ; and 
he often pointed out simple beauties which no 
other eye seemed to observe. He might say with 
Cicero, " In minimis rebus ssepe res magnas 
vidi." Probably he found so much of the sculp- 
ture had been the work of restoration, and so 
much of a doubtful character, that he did not 
like to hazard a remark, particularly as he was 
always unwilling to disparage any works, if they 
gave pleasure to the owners or to the public. 
He did not think very highly of the busts ; his 
continued practice in that branch of the art 
rendered it almost impossible that his judgment 


respecting them should not be elicited. Amongst 
these busts there is a head of Socrates, to which 
Chantrey bore considerable resemblance, although 
the marble has a beard which conceals the mouth, 
and that feature of the English sculptor was the 
best in his face, and before he sunk into ill 
health it was of the most perfect form and beau- 
tiful expression. If the countenance had some 
similitude, so had the mind of the philosopher 
and the sculptor, for they were guided alike 
by strong reason and rigid investigation ; both 
were slow to determine, and required the most 
accurate evidence for decision : yet Chantrey was 
tender and sensitive as a child, charitable without 
limit, and so devoted in his friendship, that his loss 
is irreparable to those he cherished and esteemed. 
Few as Chantrey' s notes were on Rome, there 
is one stating, that on the 1 5th he sketched the 
view from the steps of the Piazza d'Espagna. 
He was fond of landscape, and successful in its 



representation; Lady Chantrey has many inter- 
esting volumes of sketches made by her husband 
during his journey through Italy and other 
places, all ably executed. At the Capitol he 
remarks " that the busts are numerous, and 
most of them very bad ; there are not any statues 
worthy of notice, excepting The Gladiator and 
Antinous, and about eight or ten that are in a 
small room, and were at Paris in 1815." 

Of the pictures, he says, " They are neither 
numerous nor good; Guercino's great picture of 
The Entombment of Sta. Petronella is spotty 
in its effect." On the 16th he called on Thor- 
valdsen, for whose works he had a great respect. 
He has left no account of his intercourse with 
the great sculptors of Rome, yet that it was 
of the most friendly and intimate character is 
known by his conversation ; and he brought to 
England a fine portrait of Canova. Chautrey's 
communication with Canova seems to have been 


more frequent and familiar than with Thorvald- 
sen, which, as far as art is concerned, is remark- 
able, for the English sculptor's style is much 
more like Thorvaldsen's than that of his great 
Italian contemporary. But Canova was in the 
world of fashion, and Chantrey fond of society, 
which may account for his greater intimacy with 
the Italian; possibly also from correspondence 
before their personal acquaintance; as Chantrey 
had previously determined to bring from Rome a 
good portrait of Canova, and for that purpose 
induced his friend Jackson, the eminent portrait 
painter, to accompany him to that city. It 
is to be regretted that the same able hand did 
not paint a picture of Thorvaldsen, to recal to 
the British public the sculptor of " La Notte." 
Chantrey gave the preference to the " Hebe " by 
that artist to the " Hebe " by Canova. The 
simplicity and beauty of the " Mercury " and 
" La Frode Smascherata/' with the bas-relief 


called " La Linea della Vita Humana/' executed 
for Lord Lucan by the Dane, received from 
Chantrey the commendation they deserved; in 
the lighter works, such as the " Danzetrici " and 
others, Canova might claim the superiority for 
taste and elegance, though probably they are 
too theatrical. Chantrey estimated Canova' s 
works highly, and acknowledged they had grace 
and dignity; but still thought them liable to 
the accusation of depending too much upon ex- 
treme ornament : with respect to the deco- 
ration of metal and colour, his opinion was in 
unison with that which has been well stated by 
the author of the " Diary of an Invalid." * 

Chantrey never liked to draw comparisons, 
from a generous feeling, and to avoid anything 
invidious among contemporaries. A touching tes- 
timony of friendship was evinced by the English 

* " There is a trickery and quackery in the finishing of Canova's 
statues, which is below the dignity of a sculptor. The marble is 
not left in its natural state, but it must be stained and polished 


and Roman sculptor changing cloaks at the de- 
parture of the former for England. 

Chantrey's estimate of the works of art in Italy 
was of a sensible character, not influenced by 
prejudice in favour of any style, but by a desire 
to appreciate the works justly, and by their com- 
pleteness in all respects. The well known and 
often described specimens of ancient sculpture 
found in him a ready admirer ; but he was not 
prepared to go the length of travellers in Italy 
with respect to the ruins and antiquities of Rome; 
he selected and intensely admired a few; and they 
were admired by him for their perfection not from 
association of ideas or from historical or classical 
reminiscences they were admired solely on their 
merit as works of art. The greater number of the 
ancient columns in the capital of the world had 

to aid the effect. The other sculptors laugh at this ; and well 
they may for these adventitious graces soon fade away, and are 
beside the purpose of sculpture, whose end was and is to 
represent form alone." Page 144. 


no effect upon him; but he spoke of, and felt 
deeply, the beauty of proportion in the three 
remaining columns of Jupiter Stator, and others 
of similar merit. 

The Pantheon within and without gave him 
great pleasure, particularly the interior, which he 
thought as noble in invention as in execution ; the 
open roof coincided with his notion of simplicity. 
The Portico of Octavia, now the Fish Market, 
and the Portico of Antoninus, now part of the 
Custom House, gave him entire satisfaction ; the 
Theatre of Pompey, the Colosseum, the Cloaca, and 
a few others, for their massiveness and grandeur ; 
at the same time he was never beguiled into a 
superlative estimation of all the edifices in Rome 
admired by some modern travellers; for when 
the Corso was designated "a street of beautiful 
palaces," he fairly inquired as to the architectural 
merits of those buildings, and though they might 
be imposing if the street were wide enough to 


afford them effect, yet, as examples of art, lie 
thought them far from estimable. The only 
edifices of that class that would excite much atten- 
tion are the Farnese Palace and the Chancelry. 

The villas in the neighbourhood he thought 
elegant, and proved that variety in build- 
ing, if under the guidance of good sense and 
propriety, tends much to the beauty of a 

Chantrey spoke but little of the merits of 
Michael Angelo and Raphael in public ; to his 
artist friends his opinions were frequently given. 
Of the works of Michael Angelo, he conversed 
with those artists to whom the great style 
was the object of pursuit, for he was accustomed 
to say, very fairly, that the works of that stupen- 
dous genius could not be appreciated by others, 
and that it was unfair to expect any one to judge 
of a language that they had not studied and could 
not understand ; but his high opinion in favour 



of the Prophets and Sybils, as well as " The 
Last Judgment," could not be surpassed. The 
simplicity with which the latter complex subject 
is treated, astonished and delighted him : the 
story so well told ; the large groups so beautiful 
and complete in themselves, contributing to, 
without interrupting any part of the whole, gave 
him the highest respect for the power of the 
great artist ; and these qualities united with the 
forcible and careful drawing, the massy yet 
elegant forms replete with strength, activity, and 
energy, aided in effect by the small expressive 
heads and extremities, tending to increase the 
appearance of robust bodies without diminishing 
their intellectual character. 

The English sculptor liked the paintings of 
Michael Angelo better than his sculpture; the 
" Moses " at Rome tends to the extravagant ; 
but Michael Angelo's errors are of so grand a 
character, that the world has been content to 


consider them as beauties. However, he held 
the unfinished " Madonna" at Florence to be a 
work of wonderful promise, and spoke of this 
great master with unbounded enthusiasm ; and 
if he had not early learned the preponderating 
beauty of the Elgin marbles, the great Italian 
would have been the example of his choice. 
He thought more highly of the works in the 
Medici Chapel at Florence than most of his 
brethren ; the grand invention of the tombs, the 
individual figures in their expression, attitude, and 
form, left his critical acumen nothing to suggest 
or object to, which is as remarkable as it is con- 
clusive with respect to the merits of those great 
works, for Chan trey was ever, and under all cir- 
cumstances, such a lover of simplicity, that most 
persons would conclude that the energy displayed 
by Michael Angelo would pass without due appre- 
ciation from the author of the children at Lichfield, 
the Bedford infant, and the Jordan monument. 


Chantrey's journey through Italy seems to 
have been in furtherance of his desire to learn 
what to avoid rather than what to adopt. * His 
view of his own art was of so pure a character 
that it was of necessity very limited, but it was 
always grand : few and uninterrupted lines, large 
and unbroken forms, the lights and shadows 
massive and few ; everything he did told, and he 
never estimated labour that did not speak forcibly 
to the eye and the intellect. 

Although Chantrey's opinion of Michael Angelo 
was high, yet he did not consider the sculptor 
and painter simple enough for entire imitation ; 
he looked with more rational pleasure on the 
works of Raphael, and although he did not think 
him so powerful as his great rival, he thought 

* * Doctus ingeniosissimse antiquitatis Imitator, ut vitia sollicite 
declinat, ita virtutis studiose consectatur ; neque solum virtutes 
eorum, quos in exemplar sibi assumpsit, intelligere debet, verum 
etiam vitia, quandoquidem summi judicii est in alienis operibus 
ea notare, in propriis vitare." JUNIUS DE PICT. VET. c. III. 6. 


him more within the reach of public estimation, 
and often spoke of their respective beauties ; he 
knew well all the Stanze, and his judgment was 
at times developed when he was induced to 
speak with reference to their composition, colour, 
and chiaroscuro. He wondered, and was silent 
when he heard the works of Raphael's prede- 
cessors spoken of with a preference to the more 
mature style of that master, and felt how little 
art was likely to advance, if Michael Angelo, 
Raphael, and Leonardo, had lived in vain ; 
for, however meritorious the truth, purity, 
sweetness, and occasional gracefulness of the 
earlier masters, yet their merits may be compared 
to the tenderness of a child opposed to the 
masculine vigour of the adult. 

The dry style may be accurate and true, but it 
can never produce a natural combination that will 
give form its real and developed perfection ; 
at the same time, in Giotto, John of Fiesole, 


Masaccio, and others, the rudiments of beauty are 
to be found ; and in one master a sudden maturity 
was evinced which left nothing but magnitude 
to be desired. That master was Ghiberti, who 
worked with a painter's and a sculptor's skill, 
producing form, grace, beauty, simplicity, com- 
position, and effect ; and, although his style may 
be too florid for the art of relief, yet the com- 
mendation of Buonarotti proves his estimation of 
the precious doors at Florence, which he declared 
to be worthy of being the gates of Paradise, and, 
if they are too like pictures to be consistent 
with the simplicity of sculpture, let it be re- 
membered that Ghiberti commenced his career as 
a painter. 

It is also agreeable to know that these works 
were so much esteemed by the contemporaries of 
the sculptor, that, when the designs of Brunal- 
leschi, Donatello, and Ghiberti, were sent in 
competition for decorating the doors, the two 


former instantly avowed that the preference 
ought to be given to Ghiberti ; this generosity 
is as worthy of imitation as the beauties of these 
masters, and it may be consoling to the student 
to see that the works of Donatello, Luca della 
Robbia, and Ghiberti, marked out a path, which 
was carried forward by Michael Angelo and 
Raphael, and which they have left for farther 

Chantrey disapproved of the introduction of so 
much matter as these alti-rilievi by Ghiberti con- 
tain, yet their individual beauties were strongly 
retained in his mind, and his opinions on the 
various subjects introduced on the panels were 
nearly as follow. He thought the composition of 
" The Creation " to be of the most difficult cha- 
racter, as combining several subjects and periods 
of time ; probably the figure of the Divinity 
in the birth of Eve is too near, and partly 
hidden by the Angels in the portion which 


represents the creation of man ; the gracefulness 
of the figures, the drawing, and the drapery, 
may satisfy a taste formed on works of the best 

In " The Death of Abel " every object is simple, 
natural, and graceful, united with the extreme 
vigour of the figure in action ; the three 
figures on the spectator's right hand might have 
formed a less perpendicular line, one being 
placed immediately above the other, though 
in perspective. But as the subjects alluded to 
are distinct, and in separate compositions, the 
preceding observation probably should have no 

" The Deluge/' or rather, its termination, is 
admirably displayed in the assembled family of 
Noah in the centre of the bas-relief with the 
birds and animals around. 

"The Sacrifice" is beautiful and complete, 
whilst, on the other side, " The Exposure of 


Noah " is expressed with all the sensibility that 
delicate and pure feeling could suggest. 

The " Visit of the Angels to Abraham " is 
perfect, and doubtless gave rise to the most beau- 
tiful of Raphael's compositions, for the same 
subject treated by the latter is too similar not to 
remind one of this exquisite invention. The 
taste displayed in the draperies has few parallels, 
and the whole panel is disposed of in a happy 
arrangement of consecutive subjects. The dra- 
peries in the story of " Passing the Jordan " are 
admirable, and there is not an ungraceful figure 
in the composition, but each might have, and 
has served for a model in the best time of 
art. " Moses receiving the Law " is replete 
with good forms, attitudes, and fine draperies, 
in which may be found the simplicity of Giotto, 
with the cultivation of Raphael ; and in the 
angels, and the male and female figures in 
the foreground, may be traced the examples 


which led to works that receive the admiration 
of the world. 

" Isaac blessing Jacob " is beautiful in all its 
detached groups, and well embodied as a whole ; 
the forms are all good, and there is not an objec- 
tionable figure in the whole compartment. 

In the panel containing the subject from the 
history of Joseph there are many figures that 
Raphael has made use of in his cartoons, and they 
are figures that require no addition of taste, but 
only a better relative position, which has been felt 
and accomplished by the follower of Ghiberti; 
the old man resting on his staff, the figure dic- 
tating, the female carrying a load, are dignified 
and graceful, uniting the simplicity of the earliest 
art with the perfection resulting from observation 
and discriminating selection. 

"David and Goliath." This is probably the least 
estimable of those wonderful works as regards 
composition and elegant forms, yet the figure of 


the youthful shepherd is admirable, the arms are 
beautiful in design and execution, and the figures 
looking on the vanquished giant are infinitely 

The panel which is adorned with some of the 
acts of Solomon is full of elegant figures and 
draperies, which, to an artist's eye, may direct to 
even higher things than have been accomplished. 
Many of the figures have either been imitated by 
Raphael, or that great master's conceptions and 
those of his predecessor were cast nearly in the 
same mould. 

In the history of Joseph's Brethren, the groups 
are admirable ; that in which the cup is found in 
Benjamin's sack leaves nothing to desire; the 
grace, expression, and combination of the figures 
seem perfect, and the innocence of the accused 
child is positive in the representation. On the 
opposite side, the woman carrying the bundle on 
her head, with a child by her side, combined 


with a single back figure, and other attendants 
facing the spectator, constitute a beautiful and 
natural composition. 

" Moses on Mount Sinai " is very grand ; the 
great receiver of the Decalogue is grandly treated, 
and the multitude at the base of the mountain 
formed of fine and expressive groups : that on the 
right of the panel is particularly striking from the 
gracefulness of the figures ; a female with a child 
is beautifully composed, with the simplicity of the 
most unpretending masters, and the grandeur 
which nature always developes when in perfec- 
tion, and judiciously selected. The next figure, a 
woman, is very fine and dignified. 

But to return to painting : Chantrey admired 
the " St. Jerome," by Domenichino ; the simplicity 
of composition, the sobriety of the whole work, 
accorded with his notions of excellence ; he would 
have preferred a saint more spiritual in character, 
and more expressive of higher qualities, for, how- 


ever well the painting of the saint may be in 
execution, he disliked the expression of the head, 
which he thought ought to have been of the 
most elevated character, the moment being that 
of beatification ; consequently, he looked for a 
radiant confidence and superhuman reliance in 
the countenance, which might be expected in such 
spiritual exaltation : instead of which, the hand 
of a great artist has condescended to depict the 
mere indication of disease and feebleness, which 
it might be well to display in the human body, 
but not in parts where mental ecstasy might be 
developed. To the lion in the corner he objected 
as injurious to the sentiment of the work. 

He was a good judge of composition, and 
esteemed this effort of the master, as much as he 
was inclined to disparage the " St. Sebastian " at 
the Santa Maria degli Angeli, and the " Rosario" 
of Bologna, on account of their opposite qualities. 

The church of San Pietro, in Montorio. once 


contained "The Transfiguration/' by Raphael, 
now in the collection of the Vatican. Chantrey 
thought of " The Transfiguration " as all artists 
think, but would observe he did not expect the 
uninitiated to participate in admiration of merit 
they did not understand, particularly as the 
picture is liable to the objection of representing 
two events, which occurred at different times. 
If any refinements in composition were sug- 
gested, such as obviating the continued or pro- 
longed line of two elevated arms, he was in the 
habit of observing that the sublime unity of the 
whole ought to supersede such trifling errors, if 
errors they be ; yet he always felt that the public 
ought not to be censured by artists if they did 
not estimate sufficiently works that gradually 
grow on practised and experienced men, for the 
perception of such merits increases in proportion 
as the artist endeavours to imitate them. 

Chantrey was struck with a picture painted in 


oil on the plaster by Sebastian del Piombo, after 
Michael Angelo's design ; it represents the 
scourging of Christ ; it is painted in a semicircle 
or niche, and consequently difficult to remove, or 
in all probability a picture of this extraordinary 
merit would have been taken with " The Trans- 
figuration" by the French. Painting this picture 
with oil-colour on stone seems to have been an 
experiment by Sebastian, which has not succeeded 
as far as the pigment, vehicle, and foundation are 
concerned; but it proves, like the works by 
Raphael in the Hall of Constantine, that these 
great artists were not satisfied with the effect of, 
or the materials used in, fresco painting. 

On the 17th, Chantrey visited the Vatican, 
and gave great consideration to the paintings, 
though his notes are by no means copious on 
either the subjects therein, or their execution ; 
but as he was to dine that day with Sir 
Thomas Lawrence in the Quirinal Palace, he 


may probably have bestowed more attention, 
thinking the conversation might be on the merits 
of Raphael. 

He concurred in the following opinions of the 
works of that great master, including the Car- 
toons in England, rather than the tapestry in the 
Vatican. The prison scene in the Stanza of 
" The Liberation of Peter " is like a Rembrandt 
in effect; the angel conducting Peter is grand, 
solemn, and admirably suited to the subject. 
The guards are defective in form and arrange- 
ment, offering unpleasant lines, which perhaps 
give wildness to their terror ; but are not the only 
characteristics of alarm that could be chosen, and 
they disturb the dignity of this beautiful work. 

" The Parnassus " must be examined for 
the individual figures and some of the groups. 
Few will be found to admire the Apollo in this 
picture, and the whole has less of interest than 
any other of the Stanze. 


To* the sculptor's eye "The Miracle of Bol- 
sena" appeared spotty, yet he delighted in the 
' simplicity of the Pope ; and the priest, also, 
with the attendants at the base of the picture, 
below the Pope. On the opposite side the figures 
are probably too airy to be consistent with the 
whole subject, though they are individually full of 
beauty, and the whole has the character of a 
Venetian picture. 

"The Dispute on the Sacrament" is a most 
difficult and admirable composition; the figures 
are designed with excellent skill. Almost every 
position taken separately is fit for a statue, 
yet they compose into exquisite groups. Some 
standing figures, that have the character of por- 
traiture, are not quite so elegant. 

The " Heliodorus " in the action and ex- 
pression of the principal figures is admirable. 
Some objection may possibly be made to the 
group on the opposite side and next to the 


Pope; the beauty and dignity portrayecl in 
Julius and his supporters, can alone excuse the 

The Stanza of " Attila " is full of energy and 
fine colour, with all the dignity intended to be 
conveyed to the leading characters in the drama. 
The two soldiers in the centre of the fore- 
ground appear as if introduced after the ori- 
ginal design had been made, owing probably to 
the artist's detecting some barrenness in the 
composition. , 

" The School of Athens " is replete with beau- 
tiful figures; it is admirably though theatrically 
arranged ; but the architecture is contrasted in a 
manner to harmonise with the groups, and to 
constitute a complete whole. Some of the in- 
dividuals represented are amongst the finest 
examples of form and drapery. In a work so 
distinguished for excellence it is almost an 
offence to remark that the group observing 


the mathematical demonstration might be im- 

The " Incendio del Borgo " has in it but little 
of Raphael's work; though the design may be 
entirely his, yet the figures dropping from the 
walls have been so re-painted that they have no 
character of originality, and but little beauty. 
The female figure in the centre of the picture 
has no claim to the grace that always flowed from 
the pencil of the great Italian. Chantrey 
believed that all which has been done may be 
exceeded when genius and ability are equal to 
the task; for, as Raphael has surpassed the 
lay-figure art of most of his predecessors, so 
no reason exists why Raphael should not be 
surpassed. The sculptor acknowledged the 
approach to perfection in the Cartoons now 
in England, and often commented on their 

" The Miraculous Draught of Fishes " he 



admired for the extreme simplicity and natural 
action of the figures, combined with the graceful 
composition of the group. Raphael did not 
think, like many painters, that to be natural and 
true is enough ; he sought and obtained that 
which nature often does and constantly can do, 
which is to produce truth, ease, action, and 
beauty, in complete union. When any one made 
the oft-repeated observation on the smallness of 
the boats for such a weight, he always quoted 
Fuseli, " Why, that adds to the miracle." 

" The Beautiful Gate of the Temple " is a very 
extraordinary work, from its novelty and the 
difficulty of treating the subject in so natural 
yet so interesting a manner; the success has 
been nearly complete, and might have been quite 
so, but for the back of the naked boy in the 
foreground ; he suffers in contrast with the 
beautiful child carrying the doves. 

" The Sacrifice " is most intelligently con- 


ceived, until we arrive at the Saint who is not 
tearing his vestments, but merely baring his 
breast, as it were for inspection; but it is 
very difficult to say how such an action should 
be represented without rendering it liable to 
other interpretations. The persons engaged 
in the sacrifice are admirable; the incredulous 
man examining the leg of the restored suppliant 
is complained of as being too puerile and insig- 
nificant, but the mass of figures approaching 
the insulated apostles is admirably managed, 
and was a favourite mode of composition of 
Raphael, as well as of Masaccio: the two 
children at the altar are beautiful. 

In the " Saint Paul preaching at Athens," the 
figure of the preacher will be found to be too short, 
and the figures near, and behind him, rather too 
large; the drapery of the nearest figure in the 
foreground is not so perfect as most examples 
from the hand of Raphael. The figures on the 


second ground seem complete in every respect, 
and the whole scene has a surprising air of 

" Christ delivering the Keys to Peter " is 
probably the most difficult subject of the seven 
Cartoons in England, and the artist has succeeded 
to an extent, that objection would almost become 
a wanton vice. The separation of the great Actor 
from the attendant group, the humble attitude 
of the distinguished apostle, the affection and 
admiration of the remainder, may satisfy the 
critical artist and the pious Christian. But 
merely to show that these opinions result from 
close attention to the work, a more graceful line 
than that which terminates the composition, by 
the figure in red, might be chosen, and the artist 
himself probably felt this objection, and was 
therefore induced to introduce the dark boat in 
such a situation, to conduct the composition 
to the end of the picture. 


With respect to the Cartoon " of the Death of 
Ananias," opinions are united, for the way in 
which the story is told seems perfect ; the calm- 
ness of the apostles, the surprise of the uninspired 
spectators, the dying figure, and the sordid in- 
terest of Sapphira, are all developed so forcibly, 
that if there be small portions and forms that 
might be improved, it would be hazardous to 
point them out, as they may really contribute 
in some indirect way to the effect of the 

" Elymas the Sorcerer " alone remains to be 
noticed; Elymas is a striking figure, and those 
behind him are of fine and exalted character ; 
the apostle is deficient in dignity, and the pro- 
consul is of inferior character; the person on his 
left projecting a naked arm is awkward; the 
remainder is feeble, and the smallness of the 
architecture is detrimental to the effect. 

Such was the opinion of Chantrey respecting 


Raphael's works, as well as the recollection of 
various conversations can supply. 

On the 18th of October, Chantrey accompanied 
Lady Davy to the Quirinal Palace, to see the 
pictures of the Pope and Cardinal Gonsalvi, by 
Sir Thomas Lawrence ; he was much gratified, 
and always spoke with much energy in praise 
of those masterly productions. The whole treat- 
ment of the portrait of the Pope he considered 
admirable for its grandeur, simplicity, expression, 
and careful execution. The latter was so stu- 
diously attended to, that Lawrence bestowed 
some time in making separate studies from the 
Laocoon in chalk, to introduce into that picture, 
and these drawings are now in the possession 
of Mr. Jones, being given to him by their 
author, the late President of the Royal Academy, 
who was an earnest admirer of the Antique, 
which the collection of casts that adorned his 
house in Russell Square proved sufficiently ; 


consequently he dwelt with more than ordinary 
pleasure on the original in the Vatican, and 
possibly his enthusiasm went even beyond that of 
the sculptor. 

Of the frescoes in the Vatican and Sistine 
Chapel these artists thought alike, and Lawrence 
had copies made from some of the figures by 
Michael Angelo. They also considered that the 
Hall of Constantine is in a great measure a 
proof of Raphael's preference for oil painting, as 
he commenced the works in that chamber in oil, 
probably feeling that much more could be done 
with such a vehicle, and also that he would have 
the power of correcting his work, which, although 
so good, would not bear the scrutiny that anato- 
mical knowledge might demand. For often it 
would be very difficult or impossible to place the 
skeleton within some of Raphael's contours- yet 
it may be said that such errors were the errors 
of his scholars : however, he has left the most 



exquisite specimens of beauty, roundness, and 
chiaroscuro in his figures of Justice and Benig- 
nity, which are painted in oil, and claim the 
admiration of all artists. Camucini had copies of 
them in his studio at Rome. 

Fresco painting may be the means of improving 
the class of subjects brought before the world 
at the present time, as the art of painting is 
now much degraded by the trifling and humble 
matter produced; which neither contribute to 
the advancement of piety, patriotism, or senti- 
ment, but are mere examples of dexterity and 
practice. At the same time fresco painting may 
suspend the progress of colouring and chiaroscuro, 
not owing to any deficiency in the artists 
employed, but to the nature of the materials, 
for colour cannot be produced in perfection with- 
out a shining or polished surface, as is exemplified 
in precious stones, marbles, woods, &c., therefore 
the easel should not be neglected for plaster 


walls. Both may proceed, the one for great and 
decorative works, the other for domestic ornament, 
to contribute to the improvement of mankind 
in those places, where repose, pleasure, and in- 
struction are sought. 

" The Battle of Constantine and Maxentius " is 
executed in fresco' by Julio Romano, and few 
have been found to advocate this work of art, 
for even with the design of Raphael, beautiful 
as it is in parts, the whole is far from satisfactory, 
and deficient in breadth of chiaroscuro ; the 
greatest admirers of the designer of this work do 
not consider it a good specimen of his style of 

It is probable that general effect in a picture 
is *o necessary that its absence cannot be satis- 
factory. By general effect must be understood 
that agreeable contrast of masses of light and 
shadow, or local light and dark, which at once 
calls the spectator to the most important matter ; 


but if a picture consist of spots of light and 
dark, the eye and mind are equally distracted; 
the work is unsatisfactory to the first and makes 
no impression on the last, so that a good outline 
is more impressive. 

Another failure often occurs in supposing that 
the mere arrangement of unobjectionable colours, 
on well drawn and draped figures, can satisfy the 
judgment or please the taste of the spectator : this 
is the cause that many able efforts fail in their 
effect, as exemplified in the works produced in a 
nation highly meritorious for its zeal in the 
resuscitation of fine art. 

Effect must be attained, and the stronger the 
better; and it is possible that if Raphael had 
been a greater master of chiaroscuro and colour, 
his works would have forced conviction and 
wonder, where they now only give pleasure and 
elicit approbation. It has been unwisely said, 
that the one class of art and the other are not 


compatible ; and it is believed to be so, because 
the Bolognese school tried the combination, and 
failed ; but that school, with all its power, failed 
not from the impossibility of attaining the 
object, but from its inability to accomplish it. 
Generally speaking, dry and ordinary truth satis- 
fied them ; they did not look to the perfections 
or casualties of nature, from which all that is 
intended to strike in art must be selected. 

Among the proofs of the possibility of such 
combinations, many examples from Raphael may 
be produced; for it is a common observation 
among the instructed, that " The Miracle of Bol- 
sena" has the colour and effect of Titian ; and 
also, that "The Liberation of Peter" has the 
chiaroscuro of Rembrandt, which proves the possi- 
bility of uniting the most beautiful and interesting 
design with the attraction of effect; also that 
Raphael did not disdain its aid when he could 
accomplish it. That wonderful artist seized every- 


thing that could enhance the impression his 
works were intended to make : therefore, he did 
not scruple to avail himself of the works of 
Ghiberti, Signorelli, John of Fiesole, Masaccio; 
and nearly in every instance his knowledge 
and taste were improved on examples he 

Michael Angelo felt this requisite in art, and 
in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, his pictures 
of " The Creation of Man/' " David and Goliath," 
"Elisha," "Judith and Holofernes," "Haman 
Punished," and "The Brazen Serpent" with 
many others, illustrate his power in this respect. 
" The Last Judgment " itself is replete with the 
power of chiaroscuro, and if it were not, the 
wonders of that transcendent and immortal work 
would not have been endurable. It would have 
been a mass of variegated spots, offensive to the 
eye, and unheeded by the mind. 

There are two judgments, one the judgment 


of artists, the other the judgment of the world : 
the first judge from truth and knowledge ; the 
second from the pleasure derived ; both ought to 
be admitted ; but the effort should be to advance 
art, and to convey to the spectator a recollection 
of the greatest beauties and truths that he has 
ever seen nature display. 

The Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli ex- 
cited Chantrey's admiration : of the picture of 
St. Sebastian, which he calls a fresco, painted by 
Domenichino, he wrote in his guide-book, " This 
picture was originally painted on the walls of 
St. Peter's, and was removed with great inge- 
nuity to give place to a copy in mosaic ; it has all 
the mellowness and richness of an oil painting; 
it is in a very fine state of preservation, and is 
one of the finest frescoes in existence." 

The Doria Gallery of pictures disappointed him 
very much, and he has rather a bitter invective 
against that collection, written in his pocket- 


book, probably under the impression that he had 
bestowed on unattractive matter, time which he 
would willingly have given to objects more im- 
portant or agreeable. His note is as follows : 

" Doria Palace. There is an immense number 
of pictures, the greater part of them very bad, a 
few tolerable, but not one excellent. We were 
much disappointed, and felt some difficulty in 
passing an hour-and-half in this place. There 
are two pictures by Claude which are more 
praised than they deserve, particularly when 
compared with some of the excellent pictures now 
in England; there is a large Garofalo, and Paul 
Brills in abundance." 

The Portico of Octavia, for its grand propor- 
tions, and as far as the remains will permit a 
judgment, accorded with the taste of the sculptor 
for the simple and majestic. He names it briefly 
thus : " Temple of Juno, Portico of Octavia, 
originally a most beautiful building, contained 


two hundred and seventy columns, now a 
miserable stinking fish-market." 

Note on the House of Pilate : " An old ruin 
commonly called the House of Pilate, brick 
columns, with marble capitals; the plain parts are 
all brick; the mouldings, beautifully ornamented, 
are of marble and in ruin ; the mixture appears 
very agreeable." 

"Temple of Vesta, originally built by Numa 
Pompilius; burnt and rebuilt by Vespasian, now 
called La Madonna del Sole ; the joints of the 
columns are remarkably good." 

" Santa Maria in Cosmedin contains a large 
circular mask, five feet six in diameter, of Jupiter 
Ammon, with the mouth open, called 'The Mouth 
of Truth ;' on taking an oath, the hand was 
placed on this mouth; only six columns of the 
original building remain." 

It is to be regretted that during Chantrey's 
journey in Italy he made so few notes ; however, 


his thoughts were developed in conversation upon 
the works he had seen, and were judicious and 
in accordance with the testimonies offered by 
all his predecessors of acknowledged taste and 

In one of his pocket-books, mixed with various 
calculations for marble and daily expenses in tra- 
velling, are notices of the " Bacchus " by Michael 
Angelo, and also of that by Sansovino : of the 
first he says, " There is very little to admire in this 
figure, the outside of the left thigh very flat, the 
face mean and unpleasant, the mouth open, 
perhaps with the idea of expressing drunkenness ; 
it is six feet high." Of the " Bacchus " by Sanso- 
vino, he writes, "This figure is four feet six 
inches high, beautiful, spirited and graceful, well- 
proportioned ; a little boy with goat's feet sits 
behind his right leg." 

In the Basilica of St. John Lateran he praises 
the statues of " St, James the Great," and 


"St. Matthew;" the latter the best, but he 
thought the figure theatrical and unnatural. 

Among the paintings and drawings that in- 
duced him to make a written observation, was 
"The Descent from the Cross," at Florence, by 
Beato Angelico da Fiesole, of which he writes, 
" The figures are grand and unaffected, the drapery 
simple, the actions natural; free from all aca- 
demic rules, but full of simplicity and truth. 
The draperies deep blue and red, at a distance 
appear projecting from the ground. Round the 
heads of the females are circles about an inch 
broad of burnished gold, yet, notwithstanding all 
this glare and want of harmony, there is an ex- 
cellence that was worthy of the attention of 
Raphael. The buildings are stiff; trees, blue 
sky, and two groups of small angels form the 
background of this remarkable work." 

Chantrey's respect for the early masters was 
great, although he did not think that it would be 


better to study at Assist, Padua, and Pisa, than 
in the Vatican. He believed that Michael Angelo, 
Raphael, and Leonardo, had carried forward sim- 
plicity, in union with strength and grandeur, and 
that the progression from the early masters to 
the time of these great men might be easily 
traced. For he saw, as any one may see, the 
form and composition in Ghiberti, which led 
to the Stanze, the Cartoons, and the Bible of 
Raphael ; but he thought it useless to go to the 
tributary streams when the copious river offered 
the united product of all. He believed that Flax- 
man and Stothard had transferred the simple 
beauties of these earlier artists into their own 
compositions, and the sculptor wished to see 
British artists emulous to exceed the excellences 
of Raphael, rather than to be content in tracing 
the progress of his steps. 

Artists should start, if it were possible, with 
minds imbued with the beauty of all that 


Raphael, Michael Angelo, and Leonardo col- 
lected; and, however fruitless their endeavour 
to surpass such mighty predecessors, yet im- 
provement and some glory might be gained in 
the attempt. But it is surely next to useless to 
travel over the same ground of practice from 
which these great artists collected their infor- 
mation, and brought the whole nearer to 

The beauty of some figures in the early masters 
arises from ordinary circumstances. Judicious 
men, who looked to nature for their art, unavoid- 
ably included beautiful examples and develop- 
ments in their pursuit, and we now select the 
abstract gracefulness to be found amidst coarse 
and ordinary representations, as if they had been 
the inventions of the artist, when they were 
really only the portraiture of graceful individuals 
serving as models to the painter or sculptor. 
And such has been the case ever since : great 


combinations, expression, symmetry, and good 
taste in the balance of parts have resulted from 
an enlarged scope of mental power under the 
guidance of reason. 

Chantrey's observations on art were of the 
most common sense kind, and his reasoning on 
every representation induced persons to think 
that he had no poetic feeling; yet attention 
to his statues of children, his monuments to 
females, his group of Mrs. Jordan and infants, 
must correct such a supposition. He gave the 
highest praise to every excellence and difficulty 
overcome ; he used to say, " An artist should study 
what to avoid as well as what to imitate." His 
estimation of renowned works by early masters 
was very great, yet he did not hesitate to strike at 
their defects, for he felt that the blind adoration 
of right and wrong was likely to mislead the 
public. Their merits of simplicity and grace are 
undeniable., but the imitation has often in 


injudicious hands become affectation or osten- 
tation of knowledge. When we see that the 
successors of these early masters were Michael 
Angelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci, we 
cannot but acknowledge that art made a pro- 
digious advance, for these three have selected in 
art and nature to the best of their judgment, 
with the hope to approach perfection in their own 
works. They did not content themselves with the 
portraiture of ordinary nature; their works are 
like the Antique, nature, but nature in her 
perfect form, for no example of art has yet been 
produced that goes beyond some part or portion 
of produceable nature. It is science that has 
constructed a congruous whole from examples 
of perfection in separate parts; and they who 
admire beyond their merit the early works, 
must be more acquainted with ordinary por- 
traiture than with the specimens of nature's 


The question respecting the admiration of early 
art, that is the art preceding the time of Raphael, 
i$ } Whether it be preferable to have fine ideas 
and great religious and moral facts repre- 
sented by bad productions of nature rather than 
by good? For all are willing to allow that the 
early masters felt without affectation, and, to the 
best of their abilities, personified subjects simply. 
Doubtless, it was only want of opportunity 
to study or to seek the perfection of form, that 
prevented such artists from developing and 
clothing their ideas in the more perfect out- 
lines understood in the time of Raphael; and 
the question is reduced to this, whether it be 
better to illustrate great acts and fine thoughts 
by perfect forms, or merely to imitate the ordi- 
nary personages and combinations that may be 
seen in a camera obscura. 

It is not so much a matter of wonder that art 
should have risen so high under the hands of 


Michael Angelo, Raphael, and Leonardo, as it is 
extraordinary that it should have declined from 
that time. The works of the early painters of 
the Italian and German schools, with the wonders 
of a Ghiberti, might well produce a Raphael, but 
that his contemporaries should be so inferior as 
not to improve on such examples, is derogatory 
to the powerful intellect of man, and usual 
progression. Much has been done since that 
period of a very respectable character, but nothing 
that has carried art beyond the bounds those 
artists attained. 

It is not easy to point out what has been the 
reason, but even at this time we see such a va- 
cillation between the grandest character of art, 
and the meagre examples of the early German 
and Italian schools, that the question is some- 
times proposed, and finds advocates, whether that 
dry and meagre style be not preferable to the 
imitation of beautiful nature ; and it can but 


induce this reflection, that the works of Raphael, 
Michael Angelo,* and Leonardo, with Phidias 
and all the great sculptors, have injured rather 
than improved art, by selecting from nature 
all that is deemed most graceful, as well as 
most perfect ; for the fine forms of these masters 
indicate the perfection of strength, agility, and 
grace. Therefore, there must be a mistake 
somewhere, if we find meagre and emaciated 
individuals introduced as the standard ex- 
amples of gods, saints, heroes, kings, and cour- 
tiers, f It may be ingenious to invent or combine 

* " It is difficult to decide who understood Michael Angelo less, 
his admirers or his censors, though both rightly agree in placing 
him at the head of an epoch ; those of the re-establishment, these 
of the perversion, of style." Remarks on tfie School of Florence 
by Puseli. 

f In one of Wilkie's letters from Rome, iu 1 826, he says : 
" Some Germans, with more of the devotion of a sect than 
of a school, have -attracted much attention by reverting to the 
beginning of art, by studying Raffaelle's master rather than 
Raffaelle, in hopes that, by going over the same ground, they 
may from Pietro Perugino attain all the excellences of his great 


to form a new style, but to what end ? If nature 
be the object to be imitated, much has been, 
yet much remains to be done, to approach the 
beauties of creation, either in the animal or 
vegetable world. 

The English school has advanced in many 
of the great qualities necessary to a fine picture, 
and it will be dangerous to adopt a style sub- 
versive of these qualities, and abandon brilliant 
and harmonious colouring, with great breadth 
and union of parts, for a drier style, unsuited to 
the established practice of the country; and it 
would be better to attend to the admirable remark 
in one of Mr. Eastlake's distinguished works, 
namely, " If we are to look to the German, the 
first quality that invites our attention, is their 

A new style was tried by the French school, 
under David, and without success ; yet certainly 
the hard and metallic representations of that 

E 2 


school were better types of human form, than 
withered examples of mankind; but the French 
have become rational in their art, and now they 
often produce good transcripts of fine nature. 
Yet it must be allowed, that in the method before 
alluded to, many good designs, much good draw- 
ing, and striking effects were produced, yet it did 
not recal what we admire nature; therefore it 
has been abandoned by that nation replete with 
talent and ingenuity. 

Nature was Chantrey's chief study, yet his 
estimation of certain works in an artificial style 
was great, but it was difficult to induce him to 
discuss their merits. 

The Elgin Marbles had his highest esteem ; 
the "Venus" of Melos, the " Discobolos," the 
' ' Jason " or " Cincinnatus," were amongst his 
favourites. The " Laocoon " was the chief orna- 
ment of his statue gallery, with the " Apollo/' the 
" Diana," and the " Gladiator." 


When abroad, Chantrey attended to the fres- 
coes of Michael Angelo, Raphael, the "Ma- 
donna del Sacco," by Andrea del Sarto, and 
the " St. Sebastian," in the Chiesa degli 
Angeli, by Domenichino. He was at all times 
cautious in what he said of the old masters; 
he was an accurate observer of their merits 
and defects ; of their finish, his sight pre- 
vented him from forming a due estimate, but 
of their design, drawing, chiaroscuro, and above 
all, their expression, he was a most able and 
rational judge. 

Chantrey' s esteem for the works of Michael 
Angelo was extreme, yet this esteem did not run 
into rhapsody : the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel 
excited his wonder for boldness of design, vigor- 
ous execution, and masculine energy. " The Last 
Judgment" was, he considered, a masterpiece of 
composition and force, grand without being extra- 
vagant, terrific without being monstrous, a scene 


replete with human virtue and vice, but rising 
above the meanness of human infirmity, whether 
beatified or condemned. It is a triumphant con- 
trast to the same subject by Rubens, at Munich, 
in which picture it is difficult to admit that 
splendid colour and powerful chiaroscuro can 
compensate for gross and vulgar forms, sinking to 
disgusting examples, derogatory to fine art in 
representation ; yet the chiaroscuro is so perfect, 
the colour so rich, the figures so round, that it 
is ungrateful in the spectator to find a fault. 
Chantrey never sought a style on which to build 
his own, or, if he had any example, it was in the 
treatment of the Marbles of the Parthenon, for 
his statues and portraiture evidently partake of 
that character of art. He related that he was 
found sleeping in the Vatican, before one of the 
celebrated statues, which never could have hap- 
pened before the marbles in the British Museum, 
if one may judge by the sensibility which 


pervaded his observations on those beautiful 

The remark has been often made that Chantrey's 
art was simple imitation, which is in part true, 
though far from entirely so, for the pathos of all 
his figures was the result of his own reflection 
or imagination. He never saw Grattan speaking, 
yet he introduced the energy of attitude which 
he thought would result from the mind of that 
orator; in Canning and Pitt the firmness of the 
men, in Jackson the repose, and in all his figures 
he contemplated the fitting result of the mental 
character of the individual ; to all he contrived 
to give grandeur, without deducting from like- 
ness. His mind was more turned to the tender 
than to the violent or heroic, and his treatment 
of sepulchral subjects indicated this feeling; 
in the memorials of children and females his 
success was pre-eminent, and when he told the 
spectator of the death of the head of a family by 


a wreath of lilies, in which the principal flower 
was broken from the circle, he did as much as 
any poetic metaphor has ever accomplished ; the 
fading form of the flower to signify the con- 
sumptive, and the drooping for the sorrowful, 
were all touches of that deep, affectionate, and 
sympathising spirit with which he was so sensibly 

There are some good statues by Chantrey in 
Edinburgh : that of the Chief Justice Dundas is 
very elegant and simple; the statue of Lord 
Melville is rather heavy in character, and is 
one of the sculptor's least successful efforts. His 
bronze statue of Pitt is excellent, and that of 
George the Fourth of superior character, but 
much injured by the location, as it was modelled 
to stand against a wall, or in a situation where 
the back part of the figure would not be con- 
spicuous. If the bronze statue at Edinburgh 
were placed where the monument to Walter 


Scott now is, and the gothic monument on the 
present site of the statue, the embellishment of 
the city would be increased ; for an elevated object 
is wanted in George Street, and is very objection- 
able in Princes Street, as it cruelly injures the 
beautiful and classic building of the Institution, 
by Playfair : probably, there is room enough 
between the angles of Hanover Street to afford a 
space for the Scott testimonial. 

Chantrey was always too much employed on 
portraiture to attempt any historical or poetical 
subjects, but if he had, he would not have been 
content until he had succeeded in telling his story 
well, and giving interest to every part. Had he 
been commissioned to execute a group to be seen 
on all sides, he would have laboured to produce a 
satisfactory effect in every point of view, which pro- 
bably is the most difficult task in the art of sculp- 
ture; for with the exception of the Athletse or 
boxers, there is not transmitted to us a composition 

E 3 


of a perfect character in that respect. The 
" Laocoon," admirable as it is, only exhibits a 
group suited to a stage audience. The compo- 
sition of " Dirce," at Naples, has but little claim 
to praise, and some modern works of that class are 
more meritorious than any known to us by the 
ancient sculptors. 

He *vas always desirous to give expression to 
his busts, even beyond accuracy of feature ; and 
this feeling often induced him to invite his sitters 
to breakfast, that he might observe their habitual 
appearance. In many instances he changed an 
over serious expression to one of cheerfulness, by 
observing his sitter when telling a story, or elated 
by conversation. 

Sir Robert Peel's portrait was one, in which a 
great change was made after the Right Honour- 
able Baronet had told the sculptor an amusing 

He did not disparage what is called a dry style 


of art, but he considered that it ought to be the 
commencement of the student's career, as it is 
the beginning of correct graphic representation ; 
but when the knowledge of natural construction 
is obtained, he expected the artist's mind to 
expand to the selection of the perfections of 

Poverty in art is frequently called purity, and 
the spectator is deluded by careful formality into 
the belief that such is the result of correctness 
and truth; truth it may be, but it is truth in its 
inferior development. 

In Chantrey's busts the elevation of the head 
to give dignity to the expression is predominant ; 
and when he accompanied Jackson, the portrait 
painter, to Lord Farnborough's, at Bromley Hill, 
he ftnpressed on that painter the necessity or 
propriety of attending to this, which advice Jack- 
son followed with success in the portraits of Lord 
and Lady Farnborough. 


Probably uo draped statues, ancient or modern, 
have surpassed those by the hand of Chantrey : 
the marble figure of Watt, at Glasgow, that of 
Roscoe, at Liverpool, and above all, the dig- 
nified and commanding statue of Canning, 
which stands on the staircase of the Town Hall 
in that city, proclaim at once the powers of 
mind in the statesman, and mental influence in 
the artist. 

The statue of Dalton, at Manchester, exhibited 
in 1837, is of first-rate character, and merits a 
better location to do justice to its importance. 

Dean Jackson, Sir J. Banks, Mr. Coutts, 
Grattan, and many others, tend to dignify and 
commemorate British art, and record British 

Chantrey cast aside every extrinsic re^om- 
mendation, and depended entirely on form and 
effect. He took the greatest care that his shadows 
should tell boldly, and in masses. He was cautious 


in introducing them, and always reduced them 
as much as might be compatible with the com- 
plete development of the figure. He never intro- 
duced a fold that could be dispensed with, rarely 
deviated from long lines, and avoided abrupt 
foldings. His dislike to ornament in sculpture 
was extreme;* in marble he thought it intolerable, 
and reluctantly admitted it in bronze, for it was 
long before he could consent to decorate the 
royal robe of George the Fourth, on the bronze 
statue at Brighton, and he would not have done 
so, if he had not been assured of the good effect 
produced by ornament in the bronze figures 
at Inspruck. 

To sculpture in bronze he always objected, as 
limiting the power of the artist to outline, for the 
light must be very favourable to develop so dark 
an object, and in such a climate as that of Great 

* " Ambitiosa recidet 

Ornamenta." HOR. Art. Poet. 447. 


Britain, nothing should be expected in bronze 
beyond a clear and expressive contour. 

Whilst executing the horse for Sir Thomas 
Munro, Chantrey was extremely embarrassed by 
the conflicting opinions of his friends and visitors. 
Some wished a horse in the classic style ; some, a 
steed like that of Marcus Aurelius ; some, an 
Arabian; others, a large war-horse; and many, 
nay, the greater part, a specimen of blood, fit 
for Newmarket, but very unfit for sculpture ; 
so that in endeavouring to diminish flesh for one 
connoisseur, and to increase bone for another, for 
a third to lengthen the legs, to even the line 
of back and to elongate the neck for a fourth, 
the sculptor became confused, and materially 
injured his work, by departing from his own good 
sense, and yielding to inconsiderate criticism. 

Very few are equal to this arduous and danger- 
ous duty, and every one who presumes to it 
should examine himself if he be competent to 


say what may comprise a great and perfect 
union, and how far one mode or manner can, 
or cannot, be reconciled with another; every 
one can judge of some particular part, for each 
person's attention in life is drawn to some 
pleasure or pursuit, in which he may become 
accurate, and there is a classical illustration of 
this, known to every one, which it would be well 
to remember.* 

When convinced of the propriety of any thing 
in his works, he was not to be moved, and he 
resisted all admonitions, criticisms, and even 
threats. He persisted in raising the statue of 
Pitt, in Hanover Square, on a high pedestal, 
against the wish of the committee; but he re- 
spectfully volunteered to relinquish the com- 
mission, rather than his intention of placing the 
figure in its present lofty position. And there 

* Vide ^Elian, Var. Hist. lib. ii. 2 ; and Pliny, Nat. Hist. 
lib. xxxv. 36. 


can be but little doubt, that great dignity is 
gained by raising the object; for without com- 
menting on the merit of the work, it may be well 
to compare it with statues on lower pedestals : 
his opinion was similar with respect to the 
statue of the Duke of Wellington at the Royal 

His monumental statues were of the most 
simple kind ; and so were the decorations 011 his 
tablets for inscription ; so much so, that ordinary 
taste too often required more extraneous embellish- 
ments than the sculptor was inclined to admit. 
His love of simplicity extended to every thing, 
and in his career he often expressed his objection 
to inflated encomiums, and always preferred an 
English epitaph. The present Sir George Staun- 
ton consulted him as to the inscription on the 
monument to his father, and that accomplished 
scholar, and proficient in all tongues, was so 
satisfied with Chantrey's good sense, that he 


relinquished the memorial to the sculptor's head, 
as well as to his hand, for accomplishment. 

At an early period, when he was inclined to 
follow painting as a profession, he displayed a 
similar disposition for the un-ornamented style, 
and his works at that period, though few, indicate 
a masterly mind and noble conception of light 
and shadow, which he studied particularly. He 
always professed that every good statue should 
produce a chiaroscuro, that would be perfect in 
painting, and that the one art might be con- 
sidered a good rule for the other in this respect. 

He was much consulted by his friends on the 
subject of architecture, and particularly by those 
who had any intention to build, for owing to his 
fortunate and judicious association with men of 
ability in all arts and sciences, he was competent 
to give a very rational and generally a technical 
judgment. His taste for architecture was con- 
spicuous, and he suggested to many of his friends 


useful improvements in their mansions, gardens, 
terraces, and walks ; and in these particulars his 
good sense prevailed. Internal convenience was 
never sacrificed for external appearance ; he 
believed that an able architect could always con- 
struct the beautiful on the useful. He considered 
that quantity and proportion were the great con- 
stituents of fine character in statues and edifices ; 
and thought that all decoration was ineffective 
and worse than useless, if the general propor- 
tions and relative contrasts were defective. He 
held superfluous ornament in architecture, paint- 
ing, and sculpture, to be a concealment of 
inability, or a development of puerile taste, in 
lieu of grand forms, which in art satisfy the 
mind ; he believed that fine buildings, if di- 
vested of their ornaments, would still, from their 
bare quantities, produce a good effect. In his 
own art, he shunned every thing merely decorative ; 
and in painting, the elaboration of ornaments, 


furniture, utensils, and unimportant matter, he 
held to be a debasement of the great style. To 
attend to accessories, and neglect human ex- 
pression, proves the dexterity of the hand, but 
not the acuteness of the mind ; however, he 
did not disparage familiar subjects, but took 
great pleasure in the approach to excellence in 
any style. 

He was often requested to recommend able 
artificers, and in such cases he made his friends' 
interest his own. He was always consulted by 
the heads of the government on the propriety of 
public testimonials ; among others he was de- 
sired to send his opinion as to the propriety of 
erecting a column, with a statue on the top, to 
the memory of Lord Nelson; he seriously and 
reasonably objected to a column, for a column 
ought to be part of a building, or if it be used 
as a monument, it should be treated as a bio- 
graphical volume, with the acts of the hero 


sculptured on the shaft of the pillar on the 
capital of which he stands, similar to those of 
Trajan and Antoninus. Chantrey also wished to 
see the useful united with the commemorative, 
and would have preferred an architectural edifice, 
adapted to accommodate (with dwellings rent- 
free) the veteran officers of the navy, and the 
site adorned by a fine statue of Nelson, forming 
altogether a memorial worthy of the hero, and 
indicative of the gratitude, generosity, and bene- 
volence of the nation. 

Chantrey had no objection to architectural 
memorials, for he wished every branch of the fine 
arts to be encouraged, but always in its most 
appropriate character, and he wisely deemed that 
every step ought to be an advance on the last 
effort. This is the only way that progress can 
be made ; it is never to be achieved by merely 
following predecessors, though they should be 
studied, with the hope that they may be 


surpassed, not pursued in the same path, but in 
one collateral; that the aspirant may not find 
his passage to advancement impeded by his 
precursor : " Turpe etiam illud est, contentum 
esse id consequi, quod imiteris. Nam rursus 
quid erat futurum, si nemo plus effecisset eo 
quern sequebatur ? " QUINT. De Imitatione. 

Believing that the greatest moral advantages 
were to be derived from the cultivation of art 
and science, he hoped that ambitious men would 
be stimulated to seek immortality by contri- 
buting to the blessings of social and intellectual 
communion, rather than by prowess in war, which 
is common to all people, whilst the mild and 
intellectual evince that divine influence, which 
rules benevolently, bestowing and instructing. 

He had a great dislike to competition; he 
objected on the principle, that in consequence 
of so many being disappointed, the temptation 
became injurious : he also doubted the com- 


petency of the judges ; and still more, the all- 
influencing and unavoidable effect of partiality ; 
for who with a kindly heart can resist a dis- 
position towards friends, or assisting the needy ? 
This mode has often been objected to, and may 
be avoided, and still leave a fair field for the 
exertion of talent. If a national work be re- 
quired, let a number of artists be requested to 
make sketches, and receive a named sum for each ; 
and let that which is most approved be adopted 
as the design, from which the large work is to 
be executed. This would be no hardship to any 
one by whom this sort of competition might 
be undertaken, and would be made a source of 
profit, practice, and notoriety, to all ; instead 
of occasioning examples of failure, distress, 
despair, sickness, consumption, and even self- 

The course of Chantrey's journey to Rome and 
his return was rendered agreeable by his com- 


panions ; and by his own good humour and 
hilarity, he turned every inconvenience into a 
joke, and thus dispelled, disappointment by 
a laugh. Each traveller of the party took some 
department of management on himself. The 
sculptor took charge of the travelling and the 
posting; he used to laugh at a standing joke 
against him, for having, on one occasion, corded 
up the luggage in such a manner with the bed 
of the carriage that it could not move ; so that, 
with casualties and mistakes, the travellers always 
found some subject for mirth. The Italian 
postillions, some in costume, some in rags, their 
naked legs, their gesticulations, cracking their 
long whips, fiercely menacing their uninjured 
beasts, amused Chantrey exceedingly; at their 
frauds and facetiousness he laughed, yet often 
showed them that he was not to be the dupe 
of their cunning; still he secured smiling faces 
by his good humour and liberality. 


On the return of the party to England, 
Thomas Moore , the poet, joined them, and it may 
be easily imagined how much the talents, wit, 
urbanity, and cheerfulness of that gentleman con- 
tributed to their gratification. The poet and the 
sculptor continued to live on terms of most cor- 
dial intimacy and familiarity, of which the 
following may serve as a proof: 



The enclosed came to me from Paris. 
Why don't you ever look in upon me with that 
rubicund face of yours, which it is always a joy 
to me to see ? Pray do. My best remembrances 
to Mrs. Chantrey, who I trust is getting better. 

Ever yours, cordially, 



Chantrey's attendance, when he was a student 
in the Royal Academy, was not frequent enough, 
or sufficiently uninterrupted, to attach him to the 
institution, or to the men at that time studying 
there, and some fancied neglect of his incipient 
talent, pointed out by his solicitous and pre- 
judging friends, induced him to become indif- 
ferent to the honours and interests of that 
body; but as he became acquainted with its 
merits and its members, his opinions awakened 
his affection towards the institution and the 
individuals composing it, and each succeeding 
year seems to have augmented his respect for 
the principles of the establishment, as well as his 
regard for the members. Among others, the high 
and honourable character of Shee, his courageous 
advocacy of all that appeared meritorious, and his 
unselfish devotion to the Royal Academy (in- 
creased, if possible, since his election to the chair), 
excited Chantrey's highest approbation, and was 


his inducement to leave property to provide an 
annual income to the President of the Royal 
Academy, in order to make the office less onerous 
to a person of limited means, yet with abilities 
suited to the appointment; and often did the 
sculptor lament that the beneficial effects of his 
bequest were not likely to be useful to the chair, 
until a period which the duty and affection of a 
husband forbade him to anticipate. 

"With the members, Chantrey's intercourse 
was frequent : his means and liberality enabled 
him to establish hospitable association. Sundays 
he generally passed at home, members of the 
Royal Academy and other intimate friends dined 
with him. Mr. Stokes was a constant guest, and 
it was a common occurrence to meet men distin- 
guished by science or literature ; and perhaps no 
hospitality short of Lord Essex's, Lord Spencer's, 
and Lord Holland's, could compete with Chan- 
trey's. In the evening, the specimens of his 


minerals and fossils were examined, and the 
instructive allurements of the microscope filled 
every moment with gratification; conversation 
never failed, and often Lady Chantrey induced 
the accomplished of her own sex to grace these 
agreeable meetings, so that as his intimacies in- 
creased with the members of the Academy, his good 
opinion of their acts and intentions augmented, 
and from an indifference respecting the institu- 
tion, he made the Academy the first object of his 
thoughts, and has nobly proved it by his will. 

When he became a member of the body, his 
exertion in council, and in the general assemblies, 
was zealous and uninterrupted until the end of 
his mortal career. The little attention given 
to the higher branches of art in this country 
induced Chantrey to turn his mind to the 
promotion of a study, instructive, as well as 
amusing, to mankind; and as he did not find 
persons inclined to give commissions or purchase 



pictures of a moral, historical, or religious 
character, he wished to establish a fund to 
prevent an object so desirable being lost sight 
of, and left the greater part of his property 
for that purpose. Such was his trust in the 
Royal Academy that he confided the decision 
on works to be selected to the members of 
that institution; an institution, censured by 
those individuals, who are little inclined to doubt 
their own judgment, or question their inex- 
perience, and who have self-complacency enough 
to imagine that they can improve arrangements, 
which have been under the consideration of its 
members for seventy-nine years. 

He came into the Royal Academy without 
soliciting or solicitude, neither devoted to, nor 
objecting to the institution, but his opinion of 
the integrity of the body induced him often to 
avow that he felt it a duty to leave for the 
advancement of art, the wealth that he had 


acquired by the profession, with the hope that 
his endeavours to promote art might enable 
others to become as successful as himself. 

Europe does not produce a similar institution 
maintained by its own efforts, and to which 
neither the government, the country, nor private 
individuals contribute any thing. It is fortunately 
honoured, sanctioned, and protected by the Crown, 
and from that circumstance the nation has the 
credit of an establishment, which is not the least 
burthen to the finances, or to the Sovereign, 
beyond the gracious attention personally offered 
by the latter. The funds are the product of the 
exhibition, which comprises the labours of the 
members of the body, united with the works of 
those who are aspirants for the honours of the 
institution, and to which they are, in consequence 
of being exhibitors, eligible. They are elected as 
their abilities are developed, and as their claims 
are acknowledged by the Academy and the public ; 


it is obvious, therefore, that it is the interest of 
the Royal Academy, as well as its duty to the 
Sovereign as the head of the institution, to enlist 
the best talent of the country. 

His criticisms on painting were good, and 
solid as his judgment in sculpture ; all his obser- 
vations went forcibly to the main import and 
intention of a picture ; his first impulse was always 
to question the mental expression in every 
work. He was never beguiled by careful com- 
pleteness, nor by elaborate execution wasted on 
fundamental error. He expected that where 
human expression was intended, the greatest 
force and best execution should appear, namely, 
in the heads and hands, as the parts indicating the 
greatest influence of the mind. Still he highly 
commended a strict attention to accessories ; yet, 
if superiority did not prevail in the development 
of passion and sentiment, he deemed the work 
little more than a specimen of dexterity. 


Chantrey thought a great defect arose in the 
English and foreign schools, from an' attempt 
to make a picture interesting by accurate 
detail or minute parts, whilst the more essen- 
tial had not engaged the mind or feeling of the 

He recommended as an example, the attention 
of Leonardo da Vinci to expression* in his heads 
and hands, exemplified in the remnant of " The 
Last Supper" at Milan, and described by the 
biographers of that illustrious and accomplished 
painter, whose care occasioned much delay in 
his works : for he believed the time better spent 
in consideration of the characters he introduced, 
than in fruitless attempts to accomplish manually 

" Sculpture, and, above all, painting, propose to themselves 
the imitation not only of the forms of nature, but of the charac- 
ters and passions of the human soul. In those sublime arts, the 
dexterity of the hand is of little avail, unless it is animated by 
fancy, and guided by the most correct taste and observation." 
Gibbon's Decline and Fall, vol. ii., p. 51. 


that which intelligence should dictate. Yet, in 
addition to the human expressions in the work 
alluded to, Leonardo painted with scrupulous 
care the accessories, the table, the cloth, bread, 
knives, plates, &c., which rendered this work as 
complete as a cabinet picture. 

Another example may be cited of studious com- 
pletion in " The Holy Family " by Correggio, now 
at Parma, commonly called "The Scodella," in 
which the Scodella, or cup, is painted with a care 
and correctness worthy of the beautiful heads in 
the picture. At the same time it should be remem- 
bered that some works of spirit, energy, and at- 
mospheric character do not admit of such careful 
and cautious operation ; such are the pictures by 
Rubens, Salvator Rosa ; and among the moderns, 
Turner, for whose talents Chantrey's admiration 
was unbounded. He could well comprehend the 
mental scope of that great artist ; and although 
he disapproved of his later style as compared 


with that displayed in his pictures of " Carthage/' 
" The Tenth Plague/' and " Crossing the Brook/' 
yet he stood forward at all times in defence of 
Turner's efforts of imagination, and would not 
suffer them to be disparaged by those who could 
see their faults, but could not understand their 
merits ; for, notwithstanding the colour recently 
introduced by that surprising artist, he. main- 
tains a breadth and aerial effect, which under 
such gorgeous apparel is most difficult to 

With all these above-named advantages, this 
great modern painter has a higher merit, for his 
perception and display of form surpass any con- 
temporaries or predecessors ; this observation does 
not apply to his figures, but to the general forms 
in the composition of his works, the architecture, 
the buildings, the mountains, skies, trees, rivers, 
ships, boats ; for every picture by this able master 
is replete with graceful lines worthy of the study 

F 3 


of all that may succeed him, and his chiaroscuro 
is always complete.* 

Stothard was familiar with Chantrey, and the 
sculptor's admiration of the talents of that artist 
was great. He considered that Stothard had se- 
lected and made his own, all the graceful acci- 
dents of nature that came under his observation, 
and that he had also availed himself of every 
simple beauty developed by the masters of Ger- 
many and Italy anterior to Raphael. 

To the name of Stothard must be added that 
of Flaxman, whose compositions were considered 
by Chantrey among the finest works, either an- 
cient or modern: he would often dwell on the 
simple, yet majestic style, of the heroic figures in 
the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the ^schylus ; also, 
on the grace and purity of his female forms, 
and the variety and novelty of his designs. 

" Turner will always have his light and shade right, whatever 
it costs him in colour." RUSK IN. 


Fuseli's works, though so opposite to the 
simple taste of Chantrey, yet excited great 
respect in the sculptor, and even wonder at 
the vigour, ingenuity, and grandeur, of his 
compositions ; he thought the Ghost-scene 
on the platform in " Hamlet," the " Lazar 
House," the " Midsummer Night's Dream," 
and many pictures from Milton, have not been 
surpassed in originality of thought, and boldness 
of conception. 

It is almost superfluous to advert to his admi- 
ration of Sir Joshua Reynolds; and he evinced 
that he preferred the honour of being able to 
appreciate the works of that great man, to the 
reputation of originality ; for when employed 
to * make a bust of the Rev. Z. Mudge, he 
imitated precisely the position and manner in 
which Reynolds has represented him. A similar 
tribute he paid to Owen in the statue of Dean 
Jackson ; he was never above borrowing from the 


suggestions of other artists, and always expressed 
his obligation. 

" He did not steal, but emulate." DF.NHAM. 

Wilkie was high in Chantrey's esteem as a 
painter, and as an honourable and conscientious 
man; no one could have a higher respect for 
that great artist's talents, although the sub- 
jects were not of a class to suit the sculptor's 
taste ; but the admirable expression and excellent 
arrangement of his groups, his manner of telling 
a story, and his chiaroscuro received Chantrey's 
warm encomiums. 

It has been intimated that there had never 
existed any cordiality or personal regard between 
these two great contemporary artists, Wilkie and 
Chantrey. It is true they were neither of them 
addicted to sentimental effusions, but there is 
not any circumstance to support the above sug- 
gestion ; they were often together, and a very 
different inference might have been drawn from 


the cordial way in which they met, discoursed, 
and acted ; Chantrey was never heard to utter a 
word of disparagement with respect to Wilkie, 
even in joke, though the sculptor's hilarity, good 
nature, and joyous spirit made him delight in 
everything that produced mirth and humour, 
which might seem opposite to the gravity of 
Wilkie' s character. 

Chantrey was so incapable of carrying hypocrisy 
into his connection with his fellows, that his 
friendship towards the great painter may be well 
believed to have been sincere. Wilkie in his few 
letters to the sculptor (few of course, since they 
were near neighbours almost all their days, and 
met each other constantly,) uses a tone remark- 
ably cordial; and there is one fact, which will 
be considered to settle the question Wilkie 
appointed Chantrey one of his three executors. 
That Wilkie and Chantrey were not extremely 
intimate, was the result of difference in human 


nature j it arose from the dissimilarity of disposi- 
tion ; the latter was open, fearless, and communi- 
cative ; the former was cautious and reserved ; 
yet both were generous, both were kind, and 
always united, when any noble or liberal project 
was contemplated. 

Chantrey's respect for Wilkie was proved, when 
the former was knighted; for he told Sir Herbert 
Taylor that he objected to receive that mark of 
dignity whilst Wilkie remained a commoner. 

Wilkie's confidence in Chantrey was such that, 
when finishing the picture of " The Chelsea Pen- 
sioners," the Duke of Wellington was sitting to 
Chantrey for his bust, which induced Wilkie to 
ask his friend if he would tell the duke that the 
sum named for the picture would be a very slender 
remuneration for the time and labour bestowed. 
Chantrey undertook this delicate office, and ob- 
tained for Wilkie an augmentation of the amount 
proposed, or expected by either party. 


He loved to see ability rewarded, and would 
willingly exert himself to this end; and often 
when his words were ineffective, his purse con- 
tributed a compensation ; from his early career 
his disposition led him to encourage rising artists, 
and his generous nature induced him to excuse 
their defects, and strongly to recommend the 
beauties of their works. 

Chantrey was always averse to dispute and 
long argument, either in private or public, and 
his quick and accurate view of things rendered 
it unnecessary, and often prevented unpleasant 
discussions. At the Royal Academy he could 
never patiently endure the assembly of the 
members to be made an arena for dispute; he 
wished every man to come forward with his case 
clear and distinct ; yet never resting entirely on his 
own judgment, but preferring that it should be 
matured by consultation with his brethren, before 
his opinions were made known to the entire body. 


He stood so high in the opinion of the 
aristocracy of the country, that he might have 
obtained any thing to which good sense would 
allow him to aspire ; but he considered the greatest 
honour to arise from power in his art, and in- 
tegrity of character. He was not of any party, nor 
had any party spirit, and stood equally in the 
esteem of such distinguished political characters 
as Sir Robert Peel and Lord Leicester, both 
lovers of the arts, and both contributors to their 
success ; the former, in particular, has evinced by 
patronage and encouragement his friendly feeling 
towards the professors of all classes, and by his 
advocacy of all public measures tending to their 
promotion and profit. 

A great compliment and mark of esteem was 
paid to Chantrey by that excellent, intelligent, 
and most hospitable baronet, the late Sir Francis 
Freeling ; when the latter learned from the 
sculptor the time of his first arrival in London to 


try his fortune as an artist, Sir Francis ever after 
kept the anniversary of that day with some fes- 
tivity. Chantrey, Lady Chantrey, and other 
mutual friends, assembled at the table of the 
Secretary of the Post Office, cheerful from the 
unbounded kindness of the host, and of guests 
distinguished for talents and generous qualities. 

From three Sovereigns he received great atten- 
tion ; George the Fourth evinced an affability 
towards him, which he often mentioned with 

Chantrey, in conversing with Sir Henry 
Russell, remarked that the king was a great 
master of that first proof of good breeding, 
which consists in putting every one at their 
ease; for from the throne each word and 
gesture has its effect. The first day the king 
said, "Now, Mr. Chantrey, I insist upon your 
laying aside every thing like restraint, both for 
your own sake and for mine; do here, if you 


please, just as you would if you were at home." 
While he was preparing the clay, the king, who 
continued standing near him, suddenly took off 
his wig, and holding it out at arm's length, said, 
"Now, Mr. Chantrey, which way shall it be, 
with the wig or without it ? " as he did not say 
what answer he had given, Sir H.' Russell asked 
him. " 'Oh ! with the wig, if you please, Sir/ It 
was my business," he continued, " to exhibit the 
king as he was known; every body was accustomed 
to see him with his wig, and nobody would have 
known him without it." It was evident also that 
Chantrey saw how it would be agreeable to the 
king to be represented, and he had the good 
sense, and the good manners, to act according 
to his Majesty's inclination. 

When George the Fourth was sitting to Chan- 
trey, he required the sculptor to give him the 
idea of an equestrian statue to commemorate 
him, which Chantrey accomplished at a succeeding 


interview, by placing in the Sovereign's hand a 
number of small equestrian figures, drawn care- 
fully on thick paper, and resembling in number 
and material a pack of cards; these sketches 
pleased the king very much, who turned them 
over and over, expressing his surprise that such 
a variety could be produced ; and after a thousand 
fluctuations of opinion, sometimes for a prancing 
steed, sometimes for a trotter, then for a neighing 
or a starting charger, his Majesty at length resolved 
on a horse standing still, as the most dignified for 
a king. Chantrey probably led to this, as he was 
decidedly in favour of the four legs being on the 
ground; he had a quiet and reasonable manner 
of convincing persons of the propriety of that, 
which from reflection he judged to be preferable. 

Chantrey's friend, Lord Egremont, was of the 
same opinion, for in writing to the sculptor, he 
said, "I am glad your horse is not walking off 
his pedestal, which would be more like a donkey 


than a sensible horse/' Chantrey wished in this 
instance for a quiet or standing horse ; but he 
determined, if he ever executed another eques- 
trian portrait, to represent the horse in the act 
of pawing, not from the conviction of its being 
a better attitude, but for the sake of variety, and 
to convince the public that he could do the one 
as well as the other, for whenever his works were 
censured, it always was for heaviness, or want of 
action, which is rather surprising considering the 
energetic and speaking statue of Grattan. 

When he had executed and erected the statue 
of George the Fourth,* on the staircase at 
Windsor, the king good-naturedly patted the 
sculptor on the shoulder, and said, " Chantrey, I 

* This statue was erected at Windsor, in April, 1835, and the 
following memorandum is found in Chantrey's hand-writing : 
" Erected the statue of George IV. on the Grand Staircase in 
Windsor Castle. This place, in an architectural point of view, 
is splendid, but the h'ght is bad very bad. The architect is 

delighted I am miserable ." The situation for which the 

statue was executed remains unoccupied. 


have reason to be obliged to you, for you have im- 
mortalised me;" * and this was said with reason, 
for in defiance of all difficulties attendant on the 
representation of royal robes in sculpture, that 
statue developes an appearance dignified and 
graceful, without being encumbered by the deco- 
ration of royal habiliments. 

The most accidental circumstance gave him an 
idea of a natural attitude for a statue, and that 
of Bishop Heber rising with a book in his hand 
was suggested by seeing a person rise from a 
chair, in his library. He instantly made a memo- 
randum of the position, which served as the 
model for that able work. 

In talking of British sculptors in Rome, and 
the advantage of working in that capital, 
Chantrey told Lord Farnborough that, if he went 
and executed his commissions in Rome, they 

* " Principibus placuisse viris, non ultima laus est." Hon. 
Epist. lib. i., ep. 17. 


would be thought meritorious from their mag- 
nitude and number, and from the confidence 
reposed in his ability; but if he remained in 
London, they would be less estimated, and lose 
the charm of being executed in the capital of 
the world.* 

Between the years 1823 and 1836, Chantrey 
received the greatest number of commissions; 
he laboured continually in his art, whilst he was 
efficiently assisted in the correspondence and 
arrangements relative to it, by Mr. Cunningham 
(the author of "The Life of Wilkie," and many 
popular works), who unfortunately did not long 
survive the sculptor. 

William the Fourth treated Chantrey as a 
friend ; he enjoyed the confidence and continued 

* " Most men unjust to the present times, hang upon antiquity." 

" Parmy les conditions humaines, celle-cy est commune, de 
nous plaire plus des choses trangeres que des notres." 
MONTAIGNE, 1. iii. c. 9. 


hospitality of that monarch. Six weeks after he 
came to the throne, his Majesty sent for Chantrey, 
and told him he wished to consult him upon 
a matter of deep interest to him as a father, 
observing, that, amidst the duties of royalty, he 
must not omit a duty to the mother of his 
children. Nothing could exceed the good feeling 
and good taste which the king evinced on the 
subject : he desired the sculptor to execute 
a handsome and appropriate monument to a 
kind and affectionate mother, and distinguished 

The King dwelt on Mrs. Jordan's amiable 
qualities till he burst into tears. Chantrey, not 
having known her, asked what was her charac- 
teristic trait, and was answered, that she 
was most distinguished by her maternal affec- 
tion, which the sculptor commemorated by a 
figure of a beautiful mother surrounded by her 


Among other projects to which Chantrey was 
privy, he remembered, with pleasure, many con- 
versations with this monarch respecting a mo- 
nument to Napoleon, which his Majesty was 
solicitous to raise at St. Helena, whenever he 
might have the means to defray the expense ; and 
numerous were the plans suggested on both sides, 
for the Sovereign was as fertile in projects as 
the artist, and if the King's career had been 
prolonged, some work would have been pro- 
duced creditable to the country and the royal 

Her present Majesty employed Chantrey, and 
her accustomed gracious courtesy, during the 
short period he lived under her reign, was most 
gratifying to his feelings, particularly during his 
declining health; and after his decease, her 
gracious Majesty was not unmindful of kind and 
nattering attention to his widow. 

His intimacy with Lord Egremont was confiding 


and generous on both sides, without reserve, and 
free from restraint in every particular; he saw 
the sculptor at all times and in all places, at the 
festive table, in the library, and even in his 
bed-room; he consulted him on his projects in 
adorning his house, and he assisted in arranging 
that room, in which there are two pictures, by 
Jones, of the battles of Vittoria and Waterloo, 
with the bust of the Duke of Wellington between 
them. When the Earl asked him about the best 
light for the pictures, he told the kind peer that 
the most favourable was occupied by three large 
whole-length portraits, fixed in the panels ; upon 
which his lordship said, " Well, I will put them 
there, and your bust of the Duke in the centre/' 
Chantrey then observed that the three portraits 
must in that case be removed. "No," said the 
Earl, I have no place for them." " What then is 
to be done ? " was the natural question ; to which 
the Earl answered, " I will cut off their legs, I do 


not want their petticoats ; their heads shall be 
placed in three small panels above, and the 
battles with the marble bust of the Duke shall 
be placed below them ; " and this was done. 

"\Vhen Turner painted a series of landscapes 
at Petworth, for the dining-room, he worked 
with his door locked against everybody but the 
master of the house. Chantrey was there at the 
time, and determined to see what Turner was 
doing ; he imitated Lord Egremont's peculiar 
step, and the two distinct raps on the door by 
which his lordship was accustomed to announce 
himself; and the key being immediately turned, 
he slipped into the room before the artist could 
shut him out, which joke was mutually enjoyed 
by the two attached friends. 

It may not be improper to remark, that while 
many of our countrymen were showering com- 
missions on Canova for statues and groups of 
Gods and Goddesses, Flaxman, whose taste was 


predominant in all the highest qualities of art, was 
neglected; excepting by Lord Egremont, for this 
nobleman never thought the less .of an artist 
because he was born in the ungenial clime of 

Among Chantrey's private and more domestic 
friends may be named nearly all distinguished 
in those acquirements which elevate the character 
of man. The philosopher, the statesman, the poet, 
and the artist, were all included, and constantly 
graced his liberal board ; so that intelligence was 
diffused during the enjoyment of social and fes- 
tive intercourse. His expenditure was consider- 
able, and liberal in the extreme, yet conducted 
with great judgment and economy by Lady 
Chantrey, whose desire to preserve the power 
of being hospitable was evinced by her circum- 
spection in domestic arrangements. 

Among his Academic friends, the names of 
Shee, Turner, Thomson, Howard, Phillips, Callcott, 



Wilkie, Smirke, Westmacott, Mulready, Chalon, 
Jackson, Hilton, Wyatville, Jones, Leslie, 
Pickersgill, Etty, Constable, Eastlake, Landseer, 
Lee, Maclise, Hart, Witherington, Hardwick, and 
others, were conspicuous : he lived on the most 
friendly terms with all his brethren, and his 
estimation of their respective talents was 
accurate and elevated. 

Turner, with some eccentricities in art, he 
considered as a genius of the highest poetic cha- 
racter, and the greatest of past or present 
painters in producing light and atmosphere, 
and the consummate arranger of beautiful out- 
line in his combinations of landscape and 

In the years 1828 and 1837, Chantrey and 
Turner were on the same council of the Royal 
Academy ; they understood and appreciated 
each other thoroughly, but Chantrey did not 
spare his friend; he jocosely and facetiously 


criticised his pictures to their author, yet in the 
painter's absence he spoke of them in terms of 
the highest admiration. While examining the 
works sent for exhibition, a drawing of " The 
Falls of Terni " came under notice, which Turner 
declared was a copy from his drawing of the same 
scene. Howard, the secretary, said, "Perhaps 
the artist has been to the same spot from which 
your view was taken, and thus made his drawing 
similar to yours without having seen it." 
"No, no," said Chantrey, "if the artist had 
ever been there, his drawing would not be like 
Turner's;" inferring that Turner's are not ela- 
borate portraitures of any place, but pictures 
containing all of importance that the view 
exhibits; whilst all the unimportant parts are 
reduced to insignificance, by effect, or other 
means ; yet, from the leading objects, no local 
representation by his hand can be mistaken. 
On one of the varnishing days, the weather 


being cold, Chantrey went up to a picture, by 
Turner, in which orange chrome was unusually 
conspicuous, and affecting to warm his hands 
before it, said, " Turner, this is the only com- 
fortable place in the room. Is it true, as I have 
heard, that you have a commission to paint a 
picture for the Sun Fire Office ? " 

The elegant and poetic art of Thomson, the 
vigorous portraits by Shee, the careful and beau- 
tiful pictures of Callcott, as well as the tran- 
scendent talents of Wilkie, Mulready, Leslie, 
Landseer, and others, too numerous to name, 
called for his esteem and approbation. The 
distinguished portrait painters of England, he 
thought, deserved the highest credit, for having 
carried their branch of art farther than the 
artists of any other country. 

He was liberal to all his professional brethren, 
and often encouraged their efforts by purchasing 
their productions; and he intended to increase 


his collection of modern works as his funds 
improved. Never did a man deserve wealth more 
than the sculptor ; for his liberality and charity, 
especially to the profession, were unbounded; 
he sought all occasions to be kind; and as he 
refused no supplication, he was too often the 
victim of fraud and duplicity. He has been known 
to bestow from one to four hundred pounds at a 
time on individuals he deemed worthy, and less 
prosperous than himself, and the needy or sup- 
pliant never left him unrelieved. 

A pretended sculptor in distress, from Bor- 
deaux, solicited his subscription, in aid of his 
return to his native place. Chantrey was 
compassionate, and listened without suspicion 
to a melancholy story of a pregnant wife, her 
sickness, a starving child, and other distresses; 
he relieved the applicant, and gave him 
enough to defray the expense of returning to 
Bordeaux. The pretender placed Chantrey's name 


on a petition he had prepared, as a contributor 
of one guinea; which petition he earned about 
to other artists, and thus obtained a consi- 
derable amount. In a year or two afterwards 
it came out that Chantrey's judgment had 
yielded to his heart, and that he had given the 
impostor a cheque on his banker for the whole 
sum required for his return to Bordeaux; thus 
hoping to prevent a brother sculptor from the 
humiliating task of applying to the profession 
as a beggar. Too numerous for the honour 
of mankind were the examples of this nature, 
but the kind-hearted and jocose sculptor gene- 
rally laughed at his own credulity, whilst he 
regretted the duplicity to which he had so often 

An intimate friend of his visited Rome some 
years ago, and as his means of expenditure 
were very limited, Chantrey thought his want of 
money might preclude him from the extent of 


information he might wish to acquire by travel 
and research ; the sculptor adopted the following 
mode to prevent that deficiency : 

His friend received a visit, whilst in Rome, 
from one of the firm of Torlonia, by whom he 
was advised to purchase objects of antiquity and 
art. These suggestions, from a banker, surprised 
the traveller, who frankly confessed that if he had 
the inclination, he had not the supplies requisite 
for such purposes ; on which the banker told him 
that he might draw on their house for one thou- 
sand pounds. This seemed quite a mistake, until 
after some discussion respecting the offer, the 
denial of such credit by the artist, and the affirm- 
ation of its existence by the banker, it appeared 
that Chantrey had placed that sum in the hands 
of Torlonia for the express and entire use of his 

No one who knew him intimately could 
have a slender affection for the man; this 



act of friendhsip was deeply felt ; and the 
traveller, to prove his willingness to be obliged, 
drew one hundred pounds. But here the matter 
did not end : the artist had entrusted to the care 
of the sculptor a collection of his own drawings, 
which Chantrey showed to the Duke of Sussex, 
to amuse his Royal Highness whilst he was 
sitting for his bust, as well as to exhibit the 
talent of his friend; and in a letter to Rome, 
he tells him this circumstance, adding, "I 
am sure the Duke will buy some of your 

Time passed; the traveller returned, and has- 
tened to see his friend, and gratefully to pay 
his pecuniary obligation ; which, when Chantrey 
learned was a hundred pounds, he said, " No, 
keep it ; I am five pounds in your debt, for the 
Duke has taken four of your drawings at twenty- 
five guineas each." This was well : and time 
passed for many, yet too few years; for at the 


death of the kind-hearted, the generous Chantrey, 
the drawings which the artist was led to believe 
were in the hands of his Royal Highness, were 
found hidden among Chantrey's private papers, 
while the story was unknown to any one ; 
and Lady Chantrey has the drawings among 
the innumerable testimonies of her husband's 

Constable, in a letter to a friend describing the 
varnishing days previous to the exhibition of 
1826, writes: "Chantrey loves painting, and is 
always up stairs ; he works now and then on my 
pictures : yesterday he joined our group, and 
after exhausting his jokes on my landscape, he 
took up a dirty palette, threw it at me, and 
was off." 

Some years after this, he was seen to glaze the 
foreground of Constable's picture of " Hadleigh 
Castle " with asphaltum ; and the artist, with 
some anxiety, said, loud enough for Chantrey to 


hear him, " There goes all my dew/' A by- 
stander asked the sculptor if he would allow 
Constable to use the chisel upon one of his busts ; 
and he replied u Yes." The cases, however, were 
not parallel, as the asphaltum could be, as in- 
deed it was, removed by Constable from the 

At a public dinner where his health had been 
drunk, Constable told him that he should have 
made a speech, instead of merely returning 
thanks ; when Chantrey replied, " How many 
persons do you think were in the room who 
thought me a fool for not speaking? and how 
many would have thought me a fool if I had 
spoken ? " * 

The sculptor's jokes with Turner, during the 
preparation for the exhibition, were continual. 
He heard that the great artist was using some 

* The editor is indebted to his friend Mr. Leslie for these 


water-colour; he went up to his picture of 
" Cologne," and drew with a wet finger a great 
cross on the sail of a vessel, when, to his regret 
and surprise, he found that he had removed a 
considerable quantity of glazing colour. How- 
ever, Turner was not discomposed, and only 
laughed at the temerity of the sculptor, and 
repaired the mischief. 

It is but just to observe that the magnanimity 
and the generosity of the landscape painter 
could go much farther than mere toleration, for 
the splendour of the picture just alluded to, 
neutralised some colour and beautiful work in 
portraits that hung on each side of it, painted 
by Sir Thomas Lawrence. This naturally dis- 
composed that sensitive and admirable artist, 
but he refrained from any expression beyond 
applause of Turner's power : however, the latter 
discovered that Lawrence thought his pictures 
were materially injured in effect by the contrast, 


and with an unparalleled self-sacrifice, passed an 
obscuring tint in water-colour over his whole 
picture, thus relieving the great portrait painter 
from some mortification. 

Another generous action may be quoted of 
Turner, of a similar character; for he wished a 
change to be made, and the place occupied by 
a picture of his to be given to a painting by 
a friend, much less advantageously situated ; 
but the rules of the Royal Academy did not 
permit this or any other removal after the 

Northcote left a sum in his will for a monu- 
ment to himself, to be executed by Chantrey. 
On the sculptor being asked what the monument 
was to be, he replied, " It is left entirely to me ; 
I may make merely a tablet if I choose ; the 
money is too much for a bust, and not enough 
for a statue ; but I love to be treated with confi- 
dence, and I shall make a statue and do my 


best." And probably Chantrey never executed 
anything more characteristic, or more like, than 
the face and figure of Northcote ; for every one 
to whom that painter was known started at the 
resemblance, and the work only wanted colour 
to make the spectator believe that he saw the 
veteran artist in his studio. 

He retained and improved all his friendships 
until his death, and neither time nor absence 
ever effected a change, as the following letter will 
in some measure prove; it is from his friend 
Thomson, whose departure from London the 
sculptor always regretted extremely, for there 
was much that was congenial in their natures, 
free, generous, and confiding : 

PORTSMOUTH, 13th July, 1828. 


I received your letter in due time 
yesterday, and the gun in the evening. The 


opening of the case excited a varied emotion of 
a laugh and a cry. Luff, who helped me to un- 
pack it, was all admiration, which you will readily 
believe I joined in ; but when he observed, " This 
looks like snuff, Sir; is it not?" I confess I 
was overset, I could not help it, it recalled many 
associations ! But no more of that. And now 
let me tell you, that the Purday appears to be 
everything I could wish, and I am certain is 
every thing you describe; but I really never 
could have conceived that I was employing you 
so earnestly upon a job which was to prove a 
considerable expense and trouble to you ! Am I 
to understand that you expect me to receive it 
from you as a present ? Do not suppose that I am 
too proud to lie under an obligation to a friend 
(I am under many to you), but I should never 
forgive myself, if, by any expression of mine, I 
could have led you to imagine that I was desirous 
of imposing on your kindness. I wished to profit 


by your perfect acquaintance with these matters, 
and by the superior advantage you possessed over 
me in opportunities of selecting for me what I 
would, without any examination, have taken im- 
plicitly upon your recommendation, and would 
have repaid you for your trouble with my grati- 
tude, and your expenses with ready money. This 
was my wish and intention ; but if I am to under- 
stand literally your request, that I am to accept 
from you one of the best guns Pur day ever 
made, whatever may be my embarrassment 
through such unexpected kindness, I can only 
frankly say, that as I am convinced it was offered 
with unaffected sincerity, it will be quite impos- 
sible for me to hurt your affectionate attentive 
feelings by a refusal. Depend upon it, if not 
for my own sake, I will treasure it for yours ; it 
shall run no risk of being lost overboard; and 
I will murder puffins, razorbills, gulls, and divers, 
with a more ignoble instrument. I would 


endeavour to say more, but I hope that is 

The tone of the latter part of your letter is very 
unlike yourself! That I, with my disposition 
and constitution, should be dejected humbled, if 
you will, is quite natural; but that you, with 
your bustling, elastic activity, knowledge of the 
world, and ability, as well as dexterity to en- 
counter and defeat humbug, should confess 
humiliation, rather surprises me; but it won't 
hurt you ! However, it serves to confirm me 
in the wisdom of my decisions ; for I am certain 
that I must sink where you are unable to swim ! 
My time for repentance is not yet arrived, and I 
hope never will overtake me. I became a solitary 
being from necessity, not choice ; solitude is now 
no longer a punishment to me, and I feel in my 
retirement a degree of independence, which 
leaves me little to desire, and a portion of con- 
comitant happiness, which a sophisticated cockney 


would only mention with contempt. I could 
tell him to his confusion, that I am surrounded 
by kind, affectionate, and comparatively natural 
beings, who still possess the feelings of humanity; 
who do as they would be done by, and who, 
treated with kindness, repay civility with grati- 
tude. I can live on half my income, and I have 
half-a-hundred smiling faces contending for 
priority in my estimation ; my least wish is 
complied with, and generally anticipated. My 
resources are abundant, and hitherto I have 
not experienced a melancholy hour. God send 
it may continue, and I hear you say Amen. The 
state of society in London is like the Moorfields' 
furniture, as beautiful as brass, veneer, and var- 
nish can make it, but within all is sap and putty. 
It will not bear cleaning when dirty, and if you 
require rest or repose, you have neither an arm 
nor a leg that you can depend upon. Here, at 
least, the good oak tables are sound, and the 


chairs would support a house. I have old 
friends and old faces around me ; my steady 
affectionate Mr. Chamberlayne is within two 
hours' sail of me, and he alone is worth all Lon- 
don. I see him often. I Avill not, however, 
allow it to be supposed that I have not left 
behind me some whom I sincerely regard, but 
not enough to save Nineveh ; the few, whom I 
do love, I keep in my heart of hearts, and if 
ever fortune should bring them within my atmo- 
sphere, they will soon experience the sincerity of 
my feelings. I am delighted to find that dear 
Little'n is well ; give my affectionate regards 
to her, and every kind remembrance to Tarley ; 
I have just taken a pinch of his Martinique and 
Brown Hamburgh to his health : it was quite 
delicious, and the toast has imparted to it a 
double relish and improved flavour. Best re- 
gards to old Turner; his little picture hangs 
over my sofa, and I look at it every day with 


increased pleasure. I am now going to scribble 
a few lines to Jones. 

Ever sincerely yours, 


I never saw so beautiful a piece of cutlery as 
the knife you enclosed in the gun-case. 

Thomson on one occasion, in writing to 
Chantrey, headed his address by sticking a large 
red wafer on the paper, and drawing thereon, 
eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, which, however 
ridiculous, from the just arrangement of the 
features and the proportions, gave a lively cari- 
cature of the rubicund face of the sculptor. 
Chantrey used to show this with great delight, 
and often, instead of signing a jocose and merry 
letter, would stick a wafer with the features 
delineated by his own hand. 

Before he built his second house, or rather 

* This was Thomson's familiar mode of subscribing himself. 


reconstructed his first, he was accustomed to sit 
in a small room near the entrance from the street, 
and in communication with the studio ; in this 
apartment he was accessible to his friends, 
and to persons on business ; it -was much too 
small for his purpose, but in it were his books 
of business, maps, a few literary works, and 
some of his beautiful sketches in clay. When 
not at work in his studio, he occupied himself 
here, and, on the entrance of his friends, the 
cheerful smile of recognition brightened his ex- 
pressive features, and the visitor always felt 
that he was cordially welcome, for in the mouth 
of the sculptor was an expression that no one 
could mistake, or misinterpret; it was probably 
the most flexible index that ever graced a human 
face ; it was little susceptible of control ; of deceit 
or guile it was incapable. 

When the new building was completed, he 
stood with a friend on the house-top, and sur- 


veyed the whole, saying, "Now this is done, at 
an expense little short of twenty thousand 
pounds, and what may be the result ? what my 
future career ? Will health be permanent : my 
employment be continued : will public favour 
last : will my faculties remain : may I not be 
superseded by brighter spirits, or by greater 
favourites with the world ? Such changes I have 
seen, and am I not liable to the like ? 

These were the sculptor's reflections ; and 
such thoughts on the mutability of worldly 
affairs constantly prevailed amid a career of 
enviable fortune. 

In the new arrangement, he had an excellent 
room for a library, and for official business, in- 
cluding also every convenience for dressing, so 
that at all times he admitted and conversed 
with his friends. In this room, sitting by the 
fire in his easy chair, commodious for writing or 
reading, close to his desk, Chantrey received 


the dignified and scientific of the land, ready to 
listen to the requests and inquiries of all; also 
to give advice and offer opinions on the most 
serious or the most trifling matters ; his attention 
was always ready, his observations reasonable, 
and often mixed with facetiousness. 

He avoided controversy and dispute, though 
he was a profound thinker, for the works of the 
creation were so continually under his view in 
their physical development, that they engaged his 
intense, though quiet consideration. Every object 
he referred to the Creator of all, and admired 
without limit the works of the Great Artificer, 
from the smallest leaf to the noblest production, 
and, in his mundane calling, aimed at an imita- 
tion of that excellence of beauty which nature has 
displayed. No one could be more sensible of the 
inferiority of imitation, or more grateful for the 
judgment which enabled him to discriminate be- 
tween the works of superhuman and human power. 


Those who have seen Chantrey sitting by his 
fire, and twirling his snuff-box, whilst engaged in 
thought, will remember the cheerful smile and the 
ready dismissal of business at the approach of a 
friend; the first salutation generally was "A 
pinch of snuff?" presenting his box; his next was, 
if he were disengaged, " You will dine here 
to-day ; " these frequent and hospitable occur- 
rences produced the most agreeable meetings. 

He loved a joke, and was quick to profit by, 
or invent one ; his introductions of one friend 
to another were often very odd and ridiculous. 
Mr. Utterson went one morning into the sculp- 
tor's library, and found him in conversation 
with the architect who restored and added to 
Windsor Castle, to whom Chantrey introduced 
Mr. Utterson in this manner : " Mr. Utterson 
Sir Jeffrey Wyattville, K.C.B., King's Castle 
Builder; or, King's Cottage Builder, which you 
will ! ! ! " This happened in the reign of George 


the Fourth, for whom Wyattville built a cottage 
in Windsor Park. 

With Lady Chantrey, he called one morning 
on a female friend lately arrived in London, 
and improved in health and enbonpoint ; on 
seeing her, Chantrey exclaimed, "Dear lady, 
why you are now all circles," and he sat down, 
and with a pen drew out a complication of 
circles, indicative of feminine beauty, with 

The original, and sometimes ludicrous, yet 
affectionate demonstration of regard for his 
friends, cannot be appreciated by those whose 
intimacy or opportunity did not call it forth. 
Amongst other singular modes of testimony of 
regard to a particular friend, whose presence 
gave him pleasure, was the following : whenever 
he hired a fresh servant, on the arrival of this 
friend, he was accustomed to call this servant 
into his library, then desire his friend to stand 


up ; he then said to the servant, " Look at that 
gentleman well, examine him well; will you know 
him again ? " By all these questions, the servant 
may be supposed to be embarrassed, yet, of 
course, he answered in the affirmative, and on 
such an acknowledgment, Chantrey would say : 
" Well, sir, if you know him, and can recollect 
him, admit him to me whenever he presents 

His disposition .to create mirth carried him 
even to dramatic representation, for, on one 
occasion, at a great dinner party which he gave, 
Lady Chantrey apologised for Sir Francis not 
being present when numerous visitors arrived; 
at last one was announced with more than ordi- 
nary ceremony, and a jolly ecclesiastic appeared, 
in gown and cassock, with a fashionable wig 
belonging to a distinguished character then sit- 
ting to Chantrey. So unusual an appearance in 

familiar society surprised many, and set them to 

ii 2 


think how this stranger could appear in a sacer- 
dotal dress, unless just returned from some clerical 
duty, for the character was so well supported, and 
the voice so admirably disguised, that, until the 
penetrating eye of Lady Callcott detected the 
impostor, no one supposed that it was the sculptor 
himself who personified the dignitary of the 

Fond of field sports, he enjoyed exercise, 
and delighted in the company that associated 
for the amusement, hut his sporting was always 
so tempered with mercy, that it never allowed 
any game to suffer unnecessarily; in fishing, he 
always killed the trout he took with the ivory rule 
which he carried in his pocket, for the purposes of 
art. In writing from Holkham, and describing 
a day of battue, he stated that he had killed thirty 
pheasants and twenty hares, with the remark, 
that, when the produce of his sport was cast at his 
feet, he felt sick at the destruction his success 


had occasioned. He was a good sportsman, and 
in that pursuit, as in every other, he was directed 
by the sound sense which guided him in every- 
thing he undertook, and he never attempted 
anything in which his success was not 

The Houghton Fishing-Club afforded him 
great delight: he aided its progress, added to 
its comfort, hilarity, and sport : his skill pleased 
some, and his good humour all, an abun- 
dance of fun that might give pleasure to the 
most juvenile, and not be distasteful to the more 
grave and reflective. His associates in that 
friendly union were like himself, and whoever 
has enjoyed their hospitality must reflect with 
pleasure on such a unity of kind feeling in a 
society which sought to promote each other's 
pleasure, and found no satisfaction so great as 
to contribute to mutual content. Their diet 
certainly was not of the most primitive kind, for 


their dishes and wine indicated a choice selection, 
yet their rural banquets never degenerated to 

A book is kept by the society, of most amusing 
records, and embellished with graphic examples 
of talent, and among them some precious pieces 
from the hand of the sculptor. In fine weather, 
a tent on the margin of the river Test afforded 
them rest and social intercourse, with refresh- 
ment ; when the season was unfavourable, a 
good though humble inn at Stockbridge furnished 
the party with all that sportsmen could desire ; 
and thus, far from the trammels of the fashion- 
able world, these literary and scientific men in- 
dulged in a rational intercourse, enjoyed a 
healthful amusement in the open air, and re- 
freshed themselves after severe application in 
their respective pursuits. 

The following letter, from Dr. Wollaston, will 
show the familiar, jocular, and agreeable commu- 


nication that existed among the members of this 
cheerful and happy society : 

Monday, 1828. 


I regretted much not having been at 
home to answer direct questions directly ! Will 
I go to Stockbridge on Sunday ? Ans. Yes ; I 
will. How ? Ans. With you, any how, i. e., by 
coach or by chaise, direct, or indirect. If by 
chaise, shall I bring one to your door at any 
given hour? I rely upon you to direct 
Yours faithfully, 



Such were the jocose letters and agreeable 
repartee of these sportsmen. On one occasion 
Dr. Wollaston, when returning from one of the 
fishing excursions, being met by the author as he 
alighted from his carriage at Chantrey's door, 


the natural question was, " Well,, doctor, what 
have you killed ?" to which the doctor's ready 
reply was, "A fortnight." 

An invalid friend of Chantrey's visited him at 
Stockbridge, on one of the fishing days, and the 
sculptor determined that his visitor should enjoy 
the sight of the sport, if he could not participate 
from the fear of wet, over-exertion, or any of the 
accidents incidental to the amusement. In order 
that all the pleasure possible should be given to 
his companion, and his health also secured, he 
directed that a long and large pair of waterproof 
boots should be produced from his portmanteau, 
new from the maker, and these he insisted on 
his friend's wearing. When remonstrance was 
offered on the impossibility of doing so, for his 
friend was booted with spurs fixed on the heels ; 
nothing would satisfy him: the boots must be 
pulled on, at which he assisted with a resolution 
rendered as ridiculous as it was good-natured 


by the objurgations on dandy boots, and jokes, 
.which relieved by their mirth the discomfiture of 
the wearer when he heard the cracking and 
destructive rents which the spurs were making in 
the waterproof over-boots. But there was no 
compunction, no delay, on Chantrey's part ; 
the boots were forced on, and the equestrian 
was taken to wade through water and wet grass 
to the scene of action, and was shown all the 
mysteries of the sport, introduced to a number 
of agreeable persons, and partook of a dinner 
which had little of rustic character except the 
location and the canvas walls of a tent. 

The mutual and friendly feeling of this Club 
are admirably described by Mr. Bernard, one 
of the members : 

Houghton Fishing-Club, 16th July, 1829. 

" For let it be here recorded that in this 

Club the good example of Izaac Walton, our patron 

H 3 


saint, has been so invariably followed, that no 
jealousy, no envying, no strife, no bickering, has 
ever existed. The wish of an individual, whether 
expressed or implied, has been the law of all. 
The happiness of each other has been the com- 
pass by which all have steered. No angry word, 
no selfish feeling, has ever betrayed itself in our 
enviable circle. .Every successive meeting has 
been the means of uniting more firmly (if 
possible) that friendship and good fellowship 
which has manifested itself from the beginning, 
which it has been t*he unalloyed satisfaction of 
all to have experienced, and which with hearts so 
constituted must remain unshaken. Our society 
may be dissolved by circumstances over which we 
have no control; but the friendship which our 
meeting has established, and the remembrauce 
of the many happy hours passed in the com- 
pany of each other, can only terminate with our 


He was as indefatigable in his sports as in 
his profession ; and as fowler or fisher, he 
evinced a perseverance which ensured success ; at 
the same time he took with him all the feeling of 
an artist, for, on the winding banks of the 
Test, no pleasing form, no accidental effect, 
escaped him. The reflections in the water, the 
ripple of the stream, the rustle of the leaves, 
filled him with agreeable images and thoughts, 
expressed at the moment to his companions 
with simple sense and justice. Bad weather 
never restrained him in his rural pastime ; and 
so reckless was he of himself, and so con- 
siderate for others, that he was seen in a heavy 
shower of rain to take off his Macintosh cloak to 
cover the saddle of a friend's horse, who casually 
fell in with him while he was fishing, and had 
dismounted for more easy conversation ; such was 
always his friendly foresight. His carefulness 
for the health and comfort of others was most 


remarkable; to the sick it was most exemplary: he 
was a sedulous nurse during Lady Chantrey's long 
illness, and his assiduity and care for her conva- 
lescence proved his affection and his judgment. 

Always alive to a joke or contrivance for 
amusement by getting the start of other sports- 
men, on one occasion he was seen by a by- 
stander to bait his hook with the living grey fly, 
when all the members of the Club supposed them 
not to be on the river, and Avere using the 
artificial; but the sculptor had heard they were 
to be found, and had despatched a man to 
bring him some of the live bait, which he used 
with success, whilst his companions were trying 
their fortune with the artificial fly. 

Among the members of the Houghton Club, 
the following names were conspicuous : Earl of 
Hardwicke, Lord Saltoun, Henry Warburton, 
Edward Barnard, G. W. Norman, Sir Hussey 
Vivian, Rev. F. Beadon, Francis Popham, Sir 


F. Chantrey, Colonel Mudge, Richard Penn, 
John Jarrett, Dr. Wollaston. 

Chantrey at all times evinced more eagerness 
to join this party and partake in the amusement, 
than to participate in the fashionable entertain- 
ments of the metropolis, and he never expressed 
any regret at leaving his studio for a sojourn at 
Stockbridge. On other occasions he would com- 
plain of the time lost in a popular life, and lament 
the hours passed in the world which he might 
have devoted to improvement; for, whilst the 
fine works of ancient art were around him, he 
longed for progress towards competition. 

A great lover of dogs, he always had some ; 
but two were most prized by him, the one a fine 
pointer called Hector, liver-coloured and white, 
and, in addition to perfect sagacity in sporting, 
the most gentle and affectionate servant that ever 
master had. 

The other was a terrier of the Dandie Dinmout 


breed, presented to him by Sir Walter Scott. 
This animal, called Mustard, was of the roughest 
wiry kind when he came into Chantrey's posses- 
sion ; but each succeeding year smoothed his coat 
and increased his bulk, and he became a striking 
example of the effects of luxury and repletion, 
yet his obesity and indolence did not diminish 
his devotion to his master and Lady Chantrey, 
but entitled him to the indulgence he received, 
and made him an object of favour to all his 
master's friends. 

The demeanour of these two dogs was very 
dissimilar ; the first was a solicitous and obe- 
dient dependant, whilst the latter was a despot 
to his master and mistress. 

Those who delight in the sagacity of animals 
and of their projects may be amused by an 
account of Chantrey's pointer bringing himself 
into notice. A friend of his, to whom the dog 
was attached, dined with a large party at the 


sculptor's house, and after the cloth was re- 
moved, the dog placed himself beside this visitor, 
and, in a short time, put his left fore-paw on his 
knee ; after which, and at a considerable interval 
of time, he raised his left hind-foot on to the 
chair, and, in this most inconvenient position, 
supported himself until he found means to 
raise his whole body into the visitor's lap : the 
whole was effected with the greatest quietness, 
precision, adroitness, and modesty that can be 
conceived. The loud and expressive burst of 
admiration and laughter from the assembled 
company had no effect upon the dog, for he 
looked as gravely on the table as possible, with- 
out the appearance of any desire beyond that 
which he had obtained. 

All branches of natural history were attractive 
to the sculptor, and he enjoyed seeing, and 
assisted in managing, the valuable collection 
in the Zoological Gardens. The monkeys, in 


particular, afforded him delight, and he evinced 
great solicitude for their health at a time when 
they suffered severely : many perished through 
disease; but he persevered with others and 
found a remedy. On Sundays, accompanied by 
Lady Chantrey and some friend, he often passed 
an hour or two in the gardens, and his sagacious 
remarks on the habits and construction of the 
animals were always instructive and amusing, 
particularly when the developments of compara- 
tive anatomy came under his observation, for he 
never forgot his profession, nor failed to notice 
anything that tended to its illustration. 

His respect for, and admiration of, the Elgin 
Marbles may be collected from the following 
note, which the noble Earl would not have 
written if he had not been sure of the advocacy 
of the sculptor in favour of these marvellous 
works. Of " The Ilyssus " Chantrey's esteem 
was unbounded ; of the " Theseus " he would 


speak with the resolute conviction of its beauty, 
that no one could doubt his sincerity, or his 
judgment ; for he pointed out the grand lines 
of form, the solid yet graceful development of 
muscular strength, and the pulpy flesh-like 
character given to the marble. The recumbent 
females received his unqualified praise, from 
the fleshy and palpable appearance of the 
undraped parts. These works of antiquity he 
considered of the highest class, and worthy to 
be the standard of sculpture in the country. 
His own works evince how much he had considered 
the fleshy character, and how much he had en- 
deavoured to improve by these examples of sculp- 
ture rescued from destruction by the Earl of Elgin. 

39, PARLIAMENT STREET, 14 Feb., 1817. 

I have requested Lord Spencer to 
call upon you, not only to see your own most 


interesting performances, but particularly with a 
view to the proceedings at the British Museum 
to-morrow, when some decision may probably 
be taken, as to the casts from the Elgin Marbles. 
For I much wish that one so competent to 
give a proper direction to any thing meant to 
be of public utility, should have the best and 
most impartial information. In this view I 
would beg you to show Lord Spencer those 
admirable casts which you brought from Paris, 
pointing out the excellence both of the material 
as prepared by Gessi, and of the work ; the mode 
in which they are adapted to be detached in 
pieces for the purpose of study, and a comparison 
between them and ordinary casts. Lord Spencer 
may perhaps also not be aware of the danger to 
the original, and the inadequacy of plaster in parts 
where wax alone should be used; nor of the 
facilities granted in Paris to artists to take im- 
pressions from any particular part of any 


sculpture, subject only to the obligation of 
employing the artists appointed by the Museum. 
Viewing the subject in the light you do, as one 
that may be the means of disseminating good 
taste, as well as improving operative artists, I 
need make no apology for this application to you. 

Believe me ever, dear Sir, 

Your very faithful servant, 


A question one day arose at table, whether 
painting or sculpture was the most difficult art, 
and which required the most ability ? A sculp- 
tor present, fairly enough, said what he could 
for the superiority of the art he practised ; but 
Chantrey, with the ingenuous honesty which 
dictated all his observations, said to his neighbour 
at the dinner ; " Do not believe him, for I have 
tried them both ; " which he had done, and 
with success ; for, whether in one or the other 


art, his imagination never superseded his reason, 
and, if he had a bias, it was towards the grand 
in magnitude and simplicity. 

If he made his figures large, plain, and even 
heavy, yet he never fell into coarseness; if his 
figures were at times cumbrous, it was a weight- 
iness accompanied with dignity, and partook 
more of the exaggerations of Michael Angelo 
than of Rubens. 

Chantrey esteemed highly the works of 
Roubilliac; he admired his busts; and thought 
the statue of " Newton," at Cambridge, of the 
best character of portrait sculpture. The sim- 
plicity of the figure, united with the apparent 
intelligence and thought in the countenance, he 
considered as quite satisfactory; and although 
he generally disliked the imitation of any par- 
ticular material in drapery, he was reconciled 
to the College dress of the philosopher. 
From its perfect arrangement, the imitation is 


so complete, that the person who shows the 
statue at Cambridge always informs the visitors 
that it only requires to be black to render it 
a deception. 

He was inclined to tolerate anything that 
displayed ingenuity without violating possibility, 
yet he could never endure such extraneous and 
uninteresting matter as the shot, the barrel of 
powder, and the bent chamber of a piece of 
artillery in the monument to Lord Shannon, in 
Walton Church, which, with much to commend 
in the two figures, has a profusion of objects, and 
a grey marble background, representing a tent, 
altogether unnecessary, and derogatory to the 
purity of sculpture. Still, Roubilliac was rich in 
thought and reason, for, in his monument in 
Westminster Abbey, where he has represented 
Death as a skeleton, he felt that the thin and 
meagre bones would be as offensive as imprac- 
ticable ; therefore judiciously involved the greater 


part of the emblem in a shroud or drapery, 
adding thereby to his allegory, and aiding his art. 
However hostile this style may be to the simpli- 
city of sculpture, the ability of the artist in the 
conception and execution deserves high praise. 

The beadle of "Worcester Cathedral informed 
a friend of Chantrey's that, when the sculptor 
was in that city, he always went to see the 
monument to Bishop Hurd, by Roubilliac, and 
remained a long time in intent observation of the 
work, for he thought this artist's power over the 
material surprising, though he disliked polishing 
the marble. 

He regretted that our churches and public 
buildings, such as courts of justice, town halls, 
and the rooms of societies, were not decorated 
with pictures and statues, recording persons and 
events, which might, by their example, be 
valuable to the rising and future generations ; 
this he considered the great use and duty of 


art, and admired the manner (but not the 
means) in which the room of the Society of Arts, 
at the Adelphi, was embellished by Barry. 
Yet he did not undervalue those works which 
were merely amusing, but in all cases he required 
that they should be wrought with a desire to 
carry on the art, and without prejudice in 
favour of any style, but with an entire love of 
truth, and the cultivation of the knowledge of 

He wished art to be highly appreciated, and 
well rewarded, yet the former was still more in 
his consideration than the latter. Although he 
obtained good prices himself, and supported them 
in others, he had an extreme disdain and abhor- 
rence of sacrificing the honour of art to gain, by 
undertaking works at a low price, and bestowing 
upon them but little time or attention. He was 
in the habit of asking persons what they intended 
to expend on a monument, and then told the 


party what could be done, by himself or others, 
with justice and success ; but in all cases, and 
whatever the quantity, the utmost exertion of the 
artist should be given, for the sake of the ad- 
vancement of art, as well as for the reputation 
of the individual professor. And no man ever 
strove with more zeal to sustain the honour- 
able character of artists, as men calculated to 
promote the cultivation of intellect, for the ad- 
vancement of religion and morals; through 
which he thought the state of society might be 
much exalted. And for this reason he tried to 
gain information on every science, courted the 
company of experienced and literary men, and 
endeavoured by the variety of his investiga- 
tions to bring to the consideration of all, the 
importance of even the most minute, as well as 
the greatest, works of nature. 

Probably there never was a man more unpre- 
sumingly conscious of his power, or more 


vigorous in exerting it; and by those to whom 
he was well known, it may not be too much to 
say, in the words of Cicero, " Quern neque 
periculi tempestas, neque honoris aura, potuit 
unquam de suo cursu, aut spe, aut metu, dimo- 
vere." * 

It may have been this consciousness of his 
own power, and his resolute adherence to its 
peculiar quality, that led to the single and com- 
pact manner in which he wished to concentrate 
his own abilities and the abilities of others, that 
what they and he did, might be well done ; and 
this gave him the determined expression which, 
to persons (well instructed in a more general way, 
but less competent in any particular pursuit,) 
might have the appearance of an unpolished or 
too confident habit. 

He felt that he must rest on his predominant 
talent in one pursuit, and on his conspicuous 

* Cic. Pro P. Sextio, xlvii. 


honesty and integrity, which he thought in- 
compatible with the refinements of courtly and 
fashionable intercourse, yet his heart was tender 
in the extreme. His thought was constantly 
fixed on how he had risen, and how affluent he 
was, compared to others, and his sensibility and 
gratitude for the favours of fortune were his 
themes when in serious conversation with his 

Chantrey did well all he undertook, and some 
things pre-eminently. As a painter, as a drafts- 
man, as an architect, as a mechanic, he evinced 
great ability; in geology, chemistry, and optics, 
as well as in the exact sciences, he had consi- 
derable knowledge, and enough to give him a 
lively interest in all. 

The sports, the pleasures, and the labours of 
the field he well understood ; and when in 
company with young men whose pursuits related 
to the agriculture of their country, he felt 


pleasure in declaring that, during his early career, 
he had mowed an acre of grass in a day, 
thrashed a quarter of corn in a day, and also 
ploughed an acre of land in , a day. He 
thought that a man should be able to do every- 
thing that tended to the duties, necessities, and 
conveniences of life, not only in consequence 
of the advantages resulting from a knowledge of 
all things and employments, but also to be 
enabled to estimate the labour of others. 

A more manly and courageous mind could not 
be found ; he shrunk from no difficulty, nor was 
deterred by any embarrassment that labour, assi- 
duity, and good sense could surmount. In his 
art his resources were wonderful : every objection- 
able form or subject seemed to give birth to a 
fresh creation of taste ; his ingenuity expanded as 
impediments occurred, and there was nothing in 
portrait sculpture that he was not ready to attempt 
or unable to achieve. Nor is partial friendship 



passing the bounds of justice in affirming that 
his drapery figures equal the best examples of 
ancient art, and surpass the greater part which 
have been preserved from destruction through 
time and circumstances. 

His busts were dignified by his knowledge and 
admiration of the antique, and the fleshy, pulpy 
appearance he gave to marble seems almost 
miraculous when operating on such a material ; 
the heads of his busts were raised with dignity, 
the throats large and well turned, the shoulders 
ample, or made to appear so ; likeness was 
preserved and natural defect obviated. George 
the Fourth, the Duke of Sussex, Lord Castle- 
reagh, and others, were so struck with Chantrey's 
power of appreciating every advantage of form, 
that they bared their chests and shoulders, that 
the sculptor might have every opportunity that 
well-formed nature could present. 

Added to the above-named qualities, in all his 


proceedings rectitude of conduct was his guide 
and his object ; and he would not allow any 
private interest of his own, nor of others, to inter- 
fere with the public good. In every society to 
which he belonged, he was solicitous for the 
benefit of the whole, and considered himself as 
the representative of all the members, and not 
the advocate of any party or portion ; he took an 
extended view of everything, and never allowed 
selfishness or interest to sway him. 

Possibly his early life and honest education 
gave him that independent yet unpresuming feel- 
ing which led him to esteem all below him in 
rank equally with those above him ; and to give 
just consideration and respect to virtue and talent 
in whomsoever it was found. If he had any- 
thing of a moral or judicial kind to investigate or 
correct, he endeavoured to find out whether the 
error was in the higher authorities, before he 
judged or reproached the subordinate; he had 


no hesitation before the elevated, nor dread of 
their resentment, and always advocated mercy 
towards the unfortunate. 

He felt that by the Sovereign's attention to 
him, to Sir Jeffrey "Wyattville, and Sir M. Archer 
Shee, their professions were honoured and held 
up to the public as entitled to more respect 
than they are accustomed to receive in Great 

Wyattville, by his honest and judicious conduct, 
elicited the respect of George the Fourth and his 
successor, and, during the whole of his career in 
the restoration and improvement of Windsor 
Castle, his success was as complete as his correct- 
ness was remarkable; and when he revised the 
expenditure of 770,OOOZ. with the receipts from 
the Government, he had the pleasure of finding 
that the deficit amounted to no more than seven- 
pence on the whole of the disbursement, up to 
the period of examination. He frequently, with 


respectful caution, remonstrated with the mo- 
narch on some proposed and costly project formed 
by his Majesty, for which the funds were in- 
adequate, and generally succeeded in convincing 
the King. The subject was good-humouredly 
dismissed, by George the Fourth saying, "Well, 
old gentleman, I suppose you must have your 
way ; " thus proving that honest and judicious 
advice will be listened to, when offered to those * 
least subject to opposition or control. 

Chantrey was an excellent shot; examples of 
this are numerous ; and amongst others, he killed 
two woodcocks at the discharge of a single 
barrel. The late Lord Leicester induced him 
to record the event in marble for Holkham, 
which the sculptor presented to the noble earl 
to adorn that seat of hospitable and sporting 

His facetiousness came out when consulted by 


Lord Leicester as to the best mode of framing a 
miniature of his fifth child, or rather the manner 
of including that portrait with four others already 
put together in one case; this seemed a great 
difficulty without destroying the arrangement of 
the four, on perceiving which the sculptor jocosely 
remarked, " Sir, you had better fill a similar case, 
having one to begin with." 

In his amusements Chantrey was as wayward 
and as bland as a child, with a sweetness of 
temper that could not be surpassed, which ren- 
dered him dear and entertaining to his friends, 
though he occasionally surprised strangers, by 
whom men of genius are expected to be as unlike 
others in all their actions as in their peculiar 
professional pursuits. 

He had but little feeling for the eccentricities 
of genius; he thought it an excuse of the am- 
bitious to usurp the place of real and developed 


talent, and an appeal to the public by presuming 
individuals of slender abilities. 

His notion respecting the character and con- 
duct of an artist was almost Utopian, or at least 
carried to the most chivalric extent ; for he 
thought that no interest nor inclination ought to 
tempt an artist to any selfish or mercenary view ; 
the love of art, and the honour of promoting it, 
he considered the first duty of an artist ; that 
it ought to supersede every object of profit 
or worldly advantage; he also thought that all 
the professors should exercise the most rigorous 
caution with respect to integrity and honour. 
A breach of truth, promise, or a subterfuge, 
he considered as too disgraceful to be endured 
amongst men who presumed to illustrate the 
beautiful, the pure, and the virtuous; and he 
abhorred everything licentious in art. 

The grosser physical habits he contemned, 
and often used to jest on his apparent love 

I 3 


of the table, and the means he took to evince 
his hospitality, and contribute to the comfort 
of his Mends. With these feelings he deeply 
regretted his practice of taking snuff, and made 
several efforts to relinquish the habit, but with- 
out success; and he often cautioned persons in 
a jocose way, by saying to any one introduced 
to him, " Sir, as a new acquaintance, I will give 
you a piece of advice, and it is this : never take 
snuff; I have done so twenty years, and have 
repented doing so twenty years." This often 
surprised a stranger, but may have been 
beneficial, for it was offered most sincerely, and 
so good-naturedly, though abruptly, that it 
never gave offence. Chantrey often relieved 
a severity of manner in the necessary execution 
of his duties, by a sudden transition to the 
most playful good-nature. He was stern and 
resolute for the accomplishment of that which 
he believed to be right, and little inclined to 


screen the misconduct of those in his own 
station of life, and to whom he often gave a 
salutary lesson of admonition whilst he at the 
same time administered comfort. 

Though a cheerful liver, he felt completely 
the value of art in correcting luxurious and 
sensual habits, and of adding to the pure en- 
joyments of life ', and those who consider utility 
only, omit to observe that utility leads on to 
luxury, and that luxury tends to its own augmen- 
tation, debasing human character to sensuality, 
if unattended by pursuits which lead to mental 

Such reflections operated on the philosophical 
sculptor, and conduced to his belief in the im- 
portance of the Royal Academy for the promotion 
of fine art, as a means to improve the moral 
character of society by the instruction and 
amusement it might afford. With this im- 
pression he had been imbued for twenty years, 


and it terminated in the disposal of his property 
for this purpose; thus proving by his act the 
sincerity of his thought. 

His taste in sculpture all tended to the grand 
and colossal; therefore the examples in Egypt both 
in figures and architecture claimed his regard, 
yet he never admired the extragavant; he was 
as simple in his art as in his manners and 
feelings. He thought a fine representation of 
man the most imposing of objects, and his desire 
to impress the world with its importance led 
him to wish to imitate, on a feasible object, 
Democrates, who offered to cut Mount Athos 
into a statue of Alexander.* Chantrey wished 
to convert a projecting rock in Derbyshire into 
a human figure ; he also gave a design for a 
colossal statue of the Duke of Sutherland, to 

rt]v NJO/STJI/, KCU. avros etSov ave\6cav es TOV ~2,nrv\ov TO 
opos 1} 8e ir\rtffiov fiev irerpa KCU Kpyuvos fffTiv, . . . fiSeyf 
iroppcarepti! yevoio, SeSa.Kpv/j.fvrii' 8oeis opav KCU Kari)(pri ywaiKO. 
PAUSANIAS, Niobe, Lib. i. c. xxi. 


be built up in a rough manner on an eminence 
near Trentham. 

Although not a great reader^ yet he never 
forgot any remarkable fact that he had met with 
in literature, or in the course of conversation 
with the learned in art or science. Sir Walter 
Scott, Southey, Rogers, and the distinguished 
members of the Church and both Universities, were 
amongst his friends and associates. Wollaston 
thought the sculptor's mind capable of maturing 
any subject to which it might be steadily 

From a state of indifference towards the Royal 
Academy, Chantrey became an earnest and dis- 
interested advocate for its welfare, and often used 
to say that he felt profound respect for the men 
by whom the laws and regulations had been 
formed. Although, like every other institution, 
rules to meet every exigency were not found, yet, 
on serious and mature consideration, in private 


and in council, he believed that no change or 
alteration could be made, without being incon- 
venient or cumbrous to the institution. 

With such opinions, it may be supposed that 
he was a great advocate for its permanency, and in 
his will bound his trustees to preserve his pro- 
perty for the use of the original establishment 
an establishment that probably offers, more than 
any other in Europe, the best advantages for the 
progress of art ; a fact proved by nearly all the 
great artists of the country having been educated 
under its roof, and whose members have graced 
the institution, and adorned the country.* 

To entitle the Royal Academy to this cha- 

* " Sir Francis, we all know, left a large fortune, and destined 
it most generously, most nobly, to the service of the fine arts in 
Great Britain, and with that great object in view, to what hands 
did he entrust the management of his munificent bequest ? He 
constituted the President and Council of the Royal Academy his 
trustees for ever ! He did so after thirty years' close observation 
of the body, and no stricter observer ever lived." Qtuarterfy 
Review, Sept., 1843. 


racter, and to justify the estimation in which 
it was held by Chantrey, it may be well to 
state how it is constituted, and its mode of 

The Royal Academy consists of forty Acade- 
micians, receiving their commission from the 
Sovereign, under the sign manual each of the 
forty being elected by that body, and out of a 
second order, denominated Associates, amounting 
to twenty in number. There is also another 
class of Associates, confined to engravers, as a 
testimony of their great ability, in imitating and 
diffusing copies in chiaroscuro of the most 
admired of ancient and modern works. By their 
able hands many meritorious examples of art 
have been rescued from oblivion, but as their 
efforts do not consist of invention in design, 
it was thought right to give them a rank 
expressly to themselves, which also affords them 
the advantages of the institution, without 


including them in the class to which the govern- 
ment of the establishment belongs, namely, the 
forty Academicians. 

A small class was added to the practical pro- 
fessors of Anatomy, Painting, Sculpture, Architec- 
ture, and Perspective, designated in the following 

A Chaplain, of high rank in the Church. 

A Professor of Ancient History. 

A Professor of Ancient Literature. 

A Secretary for Foreign Correspondence ; and 

An Antiquary. 

These persons have always been selected from the 
most distinguished in the land, to unite art with 
all from which it may occasionally require aid; 
for although the literary education of artists 
ought to be as extensive as possible, yet they 
may sometimes require the assistance of those 
whose opportunities and abilities have enabled 
them to make deeper research. 


The executive consists of a President and 
Council of eight, four going out every year, and 
four coming in by rotation throughout the whole 
list of Academicians. 

This is a very simple structure, and can be 
managed without much difficulty or expenditure 
of time. 

The permanent officers are four, a Keeper, 
Secretary, Treasurer, and Librarian, and are 
held much more as honours than as situations 
of emolument, for if they were not stations of 
high consideration amongst the body, the pecu- 
niary recompense to each is so small, that it 
would be derogatory to any man of talent to 
receive it. 

He thought any attempt disloyal to alter the 
constitution of the Royal Academy, as directed 
by the gracious founder, which the sculptor con- 
sidered an establishment given by that Monarch 
to the individuals composing it, and to the State, 


as an accessory to the Government for the 
improvement of taste in the country, without 
expense to the nation. For the institution of 
the Royal Academy of Arts is not a public, 
but private one, founded by the Sovereign, 
and supported either by the means of the 
Sovereign or by its own, if it have or can 
acquire any. 

George the Third established this Academy at 
his own risk of expense, and gave for its use 
apartments in his private property at Somerset 
House (which apartments were relinquished by 
the Royal Academy to the Government, with the 
consent of William the Fourth, in exchange for 
those the institution now occupies in Trafalgar 
Square, their former rooms being appropriated 
to the Government School of Design). George 
the Third entrusted the government of the esta- 
blishment to forty men distinguished in painting, 
sculpture, and architecture, and wished them to 


form schools for the study of youth desirous to 
become artists. This has been, and is done, pro- 
bably, more completely than in any part of 
Europe. An exhibition of the works of the 
members and others has been adopted as a means 
of relieving the Sovereign from the expense 
which would otherwise fall on the private dis- 
bursement of the crown. The Royal Academy 
is grateful for the approbation and esteem evinced 
by the public, but it is in no way under public 
or Government control, but the Government may 
be said to be indebted to the Sovereign for an 
institution for the promotion of Fine Art, without 
being the smallest expense to the nation. 

In all other countries, similar establishments 
are supported by the State, the Monarch, and 
private subscription, and generally a small annual 
payment from the students, whilst the Royal 
Academy of England finds for itself the means 
for the end, by an annual exhibition of the works 


of the members, and of the candidates to become 
such. From this source, funds arise to support 
schools, under competent instructors, for study 
from the antique, from the life, from pictures by 
old masters, from draped figures, and for archi- 
tecture, with a valuable library, and practical 
lectures on perspective. 

To all these the student is admitted without 
the slightest pecuniary expense, and if he fail 
during the time of his studentship, which is fixed 
at ten years, to become a student for life, he can 
always secure his place in the schools by a yearly 
application to the President and Council, which 
request is never denied to ny, excepting for 
misconduct, of which, to the credit of art, it may 
be said, there is not an example ; thus, admission 
to the institution may be considered as a station 
during life for the purpose of study. The rooms of 
the Society are warmed, and professors appointed 
to instruct all that are desirous of profiting by 


advice ; at the same time, the most perfect liberty 
is left to each individual to follow the mode of 
study he may prefer, or think best. 

So highly did he think of the advantages 
offered by the establishment, that he did his 
utmost to promote it, for he was anxious for im- 
provement in every branch of study which tended 
to the advancement of art, and was willing that 
any expense should be incurred for the benefit of 
the schools; but to any thing extrinsic, he was 
strongly adverse, as involving a loss of money, 
and of time. He thought that the first duty of 
the Academy should be to secure the best talent 
of the country for its members, in which it has 
always succeeded; but the great complaint that 
is made against the Academy, is, that they, accord- 
ing to their laws, judge of the merits of candidates 
for Academic honours, instead of leaving that 
judgment to the profession in general, or to the 


He well knew that the deficiencies in British 
art arose from the want of encouragement in the 
practice likely to produce estimable works, for to 
do so, length of time and strict application are 
necessary ; also a certainty of some recompense. 
Few patrons can or will give the pecuniary reward 
that such labour requires, even for daily support, 
and the Government cannot do much, so that 
artists are obliged to produce works of slight 
character, and slender merit, to procure the 
means of existence. This prompted him to leave 
his wealth for the advantage of those who may 
be courageous enough to encounter severe appli- 
cation, self-denial, probable disappointment, and 
even ridicule, in the endeavour to elevate the 
mental and moral character of art. 

His opinion respecting study in Rome for 
the accomplishment of artists is developed in 
some notes, and an extract he made from the 
"Edinburgh Review" in January, 1841, and 


also from some remarks on Dr. Waagen's 

Chantrey objected to the practice of the Royal 
Academy in allowing students to remain three 
years in Rome ; he thought the better plan would 
be to give them a sum of money to travel under 
certain restrictions. 

He desired to advance the schools at home, and 
also to do justice to the establishments provided ; 
such as the British Museum, with the Townley 

* Dr. Waagen : " A visit to Italy has often proved the rock on 
which the hopes of many young artists of Germany and the 
Netherlands, both in former times and in our own days, have 
been miserably wrecked." 

Again, he says : " He endeavours to grasp every thing, digests 
nothing, practises little, and too commonly returns from his 
travels a much more indifferent painter than when he left his 
own country an artist, in short, of mere shreds and patches 
pilfered from the works of others, which he has neither the expe- 
rience nor the judgment to combine and apply to any rational 
purpose. It is far otherwise with men, who, like Rubens and Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, visit Italy after they have become accomplished 
artists, when they are well acquainted with the peculiar bias of 
their own genius, and with what it will be most advisable for 
them to study in the works of others, in order to decorate or 
strengthen their own style without injuring its originality." 


and Elgin marbles, the National Gallery, that of 
Windsor, the Cartoons, Dulwich Gallery, with the 
advantage of the fine collection of the Marquess 
of Westminster, the Earl of Ellesmere, and others, 
who generously allow their galleries to be seen. 
He feared that the praise bestowed on foreign art 
of the present or previous ages by the aristocracy 
of the country tended to depress and discourage 
rising talent. He writes, " The aristocracy praise 
foreign art, and are encouraged sometimes by 
English artists ;" he then names Glasgow as one 
proof of preference for the work of a stranger land, 
and concludes by saying, " Encourage the British 
to be true to themselves." 

His mind was remarkable for ready and clear 
perception ; ready for a hint which he could and 
always did improve ; ready to inquire and to 
profit by the inquiry; but he was not always a 
deliberate thinker, a meditator on the success or 
failure of others, or of the causes which led to 


such results ; nor was he an original thinker, but 
the readiest adapter and improver of the thoughts 
of others that could be found in his circle, and 
perhaps in his time. From the slightest indica- 
tion he could develope a sequence that always 
appeared judicious; he never hesitated to ac- 
knowledge that which he received from others, 
although in truth he generally improved and dig- 
nified the foundation on which he constructed 
any of his works. His nature was too open, 
noble, and honest, ever to deny an advantage 
he had received, yet his mind and taste were too 
acute and fertile to allow him to adopt entirely 
the suggestions of another without alterations or 

His philosophic mind induced him always to 
seek perfection in whatever he undertook; he 
had little respect for versatility of talent ; he felt 
that the object of each individual should be to 
carry as far as possible the pursuit he undertook. 


In art he strongly recommended every one to 
follow strenuously that which his talent and in- 
clination dictated, and opposed speculation on 
the possibility of success in any other line. He 
thought that colour and effect were the predomi- 
nant characteristics of British art, and he wished 
to see these carried on continually, with the hope 
of greater results than have as yet been attained ; 
at the same time he wished that elevated sub- 
jects should be chosen, such as are calculated to 
instruct and improve; for no one could object 
more strongly to the debasement of a noble art 
to insignificant, low, or disgusting representa- 
tions. He considered such things as degrading 
a profession which ought to be parallel in utility 
and importance with moral instruction, and only 
inferior to religion itself, to which it might 
always be the handmaid. For literature and 
science Chantrey had but little time, although 
he loved both ; therefore he induced scientific and 


learned men to visit him, by his intelligence and 
his unbounded hospitality. 

Inclination and mind led him rather to prac- 
tical science than to literature or speculative 
hypotheses. Classic learning engaged but little 
of his attention ; he knew that the pursuit of art, 
and even one branch of art, was sufficient for 
human life, and he exemplified this by resisting 
all the temptations offered him to compose and 
model historical or poetical subjects; for by a 
common mistake, or from the too prevalent desire 
of the public for novelty, his admirers and em- 
ployers often pressed him to indulge in the in- 
ventive, in the fanciful, and the allegoric ; but his 
sound sense and reason always prevented him 
from deviating from the course which nature, his 
own observations, and his peculiar ability dictated ; 
and when solicited to do something in the grand 
style, as it is called, by his less sagacious friends, 
he always resisted their importunities, and was 

K 2 


accustomed to answer, " Leave me to practise that 
in which I generally succeed, and let me not 
attempt that in which my efforts may not aug- 
ment my own reputation, or be any credit to my 

country. I am content to share with my brethren 

in the honours of art, by a reputation in one 

particular branch, without envying or emulating 
the success of my contemporaries in their respec- 
tive pursuits/' He referred lovers of the poetic 
to the exquisite works of Flaxman, whose illus- 
trations of the Greek poets called for and received 
his unbounded approbation. Yet he was not 
deficient in poetic feeling, but it was the poetry 
of tenderness and affection : the child, the mother, 
the mourner, and the afflicted, received from his 
hand a pathetic and graceful expression. The 
most delicate indications of sensibility he always 
perceived and adopted with a gentle and generous 
feeling. In each department of art, he wished 
the successful student to pursue unremittingly 


that which might carry him to a degree of emi- 
nence beyond his predecessors, and thus really 
add to the progress of art, and claim an im- 
mortality for himself. 

By Lord Egremont, he was offered an unlimited 
commission to execute a colossal figure of Satan 
from Milton, but the sculptor, either from want 
of inclination, or diffidence, never took the subject 
entirely into consideration, although he often 
mentioned it, and probably felt some regret at 
not acceding to the desire of that distinguished 
and generous nobleman. 

Lord Egremont's patronage of art did more for 
its promotion than can be calculated or expressed, 
for he sought and succoured genius, infused hope, 
and gave opportunities for talent to develope 
itself, and his name well merits the grateful and 
permanent recollection of the profession in all its 

Mr. Leslie thus relates the manner in which 


the above commission was given : " He received 
a visit one day from two gentlemen, strangers to 
him, who did not mention their names. While 
walking through his gallery, one of them said, 
' You seem to have been wholly employed on 
portraits ; have you never modelled an ideal sub- 
ject, or anything from poetry ? ' ' No, sir/ 
replied Chantrey, ' our patrons do not give com- 
missions for such subjects, at least, not to English 
artists ; the only sculptor among us, who has been 
employed on anything of the kind, is Flaxman, 
who has a commission from Lord Egremont for a 
group of the Angel Michael and the Devil/ The 
strangers, on leaving Chantrey, put their cards 
into his hand, and he found he had been speaking 
to Lord Egremont himself. The other gentleman, 
I think he said, was Lord Cowper. In a few days 
Lord Egremont called again, and said, ' I wish 
you to do something ideal for me ; what do you 
say to a colossal figure of the Devil ?' He answered, 


' that he thought, nothing could be better/ and 
it was his own fault, as he told me, that the 
commission was never executed." 

Mr. Leslie also relates the following anecdote : 
" Chantrey told me, that on one of his visits to 
Oxford, Professor Buckland, now Dean of West- 
minster, said to him, ' If you will come to me, 
you shall hear yourself well abused.' He had 
borrowed a picture of Bishop Heber from the 
Hall of New College, to make a statue from, and 
having kept it longer than he had promised, the 
woman, who showed the Hall, was very bitter 
against him. ' There is no dependance/ she said, 
' to be placed on that Chantrey. He is as bad as 
Sir Thomas Lawrence, who has served me just 
the same ; there is not a pin to choose between 
them/ She pointed to the empty frame, and 
said, f It is many a shilling out of my pocket the 
picture not being there ; they make a great fuss 
about that statue of (mentioning one by 


Chantrey, that had lately been sent to one of 
the colleges) ; but we have one by Bacon, which, 
in my opinion, is twice as good. When Chantrey' s 
statue came, I had ours washed. I used a dozen 
pails of water, and I am sure I made it look a 
great deal better than his/ He took out a five- 
shilling piece, and putting it into her hand, but 
without letting go, said, 'Look at me, and tell 
me whether I look like a very bad man/ ' Lord, 
no, sir/ ' Well, then, I am that Chantrey you 
are so angry with/ She seemed somewhat dis- 
concerted ; but quickly recovering herself, replied, 
'And if you are, sir, I have said nothing but 
what is true/ and he resigned the money into 
her hand." 

Consulted by the Dean and Chapter of West- 
minster as to the best means of preserving the 
monuments in the Abbey, to their surprise he 
recommended that all the iron rails round them 
should be removed. He said, "We do not 


understand John Bull; we are always by our 
prohibitions saying, you shall not come here, and 
you shall not go there, and John Bull says, 
'I'll let you see that I will."' A friend of his, 
who had been educated at Westminster, told him 
that it was considered an achievement to be 
accomplished by every boy to scale the railing 
that surrounded the monument of John, Duke 
of Argyll, and that he, being very active, often 
succeeded in this feat, but never without leaving 
his name on the monument. 

When selecting a place for Mr. Watt's statue 
in Westminster Abbey, he was accompanied by 
the late Lord Liverpool and Mr. C. Hampden 
Turner, and the subject of durability of monu- 
mental memorials was discussed. The sculptor 
took Lord L. to the spot where William Pitt 
and Charles James Fox lay, nearly side by side, 
and it was observed that the stones over the 
graves were cracked, and the engraved letters 

K 3 


almost obliterated; this occasioned regret to all 
the party, and the Earl, with a tear standing in 
his eye, asked Chantrey what could be done to 
prevent such effacement, when the sculptor 
replied, "If your Lordship will obtain permis- 
sion for me, I will place stones that are not 
liable to suffer, or the writing to be defaced." 
The consent was obtained, and after a short time 
Chantrey showed to his friend Mr. Hampden 
Turner two blocks of stone of almost imperish- 
able thickness, and the inscriptions so deeply 
cut, that erasure must be the destruction of the 

His estimation of elaborate works appeared 
not to be so great as it really was, for his unaided 
sight for minute matters was bad; yet in the 
beautiful drawing and composition of such pic- 
tures as those by Mulready and Wilkie he took 
the greatest pleasure, and would point out, with 
the aid of his glass, all the minute beauties and 


scrupulous adherence to everything characteristic 
of the subject, and the expression these artists 
intended to depict ; and among men of merit, 
who fell into any peculiarity of manner in their 
works, he would try to rally them out of prac- 
tices that seemed likely to injure their reputation 
or their works. He extended this jocular mode 
to others if he detected any affected peculiarity 
in their dress, manner, or habits, and often 
sought by a good-natured practical remonstrance 
to check this disposition. Among others, when- 
ever he saw a man proud of, or cultivating, a 
superfluous growth of hair, or imitating a 
Raphaelesque appearance, he would with infinite 
humour present such a person with a shilling, 
and beg that he would encourage some hair- 
dresser by his custom. He has been known to 
send by a friend to any eccentric character this 
practical and ludicrous remonstrance against 


At the time that the Duke of Sussex sat for 
his portrait to Chantrey, he wore moustachios 
and a beard, which induced the sculptor to 
remark, that he could not render with truth the 
mouth and chin whilst it was so concealed by 
hair ; on which his Royal Highness, with jocose 
vehemence, exclaimed with an oath, " The beard 
shall go with me to the grave;" upon which 
Chantrey replied, repeating the Duke's oath, 
" Then I cannot model your Royal Highnesses 
face." The good-natured Duke laughed at the 
artist's frankness, and when he next appeared in 
the studio he was close shaven, much to the 
astonishment of the sculptor, and to the amuse- 
ment of both. 

On one occasion, at a dinner-party, he was 
placed nearly opposite his wife at table, at the 
time when very large and full sleeves were worn, 
of which Lady C. had a very fashionable com- 
plement, and the sculptor perceived that a gen- 


tleman sitting next to her was constrained to 
confine his arms, and shrink into the smallest 
dimensions lest he should derange the superfluous 
attire. Chantrey observing this, addressed him 
thus ; " Pray, sir, do not inconvenience yourself 
from the fear of spoiling those sleeves, for that 
lady is my wife ; those sleeves are mine, and as I 
have paid for them, you are at perfect liberty to 
risk any injury your personal comfort may cause 
to those prodigies of fashion." Also, noticing 
a lady with sleeves " curiously cut," he affected to 
think the slashed openings were from economical 
motives, and said, " What a pity the dressmaker 
should have spoiled your sleeves ! it was hardly 
worth while to save such a little bit of stuff." 

A lady, one of his guests at dinner, wore a 
cameo brooch of the head of Michael Angelo ; 
he said to her, " Always wear that brooch at my 
house, for it prevents me from growing con- 
ceited :" and he always had a flow of lively and 


good-natured trifles, that made him agreeable to 

He united with his apparent roughness and 
abrupt manner the genuine and valuable acts of 
politeness, for although he has been heard to tell 
a lady to open the door, and other jocular free- 
doms, he always attended to their comforts, and 
rarely omitted going up with the ladies after 
dinner to see that the fire, the lights, and the 
curtains were all adjusted as they should be 
in the drawing-room, for no one better under- 
stood these minor acts of attention than himself ; 
and when he found all arranged for their comfort, 
he returned to his guests in the dining-room. 

Chantrey's zeal for his profession was evinced 
most effectively, for, in leaving his property, he 
made his intentions known to very few, and to 
those on the honour of secresy, for he did not 
wish to excite present gratitude, and he was con- 
scious that some might press him to a less noble 


application of his wealth ; but the sculptor's mind 
was deeply imbued with the love of his profes- 
sion, and he was filled with an earnest desire 
for its progress, and for this purpose he wished to 
accumulate wealth ; therefore, none knew his in- 
tention but Sir M. A. Shee, Mr. Jones, and Mr. 
Vernon ; the former from being President of the 
Royal Academy, in which institution he so much 
confided; the second, as his executor connected 
with the arts ; and Mr. Vernon, in consequence of 
Mr. Jones having informed Sir F. Chantrey of 
Mr. Vernon's noble intentions for the benefit of 
art and its connections; for by a singular 
coincidence, at the time Sir. F. Chantrey deter- 
mined to leave his wealth for the benefit of art, 
Mr. Vernon resolved to leave about 70,OOOJ. for 
a similar purpose, to include eleemosynary relief 
for poor, infirm, old, and unsuccessful artists. 

Mr. Garrard, at that time solicitor to Mr. Ver- 
non, suggested to him this mode of assisting, by 


his bequest, a profession which Mr. Vernon highly 
esteemed, and from which, and from its members, 
he received great satisfaction, amusement, and 

Mr. Vernon readily adopted this plan, also a 
suggestion to establish a number of fellowships 
for four or five years, with an income of 200 
per annum to each fellow during that time, to 
enable him to prosecute his studies in the higher, 
though less popular branches of art, without 
dread of discouragement through poverty; he 
also intended to leave a large sum in aid of the 
Artists' General Benevolent Institution. 

These arrangements were made in accordance 
with the opinion of Sir F. Chantrey, that the 
generous intentions of both benefactors might 
not interfere. 

Chantrey's views are already developed and 
confirmed ; but Mr. Vernon, during the last two 
years of his life, listened to fresh advisers, changed 


his plans, and relinquished a title to benevolence 
in his native land, and in every other land where 
the arts are esteemed and cultivated ; however, 
notwithstanding these magnificent and generous 
intentions were disturbed, Mr. Vernon gave to 
the nation the collection now bearing his name, 
which was formed, during twenty years, under the 
guidance, suggestion, and judgment of Mr. Jones, 
in whom Mr. Vernon confided so entirely, that 
he often obliged him to purchase pictures which 
he had heard of, but from ill health and other 
circumstances had not seen. 

Two years before Chantrey's death, an awful 
change took place, distressing to his own spirit 
and afflicting to his friends ; his festivity forsook 
him, his cheeks fell, his eye lost its lustre, and 
his beautiful mouth became vacant of expres- 
sion, and often fell uncontrolled during fits of 
somnolency ; his step became slow and sometimes 
faltering, but his mind continued active and 


solicitous ; of his profession he felt the import- 
ance, and it grew in his esteem as the allure- 
ments of the fashionable world became unsuit- 
able to his health or inclination. Whenever his 
friends, seeing him suffer from indisposition, ad- 
vised him to relinquish his labours and seek ease 
in retirement, he used to reply, " My retirement 
must be my death." His judgment remained clear 
and undisturbed to the last. 

Within two hours of his death he talked with 
zeal and anxiety about sculpture, particularly 
respecting a group of Lord Eldon and Lord Stowel, 
which excited his interest deeply, and which he felt 
great solicitude to execute in a marked and even 
in a peculiar manner, and he looked with pain- 
ful anxiety for the re-establishment of his 
health. The equestrian statue of the Duke of 
Wellington also, within those hours, was the 
subject of his earnest discussion, and he closed 
his career under the hope of an improvement 


in constitution, which might enable him to 
execute and direct many future works. On the 
19th of November Mr. Jones received the follow- 
ing note from Holkham, stating his intention of 
returning to London. 

Thursday Morning, Holkham. 

We are going to Norwich to-day to look 
after my statue, and stay till Monday; therefore 
you can direct a line to me, Post Office, Norwich, 
by Saturday's post, and I shall get it on Sunday. 
We shall probably return to this place, but you 
shall hear from me again. Many, many thanks 
for your kind note, and pray do the best you pos- 
sibly can for the horse ! ! ! ! In case I return from 
Norwich, we may reach home about Wednesday 
night, but it is not very likely. 

Very truly yours, in haste, 

F. C. 



He appeared as usual at his arrival in Belgrave 
Square. His friend, Mr. Jones, the keeper of the 
Royal Academy, called at his house on Thursday 
the 25th of November, 1841, between five and 
six o'clock, and was pressed to dine ; but as this 
was not in his power, Chantrey walked with 
him part of the way towards Trafalgar Square; 
during the walk Chantrey complained of a 
slight pain in his stomach, but made some jokes 
on his friend suspecting that the pain was 
cholic. At parting opposite to Buckingham Palace, 
Mr. Jones advised him to get into a cab, or, if 
he preferred walking, offered to return with him, 
but with another joke he struck his stick firmly 
in the ground, quitted his friend nearly as the 

clock told seven at nine Chantrey had 

ceased to be. 

If the pen of an affectionate friend could de- 
scribe perfection in confidence and attachment, 
it should be done; but as that is impossible, 


that friend may be allowed to record, that Chan- 
trey was in friendship so tender, affectionate, and 
confiding, as to be, by those he loved, all but 
idolized to the world unbounded in generous 
and unostentatious liberality and, when mis- 
conduct or injustice imposed on his credulity, 
took no revenge beyond neglect. 

II. A 207. 


CHANTREY'S letters are generally so serious or 
so jocose, that it is not easy to select them for the 
public, for he never wrote but when occasion and 
almost necessity required ; many admirable ex- 
amples of the first class, could not be admitted 
prudently, and many of the latter are too personal 
and facetious to be introduced. 


Sunday Morning, Half-past Six o'clock. 


Mackerel, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, 
and an excellent hen pheasant roasted, sweet as 


a nut ! this 14th day of March, and tender as 
a chicken, at six o'clock. Only Stokes ! 

Pray come if nothing better offer. I could 
not reach you yesterday. 

Turner dines with Boddington. I tried a new 
horse yesterday; won't do. 

Ever yours, 

F. C. 


Sunday, 3rd July. 


You MUST meet Vernon, or bring him 
in your carriage to dine with me to-morrow, 
Monday, half-past six. Turner will come : I 
asked him yesterday, but forgot you. 

F. C. 

LETTERS. " 217 


13th Sept., 1826, 3 o'clock. 


I want a man of taste (D n taste), I 
mean judgment, to look over my statue of 
George the Fourth. 

Can you will you breakfast here at nine 
or ten to-morrow? or dine on red herrings at 


Truly, F. C. 

If you are quite ready, you may ride my horse 
back now. 



4th June, 1827. 


I did not answer your former letter, 
because I was not master of my own movements. 
I returned home only last night, and I have now 

218 " LETTERS. 

the pleasure to say, that within the next fortnight 
I am entirely at your service whenever you may 
be pleased to command me. 

I mean to attend the Committee; but with 
regard to mineralogy I dare say nothing, for I 
am just now deeply engaged in improving my 
own collection, having during the last week pur- 
chased and paid for one specimen, which weighed 
eighteen tons, and which was brought to my 
house by eighteen horses, under the management 
of fourteen drivers, and accompanied by upwards of 
one hundred independent electors of Westminster. 

That our clock-work friend should grumble at 
architects I do not wonder ; they work to measure 
as tailors do, and if they fail to work within time, 
they ought to be discharged. Not so with artists ; 
they must be treated kindly, or they will bring 
forth bad fruit. 

Very sincerely yours, 


LETTERS. 21.9 


LONDON, 10th January, 1830. 


This will probably convey to you the 
first intelligence of the sudden death of Sir 
Thomas Lawrence. Three weeks ago he met a 
party of Royal Society friends at my house, and 
was in appearance well. I have since been in 
the country, and returned from Woburn Abbey 
last night, when I received your letter from 
Florence, and the melancholy intelligence at the 
same time. The following is all that I have yet 
been able to collect. On Saturday the 2nd inst. 
he dined with Mr. Peel. On Sunday he com- 
plained of a pain in the neck and lower part of 
the face (and was bled), which seemed to increase 
and remit at intervals. He was also affected 
with a slight bowel complaint. On Tuesday he 
attended the Committee at the Athenaeum, and 



none suspected that he was ill. On Wednesday 
Mrs. Otley and her young family spent the even- 
ing with him, when he appeared cheerful. After 
their departure he was worse, and Dr. Holland 
was sent for, who saw danger, and sat up all night 
with him ; he was relieved and better during 
Thursday, and saw two other old friends in the 
evening. They retired into another room for a 
short time, when they were suddenly alarmed by 
cries for assistance from the servant; but when 
they reached the room they had so recently quitted, 
he was dead. A general meeting is called for to- 
morrow evening, after which I shall be able to 
add more. He was a most excellent President, and 
I most sincerely believe that he was on all occa- 
sions anxious to do his duty to the extent of his 
judgment. His loss must be felt deeply by all. 


The post-mortem examination shows no imme- 
diate nor sufficient cause. A slight increase in 


the size of the heart, with a degree of hardness 
and some slight derangement in the valves con- 
nected with it. Great exhaustion at the moment 
must have contributed, although he was to all 
appearance well on Tuesday. Painted on Wed- 
nesday. He died at nine o' clock the following 
evening, Thursday. His remains will be taken 
to the R. A. on Wednesday the 20th, and buried 
in St. Paul's on the following day. The arrange- 
ments adopted at Mr. West's funeral will be 
adhered to in this, and within ten days from the 
time of the funeral, that most eventful decision 
must be made a President chosen. Whoever 
may be chosen, he must and shall, to the utmost 
of my ability, be supported. Eespect for the 
Institution respect for the art marks this as 
the only sensible course. 




BELGRAVE PLACE, 17th January, 1830. 

For your friendly hint about the Athe- 
nseum, I thank you. I feel that it is right I 
should do something, but first let me have a peep 
into the shop. 

I know not what accommodation this most 
superb building may afford. I hear that it is so 
fine, that statues and busts will be mere dirt. 
Ask friend Hawkins if it will be necessary to gild 
them. At the same time tell him I mean to 
contribute something; if not fit for the inside, 
it may be worthy of a place at the foot of 

What weather, fit only for barbarians ! 
Sincerely yours, 

Mrs. is quite well. In haste. 



BELGRAVE PLACE, 3rd February. 1830. 

PIG, pork, and pheasant all good; the two 
last better than the first, only because they are 
not yet eaten. I thank you from the bottom of 
my stomach. 

Name your subject, I shall then know how to 
estimate your judgment. 

I thank you for your congratulations ; I con- 
gratulate myself that I am yet a happy man, at 
perfect liberty to laugh, fish, shoot, or play the 
fool, without asking leave. 

What weather ! fit only for new married folks ! 
I have stitched my wife up in a sheep skin, wool 
inside, and do not intend to liberate her until I 
see the peach tree in blossom. 

I advise you to give your ladies the benefit of 
my example. Sincerely yours, 

F. C. 




18th October, 1830. 

THE last of your grapes were eaten at Ivy 
Bridge, on the third day after leaving home, and 
we drank health to you and yours in a glass of 
sherry, which we carried for comfort's sake. 

I am glad ! right heartily glad ! ! that you are 
pleased with the President and his brush ; had I 
not felt more than ordinary confidence in both, you 
would not have been the man to whom I should 
have recommended either. 

I have looked at the face, and the face looked 
at me, and we both looked as if we liked each 
other. Honestly yours, 


P.S. Pray ask Miss Eliza to nurse the violets 
for me a little longer ; we must go to Petworth 
for a few days. Mrs. is fat and well. 



5th November, 1831. 

MODERN Athens ! Humbug ! Smoke, mud, 
rain, and snow ! Here we arrived. Mackay's 
Hotel, 19, Princes-street, on Thursday last, and 
here we must stay, at least a fortnight. My first 
step was to Leith, and I arrived just in time to 
see the vessel with the royal cargo arrive safe. 
I next sent to the Post-office for my letters, and 
the first that I opened informed me that I had 
4iZL 10s. to pay for insurance had I received the 
letter before I had seen the vessel, I should have 
grudged the money less; but I am always 
unlucky. No ; I ought not to say always, for I 
have just saved my wife from being burnt to 
death. You know the monstrous gay-coloured 
high caps which the little woman wears. She 
was writing, and one of these fine things took fire 
from the candle, and in an instant, blazed a yard 



high ; instead of pulling off the cap, she put her 
hand into the flame, and burnt her fingers; 
imagine the confusion. I was reading about the 
fires in Bristol. I seized the flaming ornament 
(it was fastened under the chin) with both hands ; 
tore it off with all its frizzling appendages, and to 
save my own fingers, threw it on the fire ; in less 
than a minute, nothing was left, but some twisted 
wire, which looked very like the remains of a 
piece of fire-work, black, with here and there a 
bit of flame, and a strong smell of burning 
animal matter, which had accompanied the cap. 
On turning round to see how much of my wife 
remained, there stood the little woman in the 
middle of the floor, a fine study for a figure of 
fright ! Thank God, it is no worse. Tell Mrs. 
Turner to take care of her cap, for I know she 
wears caps; and tell the young ladies to take 
care of their shoulders, for a shoulder would be 
more difficult to extinguish than a cap. When I 


have nothing better to do, I will carry your com- 
pliments to Mr. Saunderson, and select some of 
his ornaments (that will not take fire) for your 
ladies ; this, I guess, to be your meaning, although 
you by no means express it clearly. Now for 
Mr. Pitt, treat yourself with a ride in the family 
coach ; lay him on his back on the front seat ; 
place yourself on the back seat, and contemplate 
him all the way to Rook's Nest, where he may 
long remain, and where you, I hope, may long 
live to protect him. Not a word more about the 
pedestal until I see you. 

I will think about the iron gates ; but the right 
way will be to find a pattern already made. I 
expect you will find them generally higher than 
you want ; high gates, with a low wall, will not 
look well. A quadrant should be fixed on the 
ground, and a roller attached to the gate, or they 
will not open easy ; after all, I think you ought 
to allow the ladies to choose the gates ; for if you 


determine this matter, and they prove heavy and 
difficult to open, your peace will be disturbed. 

Had not my wife been so terribly frightened, 
she would have answered your letter herself; you 
may, however, expect a letter soon. 

Pray make our kind regards to Mrs. Turner, 
and all your family. 

I am, dear Sir, yours sincerely, 



7th March, 1832. 


At Hodgkinson's, No. 91, top of New 
Bond Street, you may purchase real China 
Damask of the first quality, and most elegant 
pattern, at the extraordinary low price of five and 
sixpence per yard, equal, if not superior to that 
which formerly sold at five-and-twenty. 


Now to your letter. I cannot visit you on the 
seventeenth, and I am very sorry for it. In the 
first place let me tell you that I have just paid 
all my debts, but I- have no money at my 
banker's, and I must work for more before I can 
encounter the expense of a journey. 

In the second place I must dine with the 
archbishop on that day for the gratification of 
my own appetite, and with the hope of giving a 
lift to a poor parson. 

In the third place the weather is bad, and will 
be worse on or about the seventeenth. And 
fourthly, my wife has been caught by a very bad 
cold, and a very bad cough. 

I may also add, that if I were to visit you 
just now, before your plans are completed, I 
might perchance be induced, out of politeness, to 
acquiesce in those plans, contrary to my better 
judgment, and thereby deprive myself of the 
pleasure of finding fault. 


In the hope that we shall soon have the plea- 
sure of seeing you in London (without fear of 
cholera), Mrs. Chantrey joins in kind regards to 
Mr. Turner and the young ladies. 

I remain very faithfully yours, 



5th July, 1832. 


I sincerely rejoice at the fair probability 
of the House of Lords falling into good hands. 
It is too much for you to lose in money, but it 
is infinitely more in point of reputation, for I do 
not only think well of it as a portion to boil the 
pot, but as a work of art, and one, too, very 
likely to put such subjects into the heads of other 
people, by which means other artists as well as 

LETTERS. 23 1 

yourself may benefit. Therefore it is your duty 
to go, and go you must, and directly, too, for 
delay on your part would be imprudent, or some- 
thing worse. 

Mind your own concerns, and don't imagine 
that your absence will delay the address to the 
King, or the building of the new R. A., or the 
final passing of the Bill therefore look to 

yourself, and go ! 

Yours truly, 

F. C. 



29th September, 1832. 

On our arrival at Aston Mr. Watt was 
at Doldowlad ; he will return about the end of 
next week, by which time we shall be visiting 


Sir Robert Peel, and try our luck again at Aston 
as we pass through Birmingham, say Wednesday 
or Thursday in the week following. If that will 
suit you, tell him so, and we will meet you. 

Everything has been done much to my satis- 
faction, except that they obliged me to make a 
speech ! The statue looks better than I had any 
right to expect. What think you ! The Mayor 
gave a grand dinner in the Town Hall to my 
little woman, and I assure you she made the 
most of herself, eat, drank, and talked most 
immoderately. We propose going to North 
Wales next Monday, and as I am armed both 
with fishing-rod and gun, I intend to kill a 
salmon. Remember us to your ladies. In haste, 

Truly yours, 




BELGRAVE SQUARE, 17 Oct., 1832. 

On Friday last, at Birmingham, I wrote 
you an invitation to dine with us yesterday, but 
received no answer. Your letter of the 12th, just 
arrived, explains, and I am heartily glad that you 
are with your good friends in the country, to 
whom I beg to be most kindly remembered. 

I advise that you remain until they are tired of 
you ; air and exercise will do you more good than 
London fogs and stinking paint; besides, you are 
rich and somewhat independent, possessing a 
knack of making yourself agreeable when you 
choose. Tell this to your friends, that they may 
know how to estimate you. 

Send your Waterloo, and I will provide room 
for it, sell it, and spend the money. 


Our journey has been pleasant in the extreme : 
fine weather and cheerful faces everywhere. 

We spent four days at Drayton Manor (Sir 
Robert Peel's). Mrs. is wonderfully well. 

Yours truly, 



4th January, 1833. 


The Andover van, with nine horses (oh, 
what a lie !), brought all that remains of the 
Battle of Waterloo, and deposited the load 
safely in my premises. Nothing has been opened 
by me, nor shall it, until you are present ; but if 
you die, why, then I will take out the picture, 
split you down the middle, cram the two slices 
into the long case, bury the refuse, case and all, 


and hang up the picture, that your name may not 
be forgotten. So you have caught a cold; my 
belief is that the cold caught you, and at that 
d d Athenaeum, after midnight. I'll scratch 
your name out of the books to-morrow, to save 
you from evil, and preserve you for the gratifi- 
cation of your friends, and for your own good. 
I write because I cannot call to-day. 

Loscombe sent me a cheese; what think you 
of that, Mr. Jones ? Perhaps you may think you 
can better answer the question when you have 
tasted it. In haste, 

Sincerely yours, 

F. C. 



STOCKBBIDGE, June, 1833. 

Make my love to Miss Russell, and the 
best apology for my not being able to dine with 
her on Saturday. Fishing weather is come at 
last. I was most successful yesterday, and am 
caught by my own success so much, that I 
cannot make up my mind to quit for an hour. 

On Sunday, at half-past ten, I propose starting 
home, and I have a seat in my carriage for you. 
Now tell me what you mean to do? Answer 
this question, in person, any day, and stay all 
night ; we have plenty of beds, four of the party 
having left us. 

I shall leave word at the inn, every morning, 
where you will find me, and a pair of water-boots 
are left in my bedroom, for you to use. 

Truly yours, 




STOCKBRIDGE, June 7th, 1833. 


I am very sorry to say that I must 
confirm the tenor of my fomer letter. I found, 
last night, that Mudge and Penn were reluctant 
to give up half the last day of the May fly ; and 
having brought one of them here, and being 
pledged to take them back, that I cannot with 
propriety separate from them. 

I can only repeat that I feel annoyed at not 
being able to show more respect to the kindness 
of Major Loscombe and Miss Russell. You 
clearly understand that I take you back also ; you 
will therefore show yourself by ten o'clock on 
Sunday morning, at the latest we must start at 
half-past, having ordered dinner at home to be 
ready at six o'clock. Sincerely yours, 


I killed five trout last night ; my friends killed 
NONE ! ! ! 




October 22nd, 1833. 


I am grieved to hear that you suffered 
from gout in your toe ! pray attend to your 
stomach, &c., keep the first in good humour fill 
it full twice every day, leaving no room for gout 
to enter; neglecting this, God only knows the 

Mrs. C. and I arrived here last Sunday night, 
hearty, fat and well, having travelled near 1800 
miles during the last ten weeks, dined every day 
save two, which were supplied by five grains and 
a half of opium, and a handful of chalk. 

I wrote Mr. Coke last night, saying we 
would be at Holkham on the first Monday in 
November ; will it be convenient to Lady Clarke 
to receive your Mud Head and us on our return ? 


Of course I cannot name the precise day just 
now ; but if we do not meet at Holkam (I hope 
we shall), the detail of the plan must be settled by 
letters. At all events, as you have nothing to do, 
write to me. Truly yours, 


How am I to direct and forward the box of 
clay ? Write your instructions plain, so that they 
may be read, or employ somebody to write for 
you ! I can't make out the name of your house. 


AUDLEY END, 25th Nov., 1833. 

You are rich! and know not how 
to spend your money ! ! I therefore, without 


remorse, request that you will, at the expense of 
9c?., present my very sincere and affectionate 
regards to Miss Russell. I am sure you believe 
me when I tell you that I intentionally omitted 
to mention her name in my last, that I might 
have cause to trouble your purse without apology. 

At the R. A. we went on Saturday to ballot for 
the medals. Make yourself easy, and fatten until 
you are as beastly as a Hampshire pig. Leave 
the intellectual part to me. I am training down 
until I become all mind and bone, that I may 
speak for you, and against the books. I say again, 
make yourself easy. / will attend on Saturday 
next and do your duty. 

Take care of yourself, and ride my horse 
steadily none of your Hyde Park flourishes, if 
you please. And further, let me tell you, that if 
you injure the skin, or even the hair which grows 
upon his knees, you shall pay for it. 

We return to Belgrave Place on Thursday, but 


we don't want to see you for a month : yet if you 
are foolish enough to come to town on or before 
Sunday next, we shall feel bound to give you a 
dinner at six ; but you must put on silk stockings, 
for you will meet Utterson and Mrs. Somerville. 

Take my advice, Jones, and stay, stay at An- 
dover, and we will try to be happy without you. 

F. C. 



16th March, 1834. 


After various consultations with our lean 
friend, I have at last succeeded in extracting from 
him advice how to act respecting my horse and 

He knows and I hope you will believe that 


I am neither poor nor ostentatious, that I am not 
too proud to accept a favour, and always happy in 
the opportunity of making a grateful acknow- 
ledgment. Now to business. 

Jones has pronounced that I must send you 
thirty guineas, neither more nor less, and here it 
is enclosed, unless extracted before this letter 
reach you. 

My own feelings convince me that I am still 
your debtor on account of board and lodging; but 
as the gallant Captain has so ordered it, so be it 
for I have no desire to boil his Welsh blood, or 
to cool it even at the trifling expense of an ounce 
of shot. 

My cob is a capital fellow just like his master 
good temper, strong and fat, rather shy of 
strangers, but bears no malice to any living thing. 
We differ only in one particular. He is active, I 
used to be ! ! 

Give my love freely to all the ladies, and until 


I have the pleasure of seeing you at my dinner- 
table when we will enter into a new compact 
believe me, 

Your faithful and obliged, 



26th May, 1835. (Bedtime.) 


I wrote to you on Saturday, but could 
not get a frank, so I burnt it, because I could 
not then tell you all about my fishing scheme. 
Now I can, on Thursday I dine with Lord 
Rippon, then to a full dress ball at Lady 
Lansdowne's, from which I shall start at one 
o'clock on Friday morning in my travelling 
carriage, sword and all, to Stockbridge, fish 


away ten days, and return contented and happy, 
and quite ready to attend the young ladies at 
Rook's Nest, if they want me, not else ! 

What will you give for my emerald? I have 
got it ! ! ! There is no such thing in this world 
as pleasure without some alloy. I did flatter 
myself that I should be able to show specimens 
with or against you immediately, but I am 
disappointed. I cannot get the cabinets, although 
I bought them for thirty pounds, the price 
Heuland named, and paid for them; still I cannot 
have them; so I have ordered new cabinets, 
and must wait at least three months before I can 
have the pleasure of seeing you thoroughly 
unhappy on looking over my collection ! which 
is so much, so very much finer than yours ! How 
much will you give for my emerald? Last 
Tuesday, this day week, Heuland and I set to 
work, and between ten and five o'clock packed 
fifteen hundred specimens, and with the assist- 


ance of eight men they were all removed on 
handbarrows to my house by six the same day, 
we were tired; but I must stop, or I shall have 
nothing to talk about when we meet at Rook's 


Truly yours, 


P. S. Estimates and tenders have been made 
for the Greenock Library upon Blore's approved 
design; the highest is, 2,900/, the lowest, 2,400J, 
all from good and respectable tradesmen. Here 
end our friend Watt's troubles. Had he gone to 
Blore at first, he would have had no trouble* 
but then he would not have the pleasure he 
now enjoys, and he would have been without 



BELGRAVE SQUARE, 22nd November, 1835. 
10 o'clock, Sunday Evening. 


Your note is the only one I have opened 
since I arrived ten minutes ago, and I prefer 
answering it to opening others. 

With regard to poor Sir Francis Freeling, do 
what you please with me, and I will most gladly 
do all in my power, but I am ignorant how he is, 
and know not what may or may not be possible. 

To raise expectations without the means of 
fulfilling them at the instant may not be prudent ; 
therefore let us first talk the matter over when 
you come to town, if you come this week. 

How are all your ladies ? 

I left mine at three o' clock, something better 
than when I took her to Brighton, but there is 
much yet to be done before she is well, and I fear 


may be tedious; however, so long as improve- 
ment is evident, we have something to hope, 
which makes time pass more pleasantly. 

We have a very comfortable house, No. 26, 
Regency Square, big enough to lodge your family, 
but I am not allowed to use it; quiet, positive 
quiet, being absolutely necessary, of this I am 
convinced. Remember me very kindly at home. 

Truly yours, 


There ! this job is done, had I left it until 
to-morrow, it might not have been done. 
Breakfast every morning at 9, to half-past. 


BELGRAVE PLACE, 28th August, 1836. 

For boy you are in bodily activity, 
appetite, digestion, and spirits; nor in these 


matters have I much to complain. In worldly 
wisdom and knowledge of the frailties of the 
body, you are my grandfather. Here I remain 
making money. There you are, spending money 
rationally, and therefore the wiser man of the 
two. In health I am well, thank God (not the 
doctors) ; for my wife, I wish I could say the 
same. She is weak and nervous, more, I believe, 
from the want of country air. 

We have been from home only ten days, at 
South-hill, and returned better ; since which we 
have had Mr. and Mrs. Whitbread, with the two 
girls, in our house for ten days. They left us on 
Tuesday; and wife is much the worse. On 
Wednesday we go to South-hill for a fortnight, 
and then I expect she will be a little better, and 
so we go on foolishly, I know ; but how am I 
to act ? A lovely place in the country would 
not much mend the matter what say you ? 
Perhaps you may think that I am old enough 


to judge for myself, but pray don't say so. I 
shall indeed be grateful for your advice. 

Pray remember us very kindly to Lady Clarke, 
and all the young ladies. 

Truly and sincerely yours, 


27th February, 1836. 

I am delighted that you have made 
sure of living three weeks longer. 

All I dare presume to say, in reply to your 
distant dinner, is, that if my wife and I are alive 
and in health, we will dine with you on the 
18th of next month. 

Truly yours, 


M 3 



HOLKHAM, 1837, Monday Evening. 

I KILLED twenty-four hares, two rabbits, three 
pheasants, seven partridges, walked six hours, and 
not a bit tired. 


A fig for you ! I am hearty and well, 
nothing like prison allowance and the tread- 
mill : only tasted one glass of my lady's table- 
beer during my visit here, and that was all owing 
to your promised visit here the next day. Rely- 
ing on your putting all right, perhaps I may try 
another on taking leave of the dinner-table next 
Friday, and take my (own) chance of finding 
you at home on our way to Norwich, respecting 
the late Bishop's monument. We are told that 
you are running after your dogs at Swaff ham ; 
that your house is full of company, and that we 


have but little chance of getting a sight of you ; 
and should Lady Clarke be running after you, 
be so good as to leave orders for my wife to be 
indulged with bread, butter, and a glass of ale ; 
for she has become a jolly fellow, I can assure 
you. I never hear her complain except for 
dinner, when it happens to be a little later than 
the usual hour. 

We intend to start about ten o'clock on Satur- 
day morning. Our speed will depend upon 
Norfolk post-horses. Sincerely yours, 


We left home on the 30th September, visited 
Bangor, killed two salmon at Llanrwst, and 
arrived here on the 28th October. 



HOLKHAM, 1st Nov., 1837. 

I do not expect to be in town much 
before the meeting of parliament. I cannot there- 
fore be present at the next election of associates, 
and feeling deeply impressed with the importance 
of such election, I am convinced that I cannot do 
better than request you will insert such names as 
you mean to vote for above my signature, on the 
back of the President's letter, which is annexed, 
and deliver it to him yourself, with my best 

As far as I am able to judge from my own 
feelings, I have benefited much in health during 
this long journey, and so has my wife. 

The week before last I was at Caernarvon, 
killed two salmon in the Conway at Llanrwst, 
and lived among Jones's for a fortnight, but I 


drank no ale, nor did I eat roasted cheese ! 
Yesterday *I killed twenty-eight hares, eight 
pheasants, four partridges : total, forty head ! 
Walked from ten o' clock until half-past four 
without feeling the least fatigue. Did you ever 
march as many hours in one day without fatigue ? 
or kill the same number of men in the whole of 
your life ? The day's sport returned 380 head, 
fourteen guns. Yours truly, 



BELGRAVE PLACE, 26th January, 1838. 

I have much pleasure in complying with 
your request, to note down such facts as remain 
on my memory concerning the bust of Sir Walter 

254- LETTEES. 

Scott, which you have done me the honour to 
place in your collection at Drayton Manor. My 
admiration of Scott as a poet and a man, induced 
me, in the year 1820, to ask him to sit to me for 
his bust. The only time I ever recollect having 
asked a similar favour from any one. He agreed, 
and I stipulated that he should breakfast with 
me, always before his sitting, and never come 
alone, nor bring more than three friends at once, 
and that they should be all good talkers. That 
he fulfilled the latter condition, you may guess, 
when I tell you that on one occasion he came 
with Mr. Croker, Mr. Heber, and the late Lord 
Lyttelton. The marble bust produced from these 
sittings was moulded, and about forty-five casts 
were disposed of by me among the poet's most 
ardent admirers this was all I had to do with 
casts. The bust was pirated by Italians, and 
England and Scotland, .and even the colonies, 
were supplied with unpermitted and bad casts to 


the extent of thousands, in spite of the terror of 
an act of parliament ! 

I made a copy in marble from this bust for the 
Duke of Wellington ; it was sent to Apsley House 
in March, 1827, and it is the only duplicate of my 
bust of Sir Walter Scott that I ever executed in 
marble. I now come to your bust of Scott. In 
the year 1828, I proposed to the poet to present 
the original marble as an heir-loom to Abbots- 
ford, on condition that he would allow me sittings 
sufficient to finish another marble from the life 
for my own studio ; to this proposal he acceded, 
and the bust was sent to Abbotsford accordingly, 
with the following words inscribed on the back : 
" This Bust of Sir Walter Scott was made in 
1822 by Francis Chantrey, and presented by the 
sculptor to the poet as a token of esteem, in 

In the months of May and June in the same 
year, 1828, Sir Walter fulfilled his promise, and 


I finished from his face the marble bust now at 
Drayton Manor a better sanctuary than my 
studio, else I had not parted with it. The 
expression is more serious than in the two former 
busts, and the marks of age more than eight years 

I have now, I think, stated all that is worthy 
of remembering about this bust, save that there 
is no fear of piracy, for it has never been moulded. 
Under all these circumstances, I assure you, my 
dear sir, that it would have been very gratifying 
to me to be allowed to deposit this bust in your 
gallery on other terms than those of an ordinary 
commission, a gratification, however, which your 
liberality has denied to me. 

I have the honour to be, 

Dear Sir, &c., 




BELGRAVE PLACE, 9th Feb., 1838. 


It would be waste of time and abuse of 
common sense for you and I to repeat, much 
more discuss, the principles which ought to guide 
our vote because we agree. 

I am so well aware of my own unfitness to 
discuss the merits or character of any man, that 
I have again and again resolved never to do so ; 
because, when communicating even with a friend, 
I am prone to speak much too bluntly, and with- 
out reserve ; seeming to be more harsh than pru- 
dent. This, I am well aware, is a fault; but I 
am also aware that it arises from a total absence 
at the moment (from my own mind) of all sus- 
picion; and so it is, that, now and then, I am 
misunderstood consequently, I feel the recoil 
with double force, rebuke myself, and act cau- 


tiously, until the next opportunity, and then play 
the fool again. 

So much for myself now to business private 
friendship or private pique I disdain in the ab- 
stract. The future good of the Institution it is 
that troubles me ; and as my expectations in in- 
dividuals have been disappointed more than once, 
I have nothing more to say on this point. I want 



BELGRAVE PLACE, 14th March, 1838. 

I have received your prospectus of an 
Association for promoting the interests of the 
Fine Arts. 

It seems to me a sort of venture, and I never 


engage in ventures of any kind, save in connec- 
tion with my own professional exertions and the 
arts of my own country. 

Your object is to purchase, not the works of 
native, but of foreign artists, therefore, as a 
professional man, I have no right to interfere 
in your project, as it more properly belongs to 
the nobility and patrons of art than to me, as a 
labourer in art; more particularly as the encou- 
ragement of native talent has little or nothing to 
do with its immediate results. 

I remain, Sir, 
Your very faithful servant, 




Tuesday Morning, 7 o'clock, 
]0th April, 1838. 

IT is done ! ! ! and well done ! ! ! Had 
it lasted for a few days longer it would have done 
for me ! 

I hope to meet man and horse in the East India 
Dock soon after eleven to-day, and dine at Love- 
grove's, when I have seen them on board the 

"Asia." Come if you can. 

Truly yours, 



4th Sept., 1838. 


The moment you put your letter into my 
servant's hands, I was sitting all alone, twirling 
my thumbs for want of something to say or to do. 


The R. A. on Thursday has induced me to put 
off my long journey until Friday morning. 

Early on Wednesday I shall run down to Ware, 
twenty miles, and back on Thursday, in time for 
the General Assembly, at eight o' clock. I feel this 

to be both necessary and right. 

Truly yours, 

F. C. 



You having done me the honour to con- 
sult my judgment in the selection of a picture for 
your staircase, I can now most conscientiously 
say, that you will not readily meet with so fine a 
picture as Etty's (Combat), if you like the subject. 
The merit of the picture is unquestionable, and 
its price surprisingly low. Three hundred guineas. 
Artists and judges of art expected he would have 


asked six hundred guineas AT LEAST ; its size alone 
stood in the way of various purchasers. 

I have strongly recommended it to Mr. Watt ; 
and I wish some of my friends may have the good 

fortune to possess it. 

Sincerely yours, 




I expected to have seen you at the R. A. 
to-night. I particularly wished to have seen you, 
for I want to know if it suits your convenience, or 
your inclination, to go with me to Brighton on 
Saturday, by coach from Charing-cross, at two 
o'clock, military time. Now mind, let me have 
no humbug ; if you have the least inclination, say 
so, and convince me that you are a sincere man, as 
well as a gentleman. 


There is a bed, six feet long by two feet six 
inches wide, unoccupied ; a hearty welcome from 
Mrs. Chantrey, and a cheerful companion in me, 
F. C. I shall return on Wednesday. It is also 
my intention to do the same thing on the Satur- 
day following, and return on the Wednesday 

Now, I care not a whether you go next 

Saturday or the Saturday following but go you 
MUST ; so please yourself, if you can, and give me 
a plain and short answer by the bearer, that I may 

act accordingly. 

Yours truly, 

F. C. 


HOLKHAM, November, 1839. 

I am surprised beyond measure at the 
way you rusticate; you must live very abste- 


miously, only one dinner a day ! hardly enough 
to keep soul and body together ! ! but then, to be 
sure, you have the addition of fresh air ! ! ! Now, 
as I feel a strong desire to serve a faithful young 
man, I shall make a point of voting at the 
Academy on Saturday, to accomplish which I 
shall start on Friday morning, feeling sure you 
will do very well without my bothering you on 
Thursday night. Lord Leicester has just sent 
for me. Wife must finish. F. C. 


BELGRATE PLACE, 1st December, 1839. 

So, Mr. Turner ! you are tormented 
with a touch of the gout ! ! I dare say yon 
deserved it ! ! ! Cheltenham waters, indeed ! 
Brandy would be more likely to agree with 
your spare habit of body. Take warning in 


time, and live more generously, as Mr. Watt and 

We arrived from Holkham, last night, well. 
No Gout, no Cheltenham waters. I now feel 
equal to finishing the Queen's bust, and giving 
you a breakfast, whenever Mrs. Turner will give 
you leave to partake of it. 

In compliance with your command, I send you 
this, just to satisfy you that I am myself again, 
and, with our kind remembrances to Mrs. Turner, 
I am, sincerely yours, 



We have been absent three weeks and three 
days, during which time I have received no 
letters! But the day of reckoning is now 
arrived, and I discharge my debt to you first. 



BELGRAVE PLACE, 24th March, 1840. 


Is your face fit for me to look at just 
now? If not, when will it be in proper con- 
dition ? I am now fixed in town for good, and 
still improving in health. 

Order Jane to write to me, and answer my 
question; and remember me very kindly to 
Mrs. Dunlop. 

My wife is very poorly, and has been so for 
upwards of three weeks, or you would have seen 
her ere this. She has arrived at the perfection 
of a fine lady, ill in bed all the day, and out 

every evening. 

Truly yours, 




19th May, 1840. 7 o'clock, A. M. 


If I had a plaster bust of myself, (or 
any dear friend,) that had been stained with sea- 
water on the cheek, or even on the nose, I should 
apply to Thomas Jones, one of the Queen's beef- 
eaters, and landlord of the Crown and Anchor 
public-house, corner of Eccleston Street, and 
who may be found in the workshop of a man 
known by the name of Chantrey. 

Tell papa that the Duke has discovered that in 
England, or even in Scotland, no artist can be 
found worthy of the Glasgow Commission, there- 
fore it must be offered to Thorwaldsen of Rome ! 
If Thorwaldsen should not be able to cast it, 
what then ? No matter ! 

Affectionately yours, 





Friday Morning, 5 o'clock. 

MY DEAR CLARKE, 30th April, 1841. 

If I could have commanded resolution, 
you would have heard from me some time ago. 
My BODILY suffering has now become intolerable, 
and my spirits are broken down. 

I regret much that I happened to be from 
home when you kindly called yesterday. Where 
and when can you best spare me ten minutes ? 
Will you admit me any time on Sunday next ? 

Truly yours, 



MY DEAR SIR, 15th July, 1841. 

The exhibition will close the week after 
next, when I will wait upon you with the bust, 


and try, with the help of the ladies, if a good 
light can be found in your room, for I have 
seldom placed my name upon any of my works 
with more satisfaction than upon this bust. I 
have, I find, to thank you for 150 guineas which 
you have, or Mrs. Dunlop in your name, paid 
me, and which I beg to acknowledge as the price 
of the bust. 

I fear, from the various reports that have 
reached me, you have been a sad sufferer like 
myself, nor can I boast of being much better. 

Pray remember me most kindly to the ladies. 
Very sincerely yours, 


P.S. I am on the point of starting for Derby- 
shire for a week or ten days. 



BELGRAVE PLACE, 30th October, 1841. 


I am fully sensible that I have com- 
mitted the sin of ingratitude in appearance 
certainly for I have not answered either of 
your very kind letters, nor dare I trust myself 
to do so now ; I cannot write about that which 
I do not understand self. I shall therefore rely 
on your good sense and kind heart until we 

We have promised to be at Holkham on the 
8th or 9th of November ; will you let me hear 
from you there ? 

Pray remember us most kindly to Lady Clarke 
and the young ladies. 

Very truly yours, 




HOLKHAM, 14th November, 1841. 


If you could be aware of the pleasure 
I received on opening your note on my arrival 
here last Tuesday evening, I am sure you would 
not grudge the trouble it cost you to write it, 
I shall ever look upon it as a kind and humane 
act, for I am in a sad shattered condition ! I 
dare not trust myself to say more about MYSELF. 
If this find you at Dunham, pray say so, that 
I may contrive to shake you by the hand as I 
pass by. Nothing has been said yet about our 
departure, but I am in daily expectation of the 
arrival of the statue of the late Bishop of Norwich. 
(I fear it was at sea last night, as the vessel 
sailed on Thursday or Friday.) 


My servant reports post-time. Kindest regards 
to everybody belonging to your family. 

Truly yours, 




22nd November, 1841. 


The short, but important conversation 
which we had together on Friday last, made a 
deep impression on my mind; something must be 
done without delay, and I have resolved on 
returning to town forthwith, and with the 
determination of advising with my friends on the 
first step to be taken. What that step may be, I 
will not at this moment venture to predict; but 
you will relieve me from some embarrassment, if 


you will give me leave to report progress ! 
Having settled all needful matters respecting the 
Bishop's statue, I shall be off to town to-morrow 
morning, sleep at Chesterford, and home on 
Wednesday. Will you be in town at the Bailey 
dinner? and on what day does it take place? We 
are invited to Audley End on the 8th December. 
The statue will have a good light upon it in 
the Cathedral, and I doubt not will look well ! 
God bless you, 

Ever yours, 



SIR HENRY RUSSELL gives the following inter- 
esting account " My first intercourse with Sir 
Francis, then Mr. Chantrey, took place nearly 
twenty-five years ago. It began by my sitting to 
him in 1822, for a bust, which some friends, with 
whom I had been engaged in public duty in India, 
expressed a wish to have made by him. He had 
already given up executing busts on private 
orders ; but he was still willing to undertake such 
as were required for public purposes. I was then 
living at Chelsea, not far from the house occupied 
by him at Pimlico ; and on the day we were to 
begin, he appointed me to breakfast with him. 
My father joined us from London, while we were 


still at table, and, after some time, he asked Sir 
Francis when he intended to begin ? ' Begin ? ' 
said Sir Francis, 'Why, I have begun. I have 
been at work all the morning, and I am at work 
now/ The first day, he only made a rough 
sketch of the face, using for the purpose an 
instrument with a tube, through which he looked, 
while, with a pencil fixed in one arm of it, he 
traced an outline of the full size on paper. When 
my father and I saw the sketch, we both said, it 
surely had no resemblance, and Sir Francis 
answered, * No, I neither expect nor desire that 
it should have any, but it gives me all I want ; it 
gives me the relative distance and position of the 
bony prominences, and enables me to prepare 
the clay. A cast taken after death does the same, 
and it does no more ; the surface of the face has 
been already changed by the collapse of the 
muscles, and the character of it is not the same, 
therefore, after death that it was before/ 


I went to Chantrey every second or third day, 
while the model continued in hand, and, I think, 
he took six or seven sittings. He seemed to like 
to have a third person present, to whom he often 
referred upon the effect of what he was doing. 
Sometimes my father, or my brother met me, 
and sometimes a friend of the sculptor's among 
the artists came in, Mr. Jones, the painter of 
military pictures, and whom Sir Francis said, on 
that account, as well as because he had been in 
the army, they called Captain Jones. The sitting, 
instead of being an effort, was a treat ; I never 
passed a more agreeable time than I spent under 
his hands. His conversation was at once amusing 
and instructive. Having walked through life with 
his eyes and ears open, and having been brought 
into intercourse with many eminent men, he had 
both seen and heard much to be remembered. 
I found him even fond of talking of the humble- 
ness of his own origin. The feeling that he took 


from it was one of pride, and not of shame. He 
felt what he was, and was proud of comparing it 
with what he had been. His estimate of his own 
success, came less from seeing the high ground 
he then stood upon, than from measuring how far 
he had climbed to get there. He knew that his 
real position was not where his birth had placed 
him, but where he had placed himself. I never 
conversed with any man whose native powers of 
mind appeared to me more vigorous than his 
were. He was capable of distinguishing himself 
in any course that he had followed, and would 
have made almost as good an anything else, as he 
had made a sculptor. 

In going from the parlour to the studio, our 
way lay through a passage, on both sides of 
which, there were shelves covered with his models 
of busts. In one corner stood a head of Milton's 
Satan, uttering, with a scornful expression, his 
address to the Sun. Sir Francis said, 'That 


head was the very first thing that I did after 
I came to London. I worked at it in a garret, 
with a paper cap on my head, and, as I could then 
afford only one candle, I stuck that one in my 
cap, that it might move along with me, and give 
me light which ever way I turned/ This led 
to the Address itself, and, as my father repeated 
it, Sir Francis said, ' he had made him under- 
stand one line, which he now found he had never 
understood before/ 

" Till pride, and worse ! ambition threw me down," 

in all our editions of Milton's works, instead of 
being printed as an exclamation, as it manifestly 
ought to be, is made a feeble epithet of ambition. 
Sir Francis said, it was that head that first 
brought him into notice. I have no doubt it had 
merit ; everything that he did had merit in some 
degree or other ; but, being taken from his fancy, 
and not from his observation, I should say that it 


was one of the works in which he had been less 
successful than usual ; and I should say the same, 
and for the same reason, of two relievos from 
Homer, which, I think, he was then doing, or did 
soon after for the Duke of Bedford. 

Among these models, the two that struck me 
most were busts of Home Tooke, and a deaf 
man. Home Tooke was represented in a cap 
like a nightcap. I had not seen him since I saw 
him standing for Westminster against Mr. Fox 
and Sir Alan Gardner, twenty-five years before, 
and his face, therefore, had got much longer, and 
more furrowed by age; but it was still full of 
life and character, of that sort of life and charac- 
ter which were peculiar to him, and to which 
Coleridge refers when he calls him ' a stern, 
iron man/ Chantrey had evidently conceived a 
high opinion of Home Tooke' s powers, and always 
spoke of him with great respect. At the other 
bust it was impossible to look without seeing 


immediately that it represented a deaf man. 
I said I supposed that the expression of deafness 
was produced by the head being turned so as to 
present one ear towards your mouth. Sir Francis 
said that it was partly that, but that the expres- 
sion of deafness was conveyed principally by the 
mouth. ' If you observe a deaf man's mouth, 
you will always find the lips unclosed when he is 
attending to you ; they are opened to give your 
voice access to the throat, through which some 
of the sound is received, and reaches the drum, 
in assistance of the ear/ The two busts, and 
the ' Head of Satan/ are, of course, in the col- 
lection of Sir Francis's works, which has been 
munificently given to the country by Lady 

Of the works he was then engaged upon, the 
one that I most admired was a monument 
to a gentleman, I think of the name of 
Kinnersley. It consisted of a single figure of the 


size of life, recumbent, with the right hand upon 
an open Bible on the lap, and the face turned 
upwards. The expression was at once dignified 
and easy, with striking calmness and devotion in 
both the attitude and the countenance. The 
figure was finished, but nothing was yet inscribed 
upon the Bible ; and one day that my father and 
I were talking as to what would be a suitable 
text, Sir Francis, who was just then called out of 
the room, desired us to consider, and tell him 
when he returned what had struck us. The 
same passage simultaneously occurred to us both ; 
and when we suggested, ' I know that my 
Redeemer liveth/ Sir Francis said he was glad 
to find he had succeeded in giving his figure the 
expression of the very text that he intended. 
The monument was erected, I think, in one of 
the northern counties. 

His great triumph was in busts. They were 
alive. He had no rival there. I saw none 


superior to them in Rome. He had set 
his heart upon transmitting down his name 
by a colossal statue, to be carved by him out 
of the solid rock. For this purpose he had 
already fixed upon a rock, of which the shape 
and position pleased him, I think in Derbyshire, 
and he said he should like to think he might 
leave such a lasting memorial of himself in his 
native county. 

I observed that in some of his busts the 
pupils of the eyes were marked, and others 
had the ball of the eye left plain. At this 
very time he was engaged on busts of George the 
Fourth and the Duke of Wellington, and he 
had marked the pupils of the eyes in the Duke's 
bust, and not those in the bust of the King. I 
asked him what it was that guided him in making 
the distinction? He said, f ln the expression 
of some faces the eyes are the feature that takes 
the lead. When that is the case, I mark the 


pupils, when it is otherwise I do not ; and a very 
simple experiment always decides which should 
be done.' 

On the second occasion that Mr. Jones came, 
he took advantage of his being there, and desired 
us to walk about for a few minutes, while he tried 
the effect of marking the pupils on his model. 
When he had done it he called us back. I told 
him that, as far as I was capable of forming an 
opinion, I liked the bust better before the eyes 
were marked, and Mr. Jones said the same. He 
said, ' You are right, the marks won't do ;' and 
he immediately removed them. 

In the progress of his model with me, it was 
of the lips only that Sir Francis made a cast ; he 
said he did so, because in the lips, and in them 
only, colour interfered with form, by producing 
the effect of light and shade. In speaking of the 
Elgin marbles, he mentioned a striking instance 
of the effect produced by colour. When he first 


saw them in the British Museum, he was disap- 
pointed. They were much stained by long expo- 
sure, and the stains acting as shadows, so much 
intercepted the effect of form, that it was some 
time before he could justly appreciate it. At last 
he did get over this impediment ; his admiration 
was then great, and he found that the marbles 
fully deserved the praise which had been given to 
them. They were matchless. 

The habitual temper of Chantrey's mind, I 
found, was cheerful ; his conversation with me was 
always of a lively, buoyant, and even of a sportive 
character. One day, some subject that was intro- 
duced had imperceptibly led us into a graver 
tone. Sir Francis at last remarked it ; ' Come/ 
he said, 'this won't do. We began saucily, and 
it has hitherto succeeded so well with us, that we 
must go on in the same spirit/ 

To a question of mine, if he remembered an 
ancient sitting statue of Demosthenes, in the 


Louvre, he answered that he did, and that it was 
an uncommonly fine one. I asked if he had not 
remarked a very happy inclination of the bust, 
which struck me as producing a strong expression 
of the debility of age. He said that he well 
remembered the expression I spoke of, but that I 
was mistaken in referring it to the inclination of 
the bust. It was not produced by the bust, nor 
by any other individual member, but was a 
general result from the skilful and consentaneous 
management of the whole body. 

One day that we were talking of groups, he 
said the difficulty of producing them had hitherto 
proved insurmountable. Neither ancients nor 
moderns had ever yet succeeded in a single 
instance. "We had not yet learned how to make 
single figures, and, until we could do that, we had 
better not think of meddling with groups. We 
asked him how he disposed of the Laocoon ? He 
said, "The instance you have cited is the verv 


thing calculated to sustain my position. I do 
not admit that the Laocoon is a group. It is a 
statue of the father : the sons are there not as 
principals ; they are subordinate in size and infe- 
rior in position. They are not small as children, 
they are little men ; they are put where they are, 
as mere accessories to tell the story. The 
sculptor knew too well what he was about to 
mean them for anything else. If he had dared 
to attempt a group, he would have made them all 
three upon the same scale.' 

The subject of craniology being mentioned, I 
asked him whether conversant as his pursuits 
had necessarily made him with the shape and 
structure of heads he thought he had found 
any truth in the doctrine of Gall and Spurzheim, 
and, especially, whether he had observed any 
reason to suppose that the intellect lay more in 
the front or the back part of the head? He 
said, ' Yes ; I have examined a good many heads 


of various kinds in my day. I am not prepared 
to say that it signifies much whether the brains 
lie before or behind, but there is one thing, and 
only one, that I am quite sure of, and that is, 
that a head is good for nothing if it has not room 
for them somewhere or other/ 

Sir F. Chantrey had then never executed an 
equestrian statue, but it was a subject to which 
he had evidently given great attention, and of 
which he often talked. He said, ' It is very 
extraordinary that no sculptor, either ancient or 
modern, has yet attempted to show a horse in 
repose ; and yet it is in repose only that he can 
be truly represented in marble. You cannot give 
a lasting duration to that which is in its nature 
transitory.' He was sure it would have a better 
effect to plant the horse upon all four legs, and 
to produce a character of energy by the general 
management of the whole figure. This was 
evidently a favourite project with him; and he 


long after carried it into effect. His first eques- 
trian statue, I believe, was that of Sir Thomas 
Munro, which was sent to Madras. My brother 
went to see it before it was shipped, with a friend 
of his, who had been employed under Sir Thomas 
in India. It was shown to them by Mr. Cun- 
ningham, who told them that Sir F.Chantrey, while 
meditating this statue, had one day said to him, 
'I hate fine words, particularly mawkish words 
like 'sentiment ;' but I do not know where to find 
another to ask you whether you were never 
struck with the ' sentiment 7 of a horse standing 
still in a field, and looking about him : if I can 
hit that I shall do.' 

When Sir F. Chantrey began to work upon 
his clay-model with me, the head stood square 
upon the shoulders, and the whole bust was 
fronting him. It was only after he had 
finished the features that he said he would give 
the requisite turn to the head. To do this, he 


merely threw a piece of common pack-thread 
round the neck, and, by drawing it tight, he at 
once cut through the clay to a piece of stick 
which had been fixed in the middle of it, to 
support the head ; he next clasped the head 
between his hands, and it was easily and imme- 
diately turned until he was satisfied with its 
position. He then, with the pressure of his 
fingers, closed the cut which the string had made, 
and the whole process took only a few minutes. 
In forming the surface of the throat, he followed 
his own fancy; he never required me to take 
my stock off once. The drapery of the bust he 
copied from a wet cloth which he threw loosely 
over a frame that he had by him for the purpose, 
and of which he corrected some of the folds where 
he thought them minute or unseemly. This 
appears to be a simple process, but a little 
observation of it shows that it requires both taste 
and skill. In speaking of the model in sculpture, 


it is not, perhaps, generally known that the clay 
on which the sculptor forms his work, and which 
is, in truth, therefore, the original model, is not, 
and cannot be, kept after it is finished. If the 
clay is once suffered to get dry, different parts of 
it contract in different degrees, and the proper 
proportions are destroyed. That which is kept, 
therefore, and which is called the model, is, in 
truth, only the first cast in plaster. As long as 
the clay continues to be worked upon, it is kept 
moist by a wet cloth constantly lying over it. 
When it has been brought into its final form, it 
is covered all over with a thick coating of plaster, 
and, as soon as the plaster has got dry and firm, 
the clay is picked out piecemeal. The cavity left 
in the plaster has then, in its turn, become a 
mould, and is filled with other plaster, which 
forms what becomes at last the model to be 
preserved. From that model the copy in marble 
is executed, not by the sculptor himself, but by 



his workmen, who, in the use of their chisel, are 
guided by an instrument applied to the surface of 
the stone, their office being exclusively one of 
mechanical rule and measure. 

In the construction of this instrument, Sir 
Francis told me he had himself made considerable 
improvements. When the process of covering the 
marble has been finished, the sculptor himself 
goes over it finally, and gives it its completion 
with his own chisel. For this, Sir Francis took 
only one sitting, and he then said, he had never 
done anything before in which he had been so 
uninterruptedly successful ; from the very begin- 
ning he had not had to go back once, to correct 
or alter anything. At the same time, he was 
making a bust of Dr. Barriugton, the Bishop of 
Durham, and, as the head of an old man, and 
therefore strongly marked, I should have thought 
that it was an easy head to copy ; but for some 
reason, which he could not explain, Chantrey 


.said he had begun ill, and for some time con- 
tinued to go on ill ; until, at last, he was obliged 
to destroy all that he had done, and begin again 
anew ; and ' here we are at the end of this bust, 
without a single flaw either in the marble. This 
is altogether good luck, for which no care can 
provide. In choosing a block for the King, you 
may be sure, that I chose the best I could; I 
would not, if I could have helped it, have 
given you a better block than I had given him ; 
yet, before I had finished my work at the Palace, 
I found the King's marble had a flaw in it.' 

At the same time, and under the same circum- 
stances already referred to, a vase having been 
ordered to be made by Rundell and Bridge, 
Chantrey was consulted upon the design to be 
adopted for it, and he proved to be quite as much 
at home, as we expected him to be, on an occa- 
sion, in some measure, akin to his own pursuits. 
He at once saw what was wanted, and knew 


where to look for it, and I relate what passed to 
show, as well the cordial interest he had the 
good nature to take, as the useful assistance he 
found time to afford in so small an object. He first 
chose a plate in Piranesi, from which he recom- 
mended that the form of the vase should be 
taken. He then proposed that two different 
groups, capable of telling the story of what had 
led to the presentation of the vase, should be placed 
on the two sides of it, and that for the designs 
of those groups, Mr. Stothard should be applied 
to; he said that a design to serve such a pur- 
pose well, required a peculiar aptitude, it by no 
means followed, because it answered as a drawing, 
that it would therefore succeed as a relievo. Mr. 
Stothard understood the process, and would do it 
better than any one else. He suggested, as 
suited to an Indian subject, that a tiger should 
be placed on the centre of the lid, and elephants 3 
heads at the four angles of the pedestals ; and 


instead of the imaginary serpent given in Piranesi 
over each handle, that a real serpent should be 
modelled from the life. f ln works of art/ he 
said, ' as in every thing else, always adhere as 
closely as you can to truth and nature/ I am 
the more particular in repeating this injunction, 
as the principle of it constitutes one of the 
leading rules, which he will be found to have 
followed in all his works. When Mr. Stothard's 
designs, and a drawing of the whole vase by 
Burney, a well-known artist of the day, were 
submitted to Sir Francis, he approved entirely of 
the two designs, and of Mr. Burney's drawing. 
The single addition he made, was of a curvature 
at the extremity of the elephant's trunk, in which, 
although he could have seen little of the living 
elephant, he not only improved the beauty of the 
design, but brought it also nearer to the real 
form and habit of the animal. He said, the 
pedestal might sometimes be used without the 


vase, to hold a basket of flowers for the middle 
of the table, and to show what he meant, he 
made a hasty sketch with a pen, which, as well as 
Mr. Stothard's designs, I still retain. For the 
completion of the pattern, the tiger, the elephant's 
head, and the serpent, were very successfully 
modelled from the life, by Mr. Bailey, the R. A. 
But when the vase itself was finished and gilt, 
there was evidently some defect in it, though 
none of us could distinguish in what it consisted. 
Sir Francis, however, was at no loss : when it was 
shown to him, he said directly, that the lower 
department of the pedestal, which had been 
burnished, ought to have been kept dull, and that 
alteration alone, simple as it was, at once and 
entirely removed the defect. . 

One day that I called, I observed a sitting 
statue in one corner of the gallery, which 
I immediately recognised as representing Dr. 
Anderson of Madras, though it was then many 


years since I had seen him. Sir Francis 
said, he was glad to hear that I had discovered 
a likeness, as he had had the picture from 
which the statue had been copied very long by 
him, and had always been reluctant to begin 
upon it, under some unaccountable feeling that 
he should not be successful. The statue, which 
was both a good one, and bore a strong resem- 
blance, was sent, I believe, as a monument to 

Just before calling upon Sir F. Chantrey, my 
brother had been to see the models exhibited by 
the different artists who had entered into com- 
petition for the Nelson Monument. Sir Francis 
himself had not sent in any design ; he said he 
never would enter into competition for any work ; 
it was a schoolboy process: but his mind was 
evidently full of the subject. Almost immediately 
after my brother went in, ' So/ he said, ' we are 
to have a column for the Nelson Monument ; they 


are all wrong, and I have told them so. I do not 
mean to say that a column is not a fine thing ; in 
itself it is a very fine thing ; the taste of ages has 
proved that it is so, and any man would be a 
fool who attempted to deny it. But is it a thing 
suited to your purpose ? Now what is your pur- 
pose ? To perpetuate the memory of a great man. 
Then durability is the quality you should look 
for. Those gimcrack things you say you have 
been to see of stone and metal combined, will 
never stand ; the stone and metal will never hold 
together. Make a column as solid as you will, 
make it of blocks of stone piled like Dutch cheeses 
upon one another, still the stone will crumble, 
and vegetation will take place in the joints. 
Besides, columns have got vulgarised in this 
country. The steam chimneys in every smoky 
manufacturing town supply you with columns 
by the dozen. In a country like Egypt it is 
quite a different thing. A column or an obelisk 


is a fine object there ; with a flat all round you, 
as far as your eye can reach, you are glad of any 
thing to break the uniformity of the long straight 
line that joins the earth to the sky, and you can 
see them fifty miles off; but huddled in such a 
town as London, a column will be lost. It will 
give you a crick in your neck to look up at it. 
By the bye/ he said, ( did you ever see my 
obelisk ?' My brother told him he had not. 
' Then put on your hat/ he said, ' and come 
along with me.' They walked together to a 
short distance, and as they went, Sir Francis 
told him that a neighbour of his had consulted 
him about a chimney for a steam-engine that he 
was going to build. Now, he said, a chimney 
must be tall, and it must be slender; and the 
advice he had given was, that the best models 
of antiquity having those qualities should be 
resorted to; but by this time they had reached 
a spot from which Sir Francis pointed to an 


obelisk. ' There/ he said, f that is my chimney ; 
it is 180 feet high, and of exactly the same pro- 
portions as Cleopatra's needle. It is the most 
beautiful chimney in England, and I may say so, 
as I did not design it ; but though I did not 
design it, at least I knew where to look for it/ 
He said he had been consulted about a column 
of Portland stone, and had been asked whether 
it would much obstruct the view in Trafalgar 
Square ? ' Why no/ he had said, ' I do not 
think it will obstruct the view much, and at all 
events, if it is made of Portland stone it will not 
obstruct it long, 3 The idea of durability had 
taken possession of his mind as the first and 
greatest quality to be sought for in a national 
monument. ' As you know/ he said, ' the 
tanner is always for leather. I have told them 
that a bronze statue of Nelson is what they 
ought to raise. Nothing will destroy a bronze 
statue but violence. Let it be as fine and as large 


a statue as your money will afford, and you may 
put it upon a granite pedestal/ On one occa- 
sion, speaking of allegory, Chantrey said, ' I hate 
allegory, it is a clumsy way of telling a story. 
You may put a book on the lap of one female, 
and call her History ; a pair of compasses in the 
hand of another, and call her Science; and a 
trumpet to the mouth of a third, and call her 
Fame, or Victory. But these are imaginary 
beings that we have nothing in common with, 
and dress them out as you will for the eye, they 
can never touch the heart; all our feelings are 
with men like ourselves. To produce any real 
effect, we must copy man, we must represent his 
actions, and display his emotions/ This was the 
rule that he always had steadily in view. I do 
not remember, that in any of his monuments, he 
has adopted even the figure of an angel. He was 
always sparing in the use of emblems ; except 
now and then the Bible, flowers, and his own 


beautiful image of the broken lily for a child. 
The last time that I saw Sir F. Chantrey, a few 
weeks only before his death, he sent for the model 
of the bust, and said, ' Let us now see what time 
has all this while been doing/ It was then 
upwards of twenty years since it had been made. 
After attentively comparing the bust with the 
face for some time, he applied his finger to his 
own nostril, and said, ' Ah, here it is, what was 
sharp in all these edges has now become blunt/ 
Mr. Moore, the poet, came in just after, and 
another gentleman with him. Pointing to one 
among the models, Mr. Moore said, ' That is the 
bust of Mr. Pitt/ ' No/ answered Sir Francis, 
' I see what has misled you ; but if you look 
again, you will find that there is nothing here 
of the sauciness of Mr. Pitt/ Sir Francis was 
always judicious in mitigating the peculiarities of 
the faces he had to deal with ; adhering to them 
as long as they served the purpose of character- 


istica ; but taking care to leave them before they 
fell into caricature. This, I am aware, I may be 
told, is, or, at least, ought to be, the practice of 
every artist ; but though every artist knows what 
ought to be done, it is not every one that knows 
how it is to be done. Sir Francis, as a master of 
his art, knew to what extent the truth was to be 
vigorously adhered to, and at what point a certain 
deviation became not only justifiable, but expe- 
dient. It was a principle with him that every 
face had its peculiarities, and that the difference 
between a good artist and a bad one, consisted in 
this, that a good artist retained his likeness, while 
he softened those peculiarities, and a bad artist 
secured his by exaggerating them. In the model 
noticed by Mr. Moore, his comparison had been 
suggested by the receding of the mouth and chin 
from the nose, though the angle had been quitted 
before it became so acute as to be unseemly. 
One day that I called on Mr. Cunningham 


after Sir Francis Chantrey's death, he told me 
that the Duke of Wellington had been to see the 
model of the equestrian statue of Sir Thomas 
Munro, soon after it was finished. The Duke 
had looked at it attentively for some time, without 
making any remark ; but at last he said earnestly, 
' A very fine horse ; ' after a pause, ' A very fine 
statue/ and again, after another pause, ' and a 
very extraordinary man/ The Duke had known 
Sir Thomas Munro in India." 


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