Imágenes de páginas


his lyre. In all my life I never saw such due; therefore we fully believe that Maastonishment, such stupefaction, in two dame Lebrun painted all her portraits and faces, as in those of M. de Vaudreuil and pictures herself

, without the assistance of his companion. They were surprised and

But a great deal of scandal and cadelighted to such a degree that they remained standing a very long time, before lumny immediately preceded the French they could consent to take the places which revolution; there was a feeling of irritation, we had reserved for them.

a spirit of party, that had not yet found vent “Besides the two dishes which I have in public occurrences, and we have heard of already mentioned, we had a cake made many splenetic and spiteful sayings and dowith honey and currants in it, and two ings at this period. Affairs, however, soon dishes of vegetables. We drank indeed assumed a more serious appearance, and that evening a bottle of old Cyprus wine, Madame Lebrun was too great a favorite at which had been made a present to methis was all the excess in which we indul- court too much in the intimate friendship of ged. We, nevertheless, continued a very all that was great and noble, lo escape suspilong time at table, where Lebrun recited cion, and she was one of the first who was to us several odes of Anacreon, which he abused by the mob. Disgusted and alarmed, had translated, and I think I never spent she seriously thought of travelling, but her a more amusing evening. Messrs. de friends, who could not be persuaded that any Boutin and de Vaudreuil were so delighted serious crisis was to be apprehended, still that they talked of it next day to all their acquaintance. Some ladies of the court

made her linger. The symptoms, however, applied to me for a second representation increased, and when she saw the beautiful of this pleasantry. I refused for various and celebrated Pamela, tearing up and down reasons, and several of them were offended the streets on horseback, followed by two at my refusal. A report was soon circu- servants, in the Orleans livery in the midst lated that this supper had cost me twenty of the most revolting hordes of vagabonds thousand francs. The king spoke of it and ruffians, who loudly cried, " There is with some spleen to the Marquis de Cu- our Queen!” she naturally thought that all bières, who had luckily been of the party, and who convinced his majesty of the sil” was subverted; and, half-dead with alarm liness of such an assertion. Nevertheless, and apprehension, in consequence of reiterathat which was rated at Versailles at the ted threats against her person, she decided moderate sum of twenty thousand francs, on performing her long intended journey to was raised at Rome to forty thousand, Rome, and taking her daughter and her and at Vienna, the Baroness de Strogo- daughter's governess along with her. They noff informed me that I had spent sixty were disgnised as working people, and startthousand francs on my Greek supper.You know that at Petersburgh the sum

ed in the diligence, as the surest mode of was finally 'fixed at eighty thousand, and escape.

No molestation was offered, and the truth is, that this supper cost me but she thought she was unknown, till she was fifteen francs."

ascending Mount Cenis on foot. Several

strangers were following the same route, and But Madame Lebrun was about to suffer one of their postillions came up to her and for her celebrity; and, in the first place, said, “ You ought to have a mule, inadam ; she was not exempted from a very common for this way of travelling must be too fa. accusation brought against women who do tiguing to a lady like you.”—“I am only any thing which is remarkable

. This re- a working person,” said Madame Lebrun, markable production is sure to be wholly, "and am used to walking." The postillion or partially, ascribed to her husband, a bro- laughed, and replied, “You are no work. ther, a preceptor, a friend, who has been ing person; and we very well know who kind enough to let his labors pass under the you are." Who am I then ?" returned name of the lady. Now we may be very Madame Lebrun. · You are Madame Legood natured, nay very gallant, indeed, we brun," concluded the postillion, “who paints feel a considerable degree of complacency, to perfection, and we are all very glad to when we think of our conduct and feeling see you so far away from those wicked peotoward really clever women; but we do not ple." Madame Lebrun never could guess give ourselves credit for extending this feel how this man knew her ; but it was a proof ing so far as to supply our female friends or how far the emissaries of the jacobins exrelations with materials for a brilliant fame. tended their influence, and she was thankful For instance, would any one in his senses at being beyond their reach. write such works as emanate from Great It would be difficult to decide which of Britain's pride, Mrs. Somerville, and let Madame Lebrun's travels is the most interthe he ascribed to her ? No! we love esting, for her descriptions of people, scenefame too much ourselves, and labor too hard ry, monuments of art, solemnities, public for it, to part with it when it is justly our ) festivals, peculiarities of custom, are all


written in the most graphic manner, without was on the point of being realized. At pretension, and with that remarkable simpli- length I found myself on the Ponte Mole. city which seems to have accompanied her I must confess to you in a whisper that it throughout her life. Our friend, to whom appeared to me very small, and the so

celebrated Tiber a very muddy stream." we have already alluded, met her in Rome, and was an eye-witness of the honorable re

At Rome Madame Lebrun became acception there bestowed upon her, and we quainted with Angelica Kauffman, whom cannot do better than follow the course of she found amiable, talented, and learned, but her narrative. It may not be amiss, howe- without the enthusiasm which was so abunver, to remark that, after she had resided in dant in herself. No sooner had she estabItaly for some time, her talent acquired in- lished herself, than sitters crowded to her, creasing strength, her touch became bolder

among whom were several English; emiand firmer, her coloring became more solid, grants flocked to Rome from Paris, and at and her drawing more perfect; we have


fresh arrival she had some fresh loss seen a portrait painted by her at the period to deplore. She not only visited the enviwe speak of, and were much struck with rons of the city, but found time to sketch the richness and depth of its tone. She them. When speaking of the temple of the seems to have been very open to impression; Sibyl, she says: for those who know her productions better than we do, have remarked a difference in “ There I heard the sound of waterfalls them,to which can only be ascribed the varied which lulled me deliciously, for this had circumstances which assailed her in each of nothing harsh like so many others which the countries in which she resided. Per. I detest. To say nothing of the awful sons of a very lively imagination and great which are to me unbearable, and the form

sound of thunder, there are other sounds sensibility, without being aware of it, con- of which I could draw from the impres. stantly assume the tone of those among sion which they made upon me: thus I whom they reside for some time, however know round sounds and sharp-pointed different it may be from that in which they sounds; in like manner there are some were born. Madame Lebrun passed through which have always been agreeable to me; Turin, where she received the greatest kind- the sound of the waves of the sea, for exness from the celebrated engraver Porporati; ample, is soothing, and disposes one to at Parma she was fêted by the Count de pleasing reverie." Flavigny, the ambassador of Louis XVI.

After eight months' sojourn in Rome, and saw there Corregio's magnificent pic- Madame Lebrun went to Naples, where she ture of the Nativity, which was afterwards

as usual, moved in the best society. We taken for a time to Paris, and some other

cannot refrain from citing the following pictures of this great master, on which she

passage, which we think will be sure to makes the folowing just observations:

meet with the sympathy of our readers, who, “I could not see so many divine pictures desire to speak of personal defects before

like ourselves, have the same unconquerable without believing in the inspiration which the Christian artist derives from his reli- those afflicted with them, and the involuntary gion ; fable, it is true has charming fic- gratification of which has caused us so much tions; but to me the poetry of Christiani- pain :ty seems much more beautiful."

“This neighborhood at Naples was Passing through Modena, she arrived at extremely agreeable to me, and I spent Bologna, where the French were forbidden most of my evenings at the Russian amto stay for more than one night, but where bassador's. The count and his lady freshe received an especial permission from the quently played a game at cards with the

Abbé Bertrand, who was then the consul pope to remain as long as she pleased; a of France at Naples. The abbé was favor of which she availed herself in order hunchbacked in the full extent of the term, to feast upon treasures of art, and to be re- and I know not by what fatality it happened ceived into the Academy of that place. — that as soon as I was seated by him at the From Florence she could hardly tear her- card-table the air of Les Bossus always self, but at length she arrived in Rome, and came into my head. I had the utmost difthe following were her first impressions:ficulty to divert my thoughts from it. At

length, one evening, my pre-occupation "You know that, while yet at some dis was such, that I began humming that untance from Rome, you can see the dome immediately, and the abbé, turning to

fortunate air quite loud. I stopped short of St. Peter's. It is impossible to tell you wards me, said in the kindest tone : Go what delight I felt when I first perceived it. What I had so long wished in vain on, go on, that does not offend me in the

least, I cannot conceive how such as

thing could have happened to me; it is a frame, and hung it up in one of my one of these movements that are inexpli- rooms. One morning, while dressing, I cable.”

was informed that seven or eight pupils of

painters had called to pay me a visit. At Naples Madame Lebrun met with Sir They were shown into the room in which William Hamilton, and Emma Hart, who I had placed my Sibyl, and in a few miwas afterwards his wife; of her she thus nutes I went to receive them there. After speaks :

they had expressed the strong desire they

had felt to make my acquaintance, they “I had given the first sitting, when Sir of my works. Here,' I replied, 'is a pic

said that they should be happy to see some William Hamilton, the English anibassa- ture that I have just finished, pointing to dor at Naples, called upon me to ask as a the Sibyl. All of them testified at first a favour to let my first portrait be that of a surprize much more flattering than any superb woman whom he introduced to words

could have been; several then de. me; this was Mrs. Hart, his mistress, who clared that they thought this picture was very soon became Lady Hamilton, and by one of the masters of their school, and whose beauty has rendered her celebrated. one of them threw himself at my feet with Agreeably to the promises made to my tears in his eyes. I was the more touched, neighbours, I would not begin this por: the more pleased with this test, as my Sitrait till that of the Countess Scawronski byl has always been one of my favorite should be pretty forward. I painted at works. The reader, in perusing this narthe same time a fresh portrait of Lord rative, may perhaps accuse me of vanity; Bristol, whom I found again at Naples, I beseech him to consider that an artist and who might be said to pass his life up-labours a whole life to enjoy two or three on Vesuvius, for he ascended the moun- such moments as that which I am speaktain every day. Sir William Hamilton

ing of." had this portrait painted for himself, but it should be observed that he very fre.

We should be the last to accuse an artist quently sold his pictures again when he could do so at a profit; hence M. de Tal- of conceit on such an occasion ; he must leyrand, the eldest son of our ambassador know in a great measure the value of his at Naples, hearing some one say one day own works, if he be a man of real merit, and that Sir William Hamilton patronized the we have often thought of the noble simpliciarts, replied, 'Say rather that the arts pa- ty with which Sir Thomas Lawrence used tronize him. The fact is, that after bar to pass his opinion on his own works, and gaining a very long time about the por: receive praises from others; and there is for one hundred louis, and that he sold it frequently a great deal of hypocricy in dein London for three hundred guineas."

nying merits which we cannot fail to know

that we possess. Madame Lebrun afterwards painted an

At Venice, Madame Lebrun met the Baother portrait of Lady Hamilton, as a Sibyl, ron Dénon, whose character and talents she which she kept in her possession, and which seems to have appreciated, and from thence was one of her best pictures. Another of proceeded to Turin; but her progress was her most celebrated works was the portrait there stopped by the fugitives from France ; of the great composer Paësiello, who was the streets were filled with them, and they then the delight of Italy.

were destitute of money, clothes, or bread; After again spending some time at Rome, life was all they could save; some had been Madame Lebrun determined to return to prematurely confined on the way, and others France, for accounts had been much more were at the point of death from fatigue and favorable concerning the state of the country, suffering: The King of Sardinia gave orand she felt an earnest desire to see those ders for their relief, but the city could scarcewho were dear to her, and still survived. In 'y hold them. M. de Rivière, the brother of her way through Parma we find the follow. Madame Lebrun's sister-in-law, whom she ing anecdote respecting the Sibyl, the con expected to meet her, at length arrived, but, clusion of which has particularly pleased after witnessing the massacre of the priests

at Beauvoisin, he had been so ill as to be US :

obliged to stop upon the road: the news he “In the same week I experienced in the brought proved that there was no safety in same city a gratification not less lively. I France for Madame Lebrun, and she then had with me the picture of the Sibyl which changed her route and went to Vienna, to I had painted at Naples, after Lady Ha- which city she had been frequently invited; milton, intending to carry it to France, that city, of which it is said, that it contains whither I reckoned upon returning very three causes of death, “the wind, the dust, shortly. As this picture was very recently painted, on my arrival at Parma, that it and the walz.” Wherever she went, she might not turn yellow, I put it one day in met her fugitive countrymen; wherever she

appeared, she received the same kindness ( us all the famous personages of whom we and distinction; and after remaining two have read or heard, as playing their part in years and a half in Vienna, painting fifty- Russia at that time-their ouiward appear. five portraits in oil and pastil, and making ance and manner, their conversation, their new friends, reviving old friendships, and histories are all given to us with the same lamenting over those that were gone for vivacity which marks all hitherto described ; ever, she in 1795 proceeded to St. Peters- and in fact we should be puzzled which to burg.

choose. She witnessed the sensations creaShe passed six years in Russia, and wasted by the death of Catherine, the accession received by the three sovereigos whom she and murder of Paul, and the accession of saw upon the throne during that period, with Alexander; it was a redeeming feature in all that enthusiasm which they ever profess Paul to have loved and protected the arts as for the arts and mental acquirements. She generously as his mother had done. Her was presented to the Empress Catherine by account of Stanislas Augustus Poniatowsky Prince Esterhazy, and thus describes her in- is highly interesting ; she describes him as terview :

good-tempered, amiable, and brave, but per

haps not quite energetic enough to keep the “I reached the empress's apartment people of Poland in order at that time; he trembling a little, and there I was téle-à-tête was passionately fond of the arts, extremely with the Autocrat of all the Russias. M. d'Esterhazy had told me that I must kiss graceful and benevolent, and his supper's her hand, and consequently for this pur- were delightful, somewhat resembling those pose she had taken off one of her gloves, of Paris; his eldest nephew, Joseph Poniawhich ought have reminded me of his in- towski, was a hero in look and conduct-in junction ; but I completely forgot it. It is short, “ le Bayard Polonias ;" and it will be true that the sight of this so celebrated recollected that he was afterwards drowned woman made such an impression upon in the Elster, on the destruction of the me, that it was impossible for me to think bridge over that river after the battle of Leip. I was at first extremely surprised to find zig: her so small; I had fanced her to be a pro

Honor, wealth, and enjoyment were pour. digiously large woman, as large as her ed upon Madame Lebrun, but all were em. renown. She was very fat, but she had bittered by the marriage of that daughter still a fine face, to which her gray hair, whom she had so much loved and cherished. turned up, formed an admirable frame. For some time she tried to prevent this union Genius appeared to be seated upon her but, finding her efforts useless, she at length broad and very high forehead. Her eyes were soft and fine, her nose perfectly Gre- gave an unwilling consent, and Mademoician, her complexion very ruddy, and her selle Lebrun bestowed her hand on one physiognomy extremely animated. She wholly unworthy of her in eharacter, talent, said to me immediately in a tone of voice fortune, or rank. The seeds of discord once full of kindness, but nevertheless some- sown between mother and daughter led to an what harsh, 'I am delighted, madam, to estrangement which was not thoroughly efreceive you here ; your reputation has out- faced for some years, and the health of the stripped you. I am very fond of the arts, former having consequently suffered, she and especially of painting., I am not a went to Moscow, of which she gives a most connoisseur, but an amateur. All that she added during this conversation, which comfortless account, and returned to St. Pewas of considerable length, about the de- tersburg in time to witness the accession of sire she felt that I should like Russia well Alexander, whom she entirely exculpates enough to make a long stay there, bore from being in the least accessary to the the character of such great benevolence, death of his father. This kind disposition that my timidity left me ; and by the time of this emperor towards her, the friendship took leave, I had recovered all my assu- of his court, and the high consideration rance. Only I could not forgive myself which she enjoyed, seemed to render her for not having kissed her hand, which was very beautiful and very white; especially prospects more brilliant than ever; but the as M. d'Esterhazy did not fail to reproach conduct of her daughter had sunk too deepme for it.”

ly into her heart to be easily forgotten, and,

in 1801 she returned to France by way of The wife of Alexander seems to have been Prussia. The queen of this country fêted a perfect model of beauty, elegance and and caressed her, but would not detain her grace; but we must not trust ourselves to for any length of time; her brother and remake further extracts from this part of the lations pressed her to return, her name had work, for fear that we shall exceed our lim- been erased from the list of emigrants, and, its, and we shall therefore content ourselves after twelve years' absence, she longed to with saying, that the author places before behold her native city. VOL. XX,



On arriving in Paris, Madame Lebrun ought to be a good one, for Madame Lesaw a new world, which she places before brun was paid eighty thousand francs for us in her usual manner. She found a few it. Why,' replied Reynolds, 'if one hunrelics of former times, mingled with those dred thousand were to be given to me, I

could not do it so well." ; whose names, connexions, and fortunes, were wholly strange to her; she saw and appre

With Mrs. Siddons she was wholly deciated M. Gérard, and thought of the fascina: lighted; she gave several soirées at her zing Madame Recamier as every one else house in Maddox Street

, at one of which did”; but she was still restless, and nothing Mrs. Billington and Grassini sung together, seems at that moment to have been able to Viotti played the violin, and the Prince of satisfy her heart. She therefore again re- Wales, afierwards George IV., said to her, solved to travel, and, never having been in " Je voltige dans toutes les soirées, ici

je England, she started in 1802, and arrived reste.” În a party at the Duchess of Dein our great city without knowing a word vonshire's she met Sir Francis Burdett, and of our language. She had'engaged an En. thus speaks of him :glish maid, who spoke French, but soon discharged her because “she did nothing all

“At a moment when I was seated by day but eat bread and butter.” The crowd the duchess, she directed my attention to assembled on the pier at Dover alarmed her a man placed at a great distance from, but exceedingly, and she left that place immedi- opposite to, us, and said, " Has he not a ately, when she was assailed by the new remarkably intelligent and distinguished fear of robbers; however, putting her dia- look? In fact, marked features and a monds into her stockings, she proceeded in a

high forehead stripped of hair gave him chaise to Brunet's Hotel, and afterwards took Sir Francis Burdett, in whose election she

a very expressive physiognomy. It was lodgings; she finally settled herself in Mad- warmly interested herself, and who was dox Street, where she established her atelier. actually returned. I have not forgotten She was shocked at the boxeurs in the the fright caused me by his triumph, when, streets, distressed by the climate, ennuyée chancing to be in the street, I saw a coach with our Sundays, and stupified at our routs. pass with a great number of persons of On our public walks she makes the follow- the lower class, some inside and others on ing observations:

the top, and all

shouting, with all their might,"' Burdett for ever!' Most of these

men were quite drunk, and they were “The public walks in London are not throwing stones at the windows ... I more gay; the women walk together on was terrified, conceiving that nothing less one side all dressed in white ; their și- than a revolution had begun in England. ence, their perfect calmness, would make I hurried home, trembling all over, and you fancy them to be walking ghosts; the was very glad when Prince Bariatinski, men keep themselves apart from them, who had long resided in London, came to and observe the same serious silence. I cheer me. He told me that such scenes have sometimes observed couples, arm in were quite common at the time of an imarm; when I happened to be going the portant election, and that they would all same way as the two persons, I amused be over on the following day." myself in watching whether they would say a word to one another; and I never

When the peace of Amiens was broken, found them break the silence.”

all the French then residing in England Of Reynolds she says :

were ordered to quit the kingdom, but the

Prince of Wales requested his father to al"I saw in London many pictures by the low Madame Lebrun to remain, and himfamous Reynolds; they are of an excellent self carried the royal permission, couched colour, which reminds one of that of Ti. in these terms : “That she was at liberty to tian, but in general unfinished, with the travel throughout the kingdom, to stay where exception of the heads. I admired, how- she pleased, and moreover, that she should ever, his Child Samuel, which delighted be protected at all the sea-ports where she me both in regard to finish and colour. should be pleased to sojourn.” Of our celeReynolds was as modest as he was clever. When my portrait of M. Calonne arrived brated prince she observes : at the Custom House, having been informed of the circumstance, he went to see it,

“The Prince of Wales was then about and persons who were present gave me forty, but he looked older, because he had the following account of what passed.- already grown too corpulent. Tall and When the case was opened, he looked a well made, he had a handsome face; all long time at the picture and praised it; on his features were noble and regular. He which one of those newsmongers, who wore a wig arranged with great art, the take delight in repeating the silly inven-hair of which was parted in front like that tions of calumny, said that this portrait of the Apollo, which became him wonder

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