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you form your ideas. The philo. tained that their persons, their sophic atoms all speak at once, as worlds, their suns, their stars, before ; but now they were all of everything was made wholly and different opinions. The Aristo. solely for man's benefit.” At this telian, the Cartesian, the followers discourse, our two friends from of Malebranche, of Leibnitz, of beyond the moon fall one upon Locke proceed each to instruct the other in attempting to choke their questioner in turn. An old that inextinguishable laughter Aristotelian defines the soul in the which, according to Homer, is the words of his master as itinixuía proper heritage of the Gods. Their "I don't understand Greek,' said stomachs and chests heave convul. the Sirian. Nor I either,' said sively; and, in the midst of these the philosophic atom. Why, sudden convulsions, the vessel falls then,' replied the other, do you into one of the pockets of the cite one Aristotle in Greek?' Saturnian's breeches. After search'Beca use,' rejoined the savan, ing for it a long time, they find the 'it is perfectly necessary to quote equipage, and readjust it very what one does not understand at considerately. Micromégas takes all in the language which is least up the mites, speaks to them with understood.'” A disciple of Locke, much kindness, “although he was who speaks last, most engages the a little angry, in the bottom of his sympathy of the Sirian. But, heart, at seeing the infinitely little unfortunately, at this moment a possess a pride almost infinitely little animalcule, in a square hat, * great,” and promises a brief philointerrupts the conversation by pro sophical treatise for their use, in nouncing with an air of authority which they should see “the end of that “ he knew the whole secret : things.” In fact, before his depar. that it was found in the Summa of ture, he sent the book to the St. Thomas. He regarded the two Academy of Sciences at Paris.t strange and gigantic experimentalists from top to toe; he main.

HOWARD WILLIAMS.

* The owner of the square hat, presumably, represents a member of the Society of Jesus.

† See Romans de Voltaire (Didot, Paris).

CONTEMPORARY PORTRAITS.

NEW SERIES.-No. 7.

E. J. POYNTER, R.A. Much good work in the world—indeed, some of the highest-is done by people by no means the most physically robust. Indifferent health, instead of proving a hindrance, is frequently found to constitute a posi. tive spur to exertion. The energy of the character, debarred from some of the usual outlets, concentrates its force, asserts the dominion of mind over matter, and, supplying by repetition of nervous impulse the lack of muscular solidity, achieves its ends. This is true of the subject of the present memoir, one of the most indefatigable workers of the day. His life has been, in a certain sense, an uneventful one-a boyhood of delicate health and a manhood of intense application to his chosen work being the readily-formed summation of his career.

Edward John Poynter was born on the 20th of March, 1836, in the Avenue Marbeuf, Paris. In consequence of the formation of a new street, the house has since disappeared in which our painter first saw light. He was only a few months old when his parents returned with their young family to their home in London, and he was brought up in England entirely. He was entered first at Westminster School, but his health being deemed too delicate for a London life, he was removed to the Elizabethan Grammar School at Ipswich, then under the direction of Mr. Rigaud, afterwards Bishop of Antigua. At the age of sixteen he was sent abroad, being still a delicate lad, to pass the winter in Madeira, where he spent much of his time in sketching from nature among the lovely scenery. He had before this been a student in Leigh's Gallery, Newman-street, during his vacations.

The following winter he passed in Rome. By this time his early dispositions for art were unmistakably confirmed, and his strong bias led him into the society of other men who have since made their mark in the same walk of life. Mr. Leighton encouraged the young student in his work, allowing him to draw from his models, and arranging art draperies for him on the lay figure. The out-of-door sketching was still continued. On his return to England he worked at Leigh's again, and in the studio

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of Mr. Dobson, who may now be proud of a pupil who has outstripped his master. In 1855 he became a student of the Royal Academy, but he remained there only a very short time, for the same year he went to Paris to see the Universal Exhibition of pictures, and received so strong an impression from the work of Decamps and other eminent French painters that in the following spring he went to work in M. Gleyre's atelier, where he continued for nearly four years. In 1859 he set up an atelier of his own in Paris for a short time. From 1860 he has lived entirely in London. .

A circumstance of some interest, in the present day when hereditary talent has become an object of study, is the fact that Ambrose Poynter, the father of the painter, was an architect. Although he never attained to any marked distinction, yet he selected his profession out of a true love and talent for art. He still lives to rejoice in his son's success, though no longer able to see the creations of his art, having become blind. The mother of the painter, herself an accomplished amateur artist, was the granddaughter of Thomas Banks, the sculptor and R. A., whom many critics have compared favourably with Chantrey. Thus on both sides an artistic tendency was hereditary. Mrs. Foster, too, Thomas Banks's daughter, who survived till her grandson was grown up, had mixed in the society of artists all her life, and besides being an extremely clever artist, up to the time of her death took an eager interest in all questions of art.

Mr. Poynter's first English employer was Mr. Burges, the architect, for whom he designed mediæval panels for cabinets and a series of lifesize figures, also treated mediævally, for the ceiling of Waltham Cross Abbey. Messrs. Dalziel happened to see a small drawing he had made of two Egyptian girls with waterpots, and gave him a commission to make some drawings on wood for the Bible they were preparing. He illustrated the lives of Joseph and Moses for them, and also executed some of the etchings for Lady Eastlake's “ History of our Lord, as exemplified in Works of Art.” He also made designs for stained glass for Powell and others. The windows of the Town Hall at Dover are from his cartoons. It is understood that to Mr. Poynter, in conjunction with Mr. Leighton, has been intrusted the work of designing the mosaics with which-to the sorrow of critics who admire the effect of Thornhill's relics as they are--it is proposed to decorate the dome of St. Paul's. Mr. Poynter has not allowed tasks of this kind to interfere with his devotion to work which may be presumed to be more congenial. In 1859 he painted a small picture from Shelley's translation of Homer's “Hymn to Mercury,” and began another from Dante, “The Angel Crossing the Styx to the City of Dis,” which when completed was rejected by the British Institution and the Royal Academy. This was in 1860; but, nothing daunted, the young artist sent it again, and in

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