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Painting

A person of rank who dabbled in painting for his amusement, having one day shown Poussin one of his performances, and asked his opinion of its merits, the latter replied, "You only want a little poverty, sir, to make a good painter."

This extraordinary painter was born at Haerlem, in 1608. His parents were extremely poor, and his mother sold to the peasants bonnets and handkerchiefs, which the young Adrian painted with flowers and birds. These attempts were noticed by Francis Hals, a distinguished painter of Haerlem, who offered to take the young artist into his school—which proposal was gladly accepted. Hals, on discovering his superior genius, separated him from all his companions, and locked him up in a garret, that he might profit by his talents.

The Egyptian Sphinx is represented by a human head on the body of a lion; it is always in a recumbent position with the fore paws stretched forward, and a head dress resembling an old-fashioned wig. The features are like those of the ancient Egyptians, as represented on their monuments. The colossal Sphinx, near the group of pyramids at Jizeh, which lay half buried in the sand, was uncovered and measured by Caviglia. It is about 150 feet long, and 63 feet high. The body is made out of a single stone; but the paws, which are thrown out about fifty feet in front, are constructed of masonry.

Francisco Vieira, an eminent Portuguese painter, was still a child when he became enamored of Doña Ignez Elena de Lima, the daughter of noble parents, who lived on friendly terms with his own and permitted the intercourse of their children. The thread of their loves was broken for a while by the departure of the young wooer to Rome, in the suite of the Marquis of Abrantes. There he applied himself diligently to the study of painting, under Trevisani, and carried off the first prize in the Academy of St. Luke.

The Capitol or Citadel of ancient Rome stood on the Capitoline hill, the smallest of the seven hills of Rome, called the Saturnine and Tarpeian rock. It was begun B.C. 614, by Tarquinius Priscus, but was not completed till after the expulsion of the kings. After being thrice destroyed by fire and civil commotion, it was rebuilt by Domitian, who instituted there the Capitoline games.

This Spanish painter was a favorite with King Charles II. He was painting his Majesty's portrait one day in the presence of the Queen mother, when the royal sitter asked him to which of the knightly orders he belonged. "To none," replied the artist, "but the order of your Majesty's servants." "Why is this?" said Charles. The Admiral of Castile, who was standing by, replied that he should have a cross immediately; and on leaving the royal presence, he sent Carreño a rich badge of Santiago, assuring him that what the king had said entitled him to wear it.

This celebrated Italian paintress was born at Chiozza, near Venice, in 1675. She acquired an immense reputation, and was invited to several of the courts of Europe. Few artists have equalled Rosalba in crayon painting.

While Poussin was thus pursuing his studies at Rome, he was left by the death of his friend Marino, in a state of extreme distress, and was obliged to dispose of his paintings at the most paltry prices, to procure the necessaries of life. Filibien says that he sold the two fine battle-pieces which were afterwards in the collection of the Duke de Noailles for seven crowns each, and a picture of a Prophet for eight livres.

The admirers of Mengs, jealous of Poussin's title of "the Painter of Philosophers," conferred on him the antithetical one of "the Philosopher of Painters." Though it cannot be denied that Mengs' writings and his pictures are learned, yet few artists have encountered such a storm of criticism.

When the States-General were at war with Spain, Brower started on a visit to Antwerp, whither his reputation had already proceeded him. Omitting to provide himself with a passport, he was arrested as a spy, and confined in the citadel, where the Duke d'Aremberg was imprisoned.

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