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7 



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ART AND ARTISTS 



OF 



OUR TIME 



BY 

CLARENCE COOK, 

EDITOR OF "LUBKE'S HISTORY OF ART," EDITOR OF "THE STUDIO, 
AND AUTHOR OF "THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL." 



Mitb niban^ ITIlustrations^ 



Vol IV. 




NEW YORK : 

SELMAR HESS, Publisher. 



(/>! 



COPYRIGHT, 
BY SELMAR HESS. 



ilNTED ON THE 



Contents, \t)olume IV. 



AcHENBACH, Andreas, 288 

Amberg, 'Wilhelm, 231 

AlfDERSEN-LUNDBY, 384 

Axgeli, Heinbich -von, 260 

Artz, David Adolphe Constant, . . 324 

Benczur, Julius, 213 

Bendeman, Rudolph, 193 

Betschlag, Julius, . ' 309 

Blau, Tina, 290 

Blommers, Bernardus Johannes, . . 328 

bodenhausen, cuno von, .... 202 

BodenmUller, Alfons, 197 

BoDMER, Karl, 282 

BosBOOM, Johannes, 324 

BtiRGER, Anton, 300 

Calame, Alexander 280 

Carstens, L. V 194 

CederstrOm, Baron Thurb von, . . . 344 

Cermak, Jaroslav, 304 

Chodowiecki, Daniel Nicolaus, ... 347 

Deutsch, Rudolph von, 181 

DlEZ, WiLHELM, 181 

Dill, Ludwig, 293 

Erdmann, Otto, 242 

Feuerbach, Ansblm, 179 

Fink, August, 284 

Gebler, Friedrich Otto, .... 309 

Gentz, "Wilhblm Karl, 199 

Gossow, 237 

GuDE, Hans, 349 

Haanen, Cecil von, 338 

Hagborg, August, 343 

Harburger, Edmund, 207 

Hellqvist, Karl Gustav 340 

Hildebrandt, Ferdinand Thbodor, . . 313 

Hildebrandt, Eduabd, 378 

HOFMANN, HEINRICH JoHANN FERDINAND 

Michael, 184 

HoM, George, 325 

Israels, Josef, 316 

Kaemmerer, Fbederik Hendrik, ■ . 336 

Kaulbach, Hermann, 218 

Vol. IV. 



.JoHANN, Christian 



Kaulbach, Friedrich August, 

Krat, Wilhblm, 

Leibl, Wilhelm, 

Lenbach, Franz, 

LoFFTz, Ludwig, . 

Makart, Hans, . 

Marak, Julius, . 

Maris, Jacobus or James, 

Maris, William, . 

Maris, Matthew, 

Mauve, Anton, . 

Max, Gabriel, . 

Meissner, Ernst Adolf, 

Mesdag, Hendrik Wilhelm, . 

Meterheim, Paul Friedrich, 

MuNTHE, Ludwig, 

Pausinger, C. von, 

Pesne, Antoine, . 

Preller, Friedrich 

Ernst, . 
Preter, Johann Wilhelm, . 
Ramberg, a. von, 
RiCHTER, Karl, Ludwig, Gustav 

RONNER, HeNRIETTE, 

ScHENCK, August Fbederic-Albrecht 

SCHRETER, Adolf, 

Seifert, Alfred, 

SiCHEL, Nathaniel, . 

Smith-Hald, Fribtjof, . 

SoHN, Carl, Jr., 

Spangenberg, Gustav Adolf, 

Thoren, Otto von, . 

Thumann, Paul, .... 

TiscHBEiN, Friedrich, 

Vautibr, Marc, Louis, Benjamin, 

Vogel, Christian Leberecht, 

VoLTZ, Friedrich Johann, . 

Wahlberg, Alfred Leonard, 

Wagner, Alexander, 

Werner, Anton Alexander von, 

WiNTERHALTBR, FrAN(;OIS XaVIER, 

ZOgel, Heinrich Johann, 

1 Vol. erl. 



3oa 

231 

258 
223 
241 



jFull=lpaGe irUustrations. IDolume IV. 



The Hunt on the Nile, 

Penelope, 

Othello, 

In the Gloaming, . 

At the Embroidery Frame, 

The "Wayes of the Sea and op Love, 

Coming from the Baptism, 

Forsaken, 

The Tower-warden, 

At Church, 

The Spanish Mail-coach in Toledo, . 

The Brothers, 

At Dessert, 

Avarice and Love, 

The Work-room of a Painter, .... 
Galas Bidding Farewell to His Pamilx, 

Florinda and her Maidens, 

A Landscape, 

Agony, 

Chased by Wolves, 

The Sewing School at Katwyk, .... 
The Departure op the Fishing-boat, 

On the Ebb, 

The Tow-path, 

The Dispute, 

Vol. IV. 



By Hans Makart, 

" Rudolf von Deutsch, . 

" H. Hofmann, 

" Gustav Spangenberg, . 

" A. von Ramberg, . 

" Wilhelm Kray, 

" Julius Beysohlag, . 

" Julius Benozur, . 

" Herman Kaulbach, 

" Benjamin Vautier, 

" Alexander Wagner, . . 

" Christian Leberecht Vogel, 

" CarlSohn, Jr 

" LudwigLCfftz, 

" Daniel Nicholaus Chodowiecki, 

" Fran(;ois Xavier Winterhalter, 

" Julius Marak, 

" August Frederic-Albreoht Schenek, 

" Adolf Schreyer, 

" Josef Israels, . 

" Bernardus Johannes Blommers, 

" Hendrik Wilhelm Mesdag, 

" James Maris, . 



" F. H. Kaemmerp.r, 

of 6 Vol. ed. 



PAGE 

Frontispiece 
To face 183 



GERMAN ART (continued). 



Hans Makart, wlaen he died in 1883, at the early age of forty-three, enjoyed, especially 
among the younger artists of every country, a reputation as a colorist that in itself was 
enough to show how dead we have become in this generation to that quality which is the 
highest charm of art. jS'or was it as a colorist alone that in the estimation of his time he 
stood head and shoulders above all his contemporaries. He was praised for the richness of 
his composition, for the exuberant fancy, the wide knowledge, the vast executive power that 
weie disjDlayed in his canvases. We were told, by sound of trumpet, that he had brought 
back the golden age of Paul Veronese, of Tintoretto, of the whole Venetian galaxy, biit that 
he added to this rather dry and outworn repertory, a modernism, a power of sympathy with 
the feelings and aspirations of our own time, that made him more than the peer of the great 
ones gone! His reputation, that had been steadily growing since the apjjearance of his 
" Plague in Florence," was at its height in 1876, when his " Catharine Cornaro," his " Abun- 
dantia," and some of his smaller pictures, Avere brought to this country and shown at the 
Philadelphia Exposition ; and it is to our credit that they made much less impression here 
than might have been expected, seeing how naturally prone we are to accept the judgment of 
older nations in matters where we take it for granted that their larger experience and an) pier 
opportiinities have given them a right to be heard. In truth, it ^vas difficult then to iinder- 
stand, and it is well-nigh impossible to understand now, how Makart climbed to the position 
he held so long. For, to-day, it is all but universally admitted that canvases more empty of 
meaning, more wanting in everything that gives worth and dignity to painting, have seldom 
been seen. Even their boasted color no longer finds any one so poor to do it honor. And 
yet, as no reputation of such magnitude was ever built upon nothing, but always represents 
something real, it Avill be fotmd that Makart, too, had a reason for l)eing. Something, no 
doubt, was due to the colossal advertising he received at the hands of the dealers. In Mun- 
kacsy and Makart we have two men who owe nine-tenths of what they stand for to the 
magnificent skill the dealers and other men who had them in tow displayed, in rearing in 

Div. Sh. f) vnl. prl. 



176 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

their behalf the whole vast enginery of modern "advertising." But without some basis to 
build tipon, even this great skill, to which all Yankeedom combined could not hold a candle, 
would not have availed. And in Makart's case he represented the reaction against the for- 
malizing spirit, the worn-out allegorizing, the stilted historical-painting, the dead monotony 
of color, which had long made of German painting the dreary sepulchre of the dry bones of 
art. The spirit of the whole body of the younger men was in revolt against the formalities of 
the studios of Munich and Berlin— a, lot of dry-as-dust professors, men of no little mechanical 
skill, but without a drop of the poetry of art in their veins, were in possession of the schools— 
and it was inevitable that change must-come, and that the stream so long pent up would one 
day burst its barriers and come down with a rush. Makart Avas not the only " sign of the 
times," but he was one of the most auspicious, because he had more ability, such as it was, 
than the rest of liis young contemporaries, and had he applied that ability to painting big 
religious pictures, as Munkacsy did, he would certainly have cut a much greater figure than 
he actually filled, large as was the place, while his fame was at its height. Munkacsy, as 
we have seen, had bnt a few notes at his command; he had not an atom of inventive power; 
he painted big pictures not because he wanted to paint them — at least, their thinness and their 
IJerfunctory character make it appear so — but because those who helped him to his public 
knew the commercial value of big pictures. But Makart painted his great " machines," as 
the French call such canvases, because he delighted in a wide field, and plenty of figures, and 
noisy colors. His first big canvas, " The Plague in Florence," was such a hurly-burly of men, 
women, and colors, as np to that time had not been seen. It was painted after Makart came 
back from Rome to raise money, since he was in straits with poverty. He sold it out of hand 
to a dealer for a few hundred marks. The dealer sold it for ten thousand marks, and when it 
was exhibited at the Kunstverein in Munich, Makart's fame (for his lifetime at least) was 
secured. As the picture made its triumphal progress through the German cities, the enthu- 
siasm increased, and even in Paris, amid the babel of voices, the praise was louder than tlie 
fault-findings, though it must not be forgotten that sober criticism outside of Germany never 
accepted Makart. But at home, and everywhere indeed, at first, the pttblic cheered his work 
to the echo, and the Emperor of Austria set the seal to popular approval by giving the artist a 
commission for ten thousand marks. He then produced the " Juliet mourned by Romeo," a 
picture that added greatly to his reputation. Encouraged by a material success that almost 
at a bound had lifted him from poverty to affluence, Makart now opened a studio in Vienna 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



77 



and began to paint with great industry. He produced in rapid succession the " Abundantia," 
the " Catarina Coruaro/' the " Cleopatra," and among a crowd of smaller works which hlled 




'BRUNHILDE" ("DIE WALKURE.") 

FROM THE PAINTING BY HANS MAKART. 



up the crevices of his time devoted to these huge canvases, he found leisure also to paint the 

drop-curtain for the Vienna Stadt Theatre. In lS7o and 1876 he passed a winter in Egj-pt 
Vol. II.-12, ** 



178 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

with Lenbach and Leopold Miiller, and on Ms return painted the "Mle Hunt," which we 
engrave. This was followed by the " Entry of Charles V. into Antwerp," which was sent to 
the Paris Exposition of 1878 ; the next year, 1879, came the " Five Senses," and in 1880 ap- 
peared the "Diana Hunting," which is owned in this country and was exhibited at the 
Gallery of the American Art Association. The pictures we have named, with a considerable 
number of allegorical and fanciful pieces, figures named after legendary or poetical characters, 
such as the " Brunhilde," here given, make up the chief life-work of Makart, and his ability as 
a composer ^or let us frankly say, his manner as a composer — for ability in this field he had 
absolutely none — may be judged once for all by such a subject as the " Mle Hunt." It is 
impossible to believe that the painter had in his mind, before beginning such a picture as this, 
any clear idea of what he meant to make of it. The more we study it, the more absurdities 
we discover, and the same may be said of every one of his large scenic paintings. He had 
never studied anything to the bottom ; to the last, he never knew how to draw anything ; he 
relied on dashing brush-work, and color piled on in large masses, and in rich bemldering 
harmonies to blind the spectator to all other considerations. It is, in fact, in the highest 
degree unfair to Makart to criticise his work to those who can only see it reproduced in black 
and white as it is here ; but if the reader will look at the engraving with a view simply to 
discover the various details of the- composition, he can at least see what a man might make 
out of these nude Egyptian bodies of men and women ; these richly jewelled head-dresses ; 
these boats ornamented with barbaric splendor, this trophy of game-birds, these crowded and 
heaped-up accessories of riotous luxury — the whole a charivari of unreason and impossibility, 
conceived and carried out in mere wanton lust of the eyes. All that a man with such an 
aim, and with power to revel to the end in fulfilling his desire could do, Makart has done, 
but this is the limit of his accomplishment. For the mind, for the gratification of the higher 
faculties, his pictures do nothing. We do not mean that they teach no moral lesson ; that is 
not required ; our criticism is, that they give no lasting pleasure of any kind. On the material 
side of his art, all is failure. There is no composition, no harmonizing of lines or masses, no 
intelligible grouping ; the wearied eye seeks rest all over the crowded canvas and finds none 
anywhere. In this hurly-burly nobody is really doing anything, though everybody is 
violently pretending to do something. In the foreground is a boat, over the edge of which a 
net is drawn, not by the people in the boat, but by two slaves in another boat alongside. The 
net is found to contain a crocodile, and some fish selected apparently on account of their color, 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



79 



that quality being a claim that Makart always pays on demand. As the crocodile is not 
welcome, two of the occupants of the boat are making believe despatch him, but it is plain, 
from the way they go to work, that the crocodile is in no great danger. As a specimen of 
Makart's rather insolent contempt of drawing, the reader may be asked to look at the man 
who is thrusting a spear at the crocodile, and to discover, if he can, what he has done with the 
lower half of his body. But, in truth, it is sheer waste of time to attempt to account for any- 
thing whatever in such a picture as this. The artist did not mean to make a reasonable 
work. He chose what he thought a picturesque subject, with plenty of excuse for rich color- 
ing, gave himself free play, and produced such a gorgeous salad as satisfied the popular crav- 
ing, and made, him the favorite of the hour. But, even the coloring of Makart's pictures has 
no permanent charm. It surprises, and even pleases at first, because it is a relief from the 
dull and muddy, or crude and gaudy, coloring of German pictures in general. And no doubt 
Makart was strong on this side and had a great natural talent for harmonic combinations. 
But we soon weary of his morbid tones, hints of nature's decay, or, at the best, of her fading 
and declining hours; neither pure and sweet, like that of the early Italian art; nor rich and 
reviving, the breath of some sumptuous garden that takes our senses captive in the art of 
Italy's blooming-time. The test of beautiful color is the painting of the human body ; all the 
great colorists have made this the object of their art, and everything else in their j^ictures has 
been subsidiary to this perfection. AVitli Makart, the exact opposite is tnie. No painter 
that ever lived has shown us so many naked bodies as he, but he treats them as a part merely 
of his ornamental scheme, and so far from being principal, they are only foils to his flowers 
and gems, rich draperies, the plumes of birds, and the rest of his luxurious apparatiis. This 
is a fatal defect, and no amount of dash or of skill in any other direction will atone for it. It 
is the sufficient cause of the decline of the artist's reiDutation, which has vanished almost as 
rapidly as it arose. 

Anselm Feueebacii, the painter of the "Dante and the Noble Women of Eavenna," 
has been mentioned already in connection vrith Arnold Bocklin. An intimate friendship 
sprang up between the two in Italy, and at bottom there is much in common in their pictures 
—leaving out of consideration those playful subjects drawn from the Northern mythology in 
which Bocklin really resembles no one. Feuerbach was born at Speyer, in 1829. After some 
time spent in Diisseldorf under Schadow, and then at Munich with Rahl, he went to Paris and 
studied with Couture. He theu made his way to Rome, and there gave himself up to the 



I So 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



study of the old Italian masters, and developed a style in which this influence is clearly 
manifested while at the same time the sentiment of his pictures is as clearly his own. The 
first picture that drew attention to his name was the one we copy—" Dante with the Noble 
Women of Ravenna." This was first exhibited at Carlsruhe, and afterward purchased by 
the Grand Duke. It was destined for the Carlsruhe Museum, but the opposition of Lessing, 
at that time Director of the Museum, was so strong that the Grand Duke gave way, and 




"DANTE AND THE NOBLE WOMEN OF RAVENNA.' 

FROM THE PAINTING BY ANSELM FEUERBACH. 



retained the picture for his jirivate collection. Lessing was obstinately opposed to the new 
movement in art making itself felt in the works of Feuerbach, Bocklin, and the rest of those 
who were striving to give expression to a romantic and idyllic art founded on the classic 
traditions of the Italian Renaissance, in opposition to the x>urely narrative and literary art of 
the Diisseldorf school represented by siich men as Lessing. Other subjects chosen by 
Feuerbach shoAv a similar leaning to serious and lofty themes, in which the treatment is in 
direct opposition to the spectacular and histrionic character of the art at that time the fashion 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. i8i 

in Germany. Feuerbacli rejects everything of an anecdotic or trivial nature, and translates 
tlie sentiment of his subject by simple lines and massive fonns, with the action reduced to 
the least possible. In the " Dante and the Noble Women of Ravenna " we aie free to explain 
the subject for ourselves, since so far as we can learn it has no historical foundation. We 
know little of Dante's life at Ravenna, where he passed his last days under the protection of 
Ms friend Guido Novello da Polenta, a protector of learned men, himself a poet, and the 
father of that Francesca da Rimini whose story Dante has told with such iinrivalled pathos. 
By a slip of his pen, an eminent German writer, in describing this picture, makes the girl who 
leans ujjon Dante's shoulder, no other than Beatrice herself. Beatrice had, however, been dead 
many and many a year before Dante sought refuge in Ravenna, but in truth we suppose the 
time would be wasted that were given to a literal explanation of the picture. It is unfortu- 
nate, or so it seems to us, that it is so precisely named, because it sets us searching for an ex- 
planation that is hard to fiud. Were Dante's face not modelled on the well-known mask that 
shows him in his last years, if not in death, we might refer the subject to the Vita Nova, and 
explain it by the passage where Dante describes himself as walking with a company of ladies 
who question him about his love for Beatrice. But, as we have said, conjecture as to Feuer- 
bach's meaning is limited by the title he has himself given to his picture. 

Similar in character to this work of Feuerbach is the "Penelope" of Rudolf von 
Deutscii, a Russian artist by birth, born in Moscow in 1835, but who learned his art in Dresden 
and has lived since 1855 in Germany. He resides at present in Berlin. His subjects are almost 
exclusively drawn from classic poetry or from mythology: " The Chaining of Prometheus," 
" The Carrying off of Helena," and others. His treatment of his subjects is at once simple and 
grandiose ; the lines and masses are severe, but in the details and the expression there is a 
sympathetic feeling that forbids the charge of coldness. This figure of Penelope, her loom 
abandoned, watching on the terrace of her palace in the fading light of day for the return of 
her lord Ulysses, while it reminds its in its attitude and in the lines of its drapery of the Fates 
of the Parthenon, is yet instinct with warm human life, and shows an intimate sympathy with 
the poet in Avhose gallery of women Penelope is one of the most beautiful figures. No one in 
modern times has painted anything of this kind more worthy to stand as an illustration of 
Homer than this. 

WiLHELM DiEZ, distinguished among the artists of our day as a genre-painter and illus- 
trator, was born at Baireuth in 1839. At fourteen he went to Munich, where he has since 



lS2 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



continued to liA^e and work. He began his studies there under Piloty, and he is another 
example of the freedom enjoyed in that school, since in his case as in that of so many others, 
his way of looking at natnre and his way of painting are as unlike his master as can be 
imagined. He has been compared to Wouverman, but this is unnecessary; his manner is 
really his o^vn, and his individuality so strong, that it makes itself felt even when his pictures 




"THE CAMP-FOLLOWER." 
FROM THE PAINTING BY WILHELM DIEZ. 



are seen for the first time in a large collection of miscellaneous works. And yet they are but 
of smaU dimensions, and their subjects amount to but little in themselves. The two that 
we give, " The Camp-FoUower " and the " Marauders," are illustrations of the time of the 
Thirty Years' War, a period with which Diez has made himself thoroughly acquainted. Mr. 
Kurz's excellent reproduction from the photograph, and Mr.. Rhodes' equally good copy of 
the wood-cut, give an excellent idea of the look of his pictures, though Mr. Kurz had the 
advantage of the better original; the rich, flowing touch and the delightful sense of relation 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



183 



between sky, earth, and things which make the charm of Diez's jpictures, are pei'fectly trans- 
latable by the jDhotograph ; they escape to a certain degree the skill of the engTaver. In 
looking over a considerable collection of photographs after Diez the impression made by his 
pictures was renewed, that his love of painting is greater than his care for the detail of his 




THE MARAUDERS" 
FROM THE PAINTING BY WILHELM DIEZ, 



subject; he strives to express it, in spirit, as a whole; to give the sentiment of the scene, 
and to make the details rather felt than perceived. This may not be very clearly expressed; 
what we would like to convey may perhaps be better shown by a comparison. Thus, in 
Makart's pictures, we have the artist working with the same aim ; he wishes us to forget the 
details and to see the picture as a whole. But, as Makart cannot, or what is the same in 
result, will not, draw any single thing so tliat it can be looked at and enjoyed for itself; as he 



1 84 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

cannot draw— or never does draw —a liand, or a foot, or a face, we perversely look for these 
tilings and as we are continually disappointed, we end by refusing to take the Avhole for a 
part, particularly as we find that truth of action and truth of attitude are no easier to find 
than truth in the lesser details. Now Diez, though he sinks, or never obtrudes, the details of 
his subject, yet proves again and again that he is master of them, and that, therefore, he can 
trust to our knowledge of his science, and let him hide his detail or show it, as he will. At 
the same time, the public is entirely right in the pleasure it tries to got out of Makart's 
pictures and pictures like them. If they were painted as they ought to be, they would be 
far better worth seeing than pictures, however clever, that deal only with the vices and the 
failings of mankind— with Nym and Bardolph, drunken marauders, retailing their camp- 
stories to one another as they stagger along the dusty road, or disgruntled soldiers lingering 
on the march to fill their canteens at the sutler's cart. 

XI. 

THE three pictures contributed to our collection by Heinrich Hofmann show that ver- 
satility for which he is distinguished; but it cannot be said that this extends further 
than to a variety in his choice of subjects ; in his treatment of his themes we find that same 
mannerism which balks us in the works of nearly all his countrymen; that love of stage-play, 
that inability to look at their subject with the eye of imagination. One and all— how few the 
exceptions!— see the thing as they have-been taught to see it, not as they would have seen it 
had th6y trusted to the eyes and the intuitions that nature gave them. Yet Hofmann has 
not wanted for opportunity. He has travelled much, and seen much, and studied with more 
than one master. If the end have found him not far from where he began, this is a fate 
common to all who reduce to routine what was meant to be individual and spontaneous. 

Heinrich Johann Ferdinand Michael Hofmann— it is not often that a German is weighted 
with so many names— was born at Darmstadt in 1824. He was a younger brother of the 
Secretary of State for Alsace and Lorraine, Karl Hofmann, and made his first essays in art 
under the engraver Ernst Ranch. At eighteen he went to Diisseldorf and studied in the 
Academy there under Theodore Hildebrandt and Schadow, and, as might have been predicted, 
produced a huge canvas, " A Scene from the History of the Longobards," for which Schadow 
was mainly responsible. For a time, however, Hofmann escaped from the traditional bonds; 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 1S5 

went to Antwerp and studied in the Academy there, then travelled in Holland and visited 
Paris, but returned to Darmstadt and took up portrait-painting, which he practised with gieat 
success. We next hear of him in Munich, where he is deep in Shakespeare, painting the 
regulation "Romeo and Juliet," his ijarticular rendering earning him much applause. After 
three years' stay in the Bavarian capital he exchanged it for Darmstadt and Frankfort, where 
he once more took up portrait-painting, and found some distinguished sitters. In Dresden. 
where he lived for three years, he finished one of his i^rincipal pictures, " Enzio in Prison."' 
" Enzio " is Henry, the natural son of Frederick II., Emperor of Germany, who was taken 
prisoner by the Bolognese, and held in captivity for twenty-two years. As the sole object of 
his enemies was to keep so strong and brave a man out of the fight they were waging with 
him and his father — Guelf against Ghibelline — Henry's prison was a prison only in name; he 
was lodged in a palace, where he kept a luxurious court, and lived the life of a jirince. As 
we have seen in other cases, it was the opportunity the subject gave for a sumptuous display 
of material splendor that led the artist to choose it, and not any interest in Henry, for whom 
he, of course, could care nothing. In 1854 he went to Rome, where he came under the influence 
of Cornelius, and painted what by his admirers is considered his masterpiece — " Christ taken 
Prisoner," a picture Avhich bears unmistakable signs of the teaching of Cornelius. This paint- 
ing is now in the Gallery at Darmstadt, whither Hofmann repaired, on leaving Rome, and 
where he passed the next three years. In 1862 he took up his residence at Dresden, where he 
has since continued to live and work. With indefatigable industry he has all his life long 
produced picture after picture, of Avhich the best that can be said is that they satisfy the taste 
of a large part of the German art-public; contented if it be provided with a painted story, 
clearly and intelligibly told, making no call upon their imagination or fancy, and presenting 
no point likely to provoke disturbing discussion. The titles of a few of Hofmaun's pictures 
will show the nature of the field in which he works: "Othello and Desdemona," " Shylock 
and Jessica," " St. Cecilia," " Venus and Cupid," " Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery " 
(Museum in Dresden), and " Christ Preaching on the Sea of Gennesaret " (Museum in Berlin). 
In the upper vestibule of the new Hoftheater, Hofmann has painted the ceiling with an 
apotheosis of the heroes of the old German mythology, and in the Albrechtsburg at Meissen— 
once, in the decline of its fortune, abandoned to the uses of the porcelain manufactory, but 
since renovated, and restored to something like its old splendor— Hofmann, working with 
other artists, took part in the decoration; his share consisting in a painting representing tne 



1 86 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

betrothal of tlie little prince of Saxony with the eleven-year old Boliemian princess, Sidonie. 
Of the three examples of Hofmann which we place before our readers, the " Othello and 
Desdemona " best illustrates the defects of the school to which the artist belongs, while the 
others show him in a more agreeable light. In the " Othello " it is easy to perceive that 
Hofmann conceives his subjects as a scene from a stage-play, and he has composed it as a 
stage-director of the old time would have done, with little reference to nature, but thinking 
only of stage-effect. We are so much in the habit of seeing this done that we rarely stop to 
analyze the matter, and discover wherein the difference between the natural and the artificial 
treatment lies. Of course if we were to ask for a purely natural treatment of such a subject 
we should be in the wrong. Shakespeare is not natural, in the legitimate meaning of the 
word; he invents an unreal world, and makes his jpeople act consistently in that. And this 
is all that we can properly demand of the artist who attempts to make pictures of the actions 
Shakespeare describes. The highest art of the actor is to make the unreal, real; and the 
artist's aim should be no less. He certainly should carry us as far away from the actual stage 
as possible, and he is little to be praised if he do not, since he is much freer from the limita- 
tions of hard fact than the actor or the stage-manager. They are hampered in their aspira- 
tions by having to deal with make-believes of all sorts, not merely with make-believe men and 
women, but with painted canvas, oiled-paper moons, calcium-lights, and tinsel splendors of 
costume. The reader in his closet, if he have full symi^athy with his poet, can see in his 
mind's eye a lovelier Verona, a more enchanting Venice than any that the stage-carpenter can 
show him, even if an Irving or a Booth should give him his design. And the painter is 
bound to be an enchanter, too ; we have a right to ask of him that he leave the poet whom he 
attempts to " illustrate," in the realm of the imagination where he found him. But what has 
Hofmann done in his " Othello " ? Is this stout, well-fed lady, laid so comfortably abed, and 
sleeping the sleep of a year-old child — is this the Desdemona whom her father described a 
Little before: 

" A maiden never bold : 

Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion 

Blush'd at herself ? " 

Is this the delicate being whom we heard but now singing her " song of Avillow," and saw 
beating her torn and bleeding wings against the net that villainy had wove about her ? Even 
on the stage, surely, such a Desdemona would be regarded as ill-suited to the character. So 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 187 

very neat! So carefully adjusted! AVitli such a becoming niglit-dress a la Grecque; fibula, 
and golden pendant too, all complete, and suitable for the purpose! This might be Imogen, 
now, as lachimo saw her lying asleep, and took note of her perfections before he slipped the 
bracelet from her arm. 

" I will write all down : 

Such and such pictures; there the windows; such 

The adornment of her bed 

********** 

She hath been reading late 

The tale of Tereus; here's the leaf turned down 
Where Philomel gave up. * * * * " 

There might be some reason in the picture then, and it would be economy in the artist to 
make a few changes — throw away Othello's dagger (with which he has no business, any way!), 
take the kinks out of his hair, make an lachimo of him, and so get two pictures out of one! 
This was the cheap expedient often i^ractised by men 'tis no offence to call superior to Mr. 
Hofniann — Tintoretto, for example — and therefore we may make bold to recommend it. As 
for Othello himself, he is familiar to us on the boards ; with his conventional stage-hero's 
attitude, his face made up after the well-proved recipe for passion— his voluminous mantle 
tossed so picturesquely over his shoulder, though we think that even on the stage such a vast 
piece of upholstery would be found unmanageable. The artist would hardly find in his 
Shakespeare a warrant for the dagger he has made play so important a part in his picture; 
considering that he has come resolved to shed no blood. Othello is well armed; his big 
sword, and his dagger just pulled from its sheath, are very threatening ! 

" The Child Jesus in the Temple," is not only one of the best of Hofmann's pictures, it 
seems to us one of the most pleasing among the many representations of the subject. There 
is no attempt here at a recondite treatment of the story, such as we find in Holman Hunt's 
celebrated picture. Hofmann has not wasted his time and hours in efforts at restoring Solo- 
mon's Temple, with nothing worth mentioning to go upon ; nor has he thought it worth his 
while to spend six years in Jerusalem in order to paint what he might have found in London 
or Berlin, without trouble. Following the simple words of the story as told in Luke, he 
shows the child standing in the midst of the doctors. The group is placed in front of the 
tabernacle, which is merely indicated; its veiling curtain half vrithdrawn, a detail meant 
perhaps to be symbolical of the part Jesus was to play in the religious teaching of the race. 



1 88 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

At the right of the picture, one of the doctors is sitting with a book in his lap which he has 
been examining for some text that might confute the boy's argument. The gesture of Jesus 
shows that he is answering the question, and his answer evidently moves the minds of all his 
hearers, each of whom expresses his feeling in his own way, according to his character. A 
very old rabbi near him, leaning on his staff, regards the child with the pleased wonder of age 




"THE CHILD JESUS IN THE TEMPLE." 

FROM THE Picture by heinrich hofmann. 

in the brightness of youth. Next him, a younger man, keen-witted and intellectual, follows 
the argument with interested attention, the action of his hand showing his readiness to in- 
terrupt the speaker with an objection, but that respect, as for a superior, restrains him until 
the proper moment. On the other side, a sterner auditor listens in no relenting mood to words 
that even from the mouth of a child, threaten the stability of a creed to which he is pledged. 
His ai-m resting strongly on the book of his faith, he grasps his beard, and looks earnestly in 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 189 

the face of the youthful prophet, while with the other hand he holds the scroll of the law, as 
if it were a weapon whose temper against such a foe he almost doubts. Behind tliis man 
appears the head of still another who looks on at what is passing with an expression of mere 
curiosity. We have said that Hofmann has not attempted to make of his pictures an anti- 
quarian study. He has no doubt been wise in this, since we really know but little of what 
the costumes, furniture, and details in general of the outward life of the time were like. He 
has dressed Ms doctors in costumes partly Roman and partly Oriental, and with the exception, 
perhaps, of the oldest of the group, has not attempted to mark these peojjle with the supposed 
distinctive features of their race. He has certainly succeeded, if that were his aim, in making 
an interesting picture of an event that can never lose its charm ; one of those anecdotes of the 
childhood of great men that the world cherishes as among its i^leasantest possessions. It has 
from earliest time had a place in the pictured series of the Life of Christ, and in that of his 
Mother, and it would be an interesting study to bring together the various interi^retations of 
it by the masters of the art. The directions given in the most ancient G-reek manual for the 
assistance of painters charged with the decoration of churches and missals, for the treatment 
of this subject, were followed by all the earliest artists in the west, and continued to be so 
followed down to the time of the Renaissance. These directions are as follows, given with 
the ters3 sirapliciby that marks all the contents of the book: 

" Within the temple, Christ is seated on a throne. In one hand he holds an unopened 
scroll; the other hand is extended. About him, the scribes and pharisees are seated; they 
look at him with astonishment. Behind the throne Joseph is seen, to whom the mother of 
Grod points out the Christ." 

Among the older German artists Durer has treated this subject, introducing it into his 
series of designs for the Life of the Virgin. As is too common with him, the quaintness of 
his conception, and his independence of convention makes his representation interesting at 
the expense of its dignity. Christ sits at a high desk on a platform under a canopy, and 
lectures his audience with an energy that has plunged them all into confusion. They gather 
into groups to conjure up arguments of defence against the unlooked-for invader, they sliut 
up their books with bangs of despair; lean their heads on their hands; shake warning lingers, 
or gaze up at the ceiling as if hoping against hope for help from heaven. One very old 
Pharisee, still trusting in his books, has toddled out after a convincing volume, which he brings 
back, supporting his steps with a crutch. Opposite, entering by the porch, ^^•e see Mary and 



I go 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



Joseph; Mary with her hands folded in prayer; Joseph, hat in hand, in his usual attitude 
of hiimility. Diirer's design is a type of the disorder that was brought into the domain of 




'THE SLEEPING BEAUTY." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY HEINRICH HOFMANN. 



religious teaching by means of art, when every artist thought himself at liberty to translate 
the subject according to his own taste. Perhaps the most extraordinary perversion of the 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 191 

poetic interest of the story is, however, found in the representation by Menzel alluded to in 
our notice of that artist, where the whole force of his undoubted talent has been brought 
to bear in putting the Jews in a hateful light. Jesus himself is hardly spared, since he appears 
as a youth of preternatural sharpness, who sees ^vith intellectual gusto the confusion of his 
adversaries. It is worth remarking in passing, that this vein of malice, so foreign to modern 
ideas of the character of Jesus, is conspicuous in the so-called apocryphal books that describe 
his infancy. One of these, bearing on our subject, relates that in school, the teacher, instruct- 
ing the boy in the alphabet, asked him to say Aleph. He said it, and was then told to say 
Beth. " No," rebelled the child, " not till you tell me what Aleph means ! " The teacher 
raised his hand to strike him, and immediately it was withered. It can hardly be denied that 
something of this harshness appears in the answer that the boy made to his mother when she 
reproached him for putting his parents to so much trouble in searching for him : " How is it 
that ye sought me ? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business ? " 

In still a third picture, Hof mann deals with the fairy-tales of his own country ; painting 
the scene from the story of the " Sleeping Beauty " where the Prince arrives who will break 
the charm. This is a subject not above the artist's powers, and his treatment of it is pleasing 
enough. Dornroeschen, as the Germans call the maiden, has gone to sleep in a cheerful place, 
in an open gallery at the top of the castle. A rich arcade rose-wreathed looks out upon the 
sunlit landscape, and I'oses, growing at their will for all their hundred summers, have covered 
wall and stairway with their fragrant barrier. Dornroeschen sits in slumber; one hand half 
supporting her head as it leans against the marble pillar, the other, drooping at her side, just 
holds without holding, the spindle that has wounded her, while at her side is the basket of 
wool that she was spinning when her drowsy eyelids began to fall. On the rod that ties the 
arches of the arcade, her hawks are perched asleep, on the ledge asleep, curled up and quite 
content to sleep forever, is her favorite cat, and on the parapet of the stairs, with his head 
under his wing, the peacock sleeps with all the hundred eyes of his gorgeous tail. But, up 
the stairs the prince at last is coming; in his hunter's dress, with cap and feather, his horn 
slung about his neck, he tears the hindering thorns aside, and mounts the stairs— 

"More close and close his footsteps wind; 
The magic music as his heart 
Beats quick and quicker, till he find 
The quiet chamber far apart. 



t92 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



His siDirit flutters like a lark, 
He stoops,— to kiss lier — on his knee, 

* Love, if thy tresses be so dark. 

How dark those hidden eyes must be! '" 




"FRITHiOF AND INGEBORG." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY RUDOLPH BENDEMANN. 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



193 



Another tale of fairy-land is illustrated by Rudolph Bendemann, the son of that 
Edouard Bendemann already spoken of in these pages. This artist, whose full name is Rudolf 
Christian Eugen, was born in Dresden in 1851, and studied first at Diisseldorf and later with 
his father, under whose direction he was still working when he painted the scene from the 
Frithiof's Saga, which we engrave. At the same period he painted other i^ictures that gave 
him reputation, and took part in the decoration of the New Museum in Beilin, where he exe- 
cuted, in encaustic, some of the groujps of the Geniuses who preside over the different arts. 
The scene from the Frithiof's Saga is treated with much directness, grace, and poetic sympathy, 
characteristics which the young artist has inherited from his father, whose " Jews in Cap- 
tivity " and " Jeremiah on the Ruins of Jerusalem " are remarkably free from the grandiose 
mannerisms of the time when they were painted, but who excelled in the treatment of those 
allegorical decorations, the love of which seems ineradicable from the Gei-man breast. If we 
must have them, Edouard Bendemann has had the skill to make them tolerable, and his son 
has shown the power of sympathy to put life into an old world-story. 

The Frithiof's Saga, or, as we should say, the Tale of Frithiof , is a poem translated into 
the Swedish language out of the Saxon by Esaias Tegner, the author of that " Children of the 
Lord's Supper " which was long ago translated into English by our Longfellow. It relates 
the loves of Frithiof the lowly-born son of Thorsten, for Ingeborg, the daughter of the great 
Jarl Bele; and the adventures of the youth in search of perils and dangers to be overcome for 
the sake of his mistress, since it was only by bravery and heroic deeds that he could hope to 
break down the barriers that his birth interposed between them. The children had been 
brought up together, living under the same roof in constant companionship, sharing one an- 
other's sports and occupations, and growing up unconsciously into mutual love. This part of 
the poem reminds us of the opening chapters of " Paul and A^irginia," the rudeness of the 
only accessible English translation cannot blind us to the simple charm of the narrative — 

" How gladly ;it her side steer'd he 
His barque across the deep blue sea; 
While gayly tacking, Frithiof stands, 
How merrily clap her soft white hands. 

" Xo birds' nests yet so lofty were, 
That thither he not climb'd for her. 
Even the eagle, as he cloudward swung. 
Was plunder'd both of eggs and young. 



194 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

" No streamlet's water rush'cl so swift, 
O'er which he would not Ingeborg lift; 
So pleasant feels, when foam-rush 'larms. 
The gentle cling of small white arms. 

" The first pale flower that spring has shed. 
The strawberry sweet that first grows red. 
The corn-ear, first in ripe gold clad, 
To her he offer'd, true and glad." 

These verses gave young Bendemann his theme, and certainly he has made a pretty pastoral 
out of it. While the boy has been busy with his bow-and-arrows, the girl lias been weaving 
him a crown of wild-flowers, as she sat awaiting him on the stone seat he built for her on the 
shore of the fiord, and now she leans forward to place it on his head as he kneels before her 
with the first fruits of his liunting. Like the young Parsifal, he would seem to liave for his 
motto: "I shoot at everything that flies," and in the pride of his exploit, that shines in his 
face and transfigures his boyish body, he forgets that dead birds may not be the fittest offer- 
ings for a girl's delighting ! All the romance is, however, on Frithiof 's side. Ingeborg is a 
tight, practical Norse maiden, not a bit sentimental, and, for all that appears, she will wel- 
come Frithiof 's gifts with an eye to a good dinner for their outing, cooked to a turn in a cleft 
of the rock, and seasoned with that best of relishes that health and youth have always at 
command. 

L. V. Carstens, a Munich artist, has found an attractive subject in this " C6sy Corner " — 
a nook in the deserted garden of an old castle such as are foand aU over Europe, sad, romantic 
vestiges of times gone-by forever. Perhaps, this castle is once again inhabited in part, as is 
the fortune of some of them nowadays, and this young girl, in wandering through the neg- 
lected rooms, has come upon some book fuU of forgotten joys and sorrows, and taking her 
knitting with her, has sought out her favorite corner in the park; here, lost in the mazes of 
the romance, she forgets her work and forgets the time. Behind her, rises the great wall of the 
castle; its stones covered with moss and lichen, and embroidered on this soft-hued back- 
ground with the tender tracery of the ivy. The shrubbery, grown rank and spindling for 
want of care, strains upward to the light, and weaves a trellis of its slender branches, through 
which the sunlight streams, softly diffused. Grass and weeds have long ago marked out the 
pattern of the pavement with their fringing growth between the edges of the flagging-stones, 
and although the stone bench yet holds its place, and the great slab still serves for a table, as 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



195 



it did in the old days when the master of the castle and his friends came here after dinner to 
drink their wine and discnss the times, yet these marble blocks are worn and shaken with the 
years, their angles marred and their surface stained with mould. But, in the midst of aU this 
ruin, the old ramping lion loyally guards the stone shields that keep his ancient master's titles 




"A COSY CORNER." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY L. V. CARSTENS. 



alive, although his once bristling mane and angry pride are tamed by centuries of storm; and 
his mouth, that once roared as threateningly, is now only a safe resting-place for birds. Time, 
too, that so softly takes our joys away, yet is not altogether cruel, since he hides his wounds 
in moss and flowers, and lightens up this spot, so full of saddening memories, with this fair 
blossom of youth and gracefulness for whom all this ruin is but a foil. 

Gtjstat Adolf Spa-n-ge^s^berg, the painter of "The Twilight Hour,'' is an artist of pure 



196 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

German type in his clioice of subject, in liis way of conceiving it, and in his style of execu- 
tion. In the choice of his subject he confines himself to his own country, to its history, its 
legends, and its beliefs ; he looks at it with the eyes of those about him, aiming no higher than 
to give expression to the thoughts and feelings jf those among whom he lives, and in his way 
of painting keeping to the well-worn paths which were marked out by the early masters of 
painting in Germany, not, however, following them slavishly, but moved by reverence for their 
greatness and by sympathy with their aims. As we have pursued our narrative, in however 
rambling a fashion, it must have occurred more than once to the reader, that compared with 
the French, the German artists are much given to wandering. The French artist born in the 
provinces, makes his way by hook-or-crook to Paris. He has no other goal. Once planted 
there, he makes no other move, unless it be in summer time to stroll a little in the near 
country side, until the day comes when as a reward for his labors, he is sent for a four years' 
study-time to Italy. This finished, he gladlj^ comes back again to Paris, and if he is so happy 
as to obtain employment there, he is content never to leave it, happy if he can spend his days 
in the sacred city. Of course, there are exceptions, but this is the rule for France. How 
different it is in Germany ! There is no centre and there never can be for Germans ; there is 
no city of the heart nor will there ever be. Dusseldorf, Munich, Yienna, Berlin — each has its 
atti'actions, and now one seems to promise a permanent home, and now another; while, for 
many a German artist, Paris or Pome, London or America, offers attractions stronger than any 
place in his own country, although it must be confessed, that the instances are few where 
German artists succeed in escaping from the limitations of their home-training. Like the 
greater number of his artist brethren, Spangenberg has made his wandering year — born in 
Hamburg in 1828, he has studied in his native city, in Antwerp, in Paris, England, Holland, 
again in Paris, with Couture, and a year in the atelier of that very amateurish amateur, 
Triqueti, then to Italy, and at last to Berlin, where he finally settled dovrai, and where we 
believe he is still painting. He began with small genre pieces, leaning to no special class of 
subjects — " The Stolen Child," " The Rat-catcher of Hamelin,'" " St. John's Eve in Cologne," 
" The Forester's Family," etc., etc., then took a fancy to the Reformation-time, and painted 
no end of Luthers— our readers know them weU; the good Martin is the George Washington 
of Germany, and Spangenberg's article is as sound and reliable as a Trumbull or a Stuart. 
■' Luther in the Bosom of his Family," " Luther Translating the Bible," " Luther in the House 
of Cotta," "Luther's Entrance into Worms" — these are a few titles by way of sample; we 



,, ■■.! 



W 



m-f 




■ ■■■ -^ 






"in the gloaming." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY GUSTAV SPANGENBERG 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 197 

have no mind to weary our readers witli a sight of the pictures the titles stand for, but rather 
prefer to show them one where the artist has stepped a little out of the conventional ruts, 
mthout at the same time losing the German accent. " The Twilight Hour," embodies one of 
the many old legends of the German fireside, that relate to the fairies, gnomes, pixies, and 
other creatures that haunt the woods and waters, and the secret places of the earth, and exer- 
cise an influence on man and his belongings. As the mother sits in her arm-chair by the 
cradle of her child, after the day's work done, the gnomes steal up from the earth — queer, un- 
canny beings, in the shape of little, stunted, deformed old men — and di'aw near to the cradle 
to watch the sleeping baby. The gnomes are the embodiment of the earth-forces : the strength 
of the metals is in their sinews, they bind the roots of oak and pine like cordage to the 
foundations of the world, and swarm like sailors to their task when the tempests bend these 
mighty masts ; the lava's molten fire burns in their veins, theirs is the savor of salt, the reviv- 
ing purity of springs: they light their w^y with the gems imprisoned in the rocks, and so they 
come to the cradles of mortal children, and if they think them worthy, breathe into them the 
forces by which the earth is conquered for the brave, the earnest, and the pure. In the mean 
time, while the gnomes keep watch-and-ward over their unconscious charge, the mother sleeps, 
and smiles as she sees in dreams what her Avaking-eye could never see, the good people of the 
under- world blessing her child. She is not of our time, this solid and contented piece of 
femininity; she belongs to Nuremberg, and may be a neighbor of Albert Diirer— except that 
he seldom painted so pretty a face, we should say we remembered her in his pictures. Dressed 
in her best coif and fur-trimmed cape, with her housekeeping keys and bag safe at her side, 
she has been spinning all the afternoon, relieving her light labor with an occasional draught 
of beer from the big tankard on the window sill, and an occasional verse from the Bible by 
its side. Her white, well-shaped hands are lightly interlocked, her dress is rich but plain; 
except the wedding-ring upon her finger, the gold buttons on her sleeve and the brooch at her 
neck, she wears no ornaments; yet the richly carved cradle of the child and the brocaded stuff 
that makes its coverlid, with the Eastern rug— a rarity in those days— all show that this is a 
well-to-do household. 

Alfons BoDENMiJLLER's picture, " Think of the Poor," is one of a class of pictures com- 
mon enough in Germany, that are rightly enough caUed costume-pictures— this one has reaUy 
little other motive for being than the desire on the artist's part to reproduce some of the 
picturesque detaUs of life in Nuremberg or elsewhere in the Germany of the XVI. century. 



igS 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



All is pretty enough, though naturally a little exaggerated; the costume of the mother who 
is teaching her little girl to be charitable, is rather a resume of the possibilities of female dress 




"THINK OF THE POOR." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY ALFONS BODENMULLER. 



at a given epoch than a probable example, and as for the recipient of charity, she has been 
suddenly whisked-back, face, dress, baby and all, from the nineteenth century to the sixteenth 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



199 



—a strange piece of f orgetf ulness on the part of an artist wlio has made up his mind to paint 
a costume-piece. The view of the square with its fountain and the people getting water; the 
climbing gabled houses, the oriel-window, are all cleverly done, and remind one vividly of 
Nuremberg; the window near us with its ^^TOught-iron cage, is a good example too, though a 
trifle too delicate for its place and duty. 

WiLHELM Karl G-entz, the painter of "A Story-teller of Cairo," has made himself a wide- 
spread fame by his pictures of Eastern life. He is a native of J^few Ruppin, near Berlin, where 
he was born in 1822. He has been a traveller from early in life. After a brief course in the 
Berlin University, he devoted himself to painting, going first to Antwerp and then studying 
six years in Paris under Couture and Gleyre. He then set out on his travels, visiting Spain, 
Morocco, Egypt, Nubia, Asia Minor, and Turkey. He has visited Egypt at least five times, 
and has painted a large number of pictures, and made drawings innumerable of scenes, inci- 
dents, and landscapes in that country and in Nubia. In 1873 he visited Jerusalem, and made 
careful studies of the localities for his great picture, now in the Berlin National Gallery, " The 
Entry of the Crown-Prince into Jerusalem in 1869." He also contributed a large number of 
illustrjitions to George Ebers's " Egypt," his pictures making indeed the chief attraction of the 
work. The picture we copy is interesting as showing us the birth-place, so to speak, of the 
delightful stories which we call the "Arabian Nights"— not that they came from any one 
author or were confined to any one circle of hearers, but that they have been handed do^vn 
in this way by reading and recital to infinite groups of listeners from ancient times, and are 
still one of the chief amusements of the people. Here in this cool cavern, the lower part of the 
wall lined with a wainscoting of stuccoed stone, and a high bench of stone running along it, a 
motley group of natives are assembled listening to the reader who faces his audience. On the 
wall over his hearers' heads a large family of pigeons come and go, or rest on the perches 
provided for them ; at the end of the room an Arab on his part of the bench has a family of 
kittens in his charge, the mother-cat playing on the floor beside him. The reader, too, has 
his cat beside him — there are no other animals in sight. There is a freedom and naturalness 
about Gentz's Eastern studies that we do not find in Gerome's pictures. The French artist 
has too much self -consciousness, is too much bent on picture-making; Gentz is perhaps more 
of a photographer than a painter, but in his line he is unrivalled. 

A. VON Rambeeg's " At the Embroidery -frame," is a piece of innocent sentimentality 
altogether German in its way, but not belonging to our time; it is the innocence of our grand- 



200 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

mothers' day — these are creatures quite too bright and good for tlie daily food of this genera- 
tion, and indeed at any time we fear they would be safer in a glass case than in the jostling 




'A STORY-TELLER OF CAIRO." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY WILHELM GENTZ. 



world. Considering the deep absorption in his devotion expressed by the gentleman's coun- 
tenance, the object of it is singularly unmoved, but then it may be questioned whether any- 



"^ 

.»^i^ 







JinriiiMUfi 



10D)1M"EMM1 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 201 

tMng short of the house tumbling over her head, or the cat Jumping up on her embroidery- 
frame could move this piece of excessive placidity. We fear that our gentleman is wasting 




"THE SONG." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY CUNO VON BODENHAUSEN. 



I manly heart in sighs over a being not capable of comprehending his superior worth, and 
strongly advise his putting his extraordinary legs to a good use, by getting up from his 



202 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

seat, making his best bow, and walking away. We doubt if tlie young lady would so much 
as stop counting lier stitches! 




"MEDITATION." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY N. SICHEL. 



CuNO VON Bodenhausen's " The Song," is a graceful piece of sentiment, much more 
French than German in its refinement and delicacy. This young girl wlio has stopped in her 
garland-making to listen to the song of the bird on the branch over her head does not belong 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



203 



to any particular age or place. A more ideal treatment of the landscape, which is far too real 
for the figure, would have made less obvious the violation of wholesome sanitary laws implied 
in sitting barefoot and half clad, in so damp a sitnation ! Tlie girl being improbable, the land 
scape should have been made so also, and then we should not have been annoyed by the obser 
vations of practical and common-sense people, but could ha^e done full justice to this Dryad 
Nathas-iel Sichel, born at Mainz in 1844, has been a rather prolific producer of " his 
torical " pictures after the usual manner, subjects chosen for no reason in the world but be 
cause they offered good histrionic opportunities, and treated accordingly — but of late years 
he has lived in Paris and gone extensively into the painting of good-looking models, or rather 
of models dressed in a bewildering variety of costumes of all nations — the so-called "Medi- 
tation," which we copy, for example. They have all the mechanical cleverness to which we 
are accustomed nowadays, and no doubt, since they are supplied in such quantities, there 
must be a demand for them, but when the spectator has seen one of them, he has seen all. 

XII. 

ALFEED SEIFEET'S " In Memoriam " is, in spite of its title, to be reckoned little more 
i- than what the Germans call, "a costume-picture"; by which they mean a subject 
chosen mainly with reference to its suitability for picturesque treatment; for the sake of 
showing off the dress of men and Avomen of some by-gone age, when dress played more of a 
part in keeping up the distinctions of rank than it does to-day; or, for creating a showy effect 
by the display of handsome furniture, rich draperies and hangings, and costly things in gen- 
eral It is not, perhaps, too much to say, that three-fourths of the pictures that supply the 
German market, at home and abroad, belong to this class. In this regard, the contrast be- 
tween the state of things in France and that in Germany is as amusing as it is striking. In 
France, the artist chooses his subject, in nine cases out of ten, for the opportunity it gives him, 

" To twitch the Nymph's last garment off " 
or, in any case to rid his model of as much clothing as possible. Pictures of the nude are as 
common in France as they are rare in Germany. Indeed, we should be almost justified in 
saying that as the French consider the painting of the nude the highest test (as it certainly 
is) of an artist's skill, so no artist thinks he has earned a right to sit among the elect until he 
has proved himself a master in that field. 



204 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

With the Germans, on the contrary, ever since the beginning of tlieir art, the tendency 
has been to muffle-up and swathe their models in bountiful clothing. Diirer often carries this 
to excess, but his predecessors, Wohlgemuth and Schonganer, far surpassed him in the ampli- 
tude of the draperies that seem to overburden and weigh down their personages. That this 
was not wholly the fancy of the artist, is made probable by the numerous publications of the 
time; the " costume-books " — answering in some way to our collections of " fashion-plates "—of 
Hollar, Jost Amman, and Holbein, to mention the best known, where we are impressed with 
the weighty look of the dresses, and the solidity of their manufacture. We are sometimes 
struck with the same thing in the early sculpture ; a curious example is shown in some of the 
monumental effigies of the Cathedral church of Naumberg, where several of the personages 
are covered with large and ample cloaks having the broad collar turned up about the neck of 
the wearer, and the garment held closed vsdth one hand as if to ward off the cold. In the 
most of these cases the folds of the cloaks are managed with great dignity and simplicity, free 
from the miiltiplied and tormented crinkly folds of the early German painters ; but the intro- 
duction of the standing collar, and the action of the hands, still keeps up the personal, indi- 
vidual note, the constant obtrusion of which serves to mark the line that separates the German 
from the Classic spirit. 

The German artists of to-day who employ their time in painting costume-pictures, would 
seem, as a general thing, to prefer the dress and belongings of the sixrteenth-century in their own 
country; although not a few have devoted themselves with more or less fidelity to the classic 
world of Greece and Rome, while others find a fruitful field in the late Italian Renaissance. 
Recently, with the revival of the interest in the Rococo or Baroque style of the eighteenth- 
century, a few artists have found it profitable to supply a houdoir and saZo^i-demand for 
"conversation-parties," "musicales," birth-day festivals, and other subjects of like nature, 
where powdered hair, and garlanded petticoats, and high-heeled shoes, and all the parapher- 
nalia of the heau monde that delighted the souls of abbes and marquises, and dames galantes 
is once more brought upon the stage to delight a world as frivolous as their own. 

Seifert's picture shows us a young lady dressed in a style recalling that which Durer's 
pictures and those of his contemporaries have made familiar. Seifert's rendering of it is not 
very accurate ; it is rather a studio-costume than a street rendering of the dress of Durer's 
time. But, like Sichel, one of whose pictures we reproduced a few pages back, Seifert is 
more anxious to make a pleasing picture than to be commended for his archaeology, and he 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



205 



chooses this particular dress, partly for its oddity, and partly because lie knows the taste of 
a goodly number of his countrymen for something that savors of the past. One thing, how- 




■'IN MEMORIAM." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY ALFRED SEIFERT. 



ever, eludes the skill of most modern artists who attempt this putting of new wine into old 
bottles. They show great cleverness in painting the dress and the belongings of past ages; 



2o6 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

but, thougli they can inform us with, in general, trustworthy accuracy, just how a Greek, or a 
Roman, or a person of the sixteenth-century dressed, they seldom show us the face that went 
with the dress. Thus, in Seifert's picture, here given, the model is distinctly a person of our 
own time, dressed up for purely pictorial reasons, in a sixteenth century costume, or one re- 
sembling it. It is not easy to define the difference, nor to show in what it consists ; but it is 
most certain that the difference exists ; and the conditions known on which life is held in 
a given country at any one time — the climate, the government (whether a restrictive and 
tyrannical one, or a free and liberal system) the state of society ; these things known, it might 
be possible for an acute observer, a Diderot or a Herbert Spencer, to predicate something as 
to what manner of man would be the result. 

However, the general jDublic cares very little for these refinements, and the young men 
especially, for whose pleasure pictures like this of Seifert's and others of the same sort are 
painted, will be indifferent to everything but the fact that, here is a girl with a very pretty 
face, as faces go, sweet and intelligent, dressed in a becoming costume, and occupied with a 
duty that adds to her material attractions, the charms of sentiment r.nd religious feeling. It 
is All-Souls' Day, and this maiden among others is going to the graves of her friends, to deck 
them with wreaths and flowers. We catch a glimpse of the church-wall, and of the iron 
crosses on some of the graves, but it must be admitted that in the face of the girl herself, there 
is little expression to suggest the sad errand she is upon. This, however, is characteristic of 
the costume-picture. The expression of grief, or pain, or any other emotion that would 
disturb the repose of the features, and, by so doing, make them less agreeable to the adoles- 
cent public, will be caref^^lly avoided by any artist with a keen eye to the market, and, as in 
this case, the necessary ingredients of melancholy or sadness will be supplied by the subor- 
dinate details ; the church-wall aforesaid, the grave-crosses, and the funeral wreath (not too 
obtrusive) in the hand of the fair mourner ! One can easily imagine an order given to the 
painter by an enthusiastic admirer of pretty girls, for a replica of this very picture — " More 
cheerful, you know, sir; nothing sad, now, no reference to death or disagreeables of any 
sort ! " — and the painter with commercial alacrity, whisking-out the church and the grave- 
crosses, and the funeral- wreath, but leaving the face and figure of the girl untouched ; then 
putting in a busy background of street and houses, and people, and calling the picture " Home 
from the Flower-market ! " Every one familiar with pictures knows that such transforma- 
tions are of every-day occurrence. 




o ^ 



i 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



207 



In "The Mourner," by Edmund Harburger, a picture owned we believe by the Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, we have a work of a very different quality from that of Seifert. This 
has been painted with the distinct purpose of expressing a certain sentiment by the whole 
contents of the artist's canvas, not merely by some subordinate details. And the success 
obtained is noteworthy, although from what we learn of the artist's practice we should not 
have looked for anything so serious. Harburger, who was born at Eichstadt, in 1846, was 
employed in a builder's office until he was twenty, when he went to Munich, and studied with 




"THE MOURNER." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY EDMUND HARBURGER. 



Lindenschmidt. His principal field of work has been the comic journal the "Fliegende 
Blatter," for which he has made many illustrations, but it is evident he has powers that do 
not find room for their full exercise in that journal, clever as it is. Nor, when we read the 
list of the pictures by which the artist is principally known— "The Beer-drinker," " The 
Village Barber," "The Education of Bacchus,'-' "The Young Venetian -girl," etc., etc., do we 
understand how the painter of such trivial and conventional subjects can also have produced 
a picture like the present, so full of deep and solemn feeling expressed in so natural and un- 
conventional a style. There is no attempt on the artist's part to dress up his theme in 



2o8 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

borrowed robes. He has taken such a room as may be found in a hundred Bavai'ian houses 
of the better class of peasants, and painted it as he saw it, in its furniture and general aspect, 
only throwing over it the charm born of the eye that can see its artistic possibilities. In the 
twilight hour, a widow in her cottage sits in the high-backed arm-chair that gives its German 
title to the picture (" Im Sorgenstuhl "), and leaning her head on her hand meditates upon her 
lot. Tlie fading light of day coines in through the window sunk in the embrasure of the 
thick wall, and striking upon the snowy table-cloth spread for the evening meal, lights up the 
wall behind the lonely woman, making more gloomy by contrast the dark chair on which she 
sits, and her dark dress only relieved by the white cap and cuffs, and the handkerchief that 
from time to time must dry her tears. The bird is silent in its cage, the cat sleeps on the chair 
where, a while ago, the vridow sat, looking OTit upon the busy village street; only the sound 
of the ticking clock, and occasionally the crackling fagots on the hearth break the quiet of 
the hour, sacred to memory and holy thoughts. ISTothing could be simpler than the composi- 
tion; there are no incidents, there is no by-play; but in the harmony between the attitude of 
the mourning woman, and the large lines and masses of the picture, we are reminded of some 
of the Dutcli masters. 

WiLHELM Kray, whose " Love Wakes while Age Sleeps " makes such a contrast with the 
latest pictures of our list, was born at Berlin— a cold cradle for such a romancer as he — and 
he would appear to have got as far away from it as he could on the first opportunity, speeding 
to Rome and Venice, and bringing up at Vienna, where, at present, he lives and works. His 
subjects in general are of the same character as that of the picture we copy: " The Mermaid 
and the Fisher-boy " (Das Wasser rauscht, das Wasser schwoll "), " Night on the Bay of 
Naples," " The Dance of the Will o' the Wisp," " Undine " — and he treats them with much 
playful freedom, and with as much earnestness as the theme admits of. The present picture 
has for title, " The Waves of the Sea and of Love " (" Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen "), and 
seems to to imply a " moral " — but in fact we suppose that just at present there is no danger 
from either quarter. The old father of this pretty hsher-maiden has gone confidingly to sleep, 
and is giving his mind to it with such a will that he does not heed an occasional ducking from 
an unruly wave. Meantime the young man presses his suit under what nn;st be allowed 
extremely favorable circumstances, and with an earnestness that no one can have the heart to 
blame him for, who can fancy himself in the same circumstances. The young fellow himself 
looks, we fear, dangerously like a marine Don Juan, but the maiden's face is reassuring; she 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 209 

is apparently quite certain of herself, and pleasingly aware of the neighborhood of her papa. 
As for the probabilities of all this we are no more concerned than Kray himself. What that 
audacious iconoclast, Mr. Mark Twain, who has recently been slaying Raphael over again, and 
following the other critics in laughing at his " boat " in the cartoons— what our Connecticut 
Ruskin would say to Mr. Kray's boat, we do not know; perhaps he would say that for the 
innocents who are abroad in it, the boat is quite good enough. The picture ought to tempt 
Mr. Stockton to write a story about it; the adventure is every bit as preposterous as any one 
of his own inventing. 

Next to " Costume-Becker," Julius Beyschlag is the most prolific purveyor to the taste 
for such pictures among his countrymen that we have thus far met-with. He was born at Nord- 
Ungen in 1838, and studied in Munich with Philipp Foltz, travelling afterward for a while in 
Italy and visiting Paris. He is essentially a costume-painter, making no pretence of high-art, 
or high aims of any sort, more than industry and honest doing of the tasks he undertakes, can 
give him a right to claim. His name has been widely spread by the aid of photography and 
wood-engraving in the illustrated journals : he appears to be a welcome guest in these sheets, 
and in the portfolios of the dealers as well. It is difficult to choose among the hundreds of 
his designs that have been published, because one is as good as another, and there is nothing 
really interesting in any of them, while at the same time it must be admitted that the artist 
knows his public, and succeeds in making pictures that in the aggregate give a good deal of 
pleasure, year in and year out, to an audience who ask for nothing more than picturesque 
costumes, pretty faces, and an agreeable landscape-setting for the personages of the artists' 
small domestic dramas. The " Coming from the Baptism," is a pure piece of picture-making: 
these people having reaUy no errand in this year of gTace but to show off gowns that have 
been cut on the old pattern of Nuremberg, Basle, or Augsburg, found in Holbein's or Diirer's 
picture-books. We must think that the older woman who is pretending to hold what we are 
asked to accept as a baby, is, as one might say, " rather queer "in her drawing; her head 
appears to have been lef t Jiehind^ her body, and though we make no pretence to expert 
knowledge on the subject, we feel confident that no real woman would hold a real baby in this 
fashion. The younger woman, too, who washes us to think she is looking at the baby, is really 
doing nothing of the sort, and if she coulA see it as well as we can, she would not wish to see 
it at all. As for the costumes of the wom^n, they are neither right nor wrong; the artist has 
not followed his painted or engraved oripnals with accuracy, nor would he appear to have 



2IO ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

gone to the trouble, as so many modern artists do, to have careful copies made of the old 
costumes, and painting from them. For ourselves, we confess to caring nothing whatever for 
these modern reproductions of old things ; the pictures that are the result of all the infinite 
pains bestowed on their preparation, seem to us mere curiosities, idle toys; and in very few 
cases does the artist succeed in putting life into his work after he has finished it. The news- 
paper-writers have told us how hard Meissonier works, sparing neither money, time, nor 
patience, in getting up his historical pictures ; ransacking Paris for a button, a shoulder-strap, 
a hat, or a pair of breeches, and yet, when these tithes of mint, anise, and cummin are paid to 
the god of accuracy, the weightier matters of the law are too often forgotten, and we miss the 
life, that, if we could find it, would make all this pedantry of straps and buttons ridiculous. 

Beyschlag has found the material for his studies of costume in this picture from two 
drawings by Albert Diirer, published in fac-simile in 1871, on the occasion of the four-hun- 
dredth anniversary of his birth. The young woman at the left is lifting her over-skirt and 
sho^ving the rich embroidered petticoat just as the lady in Diirer's drawing is doing, and the 
head-dress of the older woman and her peculiar over-skirt are found in another of the draw- 
ings referred to, although Beyschlag has exaggerated the character of the folds. It is inter- 
esting (to those who care for such trifles!) to find in Diirer's picture the " accordion " pleating 
of to-day faithfully represented. In Beyschlag's picture, the over-skirt of the niirse is rather 
like the stuffs which Mr. Millet, in those interesting lectures of his on Greek and Roman 
costumes, used to prepare by rolling them up very tight and hard when damp, and unrolling 
them when he came to drape his model. The reader will, we hope, pardon these details ; it is 
not useless, once in a while, to take these made-up compositions to pieces and see how they are 
put together. It is seldom done with skill, and never affords, not even when it is best done, 
more than a brief satisfaction. Two of the greatest masters in this mosaic-work in our day 
are Baron Leys, and Alma Tadema his pupil. Baron Leys wasted great talent and splendid 
opportunities in painting picture that are already passed into the category of curiosities, and 
are on their way to neglect and oblivion; and Alma Tadema, with all his skill, Avhich is un- 
deniably great, can have no enduring hold on those who ask for something more at an artist's 
hands, that the perpetual imitation of things. 

The other picture by Beyschlag, '' The Father's Return," shows him in a somewhat more 
agreeable aspect, for though this is really as much a " costume-picture " as the Baptism — and, 
indeed, Beyschlag never paints anything else — yet there is here a little more of a story to 




"COMING FROM THE BAPTISM." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY JULIUS BEYSCHLAG 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 211 

tell, and more variety of incident. There is a select set of artists at tlie present day who make 
a great deal of fun over pictures with a story; one Avould think, to hear them talk, and to 
mark the fine scorn with which they consign the whole tribe to limbo, that pictures with a 
story were.an invention of modern times, like sewing-machines, railroads, patent cow-milkers, 
and new-spapers, instead of being as they are, of course, coeval with the art of painting. This 
is such a mere truism, that one would be ashamed to take the time needed to set it down, 
were it not for the fact we have mentioned that some among our cleverest artists profess to 
have found some other reason for painting than to record their observations of nature or their 
experiences of human life. These discoverers talk and write a great deal about " technique," 
and " brush-work," " values," " methods," etc., etc., in a jargon as unintelligible to the world 
at large as that of medical-men, chemists, or stock-brokers; they dwell entirely in the externals 
of their art, and have, or profess to have, no interest in the contents of a picture, unless the 
execution be in a style that answers to their notion of what " painting " should be. Of course 
such notions are really confined to a small circle, but the pity is that, here it is the best men 
we have who indulge in such heresies; for, heresies they are, let who will defend them. It is 
no doubt, true, that the first duty of an artist as a professional man, is to know how to paint, 
carve, or design— according to the field he has chosen; in other words, he must know his 
trade. But, for the general public, what is of the most importance is that he should have 
somethfeig to say. If what the artists have to communicate be interesting, it is enough for 
the pleasure of the majority if he can contrive to make it intelligible. Let him paint as well 
as he may, the extent of his public will depend far more upon the interest he is able to excite 
in what he has to say, than upon the technical excellence of his work. 

To return from our digression to Beyschlag's " The Father's Return; " it is certainly easy 
to understand why such a picture should be popular, and why its popularity should be proof 
against the strictures of the professed critic. It is a simple story told for simple-hearted 
people who are not expected to care for the principles of art, but who will be interested in 
this picture, because it puts into a romantic form, with an appeal to their imagination, a 
domestic experience that has as many manifestations as there are modes of human life. The 
return of every kind of father has an interest (either of attraction or repulsion) to his par- 
ticular family; but it cannot be said, that all of them, if painted, would have tlie same interest 
for the world at large. Therefore we have no end of Sailor's Eeturns, Soldier's Eeturns (the 
modern variety), with Warrior's Returns (for the antique or medijeval expression) and corre- 



212 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

spondiug Farewells— all of wliicli used to be painted in pairs, and sold as sucli, and Mr. Bey- 
schlag's picture here presented takes its natural place in the series. We confess to finding 
the "Father" in this case a rather wooden personage: he seems to find some difficulty in 
keeping his right leg in his boot, and has, we may suspect, the air of being a victim to loco- 
motor ataxia, but the other members of the family are less open to criticism. The young 




"the FATHER'S RETURN." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY JULIUS BEYSCHLAG. 

daughter is a pleasing womanly figure as she looks up lovingly at her father, holding the 
nosegay of flowers that he would take from her were not one hand occupied with cordially 
grasping the hand of his comely wife, and the other with supporting the baby -daughter sit- 
ting on his arm. In front of the group the son and heir, a pretty child in velvet doublet and 
Ibreeches with hat-and-feather, is proudly marching off, trundling his father's sword. 
" To a tuue by fairies played." 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



213 



All are on their way to the castle, preceded at some distance by the mounted man-at-arms 
leading his master's horse, who extends a greeting to the two serving-women sitting waiting 
for the coming of the family under the branches of the old oak. The warden has lowered the 
drawbridge, and stands at guard in the shadow of the portal; from a window in the donjon- 
tower a banner is idly flapping in the air, and two women by the parapet of the moat-bridge 
are waiting the arrival, one sitting on the grass, the other shading her eyes with her hand as 
she spies the approaching party. 

Ferdinand Theodoe Hildebeandt, the painter of " A Warrior and his Child," was born 
at Stettin in 1804, and died ia 1874. He studied at Berlin under von Schadow, and went with 
that master to Diisseldorf, where he took charge of the Academy there. Afterward Hildebrandt 
settled in Diisseldorf, and is considered one of the best artists of that school. He painted the 
stock subjects: "Othello Telling His Adventures," "Romeo and Juliet," "Judith and Holo- 
fernes," " The Death of the Children of Edward," etc., etc., but he occasionally stepped out- 
side the consecrated bounds and invented — if this be not too large a word for the occasion — 
subjects of his own ; " Children Around a Christmas Tree," " Children in a Boat," " Choir-boys 
at Vespers," and, among many others of a like kind, the present painting. There is little in 
this picture to remark upon; a soldier of the mediaeval time has his little boy upon his knee, 
and is apparently giving him some religious instructions, if we may judge by the raised fore- 
finger and the Bible on the window-ledge with its mark at the New Testament, where perhaps 
he has been reading him one of the parables. The sentiment of the picture is pleasing enough, 
and the listening aspect of the child clinging to his father's gorget and dreamily smiling as 
he follows his words, is rendered with simple feeling. Where the main of the picture is so 
good it would. doubtless be hypercriticism to note, that the suit-of -armor hanging on the wall 
is apparently too small for any grown person, although the sword that hangs with it is of the 
right size; the handle of the inevitable beer-mug, too, could in this case hardly be grasped by 
our doughty warrior's hand. These points are, after all, not unimportant; they detract from 
the truthfulness of the general effect and seem to indicate a want of correctness in the artist's 
eye. 

Julius Benczue, the painter of " Forsaken," is a native of Hungary, born in 1844 at 
Nyiregyhaza. When yet a child his parents removed to Kaschau, where he had better advan- 
tages for education in the excellent high-school, and improved his time so well that by the ad- 
vice of friends who thought they saw signs of uncommon talent in the lad, he was sent to 



214 AKT AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

Munich to stiidj^ art. He was at first the pupil in the academy of Hiltensperger and Anschiitz 
and later entered the studio of Piloty. Here he became intimate with his fellow pupil Gabriel 




"A WARRIOR AND HIS CHILD." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY FERDINAND HILDEBRANDT. 



Max, whose sister he afterward married. After an extended tour in Hungary, South Germany, 
France, and Upper Italy, he settled in Munich, where he lives and works at present. His field 




"FORSAKEN." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY JULIUS BENCZUR. 



\ 



i 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 215 

of work is chiefly historical painting: he made a number of pictures for the late King of Bava- 
ria, treating mostly scenes from French history connected with the life of Louis XV. and Louis 
XVI. He has also painted several subjects drawn from the history of his native Hungary, 
which have won him considerable reputation. The jDictnre we copy was sent to the Munich 
Exhibition of 1883. The subject explains itself so far as we see a woman, young and meant 
for handsome, who, in some sore strait, abandoned doubtless by lover or husband, has sought, 
consolation on the bosom of this somewhat severe mother in her church. Her rich attire of 
lace and satin contrasts with the austere habit of the nun who holds her hands softly in hers, 
and waits in calm assurance until the first tempest of passion and grief shall have subsided, 
before she speaks the words of faith and trust, born of her own experience, and fortified by the 
prayer-book that she was reading when her imhappy sister entered. On the missal lies a 
spray of willow-catkins, first-fruits of spring; and haply from this symbol of life reviving 
after the death of winter, this daughter of a church that lives by symbols, may draw some 
fresh consolation — better than old books can offer — for the wounded heart that now lies 
broken and desolate upon her heart, that perhaps has known its own bitterness and found the 
remedy in days long gone by. 

Gabriel Max, the painter of the " Penitent Madgalen," and the " Visit to the Fortune- 
teller," is the son of the sculptor, Joseph Max, with whom he worked as an assistant until the 
death of the latter in 1855. Gabriel was born at Prague in 1840, and after his father's death 
he studied in the Academy of his native town until 1858. He then went to Vienna, where he 
worked for three years in the Academy, and became so deeply interested in music that he 
attempted to embody the ideas of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and other masters in a series of 
drawings which had a great success and created a wide interest in the young artist. His next 
achievement was the painting of the Martyr Julia, a supposed victim of the Roman persecu- 
tion, who was shown in Ms picture nailed to the cross, while a young Eoman, passing by, 
takes the rose-wreath from his head and lays it at her feet. This picture of pure sensation, 
made, of course, a great impression in Munich— the hot-bed of this vicious art, where the 
greatest extravagances are sure of the warmest welcome, and Max was not the man to hide his 
talent under a bushel. One scene of melodrama followed another: "The Last Token," a girl 
in the arena stooping to pick up a rose flung to her by her lover, while round her— 

"Eamp'd and roar'd the lions, with horrid, laughing jaws;" 
"The Melancholy Nun " brooding over joys fled or un tasted; the inevitable "Gretchenf' 



2i6 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

" Juliet " in her feigned deatli-sleep, with, oh, most touching symbol of a woman's abandon- 
ment to grief — -a hair-pin, lying conspicuous on the coverlid! Then, the " Lion's Bride," after 




"THE PENITENT MAGDALEN." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY GABRIEL MAX. 



von Chamlsso's j)oem; then " Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew, Looking at a Dead Child; " the 
" Child-murderess," and " Christ Bringing-back to Life the Daugher of Jairus," where, that 



' ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. -217 

no doubting Tliomas may question her death, the artist has, with exquisite taste, placed a 
corrupting liy already fastened upon her arm ! 




'CONSULTING THE FORTUNE-TELLER." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY GABRIEL MAX. 



. What it is that pleases in Gabriel Max, it would be hard to say. Beyond a certain arti- 
ficial clearness of coloring, as if he used wax for a medium, and a choice of morbid colors, that 



21 8 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

degenerates into mannerism, there is little in his execution that would seem suited to please 
artists, and it might be thought that even the public would tire of the sensational subjects 
he delights in. His drawing is clumsy and careless ; his forms heavy, his power of facial ex- 
pression almost nothing— yet, for a time, he seemed likely to become a power in the art- world. 
The subjects we have selected show him in as favorable a light as could be contrived; "The 
Penitent Magdalen," is a sweet-faced model, as capable of moral emotion as a canary-bird, and 
the drawing of her arm, huge beyond reason, and of the hand with its impossible finger, shows 
the carelessness of the artist, when seen undisguised by the luxurious morbidness of his palette. 
The " Consulting the Fortune-teller," is, like all the artist's subjects, one chosen out of pure in- 
difference, with the result that the spectator's indifference matches the artist's ! The only 
curiosity we feel is, as to w^hat this old woman will make out of the object she appears to be ex- 
amining — whether she will finally decide that it is, really, a hand ; and Avhether her chiromancy 
will prove equal to reading the lines of life in a member that could never have been alive. 

XIII. 

HERMAJS'lS' KAULBACH, the painter of " The Tower- warden," is the son of Wilhelm 
Kaulbach (see p. 35), and was born at Munich in 1846. There are now three artists 
of the name of Kaulbach living and working in Germany : Friedrich, distinguished as a por- 
trait-painter, a nephew and pupil of Wilhelm (the chief of the family), born in 1822 at Arolsen; 
Friedrich August, his son, portrait and genre j)ainter, born in 1850 at Hanover, and Her- 
mann, of whom Ave are now to speak. After completing a course of study at the University of 
Munich, he took up painting as a profession, and entered the studio of Piloty. After leaving 
that master, he made his Wandering- year in Italy, and after his return, settled down in 
Munich, where he has since continued to live and to paint. His pictures are distinguished 
for the technical skill they display and for the finish of the details, which, nevertheless, is not 
allowed to usurp an undue place, but is always kept in proper subordination to the subject. 
Some of his historical pictures are " Louis XI. and his Barber, Olivier le Dain, at Peronne ; " 
" The Children's Confession ; " " Hansel and Grethel with the Witch," — from one of Grimm's 
stories — " The Last Moments of Mozart," and " Sebastian Bach with Frederick the Great and 
Turmfalken." Our picture shows the artist in one of his more playful moods; he has imag- 
ined a scene which is a good many thousand years older than the far-away mediaeval times in 




"THE TOWER-WARDEN." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY HERMANN KAULBACH. 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



2ig 



whicli he has chosen to place it, and which will probably renew itself an innumerable number 
of times before the sun shall have kept faith with the scientific men, and turned into an ice- 
berg. The Warden keeping his traditional post of watchman on the old tower that has 
outlived the stormy scenes of its youth, has amused himself as he best could through the 
long sunny hours of the morning; now trying an arrow upon the birds that circle round the 
turret, now watching what life of man or beast might chance be stirring in the village below 
him, or what boats might put out upon the distant lake. And time has hung heavier on his 
hands for knowing that it must be noon before Gretchen will climb the tower-stair to bring 
him his bowl of porridge, and to ask his help in stringing the clothes-line, and hanging out the 
wash ! But she has come at last, and now the birds may circle the tower at their will, or 
stream out from its toj)most weather-vane like a pennon ; and the people in the village street 
may come and go as they please, for Rudolf has business in hand, that interests him much 
more than mere birds or villagers ! Many and many a day has Rudolf enjoyed these meet- 
ings with the pretty daughter of his friend and companion, the warden of the castle, and often 
has he watched for an opportunity to tell her what lay nearest to his heart. But, though she 
has given him chances enough, of which perhaps a younger man would have been quick to 
avaU himself, it is only to-day tliat he has plucked up courage to whisper in her ear the secret 
hope, that has long kept youth and he from parting company. The lucky moment came just 
as he had fastened one end of the clothes-line to the staple that, with its fellow on the other 
side of the embrasure in the wall, served, in less peaceful times, to hold the oaken shutters 
that sheltered the besieged while they shot their arrows at the besiegers. As he turns to slip 
down from the stone ledge on which he was sitting that he might fasten the cord at the other 
side of the platform, he finds himself close to Gretchen, who had been paying out the line 
from its reel, and the next minute he has caught one of her hands in his, and drawn her 
to his side, and whispered such an old-time tale of love-making in her ear, that before the 
clothes are half hung up, she has promised to marry him if her father will consent. While 
thus playing with the ai-tist's subject, and trying our hand at translating it into words, we 
must confess to an unwillingness to accept the details of his picture as in all cases correct. 
Thus the costume of the young woman, whom we have, out of hand, christened Gretchen, is 
certainly too modern, and we are sure no " girl of the period " would ever have gone up to the 
platform of the castle tower to hang out the week's wash, clad in such a gown as this, lying 
in folds about her feet. And the fashion of it is incorrect— not merely in the details, but in 



2 20 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

general; it does not belong to the time. And this is the less excusable because we know so 
well, from countless pictures and engravings, and other sources, just how j)eople in Germany 
dressed at the period indicated by the dress of the man; though, even in his case, we should 
question whether such an amount of cross-gartering were ever thought necessary to hold 
one's sandals on one's feet. It is not hypercriticism to notice points like these in such a 
picture as the present, for it assumes to be a picture of manners at a given time, and with all 
the knowledge on the subject at one's easy command in these days, no excuses for inaccuracy 
can be accepted. 

" The Pishermaiden " of Friedrich August Kaulbach is a j)icture that recalls, in its 
own way, the treatment of such subjects, which perhaps we may be permitted to class under 
the head of "rural," by the painters of the Rococo; by VVatteau, Fragonard, Boucher, and 
the rest. AVhat it amounts-to is nothing of more value than a pretty masquerading; the 
dressing-up of comely young maidens in the guise of peasants, milk-women, flower-sellers, 
and flshermaidens with no other intention than to please the fancy. Kaulbach's Fisher- 
maiden may be compared with the well-known picture by the late Feyen-Perrin, "Les 
Cancalaises," where a flock of pretty Parisian models with dainty figures, delicate com- 
plexions, and fine feet and hands are tripping over the sands at even-tide laden with baskets 
of oysters. Kaulbach's " Fishermaiden " is not quite of the same breed; she is rather made 
to suit the German taste for a sturdier type of womanhood, but she is none the less city-bred, 
and her head, at least, is of a type that would suit a more dignified subject. However, there 
is no doubt that too much questioning is out of place in dealing with pictures of this char- 
acter. They are meant only to amuse, or to serve a decorative purpose; we can easily imagine 
that a large dining-room, in some handsome restaurant or hotel, would be much enlivened by 
panels filled with graceful figures such as this, of young men and maidens: 

Much too good 

For human nature's food 

engaged in ofiiering to the guests the different raw materials of the biU-of-fare. AVe think we 
should much prefer such a decoration to the well-worn classic nyrai)hs, goddesses, or genii 
who are usually employed for this purpose. Frankly acknowledged as a compromise be- 
tween fact and fancy, the artist might successfully stave off the troublesome questions of a 
Gradgrind who should insist on asking, what this buxom maiden is doing all alone on this 
barren shore; whether this boat, stranded high and dry on the bank, is hers; and whether in 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



tMs matter-of-fact, prosaic world of ours, it is to be looked upon as quite in the natural 
course of things that fish should be offered us in this summary way by pretty girls, as we 




"THE FISHERMAIDEN." 
FROM THE PICTURE BY HERMANN KAULBACH. 



take our morning-stroll on the beach, for all the world as if the cold, clammy, slippery things 
were fresh-cut roses! And, indeed, there is a merry twinkle in Piscatoria's eye as if she were 
laughing to herself at Gradgrind's dulness! 



222 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME 

Marc Louis Benjajiiis^ Vautier, tlie painter of "At Churcli," one of tlie most widely 
poijular, as a designer, of tlie school whicli Knau.s, Defregger, Schmid, and others have done 
so much to establish in the public favor, was born in 1829 at Morges, a brisk commercial 
town in the Canton Vaiid, on the northern side of the Lake of Geneva, not far from Lausanne. 
He was educated at Geneva, and on leaving school he worked for two years as a painter of 
enamels for the jewellers; but in 1849 he took up the study of painting under a local artist 
Lugardon. Feeling the need of better instruction, he went in 1850 to Diisseldorf , then, out- 
side of Paris, the principal art-school in Europe, when after a short course at the Academy 
he became the pupil of Rudolph Jordan. He made his wandering-year in the Black-forest 
and in Switzerland, and spent a year in Paris, but returned to 
Diisseldorf, where he has since continued to live, and work. 
His pictures are found in the miiseums of Berlin and Dresden 
as well as in private collections in Europe, and here in Amer- 
ica. In the collection of Mr. John Taylor Johnston, now un- 
happily dispersed, was his " Music-Lesson," and Mr. William 
T. "Walters, of Baltimore, owns the " Consulting his Lawyer," 
and in Mr. George I. Seney's collection was an excellent ex- 
ample "Bringing Home the Bride." Vautier's subjects are 
almost exclusively dra\vn from the peasant-life of Westphalia, 
MARC l'bTautier Bavarla, and the Rhine provinces, and he has been much 

praised for the acuteness of his observation, shoAvn by the clear way in which he discrimi- 
nates between the characteristics of the diiferent populations. "There is nothing superfi- 
cial," says Wilhelm Lubke, " in his treatment of the scenes from the peasant-life which he 
depicts. He never puts us off with costumes for character. On the contrary, the different 
individualities of his personages are forcibly expressed not only in their faces but in their 
figures and their gestures, and this individuality controls every detail. Vautier knows, and 
makes us perceive, that the wine-merchant of the Rhine differs from the beer-merchant of 
Bavaria, and the cit, the Spiessburger — the German equivalent for the contemptuous French 
epicier — differs again from both these." 

Something of this excellence is discoverable in the jjicture we copy. "In Church," 
represents a Sunday morning in some village church in Swabia, Avhere only the dress of the 
peasant-flock of worshippers, and the character of their heads, differentiates the scene from 




ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 223 

what we may see in a hundred places in Protestant Germany and Holland. Here-and-there 
in Holland— the sight is common enough— we have seen the short rod of the sexton in our 
picture with its bag for collecting the offering, amusingly replaced, among that half-aquatic 
fishing-population, by a prodigiously long fishing-rod with a similar bag at the end, which was 
kept bobbing over the heads of the people; the persistent angler reaching even the most shy 
and sheltered denizen of the pews, and waiting with the patience of a born fisherman until the 
tricky penny shall let itself be taken. Here, in the Swabian church, the sexton has his 
victims at short range; he has pocketed his dues from all but one of them, and he, if we may 
judge by the action of his head, is looking in his wallet for the needed penny. Yautier has, 
certainly, not flattered his sitters; they are a hard-featured and not very intelligent set, and 
it is plain that the young boy in the foreground is growing up to be like the rest of them. 
With his hat in one hand, he seems to be waiting with dogged patience for the moment when 
he can be let free, but in the mean while he is tethered, as it were, to his father's big cane and 
there is nothing for it but to submit. The most pleasing part of the picture and that which 
explains its popularity, is the row of women, sitting by themselves, as is the time-honored 
custom in all the older churches. The old grandmother, in her queer bonnet with its lace fall 
shading her face as she follows the words of the hymn in her book, has the seat of honor in 
fhe stall, handsomely carved by the rude skill of some village genius. Her book, too, is a 
handsomer one than the rest, with its clasps, and its case that lies in her lap on its cover, in 
which the whole is wrapped-up and laid aside in the drawer of her press, on week-days. 
How persistent are these minor fashions, that, seemingly, a jjart of the old-world order of 
things, come to the surface again in later times with a new face adapted to new manners! In 
old pictures, particularly in those of the early Flemish masters, we see the sacred personages, 
the Virgin or the saints, reading in illuminated missals richly bound, and protected by covers 
of embroidered or brocaded silk. An example of this will be found in the once beautiful, but 
now hopelessly damaged picture, attributed too confidently to Hans Memling, in the Bryan 
Collection in the New York Historical Society. This was at a time when books were all 
written by hand, and were consequently very precious and treated with great care. And the 
custom held for some time, and from being merely a precautionary measure, for the safe- 
keeping of a valuable possession, became a symbol of sanctity; and printed Bibles and prayer- 
books, of no great money-value, were for some time longer protected with cases and covers, 
until, by the vulgarizing influence of printing, the custom was given up ; as people cease always 



224 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

to take mucli care of tilings that can be replaced at a wish. Now, again, with the revival of 
so many old customs, taken np as fads by people in search of novelties, we have this one 
restored to favor, and prayer-books, missals, and hymnals in their dainty morocco or velvet 
cases, with gold or silver clasps (the cases of far more money- value, often, than the book they 
protect — since these are seldom well-printed or on good paper). Gift-books, too, are common, 
in loose covers of silk or velvet, embroidered by the fair hands of the giver; and, of late, 
publishers send out book after book with a false cover of paper, repeating, in text and device, 
the design of the true cover, which for the time being it protects from the wear and tear of 
the shop-counter. But our old grandame's book has kept us too long from her matronly 
daughter at her side and her younger grand-children beyond, the elder a pretty girl of 
sixteen; while beyond these still is another family of three; a grandmother, not so old as the 
one who sits nearest us, and who puts on her spectacles to follow the hymn, in the book 
which her daughter is holding before the baby-grandchild, who plays at reading in it for 
herself. 

In this picture we find the artist essaying a task, the representation of the act of singing, 
in. which he had been preceded by three artists of note: Van Eyck in his " Saint Cecilia sur- 
rounded by Singing Angels," in the Altar-piece of Ghent; Luca Delia Robbia, in the bas- 
relief of the Singing-choir formerly in the Cathedral of Florence, now in the gallery of the 
Uffizii, and Benozzo Gozzoli, an artist of deserved repute, though far inferior to the other two, 
in his Angels singing the Gloria in Excelsis, in the Chapel of the Riccardi palace in Florence 
(one of these groups was engraved by Mr. Cole for the Century Magazine of November, 
1889). Of these three, it may be allowed that Van. Eyck has accomplished the feat aimed-at 
most scientifically, and with the least exaggeration ; we not only see that these angels of his 
are singing, by the nicely expressed action of heads, throats, and bodies, but it is hardly an 
extravagance to say that we hear them ; and some of the German critics in their enthusiasm 
insist on our believing them, when they declare that they can distinguish the very note in the 
scale that each angel is sounding. Gozzoli's picture would almost seem to have been painted 
in rivalry with Van Eyck, so marked is the effort on the artist's part to express, by bodily 
movement and gesture, the act of singing, and even the character of the emitted sounds. But 
there is a sense of exaggeration, and of self -consciousness in Gozzoli's work, that are entirely 
absent from that of Van Eyck, while at the same time there are certain features in it that 
would almost persuade us that it had been painted in rivalry with the great Fleming. Of 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



225 



the three works cited as examples of effort in the same iield in which Vautier has tried his 
hand, that of Delia Robbia is the one most likely to be recognized by our readers, since casts 
of his group of singing-boys, Avith others, dancing, and playing upon musical-instruments, are 
now often met Avith in our mnseiims, private-houses, and shops. 

In the case of Yautier's picture, the illnsion produced by the other artist we have men- 
tioned has been by no means so successfully attempted. There is no question as to the 
individuality of the several heads; each of these persons has a character of his own; they 
are plainly studied by the artist from the people in the world about him, as he saw and 
sketched them in their daily life. There is no look of the professional model about them. 
But, as for expression, Ave fear that no more of it can be found in the supposed living person- 
ages than there is in the painted ones which we dimly discern on the screen at the back of 
the choir. Four of the men — counting the one Avhose head is half hid by the old woman's 
bonnet — four of the men, and two of the Avomen, have their mouths arranged according to 
the acadeznic prescription for "singing," but the result hardly carries us farther than 
academic prescriptions in general. 

GrEOEGE HoM, bom at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1838, has shown CDUsiderable power in 
facial expression in his "A Secret! " and has also been successful in the management of the 
candle-like .effect in the same picture. As in so many German pictures of this domestic 
character of subject (and AAdio can number them!), the incident depicted is nothing in itself, 
but the artist has plainly enjoyed the narrating it. Two girls are off for bed, but Just at 
parting at the stair-head, the one Avhispers to the other the secret Avhich has been iilling her 
bosom Avith ill-repressed joy since Fritz left her at the garden-gate, an hour ago. The secret is 
plainly no neAvs to her companion, but she listens in full sympathy, and a smile of genuine 
pleasure lights up her face in serene response to the mirth that tAvinkles in the other's eyes. 
The candle-light effect in this picture is one of those feats-of-skill Avhich are always sure of 
applause from the general public, but which have long ceased to interest artists, or connois- 
seurs, because they express nothing beyond what is attainable by the patient application of 
mechanical skill. All depends however, upon Avhat is the object of the artist's skill, and 
whether he rests in the exercise of a merely mechanical facility, or produces effects that are 
beautiful in themselves. A Van Schendel. or any one of his many imitators, becomes very 
tiresome Avith his eternal market-scenes, Avhere puppet-like figures from the fashion-plates of 

the period are engaged in examining some improbable market-Av Oman's Avooden carrots, cab. 
Vol. II.— 15 ** 



226 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

bages, or fish, by the light of torches or lanterns managed with theatrical conventionality. 
But it is not the subject itseK we tire-of, it is only of Van Schendel, and his way of dealing 




"A SECRET." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY GEORGE HOM. 



with his really picturesque material, of which a Rembrandt would make something we 
should never tire-of if it were to hang before our eyes a life- long. And so even a minor 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 227 

painter, like the one whose picture we are at present considering, may turn a merely mechan- 
ical effect to good account, and give us all an honest pleasure by illuminating with his candle- 
light two human faces all aglow with the answering light of youth and innocent enjoyment. 
It is only as tricks, that effects such as we have been discussing are not considered worth 
admiring by people of mature taste. They become admirable in proportion as they serve 
some purpose higher than a display of merely mechanical skill. It is a trick, by which the 
eyes of a portrait are made to follow us round the room : it is a noble art, by which the eyes 
of a portrait are made to look into ours with an answering human look, especially if he who 
so regards us be one to meet hope with higher hope, to breathe courage to the faint in heart, 
to restore even to a momentary bloom our fading belief in virtue and heroism. In short it is 
as true in art as it is in other matters, that skill has two sides, a vulgar one, and a noble or 
beautiful one: the tricks of the every-day jaggier who breaks a watch to pieces in a mortar, 
and takes it, whole, out of the gaping spectator's pocket, or makes an omelette in the bride- 
groom's new hat and restores it to him unsoiled and fresh as he received it, are certainly not 
to be compared to the delicate fancy of the Japanese magician who plants a seed in a flower- 
pot, and when, in a moment after, it springs up, and puts forth leaves, and bursts into bloom, 
makes the butterflies he has adroitly twisted out of bits of i^aper, hover and flutter about the 
flowers and light upon them as if to feed upon their honey. The tricks of the one man 
appeal solely to our curiosity, those of the other delight our poetic sense. 

Gossow's " News " is a clever bit of anecdote-telling, Avhere, as in the case of Diez, we 
perceive a design to make the jiicture interesting as a decorative scheme; but Gossow sxic- 
ceeds better than Diez in making these two elements of more nearly equal value. Apart 
from their pictorial effect, not much is to be had from the pictures of Diez: in Gossow's 
picture we can enjoy the play of character in these four people independently of the play of 
lights-and-darks, and broken tones that make, in our plate at least, a mosaic of no little rich- 
ness. The manners of the old world differ so much from the more formal and rigid manners 
of our world, where e-s'ery man is afraid of his neighbor's criticism, that we cannot understand 
how these three people, the old grandam, her son, and her daugliter-in-law should be so much 
interested in the letter which Bettina, the servant, has just received from her sweetheart, who 
has gone to the war. So impatient is she to read it, and so eager are they to hear it, that no 
note is taken of the fact that the cabbage and the other vegetables she was sent into the 
garden to cut, have been brought into the sitting-room and put dowji upon the floor, regard- 



228 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



less, for the moment, of propriety; nobody minds it, however; nor does it matter that the 
coffee-pot and the table-cioth, the last vestiges of the breakfast, have not yet been removed. 




"news." 

from the picture by gossow. 



The letter is the thing, and as it is evident that it contains nothing but good news it shall be 
read and heard in spite of cabbages, coffee-pots, table-cloths and the proprieties in general. 




O o 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



229 



The old woman, who in her bonnet and shawl has just looked in for a chat with her daughter, 
has taken off her spectacles, and folded her gouty lingers, and fixed her face in an attitude of 
attention and is ready for a good time. Her son, who is deaf, leans over his mother and bends 
his head that he may lose no word of the letter, while his wife, in her striped woollen petticoat, 
warm jacket, and shawl, with her head prodigiously muffled up, though not to the prejudice 
of a large receptive ear, follows the narrative point by point, beating time, as it were, with her 
hand upon the table. Bettina, sitting at the corner of the table, in her working-go wti, with 
her apron pinned up, and a handkerchief over her head, reads the letter \vith a smile of 
mingled pride and affection; and when she has shared it with her friends, and received their 
congratulations on her good news, will tuck the missive inside her bodice, and go about her 
chores with a lighter heart for the rest of the day. 

Alexander "Wag^xee, the painter of " The Spanish Mail-Coach in Toledo," was bom in 
Hungary in 1838, but made his artistic studies in Munich under Karl Piloty, and has ever 
since continued to live in that city, where he holds a Professorship in the Academy of Fine 
Arts. Both in his own country and in Germany he is much esteemed as a painter of history, 
and his name has been carried into a miich wider field by his " Chariot-race," known all over 
the world by photographs and reproductions of all sorts. He has produced many scenes 
from the history of his native Hungary, as well as from that of Austria and her j^rovinces. 
The first picture that he exhibited after leaving the studio of Piloty: "Isabella Zapolya 
taking leave of Siebenburgen (Transylvania)," made a good foundation for his reputation; it 
was followed by two wall-paintings, in the Bavarian ISTational Museum at Munich, — " The 
Entrance of Gustavus Adolphus into Aschaffenburg " and " The Marriage of Otho the Great " 
—which are counted among the best of those \\\X\\ which the building is ornamented. Other 
paintings followed in rapid succession, all of them dealing with subjects of national interest, 
and insuring the popular favor, but belonging to an order of work essentially melodramatic 
and superficial, akin to the mass of " historical painting " for which his countrymen have 
such a rooted affection— shared alike by the cultivated and tlie uncultivated— but which out- 
side of Germany is by no means so indiscriminately admired. Later on, Wagner visited 
Spain, and the fruit of his travels was a large number of pictures with subjects illustrating 
the more striking and picturesque episodes in the life of that half-medijeval, half-barbaric 
land, most of which subjects were reproduced for a show-book on Spain, published in Berlin 
in 1880. " The Mail-Coach in Toledo," which we place before our readers, was one of the 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



I 



pictures engraved for tliis book; and to those who are familiar with the artist's earlier 
picture, the "Roman Chariot- Race "—and who is not?— it will be evident that the composi- 




"AT THE LAKE." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY WILHELM AMBERG 

tion and the essential spirit of the scene are to all intents and purjioses the same in the two 
works. Wagner painted the "Roman Chari ot- Race " twice ; the iirst was a small picture, 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. • 231 

now owned in England; the second, a mxich. larger work, is the one painted for the Philadel- 
phia Exposition of 1876, where it was much admired, although it is considered far inferior to 
the original painting. The subject was, however, well-suited to the larger canvas, and there 
can be no doubt that as a purely spectacular and sensational performance it deserved all the 
applause it received. It was a very vivid, and no doubt in the main true, object-lesson in 
Roman manners, and it will certainly long hold its place in popular favor by virtue of its 
spirited and energetic expression of rapid movement animating the whole scene as in real 
life, and by no means confined to the main actors. In the " Mail-Coach," the same merit is to 
be acknowledged, but the artist has been carried further, and has narrowly escaped transgress- 
ing the limits of art, by adding the suggestion of danger to the excitement of his scene. It is, 
indeed, doubtful whether we are on the verge of a catastrophe : whether the great lumbering, 
overloaded vehicle is to be upset or not, but it is certain that the passengers on top of the 
coach are prepared for the worst, and if our ears were sharp enough we should be able to hear 
a volley of adjurations to the Virgin and all the saints shouted above the oaths and yells of 
the outriders, the clatter of the harness and hoofs, the cracking of whips and the crunching 
and grinding of the nearly shipwrecked ark. The ubiquitous beggars at the side of the road 
join their cries to the din, and have good hope that in case the dreadful corner be once safely 
turned, a few pence may be tossed them by some grateful survivor, giving his prayers for 
mercy a practical form. We suppose there is little use in remonstrating against these painted 
agonies, these high-strung representations of blood-curdling crises in which the modem world 
delights, and which modern artists so plentifully supply. It is the artists who suffer most 
from this perversion of the healthy service of art and literature to the needs of a growing 
excitement and unrest, since they are put to it ever more and more to invent the means of 
gratifying the wants of their insatiable clients. Stm, as we have seen, there is another audi- 
ence in Germany and a large one, and, perhaps, we may allow that it is chiefly in what they 
are pleased to call historical-painting that the love of bombast and of horrors prevails. We 
have certainly chronicled enough of quiet and tranquil domestic scenes, and here, at the end 
of our chapter, we come upon two idyUic experiences which may serve to rest the mind after 
its strained watching for the upset or the hair-breadth salvation of the Spanish Mail. The 
"At the Lake," by WUhelm Amberg, of Berlin, born in 1822, and "The Be1?rothal-Ring "' of 
Friedrich Paul Thumann, born in 1834 at Tschacksdorf in the Lausitz, are pretty pastorals, 
such as need no comment for man or maid, and such as every country nowadays provides in 



232 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



plenty for tlie deliglit of its yoiitliful clientage. Both these artists carry us back to the 
love-making of a little earlier time than ours. But, after all, the comedy or tragedy of 




'THE BETROTHAL RING." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY PAUL THUMANN. 



love-making is ever the same, no matter in what dress it be played, or on what scene the 
prompter's bell ring up the curtain. 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 233 

XIV. 

WILHELM LEIBL, the painter of "At Church," and "The Hunter," was born at 
Cologne in 1844. He was at first apprenticed to a locksmith; but he had the instincts 
of an artist, and in 1864 he made his way to Munich, where he became a pupil of Piloty. 
His tastes led him to choose genre subjects and portrait as his special field, and we read that 
he was particularly drawn to the painting of Van Dyck, whom he took as his model in his 
early work. In 1869, he was at Paris ; but, on the breaking-out of the Franco-Prussian War 
he returned to Munich, and has since remained there, working still in the same field in which 
he began. Leibl's pictures have been called coarse, ugly, verging on caricature, while they 
are also praised for their fidelity to local types, for their independence of convention, both in 
motive and in treatment, and for the excellence of their coloring. As in the case of J. F. 
Millet, something of the rudeness and narrowness of the early life and employment of the 
artist may affect his choice of subject, and color his treatment of it. As will be remembered, 
his youth was spent at the forge, and his associations were necessarily with the lower or mid- 
dling class of his people, and his sympathies have plainly never been alienated from them, 
while at the same time his artistic sense has kept him, in feeling and sentiment, above the 
level of his surroundings. The examples we give of Leibl are characteristic of his manner of 
looking at things, but as in the case of all reproductions in black-and-white, the artist's color- 
ing has to be left out of the account. It will be interesting to compare the treatment of his 
subject by Leibl in his "At Church," with that of Vautier in his picture bearing the same 
title. Both in the conception of his subject, and in his treatment of it, Vautier is much 
more conventional than Leibl: he follows the old rules, and selects his types with as much 
consideration for aesthetic laws as is consistent with a desire to be faithful to their essential 
character. But Leibl is a law to himself, and his pictures, in general, are constructed on a 
principle which, as there is no authority for it in the books, the spectator must make out for 
himself. So far as arrangement is concerned, there is little of anything added by Leibl to 
what nature might have supplied by chance; his groups and their surroundings are, for the 
most part, what a man might see by looking out at a window, or in at a door. Take, for 
example, the "At Church." These three women might have been photographed, just as they 
are sitting in their pew, each figure artistically independent of the others, and with not so 
much attempt to bring their grouping into liarmonious arrangement with any scheme of pic- 



234 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



torial composition as is commonly made by photographers in placing their sitters. In this 
resjaect Leibl often reminds ns of his contemporary, James Tissot, and between both these 




"AT CHURCH." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY WILHELM 



artists and the English school of Pre-Raphaelites, there is a certain affinity, ^Yhich, if its 
existence be allowed, is probably due to what we may call a special condition of the moral 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 235 

atmosphere of their time, since, so fai- as we are informed, there was never any personal 
relation between these artists; and in their training they came under very different masters. 
As a detail, which will jDrobably not be reckoned of miich importance, we may allude to the 
gowns of the nearest two of the three women in this picture— the one made of a striped 
stuff, the other of a plaid i)attern. To an artist trained in the conventional rules, either of 
these would be objectionable. Stripes, indeed, can be made decorative under certain condi- 
tions: but they must always be used \\-ith moderation. As for the plaid, we hardly remem- 
ber, however, an instance of its employment by any artist of eminence among the older 
painters. There is one instance of such employment, in the fourteenth century, which we 
may cite as an illustration of that direct following of facts without regard to their pictorial 
effect, that was one of the principles of the English Pre-Raphaelites, and to which they might 
have referred among hundreds of other similar violations of academic rules by the artists 
who preceded Eaphael, in justification of their own practices. The picture we refer to is a 
fresco in the Lower Church of the Church of Saint Francis at Assissi, in the chapel dedicated 
to Saint Martin (Pope Martin IV., a.d. 1281). It is attributed by Vasari to one Puccio 
Capanna, but later writers give it to a better known artist, Simone Memmi. Whoever painted 
it, has gone to work like all the men of his time, taking the facts of the everyday life about 
him, and using them as the setting for his story; clothing its personages — sacred or pro- 
fane, near in time, or far-off — in the dress of the artist's own time, and surrounding them 
with the utensils and furniture that were familiar to the people for whom the picture was 
painted. So, here, in Menimi's picture we see the Pope lying asleep, and visited in Ins dream 
by the Saviour. He has not faken off his halo, but has it conveniently disposed around his 
night-cap, and he rests placidly on his bed— a plain, homespun affair, such as any Italian 
peasant of that day— or this — might sleep in, comfortably tucked in under a homespun plaid 
counterpane, no better than would be found in any one of the poor houses that nestle at the 
foot of the hill on whose side the great convent of Saint Francis suns itself at ease. 

In our own time we do not remember any painter who has been so audacious as to dress 
his personages in a gown with a plaid pattern, except Leibl and James Tissot. Tissot lias 
done this in a picture representing two ladies in high-life, and Leibl has done it, here, in his 
picture of peasants in church. This, of course, might be an accident, and ordinarily would 
indicate nothing deeper in the way of resemblance between the two artists. But it seems to 
Tis that there is something deeper, a more intimate relation, however it has come about, 



2X6 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



between the art of the French painter who has been devoted all his life to the depicting the 
manners and experiences of the npper classes — for, even his Margaret is a lady, albeit of the 




"THE HUNTER." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY WILHELM LEIBL. 



middle-class, and the art of the German, who, born a laborer, has painted little beside 

from the life of the laboring-people. Each of them turns his back peremptorily on the 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 237 

Academic teaching, and insists on conceiving tlie scene lie has to paint as nearly as possible ■ 
as it would have looked in reality; not, indeed, attempting to deceive the eye by any tricks 
of imitation of stuff, or materials, or by feats oi joerspective, but aiming at deeper things: 
truth of human characterization, truth of gesture, and action. In each artist, too, is the same 
indifference to beauty, and it must be admitted to grace, as well. It is long since we saw 
Tissot's lady in the plaid gown, but we remember her tormented attitude as she sat upon the 
grass, and the multitudinous folds of her " tempestuous i^etticoat " ; there was a plenty of 
veracity and energy in the picture, but there was little to attract the lover of prettiness. 
But as this print after Leibl's loicture lies before us on the table while we write, we are more 
and more impressed with its unpretending earnestness of feeling, which, in the end, makes us 
oblivious to the homeliness of these poor people and the awkwardness of their attitudes. In 
fact, everything in the picture is ugly and awkward. The carved end of the seat in front of 
the one that holds these women is of such a coarse and unmeaning design that it weuld 
seem as if Leibl must have gone out of his way to find it. The old women are as ugly as 
hard work from youth to age, slender meals, and the aches and pains that come with poverty 
could make them. As for the young woman, her dress is neat enough, and no doubt con- 
sidered quite the correct thing by herself and her neighbors, but nothing could well be more 
tasteless than the whole get-up, accented as it is by the ridiculous hat. There is, therefore, 
nothing pleasing in the picture to the eye that is wont to take pleasure in externals; here, as 
in Millet's pictures, or in Tissot's, we must look for the pleasure that comes from expression: 
we must get what we can from human sympathy felt for these people with whom the artist 
has himself plainly sympathized; the woman with deeply earnest look and clasped hands 
telling her beads; her neighbor, bent with age and holding her prayer-book— protected by 
its cloth cover like the one in Van tier's picture— in her long, bony hands; then the younger 
one who, just come in from market, with the jug she has been getting filled set down by her 
side, and turning over the leaves of her prayer-book to find the place with hands as big as 
those of the old grandame at her side, and on the way to be as knotty and Iwny, in time. 
Our other example of Leibl, "The Hunter," shows the artist still in quest of awkwardness 
and always in luck to find it! What a clumsy lout this is, to be sure; with his small head, his 
big legs, and his semi-detached feet! His dog is the best part of him! And yet the man has 
a real look; he does not look like a Salon Tyroler, but like a man of deeds, such as they are. 
Here again, we note the absence of composition, in the academic sense. The straight line 



238 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

formed by the rough rail extending from tree to tree, no doubt was there when Leibl made 
his sketch; but an academician would certainly have left it out. Nor would he have put 
the young fellow's foot on that ragged log, certainly no comfortable foothold. But, then, an 
academician would never have given lis Leibl's excellent poUard willow, nor would he have 
caught his easy way of resting on his gun. Judging even by the print in its black and white 
this must be a well-painted picture. 

Beauty carries the day, and how few would look at Leibl in his best estate if Gustav 
Richter's " Young Neapolitan " were to be seen ! This almost ideal piece of human loveliness 
has had such a vogue, that some of our readers may wonder at our selecting it, but this is 
such an honest, healthy beauty, with neither sentimentality nor consciousness to mar it, that 
we see no reason why, if everybody has seen it once, everybody should not see it again ! The 
only harm it can do is the persuading us that all Neapolitan fisher-boys are models of ideal 
beauty — a too large deduction from this one splendid fact! The truth is, as every one who 
has visited Naples knows, the people are no handsomer than we may see them any day in 
our streets. They are a strong, hard-featured, rather stunted race, with plenty of rough 
intelligence looking out of their dark eyes, often shaded by a forest of stormy hair, 
as, here, in our Beppo. But Beppo is one in ten thousand, and Richter was lucky to 
find him. 

Karl Ludwig GtTJstav Richter, to give him his full tale of names and so distinguish 
him from his namesake, plain Grustav, the landscape painter, was born in Berlin in 1823, and 
died in 1884. After finishing his studies at the Academy in Berlin, he went to Paris and 
there entered the atelier of Cogniet, with whom he remained for two years, and by whom 
his style was greatly influenced. Leaving Paris, he went to Rome, where he studied for two 
years, and on his return to Berlin was intrusted Avith a share in the decoration of the Hall of 
Northern Antiquities in the New Museum. The work of filling the wall-space above the 
cases and over the doors and windows with subjects from the Northern Mythology was 
divided among several artists, Bellermann, MuUer, Heidenreich, and Richter, and the pictures 
were executed in the then newly-revived art of wax-painting (stereoohromy). To Richter were 
given the three subjects " Balder " — the Northern Apollo, the " Walkyrie " — who conducted 
the souls of the illustrious dead to Walhalla, and " Walhalla " itself, the abode of the gods 
and heroes. Later, for a Christmas festival, Richter painted for an exhibition of transparent 
pictures, a " Resurrection of Jairus' Daughter " which so delighted the king that he gave the 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



239 



artist a commission to paint it on a larger scale in oils. Eichter's next success was gained at 
the exhibition of 1856, when he showed his first portrait. This was considered the crown of 




"A YOUNG NEAPOLITAN." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY LUDWIG RICHTER. 



the collection and still maintains its reputation. In 1859, he received the commission to 
daint one of the thirty large oil-paintings intended for the decoration of the great Entrance- 



240 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME, 

Hall of the Maximilianeiim at Munich— an institution founded by King Maximilian the II. 
for the advanced education of young men who hare i^roved their special fitness for the civil- 
service of the state. Many of the most distinguished artists of Germany were invited to take 
part in this work of decoration, which, after the grand German manner, was intended to be 
illustrative of the most important events in the history of the world. Cabanel and Pauwels 
were, we believe, the only artists outside of Germany invited to participate in this work. 
Cabanel painted, " The Fall of Man," and Pauwels, " Louis XIV. receiving a Deputation from 
the Republic of Genoa" — this latter, a singular choice of subject when the limits of the 
scheme are considered ; and the mention of Genoa leads to the reflection that in this salad of 
big and little events, on which the destiny of the world was supposed to have turned — no one 
seems to have suggested the " Discovery of America " by Coluiubus! The discovery of a new 
world might have been worth mentioning along with " The Olympian Games " and " Haroun 
al Raschid," and if it were thought desirable to include for the most part in these epoch- 
making events only the doings of Teutons and Scandinavians, that of the finding of America 
might have been given to the Northmen in general, or to Leif Eric in particular, the latest 
rival to Columbus! The subject assigned to Richter was,'"The Construction of the Pyra- 
mids " — another amusing selection, seeing how vast a part these buildings have played in the 
history of the world, and how much we know about them! Richter, instead of following the 
example of the other German in the well-known squib, and constructing his pyramids " out 
of his moral consciousness" did as the Englishman in the story did: packed his valise and 
started for Egypt! What he expected to find there suitable for his commission we know 
not; certain it is that he brought back nothing for that purpose that he might not have had 
without the journey. His picture, however, when finished was considered one of the best of 
the series, and still holds its owu alongside the " Battle of Salamis " by Kaulbach, and the 
works of Piloty, Hess, and Miiller. His reputation does not rest on these larger and more 
pretending works, but upon his portraits and the " Heads " he painted on themes found in the 
course of his visit to Egypt and later (1873) in the Crimea. Among these, the " jSTeapolitan 
Fisher-boy" ranks perhaps first, in popularity at least, but his "Fellah- Woman," his 
" Odalisque," and his " Gipsy-woman of the Crimea," are also great fayorites with the public. 
The " Odalisque " is almost as weU known as the Neapolitan boy. Among his portraits, too, 
that of Queen Luisa of Prussia has be'en the subject of a sort of ovation at the hands of the 
artist's own people, and, indeed, the graceful figure of the good and beautiful woman de- 




> -VIP^ -'>-<■ , "- 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



241 



scending the steps of her palace has met with a welcome the world o\-er, and has been repro- 
duced by every known process, to meet the varied popular demand. 

Another picture that has taken the popular fancy is " The Brothers " by Yogel, in the 
Dresden Gallery. 

Christian Lebeeecht Vogel was born in Dresden in 1759. He studied his art under 
Schcinau, the Director of the Dresden Academy, who inherited French traditions from the 
teaching of Silvestre, brought from Paris by August the Strong to take charge of his new 
Academy, and to be court-painter. In 1780, at the age of twenty-one, Vogel had begun to 
make himself a name, and was invited by Count Solms-Wildenfels to accompany him to his 
Chateau near Wildenfels, a small town near Zwickau in the Erzgebirge, where he was kept 
employed for a long time in painting pictures for his patron and for his patron's friends, the 
owners of neighboring castles. Considering, says Woltmann, the comparatively small extent 
of the estate ruled by Count Solms, the number of pictures painted for him by Vogel must 
be reckoned considerable ; they consisted of portraits, decorative ceiling-pictures, and altar- 
pieces. When in 1804 he was elected a member of the Dresden Academy, Vogel returned to 
his native town, where, in 1814, he was made Professor at the Academy, and where he died in 
1816. Vogel excelled in painting the portraits of children, and pictures in which children 
play the principal part, as in the allegorical ceiling-painting in the Library of the Castle at 
Wildenfels, and in the " Christ with the Children " in the same castle. But he is, perhaps, 
more at home in smaller, less pretending j)ictures, chiefly known through engravings, as they 
are mostly in private houses, such as his " Ganymede," his " Boy Avith a Canary-bird," " Boy 
with a Book and a Birdcage," and the present picture, the best known, as it is reckoned the 
best, of his works. It has been many times engraved, and is always copying by professional 
copyists in the gallery at Dresden, where it hangs. The children in " The Brothers " are the 
two little sons of the artist who are sitting side by side on the floor. One of them, in a brown 
jacket and with shoes, holds a picture-book on his knees from which he looks up with a sweet 
expression, as if he were sj)oken to by father or mother. His dress is of an older fashion 
than his brother's, he not only has shoes, but stockings and loose trousers and a large linen 
collar with a rufiied edge turned over his jacket. His long fair hair falls on his neck in curls 
and is cut short on his forehead. He reminds us of pictures of French children of his time, 
painted by Greuze or Drouais. His brother is of a sturdier build, a younger child, bare- 
footed and bare-armed and dressed in a loose red frock with a handkerchief tied bib-fashion 



Vol. II.— 16 



242 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

about his neck. His hair is dark and stronger than his brother's, and is cut short in the neck 
and on the forehead. He hokls a whip in his hand, and looks, but none too eagerly, into the 
book in his brother's lap. On a loosely folded shawl by the elder brother's side is his hat, of 
a size and shape to amuse a child of to-day, since it is of the same pattern as that which 
would be worn by the child's father. Such, however, was the fashion in that day ; the dress 
of children in the lower class, no less than in the higher, Avas the same in substance as that of 
their elders, and even at the present time in England it is very common to see little boys, on 
a Sunday especially, in tall hats like their fathers', while Ave are all familiar with the German 
and Scandinavian emigrant-children dressed like their grandfathers in clothes that, as we say, 
" look as if they had come out of the ark." And half the perennial charm of the cuts engraved 
by Bewick and so cleverly copied by our American Anderson, lies in the harmony between 
the dress of the boys and girls, and their general priggishness and airs of wisdom beyond 
their years. Nothing but prudence and discretion, with contempt for youthful follies, could 
be looked for in the wearers of these high hats, tail-coats, brseches, knee-buckles, and low-cut 
shoes; these long-skirted, short- waisted gowns, with flowing sashes, and tall, pointed beaver- 
hats trimmed with flowers and ribbons. The expression given by this dress, so outlandish in 
our eyes, is not, however, always that of priggishness. In Madame Le Brun's " Marie Antoi- 
nette and her Children," given in the first volume of this work (p. liv., Introduction) the 
Dauphin's costume is in keeping with the sweet childish dignity of his bearing ; and, here, in 
Vogel's picture, the miniature man's dress does not detract from the look of infant innocence. 
It may be noticed that Karl Woermann, the continuator of the excellent history of painting 
begun by Alfred Woltmann, cannot enough praise the painting of this picture ; he exhausts 
his German adjectives in expressing his delight, and makes its wann, glowing, luminous 
coloring, the text of a sermon on the recreancy of modern German art to its splendid begin- 
nings as illustrated by the " Portrait of a Man " by Peter von Cornelius that hangs near it in 
the gallery. 

Otto EedmAjStn, the painter of the " Bringing-home the Bride " was born at Leipzig in 
1834 and after studying his art first at home and then in Dresden and Munich, fixed his 
residence at Diisseldorf, Avhere he has since continued to live and to paint. He has been a 
successful caterer to the public taste for anecdotes, setting his little tales of high-life in a 
fashionable Rococo frame-work, polished marquetry floor, panelled walls in white and gold, 
lambrequined windows, mirrors, and porcelain vases, and people to match ; all convention- 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



243 



ality, formality, and high-caste German exclusiveness, and touch-me-nottery. The present 
picture is a good example of the artist's manner when he is at his best: there is more 
dramatic feeling, and clear character-drawing in this scene than his pictures call for in 
general. The son of this high-born and dignified lady has chosen a bride for himself a little 




"bringing home the bride." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY OTTO ERDMANN. 



outside the charmed circle in which his family moves. There have been hard thoughts, if not 
hard words, in consequence, and it is only now that, after much letter-writing and embassies 
to-and-fro, the mother has consented to receive her daughter-in-law, and see with her own 
eyes what she looks like. She sits in her gilded and brocaded /««ie?«7, dressed in her stateli- 
est, satin and silk and lace, and does her best, with a wintry smile and a dubious hand, to 
welcome the intruder, this bird from the outer world who has dared to come and sit on the 



244 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

branclies of lier family tree; but for her son's sake and for the sake of peace she will give 
her such welcome as she can. Judging by the consternation of the family, we miist think 
this a terrible old lady, in spite of her calm exterior and general air of harmless respecta- 
bility. Yet, all these people seem to be expecting or fearing an explosion ; the young bride, 
a most delicate piece of Dresden china, approaches her new relative with a faltering heart 
and a timid foot, supi:)orted by her young husband's arm ; the husband himself seems pre- 
pared to snatch his ^^-ife away on the first spark of danger; his sister, with one arm on the 
back of her mother's chair and the other raised in a gesture of exjjectancy, stands lightly 
balanced between hope and fear; the father in the background, still unreconciled, looks 
severeily at the offending pair, and adds his well-dressed mite to the general sum of discom- 
fort. However, let ris hope for the best ; let us believe that the mother, an excellent person at 
heart, no doubt, underneath this shell of convention, has been led to a proper and becoming 
state of mind by the Court-chapel book of devotion she was reading when the footman an- 
nounced her son, and that when the pretty young creature before her shall have kissed the 
proffered hand, and asked her blessing, there will be an end to this high-born nonsense, and 
that the heads of this aristocratic family vdU begin to appreciate the kindness of fortune in 
sending such a gleam of sunshine to light up their dull formality. 

Carl Sohx, Jr., as he signs himself in the corner of this picture "At Dessert," is the son 
of the once distinguished painter, a chief of the Diisseldorf school; remembered here, perhaps, 
by some as the painter of a " Diana and her Nymphs " that was one of the main attractions 
of the Diisseldorf gallery. The son was born at Diisseldorf in 1845, where his father died in 
1869. An olde-r brother, Richard, still lives and paints portraits in his native town, and there 
is also a cousiu, Wilhelm, a painter of history and genre., born in Berlin, but living and work- 
ing at Diisseldorf, so that the family is well represented. The younger Carl Sohn's "At 
Dessert" is one of the regulation costume and studio-property pieces with which we are 
.already so familiar; but we must confess to finding it not so reasonable as many of its com- 
panions. Considering the venerable character of the comx^any seated at the table — so much 
■of it, at least, as we can see through the open door-way — we are not surprised that this young 
■couple should have slipped away for a quiet chat in the ante-room, where, seated on an old 
carved settee by the side of his lady, the young gentleman has preluded his love-maldng by 
an air or two strummed upon his lute. But, what puzzles us is the action of the young lady, 
whose state of violent commotion is in curious contrast to the cool undemonstrative air of her 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



245 



lover. He would seem to have stated his case with unusual deliberation and to be awaiting a 
reply with an air that might equally well be translated as indifference, or assurance. The 
lady, on the contrary, starts back with a frightened air, and appears to be in some danger of 
losing her balance ; at any rate, her next movement will be, apparently, to spring to her feet, 
and leave her companion to strum on his lute to himself. Or, can it be that all this agitation 
is caused by the unwelcome appearance of the young lady's little sister, a miniature copy of 
herself, dressed in festal array, in a brocaded gown, satin shoes and a Jaunty cap and heron's 
feather, who has begged a plate of bon-bons from her rather grim-visaged aunt who lowers in 
ruff and bodice on the other end of the table; and, under pretence of offering them a share of 
the dessert, has come out, just at the wrong moment, after the fashion of small sisters, moved 
by mere childish curiosity to see what her big sister Wilhelmina is doing? This might possi- 
bly exj)lain the fact that the young lady is so flustered while her lover is so calm — for she 
sees the pretty intruder, and he doesn't. Yet, even so, her evident agitation ought to pique his 
curiosity, since he must know very well that as the lady has been for some weeks well aware 
of his intention, and she herself prepared to hear his declaration, there cannot be any reason 
for surprise on her part. As a composition Sohn's picture has merit sufficient, albeit it is of 
a conventional kind, and follows rules easily taught. The lighting of the inner room is 
cleverly managed, and the people are well-seated at the table. Were we practically disposed, 
we might object to the architectural disposition of the rooms ; such a screen between two 
principal apartments in a handsome house calling for an explanation, since in the times Avhen 
the handsome dress of this young lady was worn, with its graceful compromise between the 
stiffness of the preceding era and the freedom of the next to come, in the early seventeenth 
century, there was no lack of light in the houses; they were far enough away from the 
troglodyte system of house-building to which we are accustomed. Or, if these rich people 
had had a screen only, to separate their dining-room from the hall, we may be sure They 
would have known how to arrange the glass in it. Small square panes diversified with glass 
dinner-plates— for there are no joints in these discs to make us think them properly leaded 
ornaments— would not have found their way to such a place. But the whole screen looks like 
a cheap collection of bits put together for studio-purposes, an inexcusable make-shift when 
we think of the abundant models that are at any artist's disposal in any old European to\vn. 

LuDv^^iG LoFFTZ, the painter of "Avarice and Love " was born at Darmstadt in 1845, and 
was apprenticed at seventeen to an upholsterer. He had already a few years' instruction at 



246 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

the Teclinical Institute in his native place, but at the end of his apprenticeship, he decided to 
become an artist, and give up trade. He went first, in 1869, to Nuremberg, where he studied 
under Kreling for a year, but the next year found him in Munich, where he entered the studio 
of Wilhelm Diez. After a number of essays in genre painting, with a certain success, he 
produced the present picture exhibited at Munich in 1879, and won "the ^villing suffrages of 
tlie public and the artists. The work was plainly suggested by the famous picture, in the 
Louvre, by Quentin Matsys: "The Gold-merchant and his AVife" although there cannot be 
said to be more than a suggestion of an original, either in the coloring or the design of Loflftz's 
picture. Matsys' Avork shows us simply a merchant and his young Avife sitting side by side 
in his counting-room, he examining a piece of gold he has been weighing, and she pausing in 
turning over the pages of an illuminated missal, to look at the coin and to listen to what he 
is saying about it. The table is strewed with various objects that have come to the merchant 
in exchange, and which are all painted with the utmost care, an ostensoir, or crystal shrine 
for the altar, a watch in its ponderous case, a small convex mirror with its reflections, such as 
more than one of the sixteenth-century artists tried his skill upon, and a pile of gold pieces. 
On shelves behind the couple are a number of small objects, all painted with the same 
precision. Another picture at Windsor Castle, " The Misers," once attributed to Quentin 
Matsys, but now given to his son Jan, may have mingled in the mind of Loif tz the idea of 
avarice with that of love, as suggested by the Louvre picture. But this is as far as the 
resemblance goes. This sturdy yeoman, whom we suppose we must allow young (after a 
mediaeval fashion) has found the merchant sitting with his bountifully blooming daughter in 
his counting-room and takes the opportunity to exchange glances -nath her, while her father 
carefully counts out the money he has brought in settlement of some transaction. The rose, 
too, which he had slipped into the mouth of the bag of money as he handed it to her on 
entering, she acknowledges with a speaking look that seems to promise him prosi^erity in his 
suit. As in Matsys' pictures, the table is strewn with things in the painting of which the 
modern artist has attempted no rivalry with the work of the older master. They are here 
simply as necessary facts, to have their dues, but to be subordinated to the main piirpose of 
the composition, whereas, -with a Matsys, Van Eyck, and even Holbein, these details seem 
often to have been i^ainted for their own sake, for the mere pleasure of wrestling with diffi- 
culties. 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 247 

XV. 

T N" the somewhat wearisome waste of modern Grerman art, the name of Daniel Nicolaus 
*- Chodowiecki stands out as a cheerful luminary. "Pronounce Kodov-yetski," says 
Thomas Carlyle, " and endeavor to make some acquaintan(;e with the ' Prussian Hogarth ' 
who has real worth and originality." He was an artist of a marked personality, whose work, 
if it had but little influence on the art of his own time, and if, for us, it form merely a part of 
the baggage of curiosity bequeathed by his age to ours, must yet always have an interest for 
the student of manners in his part of Germany in the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century. 
Chodowiecki was born at Dantzig in 1726. This city, although it had been for a long time 
one of the most important places in that part of the dominions of Prussia which was ruled by 
the Order of Teutonic Knights, had joined the league of the towns that threw ofP the yoke of 
the Order, and placed herself under the protection of Poland, while still maintaming her 
municipal independence. The second partition of Poland which gave Dantzig back to 
Prussia and to Germany, did not take place until 1793, when Chodowiecki was nearly seventy 
years of age, so that, had he continued to live and to work in his native town all those years, 
his fame must have been given to Poland, to which, as it is, nothing but his Polish name 
belongs. Chodowiecki's father was a corn-merchant in a small way, his mother, we are told, 
was of French descent, and yet the artistic leaning in their son's nature would seem to have 
been derived not from the mother, but from the father, who not only put no obstacle in the 
boy's way when he saw him resolutely bent toAvard art, but himself gave him his first instruc- 
tions, since he was not without some little talent in that direction. An aunt, too, who 
painted in enamel, assisted him in his studies, but there was little doing, in the town, in the 
way of art to encourage him in the pursuit, and few pictures, either in public or private 
possession, to stimulate or instruct his youthful talent. One important picture by a great 
artist, " The Last Judgment " of Hans Memling, of Bruges, did, indeed, hang in Chodowiecki's 
time, in the Church of St. Mary, where it is still to be seen. But, though, to amateurs of 
painting and lovers of the earlier art, it is to-day chief among the few attractions of the old 
sea-port, it may reasonably be doubted whether it had ever received more than a casual 
glance from Chodowiecki. In his time, the art of the middle ages was more than neglected, 
it was despised; and the art of the Renaisance was hardly in better favor. A picture by 
Memling, or Van Eyck, or Matsys, covered now by buyers with gold-pieces, was then looked 



248 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

at merely as a curiosity, well enough, perhaps, in a clixxrch, but by no means a fit ornament 
for a room in which one was to live. In the j^icture by Ch.odowiecki which accomj)anies this 
notice: "The Work-room of a Paintei-," all the pictures that hang on the wall are tlie iDro- 
ductions of the later Dutclimen, or of the Italian Eclectics; the men who were just before 
Chodowiecki's time, and in vogue when he was coming on the stage or was just in Ms prime. 
We may ask ourselves, too, whether the picturesque old town of his youth was more to his 
mind than the old art ; whether the narrow streets, with their tall houses, built for the most 
part of brick, some of them plain to austerity, though well designed, others richly ornamented, 
with columns and cornices, window and door-frames of carved stone, would excite him to 
artistic sympathy, or would leave him cold, as before so much mere survival of a barbarous 
past? Ought he not, if he had in him any artistic instincts, to have taken some little 
pleasure in the multitude of gables which give such a rich and varied sky-line to every street; 
or in that picturesque feature, once common to nearly all the houses of Dantzig, and peculiar 
to the city, the Beyschldge or " stoops," as we call their degenerate descendants here in New 
York: stone platforms extending well out from the fronts of the houses, handsomely railed 
in, and reached from the side- walk by comfortable steps? Here, under the shade of trees, the 
owners of the houses and their friends would sit on summer-evenings, enjoying the cool air 
and the long twilights, and filling the narrow streets with a cheerful murmur of friendly 
voices. Bat, though in those sketch-books of which we shall speak presently, and especially 
in the sketches made during the visit to Dantzig in 1773, where he went to see his mother, 
whom he had not met for thirty years, he records the backgrounds of his groups, however 
slightly, yet with the same truthfulness with which he depicts the groups themselves, we can 
find no evidence that he cared at all for what most interests us of this generation when we 
visit the ancient sea-port on the Vistula. For want, then of better models in his art, Chodo- 
wiecki fell back upon the engravers, and under his aunt's direction began to copy the etch- 
'ings of Callot, and such prints as he could obtain after the works of the Dutch and Flemish 
artists. Later, he obtained engravings after Watteau and Lancret, and with these he now 
began the practice of making small-size reductions of his originals, doubtless aided in this, as 
in all his efforts, by the aunt, whose work as a miniaturist and enamel-painter, lay in the 
direction of minute and finely finished execution. All his drawings up to this time had been 
made vnth the pen and washed with India-ink, but he now began to paint upon parchment, 
and he soon made such progress that an uncle, a shop-keeper, who lived at Berlin, and who 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



249 



used to buy for his customers the auut's enamels as they were sent him, now encouraged the 
nephew by buying some of his drawings that from time to time were sent to him along with 
these. Life was thus made a little easier for the lad, as the small sums of money he received 
refreshed his slim pockets and gave him the means of procuring the materials for his drawing 
and painting, without calling on his parents, who were ill able to gratify him. 

In 1740, when Chodowiecki was only fourteen, his father died, and his mother, who had 
never encouraged him in his efforts to make himself an artist, apprenticed him to a relative, a 
widow who kept a small grocery shop in Dantzig. Here began a dreary episode in the life of 
the boy, who was now obliged to serve behind the counter from six in the morning until ten 
at night, and in the evening, after supper, to go to church with his mistress for vespers, and 
to join her in singing the hymns. Yet so strong was his bent toward art, that even in church 
his thoughts went wandering that way; he would study the pictirres on the wall and try to 
fix their composition in his memory by foUoAving their main lines with his finger in the 
hollow of his hand or on the cover of his prayer book, and afterward on reaching his bed- 
room would reproduce them as well as he could from memory. Thu.s hard necessity schooled 
him, and taught him a method which no master could have bettered. In the shop, too, were 
many hours when little was doing in the way of business, and these he improved by sketch- 
ing the shop and its contents, and once made a draAving of his mistress and her friends at 
table which is still to be seen among his sketches, and shows the considerable progress he 
was making in his studies from nature. 

Finding that all their efforts to crush the boy were in vain, the Fates, who perhaps only 
meant to try his mettle, resolved to do him a good turn. They bankrupted the old ^ndow 
and shut up her shoiD, a happy event for Chodowiecki, who now returned to his mother's 
house, and after a brief stay there, followed his younger brother to Berlin, where his uncle 
already mentioned was ready to give him a helping hand. For some time he worked away at 
his water-color drawing, and made attempts at enamel-painting, but he found little success in 
disposing of his work and was at length reluctantly obliged to abandon the hope of earning 
a living in Berlin by art of that kind. Here, as iu many another instance, we who look back- 
ward upon the event, can see how circumstances that at the time seemed to be hardships, 
were really spurs to drive the supposed victim into the true path to success. ChodoAviecki 
was not meant by nature to be a mere copyist of other men's work; neither was he meant to 
be a shop-keeper. Yet like a brave young fellow, he did his best to bend his neck to the 



2 50 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

yoke, and finding that he conld not as yet earn his bread by his drawings, rather than be a 
burden to his uncle he went into his shop to assist him and to gain a living. The uncle, on 
his side, showed his good will, and gave his consent that both Daniel and his brother G-ott- 
fried should take lessons of Eode, a Polish artist settled in Berlin, and who had been himself 
a pupil of Rugendas, the Director of the Academy of Augsburg. Rode's name hardly appears 
in the dictionaries ; he could probably do little for his pupils technically, but he was enthusi- 
astic on the subject of art; he had seen pictures, if he could not paint them, and he did 
Chodowiecki a service by stimulating his ambition and keeping his hope alive. This was the 
more needed, as Berlin at that time was jDoor both in art and artists; there were no pictures 
of any merit in the churches, and the royal collection, such as it was, was not accessible to the 
public. Little by little Chodowiecki began to experiment with original designs, and he 
improved the chances that were every now and then thrown in his way of seeing pictures, and 
of making acquaintance with artists; among these, Antoine Pesne— of whom we shall have 
to speak later — was the most useful to him ; much older than Chodowiecki — he was born in 
1683 — he was able by his position in the art-world and by his relations with the court, to be of 
service to our artist and he showed great friendliness to him. Chodowiecki studied for a 
while in the life-school of Christian Rode, and in 1755 he married Jeanne Barez, and took up 
art seriously as a profession. 

After his marriage Chodowiecki settled down to his work as a painter of miniatures, and 
of enamels— these latter often intended for the decoration of snuff-boxes, then as much 
objects of ornament as of use, and greatly in vogue for gifts and souvenirs. He kept up also 
his early practice of copying engravings, and chiefly delighted in those from the pictures of 
Watteau and Boucher, the favoiites of their time, not only in France but wherever in Europe 
France was the arbiter elegantiaruvi; the mistress in the realm of taste. Little by little he 
began to exercise himself in original design ; and it was to enable him to supply his friends 
with copies of some drawings he had made with subjects of local interest, that he took up 
etching. At first, he was discouraged, and after some efforts that he felt to be unsuccessful, 
gave it up, but still returned to it, until at last by a happy accident as we may call it, he 
produced a plate that both for its subject and for the way in which he treated it, interested 
everybody and opened for him the way to reputation and emjjloyment. This was the jDlate 
called " Der grosse Calas," the larger Calas, to distinguish it from a smaller plate of the same 
composition made for the frontispiece to a play by H. Weisse, " Der Fanatismus." The story 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 251 

of Galas, and of the indignant protest of Voltaire against the atrocious mockery of justice 
that led to his death, is well known and needs to be only referred to here. In 1762, a young 
man named Marc Antoine Galas, a native of Lacaparede, in Languedoe, committed suicide in 
a fit of temporary insanity. There was not the slightest reason to doubt the fact that the 
young man, addicted to gambling, and subject to deep fits of melancholy, had killed himself, 
but the religious strifes that were raging had worked up the popular mind to a state of 
morbid intolerance and suspicion, and some one having said that the young man's father, a 
Protestant and a person of very good reputation, or some member of his family, had mur- 
dered him to prevent his turning Roman Gatholic, the whole mass of inflammable bigotry in 
suspense in the community caught fire from this spark, and the entire Galas family became 
the objects of a barbarous social persecution. The old man was put to the torture, but refus- 
ing to confess, he was haled before the Parliament at Toulouse, and as the result of the 
inquiry Avas sentenced to be broken upon the wheel. The Avife and children were acquitted 
after having been put to the torture, and finally fled to Geneva and took refuge with Voltaire. 
Three years later, through the influence of Voltaire, the sentence was revised, the Parliament 
of Paris declared the innocence of Galas, and the King, Louis XV., ordered the sum of 30,000 
livres to be given to his family. This was only one of a series of atrocious persecutions which 
had brought the public mind of France and Germany to a state of high excitement. Voltaire 
had become so well known in Prussia, so admired, almost worshipped by the one side, so 
hated and feared by the other, that his fierce espousal of the cause of Galas had made the 
story almost a household one. A French print called " La malheureuse FamiUe Galas " was 
brought to Berlin, and fell under the eyes of Ghodowiecki, who interested, like the rest of the 
world, in the story, copied the print in oil. He became so much absorbed in the story, that it 
took a new shape in his mind, and he re-created the scene of the parting between Galas and 
his family, on his way to the scaffold, in a composition of his oa\ti which he called " Les 
Adieux de Galas a sa Famille." This picture excited so much admiration that he Avas minded 
to etch it, in order that he might more easily gratify the popular wish to see it, and the result 
of his effort Avas the plate Ave have already mentioned, " Der grosse Galas." By the kind- 
ness of Mr. Gardiner G. Hubbard, of Washington, we are enabled to give our readers a 
reproduction of this rare plate from a copy in that gentleman's possession. Pecht has 
pointed out, in his interesting sketch of ChodoAviecki's life, that in the general conception of 
his picture, the artist has imitated Greuze, but that he is far more faithful to nature, and not 



25' 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



so sentimental. And tliongli the composition may recall the French artist (and it will be 
remembered that all Chodowiecki's instruction has been filtered through Frencli influences, 
and nearly all his life spent in copying directly from French models), yet in the feeling of 
this picture there was nothing French at all. We see before us an honest Berlin father of a 
family, who is about taking leave of mother, wife, and child, in his prison cell, while the 
priest who is to prepare him for death enters the room, and the jailer knocks ofl: his chains. 




VIGNETTE TITLE-PAGE TO LF _ 5'S 
"MINNA VON BARNHELM." 

BY CHODOWIECKI. 



c^^:--''>- \ '■ '''^^' 







THE PEDANT'S MARRIAGE-PROPOSAL." 
BY CHODOWIECKI. 



The fainting mother, the weex^ing and lamenting wife and daughter-- all this is so truly 
German, so Berlinish, and yet so true to universal human nature, and withal so moving, that 
we may well call the composition the first genre picture that was produced in Germany. It 
had at the time a far-reaching influence, and imitators by the score. 

The success of this plate was so great that it decided the fortunes of Chodowiecki, who 
from that time was overrun with orders from the booksellers, and found he had no longer 
leisure to paint his laborious miniatures. In 1764 he was made an associate of the Berlin 
Academy, and in 1769 he was appointed engraver and etcher to the same society. In 1770 he 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 253 

produced, for himself, a series of twelve designs to Lessing's " Minna Von Barnliehn," and 
with these small oval pictures, set, like many of the ndniatures and silhouette likenesses of 
the time, in a simply decorated panel, a new era in book illustration was introduced into 
Gei-many. Here, again, France was (as she has for all the world so often) the inspirer and 
director of this new departure. Of his contemporaries who have gained the greatest distinc- 
tion in this same field, Moreau the younger, and Eisen, in France, and Stothard, in England, 
Moreau was fifteen years his junior, and Eisen his senior by six years, while Stothard was 
twenty-nine years younger. Stothard, like Chodowiecki, owed much of his inspiration to 
France, but he is far inferior to his Prussian contemporary in the intellectual value of his 
work as well as in the variety and force of his design. The facility, energy, and fruitfulness 
of Chodowiecki are wonderful. Engelmann's Catalogue gives us the titles of 2,075 distinct 
designs in 978 plates. In the thirty years of life that remained to him after the appearance of 
his " Minna von Barnhelm," he illustrated the works of almost every celebrity of his time, in 
England, France, and Germany, beside a cloud of others whose books, long since forgotten for 
themselves, are still sought out on the musty shelves of the dealers at second-hand for the 
sake of the designs by our artists whicli give them all their value. In 1775, Chodowiecki, 
after a lapse of thirty years, took a holiday, and re-visited Dantzig to see his now aged 
mother. He had left her, poor and unknown, to seek a doubtful fortune; he returned, 
famous and well to do, changed in everything but his good heart and kindly nature. Of this 
journey and his visit he has left a most interesting record in a series of sketches, over a 
hundred in number, in which he has noted down everything he saw that interested him. He 
rode aU the way from Berlin to Dantzig, and might often have been seen standing by his 
horse's side with the bridle held in his teeth, to leave both hands free while he sketched in his 
note-book something that had attracted him. On reaching his inn he would finish his 
sketch from memory, sometimes washing it with India-ink. A selection of these drawings 
has recently been published \u facsimile in Berlin. He made other journeys on horseback, 
visiting Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig, and other North-German cities, sketching most industri- 
ously and accumulating in this way a multitude of studies which he put to good use in his 
book-illustrations. Many of these, it is said, were etched directly upon the plate without 
making a finished design beforehand, a practice not uncommon perhaps in the case of certain 
artists who are not particularly solicitous for form, but rare, surely, ^^-ith those whose work 
is of so precise and orderly a character as that of Chodowiecki. His early studies, and the 



254 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



miniature and enamel-painting that had occupied liis time for so many years, had in great 
measure limited his skill to small compositions, and when he attempted larger plates, his 
good genius too often deserted him. His first plate, the "Galas," and "The Painter and his 
Family" both which we copy— are reckoned his best productions in this more ambitious field. 
His " Ziethen Sleeping," the scene where Frederick finds the old general sleeping in a chair 
in his audience-room, and forbids his waking by his attendants, saying, " he has watched 
often enough for us, now let him sleep," and that other anecdote, of Frederick insisting on 





'THE OFFICER'S MARRIAGE-PROPOSAL.' 
BY CHODOWIECKI. 



"TWO GIRLS." 

BY CHODOWIECKI. 



Ziethen, old and infirm, sitting, while he, the King, stands and talks to him, both these 
plates are interesting from their subjects, but they are of no great artistic value. The repro- 
duction of the " Painter and his Family " which Ave publish, is interesting, as a direct copy 
from the rare original plate as well as for its subject. We see the artist sitting at his smaU 
table by the window, the curtain drawn aside for more light, and held in its place by the 
back of the chair, while he draws the miniature of his little daughter, seated with the four 
other children at a large table near their father. The long wall of the room that faces us is 
hung vsdth pictures, small and large, of which we see thii-teen either in whole or in part, and 
there are consoles also supporting casts. On the floor leaning against the wall there are big 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 255 

portfolios, and on a pier table at tlie right, under a mirror, is a cast of a Crouching Venus, 
probably she of the Capitol. All these pictures, as nearly as we can make out, are, as we have 
already described them, of the later French school, or of the Eclectic, but we fancy there is 
also a Diirer among fchem— a copy, perhaps by Chodowiecki himself, of the Flight into Egypt, 
from the " Life of the Virgin," and below it is also, if we are not mistaken, Tenier's picture of 
the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. If this be so, it shows that Chodowiecki was 
not shut up to the works of one school, although it is true that his studies in art had lain 
almost exclusively among the favorites of his time, where Diirer and Teniers certainly had 
no place. The group about the table seems to us very attractive; the kindly-natured, 
pleasant-faced mother in her simple bourgeois house-dress, "\vith her arm on the back of the 
eldest daughter's chair, and caressing the cheek of the next oldest, who leans toward her 
affectionately while she holds fast to the wee baby in the big chair with one hand ; the eldest 
son, in his queer little German dressing-gown tied round his waist, and with his head tied up 
in a handkerchief (he is drawing a picture of his sister to rival his father's!), while his small 
brother, also capped and gowned, is pointing out this and that in his work and asking him 
small-brother questions about it. The eldest daughter— no beauty she, with her long slender 
face drawn out into a tremulous pointed nose (the image, as we can see, of her mother at her 
age) is conscious that she is sitting for her portrait, and not ill-pleased thereat. She has a big 
picture book before her, but she is not looking at it just at present, is more concerned in the 
result of the contest between the two artists, the older and the younger one. 

As we look up from this picture of Chodowiecki's to the smaller subjects, the vignettes 
to the plays, novels, romances of the time, we see that the general air is the same, although, as 
a rule, he was content with much simpler backgrounds and with plainer surroundings. It 
may be that he dressed up his own room a little, or he may have copied it with the accuracy 
so characteristic of his work in general; in either case we cannot find much to say ia praise 
of his taste. But in these numerous vignettes of his, and in the series of his own designs 
"The Amateurs," the "Occupations des Dames," the " Centif olium Stultorum," we find the 
mirror held up plainly to the society he saw about him. The costume of all the people he 
sketched or drew, the rich and the poor, the high and the low, people of aU professions and 
occupations, are there for us to study as they lived, moved, and had their being in the Berlin 
or Dantzig or Dresden of his day. The comparison between him and Hogarth was never a 
very appropriate one. He has neither flattered his world nor ridiculed it; his satire, when he 



256 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

indulged it, was but gentle, lie was content to depict things as he' saw them and left tliem to 
speak for themselves their own praise or blame. He had, for a German, far more grace and 
playfulness than Hogarth, he had also more native refinement, but far less dramatic power 
and less earnestness. Beside, he had not so ample a stage on which to ]3resent his characters ; 
he could never do with his small plates, no larger, for the most part, than the small oval of a 
lady's palm, what Hogarth could accomplish with his large engravings, permitting the intro- 
duction of a great number of figures, with a multitude of accessory episodes. Chodowiecki 
does not play so epic a part ; he is rather the Theocritus of the bourgeois world in which he 
lived, and a part of which he was. He made few excursions outside this world, and when he 
attempted to depict high life, he certainly was less happy than when he kept at home, in his 
own circle. • During the last few years of his life Chodowiecki suffered much from swelling 
of the feet, which confined him to his house and his desk for the greater part of the time. 
But his industry and his energy were indomitable, and he continued to produce to the last 
and with little diminution in the excellence of his work. He died on the 1st of February, 
1801. 

One of Chodowiecki's most distinguished contemporaries living in Berlin was Antoine 
Pesne, the painter of the portrait of Frederick II. and his sister Wilhelmina, Marchioness of 
Baireuth, as children — " The Little Drummer " as it is sometimes called. Pesne was in truth 
a Frenchman, born at Paris in 1683, but he spent the greater part of his active life in Berlin, 
where he was called by the King of Prussia in 1710, and made court-painter, and the next 
year was appointed Director of the Academy in Berlin. In 1720 he returned to Paris, where 
he was elected a member of the Academy, but returned shortly to Berlin and passed there the 
remainder of his life, dying in 1757. He is the painter of a great number of the portraits of 
celebrities that now adorn the palaces of Berlin, but he has most endeared himself to the 
German worshippers of Frederick by the picture which we have chosen as an example of his 
skill. Carlyle in his great ejjic, the Frederick II., incomparably the richest of all his works, 
has much to say about this picture, and we cannot do better than to give the reader his own 
words in describing it. 

" For the rest, here is another little incident. We said it had been a disappointment to 
Papa that his little Fritz showed no appetite for soldiering, but found other sights more 
interesting to him than the drill-ground. Sympathize then, with the earnest papa as he 
returns home one afternoon — date not given — but, to all appearance, of that year 1715, when . 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



257 



there was such war-rumoring and marcliing toward Stralsund, and found the little Fritz 
with Wilhelmina looking over him, strutting about and assiduously beating a little drum. 

" The paternal heart ran over with glad fondness, invoking Heaven to conlirm the omen. 
Mother was told of it; the phenomenon was talked of— beautifullest, hopefullest of little 
drummers. Painter Pesne, a French immigrant or importee, of the last reign, a man of great 




'THE LITTLE DRUMMER," CROWN-PRINCE FREDERICK II., AND THE PRINCESS WILHELMINA. 

FROM THE PAINTING BY ANTOINE PESNE. 



skill with his brush, whom history yet thanks on several occasions, was sent for; or he had 
heard of the incident and volunteered his services. A Portrait of Little Fritz drumming, 
with Wilhelmina looking on; to which, probably for the sake of color and pictorial effect, a 
Blackamoor aside with parasol in hand grinning approbation has been added— was sketched 
and dexterously worked out in oil by Painter Pesne. Picture approved by mankind there 
and then, and it still hangs on the wall in a perfect state at Charlottenburg Palace, where the 



Vol. II.-17 



258 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

judicious tourist may see it witliout cTifRcnlty, and institute rellections on it. * * * * 
Fritz is still, if not in long clotlies, at least in longisli and flowing clotlies, of the petticoat 
sort, whicli look as of dark-blue velvet, very simple, pretty, and appropriate; in a cap of the 
same ; has a short raven's feather in the ca^j ; and looks up with a face and eye full of beauti- 
ful vivacity and child's enthusiasm ; one of the beautif uUest little figures, while the little 
drum responds to his bits of drum-sticks. Sister Wilhelmina, taller by some three years, 
looks on in pretty marching attitude and with a graver smile. Blackamoor and accompani- 
ments elegant enough ; and finally the figure of a grenadier or guard, seen far off through an 
opening — make np the background." It may be added that Carlyle tells us, with the excep- 
tion of this picture and one of Frederick when a young man, also painted by Pesne, there 
exists no authentic portrait of him. " It seems he never sat to any painter in his reigning 
days, and the Prussian Chodowiecki, Saxon Graff, and English Cunningham had to pick np 
his physiognomy in the distance, intermittiugly, as he could." 

F. TiscHBEiN, the painter of the portraits of Queen Louisa of Prussia and her sister 
Friederika, was one of a large family of artists of that name, most of whom are associated 
■with Cassel and its Academy, of which the oldest of the name, Johann Heinrich Tischbein, 
born in 1772, was the Director. The painter of our picture, Johann Friedrich August Tisch- 
bein — born in 1750, and died in 1812 — was the ne^jhew of this one, and was Court-painter to 
the Prince Von Waldeck, and Director of the Academy at Leipzig. He laainted a great 
number of portraits which are to be seen in the galleries of Leipzig, Weimar, Brunswick, and 
Frankfort, but the best kno\vn is this portrait of Queen Louisa, the mother of the late 
Emperor William, the beautiful and high-hearted woman, whose statue by Ranch is so weU 
knoA\Ti. Our engraving is only of a portion of a larger plate, which it was thought would 
suffer, as a portrait, by the attempt to reduce it. It represents the two sisters standing at the 
foot of a terrace-steps, and looking out upon the garden beyond. It will be remembered that 
Eichter has painted a similar portrait of the Queen, in which she is seen descending the 
palace steps to the terrace — a j)ortrait of maturer years. 

As we come do-\\Ti to later times, the names of portrait-painters in Germany become, if 
not more numerous, more indi^ddualized ; the artists showing less the influence of routine and 
conventional models than we find in the older painters, who worked more frequently in 
schools. Few words will suffice for Frangois Xavier Winterhalter, whose name by grace of 
royal favor once filled the fashionable world, but is noAv passed away with other tinsel glories 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



259 



of the Second Empire. He was born at Baden in 1806, but after studying at Munich and in 
Rome finally settled in Paris in 1834. He travelled much, however, during all his life, visit- 




"QUEEN LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER SISTER FRIEDERIKA." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY FRIEDRICH TISCHBEIN. 

ing England, Germany, and Spain, and painting a prodigious number of portraits, of Louis 
Philippe and Queen Amelia with all the Orleans family, but especially known as the Court- 
painter of Napoleon III. and the Emjpress Eugenie. The j^resent picture, which now hangs 



25o ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

on the stnircase of the ]\fetropolitan Museum, is a singuhir relic of that singular time. 11 
represents the Empress and the ladies of her Court at St. Cloud, but it is unnecessary to say 
that it is not intended as a literal presentation, but rather as a poetical grouping of the 
women thought pretty, who surrounded that queer, vixenish doll who played the devil with 
France and her fortunes for so many years, and finally proved the ruin of the witches' palace 
she had helped to build. Loose and shameless as was the court over which she ruled, this 
picture of Winterhalter's was too much even for its stomach, and its public exhibition made 
siich a breeze that it was withdrawn from view, and later found its way to this country, as 
not to be allowed at home. 

Heinrioh von Ai^geli, who, less frivolous than Winterhalter, yet fills in some measure 
his vacant place, was born at Odenburg, in Hungary, in 1840. Already, as a child, he showed 
a sti'ong artistic bent, which was de-^-eloped by careful training; first, at the Academy in 
Vienna, then at Diisseldorf, and later at Paris and Munich. Although now known chiefly as 
a portrait-painter, he did not at once enter on the field where he has made both fortune and 
renown, but first appeared as a painter of history ; this being the most natural outcome of 
his Diisseldorf and Munich training. His earliest exhibited picture was " Mary Stuart on her 
Avay to Execution," and this was followed by a subject commissioned by the King of Bavaria: 
'■ Louis XI. entreating Franz von Paula to prolong his Life." These paintings, with his 
"Cleopatra and Antony" and "Lady Jane Grey befol'e her ' Execution " made a strong 
impression at the time, by the skill shown in the technical part of his art. In 1862, he 
returned to Vienna, where he soon found his true field of work in portrait -painting. In this 
he was successful from the start, and rapidly rising in favor found himself before long 
established as the painter of the high aristocracy, first in Vienna, and at last in all the 
palaces of Europe. A list of the portraits painted by Angeli would include almost every 
member of the royal and imperial houses of Europe. He is often criticised as a flatterer of 
lis subject : a charge that seems to have no better foundation than a certain softness in the 
handling — very skilful withal — and a preference for the best side of his sitter, a jjreference 
certainly not peculiar to this artist. From the time when Apelles painted Alexander in 
profile, to hide a defect in one of the royal eyes, dowTi to our own day, the powerfiil and 
the rich have expected of the artists they employ that they would make as good a report 
of them to posterity as a decent respect for truth would permit. If Angeli have offended, 
this is, we believe, the head and front of the matter, and it is offset by the fact that he gives 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



26r 



as, in all his portraits, a distinct and individual character, which extends even to the dress of 
his sitter. Thus, in the portrait of then crown-princess, now the ex-empress Victoria, the 




"THE EX-EMPRESS VICTORIA." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY HEINRICH VON ANGELI. 



clumsy and ill-arranged costume is inevitably English or German, but we find so much to 
attract us in the intelligent face, where sweetness and strength are so well commingled, that 



262 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

we forget to dwell upon these inartistic details. In tlie long list of portraits of notables 
painted by Angeli, this of the Crown-princess Victoria is spoken of as holding the highest 
place, and certainly the events of the last few years have made it one of the most interest- 
ing to admirers of noble womanhood, especially when the light that streams from their 
character illumines the high places of the world, affording a welcome relief to the pettiness 
of their surroundings. In the portrait of the princess Henry of the Netherlands, there is 
more elegance, both in the subject itself, and in the treatment, but, in truth, this quality, 
which exists in Angeli's mind, and for which he has therefore a remarkably clear perception, 
is only seen at its best in his portraits of titled or high-placed ladies of Vienna, but these 
naturally were not obtainable for reproduction. Angeli has painted, among other distin- 
guished women. Queen Victoria and the Empress of Russia. In his portraits of men he is 
not reckoned so successful, and yet he has had many distinguished sitters: Grilparzer, 
Alexandre Dumas, Prince Manteuflel and the Emperor of Austria. Beside the Queen herself, 
Angeli has been called on to paint nearly all the members of the English Royal family, to 
the annoyance of those who justly think that the unquestioned talent of English portrait- 
painters should be employed by those in authority in preference to that of a foreigner, espe- 
cially when that foreigner is one, like Angeli or Winterhalter, whose position is rather facti- 
tious than real. Much as we should like to ignore the fact, it cannot be concealed that both 
by her German origin, and by the influence of Prince Albert, the Queen has been strongly 
inclined toward everything German, and that, in matters of art especially, she and all her 
family have exerted an iniiuence adverse to the prosperity of English art ; always employing 
Germans in preference to Englishmen, and throwing the whole weight of her influence 
against the development of a national art. In the intervals of this industrious portrait- 
painting, Angeli has found time for not a few genre and anecdotic subjects that have added 
to his popularit}', and made him known Avhere his work as a portrait-painter would never have 
carried his name. His principal achievement in this direction is his " The Avenger of his 
Honor," a picture familiar to the shop-windows and always sure to attract the gaze of the 
passing crowd. The subject is the unexpected return of a husband to his home, where he finds 
the betrayer of his honor seated among a party of guests invited in his absence, and making 
merry about his own table. Like another Ulysses, he has made short work of the offender, 
and it cannot be denied that the artist has shown considerable dramatic power in depicting 
the varied emotions of the spectators of this grim tragedy. Other pictures bj^ Angeli, skilful 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



26: 



works, but less striking, are " Young Love," tlie " Italian Lovers," and " The Refused Abso- 
lution," tMs last, a picture reckoned among the artist's chief productions. 




'THE PRINCESS HENRY OF THE NETHERLANDS." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY HE NRICH VON ANGELI. 



The " Souvenir of the Fair " by C. von Pausinger, is a trilie which we have inserted in our 
iple of the German way of treating this class of subjej^ts, than as 



collection rather as an examj 



264 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



worthy of miicli consideration for itself. This smart soubrette in the costume (above her waist) 
of a postilion of Lonis XY.'s time, is betrayed in her masquerading by her essentially nine- 




"A SOUVENIR OF THE FAIR." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY C. VON PAUSINGER. 



teenth-century face— a deficiency in invention not peculiar to this artist, but shared in com- 
mon with almost all the men of our time who endeavor to depict the manners of a by-gone 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 265 

time. But, perhaps, our artist might reply that he had no such intention, nor any higher 
aim than just to set down a memorandum of a fleeting, and not very important phase of 
modern life. His cleverness is well-known, and our picture is only one of many like it, made 
to meet the fancy of the gay youth of our time whose liking for a pretty woman has no taint 
of archfBological pedantry in it. 

Anton Alexander von Werner was born in 1843 at Frankfort-on-the-Oder. He 
had his first instruction in his art at the Berlin Academy, but after reaching a certain point, 
went to Carlsruhe, where he studied with Lessing and Schroedter. From thence he went 
in 1867 and again in 1868, to Paris, and in 1869 to Italy. After his return, he settled down at 
Berlin, and in 1875 was made Director of the academy where 
he had once been a pupil. His earliest successes were 
gained as an illustrator of poems — first, for those of von 
Scheffel, for which he made designs while at Carlsruhe 
under the influence of Schroedter. The spirit he threw 
into his sketches was so in harmony -with the rollicking stu- 
dent-life echoed in Scheffel's songs that his pencil became in 
great request, and for a time, he seemed destined to settle 
down in permanent employment as an illustrator of books. 
Beside the well-known songs, " Frau Aventiure," " Junipe- 
rus," " Gaudeamus," and " The Trumpeter of Sackingen," 
for which last he made thirty-nine drawings, Von Werner anton Alexander votj ;.u,\.z^, 

made designs for Herder's " Cid " and for one of Schiller's plays. In the intervals of this work 
he produced several genre pictures, showing no particular direction in his talent, but gro^\■ing 
naturally enough out of his excursions in the world of poetry and song. Such trivial themes as 
" The Quartette," " Life in the Cloister," " The Friar," and " Don Quixote among the Shepherds," 
are the common stock of artists nowadays, and Von AVerner put his hand into the bag with 
the rest and accepted what he found there. After a while he turned his attention to historical- 
painting, where in fact his best laurels were, in time, to be won, but at first he simply followed 
the general run, and produced for a while the same crop of lay-figures and marionettes, culti- 
vated vsdth such mechanical success by the rank-and-file of his artist-countrymen. It is impos- 
sible to avoid smiling as one reads for the fiftieth time the old titles : "Conrad in Prison," 
"Archbishop Hanno of Cologne carrying off Henry IV.," and, of course, our steady friend 




266 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



" Luther at the Diet of Worms." It was not until the stirring times of 1871, that the true 
talent of Werner, which is at least a respectable one, found a field for itself where it could 
work in freedom, on subjects not outAvorn. He himself took part in the Franco-Prussian 
War, and no doubt his participation in the siege of Paris gave a stimulus to his talent which 
it would not have received from merely reading about the events, while there can be no doubt 
that the fact that he saw what he has painted, and Avas a part of it, adds much to the value of 




"the congress of BERLIN-1878." 

from the painting by anton von werner. 



his pictures as contributions to the history of the time. His two small pictures: "Moltke 
before Paris," and " Moltke in his Study," are better examples of his talent than the more 
pretentious work with which his name is so conspicuously associated in Berlin: "The 
Emperor proclaimed at Versailles "—rightly enough judged by German critics to be merely a 
dry and tame official j^erformance. It is, however, valuable as a collection of portraits, a fact 
that has added greatly to its popularity at home, while, considering the difficulty inherent in 
disposing of so large a number of persons naturally, and with due regard to official preced- 
ence, the painting has a right to stand among the best of its kind. The same commendation 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 267 

may be given to the picture by Werner which, we have chosen to represent him. " The Con- 
gress of Berlin, 1878," contains nearly thirty porti-aits of men, almost aU of whom are cou- 
spicuoiis in the history of our time, and whose names are familiar to all who keep up even 
superficiaUy with what is going on in the world of European poUtics. The faces are so 
clearly characterized that even in our small reduction of the large plate, the separate portraits 
can be easily distinguished. At the extreme left we see Baron Gortschakoff seated, with 
D'Israeli standing before him leaning on his cane, and Waddington at his side. The central 
group is composed of Prince Bismarck, who grasps the hand of General Schuvaloff, while 
Count Andrassy at his elbow waits his turn to salute the Russian commander. At the right 
of the picture, standing and looking out at the spectator, is Mehmed Ali Pasha, while Salis- 
bury listens to the conversation between Lord Odo Russell and two of the Egyijtian diplo- 
mats. The art that can combine so many separate portraitures in one easy and consistent 
grouping is not, of course, very high art, but it serves a useful purpose, and wUl perhaps be 
better appreciated by posterity than by the artists' contemporaries. 

Praxz Lenbach, a painter of a very different stamp, was born at Schrobeuhausen. in 
Upper Bavaria, in 18B6. His father was a bricklayer, and the boy was sent to the technical 
school at Landshut to learn his trade, but he was less attracted by the lessons he received in 
the art of building than by the beauty of the Gothic church in that city. Neglecting his 
trade-lessons, he began to paint portraits for his own amusement, and made such striking- 
likenesses that his vocation seemed clearly enough pointed-out. From Landshut he went to 
Augsburg, to pass a term at the polytechnic school of that city, and while there he heard so 
much talk of the treasures of art to he seen at Munich that he made his way thither— his 
biographers say on an allowance of fifteen cents a day from his father— and succeeded in 
getting a place in the studio of the wood-carver Sicktnger. While at work in JIunich, his 
father died, and in 1856 he entered the Academy there, determined to be a painter; but the 
Academic instruction did not suit him, and he applied for admission to the studio of Piloty. 
He was long in finding his place in art, now acknowledged to be among the best of li^•ing 
portrait-painters, for his first efforts were in the field of genre, and were marked by no special 
individuality— his " Peasant-family in a Storm," attracted notice by its coloring, but for the 
rest did not difier from the ordinary run of such subjects as treated by clever men. In 1858 
he accompanied PUoty on a short visit to Rome, and while there painted a view of the 
Roman Forum and its surroundings, which, when exhibited at Munich, created a lively inter- 



268 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

est, and fixed public attention upon the artist as a man certain to be heard from. This 
impression was strengthened by his next performance, the Portrait ol a Physician, Avhere for 




"PRINCE VON BISMARCK." 

FROM THE PORTRAIT BY FRANZ LENBACH. 



the first time he showed his great skill in this field in full force. The absence of all detail 
that conld distract attention from the head itself, the strong life-like expression, and the 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 269 

energy of the handling, called forth the warmest expressions of admiration from his fellow- 
artists and from the public, and with this work his success began. In 1860, he received a call 
to take charge of the art-school at Weimar, but he remained there only a short time. Count 
Schack invited him to go a second time to Rome, and he joyfully accepted the offer. Still 
later, he visited Spain, and both there and in Italy made those copies of the old masters 
which adorn the gallery of Count Schack in Munich, and which so far excel the copies made 
for that collection by other artists of the time. But a man of Lenbach's powers was not born 
to be a copyist of other men, even of the greatest, and his success in portrait-painting soon 
led to his absorption in that pursuit. The example that we give in the " Bismarck," one of 
several representations of " the man of blood and iron," will indicate the force and clearness 
of vision which Lenbach brings to his task. At the same time we do not get from any mere 
transcript in black and white, the full impression received from the painting of the artist; 
the rich but sober coloring of his pictures — though tone would be the more appropriate word, 
since of color, in the true acceptation of the word, there is none— adds powerfully to the hold 
they take upon every siDectator. With Lenbach all his skill is concentrated uiDon the head 
of his subject, and he often neglects details in a way to deceive the unthinking into a sus^ 
picion that he is a careless draughtsman. Thus, the hand of Bismarck in our picture is not, 
properly speaking, a hand at all, but the mere symbol of a hand, yet no man living can paint 
a hand better than Lenbach when he must ; he is in fact a most accomplished draughtsman, 
which no one could really doubt who should leave the hands in this picture, to study the 
strongly built, massive, yet mobile head of the great bulwark of German unity— the con- 
sistent enemy of liberalism and progress; the Goliath of modern Philistinism. Many of the 
greatest names of the Germany of our time will be made living presences to fixture genera- 
tions in their portraits as painted by Lenbach, yet it is safe to say that in his case, as in that 
of Holbein, these portraits will be prized as much for their value as paintings as for their 
value as likenesses. How many times he has painted Bismarck we do not know, but he 
must have painted Dr. Dollinger oftener still; the head of this venerable man seenis to have 
had a special charm for Lenbach; when in Munich, we saw several examples in the artist's 
studio. Among his other portraits are those of Moltke, King Ludwig II., Wagner, Helm- 
holtz, Liszt, Paul Heyse and his wife, and Count Schack, the noble amateur to whom the arts 
in Germany owe so much. Lenbach has painted but few portraits of women; and indeed 
Ms style is not suited to this softer employment. ^ ^ 



2 70 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

XVI. 

•HP HE realism that is the strongest point in German art, and wliich comes in as a disturbing 
-*■ element in the attempts of lier painters to treat ideal subjects, has had a still more 
unfortunate influence on the landscape-art of the country. German landscape— a very few 
names excepted — has never made any impression upon the outside world, and even at home 
seems to have but little hold upon the popular fancy. A Corot, a Rousseau, a Daubigny, 
would seem an impossibility in Germany; at any rate, none such has, as yet, appeared there, 
nor does there seeni to be any tendency in that direction. The German landscapes that have 
made a name for themselves outside of Germany are, with so few exceptions as to be scarcely 
worth mentioning, more allied to science than to poetry. In their landscapes, as in their 
historical painting, the pedagogue plays a more conspicuous part than the seer of visions, 
and even when the seer of visions appears, he is apt to be somewhat of a prosaic person. As 
Titian was the first landscape-painter in Italy, so Diirer was the first landscape-painter in Ger- 
many, and there was between them aU the difference that there is between Italy and Germany. 
The realism of Diirer, too often intruding pettiness and meanness between us and the heart of 
his subject, caused him constantly to belittle his landscape with a multitude of unnecessary 
details ; in his " Great Cannon " we can count every tree and bush on the slopes of the distant 
mountain-range; in his "Great Fortune" we can number the logs in the piles of wood 
stacked-up in the farm-house yard. In Diirer, we lose the general in the particular; in 
Titian, we are impressed by the grand facts of Hght and air, the height of the mountains, the 
noble forms of the trees ; Ave are not disturbed by petty accidents in our enjoyment of the 
impression due to the scene itself. Titian cared no more to make an exact portrait of a 
place, than Turner or Claude; Diirer was never able to idealize any landscape, he painted 
every separate tree in the distance, and every separate stone, or leaf, or curling tendril of vine 
at our feet, with the same fidelity and enjoyment with which he drew the separate hairs in 
his own beard in his famous portrait of himself, or the separate lines in the sole of the 
Apostle's foot in the Heller tryptich; and out of Diirer's practice and silent teaching, 
has grown modem German landscape, as modern French landscape, led off by Claude and 
Poussin, and the best English landscape, with Wilson and Turner at the head, have grown 
out of the practice and silent teaching of the great Italians, however it may have been 
modified by the influence of Rembrandt— that wonderful genius who created a new world 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 271 

of art and peopled it witli artists!— and by the direct and ardent study of nature at first- 
hand by the race that began with Constable, Crome and DeWint. In the case of the 
French and the English we may suppose that there can be no doubt of the parentage 
of their landscape-art, but with the Germans Diirer may rather be accepted as a type 
of his countrymen, than as a distinct forerunner; he looked at nature as they all look at 
it; Titian looked at nature in his own way and taught those who came after him how to 
look at it. 

But, at the time of the modern revival of art in Germany, another influence, much more 
disastrous than that of a Diirer could ever be, was imposed upon the studios. We say, 
imposed upon the studios, because, although it appeared and grew up, keeping equal step 
with what was going on in literature and social life, yet in reality this new influence, derived 
from the revived study of the classics, and the opening to Germany of the ways that led to 
Italy, was not native to the German people, but was imposed upon them by the literary men 
and scholars who were then preparing for her a new birth of Fame. The old German art was 
despised; alike its painting, its sculpture, its architecture—and tlie Germans of the new day 
sought for inspiration, as the French were at the same time seeking it, in classical models, 
but with results far colder and more prosaic than those obtained by their Gallic neighbors. 
Could the German artists of the new era have remained at home; had there been in any part 
of Germany a central rallying-place such as we have already pointed out the French had in 
Paris, there might have come about a normal development of native art, that would have 
absorbed the new influences instead of ■ being absorbed by them, as was unfortunatelj'' the 
case. As we have seen, these earlier artists all made their way to Eome, and though they 
for the most part returned to Germany and took up their residence at Munich, or Dusseldorf, 
or Berlin, yet they could not escape from the influences of their Italian training. The laurels 
of Michelangelo and Raphael would not let them sleep, and for a long time the works of the 
new men infallibly reflected, and seemed proud to reflect, either one or the other of these 
masters; and even to-day, it is still the fashion in some quarters to call Cornelius the Michel- 
angelo, and Overbeck, the Raphael, of the new renaissance. It is true that the founders of 
this German renaissance sought for national subjects on Avhich to exercise their skill, and 
that they stoutly upheld the dignity of their native legends and their native history as 
against the themes of classic history and fable. But it was not possible for them, looking at 
art as they did, to express their ideas in a language of their own; they presented their 



2 72 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

subjects in a guise that either concealed their individuality entirely, or confounded them 
with the very subjects they sought to avoid. 

The few artists who were drawn to landscape-painting were not so hampered as the ideal- 
ists, but they had to contend both with the influence of Claude and with the scientific spirit 
of the time, just then waking into new life. On the one side all was imitation and slavish 
subjection to a model; on the other side was a spirit, utterly antagonistic to poetry, but, it 
must be confessed, by no means alien to the German mind. And between the two there was 
born the landscape-art of modern Germany, which, if, in our day, it has forsaken Claude, has 
only clung more closely to a scientific realism that is the antipodes of poetry, or that, at any 
rate, can only be made to serve the uses of art in the hands of a poet, and which, as a general 
thing, we would gladly exchange for even the imitation of a jDoet's handiwork. 

Fkiedeeich Johann Christian Ernst Prellek was born at Eisenach in 1804. His 
father was a confectioner, whose modicum of inborn talent for art found ample scope and 
verge enough for its exercise in modelling the ornaments for his cakes and candy-trophies, 
and who was not displeased to find a son of his disposed to do something more venturesome 
in the field of art. About a year after the birth of this second of his three sons, the elder 
Preller removed to Weimar In order to look after the aifairs of his father, then an old man 
in feeble health. Here he brought u}) his son, who, in course of time, was put to learn at the 
public school and afterward at the gymnasium, where, as he tells us in his pleasant autobio- 
graphical sketch, he made a fair acquaintance with Greek and Latin. It was in Weimar that 
fortune came to him with the friendship of Goethe, whose acquaintance he made when he was 
in his fifteenth year, the poet being then seventy. Young Preller had shown so strong a 
l^redilection for art, and had given such marked signs of talent, that he attracted the atten- 
tion of Goethe's friend, the Counsellor Meyer, called Kunst Meyer from his love of art, who, 
there being as yet no art-school in Weimar, invited Preller to his own house and gave him 
instruction in the use of oils. A little later he encouraged the boy to call upon Goethe, and 
he did so, moved, as he says, by curiosity, but wondering at the same time what a boy of 
fifteen could find to say to so great a man. " But Meyer urged me, and I went. The poet 
who, though really only of middle size, seemed, when sitting, to be powerfully built, and with 
those wonderful eyes that looked one through and through, received me with a bewitching 
friendliness that yet could not wholly overcome the awe that his presence imposed upon me." 
After some talk of this and that, Goethe opened up the subject, which very likely he had 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 273 

discussed beforehand Avith Knnst Meyer, and in wliicli he wished for the assistance of some 
person who would be skilful enough to follow his directions, and yet young enough to work 
at a reasonable rate. Remembering all that Ruskin has written about the study of cloud- 
forms, and the impression he contrives to give that no one before himself and Turner had 
ever thought these forms worth mentioning, it is certainly interesting to find that in the very 
year in which he was born, 1819, Goethe, led by the study of an English book on Cloud- 
formation, was himself studying the subject, and that he was looking about for a draiights- 
man who could make for him some cloud-studies from nature. He proposed the matter to 
young Preller, who gladly agreed to do what was wanted, and who made, to Goethe's great 
contentment, at least a dozen studies of the sky from nature. The old poet took a great 
interest in Preller from this time, and by his aid the young artist was shortly after enabled 
to visit Dresden, where by making sketches for the book-publishers and copies in the gallery, 
of Ruysdae], Claude, and Poussin for Goethe and his friends, he made a comfortable living. 
Preller was introduced by Goethe to Carl-August, the Grand Duke of AVeimar, who took a 
great liking to the young artist, and invited him to accompany him on a visit to Belgium and 
Holland. After making the round of the chief cities, they brought up at Antwerp, where the 
Duke introduced Preller to the chief of the Antwerp school of artists at that time, and 
Director of the Academy, Matthijs von Bree, a painter Avho had learned his art in Paris of a 
pupil of Vien. Into his hands the Duke put his young protege, and after a stay of a few days 
left him to pursue his studies, his parting words to Preller being, " See that you do me 
honor! " In Antwerp, Preller says, landscape-painting was thought nothing of, and although 
his taste lay strongly in that direction, he gave himself up Avith docility to the teaching of 
his new master. He worked industriously, drawing morning and evening from life, and 
between times from the antique, for which he already began to feel a strong attraction. After 
some time spent in Antwerp, he was enabled by the help of the Grand Duke to visit Italy, 
and at Milan he studied in the Academy before proceeding to Rome, the goal of all his hopes 
and his highest ambition. Here he found the famous German colony of artists in full pos- 
session: Overbeck, Thorwaldsen, Wagner, Koch, Gehelli and the rest; Cornelius no longer 
there, but returning soon after and greeted like a king by his loyal people. In Rome, Preller 
came under the influence of Koch—" Koch, the witty cynic," as Preller calls him, and from 
him learned to apply to landscape-painting the principles that. at Antwerp he liad been 

trained to apply to the figure. He travelled over Italy with Koch, and the two made inces- 
VoL. 11—18 



274 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

sant studies from natiire, wliich in Preller's case at least would have been more fruitful liad 
they not been passed through the academic sieve. Preller returned in 1831 to Weimar, where 
he was received by Goethe vdth the old kindness, although he died too soon after Preller's 
ai-rival to be of much further service to him. The outcome of all our artist's studies and 
travels was now to appear in the form of those designs for the Odyssey which adorn the haR 
now called after himself, the PreUer Hall, in the Museum at AVeimar. In these pictures he 
wished to express his double love for nature and for classic fable, and he chose the story of 
the wanderings of Ulysses as the theme about which to weave his memories of the fair Italian 
land where so many happy years had been passed and where he was at last to die. He made 
his first essay in this important undertaking in seven compositions painted in distemper on 
the walls of the so-called Roman House in Leipzig (Romische-Haus) built by the architect 
Hermann in 1833 in the then prevailing classic taste, for Preller's friend Hartel ; afterward he 
made additional designs in black and white, and sent them to Munich to the exhibition of 
1858. Here they were received with great enthusiasm, which was not lessened by their sub- 
sequent journey through Germany, where they were shown in all the chief cities and enjoyed 
a long drawn-out triumph. When shown at Munich they had been competed for by the 
Grand Duke of Weimar and by Count Schack, each desiring that the artist should comj)lete 
the cartoons for himself. Count Schack gave way to the Duke, and Preller having received 
the commission to paint the pictures for Weimar, at once set out with his family for Italy in 
order to make his studies for the composition directly from nature. When he had completed 
his work, he returned to Weimar and executed the wax-frescos in the Museum, of which we 
have already spoken. The cycle of subjects is designed to represent the chief events in the 
wanderings of Ulysses from his leaving Troy until his return to Ithaca. The paintings are 
very skilfully adapted to tlie architectural arrangement of the rooms. Round the base of 
the wall are painted in red on a black ground, in imitation of the Greek vases, different 
scenes at Ithaca before and after the return of Ulysses. Two of the subjects from this cycle 
were painted for Count Schack by Preller, and we copy one of these, the " Ulysses and the 
Nymph Calypso," which may give a notion of the general treatment of these subjects at the 
hands of Preller. The wish of the artist was, to make a complete accord between the land- 
scape and the figures of his story. But it is inevitable that every such attempt should fail, 
since man is too insignificant a being to hold his own as an element in any landscape, if he is 
shown in his triie proportion. It follows, then, that either the landscape must be sacrificed 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 275 

to the human figures, or the figures to the landscape; and which of these shall be done ^\-ill 
depend upon the artist's personal preference. That of Preller was plainly for the landscape, 
and it is as a landscape-painter that he has conceived his subjects. His figures are purely 
conventional, and of no more value than those of any other painter of " landscape-with- 




' ULYSSES AND THE NYMPH CALYPSO.' 
FROM THE PAINTING BY FRIEDRICH PRELLER 



figures," from Claude to Turner. Although Count Schack was not able to secure from Preller 
the prize he coveted: the whole series of the Odyssey pictures, he obtained from hira two 
companion-subjects; the "Calypso" and the "Leucothea," representing successive scenes in 
the adventures of the hero. The one we engrave, the " Calypso," represents the nymph 



276 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

taking leave of Ulysses after she lias assisted him in building his raft. " But when," sings 
Homer, " the mother of dawn, rosy-fingered morning appeared, Ulysses immediately put on a 
cloak and a garment, and the Nymph herself put on a large white veil, thin and graceful, and 
around her loins she placed a beauteous golden girdle ; and she placed a head-dress on her 
head; and then she prepared the voyage for the strong-hearted Ulysses. She gave him a 
large axe, fitted to his hands, of steel sharpened on both sides; and with it a very beautiful 
handle of olive-wood well fitted to it; then she gave him a well-polished adze; and she led 
the way to the extreme part of the island where tall trees sprung up, alder and poplar, and 
there was a pine reaching to heaven, long since seasoned very dry, which would sail lightly 
for him. But when she' had shown where the tall trees had sprung up. Calypso, divine one 
of goddesses, returned to the house ; but he began to cut the wood, and his woi-k was quickly 
performed. And he felled twenty in all, and cut them with the steel, and polished them 
skilfully, and directed them by a rule. In the mean time Calypso, divine one of goddesses, 
brought augers, and he then perforated all ; and fitted them to one another ; and he fixed it 
with pegs and cramps." Homer goes on to describe the building of the sides of the raft and 
the furnishing it with decks, and masts, and sail-yards and a rudder ; so that in truth what 
began as a raft, ends by being something very like a ship ! As we read in the Odyssey the 
description of the building of this raft, the imagination keeps pace with the magniloquence 
of the poet's phrases and epithets until the image in the mind has grown to ideal proportions, 
far beyond those of any merely human ship or raft. And it is but fair to demand of the 
artist who pretends to set before its a series of pictures illustrating the Homeric poem, that 
he should at least keep his performance up to the level of our own interpretation. But this 
has certainly not been done by Preller; on the contrary, he hardly gives to his conception the 
dignity of commonplace reality. The raft-ship is seen at the right, in appearance not much 
bigger than an ordinary yawl, and a very clumsy yawl at that. When Ulysses mounted his 
ship, he was clad in perfumed garments brought him by Calypso, and even while at work, 
we read of him as clothed, but Preller represents him as all but naked, having a nonde- 
script mantle thrown across one thigh. In short, there is no connection worth speaking of 
between the description of the poet and the picture of the painter; and after seeing this 
series of paintings in the Museum of Weimar, we listen with incredulity to the artist's own 
account of the hold that Homer had taken of his admiration, causing him to dream for years 
of painting the story of the Odyssey, and leading him to take long journeys in search of land- 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 277 

scape-material to serve as a setting for his subjects. Even his landscapes have little that is 
ideal in their treatment of nature; at the same time they do not compensate us for the loss of 
poetry, by a literal portraiture. The scenery of the coast of Southern Italy, which seems to 
have suggested his choice of subject, is done scant justice to; and all these pictures might 
have been painted without the artist putting himself to the expenditure of time and money 
in order to study a landscape which, after all, had nothing to do with his story. It is plain, 
however, that Preller's ideas of landscape-painting were born of the same movement that 
produced the so-called historical-painting and ideal-painting of his generation. It grew up 
side by side with the work of Cornelius and Overbeck, von Schwind, Bendemann and the 
rest — Bendemann almost the last of his race ; his death reported, even as we are \vriting his 
name — and it suffered like the work of these his contemporaries from the attempt to be 
faithful at one and the same time to two irreconcilable things: to the spirit of an art that 
had lost its vitality, and to the scientific spirit that was just beginning to move over the face 
of the earth. All the young artists of Germany were flocking to Rome, to worship at the 
shrines of Michelangelo and Raphael; but when they came to paint their pictures, they 
found themselves confronted with the realism of the new time; the demand for accuracy in 
the portrayal of costume, of furniture, of things in general. Later, followed a similar demand 
for accuracy in depicting natural objects ; the age of observation and discovery had set in, 
and the enthusiasm excited was not confined to the professed scientific world, but invaded all 
classes. We have seen Goethe interested in the study of cloud-forms, and employing Preller 
to make drawings of their different varieties for him, and Goethe was only the most conspic- 
uous among the many men of his time outside the ranks of the scientific professions, who 
were interested in the study of natural phenomena, finding in these an inexhaustible \\ell of 
poetic and philosophical ideas and suggestions. But the influence of aU this new-born 
interest in nature upon art in Germany was but slight. If we look from Preller and Rott- 
mann — the beginners of landscape-painting in Germany, in the new era— to England, with 
her Constable, her DeWint, her Crome, her Cox, and her Turner; or, to France, with her 
Corot, her Rousseau, her Daubigny and her Bupre— the last three a few years younger than 
PreUer, but yet his active contemporaries; we shall see how great was the distance between 
the landscape-art of Germany, and that of England and France, in the beginning of the 
century, a distance that, in the case of France and Germany, is as great to-day as ever it was. 
The landscape-art of France is the vision of the earth revealed by poets, and appealing to all 



2 78 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

tliat is poetic and romantic in the nature of the behokler. But the landscape-painter of 
Germany is not a poet; he is a pedant, a pedagogue, a reporter, his aim is geographical or 
topographical ; learned and painstaking, he seeks to inform us, to play the guide ; and if by 
chance a gleam of poetry should shoot athwart his picture, he makes haste to shut the blinds, 
and apologizes for the intrusion. Preller, with all his laborious journeying and sketching, 
and his devotion to Ulysses, accomplished little beside the example given of a constant refer- 
ence to nature, however inadequate his interpretation of nature may have turned ont to be. 
To his contemporaries, his countrymen, lie seems to have been almost a discoverer; they 
took him at his own valuation and saw in his pictures all that he himself believed to be there. 
And so it was with Rottmann, whose Italian views seem to us the merest statements of fact, 
such as industry and a trained eye have always within their power. But the Italy of Claude, 
of Turner, of Corot, is another land; it is the Italy of poetry and of the soul, and in spite of 
all protests from well-meaning sensible people, it is the Italy that the mass of men and 
women expect the artist to show them. If they want the dry facts, they can buy photo- 
graphs, or travel, and see the country for themselves. 

Eduard Hildebeandt, a native of Dantzig, where he was born in 1817 — he died in 1868 
— was at one time a great favorite in Germany among those to whom this purely topographi- 
cal landscape appeals. His reputation was more widely extended by the publication of some 
very clever chromo-lithographic copies of his pictures, which, for a time, went everywhere, and, 
to tell the truth, were as good as the pictures themselves. Hildebrandt was a pupil of Isabey, 
and he had certainly caught a good deal of his master's manner, but he had very little wine 
of his own to put into this borrowed bottle. Isabey's work, well known here by many first- 
rate examples, is rich, sensuous, flowing, and as full of color as that of Diaz; and though 
ideas may be wanting — and neither Diaz nor Isabey was troubled by an overplus of ideas — 
yet, as the one feasted the eye with hints of the sumptuosities of nature, so the other made 
real to us the descriptions of medieval splendor and picturesqueness in the romances of a 
Scott, a Hugo, or a Dumas. But Hildebrandt's j)erformance was less than his promise. He 
dazzled expectation, in his Eastern views, by startling effects of light, by brilliantly colored 
architecture and varied costumes ; but all was superficial ; there was no unfolding, so to speak, 
no afterglow, such as draws us again and again to the pictures of the old Yenetians or to those 
of Turner, Isabey, Diaz, or Monticelli in our own day. He did not confine himself to Eastern 
although his popularity was largely due to them, his Oriental landscapes, but 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



279 



English and Frencli subjects, cities, and sea-ports, Hastings and HeHgoland, Rouen, and 
Lyons and Rio Janeiro and Teneriffe— in short his pictures are a painted itinerary of a large 
portion of the planet, and serve a useful purpose as such. The difficulty with them is, that 
their aim is too plainly picturesqueness rather than accuracy, and as Hildebrandt's imagina- 
tive power, his creative faculty was not great, he satisfied neither the poets nor the scientific 




"SUEZ." 
FROM THE PICTURE BY EDUARD HILOEBRANDT. 

people. For all that, it is hardly fair to him to copy his work in black and white as we have 
done in our "Suez," since its poverty of motive, and the thinness of the treatment are 
brought out in too strong relief divested of the brilliant, and theatric coloring of the original. 
One of Hildebrandt's best pictures, " Moonrise in Madeira " is in the Corcoran Gallery. It 
was a commission given the artist by Baron Humboldt, Avho wished to present it to Mr. 
Corcoran. The talent of Hildebrandt would have found a proper field in scene-painting for 



28o ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

tlie theatre, or in a panorama, the only ways left lis in which large bodies of people can be 
reached by pictorial art, and either of them offering a worthy career, if artists could be made 
to believe that it is ever worth while to paint for the people ! 

Alexander Calajie, born at Vevey in 1810, is much better known by his lithographs 
and etchings than by his paintings ; and indeed his paintings are by no means common ; he 
seems to have preferred the copper-plate or the lithographic stone to the canvas, and his 
productiveness and picturesquesness combined, made him at one time extremely popular, 
abroad as well as at home. His pictures are found in many public and private galleries; his 
"Lake Lucerne" and "A Mountain Ravine" are in the Berlin National Gallery; other pic- 
tures are in Leipzig, and there are several in this country, mostly in private possession. Mr. 
Wm. T. Walters, of Baltimore, has an important example. As Goethe cultivated the talent of 
Preller, and Humboldt that of Hildebrandt, so the art of Calame, Avhich found its subjects 
almost exclusively in the region of the Alps of Switzerland, was much approved by the great 
Swiss naturalist, Louis Agassiz, and the circle of scientific men whom he gathered about him. 
It was they who brought the first knowledge of the artist to this country; it was Professor 
E. Desor, one of the most accomplished of the companions of Agassiz during his residence 
in Cambridge, who first introduced the writer to the engraved works of Calame, and put into 
his hands the portfolio of his Alpine etchings and lithographs. To these men of science the 
work of Calame recommended itself alike by its truthfulness to the sentiment of Alijine 
scenery and by its accuracy in the representation of the physical facts of che region. Of its 
scientific accuracy, none could be better judges than such men as Agassiz, Guyot, and Desor, 
but it may be allowed that they were hardly unprejudiced judges of the sentiment of these 
pictures, since miich less would have served to satisfy these strangers in a strange land 
hungering for home. While the merit of Calame's Alpine studies may be freely acknowl- 
edged: the good drawing and the skilful composition, the artist never seems able to ex- 
press in any adequate degree the grandeur and sublimity of the Alps, nor even their deso- 
lation. The fault we find with his engravings and etchings, as well as with his pictures, is 
that they are too " pretty," and seen in any number they weary us by a monotony with which 
the artist's mannerisms have as much to do as his want of invention. The trees, the rocks, 
the cascades, are ever the same, and when we have seen and studied any dozen of these Alpine 
landscapes we have seen all. 

Julius Makak— pronounced Marsch— a Bohemian, born in Leitomischl, in 1835, reminds 




,c rt.^ v-1^ .%*- ^vkK.©v ''^o^^\-5^ 



A. LAND S CAPE. 

FHOM THE PAINTING BY JULIUS MA] 



LMARJIESS NDWYDRIC 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 281 

las sometimes of Calame in his choice of subjects, but lie has a far less academic way of 
treating them. This will appear in his " Waterfall " as compared with the Swiss master's 
"Alpine Landscape ; " the wildness and desolation of the scenery depicted with great force, 
but without exaggeration by Marak, is in striking contrast with the tameness of Calame's 
conception, and the smoothness of his execution. Marak is, however, so essentially different 




"alpine landscape." 

FROM THE LITHOGRAPH AFTER HIS OWN PICTURE BY ALEXANDER CALAME. 



from Calame in the main of his subjects, that no comparison between them can be useful. 
The Bohemian artist belongs distinctly to the Romantic side of Art, and chooses his themes 
not as a portrait-painter of nature, but as means for expressing the wild poetry that is char- 
acteristic of his race and which he shares to the full. He loves to depict the gathering of the 
storks in the groves of elms ; the mystic stone with its Runic inscription hiding in the dark 
oak-wood ; the moon rising softly through the firs ; as we look over the portfolios of his 



282 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

etchings, or the numerous engravings from his pictures, we recall the wild romantic episodes 
of " Consuelo," that book so enchanting to boyhood, and seem to wander once more in the 
woods of Rudolstadt, and to read again with delightful awe of the blasted oak, and the 
Schreckenstein, and the deep cavern where Zdenko and Albert led their charmed life, while 
the air is dark with memories of Ziska, and Mt. Tabor, and the bloody strifes that hurtled 
round the great vision of The Cup. To others, no doubt, these pictures will yield poetry of 
a different, and perhaps a higher, sort, and to Marak's countrymen it must appeal strongly, 
as expressive of the peculiar character of their own scenery, so dyed as it is through and 
through with stirring and romantic memories. 

XVII. 

T X ARL BODMEE,, like Calame and Marak, has popularized his art by his own reproduc- 
^ ^ tions of his pictures in etchings and lithographs. We may note, in passing, the pleasure 
it gives us, to know of the revival of the art of lithography in these later days. Driven for a 
time out of the field by photography and wood-engraving, it is now reviving in the hands of 
several excellent artists, with etching, as a means of personal interpretation of their pictures ; 
the thing most desired by all artists, high or low, who, properly enough, will never be satisfied 
with seeing their work filtered through the brains and hands of other people. Bodmer is a 
Swiss like Calame; he was born in Zurich in 1809, and in 1830 he devoted himself to the study 
of art. In 1833 he accompanied Prince Maximilian von ISTeuwied in his visit to our country, 
and on his return he published the results of his journey in his " North America in Pictures," 
and followed this work by a number of oil sketches and paintings of the scenery here. He 
is well known as a contributor to the " Magazin Pittoresque," that excellent journal which in 
the long series of its issues has now arrived at an almost encyclopajdic character, and he has 
also made many designs for "Le Monde Illustree." He also made the illustrations for a 
work by Theophile Gautier, "La Nature chez elle;" Nature at Home, and in conjunction 
with Veyrassat, made etchings for Hamerton's " Chapters on Animals." He has lived for 
many years at Barbizon, bat his pictures do not belong to the "school," so-called, that we 
associate with that village. Bodmer, like Calame, is a painter rather for naturalists, or for 
lovers of nature directly reported, than for those who care for her most when poetically trans- 
lated. Hamerton's praise of him is significant: "He is an artist of consummate accomplish- 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



283 



ment in liis own way, and of immense range. There is hardly a bird or quadruped of West- 
ern Europe that he has not drawn, and drawn, too, with a closeness of observation satisfac- 




"IN BAS-BREAU." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY KARL BODMER. 



tory alike to the artist and naturalist. The bird or the beast is always the central subject 
with Karl Bodmer, but he generally surrounds them with a graceful landscape full of intri- 



284 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

cate and mysterious suggestions, with here and there some plant in clearer definition, drawn 
with perfect fidelity and care." 

This praise of Mr. Hamerton's does not carry us far. All that it amounts to is, that Karl 
Bodmer is to be counted an excellent and learned animal-painter, and that he knows how to 
give his models a tasteful and appropriate setting of landscape. And the very pleasing ex- 
ample that we copy proves Mr. Hamerton right in this particular point, as all may see. This 
group of a stag with does and fawns is certainly painted with great delicacy and sentiment — 
the alertness, the grace, the lightness of foot of these handsome creatures could not be better 
given, though others in plenty have done it as well. But, after all, it is not a picture that 
we have here, but only a realistic study of animals and of landscape, such as Rosa Bonheur, 
Wolf, Meyerheim and Landseer— when he was at his best, and not caricaturing his fellow- 
men under the thin disguise of animals — have produced in plenty. Such work calls for 
knowledge, accuracy, and if possible, taste, with as much technical skill as may be forthcom- 
ing, but it does not call for imagination, nor fancy, nor for any other of the higher faculties 
that go to make a picture, properly so-called. 

August Fink, a Munich artist whose name has not yet climbed so high as the diction- 
aries, and of whom therefore, we may believe so much, that he is young! — shows in his 
" Winter in the Mountains," as much skill as Bodmer, and as deej) a sentiment for nature, but 
he is a landscape-painter and not an animal-painter, though he often introduces animals into 
his compositions as here, and as in his " Mountain-heights with Deer," exhibited at Munich in 
1883. But, in Bodmer's pictures, the animal-life is the main thing, and the pleasure we get 
from it is for the most part independent of the landscape. In the picture by August Fink, 
however, the landscape is the chief thing; the presence of the doe, strayed, apparently, from 
the rest of the herd, adds no doubt to the impressiveness of the scene, and at first may seem 
to heighten the sense of wintry desolation. But by her action we may Judge that her mates 
are not far away, and just this little txxrn of the creature's head reassures us, and leaves us 
free to enjoy the beauty of the snow-painting, the dark fir-forest, the skeletons of last sum- 
mer's shrubbery showing through the drift, and the gleam of the glacier on tlie distant moun- 
tain side. 

Andersen-Lundby, the painter of "A Mill-stream in Winter," hails from Munich, where, 
in 1883, at the Kunstausstellung, we saw two of his pictures — "Fresh-faUen Snow," and 
" On the Way to Market." The example of Lundby's art that we j^resent to our readers is a 






ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



285 



very pleasing one, and shows winter in a more human and comfortable aspect than we saw it 
in August Fink's picture; we have it here intimately associated with domestic life, and sug- 




"WINTER IN THE MOUNTAINS." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY AUGUST FINK, 



gesting onljr cheerful thoughts. The dark mill-stream runs through the middle of the pic- 
ture, not frozen, though black with chill, and hurrying to get within reach of the miller's 
hospitable house, where it can hear the sound of human voices, and see the light gleaming 



286 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

from the windows. The trees are thickly powdered \\ith snow, and it lies in a soft warm 
blanket of whitest wool over the rock-strewn ground at their feet. On the other side of the 
stream a meadow stretches far and wide ; we can trace through its white expanse the course 
of the main water that turns away from the mill pond after supplying the race; a man and a 
woman liave just crossed the bridge that spans this stream, and are making for one of the 
houses of the settlement about the mill. The smoke rising straight upward in the still even- 
ing air, speaks of warmth and homely cheer. This pretty picture might be an illustration of 
Emerson's " Snow-storm," a piece of Dutch landscape-painting in words : 

"Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, 
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields. 
Seems nowhere to alight : the whited air 
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, 
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end. 
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet 
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit 
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed 
In a tumultuous privacy of storm." 

It calls for some skill to make a snow-piece cheerful. It is not so hard, as our own Wal- 
ter L. Palmer and the late William Bliss Baker have shown, to make winter beautiful; but 
it requires human neighborhood to make it cheerfixl. Here are two artists, August Schenck 
and Anton Burger, who succeed pretty fairly in chilling us to the marrow ! 

August Feederic-Albeecht Schenck was born in 1828 at Gliickstadt, a dull little 
town on the Elbe, and was intended by his parents for trade. At fourteen he went to Eng- 
land and thence to Portugal, where he remained for live years engaged in mercantile life. In 
the intervals of business he amused himself with sketching, and made many studies from the 
life of the landsmen and fisherfolk that attracted the public by a certain melancholy grace. 
He had been, we believe, very successful in his business undertakings — but his heart could 
hardly have been in it — and he soon gave it up, and went to Paris, where he entered the 
studio of Leon Cogniet. He first exhibited at the Salon in 185.5, but his picture— a subject 
drawn from the peasant-life of Portugal, '• Fruit Sellers of Aventes," attracted no attention. 
A second venture, •' L'Hiver," was, however, more fortunate, and the critics received it with 
considerable favor. By some misfortune, Schenck soon after lost aU the money he had laid 
up while in business, and he found himself obliged to depend on his talents as an artist for a 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME, 



287 



living. Hapijily lie was still young and in good health, and not frightened by the vision of 
hard work ; he therefore took up life with strong hand and a merry heart, and soon won for 
himself a solid position. His earlier attempts had not been successful, and M. Montrosier 
tells us that they had the misfortune to recall the pictures of that once too popular sentimen- 
talist, Leopold Robert, whose "' Harvesters," — a true scene from the operatic ballet — was for- 
merly the delight of the shop-windows. What a contrast these delightfully clean, charm- 
ingly costumed, and gracefully moving and smiling peasants would now present if they 




^^%iM^ 2-^- 



"MILL-STREAM IN WINTER." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY ANDERSEN-LUNQBY. 



could be shown side-bj^-side with the jjeasants of Millet, or even with the peasants of Jules 
Breton! M. Montrosier, by-the-way, is much mystified by the fact that Schenck should have 
exhibited in his first Salon with the Portuguese: '• Why an artist born at Gliickstadt in the 
Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein, should exhibit with the Portuguese," he cries, " is impossible 
to discover! " As we have explained, it was in Portugal that Schenck was engaged in busi- 
ness, and it was there that he first began to exercise his art, finding his subjects suggested by 
the nfe about him. But he now abandoned this path, and devoted himself to subjects in 
which animals play a principal part. He installed himself at Ecouen, a little vUlage near 



288 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

Paris, known to ns in connection with Edouard Frere (Vol., I. p. 77), and long a favorite 
haunt of American artists. Here Schenck lived, surrounded, says Montrosier, with a veritable 
menagerie of domestic animals, whose sole duty in life was to serve as models for their mas- 
ter. As soon as the Salon was over, the artist took his staff and knapsack and set off for 
Auvergne, whence he returned in the autumn with his portfolio tilled with sketches and stud- 
ies for pictures. While in Auvergne he made a singular choice of head-quarters, taking up 
his abode at Royat, described as a filthily dirty little village, which has twice been nearly 
swept away by inundations of the torrent which flows past it. But it is a place much re- 
sorted to by tourists and artists for the sake of its wild and savage scenery, and for its fine 
view of the Puy-de-D6me. It cannot be said that Schenck's pictures give us much informa- 
tion about Auvergne, although the scenery of the place may have had something to do with 
the generally sombre character of his subjects. His animal-subjects are not always melan- 
choly like the one we copy, for Schenck has a caustic humor of his own, and not seldom raps 
his human mates about the knuckles under the thin disguise of sheep and asses. But he is 
best known by subjects like the present, where the tragedy of the sheep's life, exposed to the 
dangers of snow and cold, is narrated with a pencil that spares none of the agony. AVliether 
by temperament or intention, our artist is seldom able to paint an animal-subject in which 
we are shown the animal-nature and its workings free from all suggestions of an underlying 
human relationship. 

Andeeas Achenbach, born at Cassell in 1815 — died in 1884— is, like Preller, Hilde- 
brandt, and Calame, a painter of portraits of places, but he comes much nearer to being an 
imaginative artist than the others ; his j)ictures are interesting in themselves to a degree rarely 
attained by any German landscape-painter, unless it be his own brother Oswald. It is easy 
to recognize this in comparing even the single example we are able to give of his work with 
those of Hildebrandt, Calame, and Preller — although, as we have admitted, our plate hardly 
does Preller justice. There is a richness, a sense of life, in this subject that are in strong con- 
trast vsdth the emptiness or tameness that we find in the pictures of these other artists. This 
is the Jews' Quarter in Amsterdam, or a corner of it, for the place itself impresses the visitor 
as a much more crowded and populous neighborhood than is shown in Achenbach's picture. 
This portion of the city has been occupied for several hundred years, almost exclusively by 
Jews, who are said to form a tenth part or thereabout, of the population. They represent a 
great deal of wealth, and own no less than ten synagogues. Since the extension of the city 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



28g 



toward the east, and the establishment of the famous Zoological Gardens — the richest of the 
sort in Europe— together with the imiDrovement of the docks and wharves in that part of the 
town, the Jews' Quarter no longer has the picturesque and tumbledown irregularity shown 
in our picture. This is owing to the fact that the stream of travel between the Dam, the 
central part of the old city and the main seat of traffic, and the new, fashionable district in 
the east, passes directly through the Jews' Quarter, and the natural tendency has been to 




'THE JEWS' QUARTER IN AMSTERDAM." 
FROM THE PICTURE BY ANDREAS ACHENBACH. 



break up the old, free-and-easy, careless way of living, so long indulged in by the inhabitants. 

To find such a tumble-down state of things as is here represented, one must now go a long 

way out of the city, and it is a chance if he come anywhere upon so picturesque a spot. For, 

to tell truth, there is very little of the picturesque left in Holland, and though Amsterdam, 

thanks to the way in which her streets are laid out, and to her canals and bridges, and gabled 

houses, is a handsome city, she has none of the charm that comes from decay and ruin. 
Vol. II.— 19 * * 



ago ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

What is going ou all over Europe ; in Venice, in Eome, in Naples, in Florence, in Paris, 
in London, is going on in Holland as well. These municipalities are bound to make them- 
selves comfortable, clean, airy, and healthy, if possible, and they are going about the work 
with small consideration for the mutterings or shrieks of sentimentalists. No sensible person 
can really blame them for this, however sincerely and feelingly he may regret the loss of so 
much that is consecrated by memory and tradition. So, farewell to this old, rotten,' tumble- 
down Jews' Quarter, as to its sister Ghetto in Rome, and yet thanks to Achenbach for pre- 
serving for us the look of it in the days before the octopus of respectability " claw'd it in her 
clutch," and squeezed all individuality out of it! Here, on one side are two of those tall 
gabled houses with their fronts all windows and door-way, that are, no doubt, the direct 
ancestors of those in this New Amsterdam of ours ; the outsides reduced, it is true, to " a pale 
nnanimity " not found in the Dutch originals, where no two are alike, but the internal ar- 
rangement almost identical, so that an Amsterdam burglar would need no lessons in making 
his way about a New York house in the dark. As with us, the material is brick, with stone 
dressings to the doors and windows ; but the bricks are seldom red ; of tener a dark gray, 
either painted or self-colored, and the stone a creamy white, kept to its natural color in 
houses in the better quarter liy frequent painting. These fronts are often slightly enriched 
by carding shown in shields- of-arms, or pilasters, or string-courses, with ornamental iron- 
work over the doorways, stanchions for the lanterns once in use, and for other details, all of 
which give a certain moderately ornamental look to the streets, as one may fancy who sup- 
poses the two houses in Achenbach's picture repeated along a whole block. Here they show 
somewhat isolated, although we can see that the building is carried on more closely at the 
right, and between them we see the gables of other houses of the same sort. But, at the left, 
and in the middle distance, the houses are smaller, and less pretending, and in front all dwin- 
• dies down to some rude shanties or cook-shops, the resort for warmth, shelter, and food, of 
the men and women living and working on the shores of the canal. There is almost as much 
water as land suggested here, for the sails of the ships and barges make as much figure in 
the composition as the houses themselves. But this, as every traveller knows, forms one of 
the charms of Holland. It affects one strangely, at first, to walk over great stretches of 
meadow on a causeway, with slender do-nothing trees on either hand, as here in Tina Blau's 
" Eoad near Amsterdam," or as in the famous picture by Hobbema in the National Gallery 
in London, which this faintly recalls, and to see suddenly appearing above the rushes at one's 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



29] 



side, the sail of a boat coming straight toward you ; then to see it dip, and after a minute, 
come up again on the other side of the causeway. And all this in silence, perhaps no sound 
of a human voice, for in these wide jDlains, intersected by hundreds of canals, the vision ex- 
tends so far that no signs of warning are needed as in Venice — that Southern Amsterdam — 
and even ia the city itself, where the great canals bordered by the several Grachts or avenues, 




'ROAD NEAR AMSTERDAM." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY TINA BLAU. 



are busy all day with shipping, we were struck by the absence of noise and shouting. One 
hears more of this in the down-town steets of New York in an afternoon, than he will in a 
summer of Holland. Achenbach may have been less inspired in this picture by the reality as 
seen by himself, than by reminiscences of Ruysdael and Hobbema, but he has given the true 
expression to his subject ; we knoAv this heavy sky, with its low-lying clouds broken here and 
there with patches of blue; the screaming gulls, the sails of the lumbering coasters bagging 



292 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



with the wind that rushes before the rain from the Zuyder Zee; the wisps of trees— they 
must needs be web-footed to keep their hold in this amphibious shore !— tossed and tumbled 
by the gusts that bear to the ground the smoke from the pot-house shanty by the water-side, 
or carry it off like a streamer from the chimney of the tower-like house. But, if the weather 
be dull, what do the people care? They are well used to it and know far too much to go in- 
doors when it rains ! The fish- women seated by the roadside, ready for custom, do not mind 
the weather. One of them has her baby on her knee; so combining business mth pleasure! 
And the women down by the shore, washing clothes in the canal, what is a little rain more or 
less, to them? One of them has stopped her scrubbing to chat with a neighbor who has 
seated herself on the top of the wharf -steps with her child in her arms — doubtless one of 
those apple-cheeked, tow-headed blue-eyes that we once saw tumble into the canal in Haar- 
lem and fished out with a boat-hook by its irate father, who spanked it well for its awkward- 
ness, wasting small sympathy on its simulated blubber! On the shore is another woman 
bearing down the wind like a heavy lugger, with her two children as outriggers. In the 
house-porch an old woman sits and spins, while her man sits, spinning street- yarns, on the 
rail of the stoop— for every Dutch house has its " stoop," the ancestor of ours ! By a well in 
the middle of the street with a young tree planted beside it an old man is talking with an- 
other, who has harnessed his horse to a sledge on which he is going to carry off some of the 
boxes and barrels that are in the small boat just landing. The master of this boat, as he 
pulls- up alongside the barge that came in an hour ago, exchanges notes upon the weather 
with the captain, who lounges on the deck smoking his pipe at his ease. His wife meanwhile 
is talking weather, too, — for what else is there in Holland to talk about! — with an old wife 
squatting on the shore. Off to the left again, there is more out-of-door life to be studied. A 
boat loaded with fishing-gear is stranded on an unlucky bit of flats, waiting for the tide to 
fetch her off — the fisherman's wife sitting in the prow, and whiling aAvay the time by listen- 
ing to the talk on shore and occasionally injecting an observation of her own. Meanwhile 
two women with a boat-load of fish are just come ujp alongside, and are bargaining with the 
men for their afternoon's catch. And, last of all this idling, busy world, we discover two 
men seated quite comfortably in the lee of the bank, with the smoke from their cabin-chim- 
ney beating down upon them, and philosophically giving the chimney as good as it sends— 
puifing away at their pipes and discussing with the good wife, what shall be for supper. 

We have gone at length into this analysis of Andreas Achenbach's picture because this 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 293 

dramatic character, if we may so dignify it, is the most striking character of the artists' work, 
and marks an important difference between him and the generality of his countrymen. Not 
only is he fond of depicting Nature in her more animated moods, but he shows great clever- 
ness in peopling his scene with groups and single figures that harmonize with the landscape. 
Among the moderns. Turner is the only conspicuous example we can remember of a similar 
skill in invention; but, though Turner can give the impression of a crowd very well, yet he 
has not Achenbach's skill in interesting us in the individuals that make up his crowds; 
though he occasionally puts character into single figures. 

We are speaking now, of " landscapes with figures," as the conventional phrase goes ; not 
of subjects like these of Ludwig Dill, or Jaroslav Cermack, or Otto von Thoren, or Adolf 
Schreyer — these, with the pictures of E. Meissner, Anton Biirger, Otto Gebler and H. Ziigel 
are "Figures with landscape," or with surroundings that are secondary to the figures — 
whether of men or animals— or meant merely as backgrounds, though always, of course, re- 
lated to the main subject, and in harmony with it. Dill's " Venetian Fishing-boat," is, as we 
should say, rather a disorderly composition ; if composition it can be called, though it makes, 
rather, the impression of a bit cut out of actual fact, without any attempt on the artist's part 
to bring it into conformity with rules. And it looks even more disorderly and uncomforta- 
ble, from the imjDossibility of rendering in black-and-white the color which, in every picture 
of Venetian life, plays, or should play, by far the most important part. The richly dyed sails 
of red or yellow, with their painted emblems, crosses, crowns, stars, hearts and arrows — the 
fancies of their simijle-hearted owners; the boats themselves, mottled with stains of the sea, 
and marks of daily wear-and-tear, and shining in the sun as the water drains from their 
drenching sides; then the deep-toned or gay color of the men's dresses, their hats of knitted 
wool or felt, and their flannel shirts: red, yellow, blue; the original hue still glowing through 
streaks and stains of salt Sjjray, and driving mist, and basking sun, as dusky-rich as the walls 
of the old palaces themselves ! Mr. Dill's picture has vivacity enough, and with such a tub as 
this to manage, we may guess the amount of talk that is found necessary to get her on her 
way to the lagoon, whither a number of other boats of the same sort have preceded her. 
What with all this lumbering out-rig of tubs, lobster-traps, nets and buoys, baskets and jugs, 
and the clumsy-seeming sails to boot, it would strike fishermen hereabout as something of a 
task to handle such a craft, and we can imagine the jeering or sarcastic comments that would 
be bestowed upon the whole performance if it were shown on the Avharves of Gloucester, or at 



294 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



the fish-stalls in our markets. When we come to speak of the English " Pre-Raphaelites " 
weshall find something in their ideas as to "composition," that will remind us of this picture 




'A VENETIAN FISHING-BOAT." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY LUDWIG DILL. 



by a German, and that will suggest a relationship which very possibly does not exist. There 
is, no doubt, in certain art-circles in Germany and in France, a reaction against the code of 
formal rules that have so long been imposed upon artists, and accepted by them with almost 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 295 

the submission due to natural, laws, but in England, as will be seen, this reaction supported 
its claims .to respect by adducing the example of the artists who came before Raphael, and 
who were not hampered by the rules that in the later work of that artist would seem to have 
controlled his practice. AVith the younger German and French artists, the reaction has ap- 
parently never been at the pains to make any excuses for itself, nor to call any names to its 
aid, nor has there been either in Germany or France, unless it were the movement of the 
French Impressionists, anything that looked like a concerted propaganda of artistic heresies. 

At the same time it is by no means impossible that the younger men of the continent 
may have been influenced by the English Pre-Raphaelites, to look more closely into the laws 
that were imposed upon them by the academics ; and that, finding there was some reason in 
the arguments adduced in support of the new movement, they may have attempted to apply 
them to their own case. In all such revolutions in taste and practice, it is, however, very 
difficult, if it be not altogether impossible, to settle the claims of precedence, or to follow in 
a chart the blowing of. the winds of influence. In this picture by Dill, every law of composi- 
tion laid down by the academics is violated or defied: there is no harmony of lines, no grace 
of proportion, no balance of parts — yet all this negation which, fifty years ago — supposing 
any one to have been capable of it, at that time, would have found .not an ally to support it, 
awakens, nowadays, no remonstrance, nor lifts a single eye-brow in sxirprise. One reason for 
this attitude of the public toward works so contrary to old usage is found in the works them- 
selves, which, when they are painted, like this of Dill's, with vigor and conviction, give pleas- 
ure to everybody who likes to see a bit of human life faithfully reported; a pleasure quite 
independent of the nature of the subject. And another reason may lie in the hamiony be- 
tween the indifference to established laws and conventions shown by the artists we have in 
mind, and the general, and certainly growing, indifference to social laws and conventions 
once in vogue. But this subject will come up for consideration at a later stage of our work. 

Even in still-life subjects, the new spirit may be and in fact is, as active, at times, as in the 
larger and so-called more important fields. Philippe Rousseau, VoUon, Manet, Diaz, Met- 
tling, reveal the romantic movement as vividly in their fruits and flowers, nay, in their fish 
and garden-vegetables, as do Delacroix in his lion-hunts, or Barye in his ravening wild-beasts, 
or Rousseau in his landscapes, where his comer of this fair earth of ours is seen under every 
aspect, sunlit or stormy, of the moving year. But in Germany, little of this imaginative 
spirit has been shown in the treatment of still-life subjects; a fonnal portraiture, a scientific 



296 . ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

rendering of natural facts is all tliat any artist in Germany has, so far as we know, attempted. 
ISTo one of them who has gained any note has gone further in this direction than Ereyer, the 
author of the small fruit-piece which we reproduce, by permission, from the drawing belong- 
ing to Messrs. Knoedler & Co. 

JoHANN WiLHELit Preter, uow the oldest, as he is the best known of the German 
still-life painters, was born in 1803, at Rheidt, and made his studies in art at the Academy 
in Dilsseldorf, with which he remained connected from 1822 to 1837. In 1835 he made a visit 
to Holland, where he studied the masters who had excelled in the painting of still-life, the 
branch of art to which he had been drawn, and in 1837, leaving Dusseldorf for a while, he 
w-ent to Munich, where he stayed for three years, and thence for three years to Italy. In 
1843 he visited Bozen and made there many studies of southern fruits; in 1848 he went to 
Berlin, and after a brief stay in that city returned to Dilsseldorf, where he has since that time 
continued to live. He has a son, Paul, and a daughter Emelie, who are both skilful still-life 
painters. Visitors to the gallery of paintings by the artists of the Dusseldorf school— the 
Dilsseldorf Gallery which, thirty-odd years ago, made one of the chief attractions of our city, 
must still remember the interesting picture— the landscape painted by Lessing, the figures by 
Friedrich Boser— in which aU the leading artists of the Dusseldorf school were represented 
taking their luncheon in the woods. In this picture one of the most striking figures was that 
of Preyer, conspicuously placed in the foreground, a distinction not so mucli awarded to his 
talent— unquestioned, indeed, but exercised m a field somewhat outside of that appropriated 
to high art — as made necessary by the extreme smallness of his figure, which was so dwai-fish 
in fact that, had he not been put in the very foreground of the picture, he could not have 
been shown at all. His picture always excited the good nature of visitors, since the little 
man, with his tight, well-proportioned figure, his long hair, and his smiling, strongly-marked 
■countenance, seemed fully alive to the humor of the situation, though preserving a proper, 
self-respecting dignity. Preyer's fruit-pieces at one time enjoyed a wide popularity, and 
although they are now somewhat less cared for, and indeed are seldom offered for sale by the 
dealers, whose shops are a convenient test of contemporary valuation, we must believe that 
the exquisite care and faithfulness Avith which they are painted will always have its value, 
even though, for a time, work of a larger, freer execution may cause it to be neglected. The 
drawing we publish— it is made with the lead-pencil, slightly tinted here and there with color 
— shows the careful draughtsman but gives no sufficient notion of his j)ainting. Something 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 297 

of liis skill in this particular may be gathered from a very beautiful reproduction of one of his 
best pictures, piiblished by the Messrs. Knoedler & Co., remarkable as a specimen of the art 
of chromo-lithography. Just then brought to perfection, and since vulgarized into unmerited 
obloquy. This published plate is, however, a silent critic on the art that can so faithfully be 
reproduced by a process so largely mechanical ; and indeed beyond the taste which Preyer 



msm^^ 




"FRUIT-PIECE." 

FROM THE PENCIL-DRAWING BY JOHANN PREYER 

undoubtedly possesses, there is nothing in his picture which is beyond the reach of patient 
assiduity. He has studied the exquisite works of von Huysum, Eachel Ruysch, Kalf, and 
other painters of flowers and still-life, until he has caught much of their finished manner and 
something of their spirit, but his failure to take an equal place with these masters in the 
appreciation of the public arises from the difference between the modern artists and the older 



298 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

men in pictorial power; the power to make a picture witli the given materials. At his best, 
Preyer is but plain prose where the others are poetry. By this, we mean, that Preyer arrang- 
ing his still-life objects on his tables; his fruit freshly gathered and lying loosely as it 
was brought in from the garden, or placed in bowls or dishes, his glasses filled with cham- 
pagne, the beaded bubbles rising and gathering round the edge of the surface of the wine; 
or, an opened walnut, with some raisins — these things the artist viewing, proceeds to paint 
them with strict scientific accuracy, thinking, or so it would seem, far more of the truthful 
representation of his subject than of its pictorial effect. The von Huysums, Kalfs, Hondekoe- 
ters, and the rest of the still-life masters, on the other hand, accomplished both wonders: 
they painted with an accuracy to delight the naturalist, and they made pictures that com- 
pletely satisfy the artist. 

Still, let us be thankful for the accuracy that is the Germans' strong point, not Preyer's 
alone, but that of the German artists in general. 

XVIIl. 

r)AUL FRIEDRICH MEYERHEIM, the painter of our "Lion and Lioness" has earned 
*- his reputation as an animal-painter by strict fidelity of portraiture, as we see it in this 
picture; he seldom indulges in satire or story-telling, such as Landseer and our own Beard 
are so fond of, and so clever in, although tlie apes have occasionally tempted him to experi- 
ments in that direction. Meyerheim was born in Berlin in 1842, and 
was at first the pupil of his father, Eduard Meyerheim, but later 
studied in the Academy. His studies ended, he travelled in Ger- 
many, the Tyrol, Switzerland, Belgium, and Holland, and lived for a 
year and a half in Paris, where he paid particular attention to color 
in his painting. He sketched in oils as well as in water-color, and 
finding himself strongly drawn in that direction, applied himself 
PAUL F. MEYERHEIM, for some time exclusively to the study of wild-animals, for which 

the Zoological Garden in Berlin offered him abundant means. He varied these studies by some 
attempts at genre painting, in which he was very successful, and by decorative painting, his 
chief performances in this field being " the History of the Locomotive-engine," which he painted 
in a series of seven pictures in the Villa Borsig in the Moabit — a suburb of Berlin. He has also 




ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



299 



painted portraits, but, witli some few exceptions, has not achieved any great success in this 
direction, although his portrait of his father, now in the Museum at Dantzig, is spoken of as a 
masterpiece. It is, however, as an animal-painter that Meyerheim will be best known, and some 
of his jjictures have not been sui-passed for strength of characterization and simple naturalness 
by anything that has been done in England or France, where the Landseers, Rivieres, Baryes, 




"LION AND LIONESS.-' 
FROM THE PICTURE BY PAUL MEYERHEIM. 



and Bonheurs have set up a standard difficult of attainment. Among the best of his pictures 
are " The Sheepshearing," " The Serpent-tamer in the Menagerie,'' " The Wounded Lion," and 
" The Apes holding Court," with the "Apes' Academy "^the last two, examples of his satiric 
humor, which are by no means wanting ia cleverness, but where he finds himself rivalling men 
fully able to contest the palm with him. We confess to caring very little for such subjects, even 
when handled by men as skilful as our own Beard, who certainly has never been surpassed 



300 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



in the genuineness of his humor by any artist at any time. "We thinli we do best justice to 
Meyerheim by presenting our readers with this " Lion and Lioness in Captivity," even though 
it may be admitted that photography could easily have produced a result so nearly similar as 
hardly to be distinguished from this, which is an actual study from life. " Hardly to be dis- 
tinguished," we say, because thei'e is always in faithful study from nature something that is 
different from what photography, or mechanism of any sort, would have produced. Neither 
the photograph nor the artist is always to be trusted, but when each is at his best they do not 
present the same side of their subject, but two sides, essentially different the one from the 
other. If nature, working with her sun and a sensitive plate, can often see what is hid from 
the eye of man, that same eye of man can as often see what is hidden from nature, and it 
will be observed that photogi-aphy as a rule works by the discovery of defects, while the art- 
ist, if he be a good one, aims to record his sitter as a whole, but with a leaning toward the 
bringing out of excellences too often hidden from the superficial view. 

Anton Burger, the painter of " The Discovered Stag," is a native of Frankfort-on-the- 
Main, where he was born in 1825. He had his first instruction in art in the Stadel Institute in 
his native town, and later he passed a year or two each in Munich and Diisseldorf. He after- 
ward settled down in Cronberg in the lovely region of the Taunus Mountains, where he still 
resides— his numerous pictures recording the scenery of the region and the manners of its 
peasant population — views of villages, farm-yard scenes, tavern-incidents, hunting adventiires, 
whatever the life of the region has to offer in the way of simple every-day subjects, of \thich 
our picture is a good example. The scene has a certain affinity with the picture already de- 
scribed by Schenck, but has a more matter-of-fact foundation. This deer dying from the hun- 
ter's shot is not attended by a ghastly ministry of crow§ waiting for his death, but his agony 
is perhaps none the less affecting; and certainly the stolid peasant who stands over him 
calmly smoking his pipe is as devoid of pity as any crow! There is winter here, as in 
Schenck's picture, and the dreariness of it is weU expressed; the hunter whose shot has 
brought the animal down, is led to the place by his guide ; at least that is the way we inter- 
pret the picture, though we should have looked for signs of a gun somewhere. The peasant's 
dog, too, seems a very disinterested spectator of a scene that generally excites some canine 
eagerness, but this animal has learned stolidity and indifference from his master. 

Adolf Schreyer is another painter who, like Barye, Delacroix, and Schenck — if we 
may name this artist in the same breath with two such lords in the kingdom of art— likes to 



I 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



301 



paint tlie stormy side of life. He was born in 1828 at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and as a child 
showed great deliglit in drawing liorses. As lie gTew older lie frequented the riding-school, 




"THE DISCOVERED STAG." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY ANTON BURGER. 



where he followed and studied the exercises of his favorite animals, and at the Stadel Insti- 
tute he contimied to studj^ in theory and from models what the riding-school had taught 



302 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

him practically. After leaving school, he went to Munich, and later, to Diisseldorf, where 
he accomplished himself in the technics of his art. In 1848 he was invited by the Prince 
of Thum-and-Taxis to travel with him, and visited Hungary, AVallachia, and Southern Rus- 
sia. Here he studied the life of the Slavs, and their beasts of burden, and here he painted his 
first battle-piece after the fight at Temesvar— a picture that had a great success, and made 
his name luiown. In 1856 he accompanied the same princely patron to Syria and Egypt, and 
later travelled with him in Algeria. The sketches and studies which were the result of these 
travels created a very lively impression when they were shown in Paris, and Schreyer soon 
found himseK on the high-road to success. He produced in rapid succession those pictures 
of wild life in Eastern Europe in which horses play so conspicuous a part, and which are so 
associated with his name by their subjects that a " Schreyer " without a horse, or horses, 
would indeed be the play of Hamlet with Hamlet omitted. Yet it is seldom that the artist 
repeats himself. His invention, founded on the industrious sketching kept up while travel- 
ling, that had filled his portfolios to overflowing with studies, seems never to fail him, and 
though we know a " Schreyer " as far as we can see it, yet it is long before we become so in- 
different to the artist's subjects as to pass them by without study, because we are held by 
their overflowing energy of life. In our tamer civilization these scenes transjDorted from the 
half-barbarous lands of the Slavs have an air of exaggeration, almost of melodrama, but those 
who know the people and their manners assure us that all this storm and stress, this plunging 
and rearing of wild or half -tamed horses— hoofs pawing the air, manes and tails streaming to 
the wind ; these swarthy men in queer outlandish garb, guiding with easy savage grace their 
reckless chai'ge— all these things, we are assured, are the every-day sights and scenes of these 
countries so far removed from the route of the ordinary traveller. The best known of his 
pictures — several of them made popular by excellent engravings — are "Cossack Horses;" 
"Winter Landscape" — horses huddled together in the snow; — "Wallachian Post-horses;" 
"Detachment of Cavalry on the March;" "Arabs Returning from the Fight;" "Terror," 
horses madly flying; "The Wounded Horse," and the subject we engrave, "Chased by 
Wolves," where certainly the scene needs no title to explain it. In 1870, Schreyer joined the 
artist-colony that has associated itself with the village of Cronberg in the beautiful Taunus. 
country near Prankfort-on-the-Main, where we have already met with Anton Burger — a quiet 
resting-place, and a singular contrast to the wild life that makes the staple of Schreyer's 
pictures. 




O o 

5 S 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



303 



Otto von Thoren is another painter who brings to us the report of what he has seen in 
the eastern parts of Europe, but he deals for the most part witli quieter, domestic scenes: "A 
Herd of Hungarian Oxen," " Cows in the Meadow," " The Hungarian Steppes at Sunset, with 
G-roups of Cattle," and the " Grain-thrashing," which we publish — an excellent example of his 
art. The horses, guided by the man who stands in the middle, jog round and round in a 
circle, beating out the grain from the ear as it is continually fed and spread by the other men. 
The dress of the men is singular to our eyes, used to a more curt and summary garb for labor, 





"CORN-THRASHING." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY OTTO VON THOREN. 



whether at home or in the field. At first, on seeing these long coats we think there must be 
something priestly or religious about their wearers ; perhaps these are a sort of lay-brothers 
from some neighboring monastery, working in the field as monks used to do, and as they still 
are found doing all over Europe. But, then, we reflect, that the dress of monks, priests, and 
popes is itself only a survival of the dress of the people in Greek and Eoman days— out- 
grown with time and generally abandoned, it has crystallized as we see it in the vestments of 
the Roman church. This long coat, or gown, worn over his under garments by this man and 
his companions in the field, is the cMton of the Greeks, the tunica of the Romans, the dal- 
matic of the modern Romish priest, called by this last name because it was formerly made. 



304 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

and is still, perhaps, made in some places in Dalmatia, of the wool grown in that conntry. 
And thus we see the old still surviving in the new, and perceive that the world of man is but 
a palimpsest where the most ancient writing can still be read through the records of age suc- 
ceeding age. But, von Thoren's bright and sunny leaf from the life of this Danubian popu- 
lation has anything but an archfeological expression. How naturally the horses plod along, 
each in his own character; one inclined to play a bit with the geese the Avoman is guiding, 
and who are gleaning a few of the scattered grains as they fly from under the horses' feet. 
The white horse seems to be thinking back to the time when he had something to do better 
worth-while than treading-out corn; his neighbor puts down his head to catch a mouthful of 
straw, while the two next him make a few confidential remarks to one another on the situa- 
tion. The last horse in the line starts with a jump as the man behind him touches his flanks 
with an armful of corn he is about to throw down ; at the extreme right a man with a fork 
spreads out the grain in readiness for the horses. 

Otto von Thoren Avas born in 1828 at Vienna, served in the Austrian army, took part in 
the campaign in Hungary in 1848-49, and not until 1857 began the study of arc in Paris and 
Brussels. His pictures deal for the most part with subjects, like the one we publish, where 
men and domestic animals are brought together in a natural everyday harmony, reflecting a 
patriarchal simplicity of life, very pleasant to contemplate. 

Jaroslav Cermak, the painter of the " Herzegovinian Girl," here reproduced, was born 
at Prague, but the dictionaries give us no particulars of his early life. In the useful book of 
Mrs. Clement, "Artists of the Nineteenth Century," there are a few data as to his jiictures. 
He died in 1878. He was a pupil of Gallait and of Robert Fleury, but he found his subjects 
neither in Belgium nor Paris, nor yet in his native Bohemia, but piished further east and 
painted episodes in the life of Herzegovina and Montenegro. At the Salon of 1877 he ex- 
hibited " Herzegovinians Returning to their Ravaged Village," and in 1873, "An Episode of 
the War in Montenegro." Our picture is his most pleasing performance, and deserves its 
wide popularity. Whether it be intended to be accepted literally or not, we do not know, 
but it certainly looks like a piece of pure romance; an incident in a novel by George Sand or 
by Prosper Merimee. This lovely dark -eyed girl standing by the horse, as beautiful as her- 
self, caressing his silken mane with her hand as she looks dreamily out over the fields, can 
hardly, one would think, be a type of the people of her country. Rather, we see in her the 
embodiment of heV country's past, when the land was subject to the rule of the Byzantine; by 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



305 



her dress, her attitude, her expression, she seems a vision of the antique muse brooding in 
soft melancholy over the decay of glorious empire. Her dress recalls what we said a little 
before on the permanence of old types, when describing Otto von Thoren's picture. Here we 
have, surviving, down to our own day, all the elements of the Greek and Roman dress— the 




'A HERZEGOVINIAN GIRL." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY JAROSLAV CERMAK. 



cJiiton, with its double girdle, and the himation or mantle, while the jewelled circlets pen- 
dent from the necklace, the girdle made of gold or silver plates, the earrings, and the head- 
dress fringed with glittering ornaments, recall the days of Byzantine decadence. The horses 
— one a cream- white stallion with flowing undipped tail and long profuse silken mane shad- 
ing his eyes, and with some of its strands confined in braids, the darker a more common- 
VoL. II.— 20 * * 



3o6 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

place animal— are drinking from a ruined fountain-basin, once belonging to a Byzantine 
palace, its base half liid in burdock and nettle. This picture has always seemed to us a 
remarkable one; among a cloud of works to which by its title it seems to belong — ethno- 
graphic notes inspired for the most part by mere curiosity and idleness of travel — this has all 
the qualities of a genuine poetic impression ; we feel that it is real, but it is real in a world of 
its own, a world of dreams. 

Feiedeich Johan^^ Voltz, the j)ainter of the " Cattle by the Brook," was born at Nord- 
lingen in 1817. He studied with his father, and from him learned etching, and made such 
progress in the art that Avhen he was seventeen a series of twelve etched plates after pictures 
by some of the old masters procured him admission to the Academy in Munich. Here, 
during the winter, he made coj)ies of the older masters in painting, and also practised his 
hand in pictures of his own composing, while in the summer he made sketching excursions in 
the Bavarian Highlands. Later, he visited Italy and the Netherlands, but returned to 
Munich, where he studied with Piloty for a while; but starting off again he visited Paris, 
Berlin, and Vienna, with this good result, that he grew more in touch vdth the art of his own 
time, and weaned from his too strict devotion to that of the older men. The picture that we 
reproduce is a type of his work in general ; he is one of the large company of cattle-painters 
of our day, but his pictures are distinguished from the mass by a certain idyllic character, a 
harmony between the landscape and the living beings that people the scene, such as we find 
in the pictures of Troyon and Yeyrassat; though Voltz is not equal to either of these as a 
painter. Like so many of the Germans, like by far the most of them, we must admit, he 
shows to best advantage in black and white. The little picture so ^jrettily reproduced by 
Rhodes, from an engraving, shows the artist in one of his happiest veins. The cattle are re- . 
freshing themselves in the clear water of the brook at noon-tide ; some drinking, some stand- 
ing in the stream, some lying down on the meadowy bank, while on the higher ground at the 
right, the keeper of the herd is seen with an eye to his charge, while his wife sits on the 
ground at his feet, with their dinner in a basket. Further on, some of the field-hands are 
leaving their work for their noon-day rest; a woman with a big bundle on her head walks off 
with her child by her side, and against the horizon we see a crucifix, protected by its pent- 
house hood, with two wayfarers doing it reverence as they pass. Over all is a sky of delicate 
beauty, with clouds of white and gray, that blends the whole scene in sunny harmony. In 
his figures, and in the animation they give to the scene, we are reminded, as we are in many 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



307 



of Voltz's pictures, of the later Diitcli and Flemish landscax^e-painters, and of the later 
Italians as well; but, in the more careful observation of the appearances of nature, particu- 
larly in his skies, we acknowledge an individual note : conventionality and abstraction are 
sacrificed to the more modern spirit that strives to reconcile art with science. 

Erkst Adolf Meissnee, born in 1837 at Dresden, now settled at Munich, after visiting 
Switzerland and Italy, is still another painter of animals, but like Ziigel and others, confines 
himself more immediately to them as the subject of his pictures, and makes the landscape of 




"CATTLE BY THE BROOK." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY FRIEDRICH VOLTZ. 



less importance. Here, for instance, in his " Frightened Sheep," the landscape is insignifi- 
cant; the whole interest, such as there is, lies in the truth with which the actions of the sheep 
are rendered. A small white dog, taking the air with his master or mistress, for his owner 
must be guessed-at, being outside our frame, has started off to have a little fun with the 
sheep, and has succeeded in getting the flock into a high state of hysterics. They were mak- 
ing for the farmhouse yard, but they are brought to a pause— partly by the difficulty of 
scaling the fence bars; one of the lambs has squeezed himself through them, and is off, but 
one of the sheep is coming to grief in his vaulting ambition, while a third is thinking too long 
about it to have his thinking come to anything. Then, again, some of the sheep have caught 



3o8 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

siglit of their enemy, and are beginning to blusli at his insignificance; it is a chance if the old 
ram does not give him a taste of his horns and send him to Jericho. But the most potent 
influence that is working to calm the flock, is the appearance of their master, who, on hearing 
the hnbbnb, has come out of his cottage, and is calling them to order with his well-known 
voice. Meissner has had good fortune at home; his pictures are hung in the Academy of 




"FRIGHTENED SHEEP." 
FROM THE PICTURE BY E. MEISSNER. 

Yienna, in the Miiseum at Dresden, in the palace of the King of Saxony, and he has been a 
favorite here as well, many of his best pictures belonging to Americans. 

For a time, too, we heard a good deal of Ziigel in this country; his pictures of sheep, 
mostly small canvases, were seen in the dealers' shops, and eagerly bought; their simplicity 
and naturalness made them many friends. But, of late we have not seen them so frequently. 
Heinkich Johann ZxJGEL was born in 1850 at Murrhard, in Wurtemberg, but after moving 
about a little in Germany— a year and a half in Stuttgart, then for a like stay in Vienna, he 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



309 



finally came to settle down in Munich, where he still lives and paints. His " Sheep-washing," 
"Ox-team," "Cattle Flying before a Storm," and in the National Gallery of Berlin his 
" Sheep in an Alder Grove " — are among his best known pictures. The one we copy, " Open 
the Door for Us ! " belongs to a family of small genre pictures, such as he is best known by in 
this country. The sheep are impatient to be let out of the fold, and the little girl is opening 




"OPEN THE DOOR FOR US." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY HEINRICH ZUGEL. 



the door for them. The lamb, who was so very eager a minute ago, has forgotten all about it 
for another minute, but probably as soon as the door is fairly opened he will push himself 
through without the least thought of respect for his elders. His starting action is very 
prettily given. 

No doubt our readers will find Gebler's " One of the Seven Sleepers," a more entertaining 
subject than any of these later pictures. Friedrich Otto Gebler, bom at Dresden in 1838, 
went early to Munich, where he studied under Piloty. He paints animal-pictures almost ex- 



3IO ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

cliisively, but his Ininior is not always so genuine as we find it liere, where it grows out of a 
natural, e very-day situation. The morning light is streaming through the cracks and cran- 
nies of this old barn where the sheep are folded, and they are anxious to get out for a taste of 
fi-esh air and the grass of the pasture. But Peter, the farm-hand, is locked up tighter in 
slumber than they are in the barns, and no ray of the morning sun has peeped as yet through 
the chinks in his eye-lids. A swallow has lighted on his hat — perched for the night on the 




'ONE OF THE SEVEN SLEEPERS 
FROM THE PICTURE BY OTTO GEBLER. 



top of his sheep-hook, and cheeps and twitters to the other swallows that circle round the 
barn or cling to the wall, but Peter does not hear the sound. One leg is thrown over the dog, 
his bed-fellow and guardian, but though the dog is wide awake and has his faithful eye on 
the sheep, he does not stir for fear of waking his master. In the heat of the summer night 
the boy has tossed the clothes about and kicked off the. feather bed, but the cool morning air 
that blows over his bare legs has no power to disturb him, while, if he hears the bleating of 
the sheep, he probably hears it in a dream of noonday in the pasture, with his flock about 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 311 

Mm calling one another from side to side of the field. Perhaps the artist meant to indicate 
by the pictures pinned to the wall and the sketches of the ram, the dog and Peter himself, 
sheep-hook in hand, that this is an artist in the bud lying in bed when work is to be done, 
and dreaming when he should be awake. But the moral, if it were meant, is not obtruded, 
and we are at liberty to enjoy the quiet humor of the scene without feeling obliged to inter- 
pret it otherwise than as an idyl of youth and health dreaming of rustic love and beauty, not 
under the roof of the spreading beech, but in the warm air of the hay-scented barn, in sweet 
momentary forgetfulness of the work-a-day world that is calling him to share its toil. 



DUTCH ART. 

THE revival of art in Holland in our own day, after a long period of indifference and 
decline, did not seem so surprising as the similar revival did in England, or even, we 
may say, that which took place in the first quarter of the century in France. Each 
of these countries, England and Prance, had had good painters, a few excellent ones ; but no 
country north of the Alps could boast of such a glorioiis family of artists — all born of her 
own body and nourished at her own breast — as Holland. The wonder was, not that we should 
see art revived in Holland, but, rather, that in a country which had produced a Rembrandt, 
a Terburg, a Franz Hals, a Van der Meer, a Van Goyen — but the list would be too long were 
we to attempt to name all the illustrious ones — -that a country which had produced such men 
as these, should ever have produced lesser men. It is, however, a common experience; all 
things in nature have their ebb and flow ; and we have Hamlet's word for it that 

" Nothing is at a like goodness still, 
But Nature growing to a plurisj' 
Dies of her own too-mucli." 

In the history of art in Holland, there are three periods very clearly marked. They are 
described in that excellent hand-book on the Dutch School of Painting, written in French by 
M. Henry Havard, and translated into English by Mr. G. Powell, published liy ]\Iessrs. Cas- 



312 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



sell & Co., to wMcb. tlie reader may be referred for an intelligent, appreciative summary of tlie 
subject, illustrated with, cuts that serve a very good purpose as notes. And here it may be 
said that although we may never hope to have in this country sucli and so many splendid 
examples of the great Dutchmen as are to be found in Holland itself, in England, which 
rivals Holland in the treasures it possesses, or in France and Germany, yet we shall in time, 
no doubt, be able to show a considerable number of fine specimens; and, indeed, even to-day 
there are enough good Dutch pictures scattered about, in public and private collections, to 
enable a student to get at the rudiments of the matter. We have at least five first-rate por- 
traits by Rembrandt; we may get more, in years to come, but we shall get none finer than 
the " Gilder " and the two Van Beresteyn portraits, owned by Mr. Havemeyer and now on 
temporary loan at the Metropolitan Museum; the "Portrait of a Man," owned by Mr. Ells- 
worth, of Chicago, and the portraits of Dr. Tulp and his wife, in the gallery of Messrs. Cot- 
tier & Co., in New York. And these are not all the examples of Rembrandt that might be 
cited: there are others of less interest, but of equal authenticity, and well able to hold their 
own in connection with these. We have, besides, examples of Terburg, Maes, Pieter de 
Hoogh, Van Goyen, and others, so that, if it were wished, an exhibition of the old Dutch mas- 
ters could be made that would be of great interest not merely to artists, but to the general 
public — for there is always a public for really fine painting. 

It will only be necessary here, in order to prepare the way for the consideration of the 
works of the Dutch artists of our own day, to make a brief reference to the successive phases 
through which the art of Holland has passed since its beginnings. The actual beginnings 
are indeed lost to us : not only have the works of the various artists in every branch disap- 
peared, leaving no visible trace of their existence, but only the barest record of them exists 
in tradition, with here and there an allusion in an old book, or a nieagre fact painfully un- 
earthed from some musty document spared by the greed of Time. As it was not untU the 
first quarter of the seventeenth century, that the United Provinces were finally separated 
from the southern provinces of the Netherlands, there can be no reasonable doubt that, in 
earlier times, the art of the two divisions was as nearly identical in character as the condi- 
tions of society and climate would allow. In aU. these northern countries, the first civilizing 
ideas came not from Italy and the Romans, but from Byzantium and the Greeks, and it is to 
the Arians and their more fundamentally democratic ideas in religion and in church govern- 
ment, that we owe the seeds of opposition to aristocracy and feudalism, which, thank Heaven, 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 313 

were sowed so broadly and planted so deep that they never have been and never can be up- 
rooted. Fortunately for the race and for the welfare of nations, these ideas were sown in 
Germany, in northern France, including the Netherlands, and in the British Islands before 
the Eoman missionaries came, and the bloody persecutions of these zealots, who struck hands 
with pagan kings and slaughtered, burned, and pillaged their heretical brethren in the sweet 
name of Christ, only served, as persecution always does, to keep the ideas it sought to up- 
root alive. But while the ideas remained, the things in which they had found material ex- 
pression were largely swept away, and in the fierce, savage conflicts of the Dutch and Span- 
ish of the seventeenth century, nearly all traces of the earlier art disappeared with the 
destruction of the abbeys, monasteries, and churches, and with the dismantling of the town- 
halls and palaces. This destruction was so thoroughly accomplished that it is only by the 
sparse and scattered remains still existing in Flanders and in Gennany that we are able to 
discover what must have been the character of this first phase of art in Holland. 

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries we find the names of many artists born in Hol- 
land who are yet by their art allied on the one side to Flanders and on the other to Italy. 
Flanders drew them to her cities by the promise of gain and employment at the splendid 
courts of the sovereigns and nobility of that flourishing country, while Italy attracted them 
by the fame of her great painters and sculptors, borne by the reports of travellers and spread 
through all the northern lands. It may be permitted to compare the state of the arts in Hol- 
land at that time with what we find in our country at the present day — a condition of things 
which has, however, existed here from the beginning. Owing at once to the scanty means of 
education for artists here in America, the lack of schools, and, what is of far more import- 
ance, the lack of public galleries where examples of the great artists can be familiarly seen, 
our young men flock to Europe, year after year, for study and inspiration. And, on the 
other hand, owing to the fact that few of our rich men care for American pictures, much pre- 
ferring to spend their money for the works of foreigners, our young painters go abroad and 
settle in London, Paris, or Munich, where many of them find customers in plenty for their 
work and earn a good living, besides making for themselves a solid position in society, such 
as they could never have obtained at home. 

This was what happened in the case of many of the early Dutch artists ; some of them 
became so identified with Flanders and Italy that their real place of birth is forgotten or ig- 
nored, and indeed they were only Dutch in name. Nor did any of them paint in a style that 



314 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



was derived exclusi^-ely, or even in part, from influences peculiar to Holland ; all of them 
were inspired by artists not of their own land; and if they returned to Holland after their 
wanderings in other countries, led back by the growing wealth and prosperity of her mer- 
chant-cities, they endeavored to establish there the standards that they had found in favor 
in the older cities of Europe. 

But with the establishment on a secure foundation of the independence of the United 
Provinces, a new era at once set in, and we soon find artists arising, one after the other, de- 
veloping individual styles, forming schools, and creating pupils, until by the end of the cen- 
tury, Holland had made such a mark in the history of art as can never be effaced and that 
gives her a place side by side with Italy. And this was accomplished by artists who neither 
needed to leave Holland for subjects nor for patrons ; they were content to paint, and the 
rich or well-to-do people of Holland were glad to buy, pictures of their own landscape, scenes 
from the lives of their own peasants and bourgeois citizens, and portraits of themselves, their 
wives, their children and their magistrates. Painters were bred in obedience to the law of 
supply and demand, but the question why the demand for painters was met by the supply 
of painters of such unexampled, splendid quality, is one that has never yet been answered, 
though many attempts have been made to answer it, and to which no adequate answer will in 
all probability ever be found. 

The light that lightened the world of art streaming from Holland in the seventeenth cen- 
tury faded at last; the sun set, and with it the splendor of the bountiful but too brief day. 
Nor was it until our own immediate time that Holland was again heard from as a producer of 
artists, but the men who are once more bringing the name of their country to the front, and 
who are influencing so strongly the younger artists of France, England, and America, are not 
descended in direct line from the painters of the great period in their own country, although 
the spirit in which they work is akin to theirs. There can be no reasonable doubt that the 
painters we are about to consider were inspired in their work by the example of the French 
Eomantics, but the outcome of that inspiration is something essentially their own; and it is 
proved such by the fact that it has itself, as we have hinted above, exerted a strong influence 
on the younger artists of other countries. And nowhere has that influence been so marked 
in its effect as here in our own country. 

The paintings and water-colors of Israels, Mauve, Artz, the brothers Maris (William, Mat- 
thew and James), Stacquet, Mesdag, and others, are now well known in this country. They are 



I 



I 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 315 

to be found in many private collections and with all tlie iDrincipal dealers, where they bring 
high prices. But it is only a short time ago that these names, one and all, were jjractically 
unkno^vn in America; for though a few examples of their work may have made their way to 
this country, and found homes in some of our pris'ate collections, the general public knew 
absolutely nothing of them, and in fact is only just beginning to know something. The 
copies of their pictures given to our readers in connection with this notice will be among the 
first that have been published in this popular way. Nor has it been possible to procure as 
many examples as we should have been glad to have. Comparatively few of the pictures of 
this group of artists have been published by photography or engraving, and the pictures 
themselves are not always to be obtained. But even with the materials at our command, 
we shall hope to do something to make an interesting corner of the world of art better 
known, here at home, and if we can do no more than to excite cariosity, that will have been 
worth doing. 

It is now fifteen years since Mr. Daniel Cottier, coming to New York from London to 
establish here a branch of his business, brought over with him a collection of pictures, princi- 
pally by Dutch artists, men whose names, as we have said, were at that time practically un- 
known to our public at large, and known to very, very few, if they were known to any, of 
our amateurs or picture-buyers. His collection was not confined to the Dutchmen, but con- 
tained exam^Dles of the so-called Barbizon school of which we have already given an account 
in our first volume. The Millets, Corots, Rousseaus, Diaz, and the rest of the circle, allies by 
the spirit of their aims rather than by actual companionship, were represented here ade- 
quately for the first time. It is of importance to allude to this event because it was really 
one of first-rate importance in the history of our art-development. Up to this time, through 
the infiuence of the enterprising dealers catering for a public whom they had taught what to 
admire, the pictures of the Diisseldorf, Munich, and Paris artists— the Romantics rigidly ex- 
cluded- — had been the only ones offered for our inspection. Corot was almost unknown ; the 
knowledge of Millet, first made known to us by the late Wm. M. Hunt, was confined almost 
entirely to Boston, where it was looked npon as the fad of an exclusive circle; of Rousseau 
we knew nothing, of Daubigny little, and of Diaz, still less. As for the great Romantics — 
Delacroix, Gericault, Decamps, Courbet — we had yet to learn somgthing more of them than 
their names. It is not meant that these artists were entirely unrepresented in this country, 
hut only that the general public had as yet not been offered the means of knowing what 



3i6 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

these names stood for. As for the Dutch artists of whom we are now to speak, it may be 
said that they were entirely unknown to all of us, artists, amateurs and laymen alike, until 
Mr. Cottier showed them to us. They took an immediate hold upon our younger artists, 
those who were in the formative stage, and, explain it how we may, it is certainly true that 
the influence of the contemporary Dutch school of landscape-painters is more potent to-day 
in the American studios, especially in those of the water-colorists, than that of the French. 
The last exhibition of the Water-Color Society, the twenty -third, might almost have made 
a Dutchman rub his eyes and half believe himself at home. 

Of the Dutch figure-painters belonging to the circle we are now considering, one of the 
best known is Josef Israels. He was born at Groningen in 1824, and studied his art at 
Amsterdam under Pieneman, a painter of historical subjects on a small scale, and he was 
also, for a time, in the studio of Cornells Kruseman. Later, after he had mastered the rudi- 
ments, he went to Paris, where first Picot gave him advice and then Henri Scheffer, a younger 
brother of Ary Scheffer (see Yol. I., p. 14). He returned to Holland, and at first set up his 
easel at Amsterdam, where his studies were begun, but after living there for some years, he 
removed to the Hague, where he has since continued to reside — the Hague being the centre 
of the new movement in painting in Holland. Israels, we are told, was already well known in 
Belgium and Holland when he appealed to a wider public at the Exposition Universelle at 
Paris, in 18S5, exhibiting his picture " William the Silent Rejecting the Decree of the King 
of Spain," the first and, we believe, the only essay made by him in the domain of historical 
painting. This picture, the natural outcome of his studies under the conventional teaching 
of men like Pieneman and Kruseman, Henri Scheffer and Picot, was not very successful, and, 
fortunately for himself and us, Israels was not long in finding themes more suited to his 
talent. He began to paint at Katwyk-aan-zee, a smaU watering-place about two hours by 
boat from Leyden, a favorite resort of the inhabitants of that city in the summer-time. 
From this place he sent to the Paris Salon of 1857 his " Children of the Sea " and " Evening 
on the Shore," which at once attracted attention to his name. In 1861 he sent five pictures to 
the Salon, and in 1863 three more, while in 1862 he had appeared at the International Exhi- 
bition at Brompton (London) with four pictures, among them " The Shipwrecked," a work 
that called forth the highest commendation. " His ' Shipwrecked,' " said Francis Turner Pal- 
grave, " is a very impressive work, imagined with great solemnity and a total absence of sen- 
timentalism or over-point. The poetry of the scene lies in the long, dark line of figures 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 317 

against the sky ; in the homely tenderness with which the sailors are bearing their comrade ; 
and the unaffected truth of the lesser details. It is genuine art which could venture thus on 
the gradual indifference to the catastrophe displayed by the followers of the sad procession, 
and represents the desolate wreck, not surrounded by stormy waves, but gently rocked on 
the unpitying and unconscious sea, in the last undulations of the tempest." And Tom Tay- 
lor, in his hand-book to the Exhibition, thus speaks of the same picture, and of the artist's 
work in general; "The most impressive picture in the Dutch collection, and one of the most 
impressive in the whole Exhibition, is J. Israels' ' Shijpwrecked.' Through the twilight of a 
stormy day, which tells its tale in the ragged gray and watery blue of the heavy sky and the 
dirty surf that still breaks heavily along the shore, a sorrowful procession winds up from the 
beach over the low sand hills where the bent grass waves in the cold wind. It is headed by a 
stupefied mother leading an orphan in either hand. Behind are two fishermen, bearing ten- 
derly and reverently the body of the drowned husband and father. The one who supports 
the head gazes in the face with wistful sadness. Other fishermen and their wives foUow. In 
the offing is the boat, aground in the broken water. This sad story is painted as if with a 
brush steeped in gloom. It is toned throughout to the same mournful key: in the low 
leaden sky; the sullen plunge of the cruel sea; the cold wind that whistles through the bent, 
no less than in the stupor of desolation and bereavement on the woman's face and the silent, 
neighborly sorrow of the rough fishermen. In fact, this picture is an excellent illustration 
of imagination, taking Coleridge's definition of it, as ' the faculty that draws aU things to 
one.' As if to show his power of sounding the key-note of calm and sunshine, as weU as that 
of storm and sorrow, the same painter, in his ' Cradle,' has painted the edge of a summer sea, 
with the innocent little Avavelets lipping the sand under the serenest of skies, and in the shal- 
low water, a pretty Scheveningen girl with a younger sister washing the family cradle." 

Although his pictures exhibited at Brompton had made him pleasantly known in Eng- 
land, it would appear from the biographical notices of Israels that he did not personally -sdsit 
that country until 1875, thirteen years later, when he crossed the Channel and exhibited at 
Burlington House "Waiting for the Herring-Boats" and "Returning from the Fields." 
Since that time, secure of reputation and employment, he has remained in Holland, working 
with extraordinary industry both in oils and water-color, happy in seeing his own triumphs 
repeated in those of his son Isaac, who works, however, in a different field. 

The pictures of Israels that we reproduce, " The Sewing-School at Katwyk," "A Village 



3i8 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



Interior," and " Folding Slieep by Moonliglit," belong to the more cheerful side of the artist's 
talent, and, it may be thought, show him in a less characteristic view than his reputation 
would lead us to expect. But besides that the melancholy sentiment of too many of his pic- 
tures is become a little wearisom-e, it is but fair that we should show the other side, since, in 
truth, he is as successful in one as in the other. " The Sewing-School " is a sunny, peaceful 
scene, belonging to the same family with the pictures by Walther Firle and Glaus Meyer 
that we have already described. There are the same docile, well-trained children, the same 
homely but comfortable surroundings, the same steady, good-natured, motherly old woman 




"FOLDING SHEEP BY MOONLIGHT." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY JOSEF ISRAELS. 

presiding over her flock: these things we can all enjoy, and artists take pleasure in tlie sim- 
ple, direct painting and the well-rendered atmospheric effect of the whole. The " Village In- 
terior " belongs to a class of subjects where Israels shows the influence of Eembrandt, the 
light softly diffused through the low-studded room, and bringing here one point and there 
another out of the gloom. It must be said that Israels is not alone among his countrymen 
in his liking for these low-toned effects : the followers and contemporaries of Rembrandt set 
a fashion that has been widely followed, and P. von der Velden, H. Valkenburg, G. Henker, 
Artz, Kever and many another have all produced very successful work in which this effect is 
the main thing sought. Israels, however, excels them all in his management of light, and in 
the power to lift the scene both above the level of mere execution and that of a commonplace 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 319 

rendering of tlie incidents of daily life. If he does, not seldom, give a melancholy or senti- 
mental turn to his subject, we really have nothing to do but to accept it or— reject it, if we 
will, and if we prefer cheerful subjects, seek them out where they may be found. But surely 
the gentle melancholy of Israel's subjects can harm no one, since it is not forced ; it is nature 
to the artist, and it grows naturally out of one side of the life he saw about him. Hoav that 
life may differently affect different people, had once a striking proof. In the summer of 
1883, we had been one day at Amsterdam at the Exposition Universelle, and had seen there 
the picture by Israels called " The Struggle for Life," representing a fisherman ^\ith his trou- 
sers rolled up to the knees, wading in the water near the shore and pushing his scoop-net 
before him for bait. It was perha^js the title that helped give a melancholy twist to the ex- 
pression of the picture, biTt there was no doubt something in the j)icture itself that made us 
think the man's lot a hard one, just as Millet's peasants, no matter what simj^le, every-day 
thing they may be doing, make a somewhat saddening impression upon the mind of the spec- 
tator. But the next day, being at Zaandam, the strip of shore that the people of Haarlem 
afiect as a watering-place, we were taking a stretch along the delightful sands — what a place 
Holland is for the man who loves walking! — ^we came upon Israels' man — or another — ply- 
ing the same task along the shore. The sun shone brightly, the air was clear and sweet, and 
the waves broke softly on the sands while we stopped for a moment to watch our fisherman 
at his work. All was there just as Israels had painted it: the rough clothes, the sunburned 
face, the hard features, the toilsome occupation — but how different the expression of the 
man ! He was neither depressed nor gay ; he was bent upon his work, but it seemed work 
that pleased him ; and for all that I could see, he was as much at one with the landscape as 
we felt ourself to be on that sunny morning. Seeing us stop in our walk to pick up some of 
the shells with which the shore was plentifully strewn— small shells, for the most part, but 
very prettily colored — he came out of the water, laid down his net, and going to his coat that 
he had left high up on the shore, he pulled a handsome shell out of the pocket, and offered it 
to us to look at, and, no doubt, to buy, if we would. And we were glad, as it happened to 
be a handsome specimen, to add it to our own find, and to have the chance the bargain gave 
to chat a bit with this " struggle-for-lifer," as the French slang of to-day has it. It was ine^d- 
table that the contrast should force itself upon us between the actual man as we had seen 
him and the man as he stood in Israels' picture. All is, that there are as many sides to 
everything in human life as there are human beings who regard it ; and nothing reaUy is ; 



320 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME, 



but all is, as it seems to him who looks at it. The little sketch " Folding Sheep by Moon- 
light " reminds ns of Millet, whose pictures, no doubt, had much to do with turning the talent 
of Israels from the barren painting of subjects dead and gone, to the illustration of the lives 
and labors of the peasant-folk and flsher-folli of his native country. But the quality of his 
sentiment is very different from that of Millet. It is far less robust and uncompromising, 
and where the Frenchman inspires us with active sympathy for poverty cheerfully borne, 




"a village interior." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY JOSEF ISRAELS, 

and uncomplaining labor, making us courageously ashamed to rebel against our own lot, the 
pictures of Israels that deal with such subjects are rather apt to waste our sympathy in an- 
swering tears and sighs. Mr. William Ernest Henley, in his notes on some of the pictures of 
Israels (in the " Catalogue of the French and Dutch Pictures in the Loan Collection at Edin- 
burgh in 1886"), describes a picture caUed "For These and All Thy Mercies:" an old woman 
and her son seated at a table, with a dish of potatoes between them— a cheerful subject 
enough, one would think, but which, he says, must be wrongly named, because both mother 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 321 

and son are crushed Avitli grief ! « It is cnrious to reflect, how fond the Northern people are of 
such subjects: the Germans, the Dutch, the English! You may go through the French 
Salon and perhai^s not find one such subject painted by a Frenchman. The pictures will 
abound with bloody, cruel, ferocious subjects — suited to the cannibal market — but not pity- 
ful, tearful, melting, maudlin themes. The nearest the French have come to this was in the 
hysterical years that followed the Franco-Prussian War, but that was an exception that 
proved the rule, and they have pretty well laughed themselves out of that mood. The Eng- 
lish, however, are never tired of weeping and condoling, and there can be no doubt that one 
reason for Israels' success in England has been the profusion with which he has ministered to 
this national love of pathetic subjects. A very clever painter, recently dead, Mr. Frank HoU, 
ran Israels very hard in this direction. His " The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away " — 
a bereaved husband and his children, English gentlefolk, standing about the table with no 
longer a mother and wife to preside — had a great popularity in England, and even here, 
when shown in 1876 at our Centennial, Avas always the centre of a crowd. In France it would 
hardly have attracted a second notice. 

Our little sketch " Folding Sheep " is, however, cheerful enough. The composition is 
agreeable, the long line of the sheep, repeated in the hurdles, and in the trees that fringe the 
horizon, with the level clouds — all these horizontal lines are contrasted with the upright lines 
of the building, and the erect figure of the little girl, half bravely, half timidly holding back 
the door for the sheep to enter. 

Anton Mauve was born at Zaandam in 1838, and died only a year ago, when, as it 

seemed, he was in the fulness of his j)Owers, and just as he had conquered a wide place for 

himself in countries far removed from his native Holland. To-day in America his name is 

almost as well known as that of Theodore Rousseau or of Troyon, to Avhom, indeed, he has 

often been compared, though with no more reason than goes to such comparisons in general. 

Mauve was a pupil of a little-known painter, Pieter Frederik van Os, of Haarlem, born, in 

1808 and still living, we believe. A picture of his was in the Exhibition at Amsterdam in 

1883, " Horses before the Inn-door." Zaandam is to Haarlem what Scheveningen is to the 

Hague, or Katwyk to Leyden: these Dutch towns, delightful in themselves, are made still 

more pleasant to live in by these seaside resorts, easily accessible by rail-cars, omnibtises, 

tram-ways or on foot; fishing-villages, all of them, but thronged the summer through by 

town people who come to sit or walk upon the beach, to listen to the music of the casino 
Vol. II.— 21 ** 



322 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

band, or to dine at the restaurants, and return to town as easily as tliey came. Zaandam — 
known among other things as the place Avhere Peter the Great lived when he undertook to 
learn ship-building, his rude cabin still shown there, saved from tumbling to ruin by the 
late Queen of Holland, a Russian princess by birth— Zaandam is in itself, perhaps, hardly a 
place where one would look for an artist to be born; but once born, he could not have a pret- 
tier place to be bred in, and as soon as the time came for him to try his hand at learning, 
Haarlem would be found close by with its riches of picturesqueness and its treasure-house of 
pictures by Franz Hals, while, since no place in Holland is much more than a half day from 
any other place in the little kingdom, the artist would find all that he would need for inspi- 
ration in the Hague and in Amsterdam. To most of lis, accustomed to the vast distances of 
America and to the inconveniences of travel, the smallness of Holland, and the delightful 
ease (to say nothing of the cheapness) with which one can move about, gives the visitor a 
most amusing surprise. " Well, Mr. Landlord," we said, after a week at the Hague, " we are 
thinking of going to Leyden. How do we get there, and how long will it take ? " " There is 
no need, sir, to think much about it : yon can take the cars at almost any time and be in Ley- 
den in fifteen minutes." And as almost every town in Holland has something in it — art, or 
architecture, or picturesqueness — worth seeing, this proijinquity and accessibility make the 
country a rich mine to the traveller and to the artist. Mauve would not, of course, stay at 
Zaandam ; the Hague with its rich picture-gallery — which we are glad to know is not to be 
swallowed up in the new Ryks museum at Amsterdam— would draw him even more strongly 
than Haarlem, for, besides the pictures there, he would find himself in the company of artists: 
Mesdag and his accomplished wife, Israels, James and William Maris, Artz, Neuhuys, Blom- 
mers (not at the Hague, but close by, at Scheveningen) and Bosboom — the whole galaxy of 
Dutch stars, twinkling or shining in that verdant heaven of the Hague. In this galaxy, 
Mauve is no doubt one of the chief stars. There is no reason in comparing him with Troyon. 
Beyond the fact that he often paints cows, there is nothing he has in common with the 
French master; he neither treats his subject in the same pictorial spirit, nor does his tech- 
nique at all resemble his. He often works in water-color, and by far the greater number of 
his works seen in this country are in that medium. The picture that we give of Mauve, 
"Bringing in the Boat" is a fine example of his early work; more carefully, solidly painted 
than much of his later performance, and with a warmer, more golden tone than we are accus- 
tomed to see from his hand. He is not often found painting pure landscape; he likes simple 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



323 



human incident, or else he makes his landscape a setting for his cows or horses; though the 
cow is the animal he likes best next to man. Almost all the landscapes we have seen from 
the hand of Mauve are inland — as inland as one can be in Holland, where the sound or the 
smell of the sea is never entirely absent ; but the jjicture we give is an exception to this re- 
mark, and we remember another, where horses are harnessed to carts that men are fiUing with 
sand from the seashore. But those we know best are scenes of wood-cutting, the logs piled 
up on either side, ready for carting; or of hedging and ditching; or of fields covered with 
snow and the shepherd painfully driving his hiiddled flock homeward along the sloppy road; 




'BRINGING IN THE BOAT 
FROM THE PICTURE BY ANTON MAUVE, BELONGING TO MESSRS. COTTIER & CO 

or girls pasturing their cows, walking by the side of their charge — pastorals of the simplest 
motive, and dependent wholly for their interest upon the artist's treatment. That treatment 
is as pure and simple as the subjects themselves : his range of color is small, yet he is skilful 
to avoid monotony, and his pictures, seen in numbers together, have the charm of variety. At 
the time of his death his pictures had begun to be much sought for, and we were fortunate in 
the fact that, thanks to Mr. Cottier's initiative, so many of them, and such fine ones, were 
already in this country. 

Bernardits Johannes Blommees was born at the Hague in 1845, and was educated 
there at the Academy. Like aU this company of artists, his life has been uneventful ; he has 



324 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME, 

continued to live and to work where lie was born, and, indeed, when we are in Holland we 
cannot imagine to ourselves any reason why one who has had the good luck to be born there, 
should ever wish to leave it. England, France, Italy and Holland, it would seem, have in 
them a supply sufficient of all that makes life worth living. Blommers, as will be seen by 
our picture, " The Departure of the Fishing-boat," has something in common with Israels, but 
in general he rather points to the influence of the older Dutch masters, to whom Israels owes 
his style of painting, while in his choice of subject he may have been affected by the example 
of Millet. As a painter, Blommers is certainly more accomplished than Israels, who is often 
felt to be deficient in technical qualities ; this shows more plainly when he is brought to close 
quarters with the precision and surety of hand of the Frenchmen. Blommers, on the other 
hand, is, without being more Academic than Israels, less wilful and more certain of himself. 
At the same time his j)ictures are less interesting than those of Israels, similar as are the sub- 
jects of the two men, for Blommers rarely, if ever, escapes from the hard facts, or seems 
moved by any desire to do more than paint. This is, of course, the first duty of an artist, but 
the world at large is always more interested in an artist who can both paint and play the 
poet at the same time. 

Daa^id Adolphe Constant Artz was born at the Hague in 1837, and after studying at 
the- Academy at Amsterdam, went to Paris, where he studied for eight years under various 
artists, and then returned to the Hague, where he lives and works at present. We are told 
that he considers himself a pupil of Israels, although he has never been under that artist's 
direction, nor worked in his studio. But it is like enough he may have taken Israels as a 
model, and looked for his subjects in the same general direction. He has far less feeling and 
sentiment than Israels, and he is more bent on telling a story. Where Israels is content with 
merely recording a situation, simplifying it to the last point— a isecret learned of the old 
Dutchmen — and setting it in as near an approach to the magically lighted gloom of those 
same older men as he can compass, Artz is thinking of how best to make himself understood 
by the ordinary spectator, how best to please those Avho are content to find in a picture a 
simple story clearly told. The picture we copy, " The Visit to Grandfather," is a companion 
to his " Visit to Grandmother," exhibited at Amsterdam in 1883, and is little more than a 
variant on that composition. 

Johannes Bosboom, born at the Hague in 1817, learned his art of Jacobus Van Brie, a 
Pntch artist who had studied with his brother, Matthias Van Brie, who, in his turn, had been 



M^\ 



^ ^ 







/ 






ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



325 



taught in Paris in tlie school of Vien. Bosboom was also, for a time, in the studio of Grirodet, 
and thus his art should by rights have some flavor of its French descent, but in fact nothing 
of the sort is to be detected in it. His early work may very likely have shown something 
more akin to the ostentatious science of Granet, or the cold correctness of Peter Neefs, but he 




"THE VISIT TO GRANDFATHER." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY DAVID ARTZ 

long since left such things behind him if ever he were guilty of them, and submitted himself 
to the influences that had helped form his great predecessors Eembrandt and Pieter de 
Hoogh. His pictures deal with architecture only, and only with interiors, in the painting of 
which he has no equal at the present day. Nor, within the limits he has chosen, has any 
artist ever approached him in the management of light. His pictures stand alone, and though 
it is impossible, since Eembrandt has once lived, that any one should dispute his sovereignty 



326 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

on his own ground, yet it is much that an artist should be able to stand by Rembrandt's side 
and look in his face, and not be shamed. And this it may fairly be said that Bosboom can 
do. His magic brush, when he wills it, and he and life are perfectly in tune — for he is not 
always equal to himself— can transfuse the dusky gloom of these old Dutch churches with 
soft splendor, filling the air A\ith motes of floating gold, touching with magic fingers the 
soaring arches of the groined roof, stealing from pier to pier, or brushing silently as with 
angel wings the broad fields of whitened wall, that only such a hand as his could redeem 
from vulgarity. It is no common power that can so deal with such material, for nowhere in 
Europe are the churches so hopelessly bare, dismantled and forbidding as they are in Hol- 
land, and only a man with a poet's eye and mind could restore them to us, as Bosboom does, 
recalling the day when religion went hand in hand with art. The picture that we give shows 
only so much of this artist as can be translated into black and white. He is not a colorist, 
but his tone is masterly, and his power to get the effect of color out of these rich browns and 
golden buffs and blacks is extraordinary: etching alone can come near to a translation of 
Bosboom at his best. 

Hendeik Wilhelm Mesdag was born at Groningen in 1831, where Israels, as we have 
seen, was born seven years earlier. However soon Mesdag may have felt drawn to art, he did 
not, Mr. Henley teUs us, begin to paint until he was thirty-five. He studied at Brussels 
under Willem Eoelop ; and also under Alma Tadema, and he made such good progress that 
four years after he had begun to paint, he received a medal at the Salon, where he exhibited 
as a pupil of Alma Tadema, showing two pictures, " The Breakers of the N'orth Sea," and "A 
Winter's Day at Scheveningen." Eight years after, at the Exposition Universelle at Paris, he 
received a third-class medal, and after a gold medal at the Hague in 1880, he attained to 
first honors at the Salon of 1887 with his " Setting Sun." Although these are real distinc- 
tions and weU earned, it is nevertheless true that Mesdag's place among the Dutch artists is 
not with the first: he owes something to his social position — his means are independent and 
he lives very handsomely at the Hague — and also something to his own strong character and 
helpful disposition: he is a leader in the art-circle at the Hague, and exerts a healthful influ- 
ence on the younger men about him. His art deals almost exclusively with the sea and the 
life of the people who live by it: the sailors and fisherfolk whose ways he has ample oppor- 
tunity to study in the pleasantly accessible sea-side villages of the Dutch coast, especially that 
of Scheveningen, which is only a half-hour's ride from the Hague by tram-way, or a delight- 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



327 



f ul walk if one prefers it. The two pictures by Mesdag whicli we copy give a suflBtcient idea 
of Ms style : direct and manly, avoiding tricks, and if without tke romantic charm of Corot 




"INTERIOR OF A DUTCH CHURCH." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY JOHANNES BOSBOOM. 



or Diaz, or even so much of sentiment as is to be found in James Maris or Anton Mauve, yet 
satisfies the liking we all have for truthful rendering of the every-day aspects of nature. 



328 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

" On tlie Ebb " is a quiet scene of sea-sliore life, in wliicli figures play a more important 
part than is usual in Mesdag's pictures. The tide is going out, and the folks must wait for 
its coming back before they can resume their work. So they sit on the shore and while 
away the time in simple fashion — the elders in chat, and the younger ones in quiet play ; an 
idling time, which is in strong contrast to what we shall see when the ocean, returning from 
its •' dinner-hour," shall set to work again, and whistle-up all hands to work with it. The 
other illustration is a reproduction from a sketch by Zilcken after a painting by Mesdag, 
and is taken from the catalogue already referred to of the Loan Exhibition of French and 
Dutch pictures exhibited at Edinburgh in 1886. Mr. Zilcken's rendering is very clever, and 
conveys as much of Mesdag's picture as can be given in black and white, but the medium is 
hardly fair either to the artist or to the scene, since the whole interest of Mesdag's painting 
lies in the truthfulness with which he renders the color as well as the movement of the water 
and the beauty of the sky, and these can only be dimly suggested in such a drawing as this. 
The earth and the sky, the water and the sky: these are the grand, the simple, but the ever- 
varying elements the Dutch landscape-painter has to deal with. There are no mountains noi 
hills, no trees to speak of, no picturesque buildings — although, as we have seen in the case 
of Bosboom, an artist determined on the quest can wrest picturesqueness even out of the lean 
and bloodless interiors of the Dutch churches, Just as Hobbema or Tina Blau (see ante, p. 291) 
can make charming an avenue of trees as featureless as bean-poles. In the richly varied use 
the Dutch painters have made of the slender material nature has provided for them — for slen- 
der it appears to English, German and American eyes — the same power is shown, the power 
to make much out of seeming little, that is shown in all things Dutch. It used to be the 
sport of waggish spirits or of spleeny satirists, to ridicule Dutch economy, and to taunt them 
with the stinginess of nature. But there is no nation that might not be shamed by the com- 
parison of its use of its opportunities, with the use the Dutch have made of theirs, and, in fact, 
the satire of Andrew Marvell, so often quoted for its wit, is the highest compliment to the in 
genuity, the energy and the perseverance of the Dutch in building-up an empire— for such it 
once was, and such it may be again — out of the most unpromising — one might, in fact, say 
the most hopeless —materials. And as they have made themselves a sea-coast — strong to resist 
the most threatening inroads of the ocean — first with stones, laboriously brought from far- 
away, since one may skirt all Holland round, and not pick up a pebble big enough to throw 
at a sand-piper; as they have laced their country with a net-work of canals to piece-out Na- 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



329 



ture's parsimony in denjang them rivers ; as they have turned thousands of acres of morass 
and quicksand into fertile and wholesome meadow-land ; so with little enough, as might have 
been thought, to go upon, they have put themselves at the head of the world iu many of the 




"dutch fishing-boats." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY WILHELM MESDAG. 



arts and sciences, and in painting have disputed the palm with Italy herself. Nay, in Italy, 
where the fame of her scenery might reasonably have led us to expect it, there has been no 
gTeat landscape-painting, at any time, nor any reaUy good painter of marines. Even in Venice, 
where far richer material may be found than in Holland, no native artist has risen to paint 



33° 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



her beauties; she owes the report to strangers: to the French, Ziem; the Spanish, Rico; 
and the Americans, Whistler, Blum and Bunce. But Holland has, from far-away times 
down to the present, found interpreters of her charms in plenty among her own children, and 
it will be remarked that while Holland offers few attractions for living, compared with Paris 
or Loudon, her artists, as a rule, prefer to live and work at home. It must be noticed, too, 
that since the rise of the artists with whom this chapter is mainly concerned, Holland has 
come into fashion, and Dutch landscape, Dutch fisherfolk and sailors, Dutch interiors, are 
met with in exhibitions the world over, painted by English, French, German and American 
artists, many of whom make Holland a regular camping-ground nowadays, year after year. 

Before leaving Mesdag, it seems but right to say a word about Madame Mesdag, who is 
an excellent artist, and in the opinion of some good judges, a better painter than her hus- 
band. When, a few years ago, in company with Mr. AVilliam M. Chase, we called upon Mes- 
dag at his house in the Hague, in response to an invitation received a day or two before at 
the Exhibition of the Water-Color Society, where we had been introduced to him, we were 
unfortunate in not finding him at home, but we were well received by Madame Mesdag, who 
showed us the studio and the house itself, rich in modern Dutch pictures and in French 
pictures of the Romantic school. There were several pictures ia the studio by the lady her- 
self, one on the easel still unfinished, which gave a high idea of her talent in dealing with 
subjects similar to those painted by her husband. Madame Mesdag is distinguished also for 
her skill in painting flowers. 

We have now to speak of a remarkable family of artists who, in the persons of two of its 
members at least, stand at the head of the modern school of Dutch painters. These are the 
brothers Maris : Jacobus or James, Wilhelm, and Matthys, or Matthew. They were the sons 
of a printer who had also some skill as a painter, and allowed his sons to have their own 
way; so they all took to painting, or, at least, have all become painters. Yet one who knows 
them well, tells the writer that none of the three brothers wanted to be a painter; they would 
rather be carpenters or tailors! "They have not," he says, "the least desire for fame, but 
work to get bread for their children." This may be true on one side, but it is impossible it 
should be what the French call " the true truth." As to one of them, Matthew, who in the 
J Lidgment of many, is the most interesting and purely poetical, not only of his family but of 
all the Dutch group, he has, unless we mistake, no wife nor famUy to get bread for. How- 
ever, all that is essential in the statement is no doubt consistent with a general observation, 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



331 



that the Dutch painters— those of the so-called " Hague " circle— do really take life and their 
art very easily, and might, like many distinguished artists before them, have been successful 
in any trade or profession they had chosen to take up. 

The eldest of the three brothers is Jacobus, or, as he is always called out of Holland, 
James. He was born at the Hague in 1837, and after a short time spent in the Academy 
there, went to Antwerp, where he studied at the Academy under De Keyser and Von Lerius. 
From Antwerp he went to Paris and entered the studio of Edouard Hebert, one of the pupils 
of Thomas Couture. In Paris, he first became acquainted with the art of Corot, Rousseau 
and Daubigny, with the rest of that circle of innovators, from whom he and the artists of the 
Hague group were to learn so much and receive so powerful an influence, while at fehe same 
time keeping their own individuality untouched, and in their turn influencing'their own gen- 
eration. Besides working under Hebert, James Maris studied at the Beaux- Arts for four 
years from 1865 to 1869. He first exhibited at the Salon of 1866, where he appears as 
Jacques Maris and as a pupil of M. Hebert. His picture was "A Little Italian Girl," proba- 
bly nothing more than a study from the ]Drofessional model. In the catalogue of 1867 we do 
not find his name. In that of 1868 he apj)ears, still as Hebert's pupil, with a " Potato Gather- 
ing," and a " Borders of the Rhine, HoUande." The former of these two subjects would seem to 
point to the influence of Jean-Frangois Millet upon our artist, and the same may be said of the 
subjects of the pictures sent to the Salon of 1869, "A Woman Knitting," and "A Sick Child." 

But " after this," says Mr. Henley, " with occasional lapses into figure-painting, he seems 
to have devoted himself to landscape," and the following years show a succession of pictures 
with subjects drawn from the scenery of his native Holland. The public was to be congratu- 
lated on the change: it was plainly one dictated by the individuality of the artist; he had 
come, there could be no doubt of it, to his own. His figure-subjects had no particular reason 
for being ; they were not, like those of Millet, the embodiments of his own experience or the 
expressions of his own sympathies; and though the mere painting may have been good 
enough to please people who care more for the execution of a picture than for the contents, 
those who looked for something more in subjects where men and women are the actors, than 
if only rocks and trees were the theme, could not be satisfied vdth these lifeless figures. 
But it was natural enough to begin with figure-painting, since not only do such subjects in- 
terest the general public more than landscape, but they call, of course, for a far higher order 
of talent, and an artist's pride is more gratified with victories gained in that field. Yet 



332 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



James Maris did wisely to follow his real inclination and tlie bent of Ms talent, as his suc- 
cess as a landscape-painter proves. Even while Corot and Rousseau were alive, he stood high 




"A QUIET CORNER." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY WILLIAM MARIS, BELONGING TO MESSRS. COTTIER & CO. 

in the ranks of those who deal directly with what is called nature, and now that they are 
gone, there is no one to dispute his right to be named among the first of their successors. 



r 



.rf-^i^^. ■ ■^<cfj^\,T:<'^?mi^s(-i':^n 





"THE TOW-PATH (HOLLAND!.' 

FROM THE PICTURE BY JAMES MARIS 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 333 

He lias not the poetry of Corot; the spark of the divine flame that made him of Ville d'Avray 
a light and a joy to his generation is not in James Maris, but then it is to be remembered 
how rare it is to find that spark in more than one artist, or poet, or actor, in a generation. It 
was in Turner, it was in Shelley, it was in Rachel, and it was in Corot; to expect to find it so 
soon again in another artist, would be rash. But if the gods have not made James Maris 
poetical, they have made him honest, and he is loyal to the nature that he loves, the vision of 
nature as she reveals herself in his native Holland. In the picture we copy, and which Mr. 
I. T. Williams, to whom we are already indebted for the examples of Michel and Ribot, pub- 
lished in our first volume, has most obligingly loaned us, all the best qualities of the artist 
are shown, some of them obscured, as must always be the case in the attempt to render color- 
values in black and white. Mr. Williams owns another picture by James Maris, " Plough- 
ing," which only its size prevents our reproducing here. It is less a pure landscape than the 
present one, since the horses and the laborers take up a large part of the composition, but, 
after all, they do but emphasize the large and tranquil landscape, and, as it were, put a soul 
into it. In the picture we present, it is rather the sky than the earth that is in the artist's 
mind in selecting or creating his subject, and the sky is James Maris' just domain. " No 
artist," says Mr. Henley, " excels him in the painting of clouds." He is compared to Consta- 
ble, but while it is likely enough that the English painter may have inspired him, and in his 
visits to London he had freqent opportunity to study his pictures, yet it was in Holland, the 
land of clouds, that he found a more living and a truer inspiration than could have been 
gained from any painter. 

William Maris, the youngest of the three brothers, was born at the Hague in 1844. 
He studied with his father and, as we are told, had no other instructor. He has remained at 
home, and still continues to paint in the city where he was born. He is called " Maris the 
Silvery," from the delicate, sun-lit sweetness of his pictures, with their twinkling trees, their 
level pastures, their slow streams creeping lazily between the rushes: their cattle asleep, or 
standing knee-deep in the cool water, or indolently pulling at the branches of the willows 
that shelter them from the heat. He loves to paint cattle, as does Anton Mauve, and the two 
pictures that we present give as good a report of him as we have been able to find. For the 
larger one we are indebted to Mr. James S. Inglis, of the firm of Cottier & Co. The smaller 
one is from an etching by William Hole, made for the catalogue of French and Dutch pic- 
tures already referred to. ^ ^ 



334 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



The tMrd of tliese brothers, Matthew Maris, is to many persons the most interesting of 
them all, and certainly his talent lies altogether apart from theirs, in a region consecrated to 
poetry and dream. He is two years younger than his brother James, having been born at the 
Hao-iie in 1839. Like James, he went first to Antwerp and studied there at the Academy, and 
thence to Paris, where he followed his brother's course under Edouard Hebert and at the 
Beaux-Arts. Like James, too, he went to London, but here the likeness in their story 
ceases; for while the elder brother returned to Holland and threAv in his fortunes with his 
fellow-artists at home, Matthew has continued to live in London, and wiU in aU likelihood 




"cows IN MEADOW." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY WILLIAM MARIS. 



never leave that city. As for his field of work, it would be imiDossible to define it : he has 
painted landscapes, genre, still-life, portraits and decoration, but it may be said that all he 
paints is informed by the spirit of romance, sometimes intimate and human in its sympathies, 
but oftener beckoning us to a land of magic and mystery, where we wander gladly and with- 
out the wish to know more than that we are glad. Mr. Henley finds in Matthew Maris a 
painter to match Heine in his poetry, but he seems to us to suggest rather Coleridge in his 
" Christabel " or " Genevieve," and WiUiam Blake in his " Songs of Linocence and Experi- 
ence." But though he may recall the evanescent tremulous charm of such poetry as this, he 
recalls no other painter. In his best work he stands alone, and this as a painter, for it is on 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 335 

painting that he seems to us intent, and it is the beauty of his painting, the loveliness of his 
coloring, the richness of his tones, that make the charm of his pictures, and breed meaning 
or suggestion to the spectator's mind often with little more help from the artist than we find 




"HE IS COMING." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY MATTHEW MARIS. 



in the forms of clouds or in the coals on our hearth. This is not the case with all his pic- 
tures, but it is with all those that essentially express him, and it is partly so with the picture 
" He is Coming," which we copy from Zilcken's lovely etching originally published in Mr. 



336 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME, 

Henley's catalogue. TMs pretty maiden, turning from lier spinning-wheel in liappy expecta- 
tion as slie hears her lover's step, certainly belongs to the land of fairy-tales, and not to this 
dull, work-a-day world. But in Matthew Maris' picture the beauty of the painting, the 
richness of the blended tones, are so in accord with the sentiment of the figure that we think 
of it only as a whole, and gladly accept it as such. 

From these painters of poetry the passage to triflers like Kaemmerer or dealers in popular 
genre like Van Haanen and Henriette Ronner is somewhat of a descent. 

Frederik Hendrik Kaemmerer was born at the Hague, so far as we can discover, and, 
like the rest, after a few home-lessons went to Paris to complete his studies in an ampler 
field and with richer opportunities. He entered the atelier of Gerome, and in time returned 
to the Hague, where, we believe, he has since continued to live. He is one of the fortunate or 
unfortunate men, as we choose to look at it, who has painted one picture that has become so 
widely popular, and so well known, that it has set the standard by Avhich everything he may 
paint hereafter is sure to be judged; and the chances are one in a hundred that any new 
picture will be allowed the equal of the lirst one. Kaemmerer's first pictiire was the " Wed- 
ding under the Directory," and this for a time kept the anecdote-loving half of the town in a 
fever of delight over what they had got, and in a glow of exjjectation for blessings that might 
be to come. And when the second came, in what may be called an entirely natural sequence, 
"A Baptism under the Directory," following the marriage in due time, it must be allowed 
that the public satisfaction was only so much cooled as might have been expected. If we had 
not been given anything entirely new, we had at least been favored with a little more of the 
delightful old ! The place was the same, the people were the same, and the slight addition to 
the number was merely calculated to whet curiosity. The two pictures were well calculated 
to give pleasure to the general public : the spice of ancedote, the flavor of history, the sur- 
prise of the costumes — not so familiar to us then as now — the skill with which the story, such 
as it was, was told, the dexterity of the execution — all these, made up a delightful tid-bit for 
the lover of persiflage and gossip in painting, and secured an aiidience for anything that the 
artist might have to offer next. But that flrst success — counting the two pictures as one — 
has never been repeated. The other example we give, " The Dispute," has many excellent 
qualities— it has clear story-telling, force in execution, and displays more than common skill 
in drawing, but there is nothing beneath the surface and nothing in what appears, we will 
not say to fascinate, but even to give pleasure. There is no such appeal to the domesticities, 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



jo7 



to the merely luiman sympathies, as we find in the " "WeclcTiug " and the " Baptism," AvhUe 
there was much to repel the lover of "pleasing" pictures in this bloody quarrel iu a j>ublic 




"THE COBBLER'S SHOP." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY CECIL VON HAANEN 



Vol. II.— 22 



338 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TLUE. 



garden over a question des dames. Since then, Kaemmerer lias been often in tlie public eye 
witli pictures wliicli recall that trick of the makers of mantel-piece ornaments who design 
groups that can either be sold in their entirety, or can be taken apart and the single figure 
sold separately. Many of the single figures that are found in the dealers' shops with Kaem- 




"THE SEWING-SCHOOL." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY HENRIETTE RONNER. 



merer's name seem to be the materials of which his first successful groups Avere composed, or 
at all events to be merely the same personages in different attitudes. His present success, 
such as it is, is really one of reminiscent gratitude, so to speak: people wjio liked his "AVed- 
ding " and his " Baptism " are glad to have, if they can, something to remind them of what 
they once enjoyed so much. 

Cecil Von Haaisten-, so far as we can learn, though he came of a Dutch family, was 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 339 

born in Vienna. Tlie picture we give of his " The Cobblers' Shop " is one of many clever 
sketches he has made of every-day life in Venice — recording sights and scenes that have 
only the cleverness of the artist who records them to thank for the lease of life tlms given 
them. Venice has filled a hnndi-ed sketch-books with incidents of no more value than this, 
but taken in sum they crowd the mind with a busy, cheerful picture — a picture signed by so 
many names as almost to confound the memory, and mingle the honors due to Passini, Von 
Blaas, Blum, Von Haanen and the rest in one delightful anticipation, or one equally hai^py 
backward look upon life in the fairy cii^y by the sea. 

Madame Henriette Ronnee, born Knip, is a native of Amsterdam, and studied her art 
with her father. She has proved herself a good painter, finding her subjects in the same 
world of animals where so many artists of oiir day delight to live, and give delight to a 
wide and ever-growing circle. Cats and dogs are Madame Ronner's pets, and she likes to 
paint them, either as here in " The Sewing-School," simulating, or at least suggesting, their 
human relations, or engaged in some employment that associates them with " their betters." 
Madame Ronner, as an artist, is well known here, where many of her pictures have been 
bought. 



SCANDINAVIAN ART. 

NORWAY AND SWEDEN, WITH DENMARK. 



IF the art produced in the two divisions of the great Northern peninsula has any individ- 
ual interest, it arises almost entirely from the fact that the artists as a rule find their 
subjects in the domestic life, the history, and the scenery of their own country; for, so 
far as technical qualities are concerned, they have in almost every case acquired their skill in 
foreign schools— chiefly in those of France and Germany. The painters of Norway have for 
the most part studied in Germany or at home, and some of the principal ones, such as Hans 
Gude, Adolphe Tidemand, and Ludwig Munthe, are often counted among the Germans. The 
Swedish artists, on the other hand, while in many cases they have gone to Diisseldorf after 
finishing their preparatory studies at the Academy at Stockholm, have afterward made their 
way to Paris, and put tliemselves definitely under French instruction. This was the case 



340 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

Avith Alfred Walilberg, Hugo Sahnson, and Angus te Hagborg, to name only a few examples. 
Others, not a few, have remained constant to their native country and are content to owe all 
they have and are to her. Out of eighty-one works by Swedish artists in the ExiDOsition 
Universelle of 1889, thirty-three were by artists who had studied in Paris under French mas- 
ters. Out of seventy Norwegian artists who exhibited, only seven — according to the official 
catalogue — had studied oiit .of Norway. But it is natural that this should be the case. Both 
Norway and Sweden are comparatively poor countries, and they have few advantages to oflEer 
those who are moved by ambition and by a desire to win the great prizes of the world. The 
wonder must always be, first of all, that in these bleak and inhospitable climates, removed 
from the great centres of European civilization, and outside the stream of travel, the seeds of 
art and literature should ever be found to sprout at all; much less should we wonder that 
hopes should arise of a larger growth and a freer blossoming, with richer fruitage, if once the 
young plants could be transferred to a better soil and a more congenial climate. At all 
events, such has beeii the case thus far ; nor does there seem any likelihood that things will 
be different in our immediate time. Artists, if they would improve in their art, if they 
would even bring their talent to the light, need comj)anionship with other artists ; and they 
need, besides, something more than the mere access to museums, however well provided with 
pictures. They must either live in a world where art is so abundantly produced as to have 
become a necessity of daily life, or if that cannot be, then they must, if it were only once in 
a while, be brought into contact with some manifestations of art that shall stir them deeply 
and excite their enthusiasm. This last is what happpened to the artists of Scandinavia — 
in which category we may place Denmark along with Sweden and Norway — at the time of 
the French Exposition in 1878. 

Denmark in art, as perhaps in other things, is, to some extent, an extension merely of 
Holland, and up to the date of the Exi^osition her painters had satisfied themselves and their 
countrymen by working on the lines laid down by the old Dutch masters, looking at life and 
nature through spectacles that had become dull with convention and routine. But 1878 set 
the artists of the North in motion. They had sent their pictui'es to Paris, and they must 
needs follow them thither, and see how they looked in company with those of the rest of the 
world! Certainly, the comparison was not reassuring! They found themselves in the pres- 
ence of an art, larger, more instinct with life, turning strongly to the light, and eager to wrest 
from nature her most intimate secrets— hundreds, no doubt, failing in the attempt, where 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 341 

one liad a little success. But it was neither the failure nor the success that interested these 
new-comers. It was the consciousness that they had to do with an art that was alive, and in- 
stinct with ideas native to the time ; not an art of the past, galvanized into the semblance of 
life. 

Among those Danish artists who were inspired by the movement that was going on in 
the French studios, the most important name is that of P. S. Kroyer — " the most brilliant, the 
most fertile, the best known of Parisians," says M. Hamel. Open-air subjects and interiors, 
landscapes in full sunlight, mysterious twilights, artificial lights — he attacks everything with 
a rapid certainty of hand which plays with difficulties. He is an astonishing improviser; he 
has a genius for drawing; the pencil is never out of his hands; he notes down a likeness, a 
posture, an attitude— almost always a striking one. In two strokes he can create a physiog- 
nomy. Among Kroyer's best open-air subjects are "The Beach at Skagen" and "Night- 
Fishing," and he has lately added to the distinction earned by his " Soiree at Carlsberg," where 
the guests of the evening were really talking, listening, looking on, by his portrait-group of 
" The French Art-Commission in Denmark." The purpose of this work was to commemorate 
the participation of the French artists in the International Exhibition of the Fine Arts held 
at Copenhagen in 1888 to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the coming to the throne 
of Christian IX. and of certain reforms instituted by him. The picture was the result of a 
commission given to Kroyer by a wealthy brewer of Denmark, Mr. Jacobson, who has a 
great admiration for the French. Mr. Jacobson conceived the idea of an international exhi- 
bition, and he not only invited the leading French artists to take part in it, but himself built 
a wing to the exposition-building to accommodate their work. Desiring to perpetuate the 
memory of the event by a painting, he gave this commission to his countryman, M. Kroyer, 
■ who painted the group of portraits which was exhibited at the Paris Exposition in 1889. 
The principal French artists, Falguiere, Puvis de Chavannes, Roll, Bonnat, and others, are rep- 
resented seated or standing round a long table, talking, discussing, consulting; and the artist 
has succeeded in making an interesting picture out of what at the best can never be a very 
grateful one to an artist. In such a theme too much is imposed on the painter; too little is 
left to his own free will. This mention of M. Kroyer and his picture will serve to emi^hasize 
the fact of French influence in the art of Denmark, and yet that influence has not been strong 
enough to destroy all national feeling nor to make of the Danish painters a race of copyists 
and imitators. The landscape of Denmark still keeps its charm for her amateurs of painting, 



342 ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

as for her people at large; and the manners of tlieir conutrymen, the incidents of their 
national history, and the creations of their novelists and playwrights find artists, and good 
ones, not a few, to record them. M. Yiggo Johansen paints scenes from domestic life, bnt 
while they are strongly marked by native characteristics, they remind us of Munich rather 
than of Paris, and indeed we believe Johansen, who hails from Copenhagen, has not 
studied in France. M. Julius Paulsen, although known as a landscape-painter and counted 
among the best of the new time, has also distinguished himself as a painter of genre subjects 
where a vein of sentiment or mystic religious feeling lends a peculiar charm to what in other 
hands might prove mere commonplace. His " Mary with the Child," a peasant mother sitting 
in a rude, unfurnished garret by a bed, with her sleeping child upon her lap, is full of tender- 
ness expressed with the utmost simplicity. 

The Academy at Copenhagen was founded by Frederick Y., in 1756. The Academy at 
Stockholm was founded earlier, in 1735. The influences of French art in our time have been 
as potent in Sweden as in Denmark: as we have seen, nearly half of the artists exhibiting in 
Paris in 1889 had their training there. The first national impulse was given to art in Sweden 
by the painter Sandberg and the sculptor Fogelberg. Sandberg painted scenes from the his- 
tory of the country and from home-life, while Fogelberg drew his subjects from the mythol- 
ogy of the Eddas. The impulse once given, was followed by other artists, and in spite of the 
fact that so many of her painters, have been taught in Paris, there remains enough of national 
spirit and home-bred influence to found a school with some claim to distinctive character. 
Among the artists whose works atti'acted attention at the Paris Exposition were Eichard 
Bergh, the most learned, the most sincere, and the most dexterous of fantasists ; Osterlind, 
the refined narrator of the " Baptism in Brittany," the charming hiimorist of " The Tooth- 
ache ; " Zorn, a water-color virtuoso ; Liljef ors, who loves Japan ; Kreuger, Pauli, Anna 
Hirsch, Eva Bonnier, Ekstrom, Nordstrom, and Larsson, whose triptique, "The Renaissance; 
The XVIII. Century; Modern Art," decorative panels designed for the gallery of M. Fiirsten- 
berg at Grothembourg, might serve for an emblem of this art of Sweden: supple, laughing, 
and full of character, amusing itself with sketches, with rapid notes of tender hamionies it 
meets in nature, while waiting for the time when it shall be ripe for more serious things. 

Little is known among us of Swedish art, or of Scandinaviar art in general; and even 
engravings and photographs of Swedish pictures are difficult to find here. The few pictures 
that come to us from these Northern countries, are for the most part painted by artists living 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



343 



in France and who have liad theii- traiiiiiig' fhere, and the dealers import them with others 
from the French market. One or two pictures by Hugo Sahnson, an artist born in Stock- 
holm and a pupil in Paris of P. C. Comte, have been bought in this country; one of them, 
"A Woman Peeling Potatoes," lately owned by Mr. George T. Seney, made a favorable im- 




"THE FISHERMAN'S DAUGHTER." 
FROM A PAINTING BY AUGUSTE HAGBORG BELONGING TO MESSRS. REICHARD & CO. 

pression on our public. Auguste Hagborg, born in Gothembourg, Sweden, lives in Paris, 
where, to judge by his style, he certainly had his training. He deals almost exclusively in 
his pictures with seaside-folk, and his way of dealing with them recalls sometimes the Avork 
of Haquette and again that of Feyen-Perrin. It is not always so sturdy and downright as 
the former, nor is it often so mistakenly refined as that of the painter of " Les Cancalaises." 
Yet while he apparently draws his subjects from nature, he seems to avoid showing them to 



344 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TLME. 



lis just as they are: like the street Arabs and boot-blacks of our own J. G. Brown, his fisher- 
folk are too neat and too free from the scars and stains of their hard work-a-day world. The 
example of Hagborg that we copy is as good an illustration of his manner as could be shown. 
It is taken from a picture painted in ISSS for ]Mr. Reichard, who has obligingly lent it to us 
to copy. The subject is nothing : only a fishenuan's daughter who has come to sit by the 
shore while her little brother sails his toy boat in the shallow water. We may fancy, if we 
like, that the girl's abstracted look is due to some absent lover sailing on the seas, but it is 
only a bovine expression of sentiment at the best, and we cannot feel much interest in it. 
The picture, if found pleasing at all, must content us as any sunny glance at youth and inno- 
cent lives contents us, too busy and too preoccupied with the teasing questions of daily life 
to look any deeper into the matter, except to be glad in the knowledge that youth and inno' 
cence still manage to keep a footing in the world. 

Baron Thtjee von Cedersteoji is the nephew of Baron Gustav Olaf von Cederstrom. 
The two are nearly of an age: Gustav born in 1845 at Stockholm and Thure in 1843 at the set- 
tlement of Gut Aryd, in the dreary province of Smaland. Both went in youth into the army, 
and after a brief service left it for the study of art. Gustav studied at first in Stockholm and 
then in Diisseldorf, but after a severe illness which obliged him to return to Sweden, he went 
to Paris and continued his training under Meissonler and Bonnat. Then, after a brief -visit to 
Italy he returned to Paris, where he has since continued to live. Thure, on the other hand, 
made his studies wholly in Germany, at Diisseldorf and Weimar, and in Munich, where he 
still lives. He is best known by pictures such as the one we engrave — dealing mostly with 
monks in the fashion of Griitzner and Yibert, though with none of the bitter, half -concealed 
mockery of the latter. He depicts, like Griitzner, the jolly, good-natured side of the monastic 
life; his monks are forever pulling refractory corks, tasting good wine, preparing dinner, or, 
as here, amusing themselves in the sitting-room after dinner with listening to the clumsy 
singing and strumming of one of their number. In blissful unconsciousness of criticism, or 
indifferent to it, he gives himself up to the luxury of the C in alt., while the amiably satirical 
old prior, with a face like Voltaire, takes snuff in good-natured sufferance, his doubtful 
smile reflected in the full-moon face of the young monk behind his chair. On the other side 
of the stone pillar supporting the groined roof, against which our singer leans his back, an 
elderly monk, disturbed in his reading the newspaper by the vocal gynmastics of his brother, 
turns with ill-suppressed impati nee to listen, and on the other side of the room two monks 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



345 



make sly comments on the performance: one of tliem whispers in the ear of his companion, 
a fat and toothless old brother, who shakes with delight over his eqnally fat brother's vaulting 




"THE HIGH C." 

FROM THE PAINTING BV BARON THURE VON CEDERSTROM. 



ambition. Just as Hagborg illustrates the influence of French art on some of the Swedish 
painters, so Thure Cederstrom's picture shows the almost complete absorption of others in 



346 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



German ideas and methods. This picture was painted in ]\Iunich, and there is nothing in it 
to indicate that its author is not a native of the city wliere he lives and works. 

The same tiling may be said of Karl Gustav Hellqvist, except that he is to be credited 
with a preference in general for Swedish subjects, though his mode of painting shows no 




'THE TRANSPORT OF THE BODY OF GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS FROM THE HARBOR OF WOLGAST, 
JULY 15, 1632." 

FROM THE PICTURE BY GUSTAV HELLQVIST. 

peculiarities to mark his nationality. He began his stirdies with a decorative-painter and 
later entered the Academy at Stockholm, finally making his way to Munich, where he lives 
and works. His earliest picture, an unimportant episode in the religious discords of Sweden 
and Norway, is owned by our ]\fetropolitan Museum of Art, and gives a good idea of his 
style when he was under the influence of Baron Henri Leys— not as a pupil but as an ad- 
mirer. It represents the disgraceful entrance of Bishop Sonnanvader and the Provost Knut 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



547 



into Stockholm in September, 1526. The two unfortunate men, seated on miserable hacks 
with their faces turned to the horses' tails, are entering the city accompanied by a jeering and 
insulting crowd. As it was impossible to extract any moral from such an unseemly spec- 




"AT CHRISTMAS-TIME." 

FROM THE PAINTING BY GUSTAV HELLQVIST. 

tacle, it may be thought hardly worth painting. Nor can much more be said of our picture, 
" The Transport of the Body of Gustavus Adolphus from the Harbor of Wolgast to Stock- 
holm." It is an academically painted subject, but while perhaps it drives in the trite lesson 
of the uncertainty of human greatness, it never seems quite the fair thing to do by a brave 



348 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



man, to choose the hour of failure and defeat as a theme to commemorate. In the small bit 
from peasant-life which we copy, Hellqvist shows more natural, and seems more within the 
true bounds of his talent. These children have been to the wood to cut a tree for Christmas ; 
they are enjoying the merry sledge-ride home, little brother manfully pushing, and his sister, 
well muffled up, with an eye to the tree that rests on the sledge before her. The air is full of 




"SWEDISH COAST-SCENERY,' 
FROM A PICTURE BY ALFRED WAHLBERG, BELONGING TO MESSRS. KNOEDLER & CO, 



snow, the trees are loaded with the gathered flakes, and in the wayside shrine that shelters 
the rude image of the Crucified, there hangs a star, placed there by pious hands to recall the 
night of His birth. But it cannot be said that there is anything in the picture from which 
to guess the artist's nationality. A hundred German artists, with brush, and pencil, and 
graver, have treated similar subjects in a language no way diffei'ent, and with results neither 
better nor worse. 

Alfred Leoxakd WAiiLBEnG, born at Stockholm in 1834, is a landscape-painter of a 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 349 

mucli higher order. He acquired the rudiments of his art in Diisseldorf, but it was from 
Corot and Daubigny, with whom he studied later in Paris, that he learned to look at the 
landscape from within, and to inter^jret rather than merely to copy it. His pictures of 
Northern scenery are not translated into the dialect of Munich, nor into the more refined 
speech of Paris. He belongs to his native Sweden, not only by the choice of his subjects; 
he reflects in his style the inner characteristics of the scenery he paints, as well as its 
forms. He shows us pictures of Sweden, painted in Sweden, by a Swede. By the courtesy 
of Messrs. Knoedler & Co., we are enabled to give a pleasing example of Wahlberg's art in 
our copy of a recently painted picture of Swedish coast-scenery. 

Of other Swedish painters we know little, probably too little, in this country: of Hockert, 
once a great favorite, with his pictures of peasant-life in Dalecarlia, or his scenes in Lap- 
land ; of Nordenberg, a iDupil of the Norwegian Tidemand, nor of Wallander, Fernberg, and 
Saloman — but in truth these latter artists have had their brief day, and all they could do for 
us would be to serve as mile-stones to mark the distance the art of their native country has 
travelled in the twenty years since they were actors in the scene. 

For a long time, almost the only names of Norwegian artists 
that reached us here in America were those of Tidemand, Gude, 
and Dahl. They belong to the time when Norway and Denmark 
were politically united, but as we have already said, only their 
subjects distinguish them from the German painters who were their 
contemporaries, and among whom they had the chief part of their 
training. Adolph Tidemand was born at Mandel in 1814, and 
studied first at Copenhagen, and afterward at Diisseldorf, where he continued to live and to 
teach. His subjects were drawn from humble life in Norway, and their treatment was in 
Qo way different from what we were accustomed to in the works of the Diisseldorf school. 
The same remark applies to Gude, born in Christiania in 1825, and distinguished as a painter 
of Norwegian scenery. He, like Tidemand, studied first at Copenhagen and later at 
Diisseldorf, where after some time spent in the Academy he entered the studio of Schirmer, 
and while there painted his first picture that attracted notice. He then returned to Norway 
and remained there several years, giving himself up to a close study of the scenery. He after- 
ward, on the death of Schirmer, his early master, took that artist's place as professor in the 
art-school at Carlsruhe. His pictures of the coast of Norway, its precipitous cliffs, deep 




15° 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



fiords, and wide-spreading bays, are so well known that we have preferred to give an exam- 
ple of his style in dealing with a softer subject, and have selected an etching of his own to 
copy, a " View of the Bodensee, or Lake of Constance." In 1880 Gude went to Berlin, where 
he established in the Academy a studio for teaching landscape-painting. It will be seen that 
not only by his training, but by his life-long residence in Germany, Gude must be reckoned a 




"THE LAKE OF CONSTANCE." 

FROM HIS ETCHING OF HIS OWN PICTURE BY HANS GUDE. 



GeiTnan painter, but it is true that he has confined himself almost exclusively to painting 
the scenery of his native country, and that on all occasions when he takes part in public ex- 
hibitions, he appears as a JSTorwegian. 

LuDWiG MuNTHE, born in Aaroen, in NorAvay, in 1843, studied in Diisseldorf, but under 
no particular master. In his wandering-year he visited the Netherlands, France, Scandinavia, 
and Italy, and came back laden with studies which have since stood him in good stead. His 
pictures have often been brought to t-his country, and have not only been much liked by 



ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 



351 



amateurs, but have liad a marked influence on one or two of our American artists. His win- 
ter-scenes are perhaps those most commonly met with, but he is fond of choosing the hour of 





"NORWEGIAN LANDSCAPE." 
FROM A PAINTING BY LUDWIG MUNTHE, BELONGING TO MESSRS. KNOEDLER & CO. 

sunset, when he can lighten xip the icy fields and frozen pools with the warmth of a ruddy 
Qrb whose comfortable rays are seen through a network of bare boughs. The characteristic 



... ART AND ARTISTS OF OUR TIME. 

-7. .(.. 

landscape whicli we copy is from a painting obliginglj^ loaned us by Messrs. Knoedler k Co. 
Another interesting Norwegian painter is Adelsten Noemann, born at Bodo. His subjects 
are all taken from Norwegian sceuerj-, and his three pictures in the Paris Exposition of 1889 
were much admired. Last in our brief list is Frith.jof Smith-Hald, born at Christiansand, 




"NORWEGIAN COAST-SCENERY." 

FROM A PICTURE BY FRITHJOF SMITH-HALD. 



but living in Paris, where he probably had his training. He, too, finds all his subjects at 
home, and the one we have selected gives an idea of his style as satisfactory as can be ob- 
tained from the material at our command. 



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