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WILLIAM RIMMER (1816—1879)

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 348 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAM RIMMER (1816—1879), an American artist, was born in Liverpool, England, on the loth of February 1816. He was the son of a French refugee, who emigrated to Nova Scotia, where he was joined by his wife and child in 1818, and who in 1826 removed to Boston, where he earned a living as a shoe-maker. The son learned the father's trade; at fifteen became a draughtsman and sign-painter; then worked for a lithographer; opened a studio and painted some ecclesiastical pictures; in 184o made a tour of New England painting portraits; lived in Randolph, Mass., in 184555 as a shoe-maker, for the last years of the decade practising medicine; practised in East Chelsea and received a diploma from the Suffolk County Medical Society; and in 1855 removed to East Milton, where he supplemented his income by carving busts from blocks of granite. In 186o he made his head of St Stephen (now in the Boston Athenaeum) and in 1861 his " Falling Gladiator " (since 188o in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts), which Truman H. Bartlett calls " the most remarkable work of sculpture that has yet [1882] been produced in this country . . powerful, wonderful, but not alluring." Rimmer's sculptures, except those mentioned and " The Fighting Lions" (now in the Boston Art Club), " A Dying Centaur " (in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts), and a statue of Alexander Hamilton (made in 1865 for the city of Boston), were soon destroyed. He worked in clay, not modelling but building up and chiselling; almost always without models or preliminary sketches ; and always under technical disadvantages and in great haste ; but his sculpture is anatomically remarkable and has an " early-Greek " simplicity and strength. He published Elements of Design (1864) and Art Anatomy (1877), but his great work was in the class-room, where his lectures were illustrated with blackboard sketches. His studies in line suggest William Blake in their imaginative power. He died on the 20th of August 1879. See Truman H. Bartlett, The Art Life of William Rimmer (Boston, 1882). RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, NICOLAS ANDREIEVICH (1844-19o8), Russian composer, was born at Tikhvin, Novgorod, on the 18th (N.S.) of March 1844. He was one of the musical amateurs who, with Borodin, Cui and Moussorsky, gathered round Balakirev in St Petersburg in the days when Wagner was still unknown. By 1865 he had written a symphony (in E minor) which in that year was performed—the first by a Russian composer—under Balakirev's direction, and in 1873 he definitely retired from the navy, having been appointed a professor in the St Petersburg Conservatoire. The same year witnessed his marriage to a talented pianist, Nadejda Pourgold, and the production of his first opera, Pskovitianka. This was followed by May Night (1878), The Snow Maiden (188o), Mlada (1892), Christmas Eve (1894), Sadko (1895), Mozart and Salieri (1898), The Tsar's Bride (1899), Tsar Saltana (1900), Servilia (1902), Kostchei the Immortal (1902), Kites (1905). But his operas attracted less attention abroad than his symphonic compositions, which show a mastery of orchestral effect combined with a fine utilization of Russian folk-melody and a happy feeling for " programme music," his writing being peculiarly individual and distinctive in its restraint and avoidance of violent methods. Notable among these works are his first symphony,. his second (Op. 9) Antar, his third (Op. 32), and his orchestral suites and overtures, his Spanish Capriccio (1887) being particularly appreciated. He also wrote a number of beautiful songs, pianoforte pieces, &c., and he eventually took Balakirev's place as the leading conductor in St . Petersburg, never sparing himself in assisting in the musical development of the Russian school. He died there on the loth of June 19o8:
End of Article: WILLIAM RIMMER (1816—1879)
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