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PORTRAIT OF MEISSONIEH BY HIMSELF LOUVRE, PAHIS
Meissonier has left us several portraits of himself, of which this is one of the latest.
It was painted in 1889, two years before his death, when he was seventy-four years
old, and shows him in a fur-lined red robe, seated in a throne-like chair. The pic-
ture measures about a foot and a half high by nearly two feet wide. It has lately
been transferred from the Luxembourg Gallery to the Louvre, Paris. A description
of Meissonier's personal appearance is given in the biographical sketch which follows.
M ASTERS IN ART
BORN 1815: DIED 1891
JEAN-LOUIS-ERNEST MEISSONIER (pronounced May-so-nyeh)
was born at Lyons, France, on February 21, 1815; but when he was still
very young his parents removed to Paris, and it was there that he was
brought up. Of his childhood and early youth, cheerless and full of hardships,
Meissonier was always reluctant to speak. This may account for the slight
knowledge that we have of these years and the somewhat contradictory state-
ments of his biographers. His mother, to whom he was tenderly attached, and
from whom he inherited his artistic gift, died when he was ten years old,
and between the boy and his father there was but little understanding and
sympathy. Strongly opposing his son's wish to become a painter, the elder
Meissonier, a manufacturing chemist in prosperous circumstances, having
given his son a fair though somewhat desultory school education, secured a
position for him in the chemical department of the Maison Meunier. Here
Meissonier, at that time about seventeen years old, swept the shop, learned
to tie up neat packages for customers, and became, against his will, an ex-
cellent clerk. He never faltered, however, in his determination to devote
himself ultimately to art. He secretly took to drawing in the evenings, and
at length besought his father to give him three hundred francs (sixty dollars)
that he might take up painting as a profession, promising that nothing more
should be heard from him until he had made a name for himself. "Very
well," said his father, who had at first turned a deaf ear to his entreaties,
"try your hand at painting, since nothing else will satisfy you. But let us
understand each other. I give you a week to find a master, and a year to
show that you really have talent. At the end of that time, if you have not
succeeded, I withdraw my consent, and back you go to the shop." To these
terms Meissonier gladly agreed, but the week was almost gone before he had
been able to comply with the first condition. After an unsuccessful applica-
tion to Paul Delaroche, then at the height of his fame, he went, upon the
advice of a friend, to Jules Potier, a mediocre artist, who at first did his best
24 MASTERS IN ART
to discourage him from embarking on a profession which he himself had
found far from lucrative, but who finally, after he had examined a sketch
which Meissonier produced from the lining of his hat, and which he had
lacked the courage to show to Delaroche, consented to receive him as a pupil.
All winter Meissonier went each morning to Potier's dreary studio, buy-
ing on the way, when his funds admitted, a pennyworth of chestnuts to stay
his hunger. His father gave him an allowance of fifty centimes (ten cents)
a day for his meals, and invited him to the family dinner every Wednesday.
On these occasions, Meissonier, too proud to accept his parent's invitation,
would come in to dessert after his cheerless dinner of a roll. "Have you
dined?" his father would ask. "Oh yes," would be the reply; "I have only
dropped in to have coffee with you."
After several months, Meissonier, helped thereto by Potier, who paid his
fees in advance, entered the studio of Leon Cogniet, a painter of no small
repute, where he remained for a short time. Cogniet he saw but rarely, and
it is probable that his progress was largely due to the advice and encourage-
ment of his fellow-pupils, Daubigny, Daumier, Steinheil,Trimolet, and others.
At Trimolet's suggestion he was led to study the works of the Dutch and
Flemish painters in the Louvre. Meanwhile, in order to eke out his slender
means, he undertook, in conjunction with this friend, the painting of fans and
cards and the making of cheap book illustrations. It has also been said that
he and Daubigny supplied some of the Parisian dealers with pictures for ex-
portation at the rate of a franc, or twenty cents, a yard.
Meissonier never complained of these early years of struggle, and although
he was sometimes known to wish that the days could be given back to him
which he had lost in providing for the morrow, he would add: "But as to
unhappiness, is it possible to be unhappy when one is twenty, when life is
all before one, when one has a passion for art, a free pass for the Louvre,
and sunshine gratis?"
Meissonier's name first appeared in the catalogue of the Salon of 1834
when his picture 'Dutch Burghers,' now in the Wallace Collection, London,
was exhibited, and was bought by the "Societe des Amis des Arts" for one
hundred francs (twenty dollars).
His father now admitted that Ernest possessed a certain aptitude for art;
and when shortly after this he painted a portrait by which his father was
greatly struck, the now proud parent announced his intention of sending his
son to Rome with an allowance of one hundred francs a month. For Rome
Meissonier accordingly started, but the cholera broke out in Italy and he
was compelled to return to Paris.
There he found a small studio, a gift from his father, awaiting him. His
allowance, however, had been cut down from twelve hundred to seven hun-
dred francs a year; and in order to make both ends meet he applied to the
publisher, Curmer, for work at illustrating; and so satisfactorily did he fulfil
the tasks allotted him that his reputation became in time established as one
of the foremost illustrators of the day.
This employment was, moreover, so lucrative that he could now count
upon a daily profit of nearly two dollars, a sum on which he could have lived
in comfort had he had only himself to support; but in 1838, when twenty-three
years old, he had fallen in love with and married the sister of his artist friend
Steinheil, thereby eliciting from his father, who presented him on the occa-
sion with six silver spoons, as many forks, a year's rent, and a year's allow-
ance, the remark that it was evident that Ernest wanted nothing further from
him, for when a man set up housekeeping it was a proof that he considered
himself capable of providing for an establishment.
It is said that Meissonier's decision to devote his attention to genre-painting
that is, to the representation of some phase of every-day life for which
he had early shown a natural bent, was taken in accordance with the advice
of Chenavard, a painter from Lyons, a severe critic, and Meissonier's senior
by several years. "In 1838or 1839," Meissonier has himself related, "Chen-
avard came one day to take his accustomed seat at my table. Before dinner
I showed him the picture I was working on. It was 'Jesus with His Apos-
tles,' a canvas of which I no longer know the whereabouts. Chenavard
looked at it for some time in silence. I went on expounding my idea to him;
still he said nothing. At last he walked around the studio, examining each
canvas attentively, but still silently. Before the 'Violoncello-player' he made
a long pause. When he had finished his review, he came back to the 'Apos-
tles' and began to demolish them. 'I suppose you hardly imagine that you will
ever do these things better than Raphael?' said he. 'Of course not.' 'Well,
then, what 's the use of saying over again a thing that some one else has already
said far better?' Then, taking me over to my 'Violoncello-player,' he added:
*Here you have something really personal and most excellent.'" From
that moment Meissonier's course was taken: he adopted genre-painting as
his specialty. The result was the series of masterpieces on a small scale
which have made his name famous the world over.
His artistic career may be said to have now fairly begun, and from 1839,
or 1840, his reputation steadily increased. Exhibiting regularly in the Salons,
his works were enthusiastically received. Indeed, whenever they were shown
in the annual exhibitions such crowds would form around his tiny panels
that a special constable had to be stationed near them for their protection.
In 1840, six years after the exhibition of his first picture, Meissonier won
a medal of the third class. This was soon followed by others of higher order,
culminating in 1855 in the grand medal of honor at the Universal Exposi-
tion held in Paris in that year. From that date his progress was little short
of triumphal. England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Russia
united with his native country in honoring him, and orders, decorations, and
medals were showered upon him. Created a Knight of the Legion of Honor
in 1846, he was made an Officer of that Order nine years later, then a Com-
mander, and finally Grand Officer, and in 1889 the Grand Cross of the
Legion of Honor was conferred upon him the first artist to receive this
decoration since its foundation bv Napoleon I. Of the Institute he became a
26 MASTERS IN ART
member in 1861, was twice thereafter elected its president, and was chosen an
honorary member of the Royal Academy of London, the Munich Academy,
and numerous other foreign societies.
Dealers and connoisseurs vied in purchasing his works, for which fabulous
sums were paid. His little cavaliers, soldiers, readers, smokers, and card-
players attained such a wide reputation that he was kept busy in painting
variations of subjects which had captivated the public by their exquisite fin-
ish and diminutive dimensions. The "King of Lilliput" he was called by
one enthusiastic critic; and it was said of him that "he could paint a battle
scene on a louis d'or."
Upon the outbreak of war between Austria and Italy in 1859, Meis-
sonier obtained permission of the emperor, Napoleon in., to accompany the
French army to the seat of war, and was present at the battle of Solferino,.
shortly afterwards painting his famous canvas of that name, which is now in
the Louvre. Still more famous are the pictures in which he represented Na-
poleon I. under varying circumstances of triumph and of disappointment.
With the exception of some journeys to Switzerland, Italy, and the Riv-
iera, and a trip to Holland, Meissonier's life was spent in France; partly in
Paris, where he built a magnificent house on the Boulevard Malesherbes, but
mostly at Poissy in the environs of the city, where his country house, resem-
bling a little castle, had been constructed wholly from his own designs. In both
houses the studios, filled with valuable works of art, costumes, draperies, reg-
imental uniforms, arms and accoutrements of every period of French history,
formed important features. Meissonier was a born collector, and his passion
grew as his resources increased. He used to visit the old-clothes markets of
Paris early in the morning, when the goods were unpacked and before other
customers had arrived, and would buy everything that he could find in the
way of old eighteenth-century costumes, faded tapestries, and relics of by-
gone days. When unable to procure the exact object which he might need
as a model for any painting on hand he either had it made, regardless of ex-
pense, or would himself turn tailor, saddler, joiner, or cabinet-maker, as occa-
The stables were almost as important as the studios in both Meissonier's.
establishments. His interest in horses was keen, and he never tired of
studying their anatomy and movements. M. Charles Yriarte tells how he
had a road made in his grounds at Poissy with a little tramway running par-
allel to it, on which, seated in a small car, he would be propelled along the
rails, while a horse would be put through its paces on the road beside him,
and, pencil in hand, he would jot down every detail of the animal's action.
Meissonier's patience in perfecting each detail of his pictures was inex-
haustible. Indefatigable and unsparing of himself, no difficulty daunted him.
Nor did success and wealth cause any difference in his habits of conscientious-
industry. An early riser, he would often work in his studio or out-of-doors,
regardless of heat or of cold, for ten or twelve hours a day, scarcely pausing for
meals. So high was his standard that he continually changed and corrected
his designs, frequently painting out a whole composition in order to begin
over again if by so doing he thought he could improve upon his original
work. Some of his canvases he used to call his "Penelope's webs."
The Russian artist Vassili Verestchagm has told how Meissonier, in ac-
cordance with a frequent practice, made a beautifully finished little wax
model of a horse and rider for his picture of a horseman passing along a de-
serted road in a strong wind. Every detail was carefully reproduced from the
real materials the rider's cloak, hat, and spurred boots were miniature mas-
terpieces and in order to get the exact folds of the cloak it was dipped into
thin glue and then placed in the wind so that it stiffened as it blew.
When the Franco-Prussian war broke out in 1870, Meissonier was among
the first to offer his services to his country. During the siege of Paris he
occupied a high position on the staff of the National Guard, and took an
active part in organizing a corps of artists distinguished for their bravery.
Never could he forgive Germany for her victory, carrying his resentment so
far as to be unwilling thereafter to receive any painters from beyond the
Rhine, and even refusing to accept the Prussian Order of Merit offered to
him in after years.
Meissonier was twice married, and his domestic life was singularly happy.
He was never so content as in his own beautiful home at Poissy ; and when he
was elected mayor of the district it was said that he was never happier nor
prouder than when wearing his sash of office and engaged in performing the
duties pertaining to his position.
"Meissonier's mode of life was simple," writes his friend M. Yriarte; "he
loved open air; he loved his home; and clung to his own habits, leading an
unconventional life and following his own whims, which often estranged him
from the worldly throng. He was fond of athletic sports, especially of riding.
He indulged in original costumes, and insisted on freedom of action. Rich
by the products of his brush, he was the first artist who in his own lifetime
knew what are called 'big prices.' Yet though his signature was worth that
of the Bank of France, and his credit was unlimited, he was always in need
of money, and if he paid the interest on his debts with a drawing or a sketch
it was assuredly the lender who then became the debtor. This was the case
with Alexandre Dumas the younger, who was often his banker and yet who
never would accept money in repayment of his loans."
In person Meissonier was short. His head was large, his shoulders broad,
his legs slender and slightly bowed. His carriage was erect and his bearing
military. His eyes were soft but eager. He was exceedingly short-sighted.
His hair was thick and straight, and his beard, bushy and brown in middle
life, was in later years white, long, and flowing. Vain and fond of display
and of creating an impression, he was yet of a retiring disposition and very
diffident with strangers. He had a quick, peremptory way of speaking, and
his manner was abrupt, at times almost rude. But although he made some
enemies he had many warm friends, one of whom, M. Jules Claretie, has
given us the following appreciation of his character:
"That which is most pleasing in Meissonier," he writes, "is the frank
cordiality with which he explains his plans, and looks you in the face the
28 MASTERS IN ART
while with his deep, clear eyes. This man who lives in a palace is as mod-
erate as a soldier on the march. This artist whose canvases are valued by
the half-million is as generous as a nabob, and will give a picture worth the
price of a house to a charity sale."
In 1884, on the occasion of what was called his "golden wedding with
art" fifty years after the appearance of his first picture a loan exhibition
of Meissonier's works was held in Paris which became nothing short of an ova-
tion for the artist, who had then reached his seventieth year. To the end he
worked with unflagging industry and enthusiasm. It was but a twelvemonth
before his death that, upon the schism in the old Salon, he was made president
of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, known as the New Salon, which
thenceforth held its yearly exhibitions in the Champ-de-Mars. His last ef-
fort was a sketch for a monumental decoration destined for the interior of
the Pantheon, Paris a work very different in its large proportions from his
customary miniature-like panels. Nothing daunted, however, he set about
the task. The subject selected was 'The Apotheosis of France.' His pu-
pils, notable among whom were his son Charles Meissonier and Edouard
Detaille, stood ready to assist him in his undertaking; but it was not to be
accomplished. His health, hitherto so robust, gave way, and his death oc-
curred, after a suffering illness, on January 31, 1891.
His funeral services were held in the Church of the Madeleine, Paris, and
as the possessor of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor a full military
funeral was accorded him. Trains of artillery followed his coffin, and salutes
were fired as for a conqueror.
C|)e art of Jttetesomer
KENYON COX <THE NATION' 1896
MEISSONIER'S style was formed in all its essentials singularly early.
From the very first the great little pictures seem as masterly as any-
thing their author afterwards produced. His life was long and filled with
untiring study and industry, yet he never did things better than he did at
first; he only did other things as well. How this quite prodigious mastery
was attained so early is a mystery. It would seem as if this artist had never
had to learn, had had no period of uncertainty and struggle had almost been
born a master. The subjects change, but not the manner. From the begin-
ning of his career to the end the conception of art is identical, the methods
are the same, the achievement is almost uniform.
It may even be doubted if some of Meissonier's earlier work is not the
best that he has left, merely because the subjects and the scale of that work
are admirably fitted for the display of his qualities and the minimizing of his
limitations. It is the admirable series of 'Smokers' and 'Readers,' 'Painters'
and 'Connoisseurs,' which give the fullest measure to his powers and the
M EISSONIER 29
least hint of his shortcomings, which made his reputation, and perhaps are
likeliest to maintain it. These pictures are in the purest vein of genre-
painting, and immediately suggest comparison with the wonderful little mas-
ters of Holland. At first Meissonier was considered as a reviver of Dutch
art and that he was a great admirer of that art there can be no doubt. Up-
on examination, however, it soon becomes visible that the differences between
him and his models are as great as the resemblances. First of these differ-
ences is a fundamental one of point of view. The Dutch masters were pure
painters, and their subjects were strictly contemporary. They contented
themselves with looking about them and painting what interested them in
what they saw. Meissonier treated contemporary subjects only two or three
times, and then only when something intensely dramatic or historically im-
portant attracted him. You would look in vain in his work for any such rec-
ord of the ordinary life of the nineteenth century as the Dutchmen have given
us of that of the seventeenth. Meissonier was such a master of the antiqua-
rianism he practised he managed to enter so thoroughly within the skin of
his two or three favorite epochs that he almost deceives us at times; but
he was nevertheless essentially an antiquarian, and, therefore, his work never
has the spontaneity of the old work.
Another difference is in the quality of drawing. Meissonier was a won-
derfully accurate draftsman. His drawing is composed of equal parts of as-
tonishingly clear and accurate vision and of deep scientific acquirement. It
is not the drawing of the great stylists, the masters of beautiful and signifi-
cant line, but it is marvelously forceful and just. The drawing of Ter Borch
is equally accurate, but seems to have no formula, no method, no ascertain-
able knowledge behind it. It seems unconscious and naive in a way which
that of Meissonier never approaches. Finally, in color and in the manage-
ment of light, Meissonier cannot be compared to any one of half-a-dozen
Dutch painters. His tone is almost always a little foxy, his handling a little
dry. Sometimes in interiors with only one or two figures his realistic force
of imitation of that which was before him almost carried him to a fine ren-
dering even of light and color. He had built his picture before he painted
it, and had only to copy what was directly under his eye, and he did this so
well as almost to become a colorist and a luminist. It is only when he tries
to paint open-air subjects and larger compositions that his defects become
His merits are all to be included in the two great ones of thoroughness
and accuracy. He never shirked any difficulty or avoided any study, was
never sloppy or formless or vague. His knowledge of costume and furniture
was only less wonderful than his grasp of character and his perfect render-
ing of form. He was a thorough realist, with little imagination and less sense
of beauty, but with an insatiable appetite for and a marvelous digestion of
concrete fact. His work is amazing in its industry, but his industry never
becomes mere routine. His detail is never mere finikin particularity of touch,
but is patient investigation of truth. At his best he is hardly sufficiently to
be admired; but he awakens only admiration, never emotion. His drawing
30 MASTERS IN ART
is absolute, his relief startling, he gives almost the illusion of nature; but he
never evokes a vision of beauty or charms one into a dream.
Meissonier's qualities are fully sufficient to account for the admiration of
the public and the universal respect of his brother artists; and as long as he
was content to be a genre-painter they were sufficient to make him easily the
first genre-painter of his time, if not quite (as an artist has recently called
him) the "greatest genre-painter of any age." In his later work they are less
sufficient. He became ambitious; he wanted to be a great historical painter,
to paint a "Napoleonic Cycle," to decorate the walls of the Pantheon. He
transferred his personages to the open air, he enlarged his canvases and mul-
tiplied his figures, he attempted violent movement. His methods, which had
been admirably suited to the production of almost perfect little pictures of
tranquil indoor life, were not so adequate to the rendering of his new themes.
His prodigious industry, his exhaustive accuracy, his vigor, and his conscien-
tiousness were as great as ever, but the most exact study of nature in detail
would not give the effect of open air, the most rigorous scientific analysis of
the movements of the horse would not make him move, the accumulation
of small figures would not look like an army. It was in vain that he built a
railway to follow the action of a galloping horse, or bought a grain-field that
he might see just what it would be like when a squadron had charged through
it. What he produced may be demonstrably true, but does not look true.
The best of these more ambitious works is perhaps the '1814'; the worst
is the '1807,' which has found a home in the Metropolitan Museum, New
York; yet it possesses, in as high a degree as any earlier work, every one
of the qualities which made Meissonier's greatness. The industry, the
strenuous exactness, the thoroughness, the impeccable draftsmanship, the
sharpness of relief, are all here at their greatest. The amount of labor that
the picture represents is simply appalling, and it is almost all wasted because
it is not the kind of labor that was wanted. On all these figures not a gaiter-
button is wanting, and the total result of all this addition of detail is simple
chaos. The idea of the composition is fine, but the effect is missed. Looked
at close at hand, each head, each hand, each strap and buckle, is masterly,
but at a distance sufficiently great to permit the whole canvas to be taken
in at one glance nothing is seen but a meaningless glitter. It is not only
true that a life-sized figure treated like one of Meissonier's small ones "would
be unendurable," but it is equally true that a great number of such small fig-
ures will not make a large picture. The sharp and hard detail which was in
place in his early canvases is fatal to the unity and breadth necessary to a
large composition. It is equally fatal to the sense of movement. The 'Smok-
ers' and 'Readers' were doing as little as possible, and one felt that one had
plenty of time to notice their coat buttons and the smallest details of their
costume; the cuirassiers of '1807' are dashing by at a furious gallop, and
the eye resents the realization of detail that it could not possibly perceive.
Even if the action of the horses in the picture were correct (and, for once,
it is not), nothing could make them move when the eye is thus arrested by
Such was Meissonier: within his limits an almost perfect painter, and,
even when he overstepped them, one whose terrible conscientiousness in the
exercise of amazing ability will always merit deep respect. He thoroughly
earned the honors he received, the fortune he acquired and squandered, and
the immortality of which he is reasonably certain.
THEOPHILE GAUTIER 'GAZETTE DES BEAUX-ARTS' 1862
MEISSONIER is one of the most remarkable painters of the nineteenth
century. Such was his originality that without any preliminary gro-
ping he at once struck the path which with a sure step he followed to the end.
In those first studies in which, as a rule, an artist tentatively seeks to find
himself by emulating and imitating others, Meissonier asserted himself at
once not, of course, with the same accentuation, the same power of relief
or of characterization which signalize his mature works, but nevertheless
in such a way that he appeared to be quite distinct from all other painters,
emphatically a master in his own domain, and easily to be recognized by
the least observant. . . . The portraits of Ter Borch, Netscher, Metsu,
Brauwer, and of Van Mieris might well hang on the walls of Meissonier's
studio as the presentments of his progenitors, but a legitimate and authentic
affiliation in no way prevents the individuality of the descendant, who may
remain true to his origin and at the same time retain his own characteristics,
his own special traits; and Meissonier's works, worthy of being placed in
any gallery among the richest jewels of Dutch art, are yet distinctly his own.
For if he resembles the "little masters" of Holland in their truthfulness, and
in the exquisitely delicate perfection of their workmanship, in their precision
of painting, and in their careful and exact delineation of detail, he differs from
them in that he possesses qualities which are wholly French qualities which
have scarcely been sufficiently appreciated.
There is, for instance, a science in his composition unknown to the Dutch
painters with whom he is frequently compared. This word "composition"
may seem a singular one to use in speaking of paintings which often contain
only one figure, but it is none the less correct. It is a mark of great art to
inspire interest in a single figure, and Meissonier was master of that art in
the highest degree. . . .
It should be noted with what close observation, with what keen historic
perception, Meissonier penetrated into the spirit of the eighteenth century;
he strikes the key-note even more truly than do the painters or writers of the
period itself, not one of whom has portrayed or described it so vividly. And
he by no means confines himself to the eighteenth century; he sometimes
takes retrospective excursions into previous periods. He sends his compli-
ments to Ter Borch, for example, by an elegant cavalier with a short cloak,
a collar of Venetian point, and lace ruffles in his huge top-boots. His am-
ateurs of painting do not always wear French coats and three-cornered hats,
but sometimes, arrayed like the gentlemen of Netscher or of Palamedes,
they visit the studio of some Dutch master, where they critically examine a
picture finished in minute detail, while its painter, perfectly satisfied with his
32 MASTERS IN ART
work, affects an obsequious modesty. Meissonier is skilled in the portrayal
of all such characters, accurately depicting their mien, bearing, and costume,
and rendering with a life-like imitation of nature these little scenes composed
of two or three personages. . . .
One point in particular which should be observed in his work is that his
exquisite finish comes from the firm and clear rendering of objects reduced
to small dimensions, and not because his manner of painting is in any way
finical or labored. On the contrary, his style is broad, his paint is laid on in
planes, with all the accent, touch, and even with a handling of the colors, as
if his figures were the size of life, only these qualities are all reduced to a
proportionate scale, and when thus concentrated become clearer and more
apparent. The hands of some of his figures are astonishing in the minute
delicacy of all the details; in the delineation of each muscle, each vein,
and in the care with which every finger-nail is painted; yet seen through a
powerful magnifying-glass they would look like hands painted by Philippe
de Champagne or by Van Dyck. It is not, then, by spending a month in
putting the finishing touches to the handle of a broom as is related of
Gerard Dou that Meissonier attains his marvelous results. His little pic-
tures are always solidly constructed, admirably put together, and drawn with
a degree of knowledge which genre-painters often lack. His local colors are
frank, they are warm and strong without any false brilliancy or premature
patina, and they are on a masterly scale. His talent, delicate as it is, is at the
same time virile and robust. Possibly he does not sacrifice enough for the
sake of the beautiful. For instance, he almost completely excludes woman
from his work. No fair-haired maid-servant pours out the beer for those
topers seated at the table, nor bears on a tray frail Bohemian glasses in which
the yellow wine sparkles like a topaz; never do these haughty cavaliers ad-
dress a declaration of love to a charming lady in petticoat of white satin;
never does a fair model pose in those studios, so rich in objects of art; nor
do we ever see near one of those windows with folding shutters, through
which the light falls softly, a young girl busied with her spinning-wheel or
plying her needle. This singular lack on the part of Meissonier cannot well
be explained. Did he fear lest he should not^render woman's delicate beauty
so skilfully as he portrayed the more rugged attributes of man ? We cannot
say. We can only note the existence of this peculiarity, which is rare in
the history of art. . . .
Meissonier has, indeed, introduced into the painting of genre all the seri-
ous qualities of great art. He is one of the masters of our own day to whose
works a place will always be assured among those of the most celebrated
painters, one who can count most surely upon immortality. FROM THE
WALTER ARMSTRONG 'MAGAZINE OF ART' 1891
IF I were told to describe in words what it is that makes a great painter,
I should find it difficult to include any tangible gift that Meissonier was
without. He was a superb draftsman; he was a master of composition, so
far as that quality will submit to mastery; he understood and could realize
expression, and his dramatic power was great; his color was not disagreeable
in his better moments, and his execution has never been excelled in preci-
sion, intelligence, and general sufficiency. And yet, with all these virtues he
failed to touch the deeper nature with all these powers he failed to satisfy
the more refined perceptions. The fact is he lacked temperament. He could
rise to the notion of a Bonaparte; he could paint him at a heroic moment,
and could, by a consummate stage management, bring out his heroism; but
he could not clothe him in that subtle envelop of art which has given a per-
ennial charm to the doings of many a Dutch burgher. It is by the intensity
of his own interest and by the patient skill with which he contrives to give
it voice that he fascinates his public. . . .
Meissonier's gifts were almost entirely objective. They were those of an
observer, a manipulator, a scientist. It was characteristic of him that in his
latter years he was fascinated by the doings of instantaneous photography.
He was interested rather in the fact itself than in its esthetic capacities. He
was abundantly endowed with the French gifts of patience, of delight in tech-
nique, and of thoroughness in all that has to do with manipulation and form.
As a workman Sir John Millais once said of him, "He was more complete
than any Dutchman," and yet for the artist his best things will never have
the charm that clings about a Metsu or a Vermeer of Delft.
MARIUS CHAUMELIN 'PORTRAITS D'ARTISTES'
MEISSONIER deserves praise for having resisted from the outset the
influence of the two groups of painters who were at his advent divid-
ing the favor of the Erench public; for having held equally aloof from the
dry and colorless academic drawings of the classic and from the impassioned
studies of the romantic school; for having, in his desire to paint small genre-
pictures, turned to the true source of familiar every-day art in a word, to
the creators, the originators, of genre-painting. The pity of it was that in
taking the Dutch for his models he should have imitated them in the letter
rather than in the spirit. He emulated their delicacy of touch, the lightness
and exquisite harmony of their color, but he was never inspired by their way
of seeing and interpreting nature, nor by their deep feeling for the actual life
about them, which is one of the chief charms of their works. Instead of look-
ing about him and noting the types and manners of his contemporaries
the characteristics, passions, virtues and vices, beauties and absurdities, of the
living men of his day Meissonier set to work to paint a society that was
dead and gone, a society of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and un-
fortunately he was led into devoting, in this retrospective work, far more
thought to the portrayal of accessories than to the interpretation of ideas to
the faithful rendering of costume than to the truth of characterization.
In depicting detail, be it of the human face or of a landscape, Meissonier
excels; but the general character of the one escapes him, as does the har-
mony of the other. Herein he is materially distinguished from such a painter
as Millet, for instance, who grasped and portrayed in a truly grand way the
essential features and significant attitudes of his peasant models. Meissonier,
however, analyzes, examines, dissects; he seizes with unheard-of dexterity
even the very slightest inflection of the muscles, and reproduces with mar-
velous surety of touch each tiny line or wrinkle of the face. But if his aim
be to astonish us he certainly makes no attempt to move us. No painter,
indeed, cares so little as he for the "ultra-pictorial" methods which charm
and captivate the public. It never occurs to him to cater to the evil passions
nor to encourage the good. He avoids with equal care moral and vulgar sub-
jects, scenes that are comic and those that are touching, characters of ancient
history and the actual men and women of to-day. He knows neither laugh-
ter nor tears. He carries his indifference to grace and beauty to the point
of almost banishing from his compositions both women and children. He
makes no direct appeal to either the mind or the heart, but seeks, above all
else, to charm our eyes by the feats of his brush, counting only upon his
skill to give pleasure. His art, in short, is not made for man, but for the
pure love of art itself.
The simplest themes sufficed for him a soldier testing a sword, a sen-
tinel leaning on his halberd, an arquebusier, a standard-bearer, a captain of
foot-soldiers in full dress, a painter at his easel, an engraver bending over
his copperplate, a bookworm reveling in his folios, a musician plaving on
his violin, another upon his flute, a cavalier awaiting an audience. Such are
the subjects which Meissonier chose to paint, and the small panels which
he has devoted to these single figures are among the most highly prized
of his works. Their principal interest lies in the fidelity with which the ex-
pressions of the faces are rendered, in the truthfulness of the gestures, in the
life-like attitudes, and in the marvelous painting of the accessories. In his
scenes in which several personages are introduced he does not always suc-
ceed in uniting the figures or in bringing them into relation with the back-
grounds. The details are invariably faultless; it is the effect of the whole
which is sometimes unsatisfactorv. . . .
Such is the unity of Meissonier's achievement, from the productions of his
early years to his last works, that to be familiar with only a few examples
suffices for a fair idea of his manner of painting and of his trend of thought.
In execution he is always found to be a conscientious, patient, wonderfully
skilful draftsman, combining with unfailing sureness of brush-work a fond-
ness for the most minute lines and the most delicate embellishments. Al-
though there is more dryness in his first productions, more life and spirit in
those painted when he was at the height of his career, more breadth and per-
haps more modeling in those of his later years, they are all alike in that they
keep to the same pictorial ideal precision. Everything in them is subordi-
nated to this ideal. As to his artistic conception, it is invariably the detail,
the accessory, which is emphasized and which occupies the chief place in
his work. . . .
If we except two or three pictures, which have in them all the most de-
lightful qualities, Meissonier's painting, so clear, so precise, so knowing,
learned, and deliberate, will be found lacking in several great qualities there
is nothing of the unexpected in it to take us by storm, nothing impulsive or
impetuous to stir our emotions, no warmth of feeling to move, nor passion
to transport us. It is perfection; but perfection so limited, so monotonous,
that were the truth to be told, it ends by wearying even those who have been
most impressed by his marvelous skill. FROM THE FRENCH
LIONEL ROBINSON M E I S SON I E R '
WE do not claim for Meissonier grandeur of style nor sublimity of gen-
ius. The outward embodiment of the thought, rather than the thought
itself, is too predominant at all times in his work. His creative power seems
limited to a degree rarely found among painters of his technical power. He
has little sentiment and no tenderness. On the other hand, he is absolutely
free from sentimentalism or tawdriness. "To see on a large scale, to exe-
cute in miniature" seems to have been the aim of his art, and it would be
difficult to find among the ranks of ancient or modern painters the name of
one who, by careful and laborious work, more completely achieved his ob-
ject, or to whom may be more truly applied the motto: Maxims mirandus
^orfes of ^letssonter
DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PLATES
'THE SERGEANT'S PORTRAIT' PLATE I
"T?OR technical skill and subdued humor," writes Mr. Lionel Robinson,
JL "this picture is reckoned among Meissonier's greatest successes." The
scene is laid in a barrack yard in bright sunlight. A sergeant^ magnificent
in his white and blue eighteenth-century uniform, and fully conscious of his
fine appearance, is posing before a humble member of the artistic profession,
surrounded by a group of soldiers who watch with critical interest the prog-
ress of their sergeant's portrait. The red brick wall of the building which
forms the background enhances the effect of this brilliantly lighted scene,
which Meissonier is said to have painted in order to prove to his critics that
they were wrong in asserting that he could paint only interior scenes or those
in which the light was subdued.
The picture, dated 1 87 4, measures nearly two feet and a half high by about
two feet wide. It is in Baron Schroeder's collection, London.
<THE BRAWL* PLATE II
' / ~|~ V HE BRAWL' ('La Rixe') is one of Meissonier's most celebrated
A. works. Painted in 1855 and exhibited in the Universal Exposition
held in Paris in that year, it was purchased by Napoleon in. for twenty
thousand francs ($4,000) and presented by him to Prince Albert during the
36 MASTERS IN ART
visit of Queen Victoria and her consort to Paris. It is now in the possession
of the King of England.
The scene represents a quarrel in a tavern between bravos. The period is
the early part of the seventeenth century. Tables and chairs have been over-
turned, and cards, the probable cause of the trouble, lie scattered on the floor.
The assailant has drawn his dagger and struggles to free himself from two com-
panions, as they with difficulty prevent his rushing upon his adversary, who,
restrained by a third peacemaker, attempts to draw his sword. The violent
movement, the fierce struggle of the angry men, the intense expression, not
only of the faces but of each limb and muscle, are powerfully rendered by
the artist, who, it is said, painted this stirring scene to silence the critics who
had declared him unable to depict action.
The picture, larger than Meissonier's usual tiny panels, measures nearly
eighteen inches high by twenty-two inches wide.
<THE ORDERLY' PLATE III
NOWHERE has Meissonier's skill in the exact rendering of detail, and
at the same time his power of characterization, been better exemplified
than in this celebrated picture of 'The Orderly' ('L'Ordonnance'). An or-
derly of the period of the First Republic, in high boots and with his musket
slung across his shoulders, has delivered a despatch to an officer, who, standing
with legs apart and back turned to the fireplace, pompous in the conscious-
ness of superior rank, has taken his pipe from his mouth, and deliberately
peruses the letter. A hussar seated at a table nearby, pipe in hand, watches
the face of his chief.
The accessories of the scene, furniture, ornaments, and above all the cos-
tumes, are painted with such care that each bit of carving, each strap and
buckle of the soldiers' uniforms, is clearly and accurately portrayed.
The picture, dated 1866, is now i" the Vanderbilt Collection, New York.
It measures eighteen inches high by fifteen inches wide.
<THE VEDETTE* PLATE IV
</ T -N HE VEDETTE,' or mounted sentinel, was a subject often painted by
A Meissonier, and one that gave scope to his fondness for portraying
military life and picturesque costume. Above all it offered opportunity for
his study of the horse, in the masterful delineation of which he was unsur-
M. Gruyer thus describes the famous version of 'The Vedette' here re-
produced (the full French title of which is 'La Vedette des Dragons sous
Louis xv.'), the original of which is in the Conde Museum, Chantilly:
"Seated motionless upon his horse in the blazing sunlight, his gun at his
side, the vedette scans the horizon. His good horse, with ears erect and
nostrils distended as if scenting danger from afar, stands like a statue, his
shadow outlined upon the sun-baked earth beside him. In every respect this
horse is a model of correct and accurate drawing. As to the vedette himself,
he is characterized by that frank simplicity, that combination of elegance
and straightforward realism, which are, as it were, the artist's signature.
The little masterpiece vividly brings to mind those picturesque red dragoons,
who, with their big boots and black three-cornered hats enlivened by knots
of blue ribbon, formed part of the army of France in the time of Louis xv."
The picture was painted in 1863. It is on wood, and measures ten inches
high by eight inches wide.
<FRIEDLAND, 1807' PLATE V
THIS famous picture is one of the uncompleted series of the "Napoleonic
Cycle" (see description of the following plate). It has been spoken of
by some critics as a "superb example of Meissonier's art," as his "finest
achievement," and by others as "one of the worst pictures he ever painted,"
a "failure in composition," cold in its elaboration of detail, monotonous in
the figures, which it is said were all painted from one and the same model;
inferior, indeed, in every respect, save in the draftsmanship and marvelous
technique, in praise of which no dissenting voice is raised. Whatever the
view held of this picture, however, 'Friedland, 1807'' is Meissonier's most
celebrated work, and it is well known that the artist regarded it as his master-
piece. He expended fourteen years of labor upon it, studies innumerable
were made for it (each figure, it is said, was the subject of a separate sketch),
and changes and corrections were again and again introduced which resulted
in an almost entire repainting of the scene. To portray accurately the ap-
pearance of grain trampled by hoofs of cavalry horses as shown in the fore-
ground of the picture, Meissonier is said to have bought a wheat-field and
hired a troop of cuirassiers to charge through it, he himself riding beside and
carefully noting the attitudes of men and horses. Such was the thorough-
ness, the painstaking care, and the untiring patience that went towards the
making of this famous work.
The subject represents the triumphant defiling of the cavalry of the Im-
perial Guard before Napoleon I., who, seated motionless upon his white horse,
occupies the central point of interest, the spot upon which all eyes are fixed.
Grouped about him are his generals Bessieres, Duroc, and Berthier; just
behind him General Nansouty with his division awaits the order to defile;
farther back is the "Old Guard," with their bearskin caps and white breeches;
and behind them again, squadron after squadron of troops, with an infinite
perspective dotted with men as far as the eye can see.
"I did not intend to paint a battle," said Meissonier; "I wanted to paint
Napoleon at the zenith of his glory; I wanted to paint the love, the adora-
tion of the soldiers for the great captain in whom they had faith and for
whom they were ready to die. For the picture '1814,' the heartrending end of
the imperial dream, my palette did not have colors sad enough; but in 'Fried-
land, 1807,' wishing everything to appear brilliant at this triumphant mo-
ment, it seemed to me that I could not find colors sufficiently dazzling. No
shade should be upon the emperor's face to take from him the epic character
I wished to give him. The battle of Friedland, already commenced, was nec-
38 MASTERS IN ART
essary to add to the enthusiasm of the soldiers and make the subject stand
forth, but not to lessen its effect by saddening details. All such shadows I
avoided a dismounted cannon and some growing wheat which would never
ripen, this was enough. The men and the emperor are in the presence of
each other. The soldiers cry out to him that they are his, and the great chief,
whose imperial will directs the masses that move around him, salutes his de-
'Friedland, 1807' was purchased from the artist by the late Mr. A. T.
Stewart of New York, for $60,000. At the sale of the Stewart Collection
in 1887 it was bought by Judge Henry Hilton for an even larger sum, and
presented by him to the Metropolitan Museum, New York, where it now
hangs. It is painted on canvas, and measures nearly four feet and a half high
by about eight feet wide.
'THE CAMPAIGN OF FRANCE, 1814' PLATE VI
ONE of the two finished works belonging to an uncompleted series which
it was Meissonier's intention to paint illustrating the chief events of
the military career of Napoleon I. is this picture, 'The Campaign of F ranee,'
or '1814,' as it is perhaps more often called. It is by many regarded as his
"When I made the sketch for '1814,'" he said, "I was thinking of Na-
poleon returning from Soissons with his staff after the battle of Laon. It
is the campaign of France, not the return from Russia, as has been some-
times suggested. For this theme I could scarcely find colors sad and subdued
enough. The sky is dreary, the landscape devastated. The dejected, exas-
perated faces express discouragement, despair, possibly even treachery."
In the center of the picture, seated on his white horse and wearing his
famous gray coat, rides Napoleon. Close behind follow his marshals Ney,
his overcoat buttoned around his shoulders; beside him Berthier, and then
Flahaut.. Farther back are Drouet and Gourgaud, and beside them an officer
who from sheer fatigue has fallen asleep on his horse. Behind, as far as the
eye can see, follow in military file the guides, lancers, and cuirassiers. "The
abrupt diminution of the line of men in my '1814,'" said Meissonier, "is an
intentional effect. Some painters would, perhaps, have put in as many fig-
ures as possible, but it was my idea to suggest a line stretching away into
the distance out of sight. This gives greater majesty to the emperor with
his marshals behind him each so individual, so personal in costume and
attitude, like Ney, for instance, who never put his arms through the sleeves
of his overcoat. A little way off comes the infantry, marching in line, the
drums in front."
To paint this figure of the emperor Meissonier made many studies.
Having borrowed the identical gray riding-coat of the first Napoleon, the
famous redingote grist, from the National Museum, where it was preserved,
he had an exact copy made for his model to wear. M. Charles Meissonier,
his son, has told how his father waited long for the appropriate weather in
which to paint the scene from nature. "At last the snow fell, and when it
had covered the ground my father set to work. He had the earth trampled
down by his servants and broken up by the passing to and fro of heavy carts.
When the track had become sufficiently muddy, he began work, and, not-
withstanding the bitter cold, placed his models on horseback; then, with
prodigious activity, he hurried on the study of details in order to get them
finished before a thaw set in. Fortunately the weather continued cold, and
the same sad gray sky shrouded with opaque clouds remained the sky
necessary for the desired effect. After the escort of generals Napoleon's
picture was the next work. All the different parts of his costume were ready
and had been executed under Prince Napoleon's supervision and rigorously
copied from the authentic relics. When the time came to dress the model
it was found that he could not put on the clothes. He was a stout young
man and the riding-coat was too small for him, while the hat fell over his
eyes. My father then tried on the costume; the coat fitted him like a glove,
the hat seemed made for him. He did not hesitate for a moment, but at once
took the model's place on the white horse that had been sent from the im-
perial stables, had a mirror set up before him, and began to copy his own
image. The cold was intense; my father's feet froze to the iron stirrups,
and we were obliged to place foot-warmers under them and to put a chafing-
dish near him, over which he occasionally held his hands."
The picture was painted in 1864. It measures about twenty inches high
by thirty inches wide, and is in the Chauchard Collection, Paris.
'THE STIRRUP-CUP* PLATE vn
MEISSONIER repeated this subject several times, always with vari-
ations. In this version, owned by the late Mr. Frederick L. Ames,
Boston, the scene is laid before an inn. Hat in hand, a cavalier of the time
of Louis xni. takes his parting glass, the "stirrup-cup," from the landlord's
wife. This is one of the rare instances of the introduction of a woman in
a picture by Meissonier.
The attitudes are lifelike, the expressions of the different figures natural,
and in the effect of strong, vibrant sunshine which permeates the scene
Meissonier has given an admirable example of his skill in the portrayal of
light and atmosphere out-of-doors.
The trees at the left of the picture are vivid spring green, relieved against
a bit of blue sky; the wall of the inn is of cream-colored stone; the horse is
white; the cavalier is clad in pale gray-green stuff; the woman's bodice is
fawn-colored and her skirt bright cherry red. The picture measures about
seven inches high by nine inches wide.
'THE PRINT COLLECTOR' PLATE VIII
IN a room filled with a variety of objects, pictures framed and unframed
upon the walls, bottles, jars, books and ornaments upon the tables, en-
gravings in portfolios or lying carelessly upon a chair a room which is said
to be a representation of one of Meissonier's own studios, and which is at-
tractive in its very untidiness a print collector, wearing a long dark coat,
gray stockings, and low shoes, is engaged in showing one of his treasures to
a visitor, who, clad in a light brown coat, and with his hair dressed and
powdered for the day, critically regards it with the eye of a connoisseur.
"There seems no sense of ordered arrangement anywhere," writes Mr.
A. G. Temple, "yet every inch of this panel shows the same transcendent
skill, from the leg of the chair to the sensitive value given to the stone jar
against which the green table-cloth falls. Nowhere is there opacity, but a
beautiful transparency alike in lights and shadows."
The picture measures about fourteen inches high by eleven inches wide.
It is now in the Wallace Collection, London.
<THE READER IN WHITE' PLATE IX
THIS little picture, known as 'The Reader in White' (<Le Liseur Blanc'),
painted on a panel eight inches high by six inches wide, is one of the
incomparable series of single figures which went far towards establishing
Meissonier's reputation, and attained such world-wide popularity that the
artist could have made his fame and fortune by the mere multiplication of
these tiny masterpieces.
"It is in his single figures his monologues," writes M. Andre Michel,
"that Meissonier attains perfection. If one would experience unalloyed pleas-
ure let him look at the charming series of 'Readers,' standing or seated in
their rooms, where all the accessories are so characteristic of their lives and
tastes. In every one of these little pictures the light comes from the side,
through a window sometimes open, sometimes partly closed by inside shut-
ters. A green or a red cloth covers the table, on which are piled books bound
in parchment or calfskin, and pamphlets with worn and ragged edges. The
Reader himself, dressed sometimes in black, sometimes in white, and again
in cherry color, is standing, or leaning against the window, or seated before
his table, absorbed in his book, while on his face there is always a subtly por-
trayed expression of inward content."
The 'Reader' here reproduced is dressed in a costume of white woolen
material, his hair is powdered, and the table against which he leans is covered
with a green velvet cloth. Painted with the exquisite finish of a Dutch "little
master," this picture is yet characterized by a spirit, an indescribable some-
thing, distinctly French. It was painted in 1857, and is in the Chauchard
THE BROTHERS VAN DE VELDE' PLATE X
MEISSONIER has here represented the two Dutch painters Adrien and
Willem van de Velde, who flourished in the seventeenth century.
Adrien, the elder, was noted for his landscapes with figures and cattle, and
Willem for his marine views. The scene is the studio of the younger brother.
Adrien van de Velde, wearing a gray doublet, breeches of the same color,
and a long red mantle, is seated before his brother's easel, attentively exam-
ining a painting, while Willem, palette and brush in hand, awaits his elder
brother's criticism. He wears a pearl-gray coat with slashed sleeves.
The carved oak sideboard covered with various objects, the mandolin on
its top, the unframed canvas resting against the wall beside it, the open port-
folio of sketches on the floor, the chair in the foreground, as well as every
detail of feature and costume, are painted with all the care and technical
skill of which Meissonier was a past master.
The picture, dated 1856, measures ten inches high by eight inches wide.
It is now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.
A LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL PAINTINGS BY MEISSONIER
IN PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
THE following list includes only the more important pictures in collections which are
accessible to the public, for the majority of Meissonier 1 s works (nearly five hundred
in all, and of which about seventy-five are in the United States) are in private possession,
and therefore not only difficult to trace, but constantly changing hands. For a fuller list the
reader is referred to Greard's 'Meissonier' (London and New York, 1897).
ENGLAND. LONDON, WALLACE COLLECTION: A Musketeer; Halting at an Innj
Napoleon i. and his Staff; A Cavalier; St. John in Patmos; The Print Collector
(Plate vin); The Decameron; The Bravos; The Roadside Inn; Portrait of Colonel Felix
Massue; Soldiers Gambling; A Cavalier; A Musketeer; Polichinelle; Dutch Burghers;
The Guardroom FRANCE. CHANTILLY, CONDE MUSEUM: The Vedette (Plate
iv); The Cuirassiers of 1805; The Amateurs of Paintings (water-color) LYONS MU-
SEUM: Portrait of Meissonier; Portrait of General Championnet; Portrait of Paul
Chenavard PARIS, LOUVRE: Napoleon in. at Solferino; Napoleon in. and his Staff;
Expectation; Young Woman Singing; Landscape; Washerwomen at Antibes; Studies of
Cuirassiers and Horses (three panels); Portrait of Alexandre Dumas the Younger; Por-
trait of Madame Gerriot; Three Views of Venice; The Madonna del Bacio; Ruins of the
Tuileries; The Siege of Paris; Samson; J. J. Rousseau and Madame de Warens; On the
Staircase; Studies of two Cuirassiers; Antibes; The Travelers; Cuirassier; Portrait of
Meissonier when Young; Portrait of Meissonier (Page 22); The Reader; The Three
Smokers; The Flute-player; Military Orders; The Poet VALENCIENNES MUSEUM: Por-
trait of Meissonier (water-color) GERMANY. MUNICH, NEW PINAKOTHEK: The
Bravos HAMBURG, KUNSTHALLE: A Cavalier HOLLAND. AMSTERDAM, FODOR
MUSEUM : Dying Man and Monk UNITED STATES. BALTIMORE, WALTERS GAL-
LERY: The Jovial Trooper; The End of a Game of Cards; Courtyard of the Artist's Stu-
dio; '1814' (single figure of Napoleon); Two Portraits of Meissonier BOSTON, MU-
SEUM OF FINE ARTS: A Horseman (sketch); A General (sketch) CHICAGO, ART IN-
STITUTE: The Vedette NEW YORK, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM: Friedland, 1807 (Plate v);
The Sign-painter (water-color); The Brothers Van de Velde (Plate x); General and Ad-
jutant; Man Reading; A Cavalier PHILADELPHIA, ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS: Cavalier
Waiting an Audience.
A LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL BOOKS AND MAGAZINE ARTICLES
DEALING WITH MEISSONIER
TV /TEISSONIER, ses souvenirs, ses entretiens,' by V. C. O. Greard (Paris, 1897),
1VJ. although far from satisfactory or comprehensive, is the most important study of
Meissonier that has yet appeared. An English translation by Lady Mary Loyd and Flor-
ence Simmonds was published in London and New York in 1897.
AJOUT, E. Nos artistes au Salon de Paris. Paris, 1858 ABOUT, E. Salon de 1864.
Paris, 1864 ALEXANDRE, A. Histoire de la peinture militaire en France. Paris
 BEAULIEU, C. D. Peintres celebres du xix e siecle. Paris  BELL, N.
Representative Painters of the xixth Century. London, 1889 BIGOT, C. Peintres
francais contemporains. Paris, 1888 BLANC, C. Les artistes de mon temps. Paris,
1876 BURTY, P. Meissonier (in F. G. Dumas' Illustrated Biographies of Modern
Artists. Trans, by Clara Bell). Paris, 1882 BURTY, P. Croquis d'apres nature.
Paris, 1892 Catalogue d'une exposition des ceuvres de Meissonier, 1893. Paris,
jg^ Catalogue des tableaux composant 1' atelier Meissonier. Paris  CHAU-
MELIN, M. Portraits d' artistes. Paris, 1887 CHESNEAU, E. La Peinture fra^aise au
xix e siecle. Paris, 1862 CLARETIE, J. Portraits contemporains. Paris, 1885
COOK, C. Art and Artists of our Time. New York  FORMENTIN, C. Meis-
sonier. Paris, 1901 Funerailles de M. Meissonier. Paris [i89i]^GREARD, V. C. O.
Meissonier, his Life and his Art. Trans, by Lady Mary Loyd and Florence Simmonds.
New York, 1897 GRUYER, F. A. La Peinture au Chateau de Chantilly. Paris, 1898
LA FORGE, A. D. La Peinture contemporaine en France. Paris, 1856 LARROUMET,G.
Meissonier. Paris  MAUCLAIR, C. Great French Painters. Trans, by P. G.
Konody. New York  MEYNELL, A. Meissonier (in Meynell's Modern Artists).
London, 1883 MOLLETT, J.W. Meissonier. London, 1882 MUTHER, R. History
of Modern Painting. New York, 1896 PILLET, C. Exposition Meissonier, 1884. Paris
 ROBINSON, L. Meissonier. London  STRANAHAN, C. H. A History
of French Painting. New York, 1888 TEMPLE, A. G. The Wallace Collection. Lon-
don, 1902 WATROUS, H. W. Meissonier (in Van Dyke's Modern French Masters).
New York, 1896 WOLFF, A., AND OTHERS. Notes upon certain Masters of the xixth
ACADEMY, 1891: Meissonier AMERICAN ARCHITECT, 1879: A Day with Meis-
\. sonier. 1893: S. Beale; Meissonier in London L'ART, 1876: W. Ballu; '1807'
ATHENJEUM, 1884: J. Claretie; Notes from Paris. 1891: Meissonier. 1898: Review
of Greard' s Meissonier CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, 1 899 : V. Verestchagin; Reminiscences
of Meissonier COSMOPOLITAN, 1891: G. E. Montgomery; The Master of Genre
GAZETTE DES BEAUX-ARTS, 1862: T. Gautier; Meissonier. 1862: P. Burty; Les Eaux-
fortes et les bois de Meissonier. 1866: P. Burty; L'CEuvre de Meissonier. 1884:
A. Michel; Exposition des ceuvres de Meissonier. 1891: L. Gonse; Meissonier. 1891:
E. Bonnaffe; Documents inedits sur Meissonier. 1893: L. de Fourcaud; Exposition des
oeuvres de Meissonier. 1893: H. Beraldi; Exposition des ceuvres de Meissonier LIPPIN-
COTT'S MAGAZINE, 1874: L. H. Hooper; A Visit to the Studio of Meissonier MAC-
MILLAN'S MAGAZINE, 1884: Meissonier MAGAZINE OF ART, 1881: A. Meynell; Our
Living Artists. 1885: 'Meissonier Pinxit.' 1891: W. Armstrong; Meissonier. 1893:
C. Phillips; The Meissonier Exhibition NATION, 1896: K. Cox; The Paintings of
Meissonier NINETEENTH CENTURY, 1898: C. Yriarte; Meissonier, Personal Recollec-
tions and Anecdotes PORTFOLIO, 1893: P. G. Hamerton; Meissonier SATURDAY
REVIEW, 1891: Meissonier. 1897: Review of Greard' s Meissonier WESTERMANN'S
ILLUSTRIERTE DEUTSCHE MONATSHEFTE, 1885: H. Heinecke; Meissonier ZEITSCHRIFT
FUR BILDENDE KUNST, 1 866: O. Mundler; Meissonier.
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THE ROYAL ACADEMY FROM REYNOLDS TO MILLAIS
THE RECORD OF A CENTURY
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THE very large number of illustrations, consisting of PHOTOGRAVURES, COLOUR PLATES, and other reproductions, will include,
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Turner, Sir David Wilkie, Sir H. Raeburn,John Constable, Sir C. L. Eastlake, George Dance, Sir Edwin Landseer, Sir J. E. Millais, etc.
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