American Egyptomania Search


Reminiscences of William Wetmore Story, American Author and Sculptor, Being Incidents and Anecdotes Chronologically Arranged Together with An Account of his Associations with Famous People and His Principal Works in Literature and Sculpture

CHICAGO AND NEW YORK: RAND, MCNALLY & COMPANY.


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MARRIAGE OF MR. STORY'S SON, ETC. 229

The second Cleopatra is as beautiful as creative genius and the pure white marble can make this sovereign and woman. Egypt's queen is rep-resented by a glorious female figure half reclining in languid grace upon a couch of slender de-sign, delicately finished with lotus flowers in low relief. A tiger's skin is half thrown across its center, the fine head and claws lying flat on the floor as foreground. A soft, full cushion of East-ern stripes and silken texture supports the elbow of her superb arm, upon which is the serpent-bracelet that bars "with a purple stain." Her head, entwined with the mystic uroeus or basilisk of sovereignty, rests upon her folded hand. Her face is full of beauty, intelligence, and sorrow, while passion seems fairly to ebb and flow through the splendid form, across which some priceless gauze is thrown.

Some years ago a friend asked Mr. Story how it came that his poem upon " Cleopatra " and his first statue of this character did not altogether harmonize. The question set him to thinking, and the result of this thinking became " Cleopatra" the second.

A few stanzas from his poem " Cleopatra," pre-faced by some lines from his " Marcus Antoninus," may give the best practicable understanding of this magnificent marble:



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