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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

On this day (July 21) in the year 1848, the following article appeared in the "Boston Daily Evening Transcript": - - - - - - - THE GREEK SLAVE--DAGUERREOTYPE VIEWS. 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 art. 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. -------------------------------------------------------------- 07-21-97

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