American Academy of the Fine Arts.

The charter and by-laws of Amer. Acad. of the Fine Arts, instituted Feb. 12 ... online

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To incorporate the Academy^ instituted in the City of New-York,
for the promotion of the Jtrts^ passed I'Stth February ^ 1808.

WHEREAS, several persons, haying associated themselyes in
the City of New-York, for the purpose of fprming an Academy
of the Arts, and in order the better to carry into effect the ob-
jects of the institution, have presented a petition to the Legisla-
ture of this State, praying for an act of incorporation. And
whereas it is deemed by the Legislature tiiat the establishment
of an Academy for the cultivation and extension of the Arts is
an undertaking which may prove honourable as weU as useful
to the public, and as such ought to meet with approbation and
support, Therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of New-York ^ repre^
sentedin Senate and Assembly, That Robert R. Livingston, De
Witt Clinton, John Trun^bull, JFohn R. Murray, William Cutting,
Lewis Simond, David Hosack, Charles Wilkes and Samuel M.
Hopkins, and such other persons, as now are, and may from
time to time become members of the said Academy, be, and
accordingly are, hereby constituted and declared to be a body
corporate and politic, in deed and fact, by the name of " The
American Academy of the Arts'^ And that by that name they
and their successors shall have succession, and shall be persons
capable of suing and of being sued in all courts and places what-
soever: And that they and their successors shall and may have a
common seal, with power to change or alter the same from time
to time : And that they and their successors by the corporate
name aforesaid, for the purpose of enabling them the better to
promote the objects of the said institution, shall be persons ca-
pable in law of purchasing, taking, holding, and enjoying, to them
and their successors, any real eptate in fee simple or otherwise,

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andanjrgoods, chattels and personal estates : Provided tUwaiys
that (exclusive of the statues, puntings, engravings, drawmgs,
models and other specimens of tiie Arts, and the buildings' that
may be erected for the preservation or exhibition of the same)
the clear annual value or income of such real and persona!
eistates shall not exceed Ae sum of Five Thousand BoUarsy and
tiiat they and their successors shall have full power to sell,
lease, or otherwise dispose of the said real and personal estates,
or any part thereof, at their will and pleasure.

And be itjwrther enacted, That th^ stock of the siaid corpo-
ration shall not consist of more than 1000 shares; and that each
share shall be twenty-five dollars, and'i^all be entitled to a vote
at any election to be held in virtue of this act, or of the by-laws
herein after mentioned.

And be it further enacted, That the property and concerns
of the said corporation, shall be managed and conducted by a
President, Vice President, and five Directors, who shall be an-
nually chosen by, and from the members of the said corpora-
tion, in such manner, and at such time and places as shall be di-
rected by the by laws of the said corporation : And that they,
the said President, Vice President, and Directors, and their suc-
cessors, i^all have power to make such by-laws, for the ma-
nagement and direction of the concerns and business of the sud
corporation as they shall, from time to time, think requisite :
Provided ihe same be not repugnant to the constitution and laws
I of tills State.

And be itjurther enacted, That the said Robert R. Living-
ston, be, and is hereby appointed President, and John TrumbuU,
Vice President, and the said De Witt Clinton, David Hbsack,
John R. Murray, William Cutting, and Charles Wilkes, directors
of the said corporation, who shall hold their respective offices
until the first Monday in February, 1809, and until others shall
be chosen in their places.

And be it further enacted, That this act shdl be and remain
in full force and virtue for the term of twenfy-five years, from
the first day of February, 1808 : Provided^ neverthelessy that in

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case the aforesaid Academy shaU at any time apprqiriate their,
or way part of thdr funds, to anf purpose or purposes other tiian
those intended and contemplated by this act;, and shall be thereof
competed by due course of law, that thenceforth the said corpo-
ration shall cease an^ determine, and the estate, real and personal,
whereof it may be seised and possessed, shaU vest in the people
of this State : Jlnd provided further^ that nothing herein contain-
ed, shaE be construed to prevent the legislature, at any time, in
their discretion, within the period aforesaid, from altering or re- '
pealing this act.

And be itjkrther enacted^ That this act is hereby declared
to be a public act, and that the same be construed in all Courts
fiiYourably and benigidy for every beneficial purpose therm

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Ji Law for regulating the Meetings, Elections, and Proceedings of
ike American Mademy of the drts, and prescribing the, duties
of its officers— passed \^th January, 1815*

Be it ordained, By the American Academy of the Arts,
that the election of the officers of the said Aeademy shall be by
bailot^at such place as shallbe, from time to time, appointed ftN:
that purpose, on the second Tuesday of January in each year ;
which election shall be held under the direction of three In-
spectors, or a majority of them, previously appointed by the said
Academy, and the poll shall be kept open between the hours
of one and two in the afternoon of that day ; of the time iiA
place of which election, at least three days notice shall be given
by the Secretary, in two of the public newspapers printed in
the city of New-York.

Be it further ordained. That there shall be four quarterly
meetings of the Academy : on the first Tuesdays of January,
April, July, and October, in each year ; but extraordinary meet-
ings may be called at the discretion of the President. -.»^

Be it further ordained, That the following rules shall be
observed at the meetings of the Academy :

L The President, or in his absence, the Vice President, or
In the absence of both, a Chairman to be chosen for that pur-
pose, shall call the members to order fts soon as a quorum ap-
pears ; after which, any other conversation but that relating to
the business of the Society, shall be deemed out of order until.
the Academy shall rise.

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2. 'All formal propoBitions, on which a question is to be taken,
shall be stated to the presiding officer, and hj him put for de-
cision, who is to have no vote, unless the numbers present be
equally divided.

3. The presiding officer shall appoint all committees, decide
all questions of order, and when he deskes it, the members
making a proposition, shall reduce the same to writing.

4. The Secretary and Treasurer shall attend the meetings of
the Academy, the former to keep a true account of its proceed-
ings in a book to be provided for that purpose, and to make such
written communications as the Academy shall direct ; the latter
to give such information on the state of the funds, and to re-
ceive such directions relative thereto as the Academy may
deem proper; but neither of those persons are to take part in
the debate, or to vote in the decision of any question.

5. Iti^all be the duty of the Secretary, at every meeting of
the Academy, to have the minutes of the last meeting fau^y
copied; a questipn shall then be taken on them, and if amend-
ed or approved, they are before the next meeting of the Acade-
my to be entere;d in the book of minutes.

6. The Treasurer shall provide a book in which shall be
regularly entered, all the receipts and expenditures of the Acade-
my, with the dates and considerations of such expenditures
respectively, to be laid before them when required.

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Napoleoh Bonapabte*


ViTANT Penok, Parit.
Barbb Marbois, Paris*
Bbhjamin Wfiflt, London.


Oabribl W. Stuart, Boston.
B. W. Latrobe, Philadelphia^
TnoMAS SuLLT, Philadelphia.
D. Edwir, Philadelphia.
Bbmbraitdt Peale, Philadelphia.
JoHK W. Jarvis, New-York.
William S, Lenbt, New- York.
William Duklap, NenhYork.
Samvel L. Waldo, NenhYork*
Francib QvYf Baltimore.
Alexahder Arderaoit, New-York.
John J. Holland, Nen^York.
William Rush, Phiiaddphia.
John Dixet, NenhYork.

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The Hon* Robert R» Livingston, LL. D.

James Arden,

John K. Beekmany

John O, Bogertf

Samuel Borrowe, Jtf. U.

Archibald Bruce^ M. D.

Aaron Burr^

The Hon. Be Witt Cliniony

LL. D. .
Cadwallader D. Colden,
Jlohn B. ColeSf
William Cuttings
Jacob Delamontagnief
William Denning^
Frederick De Peyster^
David Dunham^
WUliam Edgar,
James Fairlie,
W. Fish,

John W. Francis, M. D.
Robert FuUon,
Oarrit Gilbert,
Martin Hoffman,
David Hosack, M. D»


David S. Jones,
Samuel Jones^ Jun.
The Hon. Rufus King,
John A. King,
Morgan Lewis,
The Hon., Brockholst Li-
John R. Livingston,
Gabriel V. Ludlow^
John C. Ludlow,
Alexander M^Comb,
John McKesson,
William Moore, M. D.
James Morris,
John R. Murray,
William Paulding, Jim.
Isaac Pierson,
John Pintard.
Wriglii Post, M. D.
J. B. Prevost,
Henry Remsen,
Richard Riker,
Henry Rutgers,

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^. H, Schieffelin,
Lewis Simondf
Joseph SterlUSf
John SrvartrvoiUf
James Thompson,
ffis Excellency Daniel Z7.


John Trumbull,

The Hon. William P. Fan

John WattSj
Ezra Weeks,
Charles Wilkes^
John Wilkes.


IN 1815.

The Hon. DEWITT CLINTON, LL. D. President'

JOHN B. MURRAY, Vice-Preiident.

William Cutting,

Dayid Hosack,

Cadwallader D. Colden, Vl^ircctors.

James Fairlie,

John G. Boqbrt,

Charles Wilkes, Treasurer.

John Pintarp, Secretary.


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No. I.

The Fytkian Apollo, called the Apollo Belvedere,

. THE son of Jupiter and T^tona, in his rapid course, has just
overtaken the serpent Python. The mortal dart is already dis-
charged from hid dreadful bow, which he holds in his left hand;
and from which his right is just withdrawn ; the motion impress-
ed on all his muscles is still preserved. Indignation sits on
his lip, but on his countenance the certainty of victory is im-
printed, and his eye sparkles with satisfaction at having deliver-
ed Delphos from the monster which ravaged its coasts.

His hair, lightly cujrled, flows in ringlets down his neck, ot
rises with grace to the summit of his head, which is encircled
with the strophium, the distinguishing band of gods and kings.
His quiver is suspended by a belt across his left shoulder. Hid
robe (chlamys) attached to the shoulder, turned up on the left
arm only, is thrown back, showing to greater advantage his di-
vine form. The glow of youth enlivens his elegant person^ in
which nobleness and agility with vigour and elegance are sub-
limely blended, preserving a happy medium between the deli-
cate form of Bacchus, and the more firm and masculine lines
of Mercury.

Apollo, the vanquisher of the serpent Python, is the subject of
an ingenious fable, invented by the ancients to express the ge-

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Bi&l influence of the snn tkat renders the air more «alubrioas, by
correcting the infectious exhalations of the coasts of which this
reptile is the emblem — ewerf thing in this figure^nay the trunk
of the tree introduced to support it, presents some interesting
allusion. This trunk is that of the ancient (Hive tree of Deloa,
under whose ^hade the god was bom. It is adorned with fruit,
and the serpent ascending it b the symbol of life and health, of
which Apollo was the god. This statue, the most perfect of
all that time has spared, was found about the close of the fif-
teenth century, on Capo de Anzo^ twelve leagues from Rome, on
the margin of the sea, in the ruins of the ancient .^n^tum, a city
celebrated for its Temple of Fortune, and for the rival villas built
by the emperors, and embellished with the masterpieces of art

Julius the Second, while a cardinal, purchased this statue, and
placed it, in the first instance, in the. palace he. occupied near
the church of the holy apostles ; but shortly aflter, having at-
tained the pontificate, be removed it to the Belvedese of th«
Vatican, where, for three centuries, it remained the a^nuratieo
pf the world ; when a hero» guided by victory, arrived to trails^
plant and fix it, perhaps for ever, on the banks of the Seine.

It is a question for antiquaries and natinralists to determinei
from what quarry the marble of this ^oUo has been cut Tk^
statuaries of Rome, who from their occupation have an exten-
sive knowledge of ancient marbles, have invariaMy deemed it an
(meient Grecian marble^ although of a quality very different from
the most kn^wn species. On the contrary, the painter Mengz
has asserted that this statue is the marble of Luni or Carara, tiie
quarries of which were known and worked in the time of Ju&is
Cassar. Citizen Dolomieu, a learned mineralogist^ is of the
same opinion, and be pretends to have found in •ne of the nxh
cient quarries of Lunt, fragments of marble resemfaliag that of
the Apollo. Notwithstanding these authorities^ (bis subject
may still be considered as very doubtful.

The beauty of the statues of dnHnout^ and the perfectiott of
sculpture at that time, evidenUy demonstrate tiiat until Om

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epoch of JiAian at least, the Grecian school furnished artists
worthy^to be compared with the most able statuaries of antiqui-
ty. Pliny entertained the same opinion of the artists of his age.
The author of tWs chef d'oBtiTre is unknown. The lower
part of the right arm and the left hand, which were wanting,
have been restored by Civeani Angeh de Afen/or^o^i,. sculptor
and pi^il of Michael Angelo.

No. 11.

Venu^ of the Capitol,

Venus, the qneen <rf love and (he goddess of beauty, is here
represented as just from the bath ; her divinely graceful form is
unembarrassed by drapery, her hair collected behind displays
the beauties of her polished neck, and her head gently inclines
to the left, as if smiling affably upon the graces who are about
to attire her. At her feet stands a vase of perfumes, covered par-
tially with a fringed drapery. The value of this statue is height*
ened by its perfect preservation — it was found in Rome, about
ihe middle of the last century, between the Quirinal and Vi-
minal Mounts, and was placed in the oapitol of Benedict XIT.

No. III.


Laocoon, the son of Priam and Hecuba, ahd priest of Apol-
lo, inflamed by love for his country, violently opposed the re-
ception of Ihe wooden horse within the walls of Troy. To
awaken, his countrymen to the impending danger, he dared
to hurl hb javelin against the fatal machme, consecrated to Mi-

Enraged at his temerity, those of the gods hostile to Troy re-
solved to punish him, and shortly after, as Laocoon, crowned

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with laurel, was sacrificing to Neptune on the beaek, tVro enotf
mous serpents emerged from the wares, and instantly spnmg
upon his two children, who had accompanied him to the altan
The distracted father flies to their aid : in Tain he struggles
agauDst these monsters, they enclose him with his sons — ^thejT
roll themselves around their bodies — they crush them in their
coils — ^they tear them with their venomous teeth — ^in spite of
their efforts to disengage themselves, this unfoctui^ate father
with his sons, the victims of an unjust vengeance, fall at the al-
tar of the god — and turning their distracted eyes toward hea-
ven, expire in the most cruel agonies.

Such is the pathetic subject of this admirable group, " the
best relict of all ancient sculpture," one of the most perfect
works which the chisel has ever produced, the masterpiece of
composition, design, and sentiment; and the impressidn of
which can only be enfeebled by commentary.

It was found in the ruins of the palace of Titus, on the Esqui-
line Mount, during the pontificate of Julius II. Pliny, who
speaks of it with admiration, saw it in this place. To this writer
we owe the knowledge of the three skilful sculptQrs of Rhodes
who executed it. Their names are Agesandar, Polydorus, and
Athenodorus. Agesander was probably the father of the two
others ; they flourished in the first age of the vulgar sera. The
group is composed of five blocks so artificially united ihBt Pli-
ny believed them to be but asingle piece*

No. IV.

Gladiator of the Borghese Palace.

This statue has been improperly denominated the " Gladi-
ator of the Borghese Palace." From the characters of its in-
scription it appears to be of greater antiquity than any other
characterized by the name of the artist. History gives us no
particulars relative to Agatliias of Ephesus, author of this chef

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d'oeuTre ; but the work wkich he has left bears tlie strongest
testimony of his merit.

In the statue of the Apollo of Belvedere we are struck with
the sublimity of ideal beauty. The group of the Laocobn offers
us a representation of natural beauties unassisted by imagina-
tion ; the former may be compared to an epic poem, ithich,
from probability, passing the bounds of truth, leads to the mar-
vellous ; the latter to faithful history, which, in the exposition
of truth, makes choice of the most refined ideas, and most ele-
gant expression.

The head of this figure shows that nothing but the truth of
natiM*e has been consulted in its formation ; no traces of the
ideal beauty of the Apollo are to be found, and his whole air<
is that of a man in the full vigour of mature age, whose mus*
cles are strengthened by habitual activity, and whose body is
hardened by exercise.

Antiquarians are divided in their judgment of this figure ;
some have supposed it a discobolus, or thrower of the disk ; but
others, with more probability, have pronounced it a statue
erected to tiie honour of some Grecian warrior, who had sig-
nalized himself in a dangerous position : this appears perfectly
to coincide with the attitude of the figure, which is at the
same time actively offensive apd defensive ; on the left iirm
the strap of the buckler, which he is supposed to carry, is seen ;
the right arm is supposed to hold a javelin; his looks are
directed upwards, as if defending himself from a danger threat-
ening from above: this position militates against the idea of
its being the statue of a fighting gladiator, as his opponent
may be supposed on horseback; besides, it is believed the
honour of a statue was never granted to a gladiator of the
public arena ; and this production is supposed anterior to the
institution of gladiators in Greece.

This statue, as well as the Apollo, was discovered in the city
of Antium, the birth place of the emperor Nero, which he em-
bellished at an enormous expense.

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No. V.

Castor and Follux.

Castor and Pollux were twin brothers, and sons of Jupiter
and Leda. Mercury, immediately after their birth, carried theni
to Pallena, where they were educated, and as sooj^i as they
had arrived at the years of maturify, they embarked with Ja?
son on the Argonautic expedition. In this adrenture, both be*
haved with signal courage ; the latter conquered and slew Amy-
cus, in the combat of the cestus, and was ever after considered
the god and patron of boxing and wrestling — ^the former distiur
guished hunself in the management of horses. After, their re-
turn from Colchis, they cleared the Hellespont and the nei^r
bouring pass from pirates; from which circumstance they har^
always been deemed the protectors of narig^tors.

They made war against the Athenians, to recover their sister
Helen, whom Theseus had carried away, and, frOm their cle-
mency to the conquered, acqmred the surname of Anaces or

They were invited to the nuptial feast of L3rnceus and Idas,
where, becoming enamoured of the brides — (the daughters of
Leacippus)-^ battle ensued, in which Lynceus fell by theJuind
of Castor, who was killed by Idas. Pollux revenged the death
of his brother in the blood of Idas. Pollux, tenderly attached
to his brother, and inconsolable for his loss, entreated Jupiter
either to restore Castor to life, or permit him to resign his own
immortality. Jupifer listened benignly to his prayer, uid con-
sented that the immortality of ^oUux should be shared with
his brother, and that it should be alternately enjoyed by them.
This act of fraternal love Jupiter rewarded by making the two
brothers constellations in Heaven, under the name of GemUii,
which never appear together^ but when one rises the other sets..

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No. VI.


THIS fine statae has been supposed to represent Germanicus,


Online LibraryAmerican Academy of the Fine ArtsThe charter and by-laws of Amer. Acad. of the Fine Arts, instituted Feb. 12 ... → online text (page 1 of 2)