George Fuller, by Sidney Dickinson, 1884, continued.
lowed,— a work full of fire and freedom, strongly personal in suggestion, and marked by a wild and impatient individuality which revealed in the girl the impression of a lawless ancestry, that somehow and somewhere had felt the action of a finer strain of blood. The next year Fuller reached the highest point of his inspiration and power in The Quadroon, a work which is likely to be held for all time a; his masterpiece, so far as strength of idea, importance of motive, and vivid force of description are concerned. Without violence, even without expression of action, but simply by a pair of haunting eyes, a beautiful, despairing face, and a form confessing utter weariness and abandonment of hope, he revealed all the national shame of slavery, and its degradation of body and soul. Every American cannot but blush to look upon it, so simple and dignified is its rebuke of the nation's long perversity and guilt. The artist's next important effort was the famous Winifred Dysart, as far removed in purpose from The Quadroon as it could well be, yet akin to it by its added testimony to the painter's constant sympathy with weak and beseeching things, and worthy to stand at an equal height with the picture of the slave by virtue of its beauty of conception, loveliness of character, and pathetic appeal to the interest. It was in all respects as typical and comprehensive as The Quadroon itself, holding within its face and figure all the sweetness and innocence of New-England girlhood, yet with the shadow of an uncongenial experience brooding over it, and perhaps of inherited weakness and early death. And the wonder of it all was that the girl had no sign about herself of longing or discontent; she was not of a nature to anticipate or dream, and the spectator's interest was intensified at seeing in her and before her what she herself did not perceive. That art can give such power of suggestion to its creations is a marvel and a delight.
Following these two works — and at some distance, although near enough to confirm and even increase the painter's fame — came the Priscilla, Evening; Lorette, Nydia, Boy and Bird, Hannah, Psyche, and others, ending this year with the Arethusa, whose glowing and chastened loveliness makes it his strongest purely artistic work, and confirms the technical value of his method as completely as The Quadroon and Winifred Dysart do his habit of thought. He painted innumerable landscapes, portraits, and ideal heads, and in figure compositions produced, among others, two works of great and permanent value, the And She Was a Witch, and The Gatherer of Simples, to whose absorbing interest all who have studied them closely will confess. The latter, particularly, is of importance as showing how carefully Fuller studied into the secret of expression, and of nature's sympathy with human moods. This poor, worn, sad, old face, in which beauty and hope shone once, and where resignation and memory now dwell; this trembling figure, to whose decrepitude the bending staff confesses as she totters down the hill; the gathering gloom of the sky, in which one ay of promise for a bright to-morrow shines from the setting sun; the mute witnessing of the trees upon the hill, which have seen her pass and repass from joyful youth to lonely age, and even her eager grasp upon the poor treasure of herbs that she bears, — all these items of the scene impress
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