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The protection of the Academy, and the attentions of the President seemed to have calmed his spirits, and to have produced the desired effect on his mind. He appeared to contemplate the prospect of happier days before him; and there was every reason to expect that so great a genius would have been preserved, an ornament and honour to his country. The time of his journey was fixed. He received the sum of £.30 froin the Treasurer of the Academy, to enable him to discharge his debts, and to make preparation for his journey. The sum may appear trifling: but he had no idle debts to discharge: he had not dissipated his means or credit by imprudence; nor had he destroyed his constitution by intemperance. But the anguish of disappointment, and the pressure of indigence, had so debilitated his vital powers, that his enervated frame was incapable of supporting the change of fortune. Three days after this favourable intelligence was communicated to him, he was found a lifeless corpse in his bed, at his lodgings in Clare Market; which he
was to have quitted in the course of the week, for the climate and attractions of Italy. He was buried a few days after, in Hampstead Church Yard.
Thus perished Thomas Proctor, a genius of the most distinguished rank in modern Europe. Gifted with talents, surpassed by none, perhaps unequalled by any*, his course through life was embit
* Mr.West, in his discourse as PRESIDENT of the Royal Academy in 1794, has afforded the most ho. nourable testimony to the exalted abilities of Proctor. After enumerating the more sublime and intellectual productions of the fine arts, in antient Greece, in modern Italy, and in our own country, he observes that, “ To those works which we have recognized with “pleasure, we must, in justice to very extraordinary " abilities, add the models of Ixion and its companion, " by THOMAS PROCTOR; whose recent death is a “ misfortune to the British school, for ever to be la"mented. We cannot forbear to express a wish, that " the worthy Baronet in whose possession those models " are, will give to posterity the opportunity of becom"ing acquainted with their excellence, by ordering “ them to be cast in bronze. They may then be trans "mitted to future generations, that the author of them "was an Englishman, who died early in life; and in
tered by chagrin and disappointment;and he sunk into an early grave.
Or his works, the Ixion possesses the first rank; and in boldness of conception, in strength of imagination, and in power ofexecution, stands unrivalled and alone.-Before I offer an imperfect description of it, it may be proper to subinit a few words of explanation with regard to the subjects of his choice,-all in their nature pathetic and terrible.--He did not want a taste for physical or moral beauty. The design which he was forming at the time of his death shews how predominant his feelings were upon that subject*. But
“ his profession almost unknown and unprotected; “ leaving only these two works to eterpise his me
mory, to his country, and to the lovers of exalted
* At this time the attention of Proctor had been directed to the display of the most elevated examples which he could conceive of beauty in either sex. The execution of his designs, he had proposed as part of the employment of his talents, during his residence in Italy. The objects of his choice were the pure and un
the condition of Proctor was not that of an artist, systematically pursuing his profession, in comfort and independence ;-. he never attained so desirable a situation. It was that of a youth, feeling extraordinary energy of mind, and selecting difficult and sublime subjects, capable of exercising and displaying that extraordinary energy. In the calm period of middle life, the same artist would have directed his attention to the objects of the softer and more delightful sensations ;—to beauty intellectual and corporeal, and to the pleasing display of female tenderness, of the gentle emotions of the mind, and of the domestic sympathies and affections.
debased forms of buman nature, as first created:-not the hacknied representations of a Venus or Diana, an Apollo or a Bacchus; but our first parent, in his original purity and dignity of intellectual character, and our common mother, uniting with female tenderness and dignity, unsullied and spotless innocence. Those who have fairly appreciated Proctor's abilities, may judge what we have lost by such a work not having been finished by him.
lhe Ixion of Proctor is represented in Tartarus ; the body stretched on the wheel, and fastened to it by the entwining folds of a serpent. The wheel is supposed to be inflamed by lightning; and the pedestal, which is composed of renewed and unceasing fire, evinces the richness of the artist's prolific imagination. For anatomical correctness, and for energy of expression, the figure is unequalled ; doing honour not only to the artist, but to the age that produced it; and demanding as it were that the perishable materials of which it is composed, should be replaced by a cast of brass, which might hand down this invaluable relic to posterity, an eternal honour to the British School.
SiR ABRÅHAM HUME has the good fortune to possess, as ornaments of his collection, both the Ixion and Prometheus. The Diomedes, devoured by his own horses, an object of twelve months labour to Proctor, he destroyed (as I before stated) in a fit of despondency; not being able to find a purchaser for it. It