Volltext: The life, studies and works of Benjamin West, Esq. president of The Royal Academy of London

emplitied in the productions of the Grecian and 
Italian sculptors; not that the Artists may not 
execute as well, but because they will not so rea- 
dily find models ; or what is perhaps more to the 
point, they will not find a taste so capable of 
appreciating the merits of their performances. 
In Italy the eye is familiar with the human form, 
in a state of almost complete nudity; and the 
beauty of muscular expression, and of the osteo- 
logical proportions of man, is there as well known 
as that of the features and complexion of his coun- 
tenance ; but the same degree of nakedness 
could not be endured in the climate of England, 
for it is associated with sentiments of modesty 
and shame, which render even the accidental in- 
nocent exposure of so much of the body offensive 
to the feelings of decorum. It is not, therefore, 
just to allege, that, because the Italians are a 
calm, persuasive, and pensive people, and the 
French all stir, talk, and inconstancy, they 
are respectively actuated by different moral 
causes. It will not be asserted that, though the 
sources of their taste in art spring from different 
qualities in the same common objects, any innate 
incapacity for excellence in the tine arts, is in-I 


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