By placing his works at popular prices, ranging from $10 to $25 each, Mr. Rogers has insured the largest sale and greatest popularity for them, and has thus become a national benefactor. It is now within the power of every person of moderate means to possess one or more of his exquisite groups, and in this way the artist has not only secured to himself a sure means of wealth, but has done much to encourage and foster a popular love for, and appreciation of, the art of which he is so bright an ornament.
It was a bold venture to depart so entirely from all the precedents of art, but the result has vindicated both the artist’s genius and his quick appreciation of the intelligence of his countrymen. “We can not enter into the feelings of ancient Greece,” says a popular journal, in summing up his efforts, “and our artists who spend their time in attempting to reproduce that ancient art are only imitators. Their works interest only a small class of connoisseurs, and that interest is an antiquarian interest. It is not a vital, living interest, such as a Greek felt in his own work. It is not the natural, healthful, artistic feeling, the feeling for the beauty of realities, except in so far as it represents the feeling for the eternal attributes of beautiful form. It is an effort on the part of our artists to impose the forms and features of another age upon this one,—a task as impossible in art as in society, religion, and national politics.”
Mr. Rogers is now in his forty-first year, and of all our American artists is, perhaps, the one best known to the masses, and the most popular. He is of medium height, carries himself erectly, and is quick and energetic in his movements. His face is frank, manly, and open, and the expression, though firm and resolute,—as that of a man who has fought so hard for success must be,—is winning and genial. He is a gentleman of great cultivation of mind, and is said by his friends to be one of the most entertaining of companions. In 1865 he married a daughter of Mr. C.S. Francis, of New York, and his fondness for domestic life leads him to pass his leisure hours chiefly by his own fireside.