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Westminster- Abbey, procured him the greatest celebrity Roubiliac was a native of Lyons, a city which has given birth to several French sculptors; to Coysevox, N. Coustou, 1 and l'Amoureux, the cotemporary of Roubiliac, and with some probability, his fellow-scholar under Coustou. There is a want of simplicity in the works of this artist, from which the celebrated statue of Newton at Trinity-college, Cambridge, is not entirely exempt; even the monument in Westminster-Abbey, according to Mr. Walpole, although finely thought and well executed, is more theatric than I sepulchral. At Christ-church are fine busts of Dr. Matthew Lee, Dr. R. Frewen, and one of the founders at Allsouls.
7. Since the time of the foreign artists above mentioned, many eminent English sculptors have appeared, whose works are to be found in our churches and other public buildings. Wilton, Nollekens, Banks, Bacon, Flaxman, and Westmacott, are some of the most conspicuous names of our modern school. Wilton executed some good monuments in Westminster-abbey; Nollekens has established a fame which has been increasing through a long life of constant practice; his statue of the late Mr. Pitt, recently placed in the Senate-house, at Cambridge, being a most exquisite performance, and justly esteemed a rival of Roubiliac's fine statue of Newton, in the chapel of Trinity-college, just mentioned.
8. Of the justly celebrated Banks Mr. Hoare observes, "he was among those who most zealously sought the enlargement of professional knowledge in the stores of Rome. A mind ardently roused to competition with the works of excellence which he beheld, and a hand trained from infancy to a ready expression of his conceptions, imparted to bis productions an air of ancient art.". "Bacon's genius (says the same gentleman) was of native growth; he traversed no distant regions for improvement of his art, but drew from the researches of others sufficient food for an active and ready faney. His conceptions were quick and sparkling, his execution polished, and his whole work cha-. racteristically graceful."
9. The sculpture of Flaxman denotes a chaste and correct taste, founded on the most critical study of the works of Grecian art. Westmacott is an able pupil of the Venetian
Canova. England also boats her female sculptors. The Hon. Mrs. Damer, and the illustrious actress Siddons, have shown distinguished talents in this art.
10. Processes of the Art. The method observed by the modern sculptor in forming statues is as follows. A model is first formed of clay, then moulded in plaster, and lastly cast in wax. Out of a large block of marble, another is sawed of the size required; for this purpose, a smooth steel saw is used without teeth, and water and sand are cast upon the marble from time to time. It is then fashioned by taking off what is superfluous, with a steel point, and a heavy hammer of iron; and is afterwards brought nearer to the measure required with another fine point. A flat cutting instrument with notches in the edge is next used, and then a chisel to take off the scratches which are left. The work is made fit for polishing by rasps of different degrees of fineness. The artist having studied his model with all possible attention, he draws upon it horizontal and perpendicular lines intersecting each other at right angles. He then copies these lines upon his marble, just as the painter makes use of transversal lines, when he copies a picture or reduces it to a smaller size. These transversal lines or squares drawn in an equal manner upon the marble and upon the model, exhibit accurate measures of the surfaces, upon which the artist is to work. The statue is polished by pumice-stone, smelt, and tripoli; but if a greater lustre be required, burnt straw is used. For the casting of statues, see FOUNDERY.
11. Mr. Coade of Lambeth, a few years since invented a composition which nearly equals in beauty, and exceeds in durability, stone itself. This excellent substitute resists the action of steel, will not chip off, and is impervious to the assaults of our variable climate. The latest and perhaps the finest specimen of this artificial stone, is the colossal statue of his present majesty, now placed on a pillar on Lincoln Heath, about eight miles from the city of Lincoln. The cost of this noble statue was defrayed by a public subscription, in honour of his majesty's entering on the 50th year of his reign.
12. In France, a new method of representing the human figure has been lately adopted. Guirhard and Dehl, of that country, in 1800, completed a human figure in porce
lain, of four feet high. This is probably the largest made of the same material ever seen. They can, however, still magnify them to the size of life. The advantages derived from adopting this kind of statuary are durability, cheapness, expedition, and ease of production. Porcelain is as hard as silex, and less liable to injury than marble. These figures may be prepared in a mould, and by this means the statues of great men may be multiplied with little labour and at a small expense.
13. Among the various compositions for busts, and other kinds of statuary, which modern genius has invented, those by Wedgwood and Bentley, deserve the highest praise. Modern artists are distinguished above all others, by the facility and accuracy with which they take copies of antique specimens of sculpture, in common plastic materials. Mr. James Tassie, sometime since, discovered a method of transferring the figures and heads of antique and modern engraven gems into coloured glass and enamel, similar to the originals in colour, durability, and brilliancy. This is a discovery of great value, for perpetuating the works of miniature sculpture :-many remains of ancient genius otherwise lost to the world, are thus universally diffused in all their original beauty and excellence.
Terms used in Sculpture.
Bust denotes the figure or portrait of a person in relievo, showing only the head, shoulders, and breast. Busts are commonly placed on a pedestal.
Casting, among sculptors, implies the taking of casts and impressions of figures, busts, medals, &c. The method of taking casts of figures, is generally by the use of plaster of Paris, that is, alabaster calcined by a gentle heat. This substance is preferable to others, because it is easily reduced to a powder by heat, and by being moistened with water, is capable of taking any form when impressed on moulds, and when dry is capable of great hardness, and will continue to retain it. Hence it is used for the moulds themselves; and for casts to receive impressions from moulds. Parchment-size is mixed with water and plaster to render it more hard and tenacious.
Creux, a term much used by the French. It signifies
a hollow cavity, or pit, out of which something has been scooped, or dug; hence it is used to denote that kind of sculpture and graving, where the lines and figures are cut and formed within the plane of the plate or matter engraven on. In this sense it is opposed to relievo.
Relievo, and Relief, are terms applied to that mode of working in sculpture by which figures are made to project from the ground or body on which they are formed, and to which they remain attached. The same term is used whether the figure is cut with a chisel, modelled in clay, or cut in metal or plaster. 1. Alto-relievo, or high relief, is when the figure is formed after nature and projects as much as the life. 2. Mezzo-relievo, or half relief, when one half of the figure rises from the ground, in such a manner that the figure appears divided by it. 3. Bassorelievo, or bas-relief, (low relief,) when the work is raised but little from the ground, as in medals, and in the frontispieces of buildings, particularly in the histories, festoons, foliages and other ornaments of friezes. Bas-relief is also the comprehensive term by which all works in relievo are denominated.
1. THE discovery of this art took place in the fifteenth century, and is attributed to chance. The following circumstances are recorded by Vasari. It is known to be common with those who engrave ornaments on plate, occasionally to rub a little charcoal or oil, or both, into their work, for the purpose of seeing the better what they are about. In the year 1460, Maso or Thomaso Finiguerra, a goldsmith of Florence, chanced to cast or let fall a piece of engraving, thus filled with this sort of ink, into melted sulphur; and observing that the exact impression of his work was left on the sulphur, repeated the experiment on moistened paper, rolling it gently with a roller. It was attended with success, and Finiguerra, imparting his discovery to Baccio Baldini, of the same place and profession, it was by him communicated to Sandro Boticelli, and perhaps also to Antonio Pollajuoli, and Andrea Mantegna.
2. This art has been brought, in the eighteenth century, to a degree of refinement and perfection which forms one
of the signal honours of the age. Although some speciments of the art, of a very early date, display the spirit of the painting they were intended to copy, with a success which had never been exceeded;-yet, considering the general excellence of engraving, it certainly never attained so high a degree of improvement, in all respects, as during the last century. The instruments for prosecuting the art have been also greatly improved both in power and convenience-new kinds of engraving have been inventedand the methods before practised, carried to an extent of beauty and elegance unknown to the artists of any preceding times. The eminent engravers of the eighteenth and of the present century, are very numerous ;—it will be sufficient to mention the names of Woollett, Strange, Ryland, Sharpe, Heath, Warren, Engelhart, Landseer, Scott, and Lowry, in Great Britain;-of Audran, Monet, Simon, and Beauvarlet, in France ;-and of Porporetti, Bartolozzi, Schiavonetti, and Morghen in Italy.
I. ENGRAVING ON WOOD. This is a process exactly the reverse of engraving on copper. In the latter, the strokes to be printed are cut into the plate and a rollingpress is used for printing it; but in engraving on wood, all the wood is cut away, except the lines to be printed, which are left standing up like types, and the mode of printing is the same as that used in letter-press. The wood used for this purpose is box planed smooth, and chiefly Turkey-box, because English wood cannot be procured in sufficiently large pieces. The design is drawn upon the wood itself in Indian ink ;* and all is cut away with gravers and other tools, except the lines that are drawn. The most beautiful works in this department of the arts, were successfully prac tised, and we believe invented, by the German school, of which Albert Durer was assuredly the first artist of that day. At the close of the seventeenth century engraving on wood was in a very low state, and had almost sunk into forgetfulness, when Thomas Bewick, of Newcastle, a few years ago revived it. He is said by some indeed to be entitled to the honour of re-inventing the art; and has certainly brought it to a degree of perfection unknown to the later engravers. His pupils, Nesbitt and Anderson, are also dis
*This is frequently done by the artist who makes the design.