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The promoters of public monuments in guarantee of its artistic value. We think it our day appear to consider that the act of would not be hard to prove by statistics homage to the illustrious dead is rounded that the general sentiment is, that one and complete in those physical and tempo- “ statue” is about as good as another-with rary proceedings which consist in holding this exception, that no one would think of committee meetings, raising subscriptions, erecting a statue of Halleck in Central and putting up a stone or bronze structure, Park that should be only seven inches in with the name of the great man engraved height, or that should be made of butter. upon it. Nor is this conviction confined to To be sure, the sculpture of the “ Butterthe immediate promoters of memorial works Woman” at the Centennial was the most adof art,—for the public is found to be per- mired sculpture of the exhibition ; yet it fectly willing to subscribe for a proposed should be remembered that the works in monument without the slightest idea as to marble and bronze there displayed did not, the artist to be selected, and without any as a rule, rank much higher as works of art ; VOL. XXII.-14.

[Copyright, 1881, by Scribner & Co. All rights reserved.)

and, certainly, even the Butter-Woman's secured. Public committees and individwildest admirers would consider her chosen ual donors have inflicted upon the city a material, even as improved under her latest still increasing company of hideous and impatents, not just the thing for the Central becile monuments,—some home-made and Park. Yes, all are agreed that a public | some imported, the work in certain instatue must have not less than a

stances of well-known but halfcertain height, breadth, and thick

educated and poorly endowed ness, and that it must be made

sculptors, and in others of nameof good, solid material ; some

less and shameless adventurers ; thing, in fact, that will “last for

one of whom, by the way, has ever,” or perpetuate the fame of

lately, it is said, been happily the great person, at the least,

foiled in his maneuvers for the through a succession of centuries.

capture of a civic order of the The people who "get up” the

first importance. monument are well assured that

But it is evident that the time the getting up requires a very

is coming when commissions for large amount of hard work, cov

public monuments in America will ering even a term of years; but

be given with at least as much it is far from being always the

consideration as is bestowed by a case that a proportionate amount

careful person upon the selection of time and brains is devoted to

of his tailor. We doubt if there

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the only point that is of the slightest conse- is any unerring method of selection in either quence, upon the only branch of the enter- Competition is sometimes found to prise that is likely to partake of immortality, work well in art matters, sometimes very or throw the slightest luster upon those who badly. There was competition for the makhave been active in the movement-namely, ing of those gates of the Baptistery, at Florthe production of a real work of art.

ence, which Michael Angelo is reported to The public parks and squares of New have said were worthy to be the gates of York are a proof that committees have Paradise. And yet, if one examines the comworked with industry to get money, but not peting panels of Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, with equal industry to find the right man to still preserved in the Bargello, one cannot execute their commissions; and even if the help wondering why the commission was right man has been found, by good manage- not given to the former instead of to the ment or by good luck, he has sometimes latter. Ghiberti's panel strikes one as not been so hampered or hurried in his work only in poorer taste than Brunelleschi's, but that the very best results have seldom been | also inferior to his own subsequent work

of age.

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| December, 1876, a young and accomplished,


though then not widely known, sculptor of
New York was accordingly commissioned
to make a bronze statue of Farragut.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the sculptor of the Farragut monument, is a native of New York City, and now about thirty-three years

At the time when Saint-Gaudens began his studies, it did not take long to exhaust the means of art-instruction available in New York. He went to Paris, and after years spent in the “ École des Beaux-Arts," entered the atelier of the sculptor Jouffroy. Later, he studied, and worked upon commissions, in Rome. It was upon his return to America that he received the Farragut com

| mission,—among other orupon the gates themselves. It is very likely, ders of importance, such however, that if the choice had fallen upon as the monument to the Brunelleschi instead of upon his rival, Mi- memory of the founder of chael Angelo's majestic praise would have the Sailor's Snug Harbor, still applied. For there were giants in those Staten Island, and the days; and not only were the artists giants in sculpture for the tomb for performance, but the people” were giants the family of Ex-Governor in appreciation and taste. And this is the Morgan. A few days be root of the whole matter : with the quicken- fore setting out for Paris, ing of public taste will come the improve- , with these and other orment of public monuments of all kinds. ders, Saint-Gaudens

Not only, then, as the memorial of one of assisted in the the greatest and purest of the heroes of the modern world, but as a work of extraordinary artistic value, and as a sign of the increase of the art spirit in America, we present the accompanying illustrations of the Farragut monument, which is to be unveiled in Madison Square, New York, at about the date of the issue of this magazine.

Soon after the death of Admiral Farragut, a meeting was held at the residence of Moses H. Grinnell, which brought together many of the leading citizens of New York, and at which it was resolved to erect a suitable memorial of the great Admiral. An association was formed, among whose members were Moses H. Grinnell, General John A. Dix, Benjamin H. Field, Sylvanus H. Macy, Ex-Governor E. D. Morgan, Charles H. Marshall, Commodore Nicholson, Gen. Lloyd Aspinwall,. John J. Cisco, Marshall 0. Roberts, Benjamin B. Sherman, Robert L. Stuart, Charles P. Daly, W. M. Vermilye, Gen. Alexander Shaler. General Dix was the first president of the Farragut Monument Association, being succeeded at his death by Mr. Benjamin H. Field. Mr. John J. Cisco was appointed treasurer, and Mr. James E. Montgomery secretary. In



founding of “ The Society of American Art- short it had departed from the spirit of the ists,” of which he is now President.

Greek. France is to-day, and has been for a long In speaking of “the canon,” we shall be time, the home and best school of art. In misunderstood if it is supposed that the a city like Paris, where marbles and bronzes word is used in a limited sense,—as, for are produced in such immense quantities, it instance, having reference merely to such a is hardly to be wondered at that much of the matter as the exact proportions of the production—in fact, most of it that one sees human figure. The Greeks had a keen perin public places-should be meretricious. ception of the fitness of things, and a domiBut he is a shallow observer who concludes nating sense of beauty. They understood, that, because hundreds of pieces of sculpture as has been well said, the “not too much." on the buildings and in the gardens of Paris They could express power, without degenare not as remarkable for solid as for super- erating into ugliness. But their art doubtficial qualities, therefore, French sculpture less had its limitations; at least, it was left to is throughout brilliant but empty. The Michael Angelo to give expression to ideas fact is that the most severe, the most pow- more modern, individual, and intimate. It erful, the most beautiful, the best, modern was necessary that he should be different sculpture is French. This is not the place from the Greek; but where, although difto enlarge upon the subject, but no argu- ferent, he was still governed by the essential ment is necessary with those acquainted spirit of the Greek taste, he was most sucwith the work of such men as Falguière, cessful, most great. Yet one must not push Dubois, Mercié, Le Feuvre, Saint-Mar- a theory such as this to its extremes; it is ceaux, and the late Barye.

making too nice an inquiry into values which, As often happens in the case of original after all, cannot be exactly determined. Who minds, the influences which have been shall say which is better—the gigantic, yet strongest in forming the character and art compressed and artful power of Sophocles, of Saint-Gaudens have not been those of or the spontaneous, boisterous, untamable, his actual teachers. As a sculptor living in and tremendous energy of Shakspere ? France and associating with the best inen Saint-Gaudens has done well to hold fast there, both painters and sculptors, he has to the principles of the antique art. In himself, perhaps unconsciously, been a part carrying out these principles his work has, of that movement in art whose origins are however, taken a likeness to that of the many, but with which will always be pre- Florentine Renaissance, with which he is by eminently associated the name of Jean- nature in close sympathy, and which he has François Millet.

studied with devotion. It is hardly necessary to say, however, that In modeling severe, broad, yet minute the most abiding influence upon this young in finish and modern in expression,-in sculptor has been that of the antique art. character alert, eager, reticent, full of digThe more experience the world acquires nity and reserved force,-Saint-Gaudens's the more convinced does it become that bronze Farragut might almost be called the for the canon of plastic art we must go to work of some new Donatello.* Yet, as inthe Greeks. Paris points to Rome, Rome to Athens. It is true that Athens points * The Farragut statue was exhibited in plaster in still eastward toward Egypt and Asia ; but the Paris Salon of 1880. Saint-Gaudens also exhibit was in Greece that plastic art reached its

ited several medallions, and received “mention" for

these and for the statue. The critic of the “ Revue culmination. Michael Angelo is the mightiest

des Deux Mondes” said of the statue : artistic individuality that the world knows, “ The city of New York may congratulate itself personally and intimately; but wherever on the choice that it has made of one of its sons, Michael Angelo departed from the Greek

Mr. Saint-Gaudens, for the statue to be erected to

Admiral Farragut; it may be doubly proud-both canon, he was less beautiful, less noble, less of the model and of the sculptor.

There is complete. As splendid as was his time in the sailor with his simple and well-ordered costume, great artists, nevertheless, as compared with the frock-coat buttoned close, the skirt loose in the the epoch of Phidias, the great Florentine

wind, the figure well balanced, with the legs a little

apart, as is natural on a moving ground. Above all, fell upon evil days. It, indeed, took his own

he has shown the chief conscious of his responsibility, times and country to make him the giant invested with that supreme power which confides to that he was, nor would we ask to see him his intelligence and integrity the life of so many men other than these made him ; but it is still

and the honor of his country. The mouth, forehead,

eye-all the features, in fact-express the serioustrue that his art had its origin in that of

ness, the coolness, and the moral strength which the Greek masters, and that where it fell accompany authority. But there is still more here,

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