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been only able to find plaster of Paris for his works. Marble was too dear a material for him. He had hitherto executed only one statue in the latter material, and that was a commission.
At length, in the year 1782, when twenty-seven years of age, he quitted his father's roof, and rented a small house and studio in Wardour Street, Soho; and, what was more, he married-Ann Denham was the name of his wife—and a cheery, bright-souled, noble woman she was. He believed that in marrying her, he should be able to work with an intenser spirit, for, like him, she had a taste for poetry and art, and, besides, was an enthusiastic admirer of her husband's genius. Yet when Sir Joshua Reynolds—himself a bachelor-met Flaxman shortly after his marriage, he said to him : 'So, Flaxman, I am told you are married ; if so, sir, I tell you, you are ruined for an artist !' Flaxman went straight home, sat down beside his wife, took her hand in his, and said : • Ann, I am ruined for an artist.'
*How so, John ? How has it happened? And who has done it?'
It happened,' he replied, in the church, and Ann Denham has done it.' He then told her of Sir Joshua's remark, whose opinion was well known, and had been often expressed, that if students would excel, they must bring the whole powers of their mind to bear upon
their art, from the moment they rise until they go to bed; and also, that no man could be a great artist unless he studied the grand works of Raffaelle, Michael Angelo, and others, at Rome and Florence. “And I,' said Flaxman, drawing up his little figure to its full height—'I would be a great artist.'
. And great artist you shall be,' said his wife, and visit Rome, too, if that be really necessary to make you great.'
But how?' asked Flaxman.
* Work and economise,' rejoined the brave wife; 'I will never have it said that Ann Denham ruined John Flaxman for an artist.' And so it was determined by the pair that the journey to Rome was to be made when their means would admit.
"I will go to Rome, said Flaxman, “and shew the president that wedlock is for a man's good rather than his harm, and you, Ann, shall accompany me!'
Patiently and happily this affectionate couple plodded on during five years in that humble little home in Wardour Street, always with the long journey to Rome before them. It was never lost sight of for a moment, and not a penny was uselessly spent that could be saved towards the necessary expenses.
At length Flaxman and his wife, having thriftily accumulated a sufficient store of savings, set out for Rome. Arrived there, he applied himself diligently to study, maintaining himself, like other poor artists, by making copies. He prepared to return to England, his taste improved and cultivated by careful study.
His fame had preceded him, and he soon found abundant lucrative employment. While at Rome, he had been commissioned to execute his famous monument in memory of Lord Mansfield, and it was erected in the north transept of Westminster Abbey shortly after his return. It stands there in majestic grandeur, a monument to the genius of Flaxman himself-calm, simple, and severe. No wonder that Banks, the sculptor, then in the heyday of his fame, exclaimed, when he saw it: "This little man cuts us all out!'
He was soon after elected a member of the Royal Academy. His progress was now rapid, and he was constantly employed. Perseverance and study, which had matured his genius, had made him great, and he went on from triumph to triumph. But he appeared in yet a new character. The little boy, who had begun his studies behind the poor plaster-cast seller's shopcounter in New Street, Covent Garden, was now a man of high intellect and recognised supremacy in art, and was elected to instruct aspiring students in the character of Professor of Sculpture to the Royal Academy! And no man better deserved to fill that distinguished office, for none is so able to instruct others as he who for himself, and by his own almost unaided efforts, has learned to grapple with and overcome difficulties.
Flaxman's monuments are known nearly all over England. Whatever work of this kind he executed, he threw a soul and meaning into it.
Flaxman died after a long, peaceful, and happy life, having survived his wife Ann several years.
ODE ON THE PLEASURE ARISING FROM
Waves her dew-bespangled wing,
She woos the tardy Spring :
2. New-born flocks, in rustic dance,
Frisking ply their feeble feet; Forgetful of their wintry trance
The birds his presence greet : But chief, the sky-lark warbles high His trembling thrilling ecstasy; And lessening from the dazzled sight, Melts into air and liquid light.
3. Yesterday the sullen year
Saw the snowy whirlwind fly;
The herd stood drooping by :
4. Smiles on past Misfortune's brow
Soft Reflection's hand can trace, And o'er the cheek of Sorrow throw
A melancholy grace; While Hope prolongs our happier hour, Or deepest shades, that dimly lour And blacken round our weary way, Gilds with a gleam of distant day.
5. Still, where rosy Pleasure leads, See a kindred Grief
pursue ; Behind the steps that Misery treads
Approaching Comfort view :
The hues of bliss more brightly glow
On the thorny bed of pain,
And breathe and walk again
SEA-FOG, AND WRECK.
On the 9th of May, we reached Halifax, off which port we were detained in a very disagreeable way; for we had the misfortune to be kept three whole days off the harbour, in one of those Nova-Scotia fogs, which are celebrated all over the world. I can hardly give by description an idea of how gloomy they are; but I think their effects may be compared to those of the sirocco, with the further annoyance that, while they last, we are not able to see far beyond our noses. They are even worse than rain, for they seem to wet one through sooner; while they make everything appear dreary, and certainly render every one lazy and discontented.
On the day we made the land, we had great hopes of being able to enter the harbour, as the wind was fair :