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Iconoclastic, erratic, perceptive, this amazing book, published in 1864, influenced American taste more than is appreciated. Perhaps its major contribution is an analysis of American artists, from Copley to John Rogers—James Jarves was one of the first to recognize the sentimentality and technical mediocrity of the expatriate sculptors typified by Thomas Crawford and Hiram Powers. Son of Deming Jarves, the maker of Sandwich glass, he settled in Florence in 1852 where he acquired a famous collection of Italian painting (later sold to Yale) and began to publish.