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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 83, April 22-23, 1851

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Identifier: DX01010511

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 83, April 22-23, 1851

Description: Describes a painting he saw at the Art Union.


there a red hell-glare on them, distant hands rising, as belonging to bodies in torment. A huge wild bear’s jaws closed on the left arm of the figure, on the body were wounds; — and to the right was a strange beast half rat half dog, with horn, and thick, short, red, cloven tongue. Below rose a gigantic head of black hair, nought but the black visible. A negroes head with bloody eyeballs and lips, like a mask hiding a dumb demon was beside it, and another head with claw on’t and horror-stricken look. And a great writhing caterpillar, and in the distance, wild birds. A strange picture, yet not half so horrible as the head of one of Michael Angelo’s devils in the Sixtine [Sistine] Chapel fresco

23. Wednesday. Sitting drawing at [John N.] Genin’s caps and Porcupinish sketches when Homer Hall coming in, invites me to a drive out on the Avenues. So the day being all sunshine and blue sky, entred the “buggy” and off. Much the same route as when with Cross, but fewer equipages on the roads, and ending at the High Bridge, as then. Leaning over the bridge parapet, gazing down the 113 feet at the shrunken and shallow river, with scarce a ripple disturbing it, Homer idly cracking his whip; and below a posse of pleasure seeking idlers entering a little boat, and making the tall bridge-arches vibrate to the sounds of the Canadian boat-song, or Sheridan’s

“A boat! a boat haste to the Ferry !”

Returning somewhat dusty and sun browned by 3, and dined in the kitchen; the meal irritated by little nincompoop widow Dob [Elizabeth Dobson]. Verily, though a little woman she’s a great fool. Here’s this big truculent-looking Tilton disliked and suspected by every one in the house, — (not one would risk a rent on the fair fame of the little woman;) — here’s this man with a wife in the house, petted by her, (bullied and sworn at for her pains to the provocation of any amount of snivelling on her part;) indulging in surreptitious meals at irregular hours, and playing private despot at any rate. He has been a nigger-

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1851-04-22

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Boardinghouses
19th century
African Americans


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