Thursday July 29, 1886
Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, July 29, 1886, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Thursday, July 29, 1886 I had a long letter from Weir about his brothers death [?] calmly and philosophically and tries to accept it as a part of the design of Providence. It is well that he can feel so for in the trying circumstances with which he seems so frequently visited it must be a great source of strength. I believe as he does and seem able to meet the great disasters of life while the little daily annoyances fret and worry me considerably. I have tried to work in my studio but I seem to command no impelling motives for serious work. I ought to be able to use my invention and think out some work but I do not seem able to. There are too many distracting things to occupy my mind. Have been reading some of Sir Joshua Reynolds lectures and am surprised to see how thoroughly I agree with his idea of Art, trusting it always as a matter of expression first and always. I do not agree with his estimate of Paul Veronese, whom he treats rather as a decorative painter. His pictures to me have a great dignity and nobility and these qualities are not to my mind compatible with his manner and his fine color. Still Sir Joshua is to me a great authority, even while I am not ready entirely to surrender my individual feeling to him. I wish I could get to work [?] a fine, large subject and am trying to that end.
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