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[398] his idea in marble, it will be accepted as his masterpiece. The moment represented is that after which the sorrowful and anxious wife is bidden by her husband to take her place among the women and ply the loom, while he, as a man should, seeks the field of glory and strife. The child leans upon his mother, toying with an ornament that is suspended from her neck, and his young, sunny child-face, innocent of all care or trouble, together with the tense, elastic figure, is brought into exquisite contrast with the utter relaxation of Andromache's pose, the neglected distaff across the lap, the drooping head, the limp, supine arm, the expression of apprehension and grief. It tells this lovely Homeric story as it never has been told before in plastic art. The accessories are all strict studies from the antique; it is sternly classic throughout. How nobly this fine conception, in marble, (it is as yet only in clay,) would adorn the sculpture room of the Corcoran Gallery in Washington!

Mr. Valentine has a pleasant studio on Leigh street, one of the quietest, shadiest portions of the shady city of Richmond. It is fitted with that bric-a-brac so dear to the artist's soul—old tapestries, articles of vertu, statuettes by Flamingo, figures found in Pompeii, curios from Egypt, his master Kiss's works, copies from the old galleries of Florence and Rome, and such like matters—not to speak of the sculptor's own varied creations, which, of course, give it its special attraction and value.

The April number of the Southern Review, in an article entitled ‘Art in the South,’ thus speaks of Mr. Valentine: ‘Valentine, of Virginia, is one of the foremost of American sculptors, * * * and were his studio in Rome, or London, or Boston, or New York, is it too much to say that his hands would be filled with commissions? Is it beyond the truth to aver that his pathetic and exquisite Andromache and Astyanax would have been gracing in marble some princely saloon, instead of having to wait in the moulder's clay for an order? Is it putting it too strongly to declare that replicas of his inimitable Knowledge is Power (a sleeping negro boy with his dropping book), or his marvelous production, the saucy, good-for-naught Nations Ward, would be in every large gallery of representative art? The hand that modeled the recumbent figure of Lee, and gave us the portrait busts of Maury, Stuart, and others, would not be suffered, surely to let its skill lie dormant for lack of commissions. If England with her supercilious opinion so often expressed, that “Art is yet crude in America,” can afford to praise this master-piece of the Richmond sculptor, having no better or truer idea ’

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