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his seat, there was much applause: Dr. Beattie accompanied him, and received the same honours. It seems a singular token of respect to salute a man with a title to which he can neither lay claim by his learning nor by his pursuits; but in our own time we have seen Blucher and Platoff dubbed Doctors of Law in the same venerable place. From Oxford, Reynolds went to visit a noble Duke, in compliance with many pressing solicitations : he hastened into his presence, and was mortified with a cold reception. The artist, it seems, had the incivility to appear in his boots!
On his return to London, he painted the celebrated picture of Dr. Beattie in his Oxonian dress as Doctor of Laws, with his book on the Immutability of Truth below his arm, and the Angel of Truth beside him overpowering Skepticism, Sophistry, and Infidelity. One of these prostrate figures has a lean and profligate look, and resembles Voltaire ; in another, which is plump and full-bodied, some one recognised a resemblance to Hume; nor is it unlikely that the artist had Gibbon in his thoughts when he introduced Infidelity. The vexation of Goldsmith, when he saw this painting, overflowed all bounds. “ It is unworthy," he said “ of a man of eminence like you, Sir Joshua, to descend to flattery such as this. How could you think of degrading so high a genius as Voltaire before so mean a writer as Beattie. Beattie and his book will be forgotten in ten years; but your allegorical picture and the fame of Voltaire will live to your disgrace as a flatterer." There was as much good sense as envy in this. The picture was an inconsiderate compli. ment, and arose from the false estimate which Rey nolds had formed of the genius of Beattie. The royal favour and the applause of the church are excellent in their day, and may float a man on to fortune; but posterity is an inexorable tribunal, which overthrows all false estimates of character-.
all unsound reputations, and decides upon merit and genius alone. Hume, and Voltaire, and Gibbon injurious as their works have been to the best interests of mankind-have survived the attack of Beattie and the insult of Reynolds.
About the close of summer he visited his native place, and was elected Mayor of Plympton--a distinction so much to his liking that he assured the King, whom he accidentally encountered on his return, in one of the walks at Hampton court, that it gave him more pleasure than any other he had ever received—“ excepting (he added-recollecting himself)-excepting that which your Majesty so graciously conferred on me--the honour of knighthood.”
The arts now met with a repulse from the church, which is often mentioned with sorrow by the painters, and even considered as an injury deserving annual reprobation. It happened that Reynolds and West were dining with the bishop of Bristol, who was also Dean of St. Paul's, and their conversation turned upon religious paintings, and upon the naked appearance of the English churches in the absence of such ornaments. West generously offered his entertainer a painting of Moses and the Laws for the Cathedral of St. Paul, and Reynolds tendered a Nativity. As this offer was in a manner fulfilling the original design of Sir Christopher Wren, the Dean imagined it would be received with rapture by all concerned. He waited on the King, who gave his ready consent; but Terrick, Bishop of London, objected at once, and no persuasion could move him, no arguments could change his fixed and determined opposition. A little of the old spirit, which ejected the whole progeny of saints and Madonnas out of the reformed church, was strong in this Bishop of London. “No,” said he, “ while I live and have power, no popish paintings shall enter the doors of the metropolitan church.” The project was dropped, and never again revived.
A portrait of Burke, which Reynolds painted at the request of Thrale, is the only reason that has ever been assigned for the hostility which Barry now began to show, first, to Burke, and afterward to Sir Joshua. Barry was a proud artist and a suspicious man: he could not be insensible that the President had amassed a fortune, and obtained high fame in abiding by the lucrative branch of the profession, while he had perched upon the unproductive bough of historical composition, and had not been rewarded with bread. He followed his own ideas in the course he pursued, but probably he reflected that he was also obeying the reiterated injunctions of Sir Joshua, who constantly, in his public lectures and private counsels, admonished all who loved what was noble and sublime to study the great masters, and labour at the grand style. This study had brought Barry to a garret and a crust; the neglect of it had spread the table of Reynolds with that sluttish abundance which Courteney describes, and put him in a coach with gilded wheels, and the seasons painted on its panels. To all this was added the close friendship of his patron Burke with the fortunate painter. Barry fancied-in short
that his own merits were overlooked, and that something like a combination was formed to thwart and depress him. Nor is the mild and prudent Reynolds himself altogether free from the suspicion of having felt a little jealousy towards one who spoke well, and thought well, and painted well, and who might rise to fame and opulence rivailing his own.
Goldsmith was removed by death, in 1774, from the friendship of Reynolds, who was deeply affected; he did not touch his pencil for a whole day afterward. He acted as executor-an easy trust --for there was nothing left but a large debt and a confused mass of papers. He directed his funeral, which was respectable and private, and aided largely
in the monument which stands in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. Nollekens cut the marble: Johnson composed the epitaph.
To the society called the Dilettanti Club some ascribe the origin of all those associations whose object is the encouragement of art. To this club, as has been duly mentioned, Sir Joshua belonged, and to his pencil many of the members are indebted for the transmission of their looks—and names to posterity. Those portraits are contained in two pictures, in the manner of Paul Veronese, and amount in all to fourteen. He was more worthily employed when Johnson sat to him in 1775: the picture shows him holding a manuscript near his face, and pondering as he reads. The near-sighted 6 Cham of literature". reproved the painter in these words: “It is not friendly to hand down to posterity the imperfections of any man.” Mrs. Thrale interposed, and said, “ You will not be known to posterity for your defects, though Sir Joshua should do his worst." The artist was right-he gave individuality and character to the head.
His practice introduced him occasionally to strange acquaintances. A gentleman, who returned rich from the East, sat for his portrait, but was called into the country before it was quite finished. He apologized by letter for his absence, and requested that the work might be completed. “My friends," said he, “ tell me of the Titian tint and the Guido air-these you can add without my appear
Sir Joshua was chosen a member of the Academy of Florence, and in consequence he painted and presented a portrait of himself in the dress of his Oxford honours, which is placed in the gallery of Eminent Artists in that city. This prudent Italian academy requires by its laws the portrait of every new member, painted by his own hand; a regulation which has accumulated a very curious collec
tion. Sir Joshua's performance raised the reputation of English art in Florence.
It was his opinion that no man ever produced more than half-a-dozen original works in his whole life. time : and when he painted the Strawberry Girl, he said " that is one of my originals.” On looking at this work it is not easy to see the cause of the artist's preference; hut genius sometimes forms curious estimates of its own productions-some lucky triumph over an obstinate difficulty-some work produced with great ease in an hour of enjoyment-or one, the offspring of much consideration, and the crowning of some new experiment, is apt to impress an idea of excellence on the maker's mind which his work fails to communicate to the cold spectator.
From secret envy he had not hitherto escaped he was now to experience an open attack, and that from one of his own profession. A painter of the name of Hone-a man of some experience in portrait-painting, but of very moderate talents-sent to the annual exhibition, “ The Pictorial Conjurer, displaying his whole art of Optical Deception.” This was meant as a satire upon the style of Sir Joshua, and of the use which he was not unwilling to make of the postures and characters of earlier artists. The indignation of the friends of Reynolds was great—they rejected the offensive picture in the exhibition, and defended him with tongue and pen. “ He has been accused of plagiarism,” says one, 6 for having borrowed attitudes from ancient mas. ters. Not only candour, but criticism must deny the force of this charge. When a single posture is imitated from an historic picture, and applied to a portrait in a different dress, this is not plagiarism, but quotation; and a quotation from a great author, with a novel application of the sense, has always been allowed to be an instance of parts and taste, and may have more merit than the original.” The