owed great part of his merit to the works of Vandyck, and yet may be called an original genius, as he was the first who gave the strength and freedom of oil to miniature. Oliver's works are touched and retouched with such careful fidelity that you cannot help perceiving they are nature in the abstract ; Cooper's are so bold that they seem perfect nature, only of a less standard. Magnify the former, they are still diminutively conceived : if a glass could expand Cooper's pictures to the size of Vandyck's, 1 they would appear to have been painted for that proportion. If his portrait of Cromwell 2 could be so enlarged, I don't know but Vandyck would appear less great by the comparison. To make it fairly, one must not measure the Fleming by his most admired piece, Cardinal Bentivoglio. The quick finesse of eye in a florid Italian writer was not a subject equal to the Protector ; but it would be an amusing trial to balance Cooper's Oliver and Vandyck's Lord Strafford. To trace the lineaments of equal ambition, equal intrepidity, equal art, equal presumption, and to compare the skill of the masters in representing the one exalted to the height of his hopes, yet perplexed with a command he could scarce hold, did not dare to relinquish, and yet dared to exert ; the other, dashed in his career, willing to avoid the precipice, searching all the recesses of so great a soul to break his fall, and yet ready to mount the scaffold with more dignity than the other ascended the throne. This parallel is not a picture drawn by fancy ; if the artists had worked in competition, they could not have approached nigher to the points of view in which I have traced the characters of their heroes.____________________
This exquisite miniature of Cromwell has now descended to Henry Cromwell Frankland, Esq. of Chichester. It is small, and has been set in a snuff-box. No remaining work of Cooper so well deserves Walpole's high commendation. It is recorded in that family, that Cromwell surprised Cooper, while copying this picture, which he indignantly took away with him.—D.