The three chaps with walking sticks - Spencer Smith, Copplestone, and Revell. As can be seen from the paint finish, two are in the 'traditional' style, one in a more contemporary fashion (leaving on one side the satin varnish). For me, the Revell figure stands out - the officer's deportment is the thing. Nonchalant, poised, self-aware, despite the enemy's efforts to unsettle him with counter-battery fire. The Copplestone figure - the key here is that he has an individuality worthy of a first rate graphic novel. And the Spencer Smith, here tradition carries it off - he appeals to my conservatism (note, please, the lower case 'c'). Now, the light bobs:
Perry, Spencer Smith, Perry. Enough has been said about the Perrys, and I forbear to provoke, but these are two fine figures - it is their pose that does it, I think. There are strong echoes of Chappell, pere and fils, here, those two excellent illustrators who have brought so much of the Eighteenth Century alive in our Ospreys. The Spencer Smith, however, catches the eye for his animation - here is a determined fellow, debouching from the woodlands in a surprise advance on the enemy outpost.
Finally, the fellow with the clay:
Wonderful. I often pose him with one of his comrades on my star fort walls, wondering what they are doing in British North America. But, at the least, the tobacco is not in short supply.
I'm not sure what all that adds up to. There is poise, character, animation. Are these the secrets? Perhaps an analogy might be between the paintings of Charles Spencleyah and, say, Gaugin. I wouldn't mind a work by either hanging on my wall, but they are two quite different things. Horses for courses, I suppose.