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Painting

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 upper part of this pyramid is still covered with the original polished coating of marble, to the distance of 140 feet from the top towards the base, which makes the ascent extremely difficult and dangerous. Mr. Wilde, in his "Narrative of a Voyage to Madeira, Teneriffe, and along the shore of the Mediterranean," published in 1840, made the ascent to the top, and thus describes the adventure:

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.

This eminent architect was one of those illustrious men, who, having conceived and matured a grand design, proceed, cool, calm, and indefatigable, to put it in execution, undismayed by obstacles that seem insuperable, by poverty, want, and what is worse, the jeers of men whose capacities are too limited to comprehend their sublime conceptions. The world is apt to term such men enthusiasts, madmen, or fools, till their glorious achievements stamp them almost divinely inspired.

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 paintress of fruit and flowers was born at Amsterdam in 1664. She was the daughter of Frederick Ruisch or Ruysch, the celebrated professor of anatomy. She early showed an extraordinary taste for depicting fruit and flowers, and attained to such perfection in her art, that some have not hesitated to equal and even prefer her works to those of John van Huysum. She grouped her flowers in the most tasteful and picturesque manner, and depicted them with a grace and brilliancy that rivalled nature.

"The favorite subjects of Poussin were ancient fables; and no painter was ever better qualified to paint such subjects, not only from his being eminently skilled in the knowledge of the ceremonies, customs, and habits of the ancients, but from his being so well acquainted with the different characters which those who invented them gave to their allegorical figures. Though Rubens has shown great fancy in his Satyrs, Silenuses, and Fauns, yet they are not that distinct, separate class of beings which is carefully exhibited by the ancients, and by Poussin.

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.

Obelisks belong to the oldest and most simple monuments of Egyptian architecture, and are high four-sided pillars, diminishing as they ascend, and terminating in a small pyramid. Herodotus speaks of them, and Pliny gives a particular account of them. The latter mentions king Mesphres, or Mestres, of Thebes, as the first builder of obelisks, but does not give the time; nor is this king noticed either by Herodotus or Diodorus. It is probable that these monuments were first built before the time of Moses, at least two centuries before the Trojan war.

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