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Full text of "How to study pictures by means of a series of comparisons of paintings and painters from Cimabue to Monet, with historical and biographical summaries and appreciations of the painters' motives and methods"

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HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 



HOW TO STUDY 
PICTURES 



BY MEANS OF A SERIES OF COMPARISONS OF 
PAINTINGS AND PAINTERS FROM CIMABUE TO 
MONET, WITH HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPH- 
ICAL SUMMARIES AND APPRECIATIONS OF 
THE PAINTERS' MOTIVES AND METHODS 



BY 

CHARLES H. CAFFIN 







NEW YORK 
THE CENTURY CO, 

1905 



Copyright, 1904, 1905, by 
The Century Co. 



Published October, 1905 



THE DE VINNE PRESS 



TO 

DOROTHY 
AND 

FREDA 






CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

Author's Note xiii 

I Introduction 3 

II CiMABUE — Giotto 8 

III Masaccio — Mantegna 20 

IV Fra Angelico — Jan van Eyck 37 

V Botticelli — Memling 52 

VI Perugino — Giovanni Bellini 68 

VII Raphael — Wolgemuth 85 

VIII Da Vinci — Durer 109 

IX Titian — Holbein the Younger 125 

X CoRREGGio — Michelangelo 142 

XI Veronese — Tintoretto 159 

XII Rubens — Velasquez 177 

XIII Van Dyck — Franz Hals 195 

XIV Rembrandt — Murillo 209 

XV Jacob van Ruisdael — Poussin 228 

XVI HoBBEMA — Claude Lorrain 242 

XVII Watteau — Hogarth 255 

[ vii ] 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XVIII Reynolds — Gainsborough 272 



^ 



XIX Constable — Turner 287 

XX David — Delacroix ■^■- 304 

XXI Rousseau —CoROT 322 

XXII Breton — Millet 339 

XXIII COURBET — BOECKLIN 353 

XXIV ROSSETTI — HOLMAN HuNT 371 

XXV PiLOTY — FORTUNY 391 

XXVI Manet — Israels 404 

XXVII Puvis DE Chavannes — Gerome 423 

XXVIII Whistler — Sargent 441 

XXIX Monet — Hashimoto Gaho 457 

Concluding Note 479 

Bibliography 481 

Glossary of Terms 484 

Index 493 



[ viii ] 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Madonna Enthroned 



. Cimabue 



PAGE 

14 



Madonna Enthroned .... Giotto 



15 



St. Peter Baptizing 



. Masaccio 



• • • 



GoNZAGA Welcoming his Sons . Mantegna 

The Annunciation Fra Angelico 

Virgin and Donor Jan van Eych . 



26 

n 

43 



Madonna Enthroned 



Alessandro Botticelli . 58 



Virgin Enthroned Hans Mewling 

Triptych from the Pavia Al- 
tar-piece Perugino 

From a photograph by Emery Walker, London. 



• • 



Triptych Altar-piece . 



Madonna degli Ansidei 



Death of the Virgin 



Virgin of the Rocks 



Visit of the Magi 



Man with the Glove . 

From a photograph by Braun 



. Giovanni Bellini 



• • 



• • 



. Michael Wolgemuth 



. Titian 

Cle'ment & Cie. 



[ix] 



59 

74 
75 



. Raphael Sanzio . . 90 



91 



. Leonardo da Vinci . . 114 



Albrecht DUrer . . . 115 



134 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Portrait of Georg Gyze . . . Holbein the Younger . 135 

Mystic Marriage of St. Cath- 
erine Corregglo .... 150 

Jeremiah Michelangelo . . . 151 

The Glory of Venice .... Paolo Veronese . . . 166 

From a photograph by Giraudon. 

The Miracle of St. Mark . . Tintoretto .... 167 
Descent from the Cross . . . Rubens 186 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 

Las Meninas (Maids of Honor) Velasquez . . . . 187 

From a photograph by Braun, ClAaent & Cie. 

Marie Louise von Tassis . . . Anthony van Dyck . 202 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

Portrait of a Woman .... Franz Hals .... 203 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

Children of the Shell . . . Murillo 218 

Sortie of the Banning Cock 

Company Rembrandt .... 219 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

The Waterfall . . . . . . Jacob van Ruisdael . 234 

Shepherds in Arcady .... Nicolas Poussin . . 235 

The Avenue, ]\Iiddelharnis, 

Holland Meindert Hobbema . 246 

The Landing of Cleopatra at 

Tarsus Claude Lorrain . . . 247 

The Embarkation for Cythera Antoine Watteau . . 262 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 

The Marriage Contract . . . William Hogarth . . 263 

[x] 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Portrait of Mrs. Siddons . . . Thomas Gainsborough 278 

Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic 

Muse Sir Joshua Reynolds , 279 

From a photograph by Valentine & Son. 

Valley Farm (Willy Lott's 

House) John Constable . . . 294 

Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus J . I . 295 

) William Turner) 

Oath of the Horatii .... Jacques Louis David . 310 

Dante and Virgil Eugene Delacroix . . 311 

Dance of the Nymphs .... Corot 330 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 

Edge of the Forest of Fon- 

TAiNEBLEAu Rousseau .... 331 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 

The Gleaners Jean Frangois Millet . 346 

The Gleaner Jules Breton . . . 347 

The Isle of the Dead .... Boecklin 362 

From a photogravure by Bruckmann. 

Funeral at Ornans Courhet 363 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 

Light of the World .... Holman Hunt . . . 378 
The Blessed Damozel . . . Dante Gabriel Rossetti 379 

From a photograph by Berlin Photo Co. 

Thusnelda at the Triumph of if Karl Theodor von ) 
Germanicus ( Piloty j 

From a photograph by Pach Bros. 

Spanish Marriage Mariano Fortuny . . 395 

From a photograph by Laurent & Cie. 

[xi] 



* 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Old Scribe Jozef Israels . . . 414* 

From the collection of Dr. Leslie D. Ward, by permission. 

Girl with a Parrot Edouard Manet . . 415 

PoLLiCE Verso Gerome 430 

By permission uf Manzi, Joyant & Cie. 

Inter Artes et Naturam . . . Puvis de Chavann^s . 431 

From a photograph by Braun, Cle'ment & Cie. 

Portrait of the Misses Hunter John S. Sargent . . 446 

By permission of Mr. Charles E. Hunter. 

Portrait of the Artist's (James- A. McNeill 

Mother ( Whistler 

From a photograph by Braun, Cle'ment & Cie. 

Old Church at Vernon . . . Claude Monet . . . 466 



447 



Sunrise on the Horai . . . . Hashimoto Gaho . . 467 



[xii] 



AUTHOR'S NOTE 

Some experience in lecturing has impressed upon me 
several points. In the first place, the majority of stu- 
dents have not the time to make an exhaustive study; 
while those who intend to do so ultimately, still need to 
begin with a simple summary that shall spread before 
them the salient features of the subject and afford a firm 
groundwork on which to build. Instead, therefore, of 
inultiplying names, I have confined myself to fifty -six, 
which are pivotal ones by reason of what these artists ac- 
complished or of their influence upon others. The selec- 
tion must not be regarded as an attempt to pick out a list 
of the most famous names in painting; my real aim being 
to unfold the gradual progress of the art, to show how 
various motives have from time to time influenced artists, 
and how the scene of vital progress has shifted from 
country to country. I have tried to present a survey of 
the whole field of painting, not to write, a history of 
artists or schools. 

Again, while the student is buried in the history of one 
school, it is difficult for him to bear in mind what is being 

[ xiii ] 



AUTHOR'S NOTE 

done by contemporary artists in other schools. Accord- 
ingly ^ as often as possible, I have treated side by side con- 
temporary men of different nationalities, trying to show 
in each case something of the differences of environment 
and personality, and of motive and method. In this way 
also, I hope, the panoramic character of the story is in- 
creased. 

Lastly, '' by their works ye shall know them.'' An 
artist desires to be known and estimated by his works. 
Also it may be more use fid to study pictures than lives of 
artists, because an appreciation of one picture leads to 
that of many. Therefore 1 have tried to combine with 
the historical aspects of the subject the matter which is 
usually treated separately in books of '' How to study 
pictures." 

I have adopted the parallel method: ''Look on this 
picture and on this." Not, as a rule, to suggest that one 
is more admirable than another; but to stimidate interest 
and the faculty of observation, and to show how various 
are the motives which have prompted artists and the 
methods which they have adopted. In the sum total of 
comparisons I have tried to include as many as possible of 
the motives and methods which have from time to time 
prevailed, so that the student may gain a basis of appre- 
ciation from which to extend his observations with under- 
standing and enjoyment. 

For the object of study should be to put oneself in 

[xiv] 



AUTHOR'S NOTE 

touch ucith each artist in turn, to enter into his point of 
view J to see as far as possible with his eyes, and to esti- 
mate his work, not for what it does not contain, hut for 
what it does. In this way only can our appreciation of 
painting become catholic and intelligent. Then, we are 
no longer content to say '' I know what I like,'' but " I 
know why I like " ; and our likings are multiplied. 

As we discover more and more of the diverse ivays in 
which artists have put a portion of themselves, of their 
own lives, into their pictures, our appreciation becomes 
indefinitely enlarged, our sympathies continually broad- 
ened, our enjoyment perpetually increased. Thus may 
we enter into the life of the artist and reinforce our own 

lives. 

CHARLES H. CAFFIN. 

Mamaronecky N. Y. 



[xv] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 



{( 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 



CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTION 

Having eyes, see ye not ? " 

THE world is full of beauty which many people 
hurry past or live in front of and do not see. 
There is also a world of beauty in pictures, but it 
escapes the notice of many, because, while they wish to 
see it, they do not know how. 

The first necessity for the proper seeing of a picture 
is to try and see it through the eyes of the artist who 
painted it. This is not a usual method. Generally peo- 
ple look only through their own eyes, and like or dislike 
a picture according as it does or does not suit their par- 
ticular fancy. These people will tell you: " Oh! I don't 
know anything about painting, but I know what I like " ; 
which is their way of saying : " If I don't like it right off, 
I don't care to be bothered to like it at all." 

Such an attitude of mind cuts one off from growth 
and development, for it is as much as to say: " I am very 
well satisfied with myself, and quite indifferent to the 
experiences and feelings of other men." Yet it is just 
this experience and feeling of another man which a pic- 
ture gives us. If you consider a moment you will un- 
derstand why. The world itself is a vast panorama, and 

[3] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

from it the painter selects his subject: not to copy it ex- 
actly, since it would be impossible for him to do this, even 
if he tried. How could he represent, for example, each 
blade of grass, each leaf upon a tree? So what he does 
is to represent the subject as he sees it, as it appeals to his 
sympathy or interest; and if twelve artists painted the 
same landscape, the result would be twelve different pic- 
tures, differing according to the way in which each man 
had been impressed by the scene ; in fact, according to his 
separate point of view or separate way of seeing it, in- 
fluenced by his individual experience and feeling. 

It is most important to realize the part which is played 
by these two qualities of experience and feeling. Expe- 
rience, the fullness or the deficiency of it, must affect the 
work of every one of us, no matter what our occupation 
may be. And if the work is of a kind which appeals to 
the feelings of others, as in the case of the preacher, the 
writer, the actor, the painter, sculptor, architect or art- 
craftsman, the musician or the dancer, it must be af- 
fected equally by the individual's capacity of feeling and 
by his power of expressing what he feels. 

Therefore, since none of us can include in ourselves 
the whole range of possible experience and feeling, it is 
. through the experience and the feeling of others that we 
deepen and refine our own. It is this that we should look 
to pictures to accomplish, which, as you will acknow- 
ledge, is a very different thing from offhand like or dis- 
like. For example, we may not be attracted at first, but 
we reason with ourselves: " No doubt this picture meant 
a good deal to the man who painted it; it embodies his 
experience of the world and his feeling toward the sub- 

[4] 



INTRODUCTION 

ject. It represents, in fact, a revelation of the man him- 
self ; and, if it is true that ' the noblest study of mankind 
is man,' then possibly in the study of this man, as re- 
vealed in his work, there may be interest for me." 

I am far from wishing you to suppose that all pictures 
will repay you for such intimate study. We may get 
inside the man to find that his experience of life is mea- 
ger, his feeling commonplace and paltry. There are 
not a few men of this sort in the occupation of art, just 
as in every other walk of life, and their pictures, so far 
as we ourselves are concerned, will be disappointing. 
But among the pictures which have stood the test of time 
we shall always find that the fruits of the artist's expe- 
rience and feeling are of a kind which makes lasting ap- 
peal to the needs of the human heart and mind, and that 
this fact is one of the causes of their being held in so high 
esteem. There is also another cause. 

If only experience and feeling were necessary to make 
an artist, many of us would be better artists than a con- 
siderable number of those who follow the profession of 
art. But there is another necessity — the power of ex- 
pressing the experience and feeling. This, by its deri- 
vation from the Greek, is the primary meaning of the 
word " art ": the capacity to " fit " a form to an idea. 
The artist is the " fitter " who gives Shape and construc- 
tion to the tenuous fabric of his imagination; and this 
method of " fitting " is his technic. 

So the making of a picture involves two processes: a 
taking in of the impression and a giving of it out by visi- 
ble expression; a seeing of the subject with the visual 
and mental eye, and a communicating of w^iat has been 

[5] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

so seen to the visual and mental eyes of others ; and both 
these processes are influenced by the experience and feel- 
ing of the artist and make their appeal to our own. And, 
I think, it should be clear from what we have been saying 
that the beauty of a picture depends much less upon its 
subject than upon the artist's conception and treatment 
of it. A grand subject will not of itself make a grand 
picture, while a very homely one, by the way in which it 
has been treated, may impress us profoundly. 

The degree of beauty in a picture depends, in fact, 
upon the feeling for beauty in the artist and upon his 
power to express it. I have spoken of these two quali- 
fications as if they influenced the picture separately ; but, 
as a matter of fact, conception and technic are blended 
together in a picture, and as we pursue our study, we 
shall find ourselves embracing them simultaneously. 

But at the outset we must proceed step by step, alter- 
nately studying the conception and the technic; and, in 
order that we may discover how variously, at successive 
times and in diverse countries, different men have con- 
ceived of life and have expressed their feeling and ex- 
perience in pictures, I propose that we shall study them 
through a series of comparisons. 

Our plan, therefore, will be : 



( ( 



Look here, upon this picture, and on this ''' ; 



not to decide offhand which we like the better, for in 
some cases perhaps we may not like either, since they 
were painted in times so remote from ours as to be out- 
side our habit of understanding; but in order that we 
may get at the artist's way of seeing in each case, and 

[6] 



INTRODUCTION 

reach some appreciation of his methods. In this way I 
hope that we may be able to piece together the story of 
modern painting; beginning with its rebirth in the thir- 
teenth century, when it emerged from the darkness of 
the middle ages, and following it through its successive 
stages in different countries down to our own day. 

It will very much increase the usefulness of this 
method if the student can obtain reproductions of other 
work by each artist, so as to test, by a particular study 
of them, the general principles that are being discussed. 



[7] 



CHAPTER II 

GIOVANNI CIMABUE GIOTTO DI BONDONE 

1240 (?)-1302 (?) 1266 (?)-1337 

Italian School of Florence Italian School of Florence 

FOR the first comparison I invite you to study the 
two examples of The Madonna Enthroned — 
one by Cimabue, the other by his puj^il Giotto. 
Both are painted on wooden panels in distemper — that is 
to say, with colors that have been mixed with some gelat- 
inous medium, such as the white and the yolk of an eg^g 
beaten up together; for it was not until the fifteenth 
century that the use of oil as a medium was adopted. 
The colors used in Giotto's panel are tints of blue and 
rose and white ; in Cimabue's the blues and reds are deep 
and dusky ; the background in each case being golden. 

We notice at once a general similarit}^ between these 
two pictures, not only in choice of subject, but in the 
manner of presentation: JNIadonna, the queen of hea- 
ven, upon a throne; her mantle drawn over her head; 
her right hand resting on the knee of the infant Saviour, 
who has two fingers of his right hand raised in the act 
of blessing; kneeling angels at the foot, and figures in 
tiers above them ; all the heads being surrounded by the 
nimbus, or circular cloud of light, symbolic of their 
sacred character. 

[8] 



CIMABUE-GIOTTO 

The reason of this general similarity is, that the choice 
of subject and the manner of its presentation were fixed 
by tradition ; and long before this thirteenth century the 
tradition of Greek art had been lost, and in place of it 
was the Byzantine tradition, interpreted and enforced 
by the Christian church. 

Briefly, the cause of the change was this. Greek art 
and Greek religion were indissolubly connected. The 
gods and goddesses were represented as human beings 
of a higher order ; physical perfection was the ideal alike 
of religion and art. Therefore Christianity, in waging 
war upon heathenism, could not help attacking its art. 
Moreover, as the morals of the Empire became baser and 
baser, Christianity was driven more and more toward 
asceticism ; meeting the ideal of physical perfection with 
the spiritual ideal of mortifying the flesh. So that pa- 
gan art, which itself had grown grosser as morals de- 
clined, became an object of exceeding hatred to the 
church. But some form of pictorial representation was 
needed to bring the truths of religion before the eyes of 
the faithful, and the church found what it required in the 
art of Byzantium. 

This city was the gateway between the eastern and 
the western world, and the original Greek character of 
its art was speedily influenced by artists from the Orient. 
Now the ideals of the East and West are very difl*erent. 
Briefly, the longing of the East is for the Ultimate and 
Universal, while the West loves to dwell on the Particu- 
lar, and to dwell upon the means rather than the end. 
While the Greek artist carved or painted some particular 
form, striving to give it perfection of shape in every 

[9] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

part, so that through a series of means he might express 
his ideal of physical and spiritual perfection, the artist 
of the East reached his ideal through the abstract per- 
fection of beautiful lines, of beautiful patterns of form 
and color. Thus, the one art is represented most charac- 
teristically by the sculpture on the Parthenon, the other 
by a decorated porcelain vase. 

The arrival therefore, at Byzantium, of this art, so far 
removed from the Greek and Roman study of the human 
form, so beautifully decorative, was hailed by the church, 
both for the decorating of its sacred buildings and for 
the illuminating of the sacred manuscripts ; and it was as 
decorators and illuminators that the Byzantine artists 
did their finest work. But, as the study of the nude 
figure had been abandoned, the ignorance of the artists 
regarding the real character of the human form in- 
creased; their types of figure became less and less like 
nature, and more and more according to a convention es- 
tablished by the church. Asceticism was preached, so the 
figure must be thin and gaunt, the gestures angular, the 
expression of the emaciated faces one of painful ecstasy. 
Moreover, there were certain dogmas to be enforced, and 
the church gradually dictated the manner of their repre- 
sentation ; so that in time all that was required of or per- 
mitted to a painter was to go on producing certain con- 
ventional subjects in a purely conventional way. The 
divorce of art from nature was complete, and the inde- 
pendence of the artist lost in the domination of the 
church. 

The story of the Italian Renaissance, which com- 
menced at the end of the thirteenth century, relates how 

[10] 



CIMABUE-GIOTTO 

the artist gradually emancipated himself and his art, 
giving new life to the latter by inoculating it with nature 
and with something of the classic spirit. 

Now, therefore, we can understand why these two pic- 
tures of The Madonna Enthroned by Cimabue and 
Giotto are so similar in arrangement. They followed 
the tradition prescribed by the church. Yet the Floren- 
tines of Cimabue's day found his picture so superior to 
anything they had seen before, so much more splendid 
in color, if not much nearer to the true representation 
of life, that when it was completed they carried it in a 
joyous procession from the artist's home through the 
streets of Florence, and deposited it with ceremony in 
the Cappella de' Rucellai in the Church of Santa Maria 
Novella. The English artist Lord Leighton, in his pic- 
ture commemorating the event, has represented Cimabue 
walking in front of the Madonna, with his pupil Giotto 
at his side; and in the procession appears Dante, who 
left this mention of the two : 

Cimabue thought 
To laud it over painting's field ; and now 
The cry is Giotto's, and his name eclipsed. 

PuRGATORio, XI, 94. (Cary.) 

The story is that Cimabue had chanced upon the boy as, 
like David of old, he watched his flock upon the moun- 
tain ; and he found him drawing the form of one of the 
goats upon a rock with a sharp piece of slate. The mas- 
ter must have found some hint of genius in the work, for 
he straightway asked the boy if he would like to be his 
pupil; and, having received a glad assent and the fa- 

[11] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ther's permission, carried him off to Florence to his hot- 
teglia. This, the artist's studio of that period and for 
long after, was rather what we should call a workshop, 
in which the pupils ground and prepared the colors 
under the master's direction; and it was not until they 
had thoroughly mastered this branch of the work — a 
procedure which in Giotto's time was supposed to oc- 
cupy about six years — that they were permitted to use 
the brushes. How often, as he worked in the gloom of 
the hottegha, must the shepherd boy have peeped wist- 
fully at the master standing in the shady garden, before 
a great glory of crimson drapery and golden back- 
ground, and wondered if he should ever himself acquire 
such marvelous skill. 

He was destined to accomplish greater things, for 
his young mind had not been tutored to traditions, nor 
his young eyes constrained to admire the conventional. 
In the free air of the mountains the boy's spirit had wan- 
dered where it listed, and the eager eyes had learned to 
love and study nature. It was the love of form that 
had set him to try and picture a goat upon the surface 
of the rock; it was the actual appearance of objects that 
he sought to render when, in due time, he learned to use 
the brush. 

If you turn again to a comparison of his Madonna 
with that of Cimabue, you will see what strides he had 
already made toward natural truth. Observe how the 
figure of the Virgin is made real to us, notwithstanding 
that it is covered, as in Cimabue's, with drapery; and 
that, while the Christ-child in Cimabue's picture is par- 
tially nude, its form is not nearly so strong and firm and 

[12]" 




MADONNA ENTHRONED CIMABUE 

RUCELLAI CHAPEL, SANTA MARIA NOVELLA, FLORENCE " 




MADONNA ENTHRONED 

ACADEMY, FLORENCE 



GIOTTO 



CIMABUE- GIOTTO 

lifelike as in Giotto's, though his is enveloped in a gar- 
ment. And if you examine the other figures in his 
picture you will find the same suggestion of substantial 
form that could be touched and grasped in the arms. 
Notice, further, how Giotto's feeling for truth has af- 
fected his arrangement of the forms. The throne actu- 
allj^ occupies space of three dimensions — length, breadth, 
and thickness ; so do all the figures, and they rest firmly 
upon the ground; the artist has called in the aid of 
perspective to enforce the reality of his group. 

Now, how has he accomplished this appearance of 
reality? By the use of light and shade, and by making 
his lines functional — expressive, that is to say, of the 
structure and character of the object. Compare, for 
example, the figure of the infant Saviour in the two pic- 
tures. In Cimabue's the drapery is scored with lines 
which vaguely hint at folds and obscure the shape of the 
limbs beneath ; but in Giotto's certain parts of the figure 
are made to project by the use of high lights, and others 
are correspondingly depressed by shade, while the lines 
of the drapery serve to indicate the shape of the form 
beneath. 

This use of light and shade by Giotto, while it marks 
a distinct advance from the flat pattern-like painting of 
the Byzantine school, is still rudimentary; and, as if 
conscious of the fact, the artist has selected the most sim- 
ple arrangements of drapery. Indeed, breadth and sim- 
plicity are characteristic of the whole picture. It was 
painted probably during the years of his apprenticeship 
to Cimabue, or, at any rate, under his influence, and 
shows much less freedom and assurance than the works 

[17] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of his maturity. These are to be found in frescoes upon 
the walls of the Upper and Lower Churches at Assisi; 
the Arena Chapel, Padua; the Bardi and Peruzzi 
Chapels, S. Croce; and the Chapel of the Bargello, 
Florence. Giotto was the first to introduce the faces of 
contemporaries into his pictures, and the Paradise on 
the walls of the Bargello contains the famous portrait 
of Dante in his early manhood. It had remained cov- 
ered with whitewash for two hundred years, until once 
more brought to light in 1840. All these paintings were 
executed in fresco — that is to say, on the plaster before 
it was dry, with water-colors mixed in a glutinous me- 
dium, so that as the surface hardened the colors became 
incorporated in it. While the technical knowledge dis- 
played in them is rudimentary, they are so simple and 
unaffected, so earnest and large in feeling, and tell the 
story with such dramatic effect, that they command the 
interest and enthusiasm of the modern student. 

In his own day Giotto's fame as a painter was su- 
preme ; he had numerous followers, and these Giotteschi, 
as they were styled, perpetuated his methods for nearly 
a hundred years. But, like all the great men of the Flor- 
entine school, he was a master of more than one craft. 
" Forget that they were painters," writes Mr. Berenson, 
"they remain great sculptors; forget that they were 
sculptors, and still they remain architects, poets, and 
even men of science." The beautiful Campanile, which 
stands beside the Cathedral in Florence, and represents 
a perfect union of strength and elegance, was designed 
by Giotto and partly erected in his lifetime. Moreover, 

[18] 



CIMABUE-GIOTTO 

the sculptured reliefs which decorate its lower part were 
all from his designs, though he lived to execute only two 
of them. Thus, architect, sculptor, painter, friend of 
Dante and of other great men of his day, Giotto was the 
worthy forerunner of that galaxy of brilliant men who 
thronged the later days of the Italian Renaissance. 



[19] 



CHAPTER III 



TO MM A so MAS AC CIO 

1401 (?)-l428 (?) 

Italian School of Florence 



ANDREA MANTEGNA 

I431-15O6 

Italian School of Padua 



SIXCE the death of Giotto nearly a hundred 
years have elapsed, during which his followers in 
Florence and certain painters in Siena, notably 
the brothers Lorenzetti, have been continuing the effort 
to emancipate painting from the flat formalism of By- 
zantine art. But, although they have learned something 
more about expressing the roundness of form, have 
studied more closely the action of light upon objects 
and the expression and character of faces, and have be- 
gun to acquire some insight into the principles of fore- 
shortening and perspective, they are inferior to Giotto 
in originality of feeling and grandeur of design. He 
had been a solitary genius. 

However, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, 
there arose in Florence a new genius, who became to this 
centurv what Giotto had been to the fourteenth. At a 
bound he leaped above all competitors, set painting free 
from its shackles, and continued to be a stimulus to hosts 
of other painters, including JSIichelangelo and Raphael. 
This new genius was JNIasaccio ; and he, after his short 
life of twenty-seven years, w^as f ollowTd by the Paduan 

[20] 



MASACCIO-MANTEGNA 

Mantegna ; this man, too, a genius, whose influence was 
wide-spread. By these two men painting was com- 
pletely emancipated and set upon that sure and certain 
path along which it marched with gathering splendor 
toward the climax of the High Renaissance of the six- 
teenth centur^^ 

The great achievement of both these men, the original 
force from w^hich all other improvements followed, was 
to realize for themselves and to impress upon others the 
independent dignity of painting as an art. Hitherto it 
had been regarded as the handmaid of religion, its high- 
est function to set before the eyes of men the doctrines 
of the church. We have seen to what a condition it had 
thus been brought under Byzantine influences. Nor was 
Giotto able to do more than accept this secondary use of 
painting and then try to infuse more life into it. A 
century had to drag its length before Masaccio and 
Mantegna could say, in efl*ect: " Before everything else 
we are painters ; practisers of an art that, like sculpture, 
but much more than it, can make the external appear- 
ances of things visible to the eye. The invisible things 
of the spirit we will embody in our pictures if we can, 
but it is not with them that painting is first concerned. 
Its first duty is to develop that which belongs exclusively 
to itself. The teaching of doctrine, the telling of sacred 
stories and legends, we share with the men who use 
spoken or written words, and their power in this respect 
is fuller than ovu's ; the suggestion of beautiful thoughts 
is quite as much, and more, within the power of the mu- 
sician ; but the representation of the external appearance 
of things, and especially of humanity, the crown of 

[21] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

things, is the one point in which painting excels all other 
modes of expression. This is its special province; and 
our aim as painters must be, first and foremost, to rep- 
resent the external appearances of things. This is at 
once our peculiar province and delight." 

The joy of the painter in external things, we shall 
find, was shared at this time by thousands who were not 
painters. It was a symptom of the age. But, before 
discussing it, let us turn to the two pictures : Masaccio's 
St. Peter Baptizing the Heathen and Mantegna's 
Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, Welcoming Home from 
Rome his Son, the Cardinal Francesco. The former 
is religious in subject; but is it not clear that what 
chiefly occupied INIasaccio's mind was to represent the 
incident as it may actually have occurred, with real men 
conducting themselves as they naturally might do un- 
der the circumstances? Observe especiall}^ the young- 
man on the right with his arms crossed. In the first 
place, it is an enormous advance on Byzantinism that 
the artist, in this figure and the kneeling one, has repre- 
sented the nude. Giotto had made a tentative step in 
this direction when, in his picture of the Entombment, 
he painted the figure of Christ nude as far as the waist. 
But here the baptism justified a nude representation 
of the whole of the figure, and Masaccio made full use 
of the opportunity. Note also in each case with what 
a regard for character as well as correctness of form; 
with an intent to make the nude a vehicle of expression. 
Compare the reverential composure of the young man 
who kneels with the trembling attitude of the other who 
stands on the bank shivering and nervously waiting his 

[22] 



MASACCIO-MANTEGNA 

turn. Moreover, in each case, note the truth to nature 
represented in the pose: the shoulders, being drawn 
forward, are balanced by the bending of the knees and 
the drawing back of the body. For the present it will 
be sufficient to contrast with these nude figures the grand 
figure of St. Peter. The drapery is broadly and simply 
treated, as in Giotto's paintings, but with still greater 
ease and fluency of lines and masses that more thor- 
oughly suggest the attitude and bulk of form of the 
figure. Lastly, observe the dignity of the saint's head, 
and the character and individuality portrayed in all the 
faces. It is humanity for its own sake, as separately rep- 
resented in the individual, not the use of form for sym- 
bolical purposes, that interested Masaccio. With him 
painting became emancipated finally from Byzantinism. 
When we turn to the Mantegna, it is probably again 
the character and individuality of the heads which first 
arrest our attention. They are portraits of the marquis, 
his sons, and courtiers: not beautiful, except perhaps in 
the case of the youth in the foreground. He is already 
a prothonotary of the holy see at Rome, one of the twelve 
ecclesiastical clerks who keep a record of the pontifical 
proceedings, and is destined to be a bishop. The gravity 
of life has weighed his young face with seriousness; in 
remarkable contrast to his elder brother, the Cardinal 
Francesco. The latter is soft and fleshly, as if fond of 
easy living; we are not surprised to learn that he is a 
lover of music, a connoisseur and collector of works of 
art, a man of refined and comfortable tastes. The faces 
of these two sons are curiously reflected in the stern, 
strong, but not untender head of the old father on the 

[23] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

left, while the two little children have a strange infantile 
resemblance to the other members of the family. The 
remainder of the group consists of courtiers, men of pro- 
nounced character, shrewd and masterful. Throughout 
the whole there is a tendency toward stiff attitudes and 
liny draperies, at first sight not agreeable; but there is 
no mistaking- the reality of these people ; and we shall 
better appreciate the picture when we have discovered 
the influence that helped to form Mantegna's style. 

It was through the lessons learned from sculpture that 
painting recovered its independent force. Both Masaccio 
and Mantegna displayed their genius by making these 
lessons so completely their own that they themselves be- 
came the models for succeeding painters. Being a Flor- 
entine, JNIasaccio must have been familiar from child- 
hood with the bronze doors of the Baptistery by Andrea 
Pisano, the finest sculptural work of the fourteenth cen- 
tury in Italy; and, before he began the painting of St. 
Peter, Ghiberti had finished the first pair of his doors 
for the same Baptistery, and Donatello had executed, 
among other works, his statue of St. George. The 
last-named is remarkable for its naturalistic and at the 
same time elevated treatment of the human figure in 
the complete round, while Ghiberti's pictorial panels, 
which Michelangelo thought worthy of decorating the 
Gates of Paradise, no less naturalistic than the St. 
George, are richly elaborate compositions containing 
numerous figures — in some cases as many as a hundred 
— associated with architecture and landscape. The St. 
George is an example of the grandeur of form in 
the round; Ghiberti's work, of the illusion which can be 

[24] 






'Stf'-J 




ST. PETER BAPTIZING 



MASACCIO 



BRANCACCI CHAPEL, CHURCH OF THE CARMINE. FLORENCE 




GONZAGA WELCOMING HIS SOXS MANTEGXA 

CAMERA DEGLI SPOSI, CASTELLO DI CORTE, MANTUA 



MASACCIO-MANTEGNA 

produced by varying the elevation of the surfaces, so 
that, although nothing is in the round, everything has 
the aj)pearance of being; and also by regulating the 
direction of lines and the gradations of planes, so that 
the scene depicted seems to extend back in a distant 
perspective. 

This latter quality is conspicuous in JNIasaccio's as 
compared with earlier work. There is no longer a 
stretching of the figures across the picture in a flat band, 
almost on the same plane, with other figures placed 
above them, whose position in a further plane is only in- 
dicated by a diminution of their size; instead, a natural 
and concentrated grouping, in which the figures and 
landscape occupy in a natural way their several planes 
in the receding space. For this picture is no longer flat, 
but hollow and filled with air. Whatever Masaccio may 
have learned from the sculptors, this he gained from a 
direct study of nature. He proved himself a true painter 
by the skill with which he surrounded his figures with air 
and represented the varying eff'ects of light upon the 
difl*erent objects. And these qualities, added to his 
knowledge of the human form and his strong, sincere 
treatment of it in composition and drawing, are the se- 
crets of his greatness. 

His chief works are the frescoes in the Brancacci 
Chapel of the Church of the Carmine in Florence, of 
which this St. Peter is one: a series finished later by 
Filippino. In 1428 he .was summoned to Rome, and 
all further knowledge of " Careless Thomas" (for that 
is the meaning of his name) ceases. It was nearly fifty 
years before a worthy successor to him appeared in Flor- 

[29] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ence, and meanwhile the story shifts to Padua and to 
Mantegna. 

In 1305 Giotto had gone to that city and commenced 
the series of thirty-eight frescoes in the Chapel of the 
Arena, which are among his most famous works. But 
they bore no immediate fruit in Padua. JNIore than a 
hundred years afterward, however, one Squarcione, a 
tailor and embroiderer, began to take an interest in art. 
Having considerable means, he proceeded to make a col- 
lection of pictures; and, traveling through Italy and, 
some say, Greece, made drawings and took casts of an- 
cient marbles. Returned to Padua, he placed these on 
exhibition and opened a school of art. The most famous 
of his pupils was Andrea JNIantegna, the son of a small 
farmer. The master had thought so highly of the boy 
that he adopted him as a son, thereby securing additional 
control over his labors. His shrewdness was justified, 
for at the age of twenty-one the young man was already 
executing important work on behalf of his master. The 
latter, in time, received a commission to decorate the 
chapel of the Ovetari family in the Church of the Ere- 
mitani; and here, quite close to the garden inclosing 
Giotto's chapel, Squarcione's pupils painted a series of 
frescoes, which became to the painters of North Italy 
w^hat those by Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel were to 
Florence. 

At the commencement of this series, which was de- 
signed to represent incidents in the lives of St. Christo- 
pher and St. James, the master's best pupil was Xiccolo 
Pizzolo, whose most promising career was cut short in 
a street brawl; but before the w^ork's completion it was 

[ 30 ] 



MASACCIO-MANTEGNA 

clear that the greatest of all was Mantegna. While 
the latter was still engaged upon this work, he made the 
acquaintance of the Venetian painter Jacopo Bellini, 
who, with his two sons, later to be so famous in the annals 
of Venetian painting. Gentile and Giovanni, was then 
sojourning in Padua. The acquaintance ripened into a 
close attachment, which was cemented by Mantegna's 
marriage to Jacopo's daughter. 

His growing reputation caused him to be summoned 
to Verona, and while he was working in that city there 
came an invitation, frequently repeated, from Lodovico 
Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua. For, by this time, the 
municipal authority of the free cities, which had flour- 
ished during the fourteenth century, had been usurped 
by powerful families. 

The Communes, the Repubhcs of Italy, after their period of 
self-assertion, of glory, of intense localized energy and furious 
internecine rivalry, began to get exhausted, to decay, to become 
weaker and weaker, by degrees to disappear altogether. And 
in their place there sprang up everywhere the great princely 
houses — the Medici of Florence, the Visconti and the Sforza 
at Milan, the Este at Ferrara, the Bentivogli at Bologna, the 
Montefeltri at Urbino, the Baglioni at Perugia, the Malatesta 
at Rimini and Cesena, and the Gonzaghi at Mantua.^ 

These despots intrenched themselves in castles to over- 
awe the cities which they ruled, continually threatened 
by the outward attacks of one another, and by attempts 
at poisoning or assassination from enemies within. Yet 
they maintained magnificent courts, surrounding them- 
selves with scholars, poets, and painters. 

1 Selwyn Brinton. 

[31] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

In the strange and frightful isolation in which the Italian 
despot often lived, ever plotting himself to keep his insecure 
throne, ever watching against plots within the city and without, 
this brilliant society of dependants became his solace and his 
highest pleasure. Traverse that wonderful palace of the house 
of Este — intact, surrounded by its moat, dominating with its 
insolent pride the old city of Ferrara. Into the upper galleries 
and banquet-halls the sunlight pours. We seem to hear the mu- 
sical laughter, the rustle of the rich old cinque-cento costumes ; 
the walls are hung with paintings by Dosso Dossi or Titian — 
naked wrestlers, figures running, and the radiant deities of the 
old reawakened mythology. And below, beneath even the moat, 
lies the other side of the picture: the horrible dungeons, dark, 
noisome, shadowy, where the political conspirator, the inconve- 
nient relative, the too outspoken citizen, the suspected wife, were 
thrust, and — soon forgotten. 

Yet within some such courts this life must often have been 
very brilliant and wonderful. At Mantua the marquis had 
brought from Padua the great Greek and Latin scholar, Vit- 
torino da Feltre, to be tutor to his children. A villa was allotted 
to the household, and a system of education commenced which 
deserved the admiration and fame it soon gained. Besides 
the rich and noble youths who thronged to Vittorino, no less 
than sixty poor scholars were fed, clothed, and taught at his own 
expense. Plain living and high thinking were there the rule; 
diet and physical exercises — wrestling, fencing, swimming, rid- 
ing — were carefully considered; the highest classic authors, 
Virgil and Homer, Cicero and Demosthenes, were revered as 
the supremest masters of style. ^ 

Into this refined society of scholars and courtiers was 
Mantegna summoned, and in the service of this marquis 
and of three of his successors he remained, with the 

1 Selwyn Brinton. 

[82] 



MASACCIO-MANTEGNA 

exception of two years spent in Rome, until the end of 
his hfe. 

In the atmosphere of such a court he was completely 
at home, for here were focused into a brilliant epitome 
the great forces which, during this century, were leaven- 
ing the whole of Italy and were also at work in INIan- 
tegna himself. These were, first of all, the moral quali- 
ties of self-assertion, belief in the dignity of man and 
in the grand possibilities of life, intense earnestness 
and eager seriousness ; secondly, the mighty influence of 
the rediscovered Latin authors, and particularly of the 
Greek, the consequent admiration and worship of the 
antique, and the conviction that in it was to be found 
the key to unlock all the glorious possibilities of the 
modern life. 

Mantegna, as we have seen, had been nourished upon 
antique sculpture ; from his own standpoint as an artist, 
he was the equal of the classic scholars ; they could learn 
from him, as he from them ; he could share the effort of 
all to enlighten the present by the past. Therefore, if 
we turn again to this picture, still surviving on the wall 
of one of the rooms in the castle of Mantua, where all 
those people actually lived their proud, high-seeking, 
dignified, and, at times, terrible lives, we may be able 
perhaps to see it with truer eyes, and find it extraordi- 
narily fascinating. We shall understand that it was 
with deliberation that Mantegna made the figures of the 
marquis and his sons particularly immobile, their dra- 
peries notably stiff. By thus emphasizing the resem- 
blance of this portion of his picture to antique low-relief 
sculpture, he singled out these figures from the others 

[33] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

for particular honor. That the whole group stretches 
across the composition with a general resemblance to an 
ancient bas-relief, is a tribute to the classic ideals which 
he and all those people worshiped. But that he was also 
a student of nature may be seen in the fine perspective 
of the landscape. A still finer example of perspective 
adorns the ceiling of this same room, which he decorated 
in such a way that one seems to be looking up at the sky 
through a circular opening, as we may see it actually 
through the eye of the Pantheon's dome. Around the 
circle is a balustrade, upon which stand a peacock and 
a basket of fruit; and leaning upon it are a girl with 
jeweled head-dress and a negress, who look dow^n with 
laughing faces, while a band of winged boys play on 
the edge of the stone-work. Vasari relates w4iat admira- 
tion this excited. Nothing so daring or so scientific had 
previously been accomplished in Italy. 

The work, however, which seems to have pleased INIan- 
tegna himself best was his series of panels, painted on 
canvas, in all eighty feet long, representing the Triumph 
of Ccesar. Into this long procession he crowded the 
fruits of the study he most loved— as Vasari says: 

the perfumes, the Incense-bearers, the priests, the oxen crowned 
for sacrifice, the prisoners, the booty seized by the soldiers, the 
well-ordered squadrons, the elephants, the spoils of art, the vic- 
tories, cities, and fortresses imitated on different cars, together 
with an infinitude of trophies, helmets, corselets, and arms of all 
kinds borne aloft on spears, with ornaments, vases, and rich ves- 
sels innumerable. 

Of these paintings, marvelous exhibitions of knowledge, 
invention, and skill, INIantegna, who was most self-ex- 

[34] 



MASACCIO-MANTEGNA 

acting and severe in the judgment of himself, said: " I 
really was not ashamed of having painted them." In 
1628, two years before the sack of Mantua by the Aus- 
trians, they were sold to Charles I of England, and now 
are in Hampton Court Palace, irreparably damaged by 
"restoration." Fortunately they can still be studied in 
the magnificent series of wood-engravings made from 
them by Andrea Andreani at the close of the sixteenth 
century. Of portions also of the Triumph Mantegna 
himself made engravings upon copper. 

For this profound student of the antique, of nature, 
and of the scientific principles of drawing and painting, 
found time, in the midst of his work with the brush and 
pencil, to execute many engravings, among the most 
famous of which are an Entombment of Christ and a 
Judith with the Head of Holof ernes. The prints of 
his engravings, traveling broadcast through Europe as 
well as Italy, helped to teach others and to draw many 
students to Mantua to build up their own knowledge by 
study of the great master's paintings. 

I wish it were possible to illustrate here the two en- 
gravings mentioned above, for they throw a strong light 
upon Mantegna's genius. They prove, on the one hand 
his extraordinary intensity of feeling, on the other his 
extraordinarily dispassionate self-control, and also his 
power over line to make it express emotion. In the 
Entombment the lifeless, expressionless body of the 
Saviour is surrounded with dramatic energy : the bearers 
straining on the burden, the mourners weeping or toss- 
ing their hands in anguish, the Virgin in collapse, St. 
John standing erect with clenched hands and open 

[35] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

mouth, shrieking iii utter horror that such a thing should 
be! It is the work of a man whose imagination has been 
filled with the terribleness of suffering. Yet, when he 
draws Judith, he represents her as a beautiful ' Vestal 
virgin, a visionary, like Joan of Arc, dreamily and 
daintily passing her hand over the head of the mur- 
dered general who would have enslaved her nation. Xo 
sight of blood, nothing of sensationalism ; he himself be- 
trays no feeling, looks at the matter quite objectively, 
sees onlv in the horror of the situation a chance for most 
exquisite beauty of expressional line. 

Could you compare it with our present picture, it 
would help you to understand that the severity of the lat- 
ter was deliberate. Yet, even without the comparison, a 
study of the accompanying illustration will reveal how 
the intentional severity of the upright lines of figures, 
tree, and column has been counteracted and assuaged by 
the curving line, like a loop of links, formed by the ten- 
der figures in the group, the young ecclesiastic and the 
little children ; and, further, by the diagonal lines of the 
beautiful landscape. 

The stern old Paduan expressed the intense energy 
of his age, tempered only occasionally with the softer 
sense of beauty. 



[36] 



CHAPTER IV 



FRA ANGELICO 

1387-1455 

Italian School of Florence 



JAN VAN EYCK 

(?)-lUO (?) 
Flemish School of Bruges 



BEFORE proceeding along the path which ]Ma- 
saccio and Mantegna have struck out, we must 
pause to consider a painter who, although a con- 
temporary of theirs, belongs more to the past. He was 
the last inheritor of the Giottesque tradition, and the last 
of the painters whose work is thoroughly religious. 

I invite you to turn aside into a little quiet garden, as 
it were, secluded within cloister walls, w^here Fra An- 
gelico, painter and monk, a brother of the black-and- 
white order of the Dominicans, devoted his life to re- 
ligious paintings. Choosing, as an example of his work, 
The Annunciation, I have placed it in comparison with 
The Virgin and Donor by Jan van Eyck, who shares 
with his brother Hubert the honor of founding the 
Flemish School. 

One reason for this comparison is that we are trying 
to gain a bird's-eye view of the story of painting; not 
allowing ourselves to become absorbed in any one spot 
to the exclusion of others, but scanning the whole field 
and noting the great movements as they spring up, now^ 
here, now^ there, sometimes related to one another, some- 

[37] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

times separate, but all of them features in the general 
progress of European civilization. Surely it is interest- 
ing to realize that at the commencement of this fifteenth 
century, when Italy was waking up to its second and 
greatest activity, the Flemish also were waking up to 
art, the first among the Northern nations. Again, I 
have selected this comparison, because it was religious 
subjects that chiefly occupied the Flemish painters, and 
Fra Angelico is the most remarkable example in Italian 
art of a religious painter of religious subjects. More- 
over, he worked in a beautiful seclusion, and secluded 
also was the art of Flanders, a choice garden in the 
northern wilderness. It was an art, too, of minute per- 
fection of finish, and such was Fra Angelico's. 

There is in both these pictures a minute finish of de- 
tail which suggests — what is indeed the case — that each 
artist owed something to the miniature-painters who 
decorated with tiny scenes the pages of the manuscripts. 
But in Fra Angelico's there is a greater simplicity and, 
as the artists call it, a greater breadth of style; for this 
picture was executed when he was about fifty years old ; 
by which time he had been painting for thirty years 
and had come, as we shall see, under many influences 
that did not reach the Flemish artist. 

So let us begin by studying the latter's picture. It 
was painted for presentation to a church, and the por- 
trait of the donor, the Canon Roslin, was introduced. 
This was a common practice in the Renaissance days. 
The picture was intended to serve the double purpose of 
being " to the glory of God and in memory of the 
donor." Clad in a dark robe brocaded with flower-forms 

■ [ 38 ] 



FRA ANGELICO-VAN EYCK 

of a bronze hue that catch the light, now richly, now 
delicately, like the body and wings of a May-bug, the 
canon is kneeling in an attitude of prayer, but gazes 
upon the Virgin with a piercing look of scrutiny. In 
this strong face we feel sure that the artist has painted 
an extraordinarily faithful portrait; and from the fact 
that the expression of the face does not correspond with 
the humble and devout gesture of the hands, we learn 
that although Van Eyck painted religious pictures, he 
was not a religious painter in the way that Fra Angelico 
was. 

Note also the greater elaboration of Van Eyck's pic- 
ture. After he had secured a dignified composition, in 
which the principal figures should count as large and 
handsome spots and the background be broken up by 
contrast into a more complicated fretwork of decoration, 
he then set himself to carry each separate part to the 
finest possible degree of accurate and perfect workman- 
ship. Here appears the Flemish spirit, with its patient, 
tireless pursuit of minute beauty, such as produced a 
nation of craftsmen, skilled in illumination, in miniature- 
painting, in jewelry and the working of gold and silver, 
in embroidery and the making of tapestries and stained- 
glass windows. But Jan van Eyck and his elder brother 
Hubert, although they had this love of minute perfec- 
tion, had also large ideas, and never allowed the little 
details to detract from the grand general significance of 
the whole work. 

We may examine, for example, the figure of the 
Christ; it is painted with the precise daintiness of a min- 
iature and is very baby-like, yet it has also remarkable 

[39] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

character, an air of seriousness, as if it were conscious 
of being more than its httle form would indicate. The 
Virgin's robe is crimson; her face is not beautiful, being 
of the heavy, wholesome, practical type of the women 
of the country; but she has a wealth of golden hair, 
painted with wonderful realism, and over it a little angel 
holds a golden crown of exquisite workmanship deco- 
rated with pearls. Or you may study with interest the 
patterning of the marble floor; the elegant arcade of 
arches and columns, with the glimpse of a leaded win- 
dow on each side ; or the little garden beyond, where lilies 
are growing in the borders, magpies strut on the paths, 
peacocks sun themselves upon the balustrades, and two 
little boys are looking out over the distant landscape. 
Here is a far-stretching scene in miniature: level coun- 
try, characteristically Flemish, threaded by a river over 
which is a bridge connecting the town on the one bank 
with that on the other. People are passing over the 
bridge, or crossing the water in boats, or walking the 
streets, with an appearance of reality, although their 
stature is almost microscopic. Indeed, there is a great 
deal in the picture that it is impossible to discover in the 
black-and-white reproduction, which also gives little idea 
of the textures — that is to say, of the rendering of the 
different surfaces of marble, fabric, flesh, or metal and 
the rest, each according to its special quality — and none 
of the rich, full, firm coloring, brilliant as agate or 
precious stones. 

This wonderful color is another reason of the fame of 
the Van Evcks. Artists came from Italv to studv their 
pictures, to discover what they themselves must do in 

[40] 




o 

I— H 

O 






o 



o 



z 

<: 

o 
>^ 



C/2 

< 

O 






D 

y. 

< 

X 




YIRGIX AND DONOR 



JAN VAN EYCK 



LOUVRE, PARIS 



FRA ANGELICO-VAN EYCK 

order to paint so well, with such brilliance, such full and 
firm effect, as these two brothers. For the latter had 
found out the secret of working successfully with oil- 
colors. Before their day attempts had been made to mix 
colors in the medium of oil, but the oil was slow in 
drying, and the varnish added to remedy this had 
blackened the colors. The Van Eycks, however, had hit 
upon a transparent varnish which dried quickly and 
without injury to the tints. Though they guarded the 
secret jealously, it was discovered by the Italian Anto- 
nello da Messina, who was working in Bruges, and by 
him published to the world. The invention made pos- 
sible the enormous development in the art of painting 
which ensued. 

Little is known of the two brothers ; even the dates of 
their birth being uncertain. Their most famous work, 
begun by Hubert and finished by Jan, is the altarpiece. 
The Adoration of the Lamh, Jan, as perhaps also 
Hubert, was for a time in the service of Philip the Good, 
Duke of Burgundy. He was entered in the household 
as " varlet and painter "; but acted at the same time as 
confidential friend, and for his services received an an- 
nual salary of one hundred livres (almost twenty-five 
dollars) , two horses for his use, and a " varlet in livery " 
to attend on him. The greater part of his life was spent 
in Bruges. 

In these two brothers the grand art of Flanders was 
born in a day. Like " the sudden flowering of the aloe, 
after sleeping through a century of suns," this art, 
rooted in the native soil, nurtured by the smaller arts of 
craftsmanship, reached its full ripeness, and expanded 

[ 45 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

into blossom. Such further development as it experi- 
enced, we shall find, came from Italian influence ; but the 
distinctly Flemish art, born out of local conditions in 
Flanders, was already full grown. The great French 
painter and critic, Fromentin, says of it: "Imagine a 
collection of the creations of the goldsmiths, executed in 
paint, in which one feels the handiwork of the enameler, 
the glass-worker, the graver, and the illuminator. Its 
sentiment is grave, for it is inspired by the sentiment of 
the monasteries ; but it is under the patronage of princes, 
and its general character is resplendent." 

And now let us turn back to Fra Angelico. Little is 
known of his early life except that he was born at Vic- 
chio, in the broad fertile valley of the JNIugello, not far 
from Florence, that his name was Guido, and that 
he passed his youth in Florence, probably in some hot- 
tegha, for at twenty he was recognized as a painter. 
But he had already come under the influence of the 
great preacher and scholar, Giovanni Dominici, who 
traveled up and down the length and breadth of Italy, 
exhorting all men to a holier life and founding the order 
of Dominican monks. At the door of their convent on 
the slopes of Fiesole, just above Florence, Guido and 
his brother Benedetto, an illuminator, sought admit- 
tance. They were welcomed by the monks, and, after 
a year's novitiate, admitted to the brotherhood, Guido 
taking the name by which he was known in after life, 
Fra Giovanni da Fiesole; for the title of "Angelico," 
the " Angel," or " II Beato," " The Blessed," was con- 
ferred on him after his death. 

Henceforth he became an example of two personali- 

[46] 



FRA ANGELICO-VAN EYCK 

ft 

ties in one man: he was all in all a painter, all in all a 
devout monk; his subjects were ever religious ones and 
represented in a deeply religious spirit, yet his devotion 
as a monk was no greater than his absorption as an ar- 
tist. Consequently, though his life w^as secluded within 
the walls of the monastery, he kept in touch with the art 
movements of his time and continually developed as a 
painter. His early work shows that he had learned of 
the illuminators who inherited the Byzantine traditions, 
and had been affected by the simple religious feeling of 
Giotto's work. Then he began to learn of that brilliant 
band of sculptors and architects who were enriching 
Florence by their genius. Ghiberti was executing his 
pictures in bronze upon the doors of the Baptistery; 
Donatello, his famous statue of St. George and the 
dancing children around the organ-gallery in the Cathe- 
dral; and Luca della Robbia also was at work upon his 
frieze of children, singing, dancing, and playing upon 
instruments. Moreover, Masaccio had revealed the dig- 
nity of form in painting. Through these artists the 
beauty of the human form and of its life and movement 
was being manifested to the Florentines and to the 
other cities, whither their fame spread. 

Among the rest, Angelico catches the enthusiasm and 
gives increasing reality of life and movement to his fig- 
ures. Furthermore, from the convent garden he could 
see the marvelous dome, designed by Brunelleschi, stead- 
ily rising above the Cathedral. What wonder that his 
imagination was fired and that he became, like other cul- 
tivated men of the day, an earnest student of architec- 
ture! At length, in the summer of 1435, the brethren 

[47] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

moved into Florence and took up their abode in the mon- 
astery of San INIarco. The original house was being 
added to, at the expense of Duke Cosimo de' Medici, by 
his favorite architect, JMichelozzo. Can you not im- 
agine with what joy Angelico must have watched the 
work, moved alike by the devout pride of a brother in 
his order and by an artist's sympathy with beauty? For 
he was to decorate the refectory and the corridors and 
cells; and close indeed must have been the bond between 
the painter and the architect. 

If you turn again to the Annunciation that he 
painted later on the wall of the upj^er corridor, you will 
see how large a part the architecture plays in the com- 
position of the picture. 

The arcaded loggia is clearly inspired by the one 
down-stairs in the courtyard, and the two Ionic columns 
are careful copies of those which JNIichelozzo had just 
completed. Moreover, the vaulted ceilings, the round 
arch and slender columns with an adaptation of the Co- 
rinthian capital, are all characteristic of the elegant dig- 
nity of the arcades which this architect and Brunelleschi 
were introducing into the interior courts of their build- 
ings, while leaving the outside grave and often stern 
and massive, like a fortress. 

And from this we may glean two points of interest: 
first, how the different kinds of artists of this period 
learned from one another, working together in a newly 
awakened enthvisiasm for beauty; and, secondly, that 
Angelico himself, by contact with these outside influ- 
ences, had broadened and strengthened his own style. 
He was now about fifty years old, and this picture, rep- 

[48] 



FRA ANGELICO-VAN EYCK 

resenting his maturity, is far in advance of the earher 
ones. They were apt to be crowded with figures and 
decorative details. This one is so open and spacious, 
freely letting in the quiet warmth of the twilight; and so 
simple in general plan and therefore decorative in a big 
way. Instead of a multiplicity of objects counteracting 
the effect of one another, a few leading features are en- 
forced by repetition: the curved lines of the arches and 
ceilings, for example, and the upright ones of the col- 
umns and fence. And, in addition to the interlaced pat- 
tern formed bv the contrast of these two sorts of lines, 
there is the massed contrast of the garden, interspersed 
as it is with little features, and of the broad, plain sur- 
faces of the masonry, enlivened only by a few choicely 
selected details. 

How this arrangement of beautiful simplicity, so ele- 
vated in its general design, so tender in its parts, accords 
with the character of the two figures and with the scene 
they are enacting ! In the cool of the evening Mary has 
been surprised by God's messenger, Gabriel. He has 
but this moment alighted; his wings still glisten with 
the iridescence of the sky, and his body thrills yet with 
the rapidity of his flight, as he drops on one knee with 
bowed head and folded hands in adoration of her who is 
to be the mother of the Saviour. And at this apparition, 
flashing so suddenly across the quiet tenor of her days, 
Mary's face is troubled ; but, as she barkens to the divine 
message, she too bows her head and folds her arms in 
adoration and in meek acceptance. " And Mary said. 
Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me ac- 
cording to thy word." 

[49] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Fitly corresponding to the sentiment of the occasion 
is the tender purity of the color-scheme. The angel's 
robe is pale rose-color edged with gold ; Madonna's robe 
is a paler pink, and her mantle deep blue ; while, beyond 
the whiteness of the architecture, the grass is starred 
with daisies, and above the fence peep clusters of roses 
backed by dark-green cypresses. 

And fitly corresponding too is the habitation of the 
picture. You pass out of the traffic of the streets into 
the quiet retreat of Michelozzo's court, some afternoon, 
perhaps, when the sloping sun plays lovingly over a few 
of the arches and columns, while the rest are drowsing 
in various gradations of shadow. A door in the cloisters 
leads into the chapter-house, adorned with Fra Angel- 
ico's Crucijiocion; a second opens into the refectory, 
where the brethren took their meals in presence of an- 
other of their brother's pictures; and when you have 
mounted the stairs you pass along the corridor, out of 
which open the little private cells, where the black-and- 
white-habited monks worked and slept and meditated: 
in one of them Fra Bartolommeo — after Angelico's 
time, but, like him, a painter — and in another Savona- 
rola, a later prior of the order, who stirred Florence to 
the depths by his denunciations of sin, and was hanged 
by his enemies, his body being burned and its ashes 
thrown into the Arno. You pass along beside the cells, 
each with its little window and its sacred painting on the 
wall done by Angelico, until at the end of the corridor 
you come face to face with this Annunciation. 

Stilled is the busy life of the place, the monks are 
gone, their habitation now a show-place trod by the steps 

[50] 



FRA ANGELICO-VAN EYCK 

of visitors from all parts of the world. But the spirit of 
peace and piety still haunts the spot and finds its sweet- 
est expression in this picture. 

Compared with it, Van Eyck's The Virgin and Donor 
is mundane, of the world, worldly; it is the work of a 
great painter luxuriating in the opportunities which 
the sacred subject offered. Fra Angelico was no less 
ardent a painter, but his painting was saturated with' 
the feeling also of devout religion. In the complete 
union of the artist and the devotee he stands alone in 
the history of painting. His gentle art and life repre- 
sent, as I have said, a quiet back-water, secluded from 
the river of achievement that was gathering force and 
about to plunge on in full might through the fifteenth 
century. 



[51] 



CHAPTER V 



ALESSANDRO BOTTICELLI 

1446-1510 

Italian School of Florence 



HANS MEM LING 

.1425(?)-1495(?) 

Flemish School of Bruges 



WE have seen that the revival of painting be- 
gan with the study of the appearances of 
objects and an attempt to represent them 
as real to the senses of sight and touch ; that the painters 
learned from the sculptors, who themselves had learned 
from the remains of antique sculpture; and that the re- 
sult was a closer truth to nature, in the representation 
both of the human form and of its movement. We have 
also seen how in Flanders Jan van Eyck developed a 
grand school of painting out of the national skill of 
craftsmanship in the minor arts of decoration, — gold- 
smith's work, stained glass, embroidery, tapestry, and 
the like, — and that to the truth of natural form he added 
also a true appearance of textures. Further, we have 
seen how in Fra Angelico appeared the most perfect 
flower of that old religious feeling which for centuries 
had been a light in the darkness of the world. 

We have now to consider the effect produced upon 
painting by the revival of the study of Greek, which re- 
vealed to Italy of the fifteenth century a new light, in 
the joy of which the older light was dimmed. Botticelli 
typifies this new inspiration. I have coupled with him 

[52] 



BOTTICELLI-MEMLING 

the Flemish painter Memling, in order to continue our 
study of the Flemish School, and also because both these 
artists, though thej^ worked apart and under very differ- 
ent conditions, had one quality in common. A certain 
naivete of mind appears in each, an unaffected sim- 
plicity, frank and artless, fresh and tender like the child- 
mind or the opening buds of spring flowers. In Mem- 
ling's case it is tinctured with gentle sentiment; in that 
of Botticelli, with a wistful yearning toward the light of 
old Hellas which was just beginning to dawn on the 
world of his time. 

If you visit the Campo Santo at Pisa, you will see 
some frescoes which were painted in the fourteenth cen- 
tury, perhaps by Orcagna, or, as others think, by the 
brothers Lorenzetti. Their subjects are, TJie Triumph 
of Death, The Judgment, and Hell. They' are terri- 
ble in their tragic intensity. A party of ladies and 
knights are going a-hawking ; but their horses start back, 
sniffing at three open coffins in which half-decayed 
corpses are lying. For one of those awful plagues which 
periodically devastated Europe is stalking through the 
land. In another part of the picture appears a throng 
of youths and maidens dancing in a rose-garden, 
whom Death is mowing down with a scythe; elsewhere 
wretched creatures, mutilated by torture, are imploring 
Death in vain to ease them of their anguish; good and 
evil spirits struggle for the souls of men ; and apart from 
these grisly horrors are hermits, living their lives of ab- 
negation with the birds and beasts among the rocks. 

These frescoes depict with horrible directness the dark 
turmoil of soul and body in the middle ages; the cruelty 

[53] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of man to man ; the ever-present dread specter of death ; 
the judgment of God, inexorable, inevitable; the soli- 
tude of the monkish life, as the only refuge from a 
sinful and doomed world; lurid fire, and blackness 
hanging like a thick pall above it, and no escape ex- 
cept in the renunciation of the world and of the joy of 
living. 

But a glimmer of light was trembling on the horizon. 
The possibility of beauty in the living of this life was 
beginning to swallow up the horror of death; the soul 
of man, so long pent up and imprisoned in savage dark- 
ness, had been suddenly liberated; for what is called 
" The New Learning " had unlocked the dungeons of 
thought. 

The newness consisted in two things: first, that the 
learning concerned itself with new subjects; secondly, 
that the knowledge of Greek was recovered by the west- 
ern world. 

Dante's poems were the swan-song of the middle ages. 
Seventeen years before his death, Petrarch was born; 
nine years later Boccaccio; and the poetry of both and 
the stories of the latter are the evangel of the modern 
world. Instead of speculating on the mysteries that lie 
beyond the grave, their theme is the present life and liv- 
ing humanity. 

INIoreover, both of them were inflamed with a longing 
to know all that was to be known of the older classic 
authors of Italy, and of the Greek classics upon which 
the Roman were founded. They ransacked Italy for 
manuscripts, and procured from a certain Leontius Pi- 
latus, a native of Greece, a rude translation of Homer 

[54] 



BOTTICELLI-MEMLING 

into Latin ; for with the Greek tongue itself they had no 
acquaintance. 

The introduction of this into ItaHan culture dates 
from 1396, when JNIanuel Chrysoloras, a Byzantine 
scholar, was appointed professor of Greek at Florence. 
From him and from his pupils the knowledge of Greek 
literature spread rapidly over Italy, accompanied by an 
extraordinary enthusiasm for the antique: for Roman 
and Greek art, and for Greek thought and Greek ideals. 
Hence the artist's devotion to the beauty of the human 
form, the scholar's admiration of Plato's philosophy. 
Artists and scholars thronged the court of Duke Lo- 
renzo de' Medici — Lorenzo the Magnificent, patron of 
arts and letters; and among the brilliant throng none 
was more highly honored than Sandro Botticelli. 

He was the son of a citizen in comfortable circum- 
stances, and had been " instructed in all such things as 
children are usually taught before they choose a calling." 
But he refused to give his attention to reading, writing, 
and accounts, continues Vasari, so that his father, de- 
spairing of his ever becoming a scholar, apprenticed him 
to the goldsmith Botticello: whence the name by which 
the world remembers him. In those days, as we have 
noted before, men were masters of more than one craft. 
Among Sandro's contemporaries, for instance, Polla- 
juolo was painter as well as goldsmith, and Verrocchio 
goldsmith, painter, and sculptor. Botticello's Sandro, a 
stubborn-featured youth with large, quietly searching 
eves and a shock of yellow hair,— he has left a portrait 
of himself on the right-hand side of his picture of the 
Adoration of the Magi,— would also fain become a 

^ [55] 



*HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

painter, and to that end was placed with the Carmehte 
monk Fra Lippo Lippi. 

Read for yourself Browning's poern " Fra Lippo 
Lippi," and discover the friar's discontent at being 
obliged to represent religious subjects according to the 
conventions prescribed by his patron, the church. For 
he was a realist, as the artists of his day had become, satis- 
fied with the joy and skill of painting, and with the ac- 
tual study of the beauty and character of the human 
subject. Sandro made rapid progress, loved his master, 
and later on extended his love to his master's son, Filip- 
pino Lippi, and taught him to paint. But the master's 
realism scarcely touched him, for Sandro was a dreamer 
and a poet. 

You will feel this, if you refer to the two pictures 
and compare his Madonna Enthroned with Memling's. 
The latter's is much more realistic. It is true that it does 
not, as a whole, represent a real scene, for the Virgin's 
throne with its embroidered hanging or dossal, the can- 
opy or baldachin above it, and the richly decorated arch 
which frames it in, are not what you would expect to 
see set up in a landscape. These are the conventional 
features, repeated with variations in so many Madonna 
pictures intended for altarpieces. But how very real 
are the two peeps of landscape, drawn, we may feel sure, 
from nature : a great man's castle and a water-mill, two 
widely separated phases of life, suggesting, perhaps, 
that the Christ came to save rich and poor alike. This 
would be a touch of symbolism ; another may appear in 
the introduction of the apple, intended to remind us of 
the circumstances of the fall of man, which the Saviour 

[56] 




MADOXXA EXTHKOXED 



ALESSAXDKO BOTTICELLI 



BERLIN GALLERY 




VIRGIN ENTHRONED 



HANS MEMLING 



UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE 



BOTTICELLI-MEMLING 

came into the world to redress. But JNIemling was satis- 
fied merely to suggest the symbolism; and then devoted 
himself to rendering with characteristic naivete a little 
scene of realism. The angel on the left is simply an 
older child, playfully attracting the baby's attention 
with an apple; the Christ is simply a baby attracted 
by the colored, shining object; and the pretty scene is 
watched intently by the other angel. On the Madonna's 
face, however, is an abstracted expression, as if her 
thoughts were far away ; and indeed they are, yet not in 
pursuit of any mystical dream, but following that quiet, 
happy pathway along which a young mother's thoughts 
will roam. She is, in fact, only a girl-mother whom the 
artist has surprised, while she sits, unconscious of every- 
thing around her, wrapped up in the inward peace and 
joy of motherhood. 

So we find in Memling's picture, despite the religious 
conception of its arrangement, a preoccupation with the 
natural appearances of persons and things, a close study 
of the way in which facts present themselves to the eye. 
This is apparent equally in the landscape, in the carved 
and embroidered ornament, in the character of the fig- 
ures, and in the little story which they are enacting. As 
I have said, the spirit of the picture is realistic. 

But turn to Botticelli's. Here the spirit is allegorical. 
He was fond of allegorical subjects, especially of 
mythological ones treated in a vein of allegory. His 
Birth of Venus and Allegory of Sj^ring are the most 
famous examples. In the present case the subject 
is religious, but we may doubt if the Bible version of the 
story was in the artist's mind. He was commissioned 

[61] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

to paint a JVIadonna and Child with attendant angels, 
and, poet and dreamer that he was, took the familiar 
theme and made it the framework of an imagery of 
his own. This imagery, it may be fairly safe to believe, 
had less to do with the old Gospel story than with the 
later gospel of the New Learning. In the figure of the 
Child- Christ there is a grave dignity, an assertion of 
authority; and not improbably the artist meant it to be 
symbolic of the wonderful new birth of classic culture. 
The only gesture of infancy is in the left arm and in the 
hand groping for the mother's breast. And she has the 
same kind of face, bowed in timid meekness, very sad in 
expression, which Botticelli gave to his Venus. JNIother 
of love, mother of God, — he blends the Christian and 
the pagan worship to represent the mother of the "De- 
sire of all nations." The cult of the Virgin, partly at 
least, had grown out of the ancient cult of Venus; and 
Botticelli, working in an age that was looking back to 
the classic past and trying to adjust the present to it, 
felt in INIadonna and in Venus the twin expressions of a 
single sentiment — worship of the highest beauty in the 
person of woman. But beauty of face, as some may 
think, he does not give to his queen of love ; she is meek 
and timid, as I have said, oppressed with gentle sadness ; 
too frail as yet for a world still full of violence and con- 
fusion; sadly conscious that she is not yet at home in her 
new habitation. And in the faces of the angels also, the 
young, fair creatures that stand around the throne, there 
is a similar expression of wistful and unsatisfied yearn- 
ing. It was so that Botticelli's own spirit peered 
through the still lingering darkness of the medieval 

[62] 



BOTTICELLI-MEMLING 

times toward that light from Hellas which was begin- 
ning to dawn, but of which he himself never expected 
to see the noonday. Hence the strain of sadness in all 
his pictures; they have the note of infinite but ineffec- 
tual desire. So, when we understand this, we forget 
the homeliness of many of his faces, and find in them a 
spiritual significance w^hich, we learn to feel, is a very 
touching and beautiful expression of the artist's own 
mind, of his particular way of looking at the world of 
his own time. 

He looked at it as a poet, moved alike by the love of 
beauty and by the beauty of love ; and out of the world's 
realities he fashioned himself dreams, and these he pic- 
tured. So his pictures, as I have said, are not records of 
fact, treated with a very pleasing fancifulness and rev- 
erence, as in this Madonna of Memling's; but visions, 
the beauty of which is rather spiritual than material. 
He tried, as it were, to paint not only the flower, but also 
its fragrance; and it was the fragrance that to him 
seemed the more precious quality. 

So now, perhaps, we can begin to understand the dif- 
ference between his technic — that is to say, his manner 
of setting down in paint what he desired to express — 
and Memling's. The latter, serene and happy, had all 
a child's delight in the appearances of things, attracted 
by them as the infant in this picture is attracted by the 
apple, and offering them to us with the same winning 
grace and certainty that they will please as the angel 
in the picture exhibits. So it is the facts, obvious to the 
senses of touch and sight, that he presents, with a loving, 
tender care to make them as obvious to us as possible, 

[6.3] _ 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

elaborating even the smallest parts. You have examined 
the beautiful workmanship in the ornamentation of the 
arch and in the garlands suspended by the charming lit- 
tle baby forms; but have you observed the tiny figures 
in the landscape? The castle drawbridge is down, and 
a lady on horseback passes over it, following a gentle- 
man who may be riding forth to hunt, since a greyhound 
courses along behind him. From the mill is issuing a 
man with a sack of flour on his shoulders, which he will 
set upon the back of the donkey that waits patiently 
before the door ; while a little way along the road stands 
a dog, all alert and impatient to start. These incidents 
illustrate ^lemling's fondness for detail and elaboration 
of finish, and his delight in the representation of facts 
as facts: traits which were characteristic of this early 
Flemish School. But observe that these minutely fin- 
ished distant details illustrate also the naivete of Mem- 
ling. From where he stood to j^aint the foreground 
group, the figures in the background would appear sim- 
j)ly as little spots of color. He did not paint the facts 
as they appeared to his eye, but as in fiis mind he knew 
them to be — the child's way of drawing. 

By comparison with JNIemling, Botticelli is a painter 
not of facts, but of ideas; and his pictures are not so 
much a representation of certain objects as a pattern of 
forms. Nor is his coloring rich and lifelike, as ]Mem- 
ling's: it is subordinated to form, and often rather a 
tinting than actual color. In fact, he is interested in the 
abstract possibilities of his art rather than in the con- 
crete. For example, his compositions, as has just been 
said, are a pattern of forms; his figures do not actually 

[64] 



BOTTICELLI-MEMLING 

occupy well-defined places in a well-defined area of 
space ; they do not attract us by their suggestion of bulk, 
but as shapes of form, suggesting rather a flat pattern 
of decoration. Accordingly the lines which inclose the 
figures are chosen with the primary intention of being 
decorative. You will appreciate this if you will turn to 
the two pictures and compare the draperies of the angels. 
Those of Memling are commonplace in their prosy re- 
alism, compared with the fluttering grace of Botticelli's. 
But there is more in this flutter of draperies than mere 
beauty of line: it expresses a lively and graceful move- 
ment. These angels have alighted like birds, their gar- 
ments still buoyed up with air and agitated by their 
speed of flight; each body being animated with its in- 
dividual grace of movement. Compared with the spon- 
taneousness and freedom of these figures, those of Mem- 
ling seem heavy, stock-still, and posed for effect. 

Now, therefore, you are in a position to appreciate the 
force of the remark that Botticelli, " though one of the 
worst anatomists, was one of the greatest draughtsmen 
of the Renaissance." As an example of false anatomy 
you may notice the impossible way in which the Ma- 
donna's head is attached to the neck, and other instances 
of faulty articulation and of incorrect form of limbs 
may be found in Botticelli's pictures. Yet he is recog- 
nized as one of the greatest draftsmen, because he gave 
to " line " not only intrinsic beauty but significance; that 
is to say, in mathematical language, he resolved the 
movement of the figure into its factors, its simplest 
forms of expression, and then combined these various 
forms into a pattern which, by its rhythmical and harmo- 

[65] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

nious lines, produces an effect upon our imagination, cor- 
responding to the sentiments of grave and tender poetry 
that filled the artist himself. 

This power of making every line count both in signifi- 
cance and beauty distinguishes the great master-drafts- 
men from the vast majority of artists who use line 
mainly as a necessary means of representing concrete 
objects. To distinguish it from the latter use we may 
call it the abstr^act use of line. 

Yet, although unique, Botticelli's art was but a link in 
the gradual development of Italian painting; whereas 
Memling's, like the Van Eycks', represented a growth 
complete in itself. Little is known of INIemling's life. 
It is surmised that he was a German by descent and born 
in Mavence; but the definite fact of his life is that he 
painted at Bruges, sharing with the Van Eycks, who 
had also worked in that city, the honor of being the lead- 
ing artists of the so-called " School of Bruges." He 
carried on their method of painting, and added to it a 
quality of gentle sentiment. In his case, as in theirs, the 
Flemish art, founded upon local conditions and em- 
bodying purely local ideals, reached its fullest expres- 
sion. 

His contemporary, Rogier van der Weyden, who 
worked in Brussels and was the chief exponent of what 
is called the " School of Brabant," represented rehgious 
subjects with dramatic and emotional intensity; but his 
color was pale and thin, and his drawing angular and 
often extravagant in gesture. The sentiment of his pic- 
tures is Gothic: a term which sums up in a general way 
the religious feeling of the Northern races, more gloomy, 

[66] 



BOTTICELLI-MEMLING 

intense, and painful than the Christianity of the South ; 
producing the solemn, mysterious, intricate grandeur of 
the Gothic cathedral instead of the simpler, sunnier, 
and more elegant form of church built in the Roman- 
esque style, which was a mingling of the Roman and the 
Bvzantine methods of construction. 

We shall have to say more about the Gothic feeling 
when we come to the consideration of the early German 
painting. Meanwhile the thing to note is that the Van 
Eycks and JNIemling, though living in an age that was 
influenced by this Gothic intensity, worked in an atmo- 
sphere of quiet and sunniness, cultivating, as it were, a 
little garden stocked with the simple flowers native to 
their country, and bringing it to perfection of develop- 
ment ; so that this Flemish painting of the fifteenth cen- 
tury represents a little separate chapter in the history of 
art. At the beginning of the following century stands 
out the name of Quentin JNIassj^s (1460-1530), but his 
work has already ceased to be distinctively Flemish, and 
shows the influence of Italy. For as commercial rela- 
tions increased between the two countries, the artists of 
Flanders lost their national characteristics and became 
imitators, at a very great distance, of the Italian mas- 
ters. As we are treating in this little book only of the 
vital periods and phases of art, the art of Flanders will 
disappear from our horizon for nearly a hundred years, 
to reappear in colossal shape, in the person of Rubens, 
at the beginning of the seventeenth century. 

Italy's yearning toward the antique, to which Botti- 
celli gave expression, we shall find satisfied in the work 
of Giovanni Bellini^ and of Raphael. 

[67] 



CHAPTER VI 

PIETRO VANNUCCI (called PERUGINO) GIOVANNI BELLINI 

1446-15^4 1428 (?)-15ie 

Italian School of Umbr'ia Italian School of Venice 

AT the end of the previous chapter we touched on 
/% the Gothic intensity which characterized the art 
^ Jl of the North, in the midst of which the Flemish 
art of the fifteenth century, that culminated in the Van 
Eycks and JNIemling, was like an oasis of repose and 
rich pleasantness. For these artists escaped the rigor- 
ous influences around them, chiefly throvigh their pure 
delight in the actual presentation of objects, which made 
them first and chiefly painters, and only in a secondary 
way interpreters of the Christian dogma and religious 
zeal. 

You will remember that a similar painter-like love of 
presentation distinguished the contemporaries of Botti- 
celli in Florence, and we spoke of them as realists, while 
Botticelli, as we noticed, was a poet and a dreamer. The 
two artists who now demand our attention, Perugino 
and Giovanni Bellini, were also conteraporaries of Bot- 
ticelli; and in them too the painter-like point of view 
was pronounced, but tempered with— perhaps we should 
rather say, subordinated to— a very high purpose of 
sentiment. 

They were among the first artists in Italy to perfect 

[68] 



PERUGINO-BELLINI 

the use of the oil medium, the secret of which had been 
discovered from the Van Eycks and brought into Italy 
by Antonello da Messina. It permitted a fullness and 
richness of color and a fusing of all the colors into an 
atmosphere of golden warmth— qualities that corre- 
sponded with the sentiments that each of them desired 
to express. 

Let us try to understand the sentiment which is ex- 
hibited in these pictures. Perugino's is different to 
Bellini's, and yet both have something in common. In 
each of these two triptychs you will feel the presence of 
a wonderful calm. It has been said of Perugino that he 
is the painter " of solitude; of the isolated soul, alone, 
unaffected by any other, unlinked in any work, or feel- 
ing, or suffering with any other soul — nay, even with 
any physical thing." You will realize the truth of this, 
I think, if you study the Pavia altarpiece. Not only 
in the expression of each face, but also in the gesture 
and carriage of the body, there is an absolute uncon- 
sciousness of surroundings, a complete absorption in 
some inward spiritual ecstasy. The archangel ^lichael, 
the Virgin, and the archangel Raphael, who holds the 
young Tobit by the hand, are beings without sin or sor- 
row or even joy; filled with the " peace that passeth un- 
derstanding," that peace which comes of complete de- 
tachment from the world and of rapt communion with 
God. Xor is the type of the male figures masculine — it 
is said that Perugino's wife was the model for Raphael. 
Yet the pose of the Michael is not that of a woman; 
indeed, it would seem as if the artist's intention was to 
create a being who should be without thought or sugges- 

• [69] ' 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

tion of sex; the embodiment, with as httle bodily hin- 
drance as possible, of a soul engaged in the beatitude of 
contemplation. His figures, then, do not represent Vir- 
gin, saints, and angels as such, but as personifications 
of intense soul-rapture. They are the souls and soul- 
saturated bodies which Perugino saw around him. For 
in the dying years of the fifteenth century Italy was 
torn with factions, a prey to sack and massacre at the 
hands of licentious bands of soldiers. Perugia itself, the 
little town on the hills of Umbria, where Perugino 
worked, was governed by treacherous and ferocious 
captains ; its dark and precij^itous streets were filled with 
broil and bloodshed, and its palaces with evil living. Yet 
it was one of the most pious cities in all Italy. JNIen and 
women sought refuge from the horrors of actual life in 
strange spiritual solitude, in life removed from all ac- 
tivities, steeped in devotion, passively contemplating a 
f ar-oif ideal of purity and loveliness. 

This was a very different thing from the active re- 
ligious feeling of Fra Angelico : simple and childlike in 
its sunny faith; a product, as it were, of the open day- 
light; the lovable expression of a man who, as we have 
seen, entered humbly and intelligently into the activities 
around him. Yet Perugino's art, like Fra Angelico's, 
had its roots in the old Byzantine tradition of painting. 
You remember that the latter had departed farther and 
farther from any actual representation of the human 
form, until it became merely a symbol of religious ideas. 
Perugino, working under the influence of his time, re- 
stored body and substance to the figures, but still made 
them, as of old, primarily the symbols of an ideal. In 

[ 70 ] ^ 



PERUGINO-BELLINI 

him the Byzantine inspiration, so far as it was an expres- 
sion of rehgion, reached its highest point of develop- 
ment. 

It also reached a final development in Giovanni Bel- 
lini, though in another direction. This artist was the 
son of Jacopo Bellini, a Venetian painter, who, however, 
was settled in Padua during the time that Giovanni and 
his elder brother. Gentile, were in the period of student- 
ship. Here, as we have seen, they came under the in- 
fluence of Mantegna, who was also bound to them by 
the ties of relationship, since he married their sister. To 
his brother-in-law Bellini owed much of his knowledge 
of classical architecture and perspective, and his broad 
and sculptural treatment of draperies. Moreover, dur- 
ing these years Verrocchio was working on his equestrian 
statue of Bartolommeo Colleoni, " the most magnificent 
equestrian statue of all time";^ and Giovanni's father 
had been a pupil of JNIantegna's master, Squarcione, 
with opportunities of studying the remains of antique 
sculpture that he had collected. So sculpture and the 
love of the antique played a large part in Giovanni's 
early impressions, and left their mark in the stately dig- 
nity of his later style. This developed slowly; indeed, 
during his long life of eighty-eight years he was con- 
tinually developing; and the masterpiece, reproduced 
here, was executed when he was about sixty years old 
and Titian was one of his pupils. 

The calm which pervades this picture is of a different 
kind from that which appears in Perugino's. Its sug- 
gestion is of stateliness, of the nobility of grand types of 

1 Dr. Bode 

[71] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

humanity. These figures have the ample quietude of 
strength in repose that belongs to those of Phidias upon 
the pediments of the Parthenon. Bellini, of course, 
knew nothing of these; bvit his study of such antique 
sculpture as had come within his observation, influ- 
enced by his own particular bent of mind, led him to 
a point of view very similar to that of the great Athe- 
nian. The latter's purpose had been to represent, not 
individuals, but types of humanity, ideally perfect, god- 
like beings, whose mental and physical powers were 
in complete poise. Hence his work is distinguished by 
grandeur of mass rather than by finish of detail. The 
successors of Phidias, on the other hand, showed an 
increasing tendency to individualize their figures by 
making them expressive of sentiment and emotion. A 
similar difference distinguishes Bellini from his suc- 
cessors in the Venetian School. 

He is ranked as the greatest of the Venetian School 
of the fifteenth century — nay, more than that, as the 
greatest painter of the period — by no less an authority 
than Diirer, who, during his visit to Venice in 1494, 
wrote to a friend in a letter still preserved: " He is very 
old, but yet the best in painting." It must be remem- 
bered that at this date Titian was in his prime; so we 
may well ask upon what Diirer based his judgment. He 
knew his art theoretically and practically, so that he was 
able to appreciate the perfect mastery over the brush 
that was displayed alike by Titian and by Bellini; and, 
if he preferred the latter, it must have been because he 
himself was a very intellectual man and accordingly was 
in sympathy with the grave and elevated conceptions of 

[72] 




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PERUGINO-BELLINI 

Bellini rather than with the more sensuous and emotional 
art of Titian. 

For this is the distinction between the two great Vene- 
tians. Bellini worked in a great calm, removed from 
passion. Swayed by intellectuality, serene and lofty and 
a little severe, he stands to the glowing, eager spirits that 
followed him as Phidias to Scoj^as and Praxiteles. In 
one respect, however, he shows the influence of his time. 
Observe the noble character in the heads of the four 
saints. He lived in an age when the portrayal of char- 
acter w^as an important aim of art, and was himself a 
great portrait-painter — witness his noble j^oi'trait of 
Doge Leonaj'do Loredano in the National Gallery. 
During his long life he saw no fewer than eleven doges, 
and was state painter during the reigns of four. 

To return to our picture. These bishops and monks 
have the bronzed, sunburned faces that may still be seen 
among the boatmen of Venice; the Virgin's complexion 
has the pure carnation tones of girls reared in a moist 
atmosphere; the cherubs, with their naked legs, recall 
the children that may still be seen fishing for crabs at 
sunset. In fact, the picture, as the French critic Taine 
remarked, " is full of local truth, and yet the apparition 
is one of a superior and august world. These per- 
sonages do not move ; their faces are in repose, and their 
eyes fixed like those of figures seen in a dream." 

Here again is the symbol of an idea, as in the Byzan- 
tine paintings ; but this time the symbol itself is founded 
on truth to actual local facts, and the idea is the eleva- 
tion of these well-known facts into a lofty and ennobling 
type. It is not, as in Perugino's work, an escape from 

[77] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

human nature into the abstract seclusion of the soul, but 
an assertion of the grandeur that may be inherent in 
humanit}^ itself. Thus in Bellini's pictures the influence 
of the new learning of Greek culture and Platonic phi- 
losophy, tov/ard which Botticelli groped tentatively, is 
seen in its highest and purest form. 

And now let us try to discover something of the tech- 
nical means by which Perugino and Bellini have ex- 
pressed in these pictures their ideals. In one we have 
a notable example of Perugino's skill in combining fig- 
ures with landscape; in the other, a hint of the dignity 
given to a composition by the introduction of architec- 
tural forms. 

It was not until the seventeenth century that artists 
began to paint landscape for its own sake. By the Ital- 
ians of the Renaissance it was treated as a background 
for figures; and while many artists — Perugino, for ex- 
ample, and the Venetians — made a close study of nature, 
they always kept inanimate nature subordinated to the 
human subject. The landscape in Perugino's triptych 
is a representation of Umbrian scenery, a beautiful vista 
of hills and river-threaded plain, stretching away to a 
low, distant horizon, with the delicate foliage of slender 
trees sprayed against the melting tenderness of the sky. 
To this beautiful effect of receding distance and of open 
sky, in the representation of which Perugino excelled, is 
largely due the impression that the picture produces. 
Just as the expression of the faces tells us that the 
thoughts of these beings are far away from the actual 
present, absorbed into infinite contemplation, so our 
gaze wanders on and on through the landscape, and 

[78] 



PERUGINO-BELLINI 

finally loses itself in the luminous infinitude of the sky. 
The landscape, in fact, puts our own minds in tune with 
those of the persons in the picture. If it were not there; 
if, for example, the background were of gold, as in 
the old Byzantine pictures, I suspect that we should 
find these figures excessively sentimental; as, indeed, 
many of Perugino's pictures are, for it is only occasion- 
ally that he rises to the spirituality of this one. But, as 
it is, the sentiment of the figures is enlarged upon and 
interpreted by the setting, just as in a Greek play the 
emotions of the actors are explained by the chorus. 

However, it is not only in interpreting such sentiment 
as Perugino seeks to express that this union of landscape 
and figures counts so much. One of the secrets of noble 
composition is the balancing of what artists call the full 
and empty spaces. A composition crowded with figures 
is apt to produce a sensation of stuffiness and fatigue; 
whereas the combination of a few figures with ample 
open spaces gives one a sense of exhilaration and repose. 
You may think there is a contradiction in the idea of 
being at the same time rested and exhilarated, unless you 
know the sensation of moiuitain-walking, when the zest 
of the upper air fills you with desire to exert yourself, 
and yet there is no fatigue in exertion ; while the broad 
sweeps of the sky above you and of plain and valley 
below open lungs and imagination equally, and you feel 
full of peace and, simultaneously, of eagerness. And 
this illustration is not far-fetched, since it is a fact that 
a picture reaches our imagination through our ordinary 
experience of physical sensation. We know, for exam- 
ple, how soft and warm and caressing is the skin of a 

[79] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

little child; and if, in the picture of a child, the flesh is 
painted in such a way as to suggest this lovely texture, 
it will stimulate our imagination with pleasure. And 
it is in the degree that an artist stimulates our imagina- 
tion through our physical experiences, that he seizes and 
holds our interest. 

I have spoken of the effect produced by a combina- 
tion of full and empty spaces, but this may be nothing 
more than a fine pattern. When, however, besides giv- 
ing us a pattern of flat ornament in two dimensions, the 
artist can make us realize the third dimension of nature, 
— distance, — he so much the more kindles our imagina- 
tion. For how many of us, as children, have looked at 
that hill which bounded the horizon of our home and 
longed to know what lay beyond it ? And, in after years, 
the sight of the ocean, or of peak ranged beyond peak 
in the mountains, or of a summer sky at night, or of 
many other distant prospects, allures our imagination to 
travel on and on and lose itself in sj^ace. Now the mere 
suggestion of distance in a picture, secured by accurate 
perspective, w^ill not afl*ect us in this way ; the artist him- 
self must have this sort of ranging imagination, and 
then he will not only make you feel the distance, but the 
existence of every successive plane of intervening space, 
inviting your own imagination to range. Perugino pre- 
eminently had this feeling and the gift of expressing it : 
a mastery of what has been called by JNIr. Bernard 
Berenson the art of " space-composition." There are 
many other technical points in the pictures that we 
might dwell on; but as our purpose in this little book 
is to proceed step by step, one thing at a time, we will 

[80] 



PERUGINO-BELLINI 

limit our consideration to this one point, — the more so 
as some of the others will be met with later in the work 
of Perugino's most illustrious pupil, Raphael. 

So, too, in the case of Bellini we will consider only a 
single technical point — the value of architectural acces- 
sories in adding dignit}^ to the composition. These three 
panels are inclosed in a gilt frame which itself is a very 
handsome example of Renaissance design and crafts- 
manship. You will observe that the character of the 
design is architectural, and that the pilasters, the cornice, 
and the arch repeat, and therefore enforce, the architec- 
tural features of the picture. The general effect of this 
architectural setting is a mingling of force and grave 
distinction and of richness. 

If you carefully compare this triptych with Peru- 
gino's, you will get an insight into the different effects 
produced, according as the background is landscape or 
architecture. In the former the lines are irregular, 
softly undulating, and distance melts into further dis- 
tance; in Bellini's picture, however, the lines are firm 
and exact, the background has structural weight and 
stability. In one case the imagination spreads and 
finally loses itself in conjecture; in the other it is con- 
tracted and concentrated. Perugino's conception is very 
wooing; Bellini's, more monumentall}^ impressive. 

Let us pause for a moment on this word " monu- 
mental," since it expresses a quality which will con- 
stantly confront us in our study of art. In one sense it 
is the antithesis of nature: it belongs to a structure 
reared by the hand of man. Instead of being the result 
of natural laws working invisibly and over great periods 

[81]" 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of time, it is the result of formal laws invented by man 
(sometimes, perhaps, through a hint from nature) and 
compressed into a well-defined compass. A structure 
must necessarily be smaller than nature, yet it may im- 
press us with a greater sense of dignity and grandeur. 
Nature's grandeur, as seen, for example, among the 
peaks and canons of the mountains, fills us with awe; 
we are in the j^i'^sence of stupendous forces uncon- 
trolled by visible laws. Whereas a great building, as St. 
Peter's, for example, is a triumph of law over disorder ; 
everything has been planned, calculated, regulated; in 
the presence of it man is not crushed down into awed 
insignificance, but, realizing that all this grandeur 
around him is the work of man's hand and brain, he is 
lifted up into glorious enthusiasm, filled with pride in 
the grandeur of humanity and in the consciousness of 
having a share in it. A building which can impress us 
in this way we call monumental. It is worth while to 
look a little more closely and discover by what means this 
impression is produced. 

Architecture is the most original of the fine arts, not 
being an imitation of nature, as painting and sculpture 
are, but an invention of man's own, founded first of all 
upon necessity, and then made to contribute to the as- 
pirations that filled his soul. Yet its principles are based 
upon qualities which man learned to admire in nature: 
stability, for example, height, and breadth, and spacious- 
ness. The prophet Habakkuk, wishing to bring home to 
man the awful power of God, says that in his presence 
" the everlasting mountains were scattered, the per- 
petual hills did bow." He knew that it was the stability, 

[ 82 ] 



PERUGINO-BELLINI 

the permanence of the mountains and hills which im- 
pressed his hearers. Again, man in all ages has lifted 
his eyes from the earth to the height and immensity of 
the sky; he piled stone on stone to reach this majesty 
of height, and spanned his columns with arches, and then 
assembled his arches into the mimic wonder of a dome. 
Trees taught him the aspiring grandeur of vertical lines ; 
the level horizon, the quiet dignity of the horizontal; 
distance and space, the beauty of long vistas and of spa- 
ciousness. After much experimenting he discovered the 
proportion of height and breadth and length that would 
best produce a harmonious whole, and then added orna- 
ment which should enrich without impairing the struc- 
tural dignity and stability of the mass. 

Learning from architecture, the sculptors — who, as 
you remember, in early times w^ere quite frequently 
architects as well — applied these principles, and some- 
times so successfully that their compositions are monu- 
mental. Upon these principles also the painter based 
his compositions; but, as the lines of nature and of the 
human figure are not formal and rigid, he recognized 
how much his picture would gain in force and stability 
if he actually introduced some architectural features. 
This was a common practice with the artists of the Re- 
naissance, and is one of the causes of the noble dignity 
of their pictures. 

Bellini, in this one, has not only introduced architec- 
ture, but has adapted the character of the figures to it. 
How large and simple in mass are those of the bishops 
and monks, in which again appears the quiet grandeur 
of upright lines ! Even in the figures of the Virgin and 

[83] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Child there is a strongly sculptural suggestion : her pose 
is so firm and still, the cloak arranged in such simple and 
resolute folds. And the statuesque character of this 
figure in blue is enhanced by the open spaces around it 
of crimson and gold, which isolate it and increase its 
suggestion of everlasting stability and calm. Immobile 
and permanent as the everlasting hills, she sits there 
through the changes of time, guarded by men of the 
people ennobled into types of physical and mental 
grandeur, perpetual symbol of Bellini's intellectual 
elevation. 

After filling the whole of the north of Italy with his 
imfluence and preparing the way for the giant colorists 
of the Venetian School, Giorgione, Titian, and Vero- 
nese, Bellini died of old age in his eighty-eighth year, 
and was buried, near his brother Gentile, in the Church 
of SS. Giovanni e Paulo. Outside, under the spacious 
vault of heaven, stands the Bartoloimiieo Colleoni, Ver- 
rocchio's monumental statue, which had been among the 
elevating influences of Bellini's life and art. 

Verrocchio's influence must have been exerted also 
upon Perugino, if it is true, as Vasari asserts, that when 
he left Perugia to complete his education in Florence he 
was a fellow-pupil of Leonardo da Vinci in the sculp- 
tor's hoitegha. If he gained from the master something 
of the calm of sculpture, he certainly gained nothing of 
its force. It is as the painter of sentiment that he ex- 
celled; though this beautiful quality is confined mainly 
to his earlier works. For with popularity he became 
avaricious, turning out repetitions of his favorite types 
until thev became more and more affected in sentiment. 

[84] 



CHAPTER VII 



RAPHAEL SANZIO 

1483-1520 

Italian School of Umhria, 
Florence, and Rome 



MICHAEL WOLGEMUTH 

1434-1519 

German School of 
Nuremberg 



BY the beginning of the sixteenth century the 
Renaissance in Italy had ripened into a golden 
' harvest. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, 
and Titian were in their prime, and within the long lives 
of these older men blossomed Raphael's comparatively 
brief life of thirty-seven years. 

My reason for introducing him into our story a little 
before his chronological place is that now I wish to bring 
into comparison with Italian art the contemporary art 
of Germany. It seemed necessary to couple Leonardo 
and Diirer ; therefore I took advantage of the fact that 
although Leonardo was older than Raphael he survived 
him, in order to join the latter with Wolgemuth, who 
was Diirer's master. For it is in Diirer, and later in 
Hans Holbein the Younger, that German art in the six- 
teenth century reached so high a point. Yet we may 
well study Wolgemuth, the better to appreciate the 
greatness of Diirer and Holbein, and also because his 
work is characteristic of the general art of Germany 
before these two great masters. 

How it differs from Raphael's! The difference is 

[85] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

wide and high as the Alps which separated the two civih- 
zations of which these two painters were, respectively, a 
product. At this point, when Italy is approaching the 
zenith of her Renaissance, and that of Germany is about 
to dawn, it is well to glance back over the history of 
the two countries, which for over a thousand years had 
been acting and reacting upon each other. 

Since the davs of Julius Csesar the German tribes had 
been in conflict with Rome, but upon the outskirts of 
the Empire. In the fifth century they began to crowd 
down upon Italy itself. 

In 410 Alaric, at the head of his Visigoths, penetrated 
to the gates of Rome, took it, and subjected it to a six 
days' pillage. Then Italy was ravaged successively by 
Attila and his Huns, by Ostrogoths and Lombards, 
until the genius of Charlemagne welded all the conflict- 
ing elements of the western world into the Holy Roman 
Empire ( 800 a.d. ) . But after his death the unwieldy 
structure succumbed to its own bulk; his descendants 
strove among themselves for supremacy, and the power 
of the feudal nobles was established. There followed 
a century and a half of domestic war, in which unhappy 
Italy was desolated by nobles and by invasions of Huns 
and Saracens, and filled with corruption and barbarism. 
At last, in 962, Otho the Great of Germany, having re- 
vived in his person the title of Emperor of the Holy 
Roman Empire, set himself to curb the power of the 
nobles and of the church by encouraging the growth of 
the cities and giving them free municipal authority. 
The result was a long period of fighting between the 
Papacy and the Empire, out of which arose the factions 

[86] 



RAPHAEL- WOLGEMUTH 

of Guelphs and Ghibellines, who, under pretense of fa- 
voring, respectively, the church or emperor, committed 
every sort of atrocity. After two hundred years of 
social chaos, the destruction of Milan by the Emperor 
Frederick Barbarossa so enraged the Guelph cities of 
the north that they formed a league, defeated his army, 
and at the Peace of Constance (1183) secured their 
recognition as free cities, each with its council and chief 
magistrate, or podestd. But again the lull was only 
brief. The maritime cities fought with one another for 
the supremacy of the sea; while everywhere the lack of 
military spirit in the cities and their domestic jealousies 
made it possible for the leading family of the city, or 
for the captains of fortune, to usurp the power of the 
people and establish themselves as despots. We have 
already noted how the Gonzaga family so established 
itself at Mantua, and the Medici family at Florence, 
glossing over their tyranny by the patronage of art and 
letters. Italy, crushed, was again at the mercy of all 
comers : of the rival despots, of the foreign mercenaries 
that thev hired, and of bands of condottieri who sold 
their savagery to the highest bidders. Finally even her 
commercial power was menaced and ruined. The cap- 
ture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453 cut oiF her 
trade with the Orient; in 1497 the Portuguese Vasco da 
Gama discovered the passage to India around the Cape 
of Good Hope; five years previously the Genoese Co- 
lumbus had opened up the New World ; and the subse- 
quent discoveries and conquests of Cortez, Pizarro, and 
others diverted the stream of commerce, depriving Italy 
of her supremacy and giving it to the western nations. 

[87] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

In the sixteenth century nothing remained to Italy but 
the glory of arts, of letters, and of science, which in this 
period of national and civic humiliation reached its high- 
est point of splendor : a terrible example, once more, of 
the truth that the finest culture will not save a nation, 
unless it is allied to the hardier virtues of manly courage 
and morality. 

We have seen in previous chapters how people sought 
refuge from the turmoil in religion; how^ others turned 
from the horrors of the present to the beauties of the 
past, unearthing the remains of classic sculpture, recov- 
ering the manuscripts of the Roman authors, and drink- 
ing deep of the " New Learning " through the study 
of Greek literature. It is because the work of Raphael, 
apart from its technical skill and charm, combines so 
admirably the religious and the pagan feeling, — the 
personal intensity and reverence of the one and the im- 
personal serenity and happiness of the other, — that he 
holds a place distinct from any other artist. But, before 
pursuing this subject, let us turn to the conditions in 
Germany which produced a Wolgemuth as the fore- 
runner of the greater Diirer and Holbein. 

As each successive wave of Gothic invasion into Italy 
retired back behind the Alps, it carried with it some in- 
fusion of the civilization that it had destroyed. From 
this mingling of ancient culture with the untutored sim- 
plicity of the North sprang the modern world, with 
Christianity for its nurse. Art was the faithful hand- 
maid of religion; and, as the northern world progressed 
toward civilization, the two worked together as mistress 
and servant. Germany, which at first was the country 

[88] 




MADONNA DEGLI ANSIDEI RAPHAFX SANZIO 

NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 




DEATH OF THE VIRGIX MICHAEL WOLGEMUTH 

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON 



RAPHAEL-AVOLGEMUTH 

now known as Bavaria, did not escape the rigors of war; 
it kept the Huns at bay and extended its rule to the 
shores of the Baltic. As the vast tracts of land were 
opened up, population increased, people began to con- 
gregate in towns and cultivate the arts of peace. A 
steady flow of commerce set in from south to north and 
back again ; the main arteries of traffic being the Rhine 
and the Elbe, by which the products of eastern and south- 
ern countries were transported from Venice or Genoa 
to Bruges and Antwerp and the growing Hanse towns 
of the north. So, while the country at large was torn 
with strife, there grew up along the banks of the rivers 
or their connecting landways settlements of commercial 
people; towns, no longer centering round the castle of 
the local tyrant, but independent communities of peace- 
loving burghers, intent on their purses and ledgers 
rather than on swords and fighting. Midway in the 
path of commerce arose the famous cities of Nuremberg 
and Augsburg. Granted special favors by the emperors, 
they were free imperial cities, almost the only homes of 
liberty at that period; and they produced the two men 
who at that period rose to the highest rank in Germany 
as artists— Diirer and Holbein. Wolgemuth also was a 
native of Nuremberg. 

This city was noted as early as the beginning of the 
fifteenth century for great mechanical activity and im- 
provement in all kinds of machinery. She could boast 
the first German paper-mill and the celebrated print- 
ing-press of Antonius Koburger. In every branch of 
industry were men of skill and renown: watch- and 
clock-makel's, metal-workers, and organ-builders, and 

[93] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

particularly workers in gold. Nuremberg had the repu- 
tation of being the best-governed city in Europe; her 
merchants were nobles who extended their influence into 
every country, until it was said of her that her " hand is 
in every land." During the fifteenth century her prog- 
ress in civilization was rapid; and the wealth of her 
citizens began to be spent more and more on things of 
beauty. 

The German desire of the beautiful had first of all 
expended itself in the architecture of the cathedrals 
and churches. These differed from the ones of the 
South, first of all, as the vertical line differs from the 
horizontal; the aspiration of the eager, striving people 
of the North finding expression in soaring towers 
and spires, in high-pitched roofs supported upon lofty 
pillars. 

This departure from the lower and more level lines 
of Southern architecture led to greater profusion and 
intricacy of the parts; to the multiplication and elabo- 
ration of details ; to long-drawn-out naves and the addi- 
tion of side aisles, producing in every direction vistas 
solemn and mysterious; to the enlargement of the 
window-spaces and the dividing of them by elegant 
traceries filled in with stained glass. These Gothic 
cathedrals differ from the Italian somewhat as the for- 
ests of Germany differ from the broadly sweeping 
plains and hills of Italy. And the German love of pro- 
fusion and detail was exhibited also in the habit of deco- 
rating the exterior with sculpture and the interior with 
wrought metal-work and carved wood. Even to this 
day the dwellers in the Black Forest, like those who in- 

[94] 



RAPHAEL- WOLGEMUTH 

habit the forest regions of Norway and Sweden, spend 
the long days of winter in carving objects in wood. 
Wood-carving was one of the earHest of the arts in Ger- 
many ; gradually it was supplemented by the sculpture in 
stone of floral or foliage designs, or of figures to deco- 
rate the cathedrals and churches — figures of saints, lean 
and angular, or of terrible and grotesque creatures. 
For the ancient religion from which Christianity had 
weaned the JVorthern tribes was that of Asgard, savage 
and cruel, believing in giants and dragons, and blending 
the fierceness of a wild beast with the imagination and 
ignorance of a child. So the Christianity of medieval 
Germany inherited what was terrible and grotesque. 
This is reflected in the sculpture, and thence passed into 
painting ; for, at first, the latter was only a helpmate to 
the architecture and learned its first lessons from the 
sculptors. The early painters represented in their pic- 
tures what they were familiar with in wood and stone; 
so that not only are the figures dry and hard, but in the 
groujDS they are packed one behind another, heads above 
heads, without really occupying space, in imitation of 
the method adopted in the carved relief. 

And this unpainterlike way of painting continued 
even to the middle of the fourteenth century, by which 
time, however, the painters began to take a more promi- 
nent position. For people who wished to show their re- 
spect to the church and at the same time to perpetuate 
their own memory found they could get a more pleasing 
efl*ect, and probably at a less cost, in paint than in wood 
or stone. So there grew up a demand for votive pic- 
tures, to be set up over the altar or hung upon a pillar, ^ 

[95] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

and these represented sacred scenes, often with portraits 
•of the donor and his family introduced. 

The principal pictures of this character executed at 
Nuremberg in the last thirty years of the fifteenth cen- 
tury issued from the workshop of Wolgemuth. At first 
'he was in partnership with Hans PleydenwuriF, and 
upon the latter's death married the widow and carried 
on the business in his sole name. For a business it really 
was; the workshop being rather like a factory than a 
studio. A number of assistants were maintained, and 
they were apportioned certain specific parts of the same 
picture ; it being the duty of one to fill in the architectu- 
ral features, of another to paint the hands and heads, of 
others to put in the ornamental portions or the yarious 
objects introduced, and so on. The work, indeed, was 
carried on like any other commercial enterprise. 

We haye seen something of the same kind of thing in 
Perugino's bottegha: assistants multiplying the master's 
types, and turning out a quantity of indifferent pic- 
tures, apparently for no higher j)urpose than to make 
money. Raphael, also, during his sojourn in Rome, 
when the demand upon his genius was taxed beyond his 
power of personally executing eyery commission, main- 
tained his corps of assistants. But he neyer lost his high 
ideals as an artist; and, although a large portion of his 
famous decorations in the Vatican were actually painted 
by his pupils, the designs were his. INIoreoyer, his genius 
for design was so extraordinary, inexhaustible in inyen- 
tion, always beautiful in plan, and the influence of his 
own eleyated spirit so strong over his assistants, that 
eyen their work bears the impress of his creatiyeness. 

[96] 



RAPHAEL-WOLGEMUTH 

The Madonna which illustrates this chapter is called 
" degli Ansidei," because it was painted for the Ansidei 
family, as an altarpiece to adorn the chapel dedicated 
to S. Nicholas of Bari in the church of S. Fiorenzo at 
Perugia. It is dated 1506, and belongs therefore to the 
end of the first of the three periods into which Raphael's 
life may be divided. For he worked successively in 
Perugia, Florence, and Rome, and is, in a measure, rep- 
resentative of the Umbrian, Florentine, and Roman 
schools. 

The house in Urbino still stands where he was born in 
1483. His father, Giovanni Santi (or Sanzio in the 
Italian form), was a painter of considerable merit; so 
Raphael's art education began in early childhood and 
was continued uninterruptedly through the remainder 
of his life, for to the very end he was learning, being 
possessed of an extraordinary capacity for absorbing 
and assimilating the ideas of others. He was only eight 
years old when his mother, JNIagia, died ; but the father's 
second wife, Bernardina, cared for him as if he had been 
her own son; and her tenderness and his love for her 
may surely have helped to inspire the beautiful concep- 
tion of motherhood which he portrayed in his Madonnas. 
In 1494 his father also died, leaving the boy, now eleven 
years old, to the care of an uncle, who, it is supposed, ar- 
ranged for him to continue his studies under the painter 
Timoteo Vite, who was then living in Urbino. At about 
the age of sixteen he was sent to Perugia and entered 
in the renowned hottegha of Perugino. 

This Madonna degli Ansidei, painted in his twenty- 
third year, is full of recollection of the master's influ- 

^' [ 97 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ence. We may note the low-lying landscape with the 
vault of sky above it, and the union wdth these of solemn 
architecture; moreover, the " sw^eet Umbrian sentiment " 
in the expression of the faces ; and that each figure seems 
alone with itself in spiritual contemplation. Even the 
rather awkward and affected attitude of S. John betravs 
the influence of Perugino. 

But already the pupil has outstripped the master. 
The figure of S. A^icholas is nobler than anything that 
Perugino painted, and more full of character. With 
what truth it depicts the pose and bearing of an absorbed 
reader, while the character of the head gives a foretaste 
of those portraits by Raphael in later years, which, it 
has been said, have no superiors as faithful renderings 
of soul and body. 

But in another respect he has already outstripped his 
master ; namely, in the noble serenity of the composition. 
Perugino, as we have seen, in combining the figure and 
architecture and landscape, was a master of space com- 
position, but never with so firm an instinct for grouping 
and arrangement that the masses shall be not only dig- 
nified in themselves, but perfectly balanced. For this 
is Raphael's supreme distinction. The Venetians sur- 
passed him in color, the Florentines in drawing, but few, 
if any, have equaled him in his mastery over the filling 
of a space, whether it be inside a frame or on the larger 
surface of a wall. 

Let us briefly consider this matter of composition, 
w^hich is the artist's way of building up his effects. 
Much of our previous study has been occupied with the 

[98] 



RAPHAEL-WOLGEMUTH 

gradual approach of artists toward a more truthful rep- 
resentation of nature; so at this point we do well to 
remember that, although nature is the basis of art, art 
is not nature. The latter is a vast field from which the 
artist selects certain items, afterward arranging them in 
a certain way, so as to produce a certain impression on 
* the spectator's mind through his eyes. Selection and 
arrangement, therefore, are the principles of compo- 
sition. 

Now the method of arrangement may either follow 
nature's, as in the case, for example, of a landscape ; or 
it may be an artificial arrangement, based upon conven- 
tions, such as in this picture of Raphael's. But even in 
the case of the landscape the artist must select. He 
must decide, in the first place, how much to include in 
his canvas, and then how he will place it according to the 
size and shape of his picture, leaving out, very likely, 
some of the objects of the natural landscape, since their 
introduction would interfere with the balance and unity 
of his picture. 

If you stand a little distance from the open window 
and look out, it is improbable that what you see of the 
landscape will have either of these qualities. Proba- 
bly the view will appear what it really is — a fragment 
of the landscape, its details, more than likely, confused 
or crowded. Or, if you approach nearer to the window, 
the view will widen out, but still you will feel that your 
gaze is hindered by the windows-frame. On the other 
hand, you look through a picture-frame, and you should 
be able to feel that what you see is a scene complete in 

[99] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

itself, that it has unity. Again, if you examine some 
particular tree, — say, for example, an elm, especially 
when the leaves are off, — you may note how the limbs 
and branches, for all their diversities, seem to compose 
together to make a balanced whole. Its parts are so bal- 
anced, and their relation to the whole mass so perfectly 
adjusted, that you exclaim, " What a beautiful tree! " 
This principle of organic unity, which appears in all 
nature's tree and plant forms, the artist borrows to give 
unity and balance to the artificial arrangement on his 
canvas. 

This arrangement, in the language of the studios, is 
made up of full and empty spaces. In a landscape, for 
example, the sky would be an empty space, though a 
sheet of water in the foreground, or even a stretch of 
meadow or distant hills, might be treated so. For it is 
in the way an object is treated that it becomes a full or 
an emj)ty space; the full ones being those which are in- 
tended to assert themselves most. Thus, in Raphael's 
picture which we are studying they consist of the figures 
and the throne; the arch, which under some circum- 
stances might be treated as a full space, here uniting with 
the sky and landscape to form the empty ones. And it 
is partly the equilibrium established between these and 
the full ones that makes the picture yield such a svigges- 
tion of wonderful composure. Another reason is the 
direction of the lines. 

If you study them, you will find they present a con- 
trast of vertical, horizontal, and curved lines; and will 
grow to discover tliat it is the predominance of the ver- 
tical direction— aided somewhat, it is true, by the dignity 

[ 100 ] 



RAPHAEL- WOLGEMUTH 

of the arch — which produces such an impression of ele- 
vated grandeur. Do not fail to notice what a share the 
repetition of line plays in this effect. It was by repeti- 
tion that the predominance of the vertical lines was built 
up. But there are repetitions of horizontal lines also; 
for example, in those of the steps and the canopy, the 
cornice of the arch, and S. John's arm, as well as of the 
broken level line of the landscape. Moreover, there are 
repetitions of the curved lines, especially in the moldings 
of the arch. But these are rej^eated also in a subtler 
way; for example, in the nimbus of the Virgin, and in 
the arched dome of each of the heads. 

Lastly, observe that the unity of the composition is 
made additionally sure by everything being adjusted to 
one point. The book on the Virgin's lap is the focus of 
the whole. The diagonal lines of the canopy, those of 
the cornice and of the steps, lead toward this spot; so 
do the direction of the Virgin's head and the downward 
glance of her eyes, the Child's gaze, the bishop's book, 
and S. John's right arm and its index-finger. While all 
these are radiating lines, they are inclosed — locked in, 
as it were — by the arch, the continuation of which into 
a circle is suggested by the direction of S. John's left 
arm. 

All this is the reverse of natural arrangement, being 
the result of a most carefully calculated plan, based 
upon the knowledge that the actual directions of lines, 
their contrasts and their repetitions, exert upon the mind 
certain definite influences. You will observe that the 
basis of this design is geometric, as are nearly all the 
compositions of the old masters and of most modern 

[101] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

painters; a continual shuffling and reshuffling of vertical, 
horizontal, and curved lines; a building of them up, so 
as to approximate to various geometric figures, such as 
the circle, the angle, the triangle, and the various forms 
of the quadrilateral, or any or all in combination. For 
some psychological reason, perhaps because these forms 
are rudimentary and elemental, they are instantly satis- 
factory to the eye, and when played upon by such a 
master of composition as Raphael produce the highest 
kind of esthetic enjoyment.^ 

By this time it should be apparent that the beauty of 
Raphael's picture does not depend primarily upon the 
expression of the faces, which is the first thing that many 
people look at, nor, indeed, upon any or all of the figures, 
but upon what artists call the " architectonics " of the 
composition; that is to say, upon the way in which the 
parts of the composition are built up into a unified struc- 
tural design. This, apart from anything to do with the 
subject or with the actors in it, moves our emotion in that 
abstract, impersonal way that the sight of mountains, 
skies, and valleys, or the roar of the ocean or the tinkle 
of a brook, may do. " The play 's the thing," said Ham- 
let; and so we ma}^ say of composition, that " composi- 
tion is the thing." It is the framework, the anatomy, 
upon which the artist subsequently overlays his refine- 
ments and embellishments of color and expression. 

If you will study the Madonna degli Ansidei, you 
will find that the tenderness of the Madonna's face, the 

^ The student would do well to study, in the light of what we have been 
considering, every illustration in this book, for the sole purpose of trying 
to discover in each case the part which composition plays in the impression 
of the whole picture. 

[102] 



RAPHAEL-WOLGEMUTH 

rapture of S. John's, and the noble sweetness of S. 
Nicholas's are all of them echoes of the same qualities 
expressed in the whole composition; but that it is the 
actual direction of the lines, the shapes of the full and 
empty spaces, and their relation to one another, which 
make the chief impression, and that the expression of 
the faces is only a subsidiary detail, just as you are im- 
pressed by the total structure of some great building 
before you begin to apprehend its details. 

Perhaps you will best understand the meaning and 
value of perfect composition by contrasting Raphael's 
picture with Wolgemuth's Death of the Virgin. In the 
latter there is no composition in the sense that we are 
using the word — that is to say, of an arrangement care- 
fully planned to impress us by its abstract qualities. It 
presents only a crowd of figures more or less naturally 
disposed. Our attention is not engrossed by the whole, 
but scattered over the parts. 

And this characteristic, we shall find, appears to a 
considerable degree in all German art. The German 
race has an instinctive appetite for detail. Its scholars 
and scientists are renowned for minute, patient, and 
thorough research; its artists, for accurate rendering of 
details. But this often leads to profuseness, in the in- 
tricacy and abundance of which the structural dignity of 
the whole is apt to be swallowed up. For you will find, 
as you continue your studies, that there is even more art 
in knowing what to leave out than in knowing what to 
put in; that simplification of the parts and unity of the 
whole are the characteristics of the greatest artists. 

Among the various contrasts which are presented by 

[ 103 ] . 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

the two pictures, one may be singled out. Wolgemuth 
has tried to represent the scene naturally, as it may have 
happened, and has introduced around the Virgin figures, 
studied from the actual men who walked the streets of 
Nuremberg in his day; while Raphael's persons are 
idealized types adapted from the real people to express 
the idea which was in his mind. It is the same with his 
arrangement of throne and arch and landscape. The 
scene is not a real one; it is made up of things selected 
in order to build up a structure of effect that would 
suggest to our mind the idea which was in his. Here is 
a sharp distinction in the way of seeing the facts of na- 
ture. One artist sees in them something to be rendered 
as accurately as possible; the other extracts from them 
a suggestion on which he may found some fabric of his 
own imagination. From the one we get an impression 
of reality which is apt to go no further than the mere 
recognition of the facts; from the other, a stimulus to 
our own imagination. One form of art chains us to 
earth, the other aids us to take flight as far as our ca- 
pacity permits us. 

What helped to form Raphael's ideal? First of all, 
the spirituality of Perugino's pictures. Then he visited 
Florence: at first only for a short time, but before he 
painted the Madonna degli Ansidei. During his second 
and longer visit he became intimate with the work of 
Leonardo da Vinci and Fra Bartolommeo. The in- 
fluence of the former can be seen in the mysterious 

ft.' 

beauty of the face in the Madonna Gran Duca; that 
of the latter, in the supremely beautiful composition of 
La Belle J ardiniere ; while he gained also a freedom and 

. [104] 



RAPHAEL- WOLGEMUTH 

greater naturalness in the drawing of his figures, and, 
through liis friendship with the famous architect Bra- 
mante, a higher skill in the rendering of architectural 
forms and a deeper feeling for their grandeur. In fact, 
Raphael's capacity for being influenced by other artists 
was so remarkable that he has been called the " Prince 
of Plagiarists." But we must remember that the re- 
proach which nowadays attaches to a man's making use 
of the motives of others cannot be extended to Raphael. 
The artists of the Renaissance freely borrowed from one 
another, and multiplied certain types of picture; the 
innumerable varieties, for example, of Madonna En- 
throned having a family resemblance. Similarly in 
Japan, when an artist had mastered the rendering of 
a certain object, such as a bird's wing, other artists 
adopted his convention. Why should every one go back 
to the beginning and study for himself what had been 
already mastered? Much better to start with the accu- 
mulated capital of previous experience and knowledge, 
and, if the student has any originality of his own, draw 
from it a heightened dividend. 

It was so with Raphael. To whatever he took from 
another he added something of himself; so that, though 
his borrowings were continuous and varied, he enriched 
the world with something personal and new. We have 
seen already how this present picture, while recalling 
Perugino, represents a distinct advance on that artist's 
capacity; and when he went to Rome, begged by Pope 
Julius II to decorate the stanze, or official chambers, of 
the Vatican, the composition of his first mural painting, 
the Disputd, is based upon a previous design of his 

[105] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

master, yet surpasses in its completeness of decorative 
effect anything of Perugino's. In Rome, too, he had 
for models the ampler type of women which belongs to 
the south of Italy. Consequently his work becomes dis- 
tinguished by still greater freedom and bigness of style. 
And, as he mixes with the world of great men who 
thronged the Eternal City, two other things are notice- 
able: his pictures become more human: the Madonnas 
embrace the infant Christ with the love of human mother- 
hood ; and, secondly, he is filled more and more with ardor 
for the antique. 

He intersperses religious with classic subjects, and 
treats both in a classic spirit. It is as if Virgil had come 
to life again, but this time as a painter, whose aim was 
to link the later glories of the Renaissance with the early 
ones of Hellas ; to make the legends of Hellas live again 
in the soul of the Renaissance; and to interpret the 
stories of the Hebrew Bible in Hellenic guise. The 
beautiful myths of Galatea, of Psyche and Venus, once 
more become realities visible to mortal eyes; Parnassus 
is again revealed; but now amid the constellation of 
Olympus appear the stars of Italian culture, Dante, 
Petrarch, and Boccaccio; and in silent companionship 
with them are the mighty ones of Athenian thought, 
Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Socrates, and others, once 
more returned to earth and assembled beneath the arches 
of a noble bviilding of the Renaissance. Through him 
the beauty of the antique world is recovered to the sight 
and soul of the modern. 

But even more remarkable is w^hat Raphael did with 
that other great volume of thought which had taken the 

[ 106 ] 



RAPHAEL-WOLGEMUTH 

place of the Hellenic. He not only started afresh the 
springs of Hellas, but that vast stream, derived from the 
Hebrews, which had flooded Christian Europe he con- 
ducted into Hellenic channels. He represented the 
Bible stories in Hellenic settings, retold them, as I have 
said, in the manner that a Virgil might. 

When you remember that the New Learning was a re- 
volt from the darkness and superstition of the middle 
ages; that in the beauty of pagan thought the beauty 
of the Christian was being neglected; and that, conse- 
quently, a clash between the two might have ensued in 
which one would have perished, you will understand 
the importance of what Raphael did. As a gardener 
will blend the pollen of two kinds of flowers and produce 
a third which unites the beauties of the two, so Raphael 
blended the Hellenic and the Christian in his religious 
pictures; and this new ideal so captivated the imagina- 
tion of the world that for over three hundred years 
men pictured the religious story to their eyes and minds 
through the Hellenic atmosphere in which Raphael had 
placed it. It was not until painters had begun to value 
realism overmuch, to be more concerned with represent- 
ing the appearance of things than the spirit enshrined 
in them, that they protested against the " incongruity " 
of clothing a Jewish fisherman in Hellenic draperies. 

But Raphael himself and the people of his day felt 
no incongruity in this. They had become acquainted 
with the ideal beauty of antique sculpture, and of the 
serene elevation of Greek thought; crude ideas realisti- 
cally represented were intolerable to them. Yet there 
was a beauty in this Christian thought at least as ele- 

[107] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

vated and far more vital, because it touched the human 
heart of man in its relation both to this life and the 
future. How could it be made manifest? 

We have noted already Raphael's method and its 
effect upon the world of his time, continuing to our own. 



[108] 



CHAPTER VIII 



LEONARDO DA VINCI 

1452-1519 

Italian School of Florence 



ALBRECHT DURER 

1471-1528 

German School of Nuremberg 



HOW instantly these two masterpieces, Leo- 
nardo's Virgin of the Rocks and Diirer's Ado- 
ration of the Magi, seize our attention; yet 
how differently each claims our interest! In a general 
way, the difference consists in this, that the one is full 
of mystery, the other of clear statement. Leonardo has 
imagined a scene which appeals to our own imagination ; 
Diirer has invented one that delights our understanding. 
The former's is a dream-picture, the latter's a wonder- 
fully natural representation of an actual incident. In a 
word, while Diirer has tried to make everything plain 
to our eyes and understanding, Leonardo has used all 
his effort to make us forget the facts and realize the 
spirit that is embodied in them. 

This contrast would alone make it worth while to com- 
pare the two pictures; but there are other reasons. 
These two men were contemporaries: Diirer, the great- 
est of German artists, most representative of the Teu- 
tonic mind ; Leonardo, the most remarkable example of 
the intellect and imagination of the Italian Renaissance. 
It has been said of him that " he is the most thoughtful 

[ 109 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of all painters, unless it be Albrecht Diirer." So the 
fitness of comparing these two is evident. 

Leonardo's early life was spent in Florence, his ma- 
turity in INIilan, and the last three years of his life in 
France. Diirer, except for a visit of two years to Venice 
and of one year to the Netherlands, remained faithful 
to Nuremberg, the city of his birth. 

Leonardo's teacher was Verrocchio — first a goldsmith, 
then a painter and sculptor: as a painter, representative 
of the very scientific school of draftsmanship ; more fa- 
mous as a sculptor, being the creator, as we remember, 
of the Colleoni statue at Venice. Diirer received his 
first lessons from his father, who was a master-gold- 
smith; his subsequent training, as an apprentice in the 
studio-workshop of JNIichael Wolgemuth. 

Both Leonardo and Diirer were men of striking phys- 
ical attractiveness, great charm of manner and conver- 
sation, and mental accomplishment, being well grounded 
in the sciences and mathematics of the day, while Leo- 
nardo was also a gifted musician. The skill of each in 
draftsmanship was extraordinary; shown in Leonardo's 
case by his numerous drawings as well as by his compar- 
atively few paintings, while Diirer is even more cele- 
brated for his engravings on wood and copper than for 
his paintings. With both, the skill of hand is at the 
service of most minute observation and analytical re- 
search into the character and structure of form. Diirer, 
however, had not the feeling for abstract beauty and 
ideal grace that Leonardo possessed ; but instead, a pro- 
found earnestness, a closer interest in humanity, and a 
more dramatic invention. 

[110] 



DA VINCI-DURER 

This sums up the vital difference between them; and 
it is worth while to consider, first, some of the causes of 
this difference, and, secondly, the effects of it as illus- 
trated in their work, in respect both of choice of subjects 
and method of representing them. 

No doubt it is true that genius is born, not made. But 
while it is a mistake to try and discover reasons for a 
man being a genius, it is proper and most interesting 
to note how his genius has taken on a certain shape and 
direction as a result of his environment. 

Now, Diirer was born a German; Leonardo an Ital- 
ian. A great deal of the difference between the ways in 
which the genius of these two men manifested itself may 
be summed up in this statement. The Italian race, 
under its sunny skies, has an ingrained love of beauty. 
The German, in a sterner climate — " How I shall freeze 
after this sun," wrote Diirer during his stay in Italy to 
a friend in Nuremberg — retains to this day the energy 
that carved its way through the vast forests of his coun- 
try, and some of the gloomy romance that haunted their 
dark shadows. The German spirit is characterized by a 
" combination of the wild and rugged with the homely 
and tender, by meditative depth, enigmatic gloom, sin- 
cerity and energy, by iron diligence and discipline." 
Very remarkable qualities these, and to be found in 
Diirer's work, which is the reason that we describe him 
as being so representative of the Teutonic race. 

But it was not only the difference of race that helped 
to mold the genius of these two men differently; each 
was a manifestation of the Renaissance of art and learn- 
ing which was spreading over Europe: Leonardo of 

[ 111 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

that form of it which appeared in Italy, and Diirer of 
that Avhich was beginning to appear in Germany. Had 
Diirer been born in Italy and reared up under Italian in- 
fluences, and Leonardo's life been associated with Ger- 
many, who shall say what a difference would have re- 
sulted to the work of each? For the aim and character 
of these two branches of the Renaissance were very dis- 
similar. 

The Italian, as we have seen, began by seeking a 
return to truth of natural form; but was soon influ- 
enced by the classic remains, which abounded in Italy 
and were so eagerly searched for and studied, that a 
worship of the antique, the Roman and Greek, absorbed 
men's minds. Raphael, as Ave have noted, clothed the 
story of the Bible in classic garb; classic myths, classic 
thought and literature, filled the imagination of the ar- 
tists and thinkers; religion and a revived paganism 
skipped hand in hand. I use the word " skipped," be- 
cause of the joy which possessed the Italians of the fif- 
teenth and early sixteenth centuries in the new realiza- 

ft.' 

tion of their racial love of beauty. Painter after painter 
before Leonardo's time had tried to give expression to 
it; he was the heir of their endeavors and the contem- 
porary of a number of gifted men, who gathered at 
Florence and under the patronage of the ^ledici made 
it a reflection of what Athens had been under Pericles. 
The difl*erent character of the German Renaissance 
w^e shall best appreciate by noting that it was a part of 
the great movement w^hich produced Luther and the 
Reformation. It was first and foremost an intellectual 
and moral revival ; in time to be the parent of that civil 

[ 112 ] 




VIRGIX OF THE ROCKS LEONARDO DA YINXI 

LOUVRE, PARIS 




VISIT OF THE MAGI 



ALBRECHT DURER 



UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE 



DA VINCI-DURER 

and religious liberty which was to reshape a large portion 
of the world. And intimately identified with this move- 
ment was the printing-press. 

Diirer was a great admirer of I^uther; and in his own 
w^ork is the equivalent of what was mighty in the Re- 
former. It is very serious and sincere ; very human, and 
addressed to the hearts and understandings of the masses 
of the people. And he had a particular chance of reach- 
ing them, for Nuremberg under the enterprise of Ko- 
burger, a " prince of booksellers," as one of his contem- 
poraries called him, had become a great center of 
printing and the chief distributer of books throughout 
Europe. Consequently the arts of engraving upon 
wood and copper, which may be called the pictorial 
branch of printing, were much encouraged. Of this 
opportunity Diirer took full advantage. He outdis- 
tanced all his predecessors in the art and brought it, at 
one bound, to such a pitch of perfection that his w^ork 
w^as eagerly welcomed even in Italy, where pirated 
editions of his prints were published, and to-day he ranks 
first among wood-engravers and by the side of Rem- 
brandt in engraving upon copper. Let us note the prac- 
tical result of this upon his work as an artist. 

Engraving as compared with painting is a popular 
art ; many printings can be made from one plate or block 
and at comparatively slight cost, so that the artist's work 
reaches a great number of persons. It is easy to see 
how this might affect the character of his work : leading 
him to choose subjects with which the people were fa- 
miliar; to treat them in a way that should secure their 
interest — that is to say, with simple directness and pre- 

'' [ 117 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

cision, and with dramatic earnestness that should appeal 
at once to the intelligence and the heart. That these 
qualities are characteristic of all Diirer's work, his paint- 
ings and engravings alike, may well have been due, in 
part at least, to his experience in the latter medium. But 
probably it would be more true to say that because these 
qualities were inherent in his personal character, thej^ 
were reflected in his work and drew him particularly 
toward engraving. 

It is quite possible, however, for pictures to be simple, 
precise, direct, and even dramatic, yet very common- 
place. This Diirer's work never was; and that he con- 
trived to make it so homely and natural and yet always 
dignified is because he was a genius, which is no more 
to.be explained and accounted for in his case than in 
Shakspere's. 

That he did not possess, as well, the gift of ideal 
beauty is due partty to the fact we have already noticed, 
— that the Renaissance in Germany w^as more a moral 
and intellectual than an artistic movement, — and partly 
to Northern conditions. For the feeling for ideal grace 
and beauty is fostered by the study of the human form ; 
and this has been most flourishing in those Southern 
countries, such as Greece and Italy, where the climate 
favors a free, open-air life. In the Northern countries, 
clothes, being more necessary, assume a greater impor- 
tance. They are a very important feature in this picture 
of Diirer's, and recall the elaborate costumes in those 
which we have examined by Van Eyck and JNIemling. 
Nuremberg, as we have remarked, was on one of the 
highways of travel between Italy and the cities of the 

[118] 



DA VINCI-DURER 

North Sea, but, while commerce was passing freely in 
both directions, the influence upon painting came to 
Germany chiefly from Flanders. As there, so in Ger- 
many, painting was closely allied with the decorative 
crafts, and the painters delighted in the portrayal of 
fabrics, metal, and woodwork. In this Adoration of the 
Magi we can detect at once the same fondness for de- 
picting stuffs, embroidery, and objects of curious and 
beautiful workmanship as in Van Eyck's Virgin and 
Donor; and in the originals there is apparent, not only 
a similar skill in minute and elaborate details, but also 
a corresponding use of strong, rich coloring. But, while 
it was from Flanders that Diirer derived his style in 
painting, he passed beyond his exemplars in the variety 
and scope of his skill and in mental and moral force. 

In the first place, no one has excelled him in delineat- 
ing textures. You may see in this picture with what truth 
the different surfaces of wood, stone, hair, fur, feather, 
metal-work, embroidery, and so on are represented. 
This skill in textures is even more wonderfully exhibited 
in the black and white lines of his engravings. But the 
point particularly to be noted is that his genius does not 
stop short with the skill; back of it is a great force of 
intellectual and moral intention. He has the artist's love 
of the appearance of things, but he uses every object, 
not merely for its own sake and for the pleasure of rep- 
resenting it, but that it may enhance and intensify the 
main motive of his subject. On this occasion it is to 
contrast the splendor of the visitors from the East with 
the lowliness of the Mother and Child, and with the 
meanness of their surroundings; to contrast the harsh- 

[119] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ness of the ruins with the dignity of the INIother, the 
innocent sweetness of the Babe, and the profound rever- 
ence of the Wise Men. He makes the scene impress 
us so deeply: in the first place, because he realized it 
himself so deeply, tenderly, reverentially, and powder- 
fully in his own mind; and, secondly, because he has 
given to each figure and to every object its own quality 
and degree of character. He felt, and could convey to 
others, the significance of form; by w^hich term I am 
trying to express two things. 

First there is in the character of objects— their color, 
shape, hardness or softness, dullness or brilliance — a ca- 
pacity to arouse our enjoyment. They excite especially 
what has been called our "tactile " sense; that is to say, 
the pleasure we get from actually handling things, or 
from having them represented to us in so real a way 
that we can imagine what would be the pleasurable sen- 
sation of touching them. But there is another way in 
which objects may be significant. For example, the 
things in our houses mean more to us than they would 
if w^e saw them set on a shelf in a shop window. In the 
latter case we enjoy only their appearance; in the other 
they are a part of our lives. Just in the same manner 
objects may be arranged in a painting so as to interest 
us only by their appearance, or in such a way that they 
are an actual part of the life of the picture. 

•This is a distinction that it is worth while to grasp, 
and no one can better help us to do so than Durer. 
We know at once that this Adoration of the Magi im- 
presses us, and, when we study it, we discover that the 
secret of its impressiveness is the extraordinary sig- 

[ I-O ] 



DA VINCI-DURER 

nificance which the artist has given to external ap- 
pearances. 

Here is the point at which the genius of Diirer and 
that of Leonardo, similar in many respects, branch out 
like a Y into separate directions. It is not with the ex- 
ternal significance of objects, but with their inward and 
spiritual significance, that Leonardo was occupied. A 
glance at the Virgin of the Rocks ^ is sufficient to make 
us feel that the artist is not trying to impress us with ex- 
ternal appearances. The outlines of his figures are not 
emphasized as in Diirer's picture; the cavern curiously 
formed of basaltic rock, and the little peep beyond of 
a rocky landscape and a winding stream, the group of 
figures in the foreground by the side of a pool of water 
— all are seen as through a veil of shadowy mist. They 
may be real enough, but far removed from the touch of 
man ; less visible to eye-sight than to soul-sight. It was 
the passion of Leonardo's existence to peer into the mys- 
teries and secrets of nature and life. He was at once 
an artist and a man of science ; turning aside, for a time, 
from painting to build canals, to contrive engines of war, 
to make mechanical birds which flew and animals which 
walked; while the range of his speculations included a 
foresight of the possibilities of steam and of balloons, a 
discovery of the law of gravitation, and a rediscovery of 
the principles of the lever and of hydraulics. Mathe- 
matician, chemist, machinist, and physiologist, geologist, 
geographer, and astronomer, he was also a supreme ar- 

^ This illustration is reproduced from the picture in the Louvre. There is 
another example of the subject in the National Gallery, which is regarded 
by the majority of critics as a replica of the Louvre pichire executed by 
another hand, probably under Leonardo's supervision. 

[121] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

tist. And always it was the truth, just beyond the 
common experience of man, hidden in the bosom of na- 
ture or dimly discerned in the mind of man, that he 
strove to reach. Partly he grasped it, partly it eluded 
him ; much of his life w^as spent in restless striving after 
the unattainable ; so to him life presented itself as a com- 
promise between certainty and uncertainty, between 
fact and conjecture; between truth that is clearly seen 
and truth that is only felt. And in his pictures it w^as 
this mingling of certainty and elusiveness that he sought 
to express. 

The means he employed were, first, extreme delicacy 
and precision in the study and representation of form, 
and then a veiling of all in a gossamer web of chiaros- 
curo. He did not invent the principles of light and 
shade in painting, but he w^as the first to make them a 
source of poetical and emotional effect. Others had used 
chiaroscuro to secure the modeling of form by the con- 
trast of light upon the raised parts with shadow on those 
farther from the eye; but Leonardo w^as the first to no- 
tice that in nature this contrast is not a violent one, 
but made up of most delicate gradations, so that the 
light slides into the dark and the dark creeps into the 
light, and even the darkest part is not opaque, but loose 
and penetrable. In making this discovery he discovered 
also that the general tint of an object — the " local " 
color, as the artists call it— gradually changes in tone 
as the object recedes from the eye, owing to the increase 
in the amount of intervening atmosphere. By repre- 
senting in paint these delicate gradations of light and 
shade he succeeded in obtaining a subtlety of modeling 

[122] 



DA VINCI-DURER 

that has never been surpassed; while, at the same time, 
the successive layers or planes of tone reproduce in his 
pictures the effect of nature's atmosphere. 

Nature's, observe; because other artists of his time 
introduced an atmosphere of their own, bathing the fig- 
ures, very often, in a golden glow which they obtained 
by washing a glaze over the whole or parts of the pic- 
ture; very beautiful, but quite arbitrary and conven- 
tional. Leonardo, however, like Masaccio, imitated the 
effects of real atmosphere, in which he anticipated, as 
we shall see, the nature study of Velasquez. 

How subtle Leonardo's effects were may be noted in 
this picture; for example, in the modeling and fore- 
shortening of the limbs of the two infants, so exquisitely 
soft as well as firm, and in the lovely mystery of the 
faces of the Virgin and Angel. The latter belong to the 
same type as his portrait of Monna Lisa: oval faces 
with broad, high foreheads; dreamy ej^es beneath droop- 
ing lids; a smile very sweet and a little sad, with a sug- 
gestion of conscious superiority. For as he searched 
nature for her mysteries, so he scanned the face of wo- 
man to discover the inward beauty that was mirrored in 
the outward. He made woman the symbol of what 
beauty and the search for beauty meant to himself, add- 
ing that infinitesimal touch of scornfulness, in acknow- 
ledgment that, after all his strivings to know and capture 
beauty, its deepest secret eluded him. JNIuch of his life 
was spent in the search after what eluded him; he loved 
more to reflect and study than to put his ideas into 
actual shape. 

So, while he and Diirer were alike in moral and intel- 

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HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

lectual orreatness. in their eaeer study of nature and in 
the elevation of their art, each had a different ideal which 
led them veiy far apart in the final character of their 
work. DiArer's is full of the meaning of appearances, 
Leonardo's of the mystery that lies behind them; the 
former is vigorous, direct, and powerfully arresting, the 
latter sensitive, strangely alluring, but baffling and 
elusive. 



[124] 



CHAPTER IX 

TIZIANO VECELLI (TITIAN) HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER 

1477-1576 I497-I543 

Italian School of Venice German School of Augsburg 

IT is because of the diiFerence between these two 
wonderful portraits— Titian's 3Ian with the Glove 
and Portrait of Georg Gijze by Hans Holbein the 
Younger— that it is interesting to compare them. In 
doing so we shall contrast not only the difference in the 
personalities of these two artists, and the conditions 
under which they worked, but also the difference of their 
points of view and consequently of their methods. Let 
us begin by studying the second difference, to an under- 
standing of which the pictures themselves will direct us. 
If we should try to sum up in one word the impression 
produced by each, might we not say, " How noble the 
Titian is; the Holbein how intimate'''^. Both the origi- 
nals are young men: Titian's unmistakably an aristo- 
crat, but with no clue given as to who or what he was; 
Holbein's a German merchant resident in London, 
whose name is recorded in the address of the letter in 
his hand, and who is surrounded by the accompaniments 
of his daily occupation. Presently we shall find out 
something about the nature of his occupations; mean- 
while we have surprised him in the privacy of his office, 
'' [ 125 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

and are alread}^ interested in him as an actual man, who 
hved and worked over three hundred years ago, and 
very interested also in the objects that surround him. 
We note akeady that the flowers in the vase are just 
hke the carnations of our own dav, but that the character 
of his correspondence is very difl*erent. Evidently he is 
a prosperous man, but compare the fewness of his letters 
with the packet which one morning's mail would bring 
to a modern merchant. Each is fastened with a band 
of paper, held in place by a seal ; he has j ust broken the 
band of the newly arrived letter; his own seal is among 
the objects that lie on the table. But I interrupt the 
fascinating examination of these details to ask whether 
w^e do not feel already that we are growing intimate with 
the man. 

Can we feel the same toward the Man with the Glove? 
Certainly, when we have once possessed ourselves of the 
appearance of this man's face, we shall not forget it. 
But that is a very different thing from knowing the man 
as a man. There is something, indeed, in the grave, al- 
most sad, expression of the face which forbids, rather 
than invites, intimacy. He, too, seems to have been sur- 
prised in his privacy; but he is occupied, not with his af- 
fairs, as Georg. Gyze is, but with his thoughts. It is 
not the man in his every-dav character with whom we 
have become acquainted; indeed, it is not with the man 
himself that we grow familiar, but with some mood of a 
man, or, rather, with some reflection in him of the artist's 
mood at the time he painted him. 

For Titian found in the original of this portrait a sug- 
gestion to himself of something stately and aloof from 

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TITIAN-HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER 

common things; he made his picture interpret this mood 
of feehng; he may have been more interested in this 
than in ^^reserving a hkeness of the man; we may even 
doubt whether the man w^as actually like this. Certainly, 
this could not have been his every-day aspect, in which 
he appeared while going about whatever his occupation 
in life may have been ; it is one abstracted from the usual, 
an altogether very choice aspect, in which what is noblest 
in his nature is revealed without the disturbance of any 
other condition. 

It is, in fact, an idealized portrait, in which everything 
is made to contribute to the wonderful calm and dignity 
of the mood. The name of the original has not been 
handed down; there is no clue to who or what this man 
was — only this wonderful expression of feeling; and, as 
that itself is so abstract, exalted, idealized, baffling de- 
scription, posterity has distinguished this picture from 
others by the vague title, Man with the Glove. 

Here, then, is another distinction between these pic- 
tures of Titian's and Holbein's. The treatment of the 
former is idealistic, of the other realistic. Both these ar- 
tists were students of nature, seeking their inspiration 
from the w^orld of men and things that passed before 
their eyes. But Holbein painted the thing as it appealed 
to his eye, Titian as it appealed to his mind; Holbein 
found sufficient enjoyment in the truth of facts as they 
were, Titian in the suggestion that they gave him for 
creating visions of his own imagination ; the one viewed 
the world objectively and was a realist, the other sub- 
jectively and idealized. 

This, of course, is a distinction not confined to these 

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HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

two artists. Indeed, all the comparison we have been 
making between their respective points of view is of 
general application. The distinction between the sub- 
jective, universal, and idealistic on the one hand, and the 
objective, particular, and realistic on the other, repeat- 
edly confronts us in the study of art. In fact, every 
artist illustrates either one or other of these points of 
view, or, more usually, a combination of the two: hence, 
to appreciate the work of various men, it is necessary to 
grow to a clear understanding of these contrasts and of 
the innumerable degrees to which they may shade into 
each other. So large a subject cannot be exhausted by 
the comparison of any two pictures; yet from these 
by Titian and Holbein a considerable insight may be 
gained. 

In what respect was Holbein a realist? In our study 
of art we should be very distrustful of words. We can- 
not do without them, but must remember that they have 
no value of themselves; that they are only valuable as 
far as they provide a shorthand expression of some idea. 
The idea, and not the word in which it is clothed, is the 
important thing; but unfortunately a word cannot have 
the completeness and finality of a mathematical formula. 
In arithmetic, for instance, 2X2=4 is universallv true; 
but in the world of ideas there are so many " ifs and 
ans " that the exact statement is impossible. So beware 
of words, and, instead of being satisfied with phrases, 
try to think into and all around the thought that is be- 
hind the phrase. 

What, then, is a realist? Naturally, one who repre- 
sents things as they really are. But can anybody do 

[ 128 ] 



TITIAN-HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER 

that? If ten men the equals of Holbein in observation 
and skill of hand had sat down beside him to paint the 
portrait of Georg Gyze and his surroundings, would 
their pictures have been identical ? Could even any two 
men, working independently, have painted the ink-pot 
alone so that the two representations would be identical ? 
Ha^ e any two men exactly similar capacity of eyesight ; 
and, if they have, will they also have exactly identical 
minds ? The fact is, a man can draw an ink-stand only 
as its appearance physically aiFects his eye and makes a 
mental impression on his brain. In other words, objects, 
so far as we are concerned, have no independent reality; 
you cannot say, " This is what an apple really looks 
like," but only, " This is how it presents itself real to 
me." The personal equation intervenes; that is to say, 
the personal limitation of each individual. 

So, in the strict sense of representing an object as it 
really is, no painter can be a realist ; while, in the general 
sense of representing an object as it seems real to his 
eye and brain, every painter may be called a realist. 
Then how shall we discover the meaning of the word 
"realist" as used in painting? Let us look for an ex- 
planation in the two pictures. 

Both painters represented what seemed real to them; 
but do we not observe that, while Titian was chiefly oc- 
cupied with the impression produced upon his mind, it 
was the impression made upon the eye which gave 
greater delight to Holbein? No man who did not love 
the appearances of things would have painted them with 
so loving a patience. While to Titian the thing which 
appeared most real about this man, the thing most worth 

[129] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

his while to paint, was the impression made upon his 
mind, so that w^iat he painted is to a very large extent a 
reflection of himself, a mood of his own subjectivity, 
Holbein concentrated the whole of himself upon the ob- 
jects before him. His attitude of mind was objective. 
His intention was simply to paint Georg Gyze as he was 
known to his contemporaries— a merchant at his office 
table, with all the things about him that other visitors to 
the room would observe and grow to associate with the 
personality of Gyze himself. 

We may gather, therefore, that realism is an attitude 
of mind; one that makes the painter subordinate himself 
and his ow^n personal feelings to the study of what is 
presented to his eye; which makes him rejoice in the ap- 
pearances of things and discover in each its peculiar 
quality of beauty ; which makes him content to paint life 
simply as it manifests itself to his eye, to be indeed a 
faithful mirror of the world outside himself. 

It is not because Holbein w^as a realist that he is cele- 
brated, but because of the kind of realist he was. You 
will find that reahsm often runs to commonplace ; a man 
may see chiefly wdth his eye because he has little mind to 
see with; may take a delight in the obviousness of facts 
because he has no imagination ; the material appeals to 
him more than the spiritual. But Holbein was a man of 
mind, who attracted the friendship of Erasmus, the 
greatest scholar of his age; and he brought this power 
of mind to the enforcing of his eye. The result is that 
the number and diversity of the objects in this portrait 
do not distract our attention from the man, but rather 
seem to increase our acquaintance with his character and 

[ 130 ] 



TITIAN-HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER 

disposition. We recognize the order and refinement 
which surround him, and find a reflection of them in his 
face. On the other hand, when we examine the details, 
we find each in its way exquisitely rendered; for, as I 
have said, Holbein loved things of dehcate and skilful 
workmanship, and left many designs for sword-scab- 
bards, dagger-sheaths, goblets, and goldsmith's work. 

Yet compared with the elaborated detail of Holbein's 
portrait, how large, simple, and grand is the composition 
of Titian's! The aim of the one artist was to put in 
everything that was possible without injury to the total 
effect; of the other to leave out everything but what was 
essential. Holbein's picture is a triumph of well-con- 
trolled elaboration ; Titian's of simplification. I hope to 
show further that this distinction is characteristic of the 
personality of these two men ; but, for the present, let 
us notice how completely each method suits the character 
of the subject: the man of affairs, calm and collected 
amid a quantity of detail, the man of contemplation, 
aloof from every distraction. 

That Holbein painted all these details because he felt 
them to be really part of the personality of Gyze may 
be inferred from the fact that, though he loves to intro- 
duce little objects of choice workmanship, his treatment 
of the portrait of a scholar like Erasmus is very large 
and simple. Yet even then there is a minuteness of fin- 
ish in the modeling of the flesh and in the painting of 
the hair and costume, which might easily be niggling 
and trivial, but that in Holbein's case it is only part of the 
singular penetration of his observation and extraordi- 
nary manual delicacy, brought to the rendering of some- 

[131] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

thing which he has studied with all the strength of his 
manhood. 

Yet the breadth and simplification of Holbein are not 
like Titian's, being simply and sweetly dignified, where 
Titian's are majestically grand. Turn again to the Man 
tvith the Glove. Shut out with your fingers, first one of 
the hands, then the other, and then the sweep of shirt, 
and notice each time how the balance and dignity of the 
composition are thereby destroyed ; for its magic consists 
in the exact placing of the lighter spots against the gen- 
eral darkness of the whole. By this time we realize that 
the fascination of this portrait is not only in the expres- 
sion of the face and in the wonderful eyes, but also in 
the actual pattern of light and dark in the composition. 
Then, taking the face as the source and nucleus of the ' 
impression which the picture makes, we note how the slit 
of the open doublet echoes the piercing directness of the 
gaze; how the expression of the right hand repeats its 
acute concentration, while the left has an ease and ele- 
gance of gesture which correspond with the grand and 
gracious poise of the whole picture. 

Grand and gracious poise! Xot altogether an unapt 
characterization of Titian himself. At once a genius 
and a favorite of fortune, he moved through his long life 
of pomp and splendor serene and self-contained. He 
was of old family, born at Pieve in the mountain district 
of Cadore. By the time that he was eleven years old his 
father, Gregorio di Conte Vecelli, recognized that he 
was destined to be a painter and sent him to Venice, 
where he became the pupil, first of Gentile Bellini, and 
later of the latter's brother, Giovanni. Then he worked 

[ 132 ] 




MAX WITH THE GLOVE 



TITIAN 



LOUVRE, PARIS 




PORTRAIT OF GEORG GYZE HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER 

BERLIN GALLERY 



TITIAN-HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER 

with the great artist Giorgione. From the first, indeed, 
he enjoyed every privilege that an artist of his time could 
desire. The Doge and Council of Venice recognized his 
ability; the Dukes of Ferrara and Mantua followed suit; 
and, as the years went on, kings, popes, and emperors 
were his friends and patrons. In his home at Biri, a 
suburb of Venice, from which in one direction the snow- 
clad Alps are visible and in the other the soft luxuriance 
of the Venetian Lagoon, he maintained a princely house- 
hold, associating with the greatest and most accom- 
plished men of Venice, working on until he had reached 
within a year of a century of life. Even then it was 
no ordinary ailment, but the visitation of the plague, 
that carried him off; and such was the honor in which he 
was held, that the law against the burial of the plague- 
stricken in a church was overruled in his case and he was 
laid in the tomb which he had prepared for himself in the 
great Church of the Frari. 

No artist's life was so completely and sustainedly su- 
perb ; and such, too, is the character of his work. He was 
great in portraiture, in landscape, in the painting of re- 
ligious and mythological subjects. In any one of these 
departments others have rivaled him, but his glory is that 
he attained to an eminence in all; he was an artist of uni- 
versal gifts, — an all-embracing genius, equable, serene, 
majestic. 

The genius of Holbein also blossomed early. His 
native city of Augsburg was then at the zenith of its 
greatness ; on the highroad between Italy and the North, 
the richest commercial city in Germany, the frequent 
halting-place of the Emperor Maximilian. His father, 

'' [ 137 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Hans Holbein the Elder, was himself a painter of 
merit, and took the son into his studio. A book of 
sketches made during this period by the young Hans, 
preserved in the Berlin JNluseum, shows that he was al- 
ready a better draftsman than his father. In 1515, when 
he was eighteen years old, he moved to Basel, the center 
of learning, whose boast was that every house in it con- 
tained at least one learned man. Here he won the 
friendship and patronage of the great printer Froben 
and the burgomaster Jacob JSIeyer. For the former's 
books he designed woodcuts; for the latter he painted a 
portrait, and, later, the famous Meyer Madonna. In this 
the Virgin is represented as standing, and the JNIeyer 
family kneeling: the father and his two sons on the right, 
and opposite to them his deceased first wife and his then 
living second wife and only daughter. In 1520, the year 
of Luther's excommunication, he was admitted to citi- 
zenship at Basel and to membership in the painters' 
guild: sufficient testimony, as he was only twenty-three, 
to his unusual ability. 

In that same year Erasmus returned to Basel, and 
accepted the post of editor and publisher's reader to his 
friend Froben. Erasmus spoke no modern language 
except his native Dutch, and Holbein seems to have been 
ignorant of Latin, yet a friendship sprang up between 
the two, and the artist designed the woodcuts for the 
scholar's satirical book, " The Praise of Folly," and 
painted his portrait. About this time he made the fa- 
mous series of designs of the Dance of Death; the draw- 
ings of which were so minute and full of detail that when 
Hans Liitzelberger, their engraver, died in 1527, it was 

[138] 



TITIAN-HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER 

ten years before another wood-engraver could be found 
sufficiently skilled to render the action and expression of 
the tiny figures. 

But book illustration was poorly paid and the times 
were lean ones for the painter, since the spread of the 
Reformation had cut off the demand for church pic- 
tures. Holbein found himself in need of money, and 
accordingly, by the advice of Erasmus, set out for Lon- 
don with a letter of introduction from the scholar to Sir 
Thomas More, the King's Chancellor. 

" Master Haunce," as the English called him, arrived 
in England toward the close of 1526. The London of 
that day presented some crude contrasts. Side by side 
with buildings of Gothic architecture had arisen later 
ones of Renaissance design, but the average houses were 
still of wood and mud, huddled together in very narrow 
streets, the rooms small and the flooring of the lowest 
story merely the beaten earth. The houses of the upper 
class lined the bank of the Thames, and it was in one of 
these, situated in what was then the village of Chelsea, 
that Sir Thomas More lived. Here Holbein was wel- 
comed, and made his home during this first visit to Eng- 
land. He painted portraits of many of the leading 
men of the day, and executed drawings for a picture 
of the family of his patron, which, however, was never 
painted; for, two years later, in consequence of an out- 
break of the plague, he returned to Basel. 

But Basel was no longer what it had been: Froben 
was dead; Erasmus, Meyer, and others of the cultivated 
class had abandoned the city, which was in the clutches 
of the Reformers, who showed their zeal for religion by 

[ 139 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

a crusade against art. Consequently, in 1531, Holbein 
returned to England. But here, too, had been changes ; 
More was in disgrace, so that Holbein, cut off from 
court patronage, attached himself to the merchants of 

the Steelyard. 

These were the London representatives of the Han- 
seatic League, a combination of commercial cities, at the 
head of which were Liibeck and Hamburg. It had been 
formed as early as the thirteenth century, for mutual 
protection against piracy and to promote the general 
interests of trade, and had established factories, or 
branches, in various places, as far removed as London 
and Novgorod. These, under special privileges derived 
from the respective governments, gradually absorbed 
the main business of the import and export trade. 
Georg Gyze was a member of the London factory, a 
merchant of the Steelyard, and in his portrait the steel- 
yard or scale for the weighing of money, the symbol also 
of the merchant guild, hangs from the shelf behind his 

head. 

By 1587 Holbein had come to the notice of Henry 
Vin, and was established as court painter, a position 
which he held until his death. This seems to have oc- 
curred during another visitation of the plague in 1543; 
for at this date knowledge of the great artist ceases. 
When he died or where he was buried is not known. 

What a contrast between his hfe and Titian's! One 
the favorite, the other the sport, of fortune. For 
though the greatness of both was recognized by their 
contemporaries, Titian lived a life of sumptuous ease in 
the beautiful surroundings of Venice, while Holbein, 

[ 140 ] 



TITIAN-HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER 

often straitened for money, never wealthy, experienced 
the rigor of existence; more or less a victim to the 
religious convulsions of the time, forced by need and 
circumstances to become an alien in a strange land, 
dying unnoticed and unhonored. The world to Titian 
was a pageant, to Holbein a scene of toil and pilgrimage. 
Titian viewed the splendor of the world in a big, 
healthful, ample way; and represented it with the glow- 
ing brush of a supreme colorist. On the other hand, 
Holbein is eminent in German art because he finally 
emancipated it from Gothic thraldom. He was the 
foremost artist of the German Renaissance, beside whom 
Diirer seems to belong to the middle ages. Yet the lat- 
ter's art must be joined with his to produce a complete 
representation of the genius of the race. In both are 
manifested the decorative feeling, the eager curiosity, 
the love of elaborate detail that distinguish German 
art. But, while Holbein reflected the conscientiously 
earnest, matter-of-fact spirit, Diirer reflected also the 
romantic temperament that underlies it. After these 
two, if we except Lucas Cranach, no painter in German 
art demands the student's attention until the nineteenth 
century. 



[141] 



CHAPTER X 

ANTONIO ALLEGRI (called MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI 

CORREGGIO) 

1494 (0-1534 

Italian School of Parma Italian School of Florence 

IT would be impossible to imagine a greater contrast 
than the one presented by these two pictures— Cor- 
reggio's Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine and 
the Jeremiah by Michelangelo. And the difference is 
all the more worth studying because these artists are the 
most typical representatives of two very different phases 
of that wonderful outburst of energy which we call the 
Renaissance. 

We have seen how two currents of striving united in 
Raphael's work ; how he satisfied the old religious yearn- 
ing as well as the newly aroused passion for the antique ; 
how he reclothed the Bible story in classic guise. We 
have seen, too, that in Leonardo da Vinci were revealed 
the subtlety of his time, its eagerness for perfection, the 
dawn of the sph'it of scientific inquiry, which, re- 
awakened by the study of Aristotle and Plato, was 
searching into the mystery of the universe and man's 
relation to it ; and that in this peering forward Leonardo 
anticipated some of the facts of science rediscovered 
and established by later philosophers and scientists. 

We can now study in Correggio that element in the 

[ 142 ] 



CORREGGIO-MICHELANGELO 

Renaissance conveniently called "pagan"; which, for 
the j^resent, may be briefly summarized as a tendency to 
look back further than the beginning of the Christian 
religion, further, even, than the classic times, to that 
dream of a golden age, of perfect peace and happiness 
and innocence, when men and women lived a natural life, 
and shared the woods and streams, the mountains and 
the fields, with satyrs, nymphs, and fauns. Correggio 
has been called the " Faun of the Renaissance." 

But in those splendid yet terrible days of the Renais- 
sance peace was continually disturbed by wars and civil 
strife; innocence crept to shelter from the wickedness 
which shamelessly prevailed; and happiness went hand 
in hand with anguish. Italy of that da}^ was like a huge 
caldron into which all the human passions, good and evil, 
had been flung, while underneath it was the fire of an 
impetuous race, that after long smoldering had now 
leaped up with volcanic force. The seething tumult of 
these contending passions is reflected in the work of 
Michelangelo. 

While Correggio represents the exquisite f ancif ulness 
of that period, Michelangelo is an embodiment of its 
soul. 

Compare again these two pictures. Correggio has 
here taken for his subject one of the beautiful legends 
of the church. Catherine was a lady of Alexandria who, 
living about 300 a.d., dared to be a Christian, and even- 
tually died for her faith by the torment of the wheel, 
which latter appears as an emblem in many of her pic- 
tures. She had a vision in which it was made known to 
her that she should consider herself the bride of Christ; 

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HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

and the theme of this mystic marriage was a favorite one 
in the turbid times of the Renaissance, when women 
sought the cloister as a refuge from the wickedness and 
tyranny of the world. 

But how has Correggio treated this subject? Does 
he make you feel the sacrifice of Catherine; or suggest 
to you anything of the religious fervor and devotion with 
Avhich the vision must have inspired herself? In the 
background are little figures, scarcely to be seen in the 
illustration, which, if you search into them, tell of suffer- 
ing; but they do not really count in the impression which 
the picture makes upon us. What we get from it as a 
whole is a lovely, dreamy suggestion, as of very sweet 
people engaged in some graceful pleasantry. The mo- 
ther is absorbed in love of her child, wrapped up in the 
consciousness, common to young mothers, that her child 
is more than ordinarily precious. The baby itself is a 
little, roguish love, a brother of the little Cupids and 
putti that abound in Correggio's pictures, eying with 
the watchful pla3^fulness of a kitten the hand of Cathe- 
rine. The latter inlays her part in the ceremony with 
little more feeling than that of any other child-wor- 
shiper; while the St. Sebastian, with his bunched locks 
reminding us of ivy and vine leaves, has the look of 
the youthful Dionysos, the arrow recalling the thyrsus 
which the young god used to carrj\ 

There is not a trace of religious feeling in the picture, 
or of mystic ecstasy — only the gentle, happy peace of 
innocence. There may be violence out in the world, but 
far away ; no echo of it disturbs the serenity of this little 
group, wrapped around in warm, melting, golden atmo- 

[ 144 ] 



CORREGGIO-MICHELANGELO 

sphere. Elsewhere may be hearts that throb with pas- 
sion, consciences sorely eager to do right or stricken with 
the memory of sin; but not in this group. These beings 
are no more troubled with conscience than the lambs 
and fawns; their hearts reflect only the lovableness of 
their sunn}^ existence, as the placid pool reflects the sun- 
light. They are the creatures of a poet's golden dream. 

Compare with them the Jeremiah, Here, instead of 
delicate gracefulness, are colossal strength, ponderous 
mass, profound impressiveness; back and legs that have 
carried the burden, hands that have labored, head bowed 
in vast depth of thought. And what of the thought? 

More than two thousand years had passed since Jere- 
miah hurled his denunciations against the follies and 
iniquity of Judah, and in his Lamentations uttered a 
prophetic dirge over Jerusalem, hastening to become the 
prey of foreign enemies. And to the mind of Michel- 
angelo, as he painted this figure of Jeremiah, sometime 
between 1508 and 1512, — that is to say, between his 
thirty-fourth and thirty-eighth years, — there was pres- 
ent a similar spectacle of his own beloved Italy reeling 
to ruin under the weight of her sins and the rivalries 
of foreign armies, and perhaps also a prophetic vision 
of how it would end. As Jeremiah lived to see the fall 
of Jerusalem, so Michelangelo lived to see the sacred 
city of Rome sacked in 1527 by the German soldiery 
under the French renegade Constable Bourbon. 

It is the profundity of Michelangelo's own thoughts 
that fills this figure of Jeremiah. Like the Hebrew 
prophet's life, his own was a protest against the w^orld. 
Jeremiah fled to Egypt; Michelangelo into the deepest 

[ 145 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

recess of his own soul. In this figure of Jeremiah he has 
typified himself. 

Whether consciously or unconsciously, who shall say? 
Always the artist puts into his work a portion of himself, 
and of this feeling in himself that he is striving to ex- 
press he is of course conscious. But this feeling is the 
sediment left in him from many experiences, some — the 
most of them, probably— forgotten; so, as he labors to 
express it in his painting or statue, he very likely is not 
conscious of its personal application to himself, being 
absorbed by the work before him. And still more likely 
is this unconsciousness in the case of great artists; for 
in them there is more than memory and experience, more 
even than knowledge and imagination: something inex- 
plicable to us, not to be understood by themselves; what 
we vaguely call soul, and the ancients, more vaguely 
still, but with nearer approach to truth, called " afflatus " 
— divine inspiration. 

The French philosopher Taine wrote: " There are 
four men in the world of art and literature so exalted 
above all others as to seem to belong to another race — 
namely, Dante, Shakspeare, Beethoven, and JNIichelan- 
gelo." 

They are of the race of the Titans, the giant progeny 
of heaven and earth. The old race warred with heaven, 
but was finally subdued and sent down to Tartarus. 
Three, at least, of these modern Titans, Dante, Bee- 
thoven, and jNIichelangelo, were at continual war in their 
souls with conditions that environed them, and found 
hell on earth. Not that the world treated Michelangelo 
worse than many others; but, as Taine says, " suffering 

[146] 



CORREGGIO-MICHELANGELO 

must be measured by inward emotion, and not by out- 
ward circumstances; and, if ever a spirit existed which 
was capable of transports of enthusiasm and passionate 
indignation, it was his." Such a man as Michelangelo 
could not escape from the tempest of the world by wrap- 
ping himself up in dreams of a " golden age," as Cor- 
reggio did. 

Once more compare the two pictures, to observe the 
difference of their technic. One reason of difference 
is that Correggio's is painted in oil on canvas, Michel- 
angelo's in fresco on the plaster of the ceiling. The 
meaning of the word " fresco " is " fresh," and the pecu- 
liarity of the method consisted in painting on the plaster 
while it was still damp, so that the colors, which were 
mixed with water, in the process of drying became in- 
corporated with the plaster. The wall or ceiling to be 
so decorated was coated with the rough-cast plaster and 
allowed to dry thoroughly; after which a thin layer of 
smooth finish was spread over as large a portion of the 
surface as the artist could finish in one day. Meanwhile 
he had prepared his drawing, and, laying this against 
the surface, went over the lines of it with a blunt instru- 
ment, so that, when the drawing or cartoon was removed, 
the outline of the figures appeared, incised in the damp 
plaster. Then he applied the color, working rapidly, 
with a full assurance of the effect which he wished to 
produce, since correction, or working over what had al- 
ready been painted, was not easy. 

On the contrary, with oil paints the artist can work at 
his leisure, allowing his canvas time to dry, working over 
it again and again, and finally toning it all together by 

[ 147 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

brushing over it thin layers of transparent colors, called 
glazes. It was by the use of these latter that Correggio 
obtained the warm, melting atmosphere in which his fig- 
ures are bathed, and which is one of the distinguishing 
characteristics of his style. We can realize at once how 
this method was suited to the dreamy luxuriance of his 
imagination; while, on the contrary, more in harmony 
with the genius of INIichelangelo was the immediate, 
smiting method of the fresco. For in the strict sense of 
the word he was not a painter; that is to say, he was not 
skilled in, and probably was impatient of, the slower, 
tenderer way in which a painter reaches his results. He 
was not a colorist, nor skilled in the rendering of 
light and atmosphere; but a great draftsman, a great 
sculptor, and a profound thinker. He labored with his 
subject in his brain, and then expressed it immediately 
with pencil or charcoal, or more gradually by blows of 
the mallet upon the chisel. But in either case it was the 
thought, straight out from himself in all the heat of kin- 
dled imagination, that he set upon the paper, or struck 
out with forceful action of the tool. 

He used to say that he had sucked the desire to be a 
sculptor from his foster-mother, the wife of a stone- 
cutter; and in his later life, when sore oppressed, he 
would retreat to the marble-quarries of Carrara under 
color of searching for material. To him each block of 
marble, rugged, hard, and jagged, held a secret, needing 
only the genius of his chisel to liberate it; and in the 
same way his own soul was imprisoned in a personality 
eternally at odds with the world, that to the seven popes 
whom he successively served during his long life of 
eighty-nine years seemed very hard and unyielding. 

[ 148] 




:mystic marriage of st. Catherine 

LOUVRE, PARIS 



CORREGGIO 




JEREMIAH 



SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME 



MICHELANGELO 



CORREGGIO-MICHELANGELO 

It is the feeling of the sculptor that Ave recognize in 
this painting of Jeremiah; the feeling for solidity and 
weight of mass, for stability of pose; a preference for 
simple lines and bold surfaces, arranged in a few planes. 
To appreciate this distinction, compare Correggio's pic- 
ture: its intricacy of lines, the distance of its receding 
planes, but more particularly the character of its com- 
position, consisting of so many varieties of lighted and 
shadowed parts, and the absence of suggestion that the 
figures are firmly planted. While Correggio has relied 
upon beautiful drawing, upon exquisite expression of 
hands and faces, and on color, light, and shade, and his 
golden atmosphere that envelops the whole, Michelan- 
gelo relied solely upon form — the form of the figure and 
of the draperies. This is to admit that, judged from 
the standpoint of painting, he was not a great painter. 
He himself told Pope Julius II, when the latter re- 
quested him to paint this ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at 
Rome, that he was not a painter, but a sculptor; yet, 
after he had shut himself up for four years, and the 
scaffold was removed, a result had been achieved which 
is without parallel in the world. 

Very wonderful is the profusion of invention spread 
over this vast area of ten thousand square feet. The 
fact that there are three hundred and forty-three prin- 
cipal figures, many of colossal size, besides a great num- 
ber of subsidiary ones introduced for decorative effect, 
and that the creator of this vast scheme was only thirty- 
four when he began his work — all this is wonderful, 
prodigious, but not so wonderful as the variety of ex- 
pression in the figures. 

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HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

If there is one point more than another in which ]Mi- 
chelangelo displayed his genius it is in this, that he dis- 
covered the capabihty of the human form to express 
mental emotions. While the ancient Greeks sought, in 
their rendering of the human form, an ideal of physical 
perfection, and the later Greeks, as in the group of Lao- 
coon and his sons attacked by serpents, sought to express 
the tortures of physical suffering, JNIichelangelo was the 
first to make the human form express a variety of mental 
emotions. In his hands it became an instrument, upon 
which he played, like a musician on his organ, extracting 
themes and harmonies of infinite variety. And just as 
it is within the power of music to call up sensations, 
which we feel deeply and yet cannot exactly put into 
words, which elude us and merge themselves in the ab- 
stract and the universal, so JNIichelangelo's figures carry 
our imagination far beyond the personal meaning of the 
names attached to them. We know, for example, who 
Jeremiah was, and what he did; but this figure, buried in 
thought, of what is he thinking? To each one of us, 
thoughtfully considering the picture, it has a separate 
meaning. 

On the other hand, we could come very near to a 
mutual understanding of the emotions aroused by Cor- 
reggio's picture ; although he too, as we have seen, was 
intent upon representing, not the concrete fact of a mar- 
riage, but the abstract ideas of peace, happiness, and 
innocence. Therefore, the difference between the ways 
in which these two pictures affect us is not one of kind, 
but of degree. Both detach our thoughts from the con- 
crete and carry our imagination away into the world of 

[ 154 ] 



CORREGGIO-MICHELANGELO 

abstract emotions; but while Correggio's appeals to us 
like a pastoral theme by Haydn, Michelangelo's is to 
be compared to the grandeur and soul-searching im- 
pressiveness of Beethoven. 

JNIichelangelo, therefore, compels us to enlarge our 
conception of what is beautiful. To the Greeks it was 
physical perfection; to Correggio physical loveliness 
joined to loveliness of sentiment; but Michelangelo, 
except in a few instances, such as his painting of Adam 
on the Sistine vault, and his sculptures of the Pietd 
and of the figure of the Thinker over the tomb of 
Lorenzo de' Medici, cared little for physical beauty. 
As far as w^e know, he reached the age of sixty- four 
years without ever being attracted by the love of wo- 
man ; then he met the beautiful Vittoria Colonna, widow 
of the Marquis of Pescara. They were mutually 
drawn together by the bond of intellectual and spiritual 
sympathy; their communion was of soul with soul; and 
Michelangelo, now moved by love to be a poet, expressed 
his soul in sonnets, as beforetime he had done in sculp- 
ture and painting. 

The beauty, therefore, of his sculpture and paintings 
consists finally in the elevation of soul which they em- 
body and the power they have to elevate our own souls. 
Their beauty is elemental; for example, the picture we 
are studying is not so much a representation of Jere- 
miah, as a typal expression of a great soul in labor 
with heavy thoughts. Accordingly, in Michelangelo's 
figures, lines of grace are for the most part replaced by 
lines of power— the power of vast repose or of tremen- 
dous energy, even of torment, either suppressed or des- 

[ 155 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

perate. Though a master of anatomy and of the laws 
of composition, he dared to disregard both if it were 
necessary to express his conception: to exaggerate the 
muscles of his figures, and even put them in positions 
which the human body could not assume. In his latest 
painting, that of the Last Judgment on the end wall of 
the Sistine, he poured out his soul like a torrent. What 
w^ere laws in comparison with the pain within himself 
which must out? Well might the Italians of his day 
speak of the terribilita of his style : that it was, terrible ! 

In a brief study of so great a man it is possible to al- 
lude to only one more feature of the picture — namely, 
its architectural details. These, real as thev look, are 
painted on the level surface of the vault. It is character- 
istic of INIichelangelo that, having this vast space to deco- 
rate, he should begin by subdividing it into architectural 
spaces, since he was architect as well as sculptor, painter, 
and poet. For a time the building of St. Peter's was in- 
trusted to his care, and in the last years of his life he 
prepared plans for it and made a model of its wonderful 
dome. There was much dispute as to whether the ground- 
plan of the building should be of the design of a Greek 
or of a Roman cross. Bramante had urged the former 
and INIichelangelo adhered to it, intending the dome to 
be its crowning feature. Unfortunately, in the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century the nave was length- 
ened, and this change from the Greek to the Roman 
cross has interfered with the view of the dome from 
nearby and otherwise diminished its effect. 

Michelangelo died in Rome, February 18, 1564, after 
dictating this brief will; " I commit my soul to God, my 

[156] 



CORREGGIO-MICHELANGELO 

body to the earth, and my property to my nearest rela- 
tions." His remains were conveyed to Florence, and 
given a public funeral in the Church of Santa Croce. 

Compared with this long and arduous life, Correg- 
gio's seems simple indeed. Little is known of it, which 
would argue that he was of a retiring disposition. He 
was born in the little town of Correggio, twenty- four 
miles from Parma. In the latter city he was educated, 
but in his seventeenth year an outbreak of the plague 
drove his family to Mantua, where the young painter 
had an opportunity of studying the pictures of Man- 
tegna and the collection of works of art accumulated 
originally by the Gonzaga family and later by Isabella 
d'Este. In 1514 he was back at Parma, where his talents 
met with ample recognition; and for some years the 
stor}^ of his life is the record of his work, culminating 
in that wonderful creation of light and shade, The Ado- 
ration of the Shepherds, now in the Dresden Gallery, 
and the masterpiece of the Parma Gallery, Madonna 
and Child with St. Jerome and the Magdalene. 

It was not, however, a record of undisturbed quiet, 
for the decoration which he made for the dome of the 
cathedral was severely criticized. Choosing the subject 
of the Resurrection, he projected upon the ceiling a 
great number of ascending figures, which, viewed from 
below, necessarily involved a multitude of legs, giving 
rise to the hon mot that the painting resembled a " fry 
of frogs." It may have been the trouble which now en- 
sued with the chapter of the cathedral, or depression 
caused by the death of his young wife, but at the age of 
thirty-six, indifferent to fame and fortune, he retired to 

'' [157] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

the comparative obscurity of his native place, where for 
four years he devoted himself to the painting of mytho- 
logical subjects: scenes of fabled beings removed from 
the real world and set in a golden arcady of dreams. 
All that is known regarding his death is the date, March 
5, 1534. 



[158] 



CHAPTER XI 



PAOLO CALIARI (called 
VERONESE) 

1528-1588 

Italian School of Venice 



J AC OP O ROBUSTI (called 
TINTORETTO) 

1518-1594 

Italian ScJiool of Venice 



THE art of Venice, it has been said, " was late in 
its appearance, the last to come, the last to die, 
of all the great Italian schools." It reached its 
culmination in Titian, whom we have already consid- 
ered, and in Paul Veronese and Tintoretto, his contem- 
poraries. Most characteristically, perhaps, in the last 
two. 

For the grandeur of Venetian art does not consist in 
its representation of the motives which exercised the 
other schools of Italian art. It was not saturated with 
the religious motive, or with the classical; nor intent on 
realistic representation. It combined something of each, 
but only as a means to its purpose of making art con- 
tributory to the joy and pageantry of life. While the 
searching spirit of the Renaissance was reflected in Da 
Vinci, its soul in Michelangelo, and the Christian faith 
and classical lore united in Raphael, the motive of the 
Venetians was the pride of life : pride particularly in the 
communal life of Venice, in her institutions, in her un- 
surpassed beauty, in her royal magnificence as the 
Queen City of the East and West. 

[159] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Eleven hundred years before the birth of Paul Vero- 
nese, a.d. 421, a handful of Roman Christians, driven 
out of Aquileia by the Lombards, had taken refuge upon 
Torcello, one of the sandy islands amid the lagoons. In 
time they spread to other islands, JMalamocco and Ri- 
valto, from which they repelled an attack" made by 
Pepin, the son of Charlemagne, thus throwing off the 
yoke of the Eastern emperors. Rivalto was then selected 
as the seat of government ; Venice was founded, and in 
A.D. 819 the doge took up his residence on the spot still 
occupied by the Ducal Palace. Nine years later a Vene- 
tian fleet brought from Alexandria the body of St. 
Mark ; he was adopted as the city's patron saint ; his em- 
blem, the lion, became the symbol of the Venetian gov- 
ernment; and a church w^as erected in his honor, wh^^e 
now stands the great cathedral, adjoining the palace of 
the doges. 

Henceforth these two structures became the embodi- 
ment of the city's spiritual and temporal life ; the asser- 
tions of her proud independence and superb ambitions; 
the visible expressions of her strongly personal religion 
and intense patriotism. From the first she set her face 
to the sea, and by her geographical position became the 
entrance-port through which the wealth of the East 
poured into Europe. So, when she planned her great 
church of St. JNIark's in the eleventh century, it was to 
Byzantium that she turned for craftsmen and artificers, 
and the edifice, which rose through this and the following 
centuries, was Oriental both in style and in the lavishness 
of its decoration. It came to be like a colossal casket, the 
outside and inside of which was being embellished con- 

[160] 



VERONESE-TINTORETTO 

tinually with more precious and sumptuous display. 
Some architects will tell you it is a monstrosity, because 
it lacks the dignity of form, the harmony between the 
whole and its parts, that are essential to a great compo- 
sition. 

It is not, however, on the score of form that it chal- 
lenges the admiration of the world, but as an example, 
the most superb in Europe, of applied decoration. Its 
exterior is incrusted with carven work, brilliant with 
gold, sumptuous with columns of most precious marbles : 
with costly marbles, also, its interior is veneered; its 
vaultings covered with glass mosaics, its windows filled 
with colored glass — the glass-work fabricated on the 
island of Murano, originally by Byzantine artists. The 
interior is a miracle of color, seen under every conceiva- 
ble variety of lights and shadows; by turns gorgeous, 
tender, stupendous, or mysteriously lustrous, impreg- 
nated everywhere with an atmosphere of infinite sub- 
tlety. Not form, as I have said, but color, light and 
shade, and atmosphere; and these are the qualities that 
prevail in Venetian painting. They are a heritage from 
the Byzantine influence, reinspired continually by the 
waters and skies of Venice ; and they were the only ade- 
quate means of representing pictorially the variegated 
opulence of Venetian life. 

Let us glance for a moment at the growth of the 
power of Venice. In the thirteenth century, — namely, 
1204,— under her Doge Dandolo, she took Constanti- 
nople and planted her colonies on the shores of the 
peninsula of Greece and on the adjacent islands. Dur- 
ing the fourteenth century she waged war with her naval 

[ 161 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

rival, Genoa, conquered her, and extended her own 
power over the neighboring cities of Vicenza, Yerona, 
and Padua, until the whole district of Yenezia was under 
her sway, while her colonies extended along the shores 
of the Adriatic and JNIediterranean as far as Trebizond, 
on the northeast coast of Asia JNIinor. By the com- 
mencement of the fifteenth century her glory was in its 
zenith. The French ambassador, De Commynes, writ- 
ing to his sovereign, describes Yenice as the " most tri- 
umphant city I have ever seen, and one which does most 
honor to ambassadors and strangers; which is most 
wisely governed, and in which the service of God is most 
solemnly performed." 

But the wave, having reached its summit, was already 
beginning to decline. In 1453 the conquest of Constan- 
tinople by the Turks began the undermining of the 
commerce of Yenice with the Levant; and, following 
the voyage of Yasco da Gama round the Cape of Good 
Hope, the trade with India gradually passed into the 
hands of the Portuguese. Then, in 1508, the Pope, the 
German Emperor, and the King of .France conspired 
against Yenice in the League of Cambrai ; and although 
she " remained herself untouched upon the waters of the 
Lagunes, she lost her possessions on the mainland"; 
while through the years which followed, almost single- 
handed, she held the Turks at bay. Yet it was in the 
long-drawn-out decline of her power that her art reached 
its supreme height. ^Vith Titian, whose long life 
bridged the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it is still 
magnificently poised; with Tintoretto and Paul Yero- 
nese, both of whom belonged entirely to the latter cen- 
tury, it is an art of display and some exaggeration. 

[ 162 ] 



VERONESE-TINTORETTO 

Peculiarly characteristic of Venetian art was the pa- 
geant picture representing some great religious or state 
function redounding to the glory of Venice. The most 
beautiful city in the world, her own external life was a 
continual pageant, but on frequent occasions her canals 
and piazza were the scenes of officially regulated cere- 
monials. The arrival and departure of ambassadors 
were events of particular magnificence; the church's 
processions, such as those of Corpus Christi, were con- 
ducted with a splendor that was only surpassed in the 
great state pageant wherein Venice was annually wed- 
ded to the Adriatic. 

The Doge's Palace, embodiment of her power as a 
state, under the rule of its doge and Council of Ten, was 
five times damaged by fire, and after each catastrophe 
repaired with greater magnificence. In the fire of 1576 
the paintings by Bellini, Alvise Vivarini, and Carpaccio 
which had adorned the interior were consumed; and 
those which now decorate its walls and ceilings are the 
work of the later artists, notably of Titian, Tintoretto, 
and Veronese. With very few exceptions, the subjects 
of the pictures set forth the glory and power of Venice, 
which find their highest expression in the Hall of the 
Great Council, that body of one hundred nobles, nomi- 
nally the government, but actually superseded by the 
inner Council of Ten. The walls are covered with large 
mural paintings, representing triumphal incidents of 
war and diplomacy. Around the frieze are portraits by 
Tintoretto of seventy-six doges, a black tablet with the 
inscription Hie est loeus Marini Falethri deeapitati pro 
eiiminiJnis hanging where should be the portrait of Doge 
Marino Faliero, a traitor to the terrible Council of Ten. 

[ 163 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

The splendor of the whole culminates in the center of the 
eastern ceiling, in the Glory of Venice by Paul Vero- 
nese. 

The illustration of it here reproduced should be held 
above the head, in order that the angle of vision may cor- 
respond with that at which the original is viewed. Then 
it becomes apparent with what wonderful skill the archi- 
tecture and the figures have been made to conform to the 
conditions of seeing the picture. High up against the 
magnificent architectural setting, of that imposing kind 
with which the architect Palladio was delighting his con- 
temporaries, between pillars of Oriental design, such as 
adorn the Beautiful Gate of the Temple in Raphael's 
cartoon of Peter and John curing the lame man, Ve- 
nezia sits enthroned. She is robed in ermine and blue 
silk, gold embroidered, and above her fair-haired head a 
winged figure, poised in air, suspends a crown, while an- 
other, higher up upon a cloud, blows through a trumpet. 
Grouped at the foot of the throne, and resting upon 
clouds, are five female figures, symbolizing, from the 
right. Justice, Agriculture, Peace, Commerce, and Vic- 
tory, and beside the last sits the male figure of a soldier, 
holding a branch of laurel. From a balcony beneath 
them men and women in beautiful attire look up with 
faces of radiant happiness and devotion, while down be- 
low, two horsemen appear among a crowd of persons. 

" This picture," writes the artist E. H. Blashfield, " is 
so rich and so silvery in its color " — the latter appearing 
in the architectural parts — " that it may be called mag- 
nificent in its technic as in its motive. As a subject, it is 
exactly what Veronese loved best to treat, and among 

[164] 




THE GLORY OF VENICE PAOLO VERONESE 

HALL OF THE GREAT COUNCIL, DUCAL PALACE, VENICE 




o 






Q 

< 












VERONESE-TINTORETTO 

his works only The Marriage at Cana and The Family 
of Darius can rival it. . . . No picture shows a more 
masterly arrangement : a style at once so sumptuous yet 
elevated, figures whose somewhat exuberant loveliness is 
saved from vulgarity by an air of pride and energy, 
magnificent material treated with such ease and sin- 
cerity. 

We should particularly remark the last words, " ease 
and sincerity." As to the ease of Veronese, I quote from 
various sources: "His facility of execution has never 
been equaled." " Every one of his canvases, replete 
with life and movement, is a feast for the eye." " Vero- 
nese was supreme in representing, without huddling or 
confusion, numerous figures in a luminous and diffused 
atmosphere, while in richness of draperies and transpa- 
rency of shadows he surpassed all other Venetians or 
Italians." " He is of all painters, without a single ex- 
ception, the one whose work shows most unity." 

As to his sincerity, it arose from the fact that he was 
simply what he was — a painter. He does not appeal to 
our intelligence, as Titian, or to our sense of dramatic 
poetry, as Tintoretto. His is the Kingdom of the 
World, the pride of strong and beautiful bodies, the 
splendor of external appearances; and he gave himself 
to it with the single purpose of representing what ap- 
pealed to the eye. " Joyous, free, proud, full of health 
and vigor, Veronese is the very incarnation of the Italian 
Renaissance, that happy time when under smiling and 
propitious skies painters produced works of art with as 
little effort as trees put forth their blossoms and bear 
their fruit." 

'' ' [169] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

" These being the prominent features of his style, it 
remains to be said that what is really great in Veronese 
is the sobriety of his imagination and the solidity of his 
workmanship. Amid so much that is distracting, he 
never loses command over his subject, nor does he de- 
generate into fulsome rhetoric." In the exuberance of 
his fancy and the facility of his brush, moreover in the 
skill with which he " places crowds of figures in an atmo- 
spheric envelope, bathing them, so to sj^eak, in light," he 
resembles Rubens. " But he does not, like Rubens, 
strike us as gross, sensual, fleshly; he remains proud, 
powerful, and frigidly materialistic. He raises neither 
repulsion nor desire, but displays with the calm strength 
of art the empire of the mundane spirit." Equally in 
this quality of sober restraint he difl*ers from Tintoretto. 
*' Where Tintoretto is dramatic, Veronese is scenic." 

This distinction is well worth analyzing. It may seem 
for a moment as if the two ideas were identical; but 
" scenic " has to do with the things apparent to the eye, 
" dramatic " with the unseen workings of the mind, as 
expressed in word or gesture. A pageant is scenic; but 
the attempt to reproduce the thought, which moves each 
individual to separate expression of his feelings, would 
bring it into the category of dramatic. The distinction 
is made clear by a comparison of the Glory of Venice 
with Tintoretto's Miracle of St. Mark. We feel a desire 
to know the story represented in the latter. This in 
itself is to admit a difference. Veronese being, as I have 
said, simply what he was — a painter — needs no commen- 
tary. The purport of his picture is at once self-evident. 
You will be told by some that this self -evidentness is the 

[170] 



VERONESE-TINTORETTO 

proper scope of painting; that "art for art's sake" 
should be the sole object of the painter; that the repre- 
sentation of anything else but what is apparent to the 
eye is going outside the province of the art ; and that the 
preference which so many people have for a picture 
which makes an appeal not only to the eye, but to tlie 
intellect or the poetic and dramatic sense, is a proof of 
vulgar taste which confuses painting with illustration. 
The best answer to this is that not alone laymen, but ar- 
tists also in all periods, — artists of such personality that 
they cannot be ignored, — have tried to reinforce the 
grandeur of mere appearances with something that shall 
appeal to the mind and soul of men. 

Tintoretto was one of them; not by overt intention, 
but because the poetic and dramatic fervor was in him 
and it had to find utterance. The points of main impor- 
tance are the value of the story that he represents and 
his manner of representing it. Now, to the Venetians, 
any incident connected with their patron saint was of 
extreme interest, recognized at once and enjoyed. The 
one pictured here has reference to the legend, that a 
Christian slave of a pagan nobleman had persisted in 
worshiping at the shrine of St. Mark; whereupon his 
master haled him before the judge, who condemned him 
to be tortured. But as the executioner raised his ham- 
mer, St. Mark himself descended from heaven and the 
weapon was shattered. We see the saint, hovering above 
the crowd; the executioner in his turban, turning to the 
judge to show the broken hammer; the judge leaning 
forward in his seat, and the various individuals in the 
crowd pressing round with different expressions of 

[171] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

amazement. Following a custom of the time, Tinto- 
retto has introduced the portrait of himself three times: 
in the bearded man who leans forward between the col- 
umns on the left, in the figure immediately^ to the right 
of the executioner, and again in the face that appears 
beneath the judge on the extreme right of the picture. 
No Venetian of Tintoretto's time could be unresponsive 
to such a theme, so realized ; any more than an American 
of to-day could fail to be impressed, were there an artist 
capable of representing some incident in the hfe of 
Washington in such a way as to involve all that the idea 
of Washington presents to the American imagination. 
Now as to the manner of presentment: Tintoretto, 
when a j^outh, wrote upon the wall of his studio as an 
ideal to be reached: " The drawing of Michelangelo, the 
coloring of Titian." His father being a dyer of' silk 
(tintore), the lad at first assisted in the work, hence his 
nickname, " II Tintoretto," " The Little Dyer." How- 
ever, as he showed an aptitude for drawing and painting, 
the father obtained permission for him to work in Ti- 
tian's studio; but for some reason his stay with the great 
master lasted only a few days. For the rest, he was his 
own teacher, studying and copying the works of Titian 
in the churches and palaces ; and, having obtained casts of 
Michelangelo's figures upon the Medicean tombs, draw- 
ing them from every possible point of view. It is said 
that he also made little figures in clay, and suspended 
them by a string from the rafters in his studio, that he 
might learn how to represent them in mid-air, and as 
they appeared when viewed from underneath. 

It was very difficult even in Venice for a young un- 

[172] 



VERONESE-TINTORETTO 

tried painter to obtain recognition ; but at last an oppor- 
tunity occurred. In the Church of Santa Maria del 
Orto there were two bare spaces nearly fifty feet high 
and twenty broad ; he offered to paint them for nothing 
but the price of the materials; and, the offer being ac- 
cepted, produced The Last Judgment and The Golden 
Calf. He was now about twenty-eight years old. So 
great was the impression produced by these works that 
he was shortly after invited to paint four pictures for 
the Scuola di San Rocco, one of which was the picture 
we are studying. There were many of these schools in. 
Venice, and they vied with one another in securing the 
services of painters to decorate their walls. The brothers 
of the Confraternity of San Rocco gave Tintoretto a 
commission for two pictures in their church, and then 
invited him to enter a competition with Veronese and 
others for the decoration of the ceiling in the hall of their 
school. When the day arrived, the other painters pre- 
sented their sketches, but Tintoretto, being asked for his, 
removed a screen from the ceiling and showed it already 
painted. " We asked for sketches," they said. " That 
is the way," he replied, " I make my sketches." They 
still demurred, so he made them a present of the picture, 
and by the rules of their order they could not refuse a 
gift. In the end they promised him the painting of all 
the pictures they required, and during his lifetime he 
covered their walls with sixty large compositions. After 
the fire of 1577 in the Ducal Palace he shared with Vero- 
nese the larger part of the new decorations. 

Among his pictures there is the Marriage of Bacchus 
and Ariadne, described by John Addington Symonds 

[173] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

as "that perfect lyric of the sensuous fancy"; with 
which the same writer couples his 3Iartyrdovi of St. 
Agnes J " that lamb -like maiden with her snow-white 
lamb among the soldiers and priests of Rome," as an 
illustration " that it is not only in the region of the vast, 
the tempestuous, and the tragic, that Tintoretto finds 
himself at home ; but that he has proved beyond all ques- 
tion that the fiery genius of Titanic artists can pierce 
and irradiate the placid and the tender secrets of the 
soul, with more consummate mastery than falls to the 
lot of those who make tranquillity their sj)ecial prov- 
ince. 

Yet it is his phenomenal energy and the impetuous 
force of his work that are particularly characteristic of 
Tintoretto and earned for him the sobriquet among his 
contemporaries, " II Furioso." He painted so many pic- 
tures, and on so vast a scale, that some show the effects 
of over-haste and extravagance, which caused Annibale 
Carracci to say that, " while Tintoretto was the equal of 
Titian, he was often inferior to Tintoretto." 

But the Miracle of St. Mark is one of his grandest 
pictures; admirable alike in the dramatic movement of 
the figures, the beauty of the coloring, and the emotional 
use that has been made of light and shadow. If we com- 
pare it with Veronese's we shall discover the difference 
between the dramatic and the scenic. The figures in the 
latter have a sumptuous repose, finely adjusted to the 
general strain of triumph that resounds from the whole 
picture; but in Tintoretto's the wonderfully foreshort- 
ened body of St. Mark plunges through the air with the 
impetuosity of an eagle. " There is not a figure in the 

[ 1^4. ] 



VERONESE-TINTORETTO 

picture that does not act, and act all over ; not a fold of 
drapery nor a tone of flesh that does not add to the uni- 
versal dash and brilliancy." The coloring of the cos- 
tumes includes saifron, blue, gold, and deep crimson; 
the sky is of greenish hue passing to a golden haze over 
the horizon; while the body of the slave is a center of 
luminousness. For the chief characteristic of the pic- 
ture is Tintoretto's use of light and shade. 

He uses it with dramatic and emotional effect; " with 
him," as has been said, " it is the first and most powerful 
of dramatic accessories; he makes light an actor in his 
vast compositions." We shall see how Rubens, fresh 
from Italy, used light and shadow in this emotional way 
in his Descent from the Cross; but usually, like Vero- 
nese, he enveloped his figures in clear full light; while 
Tintoretto makes his emerge into light from darkness. 
Some of his pictures, whether from effects of time or 
the manner of their painting, are to-day black and 
coarse-looking; but in the best and well-preserved ones, 
as in our present example, the shadows themselves are 
luminous with color. 

While his life was a tranquil one, spent for the most 
part in his studio, his mind teemed with ideas; his con- 
ceptions came to him in lightning bursts of inspira- 
tion, the whole scene vividly clear; rapidly and without 
hesitation transferred to the canvas. Hence some of his 
work is exaggerated in force and confused in compo- 
sition. Such, at least in its present condition, is the vast 
canvas of Paradise in the Ducal Palace, the largest oil- 
painting in the world, measuring thirty by seventy-four 
feet, upon which he painted during the last six years of 

[175] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

his life. He lies buried in Santa Maria del Orto, the 
church in which his first important work was done forty- 
eight years before. Veronese, the younger man, had 
been dead six years. 

With these men died the last of the giants of the Ital- 
ian Renaissance. That mighty movement had run its 
course, and was succeeded by decline. The vital force 
of painting now reappeared in other lands. 



[176] 



CHAPTER XII 

PETER PAUL RUBENS DIEGO RODRIGUEZ DE 

__ .... SILVA VELASQUEZ 

^^/^-^^'^^ 1599-1660 

Flemish School Spanish School 

THE student of art, when he reaches the period of 
the seventeenth century, turns a sharp corner. 
He has been travehng for three centuries in 
Italy, with brief visits at long intervals to Flanders and 
Germany, the second of his trips to the latter including 
a visit to England. But, as he turns the corner of the 
seventeenth century, Italy is left behind, Spain attracts 
his attention to the west, while far to the north Holland 
and, a second time, Flanders beckon him. 

For in Italy the last of the great artists passed away 
with Tintoretto. The country itself had become the 
prey of despots who were in the hire of foreign rulers; 
and the loss of political liberty was accompanied by 
lower social standards, by intellectual and artistic de- 
cline. There were still clever painters, but they were 
little men, without originality, content to reproduce the 
manner of their great predecessors; copying chiefly 
their weaknesses; trying by extravagances to disguise 
the absence of originality in themselves. 

At this period, to find something vital in art, — some- 
thing, that is to say, that grows and ripens because of the 

'' [ 177 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

independent force of life within itself, — we must turn 
to Spain and to the North. Immediately three of the 
greatest names in art rise to our notice: Rembrandt, 
Rubens, and Velasquez. It is with the last two that we 
are concerned at present. 

The pictures selected as a basis for the study of these 
two giants are The Descent from the Cross by Rubens 
and The Maids of Honor {Las Meninas in the Spanish) 
by Velasquez. The former was painted when Rubens 
was thirty-five. He had completed his education by a 
sojourn of eight years in Italy, where, in the service of 
the Duke of jNIantua, he had had special opportunities 
of study, being employed during part of the time in 
making copies of masterpieces for his patron. 

He was now returned to Antw^erp, and one of the 
first works in which he declared himself to be a master 
was The Descent from the Cross. It shows him to be 
under the Italian influence, and not yet the original ar- 
tist that he became. The Maids of Honor, on the con- 
trary, was painted by Velasquez only four years before 
he died, and represents the finest flower of his maturity. 

Possibly our first impression of the Rubens picture 
will be, "How beautiful!" — of the Velasquez, "How 
curious! " In the one case the figures almost fill the can- 
vas and are grouped so as to decorate it with an imposing 
mass of light and shade and a beautiful arrangement of 
lines ; whereas in the other the figures are all at the bot- 
tom of the canvas, and do not present a similarly beau- 
tiful pattern of lines and masses. The one looks like a 
magnificent picture; the other seems to be rather a real 
scene, as indeed it was. 

[ 178 ] 



RUBENS^VELASQUEZ 

The story of has Meninas is that Velasquez was paint- 
ing a portrait of the king and queen, who sat where the 
spectator is as he looks at the picture, and their little 
daughter, the infanta Margarita, came in with her maids 
of honor, her dog, and her dwarfs, accompanied by her 
duenna and a courtier. The little princess asks for a 
drink of water; the maids of honor hand it to her with 
the elaborate etiquette prescribed by the formalities of 
the most rigidly ceremonious court in Europe. The 
scene presented so charming a picture, that the king de- 
sired Velasquez to paint it. The artist has included 
himself in the group at work upon a large canvas, on 
which it is supposed he was painting the portraits of the 
king and queen when the interruption occurred. Their 
reflection appears in the mirror at the end of the room, 
and the chamberlain, Don Jose Nieto, stands outside the 
door, drawing a curtain. The scene is indeed repre- 
sented with such extraordinary realism that the French 
critic Gautier writes, " So comj^lete is the illusion that, 
standing in front of Las Meninas j one is tempted to ask, 
* Where is the picture? ' " 

It is the mature work of a painter whose motto was, 
"Verdad no pintura " ("Truth, not painting"). By 
comparison, the principle which Rubens followed is 
" Painting and truth." Let us see how the two ideas are 
illustrated in the respective pictures. 

The 'Descent from the Cross arouses one's feeling of 
awe and pity to an extraordinary degree. This is partly 
due to the actual moment in the great tragedy of the 
Redemption which the artist has seized. The terrible 
anguish of the Crucifixion is past; to it has succeeded 

[ 179 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

the pathetic nothingness of death; the poor, hmp body 
is being tenderly cared for by the faithful few who have 
come, under the cover of night, to render the last office 
to the Dead. Joseph of Arimathasa is superintending 
the lowering of the precious burden; young John, the 
beloved disciple, supports its weight ; Peter has mounted 
the ladder with characteristic eagerness, but the memory 
of his denial is with him, and, fixed in contemplation of 
the divine face, he lends no hand; and the three INIarys 
are there, the one stretching out her arms wdth a mother's 
yearning for embrace, the Magdalene grasping the foot 
that she had once bathed with her tears. Each attendant 
figure, though so difi*erent in its individual expression 
of feeling, joins with the others to complete a unity of 
deepest reverential tenderness. Then in contrast to 
these strong forms, so full of life and feeling, is the re- 
laxed, nerveless body of the Dead. I wonder if ever the 
pitiful helplessness of death, or the reverent awe that 
the living feel in the j)resence of their beloved dead, has 
been more beautifully expressed. 

Let us try to discover by what actual resources of the 
painter's art Rubens has achieved this result. We have 
mentioned the contrast between the bodies of the Dead 
and the living figures. It is an illustration of the paint- 
er's power to stimulate what has been called the " tactile 
imagination"; that is to say, to suggest the physical 
sense of touch and the feelings in the mind aroused by 
it. A lesser artist might have conceived this way of 
presenting the scene and drawn all the figures in the 
same positions, making, in fact, the same appeal to our 
eye, and yet not affected us in the same way, because he 

[180] 



RUBENS-VELASQUEZ 

would make no appeal to that other sense of touch, 
which really in most people is the more easily roused. 
For people more readily appreciate hard and soft, rough 
and smooth, stiff and limp, hot and cold, than the colors 
and shapes and grouping of objects. It is this sense of 
touch which Rubens had so wonderful a skill in suggest- 
ing. Look, for example, at the modeling of the shoul- 
ders and head of Peter. What strength and bulk and 
sudden tightening of the muscles, as he turns and holds 
himself still ! The line of the shoulders and the direction 
of the eyes j^oint us to the Saviour's head. It has 
dropped of its own weight, as the hand of the man above 
let go of it. The left arm is still grasped by the other 
man — at the elbow, observe, so that his hand not only 
helps to sustain the weight of the body, but keeps the 
forearm stiff. We feel that, when he lets go, it too will 
fall lifelessly. Compare also the huddled, actionless po- 
sition of the Saviour's form with the strong body of 
John, braced so firmly by the legs. So, one by one, we 
might examine the figures, feeling in our imagination 
the physical firmness and muscular movement that each 
would present to the touch, coming back again and 
again to the feeling. How limp and flaccid is the dead 
body ! 

This last feeling might produce in us either disgust 
or pity. Rubens has insured the latter, partly by depict- 
ing in the living figures a reverence and tenderness in 
which we instantly participate; also, by the persuasive 
beauty of the comj^osition. 

Let us study the latter, first in its arrangement of line, 
secondly in its arrangement of light and shade, though 

[181] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

the two are really blended. Every figure in the compo- 
sition has either the beauty of grace or that of character; 
and the most beautiful is the Saviour's, which has the 
elongated, pliant grace of the stem and tendrils of a 
vine. And the drooping flower upon it is the head, to 
which all the principal lines of the composition lead. 
Start where you will and follow along the direction of 
the figures, your eye finally centers upon the Saviour's 
head. It is the focus-point. And note that on the edges 
of the group the lines begin by being firm and strong in 
character, gradually increasing in suppleness and grace 
as they draw near the sacred figure, until finally all the 
dignity and sweetness of the picture come to an inten- 
sity in the Head. Lest the central figure should be lack- 
ing in impressiveness as a mass, its effect has been broad- 
ened by the winding-sheet, against the opaque white of 
which its own whiteness of flesh is limpid and ashy in 
tone. Apart from the flesh-tints, the other hues in the 
picture are black, almost black-green, and dull red. 
Thus by its color as well as by the lines the figure of 
the Saviour is made the prominent spot in the composi- 
tion. JNIoreover, placed as it is upon the most brilliantly 
lighted part of the picture, its own tenderer lighting is 
made more emphatic. • 

The figure is being lowered, as it were, down a cata- 
ract of light which leaps up in a wave at the bottom, and 
scatters flakes of foam around it. These alight on the 
faces, hands, and sometimes on an arm or foot, in every 
case just those parts of the composition which are im- 
portant in the expression of gesture or sentiment. 

In this distribution of light, as well as in the arrange- 

[182] 



RUBENS-VELASQUEZ 

ment of the lines, there has been a careful building up 
of effect, everything calculated to arouse the emotion 
and make at once a magnificent spectacle and a pro- 
found impression. Painted as an altarpiece to be viewed 
from a distance, it is an example of the " grand style," 
belonging to that " high-bred " family of pictures repre- 
sented most nobly in Italian art. Compared with it, The 
Maids of Honor may appear to have little grandeur. 

While the Rubens presents a beautiful pattern of 
decoration, the Velasquez seems barren, more than half 
the canvas being given up to empty space. The figures 
in the former have a grand flow of line, those in the 
latter seem stiff and awkwardly grouped. The Rubens 
excites our emotion, the Velasquez our curiosity. 

Before studying closely The Maids of Honor, we 
must recall the fact that in 1628 Rubens visited the court 
of SjDain for nine months; that Velasquez watched him 
paint and came under the fascination of his personality ; 
that he saw Rubens's admiration for the great Italian 
pictures which hung in the king's gallery; that by the 
advice of Rubens he shortly after w^ard visited Italy, and 
studied in Venice, JNIilan, and Rome. In fact, Velas- 
quez was well acquainted with the grandeur of Italian 
painting; and in the middle period of his life, between 
1645 and 1648, had an opportunity to execute a grand 
example of decorative painting. The king commis- 
sioned him to decorate the walls of the new summer pal- 
ace, Buen Retiro, whereupon Velasquez painted the 
famous Snrrender of Breda. It represents Justin of 
Nassau handing the keys of the city to his conqueror, 
Spinola, the last of the great Spanish generals. It is a 

[ 183 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

noble decoration and at the same time one of the finest 
historical paintings in the world, contradicting the as- 
sertion made by some painters that the two ideas are 
incompatible. 

Some years before it was painted Rubens had com- 
pleted a series of historical decorations, which are now 
in the Louvre, to celebrate eyents in the life of ^larie 
de INIedicis, queen of Henri IV of France, and mother 
of Louis XIII. Here again is shown the difference 
between Rubens and Velasquez; for these pictures by 
Rubens present a blaze of color, a profusion of sumptu- 
ousness, a pageant of imagination in which gods and 
goddesses and allegorical figures mingle with the actual 
personages. Velasquez, on the contrary, while keeping 
in mind the decorative necessities of the canvas, kept 
himself also to the simple and very touching circum- 
stances of the incident. Even in the enthusiasm of 
painting a great decoration, he preserved his regard for 

" truth." 

So it was not because of ignorance of what other great 
painters had done, or of what he himself could do to 
rival them on their own ground, — for The Surrender of 
Breda could hang without loss of dignity beside a Titian, 
—that he turned his back upon all traditions of the Ital- 
ian grand style, and in the years of his maturity pro- 
duced The Maids of Honor, a new kind of picture. It 
was new because it was the product of a new kind of 
artist's eyesight ; of a new conception of realism. 

We have seen in Holbein's Portrait of Georg Gijze 
an example of that kind of realism which is solely occu- 
pied in giving a faithful representation of the figure and 

[ 184 ] 




DESCENT FROM THE CROSS 

ANTWERP CATHEDRAL 



RUBENS 




LAS MEXIXAS (MAIDS OF HOXOR) 

PR ADO GALLERY. MAI)1{II) 



VELASQUEZ 



RUBENS-VELASQUEZ 

its surrounding objects. But if you compare that por- 
trait with Velasquez's picture, you will feel, I think, that 
the attention is scattered over Holbein's picture, while 
in the case of Velasquez's the eye immediately takes it 
in as a whole. The little princess is the center of the 
scene, the light being concentrated on her, as it is around 
the principal figure in Rubens's picture ; but, though our 
attention is centered on the child, it revolves all round 
her and immediately embraces the scene as a whole. The 
realism of this picture is a realism of unity. Moreover, 
it gives us a single vivid impression of the scene, such 
as the king received; so we may call it also a realism of 
impression. 

To illustrate what is meant by realism of impression 
let VIS contrast an example of the extreme opposite: 1807 
— Friedland, by JNIeissonier, in the Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, New York. It is not necessary to have seen it to 
appreciate the difference ; enough to know that it repre- 
sents a regiment of cavalry galloping past Napoleon, 
saluting him as they charge the enemy; and that the 
armor and weapons and accoutrements of all these men 
are painted with the finish and exactness of a miniature. 
No eye in the world could have seen the bridles and bits 
and spurs and buttons, and the thousand other sharply 
defined details, as those soldiers galloped by. While 
each detail represents realism, their svim total is, from 
the point of view of the painter or of the spectator, false. 
The reason is that JNIeissonier has painted, not what he 
could see, but what his mind informed him must be 
there.^ And what is the result? The picture does not 

^ See the chapter on Memling, page 64. 

1^ [ 189 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

affect us as a whole; but people study over it, moving 
their eyes, as if from word to word or from line to line 
on the page of a book; and then, because every item 
looks so real, they exclaim, "How wonderful!" 

Velasquez's picture, on the other hand, makes an in- 
stant and complete impression, because he has included 
in it only as much of detail as the eye could embrace at 
one glance; more, however, than a less gifted and an 
untrained vision could encompass. But it was Velas- 
quez's distinction that he had a marvelous power of re- 
ceiving a full impression and of vividly retaining it in 
his mind until he had rendered it vivid upon the canvas. 

If we turn back again to a comparison of The De- 
scent from the Cross and The Maids of Honor, do we 
not realize a much more instantaneous and vivid impres- 
sion in the Velasquez? The Rubens, also, is a noble ex- 
ample of unity, but it is a unity of effect produced 
chiefly by the balance of the dark and light parts; yet 
the method adopted is arbitrary, as compared with the 
Velasquez. To state it briefly : Rubens has put the light 
where he needed it for his composition; Velasquez has 
taken it as he found it. Streaming through the window, 
it permeates the whole room, not striking the figures 
simply on one side and leaving the other dark, but en- 
veloping them and penetrating to the remotest corners 
of the ceiling. Even in the reproductions, you can see 
how much more real the light is in the Velasquez; how 
it is bright on the parts of the figures that lie in its direct 
path; less bright in the half-lights, where it strikes the 
figure less directly; reflected back, as for example from 
the dress of the little princess on to that of the maid on 

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RUBENS-VELASQUEZ 

her left; how it steals round everything and penetrates 
everywhere. For Velasquez recognized that light is 
elastic and illuminates the air. Also he noticed that the 
light was whiter on objects near the eye, grayer and 
grayer on objects farther and farther back, owing to the 
intervening planes of atmosphere hanging between like 
veils. 

Hence he was the first to discover a new kind of per- 
spective. Men long ago had learned to make the lines 
vanish from the eye ; to make the figures diminish in size 
and shape as they recede from the front ; and to explain 
the distance by contrasts of light and shade. But he 
perfected what had been anticipated by Leonardo — the 
perspective of light. By the most delicate and accu- 
rate rendering of the quanti1:y of light reflected from 
each and every part of the room and the figures and 
objects in it, and by recognizing the veils of atmosphere, 
he gave to the figures the reality of form and to the 
room its hollowness and distance. 

Painters distinguish between the color of an object 
and its color as acted upon by light. Thus, in the case 
of a white dress, they would say that white was its " local 
color." But it is not white like a sheet of paper; it varies 
in degrees of whiteness according to the quantity of 
light reflected from its various parts. And these vary- 
ing quantities of light reflected from the various planes 
of the objects, they call "values." Velasquez excelled 
in the rendering of "values." 

This attention to values, or the truthful rendering of 
light, involved other truths: for example, that the out- 
lines of objects are not, except in special cases, sharply 

[191] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

defined, — the light plays round their edges and thereby 
softens and melts them; and the objects themselves do 
not appear as if they were cut out in paper and pasted 
on the canvas, but are masses of more or less illuminated 
color, merged in the surrounding atmosphere. Conse- 
quently, Velasquez gave to the contour-lines of his fig- 
ures an elusiveness; sometimes they are strong and 
assertive, at other times they melt into the atmosphere. 
And as light shows itself to our eyes by being reflected 
from the infinite molecules of the air, so Velasquez's 
rendering of light introduced an appearance of real 
atmosphere into his pictures. You have only to com- 
pare this one of his with Rubens's to be sure this is so. 

Having thus briefly (and therefore inadequately, I 
am afraid; for it is a large and difficult subject) glanced 
at the things that Velasquez tried for, we are in a better 
position to understand how -liis realism was a realism of 
impression. Firstly, he saw his subject at a single 
glance, eye and hand instantaneously cooperating; and 
he conflned his impression to what a less keen eye, as- 
sisted by him, could also take in as a single impression. 
Secondly, by his marvelous penetration into the action 
of light, and his skill in rendering it, he set upon the 
canvas the scene as he had received the impression of it, 
with such subtle fidelity that our own observation is 
stimulated, and we Teceive the impression vividly. 

By this time the picture should no longer appear to be 
empty; nor the figures crowded at the bottom. We 
should feel that the background and ceiling are con- 
nected, by that vertical strip of light up the edge of the 
canvas, with the figures in the foreground, so as to make 

[192] 



RUBENS-VELASQUEZ 

a unified composition of balanced masses of light and 
less light. In the wonderful truth to life of the figures 
— the exquisite daintiness of the little princess, the affec- 
tionate reverence of the maids, the grotesqueness of the 
dwarfs, and the courtly sensitiveness of the artist's figure 
— we should have entered into the intimate human feel- 
ing of the whole group and ceased to be troubled by the 
curious style of the costumes. 

These costumes, more than likely, and the fact that 
Velasqviez lived in the palace painting courtly scenes 
and portraits, had much to do with his striking out a 
new style. How could he introduce such hooped skirts 
into a picture in the grand manner of Italian painting? 
His great genius was therefore compelled to find an- 
other outlet, and did so in directions which were new and 
permanent additions to the art of painting. 

Rubens, on the other hand, not less original, took 
from the Italian style what could be of use to him, and 
then built upon it a style of his own. It is distinguished 
by a wonderful mastery of the human form and an 
amazing wealth of splendidly lighted color. He was a 
man of as much intellectual poise as Velasquez, and, like 
the latter, was accustomed to court life. But w^hile 
Velasquez, bound to the most punctilious, ascetic, and 
superstitious court in Europe, was driven in upon him- 
self, and became more and more acutely sensitive, — 
Rubens, traveling from court to court with pomp as a 
trusted envoy, had the exuberance of his nature more 
and more developed. As an artist, he had the wonderful 
faculty of being habitually in a white heat of imagi- 
nation, while perfectly cool and calculating in the con- 

[193] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

trol of his hand. Hence the enormous output of his 
brush. It might be said that he was as prohfic in the 
representation of the joy and exuberance of Ufe as 
Michelangelo was in the representation of the life of 
the emotions. 

Velasquez, for nearly two centuries, was forgotten 
outside of Spain. Italian art continued to be the model 
to imitate ; and even when a return to the truth of nature 
was made at the beginning of the nineteenth century, 
sixty years passed before this great example of " Truth, 
not painting" was "discovered." Then a few painters 
visited the museum of the Prado at Madrid, which con- 
tains most of his pictures; others followed, and the 
world became gradually conscious that in these pictures 
of Velasquez, especially in the wonderful series of por- 
traits of the king and members of the court, which he 
made during forty years of royal intimacy, there was 
revealed a great and solitary genius. Since then he 
has exercised, as we shall see, such an influence upon 
modern painting that he has been called " the First of 
the Moderns." 



[ 194] 



CHAPTER XIII 

ANTONY VAN DYCK FRANZ HALS 

1599-1641 1584 (?)-1666 

Flemish School Dutch School 

THE commencement of the seventeenth century 
witnessed the birth of a new nation and of 
a new art — the Dutch. When the emperor 
Charles V abdicated in 1555, he allotted Austria and 
Germany to Ferdinand I, Spain and the Netherlands 
to his son Philip II. The rule of Spain was in one way 
beneficial to the Netherlands, or Low Countries (Hol- 
land and Belgium), since it opened to them the trade 
with the New World and the West Indies. Antwerp 
rose to greatness. " No city except Paris," says Mr. 
Motley, " surpassed it in population or in commercial 
splendor. The city itself was the most beautiful in Eu- 
rope. Placed upon a plain along the bank of the 
Scheldt, shaped like a bent bow with the river for its 
string, it inclosed within its walls some of the most 
splendid edifices in Christendom. The world-renowned 
Church of Notre Dame, the stately Exchange, w^here 
five thousand merchants daily congregated — prototype 
of all similar establishments throughout the world — the 
capacious mole and port — were all establishments which 
it would have been difficult to rival in any other part of 
the globe." 

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HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Such it was before the " Spanish Fury." In 1567 the 
Duke of Alva arrived with ten thousand veterans for the 
purpose of stamping out the Reformed faith; estab- 
hshed his " Council of Blood " ; beheaded the Counts of 
Egmont and Horn after a mock trial; and commenced 
a reign of terror and bloodshed. In the six years of 
his governorship he boasted that he had put to death 
eighteen thousand persons besides those killed in battle; 
for the people had risen under William the Silent, and 
the war for independence was begun. In 1579, by an 
agreement at Utrecht, the seven northern provinces 
united for mutual defense; the southern holding back, 
because they adhered to the Roman Catholic form of 
faith. Antwerp, however, though not in the League of 
United Provinces, became a focus-point of the struggle, 
and in 1585 capitulated to the Duke of Parma. 

Thirty-one years later the English ambassador paid 
a visit to the place, and wrote home to a friend: 

This great city is a great desert, for in ye whole time we spent 
there I could never sett my eyes in the whole length of the streete 
uppon 40 persons at once ; I never mett coach nor saw man on 
horseback ; none of our own companie (though both were workie 
dayes) saw one pennieworth of ware either in shops or in streetes 
bought or solde. Two walking pedlars and one ballad-seller will 
carry as much on their backs at once, as was in that royall ex- 
change either above or below, — and the whole countrey of Bra- 
bant was suitable to this towne; faire and miserable. 

When Philip II died in 1598, Spain was exhausted 
almost to prostration, and his successor was glad to 
conclude an armistice of twelve years with the United 

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VAN DYCK-HALS 

Provinces. But at its conclusion war was resumed, and 
it was not until 1648 that by the peace of Westphalia 
the independence of the northern provinces of Holland 
was finally assured. 

Meanwhile, during those seventy years of conflict in 
which a new nation was in the forming, a new art had 
been born. While the northern provinces were fighting 
for their liberties, a number of painters came to man- 
hood, whose work was of such originality as to constitute 
a new school of painting — the Dutch School; " the last," 
as Fromentin says, "of the great schools, perhajDS the 
most original, certainly the most local." 

It was original because it was local. Across the 
Scheldt in Antwerp, Rubens was in the prime of his 
powers (among his retinue of pupils was Van Dyck) ; 
but, though his fame must have crossed to the Dutch, his 
influence did not. That people, stubborn against for- 
eign domination, was stubbornly fashioning a kind of 
art of its own. Its artists were independent of Rubens, 
of the great Italian traditions, of everything but what 
concerned themselves. By their religious views they 
were separated from the chance of painting altarpieces 
or mythological subjects, and by their revolt they were 
cut off from viceregal patronage, such as the Flemish 
enjoyed. A nation of burghers, busy with war and com- 
merce, they developed, out of their own lives, their love 
of country, and pride in themselves, a new art. 

In one word, the Dutch art was an art of portraiture. 
It began with the painting of portraits of persons, and 
then proceeded to the painting of landscapes and of the 
outdoor and indoor occupations of the people, and to 

2« [ 197 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

the painting of still-life, — all with such simple intention 
to represent the things as they appeared, and with such 
fidelity to the truth, that the whole range of subjects 
may be classed as portraiture. It was not " grand art," 
but it was intimate and sincere. 

The first of the great men, chronologically, was 
Franz Hals, whose Portrait of a Woman we are com- 
paring with Van Dyck's Marie Louise von Tassis. 
There is a story related by Houbraken, which may or 
may not be true, that Van Dyck passing through Haar- 
lem, where Hals lived,^ desired to see the painter; but, 
though he called several times, he could not find him at 
home. So he sent a messenger to seek him out and tell 
him that a stranger wished to see him; and, on Hals 
putting in an appearance, asked him to paint his por- 
trait, adding, however, that he had only two hours to 
spare for the sitting. Hals finished the portrait in that 
time; whereupon his sitter, observing that it seemed an 
easy matter to paint a portrait, requested that he be al- 
lowed to try and paint the artist. Hals soon recognized 
that " his visitor Avas well skilled in the materials he was 
using; great, however, was his surprise when he beheld 
the j^erf ormance ; he immediately embraced the stranger, 
at the same time crying out, 'You are Van Dyck; no 
person but he could do as you have now done.' " 

Assuming the story to be true, how interesting it 
would be if the two portraits existed, that one might see 
what Franz Hals, accustomed to the heavier type of the 

^ He was born in Antwerp, whither his family moved for a time in con- 
sequence of the war. They seem to have returned to Haarlem about 
1607. 

[198] 



VAN DYCK-HALS 

Dutch burghers, made of the dehcately refined features 
of Van Dyck, and how the latter, who always gave an 
air of aristocratic elegance to his portraits, acquitted 
himself with the bluff, jovial Hals, who was as much at 
home in a tavern as in a studio! For no two men could 
be more different, both in point of view and method, 
though they were alike in one particular, that each was 
a most facile and skilful painter. 

Let us turn to the two portraits, which are very char- 
acteristic examples of these two masters. First of all, 
examine the hands. You have recognized, no doubt, 
that hands are very expressive of character. In good 
portraits there is always a correspondence of feeling and 
character between the hands and the head. Hals was a 
master in this respect. There is also an absolute unan- 
imity between the expression of the hand and that of 
the face in the Van Dyck, even to the curl of the fore- 
finger, which echoes with extraordinary subtlety the 
curious slanting glance of the eyes. 

But when we learn that this artist kept servants in 
his employment whose hands he used as models for the 
hands of his sitters, we begin to wonder where this ideal- 
izing of nature stopped, and whether the face and car- 
riage of the figure also may not have come in for a share 
of it. As we know, too, that it was his habit to make a 
rapid study of his sitters in black and white chalk upon 
gray paper, and to hand it to his assistants for them to 
paint the figure in its clothes, which were sent to the 
studio for that purpose, after which he retouched their 
work and painted in the head and hands, we feel a sus- 
picion that Van Dyck was as much interested in illustrat- 

[ 199 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ing his own ideas of elegance and refinement as in repro- 
ducing the actual characteristics of his sitters. 

We shall hardly feel this in the Portrait of a Woman 
by Hals. Of the fact that the woman looked in the flesh 
just as he has represented her on the canvas, we are as 
sure, as if we had looked over his shoulder and watched 
her grow to shape beneath his brush. He has put in 
nothing but what he saw, left out nothing that could 
complete the veracity of the record. 

We turn back to the Van Dyck, and have ceased to 
wonder if Marie Louise were really like this. Her por- 
trait is an exquisitely beautiful picture — let it go at that; 
and then again we turn to the Hals, and again we have 
forgotten that it is a portrait. It is a real woman that 
we face, one of stout and wholesome stock, whose hus- 
band may have had a hand in the shaping of the new 
republic, who may have been the mother of sons who 
fought in the long struggle for freedom. Those hands ! 
— one loves them; strong hands, coarsened by their share 
in the work of life, now folded so unafl*ectedly in the 
calm and peace of living, which right good doing has 
won. When you look at them, and, still more, when you 
read their fuller story in that high, broad forehead, with 
the strong, big skull beneath it, as indicative of steadi- 
ness of purpose as the wide-apart eyes; in that resolute 
nose, with its lift of energy in the nostril; and in the 
firm, kindly, wise mouth, you realize how it was that 
Holland, having by its energy and patience set a barrier 
to the ocean, could keep at bay the power of Spain, and 
achieve for itself, after long waiting, liberty of life and 
thought.. 

[ 200 ] 




MARIE LOUISE VOX TASSIS ANTHONY VAN DYCK 

LIECHTENSTEIN GALLERY, VIENNA 




PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN 

NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 



FRANZ HALS 



VAN DYCK-HALS 

This portrait, while self-sufficient as a record of a 
woman who actually lived, is more than that: it is a 
type of the race to which she belonged. It is a type, too, 
of the whole school of Dutch painting; so straight- 
forward, intimate, and sincere. Moreover, such a mar- 
vel of painting ! 

The Dutchmen of the seventeenth century, having 
abandoned the large field of decorative composition, set- 
tled down in the small space of their canvases to a per- 
fection of craftsmanship that has never been surpassed 
in modern art. From the standpoint of pure painting, 
they formed a school of great painters ; differing among 
themselves in motives and manner, but alike in being 
consummate masters of the brush. 

Hals set his figures in clear light, so that the modeling 
is not accomplished by shadows, but by the degree of 
light which each surface of the flesh or costume re- 
flected. In this respect he worked like Velasquez, but in 
a broader way. He distributed the lights and painted 
in the colors in great masses, each mass containing its 
exact quantity of light; and so great was his skill in the 
rendering of values that he could make a flat tone give 
the suggestion of modeling. Thus in the almost unin- 
terrupted flat white tone of this woman's ruff we do 
not miss the absence of many lines to indicate the folds 
of muslin. 

Compare the treatment of the ruff in Van Dyck's 
portrait ; indeed, the explicit way in which the whole of 
the elaborate costume is rendered. Nothing is left to 
the imagination. Everything is told with rhetorical elab- 
oration. The contrast of the Hals portrait offers an in- 

[ 205 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

structive example of what painters mean by the word 
" breadth," and a lesson also in the effect of breadth on 
our imagination; for we get from the broad simphcity 
of this portrait a strong invigoration, whereas from Van 
Dyck's a pleasant intoxication. Yet, while we miss the 
breadth in the Van Dyck, do not let us overlook the 
freedom with which it is painted, so that there is nothing 
small or niggling in all these details ; they are drawn to- 
gether, like the drops of water of a fountain, into one 
splendid burst of elegance. 

In the latter, however, the character of the woman is 
considerably smothered. Perhaps it was the case that 
she had little character, that she was simply a fine lady 
of fashion ; or it may be that that aspect of her was the 
one which chiefly interested the artist. He seems to have 
been particularly impressed with her eyes, which indicate 
at least a trait of character; and in a very subtle way 
he has made the attitude of the figure and the gesture of 
the hands and head correspond to it. So in a limited way 
the picture is representative of a type. 

Hals, on the other hand, did not fix upon any par- 
ticular trait or feature : he broadly surveyed all the ex- 
ternals of his sitter, and represented them as a whole; 
and with such clear seeing that, although he never pene- 
trates into the mind of his subject,— as we shall find 
Rembrandt did,— he does get at the heart of it, and, in 
his straightforward characterization of what he sees, 
suggests that character lies beneath it. 

In this respect his work is very like the man himself. 
He must have had fine qualities of mind; else how could 
he have seen things so simply and completely, and ren- 

[ 206 ] 



VAN DYCK-HALS 

dered them with such force and expression, inventing 
for the purpose a method of his own, which, as we have 
seen, was distinguished by placing his subject in the 
clear light and by working largely in flat tones ? To get 
at the essential facts of a subject, and to set them down 
rapidly and precisely, so that all may understand them 
and be impressed by them, represent great mental power, 
and place Hals in the front rank of painters. Yet, as a 
man, he allowed himself to appear to the world an idle 
fellow, over-given to jollification, and so shiftless that 
in his old age he was dependent upon the city govern- 
ment for support. That he received it, however, and 
that his creditors were lenient with him, seem to show 
that his contemporaries recognized a greatness behind 
his intemperance and improvidence; and, when in his 
eighty-second year he died, he was buried beneath the 
choir of the Church of St. Bavon in Haarlem. 

In great contrast to Hals's mode of living was Van 
Dyck's. He was early accustomed to Rubens's sumptu- 
ous establishment ; and, when he visited Italy with letters 
of introduction from his master, lived in the palaces of 
his patrons, himself adopting such an elegant ostenta- 
tion that he was spoken of as "the Cavalier Painter." 
After his return to Antwerp his patrons belonged to the 
rich and noble class, and his own style of living was mod- 
eled on theirs; so that, when at length in 1632 he re- 
ceived the appointment of court painter to Charles I of 
England, he maintained an almost princely establish- 
ment, and his house at Blackfriars was the resort of 
fashion. The last two years of his life were spent in 
traveling on the Continent with his young wife, the 

[207] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

daughter of Lord Gowry, Lord Ruthven's son. His 
health, however, had been broken b}^ excess of work, and 
he returned to London to die. He was buried in St. 
Paul's Cathedral. 

He painted, in his younger days, many altarpieces, 
"full of a touching religious feeling and enthusiasm"; 
but his fame rests mainly upon his portraits. In these 
he invented a style of elegance and refinement which be- 
came a model for the artists of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, corresponding, as it did, to the 
genteel luxuriousness of the court life of the period. 

On the other hand, during the latter century Hals was 
thought little of, even in Holland, whose artists forsook 
the traditions of their own school and wxnt astray after 
other gods — to wit, those of the Italian " grand style." 
It was not until well on in the nineteenth century that 
artists, returning to the truth of nature, discovered that 
Hals had been one of the greatest seers of the truth and 
one of its most virile interpreters. To-day he is honored 
for these qualities, and also for the fact that, out of all 
the Dutch pictures of the seventeenth century now so 
much admired, his are the most characteristic of the 
Dutch race and of the art which it produced. 



[208] 



CHAPTER XIV 

REMBRANDT VAN RUN BARTOLOME ESTEBAN MURILLO 

1607 (?)-1669 1618-1682 

Dutch School Spanish School of Andalusia 

AS remarkable as the sudden uprising of a native 

/% art in Holland is the fact that it almost imme- 
-X JL. diately reached its maturity, and, in the person 
of Rembrandt, produced one of the foremost artists of 
the world. He is one of the few great original men who 
stand alone. You cannot trace his genius to the influ- 
ence of his time or to the work of other men who pre- 
ceded him; nor, although he had followers, could any 
of them do what he did. He shines out in solitary big- 
ness. 

So it is not so much for comparison as for convenience 
in continuing our method of study, that I couple his 
name with Murillo's. Yet, having done so, we may find 
that they have something in common ; a common center 
round which Murillo makes a small circle, Rembrandt 
an infinitely larger one. Each was a realist as well as an 
idealist ; both painted light, and both translated religious 
themes into the dialect of the common people. 

In his Children of the Shell, Murillo chose for subject 
the infancy of the Christ and St. John; the latter re- 
presented with a stafF-like cross in token of his future 
career as preacher and pilgrim, while the application of 

^^ [ 209 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

the legend upon the scroll, " Ecce Agnus Dei," to the 
little Saviour is further illustrated by the introduction 
of a lamb. These symbols were prescribed by the 
church's tradition; JNIurillo put them in partly because 
his patrons demanded them, and partly because he him- 
self was a devout Christian; but in other respects he is 
influenced by a man's love of little children and an ar- 
tist's desire to create a beautiful picture. He takes for 
his type the warm-skinned, supple, brown-eyed children 
that played half-naked in the bright sunshine of 
Seville; their beauty of limb and grace of movement 
being characteristic of their free, open-air life. This 
part of the picture is real enough ; a bit of nature trans- 
lated into paint. But the act in which they are engaged, 
and the way in which it is represented, suggest an ideali- 
zatibn of the facts ; and this ideal feeling is increased by 
the soft vaporous light in which the little bodies are 
bathed; a kind of light " that never was on sea or land," 
a product of the artist's imagination. 

The people of INIurillo's own day loved his work be- 
cause they could enter into it and understand it, for it 
portrayed in its virgins, children, and saints the type of 
figures with which they were familiar, with the sweet 
gentleness of sentiment that reflected the dispositions 
of this Southern race. For by that time the darkness of 
the Inquisition had cleared away; the Jesuits were win- 
ning the devotion of the people by beautifying the 
churches; monks and nuns had abandoned the rigor of 
self-inflicted torture, and were seeking by lives of kind- 
liness and by holy contemplation to have visions of the 
divine love. Pictures were demanded that should repre- 

[210] 



REMBRANDT-MURILLO 

sent this happier change. Ehzabeth, the saintly Queen 
of Hungary, engaged in doing acts of mercy to the sick 
and poor; St. Anthony of Padua, the holy Franciscan 
monk, blessed with an ecstatic vision of the Child- Christ 
in the midst of a choir of infant angels ; the Holy Fam- 
ily, poor peasant folk, but radiant with heavenly light 
and love— these, and the like, Murillo painted, and in 
such a way that the people of his day could recognize the 
counterparts of themselves, men and women and chil- 
dren, familiar to their daily experience, and yet lifted up 
above them in a light far lovelier than that of their own 
beautiful sunshine— a spiritual light. So they loved his 
work; and for the same reason — that it is of earth and 
yet above it, humanly natural and yet spiritually ideal — 
it has continued to be loved. 

Rembrandt's picture, on the other hand. The Sortie 
of the Banning Cock Company, did not satisfy the men 
for whom it was painted. It is one of the kind known as 
a "corporation picture": an aggregation of portraits. 
Sometimes it was the council of one of the trade guilds ; 
sometimes the governing body or the surgical force of 
a hospital; very often one of the numerous militia com- 
panies, that wished to be commemorated. Franz Hals 
painted many of these pictures; so also did another 
popular Dutch painter, Bartholomeus van der Heist. 
Both these artists gave great satisfaction to their pa- 
trons; for they took care that each member, who had 
paid his quota toward the expense of the picture, should 
have his portrait clearly delineated. It was, after all, 
a correct concession to a quite reasonable vanity. Be- 
sides, the whole tendency of Dutch art, as we have seen, 

[211] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

was toward direct and intimate portraiture, and the 
racial tendency of the Dutch mind toward straightfor- 
wardness and clarity and precision in all things. The 
people, on the one hand fighting against the encroach- 
ments of the ocean and the invasion of the Spaniard, 
and on the other extending their trade over the world, 
were living very real hves, and their artists as a body 
were realists. 

Rembrandt had proved himself a realist when he 
painted, in his twenty-sixth year. The Anatomy Lesson, 
in which the famous Dr. Tulp is represented conducting 
a lecture in dissection before a class of surgeons. It was 
a work of marvelous realism, and immediately secured 
for the young painter a number of commissions from 
those who wished to have their portraits painted, and 
caused his studio to be sought by students eager to learn 
from him. It made him famous. 

Ten years later he was asked to paint this picture 
of Captain Banning Cock's company of musketeers. 
With the assurance of genius, he dared to depart from 
the usual way of representing such a subject. Instead 
of grouping the company in their guild-house, he rep- 
resents them issuing from it, as if the occasion were a 
shooting-match. The captain, dressed in black with a 
red scarf, is giving directions to his lieutenant, whose 
costume is yellow with a white scarf around his waist; 
the drummer is sounding the call, which arouses the 
barking of a dog; the ensign shakes loose the big flag; 
a sergeant stretches out his arm as he gives an order; 
picket-men are hurrying out, a musketeer is loading his 
gun, a boy running beside him with the powder-horn; 

[212] 



REMBRANDT-MURILLO 

and in the midst of the group, "as if," says Mr. John 
La Farge, "to give a look of chance and suddenness 
to the scene, is the figure of a httle girl, strangely 
enough with a dead fowl strung from her waist." She 
appears to be engaged in some form of play with a boy, 
who has a leaf-crowned helmet on his head and is turn- 
ing his back so that it is his leg which is chiefly visible. 

Rembrandt, in fact, chose an instant of sudden and 
general animation, and by his genius made it thrill 
with the appearance of actual life. The picture, as 
originally painted, was larger than at present ; but when 
it was removed to the Amsterdam town hall it did not 
fit the space on the wall and was cut down in size, a 
shce being taken off the right side and the bottom. This 
barbarous treatment has particularly interfered with the 
relation of the two front figures to the rest of the group, 
giving them too much an appearance of stepping out 
of the picture, whereas in its original size we may be sure 
the balance of the composition w^as complete. 

To draw its various parts into one supreme impression 
Rembrandt abandoned the custom of setting all the fig- 
ures in a clear, even light, and welded the whole together 
in an elaborate pattern of light and shade. This had 
become darkened by dirt and smoke, so that the picture 
was taken by French writers of the eighteenth century 
for a night scene, and styled Patrouille de Nuit, and 
Sir Joshua Reynolds followed their error by calling it 
The Night Watch. Subsequent cleaning, however, has 
proved that, notwithstanding some darkening of the 
color as the result of time, the picture represents a day- 
light scene. The company streams out of the dark door- 

[213] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

way into bright sunlight, which plays upon it with in- 
numerable accidental eif ects. 

In such action of light, with its glints of surprise and 
manifold variations, there is joy to the artist, especially 
to one whose mind was so alive to what is momentary 
and unusual as Rembrandt's ; a mystery, also, and abun- 
dance of mental and artistic suggestion, in the varying 
depths of shadow. JNIoreover, it may have seemed to 
him the most effectual way of securing the unity and 
momentariness of the impression. If every part had 
been shown with equal distinctness, it would have been 
impossible for the spectator to receive from it the instan- 
taneous shock of wonder and surprise that he now ex- 
periences. His attention, instead of being immediately 
focused, would have been scattered over a hundred de- 
tails. As it is, he sees the picture as a whole, and, be- 
fore he begins to consider the parts, receives a single, 
profound impression. 

This original treatment, so entirely at variance with 
traditions of corporation pictures, cost Rembrandt the 
patronage of the civic guards, and his commissions fell 
off from that time forward. 

That Rembrandt was wrong to paint this particular 
picture in this way is also the opinion of the great 
French critic and artist, Eugene Fromentin, because the 
occasion was not a suitable one for putting into practice 
this pecuhar method of lighting. Fromentin's argu- 
ment, briefly summarized, is as follows; 

Rembrandt was compact of two natures : one, the re- 
alist ; the other, the ideahst. At times he was impressed 
with the facts of things— the main, essential facts of a 

[214] 



REMBRANDT-MURILLO 

landscape or of a human personality; and, whether he is 
painting with the brush or drawing on copper with the 
etching-needle, the result is a wonderful synthesis or 
summary of the truth of actual appearance. At other 
times it is the truth beneath the surface, the invisible 
truth, that fascinates him; and in his attempts to ex- 
press this he discovered for himself a new treatment of 
light. It was something different from the chiaroscuro, 
or arrangement of light and shade, which other artists 
used for the threefold purpose of giving substance to 
form, of producing an effect of aerial perspective, and 
of making the picture brilliant and impressive in pat- 
tern. He, too, used this method of chiaroscuro, but he 
carried it much farther than any other artist before or 
since, so that it is called, after his name, the Rembrandt- 
esque treatment. He immersed everything in a bath of 
shadow, plunging into it even the light itself; he sur- 
rounded centers of light with waves of darkness. The 
darkness itself in his pictures is transparent; you can 
peer into it and discover half -concealed forms; every- 
thing provokes curiosity; there is mystery; and it acts 
upon the mind, so that the real and the imaginary become 
mingled. It is at once reality and a dream. 

Rembrandt discovered for himself this power of 
making chiaroscuro a source of emotional feeling; but 
he went even farther. Light exists independent of the 
objects it shines upon, and he tried to paint only with 
the help of light, to draw only with light, to make the 
light itself express ideas and emotions. To succeed it 
was necessary to make great sacrifices; to relinquish 
much that was dear to his other self, the realist: the 

[215] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

strong drawing and firm modeling, the magnificent cer- 
tainty of effect. These are quahties that might be 
looked for in a picture of citizen-soldiers, such as The 
Sortie of the Banning Cock Company, but are absent 
from it. It was required of him by the circumstances 
that he should paint a reality; what he produced was 
a vision of light glinmiering like phosphorescence on 
darkness. 

This picture was Rembrandt's first big effort to em- 
body his new conception of the possibihties of painting, 
and his whole after life was a struggle to reconcile the 
two sides of his nature, culminating in 1661, eight years 
before his death, in that triumph of mingled realism 
and ideahsm. The Syndics of the Cloth-workers' Guild, 
And in many single portraits are revealed the wonderful 
resources of this treatment of light and shade for the 
purpose of expression. The heads are enveloped in 
darkness, out of which emerge the features, the eyes 
especially arresting the attention. Through the depth 
and poignancy of their gaze one seems to look into the 
very soul of the subject. This faculty of profound sug- 
gestion, the power of a man who sees into the heart of 
things and makes others partake of his imagination, ap- 
pears also in his etchings. 

Rembrandt is recognized as the Prince of Etchers, 
by reason both of the range and quality of his prints, 
which include landscapes, portraits, Bibhcal subjects, 
and studies of beggars and of other picturesque speci- 
mens of poverty. Sometimes they are executed with 
extraordinary economy of means, a few lines in oppo- 
sition to the spaces of paper giving the impression of a 

[216] 



REMBRANDT-MURILLO 

far-reaching landscape flooded with sunshine; some- 
times they are worked up into richness of texture, or 
again are elaborate creations of light and shade. 

Etching being an art which demands certainty of 
brain and hand and yet admits of so much illusion, we 
may understand why throughout his hfe Rembrandt, 
realist and idealist, was so fond of it. The method is 
briefly this. A pohshed copper plate is covered with a 
film of melted wax, which is then blackened with smoke 
by holding it over a lamp or candle. The artist with a 
needle, or any correspondingly sharp-pointed instru- 
ment, draws his design in the wax ; thus baring the cop- 
per where the lines appear. He then plunges his plate 
mto a bath of nitric acid, which bites into the parts ex- 
posed, the surfaces still covered with the wax resisting 
the eating in of the acid. When the plate has been 
bitten and the wax removed, a roller, covered with print- 
ing-ink, is passed over it, that the ink may settle into 
the channels. The surface is then cleaned, and damp- 
ened paper is laid over it and pressed down in a printing- 
press, so that the paper sucks up the ink from the 
hollows of the lines. This actual process of printing is 
the same as is used in the case of steel-engravings ; but 
m the latter the lines have been dug out by a sharp in- 
strument in the hard metal ; whereas in the case of etch- 
ing the hand moves freely and easily through the soft 
wax; and, further, instead of the groove in the metal 
being sharp and hard from the tool, it is soft and furred 
by the insinuating tooth of the acid. An etching, there- 
fore, is richer in its blacks, with a more generous contrast 
of light and shade, and at the same time, if the artist 

[ 221 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

chooses to make it so, more delicate. It is, of all the 
methods of art, the one which responds most immedi- 
ately to the volition of the artist ; it is preeminently the 
artist's art. That Rembrandt should have practised it 
throughout his life, and have attained in it a proficiency 
which no other artist has surpassed, is of itself sufficient 
to place him in the foremost rank of art. The artist 
who has most nearly approached him in scope and ex- 
cellence as an etcher is Whistler. 

We started with a comparison of Murillo and Rem- 
brandt, and have discovered, if I have told the story 
right, that the smaller thing, which Murillo attempted, 
he did to the satisfaction of his contemporaries and of 
posterity; whereas Rembrandt, striving for something 
infinitely greater, had his successes and his failures, was 
misunderstood by the people of his day, and during the 
century which followed, when the influence of Italian 
painting, spreading over Europe, had penetrated even 
into Holland, was neglected. The story of their work 
corresponds with the story of their lives. 

Murillo's proceeded smoothly and pleasantly. He 
was born in Seville, the birthplace also of Velasquez. 
At the age of eleven he was apprenticed to an uncle 
who was a painter, and his gentle nature and diligence 
soon made him a favorite with his master and his fellow- 
students. He managed to live by painting little pic- 
tures of sacred subjects on linen; offering them for sale 
at the feria, or weekly market. It was the custom to 
bring paints and brushes to the fair, so that patrons 
could have the pictures altered to suit their taste ; and, 
as he sat among the stalls, he had plenty of opportunity 

[ 222 ] 



REMBRANDT-MURILLO 

of studying and sketching the city urchins and beggar 
boys that lay or frohcked in the sunshine. He after- 
ward painted many of these, and they are among his 
best work, so true to life and vigorously executed. In 
this way two years passed. 

Then^ there returned to Seville a fellow-student of 
Murillo's, who had exchanged painting for soldiering 
and been with the army in Flanders. But the sight of 
the works of Rubens and Van Dyck had revived his 
love of painting, and he had visited London to study 
under the latter artist. He was now back in Seville with 
some copies of Van Dyck's work, and with so many sto- 
ries of what he had seen, that Murillo was stirred with 
the ambition to go to Rome. He trudged on foot to 
Madrid, and called on his fellow-townsman, Velasquez, 
to secure letters of introduction. The great artist re- 
ceived him kindly, and, being struck with his earnest- 
ness, invited him to stay in his own house. Velasquez 
was called away in attendance on the king, and during 
his absence Murillo made copies of paintings in the royal 
galleries by Ribera, Van Dyck, and Velasquez himself. 
The latter, on his return, was so pleased with the prog- 
ress the young man had made, that he advised him to 
go to Rome ; but by this time Murillo had no desire to 
leave his country. He stayed in Madrid for further 
study, and then returned to Seville after three years' 
absence. 

One of the mendicant brothers of the little Francis- 
can monastery had collected a sum of money, which the 
friars determined to expend upon some paintings for 
their cloister. The amount was too small to attract the 

[ 223 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

well-known artists of the city, so with much compunc- 
tion they gave the commission to the young, untried JNIu- 
rillo. It was the opportunity he wanted; and he made 
such good use of it that his reputation was at once es- 
tablished. Henceforth his time was fully occupied in 
decorating churches and in painting for private indi- 
viduals; he w^as admitted into the best society, made a 
rich marriage, became the head of the School of Seville, 
and all the time was beloved of the people. 

A fall from a painter's scaffold cut short his activity. 
Incapacitated from work, he lingered for two years, 
spending much of his time in prayer in the church of 
Santa Cruz, beneath Campana's painting of The De- 
scent from the Cross; and beneath this, by his request, 
he was buried. 

The date of Rembrandt's birth is doubtful, being va- 
riously assigned to 1606, 1607, and 1608. His father, 
Harmen van Rijn (Harmen of the Rhine), owned a 
mill on the banks of the Rhine at Leyden. When quite 
young the boy was sent to the Latin school in order that, 
as Orless, the best authority upon his early life, puts it, 
" he might in the fullness of time be able to serve his 
native city and the Republic with his knowledge." 
However, his inclination toward drawing was so marked 
that his fatlier placed him with Jacob van Swanen- 
burch. Three years later he went to Amsterdam to 
stud}^ under Lastman, who had spent many years in 
Rome. But with him Rembrandt stayed onlv six 
months, and then returned to Levden, " resolved," as Or- 
less says, " to study and practise painting alone in his own 
fashion." He staj^ed at home six years, working much 

[ 22-^ ] 



REMBRANDT-MURILLO 

from the members of his family, and frequently etch- 
ing his own head, with various kinds of facial expression. 

In 1630 he moved to Amsterdam, which henceforth 
was to be the scene of his life. The city at that time had 
recovered from the shock of war and was rapidly grow- 
ing in commercial prosperity and liberally encouraging 
the fine arts. For a time all went well with Rembrandt. 
The Anatomy Lesson, painted in 1632, had made him 
famous; commissions poured in and students flocked to 
his studio. Two years later he married a young lady of 
property, Saskia van Uylenborch, to whom he was 
deeply attached, and whose portrait he painted or etched 
eighteen times, besides using her as a model. in various 
pictures. He was able now to indulge his taste for 
beautiful things; was a generous buyer of other artists' 
work, and filled his handsome house in the Breedstraat 
with treasures. Ten years of domestic happiness and 
magnificent production followed his marriage, and then, 
in 1642, the clouds gathered. 

In that year he was involved in disputes, as we have 
seen, over The Sortie of the Banning Cock Conipany ; 
but, worse than that, his beloved Saskia died, leaving an 
infant son, Titus. In the emptiness of his home and 
heart, the great artist buried himself with ever deeper 
purpose and grander energy in his work. It is charac- 
teristic of this sad time that his portraits of himself cease 
for six years. Then appears an etching, in which he no 
longer represents himself in splendid clothes, with fierce 
mustache and flowing hair; but as a simple citizen. His 
hair and mustache are trimmed; a large hat covers his 
head, his tunic is unadorned; he is seated at a window, 

[ 225 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

drawing, but lifts his head and gazes full at the spectator 
with his piercing eyes. During this time he owxd much 
to the sj^mpathy of the burgomaster Jan Six, a scholar 
and connoisseur; and now the burgomaster's mansion, 
the celebrated Six Gallery at Amsterdam, owes much 
of its fame to the examples which it contains by Rem- 
brandt. 

In 1656 he was overtaken by financial troubles, due 
to legal disputes with the trustees of his wife's will, to 
his liberality toward his family in Leyden, and to his 
own love of buying works of art and his lack of business 
ability. He was declared a bankrupt, his house was sold, 
and his treasures were dispersed at auction; and, by the 
time that his creditors were satisfied, there was nothing 
left for him. But his devotion to his art w^as unabated; 
the years which followed were distingviished by a series 
of noble paintings and etchings, among them The 
Syndics. It is good to know that he had friends, and 
that his last years, though contracted in means, were 
comfortable. In the last portrait of himself, painted 
a year before his death, he has depicted his face wrinkled 
by time and care, but laughing heartily. It sums uj) the 
triumph of the man and the artist over evil fortune. 

After his death he was soon forgotten. Through the 
eighteenth century Dutch painters, like those of other 
countries, turned to Italy for inspiration; Rembrandt's 
homely naturalism, representing, for example, the Bible 
scenes, peopled with rude peasants instead of fine men 
and graceful women in classic robes, was scorned as vul- 
gar; his marvels of light, condemned for the " slovenly 
conduct of his pencil " ; his portraits, that search into the 

[226] ' 



REMBRANDT-MURILLO 

souls of his subjects, despised for their " laborious, igno- 
rant diligence." He was neglected, while Murillo con- 
tinued to be abundantly admired. 

Now, however, when painting has shaken itself free 
from conventional traditions and once more turned to 
nature, Murillo is esteemed less highly, and Rembrandt 
has been restored to his place among the giants. 



[227] 



CHAPTER XV 



JACOB VAN RUISDAEL 

1625 (?)-1682 

Dutch School 



NICOLAS POUSSIN 

1593-1665 

Classical School of France 



AT this point of our survey of the field of painting 
l\^ France swings into the hne of vision. There 
J^ JL had been other French painters before Poussin, 
but the latter was the greatest up to his time, and has 
had so important an influence upon subsequent French 
art, that in our selection of prominent names he comes 
first. 

When we compare his Et Ego in Arcadia with Ruis- 
dael's Waterfall we are conscious at once of a vast dif- 
ference of feeling, both in the attitude of each painter's 
mind toward nature and in the impression produced 
upon our own. We experience before Ruisdael's a 
sense of strenuousness and sadness, very different to the 
serenity and idylHc sweetness of Poussin's. We are face 
to face, in the one case with the realities of life, in the 
other with the pleasant dream of a world that only ex- 
ists in the imagination. Yet Poussin composed the sur- 
roundings of his figures from real landscape— that of 
Italy ; probably, however, not from one scene, but with 
a selection from many; while Ruisdael's landscape, 
which has such an air of stern reality, was actually bor- 

[ 228 ] 



RUISDAEL-POUSSIN 

■ 

rowed — in its general character, at any rate — from the 
work of another painter, Allart van Everdingen. 

It will occur to you, perhaps, as strange that a Dutch 
painter of the seventeenth century should have borrowed 
from any one instead of studying straight from nature ; 
just as it may have struck you that the scenery of the 
Waterfall is not suggestive of Holland. 

The fact is that Ruisdael, during his first and, as 
many consider, his best period, painted pictures thor- 
oughly Dutch in character, studies of the landscape 
round his native city of Haarlem, showing a marked 
fondness for massed clouds and warm sunshine. But 
they met with littlf encouragement from his own coun- 
trymen, and he moved to Amsterdam. In the latter city 
was established Allart van Everdingen, who had begun 
as a painter of the sea, taking trips on the Baltic for the 
better study of his subject. But on one occasion the 
vessel had been driven by storm on to the coast of Nor- 
way ; and, while he waited for a chance of getting home, 
he made a number of sketches of the country, with its 
rocky shore and pines and waterfalls. Returned to 
Holland, he used this material for pictures, which, partly 
because of their unusualness, were very popular. Ruis- 
dael, then, finding his own work neglected, determined 
to give the public what they seemed to want, and out of 
his own head invented landscapes similar in character 
to Everdingen's. Their very wildness and sternness 
may have attracted him, fitting in with the sadness and 
gloom that were gathering over his own spirit; for this 
picture and all the productions of his later Hfe are im- 
printed with melancholy. And well they might be; for 

23 [ 229 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

he was evidently of so little account in his own day, that 
the date of his birth is doubtful, and scarcely more is 
recorded of his life than that, after working unsuccess- 
fully in Haarlem, he moved to Amsterdam, and thence 
returned to his native city in poverty, to die in an alms- 
house. 

In respect of sadness he is akin to Rembrandt, who 
also lived in the company of sorrow; and these two ar- 
tists strike the only note of intense feeling in the Dutch 
art of the seventeenth century, which, as a whole, is dis- 
tinguished by its equable and contented attitude toward 
life. Yet in the intensity of Rembrandt there is no bit- 
terness ; and even in this landscape oft Ruisdael's we may 
discover a strain of tenderness. For, contrasted with 
the inhospitable wildness of the coast and the restless 
tumult of water are the quiet composure of the little 
spire nestling amid the trees, and the gentle evidences 
of quiet life in the string of cattle passing down to drink. 
But the noblest feature of the scene is the fine sky with 
its masses of cloud. The mountainous land and water- 
fall may have been invented or borrowed; but this at 
least has been studied b}^ Ruisdael from the nature of 
his own land. And the skies of Holland are proverbi- 
ally grand, partly because the prevailing course of 
clouds is from the west, so that huge volumes of vapor 
come continually rolling in from the North Sea, and 
partly because the land, being uniformly level, affords 
least obstruction to the vast appearance of the sky and 
to the gathering and passage of the clouds. None of 
the Dutchmen of the seventeenth century had been so 
impressed with the vastness and buoyant force and f ree- 

[230] 



RUISDAEL-POUSSIN 

dom of the sky as Ruisdael; in which respect he antici- 
pated the achievements of modern Dutch artists, who 
have found in the skies of Holland an inexhaustible 
theme. 

I think it is capable of demonstration that every 
landscape-painter of powerful imagination and serious 
poetic feeling has reveled in the representation of the 
sky. It is as if his spirit leaps from the definiteness and 
circumscribed limits of the earth into the limitless, un- 
explorable vastness of the air. The ground is local, 
tethering him by the foot to what man can examine and 
know; the sky, however, at some point ceases to be 
merely an envelope to the earth and mingles with that 
ether in which the whole universe swims. May we not 
believe that Ruisdael, compelled to fashion an unreal, 
or, at least, an alien land, to tempt his customers, satis- 
fied both his love of country and the sincerity of his 
study of nature by the ardor with which he threw him- 
self into the representations of the skies? Nor is there 
anything unduly sentimental in such a belief, for the 
artist is also human, and has his pride in himself and his 
preferences, and does best what best he loves. 

And now let us turn again to the picture by Poussin. 
" I too have been in Arcadia " ; in that sweet spot, undis- 
turbed by nature's violence or the tumult and clang of 
human life. It exists nowhere, and yet everywhere is 
to be found. It was Poussin's fortune to discover it. 

He was born of a noble but poor family in Normandy, 
that hardy countrj^ from which William went forth to 
conquer England, and, some eight hundred years later, 
Millet, to conquer, after a long-drawn-out conflict, the 

[231] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

appreciation of his own countrymen. Poussin learned 
painting in the local town of Les Andelys, and then pro- 
ceeded to Paris, where he spent much of his time in 
drawing from casts and in copying prints after Raphael 
and the latter's pupil, Givilio Romano. By the time that 
he was able to visit Rome, he was in his thirtieth year, a 
man of matured mind, nourished upon the antique and 
upon the suave, balanced style of Raphael ; wdth a stan- 
dard, therefore, fixed, and a mind capable of doing its 
own thinking. 

It was well for him that it was so, since the Italy of 
his time was in its decadence. The last of the great mas- 
ters had died with Tintoretto. Thev had been succeeded 
by many clever painters, but by none of commanding 
genius. On the one hand were Guido Reni and Carlo 
Dolci, saturated with sentimentality; on the other, Sal- 
vator Rosa, following Caravaggio in depicting what 
was impetuously powerful, and yet again Tiepolo, a 
brilliant and vivacious decorator. Poussin, amid this 
uncertain flux of energy, attached himself to Domeni- 
chino, a painter of much strength but poor as a colorist. 
JNIeanwhile he pursued his study of sculptured low- 
reliefs, practising modeling as well as drawing. 

The effect of this is apparent in the grouping and 
drawing of the figures in this picture, for they are ar- 
ranged as in a low^-relief : the woman slightly in advance 
of the two stooj)ing figures, while the fourth figure is 
only slightly behind these. The three planes in which 
tlie figures stand are flattened as far as possible into one ; 
and the figures are relieved by the contrasts of light and 
shade, instead of being detached in their separate en- 

[232 ] 



RUISDAEL-POUSSIN 

velopes of atmosphere. The method, in fact, is a sculp- 
tor's rather than a painter's. 

This is the first point to notice; and the second is the 
influence of Raphael. The latter can be traced in the 
serene composure of the whole composition, obtained by 
the perfect balance of the full and empty spaces, and 
by the harmonious grace of the lines that oppose and 
repeat one another with studied calculation, as well as 
by the grace of gesture and suave refinement of expres- 
sion that characterize the figures. Both these influences 
combined to make the rendering of the subject an ideal 
one; and, except in the superior tact of taste displayed 
by Poussin, do not distinguish his pictures radically 
from those of the many other followers of Raphael and 
the antique. But here steps in a third influence, that of 
the Italian landscape ; and, by combining the latter with 
the other two, Poussin originated something new, and 
became a model for other painters, establishing a prin- 
ciple of perfection that has served as a standard for 
French painting down to the present day. 

Before his time the landscape was subordinated to the 
figures; even Titian, whose landscapes are so beautiful, 
felt them primarily as backgrounds. But in this picture 
of Poussin's it would be hard to decide whether the 
landscape accompanies the figures or the figures the 
landscape. In fact, both ingredients are of equal im- 
portance. 

The love of landscape is particularly characteristic of 
northern nations, and it would seem that Poussin had it, 
but not in the way in which the Dutchmen felt it. They 
loved the landscape for its own sake; Poussin, for the 

[237] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

way it could be made to contribute to the feeling of his 
figures. The latter were mostly classical in feeling ; and 
thus he became the father of the so-called " classical " or 
" heroic " landscape. We can understand how it hap- 
pened. 

The visitor to Italy is apt to find that the Italian lands- 
cape makes a unique appeal. In every direction it seems 
to suggest pictures, presenting itself to the eye in ready- 
made compositions; moreover, it is continually a picto- 
rial setting to the towns and villas, and, in the neighbor- 
hood of Rome especially, to the antique ruins. Many of 
us must have felt this; and, also, that there is a curious 
relation between the pictures in the Italian galleries and 
the landscape outside; that the latter, in fact, with its 
inexhaustible suggestion of stately compositions, must 
have had a great influence upon the imagination of 
Italian artists in the direction of helping to suggest the 
" grand style " of Italian painting. 

To this Italy, then, of pictorial landscape came Pous- 
sin, already full of the spirit of Raphael and of classic 
sculpture, and wdth a fresh eye that recognized a kin- 
ship of feeling between the landscape and the style of 
figure-work which he had learned to admire. He had 
discovered a country in which the classical figures and 
those of Raphael could move and have their being. If 
we turn to the picture we shall feel, I think, how com- 
pletely the persons belong to the scene in which we find 
them: they are naturally at home in it; they are part 
of it; it is Arcady, and they are Arcadians. 

Strolling along in the pleasant sunshine, the woman 
and the three shepherds have chanced upon a tomb. 

[238] 



RUISDAEL-POUSSIN 

There are traces of an inscription on it ; and the father, 
stooping to rub away the hchen and moss, reveals the 
words, " Et Ego in Arcadia." I too, a nameless one, 
crumbling forgotten within these stones, I too have 
lived and loved in this region of innocent delight, where 
man is in perfect accord with his surroundings; rising 
and lying down with the sun, and nourished upon the 
bosom of mother earth; mind and body healthy, since 
conduct and desire are in conformity with nature. It is 
the country of youth, eternally young in an old world, 
wherein the children sport and happy lovers stray, and 
even the aged may linger if they have kept some fresh- 
ness in their souls. Correggio and Raphael had lived 
there; and it is the latter, maybe, who calls from the 
tomb to welcome Poussin to the charmed spot. 

We have thus examined the character and feeling of 
Poussin's work, and found that it was not originally in- 
spired by nature, but founded on a direct study of the 
antique and upon Raphael's interpretation of the same; 
and that, when it did receive an inspiration direct from 
nature, the latter was not used naturally, but to harmo- 
nize with the ideal conception of the figures. Let us now 
inquire how it was that his work became the source of 
what is called the " classic " and " academic " in French 
art. 

We must remember that the French race has a strong 
infusion of Latin blood, and that it had been brought 
under the influence of the legal and social system of the 
Romans. At the break-up of the empire Italy was over- 
run with foreigners, and the character of its people be- 
came changed, the continuity of its institutions and tra- 

[239] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ditions broken. These, however, survived in France; 
and the French, much more even than the Itahans, are 
the inheritors of those quahties and ideals which made 
up the greatness of the Roman people. 

Briefly, they comprised a fondness for system and a 
capacity for organization; a tendency to skilful adap- 
tation rather than to originality; less regard for ideas 
than for fundamental principles, and especially for 
those of construction, for what is technically called the 
" architectonics." The Romans were great builders, and 
reduced the art of construction to a system, so that the 
major part of it could be carried out by unskilled labor. 
With this intention, they laid special stress upon form, 
logical relationship between the parts and the whole, 
and the dignity of the mass. 

Let us see how the inheritance of these qualities by the 
French affected the history of their painting. In Pous- 
sin's time the throne of France was occupied by Louis 
XIV, w^hom the court painter Lebrun was flatteringly 
depicting in his paintings and tapestries as a Roman 
conqueror. Full of the Roman spirit, he played the 
role of an organizer. To perpetuate the purity of 
the French language, he established the Institute of 
France, composed of forty members. To this day the 
selection of these " Immortals " is determined less by 
their contribution to thought than by the perfection of 
their style,— by their mastery, in fact, of the architec- 
tonics of their craft. . With the same zeal for system and 
organization, Louis founded an academy of painting 
and sculpture and an academy in Rome for the instruc- 
tion of French artists. These, being official institutions, 

[ 240 ] 



RUISDAEL-POUSSIN 

needed a system of principles. This was discovered in 
the art of Poussin. 

In it was exemphfied a dihgent regard for the archi- 
tectonics; a careful building up of parts so as to pro- 
duce a balanced and harmonious w^hole; a preference 
for ideal or abstract perfection of line and form and 
sj)acing over the representation of character or senti- 
ment; an avoidance of what is original in favor of a 
tactful reproduction of ancient models ; and, in general, 
the preeminence of style over subject-matter. Poussin's 
color was a weak point; but that mattered little, for 
color — both the skill in it and the appreciation of it — 
is an affair of individual temperament, w^hereas line and 
form and composition are fundamental. It was on the 
side where painting touches sculpture and architecture, 
not in its special province of color, light, and atmo- 
sphere, that a standard of excellence could be estab- 
lished. 

Granted the usefulness of establishing a standard, no 
better one could have been devised. For, although, as 
we shall discover, the existence of a fixed official stan- 
dard will tend toward dry formalism, and almost every 
painter that achieves greatness will do so by breaking 
away from the rigidity of the academic style, yet the 
advantage of the system will continue. Its maintenance 
will be justified by the very high general average of 
skill that it insures. 

It is Poussin's title to a place in history that he was 
the father of this classic or academic system, which has 
made the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris the greatest 
training-school of art in the modern world. 

^ [241] 



CHAPTER XVI 

MEINBERT HOBBEMA CLAUDE GELLEE (called LORBAIN) 

1638 (?)-1709 1600-1682 

Dutch School Classical School of France 

THE village of Middelharnis is one of the places 
that lay claim to be the birthplace of Hobbema, 
the town of Koeverden and the cities of Haar- 
lem and Amsterdam being the others. This picture, 
The Avenue, gives us a clear idea of the approach to it, 
as it appeared in 1689, when Hobbema is supposed to 
have painted it. It is a bit of portraiture of nature, 
whereas Claude's picture — you might guess it from the 
title. Landing of Cleopatra at Tarsus — illustrates the 
use of nature to build up a classic composition ; the bor- 
rowing from many sources, and the arrangement of the 
details to produce a scene which the artist's imagination 
has conceived to be ideally beautiful. 

We ought to be able to enjoy the one and the other, 
but w^e do not feel toward both in the same way. It is 
very probable that we shall begin by preferring the 
Claude. If so, it is largely because the lines and masses 
of its composition are more seductive. The hulls, masts, 
and spars of the shipping on one side balance the lines 
of the architecture on the other, and between them is a 
gently dipping curve of faint forms, which separate the 
luminous quiet of the open sky from the glittering move- 

[ 242 ] 



HOBBEM A- CLAUDE LORRAIN 

ment of the water and the busy animation of the figures. 
Besides the actual beauty of balance between the full 
and empty spaces of the composition, we get the added 
enjoyment of contrast between a sense of activity and 
a still deeper one of permanence and repose. Every- 
thing has been nicely calculated to stir our imagination 
pleasurably. We find ourselves thinking that if there 
is no spot on earth like this, it is a pity ; that there ought 
to be one, and that the artist has made it possible. In 
fact, he has created it ; and thereby we are the happier. 

We are little concerned with Cleopatra, and scarcely 
care to distinguish which of the figures is Mark An- 
tony's. The feeling is that a shore which was once a 
ragged ending of the land, where the sea began, has been 
made a stately approach of terraces, leading up to noble 
buildings; that in these, as in the shipping, man's crea- 
tive power is apparent ; that the scene is an improvement 
upon nature. 

Now we turn to the Hobbema. It is a composition of 
vertical lines contrasted with horizontal ; a much harsher 
arrangement of spaces — of nature unadorned, we might 
almost say; or, at any rate, taken as the artist found it. 
We are disposed to feel, perhaps, that he was lacking in 
imagination, and that his work, as compared with the 
ideal beauty of Claude's, is homely and uninteresting; 
that, to use an expression of the eighteenth century, 
when writers and artists prided themselves on having a 
" pretty fancy," it is " pedestrian " ; that it does n't soar, 
but walks afoot like the common people. 

Certainly Hobbema was not inventive, like Claude; 
he did not devise or try to construct an ideal Holland out 

[243 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of his imagination. But imagination may display itself 
also by its sympathy with, and insight into, things as 
they are; and it was this kind of imagination that Hob- 
bema possessed. He loved the country-side, studied it 
as a lover, and has depicted it with such intimacy of 
truth, that the road to ^Nliddelharnis seems as real to us 
to-day as it did over two hundred years ago to the artist. 
We see the poplars, with their lopped stems, lifting their 
bushy tops against that wide, high sky which floats over 
a flat country; full of billowy clouds, as the sky near 
the North Sea is apt to be. Deep ditches skirt the 
road, which drain and collect the water for purposes of 
irrigation, and later on will join some deeper, wider 
canal, for purposes of navigation. We get a glimpse on 
the right of patient perfection of gardening, where a 
man is pruning his grafted fruit-trees; farther on, a 
group of substantial farm-buildings. On the opposite 
side of the road stretches a long, flat meadow, or " pol- 
der," up to the little village which nestles so snugly 
around its tall church tower ; the latter fulfilling also the 
purpose of a beacon, lit by night, to guide the wayfarer 
on sea and land : a scene of tireless industry, comfortable 
prosperity, and smiling peace, snatched alike from the 
encroachments of the ocean and from the devastation of 
a foreign foe, by a people as rugged and aspiring as 
those poplars, as buoyant in their self-reliance as the 
clouds. Pride and love of country breathe through the 
whole scene; and we may be dead to some very whole- 
some instincts if we ourselves do not feel drawn, on the 
one hand, toward its sweet and intimate simplicity, and, 
on the other, toward the fearless matter-of-factness of 
its composition. 

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Indeed, if we have entered into the spirit of it, we may 
find that this picture, as well as Claude's, has its ideal 
beauty: if by this term we understand that kind of 
beauty which is distinguished by the idea revealed in it. 
In other words, it is not only imaginary subjects which 
may be ideal : there may also be an idealization of facts. 
Their outward appearance may be so rendered as to 
make us feel also their underlying significance, the soul, 
as it were, within them. In this way a portrait may be 
idealized. I am not thinking for the moment of the kmd 
of idealization indulged in by Van Dyck, who gave to all 
his sitters, men and women, an elegant refinement cor- 
responding to the idea of elegance and refinement in 
himself. That is more like the kind of idealization in 
Claude's picture. But let us take the case of a portrait 
of your own mother. One painter may paint it so that 
anybody, comparing it with the original, will say it is 
a good likeness; whereas another may have the imagina- 
tion to penetrate beneath the exterior of the woman and 
reproduce something of what you know of her as a mo- 
ther. He gets at the soul of the face. 

Similarly the portrait of a landscape may reproduce 
the sentiment which attracts one to the country-side; the 
love of the painter for it, the attachment of those who 
live in it, what it is to them as part of their live?. Such 
a landscape is in a measure ideal. The modern French 
have coined a phrase for \t-paysage intime; for whicli 
I can find no better translation than " the well-known, 
well-loved country-side." They coined it to describe the 
kind of landscape that was painted by Rousseau, Dupre, 
Corot and some other French artists who made then- 
headquarters at the little village of Barbizon on the bor- 

[249] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ders of the forest of Fontainebleau ; and these men, as 
we shall see, were followers of Hobbema and the other 
Dutch artists who had lived two hundred years before. 
Very httle is known of Hobbema's life. He appears 
to have been born at Amsterdam in 1638, but, as we 
have seen, other towns claim to be his birthplace'. It is 
probable that he was the pupil of his uncle, Jacob van 
Ruisdael, and certain that he lived in Amsterdam. He 
died poor; his last lodging being in the Roosegraft, the 
street m which Rembrandt, also poor, had died forty 
years before. His works were little appreciated in Hol- 
land until nearly a hundred years after his death, and 
most of them found their way to England. 

Claude, on the contrary, enjoyed in his lifetime a Eu- 
ropean reputation. Yet his early life was modest 
enough. He was born of poor parents in the little vil- 
lage of Chamagne, near the right bank of the JNIoselle, 
in what is now the department of Vosges, but in 1600 
was the duchy of Lorraine. His real name was Claude 
Gellee, but from his native country he received the name 
of Claude le Lorrain, or, more shortly, Claude Lorrain. 
It IS supposed that as a child he was apprenticed to a 
pastry-cook, and, when the years of his apprenticeship 
were completed, set off with a party of pastry-cooks to 
Rome. • The Lorrainers were famous in this capacity, 
and the young Claude had no difficulty in finding em- 
ployment. He was engaged by a landscape-painter, 
Agostino Tassi, as cook and general housekeeper, with 
the privilege of cleaning his master's brushes. He 
gained from him, however, instruction in painting, and 
seems to have become his assistant. When he was 

[250] 



HOBBEM A- CLAUDE LORRAIN 

twenty-five years old he revisited France and stayed 
two years, returning then to Italy, where the rest of his 
life was spent. On the journey back he fell in with 
Charles Errard, who was one of the original twelve 
members of the French Academy and was later em- 
ployed in establishing the famous French school at 
Rome, and in 1666 was appointed its first director. 

For many years Claude worked on dihgently in a 
modest way, until, about his fortieth year, he attracted 
the attention of Cardinal Bentivoglio, who not only 
gave him commissions, but introduced him to the Pope, 
Urban VIII. The latter, intent on maintaining the 
temporal power of the church, was continually erecting 
fortifications, in which he did not spare the most precious 
monuments of antiquity. Hence arose a joke which 
played upon his name— he was a member of the famous 
Florentine family of the Barberini-" Quod non fece- 
runt barbari, fecerunt Barberini." But he was an ex- 
cellent scholar and fond of pictures, and became very 
much attached to Claude. The rest of the artist's life is 
one of fame. The three popes who succeeded Urban 
were his patrons, as were the noblest famihes of Italy, 
while commissions came to him from his native land, 
from the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and even far- 
off England. 

Besides his paintings he left forty-four etchings. He 
also executed two hundred sketches in pen or pencil, 
washed in with brown or India ink, the high lights being 
brought out with touches of white. On the backs of 
them the artist noted the date on which the sketch was 
developed into a picture, and for whom the latter was 

[251] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

intended. The story is that his popularity produced 
many imitators, and that he adopted this means to es- 
tabhsh his proprietorship of the subject in each case. 
But the more probable theory regards these sketches as 
a record which the artist made in a general way of his 
work. He collected them into a volume, which,^ known 
as the Liber Veritatis, has been for more than a hundred 
years in the possession of the Dukes of Westminster. 
It was in rivalry of this book that the English painter, 
Turner, as we shall find, produced his book of drawings, 
which he called Liber Studiorum. 

Claude, hke that other French artist, Nicolas Poussin, 
who was seven years his senior, belonged to Italy rather 
than to France. Both introduced something new into the 
field of subject. Like Poussin, also, Claude conceived 
the idea of giving ideal or heroic beauty to the land- 
scape, that it might correspond to the heroic incidents in 
which his figures were engaged. But he went a step 
further in the direction of pure landscape; making his 
figures of comparatively little importance, and concen- 
trating his effort upon the ideal or heroic character of 
the landscape, into which also he incorporated the 
beauty of architecture. He was a close student of na- 
ture, sketched and painted in the open air, and, like his 
Dutch contemporary Cuyp, filled his skies with the ap- 
pearance of real sunshine. But the use that he made of 
nature was unnatural. 

Instead of being satisfied to paint it as it is, for its own 
sake, as Hobbema was, he felt, like Poussin, that the 
province of art was to improve upon it. So Poussin, more 
particularly through his figures, and Claude, through 

[ 252 ] 



HOBBEM A- CLAUDE LORRAIN 

landscape, were the founders in French art of what is 
called the classic or academic motive, which would reject 
everything that is "common" or "vulgar," and paint 
only types as near as possible to perfection. In order 
to secure this in the case of a figure subject, it will be 
necessary to paint the head from one model, the body 
from another, the hands from another, and so on ; or, at 
any rate, to copy any single model only in the parts 
which seem beautiful, while the others must be brought 
to perfection by the painter's skill. So, in the case of a 
landscape, the painter selects a morsel from this place, 
and others elsewhere, and puts together out of his head 
a composition that shall present an ideally beautiful ar- 
rangement of lines and masses. This exactly suited the 
taste of the times, in which Racine was writing classical 
tragedies and Le Notre was laying out the gardens of 
Versailles with combinations of grottoes, fountains, ar- 
chitecture, and landscape. The result was that Claude's 
pictures had an extraordinary popularity, which ex- 
tended on into the eighteenth century and far into the 
following one. He was regarded as the greatest of 
landscape-painters. 

When, however. Frenchmen, following the example 
of Constable in England, began to turn to nature di- 
rectly, they, as he, discovered what Hobbema had done, 
and made his work the foundation of their own efforts; 
carrying, however, the truth to nature for its own sake 
even farther than he did. For, although Hobbema de- 
picted the natural forms of trees and the appearances of 
the sky and of light, he did not reproduce the varied 
coloring of nature, confining his palette mostly to grays 

2^ [ 253 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

and browns and a certain sharp green. Nor had he the 
skill to paint real atmosphere or to make the trees move 
in it. Even in his pictures, close to nature as they are, 
there is visible a conventional method of representation; 
that is to sa}, a habit of painting according to a plan 
which he had discovered for himself rather than with a 
continually fresh eye for the various manifestations of 
nature. It was reserved for the painters of the nine- 
teenth century to be the truer nature-students of the 
pay sage intiine. 



[254] 



CHAPTER XVII 

JEAN ANTOINE WATTEAU ^'^^'if^ ,?;/^^^" 

m4-mi 1697-U64 

Eighteenth-Century School of France Early English School 

WATTEAU has been called the first French 
painter; Hogarth was certainly the first 
English one. The previous painters in Eng- 
land had been foreigners, such as Holbein, Rubens, Van 
Dyck Lely, Kneller, visiting the country for a longer or 
shorter stay. Those preceding Watteau, while French 
by birth, were altogether foreign in their art. We have 
seen how the greatest of them, Nicolas Poussin and 
Claude, lived in Italy and based their respective styles 
on the study of classic and Italian art and landscape 
On the other hand, Lebrun, a pupil of Vouet who had 
studied in Italy, occupied the position of painter in or- 
dinary at the court of Louis XIV, elaborating vast 
compositions and designs dictated by the monarch s 
vanity and intended to extol his fame, representing him 
as a classic hero and always in the act of conquest. De- 
spite the size of his canvases, Lebrun was not a great 
painter, and there was nothing distinctively French or 
original about his work. On the contrary, both these 
qualities appeared in Watteau, hence the assertion that 
he is the first of French painters. And this notwith- 
standing the fact that he was really of Flemish birth, a 

[ 255 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

native of Valenciennes, which had recently, however, be- 
come a part of the French dominions. ' 

In his case, as in Hogarth's, a new kind of art sprang 
into existence, full-grown almost from its birth; both 
eminently characteristic of their times ; the one distinctly 
French, the other as unmistakably English. Also, it is 
extremely interesting to note that each artist was,' in a 
greater or less degree, influenced by the sister art of 
the drama. 

Let us try to get an understanding of these two men 
by first examining the examples of their work. The 
Embarkation for Cythera-ihe island near which Venus 
was fabled to have risen from the sea, especially dedi- 
cated to her worship— was painted by Watteau upon his 
admission to full membership in the French Academy 
when he was thirty-three years old. It caused a great 
sensation, being entirely different from the official clas- 
sic standard maintained by the Academy, — "a rainbow- 
hued vision of beauty and grace, such as had not been 
seen since the golden days of the Venetian Renais- 
sance,"— yet strangely in touch with the French spirit 
of its own day. For the Grand IMonarch had been dead 
two years, succeeded by his great-grandson Louis XV, 
a child now seven years old ; and under the regency of 
Philip, Duke of Orleans, the dreary formality of the old 
court had been replaced by the gaiety of the new. True, 
the country was plunged in misery, and the shadow of 
the terrible Revolution which was to burst in the next 
reign was already drawing near. But at court the peo- 
ple frisked and frolicked, like lambs unmindful of the 
butcher; pleasure and love-making were their occupa- 

[ 256 ] 



WATTEAU-HOGARTH 

tions, and Watteau's picture represents the graceful side 
of all this, detached from its wickedness and inhumanity. 
Look at the picture— the trees, the water, and the sky 
all seem real ; so, too, the ladies and gentlemen in their 
rainbow-tinted silks and satins. Yet the scene is also 
unreal; part of a world in which there is no ugliness, 
no hunger, no need of work or self-denial; a dream of 
the poets of old Greece reclothed in the semblance of 
the eighteenth century. Nor is it only the presence 
of the cupids that touches this strain of unreality; 
wreathed, as they are, in joyous circles in mid-air, cling- 
ing about the masts of the vessel, or winging their flight 
through the shrubbery as they summon the human vo- 
taries of pleasure. For the gilded vessel is ready to set 
sail to the isle of happiness, lying somewhere in that 
dreamy distance ; lovers are already aboard, and the rest 
are being urged to follow. A statue of Venus adorns 
the woodland spot; yet it is but a symbol of the joy that 
awaits these pleasure-seekers in the island of dreams— 

when they reach it. 

For it is the beauty of what is not yet attained, of the 
unattainable, expressed in this picture, that is one of the 
sources of its poetic unreality ; and another is the exqui- 
site pattern of its composition— the spacing of the fore- 
ground and the trees against the sky ; the rhythmic curv- 
ing line of moving figures; the delicate varieties of 
hght and shade ; and in the original the brilliant harmony 
of color. All is too absolutely attuned to what is only 
beautiful to be real; and yet, to repeat what has been 
said above, its poetry is based on realism. For " Wat- 
teau has this note of a great artist, that as a foundation 

[ 257 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

for his poetry, his dream, his ideahsm, he lays a constant 
and minute study of nature." 

When Watteau was a lad in Valenciennes he was con- 
tinually filling his mind with the appearances of things 
and practising his hand in drawing; especially absorbed 
on the occasion of the fairs, when the market-place was 
gay with booths, and mountebanks and actors vied with 
one another in their antics and gestures. He reached 
an extraordinary facility in representing figures in ac- 
tion. To this he added from his studies in the Louvre a 
perfection of coloring derived from Rubens, Titian, and 
Veronese. 

During those days of the Regency the light French 
comedies were again in favor, and the Italian comedies, 
which had been banished from the old monarch's court, 
had been invited back. Once more in the salons and 
gardens of the Luxembourg sported Gilles (the Italian 
equivalent of Pierrot), Columbine, Harlequin, Panta- 
loon, the doctor of Bologna on his donkey, and Polichi- 
nello, — characters evolved by Italian wit out of their 
prototypes as played by the Roman mimes. Sometimes 
the players acted in dumb -show, at other times from 
written plays, and often with words improvised by them- 
selves, but always with their Italian skill of expression 
by gesture and facial play, in which they have been ri- 
valed only by French actors and by the Chinese and 
Japanese. Watteau on some occasions derived his sub- 
jects directly from the Italian comedy, as in his famous 
picture of Gilles in the Louvre; but in all his work the 
indirect influence is plainly visible. 

His figures move through the scene as if they were 

[ 258 ] 



WATTE AU- HOGARTH 

enacting a comedy : in the case of our present picture, a 
very elaborate spectacle, but of lightest touch; no emo- 
tion,' only the daintiest play of fancy ; yet in its artistic 
aspect most serious and accomplished. For Watteau 
was no trifler; an earnest and indefatigable worker; 
serious even to sadness, a man of frail physique; ner- 
vous, irritable, not fond of company ; a looker-on at life, 
not a sharer in its joys, except in the joy of his own art; 
and when he painted this vision of loveliness he was al- 
ready dying of consumption. Note also with regard to 
his figures that, on the one hand, except in the case of 
the Gilles, they are small. Therefore we are not con- 
cerned with them individually and intimately, but only 
in relation to the whole scene, in which they play like 
puppets, creatures of exquisite grace, of easy movement, 
detached from us, inside the proscenium opening of the 
gilt frame. On the other hand, note the actual relation 
of those figures, in point of size, to the landscape. The 
latter is not subordinated to them, as in the Italian paint- 
ings, nor are they mere spots of accent in the sur- 
roundings, as in Claude's pictures and in the Dutch 
landscapes; but the two elements are so adjusted to each 
other, that, to use a theatrical expression, the mise-en- 
scene is perfectly balanced. It was this balance, coupled 
with the dramatic vivacity of the figures, which made 
Watteau's pictures a new thing in art. 

Its newness is linked to that of Hogarth's by the in- 
fluence that the drama exerted over both ; otherwise there 
is no similarity between the two men in motive, though 
in their craftsmanship they were alike in being both ac- 
complished painters. But while Watteau, as we have 

[ 259 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

said, was a sad, retired man, who found inspiration for 
his landscape studies in the beautiful gardens of the 
Luxembourg palace, which he peopled with the crea- 
tures of his own imagination, though having all a re- 
alist's feeling for, and knowledge of, nature and the 
human figure; Hogarth, a jovial little man, fond of his 
London and thoroughly acquainted with its aspects and 
the life of its people, laid his scenes in the streets, the 
drawing-rooms, churches, attics, madhouses — always in 
some scene thronged with the rich, the poor, the actual 
people living in his day. He neither extenuated, " nor 
set down aught in malice." But, added to this painter's 
joy of representing what he saw (and with what minute- 
ness of detail you can see from this picture, remember- 
ing, as you study its extreme finish, that Hogarth began 
life as apprentice to an engraver, and that in after life 
he engraved a large proportion of his jDictures) — added, 
I say, to this purely pictorial motive is that of telling a 
story, and one, too, which has a moral. 

First of all let us read the story of this picture; or, 
rather, this Act I of a very serious comedy of six tab- 
leaux, entitled Marriage a la Mode. The scene is the 
drawing-room of Viscount Squanderfield (note the alle- 
gorical significance of the name) ; on the left his lord- 
ship is seated, pointing with complacent pride to his 
family tree, which has its roots in William the Con- 
queror. But his rent-roll has been squandered, the 
gouty foot suggesting whither some of it has gone ; and 
to restore his fortunes he is about to marrv his heir to 
the daughter of a rich alderman. The latter is seated 
awkwardly at the table, holding the marriage contract, 

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WATTE AU- HOGARTH 

duly sealed, signed, and delivered; the price paid for it 
being shown bj^ the pile of money on the table and the 
bunch of canceled mortgages which the lawyer is pre- 
senting to the nobleman, who, as you observe, refuses to 
soil his elegant fingers with them. Over on the left is his 
weakling son, helping himself at this critical turn of his 
affairs to a pinch of snufF, w^hile he gazes admiringly at 
his own figure in a mirror. The lady is equally indiffer- 
ent: she has strung the ring on to her handkerchief and 
is toying with it, while she listens to the compliments 
being paid to her by Counselor Silvertongue. Through 
the open window another lawyer is comparing his lord- 
ship's new house that is in course of building with the 
plan in his hand. A marriage so begun could only end 
in misery; and the successive stages of it are represented 
in the following five pictures of this famous series, which 
was issued in engraved form in 1745. 

Of this masterpiece of Hogarth's, considered as the 
gradual unfolding, tableau by tableau, of a dramatic 
story, Austin Dobson writes: " There is no defect of in- 
vention, no superfluity of detail, no purposeless stroke 
in the whole tale. From first to last, it progresses stead- 
ily to its catastrophe by a forward march of skilfully 
linked and fully developed incidents, set in an atmo- 
sphere that makes it as vivid as nature itself, decorated 
with surprising fidelity, and enlivened by all the re- 
sources of the keenest humor." This is very high praise; 
but, observe, there is not a word in it w^hich would be 
inapplicable if it were a play or a novel and not a series 
of pictures, that Mr. Dobson were criticizing. As Ho- 
garth w^as not a dramatist or novelist, but a painter, we 

'' [ 265 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

need some further indorsement. Let Gautier, the 
French critic, speak: "Throughout the Marriage a la 
Mode series Hogarth perfectly merits the name of a 
great painter." Compare with this an extract from the 
writings of the American critic, Mr. John C. Van Dyke : 
" There can be no doubt that Hogarth's instincts were 
those of a painter. His f eehng for color, air, values, his 
handling of the brush, his sense of delicacy and refine- 
ment in the placing of tones, all mark him as an artist 
whose medium of expression was necessarily pigment. 
The fact that his audience ajDplauded him for his satires 
rather than for his painting does not invalidate the ex- 
cellence of his art." And many other judgments to the 
same effect could be quoted. 

So it is because Hogarth was distinguished by these 
qualities, which are among the hall-marks of painting, 
that he is reckoned a great painter; and because he was 
the first of Englishmen to be thus distinguished, and the 
subjects of his pictures are character studies of life in 
England, that he is considered the first of the English 
painters. For similar reasons, Watteau is called the 
first of the French painters. 

The difference between the art of these two contem- 
poraries, each representative of his race and period, is 
most interesting. The Gallic genius, influenced by in- 
tellectuality, seeks in each branch of art its separate 
special perfection; while the Anglo-Saxon, like the Ger- 
man, mixes sentiment with his abstract love of beauty: 
a sentiment either of emotions or imagination, of mo- 
rality or religion. The Frenchman does not, as a rule, 
confuse his mediums of expression: that is to say, what 

[ 266] 



WATTE AU- HOGARTH 

can best be said in words, he leaves to literature; and, 
when through painting or sculpture he makes an ap- 
peal to the eye, it is to the eye, as far as possible, ex- 
clusively, that he is wont to appeal. There are many ex- 
ceptions to this in French painting, the very popular 
Greuze being one ; but, as a rule, the racial genius of the 
French is displayed in bringing to the highest point of 
perfection the special capabilities of the medium, whe- 
ther in words, or paint, or what not. On the other hand, 
the Anglo-Saxon and the German, moved by sentiment, 
are apt to use their art to get at the sentiment of their 
fellow-men; quite as intent upon what they wish to say 
as upon their mode of saying it; sometimes more so. 
They will borrow, therefore, from other arts, as Ho- 
garth did from those of the satirist and dramatist, and, 
we may add, of the preacher and the moralist. 

To this ruling difference between the genius of these 
races there are numberless exceptions, yet the essential 
difference remains and must be grasped by all who 
would appreciate fairly the merits of both. Nor need 
we try to discover which is the better motive. To the 
French, their own undoubtedly, because it is fashioned 
out of their own characteristics. A heritage from Pous- 
sin, it has resulted in a very high average of accomplish- 
ment ; so that no writers are more clever in writing than 
the French ; no painters so generally skilled in painting ; 
no sculptors, as a body, so expert in their particular 
craft. 

On the contrary, while individual painters of the Ger- 
man and Anglo-Saxon races have regarded themselves 
primarily as painters and reached a high degree of accom- 

[ 267 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

plishment in their technic, there has been a tendency to 
think the subject of the picture of more importance than 
the way in which it is painted, and the latter has suffered 
in consequence. Hogarth, as we have seen, was not one 
of these; yet the admiration given to the story-telhng 
and moral aspects of his work has done much to lead 
other painters to overlook the proper scope of painting, 
its true possibilities and limitations. 

He himself was a perfectly typical product of his 
time, reflecting at least four very vital influences : Puri- 
tan morality ; the power and independence of the middle 
classes; the love of the drama, and the rise of English 
prose. 

The first two are closely interwoven. At the com- 
mencement of the eighteenth century there was this 
great difl*erence between the conditions of England and 
France, that while in the latter the ojjposite extremes of 
the aristocracy and the proletariat stood wide apart, in 
England there w^as a powerful and independent middle 
class. It had its origin in the fifteenth century, when 
the mutual destruction of the nobles in the Wars of the 
Roses '' gave honest men," as the saying was, " a chance 
to come by their own." It grew in numbers and in 
wealth, eagerly identifying itself with freedom of 
thought and speech, until by the seventeenth century it 
had developed that Puritan conscience which made a 
stand at once for morality and for religious and civil lib- 
erty. It was temporarily triumphant and then super- 
seded in the matter of government by the Restoration, 
when lower moral standards and indifl*erence to religion 
came to be in vogue. But the Puritan conscience sur- 

[268 ] 



WATTEAU-HOGARTH 

vived, as it still does to-day ; and in Hogarth's time made 
itself felt in a variety of ways. In a religious guise it 
reappeared in the preaching of John Wesley, and the 
rise of the JNIethodists ; in literature, in the satirical writ- 
ing of Swift, Addison, Steele, and Pope. 

But the great event of literature during the latter part 
of the eighteenth century was the development and 
growth of English prose, particularly, in connection 
with our present study, of the modern novel. There 
sprang up a group of story-tellers: De Foe, Richardson, 
Goldsmith, Fielding, Sterne, and Smollett. Literature, 
seriously, humorously, or satirically, was interested in 
human life. The Puritan conscience, the sturdy middle- 
class common sense, the novelist's keen observation of 
life, tinged sometimes with bitterness, but always with 
humor — these are the influences to be detected in Ho- 
garth's work. 

Its affinity to the drama is no less evident. The fig- 
ures are grouped in a scene rather than composed with 
the empty sjDaces of the background. They are strung 
across the scene, almost in the same plane, and are illu- 
minated as if from footlights, the light of which does not 
explore the background. To appreciate this artificial 
form of grouping and lighting, the picture should be 
compared with Velasquez's Las Meninas. In a moment 
we perceive that one is natural, and the other stagy. 

In his portrait of himself, in the National Gallery in 
London, Hogarth has introduced a palette, on which is 
drawn a curved line. This is what he called the line of 
beauty and of grace. One may possibly trace his use of 
it in this picture: in the gesture of the right arm and 

[ 269 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

hand of the heir ; in the curve of the lady's pocket-hand- 
kerchief ; more subtly through the line of her head and 
the hands of the Counselor Silvertongue ; with a certain 
broken humility in the head and left arm of the lawyer 
w^ho hands the mortgages, and with a pompous stiffness 
in the head and left arm of his lordship. 

In his early efforts at painting, Hogarth produced 
miniature "Conversation Pieces"; that is to say, little 
subjects of figures grouped in the act of conversation: 
a style of picture which, as he said, had novelty. It was 
akin to the genre pictures, those subjects of real life 
which had occupied the Dutch of the seventeenth cen- 
tury. But there was this difference. The Dutch artists, 
depicting scenes of real life in the home, or streets, or 
taverns, were concerned almost entirely with the picto- 
rial aspect of the subject; they did not include, as a rule, 
any study of character, much less any story-telling or 
dramatic motive. They looked at the outside, not the 
inside, of life. Hogarth was the first of the painters to 
do the latter. In his objective realism he is related to 
Dutch seventeenth-century art; but, under the influ- 
ence of English literature of the eighteenth century, he 
wxnt further and originated a new motive in painting. 
While Italian art in the eighteenth centur}^ was vari- 
ously reproducing a faint recollection of its past, Hol- 
land itself aping the Italian, and Watteau shrinking 
from the present in a golden vision of dreams, Hogarth 
attacked the real. He is the father of modern realism 
in painting. 

The great difference, then, between him and Watteau 
is that his pictures represent a study of character which 

[ 270 ] 



WATTEAU-HOGARTH 

analyzes the causes and results of human actions, while 
the French artist floats upon the beautiful surface of 
things. The one is terrible, seeing the world so clearly 
as it was; the other, altogether lovable in his disregard 
of what is gross and horrible, in his imagined perfection 
of beauty. But, in relation to the respective conditions 
of their countries at the time, Watteau's art was as a 
tangle of flowers, covering pleasantly a bottomless pit 
of destruction ; Hogarth's, a rude awakening to a whole- 
somer condition; the one, a sad and sick man's craving 
after ideal beauty; the other, a healthy recognition of 
what was wrong. 



[271] 



CHAPTER XVIII 

SIB JOSHUA REYNOLDS THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH 

1723-1792 1727-1788 

Early English ScJiool Early English School 

IN the same year, 1784, that Sir Joshua Reynolds's 
picture, Mfs. Siddofis as the Tragic Muse, was ex- 
hibited at the Royal Academy, the famous actress 
sat for her portrait to his rival, Gainsborough. Sarah 
Siddons was then in her twenty-ninth year, in the prime 
of her beauty, and in the first flush of that popularity 
which was to make her the queen of the English stage 
for thirty years. She was the eldest daughter of a coun- 
try actor, Roger Kemble, three of her brothers, John 
Philip, Stej^hen, and Charles, and one sister, Elizabeth, 
being also distinguished on the stage; while Charles's 
daughter, Fanny Kemble, carried on the theatrical tra- 
ditions of the family until 1893. As a girl, Sarah acted 
in her father's companies; at eighteen married an actor 
named Siddons ; and made her first appearance at Drury 
Lane Theatre in 1775, when she played Portia with 
Garrick. But on this occasion she failed to make a good 
impression, and retired in disappointment to the prov- 
inces, where she worked hard for seven years. Upon 
her reappearance in London in 1782, as Isabella in 
" The Fatal Marriage," her success was instantaneous. 
She became identified with parts of tragic pathos and 

[ 272 ] 



REYNOLDS-GAINSBOROUGH 

queenly dignity, her favorite ones being Lady Macbeth, 
Queen Constance, Queen Katharine, Jane Shore, Isa- 
bella, Ophelia, Imogen, Portia, and Desdemona. Her 
power seems to have consisted not so much in the deliv- 
ery of the words as in her "presence, mien, attitude, 
expression of voice and countenance, and in her intense 
concentration of feeling, which lifted and dilated her 
form, transporting her audience as well as herself." 
Her last appearance on the stage was in 1818. Thence- 
forth until her death, in 1831, she lived in retirement, as 
honored as a woman as she had been as an actress. 

We can compare the two aspects of her personality in 
these pictures. Sir Joshua's exhibits her in an attitude 
of rapt contemplation, as if gazing into the world of the 
imagination and listening for the voice of inspiration; 
dressed in a costume which at the end of the eighteenth 
century passed for heroic. In Gainsborough's picture 
she appears as she may have done when Fanny Burney 
met her, in 1782, while paying an afternoon call at a 
friend's house. Mrs. Siddons had just become famous. 
She was on everybody's tongue, and Miss Burney makes 
this entry in her diary: "We found Mrs. Siddons, the 
actress, there. She is a woman of excellent character, 
and therefore I am very glad she is thus patronized. 
She behaved with great propriety; very calm, modest, 
quiet, and unaffected. She has a fine countenance, and 
her eyes look both intelligent and soft. She has, how^- 
ever, a steadiness in her manner and deportment by no 
means engaging. Mrs. Thrale, who was there, said: 
' Why, this is a leaden goddess we are all worshipping ! 
however, we shall soon gild it.' '' 

27 [ 273 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Her hair is frizzled and powdered after the fashion 
of the time, and surmounted by a large black, feathered 
hat ; she wears a blue-and-gray-striped silk dress, with a 
buff shawl hanging from her arm, and holds a brown 
muff. The curtain at her back is red. On this arrange- 
ment of colors hangs a tale. 

Sir Joshua, in the eighth of the discourses which, as 
president of the Royal Academy, he delivered to the stu- 
dents in 1778, laid down the principle that the chief 
masses of light in a picture should always be of warm, 
mellow color, and that the blue, gray, or green colors 
should be kept almost entirely out of these masses, and 
"be used only to support and set off these warm colors; 
and for this purpose a small proportion of cold colors 
will be sufficient. Let this conduct be reversed," he 
added; " let the light be cold and the surrounding colors 
warm, as we often see in the work of the Roman and 
Florentine painters, and it will be out of the power of 
art, even in the hands of Rubens or Titian, to make a 
picture splendid and harmonious." 

It is said that Gainsborough took up the challenge 
and produced the Mrs. Siddons portrait; though others 
assert that it was in another famous portrait, Tlie Blue 
Boy, that he did this. Whether or not it is true that he 
deliberately painted these pictures to refute his rival's 
theory, matters very little beside the fact that they do re- 
fute it. For one of the chief charms of Gainsborough's 
work is the delicacy of his color-harmonies, in which he 
was entirely original. But this story brings out very 
sharply the difference between these two artists: Rey- 
nolds regulating his art and life on safe and arbitrary 

[274] 



REYNOLDS-GAINSBOROUGH 

principles ; Gainsborough, an original student of nature, 
influenced by a dreamy, poetic temperament; the one, 
also, a man of the world ; the other, simply an artist. 

Sir Joshua was born at Plympton, four miles from 
Plymouth, in Devonshire, in 1723. His father, rector 
of the grammar-school, early trained him in classical 
studies, intending his son to be an apothecary; but he 
displayed such an inclination for drawing, diligently 
copying the prints which fell in his way, that the father 
yielded and sent him to London as a pupil of Hudson, 
then popular but now held in little esteem. After two 
years he returned to Devonshire and established himself 
as a portrait-painter in Plymouth, where he was taken 
up by Commodore Keppel, who, being appointed to tlie 
JNIediterranean station, invited the young painter to ac- 
company him on his ship, the Centurion. Thus he was 
able to visit Rome, spending two years there in very 
close study, especially of the works of Raphael and Mi- 
chelangelo. It was while painting in the corridors of the 
Vatican that he contracted a cold, which brought on the 
deafness which afflicted him during the rest of his life. 
Leaving Rome, he visited Parma, where he fell under 
Correggio's influence; then Florence and Venice, in the 
latter city studying the works of the great colorists. On 
his way home he stopped in Paris, making acquaintance 
with the work of Rubens. Arrived in London, he settled 
in St. Martin's Lane, and painted a portrait of his pa- 
tron. Commodore (by that time Lord) Keppel, which 
laid the foundation of his fortunes. Later he established 
himself in Leicester Square, w^iere his house. No. 47, 
may still be seen opposite the site of Hogarth's. 

[275] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Van Dyck had been dead a hundred years. Though 
his memory was a great tradition in England, no Eng- 
hshman had succeeded to his fame, and yet portraiture 
was the trend of painting that chiefly interested the 
English. Reynolds, coming back from his travels with 
well-considered rules which he would follow if it were 
possible for him to paint historical or ideal subjects, im- 
mediately adapted himself to circumstances and applied 
these rules to portrait-painting. Every portrait should 
be a picture as well as a rendering of the features of the 
original. He had learned how JNIichelangelo made the 
attitude and gestures of his figures so full of expression ; 
what triumphs of light and shade were produced by Cor- 
reggio ; the dignity and sumptuousness of Venetian col- 
oring; the decorative splendor of Rubens's pictures; the 
exquisite sentiment of Raphael's women and children, 
and the dignity that this artist gave to his heads of men. 
He had learned all this and much more, and set himself 
to combine as much of these diiFerent qualities in his 
portraits as he could. " No one," said James Xorthcote, 
a pupil of Reynolds, who wrote his life, " ever appropri- 
ated the ideas of others to his own purj)ose with more 
skill than Sir Joshua. The opinion he has given of 
Raphael may with equal justice be apj)lied to himself: 
' His materials were generally borrowed, but the noble 
structure was his own.' " 

For example, in the Mrs. Siddons the pose of the fig- 
ure, especially in the carriage of the head and left arm 
and hand, recalls JNIichelangelo's painting of Isaiah on 
the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; while in the latter's 
Jeremiah may be seen the suggestion for the attendant 

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PORTRAIT O?^ MRS. SIDDOXS 



THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH 



NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 




MRS. SIDDONS AS THE 
TRAGIC MUSE 



SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS 



GROSVEXOR HOUSE, LONDON 



REYNOLDS-GAINSBOROUGH 

figures, Crime and Remorse, in the Reynolds picture. 
If you compare the Siddons and the Isaiah, you will l)e 
conscious at once of particular similarities and yet of 
general difference. Each figure is represented as being 
under the influence of inspiration, as if listening to a 
voice. The latter in the case of the Isaiah is near, in that 
of the Siddons afar off; the proj^het is taking it into 
himself to write it in the book ; the actress, with her right 
arm extended, looks as if she may spring from her seat 
and impetuously give out of herself what she feels. 
Then note the different treatment of the draperies: in 
the Isaiah it is sculptural, the drapery is felt as part of 
the figure; in the Siddons it is arranged so as to make 
you forget the figure in the amplitude and sviperbness 
of its garniture, just as the actual personality of a great 
actress is enlarged and made magnificent by the atmo- 
sphere of emotion which surrounds it. It was so that 
Reynolds, intimate friend of the great actor Garrick 
and of the brilliant orator Burke, tried to represent the 
mighty impressiveness, the emotional grandeur, and in- 
tellectual splendor of the nobly spoken word. Through- 
out all Reynolds's work there is a strong inclination 
toward the dramatic representation: even the children — 
and none ever j)ainted sweeter ones than he — uncon- 
sciously play some little part. Moreover, Reynolds lived 
in the grand world, and painted all the great and the 
fashionable people of his time; and sought to apply 
to portraiture the principles of the " grand style " of 
painting. 

Look back to Gainsborough's Mrs, Siddons, and see 
how free from anything dramatic or " grand " it is; how 

[ 281 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

simple and straightforward; true and sure in the draw- 
ing, so that one can enjoy the suggestion of vigorous, 
alert body and soft, firm flesh. It gives enjoyment to 
our tactile sense, which is much less excited by the Rey- 
nolds picture. On the other hand, quite as noticeable is 
the dehcacy of the picture : its dehcate refinement of ex- 
pression and the delicate rendering of the face and hair ; 
while we have already alluded to the choice and original 
beauty of the scheme of color-harmony. Altogether 
there is a rare quality of distinction in this picture which 
we shall not find in the Reynolds, for all its grandeur. 
It is also a much finer kind of distinction than appears 
in Van Dyck's pictures; and I think we may discover 
why. 

This quality of distinction in a picture is not so much 
a reproduction of something in the subject as of some- 
thing in the artist ; else we might expect to find it as evi- 
dent in Reynolds's picture as in Gainsborough's. No, 
you may find this quality also in a painted landscape ; it 
is an expression of the mind and imagination of the ar- 
tist, even as the touch of a musician is an interpretation 
not only of the music, but of the way in which the music 
aifects him— an expression of himself, in fact. 

Now Van Dyck, as we have seen, was very fond of the 
grand world and fashionable fife, and, having great per- 
sonal refinement, gave an air of exceptional refinement 
to his portraits; but it is very largely a refinement of 
beautiful clothes and elegant manners. V^e can hardly 
imagine Van Dyck condescending to paint a picture of a 
Girl and Pigs, as Gainsborough did ; and he certainly 
did not paint landscapes,— whereas Gainsborough, while 

[ 282 ] 



REYNOLDS-GAINSBOROUGH 

painting portraits for a living, painted landscapes for 
his own pleasure, and lived at Hampstead during the 
summer, that he might be constantly in fellowship with 
nature. 

It was this love of nature and of simple things, and 
the faculty of seeing beauty in them, that gave such a 
choice distinction to his work, because it was the expres- 
sion of his own simple, lovable personality. He had 
beauty in himself, and all his life it fed on simple de- 
lights — the joy of nature, of domestic happiness, of 
music, and of his own art. 

He was born in the little town of Sudbury, on the river 
Stour, in the beautiful county of Suffolk, not far from 
East Bergholt, the birthplace, some fifty years later, of 
the great landscape-painter Constable. As a boy, he 
loved to ramble in the country, sketching; and showed 
so much inclination for it, and so little for any other 
kind of study, that when he was fifteen he was sent to 
London and placed under the care of a silversmith, who 
procured him admission to the St. Martin's Lane Acad- 
emy. Here he worked for three years under the painter 
Frank Hayman, who was distinguished by being ad- 
dicted more to wine and pugilism than to art. Gains- 
borough's eighteenth year was an eventful one. First, 
he hired three rooms in Hatton Gardens and set up as a 
painter on his own account; then, meeting with little 
encouragement, returned to Sudbury ; there fell a victim 
to the charms of a young lady of seventeen, Miss Mar- 
garet Burr, who had an annuity of one thousand dollars ; 
married her, and established himself in the country town 
of Ipswich. After this eventful year, he worked on 

[ 283 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

for fifteen years happily and quietly, continually study- 
ing in the open air and executing such small commissions 
for portraits as came to him, until he had succeeded in 
discovering for himself a manner of painting suited to 
his needs, and had developed an extraordinary facility. 

In 1760, by the advice of a friend and patron named 
Thicknesse, he moved to Bath, at that time the most 
fashionable city outside of London. Its hot medicinal 
waters had been famous in Roman times, and still the 
gay world congregated there to drink them and to dance 
and talk scandal in the Pump-room, w^here Beau Nash 
reigned as an autocrat among the wits and macaronis.^ 

Gainsborough's success was immediate, but with in- 
creasing wealth there was no alteration in his simple 
method of living. He worked four or five hours a day, 
and devoted the rest of his time to the societ}^ of his wife 
and a few friends who were musical. For music now 
became a passion of his life, so that it was said he painted 
for business and played for pleasure, constantly master- 
ing some fresh instrument. 

So passed fourteen years, when, in 17T4, Gainsbor- 
ough moved to London, was commissioned by George 
III to paint a portrait of himself and the queen, and 
became the rival of Reynolds. He died in 1788, having 
contracted a chill while attending the trial of Warren 
Hastings, and was buried by his own request in Kew 
churchyard. On his death-bed he sent for Reynolds. 
There had been misunderstanding and estrangement be- 
tween the two. It was now forgotten. Reynolds caught 
his last dying words, " We are all going to heaven, and 

^ Slang word for the fashionable dandies of the day, 

[ 284 ] 



REYNOLDS-GAINSBOROUGH 

Van Dyck is of the party"; acted as one of the pall- 
bearers at his funeral; and subsequently pronounced a 
eulogy. In it he said: " If ever this nation should pro- 
duce genius enough to acquire to us the honorable dis- 
tinction of an English school, the name of Gainsborough 
will be transmitted to posterity in the histor}^ of the art, 
among the very first of that rising name." 

Reynolds himself only survived Gainsborough four 
years. He was buried with much pomp in St. Paul's 
Cathedral, near to the grave of its architect. Sir Chris- 
topher Wren. 

The contrast between these two artists is almost the 
diiFerence between art and artlessness. Reynolds was 
learned in what other painters had done, and had re- 
duced his own art to a system ; he was a man of the world, 
and represented his subjects with a well-bred conscious- 
ness of good manners. Gainsborough found out almost 
everything for himself; never lost the simple, natural 
way of looking at things and people, and painted, not 
according to rule, but at the dictates of what he felt. 
Reynolds planned out his effects ; Gainsborough painted 
on the spur of the impression which the subject aroused. 
Reynolds's art was based on safe general principles; 
Gainsborough's was the fresh and spontaneous expres- 
sion of his temperament, — depending, that is to say, on 
feeling rather than on calculation. His temperament, 
or habit of mind, was dreamy and poetic, gentle and re- 
tiring, including a small range of experience. Rey- 
nolds, on the other hand, was a man of large experience 
and of business capacity; intimate with Samuel John- 
son, Oliver Goldsmith, and other celebrities of the day; 

28 [ 285 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

a man of knowledge and clever conversational power, 
whose pictures by their variety prove his versatility. 
Consequently, when the Royal Academy was established 
in 1768, he was elected president by acclamation, and 
was knighted by George III, an honor that has ever 
since been bestowed on the holder of this office. 

These two men were at the head of the group of por- 
trait-painters who, in the latter part of the eighteenth 
century and early years of the succeeding one, added 
luster to the new growth of art in England. Foremost 
among the other names in the group are Romney, at 
times quite as able as Reynolds or Gainsborough; Sir 
Henry Raeburn, a Scotchman; John Hoppner; and Sir 
Thomas Lawrence. 



[286] 



CHAPTER XIX 

JOHN CONSTABLE JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER 

1776-1837 1775-1851 

English ScJiool English School 

WHAT a contrast these pictures present of 
splendid audacity and serene simplicity! 
The one an amazing vision of the imagina- 
tion; the other, a loving record of something intimately 
familiar. Turner's was painted in 1829; one of the fin- 
est works of this master, who is a solitary figure in land- 
scape art, unapproached by others, although, as we shall 
see, he combined several motives that others had been or 
would be seeking after. Constable's picture appeared 
six years later, an excellent example of the painter who 
may be regarded as the father of modern landscape. 

The Valley Farm, known also as Willy Lotfs House, 
is on the little river Stour in the county of Sussex, Eng- 
land, near the mill at East Bergholt where Constable 
was born ; for he, like Rembrandt, was a miller's son. It 
is a characteristic bit of English scenery, not grand or 
romantic; just a tiny bit of a little countr}^ the conspicu- 
ous features of which are its verdure and rich cultiva- 
tion ; so homelike that those who love it, as Constable did, 
get to have a companionship with every detail, learning 
to know the line of its hills, the winding of its streams, 
and the position and character of every tree and object 

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HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

in the familiar scene. It was along the banks of this 
little river that he strayed in boyhood ; and to it that he 
came back, after a stay in London where he studied 
at the schools of the Royal Academy, and copied the 
pictures in the galleries, especially those of Hobbema 
and Ruisdael. But he soon tired of looking at nature 
through the eyes of other men. " There is room enough," 
he wrote to a friend, " for a nature-painter. Painting is 
with me but another name for feeling; and I associate 
my careless boyhood with all that lies upon the banks of 
the Stour; those scenes made me a painter and I am 
thankful." This is the kind of spirit which, we have 
seen, actuated the Dutch landscape-painters of the sev- 
enteenth century; and, indeed, their love of nature was 
reincarnated in Constable. For in the lapse of time their 
contribution to art had been forgotten; the Dutchmen 
themselves had followed after strange gods, and, like 
the painters of France and England, had forsaken the 
direct study of nature for an attempt to reproduce the 
grandeur of the classic landscape. Reynolds, who drew 
his inspiration from Italy, had set its stamp upon Eng- 
lish portraiture; and Claude, the Italian-Frenchman, 
was the landscape-painter most admired. 

If we compare this picture of Constable's with the 
Landing of Cleopatra at Tarsus by Claude (page 
247) , we shall note how wide apart they are. Beside the 
formal stateliness of the latter, wherein everything, care- 
fully selected from various sources, has been arranged 
so as to produce a noble effect, The Valley Farm seems 
huddled and formless, homely. For Constable rejected 
the rules of composition then in vogue, to build up an 

[ 288 ] 



CONSTABLE-TURNER 

artificial stateliness, painting the scene as he saw it, with 
a native instinct for balance of the full and empty spaces. 
Again, if we compare it with Hobbema's TJie Avenue, 
Middelharnis (page 246), we shall note that, while both 
are simple records of the natural country-side, there is 
a difference. We can detect a movement of the foliage 
of the trees in Constable's which is not in Hobbema's 
picture; we perceive more than the actual forms of the 
trees, they are alive, trembling in the air. Further, we 
may observe more suggestion of atmosphere in the later 
than in the earlier picture; the sky is less a background 
than a canopy, the air of which pervades the whole scene. 
Once more, there is a marked difference between the 
feeling of these two pictures ; that is to say, we may note 
a difference in the attitude of mind with which Hob- 
bema and Constable, respectively, approached their sub- 
ject. We have no doubt that each was in love with his 
subject, and painted it because he was; but Hobbema 
did not think it necessary to say so in his picture. He 
viewed his subject objectively, as something outside 
himself; whereas Constable, with whom "painting was 
another name for feeling," has put his love into the pic- 
ture, has made the scene interpret his own mood. His 
picture is subjective. 

He was not satisfied with a copying of nature. It was 
to him so real and personal a companion, that, in the first 
place, he tried to make it live in his pictures; that the 
clouds might move and overhang the spot, that its atmo- 
sphere might penetrate every part of the scene, and that 
trees and water, and the very plants by the roadside 
might move and have their being in it ; and secondly, he 

[289] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

put his own personal affection into his representation. 
Then, too, in the matter of color, which cannot be gath- 
ered from the reproduction, he dared to paint nature 
green, as he saw it, and the skies blue, with the sunshine 
either yellow or glaring w^hite. This scandalized the 
people of his day. " Where are you going to place your 
brown tree? " said a patron of his, speaking of an unfin- 
ished picture. For the older men, even Gainsborough to 
some extent, transposed the hues of nature into browns 
and grays and gold, producing a very charming har- 
mony of tone, but one that was arbitrary; not true to 
nature's facts, but adopted as a pictorial convention. 

It is, then, because of this closer fidelity to the hues 
of nature, and to the effects of movement, of atmosphere 
and of light, which are the manifestations of its life and 
moods, and because he interpreted nature according to 
his own mood, — was, in fact, the first of the tempera- 
mental landscape-painters, — that Constable is called the 
father of modern landscape. For these are the qualities 
that particularly have occupied the artists of the nine- 
teenth century, and have caused the most original and 
vital branch of painting at the present time to be that 
of landscape. 

On the threshold of this new movement stood Turner, 
alone among his fellow landscape-painters, the most im- 
aginative of them all, who was less concerned with the 
truth of nature than with her si3lendors and magic. No 
one has equaled him in suggesting the mystery of nature 
in its sublime forms. One turns to the Ulysses Deriding 
Polyijhemus, not to be drawn toward it and made to 
feel at home, as in the case of the Constable, but to be 

[ 290 ] 



CONSTABLE-TURNER 

lifted up and filled with wonder of its strangeness and 
mysterious grandeur. 

The incident depicted in it is from Homer's Odyssey. 
The hero, Ulysses, in his voyage from Troy to his home 
in Ithaca, stopped at the isle of the Cyclops, and with 
his followers approached the cave of Polyphemus. The 
monster devoured six of the crew; but the hero plied 
him with wine, brought from his vessel, and, while he 
slept, put out his single eye by gouging it with a red-hot 
stake. The mariners then escaped to their ship, while 
Polyphemus in his pain and impotent rage flung rocks 
in the direction of their voices. We see his huge form 
writhing on the top of the cliff; the sailors scrambling 
up the masts to loosen the sails; the red oars flashing 
upon the water ; a bevy of sea-nymphs around the prow 
drawing the ship to safety through the green water ; the 
latter, gilded with the reflections of the rising sun, that 
paints with gold and crimson the little clouds, floating 
in the vaporous sky, wherein are rifts which reveal fur- 
ther depths of blue. 

But really the incident was of very little account to 
Turner, except as it furnished him with a peg upon 
which to hang the splendors of his own imagination ; far 
enough away from our actual experience to permit him 
a perfect liberty of treatment. Fourteen years earlier 
he had painted Dido building Carthage, in wiiich he 
emulated the liberties that Claude had taken with nature. 
It lacked the purity of coloring of the latter's work, yet 
its composition revealed Claude's mannered elevation of 
style, and served to show that, if he were so minded. 
Turner could compete with the landscape-artist then 

[291] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

held in highest repute. But his mind was set upon fur- 
ther things; having proved that he could rival Claude, 
he would now be Turner —himself . At this time he paid 
the first of three visits to Italy, and the picture w^e are 
studying, painted after his return, reveals a heightened 
sense of color, and the magnificence of his imagination, 
probably, at its highest point. 

A man may shut himself up in his house and lead a 
very solitary life, as Turner did, and yet unconsciously 
be a part of the influences of his time. And those early 
years of the nineteenth century were a period of reac- 
tion against the eighteenth century reign of prose, its 
cold calculation and small and elegant precision. The 
spirit of Romanticism was in the air. It is not usual, 
however, to regard Turner as a Romantic painter, yet 
his wwk combines qualities which reappear more dis- 
tinctly in other men. We shall consider the Romantic 
movement in painting in another chapter; meanwhile 
here are two definitions of it, that will include Turner, as 
having, at least, romantic tendencies. Walter Pater says, 
" It is the addition of strangeness to beauty that consti- 
tutes the romantic character in art"; again, Dr. F. H. 
Hedge, " The romantic feeling has its origin in wonder 
and mystery. It is the sense of something hidden, of 
imperfect revelation." 

The mystery of this picture, its spaces of light and 
darkness, that the eye explores but cannot fathom, we 
are conscious of at once. INIoreover, when we think 
about it, we are sure that, if our eye could pierce the 
shadows and closely discern the formation of the rocks, 
definitely learn the structure of the ship and the appear- 

[ 292 ] 





VALLEY FARM (WILLY LOTT'S HOUSE) JOHX CONSTABLE 

NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 




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CONSTABLE-TURNER 

ance of its sailors, peer into the distance and discover 
exactly how each mass of cliff succeeds another— if, in a 
word, our eye could grasp everything and convey the 
facts distinctly to our understanding, we should not en- 
joy the picture as we do. It is the sense of something 
hidden, of imperfect revelation, that is one of the sources 
of its enjoyment. 

And then the strangeness of the picture,— that arch 
of rock, an actual aspect of nature, though an unusual 
one; the huge, roughly hewn figure of Polyphemus; a 
sky, full of surprises to people who seldom see the daily 
pageantry of sunrise,— but it is less in detail than in gen- 
eral character that the picture is strange. The artist has 
taken a theme of old times, when the world was young 
and things loomed very big to its unformed imagination. 
For to the ancient child-mind the world seemed very big, 
and its empty, unexplored spaces, peopled with shapes 
and fancies that were vague and large. Whether it was 
the myths of old Greece, or those of the Norse moun- 
tains, or German forests— the earliest ones are concerned 
with personages vast in size, only half formed in shape, 
vague and elementary; and it is the suggestion of this 
vastness and shapelessness, of the early beginning of 
things, this great strangeness, in a word, that helps to 
make the present picture so impressive. 

Once more compare it with Constable's. One is part 
of a vast new world ; the other, a little spot that for ages 
the hand and heart of man have shaped. 

Whether Turner felt toward nature the wonder which 
his pictures inspire in us, may be doubted. His life was 
a strange contradiction to the splendor and imagination 

29 [ 297 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of his work. Like many other great landscape-artists he 
was city-bred. The son of a barber in London, he early 
showed a talent for drawing, and the father hung the 
child's productions on the wall of his shop and sold them 
to his customers. By degrees the boy obtained employ- 
ment in coloring architectural designs, and at fourteen 
was entered as a pupil in the schools of the Royal Acad- 
emy. The following year he. exhibited his first picture. 
He worked with indefatigable energy, and during vaca- 
tions went on walking tours, sketching continually and 
painting in water-colors; so that, by the time he was 
twenty- four and admitted as an associate to the Acad- 
emy, he had exhibited pictures which ranged over 
twenty-six counties of England and Wales. During 
this early period his most conspicuous success w^as made 
in water-color, in which medium he developed an extra- 
ordinary facility and skill. He would brook no rivalry. 
Girtin was at that time the most admired artist in water- 
color; he set to work to surpass him. Having done so, 
he practically abandoned this medium for oil-colors, and 
then threw dow^n, as we have already noted, a gauntlet to 
the popular admiration for Claude. That artist had 
published a "Liber Veritatis." Turner would outrival 
him w^ith a "Liber Studiorum," though the drawings, 
engraved under the artist's supervision, were not studies 
but finished water-color pictures. In fact, this collec- 
tion of seventy-one out of the hundred plates originally 
planned, while a monument to Turner's genius, is also 
the assertion of a rivalry that, in itself unworthy, w^as 
conducted in a spirit scarcely fair. For Claude's " Liber 
Veritatis " is simply a sketch-book, and the sketches were 

[ 298 ] 



CONSTABLE-TURNER 

engraved after their author's death, indeed, not until 
Turner's day. But the latter's finished productions were 
issued under his own eye. 

Turner's rule of conduct, in fact, was " aut Csesar aut 
nullus." Having established his supremacy over rivals, 
at least to his own satisfaction, he set himself to conquer 
a universe of his own. During a period of twelve years, 
beginning with this picture of Ulysses and ending with 
that of a tug-boat towing to a wrecker's yard a ship of 
the line. The Fighting Temeraire, and The Burial of 
Wilkie at Sea, he did his greatest work. For then 
his imagination was at its ripest and richest; displayed 
particularly in the majesty of moving depths of water, 
in skies of vast grandeur, and in the splendor of his 
color-schemes; moreover, the workmanship of his pic- 
tures was solid, and he still based his imagination on 
the facts of nature. But, as time went on, the need of 
continual experimenting — which every genius feels — 
seemed to take undue possession of him,* so that the study 
of nature became constantly less and the independent 
invention more and more. It was no longer the forms 
of nature that interested him, but her impalpable quali- 
ties of light and atmosphere, and perhaps even more the 
intoxication of the actual skill in using paint, until one 
may suspect that he was more enamoured of the magic 
of his brush and paints than of the qualities of nature 
which he was supposed to be representing. So daring, 
almost to the point of recklessness, were his experiments, 
that his later pictures have deteriorated, until their 
original appearance can only be guessed. On the other 
hand, in his fondness for atmospheric effects, and par- 

[ 299 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ticularly in his efforts to raise the key of hght in his pic- 
tures, he was anticipating, as we shall see, some of the 
most interesting developments of nineteenth-century 
painting. 

And during all these years, while as an artist he was 
absorbed in the pageants, the mystery, and the subtlety 
of. light and atmosphere, his life as a man was morose 
and mean; his house in Queen Anne Street dirty and 
neglected; and, finally, it was in a still more squalid 
haunt in a wretched part of London, which he fre- 
quented by his own choice, that he was found dead. 
When his will was opened, the curious contradiction that 
he was fond of hoarding money and yet refused to sell 
the majority of his pictures, was explained. He had 
left his works to the National Gallery, his money as a 
fund for the relief of poor artists. A strange mingling 
of greatness and sordidness, of boorish manners and 
kindly humanness ! 

Constable, on the other hand, led a happy, simple life 
in the village of which he wrote in one of his letters, pub- 
lished by his friend, the painter Leslie, " I love every stile 
and stump and lane." It was an out-of-door life, for he 
painted, as he expressed it, " under the sun"; observing 
the big clouds as they rolled inland from the North Sea, 
with their attendant effects of light and shadow. For it 
is these shadow effects of the northern countries that 
have made them the home of the natural landscape. In 
sunny Italy, where the air is for the most part bright and 
clear, the landscape makes an appeal of lines and masses ; 
the artist finds in it suggestion for composition, hence 
the stately pictures by Nicolas Poussin and Claude, who 

[300] 



CONSTABLE-TURNER 

lived in Italy, and of the English Wilson, who visited 
Italy and saw nature through the Italian influence. 

But in a country where the sunshine is comparatively 
rare, Constable learned to appreciate the value of it ; the 
ample comfort of its occasional breadth, the subtle charm 
of its brief gleams, piercing the rain-cloud and sparkling 
upon the grass and leafage. The sky, not spread with 
an undisturbed ceiling of light, but built high with 
clouds, that shift continually and change their aspects, 
taught him to observe the varying luminosity of the at- 
mosphere ; not to take light for granted, or to represent 
it by some uniform recipe for glow, but to study the 
infinite variety of its manifestations— with what degrees 
of strength or faintness it saturates the air, and how it 
colors the objects upon the ground. 

Constable became, in fact, the first of the modern 
school of open-air painting. Some of his pictures were 
exhibited at the Paris Salon during the years 1822 to 
1827, and the interest that his work aroused and the im- 
pression produced by it are to be reckoned, as Delacroix 
himself affirmed, a powerful influence in the creation of 
the French school of jmysage intime. The Englishmen, 
however, of that date, paid Constable little honor. It is 
true he was made an associate of the Royal Academy in 
1819, after which he moved from Sufl*olk and estab- 
lished himself in what was then the village of Hamp- 
stead on the northern outskirts of London; but it was 
not until he had been honored with a gold medal by the 
French that the Academy admitted him to full member- 
ship. Nor did this increase the public's appreciation; 
he died at Ilampstead in very meager circumstances, but 

[301] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

with the happy expectation that some day his pictures 
would be understood and valued. The expectation has 
been fully realized. 

Such tardy recognition has been the lot of many paint- 
ers great enough to create something new. Turner 
would not have been so highly esteemed in his own gen- 
eration, but that Ruskin, the most admired writer upon 
art in his time, was his enthusiastic advocate, extolling 
him, indeed, with an extravagant enthusiasm that has 
been followed by a reaction. Ruskin claimed for him 
every virtue of a painter; and the later discovery, that 
he was not so great as his advocate claimed, has some- 
what obscured how great he was. 

Moreover, the world has now become so persuaded of 
the beauty of the natural style of landscape-painting, 
that it is distrustful of the imaginative. In its praise of 
Constable it pooh-poohs Turner. 

This is a foolish and ignorant attitude of mind. The 
proper one for the genuine student is to recognize that 
in art, as in any other department of life, a man should 
be judged, not by standards of measurement, but by 
what he himself is. Now to a man who loves nature 
Constable must appeal ; but where is the man whose love 
of nature, being simple and real, has not, once or twice 
or of tener, felt taken out of himself, so that the facts of 
sky and earth seemed little to him beside the wonderful 
exaltation of spirit that the same suggest? It may be 
on some mountain, or in the presence of a sunset, or be- 
side a little brook, anywhere, at any time, but some time 
or other to the lover of nature will come a moment in 
which the facts of the landscape are swept into forget- 

[302] 



CONSTABLE-TURNER 

fulness, and all he is conscious of is a sense of his soul 
being strengthened, purified, exalted. It is so that 
Turner's best pictures may affect him. 

As we approach the development of modern art, we be- 
come more and more involved in the question of nature- 
study. But let us realize that natiu^e is practically the 
same to-day, yesterday, and forever; it is our own atti- 
tude toward it which is variable. Nature is a mirror in 
which the artist and ourselves are reflected. Therefore, 
it would be just as foolish to affirm that a mirror should 
reflect only such and such objects, as to limit our aj^pre- 
ciation to particular kinds of artistic motive. The 
proper attitude of mind is one of being actively ready 
to receive impressions of all kinds. 



[303] 



CHAPTER XX 

JACQUES LOUIS DAVID FERDINAND VICTOR EUGENE 

1748-1825 DELACROIX 

1799-1863 

Classical School of France Romantic School of France 



EACH of these pictures— David's Oatli of the 
Horatii and Delacroix's Dante and Virgil— rep- 
resents a breaking away from what had gone 
before. David's was a protest against the art of Wat- 
teau and his successors, Van Loo, Boucher, and Frago- 
nard; Delacroix's, in turn, a protest against the art of 
David. The one was an attempt to revive the purity of 
Classic style by going even further back than Poussin, 
namely to the ancient Roman sculpture itself ; the other, 
to express the fervor of modern life through the medium 
of romance. David's picture is cold, calculated, and self- 
conscious; Delacroix's impassioned, less formal in ar- 
rangement, the characters being absorbed in their va- 
rious emotions. 

Compare the two pictures, first of all, from the stand- 
point of their subjects, in each case a dramatic one: 
David's drawn from the earlv davs of the Roman Re- 
public, Delacroix's from Dante's " Inferno." And, first, 
the David. Jealous of the growing power of the young 
city, the neighboring tribe of Curiatii has invested it; 
Rome's very existence is imperiled. There are three bro- 

[ 304 ] 



DAVID -DELACROIX 

thers in the ranks of the enemy who, hke Goliath in the 
Bible story, march up and down in front of their com- 
rades, challenging any three Romans to fight with them. 
Let a combat of three against three decide the issue. 
Now within the walls is one Horatius, who has three 
stout sons. He will give them up, sacrifice them if need 
be, as champions of the Republic. They are eager for 
the honor, notwithstanding that their own sister is be- 
trothed to one of the three Curiatii. But between their 
loyalty to country and to sister they have no hesitation. 
They will fight for country; and to this highest of all 
purposes the father with prayer and blessings devotes 
them. 

But observe the three brothers in the picture. Their 
attitudes are almost identical, like those of well-drilled 
supers on the stage. Let us admit that this device ex- 
presses the unanimity of their feeling; they are moved 
as one man, with a single patriotism, and, as we may 
judge from the hand of one encircling another's waist, 
by a single bond of brotherly affection. Yet still there 
is more than a suspicion of staginess in their pose. Per- 
haps David had seen Corneille's tragedy of the Horatii, 
written one hundred and forty-five years before ; at any 
rate, its representation became very popular in Paris 
after the appearance of this picture, influenced by which 
the great actor. Talma, played the part, no longer in a 
periwig and court-clothes, but in the Roman costume. 
Again observe the secondary group of women. Do we 
feel convinced that the elder daughter betrays real grief, 
or her sister genuine sympathy, or that the mother's act 
of enfolding the little children in her arms is more than 

'' [ 305 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

a bit of maternal conventionalism? In a word, are we 
really stirred by all this representation of pathos and 
heroism ? 

Xow let us study, from the point of view of subject, 
the Dante and Virgil. The incident depicted may be 
read in Dante's " Inferno," Canto III, though the de- 
tails are not closely followed in the picture. The poet 
of Florence, escorted by him of JNIantua, has reached the 
shores of Acheron, that lake encircling the city of Dis 
(Pluto), against which leap up the fiery waves of 
Phlegethon. Upon the shore linger the souls of those 
who lived in life without praise or blame, moaning to be 
taken across the water, even if it be to hell. But Charon 
drives them back with cruel words and blows of his oar, 
as he takes the shade of Virgil and the living man into 
his crazy boat. To its gunwale cling the unhappy shades, 
one convulsively gripping it with his teeth; another has 
lost hold and sinks into the water, in which two more 
flounder, clutching each other as the living will when 
drowning. Above these writhing forms stands Dante, 
aghast with horror, leaning toward the jMantuan, who 
alone is calm, serenely fixed amid the tumult, eternally 
poised and youthful. 

In this picture Delacroix has attempted to seize and 
convey by an immediate representation all the anguish 
and the tumult that the poet's song renders by separate 
stages. It was the work of a youth of twenty -three, al- 
readv a master. David, a veteran of seventv-four years, 
when he saw it, exclaimed, "Where does it come from? 
I do not recognize the style." 

For it does not depend upon line as David's picture, 

[ 306 ] 



DAVID -DELACROIX 

but upon colored masses. It is true that the figures in 
the water are arranged so as to produce a certain wild 
rhythm of movement, like agitated waves; but none of 
the figures are inclosed in hard lines, the contours having 
neither the assertion nor the precision of David's. To 
repeat, it is an arrangement of colored masses: of dark 
greenish-blue sea, the pallid ivories of flesh tints, Virgil's 
drabbish-green robe, and Dante's drab one; his crimson 
becchetto, and the echo of its color in the fainter distant 
glow of fire, — a turbid harmony of color, wherein the 
nude bodies appear as a motif of pain and the crimson 
is a crash of wrath. It is the work of a man who feels 
in color, as a musician does in sounds, and who plays 
upon the chromatics of color, somewhat as the musician 
upon the chromatics of sound. It is the work, not of one 
who uses color merely to increase the reality of appear- 
ances, as the majority of painters do, but of one of that 
smaller band, headed by the Venetians and Rubens, who 
make the color itself a source of emotional appeal. 
Delacroix was a colorist; and David, drilled in the Aca- 
demic school which says line and form are the chief es- 
sentials, seeing the picture, asked, " Where does it come 
from? " 

It came, in the first place, out of the imagination of 
a colorist, who conceives his pictures in color ; sees them, 
I mean, in his mind's eye, as a composition of color, be- 
fore he begins to resolve the whole into its parts, and 
work out the separate details of form. Indirectly it 
came out of the heart of the Romantic movement which 
had spread over Europe. Delacroix was inspired by the 
influence of Goethe, Scott, Byron, Victor Hugo, and the 

[307] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

other poets and writers who had broken away from the 
coldly intellectual viewpoint of the eighteenth century, 
and its study of manners, to explore the passions of the 
human soul, and the variegated colorful life of the emo- 
tions. 

David was a part, Delacroix a product, of the French 
Revolution, which opened a new chapter in the history 
of the world and also in that of painting. It had begun 
in protest against an extravagant and wanton court and 
an impotent monarch; had passed through a period of 
madness and horror, and culminated in an extraordinary 
outburst of national enthusiasm and individual energy. 
France, as a nation, was reborn, and — which had more 
influence upon the world at large— out of this Revolu- 
tion, and the American one which preceded it, was born 
anew the idea of individualism. David represented the 
protest, and had no small share in promoting it; Dela- 
croix, the fervor of personal feelings, let loose by indi- 
vidualism. 

It was in 1784, in Rome, after he had completed his 
studies at the French Academy, that David produced the 
picture of Brutus and this Oath of the Horatii. In 
them he went back to the original Roman models upon 
which the Classic style of Poussin, then the model of the 
Academic school, had been founded. Here are the semi- 
circular arches and the vaulting, which were the most 
characteristic developments of Roman architecture, and 
columns such as the artist may have copied from the 
Baths of Marcellus. And against this background the 
figures are set as if carved in low relief, like those on 
the column of Trajan, of which David was so fond. By 

[308] 



DAVID-DELACROIX 

comparison with Italian painting and with that of 
France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
this picture of the Horatii was severely simple. Then, 
too, what a simple severity of lofty patriotism it rep- 
resented ! 

Its success in France was immediate. The people, 
tired of the voluptuous insipidities of Boucher and the 
others, w^elcomed its severity; while the principles of 
freedom and love of country that it inculcated gave at 
once a definite voice to the floating theories of the time. 
Republicanism, the old Roman brand of it, simple, un- 
selfish, frugal, began to be considered the panacea for 
all the ills from which the French branch of the Latin 
race was suffering. David proved to be the strong man, 
fitted to the hour, and his influence, first asserted in this 
picture, played a big part in the subsequent Revolution. 
When the latter commenced he was forty years old. He 
was elected a deputy in the Convention, and appointed 
Minister of Fine Arts. In this capacity he was a des- 
potic dictator; imposing his Roman taste even upon the 
costumes of the deputies and ministers, and from these 
upon the people, and organizing public fetes in the man- 
ner of Republican Rome. " He applied art to the hero- 
ism of the day, gave it the martial attitude of patriotism, 
and inspired it with the spirit of Robespierre, Saint 
Just, Marat, and Danton. Robespierre is said to have 
spoken from the tribune slowly, rhythmically, artistic- 
ally. Under the same starched methodical precision 
David concentrated the volcanic force of his appeal to 
patriotism." In the first consciousness of individualism, 
everybody was strutting and postmnng self-consciously, 

[ 313 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

like actors upon a stage. The times were artificial and 
theatrical. 

And how greatly this man w^as penetrated by the 
spirit of his age is illustrated in his manner of presenting 
to the Convention his portrait of ^larat. The people 
asked for their murdered man back again, longing to 
look once more on the features of their truest friend. 
" They cried to me: ' David, take up your brush, avenge 
JNIarat, so that the enemy may blanch w^hen they perceive 
the distorted countenance of the man who became the 
victim of his love for freedom.' I heard the voice of the 
people, and obeyed." ^ 

His portraits, however, are free from this sort of rho- 
domontade, intensely direct and real. " In them, he is 
neither rhetorical nor cold, but full of fire and the fresh- 
ness of youth. Before any face to be modeled, he forgot 
the Greeks and Romans, saw life alone, was rejuvenated 
in the youthgiving fount of nature, and painted— almost 
alone of the painters of his generation— the truth. 

" David was one of the first of the men of the Revo- 
lution to come beneath the spell of the Little Corporal. 
One day w^hile he was working at his studio at the 
Louvre, a pupil rushed in breathlessly: ' General Buona- 
parte is outside the door.' Napoleon entered in a dark- 
l3lue coat 'that made his lean yellow face look leaner 
and yellower than ever.' David dismissed his pupils, 
and drew in a sitting of barely two hours the stern head 
of the Corsican. Thus he passed into the service of 
Napoleon." ^ 

He was appointed Imperial Court Painter, and 

1 Richard Muther: History of Modern Painting. 

[314] 



DAVID-DELACROIX 

executed that colossal picture which has handed down to 
posterity a true presentation of the ceremonial pageant 
that took place in Notre Dame on December 2, 1804. 
The moment selected is that in which Napoleon, already 
crowned, is placing the crown upon the head of the em- 
press. The Coronation was the great work of his im- 
perial, as the Marat had been of his revolutionary period. 
He had been so intimately identified with both that, after 
Napoleon's final fall in 1815 and the succession of Louis 
XVIII, he was banished and sought refuge in Brussels, 
where he died in 1825. He left behind a legacy of so- 
called " classicalism," carrying on that of Poussin, which 
under various modifications has been preserved by the 
official Academy, as the basis of instruction in and the 
proper aim of painting. These academic principles, 
however, no longer confine the student to an imitation of 
Roman subjects and models. But, even as David per- 
mitted himself to be a naturalist in his portraits and in 
other subjects, such as the Death of Marat and the Coro- 
nation, so the Academy encourages still the study of 
nature, but within certain limitations. 

It lays especial stress upon what it calls the ideal line, 
and ideal beauty of form and composition. Nature must 
be corrected to conform with the ideal representations 
handed down to us from Greek and Roman sculpture, 
and the paintings upon Greek vases. As Delacroix, 
mocking at these principles, said: "In order to present 
an ideal head of a negro, our teachers make him resemble 
as far as possible the profile of Antinous, and then say, 
' We have done our utmost; if, nevertheless, we fail to 
make the negro beautiful, then we ought not to introduce 

[315] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

into our pictures such a freak of nature, the squat nose 
and thick hps, which are so unendurable to the eyes.' " 

This extreme view, which would exclude any subject 
that is not capable of being idealized, is no longer main- 
tained by the xVcademy. Yet it still insists upon the 
prime importance of the line ; and, as a result, the figures 
in academic pictures are usually in graceful poses and 
inclosed by sharp outlines. A comparison of the Horatii 
with Delacroix's Dante and Virgil will show the distinc- 
tion very clearly. But, as a matter of fact, in nature the 
forms of objects are not sharply outlined. Even when a 
dark tree cuts against a light sky, the atmosphere that 
intervenes between it and our eyes tends to blur its 
edges. Xow these effects of light and atmosphere de- 
pend not so much upon the way the picture is drawn 
as upon the way it is painted, and this again is connected 
with problems of color. 

Accordingly, the Academician, precise about form, 
disregards problems of light and atmosphere and color; 
while the colorist, who cares most for these qualities, and 
sees nature as an arrangement of colored forms in har- 
monious relation, very often disregards the beauty of 
form, and, because of what he aims at, cannot make the 
lines of his objects so precise and ideally perfect. On 
the other hand, it is the little irregularities and indistinct- 
ness of line that give character to forms and suggest 
that they have the capacity of movement and are alive. 
The academic figure, notwithstanding its beauty, is by 
comparison inert and rigid. You may realize this point 
by a reference to these two pictures we are studying. 
The figures of the men in the Horatii have come to ges- 

r 316 1 



DAVID-DELACROIX 

tures and positions of energy, and hold them as if cast in 
bronze. The women have been placed in pretty attitudes 
of amiable sentiment, and remain as if modeled in wax. 
But in the Dante and Virgil there are life and move- 
ment: terrific action, put forth and sustained in the 
figures of Charon and of the two men who grip the gun- 
wale; action of another kind in the Dante, as he gazes 
with horror and balances himself in the rolling boat ; even 
the latter moves, and the shades, although exhausted to 
impotence, are moving. 

This picture of Delacroix's has been called " in a pic- 
torial sense the first characteristic picture of the cen- 
tury." That is to say, while the art of David and his fol- 
lowers was virtually a translation of sculpture into 
painting, Delacroix's once more asserted the indepen- 
dence of painting, and its possession of certain qualities 
and possibilities which no other art possesses in the same 
degree. For, in the place of the tinted forms of the 
Academicians, Delacroix had introduced the wonder of 
color, used for purposes of expression by such masters 
as the Venetians and Rubens. 

Delacroix, in fact, was one of the greatest colorists of 
the nineteenth century, using the w^ord in the sense of 
one who thinks and feels and expresses himself by means 
of color. He nurtured himself upon the works of the 
colorists in the Louvre, especially upon Rubens. Ever}^ 
morning before his work began, it is said, he drew an 
arm, a hand, or a piece of drapery after Rubens. It was 
from Rubens also, and Titian, that Watteau, the great 
poet-painter of the eighteenth century, had drawn inspi- 
ration. And Delacroix, like him, was proud, self-re- 

^^ [317] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

liant, delicate from his youth up, and for many years 
sick in soul and body. But, whereas Watteau drew from 
the licentiousness of the Regent's court the food for his 
dreams of poetry, Delacroix into his closed studio ad- 
mitted the mighty impulses which had been let loose by 
the Revolution. 

Liberty had given larger bounds to individualism, and 
the first of the arts to reflect this was literature. The 
measured prose, conventionally correct verse, and some- 
what pedantic rhetoric of the eighteenth century had 
been succeeded by an outburst of the imaginative fac- 
ulty. The movement began in German}^ with Goethe; 
in England with Wordsworth and Scott, Coleridge, 
Byron, Shelley, and Keats; and in France with Victor 
Hugo. During a visit to London, in 1825, Delacroix 
saw the opera of Goethe's " Faust " performed in Eng- 
lish, while he had already discovered Shakspeare, Byron, 
and Scott to be his favorites. His own romantic na- 
ture flamed up by contact with theirs ; he was possessed 
with their souls and became the first of the Romantic 
painters. He took many of his subjects from the poets 
of his preference, not to translate into literal illustra- 
tions, but to make them express in his own language of 
painting the most agitated emotions of the human heart. 

But the representation of agitated emotions necessi- 
tated the introduction of a good deal that was horrible 
to those who swore by the ideal line and perfect balance 
of composition. " How^ can ugliness," they cried, " be 
beautiful?" Victor Hugo produced his play of " Her- 
nani " in 1829; and around him and Delacroix was 
waged the battle between the Classicists and the Roman- 

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DAVID-UELACROIX 

ticists. Poussin's phrase was repeated by the Classi- 
cists — " Painting is nothing more than drawing." " Had 
God intended to pkice color at tlie same height as form," 
wrote Charles Blanc, "he would not have failed to 
clothe his masterpiece man with all the hues of the hum- 
ming-bird." And this "critic" called Delacroix "the 
tattooed savage who paints with a drunken broom." 

To these and similar denunciations, continued for 
many years, Delacroix himself in one of his writings has 
contributed a reply. It pleads for a wider conception of 
the idea of beauty. Winckelmann, the great German 
arcliEeologist of the eighteenth century, had asserted, 
" The sole means for art to become, aye, if possible, in- 
imitably great, is the imitation of the ancients." " Tlie 
marble manner only requires a little animating." " The 
highest beauty is that which is proper neither to this nor 
to that person " — that is to say, not individual. This 
was practically the doctrine of the Classicists. To it 
Lessing, another German, replied that truth to nature 
was the first condition of beauty ; and Goethe expanded 
it by saying that everything natural was true as far as 
it was beautiful. The English Keats chimed in, " Truth 
is beauty, beauty is truth." Delacroix's words are: 
" This famous thing, the Beautiful, must be — every one 
says so — the final aim of art. But if it be the only aim, 
what are we to make of men like Rubens, Rembrandt, 
and, in general, all the artistic natures of the North, 
who 23ref erred other qualities belonging to their art? 
. . . There is no recipe by which one can attain to 
what is ideally beautiful. Style depends absolutely 
and solely upon the free and original expression of 

[319] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

each master's peculiar qualities " — upon individuality ^ 
in fact. 

There are, among others, some important considera- 
tions in these views of the Romanticists, which may be 
put in the following familiar way. It is quite possible 
for an exceedingly pretty girl to be very stupid; there 
is also such a thing as the beauty of character; we enjoy 
the beauty of the slimness of the silver birch, and the 
rugged stanchness of an oak; there is a charm about 
a Gloucester fisherman as well as an Apollo Belvedere. 
On the whole, we do well to be interested in people for 
what they are rather than for what they might be ; indi- 
vidual character is always worth studying ; when it is ex- 
hibited under the stress of powerful emotion, it is con- 
spicuously so. The artist himself may be a man of 
marked individualitv of character; it is better for the 
world that he should express himself freely, instead of 
within the tight groove of some conventional method. 

The Classicists were intrenched in the official fortress 
of the Academy, and for long years resisted the attempts 
of Delacroix to obtain entrance. Indeed, it was not until 
twenty-two years after his death, when a great collection 
of his works was exhibited, that France realized how 
grand an artist it had lost. Before he died, other men 
with other motives, as we shall see, rose up to challenge 
the official standard of excellence; for the history of 
painting in the nineteenth century, centering in Paris, 
has been one of continuallv new assertions of individu- 
alism. Our sympathies, quite possibly, will be with the 
rebels, but that should not blind us to the value of the 
academic principles of painting. 

[ 320 ] 



DAVID-DELACROIX 

If there is to be an official and permanent standard, 
the Classic is the best for the purpose. The standard 
to be serviceable must be one that can be reduced to a 
reasonable certainty. In painting, composition and line 
are the elements which can most readily be formulated; 
and, when founded upon the canons of anticjue art, are 
established upon a basis that the continuing judgment of 
the world has approved. Given this central l)0(ly, there 
is the perpetual inducement for independent spirits to fly 
off at a tangent from it, which is productive of vitality. 
The classical ideal provides at once firm groundwork for 
the average student and a starting-point for indepen- 
dent genius. Permanence and progress are alike in- 
sured. 



[321] 



CHAPTER XXI 

THEODORE ROUSSEAU JEAN BAPTISTE CAMILLE COROT 

1812-1867 1796-1875 

Fontainebleau-Barbizon Fonta'mehleau-Barhizon 

School of France School of France 

THREE miles from the landscape-forest which 
adjoins the Palace of Fontainebleau lies the little 
village of Barbizon. After 1832 it became the 
headquarters of a group of painters whose school and 
studio were the forest. They were the second protest 
of the nineteenth century against the formalism of aca- 
demical teaching, and, though the artists varied individu- 
ally, they were all united in their first-hand study of 
nature, so that they are distinguished as the Fontaine- 
bleau-Barbizon School. 

Once before there had been a Fontainebleau School, 
the term being applied to that group of Italian artists 
—among them Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea del Sarto, 
and Celhni— whom Francis I invited to decorate his 
palace. With these men the subject had been the human 
figure, used with the artificial intention that decoration 
permits ; whereas the group that appeared three hundred 
years later was concerned with nature, represented natu- 
rally. It comprised Rousseau, the acknowledged leader, 
Jules Dupre, Corot, Diaz, and Daubigny ; the sheep and 
cattle painters, Troyon, Van Marcke, and Jacque ; and 

[ 322 ] 



ROUSSEAU— COROT 

Millet, the painter of the peasant. This new group was 
related to the Dutch School of landscape-painters of the 
seventeenth century, through the English Constable. 

The latter, learning of the Dutchmen, had revived the 
natural study of landscape and carried it further than 
they, introducing into his pictures the greens of nature, 
truer effects of air and light, and the suggestion of 
movement in the foliage. During the years from 1822 
to 1827 Constable's pictures had been appearing at the 
Salon, and had been awarded a gold medal. Delacroix, 
the colorist, was attracted by them; and other painters, 
tired of the frigid unreality of the classic school, wel- 
comed these nature-studies, and through them were 
induced to study also the works of the old Dutch land- 
scapists in the Louvre. Among the many, thus influ- 
enced, was Rousseau, who had worked in the studio of 
the classicist Lethiere, but, dissatisfied with the latter's 
grandiloquent canvases, had taken to wandering about 
the plain of JNIontmartre with his paint-box, and in 1826 
had produced his first little picture. 

But another influence played its part in shaping the 
future of the new school. Romanticism was in the air; 
Delacroix and others were making their pictures the 
medium of emotional expression. Accordingly, by the 
time that the Barbizon men had found themselves, their 
art was distinguished not only by truth to nature but 
also by poetic feeling. Of the two whom we are consid- 
ering, we may say that Rousseau was the epic poet of 
the group ; Corot, the lyric. 

Of this lyric quality in Corot's work we may be con- 
scious if we turn to Dance of the Nymphs. It yields a 

[ 323 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

suggestion of music and of songfulness; exactly how, 
it may be hard to explain; but, perhaps, the reason is 
that there was constant music in the heart of the man 
who painted it. He sang as he worked, played the vio- 
hn at intervals, and regularly attended the opera. Com- 
paring himself with Rousseau, he once said, " Rousseau 
is an eagle. As for me, I am only a lark, putting forth 
some little songs in my gray clouds." 

On the other hand, the epic quality in Rousseau's pic- 
ture may not be so immediately recognizable; we shall 
better appreciate it Avhen we have examined the motives 
of his work more closely. Comparing the example here 
reproduced with the one by Corot, we note this great 
difference, that Rousseau's shows a solidity of form and 
a power of clear decision in the lines inclosing the forms, 
whereas Corot's masses are by comparison dreamy and 
unsubstantial, the outlines blurred. Rousseau insists 
upon the form of^objects and the character of their 
forms, while Corot escapes as far as possible from the 
actual things and renders the effect which they produce 
upon the senses. He sought to represent the essences 
of things;* the fragrance, as it were, rather than the 

flower. 

Both these men were city-bred. So, indeed, have been 
most of the great landscape-painters ; a fact which may 
seem strange, until we remember how apt we all are 
to long for that which is farthest away from our actual 
hfe. Corot's parents were court dressmakers in the days 
of the first Xapoleon, in comfortable circumstances, so 
that their son never wanted for money. Rousseau's fa- 
ther was a tailor, living up four flights of stairs; and 

[ 324 ] 



ROUS SE AU— COROT 

Rousseau himself was well on in manhood before he 
ceased to know the bite of poverty. Corot received the 
usual classic training and then went to Ital}' ; but it was 
not until he had paid three visits to that country, and 
had reached the age of forty-six, that he came under 
the influence of Rousseau and the course of his art was 
changed. Even then some ten years elapsed before he 
perfected that style upon which his fame chiefly rests. 
Rousseau, on the other hand, found his true bent early. 

The critic. Burger- Thore, writing in 1844, asks a 
question of Rousseau. "Do you remember," he says, 
" the years when we sat on the window-ledges of our 
attics in the Rue de Taitbout and let our feet dangle 
at the edge of the roof, looking out over the chaos of 
houses and chimneys, which you, with a twinkle in your 
eyt, would compare to mountains, trees, and outlines of 
the earth? You were not able to go to the Alps, into 
the cheerful country, and so you created picturesque 
landscapes for yourself out of those horrible skeletons 
of walls. Do 3^ou still recall the little tree in Rothschild's 
garden which we caught sight of between two roofs? 
It was the one green thing that we could see ; every fresh 
shoot of the little poplar wakened our interest in spring, 
and in autumn we counted the falling leaves." " From 
this mood," as Muther says, " sprang modern landscape- 
painting, with its delicate reserve of subject, and its 
vigorously heightened love of nature." 

Notwithstanding this nature-love in his heart, the 
young Rousseau at first devoted himself to mathematics, 
aiming to become a student at the Polytechnic Institu- 
tion. The fact is interesting as showing that he com- 

32 [ 325 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

bined the instincts of an artist and a scientist, a point 
we shall return to later. JNIeanwhile, as we have seen, 
he entered Lethiere's studio, and watched him paint such 
subjects as The Death of Brutus and The Death of 
Virginia. But there was nothing in them to satisfy the 
youth's love of nature, and he began his wanderings 
with his 23aint-box in the country round Paris. The year 
1833 found him for the first time in the forest of Fon- 
tainebleau, and the following year, at the age of twenty- 
two, he painted his first masterpiece. Cotes de Grand- 
ville. It was accepted at the Salon, and awarded a medal 
of the third class. 

No further concession, however, could be allowed to 
a young man so dangerously independent from the aca- 
demical standpoint, and for thirteen years, indeed until 
after the Revolution of 1848 and the fall of the " Bour- 
geois King," Louis PhiHppe, his pictures were excluded 
from the official exhibitions. Even then, officialdom, al- 
though it could not ignore this leader of a new move- 
ment, slighted him by singling out his followers, Dupre, 
Diaz, Troyon, for the Legion of Honor in preference 
to himself. It is true they were older men, but what 
Diaz thought of the slight to Rousseau may be gathered 
from the words in which he responded to the courtesies 
tendered him at the official banquet. Rising on his 
wooden leg, he gave the toast, " Here 's to our master 
who has been forgotten." In the following year, 1852, 
Rousseau himself was admitted to the Legion. At the 
Universal Exposition of 1855, the world discovered how 
great an artist he was; but by this time other shadows 
were beginning to creep over his life. 

[ 326 ] 



ROUSSEAU— COROT 

He had married a poor, unfortunate creature, a mere 
child of the forest, the only feminine being he had found 
time to love during his toilsome life. After a few years 
of marriage she was seized with madness; and, while he 
tended her, Rousseau himself became the victim of an 
affection of the brain, which darkened his last years. 
The end came in 1867, the year of another Universal 
Exposition. He had served as one of the heads of de- 
partments on the jury, and in the natural routine should 
have been awarded the higher rank of officer in the 
Legion of Honor; instead of which it was given to a 
man twelve years his junior, Gerome. It was the cli- 
max to the tragedy of his life, and he survived it only 
a few weeks. In the churchyard of Chailly, near Bar- 
bizon, his body rests beneath a stone erected by JNIillet— 
a simple cross upon an unhewn block of sandstone, which 
bears a brass tablet with the inscription, " Theodore 
Rousseau, Peintre." 

What a contrast the happy peace of Corot's life pre- 
sents ! His father had apprenticed him to a linen-draper, 
but after eight years consented to his becoming a painter. 
" You will have a yearly allowance of twelve hundred 
francs," he said, " and if you can live on that you may 
do as you please." Twenty-three years later, w^hen the 
son was elected to the Legion of Honor, this allowance 
was doubled, " for," as the father remarked, " Camille 
seems to have some talent after all." 

We have already alluded to his beginnings as a 
painter, how he went through the usual course of study 
of the figure and attempts at classical landscapes after 
the manner of Poussin. When he paid his first visit 

[327] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

to Italy, he was so attracted by the moving Hf e on the 
streets of Rome and Naples that he longed to transfer 
it to his sketch-book. But the figures would not remain 
still long enough to be treated methodically, as he had 
learned to draw ; so he set himself to try and obtain with 
a few strokes the general effect of the moving picture, 
and with such success that after a time he could rapidly 
suggest the appearance of even so intricate a scene as 
a ballet. This skill was to stand him in good stead, 
when he should seek to represent the tremble of foliage 
in the morning or evening air. It taught him also, by 
degrees, the value of generalization ; of not representing 
details so much as of discovering the salient qualities of 
objects, and of uniting them into a whole that will sug- 
gest rather than definitely describe. 

But all this time the inspiration of his work was Italy 
and the Italian landscape; it was not until he had re- 
turned from his third visit thither, and was forty-six, 
that the landscape of France began to appeal to his 
imagination. He became acquainted at last with Rous- 
seau, and with the aim of the Barbizon artists to repre- 
sent nature as surrounded by air and light, and he set 
to work to learn the method of painting these qualities, 
reaching finally a style that is peculiar to himself. 

It is so closely a result of his personal attitude toward 
nature, particularly toward the dawn and evening, which 
were his favorite moments, that a letter to Jules Dupre, 
in which he describes his sensations at these moments, 
gives one an understanding of his style. 

One gets up early, at three in the morning, before the sun ; 
one goes and sits at the foot of a tree; one watches and waits. 

[328] 




o 
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D 
O 



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Ti 



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I— I 



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i. 
W 






ROUSSEAU— COROT 

One sees nothinii; miich at first. Nature resembles a whitish can- 
vas on which are sketched scarcely the profiles of some masses; 
everything is perfumed, and shines in the fresh breath of dawn. 
Bing ! The sun grows bright, but has not yet torn asunder the 
veil behind which lie concealed the meadows, the dale, and hills 
of the horizon. The vapors of night still creep, like silvery 
flakes, over tlie numbed-green vegetation. Bing ! Bing ! — a 
first ra}' of sunlight — a second ray of sunlight — the little 
flowers seem to wake up joyously. They all liave their drop of 
dew which trembles — the chilly leaves are stirred with the breath 
of morning — in the foliage the birds sing unseen — all the 
flowers seem to be saying their prayers. Loves on butterfly 
wings frolic over the meadow and make the tall plants wave — 
one sees nothing — yet everything is there — the landscape is en- 
tirely behind the veil of mist, which mounts, mounts, sucked up 
by the sun ; and, as it rises, reveals the river, plated with silver, 
the meadows, trees, cottages, the receding distance — one dis- 
tinguishes at last everything that one had divined at first. 

How spontaneous a commentary upon his pictures 
of early morning — nature in masses, fresh and fragrant, 
the " numbed-green " of the vegetation, the shiver of 
leaves, and the twinkling of flowers, the river plated with 
silver, and the sky suffused with misty light ! 

In the same letter he describes the evening : 

Nature drowses — the fresh air, however, sighs among the 
leaves — the dew decks the velvety grass with pearls. The nym})hs 
flv — hide themselves — and desii'e to be seen. Bing? — a star in 
the sky which pricks its image on the pool. Cliarming star, 
whose brilliance is increased by the quivering of the water, thou 
watchest me — thou smilest to me with half-closed eye! Bing! — 
a second star appears in the water, a second eye opens. Be the 
harbingers of welcome, fresh and charming stars. Bing ! Bing ! 

[ 333 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Bing ! — three, six, twenty stars. All the stars in the sky are 
keeping tryst in this happy pool. Everything darkens, the pool 
alone sparkles. There is a swarm of stars — all yields to illusion. 
The sun being gone to bed, the inner sun of the soul, the sun of 
art, awakes. Bon ! there is my picture done ! 

This expresses the dreaming of a poet, and during the 
last twenty-five years of his life, when his best work was 
done, it was in this way that he worked. Years ago his 
father had given him a little house in Ville d'Avray, near 
Paris, and thither during the summer the old bachelor 
repaired with his sister. The time was spent in filling 
his soul with visions of nature, which, when he returned 
to Paris, were transferred to canvas. This picture that 
we are studying was painted in 1851, before Corot had 
reached his final style. It still shows some traces of 
classic feeling, particularly in the introduction of fig- 
ures; but also a taste of what was to follow in the soft 
blur of foliage that tips the slender stems in the center. 
Later on he generalized even more freely; his trees be- 
come masses of softly blurred leafage, silhouetted ten- 
derly against the delicate vibration of the sky, trembling 
indistinctly as in a dream-picture, while here and there, 
like the introduction of the word " Bing " in his letter, 
are little accents of leaves or bits of tree-trunk, vibrat- 
ing sharply like the twang of a violin string. 

Rousseau's advice, on the contrary, to his pupils was, 
" Form is the first thing to observe." The point to be 
noted is that, whereas Corot had begun by observing 
form and had then escaped as far as possible from it, 
Rousseau, first and always, based his art upon it. In- 
deed, at the middle period of his life the scientific in- 

[334] 



ROUSSEAU— COROT 

stinct asserted itself, and for a while he sank the larger 
feeling for the whole in too exact a representation of de- 
tail. But, during his great periods, he exhibited a mas- 
tery in the delineation of the impressiveness of form that 
has never been surpassed. His favorite tree was the oak, 
with sturdy arms supporting its weight of leaves and 
branches, and strong roots, in between the rocks, grasp- 
ing the firm earth. The strength of nature, her deep 
embedded force, putting itself forth in stout and lusty 
growth, continuously vigorous; the mighty force of 
clouds that replenish the earth; the vastness and gran- 
deur of the sky in the full glory of midday, or the superb 
pageant of the sunset, as in this picture; in a word, the 
perennial strength of nature, as contrasted with the 
little lives of men — such was the theme upon which he 
spent his life. While Corot drank in nature, nature 
to Rousseau was entirely outside himself. He was in 
love with her for her own sake. 

This was a grander attitude toward nature than that 
of Corot. The latter, in modern phraseology, was a tem- 
peramental artist; that is to say, he chose from nature 
what suited his moods and painted her with a certain 
invariableness of manner, as if there were nothing in 
nature except what he felt about her. All that he did 
was lovely, but it was limited in scope; whereas Rous- 
seau, with his broad impersonal vision searching nature 
for what she had to tell him, painted in every picture 
a different subject. It was the phases of her inexhaust- 
ible storv, a storv as old as mankind and that will out- 
live the last of humanity, that he treated; and it is for 
this reason, because he suggested the continuity of her 

[ 335 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

elemental forces, even while depicting a certain phase, 
that one may rightly describe him as the epic poet of the 
Barbizon School. 

The truth of this would be more evident if we had the 
opportunity of seeing a number of Rousseau's pictures 
alongside of a number of Corot's; but even from the 
comparison of these two examples I think it may be 
gathered. The Dance of the Nymphs is a morning 
poem ; breathing the freshness of a world that, despite 
of time, is forever innocent and young. The creatures 
that enliven it, nymphs and satyrs, are the effervescence 
of fancy, removed very far from the responsibilities and 
daily experiences of life. The figures which Corot in- 
troduces in his landscapes are always embodiments of 
the spirit of the scene, like the Dryads, Naiads, and 
Oreads of the old Greek imagining. But in Rousseau's 
Sunset Scene another day of labor is finished; rest is 
brooding down upon the tired earth; creatures nearer 
to nature than beings in the shape of humanity are 
taking their fill of water before they too settle down 
upon the earth, that mighty bosom from which all things 
draw nourishment and on which all rest. Those same 
cows— or others like them— will inhabit the same scene 
to-morrow ; those sturdy trees and branches will survive 
another and another day, as they have weathered many ; 
that boulder will defy the effort of time to remove it. 
The scene, as Rousseau painted it, is typical and ele- 
mental; not alone a spot on the edge of the forest of 
Fontainebleau, but a poem of universal import, whose 
theme is the ever-jDresent one of earth's enduring 
strength, and of recurring toil and rest. Rousseau 

[ 336 ] 



ROUS SE AU— COROT 

reached this power of elemental expression by contin- 
ually concentrating his great faculty of observation 
upon the fundamental qualities of nature, which as 
compared with man's moods and changes are the same 
yesterday, to-day, and forever. Corot, on the contrary, 
nourishing his moods on nature, ended by interpreting 
these moods of his own rather than nature herself. 
He is not the great descriptive, epic poet, alive to the 
mighty forces that underlie the vastness of his subject, 
but the sweet, lyric singer of a few choice moments. As 
he said himself: he is the lark; Rousseau, the eagle. 

For Corot recognized Rousseau's superiority not only 
in wider sweep of vision but in his mastery over form; 
and form is the foundation of all great painting, whe- 
ther of the human figure or landscape. It is with the 
close study of forms of nature that all great landscape- 
painters have begun, even if, like Corot, they subse- 
quently try to merge the form in the expression of the 
sentiments which the objects of the landscape arouse. 
For the painter cannot represent spirit to the mind, 
except by representing to the eye a real suggestion of 
the form in which it is embodied. This is the lesson of 
all the landscape-painting which has followed upon the 
new movement of the Fontainebleau-Barbizon artists. 

Landscape to-day is the most living branch of paint- 
ing ; nowhere more so than in our own country. Ameri- 
can painters have continued the nature-study and poetic 
feeling of the Barbizon men, and often have gone far- 
ther than they in the rendering of light and air and of 
the manifold variety of nature's coloring. But when- 
ever we come upon men of commanding talent, such as 

^' [ 337 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

George Inness, Alexander Wyant, and Homer Martin 
among those who are dead, and such as Tryon, Murphy, 
Horatio Walker, Winslow Homer, and very many 
others among the living, we shall find that while often 
they prefer to subordinate form to poetical impression, 
it is with the precise and ^^atient stud}^ of form that they 
first began. Upon this firm foundation they have sub- 
sequently erected the spiritualized fabrics of their poetic 
fancies. They have not builded castles in the air, but 
delicate structures planted firmly upon the facts of 
earth. Hence the hold they take upon the perceptive 
faculty; for they reach us first through our experience, 
and then delight our imagination. 



[338] 



CHAPTER XXII 

JULES BRETON JEAN FRANCOIS MILLET 

1814-1875 
1827— 

Fontainehleaw-Barhizon 

French School School of France 

HERE are two pictures of peasant subjects, and, 
as it happens, with similar titles : Jules Breton's 
The Gleaner^ and The Gleaners by Jean 
Franc^ois Millet. 

With what a proud carriage Breton's girl strides 
through the field! How painfully Millet's women are 
stooping! Their figures are clumsy, uncouthly clad, 
and 3^ou cannot see their faces. This girl, however, is 
dressed in a manner that sets off her strong and supple 
form ; her face is handsome and its expression haughtily 
independent. As the meek women stoop, each carries 
one of her hands behind her back. If you imitate for 
yourself the action of leaning down and extending one 
hand, you will find that the other has an involuntary 
tendency to go back in order to maintain the balance. 
This natural tendency of the human body to secure its 
balance by opposing direction of its parts is a principle 
that the best artists rely upon to produce a perfect poise 
of rest or movement in their figures. 

Xow study the arms in Breton's picture. The left 
one — with what a gesture of elegant decision it is placed 

[339] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

upon the hip!— while the right has the elhow thrown out 
with an action of freedom and energy. Evidently the 
girl is not tired, or the elbow would seek support against 
the chest. Her hands, too, are finely shaped, and the 
fingers spread themselves rather daintily. I wonder if 
so light a grasp as that of the right hand on a few ears 
of wheat would really hold the sheaf in place upon her 
shoulder. I wonder, also, how her bare, shapely feet 
withstood the pricks of the stubble. I notice that Mil- 
let's women have prudently kept on their clumsy wooden 
sabots. 

But now turn the inquiry toward your own experi- 
ence. If you went into a wheat-field where peasants 
were gleaning, would you expect to see a beautiful, 
proud girl like Breton's, unfatigued by her toil, or 
homely women like Millet's? I fancy you would be 
more likely to meet the latter, and I doubt if anywhere 
in France you might come across such a type as Breton's, 
which is rather that of the women of the Roman Cam- 
pagna, a noble remnant of the classic times. She is un- 
questionably a beautiful creature. 

But beauty does not consist only in what is pleasing to 
the eye ; there is a beauty also which appeals to the mind. 
" Truth is beauty, beauty is truth." Perhaps if we 
study Millet's picture we shall find that it has a beauty 
of its own in its truth to nature. His women are not 
posing for their picture. Quite unconscious of any- 
body's gaze, they are absorbed in their toil, doing what 
they are supposed to be doing in the simplest and most 
natural way. They are very poor, these peasants ; work- 
ing early and late, and despite all their labor keeping 

[ 340 ] 



BRETON-MILLET 

body and soul together with difficulty; a meek, God- 
fearing race, roughened and drawn out of shape by toil. 

With what an intimate insight into the lives of these 
people as well as into their occupation INIillet represents 
them ! He paints them, not as if he were a city gentle- 
man visiting the country, but as if he belonged to their 
own class. And, as a fact, he did. He was the son of a 
small farmer, and had bent his own back under the 
scorching sun and felt the smell of the earth in his nos- 
trils. But an uncle, who was a priest, had taught him 
as a boy, so that in his manhood he read Shakspeare and 
Virgil in the original texts. Therefore, although he 
was of the peasant life, he was greater than it, and 
brought to the interpretation of its most intimate facts 
a largeness of view and depth of sympathy which make 
his pictures much more than studies of peasants. They 
are types. He painted a picture of a sower that is now 
in the Metropolitan INIuseum, New York ; and when we 
have once grasped the fullness of its sufficiency, it be- 
comes to us the type of Tlie Sower; so that we could not 
look on another picture of similar subject without in- 
stinctively comparing it in our mind with INIillet's. 

Breton, on the other hand, had never toiled in the 
fields ; he pursued the usual routine of study through 
the art schools, whereas Millet, " wild man of the woods," 
as the other students called him, tried them only to aban- 
don them. He could not master, or bring himself to 
care about, the elegancies and refinements of drawing as 
practised in the schools. In these Breton is proficient ; 
he has also written very creditable poetry, so that, when 
he went into the fields for subjects, he had the teaching 

[341 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of the schools in mind and the sentiment of a poet in his 
heart. Accordingly he freely translated the peasant 
into both. 

Note, then, these two ways of reaching a poetical re- 
sult : Breton had beautiful ideas and used the peasant 
as a peg on w^hich to hang them ; JNIillet, with no direct 
thought of being poetical, sought only to portray the 
truth as he saw and felt it. But he has represented the 
dull, homely facts with such an insight into the relation 
which they bear to the lives of the people engaged in 
them, that he has created— and this is the great accom- 
plishment of the poet — an atmosphere of imagination 
around the facts. 

Which of these two methods of poetic creativeness is, 
per se, the better,— whether the starting-point shall be 
from the imagination, which uses the facts merely as a 
string to thread its beads upon, or from the facts them- 
selves as the groundw^ork or justification of the web of 
imagination woven over them, — is not to be determined 
here or, probably, anywhere. It is better worth while 
to regard these two methods as periodically asserting 
themselves. Thus in the splendid days of the Italian 
Renaissance the Breton point of view was the one in 
vogue. In our own era, however, that of JNIillet has 
prevailed both in literature and painting. The present 
is an age of naturalism, and one of the master-minds 
which helped to make it so was Millet. 

His early life was verv close to nature. His father's 
farm was at Gruchy, in the hilly department of JNIanche, 
which juts out like a promontory into the English Chan- 
nel. In that narrow strip the sea is nowhere far oiF. 

[342] 



BRETON-MILLET 

He grew up with the air of the hills and of the sea in his 
nostrils, both conducive to sturdiness of character and to 
the development of imagination, if a boy chances to have 
any. And the young Millet had. He knew nothing of 
art or artists, but he had the desire to represent what he 
saw, and in the interims of work upon the poor farm he 
would copy the engravings in the family Bible, or take 
a piece of charcoal and draw upon a white wall. By the 
time he was eighteen, a family council was held, and it 
was decided that the father should take him into Cher- 
bourg and consult a local painter as to Jean's prospects. 
The painter advised his studying art, and undertook to 
teach him. However, he worked in Cherbourg only two 
months, for then his father died and he had to return 
home to resume his work as a farm laborer. Five more 
years he labored, until the municipality of Cherbourg 
provided a subsidy to enable him to go to Paris to study. 
He was now twenty-three, a broad-chested Hercules, 
awkward and shy, his big head covered with long fair 
hair; with nothing to denote intellectual force except a 
pair of piercing dark-blue eyes. Delaroche, to whose 
studio he attached himself, was kind to him, but he him- 
self could not understand the large classical pictures 
that the master painted. To him they seemed artificial, 
with no real sentiment. Ringing in his ears, even then, 
as he used to say in later life, was the " cry of the soil " ; 
memories of his home life, that in some way he wanted 
to learn to paint. Delaroche's studio was no place for 
him, and after a little while he left it. 

Then followed eight years of beating the air. He 
married, and had to bestir himself for a living. He 

[343] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

tried to paint what the people seemed to hke— pretty ht- 
tle figure subjects; but prettiness was not in his Hne, and 
the attempt to seek it disgusted him. Suddenly he 
made the great resolve to paint what he wished to and 
could paint, and, in 1848, produced The Winnower, It 
represented a clumsy peasant, in uncouth working- 
clothes, stooping over a sieve as he shakes it to and fro. 
From the academic standpoint, a shockingly vulgar 
picture! Yet it sold for five hundred francs ($100)! 
JNIillet now had the courage of his convictions. 

His friend Jacque, afterward the celebrated painter 
and etcher of sheep and poultry, told him of a httle 
place with a name ending in " zon," near the forest of 
Fontainebleau, where they could live cheaply and 
study from nature. The two painters, with their wives 
and children, rumbled out of Paris in a cart, which took 
them to the town of Fontainebleau. Thence they pro- 
ceeded on foot through the forest. It was very wild in 
those days. "How beautiful!" was INIillet's constant 
exclamation. Arrived at Barbizon, they were welcomed 
at Ganne's Inn by Rousseau, Diaz, and the other artists 
who lived in the village, and invited to the evening meal. 
When a fresh painter came into the colony, it was the 
custom to take down from the wall a certain big pipe, 
that, as the newcomer puffed at it, the company might 
judge from the rings of smoke whether he was to be 
reckoned among the "classicists" or "colorists." Jacque 
was proclaimed a colorist, but, some uncertainty being 
expressed concerning JNIillet, the latter exclaimed, " Ah! 
well, if you are embarrassed, put me in a class of my 
own." " A good answer," cried Diaz, " and he looks 

[ 344] 




'SI 

o 

4. 



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D 
O 



Pi 




THE GLEANER 



JULES BRETOX 



BRETON-MILLET 

strong and big enough to hold his own in it." The Httle 
pleasantly was prophetic. 

But its fulfilment was deferred for many years, dur- 
ing which JNIillet worked on in poverty ; pictures that 
now would bring large sums of money being refused at 
the exhibitions of the Salon and finding no purchasers. 
A hint of his condition is contained in a letter to his 
friend Sensier, acknowledging the receipt of twenty 
dollars : " I have received the hundred francs. They 
came just at the right time. Neither my wife nor I had 
tasted food for twenty-four hours. It is a blessing that 
the little ones, at any rate, have not been in want." 

It was only from about his fortieth year that his pic- 
tures began to sell at the rate of from two hundred and 
fifty to three hundred francs each. Rousseau, who had 
himself known the extremes of poverty, was the first to 
give him a large sum, buying the JVood-ciitter for four 
thousand francs, under the pretense that it was for an 
American purchaser. It was resold at the Hartmann 
sale in 1880 for 133,000 francs. By the beginning of 
the sixties, however, JNIillet's reputation was no longer in 
question. At the World's Exposition of 1867 he was 
represented by nine pictures and received the grand 
medal. In the Salon of 1869 he w^as on the hanging 
committee! But he still continued what has been hap- 
pily called his " life of sublime monotony "; his sojourn 
in Barbizon being interrupted only during the war in 
1871, when he retired to Cherbourg, j^ainting there some 
fine pictures of the sea. He died in 1875, at the age of 
sixty, and was buried in the little churchyard of Chailly, 
overlooking the forest. A rock in the latter bears a 

'' [349] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

bronze tablet on which the sculptor has represented side 
by side the bust-portraits of Rousseau, the father of 
modern French landscape, and Millet, the artist of the 
people who work in the fields. 

In his own words, Millet tried to depict " the funda- 
mental side of men and things." His subject was the 
peasant life: not the representation of it such as one 
sees in opera, nor the pretty, sentimental aspect of it; 
but the actual drama of labor year in and year out pro- 
ceeding through the four seasons; the " cry of the soil," 
echoing in the hearts of the patient, plodding. God- 
fearing toilers. Everything w^as typical. We have 
spoken of his Sower. Of another picture the critic, Cas- 
tagnary, wrote : " Do you remember his Reaper? He 
might have reaped the whole earth! " 

The secret of it is twofold. Firstly, Millet conceived 
of his subject as if it were an Epic of Labor ; he himself 
gave to a series of his drawings the title The Epic of the 
Fields; so that all he did was imbued with a deep seri- 
ousness and high sincerity. In one of his letters he ex- 
plains what was in his mind as he painted The Water- 
Carrier,^ which is now in the possession of JNIr. George 
W. Vanderbilt and at present on exhibition in the 
Metropolitan ]\Iuseum, New York. 

In the woman coining from drawing water I have endeavored 
that she shall be neither a water-carrier nor a servant, but the 
woman who has just drawn water for the house, the water for 
her husband's and her children's soup; that she shall seem to be 
carrying neither more nor less than the weight of the full buckets ; 
that, beneath the sort of grimace which is natural on account of 
^ The original title was Femme qui vient puiser de Veau. 

[350] 



BRETON-MILLET 

the strain on her arms, and the blinking of her eyes caused by the 
hghty one may see a look of rustic kindliness on her face. I 
have always shunned with a kind of horror everything approach- 
ing the sentimental.^ I have desired, on the other hand, that 
this woman should perform simply and good-naturedly, without 
regarding it as irksome, an act which, like her other household 
duties, is one she is accustomed to perform every day of her life. 
Also I wanted to make people imagine the freshness of the foun- 
tain, and that its antiquated appearance should make it clear that 
many before her had come to draw water from it. 

Secondly, in the representation of a subject, as may 
be gathered from his letter, he looked only for the essen- 
tial, the fundamental thing in the gesture or character- 
ization. In another letter he says : "I have been re- 
proached for not observing the detail; I see it, but I 
prefer to construct the synthesis, which as an artistic 
effort is higher and more robust." This gift of his can 
be more readily studied in his drawings and etchings, in 
which with a few lines he gives the whole character of a 
pose or gesture. He never was a facile painter, so that 
his greatness as an artist is perhaps more discernible in 
the black-and-white than in the colored subjects. Cer- 
tainly in his crayon drawings, lithographs, and etchings 
he j^roved himself to be one of that limited number of 
artists who may be reckoned master-draftsmen. Few 
have displayed in an equal degree the rare gift of ex- 
pressing the maximum of character with a minimum 
of lines. Moreover, the character that he expresses is 

^ The only picture of his that can possibly be suspected of sentiraentalisra is 
The Angdus, the weakness of which is that the point on which it largely de- 
pends for its motive is not to be gathered from the picture, but has to be 
learned from the title. 

[ 351 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of that grand and elemental quality which places him, 
despite the difference of subject-matter, in the neighbor- 
hood of Michelangelo. 

Millet's influence ]3roduced a host of painters of the 
peasant, among whom the strongest are the French- 
man Lhermitte, and Israels the Dutchman. These, 
like him, have represented their subject with sympathy 
and with understanding also. Breton, with whom we 
have contrasted Millet, did not. 



[352] 



CHAPTER XXIII 



GUST AVE COURSE T 

1819-1878 

Realistic School of France 



ARNOLD BOECKLIN 

1827-1901 

Modern German School 



A GLANCE at these two pictures— Boecklin's 
Isle of the Dead and Courbet's Funeral at 
Ornans — reveals at once a great contrast. 
In Boecklin's composition the horizontal line is subor- 
dinated to the vertical ones; these spire up or tower in 
bastion-like masses, lifting our imagination with them. 
In Courbet's, however, the almost level line of the land- 
scape shuts down like a lid upon the parallel horizontal 
group of figures; the only vertical line that detaches it- 
self is that of the crucifix ; but this is too slight to over- 
come the impression that the composition holds our 
thoughts to the ground. 

These differences of composition correspond to the 
differences of the artists' motives. Boecklin sought to 
produce an effect of solemn grandeur, of tranquil isola- 
tion, not unmixed with awe; of contrast between the 
monumental permanence of the island and the frailty 
and insignificance of the boat, which carries the mourner 
and the dead over the shifting water to the dead's long 
home. On the other hand, in Courbet's picture there is 
no grandeur either of sentiment or appearance ; none of 
the awe that belongs to isolation nor much of the solem- 

[ 353 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

nity that attaches to a funeral, for even the ecclesiastical 
ceremoniousness is offset by the grave-digger in his 
shirt-sleeves and by the presence of a dog. As for the 
crowd, some few are mourners, but the rest, drawn thither 
only by curiosity, or in some cases, as we may judge from 
their costumes, in an official capacity; all very ordinary 
every-day people, going through with the business ac- 
cording to the usual routine. For, while Boecklin's pic- 
ture is a vision of the imagination, Courbet's is a record 
of facts, the fact of committing a corpse to the ground, 
as the artist had seen it in his native town of Ornans; a 
record, so entirely prosaic, that very likely it repels us 
at first, though it may end by fascinating us for the ver}^ 
reason of its uncompromising truth to reality. 

Courbet, in fact, was a realist; Boecklin, a painter- 
poet. The two ideas, although wide apart, are not abso- 
lutely separated, for we shall see presently that the Ger- 
man's poetry was based upon reality and that the 
Frenchman's realism could yield a measure of poetry. 
Yet, for a while, it will be better to study the two sepa- 
rately. 

We have noted how the classic motive, under the influ- 
ence of David, marked the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, and was carried on by his followers, particularly 
by Ingres. Also that it was attacked, on the one hand 
by the Romanticists, under the leadership of Delacroix, 
and on the other by the group of artists at Barbizon who 
made the study of nature their motive; and that amid 
this group of naturalists oNIillet was the great naturalist 
painter of the peasants, representing them exactly as 
they appeared in the pursuit of their daily employments. 

[ 354 ] 



COURBET-BOECKLIN 

But in 1850, when Courbet painted the Funeral at 
Or nans. Millet was known only to a few beyond the lim- 
its of Barbizon; none of those Barbizon men had as yet 
influenced the world ; Paris itself, the center of the arts, 
was the citadel of Classicism. If it was to be stormed, it 
must be by a personality more robust and with more love 
of giving and taking hard blows. Such a one was 
Courbet. 

Ornans, his birthplace, is near the beautiful valley of 
the Doubs, close to the western boundary of Switzerland, 
and it was here as a boy, and later as a man, that he ab- 
sorbed the love of landscape, of streams and waterfalls, 
overhung with rocks and trees, and of quiet pools where 
the deer steal down to drink; subjects that often occu- 
pied his brush. That they did so, in itself marked his 
difference from classic painters of his time, who cared 
nothing for landscape; but his main difference was of 
a much more positive kind. 

He was by nature a revolutionary, a man born to op- 
pose existing order and to assert his independence. Of 
massive build, with a sprinkling of German blood in 
his veins, broad-shouldered, thick-necked, with a face 
framed in black hair, and features that might have been 
modeled from an Assyrian bas-relief, he had that amount 
of bluster and brutality which makes the revolutionary 
count in art as well as in politics. And in both directions 
his spirit of revolt manifested itself. 

He started for Paris with the purpose of studying 
law; but, being arrived there, began to study art. Yet 
he did not attach himself to the studio of any of the 
prominent masters. Already in his country home he 

[ 355 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

had had a Httle instruction in painting, and now turned 
for more to the masterpieces of the Louvre. Even in 
front of these, however, he did not play the part of a 
submissive student. He looked them over to see what 
he could gain from them, and gradually discovered a 
method of painting that would best serve his purpose to 
be independent of everybody, to see with his own eyes 
and to paint just what he saw. At first his pictures were 
not sufficiently distinctive to arouse any opposition, and 
were admitted to the Salon. So, too, was The Stone- 
Breakers, in which he first displayed his characteristic 
self. This picture, representing two laborers in uncouth 
costumes by the roadside, one kneeling as he breaks the 
stones, the other planting his figure firmly to sustain the 
weight of a basketful of stones which he is moving,— a 
picture in which there is no grace of composition, but the 
strongly painted rendering of an actual episode in the 
lives of the poor, — declared itself amid the classical sur- 
roundings in the Salon of 1851 as, " a rough, true, honest 
word, spoken amid elaborate society phrases." 

Then followed the Funeral at Ornans, which the crit- 
ics violently assailed: " These burlesque masks with their 
fuddled red noses, this village priest who seems to be a 
tippler, and the harlequin of a veteran who is putting on 
a hat which is too big for him " ; " A masquerade funeral, 
six metres long, in which there is more to laugh at than 
to weep over "; " The most extravagant fancy could not 
descend to such a degree of triviality and hideousness " ; 
" He means to sneer at the religious ceremony, since the 
picture has a defiant and directly brutal vulgarity. He 
has taken pains to expose the repulsive, ludicrous, 

[356] 



COURBET-BOECKLIN 

and grotesque elements in the members of the funeral 

party." 

It will discount the force of these so-called criticisms, 
to remember that The S tone-Breakers, such a subject as 
^lillet might have chosen, was slighted because it repre- 
sented mere laborers in ragged and dirty clothes, " an 
excessively commonplace subject," — and that Millet's 
pictures at that time were being rejected by a public ac- 
customed only to the peasants of the comic-opera stage. 

Indeed the real offense of Courbet's pictures was that 
they represented live flesh and blood ; men and women as 
they really are, and as really doing the business in w^hich 
they are engaged,— not men and women deprived of 
personality and idealized into a type, posed in positions 
that will decorate the canvas; frigid, marbleized figures 
like those of Ingres, or tinted and china-like, such as 
those of Bouguereau. Among these classical and semi- 
classical painters, whose art was built on formulas, this 
huge peasant pushed his way, elbowing them roughly, 
treading intentionally on their toes. They winced at the 
realities of life— very well, he would give them the re- 
alities as strongly, and, if need be, as disagreeably as 
possible. He spent his evenings at a restaurant where 
younger artists and the young writers of the school of 
Balzac congregated. " I am a democrat," he would tell 
them; and this too, mind you, in the days of Napoleon 
III. " By doing away with the ideal we shall arrive at 
the emancipation of the individual. I admire Velas- 
quez, because he saw things with his own eyes, but these 
imitators of Raphael and Pheidias— pah! It is the 
greatest impudence to wish to paint things one has never 

^' [ 357 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES. 

seen, of the ajDpearance of which one cannot have the 
shghtest conception. Better paint railway stations, the 
views of places through which one travels, the likenesses 
of great men, engine houses, mines and manufactories, 
for these are the saints and miracles of the nineteenth 
century." He advocated painting things as they are, 
and proclaimed that la verite vraie must be the aim of 
the artist. So at the Universal Exposition of 1855 he 
withdrew his pictures from the exhibition grounds and 
set them in a wooden booth, just outside the entrance, 
with a big lettering over the door, " Courbet — Realist." 

Like every revolutionary, he was an extremist. He 
ignored the fact that to every artist the truth of nature 
appears under a different guise according to his way of 
seeing and experience ; and he chose to assert that art is 
only a copying of nature and not a matter also of selec- 
tion and arrangement. But in periods of deadness and 
insincerity, the mute appeal of a JMillet living afar off 
in the quiet woods is unheeded ; it needs a big combative 
fellow, with self-advertisement and beat of drum and 
loud-voiced blustering exaggeration, to get a hearing 
and compel a following. It was this part to which nature 
had fitted Courbet, and which he played with gusto, to 
the dismay of the academical painters, but attracting 
the younger men to a fresh study of nature and compel- 
ling older men, like Bouguereau and Gerome, to infuse 
some semblance of life into their pictures; giving a 
death-blow also to the idea that prettiness is beauty. 

In his contempt for prettiness he often chose subjects 
which may fairly be called ugl}^ ; but that he had a sense 
of beauty may be seen in his landscapes ; and that min- 

[ 358 ] 



COURBET-BOECKLIN 

gled with it was a capacity for deep emotion, appears in 
his marines, these last being his most impressive work. 
Moreover, in all his works, whether attractive or not to 
the student of mere subject, he proved himself a power- 
ful painter, painting in broad, free manner, with a fine 
feeling for color, and with a firmness of pigment that 
made all his representations very real and stirring. 
Since his day, and in consequence of his pounding influ- 
ence, painting has to a considerable extent broken loose 
from the shackles of conventional formulas, and the sick- 
liness of mere prettiness and sentimentality. The 
painter, instead of being satisfied to tint his pictfures, has 
learned the lesson of painting, and gone again to nature 
for his motives and instruction. Modern art thereby is 
more vigorous and wholesome. 

While recognizing this, however, we must not forget 
that Courbet went too far in condemning the Classicists, 
just as the latter exceeded reason in their wholesale con- 
demnation of him. We cannot agree with them that to 
represent life as it really appears, is vulgar and common- 
place ; nor with him that painting needs no formulas, that 
it can ignore, for example, rules of composition ; that it is 
impudence to paint what one has never seen, and foolish 
to learn of the great masters of the past ; that " imagina- 
tion is rubbish and reality the one true muse." 

For while art should draw continual nourishment from 
nature, we must remember that nature is not art. For 
art displays itself in selecting from nature and arranging 
what it has borrowed in such a way as to produce a bal- 
anced harmonious ensemble. Thus, the wide landscape 
spread out before us, as we sit on a hilltop, may seem, as 

[859] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

is so often the case in nature, a perfectly balanced whole ; 
yet, if the artist selects a portion of it suitable for the 
size of his canvas, he will have to adjust the parts of this 
part, add to them, or leave out some details, if he would 
make his picture balanced and harmonious. There is no 
doubt that Courbet himself did this in the case of his 
marines and landscapes, notwithstanding his assertions 
that he painted only just what he saw. In a word, he had 
the artist's instinct of selection, however much he may 
have kicked against the restrictions of rules. 

And now that we realize something of the man and 
of his motives as a painter, let us turn again to his 
Funeral at Ornans. " A masquerade funeral," the crit- 
ics called it; "a sneer at the religious ceremony," — but 
surely the bearers are performing their task with a simple 
sense of responsibility; the coffin is not sensationally 
forced into prominence, but, on the contrary, introduced 
into the picture with much reserve; priest and crucifer 
may display no emotion, but they are showing ordinary 
attention to their duties; one of the little acolytes, as 
a boy will, is showing inattention, but throughout the 
rest of the group, the persons are exhibiting different 
varieties of feeling from deep affliction to almost com- 
plete indifference, just as one may observe to-day on any 
occasion of a largely attended funeral. 

A sensationalist would have emphasized every point 
that could extract our sympathies — the coffin, the beauty 
of the service, the grief of the mourners, the yawning 
grave. Everything would have been keyed up to a dra- 
matic intensity. But Courbet, with a wider vision, and 
perhaps a larger sympathy, has viewed the incident in its 

[360] 







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COURBET-BOECKLIN 

real relation to life. " Loss," as Tennyson says, " is 
common to the race " ; death plunges a little circle of 
near and dear ones into grief, and causes a slight stir of 
respectful interest in a somewhat larger circle of social 
or business acquaintances; but the world, outside of 
them, goes on its way of work and pleasure, and nature, 
as typified in that level line of landscape, is absolutely 
indifferent. When you come to think of it, this picture, 
by merging the poignancy of grief in surroundings of 
mere respect, and by framing the little incident in the 
vast indifference of the world outside of it, has struck a 
deeper note of human tragedy than any highly -wrought- 
up spectacle of mere sorrow could have done. It also 
proves how much greater than his theories was Courbet 
himself. The reason is, that he had the faculty of great 
portrait-painters of seizing the character of his subject; 
not so much on the few occasions that he really painted 
portraits, but in a more general way in all his work. 
Whether it was landscape, marine, or men, women, or 
animals, that he painted, he represented the physical as- 
pect of the subject with such force and actuality, that 
every one of his subjects suggests an actual individu- 
ality. You may note this in the faces and figures of the 
people round the grave. They are all real people, who 
for a few minutes have left their real concerns in a real 
world to pay their respects to the reality of death. 

And now let us turn to Boecklin's Isle of the Dead. 
While Courbet stands firm and steady on the earth, the 
German painter-poet lifts our imagination into the upper 
region of the spirit. The little boat with the upright 
figure, robed in white (not in black, observe), is the 

[ 365 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

focus-point to which the composition is adjusted, and to 
which our eyes are drawn in preparation for the start of 
our imagination. Compare this ferry-boat with that of 
Charon's in Delacroix's picture of Dante and Virgil, the 
agony of writhing forms, Charon's terrific energy, and 
in the distance the flames of Phlegethon. Here the boat 
with its quick and dead is isolated ; an inexpressible calm 
broods over it; its littleness approaches noiselessly a 
greater calm, a vaster isolation. Its frailty upon the 
shifting water bears the chances and changes of mor- 
tality to a resting-place that has the suggestion of imme- 
morial permanence. I find myself thinking of that soli- 
tary peak above Vailima, where what is mortal of Robert 
Louis Stevenson reposes. Far down below upon the 
island shore is the lapping of ocean that to human eye 
stretches shoreless ; around and above the bed of rest, the 
sky's infinity; not " earth to earth, dust to dust," but the 
atom of spirit united to the Universal Spirit. So 
Boecklin has pictured the entrance of the Dead into the 
infinite seclusion from all we call the world, into com- 
munion with the immensity of the Elements. 

It is characteristic of him that he has not attempted to 
lift our imagination to such heights by representing the 
island in a purely imaginary way, as a spot that the ele- 
ments unaided have fashioned out of nature. INIen have 
been here before ; living, vigorous men, who have walled 
off the encroachments of the ocean, set up piers of hewn 
stone; possibly planted the cypresses, certainly honey- 
combed the rocks and builded up tombs. An island such 
as this may exist somewhere ; it is not geologically impos- 
sible, and might have been wrought to its purpose of a 

[ 366 ] 



COURBET-BOECKLIN 

burial-place, as this has been. Thus, always, Boecklin's 
imagination is based upon facts ; and from these facts of 
knowledge we can proceed, step by step, to the point 
where knowledge ceases and imagination makes a leap 
into the beyond. 

To appreciate this, let us glance at the process of 
Boecklin's own development as a painter. The son of a 
Swiss merchant, he was born in Basel, " one of the most 
prosaic towns in Europe." At nineteen he entered the 
art school at Diisseldorf , then the center of the school of 
sentimental and anecdotal pictures, but was advised by 
his master to proceed to Brussels, where he copied the 
old Dutch masters. In this way he learned the actual art 
of painting, which in Germany had been neglected, the 
subject being held of more importance than the method 
of representing it. From Brussels he passed to Paris, 
and studied in the Louvre, whence he made his way to 
Rome. Though he returned for a time to Germany and 
after 1886 lived until his death in Zurich, the country 
which affected his life, where he lived during that period 
in which his particular genius unfolded itself, was Italy. 
It was from the Roman Campagna, sad and grand, with 
its vast stretches, broken by ruins; from the fantastic 
rocks of Tivoli, where the Anio plunges down in cata- 
racts, overhung with luxuriant growth of trees and 
shrubs and vines; from the smoothly sloping hills near 
Florence, dotted with villas and olive orchards, overlook- 
ing the valley and the winding of the Arno, that he drew 
the inspiration for his landscapes. 

Like the Frenchmen, Poussin and Claude Lorrain, in 
the seventeenth century, and many other German artists 

[ 367 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of his own time, he introduced into his pictures " a har- 
monious blending of figures with the landscape." But, 
unlike these other painters, he does not depict some his- 
torical, mythical, or Biblical subject and then make his 
landscape conform to the action and sentiment of the 
figures. With him the love of landscape was first and 
foremost; whereupon, having conceived the mood and 
character which his landscape should express, he put in 
figures to correspond with them. This, as we have seen, 
is what Corot did, whose figures are embodiments of the 
spirit of the scene. But Boecklin went much further 
than he in this direction. 

In the first place, in the range and variety of the 
moods of nature which he interpreted, so that his figures, 
the offspring of his landscapes, touch deeper and more 
varied notes. Here in the narrow solitude of rocks and 
trees, a hermit is scourging his bare back, before a rude 
cross, while a raven hovers overhead; elsewhere on a 
rockv hillside the silence is broken bv the cry of Pan, who 
grins to see how he has startled the goatherd and his 
goats; or again, robed figures move in a stately single 
line through a sacred grove, while others bow before a 
smoking altar. Further, as the Greeks peopled their 
streams and woods and waves with creatures of their im- 
agination, so Boecklin makes the waterfall take shape as 
a nymph, or the mists which rise above the water-source 
wreathe into forms of merry children; or in some wild 
spot hurls centaurs together in fierce combat, or makes 
the slippery, moving wave give birth to Nereids and Tri- 
tons. Yet even here his imagination works with origi- 
nality. These sea-creatures, lolling on the rocks or float- 

[ 368 ] 



COURBET-BOECKLIN 

ing lazily on the water, are full of sensuous enjoyment; 
there is cruelty in their faces as there is beneath the 
surface of the smiling sea. Nor are his centaurs shapely, 
with grand heads, like the Greek ones; they are shaggy 
and shambling with primitive savagery, creatures of a 
fierce time while the world was still in the making. 

Boecklin's imagination went even further; he invented 
new forms, as in A Rocky Chasm, where there issues 
from a crevice a kind of dragon, web-footed, with long 
craning neck and a pointed feeble head, a creature as 
eerie as the dim abyss in which it harbors. 

He w^as, in fact, a Greek in his healthy love of nature 
and his instinct for giving visible expression to her 
voices ; a modern in his feeling for the moods of nature ; 
and in his union of the two, unique. Moreover, he was 
a great colorist. " At the very time," writes Muther, 
" when Richard Wagner lured the colors of sound from 
tnusic, with a glow of light such as no master had kindled 
before, Boecklin's symphonies of color streamed forth 
like a crashing orchestra. Many of his pictures have 
such an ensnaring brilliancy that the eye is never weary 
of feasting upon their floating splendor. Indeed, later 
generations will probably honor him as the greatest 
color-poet of the century." 

Boecklin as well as Courbet was a man of fine phy- 
sique and wholesome robustness; but, whereas the Ger- 
man's mind was as sane as his body, the Frenchman's 
lacked this admirable poise. He had always been a revo- 
lutionary in art, and lost no opportunity of being one 
in politics. From the consequences of his share in the 
Revolution of 1848 he was shielded by some influential 

'' , [369] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

friends; but, when the French army had been defeated 
by the Germans at Sedan in 1871 and the terror of the 
Commune had been estabhshed in Paris, he threw him- 
self into the turmoil, and received from the self -consti- 
tuted government the position of jNIinister of Fine Arts. 
He managed to save the Louvre and the Luxembourg 
from the fury of the mob, but in order to do so had to let 
it wreak its madness on the Vendome column. Never- 
theless, when order was restored, he was held accountable 
for the destruction of the latter, and was fined a large 
sum which more than swallowed up his fortmie, and 
in addition he was banished. Broken in spirit, he re- 
tired to Vevay on the Lake of Geneva, to die. 



[370] 



CHAPTER XXIV 

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI WILLIAM HOLMAN HUNT 

1828-1882 1827- 

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood^ Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 

England England 

IN 1850, the year in which Courbet's Funeral at Or- 
nans aroused the anger of the French critics, Lon- 
don was amused by the appearance of Rossetti's 
Ecce Ancilla Domini ("Behold the Handmaid of the 
Lord") and Holman Hunt's A Converted British 
Family Sheltering a Christian 3Iissionary. It was not 
only the pictures, but even more the pretensions of their 
authors that excited ribaldry. A year before, these two 
young men, Rossetti being then twenty-one and Hunt 
twenty-two, had joined with another young painter, 
John Millais, and with three young sculptors, James 
Collinson, Frederick George Stephens, and Thomas 
Woolner, and with Rossetti's younger brother, William 
M. Rossetti, in forming a society. They had taken to 
themselves the title of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 
and were in the habit of affixing to their signatures the 
letters, P. R. B. 

The object of the Brotherhood was revolt against ex- 
isting views and conditions of art; in its original inten- 
tion not unlike the revolt of Courbet, a plea for realism. 
He was ridiculing the dry formalism of the Classicists, 

[371] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

and scoffing at the way in which painters allowed them- 
selves to be bound by the " worn-out " traditions of Ra- 
phael; advocating instead a representation of nature as 
it actually appears to the eye of the painter. In like 
manner the Brotherhood protested against the cult of 
Raphael, which, since its introduction into England by 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, had reduced the teaching of art 
to arbitrary rules about lines of grace and stately com- 
positions, flowing draperies, and artificial poses, substi- 
tuting a cast-iron system for the free and truthful ren- 
dering of nature. But wdiile the sturdy Courbet flung 
all traditions aside and found his motives in the present, 
the Brotherhood, under the dominating influence of 
Rossetti, who, as we shall see, was already a deep student 
of Dante and filled with the spirit of the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries, sought the impulse of a new tra- 
dition in the painters who preceded Raphael: Fra An- 
gelico, for example, and Botticelli. 

These " Primitives " belonged to the springtime of 
the Renaissance, looking out upon the world with fresh 
young eyes; even their lack of skill in drawing and 
their naive sentiment were refreshing in comparison with 
the stilted, pompous insincerity and soullessness of the 
modern followers of Raphael. Even the latter himself 
was attacked by Ruskin, who had stepped forward as 
the expounder and champion of the Brotherhood's ideals. 
After citing with what truth to the facts of nature the 
great masters, and especially Titian, rendered every de- 
tail of the foregrounds of their landscapes with most 
laborious fidelity, he proceeded to contrast the unreality 
of Raphael's conceptions, taking, as a text, his cartoon 
of Christ Walking upon the Water. 

[372] 



D. G. ROSSETTI — HOLMAN HUNT 

Note [he says] the handsomely curled hair and neatly tied 
sandals of the men who have been out all night in the sea mists 
and on slimy decks. Note their convenient dresses for going 
a-fishing, with trains that lie a yard along the ground, and 
goodly fringes — all made to match, an apostolic fishing cos- 
tume. Note how Peter especially (whose chief glory was in 
his wet coat girt about him, and naked limbs) is enveloped in 
folds and fringes, so as to kneel and hold his keys with grace. 
No fire of coals at all, nor lonely mountain shore, but a pleasant 
Italian landscape, full of villas and churches, and a flock of 
sheep to be pointed at ; and the whole group of apostles, not 
around Christ, as they would have been naturally, but strag- 
gling away in a line, that they may all be seen. The simple 
truth is, that the moment we look at the picture we feel our belief 
in the whole thing taken away. There is visibly no possibility 
of that group ever having existed, in any place or on any occa- 
sion. It is all a mere mythic absurdity, and faded concoction 
of fringes and muscular arms, and curly heads of Greek philoso- 
phers. Now the evil consequences of the acceptance of this kind 
of religious idealism for true, were instant and manifold. So 
far as it was received and trusted in by thoughtful people it 
only served to chill all the conceptions of sacred history which 
they might otherwise have obtained. Whatever they could have 
fancied for themselves about the wild, strange, infinitely stern, 
infinitely tender, infinitely varied veracities of the life of Christ, 
was blotted out by the vapid fineries of Raphael. The rough 
Galilean pilot, the orderly custom-receiver, and all the ques- 
tioning wonder and fire of uneducated apostleship, were obscured 
under an antique mask of philosophic faces and long robes. 

And having made a stand for truth to nature and the 
probabiHties of fact, Ruskin concludes with the state- 
ment of his behef that in modern times, and especially 
in northern climes where people are so much dressed up 
in clothes, the representation of physical strength and 

[373] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

beauty can no longer be the highest aim of art; and in 
an age which is before all things intellectual, painting 
should make spiritual expression, instead of form, the 
object of its most serious study. The art of the new age 
must be religious, mystic, and thoughtful, and at the 
same time true to nature. And it was because the Pre- 
Raphaelite Brotherhood seemed to recognize this, that 
he asserted it was going to be epoch-making. 

Probably no critic of art ever had such a knowledge 
and love of nature as Ruskin, and few have equaled him 
in the intuitive appreciation of what is fine in art. But 
he was so much bigger a man than a mere art critic, — 
a moralist, a scientist, instinctively religious, versed in 
literature, and possessed of rare literary gifts, — that 
he could not help looking at painting, as it were, through 
these different-colored glasses and wishing to have it 
conform to the color of each. He could not, at any rate 
he did not, recognize the independent status of paint- 
ing: that it is not primarily a means of inculcating 
morals, of teaching religion or science, or of playing 
second fiddle to the more elaborately explanatory pos- 
sibilities of literature; but that it is first and foremost 
a visible expression of material things, just as music is 
of immaterial ideas. The latter is independent of mor- 
als, religion, and of descriptive or dramatic story, al- 
though it may contribute very forcibly to all of them. 
So painting may; yet this is not its primary function. 
It is an independent art, whose chief concern is with ex- 
ternal appearances. 

Moreover, though Ruskin was as earnest an advocate 
of truth to nature as Courbet, he did not understand 

[374] 



D. G. ROSSETTI — HOLMAN HUNT 

the meaning of artistic truth. While Courbet sought 
a powerful generalization of the whole subject, ex- 
pressed by means of a broad and large technic, Ruskin 
taught that the artist should render every characteristic 
detail with minute exactness. If he painted rocks, for 
example, he must show unmistakably to what particular 
geological species they belonged ; and in his foregrounds 
must render the blades of grass and the flowers with 
*' the most laborious botanical fidelity." The artist, 
whose proper function is to reveal to eyes less sensitive 
and trained than his own " a new heaven and a new 
earth," he would have had pother over nature with a 
microscope, emulating the patient investigations of the 
botanist and geologist. In fact, he preached — for he 
was even more a preacher than an art critic — a sort of 
religion of truth, that tended to enslave the artist's free- 
dom of vision and imagination still more than the re- 
quirements of the church had done in the days of the 
Early Renaissance. The result was for a long time dis- 
astrous to English painting and to English public taste; 
* for it established as a standard of excellence a petty ren- 
dering in smooth, precise manner of the little insignifi- 
cances, at the expense of the larger truth of the whole. 
Ruskin was fond of quoting from the Bible, but missed 
the application of one text — "Woe unto you, scribes 
and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and 
anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier mat- 
ters of the law. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat 
and swallow a camel." 

The Brotherhood, as a compact group, bound toge- 
ther by a common regard for sincerity and high pur- 

[375] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

pose, lasted only a short time. Its members drifted 
into separate lines of work, yet its influence upon art 
both in England and on the Continent was far-reach- 
ing. However, the direction which it took may better 
be considered after we have studied the two men, 
Rossetti and Holman Hunt, who proved to be the 
most distinctively original members of the disbanded 
Brotherhood. 

Ruskin's contention that modern art must be con- 
cerned with spiritual expression was realized in Rossetti ; 
that it must be religious in motive and truthful to the 
minutest detail, in Holman Hunt. This will be appar- 
ent in a study of the two pictures here reproduced. In 
The Blessed Damozel our interest is drawn toward the 
face of the woman looking down ; everything else is con- 
tributory to the impression that it arouses ; even the title 
excites our wonder. Who is she, and why that expres- 
sion of her face? In The Light of the Worlds however, 
it is the matter-of-factness of the picture that first at- 
tracts us. Its title, even if we have not immediately 
noticed the crown of thorns, makes us aware that the 
figure is Christ. But there is here no grandeur of dra- 
pery, or noble pose, or elevated tyj)e of countenance. 
The last is that of a man of the j)eople ; only the splen- 
dor of the gold-embroidered cloak and its jeweled clasp 
suggest that the man is more than ordinary. He knocks 
at a door, overgrown with vines and w^eeds, a door, 
therefore, that has remained long shut. Every spray 
and leaf and flower is lighted sharply by the lantern. 
Behind the figure, forming a halo round the head, ap- 
pears the full moon. We remember the text, " The 

[376] 




LIGHT OF THE WORLD HOLMAX HUNT 

KEBLE COLLEGE, OXFORD 





THE BLESSED DAMOZEL 



DANTE GABRIEL 
ROSSETTI 



OWNED BY THE HON. MRS. O'BRIEN 



D. G. ROSSETTI — HOLMAN HUNT 

foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; 
but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." 

The appearance of this picture in 1854 had a peculiar 
timeliness. For many years a great awakening had 
been going on in the Church of England, corresponding 
to the political, social, and industrial awakening that was 
spreading over the country as a result of the extension 
of the franchise by the first Reform Act, and of the 
introduction of steam and railroads. As a set-off to 
what seemed to many minds only a material revival, 
began a religious one, the nursery and stronghold of 
which was the University of Oxford, so that it became 
known as the Oxford JNIovement. Its aims were three- 
fold : to uphold the direct descent of the Church of Eng- 
land from the days of the Apostles, to promote religious 
piety, and to bring back to public worship the beauty 
of ritual that it had had prior to the Reformation. 
Everywhere throughout the land the clergy and people 
had been asleep, the cathedrals and churches had fallen 
into decay, but the new spirit of devotion aroused a 
longing to revive the outward beauty of the past, and 
one of the most important phases of the movement be- 
came the Gothic Revival. The consequence was that, 
while the most energetic movement in French art at that 
time was toward a true representation of the world of 
to-day, the English one devoted itself to a renewal of 
the past; and not of the classic traditions, but of those 
of the Middle Ages. 

One can now understand how this picture, The Light 
of the World, appealed to the religious feeling of its 
day. People saw in the doorway overrun with vines 

'' [ 381 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

and blocked with weeds, an allegory of what had been 
the condition of the churches and their congregations 
before the awakening; until Christ, with the lantern of 
truth, had stolen in upon the night of spiritual sleep, 
and aroused the sleepers with his knock. After its ex- 
hibition in London it went on a pilgrimage throughout 
the country, and hundreds of thousands of copies were 
sold in engravings. 

In the first place it represented Christ, not in the con- 
ventional classic draperies, but in his capacity of priest, 
in the revived vestments of the church— the alb and cope ; 
moreover, not with a head like a Greek philosopher's, 
but with the features of a man of the people and the 
expression of a visionary. In the second place, the 
picture was full of highly wrought detail; beautiful 
plant-forms that recalled the delicate traceries of Gothic 
decoration: metal- work and jewelry and embroidered 
needlework, the crafts which were being revived in the 
service of religion. Furthermore, the very exactness 
"' wdth which all these were rendered gave pleasure to a 
public, that under Ruskin's instruction had learned to 
look for two qualities in a picture — a beautiful story, 
preferably a religious one, and a patiently accurate 
representation of detail. 

The success of the picture determined the future 
course of Hunt's work; which has remained religious 
in subject and minutely realistic. He visited the Holy 
Land, that he might study the type and characteristics 
of the descendants of the Bible personages, the appear- 
ance of the sacred landscape, the customs of the people, 
their mode of life, and the implements and utensils of 

[ 382 ] 



D. G. ROSSETTI — HOLMAN HUNT 

daily use. Accumulating the results of his researches, 
he sought by means of exact rendering of modern con- 
ditions to get as near as possible to the probable con- 
ditions of the past. 

The most remarkable example is The Shadow of the 
Cross, in which he represents Christ in the carpenter's 
shop in Nazareth. He not only gave him the homely 
appearance of an ordinary artisan, but carried the truth 
to facts so far as to paint him naked except for a 
leather apron; a strong brown-skinned man, with the 
muscles shown and even the hair upon the breast and 
legs. In front of him is the bench at which he has been 
planing, and shavings of wood cover the floor. He has 
paused for a moment's rest and is stretching his arms, 
and the evening sun streaming through the window 
throws the shadow of his body upon the wall in the form 
of a cross. This suggestion is so solemn, and the in- 
tensely religious conviction of the artist so apparent in 
the picture, that, what might have been merely a dry 
archaeological inventory, is lifted up to unmistakable no- 
bility. And this, notwithstanding the harshness of col- 
oring, the abrupt lines of the composition, the lack of 
atmosphere, and the baldness and metallic glitter of the 
textures. In fact, despite the absence of those qualities 
which one looks for in good painting, Hunt's pictures 
are strangely impressive. 

Indirectly they gave rise to a new motive in religious 
painting. Touched by the hurnan as well as the spir- 
itual beauty of the Saviour's life, artists, such as Fritz 
von Uhde in Germany, and Lhermitte in France, have 
represented him as once more visibly moving among 

[ 383 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

men. The former, for example, has interpreted the 
subject of Let the Little Children come unto Me, by a 
scene in a village school in the Bavarian Alps. From 
the sunshine outside the Saviour has stepped in, and 
the peasant chiMren are gathered round with looks of 
wonder, drawn to him by the sweetness of his invita- 
tion. Lhermitte, on his part, among other kindred 
subjects, pictured a family of peasants at their lunch, 
bowing their heads, while Christ himself, seated at the 
humble board, pronounces a blessing on the food. Re- 
ligion to these people is the chief solace of their hves of 
toil, and so unquestioning is their simple faith, that the 
miraculous appearance of the Christ, treated with 
utmost reverence, as it is, seems to have a touching and 
beautiful naturalness. 

And now let us turn to Rossetti. His father, an Ital- 
ian patriot, who had sought refuge in London, where 
he became professor of Itahan at King's College, was 
a distinguished Dante scholar. His children were all 
gifted. JNIaria Francesca, the elder daughter, wrote a 
critical work, entitled, " The Shadow of Dante " ; Chris- 
tina, the younger, became celebrated as a poet ; and their 
younger brother, William JNIichael, is a well-known 
writer and critic. Dante Gabriel, the subject of our 
present study, was poet as well as painter. 

He was extraordinarily precocious, very early ac- 
quainted with Scott and Shakspeare, and the author at 
six years old of a drama in blank verse. But the chief 
influence of his childhood was the worship of Dante. 
He knew the poems by heart. " The mystical poet 
became his guide through life and led him to Fra An- 

[384] 



D. G. ROSSETTI — HOLMAN HUNT 

gelico, the mystic of painting." He attended Gary's 
drawing-school and the schools of the Royal Academy; 
but could not find in their systematic methods the help 
he wanted; therefore he sought the advice of Ford 
Madox Brown, and eventually of Holman Hunt. He 
was impatient to paint the pictures that thronged his 
brain, and impatient of the dry routine of steady in- 
struction, and in consequence never acquired a com- 
plete command of drawing. Perhaps he was encour- 
aged not to try for it, in consequence of his fondness for 
subjects from Dante and his instinctive feeling that they 
must be represented with the almost childlike simplicity 
of feeling, the mystic dreaminess and sweetly embar- 
rassed manner of Fra Angelico and the other " Primi- 
tives " who adorned the early garden of the Renaissance. 
For in his heart he belonged to that time; it was as if 
the spirit of those children of painting had, after many 
transmigrations, become reincarnated on the banks of 
the Thames. 

And while he persevered in painting, he was contin- 
ually experimenting in poetry. The exquisitely beauti- 
ful poem, afterward pictured in The Blessed Damozel, 
was written in his nineteenth year. The picture was 
not painted till 1879, when he was fifty-one. In the 
interval he had known the woman who became to his 
life and art what Saskia had been to Rembrandt's. In 
1850 he met Miss Elizabeth Siddal, a milliner's assis- 
tant, who was introduced to him as a model. Accord- 
ing to William M. Rossetti she was " tall, finely formed, 
with a lofty neck, and regular, yet somewhat uncommon 
features, greenish blue, unsparkling eyes, large perfect 

[ 385 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

eyelids, brilliant complexion, and a lavish wealth of 
coppery golden hair." She satisfied at once his concep- 
tion of a perfectly balanced soul and body, of soul- 
beauty shining through the beauty of form, which was 
his ideal of woman. She became also his ideal of Bea- 
trice, and as such he painted her many times. He 
loved her, but for some reason marriage was postponed 
for ten years, and then after scarcely two years of 
married life she died. But the memory of her abided 
with him, and almost all his subsequent painting was 
a representation, in one character or another, of his 
Beloved. And, with the years, her type of beauty ex- 
panded, losing its girlishness in richer ampleness, be- 
coming more glorified in his imagination. 

By the time that he painted The Blessed Damozel, he 
was broken in health, old before his time, and not far 
from death. In 1870 the volume of his poems had been 
published, and attacked violently by Robert Buchanan 
under the title of, "The Fleshly School of Poetry." 
Suffering from the loss of his wife, and being the vic- 
tim of insomnia, he was wounded out of all proportion 
to the circumstances, fancied that a conspiracy had been 
formed against him, and became a prey to the most 
morbid sensibility. In his misery he grew more ad- 
dicted to the use of chloral, which he had taken to alle- 
viate insomnia. Only at intervals, encouraged by his 
friends, who clung to him, could he work. 

There is, therefore, a great tragedy embodied in this 
picture. Read the poem, written in the springtime of 
his life, when yet he was only dreaming of what love 
might be. Is it not strangely prophetic, that even then, 

[386] 



D. G. ROSSETTI — HOLMAN HUNT 

it was not the possession, but the loss of the Beloved, 
that filled his thoughts? 

The blessed damozel leaned out 

From the gold bar of heaven ; 
Her eyes were deeper than the depth 

Of waters stilled at even. 

• • • • • 

Herseemed she scarce had been a day 

One of God's choristers ; 
The wonder was not yet quite gone 

From that still look of hers ; 
Albeit, to them she left, her day 

Had counted as ten years. 

• . • ■ • 
It was the rampart of God's house 

That she was standing on ; 

• • • • • 

So high, that looking downward thence 
She scarce could see the sun. 

• • * • • 
" I wish that he were come to me, 

For he will come," she said. 

Since those lines were written, she had come to him, 
possessed him, been taken from him, and become his 
forever. 

Devotion to this one woman was the source at once 
of strength and of weakness to his art. Of strength, 
because, in the first place, it attracted him to outward 
appearances and gave form and substance to his dreams, 
and taught him to express the invisible through the 
visible, while enabling him to realize the conceptions with 

[387] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

which his mind was stored and suggesting others to his 
imagination. On the other hand, it was a source of 
weakness, because it narrowed him to one type on which 
he perpetually harped with variations, so that masses 
of coppery golden hair, heavy-lidded dreamy eyes, a 
mouth with curling lips, and a long full throat appear 
and reappear with various degrees of exaggerated em- 
phasis; while his imagination, absorbed in the contem- 
plation of one idea, gives birth continually to one 
slightly varying form of highly wrought sentiment. 
He retreats from the manifold sensations of the open, 
sun-cleansed world, into a hothouse, whose air is laden 
with the fragrance of the orchid. 

Yet we should remember that this single devotion to 
one type, while it limited his art, may have been neces- 
sary to it, the only thing that could have ripened the 
fruit of which it was capable. We have seen how Dante, 
and especially the poet's mystic love for Beatrice, filled 
his early thoughts. When he met Elizabeth Siddal, he 
met his own Beatrice; henceforth she was to be to him 
the incarnation of his own spiritual life, the inspiration 
of his art as the Florentine damozel had been to Dante's. 
Nor, while she was the companion and nourishment of 
his spiritual solitude, is it to be assumed that but for 
her he would have gone outside himself and nourished 
his art with the rains and sunshine of the actual world. 
As we have said, he did not belong to our own age, but 
to Dante's. 

By the latter, and the poets of his time, who followed 
the " sweet new style " that had been derived from Bo- 
logna, love was regarded as the mark of the gentle heart 

[388] 



D. G. ROSSETTI — IIOLMAN HUNT 

and the service of love as the means of reahzing the 
ideals of the spirit, so that the particular woman was 
rather a visible embodiment o*f these ideals than a being 
to be loved and possessed in a human way. If, as seems 
well-nigh certain, this was also Rossetti's conception of 
art and life, it is clear he could have found the best 
within him only by this exclusive devotion to one type. 

He lived in a dream-world, thronged with emotions. 
These soul-thoughts, too deep, too wide, too vague and 
infinite to be captured by brush or pen, being inexpres- 
sible, he yet tried, as far as possible, to express, some- 
times in poems, sometimes in pictures. The latter are 
brilliant in color, glowing with brightly hued fabrics, 
precious stones, and flowers ; a world of glorious fancy, 
in which the figures live as in a trance. Never since 
Perugino had there been figures so wrapped in spiritual 
solitude as these. But Rossetti's are fuller of expres- 
sion, suggesting not only mystic ecstasy but a wide range 
of spiritual expressiveness. Yet, like the Umbrian ar- 
tist's, they are calm in attitude and slow in gesture, and 
through this very immobility express the most vivid 
intensity of inner life. 

Though courting seclusion in his London home, at 
Cheyne Walk, Chelsea,^ Rossetti nevertheless became 
the center of a group of men whose influence on art has 
been wide-spread. Among them were William Morris, 
Burne-Jones, Walter Crane, George Frederick Watts, 
Swinburne, the poet, and the novelist and poet, George 
Meredith. Through Morris and Walter Crane a new 
impulse was given to decorative art. Sick of the tedious, 

^The home of artists, also, so wide apart as Holbein and Whistler. 

'' ' [ 389 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

soulless repetition of Renaissance ornament, these men 
went farther back to a study of Gothic and Celtic orna- 
ment, which led them to a study of nature's plant- and 
flower- forms as motives for decoration. Out of this 
arose a new spirit of invention, which spread over Eu- 
rope and to some extent has appeared in America, 
resulting in the revival of a desire for beauty in objects 
of art-craftsmanship, and in an increase of original 
creative skill on the part of the designers, until decora- 
tive art has once more become a live one. 

That phase of Pre-Raphaelism which is represented 
by Rossetti, " the painter of the soul," was continued 
by Burne-Jones and was welcomed in France by some 
artists who were tired of the long series of pictures deal- 
ing with the external life of peasants and social func- 
tions. They too began to try and express the subtle 
emotions of the spirit ; and from France the new move- 
ment extended to Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and 
Austria. The Brotherhood, in its beginning, had started 
a magazine, called the " Germ." Only four numbers 
appeared; but the seed, scattered, after long years 
brought forth flowers, the blue flowers of idealism. 



[390] 



CHAPTER XXV 

KARL THEOBOR VON PILOTY MARIANO FORTUNY 

1826-1886 1838-1874 

Munich School of Germany Spanish-Parisian School 

IN the Spanish Marriage there is a profusion of beau- 
tiful detail to gladden the eye ; in the canvas by 
Piloty, a great deal to stimulate our appetite for his- 
torical incidents. We already feel a curiosity to become 
acquainted with this particular one; we reach for a his- 
tory to discover who these people are and how they hap- 
pen to find themselves in the circumstances represented ; 
and, having read the story, we shall proceed to search 
the picture to identify the persons and see how the inci- 
dent has been portrayed. All of which has, strictly 
speaking, nothing to do with the appreciation of the 
j)ainting, as a painting. On the other hand, to appre- 
ciate the Spanish 3Iarriage, we need no help from the 
outside ; the incident depicted explains itself. We note 
the moment selected is the signing of the register; and, 
having done so, we are free to enjoy without any inter- 
ruption the brilliant groups of figures and the exquisite 
delicacy of the rococo screen and the other details of the 
sacristy ; or, if we were facing the original, would step 
backward, so that the sparkle and luster of its coloring 
might affect us as a whole. 

Further, let us contrast the two pictures from the point 

[391] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

of view of composition. In Fortuny's the figures are 
sprinkled like gay flowers across the canvas, and sur- 
rounded by 023en spaces ; the impression produced being 
one of spaciousness and dignity, united to elegant 
sprightliness. In that of Piloty, however, the figures, 
following the line of a letter S, occupy almost all the 
composition. Except for the little piece of ground in 
front and the view beyond the arch, there are no quiet 
spaces in the picture, and both these, you will observe, 
are cut into by crossing lines. jNI or cover, Fortuny has 
massed his shade beyond the screen, giving a depth and 
mystery to the distance that lend additional piquancy 
to the figures in the foreground, while helping to unite 
them into one composition. Piloty's composition, how- 
ever, with its scattered light and shade, is arranged to 
give prime importance to the center group composed of 
Thusnelda and her child and handmaids, and a some- 
what slighter prominence to the emperor, Tiberius, and 
the bevy of court ladies. Below the latter are the lighted 
figures of the old bard and the German soldier to whom 
he is bound, which form, as it were, a prelude to the cen- 
tral mass of light. 

Now, while the composition of each picture is regu- 
lated with deliberate artifice, Fortuny's is so tactful 
that the scene appears real and impresses us at once ai^ 
a single harmonious whole, in comparison with which 
Piloty's seems artificial and confused and broken up. 
Perhaps the confusion is intentional, the artist seeking in 
this way to create a suggestion of stupendous impressive- 
ness, corresponding to the strange, variegated, tumult- 
uous spectacle that the actual incident must have pre- 

[ 392 ] 




< 

i4 



X 






o 



< 
Q 









o 

CL, 



2- H 

5 S 




'A 



A 



^ 






X 
X 



PILOTY-FORTUNY 

sented. If so, in order to attain his object, he has sacri- 
ficed the unity of his picture, which, as it now stands, is 
really a combination of several compositions, — the group 
with the bear in the front ; the group of women ; the 
emperor's group, and that of the senators at the back 
welcoming Germanicus, the conqueror, — a distribution 
of separate incidents ingeniously linked together. 

And now examine more closely the individual figures. 
Those in the Spanish Mariiage, how they brim with life 
^ and character ! Note the attitude of the priest, as he rises 
from his chair and leans over the table while the bride- 
groom signs his name. What an elderly fop the latter 
is, arrayed in a delicate lilac qostume! The bride is in a 
white gown, trimmed with flowered lace, and has a 
wreath of orange-blossoms in her luxuriant black hair. 
She is toying with a fan, enjoying its pretty decorations, 
while she listens to the talk of a girl friend, who leans 
forward with a most delightful gesture of dainty grace. 
How cleverly the artist has suggested in the conduct of 
all the people present, that this union of age and youth 
is not an affair of the heart! Observe particularly the 
indifference which the couple sitting on the right display 
to what is going on ; while an old man has removed to a 
far corner, and sits with his hat on his head, as if in con- 
tempt of the whole proceeding. 

Nor in Piloty's picture is there any lack of character- 
istic gestures and poses ; every figure enacts some sep- 
arate part in the drama ; each is drawn with correctness 
and power. Yet, I suspect, the sum total of the impres- 
sion that we receive is not so much of life and reality as 
of an elaborate spectacle, such as one may occasionally 

[397] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

see on the stage of a theater. We can scarcely escape 
the suspicion of artificiahty. The tableau has been ar- 
ranged by an ingenious stage-manager, who has packed 
it with stirring situations and piled effect upon effect. 
The scene-painter and costumier having done their share, 
he has drilled the crowd of supernumeraries until every 
one of them knows what he is expected to do and does it 
with all his might, as if the success of the whole depended 
upon his individual effort. The result is magnificent, 
but overpowering, unreal, stagy. It is too ambitious 
and self-important, too suggestive of the high-sounding 
programme, announced by a German historian of the 
period. "We stand," he. wrote, "with our knowledge, 
culture, and insight, on a summit from which we over- 
look the whole past. The Orient, Greece, and Rome, 
the ^Middle Ages, the Reformation and JNIodern times, 
sj^read like a universal panorama before us. . . . To 
bury one's self in the past, to get at the most essential 
meaning of its life, to awaken what is dead by knowl- 
edge, to renew what has vanished by art . . . such is the 
vivifying work of our time." 

But is this picture vivifying? It may succeed in wak- 
ening knowledge of the past, but does it renew its life? 
Certainly it is interesting as an illustration to that page 
of history which relates how Thusnelda, the wife of Har- 
minius, a German prince, was betrayed by her own fa- 
ther, Segestes, into the hands of the Romans, in order to 
curr}^ favor with Germanicus. The latter general's suc- 
cess had aroused the jealousy of Tiberius. Roman em- 
perors lived in constant fear of the ascendancy of a 
victorious general, so Germanicus was recalled and al- 

[ 398 ] 



PILOTY-FORTUNY 

lowed a triumph, which the queen is compelled to adorn. 
Her humiliation the miserable Segestes is forced to wit- 
ness, as he stands, a butt for the gibes of the senators on 
the emperor's right. In the latter's bowed head may 
well be brooding a dread of Germanicus, and of the 
menace to Rome, if these magnificent Barbarians should 
ever discover their ow^n strength and the Romans' grow- 
ing weakness. 

In my last sentence, you will observe, I have obtruded 
an idea of my own. You will not find it recorded in the 
brief account by Tacitus of this episode ; it can only be 
guessed at by inference from this picture. But I ob- 
trude it intentionally, to suggest how much more effec- 
tively a writer could represent this scene. He would 
make you realize, not only the outward appearance of the 
spectacle, but also the inward emotions that are stirring 
in the individual actors. He would fathom, not only 
the thoughts in the brain of Tiberius, but those of the 
woman who proudly marches past him ; those of the 
Roman ladies; of that bard and the German warrior 
to whom he is bound; of that woman on the left who 
darts her arm and imprecations at the captive queen ; of 
the people vociferously applauding the victorious gen- 
eral ; and of what lies concealediin the mind of the con- 
queror, calmly uplifted against the lighted distance. 

The fact is that a picture of this sort, by attempting 
to represent so much, passes beyond the point at which 
it can be a single unified whole ; steps outside of its own 
special province as a record of what the eye can grasp 
without assistance from other sources, and challenges 
rivalry with literature, on the latter's own ground, and, 

[' 399 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

therefore, naturally is worsted. A clever writer could 
represent this scene to your imagination, and move your 
emotions, much more vividly than this picture does. 

This is true of most so-called "historical" pictures. 
There have been excej^tions, notably the Surrender of 
Breda by Velasquez, to which we have alluded in another 
chapter. But in that everything is made subordinate to 
one e^^isode and to one moment in it, — namely, that in 
which the Vanquished hands the key of the city to the 
Victor. On the part of the one is exhibited noble resig- 
nation ; on that of the other, an equally noble magnan- 
imity ; in this most trying ordeal each j^roves himself a 
hero. For our enjoyment of the picture we do not need 
to know their names or the circumstances that lead up to 
the incident. Although the event commemorated oc- 
curred in Velasquez's lifetime, he passed beyond the 
local and temporary and gave his representation a typal 
significance. 

But this is precisely what Piloty has not done. Like 
most of the "historical" painters, he has selected a sub- 
ject, that would yield opportunity for striking con- 
trasts and for display of skill in drawing and archaolog- 
ical research ; and then, by crowding the canvas with 
learned details, cleverly represented, seeks to impose 
upon the spectator an impression of something grander 
than the ordinary — heroic. For, as a rule, the "histor- 
ical " j^ainter thinks that the representation of life of his 
own day is " vulgar " ; he has learned to draw the human 
form and draperies after classic models, idealizing na- 
ture ; and then rummages amid the dust of antiquity, to 
find subjects that will demonstrate his skill in represent- 

[ 400 •] 



PILOTY-FORTUNY 

ing the draperies and the nude. Turn to Piloty's pic- 
ture and note the old bard on the right of the fore- 
ground. The figure is typical of the whole attitude of 
mind of these classical, historical, heroical painters. The 
body is represented partly nude, and the drapery is so 
arranged that the old man could not possibly walk. 
What could be more obviously dragged in for effect? 

Most of these painters are able draftsmen, although 
their figures are generally coldly correct and formal, or 
stilted and bombastic ; but few of them are good paint- 
ers. Piloty, however, was an exception. He received 
his education at the JNIunich Academy, under men who 
were inclined to boast that they were not painters and to 
look down on the " colorers," just as the Classicists of 
the French School proclaimed that " form is everything." 
But after he had visited Venice, Antwerp, and Paris, he 
came back a skilful painter, who could render correctly 
the color appearance of any object he represented. 
Munich was ripe for something new, and his popularity 
was immediate. In 1852 he was appointed professor at 
the Academy, and by the great number of pupils who 
flocked to him and the influence that he extended 
throughout Germany, revived in that country the art of 
painting. 

Moreover, his work, though academical, abounds in 
sentiment and dramatic characterization ; qualities that 
found a ready response in German taste. For the Ger- 
mans, like the English, are disposed to prefer a picture 
which tells a story. Piloty's, as we have seen, were his- 
torical in theme ; but a very large part of modern Ger- 
man painting has been occupied with the little genre 

'' [ 401 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

picture. These are of social or peasant life, in which the 
personages, generally set in an interior, are enacting 
some pretty sentimental scene. They are for the most 
part cleverly painted, so far as representing the color ap- 
pearance of the objects is concerned, but usually, like 
Piloty's pictures, without any suggestion of real atmo- 
sphere or of the subtleties of light. It is in this respect 
that Piloty is not a " painter," compared with Fortuny. 

The latter, after receiving the usual academical train- 
ing at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, won the 
Prix de Rome. But while he was studying the old mas- 
ters in Rome, war broke out between Spain and the Em- 
peror of jNIorocco. Fortuny, now twenty-three years old, 
received a commission from the Town Council of Barce- 
lona to proceed to Africa and paint the exploits of the 
army. This experience of a few months changed the 
whole current of his life. The brilliance of Southern 
sunshine, the glowing colors of the scenery, the richness 
of the costumes, and the splendor of decorated trappings 
and weapons, the glittering movement of the life of the 
people — all these things fascinated him and drew his 
imagination into the direction of light and color. Other 
painters before him had been attracted by the charms of 
the South and the Orient, but none up to that time had 
so absorbed the inspiration of the color splendors, or the 
variegated movement of the life. 

At first he introduced these qualities into a series of 
Moroccan subjects; then passed on to pictures, like our 
present one, with which his memory is particularly iden- 
tified. They represent interiors decorated profusely in 
the style of I^ouis XV, known as Rococo, because the or- 

[ 402 ] 



PILOTY-FORTUNY 

namentation included imitation of rockwork, shells, foli- 
age, and intricacies of scrollwork, elaborate and profuse. 
These countless irregularities of surface, and the gay silk 
and lace and velvet costumes of the period, offered the 
fullest scope for color and reflected light. 

Painting with an extraordinary dexterity, wdth a deli- 
cate sense of color-harmony, and with an impetuosity of 
fancy that is truly astounding, he split the light into a 
thousand particles, till his pictures sparkle like jewels 
and are as brilliant as a kaleidoscope. When he went 
to Paris he made a great sensation and became attached 
to the circle of which Meissonier was the leader. The 
latter's pictures are like his in the minuteness and elabor- 
ateness of their craftsmanship, but do not show the same 
exquisite color-sense, or skill in representing the diversi- 
ties of light and atmosphere. In fact, Fortuny himself 
became the vogue. 

He set the fashion for a class of pictures, filled with 
silks and satins, hric-a-hrac and elegant trifling, dis- 
tinguished by deftness of hand, but possessing no higher 
aim than to make a charming bouquet of color with glanc- 
ing caprices of sunshine. Because they were cleverly 
painted they attracted extravagant admiration ; but 
now that clever painting has become more general, their 
reputation has declined. 



[ 403] 



CHAPTER XXVI 

EDOUAED MANET JOZEF ISRAELS 

1833-1883 1824- 

Impressionistic School of France Modern Dutch School 

WHAT a contrast these two pictures present! 
Their very titles indicate the different point 
of view in the two artists. The Old Scribe 
has in it the ring of an appeal to our sympathy and in- 
terest ; Girl with a Parrot, on the contrary, is barren of 
any sympathetic suggestion. Manet, in fact, had no 
feeling for his subject, except in so far as it contributed 
to a purely artistic intention ; but Israels added to an in- 
tention, equally artistic, the further one of entering into 
the humanness of his subject. He has been through his 
long career the painter of the Dutch poor, as Millet was 
of the French peasants; a painter whose work always 
echoes a clear note of poetry. At the same time he has 
been the chief influence in the modern revival of Dutch 
art. On the other hand, while the influence of Manet 
upon modern art has been even greater, his hold upon 
the imagination of the layman has been very slight. He 
was essentially a " painter's painter." 

We will consider him first ; because an understanding 
of what he did will help also to a fuller appreciation of 
Israels, since the latter, like all modern artists who are 

[ 404 ] 



MANET-ISRAELS 

reall}^ painters and not mere tinters, was to some extent 
influenced by him. 

Manet's great work was to carry further and complete 
the teaching of realism begun by Coiu'bet. The hitter's 
realism consisted mainly in his point of view, in his habit 
of selecting subjects from nature and treating them as 
naturally as he could, with the sole purpose of represent- 
ing the person or thing as it appeared to his eye. But 
while his subjects were realistic, his rendering of them 
in many respects was not. He painted realistic subjects 
with a recipe that he had invented for himself by study- 
ing the old masters. For example, he enveloped his 
pictures in what has been irreverently called " brown 
sauce " ; moreover, his figures, rocks, waves, and trees, 
were real enough in form, but apt to be of a uniform 
rigidity of texture. Manet's further contribution was 
to add to realism of subject a realism of representation; 
to render the particular texture of each object and to 
surround all with nature's light and air. He restored to 
painting a knowledge of the truths which had been dis- 
covered by Velasquez. 

This great artist had been forgotten during nearly 
two centuries. At length in 1857, on the occasion of 
the Manchester Exhibition, he was revealed to the Eng- 
lish. The biography of him by Sir William Stirling was 
translated into French; Paris began to be aware of his 
pictures in the Louvre, and from them to be directed to- 
ward the Prado at Madrid, where the bulk of his work 
exists. Manet was the first to become a pupil of the 
Spanish master. 

Now we may remember that Velasquez proved him- 

[ 405 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

self original, both in the way of looking at a subject and 
in his way of representing it ; each distinguished by ex- 
traordinary realism, his motto being, " Truth, not 
Painting." He represented only what could be em- 
braced by one comprehensive glance, subordinating 
everything to a vivid impression; and then represented 
what he saw as he really saw it. And the secret of that 
reality was that he saw everything through and in the 
light which surrounded it. Velasquez, like Rembrandt, 
painted light. But the latter, under his gray Northern 
sun, painted with light for the purpose of expressing 
the inward meaning of things, whereas the Spaniard re- 
tired from the glowing Southern sunshine out of doors 
into the gray light of his studio, for the purpose of repre- 
senting realistically the externals of his subjects. He 
discovered that the subject, viewed under these condi- 
tions, appeared much flatter than it was usually repre- 
sented; that form, so viewed, does not stand out with 
sharp contrasts of light and shade, but that it is really 
composed of a series of planes, reflecting more or less 
of light; and that the appearance of color also is the 
result of various degrees of light reflected. JNIoreover, 
he discovered that distance from the eye afl*ects the 
prevailing or " local " color of objects, the atmosphere 
which intervenes introducing successive veils of gray; 
so that the accurate rendering of those variations re- 
sulted in a new manner of representing distance, — 
namely, not by lineal, but by atmospheric perspective. 

Manet for some years had been studying the old mas- 
ters, learning from them their difl*erent tricks of paint- 
ing and producing pictures somewhat after their like- 

[406] 



MANET- ISRAELS 

ness. But all that he had learned was a knowledge of 
mannerisms. Until he became acquainted with the work 
of Velasquez, he had discovered no guiding principle or 
firm basis. He was modern to the finger-tips; and the 
Paris of his day, under the influence of Balzac, was vi- 
brating with the realistic spirit. Courbet had demanded 
that painting also should be realistic in subject and point 
of view. But what about the method and technic of 
painting ? Was it satisfactory to serve up a modern sub- 
ject in the old brown sauce of the Bolognese? If not, 
how could a technic be found that would express in 
painting the modern spirit of analysis and subtlety that 
had been developed in modern literature? The answer 
was found in the art of Velasquez. 

He had been dead just two hundred years; yet, 
strange fact, in his point of view he had anticipated the 
modern artistic tendencies toward realism, and, what was 
still more wonderful, had discovered for himself truths 
in nature that could be applied to painting so as to pro- 
duce truth of artistic representation. The key-note of 
his discovery had been light ; the study, the analysis, and 
the painting of light in all its different manifestations 
upon the surfaces of objects. To Manet, rediscovering 
the truth through Velasquez, and to the men who were 
drawn with Manet to this new-old source of inspiration, 
the watchword became " Fiat Lux," " Let there be 
Light." The subsequent story of modern progress in 
painting may be summed up in the one w^ord — light. The 
rendering of values has become the chief technical aim of 
the painter; nature is being studied afresh, in order to 
search out and record the infinite manifestations of light ; 

[407] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

in place of a pompous grandiloquent style of meaning- 
less painting, there has grown up one that is distin- 
guished by keen observation, subtle discriminations, and 
delicate truth of rendering. 

The two artists, whom we are considering in this chap- 
ter, rej)resent pretty well the two streams into which this 
new energy of nature-stvidy has flowed. Manet was sat- 
isfied with the joy of painting; content to be simply and 
purely a painter; but Israels has used his knowledge and 
his skill as a means to body forth the poetic sentiments 
aroused by his interest in human and physical nature. 

At Nadar's gallery, in 1871, Parisians flocked to see 
the work of JNIanet and the other men of this ncAv group. 
The catalogue contained a great deal about " impres- 
sions " — for instance, Impressions of my Pot on the Fire; 
Ivvpressions of a Cat Walking. In his criticism Clare- 
tie summed up the impressions and spoke of the exhibi- 
tion as the " Salon des Impressionistes." Thus was 
started the name " Impressionists," which unfortunately 
has stuck. For it is misleading, the distinguishing aim 
of the so-called Impressionist School having been to 
study light, so that they niight fitly be called " Lumi- 
narists." 

The object of the new group was to teach, that the 
first requisite of a painter is to be able to paint. This, of 
course, was an attack once more on the academical and 
classical school, which says the first requisite is to be able 
to draw. It tried to enforce its point by saying it did not 
matter what w^as painted so long as it was painted well: 
subject was of little account; the first consideration was 
the painter's ability to paint. This new creed w^as 

[408] 



MANET-ISRAELS 

summed up in the phrase "Art for Art's sake." The 
conflict over these catchwords stirred up a great deal of 
dust, which, however, by this time has cleared away, so 
that we can better understand the matter at issue. 

Remember, in the first place, it was a battle-cry, the 
rally of this new school of realism, against the insuffi- 
ciency of Covu'bet's realism on the one hand, and the dry 
formalism, on the other, of the Academy. Now, as we 
have had occasion to remark before, men, when they get 
to the fighting mood, are not troubled overmuch about 
logic and reasonableness. It is not the well-weighed 
statement, recognizing both sides of the question, that 
will stir their blood ; but a catchword, exaggerating their 
own side of it, to be flung at the adversary with a cer- 
tainty that, when it reaches him, it will make him dance 
with fury. Svich was this " Art for Art's sake," shouted 
and reshouted, partly because it involved a great truth, 
perhaps even more, however, pow enrager les bour- 
geois, or, as we say in English, to make the Philistine 
squirm; the Philistine being that person, either artist or 
layman, w^ho is perfectly satisfied with mediocrity, and 
above all things does not want to have his pet notions 
disturbed. 

Now, over in England, at the period we are consider- 
ing, Ruskin was contending that the highest aim of art 
is to teach, to uplift, especially to teach religion ; which, 
stated in an exaggerated way, implied that the subject 
is the main thing. Across the water from Paris came 
the retort, A has le sujet, Vart pour Vart. Neither was 
altogether right, neither altogether wTong. 

Will an art, that is based only on a keen eye and nim- 

^ [ 409 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ble fingers, satisfy men and women who have minds and 
souls ? 

On the other hand, will painting, based on beautiful 
ideas, satisfy us if it does not make its chief appeal to us 
through the eyes? if it does not reach our brain through 
the medium of enjoyment of the sense of sight? 

Has not every art its medium of expression; the 
poet reaching our capacity for the highest through 
the medium of words; the musician, through that of 
sound? 

But the painter, who cannot help approaching us 
through our sense of sight — will he, on the one hand, be 
wise in paying less attention to what he sees and the ren- 
dering of it than the poet does to his words, the musician 
to his sounds and harmonies ? On the other hand, should 
he be satisfied to appeal only to our eyesight and leave 
our brains and souls untouched? 

From the point of view of the layman he should not 
be; and those artists, who limit their appeal to the eye- 
sight and the enjoyment derived from the sense of see- 
ing, will have a limited following. But let us try to 
understand that the point of view of the layman and of 
the artist, however much they may draw together, must 
always be separate. 

For what is the layman ? He is the man who does not 
happen to be a specialist on the subject that is under dis- 
cussion. If the subject is the buying and selling of silks, 
then the artist is among the laymen; but if painting, 
then, the buyer and seller of silks. Now, since the latter, 
if he is to be a good buyer and seller of silk, must find 
his occupation very absorbing, — so much so, perhaps, as 

[410] 



MANET-ISRAELS 

to make other things seem of secondary importance, — 
can we not understand how the painter may become ab- 
sorbed, even exclusively, in the rendering of light and at- 
mosphere, and in the power of discriminating with most 
delicate assurance between different values? It is the 
thing he can do better than a great many others ; it there- 
fore exercises the keenest activity of his brain, and fills 
him with that stimulating joy which a man gets in doing 
what he knows he can do well. He may even not trouble 
himself about the effect his work will have upon other 
people ; but if so, he differs from the buyer and seller of 
silk, who has to be concerned with the effect that his com- 
modity will produce, when it is made up into a dress and 
worn by a lady at some social function. The able mer- 
chant is skilled in the values of silk and gives value to his 
public. It may be the better for the artist and for his 
public, if he can do the same. 

Once more, then, I ask you to look at a picture through 
the eyes of the artist who painted it. In no other way 
can you be interested in this Girl with a Parrot by Ma- 
net. I might have selected for illustration that other 
picture by him in the Metropolitan Museum, The Boy 
with a Sword, one of his best works, in which he came 
nearest to the power of his master, Velasquez. But, be- 
sides being beautifully painted, it has a winsome charm 
of subject, which is not usual with Manet, so that the 
selection would have given a wrong impression of his 
work. The latter, as a rule, is quite uninteresting in sub- 
ject, not infrequently dow^nright unpleasant; what we 
must expect to find in it ordinarily is only the technical 
charm, the refined taste displayed in the color-scheme, 

[411] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

and the subtle skill with which light and values, atmo- 
sphere and textures, are depicted. 

The light in this picture is dull, uniform, and perva- 
sive. The photograph has falsified the effect by making 
the background appear dark. In the original it is a 
drabbish gray, a slightly yellower gray than the dove- 
gray on the wings of the parrot, whose head, on the con- 
trary, is a whitish gray. Again, the glass of water at 
the top of the stand is gray, but a much lower tone in the 
darker parts, and a much more sharply whitish tone in 
the high lights ; while, still again, the pan on the floor is 
of dull pewter, a lighter gray than that of the wall and 
less light than the parrot's head. So far, you observe, the 
artist has played upon grays. As a musician might ex- 
plain it, he has given several modulations of the chord 
of gray, including the major and minor, the augmented 
and diminished. In other words, he has made a color- 
harmony of slightly differing tones of gray; taking 
pleasure in observing and rendering those slight distinc- 
tions, and also in noting how differently the light is re- 
flected from the different surfaces, — in a sort of dull and 
smothered way from the plaster on the wall; deep and 
lustrous from the bird's wing; more softly broken up 
from the feathers on the head ; sharp and pellucid from 
the glass, and with duller luster from the pan. The re- 
sult is, that by careful discrimination between the various 
actions of light, he has given us a real appreciation of 
the textures of the different objects — a refinement of 
realism in the way of painting that is far beyond the 
realism of Courbet. 

The color of the gown is that of faded rose-leaves ; that 

[ 412 ] 




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GIRL WITH A PARROT EDOUARD MAXET 

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK 



MANET-ISRAELS 

is to say, very pale rose in the shadows, a pale straw-color 
where it catches the light. The modeling has been ob- 
tained by varying these two tones, according to the 
amount of light contained in the various parts of the silk ; 
the only approach to shadows being some dove-gray 
tones, where j^ou see the dark spots round the edge of 
the right arm, and under the hand and cufF of the left. 
Notwithstanding that the artist limited himself to these 
few tones, and chose a gown which hangs from the shoul- 
ders Avith very few folds, he has made us realize the bal- 
loon-like roundness of the garment, and, moreover, the 
existence of a figure underneath it. Again the expres- 
sion, faded rose-leaves, describes the prevailing hue of 
the face and hands ; the latter are practically of the same 
color as the gown ; yet we shall have no doubt, especially 
in the original, that the texture of the one is silk, of the 
others flesh, because of the method of the brushwork. 
Upon the dress it was laid on in sweeps ; upon the flesh- 
parts, in circular strokes and dabs. 

So far, then, as we have examined the color-scheme of 
the picture, it is a harmony of faded rose-leaves and 
gray ; but to prevent it from being tame, to make it reso- 
nant and vibrant, certain notes of positive color were in- 
troduced ; for example, the black velvet band round the 
neck, a crimson tail to the bird, and the yellow rind of the 
orange. I may add that this clear note of yellow receives 
a dull echo in the drabbish-yellow sand, mingles with the 
rich brown of the wooden pedestal, and reappears more 
noticeably in the lighter brown of the girl's hair. 

By this time I hope we have entered sufficiently into 
the point of view of Manet, when he painted this picture, 

[417] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

to discover that the problem, as it presented itself to him, 
was not one of a girl or a parrot, but purely a painter- 
problem— to render by means of paint the real appear- 
ance of objects as revealed by light. By limiting the 
range of his palette, he increased the difficulty of the 
problem and thereby his own joy in solving it; and, 
moreover, produced a very delicate harmony of color, 
which to a sensitive eye gives somewhat the kind of plea- 
sure that the ear receives from a delicate harmony of 
sound. 

We are now in a position to understand the value of 
Manet's contribution to modern painting. Guided by 
the example of Velasquez, he once more introduced real 
light into pictures ; sometimes bright light, sometimes, as 
in this example, subdued light, but hght as it illumines 
space and is contained on the different surfaces of ob- 
jects. To reenumerate: he rediscovered the natural 
truth, that objects in light appear flatter than they do 
when placed in a dark studio, with light shot down on 
them from only one direction ; that in the light there are 
scarcely any shadows, and that modeling, therefore, is 
not to be obtained by lights and shadows, but by careful 
rendering of the planes of more and less light ; and that 
by means of this careful study of values, the textures also 
of objects could be best expressed. Lastly, he rediscov- 
ered the subtleties of nature's color-harmonies as re- 
vealed by light. 

These principles and practices were almost simultane- 
ously adopted by other painters, among whom Whistler 
was one, and are now generally accepted, so that modern 
art is distinguished by a great number of men who are 

[418] 



MANET-ISRAELS 

clever in the technic of the brush. It is not difficult to 
understand what a fascination it must be to a painter to 
be able to reach such subtlety of observation and render- 
ing; nor that, in the early days of the movement espe- 
cially, when few attained to it, those few should be dis- 
posed to feel that it was all that a painter need strive 
for. " Art for Art's sake," however, will never satisfy 
those who have something to say, something within 
themselves that they must express; and such a one was 
Israels. 

He was born in Groningen, and at first destined for a 
rabbi. But, after leaving school, he entered the small 
banking business of his father, and often went to the 
big bank of the Mesdags to deposit money. The rich 
banker's son, H. W. Mesdag, became the famous painter 
of the sea ; the poor banker's son, the greatest all-round 
painter in Holland, foremost in restoring modern Dutch 
art to the high position it had occupied in the seventeenth 
century. For during the subsequent century, and until 
the middle of the nineteenth, Dutch artists had forsaken 
the nature-study of their own land and people, and had 
gone after the Italian grand style, turning out his- 
torical pictures or classic landscapes, cold, inanimate, and 
conventional. 

It was in the hard, dry, unatmospheric, academical 
manner that Israels learned to paint ; first at Amsterdam 
and later at Paris, where he worked under a pupil of 
David's and then entered the studio of Delaroche, just 
as Millet was leaving it in despair. For, like the latter, 
Israels, the " Dutch Millet," as he is often called, was shy 
and awkward, and he, too, starved in Paris. Then he re- 

[ 419 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

turned to Amsterdam, took a room, and tried to paint as 
Delaroche had taught him ; such pictures as Prince Mau- 
rice of Nassau Beside the Body of his Father being the 
first he sent to exhibitions. 

But the circumstance of a severe ilhiess changed the 
current of his hf e. To recover his health he went to the 
httle village of Zandvoort, near Haarlem; and there 
lodged with a ship's carpenter. Buried away among the 
sand-dunes, far from the pretenses and contentions of 
the studios, with sea and sky stretching away into the 
distance and simple fisher- folk around him, he began to 
see with his own eyes and to feed his imagination upon 
the realities. As INIillet at Barbizon, so he at Zandvoort 
began to discover artistic material for his brush in the 
big-framed men and women, uncouth from the daily 
repetition of hard toil ; to enter wdth sympathy into their 
lives of patient endurance; and to include in his study 
of humanity what was so intimately associated with it, 
the sea and sky and land and the interiors of the homes. 

He could not at once shake off the effects of academic 
training, and his early peasant pictures still betray a de- 
sign to make the spectator smile or weep by telling a 
pretty, moving story, assisted by little accidents of ges- 
ture or facial expression. Gradually, however, his work 
became broader and bigger, dealing, as jMillet's did, with 
the essentials; for the expression of sentiment he relied 
more and more upon the emotional suggestion of color, ^ 
light, and atmosphere. Living in Amsterdam, he learned 
from Rembrandt the spiritual significance of light ; and, 
like Manet, he learned to paint with light. While he has 
painted landscapes and marines, his most characteristic 

[420] 



MANET-ISRAELS 

pictures represent dim interiors, with the hght entering 
from a small window, stealing throughout the room, and 
subtly detaching certain objects into faint relief. 

Such a one is The Old Scribe. The light is concen- 
trated on the pallid face, the white beard, and the scroll; 
these being the main features of the subject; the soul, 
as it wxre, of the fact. Less prominently it touches 
the accessory features: a bunch of pens, the ink-pot, 
a glass water-pitcher, and — a pair of crutches. Lame, 
therefore shut off from active life; pallid, because 
cribbed in a little attic — the brightness of the outer 
w^orld only a means to an end of his close life-work — 
" Work, while it is yet day," f pr at night the tired eyes 
cannot work. High forehead, as of a man of intellect; 
mobile mouth expressive of deep emotions; intellect 
and emotions narrowed down to the endless transcribing 
of texts. The head of a dreamer — the hands big like 
those of a laborer, yet full of sensitiveness ; note how the 
left is spread upon the parchment, not only keeping it 
down, but corresponding also in feeling to the delicate 
and tender expression of the other one. This hand, yes, 
even the movement of the pen which it guides — how they 
correspond with the expression of the face! Then the 
rude, rough-hewn manner of the drawing, joined to the 
subtle delicacy of the silvery light — this latter more ap- 
parent in the original than in the reproduction — what a 
suggestion they yield of the " simple annals of the poor," 
the unflinching, patient facing of the necessities and re- 
alities; the grayness of the existence and the heroism! 

But it is neither the gray, monotonous life nor the 
tragedy of the poor that Israels always depicts. He has 

*' [ 421 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

represented also the hardy vigor of the fishermen at 
work; the coyness of young lovers, as in The Bashful 
Suitor' of the Metropolitan JNIuseum; the tenderness of 
motherhood, and the gladsomeness of little children. It 
is in this wider range of sympathy that he is bigger than 
JNIillet; and, as a painter, using the resources of light 
and atmosphere, he excels him ; so also in his renderings 
of the ocean and in his freer use of landscape. It was 
one of the regrets of JNIillet, at the end of his life, that 
he had not made as much of landscape as he might have 
done. 

Under the influence of Israels and the Barbizon ar- 
tists, the Dutch have learned once more to find the inspi- 
ration for their painting in their own country and among 
their own people. Guided by the teaching of JNIanet and 
the other " luminarists," they have found a new motive 
in the study of local nature. Nowhere are such soft 
and tender effects of atmosphere, such a freshness of 
moist and vivid coloring as in Holland; and between 
these two extremes of mistiness and freshness her mod- 
ern painters have produced a range of art that is char- 
acterized by dignified simplicity and by the charm of 
profound intimacy and heartfelt tenderness. 



[422] 



CHAPTER XXVII 

PIERRE PUVIS DE CHAVANNES JEAN LEON GEROME 

I824.-I904. 

Semi-Classical School 
French Mural Painter of France 

PUVIS was a lover of Virgil; Gerome, very par- 
tial to subjects derived from ancient Rome. Yet, 
despite their classical tendencies, no two men 
could have been more different in their motives and 
methods; so that a comparison of the two will help to 
bring out very sharply the characteristics of each. Let 
us approach them first of all through the examples here 
illustrated. 

Gerome's reproduces that moment in the gladiatorial 
sports of the Colosseum when one of the combatants has 
been defeated and the victor looks toward the galleries. 
The vestal virgins turn down their thumbs ; if the em- 
peror follows suit, woe to the vanquished! Both the 
title and the manner of representation record very 
clearly a precise incident of actual fact. But in Puvis's 
neither title nor treatment has a definite reference to 
facts ; the painting is concerned with an idea, namely, 
the relation of the arts to nature. Its subject is an 
ideal one ; its rendering idealized. 

Let us examine the two more closely. Gerome's pic- 

[423] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ture represents only the fragment of a scene. We might 
not have noticed this, since there is enough included to 
explain and complete the meaning of the incident, were 
we not comparing it with the Puvis. But the composi- 
tion of the lacter is complete and sufficing, and it does 
not occur to us to imagine anything outside the limits 
of the canvas. The reason is that the parts are so beau- 
tifully balanced as to create a feeling of perfect har- 
moniousness in the whole; every figure is placed with a 
scientific precision just where it needs must be in order 
to secure this effect of poise, and with an equal precision 
the various features of the near and distant landscape 
have been adjusted to the figures. The whole is an ar- 
rangement of full and empty spaces, regulated by the 
severest logic of cause and effect. 

Again we notice that the total result in Puvis's canvas 
is one of exquisite placidity, while that of the other is as- 
sertiveness and turmoil. It is not sufficient explanation 
of the difference to say that the two subjects are essen- 
tially different; or to add that Gerome had a preference 
for subjects of dramatic intensity, and that the work of 
Puvis is always marked by calm. Let us discover the 
deeper reason of the difference. It lies in the way in 
which each of the two artists, respectively, has ap- 
proached his subject. 

If we examine the faces of the spectators in the Col- 
osseum, we shall find that each is strongly individual- 
ized with its particular character of strong emotion ; but 
the faces in the other picture seem like those of persons 
moving in a dream. An even stronger note of con- 
trast is represented by the two men, in Puvis's painting, 

[ 424 ] 



PUVIS DE CHAVANNES-GEROME 

who are moving a large stone. Here is an operation 
demanding exertion; yet, if we compare the amount 
of muscular force which they are exerting even with 
that displayed in the arms of the vestal virgins, not 
to mention the action of the gladiator, we are inclined 
to think it will take them a long time to place that stone 
finally. Their movements are such as the circumstances 
demand, but so controlled that the operation will be 
prolonged until the color fades from the canvas. And 
neither they nor the other figures grouped near them 
can be thought of as having to go home presently to sup- 
per ; as the full-fed people in Gerome's picture, we feel 
sure, will do as soon as the butchery is despatched. His 
scene is momentary, incidental; that of Puvis's perma- 
nent and elemental. We feel, in fact, that the Puvis 
figures have not been brought here, but that they belong 
here ; that they belong to the landscape, as the landscape 
does to them; that while the one endures, the other will. 
Moreover, just as the winding river, though it is really a 
scene near Rouen, is typical of all such river scenes, and 
as the apple-trees, though they differ, all represent a cer- 
tain type of tree, so the figures are typical. Some are 
nude, others in classic draperies, still others — the group 
of the three women on the left, for example, and that op- 
posite one of the architect, sculptor, and painter — in 
costumes reasonably modern ; yet by this unusual mix- 
ture no feeling of incongruity is aroused. They all seem 
to be of the same race, mingling quite naturally ; a race 
by itself, not belonging to any particular time or place ; 
a race resembling our own, yet not to be found anywhere 
on earth. To repeat : it is the elemental and the perma- 

[425] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

nent that Puvis sought to express; the incidental and 
the momentary that occupied the attention of Gerome. 

By this time it is fitting to mention, what you have 
probably perceived ah^eady, that while the Pollice Verso 
is an easel-picture, intended to be studied in detail, Pu- 
vis's is a mural decoration, designed for the embellish- 
ment of a certain architectural space in the Rouen JNIu- 
seum. I did not mention this at first, because you might 
then have assumed that the contrasts we have noted re- 
sulted from this difference in the intention of the two 
paintings. But it is not so. If Gerome had been com- 
missioned to make a decoration based upon the Puvis 
subject, he would not have conceived or carried it out in 
the same way as Puvis has done. In the Pantheon at 
Paris several great painters have contributed so-called 
decorations ; yet, compared with the decorations of Puvis 
in the same building, that really decorate it, their paint- 
ings are huge illustrations. And so, we may be sure 
from the character of his work, would a decoration by 
Gerome have been. But mural decoration is a thing 
apart from other painting. 

Just what the proper characteristics of mural painting 
are, and what they are not, may be learned by a visit to 
the Boston Public Library. The w^alls of the staircase 
hall have been decorated by Puvis de Chavannes ; the 
frieze of the delivery-room by Edwin A. Abbey; and 
four spaces in an upper hall by John S. Sargent. Now 
it is very likely that one who visits the Library for the 
first time, if he is not a student of mural decoration, will 
glance at the Puvis panels with a mild sort of interest, 
but will not find his attention forcibly arrested or de- 

[426] 



PUVIS DE CHAVANNES-GEROME 

tained. He knows, perhaps, that they represent in alle- 
gorical fashion the contributions made to civilization by 
Philosophy , Astronomy , History, Chemistry, Physics, 
and by Pastoral, Dramatic, and Epic Poetry, while the 
large space contains a representation of the Nine Muses 
Rising front the Earth to greet Genius. But the gen- 
eral effect seems unassertive, the symbolism a little 
vague, the figures unsubstantial, and the coloring thin 
and tame. 

So, passing on, the visitor enters Abbey's room. Ah ! 
knights in armor ; beautiful women ; strange old in- 
teriors of church and castle; a fight of six against one; 
a weird scene of a sick man upon his couch, and filing 
past him a procession of men and women carrying cu- 
rious objects; a boat rocking on the waves; a flower- 
eyed maiden whom a youth appears to be forsaking — 
these and much more flash forth from the wall in strong 
and brilliant colors and prick the visitor's interest. What 
are they all about? Good fortune! Here is a printed 
description of the various scenes! It appears they are 
taken from one of the oldest legends of our race, the 
Quest of the Holy Grail. Here is fodder a-plenty for 
the mind ! Eagerly the visitor reads the printed matter 
and identifies the various scenes, and has his views of how 
they do or do not correspond with his understanding of 
the stoiy. 

As he leaves this room and passes again through the 
hall, I wonder whether he spares a moment for another 
glance at the Puvis panels ; and, if so, whether he notes 
how reposeful they seem after the various excitements 
of the Abbey series. Perhaps not — yet. He mounts the 

[427] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

stairs to the Sargent room, so that his eyes are raised and 
catch sight first of a panel in the center of which kneels 
a huddled mass of men and women, bowed in prayer or 
lifting up their hands in supplication. Over them stand 
in threatening attitudes the figures of an Egyptian and 
an Assyrian king, and round about the group are flashes 
of crimson wings, the Egyptian sphinx, the goddess 
Pasht with black and gold pinions, a bird-headed god, a 
lion, and other objects. 

A second time: "What is it all about?" a question 
fortunately answered by the printed explanation. The 
latter is invaluable, especially w^hen the visitor proceeds 
to examine the bewildering labyrinth of symbolic forms, 
taken from Egyptian mythology, which fill the ceil- 
ing space. How tired his neck becomes, and possibly his 
brain, by the alternate reference to the book and to the 
ceiling! He experiences quite a relief when his eyes 
come down to a lower level and are greeted by a row of 
stately figures, prophets of the Old Testament, as he 
sees by the name written under each. How pleasant to 
be able to enjoy them without laborious study of a 
printed page! Very likely the visitor is already familiar 
with them, for their photographs have appeared in great 
numbers throughout the country. The popular taste, 
not always right in such matters, has justly singled them 
out as the best feature of Sargent's earlier decoration. 
For there is a later one ; as the visitor turns, it greets 
him from the other end of the hall. Here again is a row 
of figures, this time of archangels ; but most noticeable 
is the treatment of the upper part, where figures, sym- 
bolizing the Persons of the Trinity, sit enthroned. Their 

[ 428 ] 







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PUVIS DE CHAVANNES-GEROME 

forms are enveloped in ample draperies, flatly painted 
with little or no modeling, large expanses of rich dusky 
coloring, against which the heads and hands, some orna- 
mented borders, and forms of doves, make spots of ani- 
mation. But the general impression is of flatness and 
simplicity, forming a background of subdued grandeur 
to the central group of the Crucifixion. Flatness of 
painting and simple ample masses — these qualities Sar- 
gent borrowed from the Byzantine artists who deco- 
rated with paintings and mosaics the walls of churches in 
the Middle Ages. They were poor draftsmen, unskilled 
also, as we have noticed earlier, in the actual craft of 
painting ; yet their designs were so impressive in their 
large simplicity, that to this day their work, from the 
standpoint of decoration, wins the admiration of artists. 

Flatness of painting, simple ample masses, large sim- 
plicity of design — as the visitor descends the great stair- 
case, will he notice, I wonder, that these are character- 
istics also of the Puvis panels ; that what contributed so 
much to the grandeur of Sargent's latest work is in a 
technical sense the fundamental quality of Puvis's? Per- 
haps it was because of their flatness, their lack of elab- 
orate modeling, the large simplicity, or, if you will, the 
comparative emptiness — of their design, that he had paid 
little heed to them before. Now, if he has the curiosity 
to look into the Abbey room, he will observe in the lat- 
ter's paintings the very opposite qualities — elaborate 
modeling, exuberance of parts in the design, a general 
contradiction of orderly quiet. Then possibly, since he 
is no longer curious about their subjects, nor dividing 
his observation between them and the printed key, but 

*2 [ 433 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

looking at them solely as decorations, he maj^ miss some- 
thing of the suave, stately calm that distinguishes the 
work of Puvis. 

The fact is that Abbey is an illustrator on a grand 
scale; Puvis, on a grander scale, a decorator. Abbey's 
vi^ork is grand because he has taken one of the noblest 
themes in literature, and with much archaeological know- 
ledge, and upon large canvases, has represented the story 
wdth considerable dramatic and poetic feeling. Puvis's, 
on the other hand, is grander because his work joins 
hands with what is bigger and grander than itself, 
— namelv, the architectm^e, — and bv union with it has 
been lifted up. 

This is the point to which we have been slowly travel- 
ing : Puvis had what neither of the other painters pos- 
sesses, at least to anything like the same extent, — the true 
instinct of the decorator. This instinct reasons the mat- 
ter out in the following wa3^ The part must be less than 
the whole ; therefore the painted panel cannot compete 
with the total effect of the architecture, of which it is 
only a detail ; to try to make it stand out conspicuously 
is to excite an invidious comparison, whereas to make it 
blend harmoniouslv with the architecture is to secure 
from the latter a reinforcement of the painting. JNIore- 
over, the space to be decorated, except in the case of a 
curved ceiling, is a flat solid mass, which terminates the 
vision ; therefore, while the decoration is introduced as 
a pleasing variety to the general effect of masonry, it 
should not interfere with the intentions of the latter; 
it should not, as the artists express it, " make a hole in the 
wall"; give, that is to say, an impression that you are 

[ 434 ] 



PUVIS DE CHAVANNES-GEROME 

looking through the wall at some scene beyond, but 
should preserve the essential condition of the wall: its 
solidity and flatness. Once more, since the painting is to 
decorate a certain wall space, its composition of lines and 
masses should be chosen with particular reference to the 
shape of the space ; some of the lines, for example, 
should repeat, while others should be in contrast to, the 
contours of the space, and the masses should be arranged 
so as to present a perfect balance within the space. 
Moreover, the lines of a building are generally simple, 
the wall spaces spots of quiet strength; therefore the 
composition of the painting will do well to imitate this 
simplicity of line and quietness of masses, so as to give 
the idea of structural arrangement; to be what artists 
call " architectonic " in character. 

To sum up, the decorator should recognize that his 
work is subordinate to the architecture ; should make it 
harmonize w^ith the latter in composition and color, pre- 
serve the flatness of the wall space, and have a distinctly 
structural or architectonic character. Let us examine 
how Puvis, to whom is due the credit of having revived 
in the nineteenth century the true princijiles of mural 
painting, exemplified them in his work. It should be 
mentioned, in passing, that, unlike the Boston Library, 
some of the buildings in which his work appears are infe- 
rior specimens of architecture, but that did not deter him 
from sticking to the theory of subordination. 

We will consider his work under the two heads of his 
choice of subject aAd method of painting. Puvis de 
Chavannes came of an aristocratic family which had re- 
sided for three hundred years in Burgundy, so that, as 

[435] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

a French writer says, he inherited the racial tendency 
toward poetry and the enjoyment of nature. On the 
other hand, his father was an engineer of bridges and 
roads in Lyons, and the son, after receiving a classical 
and mathematical education in that city, proceeded to the 
Polytechnic in Paris, with a view to adopting his father's 
profession. But, his health breaking down, he made a 
trip to Italy and came back determined to be a painter. 
He started, then, with an acquired taste both for the 
classics and for mathematics, with logical as well as 
poetical tendencies. It was not until he was thirty-five 
years of age that the accident of some vacant panels in a 
new house, belonging to his brother, drew his attention 
to mural decoration. Of one of the drawings he made 
an enlarged copy and sent it to the Salon. Its accep- 
tance encouraged him to go on in the same vein, and two 
years later he exhibited the decorative canvases. War 
and Peace. One of them was purchased by the govern- 
ment ; when Puvis, not willing that the two should be 
separated, made a present of the other. They are now 
in the museum at Amiens, and mark the beginning of his 
public career as a mural painter. 

The conception of their subjects is the reverse of real- 
istic. In the Peace, for example, many of the figures 
are nude ; they are grouped with the regard for beauty 
of line that distinguishes the work of the classicists, but, 
unlike them, Puvis already shows his love of landscape. 
Yet in three important respects this work differs from 
his later ones. In the first place, the figures are massed 
one behind the other ; secondly, their forms are ample 
and roundly modeled; and, thirdly, the eye is detained 

[ 436 ] 



PUVIS DE CHAVANNES-GEROME 

by the beauty or character of individual figures. As the 
French say, there are fine rnorceauoj in the painting, and 
it was applauded by the authorities. 

But Puvis's logical mind argued, not immediately but 
by degrees, that anything which distracts attention from 
the whole must be avoided ; that the massing of figures, 
necessitating contrasts of light and shade, interfered 
with the flatness of the design ; that in every way perfec- 
tion was to be reached through simplification. Accord- 
ingly he reconsidered even the character of his subjects. 
The allegory must be rendered in a manner as abstract 
as possible, so that the mind of the spectator may be in 
no wise occupied with " What is it all about? " nor drawn 
away for a moment from the first and final thought that 
this is a decoration. 

The conception having been reduced to abstract ex- 
pression, it followed that the method of painting, also, 
must be as unobtrusive as possible. Therefore Puvis 
reduced the amount of modeling ; relied more and more 
upon the contour-lines of his figures and their position 
in the composition ; distributed them in successive 
planes, sprinkled over the landscape, and flattened the 
bulk and distance of the latter into a simple patterning 
of colored forms ; reducing also the strength of the 
color, heightening continually the key of it, and relying 
more and more upon subtle rendering of values. His 
progress became a constant search for what was essen- 
tial, and a leaving out of everything that might possibly 
distract attention from the whole and disturb the abso- 
lute simplicity of effect which it was his growing purpose 
to attain. 

[437] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

It was charged against him that this increasing ten- 
dency to leave out rather than to put in resulted in large 
barren spaces and in carelessness of drawing ; and that 
his color, becoming paler and paler, was anemic. No 
doubt there is some justification for the criticism ; in- 
deed the panels at Boston show instances of imperfect 
drawing. But there never was a prophet yet crying in 
the wilderness that did not fall into exaggerations; it 
is by them that he compels a hearing ; and Puvis, by his 
attack upon the kind of historic fiction that was being 
made to do duty as decoration, perhaps had need to run 
into extremes. As to his color, he proved himself a 
modern of the moderns. Not even Manet himself could 
juxtapose his flat tones with more precise discrimination 
of their relative values. Puvis's skill in this respect is 
manifested particularly in the landscape parts. He se- 
lects for the sky a tone of blue that has more light in it 
than the greens of the earth, and varies the tones of the 
latter by almost imperceptible gradations of light and 
less light tones. In this management of values and 
knoAvledge of forms and construction, he is the equal of 
the best professional landscape-painters; and the result 
is that, while his landscapes give an impression of space 
and seem filled with air that surrounds the figures, they 
also give the impression of being flat to the wall. 

The truth of this is apparent, I think, even in the re- 
production of Inter Artes et Naturam, though we miss 
the efl'ect of the color. But try to imagine the color of 
the grass to be tender green, such as in early April, sprin- 
kled with pale-yellow flowers, while a bunch of purple 
iris grows beside the water-basin ; that the costumes of the 

[ 438 ] 



PUVIS DE CHAVANNES-GEROME. 

women include pale rose and lilac and silvery white; 
those of the men, gray and blue ; that the distant land- 
scape is veiled in luminous ^bluish haze, and the whole 
scene bathed in a soft glow. In this landscape, whose 
tranquillity is not marred by a single flutter of disturb- 
ance, — an abstract expression of nature's calm, — the 
figures move and have their being, abstracts of human- 
ity, suggesting by their positions and gestures the ab- 
stract ideals of the artist. In the original they are not ^ 
as prominent as in the black-and-white reproduction, the 
colors tending to blend them with the landscape, so that 
the spectator is less inclined to examine them separately. 
They dwell apart from him, creatures of his own like- 
ness, but purged of materialism ; embodied spirits, in a 
scene that is of the earth, but not earthly, breathing the 
spirit of nature as she reveals herself in moments of 
exalted calm to the contemplation of the painter and the 
poet. 

And poet by instinct, as well as painter, was Puvis 
himself; moreover, a vigorous, red-blooded man, with 
healthy enjoyment in the good things of life, and an ad- 
miration of what is strong and bounteous in human and 
physical nature. Yet in his art the instinct of the 
decorator, as we have seen, led him to avoid these qual- 
ities, as being too assertive for the province of mural 
decoration, until by a process of severely logical experi- 
ments he was able to depict not form, but its essence and 
abstract suggestion. The result is that his decorations 
do not impress upon us the idea of paint ; they seem 
rather to have grown upon the wall like a delicate efflo- 
rescence. 

[ 439 J 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

In the case of Gerome's pictures, however, one does 
not lose the recollection of paint. Throughout it is the 
cleverness of drawing and skill of representation that 
divide our attention with the subject. He belonged to 
the family of the classicists, was learned in composition 
and drawing as they are taught in the schools, and fond 
of classical and drapery subjects. But he also borrowed 
of the realists and gave his men and women something of 
individual character; he borrowed also of the romantic 
and anecdotic painters, so that his pictures tell exciting 
stories ; moreover, he had traveled in Egypt and brought 
back a certain feeling for glowing light and color. In 
consequence, therefore, of his touching so many varie- 
ties of popular taste, he was a most popular painter 
and received every honor that the French nation be- 
stows upon success. But, being so accomplished in 
many directions, he was really master in none, and the 
artistic judgment of the world has already turned its 
thumb down upon his excessive reputation. 



[440] 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

JAMES ABBOTT McNEILL WHISTLER JOHN SINGER SARGENT 

1834-1903 1S56- 

American American 

THESE pictures, like their respective authors, 
present a strange contrast. The Sargent, so 
brilhantly assertive, is the work of a reticent 
personaHty; while the Whistler, so tenderly reticent, is 
the creation of an artist who was brilliant and assertive. 

There is an antithesis in these two cases between the 
man and his work that is by no means uncommon in 
the history of art. Without attempting an explanation 
of this, we may note, as helping toward it, that an artist 
puts into his work what there is of best and strongest 
in himself; also that some artists, holding their art very 
sacred, erect around it a barricade, and adopt a personal 
manner that, as it were, shall throw the world off the 
scent; somewhat as the plover wheels around in the air 
with noisy cry, in order to distract attention from her 
nest, which is tucked away remote from disturbance in 
a different direction. 

The work of both these men has an original force, 
that has influenced countless other painters, and yet its 
inspiration was borrowed. Both owe much to the lesson 
of Velasquez; Sargent also to that of Franz Hals and 

'' [ 441 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Raeburn, while Whistler gleaned from Manet and the 
Japanese. The originality of each consists in adapting 
what he has derived to the spirit of his own age and sur- 
roundings, and in giving his own work an independent 
vitality, that has become, as I have said, an example 
to others. 

This statement may serve as a useful definition of 
originality. The latter is rarely, if ever, doing some- 
thing new, but giving to a thing that has been done 
before some new force and meaning. Now that we are 
reaching the end of our survey of painting, we may 
look back and see that the progress has been for the 
most part a series of renewals, of men carrying forward 
and farther what they had received from others. The 
most notable example of this in the whole story is that 
of Raphael, who has been called " the Prince of Plagiar- 
ists," and yet his work is unique. It is not the search 
after or discovery of new ideas that makes an original 
man, so much as his ability to reclothe the old with some 
newness of appearance or meaning out of his own stock 
of individuality. 

When Sargent entered the school of Carolus-Duran 
he was much above the average of pupils in attainment. 
He had been born in Florence, in 1856, the son of cul- 
tivated parents; his father, a JNIassachusetts gentleman, 
having practised medicine in Philadelphia and retired. 
The home life was penetrated with refinement, and out- 
side of it were the beautiful influences of Florence, com- 
bining the charms of sky and hills with the wonders of 
art in the galleries and the opportunities of intellectual 
and artistic society. Accordingly, when Sargent ar- 

[ 442 ] 



WHISTLER-SARGENT 

rived in Paris, he was not only a skilful draftsman and 
painter, the result of his study of the Italian masters, 
but also,— which has had perhaps an even greater influ- 
ence upon his career, — young as he was, he already had 
a refined and cultivated taste. This at once stood him 
in good stead, for his new master, though a very skil- 
ful painter and excellent teacher, was otherwise a man 
of rather showy and superficial qualities. He too had 
studied in Italy, but later in Spain, and it was chiefly 
upon the lessons learned from Velasquez that he had 
founded his own brilliant method. This method Sar- 
gent, being a youth of remarkable diligence with an 
unusual faculty for receiving impressions, soon ab- 
sorbed. He painted a portrait of his master, which 
proved he had already acquired all that the latter could 
give him. Then he went to Madrid and saw the work 
of Velasquez with his own eyes; subsequently visiting 
Holland, where he was greatly impressed with the por- 
traits by Franz Hals. Let us see how these various 
influences are reflected in his work. 

In the accompanying picture we may trace the in- 
fluence of Velasquez in the noble simplicity of the lines, 
in the ample dignity of the masses, in the single im- 
pression which the whole composition makes and the 
quiet sumptuousness obtained by the treatment of the 
black and white costumes, a treatment at once grand 
and subtle. Moreover, the whole picture has the high- 
bred feeling and stateliness of manner, the powerful di- 
rectness and at the same time self-restraint, that Sar- 
gent had found in the old Italian portraits. Yet the 
suggestion of the picture is thoroughly modern; not 

[443] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

only do the ladies belong to to-day and vibrate with life, 
but in the actual technic of the painting there is vitality 
of brushwork: now a long sweej) of a full brush, now 
a spot of accent, a touch-and-go method, brilliantly 
suggestive, terse, quick, vivacious, and to the point, 
qualities that are best summed up in the French word 
esprit. They are peculiarly French; and in his posses- 
sion of them Sargent shows the influence of his train- 
ing and life in Paris, and proves himself a modern of 
the moderns. 

Yet in his case this esprit is rarely carried to excess; 
and when it may seem to be, as in some of his portraits 
of ladies, one may guess that he took refuge in this 
pyrotechnic display of brushwork because he could find 
nothing else in the picture to interest him. Usually, he 
seems to have received an almost instantaneous im- 
pression of his subject, vivid and distinct, to the setting 
down of which are directed all his subsequent efforts; 
and they are often long and patiently repeated. It is 
not a deep impression; as a rule, takes little account 
of the inward man or woman, but represents with amaz- 
ing reality the visible exterior, illumined by such hints 
of character as a keen observer may discover in man- 
ner or speech and general appearance. Sometimes, 
however, it would appear that he had been unable to es- 
tablish a sympathetic accord with his subject; and these 
are the few occasions when he seems mainly preoccupied 
with the technic, or the still fewer ones in which there 
are evidences of tiredness or fumbling in the brush- 
work. 

In the acquirement of the latter a strong influence was 

[444] 




PORTRAIT OF THE MISSES HUNTER 



JOHN S. SARGENT 



BY PERMISSION OF MR. CHARLES E. HUNTER 




PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST'S MOTHER JAMES A. McNEILL WHISTLER 

LUXEMBOURG GALLERY, PARIS 



WHISTLER- SARGENT 

Franz Hals. From him Sargent caiiglit the skill of 
modeling the faces in quiet, even light, of building them 
up by placing side by side firm, strong patches of color, 
each of which contains the exact amount of light the 
part of the face reflected, and of giving to flat masses 
of color the suggestion of roundness and modeling. 
While French esprit is noticeable in his portraits of 
ladies, his male ones recall rather the manly gusto of 
the old Dutch painter. Moreover, in his placing of the 
figures in the composition, and in the pure, luminous 
tones of his flesh-tints, he often reminds one of the 
Scotch artist, Raeburn. 

In addition to portraits, he has executed some mural 
decorations for the Boston Public Library, the theme 
of which is the Triumph of Religion — illustrating cer- 
tain stages of Jewish and Christian history. One por- 
tion presents in an intentionally complicated compo- 
sition the confusion of gods and goddesses of Egypt; 
another, also with deliberate intricacy of arrangement, 
the persecution of the Jews under Egyptian and As- 
syrian tyrants. Then in the frieze below stand the 
Prophets of the Old Testament, those of Hope and 
those of Lamentation; large and simple forms, follow- 
ing one another in beautiful, simple lines of rhythmic 
gravity. Upon the w^all at the opposite end of the room 
appears a symbolic representation of the Redemption 
of Man, treated in the spirit of Byzantine decoration, 
but without the Byzantine formalism and unnatural- 
ness in the representation of the figures. This panel, 
the latest executed, is the best, being a remarkable ex- 
ample of grafting the skill of modern painting upon 

[ 449 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

the old stock of Byzantine mural decoration, which 
still remains, by reason of its flatness of treatment, its 
general simplicity of design and occasional elaboration 
of parts, the most distinctly mural form of color decora- 
tion that has eyer been applied to a wall. The 
Pi'ophets share this simplicity of design, but the other 
two panels, partly because of the confusion of their de- 
sign, — although there is no reason why a pattern should 
not be elaborate and intricate, — still more because of the 
immense amount of literary allusion that they contain, 
and without a knowledge of which they are unintelli- 
gible, may be reckoned the least successful/ 

These decorations exhibit a yery beautiful side of 
Sargent's mind that has been only partially developed ; 
a deeper insight into the significance of the subject than 
his portraits suggest. The latter are distinguished 
rather by an audacious yiyacity of method, and an ex- 
traordinary appreciation of the yalue of the things which 
lie upon, or only a little below, the surface. In this re- 
spect he offers a great contrast to Whistler. 

If you turn to the latter 's Portrait of the Artisfs 
Mother, you will recognize at once that " audacious " 
and "yiyacity" are terms that cannot be applied to it; 
also, that the interest it arouses is a much deeper one 
than you feel in Sargent's picture. For Whistler, not 
a brilliant brushman, was interested most in what could 
not be presented to actual sight, but suggested only. 
Here it is the tenderness and dignity of motherhood and 
the reyerence that one feels for it ; not the first blossom- 

^ For the point of this criticism the reader may compare the chapter on 

Puvis de Chavannes. 

[ 450 ] 



WHISTLER- SARGENT 

ing of motherhood, as in Raphael's Madonnas, but the 
ripened form of it. What the man himself is conscious 
of owing to it and feeling for it, what the mother her- 
self may feel, as she looks back with traveling gaze 
along the path of hopes and fears, of joy and pain, 
that she has trodden. This miracle of Motherhood, most 
holy and pure and lovely of all the many miracles of 
life, continually repeated in millions of experiences, 
Whistler has represented once for all in such a way that 
this picture will remain forever a type of it. 

By what means did he produce this universal, typal 
significance? Ultimately, of course, by the way in 
which he has composed and painted the picture; but, 
before that, through the attitude of mind with .which 
he approached the task. If we succeed in understand- 
ing this attitude, we shall have learned a clue to all this 
artist's work. 

You remember that Leonardo cared less for the ap- 
pearance of things than for the spirit or essential mean- 
ing that was concealed behind the veil of the outward 
appearance. He was in this respect the opposite of 
Dlirer, just as Whistler was of Sargent. He shunned 
the obvious, however brilliantly portrayed. IVow the 
least obvious of the arts is music. Music steals into the 
soul of a man and fills it with impressions ; into the soul 
of another man with impressions, varying according to 
his experience and feeling; and so on into the souls 
of countless others, with always varying impressions. 
Moreover, the impression received by each individual 
is not a definite one, or limited except by the individual's 
capacity. The impression grows and grows until it loses 

[451 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

itself in a distance that we can seek toward but never 
reach ; it passes into the universal. 

Why has not painting the power to affect us so in- 
definitely? Because it must begin by representing con- 
crete things: figures and objects that we can see and 
touch, and to which we have given names. Therefore 
much of our attention is distracted by voluntarily or in- 
voluntarily identifying these things which have names, 
so that the general impression, the essence of the artist's 
conception, of which these names are unavoidable acci- 
dents, is clogged and circumscribed by them. Accord- 
ingly, if the painter desires, as Whistler did, to raise his 
own art toward the abstract and universal appeal of 
music, it must be by diverting attention as far as possi- 
ble from the means that he is obliged to employ. 

At one period of his career Whistler almost com- 
pletely discarded form and objects, relying, as far as 
possible, entirely upon the effects of color to produce 
the impression ; calling these canvases, in which different 
tones of one or more colors would be blended, "noc- 
turnes," "symphonies," "harmonies": terms borrowed 
from the art of music, the abstract significance of which 
he was striving to emulate. The public, being addicted to 
names and to being interested in concrete things, asked, 
"What are they all about?" and, receiving no answer, 

scoffed. 

But even to Whistler these canvases were only in the 
nature of experiments. The pictorial artist cannot get 
away from the concrete; visible and tangible objects 
must engage his attention; he must found upon them his 
abstract appeal. Let us see how Whistler did it, inter- 

[452] 



WHISTLER-SARGENT 

rupting for a moment our study of his paintings by a 
glance at his work in etching, for all through his career 
he was etcher as well as painter. Among his early works 
with the needle is a series of views of the Thames: the 
row of ^picturesque old houses that lined the w^ater at 
Chelsea, where he lived for many years, the wharves, the 
shipping, boat-houses, and bridges. In the suggestion 
they give of constructive reality, of detail, and of the 
actual character of the objects represented, they are 
marvelous. Not even a man exclusively in love with 
the appearances of things could render them more con- 
vincingly. Then, having mastered the character of 
form, he set to work to make the objects in his etchings 
subordinate to the general impression he wished to con- 
vey; giving more and more attention to the evanescent 
qualities of light and atmosphere. Having learned to 
put in, he became learned in leaving out ; and in his later 
series of Venetian etchings confined himself to a few 
lines contrasted with large spaces of white paper. But 
the lines are used with such comprehension and discre- 
tion, that they are sufficient to suggest the character of 
the objects, while the chief meaning is given to the 
empty spaces. These cease to be mere paper ; they con- 
vey the impression of water or sky under the diverse 
effects of atmosphere and luminousness, and by their 
vague suggestiveness stimulate the imagination. 

Remembering Whistler's preference for suggestion 
rather than actual statement, one can understand his 
fondness for etching, since the latter demands an effort 
of imagination, first of all upon the artist's part to 
translate the various hues of nature into black and white, 

^ [ 453 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

and then upon the spectator's to retranslate these into 
hues of nature. And while this is so in the case of color j 
it is much more so when it comes to the point of creating 
an illusion of atmosphere simply by means of a few 
lines on a sheet of white paper. And a correspondingly 
keener imagination is demanded of the spectator, which 
may be a reason why many people prefer the master's 
earliest Thames Series. 

In the Portrait of the Artist's Mother black and white 
again form important ingredients, combined with the 
gray of the wall and the very dark green of the curtain ; 
the grave harmony being solely relieved by the soft 
warmth of the face. Is it necessary to say that this 
prevailing gravity, so choicely reserved, and this accent 
of tenderness, contribute very largely to the emotion 
aroused in our imagination? Reserve, if it is deliberate, 
is a quality of force and may be one of dignity. That 
it shall be so here is assured by the contrast between 
the upright line of the curtain and the diagonal curving 
line of the lady's figure, and by the quiet assertion of 
these two masses. Observe how the latter are painted 
so that they shall count as masses, with only enough 
suggestion of modeling to make us feel in one case the 
folds of the curtain and in the other the figure beneath 
the dress. The severity of these masses is assuaged by 
the two gathering-points of intimate expression, the 
hands and the head. The former are laid one above the 
other with a gesture of exquisite composure, their color 
rendered more delicate and tender by being shown 
against the white handkerchief.^ The gray wall behind 

^ Compare how Rubens placed the dead body on a white cloth 
in his Descent from the Cross. See page 182. 

[454 1 



WHISTLER-SARGENT 

the head assists in creating an ilkision of atmosphere, 
enveloping the head hi tenderness, while the little ac- 
cents of dainty suggestiveness that appear in the white 
cap soften the immobility of the face. In this is con- 
centrated the calm and tender dignity to which every 
other part of the canvas has contributed. I speak of 
" calm and tender dignity," but who shall capture into 
exact words the qualities of mind and feeling which lie 
behind that searching gaze? That face speaks to each 
and every mother's son with different appeal; it speaks 
in a universal language, that each can understand but 
no man can fully comprehend. Yet, once again, let us 
note that the expression of the face is not an isolated 
incident, but the center and climax of a corresponding 
expression that in a more general way pervades the 
whole canvas; the result of the exquisite balance of the 
full and empty spaces and of the tender dignity of the 
color-scheme of black and gray. 

Whistler's fondness for gray, which even caused him 
to keep his studio dimly lighted, just as the Dutch artist 
Israels does, may be traced to his study of Velasquez, 
as also his subtle use of black and white, and the prefer- 
ence he shows for sweeping lines and ample imposing 
masses. Often in the apparently haphazard arrange- 
ment of the masses and spaces there is a suggestion 
of the Japanese influence, as well as in the introduction 
of a hint of something outside the picture. Note, for ex- 
ample, the apparently accidental spotting of the picture 
on the wall, and the portion of another frame, peeping 
in, as it were, from outside. From both Velasquez and 
the Japanese he learned the power of simplicity and 
subtlety; the value of leaving out rather than of putting 

[455] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

in; the charm of delicate harmonies, the, fascination of 
surprise, and the abiding joy of suggestiveness. They 
helped him to give expression to the preference, which 
he shared with Leonardo, for the elusive rather than the 
obvious. 

Whistler and Sargent belong to America, but are 
claimed by foreigners as, at least, citizens of the world, 
cosmopolitans. Sargent, with the exception of a few 
months at distant intervals, has spent his life abroad; 
Whistler, since about his twentieth year, was a resident 
of Paris and I^ondon, occasionally visiting Holland. 
The artistic influences which affected both were those 
of Europe. Yet their Americanism may be detected in 
their extraordinary facility of absorbing impressions, in 
the individuality evolved by both, and in the subtlety and 
reserve of their methods, qualities that are characteristic 
of the best American art. 



[456] 



CHAPTER XXIX 

CLAUDE MONET HASHIMOTO GAHO 

IS40- 1834- 

Impressionist School of France Modern School of Japan 

WE touched upon Oriental art at the very be- 
ginning of our story. Then it was the 
Byzantine offshoot of it that we were con- 
sidering, and the efforts of Giotto to hberate painting 
from the shackles of its traditions. Now, however, it is 
the art of Japan that claims our attention, and it does so 
because, as we saw in the previous chapter, it has been a 
source of some fresh inspiration to Western painting. 
The latest phase of the latter is represented in Monet, 
while Gaho is the foremost living artist in Japan. They 
are both landscape-painters. 

We have seen that Manet was the founder of the mod- 
ern impressionism, yet in the minds of the public JMonet 
stands forth as the most conspicuous impressionist ; and, 
as his later pictures are painted not in masses of color 
but with an infinity of little dabs of paint, the public is 
apt to suppose that this method of painting is what is 
meant by impressionism. Now JNlonet, like INIanet, is an 
impressionist, in that what he strives to render is the ef- 
fect vividly produced upon the eye by a scene; and, 
working always out of doors, he goes further than this, 

[457] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

in trying to represent the exact effect of a scene at a cer- 
tain hour of the day. It is the fleeting, transitory mood 
of nature that he represents. For this reason he was one 
of the first to be attracted by the Japanese paintings and 
colored prints which began about the sixties to be 
brought over in considerable numbers to Paris. For one 
of the characteristics of the Japanese work is, that it 
catches the fugitive gesture or movement in the elastic- 
ity of its momentary appearance. 

But the method which JNIonet uses to render his ef- 
fects is a totally different matter from his way of seeing 
nature, and of itself has nothing to do with impression- 
ism. Nor was he the originator of the method of paint- 
ing in dots or dabs. The first to practise it was a French 
painter but little known, named S curat, who had studied 
very closely the experiments in light and color made by 
certain scientists, among others by Professor Rood of 
Columbia University, and then applied the theory to the 
practice of painting. Seurat was followed by Pissarro, 
and then by JNIonet, and later by many others, among 
them our own American painter, Childe Hassam. But, 
since Monet stands out from all of them as the big orig- 
inal man, this innovation in the handling of pigments 
will be identified with him. 

Let us trace the train of causes which led to this re- 
sult. Though a Parisian by birth, JMonet's early years 
were spent at Havre, where Boudin, the painter of har- 
bors and shipping, frequently resided. It was he who, 
attracted by the young INIonet's taste for drawing, ad- 
vised him to go out of doors and study nature. The 
young man did so, but was interrupted in his studies by 

[ 458 ] 



MONET-GAHO 

being drawn as a conscript and drafted to Algeria. 
Here he came under the spell of the brilliant Southern 
sunshine. To his study of nature was added a special 
enthusiasm for the effects of sunlight. This was in- 
creased when he visited England during the disturbed 
period of the Franco-Prussian War, and became ac- 
quainted with the experiments in the painting of light 
that had been made by Turner. Thus, a second time, an 
English influence affected the course of French paint- 
ing. Forty j^ears earlier the appearance at the Salon of 
pictures by Constable had stimulated " the men of 1830 " 
to go out to Barbizon and study nature ; and now^ Turner 
gave the stimulus to JNIonet to supplement and advance 
the study which they had achieved. The rendering of 
light became the problem of his artistic endeavors. Then 
it was that on his return to France he became acquainted 
with the principles of Seurat and Pissarro, and found in 
them a practical means of fulfilling what was to be his 
particular 7'6le in art as the leader of the " luminarists." 

His aim was to render the appearance of nature as 
seen in out-of-door light, — plein air, as the French 
call it, — and especially the various effects of sunlight. 
Aided by the experiments of the scientists and by his 
own keen observation, he discovered certain facts w^hich 
had escaped the notice of less keen eyes unaided by 
science; for example, that green, seen under strong sun- 
shine, is not green, but yellow ; that the shadows cast by 
sunlight upon snow^ or upon brightly lighted surfaces 
are not black, but blue ; and that a white dress, seen under 
the shade of trees on a bright day, has violet or lilac tones. 
Science had proved that these are facts, and the keen, 

[ 459 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

cultivated eye of the artist corroborated them. Here 
was a new insight into reahsm. 

Thus far, however, science had only opened up a new 
faculty of seeing; could it also suggest a method of re- 
producing in paint the effects thus seen? Professor 
Rood had made experiments by covering disks with va- 
rious colors, and then revolving them and noting the 
color produced while the disk was in motion. This sug- 
gested a new way of applying the pigments to the can- 
vas. Instead of blending them upon the palette, the ar- 
tist placed them separately side by side upon the canvas, 
so that the blending might be done by the eye of the 
spectator, standing at the required distance from the 
picture. As Pissarro himself said, the idea was " to sub- 
stitute the optical mingling for the mingling of pig- 
ments, the decomposition of all the colors into their con- 
stituent elements; because the optical mingling excites 
much more intense luminosity than the mingling of pig- 
ments." 

If you stand close to a picture by Monet, you see only 
a confusion of dabs of different-colored pigments laid 
on the canvas with separate strokes of the brush-point, in 
consequence of which this method of painting has been 
called the ijointilliste method. But, if you step fur- 
ther back, these dabs begin to mingle, until they no 
longer appear separate but merged into a single harmo- 
nious effect. 

Let us refer to the illustration of the Old Church at 
Vernon. It reproduces pretty well the effect of the 
separate dabs — the points, or stippling, as they are also 
called; but, unless you are familiar with some of the 

[460] 



MONET-GAHO 

originals of Monet's pictures, it will hardly suggest to 
you the blending of these dabs. The searching eye of 
the camera has reduced the effect of distance and me- 
chanically registered the multiplicity of paint spots, so 
that the pictm^e looks somewhat as it would if we were 
standing where we ought not to stand to view it prop- 
erly — namely, close by. Accordingly we receive an im- 
pression of a gritty, confused surface, and of a very wab- 
bly, unsolid-looking church, rising up into a sky that 
seems veiled in crape. For here again, and in the water 
of the foreground, the camera has played us false. It 
did so, you may remember, in the drab-gray background 
of ]\Ianet's Girl with a Parrot, making it appear too 
dark; and here the darkness of sky and water is even 
more exaggerated, since in the original they are a very 
delicate dove-gray. 

For the hour represented is early on a summer's morn- 
ing, when the vapors that have been sleeping over mea- 
dows and river are touched by the "rosy-fingered dawn" 
and, palpitating in the growing warmth, begin to float 
skyward and disperse. All the air is a-tremble with silky 
opalescent mist, through which trees and buildings glim- 
mer scarcely more substantial than their reflections. 
You can now appreciate why the outlines of the church 
are rendered so uncertainly, why its mass presents so 
little of the solidity of architecture. The church, like 
everything else in the scene, appears to be trembling in 
the soft, quivering atmosphere. If you have witnessed 
such an early sunrise, and could see the original of this 
picture, you would not need my word to recognize the 
truth with which the phenomenon is represented. 

^ [ 461 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

We may discover here a clue to the kind of motive 
which interested Monet, as well as to the method he 
adopted to realize it. It was not the church as a specimen 
of architecture that for the time being interested him, 
but its aspect under the influence of a certain evanescent 
mood of nature. With the same end in view, he painted 
his famous series of the West Front of Rouen Cathe- 
dral: under varying light-effects of early morning, of 
full sunhght, of fog, of the last rays of the sun, of after- 
noon, and so on. The venerable pile is represented with 
sufficient hint of shape and construction to make us re- 
alize its presence, yet it is not its material reality that 
affects us, but something quite as real, possibly even 
more so : namely, the influence upon our spirit of its pres- 
ence when bathed in the tenderness, or glory, or mystery 
of light. The pictures will not give you the actual ap- 
pearance in its whole or detail of the architecture as a 
photographic print would do. But imagine yourself 
dispensing with a lens and wooden box and a sensitized 
plate inside it, and receiving the impression of the lighted 
cathedral through your eyes on to the sensitized plate of 
your imagination, and so securing a spiritual impression, 
a spirit picture. It would be somewhat like what Monet 
has produced in these cathedral pictures, and in a host of 
others, including the one we are studying. 

It was indeed a higher kind of impressionism that 
Monet originated, one that reveals a vivid rendering, not 
of the natural and the concrete facts, but of their influ- 
ence upon the spirit when they are wrapped in the infi- 
nite diversities of that impalpable, immaterial, universal 
medium which we call light, when the concrete loses 

[ 462 ] 



MONET-GAHO 

itself in the abstract, and what is of time and matter 
impinges on the eternal and the universal. 

This is the secret also of the spiritual impression pro- 
duced by Corot's pictures of the dawn and evening; 
everything trembles on the edge of those gray skies of 
his through which the eye travels forward, until imagi- 
nation takes its place and the spirit dips into the illimit- 
able. For Corot could make us feel that the bit of sky 
which he reveals to us is a part of the infinite ocean of 
hght. But jNlonet's range of expression is much wider 
than Corot's ; partly because his sensitiveness to color is 
keener and more embracing, partly because he has found 
a new way of rendering the color impressions by means 
of paint. For this reason he has gone farther in the rep- 
resentation of light than Rembrandt, Velasquez, or 
Turner. He does not have to stimulate the appearance 
of light by surrounding it with shadows as Rembrandt 
did; nor is he bovmd to the tangible, visible objects of his 
subject, as was Velasquez, in representing their values or 
the amount of light which each contained; nor, again, 
tempted to escape from the tangible appearances, as 
Turner grew to be. The secret of his freer, fuller power 
is that he uses a method of painting which, while it is 
clumsy and gross compared with the tenuous medium of 
light that he is representing, yet enables him to suggest a 
higher key of light and more nearly to suggest the essen- 
tial characteristic of light, namely, its vibrative quality. 

For let us remember that light is a form of energy that 
travels in waves through space, until it reaches us, when 
it floods the sky and pours over all the earth, swimming 
through transparent objects, turned from its direction, 

[463] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

as it is refracted in its course through objects of varying 
transparency, tossed in a shimmer of kmiinous reflec- 
tions from the surfaces of opaque objects; an energy 
that streams, or throbs, and darts in and out, pulsating 
continually with vibrations. 

It is an approximation toward this suggestion of 
movement that the poiutilliste method of painting per- 
mits. When we try to read from a book whose print is 
too small for our eyesight, the little dots of black are apt 
to irritate our brain, until the wdiole page presents an 
unsteady, quavering blur, very painfully fatiguing be- 
cause it oppresses us with a sense of feebleness. But 
suppose that, instead of dots of black, w^e are looking at 
dabs of color, w^hich, w^hen they blend, suggest a mass of 
foliage quivering wdth light ; then the sensation is pleas- 
ant. Instead of the eye being distressed by the sense of 
feebleness, it has been gladdened by a surprise of new 
perception ; and as our eye has had a share in creating the 
surprise, our imagination receives so much the pleasanter 
stimulation. We are not gazing helplessly at a blur, but 
likely to enjoy a sensation of vibrating color; color, that 
is to say, w ith all the stir of light about it. 

The artist in another way also has made it possible for 
us to see more sensitively. For example, to our unaided 
sight a stretch of sea may apj^ear to have a prevailing hue 
of blue, or, more definitely, perhaps, a greenish blue. 
Monet, on the other hand, wdth an eye that is by nature 
keener and trained to an exquisite sensitiveness, sees the 
blue and paints in blue dabs, notes the greenish blue and 
adds dabs of green. But he sees much more; the pres- 
ence of yellow it may be, or white in the strong sunshine, 

[ 464 ] 




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MONET-GAHO 

and of pink and rose and violet. All these constituent 
colors he places side hy side in minute patches, and imme- 
diately the latter begin to act and react on one another, 
as a number of bright people will do upon one another, 
when assembled together in a room. I will mention only 
one recognized fact: red, yellow, and blue, being re- 
garded as the primary colors, and the combinations of 
any two of these — namely, red + yelloAv = orange, yel- 
low + blue = green, blue + red = purple — being re- 
garded as secondary colors, it has been demonstrated that 
the juxtaposition of any secondary with the remainder 
primary will heighten the brilliancy of each. Thus, 
orange and blue are mutually enforcing; so green and 
red, and yellow and purple. While this law applies 
everywhere in painting, it applies with more subtlety and 
vivacity when the color spaces, instead of being big, are 
split up into an infinite number of tiny fragments; for 
the result may be likened to an intricate web, scintillating 
with numberless dewdrops. And there is yet another 
source of vivacity in this method of painting; namely, 
that the light is not reflected in broad masses from the 
canvas, but from each one of these separate patches 
dart reflections, which melt and mingle like the play of 
light upon minute threads of gossamer. 

In this way Monet and his followers have based their 
method of painting upon the facts discovered by scien- 
tists in their study of light, and have thus made great 
advances in the rendering of light by means of pigments. 
It must be remembered, however, that the latter are poor 
substitutes for the colored light which they try to repro- 
duce. White paint, for example, w^hich represents the 

[ 469 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

lightest or highest note of color in pigments, is infinitely 
inferior in luminosity to white light. So, while it is often 
said that these artists have raised the key of color, it 
w^ould be more correct to say that they have raised the key 
of the shadows. By substituting for black and brown 
or red shadows delicate blue and violet ones, they have 
increased the general appearance of lightness, and by the 
increased vivacity and subtlety due to the pointilliste 
method of laying on the paint, have more nearly ap- 
proximated to the effect produced upon the eye by the 
vibrations and the brilliancy of sunlight. 

In this necessarily brief account of lionet's work I can 
add only one more particular — that it is absolutely ob- 
jective. Corot was a poet at heart, seeking through na- 
ture to express his own subjectivity — himself; and this 
is the attitude of the majority of landscape-painters. 
Monet, on the contrary, is an eye, analyzing what it sees ; 
the brain behind it is filled with passion, but with a pas- 
sion aroused and satisfied entirely from without. The 
result is that, while most painters interpret through na- 
ture a mood of their own, INIonet interprets those of 
nature purely; and throvigh the frame of his picture we 
gaze, as through an open window, at nature herself 
appealing to us, if we have eyes to see, directly. 

Yet many people are honestly unable to admire his 
pictures. The eyes of some are physically incapable of 
blending into one the separate patches. Others, again, 
by their temperament have so marked a preference for 
the solidity and facts of nature, that this spiritualized 
suggestion of it troubles them. I think one is to be con- 
gratulated if one can appreciate both the tremendous 

[ 470 ] 



MONET -GAHO 

reality of Rousseau, the spirituality of Corot, and also 
the marvelous suggestion to one's spirit and imagination 
that may be found in Monet. 

Now it is the suggestiveness to spirit and imagination 
that is the key-note of the Japanese motive. Buddhism 
teaches the impermanency and unreality of matter ; that 
matter is but a limited symbol of the universal soul. 
The Japanese laugh at our Western art, that tries to 
represent the human form and the forms of nature ex- 
actly. Our artists, they think, in the first place are feed- 
ing themselves upon what is not real, but an illusion; 
and, in the second place, are trying to make the specta- 
tor believe that what he sees on the canvas is a real man, 
or fish, or mountain. He is trying to prop up an illusion 
with a lie. 

Now this is an idea not very dissimilar to the teach- 
ing of our own philosophers, from Plato to Herbert 
Spencer, but so far removed from our ordinary way of 
regarding this world and our relation to it, that I mention 
it only to get a starting-point for trying to understand 
how the Japanese feel toward art. We may state it 
briefly in the following way. 

flatter is imperiiianent, the forms in which it appears 
to the eye are temporary. We ourselves were taught at 
school that the extent and shape of our earth are contin- 
ually changing ; and in Japan these changes are very 
frequent and remarkable, owing to the volcanic nature 
of the islands and to the almost daily occurrence of 
earthquakes. " Rivers shift their courses," writes Laf- 
cadio Hearn, "coasts their outline, plains their level; 
volcanic peaks heighten or crumble ; valleys are blocked 

[ 471 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

by lava floods or landslides ; lakes appear or disappear. 
Even the matchless sha23e of Fuji, that snowy miracle 
which has been the inspiration of artists for centuries, is 
said to have been slightly changed since my advent to the 
country ; and not a few other mountains have in the 
same short time taken totally new forms. Only the gen- 
eral lines of the land, the general aspects of its nature, 
the general character of the seasons, remain fixed. Even 
the very beauty of the landscape is largely illusion, — a 
beauty of shifting colors and moving mists." This was 
written in 1895, after the author had been living in 
Japan for about ten years. 

This impermanent matter is the temporary manifesta- 
tion of the Universal Spirit, which alone is eternal. In 
every form of nature, great or small, resides for the 
time being an atom of the Universal Spirit. It is this 
atom of spirit that is the life of the form in which it re- 
sides, determining its character. The Japanese speak 
of this inward spirit as " kokoro." 

The highest aim in art, says Hashimoto Gaho, is to 
express this kokoro. A picture that gives merely the 
temporary appearance of the objects of nature is not 
a work of art; it becomes such only if it manifests an 
expression of the "kokoro," or, in his own word, if it 
manifests " kokoromochi." At first sight this might 
seem like Corot's expression of the spirit of dawn and 
evening ; but Corot put into his pictures what was in 
himself, whereas with Gaho the " kokoro " is entirelv 
outside himself, residing in the object before him, ac- 
tually there, whether Gaho himself were asleep or awake, 
alive or dead, having nothing to do with himself. Rous- 

[472] 



MONET-GAHO 

seau, therefore, to whom nature was an objective study, 
w^ho tried to represent the strength that hes in the rocks 
themselves, and the sinewy vigor that directs the growth 
of the oak, comes nearer to Gaho's idea of it ; and Monet 
also, who has been described as only an " eye." On 
the other hand, we remember that the old Greeks also 
believed that there was a spirit in the waterfalls, the 
mountains, the trees; but in their art they repre- 
sented it in human shape, as nymphs, naiads, oreads, 
dryads. This aim, however, is the very opposite to that 
of the Japanese artist, who strives to get away as far 
as possible from the accidents of impermanent form. 
In his attempt to do so he simplifies, generalizes, and 
conventionalizes. 

So do Western artists, but not for the same purpose 
or to the same extent. They want to represent the 
human form or the landscape as its material form really 
appears to the eyes ; but, not being able to imitate every 
hair on the head or every leaf and blade of grass, they 
are forced to give a general appearance of hair, of fo- 
liage, or of grass, — they simplify and generalize. Then 
they make marks on the canvas which are not like leaves, 
but which we have all agreed to accept as suggesting 
the appearance of leaves; in fact, they conventionalize: 
but, observe, mostly with the intention of forcing upon 
us the material fact of these things being leaves. Some 
of our artists, however, say : " We do not care about 
representing leaves, but only the impression produced on 
our minds by them"; and these men whom we call im- 
pressionists, because of their going farther in generali- 
zation and conventionalizing, approach nearer to Jap- 

*^ [ 473 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

anese art, by the example of which, we must remember, 
however, they have been largely inspired. 

Now the Japanese artist, taught by his religion to 
value spirit more than matter, portrays material form 
only because he is obliged to make a material habitation 
for its " kokoro "; but he does not dwell on form. On 
the contrary, he tries to draw your attention away from 
the fact of his subject being a woman or a tree ; he 
eliminates as far as possible the aggressiveness of. form, 
and accordingly simplifies, conventionalizes, and gen- 
eralizes more than the Western artists do. 

In the first place, he does not use oil paints, by means 
of which his Western brother gives solidity and elabora- 
tion to his objects. The Japanese artist paints with 
water-colors upon silk or paper, using thin transparent 
washes of color, manipulating his brush with a delicacy 
and decision that are superior to anything in Western 
painting. With one stroke of his brush, moving freely 
from the shoulder,— for he kneels on the floor and works 
above his silk or paper, — he can render, for example, 
a branch of a plum-tree, using the flat side and bearing 
more heavily on one end so as to render the shadow at 
the same time as the light part, and twisting the brush 
on to its edge to indicate knots or joints or such like. 
This in itself represents a wonderful skill in generaliz- 
ing and simplification. It has led also to a wonderful 
skill and expressiveness in the use of line. 

This is the second point to be noted: Gaho himself 
says that Japanese painting is founded upon line, that 
by varieties of modulation of its breadth and of dark 
and light the line itself may be made to manifest " ko- 
koromochi." 

[ 474 ] 



MONET-GAHO 

Thirdly, the colors are laid on flat ; forming a pattern 
of very subtle harmony. 

Fourthly, the composition is not based on set forms 
of balanced arrangement, but is distinguished rather by 
irregularity, by its unexpectedness and surprises. Nor 
is it designed to hold our attention entirely within the 
frame. Often the spray of a flower, or a branch, be- 
longing to some plant or tree that we cannot see, peeps 
into the picture, as if to remind us that there are other 
things beyond this tiny view, and that the latter is only 
an atom of the universe. We have noted, in the pre- 
vious chapter. Whistler's borrowing of this device in the 
Pof'trait of the Ar^tisfs Mother, 

Fifthly, conventionalization is carried to a point 
where to Western eyes it seems strange. For example, 
we may look through a number of prints by different 
artists, and the women's mouths will all be represented 
by a similar arrangement of lines, which to us does not 
convey the idea of a natural mouth. To the Japanese, 
however, it does ; and they would retort that many of 
our conventions in painting seem to them equally unin- 
telligible and unreasonable. For, remember, that con- 
ventions are a sort of shorthand appeal to memory and 
experience ; wherefore, since there is so much in the 
Japanese memory and experience that must remain un- 
known to us, we can never fully appreciate the conven- 
tions of their painting. 

Every one of these characteristics of Japanese art 
that I have enumerated has influenced modern West- 
ern art. Space will not permit me to particularize, but 
if you will bear them in mind when you examine pic- 
tures by Degas and Whistler, the latter's Venetian etch- 

[475] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

ings especially and the work of many American and for- 
eign illustrators, you will be able to discover the traces 
of the influence unmistakably. 

There is one other point among so many that might 
be alluded to. A Buddhist text declares that he alone 
is wise who can see things without their individuality. 
And it is this Buddhist way of seeing, as Lafcadio 
Hearn says, which makes the greatness of true Jap- 
anese art. One might explain this by saying that the 
Japanese artist discards the accident of individuality in 
favor of the type, but it is even more than this — that in 
the Particular he tries to express a portion of the Uni- 
versal, regarding even his composition, for example, 
not as a complete finite arrangement but as a fragment 
of what he imagines as a universal geometry. 

And now let us turn to Hashimoto Gaho's Sunrise on 
the Horai, The Horaizan is the Japanese Earthly 
Paradise ; the dream-place of peaceful and exalted con- 
templation. Gaho, contrary to custom, has represented 
it upon the mountain-tops and pictured it in the purest 
hour of all, in the freshness of early sunrise. The sun 
itself is veiled in the vapor that rises up from the steep 
valley, at the bottom of which are the rice-fields, whither 
the laborers are alread}^ wending for their day's toil. 
Down there are the lives of men, their joys and sorrows, 
the multiple units of the human hive. All below is 
clouded in uncertain mists, but up here it is clear and 
serene ; the foreground, a miniature panorama of moun- 
tain scenery, with pines, the symbol of eternity, and 
pagoda pleasure-houses of the soul ; further back, a 
cone-like peak of spiritual desire and mountain ram- 

[ 476 ] 



MONET-GAHO 

parts, barring the approach as yet to the ultimate Be- 
yond. 

Study, first, the hnear arrangement : the broken level 
lines of the foreground, the soaring lines of the peak, 
the lines as of longing piled upon longing of the moun- 
tain mass, and then that diagonal line that fades into in- 
visibility. Then from its gradual lifting up into height, 
and from its flight into the immensity of distance, the 
imagination settles back to the assured certainty of the 
foreground and the intimacy of the pine-trees, those 
familar objects of the Japanese landscape. 

Study, secondly, the exquisite gradations of tone, and 
the way the darks and lights are distributed in the com- 
position, the occasional accents of dark, and the value 
of the empty spaces. There is perhaps nothing in 
painting which may give so pure and rarefied a joy as 
the way in which the Japanese artists give you the effect 
of definition melting into indefiniteness, and this picture 
of Gaho's is a fine example of the effect. It states just 
enough to render the imagination active, and then leaves 
it to its own wandering. 

It is this suggestiveness to the imagination, moreover 
the decorative beauty and expressiveness of the lines and 
masses of the composition, and the choiceness and origi- 
nality of the color-harmonies, rich or delicate, as the case 
may be, but always subtle, that are among the conspicu- 
ous charms of Japanese painting. These may be en- 
joyed, even when the subject refers to experiences that 
we do not share or is represented by means of conven- 
tions unfamiliar to us. In the accompanying example 
these limitations are scarcely to be felt. 

[477] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

Japanese painting has already taught our Western 
artists a good deal ; it has a further lesson for all of us, 
if only in the matter of simplification. How little 
there is in this picture, and yet how choice and meaning- 
ful the details that are introduced! The same is char- 
acteristic of the Japanese home life. The home is 
simple, adorned by a few choice treasures, stored in the 
little closet or tokonama, and taken out for the occa- 
sional enjoyment of the family or to greet the visit of a 
guest. The life, too, is outwardly simple. Though 
Japan has adopted Western notions, and undertaken 
the role of a first-class nation, with all the intricacies of 
trade relations, the appearance of the cities and of the 
outward life of the people is almost as simple as ever. 
In fact, there has never been a nation, at any rate since 
the great days of Athens, whose art so closely reflected 
its outward life and the soul which it embodies. 



[ 478 ] 



CONCLUDING NOTE 

We have come to the end of the study that we set out to 
make. Step by step, we have marked the evolution of 
modern painting, from the Byzantine traditions which 
prevailed before Cimabue down to the latest possibilities 
introduced by the ijointilliste method of Monet. 

We have made the acquaintance of a majority of the 
greatest artists ; of those who, being themselves men of 
originality, exercised a wide influence on others. In 
studying their points of view, and their methods of ren- 
dering what they saw in the way they felt it, we have 
gained a general insight into pictorial methods and 
motives, that will enable us to appreciate the infinite 
varieties of the same as they appear in other artists. 

Turn by turn, we have visited different countries, ac- 
cording as the art of painting flourished in them simul- 
taneously, or as it declined in one and reappeared with 
vigor in another. And, doing so, we have found that the 
manifestations of art have varied in response to the racial 
and temjDorary conditions of each country; and, while 
we have not attempted to explain genius as the result of 
these, we have examined how they influenced it. 

We have seen how one impulse of movement followed 
another ; all of them involving truth, but none monop- 
olizing the whole truth ; in fact, that the manifestations 
and possibilities of painting are wide and various as 

[ 479 ] 



HOW TO STUDY PICTURES 

human nature. From this study, also, we should have 
discovered that the enjoyment to be derived from pic- 
tures is not only the satisfaction of our own predilec- 
tions, of what most appeals to ourselves individually, but 
the interest to be gained from studying pictures as the 
record of the feeling and experience of other minds. 

We have gained a fairly comprehensive bird's-eye 
view of the whole field of painting ; sufficient, if our 
study must stop here, to enable us to recognize the land- 
marks of the subject ; but oifering, if we are able to 
step down and pursue the study in detail, a convenient 
groundwork for investigation. 

It is not by the much, unavoidably omitted, that I 
beg the usefulness of this book may be judged, but by 
the value of what is included. 

Orienta Point, 

Mamaroneck, N. Y. 



[ 480] 



PARALLEL CHRONOLOGY OF PAINTERS INCLUDED 



Cimabue 

iliWr-iaM*) 

Giotto 

(li68?-lSS7) 

Masaccio . , . 
ll40i:--3«8?) 

Mantegna 

(iiai-jsofl) 

FraAngelico . 

(1S87-1WS) 

Botticelli 

(1440-1510) 



AMERICAN 



Jan van Eyck 

( ? -li-lO) 

Memting 

a4«?-l*B5?) 



XVth 

and 

XVIth 



Perugino 



Giovanni Bellini . 

(Iie8?-1510) 



XVIth I 



Wolgemiith 

(1434-1510) 

Diirer ... 

C147I-15M) 

Holbein, the Younger 

<Ue7-I543) 



Michelangelo 

(U74-IS04I 

Correggio 

(I 494? -1534) 



Tintoretto - - 

(1519-1594) 



Rubens 

1 1577-16401 

Van Dyck 

(15HU-I04tl 



Velasquez . . 

II3M-18(») 

Murillo 

(1018-1888) 



Hals - 

(1584? -1606) 
Rembrandt 

( 1007 :-|6H!l) 

J. van Ruisdael 
Hobbema . . 

(1638P-I700) 



N. Poussin 

(isoj-ieos) 

Claude Lorrain 
(looo-ioei) 



Watteau . , 

(I0a4-17il) 



Hogarth . • . . 
( mo? -1701) 

Reynolds. . . . 



Boecklin .... 

(18*7-1901) 



Piloty 

118^0-1688) 



Fortuny 

(1838-1874) 



Gainsborough . 

(17*7-1788) 



Constable . . . 
(1778 -isa7) 

Turner 

(1773-1931) 



David 

(17W-I8J5J 

Delacroix ■ . . 

(1799-1883) 

Corot 

(1780-1975) 

Rousseau . 

(1819-1807) 

Millet 

(1814-1873) 

Breton 

(18*7- ) 

C>)urbet 

(1819-1878) 



Jozef Israels . . 
mu- ) 



Manet 

(1889 

Puvis de 

(1824' 

G^rome 

(18«-1 



Monet . . 

(1840- 



1S8») 
Chavannes 



Holmnn Hunt ■ 

(18*7- ) 

Rossetti 

(18i8-18Si) 



WhisUer . . . 

(1844-190$) 

Sargent 

(1830- ) 



Hashimoto Gaho 

(1844- ) 



A BRIEF BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS 
ON ART READILY PROCURABLE 

Italian Schools. — Berenson, Bernard: The Florentine Painters of the 
Renaissance; The Venetian Painters of the Renaissance; The 
Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance (New York^ 1897). 
Blashfield, E.H. and E. W. : Italian Cities (New York, 1900). 
Brinton, S. : Renaissance in Italian Art (London, 1898). Crowe, 
J. A., and Cavalcaselle, G. B. : History of Painting in Italy 
(London, 1866). Morelli, G. : Italian Painters. Translated by 
C. J. Ffoulkes (London, 1892-1893). Ruskin, John: Morn- 
ings in Florence (Orpington, 1875) ; Modern Painters (Lon- 
don, 1846, I860). Symonds, J. A.: Renaissance in Italy (Lon- 
don, 1875) ; Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece (London, 
1874). Vasari, G. : Lives of the Painters. Edited by E. H. and 
E. W. Blashfield and A. A. Hopkins (New York, 1897). Mod- 
ern Painters. Muther, R. (See General Reference.) Willard, 
A. R. : History of Modern Italian Art (New York, 1900). 

Flemish School. — Fromentin, E. : Les Maitres d' Autrefois (Paris, 
1876). Kugler, F. T. : Handbook of Painting: The German, 
Flemish, and Dutch Schools. Remodeled by Dr. Waagen, re- 
vised and in part rewritten by J. A. Crowe (London, 1874). 
Van Dj^ke, J. C: Old Dutch and Flemish Masters. Engravings 
by Timothy Cole (New York, 1895). Modern Painters. 
Muther, R. (See General Reference.) 

German School. — Alexandre, A.: Histoire populaire de la peinture: 
Ecole Allemande (Paris, 1895). Colvin, A.: Diirer (Encyclo- 
paedia Britannica, Edinburgh, 1883). Kugler, F. T.: Hand- 
book of Painting: The German, Flemish, and Dutch Schools. 
Revised by J. A. Crowe (London, 1874). Woltman, A.: Holbein 

[481] 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

and his Time. Translated by F. E. Bunnett (London^ 1872). 
Modern Painters. Muther, R. 
Dutch School. — Bode_, W. : Studien zur Geschichte der hoUand- 
ischen Malerei (Brunswick, 1883); Rembrandt (Paris, 1898); 
Franz Hals und seine Schule (Leipsic, 1871). Fromentin, E.: 
Les Maitres d'Autrefois (Paris, 1876). Gower, R. : Guide to 
Public and Private Galleries of Holland and Belgium (London^ 
1875). Kugler, F. T.: Handbook of Painting: The German, 
Flemish, and Dutch Schools. Revised by J. A. Crowe (London, 
1874). Van Dyke, J. C: Old Dutch and Flemish Masters. 
Engravings by Timothy Cole (New York, 1895). Modern 

Painters. Muther, R. 

Spanish School. — Ford, R.: Handbook for Spain (London, 1855). 
Justi, C. : Velasquez and his Times. Translated by A. H. Keane 
(London and Philadelphia, 1889). Stevenson, R. A. M. : The 
Art of Velasquez (London, 1895). Stirling-Maxwell, Sir W. : 
Annals of the Artists of Spain (London, 1848); Velasquez and 
his Works (London, 1855). Muther, R. (See General Refer- 
ence.) 

French School. — Alexandre, A.: Histoire populaire de la peinture: 
Ecole Fran9aise (Paris, 1893). Berger, G. : L'Ecole fran9aise 
de peinture (Paris, 1879). Blanc, C: Les artistes de mon temps 
(Paris, 1879). Brownell, W. C. (New York, 1901). Dilke, 
Lady: French Painters of the Eighteenth Century (London, 
1899). Duret, Theodore: Les peintres impressionistes (Paris, 
1879); Histoire d'Edouard Monet (Paris, 1902). Gautier, T.: 
L'Art moderne; Romanticism. Goncourt, E. and J. de: L'Art 
du XVIII"^e siecle (Paris, 1881-1882). Guibal: Eloge de Pous- 
sin (Paris, 1783). Moore, G. : Modern Painting (New York, 
1893). Pater, Walter: Imaginary Portraits; A Prince of Court 
Painters (Watteau) (London, 1887). Sensier, Theodore: Rous- 
seau (Paris, 1872); Life and Works of J. F. Millet (Paris, 
1881). Stranahan, C. H. : History of French Painting (New 
York, 1895). 

English School.— Armstrong, Sir W.: Gainsborough and his Place 
in English Art (New York, 1898). Bate, P. H.: English Pre- 

[ 482 ] 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Raphaelite Painters (London, 1899)- Chesneau, E.: The Eng- 
lish School of Painting (London, 1885). Maceoll, D. S.: Nine- 
teenth Century Art (Glasgow, 1902). Phillips, C: Sir Joshua 
Reynolds (London, 1891)- Redgrave, S.: A Century of Paint- 
ers of the English School (London, 1890). Rossetti, W. M.: 
Ruskin, Rossetti; Pre-Raphaelitism (London, 1899). Wedmore, 
F. : Studies in English Art (London, 1876); Masters of Genre 
Painting (London, 1880). Muther, R. (See General Refer- 
ence.) 

Japanese Art. — Amsden, Dora: Impressions of Ukiyo-ye (San 
Francisco, 1905). Fenollosa, F. E. : Review of the Chapter on 
Painting in " L'Art Japonais," 1885. Gouse, Louis: L'Art 
Japonais (Paris, 1883). Hearn, Lafcadio: Kokoro (Boston, 
1896). Okakura-Kakuzo : Ideals of the East (New York, 1904). 
Muther, R. (See General Reference.) 

General Reference. — Bryan's Dictionary of Painters (New York, 
1902). Champlin, T. D., Jr., and Perkins, Charles C. : Cyclo- 
pedia of Painters and Paintings (New York, 1887). Cox, Ken- 
yon: Old Masters and New. La Farge, John: Great Masters of 
Painting. Lubke's History of Art. Translated by Clarence 
Cook. Masters in Art (Boston). Muther, R. : History of Mod- 
ern Painting (New York, 1896). Van Dyke, J. C. : History of 
Painting ; Art for Art's Sake ; How to Judge of a Picture. Wolt- 
mann and Woermann : Historj' of Painting. 

American Painting. — American Art Review. Caffin, C. H. : American 
Masters of Painting. Hartmann, S.: History of American Art 
(Boston, 1902). Isham, Samuel: History of American Paint- 
ing, (in press.) Mason: Life and Works of Gilbert Stuart. 
Tuckerman : Book of the Artists. 



[483] 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 



Abstract : opposed to Concrete (q.v.); viewed apart from concrete form ; e.g., the abstract 
beauty of a line, where the line not only serves to inclose a form but has an indepen- 
dent beauty of its own (66). So also, abstract beauty of color, where color is inde- 
pendently a source of esthetic enjoyment, ajjart from the olbject to which it may 
belong. So, also, music is the most abstract of the arts, because it is entirely with- 
drawn from the concrete and appeals directly to the esthetic sense, and thence to 
the imagination (451, 452). For further remarks on abstract, see Concrete. 

Academic : having the qualities that characterize the oflBcial standards of excellence 
maintained by the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, founded in France by Louis 
XIV. These have varied from time to time in details, but are based upon a prefer- 
ence for form over color ; and upon an idealization of form, in imitation of the 
purity of antique sculpture. Hence the synonym Classic. Perfection of line and 
form is aimed at in preference to individuality and character. 

Action : the gesture or attitude of a figure, expressive of character or sentiment. See 
Expression, Movement. 

Esthetic. See Esthetic. 

Analysis : opposed to Synthesis (q.v.); the process of distinguishing between and study- 
ing separately the ingredients of an object. Thus the analysis of an elm involves 
an examination of its stem, the spread of its branches, the way in which the smaller 
are attached to the larger and the latter to the stem, the character of the foliage 
both in masses and in individual leaves, the effect upon the color and form of the 
foliage under the action of sunlight or of wind, and so on. Most of the great artists 
have trained themselves at first by severe analysis, after which they render their 
subject by means of synthesis. Having learned to put in, they become learned in 
leaving out. 

Architectonic : literally, of or pertaining to construction ; having the qualities of form 
and structure deliberatelybuilt up to produce a desired effect upon the imagina- 
tion : e.g., the architectonics of poetry — that is to say, the form and structure of ver- 
sification. The architectonics of a picture, in allusion to the formal arrangement of 
its lines and masses, its full and empty spaces (q.v.) ; more particularly of a com- 
position planned to occupy and conform to a given space in connection with archi- 
tecture — a mural painting (q.v.). 

Arrangement : a principle of composition whereby the artist, having selected from a 
variety of details the ones best adapted to his conception of the subject, arranges 
them, with deliberate intent, to produce a certain impression on the spectator (99 
et seq.). See Selection. 

Art : by its derivation from a Greek word, *' to fit," means primarily the fitting of form 
to an idea. 

Art for art's sake : a catchword adopted in the last quarter of the nineteenth century 
by the followers of Manet, who asserted that the first requisite of a painter was to 
be able to paint. They began by saying that the subject of a picture was of little 
importance, the main thing for the artist being an opportunity of artistic expres- 
sion ; and, in their disgust of the, so-called, story-telling picture, in which considera- 
tions of painting as painting are sacrificed to mere attractiveness of subject, ended 
by asserting that subject was of no importance at all. Now that the dust of argu- 
ment is settled, it has established the truth that, as Professor John C. Van Dyke 
says, " the art of a picture is not in the subject but in the manner of presenting it." 

Articulation: the art of joining together; for example, of correctly joining the branches 



[484] 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

of a tree to its truuk, the leaves to tbe branches, the flower and leaves to the stalk, 
and the latter to the stem ; the accurate reudering of the joints or articulations of 
the human body. Both the actor and the painter recognize the fact that the joints 
are the seats of expression. 

Atmosphere. The worhl, out of doors and indoors, is flllcd with air, more or less illu- 
mined with light. It surrounds every object, affecting both their shape and color. 
The outlines even of objects near to lis are seldom sharp, and become more blurred 
and indistinct as the objects lie further fi-om the eye. The colors, too, as they 
recede, become grayer in appearance — seen, as it were, through intervening veils 
of atmosphei'e. Many painters represent the figures and objects with uniform 
sharpness and distinctness ; there is no suggestion of atmosphere in their pictures. 
Others, howevei*, by rendering the effect of lighted atmosphere upon the outlines 
and colors of the objects (see Values), make them appear to be surrounded, as in 
nature, by an envelope of lighted air, and to occupy their proper plane in the depth 
of atmosphere. Moreover, it is to be noted that, as atmosphere varies according to 
time of day, locality, and season, it becomes to our imagination a source of expres- 
sion in nature. 

Breadth and simplicity : the results of a painter's ability to see the large significance 
of things ; to view his subject, as it "were from afar off, so that it is seen apart from 
its littlenesses of detail in its essential character. When a painter can so stand back 
from his subject and see it in this broad, general way, and then by simple, effective 
brushwork suggest to us a similarly broad comprehension of its essential character, 
we speak of the breadth and simplicity of his work. See Hals, 195 et seq. 

Chiaroscuro : derived from Italian chiaro = clear, + oseuro = obscure ; French equiv- 
alent, clcdr-obscur ; English, light and shade. The distribution in a picture of light 
and shade, introduced for one or more purposes : (1) the functional use, to sug- 
gest the modeling of form, the raised parts catching various quantities of light and 
the depressed being in various degrees of shadow ; (2) the decorative use, to pro- 
duce an agreeable pattern by a contrast of lights and darks ; (3) the expressional 
use, to arouse by such variety an appeal to our emotions. As a method of model- 
ing it is less true to nature than modeling by means of a rendering of the values 
(q.v.) ; as a method of emotional expression, when used, for example, by Rem- 
brandt, who made his lights emerge from a bath of darkness, or by Rubens in his 
Descent from the Cross, its mingling of clearness and mystery has a wonderful ef- 
fect upon the imagination. 

Classic. See Academic. 

Colorist : one who uses color not merely to increase the reality of appearances in his 
picture, but as a means of emotional expression. He thinks and feels in color, 
conceives his subject as an arrangement not so much of form as of color, and 
moves us by his color-harmonies, as a musician by his harmonies of sound. 

Colors, cold and warm : yellow suggests the color of sunlight and flames, and red the 
glow of a fire and of sunlight seen through moist atmosphere ; we associate with 
these colors and with their union, orange, the idea of warmth. On the other hand, 
blue suggests the color of the ocean, of the sky after rain, and of the evening sky- 
in the upper part removed from the sunset glow, and when blended with yellow, 
it is the cooling ingi*edient in the resultant green. We associate with blue the idea 
cf coolness. Moreover, science, as well as the observation of artists, has proved 
that in bright sunlight the tint of shadows contains blue. See Reynolds's doctrine 
about cold and warm colors, 274. 

Composition : literally, the placing together of parts to produce a whole; in art, the 
parts must be harmoniously related to one another and to the whole, and the latter 
must be distinguished by lialance and unity. It involves a twofold process of se- 
lection and arrangement : the selection of parts best suited to one another and to 
the whole, and the arrangement of them so as to produce by the actual direction 
and character of the lines and by the disposition of the masses and spaces an im- 
I)ression upon the esthetic sense, and, in higher works of arts, upon the imagina- 
tion. It cannot be too thoroughly understood that composition is the structural 
basis of painting, as it is of poetry and of music; and that its appeal to sense or 
imagination is an abstract one — that is to say, primarily independent of the sub- 
ject-matter. See 98 et seq. 



[ 48,5 ] 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

Concrete: opposed to Abstract; viewed as existing in connection with objects and 
substances. Tlius the picture of a landscape conveys a concrete impression of 
trees, water, sky, ground, etc., and may do no more. On the other hand, it may 
stimulate an abstract impression, for example, of exquisite i-estfulness, so that in 
the enjoyment of this the actual shapes and appearances of objects and substances, 
perhaps even their very existence in the picture, may be forgotten. Again, a com- 
position so harmoniously balanced aud unified, such as that of Raphael's Dispula, 
may so captivate the imagination that it is only upon a second visit one becomes 
conscious of the concrete facts of the figures and what they represent. Remember, 
the abstract is as much a fact to the spirit and the imagination as the concrete is 
to the senses of sight and touch. See Abstract. 

Construction : the act or result of building up a structure — for example, the construc- 
tion of the human figure, so that we are made to realize beneath the flesh its frame- 
work of bones aud joints and muscles. In this sense we speak of the figure being 
good or faulty in construction. Similarly we examine the construction of a land- 
scape : has the painter made us realize the firm earth or rocky foundation beneath 
the grass of a meadow ; the special character of stoutness or suppleness in trees 
and plant forms ; the actual quality of construction in waves and clouds, and so on ? 
In a picture, as in a building, it is not the outside appearance which first meets the 
eye that is of chief importance, but the underlying, embedded, construction. 

Contour : inclosing forms ; e.g., contour lines of the figure. 

Convention, Conventionalization. If we grant, for example, that a painter cannot 
represent absolutely all the leaves on a tree or all the hairs in a man's beard, it 
follows he must adopt some method of suggesting to us the appearance of the mass 
of leaves or hairs. He adopts some convention of representing it, some arrange- 
ment which our memory and experience will immediately interpret to mean a 
mass of leaves or hairs. It is to be noted that the artist takes advantage of mem- 
ories and experiences, which in a general way M^e share with him, so that by asso- 
ciation of ideas his convention is intelligible to us. But if the convention — as, for 
example, the one employed by the Japanese to suggest the human mouth— is 
founded upon memories and experiences foreign to our own, we shall probably 
find it not immediately intelligible. 

Distemper : a medium of painting used before the development of oU-paints. The 
color ingredient was ground in water, and in order to give it substance, — or, as the 
artists say, "body," — so that it would not sink too much into an absorbent mate- 
rial like canvas, and to fix it so that it would not, when dry, rub off a hard one like 
wood, white of egg or some other glutinous ingredient was stirred in. As a me- 
dium of picture-painting it was superseded by oil-painting, but, with glue as a 
medium, is still used by scene-painters and, under the name of calcimine, by house- 
decorators. 

Drawing : the manner of representing objects on a flat surface ; (1) specifically, as con- 
trasted with painting, by means of i^encil, pen, or crayon ; (2) in a general sense, 
including painting, referring to the quality of the representation: e.g., the draw- 
ing of that figure is good ; the other is weak in draiving. 

Elemental : of or pertaining to first principles ; hence based upon what is fundamental 
and essential, unimpaired by the details of individual differences. Such, for exam- 
ple, was the character of Millet's drawing, 251, 

Elusive, Elusiveness : the suggestion, in a work of art, of what eludes the grasp of the 
eye ; e.g., the elusive quality of Velasquez's contour line, partly definite, partly melt- 
ing into indefiniteness, because he rendered the blurring effect of light creeping 
round their edges (192). Also the suggestion of what even eludes the grasp of the 
imagination ; thus Leonardo (121, 122) and Hashimoto Gaho (477) essayed to suggest 
the mystery of humanity aud nature. 

Engraving : (1) the process of cutting a picture into steel or copper, or otit of wood ; 
(2) the result so obtained. It is to be observed that in the case of steel or copper 
the picture is below the surface of the material, and the ink is forced by a roller 
into the grooves, out of which, in the process of printing, it is sucked up by the 
damp paper driven down into the grooves under great pressure. On the other 
hand, in wood-engraving tlie picture stands up above the rest of the block, just as 
type is raised ; the ink adheres to the laised parts, and the paper, as in printing 



[486] 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

from type, receives the impression. The depressed kind of printing is sometimes 
called intaglio ; tlio raised, relievo or cameo. 

Esthetic : literally, able to be apprehended by the senses ; hence, with special mean- 
ing, of or belonging to an appreciation of the beautiful : e.g., the estlietic taste. 

Etching. This, like steel- and copper-eugraving, is (1) a process ; (2) the result of an in- 
taglio printing, only that the lines of the picture instead of being graved with a 
" burin " are bitten into the copper by acid. The copper plate having been covered 
with a thin layer of melted wax and asphaltum and blackened with lamp-smoke, 
the artist draws his picture on it with a needle or similar instrument. This easily 
furrows its way through the soft wax, and discloses, wherever there is a line, the 
bright copper. The plate is then plunged into a bath of nitric acid, which bites 
. mto the exposed lines, leaving the wax-covered portions intact. Then, the wax 
having been removed, ink is rolled into the grooves and a print taken, as in steel- 
or copper-engraving. This is the bare statement of a process wliich involves many 
modifications, and which is distinguished from that of engraving on steel or copper 
by the greater freedom of drawing which it permits and by the qualities of the line 
and tone obtained ; for the action of the acid being somewhat uneven, the line in 
etching is more sensitive, and the " blacks " can be made richer in tone than is 
possible in line-engraving. 

Expression : the revelation of character and sentiment in a work of art. Thus we 
speak of the expression of a figure, meaning that its pose and gesture are significant 
of character and that there is a suggestion in the figure of the life-spirit which 
animates it. Similarly we may speak of the expression of a landscape, referring to 
the way in which the artist has expressed the character of rocks and trees, water, 
and so forth, or to the way in which he has made the landscape interpret a 
mood of feeling, either his own or one that he conceives as existing in nature 
itself. 

Expressional : of or pertaining to expression; e.g., the expressional use of line and 
color — that is to say, their use not only for the purpose of representing the appear- 
ances of objects, but also as an independent source of appeal to the emotions. See 
A bstract. 

Feeling: (1) a sjonpathetic comprehension; e.g., a feeling for fonn, ixnpljiug both a 
correct observation of form and also an appreciation of its characteristic qualities. 
Similarly, a feeling for light and atmosphere. (2) The evidence of sympathetic 
comprehension ; e.g., the figure is excellent in feeling. (3) As an equivalent for Sen- 
timent iq.v.). . 

Flat painting : where the color is laid on with little or no indication of modeling by 
means of Chiaroscuro (q.v.). 

Fore-shortening : the art of representing on a plane surface in true perspective objects 
as they appear to the eye, especially those objects or parts of objects which extend 
toward the spectator on a line between his eyes and the center of the object. 

Fresco : literally, " fresh " ; painting in water-color upon the still damp plaster of a 
wall, so that the plaster and the painting dry together and become inseparable. 
The process is more fully described, p. 147. 

Full and empty spaces : used of composition, as a convenient term to distinguish 
those forms in the design which are of primary importance to the delineation of 
the subject, from those forms or open spaces which are of subsidiary importance 
to the subject and are introduced chiefly to complete the harmony and balance of 
the composition. (See p. 100.) That the empty spaces may also be of importance 
to the subject, see " space-composition," p. 80. 

Generalization : the process of discovering and rendering the essentials of a subject, so 
as to represent a summary of its salient characteristics. 

Genre : a kind of picture representing ordinary in-door and out -door life ; especially 
the Dutch pictures of the seventeenth century, which depicted domestic scenes and 
the pastimes of the peasants. It is to be noted that while these were the subject 
of the picture the design of the Dutch artists was not to illustrate them, but to 
make them the basis of npietorial treatment {(j.v.). 

Gesture : literally, the mode of carrying ; the carriage of a figure or of a part of it, as 
the head, the arm, or hand, expressive of character or sentiment. Practically the 
equivalent of Action iq.v.). See Movement. 



[487] 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

Glazes : thin layers of transparent color brushed over the whole or parts of a picture 
in its final stages to produce a desired tone (q.v.). 

Grand style : an imposing method of composition, embodying elevated feeling, 
brought to perfection by the great Italians of the Renaissance (102). Long after 
the death of Tintoretto, the last of the great Italians, its influence continued to 
lead smaller men in all countries to imitate its manner without being able to 
reproduce its spirit. Hence innumerable affectations and mannerisms. 

Greek : the English equivalent of Graeci, the name by which the Romans designated 
the people who called themselves Helleties, after a mythic ancestor, Hellen. Their 
territory, which comprised a portion of the mainland (Thessaly and Epirus), the 
Isthmus of Corinth, and the peninsula of the Peloponnesus and adjacent islands, 
was known to themselves as Bellas, to the Romans as Grsecia, hence Greece. 

Half-tone : a method of photographic reproduction by which it is possible to render 
mechanically not only the extreme darks and lights of a picture, but also the inter- 
mediate tones ; heuce the name. A pictui-e or a photograph of it is set up before 
the camera and photographed through an intervening glass screen, upon which a 
series of parallel lines, vertical and horizontal, very close together, have been 
graved. The effect of this is to split up the impression upon the negative into in- 
numerable pin-point dots. The negative is then laid over a copper plate which 
has been covered with a sensitized film, and is exposed to light in the usual way of 
making a print. Where the negative is black (that is to say, in the lightest parts 
of the original or final picture), the light does not penetrate through, and there- 
fore the film remains intact, but in the successively less dark parts of the negative 
(which in the positive are represented by the successively less light parts of the 
picture), the light in varying degrees disintegrates the film. Consequently, when 
the plate is plunged into a bath of acid, only these portions are bitten into in their 
varying intensity. The result is a plate bristling with minute pin-i)oints biggest in 
the darkest parts, smaller in those less dark, and according to their size is the 
amou^nt of ink which they receive from the ink-roller as it passes over the plate. 
Similarly, when the paper passes over the plate It receives its darkest impressions 
from the biggest points and varying degrees of less dark from the smaller points. 
This is the process used in the illustrations of this book, and the pin-points, if not 
visible to the eye, may readily be detected through a magnifying-glass. 

Harmony : an arrangement of diversities into a unity of effect, so as to produce an im- 
pression of completeness and perfection ; e.g., a harmony of lines, a color-narmony. 
It is to be noted that the impression is complete. Where a painter uses color, as 
many do, only to increase the resemblance to real objects, the tints could, as it were, 
be shuffled like a pack of cards, without impairing the completeness of the whole. 
But if the painter is a colorist {q.v.) and plays with color as a musician does with 
notes, then the least alteration, such as the subsequent fading out of parts of the 
picture, disturbs the balance and unity of the color-composition as much as if notes 
in a musical composition should be dropped out or transposed. 

Hellas, Hellenic. See Greek. 

Heroic : relating to something larger than life ; e.g., a statue of heroic size. Hence some- 
thing presumed to be nobler than ordinai'y experience; e.g., Pousshi's heroic treat- 
ment of the human figure, Claucle^s heroic landscapes. Accordingly, it is used as a 
s.vnonym for Classic (q.v.). 

Hole in the wall : a term used in connection with mural painting (q.v.). It implies that 
the painting, instead of preserving the impression of being upon a flat, solid surface, 
makes one feel as if one were looking through an opening to some scene beyond ; 
we say of such that it makes a hole in the wall. 

Ideal: (1) that quality in a picture which represents a mental or spiritual idea em- 
bodied in the external form: cf. Titian's Man ivith the Glove (127); (2) the assem- 
bling into one single representation of the qualities of perfection which appear 
separately in many individuals: e.g., an ideal treatment of the human figure, an 
ideal landscape. 

Imagination : the faculty of picturing the universal in terms of the particular. Boeck- 
liu, for example, in his Isle of the Dead (365 et seq.), while adhering to the facts of 
an island and a boat approaching it, makes one realize the vastness of the infinite 
soul into which the atom of soul is received. 



[488] 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

Impressionism : the faculty possessed by some painters, notaWy Velasquez, of receiv- 
ing an immediate and vivid impression of a subject in all its salient features, and 
of retaining the same keenly in bis mind, while he painted, so that the rendering 
of it produces upon ourselves a similarly immediate and irresistibly vivid impres- 
sion. Such is the immediate vividness of Velasquez's Maids of Honor, that Gautier 
summed up his admiration of its realism of appearance by exclaiming, " Where is 
the picture \ " (179) 

Infinite : our world with countless others swims in an ocean of ether, the limits of 
which extend beyond our powers of comprehension. Human life is like children 
paddling in the shallow water of an ocean that stretches away and loses itself upon 
an unattainable horizon. Some artists— Corot, for example, in his skies— suggest 
that what he shows us is a part of this infinity. It is tliis suggestion of the intiuite 
or universal, which appears in the works of all artists who make a powerful appeal 
to the imagination, and is a quality that painting may share with poetry and music. 

Kokoro: a Japanese term to express the life-movement of the universal spirit, tem- 
porarily manifested in impermanent matter (472). 

Kokoromochi : the expression of kokoro, without which a picture is not a work of art. 

Legion of Honor : a French military and civil order of merit, instituted in 1802 by 
Napoleon I. It consists of several ranks : grand officers, grand crosses, comman- 
ders, and knights. 

Light and shade. See Chiaroscuro. 

Local color : the prevailing color which belongs to an object, irrespective of the vari- 
ations produced in it by light and shade, and by the reflections of neighboring 
colors (191, 406). 

Luminarists : a term first used in this country by Professor John C. Van Dyke as a 
substitute for the name impressionists, to designate Manet and his followers, sftice 
their cliief motive was the study and rendering of light. 

Medium : (1) the particular method of representation employed by the artist; e. g., 
painting, engraving, etching, etc. ; (2) the material or tool so employed : e. g., oil- 
paints, water-colors, the burin, needle, etc.; (3) the liquid in which the color ingre- 
dient is dissolved : e. g., oil, water, or water mixed with a glutinous substance. 

Monumental : having qualities suggestive of structural grandeur and permanence, so 
as to be conspicuously impressive, as a monument is ; e.g., a monumental statue, a 
monumental composition. 

Mural painting or decoration : a painting on a ivall ; one, however, that is not merely 
applied to the wall or to some other surface space of a building, but is so planned 
as to become an integral element of the architectural design (426 et seq.). 

Naive (ni-eve'), French : artless, unafiectedly simple. 

Naivete (ni-eve-tay'), French : the quality of artlessness and of unaffected simplicity, 
as of the child-mind. 

Naturalistic : pertaining to or concerned with the study of nature's appearances. 

Nature : from the artist's standpoint, comprises the external appearances of all 
things. 

Neutral : neither black, which is the equivalent of darkness, nor white, the equivalent of 
light, but the intermediate gray. Thus a neutral tint is one with a strong infusion 
of gray; e.g., neutral green - a grayish green. So red may be neutralized into a 
warm gray, blue into a cool gray, and yellow into drab. Similarly, a neutral tone 
(q.c. (1)) is applied to a color the luminosity of which is neither low nor bright, but 
intermediate like the gray of dawn. In this respect we may speak of a picture as 
being of warn] or of cool neutral tones. 

New Learning, the : (1) the knowledge of Greek literature, diffused by the Greek 
scholars, who became scattered over Europe after Constantinople had been taken 
by the Turks in 1453 ; (2) the commencement of the scientific spirit of inquiry, re- 
sulting from the teaching of Copernicus (1473-1543) that the sun was a fixed body 
and that the earth as well as the other planets moved round it. 

Objective : of or belonging to the object studied; opposed to Subjective — of or belong- 
ing to the mind of tlie subject who studies : e.g., the objective point of view, directed 
toward the study of what the artist perceives in the object, unbiased by any feel- 
ings of his own (130, 289). Cf. Subjective. 

Pagan : Latin i^a^anws ; literally, a dweller in a pagus (village), a rustic. These were 

*^ [ 489 ] 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

the last to be reached by the spread of Chilstianity, so that the early Christians of 
the Roman Empire used pagan as a general term for heathen, or Idol-worshipers. 
In our own time we rather use it, free of any religious significance, to describe 
that tendency in the Italian Eena^sance which resulted from the study of the an- 
tique marbles and of Greek literature. Once more, though without any belief in 
them, the artists and poets revived the ancient myths, and joyed in imagining a 
young world, in which the forces of nature were visibly embodied; wherein Pan 
sported with fauns and satyrs, and the countryside was thronged with nymphs : 
Oreads traversing the mountain slopes. Dryads and Hamadryads threading the 
groves, and Naiads hovering in the mist of streams and fountains, while Tritons 
and Nereids frolicked in the ocean (143). 

Painter's painter: a studio-tennused to signify that such and such a painter, because 
he cares little for the subject of his picture as compared with the technical prob- 
lems of painting, and in solving the latter displays unusual skill and facility of 
brushwork, is likely not to interest the general public and can be properly appre- 
ciated only by his fellow-painters (404). 

Paintiness, painty : qualities in a picture that obtrude on us a consciousness of paint; 
so that the painter seems to have been interested in the paint for its own sake, 
rather than as a means only of representing truth of appearances. 

Particular, opposed to Universal {q.v.) : of or belonging to the individual, the tempo- 
rary, and the local. 

Personal equation : an error common to all the observations made by some one per- 
son ; especially in noting the exact moment of transit of a star across the thread 
of his telescope. Hence, in a general sense, the particular, personal impression 
produced upon the eyes and mind of each individual, as a result of his peculiar 
qualities of eyesight, and of mind, temperament, and experience. 

Perspective : the act or result of representing on a plane surface the third dimension 
of depth or distance ; so that the objects in the picture may be made to appear at 
varying distances from the eye and to occupy varying planes in the distance. This 
may be accomplished: (1) by decreasing the size of objects in proportion to their 
distance from the fixed point of sight of the artist, and by making all lines which go 
back from it converge toward an imaginary vanisMng-iwint, determined upon by 
the artist either inside or outside of the limits of his canvas. Such, in brief, is lineal 
perspective. Atmospheric perspective, on the other hand, is obtained by the artist 
noting and rendering accurately the diversities in the amotmt of light contained, 
respectively, in all the colors of the objects, and the variations effected in the local 
colors (q.v.) by the intervening planes of atmosjihere (q.v.) (190, 191). 

Pictorial : having qualities that properly and exclusively belong to a picture. It can- 
not be too often stated that a picture in the true sense of the term is much more 
than a mere representation of facts and objects. It is a completely independent 
method of arousing the esthetic sensations. While in poetry the total impression 
reaches us by degrees, a pictiu'e flashes it upon our consciousness at once ; while 
the sculptor is confined to form and to such color as light and shade may suggest, 
the painter has at his disposal the whole gamut of color : moreover, he can repre- 
sent his figures in all the charm and added force of their surroundings ; can choose 
his owu manner of lighting, and invest his subject with the magic of atmosphere. 
When he recognizes in line and form and color, tone, light, and atmosphere, a 
wealth of opportunity that belongs only to his particular art, and relies mainly 
upon these to impress us, we speak of the pictorial quality of his work. 

Pigment, or paint : the coloring ingredient mixed in a medium of oil or water. 

Placing : the act of making every object in a picture duly occupy its proper place in 
the perspective, and of giving it a just amount of distinctness or indistinctness ac- 
cording to its distance from the front. 

Pointilliste : a method of laying the paint on the canvas, originated by Seurat and devel- 
oped by Monet. Instead of the colors being blended on the palette, they are laid on 
the canvas pure, in minute points, or dots, or stipples, the eye of the spectator being- 
relied upon to blend them (460, 461, 464). 

Polder : Dutch word for pasture-lands. 

Quality : that which gives a thing distinction or characteristic charm. E.g., observe the 
quality in thai wave ; it has been painted in such a way as to show that the painter 



[490] 



GLOSSARY OF TEIllMS 

comprehended its structure aud movement and has appreciated the subtleties of its 
color and of the effects of direct, reflected, and refi-acted lij^ht. 

Realist : in painting, one whose attitude of mind, being purely objective, leads him to 
be satisfied to depict objects as they appear to exist, independently of personal 
bias or of any attempt to idealize. 

Rhythm : in a composition, the harmonious repetition of parts which are related mutu- 
ally to one another as well as to the whole. Thus in Sargent's Frieze of the Prophets 
there is a rhythm of form or rhythmic flow of lines and forms, following one another 
with that general resemblance and individual difference which characterize the 
flow of ocean waves. 

Romantic: painters or writers; those whose motive is to idealize facts so that they 
may be a means of expressing and arousing emotions. 

Scheme of color, or color-scheme : a systematic arrangement of the colors in a picture 
with the intention of producing a harmonious completeness of efi'ect. It corre- 
sponds to the arrangement of notes In a harmony of sound, and, like it, would be 
disturbed by the displacement or loss of any of the individual notes. 

Selection : a principle of composition and drawing whereby the artist selects from the 
mass of possible details such as are essential to the expression of his purpose (99 
et seq.). See Arrangenient. 

Sentiment : in a work of art, the expression of the feeling which the artist conceives 
toward his subject. 

Simplification : a principle of composition and drawing whereby the artist reduces the 
representation of his subject to its simplest essential expression : (1) either, as in 
Millet's drawings, to enforce the essentials of the figure and the gesture and action 
of it ; or (2), as in Puvis's mural paintings, that they may not be too obtrusive and 
so distract attention from the architecture. 

Subjective, opposed to Objective (q.v.) : of or belonging to the mind of the subject who 
studies and represents an object; e.g., the subjective point of vietv, which leads the 
artist to care less about representing the appearance of the object than about 
making his representation express some mood or feeling of his own (130, 289). 

Subtle : literally, fine-woven, like a spider's web ; hence involving fine discriminations : 
e.g., a subtle rendeHng of values, in which the delicate differences in the quantities ot 
light have been very sensitively noted ; a subtle color-scheme, in which there is an 
absence of strong contrasts and instead a play upon colors only slightly different 
in tone (q.v.); a subtle conception, one distinguished by intricacy of motive and deli- 
cate shades of thought. 

Suggestion, suggestive : opposed to Obvious (1) in method, (2) in motive. Sargent's 
portraits, for example, represent the obviovis appearances of his subjects, but with 
a mannerof brushwork entirely the reverse of obvious, conveying an impression of 
reality not by detailed imitation but by a summary of masterly suggestions. 
Leonardo's method, on tlie other hand, was much more obvious, yet his Monna 
Lisa eludes our clear comprehension, and subtly stimulates the imagination. In 
the thii'd place, WTiistler's Portrait of the Artisfs Mother is an example of sugges- 
tiveuess to the imagination as regards both method and motive. 

Symphony : literally, a harmonious blending of vocal or instrumental sounds ; hence a 
blending of colors that appeals to the sensuous imagination : e.g., a sympthony in 
gray, a symphony in silver and blue. 

Synthesis, opposed to Analysis (q.v.): literally, the arrangement of different parts 
into a whole ; hence the process by which an artist, having analyzed his sulyect 
and discovered its essential characteristics, makes a siunmary of these in such a 
way as to suggest the fundamental characteristics. "I have been reproached," 
said Millet, " for not observing the detail ; I see it, but I prefer to construct the 
si/nthcsis, which, as an artistic effort, is higher aiid more robust" (251). 

Tactile imagination: "the imagined sensation of touch"; a term originated by Mr. 
Bernard Berenson. " Psychology," he writes, "has ascertained that sight alone 
gives us no accurate sense of the third dinu-nsion. In our infancy, long before we 
are conscious of the process, the sense of touch, helped on by muscular sensation 
of movement, teaches us to appreciate depth, the third dimension, both in objects 
and in space. . . . The essential in the art of painting is somehow to stimulate 



[491] 



GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

our consciousness of tactile values, so that the picture shall have at least as much 
power as the object represented to appeal to our tactile imagination.^' 

Technic, or technique : the principles and practice of artistic craftsmanship. 

Temperament : the individual temper, mental constitution, and disposition of a per- 
son; hence, in a general way, a person's particular bias of feeling or peculiar 
make-up of nervous sensibility. When an artist, as most modern ones of poetic or 
imaginative tendency do, betrays this peculiar bias of feeling in his work, he is 
spoken of as a temperamental artist, and his work, as being largely influenced by 
tenqjerament. 

Texture : the sui'face of an object, represented in such a way that the substance of 
which it is composed is made to appear real to the eye, and that through our tac- 
tile imagination (q.v.) we may have an imagined sensation of the pleasure of its 
feel to the touch. 

Tone : (1) the degree of luminosity in color; e.g., a low-toned picttire, in which there is 
a prevailing absence of luminosity ; (2) the Intensity or depth of a tint : e.g., a deep 
tone of red, a delicate tone of gray ; (3) the existence in a picture of a prevailing 
color: e.g., a tonal arrangement, signifying that, although many colors are intro- 
duced, we are made to feel that they are subsidiary to one prevailing color. 

Type: literally, one of a group of objects that embodies the characteristics of the 
whole group to which it belongs. Hence we speak of The Soiver by Millet as hav-^ 
ing the significance of a type or as being typal in character, because it summarizes 
the actions and gestures which more or less characterize the operations of all 
sowers, who spiinkle the seed as they stride over the soil. 

Universal, opposed to Particular (q.v.) : the quality in a picture which makes us look 
beyond the personal, local, or temporary significance to a significance limited only 
by the extent of our experience and imagination. 

Value : the quantity of light contained in the color of an object aad of parts of the 
same. Thus a gown, the loccd color (q.v.) of which is pink, will show diversified 
tones (q.v.) of pink, according to the amount of light on the exposed parts and the 
amount of less light in the channels of the folds ; and by representing these values 
accurately the painter without the use of shadow will obtain an efl'ect of modeling. 
Cf. Manet's Girl ^cith a Parrot, 412, 417. Again, a field, the local color of which is 
green, will show grayer and grayer green as it recedes from the eye, owing to the 
neutralizing (see Neiitrcd) efl'ect of the successive planes of intervening atmosphere. 
By rendering accurately the values of these greens a painter may suggest distance 
and atmospheric perspective (q.v.). 



[ 492 ]. 



INDEX 



INDEX 



Abbey, Edwin A., mural decorations of, 
in Boston Public Libi-ary, 426, 427 ; his 
work compared with Puvis de Chavan- 
nes's, 433 ; an illustrator on a grand scale, 
434 
Abstract-concrete, qualities of painting, 
66, 452. See Glossary 

Academic (or classic) in French painting, 
the, Poussiu the father of, 239 ; suited 
to genius of French, inherited from the 
Romans, 240 ; characteristics and effects 
of, 241 ; in figure and landscape seeks as 
near as possible to perfection, 253 ; Dela- 
croix's criticism of, 315; precise about 
form, neglects color, 316; a translation 
of sculpture into painting, 317 ; benefit 
of, as a standard, 321, See Glossary 

Academy in Rome, French, founding of, 
240 

Academy of Painting and Sculpture, 
French, origin of, 240; principles and 
advantage of, 241 

Accessories in a picture, significance of, 
exhibited in Van Eyck's Yirgin and 
Donor, 119 ; in Holbein's portrait of 
Georg Gyze, 126, 131 

Adam [Michelangelo], 155 

Adoration of the Lamb [the Van Eycks], 
45 

Adoration of the Magi [Botticelli], 55 

Adoration of the Magi [Diirer], 109 et seq. 

Adoration of the Shepherds [Correggio], 
marvel of light and shade, 157 

" Afflatus," 146 

Allegorical subjects, 61, 62 

Allegory of Sitring [Botticelli], 61 

Amsterdam, Rembrandt studies in, 224 ; 
settles in, 225; Ruisdael moves from 
Haarlem to, 229 ; claims to be Hobbema's 
birthplace, 342; Hobbema dies in, 250; 
Isi'aels settled in, 420 

Anatomy Lesson, The [Rembrandt], 212 

Angelico, Era (frah ahn-jay'lee-ko), 37 et 
seq.; The Annnnciation compared with 
Van Eyck's Virgin and Donor, 37 ; most 
remai'kable example of a religious 
painter, 38 ; the minute finish and yet 
breadth and simplicity of his style, 38; 
his early life, 46; admitted to the Do- 
minican monastery, 46 ; example of two 
personalities— painter auddevout monk, 
47 ; influenced by the illuminators and by 
Ghiberti, Donatello, Brunelleschi, 47 ; at 
San Marco while Michelozzo enlarged it, 
48; the arcaded loggia appears in The 
Annuncialion, 48; this example of his 



maturity examined, as to composition 
and subject, 49 ; as to color, 50; the im- 
pression received of his work in San 
Marco, .50 ; complete union of the artist 
and the devotee, 51 ; his influence on 
Rossetti, 372, 385 

Angelus, The [Millet], title of, criticized, 
351, note 

Annuneiation [Fra Angelico], 37 et seq. 

Antonello da Messina (an-tone-ayl'lo dah 
mays-see'nah) discovers the Van Eycks' 
secret of oil-painting, 45 

Antwerp, 195 

Apollo Belvedfre, 320 

Architectonic quality in composition, ex- 
planation of, 102 ; characterizes aca- 
demic style, 241 ; important in mural 
decoration, 435. See Glossary 

Architecture, Influence of, on painting, 47, 
48, 83 ; value of, when introduced into a 
picture, 81 et seq. ; Northern and South- 
ern kinds compared, 94 

Arena (ah-ray'nah) chapel, Padua, 18 

Art, primary meaning of the word, 5 

" Art for art's sake," it is said, should be 
the painter's aim, 171 ; its value as a prin- 
ciple considered, 409 et seq. See Glossary 

Art is not nature, 99 

Art of portraiture, Dutch art an, 197 

Artist, composition of an, 4, 5 

Assisi (ahs-see'see), Upper and Lower 
Churches of, IS 

Atmosphere in a picture, (1) arbitrary and 
conventional kind of, 123; Correggio's 
use of, 144 ; suited to the dreamy luxuri- 
ance of his imagiuatiou, 148 ; (x?) atmo- 
sphere of nature, rendered by Masaccio, 
29 ; by Leonardo. 122, 123 ; atmosphere 
with color and light and texture the 
qualities of Venetian painting, 161 ; 
Velasquez suggests perspective by ren- 
dering it, 191, 192 ; varying luminosity 
of, studied by Constable, 301 ; suggested 
in Whistler's etchings, 454. See Glossary 

Augsburg, free imperial city, 93; birth- 
place of Holbein, 137 

Avenue, Middelharnis, The [Hobbema], 
242 et seq. ; compared with The Valley 
Farm, 289 



Baglioni (bal-ye-owe'ni) family at Pe- 
rugia (pay-ruzh'yah), 31 

Balance and unity in composition ob- 
tained by selection and arrangement, 
99; organic unity in nature, 100; equi- 
librium of full and empty spaces, lOO; 



[495] 



INDEX 



repetition and contrast of lines and 
masses, 100, 101; everything focused to 
a point, 101; geometric design, 102; 
architeclitonic or structural unity, 102 ; 
beauty primarily dependent on balance 
and vinity, 102 

Barberini (loar-bay-ree'nee) family, bon 
mot about, 251 

Bar'bizon, 249, 322 et seq. 

Barcelona, birthplace and patron of For- 
tuny, 402 

Bardi (bab'dee) Chapel, S. Croce (san'- 
tah crow'chay), Florence, 18 

Bargello (bah-jel'loh) Chapel, Florence, 
18 

Bartolommeo Colleoni (bah-tol-ome-may'- 
oh col-lay-oh'nee) statue, 71, 84 

Bartolommeo, (bali-tol-ome-may'oh) Era, 
50, 104 

Basel, Holbein, Erasmus, and Froben at, 
138; in clutch of the Reformers, 139; 
birthplace of Boecklin, 367 

Bashful Suitor, The [Israels], 422 

Bath, Gainsborough settles in, 284; Beau 
Nash leads the fashion in, 284 

Beautiful Gate of the Temple [Raphael], 
164 

Beauty, what is it? as expressed by the 
Greeks, Correggio, Michelangelo, 155 ; 
views of Winckelmann, Lessing, Keats, 
Delacroix, 319; may exist in character 
of subject and individuality of artist, 
320 ; in truth, 340 

Beauty in a picture, what produces, 6 

Belle Jarfliniere, La (lah bel jah-dee'nee- 
aii') {Raphael], 104 

Bellini, Gentile (jayn-tee'lay bayl-lee'- 
nee), 31, 71,132 

Bellini, Giovanni (jo-vahn'nee), 68 et seq.; 
his debt to Mantegnaa, Verrocchio, and 
Squarcioue, 71 ; the sculptural calm of 
his flgiires, 72 ; Diirer's judgment of 
him, 72 ; his work comparedwith Titian's 
and that of Phidias, 77 ; in it Byzantinism 
reached its highest truth to local facts, 
77 ; the influence of Greek culture is 
seen in it at its highest point, 78 ; his in- 
troduction of architectural forms, 81-84 ; 
Titian worked with him, 132 

Bellini, Jacopo (yah-ko'i)oh), 31, 71 

Bentivogli (bayn-tee-vohl'ye) family at 
Bologna (bo-lone'yah), 31 

Bentivoglio (bayn-tee-vohl'yoh). Cardinal, 
patron of Claude, 251 

Berenson, Bernard, quoted : Florentines 
masters of several crafts, 18 ; space-com- 
position, 80 ; on " tactile " sense, 120 

Blashfield, Edwin H., quoted re Vero- 
nese, 164 

Blessed Damozel, The [Rossetti], 376 et 
seq, 

Blu<' Boy, The [Gainsborough], a chal- 
lenge to Reynolds (?), 274 

Boccaccio (bok-kahch'yo), his stories the 
evangel of the modern world, 54 ; por- 
trait in Raphael's Parnassus, 106 

Boecklin, Arnold, 353 et seq.; his Isle of the 
Dead a composition in which the hori- 
zontal is subordinated to the vertical, 
a work of imagination, 353 ; compare the 
boat with Charon's in Delacroix's Dante 



and Virgil, 366 ; a sense of infinite seclu- 
sion, yet the isle has been modified by 
man, 366, 367 ; he introduces a harmoni- 
ous blending of figures and landscape 
like Poussin, Claude, and Corot, and has 
a Greek faculty of interpreting land- 
scape by creatures of like nature, 368 ; 
but invents new forms, 369; greatest 
color-poet of the century, 369 ; born at 
Basel, enters Diisseldorf, but advised 
to go to Brussels ; thence to Paris and 
Rome ; the latter the great influence 
upon his career. 367 

Bologna (bo-lone'yah), 31 

Boston Public Library, decorations in, 426 
et seq., 449, 450 

Bottegha (bot-tay'gah), the studio-work- 
shop of early Italian artists, 12, 96 

Botticelli, Alessandro (ah-lays-sahn'dro 
bot-ti-eheliee), 52 et seq.; inspired by the 
new study of Greek, 52, 53 ; pupil of the 
goldsmith Botticelli, .55 ; at the court of 
the Medici, 55; pupil of Fra Lippo, a 
realist, but himself a poet and dreamer, 
56; fond of allegorical subjects, 61, 62; 
his Venus and Madonnas, 62 ; his compo- 
sitions, decorative patterns, 64,65 ; poor 
anatomist, but a great draftsman, 65 ; 
abstract beauty of his line, 66 ; his yearn- 
ing fulfilled in Giovanni Bellini and Ra- 
phael, 67 

Boucher, Francois (frahn'swahbou'shay), 
successor to Watteau, 304; voluptuous 
insipidities of, 313 

Boudin (bou-dan), Eugene Louis, influ- 
ence on Monet, 458 

Bouguereau (bou-gair-roh), W. Adolphe, 
afl"ected by Courbet, 358 

Boy with a Sword [Manet] nearest of his 
works to Velasquez, 411 

Brabant, Flemish school of, 66 

Bramante (brah-mahn'tay), design of, for 
St. Peter's, 156 

Brancacci(bran-karchchee), Chapel of the. 
Church of the Carmine (kah'mee-nay), 
Florence, 29 

Breadth and simplicity, illustrated in 
Giotto, 17; in Hals, 205, 206; result of 
mental power, 207. See Glossary 

Breton, Jules (zhool bray'tou), 339 et seq.; 
his Gleaner examined, 339, 340; she is 
type of woman of Roman Campagna, 
340 ; uses peasant as a peg to hang his 
own poetry upon, 342 ; represents his 
subject without sympathy or under- 
standing, 352 

Brinton,Selwyn,quoted/'^ princely houses 
of Italv 32 

" Brown sauce " of Courbet, 405, 407 

" Brown tree " in a picture, 290 

Bruges, Flemish school of, 37-67 

Brunelleschi (broo-nayl-lays'key), 47 

Burger-Thore, quoted re early life of Rous- 
seau, 325 

Burial of Wilkie at Sea, The [Turner], 299 

Burne-Jones, Sir Edward, intimate with 
Rossetti, 389 ; a " painter of the soul," 390 

Burney, Fanny, her first impressions of 
Mrs. Siddons, 273 

Byron, Lord, influence on Delacroix, 307 ; 
one of the leaders of romanticism, 318 



[496] 



INDEX 



Byzantine influence : Byzantium gateway 
of East and West, 9; meeting-place of 
Oriental and Greek art, 10; Byzantine 
art of illuminators and decorators, char- 
acter of, as encouraged by the church, 
10 ; reaches its highest point as expres- 
sion of religion in Perugino, 70, 71 ; as 
expression of truth to facts in Giovanni 
Bellini, 77; St. Mark's a triumph of 
Byzantine art, 160, 161; Sargent influ- 
enced by Byzantine art, 433, 449 



Campanile (kam-pah-neel'ay), Florence, 81 
Caravaggio (kah-rah-vaj'jyo), 232 
Carlo Dolci (kah'lo dohl'chee), 232 
Carolus-Duran, Charles Auguste, teacher 

of Sargent, 442 
Carpaccio (kar-parch'chyo), 163 
" Cavalier Painter, the," Van Dyck, 207 
Cellini, Benvenuto (bane-vay-noo'to chel- 

lee'nee), 322 
Cesena (chay-zay'nah), 31 
Charles I of England bought Mantegna's 

Triumph, 35 
Chelsea, Holbein welcomed in, 139 ; Ros- 
setti lived there, 389 ; scene of much of 
Whistler's sojourn and work, 453 
Chiaroscuro (kee-ah"rohs-koo'roh) (see 
Light and shade), Giotto's elementary 
use of, for modeling, 17 ; Leonardo, by 
subtlety of, secures poetic and emotional 
efl"ect, 122 ; one of the prevailing quali- 
ties of Venetian jiainting, 161; Tinto- 
retto's use of, 175 ; emotional expression 
of, in Rubens's Descent from the Cross, 
182, 183, 190; Velasquez substitutes for, 
study of values, 190, 191 ; unifying effect 
of, in Rembrandt's Sortie of Banning 
Cock Company, 213; Rembrandt's use 
of, 214, 215, 216 ; Fortuny's treatment of, 
compared with Piloty's, 392 ; Manet re- 
vives Velasquez's study of values, 407 ; 
appearance of light and shade in open- 
air light, 459. See Glossary 
Children of the Shell [Murillo], 209et8eq. 
Christ Walking on the Water [Raphael], 

Ruskin's criticism of, 372, 373 
Chrysoloras, Manuel, Greek scholar, 55 
Church, influence of the, on painting: in- 
sists on types to express dogmas, 10; 
Masaccio and Mantegna break away 
from the flat formalism encouraged by 
the church, 21 ; conventional ideas still 
determine characterof compositions, 56; 
Murillo, a painter for the church, 210 
Cimabue (chee-mah-boo'ay), 8 et seq. ; 
Madonna Enthroned, reason of similar- 
ity to Giotto's, 9 : his picture carried in 
procession. 11; aidopts Giotto as pupil, 
12 ; his treatment of form and drapery, 
12, 17 
Classicists versus Romanticists, 318, 319, 
320; versus Rousseau and Millet, 326, 
349; versus realists, 355-358; versus im- 
pressionists, 408. 409 
Classic in French Painting, ^(te Academic 
Classic or heroic landscape, Poussin the 
father of, 238 ; suggested by Italian land- 



scape, 238 ; principles of, 241 ; illustrated 
in Claude's Landing of Cleopatra, 242, 
243 ; Claude advances it beyond Poussin, 
252; the cause of its popularity, 253; 
Constable's revolt from it, 288 et seq. ; 
Turner's rivalry of Claude, 291, 292; 
' Corot's early preference for, 327, 328 
Claude Gellee, called Lorrain, 242 et seq. ; 
his classic compared with Hobbeniii's 
natural treatment, 242-249; his early 
life and journey to Rome, 250 ; first cook, 
then assistant to the painter Ajfostino 
Tassi, 250; revisits France for two years, 
251; returns to Rome in company of 
Charles Errard, 251 ; attracts notice of 
Cardinal Bentivoglio and wins Euro- 
pean fame, 251 ; left forty-four etchings, 
also two hundred sketches now owned 
by the Duke of Westminster, and called 
" Liber Veritatis," 251, 252 ; his concep- 
tion of the ideal or heroic landscape. 252 ; 
his study of sunshine, 252; hel]ted to 
found the academic or classic in French 
ai't, 253 ; his work suited the taste «»f the 
time and remained popular all through 
the eighteenth century, 253 
Clothes, influence of, on painting, 118 
Color and music compared : Delacroix felt 
in color as a musician does in sounds, 
307; Boecklin and Wagner likened, 369; 
Manet's modulation of a choi-d of gray, 
412; Whistler's eftort to reach the ab- 
stract appeal of music, 451, 452 
Colored forms, nature seen as an arrange- 
ment of, 316 
Colorists and color : Van Eyck's brilliant, 
rich color, 40, 45; Memling's rich and 
life-like, 64 ; Bellini anticipates the other 
great Venetian colorists, Giorgione, Ti- 
tian, and Veronese, 84 ; Rubens's splen- 
dor of color, 184; local color, 191, 406; 
color weak point of Poussin and classic 
school, 241 ; Watteau studies the coloring 
of Rubens and the Venetians, 258 ; splen- 
dor of Turner's color-schemes, 299; 
Delacroix felt in color, and made it a 
means of emotional appeal, 307, 317 ; 
academic school disregard color, 316; 
Charles Blanc's extraordinary state- 
ment, 319 ; Boecklin greatest color-poet 
of the century, 369; Manet's delicate 
color-schemes, 412, 417, 418; Whistler's 
color-harmonies, 452,454,456; Professor 
Rood's experiments in light and cohtr 
studied by Seurat, Plssarro, and Monet, 
458 ; effect of strong sunshine on colors, 
459; decomposition of colors and optical 
mingling instead of mingling of pig- 
ments, 460 ; lionet's range of color wider 
than Corot's, advantages of the point il- 
liste method of laying on color, 463; 
vibrating color, 464 ; primary and sec- 
ondary colors, and heightened effect by 
combination, 469; colored pigrnents in- 
ferior in luminosity to colored light, 469 ; 
raising the key of color, 470; flat col- 
oring and subtle harmonies of the Jap- 
anese, 475, 477. See Glossary 
Comedies, French and Italian, 258 
Communes, or Republics, of Italy, 31 
Composition : Van Eyck's combines large 



[497] 



INDEX 



spotting and minute elaboration, 39 ; the 
balancing of full and eiupty spaces, 79 ; 
effect of suggesting the third dimension, 
"space-composition," Perugino's mas- 
tery of it, 80 ; strengthening of composi- 
tion by introducing architectural forms, 
81 ; monumental quality of Bellini's, ^ ; 
character of the latter's figures iu keep- 
ing with the architectural settings, 83 ; 
Raphael's mastery of composition, 98 ; 
nature seen through a window will lack 
composition, 99 ; composition analyzed, 
98-102; selection and arrangement, 99; 
balance and unity, 99 ; natural or conven- 
tional arrangement, 99 ; full and empty 
spaces, lOO; the equilibrium of them in 
Raphael's Madonna elegit Ansidei yields 
suggestion of wonderful composure, 100; 
vertical, horizontal, and curved lines 
contrasted and repeated, 100, 101 ; a focus 
point of whole, lOl ; basis of design geo- 
metric, 101, 102 ; architectonics of compo- 
sition, and affect of on the imagination, 
102; in Madonna degli Ansidei the ex- 
pression of faces is only a refinement of 
the qualities already expressed in the 
composition, 103 ; this picture contrasted 
with Wolgemuth's Death of the Virgin, 
103 ; German preference for detail over 
structural dignity, 103; Raphael's, built 
up to affect the imagination, 104 ; noble 
spotting of light and dark in Titian's 
Mamvith tJie Glove, 132; composition of 
line and of light and shade in Rubens's 
Descent from the Gross, 181, 182, 183; 
Poussin's composition of figures and 
landscape in Et Ego in Arcadia, 237; se- 
ductive charm of the same in Claude's 
Landing of Cleopatra, 242; Hobbema's 
harsher arrangement, 243; exquisite 
pattern of forms and sky space in VVat- 
tean's Embarkation, 257 ; composition of 
Boecklin's Isle of the Dead and Courbet's 
Funeral at Ornans compared, 353 et 
seq. ; study of arrangement of masses in 
Whistler's Portrait of the Artist's Mother, 
454 ; Japanese arrangement of line and 
tone, 474, 475 ; illustrated in Hashimoto 
Gaho's Sunrise on the Horai, 476, 477. See 
Glossary 

Composition of light and less light, 193 

Composition of light and shade, 182 

Conception of subject, 6 

Concrete-abstract, how far painting ex- 
presses, 452. See Glossary 

Constable, John, Hobbema set the path 
for, 253; Gainsborough born near his 
birthplace. East Bergholt, Sussex, 283; 
287 et seq.; a miller's son brought up 
uear The Valley Farm, or Willy Lotfs 
House, 287; studied at Royal Academy 
schools and from works of Hobbema and 
Ruisdael, love of nature led him back to 
the river Stow,288 ; The Valley Farm com- 
pared with Claude's Landing of Cleo- 
patra and Hobbema's Avenue, 288, 289 ; 
"Painting is with me another name for 
feeling " 288, 289 ; " Where are you going 
to place your browTi tree I " 290 ; his fidel- 
ity to nature and interpretation of his 
own mood make him the father of mod- 



em landscape, 290; his simple life in 
Sussex and at Hampstead, 300, 301 ; stud- 
ied the varying luminosity of the atmo- 
sphere, 301 ; his landscapes exhibited in 
Salon, 1822-1827, attracted Delacroix and 
influenced Rousseau, 323 

Constantinople taken by the Turks, 162 

Contrast and repetition in composition, 100 
et seq. 

Conventionalization of Western and Ori- 
ental artists compared, 473 et seq. See 
Glossary 

" Conversation Pieces," Hogarth's, 270 

Coronation of Napoleon I at Notre 
Dame [David], 315 

Corot, Jean Baptiste Camille (zhahn bah- 
teest' cah-mee'yel coh'roh), one of the 
painters of the paysage intime, 249 ; 322 
et seq.; the lyric poet of the Fontaine- 
bleau-Barbizon School, 323 ; suggestion 
of music and songfulness in his Dance of 
the XympJis, 323, 324; his escape from 
form to render the efl'ect of form upon 
the senses, 324 ; his parents, 324 ; father 
makes him allowance, 327 ; his first visit 
to Italy, 328; masters the skill in drawing 
moving objects and learns to generalize, 
328 ; after third visit to Italy comes un- 
der influence of Rousseau, 328 ; describes 
the sensations produced upon him by 
early morning and evening, 328, 333, 334 ; 
his final stj'le, 334; his attitude toward 
nature compared with Rousseau's 335, 
336, 337 ; the figures in his landscapes 
compared wath Boecklin's, 368 ; his ren- 
dering of skies, 463 ; his attitude toward 
nature compared with Monet's, 470 ; his 
expression of nature's spirit compared 
with the Japanese idea of " kokoro," 472 

"Corporation picture," 211 

Correggio (cor-rage'jyo), Antonio Allegri 
(ahl-lay'gree), 142 et seq.; represents the 
pagan element of the Renaissance, 142, 
143 ; his Marriage of St. Catherine, with- 
out religious fervor, a poet's golden 
dream, 143, 144, 145 ; his use of glazes, 
148 ; his Marriage compared with Mi- 
chelangelo's Jeremiah, 153; his type, 
physical loveliness joined to loveliness 
of sentiment, 155 ; sketch of his life, 157 ; 
his trouble over the "fry of frogs" and 
his wife's death, 157 ; his triumph of light 
and shade in the Adoration of the Shep- 
herds, 157 ; retires from Parina to Cor- 
reggio, 157, 158 ; his influence upon Rey- 
nolds, 276 

Cot^s de Grandville, Rousseau's first mas- 
terpiece, 326 

Courbet, Gustave (goo'stahve coo'ur-bay), 
353 et seq. ; his Funeral at Ornans com- 
pared with Boecklin's Isle of the Dead, 
353, 354 ; realist and revolutionary, 355 ; 
avoids the studios and studies in the 
Louvre, 355, 356 ; his first work. The Stone- 
Breakers, 356 ; Funeral at Ornans criti- 
cized, 356; advocates "la verite vraie," 
358; his broad, firm manner of painting, 
359; the Funeral seriously judged, 360, 
365 ; his share in the Revolution of 1848, 
369; in the Commune, his banishment 
and death, 370; his truth to nature com- 



[498] 



INDEX 



pared with Ruskin's teaching, 374, 375 ; 

his " brown sauce," 405; his teaching of 

realism carried further by Manet, 405, 407 
Cranach, Lucas, 141 
Crane, Walter, influence of, on decorative 

art, 389, 390 
" Cry of the soil " {Le cri de la terre) heard 

b3' MUlet, 343 
Curved lines contrasted with vertical and 

horizontal, 100 et seq. 
Cuyp (kipe), Aelbert, 252 



D 

Dance of Death [Holbein], 138 

Dance of the Nymphs [Corot], 323 et seq. 

Dante (flaan'tay), Giotto's portrait of, 18; 
swan-song of the Middle Ages, 54 ; his 
portrait in Raphael's Parnassus, 106; 
Taine's estimate of, 146 ; Rossetti a stu- 
dent of, 384 ; the ideals of his spirit real- 
ized through Beatrice and the service 
of love, 388, 389 

Dante and Virgil [Delacroix], 304 et seq. ; 
compared with Boecklin's Isle of the 
Dead, 366 

Daubigny, Charles Fran9ois (sharl frahn'- 
swah dow-been'yei, 322 

David, Jacques Louis [zhack loo'ee dah'- 
veedi, 304 et seq.; his art a protest 
against that of Watteau's successors, 
304 ; his Oath of the Horatii cold, calcu- 
lated, and self-conscious, 304 ; its sub- 
ject considered, 304 ; a suspicion of stagi- 
ness, 305 ; David a part of the Revolution, 
308; his Horatii, founded upon Roman 
models, incites to Roman Republican- 
ism, 308, 313 ; David, appointed Minister 
of Fine Arts, imposed his Roman taste 
on public and private life ; it suited the 
spirit of the time, 313 ; the naturalism of 
his portraits of Marat and Napoleon, 314 ; 
and of his Coronation, 315; his banish- 
ment to and death in Brussels, 315 ; his 
legacy of classicism, 315; his Horatii 
compared with Delacroix's Dante and 
Virgil, 316, 317 

Death of the Virgin [Wolgemuth], 103, 
104 

Decline of Italian art, 177, 232 

Decomposition of colors into their con- 
stituent elements, 460 et seq. 

Definition melting into indefiniteness,192, 
477 

Degas (day'gas), Edgard, 475 

Delacroix, Ferdinand Victor Eugene (ewe'- 
zhane day-lah-crwah'), 304 et seq. ; his 
art a protest against David's, his Dante 
and Virgil examined, its subject, 306 ; 
its color-scheme, 307 ; product of the 
Romantic movement, 307, 308 ; he repre- 
sents the fervor of individualism, 308; 
ridicules the Academy's search for ideal 
beauty, 315 ; his Dante and Virgil com- 
pared with David's Horatii, 316,317; a 
gTcat colorist, 317; influenced by the 
Romantic writers, 318; Blanc's "criti- 
cism" of him, 319; his assertion that 
beauty is not the only end of art, 319; 
the Academy's opposition to him, 320 



Delaroche (day-lah-roh'she), Hippolyte, 
teacher of Millet, 343 ; of Israels, 419 

Descent from the Cross [Campana], 224 

Descent from the Cross [Rubens], 175, 178 
et seq. 

Despots, Italian, brilliant and terrible life 
of, 32 

Detail, Flemish skill in, illustrated by Van 
Eyck, 39, 40; l)y Meniling, 64; German 
taste for, 103 ; Diirer's skill in rendering 
detail and in giving it signiticance, 119, 
120; Holbein's elaboration of, to suggest 
character of his subject, 131; Meisso- 
nier's untruthful truth of, 189; Van 
Dyck's rhetorical treatment of, 205, 206 ; 
Hogarth's anecdotal, 260, 261 ; Corot es- 
capes from, 324; freely generalizes, 334; 
Rousseau for a period too exact in rep- 
resenting, 335; Western and Japanese 
generalization and conventionalization 
of, compared, 473 et seq. 

Diaz (dee'ahz) de la Peiia, Narciso Vir- 
gilio, 322, 326, 344 

Dido building Carthage, Turner emu- 
lates Claude in, 291 

Dimensions, the three, 17 

Disputa (dees-poo-tah') [Raphael], its 
design based upon one of Perugino's, 
105 

Distance, effect of, upon the imagination, 

80 

Distemper, the medium of, 8. See Glossary 

Distinction, quality of, 282 

Dobson, Austin, quoted on MarHage a la 
Mode, 265 

Doge Leonardo Loredano (doje lay-0-nah'- 
do lo-ray-dah'no), portrait of [Giovanni 
Bellini], 77 

Doge's Palace, Venice, embodiment of 
the temporal life of Venice, 160; its dec- 
orations, 163 

Domenichino (do-may-nee-kee'no), Pous- 
sin studies with, 232 

Dominici, Giovanni (jo-vahn'nee do-mee- 
nee'ehee), founder of the order of Do- 
minicans, 46 

Donatello (doh-nah tayl'loh), influence on 
Masaccio, 24 ; on Fi'a Angelico, 47 

Dosso-Dossi (dos'so dos'see), 32 

Dramatic and scenic contrasted, 170, 174 

Drapery, treatment of: Giotto's rudimen- 
tary but functional use of, 12, 17 ; supe- 
rior character and fluency of Masaccio's, 
23 ; Mautegna's liny and stifl", 24 ; origin 
and explaiiation of this treatment, 33, 
34 ; sculptural and monumental charac- 
ter of Giovanni Bellini's, 84 ; Reynolds's 
treatment in the Mrs.*Siddons, 281 

Drawing, the child's way of, 64 

Ducal Palace, Venice. See Doge's Palace 

Dupre, Jules (zhool doo-pray'), 249, 322, 
326 

Diirer (dooer-rer'), Albrecht, his opinion of 
Giovanni Bellini, 72 ; Wolgemuth his 
master, 85 ; log et seq. ; most representa- 
tive of the (ierman race, 109; his skill of 
draftsmanship, qualities of his work, 
110; DiircT's genius characterized by the 
genius of tlie Germans, 111 ; his admira- 
tion of Luther and work in engravings 
for the publisher Koburger, 117, 118 ; did 



[499] 



INDEX 



not possess the gift of ideal beauty, due 
to influence of German Renaissance be- 
ing moral and intellectual rather than 
artistic, 118; his skill in suggesting tex- 
tures and the signiflcance of appear- 
ances, 119, 120; difference between his 
work and Leonarr.«.'s summarized, 124; 
his art must be joined with Holbein's to 
represent completely the genius of the 
German race, 141 
Dutch art an art of portraiture, 197 
Dutch School, 195-254, 404-422 
Dutch war of independence, 195 et seq. 



E 

East Bergholt, birthplace of Constable, 
283, 287 

Eastern and Western ideals, difference 
between, 9, 471, 476 

Ecce Ancilla Domini [Rossetti], 371 

Ecole des Beaux Arts (ay'cole day bohs 
ahr), 241 

" Eighth Discourse," Reynolds's, on warm 
and cold colors, 274 

Elemental and permanent compared with 
incidental and momentary, 425 

Elemental quality in painting, the : ele- 
mental geometric figures, 102 ; the ele- 
mental quality the secret of the eleva- 
tion of Michelangelo, 155 ; Rousseau's 
suggestion of it, 336, 337 ; Millet's, 352 ; 
Puvis de Chavannes's, 425; Whistler's 
search for it, 451, 452 ; Japanese idea of 
" kokoro," 472, 473. See Glossary 

Elusiveness in painting, Leonardo's love 
of, 121, 124 ; Velasquez's appearing and 
disappearing lines, 192 ; Whistler's pref- 
erence for, 456 ; Japanese skill in, 477. 
See Glossan/ 

Embarkation for Cythera [Watteau], 256, 
257, 258, 259 

English School, Early, 255-303 

English Pre-Raphaelite School, 371-390 

Engraving and painting compared, 117 

Engraving on copper, 110, 260. See Glos- 
sary 

Engraving on wood, 110. See Glossary 

Entombment, The [Giotto], 22 

Entombment of Christ [Mantegna], 35 

Erasmus, friend of Holbein, 130 ; driven 
from Basel by the Reformation, 139 

Errard, Charles, one of the founders of 
the French Academy in Rome, 251 

Esprit (ays'pree) in brushwork, 444 

Etching, process of, 221. See Glossary 

Etchings, Whistler's, constructive reality 
and detail of Thames series ; economy 
of line in Venetian series, 453 ; character- 
istic of the artist's love of suggestive- 
ness, 453, 454 ; betray the Japanese in- 
fluence, 475 

Et Effo in Arcadia [Poussin], 228, 238 

Everdingen, Allart van, 229 

Exaggeration of Michelangelo, 156 ; of 
Tintoretto, 175 

Experience and feeling, influence of, on the 
artist, 4 et seq. 

Externals, joy of the painter in, 21, 22 



False realism, 189 

Family of Darius, The [Veronese], 169 

Father of modern landscape, the. Con- 
stable, 287 

Feeling and experience, influence of, on 
the artist, 4 et seq. 

Ferrara (fer-rah'rah), 31, 32 

"Fiat Lux" (fee'at loox), "Let there be 
Liffht," 407 

Fighting Temiraire, The [Turner], 299 

Figure, rigidity of the academic, 316 

Figures, placing of: heads above heads in 
Byzantine painting, 8 ; Giotto begins to 
suggest a third dimension, 17 ; Masaccio 
to place his figures in air, 29 ; figures 
treated as a pattern of forms by Botti- 
celli, 64; figures sti-etched across in one 
or two planes, as in low-relief sculpture, 
by Mantegna, 34; by Wolgemuth, 95; 
by Poussin, 232 ; by David, 308 ; seen as 
through a veil, as in the case of Leonardo, 
121 ; placed in melting atmosphere by 
Correggio, 148; enveloped in light by 
Velasquez, 190 ; an arrangement of col- 
ored forms in harmonious relation, 316 ; 
distributed by Puvis in separate planes, 
to avoid contrasts of light and shade, 
437 

Filippino (fee-leep-pee'no) Lippi, 29 

First of the moderns, the, Velasquez, 194 

Flat painting, Byzantine, 17, 20; Hals's, 
flat tones, 205; Puvis's, 433, 437. See 
Glossary 

Flemish art, one of choice perfection of 
detail, 38 

Flemish School, 37 et seq., 52 et seq., 177 et 
seq., 195 et seq. 

Florentine artists masters of several 
crafts, 18 

Fontainebleau, 322 

Fontainebleau-Barbizon School, 322-352 

Form, idealization of: Botticelli's ab- 
stract beauty of line, 65, 66 ; Perugino's 
forms expressive of " soul-solitude," 69, 
70; Giovanni Bellini's grand type of 
physical and mental perfection, 72 ; 
Leonardo's forms expressive of the 
mystery of inward beauty, 121, 122, 123 ; 
Michelangelo's, of mental emotions, 
154; Murillo's, of religious sentiment, 
210 ; Rembrandt's expressive of the soul, 
216; Poussin's poetic treatment, 239; 
AVatteau's idealism, 257 ; academic ideal- 
ization, 253, 315, 316 ; Boecklin's idealiza- 
tion founded upon facts, 366, 367 ; Ros- 
setti's, upon devotion to one woman, 
387-389; Puvis de Chavannes's, upon 
simplification, 437 

Form, the rendering of: Giotto's advance 
in, 12, 17, 18 ; Masaccio's further advance 
in, 22, 23 ; the impulse given to, by 
sculptors, 24, 29 ; Flemish love of, 39, 64; 
influence of architecture on, 48, 81-84, 
434-437; Dilrer's mastery in, 119, 120; 
Velasquez's skill in, by means of values, 
191 ; flat modeling of, in clear light by 
Hals, 205 ; Millet aimed at a synthesis of 
form, 351 ; force of character in Coiir- 
bet's rendering of form, 365; Whistler 



[500] 



INDEX 



shunned the obviousness of form, 451 et 
seq. ; Japanese belief in the inaperma- 
nence of matter and temporariness of 
form, 471 

Form the first thing to observe, Rous- 
seau's advice, 334 

Fortuny, Mariano, 391 et seq. ; his Spanish 
Marriage coiupared with PiU)ty's Thus- 
nclda, 391 ; its composition, 392 ; the life 
and character of the tiiiures, 397; his 
birth and training in Barcelona, 402; 
won the Prix de Rome, then visited 
Morocco and became fascinated by the 
light, color, and movement of the South, 
402 ; his Rococo subjects characteiistic, 
403 ; skill in painting, and vogue in 
Paris, 403 ; set the fashion for bric-a-brac 
pictures, 403 

Fragonard, Jean Honore, 304 

Francis I, 322 

Frari, Church of the, Titian buried in, 137 

French, the, inheritors of Roman tradi- 
tion, 239, 240 

French schools, 228-271, 304-370; 404-440 

Fresco, 18, 147. See Glossai^j 

Froben, printer and publisher, 138, 139 

Fromentin (fro'mon-tan), French painter 
and critic, quoted on Flemish art, 46; 
on the Dutch School, 197 ; on Rembrandt, 
214 

"Fry of frogs," 157 

Fugitive gesture or movement, 458, 461 

Full and empty spaces : balance of, in com- 
position, and its effect upon the imagi- 
nation, 79; explanation of, 100 (see 
Glossary) ; Puvis's treatment of, 424 ; 
special value of empty spaces in Whis- 
tler's Venetian etchings, 453 ; Whistler's, 
in the portrait of his mother, 454, 455 ; 
and in Gaho's Sunrise on tJie Horai, 477 

Fundamental side of men and things, the, 
Millet tried to depict, 350 

Funeral at Ornaus [Courbet], 353 et seq. 



Gainsborough, Thomas, 272 et seq.; his 
Portrait of Mrs. Siddons compared with 
Reynolds's, 273 ; refutes Reynolds's doc- 
trine concerning cold and warm colors, 
274; not dramatic, but simxile and of 
delicate refinement, 282; his "distinc- 
tion '' as an artist, love of music and 
simple things, 282, 283 ; sketch of Ms ca- 
reer, 283, 284'; eulogy on him pronounced 
by Reynolds, 285; his art spontaneous 
and poetic, 285 

Gallic genius compared with German and 
Anglo-Saxon, 266 

Ganne's Inn, Barbizon, 344 

Generalization, to a certain extent inev- 
itable, 4 ; Corot leanis the value of, 328 ; 
Western and Oriental methods com- 
pared, 473, 474. See Glossary 

Genius shaped by environment, 111 et seq. 

Genre, Dutch, compared with Hogarth's, 
270. See Glossary 

Geometric forms in composition, 102 

George, Saint [Donatello], influence on 
painting of, 24, 47 



Oeorg Gyze, Portrait of [Holbein the 
Younger], 125 et seq., 184 

Germ, The, 390 

German and Italian Renaissance com- 
pared : the Italian primarily an artistic 
movement, the German an intellectual 
one, 112 ; Gernjan movement clo.sely 
identified with the arts of printing and 
engraving, 117 ; owing to climate, Ital- 
ians study human form, Germans render 
the character of clothes, 118 

German art, character of: profusion of 
detail, 103 ; stern, tender, enigmatic, as 
in Diirer, 111 ; decorative feeling, eager 
curiosity, elaboration, as in Holbein, 
141 ; abounding in sentiment and dra- 
matic characterization, in Piloty and 
genre works, 401 

German history, summary of, 86-94 

German School, 85-141, 353-370, 391-403 

Gerome, Jean Leon (zhahn lay'on zhay- 
rome'), Rousseau slighted in favor of, 
327 ; Courbet's influence on, 358 ; 423 et 
seq. ; his Pollice Verso compared with, 
Puvis's Infer Artes et Naturam, 423, 424, 
425; unlikely to have painted true deco- 
ration, 426 ; great popularity, and causes 
of it, 440 

Ghiberti's (ghee-bare'tee) doors, influence 
on painting of, 24, 47 

Gilles (zhee-yeel') [Watteau], 258, 259 

Giorgione (jor-jo'nay), 84, 137 

Giotteschi (jot-tays'key), followers of 
Giotto, 18 

Giotto (jot'toh), 8 et seq.; pupil of Cima-, 
bue, 11 ; his advance toward natural 
truth, 12; suggests the third dimension 
and uses light and shade in a functional 
way, 17 ; sculptor and architect as well 
as painter, 18 

Girl and Pigs [Gainsborough], 282 

Girl with a Parrot [Manet], 404 et seq., 
461 

Giulio Romano (jooryoh roh-mah'noh), 232 

Gleaner, The [Jules Breton], 339 et seq. 

Gleaners, The [Millet], 339 et seq. 

Glory of Venice [Veronese], 164 et seq. 

Golden age, a, 143 et seq. 

Golden Calf, The [Tintoretto], 173 

Goldsmith, Oliver, friend of Reynolds, 285 

Gonzaga (gon-zah'gah) Welcoming his 
Sons [Mantegna], 22 et seq. 

Gothic feeling, characteristics of, 66, 67 ; 
expressed its desire of beauty first in 
architecture, 94 ; descended from the re- 
ligion, savage and cruel, of Asgard, 95 

Gothic revival in England, product of the 
Oxford Movement, 381; Holman Hunt's 
Light of the World imbued with the spiiit 
of* 381, 382 ; effect of, on modern revival 
of decorati(m, 390 

Greek art and Greek religion connected, 9 

Greek culture and study, recovery of, by 
the Western world, 54, 55 ; Botticelli in- 
spired by, 52, 62; influence of, seen in 
highest form in Giovanni Bellini, 77, 
78; united to Christianity by Raphael, 
88; he retells the Greek myths and inter- 
prets Bible story in Hellenic guise, 106 ; 
important consequences of this, 107; 
Ruskin's criticism of it, 373 



[501] 



INDEX 



Greek sculpture, Giovanni Bellini's work 
compared to it, 72, 77 ; Michelangelo's 
contrasted with, 154 

Greuze, Jean Baptiste (zhahn bah-teest' 
grooerz), 267 

Gruchy (groo'shee). Millet's birthplace, 342 

Guido Rent (ghee'do ray'nee), 232 



H 

Haarlem, scene of Hals' s life, 198 and 
note ; and death, 207 ; birthplace and 
early home and finally deathplace of 
Ruisdael, 229, 230 ; one of the towns claim- 
ing to be the birthplace of Hobbema. 242 
Hals, Franz, 195 et seq. ; first of the great 
Dutchmen, 198 ; his meeting with Van 
Dyck, as told by Houbraken, 198 ; com- 
parison of the two men, 198, 199; his 
Portrait of a Woman coutrasted with Van 
Dyck's Marie Louise, 199,200; his mas- 
tery of hands, 199, 200 ; his portraits typi- 
cal of Dutch School, 205 ; his method of 
painting, 205 ; broadly surveyed exter- 
nals of his subject, 206 ; his woi'k indica- 
tive of fine qualities of mind, 206, 207 ; 
for over a hundred years overlooked, 
now esteemed highly, 208 

Hampstead, Constable's later home, 301 

Hands, expression of, 199, 200 

Hanse towns : their trade with Venice 
and Genoa, 93 ; their privileges and im- 
portance, 140 

Hashimoto Gaho (harsh-moh'toh gah- 
hoh), 457 et seq. ; foremost living artist 
in Japan, 457 ; suggestiveness keynote of 
Japanese motive, 471 ; based upon Bud- 
dhist beliefs, 471-472 ; Gaho's doctrine of 
" kokoromochi," 472 ; of Japanese paint- 
ing being founded on line, 474 ; his Sun- 
rise on the Horai examined, 476 ; its linear 
arrangement, 477 ; its tonal composition 
and value of empty spaces, 477 

Hassam, Childe, 458 

Hayman, Frank, 283 

Hearn, Lafcadio, quoted as to changing 
character of Japanese landscape, 471, 
472 ; and as to the source of true great- 
ness in Japanese art, 476 

Hedge, Dr. F. H.,hi8 definition of Roman- 
tic, 292 

Hell, in the Campo Santo at Pisa, 53 

Hellas, Hellenic, .53, 106. See Glossary 

Hellenic guise, Bible stories clothed in, 
by Raphael, 106, 107 

Heist, Bartholomeus van der, 211 

Heroic landscape. See Classic or heroic 
landscape, also Glossary 

High Renaissance, 21 

Historical painting and painters, 400 

Hobbema (hob'bay-mah), Meindert, 242 et 
seq.; three towns claim to be his birth- 
place, 242 • his Avenue of Middelharnis 
compared with Claude's Landing of 
Cleopatra, 242; the composition of the 
Arenue, 243; its subject studied, 244; 
his landscapes represent the pay sage 
intirne, 249 ; little known of his life, 2.50 ; 
his truth to nature less than Constable's, 
253, 254 



Hogarth, "William, 255 et seq. ; the first 
English painter, 255 ; his, a new kind of 
pictures, 256 ; linked to Watteau's by the 
influence of the drama, 259 ; personal 
characteristics, 260 ; subject of the Mar- 
riage a la Mode, 260, 265 ; Austin Dobson's 
praise of it, 265 ; indorsement of his 
qualities as a painter, 266 ; difference be- 
tween him and Watteau partly racial, 
266-268 ; he reflected tour influences : 
Puritan morality, power of the middle 
class, the drama, and rise of English 
prose, 268, 269 ; his line of beauty, 269, 
270; his "Conversation Pieces," how 
they differ from Dutch genre, 270 ; sum- 
mary of ditference from Watteau, 270, 271 

Holbein the Elder, 138 

Holbein the Younger, and Diirer, grand 
figures in German art, 85 ; 125 et seq.; 
his Portrait of Georg Gyze compared 
with Titian's Man with the Glove, 125-127 ; 
his enjoyment in the truth of facts, 127 ; 
his art, objective, particular, realistic, 
128; his attitude of mind made him a 
realist, 129, 130 ; his elaborate detail com- 
pared with Titian's simplification, 131 ; 
minuteness of his modeling, 131 ; sketch 
of his career, 137-140; its contrast to 
Titian's, 140, 141 ; his place in German 
art, 141 

" Hole in the wall," 434. See Glossary 

Homer, "'A^inslow, 337, 338 

Hooped skirts, eflect of, on Velasquez's 
style, 193 

Hoppner, John. 286 

Horizontal lines, expression of, illustrated 
in architecture of Southern Europe, 94 ; 
contrasted with vertical, 100 ; efl:ect of 
excess of, 353, 365 

Houbraken quoted concerning Hals and 
Van Dyck, 198 

Hugo, Victor, the leader of French Ro- 
manticism, 307 ; production of his " Her- 
uani," 318 

Hunt, William Holman, 371 et seq.; mem- 
ber of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 371 ; 
its motive and ideals, 371, 372; Ruskin 
to the rescue, 373, 374 ; the latter's con- 
tention that modern art should be re- 
ligious in motive and truthful to minut- 
est detail realized in Hunt, 376 ; the 
Light of the World examined as to sub- 
ject, 376; it fitted in with the Oxford 
Movement and Gothic Revival, 381, 382 ; 
he visits the Holy Land, 382 ; the Shadow 
of the Cross described, 382 ; his influ- 
ence on foreign artists, 383, 384 



Idealist and realist, Rembrandt a union of, 
214 

Idealization, examples of: Botticelli's Vir- 
gin aud Venus, 62 ; Perugino's sexless, 
soul-saturated figures, 69, 70; Bellini's 
elevation of local facts into noble types, 
77 ; Raphael combined the intensity of 
the religious feeling with the imper- 
sonal serenity and happiness of the pa- 
gan, 88; Leonardo's types elusive, less 



[ 502 ] 



INDEX 



visible to eye-sight than to soul-si^^ht, 
121, 123; Titian's idealization of a luood, 
127 ; Van Dyek's idealization of elegance 
and manners, 199; Claude's improve- 
ment upon nature, 242, 243; the aca- 
demic improvement on the human fig- 
ure, 253; Watteau'srainbow-hued visions 
of grace, 256, 257 ; Boecklin's idealiza- 
tion based on facts, 366, 367 ; Puvis seeks 
for the permanent and elemental, 425, 
437, 439. See Glossary 

Ideals of the West and East different, 9 

Illustrators influenced by Japanese art, 
476 

Imagination, the, efl"cct of distance and 
space upon, 78; stimulated by experi- 
ence of physical sensations, 79, 80 ; Mi- 
chelangelo's appeal to, 154, 155; Rem- 
brandt's power of moving, 214, 216 ; how 
the sky appeals to, 231 ; Boecklin bases 
on facts his appeal to, 360, 367 ; music's 
abstract appeal to, 451 ; the concrete ap- 
peal of painting to, 452; Whistler's ap- 
peal to, through suggestiveness, 452-456 ; 
effect upon, of Corot's skies, 463; sug- 
gestiveness to spirit and imagination 
the keynote of Japanese painting, 471, 477 

Imitation of Italian art, Flemish art loses 
its identity in, 67; German art also, in 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
141; caused Velasquez to be forgotten, 
194 ; also Hals, 208 ; Rembrandt to be de- 
spised, 226, 227; Reynolds founded his 
style on, 276; Constable broke away 
from, 288 

Immortals, the, 240 

Impermanence of matter, Japanese belief 
of, 471, 472 

Impressionism, modern : Manet revives 
Velasciuez's study of light, 407; origin 
of name, which is a misnomer, 408; the 
impressionists should be called lumi- 
narists, 408 ; their cry of " Art for art's 
sake," 404 et seq. See Glossary 

Impressionism of Monet, popular misap- 
prehension of, 457 ; goes further than 
Manet and Velasquez, and learns from 
Japanese to seek the fleeting mood of 
nature, 457, 458 ; his method of painting, 
of itself, has nothing to do with impres- 
sionism, 458 

Impressionism of Velasquez, instant and 
complete, and vividly retained, 190; a 
realism of vision, rendered with true 
appearance of light, 190, 191, 192 

Impression on the eye and on the mind 
contrasted, 129 

Incidental and momentary compared with 
elemental and permanent, 425 

Individuality, Winckelmann says that the 
highest beauty is devoid of, 319 ; Dela- 
croix savs that stvle depends upon in- 
dividuality of artist, 319, 320; Millet's 
peasants not individual, but typal, 341, 
350; Puvis's avoidance of, 437 ; Buddhist 
text, "He alone is wise who can see 
things without their individuality," 476 

Ingres (an'gur), Jean Auguste Dominique, 
follower of David, 354; his frigid, mar- 
bleized figures, 357 

Inness, George, 337, 338 



Institute of France, 240, 241 

Intense feeling, l\cui))randt and Ruisdael 
the only notes of, in Dutch art, 230 

Inter Artes ct Naturam [Puvis], 423 et 
seq. See Glossary 

Ipswich, Gaiiisboroui^h resided at, 283 

Js*iiah [Michelangelo], 276 

Isle of the Dead [Boecklin], 353 et seq. 

Israels, Jozef, 404 et seq. ; painter of the 
Dutch poor, 404 ; destined for a rabbi, 
then helped in his father's bank, 419 ; 
schooled tirstin the academical manner, 
under Delaroche, 419 ; settled in Amster- 
dam and tried to paint historical sub- 
jects, 420; ill-health took him to Zaud- 
voort, where he began to study nature 
and the fisher-folk, 420 ; back in Amster- 
dau), he at first painted rather anecdotal 
and sentimental pictures, but gradually 
learned to make light the main source 
of expression of sentiment, 420; illus- 
trated in The Old Scribe, 4^21; its broad 
yet delicately sensitive treatment, 421 ; 
more range of motive than Millet, better 
painter of light and atmosphere, and 
makes more of landscape, 422 ; his influ- 
ence on Dutch art, 422 

Italian history, summary of, 86 et seq. 

Italian influence. QQ.e> Imitation of Italian 
art 

Italian School, 8-176 



Jacque, Charles (sharl zhack), 322, 344 
Japan, art of, 471 et seq. ; Japanese art 

compared with Occidental, 471 
Japanese art, influence of, on Whistler, 

455 ; on Monet, 458 
Japanese art, related to life, 478 
Jeremiah [Michelangelo], 142 et seq. ; 

compared with Reynolds's Mrs. Siddons, 

276 
Johnson, Samuel, friend of Reynolds, 285 
Judgment, The, in the Campo Santo at 

Pisa, 53 
Judith tvith the Head of Solofemes 

[Mantegna], 35 
Julius II, Pope, summons Raphael to 

Rome, 105; commissions Michelangelo, 

153 

K 

Keats quoted, 319 

Kemble, family of actprs, 272 

Keppel, Commodore, afterward Lord, 275 

Kneller, Sir Godfrey, 255 

Koburger, Antonius, printer, 93, 117 

Koeverden claims to be birthplace of 
Holtbema, 242 

Ko'koro, the Japanese idea of, 472, 473. 
See Glossary 

Kokoromochi (ko'ko-ro-mo"chee) the ex- 
pression of " kokoro," 472. See Glossary 



Landing of Cleopatra 

[Claude], 242 et seq., 288 



at Tarstts 



[503] 



INDEX 



Landscape, a background to figures in 
Italian art, Perugino's beautiful exam- 
ple, 78; its expressional value, 79; the 
Dutcti painted it for its own sake, 237, 
2U; "classic" or "heroic," 237, 238: 
equal balance of landscape and tigiu'es 
in Poussin's pictures, 237 ; love of, par- 
ticularly characteristic of Northern na- 
tions, 237 ; uifluence of, upon the Italian 
grand style, 238; Claude's rearrange- 
rueut of nature, addition of architecture, 
and reduced importance of figures, 2^2, 
243, 252, 253 ; Constable revives the nat- 
ural landscape, 287 et seq.; Rousseau 
founds the modern French school of 
jmysage intime, 325 et seq.; American 
landscape, 337, 338 

Las Meiiinas (lahs mane-yeen'as). See 
Maids of Honor 

Last (Tudgtnent [Michelangelo], 156 

Last Judgment [Tintoretto], 173 

Lastman, Pieter, 224 

Lawrence, Sir Thomas, 286 

Layman ? What is a, 410 

Layman's point of view differs from ar- 
tist's, 410 

Leaving out and putting in, 131, 200, 453 

Lebrun, Charles, 240, 255 

Lely, Sir Peter, 255 

Le Notre lays out the gardens at Ver- 
sailles, 253 

Leonardo da Vinci (lay-o-nah'do dah 
veen'chee) fellow-pupil of Perugiuo, 84 ; 
influence ou Raphael, 104 ; log et seq.; 
his Virgin of the Rocks compared with 
Diirer's Adoration of the Magi, 109, 120, 
121 ; early life in Florence, maturity in 
Milan, last three years in France, 110; 
pupil of Verroechio, 110; scientist, musi 
cian, and painter, 110, 121; peered into 
the secrets of nature and life, 121, 122; 
the first to make chiaroscuro yield po- 
etic and emotional expression, 122; the 
subtlety and delicacy of his method il- 
lustrated in the Virgin of the Rocks and 
the Monna Lisa, 123; his type of woman's 
beauty, 123; his work full of mystery, 
sensitive, strangely alluring, but baf- 
fling and elusive, 124; recapitulation of 
his qualities, 142; anticipated the per- 
spective of light, 191; one of the Fon- 
tainebleau School, 322; traits in him 
shared by Whistler, 451 

Lessing quoted : truth to nature first con- 
dition of beauty, 319 

Lethiere, Guillaume (gheel'yome lay'ti- 
air), 323 ' 

Let the Little Children come unto IHe 
[Von Uhde], 384 

"Let there be Light," "Fiat Lux," the 
motto of modern painting, 407 

Leyden, birthplace of Rembrandt, 224 

Lhermitte, Leon Augustin (lay'on oh- 
goos'tan lair'meet), 352, 383, 384 

" Liber Studiorum," Turner's, 252, 298 

" Liber Veritatis," Claude's, 252, 298 

Life and movement, 65, 169, 328 

Light, modeling by: Velasquez, 190, 191; 
Hals, 205 ; Manet, 417 

Light, Monet's rendering of, 463 et seq. 

Light a form of energy, 463 



Light and shade. See Chiaroscuro 

Light of the World [Holman Hunt], 376 
et seq. 

Line, functional use of, 17 ; decorative use 
of, 65, 66 ; compositional use of, 100, 101, 
102 ; at the same time expressional use 
of, 102 ; for another union of composi- 
tional and expressional lines compare, 
181, 182 ; Correggio's lines of grace, Mi- 
chelangelo's of power, 155, 156 ; elusive- 
ness of Velasquez's contour lines, 192 ; 
Hogarth's line of beauty, 269 ; academic 
ideal line, 315, 316; Millet's synthetic 
line, 351 ; economy of line In Whistler's 
etchings, 453 ; Japanese painting found- 
ed on line : Its subtlety of expression, 
474; Japanese line melting into indefl- 
niteness, 477 

Lippo Lippi, Era (frah leep'po leep'pee), 

56 
Local color, 191, 406. See Glossary 
Local truth idealized by Giovanni Bellini, 

77 
London in 1526, 139 
Lord Leighton's Procession of Cimahue^s 

2Iadoii)ia, 11 
Lorenzetti (low-raynt-say'tee) brothers, 

20, 53 
Louis XIV, 240, 255, 256 
Louis XV, 256 

" Luminarists," 408, 422. See Glossary 
Luther's influence on DUrer, 112, 117 



M 

Madonna and Child ivith St. Jerome 
and the Magdalene [Correggio], 157 

Madonna degli Ansidei (dail'j'e ahn-see- 
day'ee) [Raphael], 97 et seq. 

Madonna Enthroned [Cimabue], 8 et seq. 

Madonna Enthroned [Giotto], 8 et seq. 

3Iado)ina Gran Vuca (grahn doo'ca) 
[Raphael], 104 

Madrid, 223 

Maids of JtTotior, T7ie, "Las Meiiinas " 
[Velasquez], 178 et seq., 269 

Malatesta (mal-ah-taste'ah) family at 
Rimini, 31 

Manet (mah'nay), Edouard, 404 et seq.; 
his Girl tvith a Parrot comi3ared with 
The Old Scribe by Israels, 404; carried 
further and completed the realism of 
Courbet by realism of representation, 
405; first studied and borrowed from the 
old Italian masters, then learned anew 
the truths concerning light discovered 
by Velasquez, 406, 40T; "Let there be 
Light " became new watchword, 407 ; the 
"Salon des Impressionistes " in 1871, 
408; the position of the Impressionists 
considered, 408-411; in Boy ivith Sword 
approaches nearest to Velasquez, 411 ; 
his Girl with a Parrot examined : its 
color-scheme, 412, 417, 418 ; enumeration 
of his qualities, 418 ; his influence on 
others, 418, 419 

Mantegna, Andrea (ahn-dray'ah mahn- 
tane'yah), 20 et seq.; at Padua what 
Masaccio had been at Florence, 21 ; es- 
tablished the status of painting inde- 



[504] 



INDEX 



pendent of tlie cliiircli, 21 ; his Gonzaga 
Family examined : character and indi- 
viduality of the lieads, 23; attitudes 
stiff, drapery liny, 24 ; learned of sculp- 
ture, 24 ; of Giotto's frescoes in Padua, 
30; and of his teacher Squarcione's casts 
of antique sculpture, 30; assisted his 
master in the Church of Eremitani, sO ; 
friendship with the Bellinis, 31 ; sum- 
moned to Verona by Gonzaga, 31 ; com- 
panion of scholars, 33; the influence of 
sculpture in his picture of the Gonzaga 
family, 33. 34; his skill in pei-spective, 
34 ; his Triumph of Ccesar, 34, 35 ; his 
engTavings The Entombment and Jti- 
dit/i described, 35, 36 

Man with the Glove [Titian], 125 et seq. 

Marat, portrait of [David], 315 

Marco, San (san marko), monastery of, 
48 et seq. 

Mark's, St., embodiment of the spiritual 
life of Venice, 160, 161 

Marie Louise von Tassis, portrait of, 
[Van Dyck], 198 et seq. 

Marriage a la 3Iode [Hogarth], 260 et seq. 

Marriage at Cana, T/te [Veronese], 169 

Marriage Contract, The [Hogarth], 260, 
265 

Marriage of Bacchus and Ariadne [Tin- 
toretto], 173 

Martin, Homer, 337, 338 

Marti/rdom of St. Agnes [Tintoretto], 174 

Masaccio, Tommaso (tome-mah'so mah- 
sahch'chyo), 20 et seq. ; to the fifteenth 
century what Giotto had been to the 
fourteenth, 20; Anally reclaimed paint- 
ing from Byzantinism, 21 ; his St. 
Peter Baptizing examined : advance in 
use of nude and in character and cor- 
rectness of form, 22, 23 ; influenced by 
Donatello and Ghiberti, 24 ; but discov- 
ered for himself the placing of figures in 
atmosphere, 29 ; where his chief works 
are, 29; like Leonardo, he anticipated 
the study of light by Velasquez, 123 

Massys, Quentin, 67 

Medici (may'dee-chee) family at Flor- 
ence, 31, 55, 87 

Mediums not confused by the French, 266, 
267 

Mediums used by artists : distemper, 8 ; 
fresco, 18, 147 ; oil, 45, 147 ; engraving on 
wood, 110; engraving on copper, IIO; 
etching, 221. See Glossary 

Meissonier (mice-own'yea), 189, 403 

Memling, Hans, 52 et seq. ; his naivete 
tinctured with gentle sentiment, 53; his 
Virgin Enthroned mingling of realism 
and conventionalism with touches of 
symbolism, 56 ; a preoccupation with the 
natural appearances, 61; a record of 
facts treated with pleasing fancif ulness, 
63 ; he presents the facts obvious to 
touch and sight, 63 ; in the distant detail 
he paints not as he sees, but as he knows, 
the child's way of drawing, 64; his fig- 
ures, compared with Botticelli's, heavy 
and stockstill and loosed for eflfect, 65 ; 
little known of his life, 66 

Meredith, George, 389 

Mesdag, H. W., 419 



Meyer (mi'er), Jacob, patron of Holbein, 
138, 139 

Meyer Madonna [Holbein], 138 

Michelangelo Buonarroti (meek-el-ahn'- 
jel-o bwoue-ar-ro'tce), 142 et seq.; iiitlu- 
euced by Masaccio, 20 ; tlic tnninlt <>! tlie 
Renaissance represented in him, lie is an 
embodiment of its soul, 143 ; his Jeremiah 
filled with the profundity of his own 
thoughts, 145; ranked l»y Taine with 
Dante. Shaksi)eare, and Beethoven, 146 ; 
contiiuially at war with the world, 146, 
147; the Jeremiah i)ainted in fresco, a 
medium just suited to the artist, 148 ; a 
sculptor's feeling in the picture, 153 ; the 
wonder of the Sistine Chapel, 153; with 
him the human f(mu made to express 
mental emotions, 154 ; his soul-com- 
munion with Vittoria Colonna, 155 ; the 
elevation of soul in his work, lines of 
power, tremendous energy, even tor- 
ment, 155; dares to ignore anatomy 
and exaggerate, 156 ; architect, sculptor, 
painter, poet, his connection with the de- 
sign of 8t. Peter's, his death and will, 156 

Michelozzo (mee-kel-oht'so), architect of 
San Marco, 48 

Middle class, influence of, 268 

Millet, Jean Fran9ois (zhahn frahn'swah 
mee'lay), erects a tombstone to Rous- 
seau, 327 ; 339 et seq. ; his The Gleaners 
compared with Breton's The Gleaner, 339 ; 
the truth to nature in Millet's, 340, 841 ; a 
peasant himself, but educated, 341; his 
pictures are types : e.g.. The Soiver, 341 ; 
" Wild Man of the Woods" 341 ; Millet's 
poetry compared with Breton's, 342 ; his 
early life at Gruchy, 342, 343 ; becomes a 
pupil of Delaroche, 343 ; TheWinnower is 
sold and fixes his career, 344; sets out 
with Jacque for Barbizon, 344; years of 
poverty, final recognition, 349 ; tried to 
depict the fundamental; his epic of 
labor, 350 ; he himself descrilies his aim, 
350, 351; a great draftsman, 351 

Miniature painters of manuscripts, influ- 
ence of, 38, 47 

Miracle of St. Marie [Tintoretto], 170 et 
seq. 

Mirror, nature a, 303 

Momentary and incidental compared with 
permanent and elemental, 425 

Momentary appearance, 458 

Monet (mo'nay), Claude, 457 et seq. ; in the 
eyes of the public the most conspicuous 
impressionist, 457 ; his impressionism, in 
advance of Manet's and Velasquez's, in- 
fluenced by the Japanese, 457, 458 ; his 
method of painting, 458 ; his early life at 
Havre, induced by Boudin to study na- 
ture, 458 ; as a soldier in Algiers, came 
under the spell of sunshine, visited Lon- 
don during the Franco-Prussian War and 
studied Turner, light became his study, 
459 ; he learned the ett'ects of color under 
open-air light, 459; Professor Rood's in- 
vestigations suggest the application of 
paint in seiiarate dabs, 460 ; the eye min- 
gles them, 460; his Old Church at Vernon 
examined, 460, 461 ; his Bonen Cathedral 
pictures, 462 ; his higher kind of impres- 



48 



[ 505 ] 



INDEX 



sioniem, 462; compared with Corot, 
Rembrandt, Velasquez, Turner, 463 ; his 
pointilliste method of painting, 464, 469 ; 
raising the key of shadow, 470 ; he is an 
eye, 470; people honestly unable to ad- 
mire his pictures, 470 

Monna Lisa (mon'na lee'zah) [Leonardo 
da Vinci], 123 

Montefeltri (mone-tay-fayl'tree) family at 
Urbino, 31 

Monumental, explanation of, 81, 82, 83. 
See Glossary 

Mood of the painter expressed, in Titian's 
Man with the Gloce, 126 ; in Corot, 335 

More, Sir Thomas, patron of Holbein, 139, 
140 

Morris, William, 389 

Motives, various, of Italian art, 159 

Motley quoted regarding Antwerp, 195 

Movement and life, 65, 169, 328 

Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse [Rey- 
nolds], 272 et seq. 

Mrs. Siddons, Portrait of [Gainsbor- 
ough], 272 et seq. 

Mural decorations, qualities of, consid- 
ered, 434 et seq. See Glossary 

Mural decorations, by Puvis, Abbey, and 
Sargent, in Boston Public Library, 426 et 
eeq., 449, 450 

Murillo, Bartolome Esteban (bah-tol-o- 
may' a-stay'bahn moo-reel'yoh), 2og et 
seq.; his Children of the Shell examined : 
its subject and the models of the fig- 
ures, 209, 210; very popular in his day 
and since, 210, 211 ; his early life in Sev- 
ille, 222; visits Velasquez in Madrid, 
223; his success, and death from a fall, 
224 

Murphy, J. Francis, 337, 338 

Music and color compared. See Color and 
ninsic 

Muther, Richard, quoted, on David, 314, 
note; on Boecklin, 369 

Mystery in a picture, 292, 293 

Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine [Cor- 
reggio], 142 et seq. 

N 

Napoleon I, 314 

Naturalism, the present an age of, 342 

Nature a mirror, 303 

Nature and nature study, 302, 303 

Nature must be corrected, academic prin- 
ciple, 315 

Netherlands, the, 195 

New Learning, the, 54 et seq., 107. See 
Glossary 

Night Watch, The. See Sortie of the Ban- 
ning Cock Company 

Northcote, James, quoted regarding Rey- 
nolds, 276 

Nude figure, 22, 118, 154 

Nuremberg, free imperial city, 93; Diir- 
er's birthplace, 110 



Oath of the Horatii [David], 304 et seq. 
Objective point of view, 127, 130. See 
Glossary 



Official standard, advantage and disad- 
vantage of, 241 

Oil-painting perfected by the Van Eycks, 
45, 69 

Old Cliurch at Vernon (vair'none) [Mo- 
net], 460 et seq. 

Old Scribe, The [Israels], 404 et seq. 

Open-air (plein air), 300, 301, 459 

Optical mingling of color, 460 

Orcagna (or-cahnvah), 53 

Originality, 105, 276, 442 

Orless quoted regarding Rembrandt, 224 

Ornans (or'non), birthplace of Courbet, 
354, 355 

Outlines of objects in nature not sharp, 316 

Ovetari (o-vay-tar'ee) family, 30 

Oxford Movement, the, 381 



Pagan feeling of the Renaissance, 88, 143. 
See Glossary 

Pageant pictures, 163 

Painting, independence of, 21, 374 

"Painting another name for feeling" 
(Constable), 288 

" Painting is nothing more than drawing " 
(academic theory), 319 

Paradise [Tintoretto], 175 

Pater, Walter, definition of Romantic, 292 

Pavia (par-vee'ah) altarpiece [Perugino], 
69 et seq. 

Pai/sage intime (pay-ee-sahzh' an-teem'), 
249, 254, 289, 322, 325 

Peace and War [Pu\as], 436 

Permanent and elemental compared w^ith 
momentary and incidental, 425 

Perspective, lineal, 17, 34, 191; atmo- 
spheric, 29, 191 

Perugia (pay-ruge'yah), 31, 70, 97 

Perugino. See Pietro Yanmicci 

Perusing pictures with a printed key, 427, 
428 

Peruzzi (pay-root'see) Chapel, S. Croce 
(san'tah crow'chay), Fhn-ence, 18 

Peter Baptizing the Heathen [Masaccio], 
20 et seq. 

Petrarch (pay'trark), 54, 106 

Phidias (fl'dee-ahs), sculpture of, 72,77,357 

Picture, proper way of seeing a, 3 

Pieta (pee-ay-tah) [Michelangelo], 155 

Pietro Vannucci (pee-ay'tro vahn-nooch'- 
cliee), called Perugino (pay-roo-gee'uo), 
68 et seq. ; his painter-like point of view 
tempered with sentiment, 68 ; among 
the first in Italy to perfect the use of 
oils, 68, 69; the painter of soul-solitude 
and spiritual ecstasy, 69; his figures 
personification of soul-rapture, 70; he 
represents the highest development of 
Byzantiuism as an expression of reli- 
gion, 70, 71 ; his type difterent from Bel- 
lini's, 77, 78; his use of landscape and 
its effect on the imagination, 78, 79, 80; 
his skill in "space-composition," 80; a 
pupil of Verrocchio, 84; by repetition, 
his type became affected and sentimen- 
tal, 84 

Piloty (pee-loh'tee), Karl Theodor von, 391 
et seq. ; composition of his Thusnelda 



[506] 



INDEX 



compared with Fortnny's Spamsh Mar- 
riage, 3l>2, 3i»7 ; its stafTc-like elaboration, 
3St7, 398 ; a too ambitious profrrainme, 31)8 ; 
tlie story of tlie pu'ture, 398, 399; it eu- 
croaches iipou literature, 399, 4(K); com- 
pared with Surrender of Breda, 400; his 
practice the same as that of other his- 
torical paiuters, 400, 401 ; unlike the ma- 
jority, a {^ood painter, 401 ; his career in 
brief, 401 ; his work abounds in senti- 
ment and characterization, so related to 
German domestic genre, 401, 40'2; his 
limitations as a painter, 402 
Pisa (pee'/ar), the Campo 8anto in, 53 
Pisano, Andrea (ahn-dray'ah pee-zah'- 

noli), 24 
Pissarro, Lucien (loo'see-an pees-sahTo), 

458, 4o9 • 

Pizzolo, Niccolo (neek'ko-lohpeets'so-loh), 
30 

Plagiarism, 105, 276 

rieiti (plain) air (open-air), 300, 459 

Pleydenwurff, Hans (pli'den-vurf), 96 

Poetic creativeness, methods of, 342 

Poetic tendency, of the Barbizon artists, 
323 ; that of Millet and Breton compai'ed, 
342 

Pointilliste (pwine'teel-yeest) method of 
brushwork, 4(;o, 464. See Glossary 

Point of view, the artist's, 4 ; ditfers from 
the layman's, 410 

JPollire Verso (pol'lee-kay vair'so) [G6- 
rome], 423 et seq. See Glossary 

Portrait of the Artist's Mother [Whis- 
tler], 450 et seq., 475 

Poussin (poos'san), Nicolas, 228 et seq. ; his 
Ut Ego in Arcadia compared with Ruis- 
dael's The Waterfall, 2-28; born in Nor- 
mandy, 231 ; leariis drawing from casts 
and from prints after Raphael, 232 ; goes 
to Italy and attaches himself to Domeni- 
chino, 232; influence of sculpture appa- 
rent in Et Ego, 232; and of Raphael, 
237 ; be becomes influenced by the Italian 
landscape, 237, 238; the subject of the 
Et Ego, 239; his work was the origin of 
the " classic," or " academic," in French 
art, 239, 240; his weakness in color, 241 

Prado, 194 

" Praise of Folly," Erasmus's, illustrated 
by Holbein, 138 

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 371, 372 et seq. 

Primitives, the, 372 

Princely families, rise of, 31 

" Prince of Plagiarists," Raphael, 105, 442 

Prose, rise and influence of English, 269 

Puritan influence, 2(i8 

Putting in and leaving out, 131, 200, 453 

Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre (pee'air peu'- 
veez der sha-valm'), 423 et seq. ; his Inter 
Aries et Natnram compared with G6- 
rome's PolUee Verso, 423 ; its unity and 
completeness and placidity, 424 ; its calm- 
ness due to the expression of what is 
pennanent and elemental, 425; a mural 
decoration, 426 ; his conception of mural 
decoration to l)e gained by comparing 
his work at Boston with Abbey's and 
Sargent's, 426-433; the qualities' of his 
work — flatness of painting, simple am- 
ple masses, large simplicity of design, 



433, 434 ; his theory of logical subordina- 
tion to the architecture, 434, 435 ; his ori- 
gin and education involved a union of 
logical and poetic tendencies, 436; his 
War and Peace, 436; gradual simplifica- 
tion of theme and techuic, 437 ; excessive 
simplification, 438; his skill in the land- 
scape parts, illustrated in Inter Aries, 
438,439 ; the abstract qualities of his art, 
439 ; his decorations seem to have grown 
upon the wall like a delicate efflores- 
cence, 439 

R 

Racine, 253 

Raeburn, Sir Henry, 286; influence on 
Sargent, 442, 449 

Raphael Sanzio (rah'fay-el sahnt'vSyoh), 
influence of Masaccio on, 20 ; Botti- 
celli's yearning after the antique ful- 
filled in, 67 ; 85 et seq. ; contrast between 
his art and Wolgemuth's, 85; it com- 
bines the religious and the pagan feel- 
ing, 88 ; his influence over his assistants, 
96; representative of the Umbrian, 
Florentine, and Roman schools, 97 ; his 
early life in Urbino, and with Perugino 
in Perugia, 97; his Madonna degli An- 
sidei betrays the influence of the master, 
but already surpasses his work, 98 ; its 
composition studied, 100, 101 ; its beauty 
primarilj^ dependent upon its " archi- 
tectonics," 102, 103; the composition of 
the Death of the Virgin contrasted, 103 ; 
Raphael's idealization, 104; the sources 
from which he drew his composite type, 
104 ; the " Prince of Plagiarists." 105 ; his 
work in Rome, 105, 106 ; retold the legends 
of Hellas and clothed the Bible story in 
Hellenic guise, 106; hie influence upon 
the thought of his own day and of pos- 
terity, 106, 107? 108 ; his influence upon 
Poussin, 232, 237; on Reynolds, 276 ; the 
revolt from it of Courbet, 357; of the 
Pre-Raphaelites, 372; of Ruskin, 373 

Realism : Lippo Lippi satisfied with the 
study of external form, 56, 61 ; Wolge- 
muth's prosaic imitation, 104; an atti- 
tude of mind, as shown in Holbein, 125- 
130; Velasquez's realism of unity and 
I'ealism of impression, 189; Meissonier's 
false kind of realism : compare Mem- 
ling's, 64, 189, 190 ; Velasquez's realism 
of rendering light, 190, 191 ; and of rep- 
resenting foi'm, surrounded by lighted 
atmosphere, 192 ; realism of Dutch genre 
and of Hogarth compared, 270; Courbet's 
la rerite vraie, 358 ; his Funeral at Or- 
nans a fine example of realism, 360. 361 ; 
Raskin's doctrine of exact realism, 374, 
375; the same illustrated in Holmau 
Hunt, 382, 383; to Cotirbet's realistic 
point of view and choice of subject 
Manet adds a realistic truth of render- 
ing, borrowed fronj Velasquez, 407, 412; 
Monet's further insight into realism of 
ai)pearance, 459, 460. See Glossary 

Realist and idealist, Rembrandt a union 
of, 214 

lienper. The [Millet], 350 



[507] 



INDEX 



Reformation in Germany, 112 

Rembrandt, Van Rijn (rin), 2og et seq. ; 
one of the few great original artists, 209 ; 
a realist and idealist in one, 209, 214; his 
Sortie of the Banning Cock Company did 
not satisfy his clients, 211 ; had proved 
himself a realist in the Anatomy Lesson, 
212 ; the Sortie examined, 212 ; originally 
called the Xight Watch, 213; really a 
study of light, 214; Fromentin consid- 
ers the subject of the picture did not 
warrant this treatment, 214; his esti- 
mate of Rembrandt summarized, 214, 215; 
Rembrandtesque treatment of light and 
and shade, 215; a source of emotional 
gestion, 215; finally tried to paint with 
light alone, which involved sacrifices, 
215, 216 ; the example of his Syndics of 
the Gloth-ivorkers' Guild, 216; "Prince 
of Etchers," 216, 221; his aim and 
achievement as comj^ared with Muril- 
lo's, 222; -sketch of his career, 224 ; early 
life in Ley den, 224 ; settles in Amster- 
dam, 225 ; success and marriage to Sas- 
Ma, ten years' happiness, 225; dispute 
over the Sortie and death of Saskia, 225; 
his friendship with Jan Six, 226; his 
financial troubles, 226 ; his last portrait 
of himself, 226 ; after his death soon for- 
gotten, and in the eighteenth century 
his work despised, 226, 227 ; his restora- 
tion to honor in the nineteenth century, 
227; influences Israels, 420; his stimula- 
tion of the effects of light by means of 
shadow compared with Monet's pointil- 
lisfe method, 163 

Renaissance in Italy and Germany cona- 
pared, ill et seq., 118 

Repetition and contrast in composition, 
100 et seq. 

Reserve, a quality of force, 454 

Mesuvrection [Correggio], 157 

Revolution, French, 2b&, 308 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 272 et seq.; his Mrs. 
Siddons compared with Gainsborough's, 
272, 273. 274; his "Eighth Discourse" on 
warm and cold colors, 274; regiJlated his 
art and life on safe principles, a man of 
the world, 274, 275; birth and boyhood, 
275 ; visit to Italy with Commodore Kep- 
pel, 275 ; his deafness, 275 ; studied Ra- 
phael, Michelangelo, Rubens, Correggio, 
and the Venetians, 275, 276 ; his success in 
combining for himself something of the 
style of each, 276: the pose of the Mrs 
Siddons recalls Michelangelo's Isaiah, 
the attendant figures those in the Jere- 
miah, 276: intimate with Garrick and 
Burke, Samuel Johnson, Oliver Gold- 
smith, and other celebrities of his day, 
281, 285; strong inclination toward the 
dramatic, 281 

Ribera (ree-bair'rah), Roman, 223 

Rimini (ree'mee-nee), 31 

Robbia, Luca della(loo'kah davl'lah robe'- 
V)yah), 47 

Tiorhy Chasm, A [Boecklin], 369 

Rococo, styleofLouisXV, 402. See Glossary 

Roman Empire, break up of, 86 et seq. 

Romans, characteristics of, inherited by 
the French, 239, 240 



Romantic, romanticism, 292, 307, 318, 323. 
See Glossary 

Rome, sack of, 145 

Romney, George, 286 

Rood, Professor, his scientific investiga- 
tions into light and color help Monet 
and others, 458, 460 

Rossetti (ros-set'teei, Dante Gabriel, 371 et 
seq.; his Ecce Ancilla Domini appears 
in 1850, 371 ; a member of the Pre-Ra- 
phaelite Brotherhood, 371; a student of 
Dante, he leads the other members back 
to the "Primitives," 372; realizes Rus- 
kin's theory that modern art should be 
concerned with spiritual expression, 
376 ; TJie Blessed Damozel, 376 ; his father, 
an Italian patriot in refuge in London, 
student of Dante, 384; extraordinarily 
precocious, 384 ; Dante, his guide, leads 
him to Fra Angelico, the mystic of paint- 
ing, 884, 385 ; impatient of the routine of 
art study. 385; poem of "The Blessed 
Damozel" written in 1846, met Miss Sid- 
dal in 1850, painted the picture in 1879, 
385 ; her personal appearance described, 
385; satisfied his conception of perfectly 
balanced soul and body, 386 ; after ten 
years of waiting married her, lost her 
two years later, 386; suffered from this 
and from Buchanan's attack on his po- 
etry and became victim to insomnia 
and chloral, 386; the tragedy of The 
Blessed Damozel, 386, 387; his single de- 
votion to his wife's memory source of 
strength and weakness to his art, 387, 
388 ; his conception of woman like Dan- 
te's, 388, 389; his life at Chelsea and in- 
timates, 389; as a painter of the soul 
succeeded by Burne-Jones, 390; his in- 
fiuence led to the revival of idealism in. 
foreign painting. 390 

Rossetti, William M., member of the Pre- 
Raphaelite Brotherhood, 371 ; his de- 
scription of Miss Siddal's appearance, 
385 

Rousseau, Theodore (tay'o-dore roo'soh), 
Hobbema the forerunner of, 249; 322 et 
seq.; leader of the Fontainebleau-Bar- 
bizon School, 322, 326 ; epic poet of the 
group, 323 ; the eagle, 324 ; influenced by 
the work of Constable and by the Dutch 
landscapes in the Louvre, he leaves the 
studio of Lethit-re and sketches about 
the plain of Montmartre, 323, 326 ; his 
Edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau com- 
pared "with Corot's 'Dance of the Xymphs, 
323, 324 ; its solidity of forrd and clear de- 
cision of line, 324; his early poverty, 
325; boyhood dreams, 325; first a stu- 
dent at the Polytechnic, 325; C6t€s de 
Grandi'ille, his first masterpiece, award- 
ed a medal. 326 ; then otticialdom slighted 
him, Diaz's pi'otest, 326; sad domestic 
life, 327 ; a final insult of the authorities 
pro'iably hastened his death, 327 ; the 
oak. his favorite tree, characteristic of 
himself and work, 335 ; based his art 
on form, and during a period with too 
exact detail, 335 ; broad impersonal vi- 
sion that sought after the elemental in 
nature, 335, 336, 337 ; his mastery of 



[508] 



INDEX 



form — and form is the foundation of 
great paiutinir, 337 

Royal Academy established, 286 

Rubens, Peter Paul, comi^ared with Vero- 
nese, 170 ; 177 et seq. ; ranks with Rem- 
brandt and Velasquez as among the 
greatest, 178; his Descent from the Cross 
compared with Velasquez's Maids of 
Honor, 178 ; examined as to subject, 179, 
180; its appeal to the "tactile imagina- 
tion," 180, 181 ; its arrangement of line, 
181, 182 ; of light and shade, 182, 183 ; he 
visits Madrid and meets Velasquez, 183 ; 
his Marie de Medici series in the Louvre, 
184: ; his treatment of light compared 
with Velasquez's, 190; his masterj^ of 
the human form and splendor of color, 
193 ; ambassador from eoiu-t to court, 
193, 194 ; teacher of Van Dyck, 197 ; his 
coloring studied by Watteau, 258 ; by 
Reynolds, 276 ; his drawing and color by 
Delacroix, 317 

Ruisdael (rise'dale), Jacob van, 228 et seq.. 
The Waterfall compared with Poussin's 
Et Ego in Arcadia, 228 ; its character of 
subject borrowed from Everdingen, 229 ; 
his early work in Haarlem his best, 229 ; 
non-success drove him to Amsterdam, 
where the popularity of Everdingen's 
Norway scenes induced him to emiilate 
them, 229; their sternness akin to his 
own sad life, 229 ; returned in poverty to 
Haarlem and died in an almshouse, 230; 
in respect of sadness akin to Rembrandt, 
230; the beauty of the skies in his pic- 
tures, 230, 231 ; his works studied by Con- 
stable, 288 

Ruskin, John, his excessive praise of Tur- 
ner has harmed the latter's reputation, 
302; champions the Pre-Raphaelite Bro- 
therhood, 372 ; his criticism of Raphael's 
Christ Walking upon the Water, 373; his 
doctrine that modern painting should 
make religious or spiritual expression 
rather than form its object of study, 374 ; 
could not or would not recognize inde- 
pendent status of painting, 374; over- 
looked the meaning of artisiic truth, 
374, 375 



Sacrifices made by Rembrandt, 215 
Sargent, John Singer, 441 et seq.; the an- 
tithesis in work and personality of 
Whistler, 441; his style borrowed from 
Velasquez, Hals, and Raeburn, yet has 
original force, 441, 442 ; early life in Flor- 
ence, 442; ah'eady a skilful draftsman 
and painter, nurtured on the Italian 
masters, entei'ed the studio of Carolus- 
Duran, 442, 443; a refined and cultivated 
taste, 443 ; visited Madrid and then Hol- 
land, 443; in the Portrait of the Misses 
Hunter Velasquez's influence seen in line 
and mass and unity of impression, 443 ; 
also the influence of the stately direct- 
ness of the old Italian porti"aits, 443 ; yet 
thoroughly modern, 443; the espHt of 
his brushwork French, 444 ; especially 
notable in his female portraits, the in- 



fluence of Hals and Raeburn more in the 
male ones, 445 ; his impression oontined 
to what is on or near the surface, 444 ; 
his mural decorations in the Boston 
Public Library described, 428, 449 ; inten- 
tional complexity in the ceiling and lu- 
nette, need of printed clues, 428; the 
frieze of the Prophets immediately in- 
telligible and finer as a decoration, 428; 
the latest panel, the Redemption of Man, 
full of the Byzantine influence, the 
grandest; flatness of painting, simple 
ample spaces, and large simplicity of de- 
sign, 433, 449 ; a background of subdued 
splendor to the raised central group, 
433; remarkable example of unison of 
ancient and modern technic, 450 
Sarto, Andrea del (ahn-dray'ah dail sar'- 

to), 322 

Saskia van Uylenborch, Rembrandt's love 
foi-, 225; like Rossetti's for his wife, 385 

Savonarola (sah-\one-ah-ro'lah), 50 

Scenic and dramatic contrasted, 170, 174 

Scholarship, Greek and Roman, revival 
of, at Gonzaga's court, influencing Man- 
tegna, 32, 33 ; Petrarch and Boccaccio's 
zeal for, 54; Botticelli mingles with 
scholars at the covirt of Lorenzo de' 
Medici, 55; influence of, upon Giovanni 
Bellini, 78 ; upon Rajihael, 88 

Science anticipated by Leonardo da Vinci, 
120 

Scott, Sir W^alter, one of the leaders of 
the Romantic movement which inspired 
Delacroix, 307 ; one of the latter's favor- 
ite authors, 318; also Rossetti's, as a 
boy, 384 

Sculpture, influence of, on painting : Ma- 
saccio learns of Ghiberti and Donatello, 
24 ; Mantegna from Squarcione's collec- 
tion of antique casts, 30; so did Gio- 
vanni Bellini, 71 ; Verrocchio, sculptor 
more than painter, influenced Giovanni 
Bellini, taught Perugino and Leonardo 
da Vinci, 71, 84 ; early German painters 
imitated the Gothic sculpture, 95 ; the 
feeling of sculpture in Michelaugelo's 
Jeremiah, 153; Poussin's study of casts 
and low-reliefs reflected in his Et Ego 
in Arcadia, 232 ; David went back to 
Roman sculpture, as seen in the Oath of 
the Horatii, 304, 308, 316, 317; "the marble 
manner only requires a little animat- 
ing," Winckelmann, 319 

Scuola di San Rocco (squo'lah dee sahn 
roke'ko), 173 

Seeing things without their individuality, 
Buddhist text, 476 

Selection and arrangement in composi- 
tion, 99 et seq. See Glossary 

Sentiment expressed by color, light, and 
atmosphere, in Israel's case, 420. See 
Glossary 

Seurat (seu'rah), George, originator of the 
])oi)itilliste method of painting, 458, 459 

Seville, birthplace of Murillo, 222 

Sforza (sfort'sah) family at Florence, 31 

Shadow of the Cross, The [Holman 
Hunt], 383 

Shakspeare ranked by Taine with Dante, 
Beethoven, and Michelangelo as the four 



[509] 



INDEX 



most exalted in art and literature, 146 ; 
source of Inspiration to Delacroix, 318 ; 
read in Englisla by Millet, 341 ; a favorite 
author of Rossetti's boyhood, 384 

Siddal, Miss Elizabeth, lover, wife, and 
inspiration of Rossetti, 385-389 

Siena (see-aj^'nah), the brothers Loren- 
zetti in, 20 

Simplicity, simplification: every thing but 
essentials left out in Titian's Alan with 
tlie Glove, 131; Puvis's large simplicity 
of design, 433 ; he reduced his theme to 
abstract expression, then simplified his 
technic to insure no distraction from 
the unity of effect and its relation to the 
architecture, 437; the "leaving out" in 
Whistler's etchings, 453 ; tender dignity 
In the simple massing in the portrait of 
his mother, 454; simplification of West- 
ern and Japanese artists compared, 473, 
474 ; the value of the empty space in 
Gaho's SunHse on the Morai, 477. See 
Glossary 

Sistine (sees'teen) Chapel, 153 et seq. 

Six Gallery, Amsterdam, 226 

Six, Jan, 226 

Sky : Perugino's distance and space-com- 
position, 78 ; enlargement and interpre- 
tation of the sentiment of his figui-es, 79 ; 
skies of Holland proverbially grand, 
230; Ruisdael's fine skies, 231; painters 
of powerful imagination and feeling 
revel in the rendering of, 231 ; Turner's 
skies of vast grandeur, 299; the cloud 
effects of Northern countries make them 
the home of natural landscape paint- 
ing, 300, 301 ; Corot's love of the, 333, 334, 
463 

Sortie of the Sanning Cock Compant/ 
(The Night Watch) [Rembrandt], 211 et 
seq. 

Soul-solitude, Perugino the painter of, 69 

Soiiur, The [Millet], 341 

Space-composition, Perugino's mastery 
of, 80 ; Raphael's supreme distinction, 98 

Spanish Marriage, The [Fortuny], 391 
et seq. 

Spanish School, 177-194, 209-227, 391-403 

Squarcione (squar-chee-owe'nay), his col- 
lection of casts helps to educate Man- 
tegua, 30; also Giovanni Bellini, 71 

Stage, influence of, exhibited by Watteau 
and Hogarth, 256, 258, 259, 260, 261, 269 

Stanze (stahn'zer) of the Vatican, 105 

Steelyard, merchant of the, 140 

St. Mark's embodiment of the spiritual life 
of Venice, 160; its beauty akin to the 
qualities of Venetian painting, 161 

Stone- lireakers. The [Courbet], 356, 357 

Story in a picture : Hogarth's anecdotal 
with a moral, 260, 268 ; due partly to the 
influence of the new literature of novel- 
ists, 269; difference of Dutch genre, 
which is mainly concerned with the pic- 
torial aspect, 270 ; German fondness for 
historical and story-telling genre, 401, 
402; the literary element in Abbey and 
Sargent's decorations in the Boston 
Public Library, 427, 428, 450 

St, Paul's Cathedral, 208, 285 

St. Peter's, design of, 156 



Subjective point of view, 127, 130. See 

Glossary 
Sudbury, birthplace of Constable, 283 
Suggestiveness to one's imagination, 450 

et seq., 471, 477. See Glossary 
Sunrise on the Horai [Hashimoto Gaho], 

457 et seq. 
Surrender of Breda [Velasquez], 183, 400 
Swanenburch, Jacob van, a teacher of 

Rembrandt, 224 
Swinburne, Algernon, friend of Rossetti's, 

389 
Symonds, John Addington, quoted re- 
garding Tintoretto, 173 
Syndics of the C'loth-worJcers^ Guild 

[Rembrandt], 216 



Tactile imagination, the stimulation of, 
80, 120, 180. See Glossary t 

Taine quoted : of Giovanni Bellini, 77; of 
Michelangelo, 146 

Talma, French actor, first to act the Ho- 
ratii in Roman costume, 305 

Tassi, Agostino (ah-jose-tee'no tahs'see), 
250 

Technic. what it is, 5, 63. See Glossary 

Temperamental attitude, the, 126, 127, 290, 
335. See Glossary 

Temporary appearance of objects will not 
constitute a work of art, 472 

Terr'ibilUa of Michelangelo, 156 

Terrible side of Italian Renaissance, 32, 53, 
54, 70, 143 

Textures, effect on the imagination of, 
79, 80; Diirer's skill in rendering, 119; 
Manet renders them by rendering the 
varying quantities of light, 412, 417; and 
by manner of brushwork, 417. See Glos- 
sary 

Thinker, The [Michelangelo], 155 

Thrale, Mrs., quoted, of Mrs. Siddons, 273 

Tiepolo [tee-ay 'po-lo], 232 

Tintoretto, 159 et seq.; he and Veronese 
the most characteristic of Venetian art, 
159; the motive of the latter partly 
religious, classical, and realistic, but 
chiefly the joy and pageantry of life 
and pride of Venice, 159 ; bringing of 
the body of St. Mark to Venice, 160; 
St. Mark's and the Doge's Palace the 
symbols of her spiritual and temporal 
life, 160, 161; the decoration of St. 
Mark's; its beauty of color, light, and 
atmosphere also characteristic qualities 
of V^euetian painting, 161 ; an art of dis- 
play and some exaggeration, 162 ; Tinto- 
retto's paintings in the Hall of the Great 
Council, 163; his frieze of portraits of 
seventy-six doges, 163; his work has a 
strain of dramatic poetry, 169 ; his Mir- 
acle of St. J/arA; 'compared with Vero- 
nese's Glory of Venice, 170; his is dra- 
matic, the other scenic, 170 ; the value of 
the story in his Miracle, 171,172 ; the dra- 
matic movement, beauty of color, and 
emotional use of light and shade in the 
treatment, 174, 175; sought to combine 
the drawing of Michelangelo and the 
coloring of Titian, 172; son of a dyer, 



[510] 



INDEX 



hence liis name, 172 ; copies the work of 
Titian and the casts of Michelangelo's 
Medicean figures, 172 ; his study of sus- 
pended flgiu-es, 172; first important 
work, The Last Judgment and The 
Golden Calf, 173 ; his work in the Scuola 
di San Rocco, 173; his Marriage of Bac- 
chus and Ariadne and Mat'tyrdom of 
St. Agnes prove his mastery of ten- 
der, tranquil subjects, 174; his usual 
impetuous force, "II Furioso," 174; 
"while Tintoretto was the equal of 
Titian, he was often inferior to Tinto- 
retto," 174; makes his figures emerge 
from darkness into light, 175; a mind 
teeming with ideas, lightning-bursts of 
inspiration, rapid realization on the 
canvas, 175; his colossal Paradise con- 
fused and exaggerated, 175; buried in 
Santa Maria del Orto, where his first 
work was done, 176 
Titian (tish'yan). See Tisiano Vecelli 
Tiziano Vecelli (tit-zee-ah'no vay-chel'lee), 
called Titian, 125 et seq.; his 3Ian with the 
Glove compared with Holbein's Portrait 
of Oeorg Gyse, 125 ; the mood of a man, 
126; abstract, exalted, idealized, 127; 
reflection of the artist's self, a mood of 
his own subjectivity, 130; composition 
large, simple, grand, a triumph of sim- 
plification, 131; wonderful composition 
of dark and light, 132 ; born at Pieve, of 
an old family, in the Cadore district of 
the Alps, 132 ; at eleven years of age a 
pupil of Gentile Bellmi, later of Gio- 
vanni, 132 ; worked with Giorgione, 137 ; 
his distinguished patrons, 137; great 
in jiortraits, landscape, religious and 
mythical subjects, 137 ; luxurious home 
at Biri, 137 ; died at the age of ninety- 
nine of the plague, 137 ; the world was 
to him a pageant and he represented it 
with the brush of a supreme colorist, 
141; the culmination of the art of Ven- 
ice, 159 ; Watteau learned color from 
him ; 258 ; Delacroix also, 317 
Triumph of Ccesar [Mantegna], 34, 35 
Triumph of Death, in the Campo Santo at 

Pisa, 53 
Troyon, Constant (troh'yon), 322, 326 
Truth, not painting (Verdad no pintura), 

said of Velasquez's work, 179 
Truth to nature the first condition of 

beauty (Lessing), 319 
Tryon, Dwight W., 337, 338 
Turner, Joseph Mallord William, 287 et 
seq. ; contrast between his Ulysses De- 
luding Polyphemxis and Constable's Faf- 
ley Fann,281 ,290; most imaginative land- 
scape-painter, 290; subject of the Ulysses 
studied, 291 ; in his Dido building Car- 
thage he imitated Claude, 291; then he 
would be himself — Turner, 292 ; after a 
visit to Italy began liis finest period of 
twelve years, ending with The Fighting 
Timeraire and The Burial of Witkie at 
Sea, 292, 299 ; his work romantic in so far 
that it involved mystery, 292, 297 ; and 
strangeness, 297 ; the contradiction of his 
life and art, 297, 298 ; sketch of his Life : 
a barber's son, precocious, pupil of the 



Royal Academy, exhibited at fifteen, 
298 ; unrivaled in water-color, his " Liber 
Studiorum " an emulation of Claude, an 
unfair rivalry, 298, 299; experimented in 
the rendering; of light and atmosphere, 
trying to raise the key of color, 299, 300 ; 
his squalid life and generous will, 300 ; 
Ruskiu's excessive admiration, 302 

Typal expression in painting : Michelan- 
gelo's Jeremiah, 155 ; Millet's TJie Sotver, 
341 ; Whistler's Portimit of tlie ArtisVs 
Mother, 451. See Glossary 

Types of picture repeated by the Italians, 
105 

u 

Uhde (oo'der), Fritz von, 383 

Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus [Turner], 

290 et seq. 
Unity and balance in composition, 99 et 

seq. 
Unity of impression, 189 
Universal spirit manifested in matter, 472, 

476. See Glossary 
Urban VIII, a patron of Claude, 251 
Urbino (uT-bee'no), Raphael's birthplace, 

97 



Valenciennes, birthplace of Watteau, 256, 
258 

Valley Farm, The [Constable], 287 et seq. 

Values : the varying quantities of light 
contained upon varying planes of ob- 
jects, 191 ; Velasquez's skill in rendering, 
191 ; Hals's rendering of, in broad, flat 
tones, 205 ; Manet rediscovers from Vel- 
asquez the study of light and, 406, 407 ; 
his Girl ivith a Parrot analyzed, 412, 417 ; 
Puvis's skill in, 438. See Glossary 

Van Dyck, Sir Anthony, 195 et seq. ; Hou- 
braken's anecdote of, and of Hals, 198; 
his method of work, 199 ; comparison of 
his portrait of Marie Louise, with Hals's 
portrait of a woman, 199, 200, 205, 206 ; 
sketch of his career, 207, 208 ; the quality 
of his idealization, 249 ; the quality of 
the distinction in his work, 282 

Van Dyke, John C, quoted upon Hogarth, 
266. See Glossary, under " Luminarists " 

Van Eyck, Hubert, 39, 40, 45 

Van Eyck, Jan (zhan van eyek), 37 et seq. ; 
his Virgin and Donor compared with 
The Annunciation by Fra Angelico, 37 ; 
the art of each has a minute perfection 
of finish, inherited from the miniature- 
painters, 38; the Virgin and Donor de- 
scribed, 38, 39; its composition one of 
large and handsome spots, wrought 
over with elaborate ornamentation, 39; 
characteristic of Flemish spirit and the 
national skill in craftsmanship, 39 ; but 
with Jan and Hubert van Eyck details 
do not detract from a general grand sig- 
nificance, 39 ; the elaboration of the pic- 
ture studied, 40; its rendering of tex- 
tures and tine, brilliant coloring, 40 ; the 
brothers were the first to use oil-colors 
successfully, 45 ; their secret discovered 



[511] 



INDEX 



by Antonello da Messina, 45 ; their joint 
work, The Adoratioii of the Lamb, 45; in 
tlie two brotliers Fleniisli art, born out 
of handicrafts, reached full growth, 45, 
46; Jan in the service of Philip the 
Good, as "varlet and painter," 45; his 
"work grave in sentiment, resplendent 
in character, 46 

Van Loo, Jean Baptiste, 304 

Van Marcke, Emil, 322 

Varlet and painter, Jan van Eyck engaged 
as, 45 

Vasari (va-sah'ree) quoted, 55 

Velasquez ivay-lahs'keth), Diego Rodri- 
guez de Silv'a, 177 et seq. ; his Maids of 
Honor compared wath Rubens's Descent 
from the Cross, 178; the work of his ma- 
turity, 178 ; the actual incident depicted, 
179 ; " illusion so complete, where is the 
picture J " 179 ; an illustration of his 
motto, "Truth, not painting," 179; Ru- 
bens visits the Spanish court for nine 
mouths, 183 ; Velasquez visits Italy; his 
decorative painting, l"he Surrender of 
Breda, 183, 184; the difference between 
its conception and treatment and Ru- 
bens's series of Marie de Medicis, 184 ; the 
Maids of Honor a new kind of picture, 
product of a new kind of eyesight, of a 
new conception of realism, 184 ; its real- 
ism of unity a realism of impression, 
189; Meissoiiier's lSU7—Friedland con- 
trasted, 189; an instant and complete 
impression, 190; its lighting compared 
with that of the Descent from the Cross, 
190; a study of natural light, direct light, 
half-light, and reflections, 190, 191; of 
the degrees of grayness of the atmo- 
sphere as it recedes from the eye, 191 ; 
a new kind of perspective, that of atmo- 
sphere, anticipated by Leonardo, 191; 
local color and values, 191 ; Velasquez's 
study of light leads him to avoid sharp 
outlines, 191, 192 ; the elusiveness of his 
lines, 192 ; saw his subject at a single 
glance, received a vivid impression of 
it, and then rendered it as a single im- 
pression, 192 ; the picture is a composi- 
tion of light and less light, 192, 193 ; the 
curious costumes may have influenced 
him in avoiding the Italian grand man- 
ner, and compelled to something new, 
193 ; the constrained life of Velasquez, 
the exuberant freedom of Rubens's, 193 ; 
for two centuries forgotten, now hon- 
ored as " the First of the Moderns," 194 ; 
his influence upon Manet and modern 
painting, 405-408 ; on Whistler and Sar- 
gent, 441, 443, 455 

Venetian art, motive of, combined some- 
thing of religious, classic, and realistic 
motives, but chiefly is concerned with 
the joy and pageantry of life and the 
pride of Venice, 159; qualities of, 161 

Venice, sketch of the history of, 160 et seq. 

Venus, cult of, 62 

Verite vraie, la (lah vayTee-tay vhray), 
Courhet's motto, 358 

Veronese, Paolo Caliari (pah'o-lo cal-ee 
ah'ree vay-ro-nay'zay), ranks with Gior- 
gione and Titian as the greatest Venetian 



colorists, 84 ; 159 et seq. ; he and Tinto- 
retto most characteristic of Venetian 
art, 159 ; the motive of that art concerned 
chiefly with the joy and pageantry of life 
and pride of Venice, 159 ; St. Mark's and 
Doge's Palace symbols of her spiritual 
and temporal powei", 160, 161, 163; the 
beauty of color, light, and shade, and 
atmosphere in St. Mark's, characteristic 
of the qualities of Venetian paintiug, 
161 ; his Glory of Venice described, 164 ; 
magniflceut in balance as in motive, 164 ; 
only rivaled by his MariHage at Cana and 
Family of Darius, 169; its characteris- 
tics : facility of execution, life and move- 
ment, unity of effect, luminous rich color 
and transparent shadows, 169 ; his point 
of view simply that of a painter rejoi- 
cing in the splendor of external appear- 
ances, the very incarnation of the Italian 
Renaissance, 169 ; exuberant fancy and 
facility, calm strength and restraint, 170; 
the Glory of Venice compared with Tin- 
toretto's Miracle of St. Mark, 170; the 
former scenic and the latter dramatic, 
170, 174; how he resembled Rubens, 170, 
175 

Verrocchio (vay-roh'kyo), goldsmith, 
painter, and sculptor, 55 ; influenced 
Bellini, teacher of Perugino and Leo- 
nardo, 84 

Versailles, 253 

Vertical lines, expression of, characteris- 
tic of the eager, soaring spirit of Gothic 
architecture, 94; contrasted with hori- 
zontal and curved in Raphael's compo- 
sition, 100, 101 ; lifting up the imagina- 
tion, as in Boecklin's Isle of the Dead, 353 

Vibration of light and color, the jiointilliste 
method of Monet suggests the, 463, 434 

Vinci, Leonardo da. See Leonardo 

Virgil, study of, by Millet, 341; by Puvis, 
423 

Virgin, cult of the, 62 

Virgin and Donor [Jan van Eyck], 37 
et seq. 

Virgin Enthroned [Botticelli], 56 et seq. 

Virgin Enthroned [Memling], 56 et seq. 

Virgin of the Hocks [Leonardo da Vinci], 
109 et seq. 

Visconti (vees-kone'tee) family at Milan, 
31 

Vite, Timoteo (tee-mo-tay'-o vee'tay), 97 

Vittorino da Feltre (vee-tore-een'oh dah 
fayl'tray), scholar, 32 

Vivarini, Alvise (al-vee'zay vee-vah-ree'- 
nee), 163 

Votive pictures, 95 

Vouet, Simon (see'mohn vou'ay), 255 



Walker, Horatio, 337, 338 
Uar and Peace [Puvis], 436 
Uater- Carrier, The [Millet], 350 
Waterfall, The [Ruisdael], 228 et seq. 
Watteau (in French, vaht-toh ; English, 
wot-toh), Jean Antoine, 255 et seq.; the 
first of French painters, 255 : his work 
distinctively French and original, 255 ; 



[512] 



INDEX 



a native of Valenciennes, 256 ; his work, 
like Ho.ijartli's, a new kind of picture, 
256 ; influenced by the drama, 256 ; the 
Embarkation ;far Cythera a rainbow- 
hued vision of beauty and grace, 256; 
represents the charm of the court life 
during the Regency with no hint of 
storm impending, 256 ; a miugling of 
reality and unreality, 257; its dreamy 
distance, exquisite pattern of composi- 
tion, delicate chiaroscm-o, and brilliant 
harmony of colors, 257; his idealism, as 
with all great artists, founded on na- 
ture, 258 ; as a lad, drew the antics and 
gestures of the actors and mountebanks 
in the market-place, 258; wheu he 
reached Paris, added to skill of drawing 
a study of the coloring of Rubens, 
Titian, and Veronese, 258 ; Italian come- 
dies in the salons and gardens of the 
Luxembourg, 258 ; his Gilles, 258 ; almost 
all his work influenced by the study of 
the comedians, 258, 259 ; figures and land- 
scape adjusted to make a mise-en-scene, 
259; this and the dramatic vivacity 
made his pictures new, 259 ; the serious- 
ness of his art, his frail health, and sad, 
retii'ing disposition, 259, 260; difl'erence 
between him and Hogarth, 270, 271; the 
voluptuous insipidities of his followers. 
Van Loo, Boucher, Fragonard, produced 
the reaction of David's art, 304, 313 
"Watts, George Frederick, 389 
Western and Eastern ideals, dilFerence 

between, 9 
West Front of Rouen Cathedral [Monet], 

462 
Weyden (vai'den), Roger van der, 66 
" What is it all about ? " 427, 428, 437 
Whistler, James A. McNeill, nearest to 
Rembrandt as an etcher, 222 ; one of the 
first to accept Manet's lessons from Vel- 
asquez, 418 ; 441 et seq. ; his work and per- 
sonality conti-asted with Sargent's, 441; 
borrowed of Velasquez and the Japan- 
ese, yet had original force, 442 ; inter- 
ested most in what could not be actually 
presented, but suggested, 450; his por- 
trait of his mother is a tyi>e of mother- 
hood, 451 ; tried to emulate the abstract, 
universal appeal of music, 451, 452; 
"nocturnes," "symphonies," "harmo- 
nies," 452 ; his love of suggestion made 
him etcher as well as painter, 453 ; the 
significance of detail in his earlier 
prints, in the later the significance of 
economy, 453 ; the illusion of atmosphere 
in the Venetian series, 453, 454 ; Portrait 
of the Artist's Mother examined: the re- 
serve and dignity and tenderness of its 



composition and color-scheme, 454, 455 ; 
traces in it of the influence of Velasquez 
and the Japanese, 455; his en)ineut 
qualities : simplicity and subtlety, econ- 
omy of means, delicate harmonies, the 
fascination of surprise, and the joy of 
suggestiveness, 456 

IVilijl LotVs House. See Valley Farm 

Wilson, Richard, 301 

^Winckelmann, German critic, his dictum 
on the aim of art and on the highest 
beauty, 319 

IVinnotver, The [Millet], 344 

W^olgemuth (vohl'ge-moot), 85 et seq. ; the 
master of Diirer, 85 ; the diflerence be- 
tween his art and that of Raphael as 
wide as that between the contemporary 
German and Italian civilizations, 85, 86; 
art in Germany the faithful handmaid 
of religion, 88 ; began with cathedral 
building, 94; characteristics of the 
Gothic architecture, 94; stained glass, 
metal- work, carved wood, and stone, 94 ; 
the terrible and grotesque an inheritance 
from the religion of Asgard, 95 ; German 
painters began by imitating the carved 
work, gradually they learned from the 
Flemish liow to paint, 119 ; Nuremberg 
on the main road between Italy and the 
North : its wealth and importance, 93, 94 ; 
Wolgemuth a native of the citv, and 
from his workshop issued the principal 
pictures of the day, 96 ; in partnership 
with Hans Pleydenwurtt, 96; after the 
latter's death married his widow and 
carried on the business, 96 ; a business 
it really was, and the workshop a fac- 
tory, 96 ; compare the work in Perugino's 
bottegha and in Raphael's, 96; Wolge- 
muth's Death of the Virgin has no com- - 
position in the strict sense, 103; it has 
the German characteristic of crowded 
detail rather than structural dignity, 
103 ; attempt to represent the scene nat- 
urally, with the actual types of people 
of the day, 104 ; the impression it makes 
is little more than recognition of certain 
facts, 104 

W^oman, to Leonardo the symbol of 
beauty and of the search for beauty, 123 

Wood -cutter. The [Millet], 349 

Words, be distrustful of, 128 

W^ren, Sir Christopher, 285 

W^yant, Alexander, 337, 338 



Zandvoort, Israels first learned to study 
nature at, 420 



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