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

either to nature or to art. 
But Da Vinci failed 
the head of 
his attempt to combine the almost incompatible 
qualities of dignity and meekness which are 
demanded in the countenance of the Saviour. 
He had 
of characteristic 
discrimination in the heads of the apostles; 
in his attempt to give meekness to the coun- 
tenance of Jesus, he sank into insipience. He 
had the prudence, therefore, to leave the face 
unfinished, that the imagination of the beholder 
might not be disappointed by an imperfect image, 
but form one in his mind _more appropriate 
to his feelings and to the subject. The ruin of 
this picture, the report of which I understand is 
true, has deprived the world and the arts of one 
of the mental eyes of painting. But pleasing 
as the works of Leonardo da Vinci are in 
genera], had he not produced this picture of the 
Last Supper, and the cartoon of the equestrian 
combatants for the standard of vpictory, he would 
scarcely have emerged, as a painter of strong 
character, above mediocrity. Indeed the 
back-ground, and general distribution of this 
picture, sufiiciently mark their Gothic origin.


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