Joseph Durham (1814-1877)

Source: 1865 Art-Journal

“If. . . sculpture has such difficulties to contend against in the representation of narrative or history, where groups of figures are necessary, how much greater is the task where the sculptor has to symbolize a single idea, as it were? and that idea, moreover, one of a character, or quality, so closely allied with another similar to it, that the shades of difference are scarcely to be distinguished. Take, for example, the moral attributes of Purity, of which we gave a sculptured representation a few months ago, and of Chastity, as offered to us in Mr. Durham's work; again, Modesty and Simplicity may be classed in the same category;—all may be associated, but all do not convey exactly the same idea. Chastity is of a far higher quality than the others; it is a power self-sustained by the force and majesty of its own wisdom, and sense of duty to God and man: it is it Oman's own true attribute. Purity, aud her sisters, Modesty and Simplicity, are only other names for Innocence, and are as applicable to childhood as to those of riper years.” [full commentary below]

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