Daguerreian Society

On this day (July 21) in the year 1848, the following article appeared in
the "Boston Daily Evening Transcript":
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Amongst the many attractive exhibitions at present to be visited in our 
city, the most prominent to persons of refined taste, will be the 
exquisite statue of the captive Greek--one of the most successful 
achievements of our countryman Powers, and, in itself embodying a very 
high ideal.  It has been remarked of this fine work that it does not 
attain the perfection of the ancient models; but this is hyper-
criticism which should not be permitted to prevent our enjoyment of it 
as a specimen of modern art, and which certainly ought never to be 
suffered to intrude in forming the opinions of that large class of our 
citizens, who, as yet, have not had the opportunity of comparison.  
Both in conception and execution the statue well repays our careful 
scrutiny--our deliberate study.  The chasteness of the subject is only 
equalled by the purity of the marble, and we have in the sculpture the 
incarnation of a being of a most exalted character--a captive to be 
sure manacled and bound, but whose resignation of look seems to 
indicate that the soul is free though the body be in bondage.  There is 
a noble repose in this representation of human life which takes gradual 
possession of the mind of the beholder; the form and the intellectual 
expression are of the highest order whilst the personification of the 
true woman is never lost to us in the contemplation of the sculptor's 
  A beautiful artistic achievement in connection with the statue was 
shown to us yesterday in an admirable daguerreotype of the "Greek 
Slave" taken by those very successful copyists, Southworth & Hawes.  In 
this finely executed specimen of light-limning we have three separate 
representations of the statue on one plate--the back, front and side 
view--each conveying a very perfect idea of the original.  The utmost 
care and nicety were requisite, as will readily be conjectured, in 
preparing this daguerreotype, which will furnish all lovers of true art 
with a very faithful copy at an essentially low price, and which will 
show at once how materially art is capable of aiding art in multiplying 
objects of beauty.  In these days of business depression, it is 
refreshing to be enabled to direct the attention to matters of science 
and taste, and to feel that the mind may call up objects of beauty and 
divinity amidst the maze of politics and the deep anxieties of the 
money market.  The faithful artist has it always in his power to summon 
the "flowers of feeling" through the living influence of his works, in 
the contemplation of which we have many abounding compensations for 
mere worldly distresses and trials.  There is a high morale in the 
sentiment of the "Greek Slave" which teaches a great truth, and may 
easily be turned to the advantage of the inhabitants of our 'better 
country'   w.

Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     

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