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" Your charge against Mr Barker, the artist here," said the magistrate, "Is assault and battery, I believe I* " Yea air." «' And yoat Dime is " "Potts 1 I am art orltio tor the '• Weekly Spy." "Stats yoar owe," «*I called at Mr Barker's s;udlo upon hfe Invitation to aeo hU great picture of 'George Washington Gutting down the Cherry Tree with hla Hatch a t.' Mr Barker was expecting to sell it to the Congress for fifty thousand dollars, He asked me what I thought of It, and after I had pointed out hla mistake m m&kiag the handle of the hatohet twice as thick aa the tree, and m turning the head of the hatchet round ao that George was outt'ng down the tree with the hammer end, I asked him why he foreshortened George's leg so as to make It look na if his left foot was on the moantain on the other- side of the river." ''/Did Mr Barker take It kindly " asked the justice. '< Well, he looked * little glum, that was all. md when I asked him why he yat a guinea pig up In a tree, and why he painted a guinea pig with horns, he said it was not a guinea pig but a cow, and that It was not m th« tiee but In the back ground. Then I said that if I had palated George Washington I should not have given him the oomplexlon of a nalmonbriok. I should col have given him two thumbs on cacti hand, and I should have trloi not to slew h's right eye round bo that he oould sec round the baok of bis head to his lefl ear. And Barker said, 'On, wouldn't you?. 1 Sarcastic, your Honor. And I said 1 No, I wouldn't,' and I wouldn't hay.c painted oak leaves on a cherry tree ; ] wouldn't have left the the spectator ie doubt as to whether the figure by the woods w*a a faotory chimney or a jsteam boat, or George Washington's father taka smoke." " Which was it ? " asked the Magistrate. "I don't know. Nobody will ever know, So Barker asked mi what I would advise him to do. And ] told him I thought hta beat chance was tc abandon the W&Bhington idea, and to fu the thing up somehow to represent 4 Th« Boy stood on the Barnlog Deok.' I tolo him he might paint the gratis red tc represent the fjaraeer, and daub over the tree so's it might look like the mast, and pull Gaorge's foot to this side of tht river, so's it would rest somewhere on the burning deok, and maybt he might reconstruct the faotory obimney, or whatever it was, and make it tht Captain while he oould arrange tbc guinea pig to do for tbo Captain's dog." "Did heigree?" "He eaid the idea did'nt strike him. So then I suggested & raigfyfc turn it into Columbus discovering Amarioa. Let George stand for Go'umbue and the tree be turned into b native, and the hatchet made to answer for a flag, while the mountain^on the background would answer for the rolling billows orihe oceao. Be said he'd be hanged if he should. So I mentioned that it mign.l pacß for the Execntioa of Mary Queen oi Scots Put George m biaok for the beads man, bend over the tree and put a froofe on It f r Mary, let the hatchet stand, and work m the guinea pig and the factor) bhlmney for mourners. Just as- 1 got the words out of my mou h Barker knocked me olean through the picture. We hid i\ ovor and over on the floor for a while anc inully Barker whipped. I am goipg t< take thfl law pf hirs m the i itereats o jußtioe and high art." So Barker wai bound over, »n4 Mr Potts went round t< the rffioe of iihe li Spy " to write up hii oritiolaoi, ■■

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Bibliographic details

ART CRITICISM., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2167, 8 July 1889

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ART CRITICISM. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2167, 8 July 1889