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the present Duchess Dowager of Portland, who inherits that love of literature and science, so peculiar to her ancestors and family.
JERVAS owed much more of his reputation to the epistle Pope sent to him, with Dryden's translation of Fresnoy,* than to his skill as a painter. He was defective (says Mr. Walpole) in drawing, colouring, and composition; and even in that most necessary, and perhaps most easy, talent of a portrait-painter, likeness. In general, his pictures are a light flimsy kind of fan-painting, as large as the life. His vanity was excessive. The reason why Lady Bridgewater's name is so frequently repeated in this epistle, is, because he affected to be violently in Сс
* This didactic poem of Fresnoy, is but a cold, unintereste ing, unpoetical performance. He was the intimate of Mignard, the rival of Le Brun. At the end of the life of Mignard, are three dialogues on painting, written by Fenelon, in a most exquisite taste, and which are here mentioned, because they are little known, and not inserted in the works of Fenelon, and are worthy to be read even after the admirable tenth chapter of the twelfth book of Quintilian.
love with her. Yet his vanity
was greater than his passion. One day, as she was sitting to him, he ran over the beauties of her face with rapture; “ But (said he) I cannot help telling your Ladyship that
you have not a handsome ear.” “No! (said Lady Bridgewater.) Pray, Mr. Jervas, what is a handsome ear ?" He turned aside his
and shewed her his own. Anecdotes of Painting, vol. iv. p. 18.
As our author was addressing his master in this his favourite and delightful art, there is a warmth and glow of expression throughout this epistle.
Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly,
• He translated Don Quixote, without understanding Spanish, as his friend Pope used to say, Warburton added a supplement to the preface of this translation, concerning the origin and nature of romances of chivalry; which supplement Pope extols, in his, Letters, vol. ix. p. 352, in the highest terms; but the opinions in it are thoroughly confuted by Mr.
Tyrwhitt, in vol. xi, of Supplemental Observations on Shakespeare, p. 373.
With thee, on Raphael's * monument I mourn,
Though the last line, by the way, is inferior to the rest, because it passes from particular images to something general. Yet, however elegant and finished this epistle must be allowed to be, it does not excel that of Dryden, addressed to Sir Godfrey Kneller ;t and the following lines, both Cc 2
• In a curious and unpublished letter of Ruffaële to his uncle, he tells him, that his personal estate in Rome amounted to 3000 ducats of gold; that is, 8621. 10s. sterling; that he has 50 crowns of gold per ann. as architect of St. Peter's; that is, 141. 7s. 6d. and a yearly pension for life of 300 ducats of gold; that is, 861. 5s. that he is in Brumante's place; that the church of St. Peter's would cost more than a million of gold, 287,5001. that the Pope had appropriated for it 60,000 ducats a year ; that is, 17,2501. I will add to these anecdotes, taken from Richardson, that Raffaële with great modesty consulted his friend Ariosto, who was an excellent scholar, on the characters, lives, and countries, of the persons whom he was to introduce in the picture of Theology. All that Raffaele is ever known to have written, is four letters, and a sonnet addressed to Ariosto. Michael Angelo also wrote verses, and addressed a sonnet to Vasari.
+ To make an experiment what gross flattery Sir Godfrey was capable of swallowing, Pope one day said to him, “God,
in point of science and taste, may be compared to any of Pope's :
Thence rose the Roman, and the Lombard line :
One cannot forbear reflecting on the great progress the art of painting * has made in this country since the time that Jervas was thought worthy of this panegyric; a progress, that, we trust, will daily increase, if due attention be paid to the
we are told, made man in his own image; if this figure of yours
had existed, man would have been made by it.” “ Par D. je le crois aussi, Mons. Pope,” replied Kneller. This artist lit. tle deserved to be consulted by Pope concerning the arrangement of the subjects represented on the shield of Achilles. See Iliad. B. 18. Pope's notes.
* See Mr. Hayley's fine Epistle to Mr. Romney.
incomparable discourses that have been delivered at the Royal Academy; which discourses contain more solid instruction on that subject than, I verily think, can be found in any language. The precepts are philosophically founded on truth and nature, and illustrated with the most proper and pertinent examples. The characters are drawn with a precision and distinctness, that we look for in vain in Felibicn, De Piles, and even Vasari or Pliny himself. Nothing, for example, can be more just and elegant, as well as profound and scientific, than the comparison betwixt Michael Angelo and Raffaële, page 169 of these Discourses. Michael Angelo is plainly the hero of Sir Joshua Reynolds, for the same reasons that Homer, by every great mind, is
preferred to Virgil.
The Epistle to Miss Blount, accompanied with the works of Voiture,* is full of gaiety and galCc 3
* Some curious particulars in the life of Voiture are mentioned in vol. ii. p. 409, of the entertaining Miscellanies of Vigneul Marville. An elegant epitaph, to which Pope alludes, was made on him, copied from Martial, and worth perusal :