November the 3rd, 1870, the Lexington Association
sent a committee with a proposition to the effect that there should be only one Association with two objects in view:
1. To decorate the tomb of Lee
, wherever that might be, and leaving the settlement of that question entirely to the Lee
2. To erect in Richmond
a grand statue.
This proposition, however, did not seem to meet with favor, and the Lexington Association
has quietly pushed its own scheme to completion.
The artist and his work.
The Association had no hesitancy whatever in the selection of an artist to carry out their design.
In the spring
of 1870 Mr. Edward V. Valentine
, the distinguished Virginia
sculptor, had modeled a bust of General Lee
from life (the General
giving him frequent sittings and even allowing him to make exact measurements of his person) which all pronounced a well nigh perfect likeness, and which competent artcriti-cism recognized as a very superior work of art. The committee, therefore, naturally turned to Mr. Valentine
; and when Mrs. Lee
was consulted she unhesitatingly expressed her preference for Valentine
as the artist.
Accordingly he was chosen, and upon consultation with Mrs. Lee
and the artist the committee cordially approved of her preference, and on June 21st, 1871, accepted Mr. Valentine
's model, and commissioned him to execute his beautiful design of a Recumbent Figure after the school of Rauch
's figure of Louise of Prussia
in the Mausoleum in Charlottenbourg, Mrs. Lee
having been particularly pleased with a photograph of that work.
We are sure that our readers will thank us for giving the following sketch of our artist from the graceful pen of our ‘Queen
of Song,’ Mrs. Margaret J. Preston
, of Lexington, Virginia
, written originally for the American Art Review
, in his aphoristic way, says that ‘the English
people are incapable of an inutility.’
He argues that the idea of Beauty with them is luxury; and, as a consequence, that the fine arts among them fall to the ground.
With much ingenuity, he attributes this to race temperament and climatic influence.
In the mosaic of our cosmopolitan American civilization, where race and climate are of the most varied character, it might be supposed that a very different state of things would exist.
We are, as a people, almost so