Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Harriet G. Hosmer

Page 5 of 8

Table Of Contents: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

This work was so much liked in America, that the St. Louis Mercantile Library made a liberal offer for some other statue. Accordingly, two years after, "Beatrice Cenci" was sent. The noble girl lies asleep, the night before her execution, after the terrible torture. "It was," says Mrs. Child, "the sleep of a body worn out with the wretchedness of the soul. On that innocent face suffering had left its traces. The arm that had been tossing in the grief tempest, had fallen heavily, too weary to change itself into a more easy position. Those large eyes, now so closely veiled by their swollen lids, had evidently wept till the fountain of tears was dry. That lovely mouth was still the open portal of a sigh, which the mastery of sleep had left no time to close."

To make this natural, the sculptor caused several models to go to sleep in her studio, that she might study them. Gibson is said to have remarked upon seeing this, "I can teach her nothing." This was also exhibited in London and in several American cities.

For three years she had worked continuously, not leaving Rome even in the hot, unhealthy summers. She had said, "I will not be an amateur; I will work as if I had to earn my daily bread." However, as her health seemed somewhat impaired, at her father's earnest wish, she had decided to go to England for the season. Her trunks were packed, and she was ready to start, when lo! a message came that Dr. Hosmer had lost his property, that he could send her no more money, and suggested that she return home at once.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

At first she seemed overwhelmed; then she said firmly, "I cannot go back, and give up my art." Her trunks were at once unpacked and a cheap room rented. Her handsome horse and saddle were sold, and she was now to work indeed "as if she earned her daily bread."

By a strange freak of human nature, by which we sometimes do our most humorous work when we are saddest, Miss Hosmer produced now in her sorrow her fun-loving "Puck." It represents a child about four years old seated on a toadstool which breaks beneath him. The left hand confines a lizard, while the right holds a beetle. The legs are crossed, and the great toe of the right foot turns up. The whole is full of merriment. The Crown Princess of Germany, on seeing it, exclaimed, "Oh, Miss Hosmer, you have such a talent for toes!" Very true, for this statue, with the several copies made from it, brought her thirty thousand dollars! The Prince of Wales has a copy, the Duke of Hamilton also, and it has gone even to Australia and the West Indies. A companion piece is the "Will-o'-the-wisp."

About this time the lovely sixteen-year-old daughter of Madam Falconnet died at Rome, and for her monument in the Catholic church of San Andrea del Fratte, Miss Hosmer produced an exquisite figure resting upon a sarcophagus. Layard, the explorer of Babylon and Nineveh, wrote to Madam Falconnet: "I scarcely remember to have seen a monument which more completely commanded my sympathy and more deeply interested me. I really know of none, of modern days, which I would rather have placed over the remains of one who had been dear to me."

Page 5 of 8 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004