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In the wide range of the history of Artists, there is probably no instance of a genius for painting developing itself so early as in Lawrence; for we find him, when but a mere child, already in the field wielding the crayon and stamping upon paper the lineaments of his elders. Peculiar circumstances combined to bring him favorably forward, before he was of an age to comprehend the difficulties he had to contend with : possessed of a handsome person and a dulcet delivery of speech, he was brought into company by his parents, as a reciter of English poetry; and strongly gifted by nature with a genius for drawing, combined the more lucrative practice of drawing the portraits of his audience. Proceeding step by step, he finally substituted canvas and oil colors for the paper and chalks. When we reflect on the gradual development of the talents of most artists under the theoretic guidance of a master, we cannot contemplate these early pictures without a degree of wonder, as they possess many high qualities of art, an exquisite taste, and a boldness of handling, which sets criticism at defiance. But like all precocious geniuses, the after career of the man cannot be said to have realized the promised excellence of childhood; he had painted almost by instinct; and when reason and a knowledge of the rules of high art came to his aid, he was unable to divest himself entirely of the pernicious effects of early habits. Thus the great misfortune of Lawrence was that he painted too soon; his reasoning faculties did not keep pace with his intuitive facility of execution ; with more thought and less precocity, his high reputation would have been more enduring, and with more confidence might he be classed with the illustrious masters of the art.
Lawrences' style of drawing is light and elegant, captivating in its contour, and practical in its effect, but with a tendency to feebleness; it breathes the very elements of his mind, gentleness and amiability. The rude but vivid forms and etchings of Rembrandt display a wealth, a poetry of imagination, such as found no similarity in any touch of Lawrence's. The portraits of Reynolds too speak the mind of the man, deep, reflective, and vigorous; his men partake, in feature and attitude, of the solidity and squareness of their sex, his female portraits beam with the modesty and grace of nature, and his children are the perfection of simplicity and infantine joyousnese. But the portraits of Lawrence-men, women, and children-partake of the reigning fashion of the day. His men are courtiers; his women the slaves of fashion, glittering in ornament; his children, the heirs of coronets and titles, the tools and pupils of the dancing-master.
Lawrence had three distinct styles in his manner of painting : his first before settling in London; his second, during the lifetime of Reynolds ; his third, a style between his first and second, the one in which he continued to pain: till his death. There was a finish and brilliancy in his works peculiarly his own; the effect in most of his pictures is somewhat forced, from the shadows being too strong and decided for the lights. Still his manner was perfectly original, and although unequal to some of his predecessors in dignity and grandeur, there was no other artist in his line, (after the death of Reynolds and Hoppner,) who could advance any pretensions whatever to rivalry.
AN HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE PROGRESS OF HUMAN INDUSTRY.
Transla:ed from the “Journal des Travaux de la Societe Française de Statistique Universelle."
vary the geometrical and symmetrical form INTRODUCTORY NOTE.
of its cells; the beaver, without the rules The subsequent article is from the pen of M. of architecture, constructs with solidity, Cesar Moreau, Director of the French Society of its regular habitation; the spider always Universal Statistics, Member of the French In- weaves its web in the same manner; the
to the cocoons of silk-worms all resemble each results of much learned research, on topics of interest to the public. Ed.
other, in form and workmanship; the young
swallow is quite as skilful as its mother, in What is human industry? It is not as the construction of its nest; the nightinscience; it existed before all the sciences, gale does not teach its young the art of and it borrows from them now, its mostuttering melodious sounds; why does not valuable resources. It is not an art ; all arts, the formica-leo, crouching patiently at the all talents owe their rise to industry. It is extremity of a tunnel of light sand, awaitnot genius; it has neither its fire, nor its ing there, with indefatigable perseverance, light, nor its rapid step. What then is hu- the imprudent insect, which may chance to man industry? It is an intellectual faculty, fall into the snare, why does it not attempt which, on one side, impelled by interest or some more active and more expeditious necessity, on the other, aided by medita. stratagem ? The power of flying among tion, judgment, imagination, and very often birds, the art of swimming among fishes, by chance, connects effects and their causes, the instinct which leads the duck, just es. calculates means and their products, com- caped from the shell, to forsake the wings bines the properties of bodies and substan. of the brooding hen and fly to the water, ces, and draws from them the elements, of and so many other wonders, the sight of which are composed the processes of inven. which no longer surprises us because our tion in all kinds of utility, amusement and eyes are accustomed to them, all prove to luxury.
lus, that the industry of animals belongs After this definition, there is no longer mostly to their physical organization, and any parallel to be drawn, between the in- that it is rather a gift of nature than the redustry of man and that of animals. The sult of their understanding and will. productions of human industry are volun. But let us leave the industry of animals tary, reflective, variable, unlimited, and are to occupy ourselves with that of man. Let not acquired without labor. The industry us cast a rapid glance over its different of animals is blind, forced, necessary, limit.epochs, in order the better to strike off the ed, always the same, and without laborious picture of its efforts, and its progress. invention. It depends not upon the bee, to The first epoch, from the first year of the
Vol. I. No. III. 28