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William Winstanley- S. King-Mr. S. King gives instruction to Mr. Allston and Miss Hall-Archibald Robertson-Born near Aberdeen-Studies drawing at Edinburgh, 1782, with Weir and Raeburn-Studies in London-Determines to visit America-Opinion of that country-Disappointed-The Wallace box-Mr. Robertson paints the President and Mrs. Washington-Guiseppe CeracchiEmployed by the Pope in conjunction with Canova-Visits England-Visits America-Intended monument-Bust of Washington-Returns to Europe-Attempts to assassinate Bonaparte-Uncertainty of the mode of his deathBenjamin Trott-Jeremiah Paul.


THIS young man was understood to have come to NewYork on some business connected with the Episcopal church. He was of a good family in England, and had received a gentlemanly education. At his first arrival he was well received among our first and best citizens, and was intimate at the house of Bishop Benjamin Moore. He became well known to the public in 1795, by painting and exhibiting a panorama of London, as seen from the Albion Mills, Blackfriar's Bridge. This was the first picture of the kind ever seen in America, and was exhibited in Greenwich-street, New-York.

In another part of this work it is stated that a friend of mine furnished the money either in part or the whole, to enable Barker to get up the first panorama ever executed, which was of Edinburgh. Barker afterward painted the panorama of London, and had it engraved and published in six prints of 24 inches each. These prints were brought to America by Mr. Laing, the brother-in-law of my friend, and were, through Mr. Alexander Robertson, lent to Winstanley. The reader may see in the biography of Stuart, how Mr. Laing was repaid. These panoramic prints brought him to the knowledge of Winstanley, as a painter, and having sold to General Henry Lee an original full-length of Washington, by Stuart, he sent it to Winstanley as understanding the best mode of packing it, as it was purchased for the President's house at the seat of government. Winstanley immediately copied it, and sent the copy to General Lee, keeping the original; by and from which to manufacture more Stuarts, and finally Mr. Laing lost the amount of the original picture.

Winstanley painted portraits, landscapes-any thing-and in 1801, this swindling genius, as appears by a puff direct in Denny's Portfolio, announced the publication of eight prints by subscription, select views, to be engraved in London from oil paintings by Mr. Winstanley, " an artist of genius and reputation, whose landscapes in oil are greatly admired by the connoisseurs."

The first instructor of Miss Hall.


It was probably at this period that he borrowed the five hundred dollars from the Boston merchant, and gave him as security an original Stuart painted by himself. This is the last notice I have of William Winstanley.

S. KING-1790.

This gentleman, although he painted portraits for many years in Newport, Rhode Island, might perhaps have escaped my notice, if a great painter had not mentioned him as one who encouraged the efforts of design in his schooldays. He had not that skill which would entitle him to historical notice, but if he stimulated in any degree the genius of Allston, he deserves immortality. He was an able and ingenious man, and has contributed his mite to the progress of American art, by giving instruction to Washington Allston, and imparting some knowledge of the rudiments of the art to Miss Anne Hall, one of our most excellent miniature painters, and a National Academician.

Mr. King painted professionally in 1790, and when Allston returned an accomplished artist in 1809, he had the pleasure of reminding the good old man of the kindness he had, as a child, received from him.


Archibald Robertson arrived at New-York on the 2d of October 1791. He was born in the village of Monymusk, eighteen miles from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1765. His father was an architect and draftsman, and practised the art at that place. Two brothers, Alexander and Andrew, are likewise artists, the latter has long been, if not the best, equal to the first miniature-painter in the metropolis of Great Britain.

Archibald showed an early disposition for the fine arts. I have seen designs of Mr. Robertson's for historical compositions which evince good knowledge of drawing, chiara scura, and expression. One from Shakspeare, of Falstaff and his companions, has much of these qualities and pleased me most. Lord Archibald Grant encouraged his attempts at drawing, and after he had completed his education at Marshall college, Aberdeen, Grant invited him to Edinburgh to study the arts of design, and thither he went in 1782. At that time there was no academy of fine arts in that city, and Archibald associated himself with Weir and Raeburn, then like himself students of painting, to form a school for mutual improvement. Raeburn was about the same age with Robertson and afterwards attained that eminence as a portrait-painter which gained him the appellation of the Reynolds of Scotland.

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Robertson, Raeburn, Watson, and Weir had as associates some engravers of Edinburgh, and they obtained permission from the manager of the theatre to occupy the green room for their school on such evenings as it was not in use, which were three in the week. Runciman, who was the teacher of the drawing school of the college, lent them casts and directed their operations. He is well known among painters for his pictures from Ossian and other works, which place him almost on a level with Barry and Mortimer, at least in the minds of his countrymen, who speak of Barry, Mortimer and Runciman as the pride of Ireland, England and Scotland. The college drawing school was a free school. The associates studied from the life, and hired a porter as their model. It was a school of mutual instruction. Raeburn is well known to fame. George Watson is now his successor in Edinburgh. He was the youngest of the associates. Before going to Edinburgh the young painter had received instructions from Peacock in miniature, Nesbit in water colour drawing, and Wales in oil.

Having passed two years in Edinburgh he returned to his own climate to restore his impaired health, which accomplished, after practising his art in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, he, in 1788, went to London. He carried among other letters one to Sir Robert Strange. The engraver was not home when he called, but his wife, a Scotchwoman, received her young countryman very cordially and went with him to Newman-street to introduce him to Benjamin West. The great historical painter was found at his (chevalet de peintre) or esel, working upon one of the pictures commemorative of the order of the garter. West received the young man with that amenity which characterized him, and continued his occupation while conversing with his visiter, as was his wont. He asked Robertson what were his views in respect to the art. Whether he intended to pursue historical or portrait painting, and being informed that the latter was his object he recommended application to Reynolds, saying, "I seldom paint portraits, and when I do, I neither please myself nor my employers."

Robertson was delighted with the urbanity of the painter, astonished by the facility and rapidity with which he was executing the work on his esel, and determined to follow his advice by seeking an introduction to the great portrait-painter.

To Sir Joshua he was introduced by Sir William Chambers the architect, and was received as he could wish. Reynolds was then the president of the Royal Academy and pointed out to him the steps necessary for his introduction to that school;

American savages without pins or needles.


the first of which is to make a drawing from the plaster figure for presentation to the counsel or keeper. We need not say that in Europe an academy is composed of those who can teach the arts or sciences it is instituted to promote. Robertson said he had no plaster figure to draw from, and the artist directed him to choose one from those in his studio and make use of it. The young Scot chose the crouching Venus and triumphantly bore the goddess to his own chamber, eager to devote himself to the study of beauty and the antique.

His drawing gained him admission to the schools of Somerset House. He studied the portraits of Reynolds and copied several of them in miniature. Returning to Scotland he exercised his profession at Aberdeen successfully, until he was solicited by Dr. Kemp, of Columbia College, New-York, (through the medium of the venerable Dr. Gordon of Kings College, Aberdeen,) to come and settle in America. The advice of his friends and his own inclinations determined him to visit the terra incognita. Not until he had made up his mind for this voyage of discovery did he make any inquiries respecting the country or its inhabitants, or indeed think any thing about it. It was a land of savages where some Europeans had fled from oppression or poverty or debts, and others had transported Africans, and convicted felons, in chains. The information the young painter received was such as to induce him to believe that except in the sea-ports the country was a wilderness, and the inhabitants wild beasts and Indians. He thought himself fortunate in meeting a lady whose husband had been taken prisoner with Burgoyne, and had with the captured army been marched from Saratoga to Virginia. She was at New-York, doubtless expecting to receive her husband in that British garrison, after he should have marched in triumph from Canada, and assisted in dividing the eastern states from their brethren of the union. She was disappointed; and now solicited and obtained permission to pass through the tract of country which separated her from the place of her husband's captivity. She unwittingly confirmed Robertson in the opinion that America was a country of savages, for she told him that having been fortunate enough to carry from the city a large stock of needles and pins, she found them of greater use to her than money, they being so eagerly desired by the inhabitants she encountered in the course of her journey. This would of course remind the young man of the avidity with which the savages, discovered by Cooke, sought for like articles, and even beads and nails, and confirmed him in the notion that all beyond the precincts of the cities was a land of wild beasts and wild men.

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The reader will observe the manner in which this fact, (the avidity with which pins and needles were sought for,) told without explanation, might operate. The lady knew the cause doubtless of the high price set upon needles and pins, by the people among whom she journeyed from New-York to Virginia. The people of America had, before the era of their emancipation from the bonds of a foreign parliament, been prohibited the exercise of ingenuity or skill in most articles of manufacture, or had, from the sparse nature of the population, been induced to depend upon Great Britain for the products of her manufactories; and being, at the time she spoke of, cut off from all foreign commerce by the armies and fleets of England, they were literally put to their shifts to make a shirt, and unable, in some instances, to pin a garment except with thorns, unless supplied by some visiter like herself, or by smugglers and illegal traffickers with New-York or other garrisons of their enemy. She only reported the fact without comment or explanatory facts, and the young painter drew his own conclusions. When he arrived at New-York in 1791, he expected to find some whites, but was utterly astonished on landing to see the same forms and complexions he had left behind on the other side the Atlantic, except here and there the face of an African. It is probable that he did not see an Indian for years after his arrival, and then as much of a raree-show to his adopted countrymen as to himself.

In the month of December following his arrival in the United States, he went to Philadelphia, then the seat of government, to deliver to Washington the celebrated box made of the wood of the oak tree that sheltered Wallace after the Battle of Falkirk. This token of regard for the character of the president, had been committed to the charge of Mr. Robertson by his friend the Earl of Buchan.

We extract the following from the Atlantic Magazine:


Philadelphia, January 4. On Friday morning was presented to the president of the United States, a box, elegantly mounted with silver, and made of the celebrated Oak Tree that sheltered the Washington of Scotland, the brave and patriotic Sir William Wallace, after his defeat at the battle of Falkirk, in the beginning of the fourteenth century, by Edward the First. This magnificent and truly characteristical present is from the Earl of Buchan, by the hand of Mr. Archibald Robertson, a Scots gentleman, and portrait-painter, who arrived in America some months ago. The box was presented to Lord Buchan by the Goldsmith's Com

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