The Knife Grinder

This statue, although not exempt from faults, is most interesting. I am especially captivated with its design, and truth to nature; the posture and whole composition being singularly just and effective. The knife, held in the right hand, touches the grinder; the body, slightly bent forward, is balanced by the resting of the fingers of the left hand on the block; while the head, for which the whole forms of the trunk are exquisitely prepared, is turned round. The figure is neither leaning nor resting, but is yet full of nature, the attitude being evidently that of a momentary action. The eyes of the slave are not fixed on his work; the body is inclined, and the head directed to another quarter, clearly implying, that his attention and thoughts are not engaged by his occupation. His bony square form, the strength of the neck, the squalid countenance, the short neglected hair, all admirably express the character of a slave, still more plainly written on his coarse hard hands, and wrinkled brow; yet it is a slave presented with all the fine broad expressions of nature, bearing all the striking features of strength and labor.

The faults observable in this work are the want of a corresponding swell of the muscles in the contact of the thigh and leg, meeting in the crouching posture, also in the joining of the right arm to the body, and that of the triceps muscle in the neck, especially on the left side.