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NOV 6 1989 






Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld. t London and Aylesbury. 


THIRTEEN years have elapsed since tfre late Dr. Waagen 
wrote the new edition of * Kugler,' of which the present is a 
revised and corrected impression. Dr. Waagen at that time 
explained his reasons for rejecting a great part of Kugler' s 
work, stating that he had enlarged the text in respect of the 
later Dutch and Flemish schools, and extended his critical 
notices to artists who were at once painters and engravers. 
A minute account of the sources open to the historical in- 
quirer in relation to art in Germany and the Low Countries 
concluded this portion of the learned Doctor's preface. 

Art criticism has done a great deal since 1860 to increase 
our knowledge of the lives of painters, and much that was 
then acceptable as historical and true is now looked upon as 
fabulous or doubtful. I may venture to affirm that no one 
at the present day would attempt to class Dierick Bouts, or 
Cristus, or Justus amongst the pupils of Hubert van Eyck ; 
nor would it occur to any person to admit the existence of 
Roger van der Weyden the younger, or to acknowledge as 
productions of the last Holbein such works as are found to 
date before 1515. This classification and these statements 
we find in Dr. Waagen' s text ; and in citing them as proofs 
of the necessity for revising that text, I do not by any means 
exhaust the subject. 

An attentive reader will observe that I discard Dr. 
Waagen's theory of a Teutonic School, whilst I endeavour 
to throw new light on the origin of painting in the Nether- 
lands. The influence of sculpture-tinting is prominently 
brought forward ; and examples are given of early art on 
walls and portable shrines. Some interest is now for the 


first time given to the painters who were the precursors of 
the Van Eycks in Flanders ; and passing to the Van Eycks 
themselves, I trace their connection with the reigning family 
of the Burgundian Dukes at the time of their residence in 
Ghent. John van Eyck is shown to have spent two years 
at the Hague ; his journey to Portugal is described ; and 
proof is afforded that our knowledge of him and his brother 
is mainly derived from Italian as contra- distinguished from 
Belgian sources. Cristus is noted as a painter who lived in 
the second half of the fifteenth century ; he is the only direct 
disciple of the great master of Bruges. 

The school of the Van Eycks, which had its cradle in the 
valley of the Meuse, is to be distinguished from that of Vaa 
der Weyden, which arose in the valley of the Scheldt. Van 
der Weyden is not the pupil, he is the contemporary and 
rival of John van Eyck. Van der Goes appears as one who 
carried to a monastery the talents of a great artist and the 
habits of a wine-bibber. Justus of Ghent wanders to Urbino, 
where he transforms his style, and becomes great under the 
influence of Santi and Melozzo. Gerard van der Meire, the 
contemporary of Justus, becomes connected by tradition with 
a series of pictures telling of prolonged and patient activity. 
Memling's career, after his settlement at Bruges, is clearly 
mapped out ; and we track to their original places most of 
his scattered altarpieces in European galleries. Dierick 
Bouts is shown to be the pupil of Roger van der Weyden, 
the founder of a local school at Lou vain, and the master of 
Quentin Massys. Gheerardt David wanders from Holland to 
Bruges, imitates Memling and Van Eyck, and forms Joachim 
Patenier, the first of the Belgian landscapists. The birth 
and death of Quentin Massys, his practice at Antwerp, and 
his relation to Holbein and Durer are accurately given ; 
whilst Mabuse takes his place as Quentin's friend and con- 
temporary before he passed into Italy and modified his style 
after the taste of the "Renaissance. Bellegambe of Douai is, 
restored to his place in the history of Belgian art ; Marinus 
of Romerswale becomes familiar as a follower of Massys ; 
and the fantastic Bosch resumes his old and genuine name 
of Van Aeken. Patenier, who matriculated at Antwerp in 


1515, appears as the master of Henry de Bles, whose identity 
with Henri de Patenier may be accepted as certain. 

Some novelty will be found to have been introduced into 
the lives of the painters of the Low Countries who were the 
precursors, contemporaries, and followers of Rubens and 
Rembrandt. Of Rembrandt himself and his pupils the lives 
have been remodelled or re -written, to satisfy the claims of 
the public to an accurate knowledge of their style and pro- 
ductions. Almost all the dates illustrating the history of 
the later Dutch have been subjected to a necessary revision. 

Changes of no less magnitude will be"found in the accounts 
of German schools. Hans Holbein the grandfather disap- 
pears from the pages of the Handbook, his existence proved 
to be a myth. Hans Holbein the father is welcomed back 
to the rank which he had lost, and we assign to him anew the 
pictures which critics had learnt to attribute to his son. It 
might have been considered difficult, if not impossible, to add 
anything to the the histouy of men hitherto so patiently 
studied as Holbein and Durer, yet it will be seen that much 
has been done to complete the lives and correct the lists of 
works of these eminent artists. 

In the attempt thus made to remodel Dr. Waagen's 'Kugler,' 
I required the help of numerous contemporary authorities ; 
and I perform a pleasing duty in acknowledging the assistance 
which I have derived from such works as the following : * Le 
Beffroi,' edited by Mr. Weale ; the ' Journal des Beaux Arts/ 
with its articles by Michiels, Biirger, and Weale, and the latter's 
* Guide to Bruges,' and 'Catalogue of the Bruges Academy'; 
the ' Zeitschrift fur Bildende Kunst,' edited by Professor von 
Liitzow, with its numerous contributions from the pen of A. 
von Zahn, Hermann Liicke, Waagen, A. Woltrnann, Gottfried 
Kinkel, His-Heussler, Wilhelm Schmidt, J. Baader, and 
Moriz ThaUsing ; Busscher's ' Recherches sur les Peintres 
Gantois'; Schnaase's ' Geschichte der Bildenden Kiinste'; 
Dr. Ennen's writings in the ' Annalen des Historischen Vereins 
fur den Niederrhein ' ; A. Pinchart's ' Archives des Arts ' 
and other works; E. van Even's 'Louvain Monumental ' and 
pamphlets ; Ruelens' and Pinchart's Annotations to Dele- 
pierre's Translation of ' Early Flemish painters ' ; the nume- 


rous works of Mr. A. Wauters of Brussels ; the * Liggeren/ 
or registers of the Antwerp Guild, transcribed with copious 
annotations by Ph. Rombouts and Th. van Lerius ; Van der 
Willigen's ' Artistes de Haarlem ' ; George Scharfs papers in 
the ' London Archeologia ' ; Dr. Julius Meyer's ' Kunst Lexi- 
con'; Harzen's'LifeofZeitblom'; Woltmann's and Worn urn's 
'Holbein': Herman Grimm's numerous essaj^s ; * Durer's 
Life,' by A. von Eye ; Durer's * Kunstlehre,' by A. von Zahn ; 
0. Miindler's ' Beitriige ' ; Schuchardt's * Lucas Cranach ' ; 
C. Vosmaer's 'Life of Rembrandt'; Burger's 'Musees de 
Hollande ' ; Fetis' 'Catalogue of the Brussels Museum'; 
Sunaert's ' Catalogue of the Ghent Museum ' ; Dr. Bod.e ? s 
Trans Hals ' ; T. van Westrheene's ' Paulas Potter ' ; P. 
Scheltema s ' Amstel's Oudheit.' 

It would not be fair to neglect mentioning such publica- 
tions as Vaernewyk's 'Beroerlycke Tijden,' and Weinreich's 
' Danziger Chronik,' both of which were recently printed. 

I have thought it necessary to preserve Dr. Waagen's 
references to the collection of the Landauer Briiderhaus at 
Nuremberg, because after the close of that collection the 
pictures which it contained were dispersed no one knows 

After the pages of the Handbook had been sent to press, I 
^learnt that the Munich Pinakothek had been numbered afresh. 

In correction of the text I may state that the portrait in 
the Belvedere Museum assigned by Dr. Waagen to Calcar is 
by Morone ; and the Soleure Madonna is now the property of 
the Kunst Verein of that" city. 


NOTE. The Suermondt collection has been acquired for the Museum at 
Berlin; the Wynn Ellis is bequeathed to the National Gallery, and the 
MunroBu'ler Johnstone dispersed at Messrs. Christie's, 1878. The 
collection of Herr van Loon, at Amsterdam, is also dispersed. 

The Van der Hoop collection has become part of the State Museum at 

Several picturet formerly in the Landauer Briiderhaus have been trans- 
ferred to the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg. 

The Baring collection is now the North-brook collection. 


Pref ace . . iii 

List of Illustrations ix. 


A.D. 800-1250. 

Chapter I. Early Christian Epoch. 800-1150 1-1 3 

II. The Byzantine-Romanesque Epoch. 1150-1250 13-23 



Introduction. 24 

Chapter I. The Period when Faulting was principally 
restricted to the Illumination of Outlines 

1250-1350 25-31 

n II. Development of Painting in its more indepen- 
dent character. 1350-1420.. 32-4* 



Complete Development of Art in the Spirit of the Middle 

Chapter I. The Brothers Van Eyck 49-7-1 

n II. School of Belgium till near the close of tbe 

fifteenth century 74-111 

III. The Early Flemish School, up to the period of 

its termination. 1 490-1 530 112-124 

n IV. The German School, in its transition from the 
Style of the preceding period to the Realistic 

Tendency. 1420-1460 125-130 

n V. The German Schools which adopted the Beal- 

istic Tendency of the Van Eycks. 1460-1500 130-150 
., VI. The German Schools from 1500 to 1550 150-229- 



ITALO-FLEMINGS. 1530-1600. 

Deterioration of Art, as regards Historical Painting, arising from the 
imitation of the Italians. Further development of other classes of 
Painting Genre, Landscapes, etc. 


Chapter I. Painting in the Netherlands 230-266 

II. Painting in Germany 266-274 


Second Development of Northern Feeling for Art. 

Chapter I. Introduction. Rubens 275-291 

II. The Contemporaries and Scholars of Rubens .. 291-347 
III. The Dutch School. The Influence of the 
Italian Naturalisti, and of Rubens' Style of 

Art ." 347-362 

IV. Rembrandt Van Ryn 363-374 

V. Scholars and Followers of Rembrandt 375-393 

VI. The Painters of Genre t . . 394-514 

VII. The Painters of Plants, Fruits, and Still ife . . 515-520 
., VIII. The German Painters of this Period 523-533 

THE DECLINE OF ART. 1700-1810. 

Introduction 534-535 

Chapter I. The Flemish School 535-538 

II. -The Dutch School 539-551 

III. The German School 551-568 

INDEX .... * 569-586 



Memling : iu the Gallery at Munich (see p. 97) . . Frontispiece. 

Pictures on an altar-chest at Dijon. No. 1 . . - . . To face page 37 

No. 2 ...... 37 

No. 3 ...... 37 

No. 4 ...... 7 

The Altai-piece of THE ADORATION OF THE LAMB ; painted 
by John and Hubert van Eyck for the Church of St. 
Bavon at Ghent ................ 56 

THE ADORATION OF THE LAMB ............ 58 


Outer shutters of the great Van Eyck picture at Berlin 60 
THE TRIUMPH OF THE CHURCH : in the National Mu- 

seum, Madrid ................ 68 

THE LAST JUDGMENT ; by Roger van der Weyden .... 81 

Outer shutters of LAST JUDGMENT; by Roger van der 

Weyden .................... 

ADORATION OF THE KINGS ; by Roger van der Weyden : 
in the Gallery at Munich. (The standing King is a 
portrait of Charles the Bold of Burgundy) .... 83 

Large Altarpiece, by Hans Memling, of the LAST JUDG- 

MENT : at Dantzig .............. 94 

THE RELIQUARY OF ST. URSULA ; by Hans Memling : in 

the Chapel of St. John's Hospital at Bruges .... 101 

DEATH OF ST. URSULA ; one of the pictures by Memling on 

the Reliquary of St. Ursula at Bruges ...... 102 

THE MISERS ; a picture by Quentin Massys : at Windsor 

Castle .................... 116 

A CARD PARTY ; by Lucas van Leyden : at Wilton House 122 
"THE DANCE OF THE MAGDALEN;" from an engraving 

by Lucas van Leyden, in the British Museum . . . . 122 
TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTHONY ; from an engraving by 

Lucas van Leyden in the British Museum . . . . 122 

ALTARPIECE, by Stephen Lothener, in Cologne Cathedral, 

in five parts .................. ., 126 


THE ANNUNCIATION ; from an engraving by Martin Schon- 

gauer in the British Museum To face page 136 


by Martin Schongauer in the British Museum . . 136 

Martin Schougauer, which Michael Angelo is said to 
have copied : from the British Museum 136 

ALBERT DURER ; painted by himself : in the collection 

of Artists' Portraits at Florence 155 

ADORATION OF THE TRINITY ; painted by Albert Durer : 

now in the Belvedere at Vienna 165 

THE KNIGHT, DEATH, AND THE DEVIL ; an engraving by 

' Albert Durer . . ' 167 

MELANCHOLY ; engraving by Albert Durer 168 

Border from the ''Prayerbook of Maximilian ; drawn by 

Albert Durer : in the Royal Library, Munich . . . . 169 

Border from the Prayerbook of Maximilian ; drawn by 

Albert Durer : in the Royal Library, Munich 169 

From Albert Durer's woodcut of the " CAR OF MAXI- 
MILIAN," in the British Museum .. 171 

From Albert Durer's woodcut of the "CAR OF MAXI- 
MILIAN," in the British Museum , 171 

THE APOSTLES MARK AND PAUL ; by Albert Durer : in 

the Gallery at Munich . . . . 173 

Altarpiece in the Church at Weimar, containing portraits 
of LUTHER, MELANCTHON, and the Painter himself ; 
by Lucas Cranach 192 

The Burgomaster Meyer's votive picture ; by Hans Hol- 
bein : in the palace of Princess Charles of Hesse, at 
Darmstadt .. .. 206 

The Burgomaster Meyer's votive picture ; copied from 

1 Hans Holbein, and now in the Gallery at Dresden 206 

THE TRIUMPH OF RICHES ; from a design by Holbein ; in 

the collection of the late Sir Charles Eastlake . . 213 

THE TRIUMPH OF POVERTY ; from a design by Holbein : 

in the same collection 213 

THE DESCENT FROM THE CROSS ; by Rubens : in the 

Cathedral at Antwerp , 284 

BATTLE OF THE AMAZONS ; by Rubens : in the Gallery at 

Mxinich.. .. .... .... .. 285 

Rubens' small picture of THE FALL OF THE DAMMED : in 

the Gallery at Munich 285 


LEUCIPPUS ; by Rubens : in the Gallery at Munich 280 

REGENCY BY MARIE DE MEDICIS ; from the Series of 
pictures by "Rubens in the Luxembourg, illustrating 
the History of Marie de Medicis . . 287 


Portraits of RUBENS, his BROTHER, HUGO GROTIUS, and 
JUSTUS LIPSIUS : from the picture by Rubens in the 
Pitti Palace at Florence ,. .. To face page 289 

Rubens' portrait of his two Sons 289 

HOLY FAMILY WITH ANGELS ; by Van Dyck : formerly in 

the Houghton Collection, now at St. Petersburg . . 301 

KING CHARLES I. ; by Van Dyck : from the original pic- 
ture at Windsor 306 

THE PEMBROKE FAMILY ; by Van Dyck : in Wilton House 306 

PETER DENYING CHRIST ; painted by David Teniers in 

1646 : now in the Louvre ,, 324 

TAVERN SCENE ; painted by Teniers : now in the Munich 

GaUery 325 


by Rembrandt in 1632 : in the Museum of the Hague M 368 


in the Berlin Museum 371 

" CONSEIL PATERNEL;" a picture by Gerard Terburg : in 

the Amsterdam Museum 395 


Museum of the Hague . . ^ 404 


Brouwer : in the Gallery at Munich 418 

THE ITINERANT FIDDLER ; by Adrian van Ostade : in the 

Hague Museum 421 

THE JEWISH CEMETERY ; by Kuysdael : in the Dresden 

Gallery , .. .. 474 

SEAPIECE ; by Backhuysen : in the Munich Gallery . . 502 






A.D. 800 TO 3250. 



NEITHER in Germany nor in the Netherlands are there indi- 
cations to be found of any practice of the art of painting 
previous to the introduction of Christianity. Charlemagne, 
who endeavoured to infuse something of the culture of the 
ancient world into his widely-extended dominions, adorned 
the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle with mosaics, and embellished 
his palace with wall pictures. In the great cupola of the 
former he introduced the hallowed composition of Christ 
enthroned, with four and twenty elders holding crowns, and 
angels hovering in a golden heaven. 1 The walls of the 
palace were filled with incidents of Charlemagne's life as a 
warrior, a statesman, and a patron of learning. They contained 

1 [See the subject engraved, after Ciampini, in the second part of 
Ernst aus'm Weerth's ' Kunst-Denkmaler des Christl. Mittelalters ill 
den Rheinlanden.' Leipzig, T. 0. Weigel, 1860, Th. ii. Taf. 32, 11 
Fragments of the mosaic have been found under whitewash ; and the 
dome is now in the hands of restorers, who hope to revive the old deco- 
ration of Charlemagne.] 



allegories of the sciences, varied by incidents of battle and 
siege. During the same reign the castle of Upper Ingelheim, 
on the Rhine, was enriched with frescos of a devout and 
secular character. In the chapel there were scenes from the 
Old and New Testament ; in the banqueting halls, episodes of 
history. On one of the walls were the deeds of the great 
Pagan rulers, Ninus, Cyrus, Phalaris, Romulus, Hannibal, 
and Alexander, and on the other those of the Emperors 
Constantine the Great and Theodosius the victory of 
Charles Martel over the Frieslanders, the seizure of Aquitaine 
by Pepin, Charlemagne's own conquests of the Saxons, and 
finally, himself enthroned in all the majesty of a conqueror. 
Although no trace remains of these extensive decorations, yet 
contemporary miniatures, executed by order of the monarch, 
enable us to form some idea of the form in which they were 
produced ; and we are led inferentially to believe that monu- 
mental paintings of religious subjects were chiefly based upon 
the models of early Christian art. Such subjects, in manu- 
scripts, exhibit an awkwardness and stiffness, a feebleness of 
drawing, and a gaudiness of colour, indicative only of the 
feeling of a still semi-barbarous nation. We may, therefore, 
conclude that the secular scenes, for which the painter had 
no models, and in which the story frequently entails great 
liveliness of action, must have had a very unrefined appear- 
ance. The treatment, with broad lights and shadows laid 
upon the same unvarying middle tone, which occurs in the 
miniatures, was unquestionably derived from that which we 
observe in antique frescos. In the peculiar type of many 
a head in the meagre character of the draperies in the 
gold hatchings of the dresses in the green tone of the sha- 
dows, and in the repeated use of vermilion and unbroken blue 
the influence of the Italians and Byzantines may have 
taken effect, as it did in the miniatures. The manuscripts to 
which these remarks apply are the following : 

An Evangeliarium, in the Imperial Library at Paris. This 
contains the four Evangelists Christ represented under a 
youthful form, giving the benediction according to the rite of 
the Byzantine Church ; and the Fountain of Life, within an 
octagon building surrounded by stags, by peacocks, and other 


birds. The heads are of an elongated oval, the eyes large 
and widely opened, the brows heavily arched, the noses 
broad of nostril and narrow in the barrel. 1 We may hesitate 
to affirm that the writer of this manuscript, whose name was 
Gottschalk, was also the painter of the miniatures ; yet it 
may have been so. At all events it is an ascertained fact 
that painting was, with few exceptions, practised only by 
monks till towards the beginning of the twelfth century all 
intellectual culture, down to that time, being engrossed by 
the religious orders. 

An Evangeliarium (Supplement, Latin*, No. 686), also in 
the Imperial Library at Paris, and far richer in contents than 
the preceding ; originally from the church of St. Medardus, 
at Soissons. The pictures, including the subjects already 
described, and also the Church of Christ represented as a 
building, exhibit a far more skilful artist. Two of the 
Evangelists are of very animated action. 2 

An Evangelistarium, in the, town Library of Treves. The 
four youthful Evangelists here give evidence of a still more 
advanced artist. The motives have throughout something 
grand and free, and to some extent convey a feeling of 
devout inspiration ; the features of St. Matthew may be even 
termed noble. But the ornamentation of the borders, of the 
canon, and of the initials, tell of much higher cultivation than 
the figures. Two elements of art are especially distinguish- 
able the antique, as shown in Greek borders, acroteria, genii, 
and animals ; the Irish, as displayed in masterly meanders of 
ornament interspersed with dragons and serpents. The skill 
with which space is distributed, the taste and fancy which 
characterize the fillings, are peculiar to the inmates of Irish 
monasteries in the sixth century, who wandered as mission- 
aries into various European countries, and gave permanence 
to a new form of art. In France and Swabia, St. Columbanus ; 
in Switzerland, St. Gallus (founder of the convent of St. 
Gallen), were the pioneers of this new school; in Franconia, 
St. Kilian ; in Belgium, St. Lievin ; and in Friesland, St. 

1 See further description in my ' Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Paris,' 

2 See ' Kunstwerke und Eiinstler m Paris,' p. 237. 


Willebrord. 1 Both the elements, antique and Irish, are 
combined in the Bible of Treves, with the application of the 
most costly colours. Purple, gold, and silver are abundantly 
used, and a system of ornamentation is worked out which 
unites the utmost splendour of effect with a very original 
and attractive form of taste, and great technical mastery. 
The same architectural feeling is observable which afterwards 
found so grand a development in the architecture of the 
Germanic race. 

Subsequently, when France and Germany, under the 
grandchildren of Charlemagne, were divided into separate 
states, we perceive a distinct character in the art of each. I 
propose, therefore, only so far to consider the form practised 
in France as it occasionally is found to influence that of 
Germany. Meanwhile, in the course of the ninth century, a 
barbaric element becomes more and more perceptible. This 
is apparent in the type of the heads, with noses of monstrous 
thickness and length in the brick-red tones of the flesh, and 
in a coarser style of treatment ; whilst on the other hand the 
ornamentation of initials and borders reveals a far higher 
level of acquirements. The chief specimens of this time are 
the Bibles of Charles the Bald, in the Louvre, and in the 
Royal Library at Munich, formerly in the convent of St. 
Emmeran at Regensburg, and the Bible of the Emperor 
Charles the Fat, in the church of St. Calixtus at Rome. 2 
Another series of miniatures belonging to manuscripts 
written in France discover an Anglo-Saxon tendency ; these, 
however, as exercising'no influence on the art of Germany, 
I have no occasion to consider. 

One form of art of which examples have been preserved 
in Germany consists of very rude and slight pen-drawings, 
in which reminiscences of antique feeling are traceable in the 
drapery. Of this kind are the miniatures in the manuscript, 
dated 814, and belonging to the Bavarian convent of Wesso- 
brunn, now in the Library at Munich. This manuscript is 

1 See my Supplement to Kugler's 'Handbook of the History of 
Painting,' in the 'Kunstblatt ' of 1850, p. 83. 

z There erroneously given out for the Bible of Charlemagne. See 
last-mentioned Essay in ' Kunstblatt,' 1850, p. 92 ; aleo ' Kunstwerke 
und Kiinstler in Paris,' p. 258. 


also celebrated as containing the Wessobrunn Prayer, one of 
the earliest examples of the German language. It is decorated 
with sixteen small pictures, illustrative of the Finding of the 
true Cross by the Empress Helena. 

Translation of the Four Evangelists into German verse, 
undertaken in the ninth century by Ottfried, a monk belong- 
ing to the convent of Weissenburg, in Alsace ; now in the 
Imperial Library at Vienna. Two pictures here, the Cruci- 
fixion and Palm Sunday, probably both by the same monk, 
occupy each a whole page. Christ is represented upon the 
Cross under a youthful form, and is upright and still alive. 
The expression of sorrow in the Virgin and St. John is well 
rendered by lively gestures. Above, in two circles, are the 
half-length figures of the Sun and Moon, looking at Christ, 
and about to cover their faces with their drapery. A third 
picture, representing the Last Supper, is the work of a latei 
and far ruder hand, to whom also the insertion of the eight 
Apostles in Palm Sunday is Attributable. 

In point of art, however, the above-mentioned works are 
far surpassed by a picture of Christ as Salvator Mundi, p. 
869 of a manuscript in the library of the convent of St. Gallen 
(No. 877), which contains the Grammar of Donatus and other 
writings of similar import. The conception is free and noble, 
the proportions are slender, the arms astonishingly well 
drawn, and the antique style of the drapery well understood. 
This picture of the ninth century proves how early the 
school of art belonging to this convent had attained a re- 
spectable development. 

Another class of miniatures, of which specimens are pre- 
served in Germany, consists of subjects very carefully ex- 
ecuted in body colours. In the conception of these, antique 
types are clearly discerned, commingled, especially in the 
tenth century, with those of Byzantine art. The chief 
specimen of this kind, belonging to the ninth century, is a 
Psalter, No. 23 of the Library at St. Gallen. Among the 
scenes from the Old and New Testament, contained in the 
richly- decorated Litany, the youthful figure of Christ and 
that of David playing on the psalter are most remarkable. 
As regards initial decorations, this is the richest and most 


splendid memorial of German art I know, and may be justly 
placed in the same category as the Bibles of Charles the 

Far richer in pictorial elements is a stately Evangeliarium 
in the Library of the Cathedral of Treves, which in its initials, 
in the attributes of the Evangelists, and in the use of several 
of the colours, betrays the influence of the Irish school of 
miniature. At the same time, in other decorations, the style 
of the above-described French school is discernible, while in 
the attitudes, and partially in the tone of colouring, Byzantine 
feeling may be seen. One Thomas, who styles himself the 
writer, was probably the author of some of the pictures, 
which are evidently the work of different hands. There is 
reason to believe that this codex was executed in the convent 
of St. Gallen. 

The prosperity which Germany enjoyed from 919 to 1066 
under the Saxon and the first two Frankish emperors has 
left its impress in the only surviving form of art the minia- 
tures attached to manuscripts. Among the draughtsmen of 
this time several bishops take a prominent position. The 
antique types are adhered to with no inconsiderable technical 
skill in body-colours, while side by side with them may 
already be remarked signs of original composition. Fre- 
quently also, and especially at the period of the marriage of 
the Greek Princess Theophanu with the Emperor Otho II. 
in 972, a strong savour of Byzantine influence is apparent. 
As characteristic of the German painting of this and the suc- 
ceeding period we may note the frequent use of green, which 
was evidently as much a favourite with the Germans as azure 
with the French. MSS. with miniatures of this period exist 
in considerable numbers, of which I need only give a few 
examples. Important as a monument of Swiss art is a frag- 
ment of a codex, No. 338, of the Library of St. Gallen, con- 
taining an Antiphonarium, a Sacramentarium, and other 
ritual works. A Crucifixion and a Descent of the Holy 
Ghost exhibit skill of no common kind in speaking and 
dignified action and fair drawing ; and we notice a technical 
improvement in the use of half tones. 

1 ' Kunstblatt ' of 1850, p. 92. 


An Evangelistarium entirely written by the hand of St. 
Ulrich, Bishop of Augsburg, in the Koyal Library at Munich, 
constitutes one of the chief specimens of the Swabian school. 
The pictures of the four Evangelists, also probably the work 
of the bishop himself, and that of the Archangel Michael and 
the Dragon, which is very successful, are all but free from 
Byzantine influence, showing the antique modes of conception 
proper to early Christian art, combined with much skill of 
execution. But the harsh and gaudy colours and ill-cast 
draperies are characteristic of a new and more essentially 
local manner. Another Evangeliarium by the same hand, in 
the British Museum (Harleian MSS. No. 2970), only differs 
from that of Munich in the comparative lightness of its tones. 1 

As a specimen of Bavarian art we may look at an Evan- 
geliarium with the four Evangelists, originally at Tegernsee, 
1017-1048, now in the Library at Munich (No. 31), which 
exhibits strict drawing, a simple cast of drapery, and a clean 
mode of execution. * 

At the head of the numerous MSS. representing the Fran- 
conian school we should name an Evangelistarium, written 
about the year 1000, and now in the Munich Library (iv. 2, 
6), interesting for artistic skill and choice of subject. One 
of the four artists here distinguishable, by whom the Nativity 
was executed, shows a decided Byzantine influence. Another, 
to whom the enigmatical representation, p. 5, is attributable, 
displays the manner observable in the MSS. written at 
Bamberg, and chiefly decorated with miniatures by order of 
the Emperor Henry II. (1002 to 1024). Some of these are 
still preserved in the Library at Bamberg, some in the 
Library at Munich. They differ most decidedly, in style and 
treatment, from the works of the earlier Carlovingian period, 
though in the main copies they are not true imitations of 
older originals. The types of heads are so uniform and rude, 
that we fail to discover, even in portraits (Henry II.), a 
trace of individuality. The forms are so ill drawn and so 
slender as to convey quite the impression of lameness ; the 
drapery folds are only suggested ; and all that remains to 

'Kunstblatt' of 1850, p. 98; also 'Treasures of Art in Great 
Britain/ vol. i. p. 196. 


remind us of antique feeling is a certain dignified solemnity. 
The colours are broken in clear pale tones, varying in flesh 
from pure white to pallid yellow, brown, and orange ; in 
draperies, to tertiary greens, blues, and reds. Antique dress is 
sometimes exchanged for that of the period. A cool but not 
unpleasant harmony is enhanced by thin stripes of tints, such 
as green for earth, violet-blue and red for skies ; but here 
and there gold grounds are preserved. Shadows are very 
sparingly applied; but the transitions of these from green 
into yellow lights betray the influence of non- German art. 
The handling in body-colour is clean and blended; it has 
not the breadth of the preceding centuries. We meet 
occasionally with miniatures of coarser make, which tell of 
local education. Where the composer has not been working 
on traditional models, he gives proof of a quaint observation 
of nature; and a playful fancy is sometimes displayed in 
illustrative incidents. Peculiarly tasteful are the ornaments, 
which are sometimes bordered with the * Greca,' sometimes 
with designs of Irish Franconian style. 

One of the most valuable of these MS. is the missal pre- 
sented by the Emperor Henry II. to the chapter of the 
cathedral of Bamberg, at his coronation in 1002 a large 
folio (B. No. 7 of the Munich Library) with stately repre- 
sentations of the monarch on his throne and St. Gregory, 
finished after the fashion of the artists beyond the Alps, and 
a crucifixion of coarse local stamp. 

Richer still is an Evangeliarium given by the same Emperor 
to the chapter of Bamberg (B. No. 4 of the Munich Library) 
a folio with ornaments including animals and homely episodes, 
allegorical personifications of countries and cities in antique 
costume, and gospel pictures, in one of which Christ is cruci- 
fied in the primitive fashion, with unbent frame, alive, and 
both feet separately nailed to the cross. 

Worthy of notice again is an Evangeliarium presented by 
Henry IE. to a church at Bamberg (B. No. 2 of the 
Munich Library), not only because it contains rough imita- 
tions of the miniatures in the MS. above described, but a very 
rare subject at this time, the Last Judgment. On one of the 
pages four angels are represented sounding the last trump, 

Chap. I. SAXON ART. 9 

whilst the four winds at the corners of the miniature are 
blowing horns, and thirteen souls of a greenish hue are rising 
from their graves. On the opposite page Christ, with flesh 
tinged in fiery red, sits in judgment, with the cross in his 
hands, unattended by the accustomed figures of the Virgin 
and St. John. Angels with scrolls proclaim the sentence of 
the condemned, and call the elect to heaven ; and amongst 
the sinners, as amongst the happy, there are high dignitaries 
of the Church and of the State, one of the latter dragged by 
a devil to the flaming abyss, at the bottom of which Satan in 
chains is seen to preside. 

The following MSS. are particularly important as illus- 
trative of painting in Saxony : 

An Evangeliarium, in the treasury of the church at 
Quedlinburg, probably presented by the Emperor Henry I. 
It may be supposed that the paintings executed in the palace 
of this sovereign at Merseburg, representing his victory over 
the Hungarians, were much in the style of the miniatures in 
this MS. 

An Evangeliarium, in the Imperial Library, Paris (Sup- 
plement Latin, No. 667), probably written for the Emperor 
Otho H. (reigned 974-983), and of considerable artistic value 
as specimens of the above-mentioned form of treatment, 
though showing the influence of non- German art. 1 

An Evangeliarium, also written for Otho H., formerly in 
the convent of Echternach, now in the Ducal Library at 
Gotha. Some of the pictures exemplify the unattractive 
style of French art as practised in the ninth century ; yet 
as respects number and value of miniatures, and rich deco- 
ration of canons and initials, it may be considered a work 
<)f the first class. 2 

Three Evangeliaria, in the sacristy of the Cathedral at 
Hildesheim. The miniatures in these MSS. coincide much 
with those in the missal at Bamberg, but are somewhat 
ruder in execution, and doubtless the work of St. Bernward, 

1 'Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Paris,' p. 266. 

">.* Rathgeber's ' Beschreibung des Herzoglichen Museum zu Gotha,' 
P. 9, etc. [It may be doubted whether the miniatures of this Evange- 
liarium are all as old as the date given in the text i.e. 973-983.] 


Bishop of Hildesheim (reigned 993-1022), who was well 
known as a painter. 

Westphalian art is represented by two Evangeliaria, in the 
Cathedral Library at Treves. One of them (No. 139), 
scarcely later in date than 950, is more rude in its figures 
than contemporary Bibles in South Germany or on the 
Rhine ; yet it displays considerable skill in the forming of 
initials, and in the ornamentation of the canons. The other 
Evangeliarium is of higher artistic value ; its miniatures may 
be assigned to about the year 1000, while its cover contains 
a carving in ivory of the tenth century, and enamels of the 
twelfth century. 

As regards the position which miniature painting attained 
in the Rhine country, an Evangelistarium, executed for 
Bisty)p Egbert of Treves (reigned 978-993), now in the civic 
Library of that ancient city, gives very favourable testimony. 
It contains fifty-seven large pictures, in which six different 
hands may be distinguished. These are, in part, very 
happily composed, and display in the principal incidents and 
in the drapery a successful adherence to antique tradition. 
A small number only of these pictures give decided evidence 
of the imitation of Byzantine types. 

There is proof also in an Evangeliarium of very splendid 
execution, in the University Library at Prague, that a similar 
style of painting was also practised in Bohemia. Various 
departures from the types of tradition for instance, in the 
Baptism, where the river Jordan is represented as a naked 
youth, pouring the water over the head of Christ show a 
mode of conception peculiar to Bohemia. 1 

In the Netherlands, judging from the scanty specimens of 
MSS. with miniatures belonging to this time, the style of art 
was very similiar, only not so successful. An Evangeliarium, 
in the Royal Library of the Hague, which may be attributed 
to about the year 900, though rude in forms and crude in 
colouring, shows a very powerful reflection of Irish art. The 
portraits of Count Dietrich II. of Holland, and his wife 
Hildegard, recommended by St. Albert to the Saviour, be- 

1 'Kunstblatt,' 1850, p. 129. [And see Wocel in the February No. 
of the ' Wiener Mittheilungen ' for 1860, pp. 10 and following.] 


long to the latter half of the tenth century, when this MS. 
was presented by both these personages to the church of the 
Abbey of Egmond, dedicated to that saint. This subject, 
rudely drawn with the pen, is interesting as displaying the 
rudiments of an original art disengaged from the bonds of 
mere antique imitation. 

An Evangeliarium, from the church of St. Jacques at 
Liege, now in the Library of the old Dukes of Burgundy 
(No. 18,888) at Brussels, belonging to the tenth century, 
and executed throughout in body colours of light and har- 
monious effect, is incomparably richer and more careful in 

Richer still and of more importance is an Evangelistarium, 
in the same library (No. 9428), of the beginning of the 
eleventh century. The pictures are similar in style and type 
of heads to that of Bishop Egbert of Treves, but ruder. The 
cool violet flesh tones and the whole scale of bright and 
harmonious colouring show "a striking affinity to the minia- 
tures at Bamberg executed for the Emperor Henry II., 
proving the wide spread of this style of art. 

After the middle of the eleventh century, and owing pro- 
bably to the troubles of Henry IV. 's reign, a suspension of 
pictorial progress is observable in Germany. Side by side 
with the style of the previous epoch the use, namely, of 
size-colours, of a general light tone we observe simple out- 
lines, only filled up with slight illumination ; yet the tradition 
of the antique, which fades, is not replaced by any display of 
original thought. Single figures of Christ, the Virgin, and 
Saints are interspersed with Scripture scenes and symbolical 
representations characteristic of the spirit of the Middle Ages. 
By the beginning of the twelth century, however, instances 
of moderate progress are traceable, which continues until the 
end of that century. I give a few examples : 

An Evangeliarium, from the monastery of Altaich, near 
Straubing, in Bavaria, now in the Munich Library, in which 
the figures of Christ in the act of benediction, and of St. 
Mark, are remarkable, and where the whole technical process 
is very clean. 

An Svangeliariuin, also in the Munich Library, from the 


Niedermiinster monastery at Kegensburg, At the beginning 
of the MSS. we find various allegorical subjects, of a mystic 
character, with rich tendril-like ornament and numerous 
inscriptions. One of these, representing the victory over 
death by the sacrifice of Christ, is remarkable. In the centre 
Christ is represented on the cross, his feet fastened to a 
board with two nails, in red drapery, with the royal crown 
and priestly stole. Somewhat lower at each side of the cross 
stand, on the left, Vita, a female figure having a crown 
adorned with a cross and rich drapery, her face and hands 
raised upwards ; on the right, Mors, pallid in colour, with 
matted hair, the countenance half veiled, a deep wound in 
the neck, the body half nude, and the clothing mean, sinking 
down with broken lance and scythe. A dragon, which grows 
out from the foot of the cross, appears to bite this figure in 
the arm. On both sides are smaller figures ; above are Sol 
and Luna, veiled. On the right is the New Covenant, a 
female figure crowned, with the standard of victory, and the 
cup of the Sacrament on the crown. On the left is the Old 
Covenant, her countenance concealed by the border, the 
scroll of the Law and the sacrificial knife in her hands. Be- 
low, on the right, are the uprisen dead ; on the left, the rent 
veil of the Temple. Further on in the MS., before each 
Gospel, there is a representation of its evangelists, with the 
appropriate symbol above the figure, and underneath, one of 
the four rivers of Paradise, in the form of a nude male figure, 
with two horns and a large water urn. The painting of all 
these subjects is very neat, and the drawing is not altogether 
without skill. 

Specimens of the same style of outline may be seen in a 
Psalter in the Library of St. Gallen (No. 21), adorned by 
Notger, abbot of St. Gallen, surnamed Labeo, or Teutonicus, 
with pictures which are very rude for the period. 

The Netherlandish miniatures executed at this time agree in 
essential respects with those of Germany, only that a more or 
less shining surface shows the mixture of gum with the colours. 
The miniatures in the second part of a Vulgate in the British 
Museum (additional, No. 17,738) are an example of this. 
Some only of the colours, the vermilion and the green, are 


given in their full force. The symbolic subject, fol. 2, b, 
especially shows a skilful artist. 

Another specimen is supplied by the Commentary of St. 
Gregory on the book of Job, in the Imperial Library, Paris 
(Sorbonne, No. 267), in which a certain amount of spirit is 
imparted to incidents of movement. As the pictures of half 
the work are unfinished, their technical processes are plainly 
seen. The outlines are very cleverly drawn with the pen, 
then coloured, and finished in a darker tone with a brush. 


1150 1250. 

FROM the middle of the twelfth to the middle of the thirteenth 
century great progress was apparent in all the arts practised 
throughout Germany and the Netherlands. Painting gradu- 
ally passed from monastic hands into those of the laity. 
The field of ecclesiastic subjects became largely extended, 
and the system of placing the type and countertype from 
the Old and New Testament in juxtaposition was fully 
developed. The floating traditions of Charlemagne, King 
Arthur, and the Niebelungen, not only expanded into a large 
and important literature, but came into use as a source of 
pictorial representation. In this service all the outward 
forms of life armour, weapons, the costume of knights and 
ladies were enlisted and taken from models within the 
painter's reach. Side by side with those fanciful modes of 
conception, of which, in ecclesiastical subjects, the frequent 
treatment of the Apocalypse is an example, flourished also 
those humorous ideas which found so rich and picturesque 
an expression in the grotesque sculpture of Romanesque 
churches, and in the drolleries of the miniatures. The 
system of representing the occupations of each month in the 


calendar gave further occasion for the introduction of scenes 
from daily life. Finally, the representation of animals, as 
illustrations of Aristotle's Natural History, and also of those 
writings treating of the chase, and especially of the science 
of falconry, became very popular. Byzantine art still exer- 
cised considerable influence in preserving the tradition of 
ecclesiastical subject composition ; but instead of continuing 
the mummified forms of the earlier school, the painters of 
the day began to recognise the excellence which lay in its 
original inventions, and succeeded in animating them with 
their own peculiar feeling. A certain sense of beauty and 
grace is frequently apparent in the movement of figures, and 
Byzantine meagreness yields to a certain fulness of facial 
forms; but particular subjects, such as the Crucifixion, retain 
much of their old character. Stiff and narrow folds of 
drapery, dramatic action and strain, remind us frequently of 
the sculptures which adorned both the exterior and interior 
of the Komanesque churches. Emotion expressed by means 
of gesture was successfully cultivated, and costumes were 
more and more taken from common life. The treatment in 
which body colours were preferred was carried to great 
mastery and precision. Till about 1200, the colours as a 
rule are much broken with light tints ; after that date they 
are forcible and frequently dark. The backgrounds hitherto 
used are almost invariably replaced by gold. In the pre- 
dominance of decided and generally black outlines, and in 
the scumbling of the tones, a new principle is traceable. 
At the same time the northern spirit of art is still more 
originally and independently seen in the pictures with pale 
outlines, filled up with generally very slight colouring. 
With few exceptions, the painting of this epoch is repre- 
sented only by miniatures in MSS., of which I proceed to 
describe the most remarkable : 

A Psalter, in the library of Prince Wallerstein, at Mahin- 
gen, not far from Nordlingen, which belongs to the beginning 
of this period, shows in the occupations of the months, 
illustrating the calendar, various animated features taken 
from life for instance, the sower in March ; the gathering, 
(.reading, and pressing of the grape in September ; and tha 


i . 

tapping of the beer in November. Religious subjects are 
treated as before, and occasionally with an elevated feeling. 
The colouring is bright and clear. 

The splendid MS. of the Hortus Deliciarum (a collection 
of extracts from the fathers, ecclesiastical writers, and other 
works), executed in the latter part of the twelfth century, in 
the convent of Hohenburg, in Alsace, is adorned with a large 
number of miniature illustrations of the text, and thus con- 
tains, with subjects from sacred history, some of an allegorical 
character, and others which represent scenes from real life. 
The latter display the costume and fashions of the time in 
great variety. The conception, particularly in allegories, is 
rather poor, and requires numerous marginal explanations to 
elucidate its meaning ; but there is a dignified grandeur and 
repose in the figures of saints, and occasionally surprising 
boldness and meaning in the ideas which the artist has worked 
out. Amongst the most remarkable is a figure of Superbia, a 
female in rich attire and flowing drapery, seated on horse- 
back, on a lion-skin, and poising her lance. 1 

A peculiar school of miniature illustration appears to have 
been formed at this time in the convents of Upper Bavaria ; 
most of the drawings with which the MSS. are illustrated 
are only in pen and ink, but the flesh is generally distinguished 
from the drapery, and even different parts of the latter are 
distinguished from each other, by tints of red and black ink. 
In the figures themselves there is seldom more colouring, but 
the grounds are always filled in and enclosed with borders of 
different colours. 2 Of these works we may first mention the 
MS. of the German ^neid, by Henry von Veldeck, written 
about the year 1200, which was brought from Bavaria, and 
is now preserved in the Royal Library at Berlin. The draw- 
ings represent in a long series the events narrated in the 
poem. They deserve attention from the care bestowed upon 
the costume and other details, but in all that regards feeling 
for form and grace they are far inferior to the Hortus Deli- 
ciarum ; in the deformity of many of the figures they even 

1 [This MS. perished in the fire of the Strasburg library in 1870.] 
z See Kugler's Essay, 'Die Bilderhandschrift der Eneidt in der Konigl. 
Bibliothek zu Berlin.' Museum, 1836, No. 3638. 


remind us of the MSS. of Bamberg already described. Still 
they possess a peculiar interest as steps in the history of 
German art. There is here unfolded, in the movements of 
the hands in particular, a complete language of gesture, 
equally well adapted to convey the expression of tranquil 
intercourse or of passionate energy. Thus, for example, 
the solitary complaints of love, or sorrow for the death of the 
loved one, grief and suffering, are admirably expressed by a 
convulsive wringing of the hands. 

Far more important are the drawings of another MS. of 
the same time and school, containing the beautiful German 
poem of Werinher, deacon of the convent of Tegernsee, on 
the life of the Virgin, which has passed from the collection of 
Herr v. Nagler into the Eoyal Library of Berlin. 1 With re- 
spect to excellence of form, these drawings are nearly equal 
to those of the Hortus Deliciarum, and sometimes surpass 
them in quiet grace and naivete. This is particularly shown 
where the expression of serene happiness is the chief object, 
as, for instance, in a group of the Blessed, in a Vision of the 
Virgin. Others, in which the artist represents passionate, 
and especially sorrowful feelings, are of the highest excel- 
lence. In spite of the insufficiency of his means, he has 
exhibited in the positions, gestures, and cast of drapery, a 
tragic pathos so peculiarly expressive as to excite our astonish- 
ment, when we consider the early epoch of art at which the 
work was executed. The best of these drawings are one 
that represents the Damned (also in a Vision of the Virgin), 
in which they are bound together by glowing chains, and are 
driven hither and thither by inward torments ; and another, 
of which the subject is the lamentation of the mothers after 
the massacre of their children at Bethlehem ; in this one 
woman rends her garment, another cowers on the ground 
and supports her head on her hand, a third wrings her hands, 
a fourth with a passionate movement raises her arms and 
appeals to Heaven against the horrible outrage. 

As a further step of progress, in connection with the fore- 
going, we may mention the drawings by Conrad, a monk of 

1 See Kugler's dissertation, De Werinhero, sseculi xii. monacho Te- 
gernseensi, etc. 


the convent of Scheyern, who was distinguished as the author 
of many learned works, and lived about the middle of the 
thirteenth century. The Royal Library of Munich contains 
several of the works which he embellished with drawings, 
amongst which a book of the Gospels, and another of the 
Lessons, are particularly important. 1 At the beginning of the 
latter MS. are several large subjects from the Apocalypse; 
then two remarkable legends in smaller drawings one con- 
taining the history of Bishop Theophilus, the earliest German 
version of Faust ; and lastly, a number of illustrations of 
sacred history. The lines are not drawn- with the certainty 
and precision of those before described ; but the desire of 
imitating nature is still more evident, the attitudes are still 
freer, the cast of the drapery follows more easily the move- 
ments of the figure, and its outline has at once softness and 

One of the most interesting illustrated MSS. of this period, 
but of another school, is the Psalter, written about the year 
1200 for the Landgrave Hermann of Thuringen, formerly in 
the convent of Weingarten, but now in the King's private 
library at Stuttgart. 2 The minatures are highly finished, and 
executed with great neatness. The style essentially resem- 
bles that of the time, but the figures have an air of more solemn 
dignity, while their severity is often pleasingly softened by 
an expression of mild and simple grace. Here we find in 
single heads (especially in those of Christ) traces of ideal 
beauty, the more surprising, since in other works of the time 
all the heads are stiff and without grace. At the beginning 
of this MS. is a calendar, in which each month is ornamented 
with a figure of its patron saint, and characterised by a 
country scene. Representations of this kind must have been 
very rare at so early a period ; the costume and occupations 
throughout belong to the North, and consequently testify that 
the drawings are the productions of a native school. Then 
follow, in the Psalms themselves, various subjects, such as 

1 Munich Library. Cod. Lat. Membr. e. p. No. 7, b. c. ; No. 13, a. 
Museum, 1834, No. 21, p. 165. 

2 Museum, No. 13, p. 97. See Dibdin, ' A Bibliographical and Anti- 
quarian Tour in France and Germany,' vol. iii. p. 158. 



the Baptism of Christ, his Death, Descent into hell, Ascension, 
etc., etc. The feeling in these is excellent, particularly in 
that which represents the Yirgin and John, in a simple atti- 
tude of thoughtful sorrow, standing at the feet of the crucified 
Saviour. After this comes the Litany, over which, in the 
upper part of the page, are half-length portraits of saints and 
princes ; those of the Landgrave Hermann and his wife Sophia 
are the first, and in these we see an example, remarkable for 
so early a period, of an attempt at individual likeness. 

A rich and interesting MS., an Evangeliarium, written 
about 1200, is in the Cathedral Library at Treves. It is 
remarkable for an elaborate and very original representation 
of the Koot of Jesse and other symbolical pictures, which 
are rendered in a curious style, with numerous inscriptions. 
Antique personifications for instance, of river gods still 

A Psalter, written about the same time as the foregoing, 
and probably in the Rhine country, now in the City Library 
at Hamburg, No. 85. The beautiful and original concep- 
tions which appear here are evidences of what German art 
could do in this early period. We may instance the way in 
which the Child is caressing the Virgin in the Presentation 
in the Temple ; also the large picture of the Madonna and 
Child, occupying an entire page, which, in the meditative 
expression conveyed by the action of the Child, recalls 
Guido da Siena. 

An Evangeliarium, probably written about 1200, in May- 
ence, now in the Library at Aschaffenburg, No. 3. This is 
one of the most .important documents of the time, both for 
excellence in art and copiousness of miniatures. It contains 
a most interesting composition of the Sermon on the Mount. 1 
A Psalter, in the Library at Bamberg, No. 232, unques- 
tionably executed in that city about the first half of the 
thirteenth century, is of a darker scale of colour. With the 
exception of a few examples which recall Byzantine types, 
the fourteen large pictures are of admirable composition, 
of original conception, and skilful technical execution. 2 

1 'Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Deutschland,' vol. i. p. 377. &c 

2 Ibid., vol. i. p. 103, etc. 

Chap. II. WAL1, PICTURES. 19 

The few wall pictures still remaining of this period are 
sometimes very peculiar in invention, full of symbolical 
meaning and clever incident. The execution, however, 
does not extend beyond a rather coarse outline, with faint 
lights and shadows. Nor is it to be supposed that the large 
number of such specimens of art as have perished, and of 
which evidence still survives, 1 should have materially differed 
from these. I add a few examples of the most important 
still existing. Twenty-four ceiling compartments in the 
former monastery of Brauweiler, three leagues from Cologne, 
which were possibly executed about 1200, represent the 
power of Faith to overcome the world, from a passage in the 
llth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. In the centre 
of the whole is the colossal bust picture of Christ. In the 
other compartments appear those who, by the triumph of 
their faith, obtained the promises, such as Mary Magdalen 
and the Thief on the Cross ; those who suffered for their 
faith, such as Daniel and St. Thecla ; and those who fought 
for their faith, such as Samson and St. Hyppolitus, both of 
whom are distinguished by great beauty of conception. 

The fact that painting flourished at an early period in 
Cologne is shown by a passage in the poem of Parzival, by 
Wolfram of Eschenbach, 2 written about the year 1200. The 
only examples surviving may be seen in the Baptistery of 
St. Gereon, Cologne, where SS. Barbara and Catherine, and 
a reposing angel, are especially remarkable. These were pro- 
bably executed soon after the erection of the church in 1227. 

1 See notice of the paintings in the Monastery of Benedictbeuren in 
Bavaria, in Fiorillo's ' Geschichte der bildenden Kiinste in Deutschland,' 
vol. i. p. 178, etc. Bishops Burcard of Halberstadt, Otto of Bamberg, 
and Uffo of Merseburg had the walls of their cathedrals decorated with 
paintings. See Hotho's ' Malerschule Hubert's van Eyck,' vol. i. p. 42. 

2 The lines are thus quoted by Passavant, p. 403 : 

" Als uns die aventiure gicht 
Von Cholne noch von Mastricht 
Dahein schiltere entwurf en baz 
Denn' als er ufem orse saz." 
That is to say 

" As our tale runs, 
No painter of Cologne or Mastricht 
Could have painted him more comely 
Than as he sat upon his horse." 


Another important memorial of art, dating from about 
1200, are the paintings of the Boot of Jesse, which cover the 
whole length, above 100 feet, of the wooden roof of St. 
Michael's church at Hildesheim. They are in three series. 
In the centre are Adam and Eve, Abraham, the four kings 
of Israel, Moses, and the Virgin : at the sides the Patriarchs, 
Prophets, and Saints. These figures, which are in strict 
architectonic arrangement, and the decorations surrounding 
them, show a very respectable grade of art, and are har- 
monious in colouring and of general clearness of effect. 

Of still more importance are the paintings in the choir and 
in the left aisle of the transept of the cathedral at Brunswick. 
They are, however, unfortunately deprived of their original 
character by means of an unskilful restoration. On the walls 
of the choir, in figures larger than life, and arranged accord- 
ing to symbolical allusion, are the Sacrifice of Cain and Abel, 
the Death of Abel, the Sacrifice of Isaac (typifying the 
Redemption through the death of Christ), Moses and the 
Burning Bush, and the Baising of the Brazen Serpent. On 
the ceiling the scheme of Bedemption is more clearly given 
in the Boot of Jesse. The cupola in front of the choir 
represents the Lamb of the New Covenant, with scenes from 
the Life of Christ, from the Nativity to the day of Pente- 
cost, and the twelve Apostles. The figures of eight Pro- 
phets connect these scenes with the Old Testament. On 
the ceiling of the transept, by a better hand, are Christ and 
the Virgin enthroned, figures above life-size, with two colos- 
sal Angels and the twenty-four Elders. On the east wall 
are Christ in Limbus, and the Ascension ; opposite, in well- 
known allusion to the Last Judgment, the parable of the 
Wise and Foolish Virgins. Judging from the purely Boman- 
esque character of these pictures, and of the decorations 
belonging to them, they were decidedly executed before the 
year 1250. 

To the termination of this period we may also attribute 
the wall-paintings in the old chapel of the Castle at Forch- 
heim, a small fortress lying between Bamberg and Erlangen. 
The chief picture represents the Adoration of the Kings; 
the others consist of the Last Judgment, the Annunciation, 


and Prophets. The conceptions and single motives are 
good, but belong to traditionary art ; the execution is some- 
what rude. 1 

Some interesting paintings have at a comparatively recent 
period come to light in the restoration of the splendid cathe- 
dral of Bamberg, on occasion of its being freed from its 
covering of plaster of many hundred years old. They are 
in the niches of one of the transept-walls of St. Peter's 
choir, and must undoubtedly belong to the beginning of the 
thirteenth century. Easel pictures, in the Byzantine style, 
are very rare in Germany. As one example of such we 
may mention a painting representing Christ enthroned on a 
rainbow, with four saints at his side, which is in the Provin- 
cial Museum of Miinster, and was taken from the convent of 
St. Walburg at Soest. 2 

Some works connected with painting, and in this style, 
though in other materials, are also preserved, such as the 
paintings on glass which fill -the south window of the nave 
in Augsburg cathedral, and are composed of figures of saints. 
One of the most important of these examples of the suc- 
cessful efforts made in art towards the end of this period 
is furnished by the fragments of tapestry preserved in the 
abbey church of Quedlinburg, woven about the year 1200 by 
the abbess Agnes herself, with the assistance of her nuns, to 
adorn the walls of the choir of that church. The subjects 
are allegorical, and represent the marriage of Mercury with 
Philology (after Marcianus Capella). The original drawings 
were evidently by different hands ; while some are in the 
common style of the day, others contain single figures of 
such beauty of form, and so much symmetry in the limbs, 
with a cast of drapery so grand, and arranged with so much 
artistic knowledge, yet so entirely free from the peculiarities 
of the ancient Christian models, that we may imagine we 
here see art approaching to full perfection. In the cathedral 
at Halberstadt there are also tapestries in the Byzantine 

' Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Deutschland,' vol. i. p. 146, etc. 
2 Becker, 'Ueber die altdeutschen Gemalde aus dem ehemaligen 
Augustiner-Nonnen-Kloster St. Walburg zu Soest.' Museum, 1835, 
So. 47, p. 374. 


style, but they are far ruder in the drawing than those of 

At this epoch also painting in Bohemia exhibits a similar 
character. The strong Byzantine influence especially is 
here accounted for by the fact that St. Methodus, the apostle 
of Bohemia, was himself a painter. Examples are seen in 
the National Museum at Prague, in the form of the MS. of a 
Latin Dictionary, 1 dated MCII. and signed Miroslaw, and in 
the pictures of a Bible in the library of Prince Lobkowitz at 
Prague, executed about 1250. In this last the tendency to 
abstract personifications is seen. Thus Darkness (Tenebre) 
is represented by two sleeping figures Light by a small 
figure with a torch in its hand. 8 

The art of painting, as practised in the Netherlands, judg- 
ing from the existing though not numerous MSS. with minia- 
tures, agrees essentially with that of Germany at this period. 
At the same time Byzantine tradition assumes more the upper 
hand here, which is owing doubtless to the fact that Counts 
of Flanders occupied the throne of Constantinople during the 
so-called Latin Empire. In freedom and animation of early 
Byzantine subjects, and in drawing and technical development, 
some of these exh' M '-,* great excellence. I give, the following 
examples : 

A Missal in the British Museum (addit. No. 16,949), pro- 
bably written between 1150 and 1200. Technical skill and 
beauty of colouring are particularly remarkable here. 8 

A Psalter in the Royal Library at the Hague. This is a 
very rich and important specimen, especially for scenes from 
life in the calendar, and for the extraordinary beauty of the 
Romanesque decorations. It belongs doubtless to the same 

The chief example, however, known to me is a Psalter in 
the Imperial Library at Paris (Suppl. Frangais, No. 1732 bis), 
written about 1200. In the numerous and admirably exe- 
cuted pictures with which this work is decorated appears 
(for instance, in the same page containing Christ, the Virgin 

1 See Kunstblatt ' of 1850, p. 130. 

2 'Kunstblatt,' 1850, p. 148. 

3 'Treasures of Art in Great Britain,' vol. i. p. 122. 


and Apostles, etc.) an adherence to Byzantine typical compo- 
sitions, combined with features taken from life. This is also 
seen in the Annunciation to the Shepherds, and in a combat 
of horsemen. Drolleries also occur in the initials. 1 

Another specimen, worthy to be named with the foregoing, 
is a MS. containing the greater part of the Vulgate, in the 
same library (MSS. Latins, No. 116). This, though much 
less rich in contents, gives very favourable evidence of the 
high grade of art at this time in the Netherlands. 

Unfortunately, no specimens of wall or easel pictures of 
the period under consideration have been*, to the best of my 
knowledge, preserved in the Netherlands. This is the more 
to be regretted, as in the town of Maestricht, the artists, 
according to the above-mentioned poem of Parzival, by 
Wolfram von Eschenbach, enjoyed a great reputation. 

1 'Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Paris,' p. 311. Having been misled 
by Italian miniatures of the 14th century in the latter part of the MS., 
and by the Byzantine influence also jpre vailing in Italy from 1200 1300, 
I have erroneously described this MS. as Italian. 





THE general introduction of Gothic architecture into the 
Netherlands and Germany exercised a very unfavourable 
influence on the development of painting. It was an unfor- 
tunate peculiarity of this mode of building that it broke up 
the space available for painting into fields unsuited for pic- 
torial composition, and placed the vaultings so high as to 
make subject decoration useless. The result was, that whilst 
the stunted forms under which Gothic architecture appeared 
in Italy preserved to the Italians those walls and ceilings 
which were required for the expansion of monumental art, 
the men of the Netherlands and Germany were restricted to 
the production of mere altar pictures. Yet even in this field 
full liberty was not acquired. The centre compartment the 
only space adapted by its size for a comprehensive compo- 
sition of life-sized figures was generally engrossed by sculp- 
ture, while the' wings, which were the only portions left for 
the painter, were, by their long and narrow forms, so un- 
favourable to pictorial art that they were usually divided 
into two, and thus only adapted to figures on a very small 





THE art of this period indicates progress, in so far that it is 
original, and, in respect of technical treatment, different from 
that of the foregoing age. Yet it is not to be denied that 
this form of originality was accompanied by comparative 
rudeness ; and it is clear that painting on this account was 
more unattractive now than it had ever been before. In the 
earlier pictures of this time we trace a mixture of the forms 
of Romanesque and Gothic sculpture ; in those of a later 
period Gothic feeling alone prevails. The attitudes have a 
conventional twist, which often gives rise to an ugly projec- 
tion of the belly. The draperies at first preserve a certain 
parallelism of line ; but they soon display more waving con- 
tours, with narrow crests of projection, and equally narrow 
depths of depression in folds ; at the same time the traditions 
of antique costume are seen to fade, and figures of the 
Eternal, of Christ, of Mary, or of angels, appear in a new 
dress. The heads are still of typical form ; in the earlier 
time they are of an oval shape, broad above and contracted 
below, with wide-open eyes, narrow, pointed noses, and 
somewhat large mouths drawn down at the corners ; in the 
later period the oval assumes greater fulness, the nose is 
short, and the mouth small. Outward coarseness and vul- 
garity is now expressed by caricatures with large crooked 
noses ; spiritual depravity by a distorted laugh ; and sorrow, 
especially, by the drawing down of the corners of the mouth. 
Occasionally also an attempt is made to realize individuality 
of feature. Bright and gaudy hues, among which vermilion 
and a powerful blue play the chie parts, are substitutsd for 
quieter tones. Black outlines, rouged cheeks, and thin 
strips of shadow, give to these pictures the effect of very 


gaily illuminated pen- drawings. After the year 1300 the 
dawning feeling for greater harmony of colour is seen in the 
use of tertiary tints for instance, bluish-pink, brownish, 
greenish, etc. ; also in a more careful design and a more 
delicate distribution of lights and shadows. These examples 
have already more the effect of paintings. The spaces are 
only indicated. In the forms of architecture the Romanesque 
and Gothic alternately prevail ; trees are quite conventional 
in shape, the backgrounds are gilt, and in the miniatures 
they are also panelled in pattern. In the latter also we 
occasionally see much originality displayed in pen-drawings. 

As every new movement in painting, from this time for- 
ward, proceeds from the Netherlands, and as their flourishing 
political state contrasts conspicuously, from the year 1250, 
with the wars and disorders in Germany, I shall henceforth 
commence my observations with Netherlandish examples. 

The earliest dated specimen known to me, showing the 
effort at greater independence, is the MS. of a Vulgate in 
two folio volumes, in the Library of the Seminary at Li&ge. 
The pictures in the initials, heading each book, evince, it is 
true, no very skilful artist, but they are important as showing 
by the date, 1248, how early this style of art was practised 
in the Netherlands. 

Close upon the last mentioned in time, though far superior 
in art, are the coloured pen-drawings in a MS. of the French 
History of Alexander the Great (No. 11,040) in the Library 
of the old Dukes of Burgundy at Brussels. The numerous 
battles are represented with the weapons and in the fashion 
of the painter's time, of which they give a very animated and 
intelligent picture. The youthful head of Alexander in the 
drawing of his interment is not unpoetical. 

That single cases long continued to occur in which the 
old solid treatment in body colour was combined with the 
new style is proved by the MS. of a Psalter in the same 
library (No. 8070), executed about 1300, the pen outlines 
being broad and free, while the heads are often expressive. 
There is much truth in the rendering of animals ; and the 
various drolleries introduced are anticipations of those of 
Teniers and Jan Steen. 


Another remarkable evidence of the state of painting in 
the Netherlands, towards the close of this period, is afforded 
by the miniatures executed, according to an inscription, by 
"Michiel van der Borch," in 1332, in the MS. of a Bible in 
Flemish rhymes, by Jacob von Maerland, in the Westrenen 
Museum at the Hague. 1 The action is often speaking and 
dramatic. For instance, in the Creation of Eve the sleep of 
Adam is very correctly expressed, and the Eve very pretty. 
At the same time the forms are frequently of startling fulness, 
as seen in the picture of the drowning of the Israelitish 
children. The folds of the draperies are-also treated with 
unusual breadth. In the Nativity we see the dawning of 
that realistic feeling in which the Netherlands were destined 
to precede all other countries. 

[Of portable pictures, the only specimen which is known to 
exist in Belgium is the reliquary of St. Ottilia, an oaken chest 
with a gabled roof, much mutilated, but still covered with 
fragments of episodes from the lives of St. Ottilia and St. 
Ursula. If the pictures themselves be at all like the drawings 
that have been made from them by M. Jules Helbig, of Liege, 
they may be accepted as genuine works of the period to which 
they are assigned, namely, to the year 1292, when the relics of 
St. Ottilia are said to have been placed in the shrine. This 
curious work is supposed to have been executed at Liege 
previous to the transfer thither of the bones of St. Ottilia 
irom the convent of the Croisiers at Huy. The panels, to the 
number of eight, are outlined in the manner peculiar to this 
time, and gaudily coloured with pigments tempered in tur- 
pentine and wax. The faces, as well as the drapery and 
ornament, are indicated by lines.] 2 

As regards wall painting, one specimen of this period has 
been preserved in the former refectory of the old Biloque 
Hospital at Ghent. It represents, in colossal figures, the 
Saviour enthroned, blessing the Virgin, who sits opposite to 
him with raised and clasped hands. Behind them, on a 
much smaller scale, are three angels holding a canopy. The 

1 See a complete account in an Essay by me in the German ' Kunst- 
blatt' of 1852. No. 28. 

2 [See Le Beffroi, fol., Bruges, 1864-5, Tom. ii., pp. 31 and following.] 


whole is enclosed in a framework of a very usual Gothic 
form. Judging from the style, the execution of this piece 
was probably not earlier than 1300. Both from the size of 
the figures and the decided character of the action, the work 
is one of considerable effect, yet the treatment is slight, and 
the feet and hands are very feeble in drawing. At the sides, 
and only in outline, are the figures of John the Baptist with 
the Lamb, pointing to Christ, and of St. Christopher with 
the Child. 

[Another not uninteresting specimen of art at this period 
is the wall decoration in the " Leugemeete" (at present part 
of a brewery) at Ghent a march of Guildsmen in military 
dress, fragments of which give us an insight into the state of 
monumental painting in one of the chief cities of Belgium at 
the close of the thirteenth, or in the first half of the fourteenth 
century. The execution is if possible more rude than in the 
Biloque Hospital.] 1 

m Though art in North and South Germany was modified by 
the influence of the Netherlands, it remained backward in 
respect of taste and finish ; and all examples of this time are 
marked by clumsy forms and rude outlines. Especially 
noticeable is the largeness of the heads and the short length 
of the noses. 

A specimen of this Netherlandish influence is afforded by 
the MS. of a Psalter in the Ambras collection at Vienna, pro- 
bably executed in some Westphalian convent not long after 
the year 1300. Within eighty-four circles are a series of 
pictures from the Creation of the World to the Last Judg- 
ment, the outlines of which are meagre indeed, but rendered 
with a rare precision of pen. Of the same kind are the 
miniatures in the MS. of the Romance of * Wilhelm von 
Oranse,' written for the Landgraf Henry of Hesse in the 
year 1334, and now in the Royal Library of Cassel. They 
are remarkable for animated though unskilful movements, 

1 [Compare De Busscher, ' Recherches sur les Peintres Gantoia,' 8vo, 
Ghent, 1859, p. 165 ; and see for other wall paintings in Belgium and 
Holland the ' Journal des Beans Arts,' Bruz, 1867. t>. 106 ; ditto, 1870, p. 
116; 1860, p. 160 ; 1863, p. 18 ; and 1862, ?. 15.] " 


for an occasional attempt at expression in the faces, and also 
for a good cast of drapery. 

In the choir of the Cathedral of Cologne, on the screen 
surrounding the stalls, are a number of wall paintings 
those on the G-ospel side showing scenes from the life of St. 
Peter, and of Pope Sylvester; those on the Epistle side, 
incidents from the life of the Virgin, and from the legends of 
the Three Kings. The proportions are good, the action 
lively, the draperies in good taste, but the heads are still 
very conventional and of little expression. The thick reddish 
outlines, and the very slight shadows, place th^se pictures 
on a very low scale of development. As they were doubtless 
executed in 1322, and as, from the circumstance of the choir 
being considered the holiest place in the cathedral, the best 
painters were probably chosen, we can have no better oppor- 
tunity than these pictures afford us for forming conclusions 
regarding the state of painting in that country ; and these 
conclusions are far from favourable. Below these frescos are 
all kinds of little drolleries, which, though mannered and 
coarse in execution, are of spirited invention. 1 

Two easel pictures also in the Cologne Museum a small 
altarpiece of a Crucifixion, and the Apostles Paul and John 
lead to the same unfavourable verdict on this form of art. 

I may mention two more instances of paintings, which 
occur towards the end of this period. On a low space in the 
Ehinger House at Ulin figures of men seated two and two 
probably represent the prophets. A man with a dog, and a 
woman with a monkey, upon the entrance gate, are very 
animated. Although these have been subjected to later 
restorations, yet it is easy to perceive the low stage of art 
and homely treatment which characterised them. An ante- 
pendium in the church of the Frauleinstift at Liine contains 
the crucified Saviour and scenes of the Passion, executed in 
a rude form by an artist of about 1250. 

As regards the application of painting to secular subjects, 
two MSS. containing the songs of the Troubadours are 
interesting. At the head of each poem its contents are 

1 [These paintings are now concealed under a panelling covered Tvitla 


usually embodied in an appropriate form of occupation. 
Not that any portrait-like attempt at individuality is made 
on the contrary, the type of the period prevails in a some- 
what coarse form. The black outlines are broad and bold, 
and the colouring is very slight and rough. These works 
exhibit just that style of drawing which served as a model 
to the woodcuts of the next century. The earliest of these 
MSS., executed about 1280, and formerly in the convent of 
Weingarten in Swabia, is now in the private library of the 
King of Wiirteniberg at Stuttgart. It is the work of a mode- 
rate artist, though the figures are often animated. More im- 
portant is the other manuscript, of about the year 1300, 
which formerly belonged to Riidiger Manesse at Zurich, and 
is now in the Paris Library. 1 The figures resemble, for the 
most part, those in the former manuscript, to which they are 
so similar that either they have been copied from it, or both 
have been taken from a common model. In the Paris manu- 
script, however, the size is larger, and the technical execu- 
tion rather more worthy of an artist, while the feeling for 
the peculiar circumstances of each subject is more delicate, 
and the style in which they are conceived and treated has 
greater truth and spirit. Sometimes the poet is represented 
alone, and sometimes with his lady-love, it may be in the 
character of a hardy huntsman, or of an armed knight. In 
some the meditative feeling and reflection of the poet are 
admirably expressed, as in the figure of Henry of Yeldeck, 
who sits amongst flowers and birds, thoughtfully resting his 
head upon his hand ; or in that of Keinmar der Zweter, who 
is placed on an elevated seat, and dictates to two secretaries 
busily occupied at his side. The portrait of the Hardegger 
is vejy gracefully treated. He lies under a tree, a falcon on 
his wrist ; his head supported on the lap of his mistress, 
who is bending tenderly over him. The movements, indeed, 
particularly in difficult attitudes, are not always easy or 
natural, and of this defect the last-named drawing affords an 
instance ; yet, for the most part, the feeling for form is 

Professor von der Hagen, of Berlin, has published many of the 
illuminations of this manuscript, under the title ' Bildersaal altdeut- 
echer Dichter. Berlin, 1856. T. A. Stargardt.' 

Chap. I. BOHEMIAN AKT. 31 

rather purer, and the drapery generally falls in beautiful and 
well-chosen lines. 1 Larger works of another kind, with the 
general type of the German style more or less strongly 
marked on them, are not numerous ; such as painted glass 
for church-windows, and tapestry. A piece of the latter, of 
remarkable dimensions, may be observed in the church of St. 
Elizabeth at Marburg, the principal subject of which is taken 
from the history of the Prodigal Son. 

It is probable that art in Bohemia advanced beyond that 
of Germany at this time. This is strikingly attested by the 
miniatures in a Passionale executed for Krtnigunde, sister of 
King Ottocar II. of Bohemia, and Abbess of the convent of 
St. George at Prague, painted in 1316 by Colda, a Domini- 
can friar, and now in the University Library at Prague. The 
animation of the action ; the fine taste shown in the large 
folds of the drapery, which is cast, it is true, after the model 
of Gothic sculpture ; and the good drawing, are all surprising, 
considering the period. The sleeping figure of Adam, in 
the Creation of Eve, may in all respects be compared with 
contemporary Italian figures. Various inventions of attrac- 
tive character may be designated as nationally Bohemian. For 
instance, the representation of the Magdalen, who, in presence 
of SS. John and Peter, announces to the recumbent Virgin 
the Resurrection of Christ ; also the intensity of feeling in 
the meeting of Christ and his mother after the Resurrection. 2 

Equally remarkable is the series of wall paintings in the 
castle of Neuhaus in Bohemia, in which scenes from the 
legend of St. George are depicted in the fashion of the first 
years of the fourteenth century. 

1 Museum, 1834, No. 5, p. 35 ; No. 11, p. 82. 

2 German ' Kunstblatt,' 1850, p. 155, etc. 

3 See Wocel, ' Wandegemalde der St. George Legende.' \Vien, 1859. 





THE new pictorial feeling, which we observed dawning as 
early as 1300, expanded greatly as the century advanced ; 
and before the turn of 1350, artists had already substituted 
a softer painted contour for the hard and wiry outline of their 
predecessors. In unison with the rest of the treatment, 
these contours are broader as well as softer ; the transitions 
from lights to shadows become more delicate and melting ; 
harmoniously broken tints replace the crude and gaudy 
colouring hitherto practised, and herald the coming of a more 
refined practice. At the same time blue and vermilion are 
longest retained in their former unbroken force. Nor was 
this awakening feeling for truth and nature unaccompanied 
by improvement in the shape of heads. A new and more 
select form, founded on observation of life, began to show 
itself. The oval of the face became more delicate, the 
mouths and noses finer the latter retaining somewhat the 
hooked form in males. The types assumed a very pleasing 
character, in which the prevailing religious spirit of the 
period, spiritual purity, manly dignity, and feminine gentle- 
ness, began to -be expressed by simple but distinct signs. 
In figures representing profane persons more natural variety 
and lively expressions are perceptible. These improvements 
are accompanied by more elevated and subdued action, and 
drapery of soft line exhibits a more refined taste. The 
drawing of the nude alone remains in a backward state 
the forms are generally spare, and the feet too small, though 
the hands are often of happy action. One peculiar and very 
prevalent branch of painting at this time consists in pictures 
dexterously executed in monochrome. Gold grounds be- 
come more limited in extent, and the space of the back- 


ground is more and more copiously expressed by buildings 
either of Romanesque or Gothic character, by trees and hills 
of conventional forms, and by the introduction of all kinds 
of house utensils. Even as early as the commencement of 
this period gold grounds are often replaced by the indication 
of a blue sky ; indeed, as early as toward the year 1380 
landscape backgrounds of very creditable character begin to 
occur. To all appearance this new impulse in art, and espe- 
cially the development of the space of the background, pro- 
ceeded from the Netherlands. In the extreme rarity of 
pictures of a larger size, the destruction of which may be 
accounted for in various ways, we must be content chiefly 
with the evidence furnished by miniatures, of which happily 
a rich store exists. 

At the head of this period, and in many respects reminis- 
cent of the previous one, may be placed a Bible in the 
Imperial Library at Paris (MSS. Fra^ais, No. 6829 bis), 
containing no less than 6124 pen-drawings, washed with 
Indian ink, representing the types and antitypes from the 
New and Old Testament, and executed by a very intelligent 
artist. 1 In closo affinity with these are the miniatures of 
a missal, designed by the Presbyter Lorenz of Antwerp, in 
1366, at Ghent, and now in the Westrenen Museum at the 
Hague. 2 These also remind us of the preceding period ; but 
the outlines are softly drawn with the brush, the forms are 
truer to nature, and the folds of the drapery are more ten- 
derly blended. In some pictures, for instance in the Nativity, 
the Byzantine form of conception is still retained; single 
episodes show a steady observation of nature. 

Of later date, and of great interest, are the miniatures 
executed in 1371 by one JOHN OF BRUGES, painter to King 
Charles V. of France, which decorate a translation of the 
Vulgate now in the Westrenen Museum at the Hague. At 
the commencement of the volume Charles Y. is represented 
in profile, with a figure kneeling before him, who, we are 
informed by a dedication in French verse in the MS., was 
one Jehan Yaudetar, who presented this Bible to the King. 

1 ' Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Paris,' p. 327. 
* German ' Kuastblatt,' 1852, No. 28. 


34 . THE MIDDLE AGES. Book 11. 

Both heads are portraits of thorough individuality. A few 
small historical subjects also, fol. 467 the Nativity, the 
Adoration of the Kings, and the Flight into Egypt give 
further evidence of the existence of Netherlandish painters 
who, a generation before the Van Eycks, had, even in this 
department of art, attained great proficiency. The free and 
lively movements and truthful forms which we meet with 
here were obviously taken from nature, as also the drapery 
and style of modelling. 

Very important testimony, as regards the latter part of 
this period, is given by the miniatures in a MS. of the travels 
of Marco Polo, and six other well-known travellers, now in 
the Imperial Library at Paris (MSS. Fra^ais, No. 8392), 
which, there is reason to believe, were executed between 
1384 and 1405, for Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. 1 
Here we see the form of art peculiar to this time already 
fully developed; the cheerful and harmonious colouring 
especially is characteristic of that feeling for tone which was 
ultimately the excellence of Netherlandish art; but the 
drawing is proportionably defective. 

Next in point of time we may quote the Prayer-book of 
Margaret of Bavaria, wife to John Sans Peur of Burgundy 
(1389) now in the British Museum (Harleian, No. 2897). 
The greater number of the miniatures, which are very beau- 
tiful, are by Flemings. 2 Among these may be mentioned 
those referring to King David, fol. 28 b, 42 b, and 72 b. 
To a hand of more realistic tendency may be assigned the 
Preaching of St. Ambrose, fol. 160 a ; and finally to one of 
more idealising character, the Unbelief of St. Thomas, fol. 
164 a, and the principal picture, the Ascension, fol. 188 b. 

Of still higher importance is a Prayer-book with minia- 
tures by different limners, in the Bodleian (Douce, 144), 
which, according to an inscription on one of its pages, was 
finished in 1407. I can only point to a few of the most 
remarkable pieces, The occupations of the month, and the 
signs of the Zodiac, in the Calendar ; the Virgin, to whom 
an angel is bringing bread and wine, fol. 10 a; the Annun- 

1 ' Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Paris,' p. 331, etc. 
a 'Art Treasures in Great Britain,' vol. i. p. 124. 


elation, fol. 28 a ; the Visitation, fol. 52 a ; and two proces- 
sions, 105 a, and 108 and 109. Here a delicate feeling for 
individuality is already perceptible, with an animation and 
truth, for instance, in the singing chorister boys, not sur- 
passed by the celebrated work of that subject by Luca della 
Kobbia. The Crucifixion, fol. Ill a: although the Christ is 
too tall here, yet the whole conception is elevated, and the 
sorrow of the fainting Virgin is as earnestly as it is beauti- 
fully expressed. Finally the Virgin nursing the Child, fol. 
123 a. 1 

A few years later in time and not less inlportant in art are 
the miniatures of another Prayer-book in the British Museum 
(additional No. 16,997), by a Fleming. The following are 
most worthy of notice : The Annunciation, in which three 
singing angels show a high stage of development the Ado- 
ration of the Shepherds the Descent of the Holy Ghost 
All Saints the Virgin reading the four Fathers of the 
Church both the St. Johns the celebration of the Mass 
and especially the Crucifixion, and the Assumption of the 
Virgin, which, both in arrangement and style, show a great 
artist. 8 

Another MS., in the British Museum, the Poems of 
Christina of Pisa (Harleian, No. 4431), contains various 
good pictures by Flemish painters, which as specimens of 
the conception of secular subjects, and also of subjects bor- 
rowed from mythology, are very remarkable. Among them 
are, a pretty young woman kneeling before a man, and the 
Marriage of Peleus, in which the feast is spread on three 
tables of the form of the time. 3 

[In treating of the miniatures of this period, we seldom, if 
ever, learn the name of the person who designed them, but 
we frequently read -that of the princes for whom they were 
executed. The last count of the House of Flanders, Louis 

1 Ibid., vol. iii. p. 75, etc. [There is nothing more remarkable in this 
Prayer-book than that it reminds us of Melchior Broederlam's altar-chest 
at Dijon, not only in respect of composition and action, but in respect 
of technical execution and minutise. The altar- chest will be found 
described in these pages.] 

2 ' Treasures of Art,' vol. i. p. 125. 
8 Ibid., p. 126. 


de Male, and the first dukes of the House of Valois, Philip 
the Hardy and John Sans Peur, were princes to whose 
patronage the arts owed much of their expansion and pro- 
gress ; and we can scarcely doubt that, but for the support 
which they gave to artists of every class, Belgium would not 
have ranked so high as it does in pictorial annals as the 
cradle of a school of painting. History has preserved the 
names of many craftsmen who took service with the Counts 
of Flanders and Dukes of Burgundy. We may note a few 
of them : Jean Yan der Asselt, painter to Louis de Male at 
Ghent, from 1364 to 1380, subsequently employed (1386) 
by Philip the Hardy ; Jean de Beaumez, " painter and valet " 
to Philip (1377 to 1395) ; Jean Malwel, " painter and valet " 
to Philip and Jean Sans Peur (1397 to 1415) ; Melchior 
Broederlam of Ypres, "painter and valet" to Philip the 
Hardy (1382 1400) ; Henri Bellechose de Brabant, "paintei 
and valet " to Jean Sans Peur (1415). There is every 
reason to believe that Van der Asselt is the master to whom 
we owe (1373) the wall paintings in the chapel of Louis de 
Male at Notre Dame of Courtrai ; and this mutilated ex- 
ample is evidence of the low level at which monumental art 
remained in Belgium at the close of the fourteenth century. 
The object of Louis de Male in decorating the chapel of 
Courtrai was to preserve the likenesses of the princes of the 
House of Flanders ; and it is interesting to observe that the 
line of portraits which was executed by his orders was con- 
tinued by command of the princes of the House of Burgundy. 
Unhappily the heads "of all the figures were hacked out of 
the wall ; and nothing is left but the legs and arms and 
torso, together with the heraldic arms of each personage. 
But what remains is tinted with flat colours, and defined by 
lines, in the spirit of the miniatures of the time. 1 

That the practice of wall-painting should have remained 
unaltered in Belgium till the close of the fourteenth century is 
a remarkable circumstance, which leads us to conclude that 
the artists of this period had scarcely advanced beyond the 
stage of illuminating. Given the form in a monument of 

1 [See an outline of these figures and descriptions in De Busscher's 
'Peintres Gantois,' 8vo. Gand, 1859, p. 47.] 



stone, or the outline in a mural decoration, painters "were 
equally satisfied in both cases to cover the surfaces with 
flat colours. Nature, in the one instance, furnished the 
necessary shadows, which, in the other, painters were as yet 
too careless to supply. That they practised both systems 
indifferently we learn from the study of the lives of Malwel, 
Broederlam, and even Roger van der Weyden. Of Jean de 
Beaumez's works we know nothing. Malwel's portrait of 
Jean Sans Peur is not to be traced ; but an important proof 
of Broederlam' s skill is preserved in the wings of a carved 
altar-table by Jacques de Baerse of Termonde, the principal 
parts of which are in the Museum of Dijon.] The subjects 
represented, as the annexed woodcuts show, are the Annun- 
ciation, the Visitation, the Presentation, and the Flight into 
Egypt. They occupy the boundary-line between the style 
of this period and the realistic feeling of that which succeeds 
it. The forms of the heads are still roundish and soft, and 
occasionally, as in those of tne Virgin and Simeon in the 
Presentation (which is the most successfully treated), exhibit 
a delicate feeling for beauty, and at the same time a certain 
individuality of character. Joseph in the Flight into Egypt 
is even coarsely realistic. The folds of the drapery are 
still soft, but the colours have assumed a clearness and 
power which borders on gaudiness. In the fullish forms no 
study of nature is yet perceptible ; the backgrounds, rocks 
and trees, are still of conventional form, and the skies are 
gold ground. 

Other specimens of church pictures have survived, which 
do not come up to the standard of their time as representa- 
tions of a larger scale of painting. 

The first, originally produced for the Tanners' Hall in 
Bruges, is now in the cathedral of that town. The subject 
is the Crucifixion, with figures about two-thirds the size of 
life. The Christ is rather long and meagre, but not badly 
drawn. He is already lifeless. On the right is St. John, 
with the Virgin fainting ; she is of very noble form, sup- 
ported by two holy women. On the left, in violent and 
rather clumsy action, is the Centurion, in silver armour, 
with a guard, a priest, and a monk. At the sides in niches 


are St. Barbara and St. Catherine. The expression of the 
heads is lively, the colouring of the flesh feeble, and the 
modelling poor ; the background is gilt, with a pattern. 

The second picture, also the Crucifixion, was formerly in 
the church of St. John at Utrecht, and is now in the 
Museum at Antwerp, No. 519. It includes only the figures 
of the Virgin and St. John, with the kneeling portrait of the 
Archdeacon Heinrich von Eyn, who died in 1360, and upon 
whose monument, in St. John's church, this picture was 
erected. The Christ is of similar conception to that above 
described, but displays less skill. The portrait also is 
characterised by no signs of individuality. The best parts 
are the gestures and expression of sorrow of St. John. 
The ground is here also gilt, with a pattern. 

In Bohemia the style of this period seems to have been 
developed earlier than elsewhere. The artists of this 
country made considerable progress under the reign of the 
Emperor Charles IV. (reigned 1348-78), who did his utmost 
in order to advance his favourite Bohemia in this respect. 
Many miniatures in still existing MSS. give very favourable 
evidence of the state of art in Bohemia, of which they are 
better exponents than a number of ruined wall and panel 
pictures. The painters principally employed by the Emperor 
burg, and one KUNZ. The chief locality of their labours 
was the Castle of Karlstein in the vicinity of Prague, the 
favourite residence of Charles IV. To decide what is the 
particular work of each of these painters among the surviv- 
ing pictures which adorn the church of our Lady, the chapel 
of St. Catherine, and the church of the Holy Cross, or Eoyal 
Ohapel, would, considering the vagueness of all traditions, 
and the various restorations which have been made, be 
extremely difficult. Those parts which are generally attri- 
buted to Theodorich of Prague consist of 125 half-length 
figures, larger than life, of saints, teachers, and rulers of the 
Church, executed in tempera on panel, and decorating the 
church of the Holy Cross. They show an excellent painter 
in the forms of art belonging to the beginning of this period. 
The heads of the men consist of two rather monotonously 


repeated types of much earnestness and dignity. The forms 
are somewhat broad and ungraceful, and the large noses 
with their broad ridges may be recognised as a native 
Bohemian peculiarity. The female heads, on the other 
hand, are of nobler and more refined forms. The wide-open 
eyes are characteristic of the Bohemian school. The move- 
ment of the figures is usually good, the hands full in form 
and well put in action ; the draperies, in the well-known 
type, with large folds softly modelled in broken colours. 
In the colouring of the heads a certain alternation may be 
perceived. Some are of a tender, coolisB. red, others more 
warmly tinted ; a light grey prevails in the half-tones and 
shadows. The fused treatment often degenerates into 
excessive softness. The accessories frequently exhibit a 
happy aim at truth of nature, as, for instance, the desk, 
bookstand, and pens in the picture of St. Ambrose, which 
formed one of this series, though now in the Imperial 
Gallery at Vienna ; two others have also been transferred to 
the University Library at Prague. Akin to these pictures 
is an altarpiece in the Gallery of the Estates of Bohemia at 
Prague, from the Provost's house at Kaunitz on the Elbe, 
containing the Virgin and Child adored by the Emperor 
Charles IV. and his son Wenceslaus, and SS. Sigismund and 
Wenceslaus in the upper part ; and below, the patron saints 
of Bohemia, SS. Procopius, Adalbert, Vitus, and Ludmilla, 
with the donor of the picture, Oczko von Wlassim, archbishop 
of Prague. The heads of the saints are elevated in form and 
pure in expression. Considering the date of the picture, 1875, 
the portraits are of surprising individuality. A Crucifixion, 
with the Virgin and St. John, originally also executed for the 
Castle of Karlstein, and now in the Imperial Gallery at Vienna, 
is a somewhat feebler work by the same master, to whom 
Van Mechel, the well-known editor of the Catalogue of that 
collection in the time of Joseph II., assigned the name of 
Nicolas Wurmser. 1 

1 [SeeWurmser's 'Diploma of Service under Charles IV.,' dated 1359, 
and printed in full in 'Histor. Nuremberg, Diploin.,' p. 384, No. 161, 
quoted in Schreiber (H.) Das Miiuster zu Strasburg, 8vo, Karlsruhe, 
1829, p. 95.] 


[An altarpiece of 1385, executed for St. Yeits at Miihl- 
hausen in Wiirtemberg, but subsequently transferred to the 
house of the Society of Antiquaries in Stuttgardt, deserves 
to be noted here as a work of the Bohemian school of this 
period. The principal figures represented are Bohemian 
saints, St. Wenzel, St. Yitus, and St. Sigismund.] 1 

The paintings in the Castle of Karlstein are obviously by 
four different hands. One of them, TOMMASO DA MODENA, 
the author of the existing remnants of an altarpiece in several 
compartments, inasmuch as he belongs to the Italian school, 
concerns us only so far as he exerts a very decisive influence 
in the form of heads, and in other respects, over two of the 
other painters. A second hand may be traced in the follow- 
ing works : Scenes from the Apocalypse, in the church of 
our Lady, the Virgin being represented as the winged woman 
with the Child ; of grand and elevated conception. The 
Virgin again, of still finer invention, fleeing before the seven- 
headed dragon, which is admirably rendered. Another large 
picture, not so easy of interpretation, is probably the Adora- 
tion of Antichrist. In the church of the Holy Cross, also from 
the Apocalypse, are, the Almighty enthroned in a Mandorla, 
surrounded by choirs of angels, the seven stars in the one 
hand, the book with seven seals in the other ; the Adoration 
of the Lamb by the twenty-four elders ; the Annunciation ; 
the Visitation ; the Adoration of the Three Kings ; Christ 
with Martha and Mary ; the Magdalen anointing the feet of 
Christ ; Christ as the JGrardener ; and the Raising of Lazarus. 
These ruined pictures (query, by Wurmser?) show ample 
power of invention, refined feeling for composition, and skilful 
treatment. To the third hand the following, in the church 
of our Lady, may be ascribed : Charles IV. delivering to 
Blanka his wife the cross which he had received in Rome 
from the Pope ; the same monarch presenting his son 
Wenceslaus with a ring ; and again in prayer. The author 
of these subjects (query, Kunz ?) appears as a very skilful 
portrait-painter. The graceful forms and action of his hands 

1 [Compare Ulm's ' Kunstleben,' by Griineisen and Mauch, p. 12; 
Waageu, ' Kunst. in Baiern,' etc., ii. 226 ; and Heideloff, Die Kunst. in 
Schwaben,' fol. Stuttgardt, 1855, p. 37.] 


are especially remarkable. By the fourth master are the 
portraits of the Emperor Charles IV., and Anne of the 
Palatinate, his fourth wife, both holding a cross, over the 
entrance to the St. Catherine's chapel. Within the chapel 
is the Virgin, of quite Giottesque form of face, giving her 
hand to the Empress Anne, and the Child giving his hand to 
the Emperor. The painter has been most successful in the 
portraits, especially in that of the Empress. 1 

The wall paintings in the chapel of St. Wenceslaus in the 
Cathedral at Prague are so over painted as^to offer no means 
of forming an opinion. The most important picture of the 
whole school is said to be in the church of the fortress of the 
Wissehrad at Prague. 

A large mosaic, on the south side of the exterior of the 
Cathedral of Prague, remains still to be noticed. It is 
divided into three compartments ; in the middle is Christ in 
a glory, surrounded by angels, six Bohemian saints below 
him, and still lower the donor's, Charles IV. and his wife; 
on the left is the virgin with several saints, and below is the 
Resurrection. On the right is seen John the Baptist, with 
saints, and underneath are the condemned. The style of this 
work is again rather rude, and only worthy of notice, as a 
whole, on account of its execution in mosaic, which rarely 
occurs in Germany. 

On the other hand, a number of MSS. with miniatures give 
ample materials for judgment, and show more properly the 
peculiarity and great significance of the Bohemian school at 
this period. At the same time, many of these specimens 
agree so entirely with contemporary French and Nether- 
landish miniatures, that there can be no doubt that Charles 
IV., who, at an earlier time, resided in Paris, must have 
summoned French painters to Prague, or Bohemian painters 
to Paris. It will suffice here to mention a few of the most 
remarkable MSS. with miniatures. 

Two Prayer-books belonging to Archbishop Ernest of 
Prague, died 1850 : one of them in the Library of Prince 
Lobkowitz at Prague ; the other and richer one, in which 
the artist designates himself by the name of Sbinko de 

1 [This " fourth master " is none other than Tommaso da Modena.] 


Trotina, in the Library of the National Museum of that city. 
Both serve to prove that the style of art characteristic of this 
period was fully, and consequently very early, developed. 

The MS. of an Essay on the Doctrines of Christian Truth, 
executed in 1373 by Thomas Stitney, and now in the Uni- 
versity Library at Prague (xvii. A b), shows how early the 
Bohemians began to treat the common events of daily life 
with vivacity, taste, and feeling for beauty. The most re- 
markable pictures are of a youth and a beautiful girl (fol. 
37 b) ; several young women dedicating themselves as the 
Brides of Christ (fol. 44 b) ; and a woman praying (fol. 
124 a). 1 

Next in order may be mentioned the miniatures in the 
German translation of the Bible executed by order of the 
Emperor Wenceslaus, reigned 1378-1400, now in the 
Imperial Library at Vienna. 

The admirable miniatures also in a missal belonging to 
Sbinko Hasen von Hasenburg, appointed Archbishop of 
Prague 1402, and who died as Archbishop of Presburg in 
1411, now in the same library, show that the school con- 
tinued to advance in excellence till towards the conclusion of 
the period. I may mention the Adoration of the Kings, and 
the Baptism of Christ, as particularly excellent. 

An Evangeliarium, written by a priest of the name of 
Johann von Troppau, for Albrecht II., Archduke of Austria, 
and adorned with very fine miniatures now in the Library 
at Vienna serves to_ prove that the Bohemian school had 
also taken root in the province of Moravia, then a depend- 
ency of Bohemia. 2 The same may be said of Silesia, then 
similarly situated, which is evidenced by two pictures pro- 
ceeding from a convent in Silesia, now in the Berlin Museum ; 
the one (No. 1221) the Mocking of Christ, the other (No. 
1219) the Crucifixion. Both exhibit a skilful master, who 
may have flourished about 1400. [These are now withdrawn.] 

But in Austria also this style of art attained a peculiar 
development. A brilliant example of this is afforded by the 

1 See further account of these three MSS. in the German ' Kunstblatt* 
of 1850, No. 37. 

2 Ibid, No. 38. 


miniatures in the MS. of a German translation of Durandus' 
Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, in the Imperial Library. 
These were commenced for the same Duke Albert II., and 
completed for his nephew Archbishop William. The minia- 
tures, which may be safely assigned to the period between 
1384 and 1403, are equal, in point of art, to the best 
Bohemian paintings, but are distinguished from them by 
greater force of colour and decision of forms. The best of 
them combine good arrangement and drawing with delicate 
heads and a blooming flesh-tone. The Last Supper, and the 
Last Judgment, are especially remarkable. The portraits of 
the above-mentioned princes, which occur in various parts, 
show a happy aim at individuality. 

The style of this period in Germany is seen to attain its 
noblest form in the last decades of the fourteenth, and first 
of the fifteenth century, in the city of Cologne. That spiritual 
calm, peaceful bliss, and untroubled moral purity which reli- 
gion alone engenders, is expressed in a rare degree in the 
Cologne school. In perfect agreement with this character 
are the harmoniously broken colouring, the tender tints of 
the flesh, the moderate nature of the modelling, and the soft 
and fused style of the execution. The weak side of this 
school, in which powerful expression and dramatic subjects 
were least affected, was the deficiency of knowledge as to 
the anatomical structure of the human frame. The difficulty 
of assigning the artist's name to the surviving specimens of 
Cologne art is far greater than in the Bohemian school. 
From a passage in the Limburg Chronicle, 1380, which runs 
thus "In this time there was a painter in Cologne of the 
name of Wilhelm ; he was considered the best master in all 
German Land ; he paints every man, of whatever form, as if 
he were alive " from this passage the custom arose of 
attributing the best pictures in Cologne and the vicinity, of 
this period, to MEISTER WILHELM. And true as this con- 
jecture may be in some instances, we must not forget that 
there is no certainty as to the real origin of one single 

[It has been considered probable that the earliest work 
assignable to Meister Wilhelm was the Crucifixion with 


saints in a niche above the monument to bishop Kuno (ob. 
1388) in St. Castor of Coblenz ; yet it has also been acknow- 
ledged that the value of this relic was altogether impaired by 
restoration. The truth is, that if we assign this wall painting 
to Meister Wilhelm, we dispute his identity with the only 
painter who bore the name of Wilhelm at the close of the 
fourteenth century. Wilhelm of Herle was in practice at 
Cologne from 1358 to 1372, and there are proofs of his death 
in 1378. 1 Payments made to him in 1372, " ad pingendum 
librum juramentorum," are preserved ; and there is every 
reason to believe that the same person is alluded to in subse- 
quent entries of the civic accounts, in which moneys are paid 
to the "painter who painted" the butcher's hall, the banner 
and wimples of the city, and the town hall. 2 It has been 
urged that a master whose death occurred in 1378 could not 
have been mentioned as "of this time " in a chronicle of 
1380 ; and yet the writer of a chronicle composed in Limburg 
might easily fall into a mistake of this kind, and his words are 
elastic enough to show that he aimed at no precision of date. 
During the recent restoration of the Hanseatic Hall in the 
Bathhaus of Cologne, three heads, the solitary remnants of 
the paintings noted in the accounts, were freed from superin- 
cumbent whitewash, and revealed a painter of considerable 
merit, whose skill was quite equal to the production of the 
pictures attributed to Meister Wilhelm, and whose manner 
was characteristic of a master of the fourteenth century.] 3 

Worthy of the great name of Meister Wilhelm, and far 
superior to the Crucifixion of Coblenz, are some portions of 
the numerous pictures which once adorned the altarpiece and 
wings in the church of St. Clara, and which are now in the 
chapel of St. John in the Cathedral of Cologne. These com- 
prise the Nativity, the Annunciation to the Shepherds, the 
Bathing of the Infant, the Adoration of the Kings, the Pre- 
sentation in the Temple, the Flight into Egypt, and the scenes 

1 [Merlo, ' Die Meister der Altkoln. Malerschule,' 8vo. Koln, 1852, pp. 
31, 39.] 

2 [Dr. Ennen in ' Annalen des Historischen Vereins fur den Nieder 
Rhein,' 7er Heft. Koln, 1859.] 

8 [See outlines in Schnaase's ' Geschichte der Bildenden Kiinste,' 6 Bd. 
p. 425. The fragments are in the Cologne Museum.] 


from the Passion in the centre compartment. TLe other 
portions are by a less important hand, only partially related 
to Meister Wiihelm. 

In connection with these works may be mentioned a picture 
in the Berlin Museum [withdrawn]. This consists of thirty- 
four compartments, representing scenes from the life of Christ 
and the Virgin, from the Annunciation to the Last Judgment, 
of animated and often admirable composition, delicate tone of 
colouring, and light and spirited treatment. 

Next in order comes a small altarpiece with wings, in the 
Museum at Cologne. The head of the Virgin, who is 
caressed by the Child, exhibits in the fullest extent the 
purity of character, sweetness of expression, and softness and 
delicate tone of flesh peculiar to this school. The figures of 
SS. Catherine and Barbara have also the tenderness charac- 
teristic of the master. Greatly resembling this is a small 
altarpiece, No. 1288, in the Museum at Berlin, with the 
Virgin and Child and four female Saints in the centre com- 
partment, and SS. Elizabeth of Hungary and Agnes on the 

A picture of St. Veronica with the Sudarium, at Munich 
Gallery, No. 1 , furnishes a very fine example of this manner, 
a more careful execution and warmer colouring being com- 
bined with the same purity and tenderness of feeling. 1 

Passing over several other works attributed with more or 
less justice to Meister Wiihelm, I will only observe that the 
number of pictures in and about Cologne for instance, in a 
closed chapel in the Cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle, evidently 
painted in his manner are considerable. At Cologne these 
specimens are chiefly to be found in the Museum, and in the 
chapel of the Town Hall. A small Crucifixion also, in the 
collection of the late Mr. Dietz, is particularly remarkable. 
Others, originally in Cologne, have accompanied the Boissere"e 
collection to Munich ; some also have made their way to the 
Germanic Museum at Nuremburg. The Garden of Eden, 
in the Prehn collection in the Frankfort Library, is a small 
but very attractive picture. The cheerful and naive form of 

1 [Opinions may still differ as to whether this picture be by the same 
hand as those of Berlin and Cologne.] 


conception is in strict unison with the tender execution and 
gay colouring. The fact that the influence of this master 
extended to Guelders, the neighbouring province of Holland, 
is evident by the miniatures in a Dutch Prayer-book, belonging 
to Maria, Duchess of Guelders, of the year 1415, now in the 
Royal Library at Berlin. 

The most beautiful specimen of this early German art I 
know in England is a small altarpiece with wings, containing 
numerous figures of very elevated style and tender execution. 
It once belonged to Mr. Beresford Hope. 1 

A close affinity with the Cologne school is also distinctly 
seen in the style of art which prevailed in Westphalia. I 
need only instance those pictures of SS. Dorothea and Ottilia, 
originally from Soest, now in the Town Museum at Minister. 
They show a master of elevation and refinement, nearly 
related to Meister Wilhelm in style, but more independent in 
character, and in many respects more advanced. 

A large picture, formerly in St. Michael's church at Liine- 
burg, now in the public gallery at Hanover, consisting of 
numerous, and in parts interesting, paintings of about the 
commencement of the fifteenth century, shows that, without 
being dependent on the school of Cologne, the style of this 
period had spread also into the region of Lower Saxony. 

Next to Prague and Cologne, the city of Nuremberg may 
be considered as a central point of art. The fine sculptures 
by Schonhofer which adorn the exterior and interior of the 
porch of the church of our Lady, and which were completed 
in 1861, evidently assisted much in this local development. 
Without deviating from the general character of this period, 
greater knowledge and observation of the human figure are 
apparent here than in the Bohemian and Cologne schools ; 
modelling and colouring are also both more powerful. 2 Un- 
fortunately, however, no painters' names have descended to 
us with their works, and only in a few instances does an 
inscribed date afford an accurate standard of their time. 

1 ' Galleries and Cabinets, etc., in Great Britain/ p. 190. 

2 See further in ' Kiinstler und Kunstwerke in Deutschland,' vol. i. 
p. 165, etc., and 247, etc. Also Hotho, 'Malerschule Huberts v. Eyck,' 
vol. i. p. 291, etc. : and R. v. Kettberg, 'Nurnberg's Kunstleben,' 8vo. 
Stuttgardt, 1854. 


An altarpiece, founded by a member of the noble family 
of Imhof the chief portions in the gallery of the church of 
St. Lawrence may be adjudged to the last decade of the 
fourteenth century. 1 The centre compartment of the inner 
side contains the Coronation of the Virgin, and the wings four 
Apostles. The head of the Virgin, with downcast eyes, is 
of unusual beauty of form ; her figure also slender and of 
elevated character, and the folds of her blue drapery of much 
purity of taste. The conception of the Saviour, who is 
crowned and looking at his mother, is serious and dignified. 
The flesh-tones of the Virgin are delicate, tHose of the Christ 
of a warm brownish tint with whitish lights. The reverse 
of the altarpiece represents in the centre compartment a 
Pieta with the Virgin and St. John, and on the wings four 
other apostles. In point of merit it nearly equals the front 
side. The expression of past suffering in the head of the 
dead Christ is especially fine ; the nude is but weakly ren- 
dered. The apostles are variously and worthily characterised. 
This portion of the altarpiece is in the castle at Nuremberg. 

But a little later in date are the four wings of an altar- 
piece, which, according to tradition, was executed for the 
Deichsler family in 1400, and placed in St. Catherine at 
Nuremberg, now in the Berlin Museum, No. 1207-1210. 
They represent the Virgin, who, here also, is very delicately 
formed, and the Child, the latter very meagre; St. Peter 
Martyr, of great energy of character, and glowing colour ; 
St. Elizabeth of Thiiringen, of mild and delicate aspect ; and 
John the Baptist. In the lively action of the last-named 
saint is seen the energy which characterises Gothic sculp- 
ture, while the warmly coloured head, with the aquiline nose, 
cleverly expresses eagerness. In the drawing of hands and 
feet these pictures are defective. 

The fact that the style of art peculiar to Nuremberg was 
generally diffused throughout all Franconia is proved by a 
picture on the monument of Berthold, Bishop of Eichstadt, 

1 [It is probably incorrect to assign this picture to the fourteenth cen- 
tury. It is decorated with the arms of Kunz Imhof and three of his 
wives, but not with the arms of his fourth wife, whom he married in 
1422. Kunz Imhof died in 1449. His third wife, Elizabeth Schatzin, 
whom he married in 1418, died in 1421. See Von Rettberg, u. s., p. 48.] 


in the church at Heilsbron, who died in 1365. The Virgin, 
who is very fine in form and expression, approaches that on 
the altarpiece belonging to the Imhof family, and, even if 
not executed immediately after the Bishop's death, belongs 
decidedly still to the fourteenth century. The portrait was 
probably rather individualised by a restoration which took 
place in 1497. l 

In Swabia also the style of this period attained a very 
respectable development. We see this in various pictures, 
belonging to the latter part of this time, which are preserved 
in the Stuttgardt Museum. Two large pictures on panel. 
Nos. 414 and 416, the one containing the Evangelists Mark 
and Luke, with St. Paul, the other, St. John the Evangelist, 
with SS. Dorothea and Margaret, formerly in the church of 
Almendringen, near Ehringen, bear evidence of an excellent 
hand. The same may be said of two other large panel 
pictures, from the monastery of Heiligkreutzthal in Upper 
Swabia, Nos. 428 and 441 in the Stuttgardt Museum, ascribed 
to F. Herlen, representing the Entombment, and the Proces- 
sion of the Three Kings. 

Finally we may mention another direction taken by art, 
differing from all the preceding as respects greater truth of 
nature and drawing, though with less expression of feeling, 
and which is evidenced by three fragments of pictures in the 
Berlin Museum the Marriage of St. Catherine, No. 1232 ; 
two angels holding a tabernacle, No. 1231 ; and St. Peter, 
No. 1220. The locality, however, whence these pictures 
proceed is unfortunately unknown. [All three are now 
withdrawn.] 2 " 

1 [See note to page 47.] 

2 The student who visits the Berlin Gallery will find that several 
pictures described in these volumes, especially those of the earlier 
schools, are wanting. The researches of Dr. Julius Meyer and Dr. 
Wilhelm Bode, authors of the recent Catalogue of the Berlin Collection, 
A.D. 1878, have resulted in some instances in a more correct attribution, 
in others in the rejection of works whose authenticity has not hitherto- 
been questioned, only because they have not been subjected to the 
same amount of skilful and competent criticism. 







THE Flemings, who were so greatly distinguished as artists 
in the fourteenth century, were now the first to work out the 
destiny of Northern painting by embodying the spirit of their 
age into forms peculiar to themselves. What they strove to 
attain was a faithful copy of nature in outline, colour, light, 
and perspective. Aji amiable spirit of realism, which was 
quite exclusively their own, led them to reproduce the quaint 
interiors, furniture, and articles of daily use which were com- 
mon to the households of the time ; and in this pursuit they 
were patient, untiring, and methodical. It has never been 
stated, yet deserves to be explained, that this highly deve- 
loped realism was of the utmost importance in forming the 
manner of all Northern painters. It is this realism which 
affords conclusive evidence of a purely original Northern tastej 
evidence likewise of the special mode in which the North, as 
distinguished from the South, was imbued with pure Christian 
feeling in its highest expansion. In Italy the most art- 
loving of all Latin nations the people stood in quite another 
relation to art and Christianity than that which we note 
amongst the Northerns. Ecclesiastical painting was per- 



iected in the South under different conditions from those 
which hold for the Netherlands. The great migrations of 
the early centuries did not expel the old populations from the 
peninsula, it only tempered to a slight extent the blood of the 
ancient race ; and so the Germanic feeling in respect of Chris- 
tianity and art was modified by that of the aboriginal race 
on Italian soil. There, too, the numerous monuments of the 
classic times exercised an important influence on the cultiva- 
tion of art ; and under these favourable conditions the noblest 
creations of Christian painting were produced. Yet, when 
compared with the purest Greek masterpieces, the best crea- 
tions of the Italian revival were not as original as those of the 
old Flemings ; they were in truth but a happy cross between 
the antique and Christian Germanic feeling, i In this, that 
early Netherlandish art, in its freedom from all foreign in- 
fluence, exhibits to us the contrast between 1 the natural 
feeling of the Greek and of the Germanic races in the 
department of art these two races being the chief repre- 
sentatives of the cultivation of the ancient and the modern 
world and exhibits this contrast in a purity and distinctness 
not traceable in any other form ; in this circumstance consists 
the high significance of this school when considered in refer- 
ence to the general history of art. While it is characteristic 
of the Greeks to idealize not only the conceptions of the ideal 
world, but even that of portraits, by the simplification of 
forms, and the prominence given to the more important parts 
of a work of art, the early Netherlander conferred a portrait- 
like character upon the most ideal personifications of the 
Virgin, the Apostles, Prophets, and Martyrs, and in actual 
portraiture aimed to render even the most accidental pecu- 
liarities of nature. F While the Greeks expressed the various 
features of outward nature such as rivers, fountains, hills, 
and trees under abstract human forms, the Netherlanders 

1 [It is hardly necessary to observe that this comparison between 
Flemish and Italian art is peculiar to Dr. Waagen, and would probably 
meet with but slight countenance from any but a small circle of enthu- 
siasts. I confess my inability to discover or to understand what feeling 
in respect of art was carried by the Germanic races to Italy. But 1 
know that German art began to dawn after Charlemagne had been at 


endeavoured to express them as they saw them, and with a 
truth which extended to the smallest detailsf\In opposition 
to the ideal, and what may be called the personifying ten- 
dency of the Greeks, the Netherlandish race developed a 
purely realistic and landscape school. In this respect the 
other Northern nations are found to approach them most 
nearly, the Germans first and then the English. 

The schools of art characteristic of both the other Latin 
nations the French and the Spanish must be considered 
as subordinate when compared with those of Italy and the 
Netherlands ; inasmuch as they were alternately and strongly 
influenced by each, occasionally both influences holding the 
balance with happy equality, but oftener the one prevailing 
over the other. 

The high development of the realistic feeling, as it first 
appears in the pictures of the brothers Van Eyck, has been 
looked upon as a riddle. It may, however, be partly ac- 
counted for by the fact that the, works of the generation pre- 
ceding them were completely destroyed in the iconoclastic 
storm which raged in the Netherlands in the sixteenth century. 
In order to account, as far as possible on historical grounds, 
for the marvellous perfection exhibited by the Van Eycks, I 
have been obliged to recur to the sculpture antecedent to 
them. Nor has my research been unsuccessful. From the 
inspection of a number of monumental reliefs in the posses- 
sion of M. Dumortier at Tournay, I have convinced myself 
that the school of sculpture existing there during the middle 
agfea very earlv pursued a realistic direction T and towards the 
middle of the fourteenth century had already made considerable 
progress. 1 The life-sized stone statues executed in 1396 for 
Philip the Bold of Burgundy, by CLAES SLUTEB, ancTwhich 
decorated the fountain of the Chartreuse at Dijon, show even 
a development of the realistic tendency and a knowledge of 
nature which places them on a par with the pictures by the 

1 The monument to Colard de Seclin, Doctor of Ilights, inscribed 
1341, is particularly important, as showing that not only was a great 
individuality already given to portraits, but that the features of the 
infant Christ, who in some respects was evidently studied from nature, 
partook also completely of a portrait-like character. 


Van Eycks. 1 They represent the figures of Moses (whence 
the fountain is called "Puits de Moyse "), David, Jeremiah, 
Zechariah, Daniel, and Isaiah. We gather from this that 
sculpture in the Netherlands, as well as in Italy, took the 
lead of painting ; and as we are historically informed that the 
painters of Italy studied from Lorenzo Grhiberti's celebrated 
bronze doors of the Baptistery at Florence, so we may safely 
conclude that a similar course was pursued in the Netherlands. 

[The masterpieces of sculpture produced at the close of 
the fourteenth and opening of the fifteenth centuries were 
coloured. We trace the practice with certainty in France, 
in Belgium, and on the Rhine ; and more particularly, ex. gr., 
in altarchests by Jacques de Baerse at Dijon, and statues of 
Pagan and Christian heroes in the Town Hall of Cologne. 
It is probable that painters were indebted to sculpture, not 
only for the reproduction of form, but for the custom of flat 
tinting. Unhappily, when we say that the Van Eycks were 
indebted to the sculptors of their age for some of the pro- 
gress which their works display, we are still far from having 
solved the mystery which clings to the earlier period of their 
lives. We know that these great artists were natives of 
Maaseyck, and countrymen of some of the miniaturists who 
were employed at the court of France between 1400 and 
1410. There are miniatures in a Prayer-book of the Duke 
of Bern (1409), and in a Josephus (1410), by Pol of Limburg, 
which remind us of later productions of the Van Eycks 
in the originality of conception, the peculiar embodiments of 
form, and the remarkable tendency to realism which they 
display ; 2 but this only proves that Limburg was a province 
in which the elements of art might be acquired ; and this is 
all that history as yet has been able to discover with 
reference to the two men who brought art to the highest 
perfection of which it was found capable in the Netherlands. 

Hubert van Eyck was born, according to the common 
acceptation, in 1366. John van Eyck was his junior by 

1 See article by me in the German 'Kunstblatt' of 1856, N/o. 27. 
This also contains an account of sculpture by the same Claes Sluter on 
the monviment to Philip the Bold, now in the Museum at Dijon. 

2 [The Prayer-book is in the Bibliotheque Ste. Ge"nevieve, the Josephus 
(HSS. 6891) in the public library in Paris.] 


some unknown number of years. Chroniclers of the six- 
teenth century vaguely suggest that the two brothers settled 
at Ghent in 1410. There is every reason to believe that all 
these dates are incorrect ; that Hubert was born after 1366, 
and that the date of his migration to Ghent must be placed 
later in the century. It is credible that both the brothers 
were court painters to Philip of Charolois, heir apparent to 
the throne of Burgundy, who lived with his wife Michelle de 
France at Ghent between 1418 and 1421. In the service of 
the prince, painters were free from the constraint of their 
guild, but on the withdrawal of the court fhe privilege would 
cease ; and this explains how the names of the Van Eycks 
were not recorded in the register of the corporation of St. 
Luke till 1421, when, on the death of the countess Michelle, 
and as a tribute to her memory, they were registered as 
masters without a fee. John van Eyck soon found employ- 
ment in the court atmosphere, which seemed congenial to 
him, whilst Hubert remained at Ghent, received commissions 
from the municipality (1424), and became acquainted with 
Jodocus Yydts, for whom he composed the vast altarpiece 
known as the 'Adoration of the Lamb.' 1 It was not fated 
that he should finish the great work which he was then in- 
duced to begin. j He probably sketched the subjects that 
were to adorn the panels, and completed some of the more 
important of them. At his death in 1426 he was buried in 
the chapel, the decoration of which had been the last occu- 
pation of his life. We may sum up the qualities which dis- 
tinguished him, and the services which he rendered to the 
art of his country, in the following sentences : ] 

He carried the realistic tendency, already existing in the 
Flemish masters, to an extraordinary pitch of excellence, 
whilst in many essential respects he adhered to the more 
ideal feeling of the previous period, imparting to this, by the 
means of his far richer powers of representation, greater 
distinctness, truth of nature, and variety of expression. 
Throughout his works he displayed an elevated and highly 
energetic conception of the stem import of his labours in tha 

1 [Ruelens, in notes et additions to the French Traaaktion of ' Eeri*? 
Flemish painters,' vol. ii. p. slvi] 


service of the Church. The prevailing arrangement of his 
subject is symmetrical, holding fast the early architectonic 
rules which had hitherto presided over ecclesiastic art. The 
later mode of arrangement, in which a freer and more 
dramatic and picturesque feeling was introduced, is only 
seen in Hubert van Eyck's works in subjection to these 
rules. Thus his heads exhibit the aim at beauty and dignity 
belonging to the earlier period, only combined with more 
truth of nature. His draperies unite its pure taste and 
softness of folds with greater breadth ; the realistic principle 
being apparent in that greater attention to detail which a 
delicate indication of the material of the drapery necessitates. 
Nude figures are studied from nature with the utmost fidelity : 
undraped portions are also given with much truth, especially 
the hands ; only the 'feet remain feeble. That, however, 
which is almost the principal quality of his art, is the 
hitherto unprecedented power, depth, transparency, and 
harmony of his colouring. To attain this he availed himself 
of a mode of painting in oil which he and his brother had 
perfected. Oil painting, it is true, had long been in use, but 
only in a very undeveloped form, and for inferior purposes. 
According to the most recent and thorough investigations^ 
the improvements introduced by the Van Eycks, and which 
they doubtless only very gradually worked out, were the 
following. First, they removed the chief impediment which 
had hitherto obstructed the application of oil-paint to pictures 
properly so called.. For, in order to accelerate the slow 
drying of the oil colours, it had been necessary to add a 
varnish to them, which consisted of oil boiled with a resin. 
Owing to the dark colour of this varnish, in which amber, 
or more frequently sandarac, was used, this plan, from its 
darkening effect on most colours, had hitherto proved un- 
successful. The Van Eycks, however, succeeded in pre- 
paring so colourless a varnish that they could apply it, 
without disadvantage, to all colours. In painting a picture 
they proceeded on the following system. The outline was 
drawn on a gesso ground, so strongly sized that no oil could 

1 See Sir Charles Eastlake's ' Materials for a History of Oil-painting.' 
London, 1847. Longman. Chap. VIII. -XL 


penetrate the surface. The under painting was then exe- 
cuted in a generally warm brownish glazing colour, and so 
thinly that the light ground was clearly seen through it. 
They then laid on the local 'colours, thinner in the lights, 
and, from the quantity of vehicle used, more thickly in the 
shadows ; in the latter availing themselves often of the under 
painting as a foil. In all other parts they so nicely preserved 
the balance between the solid and the glazing colours as to 
attain that union of body and transparency which is their 
great excellence. Finally, in the use of the brush they 
obtained that perfect freedom which the new vehicle per- 
mitted ; either leaving the touch of the brush distinct, or 
fusing the touches tenderly together, as the object before 
them required. Of all the works which are now attributed 
to Hubert, [but one is genuine and historically authenti- 
cated.] This noble work is certified by an inscription. It is 
a large altar picture, consisting of two rows of separate 
panels, once in the Cathedral of St. Bavon at Ghent. It 
was painted, as before remarked, for Jodocus Vydts, Seigneur 
of Pamele, and Burgomaster of Ghent, and his wife Elizabeth, 
of the then distinguished family of Burluut, for their mor- 
tuary chapel in that cathedral. 1 When the wings were opened, 
which occurred only on festivals, the subject of the upper 
centre picture was seen, consisting of three panels (see 
woodcut), on which were the Triune God the King of 
heaven and earth and at his side the Holy Virgin and the 
Baptist : on the inside of the wings were angels, who with 
songs and sacred music celebrate the praises of the Most 
High : at the two extremities , each inside the half- shutters 
which covered the figure of God the Father, were Adam and 
Eve, the representatives of fallen man. The lower central 
picture shows the Lamb of the Revelation, whose blood 
flows into a cup ; over it is the dove of the Holy Spirit ; 
angels, who hold the instruments of the Passion, worship the 
Lamb, and four groups, each consisting of many persons, 
advance from the sides ; they comprise the holy martyrs, 
male and female, with priests and laymen ; in the foreground 
is the fountain of life ; in the distance the towers of the 
1 Carton, ' Les Trois Freres van Eyck/ p. 56. 


heavenly Jerusalem. On the wing pictures, other groups 
are coming up to adore the Lamb ; on the left, those who 
have laboured for the kingdom of the Lord by worldly deeds 
the soldiers of Christ, and T;he righteous judges ; on the 
right, those who, through self-denial and renunciation of 
earthly good, have served Him in the spirit holy hermits 
and pilgrims ; a picture underneath, which represented hell, 
finished the whole. 

This work is now dispersed : the centre pictures being in 
Ghent, 1 the Adam and Eve in the Museum of Brussels. 
The lower picture of hell was early injured and lost, and 
the others form some of the greatest ornaments of the 
gallery of the Berlin Museum. 2 

The three figures of the upper centre picture are designed 
with all the dignity of J5iatue-like repose belonging to the 
early style ; they are painted, too, on a ground of gold and 
tapestry, as was constantly the practice in earlier times : but 
united with the traditional type we already find a successful 
representation of life and nature in all their truth. They 
stand on the frontier of two different styles, and, from the 
excellences of both, form a wonderful and most impressive 
whole. In all the solemnity of antique dignity the Heavenly 
Father sits directly fronting the spectator his right hand 
raised to give the benediction to the Lamb, and to all the 

1 [Marc van Vaernewijck in a MS. of 1566-8, describing the Ghent 
troubles, states that on the 19th of August, two days before the iconoclasts 
plundered St. Bavon, the picture of the Mystic Lamb was removed 
from the Vijdts chapel and concealed in one of the towers. See the MS., 
' Van die Beroerlicke Tij'den in die Nederlanden,' recently printed 
at Ghent (1872), p-. 146. On the same page in which Vaernewijck relates 
this story he says that he refers his readers, for the lives of the Van 
Eycks, to his book, ' Mijn leecken Philosophic int xx e . bouck.' This 
book, which probably still exists on the shelves of some library, has not 
as yet been discovered.] 

2 " The pictures here exhibited as the works of Hemmelinck, Messis, 
Lucas of Holland, A. Diirer, and even Holbein, are inferior to those 
ascribed to Eyck in colour, execution, and taste. The draperies of the 
three on a gold ground, especially that of the middle figure, could not 
be improved in simplicity, or elegance, by the taste of Raphael himself. 
The three heads of God the Father, the Virgin, and St. John the Baptist, 
are not inferior in roundness, force, or sweetness, to the heads of L. da 
Vinci, and possess a more positive principle of colour." Life of Fuseli, 
i. p. 267. This is a very remarkable opinion for the period when it was 

'Chap. I. HUBERT VAN EYCK. 57 

gures below ; in his left is a crystal sceptre ; on his head 
-the triple crown, the emblem of the Trinity. The features 
are such as are ascribed to Christ by the traditions of the 
Church, but noble and well-proportioned ; the expression is 
forcible, though passionless. The tunic of this figure, ungirt, 
is of a deep red, as well as the mantle, which last is fastened 
over the breast by a rich clasp, and, falling down equally 
from both shoulders, is thrown in beautiful folds over the feet. 
Behind the figure, and as high as the head, is a hanging of 
green tapestry adorned with a golden pelican (a well-known 
symbol of the Redeemer) ; behind the head the ground is 
gold, and on it, in a semicircle, are three inscriptions, which 
again describe the Trinity, as all-mighty^ all-good, and all- 
bountiful. The two other figures of this picture display 
equal majesty ; both are reading holy books, and are turned 
towards the centre figure. The countenance of John ex- 
presses ascetic seriousness, but in the Virgin's we find a 
serene grace, and a purity of* form, which approach very 
nearly to the happier efforts of Italian art. 

On the wing next to the Virgin (see woodcut) stand eight 
angels singing before a music-desk. They are represented 
.as choristers in splendid vestments and crowns. The brilli- 
ancy of the stuffs and precious stones is given with the hand 
of a master, the music-desk is richly ornamented with Gothic 
<carved work and figures, and the countenances are full of 
expression and life ; but in the effort to imitate nature with 
the utmost truth, so as even to enable us to distinguish with 
certainty the different voices of the double quartett, the spirit 
of a holier influence has already passed away. On the oppo- 
site wing, St. Cecilia sits at an organ, the keys of which she 
touches with an expression of deep meditation : other angels 
stand behind the organ with different stringed instruments. 
The expression of these heads shows far more feeling, and is 
more gentle : the execution of the stuffs and accessories is 
equally masterly. The two extreme wings of the upper 
series, the subjects of which are Adam and Eve (see wood- 
cut), are now [in the Museum at Brussels] . The attempt to 
.paint the nude figure of the size of life, with the most careful 
.attention to minute detail, is eminently successful, with the 


exception of a certain degree of hardness in the drawing. 
Eve holds in her right hand the forbidden fruit. In the 
filling up, which the shape of the altarpiece made necessary 
over these panels, there are small subjects in chiaroscuro : 
over Adam, the sacrifice of Cain and Abel ; over Eve, the 
death of Abel death, therefore, as the immediate conse- 
quence of original sin. 

The arrangement of the lower middle picture, the worship 
of the Lamb (see woodcut), is strictly symmetrical, as the- 
mystic nature of the allegorical subject demanded, but them 
is such beauty in the landscape, in the pure atmosphere, in 
the bright green of the grass, in the masses of trees and 
flowers, even in the single figures which stand out from the 
four great groups, that we no longer perceive either hardness 
or severity in this symmetry. The wing picture on the right 
(see woodcut), representing the holy pilgrims, is, in the figures,, 
less striking than the others. Here St. Christopher, who 
wandered through the world seeking the most mighty Lord, 
strides before all, a giant in stature, whilst a host of smaller 
pilgrims, of various ages, follow him. A fruitful valley, with 
many details, showing a surprising observation of nature, is 
seen through the slender trees. The cast of the folds in the 
ample red drapery of St. Christopher, as 1 ill Lliu uppei picLuie, 
reminds us still of the earlieF^tyfeT^-^he whimsical and 
singular expression in the countenances of the pilgrims is 
also very remarkable. The picture next to the last described 
is more pleasing ; it represents the troop of holy anchorites 
passing out of a rocky defile. In front are St. Paul the Her- 
mit and St. Anthony, the two who set the first example of 
retirement from the world ; and the procession closes with 
the two holy women who also passed the greater part of their 
lives in the wilderness, Mary Magdalen and St. Mary of Egypt. 
The heads are full of character, with great variety of expres- 
sion : on every countenance may be traced the history of its 
life. Grave old men stand before us, each one differing from 
the other : one is firm and strong, another more feeble ; one 
cheerful and single-minded, another less open. Some in- 
spired fanatics wildly raise their heads, whilst others with a. 
simple and almost humorous expression walk by their side,. 

Chap. i. HUBERT; VAN EYCK. 59 

and others again are still struggling with their earthly nature. 
It is a remarkable picture, and leads us deep into the secrets 
of the human heart a picture which in all times must be 
ranked amongst the master-works of art, and which to be 
intelligible needs no previous inquiry into the relative period 
and circumstances of the artists who created it. The land- 
scape background, the rocky defile, the wooded declivity, and 
the trees laden with fruit, are all eminently beautiful. The 
eye would almost lose itself in this rich scene of still life if it 
were not constantly led back to the interest of the foreground. 
The opposite wing pictures differ essentially in conception 
from those just described (see woodcut). Their subject did 
not in itself admit such varied interest, and it is rather the 
common expression of a tranquil harmony of mind, and of 
the consciousness of a resolute will, which attracts the spec- 
tator, combined at the same time with a skilful representation 
of earthly splendour and magnificence. Inside the wing to 
the right we see the soldiers of the Lord on fine chargers, 
simple and noble figures in bright armour, with surcoats of 
varied form and colour. The three foremost with the waving 
banners appear to be St. Sebastian, St. George, and St. 
Michael, the patron saints of the old Flemish guilds, which 
accompanied their earls to the crusades. In the head of St. 
George, the painter has strikingly succeeded in rendering the 
spirit of the chivalry of the middle ages that true heroic 
feeling and sense of power which humbles itself before the 
higher sense of the Divinity. Emperors and kings follow 
after him. The landscape is extremely beautiful and highly 
finished, with rich and finely-formed mountain ridges, and the 
fleecy clouds of spring floating lightly across. The second 
picture (the last to the left) represents the righteous judges ; 
they also are on horseback, and are fine and dignified figures. 
In front, on a splendidly caparisoned grey horse, rides a mild 
benevolent old man, in blue velvet trimmed with fur. This 
is the likeness of Hubert, to whom his brother has thus dedi- 
cated a beautiful memorial. Rather deeper in the group is 
John himself, clothed in black, with his shrewd, sharp coun- 
tenance turned to the spectator. We are indebted to tradition 
for the knowledge of these portraits. 


Both these wing pictures have the special interest of show- 
ing us, by means of armour, rich costumes, and caparisons, 
a true and particular representation of the Court of Burgundy 
in the time of Philip the Good when it was confessedly the 
most superb court in Europe. 

The upper wings, when closed (see woodcut), represented 
the Annunciation, and this was so arranged that on the outer 
and wider ones (the backs of the two pictures of angels sing- 
ing and playing) were the figures of the Virgin and the angel 
Gabriel on the inner narrower ones (that is, on the back of 
the Adam and Eve) a continuation of the Virgin's chamber. 
Here, as was often the case in the outside pictures of large 
altarpieces, the colouring was kept down to a more uniform 
tone, in order that the full splendour might be reserved to 
adorn with greater effect the principal subject within. The 
angel and the Holy Virgin are clothed in flowing white 
drapery, but the wings of the angel glitter with a play of 
soft and brilliant colour, imitating those of the green parrot. 
The heads are noble and well painted : the furniture of the 
room is executed with great truth, as well as the view 
through the arcade which forms the background of the 
Virgin's chamber, into the streets of a town, one of which 
we recognise as a street in Ghent. 

In the semicircles which close these panels above, on the 
right and left, are the prophets Micah and Zechariah, whose 
heads have great dignity, but are somewhat stiff and unsatis- 
factory in their attitudes. In the centre (corresponding with 
the figures in chiaroscuro over Adam and Eve) are two kneel- 
ing female figures represented as sibyls. 

The exterior portion of the lower wings contains the 
statues of the two St. Johns. These display a heavy style 
of drapery, and there is something peculiarly angular in the 
breaks of the folds, imitated perhaps from the sculpture of 
the day, which had also already abandoned the older Northern 
mould. This peculiarity by degrees impressed itself more and 
more on the style of painting of the fifteenth century, and 
the drapery of the figures in the Annunciation already 
betrays a tendency towards it. The heads exhibit a feeling 
for beauty of form which is rare in this school. John the 

Outer Shutters of the great Van Eyck picture at Berlin pa g e go. 

Chap.l. HUBERT VAN EYCK. 61 

Baptist, who is pointing with his right hand to the Lamb on 
his left, is appropriately represented, as the last of the Pro- 
phets, as a man of earnest mien and dignified features, with 
much hair and beard. John the Evangelist, on the other 
hand, appears as a tender youth with delicate features, look- 
ing very composedly at the monster with four snakes which, 
at his benediction, rises from the chalice in his hand. 

The likenesses of the donors are given with inimitable life 
and fidelity. They show the careful hand of Jan van Eyck, 
but already approach that limit within which the imitation 
of the accidental and insignificant in the human countenance 
should be confined. The whole, however, is in admirable 
keeping, and the care of the artist can hardly be considered 
too anxiously minute, since feeling and character are as fully 
expressed as the mere bodily form. The aged Jodocus Yydts, 
to whose liberality posterity is indebted for this great work 
of art, is dressed in a simple red garment trimmed with fur ; 
he kneels with his hands foldejl, and his eyes directed up- 
wards. His countenance, however, is not attractive ; the 
forehead is low and narrow, and the eye without power. 
The mouth alone shows a certain benevolence, and the whole 
expression of the features denotes a character capable of 
managing worldly affairs. The idea of originating so great 
a work as this picture is to be found in the noble, intellec- 
tual, and expressive features of his wife, who kneels opposite 
to him in the same attitude, and in still plainer attire. 

At Hubert van Eyck's death, on the 16th of September, 
1426, Jodocus Vydts engaged Jan van Eyck, the younger 
brother and scholar of Hubert, to finish the picture in the 
incomplete parts. 1 A close comparison of all the panels of 

1 This appears from the following inscription of the time, ou the 
frame of the outer whig : 

" Hubertus e Eyck, major quo nemo repertus 
Incepit ; pondusq odu Johannes arte secundus 
Frater perfecit, Judooi Vyd prece fretus 
[VersV seXta Mai Vos CoLLoCat aCta tVerl."] 

[The last verse gives the date of May 6, 1432.] The discovery of this 
inscription, under a coating of green paint, was made in Berlin in 1824, 
when the first word and a half of the third line, which were missing, 
were [imperfectly] supplied [with " frater perfectus "] by an old copy of 
this inscription, found by M. de Bast, the Belgian connoisseur. 


this altarpiece with the authentic works of Jan van Eyck 
shows that the following portions differ in drawing, colour- 
ing, cast of drapery, and treatment, from his style, and 
may therefore with certainty be attributed to the hand of 
Hubert : Of the inner side of the upper series, the Almighty, 
the Virgin, St. John the Baptist, St .Cecilia with the angels 
playing on musical instruments, and Adam and Eve ; of the 
inner side of the lower series, the side of the centre picture 
with the apostles and saints, and the wings with the hermits 
and pilgrims, though with the exception of the landscapes. 
On the other hand, of the inner side of the upper series, the 
wing picture with the singing angels is by Jan van Eyck ; 
of the inner side of the lower series, the side of the centre 
picture of the Adoration of the Lamb, containing the patri- 
archs and prophets, etc., and the entire landscape ; the wing 
with the soldiers of Christ and the Righteous Judges, and 
the landscapes to the wing with the hermits and pilgrims ; 
finally, the entire outer sides of the wings, comprising the 
portraits of the founders, and the Annunciation. The Pro- 
phet Zechariah and the two Sibyls alone show a feebler 
hand. 1 

About one hundred years after the completion of this 
altarpiece an excellent copy of it was made by Michael 
Coxis for Philip II. of Spain. The panels of this work, like 
those of the original, are dispersed ; some are in the Berlin 
Museum, some in the possession of the King of Bavaria, and 
others in the remains of the King of Holland's collection at 
the Hague. A second copy, which comprises the inside 
pictures of this great work, from the chapel of the Town- 
house at Ghent, is in the [Antwerp Museum.] 

1 [Dr. Waagen did not always hold decided opinions as to what portions 
of the altarpiece of Ghent are by Hubert and John van Eyck, respec- 
tively. There is no doubt that some of " the sublime earnestness" which 
Schlegel notes in the Eternal, the Virgin, and John the Baptist, and 
much of the stern realism which characterizes those figures, is to be 
found in the patriarchs and prophets, and in the hermits and pilgrims, 
and in the Adam and Eve ; but it is too much to say that these wing 
pictures can " with certainty be assigned to Hubert," and it is not to 
be forgotten that John van Eyck worked in this picture on the lines 
Laid down by his elder brother, and must have caught some of the spirit 
of his great master."! 


[Hubert van Eyck's name has been extensively misused 
by compilers of catalogues; but criticism has had the 
melancholy result of proving that not one of the numerous 
compositions assigned to the master are the work of his 
hand ; and this is true even of the noble St. Jerome taking 
the thorn from the lion's paw, in the Museum of Naples. 
It was the habit of the dealers of the fifteenth century to 
send Flemish works of art to South Italy, and numerous 
panels in Neapolitan churches prove the importance of the 
trade without throwing light on the history of painting in 
the Netherlands. Though Hubert van 'Eyck has been 
restored to the place which he deserved to hold in the 
annals of his country, his merits and services met with but 
a tardy recognition. He was soon forgotten in Ghent, and 
Burgundian literature treated him and the followers of his 
art with such contempt that we never find an allusion to 
them in Flemish print till after the middle of the sixteenth 
century. It was fortunate that, whilst the countrymen of 
the Van Eycks gave evidence of so much indifference, 
Italian writers should have been more just and more con- 
scientious. But even in Italy the revival of criticism came 
too late to rescue Hubert van Eyck from oblivion ; and 
when attention was directed, in the fifteenth century, to the 
art of the Netherlands by Leon Battista Alberti, by Cyriacus 
of Ancona, by Facius, and Filarete, it only connected Bel- 
gian painting with the names of John van Eyck and Roger 
van der Weyden. When Vasari published the first edition 
of his lives in 1550, he was unaware of Hubert's existence. 
He began to print the second edition without being better 
informed ; but in the interval which elapsed between the 
appearance of his first and last volumes, Guicciardini had 
written his description of the Low Countries. His know- 
ledge of Hubert, as John van Eyck's brother and fellow- 
painter, was communicated to Vasari, who (1568) made but 
a partial and unsatisfactory correction of previous statements 
in a final chapter on Flemish craftsmen. Guicciardini' s his- 
tory very soon attracted attention in Belgium ; and the facts 
which it contained were copied, though with small discrimi- 
nation, by numerous annalists. Hubert van Eyck recovered 


a place in the history of art ; but he was not raised to the 
first rank, which he ought to have held, and which modern 
history now properly assigns to him. 

Of John van Eyck it may be said likewise that ho 
suffered from the neglect of his contemporaries, for though 
he never sank into complete obscurity, as his brother had 
done, his claims to public attention were superficially urged ; 
and recent research only has lifted the veil which concealed 
the greatest part of his active and important life. I shall 
endeavour to sketch in a few sentences the more salient 
points in his picturesque career. 

Shortly after the death of Michelle de France at Ghent, 
John van Eyck entered the service of John of Bavaria, whose 
recent conquest of Holland had given him a powerful posi- 
tion amongst the princes of the Netherlands. From Sep- 
tember 23rd, 1422, to January 13th, 1423 there are distinct 
traces of the painter's residence at the Hague, where John of 
Bavaria held his court. 1 What pictures he may have painted 
there, and of what kind his occupations may have been, we are 
unable to ascertain, nor is it without a melancholy significance 
that neither at the Hague nor in any other part of the Nether- 
lands is a single production to be met with which helps us 
to measure the painter's acquirements before the death of 
Hubert. It will be seen indeed that there is one altarpiece 
in the regal collection of the Dukes of Devonshire at Chats- 
worth which might claim to have been executed in 1421, 
but the state to which this panel has been reduced by the 
baleful effects of time and restoring is such as to render it 
valueless to the critic. After the death of John of Bavaria, 
in 1425, John van Eyck took service with Philip the Good 
of Burgundy, for whom he painted numerous portraits, which 
unfortunately have not been preserved. In his official capa- 
city he bore the title of " my lord's painter and varlet ; " 
his salary was 100 livres per annum ; and he enjoyed per- 
quisites for rent at Lille or at Bruges, or when despatched 

1 [See the notices of Mr. A. Pinchart in ' Early Flemish Painters,' 
2nd ed., p. 40. The story of John van Eyck's visit to Antwerp in 
1420 rests upon a false reading of some records respecting the Antwerp 
Guild, which tell of Albert Diirer's visit to Antwerp in 1520.] 

Chap. I. JAN VAN EYCK. 65 

on special missions to take the portraits of ladies to whose 
hand the frequently widowed Duke might aspire. We have 
note of some of these " s"ecret pilgrimages" in 1426, 1428, 
1430, 1433, and 1436 ; but one of them deserves to be more 
particularly recorded. Two Venetian galleys left the port 
of Sluys on the 19th of October, 1428, bearing the lord of 
Roubaix with his suite, for the purpose of visiting Lisbon and 
negotiating a marriage between Isabel of Portugal and Philip 
the Good. The embassy, with John van Eyck in its company, 
reached Lisbon on the 18th of December, and spent several 
months at Arrayollos, Aviz, Santiago di Compostella, Jaen, 
and Granada. Van Eyck painted the likeness of Isabel of 
Portugal, and visited Mahomet, King of the Moors. He spent 
upwards of nine months in the Peninsula, and came home 
with Philip's bride on Christmas day, 1429. In 1430 he 
bought a house at Bruges, where he lived till his death in 
1440-41. During a long period of service under Philip he 
was treated with all the distinction which it was possible for 
the Duke to confer upon him ; and it is a proof of the favour 
in which he was held, that Philip was godfather to his daughter 
Lyennie, who in 1449 withdrew to a convent in her father's 
native place at Maaseyck. 1 ] 

Fortunately the world possesses various authentic pictures 
by Jan van Eyck, in which his original powers are more 
easily recognized than in the part he executed of the great 
altarpiece, where he doubtless accommodated himself with true 
fraternal piety both to the composition and general style of 
his master and brother. His own works also show a very 
different originality from that which characterised Hubert. 
He possessed neither that enthusiasm for the rich significance^ 
of the ecclesiastical art of the middle ages, nor that feeling 
for beauty in human forms or in drapery, which belonged to 
the elder brother. His feeling, on the other hand, led him 
to the closest and truest conception of individual nature. In 
the head of the Saviour he adhered to the early Byzantine 
type, but all his Virgins and saints have a thoroughly portrait- 
like character, and are even occasionally ug" in form, and 
without any particular elevation of feeling. His realistic 
1 [' Early Flemish Painters,' 2nd ed., 131.] 



treatment also was carried out with admirable mastery in the 
stuffs of which his draperies were formed, in the backgrounds, 
and in every possible detail. Onlyinjhe_ 
drapery with sharp and angular folds in ideal figures has he 
obviously imitated the sculptors who preceded him. His 
hands also, on these occasions, are^offerTtoo narrowT 'Where, 
however, he had only to paint portraits a task which quite 
coincided with the tendency of his mind he attained a life- 
likeness of conception and a truth of form and colouring in 
every part, extending even to the minutest details, such as no 
other artist of his time could rival, and which art in general 
has seldom produced. As regards his participation in the 
merit of the improved mode of oil-painting, I entirely agree 
with Messrs. Crowe and Cavalcaselle, that he probably found 
his far older brother already in possession of the advantages 
he had developed, though Jan van Eyck may, by his own 
practice of the art, have brought them to greater perfection. 1 
In the management of the brush he possessed obviously a 
greater facility than Hubert, by which also he was enabled 
to render the material of every substance with marveUous 
fidelity. Here, as in his flesh-tones, the colours are seen 
alternately blended with tenderness, or, as in freely growing 
hair, lightly thrown on to the panel. In the aim at round- 
aess of modelling, the highest lights of the flesh-tones ap- 
proximate to white, and in the shadows, to a powerful and 
sometimes rather heavy brown, broken with yellow. The 
brown in Hubert's shadows, on the contrary, has a reddish 
tendency. The distinctness of his sight, and the wonderful 
precision of his. hand, inclined Jan van Eyck to a moderate 
and occasionally very small scale of size. The pleasure he 
took in the imitation of every form of nature led him in some 
instances to desert the class of ecclesiastical subjects, as for 
example in the Otter-hunt, 2 and in the Bath-room, 3 both of 
these being early cited as admirable pictures, though they 
have now disappeared. Finally, he so loved to represent 
landscapes with distant views, that he not only introduced 

1 'Early Flemish Painters,' 1st ed., pp. 44 and 46, 2nd ed., pp. 48, 49. 

2 'Anonimo,' by Morelli, p. 14. 
8 See Facius. 

Chap. I. JAN VAN EYCK. ' 67 

them in the background of his historical pictures, but an 
example is known in which a similar landscape constituted 
the whole of his subject. 1 Besides the pictures by him now 
in England, I will only quote those which are easy of access. 
In these I endeavour to observe a chronological order. Others 
of less importance I omit altogether. 

[The earliest picture connected with the name of Jan van 
Eyck is the Consecration of Thomas a Becket as Archbishop 
of Canterbury, in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire 
at Chatsworth. Its originality appears to be certified by the 
painter's signature, and the date of 1421 f but the panel is 
so injured, and the treatment is so much below the usual 
level of the master, that we should hesitate to accept it as 
evidence of his powers, even in the period noted in the in- 
scription.] 2 

St. Francis kneeling before a mass of rock and receiving 
the stigmata ; the lay brother before him with his hand 
covering his face. This small, picture, which is at Lord 
Heytesbury's seat, Heytesbury, in Wiltshire, is remarkable 
for its solid and delicate execution, and for the depth and 
fulness of its warm tone. The fact that Lord Heytesbury 
purchased it from a medical man in Lisbon renders it pro- 
bable that this work was executed by the master during his 
stay in Portugal in 1428-29. 3 

Next in chronological succession follow those wings of the 

1 The representation of the world, which, according to Facius, he 
executed for Philip the Good, was essentially nothing more than the 
representation of a landscape, which was especially renowned for the 
indication of towns and villages, and for the illusion produced by 

2 [Jan van Eyck sometimes signed his pictures when they were only 
sketched in ; and of this there is an example in a St. Barbara of the 
Antwerp Museum. The Chatsworth altarpiece may have been signed 
under similar conditions, and it may then have been finished by a later 
school hand. Dr. Waagen believed it to be original, and what is still 
more strange, well preserved. See his ' Treasures,' vol. iii., p. 349.] 

3 [In a will dated Feb. 10, 1470, (n. s.,) Anselme Adorne, Knight and 
Lord of Corthuy, near Bruges, bequeathes to each of his two daughters 
" a little picture by John van Eyck, representing St. Francis." The 
panel of Lord Heytesbury's collection may be one of these, in which 
case Dr. Waagen's suggestion that it was painted in Portugal would bo 
incorrect. See A. Pinchart, ' Archives des Arts,' etc., 8vo. Gand, 1360, 
p. 264.] 


altarpiece at Ghent, now in the Berlin Museum, which were 
the work of Jan van Eyck. I am the more inclined also to 
attribute to him the landscapes in the wings of the Hermits 
and Pilgrims, otherwise painted by Hubert, and in which 
southern yegetation, such as the orange, the stone pine, the 
cypress, and the palm, are rendered with great fidelity, 
from the fact that Jan van Eyck alone, from his voyage to 
Portugal, had had the opportunity of seeing these objects in 

[Akin to this altarpiece of the Lamb, in subject and feeling, 
but altogether in the spirit of John van Eyck, is the Fount 
of Salvation,' in the Museum of Madrid.] 

The figure of the Almighty is seen enthroned under a gor- 
geous Gothic canopy, holding a sceptre in the left hand, and 
in the act of benediction with the right. At the sides are 
the Virgin reading on the right, and St. John the Evangelist 
writing on the left. On the arms of the throne are the attri- 
butes of the four Evangelists ; at the feet of the Almighty 
the Immaculate. Lamb, whom he made an offering for the sins 
of the world. Below, this offering is seen in the form of a 
stream of water, in which the sacramental wafers are floating, 
flowing into a little flower-garden, where six angels are cele- 
brating the glory of God on different instruments. Beyond 
these, on each side, are singing angels under Gothic canopies, 
also terminating in lesser pointed towers. A scroll in the 
hands of one of the angels, on the left, contains the inscrip- 
tion, which sets forth the meaning of the stream of water as 
follows : " Can : fons ortorum, puteus aquarum viventium " 
referring to the text in the Song of Solomon, ch. iv. verse 
15 : "A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters." The 
water flows finally into a Gothic fountain, which rises in the 
centre of the foreground, and which, with the usual allegorical 
allusion, is decorated with a pelican feeding her young with 
her blood. On the right are the ranks of the Blessed, vic- 
torious through Christ, headed by the Pope standing, bearing 
a tall crozier with the standard in his left hand, and with the 
right directing the attention of the Emperor, who is kneeling 
in adoration, to the fountain, as the source of all salvation. 
Behind both are other clerical and lay personages. On the 


In the National Museum, Madrid. 

Chap. I. JAN VAN EYCK. 69 

left, in front, is the High Priest standing, his eyes bound, 
holding a broken standard in his right hand, with his left 
endeavouring to prevent a kneeling Jew from paying adora- 
tion. Besides these are eight more Jews, in lively actions of 
horror and despair. In the three principal upper figures, and 
in the angels, a deep religious expression is seen combined 
with a pure feeling for beauty ; in the lower figures a keen 
portrait-like character prevails. The momentary and dra- 
matic actions of some of the Jews are especially admirable. 
The colouring of this picture, which, independent of the 
upper projection, is five feet six inches high, is harmonious 
and clear, and the very careful execution masterly in the 
highest degree. 1 

The Virgin and Child seated under a penthouse. In- 
scribed " Completum anno domini MOCCCXXXII per Johannem 
de Eyck, Brugis," with his motto, " Als ich chan," in other 
words. " as well as I can." The head of the Virgin in this 
little picture is of unusually noble character, the folds of the 
drapery very sharp and angular. This picture is at Ince 
Hall, near Liverpool. 

The Virgin enthroned, giving the breast to the Child. 
Her features are pleasing, but of no spiritual character. 
The Child, who is clumsy in body, is less attractive. The 
sharp and admirably rendered folds of the Virgin's drapery 
hide the form too much. This picture, which, from its 
former possessor, the Duke of Lucca, was called the Madonna 
di Lucca, is now in the Stadel Institute at Frankfort. 

(The portrait <f . a man in the National Gallery, signed and 
dated Octooer, 1432 (No. 290) a sunny picture, without 
much shadow, and of a yellow tinge is blended and finished 
to the utmost. 

More powerful in contrasts of light and shade, and more 
perfectly rounded, is the] portrait of a man, in the same 
gallery, (No. 222), signed "Johes de Eyck me fecit ano 
MOCCC33, 21. Octobris,"and his motto as above. This picture 

1 [Dr. Waagen held, before seeing this picture, that it was by Hubert 
van Eyck. He did not think fit to reverse his judgment after a visit to 
Madrid in 1863. Yet the preponderance of critical opinion is altogether 
against him. See ' Early Flemish Painters,' 2nd ed., p. 99.] 


is of marvellous truth and vivacity, and equal precision and 
mastery of execution. 

[Of larger size, and equally attractive for finish quite a 
miracle is the " Man with the Pinks," a portrait of a beard- 
less weather-beaten old man, in the Suermondt collection at 
Aix-la-Chapelle.] [Now in the Berlin Museum, No. 525 A.] 

In the National Gallery, also, No. 186, are the portraits 
of Jean Arnolfini and his wife, Jeanne de Chenany. They are 
\ dressed in holiday attire, and are represented standing, hand 
\ / in hand, in a small room, with numerous accessories. At 
their feet is a terrier dog. Signed " Johannes de Eyck fuit 
hie f. 1434." No other picture shows so high a development 
of the master's powers. Besides every other quality peculiar 
to him which we have already mentioned, and which it pos- 
sesses in fullest measure, we observe here a perfection of 
general keeping and of chiaroscuro which no other specimen 
of this whole period affords. It is no wonder that the 
Princess Mary, sister of Charles V., and Governess of the 
Netherlands, should, as Van Mander relates, for this picture, 
have bestowed a post of 100 guldens a year upon a barber to 
V whom it belonged. 1 

^The Virgin with the Child on her arm, to whom St. 
Barbara is representing the donor, an ecclesiastic in white 
robes. The background, landscape and architecture. This 
remarkable work is, in point of fact, a delicate miniature in 
oil, and follows the preceding picture very closely in time. 
At Berlin Museum, from Burleigh House. 

Nearly related in every respect to the last mentioned is 
a picture in the Louvre, No. 162, representing the Virgin 
crowned by an angel, with the Child on her lap, and adored 
by the donor Rollin, chancellor of Philip the Good, 2 who 
kneels before her. The features of the Virgin are pretty, 
but of little spirituality of character, the Child of unusual 
elegance for the master, the angel very beautiful, and the 

1 [This story, derived from Van Mander, is not founded on fact, for 
the picture belonged to Margaret of Austria as early as 1516.] 

2 We gather this from a passage in CourtepeVs ' Descrip. Hist, et 
Topogr. du Duche" de Bourgogne,' quoted by Crowe and Cavalcaselle in 
' Early Flemish Painters,' 2nd ed., p. 96. According to this the picture 
was formerly in the sacristy of Notre Dame at Autun. 

Chap. I. JAN VAN EYCK. 71 

portrait of the donor of astonishing energy and animation. 
The mantle of the Virgin is in numerous sharp breaks. The 
landscape background, which exhibits a town lying upon a 
river, and distant snow mountains, contains the richest and 
most incredible amount of detail that the master has be- 
queathed to us. 

Next in succession we may take a picture, inscribed 1436, 
in the collection of the Academy at Bruges, which, in its 
different parts, is of very unequal merit. The Virgin, seated 
under a canopy, is of unusual ugliness, and the Child, who 
is playing with a parrot, has the features <5f a little old man. 
The head also of the St. George, standing on the left of the 
Madonna, has no spiritual expression whatever. On the 
other hand, St. Donatian, standing opposite to him, though 
of very portrait-like character, is incomparably more digni- 
fied. But the most admirable figure is that of the kneeling 
donor, the Canon, George de Pala, who is presented by St. 
Donatian. The decided chasacter of his very individual 
features borders on hardness. 1 This work, with figures about 
two-thirds life-size, is the largest we know by the master. 

The portrait of Jan de Leeuw, in the gallery of the 
Belvedere at Vienna, with the same date inscribed, has 
the same certainty of forms, and is unusually grey in the 

Another portrait, of much analogy to the last, is also in the 
Belvedere Gallery. It is there called, though in my opinion 
erroneously, the portrait of Jodocus Vydts in advanced years. 

The picture of St. Ursula, seated before a rich Gothic 
tower her attribute is in the Museum at Antwerp, dated 
1437. It is especially interesting as showing how Jan van 
Eyck treated chiaroscuro. Although executed with the point 
of the brush, it has all the effect of a careful pen-drawing. 

The head of Christ as Salvator Mundi (1438), in the Berlin 
Museum, shows us how closely he adhered in his principal 
forms to the early, bearded, eastern type, at the same time 
developing his warm and powerful colouring, and peculiar 

1 See engi'aving of this picture, in which, however, little attention 
has been paid to the heads, in Carton's ' Les Trois Freres van Eyck,' p. 
72, where also the elaborate inscriptions on the frame are fully given. 


mastery over detail, as for instance in the painting of the 

The portrait of his wife, who was, however, by no means 
attractive in feature, in the Academy at Bruges, painted in 
1439, is a specimen of marvellous delicacy and decision of 
carrying out. It is also truer in colouring, though less warm, 
than his other portraits. 1 

To his more highly finished pictures belongs finally a small 
altarpiece in the Dresden Gallery. The centre represents 
the Virgin seated with the Child in a rich chapel of Roman- 
esque architecture : the inner sides of the wings contain St. 
Catherine and St. George, who is presenting the donor ; the 
outer sides the Annunciation in chiaroscuro. 

Finally, I must mention the embroidered ecclesiastical 
robes, preserved in the Imperial Treasury at Vienna, the 
cartoons for which, I am convinced, proceeded from Jan van 
Eyck. 2 These robes were executed for Philip the Good, 
for the festival instituted by him in honour of the Order 
of the Golden Fleece. A figure of the Almighty, a Baptism 
of Christ, and some Saints, are imbued with Jan van Eyck's 

The brothers Van Eyck had a sister, by name MARGARET 
VAN EYCK, who is said to have been a skilful painter, but to 
whom no work can with certainty be assigned. She died 
also before her brother Jan, and was buried, like Hubert, in 
the cathedral at Ghent. 

It is only within the last few years that the discovery of a 
third brother, of the name of LAMBERT VAN EYCK, has been 
made. A notice in the church books of the cathedral of 
Bruges, dated 21st March, 1442, states that, on the petition of 
Lambert van Eyck, brother of the celebrated painter, Jan van 
Eyck, the chapter had granted permission, with consent of the 
bishop, to have the body of the same removed from the outer 
precincts of the cathedral, where it had lain, to a spot within 

1 On the upper border of this picture is the inscription, "Conjux 
meus Johannes me complevit 1439, 11 Juni." On the lower border, 
" Etas mea triginta tria annorum. ALS IXH XAN." 

2 [Dr. Waagen modified his opinion as to these ornaments. In his 
' Handbuch,' 8vo., Stuttgardt, 1862, p. 136, he expresses the opinion that 
the cartoons must have been by Jan van E} T ck and Roycr van der Weydcn.] 


the edifice near the font. 1 This fact of a third brother would 
have been of little consequence, but for a passage in the 
archives of Lille, from which it appears that he was also a 
painter. 2 If this was really the case, an unfinished picture, 
mentioned in an almost contemporary account of Jan van 
Eyck, may probably be by him. According to that account, 
this picture was painted in 1445, for Nicolas of Maelbecke, 
.abbot and dean of the monastery of St. Martin at Ypres ; 
was placed above the grave of the donor in the church of the 
monastery, he having died in 1447 ; was taken by the last 
Bishop of Ypres into his palace at the invasion of the French, 
towards the close of the last century ; and after being long 
in the hands of M. Bogaert, a bookseller at Bruges, came 
finally by purchase into the families of Van der Schriek [and 
Schollaert], at Louvain. 8 It consists of a centre and two 
wings. In the first, the Holy Virgin, as Queen of Heaven, 
splendidly crowned, with long flowing hair, and a wide, richly 
ornamented purple mantle, holds the infant Christ in her 
arms ; before her kneels the donor of the picture, and the 
background consists of ancient church architecture, through 
which we look out on a rich and animated landscape. The 
wings contain four subjects from the Old Testament, in part 
only sketched, which must be taken to relate the mystery of 
the Nativity, in the spirit of the ancient Christian symbols. 
The subjects are Moses and the Burning Bush, Gideon with 
the Angel and the Miraculous Fleece, the Closed Gate of 
Ezekiel, and Aaron with the Budding Kod. On the outside 

1 Respecting this and all other records of Lambert van Eyck, see the 
often cited Carton, ' Les Trois Freres van Eyck,' p. 54, etc. 

2 [The proof which Dr. Waagen adduces can scarcely be accepted sis 
a convincing one. He says : " An account book of the expenses of Duke 
Philip the Good states, ' A Lambert de Heck, frere de Johannes de 
Heck, peintrede Monseigneur, pour avoir e'te', k plusieurs fois, devers mon 
dit seigneur, pour aucunes besognes que mon dit seigneur voulait faire 
faire.'" The quality of painter in this sentence does not apply to Lambert, 
but to John van Eyck.] 

J Passavant declares this picture to be a copy, but Dr. de Merseman, 
a thorough investigator of art at Bruges, has proved that this is the 
same work which was formerly in the church at Ypres. See Carton's 
' Les Trois Freres van Eyck,' p. 62, etc. The improbability of a copy 
having been made of this, in many parts, only just begun work, speaks 
for itself. 


of the wings there is the Virgin, in chiaroscuro, with the 
Child, appearing to the Emperor Augustus and the Tiburtine 
Sibyl, who explains to him the meaning of the vision. 

The principal portions, namely, the Virgin and the Donor, 
are too feeble in drawing and execution of the flesh parts for 
Jan van Eyck, nor could he really have taken part in the 
picture, since his death is known to have taken place in 
1441. At the same time, there is such affinity in all acces- 
sories, in the hair and crown of the Virgin, and especially in 
the rich landscape, to Jan van Eyck's works, that there can 
be no doubt of its having proceeded from the atelier of a 
contemporary master. The old record too, which names 
Jan van Eyck as the originator of the work, is so far in 
favour of Lambert from the fact that it was deeply interested 
in attributing it to the more celebrated of the brothers.* 
Several of the smaller figures show so striking an accordance 
with the two Sibyls and the prophet Zechariah in the Ghent 
altarpiece, that I am also inclined to attribute these, the 
weaker portions of that great work, to the hand of Lambert. 
For the same reasons it is probable that he was the author 
of the repetition of the great picture in the Academy at 
Bruges, which in every way approaches so near the original, 
and is now Nos. 413 424 in the Museum at Antwerp. 



THE influence of the realistic tendency in art thus completely 
carried out, as well as of the new and admirable mode of 
applying oil-pigments, extended to every country in Europe 
where art was practised with any success. In the Nether- 
lands themselves it was of course most felt ; after them in 

1 See my article in the ' Kunstblatt ' of 1849, Nos. 16 and 17. 


Germany ; and then in France, England, Italy, Spain, and 
Portugal. We need only examine its progress in the two 
first-named countries. 

Among the Netherlandish scholars and followers of the 
Van Eycks, of whom any record has been preserved, some 
appear to have been gifted with considerable powers, though 
none attained the excellence of their great precursors. Al- 
though a number of works representing this school still exist 
in the various countries of Europe, yet, compared with the 
actual abundance of them at one time, they constitute but a 
scanty remnant. And more scanty are the notices we possess 
regarding the lives and circumstances of these painters ; the 
documentary researches, however, of past years have elicited 
a few fresh facts and dates. 1 

[PETRUS CRISTUS, born at Baerle, near Deynze, in Belgium, 
is one of the few painters whom we trace directly to the 
studio of John van Eyck. In a picture of 1447, exhibited 
at Frankfort, he copied the figures of Adam and Eve on the 
altarpiece of the Lamb, and an oriental carpet introduced by 
Van Eyck into his panel of the Virgin of Lucca. Petrus 
Cristus purchased the freedom of Bruges in 1444 ; painted 
the likeness of Edward Grimston, now in the collection of 
the Earl of Verulam, in 1446 ; and was free of the guild of 
St. Luke in 1450. He was still living at Bruges in 1471. 
His church pictures are singularly without elevation, but his 
skill in portrait is shown to have been considerable. It is 
characteristic of his manner that the human figure is drawn 
in stunted proportions, with rounded heads of unselect shape. 
The colours are of a dusky gloss, yet defective in transpa- 
rency. A Virgin and child ' with a fountain,' ascribed to 
John van Eyck, in the Berlin Coll., No. 525 B, is probably one 
of the earliest works of Cristus. The Virgin and Saints (1447), 
in the Stadel at Frankfort, is a better picture, with which the 
Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, and Epiphany, in the 

1 The most distinguished of these inquirers have been Count Leon 
de Laborde, at Paris ; M. Wauters, the keeper of the records at Brus- 
sels ; the Abbe Carton, at Bruges ; Edward van Even, keeper of the 
records at Louvain ; and many other Belgian gentlemen, whose names 
are mentioned in the Introduction to the Catalogue of the Antwerp 
Museum of 1857, p. ix., etc. 


Madrid Museum, deserve to be classed. Cristus painted ID 
duskier tones as he grew older ; and this peculiarity may be 
observed in the St. Elisius of the Oppenheim collection at 
Cologne, painted (1449) for the Goldsmiths' Guildhall at 
Antwerp, and in the Last Judgment, of the Berlin Museum, 
executed (1452) for a convent at Burgos. In the last of 
these pictures Cristus displays quite a childish conception of 
Paradise, at the same time that he prepares us, in a repre- 
sentation of Hell, for the drolleries of Jerom Bosch. Inte- 
resting examples to study are the Last Judgment and the 
Crucifixion, in the Hermitage of St. Petersburg, a Virgin and 
Child, in the gallery of Turin, and a kneeling dignitary, with 
St. Anthony, in the Museum of Copenhagen. There are 
two masterly portraits, male and female, from his hand in 
the Uflizi at Florence, assigned, erroneously, to Van der Goes. 
A portrait in the Berlin Museum, of very soft and blended 
treatment, represents a lady in the peaked cap of the Flem- 
ings of the fifteenth century. It would be more instructive 
if it had not been robbed of the brown glazings noticeable 
in a fine likeness of Marco Barbarigo (No. 696), in the 
-National Gallery, which is wrongly catalogued in that collec- 
tion as by Gerard van der Meire.] 1 

[it would be easy to show, if it had not been shown before 
in innumerable instances, that great masters seldom produce 
able disciples. Neither Hubert nor Jan van Eyck were 
exceptions to this rule. The talents which they displayed at 
Ghent and at Bruges were not transmitted with any abun- 
dance to their pupils ; and the school of the Netherlands 
migjit perhaps have perished, but that it was kept up by other 
masters of almost equal ability in various cities of Belgium. 
Whilst John van Eyck was giving a name to Bruges, by the 
number and beauty of the pictures which he produced there, 
another artist, less great, but not less original, was slowly 
rising into notice at, Brussels. In the course of a long and 
fruitful practice this talented craftsman formed one great 
pupil, who transferred his easel to Bruges, and, purging a 

1 [See for the latest proofs in respect of Petrus Cristus, 'Le Befiroi,' foL 
Bruges, 1863, i., 151, 236, and 237.] 


dry and inflexible style of some of its defects, tempered 
anew the art of the disciples of the Van Eycks. The influence 
of Brussels and of Bruges commingled was subsequently felt 
at Louvain, and modelled there into a peculiar form, which 
gave its impress to Quentin Massys, the last truly national 
painter of the fifteenth century in the Netherlands. We may 
affirm that the school of the Meuse, at the head of which the 
Van Eycks remained, was the greatest that illustrated 
Flanders ; but we shall find it necessary to admit that the 
school of the Schelde, presided over by Van der Weyden, was 
that which became chiefly instrumental in extending the limits 
of northern art, sending forth roots into every part of the 
Netherlands, and far away to the eastward in the various 
provinces of Southern Germany. It was Van der Weyden who 
educated Memling and Dierick Bouts. It was Memling who 
gave new life to the school of Bruges ; Bouts who taught 
Quentin Massys ; but neither Memling nor Bouts would have 
done such service had they npt had the pictures, the pre- 
cepts, and the pupils of the Van Eycks to guide and assist 
them in their training. 

Tournai is the birthplace, Eobert Campin was the master, 
of ROGER VAN DER WEYDEN ; ' but we know no more of the 
form of Tournaisian art than is apparent in the works of its 
latest representative. In 1432, Roger van der Weyden took 
the freedom of his guild ; in 1436 we find him living at 
Brussels, with the title of " town painter." 2 It is an error to 
suppose that he learnt the rudiments of his profession from 
John van Eyck. His style of drawing, treatment, and feel- 
ing for colour, differ altogether from those of the Van Eycks, 
and presuppose a different education, nor is it quite certain 
that he mastered all the subtleties of oil painting, as taught 
by the artists of Maaseyck. In Tournai, rather than at 

1 [Roger van der Weyden was the son of Henri van der Weyden, of 
Tournai, and himself born at Tournai ; but the date of his birth is un- 
known. See A. Pinchart in Annotations to ' Les Anciens Peintres 
Flamands,' pp. ccvi-vii.] 

2 [See the authority quoted above, and further, A. Pinchart's 'Archives 
des Arts,' vol. ii. p. 156, where Roger van der Weyden's name, with 
the qualification of " Stad Scilder," is still noted in the register of the 
brotherhood of the Holy Cross at Brussels in 1462.] 


Bruges, we trace the rise of that peculiar school which sprang 
from the study of tinted sculpture. Van der Weyden him- 
self did not refuse commissions for colouring bas-reliefs. 
His most characteristic pictures are composed in the spirit 
and dyed after the fashion of bas-reliefs ; the carved portals 
with fretted ornaments which enclose his compositions are 
copied with patient and minute fidelity from the edifices of 
the period. We deplore the accidents which deprived us of 
the works of the Van Eycks previous to 1432 ; but we note 
with equal concern the loss of all Van der Weyden's early 
pictures. Not a single one of his works is left at Brussels, 
where he spent the greater part of his life, though we know 
that four of his largest and most important canvases were 
executed for the town hall. The oldest of his church pictures 
is that which represents the Nativity, the wail of Mary over 
the body of Christ, and the Resurrection, in the gallery of Ber- 
lin ; and this we can only trace to a Spanish monastery in 1445. 
But two replicas of an altarpiece, representing scenes from 
the life of the Baptist, are specimens of the same manner, 
preserved in the galleries of Berlin and Frankfort. At a 
later period Van der Weyden composed a Descent from the 
Cross for a church at Louvain, which was subsequently sent 
by Mary of Hungary to Spain. This altarpiece, of which 
there are numerous replicas, is now in the Madrid Museum. 
Another famous example is the Last Judgment, in the Hos- 
pital of Beaune, completed for the Burgundian Chancellor 
Rollin between 1443 and 1447. 

In 1449, Van der -Weyden paid a visit to Italy; and 
during a stay of .some months at Ferrara, where he painted 
a Descent from the Cross for Lionel d'Este, he was treated 
with great distinction by a large body of artists, imbued, by 
connection with the northern school of Padua, with some of 
the distinctive peculiarities of transalpine art. It is curious 
to observe that the melancholy realism of a style which is 
only attractive because of its extreme earnestness should 
have been thought worthy of admiration, and even of 
imitation, by the Ferrarese ; equally curious to note that Italian 
painting, whether observed at Ferrara, at Florence, or at 
Rome, made no impression on Van der Weyden's pictorial 


method. It may be supposed that the old and experienced 
Fleming wandered at Florence into the churches adorned by 
Giotto, Orcagna, Masaccio, and Angelico ; for his presence 
may be traced in the city of the Medici, where he painted a 
picture that still remains to us in the Stadel at Frankfort. 
Yet we look in vain for a passing change in his feeling for 
colour or form. It seemed as if Flemish realism was proof 
against all influences of a more genial and grander style. At 
Rome, one should think, Van der Weyden might have admired 
the masterpieces of the early Christian time, or those of the 
Florentines, who had been summoned from time to time to 
cover with precious frescos the walls of the most celebrated 
churches ; yet it was not so, and he preferred to the creations 
of Giotto or Angelico, the feebler but more realistic produc- 
tions of Gentile da Fabriano. 

On his return from Rome in 1450, Roger van der Weyden 
completed for Pierre Bladelin, treasurer of the Golden 
Fleece, an Adoration of the Infant Christ, which, after adorn- 
ing for centuries the altar of a church at Middelburg, was 
transferred at last to the Berlin Museum. In 1455 he 
composed for Jean Robert, Abbot of St. Aubert of Cambrai, 
an altarpiece, which, on very good grounds, is considered 
identical with that of the Madrid Museum, representing the 
Crucifixion, the Expulsion, and the Last Judgment. 

Roger van der Weyden died on the 16th of June, 1464, 
at Brussels, and was buried at Ste. Gudule. The most 
characteristic feature of his style is its expressive realism. 
He preferred and usually composed those subjects of gospel 
history which convey sentiments of grief and pity. He 
sternly rejected the notion that form should be select and 
attractive. Neither in the shape of the human frame, nor in 
the features of the head, nor in that of the feet and hands, 
did he strive for more than a copy of ordinary nature but 
even in this copy he was not always successful, and we 
often observe deficient drawing of extremities. It is the 
simplicity with which he gives expression by large and 
melancholy eyes, thought by projections of the forehead, 
grief by contracted muscles, and suffering by attenuation of 
the flesh, which touches us. His earnestness is so genuine 


and so consistent, that however much we may be dissatis- 
fied with the means, we still are impressed with the result, 
There is not an approach to a smile in any face that Van der 
Weyclen painted ; but we may observe many a face wrung 
with agony and many a tear. The rare tenuity of outlines, 
denning parts with minute dryness, the usual absence of 
shadow, the pallid scale of tones in which flesh is modelled, 
the light of dawn before sunrise, which fills the room and 
landscape with an agreeable and invariable atmosphere, 
contribute greatly to the impression which we receive. 
The draperies are often broken up into angles, the stiffness 
or hardness of which is not diminished as it co-exists with a 
thick texture of stuffs ; but there is no excess of ornamenta- 
tion in seams and borders ; and this is a very rare quality in 
a Flemish artist. In the masterpieces of the Van Eycks 
we are charmed by the atmosphere which pervades land- 
scapes ; we are struck with the skill with which every part, 
from the foreground to the horizon, is kept in focus. Van 
der Weyden, who objected to shadow in every form, 
finishes a distance with the same touch as the grasses in 
the vicinity of the spectator.] 

Of existing pictures the finest only need be mentioned in 
the order in which they were painted. 

The small triptych altarpiece, presented by Pope Martin V. 
to the King of Spain, and brought in recent times by General 
Armagnac from Spain to France, now No. 534 A of the Berlin 
Museum, represents the Nativity, a Dead Christ in the lap 
of the Virgin, and Chrfst appearing to his Mother after his 
Resurrection. These are intense in feeling, powerful in 
colour, and of miniature -like execution, but meagre in the 
limbs. Painted borders to the pictures, in the manner of 
Gothic portals, contain numerous other subjects in chiar- 

An altarpiece, with three scenes from the life of John the 
Baptist, representing his Birth, the Baptism of Christ, and 
his Decollation, now in the Berlin Museum, No. 534 B. 
These pictures were formerly in Spain. They are enframed 
in borders, like those just described, with which they also 
closely agree in the whole style of execution. 


A triptych, in the collection of the Marquis of Westminster 
in London ; half-length figures, and painted doubtless as a 
sepulchral monument. In the centre, Christ in the act of 
benediction ; in his left hand the globe : of very stern and 
almost forbidding character, and, what is unusual, with black 
hair. On his right is the Virgin a noble head adoring 
him : on the left John the Evangelist ; a fine head, of great 
depth of colour, holding the chalice in his left hand. On the 
right wirig is John the Baptist, of very earnest character, 
pointing with his right hand to Christ. On the left wing the 
Magdalen, with a dignified expression of repentance, holding 
the box of ointment. This important work approaches, in 
point of warmth and depth of colouring, very near to the 
foregoing pictures. 

The Last Judgment, in the hospital at Beaune. This is 
the most comprehensive example of the master that has 
descended to us. Our illustration will show how strictly his 
composition adheres to the forms of tradition ; while at the 
same time the formally symmetrical arrangement of the upper 
part is broken by the vivacity and freedom of the movements. < 
The heads, especially those of John the Baptist and some of 
the Apostles, are unusually elevated in character for him ; the 
expression also of sympathy is very touching. The papal 
figure behind the Apostles, in the right wing, is Pope Euge- 
nius IV. ; the srowned individual next him, Philip the Good ; 
and the crowned female opposite, on the left wing, probably 
Philip's second wife, Isabella of Portugal. The lower part, 
which is divided from the upper by strata of clouds, is upon 
the whole somewhat empty, and has also been much dis- 
figured by over-painting. The head of the Archangel Michael 
is fine, but his figure too long. On the outer sides (see 
woodcut) are the kneeling portraits of Rollin the founder, 
and his wife Guignonne de Salin ; both of great excellence. 
The chiaroscuro figures of SS. Sebastian and Anthony, treated 
like statues, and the similarly painted Annunciation, are by 
the hand of an assistant. 

[Of great importance as a school model is the large Descent 
from the Cross (No. 1046), in the Museum of Madrid, of 
which there are two copies in the National Gallery at Madrid 



and the Escurial, and a third of small size in the church of 
St. Pierre at Louvain.] 1 

Next in period to the last picture we may place that now 
in the Stadel Institute at Frankfort, which was doubtless 
painted for Pietro and Giovanni de' Medici, and which repre- 
sents their patron-saints of the names, and those of the house 
of Medici, SS. Cosmo and Damian, surrounding the Virgin 
and Child. The execution of this picture is of the tenderest 
finish, and, compared with the foregoing, shows an -improve- 
ment in drawing. 

[Of the same period as the Medici Madonna, and not 
without marks of the helping hand of Memling, is the cruci- 
fied Saviour, with portraits of some members of the Sforza 
family, sold at the sale of the Zambeccari collection in London 
in 1872.] 

The altarpiece with wings, executed for Peter Bladelin, is 
in the Berlin Museum, No. 535. In the centre is the Nativity, 
with the kneeling donor, and angels of great beauty, some of 
whom kneel close to the Infant, while others hover over the 
roof of the stable. On the one side is the Annunciation of 
the Redeemer to the Ruler of the West the Emperor 
Augustus by means of the Tiburtine Sibyl ; on the other 
the Annunciation to the Rulers of the East the Three Kings 
who are keeping watch on a mountain, where the Child 
appears to them in a star. The arrangement of this portion 
is peculiarly grand, and the heads highly characteristic. 
This is one of the most remarkable and best preserved exam- 
ples of Roger van def Weyden. 

[The Crucifixion, Expulsion, and Last Judgment, recently 
taken from the Monastery de los Angelos to the Madrid 
Museum, if it be the picture ordered by the Abbot of St. 
Aubert, is of the period immediately following the Bladelin 
Nativity. It is described as a very fine example of the master.] 2 

1 [See * Early Flemish Painters,' 2nd ed., p. 196, and Dr. H. Lxicke 
in ' JahrbiicherfiirKonstwissenschaft,' 5th year, p. 223. Dr. Waagen's 
opinion (' Jahrbiicher,' 1st year, p. 46), that the picture in the Madrid 
Museum is a copy by " Peter van der Weyden," and that the small copy 
at Louvain is an original, is only held by himself and a writer in the 
'Beffroi,' i. 111.] 

2 [See Dr. Waagen in < Jahrbiicher.' i. 40-44.] 


The Adoration of the Kings, with the Annunciation, and 
the Presentation in the Temple, in the wings, is now in the 
Munich Gallery, Nos. 101, 102, and 103. This was pro- 
bably painted for the church of St. Columba, in Cologne, 
and was afterwards in the Boisseree collection : we subjoin 
an illustration. This is one of the largest and finest works 
by the master. The figure of the Virgin in the Presenta- 
tion is very noble, and perhaps the most successful ren- 
dering of this Handmaid of the Lord that has descended 
to us by the painter. The woodcut only gives the centre 
picture. Unfortunately, both flesh and draperies have 
been rendered very glaring in colour, by means of the 
glazings which the Boisserees employed so abundantly. 

St. Luke painting the Virgin [originally placed on the 
altar of the Guild of St. Luke at Brussels, and now in] 
the Munich Gallery, No. 100. The head of the Virgin is 
here of a portrait-like character, and of no beauty of feature. 
The Child also is meagre and unattractive. On the other 
hand, the head of St. Luke, though also portrait-like, is 
very agreeable; the landscape of great transparency; and 
the colouring of astonishing power. 1 

The Descent from the Cross, in the Gallery of the Hague, 
No. 226, and wrongly designated as Memling, is a rich 
composition, with heads of highly pathetic expression and 
admirable execution. It is rather cooler in the flesh-tones. 2 

The Seven Sacraments [painted for Jean Chevrot, Bishop of 
Tournai, and] now in the Antwerp Museum, Nos. 393, 394, and 
395. On the centre and larger panel, by way of figure of the 
Last Supper, is the Crucifixion seen in a Gothic church. On 
the right wing are the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, 
and Penance ; on the left the Consecration of the Priesthood, 
Marriage, and Extreme Unction. The action and heads are 
speaking and animated, but the colouring is cooler, and the 
shadows less transparent, than usual. 8 

Among the later works of the master the following speci- 

1 [There are old copies of this picture in the Hermitage at Petersburg, 
and in the Museum at lladrid.] 

2 [This I believe to be a school-piece.] 

3 [This also I believe to be a school-piece.] 


mens may be included : Three narrow wing-pictures, with 
figures almost life-size, formerly in the Belgian monastery of 
Flemalle, now in the Stadel Institute, and representing 
1st. The Virgin nursing the Child : the maternal expression 
is admirably given, and the white drapery of masterly 
modelling. 2nd. St. Veronica, with the Sudarium, on 
which the black but very noble countenance of Christ is 
impressed. 3rd. The Trinity : the Almighty holding the 
dead, stiff, and meagre body of the Saviour, which is admi- 
rably executed in chiaroscuro. 1 

The fact that Koger van der Weyden, like his master, Jan 
van Eyck, also painted miniatures, is proved by the picture 
heading a Hennegau chronicle, by Jacques de Guise, in 
the Library of the old Dukes of Burgundy at Brussels. [?] 
It represents Jacques de Guise presenting this MS. on his 
knees to Philip the Good of Burgundy, who is surrounded by 
his son Charles the Bold and the grandees of his court. In 
point of animation and individuality of heads, keeping, 
power of colour, and freedom of treatment, this miniature is 
one of the finest which the Belgian school produced. 2 

No painter of this school [it has been already remarked], 
the Van Eycks even not excepted, exercised so great and 
widely extended an influence as Roger van der Weyden. 
Not only was Hans Memling his scholar, but innumerable 
works of art of various kinds were brought forth in the 
country, miniatures, block-books (the Biblia Pauperum, the 
Speculum Salvationis, the Song of Solomon), and old engra- 
vings in which his form of art is recognisable. It Was 
under the auspices of this master that the realistic tendency 
of the Van Eycks pervaded all Germany; for it is quite 
intelligible that their more universal reputation only took place 
after the death of Jan van Eyck, when the great considera- 

1 [It cannot be doubted that this is a school-piece.] 

2 I was the first to recognise this as the work of Eoger van der 
Weyden. See ' Kunstblatt ' of 1847, p. 177. Passavant and Count 
Le'on de Laborde agree in my verdict. There is a lithograph of this 
miniature engraved in the 'Messager/ etc., of 1825. [The painter of 
these miniatures is Guillaume Wijelant of Bruges, who executed them 
in 1 468. See Pinchart's Annotations to 'Les Anciens Peintres Flamands/ 
p. cclxiii.] 


tion in which Roger van der Weyden was held throughput 
Europe induced German artists to visit his atelier at 
Brussels. Martin Schongauer, for instance, the greatest 
German master of the fifteenth century, is historically 
known to have been a scholar of Roger. The same may be 
said of the painter, Frederick Herlen, who came from Nord- 
lingen in Swabia, and his works equally show that he was 
taught by Roger. I shall have occasion also to mention his 
influence in the works of other German artists. 

[Fictions in the garb of history greatly contributed to inten- 
sify and to prolong the darkness which stilf rests on Flemish 
art of the period immediately following John van Eyck's 
death. A great obstacle in the way of discovering the truth 
was the statement of very old writers that Roger van der 
Weyden was a disciple of the younger Van Eyck. Its for- 
tunate removal has been the signal for a progressive clearing 
away of similar and equally pernicious errors.] 

[HUGO VAN DER GOES is proved by documents of acknow- 
ledged authenticity to have been a long-lived, industrious, 
and prolific artist ; yet it is his fate to be known, as Hubert 
van Eyck is known, by a single picture only. He is traced in 
records to Ghent, where he lived for a considerable number of 
years. Yet Van Mander states that he was a pupil of John 
van Eyck, who never lived at Ghent after 1421. There is 
some apparent confirmation of Van Mander's statement in the 
fact that many of Hugo's altarpieces were exhibited in Bruges 
churches. Yet the only picture we possess the Nativity in 
Santa Maria Nuova at Florence which can be ascribed with 
certainty to Van der Goes, displays but slightly the influence 
of the Van Eycks. 

Vasari speaks of Van der Goes as " Hugo of Antwerp ; " l 
Van Mander calls him " a painter of Bruges." 8 Van Vaer- 
newijk, with substantial detail, declares him a Dutchman ; and 
taking occasion to describe the loss of a Madonna, with St. 
Catherine and St. Ursula, which was torn to pieces by the 
Iconoclasts of 1566, in St. Jacob of Ghent, he says : " This 
was the cleverest piece in the whole church ; it was painted 

1 PVasari, Lemonniers Edition, i. 163, and xiii. 149.] 

2 [Van Mander, u. s. 204.] 


by Hughe van der G-hoest in Zeelandt, so called because he 
lived long in that country, though he was born at Leyden." 1 
In a declaration of appraisal made in 1479, at Louvain, it is 
stated that in order to value a picture by Dierick Bouts, the 
officers of the town sent for "the most noted painter of the 
surrounding country, a monk, native of Ghent, at that time 
living in the Eooden Cloestere " (a monastery), near Brussels. 
Van der Goes, being the only painter known to have taken 
vows in the Rooden Cloestere, is supposed to be the person 
to whom allusion is here made, and so comes to be considered 
a native of Ghent. 2 

None of the sources upon which we rely for notices of 
Van der Goes tell us anything as to his birth. He was not 
free of the Guild of Ghent till 1465 ; 3 and he is not known 
to have practised anywhere before that year ; yet it may be 
that he took the freedom of Ghent after having enjoyed that 
of Bruges ; and this fact alone, if it were properly authen- 
ticated, would solve our doubts as to whether a man who 
began so late can have been born early enough to study 
under John van Eyck. In 1468, Van der Goes was called 
to Bruges to take part in the festivities of the marriage of 
Margaret of York ; he was sent back almost immediately 
after to Ghent to prepare the "joyful entry " of the same 
princess. In both cities he was known for a special talent 
in designing and colouring loose cloths as ornaments for walls 
of houses and churches ; he was also a painter of flags and 
scutcheons ; in 1472-74 he presided as elder in the Guild 
of Ghent. In 1476 ne was induced to withdraw from the 
world, and join as a novice the monastery of Eooden Cloestere. 
How he lived and laboured in this retreat is related to us 
by his companion, Gaspar Offhuys. Sometimes he felt the 
sting of a bad conscience, and complained that he was a 
miserable sinner ; at other times he longed to return to the 
world which he had left. He was celebrated as a painter, 
and received visits from persons of the highest rank. With 

1 [Van Vaernewijk, ' Van die Beroerlicke Tijden in die Nederlanden,' 
8vo. Ghent, 1872, p. 158.] 

2 [Van Even, 'Louvain Monumental,' fol. Louvain, 1860, p. 141.] 

* [De Busscher, 'Recherches sur les Peintres Gantois,' pp '111, 114.] 


these he frequently enjoyed carousals which produced drunken- 
ness and created scandal. It was thought necessary to re- 
move him from the scene of these exploits. He was ordered 
off to Cologne, but on the way back he went mad and was 
with difficulty restored to his senses. Under these circum- 
stances his life was not of long duration, and he died, not 
unlamented, in 1482.] l 

Of his oil pictures, only the one mentioned by Vasari is 
historically authenticated. This was ordered by Tommaso 
Portinari, agent for the house of Medici, in Bruges, for the 
high altar of the church of the Hospital of S. Maria Nuova 
at Florence, founded by his ancestor, Folco Portinari, where 
it is still preserved. The middle picture represents the 
Adoration of the Shepherds, figures almost life-size. In the 
centre is the Yirgin kneeling, and taken almost in front; 
the tips of her fingers touching each other : on the right is 
Joseph ; opposite to him three Shepherds adoring ; also 
numerous angels. In the la/idscape background are the 
Annunciation to the Shepherds, and other figures. On the 
wings are the portraits of Tommaso Portinari, and two 
little sons, presented by their patron saints, SS. Matthew 
and Antony, and those of the founder's wife and daughter, 
presented by their patron saints, SS. Margaret and Mag- 
dalen. In the heads generally, which are portrait-like, a 
feeling of earnestness and severity is seen, and at the same 
time a deficiency in the sense of beauty. The drapery also 
has not only a sharp and snapt character, but the arrange- 
ment of the chief folds is stiff and hard. The scale of colour 
is clear, but at the same time it is very cool. The local 
flesh tones are partly pale, partly a coolish red ; the shadows 
grey. Van der Goes is the earliest master of this school 
who painted blue draperies, broken with green, combining 
further with this mixture an orange colour, which is far 
from enhancing the general harmony. In other respects he 
possesses the highest qualities of the Flemish school. His 
portraits are true to nature and animated, his drawing is good 
and conscientiously carried out in every part, and his execu- 
tion is solid. 
1 [Chronicle of Rouge Cloitre in Pinchart's Annotations, u. s., p. ccxxvi.} 


Various important works, which Hugo executed for the 
Netherlands, perished by the hands of the Iconoclasts, such 
as survived having disappeared since. He also occasionally 
drew cartoons as designs for glass-painting ; one of which, 
in the church of St. James at Ghent, was so fine as to be 
pronounced by Van Mander a design by Jan van Eyck. 1 

[GERARD VAN MEIRE is one of a numerous family of artists 
who lived during the second half of the fifteenth century at 
Ghent. He was free of the Painters' Guild in 1452, and 
sub-dean of the same in 1472. 2 The only picture in existence 
with which his name is intimately connected is a triptych 
in a chapel of St. Bavon at Ghent, representing the Cruci- 
fixion, the Raising of the Brazen Serpent, and Moses striking 
the Bock. These compositions are remarkable for the 
number of figures which they contain ; but they are not 
remarkable for skilful distribution.] The figures are stiff 
and lame ; the heads generally monotonous in character, 
and without modelling ; the drapery with sharp breaks ; the 
proportions too long; and the figures, especially of Christ 
and the thieves, very meagre. A few of the heads, however, 
such as the Virgin and the Centurion, are of elevated expres- 
sion ; and the rocky landscape, with the snow mountains in 
the distance, even beautiful. The clear and somewhat crude 
general effect is partly attributable to overcleaning. A few 
better preserved portions, such as the Moses, and the two 
male figures standing behind him, show the power and depth 
of the original colouring. 

[Im many public galleries, and particularly in the Berlin 
Museum, we find pictures assigned to Van der Meire, which 
display some well-defined and individual features. Most 
characteristic of this peculiar manner is the stunted pro- 
portion of the human frame, the marked yet tenuous outline, 
the soft pallor of flesh, modelled with excessive care, and 
relieved by a mere indication of shadow ; prominent shape 

1 Some of the most important pictures wrongly given to him will be 
described in the notices on other masters. See Van Mander, folio 
127 b. 

2 [Van der Meire was supposed to have been a pupil of Hubert van 
Eyck, but the authority upon which this statement was made is now 
very properly contested. See 'Early Flemish Painters,' 2nd ed., p. 146.] 


in foreheads, and long noses and jaws. The landscapes are 
minute and finished. Two or three specimens in this style 
deserve more particularly to be mentioned : the Visitation, 
at Berlin, with a kneeling donor (No. 542) ; the Epiphany, at 
Berlin (No. 527) ; the Visitation, in the collection of Baron 
Speck von Sternburg at Liitschena, near Leipzig, a very 
well preserved and most interesting piece ; and a Carmelite 
Monk (No. 264), in the National Gallery. Of the same 
school, and equally careful in execution, but of a warmer and 
more mellow tone, is the Raising of the Body of St. Hubert 
of Liege, an altarpiece (No. 783), in the* National Gallery, 
which has been ascribed successively to many painters, and 
at last to Dierick Bouts. It is necessary to bear in mind 
that if all or any of the pictures enumerated in the foregoing 
lines were by Gerard van der Meire, he was a disciple of the 
school of Van der Weyden rather than of that of the Van 

[JUSTUS OF GHENT, a contemporary of Van der Goes and 
Van der Meire, is better known in Italy than in Flanders. Yet 
lie must have had some practice in the Netherlands before 
he became known to Frederick of Montefeltro, who sent for 
him to paint the portrait of his duchess and decorate his 
library " with figures of philosophers, poets, and doctors of 
the church." 1 Vespasiano de Bisticci, who wrote the life of 
JFrederick of Montefeltro, does not name the painter who 
was selected to perform these commissions; yet we can 
hardly doubt that he meant to allude to Justus of Ghent, 
who, as early as 1470, finished for the brotherhood of Corpus 
Christi the " Communion of the Apostles," which is now 
exhibited (No. 46) in the town gallery of Urbino. 2 We 
shall be struck, when looking at this piece, by faulty per- 
spective and a certain disproportion in the size of figures on 
different planes. In other respects the picture is worthy of 

1 [See Vespasiano, in ' Mai's Lives.' Rome, 1839. That Justus can have 
been a pupil of Hubert Van Eyck is impossible. See De Bast, in 
'Messager des Sciences.' Ghent, 1822, p. 132, corrected by Ruelens. 
Notes et Additions, u. s., cxviii.] 

2 [See the payments for the altarpiece to ' Giusto da Guanto,' in 
Pungileoni's ' Elogio Storico di Gio. Santi.,' 8vo. Urbino, 1822, pp. 


attention as the work of an artist who upheld the fame of 
the Flemings in a remote corner of Italy.] The composi- 
tion representing Christ standing in the act of giving th& 
chalice to the Apostles kneeling around, is arranged with 
considerable artistic discrimination. With the exception 
of the Christ, whose striding position and head are unsuc- 
cessful, the movements are free and speaking. The forms of 
the hands, and other portions of the figures, which are three- 
fourths life-size, are well rendered. Finally, the brownish,, 
though not very deep and transparent, flesh-tones, are effec- 
tive enough. The portraits of Federigo di Montefeltro, Duke 
of Urbino ; of Caterino Zeno, envoy from the Venetian 
republic, and of an aged man, probably the painter himself, 
are very true and living. The predella, containing allegorical 
representations of the Holy Sacrament, no longer exists. 

[Later in life, Justus, if we accept him as the painter of the- 
figures now preserved in the Barberini palace at Borne, and 
in the Louvre in Paris, tempered the hardness of the Flemish 
style with a breadth and freedom derived from the schools of 
Santi and Melozzo ; and it is not uninteresting to trace the 
wavering inclinations of the master in the northern air of 
"Solon," "Augustin," or "St. Jerom," and the southern 
stamp of a " Dante " or " Vittorino da Feltre. ' ' The master of 
whom Justus most reminds us is Koger van der Weyden.J 

[To conclude this notice of the masters of Ghent in the 
fifteenth century, it is only necessary to name NABOB MARTIN 
(1404-1453), the probable author of a wall painting in the 
" Grande Boucherie " at Ghent, a damaged composition of 
the Nativity, with portraits of Philip the Good, his wife and 
child, dated 1448.] ' 

Contemporary with Koger van der Weyden, but, it appears, 
in less dependence on the style of the Van Eycks, there 
flourished in Haarlem a painter of the name of ALBERT VAN 
OUWATER, who founded there an original Dutch school. Van 
Mander 2 mentions him as a capital master, who particularly 
excelled in the drawing of hands and feet, and in the render- 
ing of drapery and landscape. His especial excellence in the 

1 [See De Bussclier, ' Recherches sur les Peintres Gantois.' pp. 60-95.1 

2 [Van Mander, 128 b.] 

Chap. II. OU WATER. 91 

latter department, and the fact of his being the founder of 
the very early school of landscape-painting in Haarlem, appear 
from the circumstance that several of his landscapes were 
preserved in the house of Cardinal Grimani 1 in the sixteenth 
century. Unfortunately no picture by him can now be 
positively identified. A Pieta in the Imperial Gallery at 
Vienna, a which Passavant ascribes to the master, 3 is at all 
events an excellent picture of the early Dutch school : the 
composition is devoid of style, and most of the heads ugly, 
but of intense feeling and expression ; the proportions are 
long, the execution of the utmost solidity! 

A scholar of Ouwater, GEERTGEN VON ST. JANS, so called 
from a monastery of the Knights of St. John at Haarlem, 
where he resided, was, according to Van Mander, a very 
distinguished painter, whose talent was admired by Albert 
Durer on occasion of his visit to Haarlem. 4 He died, how- 
ever, at the early age of twenty- eight. 5 The only authen- 
ticated pictures by him are two wings of an altarpiece 
mentioned by Van Mander, and now in the Vienna Gallery, 8 
Nos. 851 and 852, the one representing a Pieta; the 
other, three legends referring to the bones of John the 
Baptist namely, to their interment in the presence of 
Christ, the burning of them by Julian the Apostate, and 
the removal of some of them to the chief seat of the 
Knights of St. John, St. Jean d'Acre, in 1252. The heads 
have throughout a portrait-like appearance, and are 
animated, though with the exception of some of the 
Knights of St. John, who are elevated in character, the 
forms are ugly. The figures, which are smaller in pro- 
portion to the landscape than in most of the pictures 

1 ' Anonimo,' by Morelli, p. 76, and p. 220, etc. 

2 There attributed to Jan van Eyck ; Catalogue, No. 12, second room 
of second floor. 

3 'Kunstblatt' of 1841, p. 39. 

4 [I have been unable to discover any trace of Dvirer's visit to Haarlem.] 

5 Van Mander, folio 129. 

6 According to a short notice on the back of the second picture, they 
were presented to Charles I. by the States-General in 1635, and probably 
bought with other pictures by the Archduke Leopold, at the sale of the 
Royal Gallery. The Pieta was engraved by T. Matham, with a notifi- 
cation of the master's name. 


of the Van Eyck school, are over-slender and meagre, but 
of very good drawing. A heavy brown tone predominates 
in the flesh. [By the same hand are the Virgin and 
Child with the families of Joseph and Zachariah, No. 485, 
and the Virgin and Child with four saints, No. 486, in the 
gallery of Amsterdam.] These pictures may be assigned 
to about 1460-70. 1 

The greatest scholar 2 of Roger van der Weyden was 
indubitably HANS MEMLING. All that is known of him 
with historical certainty is, that in 1477-78 he was living 
at Bruges; [that about 1480 he bought the leasehold 
of a house, and that he died in 1495, at Bruges. 3 ] In him 
the school attains the highest delicacy of artistic develop- 
ment ; while at the same time, in feeling for beauty and 
grace, he was more gifted than any painter subsequent 
to Hubert van Eyck. Compared with those of his master, 
iis figures are of better proportions and less meagreness 
of form ; his hands and feet truer to nature ; the heads 
of his women are sweeter, and those of his men less 
severe ; his outlines are softer ; in the modelling of his 
flesh parts more delicacy of half-tones is observable; and 
his colours are still more luminous and transparent. In 
aerial perspective also, and chiaroscuro, his works show 
an improvement. On the other hand, he is inferior 
to Koger van der Weyden the elder in the carrying 
out of detail for instlSce, in that of the materials of his 
draperies and in the ^rendering the full brilliancy of gold. 
In the earlier time, when he occasionally worked on the same 
panel with his master, 4 the pictures of the two are difficult to 

1 [It is very doubtful whether the painter of these pieces can have 
lived in the fifteenth century. I believe them to be by an artist of 
the sixteenth century.] 

2 The name " Ausse," or "Havesse," both Italian perversions of the 
name which Vasari (Siena edition, vol. i., p. 177 ; vol. iii., p. 312 ; vol. 
xi., p. 63) mentions as a scholar of Roger of Bruges, is without doubt 
intended for Hans Memling, which is further proved by the resemblance 
between the works of each. 

8 [Consult Mr. Weale in the ' Journal des Beaux Arts' for 1860, pp. 
22, 35, 36.] 

4 Margaret of Austria possessed a small altarpiece, the centre of which 
was by Roger and the wings by Memling. See ' Inventaire des Tableaux,' 
etc., belonging to this princess, by Count de Laborde, p. 24. 


distinguish. Of no other painter of this school have so many 
first-rate works descended to us. I proceed now to quote 
those which I personally know, in the order in which I believe 
them to have been executed : 

A small altarpiece in the Gallery at Munich, Nos. 107, 
108, and 109. The Adoration of the Kings, the centre 
picture, has decidedly the impress of the master; the wings, 
John the Baptist and St. Christopher, show, in their lengthy 
proportions and hard outlines, more the style of Eoger. 
Much of their original character, however, has been sacri- 
ficed by cleaning and over-paintings with'glazing colours. 1 

The Crucifixion, a large altar picture in the first room of 
the Palais de Justice at Paris. On the right of the cross is 
the Virgin fainting, supported by a woman, and with another 
woman, John the Baptist, and St. Louis ; on the left, John 
the Evangelist, St. Denys, and Charlemagne. The building 
of the old Louvre and the Tour de Nesle, seen in the land- 
scape, show that the painter, executed this picture in Paris. 
The somewhat feeble drawing of the feet, and even of the 
hands, assigns this work to his early time. The heads, 
however, are masterly, and some of them of intense feeling. 2 

A small Diptych, with a rich composition of the Cruci- 
fixion on one side, and the donor, Jeanne de France, daughter 
of John, 2nd Duke of Bourbon, with her patron saint, St. 
John the Baptist, and the Virgin and Child in the sky, on the 
other. A picture of miniature-like delicacy. From the collec- 
tion of the late Rev. John Fuller Russell, Greenhithe, Kent. 3 

The wings ofa smaller altarpiece, with the portraits of 
the founders, man and wife, and their patron saint. For- 
merly in Miss Rogers's collection, subsequently belonging to 
Vernon Smith, Esq. ; of great truth, very harmonious and 
warm tone, and admirable execution in the landscapes. 

1 [This altarpiece was painted for the family chap4l- of the Snoij of 
Maliies. It is still catalogued at Munich as a work of Memling, yet is 
so entirely in the style of Dierick Bouts, that it must be assigned to 
that painter.] 

2 [Dr. Waagen is the only critic who assigns this picture to Memling. 
It is possibly by Van der Goes.] 

3 ' Galleries and Cabinets of Great Britain,' p. 285. [This can at best 
be but a school-piece.] 


The Last Judgment, in the church of Our Lady at Dant- 
zic; a large altar-picture. 1 The composition of this work, 
given in the annexed woodcut, is far richer and better ar- 
v ranged than that of the picture of the same subject by Roger, 
though his influence is still very perceptible. In the centre, 
on a large and brilliant rainbow, which touches the horizon. 
sits the Saviour, with the severe .expression of the judge. 
A red sword is suspended on the left, a lily-branch on the 
right of his head ; a golden ball (painted) hangs in the air as 
His footstool, and reflects the nearest objects. He is clothed 
in a red mantle fastened on the breast, and falling over the 
lap in beautiful folds. Above him hover four angels with 
the instruments of the Passion, and below him are three 
others with the trumpets of the Last Judgment. At his 
right kneels the Virgin, with an expression of mercy and 
maternal intercession; on the left is John the Baptist, and 
on both sides are ranged the Apostles fine figures, with 
heads of great excellence, though of different degrees of 
beauty. In the lower half of the picture stands St. Michael, 
clad in golden armour, so bright as to reflect in the most 
complete manner all the surrounding objects. This figure 
is slender, but colossal as compared with the rest, and he 
seems to be bending earnestly forward ; a splendid purple 
mantle extends from his shoulders to the ground, and he has 
large wings composed of glittering peacock's feathers. He 
holds the balance of justice, in which the souls of men are 
weighed; the scale with the good rests on the earth, but 
that with the souls which are found wanting quickly mounts 
into the air : a demon stands ready to receive the Damned, 
and towards this scale St. Michael directs the end of a black 
staff with a rich handle, which he holds in his right hand. 
Around is a plain, out of which, as well as in the depth of 
the landscape background, the dead are rising from their 
graves ; on one side are the Blessed in the act of ascending 
to heaven, on the other the Damned. Close behind the 
archangel, an angel and a demon are contending for a soul. 
Inexpressible anguish, grief, and despair bordering on mad- 
ness, are depicted in the various groups of the Damned of 
1 First rightly attributed to him by Professor Hotho. 


every age and sex, who are crowded together on the left of 
St. Michael. Grotesque figures of demons, some of them 
decked out with coloured butterfly wings, are mixed up with 
the lost souls, and are driving them with demoniac glee into 
the abyss. On the right all is holy peace, and the counte- 
nances of the Blessed already express a foretaste of approach- 
ing bliss. The left wing represents Hell; between steep 
and craggy' rocks flames are raging, and sparks and smoke 
burst forth, while the Damned are hurled downwards in 
frantic terror, and are tormented in various ways. Here a 
pair of lovers, fastened together with fime cords, are sus- 
pended between the teeth of a bat- winged fiend; there 
another stands on the throat of a falling woman, whilst with 
his hooked fork he drags a priest after him. Some ape-like 
demons are pulling down the lost souls by the hair, whilst 
others bear their prey upon their backs and torment them 
with firebrands. The variety of attitude and the boldness of 
the foreshortening are masterly, the gradations of tone given 
to the one prevailing expression of sorrow and despair are 
surprisingly varied. In the right side-picture is a splendid 
Gothic portal, adorned with columns, and through its open 
gates the Blessed are passing in. Subjects from the Old 
and New Testament in bas-relief embellish the faade and 
ceiling of the high-arched vestibule, whilst angels of great 
beauty, clothed in rich vestments, stand on the balustrades 
and on the two balconies of the building, singing, playing, 
and strewing flowers. Clouds surround the building on both 
sides. As the Blessed draw near, they are received and 
guided by angels, who clothe them in splendid garments. 
Peter, with the keys of Heaven, stands at the gate, and 
beckons to the elect. His figure is majestic. A host of 
priests have already ascended the steps. Here, too, we find 
the same variety of countenances, all apparently copied from 
nature, and the same truth which we have noticed in repre- 
senting grief and despair, but here the predominant expres- 
sion is that of humble astonishment and tranquil joy. The 
execution of detail, the depth and variety of expression in 
the heads, the force of colouring, and the modelling and 
rendering of every portion, are admirable. Judging from 


the numbers 67 on a tombstone, it is probable that this 
picture was painted in 1467. 1 This is not only the most 
important by Memling that has descended to us, but one of 
the chefs-d'oeuvre of the whole school. 

[The Baptist, a small but most delicate piece by Memling r 
at the Munich Pinakothek (No. 115), once, we maybelieve r 
part of a diptych dated 1470, in possession of Cardinal 

King David and Bathsheba, in the Gallery at Stuttgart 
(No. 398). The figure of Bathsheba is remarkable as the 
only one life-sized and undraped by Memling. The drawing 
and modelling are very successful for the period. 2 

A picture, with figures of small size, representing all the 
scenes of the Passion from Palm Sunday to the recognition 
of Christ by the Disciples at Emmaus, in a number of separate 
groups, is in the Royal Gallery at Turin. [It is, there is 
every reason to believe, the centre part of the altarpiece 
painted by Memling in 1477-8 for the chapel of the Book- 
sellers' Guild at Bruges.] 3 

A small altarpiece in St. John's Hospital at Bruges, No, 
16 : the centre represents a Pieta ; the inner sides of the 
wings, the donor, Adrian Rheims, a brother of the Order, 
and his patron saint, St. Adrian, with St. Barbara ; and the 
outer, SS. Helena and Mary of Egypt. The proportions are 
still too long, the heads very tender and of deep feeling. 
This has unfortunately lost something of its power and 
colour by cleaning. 

A small altarpiece, also in St. John's Hospital, No. 3 : the 
Adoration in the centre, with the portrait of the founder, a 
brother of the Order ; the wings containing the Nativity and 
the Presentation in the Temple ; the outer sides John the 
Baptist and St. Veronica. This is the only instance where, 

1 [The picture formed part of the lading of a ship chartered by Tom- 
maso Portinari of Bruges, and captured by a Dantzic privateer in 1473. 
See Weinreich's Chronik., 4to. Berlin 1855.] 

2 [Dr. Waagen's opinion in respect of this picture is entitled to re- 
spect, though it is not quite convincing. The painter may be a pupil of 
Quentin Massys. 0. Miindler is said to have held the opinion that it 
was by Massys himself. Consult W. Liibke in ' Zeitschr. f. bild. Kunst.' 
iii., 230]. 

1 [See ' Early Flemish Painters,' 2nd ed. p. 267.] 


besides the date 1479, the name of the painter occurs in 
full. The arrangement of the composition shows the influ- 
ence of the often- quoted picture by Roger van der Weyden 
in the Gallery at Munich. The headc are more delicate and 
sweet, but less earnest and grand the execution freer, but 
less solid. This gem has also partially, but very seriously, 
suffered by cleaning. 

[Of the same date as the Adoration, but in the spirit of the 
Turin altarpiece], a picture (see frontispiece) of a long form, 
now at Munich, and formerly in the Boisseree collection, 
deserves especial notice. It represents the* principal events 
of the life of Christ and the Virgin (the seven joys of the 
Virgin); not in separate compartments, but as one great 
whole, united in a landscape, with an endless number of 
subordinate events: a whole world of life, and joy, and 
sorrow all executed with wonderful grace and beauty. 
[This beautiful piece was painted for Pierre Bultynck, a 
currier of Bruges, who presented it to the chapel of his guild 
in 1479.] 1 

The Annunciation, inscribed 1482, in possession of Prince 
Radzivil, at Berlin. A picture of very original conception 
and marvellous delicacy. Also injured in parts. 

The Virgin and Child, with angel and donor, in the 
Vienna Gallery ; there called Hugo van der Goes. 

A large altarpiece, in the collection of the Academy at 
Bruges, No. 9 [painted for Willem Moreel] the centre 
containing St. Christopher, with SS. Maur and Giles at his 
side ; on the inside of the wings, St. William, with the donor 
and his sons, and St. Barbara, with the donor's wife and her 
daughter ; on the outside, in chiaroscuro, John the Baptist 
and St. George. Inscribed with the date 1484. All the 
heads very true to nature. In that of St. Christopher the 
moment of spiritual enlightenment is admirably expressed. 
The infant Christ is the feeblest figure. Of the saints, SS. 
Maur, Giles, and Barbara are refined in heads, and of mild ex- 
pression, but St. John the Baptist is the most successful. Here 
the original excellent modelling is still in good preservation.* 

1 [See Le Beffroi, fol. Bruges, ii., 268.] 
1 [This picture is full of massive repaints.] 


A small altarpiece, at Chiswick, seat of the Duke of Devon- 
shire. The Virgin and Child, with the donors, [Sir John and 
Lady Donne,] with their children, adoring, and their patron 
saints, Agnes and Barbara. On the wings, SS. John the 
Baptist and Evangelist. This picture, which is mentioned 
by Horace Walpole as by Jan van Eyck, is in every respect 
one of the finest works of the master. 

St. Christopher, at Holker Hall, Lancashire, seat of the 
Duke of Devonshire. Very like the same saint on the wing- 
picture at Munich, but incomparably better rendered, and in 
excellent preservation. Erroneously called Albert Durer. 

Portrait of an aged Canon of the Order of St. Norbert, in 
the Museum at Antwerp, No. 253. In the expression of simple 
and intense devotion this admirably-executed picture makes 
an impression on the mind as of an historical work. 

Portrait of a member of the family of Croy, also in the 
Antwerp Museum, No. 254. Of uncommon truth and mas- 
terly rendering, in a somewhat cool tone. 1 

Small altarpiece, once the property of Rev. Mr. Heath, 
vicar of Enfield. The Dead Christ bewailed by the Virgin 
St. John, and the Magdalen. On the wings, St. James the* 
Major, and St. Christopher. The body of the Christ is very 
meagre ; the expression of sorrow in those around fine and 
intense, and the colour very clear and powerful. 2 

The Marriage of St. Catherine, in St. John's Hospital. 3 
The Virgin is placed in the centre, on a seat under a porch, 
with tapestry hanging down behind it: two angels hold a 
crown, with much grace, over her head; beside her kneels St. 
Catherine, her head one of the finest by Memling, on whose 
finger the beautiful infant Christ places a ring of betrothal ; 
behind her is a charming figure of an angel playing on the 
organ ; and further back St. John the Baptist, attended by 

1 [Instead of noticing these two portraits, which are very doubtful as 
productions of Memling, we should prefer to keep in remembrance the 
two fine portraits of Willern Moreel, his wife and daughter ; the two 
first, Nos. 32 and 33, in the Brussels Museum ; the third, under the name 
of the Sibyl Zambetha, in the Hospital of Bruges.] 

2 Cabinets and Galleries of Great Britian,' p. 313, etc. 

* Inscription and date, 1479, are apocryphal. Seo article by me in 
'Kunteblatt' of 1854, p. 178. 


the lamb. On the other side kneels St. Barbara, reading ; 
behind her another angel holds a book to the Virgin ; and 
still deeper in the picture is St. John the Evangelist, whose 
figure is of great beauty, and of a mild and thoughtful cha- 
racter. Through the arcades of the porch, we look out, at 
each side of the throne, on a rich landscape, in which are 
represented scenes from the lives of the two St. Johns. The 
panel on the right side contains the Beheading of the Baptist, 
and at a distance a building, with a glimpse into the land- 
scape, in which are again introduced events from the life of 
the saint. On the left is St. John the Evangelist, on the 
island of Patmos, about to write in a book, and looking up- 
wards, where the vision of the Apocalypse appears to him 
the Lord, on a throne, in a glory of dazzling light, encom- 
passed with a rainbow. In a larger circle are the hosts of 
the Elders, with a solemn character of countenance, in white 
garments, and with harps in their hands ; opposite to them, 
among flames and mystic forma, is the four-headed beast. 
Below all is a landscape, in which men are fleeing, and seek- 
ing to conceal themselves among the rocks, whilst the four 
horsemen, in the swiftness of their might, are bursting on 
them. Finally, the sea, with its deep green crystal waves, 
reflects the entire subject, the rainbow, the glow of the sky, 
the mystic figures, and the forms on the shore, and thus unites 
these various objects into one great whole. On the outside 
of the wings are four saints, two male and two female, and 
kneeling before them are men and women in religious vest- 
ments. The whole forms a work strikingly poetical, and 
most impressive in character ; it is highly finished, both in 
drawing and in its treatment as a picture, and is, with excep- 
tion of the outer sides, which are over-cleaned and badly 
retouched, in tolerable preservation. This picture approaches 
very near to that in the Academy at Bruges ; the better draw- 
ing, namely, of the feet, shows that it was painted somewhat 
later, probably in 1486. 

A votive picture, somewhat larger than the centre com- 
partment of the last-mentioned work, is in the Louvre from 
the Duchatel collection. The head of the Virgin, who is 
enthroned in the centre with the Child, agrees closely with 


that of the last we have described. On the right are the 
men and youths under the protection of John the Baptist ; 
on the left the women and maidens, under that of another 
male saint ; both parties in considerable numbers, and kneel- 
ing. It is greatly to be regretted that the flesh-parts of the 
Virgin, the Child, and of all the female figures in this fine 
picture, have become pale through over-cleaning. The work 
itself has great affinity with that of the Marriage of St. 
Catherine. The architecture of the background is of mas- 
terly treatment. This is one of the many pictures of this 
school which had made its way to Spain. 

The Marriage of St. Catherine, in the Strasburg Gallery, 
there called Lucas van Leyden. 1 

Of about the same time may be the Virgin and Child 
adored by Nevenhoven, the donor of the picture, dated 
1487, in St. John's Hospital. The Virgin is of portrait-like 
character ; the portrait itself of the utmost animation. The 
forms are decided, the colouring not so luminous as usual. 

Portrait of a man with joined hands, dated 1487, in the 
Uffizi. 2 

The Virgin and Child, from the collection of H.R.H. the 
Prince Consort at Kensington [now No. 709 at the National 
Gallery]. This agrees so entirely with the last-described 
picture that it must have been painted in the same year. 

[The Virgin and Child, with a kneeling nobleman guarded 
by St. George ; from the Weyer collection at Cologne, now 
No. 686 in the National Gallery. 

St. John the Baptist and St. Lawrence, also (No. 747) 
in the National Gallery]. 

Portrait of a man with an open book in his hands, calk 
St. Benedict (No. 769) in the Uffizi. 

A small picture, in the Louvre, once the property of th( 
medal die-sinker, M. Gatteau, at Paris, represents the Vir 
seated with the Child in a cheerful hilly landscape, ai 
placing the ring, on the finger of St. Catherine, who closeb 
resembles the same saint in the picture at Bruges. 

1 [This picture perished by fire during the bombardment of St 
in 1870.] 

2 [The date is 1482.] 

By Hans Memling In the Chapel of St. John's Hospital at Bruges, paje 101. 

Chap. II. HANS MEMLING. 101 

her are SS. Agnes and Cecilia, opposite SS. Ursula, Margaret, 
and Lucy. In the sky are three angels playing the flute. 
This picture is a marvel of beauty in the small heads, of 
great tenderness, feeling, delicacy of execution, and clearness 
of golden tone ; and also in the rarest preservation. 

To the same time belongs : a small picture in the gallery of 
the Uffi>,i, the Virgin and Child, and two angels playing, 
very lovely in the heads, and of great glow of colour, [of 
which there is a charming repetition on a small scale in the 
country palace of Worlitz, near Dessau ; a, most expressive 
small panel of the Pieta in the Doria Palace at Rome ; and 
two small figures of saints, the Baptist and Magdalen, in 
the Louvre.] 

In St. John's Hospital is also the celebrated Reliquary of 
St. Ursula, see woodcut, a shrine about four feet in length ; 
its style and form are those of rich Gothic church archi- 
tecture, such as we often find adopted for the larger depo- 
sitories of relics. The whole* exterior of this casket is 
adorned with miniatures in oil by Memling. On each side 
of the cover are three medallions a large one in the centre, 
and two smaller at the sides. The latter contain angels 
playing on musical instruments ; in the centre, on one side, 
is a Coronation of the Virgin ; on the other, the Glorifica- 
tion of St. Ursula and her companions, with two figures of 
Bishops. On the gable-end, in front, are the Virgin and 
Child, before whom two sisters of the hospital are kneeling. 
At the other end is St. Ursula, with the arrow, the instru- 
ment of her martyrdom, and the virgins who seek protection 
under her outspread mantle. On the longer sides of the 
Reliquary itself, in six rather large compartments, enclosed 
in Gothic arcades, is painted the history of St. Ursula. Ac- 
cording to the legend, this saint was the daughter of an 
English king, who, with an innumerable train of companions, 
her pious lover, and an escort of knights, set out, by the 
command of God, on a pilgrimage to Rome. On their jour- 
ney home they suffered martrydom at Cologne. The subjects 
of each picture separately are 1. The landing at Cologne, 
in the beginning of the journey ; Ursula, clothed in princely 
purple, and her hair braided with pearls, steps from ths 


boat; whilst a virgin at her side carries a casket of jewels. 
With pious humility she bends kindly to the virgins who 
receive her. The view of Cologne is taken from the place, so 
that the principal buildings are easily recognized. 2. The 
landing at Basle. The princess, with part of her followers, 
has landed, and goes towards the old city. Two mort 
ships approach the landing-place. In the background we 
see the Alps : here, then, the virgin host have already set 
out on their land journey. 3. The arrival in Home. Pope 
Cyriacus receives the princess, who is followed from the 
mountains by her train. Youthful knights, with Conan, the 
lover of St. Ursula, at their head, accompany them. The 
church is thrown open, and in it some are in the act of 
receiving baptism, whilst others are at confession. 4. The 
second arrival at Basle. In the background are the gates of 
the city, from which the princess and her companions are 
advancing to the river. In the foreground the embarkation 
has already begun. In a large boat sit the pope between 
two cardinals, and St. Ursula between two virgins, engaged 
in devout discourse. 5 and 6. The martyrdom. The camp 
of the Emperor Maximin, the enemy of the Christians, is 
seen on the banks of the Ehine ; the two ships are just 
putting in ; in the nearer one is the Bishop who has attended 
St. Ursula from Rome ; a crossbowman and an archer dis- 
charge their arrows into the boat. In the other, Conan, who 
has come to the front, receives his death wound from a 
spear. One of the* virgins, stabbed in the breast, falls 
back into the arms of St. Ursula, who is again represented, 
in 6, awaiting her death with calm resignation. The female 
figure in the background, who is clasping her hands with 
an expression of pity, seems to belong to the suite of 
the Emperor. These little pictures are among the very 
best productions of the Flemish school. The drawing in 
these small figures is much more beautiful than in the 
larger examples by the same master; there is nothing in 
them meagre, stiff, or angular ; the movements are free ; 
the execution and tone of colour, with all its softness, very 
powerful ; the expression, in the single heads, of the highest 

One of the Paintings by Memling on the Peliquary of St. Ursula at Bruges. 

page 101. 

Chap. II. HANS xMEMLINQ. 103 

Tlie six pictures ou the cover are not so fine, and evidently 
executed by another hand. 

A large altarpiece, with double wings, in the cathedral at 
Lubeck. On the outer sides of the first pair of wings is the 
Annunciation in chiaroscuro. The two figures are of slender 
and elevated character, the heads of great sweetness and 
refinement, and the draperies of excellent taste and very care- 
ful modelling. On the inner sides of these wings are SS. 
Blaise and Egidius, and, on the outsides of the next pair of 
wings, John the Baptist and St. Jerome, ^hese four figures 
are among the finest specimens of the master's art. The 
inner sides of the last-mentioned wings are connected in 
subject with the centre picture. The right wing contains 
scenes from the life of Christ, from the Passion in the Garden 
to the Bearing of the Cross, which proceed from the back- 
ground and terminate in the foreground. The centre picture 
shows the Crucifixion, including the two thieves a compo- 
sition of thirty-five figures. This is the most important repre- 
sentation of the subject which this school offers, full of original 
motives, and of admirable carrying out. On the left wing is 
the Entombment in the foreground, and in the middle distance 
and background the subsequent events, terminating with the 
Ascension. The date, 1491, on this picture, is the latest 
known on any picture by Memling, and shows him in his 
greatest perfection. 1 

The travelling altarpiece of Charles V., at Madrid. The 
centre represents the Adoration of the Kings, the wings the 
Nativity and the Presentation in the Temple. The figures 
are about one-third life size. [This triptych is composed on 
the model of that of Van der Weyden at Munich, and is not 
unlike that of Memling at Bruges. Some parts of it are due 
to the master's assistants.] 

It is not surprising that an oil-painter who excelled in 
works on so small a scale should have been also an excellent 
miniature-painter. This is proved by the miniatures in the 

1 See article by me in the 'Kunstblatt' of 1846, No. 28. [Dr. Waagen 
never saw this picture after 1846. If he had done so, he would not have 
been so eloquent in its praise. It bears copious traces of the assistance 
which Memling had from his journeymen.] 


well-known Breviary bequeathed by Cardinal Grimani to the 
Library of St. Mark's at Venice. This relic, which is the 
richest and most beautiful specimen of early Netherlandish 
miniature-painting, was executed, I am convinced, for Mary 
of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold. 1 

[DIEKICK STUERBOUT, or BOUTS, one of the best guildsmen of 
Louvain, produced most of his pictures in that city after 1466, 
and in feeling as well as treatment shows himself a disciple 
of Van der Weyden. During a tour in the Netherlands Van 
Mander became aware of the existence of Dierick, whose 
-house in the Cruys Straet at Haarlem he was taken to see. 
Further on in the same tour Van Mander came to Ley den, 
where he saw a picture with an inscription to this purport, 
that it was executed at Louvain in 1462 by Dirk, who was a 
native of Haarlem. 2 In 1450 Dierick was married, and settled 
at Louvain, where he remained till his death in 1475. ] 8 

As early as 1462, Dierick probably painted a most cha- 
acteristic portrait, first of a man in a high cap, which was 
for some years accessible to the London public, in the collec- 
tions of Mr. Aders and Rogers the poet. In 1466-8 he 
completed two pictures for chapels in St. Pierre of Louvain : 
for the smaller chapel the martyrdom of St. Erasmus in the 

1 See article by me in the ' Kunstblatt ' of 1847, No. 49. [Mr. W. 
H. J. Weale proves almost conclusively that this Breviary was written 
in or after 1484. One of the miniatures an Epiphany is an exact 
reduction of that of Memling at Munich. See 'Le Beftroi,' ii., 213, 214.] 

2 This inscription [was in Latin, but in Van Mander's Flemish trans- 
lation, it runs as] follows : " Duysent vier hundred en twee et tsestien 
Jaer nac Christus gheboort, heeft Dirk, de te Haerlem is ghebooren my 
te Lowen ghemaeckt, de euwighge rust moet hem ghewerden." This 
picture consisted of figures the size of life, Christ in the centre, and SS. 
Peter and Paul on the wings. 

3 [Wauters in A. Pinchart's Annot., u. s., p. ccxxxi., proves the 
existence of Dierick at Louvain in 1450. The same writer published a 
notice in the ' Chronicle of the Historical Society of Utrecht,' vi., p. 268, in 
which he tried to show that Dierick was born in 1391. As a proof of this 
he quoted evidence of a trial at Brussels in 1467, in which one "Thieni 
of Haarlem " gave testimony, saying that he was then seventy-six years 
old. This reasoning convinced Dr. Waagen, who accordingly makes 
Dierick a pupil of Hubert van Eyck. It might have occurred to both 
Wauters and Dr. Waagen to inquire whether Thierri of Haarlem and 
Dierick Bouts were identical, which is altogether impossible. For how 
should we be without records of the industry of a painter born in 1391, 
until so late a period as 1462 ? See also ' Early Flemish Painters,' 2nd 
ed. 325-331.] 


centre, and SS. Jerome and Bernard on the wings ; for the 
larger chapel also the Last Supper in the centre, and on the 
wings four compartments, one above the other, with emblem- 
atical representations of the Lord's Supper, taken from the 
Old Testament. The last altarpiece, on which he laboured 
several years, receiving from time to time small instalments 
of payment, was completed in the year 1467. 1 In [1468, 
Dierick appears for the first time in the city accounts as 
"town painter," having finished for the council chamber of 
the Town-hall two pictures, now preserved (Nos. 51 and 52) 
in the Brussels Museum. These pictures]*consist of life-sized 
figures, and represent events calculated to admonish the 
judges of the strict fulfilment of their office. These were 
taken from a legend in the Chronicle of Gottfried of Viterbo, 
written in the twelfth century, relating how the Emperor 
Otho III. had, on the false testimony of his empress, a guilty 
and disappointed woman, executed one of the nobles of his 
court. The wife of the murdered man, however, proved, by 
the ordeal of fire, the innocence of her husband; the empress 
was condemned to the flames. 2 For these pictures the 
painter received the then considerable sum of 230 crowns, a 
proof how highly his works were esteemed ; while the satis- 
faction of the magistracy was further shown by the immediate 
commission to execute two more works. The one, an altar- 
piece with wings, six feet high and four feet wide, repre- 
senting the Last Judgment, was destined for the council- 
chamber of the Sheriffs, and was completed in 1472; the 
other, intended to take its place in a collection of pictures 

1 That both these altarpieces, designated in the church as the works 
of Memling, and by me attributed to Justus van Ghent, are by the 
hand of Stuerbout, is evident from the following passage in Molanus : 
" Theodorici filii opus sunt in ecclesia D. Petri duo altaria venerabilis 
sacramenti quse multum ex arte commendantur." The fullest con- 
firmation of this passage has been extracted by M. Edward van Even 
from the financial records of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sacrament 
for the last-named picture. Even the painter's receipt, of the year 
1467, has been found. It runs thus: "Je Dieric Bouts kenne mi 
vernucht (sic) en wel betaelt, als van den were dat ic ghemackt hebbe 
den heiligen sacrement." 

2 This appears from a record in the Annals of Louvain, first published 
in the 'Messager des Sciences,' etc., p. 18, 1832, and afterwards by 
Orowe and Cavalcaselle, in ' Early Flemish Painters/ 1st ed. p. 290. 


which the city authorities proposed forming in the Town-hall, 
consisted of four pieces, ranging twelve feet in height, and, 
forming altogether a length of twenty-six feet, would have 
been the largest known work of this school. The artist con- 
tracted to paint both pictures for 500 crowns ; but before 
completing the second compartment of the last great work, 
death interrupted his labours. 1 The greater part of the- 
pictures thus recorded being still in existence, I am not only 
enabled to form a deliberate opinion as to the master's style 
of painting, but also, with this standard, to identify other 
works by his hand. In his treatment of religious subjects 
the feeling of devotion which pervades the whole early 
Netherlandish school is accompanied by the expression of a, 
repose, solemnity, and slight melancholy, which imparts a- 
peculiar charm. In the arrangement of his subject the sense 
of the picturesque so predominates over that of the sym- 
metrical as often to give an arbitrary and scattered look to 
his compositions. At the same time separate actions have 
generally something angular and stiff, which shows itself 
especially in the position of the legs ; the proportions are 
also often too long and meagre, the legs again being par- 
ticularly in fault, and the forms too slender. On the other 
hand, the character of the heads is very various, of much 
animation and individuality, generally full of meaning, and 
occasionally displaying a delicate feeling for beauty. .The 
drawing is very able, and the hands always in good action. 
In point of drapery no. painter of this school is so exempt 
from the angularity of folds peculiar to Jan van Eyck. His 
distinctive merits, however, consist in his colouring, in his 
landscape backgrounds, and in the style of their execution. 
For depth, power, and fulness of colouring, no other painter 
in the whole school can indeed be compared with him. His- 
red and green draperies, for instance, are so melting and 
transparent as only to be likened to garnets and emeralds. 
This effect in the green extends even to the trees and plants 

1 Regarding his death, and also the price awarded to the unfinished 
work by Hugo van der Goes, see the same work by E. van Even, p. 14. 
See also the passage describing these pictures in the Louvain Annals,. 
' Early Flemish Painters,' 1st ed. p. 291. 


of his landscape backgrounds, which, in their greater softness 
and depth of tone, and slightly more developed aerial per- 
spective, assign to him the highest place among his compeers. 
It is possible that the example of his father, who is supposed 
to have been an excellent painter, may have influenced 
him. We know for certain that a picture by Dierick, repre- 
senting events from the life of St. Bavon, was, as late as 
1609, in the possession of a Mr. T. Blin, at Haarlem. Here 
the environs of the city were given with such detail, that 
even a well-known hollow tree then existing could be identi- 
fied. 1 Finally, in the treatment of the whole picture he dis- 
plays a breadth and softness, compared with which the works 
of [such a great master as] Roger van der Weyden the elder, 
appear namely, in the execution of rich stuffs to be some- 
what hard and meagre. The number of works attributed to 
Stuerbout are by no means inconsiderable. My limits, how- 
ever, only allow me to mention those most characteristic of 
the master, and also most accessible to the reader. 

His probably earliest production known to me are two 
small wings containing eight events from the legend of St. 
Ursula, in the chapel of the convent des Sceurs Noires at 
Bruges, and there wrongly given to Memling. The exterior 
of the wings, with the four Evangelists, the four Fathers of 
the Church, and the Annunciation, in chiaroscuro, are well 
deserving notice. Next in period may be taken two works 
belonging to a larger altarpiece. One of these, represent- 
ing Judas and his troop taking our Lord, is in the Munich 
Gallery, No. 112. The composition is rich and animated, 
but the meagreness of the forms, angularity of the motives, 
and a certain hardness of outline, assign it to the earlier 
period of the painter. At the same time his admirable in- 
dividuality of heads is already pronounced in this work, also 
the variety of his flesh-tones, and the power and depth of his 
colouring. The other the Ascension wrongly attributed 
to Memling, is in the chapel of St. Maurice at Nuremberg 

1 The description of this picture is found in a note to the French 
translation of Guicciardini's 'Account of the Netherlands,' published 
in Amsterdam, in 1609, by Pioter van Bcrge. See Edward van Even, 
p. 29, etc. 


No. 23. The dignity expressed in the head of the Saviour is 
an attractive feature, but the piece is otherwise too much 

To these pictures probably succeeds, in point of time, his 
smaller altarpiece in the Cathedral of Bruges : the centre con- 
taining the Martyrdom of St. Hippolitus, who is torn to pieces 
by four horses ; and the wing, the King by whom the Saint 
was condemned, with four other figures, and the now partly 
obliterated portrait 1 of a man and his wife, the founders of 
the picture. The expression of grief in the Saint is very 
elevated ; the flesh of a brownish tone, and well modelled. 
But the horses, considering the time, are the most remarkable 
portion, being well formed, and of much vivacity of action. 
The landscape background already bears witness to his pecu- 
liar excellence in that line. The centre picture has been 
unfortunately much retouched. 

In close approximation to this last work is the small altar- 
piece, with the Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, already alluded 
to, in St. Peter's at Louvain, and which was probably exe- 
cuted in 1463 or 1464. The drawing of the Saint's body 
shows an evident improvement upon the last picture. The 
disagreeable effect of the peculiar martyrdom of this Saint, 
whose bowels were wound out upon a windlass, is much 
diminished, though somewhat at the expense of the truth 
usually observed by the school in such scenes, by the absence 
of blood, and of all distortion of the features. Some of the 
heads are less warm and clear than usual, but the modelling 
is throughout excellent. The drapery of St. Jerome, in the 
wing, may be considered, in cast, colouring, and making out, 
one of the most beautiful efforts of the whole school. The 
landscape of the background is one of the finest examples of 
the master's hand. 

Immediately following may be placed the larger altarpiece, 
completed in 1467, which is in the same church at Louvain. 
and the centre of which represents the Last Supper. In 
every portion of this work the painter appears at the very 
zenith of his art. The figures of Christ and his Disciples 
are distributed with great artistic judgment round a quad- 
rangular table, and exhibit an admirable variety in action, 


character, and expression. The noble head of the Saviour 
forms a striking contrast to that of Judas, which is distin- 
guished by its jet black hair and malignant expression. 
I had on former occasions conjectured the head of one of 
the subordinate figures to be the portrait of the painter. 
Herr van Even, who is of the same opinion, has, in a well 
known pamphlet, given an outline from a tracing of the 
head, which is that of an elderly man of fine features, but 
rather morose expression. The wings to this picture are 
not less fine. Two of them, Abraham and Melchisedec, and 
the Gathering of the Manna, are in the Munich Gallery. 
Nos. 110 and 111 : two others, Elijah in the Wilderness 
fed by an Angel, and the First Celebration of the Passover, 
in the Berlin Museum, Nos. 533 and 539. The Gathering 
of the Manna has suffered much by fresh glazings, but it 
has, in common with the fourth-mentioned subject, a very 
beautiful landscape. 

The two pictures from the *legend of the Emperor Otho, 
though the largest and the latest by the master (executed 
1468), are by no means the most satisfactory of his works. 
The angular movements, over-long proportions, and meagre 
limbs in short, the weak points of the painter are much 
more conspicuously seen in figures the size of life than in 
his smaller productions. At the same time, the vivacity of 
the heads, the warm and vigorous colouring, though here and 
there defaced by cleaning, and the thorough execution, suffice 
to give these pictures no inconsiderable value as works of art. 

[It is necessary to bear in mind that Dierick Bouts was 
a contemporary of HUBEKT STUERBOUT, a painter at Lou- 
vain, whose name appears in the civic accounts from 1439 
to 1468. Hubert had a large family of sons, many of whom 
were also painters.] 1 

ROGER VAN DER WEYDEN the younger was the son and 
scholar of the elder Roger. 2 But beyond this we know 
nothing more than that he earned much by his art, was very 
benevolent, and that he died in Brussels in 1529, at a great 

1 [See Van Even's Louvain Monumental.] 

2 Sandrart distinctly says tiiis ('Teutsche Academie/ p. 66) in his 
notice on oil-painting. 


age, of the so-called English sweating sickness. 1 He ad- 
hered throughout to the style of his father, to whom, in his 
earlier works, he approaches very near. Later, however, 
his proportions are not so long, his forms fuller, and his 
drawing more delicate. This applies especially to his hands 
and feet. On the other hand, he has little feeling for beauty, 
and, while his motives are occasionally the reverse of beauti- 
ful, his heads are frequently of a portrait-like and tasteless 
character. In general, he shows greater softness of outline, 
his flesh-tones are lighter and more broken, his lights of a 
cooler red, his shadows clearer, and his treatment, finally, 
broader. He appears especially to have devoted himself to 
the representation of the sufferings of Christ, and to the 
sorrow of the Virgin and the Disciples ; almost every picture 
that is with any probability assigned to him belonging to this 
class of subject. His mode of conception must have been 
very congenial to the religious feeling of his period, for old 
copies of his works abound. 

His principal work is one originally executed for the 
church of our Lady "Darbuyten," at Louvain, now in the 
Sacristy of S. Lorenzo of the Escurial a Descent from the 
Cross, consisting of ten life-sized figures. 2 The Virgin has 
fainted at the right of the body of Christ, which is supported 
by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, and is upheld her- 
self by one of the Maries and by St. John. At the feet of 
Christ, in passionate but ungraceful gestures, is the Magdalen. 
Behind the group of the Virgin is another woman weeping 
and covering her face* with a cloth. The animation and 

1 Van Mander, plate 129 b. f. Because Van Mander in some respects 
confounds him with his father, Wauters, and Crowe and Cavalcaselle after 
him, deny his existence. With these opinions I cannot agree. See my 
reasons in 'Kunstblatt' of 1847, p. 170, etc. Passavant also (see 
above-mentioned work, p. 134, etc.), and Hotho, are of my opinion. 

2 As I have not seen this picture myself, I adopt Passavant's descrip- 
tion (see as before). I was, however, at one time inclined to agree with 
Wauters, who assigns this to the father (see p. 171), an opinion shared 
by Crowe and Cavalcaselle (p. 185, etc.), who think that the specimen 
in the Gallery at Madrid is the original. [Crowe and Cavalcaselle never 
considered that the Descent from the Cross at the Escurial was by the 
" elder " Van der Weydeto. On the contrary, they say expressly [' Early 
Flemish Painters,' 1st ed., p. 186 ; 2nd ed., p. 197) that it is by a pupil 
of that master, and that pupil is probably Dierick Bouts. 1 


highly- wrought pathos, the careful drawing of every portion, 
and especially of the Saviour's body, and that of the hands, 
have at all times rendered this picture the object of great 
admiration. Two of the contemporary repetitions of the pic- 
ture are also by the painter ; one in the Madrid Gallery, No. 
1046, 1 the other, dated 1488, in the Berlin Museum, No. 534. 

Of the other works in Spain attributed by Passavant to 
him, 2 1 only cite a small Crucifixion in the Gallery at Madrid, 
with the false monogram of Albert Durer. 

The Descent from the Cross, a small altarpiece, with 
wings, in the Liverpool Institution, No. 42, 8 is of the earlier 
time of the master, still hard in outline, but of great pathos. 

Another Descent from the Cross, [formerly] in the collec- 
tion of the Prince Consort at Kensington, No. 36. The great 
warmth of colour, and the stricter carrying out, are again 
proofs of his early time. 

An Ecce Homo, and a Mater Dolorosa, both [at one time] 
at Kensington ; half-length gures ; the Virgin of elevated 
and intense feeling. 4 

An Ecce Homo, in the collection of Mr. Green, of Hadley, 
near Barnet, very like the foregoing. 

An Entombment, once in the collection of Sir Culling 
Eardley, at Belvedere, near Erith, of his earlier time. Of 
great energy of feeling and colour. 5 

A Descent from the Cross, in the Royal Gallery at Naples; 
a very rich and beautiful composition, purchased about twenty 
years ago. 

The head of a Woman weeping, in the Gallery at Brussels, 
of much truth and depth of expression. 6 

1 ' Christliche Kunst in Spanien,' p. 134. 

Ibid. p. 137, 

"Treasures of Art,' etc., vol. iii. p. 235. 

' Treasures,' etc., vol. iv. p. 226, etc. 

Ibid. p. 278. 

[Dr. Waagen, mindless of criticism which denies that there exists 
any proof of the authorship of Eoger van der Weyden the younger in 
any extant picture, clung to his opinion with great persistency. He 
was at last the only defender of this opinion, which I, amongst others, 
cannot share.] 





[AT the period upon which we now enter, Flemish painting 
still preserved its nationality ; but the forces which had been 
at work to produce the great masters of the fifteenth century 
were nearly exhausted. All the vitality that was left was 
directed into subordinate channels, and art entered upon a 
phase of absolute decline. At Bruges, where John van Eyck 
brought landscape to the highest perfection as subsidiary to 
composition, a new race of craftsmen arose, which clung to 
the models of its predecessors, and modified their principles 
of distribution by making figures of less importance than 
the surrounding distance. At Louvain the same process of 
change led to the creation of a school of realistic expression. 
In this way Gheerardt David of Bruges, and Quentin Massys 
of Louvain, acquired positive importance in history ; the 
first because he was the leader of the movement which gave 
prominence to Patenier and De Bles, the second because he 
led in the introduction of those homely caricatures which 
degenerated into the low, yet not untalented form of Jan 

[GHEERARDT DAVID was born at Oudewater, between 
Utrecht and Rotterdam, and wandered to Bruges, where he 
took the freedom of the Painters' Guild in January, 1484. 
He was fourth "vinder" of the Guild: first "vinder" in 1495 
and 1498, and president or " dean " in 1501-2. He died on 
the 13th of August, 1523, and was buried in Notre Dame of 
Bruges. In 1498 he painted the Last Judgment for the 
magistrates of the city; in 1507, for Jean des Trompes, the 
well-known "Baptism of Christ," in the Academy of Bruges ; 
in 1509, the Yirgin and Child with Saints, in the Museum of 
Rouen, which was presented by the artist himself to the 


sisters of the Carmelites of Sion at Bruges. That Joachim 
Patenier was a direct pupil of Gheerardt is probable ; and 
confirmation of this belief may be found in the fact that 
when Joachim took the freedom of the Guild of Antwerp, in 
1515, the name of " Meester Gheeraet van Brugghe" was 
inscribed immediately after his, on the register of that cor- 
poration. 1 The " Baptism " is a typical piece for those who 
wish to acquaint themselves with David's manner. The 
figures are underset and devoid of grace, in shape and face 
reminiscent of Van Eyck and Memling ;* but without the 
manly strength of the first or the delicate feeling of the 
second. In the variegated tones of the dresses harsh and 
inharmonious contrasts vex the eye ; but the surface is bur- 
nished, spotless, and clean, and modelled with such polish 
that the touch is not to be distinguished in any part. To 
the frigid metallic brilliance thus created additional coldness 
is imparted by a bright landscape of trees and ground, the 
detail and minutiae of which are given as if the air was 
saturated with moisture, and invisible to the eye. Foliage 
is reproduced with due regard to form, and nature is equally 
consulted in respect of leaf and branching. 

In the spirit of this piece is the Madonna with Saints, in 
the town Museum at Rouen, and a series of pictures in con- 
tinental galleries, of which a short description is all that can 
be attempted. The Virgin and Angel Annunciate, in the col- 
lection of the Prince of Hohenzollern at Sigmaringen; a 
marvel of polished finish. The Virgin and Child, St. Catherine, 
and other female saints in a landscape ; a panel of delicate 
tone, made pallid by removal of glazes, in the collection of 
Count Arco Valley at Munich. The Crucifixion (No. 573), in 
the Museum of Berlin ; a glossy, gaudy, but wonderfully 
minute panel, of enamel surface. A Nativity, in the National 
Gallery at Madrid. An Epiphany (No. 118), at Munich, 
and almost a replica of the same (No. 20), in the gallery of 
Brussels. A Tree of Jesse, once in the Culling Eardley 
collection at Erith. The Marriage of Cana (No. 596), at 
the Louvre [formerly in St. Basile at Bruges.] 2 

1 [See De Liggeren, i. 83.] 

2 [For David's life and works, consult Le Beffroi, Weale in vol. xx. of 
the ' Gazette des Beaux Arts,' and ' Early Flemish Painters.'] 



[QUENTIN MASSYS was born at Louvain in 1466, and brought 
up by his father, who was a locksmith. Being the younger 
of two sons, the elder of whom, Josse Massys, had elected 
to follow the profession of a smith, clockmaker, and architect, 
he took lessons in painting from a master at Louvain, whom 
we may suppose to be Dierick Bouts, and in course of years 
became a painter of name. In 1497 he changed his residence, 
and settled at Antwerp, having joined the Painters' Guild in 
1491. We may judge of the fairness of his repute from the 
fact that he was employed in 1509 to paint a large altarpiece 
for a chapel in St. Pierre of Louvain, and in 1517 to take the 
likenesses of Erasmus and Egidius, which were presented by 
the former to Sir Thomas More. Erasmus was acquainted 
with all the painters of his time, and particularly with Holbein 
.and Diirer. He may have induced the latter to pay Massys 
the visit which we find noted in the Diirer Diary of 1520. 
Quentin died before Christmas, 1530.] 1 

The style of Massys marks, popularly speaking, the close 
of the last and the beginning of the next period. A number 
of pictures, representing sacred subjects, exhibit, with little 
feeling for beauty of forms, such delicacy of features and 
earnestness of expression, tenderness and clearness of colour- 
ing, and skilfulness of careful finish, as worthily recall the 
religious spirit of the middle ages, though at the very ter- 
mination of them. In his draperies also we observe a 
tenderly broken tone, of the utmost charm, peculiar to him- 
self. At the same time, in the subordinate figures introduced 
into sacred subjects, such as the executioners, etc., he takes 
pleasure in rendering coarse and tasteless caricatures. In 
subjects also taken from common life, such as money-changers, 
occasionally a loving couple, or a weazened old woman, he 
uses his brush with evident zest, and with great success. 
The pictures of his later time are also in this respect distin- 
guished from those of most other Netherlandish painters, 
inasmuch as his figures are three-quarter life size, or full life 

1 [Consult E. van Even's Louvain Monumental ; the same author in 
Le Beffroi, ii. 74 ; A. Woltmann and G. Kinkel, in 'Zeitschrift fur Bildende 
Kunst,' i. 198 202, and iv. 197 ; Wornum, in Kinkel, u.s., the catalogue 
of the Antwerp Gallery for 1857, and De Liggeren, i. p. 43.] 


size. His most important work is an altarpieee, painted 
originally for the Joiners' Guild as an ornament of their 
chapel in the Cathedral, 1 but now in the Museum of Antwerp, 
Nos. 245-49, which he undertook in the year 1508. The 
.centre represents the Body of Christ after the descent from 
the Cross, mourned over by his friends and the holy women : 
the Virgin, sunk in the deepest grief, is supported by John ; 
two venerable old men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, 
sustain the head and the upper part of the body, whilst the 
holy women anoint the wounds of the Saviour. The figures 
.are nearly the size of life, and so arranged that each appears 
distinct and significant. On the right wing, the head of John 
the Baptist is placed on the table of Herod, whilst musicians 
absurd and disagreeable figures play on an elevated plat- 
form. On the left wing is John the Evangelist in the caldron 
of boiling oil, and the executioners, who, with brutal jests, 
stir up the fire whilst the spectators are disputing. This 
picture is highly finished in execution, full of reality, and 
profound in the development of individual character. In the 
mourning figures of the centre division a fine pathetic feeling 
is expressed in all its various degrees. 

The altarpieee in St. Peter's, at Louvain (in a side chapel 
of the choir), represents the Virgin with the Child, and the 
holy personages of her family ; on the side wings are scenes 
from the life of her parents. [It is an important work, in- 
scribed: " Quinte Metsys screef dees, a. 1509." 

More interesting still is the portrait of Egidius, at Longford 
Castle ; a noble likeness, framed together with that of Erasmus 
by Holbein.] 2 

A picture in the Berlin Museum, in which the Virgin is 
seated on a throne kissing the infant Christ. In front, on a 
small table, are articles of food, well painted, No. 561. This 

1 See Sir Joshua Reynolds' s Journey in Flanders, "Works, vol. ii. p, 
288, who says, " There are heads in this picture not exceeded by Raphael, 
and indeed not unlike his manner of painting portraits : hard and mi- 
nutely finished. The head of Herod, and that of a fat man, near the 
Christ, are excellent." 

2 [Egidius and Erasmus, at Longford, were considered in Dr. Waagen's 
time to be by Holbein. Otto Miindler and others subsequently ex- 
pressed the opinion that they were by Massys. Now it is agreed that 
ihe Egidius is by Massys, the Erasmus by Holbein.] 


already indicates a reference to earthly wants, which, like the 
more animated movement of the whole picture, would have 
been opposed to the feelings of the older masters ; but the 
workmanship of the throne, particularly the agate pillars, 
and their embossed capitals of gold, is executed entirely in 
the serious style of earlier art. [A valuable picture in the 
same feeling is the Virgin and Child (No. 902), in the Museum 
of Amsterdam.] 

Among the most original and attractive pieces by Massy s 
are the half-length pictures of Christ and the Virgin. These 
must have been very popular in his own time, for he has left 
several repetitions of them. Two heads, of this class, of 
marvellous delicacy of feeling, colouring, and expression, are 
in the Museum at Antwerp, Nos. 241 and 242. Two others, 
of equal beauty, only that the Christ is somewhat heavier in 
tone, have passed from the collection of the King of Holland 
into the National Gallery No. 295. Considering the rarity 
of his pictures representing this class of religious subjects, I 
may cite a Virgin and Child of his earlier period, in the hands 
of the Rev. Mr. Russell, Greenhithe, Kent ; a Mater Dolorosa, 
belonging to the Rev. Mr. Heath, Enfield ; and a Virgin and 
Child adored by SS. Catherine and Margaret, a picture of 
the rarest delicacy, once in the possession of Alexander 
Barker, Esq., and erroneously designated as an Albert Durer. 1 

The most celebrated of his subject-pictures is that known 
by the name of the Two Misers, at Windsor Castle, of which 
a woodcut is subjoined. But I am not disposed to consider 
this example, or others I know of the same composition, as 
the originals, but rather as repetitions, and chiefly by his son, 
Jan Massys. 3 A genuine and signed picture of this class is 
that of a Changer of Money weighing gold, of the utmost 
delicacy, in the Louvre, No. 279. 8 [Signed : " Quintin Matsijs 
schildt, 1518." There are other pieces of this class which 

1 Eegarding other and chiefly earlier works, see my notice, in tl 
'Kuntsblatt' of 1847, p. 202. 

2 A close examination in the Manchester Exhibition, in 1857, con- 
vinced me of this fact. 

3 I have become convinced of the genuineness of this picture, in 
tradiction to my formerly-expressed opinion, ' Kiinstler und Kunstwerl 
in Paris,' p. 544. [The date is now read 1514.] 

A. Painting by Quenttn Massya at Windsor Castle, page 116 

Chap. III. JAN MOSTAERT. ] 17 

it may be of interest to note : viz., a Lucretia, in the Belve- 
dere at Vienna, and a Magdalen, in the Rothschild collection 
in Paris. Interesting in addition are the portraits of Massys 
and his wife and a St. Jerom, in the Uffizi at Florence.] 

[The " double " of Quentin Massys, MARINUS DE SEEW, of 
Romerswalen, can only be mentioned here. He was a coun- 
tryman of Mabuse, and lived chiefly in Zeeland, his speciality 
was the painting of money-changers and shopkeepers, in 
bright and pastose colours. The most accessible pictures of 
this scarce master with which I am acquainted are these : 
An Agent at his desk, with people attending to pay rent, in- 
scribed, "Marin. im. fecit, a. 1542;" and a Changer with his 
wife weighing gold, signed, " Rogmerswalen, Marinus me 
fecit, a. 38," in the Munich Gallery. A replica of the last, 
with the inscription, " Marinus me fecit, anno 1541," in the 
Dresden Gallery. The same subject, ascribed to Quentin 
Massys, in the Antwerp Museum. The same again, dated 
1538, is in the Madrid Museum, together with a St. Jerom, 
dated 1521, and a Customs Officer, in the Gallery of Copen- 
hagen 1 ; the same again in the National Gallery.] 

[The field over which the annals of Flemish Netherlandish 
art extends now becomes greatly enlarged. Whilst David 
illustrates Bruges, and Massys Antwerp, numerous artists 
attract attention at Haarlem, Maubeuge, Leyden, Dinant, 
and Bouvines.] 

JAN MOSTAEET, born at Haarlem 1474 ; died in the same 
place in 1555 or 56. [The earliest notice of his employ- 
ment on works of painting is a contract in which he 
engages to execute the wings of an altarpiece on which St. 
Bavon and twelve episodes of his life were to be placed. 
These pictures were ordered for St. Bavon of Haarlem in 
1500. The latest record which refers to the artist is a 
petition addressed to the burgomaster of Haarlem, asking 
permission for Mostaert to leave the city to work at an 
altarpiece in the church of Hoorn. The petition is dated 

1 [See Van Mander, 178, and Guicciardini's Low Countries. A replica 
of the St. Jerom, inscribed, " Opus Marini de Kogmerswale, a. 1535," is in 
the Acad. of S. Fernando at Madrid. See Dr. H. Liicke in Zahn's Jahr- 
biicher, v. 226.]. 


1549. 1 Mostaert was paihter-in-ordinary to Margaret of 
Austria for eighteen years.] In style of feeling and in 
development of landscape this painter shows a close affinity 
to the masters of Bruges. Besides treating subjects of a 
religious order with an elevation and purity of feeling 
remarkable at so late a period, he was also, according to the 
evidence of Van Mander, a very popular portrait-painter. 
The only authenticated pictures also by him are two por- 
traits, distinguished by warmth and clearness of tone, and a 
certain softness in the careful treatment, which are in the 
Museum at Antwerp. 2 Another picture by him, in the 
same gallery, No. 262, represents the Virgin and Child, 
surrounded by four angels, three prophets, and two sibyls 
the latter with scrolls, on which are inscribed their prophecies 
regarding the Incarnation. The features are pleasing, though 
generally portrait-like. As the most important work, in my 
opinion, by the master, I may mention a Virgin represented 
as the Mater Dolorosa in the church of Notre Dame at 
Bruges. Of the pictures by him in England I will only 
instance the Entombment, belonging to the Rev. Mr. Heath, 
at Enfield. [This collection is dispersed.] 

[JAN or JANNYN GOSSART of Maubeuge 8 is the first of the 
Flemings whose style was seriously modified by a journey 
to Italy. He was the earliest of that numerous class of 
artists "who transferred to Flanders the habit, then peculiar 
to the Italians, of painting nudities." 4 The date of his 
birth is unknown ; equally so that of his master ; but he 
was admitted into the Guild of Antwerp in 1503 ; and he 
practised at Antwerp till 1507, 6 After 1508, and before 
1518, he visited Borne in the suite of Philip, natural son of 
Philip the Good, who successively filled the offices of high 
admiral in Zeeland and (1516) bishop at Utrecht. Till the 

1 [See Van der WilKgen's 'Artistes de Harlem,' 8vo. Harlem, 1870. p. 

2 Judging from the armorial bearings upon them, these two portraits 
were erroneously taken for those of Jacqueline of Bavaria, died 1436 ; 
and of her husband, F. van Borselen, died 1470. 

3 ["Johannes Malbodius," he signs himself ; and he is registered in 
the Antwerp Guild as Jannyn van Hennegouwe (Hainaut).] 

4 [Van Mander, ed. of 1618, p. 146 retro.] 

5 [De Liggeren, Part i., pp. 58, 63, 66.] 

Chap. III. JAX VAN MABUSE. 11<> 

death of Philip, in 1524, Mabuse remained in the service of 
his princely protector, the -colleague and associate for a time 
of a Venetian, named Jacopo de Barbaris, who grafted the 
style of Memling on that of the Bellini, in the same way as 
Mabuse engrafted the manner of Filippino Lippi on that of 
Quentin Massys. 1 So long as this patronage lasted the 
painter prospered. He was known as "peintre de 1'amiral; " 
he painted for Christian II. of Denmark his dwarfs and 
his children ; he made likenesses of royal personages for 
Charles the Fifth, 2 and restored the pictures of Margaret of 
Austria at Malines. He died at Antwerp on the 1st of 
October, 1541. 3 ] 

This painter, up to the period of his departure for Italy, 
belongs to the style of the later Van Eyck school. Till 
then he was unquestionably one of the first painters of the 
Netherlands, displaying great knowledge of composition, able 
drawing, warm colouring, an unusual mastery in the manage- 
ment of the brush, and a solidity in the carrying out of 
every portion such as few of his contemporaries attained. 
His only deficiency consists sometimes in a certain coldness 
of religious feeling. His principal picture belonging to this 
period, and one inscribed with his name, is an Adoration of 
the Kings, at Castle Howard, the seat of the Earl of Carlisle ; 
a rich composition, of considerable size, and admirable 
preservation. Next to this may be placed a picture repre- 
senting the legend of the Count of Toulouse, who journeyed 
as a pilgrim to Jerusalem. The event is represented with 
the utmost truth. Now in the possession of Sir John 
Nelthorpe, at his seat, Scawby, Lincolnshire. Finally, two 
pictures in the Antwerp Museum the Virgin lamenting, 
with St. John, and other women, and the righteous judges, 
a group of horsemen. 

[A fine triptych in the Brussels Museum, of Christ in the 

1 [Consult ' Germanicarum rerum Scriptores,' fol. (Frankfort, 1611) ; 
W. Hedse, Hist. Episc. Ultraject., and Chronic. Johannis de Beka.] 

2 [See George Scharf's Eoyal Picture Galleries in ' History of Old 
London,' p. 288, and his exhaustive statement in vol. xxxix of the 
' Archaeologia.' There are several replicas of the picture in various 

3 Pinchart, Annot,., p. 319, and Van Even's Ecole de Louvain,p. 240. 


house of Simeon, displays the style acquired abroad by 
Mabuse, but of this period it will be necessary to speak at 
more length in a subsequent chapter.] 1 

[JEAN BELLEGAMBE of Douai, a contemporary of Mabuse, 
whose style oscillates between that of Gossart and the dis- 
ciples of Roger van der Weyden, is mentioned by Guic- 
ciardini and Vasari. His great altarpiece, originally placed 
(1511 1519) on the high altar of the abbey church of 
Anchin, is now in the sacristy of Notre Dame at Douai, and 
is well worthy of a visit. It represents the Trinity, between 
the Virgin and the Baptist, and a whole court of Saints. 
On the outer wings are portraits of the Abbot Charles Cokin, 
attended by St. Charlemagne ; of the prior, supported by St. 
Benedict ; and of numerous monks. 2 Another example (1526), 
in the Museum of Douai, represents the legend of Joachim 
and Anna.] 

CORNELIS ENGELBRECHTSEN, born at Leyden 1468 ; died 
1533. His only authenticated work is an altarpiece in the 
Town Hall at Leyden : the centre picture representing the 
Crucifixion ; the wings, the Sacrifice of Abraham, and the 
Brazen Serpent, in their well-known symbolic meaning ; and 
the Predella, the Restoration of the race of Adam by the 
Atonement of Christ. In this picture the master departs 
much from the painters preceding him. The heads of his 
women, of a longish oval form, and with straight, pointed 
noses, have a pleasing but monotonous type. The flesh- 
tones are of a warm brown colour, but heavy, the outlines 
hard, the effects crud'e, and the drawing moderate. 

In Bruges the style of religious expression in art was pre- 
served in the early Netherlandish form even up to the end 
of the sixteenth century, though with greatly inferior feeling 
and skill, by various masters. The most considerable painter 
of this class is PETER CLAEISSENS, by whom is a large work, 
dated 1608, representing the Virgin and Child, the Almighty 

1 See chap. i. of Book iv. 

2 [Vasari, u.s. xiii. 151. Guicciardini, Dcscrittione, p. 143. A. 
Wauters, 'Jean Bellegambe de Douai,' 8vo., Brux. 1861. This picture 
was usually assigned to Memling. See Viardot's ' Musees de Belgique/ 
8vo., Paris, 1855, and M. Escallier's 'Abbaye d'Anchiii.'j 


with angels, and the founder, in the Hospital of the Poterie 
at Bruges. 

[HIERONYMUS VAN AEKEN, commonly known as Jerom 
Bosch, was born about 1460, at Herzogenbusch, where he 
died in 1516. 1 ] He distorted the fantastic element which 
.already existed in the school into a form of the ghostly and 
demoniacal, in which he showed great talent. A Last Judg- 
ment by him is in the [Academy at Vienna] ; a Tempta- 
tion of St. Anthony, in the Antwerp Museum, No. 25. [There 
are numerous pictures by Bosch in the Madrid Museum, some 
of them careful, and finished to such an extent as to suggest 
that but for the fantastic element which dwelt in the painter 
he might have been a worthy rival of Hans Memling. The 
.gloomy character of his works is indeed frequently lost in 
the grotesqueness of an exaggerated fancy ; but Philip II. 
of Spain found a peculiar delight in this curious mixture, 
.and had one of Van Aeken's altarpieces in his oratory.] He 
.adopted the early technical process, and his execution was 
sharp and careful. 

Luc JACOBSZ, called LUCAS VAN LEYDEN, born 1494 ; died 
1533. Scholar of Engelbrechtsen, an artist of multifarious 
powers and very early development. He painted admirably, 8 
drew, and engraved. He followed that realistic tendency in 
the treatment of sacred subjects which Hubert van Eyck had 
so grandly tracked, and lowered it greatly from its previous 
elevation. His heads, for instance, are generally of very 
ugly character. At the same time his form of art found 
sympathy in the feeling of the period ; and by the skill with 
which it was expressed, especially in his engravings, attracted 
.a number of followers. In scenes from common life he is 
frequently full of truth and delicate observation of nature, 
showing occasionally a coarse humour. Pictures by him 
.are very rare. One of the most important, at least in size, 
though not a pleasing specimen, is a Last Judgment, in the 

1 [See A. Pinchart's notices in 'Archives des Arts,' i. 268, and Dr. Julius 
Meyer's ' Kiinstr. Lexikon.'] 

2 [It cannot be said with truth that he painted admirably. His pic- 
ture at Wilton House shows that he was an imitator of Massys, that of 
1522 at Munich proves that he was then an imitator of Mabuse.] 


Town House at Leyden. The old arrangement is adopted 
in this picture : in the centre is the Judgment itself, and on- 
the wings Heaven and Hell; the composition is strikingly- 
poor and scattered ; the expression of heavenly joy singularly 
flat and weak : in the figures of those risen from the dead 
there is little more than a careful study of the nude. It is- 
only in a few instances, and those chiefly in the representa- 
tion of Hell, that the figures or heads have any striking- 
expression. On the contrary, two figures of St. Peter and 
St. Paul, on the outside of the wings, have great dignity,, 
both in attitude and drapery. A small and interesting pic- 
ture, a company of men and women at a card- table, see- 
woodcut, is in the possession of the Earl of Pembroke, at 
Wilton House ; the outline is spirited, but rather sharp. A 
beautiful work, of 1522 [is No. 148-9 in the Munich Gallery : 
the Virgin and Saints and the Annunciation. These were 
produced at the time of Albert Diirer's visit to the Nether- 
lands, and when Lucas was living free of the Guild at Ant- 
werp.] 1 The composition consists of the Virgin and Child, 
with Mary Magdalen, and a man praying at their side. Both 
the style and the activity of this artist are far better estimated 
by his numerous engravings, of which Bartsch cites no fewer 
than 174, 2 some of which show considerable power. The 
following are some of the most remarkable : Esther and 
Ahasuerus, No. 31 ; the Adoration of the Kings, No. 37 ;: 
Christ shown to the People, No. 71 ; the Crucifixion, No. 
74; the Return of the Prodigal Son, No. 78; the Dance of 
the Magdalen, see woodcut, No. 122 ; and the Milkmaid, No. 
158. The "Eulenspiegel," No. 159, is more celebrated for 
its great rarity than for its artistic merits. The Temptation 
of St. Anthony, No. 117, see woodcut, is remarkable as the 
work of a boy of fifteen. 8 

[JOACHIM PATENIER of Dinant or Bouvignes, though he was 

1 [At Antwerp, no doubt, Lucas formed his pictorial style. Here he- 
had occasion to know Massys. He was just fresh from Middelburg,, 
where he had kept company with Mabuse. See Campe's 'Reliquien,' p. 
136. Van Mander, u.s. 136, retro., and De Liggeren, i. 99.] 

2 'Le Peintre Graveur,' vol. vii: p. 331. 

3 [Admirable as a specimen of portrait is Lucas's portrait of 
in the edition of Van Mander, published in 1618.] 

By Lucas van Leyden. At Wilton House. 

ee 123. No. 1. 

From an Engraving by Lucas van Leyden 
in tne British Museum. 

page 122, No. 3. 


not apprenticed at Antwerp, matriculated in the guild of that 
eity in 1515, having previously served, as we may believe, 
under Gheerardt David at Bruges. In the short space of 
eight years he was widowed and left a widow. Albert Diirer 
was present at his second marriage in 1521 ; two of his 
children were left at his death (1524) under the guardianship 
of Quentin Massys. Joachim became justly celebrated as a 
painter, unjustly as a toper ; for it can be shown that Van 
Mander was in error when he told how Patenier in his drunken 
fits ill-treated Franz Mostaert. Franz was^perhaps the pupil 
of Henry Patenier, who was free of the Antwerp Guild in 1535. 
He only joined the guild himself in 1553. Patenier modified 
the style of Gheerardt David in so far that he intensified the 
contrast already magnified by David between the breadth of 
distance and the proportions of figures. He painted gospel 
subjects in which the dramatis persona were subordinate to 
wide expanses of landscape, derived, as Van Lokeren truly 
observes, from the grand broken scenery of the valley of 
the Meuse or the district of Ardennes. 1 In some pieces he 
was fanciful, after the fashion of Jerom Bosch. The 
most striking peculiarities of his style are stiffness in figures 
and drapery, and minute detail in distances, unrelieved by 
play of light and shade. Atmosphere and linear perspec- 
tive are both wanting, and so the decline of Flemish art 
from the standard of the Van Eycks is very apparent. At 
Madrid, where there are six of his masterpieces, the Temp- 
tation of St. Anthony is a lively example of the painter's 
fantastic style, whilst the ''Rest of the Virgin during the 
Flight into Egypt " illustrates the quieter form of the master. 
Another large landscape in the same collection represents 
the Styx, across- which Charon is taking the souls of the 
departed. The first of these examples is repeated in a smaller 
form in the Museum of Berlin.] 

As an example of Patenier 's earlier style as historical 
painter, I may mention the Virgin with the Seven Sorrows, 
holding the stiff and meagre body of the Saviour on her lap, 

1 [See De Liggeren, i. 83, 124; Pinchart, Annot. cclxxxiii.; Campe's 
' Reliquien,' 82, 119, 125, 126 ; and A. van Lokeren in 'Messager des 
Sciences,' anno 1845, pp. 403407.] 


No. 48, in the Museum at Brussels. His Flight into Egypt, 
in the Museum at Antwerp, No. 64; and his Crucifixion, 
executed at a later time, [in the National Gallery, No. 715], 
exhibit him more as a landscape painter. 

[HEBRI DE BLES may be identical with Herri de Patenier, 
who took the freedom of the Guild of Antwerp in 1535. 1 
His treatment of landscape is that of a follower of Joachim 
Patenier. His conception of form and treatment of flesh 
recall Mabuse. The dates usually assigned to his birth and 
death, 1480 and 1550, are not to be relied upon. It is 
possible to distinguish amongst the pictures attributable to 
De Bles (they are all authenticated by the owl) a later and 
an earlier period. In the latter he is careful enough, in the 
former the human shape assumes an exaggerated type of 
slenderness and mannered action. The colouring is usually 
grey, but his late examples verge to a cold and unpleasant 
dun. Van Mander describes a picture of a pedlar whose 
store has been plundered by monkeys as a characteristic 
work of the master. This picture is now in the Museum of 
Dresden.] A male portrait, with landscape background, in 
the Museum at Berlin, No. 624, is of his earlier time. A 
Crucifixion (No. 718, in the National Gallery) is a particularly 
good work of his middle period. An Adoration of the Kings, 
in the Munich Gallery, old 91, now 145, belongs to His 
latest productions. Several examples are in the gallery 
of Vienna. 

All these masters, from Quentin Massys downward, belong, 
it is true, in colouring and technical characteristics, and 
also partially in mode of conception, to the later branches 
of the Van Eyck school ; at the same time in many respects 
they form the transition to the masters of the following 

1 [Consult De Liggeren, i. p. 124.] 

Chap. IV. GERJVIAN ART. 125 



1410 14GO. 

WHILE Art in the Netherlands was carried, by means of the 
brothers Van Eyck, to a high development of realism, the 
Germans in all essentials continued to adhere to the style of 
the former period, only admitting the influence of their 
neighbours as far as it served to impart greater perfection 
to their own modes of expression. The same noble type of 
head, and feeling of spiritual purity, which distinguished 
their conceptions of the Virgin, and of many of the saints, was 
retained, and fuller and more natural forms superadded. 
In some heads, however, a more portrait-like and often- 
repeated physiognomy was introduced, and one which a 
thick and large nose rendered by no means beautiful. The 
proportions of the human figure, which before this epoch 
were too long, became truer to nature, the separate forms 
fuller and more correct, and the movements freer. The 
rendering also of the quality of the draperies such as gold 
brocades, velvets, etc. was introduced ; but, on the other 
hand, the- sharp and angular breaks were but occasionally 
admitted. Weapons, crowns, and such articles became more 
individual in character. Neither in colouring nor execution, 
it is true, was the same power, and truth, and modelling, or 
the same rendering of minute detail, aimed at as by the Van 
Eycks ; at the same time their colouring, which shows much 
feeling for harmony, became more vigorous, their modelling 
more powerful, and their execution softer than in the pre- 
ceding period. Least of all did they copy the Netherlandish 
painters in the close delineation of the backgrounds, but con- 
tented themselves with a general indication, retaining the 
gold ground principally for the sky. 

At this time the school of Cologne distinguished itself 


before every other in Germany, and attained, in the person 
of STEPHAN LOCHNER, of Constance, called MEISTER STEPHAN, 
whose later prime dates from 1442 to 1451 (the year of his 
death), its highest form of originality. Although there is 
no proof of his having been a scholar of Meister Wilhelm, 
yet it is obvious that he formed himself from him. This 
appears especially in his small Madonna, with the hedge of 
roses, in the Museum at Cologne, which, in accordance with 
M. Hotho, 1 I consider the earliest work we know by him. 
Here much of the form of art and style of feeling belonging 
to Meister Wilhelm is seen, only combined with greater ani- 
mation and truth of nature. Next in date to this I place a 
colossal Virgin and Child, which has been recently discovered 
and which is now in the collection of the Archbishop of 
Cologne. This picture shows a rare union of grandeur and 
mildness of expression. But the most authentic, and at the 
same time the principal, work of the master is the well-known 
picture 2 which was originally painted for the chapel of the 
Hotel de Yille, but has been for many years in a chapel of 
the choir of Cologne Cathedral. It consists, as the accom- 
panying woodcut shows, of a centre-piece with wings, on 
which last, when closed, is seen the Annunciation. In the 
inside, on the centre picture, is the Adoration of the Kings 
the Virgin is seated on a throne, in a dark-blue mantle lined 
with ermine ; at her side are the two elder kings kneeling : 
the younger one and the attendants stand around. On the 
fiide panels are the patrons of the city on the right St. 

1 ' Malerschule Hubert's van Eyck,' vol. i. p. 398. 

2 That the statement in Albert Diirer's Journal of his having paid 
two silver pennies for the unlocking of the picture refers to this cathe- 
dral picture may be now accepted as certain. In addition to this, M. 
Merlo (see 'Die Meister der Altcb'lnischen Schule/ Coin, 1852) has 
recently discovered in old registers, of the years 1442 and 1448, the 
name of a painter, Stephan I/ochner, of Constance, who owned a house 
in Cologne ; also, in the protocols of the Council- chamber, it appears 
that the same was twice chosen by his guild as councillor, and that he 
died in 1451, the last year of his office. It being thus proved that this 
Stephan Lochner was a painter of great consideration in his time, I 
quite agree with that profound art-critic, M. Sotzmann (see ' Deutches 
Kunstblatt,' 1853, No. 6), that he was identical with the Meister 
Stephan mentioned by Albert Diirer, and therefore the painter of the 
cathedral picture. 


Oereon, in his armour of gold and surcoat of blue velvet, 
.surrounded by his men-at-arms ; on the left St. Ursula, with 
her escort and her host of virgins. 

This picture is remarkable for its solemnity and simple 
dignity of composition, for the depth and force of tone, and 
the beauty and harmony of its colour, which, in spite of the 
visual disadvantages of tempera, here approaches in splen- 
dour the effects of Venetian oil-painting. The arrangement 
of the figures is grand and simple, and the execution of the 
rich details finished with the greatest care. A feeling of 
ideal grace and beauty is breathed over the'whole work, and 
is just as conspicuous in the loveliness of the Virgin with 
the divine Child as in the serene dignity of the kings who 
worship, and the youthful fulness of form and tenderness of 
expression in the holy virgins and the knights who accom- 
pany them. 

Judging from the strong influence of the Van Eyck school 
eeen in this work from the individuality of many of the 
heads, the rendering of the materials of the draperies, and 
the sharp and angular breaks of the folds in the Annuncia- 
tion it may be considered to have belonged to the latest 
and maturest time of the master. This is corroborated by 
a work in the Darmstadt Museum the Presentation in the 
Temple, bearing date 1447 which, although nearly related 
to the cathedral picture, is less developed in form of art. 
England also possesses at least one specimen of this rare 
master, of his somewhat earlier time, representing SS. 
Catherine, Matthew, and John the Evangelist [No. 705 in the 
National Gallery]. 

Among the number of pictures executed in part under the 
direction of Meister Stephan, and partly under his influence, 
and which are now distributed principally in the galleries of 
Cologne and Munich, and in the Germanic Museum afc 
Nuremburg, the compartments of a former altar-picture 
belonging to the Abbey of Heisterbach, near Bonn, are 
particularly remarkable. The single figures of saints in the 
Munich Gallery, [now] Nos. 9 and 10, approach nearest in 
character to Meister Wilhelm ; the Annunciation, Visitation, 
Nativity, and the Adoration of the Kings, [now] Nos. 11, 


12 14, show, on the other hand, in the rounder forms of 
the heads, and in other respects, the prevailing influence of 
Meister Stephan. 1 The same may be said of two pictures in 
the Berlin Museum the Adoration of the Cross and of the 
Kings, JSTos. 1205 and 1206. 

Very characteristic of the course taken by the Cologne 
school of painters at this time is the altar-picture, the 
centre-piece of which is the Last Judgment, in the Museum 
at Cologne. 2 Although the character of Meister Stephan 
is still somewhat retained in the ideal figures of Christ, 
the Virgin, John the Baptist, etc., yet the early refinement 
of religious feeling is wanting in them, and also in the 
otherwise admirably rendered saints on the wings, in the 
Munich Gallery, [now] Nos. 3 and 4. At the same time, in 
the figures of those risen from the grave, and especially in 
those of the condemned, as well as in the accessories, a 
decidedly realistic feeling prevails. Side by side with the 
most surprising freedom of action and truth of expression 
are seen disgusting exaggerations and great coarseness of 
form and colour. According to the costume worn by the 
excellently-portrayed founder, the execution of the picture 
may be assigned to about 1450-60. 2 How long, in some 
instances, the early tendency was still retained is shown by 
a Crucifixion, dated 1458, in the Museum at Cologne, and 
also by a Virgin and Child with two saints, and the numerous 
family of the founder, dated 1474, in the church of St. Andrew 
in the same city. 

Next in succession to Cologne, the town of Nuremberg, 
judging from' the few specimens preserved, seems to have 
done most in the way of painting at this period, although not 
a single name of a master has descended to us. I proceed 
to mention a few of the most notable pictures. On a pier 
in the nave of the church of St. Sebaldus is a Crucifixion, 
with the Virgin and St. John; on the inner sides of the 

2 I agree with M. Hotho, ' Malerschule Hubert's van Eyck,' vol. i. 
p. 413. in not attributing this work to Stephan Lothener, as others have 

1 [The rest of this altarpiece, representing the martyrdoms of the 
twelve Apostles, is No. 62, 63, in the Stiidel collection at Frankfort.] 

Chap. H . GERMAN SCHOOLS. 129 

wings SS. Barbara and Catherine ; on the outer sides Christ 
on the Mount of Olives, and the portrait of the foundei ; 
and on a pair of stationary wings St. Erasmus and another 

An altarpiece, formerly on the high altar in the church 
of the Chartreuse, now in the church of our Lady. 
The centre contains the Crucifixion, the Annunciation, 
and the Eesurection of Christ; the wings the Nativity 
and the Apostle Peter. This may be a somewhat later 
work by the same hand. 1 It shows many features taken 
from nature, and careful modelling. The master also, 
who painted an obituary picture the Nativity dated 
1430, dedicated to the memory of Frau Waldburg Priin- 
sterin, in the church of our Lady at Nuremberg, deserves 

An altarpiece, dedicated to St. Theocarus, in the church 
of St. Lawrence, containing the Transfiguration, the Mira- 
culous Draught of Fishes, and four events from the life of 
the Saint. Though still essentially adhering to the forms of 
the former epoch, this picture shows a respectable stage of 

Finally, a Virgin and Child in the Sacristy of the church 
of St. Lawrence, dedicated to Margaretta Imhof (died 
1449) and her son, is remarkable for the elevation of con- 
ception in the head of the Virgin, for the far advanced 
individuality of the portraits, and for good modelling in a 
transparent tone. 

It is evident also that in Swabia, at this period, there 
was a successful effort to combine a more natural treat- 
ment of detail with the ecclesiastical forms of conception 
belonging to the former epoch. This appears especially 
in an altar- picture, dedicated to the Magdalen, at Tiefen- 
bronn, executed in 1431 by LUCAS MOSEB. The wings con- 
tain events from the legends of the Magdalen, and also 
from those of Martha and Lazarus ; the predella repre- 
sents Christ, and the five wise and five foolish Virgins. 
The modelling in a warm colour of the pleasing heads la 

1 Hotho, vol. i. p. 478, etc. 


very careful, and hands and feet are of striking truth of 
nature. 1 

As regards the neighbouring territory of Alsace, a similar 
stage of painting is shown by a Bible with miniatures, com- 
pleted in 1428, and now in the Royal Library at Munich. 
The portrait of a Bishop, for whom it was executed, is already 
very individual. One JOHANN FREYBECHK, from the convent 
of Konigsbriick, in Alsace, mentions himself at the close of 
the MS. as its author ; whether he took part in the pictures 
it contains would be difficult to say. 2 

A large Missal, executed in the years 1447-8, for the Em- 
peror Frederick III., and now in the Imperial Library at 
Vienna, No. 1767, gives the same evidence as regards the art 
of painting in Austria. 8 




OF the numerous Germans who were induced to wander to 
Brussels to study under Roger van der Weyden, two Martin 
Schongauer and Friedrich Herlen are known to us by 
name ; but it is probable that these were only the chief of a 
large band, which, returning to its home after 1460, gave 
currency to the style of the Flemish master. In various parts 
of Germany local art was deeply modified by this infusion 
of new elements, and German painting received quite a new 
impress from them, but the change was effected on the whole 
without detriment to the development of peculiar German feel- 
ing. Looking at the painters of the latter half of the fifteenth 
century in the mass, we observe that they were better trained 

1 Hotho, vol. i. p. 460, etc. 

2 See article by me in 'Kunstblatt' of 1850. p. 323. 
8 Ibid., p. 324. 


as composers, and preserved, far more than the Flemings, the 
art of conceiving and distributing figures in a given space. 
They displayed more cleverness as draughtsmen, and a nobler 
sense as designers of heads of a higher and more ideal beauty ; 
whilst in the attempt to contrast the dignified form of sacred 
personages with the coarser one of common individuals, they 
fell into caricatures much more repulsive than those of their 
Flemish brethren. In their arrangement of drapery they pre- 
served and exaggerated the tendency of the Van Eycks to 
break the folds into angular corners. In many respects they 
remained far behind their originals : namely, in graceful motion 
and attitude, their figures being more awkward and lame ; in 
feeling for colour, their tints being more garish, heavy, or dull ; 
in light and shade, or distribution, their incapacity for produc- 
ing effect by a vivid flash of light being very marked. For a 
long time they kept the habit of gold grounds, or confined 
themselves to the simplest lines as indications of space. In 
their treatment they were also defective. Their outlines 
were harder, their power of rendering detail was slighter. 
Painting was carried on mechanically so far that the best 
masters rarely carried out the works entrusted to them with 
their own hands, confiding, some more, some less, to their 
assistants. We must ascribe to this cause the startling in- 
(3quality apparent in pictures authenticated alike by inscrip- 
tions and by records. If, however, in the main, all the German 
schools show the same results of Flemish teaching, the in- 
fluence of that teaching upon each of them was varied and 


In point of power of colouring and solidity of technical 
execution, the masters of this part of Germany approach very 
nearly to the Van Eyck school, though possessing slight 
peculiarities of their own. 

In Cologne we are met by an anonymous painter, who, 
according to inscriptions on his pictures, flourished from 
1463 to 1480, and who, from one of his chefs-d'oeuvre, once 


in possession of M. Lyversberg of Cologne, 1 representing 
the Passion in eight compartments, has received the name of 
the Master of the Lyversberg Passion. 3 It is true that most 
of the compositions are arbitrary in arrangement, the effect 
of colour hard, and the figures of the guards of repelling 
coarseness ; but, on the other hand, the head of Christ is 
dignified, and there is an elevated pathos in many of the 
other heads. Another altarpiece by the same hand, in the 
church of Linz on the Rhine, dated 1462, containing scenes 
from the life of the Virgin, the Passion, and the portrait of 
the founder, the Canon Tilmann Jael, shows a more advanced 
stage of art. In some of the pictures, for instance in the 
Coronation of the Virgin, a more successful general effect is 
apparent ; the Virgin herself also is of a lofty character of 
physiognomy. In another large altarpiece, at Sinzig on the 
Rhine, with the Crucifixion as centre piece, he again appears 
to more advantage. But his best work, as respects compo- 
sition, beauty, and originality of motives, and animated and 
truthful heads of striking expression, is a Descent from the 
Cross, dated 1480, in the Museum of Cologne. (The wings 
are a later addition.) Of his numerous specimens in the 
Munich Gallery, an altarpiece with wings [from St. Ursula at 
Cologne], on which are the Apostles and John the Baptist, 
the Marriage and Coronation of the Virgin, and Joachim and 
Anna at the Golden Gate, Nos. 22 27, is the most remark- 
able. On the last-mentioned number appears the animated 
portrait of the founder of the whole series, an ecclesiastic of 
the name of Johann de Mechlinn. The master we have been 
describing had a large number of followers, but one and all 
so far inferior and more mechanical, that it is not necessary 
to instance a single example of the many pictures by them in 
the Cologne Museum and elsewhere. They show a decided 
degeneration of the school to the close of the fifteenth 

Another master of merit is Jan Joest, painter of the picture 

1 [Since] the property of Mr. Baumeister, at Cologne. 

2 According to the arbitrary designation given by the Messrs. Boissere'e 
to the works of this master in the gallery at Munich, and in the chapel 
of St. Maurice at Nuremberg, they continued till quite lately to bear 
the name o*. Israel van Meckenen. 


on the high altar of the church at Calcar, representing the 
Death of the Virgin. Joest died at Harlem, 1519. 

In the adjacent district of Westphalia a style of art was 
developed, which, in many respects, succeeded in combining 
the ideal feeling of the last epoch with the more realistic 
tendency which succeeded it. The most remarkable speci- 
mens of this kind are the relics of a large altarpiece in the 
former monastery of Liesborn, near Minister, dated 1465, 
which were long in the possession of M. Kriiger at Minden, 
and some of which are in the National Gallery, Nos. 260 and 
261. They consist principally of the half-length figures of 
six saints, and of the subjects of the Annunciation and Pre- 
sentation. The heads are attractive for the purity of religious 
feeling and the expression of peace which pervade them, with 
which the clear and cheerful colouring is in unison. As 
regards truth of nature in the rendering of parts, however, 
they bear no comparison with the contemporary Netherlandish 
painters. The pictures of a Soest master, who has signed his 
name as " Jarenus " on a Pieta in the collection of the Earl 
of Pembroke at Wilton House, show the fusion of the qualities 
of both schools to less advantage. The centre picture of a 
large altarpiece by this master, in the Berlin Museum, No. 
1222, 1 representing several scenes from the Passion, is 
especially overladen and confused. The most successful in 
composition, colour, and execution, are four pictures belong- 
ing to one wing of this altarpiece [at Munster], the Annun- 
ciation, the Nativity, the Presentation, and the Adoration of 
the Kings. At a later period the school of Westphalia takes 
a lower place than the other schools of Germany ; as examples 
of which I may mention a large altar-picture by the brothers 
VICTOR and HEINRICH DUNWEGE, in the parish church of 
Dortmund, the centre of which contains the Crucifixion, and 
the inner sides of the wings the Adoration of the Kings, the 
Virgin and Child, and the Mother of Zebedee's children, 
with her sons, and other relatives of the Virgin ; a subject 
which is called in Germany "a Holy Kith-and-Kin picture." 
Although the picture is known to have been painted in 
1523, it shows in its gold background, its hard and crude 
1 'Jarenus ' is a false reading for Nazarenus. 


colouring, and in the style of treatment, quite the form of 
art belonging to the fifteenth century. At the same time 
many of the heads are very animated, and of warm and 
vigorous colour. A Crucifixion nearly related to the above- 
mentioned pictures, only with a landscape background, is in 
the Berlin Museum, No. 1194 [now withdrawn], 

A similar absence of participation in the progress of the 
period is betrayed, as regards Lower Saxony, by the painter 
JOHANN RAPHON VON EIMBECK, by whose hand is an altar- 
piece, dated 1508, in the choir of Halberstadt Cathedral. 
The centre represents the Crucifixion a rather over- crowded 
composition the wings, the Annunciation, Adoration of the 
Shepherds, of the Kings, and the Presentation. The heads 
are lively and various in character, but at the same time 
somewhat coarse ; the colouring of the flesh rather heavy 
and untrue, and cold in the lights. 

In the department of the Middle Rhine, at Frankfort-on- 
the-Maine, we meet with the painter CONRAD FYOLL, the 
notices of whom extend from 1461 to 1476. 1 He has some- 
thing tender and mild in his heads, and a delicate, silvery, 
and, upon the whole, cool tone in his flesh. A large altar- 
piece in the Stadel Institute at Frankfort is a principal pic- 
ture by him. (?) The centre contains the family of St. Anna, 
the wings the Birth and Death of the Virgin. A smaller 
altarpiece, with St. Anna and the Virgin and Child in the 
centre, No. 575, and SS. Barbara and Catherine and the 
Annunciation on the wings, No. 575, a, b, are in the Berlin 
Museum. [The attribution to Fyoll is somewhat doubtful.] 

By far the greatest German painter of the fifteenth cen- 
tury was MARTIN SCHONGAUER, commonly called MARTIN 
SCHON, who flourished on the Upper Rhine. [The placr 
of his birth is contested ; it has been described alternately 
as Augsburg, Colmar, and Ulm. Hassler concedes that 
antiquarian research has not given any support as yet 
to the claim of Ulm, and Augsburg seems at best to have 
been the residence of the family from which he descended. 3 

1 Passavant Kunstblatt, 1841, No. 101. 

2 [Dr. R. D. Hassler, Ulm's Kunstgeschichte ia C. Heideloff s Die 
Kunst des Mittelalters in Schwaben, u. s., p. 118=] 


In the Pinakothek at Munich we find a portrait of Schon- 
gauer, inscribed " Hipsch Martin Schongauer Maler, 1458," 
the counterpart of one with the same inscription ascribed to 
"Giovanni Larkmair" (!) in the Spannocchi collection at 
Sienna. The Munich replica is catalogued in Murr's catalogue 
of the Praun collection at Nuremberg, under the name of 
Hans Leykmann(I). It bore then, as it does now, a paper 
pasted on the back of the panel, with words in German writ- 
ing of the sixteenth century, to this effect : that " Master 
Martin Schongauer, called Hiipsch Martin, by reason of his 
skill as an artist, was born at Colmar of a family of Augsburg 
citizens, and died at Colmar, on the day of Mary's Purification 
(Feb. 2nd), in 1499 ; that the writer was Hans Leykmann, 
Schongauer's pupil in 1483. " x Modern critics, and particu- 
larly Marggraff, read the last sentence of this statement 
so that the writer was " Hans Burgkmair, Schongauer's 
pupil in 1488 ; " but there is no reason why we should 
not read 1483 instead of 1488, for Burgkmair may well 
have been apprenticed as a boy to Schongauer, and the 
reading of " Burgkmair" might explain the ascription of the 
portrait at Sienna to " Larkmair." 2 Waagen was not inclined 
to accept the paper on the back of the Munich portrait as a 
genuine document ; and he was supported in his view by an 
entry in the register of the parish of St. Martin of Colmar, 
discovered by Mr. Hugot, stating that Schongauer died at 
Colmar on the day of Mary's Purification, Ixxxviii. 8 It 
may be, however, that Mr. Hugot's entry is falsified by the 
neglect of some ciphers, and this is considered probable, 
amongst others, by as able a judge as Schnaase. 4 The age 
of " Hipsch Martin," in the portraits of Sienna and Munich, 
has been guessed at thirty-three by Passavant, who so dates 

1 [C. T. de Murr, ' Description du Cabinet de M. P. de Praun,' 8vo. 
Nuremberg, 1797, p. 20.] 

2 [Dr. Rudolf Marggraff, ' Die altere Kgl. Pinakothek zu Miinchen,' 
12mo, 1869, note to p. 161, reads 1488. Others, ex. gr., Woltmann, read 
1483, which is the version in Murr.] 

3 [Waagen, ' Handbook,' p. 130. Hugot in 'Kunstblatt,' 1841, p. 59 ; but 
see a modification of Waagen's opinions in his ' Handbuch,' 1862, p. 

4 [Schnaase (K.) Mittheilungen der Central Commission, Juli, 1803, 
p. 185 and following.] 


his birth in 1420, hut this is not acquiesced in by other 
writers. 1 There is no doubt that Schongauer was a pupil of 
Van der Weyden, for the fact is stated by Lambert Lombard, 
a painter of the sixteenth century, in a long and interesting 
letter to Vasari, containing valuable information as to this and 
other craftsmen in the Netherlands. 2 What we know of 
Schongauer as a painter is very slight ; and although it is 
usual to ascribe a few pictures to him, and a description of 
some of these may be attempted here, it is well to bear in 
mind that there is no authority for assigning them to the 
master except tradition.] 

In a number of engravings from designs of his own, 
Schongauer appears as an artist of great powers of invention 
in the department of ecclesiastical art, both in the representa- 
tion of single figures, and also frequently in that of very 
animated compositions. In this respect, as well as in his 
feeling for beauty and spirituality, in which he greatly refined 
and individualised the tendency of the former period, he 
excels his great master Eoger, and attained a European 
reputation. Among his most admirable engravings are the 
Death of the Virgin (Bartsch, No. 33) ; the Bearing of the 
Cross (No. 21) ; the Annunciation, see woodcut No. 1 ; those 
of the Passion (Nos. 9 20), of which see woodcut No. 2, of 
Christ appearing to the Magdalen ; the Wise and Foolish 
Virgins (Nos. 77 86). Fantastic subjects he treats very 
rarely, though with great energy, as hi his plate of the Temp- 
tation of St. Anthony (Bartsch, No. 47)> see woodcut, of 
which Vasari testifies that Michael Angelo made a pen copy 
in his youth. Occasionally this great master exhibits a 
sound vein of humour in scenes from common life ; as, for 
instance, in his Donkey Driver (Bartsch, No. 89). He is 
powerful in drawing, although his limbs, and especially his 
hands, are meagre. His drapery is more or less disfigured 
by sharp and angular breaks. His pictures show a warm, 
powerful, and transparent colour. His outlines are more 

1 [Passavant in ' Kunstblatt,' 1846 p. 167, and Harzen, contra, in a life 
of Zeitblom in Naumann's Archiv, 1860, p. 8.] 

2 [Lambert Lombard to Vasari, Liege, April 27th, 1565, in Gaye's 
' Carteggio," iii. 173 and following.] 

From an Engraving by Martin Schongauer in the British Mxiseum. 

page 13. No. 1. 

From an Engraving by Martin Schongauer in the British Museum. 

page 136, No. 2. 


An Engraving by Martin Schongauer, which Michael Angelo is said to have copied. 

From the British Museum. page I'M. No. 3. 


flowing, but his treatment is less true and less blended, than 
that of Van der Weyden. He cared little for finish in dis- 
tances, and sometimes even resorts to gold ground. Of the 
number of pictures attributed to him in various public and 
private galleries the majority are by other painters after his 
engravings. The following alone I am inclined to consider 
genuine : 

The Death of the Virgin, a small picture, from the gallery 
of the King of Holland, afterwards in the collection of M. de 
Beaucousin at Paris, and now in the National Gallery. I 
believe this to be the earliest work we know by him. It is 
of the rarest beauty, but at the same time displays, in con- 
ception, glow of colour, and exactitude of execution, some- 
thing of Roger van der Weyden ; belonging therefore to a 
time when the influence of that master was still fresh upon 
him. Martin Schongauer's peculiar type of head is, however, 
already very distinctly visible in those of the Virgin, and of 
the Almighty, who appears in the sky. 

[Better still, if it be possible, is the Nativity, a small panel 
of great power and feeling, in the palace of the Duke della 
Grazia at Palermo.] 

But Schongauer's most important picture, and the one 
which, by comparison with his engravings, is the best 
authenticated, is that of the Virgin in a bower of roses in 
St. Martin's church at Colmar. The Virgin fully the size 
of life is seated on a grass-bank, with the Child on her lap; 
Jier features are noble and pure in expression, and her red 
drapery has a very luminous effect. The two angels sus- 
pending the crown over her head are very graceful ; the 
hedge of roses, with the birds nestling in it, completes the 
cheerful na'ive impression of the picture ; the flesh-tones are 
clear and warm, and the painting of great finish. 

Next to this we may place two wings from the monastery 
of St. Anthony at Issenheim, now in the Civic Library at 
Colmar ; the inner sides containing the Child adored by the 
Virgin, and St. Anthony the Hermit, with the donor; the 
outer, the Annunciation. The ideal and slightly longing 
expression reminds us of Perugino ; the Virgin in both the 
.pictures has finely arched eyelids, and features of regular 


beauty. The Child, on the other hand, T -7hich is of masterly 
modelling, and obviously painted closely from nature, exhibits 
a very forcible realistic feeling. The colouring is warm, and, 
in the dignified St. Anthony, of great depth. The treatment 
is somewhat broad, and, in the rendering of the outlines, a 
more draughtsmanlike hand is distinctly seen. 

Slighter works, but of spirited character, are the Descent 
from the Cross, and the Entombment, part of a series of 
pictures in the same place ; the other twelve of which were 
executed partly by a tolerably skilful artist, and partly by 
one of a more mechanical character. 

A good, though not important work, is the youthful David 
with the head of Goliath, returning surrounded by warriors, 
and greeted with music by the maidens. In the Munich. 
Gallery, No. 183. 1 

Another picture, representing Pilate asking the Jew* 
whether he shall deliver to them Christ or Barabbas, in the 
collection of Mr. Green, of Hadley, near Barnet, agrees in so 
many respects with Martin Schon's engraving, that, in spite 
of the feebleness of the colour, I am inclined to consider it 
his work. 2 

FREDERICK HERLEN is a master who acted very decidedly 
upon the character of Swabian art. [As early as 1449, and 
up to 1454, he was a citizen of Ulm.] 3 A contemporary 
record of the year 1467, which states that, owing to his- 
knowledge of the Netherlandish practice, he was admitted 
gratuitously to the privileges of a citizen of Nordlingen, 4 and 
the striking imitation of well-known works by Roger van der 
Weyden the elder in his pictures, leave no doubt of his 
having learned his art from that master. His real significance 
seems, indeed, to have consisted in his thus importing the 
art of the Yan Eyck school into Upper Germany; for he 
neither displays any particular originality of his own, nor 
does he attain to the feeling and conscientious execution of 

1 [This picture is now assigned in the Munich catalogue to Bernard' 

1 ' Treasures of Art/ vol. ii. p. 459. 

3 [See Professor Hassler's ' Ulm's Kunstgeschichte,' 1864, in Heideloff's- 
'Kunst in Schwaben,' u. s., p. 117.] 

4 Kunatwerke und Kunstler in Deutschland,' vol. i. p. 353. 


his model. Suffice it, therefore, to mention a few of his chief 
works : as, for instance, the separately-placed wings of an 
altar in the church at Nordlingen, dated 1462, 1 representing 
the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Adoration of the Kings 
and of the Shepherds, the Presentation in the Temple, the 
Circumcision, the Flight into Egypt, and the youthful Christ 
teaching in the Temple. The wings of the high altar in the 
church at Rothenburg on the Tauber, chiefly the same sub- 
jects, but less delicately painted. 2 Pilate showing Christ to 
the people, dated 1468, in the church at Nordlingen ; 8 and 
finally, in the same church, the Virgin enthroned with the 
Child, with the kneeling figure of Herlen himself with four 
sons presented by St. Joseph, and his wife with five daughters 
presented by St. Margaret doubtless the offering of the 
painter. This picture, which bears date 1488, shows that 
his art had become coarser in character. He died 1491. 

The painters of the Swabian school retained in a higher 
degree than any other the style of art thus introduced by 
Frederick Herlen. This is evidenced by their realistic concep- 
tion in its nobler form, by their feeling for warm flesh tints, 
by harmonious contrasts of colours, by their soft and blend- 
ing, more than draughtsmanlike, use of the brush. Nor in 
their drapery did they fall into such numerous, arbitrary, 
and sharp breaks as are shown in the productions of the 
other provinces of Germany. On the other hand, they may 
be distinguished from their Netherlandish models in many 
instances by a greater feeling for spirituality and beauty in 
their sacred personages, by a cooler scale of colour a cool 
brown-red and a full green being favourite hues in their 
drapery and, finally, by a less close rendering of detail. 
At the same time two chief divisions may be distinguished 
within the Swabian school ; the one, which is the richest as 
to number of painters, had its seat at Augsburg, and early 
developed a decidedly realistic tendency ; the other, belong- 
ing to Ulm, showed a purer and tenderer feeling for religion, 
and more sense of beauty. 

1 ' Kunstwerke und Kiiustler in Deutschland/ vol. L p. 347. 

2 Ibid., p 324, etc. 
8 Ibid., p. 353. 


[In Augsburg the family of HOLBEIN is the first -to attract 
attention in the person of Michael, the father of Sigmund and 
HANS HOLBEIN the elder. Hans the elder afterwards married 
and had two sons, the second of whom, Hans, is justly 
celebrated in the annals of German art. 1 The tendency of 
criticism has been to lower the reputation of the elder for 
the benefit of the younger Holbein, and this was done suc- 
cessfully by means of forged documents and inscriptions. 
In the process of cleaning the Martyrdom of St. Catherine, 
and Christ with His mother, and St. Anne, an altarpiece of 
1512,, by " Hans Holba," in the gallery of Augsburg, an in- 
scription was " brought (1854) to light," declaring that the 
painter of the picture was Hans Holbein the younger, at the 
age of seventeen. 2 In consequence of this forgery, which 
was only discovered in 1871, 8 all the pictures in the style of 
the Martyrdom of St. Catherine were assigned to the son 
instead of the father; and consistence was given to this 
fiction by a forgery of records assigning to Hans Holbein the 
younger the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian at Munich. 4 This 
also was in due course discovered ; and since that time the 
elder Holbein has been restored to the place which he 
naturally fills in the annals of his country. We recognize in 
him a clever master, who first formed his style upon the 
models of the school of Van der Weyden, and subsequently 
tempered that style by studying Italian and local tradition. 
It is hard to say at what time Hans Holbein the elder began 
practice as a painter^in Augsburg, but of this we are sure, 
that he was inscribed on the rolls of the city in place of 
Michael Holbein in 1494. From that time till his death at 
Isenheim, in 1524, he spent years of prosperity alternating 

1 [Dr. Waagen believed in the existence of Hans Holbein the grand- 
father, and describes a picture in possession of Mr. Samm of Mer- 
genthau, inscribed "Hans Holbein, C. A., 1459." This picture is now 
in the Museum of Augsburg ; its signature is a forgery, but consult 
Woltmann (Dr. A.), ' Holbein und Seine Zeit,' i. 363, and Mr. His- 
Heussler's contributions to Zahn's ' Jahrbticher,' i. p. 187.] 

2 [The picture was at the time in the atelier of Mr. Eigner, the 
restorer of Augsburg.] 

3 [It is but fair to state that Herman Grimm (Holbein's ' Geburf 8 
Jahr,' Berlin, 1867) declared the inscription a forgery.] 

4 [See Woltmann's 'Holbein,' i. 165.] 


with years of depression. He was made a citizen of Ulm in 
1499. He visited Frankfort in 1501. After 1516 he lived 
in debt and in trouble at Augsburg ; and when he wandered 
away at last to paint an altarpiece at Isenheim, 1 bailiffs had 
been more than once unbidden guests in his house. 2 The 
earliest creations of Hans Holbein the elder are those in 
which he exhibits dependence on the models of Van der 
Weyden. Without losing altogether the smooth type of the 
German, or rather of the Rhenish, schools, he first produced 
pictures remarkable for slender figures, of mild and regular 
features, dressed in drapery of natural Tall. Peculiarly 
characteristic of this period is the staidness of the attitudes 
and the clear transparence of tones, unrelieved by depth of 
shadow. Foremost amongst the pictures in this class is the 
Virgin and Child, with two angels, No. 152 in the Germanic 
Museum, signed "Hans Holbon, 14 . . " and a Virgin and 
Child enthroned with angels, inscribed " . . . s Holbaini," 
in the same collection, No. 1 5 1 , a* Nuremberg. 3 Of a similar 
stamp, but with a still more decided leaning to Van der 
Weyden, are two wings of an altarpiece from the Abbey of 
Weingarten, now distributed to four altars in the Cathedral 
of Augsburg, representing Joachim's Sacrifice, the Birth and 
Presentation of Mary, and the Presentation of Christ. 4 From 
these examples we proceed to others, in which the Flemish 
origin of the master's manner, though still apparent, is less 
distinctly marked, and of these the chief are the following : 
The Coronation of the Virgin, with the Nativity and Martyrdom 
of St. Dorothea in the wings, inscribed " 1499, Hans Holba ; " 
and a series of scenes from the Passion in one frame, in the 
Augsburg Gallery ; a large composite altarpicee, completed in 
1501, for the Dominicans of Frankfort, comprising the Last 
Supper, Christ entering Jerusalem, the Jews expelled from 

1 [Woltmann, u. s., i. 341, 342.] 

2 [Edward His, in Zahn's ' Jahrblicher,' iv. p. 219, gives the proofs 
taken from Dr. Meyer's contributions to the 'Augsburger allg. Zeitg.' 
for August 14th, 1871. See also ' Jahrbiicher,' iv. p. 267.] 

3 [It is proper to state that this picture has been assigned to Sig- 
mund Holbein, on the supposition that S. Holbaini means Sigmund 
Holbein, yet, as the inscription stands, S is but the last letter of th 
word Hans, the three first letters being concealed.] 

4 [Woltmann, u. s., i. 75.] 


the Temple, a Root of Jesse, the Tree of the Dominican 
order, and seven scenes from the Passion all in the Stadel 
Gallery at Frankfort. 1 The Crucifixion, Descent from the 
Cross, and Entombment, at Munich, part of an altarpiece of 
eighteen or twenty panels, painted in 1502, and originally in 
the Abbey of Keisheim. The Transfiguration, of the same 
year, with a Christ Crowned with Thorns, and scenes from 
the life of St. Paul, a large picture of 1504, in the Augsburg 
Gallery. To these we should add, as specimens of a more 
thoroughly German stamp, the grey panel of Christ carrying 
his Cross, belonging to Mr. Ahorner, at Munich ; two parts of 
an altarpiece containing saints, in the Gallery of Prague ; and 
twelve scenes of the Passion, in the Fiirstenberg collection 
at Donaueschingen. About 1508, Hans Holbein probably 
painted the votive epitaph of Burgomaster Schwarz of 
Augsburg, now belonging to Mr. Paul von Stetten at Augs- 
burg, a panel in which three figures of the Eternal, of Christ, 
and the Virgin are placed above a company of members of 
the Schwarz family. The faces here are portrayed with 
far more nature than in earlier efforts of the master ; and 
many have held that these likenesses could only have been 
executed by the younger Hans Holbein, as helpmate to his 
father. There is no doubt that we trace in them something 
of the rare finesse of observation and power of reproduction 
which were developed in that wonderful master of portrait ; 
but since it has become necessary to substitute the name of 
the father for that of the son, in the altarpiece of 1512, 
there is no alternative but to assign to Hans the elder the 
whole of the Schwartz epitaph ; and in doing so we greatly 
lighten the task of those who have to prove how the style 
of Hans the younger was modelled to the form which it 
assumed in 1516-17 at Bale. It is clear that during the 
earlier years of the sixteenth century a strong Italian in- 
fluence was felt in South Germany, and that, probably in conse- 
quence of the relations which large mercantile houses like 
the Fuggers kept up with Augsburg and Nuremberg, painters 

1 [See Woltmann's ' Holbein,' i. 82, 83, and ' Zeitschrift fur bild. 
Kunst.,' i., 108.] 


of German schools gradually became familiar with Venetian 
and Paduan forms of art. The elder Holbein was one of 
those who derived advantage from this intercourse. With- 
out abandoning the German mould of form, he stripped it, 
especially in drapery, of many hardnesses, and curious as 
the fact may appear he threw off, to some extent, the 
impress of Van der Weyden's school, which he had received 
direct by way of the Rhine, for that of the Van Eycks, which 
he took, modified as it came to him, through the medium 
of Antonello and the Venetians from Italy. With this, 
and the feeling for architectural surface decoration derived 
from the Mantegnesques and Bellinesques, he took a serious 
part in producing a revolution in German art. How these 
influences were brought to bear on the elder Holbein it is 
not easy to prove ; but we may keep in mind that Anton 
Kolb, of Nuremberg, was an art publisher at Venice in the 
first years of the century, who had business relations alike 
with Jacob de Barbaris and Diirer; that Diirer and Hans 
Burgkmair paid visits to Venice in 1506 and 1508 ; that 
there was a brisk interchange of thought and of trade 
between the northern parts of Italy and the southern parts 
of Germany; and that Hans Holbein the elder was not 
unacquainted with the Fuggers, who were the most influential 
merchants of their time. It will be worth a journey to 
Berlin for any lover of art to take a look at Holbein's 
sketches, too long assigned to Hans the younger, sketches 
which, taken in conjunction with those of Copenhagen, 
reveal to us the features and faces of the most important 
persons in Augsburg. If we turn to the sheets which illus- 
trate the life of the painter's own family, we find there the 
likenesses of his sons Hans and Ambrose, aged fourteen and 
fifteen respectively. Amongst the celebrities we discover the 
Emperor Maximilian, his adviser, Kunz von der Rosen, and 
the boy Karl, afterwards Kaiser, with a falcon on his wrist. 
The whole kith and kin of the Fuggers is there, Jacob, 
Raimund, Anton, Ulrich, with Hans Schwartz, the sculptor, 
and ever so many citizens, monks, and shopkeepers. If in 
Italian art we have underrated the relations of Raphael to his 
father Santi, in German art we have altogether underrated 


the influence of Hans Holbein the elder on Hans Holbein 
the younger. 

The feeling which appears so prominently in the epitaph of 
the Burgomaster Schwarz becomes intensified in later works 
of the elder Holbein. In the Martyrdom of St. Catherine, 
and Christ with St. Anne and the Virgin, St. Ulrich, and the 
Martyrdom of St. Peter, an altarpiece of 1512, in the Gallery 
of Augsburg, the same upon which the name of Hans Holbein 
the younger was forged, the same of which we have Hans 
the elder's original sketch in the Gallery of Bale. In the 
Virgin and Child of Mr. Schmitter-Hug, at Sanct-Gallen, 
and the portrait belonging to Count Lanckoronski, at Vienna, 
both panels of a diptych, dated 1513, and last, not least, the 
Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, with St. Barbara and St. Eliza- 
beth, in the Pinakothek at Munich, a triptych, executed in 
1516 for the convent of St. Catherine at Augsburg a triptych 
in which we are introduced to the first bloom of the German 
renaissance.] 1 

SIGISMUND HOLBEIN, brother of the elder Hans, was also 
a [painter, but the pictures assigned to him are not authen- 
ticated in any way. He died at Berne in 1540.] 2 

After the family of Holbein, that of Burgkmair plays the 
most important part in the art of Augsburg. THOMAN BUEGK- 
MAIE, mentioned in public documents in the year 1479, 
may be considered first. Though possessing a certain ability 
and energy, he is inferior to Holbein. His figures are short, 
his flesh-tones of a heavy brown, his outlines hard. In the 
Augsburg Cathedral are two pictures, presented in 1480, on 
the columns of the choir : one is Christ conversing with St. 
Ulric, the other the Virgin with St. Elizabeth of Thuringen, 
and the wife of the donor, the Burgomaster Walther. The 

1 '[Consult for Holbein the elder the sources already named ; also 
Woltmann's Catalogue of the Fiirstenberg collection at Donaueschingen, 
and the numerous articles by His-Heussler, Wilhelm Schmidt, Herman 
Grimm, and von Zabn, in ' Jahrbiicher,' u. s.] 

2 [The Virgin and Child, in the Landauer Briiderhaus, is assigned, as 
v,'e saw, erroneously to Sigmund. There is no authority for attributing 
to Sigmund the fine female portrait, No. 722, in the National Gallery. 
See His-Heussler, in 'Jahrbucher,' i. , 1 87, and Sigmund's will in Woltmann's 
'Holbein,' i. 368.] 



Gallery at Augsburg also contains a large picture, with the 
Martyrdom of St. Stephen, St. Lawrence, and scenes from 
the Passion. 1 [Thoman's death is registered in the Augsburg 
Guild roll for 1523.] 2 

[The oldest representative of the Swabian school, which 
flourished in Ulm, is HANS SCHUHLEIN, or SCHUCHLIN, whose 
existence may be traced in the rolls of taxes for Ulm between 
1468 and 1502. 3 Harzen, who describes Schiihlein's altar- 
piece, of 1469 and particularly Pilate washing his hands, 
the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection, in the church of Tiefen- 
bronn notes a striking resemblance between the treatment 
of this painter and that of Roger van der Weyden. 4 He 
ascribes to Schiihlein parts of an altarpiece representing 
the " Kith-and-Kin " of Jesus, [now assigned to B. Strigel 
in Munich (Nos. 184, 185, 186, and 187) ; Schleissheim, 
and the Museum at Nuremburg (169, 170-4), and two 
wings of an altarpiece, with eight scenes from the lives of 
Joachim, the Virgin Mary, and Christ, in the collection of 
Prince Hohenzollern Sigmaringen.] 5 

[Schiihlein's son-in-law, BARTHOLOMEW ZEITBLOM, was 
born, it is supposed, between 1440 and 1450, and studied 
engraving under Martin Schongauer ; he afterwards became 
a painter under the tuition of Schiihlein, whose daughter he 
married in 1483. 6 Fragments of an inscription : " . . . von 
Hans Schiilein v. B. Zeitblom zu Ulm mitgemacht 14 ..." 
have been read 7 on the wing of an altarpiece originally in 
the village church of Miinster, and later in possession of Mr. 
Eigner, at Augsburg.] 

In the elevated and spiritual tendency of Zeitblom' s art, 

1 See Passavant, ' Kunstblatt ' of 1846, p. 186, [and the rolls of taxes 
in Woltmann, i. 363.] 

2 [See Guild roll in Woltmann's ' Holbein,' i. 358.] 

3 [Griineisen and Mauch, Ulm's 'Kunstleben,' u.s. 42 ; and Harzen in 
Naumann's ' Archiv,' 1860, p. 27 and foil. ; and Professor Hassler in 
Heideloff, u. s., p. 117.] 

4 [The Tiefenbronn altarpiece is inscribed on the back of the frame : 
" Gemacht zu Ulm vo Hansisse Schuchlin maler, MCCCCLXvnu., Jare.] 

5 [Harzen, u. s. These panels Dr. Waagen assigned to Zeitblom before 
he was aware of the connection between that painter and Schiihlein. ] 

6 [Harzen, u. s.] 

7 [Harzen, u.s., and Woltmann, Catalogue of the Fiirstenberg Coll., 
p. 6.] 



as well as in the style of his flesh painting, it is obvious that 
Martin Schongauer exercised no small influence over him. 
Though inferior to him in sense of beauty, he has a power of 
attraction in the simplicity, purity, and earnestness of his 
religious feeling, which few possess. At the same time his 
limbs are still, for the most part, meagre and inflexible, and 
a favourite type of head is too often repeated ; this, however, 
is rendered with so much care, and with such warm, trans- 
parent, and, in his later pictures, refined colouring, as to 
rival the works of Quentin Massy s. Finally, his broad 
drapery, devoid of the sharp and angular character, has a 
peculiar and harmonious combination of colour. 

[Among his early works are two wings of an altarpiece, 
commissioned in 1473 for the church of Kilchberg, near 
Tubingen (Nos. 423, 429, 440, and 444 of the Stuttgardt 
Gallery), in which the heads are worked in with great care, 
and painted in warm and pleasing tones.] 1 

Two wings of an altar from the monastery of Koggenburg, 
near Ulm, formerly in possession of M. Abel of Ludwigsburg, 
containing figures of the Virgin, the Magdalen, SS. Helena 
and John, are of this period. The wings of an altar- chest, 
with carved work in the centre, dated 1488, show already a 
more original development. They were formerly in the 
village of Hausen, near Ulm, and passed into the possession 
of the late Professor Hassler at Ulm : they represent SS. 
Nicholas and Francis, and Christ on the Mount of Olives. 
The master, however, appears in the highest form of his art 
in the wings of a 'large altarpiece painted for the parish 
church of Esehach in 1495, [now Nos. 411, 412, 421, 422, 
in the Stuttgardt Gallery] ; the inner sides containing the 
Annunciation and the Salutation ; the outer, in figures some- 
what larger than life, both the SS. John. These last, in 
point of dignity, tenderness of feeling, and delicately-balanced 
harmony of the warm and clear colouring, are among the 
most important works which the German school, taken alto- 
gether, produced at this time. Two angels holding a suda- 

1 [Griineisen and Mauch, u. s. 44. These pictures were in the Abel 
collection ; they represent St. Margaret, St. John the Baptist, St. George, 
and St. Florian.] 

Chap. V. JACOB ACKER. 147 

rium, of uncommon grandeur of character, formed once a 
portion of the predella of the same altarpiece. This is now 
in the Berlin Museum, No. 606 A. [Of the same year, pro- 
bably, are twelve scenes from the life of the Baptist, on the 
inner sides of the high altarpiece in the church of Blaubeuren, 
and the Crucifixion and Carrying of the Cross on the outer 
sides of the same piese. There is much power, too, in the 
fresco on the side of the church of Blaubeuren, dated 1490, 
representing the Baptist, of colossal dimensions. 1 Fine, like- 
wise, are the four doctors of the church from Eschach (1490), 
Nos. 426, 427, 439, and 443, in the Stuttgardt Museum.] 
To this, Zeitblom's maturest time, belong also the wings, 
executed 1497, of an altarpiece, at the church of Heerberg, 
a small place in Swabia, representing scenes from the life oi 
the Virgin. A head also of St. Anna, in the Berlin Museum 
[withdrawn], of delicate feeling and warm and clear colour- 
ing, shows this master in his full excellence. [It has not 
been ascertained in what year Zeitbloin died, but he was 
still on the rolls as a tax-payer in Ulm in 1517.] 2 

[Companion to Zeitblom, and of the same period, is JACOB 
ACKER, described by Hassler as the painter of an altarpiece 
in the church of Ristissen in Swabia.] s 

The Franconian school, of which Nuremberg, as in the 
former epoch, constituted the centre, received with the oil 
painting of the Netherlands also the realistic modes of con- 
ception proper to that country. In many of their composi- 
tions also the influence of Roger van der Weyden is percep- 
tible. As compared with the Swabian school, however, this 
school remained more true to the traditional treatment of 
ecclesiastical subjects ; its compositions are also more con- 
formable to style. At the same time the draughtsmanlike 
character prevails infinitely more here, the outlines not being, 
as in Swabia, lost and fused in the forms. Separate colours 

1 Harzen, u. s.] 

2 "Griineisen and Mauch, ti. s. 43.] 

8 Hassler, Ulm's Kunstgeschtchte,' in Heideloff's 'Kunst des Mittel- 
aHers in Schwaben,' p. 119, and Griineiseu and Mauch, u. s., p. 41. 
Acker painted the doors of the organ loft at Miinster in Swabia in 1473, 
and the altarpiece of Ristissen in 1 483.] 

1 'Kunstworke urid Kunstler in Deutschland,' vol. i p. 117. 


are more lively, but far less ., harmonious in relation to each 
other, so that Franconian pictures have generally a gaudy 
look. The action also is more angular, the drapery sharper 
and more arbitrary in the breaks ; and if the heads of many 
a saintly personage show that an attempt at ideal beauty has 
been preserved from the former period, the vulgarity and 
coarseness of the caricatured heads, especially of the soldiers, 
are much more objectionable than in the Swabian school. 

Belonging to the beginning of this epoch are the pictures 
,on the wings of the altar, executed 1453, in the chapel of 
the noble family of Loffelholz, in the church of St. Sebaldus 
at Nuremberg. The inner sides contain events from the 
legends of the Emperor Henry II. and his consort Kuni- 
gunda, the outer the Adoration of the three Kings and St. 
George killing the Dragon. On the inner side of the pre- 
della are Christ and Saints, on the outer the portraits of the 
numerous family of Loffelholz. The motives in some cases 
are very successful, and in those heads which have not been 
painted over may be seen a thorough study, good warm 
colouring, and conscientious technical execution. 

The chief master of this period was MICHAEL WOHLGE- 
MUTH, born 1434, died 1519. All his pictures show great 
power and clearness of colouring : otherwise there are few 
painters so unequal in merit. This arises not only from the 
circumstance that, being sought far and near to execute large 
altar- chests, in which the charge of colouring the figures or 
reliefs in wood was also included, he left much to the work- 
manship of rude assistants, but also because he himself 
devoted his own powers very capriciously to the task. The 
following are some of his principal works : Four pictures 
representing scenes from the Passion, of somewhat coarse 
character, belonging to his earlier time [inscribed 1465], 
originally in the church of the Holy Trinity at Hof, in 
Bavaria, now in the Munich Gallery, Nbs. 229-32 [and 
Christ's Mission to the Apostles, in the Frauenkirche at 
Munich]. The large altarpiece at Zwickau, executed 1479, 
is an improvement on that of Hof in some of the panels, 
especially in the four of the life of the Virgin. 1 He 
1 ' Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Deutschland,' vol. i. p. 56. 


is seen, however, to most advantage in single figures, of 
saints, life-size, portions of an altarpiece, painted in 1487 
for the Augustin church, now in the Germanic Museum at 
Nuremberg, Nos. 45, 53, 74, and SO. 1 Of the altarpiece in 
the church at Schwabach, not far from Nuremberg, painted 
from 1506 to 1508, only the stately figures of John the 
Baptist and St. Martin are probably by the master's hand. 2 
His best work I am inclined to consider the paintings on an 
altarpiece in the church of Heilsbronn, also in the same part 
of Franconia. They represent scenes from the life of Christ, 
the Mass of Pope Gregory, and the portraits of the donor, 
the Markgraf Frederick IV., and his family. The heads of 
the sacred personages are here of higher and more varied 
character, and the portraits more living than usual. 3 In 
England I only met with one notable picture by Wohl- 
gemuth, formerly in the Campe collection-at Nuremberg, later 
in that of the Rev. J. Fuller Russell; It represents in a rich 
composition the Bearing of the* Cross, and belongs to his 
most careful "works. The same may be said of two pictures 
in the Liverpool Institution, representing Pilate washing his 
hands, and the Descent from the Cross. This master also 
made the designs [1491] for a series of woodcuts in the now 
rare Chronicle of Nuremberg by Schedel, a copy of which 
was also in Mr. Russell's possession.- 4 

In Nuremberg and .other towns in Franconia may be seen 
many a picture, obviously of the school of Wohlgemuth, 
though collectively falling short of his excellence in art. 
They serve to show that, with the exception of the great 
Albert purer, he attracted no other scholar of any repute. 

The contemporary artists of Bavaria are still less interest- 
ing. By one of them, GABRIEL MAHSELKIRCHER, of Munich, 
who flourished about 1470, are two pictures of very large 
dimensions in the Gallery of Schleissheim, representing Christ 

1 * Kunstwerke und Kiinstler in Deutschland/ vol. i. pp. 184, 190. 

2 Ibid., p. 294. 

3 Ibid., p. 307, etc. The large picture attributed to him in the Gallery 
at Vienna differs, to my view, both in conception and technical qualities, 
too much from all his authenticated works to be by his hand. 

4 [See the records given by J. Baader, in Zahn's ' Jahrbucher,' ii. 73.] 


bearing the Cross, and the Crucifixion, which are marked 
with a sort of wild barbarism and fantastic extravagance. 
In the same collection is a large and rude Crucifixion by 
ULBICH FUTERER of Landshut, about 1480, painted to imitate 
sculpture in compartments of Gothic architecture. 

Nor are the pictures by HANS VON OLENDORF, at Schleiss- 
heim, of a higher character. They exhibit no feeling, the 
drawing is feeble, and the colour very hard. 



DURING this period the realistic tendency adopted in Ger- 
many attained, by means of a greater command of the materials 
and qualities of art, partly founded on the improved sciences 
of proportion and perspective, to a higher truthfulness of 
representation. A number of spirited inventions, embodying 
scenes not only of a religious character, but taken also from 
allegory and from common life, thus found expression. In 
the abundance of these inventions, in the feeling for style 
with which they were composed, and in mastery of drawing, 
the German artists decidedly surpassed their Netherlandish 
contemporaries, such as Quentin Massys, Lucas van Leyden, 
etc. On the other hand, as regards colour, they are found, 
with few exceptions, "to be in arrear of the Netherlands ; in 
their treatment, also, the draughtsmanlike feeling prevails 
in the indication of the outline, and the frequently hatched 
shadows, which give a certain hardness peculiar to their 
pictures. Nor do they stand quite on an equality with the 
painters of the Netherlands in management of detail, though 
gold grounds, with few exceptions, had been abolished, and 
landscape backgrounds, frequently of great finish, introduced. 
Indeed we find them, in some cases, painting landscape for 
its own sake. Still more do the Germans fall short of the 
excellence of contemporary Italian masters. But while 
admitting that their inferiority in those qualities ideality 


of conception, simplification and beauty of forms, and grace 
of movement which give the highest charm to the works 
of a Leonardo, a Raphael, and a Correggio, is partly owing to 
a difference in their innate feeling for art, partly to the less 
favourable conditions of beauty in man, nature, and climate, 
yet the fact itself, that German painters did not, even in the 
mode of art peculiar to themselves, arrive at that perfectly 
harmonious development of every quality, form, colour, and 
chiaroscuro, which distinguishes the Italian, must be sought 
for in various other causes. The taste for the fantastic in 
art peculiar to the middle ages, though it engendered clever 
and spirited works, was still unfavourable to the cultivation 
of pure beauty. This taste, which the Italians had long 
thrown off, found, even in this period, favour with the Ger- 
mans : scenes from the Apocalypse, Dances of Death, etc. r 
being among their favourite subjects for art. On the other 
hand, the pictorial treatment of antique literature, a world 
suggestive of beautiful conceptions, was so little comprehended 
by the Germans, that they only sought to express it through 
the medium of those fantastic forms, with very childish and 
even tasteless results. We must also remember that that 
average education of the various classes of society, of princes, 
nobles, burghers, which the fine arts require for their protec- 
tion, stood on a far lower footing in Germany than in that 
then favoured land which, from the beginning of the fifteenth 
century, had taken the lead of all others. In Italy, conse- 
quently, the favour with which works of art were regarded 
was far more widely extended, and entailed a far higher 
standard of merit. This again gave rise to a more elevated 
personal position on the part of the artist, which in Italy 
was not only one of more consideration, but, owing to its 
pecuniary rewards, of incomparably greater independence. 
In this latter respect Germany was so deficient that the 
genius even of an Albert Durer and Holbein was miserably 
cramped and hindered in development by the poverty and 
littleness of surrounding circumstances. It is known that of 
all the German princes no one but the Elector Frederic the 
Wise ever gave Albert Durer a commission for pictures, 1 while 
1 ' Reliquien von Albrecht Diirer, von Campe,' Niirnberg, 1818, p. 59. 


a writing, addressed by the great painter to the magistracy 
of Nuremberg, tells us that his native city never gave him 
employment even to the value of 500 florins. 1 At the same 
time his pictures were so meanly paid, that for the means of 
subsistence, as he says himself, he was compelled to devote 
himself to engraving. 2 How far more such a man as Albert 
Durer would have been appreciated in Italy and in the Nether- 
lands is further evidenced in the above-mentioned writing, 
where he states that he was offered 200 ducats a year in 
Venice, and 300 Philipsgulden in Antwerp, if he would settle 
in either of those cities. And Holbein fared still worse : 
there is no evidence whatever that any German prince ever 
troubled himself at all about the great painter ; while in the 
city of Basle his art was so little cared for that necessity 
compelled him to go to England, 3 where a genius fitted for 
the highest undertakings of historical painting was limited to 
the sphere of portraiture. The crowning impediments, finally, 
which hindered the progress of German art, and also per- 
verted it from its true aim, were the Keformation, which 
narrowed the sphere of ecclesiastical works, and the perni- 
cious imitation of the great Italian masters which ensued. 


The head of this school, at this period, was the celebrated 
ALBERT DURER.* In him the style of art already existing 
attained its most original and highest perfection. He be- 
came the representative of German art of this period. His 

1 * Reliquien von Albreciit Diirer, von Campe/ Niirnberg, 1818, pp. 34 
and 37. 2 Same work, p. 49. 

" Hie frigent artes. Petit Asgliam ut corradat aliquot Angelatus," 
says Erasmus of Rotterdam, in a letter he gave Holbein in Basle to bis 
friend Petrus Egydius in Antwerp, in 1526. 

4 There are several special works on Durer. The oldest is by H. C. 
Arend, 'Das Gedachtniss der Ehren Albrecht Durer's,' Gosslar, 1728. 
Later ones are : Weisse, 'A. DUrer und sein Zeitalter.' Leipzig, 1819 ; 
' Reliquien von A. Diirer,' NUrnberg, 1828, J. Heller, ' Das Leben und 
die Werke A. Diirer's,' Leipzig, 1831. [A. v Eye, 'Leben und Wirken 
A. Durer's.' Nordlingefj, 1 800, Stark, 'Albrecht Diirer und seine Zeit,' in 
the Germania, Leipzig, 1851, and 'Diirer's Kunstlehre,' von Dr. A. v. 
Zahn, 8vo, Leipzig, 1866.] ['Life, etc., of A. Diirer,' by W. B. Scott, 
1869. 'The History, etc., of A. Diirer,' by Mrs. Heaton, and 'A New 
Life of A. Durer,' etc., by Morite Thausing, 1879. Translated from 
the German "j 


spirit was rich and inexhaustible : not content with painting 
and the other arts of design, he exerted his powers in the 
kindred studies of sculpture and architecture ; he was gifted 
with a power of conception which traced Nature through all 
her finest shades, and with a lively sense, as well for the 
solemn and the sublime, as for simple grace and tenderness ; 
above all, he had an earnest and truthful feeling in art, 
united with a capacity for the severest study, such as is 
sliown in the composition of his various theoretical works. 1 
These qualities were sufficient to place him by the side of 
the greatest artists whom the world has ever seen. But he 
again was unable wholly to renounce the general tendency 
to the fantastic a tendency " which essentially obstructed 
the pure development of his power as an artist. It must be 
a'dmitted that in his hands this principle gave birth to single 
(productions- of such beauty and importance as we rarely 
meet with elsewhere; calling into life works which may 
truly be called " ^oems," and of which the mysterious 
subjects excite the liveliest interest. Albert Durer's drawing 
is full of life and character ; he fails, however, in feeling for/ 
beauty, and his nude is vulgar and sometimes even ugly in 
character ; his drapery, too, is frequently cut up into those t 
sharp forms which were the fashion of his day, but by no 
means favourable to the development of the figure. In ideal ^ 
drapery his folds are almost always cast in large and .beauti- 
ful masses ; but even here, in the breaks and angles, he 
cannot wholly discard that singular mannerism which con- 
fuses the eye, and disturbs the noble impression of the 
principal forms. His colouring is unequal : sometimes very 
brilliant, but generally wanting in truth and transparency ; 
while the hard outlines show rather the hand of a great* 
draughtsman. Even in the expression and form of the 
countenance, Durer follows a certain form, which cannot be 
called the normal type of ideal beauty, nor, in some instances, ^ 
even a faithful copy of common life after the manner of his 

1 ' UnderweysuDg der messung mit dem zirckei und richtscheyt,' etc., 
1525 ; 'Etliche underricht zu befestigung der Stett, Schlosz, und Flecken, 
1527 ; * Vier biicher von menschlicher Proportion,' 1518. There are 
different editions and translations of all the above, of a later date. 


predecessors-, but can only be explained from his prevailing 
tendency towards what is singular. When, however, in 
spite of all this, the greater number of his works make a 
deep impression on the mind and feelings of the spectator, 
it is a strong proof of the peculiar greatness of his abilities 
as an artist. 

The consideration of the single works of this master, to 
which we now pass, will explain more clearly the observa- 
tions just made, and the chronological arrangement of these 
works will afford an opportunity for some interesting notices 
of his progress as an artist. I shall especially consider his 
pictures (so far at least as they have come under my own 
observation), since it is only in them that the full extent 
of his unwearied powers can be recognized. The most im- 
portant of r his numerous woodcuts and engravings must also 
be noticed with a particular reference to their dates when 

[Albert Durer was born on the 21st of May, 1471, at 
Nuremberg, and died suddenly in that city on the 6th of 
April, 1528. 1 His father, a goldsmith, sent him, when quite 
a boy (1484), to Martin Schon, 2 in whose atelier he doubtless 
met Hans Burgkmair, who, in after life was his most active 
assistant. Later on Durer took lessons from Michael 
Wohlgemuth, to whom he was apprenticed (1486) for three 
years. 3 In 1490 1494, he went wandering as a painter 
companion, and so got a first glimpse of Venice, to which 
he was afterwards to return, when his talents became 

The earliest portrait by Albert Durer known to me is that 
of his father, Albrecht Durer the goldsmith, dated 1497. 
In the year 1644 this picture, which is engraved by Hollar, 
was in the collection of the Earl of Arundel ; it is now in 

1 [See Liitzelberger's proofs in the Niirnberger correspondent for 
May 1871]. 

2 [Neudorffer, 'Nachrichten von Niirnberger Kiinstlern,' MS. of 
1546, Campe's ed., 12mo., Nuremberg, 1828, p. 36, states this fact r 
which Durer himself has not noted in his diary. It is probably correct, 
because we see Schon's influence in Durer's prints.] 

8 [Durer's diary in Campe's 'Keliquien,' p. 7, and Durer to Pirckheimer, 
from Venice, in 1506. Ib. ib., p. 13.] 

Painted by himself. In the Collection of Artists' Portraits at Florence. paa 155. 

Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 155 

that of the Duke of Northumberland. It is very fine and 
of most animated conception ; the execution light but spirited, 
and of a draughtsmanlike character; the colouring warm, 
and truly harmonious. 1 

The same portrait, bearing the same date (1497), but 
differing in many respects, and with the following inscrip- 

" Das malt ich nach meines vatters gestalt, 
Da Er war siebenzich Jar alt," 

Albrccht Durer Der elter. 

is now in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, * No. 128. It is 
closely allied to the former in conception and treatment, and 
is also of great excellence, though of less force of colour. 

Again, the same portrait, bearing date 1498, is in the 
gallery of the Uffizj at Florence. 2 This one is yellower in 
the flesh-tones, and with a greenish background; also of 
more body than the two preceding. It was presented, with 
the next- mentioned portrait, its companion, by the city of 
Nuremberg to Charles I. of England, at the sale of whose 
gallery both pictures were purchased for the Grand Duke of 

[A very interesting work of this time is the likeness of a 
young girl, dated 1497, in the collection of Baron Speck von 
Sternburg, near Leipzig ; a clear and highly finished bust, 
once an ornament of the Arundel collection, and engraved 
by Hollar.] 

The next picture by the master known to us is his own 
portrait, of the year 1498, in the Florentine collection of 
artists' portraits painted by themselves, in the Uffizj ; the 
arrangement of the picture is well known the artist, a half- 
length figure, stands at a window, the hands resting on the 
window-sill. He is arrayed in a peculiar holiday dress a 
shirt neatly plaited and cut low in the neck, a white jerkin 

1 A good school copy of this picture is in the Stiidel Gallery at 
Frankfort [No. 106]. 

2 [Otto Miiudler very properly observes that the date on this picture 
is a forgery. On the back of the panel are the arms of Durer and the 
ciphers 1490 ; and so the Uffizi portrait is the earliest one that Durer 
painted of his father. See ' Beitrage zu Burckhardt's Cicerone,' Leipzig, 
1870, p. 30.] 

156 THE FKANCONIA.N SCHOOL. Book lit '; 

striped with black, a pointed cap, and a brown mantle over 
the left shoulder, the hair falling in carefully arranged curls. 
The painting, with some sharpness in the drawing, has a 
breadth and softness, especially in the lights, which we 
rarely find at a later period; the shadows of the carnation 
have a light bronze tint. The expression of the coun- 
tenance is honest and homely, with a certain naive self-com- 
placency, which is indeed tolerably manifest in the letters 
written by him to Pirckheimer about eight years later. 1 

[Turning from portrait to composition, we assign to 1498 
the Nativity, with kneeling figures of patricians, an altarpiece 
from St. Catherine of Nuremberg, Nos. 241-43, in the, 
Munich Pinakothek.] , : 

In the same year, 1498, appeared his woodcuts, illus- 
trating the Book of Revelation, and which we should perhaps 
regard as proofs of his activity in the years immediately , 
preceding. Here the artist already exhibits a great and 
peculiar excellence, though, as might be expected from : the " 
subject, the fantastic element forms the groundwork of the 
whole. These mystical subjects are conceived in a singularly 
poetic spirit : the marvellous and the monstrous me,et us in 
living bodily forms. Some ; of them exhibit a power of 
representation to the eye, and a grandeur pf conception, the 
more surprising, since the shapeless exuberance of the 
scriptural visions might easily have led the artist astray, as 
has indeed frequently happened in the case of others who 
have attempted these subjects. How powerful is that second 
plate, in which He with eyes of flaming fire ? the seyen stars 
in His right hand, and a two-edged sword in His mouth, sits 
enthroned among the seven golden candlesticks, with St.; 
John kneeling in adoration before Him! In the fourth 
plate, how mighty is the descent upon the earth, of the four 
riders, with scales, bows, swords, and other weapons of 
death ! In the eighth, how the four angels of the Euphrates 
dash to the ground with their swords the mighty and the 

1 Dr. Waagen holds that this portrait is the original, of which there 
is a copy in the Madrid Museum. See his opinion in Zahn's ' Jahrbiicher,' 
i. p. 54. Otto Miindler believed (Beitrage, u.s. 30) the original to be 
at Madrid and the copy at the Uffizj.] 

Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 157 

proud of the earth, whilst over them ride the awful company 
of horsemen on the lion-headed horses, spitting forth fire ! 
But it would occupy too mu,ch time to enter upon all the 
details of these remarkable works. We now return to his 
pictures. , . .; .;.. 

Several of Albert Durer's pictures of the year 1500 are 
known to us. The first and most important is his own 
portrait in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, No. 239, which 
represents him in front, with his hand laid on the fur 
trimming of his robe. There is a considerable difference 
between this and the Florence portrait, although ;the artist 
is here but two years older a difference from which we 
may infer that a remarkable crisis had taken place in the 
development of his mind. In the Florence picture he is a 
good-natured harmless youth, see woodcut : in that at 
Munich he has suddenly ripened into manhood ; his features 
have become full and powerful, they have gained the expres- 
sion of a formed character ; ihe forehead and eyes give 
evidence of an earnest and deep-thinking spirit. The tech- 
nical treatment, too, which contributes so much to give a 
peculiar stamp to his later works, is here fully matured, 
particularly the thin glazing in the shadows of the carnations, 
which lends to the picture we speak of an almost glassy 
transparency. The modelling is excellent, although still 
somewhat severe, and although considerable restorations are 
perceptible. The hair falls on both shoulders in beautiful 
profusion, and is very finely painted ; the hand which holds 
the fur of the upper garment over the breast is still stiff in 
the drawing, and, what is in striking contrast to the painting 
of the face, the colour is thickly laid on. 1 

Of the same year is a Hercules attacking the Harpies, 
painted in distemper ; a fine, powerfully drawn figure, but 
much injured. No. 190 in the collection of the Germanic 
Museum at Nuremberg. 2 

1 [There is a fine old copy of this portrait in the Suermondt collection 
at Aix-la-Chapelle.] [Now at Berlin, No. 557 A.] 

[The Wail of the Marys over the dead body of Christ, No. 238 in 
the Munich Gallery, is certified by a monogram, and the date 1500 ' t 
but it is doubtful whether either is genuine.] 


In the gallery of the Belvedere, in Vienna, is a Virgin 
nursing the Infant, of the year 1503. It contains little more 
than the heads of both figures. Though lightly and very 
pleasingly painted, it is uninteresting in expression, and 
seems nothing more than the portrait of the sturdy wife of 
some burgher. 

But the engraving of the same date, of the coat of arms 
with the Death's head, is far more interesting. The two 
supporters the smiling woman with the braided tresses and 
fantastic crown, and the wild man who grasps her, and 
turns, as if to kiss her have a peculiar and fantastic charm 
about them. The engraving, too, of Adam and Eve, of the 
year 1504, ranks among the best of the master's works. 

The finest picture of the year 1504 is an Adoration of the 
Kings ; originally painted for Frederick the Wise, Elector of 
Saxony, subsequently presented by the Elector Christian II. 
to the Emperor Rudolph II., and finally, on the occasion of 
an exchange of pictures, transferred from Vienna to Florence, 
where it now hangs in the Tribune of the Uffizj. The heads 
are of thoroughly realistic treatment ; the Virgin a portrait 
from some model of no attractive character; the second 
king the portrait of the painter himself. The landscape 
background exactly resembles that in the well-known engrav- 
ing of St. Eustace, the period of which is thus pretty nearly 
defined. It is carefully painted in a fine body of colour. 

To about the same time we may assign the fine portrait 
of a man with broad-brimmed hat and an order round his 
neck, now in the collection of the Duke of Eutland at Belvoir 

[Of 1505 is a fine male portrait in the Borghese Palace at 

In the year 1506 Albert Durer made a journey into Upper 
Italy, and remained a considerable time at Venice. Of his 
occupations in this city the letters written to his friend 
Wilibald Pirckheimer, which have come down to us, give 
many interesting particulars. He there executed for the 
German Company a picture which brought him great fame, 
and by its brilliant colouring silenced the assertion of his 
envious adversaries, " that he was a good engraver, but 

Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 159 

knew not how to deal with colours." In the centre of the 
landscape is the Virgin, seated, with the Child, and crowned 
by two Angels ; on her right is a Pope with priests, kneel- 
ing ; on her left the Emperor Maximilian L, with knights ; 
various members of the German Company are also kneel- 
ing : all are being crowned with garlands of roses by the 
Virgin, the Child, St. Dominick who stands behind the 
Virgin and by angels. The painter and his friend Pirck- 
heimer are seen standing in the background on the right ; 
the painter holds a tablet, with the inscription, " Exegit 
quinque mestri spatio, Albertus Durer Gelrmanus, MDVI," 
and his monogram. This picture, which is one of his largest 
and finest, was purchased of the church at a high price by 
the Emperor Rudolph II. for his gallery at Prague, where it 
remained until sold in 1782, with other objects from the 
same collection, by the Emperor Joseph II. It then became 
the property of the Przemonstratensian monastery of Strahow 
at Prague, where it still exists, though in very injured con- 
dition and greatly over-painted. In the Museum at Lyons 
may be seen a copy, with various important alterations, 
which was executed towards the close of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, and which there passes for the original. 1 

[The most attractive picture of the year is the crucified 
Saviour, in the Gallery of Dresden, an exquisite production, 
in which Durer shows how thoroughly he was master of 
drawing, proportion, and expression, a marvel of finish, and 
full of effect. 

In contrast to this, and done, we might think, to prove 
how quick even a German of Durer's type could work, is 
a Christ amidst the Doctors, in the Barberini Palace at 
Rome, executed, as the inscription says, and the spectator 
can guess, " in five days."] 8 

1 A good lithograph, executed with the pen by Bademann, taken 
from the original, was published in Prague in 1835. For further 
description of this important picture, see an article by me in the 
'Kunstblatt' of 1854, p. 200, etc. [Compare also Grimm. 'Kiinstler 
und Kunstwerke,' 1865, i. 166-7, and De His, Les Musees de Provence 
U. 379.] 

2 [Vasari says -that the cause of Durer's journey to Venice was 
Marcantonio's issue of the Passion engravings with Durer's monogram : 
the result was an arrangement between the two engravers to issue the 


fLa. the Gallery of. the Belvedere, at Vienna, is a portrait, 
of the year 1507, of a young man, with a high colour. It is 
wonderfully beautiful, true to life, and finely painted, so as 
to equal Durer's best works in portraiture ; but it is unfor- 
tunately not in as good preservation as we could wish. This 
picture allows us to judge of the excellence of another painted 
in the same year, and which afterwards passed from the 
possession of the Council of Nuremberg into the gallery of the 
Emperor Rudolph II. It represents, on two different panels, 
Adam and Eve, life-size, at the moment of the Fall. On 
that containing Eve is the inscription, " Albertus Durer 
Alemanus faciebat post Yirginis partum, 1507," with the 
monogram. The head of Eve is very delicately formed for 
the painter, the drawing good, the outlines animated, and 
the modelling careful. These panels are now in the Madrid 
Gallery. 1 Another example of the same subject, of great 
beauty, and proceeding undoubtedly from the studio of Albert 
Durer, is in the Pitti Palace. A third, also called an original 
picture, in the Mayence Gallery, is, on the other hand, an 
early copy. 2 

With these productions begins the zenith of this master's 
fame, in which a great number of distinguished works follow 
one another within a short period. Of these we first notice 
a picture of 1508, in the Belvedere Gallery at Vienna, painted 
for Duke Frederick of Saxony, and which afterwards adorned 
the gallery of the Emperor Rudolph II. It represents the 
Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand Saints. In the centre of 
the picture stand the master and his friend Pirckheimer as 
spectators, both in black dresses. Albert Durer has a mantle 
thrown over the shoulder in the Italian fashion, and stands 

Passion as a joint undertaking (Vas. ix. 265-7). These statements 
are not confirmed by Durer's correspondence ; they are treated as fables 
by most writers. But Mr. F. Reiset gives reasons for thinking that 
Marcantonio did copy and sell as Durer's those plates of the Passion 
which bear dates earlier than 1507, ex. gr. the Meeting of Joachim and 
Anna (1504), the Annunciation and Epiphany (1506). Compare F. 
Eeiset's 'Notice des Dessins,' etc., Paris, 1866, pp. 360362.] 

1 Passavant's 'Christliche Kunst in Spanien,' p. 142. 

2 [The Pitti contains the originals of which the Madrid pictures are 
copies. The replica at Mayence, No. 204, is very unattractive, and looks 
like a work of the school of Mabuse.] 

Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 161 

in a firm attitude. He folds his hands, and holds a small 
flag, on which is inscribed, "Iste faciebat anno domini 1508 
Albertus Durer Alemanus." There are a multitude of single 
groups around, exhibiting every species of martyrdom, but 
there is a want of general connection of the whole. The 
scenes in the background, where the Christians are led naked 
up the rocks, and are precipitated down from the top, appear 
to me particularly excellent. The whole is very minute and 
miniature-like ; the colouring is beautifully brilliant, and it 
is painted (the accessories particularly) with extraordinary 
care. There is also much that is good in the drawing of 
single parts, but the conception wants real dignity, power, 
and individuality. It is only here and there that pain is well 
expressed ; for instance, in the last but one of the nude 
figures who are led up the mountain, and who totters along, 
weary to the death, with a deep wound in the head. The 
background forms an excellent but fanciful landscape of rocks 
and trees. In the Schleissheim Gallery there is a repetition 
of this picture no doubt an old copy. 1 

In the following year Albert Durer painted the celebrated 
Assumption of the Virgin for Jacob Heller of Frankfort, a pic- 
ture which he executed with the most persevering diligence, 
and the centre-piece without any assistance. Here again 
the painter himself stands in the centre, leaning upon a tablet 
inscribed with his name, and with the date. There are 
numerous ancient testimonies to the excellence of this work. 
[It was purchased at the close of the sixteenth century by 
Maximilian, Elector of Bavaria, at the cost of 10,000 florins 
and a copy by Paul Juvenel of Nuremberg ; and it subse- 
quently perished by fire at Munich in 1674. Juvenel's copy 
was preserved, and still exists in the Stahlhof at Frankfort, 
where numerous pieces of the wings were recently brought 
together by the industry of an excellent art critic, Dr. Mori& 
Thausing. On the open wings are the Martyrdoms of St. 

1 [0. Miindler adds to our list of pictures for this year a small one in 
the Santangelo collection at Naples, representing a woman tying a 
garland at a window, inscribed with Durer's name, the date 1508, and 
the words in a white ribband : " Ich Tint mit Verges mein nit." See 
'Beitrage,'p. 30.] 



James and St. Catherine, beneath which there are portraits 
of Jacob Heller and his wife. Of four pieces forming 
the outer sides of the wings three have been found: one 
representing two canonized kings, another, St. Thomas (?) 
and St. Christopher, yet another, St. Peter and St. Paul. 
Moriz Thausing very justly observes that it is difficult to 
say to which of Durer's assistants the wing pictures can be 
assigned. They were too poor to prove attractive to the 
Elector of Bavaria.] 1 

Two excellent woodcuts may also be mentioned as examples 
of Durer's activity in 1510. The first is the beautiful plate 
which represents a Penitent kneeling before the altar and 
scourging himself on his naked back, and the second that in 
which Death seizes upon an armed warrior. 

In 1511 he published three large series of woodcuts, some 
of which, as shown by their dates, had been executed in the 
two preceding years. These were the greater and the 
lesser Passion, and the Life of the Virgin. They are some 
of the best of Albert Durer's works which have descended to 
us ; in them we find, almost more than in any others, intima- 
tions of a lively feeling for beauty and simple dignity, whilst 
the fantastic features of his style and the homeliness of his 
conception are less offensively prominent. We can take but 
a rapid glance at a few of this rich series. 

The Great Passion. The title-page represents Christ sit- 
ting naked on a stone, with the crown of thorns, whilst one 
of the soldiers thrusts into his hand the reed. The form of 
Christ is most noble, full, and beautiful ; the soldier, in the 
costume of the middle ages, is fierce and scornful, but also a 
finely formed and well-developed figure. The Saviour is 
wringing his hands, while he turns his majestic head, full of 
divine compassion, towards the spectator for, as a frontis- 
piece, this representation has here a symbolical meaning : it 
is not the mockery of Christ, as an event of history, but the 
lasting reproach cast upon the Saviour by sinners ; hence the 
wounds on the hands and feet are already marked. The 
Bearing of the Cross is a composition with numerous figures 

1 [See 'Der Hellersche Altar,' by Moriz Thausing, in Zeitschiift,' 
b. Kunst, vi., pp. 93 and 135.] 

Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 163 

thickly grouped, yet conveying the most perfect view of the 
subject, and the clearest development of the action. In the 
centre the Saviour sinks on his knee under the weight of the 
cross ; on the right the executioner, in whose figure there is 
an ostentatious display of muscular power, drags him up by 
the rope ; on the left is St. Veronica kneeling, with the 
handkerchief in her hands, while Christ turns to her with an 
expression of tender love. Behind him is another execu- 
tioner, who with savage haste appears to throw Jesus forward 
among stones and thistles ; whilst Simon, of Cyrene, a 
benevolent old man, is in the act of taking the weight of the 
cross from his shoulders. Further back, on one side, are the 
centurion and soldiers, and on the other the Virgin and the 
friends of Jesus : behind them the Thieves are being led 
through the city-gate. The composition bears a similarity, 
not to be mistaken, to Raphael's picture, Lo Spasimo di 
Sicilia; and though -in this latter work we acknowledge the 
hand of a more matured artist, yet, in single parts, the com- 
parison is certainly favourable to the older German compo- 
sition. The figure of Christ, particularly, is more important, 
more dignified, and more decidedly the central point of 
interest in the action. Christ's Descent into Hell displays 
the wildest fancy in the figures of the demons, perfect 
majesty in that of the Redeemer, and excellent drawing of 
the nude in the figures of those released. The Body of 
Christ taken down from the Cross, and mourned over by his 
followers, is a composition which may unhesitatingly be 
placed by the side of the most profound works of the great 
Italian masters. The most perfect grouping is made consist- 
ent with the greatest simplicity of design; and, however 
indifferently the engraver has executed his part, the varied 
expression of the single figures, and the peculiar grace of the 
lines and movements, cannot be concealed. When we look 
at such works we easily comprehend why the later Italians 
valued Albert Durer's compositions so highly, and how it was 
that a translation of them, as it were, into Italian was so 
much desired. 

The Lesser Passion. Of this series the most beautiful 
compositions are Christ taking leave of his Mother ; distin- 


guished by the dignity and beauty of the drapery. Christ 
washing the feet of his disciples; remarkable for the ex- 
cellent and simple arrangement of a large number of figures 
in a small space, whilst the principal group in the foreground 
is beautiful and full of feeling. Christ praying on the Mount 
of Olives, which is extremely simple, and, with the highest 
dignity and beauty, full of the most profound and tender 
feeling. Christ appearing to his Mother in her chamber, and 
to Mary Magdalen as the gardener, after his resurrection, are 
both, the latter particularly, compositions of peculiar grace 
and simple beauty. 

The Life of the Virgin. The leading character of the last- 
mentioned works is grand and tragic ; that of this series is 
graceful and pleasing. In these we are introduced into the 
more tender relations of family life, where the master shows 
a refinement of amiable feeling in which he has few equals. 
It appears almost superfluous to enter into the details of a 
work so well known, but we shall briefly notice a few com- 
positions of particular beauty. The Golden Gate Joachi 
and Anna support one another, after their mournful sepan 
tion, with the expectation of a joyful futurity; the former it 
a mild-looking, aged man Anna full of womanly softness 
and resignation. In the background the steward and othc 
servants of Joachim, who had come to welcome their lord, 
are engaged in talking over the event. The birth of tl 
Virgin a composition of the most attractive na'ivett. 
scene is the lying-in chamber of a Nuremberg house, with 
numerous company of women and maidens, offering an in- 
teresting comparison with Florentine life, in similar scenes, 
by Ghirlandajo and others. The Circumcision : this subject 
frequently so disagreeable, and bordering, even in the hanc 
of great masters, on the absurd, here offers a pleasing 
presentation of a characteristic national custom. Numeroi 
as are the figures in this composition, nothing is superfluous 
each seems necessarily and individually interested in th< 
action; and the whole is formed into simple and nature 
groups. The Flight into Egypt : in contrast to the Circui 
cision the space is here skilfully filled up with few figures 
the pleasant aspect of a thick and fruitful wood, throsgl 

Painted by Albert Durer. Now in the Belvedere at Vienna pa&e 165. 

Chap. VI. ALEERJ DURER. 165 

which the Holy Family are journeying, adds to the charm of 
this attractive subject. The Repose in Egypt : a courtyard, 
with a dwelling built into the ruins of an ancient palace ; the 
Virgin, with a spindle, sits beside the cradle ; beautiful angels 
worship at her side ; Joseph is employed in carpenter's work, 
with a number of little angels, who, in merry sport, assist 
him in his labour. This is a scene of the most graceful repose 
and undisturbed serenity. The Death of the Virgin : the 
perfect composition, simple division of the principal groups, 
fine forms, and deep feeling, combine to place this design 
very high amongst the works of Albert Durer. It has fre- 
quently been copied in colours by his followers ; and, in 
many galleries, pictures of this kind bear his name. 

There are also other woodcuts by the master inscribed with 
the date 1511, such as the well-known and grand composition 
of the Trinity, several Holy Families, etc. 

Between the years 1507 and 1513, but principally in 1512, 
were executed the large series of kmall engravings which con- 
tain a third representation of the Passion. Among these are 
many of much merit, the more interesting from the delicate 
execution of the master's own hand being visible throughout. 
In order not to weary the reader, I shall refrain from going 
into the details of single plates. 

To this fruitful time, 1511, belongs also one of his most 
celebrated pictures, the Adoration of the Trinity, see wood- 
cut. It was painted for the chapel of the Landauer Briider- 
haus, in Nuremberg, whence, like many of his works, it was 
removed to Prague, where it was presented [April, 1585] 1 to 
the Emperor Eodolph II. ; at present it is in the Belvedere 
at Vienna. Above, in the centre of the picture, are seen the 
First Person, who holds the Saviour in his arms, while the 
Holy Spirit is seen above ; some angels spread out the priestly 
mantle of the Almighty, whilst others hover near with the in- 
struments of Christ's Passion . On the left hand, a little lower 
down, is a choir of females with the Virgin at their head ; 
on the right are the male saints with St. John the Baptist. 
Below all these kneel a host of the blessed, of all ranks and 

[ 1 See Josef Eaader's Beitrage sSr EuastgescMchte iTtirnbeige, in 
Zahn's ' Jahrbiicher,' i. 224.] 


nations, extending over the whole of this part of the picture. 
Underneath the whole is a beautiful landscape, and in a 
corner of the picture the artist himself, richly clothed in a 
fur mantle, with a tablet next him, with the words " Albertus 
Durer Noricus faciebat anno a Virginis partu, 1511." The 
execution here also is masterly and of exceeding delicacy, 
but again with the same glazing of the colours. The cast of 
the drapery is in general grand ; the figures in the Trinity 
are dignified, and not without beauty. In other parts the 
picture is deficient in loftiness of conception, and a few only 
of the other heads that of David, for instance can be 
called beautiful. In the greater number, even in the figures 
of the saints, we again find a feeling of common life, border- 
ing on caricature. It may be assumed beyond doubt that he 
held in particular esteem those pictures into which he intro- 
duced his own portrait. 

In the Belvedere is a picture of the following year, 1512, 
the Virgin holding the naked Child in her arms. She has a 
veil over her head, and blue drapery. Her face is of the 
form usual with Albert Durer, but of a soft and maidenly 
character ; the Child is beautiful the countenance parti- 
cularly so. It is painted with exceeding delicacy of finish, 
but, unfortunately, with grayish shadows in the flesh. 

[In the Trivulzi collection at Milan is a small and well- 
preserved bust-figure of Christ crowned with thorns, with 
the monogram and the date of 1514. *] 

A series of his pictures, to which there is no precise date, 
may be mentioned here, sinc"e the greater number of them 
must belong to the middle period of the artist's career : 

A Mater Dolorosa, in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, No. 
250, standing with folded hands, is beautiful, simple, and 
dignified. 2 

The Body of our Lord taken down from the Cross and 
mourned by his followers, is No. 191 in the Germanic Museum 
at Nuremberg. It was originally ordered by the family of 
Holzschuher for the church of St. Sebaldus ; it then came 

1 [See Handler's ' Beitrage,' n. s., p. 30.] 

2 [This picture was painted by an imitator of Durer, and the mono- 
gram as well as the date is false.] 

An Engraving by Albert Durer. 

page 1(57. 

Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 167 

into the possession of the Peller family, and at a later period 
into the Boisseree Gallery. The composition consists of 
numerous figures, beautifully arranged, particularly the dead 
body, the drawing of which, though stiff, is of a fine cha- 
racter. There is no great depth of expression in the heads ; 
the background is a rich mountain-landscape. This picture 
was probably executed between 1515 and 1518. 1 A repeti- 
tion, which is in the original place in St. Sebaldus, is un- 
doubtedly an old, but not worthless copy ; the colouring, 
particularly in the body of Christ, is, however, much drier. 

The portraits of the Emperors Charlemagne and Sigismund, 
in the castle at Nuremberg, are two powerful and dignified 
figures, executed in Albert Durer's forcible outline and free 
painting. 2 

A portrait, in distemper, of Jacob Fuggers, in the Munich 
Gallery, is a clever picture, No. 249. 3 

Some engravings, which our historical survey now leads 
us to notice, are more interesting than the greater part of the 
pictures just described. 

The first of these is the celebrated plate of The Knight, 
Death, and the Devil, inscribed with the date 1513 (see 
woodcut). I believe that I do not exaggerate when I 
particularize this print as the most important work which 
the fantastic spirit of German Art has ever produced. The 
invention may be ascribed unreservedly to the imagination 
of the master. We see a solitary Knight riding through a 
dark glen ; two demons rise up before him, the most fearful 
which the human breast can conceive the personification of 
thoughts at which the cheek grows pale the horrible figure 
of Death on the lame horse, and the bewildering apparition 
of the Devil. But the Knight, prepared for combat wherever 
resistance can avail, with a countenance on which Time has 
imprinted his furrows, and to which care and self-denial 
have imparted an expression of deep and unconquerable 
determination, looks steadily forward on the path which he 
has chosen, and allows these creations of a delusive dream 

1 ' Kiinstler und Kunstwerke in Deutschland,' vol. i. p. 186. 

: ' Kiinstler und Kunstwerke in Deutschlancl,' vol. i., p. 201, etc. 

3 [This is a clever portrait, but not by Albert Durer.} 


to sink again into their visionary kingdom. The masterly 
execution of the engraving is well known. 

Several excellent plates were also executed by Albert 
Durer in the year 1514. Of these we may first name his 
"Melancholy." In the seated figure of this grand winged 
woman, absorbed in thought (see woodcut), he has expressed, 
in a highly original and intellectual manner, the insufficiency 
of the human reason, either to explore the secrets of life, 
fortune, and science, or to unravel those of the past. Sym- 
bolical allusions of various kinds lie around, in the shape of 
the sphere, the book, the crystal polygon, the crucible, the 
bell, the hour-glass, etc., with many implements of human 
activity, such as the plane, the hammer, and the rule. The 
intention of the plate is greatly enhanced by the grandly 
melancholy character of the landscape background. 

A perfect contrast to the Melancholy is to be found in its 
contemporary print of St. Jerome in his study. There, too, 
we see the figure of a man sunk in deep thought, and a chamber 
filled with various apparatus. The whole is arranged with 
the most ingenious fancy, but pervaded by a serenity and 
grace which keep aloof all the dreams and visionary forms 
created by the imagination, and bring before us the simple 
reality of homely life in its most pleasing form. Gerard 
Dow, the most feeling of the Dutch genre-painters, has pro- 
duced nothing so pleasing and touching as this print, which, 
even in the most trifling accessories, bears the impress of a 
lofty and gentle nature. 

After the year 1520 Albert Durer engraved various plates 
of Madonnas and Apostles, among which occur additional 
examples of dignity and fine feeling. 

The largest woodcut executed by this master is inscribed 
with the year 1515. It is the Triumphal Arch of the Em- 
peror Maximilian : a strange work, with an endless variety 
of historical representations, portraits, and fanciful ornaments. 
In spite, however, of the immense amount of details, the 
effect of the whole is very stately. To the architectural 
parts the artist has given the most grotesque and fantastic 
forms, yet they are often composed with singular ingenuity 
and skill : this applies particularly to the principal columns. 

Engraving by Albert Durer. 

page 168. 

Drawn by Albert Durer. In the Royal Library, Munich, 

page 169. 

Drawn by Albert Durer. In the Royal Library, Munich. 


Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 160 

which are arranged in pairs ; their composition is remarkable 
throughout for its strict consistency and its reference to the 
office assigned to them ; they have not the weight of a con- 
tinuous entablature to support, but in reality each pair only 
sustains isolated niches, which contain statues. The orna- 
ments, taken singly, are very tasteful, and drawn with 
much force and spirit ; the series of portraits which repre- 
sent the predecessors and ancestors of the Emperor, from 
Julius Caesar and the Merovingian Clodovic, with all his kin- 
dred is very remarkable for the extraordinary variety and 
character of the heads, which the artist, having no existing 
originals to work from, was obliged himself to invent. The 
historical representations relate to the most brilliant events 
of the Emperor's life, but in them we trace the hand of the 
imperial historiographer who arranged, rather than that of 
the artist who executed them. Very few of these composi- 
tions are remarkable for the qualities which we look for in 
works of art, yet there are parts, particularly where the 
action consists of few figures, which are very striking. The 
whole work proves in a brilliant manner the singular versa- 
tility of this master's powers. 

In the year 1515 Albert Durer executed also the celebrated 
borders for the Prayer-book of the Emperor Maximilian, see 
woodcuts, now in the Royal Library at Munich. In these 
spirited pen-and-ink drawings the fancy of the artist revels 
in perfect liberty, sometimes serious and dignified, sometimes 
gracefully playful, sometimes humorous and gay. Here 
his task was not to represent a given subject of particular 
depth of meaning, but merely to fill up tastefully an allotted 
space : and if he does not always seem to keep in mind the 
full meaning of the text which he has adorned with his 
arabesques, still the play of fancy is neither whimsical nor 
extravagant, the humour never degenerates into vulgarity, 
as is often the case in this kind of ornament ; and the com- 
bined effect makes so pleasing an impression on the spec- 
tator that criticism is content to be silent. 

Two of his pictures in the Florentine Gallery of the Uffizj, 
which represent the Apostles Philip and James, bear the date 
of 1516. They were gifts from the Emperor Ferdinand HI., 


in the middle of the seventeenth century, to the Duke of 
Tuscany. Both are painted in tempera, and powerfully 
modelled ; the character is forcible and energetic. 

Of the same year is the portrait of his master, Wohlge- 
muth, in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, No. 243, a strangely 
sharp and bony countenance. It is of masterly painting, in 
a draughtsmanlike style. 

The fantastic composition, consisting of four woodcuts of 
a pillar on which a Satyr is seated, was executed in 1517. 

In 1518 occurs the charming woodcut of the Virgin as 
Queen of Heaven, surrounded by Angels. 

A Lucretia, the size of life, in the Munich G-allery (No. 
244), was taken from some very unattractive original in 
Nuremberg. It is, however, of masterly modelling in all 
parts, and worthy of Leonardo da Yinci. 

In the year 1519 Albert Durer executed a portrait of the 
Emperor Maximilian; a half-length, with a pomegranate, 
the imperial symbol, in the left hand. It is in the Gallery 
of the Belvedere in Vienna. The conception is fine, and the 
execution, in a warm tone, very careful. A good original 
repetition was in the collection of the late Lord Northwick 
at Thirlestain Hall. 1 

In the year 1520-21 he undertook a journey to the Nether- 
lands. His journal is still preserved, and tells us of the 
great honours with which he was received there by the 
native artists. He appears at this time as a man conscious 
of his long and ardent labours, and anxious to derive from 
those labours only such advantages as every honourable man 
must wish to ' enjoy. This journey, however, it appears, 
must have exercised an important influence on his tendency 
in art, and perhaps opened his eyes to the peculiarity of his 
manner. There are at least changes in the feeling and treat- 
ment visible in his later works, and Melancthon tells us, 
from the painter's own confession, that the beauty of nature 
had not unfolded itself to him until a late period ; that he 
had then only learned that simplicity is the greatest charm 
of art ; that he sighed over the motley pictures of his early 

1 * Treasures of Art,' etc., vol. iii. p. 210. 

from Albert Eurer's Woodcut of the " CAR OF MAXIMILIAN," in tlie Biitieli Museum. 

page 171. 

^ *3*i; 

/rcim i-l's-rr 1 . urer s Woodcut of the " CAK OF MAXIMILIAN," in the British Museut 

Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 171 

days, and mourned that he could no longer hope to emulate 
the great prototype Nature. 1 

In the Gallery of the Belvedere, in Vienna, is a singular 
picture by Albert Durer, of the year 1520, which differs in 
a striking manner from the rest of his works. In execution 
and conception it bears a likeness, not to be mistaken, to 
the works of the artists of the Low Countries of that period, 
particularly to those of Quentin Massys. It was probably 
executed whilst he was on the journey, under the influence 
of the new objects around him. The subject is the Virgin, 
a half-length figure in a fur mantle ; the Child, naked, with 
a string of amber round his neck, is on her lap ; on the 
green table before her lies a cut lemon. The head of the 
Virgin is particularly soft and mild ; the Child is not remark- 
ably beautiful. 2 

In 1522 he published the series of woodcuts which form 
the Triumphal Car of the Emperor Maximilian, see wood- 
cuts. The allegory is rather pdor, and the elaborate orna- 
ments of the car are whimsical and even tasteless ; on the 
other hand, the allegorical female figures, despite the dis- 
agreeable crumpled appearance of the drapery, display 
motives of extraordinary beauty, such as might have pro- 
ceeded from the graceful simplicity of Eaphael. This cir- 
cumstance also must not be overlooked with reference to the 
change in the tendency of Albert Durer's feeling in his later 
time. 8 

The two half-length pictures of SS. Joseph and Joachim, 
and Simeon and Lazarus, in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, 

1 Memini virum excellentera ingenio et virtute Albertum Durerum 
pictorem dicere, se juvenem floridas et maxime varias picturas amasse, 
seque admiratorem suorum operuin valde Isetatum esse, contemplatem 
hanc varietatem in sua aliqua pictura. Postea se senem ccepisse intueri 
Naturam, et illius nativain faciem intueri conatum esse, eamque simpli- 
citatem tune iutellexisse summuni artis decus esse. Quam cum non 
prorsus adsequi posset, dicebat se jam non esse admiratorem operum 
suorum ut olirn, sed scepe gemere intuentem suas tabulas, et cogitantem 
de infirmitate sua. Etc. (Epistolae Ph. Melanchthonis, etc., Ep. 47, p. 
42 E. apud Epist. D. Erasmi Roter. et Ph. Melanch. Londini, 1642, fol.) 

2 [This picture, No. 20, Room I, second floor, bears a false signature 
and date, and is by a Fleming, imitating Durer.] 

8 [This series was drawn under Durer's supervision by his assistants, 
amongst others by Hans von Kulmbach, in 1518. See Moriz Thausing'b 
'Laurea,' in Zahn's ' Jahrbiicher,' ii., 178.] 


245, 246, are of the year 1523. They formed the side- 
wings of an altarpiece [painted for the Jabach family at 
Cologne, the outer sides of which are in the Cologne and 
Frankfort galleries]. 1 The colouring is beautiful, the ex- 
pression dignified, but they are not essentially different from 
his earlier works. 

Scarce as are the genuine pictures by Albert Durer in 
England, I may observe that a Nativity by him, under the 
erroneous name of Herri de Bles a small but fine picture 
[was till quite lately] in the collection of the Marquis of 
Exeter at Buiieigh House. 

During this period he engraved on copper those remark- 
able portraits of his celebrated contemporaries Cardinal 
Albert of Brandenburg, the Elector Frederick the Wise, 
Pirckheimer, Melancthon, Erasmus of Kotterdam, and others 
which are distinguished by the most spirited conception 
of life, as well as by an execution of wonderful delicacy. 
This was the time at which religious discord had burst over 
Germany, and when Nuremberg especially was severely 
visited by it : consequently the desire for religious works of 
art may naturally have decreased. It is probable, however, 
that Albert Durer, whose mind had imbibed the new doctrine 
with the deepest devotion, may have laboured with more 
satisfaction in the province of every-day life than in many of 
the subjects which art had previously treated. We are in- 
debted, at any rate, to these circumstances for a series of 
most admirable works, which without them would probably 
never have been called into existence. 

Three excellent portraits in oil exist, of the year 1526. 
One in the Gallery of the Belvedere, at Vienna, represents 
a citizen of Nuremberg, John Kleeberger : it is a pale, manly 
head, with large black eyes, altogether of a peculiar beauty ; 
the nose only is rather small ; the shadows are unfortunately 
of a strong gray tone. The second, once in the possession of 
the Holzschuher family, [now in the National Museum 
at] [Berlin], represents one of their ancestors, Jerome 

1 [Frankfort, Stiidel, No. 104 : Job's wife pours water on Job's head. 
Cologne Museum, No. 8 : A piper and a drummer. The centre of this 
altarpiece is missing.] 

By Albert Durer. In ths Munich Gallery. 

pajS-3 173 


Holzschuher, painted at the age of fifty-seven. The expres- 
sion of this head is very fine and dignified ; the eyes are 
brilliant, and, notwithstanding the white hair, the face 
appears to possess the vigour of youth. Strictly speaking, 
this picture is painted in the master's thin glazed manner, 
but it is extraordinarily well executed. It combines the 
most perfect modelling with the freest handling of the 
colours, and is certainly the most beautiful of all this master's 
portraits, since it plainly shows how well he could seize 
Nature in her happiest moments, and represent her with 
irresistible power. The third portrait is thaf of Jacob Muffel, 
Burgomaster of Nuremberg, for a long time in the collection 
of Count Schonborn at Pommersfelden, near Bamberg. It is 
truthfully conceived, and of masterly modelling, but some- 
what heavy and gray in colour. 

[Of 1526 likewise is a Madonna at the Pitti, of a less pleasing 
character than any that was ever produced by Durer.] 

The same year, 1526, was- distinguished by the two 
pictures, corresponding with each other, of the four Apostles, 
John and Peter, Mark and Paul, see woodcut ; the figures 
are the size of life. This, which is the master's grandest 
work, and the last of importance executed by him, is now 
(Nbs. 247 and 248) in the Munich Gallery. We know with 
certainty that it was presented by Albert Durer himself to 
the council of his native city in remembrance of his. career 
as an artist, and at the same time as conveying to his fellow- 
citizens an earnest and lasting exhortation suited to that 
stormy period. In the year 1627, however, the pictures 
were allowed to pass into the hands of the Elector Maxi- 
milian I. of Bavaria. The inscriptions selected by the painter 
himself might have given offence to a Catholic prince, and 
were therefore cut off and joined to the copies by John 
Fischer, which were intended to indemnify the city of 
Nuremberg for the loss of the originals. These copies are 
still in the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg. 

These pictures are the fruit of the deepest thought which 
then stirred the mind of Albert Durer, and are executed 
with overpowering force. Finished as they are, they form 
the first complete work of art produced by Protestantism. 


As the inscription, taken from the Gospels and Epistles of 
the Apostles, contains pressing warnings not to swerve from 
the word of God, nor to believe in the doctrines of false 
prophets, so the figures themselves represent the steadfast 
and faithful guardians of that holy Scripture which they bear 
in their hands. There is also an old tradition, handed down 
from the master's own times, 1 that these figures represent 
the four temperaments. This notion is confirmed by the 
pictures themselves ; and though, at first sight, it may appear 
to rest on a mere accidental combination, it serves, in truth, 
to carry out more completely the artist's thought, and gives 
to the figures greater individuality. It shows how every 
quality of the human mind may be called into the service of 
the Divine Word. Thus, in the first picture, we see the 
whole force of the mind absorbed in contemplation, and we 
are taught that true watchfulness in behalf of the Scripture 
must begin by devotion to its study. St. John stands in 
front, the open book in his hand ; his high forehead and his 
whole countenance bear the impress of earnest and deep 
thought. This is the melancholic temperament, which does 
not shrink from the most profound inquiry. Behind him St. 
Peter bends over the book, and gazes earnestly at its con- 
tents ; a hoary head full of meditative repose. This figure 
represents the phlegmatic temperament, which reviews its 
own thoughts in tranquil reflection. The second picture 
shows the outward operation of the conviction thus attained 
and its relation to daily life. St. Mark, in the background, 
is the man of sanguine temperament ; he looks boldly round, 
and appears to 'speak to his hearers with animation, earnestly 
urging them to share those advantages which he has himself 
derived from the holy Scriptures. St Paul, on the contrary, 
in the foreground holds the book and sword in his hands ; he 
looks angrily and severely over his shoulder, ready to defend 
the Word, and to annihilate the blasphemer with the sword 
of God's power. He is the representative of the choleric 
temperament. Then what masterly finish there is in the 
execution ! such as is only suited to a subject of such sub- 

1 Neudorffer, ' Nachrichten, n. s., p. 37. 

Chap. VI. ALBERT DURER. 175 

lime meaning. What dignity and sublimity pervade these 
heads of varied character ! What simplicity and majesty 
in the lines of the drapery ! What sublime and statue- 
like repose in their movements ! Here we no longer find 
any disturbing element : there are no small angular breaks 
in the folds, no arbitrary or fantastic features in the coun- 
tenance, or even in the fall of the hair. The colouring, 
too, is perfect : true to nature in its power and warmth. 
There is scarcely any trace of the bright glazing, or of 
those sharply-defined forms, but everywhere a free, pure 
impasto. Well might the artist now close his eyes. He had 
in this picture attained the summit of art : here he stands 
side by side with the greatest masters known in history. 

Albert Durer died, as we saw, in 1528. I know of no im- 
portant work of a later date than that just described. His 
portrait, in a woodcut of the year 1527, represents him 
earnest and serious in demeanour, as would naturally follow 
from his advancing age and the* pressure of eventful times. 
His head is no longer adorned with those richly-flowing 
locks, on which, in his earlier days, he had set so high a 
value, as we learn from his pictures and from jests still 
recorded of him. That excellence to which he had raised 
German art in his last master-work passed away with him, 
and centuries saw no sign of its revival. 1 

A large number of pictures in galleries and private collec- 
tions throughout Europe bearing the name of Albert Durer 
are here purposely omitted, owing to the number of painters, 
often of no mean technical merit, but of no power of inven- 
tion, who executed pictures from the engravings and woodcuts 
of this great master, which are systematically given out for 
his original works. No man has had so many pictures 
erroneously assigned to him as Albert Durer. 

1 Among the drawings in the collection of the Archduke Charles of 
Austria there is a study of drapery for the figure of St. Paul, executed so 
early as 1523. This and three other finely-draped figures in the same 
collection, and of the same year, are beautifully rendered. Hence it is 
evident that, directly after the journey to the Netherlands, Albert Durer 
endeavoured to lay aside his capricious style in the cast of his drapery, 
and was eager to adopt one more grand and noble, and grounded upou 
the study of Nature. 


His scholars and followers imbibed, as was often the case 
in other schools, the external characteristics of his manner, 
particularly the peculiar motives of his drawing, without in 
general catching the profound spirit of their master. But 
even among them the fantastic principle of art, in particular 
instances, was carried out with wonderful success. Most of 
these artists, like himself, are known both as painters and 
engravers, and many of their designs exist also in woodcuts. 

One of the most pleasing of Albert Durer's scholars is 
HANS VON KULMBACH, whose name was HANS WAGNER, died 
1540, and who came to him from the school of Jacob Walch. 1 
Upon the whole, he adheres faithfully to the style of Albert 
Durer ; but, while far below him in power of conception, he 
surpasses him in taste and pure feeling for nature. He is 
also more equal in warmth and harmony of colour. 

[Hans von Kulmbach was an assistant to Durer for many 
years after his matriculation. Von Liitzow describes an 
Epiphany, with the date of 1511, belonging to Mr. Lippman, 
at Vienna, which shows that Hans was at that time an inde- 
pendent master; whilst Thausing proves that he was in 
Durer's atelier between 1511 and 1513, as well as in 1518.] 2 

Among his numerous pictures preserved in Nuremberg are 
two remarkable panels, Nos. 195-9 in the Germanic Museum 
wing-pictures, with figures of saints one of which, 
especially, is very clever. In St. Sebaldus, also, there is a 
very remarkable large picture. It consists of three panels : 
in the centre one is the Virgin enthroned with the Child, and 
angels bearing musical instruments ; SS. Catherine and 
Barbara stand' beside them ; other saints, and the kneeling 
figure of the donor, Lawrence Tucher, are on the side pictures, 
It is in every respect the master-piece of this painter. 3 In 

1 [See Neudorffer, n. s., p. 36.] 

2 [See ' Zeitschrift fur bildende Kunst,' vi., 329, and Zahn's ' Jahr- 
biicher,' ii, 178 and 180.] 

3 Notwithstanding Sandrart's assertion that lie possessed Durer's 
design for the picture, I find the composition so different from him, that 
I believe the whole belongs to Kulmbach. Compare ' Kunst und Kunstler 
in Deutschland/ vol. i. p. 231. [Yet Durer's drawing of the centre of this 
altarpiece is in the Berlin Museum ; it bears Durer's monogram and the 
date of 1511. See Thausing's 'Laurea,' etc., in Zahn's ' Jahrbiicher, * 
ii., 179.] 


the Munich Gallery, Nos. 254-5 and 258-9, there are- 
pictures by Hans von Kulmbach of beautiful and brilliant 
effect, with very excellent single parts, the subjects being 
chiefly portrait-figures of saints, viz., Joseph, Zachariah, and 
Joachim. In the monastery of Heilsbronn, between Anspach 
and Nuremberg, there are some pleasing figures of saints 
by his hand. 

[In the St. Gumpertus Kirche, at Anspach, we find Kulm- 
bach's altarpiece representing the Trinity, with the Virgin 
and angels, the patron Mattias von Gulpen, and St. Peter. It 
was executed to an order sent to Durer.] 1 

HEINRICH ALDEGKEVER, born at [Paderborn about 1502, still 
living at Soest in 1555], 2 is, as a painter, a less important 
master. Pictures by him are very rare, but he was a very 
clever engraver. [Most authentic is his picture of Christ sit- 
ting on his tomb (1529) in the Museum at Prague.] A Last 
Judgment, in the Berlin Gallery, deserves notice. The upper 
group, of Christ with the Virgin and John the Baptist, is very 
peculiar ; their draperies are agitated by the storm of the 
Last Day. The angels with the trumpets, and the fantastic 
figures of the demons among the damned, are of merit. The 
host of naked figures of the dead who have risen are certainly 
very drily painted, yet there is something striking in their 
solemn measured movements. The saints in the foreground 
also are dignified figures. The portraits of the donors are 
full of life. A clever portrait of a youth is in the Lichtenstein 
Gallery at Vienna [dated 1544] ; another, of an older man 
(1551), in the Museum at Berlin ; [yet another of 1541, in the 
Brunswick Museum, and one of Count Philip of Waldeck, 
dated 1535, in the Art Union of Breslau.] 

Numerous pictures by HANS SCHAUFFELIN, died 1549, are 
dispersed in various places. He was a clever and dexterous 
artist, who imitated the manner of his master, and, in his 
best pictures, successfully. But he is very unequal, and 
many of his works are very slight productions. Among his 
paintings preserved in Nuremberg, a St. Bridget, in the 
[Germanic Museum], appeared to me to deserve most notice : 

1 [Consult Zabn's ' Jahrbiicher,' i. 21, 361, and ii. 181.] 
* [See A. Woltmann in Meyer's Allgemeines ' Kunst Lexikon.'] 



cleverest examples art has preserved to us of the manners 
and customs of that time. 

[ALBEET ALTDOEFEE was born before 1488, and settled at 
Regensburg, where he purchased the citizenship in 1505, 
and died in 1538.] 1 He is one of the most important and 
original of all Albert Durer's scholars and imitators. He 
seized the fantastic tendency of the time with a poetic feel- 
ing at once rich and pleasing, and he developed it so as to 
attain a perfection in this sort of romantic painting, such as 
no other artist has ever reached. In general he knows so 
well how to give to his representations the peculiar charm 
of the fabulous, and sets before the spectator what is mar- 
vellous in nature in such fulness, that we willingly give 
ourselves up to his magic influence, and, stopping short on 
the way to the highest perfection, we repose with pleasure 
among these graceful dreams. As a draughtsman he displayed 
no great force, and is frequently deficient in good taste ; he 
is, how r ever, an excellent colourist. In his later period he 
was strongly influenced by Italian art. Altdorfer's [earliest 
work is a Crucifixion, dated 1506, "No. 213 in the Germanic 
Museum at Nuremberg; the next earliest (1507), a small 
picture of St. Francis and St. Jerome, in the Berlin Museum. 
Next to these is a landscape, dated 1510 (No. 288 in the 
Munich Gallery), in which St. George fights with the Dragon. 
Altdorfer's best and most celebrated picture] is in the 
Munich Gallery, Cabinets, No. 290. "It represents the 
Victory of Alexander the Great over Darius, [and was painted 
in 1529 for Duke William IV. of Bavaria.] The costume is 
that of the artist's own day, as it would be treated in the 
chivalrous poems of the middle ages man and horse are 
sheathed in plate and mail, with surcoats of gold or em- 
broidery ; the chanfrons upon the heads of the horses, the 
glittering lances and stirrups, and the variety of the weapons, 
form altogether a scene of indescribable splendour and 
richness. There is no blood or other disgusting object no 
scattered limbs or distortions deform this picture ; only in 
the immediate foreground, if we examine very closely, we 

[See C. W. Neumann in Meyer's Lexikon, i. 540.] 


see under the feet of the charging hosts, and the hoofs of 
their war-horses, several lines of bodies lying closely to- 
gether, as in a web, forming as it were a groundwork to 
this world of war and arms of dazzling weapons and of still 
brighter fame and chivalry. It is, in truth, a little world on 
a few square feet of canvas ; the hosts of combatants, who 
advance on all sides against each other, are innumerable, 
and the view into the background appears interminable. In 
the distance is the ocean, with high rocks, and a rugged 
island between them ; ships of war appear in the offing, and 
a whole fleet of vessels on the left the moon'is setting on 
the right the sun rising ; both shining through the opening 
clouds a clear and striking image of the events represented. 
The armies are arranged in rank and column, without 
the strange attitudes, contrasts, and distortions, generally 
exhibited in so-called battle-pieces. How indeed would this 
have been possible with such a vast multitude of figures ? 
The whole is in the plain and severe, or it may be the stiff", 
manner of the old style. At the same time, the character 
ind execution of these little figures is most masterly and 
profound. And what variety, what expression there is, not 
merely in the character of the single warriors and knights, 
but in the hosts themselves ! Here crowds of black archers 
rash down, troop after troop, from the mountain with the 
rage of a foaming torrent ; on the other side, high upon, the 
rocks in the far distance, a scattered crowd of flying men 
ire turning round in a defile. The point of the greatest 
interest stands out brilliantly from the centre of the whole, 
Alexander and Darius, both in armour of burnished gold : 
^exander, on Bucephalus, with his lance in rest, advances 
'ar before his men, and presses on the flying Darius, whose 
iharioteer has already fallen on his white horses, and who 
ooks back upon his conqueror with all the despair of a 
vanquished monarch." 1 It may moreover be remarked that 
he landscape rivals the works of the contemporary Nether- 
anders, Patenier and others, or rather it surpasses them in 
ruth and grandeur. A rocky mountain in the centre of the 

1 Werke von Friedrich Schlegel, Wien, 1828, vol. vi., p. 166. 


picture, with beautiful hanging woods, is particularly good , 
above is a castle and a path leading to it ; at the foot of the 
mountain, a ruin illuminated by the setting sun. This rum 
is painted with so true a feeling for the beauties of nature, 
that a power of such high order would of itself have qualified 
the artist for the most masterly productions. A fine land- 
scape in the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg shows him 
to have been the creator of landscape-painting in Germany. 

Another picture by this artist, in the Munich Gallery, 
Cabinets, No. 289, is inscribed with his monogram and the 
date 1526. It represents the history of Susanna. The 
garden with the bath, on the left, and a mass of varied 
architecture on the right, make up a rich and fanciful 

There is a good picture from the hand of this master 
in the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg, representing a 
man and two women occupied in drawing the body of St. 
Quirinus out of the water, and, in fact, forms a well-arranged 
genre scene. The thickly-covered banks of the river are 
another instance of his happy conception of nature. The 
light of the setting sun a golden tint surrounded by a circle 
of clouds, melting away into shades of red is full of imagi- 
nation. A chef-d'oeuvre of the master is an altarpiece with 
wings, in the Augsburg Gallery, executed in 1517. The 
interior pictures represent the Crucifixion, the exterior the 
Annunciation. This latter subject exhibits capital figures, 
and fine features and expression. 1 

Another picture by him, a Nativity of the Virgin, shows 
him to be a skilful architectural painter as regards lines and 
aerial perspective. It is in the same gallery. 2 

Among the pictures by this master at Kegensburg, an 
Adoration of the Shepherds, in the collection of the Historical 
Society, is remarkable for its dramatic character. 3 

I know of but one picture by him in England, of large 
size, in the J. F. Russell collection [now dispersed]. It 
represents the Saviour taking leave of his Mother, and is 

1 ' Kunst und Kiinstler in Deutschland.' vol. ii. p. 88. etc. 

2 Ibid. p. 38, etc. 

3 Ibid. p. 123. 


remarkable for its powerful colouring, and for the developed 
character of the landscape. 1 [There were once two character- 
istic panels by him in the Lippmann collection , j- Vienna.] 

The engravings by Altdorfer are not inferior to his paint- 
ings in invention and clever execution ; [some of the buildings 
which he planned after his appointment to the office of town 
architect at Regensburg are still in existence, and German 
patriots may still boast that his fortifications made the city of 
his adoption an effectual bulwark against the Turks (1529). 2 ] 

A master-work of such interest as Altdorfer's Battle of 
Alexander naturally produced many imitations. Thus, in 
the Munich Gallery, there is a picture by MARTIN FESELE, 
of about 1530, of which the subject is the siege of Rome 
under Porsenna. This composition possesses the same 
richness, and the figures are as fine and evince as much taste 
as those in Altdorfer's picture, but it is inferior to the latter 
work in poetic feeling. 3 

GEORGE PENCZ, born at Nuremberg 1500, died at Breslau 
1550. This painter was one of Albert Durer's most gifted 
scholars, combining excellent drawing, and clear, warm, and 
vigorous colouring, with a felicitous power of conception, and 
a decided feeling for beauty. Later in life he went to Italy, 
where he zealously studied the works of Raphael, without 
however degenerating into the tasteless and mistaken manner 
of most of the Netherlandish and German painters who 
attempted to Italianize their style. 4 On the contrary, he 
never departed from his own original feeling, but only gave 
a higher character to the taste of his compositions and to his 
drawing. In the art of engraving, where he occupies the 
first place among Albert Durer's followers, he also attained 

1 See 'Treasures,' etc., vol. ii., p. 463, where the picture is erroneously 
attributed to Albert Durer. 

2 [Neumann, u. s. Erhart Altdorfer, Albrecht's brother, was court 
painter at Schwerin ; but his pictures are all missing.] 

3 [Fesele, Hans Burgkmair, and G. Bren were all employed by 
William IV. of Bavaria to paint the series of which Altdorfer's battle 
is one.] 

4 [George Pencz cannot be acquitted of the charge of Italianizing his 
style, nor is it quite correct to confine his studies in Italy to the works 
of Raphael. He looked at many painters in Italy, and particularly at 
the Venetians, as we see by a portrait at the Uffizi, dated 1544, erroneously 
supposed to be his own likeness.] 


such perfection under the guidance of Marc" Antonio as 
closely to approach the great Italian in several plates. In 
the great rarity of his historical pictures, we can only judge 
from his engravings of the success with which he treated 
"both sacred and profane history, allegory and mythology, 
scenes from common life, and the department of ornamenta- 
tion. And a number of portraits still existing serve to show 
that for animation of conception, excellent drawing and 
modelling, and warm transparent colouring, he was one of 
the first German painters in this line. 

An historical picture in his German manner is a St. Jerome, 
in the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg. It is a capital 
work; at the same time I am inclined to attribute the 
original invention, which has been repeated by several 
painters, to Quentin Massys. 

An excellent picture, in his Italian manner, is Yenus and 
Cupid, in the gallery of Schleissheim. It is graceful, pure 
in form, and well modelled. The following are masterly 
portraits by him : a young man, No. 585, and the painter 
Schwetzer and his wife, Nos. 582 and 587, in the Berlin 
Museum ; General Sebaldus Schirmer, No. 257 in the Ger- 
manic Museum at Nuremberg ; and Erasmus of Rotterdam, 
after Holbein, at Windsor Castle. Amongst the engravings 
by Pencz, a series of plates from the history of Tobit are 
remarkable for beautiful and tender feeling. They combine, 
very happily and simply, the German homeliness and naivete 
of conception with that higher grace which may be considered 
as an inheritance from Eaphael. What he also accomplished 
as an engraver in the way of portraits is proved by that of 
the Elector John Frederick the Generous, of Saxony. How 
entirely he had adopted the manner of Marc Antonio is seen 
in his large plate of the Taking of Carthage, from a drawing 
by Julio Romano, the only instance in which he did not work 
from his own compositions. 

JACOB BINK was born at Cologne either 1490 or 1504. 
Judging from his engravings, he must have formed himself 
from Albert Durer ; he also studied in Italy. Further than 
this we know nothing of his life, except that he was in the 
service of the King of Denmark as a portrait-painter previous 


to the year 1546 j 1 that he spent some time at Konigsberg, at 
the court of Albrecht of Hohenzollern, Duke of Prussia, and 
was sent by that prince, in 1549, to the Netherlands, for the 
purpose of erecting a monument to the duke's late wife ; 
that he entered regularly into his service in 1551, and died 
at Konigsberg about the year 1560. It is singular that no 
historical picture by him is known; also of the portraits 
-attributed to him I have seen only the one in the gallery at 
Vienna. It is of energetic conception and delicate drawing, 
and of cool but harmonious colouring. In the Garderobe at 
Copenhagen are preserved, as I understand, portraits by him 
-of Christian III. of Denmark, and of his Queen Dorothea ; 
in that of Konigsberg, those of Duke Albrecht, of the duke's 
first wife, and of the Chancellor Fries, dated 1549. His 
-engravings are very unequal in merit. 2 The best of them 
give evidence of a first-rate artist, who, like Pencz, succeeded 
in combining German feeling and treatment with the nobler 
forms and purer taste of the Italians, and who treated sub- 
jects of the most various kinds with no common excellence. 
The following are among his best plates : Christ with the 
Woman of Samaria (Bartsch, No. 12) ; the Virgin (No. 20) ; 
the portraits of Christian II., King of Denmark, and Elizabeth 
his queen (Nos. 91, 92) ; and the portrait of himself. He 
ulso frequently copied the works of other engravers. 

The style of Albert Durer, as may be easily supposed; was 
-also variously called into practice in the form of miniature- 
.painting ; in Nuremberg especially, by the numerous family 
of Glockenthon, among whom GEORGE GLOCKENTHON the 
elder, born 1492, died 1553, and his son NICHOLAS, died 
1560, were the most distinguished. 3 A missal and a prayer- 
book, with miniatures by the son, executed for Albrecht, 
Archbishop of Mayence, for the first of which the artist re- 
ceived five hundred florins, is in the Royal Library at Asch- 

1 [Jacob Bink's portraits of Christian and his Queen are engraved with 
.the date of 1525.] 

2 See Bartsch, ' Le Peintre Graveur,' vol. viii., p. 149, etc., for an 
account of this master, and of the engravings and woodcuts justly attri- 
buted to him. 

3 See Johann Neudorfer's ' Nachrichten alten Kiinfjtlern in Niirnberg, 
Campe,' p. 41, etc. 


affenburg. He appears there as an artist of first-rate technical 
attainments, but of feeble powers of invention and uncertain 
drawing. 1 

At this time there was also another painter, living 
in the northern part of Franconia, who occupied an in- 
dependent position by the side of Albert Durer and his 
school. This was [MATHIAS GRUNEWALD, of Aschaffen- 
burg, respecting whom very contradictory accounts are 
found in art history. About 1518, if we believe certain- 
modern authorities, he received a commission to paint- 
an altarpiece for St. Maurice of Halle from Albert of 
Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mayence, who after war dj 
caused the picture to be transferred to the church of 
St. Peter and St. Alexander of Aschaffenburg. The 
altarpiece, which bears the date of 1529, came in course- 
of time into the gallery of the last-named city, and 
(with the exception of a figure of Saint Valentinian) 
was transferred in 1836 to the gallery of Munich. The 
centre picture, No. 281, represents the Conversion of 
St. Maurice by St. Erasmus the latter being a portrait 
of the Archbishop ; and the wings contain figures of 
St. Mary Magdalen, No. 282, St. Lazarus, No. 283, 
St. Chrysostom, No. 284, and St. Martha, No. 285. It 
has been thought that these pictures display such a 
variety of style as might point to the existence of a 
master assisted by a journeyman, such as Cranacli. 
Waagen justly said, "the figures are colossal, drawn with 
great mastery, and of earnest, dignified, and grandly 
individual character." 

Taking this altarpiece as a test-picture, critics have 
assigned to its author two large triptychs in the church of 
Annaberg in Saxony, an altar-shrine in the monastery of 
Heilbronn, and several pieces in the museums of Mayence, 
Darmstadt, Aschaffenburg, Berlin, and Vienna; and, judging 
of the painter's style from his execution of these works 
they conclude that Grunewald was a Saxon, and teacher 
Lucas Cranach. 

1 'Kunst und Kiinstler in Deutschland,' vol. ii., p. 382, etc. 


Different opinions are held by those who refuse to 
accept these conclusions because they are unsupported by 
documentary evidence. Sandrart and Bernard Jobin of 
Strasburg are authorities to show that M. Grunewald 
painted an altarpiece, in 1516, for the church of Issenheim, 
which is now exhibited in the gallery of Colmar; and 
this picture is considered to afford proof that Grunewald 
was not a Saxon, but a South German contemporary of 
Durer and Baldung Grien, and that he cannot have painted 
the altarpiece of Halle. 

The altarpiece of Colmar is a triptych of the 16th 
century with a double course of painted shutters. At 
the sides of a carved centrepiece are the Temptations of 
St. Anthony, and the Hermits Anthony and Paul. 
The first pair of wings, being closed, display the Virgin 
and Child between the Annunciation and Resurrection. 
The second pair of wings contains the Crucifixion, with 
a Piet& as a predella, between St. Anthony and St. 
Sebastian. The work is powerfully executed by a painter 
of the Swabian school, not inferior to Grien, but distin- 
guished by marked peculiarities of his own, and it is 
apparent that these peculiarities are more nearly trace- 
able to the school of Durer than to any other. It 
is evident, likewise, that the master who painted the 
altarpiece cannot be the same as the artist who exe- 
cuted the altarpiece of Halle, and it must be left to 
future research to settle who the last-named person 
was the theory now most accepted being that he is 
no other than Lucas Cranach the elder in the early 
stage of his artistic development. Meanwhile it is 
well to remember and to note that there are other 
pictures by the same hand as the author of the Issenheim 
altar, and these are St. Cyriacus and St. Lawrence in 
monochrome in the Saalhof at Frankfort, and a Resur- 
rection in the Museum of Bale. The latter is registered 
in an old inventory of the 16th century by Amerbach 
as " work of Mathes of Aschaffenburg." The monochromes 
at Frankfort are assigned by Sandrart to Grunewald, 


and the St. Lawrence is authenticated by the monogram 
M. G. 1 ] 

HANS GRIMMER. Scholar of Mathias Gnmewald. Exist- 
ing pictures show him to have been a portrait-painter of 
lively conception, delicate drawing, clear colouring, and 
careful finish. This description is especially applicable to 
the portrait of a woman in the gallery of Nuremberg. 
The companion to it, a man, is inferior in colouring. 


No original school can be traced in Saxony, or in 
the domain of the Elector of Brandenburg; but various 
Franconian artists exercised their art in these parts; a 
proof of this is seen in the works [ass ; gned to] Grune- 
wald, above mentioned, executed for Halle. The figures 
of saints on the wings of the altar at Brandenburg, 
dated 1518 works exhibiting a first-rate master in the 
dignified character of the figures and elevated taste of 
the drapery point also for their author to Grunewald. 
And even the master who, in the capacity of painter 
to Frederick the Wise, at Wittenberg, founded a kind 
of school in Saxony, namely LUCAS CRANACH, 2 not only 
owed his birth to Cranach, 3 a place in Northern Franconia, 
but his early works bear the character of Franconian 
art. Born in 1472, of a family of the name of SUNDER, 
he received his first instructions in art from his father, 
his later teaching . probably from Mathias Grunewald; 
at all events, his whole style of art bears the impress of 
having been formed from the works of that master. 4 If 

1 [Compare "Waagen's remarks on Forster's ' Geschicbte der Malerei 
in Deutschland,' in the 'Deutsches Kunstblatt,' 1854, p. 22; Schuchardt's 
'L. Cranach,' ii. 69. W. Schmidt in 'Zeitschr. f. bild. Kunst.' iv. 
p. 191. Woltmann, 'Streifzvige in Elsass,' in Do. viii., pp. 324-7, and 
Merkel's MS. of the Court Library at Aschaffenburg, 1836, p. 11.] 

2 ' Lucas Cranach des alteren Leben und Werke,' by Christian Schu- 
chardt, 2 vols. Leipsic, Brockhaus, 1851. 

3 Ibid. vol. ii. pp. 240-55. 

4 [It is hazardous to assert that Lucas Cranach was a disciple of M 
Grunewald, whose picture at Halle is dated 1529. They may have been 
disciples under the same master. The name of Sunder, as Schu chard t 
proves, is not the same as Cranach. We know that Cranach was born 
in 1472, but the day and mouth are not handed down.] 


inferior to him in grandeur of conception, in feeling for style, 
in drawing (his weakest part), and in thoroughness of execu- 
tion, he excels him in richness and variety of invention, in 
peculiar clearness of colour, and finally, though often dege- 
nerating into a mechanical and slight manner, in the light- 
ness of his treatment. In some instances he attained to the- 
expression of dignity, ea'rnestness, and feeling, but generally 
his characteristics are a naive and childlike cheerfulness, and 
a gentle and almost timid grace. A certain charm of anima- 
tion, and a warm, blooming colouring, must be accepted m 
most of his works as substitutes for a strict understanding 
of form. In these respects his art partakes in a high degree 
of a national character ; even his humour has something of 
the coarse popular wit of his time. The impression pro- 
duced by his style of representation reminds one [as Kugler 
remarks] of the " Yolksbiicher " and " Volkslieder " of Hans 
Sachs ; and, as in those, the tenderest flowers of art are 
found in the na'ivest way in immediate juxtaposition with 
all that is tasteless and even childish. Many of his church 
pictures have a very peculiar significance ; in these he stands 
forth, properly speaking, as the painter of the Reformation. 
Intimate both with Luther and Melancthon, he seizes on the- 
essential aim of their doctrine, viz., the insufficiency of good 
works, and the sole efficacy of faith in a Saviour, and endea- 
vours to embody it in the form of art. As specimens of this 
kind may be mentioned a dying man, dated 1518, in the- 
Town Museum of Leipsic ; the Fall and the Redemption of 
man, dated 1529, in the Ducal Gallery of Gotha; a large 
altarpiece in the church of the town of Schneeberg in Saxony ; 
and a picture in the Gallery of the Estates at Prague, also 
dated 1529. All these pictures, some of them accompanied 
with explanatory inscriptions, are at the same time excellent 
works by the master. Only in the picture at Schneeberg do 
we remark the assistance of pupils. Among his pictures of 
Scriptural subjects, that of the Woman taken in Adultery, in 
the Munich Gallery, "No. 276, deserves particular mention. 
The heads of Christ and of the woman are admirable. Lucas 
Cranach is especially successful in affectionate and childlike 
subjects. This we see in his various pictures of Christ 


receiving little children, one of the finest of which is in 
the [Northbrook Collection], in London another in the 
church of St. Wenceslaus at Naumburg. On occasions where 
he treats mythological subjects, the result, considered in that 
light, must be looked upon rather as a parody, yet even these 
appeal directly to the eye, like real portraits ; and sometimes 
also by means of a certain grace and naivete of motive. We 
may cite as an instance the Diana seated on a stag, in a 
small picture in the Museum at Berlin, No. 564, where she 
is represented with her less happily conceived brother 
Apollo. Occasionally, it is true, these works are disfigured 
by a too obvious aim at grace, and by means of a laboured 
and even violently distorted action ; as, for instance, in his 
Venus and Cupid, where the latter is complaining to his 
mother of being stung by a bee also in the Berlin Museum, 
Nos. 594, 1190, and 1203 where the position of the god- 
dess's lower limbs illustrates what we have said. He treated 
this subject frequently. The Hercules and Omphale in the 
same gallery [withdrawn] is very na'ive. As specimens ol 
his coarse humour may be quoted his old man caressing a girl, 
dated 1531, in the Estates Gallery at Prague, and the Foun- 
tain of Youth in the Berlin Museum, No. 593. This last is 
a picture of peculiar character: a large basin, surrounded 
l)y steps, and with a richly adorned fountain, forms the 
centre. On one side, where the country is stony and barren, 
a multitude of old women are dragged forward on horses, 
waggons, or carriages, and with much trouble are got into 
the water. On the other side of the fountain they appear as 
young maidens, splashing about and amusing themselves 
with all kinds of playful mischief ; close by is a large pavi- 
lion, into which a herald courteously invites them to enter, 
=and where they are arrayed in costly apparel. A feast is 
prepared in a smiling meadow, which seems to be followed 
by a dance ; the gay crowd loses itself in a neighbouring 
grove. The men unfortunately have not become young, 
and retain their gray beards. This picture is of the year 
1546, the seventy-fourth of Cranach's age. 

His great excellence lies in purely realistic subjects, to 
which department his art properly belongs such as his 


hunts of wild animals, 1 and his portraits. A small but first- 
rate picture of a stag-hunt is in the Lahonchere collection ; 
[others of interest in the Museum of Madrid, and in the 
Moritzburg, near Dresden], His portraits are so numerous 
that I can only particularise a few for instance, the Elector 
Albrecht of Mayence, represented full length as St. Jerome, 
of the year 1527, in the Berlin Museum, No. 589, and that 
of the unfortunate Elector John Frederick the Generous, No. 
590. Also the portrait of the Elector John the Constant, in 
the Grand Ducal Gallery at Weimar, is one of his best male 
portraits. Turning to his female portraits, we may cite the 
pleasingly conceived and warm and luminously coloured 
head in the National Gallery, No. 291, as a good specimen. 
These qualities of colour, however, ho only attained after 
1515, probably after a meeting with some wandering painter 
from the Netherlands. On the other hand, his earliest known 
work, the fine Eepose in Egypt, now in the Sciarra Colonna 
Palace at Eome, dated 1504 ; two pictures of SS. Jerome 
and Leopold, dated 1515, in the Belvedere Gallery at Vienna; 
and the portrait of the Burgomaster of Eisenach, in the 
Berlin Museum, No. 618a, show a more broken but less 
clear brownish flesh-tone, in the manner of Matthew 
Grunewald. He may be said to have reached the zenith of 
his art towards the year 1530; for, besides the two above- 
mentioned pictures of that time, the following, bearing the 
same date, may be reckoned among his finest productions, 
viz., Samson and Delilah, in the Royal Gallery at Augsburg, 
the Melancholy, from the Campe collection, now in the 
possession of Lord Lindsay, [and the Sacrifice of Isaac, in the 
Lichtenstein collection at Vienna]. In the first of these 
Delilah is seen seated in a beautiful garden, while Samson, 
attired as a stately knight, with rich golden greaves, and the 
jawbone of the ass in his hand, sleeps in her lap ; she is 
cutting off his hair with a pair of bright scissors ; the 
Philistines, well armed, creep stealthily through the wood ; 
a rich and beautiful view opens itself at the side. Cranach 
retained his artistic powers unenfeebled till his death in 

1 See lithographs from his border drawings in Albert Durer's Prayer- 
book in the Munich Library, by Strixner. Munich, 1818. 


1553, as is evident from the centre picture of the altarpiece 
at Weimar, which I concur with Schuchart in considering 
his most important work (see woodcut). This also embodies, 
as above mentioned, the one great object of the Reformation 
representing the Saviour on the cross, with St. John the 
Baptist directing the attention of Luther and Cranach two 
admirable portraits to the sacrifice by which alone Re- 
demption was purchased. On the left is Christ again, 
triumphant over Satan, who is seen in the middle distance 
driving sinners into the gulf of fire. This painter also dis- 
tinguished himself occasionally in the execution of miniatures ; 
he was a skilful engraver, and also designed a series of draw- 
ings, including some of great excellence, for woodcutting ; 
the subjects of several of these show that he took an energetic 
part in the struggle between Luther and the Papacy. 1 

Considered also in a personal light, Lucas Cranach is 
entitled to great respect. The Electors, John the Constant 
and John Frederick the Generous, successors to Frederick 
the Wise, both retained him in their service. He even 
shared the five years' captivity of Frederick the Generous, 
after the battle of Muhlberg, in 1547, alleviating it by his 
art and his cheerful society. In Wittenberg he was held in 
such high esteem by the citizens as to be elected Burgomaster 
in 1537, and again in 1540. 2 He voluntarily relinquished 
this dignity in 1544. 8 

The long life of this painter, and the rapidity of his brush, 
which was such as to obtain him the title of " celerrimus 
pictor" on his graVe-stone, will account for the very large 
number of pictures which he executed. Nevertheless, of the 
works bearing his name, many are the production of his son 
Lucas Cranach the younger of whom I have more to say ; 
also probably of another son, called Johann Lucas, who died 

1 * Schuchart,' vol. ii., p. 240-255. 

2 [It is interesting to note that when the plague broke out in Central 
Germany, Cranach hastened away to his old haunts in the south, and 
lived for some months after September, 1539, at Nuremberg. See J. 
Baader's Kleine Naclitrage in Zahn's ' Jahrbiicher,' ii. 74.] 

8 [Cranach was a printer (1524), and kept a chemist's shop at Witten- 
berg (1520). The shop and Cranach's house were burnt down in Sept, 



By Lucaa Cranach page 192. 


at an early age in Italy. 1 A large remainder are by less 
skilful and often even by spiritless and mechanical journey- 
men painters. Among the pictures thus manufactured may 
be included a large number of small portraits of Luther, 
Melancthon, and of the Electors Frederick the Wise and 
John the Constant, which bear the date 1532. By allowing, 
however, his monogram to be inscribed on these works, 
Lucas Cranach himself contributed to lower his reputation 
with succeeding generations. Although Schuchart may be 
right in maintaining that an altarpiece in the church at 
Wittenberg, assigned to Lucas Cranach, was'little, if at all, 
touched by his hand, but is only one of the better productions 
of his workshop, 2 yet the composition, which at all events 
proceeded from him, is too remarkable not to be mentioned 
here. The centre represents the Last Supper, and is peculiar 
in its arrangement, for the disciples, with heads of varied 
character, are seated round a circular table. On the right 
wing is painted the sacrament of ^Baptism, administered by 
Melancthon in presence of an assistant and three sponsors. 
A. group of richly dressed women, as spectators, stand in the 
foreground. A peculiar but pleasing tone of feeling pervades 
the whole. The left wing, representing Confession, is 
superior to the former picture. In the confessor we recog- 
nise the portrait of Bugenhagen, who, with severe dignity, 
absolves a kneeling penitent (a citizen), with the key in his 
right hand, whilst at the same time, with the one in his left, 
he motions back a warrior who has drawn near, with a 
haughty, rather than a repentant air, and whose hands are 
still fettered. On the predella is a fourth painting, with 
smaller figures : in the centre is the image of Christ cruci- 
fied ; on one side a pulpit, from which Luther preaches, in 
front of a graceful and simple group of listening maidens, and 
women with children ; and deeper in the picture is as fine a 
sjroup of serious men and youths. This work is at once a 
representation of the most remarkable rite of the Protestant 

1 See notice of this son, who died at Bologna, 1536, ' Schuchart,' vol. 
i. p. 96, etc. 
58 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 147, etc. 



Ohurch, and a memorial of the most honoured teachers of 
Holy Writ. 1 

LUCAS CRANACH THE YOUNGER [born 1515, died 1586], like 
his father, in his later years filled the office of Burgomaster 
of Wittenberg. He appears to have formed his style both 
on that of his father and of Albert Durer, as is evident from 
the different peculiarities in his works, which remind us 
sometimes of the one and sometimes of the other. He has, 
however, a soft grace and a sweetness peculiarly his own, 
which are particularly seen in his warm, but, at times, some- 
what honey-coloured tones. He was one of those who most 
steadily adhered to the true style of ancient art ; whilst his 
contemporaries, almost in a body, began to yield to the in- 
fluence of foreign mannerism. 

In the principal church at Wittenberg 2 are preserved 
several of this artist's pictures : Christ and the two thieves 
on the Cross, with the family of the donor kneeling at the 
foot, is an excellent work ; a Nativity, in which the rafters 
of the stable are covered with a crowd of joyous little angels. 
The Conversion of Saul is unimportant. One singular sub- 
ject bears again a distinct reference to the state of the 
Church in his time : it is the Vineyard of the Lord, one 
half of which is being destroyed by the assembled clergy of 
the Komish Church, whilst the heroes of the Reformation 
are employed in cultivating the other a composition, it 
must be owned, in which the simple poetic feeling of the 
conception far surpasses the merit as a painting. 

John the Baptist preaching. The saint has the features 
of Melancthon. This picture is in the Brunswick Gallery, 
and may be considered one of his best works. The same 
may be said of a Virgin giving a bunch of grapes to the 
Child, who is standing before her, and which is hung by the 
name of the elder Cranach in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, 
No. 270. Of his later and somewhat slighter period is 
a Crucifixion in the Dresden Gallery. No. 1941. Two 

1 Schadow, ' Wittenberg's Denkmaler der Bildnerei, Baukunst, und 
Malerei': Wittenberg, 1825. 

2 Ibid., p. 99. 

;hap. VI. HANS BURGKMAIR. 195 

,dmirable portraits of the Electors Augustus and Maurice 
f Saxony are also in the same gallery, Nos. 1944 and 1945. 


The chief master of the Augsburg school at this period 
yas HANS BUEGKMAIR, born 1473, died [1531], son of the 
ihomas Burgkmair of the preceding period. [He began as 
,n apprentice to Martin Schongauer, and studied further, it 
3 probable, under Thomas Burgkmair.] 1 He was an artist of 
r ery varied powers of invention ; for, besides executing those 
ubjects which the Church then dictated, he was also the 
irst master of his time in the delineation of such knightly 
,nd courtly themes as the court t of Maximilian I. had then 
ntroduced into Germany. This is especially seen in the 
ainiatures of his Tournament books, 2 and in his designs for 
sroodcuts 8 for those works executed for Maximilian the 
jenealogy of that emperor, the Weisskunig, and the 
[riumph. 4 On the whole, he remains true to the charac- 
eristics of the Swabian school. His compositions are 
generally devoid of style, and his drawing, especially in his 
sarlier time, is not correct. Although occasionally not want- 
ng in feeling for dignity and beauty, the chief aim of his art 
vas the representation of truth. His heads have therefore a 
>ortrait-like air ; he is greatly wanting also in feeling for line 
ind attitude. On the other hand, he has a lively sense of 
;olour ; the tone of his flesh is generally warm and powerful, 
.he colour of his draperies of great power and depth, and the 
nodelling and execution of the detail, in his better works, of 
*reat carefulness. At the same time he is answerable for 
nany works of a hard and mechanical character. This 
painter, with Altdorfer, was the first in Germany who 
worked out the detail of his landscape backgrounds in ac- 

1 [See antea in Mai-tin Schongauer. See also, for Burgkmair's death, 
ihe guild register of Augsburg in Woltmann's 'Holbein,' u. s., i., 358.] 

2 A Tournament book of this description is in the possession of his 
Highness the Prince of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen. 

3 See further concerning these works in Bartsch, * Le Peintre 
^raveur,' vol. vii. p. 223, etc. 

* These are the titles of works executed by command of the emperor 
o glorify his feats and his family. 


cordance with nature, though I am not aware that he painted 
landscapes, properly speaking, like Altdorfer. But in his 
long life two periods may be very clearly distinguished. Ir 
the first, which extends to about 1508, he adheres to th< 
forms of art prevailing in Germany in the fifteenth century 
the folds of his drapery are sharper than those of the elde] 
Hans Holbein, and he frequently employs gold, both ii 
drapery and in ornaments. Only in his architecture is th( 
Italian taste indicated : in the second period it appears in th< 
fuller rendering of forms, in the drapery, and in the mor< 
harmonious keeping. Nevertheless his German nature is 
never repudiated in essentials, and, in the woodcuts executec 
from his drawings, the influence of Albert Durer is distinctly 
traceable. His strong feeling for the realistic in art is occa 
sionally seen, too, in his successful treatment of scenes fron 
common life. Sandrart mentions fresco paintings by him 
but none have descended to us. Of his numerous oil pic 
tures still existing I can only mention a portion. Thi 
following, in the Augsburg Gallery, are the chefs-d'oeuvre o 
his earlier time. A rich picture of numerous subjects, date< 
1501 among them Christ on the Mount of Olives, and also 
in a mandorla, St. Peter, the Virgin and Child, and fourteei 
gaints. The expression of the Christ is very dignified ; tin 
form of the male heads noble, that of the female heads re 
fined, but rather monotonous. The foreshortening of th 
mouth and eyes is generally defective. 1 Another picture 
with Christ and the Virgin adored by numerous Saints, is o 
the same year. "A picture, with the Crucifixion in the centre 
and the Martyrdom of St. Ursula at the sides, is of the yea 
1504. The animation in this latter, and the contrast be 
tween the ferocity of the heathen and the resignation of th 
tender maiden, are very successful. Of about the same tim 
is a large picture of the same subject in the Dresden Gallery 
No. 1878. 

Admirable specimens of his second period are the follow 
ing. The Virgin seated under a tree, and giving'a bunch o' 
grapes to the Child, dated 1510, in the Germanic Museum 

1 See further concerning this and the following pictures in ' Kiinstlei 
und Kunstwerke in Deutschland,' vol. ii. p. 28, etc. 

Iliap. VI. HANS BURpKMAIR. 197 

ft>. 1 60, at Nuremberg. This little picture displays a degree 
f taste and delicacy of rendering such as Burgkmair but 
eldom attained. 1 The Crucifixion, in the Augsburg Gallery, 
f the year 1519 ; 2 also the Adoration of the Kings, in the 
ame gallery. This last, in character of heads, delicacy of 
reatment in a cool tone, and mastery of carrying out, is, 

my knowledge, the chef-d'reuvre of the second period. 
Considering the rarity of this master's works in England, I 
nay mention an Adoration of the Shepherds, in his decidedly 
ealistic manner, and of great merit, once in tlje collection of 
he Prince Consort at Kensington. A St. John in the Isle 
f Patmos, in the Munich Gallery, No. 222, affords a specimen 
f the great development he attained in landscape; the 
aspiration of the head is also well expressed. A Mother 
rith two Children, dated 1541, once in the Landauer 
Briiderhaus, 3 is characteristic of his na'ivet6 and truth of 
reatment in subjects taken from common life. It is there 
-ttributed to Hans Olmdorf. 4 ^Finally he appears as a 
aannered imitator of Italian art, in a picture in the church 
>f St. Anna at Augsburg Christ delivering Souls from 
Purgatory, probably executed soon after 1533. 5 As a por- 
,rait-painter he is seen to most advantage in the portrait of 

1 Duke Frederick of Saxony, in the castle at Nuremberg, 
ind there attributed to Hans von Culmbach. The picture is 
remarkable for a pure feeling for nature and delicate flesh- 
iones. The portraits of Duke William of Bavaria and his 
wife [1526] are harder in outline and heavier in flesh-tones, 
rhey [have been transferred to the gallery of Schleissheim.] 
Portraits of himself and his wife, dated 1528, in the 
Belvedere Gallery at Vienna, are far warmer and clearer in 
colour, and very animated in conception. The wife holds a 
mirror, in which they are both represented as death's heads, 

1 ' Kiinstler und Kunstwerke in Deutschland,' vol. i. p. 197. 

2 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 32, etc. 
8 Ibid. vol. i. p. 197. 

* [In assigning this picture to Burgkmair, "Waagen, unawares, runs 
counter to accurate chronology. As we saw above, Burgkmair was not 
iving in 1541.] 

5 [For the reasons above stated, Burgkmair cannot have painted this 
picture, "j 


showing that the fantastic feeling of the middle ages was by 
no means extinct in the Swabian school at this time. How 
much it was characteristic of Burgkmair appears in various 
woodcuts from his designs, namely, in that of a young 
woman endeavouring to escape from Death, who is killing a 
young man ; in the Seven Cardinal Virtues ; the Seven 
Deadly Sins; and in the Three Good Men and Women, 
Christian, Jew, and Pagan. 1 He also executed an etching 
on iron. 2 

But the greatest artist whom Augsburg produced was 
HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER, born there 1498. 8 In him the 
German school of realism attained its noblest and highest 
development, and he may be unreservedly pronounced to be 
one of the greatest masters who laboured in that school. A 
comparison with his elder contemporary, Albert Durer, will 
best serve to place his pictorial merits in a clear light. As 
respects grandeur and depth of feeling, and richness of 
conception and distribution in the field of ecclesiastical art, 
he stands below the great Nuremberg master. Though not 
unaffected by the fantastic element which prevailed in the 
middle ages, Holbein shows it in his own way. While 
Albert Durer treated the subjects of the Apocalypse in the 
freer forms of his art, though with an adherence to the feel- 
ing of the middle ages, and in his Melancholy displays the 
solemn sense of the insufficiency and instability of all sub- 

1 Bartsch, ' Le Peintre Graveur,' vol. vii. p. 215, etc. 2 Ibid. p. 199. 

3 The chief works. relating to Holbein are Ulric Hegner's 'Hans 
Holbein der Jiingere,' Berlin, 1827, and Chretien de Meckel's '(Euvres 
de Jean Holbein, ou Eecueil de Gravures d'apres ses plus beaux Ou- 
vrages,' Basle, 1780. Also, Horace Walpole's 'Anecdotes on Painting.' 
[K. N. Wornum's ' Some account of the life and works of Holbein ; ' 
Woltmann's ' Holbein,' u. s. ; numerous contributions to ' Grimm's 
Kiinstler und Kunstwerke ; ' Zeitschr. f. b. Kunst, and von Zahn's 
' Jahrbucher,' by His, Woltmann, Grimm, von Zahn, W. Schmidt, and 
G. Kinkel. 

The forgery of an inscription in the Augsburg altarpiece of 1512, led to 
a change in the chronology of the painter, whose birthday was thrown 
back from 1498 to 1495. Since the discovery of the forgery we revert 
to the date 1497-8, which is the more credible now, as we possess 
Hollar's print with a date, and the age of Holbein at that date, and old 
Holbein's portrait of his son, "aged 14," in the Berlin Museum, 
executed in 1511. Let us note, in passing, that Hollar was admitted 
to the guild of Antwerp in 1644 (Liggeren, ii. 157.)] [This portrait 
attributed to the elder Holbein is not now exhibited.] 


binary things, yet in his etching of the Knight with Death 
and the Devil he gives an expression of a human security 
and power which may be said to resist and morally to 
triumph over these assailants. Holbein, on the other hand, 
seized the mediaeval subject of the Dance of Death ; and 
availing himself of his improved means of representation in 
the expression of the deadliest irony and malignity, he shows 
us, under every form, from that of the pope down to the 
beggar, how helpless are the terrors of the human race 
in every encounter with its invincible foe. While Albert 
Durer's art thus exhibits a close affinity to the religious ideas 
of the middle ages, Holbein appears imbued with the senti- 
ments of a more modern time, strictly consequent on which 
we find him decidedly excelling his great rival in closeness 
and delicacy of observation in the delineation of nature. A 
proof of this is afforded by the evidence of Erasmus of 
Rotterdam himself gifted with a fine eye in matters of art 
who says that, as regards the -portraits made of him by 
both of these painters, that by Holbein was the most like. 1 
In feeling for beauty of form also, in grace of movement, 
tasteful arrangement of drapery, in colouring, and, above all, 
in the art of painting, wherein he had derived from his 
father a modelling and fusing manner, as opposed to that of 
a draughtsman, Holbein must be placed above Albert Durer. 
Uniting, therefore, with all these qualities admirable powers 
of drawing and composition, he may justly be considered, of 
all the German masters, the one most fitted by nature to 
attain that supremacy of art in historical painting which the 
works of his great Italian contemporaries Raphael, Andrea 
del Sarto, and others display. That he did not rival them 
in this respect must be ascribed to the circumstances of his 
life, which seldom allowed him to treat subjects of that class. 
In portrait-painting, to which his powers were especially 
devoted, he stands on a level with the greatest masters. 
His genius was precocious in development, and highly 

1 This is told by Van Mander, fol. 142 b. Also tha well-known 
engraving of Erasmus, by Albert Durer, Bartsch, Nc. 107, shows a very 
different conception of his subject as compared with the various por- 
traits of the same by Holbein. 


versatile in application. He was skilled in various styles 
of painting, but chiefly in fresco and oil-colours, and 

[The earliest pictures of Hans Holbein 1 are those which he 
painted after his arrival at Bale in the autumn of 1515. 2 
Brought up in the house of his father, to whom he was doubt- 
less apprenticed, he enjoyed the fairest opportunity of observ- 
ing how the style of that artist was modified by studying 
the models and embodying the spirit of the revival in Italy. 
It was the habit of painters to close their apprenticeship and 
prepare for a mastership by a round of travel. For four years 
of the previous century Albert Durer had wandered with 
the staff of the pedestrian in his hand, sharing the hardships 
and experiences of the mechanics of those days ; and love 
of novelty, traditional habit, or the privations of a home in 
which life was a daily struggle for bread, might induce Hol- 
bein to follow Durer's example. During his travels he came to 
Bale, where he stopped. In his journey thither he was doubt- 
less accompanied by Ambrose his brother, an artist like him- 
self, whose moderate abilities were subsequently confined 
to the production of drawings for engraving. What took 
both the youths to Bale was the prospect of earning as 
draughtsmen to the booksellers of a city renowned through- 
out the whole of Germany for the production of illustrated 
works. What kept them at Bale was the instant success 
which attended their efforts. Neither Hans nor Ambrose were 

1 [Dr. "Waagen held, even before the forgeries of 1854, that Hans 
Holbein the younger was the painter of the Augsburg altarpieceof 1512, 
of the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian (1516), and of the companion pieces 
to the latter in the Munich gallery. He thought it remarkable, but not 
impossible, that the altarpiece of 1512 should have been executed by a 
youth of 14. Later critics were deceived by the forged inscription 
which declared that Hans Holbein the younger painted the altarpiece of 
1512 at the age of 17. Since the discovery of the forgery few are 
disposed to share Dr. Waagen' s opinion, and Hans Holbein the elder has 
been allowed to resume the position from which he was so unfortu- 
nately expelled. Compare Waagen' s ' Kuntswerke und Kiinstler,' 8vo., 
Leipzig, 1845, i., 25 ; and the sketch of old Holbein's life antea.] 

2 [Holbein's presence at Bale, at least as early as autumn, 1515, is 
proved by a date in this year's edition of the ' Encomium Morise,' to 
which our artist furnished illustrations. This and other data are fur- 
nished by Mr. His, in his exhaustive paper, ' Die Easier Archive iiber 
Hans Holbein der Jungern,' in v. Zahn's 'Jahrbiicher.' iii. p. 115.] 


in a condition to matriculate. There were painters in Bale like 
Hans Herbster, Koch, and Hans Dig, who had the advantage 
of long residence and an acknowledged practice. Hans and 
Ambrose probably engaged themselves as journeymen for 
daily wages under one of these masters. In 1517 Ambrose 
matriculated. Hans remained a subordinate till 1519, when he 
also joined the guild. 1 In the meantime he painted several 
of the early pieces which are preserved at Bale, such as the 
Last Supper, and the Flagellation, recorded in an early inven- 
tory by Basilius Amerbach as "h. holbein'^s first works," a 
schoolmaster's sign, a couple of portraits Jacob Meyer 
&nd his wife the painter Herbster (1516-1517), and a picture 
of Adam and Eve. 2 At the date of his very first effort 
Holbein gave evidence of skill in realising the detail and ex- 
pression of portrait. Technically he painted like his father, 
but with more refinement. In composition he was prone to 
overload, but his treatment was in every respect spirited and 
lively. The Meyers at Bale (ll6) are not modelled with the 
delicacy of later productions, yet they are clever and lifelike. 
Hans Herbster, in the Baring collection (1517), is coloured 
in the yellow-brown tones of the elder Hans.] 3 

In 1517 Holbein decorated the house of the bailiff, Jacob 
van Hartenstein, at Lucerne with frescoes. The destruction 
of these is the more to be regretted from the variety of sub- 
jects which, according to an existing transcript, were there 
represented. In the interior he painted the proprietor's 
patron saints, scenes from the legends of the same, hunts, 
deeds of war, and a Fountain of Youth. On the outside, 
between the windows, feats of ancient heroes; below, a 
frieze of children playing with arms ; above, another with a 
triumphal procession, after Mantegna ; and higher still, events 
from Roman history. Probably only a year or two later he 

1 [Woltmann's 'Holbein,' u. B., i. 189 ; His' 'Die Easier Archive,' u. 
s., in v. Zahn's ' Jahrbiicher,' iii. 116.] 

2 [Woltmann's Holbein,' i. 161-2; 201, 203, 204; and Hia' 'Alte 
Zweifel,' etc., in v. Zahn's ' Jahrbiicher,' iv. 211.] 

3 [To this period the St. Ursula and St. George, in the Carlsruhe 
Museum, are assigned (personal communication of Dr. Woltmann, with 
which compare also von Zahn in ' Jahrbiicher,' v. 197) ; but the author- 
ship of Hans Holbein the younger is very doubtful.] 


executed the wings of an altarpiece, now in the cathedral 
at Freiburg, in Baden the one the Adoration of the Shep- 
herds, treated as a night scene, and with the chief light pro- 
ceeding from the Child, the effect of the light altogether 
given with extraordinary truth ; the other the Adoration of 
the Kings, an excellent composition. A remarkahle figure 
here is the companion of the Moorish king, who, as if dazzled* 
is looking up with his hand before his eyes at the stars. 
The heads show great truth of nature and every variety of 
character, from the beautiful to the boorish ; the forms, and 
especially the hands, are delicately carried out. This picture 
is worthily followed by the portrait of Boniface Amerbach 
(1519), a zealous patron of Holbein, now in the Basle Gallery- 
In simple unpretending conception, and pure feeling for nature,, 
this is one of the finest portraits by the master of this period. 1 
To the years 1521, 1522 2 we owe various works in fresco- 
which Holbein executed in the Town-house at Basle. Side by 
side with illustrations of the stern administration of justice, 
as seen in similar buildings in the Netherlands, were placed 
traits of republican virtue the Blinding of the aged Zaleucus, 
the suicide of Charondas, and Curius Dentatus with the- 
Sabine Envoys. The sole relics of these frescoes now pre- 
served in the Basle Gallery are three heads of the envoys- 
from the last-named subject, the spirited, energetic, and yet 
finely-tempered character of which shows the mastery Hol- 
bein had already obtained in historical painting, and how high 
a place he would have won had more frequent opportunities- 
been afforded to him. 

That he also treated subjects of ecclesiastical import, re- 
quiring the expression of deep pathos, with extraordinary 
success, is evident from his well-known representation of the- 
Passion, in eight compartments, in the Basle Gallery. In 
colouring and treatment these strikingly recall the fine pic- 

1 [To this year is ascribed the Marriage of St. Catherine, in the 
palace of King Ferdinand at Lisbon (? by the elder Holbein), which 
the writer of these lines has not seen, and which Woltrnann (Holbein) 
describes from a photograph.] 

2 [Holbein received the commission in 1521, and finished two sides of 
the hall in 1522. The records are in His' * Easier Archive,' in von ZahnV 
'Jahrb.', iii. 119-121.] 


ture from the life of St. Paul by his father, in Augsburg. 
The Crucifixion and the Entombment (which latter reminds 
us, in the chief group, of Raphael's Entombment in the- 
Borghese) are admirable in composition, feeling, and render- 
ing ; while the Christ on the Mount of Olives shows a beauty 
and depth of fooling scarcely inferior to that in Correggio's- 
celebrated picture. It would appear incredible that these 
works should belong to this early period, were not the egre- 
gious false drawing and repelling caricatures and exaggerations- 
as, for instance, in the Flagellation and^the Crucifixion 
only to be accounted for by the earliness of their date* 
Other pictures of this period, showing the decided influence 
of Leonardo da Yinci, render it probable that Holbein may 
have" made a hasty visit to Northern Italy at this time. In 
one of them a Last Supper, in the Basle Gallery, No. 33. 
one portion of which is wanting there is a symmetry of 
arrangement, an elevation of heads, especially in that of the 
Saviour, and a certain equality" of treatment, which show the 
unmistakeable influence of Leonardo's Last Supper, at Milan, 
The head of Judas alone, a Jew of frightful vulgarity of 
character, betrays the realistic feeling of Holbein in all its 
force. In the other picture in the same gallery, No. 21, a 
Dead Christ, this tendency is seen in its utmost rudeness, 
combined with an attempt to model in the style peculiar to 
Leonardo. It is difficult to believe that this pale greenish 
form, with streaming blood, taken evidently from one who 
had died a violent death, and drawn with a mastery marvel- 
lous in an artist of twenty-three years of age, could have 
been really intended to represent a dead Christ. The in- 
scription, however, " Jesus Nazarenus, Rex. Jud : H. H. 
1521," leaves do doubt. 1 

1 [The Last Supper has already been mentioned as one that Basiliu* 
Amerbach characterized as Holbein's " first work " (see an tea). Neither 
that nor any other work of Holbein can justify the assumption of a 
visit to Italy, and Van Mander says expressly : " Hy is in Italian niet 
gheweest" (Sch. Bock, p. 142). We do observe in the Passion, or the 
Dead Christ, some trace of Italian influence, but not that of Da Vinci. 
From the transcripts of the frescoes at Lucerne and Bale, or from the Pas- 
sion, we derive the conviction that Mantegna's prints and compositions 
were more familiar to Holbein than any other Italian productions of the 


. [In 1522 Holbein painted the Virgin and Child between 
St. Martin and St. TJrsus, which Mr. Zetter of Soleure so 
fortunately discovered in 1865. It is signed with Holbein's 
initials, and bears the date of 1522; it adorned an altar 
at Grenchen, and is now in the gallery of Soleure. In size 
and importance this most interesting piece can only be 
compared with that which Holbein executed a few years 
later for Jacob Meyer of Bale. It is one of the monumental 
compositions of the form which we so often meet in north 
Italian altarpieces of this period, representing the Virgin, 
seated under an archway, enshrouded in drapery of such ful- 
ness as to cover the shape completely. As in Giorgione's 
Madonna of Castelfranco, so here, the mantle is gathered at 
the neck and falls to the ground in ample folds. On one side 
.St. Martin, in episcopal dress, relieves the necessity of a beggar, 
on the other St. Ursus, in the helmet and breastplate of Hol- 
bein's time, stands, with a banner in one hand, as the guardian 
of the Virgin's throne. Neither the Virgin nor the Child are 
graced with ideal beauty of shape or feature: they are portraits, 
and nothing more ; but there is an earnest gravity in the 
faces, and a pleasing softness in the countenance of St. 
Martin cleverly contrasts with the stern glance and resolute 
pose of St. Ursus.] 1 

One of the most admirable pictures, not only of this period, 
but of the master, is the portrait of Erasmus, dated MDXXIII., 
one of the chief ornaments of Lord Radnor's rich gallery at 
Longford Castle. 2 hardly knows which most to admire, 
the refined and animated conception, or the masterly carry- 
ing out of the minutest details, which are united here. 
This is doubtless the portrait sent by Erasmus to his friend 

Without plagiarism he adopts the forms of costume and architecture 
which Mantegna used, overloading both so as to give them a quaint 
and almost grotesque character. Nor is this quaintness diminished by 
the casual introduction of sixteenth century bowmen in company with 
Roman legionaries.] 

1 [The infant Christ, copied by Hans Bock, is in the Bale Museum, and 
"this copy is catalogued in Amerbach's inventory, with the words ap- 
pended : " Kompt von holbein's gemeld " (taken from Holbein's picture). 
Ail outline of the picture is in the 'Zeitschrift fur bildende Kunst/ vol. 
iv. p. 200.] 

* ' Galleries and Cabinets,' etc., p. 3i>6. 


Sir Thomas More in 1525, in order to give him a proof of 
Holbein's powers, and to serve as a recommendation to the- 
great master, who even then contemplated a visit to England. 
Sir Thomas replied, "Your painter, my dear Erasmus, is an 
admirable artist," and added the promise of giving Holbein 
his protection. 1 To the same year may be also assigned the 
admirable portrait of Erasmus in the Louvre, which represents 
him in profile. 2 Also doubtless the stately portrait of George 
Frundsberg, Field Marshal to Charles V., in the Berlin 
Museum, No. 577 . 8 

[But in these days Holbein was not exclusively occupied 
with portraits ; and between 1523 and 1526 probably he 
composed the beautiful doors of the organ in the Minster at 
Bale, in the drawing of which we still discern reminiscences 
of Mantegna.] 

Among the last works executed by the painter at Basle> 

1 Considering the interest attached to Holbein in England, I subjoin 
the entire passage from the letter in the original Latin : " Pictor tuus, 
Erasme carissime, minis est artifex, sed vereor, ne non sensurus sit 
Angliam tarn foecundam ac fertilem, quam sperarat ; quanquam ne 
reperiat omnino sterilem, quoad per me fieri potest efficiam. Ex Aula 
Grenwici, 18 Dec. 1525." [More's letter, above quoted, should be 
dated 1524, as Grimm ('Uber Kunstler und Kunstwerke,' ii. 132) 
conclusively proves. It does not refer to Holbein's presence in. 
England, but to the intention of the painter to visit England, as he 
did in 1526. Erasmus had sent two copies of his likeness to England, 
a third copy to friends in France. He says so in a letter of June, 
1524 : " Et rursus nuper misi in Angliam Erasmum bis pictum ab 
artefice satis eleganti. Is me detulit pictum in galliam." (Erasmus 
to Pirckheimer, June 3, 1524.) One of these likenesses is doubtless 
acknowledged by More in the letter from Greenwich. Herman Grimm 
thinks indeed that More's words imply that Holbein was already 
in England ; but this does not necessarily follow from the context. 
Erasmus only recommended Holbein personally to Egidius at Antwerp 
on Aug. 29, 1526. From Antwerp Holbein went on to England. Had 
Holbein paid an earlier visit, say in 1524, to England, we should expect 
to find some traces of the visit in pictures, but nothing of the kind has 
yet been discovered.] 

2 [Dr. Waagen here accounts for two likenesses of Erasmus by Holbein. 
In the foregoing note there is an allusion to a third portrait, and we 
inquire where it is. There are five portraits of Erasmus besides those 
of the Louvre and Longford Castle, in the Museums of Bale, Antwerp, 
Hampton Court, Turin, and Parma, all of them, except those of Antwerp 
and Hampton Court, original. The Parma replica is dated 1530.] 

3 [This portrait cannot be by Holbein. The date upon it points to 
a period subsequent to the year 1528, when Holbein painted in a style- 
unlike that which characterises the picture.] 


'"before his first visit to England, in the autumn of 1526, we 
may place the beautiful and most masterly picture [lately 
removed to the Museum of] Darmstadt. It represents the 
Virgin as Queen of Heaven, standing in a niche, with the Child 
in her arms, and with the family of the Burgomaster Jacob 
Meyer of Basle kneeling at her side. With the utmost life, and 
a truth to nature which brings these kneeling figures actually 
into our presence, there is combined, in a most exquisite 
degree, an expression of great earnestness, as if the mind 
were fixed on some lofty object. This is shown not merely 
; by the introduction of divine beings into the circle of human 
sympathies, but particularly in the relation so skilfully indi- 
cated between the Holy Virgin and her worshippers, and in 
lier manifest desire to communicate to those who are around 
her the sacred peace and tranquillity expressed in her own 
countenance and attitude, and implied in the infantine gestures 
of the Saviour. In this direct union of the divine with the 
human, and in their reciprocal harmony, there is involved a 
devout and earnest purity of feeling such as the arts among 
our fathers only were capable of representing. This picture 
-was doubtless founded by the zealous Catholic donor for a 
Chapel of our Lady. The painting is fresh and powerful, 
And the flesh-tones of a warm brown. From various little 
-differences between this and the well-known Dresden picture, 
see woodcut, it is apparent that it was painted at an earlier 
period. It is easy also to understand that the patron, desiring 
to possess such excellent portraits of his own family, thus 
devoutly engaged, as the ornament of one of his rooms, was 
induced to give -Holbein the commission to paint a repetition 
of the subject, which in the needy circumstances of the painter 
could only have been acceptable to him. I am therefore 
convinced that the Dresden picture owes its creation to some 
such circumstance. The alterations also which a comparison 
with the first picture exhibits are such as render it more 
suitable for that closer inspection which the walls of a room 
would permit. The head of the Virgin is lovelier and milder 
in form and expression ; the treatment of less body, tenderer, 
and more inclined to detail. The same remarks apply more 
or less to most of the other portions. The head of the 

By Hans Holbein, in the Palace of Princess Charles of Hesse, at Darmstadt. 

pafte 206. 

Painted by Hans Holbein, and now in the Gallery at Dresden. page 206. 


Burgomaster alone is rather hard and empty. The some- 
what coarse and slightly-painted carpet may be the work of 
a scholar. 1 

Two other pictures in the Basle Gallery, also executed 
in 1526, differ much in style of treatment from all earlier 
works of the master, showing, by the greater tenderness of 
the warm yellowish local tones, in the more abundant use 
of glazings, and increased softness of outline, so strong an 
influence from Netherlandish art, that even a connoisseur 
like Herr von Rumohr supposed them to be works by Ber- 
nard van Orley. The one, No. 34, represents a beautiful 
young girl in elegant attire, nominally the portrait of a 
member of the Offenburg family at Basle, with the inscrip- 
tion, " Lais Corinthiaca." 2 The other, No. 35, taken from 
the same model, but less attractive, represents Venus, with 
a somewhat ugly Cupid. Although the last only is dated 
1526, yet the first corresponds with it too entirely in every 
respect to leave any doubt of its belonging to the same 
time. The remarkable style of these pictures may be best 
explained by the probability that Holbein, on occasion of 

1 [The Darmstadt and Dresden Madonnas were exhibited together at 
Dresden in 1871 ; and the majority of judges came to the conclusion 
that the former was original and the latter a copy. There was ample 
opportunity at the exhibition to test the quality of both pictures by 
comparison with the best productions of Holbein, ex. gr, : Sir Henry 
Guildt'ord, Windsor ; the two Godsalves, Dresden ; George Gysen, Berlin; 
John of Antwerp, Windsor ; lleskemere, Hampton Court ; Morrett, 
Dresden ; Duke of Norfolk, Windsor. The technical treatment in the 
two pictures was altogether different, the Darmstadt example being 
executed in the manner peculiar to Holbein, as shown in the numerous 
works above quoted, the Dresden example in a style betraying a copyist 
of the close of the sixteenth century. It was observed that the Dresden 
Madonna was injured by rubbing down ; the Darmstadt Madonna dis- 
figured by subtle, but still distinct, repaints. The persons represented 
on the Darmstadt Madonna are, Jacob Meyer, his first wife, Magdalen Ber, 
his second wife, Dorothea Kannengiesser, married 1512, and Dorothea's 
daughter Anna, born circa 1513. The kneeling youth to the left has not 
been traced, and critics hopelessly differ as to the true character of the 
boy on the foreground (? the infant Baptist). See His, in ' Jahrbiicher,' 
iii. 153 and following.] 

2 [The Lais Corinthiaca and companion picture are described in 
Amerbach's inventory as portraits of an ' Offenburgin.' Dorothea 
Offenburgin was the wife of Junker Joachim of Sultz. Both she and 
her husband were imprisoned and expelled from Bale for leading 
irregular lives. See His, n. s., in ' Jahrbucher,' iii. 163.1 


a visit to Antwerp in September, had become acquainted 
with the manner of Quentin Massys, to which these works 
most approximate. The already-mentioned letter from 
Erasmus to his friend Egidius in Antwerp, dated the 29th 
August, states that, if Holbein desired to visit Quentin, 
Massys, and if he (Egidius) should not have the time to 
conduct him, he would depute his " Famulus " to show him 
the house. Who will doubt therefore that one so eager as 
Holbein to appropriate every fresh means of improvement 
would profit by this opportunity ? That he must have- 
paid a somewhat lengthened visit to Antwerp is further 
proved by the animated and masterly portrait of his friend 
Egidius, also in Longford Castle, the whole style of which 
shows the probability of its having been painted during that 
stay. 1 In all probability, also, the master sent the two small 
pictures above named, as specimens of his success in the 
adoption of a new style, to his patron Amerbach at Basle, 
from whose collection they were derived. 2 

On his arrival in England Sir Thomas More received the- 
painter in the most friendly manner into his own house,., 
built by himself on the Thames, not far from London, retain- 
ing him there for some time without bringing him to the 
notice of King Henry VIII. 3 Various grounds for this 
proceeding are easy to conjecture. Sir Thomas may have 
wished, as was fair, that he and his family should first profit 
by the painter's genius ; also to give Holbein the opportu- 
nity of becoming acquainted with the language and manners 
of the country before*making his debut on a larger theatre. 
It is certain, however, that even in the first year of his 
English residence he painted other individuals, who were 
probably personal friends of the Chancellor. Among the 
works thus produced is the portrait of the Treasurer, Sir 

1 'Galleries and Cabinets,' etc., p. 356. [The Lais must have been 
painted before Holbein's visit to Antwerp ; for it is dated 1526, and 
Holbein left Bale in August of that year on his way to England, where- 
he remained till 1518. The portrait of Egidius at Longford Castle is 
now universally and correctly assigned to Quentin Massys.] 

2 The Amerbach collection forms the principal part of the Basle 

3 Van Mander, p. 142. 


Bryan Tuke, which shows the closest affinity in style with 
his latest pictures in Basle, and of which two equally excel- 
lent examples exist. One, which I saw in 1835 in the 
Methuen Collection in Corsham House, [is now in the 
collection of the Marquis of Westminster, and] inscribed, 
" Brianus Tuke, Miles, anno aetates suse LVII.," with the 
motto, "Droit et avant." An expression of slight melancholy 
is perceptible in the refined features, and corresponds with a 
passage from the Book of Job on a paper, " Numquid non 
paucitas dierum meorum finietur brevi ? " chap. x. ver. 20. 
He is dressed in black, with under sleeves of a delicate gold 
pattern. The feeling for nature conveyed by this portrait is 
refined, and of masterly rendering. As regards the not less 
successful example now in Munich, Cabinets, No. 213, the 
inscriptions on the background are absent. The passage 
from Job, however, is there, with the addition of " Job cap : 
10," and " 10. HOLPAIN." A skeleton pointing to an almost 
spent hour-glass gives the answer to the question. 1 The 
portrait of Sir Henry Guildford at Windsor Castle, which 
has unfortunately darkened, is also dated 1527, the first 
year of Holbein's stay in England ; [likewise the Sir Thomas 
More of Mr. Henry Huth, in London, and Archbishop 
Warham, at Lambeth House, of which a replica is in the 
Louvre.] The next year (1528) constitutes another step in 
the artist's career. The admirable picture of Nicholas 
Kratzer, astronomer to Henry VIII., in the Louvre, No. 206, 
shows a larger conception and greater simplicity of forms, 
but is of a deep and untransparent brown colour. 

[One of the most interesting pictures which Holbein 
painted at this time is that of Sir Thomas More and his 
family, of which, unhappily, none but copies have been pre- 
served. 2 On the eve of returning to Bale, where duty and 
inclination were perhaps calling him, Holbein was entrusted 
with letters to Erasmus, in which the sketch of this picture, 
now in the Bale Museum, was inclosed. It contains ten 
full-length, life-sized figures, of easy arrangement, of extra- 

1 [It is very doubtful whether this picture is by Holbein, and Mr. 
"Wornum is probably right in doubting its originality. ] 

2 [The best in Nostall Priory in Yorkshire.] 



ordinary truth and animation of the heads, with great free- 
dom of movement, and of masterly rendering in every part. 
Erasmus, in answering the Mores, under the date of Sep- 
tember, 1529, acknowledged the receipt of the letters, and 
told how the drawing had been brought to him by Holbein 
in person. Yet Holbein had been at Bale since August, 
1528. He had taken home the earnings of two busy years 
in England, and bought a house next to that in which his 
patron, the printer Froben, kept his books. 1 A portrait of 
his wife and two children, in the Bale Museum, was the first 
fruit of his professional occupation at the time.] To all 
those who judge of a work of art, not by its subject, but by 
the amount of skill bestowed on it, this picture is an object 
of great admiration ; but it is no less true that the cross- 
looking woman with red eyes, the plain little girl, and the 
half-starved boy baby are not attractive. The conception, 
however, is of such simple and unpretending truth, the full 
forms are so masterly, the colouring, with rather gray shadows, 
is so bright and clear, and the treatment so free and light, that, 
with these before one, the unpleasing character of the indi- 
viduals can be well endured, and also the capricious and 
unartistic arrangement of the picture. Unvarnished reality 
appears here in its full artistic excellence. 2 

[Holbein was again employed in 1530 to complete the 
series of wall-paintings begun in earlier years in the Town- 
hall of Bale. 8 He might have been induced to remain in 
this, the place of his habitual residence, had it not been that 
the [Reformation, and the troubles which accompanied it, made 
earning precarious. In 1532 Holbein returned to England. 
But the circle in which he now moved was not the circle he 

1 [His in ' Jahrbucher,' iii. 123. It may be that Erasmus's letter is 
misdated ; possibly there was some delay in Holbein's transmission of 
the sketch, Erasmus being away at Freiburg.] 

2 [Holbein was married to a widow, whose name was Elspeth Schmidt, 
and she had a son by her first husband, Franz Schmidt, who afterwards 
became guardian to Holbein's children. See Woltmann's ' Holbein,' i. 

3 [To this year, 1530, Dr. Waagen assigns "the portraits of Dr. Stokes- 
ley and Henry VIII., at Windsor Castle." But Holbein was not in 
England in this year, he was not as yet acquainted with Henry VIII., 
and the pictures above quoted are not in Holbein's manner.] 


had left. Amongst the merchants of the Steelyard, a rich 
and powerful body of his countrymen, he found numerous 
and eager patrons, and these he portrayed, one after another, 
with never-ending patience and success.] 

The portrait of [Hans of Antwerp, a goldsmith, and a 
member of the Steelyard], dated 1532, now in Windsor 
Castle, unites with an increasing delicacy of drawing Holbein's 
usual brownish local flesh-tone. 1 On the other hand, a 
portrait of George Gysen, a merchant, executed in London, 
but now in the Berlin Museum, No. 586, sl^ows that, in the 
attempt to attain the utmost possible delicacy of modelling, the 
master abandoned his in that respect untractable brownish 
tone for one of a cool but very clear nature, to which he 
adhered in subsequent years. In close affinity with the last 
portrait is a delicate picture of a woman in a red dress with 
fur, and a veil, a rosary in her hand, in the Cassel gallery, 
No. 50. 2 

[Equally fine and of this tim'e is the portrait of a man, 
half-length, in the Schonborn collection at Vienna.] 

The most important picture for extent and richness of 
representation which I know by Holbein in England, the so- 
called ambassadors, in the collection of Lord Radnor at 
Longford Castle, belongs [to the year 1533]. Of the two 
full-length, life-sized figures, standing side by side, the one 
in rich attire, and with the order of St. Michael, represents, 
as Lord Folkestone informed me, Sir Thomas Wyatt, one of 
the most learned and accomplished Englishmen of his time. 
The other figure has both the expression and simpler dress 
of a learned professor ; and various mathematical instru- 
ments, a globe, and some wind-instruments, treated precisely 
like those in the portrait of Nicholas Kratzer, give further 
evidence of his particular calling. In the conception of the 
forms this picture is also closely related to the portrait of 
Sratzer, but it is clearer in the yellowish-brown flesh-tones, 

1 [Hans of Antwerp, or 'Hannssen von Anwerpen upn Stallhof.' as 
his name appears on the picture at Windsor, was a goldsmith and friend 
of Holbein, as we observe particularly in the painter's will.] 

2 [To this portrait at Cassel, Dr. Waagen, in assigning it to Holbein, 
should have added the companion, No. 5, portrait of a man in a black 
dresa and cap.] [Neither of these is now regarded as authentic.] 


and very easy in movement. 1 [Other portraits executed in 
1533 are those of Derick Born, at Windsor, Deryck Tybis, of 
Duisburg, in the Belvedere at Vienna, and Eobert Cheseman, 
at the Hague. A small portrait of this year, in the Suer- 
mondt collection [Berli D ,No. 586 c], attracts by its mastery 
and good preservation; Ambrose of the Steelyard, in the 
Brunswick Gallery, a doubtful example, repels by hasty exe- 
cution and an injured surface.] A water-colour drawing of 
the favourite subject of the day the Wheel of Fortune at 
Chatsworth, spirited alike in invention and execution, is also 

dated 1533. 2 

In consequence of the appreciation Holbein met with in 
England, he came into greater favour also at Basle. A 
friendly missive from the magistracy of Basle, dated 2nd 
September, 1532, calls upon him to return to that city; and, 
as an inducement for him to remain there, promises him the 
yearly sum of thirty pieces of money. This communication 
only reached the artist in 1533, [and failed to induce him 
to change his residence. It was at this time, perhaps, 
that his works first attracted the attention of Henry VIH. 
Henry had succeeded in obtaining a divorce from Catharine 
of Aragon. He was married to Anne Boleyn, and her 
coronation was celebrated with pomp in May, 1533]. On the 
occasion of this ceremony Holbein, at the request of his 
countrymen, the Company of German Merchants in London, 
executed two large pictures in tempera, called the Triumph 
of Riches and the Triumph of Poverty, see woodcuts, in the 
banqueting-hall of the Easterlings, in the Steelyard. These 
pictures were of such excellence that Federigo Zucchero, 
according to the evidence of Van Mander, 8 placed them on 
the same level with works by Raphael, and himself took 
copies of them with the pen. Nor does Van Mander admire 
them less. Indeed, all admiration is fully justified by the 
masterly pen-drawing by Holbein [in the Louvre], in which 

1 [This picture is inscribed : "Johannes Holbein pingebat, 1533." 
Woltmann ('Holbein,' ii. 236), suggests that the figure accompanying 
Sir Thomas Wyatt is John Leland.] 

2 ' Treasures,' vol. iii. p. 351. 
a Schilderboeck, fol. 144 a. 


i the Collection of the late Sir Chaa.. Eastlake, P.B.A. 

page 212, No. 1. 



he occupies a place in art between Mantegna and Raphael, 
and also by the fine drawings by Vostermann from both the 
Triumphs, now in Lady Eastlake's possession. The com- 
position is distributed in the space with much feeling for 
style, the movements are graceful and grand, and the cold- 
ness of allegory is corrected by the fine individuality of the 

The Company of the German Merchants in London having 
been dissolved, these two pictures were, on the 22nd of 
January, 1616, presented by them to Prince Henry of Wales, 
a fact which is placed beyond doubt by the documentary re- 
searches of Dr. Lappenburg. 1 This is the last certain record 
we have of them ; for while it may be inferred with much 
probability that they passed at the death of that prince two 
years later into the possession of his brother Prince Charles, 
afterwards Charles I., yet as they are not enumerated among 
the works of art belonging to that monarch which were sold 
by Cromwell, Dr. Lappenburg concludes they may have 
perished in the fire at Whitehall in 1697. But such evidence 
as we further possess is not in favour of this conclusion, for 
it is remarkable that in the well-known catalogue of Charles 
I.'s collection, by the keeper Van der Doort, which contains 
notices of several less 'important works by Holbein, and 
even of two miniatures by him, these fine pictures are not 
mentioned at all. 

[It is difficult to prove at whose intercession, or at what 
precise time, Holbein was promoted into the royal service in 
London. We might fancy that the interest of. Wyatt, 
whose likeness he took in 1533, or that of Cromwell, whose 
portrait he painted in 1534, 2 would facilitate his introduction 
to the monarch. Yet there are no tangible proofs of such 
an introduction till after the death of Anne Boleyn, when 
we find the painter executing the great family picture of the 

1 See Dr. Lappenburg' s excellent work, * Urkundliche Geschichte des 
Hansischen Stalhof zu London,' Hamburg, 1851, vol. L, 4to, p. 83. 
The usual assumption that these pictures were burnt in the banqueting- 
hall of the Easterlings in the Great Fire of London in 1666 is thus set 

2 [There is a portrait of Cromwell (? genuine) in possession of Lady 



two Henrys, the "VTIth with Elizabeth of York, and the 
VHIth with Jane Seymour, and their children, which 
perished in the fire of 1698, at Whitehall. For a long time 
our knowledge of this piece and its composition could only 
be guessed from Leenput's copy at Hampton Court. The 
grandeur and perfection of the original is now more truly 
discerned in the fragment of a cartoon, containing the two 
kings, in the Duke of Devonshire's seat of Hardwicke Hall. 1 
This cartoon, indeed, is the only original production of 
Holbein's representing the features of Henry the VIH. 
About this time, too, Holbein had sittings from Jane Seymour, 
whose portrait is in the Belvedere at Vienna a clear, grey, 
flesh-toned picture, of great precision. 1537 and 1538 are 
the years in which Holbein painted his most admirable 
likenesses. Without counting the Lady Vaux at Prague, 
an injured picture, of which there is a replica or copy equally 
injured at Hampton Court, we have the splendid " South- 
well" of the Uffizi, 2 and the wonderful "Morrett" of 
Dresden, either of which would suffice to make the fame of 
a painter, both remarkable for the skill with which life and 
expression are given to flesh of a cool gray tone, and texture 
to silks and stuffs, velvets and embroideries, and details of 
daggers, buttons, and borders, with a smoothness quite 
unequalled in any productions of the time. 

In the Book of Henry the VIII. 's household expenses for 
1538 Holbein appears for the first time in receipt of a 
regular quarterly salary. In March of that year he was 
sent with Philip Hoby to Brussels, to paint the likeness of 
Christina, the youthful widow of the Duke of Milan, and 
this likeness, now at Arundel Castle, is a speaking instance 
of the ability with which Holbein could transfer to his 
pictures, not' only the person, but the high-bred air of a 
lady of quality. It may be that the tender reddish tone 
which marks this and other creations of the same period 

1 [The discovery of this cartoon is due to Mr. George Scharf .] 

2 [Dr. Waagen misdated this picture by confounding the year of the 
king's reign with that of the century. The inscription runs: "X 
julii. anno H. VIII. XXVIII. Etatis suse XXXIII." The Morrett, 
. fc is well known, was catalogued for years at Dresden under the name 
of Da Vinci.] 


are due to Holbein's refreshing his memory with earlier 
works at Bale. After leaving Brussels in spring he did not 
return to London, but wenf on to Bale, where the splendour 
of his position, and his new apparel of silk and satin, did 
not fail to attract considerable attention. 1 The governors of 
Bale were not slow to improve the occasion, by urging 
Holbein to accept an appointment, as town painter, at a 
salary of fifty gulden, and a furlough of two years, with a 
pension of forty gulden for each year of his absence. 2 But 
Holbein only accepted this offer pro forma. He found more 
attractions in England, and he returned to his old haunts in 
London without regret. 

It was a kindly habit of the royal painters to make 
new year's presents of pictures to the king. On the 1st of 
January, 1539, Holbein went to the palace with a likeness of 
the heir-apparent, and Henry rewarded him for it with " a 
gilte cruse." 3 There are numerous replicas of this portrait, 
one at Sion House, another in the Yarborough collection in 
London, another in the Welfen Museum at Hanover, but it 
is very doubtful whether any of them are original. 

Meanwhile the negotiations,for Henry's marriage with the 
Duchess of Milan had been broken off. At the court of the 
Duchess of Cleves there lived a marriageable princess : Holbein 
was again sent (Aug., 1539) to paint her likeness, which we 
see in its perfection at the Louvre. 

The painter's works in this and subsequent years are all 
masterpieces. It is not possible to do more than register them : 
viz., in 1539, the Duke of Norfolk, at Windsor Castle, and his 
son, the Earl of Surrey, which is lost ; in 1541, portraits of 
gentlemen, one in the Berlin Museum collection, another be- 
longing to Mr. Millais, a third in the Belvedere at Vienna ; 
in 1542, the portrait of Holbein himself at the Uffizi; of 

1 [See Woltmann's 'Holbein,' u. s., ii. 317-19 and 325.] This visit, 
and also the happiness Holbein enjoyed in England, may be gathered 
from the following passage in a letter from Gualter, then studying at 
Basle, to Antistes Bullinger at Zurich, in the middle of Sept., 1538 : 
"Venitnuper Basileam ex Anglia Joannes Holbein adeo felicem ejus 
regni statum prsedicans, quod aliquot septimanis exactis rursum eo 
migraturus est." 

- [See the ' Bestallung,' in Woltmann, u. s., ii. 327.] 
3 [See the records in Woltmann's Holbein,' u. s., ii. 389]. 



Butts and Chambers, Henry the VIIL's body surgeons, Butts 
in the Pole Carew collection, Chambers in the Belvedere at 
Vienna. Henry VHI. granting privileges to the Barber 
Surgeons, a large picture in the College of Surgeons, is about 
the last work \vhich the painter undertook, and probably 
remained unfinished at his death.] 

Considered as a miniature-painter, in which department 
Van Mander 1 reports him to have soon outstripped his master 
Lucas, whom he found at the court of Henry VIII., Holbein 
displayed rare excellence. I quote only the portraits of 
Henry and of Anne of Cleves in the collection of Colonel 
Meyrick. The portrait of the lady is termed by Walpole 
" the most exquisitely perfect of all Holbein's works." 

How early this master succeeded in rendering individual 
character only with such means as a draughtsman may com- 
mand may be seen in the eighty-nine portraits of persons 
attached to the court of Henry, and of other contemporary 
individuals, in the royal collection at Windsor. In most of 
these red chalk and Indian ink are the sole materials em- 
ployed, though sufficient to express a liveliness of conception, 
purity of feeling for nature, and a lightness and decision of 
touch such as have been never surpassed. 2 

As regards Holbein's powers of invention, some idea of 
their fruitfulness may be obtained from various designs, and 
especially from the woodcuts and engravings taken from his 
drawings. Of these latter there is a large collection in the 
Basle gallery. 3 A furious onslaught of Swiss native soldiers, 
No. 35, shows us with what energy and tremendous truth 
he rendered the momentary exhibition of passion. This is 
the most living and spirited picture of that old Swiss race 
which broke the power of Burgundy, and the force of whose 
weapons was long considered to be irresistible. 

Among his biblical subjects a composition of Christ carry- 
ing his cross is remarkable for richness and beauty ; also a 
Virgin and Child for elevation of feeling. A rich series of 

1 Van Mander, fol. 140 b. 

2 Bartolozzi's plates in Chamberlain's well-known work are estimable, 
though giving but feeble representations of these qualities. 

* ' Kiinstler und Kunstwerke in Deutschland/ vol. ii. p. 283 to 291. 


cartoons, executed with pen and Indian ink, for glass paint- 
ings, and of powerful effect, are very important in character, 
though not all equal in value. Seven similar cartoons, 
representing the Passion, drawn also in the master's earlier 
time, are in the collection of engravings in the British 
Museum. 1 The elevated taste with which he treated sub- 
jects from common life is shown by three drawings in the 
same museum a woman with three children, another in bed 
with six children, and Henry VIII. alone at table. 2 Of the 
engravings from his designs I may observe, as a specimen of 
the degree in which he was qualified to treat historical sub- 
jects, the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, engraved 
by Hollar. 

But the greatest number of his compositions are seen in the 
woodcuts, 3 executed by highly skilful hands, and especially 
by Hans Liitzelburger, and which, with few exceptions, be- 
long to the period before his removal to England. The 
series of subjects called the Dance of Death comprise his 
most original and spirited inventions. These, with the ex- 
ception of a few proof-sheets, were first published at Lyons 
in forty-one plates, and in a subsequent edition, which also 
appeared at Lyons, in 1547, were increased by twelve addi- 
tional plates. We have already alluded to the feeling which 
pervades these compositions. So much was Holbein in love 
with the subject that he treated it afresh in another series 
of alphabetical woodcuts, and again in a drawing, of which 
many examples exist, for the handle of a dagger. Next in 
order the woodcuts for the Old Testament deserve men- 
tion. This work, which consists of ninety subjects, the 
first four of which are the Last Dance of Death, was also 
published at Lyons in 1538. Some of the designs are most 
remarkable. The woodcuts for two other alphabets worthily 

1 * Treasures,' vol. i. p. 236. 

2 < Galleries and Cabinets,' etc., p. 36, etc. 

3 In this view I concur with Herr Sotzman in the Tiibinger Kunst- 
blatt,' 1836, Nos. 30 to 32 ; and with Herr Vischer in the same work, 
1838, Nos. 50 to 54 ; 1843, Nos. 15 and 102 ; and 1846, No. 27. On 
the other hand, it is believed by some, at the head of whom is Rumohr, 
that he was himself a wood-engraver. Rumohr's ' H. Holbein in seinem 
Verhaltnisse zum Deutschen Formschnitt,' Leipzig, 1836 ; and a reply 
to Sotzman in the same work. 



succeed these last : one of the series contains a dance of 
peasants, the other of children. The rare woodcuts to 
Cranmer's Catechism are less important. Of the single wood- 
cuts which bespeak the invention of Holbein I will only 
mention the portrait of Erasmus, with the terminal figure,, 
and two dagger-sheaths. 

Finally, I may mention that Holbein executed a large number 
of designs for domestic furniture, stoves, clocks, and espe- 
cially for weapons and goldsmith's work. These contain an 
abundance of original inventions, both as regards the forms 
of a developed Renaissance style and the figures introduced. 
Admirable specimens of this kind are in the engraving de- 
partment of the British Museum, and also in the library. 1 

This great master died in London [between the 7th of Octo- 
ber and 29th of November, 1543]. 2 Judging from the most 
authentic of his portraits the one in red and black chalk, 
in the Basle Museum, which represents him in youthful years 
he was a man of well-formed and regular features, expres- 
sive of a clear mind, a cheerful temper, and a quiet decision 
of character. 8 

Although, owing to the circumstance of his leaving his 
native town of Augsburg early, and his also residing but ten 
years in Basle, Holbein created, properly speaking, no school,, 
yet some painters obviously formed their style from his. I 
may quote CHRISTOPHER AMBERGER, born at Nuremberg about 
1500, died after 1561, who lived in Augsburg, and who occu- 
pies an important position as a portrait-painter. However in- 
ferior to Holbein in energy of conception and refinement of 
drawing, yet he occasionally surpasses him in transparency 
and warmth of colouring. [A stay of some years in Italy 
(he was there in 1535) was of influence in the expansion 
of his art.] 4 Specimens of interest are the following : the 
portrait of the well-known geographer, Sebastian Miinster, in 

1 See further in 'Treasures,' etc., vol. i. pp. 203 and 236. Also, 
' Galleries and Cabinets,' etc., p. 37, etc. 

2 [See the will and administration to the same, by Mr. Franks, in the 
'Archseologia' vol. xxxix.] 

3 A line-engraving from it is at the opening of Hegnor's book. 

* [One of his pictures, a portrait in the Belvedere, is dated so : " 1535 
di Marzo." See Woltmann in Meyer's Lexikon.] 


the Berlin Museum, No. 588 ; and of the Emperor Charles 
V., in the gallery at Sienna. As an historical painter Am- 
berger is less successful : but an altarpiece, dated 1554, 
representing the Virgin and Child surrounded with Saints, 
placed on the wall of the choir-sacristy in Augsburg Cathedral, 
is skilfully composed and drawn, and the heads of refined 
and elevated character. The religious sentiment of this 
picture, though true to nature, is feeble in expression ; the 
colouring is transparent. This painter, considered as an 
historical artist, embodies the transition from the early Ger- 
man style to that of the more modern school, a movement 
which is more clearly seen in another altarpiece of the same 
subject, dated 1560, in the church of St. Anna at Augsburg. 1 

Another painter, of the name of HANS ASPEK, shows the 
influence of Holbein in Switzerland. The portraits of Zwingli 
and his wife in the library at Zurich are specimens of his art. 
I have not seen them, however. 

Another Swiss painter from Berne, by name NICOLAS 
MANUEL, surnamed DEUTSCH, born 1484, died 1531, as- 
sumes, on the other hand, a far more independent position. 2 
Although allied to Holbein in the realistic tendency of his 
art, yet he differs essentially from him in the mode of its 
expression. He also treated the subject of the Dance of 
Death with considerable humour, in forty- six large fresco 
pictures on the churchyard wall of the Dominican convent at 
Berne. His conception, however, partakes in no way of 
the fearfully bitter sarcasm of the Holbein series, but has 
rather a light and good-tempered character. Thus Death is 
stroking the Abbot under his fat chin, is marching along 
with the soldier, and is enticing the child with the merry 
whistle of his pipe. All, therefore, except a fool, who 
resists, take the summons quietly. Unfortunately this work 
only exists in copies. 3 As Manuel, besides being a painter, 
was poet, soldier, statesman, and reformer, it is not sur- 
prising that his art should, in point of development, by no 

1 Kiinstler und Kunstwerke in Deutschland, ' vol. ii. pp. 62 and 67. 

2 Gruneisen's 'Mcolaus Manuel,' Stuttgart, 1837, pp. 156 to 194. 

3 Lithographs of this work were published by E. Haag and Co. at 


means approach that of Holbein. Nor had he that great 
painter's feeling for beauty. His pictures are very unequal 
in merit. The richness and frequent beauty of his land- 
scape backgrounds prove the influence of Titian, with whom 
he spent some time in Venice, about the year 1511. He 
may be thoroughly studied in the Museum at Basle in the 
following works : The Decollation of John the Baptist, No. 
70. Here the expression of aversion in the figure of Salome, 
as she receives the bloody head from the half-averted execu- 
tioner, is delicately conceived. The colouring is also fine, 
and the finish careful. The same merit of execution is 
observable in the David and Bathsheba, dated 1517, No. 
68, which is painted in one colour with white lights. A 
Lucretia, of the same date and style of treatment, No. 69, 
shows rude and uncouth forms. Two pictu?:es, in tempera 
on canvas, are also here, Nos. 66 and 67. The first consists 
of two scenes from the story of Pyramus and Thisbo, having 
the effect of a parody, the figures being attired in the stately 
costume of Upper Germany. The second, which is more 
carefully rendered, represents the Virgin and Child, with St. 
Anna and Saints, on clouds, and adored by a number of the 
faithful. Both these works are remarkable for their rich 
landscape. A large picture, in oil on canvas, representing a 
peasant wedding, in the possession of the Manuel family at 
Berne, shows how agreeably he could occasionally treat the 
busier scenes of common life ; while a portrait of himself, 
in the Civic Library of the same town, proves him to have 
been a capital portrait-painter. In his art, also, we may 
see the deep interest which he took in the Reformation in 
his native land. A drawing of the Resurrection of Christ 
is in the possession of Dr. Griineisen at Stuttgart. Here, 
however, the guardians of the sepulchre are not Roman 
soldiers, but Roman Catholic priests and monks, who are 
sitting round about with their concubines, and, scared by 
the appearance of the Saviour, are running away with all 

That branch of the Swabian school, also, which flourished 
in Ulm, produced in this period a very remarkable painter, 
MARTIN SCHAFFNEB by name, who laboured from 1499 to 


1535. 1 His tendency was realistic also, and in his earlier 
time he does not advance beyond a common portrait-like 
character of figures. Of this class is his Adoration of the 
Threo Kings, in the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg, 
No. 52. At the same time he exhibited, pretty early in his 
career, a power of expressing the cheerful innocence of 
young girls. As a specimen I may cite five youthful female 
saints, with one elderly saint, in the Berlin Museum [now 
withdrawn]. Later in life, and owing probably to the study 
of Borgognone's works, he cultivated a feeling for beauty and 
for the higher expression of spiritual emotion. The finest 
specimens of this class are four pictures from the diocese 
of Weddenhausen, in the Munich Gallery, Nos. 214-17. 
These are the Annunciation, the Presentation in the Temple 
(of the year 1524), the Descent of the Holy Ghost, and the 
Death of the Virgin. From these works we should be led 
to believe that Schaffner was a gentle and amiable man, full 
of deep feeling, and endowed with a strong sense of what 
was delicate and noble in form, more especially as regards 
the drawing of the heads. His colour only is defective, 
particularly in the flesh; it has a peculiarly clear greyish 
tone, without, however, being cold. The last of the pictures 
just referred to is remarkably good : the sinking form of the 
Virgin, who kneels in prayer with the Apostles (a peculiar 
and touching mode of conceiving the subject), and the 
different degrees of sympathy in the countenances of the 
latter, are very happily expressed. Over the principal altar 
of the cathedral of Ulm is another important work by Schaff- 
ner, of the year 1521. The centre consists of a carving in 
wood, representing the Holy Family ; the wings are painted 
by Schaffner ; on the inside are family groups of the kindred 
of the Virgin, and on the outside different saints. The forms 
are somewhat round, and remind us of Italian art ; the heads 
are soft in expression ; the cast of the drapery is still occa- 
sionally angular, but grand in form, and in long masses. In 
all these pictures a delicate cool tone prevails more or less 

1 Griineisen und Mauch, 'Ulm's Kunstleben,' p. 53, etc. IScliaffiier 
L-3 probably a pupil of Schiihlein.] 



in the flesh. The general effect also pertains to the cool 
scale of colour. Martin Schaffner was also an excellent 
portrait-painter, as seen in his portrait of a Count Oettingen, 
dated 1508, now in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, No. 218, 
a picture of refined feeling, though somewhat flat in model- 
ling; also in his portraits in the Besser chapel and in the 
sacristy of the Ulm cathedral, both far more animated in 
character and powerful in colour. 

Finally, a peculiar position in the Swabian school is taken 
by the painter HANS BALDUNG, called GKIEN, born 1470 at 
Gmund, died [1545] at Strasburg. No other master shows, 
in style of conception, drawing, and treatment, so decided 
an influence from Albert Durer, which makes it probable 
that he must have spent some time in the atelier of that 
master at Nuremberg. In point of feeling for beauty, har- 
mony of colour, and general keeping, he is, however, inferior 
to the other Swabian masters. The character of his heads, 
which are roundish and unattractive in form, and too pro- 
nounced in single parts, is too often repeated. His chef- 
d'oeuvre is a large altarpiece, signed 1516, in the Freiburg 
cathedral. 1 The centre picture represents the Coronation 
of the Virgin by the Almighty and Christ, with angels float- 
ing around and playing on musical instruments. The light 
clouds which sustain them are, on close observation, seen to 
consist entirely of cherubims' heads. The inner sides of the 
wings contain the twelve Apostles in adoration : robust in- 
dividual heads. The outer sides of the wings and two 
stationary side pictures are occupied by the Visitation, the 
Nativity, the Flight into Egypt, and by the Annunciation : 
the last-named apparently by a different hand. In the 
Visitation the sweet expression of the Virgin and the mild 
and gentle countenance of Elizabeth are of great charm. 
In the Nativity the light proceeds from the Child ; the group 
is further lighted by clear moonlight. Here, also, the 
expression of the Virgin and of the five angels is of great 
tenderness. But the most remarkable of the number, both 

1 See Life of this master, and account of this work, by Schreiber, 
* Das Miinster zu Freiburg,' second edition, and ' Das Miinster zu 
Strasburg,' second edition, p. 75. 

Chap. VI. HANS BALDUNQ. 223 

as regards beauty and originality of composition and success- 
ful execution, is the Flight into Egypt. An angel has swung 
himself down from a date-palm, up which four other angels 
are climbing, on to the mule, and is extending fruit to the 
Child, who is clinging to the Virgin. On the back of the 
centre picture is a well-executed Crucifixion, after the com- 
position by Albert Durer. The wings of the back contain 
SS. Martin, George, John the Baptist, and Jerome, grand 
;and characteristic figures. The portraits of the founders, 
on the predella, in adoration of the Virgin, under the Cruci- 
fixion, are very animated. Occasionally the painter de- 
generates into revolting exaggerations, as in the figures of 
those stoning St. Stephen. The head of the saint himself is 
elevated in character and vigorous in colouring. The picture, 
signed 1522, is in the Berlin Museum, No. 623. In the 
same gallery, No. 603, is a Crucifixion, dated 1512, and an 
admirable cartoon of the same subject is preserved in the 
collection of engravings. The fantastic element was also 
strongly developed in this painter, of which the large wings 
of an altarpiece at Colmar, and especially the Temptation of 
St. Anthony, give a striking example. The saint is con- 
versing with Paul the Hermit. The landscape in this picture 
is very beautiful. 1 Two women, also, with skeletons, in the 
Basle Museum, belong to this class of his works. They are 
very disagreeable subjects, but admirably executed. The 
best portrait by his hand known to me is one, dated 1515, 
of a light-haired youth, in the Gallery of Vienna. That 
of a Markgraf of Baden, dated 1514, in the Munich Gal- 
lery, Cabinets, No. 287, is drier. In his drawings Hans 
Baldung approaches the precision of execution of Albert 
Durer, though far inferior to him in correctness. He exe- 
cuted two engravings with much skill, and a considerable 

1 [Dr. Woltmann (Zeitsch. f. b. Kunst i. 262,) gives able but not 
conclusive proofs that the wings of the altarshrine in the cathedral of 
Colinar, representing the temptation of St. Anthony, and the hermits, 
Anthony and Paul, are by Grien. On the back of these wings is a 
" Majesty " of the Virgin Mary, with the Virgin and Angel annunciate 
on a second pair of wings ; the obverse of which again is covered with a 
composition of the Passion. This composite work was once on the high 
altar of the monastery of Issenheim, in Alsace. See antea, p. 186. 



number of designs, chiefly of a religious character, for wood- 
engravings. 1 


The Netherlands exercised by their vicinity so prepon- 
derating an influence over these countries, that the painters 
they produced exhibit by no means so distinct an originality 
as those of the schools' we have been considering. The 
influence of Quentin Massys especially, on the part of Bel- 
gium, is recognisable. With a tendency decidedly realistic, 
they do not, in many instances, rise in their heads above a 
commonplace character, showing but little feeling for beauty, 
though often an intense and moving expression. In colour- 
ing they nearly approach the masters of the Netherlands, 
and also in the masterly rendering of detail, namely, in the 
often highly-finished character of the landscape backgrounds. 
As regards treatment, they may be distinguished by a certain 
dryness and by greater hardness of outlines. Here again 
Cologne forms the centre of pictorial activity, and a parti- 
cular predilection is shown for scenes from the Passion, 
namely, such as the Descent from the Cross, which excite 
sorrowful emotions. After these, the Adoration of the three 
Kings, whose bones rest in the Cathedral of Cologne, is the 
subject most in vogue. 

Foremost among this school is a Cologne master who 
flourished in the first third of the sixteenth century. His 
colouring and treatment of landscape backgrounds show 
the study of Quentin Massys' works. Later in life he visited 
Italy, without, however, his German feeling for art being 
affected in the most essential points by any impressions 
received there. In his pictures, which show in his later 
time a more judicious composition, an elevated and fervent 
religious feeling is observable. The heads of his women 
evince much feeling for beauty and spiritual purity ; his 
male heads, on the other hand, though invariably truthful, 
are generally ugly in character ; and his old men, in his 
earlier works, have an over softness of form more suitable to 

1 Bartsch mentions fifty-nine wood-engravings, ' Peintre Graveur/ 
vol. vii. p. 305. 


the other sex. The nude he frequently treats with a certain 
meagreness, though otherwise he is a tolerably good 
draughtsman. In his earlier works a great transparency 
and warmth of colouring appear, and his flesh is of a 
blooming reddish tone. In those later pictures, in which 
some influence from Italian art is traceable, this fine local 
colour is sacrificed to an attempt at greater modelling, but 
at the same time his heads are altogether of nobler form 
and purer taste. In the Netherlandish minutiae of his land- 
scape he remains always the same, except that his later 
pictures are in this respect somewhat heavier in tone. His 
earliest known work, dated 1515, is the Death of the Virgin, 
in the Museum at Cologne. The composition is certainly 
scattered, and the incidents wanting in repose ; but the 
head of the Virgin is tender, the female saints on the wings 
of lovely character, and the portraits of the donors truthful. 
A large and originally far more important representation 
of the same subject was formerly also in a church at 
Cologne, but now forms part of the Boisseree collection 
in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, Nos. 55, 56, and 57. 
It agrees entirely in the wings with the above-mentioned 
picture, but differs greatly from it in the centrepiece. 
Like other pictures collected by the Boisserees, it has 
been strongly overpainted with glazing colours, which 
give it a crude and gaudy look. The brick-red tones 
bestowed on the flesh parts are particularly disagreeable. 
An important picture in the Gallery at Naples, by the same 
master, corresponds entirely with that at Munich. The 
subject is a Crucifixion, with the Virgin, St. John, the 
Magdalen, and three angels who are catching the blood. On 
the wings are the donor with three sons, presented by St. 
Jerome, and his wife with two daughters, presented by St. 
Margaret, and the armorial bearings of the family. 

One of the finest works however of this earlier time is in 
the collection of Mr. Blundell Weld, of Ince, near Liver- 
pool, representing the Virgin contemplating the sleeping 
Child with intense love, and three singing angels. 1 A 

1 'Treasures of Art,' vol. iii. p. 250. 



work of considerable size of the same time is a free copy, 
the property of Lord Heytesbury, 1 from the well-known 
Descent from the Cross by Kogier van der Weyden the 
younger, of which, as we have already said, three examples 
exist: two in the Madrid Gallery, and one in the Berlin 
Museum, The fact that one of these copies was formerly at 
Louvain proves that the Cologne master was for a time in 
the Netherlands. The difference in the composition lies 
only in the figure upon the ladder, and some of the heads 
are only altered in the expression. Instead of the gold 
ground the copier has introduced a rich landscape. To the 
same period finally belongs an Adoration of the Kings in the 
Dresden Gallery, No. 1848. The transition from his earlier 
to his later style appears in a Pieta, with Joseph of Arimathea 
and St. Yeronica, dated 1524, on the inner sides of the wings, 
in the Stadel Institute at Frankfort. It was formerly in the 
Lys church at Cologne. The early transparency of his colour 
is here seen combined with a higher character in some of the 
heads. The following are the chefs-d'oeuvre of his later 
time : An Adoration of the Kings, of very considerable size, 
in the Dresden Gallery, No. 1846. The character of the 
heads is very much the same as in his early days, but the 
colouring is grayer. It was probably painted for a church 
near Genoa, where it was formerly preserved. 2 A somewhat 
large altarpiece in the Louvre, No. 601, with a Pieta in the 
centre, St. Francis receiving the Stigmata in the lunette, and 
in the predella the Last Supper. The many reminiscences 
of the Cena by Leonardo da Vinci prove the painter to have 
heen in Milan. The arrangement of the centre composition is 
here more comformable to style, the types less truthful, but 
of greater elevation of character, the modelling more careful, 
but the colouring less warm and transparent. 8 Next in 
order, finally, is an Adoration of the Kings in the Gallery 
at Naples, there erroneously called Luca d' Ollanda, with 
two of the Kings upon the wings. The heads of the Virgin 

1 'Galleries and Cabinets,' etc., p. 386. 

2 * Remarks on the Exhibition, etc., of the Dresden Gallery,' Berlin, 
1859, by Dr. Waagen, p. 42. 

3 'Kunstwerke und Kunstler in Paris,' p. 553, etc. 


and of the kneeling King are here very beautiful ; the 
chiaroscuro in which the procession is kept is particularly 

Another painter deserving mention is one who flourished 
in Cologne in the first decennium of the sixteenth century, 
and to whom the name of Lucas van Leyden was formerly 
erroneously given, and in later times, though also on insuffi- 
cient grounds, that of CHRISTOPH. There is something anti- 
quated in his meagre forms and in the awkward motives, in 
which at the same time an attempt at grace is observable. 
In his heads also the same insignificant and by no means 
attractive features are repeated, and generally with an affected 
smile. His hands especially are characterized by bony and 
scarcely tapering fingers. The flesh-tones incline to a cool 
pearl-gray colour ; the draperies, in heavy and sharp breaks, 
consist generally of sumptuous stuffs executed with great 
minutiae. The modelling, however, of every part is mar- 
vellous. Upon the whole the influence of Quentin Massys 
may also be traced in this painter. His earliest picture, 
known to have been executed about 1501, formerly in the 
Chartreuse at Cologne, and later in the possession of Herr 
Haan at Cologne, represents St. Thomas placing his finger 
in the side of the Saviour, who is assisting him in the act. 
At the sides are four saints, with angels playing on musical 
instruments on the grass. On the wings, outside and inside, 
are saints. Somewhat later in time, and from the same 
church and in the same hands, is the Crucifixion, with the 
disciples and St. Jerome. On the interior of the wings are 
saints, with the Annunciation, and SS. Peter and Paul on 
the exterior. Next in order are a series of single saints, five 
of whom in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, Nos. 48-50, form 
an altar. The most remarkable figures are SS. James the 
younger, Bartholomew, and John the Evangelist. Two 
more are in the City Gallery at Mayence; and two, SS. 
Peter and Dorothea, No. 707, in the National Gallery. 1 In 
all these the finish of the execution is marvellous. But his 
most remarkable work, as regards size and import, is a 

1 ' Galleries and Cabinets,' etc., p. 228. 



Descent from the Cross, in the Louvre, No. 280, there called 
Quentin Massys. In composition, expression of the emotions,, 
and warmer colour of the flesh, this is his most favourable 
specimen. The brown glazing shadows on the gold ground 
give it the look of a shrine. 

In affinity with the first of these two anonymous masters 
may be mentioned JOHANN VON MELEM of Cologne, though 
several pictures of saints and donors in the Munich Gallery, 
Cabinets, Nos. 68, 69 72, 73, show him to be inferior ia 
drawing, execution, and colouring. 1 [? De Bruyn.] 

Among the Westphalian painters, one [now recognized as 
Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen is] especially distinguished. 
His style of art approximates also in every respect to that of 
the Netherlands, though it bears a sterner and more anti- 
quated form than that of the first-mentioned Cologne painter. 
His tendency is decidedly realistic, and his practice in every 
respect of great truthfulness ; but unfortunately he is greatly 
deficient in feeling for beauty, his female heads being little 
attractive, and those of his children strikingly and also- 
monotonously ugly. There is but little firmness in his- 
drawing, and his outlines are sharp. On the other hand, 
there is something na'ive both in his composition and feeling, 
his colouring is of extraordinary power, and his execution of 
great detail and solidity. His landscape backgrounds, for 
instance, which are enlivened with various attractive epi- 
sodes, are among the best of the class which this period 
produced. The best specimen I know of him (a Nativity, 
date 1512) is wrongfully termed an Albert Durer, in the 
Gallery at Naples (No. 342 of the Catalogue of 1842). The 
Child is lying on the ground beneath the ruins of a building, 
which, according to mediaeval conception, betokened an 
antique temple, adored by the Virgin and Joseph, while a 
number of angels are singing the " Gloria in excelsis," ac- 
companied by various musical instruments ; at the sides are 
the donors, two men and two women, with their patron 
saints. In the rich hilly landscape of the background is 
seen a town upon a lake. The execution is wonderfully 

1 I purposely reserve the mention of Hans von Calcar for a later 


minute. A smaller but equally remarkable altarpiece is in 
the Berlin Museum, No. 607. In the centre of a rich and 
attractive landscape is the Virgin, with the Child in the act 
of benediction, and six angels. The insides of the wings 
represent the donor with St. Augustine, and the domor's wife 
with St. Barbara; the outsides, St. Anna with the Virgin 
and Child on her lap, and St. Elizabeth of Thiiringen with a 
beggar. A third winged altarpiece, dated 1515, is in the 
Antwerp Museum, Nos. 523-25. In the centre is the Virgin 
holding the Child, who is taking cherries from a basket held 
to him by an angel, while another angel is playing on a 
musical instrument. In the sky are the Almighty and the 
Dove. The Murder of the Innocents and the Flight into 
Egypt are both in the rich landscape. On the wings are 
the donor with St. Sebastian, and the donor's wife with the 

In one painter only from the Lower Rhine, ANTON VON 
WORMS by name, 1 is the influence of Albert Durer perceptible. 
He flourished in Cologne from 1525 to 1531, principally as 
a designer for woodcuts, and also as a painter. His pictures, 
which are very rare, give evidence of a master who combined 
good drawing with a certain sense of beauty. One, signed 
with his monogram, is in the possession of Herr Merle of 
Cologne. His good drawing appears also in the woodcuts 
taken from his designs. M. Sotzmann's investigations prove 
that of the eleven designs attributed to him by Bartsch,* one 
(No. 11) is by a feebler master; that his Passion is not 
copied from Albert Durer, but that only a few motives from 
that master have been adopted ; these researches also add to 
the list various woodcuts of which he was the author, and 
especially one containing a large map of Cologne. 

Among the pictures in the Museum at Cologne, and also 
in the churches of that city, may be seen many respectable 
though not important productions of this period. We may 
include the finely-coloured glass -painting in the north aisle 
of the cathedral of the year 1509. 

1 See Sotzmann on Anton von Worms, Cologne, 1819 ; and again in 
the ' Kunstblatt,' 1838, Nos. 55 and 56. 

2 ' Peintre Graveur,' vol. vii. p. 488. 









IN consequence of the reputation of the great Italian masters 
Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, and Raphael, which 
spread throughout the Netherlands as well as Germany, 
many painters from these countries repaired to Italy. Here 
we find that precisely those qualities most opposed to their 
own feeling for art made the deepest impression on their 
minds ; more especially such as showed excellences beyond 
the sphere of individual nature, viz., grandeur of beauty, 
and simplification of forms, masterly drawing of the nude r 
unrestrained freedom, boldness, and grace of movement in 
short, all that is comprised in art under the term of the 
ideal. The attempt, however, to appropriate all these quali- 
ties could lead to no successful result. Being based on no 
inherent want on the part of their own original feeling for 
art, it became only the outward imitation of something 
foreign to themselves and already fully developed by others. 
They never succeeded, therefore, in mastering the complete 
understanding of form, or in adopting the true feeling for 
beauty of lines or grace of movement, and, in aiming at 
them, they degenerated into untruthfulness and artificialitv 


of expression -into exagg3ration of drawing and violence 
and tastelessness of attitude while the effort to model was 
generally at the expense of their own fine colouring. The 
pictures of this class, even of religious subjects, have accord- 
ingly but little to attract the eye ; the more so as the with- 
drawal of genuine inspiration leaves the heads generally 
cold. But when they selected scenes from ancient mytho- 
logy, and allegories decked out with an ostentation of 
learning, the result is positively disagreeable. Numerous, 
however, as were the painters in the Netherlands who 
followed this mistaken course, there were plenty whose 
sound feeling resisted the error, and impelled them to a 
different vocation. In lieu of religious subjects, the inspira- 
tion for which, as we have said, had ceased to flow, they 
began to take pleasure in scenes from common life, and 
struck into that path which had been opened by Lucas van 
Leyden. In this way religious themes subsided into mere 
accessories, and served only as a pretext for pictures which 
embodied their favourite studies. Others, who delighted 
especially in landscape, followed the steps of Patenier and 
Civetta ; with this difference, that the landscape became 
their principal subject, and the gradually diminishing size of 
their figures reduced them at length to mere accessories of 
the foreground. But although all these masters, by the 
finish of their detail, by their animation, naivete, and humour 
and the landscape-painters especially, by their frequent 
poetic inventions are incomparably more attractive than 
the imitators of Italian art, yet their propensity to the 
fantastic, their absence of simplicity in arrangement, their 
gaudy and crude colouring, and want of general keeping, 
must always assign to them a subordinate place amongst 
lovers of art. The most satisfactory productions of this 
period will therefore be found in the department of portrait- 
painting, which, by its nature, threw the artist upon the 
exercise of his own original feeling. As this epoch is far 
more important as a link in the chain of history than for 
any pleasure arising from its own works, it will be sufficient 
to quote only the more important painters and a few of their 
principal pictures. 


The first painter who deserted his native style of art, in 
which, as we have stated above, he had already greatly 
excelled, was JAN VAN MABUSE. His works after 1512 are, 
with small exception, characterised by all the mistakes 
we have enumerated. Their redeeming quality is masterly 
treatment. Among those of a religious class some of a 
small size are the most remarkable. The Ecce Homo in the 
Antwerp Museum, No. 181, so frequently copied by con- 
temporary painters, is a specimen of masterly modelling and 
vigorous colour ; also two Madonnas with the Child, with 
rich architectural accessories, in the Northbrook collection. 1 
Mabuse is least successful in his nude figures : for instance, 
in his Adam and Eve, at Hampton Court, 2 an original repeti- 
tion of which is in the Berlin Museum, No. 642. But his 
most unpleasing efforts are such figures taken from mytho- 
logy, viz., Neptune and Amphitrite, also in the Berlin 
Museum, No. 648, and Danae and the Golden Shower, in 
the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, No. 156. On the other hand, 
his most attractive works of this time are portraits, such as 
a young girl weighing gold pieces, in the Museum at Berlin, 
No. 656A; [the Children of Christian II. of Denmark, at 
Hampton Court; and "Jean Carondelet," at the Louvre, 
The largest and most important of the master's latest altar- 
pieces, a Descent from the Cross, in the church of Middelburg 
in Zeeland, was destroyed by fire on the 24th of January, 

Next in succession to Mabuse is BEENHAED VAN ORLEY, 
born at Brussels, [1488-90, died] 1541. 3 Though almost 
contemporary with Mabuse, yet we know of no pictures by 
him so worthily allied to the old school in moral and tech- 
nical qualities as those executed by Mabuse before his visit 
to Italy. But, on the other hand, in the works imitative of 
the Italian style, Bernhard van Orley is never so cold in 
feeling or so tasteless in form as Mabuse, who could never 
entirely shake off his Netherlandish feeling, and who, more- 

1 ' Galleries and Cabinets,' etc., p. 98. 

' Treasures,' etc., vol. ii. p. 368. 

3 [Bernhard van Orley was the son of Valentine van Orley, a painter 
who matriculated at Antwerp in 1512. See Liggeren, i. 77, 86.] 


over, during a [short stay in Italy] especially devoted 
himself to the imitation of Raphael. The works of the 
Brussels painter are composed with much discrimination ; 
the earlier specimens often with earnest feeling, the later 
exhibiting welldrawn forms and good keeping; while the 
latest, it is true, lapse into the exaggerated and mannered 
forms of the later followers of Raphael. At the same time 
his execution is invariably careful, and his colouring invari- 
ably cool in general effect, the flesh-tones inclining to a cold 
reddish colour. Bernhard van Orley was appointed court- 
painter to Margaret of Austria, at Brussels, in 1518, and 
retained the same post under her successor, Mary of Hun- 
gary (1524-35). The work by him bearing most signs of 
Netherlandish thought and practice is the Pieta, with por- 
traits of the donors on the wings, in the Museum at Brussels. 
The heads are elevated in form and feeling the portraits of 
great truthfulness. In close affinity with this is the altar- 
piece in the church of the town of Lierre, beyond the rail- 
way between Antwerp and Mechlin ; the centre containing 
'the Marriage of Joseph and the Virgin, the wings the 
Annunciation and the Presentation. His most considerable 
work is a shrine with double wings in the church of our Lady 
:at Lubeck. The outsides of the first pair of wings contain 
the Annunciation ; the inner sides, and the outer ones of the 
second wings, the four Latin Fathers, of good draperies ; 
and, finally, the inner sides of the last-mentioned, the Sibyl 
showing the Vision of the Virgin and Child to the Emperor 
Augustus, and St. John the Evangelist with the Vision of 
the Apocalypse ; the centre represents the Trinity with 
adoring Saints, a free version from Albert Durer's picture. 
This work is of great merit in many respects. 1 Another 
picture, signed with his name, and in two compartments, 
is in the Gallery at Vienna. One division contains the 
Emperor Antiochus Epiphanes erecting an idol in the temple 
of Jerusalem ; the other the Day of Pentecost, with St. Peter 
Addressing the people. The heads are not pleasing, but the 

1 [We should add to these the triptych in the Brussels Museum (No. 
368), inscribed with Van Orley's name and the date 1521 ; and repre- 
senting the trials of Job.] 





execution is careful. His large Last Judgment in the chapel 
" des Orphelins " at Antwerp, with the Seven Works of 
Mercy on the predella, is most indicative of his adopted 
Italian manner. Though worthy of note for the able draw- 
ing of many of the figures, for the powerful tone of the flesh, 
and the vivacity of many portrait-like heads, yet the exag- 
geration of many of the actions for instance, that of the 
Christ the overladen character, and the gaudiness of the- 
colouring give a very unpleasing effect, considered as a 
whole. One of his most attractive pictures is a Virgin and 
Child and Joseph, which is finely felt,- and taken from a 
composition by Leonardo da Vinci in the Liverpool Institu- 
tion. 1 On the other hand, in the worked hanging repre- 
senting Abraham and Melchisedeck, and Rebecca at the 
Fountain, 2 at Hampton Court probably taken from his- 
cartoons, and decidedly of his latest time he appears as a 
mannered imitator of Raphael. 

JAN SCHOREEL, born 1495, died 1562 ; 3 scholar of Mabuse. 
This painter appears to have been the first to introduce the 
Italian style into his native country Holland. On occasion 
of a pilgrimage to Palestine he happened to stop in Rome 
exactly as his countryman, Adrian VI., was raised to the 
papal dignity, 1521. He painted his likeness, and was ap- 
pointed overseer of the objects of art in the Vatican. After 
the short reign of that pope Schoreel returned to Holland, 
and died at Utrecht, where he occupied the position of canon. 
In the historically authenticated picture by him, in the Town- 
hall at Utrecht, representing the Virgin seated, with the- 
Child, in a landscape, with donors, he appears as an able 
draughtsman, and as an imitator of Raphael and Michael 
Angelo. [In the numerous gospel subjects (temperas) painted 
by JSchoreel in 1525 for the church of Warmenhuizen, near 
Alkmaar, we have an interesting example of his skill. To 
the left of the altar is the Fall of the Manna and the Worship 
of the Golden Calf; to the right, the Egyptians overwhelmed 

1 'Treasures,' etc., vol. iii. p. 236. 

'-' Ibid., vol. ii. p. 367. 

3 Van Mander, fol. 154a, and Job. Secundi, Opene Epist., lib. vii. 2. 

Chap. I. VAN COXIS. 235 

in the Red Sea.] 1 The donors, and a set of portraits of 
pilgrims to Palestine, in the Town-hall at Utrecht, show 
Schoreel as a painter of vigorous conception, warm tone of 
colour, und capital execution, in the style of the Netherlandish 
school. 2 The same may be said of the portraits of a man 
and his wife, dated 1539, in the Gallery at Vienna; 3 [whilst 
the Magdalen, in the Museum of Amsterdam, displays the 
strong influence of the Ferrarese school on the one hand 
and of Mabuse on the other]. From a picture which was in 
the possession of the Methuen family at Corsham House in 
1836, representing loving couples beguiling the time with 
music and the pleasures of the table, it is evident that he 
occasionally treated secular subjects with success. The 
treatment is truthful and lively, and the execution in a warm 
brownish tone of great mastery. 4 

MICHAEL VAN COXCYEN, commonly written Coxis, born at 
Mechlin 1499, died there 1592. He was at first scholar to 
his father, and afterwards to Bernhard van Orley, [whom he 
succeeded as court-painter to Mary of Hungary] . 5 He spent 
a number of years in Italy, where he adopted the outer form 
of Raphael's works, but remained unirnbued with their spirit,, 
so that the name of the Flemish Raphael, which was given 
to him, must be taken with much reserve. The numerous 
pictures which were the result of his long life are of very 
unequal merit. His frescoes in the church dell' Anima at 
Rome are unimportant and very mannered. In his com- 

1 [See M. D. van der Kellen, junr., in No. 50 of the 'Nederlandshe Spec- 
tator' for 1861.] 

- See article by Passavant, ' Kunstblatt,' 1841, No. 13. 

3 There erroneously called his own portrait. fBut ? Schoreel.] 

4 All other pictures, in Munich, Cologne, etc., attributed to this painter 
are not by him. [Many of Schoreel's works were painted at Ghent. 
Vaernewyck, in his ' Beroerlicke Tijden,' notes some of his pictures that 
were destroyed by Iconoclasts in St. Nicholas 'p. 152 . Schoreel was the 
first restorer of John van Eyck's altarpiece of the Mystic Lamb (Vaer- 
newyk, Hist. v. Belgis). His pictures of the Submersion of Pharaoh and 
the Repose in Egypt were in the collections of Francesco Leo and Gabriel 
Vendramin at Venice at the beginning of the sixteenth century (anon, 
pp. 70 and 80.] 

5 Respecting the spelling of his name, and notices of his life, see 
' Catalogue of Antwerp Museum,' von 1857, p. 81, etc. [See also Pin- 
chart (A.) 'Archives des Arts,' etc., torn, i., 160-282, and ' Messager de 
Sciences/ for 1868, p. 322.] 


positions which are frequently but too closely copied from 
Raphael he shows in various portions much taste, and a 
sense of beauty in the heads ; at the same time he is gene- 
rally empty in expression, artificial in attitude, and exag- 
gerated in the indication of muscles. Specimens of this class 
are in the Antwerp Museum, especially his Martyrdom of St. 
Sebastian, No. 371, and his Triumph of Christ, No. 376. A 
copy of the great picture, the Adoration of the Lamb, by 
the Van Eycks, which he executed for Philip II. of Spain, is 
full of merit as regards the life-size figures, but is greatly 
inferior in those of a small scale. 

LANCELOT BLONDEEL of Bruges, [born 1495, died at Bruges 
in 1561, was a journeyman mason before he became a 
painter in 1520]. l This master took delight in rich architec- 
tural backgrounds, conspicuous in which are whimsical 
Renaissance forms, generally executed in brown varnish on 
a gold ground, and therefore of very brilliant effect. His 
figures, which are chiefly conceived in the Italian taste, are 
often well set in action and of careful finish, but mannered, 
and of cold flesh-tones. The earliest picture known by him, 
signed 1523, in the church of St. Jacques at Bruges, repre- 
sents SS. Cosmo and Damian ; another, in the cathedral of 
the same town, dated 1545, the Virgin and Child, with SS. 
Luke and Eligius. In the Museum at Berlin is also a Virgin 
and Child, No. 641, and a large Last Judgment, No. 656, an 
unsuccessful mixture of different styles. [Query genuine ?] 
The design for the mantelpiece in the large Council-hall at 
Bruges, 2 adorned with the statues of Charles V. and other 
princes, was by him as well. 

JAN CORNELIS VERMEYEN of Malines, born 1500, died at 
Brussels 1559. How he gained instruction in art is not 
known. [He was appointed painter to Margaret of Austria 
in 1529, and in 1534 he was summoned by Charles V.] 3 to 
Spain for the purpose of accompanying the expedition to 
Tunis, where he drew the Siege of Tunis, with other event 

1 [Weale's Catalogue de 1'Academie de Bruges,' 1861., p. 13.] 

- See F. de Hondt, ' Deuxieme notice sur la cheminee'. . . du Franc de 

Bruges, Gand, 1846, p. 42, and a notice of an earlier date by the same. 
3 [See Tableaux et Sculptures de Marie de Hongrie, in 'Revue Uuiver- 

selle des Arts,' iii. 137 and following.] 

Chap. I. MARTIN VAN VEEN. 237 

of the campaign. With the help of these drawings thus 
taken on the spot he executed [several pictures, now preserved 
in the Castle of Coburg, and] ten large coloured cartoons, from 
which tapestries were worked by order of the Emperor, by 
Panne, maker of Brussels. These cartoons are preserved 
in a rolled-up state in the Garderobe of the Gallery at Vienna, 
and are said to have suffered much in parts. They are re- 
ported to be of great vivacity. 1 An evil star seems also to 
have presided over other works of this master, who was well 
known in his time, and who, firstly, for his fine handsome 
person, and secondly, for the length of his beard, was called 
El Mayo and Juan de Barbalonga in Spain. His pictures in 
the cathedral at Brussels were ruined by the Iconoclasts ; 
and various landscapes, reported of great beauty, in the 
Palace of the Prado in Madrid, perished in the destruction 
of that building by fire in 1608. He is said to have been 
also a skilful portrait-painter. 

MARTIN VAN YEEN, named from his birthplace MARTIN 
HEMSKERK, born 1498, died 1574. He was a scholar of 
Schoreel, from whom he received the Italian style of art, 
which he afterwards carried out in a most repelling form in 
Rome by the study of Michael Angelo and of the antique. 
His numerous pictures became very popular in Holland, but 
have now mostly disappeared. Momus criticising the Works 
of the Gods, dated 1561, in the Berlin Museum, is very 
characteristic of his art. The same may be said of the 
Silenus on an Ass with two Bacchante, in the Vienna 
Gallery. 2 As regards his treatment of Church-subjects, some 
pictures in the Hotel de Ville at Delft and Haarlem are cha- 
racteristic specimens. In the first is an altar with wings, 
signed and dated 1557, in the centre of which is the Elevation 
of the Brazen Serpent, in chiaroscuro. Also a second winged 
altarpiece, dated 1559, with the Ecce Homo in the centre. 
In a picture at Haarlem he has represented himself under 
the form of St. Luke painting the Virgin. If this picture be 

1 See article in ' Kunstblatt,' 1821, No. 51. My efforts to see at all 
events one of these cartoons were unsuccessful. 

2 The numerous pictures in the Munich Gallery attributed to him are 
the work of Bartholomew de Bruyn. 



considered hard arid mannered, a Martyrdom of two Saints, 
of the year 1575, is positively frightful [withdrawn]. 

Liege 1506, died there [1566]. He was a scholar of Mabuse, 
and adopted the Italian style from him, which afterwards, on 
occasion of accompanying Cardinal Pole to Italy, he further 
cultivated under Andrea del Sarto. On his return to Liege 
he opened a school which was numerously attended, and 
which was the means of further diffusing this style in the 
Netherlands. He also professed architecture, engraving, 
numismatics, archaeology, and poetry. He is not deficient in 
feeling for beauty, either in heads or in action, though often 
very mannered in the last named. In the rendering of the 
muscular formation he is, compared with other painters of 
the time, somewhat subdued. His colouring is generally 
characterised by coolness, and by a sfumato which he pro- 
bably adopted from Andrea del Sarto. In execution he is 
careful. His pictures are now very rare. The most re- 
markable the Passage of the Ked Sea, which is not success- 
ful ; a Vision, which is more satisfactory ; and the Scourges 
of the Almighty, Pestilence and Shipwreck, which are the 
most attractive of all were in the collection of the King of 
Holland. 1 A Virgin with the sleeping Child, pale in colour, 
but of refined feeling and tender completion, is in the Berlin 
Museum, No. 653. 

FRANS DE VRIENDT, called FRANS FLORIS,. [son of Oornelis de 
Vrint, a stone-cutter], born at Antwerp about 1520, died 
there 1570. He learnt his art from Lambert Lombard, and 
also visited Italy. As early as 1540 he was admitted into the 
guild of painters at Antwerp, and there opened a school, 
which is said to have been frequented by one hundred and 
twenty scholars. In him the imitation of the Italian style 
attains its highest development. He was an artist of great 
talent, powers of invention, and facility of painting. He was 
deficient, however, in the sentiment of his heads, in grace of 
action, and in understanding of drawing, so that his forms 
often exhibit marked exaggerations. On this account it is 

1 These pictures were withdrawn from the sale, and are now among 
^e remaining pictures at the Hague. 

Chap. I. DE VOS. 239 

that his historical pictures are very unattractive. In his 
portraits only he is pleasing, as in them he was true to his 
Netherlandish nature. One of his earlier pictures, Vulcan 
exposing, to the sight of the Gods, Venus and Mars, round 
whom he has cast a. net, dated 1547, and warmly coloured, 
[from the Aerschot collection] in the Berlin Museum, No. 698, 
is a specimen both of his early attained mastery of hand, and 
of the tastelessness of his composition and insignificance of 
his heads. The Fall of the Angels, dated 1554, in the Ant- 
werp Museum, No. 112, which is considered his chef-d'oauvre, 
is composed with great boldness, and shows a masterly 
power of painting, but it is tasteless in the animal heads of 
the demons, hard in outline, and crude in colour. An Adora- 
tion of the Shepherds, in the same gallery, No. 113, shows 
him to better advantage ; the heads are animated and more 
true to nature than usual, and the chiaroscuro is well sustained : 
but the Virgin and Child are cold in the flesh-tones. Another 
picture there St. Luke painting the Virgin, No. 114 is 
most attractive for the truthfulness and character of the 
heads. The saint is represented under the likeness of 
the painter Eykaert Aertsz ; the colour-grinder under his 
own. The way in which the bull is here rendered shows 
again the tastelessness of the master. [In the gallery of 
the Duke of Aerschot at Beaumont, which was dispersed in 
1613, there were no less than eighteen pictures by Frans 
Floris.] 1 

MARTIN DE Vos, born at Antwerp 1531, died there 1603. a 
He was the best of the numerous scholars of Frans Floris. 
Afterwards he went to Italy, and had the benefit of Tintoretto's 
instruction at Venice. He then returned to Antwerp, and 
established a school. This painter was endowed with 
considerable powers of invention ; and a number of his com- 
positions are well known by means of engravings. Many of 
these are very attractive in character. Martin de Vos is less 
cold in feeling and less exaggerated in his muscular indications 
than Frans Floris ; he is also generally careful in finish, and 
melting in touch; at the same time his motives are often 

1 [See A. Pinchart's ' Archives,' i. 160-7.] 
* [Liggeren i. 379.] 



Book IV.. 

mannered, his outlines hard, and his colouring crude. The 
Museum of Antwerp contains a whole series of his works ; 
among them the altarpiece, dated 1574, the centre picture of 
which, the Incredulity of St. Thomas, No. 77, is remarkable 
for very finished execution. The Temptation of St. Anthony, 
No. 103, completed in 1594, shows a peculiar combination, 
of the humorous and fantastic. Finally, a picture by him 
in the Berlin Museum, No. 709, dated 1589, with Christ 
appearing to the Disciples on the Sea of Tiberias on the one 
side, and the Prophet Jonah cast into the sea on the other, 
seems to herald, by the dramatic nature of the incidents, and 
the brilliant sunrise effect, the coming of such a master as- 
Kubens. [This picture is not now exhibited.] 

Next in order amongst the scholars of Frans Floris are 
the FRANCKENS, JEROME, FRANZ (born about 1544, died 1616),. 
and AMBROSE (apprenticed in 1573, died 1618), all of whom 
continued the style of the master. Jerome as partner of 
Floris painted an Epiphany, No. 792 in the Dresden Museum. 
He practised in Paris from 1566 till the beginning of the 
next century. The style of Franz is well seen in a gaudy 
picture of Christ on the road to Golgotha (1597), No. 880 
in the Dresden Museum. 

The works of Ambrose are numerous in the gallery and 
churches of Ajitwerp. 

The children of Franz formed a second generation of 
FRANCKENS : THOMAS, who practised at Antwerp till 1610 ; 
JEROME THE SECOND, born in 1578, died 1623, who com- 
posed the picture of Codes defending the Bridge (1620) r 
iji the Antwerp Gallery ; and FRANZ THE SECOND, of whom 
we shall presently speak. 

JOHANNES STRAET, commonly called STRADANUS, born at 
Bruges 1535, belongs also to this category. But as he 
repaired early in life to Florence, and died there at the 
advanced age of eighty-two, 1618, he exercised no influence 
on the art of his native country. He imitated the manner of 
Michael Angelo, with the same unfortunate results as did 
Vasari, to whom he acted as an assistant. He painted, how- 
ever, the sports of hunting and fishing, which brought his 
Netherlandish nature into play. The number of his pictures 


in oil and fresco were very large. Tapestries were also 
executed from his cartoons. 1 

But the most unattractive form in which the imitation of 
the Italian style displayed itself is seen in the works of 
BAETHOLOMEW SPRANGER, born in Antwerp, 1546, 2 died 1625. 
He was one of the favourite painters of the Emperor Rodolph 
II., at whose court at Prague he long resided. Parmigianino 
was the mistaken object of his imitation. His works show 
the most studied and forced attitudes, combined with an utter 
absence of feeling, and a cold tone of colour, which is red in 
the flesh and greenish in the shadows. His chief merit in 
his better productions consists in an excellent modelling, and 
in an admirably fused treatment. Of the numerous pictures 
by him in the gallery at Vienna, I quote one Minerva 
treading Ignorance under foot which is in every respect a 
characteristic work by him. Even this master, when he took 
portrait in hand, betrayed that feeling for the realistic in art 
which was his native Netherlandish inheritance. A proof of 
this is seen in his own portrait in the same gallery, which, 
though somewhat over-forcible in action, is truthfully felt, 
and painted in a warm colour. 

HEINRICH GOLTZIUS, born 1558, died 1617, is a worthy 
companion to Spranger. He is less known by his rare 
pictures than by his numerous engravings, in which he 
shows no common versatility of power in the skilful imita- 
tion of very various masters, including Lucas van Ley den 
and Albert Durer ; and also a wonderful mastery over his 
graver. 3 The great object of his imitation, however, is 
Michael Angelo, whom he seeks to rival by the most dis- 
torted attitudes, and the most violent play of spasmodically 
developed musclos. He treated both sacred and profane 
history, mythology and allegory, in the artificial taste of 
the day. He painted also portraits and landscape. I will 
only mention here, of his historical compositions, the six 
called his masterpieces (Bartsch, No. 15-20), of which the 

1 Van Mander, folio 184a. 

2 [The date of Spranger' s birth is not known. He was a pupil of Jan 
Mandyn, with whom he closed his apprenticeship at Antwerp in 1557. 
(Liggeren. i. 205).] 

8 Bartsch' s Catalogue of his Works, vol. iii. 



Circumcision in the style of Albert Durer, and the Adoration 
of the Kings in that of Lucas van Leyden, are the most 
successful. He also appears to most advantage in his por- 
traits, and particularly so in his own, which is the size of life 
(Bartsch, No. 172), and a real masterpiece. He also exe- 
cuted a few plates in chiaroscuro. 

And here I may bring forward the name of CAKEL VAN 
MANDEB, born 1548, died 1608, who, though a devoted 
follower of this false style, deserves high praise as a writer 
upon art. Of all his numerous works, however, I know of 
none which I can mention with any certainty. 

PIETEB DE WITTE, born in Bruges, 1 was taken, when very 
young, by his parents to Florence. Here he became a skil- 
ful painter both in oil and fresco, and was variously employed 
by Vasari in his enormous fresco works in Rome and Florence. 
He thus acquired much knowledge, both in the arts of archi- 
tecture and sculpture, and a particular aptitude in the decora- 
tion of buildings, all which accomplishments were called into 
action again in the service of the Duke of Bavaria at Munich 
on occasion of the building of the palace where the court 
resided. Although, of course, fettered by the perverted taste 
of his time, some of his pictures belong to the least unsatis- 
factory productions of the period. Those portions of the old 
palace at Munich which are still existing give evidence of his 
multifarious artistic powers. In Italy his name was tran- 
slated into PIETBO CANDIDO, in consequence of which the 
Germans called him PETER CANDIT. 

Various historical painters, in the ensuing generation, 
formed the transition to a better condition of art. Some of 
them, though still imitating the Italians, avoided the repul- 
sive exaggerations of their predecessors ; others applied with 
some success to that truthfulness of nature and study of 
colour which was the real tendency of their native school. 

At the head of these historical painters stands OTHON VAN 
VEEN, called OTTO VJENIUS, born at Leyden 1560, died at 
Brussels 1629. Although the influence of the mannered 
painter, Federigo Zucchero, under whom he studied at 
Home at the early age of seventeen, is seen in the frequently 
1 Van Mander, foL 205a. 


affected action and gaudy colouring of his works, yet a 
certain moderation and taste in composition, and a sense of 
beauty in the heads, however deficient in warmth of feeling, 
are observable in his works. This coldness is increased by 
the far-fetched allegorical allusions to which a classical 
education of no common order tempted him. [In 1594 he 
joined the Painters' Guild at Antwerp, 1 where he dwelt till 
1620, when he became master of the Mint at Brussels.] 3 
The number of his pictures is very considerable. Among 
those in the Antwerp Museum, the Calling of St. Matthew, 
No. 480 ; St. Paul before Felix, No. 484 ; and a portrait of 
Johann Miraeus, Bishop of Antwerp, No. 483, are the most 
remarkable. This latter, compared with his historical 
works, displays the customary truthfulness of character 
and vigorous colouring. The six pictures at Munich the 
Triumph of the Catholic Church, Cabinets, Nos. 235-240 
though in themselves artificial, cold, and crude, are interest- 
ing as the models of similar compositions by Rubens. 

HEINRICH VAN BALEN, born at Antwerp [in 1575], died 
there [1632]. He is cold in feeling, generally mannered in 
attitudes, and glassy in colouring. In his nude figures, 
however, he shows a pleasing character, and the melting 
style of his execution is very finished. His ecclesiastical 
subjects for instance, the Ascension, in the church of St. 
Jacques at Antwerp are the least satisfactory. His sub- 
jects taken from mythology, to which Jan Breughel fre- 
quently supplied the landscape backgrounds, are often more 

HAARLEM, born at Haarlem 1562, died 1638. He first dis- 
tinguished himself by a large portrait picture executed for 
the Guild of Marksmen in his native city ; and though he 
afterwards treated Biblical subjects, and also scenes from 
common life, chiefly composed of nude figures, yet, upon 
the whole, he remained true to the realistic tendency. His 
pictures of the class just mentioned are very unequal in 
merit ; the heads are often vulgar, and the motives tasteless. 

1 [Liggeren, i., 375 519.] 
* [Liggeren, ii. 108.] 

244 DUTCH ART. Book IV. 

The best of them show a careful modelling and a warm and 
clear colouring. One of his chefs-d'oeuvre is Bathsheba 
bathing with her attendants, dated 1617, in the Berlin 
Gallery, No. 784, in which, with characteristic conception, 
David is seen, scarcely visible, in a dark corner. But his 
talent was little adapted to the expression of strong emotions ; 
the Murder of the Innocents, therefore, in the Gallery of the 
Hague (painted in 1591), is a very disagreeable picture. 
As regards the department of Mythology, his Venus, Cupid, 
and Ceres, in the Dresden Gallery, however little the heads 
are in keeping with the subject, is remarkable for force and 
transparency of colour, and for careful finish. 

[FRANZ PIETERSZ DE GREBBER, pupil of Jacques Savery, is 
also a painter of portrait pieces. Born at Haarlem in 1570, 
died at Haarlem in 1649. He was president of the Guild of 
Painters of his native city in 1628. There are four cha- 
racteristic pictures by him in the Museum of Haarlem, all of 
which represent dinners of the city guard ; one is signed 
"Frans Pieterz Grebber 1610," another "Frans P. Grebbei 
1619.] l 

ABRAHAM BLOEMART, born at Gorcum 1565, died 
Utrecht 1658. He constitutes in many respects the link of 
transition to the succeeding epoch ; for however his frequent 
mannerisms, empty heads, over-soft execution, and occa- 
sionally gaudy colouring, betray the tasteless period in 
which he was born, yet his later pictures especially have 
well-balanced general keeping, a pure taste, and a bi 
touch, which render them more satisfactory. His once 
numerous works have now principally disappeared. An 
Adoration of the Shepherds, dated 1604, in the Berlin 
Gallery, [withdrawn,] conceived as a night-piece, is skilfully 
composed, and of powerful though somewhat gaudy effect. 
Joseph's Second Dream, with the Virgin and Child in the 
background, also at Berlin, No. 722, is mannered in the 
figure of the angel, but Joseph is a truthful and vigorous 
figure, and the keeping is well balanced. On the other 
hand, the Feast of the Gods, in the Hague Gallery, may be 

1 [Van Willigen, ' Les Artistes de Haarlem,' p. 135 ; Van Mander, p. 


Classed, by its crudeness and glassiness, with those works 
by him which partake of the character of the previous period. 
His raising of Lazarus, in the Munich Gallery, No. 307, is 
careful, and of better keeping and composition. 

PIETER LASTMANN, born 1562, 1 visited Rome in 1604, 
where he evidently fell under the influence of Adam 
Elzheimer. On his return he attained such renown as to be 
summoned in 1619 and 1620 to paint pictures for a church 
in Copenhagen. He was a good draughtsman ; his heads 
exhibit much sentiment, and his flesh colouring is warm and 
vigorous. In his landscape backgrounds, which generally 
are conspicuous parts of his pictures, the influence of Paul 
Bril is perceptible. Two works, St. Philip baptising the 
Eunuch, and a Holy Family, in the Berlin Museum, NOB. 
677 and 747, [illustrate the early period of Lastmann's art, 
i.e., 1608. Ulysses and Nausica, dated 1609, in the Bruns- 
wick Museum, a Massacre of the Innocents, and David in 
the Temple, signed, "Pietro Lastmann fecit anno 1613," in 
the same collection, give us reminiscences of Elzheimer and 
Bril ; but dress and drapery in Jewish oriental taste fore- 
shadow the coming of Rembrandt, who was one of Last- 
mann's pupils. At a later period Lastmann imitated the 
shadowed pieces of Caravaggio, and in this form, which also 
finds its reflex in Rembrandt, he painted " the Angel appear- 
ing to Manoah and his Wife," once in the Boymans Museum 
of Rotterdam.] 2 

ADRIAN VAN DER VENNE, born at Delft 1589, died at the 
Hague 1665, occupies a peculiar place among these painters. 
It was not till after he had received a classic and scientific 
education at Leyden that he devoted himself, under the 
instructions of Jerome van Diest, to the pursuit of painting. 
These circumstances not only influenced him in the pre- 
ference of allegorical subjects in art, but contributed to 

1 [This date is derived from Houbraken, and requires confirmation ; 
for Van Mander (Schilderboeck, p. 207). speaking of Geerit Pietersz, 
describes his pupil, Pieter Lastmann, as a hopeful artist at the time in 
Rome (1604) ; whence we must conclude, with C. Vosmaer (Rembrandt 
Harmens van Rijn, Sa Vie, etc., 1877, p. 68), that Lastmann was born 
jn 1582 rather than 1502.] 

2 {For other pictures by Lastmann consult Vosmaer, u. a., 474 etc.] 

246 DUTCH AKT. Book IV. 

divide his life between the occupations of an author and a 
painter. A moral element distinguishable in his pictures is 
his zeal for the Eeformation, which just then rewarded the 
successful struggles of the Dutch, and his respect for the 
reigning princes of the House of Orange. In the mode in 
which he conceives such subjects he shows, however, a 
strong sympathy with the realistic tendency of his country- 
men. His portraits, many of which he introduced into his 
allegorical and historical pieces, such as battles, etc., are 
not only well-drawn, of warm and clear colouring, and very 
careful finish, but the other figures in his pictures have also 
a portraitlike look. His realistic feeling is strongly seen in 
various genre pictures and landscapes. For Prince Maurice 
of Orange, the King of Denmark, and other patrons, he 
executed numerous pictures in chiaroscuro. The largest 
work I know by him in the Amsterdam Museum, No. 430 
represents Prince Maurice of Orange and his brothers, 
with other persons of distinction, on horseback, near the 
Hague figures about three-fourths the size of life. This 
work has, it is true, all the good qualities I have particu- 
larized above in point of keeping and execution, but also, 
like most of his other pictures, has something old-fashioned 
in character. He usually painted subjects with small figures, 
of which No. 154, in the Amsterdam Museum, called "la 
Peche aux Ames " (dated 1614), is a specimen. The land- 
scape here is painted by Jan Breughel, with Eoman Catholics 
and Protestants on opposite sides of a stream. Several 
boats are also on the stream, the one containing Roman 
Catholic priests and monks, the other Protestant clergymen. 
Both are employed casting nets for figures swimming in the 
stream. Among the Roman Catholics are the portraits of 
Albert and Isabella; among the Protestants those of the 
Princes Maurice and Frederic Henry of Orange, and of the 
Elector Frederic of the Palatinate. Separate representa- 
tions and inscriptions satirise the Papacy, and uphold the 
Evangelical Church. This rich picture is interesting both 
for its execution and subject. But a still more remarkable 
example of his art is No. 545 in the Louvre, which repre- 
sents a festival in commemoration of the truce concluded 


between the Archduke Albert and the United Provinces of 
Holland in 1609, and is inscribed "A. V. Venne Fecit 
1616." The landscape is also by Jan Breughel. The 
mixture of portrait figures such as those of Albert and 
Isabella, with mythological and allegorical features is very 
remarkable. The heads are very individual, and executed 
with great precision in a clear golden tone. His inventions 
are as various as they are rich, as proved by the drawings 
he executed as illustrations for an edition of the works of 
Cats, the popular Dutch poet. 

To various painters the decided and strongly realistic 
style with which Quentin Massys had occasionally painted 
scenes from common life, as for instance his Misers, became 
the model for their treatment, not only of similar subjects, 
but also for those of a Biblical class. But none of them 
come up to his standard, degenerating generally into exag- 
geration and repelling vulgarity. 

Foremost among them is JAN MASSYS, son of the master, 
born about the year 1510, died after 1574. To his earlier 
time may be probably referred the repetitions of the Money- 
changers and other pictures by his father, Van Mander 
expressly saying that he was engaged on such tasks. 
Remarkable specimens of this class are the Misers at 
Windsor Castle, the picture in the Berlin Museum, No. 
671, and that at Munich, No. 136. Next in order is the St. 
Jerome, dated 1537, in the gallery at Vienna. All these 
works are of warm, powerful colouring, and careful though 
somewhat coarse treatment. His later pictures, on the other 
hand, exhibit in all respects expression, colouring, and treat- 
mentgreat feebleness ; for instance, his Visitation, dated 
1558, No. 251, and his Healing of Tobias, dated 1564, No. 
252, of the Antwerp Museum. 

JAN VAN HEMESSEN, born about 1500, died before 1566, 
if not the scholar, is the imitator of Quentin Massys. [His 
name was registered amongst the masters of the Antwerp 
Guild in 1535, and he was " eldest " of the corporation in 
1548.] l He displays usually a terrible vulgarity of forms and 

1 [Ligreren, i. 125, 1(52.] 

;>48 DUTCH ART. Book IV. 

expression, is always hard in the outlines, and of a heavy 
brown colouring. He often copied Quentin Massys' works. 
I am acquainted with three copies by him of the Call of St. 
Matthew which I saw in England, one in the Antwerp 
Gallery, No. 425, and two in the Gallery at Vienna. One of 
his most pleasing pictures is a small Holy Family, dated 
1541, in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, No. 171 ; one of 
his most disagreeable, a St. Jerome in the gallery at 
"Vienna; but in the portrait of Jan van Mabuse, also at 
Vienna, he shows himself as a capital painter in this 

Another painter, closely allied to the foregoing, and of a 
merit which is little known, is one of the name of HUYS, 
by whom a bagpipe-player, and an old woman, dated 1571, 
exist in the Berlin Museum, No. 693. 

PIETEB AERTSZEN, called LANGE-PEER, born 1508, died 
1573, was scholar of Allard Claessen, [but joined the Ant- 
werp Guild in 1535] .* He was a painter of extraordinary 
talent, and execute^ numerous large altarpieces in Louvain, 
Amsterdam, Delft, etc., most of which were destroyed by 
the Iconoclasts in 1566. Judging from the smaller, still 
existing pictures by him of Biblical subjects, they must have 
been conceived in a realistic and genre-like style. He was 
evidently a painter of keen observation, and as animated 
in composition as he was clever in practice. To these quali- 
ties is superadded, in his best works, forcible and clear 
colouring. A fine little picture by him is the Crucifixion in 
the Antwerp Museum, No. 2 ; [a Crucifixion of 1546, in the 
Hospital at Antwerp, and a] Christ bearing his Cross, in the 
Berlin Museum, No. 726, are characteristic specimens. This 
latter subject is treated quite according to the customs of the 
painter's time. The two thieves are accompanied by a 
Dominican and a Franciscan, and the Bearing of the Cross 
forms only an episode in the middle distance. Occasionally 
he painted mere market scenes, a remarkable specimen of 
which is in the Gallery at Vienna. [Other works are in the 
galleries of Cassel, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Copenhagen.] 

1 [Liggeren, i. 124.] 


JOACHIM BUECKLAER, the scholar of the foregoing, born 
1530, still living in 1573, walked quite in his master's steps. 
[He was registered as early as 1560 in the Guild at Antwerp, 
as the son of a master whose name was probably Matheus 
de Bueekeloere.] l 'A Christ before Pilate, conceived in the 
same style as Pieter Aertszen's Bearing of the Cross, is in 
the gallery at Schleissheim. His market and kitchen scenes 
were also very popular. 

GHEL, born at Brueghel, near Breda, about 1530, became 
member of the Painters' Guild in 1551, visited Rome about 
1553, and died [at Brussels] 1569. Although he also, .on 
rare occasions, treated Biblical subjects in the same style as 
the preceding painters, yet he was the first who applied 
himself to the study of various forms of peasant life, and 
made it the chief subject of his art. His mode of viewing 
these scenes is always clever but coarse, and even sometimes 
vulgar. Occasionally he painted ghost and incantation scenes 
in the manner of Jerome Bosch. His treatment is in a warm 
tone, generally broad and sometimes slight. He also made 
skilful drawings, when travelling, from any landscapes which 
attracted him, and executed an etching of very picturesque 
-character from one of these sketches. Woodcuts from his 
designs are occasionally met with. The Gallery at Vienna 
contains remarkable pictures by this master. Of his histori- 
cal works, a Crucifixion, of the year 1563, a rich composi- 
tion, is particularly worthy of note ; the heads of the Virgin, 
etc., are of elevated expression. The Building of the Tower 
of Babel, of the same year, shows him in his fantastic land- 
scape element. His humorous side is seen in his pictures 
of Winter, Spring, and Autumn (the latter a landscape of 
much poetry), and in a Fight between Carnival and Lent, 
dated 1559, which abounds with droll, and also with some 
coarse incidents. A Peasant Wedding, finally, is truthfully 
composed, and full of clever invention. 

His eldest son, PIETER BREUGHEL THE YOUNGER, was ftlso 
called, from the nature of his subjects, HELL BREUGHEL. 

! [Liggeren, i. 123, 220, 253.] 
2 [Ib. ib. 275.] 



Book IV. 

[He was registered a master at Antwerp in 1585, married io 
1588, and died at Antwerp in 1638.] 1 In invention, colour- 
ing, and technical merit he is far inferior to his father. Hia 
composition is generally lame, his heads spiritless, his flesh of 
a heavy leathery brown tone, and his touch very mechanical. 
Examples may be seen in his Christ bearing the Cross, in the 
Antwerp Museum, No. 31, and in a picture in the Berlin 
Museum, No. 721. The pictures called by his name at 
Dresden and Munich are by his younger brother Jan. 

Brussels 1568, [bought the freedom of Antwerp 1601, ma- 
triculated there in 1597, and] 2 died 1625, was a far more 
gifted painter, and of a versatility of talent which is rarely 
found. Though more especially a landscape painter, in 
which aspect we shall presently regard him, he takes also as 
subject-painter an important place among his contemporaries. 
His peasant subjects, though never rising above a coarse 
reality, are of a lively character. The same may be said of 
his Scriptural pictures, on a very small scale namely, his 
Scenes in Hell and of his demoniacal subjects, laid some- 
times in the ancient Tartarus, and which are conceived with 
strong effects of light. A clear and vigorous colouring, and 
a careful finish, are peculiar to these as well as to all his 
works. On the other hand, he is often wanting in general 
keeping. The Galleries of Dresden, Munich, and Berlin 
contain numerous pictures by him, and various specimens of 
those subjects. 

DAVID VINCKEBOONS, commonly written VINCKEBOOMS, born 
at Mechlin 1578, died at Amsterdam 1629. This master is 
allied in many respects to the foregoing, though he moved in 
a far narrower circle. He also was a landscape as well as 
genre painter. He is fond of representing low life in the 
country, under those rude aspects which occur at fairs and 
festivals. His figures are of repelling ugliness and vulgarity, 
and his flesh-tones of a hard discordant red. Pictures of 
this kind are in the above-mentioned Galleries. , 

1 [Liggeren i. 292, 520, ii., 108.] 

2 [Ib. ib. 397.] 


LUCAS VAN VALKENBURG, born at Mechlin, died [about 1598], 
painted scenes from peasant and soldier life in a somewhat 
grey but harmonious tone. His figures are of moderate 
drawing, but have a certain elegance. His execution is very 
finished. The best pictures I know by him are in the 
Vienna Gallery, where may also be seen specimens of his 
son FREDERICK and brother MARTIN, painters of the same 
class of subjects, but of weaker character. 

SEBASTIAN VRANCX, born about 1573, [of the Antwerp 
Guild in 1610, died at Antwerp 1638], 1 is one of the earliest 
painters who especially devoted himself to battle-scenes, 
combats of horsemen, the plunder of villages, etc. His 
conception of action is truthful. Two excellent pictures 
of this class are in the Vienna Gallery and the Museum at 

FRANZ FRANCKEN THE SECOND, born at Antwerp 1581, 
died 1642, painted small pieces which he signed F. F. 
the younger up to 1616, then Franz Francken, and finally 
F. F. the old, in order that he might be distinguished 
from Franz the third. Examples worth quoting are the 
Crucifixion at Vienna (1606), Christ on the Mount at Berlin, 
and the Prodigal Son (1633) at the Louvre. The style is 
lively and gaudy, and a compromise between the dryness 
of the old Italo-Fleming and the freedom of the school of 

FRANZ THE THIRD has also a rival of his own name, and calls 
himself first the younger and later on the older. He paints 
figures in church interiors by Pieter Neefs; but in small 
pieces all his own, as in Moses striking the Rock (1654) at 
Augsburg, signed Old F. F., we distinctly observe a close 
imitation of Rubens. 

The earliest of the portrait-painters of this period is JOAS 
VAN CLEVE . Of his birth and death nothing positive is known ; 
he flourished from about 1530 to 1550. According to Vasari 
he visited Spain, and painted portraits for the Court of 

1 [Liggeren, i. 293, ii. 108. 



Book IV. 

France. 1 At all events it is certain that he laboured for a 
time in England, where the great success of Sir Antonis 
Moro is said to have disordered his brain. The few pictures, 
however, that can still be assigned to him thoroughly justify 
the high reputation he enjoyed in his time. The style of art 
may be classed between that of Holbein and Antonis Moro. 
His well-drawn forms are decided, without being hard ; and 
the warm and transparent colouring recalls the great masters 
of the Venetian school. Two of his best works are the por- 
traits of himself and wife in Windsor Castle. Not less suc- 
cessful is his own portrait in Lord Spencer's collection at 
Althorp. His pictures are frequently mistaken for those of 
Holbein, of which I have given some instances in my 
* Treasures of Art.' 

Next in order after Joas van Cleve comes SIR ANTONIS 
Mono, born [at Utrecht in 1525, died at Antwerp in 1578. 
He was admitted into the Guild of Antwerp in 1547, and is 
still registered as a master there in 1572.] 2 He attended 
the school of Jan Schoreel in his youth, and afterwards 
visited Italy. On his return [in 1549] the recommendation 
of Cardinal Granvelle procured him admission to the service 
of Charles V., with whom his art found such favour that the 
Emperor sent him [1550] 3 to Lisbon to take the portrait of 
his son Philip's betrothed bride. Afterwards he repaired 
[1553], and doubtless for a long period, to England, in order 
to paint Philip's second wife, Catholic Queen Mary. Subse- 
quently he again spent some time at the Spanish Court at 
Madrid, and finally returned to the Netherlands, where he 
was much employed by the Duke of Alva. In all countries 
he earned praise, honours, and money. In his now rare 
historical pictures he exhibits one of the most repulsive 
forms of the Netherland-Italian style. In portraiture, on 

1 [Guicciardini, L., in 'Descrittione di tutti i paesi bassi,' p. 143, says 
" that Francis sent for ' Gios de Cleves/ who went to France and painted 
the King, the Queen, and other princes." Comte de Laborde ('Renais- 
sance des Arts,' p. 921) confesses that he could find no traces of Cleves* 
presence or pictures in France. Joas is known in old English collec- 
tions, ex. gr. the Buckingham collection, as ' Sotto Cleeve.'] 

- [Liggeren, i., 159, 249.] 

* [A. Pinchartin'Messagerdes Sciences,' 1868, pp. 324 and following.'] 

Chap. I. POURBUS. 253 

the other hand, his truthful feeling, good drawing, masterly 
and careful painting, and transparent and admirable colour, 
rendered him one of the best masters of his time. The 
portraits of his middle period are distinguished by their 
warmer and more vigorous colouring from the paler and less 
carefully finished works of his later time. Among his best 
pictures in England are those of Catholic Queen Mary and 
the Earl of Essex, in the collection of Lord Yarborough in 
London, and of Sir Henry Sidney and his lady, dated 1553, 
in the collection of Colonel Egremont Wyndham at Petworth. 
No gallery is, however, so instructive, as regards this painter, 
as that of Vienna. Of his earlier time I will only cite his 
finely-felt and warmly-coloured picture, in a reddish tone, of 
Cardinal Granvelle, dated 1549 ; his less warmly toned, but 
delicately-conceived portrait of a young man with a scar r 
dated 1564; [Jeanne d'Archel, of 1568, No. 184 in the 
National Gallery] ; and the pictures of a young married 
couple, of cooler local tones and whitish lights, of 1575. 
The Dresden Gallery possesses also, under the erroneous 
name of Holbein, two female portraits of his best time, Nos. 
1893 and 1894. [In the collection of Mary of Hungary 
(1558) there were no less than six portraits of royal persons 
by Moro ; l and of these the best are still in the Museum of 
Madrid, ex. gr. : Queen Eleanor of France, Mary of Portugal, 
and Catherine of Portugal. Besides these the Museum con- 
tains the likenesses of Mary of England, Anna, the wife of 
Maximilian, King of Bohemia, and Philip H.] 

[PIETEE POURBUS, born at Gouda in the first years of the 
sixteenth century, settled at Bruges in 1540, entered the 
Guild of St. Luke in 1543, and died at Bruges in 1584. He 
was a portrait-painter, and a composer of sacred subjects. 
Of the former, the likenesses of John and Adrienne Fernagant, 
in the Academy of Bruges (1551), are fine specimens. Of 
the latter, the Last Judgment (1551) and the Descent from the 
Cross (1570), in the same collection, are characteristic.] 

[FRANZ POURBUS THE ELDER, born in 1542, was the son and 
disciple of Pieter Pourbus ; but he afterwards studied under 

1 [A. Pinchart in ' Revue Universelle des Arts,' iii., 133.] 



Book IV. 

Franz Floris. He wandered from Bruges to Antwerp in 
1564, and was admitted into the Painters' Guild of that city 
in 1569. He was still a member of Guild in 1575, and, 
according to Van Mander, he died in 1580, the year of his 
father's death.] 1 Though proceeding from the pernicious 
school of Franz Floris, Peter Pourbus the elder occupies a 
worthy place as a portrait-painter. If inferior to the foregoing 
in refinement of drawing, he surpasses them all in golden 
and clear colouring. As an example of this class I may 
mention the portrait of a man, dated 1568, with his right 
hand on his side, his left on the hilt of his sword, in the 
Gallery at Vienna. 

WILLEM KEY, born [at Breda in 1520, took the freedom of 
the Antwerp Guild in 1541], died 1568. This artist must 
have been a remarkable portrait-painter, the Duke of Alva 
having selected him to paint his portrait ; but I cannot at 
this time assign with certainty any picture to him. 

NICHOLAS NEUCHATEL, called LUCIDEL, [born early in the 
sixteenth century, entered the workshop of Pieter Coeck of 
Alost at Antwerp in 1539, settled at Mons in 1540, and at 
Nuremberg before 1561.] l This admirable Belgian portrait- 
painter, who afterwards settled at Nuremberg, has left us the 
masterly portrait of the Mathematician instructing his Son, 
now in the Munich Gallery, No. 663. The relationship be- 
tween the two figures gives the truthfully conceived heads a 
double interest. The local tones of the flesh are of a cool 
reddish, the shadows gray. [There are numerous portraits 
by him at Prague, one very fine, dated 1564, in the house of 
Count Erwin von Nostitz.] 

GUALDOKP GOETZIUS, called GELDORP, born at Louvain, 
1553, is seen to far greater advantage in his portraits than 
in his now chiefly vanished historical pictures, which are 
praised by Van Mander. 8 He was a scholar of Frans Franck 
the elder and of Frans Pourbus the elder, and settled later 

1 [Consult Weale, 'Catalogue de 1' Academic de Bruges,' pp. 36 and 
following, the Liggeren, pp. 237, 249, and 261, and Van Mander, u. s., 

2 [Liggeren, L 135, and W. Schmidt in von Zahn's * Jahrbiicher.' v.. 
143 and following.] 

Folio 195b. 


in Cologne, where several of his pictures are preserved. 
The earlier are of lively conception, and carefully painted in 
a vigorous colour. In his later works he is cold in tone 
and superficial in treatment. 

Among the respectable portrait-painters of this time must 
also be reckoned COKNELIS KETEL, born at Gouda 1548. He 
painted Queen Elizabeth in 1578 ; later, various personages 
of her Court ; and subsequently the Company of Marksmen 
at Amsterdam, and also some other company. My efforts to 
discover either of these pictures, or any in England by him, 
have not been successful. 

On the other hand, a number of pictures exist by the 
hand of MARK GERARD of Bruges, one of the most favourite 
portrait-painters of the English Couit in the reign of 
Elizabeth, who died in 1635. Not that he is by any means 
one of the best artists of this epoch, being somewhat tame 
in conception, and weak in drawing and colouring. The 
chief interest of his portraits, therefore, consists in the 
importance of his sitters, so that I may limit my notice to 
three very characteristic portraits Queen Elizabeth, Lord 
Burleigh, and Lord Essex, [till lately] in the collection at 
Burleigh House. 1 

FRANS POURBUS THE YOUNGER, born 1570, [free of the Guild 
at Antwerp in 1591], died [in Paris] 1622, scholar of his father 
of the same name. Like him he was favourably distinguished 
as a portrait-painter, though inferior to him in warmth of 
colouring and solidity of impasto. He nourished for some 
time at the Court of Henry IV. of France, and took various 
portraits of that monarch, and also of his Queen, Mary of 
Medicis. The most important of his portraits in the Louvre 
is of that Queen, No. 396. The two smaller pictures also of 
the King, Nos. 394 and 395, 1610, deserve to be noticed. 
[Another fine portrait of Catherine de Medicis, as a widow 
(after 1610), is in the Madrid Museum.] 

PAUL VAN SOMER, born at Antwerp 1570, died 1624. He 
laboured for many years in England, where consequently his 
best works still remain. His conception is truthful and 

1 'Treasures of Art,' etc., vol. iii. p. 407, etc. 
J [Liggeren, i. 364. 



Book :v. 

lively, his colouring warm and clear, and his execution 
finished. His portrait of Lord Bacon at Panshanger i& 
excellent ; also those of the well-known Earl of Arundel and 
his Countess at Arundel Castle, seat of the Duke of Norfolk. 

Most of the remaining portrait-painters of the latest 
generation of this epoch were Dutchmen. 

MICHAEL JANSE MIEREVELT, born at Delft 1567, died 1641, 
With a simple and truthful feeling for his subject he com- 
bines clear and often warm colouring. The number of his 
works is very considerable, A series of his works are in the 
Hotel de Yille at Delft. In an archery piece of 1611, the- 
largest picture by him known to me, with numerous figures, 
he does not appear to advantage. Although the heads are 
animated, the colouring is somewhat heavy, and the treat- 
ment rather mechanical. The portraits of William I. and H., 
and Maurice of Saxony, in the Burgomaster's room, are better. 
On the other hand, in respect of excellence of conception,, 
clear colouring, and careful execution, the bust portrait 
of HugoGrotius, in the same place, is admirable. Especially 
soft, for this master, are three children over the chimney- 
piece. Fine examples of his art are in the Louvre, in the- 
Dresden, Munich, and Amsterdam Galleries. Among his best 
scholars are his son Peter Mierevelt and Paul Moreelse. 

[PAUL MOREELSE, according to the current chronology, was 
born at Utrecht in 1571, and died there in 1638. He is 
described by Van Mander (1604) as a young artist, a pupil of 
Mierevelt, possessing mastery in portraits. In the Museum 
of Rotterdam there were seven of his pictures. One only 
now remains, representing Vertumnus and Pomona. The 
rest were burnt in the fire of 1864. The Museum of the 
Hague contains two portraits ; the Gallery of Amsterdam a 
shepherdess, a little princess, Frederick of Bohemia, and 
Mary of Utrecht, dated 1615. In the Museum at Berlin we 
shall find a fine portrait of a lady, with the monogram and 
the date 1626. The style of this artist deserves to be 
studied, not because it is that of a first-class painter, but 
because Moreelse is one of the forerunners of Rembrandt.] l 

1 [Consult Van Mander, p. 213, and Burger, 'Musees de la Hollande, 
ii. 193.] 


In close affinity with the last is JOHANN WILHELM DELFT, 
by whom is another archery subject, signed and dated 1592, 
in the Hotel de Ville at Delft. This picture contains many 
v figures, and exhibits truthfulness of feeling and good painting, 
though it is somewhat hard in outline, and heavy in colouring. 
Delft was an officer of the Guild of Delft in 1582. 

JACOB DELFT: by this painter is a remarkable female 
portrait in the Stadel Institute at Frankfort. 

DANIEL MYTENS, born at the Hague [1610 member 
of the Guild of the Hague, 1618 in London, where he lived 
as court-painter to James I. and Charles I. till 1633. 
He was superseded about that time by Yan Dyck.] This 
master is characterised by great simplicity of manner and 
a general effect of lightness of colour. In his flesh-tones 
he is often inclined to the silvery. His tenderly fused 
execution is careful. Two pictures of Charles I. and 
Henrietta Maria in their youthful days, with the dwarf 
Sir Geoffrey Hudson, various dogs and a grey horse, all 
life size, constitute his chefs-d'oeuvre. The one is at the 
seat of Lord Galway, Serlby, Nottinghamshire ; the other 
in the collection of the Countess of Dunmore, Dunmore 
Park, near Falkirk. My tens occasionally painted small 
pictures of great delicacy. Two very pretty examples of 
this class, the portraits of Charles I. and Henrietta Maria, 
with architectural background by the elder Steenwyck, are 
in the Dresden Gallery, Nos. 1109 and 1110, under the 
erroneous title of Gonsales Coques. Another, with Charles 
and his Queen, and one of their children, in one picture, is 
in the Royal Gallery, Buckingham Palace. 

COKNELIUS JANSEN, supposed to have been born in London 
of Flemish parents. 1 At all events he was long in England, 
where he painted for Charles I., and left it in 1648. He 
continued to paint portraits in Holland with great success 
till his death in 1665. He was an artist of refined feeling 
for nature, tasteful in composition, warm and tender in 
colouring, and of melting execution. Among the many 
pictures by him scattered through England, I will mention 
only that of Frederick Elector of the Palatinate, in the 
1 Sandrart, vol. i. p. 379. 



Gallery of Hampton Court; of Lady Dorothy Neville, at 
Burleigh House ; of John Taylor, master of the revels at the 
Court of Charles I., and his own portrait, at Longford 
Castle. He also occasionally executed portraits on a small 
scale. An example is seen in that of Charles I. with per- 
sons of his Court in the Green Park, in the Royal Collection, 
Buckingham Palace. 

At this time also the painters of animals grew into a dis- 
tinct class, though some Biblical title, such as Adam and 
Eve in Paradise^ was given to pictures whose chief interest 
lay in animal life. The best painter of this order was 
ROELANDT SAVERY, born at Courtray 1576, died 1639. His 
scenes, in which a very brown tone generally prevails, are often 
overfilled with animals, each singly of much truth of nature. 
One of his best pieces [Orpheus] is in the Berlin Museum, 
No. 717A. Various pictures with wild rocky scenery, in 
which savage animals dwell, have something fantastic. 

Next to him in this class is JAN BREUGHEL [born 1601, 
still living in 1677], 1 already described as a #enr0-painter. 
His animal pieces often show the influence of Rubens, and 
surpass those of Roelandt Savery in transparency and truth 
of colouring. Good specimens of this kind are in the 
Dresden and Berlin Galleries, in the Louvre, and also at 
Madrid. His chief picture is also a Paradise in the Hague 
Gallery, in which the figures of Adam and Eve are finely 
painted by the hand of Rubens. 

Jan Breughel was followed by FERDINAND VAN KESSEL, a 
painter of greater hardness and dryness. 

Landscape painting, also, according to Van Mander's 
account, was carefully treated at this period ; but, of the 
painters whom he celebrates as belonging to this class, 
in 1522, still living there in 1538], 2 JACQUES GRIMMER, 
[apprenticed at Antwerp in 1539, master in 1547, still living 

1 See A. Michiels in 'Gazette des Beaux Arts,' 1868, p. 105 and 

2 [Liggeren, i. 100 and 132.] 

9 [Llggeren, i. 135, 159, 205, 336.] 


[master at Antwerp in 1550, and still living in 1589], 1 no 
picture ever reached my eyes. A few, however, by LUCAS 
GASSEL, who nourished from 1529 till about the close of the 
sixteenth century, have been preserved. He continued the 
fantastic manner of Patenier, with strangely-formed rocks 
and a number of well-executed details. In colouring he is 
somewhat monotonous and cool. A landscape, with Judah 
and Thamar, in the Vienna Gallery, bears his monogram 
and the date 1548. I have seen other pictures, dated 
respectively 1538 and 1561, in private collections, though, 
in their liability to change hands, I do not quote 

A remarkable advance in the art of landscape painting 
was made by the brothers MATTHEW BEIL, born at Antwerp 
1556, died at Rome 1580, and PAUL BEIL, born 1554, died 
1626. The early death of the elder gave no scope for any 
extended activity : he was, however, the instructor of his 
brother, who joined him in Rome, and soon displayed the 
highest abilities of the two. Paul Bril painted both in oil 
and fresco, and left behind him a large number of works. 2 
He viewed nature with a fresh eye selecting her natural 
and poetic rather than her arbitrary and fantastic features. 
He was the first to introduce a certain unity of light in his 
pictures, attaining thereby a far finer general effect than 
those who had preceded him. His deficiencies lie in the 
over force, and also in the monotonous green, of his fore- 
grounds, and in the exaggerated blueness of his distances. 
Nevertheless, this painter exercised a considerable and 
beneficial influence over R*bens, Annibale Carracci, and 
Claude Lorraine, and must ever occupy an important posi- 
tion in the development of this branch of art. Only in his 
earlier works, and then rarely, does he betray the fantastic 
element, as, for instance, in his Tower of Babel, in the Berlin 
Museum, No. 731 [not genuine]. His later qualities, and 
especially his treatment of the general lighting of a scene, 
are observable in a morning landscape, also at Berlin, No- 

1 [Liggeren, i. 176.] 

2 fc'ee regarding this tnaster the notice by Ed. Fetis in the 'Bulletins 
de 1' Academic Royale de Belgique ' of 1855, pp. 594616. 


744. Fine examples of his best time are in the Louvre, 
especially Nos. 67, 71, and 73. 

LUCAS VAN YALKENBURG. We here again encounter this 
already-mentioned painter and his brothers, under the cha- 
racter of landscape-painters. They attached themselves more 
particularly to the earlier style, which was distinguished by 
its great minuteness of detail. The pictures by Lucas have 
frequently something naive, and a peculiar poetic charm. 
The Vienna Gallery possesses the best landscapes by the 
three brothers. 

JOSSE DE MOMPEB, [the son of Bartholomew de Momper, 
was admitted to the Guild of St. Luke at Antwerp in 1581] , l 
died in [1634-5]. Although younger than Paul Bril, he 
retains much more of the fantastic modes of conception which 
distinguished the earlier landscape painters. He generally 
introduces us to lofty hills and bold forms in striking sunlight, 
and is often untruthful in colour and of slight and mannered 
treatment. His pictures are numerous, for instance in the 
Dresden and Yienna Galleries. In his later works only he 
occasionally attained considerable power and keeping, as 
seen in a landscape in the Berlin Museum, No. 772. 2 He 
was also a skilful etcher. The figures in his foregrounds 
were executed by various painters ; by Peter Breughel the 
younger, several members of the numerous Francken family, 
David Teniers the elder, and Henrik van Balen. [One of 
these pictures, a Rest in Egypt, executed 1642, with figures 
by H. van Balen, is in the church of Notre Dame at Antwerp.] 3 

And here again we come upon JAN BREUGHEL, who was a 
landscape-painter of no mean*merit. He treated the flat 
scenes of his native land, intersected with canals and rows 
of trees, with truthfulness and considerable detail, though 
he is wanting in the general keeping of the picture. His 
smaller pictures of this class are often attractive. Henrik 
van Balen, Rothenhammer, and even occasionally Rubens, 
painted ideal figures in his landscapes. 


1 [Liggeren, i 114, 588.] 

2 [This picture is not by Josse but by F. d. Momper, born at Antwerp, 
died 1660-1.] 

3 [Liggeren, i. 365.] 


SENS, followed the same style as Jan Breughel, and their 
works are often mistaken for his. 

Finally, we must not omit to notice two painters already 
their character as landscape painters. The first is inferior 
to Jan Breughel in truthfulness, but excels him in poetic 
feeling, especially in the representation of fine woods. 
An excellent example in this form is the Orpheus of the 
Berlin Museum, No. 71?A. Vinckeboons is somewhat heavy 
and gloomy in tone, but otherwise, compared with Jan 
Breughel, has much about the same qualities as Roelandt 

Of the same period and tendency may be reckoned the 
and HANS PILEN. The pictures of the first named are dis- 
tinguished by foreground figures, taken from scriptural sub- 
jects, and executed with much art. 

Marine painting appears to have been first cultivated in 
Holland, where it subsequently attained its highest form of 
development. HENDRICK CORNELIUS VROOM, born at Haarlem 
in 1566, [died there in 1640.] l He is the earliest known 
master of this class. He visited Spain and Italy, entering 
into an intimacy with Paul Bril, by which his art was greatly 
benefited. Afterwards he visited England, where he exe- 
cuted a drawing (1601) of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, 
for the Earl of Nottingham, High Admiral of England. Of 
his once highly-prized pictures only few are preserved. A 
picture of considerable size by him, in a side apartment of 
the Hotel de la Ville at Haarlem, represents large vessels and 
a town in the background. The execution is careful, but 
shows his department of art in a very primitive stage. 
[Three or four good examples are in the Harlem Museum.] 
A picture in the Amsterdam Museum, No. 445, is, on the 
other hand, too broad and decorative in treatment. 

ADAM WILLAERTS, born at Antwerp 1577, lived and died 

at Utrecht, probably [after 1664]. He painted pre-eminently 

-coast and harbour scenes, and enlivened them with numerous 

figures. With all attention to detail, he combines also a 

1 [A. Van der Willigen, 'Lcs Artistes de Haarlem,' p. 320.] 



Book IV. 

successful effort at general keeping, and a broad and soft 
touch. He never quite succeeded in mastering the move- 
ment of the waves. A good specimen of him is in the 
Berlin Museum, No. 711. He sometimes diverged from his 
usual subjects and painted markets and festive scenes. A 
picture of this class, of vigorous colour and somewhat deco- 
rative treatment, is in the Antwerp Museum, No. 499. 

BONAVENTUBA PETERS, born at Antwerp 1614, [master in 
1634, died at Antwerp 1652. f He was a marine-painter 
who especially represented the sea in its most tempestuous 
forms, with vessels running ashore or struck by lightning. 
His pictures have generally a very poetic character, though 
often untrue and mannered in the forms of the hills, the 
clouds, and in the movement of the waves. On the other 
hand, they have the merit of a great power and clearness of 
colour, and of a masterly handling. They are rare in public 
galleries, with the exception of Vienna, which possesses five, 
and all of them signed. One of them, a vessel being wrecked 
in a raging storm, is poetic, and very transparent, but the 
waves are too parallel in their action. The companion to it, 
with an ancient monument on the shore, though otherwise 
of great merit, is defective in the forms of the clouds. Two 
others, companions, dated 1645, one a Venetian fort stormed 
by Turks, with a mine in the act of exploding, and the other 
a fortified harbour, show a more refined feeling for form with 
the same transparency. 

JAN PETERS, born at Antwerp 1624, [master in the Antwerp 
Guild 1645], 2 died 1677, a younger brother of the foregoing, 
painted similar subjects with success. A picture bearing his 
name in the Munich Gallery, No. 943, with a violent storm, 
and vessels being dashed against a rocky coast, is beautifully 
composed and lighted. But the over-brown colour of the 
rocks, and the coming up of the brown ground through the 
water, somewhat disturb the keeping. 

The branch of architectural painting was comparatively 
early of development. JAN FREDEMANN DE VRIES was born 
at Leeuwarden in 1527. This artist went through a scientific 

1 fLiggeren, ii. 59.] 

2 [Liggeren, ii. 129, 167.] 


study of the works of Yitruvius and Serlio, and devoted 
himself, with no common result, to this class of art. Like 
the landscape-painters before noticed, his works take their 
title from the figures in the foreground, though the rich 
architecture which- occupies the surrounding space, and in 
which the laws both of lineal and aerial perspective are 
effectively observed, forms the real subject. The tone in 
which these architectural forms are treated is generally 
delicate, clear, and cool. The best works I know by him 
are a series of pictures in the fine summer council-chamber 
in the Hotel de Yille at Dantzic, in which, however, the 
figures are in the mannered taste of his time. 

Architectural painting was further developed by HENDRIK 
VAN STEENWYCK, born 1550, [master at Antwerp in 1577], * 
died 1604, who was scholar of the preceding master. He 
painted chiefly interiors of Gothic churches, on a small scale, 
generally enlivened with figures by some of the numerous 
Francken family. He was the first to represent the effect of 
the light of torches and tapers on architectural forms. The 
fine perspective, both lineal and aerial, observed in his 
pictures, gives them a lasting value, though the execution of his 
architectural detail is somewhat hard and metallic. Admirable 
specimens of his art are in the Vienna Gallery. 

PIETEB NEEFS, born at Antwerp 1570, [entered the 
Antwerp Guild in 1609], died 1651, was the best of Steen- 
wyck's scholars. He painted quite in the same style, but 
excelled his master in power and warmth of tone, and also 
in the truthfulness of his torchlight effects. An excellent 
picture of this class is in the Louvre, No. 346. Other fine 
specimens by him are also there, and in the Gallery at 
Vienna. Many of his works are enlivened by figures by 
Frans Francken the younger, by Jan Breughel, and by 
David Teniers the elder. 

HENDRIK VAN STEENWYCK [15801649], son of the other 
Steenwyck, was a fellow-scholar with Pieter Neefs, but 
painted in a cooler tone, and was inferior to him in all re- 
spects. His works are also seen in the Vienna Gallery, at 
Hampton Court, and in the Berlin Museum. PIETER NEEFS 
1 [Liggeren, i. 263.] 



Book IV. 

THE YOUNGER, [born 1601, died after 1675], the son and 
pupil of the elder of this name, was also of inferior merit. 
Pictures by him are in the Vienna Gallery. 

BARTHOLOMEW VAN BASSEN nourished from about 1610 to 
1650. He formed his style independently of the preceding 
knot of artists ; painted chiefly interiors of Renaissance 
churches, and also saloons of the same architectural cha- 
racter. His figures are usually the work of Frans Francken 
the younger. Though his pictures display careful detail and 
exact perspective, yet they are wanting in aim, and are 
often crude in effect and hard in forms. A specimen both 
of his church and of his saloon interiors is in the Berlin 

The first examples of flower and fruit painting as a separate 
branch occur towards the end of this period, and here again 
we meet with the versatile hand of JAN BREUGHEL. His 
flower-pieces are comparatively rare ; the single flowers are 
executed with feeling and great truthfulness of form and 
colour, but the general effect is without keeping. A chef- 
d'oeuvre of this class is a large flower-piece in the Munich 
Gallery, Cabinets, No. 226. Also a large wreath of flowers 
in the Louvre, No. 429, with a Virgin and Child, by Bub ens, 
painted in the centre. 

Although miniature painting in this epoch, when so many 
monuments of art of greater size were in existence, no longer 
maintains that important position which we have accorded to 
it at an earlier period, yet two Belgian artists, who devoted 
themselves to this branch of painting in the second half 
of the sixteenth century, were so remarkable, and also so 
celebrated in their time, that I cannot pass them over in 

HANS BOL, born at Mechlin 1534, died in Amsterdam 
1593. In his earlier time he devoted himself to the exe- 
cution of larger pictures in size colours, but afterwards 
applied himself exclusively to miniature painting, in which 
he produced a large number of works. In his subjects taken 
from history the mannered taste of the school of Frans Floris 
prevails ; but in his more numerous landscapes, with small 
figures from life, he combines picturesqueness of composition 


and good drawing with a very finished and clever execution. 
His general tone, however, is frequently too cold, and he is 
deficient in keeping. The merit of his portraits, animals, 
fruits, and flowers is their truth. Like the earlier miniature- 
painters, his practice was in body colours. True also to the 
old fashion, he decorated manuscripts with his miniatures, 
but more frequently painted small landscapes on single 
sheets. As an example of the first kind, I mention a small 
prayer-book in the Imperial Library at Paris, Supplement 
Latin (No. 708), executed in 1582. Of the second class will 
be found some beautiful little pictures in the cabinet of minia- 
tures at Munich, and in the cabinet of engravings at Berlin. 
Hans Bol also etched a small number of plates, with much 
success, from his own designs. 

JOOKIS HOEFNAGEL, born in Antwerp 1545, died in Vienna 
1600. He received the instruction of Hans Bol ; but, owing 
to a very careful education, he became an artist of much 
more extended powers. He travelled in France, Spain, 
Italy, and Germany. In the latter country he was first in 
the service of the Duke of Bavaria at Munich, afterwards in 
that of the Emperor Kodolph II. at Prague, but resided at 
Vienna. Owing to an uncommon facility of drawing, and to 
an untiring industry, the number of drawings, of every 
possible subject, made on these journeys, and also the 
amount of his miniatures, is astonishingly large. They 
comprise sacred and secular history, scenery, animals, 
plants, flowers, fruits, precious stones, pearls, etc. He also 
especially decorated manuscripts in the old manner and with 
the old technical materials. The most famous among them 
is a Roman missal, now in the Imperial Library at Vienna 
(No 1784), which he executed for the Archduke Ferdinand 
of the Tyrol, and on which he laboured from 1582 to 1590, 
a period of eight years. He here appears as a very clever 
eclectic painter, versed both in all the spiritual allusions of 
the early time, and also in the technical materials and forms 
of ornamentation, a knowledge which he applied with great 
skill. Occasionally he shows signs of an allegorical, but 
often artificial, mysticism peculiar to himself, and degenerates 
sometimes into an overladen and tasteless manner. He 



Book IV. 

availed himself often of the emblematic representations from 
the Biblia Pauperum ; and in his historical subjects made 
use of the motives of Raphael and other painters; in his 
ornaments also he adopted alternately, and with masterly 
handling, the earlier manner of the Netherlandish, German, 
and Italian miniature-painters ; and finally studied the minia- 
tures of Giulio Clovio. Next to this missal I may mention 
two works executed for Rodolph II., one of which represents, 
in four books, the walking, the creeping, the flying, and the 
swimming animals ; the other books contain various subjects. 
Hoefnagel also often painted single pieces ; for instance, the 
Glorification of the Spanish Monarchy, dated 1573, in the 
Library at Brussels. The numerous emblematic representa- 
tions are in the artificial and tasteless spirit of the times ; 
but the execution is of indescribable pains and finish. 



THE aspect of painting in Germany and Switzerland at this 
period is less satisfactory than in the Netherlands. We 
especially miss a chief centre of activity, such as Antwerp 
afforded. The early schools of Nuremberg, Augsburg, Ulm, 
and Cologne had died out, and in their stead, both in these 
and other places, only isolated painters occur. Historical 
painting, it is true, took the same course as in the Nether- 
lands, but its few scattered masters appeared later on the 
scene. That rich development of subject and landscape 
painting also, for which the Netherlands had been distin- 
guished, found no equivalent here. Portrait painting, on 
the other hand, was successfully pursued, though not so as 
to rival the best masters of the Flemish and Dutch school. 

HANS STEPHANUS, known in the history of art by the name 
of HANS VON CALCAR, from the town of that name on tha 


Lower Rhine, where he was probably born 1510. 1 He was 
the first to turn, and with great success, to the Italian school, 
residing in Venice from 1536 to 1537, in the school of Titian, 
whose manner he so entirely adopted that it becomes occa- 
sionally difficult t6 distinguish their respective works. He 
there executed the admirable drawings for the woodcuts which 
illustrate the well-known work by Vesalius on anatomy, and 
afterwards went to Naples, where Vasari became acquainted 
with him in 1545, and where, according to Van Mander, he 
died in 1546. I know no historical picture by him ; but his 
very rare existing portraits thoroughly justify the favourable 
testimony of Vasari. They show also a really great affinity 
to Titian, being less energetic, but very delicate in feeling 
for nature, in which they approach close to Giovanni Battista 
Morone, excellent in drawing, and very carefully coloured 
in a clear, warm, and somewhat reddish tone. A very fine 
portrait of a man, formerly attributed alternately to Paris 
Bordone and to Tintoretto, is in the Louvre ; another, with 
a letter in his hand, at Vienna ; a third in the Museum at 
Berlin, No. 190. 

Many of the German painters, in their earlier efforts, 
adhered, even in this department, to the style of the former 
period, and only sought to adopt the qualities of Italian art at 
a later time. Conspicuous among this class is BARTHOLO- 
MEW DE BRUYN, [born at Cologne in 1493, practised and died 
there in 1 556]. 2 His earlier creations approximate closely to 
those of his master, the painter of the Death of the Virgin. 
His principal works of this time are the wings of the large 
shrine upon the high altar of the church of Xanten [ordered 
in 1529, and finished in 1536]. 3 The inner sides contain 
events from the legends of SS. Victor, Sylvester, and Helena ; 
the outer ones the figures of three saints, with the Virgin and 
Child, SS. Gereon and Constantino, and four half-circles. 
The heads and figures are of elevated Character, the forms 
fullish, the execution very able, and the tone of uncommon 

1 The statement of his having been born in 1500 is destitute of all 

- [Merlo, ' Die Meister der Altkolnische Schule,' u. s., p. 72.] 
3 [Merlo, ' Nachrichten,' u. a., p, 153.] 



Book IV. 

warmth and vigour. His portraits of the same period, such 
as the Burgomaster Jan van Ryht, painted 1525, in the 
Berlin Museum, No. 588, and of one Browiller, painted 1535, 
in the Cologne Museum, so closely resemble Holbein as 
generally to be designated by his name. His Descent from 
the Cross, with wings, in the Munich Gallery, Cabinets, 
Nos. 75, 76 79, is also a good work of the same epoch. 
Although he deteriorated afterwards, both in thoroughness 
of execution and in truth of tone, yet he retains the same 
Holbein-like style of treatment. This we see in a- Virgin 
and Child adored by a Duke of Cleves, in the Berlin Museum, 
No. 639. After this time he attempted to adopt the charac- 
teristics of Italian art, after the fashion of Martin van Hem- 
skerk, the results of which were heads devoid of interest, 
tasteless motives, cold and insipid colouring, and slight exe- 
cution. Even his portraits of this time are poorly coloured 
and slightly painted. A number of his works of this class 
are to be seen in the Munich and Cologne Galleries. 

In Westphalia we find a family of painters, by the name 
of TOM KING, at Munster. LUDGER THE ELDER [b. 1496, 
d. 1547. His chief] work, dated 1538, in the collection of 
the Westphalian Art Union, represents Christ and the 
Virgin interceding with the Almighty, who, surrounded with 
angels, is about to destroy the sinful world. The painter 
here decidedly adheres to the early German school, showing 
dignified and stern feeling, and thorough execution. His 
son, HERMANN TOM RING, [b. 1521, d. 1599,] judged by his 
chief work, the Resurrection of Lazarus, of the year 1546, 
in the Munster cathedral, evinces in many respects the 
influence of Italy. The architecture, with well-executed 
white busts, is of Italian taste. But his portrait-like heads 
are not important, and his attitudes are mannered. The 
portrait of the donor is animated, but Martha and Mary 
have the aspect of nuns. The colouring is gaudy, the 
chiaroscuro well observed, and the finish, especially of the 
accessories, good. In his later pictures he appears as a 
feeble painter in the manner of Frans Floris. 

Hermann's brother, LUDGER TOM RING THE YOUNGER, 
[b. 1522, d. 1583,] devoted himself to the imitation 


of the details of real life. Thus his pictures of sacred sub- 
jects are so in little more than name. Of this class is a 
Marriage at Cana, dated 1562, in the Berlin Museum, No. 
708 literally a large kitchen piece with numerous skilfully 
executed details, but totally devoid of keeping. The subject 
itself is seen in a corner of the background. 

At Nuremberg, at about the same period, lived a master 
of the name of VIRGILIUS SOLIS, painter, engraver, and 
designer upon wood, born 1514, died 1562. His pictures 
are now become very rare. From his numerous engravings, 
however, treating as they do the most various subjects, and 
from the woodcuts taken from his designs, 1 it appears that 
in his earlier time he attached himself, though but in a 
mechanical fashion, to the school of Albert Durer, devoting 
himself subsequently to the imitation of Italian art, in which 
he displays great readiness of hand, but little feeling. 

MICHAEL OSTENDOKFER, [born in Swabia before 1500, 
settled in Regensburg in 1519, and died there in 1559.] 2 
He formed himself after Albrecht Altdorfer, though inferior 
to him in feeling and skill. Like Lucas Cranach he sought 
to embody the doctrines of Luther in his art. An altarpiece 
of this class is in the collection of the Historical Museum at 
Regensburg. [The Virgin of the Apocalypse is (Cabinets, 
No. 168) in the Munich Gallery.] 

At about the same period we find in Munich a painter by 
name HANS MULICH, generally but erroneously called Mielich, 
born [1516, died 1573]. His portraits are now rare; one of 
a woman, in the collection of the King of Prussia, shows 
that he followed the early German style. The treatment is 
truthful, and the colouring clear. [Others (Nos. 301-2) 
are in the Munich Gallery.] The same qualities appear in 
his portraits of Duke Albrecht V. of Bavaria and his Duchess 
Anna, and of other individuals among the rest, of himself, 
executed in miniature for the above-named princess, in the 
illuminated MSS. of the music of the Seven Penitential 
Psalms, by Orlando di Lasso, and in the motetts by Ciprian 

1 Bartsch, vol. ix. p. 242, etc., quotes 558 engravings by his hand, 
and various long series of woodcuts from his designs. 

2 [Consult Marggraff's Catalogue of the Munich Pinak., p. 168.] 


de Rore. 1 On the other hand, the historical subjects intro- 
duced into these works by him show him as a feeble imitator 
of Italian artists. 

In this time also occurs the name of HANS SEBALD LAUTEN- 
SACK, who laboured in Vienna, and who decidedly descended 
from the painter family of the same name at Nuremberg. 
No picture, however, by him is known to me. As regards 
his engravings 2 he appears most to advantage in his land- 
scapes and views of towns, following in his fantastic feeling 
and mechanical treatment the style of Altdorfer. His por- 
traits, which are weak in drawing and hardly treated, show 
also his adherence to the early German school. 

A somewhat later generation than those we have just 
considered gave themselves still more determinately to the 
imitation of Italian art, of which their productions show us 
the most perverted examples. In the whole field of ideal 
art, whether mythology, allegory, or Holy Scripture, they 
are alike mannered and devoid of taste, and especially so 
where nude figures constitute the chief subject. Their 
treatment of realistic scenes from their own contemporary 
history and from common life, as well as their portraits and 
landscape, are somewhat more endurable, though far less 
truthful and careful in character, than the works of the 
Netherlandish masters of the same time. The following are 
the most notable names. 

TOBIAS STIMMER, born at Schaffhausen 1534. According 
to the fashion then prevalent in Germany, he decorated with 
frescoes the fa9ades of many houses in his native city, and in 
Strasburg and Frankfort. 3 His oil pictures are very rare. 
The portraits of Herr von Schwyz, a banner-man of Zurich, 
and his wife, in the collection of Mr. Carl Waagen of Munich, 
show skill and truthfulness. His whole style may be 
gathered from several hundred woodcuts executed from his 
designs.* He died at Strasburg in the prime of life. 

1 See the same in the Munich Court Library among the rarest 
treasures called there " Cimelien," Nos. 51 and 52. 

2 Bartsch, vol. ix. p. 107, etc., mentions fifty-nine engravings and 
two woodcuts by him. 

3 [Consult Schreiber, ' Das Miinster zu Strasburg,' 8vo., Strasb., p. 91.] 
* Bartsch, vol. ix. p. 330. 


JOST AMMAN, born at Zurich 1539, removed to Nuremberg 
in 1560, and died there 1591. I know no example surviving 
of his pictures in oil and on glass. But various engravings, 
and a large number of woodcuts from his designs, give 
-evidence of his great diligence. 1 

CHRISTOPH MAURER, born at Zurich 1558, died 1614. He 
was the scholar of Tobias Stimmer, and closely followed his 
style. He also is only known by a small number of plates 
and woodcuts, the first etched by himself, the second from 
his designs, which have now become very rare. 2 

HANS BOCK, known by his diffuse frescoes, inside and out- 
side the Hotel de Ville at Basle, some of which still survive. 
He is very mannered in style, but of great energy, as for 
example his picture of the Calumny of Apelles, in the same 
Hotel de Ville. [He copied several of Holbein's works]. 

The following masters enjoyed much favour at this period 
at the Courts of the Duke of Bavaria at Munich, and of the 
Emperor Rodolph II. at Prague. 

HANS VAN ACHEN, born at Cologne [1562], 8 died at Prague 
1615 ; studied at Cologne in the school of the painter Jerrigh. 
On his return from Italy [in 1588] he was successively 
employed at both the above-mentioned courts. His best 
pictures are those in which we trace the study of Tintoretto, 
viz., his Bathsheba bathing, in the Vienna Gallery ; his least 
attractive are those in which he took his friend Bartholomew 
Spranger for his model, namely, his Bacchus with Venus, his 
Jupiter and Antiope, in the same gallery. Specimens of his 
ecclesiastical pictures are in the church of the Jesuits and 
in the church of Our Lady at Munich. 

JOSEPH HEINZ, born probably at Berne. According to 
Van Mander he was a scholar of Hans van Achen, and one 
of the favourite painters of Eodolph II. He died in Prague, 
1609. His pictures are occasionally distinguished by a cold 
sumptuousness ; as for example his Venus and Adonis, in the 
Vienna Gallery ; also by a feeling for elegance of form, as 

1 Bartsch, vol. ix. p. 351. 

2 Ibid. p. 381. 

3 [See 0. Milndler and W. Schmidt in Meyer's Kiinst Lexikon, art.,' 


in his Diana and Actseon, in the same gallery. His colour- 
ing is gaudy and untruthful, but his touch melting and 
masterly. His most unattractive works are those taken 
from Scripture, as seen in the Crucifixion at Vienna. He 
appears to most advantage in his portraits, namely, in that 
of the Emperor Eodolph II., also at Vienna. 

CHKISTOPHER SCHWARTZ, born at Ingolstadt, in Bavaria 
[about 1550], died 1597. He formed himself in Venice, 
more especially after the works of Tintoretto, and afterwards 
became court painter at Munich. His forms are pleasing 
and his attitudes graceful, though often mannered. His 
heads are insipid, and his colouring either gaudy and crude 
or too faint. He also decorated the exteriors of houses with 
frescoes. The most notable of his pictures are a Virgin and 
Child in glory, in the Munich Gallery, No. 1380. Also a 
family portrait, No. 1379, in which Tintoretto is his obvious 

JOHANN E.OTHENHAMMER, born at Munich 1564, died at 
Augsburg 1623. He was scholar of Hans Donnauer, and 
visited Italy, where he also studied Tintoretto. He painted 
a number of large pictures, but is chiefly known by those on 
a smaller scale, in which he collaborated alternately with 
Jan Breughel and Paul Bril ; he executing the department 
of mythology or allegory, they that of landscape. In his 
earlier pictures such as his Death of Adonis, in the Louvre, 
No. 424 he approaches Tintoretto in force, warmth, and 
clearness. His forms also partake of the same elegant 
character ; unfortunately he adopted the Venetian master's 
arbitrary and confused arrangement of lines. His later 
pictures for example, his Virgin in Glory, in the Munich 
Gallery have a disagreeable effect, from the brick-red 
tones of the flesh and the greenish shadows. In his 
numerous small pictures he is known by the tenderly-fused 
character of his execution. Plenty of this class are found in 
all galleries. 

By far the most attractive painter whom Germany dis- 
plays at this unsatisfactory period of the art is ADAM 
ELZHEIMER, born at Frankfort on the Maine 1578, 1 died at 

1 Sandrart, vol. i. p. 294, and Schnaase's 'Niederlandische Briefe,'p. 26. 


Chap. II. ELZHEIMER. 273 

Rome 1620. He early showed his artistic talents, and was 
placed under the Frankfort master, Philip Uffenbach, after 
which he travelled through Germany to Rome, where he 
married an Italian. He had a profound and refined feeling 
for nature, further developed by ceaseless study, and admir- 
able technical qualities, which told to great advantage in hia 
uniformly small pictures. His historical works, scriptural 
or mythological, are of decidedly realistic character, well 
arranged and drawn, occasionally approaching Rembrandt 
in warmth of tone, and executed throughout in a fine body 
of colour, and with the utmost attention to detail. Effects 
of torch and candle light were also his favourite study. 
Although well paid for his pictures, the time he devoted to 
them was so considerable that, having a numerous family, 
he was thrown into prison for debt, and died in bitter 
poverty. His most admirable works are his landscapes, 
which have a miniature-like character, as if we looked on 
nature through a diminishing glass. In the small space 
which they occupy he gives a wide expanse of diversified 
scenery, illuminated by broken gleams of light woods in 
deep shadow, water with its clear bright surface, and the 
graceful alternations of mountain and valley ; the eye, which 
at a little distance enjoys the harmony of this little world, 
loses nothing when it approaches to view more closely the 
minutest details of execution, or the spirited indication of 
.the different objects. There is no want of pleasing figures 
subordinate to the landscape. Here we have a Holy Family 
journeying through a still, moonlight landscape there a 
thick forest, in which John the Baptist preaches to the 
assembled people now a night-piece, with ^neas leading 
his followers from the burning city. Owing to his laborious 
mode of operation he left but a small number of pictures, 
which aro now exceedingly rare. Some of them have also 
lost their original charm by the darkening of the colours. 
His best examples known to me are the following. A 
Flight into Egypt, in Devonshire House. Tobit and the 
Angel, in the collection of the late Hon ble . Edmund Phipps, a 
picture engraved by the Chevalier Goudt ; Cupid and 
Psyche, in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge ; a Venus, 



in the Mesman Collection at Cambridge ; St. Paul on the 
Island of Melita, at Corshain Court ; the Delivery of Peter 
from Prigon, at Broom Hall ; the Flight into Egypt, and the 
,Good Samaritan, in the Louvre, Nos. 159 and 160; Paul 
and Barnabas at Lystra, and Christ with the Disciples at 
Emmaus, in the Stadel Institute at Frankfort ; the Flight 
into Egypt, engraved by the Chevalier Goudt, in the Munich 
Gallery ; a Repose in Egypt, and another Flight into F ;ypt, 
-in the Vienna Gallery ; and the Triumph of Psyche, in the 
Umzi at Florence. 1 

1 This picture is falsely called by the name of Paul Bril. On the 
other hand, the ten pictures there ascribed to Elzheimer are the work 
of Poelemberg. 






ND Kugler, Franz Theodor 

Handbook of painting 
K84 3d ed.