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The love which Charles possessed for the fine arts was a redeeming part of his character. He had a great desire that Vandyke should enrich the country with his paintings; and set an example to his subjects by liberally rewarding him; the order of knighthood had been conferred upon him, and king and nobles united in paying him honor.
Henrietta, the wife of Charles, sat to him for her portrait. She possessed but little beauty of face, but her hands were remarkably handsome; and she observed to him that he paid uncommon attention to them, and neglected her face. It was an embarrassing accusation. But he readily replied, “Ah, madam, it is from those beautiful hands I am to receive my recompense.
He went to Antwerp to introduce his wife to his friends, and, shortly after their return, they were blest with the birth of a daughter; but his joy was of short continuance ; he was attacked by a complication of disorders, and his death seemed inevitable. The king expressed the utmost sympathy for his melancholy situation, and offered a reward of three hundred guineas to his physician, if he should preserve the life of the artist; but he was beyond the reach of medicine, and died in
1641, at the age of forty-two — just one year after the death of Rubens.
Though born in Antwerp, he is usually ranked among the English artists. England encouraged, rewarded, and honored him. He was buried in St. Paul's cathedral, and an epitaph inscribed on his monument, written by Cowley; this was destroyed with the church, in the conflagration of 1666.
AMONG all the celebrated artists in Lorraine, no one could compare with Pierre Veroni. Tradition has not brought down to us actual sketches of his Grecian Temples, his Chinese Pagodas, his peerless Madonnas, his Angels with new fledged wings. But, what need we of tradition, when the spirit, the promethean fire has been transmitted from age to age? How many useful inventions have been lost, while his still flourish! It is much to be regretted that no specimens of his sculpture have been preserved. The imitations of the present day are no doubt far inferior to the original; but, alas, like all human inventions they have crumbled into dust. Certain it is, that in the sixteenth century, not an entertainment could be given in Lorraine without the aid of Pierre; his pyramids were the ornaments of rich and
costly tables, and rose high in the centre, amidst Etruscan, golden vases, and urns studded with precious stones, and sparkling with wine, that might have rivalled that which was enriched with the pearl of Cleopatra. The simple and beautiful ornaments of Pierre were always the principal objects of attention. We speak not of their intrinsic value, because history on this subject is silent, and we wish scrupulously to observe the historical rules. It is evident, however, that they possessed a value beyond mere appearance.
Homer in his Iliad has given earthly immortality to Dædalus by the mere record of his name ; though Pausanias asserts that his sculpture was rude and uncomely. Pierre was not fortunate enough to find a Homer, and therefore his name lives only in these humble records. This may not be thought so wonderful, when it is considered that, after all, our celebrated artist, to whom luxury paid daily homage — to whose piazza with its colonnades and fountains, age and youth resorted, to gaze on the beautiful landscape around, with its golden clouds, its shadowy tints and far-famed aërial softness — that after all, Pierre Veroni, who, as his name in
dicates, united Gallic luxury with Italian refinement, must be handed down to posterity, not as Pierre le Grand, but Pierre the Pastrycook. Assuredly he was the most distinguished in his profession, and we think it would not be difficult to prove that he was the original inventor of those luxuries which have blessed even our new world. For instance, the paté de foie gras, which so ingeniously brings the barbarity of early ages to aid the cultivated taste of the modern the original paté d'Ortolans, of which some hero of romance exclaims, " let me die eating Ortolans !" — the paté à la Périgord and even the celebrated Charlotte Russe, — we believe might be traced to our master of the art. Upon the excellence and variety of his Brignets we have not time to enlarge; nor is it necessary.
We will only add, enough has come down to us to prove that Pierre's philosophy taught him, “his dishes were nothing, unless tasted in the moment of projection," and that “a soup was spoiled if done a bubble too much."
Pierre was one evening seated in his piazza, enjoying the coolness of the western breeze, when a pale, emaciated man entered, leading a boy by the hand. He approached