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and writings of Reynolds.* He returned to the charge with redoubled bitterness in the account which he published of the Adelphi pictures in 1783, and attacked Sir Joshua, without naming him, in the most odious language. His art, he said, was mean, his morals meaner ; his predominant passions were covetousness, vanity, and envy; his studio was a shop, his pictures a manufacture; his popularity was sustained by hypocrisy and quackery, and his betters were crushed by his malice and cunning. Barry asserted that the painter of portraits stood in the same relation to the painter of history as a corncutter did to Hippocrates and Harvey, which, with the rest of the invective, was a degrading attempt to exalt his own fame at the expense of the reputation of Reynolds. A truly great portrait is among the noblest achievements of art, and Barry, who fancied that he had risen high above the attainment, had never approached it. When Garrick complained to Reynolds of the sarcasms of Foote, Reynolds replied that Foote, by the habit, 'gave the strongest proof possible of his own inferiority, for it was always the lesser man who condescended to become abusive.' The professional knowledge of Barry, however, was extensive, and in 1782 he was elected Professor of Painting by the Academy. He did not deliver his first lecture till March, 1784; and when Reynolds remonstrated with him for his procrastination, he put himself in a menacing attitude, clenched his fist, and said, 'If I had no more to do in the composition of my lectures than to produce such poor flimsy stuff as your Discourses I should soon have my work done.' He disgraced his office by filling his lectures with attacks on the chief academicians, and especially on the President. In his opening address he talked of the * wretched business of face-painting,' and Reynolds, to avoid resenting his language, was at last obliged to feign sleep or to stay away. After years of unprincipled virulence Barry was visited with tardy repentance. He warmly supported Sir Joshua in the Academy, and applauded his pictures and character when he was dead. In his most vindictive days Barry was unable to appeal to any one specific fact in support of his "wild and
* Barry ridiculed the idea that a man who was ' merely acquainted with the map of the face' could draw the rest of the body. This was the department in which Barry believed himself to be pre-eminently strong. Yet his drawing of the figure was full of glaring defects, while in the taste for form, and the power of expressing movement, Reynolds left him far behind. M. Falconet, after completing his model of the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, delivered a lecture at Rome on the horse of Marcus Aurelius in the Capitol, with which he found endless fault. Nevertheless, gentlemen,' he observed in conclusion, it must be confessed that that wretched animal is alive, and that mine is dead.' Barry might with truth have said the same of the figures of Reynolds when compared with his own.
whirling words,' and his intense hostility has thus become an indirect testimony to the blamelessness of the man he denounced. There is not an authenticated instance of any injury done by Reynolds to a brother artist, and there are numerous examples of his friendly feeling to the clan. He delighted, says Farington, in the display of talent at the Academy exhibitions, and his comments on the pictures were gentle and encouraging. He was forward to help artists of merit to custom and fame.* A painter, who became celebrated, asked, on his arrival from Italy, where he should set up? Sir Joshua answered that the house next his own was vacant, and that the situation was excellent. Zoffany came to this country little known, and Reynolds bought the first picture he exhibited. The patronage of the President was reputation. He sold the work to Lord Carlisle for twenty guineas more than the original price and sent the money to Zoffany. Humphrey, the miniaturepainter, went to London obscure and unfriended. A total stranger to Sir Joshua, he called on him, encouraged by his fame for kindness and liberality to artists. Reynolds praised his performances, inquired into his circumstances, lent him pictures to copy, and purchased one of his works that he might show it and recommend him. Humphrey fixed his charge at three guineas, and Reynolds replied, Oh! that is too little. I must give five, and let that be your price from this day forward. He advised Humphrey to settle near him, told him he would assist him to the utmost of his power, and fulfilled his promise to the letter. The malevolent arts of which Allan Cunningham accused him are refuted by every act of his life, but he would have deserved all the censure bestowed on him if he had laboured to undermine an honest fame by the means which have been employed to tarnish his own.
At Barton, in Suffolk, the seat of Sir C. Bunbury, there is a
Mr. Leslie had heard Northcote say, that Reynolds cared for nobody's success but his own.' Boydell suggested that the Lord Mayor should always signalise his year of office by ordering an historical picture. Reynolds, who had then ceased to paint, was reported to have replied, that the project was foolish, that a portrait of the successive Lord Mayors would be more advisable, and that Boydell should make a commencement by sitting to Lawrence. The incident is related with some bitterness by Northcote in his Autobiography. He was doubly chagrined because his bad historical pictures had not received more encouragement from his old master, and because young Lawrence, in portrait, was ranked by Reynolds before him. This wound to his vanity was believed by Mr. Leslie to be the ground of the observation that Sir Joshua did not care for other people's success. Northcote was habitually peevish in his talk, and loved to indulge in splenetic sallies. His real sentiments must be sought in the Life, where his sense of justice prevailed. A remark, uttered in a moment of pique, and in the laxity of conversation, cannot for an instant be set against the facts and opinions which he deliberately placed before the world.
portrait of Miss Kennedy, which was painted in 1770. When we saw it some years since we could only learn that she was an actress, and we were at a loss to account for the mournful expression which, as Mr. Taylor truly states, 'does not belong to the stage. Her story is illustrative of the picture, and Mr. Taylor has, therefore, properly related it. Her two youthful brothers, Matthew and Patrick, had taken part in a drunken fray on Westminster Bridge, when Bigby, a constable, was killed. The Kennedys were convicted of the murder on Friday, February 23, 1770, and were sentenced to be hanged on the following Monday, Their sister, a woman of loose character, had many influential friends among her paramours. She prevailed on them by her entreaties to try and save her brothers, and powerful interest was brought to bear upon the King, the Queen, and the Secretary of State. A single witness at the trial had sworn that Matthew struck the fatal blow, and the petitioners undertook to prove that he did not. A temporary reprieve was obtained; but when the report on the condemned malefactors was made to the King on April 11, Matthew was ordered for execution, and Patrick alone received a further respite. The renewed intercessions speedily prevailed. The report was published on April 12, and it was announced the same day that Matthew would be spared and his sentence commuted to transportation for life. He was conveyed to a convict vessel in the Thames, and there he was visited by Lord Fife on April 28. All the states I ever had an idea of,' wrote the latter to George Selwyn, “are much short of what I saw this
man in. He and fifty others were cooped up .in a hole not above sixteen feet long. He had a collar and padlock round his neck, and was chained to a board, and five fellow culprits, whom Lord Fise describes as the most dreadful creatures he ever looked on.' Money in those days was allowed to be applied in the purchase of comforts, which signally modified the common course of justice. Lord Fife had engaged a free passage for Kennedy. He was released from his irons ; he was put under the care of a very humane captain,' who would be of great service to him; he was presented with ten guineas to start him in America, and he was furnished with a letter of recommendation to a person in Maryland, who would be vastly good to him.' «In short,' says Lord Fife, 'I left this poor creature, who has suffered so much, in a perfect state of happiness. I am thus tedious, because I know you will be glad to hear that his afflictions are over.' They were on the eve of beginning afresh. The law was then in force which permitted the widow of a murdered man to institute a prosecution on her private account after the murderer had been convicted under an ordinary indict
ient and pardoned by the Crown. If she succeeded in obtaining a verdict of guilty, the life of the criminal was at her disposal to take or to spare, and the royal prerogative of mercy could not be exerted to deprive her of her vengeance. Before Lord Fife wrote his letter of rejoicing, Mrs. Bigby had already commenced proceedings against both the brothers. The ship which carried Matthew Kennedy had reached the Downs when a warrant was sent after him, and he was brought back to be tried a second time for the murder. He was conveyed to the bar of the King's Bench on May 25, that some necessary forms might be gone through, and many persons of distinction who espoused his cause, among whom were Lord Spencer, Lord Palmerston, and George Selwyn, attended to countenance him. He was in double chains,' says the Annual Register,'' and looked greatly dejected.' The trial was fixed for June 15. On that day the unhappy brothers were placed in the dock; but there was an omission in the pleadings, and the trial was postponed till November 6. In the interval Mrs. Bigby, whose object all along had probably been to extort money from the wealthy friends of Miss Kennedy, was appeased by the payment of 3501., and the prosecution was dropped. The brothers were once more in the hands of the Crown, and Patrick was transported for fourteen years and Matthew for life. In September, 1770, when the composition with the watchman's widow had doubtless been effected, Reynolds commenced the portrait of Miss Kennedy, which was a commission from Sir C. Bunbury. * I have finished the face,' Sir Joshua wrote to him, 'very much to my own satisfaction. It has more grace and dignity than anything I have ever done, and it is the best coloured. The affections of the wretched woman had survived her virtue, and the painter preserved her most creditable trait--the anguish which sisterly love had imprinted on her countenance during the prolonged and bitter conflicts of hope and fear while she was struggling to rescue her brothers from their doom Now that the history of the original is known, the picture becomes a new example of the biographic truth which Reynolds embodied in his works, and which adds so immensely to our interest in studying them.
Nine years had passed away since James Northcote touched the skirt of Sir Joshua's coat, and the young man's passion for art remained unabated and ungratified. His father discouraged his yearnings, and compelled him to drudge in the watch trade. His eldest brother, Samuel, was sent to London in 1766 to get instruction in the business, and Mr. Mudge gave him an introduction to Reynolds. Do go often to Reynolds's,' James wrote to him, that when I have the pleasure of seeing you I may hear
all about it. Mr. Mudge says he knows you are exceedingly welcome, as he is the most good-natured creature living.' Samuel was back at Plymouth in the beginning of 1771, and he agreed in May to visit London with James, who had managed to accumulate ten guineas for the trip. Half the sum was the produce of protracted savings, and half was the profit on a print from an Indian ink drawing he had made of the new assembly room and bathing-place. The travellers performed the journey on foot, and slept in village inns or hay-lofts. James was strongly recommended by Mr. Mudge to Reynolds, who often asked him to dinner, and admitted him at once to be a sort of out-door pupil. He was allowed to copy pictures when he pleased, and transported by the beautiful works around him he wrote home enthusiastically, • I wish Polly could but see Sir Joshua's house ; it is to me a heaven.' When the brothers were on their road to London, says Northcote in his Autobiography, and had reached the last hill which afforded a view of Plymouth, the elder looked back and expressed some regret; but the younger lost sight of its spires with pleasure inexpressible.' They retained at their journey's end the contrasted feelings with which they started. Samuel returned to Plymouth at the expiration of a week, and James was in no hurry to quit the heaven he had found. The difficulty was to live. He carried a water-colour drawing of a duck to a printseller on Ludgate Hill, who declined to purchase it, but offered to employ him in colouring prints of birds at a shilling a sheet. He earned his shilling every day, and was content to exist upon it, that he might devote the remainder of his hours to genuine art. He informed his brother that his occupation would render almost any state agreeable, and in fact his bodily sensations were well-nigh absorbed in his mental ecstacy. For two months Reynolds marked the diligence of Northcote, and, satisfied that it was not ephemeral, he volunteered to receive him into his house for five or six years. At first,' said Sir Joshua, •I shall be of use to you, and then you to me; and so we shall assist each other.' Northcote was enraptured at the proposal. • I told him,' he wrote July 25, 1771, that it would be the most excessive pleasure to me, but asked him if I was not too old. He said, No; for the only objection to persons of my age was, that they were commonly too fond of dissipation, which put an end to all study; but with application it was the best time of life, because they were more capable of making observations, and a quicker progress than a boy of fourteen."! Provided with board and lodging, he was released from the slavery of colouring prints. He expected his employer to congratulate him, and was chagrined when he assailed him with a volley