probably a volunteer artist, struck a large silver medal of Charles II. profile in a peruke, the queen's head on the reverse. G. Bower f.
Another on the Duke of York's shipwreck.—V. Evelyn.
Another of James, as king, and one of his queen, rather smaller.
Medals of the Dukes of Albemarle, Ormond, and Lauderdale, and of the Earl of Shaftesbury. This last is one of Bower's best works.
CONSIDERING the art of Sculpture retrospectively, as it was left in the reign of Charles I., we may examine the variation, or excellence, which it had gained before the Revolution. Two artists only have attained to any degree of celebrity, who were Gibbons and Cibber ; both of them, if not of foreign birth, 1 originally educated under Dutch sculptors, and having learned nothing in the schools of Italy or France. The demand for sculpture, during the whole of this period, was chiefly, if it may not be said generally, confined to architecture, both for bas-reliefs affixed to pediments, and to internal decoration of apartments. In the last-mentioned branch of the art, Gibbons reached to a perfection which is still allowed to be truly astonishing, and greatly to excel the choicest boisseries by Gougeon and other French artists, in the sixteenth century. Gibbons' talent likewise for casting bronze, although he was rarely called upon to practise it, will claim no inferior share of merit. Cibber, in his figures at Bethlem-hospital, exerted an original vigour of mind, and perhaps exhausted his powers ; and they were the earliest specimen in England, which had discovered so much talent. Yet, his other works, in a considerable number, are sunk into oblivion, or never inquired after with any interest. The taste and execution of the sepulchral monuments are positively contemptible.
At the same time, architecture had made sure advances towards perfection, and the genius of Wren had eclipsed every other name. He reigned in his native country, during a professional life of very unusual extent, without a rival, and beyond example. Added to his singular knowledge and geometrical skill, he had a true discriminative sense of the picturesque, which presents itself in the contours of all his buildings. There are nevertheless certain critics who do not allow him unqualified taste, in the distribution of parts with strict relation to each other, and of ornaments, in his most celebrated designs.
The primary subject of the criticisms by foreign authors is his new cathedral of St. Paul. Inigo did not use coupled columns. Raphael introduced those of the Doric order, in the Canarelli (now Stoppani) palace at Rome, and Perrault, in the Louvre. 2 Wren found it necessary to extend the intercolumniation which gives more space for windows and doors, obtained by this arrangement, without sacrificing any principle of fitness or propriety. It is objected, that the summit of the arcade is elevated, as in the Temple of Peace at Rome, above the capitals and pilasters, for the whole height of the architrave, and half the frieze; and they inquire, Why is the surface of the cupola made into an imperfect cone