The classical purity of his style, the eloquence of his speeches, the skill with which he depicted the play of emotion, and his masterly portraiture of great men, are all in turn warmly commended, and in our own day we question if any ancient historian is either more readable or more widely read.
Froude's famous portraiture of Henry is coloured by the ideas of hero-worship and history which the author imbibed from Carlyle, and the rival portraits in Lingard, R.
He had mastered his manner and, as one may say, learned his trade, in the exercise of criticism and the reflective parts of literature, before he surrendered himself to that powerful creative impulse which had long been tempting him, so that when, in mature life, he essayed the portraiture of invented character he came to it unhampered by any imperfection of language.
His peculiar strength lay in the historical ballad, which he was the first to introduce into Rumanian poetry, and in the vivid portraiture of Oriental scenery and emotions.
However contemptuous in his portraiture of Hippias and Dionysodorus, however severe in his polemic against Isocrates, Plato regards Protagoras with admiration and Gorgias with respect.
An excellent portraiture of early Quakerism is given in William Tanner's Lectures on Friends in Bristol and Somersetshire.
The portraiture in such hammer work is amazingly life-like.
Though a comparatively small number of species of birds are figured in this magnificent work (seventeen only in the first series, and twenty-two in the second), it must be mentioned here, for their likenesses are so admirably executed as to place it in regard to ornithological portraiture at the head of all others.
The latter work is more perfunctory in execution and written for a wider public than his first history, but the narrative is dramatic and vivid, the portraiture is sympathetic, and the historical events are interpreted by the light of the rationalistic optimism of the later 18th century.
To enumerate a few examples of this which are already definitely known: we find that the forms of legal and business documents became more precise; the mechanical arts of casting in bronze on a core and of moulding figures and pottery were brought to the highest pitch of excellence; and portraiture in the round on its highest plane was better than ever before and admirably lifelike, revealing careful study of the external anatomy of the individual.