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THE STORY 
OF DUTCH PAINTING 




MAN \VHH A FUR CAP 

THE MLSKLM OF THE HERMITAGE. ST. 



RKM BRANDT 



THE STORY OF 
DUTCH PAINTING 



BY 

CHARLES H. CAFFIN 

author of 
"how to study pictures," etc. 




NEW YORK 

THE CENTURY CO. 

1911 



I ' 



C3 



Copyright, 1J)09, by 
The Century Co. 

Published November, 1909 



THE OE VINNE PRESS 



TO THE PRESENT AND FUTURE ART 

OF THE NEW REPUBLIC OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 

THIS STORY OF THE ART OF THE OLD DUTCH REPUBLIC 

IS DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR 



New York, November, 1909 



241668 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I The End of the Old 3 



n The Old Order Changes 19 

in Beginning of the New 35 

IV Frans Hals 49 

V Rembrandt Harmensz van Run 71 

VI The Influence of Hals and Rembrandt .... 96 

vii Dutch Genre 107 

VIII Gerard Terborch, Jan Vermeer, and Jan Steen . 127 

IX Biblical Subjects and Portraiture 150 

X Landscape 169 

XI Van Go yen and Hobbema 187 

xn Jacob van Ruisdael 193 

Index 201 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Man with a Fur Cap .... Rembrandt . Frontispiece 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement & Cie. 

FACING PAGE 

Couple Drinking Jan Steen .... 21 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

Portrait of the Artist . . . Gerard Terborch . 28 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

Landscape with Fence . . . Jacob van Ruisdael . 37 
Landscape with Oak .... Jan van Goyen . . 44 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

The Jolly Toper Frans Hals ... 54 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

Portrait of Nicolaes van der 

Meer Frans Hals ... 59 

Reunion of the Officers of St. 

Andrew Frans Hals ... 67 

The Syndics of the Cloth 

Guild Rembrandt ... 78 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

Sortie of the Banning Cock 

Company Rembrandt .... 81 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

Portrait of Elizabeth Bas . . Rembrandt .... 87 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

[ix] 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PACING PAOF 

Portrait of Hexdrickje Stof- 

FELs Rembrandt ... 90 

The Supper at Emmaus . . . Rembrandt ... 96 

From a photograph by Braun, Clement «c Cie. 

Peasants Round a Hearth . . Adriaen van Ostade . 110 

From a photograph by Franz HanfstaenKl. 

Old Woman Spinning .... Xicolaes Maes . . . 114< 
Old Woman in Meditation . . Gabriel Metsu . . . 116 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

Lady at the Clavichord . . . Caspar Netscher . . 125 



The Despatch Gerard Terborch . . 127 

From a photograph by Franz Ilanfstaengl. 

Officer Writing a Letter . . Gerard Terborch . . 129 
Girl at the Window .... Johannes(Jan)Vermeer IS2 

Head of a Girl Johannes{Jan)Vermeer 135 

The Cook Johannes ( Jan) Vermeer 138 

The Artist in His Studio . . . Johannes(Jan)Vermeer 141 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfataonpl. 

The Inn Jan Stcen .... 144 



Portrait of Paul Potter . .J Bartholomeus van | 

^ der Heist I '''^ 



From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACINO PAOB 

lMily of Admiral Pleter 

PiETERsz Thomas de Keyscr . 166 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

IE Young Buel Paul Potter . . . 179 

IE Avenue, Middelharnis, 

Holland Meindert Hohhema . 190 

sw of Haarlem Jacob van Ruisdael . 193 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

K-wooD Jacob van Ruisdael . 194 



[E Mill near Wyk-By- 

Duurstede Jacob van Ruisdael . 199 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl. 

[E Jewish Cemetery .... Jacob van Ruisdael . WO 



Cxi: 



THE STORY | 

OF DUTCH PAINTING J 



THE STORY 
OF DUTCH PAINTING 



CHAPTER I 

THE END OF THE OLD ' 

ON the 25th of October, 1555, Charles V abdi- 
I cated the imperial crown, ceding Spain and the 
Netherlands to his favorite son, Philip II. The 
;vent proved to be the prologue of a drama, which in 
ts immediate aspects involved the decay of Spain and 
he growth of Holland, but in its wider significance was 
o be the beginning of a new era. 

For the modern world dates from the seventeenth cen- 
ury, and its pioneers were the Hollanders of that period. 
Practically everything that we recognize to-day as char- 
Lcteristic of the modern spirit in politics, religion, sci- 
ince, society, industry, commerce, and art has its 
prototype amid that sturdy people; being either the 
lause or the product of their struggle for independence 
md their self-development. Nor, in paying honor to the 
Dutch, need we attempt to suggest that they were the 
nventors of these characteristics. Most of the latter 
v^ere, so to say, in the air. In the progress of things they 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

had been evolved. But our debt to the Hollanders is 
that they attracted them and gave them practical appli- 
cation, and thus set the world upon a definite path of 
new progress. It is particularly with the newness of 
their art that we are here concerned, but we will try to 
study it in its relation to the material and mental en- 
vironment of the nation itself, of whose newness it was 
so immediate a product and so manifest an expression. 

For it is in this way that the art of every country may 
be studied with most interest and profit. Although there 
will appear from time to time certain individual artists, 
whose genius cannot be satisfactorily correlated to its 
environment, but will indeed, as in the case of Rem- 
brandt's, seem to be actually contradictory to it, yet even 
they can be more fully comprehended through the very 
contrast that they offer to the mass of their contempo- 
raries, whose relation to their environment is readily 
discernible. Apropos of this customary connection be- 
tween the artist and the spirit of his time, may be quoted 
that phrase of Richard Wagner's, that all great art is 
produced in response to a common and collective need 
on the part of the community. It may serve as an ex- 
cellent touchstone for testing the quahty of this new 
Dutch art which we are to study, so let us for a moment 
examine its face value, leaving the fuller application of 
its meaning to all the subsequent pages of this book. 

In Wagner's mind great art, as he conceived it, stood 
out in clear contrast against a background of less art, of 
art which is produced in response to some more restricted 
impulse than that of a conmion and collective need of the 
people ; for example, in catering to the whims of fashion. 

1*1 



THE END OF THE OLD 

luch was the major part of the art of France produced 
1 the last days before the Revolution. The great mass 
f the people were too abased by ill rule and exactions to 
ave any consciousness but that of hunger, any common 
oUective need but to fill their bellies. The only articu- 
ite demand to reach the artists was from the ephemeral 
w'arm of courtiers, sycophants, and, as we should say 
D-day, "grafters," who buzzed in splendor and profli- 
acy at court. For a moment the glamour of this life in- 
pired a great artist, Watteau, who, however, it is to be 
oted, was a foreigner. What he himself was he owed to 
•"landers. To him the glamour of the French court was 
ut a pageant, a spectacle passing before his eyes, leav- 
ig his heart and conscience untouched. When, however, 
rtists of French birth, reared in the home environment, 
ollowed in his steps, they revealed nothing of Watteau's 
iealistic detachment from the grossness of the theme, 
ut became purveyors to the shallow profligacy of their 
latrons. And to this day Van Loo, Boucher, and Fra- 
:onard have no place with other old masters in the hearts 
f the people ; they are still the favorites of fashion. Nor 
ras it until the upheaval of the Revolution had precipi- 
ated the gathering consciousness of a common and col- 
ictive need on the part of the people, that French art in 
he nineteenth century began to develop a vital response, 
loreover, what was characteristic of French art during 
he eighteenth century was generally symptomatic of the 
rt of the whole of Europe. The latter had little or no 
reative force, was essentially an art of more or less 
eeble and perfunctory imitation. For the age itself was 
lOn-creative; a period of exhaustion after the strenuous- 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

ness of the seventeenth centuiy, or of the slow forming 
of new ahnements after the shattering of the old ones ; of 
speculation and doubts rather than of convictions. 

So the artists, feeling no spur in the needs of the mo- 
ment, fell to imitating the Renaissance artists of Italy. 
Among them, if we may anticipate the end of our pres- 
ent story, were the Dutch. They, too, had exhausted the 
inmiediate impulse of their own environment. War had 
made them a world-power, and peace brought them the 
foreign entanglements that maintenance of such a posi- 
tion entailed. They were no longer under the com- 
pulsion of an immense centripetal energy, a nation 
concentrated upon its own self-reliance. They began to 
spread themselves as cosmopolitans, aping the fashions 
of the rest of the world ; and, as the fashion of the period 
was to be Italianate, so the artists of Holland, lacking 
at home the momentum of a common and collective need, 
ceased to be a school of great original painters, and be- 
came instead clumsy imitators of the splendors and 
[ ^elevation of the Italian masters of the Renaissance. 

After this glance at the nature and cause of decline 
of Dutch art in the eighteenth century, we may return 
with a better appreciation of what is ahead of us in our 
study — the establishment in Holland in the seventeenth 
century of a new art, the product of a new nation ; of a 
group of original and distinguished painters who 
formed, as Fromentin says, "the last of the great schools, 
perhaps the most original, certainly the most local." 

The course of our story, therefore, spreads before us. 
It is to discover in what respect the Dutch School of the 
seventeenth century was great, how it was original, and 



THE END OF THE OLD 

in what way its genius grew out of and responded to the 
common and collective need of the Dutch people of the 
period. Meanwhile there are the previous fifty years of 
the sixteenth century to be accounted for, which brings 
as back to the prologue of the drama, the abdication of 
Charles V. 

That monarch, born in Ghent and educated in Flan- 
iers, had a special feeling of regard for his "dear Nether- 
landers." Incidentally, they were the richest jewel in 
the imperial crown, and he had drawn from them an- 
nually two fifths of the enormous revenue that he 
squandered in wars of ambition elsewhere. He had, 
moreover, proved his love for them by systematic 
slaughtering of dissenters, that the remnant might be 
preserved within the fold of the Catholic Church. It 
was Brussels, therefore, that he selected as the scene of 
his abdication. Formerly the capital of the Dukes of 
Burgundy, it had been under imperial rule the seat of 
government of the vice-regents of the Netherlands; a 
city of royal and princely palaces, immediately sur- 
rounded by parks and game-forests, and fields and gar- 
dens, teeming with opulence ; the royal center of a group 
of cities. Of these Antwerp was the commercial chief, 
the greatest emporiimi of trade in Europe, with an ex- 
change in which five thousand merchants daily con- 
gregated, and a port where five hundred vessels daily 
made their entrance or departure. It was the distrib- 
uting-point for the imports from the East and for the 
products of the Netherlands : textiles of most sumptuous 
fabrics as well as of plain cloths and linens, works of 
gold and silver craftsmanship, agricultural and dairy 
£71 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

produce from the rich polders of the northern provinces, 
and fish from a hmidred thriving towns and villages 
along the coast. 

So when the emperor, enfeebled by excesses of action 
and appetite, felt his grip of power slackening, and de- 
termined to transfer this people of three million souls, 
the most industrious, versatile, and liberty-loving in the 
world, from his own pocket to that of his son, he saw to 
it that the procee'ding should be conducted with a pa- 
geantry of ceremonial worthy of the occasion. 
• It was enacted in the hall of the renowned Order of 
the Knights of the Golden Fleece, the walls of which 
were hung with superb tapestries from the looms of 
Arras, representing the Biblical story of Gideon. The 
floor was occupied by official representatives of the prov- 
inces, clad in the sumptuous bravery of costume that 
distinguished this country and the times. Upon the dais 
at one end, beneath a splendid canopy, three chairs 
awaited the principals in the drama. Precisely at the 
stroke of three, the emperor entered from the adjoining 
chapel. Strange whim of Fate, he supported his gout- 
ridden body by leaning on the arm of the man who was 
eventually to be chief in undoing the policy that this 
day inaugurated— William, Count of Orange. Behind 
the emperor came Philip, and the regent. Queen Mary 
of Hungary, the "Christian widow" admired by Eras- 
mus, who on one occasion had written to her brother, the 
emperor, that "in her opinion all heretics, whether re- 
pentant or not, should be prosecuted with such severity 
as that error might be at once extinguished, care being 
only taken that the provinces were not entirely depopu- 

US] 



THE END OF THE OLD 

lated." Following the principals, appeared the Knights 
of the Fleece in full regalia, and a retinue of nobles, 
many of them, Egmont, Brederode, Berlaymont, Aer- 
schot, and others, destined to figure in the subsequent 
drama of the Netherlands. 

After a long oration by a member of the Privy Coun- 
cil, depicting the bodily infirmities of the emperor, his 
great zeal for his people's welfare, and the particulars 
of the cession he was about to make, Charles himself 
read a long recapitulation of his wars and trimnj)hs, 
dwelt upon his failing strength, and commended his suc- 
cessor to the good will and allegiance of his "dear Neth- 
erlanders." At the conclusion of the speech the whole 
audience was melted to tears and the emperor himself 
wept like a child. Philip knelt in reverence, as his 
father made the sign of the cross above his head and 
blessed him in the name of the Holy Trinity. Then, 
while the assembled host applauded he rose to his feet, 
ruler by the grace of God, vice the emperor, of the 
Netherlands, Spain, and her American possessions. But 
he could not speak the language of the Netherlands ; his 
acceptance of their allegiance and his own promises of 
regard for their interests had to be made through an 
interpreter. 

Philip, as he assumed possession of the lives of mil- 
lions, is characterized by Motley^ as "a small meager 
man, much below middle height, with thin legs, a narrow 
chest, and the shrinking, timid air of an habitual invalid. 
In face, he was the living image of his father, having the 

^ The author's indebtedness to Motley in this chapter, as in subsequent ones, 
should not escape the reader's notice. 

1^1 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

same broad forehead and blue eye, with the same 
aquihne, but better-proportioned, nose. He had the 
same heavy hanging Hp, with a vast mouth and mon- 
strously protruding lower jaw. His complexion was 
fair, his hair light and thin, his beard yellow, short, and 
pointed. He had the aspect of a Fleming, but the lofti- 
ness of a Spaniard. His demeanor in public was still, 
silent, almost sepulchral. He looked habitually on the 
ground when he conversed, was chary of speech, embar- 
rassed and even suffering in manner. This was ascribed 
partly to a natural haughtiness which he had occasionally 
endeavored to overcome, and partly to habitual pains in 
the stomach, occasioned by his inordinate fondness for 
pastry. Such," adds Motley, "was the personal appear- 
ance of the man who was to receive into his single hand 
the destinies of half the world ; whose single will was, for 
the future, to shape the fortunes of every individual then 
present, of manj^ more in Europe, America, and at the 
ends of the earth, and of countless millions yet unborn." 
Yet it may be doubted whether in the assembly pres- 
ent on that memorable occasion there was a single person 
who even dimly perceived the enormity of this idea. That 
a nation, without being consulted, should be transferred 
like a herd of cattle from one owner to another, for his 
own use and emolument and even to be slaughtered at 
his will, probably seemed a natural and right proceeding. 
The fact emphasizes the immense and profound change 
that during the ensuing fifty years was to take possession 
of men's imagination. The seventeenth century was to 
see a new idea of the rights of nations and of the rela- 
tions that should govern a people and its rulers ; the com- 



THE END OF THE OLD 

mencement, in fact, of a new era of thought in its bear- 
ing on life. But as yet the minds of all engaged in the 
ceremony were possessed with the old thought, the brute 
survival of Roman imperialism and of the medieval con- 
flict of rival autocrats; the claim of a pope to exercise 
supreme sway over the consciences of innumerable mil- 
lions, and the contention of temporal potentates for 
absolute control over the souls and bodies of their sub- 
jects. Thought and life had been, and still were, based 
upon the supremacy of the favored individual. 

Let us note the effect which this idea had had upon the 
art of painting, that we may better appreciate the change 
which is to come over the latter, as the new idea begins to 
penetrate life and thought. How did painting, notably 
the fullest expression of it in Italian art, respond to the 
common and collective need of men's lives and thoughts? 
In what way did it embody the idea of the propriety and 
desirableness of the subordination of all to the will of 
one individual? 

In the first place, the idea was fostered by the Church. 
This is no place to attempt to discuss, on the one hand, 
how far the Church in upholding this doctrine was ac- 
tuated b}'- the desire of saving souls or, on the other hand, 
to what degree it benefited the world. It is sufficient to 
recall what an immense hold the Church had over the 
lives and thoughts of men, and that to establish and 
maintain it she employed painting as a handmaiden. 
Thus, in response to the common and collective need of 
the people, the favored subjects of painting were the doc- 
trines and story of the Christian faith. The interiors of 
churches were converted into vast picture-books for the 

C"3 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

edification of the people, as well as into sumptuous 
shrines for the celebration of the mystic drama of the 
Mass. And, corresponding to the stately ceremonial of 
the latter, its superb accompaniments of lights and vest- 
ments, and its imposing spectacle of ordered ritual, the 
altarpieces grew to be miracles of stately composition; 
arrangements of form and color, light and shade, built 
up with an artifice as imposing and moving in its effects 
as that which had elaborated the Mass itself. So closely 
is the genius of these paintings a product of the Catholic 
Church's particular mode of emphasizing its faith that it 
is evident, when men shall separate themselves from such 
exposition of the faith, their common and collective need 
will not demand pictures of this character. This will be 
exemplified in th'e case of the Dutch. They will need 
religious pictures, but neither of a ceremonial character, 
nor, in view of their idea of worshiping in spirit and in 
temples not made with hands, for the purposes of dec- 
orating their houses of God. Their religious pictures 
will be of a kind to affect the thoughts and lives of the 
people in a simpler and more unpretentious way, perhaps 
more intimately and personally. 

But, while the splendor and dignity of the Italian 
religious pictures were inspired by the religious fervor 
that had continued from medieval times, they also re- 
flected the new impulse which had made possible the 
Renaissance: the New Learning, the study of the clas- 
sics, particularly of Hellenic culture, preeminently of 
Plato. From the latter, scholars and artists alike had 
learned to think in terms of the abstract. To the artists 
had been revealed the abstract idea of beauty— of beauty 

D23 



THE END OF THE OLD 

as at once the symbol and the expression of the highest 
good in life and thought. They were no longer satis- 
fied simply to represent the sacred story and doctrines; 
they would have their pictures beautiful, independently 
of the subject; they would give the subject itself a higher 
significance through the abstract beauty of the composi- 
tions in which it was embodied. Hence the principles of 
technical distinction that began to sublimate their pic- 
tures, until they reached a degree of abstract as well as 
material elevation that has never been, and, one imagines, 
will never be surpassed. For it was the offspring of two 
motives that may never again be found in wedlock — the 
religious need and the need of expressing the enthusiasm 
for the cult of the classics. The former may still be 
operative, but the latter has been dissipated in the spread 
of the democratic idea. 

And what was the principle upon which was based the 
classic ideal of abstract beauty, as it expressed itself in 
Italian painting? It was the supreme motive of the 
human form, as being, in its harmony of proportions and 
its rh}i;hm of movement, the symbol and expression of 
abstract beauty. Again it happened that the teaching 
of the Church conjoined with the speculations of scholars. 
This world was thought to be the center of the universe ; 
man was the axis of the world. Even God was inter- 
preted as concerned chiefly in the rewarding or punish- 
ment of man, while to man all other created things were 
subordinate. To the imagination of the Renaissance, as 
of the Middle Ages, man towered up supreme against 
the mere background of the universe. Small wonder if 
some men, seizing the logic of this, aspired to be the 

C13: 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

owners of the bodies and souls of their fellows, and 
scarcely less that the others acquiesced ! It was a role not 
only for popes, emperors, and kings to play upon the 
stage of the world, but for every princeling and duke to 
strut through on some smaller platform of a munici- 
pality. It justified the Medici in their own eyes, and 
made them almost of necessity the patrons of artists 
who had accepted the supremacy of such as they for the 
leading motive of their art. The painters, in fact, ac- 
cepting the exclusive aristocracy of the human figure, 
adopting as their prime motive its ideal perfection, and 
building up compositions in which the figures were ar- 
ranged in conformity with the rhythms and proportions 
derived from such ideal perfection, necessarily achieved 
an art that was essentially aristocratic, fitted for the 
temples of an aristocratic church and the palaces of the 
lay aristocracy. Yet, to repeat, it was also inspired by 
a great religious need, so that it was fitted for the masses 
as well as for their rulers. 

Such was the great art of the world at the period when 
Charles V abdicated. Yet even by 1555 the tide has 
begun to ebb. Of all the great Florentines Michelangelo 
alone remains, and he has ceased from painting and 
sculpture. The giant brood survives only in the persons 
of Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Tintoretto. The last 
named will live out nearly the remainder of the century, 
after which the art of Italy will be in the hands of "man- 
nerists" and "eclectics," groups whose very names sug- 
gest that they are but fanning a flame already dead. 
Only the "naturalists" will have something in them of 
the modern spirit. 



THE END OF THE OLD 

Meanwhile among the painters of the Netherlands 
here is as yet little or nothing of the distinction that 
rill grow between Hollander and Flemish. The prin- 
ipal seat of painting is Antwerp, and its school has 
Iready been Italianized. Even Lucas van Leyden, the 
>ersonal friend of Diirer, and at first an original genius 
nclined toward Gothic feeling, had before his death in 
533 gone over to Italian influence. Admirably represen- 
ative of this influence is the large triptych by Barend 
an Orley, now in the Antwerp Museum. Its central 
)anel shows The Day of Judgment. In the vault of the 
ky Christ appears, enthroned upon a rainbow, his feet 
esting on a globe. He is encircled by clouds, below 
diich a ring of angels supports a cross, while to the 
ight and left are seraphs sounding their trumps, and 
.11 the distant air is aquiver with angelic forms. Hover- 
ng midway between earth and sky is St. Michael, the 
.rchangel. Down on the earth are the myriads of the 
isen: the good on one side, in orderly bands, lifting 
lands and heads toward heaven, and on the other the lost 
ouls m a tumult of flames and smoke. In the side pan- 
Is the works of mercy are represented ; grave personages 
ninistering to the sick and the halt and the blind and the 
lying, in a spot dignified by monumental architecture, 
.hove which, seated on clouds, are ranged the Madonna 
md the saints. The superb composition, unquestionably 
uggested by that of the Disputd, is one which Raphael 
limself need not have been ashamed to design. But the 
igures that appear large in the foreground exhibit a 
ealism of nudity and an individuality of separate char- 
LCterization that bespeak the artist's Flemish origin. 

CIS] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Notwithstanding his Itahan training he had still retained 
his racial instincts for naturalism. But this fine work 
was finished in 1525, and the artist died in 1542. 

At the date we have selected as our starting-point, the 
leading artists were Jan van Scovel, Antonio JNIoro, and 
Pieter Pourbus; the last of Flemish birth, the others 
born in the northern provinces. Though Pourbus es- 
sayed religious subjects, the finest examples of which are 
in Bruges, he is best known as a portrait-painter, in 
which branch Moro also excelled. The latter, after 
studying under Scovel, visited Italy, and upon his return 
was recommended to Charles V, who despatched him to 
Madrid and Portugal, and later to England to make a 
portrait of Queen jMary, the wife of Philip II. Subse- 
quently he was in the latter's service in Spain, but re- 
turned to Brussels, where he found a patron in the Duke 
of Alva. His portraits are distinguished by evidence of 
truth to life as well as by their masterly, if somewhat 
careful, handling. But it was Scovel himself whose life 
best illustrated the tendencies of the time. 

Born in Alkmaar in 1495, he studied in Haarlem, Am- 
sterdam, and Utrecht; then in Cologne, Speyer, Stras- 
burg, Carinthia, and Venice, from which last he went to 
Jerusalem. Returning to Europe, he lived for a while 
in Rome, where he was appointed superintendent of the 
Vatican Gallery by his countryman, Pope Adrian IV. 
On the latter's death he returned to the Netherlands, liv- 
ing by turns in Utrecht and Haarlem, in one of which 
cities he died in 1562. Greatly influenced by his sojourn 
in Rome, he was the first of the strictly Dutch painters 
to absorb the Italian influence. Among several exam- 
[16] 



THE END OF THE OLD 

pies of his style in the Municipal Museum of Haarlem 
the most remarkable is a portrait group of twelve 
Knights Templars, with palm branches in their hands, 
indicating that they have made the pilgrimage to Jeru- 
salem. It is noteworthy both for its characterization 
and as an early instance of what was to be a special 
feature of Dutch art — the portrait group. His subject 
pictures, mostly on religious themes, have the elegant, 
non-committal character of work that was inspired by 
outside impulse, though possibly in the landscape back- 
grounds one may find a foretaste of the Dutch regard for 
truth of natural surroundings. His work, indeed, like 
his life, exemplifies the lack of originality and conviction 
in tlje temper of the times. It was a period of suspense, 
succeeding to the vigorous realities of old ideals, scarcely 
ready for the development of the new. It was a prologue 
to a new era. 

The new art, when it arrives, will be in response to a 
new common and collective need of a people, the prod- 
uct, in fact, of a new attitude of thought toward life. 
In place of the aristocratic it will be democratic, con- 
cerned with the rights of all instead of the privileges of 
the few. It will no longer set man in a pose of artificial 
supremacy against the background of the universe, but 
will begin to take account of his environment and to dis- 
cover his true relation to it. It will be an era, not of 
magnificent mendacity and superb hypotheses, but of 
patient inquiry into the facts of life and of resolute ad- 
justment of life to the facts. It will, indeed, be the 
dawning of the scientific era. And so firmly will it 
have taken hold of the thought and life of the then sepa- 

en] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

rated provinces of the north, that, even as they have 
parted absolutely from the old religion and politics, 
stiU adhered to by the southern states, so they will be 
impervious to the influence of the art by which the latter 
continue to be represented. When, fifty years from our 
opening date, Rubens shall return from Italy to give a 
brief lease of lustier life to the Italian motive by the 
vigor of his Flemish genius, the Hollanders of the seven- 
teenth century will be absolutely unaffected by his in- 
fluence. Their art will be as closed to the invasion of his 
masterful genius as their country is to the inroads of the 
German Ocean. Theirs will be an art not only new and 
original, but certainly most local. 



nis] 



CHAPTER II 

THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 

THE forty-five years, following the abdication of 
Charles V, yielded no indication of the harvest of 
painting that was to signalize the succeeding 
century. The earlier half of the period embraces the 
work of Pieter Aertz, first of the distinctively Dutch 
genre painters, and the latter half sees the growth to 
manhood of the portrait-painters Michiel Jansz van 
Mierevelt and Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn, while the 
whole period covers the active life of Jan de Bray. He, 
like the other two, was an honest but entirely uninspired 
portrait-painter; and it was not until nearly the end of 
the century that three men were born who were subse- 
quently to become notable. These are Frans Hals, Jan 
van Goyen, and another landscape-painter, less well 
known, Hercules Seghers. 

It was a period, indeed, solely of upheaval and prep- 
aration, during which the ground was plowed, har- 
rowed, and fertilized, while its old landmarks were being 
removed, new boundaries established, and a new proprie- 
torship asserted and exercised. It covered, moreover, 
the whole of Philip the Second's miserable reign. 

This monarch, tiring of the atmosphere of the Nether- 
lands, soon withdrew to Spain, whence for the remainder 
of his fife he attempted to govern the distant provinces 

CIO] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

as a satrapy, through vice-regents, mihtary commanders, 
and bishops. His aim, as became his father's son, was 
autocracy over the hves, fortunes, and consciences of his 
subjects. But, to do him justice, it was their own good, 
as he saw it, that he labored and intrigued for : to purge 
them of heresy and retain them within the fold of the 
Roman communion. For nothing is to be gained in the 
way of understanding the temper and conditions of that 
day by regarding Philip as an inhuman monster. 
Judged by the manner of our own time, he may seem to 
have been; but, judged by the tenacity and unscrupu- 
lousness with which men still cling to what they believe 
to be their rightful privileges and pursue what they are 
convinced is the dictate of their conscience, he is seen to 
be but a natural product of the mental and social con- 
ditions of his day. He was a recognizable and for a time 
even tolerated part of a system that men as yet had not 
thought of disturbing. 

It was so, at first, that the citizens of the Netherlands, 
even William, Prince of Orange, regarded him; They 
held his overlordship sacred, even while they opposed 
the acts of his official representatives. They expected to 
be roundly taxed, but at the same time to have the ma- 
chinery of their local government of free cities and Es- 
tates-General unimpeded; and it was against the inter- 
ference with this on the part of Philip's mercenaries that 
they first remonstrated. For, in the pursuance of his 
policy of riveting Roman Catholicism upon the Nether- 
lands, Philip had induced the Pope to create more bish- 
ops and archbishops, to uphold whose hands in the extir- 
pating of heresy four thousand Spanish troops were to 

1:203 



-'«Bt^ 


'i 


k 


^^m 






B^ 



COUPLE DRINKING 



JAN STEEN 



RIJKS MUSEUM. AMSTERDAM 



THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 

be retained in the country at the expense of the Estates. 
The latter and the cities remonstrated, and the troops 
were witMrawn, though the Inquisition continued its 
fell work. So matters drifted until 1566, a memorable 
year in the story of the rise and growth of Holland. 

The Flemish nobles, though Roman Catholic to a 
man, drew up a "Compromise" and pledged themselves 
to resist the Inquisition. William of Orange, also a 
Catholic, though he had married a Protestant princess, 
Anna of Saxony, and would later change his profession 
of faith, instituted a secret system of espionage in 
Madrid over the acts and counsels of Philip. Then the 
League of Nobles, Orange assisting in the wording of the 
document, presented a "Request" to the vice-regent, 
praying that the edicts against heresy and the Inquisi- 
tion might be withdrawn and the management of affairs 
restored to the Estates-General. Its presentation drew 
from one of the vice-regent's counselors, Berlaymont, 
the expression: "Is it possible that your Highness can 
be afraid of these beggars?" 

Three days later the dissentient nobles were enter- 
tained at a feast by Brederode. When the enthusiasm 
was at its height, and the guests were debating on a 
name and a watchword, the host let drop among them 
Berlaymont's contemptuous phrase. At the same mo- 
ment he produced a beggar's wallet and bowl; and, 
slinging the one over his shoulder and filling the other 
with wine, called upon all present to drink to the Beg- 
gars. The word was caught up, and from man to man 
the wallet and bowl were passed round, until all had en- 
rolled themselves in the Beggars' ranks. Then, at the 

1:21] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

height of the excitement, the counts Orange, Horn, and 
Egmont entered the room. They were compelled to 
drink to the pledge and, although they immediately re- 
tired, were henceforth marked for Philip's special revenge. 
Later in the same year the "Image-breaking" oc- 
curred in Antwerp. It was unpremeditated and in its 
occurrence unguided: the spontaneous explosion of la- 
tent passions smoldering in the mob ; the spark that kin- 
dled it, the annual procession and parade of the image 
of the Virgin. Scoffs and ribaldry were succeeded by 
horse-play, which involved a rough-and-tumble fight 
among some of the mob that filled the cathedral. The 
excitement grew. The mob, surging in and out of the 
building, began to mock an old woman who sold images 
of the Virgin at the cathedral door. She retaliated in 
kind, and from the bandying of words the mob and their 
victim proceeded to the hurling of missiles. A riot was 
averted for the moment by the arrival of the margrave 
and senators ; but, when evening came, the cathedral was 
still occupied by a mob, now bent on mischief. The image 
of the Virgin was the first object of its fury, which, how- 
ever, soon spread to a wholesale wrecking and desecra- 
tion. The sacred vessels, the glory of stained glass, 
and the intricate beauty of carved v/ork — every object 
of beauty that had made this one of the richest shrines 
of religious art in Christendom — were irretrievably de- 
stroyed. The blind, unreasoning fury, thus aroused, 
spread to other cities. Philip retaliated with another 
fury, coldly and calculatingly horrible. Alva was de- 
spatched with ten thousand troops, and the so-called 
Spanish Fury was inaugurated. 
[22] 



THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 

Its first victims were the counts Horn and Egmont, 
William of Orange escaping into exile. A Council of 
Troubles, or, as the Netherlanders called it, of Blood, was 
established, and in the six years of Alva's stay eighteen 
thousand six hundred persons were put to death. These 
were irrespective of those who fell in armed resistance. 
For in 1572 the Beggars of the sea took Brill, and a little 
later drove the Spanish garrison out of Flushing. It 
Mas the signal for revolt. Nearly all the cities of Hol- 
land and Zeeland declared for William of Orange, and, 
in an assembly of the Estates at Dort, voted funds for a 
war, directed, however, even then, not against the sover- 
eignty of Philip, but to the expulsion of his soldiery. 
The fortunes of the patriots were checkered with more 
defeats than victories, but meanwhile the Spanish opera- 
tions were impeded by lack of money ; the troops depend- 
ing upon the pillage of an impoverished country and the 
occasional sack of a city, while the treasure-ships of 
Spain were being intercepted and her commerce con- 
tinually harassed by the Beggars of the sea. So Philip 
sparred for breath, and through his vice-regent agreed 
to the withdrawal of his troops, a treaty to this effect 
being signed at Brussels in 1577. 

William, however, was too convinced of the duplicity 
of Philip to be a party to the treaty, and persuaded the 
northern provinces to refuse their assent. The struggle 
was continued, punctuated by the Union of Utrecht, in 
which the Estates agreed upon a Dutch republic; by 
Philip's rejoinder in the shape of a ban declared against 
the life of Orange, with a price of twenty -five thousand 
golden crowns upon his head ; and by the counter-move- 

1:233 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

ment of the patriots. This was the declaration of Dutch 
independence, formally issued at The Hague on the 26th 
of July, 1581. 

To ideas that had been slowly but steadily accumu- 
lating under the pressure of dire facts a formulation had 
at last been discovered and a name given. A new word 
had been uttered in the world, that was, as the centuries 
advanced, to be echoed and reechoed and to be fruitful 
in newly advancing ideas. Comparable only to it, in 
modern history, was the word spoken sixty years before 
by Luther at the Diet of Worms. And now the doctrine 
of the responsibility to itself of the conscience, with its 
allied doctrine of religious freedom, had been completed 
by the political doctrine of the responsibility of govern- 
ment to the governed, and its allied doctrine of a nation's 
right to the choice of its own form of government. But, 
just as the idea must be in labor until the word for it is 
delivered, so the word itself is but a battle-cry, the fruits 
of which are painfully and slowly won. The labor of 
Holland's actual independence, begun fifteen years be- 
fore, had yet to be protracted sixty-seven years. 

Hitherto all the hope of the patriots had centered in 
William of Orange. In declaring their independence, 
they offered him the crown. Partly to prove the disin- 
terestedness of his motives, still more perhaps because he 
believed that the final release from Spain could be ef- 
fected only by putting the new state under the protec- 
tion of France or England, he refused the dignity. 
Fortunately, however, France continued to be a reed on 
which no dependence could be placed, and the English 
help, when it did come, was indirect. Meanwhile, Phil- 
[24] 



THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 

ip's ban was still out against the Stadtholder, and an 
attempt was made upon his life. He was shot in the 
face, but recovered from the wound, to fall a victim, 
however, two years later, to the pistol of one Balthasar 
Gerard. The tragedy occurred on July 10, 1584. 

It had removed the chief obstacle to Philip's success. 
JNIaurice would worthily succeed his father in the gen- 
eralship of the war ; but the brain and conscience, the un- 
swerving patience and unselfishness, that had given some 
reality of union to the rival elements of the United Prov- 
inces, were buried with William the Silent. The exag- 
gerated individualism of the several provinces and cities 
would have put them at the mercy of Philip, had he not 
himself been distracted from any singleness of purpose 
by the same cause. His own exaggerated egoism, in- 
flated with the ambition to be a world-power, prevented 
him from concentrating his efforts upon the subjugation 
of the republic. He still strove to force his influence 
upon the affairs of France, and meanwhile made prepa- 
rations to subdue England. 

Thus Elizabeth, much as her Tudor instinct may have 
shrunk from the idea of encouraging rebellion against 
kingship, was induced by her advisers to make common 
cause with the Dutch against Spain. She refused their 
offer of the crown, but lent them money and some troops 
under the command of Leicester. He proved inefficient 
as a general, and, while a few names, such as that of Sir 
Philip Sidney, stand out heroically, England's real con- 
tribution to Dutch independence was indirect. It was 
Drake's incessant harrying of Spanish ships and ports 
and the destruction of the two Armadas that distracted 
[25] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Spain, broke her power of offense, and hastened the 
exhaustion of her waning resources. Thus the struggle 
with the provinces continued on land, but became 
more desultory, while of the sea the Dutch had prac- 
tically undisputed mastery. The result was an acces- 
sion of adventurous spirit that, while it failed in the 
attempt to discover a Northwest Passage, established 
settlements in the East Indies, wore down the competi- 
tion of the Spaniards in the trade of those regions, and 
inaugurated a condition of extraordinary commercial 
prosperity. 

^leanwhile Philip's long reign of forty-three years 
was drawing to a close. In May, 1598, he handed over 
the Netherlands to his daughter and son-in-law, the 
Archduke Albert, and a few weeks later died. It is suf- 
ficient for our present purpose to recall that the pro- 
longation of the war on behalf of the archduke by vari- 
ous generals, including Spinola, was stopped by the 
bankruptcy of the attacking parties. A truce of twelve 
years was agreed to in 1609. 

Such was the background of events that preceded the 
birth of a new art in Holland. A new nation had been 
formed, and the circumstances which attended its forma- 
tion had a direct influence in shaping the character of the 
new art. That it involved a departure from the decora- 
tive grandeur and the religious motive of Italian art was 
an incident of the Dutch having repudiated alike the 
Roman Catholic form of worship and the ceremonies of 
a regal court. Almost equally incidental was the fact 
that the artists were limited to subjects drawn from the 
personages and conditions of life within their own bor- 
1262 



THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 

ders; were influenced, in fact, to become realists. This, 
I repeat, was incidental and not unexampled, for realism 
was at the same time revived in Italy and continued in 
Spain. The fundamental thing was to be the character 
of Holland's realism; and this was a direct product of 
the national events we have been describing. For it was 
a symptom of the general character that the people had 
been forming in itself during more than half a century 
of nation-building. It was essentially a moral character. 

I need hardly say that I do not use the word "moral" 
in its narrower sense, but to the full extent of its sugges- 
tion of a stout fiber of conviction and purpose that 
habitually promotes integrity of conscience and deter- 
mines the conduct of a nation or an individual. It is 
nearer to our borrowed word, "morale." It is the prod- 
uct, I take it, primarily of a great and worthy pride in 
self, and then of loyalty to the best in one's self that such 
pride engenders and makes necessary. It is what an 
artist, least of all men, can afford to be without ; for his 
work IS necessarily an expression of himself, and, if he 
has not morality in the sense we have been describing, 
his work will inevitably betray the fact and prove the 
weaker for it. No artist in any medium can maintain a 
bluff. Even if it hoodwinks his contemporaries, poster- 
ity will "call it." 

Now, in the case of Holland, the struggle for a great 
principle, persevered in against all discouragements, had 
gradually established in the nation just 'such a morality, 
which during the years of the truce and for some thirty 
years later was to demonstrate its value in practically 
every department of human activity. To higher learn- 

1:27: 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

ing and research, to the practical affairs of Ufe, such as 
manufactures, commerce, banking, engineering, agri- 
culture, and dairy-farming, to questions of disease and 
hygiene, and to the systematizing of the legal relations 
as well of nations as of individuals, the Dutch brought 
the application of a new principle, substituting for em- 
piricism and laissez-faire the method of approach and 
treatment that we now call scientific. 

It is a term, by the way, that from time to time has 
been assumed to be antagonistic to morality ; whereas, if 
properly considered, it should and does surely represent 
a morality of the most exacting and, frequently, the most 
disinterested kind. One after another, then, the Dutch 
in those days of newly realized nationality confronted 
the problems of intellectual, material, and social prog- 
ress, bringing to their study a keen analysis, and han- 
dling their solution with integrity and thoroughness. 
With morality such as this conspicuously abroad in the 
community, it would have been strange if her artists had 
not reproduced it in their own special field ; if to direct- 
ness and sanity of vision they had not brought a scrupu- 
lous artistic conscience, that resulted in integrity and 
thoroughness of craftsmanship. That certain of them 
at some period of their careers deviated, as we shall see, 
from this high standard does but emphasize the existence 
of the latter, which, too, was reached, not by a few in- 
dividuals, but by the artists as a body ; so that in no other 
school of painting can you find such wide-spread excel- 
lence of technique. This, indeed, if we may anticipate the 
sequel, proved to be one of the causes of the school's sub- 
sequent decline. Technique came to be pursued as a mo- 

1:28] 




PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST 



GERARD TERBORCH 



HAGUE MUSEUM 



I 



THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 

tive. But this was itself a symptom of a deeper cause — the 
freshness of the original motive had been outworn, its 
vigor slackened. The nation itself had by that time lost 
the simple directness of its early ideal and become enam- 
oured of the sophistries of a world-wide ambition. 

But to resume the thread of the story. At the com- 
mencement of the new century Hals was sixteen years 
old; Daniel Seghers, eleven; Van Goyen and the por- 
trait-painter Thomas de Keyser, four. The train, in 
fact, was already laid for a new kind of portraiture and 
for a new motive in painting— that of naturalistic land- 
scape. Otherwise the men destined to be the most repre- 
sentative of the new school were as yet unborn. With 
the opening of the century, however, their names ap- 
pear thick and fast, and continue to arrive for forty 
years; after which the list of those conspicuous in the 
annals of the Dutch seventeenth-century school ceases. 
Dating, therefore, from Hals's birth in 1584, the period 
covered is fifty-six years. 

It is perhaps convenient for the purpose of assisting 
the memory to divide the first forty years of the new cen- 
tury into two parts: the first ending in 1621, with the 
conclusion of the twelve years' truce; and the second 
with the marriage, in 1641, of the Prince of Orange's 
son, William, to the eldest daughter of Charles I of Eng- 
land. The historical aspect of these two periods in rela- 
tion to the story of art may be considered after we have 
reviewed the names of the principal artists whose births 
they contain. 

The earlier division, then, includes the greatest name 
in the art of Holland, one of the greatest in all art, that 

129-2 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

of Rembrandt, who was born in 1606. The latter is the 
birth-year also of the flower-painter Jan van Heem, 
while the preceding years of the century disclose the 
names of the marine-painter Simon de Vlieger and the 
landscape-painters Salomon Ruisdael and Aert van der 
Neer, and Palamedesz, painter of genre. The year 1610 
gives us Van Ostade and the landscape-painter Johannes 
Both; 1611, Ferdinand Bol and Willem van de Velde 
the Elder; 1613, Wouwerman and Gerard Dou; and 
1615, Govert Flinck and Jan Wynants. 

Here we may check the routine of enumeration to note 
another great name, one of the most distinguished of the 
Holland School. It is that of Gerard Terborch, born in 
1617. He is followed, in 1619, by the landscape-painter 
Philips Koninck and the portrait-painter Bartholomeus 
van der Heist. To them succeed in 1620 Aelbert Cuyp 
and Nicolaes Berchem, followed in 1621 by Eeckliout 
and Allart van Everdingen. 

This enumeration does not pretend to be exhaustive. 
The aim has been rather to include as few names as pos- 
sible, so as to simplify the study by concentrating atten- 
tion from the start on those which are most representa- 
tive and most often met with. After familiarizing 
one's self with these, it is comparatively easy to add to 
their number and to place the newly acquired ones in 
their chronological relation to this preliminary list. The 
same motive determines the selection for the second 
period. 

It begins in 1624 with Carel Fabritius; but the fol- 
lowing year discloses a name that in the Holland School 
stands very close to Rembrandt, Jacob Ruisdael, and 
11303 



THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 

another name of great reputation, Paul Potter. To 
1626 belongs Jan Steen. After the birth of this artist 
there is a pause of four years, when Gabriel INIetsu 
and the still-life painter Kalf appear, to be followed two 
years later, in 1632, by a notable trio, Nicolaes INIaes, 
Pieter de Hooch, and the most distinguished, Jan Ver- 
meer of Delft. With 1633 comes the marine-painter 
Willem van de Velde the Younger, and mth 1635 Frans 
van IVIieris; while 1636 yields Adriaen van de Velde, 
landscape- and figure-painter, and the painter of birds 
and poultry, JNIelchior d'Hondecoeter. Finally, the 
painter of architecture, Jan van der Heyden, is born in 
1637; Hobbema in 1638, and in 1640 the painter of ani- 
mals and dead game, Jan Weenix. 

If one glances back over the names of these two 
periods, it is to note some interesting suggestions. In 
the first place, one of the earliest names. Van Heem, and 
the last of the list, Weenix, represent painters of still- 
life. The fact emphasizes the hold which this branch of 
painting had upon the interest alike of the painters and 
their public, and the part it plays in the general work of 
the school. In our own day there is perhaps a tendency 
to underestimate the interest of still-life. "Only a pic- 
ture of flowers or fruit or game," represents the feeling 
of many people on the subject. It is an attitude of 
mind, resulting from the habit of relying on the mind to 
appreciate a picture. Thus, as a subject for mental 
study, a bunch of flowers, a mass of vegetables, pots and 
pans and the like, may not be interesting. On the other 
hand, I think it would be a mistake to assume that the 
Holland public of the seventeenth century were free 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

from this tendency; or to suppose that they regarded a 
picture as a thing to be viewed and to be appreciated 
solely through the abstract pleasure that is communicated 
by the joy of sight. As a matter of fact, they were actu- 
ally interested in the objects represented in the still-life 
pictures. They were enthusiastic cultivators of flowers 
and vegetables, keen sportsmen, and shared with the wo- 
men of their families a pride in all the objects of decora- 
tion and utility in their homes, so that even utensils of 
ordinary use were made and kept in a state of being orna- 
mental. Accordingly, with that simple directness, char- 
acteristic of the race, they took a positive interest in 
the representation of such things. The latter were sub- 
jects of importance in life; accordingly, since their art 
was so intimate an expression of their life, they were wel- 
comed as subjects for pictures. 

The public also applauded the skill with which such 
subjects were rendered by the artists, and the latter, 
since still-life presented excellent opportunities for the 
display of craftsmanship, were glad enough to recipro- 
cate the popular taste. Thus resulted what one notes 
as a second point in the consideration of Holland still- 
life painting: namely, that the artists freely introduced 
objects of still-life into their portraits. I cannot cite a 
more typical instance than the earliest military group- 
picture by Frans Hals in the Haarlem Museum. Here 
the viands and furnishings of the banquet are rendered 
with at least as much gusto as the heads, and for the 
present with more assurance. Thirdly, it is easy to trace 
the influence that this joy in the representation of still- 
life had upon the evolution of genre painting in the Hoi- 
[32] 



THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 

land School and upon the particular character that it 
assumes. In fact, the interest in still-life subjects, with 
the influence it had upon the methods of the artists, was 
a most important factor in the development of the Hol- 
land School. Closely allied to it is the interest in por- 
traiture. 

How radically this interest affected the art of Holland 
may be gathered from another glance at the foregoing 
list of names. It is in the beginning of the new era, in 
the earlier division of names, that all the famous por- 
trait-painters appear. Not to mention Rembrandt, 
whose genius was of the universal kind, embracing in its 
single scope the separated motives of other artists, we 
find the names of Hals, Mierevelt, Ravesteyn, Van der 
Heist, Terborch, De Keyser, Cuyp, Bol, and Flinck. 
On the other hand, among the names in the second list, 
selected without any parti pris, there is not one of first 
or even second rank as a portrait-painter; only men 
like Maes and Netscher, who were primarily and far 
more worthily genre painters. 

For it is the genre painters who form one of the chief 
distinctions of the later generation. It is true that Dou 
belongs with the eailier, and he was and still remains 
popular. But he is not in the same class as Vermeer and 
Steen, nor as Maes, Metsu, and De Hooch, scarcely as 
a painter even to be reckoned with Ostade. Indeed, he 
is nearer to Van Mieris and Netscher, the men in whose 
hands genre sank to a distinctly lower level. The only 
example in the earlier generation of a great genre 
painter is Terborch, who presents the exception, and a 
brilliant one, to the generalization I have suggested. 
1332 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Another point of interest to be derived from this sum- 
mary is the place that landscape takes among the mo- 
tives of the Holland School. We see, in fact, that it 
figures at the beginning of the new era and continues to 
the end. Seghers and Van Goyen precede the century, 
which immediately opens with Salomon Ruisdael and 
Aert van der Neer, followed in the earlier division by 
Both, Wouwerman, Koninck, Cuyp, Berchem, and Van 
Everdingen. Then the second period opens with the 
birth of Jacob Ruisdael, and, including Potter, Adriaen 
van de Velde, and Vermeer (the last named with one 
known example), ends with Hobbema. Similarly, in 
the allied department of marine-painting, the century 
opens with Simon de Vlieger; Willem van de Velde the 
Elder follows, and in the later period the art is repre- 
sented by Bakhuysen and Willem van de Velde the 
Younger. 

As a matter of fact, in each field of motive the seed 
was laid in the beginning of the period under examina- 
tion. What followed was a rotation of crops and an 
enriched development of each variety. 



18*2 



CHAPTER III 

BEGINNING OF THE NEW 

THE breathing-time given by the truce allowed 
play for dissensions among parties and for the 
ambitions that had crept into the house of 
Orange. Meanwhile it favored the development that 
during the next hundred years made Holland the richest 
and most advanced country in Europe. 

To commemorate the raising of the siege of Leyden, 
the patriots in 1574 had founded a imiversity in that 
city; to inaugurate the truce, they pumped dry the 
Beemster Lake and added eighteen thousand acres to 
their territory. The two acts, and even the order in 
which they came, were characteristic of this extraordi- 
nary people. They were the most enlightened of their day 
and brought their intelligence to bear upon all the practi- 
cal concerns of life. The renown of their university ex- 
celled that of Paris, Oxford, or Cambridge ; their schol- 
ars laid the foundations of international law and modern 
medicine, and their printing-presses produced more 
books than those of the rest of Europe combined. Their 
development in painting is our present subject, but they 
also carried their love of the beautiful into the design 
and craftsmanship of the ornaments and utensils of the 
home, and into the laying out of gardens and the culti- 

CSS] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

vation of flowers. Meanwhile their looms, manned by 
weavers who had fled from Flanders to avoid religious 
persecution, produced the finest fabrics in Europe ; their 
workshops exported the best mathematical, astronomi- 
cal, and nautical instruments ; and their discovery of the 
art of cutting and polishing diamonds gave them a mo- 
nopoly of this business. The Bank of Amsterdam was 
founded in the first year of the truce and soon became 
famous for the amount of its deposits and the volume of 
its transactions, while the city itself became the chief 
distributing center for the commerce of the Old and the 
New World. 

Meanwhile in agriculture the Hollanders displayed a 
similar combination of scientific resourcefulness and in- 
domitable energy. They discovered the value as fodder 
of certain "artificial" grasses and clovers, and experi- 
mented with these to the immense improvement of their 
cattle and dairy produce; and by the application of 
intensive methods to the cultivation of the land so in- 
creased its productivity, that it became capable of sup- 
porting three times the population which had before sub- 
sisted on it. Further, by promoting the cultivation of 
the potato and other root-vegetables they wrought a sig- 
nal improvement in the public health, since the variety 
of diet, thus made possible in winter, stamped out the 
scurvy and leprosy which had been the scourge of Hol- 
land as of other countries. At the same time they devel- 
oped their fisheries and introduced improved methods of 
drying and treating fish; enlarged their merchant ma- 
rine, so that they became the chief carriers of the world ; 
and pushed their commerce with the Indies, until they 

1:363 



^ 



BEGINNING OF THE NEW 

possessed a practical monopoly of the most lucrative 
trade of those times, namely, that of spices. 

JNIeanwhile, as a reverse to this story of national prog- 
ress, were the religious and political dissensions that 
crept into the commonwealth. Protestantism, after pre- 
senting a solid front to Romanism, now found itself cleft 
by the sect-rivalries of Arminians and Gomarists; and 
these in time gave color and opportunity to the ambition 
of Maurice. No disinterested patriot like his father, 
William the Silent, the second Stadtholder intrigued for 
his personal aggrandizement, and stained his memory 
by the judicial murder of the old patriot-statesman 
Barneveldt. On the other hand, of better memory was 
his service to art. In 1611 he commissioned Ravesteyn 
to paint a series of portraits of officers. These and other 
pictures that he gathered adorned his palace, and, added 
to by his successor, the Stadtholder Frederick Henry, 
became the nucleus of the collection that, accumulating 
through various vicissitudes, now occupies the ]Maurits- 
huis, as the Royal Museum of The Hague. 

The lack of cohesion, of which these dissensions were 
a symptom, and that had always been close to the sur- 
face of unity owing to the excessive individualism of the 
cities, was reflected in the new art. Small as was the 
total area of the country, it supplied a number of artistic 
centers, each with its group of artists, who had sufficient 
in common to constitute a school. Under the influence 
of tradition, or more often of some conspicuous member 
of the group, they presented similarities of motive that 
distinguished their choice of subjects and even their 
method of painting. Thus we may note a school of 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Haarlem, of Leyden, of Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, 
Dordrecht, and Utrecht. There was a certain rivalry 
between the schools of these various cities, but, on the 
other hand, a centripetal force that tended also to draw 
them together. Communication was easy in so small a 
country, and, moreover, the growing importance of 
Amsterdam as the commercial capital made it gradually 
a center also of art. The result was a happy combina- 
tion of homogeneousness and individualism. The paint- 
ings of the period possess a common excellence, of a kind 
so distinctive that you may recognize at once a picture 
as belonging to the School of Holland, and yet they 
reveal so many individual traits that the homogeneous- 
ness is not characterized by monotony. 

Accordingly, if we do not make the mistake of trjang 
to surround the school of each city w^th an arbitrary 
wall, separating it conclusively from other cities, we may 
get many suggestions that help to classify our compre- 
hension of the Holland School as a whole. I propose, 
therefore, to distribute the artists, whose names we have 
already reviewed, according to their individual schools; 
to the cities in which they worked, and, in most cases, 
were born and educated. 

Under the head of Utrecht, then, we find the names 
of Heem, Hondecoeter, and Weenix, all three of them 
still-life painters. But, while this points to the fact that 
the distinguishing characteristic of the Utrecht School 
was the painting of flowers, dead game, and birds, it is 
not to be assumed that still-life is unrepresented in the 
other schools. The catalogues contain the names of no 
less than a hundred painters in this department, distrib- 

CSS] 



BEGINNING OF THE NEW 

uted throughout the various cities, and, as time goes on, 
congregating especially in Amsterdam. To the latter 
Weenix and Hondecoeter migrated ; and it is interesting 
to note how the change of locale affected their art. Cor- 
responding to the wealth of the capital, their pictures 
became much larger, designed as superb decorations for 
the walls of sumptuous houses. 

The School of Haarlem includes the following: the 
portrait-painters Bray, Hals, and Terborch, the last 
also a genre painter, like Ostade of this city; and the 
landscapists Salomon and Jacob Ruisdael, Wynants, 
Everdingen, Wouwerman, Esaias van de Velde, and 
Berchem. The array of names, in the first place, sug- 
gests the importance of Haarlem at this period, as a 
center of commerce, society, and art. We may remem- 
ber that it was particularly given to "corporation" pic- 
tures, as its museum to this day proclaims in the works 
of Bray and Hals, while Terborch, commencing under 
the influence of this place, later on painted the equiva- 
lent of a corporation picture in his Peace of Miinster, 
now in the National Gallery. Another clue to be de- 
rived from this grouping of names is that Hals, the 
acknowledged leader, exerted a direct influence on Ter- 
borch and Ostade; and through the latter upon Steen, 
who came over from Leyden to be Ostade's student. 

Further, we recognize that this school was as fertile 
in landscape as in portraiture. With the exception of 
Van Goyen of Leyden, the founders and chief expo- 
nents of the art were associated with Haarlem; even 
Hobbema of Amsterdam, through his having been a 
pupil of Jacob Ruisdael. The latter 's career, also, is 

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THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

made clearer by this classification. Haarlem was his 
birthplace and the scene of his personally inspired work. 
When, discouraged by lack of recognition, he moved to 
Amsterdam, it was the example of his fellow-townsmen 
that made him change his own style. For Everdingen, 
who had visited Sweden, was painting romantic scenes 
of waterfalls and rocks, and Ruisdael, observing how 
they found favor with the Amsterdammers, abandoned 
his study of the Holland landscape to invent similar sub- 
jects. Finally, we may connect Wouwerman with two 
of his townsmen. From Wynants he learned the land- 
scape, and by Hals was influenced in his incomparable 
treatment of the accompanying groups of figures. 

The School of Leyden boasts the great name of Rem- 
brandt, who, however, moved finally to Amsterdam in 
1631, when nearing his twenty-fifth year. After him 
the names that appear in the School of Leyden are: Dou, 
Steen, Metsu, JNIieris, and Van Goyen; all of them, the 
last named only excepted, genre painters. Dou studied 
with Rembrandt, who was seven years his senior, during 
the last three years of the latter's stay in Leyden. He 
himself became the teacjher of Gabriel Metsu, who, how- 
ever, was also influenced by Frans Hals, and also, after 
his move to Amsterdam, where he died, by Rembrandt. 
Dou was also the instructor of Frans van Mieris. Steen, 
on the other hand, the greatest of the Leyden group, 
escaped the influence of Dou, becoming, as we have seen, 
a pupil of Van Ostade at Haarlem, and later of Van 
Goyen, after the latter had moved tc The Hague. Van 
Goyen, though born in Leyden, is associated also 
with the Haarlem School, for after he had had several 



BEGINNING OF THE NEW 

masters, including Van Swanenburch, in Leyden, he 
served apprenticeship to the Haarlem painter Esaias 
van de Velde. Moreover, by the time that he had mas- 
tered his art, he settled in The Hague. Thus the char- 
acteristic of the School of Leyden remains its genre. 

The names from our list that the School of Delft in- 
cludes are those of Mierevelt, Fabritius, Van Aelst, 
Palamedesz, De Hooch, and, most distinguished of all, 
Vermeer. Mierevelt, as a portrait-painter, found better 
opportimities for his art at the seat of government, and 
became a member of the Guild of Painters of The 
Hague. Carel Fabritius was early attracted to Amster- 
dam by the fame of Rembrandt, and only returned to 
work in Delft during the last four years of his short life 
of thirty-four years. Van Aelst, also, the still-life 
painter, after oscillating between Delft and Florence, 
finally settled in Amsterdam. So did the portraitist and 
painter of fashionable genre, Palamedesz. He derived 
help at first from Mierevelt and was influenced by Hals, 
and in 1621 his name appears as a member of the guild 
in Delft, but he spent the latter part of his life in Am- 
sterdam. This city also absorbed De Hooch, who, be- 
fore he finally settled there, had been influenced by Rem- 
brandt. In fact, his participation in the School of Delft 
was limited to the two years in which he was a fellow- 
member of the guild w^ith Jan Vermeer. They were 
of the same age, but Vermeer was his senior in the 
guild by two years, and it is scarcely to be questioned 
that the influence of his refined feeling and exquisite 
craftsmanship must have affected De Hooch consider- 
ably. In contrast to the flux of change that characterized 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

the lives of the other members of the Delft School is the 
consistency of Vermeer's attachment to the city of his 
birth. We shall discuss his art later. Here it is enough 
to recall that his only teacher was Carel Fabritius; but 
that his art, as it developed, was individually his own, 
conspicuously unique, and so admirable that when one 
speaks of the Delft School it is to think almost exclu- 
sively of its greatest artist, Jan Vermeer of Delft. 

In connection with The Hague it is more correct to 
speak of a group than of a school. Among the artists in 
our list the only one born actually in this city was Rave- 
steyn, although it is true that Schalcken's native place 
was a village in the vicinity. But the same reason that 
made the former constant to the seat of government at- 
tracted thither other artists. The Hague was also a cen- 
ter of society and fashion. 3Iierevelt found there a mar- 
ket for his portraits, Van Goyen for his landscapes, and 
Netscher, Schalcken, and De Hooch for genre pictures. 
The last named spent some years there, but retired to 
Amsterdam. The rest continued working at The Hague 
until their deaths. Among them Van Goyen is easily the 
most distinguished. The rest are rather symptomatic of 
the atmosphere of their surroundings. The portraits 
by Mierevelt and Ravesteyn have the perfunctori- 
ness of official and society products, eminently digni- 
fied and comme il faut, irresistibly uninteresting, while 
the genre of Netscher and Schalcken is petty and frivo- 
lous by comparison with that of the older and greater 
painters, and Netscher's portraits are frequently in- 
sipid as to character and over-occupied with the niceties 
of millinery. 

n42] 



BEGINNING OF THE NEW 

Of Dordrecht or Dort our list contains only one name, 
that of Aelbert Cuyp, whose versatile genius embraced 
portraiture, landscape and animal painting, genre, still- 
life, church interiors, and marines. We may add one 
other name, that of Hoogstraten, not, however, so much 
on account of his art as because he was the George Vasari 
of his day, the historian and story-monger of the painters 
of Holland in the seventeenth century. 

It remains to summarize the School of Amsterdam. 
As may have been gathered from the foregoing, it was 
rather an aggregate of artists, drawn thither by two 
causes: the wealth of the commercial capital and the 
fame and influence of Rembrandt. The latter, as we 
have seen, moved finally from his native city, Leyden, 
to Amsterdam in 1631, when he was in his twenty-fifth 
year. Two years later he painted The Lesson in Anat- 
omy, and pupils began to flock to him; among the most 
notable being Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck, Eeck- 
hout, Metsu, Nicolaes Maes, Fabritius, and De Hooch. 
On the other hand, among those w^hom the importance 
of the city attracted were several from the neighboring 
School of Haarlem ; the portrait-painter Van der Heist, 
for example, and the landscape-painters Berchem, Jan 
Wynants, Everdingen, and Jacob Ruisdael ; while from 
Utrecht came the still-life painters Hondecoeter and 
Weenix, and from Delft Van Aelst. 

On the other hand, the native-bom artists of Amster- 
dam included that early genre painter Pieter Aertz ; the 
portrait-painter Thomas de Keyser; and the landscap- 
ists, Hercules Seghers, Philips Koninck, Adriaen van de 
Velde, Aert van der Neer, and Hobbema. But the dis- 

1:433 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

tinctively local characteristic of the school, situated as it 
was in this great emporium of foreign commerce, is its 
group of marine-painters ; among whom we may mention 
Simon de Vlieger, Bakliuysen, and the elder and the 
younger WiUem van de Velde. Their pictures are par- 
ticularly interesting for the faithful and spirited repre- 
sentation of shipping: fishing craft, coasting vessels, 
East-Indiamen in harbor, and men-of-war in action. 
The pictures of these last are the most important of the 
occasional indications to be found in Dutch painting that 
throughout this period of productivity in the arts of 
peace the country was involved in war. Not that the 
soldier is absent from pictures. On the contrary, 
he figures frequently, but usually in the intervals of 
fighting, while enjoying the pleasures of a furlough; 
though occasionally we come upon some positive hint of 
the prevailing disturbance, as in a scene of bivouac, or of 
peasants and soldiery fighting, or of soldiery attacking 
a traveling-coach or party of hunters. Generally, how- 
ever, the subjects of the Holland pictures are rather sug- 
gestive of a prof oimd tranquillity. 

As a matter of fact, by the time that painting reached 
its maturity, Holland had ceased to be the battle-ground. 
She had become rather a focus point of intrigue, in- 
volved in distant complications with France, Germany, 
and England. There are in the Rijks Museum at Am- 
sterdam two pictures which hint at this: The Fishers for 
Souls, by Adriaen van de Venne, and The Enraged 
Swan, by Jan Asselyn. 

The former, painted in 1611 during the truce, repre- 
sents a river dotted with boats, the occupants of which 
[44] 



BEGINNING OF THE NEW 

are fishing for the men and women that swim aromid 
them, while the banks are crowded with spectators. On 
the left are serried ranks of Hollanders, closing round 
those in whom they have confidence, namely, the Princes 
of Orange, Maurice and Frederick Henry, James I of 
England, and the young King of France, Louis XIII. 
On the opposite bank a less orderly mass of people con- 
fronts them, headed by the Archduke Albert and the 
Duchess Isabella, to whom Philip had made over the 
sovereignty of the Netherlands. So far the allegory 
epitomizes the political situation in which the Hollanders 
found themselves. Meanwhile, the religious aspect of 
the situation is suggested in the circumstances of the fish- 
ing, which seems to refer both to the old struggle be- 
tween Catholicism and Protestantism and also to the 
new one arising out of the dissension in the latter be- 
tween the rival sects of the Gomarists and Arminians. 
The happy outcome of it all is prefigured in the rainbow 
that spans the scene. 

To appreciate the allegory involved in The Enraged 
Swan it is necessary to summarize the events that fol- 
lowed the conclusion of the truce in 1621. Spain would 
have been glad to substitute for the truce a permanent 
peace, but held out for terms that were unacceptable 
to the Hollanders; and war in a desultory fashion was 
renewed. By this time the Thirty Years' War had com- 
menced, and the religious and political struggle, that 
hitherto had centered in Holland, was being continued 
in a distant and larger field. Maurice died in 1625 and 
was succeeded in the office of Stadtholder by Frederick 
Henry, an able soldier and wise and patriotic statesman, 
[45] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

who set himself to consolidate the internal resources of 
the republic. The latter showed its recognition of his 
services by the fatal expedients of making the office of 
Stadtholder hereditary in the house of Orange and of 
agreeing to the marriage of Frederick's son William 
with the eldest daughter of Charles I. The effects of 
this were, on the one hand, to create within the republic 
an Orange party that in time intrigued for absolutism 
of government, and, on the other, to embroil Holland in 
the struggle between the Stuarts and the Parliament of 
England, and later, upon the restoration of the mon- 
archy in the person of Charles II, to involve the republic 
both in diplomacy and in war with that utterly unprin- 
cipled person. 

Meanwhile peace was finally concluded with Spain in 
1648, by the Treaty of Westphalia, or, as the compact is 
also styled, the Peace of Miinster, which was proclaimed 
on June 5, 1648, the day on which Egmont and Horn 
had been executed by Alva eighty years before. By this 
time Frederick had been succeeded in the Stadtholder- 
ship by his son William, who, with the assistance of the 
Orange party, was intriguing for absolute rule. Fortu- 
nately for the republic, his death occurred two years 
later, a few days before the birth of his son, who even- 
tually became Stadtholder and subsequently William III 
of England. INIeanwhile, during the prince's minority, 
the government was in the hands of Johan de Witt, 
whose book "The Interest of Holland" is an able sum- 
mary of the political and commercial conditions of the 
republic at the time. His patriotism had been whetted 
to a personal edge by the fact that he had been im- 
1:463 



BEGINNING OF THE NEW 

prisoned illegally and arbitrarily by the late Stadtholder, 
and his opposition to the pretensions of the Orange 
party was in consequence unceasing throughout his offi- 
cial term, which lasted from 1650 to 1672. It is this that 
is commemorated in The Enraged Swan. 

The picture represents a swan standing above its nest 
of eggs, in a fierce and threatening attitude, prepared to 
repel the attack of a dog. Above the latter is an inscrip- 
tion in Dutch, signifying "The Enemy of the State," 
while one of the eggs is lettered "Holland," and beneath 
the swan are the words "Grand Pensionary," the title 
of the office of Johan de Witt. Since the artist, Jan 
Asselyn, died in 1652, it is possible that his picture orig- 
inally had no allegorical intent, but that its owner, see- 
ing its application to the political situation, caused the 
inscriptions to be added. However this may be, it re- 
mains a curious document of the internal dissensions that 
at this period rent the little republic, and ended with the 
murder of De Witt and his brother by an Orange mob 
in 1672. 

Of the entanglements into which the union of the 
house of Orange with the Stuarts eventually led the coun- 
try, it is enough here to recall that the enmity of Spain 
had been replaced by that of France. The ambition of 
Louis XIV threatened not only Holland but Europe; 
and it was against this that William III during his 
Stadtholdership, and later, when he also occupied the 
throne of England, directed the military resources of 
both countries and his own unrivaled genius as a diplo- 
matist. The result was a war, interrupted temporarily 
by nominal treaties of peace, but actually protracted be- 

n473 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

yond the lifetime of William, until the power of France 
had been beaten down by Marlborough, and peace was 
secured by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Hobbema, 
the last of the great Dutch painters of the seventeenth 
century, had died six years before. 

Peace removed the barriers that Holland had erected 
for her self-preservation. Her artists, like her traders, 
wandered afield. The old centripetal tendency, which 
compelled the artist to find initiative in his own sur- 
roundings at home and so bred a distinctly Holland 
school, was superseded by the tendency to look for mo- 
tive outside. The painter found it in Italy; he and his 
art became Italianate. This is not to say that the Hol- 
land painters of the eighteenth century are without 
merit. The best undoubtedly have a charm of their own ; 
but it is not of the kind that one has learned to recognize 
and respect in the earlier pictures, as being a character- 
istic product of a nation fighting to maintain the integ- 
rity and independence of its nationality. The charm is 
by comparison slender and superficial, the product, not 
of originality, but of imitation. For the art of Holland 
had ceased to be the expression of conviction, and no 
longer exemplified the morality that had given character 
to its motive and unimpeachable integrity to its tech- 
nique. 



1:483 



CHAPTER IV 

FRANS HALS 

THE readiest way to study the art of Holland in 
the seventeenth century is under the separate 
heads of portraiture, landscape, marine, genre, 
and still-life. In this way one obtains a comprehensive 
survey of the development of each of these branches, and 
is not confused by the fact that many of the artists prac- 
tised in more than one of them. But at the start it must 
be observed that these separate departments are inclosed 
in a common motive. As Fromentin says, the art of 
Holland was essentially an art of portraiture. It fol- 
lowed from the character of the people and the condi- 
tions under which they found themselves. They were a 
nation of burghers, practical in mind, direct in action, 
self-centered, and full of personal and local pride. What 
more likely, in fact more inevitable, than that they 
should need and their painters should supply an art 
which gave a complete, exact, and for the most part un- 
embellished portrait of the country, its people, and their 
habits of life. 

But while this common motive of portraiture, which 
distinguishes every branch of Holland painting, was in 
response to a common and collective need of the people, 
it was modified and shaped by the example of two lead- 
ing personalities : Hals and Rembrandt. So determining 

[*93 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

was their influence that an analysis of their respective 
motives and methods is not only a necessary preliminary 
but the quickest way to a comprehension of the develop- 
ment of the whole school. 

They had characteristics in common. One might al- 
most represent the two men by concentric circles; Hals 
being the inner, Rembrandt the indefinitely larger one. 
Hals was an epitome of the genius of the Dutch race; 
Rembrandt was also this, but more— the expression of a 
genius peculiarly his o^n. Both manifested, Hals in- 
variably, Rembrandt at times, the quality of direct seeing 
and doing that was a national characteristic ; but at other 
times Rembrandt was possessed of a spirituality, if one 
may so call it, that was directly opposed to the prevailing 
practicalness. Let us study each for the purpose of dis- 
covering what was his own personal art and how it af- 
fected the art of others. 

Hals, then, the leader of the Haarlem School, we will 
examine first, not only because he was the oldest of the 
famous men of the seventeenth century, but also because 
his own genius was so closely representative of that of his 
countrymen. Of his life there is little to record. He 
was born in Antwerp, in 1584, but of parents of good 
Haarlem stock, temporarily driven from home by the 
vicissitudes of the war. He may have begun his studies 
in Antwerp, but by 1608 was probably settled in Haar- 
lem. It must have been about two years later that he 
married a lady named Anneke Hermanszoon, for their 
child, Harmen Hals, was baptized on the 2d of Septem- 
ber, 1611. The marriage appears to have been unfortu- 
nate, a record, dated 1616, showing that the husband was 



FRANS HALS 

summoned and reprimanded by the magistrates for 
drunkenness and violent conduct toward his wife. She 
died a few days later, apparently from natural causes, 
and the following year Hals married Lysbeth Reyniers, 
with whom he lived for fifty years, bringing up a large 
family. That his conduct toward the first wife was not 
very seriously viewed by the community seems to be 
proved by the fact that in 1617 and 1618 he and his 
brother Dirck were elected members of the School of 
Rhetoric. Later they were elected to the Civic Guard 
and to the Painters' Guild of St. Luke in Haarlem. 

Like almost all the artists of his time, he was involved 
in pecuniar}^ difficulties. In 1652 a baker sued him for 
the amount of two hundred guilders, a debt incurred for 
bread supplied and for small loans occasionally ad- 
vanced. He obtained possession of the artist's movables, 
but allowed him to continue in the use of them. Ten 
years later we find Hals, now seventy-eight years old, 
applying for relief from the city government, which 
granted him one hundred and fifty dollars in quarterly 
instalments. This exhausted, he renewed his applica- 
tion for public assistance, and was granted a yearly pen- 
sion of two hundred guilders. Two years later, on or 
about the 26th of August, 1666, he died in his eighty- 
second year and was buried beneath the choir of the 
Church of St. Bavon in Haarlem. 

These few circumstances represent practically all that 
is known of Frans Hals's life as a man. The main sug- 
gestion to be derived from them is that he was held in 
considerable esteem by his fellow-townsmen. The paint- 
ers enrolled him in their guild; his creditor did not un- 

[51] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

duly press him, and the municipahty attended to the 
needs of his decHning years. It is fit to dwell on these 
points, because a tradition, apparently started by Hou- 
braken, the painter-historian of the artists of the period, 
has clung about the memory of Hals, representing him 
to have been a frequenter of pot-houses and generally 
dissolute. But, except for the reprimand administered 
to him in the affair of his first wife, there is nothing 
on record to prove the accuracy of this tradition. One 
is therefore permitted to believe that the incident was 
a single offense ; sufficiently reprehensible, but not to 
be counted against his whole life. On the other hand, 
the leniency of the baker and the relief voted by the 
municipality may be fairly taken as arguments against 
the story of his worthlessness. But the most reli- 
able evidence of its falsity is to be found in his 
work as an artist. It is inconceivable that the por- 
traits and character studies which he executed in such 
numbers could have been produced by a man whose 
brain was fuddled with dissipation. The verj^ char- 
acter of his technique gives the lie to such a suspicion; 
for, as we shall see presently, it was the product of 
a particularly vigorous comprehension of facts, and was 
rendered in a method extraordinarily direct and sure, 
and often under circumstances of great rapidity. While 
his work is uneven in quality, it is only toward the end 
that there is a falling off in the certainty and the com- 
pleteness of his technique. But the pathos that attaches 
to the two memorable examfples of this decline, which now 
hang in the Haarlem INIuseum, the groups of male and 
female Regents of the Hospital for the Poor, is due to 



FRANS HALS 

their revelation, not of any premature loss of power, but 
of the sapping of vitaKty which comes after fourscore 
years. 

On the other hand, it would be fatal to a just ap])re- 
ciation of Hals to try to shape him to our modern no- 
tions of propriety. His character was certainly not 
staid; it may well have been, by present-day compari- 
sons, unregulated. He was a man of his own time, and 
the character of his fellow-citizens may be seen in the 
groups he has left behind of the officers of the Civic 
Guard. They were men of vigorous personality, of 
strong passions; they lived high and, maybe, at times a 
bit recklessly. They had faced death in battle, and en- 
joyed the leisure which their own exertions had helped 
to bring about. That they enrolled Hals in their organ- 
ization suggests that he was a man after their own heart. 
He must have been; otherwise he never could have 
painted them as he did, realizing at once their individu- 
alities of character and the general character of enthu- 
siastic good-fellowship that united them. In none of 
these portraits is there any hint of excess, but in all the 
declaration of conviviality. It is quite reasonable to 
assume that this represents a truer portrait of the artist's 
own personal character than the one suggested by Hou- 
braken. 

JMoreover, there is another phase of his character that 
is positively revealed in his work. It is that of humor. 
'Whether he is painting one of the curious and sometimes 
discreditable characters that haunted the streets and re- 
sorts of Haarlem, or the portrait of some burgomaster, 
fully alive to his own importance, or recording the puis- 

[58] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

sance and the pageantry of the mihtary guilds, it is 
always in a genial mood, not seldom with manifest hu- 
mor. In fact, if ever there was an artist to whom, as 
revealed in his work, the epithet "jolly" were appropri- 
ate, it is Frans Hals. 

And here we may note a shrewd observation by the 
German critic W. Bode. "The artist's particular gift," 
he says, "which we find in nearly every one of his por- 
traits, consists in his establishing a lively connection be- 
tween the person or persons represented and a supposed 
third person." He does not represent the individual or 
group as if posing for himself, but as if he had surprised 
them in the presence of a third person, or as if he had in 
mind the impression that would be produced in a third 
person's mind by the scene in front of him. His own point 
of view, in fact, is more than objective, more than a recog- 
nition of direct, visible facts ; it is rather expansive, draw- 
ing into the circumference of its own observation the 
points of view and feeling of others than himself. One may 
almost say that he has the gift of revealing his person- 
ages not only as they appeared to him, but also as they 
were regarded by their contemporaries. Whether singly 
or in groups, they seem to be perfectly at home in an at- 
mosphere at once sympathetic and conducive to the most 
spontaneous expression of their own natures. Thus, as 
Bode adds, "he has a great gift of rendering any passing 
moment of psychical agitation." 

Before proceeding to an analysis of his technique, we 
may note two other general characteristics: the vigor 
and the imagination that it involves. An artist's tech- 
nique is a measure of his personality, even though his 

154^2 




THE JOLLY TOPER 



RIJKS MLSKIM, AMSTERDAM 



EKANS HALS 



\ 



FRANS HALS 

motive be as impersonal as Hals's. The latter's point 
of view was objective, intent on seeing and rendering the 
facts of things as they confronted him ; but, unhke many 
objective painters whose technique presents merely a 
correct and efficient record, because their own mind is 
little more than a mirror, reflecting mechanically what is 
in front of it, Hals's mind was an active vitalizer of the 
impressions that it received. The distinction corre- 
sponds pretty completely to the difference which may 
exist between two lecturers. One will give a careful 
presentation of his subject which we listen to with inter- 
est, and, if we have confidence in his ability, with a will- 
ingness to accept his conclusions; but another will do 
more. Because of the gusto with which he attacks his 
subject, the genial, expansive outlook with which he views 
it, the broadly human spirit in which he treats it, even be- 
cause of the tone of voice and gesture of body with which 
he lends color and warmth to his remarks, he will so stimu- 
late his audience that they cease to be mere listeners. 
Their own brains are at work; they become active par- 
ticipators in the train of thought. It is in this kind of 
way that Hals's technique affects one. * It is the product 
of so ample and genial an outlook, so teems with gusto, 
and manifests itself with such an assurance of conviction 
and so vigorously facile a style, that it stimulates the 
imagination. In the presence of his portraits one is no 
passive spectator, but aroused to an activity of appre- 
ciation. 

I have spoken of imagination ; and I mean to imply a 
twofold exercise thereof: that Hals himself exhibited 
imagination and kindles it also in the spectator. To 

:35] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

some people it may seem to be an abuse of the word to 
speak of imagination, in the case of an artist so content 
to be occupied with the objective traits of his subject as 
Hals was. But they overlook the fact that, while an 
artist may exercise no imagination in the choice of a 
subject, he may display a great deal in the rendering of 
it. He may not give reins to his imagination as Rem- 
brandt did, peering below the surface of things, explor- 
ing the hidden reces'ses of the human soul; he may, on 
the contrary, be satisfied* to be an able craftsman, han- 
dling the material presented to him, intent only on giv- 
ing to it form and character ; yet, even so, he will exhibit 
what one may call a technical imagination. And it is 
precisely this which characterizes the technique of Hals. 
It appears in the arrangement of his compositions, espe- 
cially in the group-portraits, where it takes the form of 
a superior kind of inventiveness, which is but a phase of 
imagination. This gift abounds in the corporation pic- 
tures at Haarlem. The problem of disposing so many 
figures in such a way that each shall have its due share 
of individual emphasis, and yet that the whole group 
may have, on the one hand, a naturalness and spontane- 
ity of suggestion, and, on the other, a reasonable amount 
of artistic unity, was one to try to its utmost capacity 
an artist's inventiveness. Hals was the first to solve it ; 
and, while other artists profited by his example, none 
could attain to the completeness of his success. You 
may be thinking of Rembrandt's Syndics of the Cloth 
Ghiild; but the latter's composition contains only six 
figures, whereas in Hals's masterpiece. The Reunion of 
the Officers of the Archers of St. Andrew ^ there are 

use] 



FRANS HALS 

fourteen. For a just comparison you should rather 
choose Van der Heist's great composition in the Rijks 
jMuseum, The Banquet of the Civic Guard, an amazing 
example of inventiveness, but lacking in the suppleness, 
spontaneity, and gusto that Hals exhibits. 

But the latter's imagination is not alone displayed in 
the management of intricate compositions. It is dis- 
played also in the treatment of each figure and in his 
pictures of single individuals; manifesting itself in two 
ways, both in the way he has seen his subject and in the 
way he has rendered it. And first for the imaginative 
quality of his vision. It is concerned with externals, or 
at least with traits of character that lie close to the sur- 
face; but with what an alertness it has observed the 
idiosyncrasy of each person, and how completely it has 
comprehended it! This is more than objective clear- 
sightedness; it implies a capacity to reconstruct the 
retinal impression, and to clothe it with actual living con- 
sciousness, that involves a marked exercise of the creative 
faculty of imagination. If you still doubt it, again com- 
pare Hals with Van der Heist, next to himself the most 
accomplished of the painters of corporation pictures, and 
the verdict concerning the latter's work will surely be 
that by comparison it is prosy. At least that is the 
word that seems to me to express the difference, and it 
conveys the suggestion that the work is merely objec- 
tive, unvitalized by the imaginative faculty. 

Further, observe how Hals treats the costumes and 
the accompaniments of still-life in his pictures. He has 
not merely seen them; he has felt them, reahzed in his 
imagination their distinctive character and their relation 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

to the whole impression. For those were brave days in 
Holland, succeeding the expiration of the truce ; an un- 
derlying bravery of spirit and an external bravery of 
demeanor and manners characterized the life of the 
burghers. It was not for nothing that their trade had 
absorbed the finest weavers and artificers in the world; 
they decked themselves and their families in the costliest 
fabrics of their looms and loaded their tables with objects 
of fine plate. These things were more to them than van- 
ities ; they were the expression of the proud preeminence 
they had won. Now it is the spirit and the meaning of 
all this that Hals was so skilful in rendering. Van der 
Heist's displays of costume rather suggest that "fine 
feathers make fine birds," while the suggestion of Hals 
is of fine fellows appropriately bedecked with finery. 
His imagination, in fact, had caught the enthusiasm of 
the time and discovered its interpretation. And, further 
still, apart from the relation which this beauty of display 
bore to the temper of the times, it needs imagination in 
an artist to interpret the beauty of a fabric or an object 
of still-life. Mere imitation of its appearance is not suf- 
ficient. Such merely represents the appearance; it does 
not interpret it. The distinction will be clear to any one 
who is a student of photography and has seen the still- 
life studies of flowers and fruit and glassware by Baron 
A. de ^leyer. In them the crude notion of merely repre- 
senting appearances has been superseded by the desire to 
make the picture express the enthusiasm which their 
beauty has inspired. The result is an interpretation of 
the sentiment of beauty. Such, too, is Hals's rendering 
of the silks and velvets and lawn ruffs, the dishes and 

CSS] 




PORTRAIT OF NICOLAES VAN DER MEER 
BURGOMASTER OF HAARLEM 

HAARLEM MLSKIM 



FRANS HALS 



FRANS HALS 

goblets, the fruit and wine, banners and weapons. He 
has not only seen these things, he has felt their beauty; 
discovered, in fact, by an act of imagination, the senti-/ 
ment of beauty they involve. 

And here I may add, in the way of anticipation, that, 
if a person is dull to the sentiment of beauty that things 
inanimate may suggest, he is not going to proceed very 
far toward an appreciation of the art of Holland in the 
seventeenth century, for it was largely concerned with 
the beauty that is inherent in material things. If he is 
conscious of nothing more in the rendering of costumes 
and accessories with which these pictures abound than 
the cleverness of material representation, he will soon 
tire of the study, for the skilfulness is so frequently re- 
peated, and its very repetition will fatigue. He may 
begin by exclaiming: "How wonderfully that sash, this 
velvet gown, or what not is painted!" but, unless he can 
go on and share the enthusiasm for beauty that inspired 
and assured the artist's skill; if, in a word, his own imag- 
ination cannot conspire with the imagination of the art- 
ist, he will very shortly be an exceedingly tired student 
of Holland art. 

So far we have discussed the imagination with which 
Hals observed his subjects ; it remains to note how imag- 
ination M'as involved in the rendering of them. Really 
the two processes, the mental and the manual, are inex- 
tricably united, for it was the way he felt his subject that 
determined the impression he received of it, and the im- 
pression itself that suggested the mode of rendering it. 
Yes, he was an Impressionist. The term, as we know, 
is modern, dating from about 1871, but the idea involved 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

in it has been derived from the example of Frans Hals 
and of his great contemporary Velasquez, with whom, 
however, so far as is known, he had no possible chance 
of conferring. These two original minds, separated by 
distance and the difference of race and by the barrier of 
hostilities that precluded any acquaintance with each 
other or each other's work, were nevertheless kindred 
geniuses who simultaneously discovered a new way of 
seeing and rendering their subject. It did not survive 
•their generation, for the artists of the next century 
turned again to Italy, and Hals and Velasquez were 
practically forgotten, until in the early sixties of the 
nineteenth century Edouard INIanet rediscovered Velas- 
quez, and the study of him led to the recognition of Hals, 
so that both became an example and inspiration to 
modern art. It produced, in fact, a revolution in the 
artist's point of view and method of painting, and the 
principle involved was dubbed Impressionism. 

Some confusion still exists as to what is implied by 
this term. JNIany, for example, having heard that Claude 
jMonet is an Impressionist and obsen^ing that he 
covers his pictures with little dabs of paint, suppose that 
in this consists Impressionism. Others of wider observa- 
tion, having found themselves puzzled and even out- 
raged by the vagaries in paint that are committed under 
cover of Impressionism, have concluded that Impres- 
sionism is something which, in the words of the late 
Lord Dundreary, "No fellah can understand"; no lay- 
man, at least ; and, according to their temperament, they 
either foam at the mouth with disgust of Impressionism 
or regard it as a comparatively harmless form of lunacy. 
[60] 



FRANS HALS 

In either case they miss the fact that Impressionism has 
become a vital principle of modern thought, expressing 
itself not only in the arts: in painting, sculpture, litera- 
ture, play-writing, acting, music, and dancing, but also 
in modern methods of education, and, by a natural ex- 
tension of the idea involved, even in the modern attitude 
toward matters of criminology and sanitation. These, 
however, are modern evolutions from the single, simple 
principle involved in the Impressionism of Hals and 
Velasquez. Before discussing this, let us note what is 
surely interesting and extremely suggestive, namely, 
that both the rudimentary principle, as it appears in 
Hals, and the efflorescence to which it attained in the 
nineteenth century were contemporary with a signal 
advance in the growth of the scientific spirit. It is, in 
fact, of the latter that Impressionism is a phase. 

With Hals, as with modern Impressionists, it repre- 
sents a more natural way of seeing. When the eye is 
directed toward an object, it sees the latter as a whole; 
it perceives some details and fails to perceive others; it 
automatically selects and eliminates. There is another 
way of seeing, as when the object is kept for a long time 
under observation, and the eye travels over it at leisure 
and exhaustively examines every part. Of a picture 
that records the results of this way of seeing, we ex- 
claim, "How realistic!" And so in a sense it is; but, on 
the other hand, we know that it does not really represent 
the way in which we see things in every-day life. What 
our eye usually records is not an inventory of details, 
but a summarized impression of a personality; and the 
more vivid the impression, the less likely is it to be dis- 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

tracted by a number of details. We are impressed by 
the general significance of the personality, and note only 
those details that most contribute to it; the details that 
are themselves most significant and characteristic. Such 
was Hals's way of seeing his subject; and, if it resulted 
in a very vivid impression in the case of an individual 
portrait, how much more when it embraced the compli- 
cated impression of a group ! The latter, as a matter of 
fact, does include more than any eye could possibly 
embrace in a single act of vision ; but this was a necessary 
concession to the difficulties of the problem, which was to 
effect a compromise between the conflicting claims, on 
the one hand, of the group as a whole, and, on the other, 
of each of the individual units composing it. Admitting 
the need of this reconciliation of opposites, we can 
scarcely hesitate to acknowledge the vividness of the 
total impression and the no less vivid impression of each 
one of its component units. 

When we analyze the principle of this method of see- 
ing, it is found to be that of relativity. In selecting this 
or rejecting that the artist has been guided by its more 
or less of value in relation to the whole. The composi- 
tion, in fact, is an adjusted balance of varieties of values; 
an interlocked scheme of mutual relations ; shrewdly cal- 
culated to assert the significance of the whole without 
undue impairment of the varying character of the parts. 
And this principle, thus applied to the whole composition, 
operates also in the treatment of every part. Whether 
it be the folds of a sash, the modeling of an arm in a 
sleeve, the substance and set of a ruff, or the construction 
of a face, each is attained by observing the relation of the 
C623 



FRANS HALS 

values. In this case, however, one uses values, not to 
measure the amount of relative importance that they play 
in the general scheme, but in the technical sense of the 
amount and quality of light reflected from the several 
facets of the surface. Hals chose to view his subject in 
a diffused light that permitted practically no shadows, 
but reduced the whole to a tissue of more light and less 
light, of higher and lower values. While this sounds like 
the method of the modern plein-air painters, which has 
been evolved from the example of Hals and Velasquez, 
it is not quite the same ; for Hals does not represent the 
light as being independent of the figures and enveloping 
them, but still adheres to the old convention of making 
the figure itself a center of light, as, for instance, a lamp 
is. Thus in one of his groups, where a window appears 
at the back, the light beyond it is of lower value than that 
which illumines the figures; and, in another case, a 
landscape presents a darker background. But, having 
adopted this convention, he adheres to the logic of it, 
and, like the modern painter who has followed his exam- 
ple, but with the difference that he tries to represent the 
effect of plein-air^ models his forms in colored light by 
the juxtaposition of the various values. 

And it is characteristic of Hals that in doing this he 
overlooks minute distinctions of value, seizing only the 
most salient ones and laying them on the canvas with a 
broad brush and a remarkable decision. Thus his tech- 
nique presents a bold and vigorous generalization of the 
values; often conspicuous for what it omits, as when he 
indicates the back of a hat or a ruff by a flat tone that is 
almost uninterrupted by contrasting tones. It is a tech- 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

nique, in fact, that relies very largely on suggestion ; hence 
its stimulating character, for one's o-vvn imagination is 
invited to assist in the illusion. 

Nor does this suggestive generahzation involve the 
slovenliness or crudeness of brushwork that often dis- 
figures the modern impressionistic picture. While a can- 
vas by Hals should be viewed from some distance off, it 
does not offend at close range. On the contrary, one 
can enjoy the orderliness and finesse, the result of fiu- 
ency and assurance, that the brushwork reveals, the 
ensemble having that quality of perfected craftsmanship 
which characterizes the whole Holland School. And, 
though Hals is scarcely to be classed as a colorist, the 
compositions being decked with color rather than inter- 
woven of color, yet his color has a distinctly positive 
charm. For he takes so frank a delight in local colors, 
whether gravely or gaily sumptuous, preserves their 
purity of hue and invests them with luminousness. His 
color-schemes, too, have this distinction, that, for all their 
bravery of show, they are never commonplace and sel- 
dom without a clear suggestion of virility. 

A unique opportunity of tracing the development of 
his style is presented by the series of corporation pictures 
at Haarlem. I will not attempt a detailed description 
of each, but rather recall the impressions that were jotted 
down in the presence of them. The earliest, then, is The 
Banquet of the Officers of the Archers of St. George, 
dated 1616, when Hals was thirty-two. How magnifi- 
cent the display of still-life, the table-cloth, fruit, dishes, 
and goblets painted with such skill and evident delight; 
what a vigorous enthusiasm is manifested in the treat- 
[64] 



FRANS HALS 

meiit of the uniforms, mostly black, and the scarfs of 
white and crimson silk! Each head is strongly charac- 
terized, and so are the hands. The heads are so disposed 
that they form a band across the picture, below which 
another band contains the more sprinkled arrangement 
of the hands. Two of the latter, close together near the 
center of the table, form the nucleus from which the lines 
of the composition radiate. The composition, in fact, is 
quite formal, and the heads, one notices, are lighted from 
the side and constructed of shadow as well as light; 
meanwliile no light comes in from the window at the 
back, through which appears a landscape, less vividly 
lighted than the scene indoors. Indeed, the whole ar- 
rangement is still influenced by the arbitrary devices of 
the studio ; nor does one fail to note that the space occu- 
pied by the heads is flattened almost into one plane, as 
a modern photographic group is apt to be. 

These points are emphasized by a comparison with 
Nos. 117 and 118, painted eleven years later. The 
Banquet of the Officers of the Archers of St. George, 
this time, is presented in an interior without a window 
visible. The whole apartment seems to be filled with 
lighted air; the heads are no longer so obviously ar- 
ranged to secure a contrast of dark against light and 
light against dark ; they are evenly illuminated, and take 
their places justly in their several planes. For the planes 
here extend farther back, and the composition is more 
varied, with less suggestion of studied artfulness. More- 
over, the treatment of the costumes has become finer, the 
blacks especially yielding a varietj^ of delightful grays 
that give increased sparkle and animation to the color- 
[65] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

scheme. The flesh parts also are more luminous, and 
reveal a greater fluency of brushwork, as if the artist had 
"got there" with more ease and rapidity. The effect of 
all this is very arresting and satisfying until one exam- 
ines The Banquet of the Officers of the Archers of St. 
Andrew. 

The latter belongs to the same year, 1627; but the 
artist has surpassed himself. Here the faces literally 
scintillate with animation of color. Those of the other 
picture are discovered by comparison to be less illumi- 
nated ; after all, they have been modeled to some extent 
with shadow, and the flesh in parts is inclined to be 
greenish gray or drab. The hands also in the latter pic- 
ture have more expression and a more individual charac- 
terization, while the gestures are more natural and spon- 
taneous. The composition, too, is at once more varied 
and more coordinated. Again, as in both the previous 
pictures, the nucleus of it is a hand; in this case the 
center of two diagonal axes. But, while the design is 
geometrical, the naturalness of the grouping is quite 
extraordinary in its mingling of ease and propriet}^ 
Further, the color masses are more inventively arranged ; 
their spotting is more effectively distributed, and the 
gaiety of the color is prolonged into the lower part of the 
composition. This picture commemorates the banquet 
given by the corps on the eve of its departure to the siege 
of Hasselt and INIons. Six years later Hals painted a 
Reunion of the same corps, though only one member ap- 
pears in both scenes. It is Captain Johan Schatter, who 
in the earlier picture is seated in front of the table, facing 
left. He occupies the same position in the later group, 
[66] 




(X * 

G 5 
< :2 



FRANS HALS 

but is now standing and looking over his shoulder toward 
the spectator. He has exchanged his costume of black 
and golden brown, with its scarf of rose and white, for 
a snuff -colored jerkin, pearl-gray under-coat, and a sky- 
blue sash and feather; and the difference is reflected in 
the superior delicacy of color that distinguishes the later 
.picture. 

In this Reunion of the Officers of the Archers of St. 
Andrew the corporation pictures reach their highest 
water-mark. The background, however, of brownish- 
olive foliage, showing through an opening some red 
roofs against the sky, is dry in color and lacking in lumi- 
nosity. The heads, in consequence, do not present the 
same suggestion of being enveloped in light as those in 
the previous picture. In what, then, does the superiority 
of this acknowledged masterpiece consist? Comparing 
it with the earlier examples, we discover that its color- 
scheme of blue and amber, while less resplendent, is more 
choice, delicate, and subtle, and that the loveliness of 
color has been made contributory to the characterization 
of the figures. This is scarcely to be appreciated from 
the photographic reproduction, but in presence of the 
original one has a lively sense of it. There is no sugges- 
tion of the display of color having been considered by 
itself or as itself an end; the tonal harmony so accords 
with the harmony of expression that characterizes the 
separate individualities of the group that tone and ex- 
pression are in complete unity. Again, as a result or, 
more probably, a cause of this harmony of expression, 
there is a complete simplicity of attitude and gesture. 
"What shall I do with my hands?" Any one who has 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

stage-managed amateur theatricals knows how fre- 
quently this question is asked by the performers. In nine 
cases out of ten the best advice, though the hardest to 
follow, is to do nothing. It is just the fact that the mem- 
bers of this group are so admirably doing nothing which 
gives at once such a naturalness and so high a distinction 
to this picture. 

Here, in fact, we touch perhaps the clue to the whole 
superiority of this canvas. In one word, it is control; 
that almost unconscious self-control on the artist's part 
which results from his consciousness of assured capacity. 
He has won beyond the point of experiment, beyond the 
later temptation to indulge in display of knowledge and 
skill ; he has so absolutely acquired both and attuned the 
one to the other, that the tricks and devices of his craft 
no longer sway his imagination; he shows, in fact, his 
mastery not so much by what he does as by what he with- 
holds; he has reached in this great work a plane of ex- 
traordinary artistic conscientiousness. The picture, in 
fact, has that appearance of inevitableness, that sugges- 
tion of having grown rather than of having been made, 
which is the highest expression of genius. It represents 
Hals at his zenith. The date is 1633 and the artist's age 
forty-nine. 

The next picture, Officers of the Archers of St. 
George, is dated 1639, six years later. It is conspicu- 
ously inferior not only to the masterpiece (that were 
excusable), but to all the preceding works. It repre- 
sents a falling off not so much in actual craftsmanship 
as in artistic morality. The artist appears to have been 
satisfied to do less well than he could; to do, in fact, as 



FRANS HALS 

little as he might. He has saved himself expenditure of 
invention in the composition by stringing the figures 
out in a line across the front, and raising another line of 
figures behind them; this having been the niggard, un- 
imaginative arrangement of the older corporation pic- 
tures, from which his other work had presented so happy 
a departure. Correspondingly the heads, while forcible 
in characterization, are lacking in luminosity, and the 
fabrics are without vivacity. The general effect is 
stockish; the breath of life and of art, as Hals could 
suggest both, is absent. 

Nor in the next picture, dated two years later, the 
Regents of the Hospital of St. Elizabeth, do we detect 
the true Frans Hals. The faces are trickily modeled, 
brilliant high lights being contrasted with heavy green- 
ish-drab shadows; and the figures are lumpish, except 
the second from the right, which alone reveals sympathy 
and enthusiasm. 

Of the last two groups nothing need be said but that 
they are the work of a veteran of eighty years, whose 
hand has lost its cunning, while his brain, no longer ac- 
tive, retains only some wavering recollections of its orig- 
inal activity. 

The important point to be suggested in conclusion is 
that Hals's best period included the years from 1625 to 
1635; that after the latter period this enthusiasm waned, 
and his work became too often perfunctory. In such 
cases the flesh parts exhibit an uninspired use of green 
lower tones that have a tendency to become drab ; features 
are often crudely emphasized by a stroke or dab of ex- 
aggerated value, and luminosity has faded into a dull, 

n693 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

sometimes lumpish inertness. Even so, however, compared 
with the work of other Hollanders, apart from Rem- 
brandt, it still had a quality and a character that render 
it distinguished ; but much of this distinction disappears 
when j'-ou compare him with himself, the later with the 
earlier Hals. Many of his portraits suggest the per- 
f unctoriness of a man who has got his method down pat, 
and tediously repeats it. In a word, his technique was 
so personal and so dependent upon the mood of the mo- 
ment that it needed the stimulus of enthusiasm, and 
when this was absent, the vitality of the technique be- 
came impaired. 



C70] 



CHAPTER V 

REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

IT is surely no accident that the name of Rembrandt 
is familiar to thousands who know little or nothing 
of his art. It has, in fact, become so embedded in 
the mental consciousness of modern times, that, even as 
it must have been a household word in his own day, so 
almost it has grown to be in ours. And for this there 
seem to be two reasons. In the very use of the word 
"household" there is a hint of one: the homely, in the 
sense of plain and simple, and very heartfelt appeal that 
his conception of the subject-matter generally makes 
to the imagination. But there is another reason and a 
greater. It is the magnitude of his personality as an 
artist. This was but dimly recognized in his own day, 
in the succeeding century forgotten, and is only begin- 
ning to be fully understood in our own times. The in- 
fluence with which he fertilized art was to prove so great, 
that it needed a long period of gestation before it came 
to birth, and a correspondingly long period of develop- 
ment before it reached maturity. Now it has grown to 
be recognized and felt, until, like all the great contribu- 
tions to human ideas, it is, so to say, in the air. Unwit- 
tingly as well as by conviction the world is conscious of 
it. Briefly, the nature of the influence is that it has revo- 
lutionized our attitude toward beauty. It has not elim- 

C7in 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

inated the old idea of beauty, but supplemented it with 
a newer one, no less potent and far more adapted to our 
modern needs. The absolutism of the classic ideal has 
been overthrown by it. Art, that once was solely aristo- 
cratic, has been expanded to include the democratic ideal. 
It was therefore necessary for the world to have mas- 
tered the latter, as a principle of life and conduct, before 
it could be capable of appreciating Rembrandt to the 
full. 

For Rembrandt's art is the antithesis of Greek art. 
The Greek is founded upon a hypothesis, upon the as- 
sumption of a possible perfection ; Rembrandt's upon an 
acceptance of imperfection, upon the facts of life in 
relation to things as they exist. The one is based upon 
an artificially constructed absolutism, and is technically 
expressed through form — form, absolute and supreme. 
The other, in its recognition of the relativity of every- 
thing in life, is based upon tone, as affected by its envi- 
ronment of light. The difference is fundamental both in 
its technical and psychological aspect. 

As long as society was conditioned by the aristocratic 
theory, Greek art, and the Renaissance interpretation of 
its principles, sufficed; but, with the growth and spread 
of the democratic, a new principle became necessary. 
Rembrandt conceived it, and our own age is learning to 
apply it. Our appreciation of the character of beauty 
has become enlarged by a realization of the beauty of 
character. The latter may be associated with beauty of 
form and features, though in real life it is more often 
not; yet, even when it is, we have discovered that the 
beauty of character is due, not to the form itself, but to 

1:723 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

the expression inherent in the form, and that character, 
as revealed by expression, is discernible also in things 
homely, even in the ugly. Art, in fact, has extended its 
province until it more nearly corresponds with the uni- 
versal scheme of earthly conditions, wherein the good is 
mingled with the bad, and the sun shines alike on the 
just and the unjust. Meanwhile, even as humanity 
gropes toward some divine reconciliation of the coexis- 
tence of evil with good, so art must find some means of 
spiritualizing the facts of life and of idealizing the homely 
and ugly. This preeminently was Rembrandt's gift. 

The few known facts of Rembrandt's life are clearly 
associated with his art. Born on the 15th of July, 1606, 
in Leyden, he was the son of Harmen of the Rhine, a 
miller in comfortable circumstances. He was sent to a 
Latin school as a preparation for entrance into the Uni- 
versity of Leyden, that "when he became of age he might 
serve the city and the republic with his knowledge." But 
he was destined to serve them in another way. Since he 
showed no taste for Latin and a single desire to be an 
artist, he was removed from school and placed with the 
local painter, Jacob van Swanenburch. He was then 
about twelve years old, and after spending three years 
with this teacher had made such progress that the father 
decided to send him to Amsterdam to study under Pieter 
Lastman, whose pictures of religious subjects had made 
him the most popular painter of that day. 

With this master Rembrandt remained only six 
months. Lastman's influence, however, had been con- 
siderable, though scarcely in a direct way. In fact, what 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

he did for Rembrandt was to pass on to the latter the in- 
fluence which he himself had derived from Elsheimer 
during a two years' stay in Rome. For this German 
painter had made a great reputation by treating Bib- 
lical subjects in the natural or anti-classic manner. The 
scene was suggested by the Italian landscape, and the 
personages were real men and women, clothed in ordi- 
nary costume of the period. It is this translation of the 
Bible story into the vernacular of the day, corresponding 
as it did to the motive of Lucas van Leyden in his pic- 
ture at Leyden of The Last Judgment, which must have 
been familiar to Rembrandt, that affected the latter's 
imagination. 

He returned to Leyden and for seven years in his 
father's house continued a course of self-study. It was 
based on direct study from life, his models being him- 
self and his relations, and included (where again one 
may trace the influence of Lucas van Leyden) the prac- 
tice of etching. The earliest date recorded of any of 
these products of his needle is 1628, which appears on 
An Old Woman's Head, Full Face, seen only to the 
Chin, and Bust of an Old Woman} In 1624 appeared 
another dated etching, Rembrandt, a Bust, and the fol- 
lowing year a series of small plates for which he himself 
was the model: Rembrandt with an Open Mouth; with 
an Air of Grimace; with Haggard Eyes, and Laughing. 

These prints give a remarkable clue to a phase of 
Rembrandt's personality that has not been sufficiently 
emphasized. They show that it included the instinct 

1 The topic of this book being painting, Rembrandt's fecundity and genius as 
an etcher have not been considered. 

[74] 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

and faculty of an actor; the consciousness that in his 
body he possessed a muscular instrument capable of ex- 
pressing the emotions of the mind; and, moreover, the 
capacity to play upon it. This throws a new light upon 
the habit, exhibited at intervals throughout his life, of 
making portraits of himself and frequently in costume. 
The latter particular is apt to be dismissed as a harm- 
less pleasantry, whereas it should rather be considered 
extraordinarily suggestive. For he was not merely 
"dressing up," but enacting a part in his own person; 
actually realizing in his body the idea that possessed his 
mind. That he could do this and needed to do it for 
the satisfaction of his own mental and physical impulses, 
helps to explain his extraordinary facility and power as 
a draftsman. For the virtue of great drawing consists 
in its quality of expression, in its ability to infuse feeling 
into a gesture or movement and so correlate the latter to 
the mood of mind, presumed to be dominating the sub- 
ject. This virtue cannot be gained at second hand from 
a model; it must be inherent in the artist himself, and 
will be efficient according to the degree in which the 
artist can feel the emotion in himself and is capable of 
physically expressing it; in a word, to the degree in 
which he possesses the instinct of an actor. Viewed in 
this light Rembrandt's habit of grimacing before a mir- 
ror, dressing up and posturing, gives a most illuminating 
clue to the source of his amazing versatility and capacity 
of expression as a draftsman. 

In the same year, 1630, which produced the small 
prints, appeared also two "serious" etchings of himself; 
also two Biblical subjects, Jesus Disputing with the 
[75] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Doctors and The Presentation with the Angel; and, fur- 
ther, several fine portrait studies. In this year he moved 
to Amsterdam. 

He was twenty-four years old, and, as far as etching 
is concerned, "was already in the peculiar situation," I 
quote from Hamerton, "of an artist who has left himself 
no room for improvement except in attempting art of 
another kind, and in overcoming new, though possibly 
not greater, difficulties." Among the oil-paintings that 
he had already executed are St. Paul (Stuttgart) ; St. 
Jerome in a Cave (Berlin) ; two portraits of old men 
(Cassel) ; and one of a young man, resembling himself, 
at The Hague. It was the fame of his portraits that, 
according to Orlers, brought invitations from Amster- 
dam to settle there ; and during the first years of his so- 
journ over a shop on the Bloemgracht he executed six 
that are still in existence. But the most remarkable pic- 
ture of this year is the St. Siineon in the Temple, now in 
the Gallery of The Hague. Here we detect for the first 
time the power and strangeness of Rembrandt's imag- 
ination, displayed in the mysteriously lighted expanse of 
mammoth architecture and in lustrous fabrics, and, more 
essentially, the foretaste of his lifelong effort to con- 
struct a composition out of colored light. ^ It is the first 
revelation of his peculiarly individual self. 

Meanwhile he had been attending the anatomy classes 
of the famous Dr. Tulp, and the following year, 1632, 
produced the Hague picture, The Lesson in Anatomy, 
as remarkable for clearly defined characterization as the 

^ Compare the reference on page 103 to the series of Biblical subjects, ex- 
ecuted in 1633, which are now in the Munich Gallery. 

11^1 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

St. Simeon had been for its imaginative treatment of 
light. Both have elements of indecision, for the artist 
was only twenty-six, but in them the qualities of Rem- 
brandt's personality are already established. 

The Lesson brought him fame. Pupils flocked to his 
studio, clients sought his pictures, and the ten years that 
followed teemed with productivity and fortune. They 
cover his life wuth Saskia van Uylenborch, whom he mar- 
ried in 1634 and lost by death in 1642. She appears in 
frequent portraits and inspired many of his pictures. 
He occupied houses successively on the Nieuwe Doel- 
straat, Binnen-Amstel, and the Jodenbreedstraat, liv- 
ing simply, but indulging profusely in the collection of 
works of art. This heyday of prosperity in the com- 
panionship of Saskia is commemorated in the superb 
portrait of his wife sitting upon his knee, in the Dresden 
Gallery. 

In 1642 his fortunes received a double blow. Saskia 
died, and his corporation picture, The Sortie of the 
Frans Banning Cock Company, popularly but errone- 
ously called "The Night Watch," was received with dis- 
favor. It proved to be a turning-point in his career. 
Public recognition began to wane, and financial embar- 
rassments to increase; yet his artistic fecundity con- 
tinued, marked by more frequent examples of landscape. 
Toward the end of the forties he enjoyed the sympathetic 
support of the burgomaster, Jan Six, an enthusiastic 
lover of books and collector of works of art, whose 
friendship lasted till his death in 1658. Meanwhile, 
about 1653, Rembrandt seems to have married the wo- 
man who had devoted herself to his care, Hendrickje 
[77] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Stoffels. She died in 1656 and money troubles crowded 
upon him. He was declared a bankrupt; his household 
goods were seized by his creditors and later sold at an 
appalling sacrifice; the house in the Jodenbreedstraat 
also passed under the hammer, and Rembrandt retired 
to a house on the Rosengracht. This was in 1658. The 
house, which still exists, was a comfortable one; and it 
seems probable that the eleven years during which Rem- 
brandt lived in it, until his death in 1669, were a time of 
tranquillity, as they certainly were of continued artistic 
activity. This period, indeed, produced The Six Syndics 
of the Cloth Hall (Amsterdam), a masterpiece of as- 
sured self-possession and complete achievement. It also 
was marked with many portraits of himself, no less than 
four having been painted in the last year of his life. One 
of them shows him blear eyed, with red and bulbous face, 
but laughing, and holding his maulstick like a scepter.^ 

Eugene Fromentin, skilled alike as a man of letters 
and a painter, analyzes in his "Maitres d' Autrefois" the 
art of Rembrandt. The argument has been so generally 
accepted, that it must be described here. It may be com- 
pressed as follows: Fromentin discovers contradictions 
in the art of Rembrandt. It is at one time so realistic, 
and at another so visionary. He explains this apparent 
contradiction by the theory that Rembrandt's was a dual 
nature. On the one side he shared with his fellow-artists 
their practicalness, direct seeing, and love of clear and 
definite expression; while on the other he was a sohtary 
dreamer, a visionary, to whom the mystery of things made 

^ In the Adolf v. Carstanjen Collection, Berlin Gallery. 



! c 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

chief appeal. Thus, by turns he. was reahst and idealist; 
occasionally, as in The Sortie, his pictures seem to have 
been the battle-ground of his two irreconcilable natures. 

Fromentin calls the realist in Rembrandt the "exte- 
rior man" as contrasted with the "interior man," re- 
vealed in his examples of idealism. The former he char- 
acterizes as an accomplished technician, with certainty 
of hand and a keenly logical mind. "His aim is to be 
comprehensible and veracious; he emulates the true 
colors of the daylight; draws with a fidelity and thor- 
oughness that, while it makes you forget that it is draw- 
ing, itself forgets nothing. It is excellently physiog- 
nomical. It expresses and characterizes, in their indi- 
viduality, traits, glances, attitudes, and gestures, that is 
to say, normal habits of behavior and the furtive acci- 
dents of life. His execution has the propriety, the 
ampleness, the high bearing, the firm tissue, the force 
and conciseness that belong to passed masters in the art 
of fine idiomatic expression." The original of this last 
phrase is Vart des beaux langues; and we may note, in 
passing, its significance in connection with the context. 
Indeed, the whole paragraph might as accurately char- 
acterize some fine literary production, such as would 
satisfy the high standard of the French Academy. 
It is based upon the clear comprehension and logic of 
form. 

On the contrary, when Rembrandt is in the mood of 
idealism, Fromentin no longer discovers in him the con- 
summate technician. He sacrifices form to chiaroscuro. 
And what of his use of chiaroscuro, so peculiar to him- 
self that it has come to be called by his name? Fromen- 
[79] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

tin, in a beautiful passage, first suggests the general 
value of chiaroscuro. Ordinarily used, it is the art of 
rendering the atmosphere visible and of painting an 
object enveloped in air. "But it is more than any other 
medium the form of intimate sensations or ideas. It 
is light, vaporous, veiled, discreet; it lends its charm to 
things which are concealed, invites curiosity, adds an at- 
traction to moral beauties, and gives a grace to the specu- 
lation of conscience. In fine, it is concerned with senti- 
ment, emotion, the uncertain, the undefined and infinite ; 
with dreams and the ideal. And that is why it is appro- 
priately the poetic and natural atmosphere, which the 
genius of Rembrandt did not cease to inhabit." 

It was natural, therefore, that Rembrandt should bring 
to perfection this method of chiaroscuro, which Fromen- 
tin describes as the art of "enveloping everything, of im- 
mersing everything, in a bath of shadow, of plunging 
into it even the light itself, in order to draw out the hght 
therefrom so that it shall appear more distant, more ra- 
diant ; to cause waves of shadow to revolve round lighted 
centers ; and to modulate these shadows, to hollow them, 
make them dense and j^et render the obscurity trans- 
parent, and the less obscure parts easy to penetrate ; in a 
word, to give to the strongest colors a kind of permea- 
bility which stops them from being black." 

But it is Rembrandt's peculiar characteristic that he 
carried the method of chiaroscuro much further. Fro- 
mentin thus sums the matter up : He calls him a lumin- 
arist, apologizing for the word, which, when he -wTote in 
1876, was still a "barbarous" one. And a luminarist he 
defines to be one who conceives of light as outside of 
[80] 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

fixed laws, attaches to it an extraordinary meaning, and 
makes great sacrifices for it. And, he adds, "if such is 
the meaning of this newlj^ coined word, Rembrandt is at 
once defined and judged, for the word expresses an idea 
difficult to render, but a true idea, a rare eulogy and a 
criticism." 

Briefly, then, Fromentin's argument is this: Rem- 
brandt in his ideal moods essayed to use light as the 
actual material out of which to construct form; he com- 
posed in light. The result was admirable, when the char- 
acter of the subject justified such treatment; but open 
to serious criticism when it did not. The famous instance 
of the latter, in Fromentin's judgment, is The Sortie or 
"Night Watch." 

"Rembrandt had to represent a company of men-at- 
arms. It would have been easy enough to tell us what 
they were going to do ; but he has told us so negligently, 
that people are still unable to comprehend it, even in 
Amsterdam. He had to paint some likenesses, they are 
doubtful; some characteristic costumes, they are for the 
most part apocryphal; a picturesque effect, and this ef- 
fect is such that the picture becomes undecipherable. 
The subject, the personages and details have disap- 
peared in the shadowy phantasmagoria of the palette. 
Ordinarily Rembrandt excels in rendering light, he is 
marvelous in the art of painting an imaginary subject 
{fiction) ; his habit is to think, his master faculty is the 
expression of light. But here imagination is out of 
place, life is wanting, and the thought atones for nothing. 
As for the light, it is unnatural, unquiet, and artificial; 
it radiates from the inside to the outside, it dissolves 
[81] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

the objects that it illuminates. I see some focal spots 
of brilliance, but I see nothing illuminated; the light 
is neither beautiful, true, nor reasonable (motivee) ." 

Before discussing this judgment let us note Fromen- 
tin's approval of Kembrandt's use of light— in the case 
of subjects that seem to him to justify it. He instances 
particularly The Supper at Emmaus and The Good 
Samaritan, both in the Louvre. He speaks with fine 
sj^mpathy of the original and infinitely human concep- 
tion of Christ in the former picture, while upon the tech- 
nique of the latter he comments as follows: "The can- 
vas is enveloped in smoke (enfumee), all impregnated 
with somber golds, very rich in depth and, above all, 
very grave. The material is muddy, yet transparent; 
the brushwork heavy, yet subtle; hesitating and reso- 
lute ; labored and free ; very unequal, uncertain, vague in 
some parts, astonishingly precise in others. No contour 
appears, not an accent added in the way of routine. 
There is evident an extreme timidity, which is not the 
result of ignorance and proceeds, one would say, from 
the fear of being banal or from the price which the 
thinker attaches to the immediate and direct expression 
of life. The objects have a structure that seems to exist 
in itself, almost without the help of formulas, rendering, 
without any means that you can seize upon, the uncer- 
tainties of nature. There are some nude limbs and feet 
of irreproachable construction — moreover, 'style.' In 
the pale, pinched, groaning visage of the wounded man, 
there is nothing save expression, something that comes 
from the soul, from within outward; tonelessness 
(atonie), suffering; as it were, the sad joy of collecting 

1:823 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

one's self when one feels about to die. Not a contortion, 
not a trait that overreaches moderation, not a touch in 
this rendering of the inexpressible that is not pathetic 
and restrained; ever}i:hing dictated by profound emo- 
tion and interpreted by means altogether extraordinary." 
And, adds Fromentin: "Examine other painters of senti- 
ment, of physiognomy and characterization, the men of 
sci-upulous observation or of verve. Take account of 
their intentions; study their scrutiny, measure their 
domain, weigh well their language, and ask yourself, if 
anywhere j^ou perceive an equal intimacy in the expres- 
sion of a visage, an emotion of this nature, such ingenu- 
ity in the manner of feeling ; anything, in a word, which 
is as delicate to conceive, as delicate to say, and is 
said in terms more original, more exquisite, or more 
perfect." 

Notliing else, I suppose, has ever been MTitten about 
this phase of Rembrandt's art that is at once so fine in 
thought and diction, so enlightening, and so memorable. 
For one here meets in union the trained thinker and 
practised writer and the painter; thus getting much 
more than the painter's exclusive point of view, and at 
the same time the latter, interpreted by the painter at 
first hand. The gist of it is that, when the subject in- 
volved an idea, Rembrandt was not only justified in 
sacrificing the corporeal to the incorporeal, but was 
master of a technique that could express the idea conclu- 
sively and with supreme emotional appeal. 

In conclusion, Fromentin considers that the whole life 
of Rembrandt represents a struggle between the two 
sides of his nature. The earhest battle-ground was The 
[83] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Sortie, from which, owing to the nature of the problem, 
he came off worsted. But did he ever succeed in recon- 
cihng the "exterior" and the "interior" man? If ever, 
Fromentin concludes, surely in The Syndics, which, in 
a word, is a work of imagination and yet of real life. 

The whole exposition of Fromentin's argument, from 
which these fragments have been gathered, is worth care- 
ful study, particularly because of the constructive nature 
of the criticism. In its combination of technical in- 
formation and logical point of view, in its subtlety and 
human sympathy, it affords a model for the method of 
approaching the serious examination of a great artist's 
w^ork. One may acknowledge its value and the benefit 
derived from it, without subscribing entirely to its con- 
clusions. It may be possible to feel that it has the defect, 
if one is to find a single word for it, of excessive concen- 
tration. It centers too exclusively around one picture, 
TJie Sortie of the Banning Cock Company. 

This picture has suffered from too much exploitation. 
It has been praised "not wisely but too well" by artists 
and has been worshiped by the public. Fromentin may 
have approached it with undue expectations ; at any rate, 
he found himself disappointed; and, being at variance 
^vith the general judgment, felt the need of justifying 
his own attitude. He has done it so exhaustively as to 
warp his own judgment, until what there is of weakness 
in the picture has become almost an obsession with him. 
It is never absent from his thoughts, and continually 
peeps in on one page after another, and mingles with the 
judgment of other pictures. Fromentin has used it as 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

a pivot around which to swing his whole appreciation of 
Rembrandt ; and, more than this, has himself been sucked 
into the vortex of his own revolving argument. It is an 
expedient scarcely to be warranted by breadth of criti- 
cism to select one picture of any artist as a focusing- 
point for a consideration of his whole work, and least 
of all in the case of an artist so universal as Rembrandt. 
INIoreover, Fromentin does not persuade us that he 
liad a very wide acquaintance with the master's work. 
He knew his Louvre well; grew up with it, and had 
become habituated to it and fixed in the impressions he 
had derived. Later in life he made the acquaintance of 
the National Gallery and visited Dresden. Then he 
makes the pilgrimage to Holland. He first reaches The 
Hague, where The Lesson in Anatomy fails to satisfy 
his expectations. He is alive to its excellence in parts, 
but does not find the strength and character of two or 
three of the heads sustained throughout the canvas. He 
feels that an unreasonable amount of adulation has been 
lavished on the picture. It arouses his antagonism and 
piques in him the critical vein. Then an interval in his 
approach to Rembrandt ensues. He alights at Haar- 
lem and notes with what definitive skill and clearness of 
comprehension Frans Hals treated the corporation sub- 
ject. Fresh from these impressions, he finds himself in 
front of Rembrandt's treatment of a corresponding 
theme. By contrast it seems to him a work of confused 
motives and manifold uncertainties. Yet how extrava- 
gantly it has been lauded! Like The Lesson in Anat- 
omy, The Sortie of the Banning Cock Company has 
been prejudiced by uncritical applause. The critic in 
[85] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Fromentin is now thoroughly roused. With every wish 
to be fair to Rembrandt, he proceeds to build upon these 
two pictures a fabric of constructive and destructive 
criticism. His faculties are narrowed to a focus spot of 
concentrated heat, are swept into the ardor of their cen- 
tripetal momentum, and become caught up in the subtle- 
ties of their own compressed invention. He elaborates 
a theory, and into its compact limits would squeeze the 
genius of Rembrandt. 

Further, what kind of mind did Fromentin bring to 
bear upon this examination ? A generous one, desirous 
of being broad; but a Frenchman's and an Academi- 
cian's ; one, that is to say, which clings to logic and bases 
its expression upon form. It exhibits and demands 
clarity of reasoning; declares itself in refined exactness. 
It knew of Impressionism, yet was too old in its convic- 
tions, too fixed in earlier traditions, to comprehend it. 
But, since the day when Fromentin's mind was in the 
forming, the world's point of view toward art, even one 
may say toward life, has changed; and its attitude to- 
ward the manner of expression has progressed, until it 
has come back to Rembrandt with a new and more inti- 
mate comprehension. It recognizes him as an Impres- 
sionist of sensations and tries to judge him by what we 
now know and feel about Impressionism. 

Briefly, we have learned that there may be something 
in art more valuable than the record of a person, place, 
or incident, and this is, the impression of it conceived and 
rendered by the artist ; that, through this interpretation, 
the place, person, or incident becomes illuminated, more 
vitally represented. How, for example, can Barthol- 

Csen 




POHTKAIT OF ELIZABETH BAS REMBRANDT 

RIJKS MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM 



I 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

di's Statue of Liberty compare with the interpretation 
of the idea evolved by such a man as Lincohi ? The idea 
thus logically and formally shaped in the Statue will not 
even bear comparison with that which is expressed by 
the spontaneous utterance of some poor emigrant, as.he 
finds his foot at last planted on the free soil of his imag- 
inings. In life, as in art, the real thing to us is what we 
feel about it; in Rembrandt's art, what he feels about his 
subject and makes lis feel. 

Then, again, we have discovered that often we are 
made to feel most deeply, not by detailed statement, but 
by suggestion : in the case of a speaker, perhaps by a mo- 
mentary gesture, or play of features, by a sudden inflec- 
tion of the voice, or a pause in speech, and the occasional 
accent of a word or sentence; in the case of a ^\Titer, 
often as much by what he leaves unsaid, by the thought 
that is veiled behind the statement, by the choice and em- 
phasis of certain features of his record. Further, we 
may have learned to find occasional value even in un- 
certainty or indecision. We may sometimes tire of, and 
possibly distrust, the world's tendency to "get things 
down fine." The latter may seem to imply that the thing 
itself is small, or that there is smallness in the vision of 
the man who thus approaches life. We may be conscious 
of life itself as an aggregate of moments of brilliant 
realization and more frequent half-tones, enveloped in 
a sea of shadow ; and may reach nearer to the heart and 
meaning of it by welcoming its mystery. 

Surely something of this sort was Rembrandt's atti- 
tude toward life, and therefore his point of view toward- 
art. He has been called unlearned, because he had small 
[87] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

taste for Latin and no scholastic acquisitions. But in 
the wisdom of Hfe, as drawn from hfe itself and dis- 
tilled through the brain and temperament of one who 
searched life deeply and lived his own life ardently, he 
has had few equals, at least among artists. For the ex- 
planation of Rembrandt is that to him life presented 
itself as an idea. 

Thus he is without a rival in the sympathetic render- 
ing of old age. He saw more than the exterior of it; 
he penetrated into its psychology. For— how shall I 
express it? — the fruit of living is experience, and ex- 
perience tends more and more to lose sight of the con- 
crete in the abstract, to replace the substance of the form 
with the higher reality of the idea. The young man, as 
he ceases to depend upon the ministrations of the mother, 
enshrines her in a personal idea of motherhood; the old 
lover rediscovers the bride of his youth in the idea with 
which time has enveloped the wife. The idea is the aure- 
ole or nimbus that gathers about the form and proclaims 
its sanctity. It is the idea, then, that Rembrandt, the 
artist of ideas, the searcher after the higher reality inher- 
ent in form, discovered in old age. 

On the other hand, while Rembrandt exalted the idea 
above the substance, he was not indifferent to form. No 
great artist whose domain is the world of sight can be. 

Indeed, the wider the acquaintance with the master 
goes, whether in the galleries throughout Europe, or 
through the examples which occasionally emerge from 
private collections, as in the recent extraordinary dis- 
plaj^ in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
the more one is impressed not only with Rembrandt's 

cssn 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

feeling for form, but also with his amazing power of 
rendering it. 

Sometimes, as m the marvelously detailed Portrait of 
Elizabeth Bas (Amsterdam), the impression he derived 
of the original was one which he could render only by 
enforcing the bulk and character and precision of form. 
This lady, though not of gentle birth, was, as the widow 
of Admiral Swartenhout, a figure in society. This much 
we know from the written record ; the rest is recorded in 
the portrait. As Rembrandt saw her, she was a woman 
of determined personality; a narrow and rigid believer 
in her own importance, and a stickler for its recognition ; 
an ingrained precisionist, as upright as her backbone and 
as set in formalism as her corseted figure. Yet the flesh 
of her face and hands has the dimpled softness and deli- 
cate contours of well-preserved old age. She is fully 
conscious of prerogatives, but her hardness has been 
made gracious by the kindly touch of time. All this, 
no doubt, was WTitten in detail on her ample person, and 
Rembrandt, feeling the intimate value of its complete- 
ness, has detailed it in the portrait. 

Or take another example of the record of an impres- 
sion. The Portrait of Hendrichje Stoffels in the Berlin 
Gallery. The devotion of this w^oman had stayed the 
artist in his trials, and her exuberant youth had put fresh 
force into his courage. He had learned to depend upon 
her watchful solicitude, to lean upon her abundant vital- 
ity, and to warm his imagination in the glow of her physi- 
cal ardor. In the portrait he wraps her strong figure in 
the rich grandeur of a mantle that burns with wonderful 
brown lights above an under-robe of golden cream, while 

CSS] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

a flash of crimson glows in her brown hair, and a golden 
warmth is exhaled from the full, firm features and hovers 
above the ripe harvest of her bosom. The portrait is an 
artist's apotheosis of the glory and the benediction of 
physical vitality; and, let us not forget, in the strength 
of this woman's companionship Rembrandt achieved his 
masterpiece of austere and virile intellectuality — The 
Syndics of the Cloth Workers' Guild. 

And so we might take one by one the pictures of this 
master, and, whether the impression that it records is 
drawn mainly from the exterior of its subject or from a 
penetration of the character or soul within, whether it 
be the expression of the soul of some fact of Bible story, 
no matter what the degree of idealism involved, every 
time it is form or some interpretation thereof, that is the 
foundation of the picture. Not form, however, for its 
o^\Ti sake, for the purpose of rendering it in its logical 
and reasoned completeness or of exploiting the master's 
efficiency in doing what every student aspires, and many 
can learn, to do ; but form so felt, so rendered, that what 
we are made conscious of is not alone the physical sense 
of form, but its abstract significance ; in a word, if I may 
say so, the soul of form, as from time to time it is used 
to interpret some one or other of the artist's impressions. 

You cannot pass from one to the other of the thirty- 
seven examples of Rembrandt in the exhibition that, as 
I write, is being held in the galleries of the ^letropolitan 
Museum, or travel round the galleries of Europe, intent 
upon the wealth of Rembrandts that they contain, with- 
out reaching a conviction, that grows more and more 
assured, of the profound knowledge and feeling for form 

1^1 




PORTRAIT OF HENDRICKJE STOFFELS 

BERLIN GALLERY 



REMBRANDT 



I 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

that Rembrandt possessed and communicates. He may 
reveal clearly but a portion of a figure, veiling or ob- 
scuring the rest ; but what is revealed is sufficient for the 
physical appreciation of the whole figure, and enforces 
the physical significance, while the spiritual significance 
is profoundly increased by the demand that has been 
made upon our imagination. After long study one 
comes to believe, not only that Rembrandt treated form 
differently from other artists, which no one, I suppose, 
denies; but also that no other artist has ever treated it 
with such a mingling of power and subtlety, with so fine 
and sure a reliance upon its physical qualities, and yet 
with so marvelous a capacity to interpret its spiritual 
significance. 

Almost similar in motive is Rembrandt's use of color. 
He is not a colorist in the sense that the great Vene- 
tians were, for they extolled the glory of local color 
— the actual splendor of hue with which they clothed 
their radiant figures and wove about them a triumphant 
orchestration. This also is an abstract use of color, in- 
volving a consciousness and suggestion of the effect that 
color as color has upon the imagination. But Rem- 
brandt went further. He, too, had the love of beautiful 
fabrics, bought them freely, and as freely used them on 
his models. But .here he parts company with the Vene- 
tians ; for by this time he has ceased to think of the fabric 
or its color as something of value in itself. It has become 
merged in the impression that he has formed of the whole 
subject. It may occupy a large or small part in the total 
impression ; that is as it may be ; but henceforth it is only 
contributory to the physical and spiritual sensations that 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

he has received and is set upon interpreting. Thus he 
is at no pains to preserve the material integrity of the 
local color ; he uses it as he does form : extracting from it 
this or that, here forcing or there veiling its emphasis, 
plunging much of it in shadow. Therefore, even as his 
treatment of form has proved an enigma to some critics, 
so some hesitate to call him a colorist. After the manner 
of the Venetians, I repeat, he is not. But need theirs be 
the only manner of the colorist? 

Rembrandt used color as he used form, as a sjTnbol of 
expression; and, to repeat, what he sought to express 
was the impression that the form and color had aroused 
in his imagination. When the impression was derived 
merely from the externals of form, he would elaborate 
in detail the retinal impression and in such cases usually 
preserve the integrity of the local color. But it was 
otherwise when the impression was extracted from the 
soul of the subject, whether the latter were an individual 
whose portrait he was painting, or a Biblical incident 
the significance of which he was elaborating out of his 
own inner consciousness of its meaning. For then he is 
not representing things as he sees them, but recreating 
the impression that they have made in his imagination. 
The local color becomes merged in the color of his imag- 
ination ; gathers brilliance from its certainties, fades into 
the half-lights of its questionings, is threaded through 
and through with strands of discrimination, and plunged 
in the mystery of the unknowable. 

Finally^ in this use of form and color, Rembrandt is 

nearer to what is most modern in the art of to-day than 

has been generally recognized. For of late Impression- 

1192] 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

ism has entered on a new development. During some 
time it was intent upon a more vivid and truthful repre- 
sentation of the facts of life. It sat at the feet of Velas- 
quez, trying to do again what he did so supremely well. 
It did not succeed in equaling his authority, for the suf- 
ficient reason that an imitator never rivals the master; 
but at the same time it added something to what Velas- 
quez stands for. Helped by science, it has carried fur- 
ther than he did the study of light in the variety and 
quality of its manifestations, and has gained, especially 
in landscape, an instrument for interpreting sentiment 
and moods of temperament. In the intellectual analysis 
of the appearance of nature Velasquez said the last 
word ; and now in the domain of emotion and of spiritual 
expression, as interpreted by the representation of na- 
ture, there is nothing further to be said. In a word, the 
ideal of graphic art, as based upon the representation of 
nature, which since the thirteenth century has occupied 
the artists of the Western world, .is now found to have 
reached a development beyond which no further devel- 
opment is possible. As a commentary upon this is the 
development of photography, which along the line of 
representation vies \^ath painting. 

Certain original minds,^ therefore, have realized the 
need of a new ideal, a new motive with which to refertil- 
ize their art. They are seeking to discover it in a new 
conception of Impressionism. Their position, in effect, 
is this : Need the impression that is derived from nature 
be limited by the necessities of naturalistic representa- 
tion? Can it not free itself from the liability of being 

^ I allude to the men who are working more or less in sympathy with and 
along the lines of the French artist, Matisse. 

cos: 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

judged by the standard of what it is derived from, and 
claim to be enjoyed .for its own abstract quaHties of form 
and color? May it not detach itself more freely from the 
concrete, and attain nearer to the abstract? Are there 
not further possibilities in the conception of form and 
color as symbols? 

The new movement, for such it has grown to be, in 
France, Germany, Austria, and England, has come by 
way of the East. The harvest of a century of Eastern 
exploration, ripened during the last fifty years by an 
increasing intimacy with the art of Egypt, China, Korea, 
Japan, India, and Mesopotamia, is at length being 
stored. We are beginning to realize the Oriental con- 
ception of art as decoration, relying upon the abstract 
qualities of form and color, and using them, not as ve- 
hicles of natural representation, but as symbols, appeal- 
ing freely, without concrete reference, to the imagina- 
tion. To repeat, these pioneers of the new movement 
find themselves at the point where the Renaissance 
started in the thirteenth century. The latter broke away 
from the remnant of the Oriental ideal, left in Byzan- 
tine art, to conquer a new world of natural representa- 
tion, and its evolution has been completed. The new 
movement has recovered the Oriental standpoint from 
which to attempt the conquest of a new ideal. It is a 
movement, at present, mainly of experiment, and nec- 
essarily so. For all of us, whether artists or laymen, are 
as yet too much under the influence of centuries of in- 
herited tradition to be able to free ourselves from the con- 
sciousness of what it stands for. 

The artist of our own time whose intuition steered him 



REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RUN 

first in the direction of this new conception and use of 
form and color is Whistler; and among the potent in- 
fluences of his own life was Rembrandt. That the latter 
was habitually desirous of evading the concrete signifi- 
cance of form is contradicted by innumerable pictures; 
but that in some he did evade it, even as Whistler did in 
his Nocturnes, is undeniable. Moreover, Rembrandt 
showed less regard for the traditional use of form and 
color than any artist up to our own day. With all his 
sense of its significance, he used it with the complete 
freedom of personal expression; and so enveloped it in 
the half-lights and obscurities of an atmosphere of his 
own invention, that, while the picture represents an in- 
cident, it contradicts the idea of material representation. 
It is, to a more abstract degree than has been reached 
by any other Caucasian artist, the record of a spiritual 
impression, based on the symbolic use of form and color. 
It approaches the brink of that still further detachment 
from the necessities of natural representation that char- 
acterizes the New Thought in modern art. 



CQS] 



CHAPTER VI 

THE INFLUENCE OF HALS AND REMBRANDT 

BOTH Hals and Rembrandt, each in his different 
way, have influenced the art of modern times 
much in the same way in which they influenced 
their contemporaries. Hals was and still remains a great 
exemplar of technical method which may be practically 
adopted, while Rembrandt, with a technique that defies 
imitation, has influenced his own times and ours by in- 
spiring principles not only of technique but of motive. 
The difference is inherent in their characters— Hals the 
raconteur ; Rembrandt the thinker. 

Hals, with his masterful gift of summarizing the inci- 
dents and accidents of an occasion or a personality, re- 
sembles the best examples of the modern journalist and 
magazine writer; keenly alive to the temper of his own 
time; reflecting everything vividly, as in a mirror, yet 
with a discrimination for effects. Rembrandt, on the 
other hand, so absorbed in his own contemplation as to 
be an enigma to the man who runs and reads, is yet so 
passionately human that the place he by degrees makes 
for himself in the imagination and the heart of those who 
learn to know him expands and deepens. The differ- 
ence between them is epitomized in their respective kinds 
of technique. While Rembrandt is a constructor, Hals 
is a "follower of surfaces." 

11963 




THE SUPPKR AT EMMAUS 



REMBRANDT 



LOUVRR, PARIS 



HALS AND REMBRANDT 

This may possibly explain the immediate and direct 
hold that Hals has exerted upon modern art. The latter 
has been mainly concerned with imitation, casting 
around for borrowed motives and for an appropriate 
method of expressing them. In portraiture especially it 
has been confronted with the problem of catering to the 
luxurious and extravagant superficialities of a society 
largely composed of nouveaux riches. For such the 
grave intellectuality of that other example of our day, 
Velasquez, was inappropriate, but Hals's glib, effective 
following of surfaces, just the thing. It has authority 
and style, while its essential commonness of feeling is 
discreetly veiled by a veneer of aristocratic suggestion, 
and its evasion of the problems of construction is dis- 
guised beneath a handsome showing of virility. His, in 
fact, was precisely the style that met the demands and 
suited the temperament of society in the latter part of 
the nineteenth century. 

Many, I suppose, will repudiate the notion that Hals 
was either commonplace or faulty as a constructor of 
form. He is so much a man of our own time, and in 
consequence has been so belauded, that to some it may 
sound like lese-majeste to dispute his position in modern 
estimation. On the other hand, if one tries to get beyond 
the barrier of approbation with which artists and the 
public have blocked the free view of Hals in relation to 
other portrait-painters of his own school, such as Rem- 
brandt or Terborch, or of other schools or periods, the 
suspicion of his comparative commonness of feeling may 
grow into a conviction. Whether it does so or not is so 
purely a question of individual point of view and feeling 

' COT] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

that it would be futile to try to reason the matter out. I 
can scarcely explain my own conviction. Perhaps I have 
hinted at the basis of it in applying to Hals the term a 
raconteur, and in likening his style to that of a brilliant 
newspaper man. It is the function of both of these lat- 
ter to make an immediate appeal, not necessarily flashy 
but certainly striking, to a mixed gathering of listeners 
or readers, whose first and sole demand is that the gist of 
the matter shall be hit off attractively. Each in a greater 
or less degree is addressing a crowd, and, since the lat- 
ter's aggregate of mentality and feeling is of a lower 
order than the mentality and taste of some, at least, of 
the individuals composing it, the speaker or writer, to 
prove attractive, must, consciously or unconsciously, 
adjust his thought and expression to this lower level. 
Such is the suggestion of Hals and his modern imitators, 
when their work is compared with that of the great por- 
trait-painters, whose feeling and style are the products 
of their own high-bred aloofness and self-sustained in- 
dividuality. The work of the former, by comparison, 
seems designed to attract, as directly as possible and in 
a way to make the least demand upon reflection. It 
skims the surfaces and summarizes the most obvious of 
their features in the raciest of ways. 

On the other hand, it is easier to transmit the convic- 
tion that Hals was a follower of surfaces, for one's eye- 
sight here assists one's feeling. Look at one of his por- 
traits and observe the fluent skill ^^^th which the several 
planes of the features are rendered; the finesse with 
which a glove is fitted to the hand, the folds of a costume 
are expressed, and even protuberances of the form sug- 

[983 



HALS AND REMBRANDT 

gested. It is admirable, marvelous! When painters 
can achieve such magic, it is no wonder that we have a 
phrase, "as clever as paint." But compare this portrait 
with one of Rembrandt's, and the latter's superiority in 
the matter of solidity and structural strength becomes 
apparent. The suggestion of form in Hals's is altogether 
slighter; you will not be convinced of bone and muscle 
structure beneath the surfaces, and, if you continue the 
comparison from gallery to gallery or choose to vary it 
by comparing Hals with Van Eyck, Diirer, Holbein, 
and the great portrait-painters of the other schools, will 
hardly fail to be convinced of his inferiority as a con- 
structor. 

On the other hand, it was his skill in following the sur- 
face that made his influence so valuable to his contempo- 
raries. The sense of structural form cannot be imparted. 
It is constitutional ; a man has it or he has not. But it is 
possible to teach efficiency in brushwork ; and Hals, one 
of the most brilliant painters who ever lived, set a stan- 
dard of painter-like craftsmanship that, passed on by his 
immediate pupils to others, gave to Holland the merit 
of producing the most efficient school of painters in the 
world. The most important of his pupils were Terborch, 
]Metsu, Wouwerman, and Adriaen van Ostade, the last 
named the teacher of Jan Steen. It is a noticeable fact 
that all these men were genre painters, for even Wou- 
werman, by a slight straining of the word, can be in- 
cluded, since the individual charm of his landscapes con- 
sists in their animated groups of figures, and it was in 
his treatment of these that he was especially indebted to 
Hals. In fact, the latter's influence on the men of his 

1:993 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

own day was directly and most characteristically and 
emphatically shown, not, as in our daj^ in portraiture, 
but in genre; in shaping, refining, and giving new dis- 
tinction to the tendency for genre pictures that the Hol- 
landers had inherited from the united School of Flan- 
ders. 

In a previous chapter we have spoken of the encour- 
agement which Hals's example gave to the still-Mfe 
painting ; it was no less effective in encouraging the use 
of still-life in genre. The motive of the new genre be- 
came less that of depicting an incident than of picturing 
the environment of home life, its accompaniments of fur- 
niture and belongings; and these were made contribu- 
tory to recreatmg the spirit of the life. 

Immediately from this proceeds the second point which 
the genre painters gained from Hals: namely, an in- 
spiration for the composition of their pictures. It is 
marked no less by naturalness than propriety, and by an 
extraordinary feeling of unity. There is an excellent 
discretion alike in the choice and in the arrangement of 
details ; ever}i;hing is characteristic and made subservient 
to the general harmony. 

The latter results from the third point enforced by 
Hals's example : the principle of relativity in the use of 
values. Color became the basis of the new genre, and 
color treated from the point of view of tone ; hence again 
the incomparable unity of impression which examples of 
the best genre artists exhibit. Some mass of local color, 
either cool or warm in hue, affords a dominant note. 
To this, by means of contrasts and repetitions, the whole 
scheme is tuned. The contrasting values of other local 
[100] 



HALS AND REMBRANDT 

colors are opposed to that of the dominant mass, and 
higher and lower values of all these colors repeated 
throughout the scheme. The harmony that ensues may 
be rich and low or high in key and sprightly, but in the 
finest examples, and they are very numerous, is always 
characterized by a choice refinement. 

This quality is due in no slight measure to the fourth 
way in which these artists were indebted to Hals, namely, 
their skill in brushwork. For they learned from him to 
lay the color on frankly and directly, without fumbling 
or indecision. They constructed their forms in color, 
building them up with layers of modulated values, work- 
ing generally with a small brush, but one that was fully 
charged with pigment which was floated on to the sur- 
face. Thus the color has not only body and substance, 
but also a limpid transparency, a quality as of liquidized 
gems. It is this blend of lightness of touch, of purity of 
pigment, and withal of solid underpainting, that gives 
breadth and dignity to the delicacy of these harmonies. 
To assure one's self of this it is but necessary to compare 
a Vermeer or Terborch with a Netscher. The last is felt 
at once to have less breadth and dignity, and altogether 
slighter charm; and an examination of his technique 
helps to explain the reason. There is less underpainting, 
and in the minute and dainty passages the pigment has 
not been floated but stippled over the" surface. The 
result is a comparative tightness of feeling and, in place 
of limpid transparency, a suggestion rather of thinness 
and hardness. 

The influence exerted by Hals in these four directions 
—namely, in the treatment of still-life, in composition, 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

in regard for values, and in the habit of skilful brush- 
work— was supplemented by that of Rembrandt, which 
dates from 1632, the year in which he moved to Amster- 
dam. The latter also affected the development of genre, 
but not in the line of direct suggestion. Rembrandt's 
technique in its most characteristic aspects was and still 
remains too personal an expression of his o\\ti attitude 
of mind and of its changes of mood, varjdng according 
to the nature of each subject interpreted, to permit of 
imitation. Rembrandt contributed ideas. He enlarged 
the scope of genre by the suggestion, on the one hand, 
of a further range of subject, and, on the other, of a new 
motive in technique. It was especially the example of 
his religious pictures that affected the idea of subject, 
either directly leading other artists to a similar treatment 
of religious themes or indirectly encouraging them to 
include some kind of sentiment in the domestic scenes 
they depicted. JMeanwhile, by the example of his own 
use of chiaroscuro, he encouraged a more subtle study of 
values, at once more intimate and varied and more ex- 
pressive. 

An admirable epitome of the character of Rem- 
brandt's influence upon his contemporaries is in the old 
Pinakothek in INIunich. In the first place there is a 
Holy Family, painted in 1631, the year before he moved 
from Leyden. It is about six feet high, the figures being 
life-size; but the conception and treatment of the sub- 
ject are thoroughly in the way of genre. The picture 
presents a glimpse of the interior of a Dutch home : the 
tools hanging on the walls, the face, figure, and costume 
of the mother, the Child swathed in a shawl, and the fa- 
ll 102] 



HALS AND REMBRANDT 

miliar accompaniment of the cradle— all are distinctively 
Dutch in character. The mother, with a pretty gestm-e 
of tenderness, is fondling one of the Baby's feet, looking 
do\Mi at it with a gentle smile, while the father bends 
forward over the cradle in an attitude of reverent solici- 
tude. The whole scene breathes the quiet happiness of 
domestic life. In its character the picture is essentially 
a genre subject. At the time it was painted Dou was 
working in Rembrandt's studio, and to its influence it is 
not unreasonable to trace at least some of the tendency 
that Dou exhibited in later years to introduce just such 
tender and reverential sentiment .into his own work, as 
witness The Young 31 other at the Hague Gallery -and 
The Old Woman Saying Grace in the Pinakothek in 
Munich. In fact, The Holy Family is already charac- 
teristic of the sentiment that became infused into genre 
by the example of Rembrandt. 

Intimately connected with this is the example of Rem- 
brandt's technical use of chiaroscuro, used either for the 
purpose of interpreting sentiment or of simply adding 
to the interest of the color-scheme. The foretaste of this 
is given in a series of six pictures of Biblical subjects in 
the Pinakothek, painted for the Stadtholder, Frederick 
Henry: two of them. The Descent from the Cross and 
The Elevation of the Cross, in 1633; The Ascension, 
1636; The Burial and The Resurrection, 1639; and The 
Adoration of the Shepherds, 1646. About three feet 
high, thej^ approximate to the familiar size of genre, and 
are distinctly genre in conception and treatment. More- 
over, they are arched over at the top, a device that be- 
came popular with Dou and other genre painters, who 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

frequently substituted for the formal arch a draped cur- 
tain, the result being to set the main part of the scene 
back, and thus increase the effect of looking into it. 
This, however, is not merely to suggest more vividly the 
third dimension. For Rembrandt in these pictures has 
set the example of concentrating the high light on a few 
features of the composition, surrounding these with 
lighted objects of lower value, and finally inclosing all 
in a ring of shadow, so that one seems to be looking into 
a circular concavity out of the gloom of which certain 
•objects emerge into view with greater or less distinct- 
ness. The device is used by Rembrandt to heighten the 
dramatic and emotional significance of the composition, 
and was so applied by some of his followers, notably by 
Maes, while by others the principle was adopted as a 
means of giving force, variety, and added charm of mys- 
tery to their color-schemes. It became, in fact, one of 
the most characteristic of the technical methods of Hol- 
land genre. 

Apropos of this series it is interesting to note, as a 
side-light on Rembrandt's use of models, that one. The 
Elevation of the Cross, contains a striking figure of an 
Oriental. It was transferred in reduced size from a pic- 
ture of the same subject painted in the preceding year, 
1632, which is now owned by the New York collector 
Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt. JNIoreover, the head and bust 
of this man appear as the subject of another picture, 
painted in the same year as The Elevation, which now 
hangs in the INIunich Pinakothek. 

To recapitulate, then, in this series of the Old Pina- 
kothek we have a striking example of Rembrandt's mo- 



HALS AND REMBRANDT 

tive in the treatment of Biblical subjects, developed 
during the period from 1633 to 1646 of his greatest popu- 
larity in Amsterdam. It involved, as we have seen, the 
translation of the heroic and grandiloquent style of re- 
ligious subjects, as practised by the Italians, into the 
homelier poignancy and intimate personal suggestive- 
ness of meaning that commended themselves to the sim- 
ple directness and home-love of the Hollanders. It 
practically converted the religious picture into one of 
genre ; and its example led to a similar treatment of these 
subjects by other painters, notably Carel Fabritius, 
Govert Flinck, Ferdinand Bol, and Gerbrandt van den 
Eeckhout, while to the painters of domestic genre pure 
and simple it also supplied the motive of sentiment and 
a new motive of technique. 

It is true that sentiment plays a comparatively small 
part in Holland genre. Dou has been mentioned as fol- 
lowing the example of Rembrandt in this respect, and 
the other prominent instance is Nicolaes IVIaes, who en- 
tered the master's studio in 1648, that is to say, two years 
after the completion of The Adoration of the Shepherds, 
the latest of the Munich series. How far Rembrandt 
had influenced the bias of Maes's temperament toward 
sentiment is conjectural, but that he supplied the 
younger man with a technical principle for its expression 
is certain. jNIaes discovered the possibilities of emotional 
suggestion that existed in the device of heightening the 
luster of certain parts of the composition by the contrast 
of veiled and shadowed color elsewhere. With him it 
does not reach the dramatic force or depth of emotional 
appeal that the master's use of it involves, but neverthe- 

Clos] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

less becomes the expression of a sentiment that, as Bode 
remarks, is nearer to the sentiment of Rembrandt than 
that of any other artist of the school. 

On the other hand, by those genre artists of the period 
who were not given to sentiment, the principle of Rem- 
brandt's chiaroscuro was adopted for the sake of aesthetic 
considerations, founded upon the facts of sight. It may 
or may not be true that Rembrandt, himself derived it 
from his observation of the light in the dim recesses of 
his father's mill, but at any rate the artists of genre in- 
teriors soon saw its application to their subjects, and 
were led by it to study with more discrimination the in- 
finite variety of light value. The result was twofold. 
Their color-schemes grow more subtle and refined, and 
the tonality becomes impregnated with the suggestion 
of atmosphere. Thus the example of Rembrandt's 
chiaroscuro wedded to that of Hals's facile craftsman- 
ship developed the inimitable perfection of technique 
which characterizes the best works of Holland genre. 

It is the latter, one may observe in conclusion, that has 
most affected the modern revival of painting in Holland. 
While foreign painters, in portraiture especially, have 
been disposed to follow the direct example of Frans 
Hals, the Hollanders themselves, both in landscape and 
genre, have been influenced by the so-called "little mas- 
ters," and, in the case of Josef Israels, by Rembrandt 
himself. And the result of this influence has been to 
make modern Dutch painters, as a group, the best brush- 
men of their age. 



Cioe] 



CHAPTER VII 

DUTCH GENRE 

THE tendency toward genre painting began be- 
fore the separation of the Holland Free State 
from the Spanish Netherlands. Pieter Brvieghel 
the Elder, who died in Brussels in 1570, is regarded as 
the leader of the group of painters who depicted the life 
of the people, particular^ in open-air surroundings. 
His work, for example, and that of one of his pupils, 
Lucas van Valckenborch, make a very lively showing in 
one of the galleries of the Art-History Museum in 
Vienna. Here, in a number of canvases of considerable 
size, crowded with figures, are pictured scenes of peas- 
ants, merrymaking, harvesting, engaged in a vintage 
festival, or skating and sleighing, while there is even a 
representation of rich folk enjoying a picnic in a park. 
These painters and their contemporaries in similar sub- 
jects are to be reckoned in the Flemish School. But 
there is one, Pieter Aertz, surnamed "Long Pieter," 
who, although he died in 1575, before any separation 
from Flanders was dreamed of, may be considered as a 
forerunner of distinctly Dutch genre, since he was bom 
in Amsterdam and lived there for the greater part of his 
life. An interesting example of his work. The Egg 
Dance J is in the Rijks Museum. The scene is a kitchen, 
DOT] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

opening into a garden, and the floor is scattered with 
various articles — a bowl, a shoe, onions and eggs — among 
which a young man is jauntily dancing, while a group 
beside the hearth applauds. As far as the character and 
spirit of the scene go, the picture is thoroughly represen- 
tative of the older kind of genre, which portrays the type 
rather than the individual, and nimierous little episodes 
massed into a group, rather than a single incident or 
phase of life wrought out completely. For this becomes 
the tendency of the later and distinctively Holland 
genre, which, as the technical motives of the artists grew 
in refinement and possibly as the taste of the public be- 
came more refined, resulted in the subjects being drawn 
more and more from the home life of the well-to-do and 
fashionable. By this time the genre pictures have ceased 
to represent an amusing picture-book of manners and 
customs; they have in a sense lost their interest of sub- 
ject, the matter of which they treat counting for very 
little in comparison with the charming manner of the 
treatment. 

The three greatest masters of Holland genre, Ver- 
meer, Terborch, and Jan Steen, must be considered sepa- 
rately. ISIeanwhile we will summarize the method and 
manner of some of the most important among the able 
but lesser artists. 

ADKIAEN VAN OSTADE 

Van Ostade, M^ho was a pupil of Hals and later became 
influenced by Rembrandt, stands midway between the 
earlier and the later motives of genre. His favorite and, 



DUTCH GENRE 

on the whole, most characteristic subjects are groups of 
peasants revehng or squabbling in the kitchens or arou\id 
the doors of inns. The figures are squat and lumpish, 
curiously like animated roly-poly puddings, only re- 
deemed from commonness by the limpid coloring and 
the suave, facile manner of the brushwork that he had 
derived from Hals. Sometimes, however, he selects a 
few figures and gives them an individual characteriza- 
tion. In fact, the latter pictures, as well as his groups 
of peasants, show a remarkable affinity to Brouwer's 
treatment of similar subjects. For this eccentric and 
original artist, an "Adonis in rags," as he has been 
called, a refined painter of coarse themes, though Flem- 
ish by birth, seems to have come under the influence of 
Frans Hals, lived in Haarlem and Amsterdam, and was 
really in his art representative of the Holland School of 
genre. Van Ostade, therefore, must have known him 
and may well have been affected by his example. At any 
rate, the character and spirit of his earlier pictures corre- 
spond with those of Brouwer's, though the latter's work 
exhibits a more refined artistic sense. In time, however, 
Van Ostade came under the Rembrandtesque manner; 
the thinness of his painting develops into a richer im- 
pasto, the feeling of the composition becomes larger, the 
choice of subject more distinguished, and his treatment 
more studied and sympathetic, while the tone is warmer 
and more luminous in consequence of the shrewder use 
of chiaroscuro. Later his manner again changes to one 
of extreme refinement, almost finical. The surface, to 
use an expressive French word, leche, seems licked into 
glossiness; the tone has become cold and grayish; the 

D09: 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

compositions are more studied but less picturesque; yet 
the colors have an extraordinary transparency. The 
whole canvas has less the air of intimate observation than 
of something wrought over in the studio. 

These three phases of Van Ostade's development can 
be studied side by side in the examples of his work in 
the Gallery of The Hague. Representative of his first 
manner is Peasants' Holiday, painted in 163- (the last 
figure is undecipherable) ; of the second, Marriage Pro- 
posal, which belongs to the period between 1650 and 
1655; and of the third manner, Peasants in an Inn and 
The Fiddler, painted respectively in 1662 and 1673. 

Van Ostade died in Haarlem in 1685. Among his pu- 
pils were his brother Isaac van Ostade (1621-1649) , Cor- 
nelis Bega (1620-1664), and Cornelis Dusart (1660- 
1704) . The last named inherited a great number of his 
master's studies and sketches, which he worked upon and 
finished. These after Dusart's death were sold as his 
own, a fact which helps to explain the similarity of his 
style to that of Adriaen van Ostade. Bega often imitated 
the latter's choice of subject, and also with some success 
his manner of gray tonality, but his colors lack transpar- 
ency, and the flesh parts are dry and brickish. The out- 
door scenes of Isaac van Ostade, alive with figures in 
characteristic action, are exceedingly interesting as pic- 
tures of the "passing show" of Dutch life. Lastly, it is 
to the credit of Adriaen van Ostade that he was the 
teacher of, or at least exercised considerable influence 
over, Jan Steen during the latter's sojourn in Haarlem. 
But the manner of his own pictures is that of the earlier 
genre which preceded the great School of Holland. 

Clio] 



DUTCH GENRE 



GERARD (gERRIT) DOU 

This artist, born in Leyden, 1613, and dying there in 
1675, spent his whole hfe in his native city, helped to 
found its Guild of St. Luke, and influenced several 
other genre painters. Among the latter were Gabriel 
Metsu, Godf ried Schalcken, Pieter Cornelisz van Slinge- 
land, and Frans van Mieris the Elder, who handed on 
the tradition of the Leyden School to his son, Willem van 
^Mieris. Dou himself had enjoyed the influence of Rem- 
brandt, in whose studio he worked during the three years 
preceding the master's move to Amsterdam in 1631. 
But before this time he had been instructed by his father, 
who was a painter on glass, and by Bartholomeus Do- 
lando, an engraver. Don's own matured style very re- 
markably reflects both the earlier and the later experi- 
ences of his training. While he learned to feel his subject 
in the manner of Rembrandt, he contrived also to see it 
with a precise eye for detail and to render it with the 
nicety of a painter on glass or of one who uses the burin. 
He was an impeccable draftsman and a good composer, 
so long as the subject contained only a few figures and 
was treated in a small size. For large canvases and the 
handling of a complicated composition his style was al- 
together too minute in character. On the other hand, his 
color is always harmonious, though in some works in- 
clined to an excessive polish; and the chiaroscuro, skil- 
fully applied, is, when the subject permits, very charm- 
ingly expressive of the sentiment. He devoted himself 
to the representation of interiors and, as we have seen, 

cm: 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

adopted the device of showing them through an arch or 
beyond a lambrequin, formed of a heavily draped cur- 
tain, frequently also representing one or more figures at 
a window with the obscurity of the room behind them. 
In thus adapting Rembrandt's principle of chiaroscuro 
to the rendering of the physical phenomenon of a con- 
cave space more or less immersed in shadow, no one was 
more skilful than Dou. To give depth and quality to 
the obscurity of the distance and especially of the ceiling, 
he would hang a chandelier or lantern in the middle dis- 
tance and catch the light upon it. Similarly, he would 
place some objects in the foreground to bring the latter 
forward, and then between these two foci of secondary 
light concentrate or scatter the main group of figures in 
highest illumination. 

The two finest examples of his skill in thus building 
up a composition of values of light are The Young 
Mother, in the gallery of The Hague, and The Dropsical 
Woman of the Louvre. The former, because of its 
charming sentiment, is Don's most popular picture ; but 
the other, in consequence of the superior simplicity and 
concentration of its composition, the comparative breadth 
of its treatment and fuller richness of color and quality 
of chiaroscuro, is without much doubt his masterpiece. 
However, another example which approaches it very 
closely is A Lady at her Toilet, in the Munich Gallery. 
Don's interest in chiaroscuro led him to experiment with 
so-called night-pieces, where the gloom of the interior 
is illuminated by a candle that makes a central spot of 
brilliance, fitfully reflected in a partially diffused glow. 
Such are An Old Woman who has Lost her Thread and 

[112;] 



DUTCH GENRE 

the Young Man and Girl in a Cellar, both in the Dres- 
den Gallery ; while the most elaborate and famous exam- 
ple is TJie Night School of the Rijks Museum, somewhat 
damaged by time, in which there are five separate points 
of varying degrees of illumination. 

In a picture in the Dresden Gallery Dou has repre- 
sented himself at work in his studio, a bare and homely 
room, lighted by a large window on the left. This win- 
dow, with slight differences of shape and size, appears 
in many of his works, occupying a similar position; 
while, even when it is not shown, its effect is noticeable 
in the artist's tendency to light his compositions from 
the left. Another instance of his tendency to repetition 
of motive may be traced in the frequency with which he 
used over and over again the same piece of furniture or 
object of furnishing. For example, in a still-life (No. 
1708) in the Dresden Gallery appears the same candle- 
stick that is introduced in a number of other pictures. 
The point is interesting as showing the way in which 
Dou artificially arranged his subject-matter; and he was 
followed in this respect as in others by all the genre 
painters. Each had his particular motive of composi- 
tion and freely repeated it ; his particular bit of costume 
or article of furnishing that with variations of arrange- 
ment he used repeatedly. Holland genre, in fact, ceased 
almost from its beginning to be a direct representation 
of actual domestic life. It was based upon the latter, 
but the artist reserved a complete liberty of selection 
and arrangement. He was not intent upon illustrating 
the life, and only borrowed hints from it to assist him in 
creating a picture of his own invention. It is a point to 

8 [HSU 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

be observed by the modern public, which is apt to resent, 
as shallow in motive and uninteresting in subject, a pic- 
ture which has been designed mainly or solely as a pic- 
ture; that is to say, for the beauty of form, color, light, 
and tone that may be expressed in a composition of ob- 
jects, arbitrarily brought together for this purpose. 
Such an attitude on the part of an artist is, however, 
thoroughly justified by the example of the Holland 
School of genre, which it is the fashion to-day to admire 
so generously. 

NICOLAES MAES 

Some may criticize this placing of Maes among the lesser 
artists of genre. Bode ranks him with Vermeer and 
Pieter de Hooch among the "great genre painters of 
Holland," and adds that "there is scarcely any pupil of 
Rembrandt's who approaches the great master so nearly 
as Maes does in this series of pictures." He is alluding 
to Dreaming, or, as it is sometimes called, A Reverie, a 
young girl gazing out of a window, and to Asking a Bless- 
ing, in the Rijks Museum; to The Young Card-Play ers, 
in the National Gallery, and to Nurse and Children 
with Goat-Carriage, in a private collection; and also to 
certain pictures of old women, such as the one o\Mied by 
Mr. John G. Johnson of Philadelphia, that was recently 
seen in the Exhibition of Dutch Art in the ^letropolitan 
Museum. In all of these pictures the figures are life- 
size, and, to quote Bode, "one weakness is common to 
all of them : that they present simple motives on a large 
canvas with rough execution and without the powerful 
1:114;] 




OLD WOMAN SPINNING 

RIJKS MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM 



NICOLAES MAES 



i id 



I 






DUTCH GENRE 

and individual language with which Rembrandt renders 
similar genre pieces." 

The truth of this criticism seems to be sufficient of 
itself to exclude Maes from the ranks of the great genre 
painters, whose works are great of their kind just be- 
cause these painters so admirably fitted the size of their 
pictures to the scope of their intention and their powers, 
and wrought their canvases to the highest pitch of a 
personally inspired technical perfection. This became 
the ideal of Holland genre and remains its chief distinc- 
tion ; and Maes only attains to it in his smaller canvases, 
such as the two examples of An Old Woinan Spinning, 
in the Rijks Museum, and An Old Woman Peeling 
Apples (the spinning-wheel near her), in the Berlin 
Gallery, and The Cradle and The Dutch Housewife of 
the National Gallery. The period of these small genre 
pictures, beginning about 1655 and lasting for ten years, 
represents the high-water mark of Maes's artistic career. 

In his earlier period he shows a preference for red, 
juxtaposed with black and less frequently with yellow, 
that continues to characterize his work. But at first, as 
in The Dreamer, it is the brightness of hue that seems to 
attract him. He has bathed the red shutter and the girl's 
figure and the leaves and fruit of the apricot-tree, that 
grows beside the window from which she leans, in a warm 
sunlight, and the latter, blended with soft shadows, glows 
upon her face and hands. All the several textures are 
rendered with admirable veracity, and a resemblance to 
life, that would be startling but for the quiet, pensive ex- 
pression of the girl's figure that pervades the canvas. The 
picture attracts and charms, but does it hold one's inter- 
[115] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

est? Scarcely, if you come back to it after seeing the 
more imaginative treatment of chiaroscuro in the Card- 
Play ers of the National Gallery; and still less, if you 
compare it with one of Maes's smaller genre pictures in 
the Rijks JNIuseum; for example, An Old Woman Spin- 
ning (No. 1504). Here the red reappears in the table- 
cloth, and the black spot is made by her head against 
the drabbish white of the wall, but the yellow is disguised 
in her olive-green dress, which shows the whitish-gray 
sleeves of the undergarment. It is a cooler scheme of 
color, more restrained yet richer, and it is lighted with- 
out any striking contrasts of chiaroscuro. Instead, the 
humble apartment is permeated with a dimly luminous 
atmosphere, out of which certain parts of the composi- 
tion emerge into clearness, while the rest is veiled in half- 
tones and shadow. The picture is extraordinarily real, 
exquisite in technique, and deeply moving in its sugges- 
tion of the half-lights of existence among the aged and 
the poor. The secret is, that what was experiment or as- 
sertion in the larger canvas has here become the free ex- 
pression of the artist's simple and sincere sentiment. 
Sentiment and expression are united in a natural and 
complete equipoise. 

During the last twenty-five years of his life Maes 
seems to have gained a rather scanty subsistence by 
painting portraits. Some of these are of high merit ; the 
Portrait of a Man, for example, in the Fine Arts Mu- 
seum at Budapest, which represents a gray-haired and 
bearded man, with black velvet cap and black coat edged 
with brown fur, sitting in a red-backed chair. Thus it 
repeats the artist's favorite color-scheme, and moreover, 




OLD WOMAN IX MEDITATION GABRIEL METSU 

RIJKS MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM 



DUTCH GENRE 

in its grave, tender rendering of old age, preserves the 
fine sentiment of his best period. But such noble charac- 
terization of humanity is rare with him, for, impelled by- 
need and very likely, by the taste of his public, he became 
an imitator of Van Dyck's elegance. With INIaes this 
elegance became pinchbeck, his fine ladies and gentle- 
men being very cheap imitations of their models. 

GABRIEL METSU 

Born in Leyden in 1630, the son of a painter, Gabriel 
jNIetsu was one of the precocious talents of the Holland 
School, for in his sixteenth year he helped to form the 
Guild of St. Luke in his native city. For the purpose of 
studying his art, his brief career of thirty-seven years 
(he died in 1667) may be conveniently divided into two 
parts, preceding or following the year 1655, in which he 
moved to Amsterdam and came under the direct influ- 
ence of Rembrandt. But it would appear from his own 
early pictures, that even during his life in Leyden he 
had by some means obtained a knowledge of this mas- 
ter's work. Metsu's actual teacher, according to Hou- 
braken, had been Dou, though his own work shows no 
direct trace of the latter's influence. On the other hand, 
that of Hals is apparent. Meanwhile he experimented 
for himself and produced several pictures v/hich, like 
The Blacksmith, in the Rijks Museum, are founded on 
the motive of a workshop, lighted fitfully by a forge and 
scattered with tools. In fact, as Bode says, the work 
of his early period is distinguished by "restless composi- 
tion, hurried movement, and careless treatment." 
D17] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Moving to Amsterdam, he became one of the group 
that circled round Rembrandt, and at first was directly- 
influenced by Maes, and perhaps by Rembrandt himself; 
witness his Old Woman in Meditation of the Rijks Mu- 
seum and his fine portrait of an old lady in the Berlin 
Gallery. Then almost at a jump he reaches an indi- 
vidual style of his own. It grows out of his attitude 
toward the subjects that— with occasional exceptions of 
marketing scenes, such as the two pictures respectively 
of a man and of a woman selling poultry, in the Dresden 
Gallery, and the Vegetable Market of the Louvre— he 
now favors. They are intimate presentations of the gra- 
ciously prosperous life of the middle-class burghers, be- 
fore extravagance and ostentation had eaten their way 
into Dutch society. That his art thus settled to a distinct 
purpose may be partly attributed to the fact that the art- 
ist himself settled down to domestic life, marrying Isabella 
Wolff, April 1, 1663. A picture in the Dresden Gallery, 
dated two years earlier, Lovers at Breakfast, shows him- 
self and the lady sitting side by side, one of his arms 
about her shoulders and the other lifted as he holds a tall 
wine-glass. It is curiously interesting in its resemblance 
and difference to Rembrandt's picture of himself and 
Saskia that hangs in an adjoining gallery of the same 
museum. 

The style which ^letsu formed for himself is in accord- 
ance with the character and treatment of the subjects to 
which he now devoted himself. He abandons the Rem- 
brandtesque principle of chiaroscuro, for there is no 
mystery or depth of sentiment in his point of view. He 
is frankly and simply interested in the genial externals 



\ 



DUTCH GENRE 

of his subject; yet something of the JNIaes influence still 
affects his outlook. He sees the comfort and happiness 
of the home life and reflects it in the composure and re- 
fined orderliness that now pervade his compositions. De- 
voting himself to the simplest and directest way of pre- 
senting the subject, he avoids all striving after effect and 
secures a quietly balanced ensemble, wherein every fig- 
ure and object is rendered with sureness of drawing, 
regard for the beauty of local color, and the utmost per- 
fection of truthful realization. The date at which Metsu 
thus found himself is placed about 1660, and the picture 
in the JNIetropolitan INIuseum, A Music Party, dated 
1659, serves to mark the transition. Its composition is 
still inclined to be "restless" ; but the treatment, far from 
being "careless," is distinguished by a very sincere feel- 
ing for the objective beauty of the salient details, while 
at least one figure, that of the cavalier on the right, ex- 
hibits the concentrated repose of movement which be- 
came one of the most delightful elements of Metsu's 
art. It is seen developed throughout the whole compo- 
sition in ]VIr. J. P. jMorgan's Visit to the Nursery, where, 
notwithstanding the sprightliness of feeling that ani- 
mates the figures, each of them has its own plastic indi- 
vidualit}^ of self-contained movement. Every detail 
has a perfection of finish that is never finical or at the 
expense of the unity of the whole. The hands and heads 
have a special distinction of fluent modeling and of ex- 
quisite expression. These qualities, combined with rich- 
ness of local color, characterize the pictures of the sixties, 
as may be seen in the examples in the National GaUery, 
the Wallace Collection, and the galleries of Dresden, 

Clio] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Amsterdam, and The Hague. Toward the end of this 
ten years of highest production Metsu's pictures grow 
stiff er in composition, colder in color, and harder in their 
surfaces. The beginning of this change is noticeable in 
the portrait group of The Family Geelvink, in the Ber- 
lin Gallery, and characterizes also some of his latest 
genre subjects. Probably the cause was failing health, 
for toward the end of his life he suffered from the effects 
of a bungled operation. 



PIETER DE HOOCH 

PiETER DE Hooch, the son of a butcher, was born in 
Rotterdam in 1630, being therefore the same age as 
^letsu and two years older than INIaes and Vermeer. 
With these last two he has been ranked by some critics, 
who consider that the trio represents the high-water 
mark of Holland genre. With Maes's claim to this dis- 
tinction one has ventured" to disagree, and may also dis- 
pute De Hooch's for somewhat the same reason. The 
latter's best period was confined to ten years, 1655-1665, 
and outside of that, especially toward the end of his life, 
he did some quite indifferent work. 

Houbraken makes the statement that his teacher was 
Nicolaes Berchem. It is accepted as a fact, the pre- 
sumption being that Berchem at the time was living in 
Amsterdam, in which case De Hooch would have be- 
come acquainted with Rembrandt's style. That it did 
not affect him, immediately at any rate, is evident from 
his early work, which represents lively scenes of soldiers 
[120] 



DUTCH GENRE 

and young girls, painted rather in the manner of Dirck 
Hals or Duyster. It is possible, however, that even thus 
early the Rembrandt influence may have been operating 
upon him, as upon so many of the painters in Amster- 
dam at that time, by drawing his attention to problems 
of light, which eventuallj'' became the characteristic of 
his art. 

From 1653, for two years, he served as "painter and 
footman" to Justus de la Grange, a rich merchant ad- 
venturer, with whom he lived both in Haarlem and The 
Hague. Then he married a girl from Delft and moved 
to that city, his name appearing among the members of 
its guild from. 1655 to 1657. It was now that he came in 
touch with Vermeer, whose example helped to bring out 
all that was best in him. His pictures now became ver- 
itable poems of light, wrought with extraordinary con- 
scientiousness and to a high pitch of refinement. He 
paints the courtyards of city houses, aglow in bright sun- 
shine, cool rooms opening into warmly lighted ones, the 
vista often terminating in a street or canal. Always the 
varieties of light are rendered with delightful natural- 
ness and in a way that gives a, special charm to every 
detail which the light illumines. He is not very skilful 
in the representation of figures, but a master in the art 
of placing them. They and every object in the scene not 
only occupy their respective planes with absolute just- 
ness, but the position assigned to them has been selected 
with an unerring eye for decorative effect. INIoreover, 
no artist has been so successful in rendering what visitors 
to Holland rarely fail to observe — the propriety and 
cleanliness of the Dutch home, and the sentiment that 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

seems to attach to every object in it and around it. 
Among the lovehest of these interiors is No. 426 in the 
Munich Pinakothek; The Mother, in the Berlin Gal- 
lery; The Interior of the National Gallery; The Pantry 
and The Interior, in the Rijks Museum, and an Inte- 
rior in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; while two no- 
table outdoor scenes are the National Gallery's A Dutch 
Courtyard and the Family Group of the Berlin Gallery. 
All these and others that might be cited belong to the 
period between 1655 and 1665. But the enthusiasm 
which these arouse is sadly d'lshed by many examples of 
his later manner, which are disconnected or restless in 
composition, hot in color rather than luminous, and 
heavy in the shadows, while others are marred by exces- 
sive hardness of surface and triteness of overwrought 
detail. The latest date that appears on any of his paint- 
ings is 1677, wherefore it is surmised that De Hooch's 
death occurred about this time. 

FRAt' VAN MIERIS THE ELDER 

Of the painters bearing the name Van Mieris the most 
considerable was Frans van Mieris, surnamed the Elder, 
to distinguish him from his grandson, Frans van Mieris 
the Younger. Between them came Willem van Mieris, 
and the merit of the three as artists corresponds with the 
order of their succession. 

The elder Frans, born at Leyden in 1635, became a 

pupil of Gerard Dou, though, like the latter, he had first 

been taught by a painter on glass. The earliest part of 

his career was still within the best period of Holland 

[122] 



DUTCH GENRE 

genre, but before he died in 1681 the dechne was come; 
and it was to this that his son and pupil, Willem, suc- 
ceeded. Willem's pictures are still clever but tricky, 
hard and glossy in texture, trivial and often silly in mo- 
tive. As for his son, Frans the Younger, he belongs to 
the decadence, and the Dutch consider his pictures of no 
merit. There was still another Mieris, Jan by name, the 
brother of Willem, who, however, lived mostly abroad 
and died at the age* of thirty in Rome. 

Frans the Elder was popular in his own day and con- 
tinued to be held in high esteem by collectors of the eigh- 
teenth century. He has been ranked with Metsu, but 
not with justice to the latter, for some of his work betrays 
that pettiness of motive and method which marked the 
decadence of genre and has been aptly called the "snuff- 
box" style. On the other hand, he had his moments of 
more genuine artistry, when he would paint a picture 
that even in comparison with Metsu is acceptable. These 
are chiefly to be found in the galleries of Munich, 
Vienna, and St. Petersburg. Among the Munich exam- 
ples is The Sick Woman; she seems to have sunk to the 
floor in a faint and is being tended by an old woman, 
while a doctor in the shaded background is holding up 
a bottle of cordial to the light and gazing at it— a figure 
very familiar in Dutch genre. Unfortunately the sub- 
ject suggests Jan Steen and the superior esprit with 
which he w^ould have treated it. The lady wears a red- 
dish jacket trimmed with white fur, and the same gar- 
ment reappears in The Oyster Breakfast. Here a girl 
is seated at a table liolding an oyster in one hand and a 
wine-glass in the other. The picture represents the finer 
[123] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

side of Van Mieris, though it is surpassed by another 
example in the Munich Gallery, The Girl Before a 
Mirror, which possesses the quality that has suggested 
the coupling of this artist's name with that of Metsu. 

In the Art-History Museum of Vienna is A Lady 
and Her Doctor, in which he stands feeling her pulse as 
she sits beside a bed. It is sentimentally imagined, but 
extremely clever in a superficial way, the fabrics being 
imitated with extraordinary skill. Far more satisfac- 
tory is Cavalier in a Shop. On the right of the fore- 
ground is a mass of sumptuously colored stuffs, but the 
man's costume and the jacket of the woman, who stands 
at a table offering something to his notice, are of black 
velvet. Beside her is a curtain of ashy purple, and the 
color of the background of the dim interior is a darkish 
olive, the whole forming a tonal scheme of subdued rich- 
ness. But the cavalier is chucking the woman under the 
chin, her coy smile responding to his smile of amorous 
complacency, while an old man out of the shadow of the 
ingle-nook watches them. It is this sort of thing, coupled 
with the skill in imitating textures, that especially com- 
mended this artist to the taste of the eighteenth century. 

The decline of genre reflects the changed conditions of 
Holland society. For the old ideal of liberty had given 
way to one of money and the power that comes in its 
train. Statesmen, soldiers, and patriots had been suc- 
ceeded by self-seeking politicians and ambitious trades- 
men, who disdained to be burghers and aspired to the 
luxury and ostentation of merchant princes. "Taste" 
now became the shibboleth, and it was a taste that aped 

cm] 




LADY AT THE CLAVICHORD 

DRESDEN GALLERY 



CASPAR NETSCHER 



DUTCH GENRE 

the standards and manners of the French, whose influ- 
ence became more and more powerful in Holland as the 
seventeenth century drew to a close. 

Gerard de Lairesse, a painter of Flemish extraction, 
who settled in Amsterdam in the sixties, helped to estab- 
lish the vogue of "taste." He had a considerable follow- 
ing of students and dilettanti to whom he expounded his 
views on art, assailing the vulgarity of such as Hals, and 
advocating the courtly style by which the theme is "en- 
nobled." He himself introduced the fashion for his- 
torical pictures, vapid and theatrical ; and these qualities, 
interpreted in a minute and precise style, found their 
way into genre. The Dutch interiors became trans- 
formed into palatial chambers, decked with columns, 
amid which the inmates strut and pose with affec- 
tation of superior elegance and refinement. Such are 
the genre pictures of Caspar Netscher. Now and then, 
as in A Lady at the Clavichord of the Dresden Gal- 
lery, his motive and execution remind us that he had the 
privilege of being a pupil of Terborch; but these mo- 
ments are rare. Usually his pictures are but petty and 
meretricious echoes of the great days of genre. Nor are 
his portraits less trivial. They are numerously repre- 
sented in the Rijks Museum and other galleries, sug- 
gesting the popularity that he enjoyed and also ex- 
plaining it; for, with few exceptions, they exhibit the 
shallowness and display of a society that, like the jack- 
daw in the fable, has borrowed the plumes and is aping 
the manners of the peacock. The same is true of the por- 
traits of Godfried Schalcken, who also indulged in 
genre that supplemented the poverty of the artistic mo- 
1:1253 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

live by the mild humor of its subjects. To these names 
of the decadence may be added that of Pieter Cornehsz 
van Slingeland. 

Before completing the story of Dutch genre with a sep- 
arate notice of Terborch, Jan Steen, and Vermeer, allu- 
sion must be made to the "society pictures." Their pro- 
totype appears in Flemish painting, in such canvases of 
fashionable life as we have already noted by Lucas van 
Valckenborch. The Dutch development of this motive, 
however, produced smaller canvases, very carefully com- 
posed, with superior quality of color and skilful render- 
ing of- detail. The leader in this class of picture was 
Dirck Hals (1591-1656) , who was a pupil of his brother 
Frans ; and it is the latter's corporation pictures that be- 
came the model for corresponding groups of "society 
people," banqueting, engaged in concerts, or disporting 
themselves in garden-parties. Dirck's pictures are bou- 
quets of gay color, animated with lively and character- 
istic action, and, notwithstanding their slightness of mo- 
tive and superficiality of technique, form attractive spots 
in the galleries of Europe. He, like the rest of the soci- 
ety painters, varied these subjects with others of an un- 
fashionable and sometimes coarse description, involving 
the amusements of the soldiery on furlough or in the in- 
tervals of peace. Willem Cornelisz Duyster, who died 
in 1635, painted creditably both these kinds of picture; 
and two other names, frequently met with in the galleries 
and not unacceptably, are Palamedesz (1601-1673) and 
Pieter Codde (1600-1678) 



i:i263 




THE DESPATCH 



CHAPTER VIII 

GERARD TERBORCH^ JAN VERMEER^ AND JAN STEEN 

TERBORCH is the aristocrat among Dutch 
painters, Rembrandt excepted. But Rem- 
brandt's is an aristocracy of genius, while Ter- 
borch's is an aristocracy of talent and temperament. He 
owed something of this to his father, who, besides being 
a painter, held an official post in his native town, Zwolle, 
where Gerard was born in 1617. The father had en- 
larged the horizon of his life, by travel and the study of 
foreign languages, and the son followed his example. 
He was already a good draftsman, when he moved to 
Haarlem to study with the landscape-painter, Pieter 
Moljrn. After three years spent in Haarlem, during 
which he experienced the influence of Frans Hals, he 
spent some time in England and later in Italy. Then 
followed some five years in Amsterda,m, where he prof- 
ited by the example of Rembrandt. In 1646 he went to 
Miinster, in Westphalia, being present there during the 
negotiations of the peace, mingling with the delegates 
and painting portraits, which he afterward embodied in 
the famous group-picture. The Peace of Miinster, now 
in the National Gallery, to which it was presented by 
the late Sir Richard Wallace. On the completion of this 
picture in 1648 he visited Spain and made the acquain- 
[1273 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

tance of Velasquez and his work. Returning to Hol- 
land, he spent four years in ZwoUe, and then, in 1654, 
the year in which he married Gertrude Matthyssen, set- 
tled in Deventer. Here he continued to reside until his 
death in 1681. 

All these details of his career are pertinent, for they 
point not only to the various influences, successively of 
Hals, Rembrandt, and Velasquez, under which he came, 
but also to the scarcely less important fact that he had 
mixed with a variety of men of parts and consequence 
and become acquainted with various kinds of civiliza- 
tions. His experiences enabled him to form a very dis- 
tinguished technique of his own, and at the same time 
cultivated in him an extraordinarily refined taste and a 
very high regard for the dignity of human nature. In 
technique, taste, and point of view he became essentially 
a true aristocrat. 

His portraits eminently epitomize these qualities. 
Usually very small in size, they suggest Velasquez in 
miniature; exhibiting the same discretion in avoiding 
unnecessary accessories, the same eloquent use of blacks 
and grays, occasionally relieved with old rose or blue, 
and, despite their minuteness, a corresponding breadth 
and distinction of fluency and simplicity. All these 
traits of technique are the expression of his attitude 
toward his subject, which is essentially one of respect 
for its humanity. This attitude is a rarer one in por- 
trait-painting than might be expected. Certainly in the 
Dutch School one is not impressed with its prevalence. 
There is characterization, good, bad, and indifferent, and 
the suggestion of the subject's position in his or her social 

[:i28:] 




OFFICER WRITING A LEITER 

DRESDEN GALLERY 



GERARD TERBORCH 



GERARD TERBORCH 

environment, but of the reverence for humanity as such, 
very Httle. Indeed, outside of the portraits by Rem- 
brandt, Terborch, and occasionally Maes, I question if 
you will often find it. 

A similar reverence for humanity and its environ- 
ment—the product, I take it, of the artist's high-bred 
respect for himself and his art — distinguishes also Ter- 
borch's genre pictures. He began by painting guard- 
room scenes and continued to be fond of subjects in 
which officers and. soldiers figured. Sometimes the cir- 
cumstances are equivocal, but their salience is not en- 
forced; indeed, as Bode points out, the models for the 
ladies appear to have been his sisters, while his brothers 
posed for the military. The scene and the occasion are 
but an excuse for a picture. In fact, the subject counts 
with him for very little ; it is the pretext that it offers for 
pictorial representation in which he is interested first 
and last. And to this he brings an extraordinary degree 
of refined sensibihty and of virile and at the same time 
exquisite realization. 

The virility appears in the drawing and construction 
of his figures, to which Fromentin has paid so high a trib- 
ute in his analysis of The Gallant Soldier, in the Louyre. 
And, as the French critic points out, in discussing the 
representation of the man's shoulder and arm, it is a 
virility tempered with extreme sensibility. It has noth- 
ing of the improvisation of Hals in the following of sur- 
faces, but rather Velasquez's mastery of plane-construc- 
tion ; only here, in the case of this small figure, it is not 
with the open palm but with most sensitive touch of 
finger-tips that we imagine ourselves discovering the 

[:i293 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

reality of the form. Or, again, examine the wonderful 
example of drawing in The Concert of the Berlin Gal- 
lery, where the foreground is occupied by a seated figure 
of a lady, whose back is toward us, as she plays the 
violoncello. Even more remarkable than the fine struc- 
tural reality of the figure is its play of expression, as it 
bends over the instrument and seems to be vibrating to 
the touch of the strings. Again, what extraordinary 
realization of action, at once broadly and subtly charac- 
terized, appears in the two figures of Officer Writing a 
Letter^ in the Dresden Gallery ; or, in the same museum, 
in the figures of the mistress and her maid in Lady 
Washing Her Hands; or in the action of the hands fol- 
lowed so absolutely by the gesture of the head in the Old 
Woman Peeling Apples of the Art-History Museum, 
Vienna! These are but examples, taken more or less 
at random, of Terborch's gift of drawing, which in its 
mingling of virility and exquisite sensibility is unsur- 
passed in Holland painting. 

Nor less admirable is the marvelous unity that he im- 
parts to the whole scene. Tonality has much to do with 
it, yet that is but a means. The cause is in himself, in 
the reverence that he has even for the accessories in his 
pictures; and the result is a harmony that is at once es- 
thetic and intellectual. Mind, as well as taste, has 
ordered everything. All the artists of Dutch genre had 
more or less the faculty of heightening the value of 
beauty in the accessjories they used; but none, not even 
Vermeer, to so extraordinary a pitch of artistic propri- 
ety as Terborch. 



GERARD TERBORCH 

His discretion in the selection is so choice, and his feel- 
ing for arrangement at once so big and simple and so 
concentrated, that the presence of his owti high-bred 
feeling pervades almost every interior he has painted 
and makes its privacy a thing of exquisite aloofness and, 
if I may say so, of consecrated self-possession. 

Equally distinguished is Terborch's use of color. His 
gamut of local hue is larger than Vermeer's, and his 
treatment of values scarcely less subtle ; while his feeling 
for color is, I believe, superior. He has the faculty of 
raising a local color to its highest power of esthetic sug- 
gestion; witness the lady's jacket in The Concert of the 
BerHn Gallery, a gallery, by the way, exceptionally rich 
in examples of this artist's work. To specify its color 
we may call it salmon, but this only vaguely suggests its 
place on the palette; the precise register of its hue and, 
still more, its quality are indescribable. Similarly evasive 
and yet profoundly suggestive is his treatment of blue, 
yellow, red, black, and the hues of gray from drab to 
pearly white. These are enveloped in tonality. For in 
this respect particularly Terborch differs from Vermeer. 
The latter in his most characteristic pictures shows him- 
self a student of daylight. But in Terborch's pictures, 
so far as I recall them, there appears no window ; the in- 
terior is dim, and the light has no pretensions to being 
natural. It is a studio invention, distributed or concen- 
trated to suit the imagined scheme of harmony. Ver- 
meer is, in the modern phrase, a plein-airist , while Ter- 
borch, true to the traditions of the Dutch School, is a 
tonalist. It is in the invention and realization of his 

irisi] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

tonal scheme that he is the superior of the other genre 
tonaMsts, and the reason in the final analysis is that to 
taste and technique he brought the refining discretion of 
a superior quality of mind. 



JOHANNES (jAN) VERMEER OF DELFT 

Johannes or Jan Vermeer^ who is also called Johannes 
van der Meer of Delft, was born at Delft in 1632. His 
life was spent continuously in this city until his death 
in 1675. There are records to show that he studied 
with one of Rembrandt's pupils, Carel Fabritius, and 
that he was not only a high official in the local Guild 
of St. Luke, but highly esteemed in his community. 
After his death, however, his very existence as a painter 
of the Dutch School was forgotten, and his pictures, 
very few of which bear signatures, were attributed to a 
Vermeer of Haarlem and to another painter of the same 
name in Utrecht, and to De Hooch and others. The 
reason for this seems to have been the unaccountable 
omission of the artist's name in Houbraken's book of 
Dutch painters. Anyhow, the silence of more than a 
century and a half was not broken, until the French con- 
noisseur Thore, who wrote under the nom de plume of 
*'W. Biirger," attracted by the beauty of some of the 
signed pictures, set on foot an investigation which re- 
sulted in the rehabilitation of Vermeer. Since then criti- 
cism has disproved some of Burger's ascriptions, but in- 
cluded other pictures, until now there are thirty assigned 
with certainty to Vermeer's brush. A few others, shown 
[1323 




5IRL AT THE WINDOW JOHANNES (JAN) VERMEER 

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK 



JAN VERMEER 

by the records to have existed, are as yet unidentified; 
but it is assumed that the total output of his twenty years 
of activity did not much exceed the number already dis- 
covered. It falls far short of the productivity of most of 
the Dutch painters— a fact which has been explained by 
the sci-upulous care with which Vermeer painted, and the 
degree of perfection to which he wrought each canvas. 

The appreciation of Vermeer's art has increased rap- 
idly during the last twenty-five years, until to-day he is 
generally ranked as the finest of the artists of genre, and, 
as a painter, without rival in the Dutch School, while 
some are disposed to consider him the most accomplished 
painter in the history of art. These extreme admirers 
are, as a rule, painters, who find in Vermeer's technique 
and point of view precisely what they value most highly 
in painting. For this artist is a modern among moderns. 
He is not so in the sense that Rembrandt's influence is 
now being felt. The latter is indirect in its suggestion of 
a conception of beauty other than the classical, and in its 
equally indirect suggestion of the expressional value of 
light and of the symbolic use of form and color. Rem- 
brandt's appeal is rather to the mind; Vermeer's to the 
eye. He saw the world as the modern painter sees it, 
enveloped in natural light, and rendered it, as the modern 
painter tries to render it, by a close discrimination of 
delicately different values. To produce a harmony he 
did not introduce an arbitrary tonality, but, following 
nature's plan, drew all the local colors into a balanced 
relation by the unifying effects of diffused light. In this 
respect Vermeer was unique in the Dutch School, and it 
is because the artist of to-day, if he is alive to the modern 
D333 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

spirit, works with the same motive and in the same way, 
that he prizes Vermeer so highly. If, as one enthusiast 
remarked to me, "the whole art of painting consists in 
the right relation of values, and there can be no doubt 
that it does, then Vermeer is the greatest painter that 
ever lived." 

The value of the criticism, of course, depends upon the 
acceptance of the major premise, respecting which this 
individual had no doubt. On the other hand, one may 
beg to doubt it, without depreciating Vermeer. For it 
comes dangerously near the position that the whole art 
of painting consists in its technique ; it is an echo, in fact, 
of that old shibboleth of our youth, "art for art's sake." 
It lays undue stress on the purely sensuous appeal of 
painting, upon the "mint and cummin," and neglects the 
"weightier matter" of possible appeal to the higher fac- 
ulties of the imagination. INIoreover, it overlooks the 
fact that the method which Vermeer brought to such 
perfection, and which because of its perfection is so 
justly admired, is essentially one for small canvases. 
And it was not until Vermeer settled down to these that 
he developed his characteristic style. 

The earliest of his dated pictures is The Proposal, in 
the Dresden Gallery, which belongs to the year 1656. 
The figures are of life size, and the treatment is propor- 
tionately broad, almost "rough" as Bode says, who adds: 
"It does not yet show us Vermeer in his developed indi- 
viduality." Yet some elements of the latter are already 
established : the superb plasticity in the modeling of the 
forms and the frank enjoyment in local colors, the lemon 
yellow of the girl's jacket forming a splendid spot 
[134] 




HEAD OF A GIRL 



JOHANNES (JAN) VERMEER 

HAGUE GALLERY 



JAN VERMEER 

against the equally brilliant scarlet of the young man's 
coat. Again, a minor point, an Oriental rug of crimson 
and yellow and blue design appears here as in later pic- 
tures, such as the Girl with Water-Jug of the Metro- 
politan Museum. But the Dresden masterpiece of the 
artist^ youth — he was only twenty-four — differs from 
his later work not only in the size of the figures and 
breadth of brush work, but also in the treatment of the 
chiaroscuro. The scene is not illumined with diffused 
light, but with a stroke of light which gives brilliance to 
the two principal figures and leaves the subordinate ones 
in shadow. It is an arrangement, suggestive of the ex- 
ample of Rembrandt, and hints at the fact that the pic- 
ture was produced while Vermeer was still close to the 
influence of his teacher. Car el Fabritius. 

Another early example, betraying the same influence, 
is Diana at Her Toilet of the Hague Gallery, which in 
the 1905 edition of the Catalogue is still assigned to Ver- 
meer of Utrecht, though later criticism accepts it as by 
the artist of Delft. Closely following in subject a Diana 
and Her Nymphs, painted by Jacob van Loo in 1648, 
which is now in the Berlin Gallery, this picture is in the 
freer, looser method of The Proposal, and even repeats 
the same colors of red and yellow, though subtilized here 
to a delicate rose and a kind of snuff color. The light is 
still partially distributed so as to dapple the figures, and 
these are painted with a flickering brushstroke that helps 
to increase the fluttering effect of the light. 

Two other examples have been acquired in recent 
years by the Hague Gallery : an allegorical picture. The 
New Testament, and Head of a Girl. In both are intro- 
1:1353 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

duced the cool blue and white that characterize many of 
Vermeer's later pictures. The subject of the former, 
which is owned by Dr. Bredius of The Hague, is curi- 
ously affected, representing a lady in blue and white silk 
costume, resting her foot on a globe, as she sits beside a 
table on which are a crucifix, chalice, and book. On the 
wall behind her hangs a large picture of Christ upon the 
cross, attended by JNIary and John ; and on the left of it 
is a superb tapestry of orange, blue, and mellow green, 
while a crystal ball is suspended from the ceiling. In 
contrast with the glowing warmth of the curtain and the 
shadowed warmth of the picture on the wall, the lady's 
figure presents a cool, white-lighted spot. The plastic 
feeling is strongly pronounced, the brushwork wonder- 
fully limpid and firm, and the tonality extraordinarily 
fine. For the picture is still a study of tone, in which it 
differs from the Head of a Girl. For the latter is repre- 
sented in a clearly diffused light, which is brightest 
around the head, and illumines in a subtle way the tender 
flesh-tints of the face, the bluish-white linen head-dress, 
and the bright full blue of a portion of the gown. The 
face wears a charming expression of concentration. This 
picture, indeed, very decidedly forecasts Vermeer's de- 
veloped individuality, yet Bode places it among his 
earlier pieces, about 1656. To this period also probably 
belongs the beautiful Sleeping Girl, recently acquired 
from the Rudolph Kann Collection by Mr. B. Altman. 

To a somewhat later date following close on 1656 
Bode assigns the View of Delft, one of the greatest trea- 
sures of the Hague Gallery. There is a record of its 
sale in 1696, together with two other landscapes, one of 
[:i363 



JAN VERMEER 

which has disappeared, while the other is in the Six Col- 
lection in Amsterdam. The Hague picture is an unusual 
example of the artist, not only because it is a landscape, 
but also because of the warm light that pervades it. From 
a triangle of rosy yellowish foreground one looks across 
the quiet sheet of grayish-blue water to the line of houses 
of reddish-drab and brown bricks, and red and blue and 
yellow roofs, above which shows a high expanse of sky. 
The coloring, which again, it is to be observed, includes 
red and yellow, is brilliantly variegated, yet held in con- 
trol by the stretches of sky and water. The ensemble is 
superbly artistic, while as a presentation of a late after- 
noon scene it could not be surpassed in naturalness. The 
picture, in fact, stands out among all the landscapes of 
the seventeenth century as being extraordinarily modern 
in feeling and manner, and its influence has been very 
great in the modern development of landscape-painting 
in Holland. 

Another picture of the period immediately following 
1656 is The Cook, in the Rijks Museum. She is stand- 
ing in front of a whitish wall, lighted from a window on 
the left, pouring milk into a red earthenware pitcher 
that stands upon the table. The latter hides the lower 
part of her figure, which is clad in a lemon-colored body, 
reddish-brown skirt, and deep-blue apron, while a white 
cap covers her head. Here in these details — cap against 
light wall, prominent note of blue, the three-quarter 
length of figure, the cool lighting from a window on the 
left, lastly, the plasticity of the form — we find the in- 
gredients of Vermeer's later manner; but as yet the 
brushwork has not the limpid exquisiteness, compressed 

cist;] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

yet fluent, of his full development. On the contrary, it 
is broad, inclined to roughness, loose and free, magnifi- 
cent in the gusto with which it has been applied, and 
vigorously stimulating in its appeal to sense imagina- 
tion. 

Also in the Rijks Museum is a picture which recalls 
the fact that De Hooch was a member of the Guild of 
St. Luke in Delft from 1655 to 1657, and that, while he 
benefited most by contact with Vermeer, the latter was 
also somewhat influenced by him. For in this picture. 
The Letter, Vermeer seems to have experimented, not 
over-successfully, with De Hooch's device of showing 
one room beyond another. For an anteroom opens into 
two others, side by side, in one of which on the black 
and white marble floor a lady is seated in an amber dress 
trimmed with ermine. She pauses in her playing of a 
lute to take a letter from a servant. The picture is ex- 
ceedingly choice in color and technique, but the compo- 
sition is a little awkward in its division into two parts — 
a device, by the way, that recalls De Hooch's The Visit, 
owned by Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer, the composition 
of which is open to a similar criticism. 

Again, in the Rijks Museum is Young Woman Read- 
ing a Letter. Here in the delicate modeling of the face 
one observes the exquisite gray tones that distinguish so 
many of the examples of Vermeer's fully developed 
style. Also notable is the arrangement of the composi- 
tion, the girl facing left, her feet hidden by a chair and 
table, the latter forming a dark spot so as to increase the 
luminosity on the figure and the wall. It is repeated 
very closely in The Lady with a Pearl Necklace of the 
Berlin Gallery, where chair and table occupy the same 
ClSS] 





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HE COOK JOHANNES (JAN) VEllMEER 

SIX COLLECTION NOW IN RIJKS MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM 



JAN VERMEER 

position, and the girl stands between them with her 
hands similarly raised, only as she holds the necklace she 
looks up, instead of down to the table as in the other pic- 
ture. She wears a canary-colored jacket edged with 
ermine, that appears again in Mrs. Collis P. Hunting- 
ton's Lady with Lute. In the Berlin picture it sounds a 
note of liveliness that is exquisitely sustained in the sil- 
very resonance of the lighted room; the effect of which is 
induced by the tones of olive in her skirt and the table- 
cloth, by a deep almost colorless blue drapery over the 
latter, and a shaft of dull yellow, formed by the velour 
of the window-curtain. The ensemble, in fact, is one of 
piquant decision and indescribable delicacy, illustrating 
Vermeer's faculty of sight imagination, so that he not 
only renders what he sees, but actually creates. 

Between INIr. J. Pierpont ^I organ's Lady Writing 
and The Lace-Maker of the Louvre there is a remark- 
able companionship of arrangement and feeling. In 
each case the figure is seated, bending over a table; the 
jacket is canary-colored, and blue is introduced in the 
table-cloth of the former picture and in a cushion in the 
other, while in both the sensitive expression of the head 
and hands is echoed in the delicate precision of the ob- 
jects on the table. In both cases the luminosity of the 
scene is enhanced by a shadowed mass on the left of the 
foreground. Mr. IMorgan's picture in loveliness of color, 
exquisiteness of handling, and inexpressibly subtle feel- 
ing rivals its sister piece of the Lou\Te. 

It is in this element of feeling alone that these two pic- 
tures possibly excel the Girl with Water-Jug of the 
^letropolitan Museum. For the latter's beauty of color, 
with its deep bell-like note of blue and the resonance of 

i:i39] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

blue, more or less faintly hovering over the cap and 
kerchief and permeating the atmosphere, is misur pass- 
able. Perfect also is the handling of this picture, both as 
to its suggestion of the plastic reality of everything rep- 
resented and its consummate delicacy of manipulation; 
while in one particular it surpasses both the others and is 
in Vermeer's finest possible manner. This is the extraor- 
dinary propriety with which each detail of the composi- 
tion is introduced. Everything has been selected and 
placed with the choicest discretion; nothing is confused 
or unexplained, everything is a triumph of incomparable 
simplicity and exquisite adjustment. Only, I repeat, in 
feeling ; in the expression of the head, arms, and hands is 
there lacking something of the exquisite finesse of the 
above two pictures and of certain other examples. 

Occasionally, as in The Coquette of the Brunswick 
Gallery, A Lady at a Spinet, in the National Gallery, 
and The Music Lesson, owned by Mr. Henry C. Frick, 
the figures display a consciousness of themselves or of 
the onlooker; their personality looks out from its own 
surroundings. On the other hand, it is rather a charac- 
teristic of Vermeer as of Terborch, that the people in his 
pictures seem immersed in themselves. The scene is 
wrapped in privacy, undisturbed by the suggestion of an 
outsider. But the most signal instance of a scene, 
actually arranged, and posed as if to be viewed by 
others, is the example of The Artist in His Studio, in 
the Czernin Gallery, Vienna. In color and mingled 
breadth and delicacy of treatment it is superb; but in 
place of the artist's usual sincerity of feeling, it is pos- 
sible to detect a suspicion of affectation. 
D40] 



I 




THE ARTIST IN HIS STUDIO JOHANNES (JAN) VERMEER 

CZERNIN GALLERY, VIENNA 



JAN STEEN 

A signal example of Vermeer's sincerity and, inas- 
much as it is a portrait, unique, hangs in the Museum of 
Fine Arts in Budapest. It is the Portrait of a Lady. 
She is heavy-featured and of homely type, rather resem- 
bling the woman in the Rijks INIuseum picture. The 
Cook. A white cap tightly grasps her head; a broad 
white collar, fastened with a tuft of gold braid, falls 
over her black dress, the cuffs of which are of white lawn. 
She folds her hands at the waist, one of them in a cream 
kid glove, trimmed with gold braid, the other suspending 
its fellow, while she holds a black fan. The face is re- 
lieved on one side by greenish-black transparent shadows 
and wears an expression of dull self-oblivion that is al- 
most poignant and gives to the portrait a grave dis- 
tinction. 

In conclusion, it is worthy of note that Vermeer's 
painting-career of scarcely more than twenty years 
passed from its experimental stage to a full develop- 
ment from which there was no decline. He did not 
toward the finish lapse from his finest ideals, like Maes 
and De Hooch, nor mingle pot-boilers with masterpieces 
in the manner of Jan Steen. He maintained consis- 
tently the artistic integrity of a scrupulously exacting 
conscience. 

JAN STEEN 

Jan Steen was the chameleon of Dutch painting. Be- 
sides genre he essayed portraiture and Biblical subjects; 
alternated between small and large canvases ; at one time 
suggests a recollection of some other artist, by turns Van 
Ostade, Terborch, ^laes, Metsu, Van Mieris, or even 

cm] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Vermeer; at other times is incomparably himself, and 
still again not infrequently falls below his own standard. 
He has left more examples than any other genre artist; 
for dozens mentioned in old catalogues have disappeared, 
yet still some five hundred survive. He is numerously 
represented in public and private collections, yet in so 
many styles and varieties of quality that his artistic per- 
sonality is apt to seem evasive, while the impression he 
arouses is by turns one of enthusiasm, indifference, and 
resentment. 

By degrees, however, his personality emerges, as one 
becomes conscious of a trait that is shared by all his pic- 
tures. It is their liveliness of characterization, exhibited 
not only in the individual figures, but also in the inven- 
tiveness of grouping and in the peculiar vivacity with 
which the spirit of the scene has been rendered. He is of 
all the genre artists the supreme delineator of Dutch life 
among the lower middle classes in the Leyden and Haar- 
lem of his day; depicting it, by turns, with something of 
the large-heartedness of a Shakspere, the wit and satire 
of a Moliere, and the coarseness of a Rabelais. But in 
every vein, whether of broad survey or trenchant scru- 
tiny, he is human ; for the most part genial in his outlook, 
and always fresh in observation. It is probably because 
of this that Waagen characterizes him as "next to Rem- 
brandt certainly the greatest genius among the painters 
of the Dutch School," an opinion which is shared by W. 
Biirger (Thore), while Dr. Bredius styles him "the 
greatest genre painter of the seventeenth century, one of 
the wittiest delineators of human folly, the character 
painter par excellence" 



JAN STEEN 

The standard, in fact, by which these and other ad- 
mirers test him, and which must be apphed by every one 
who would reach a just estimate of this many-sided ar- 
tist, is bigger than that of technique. Steen drew well, 
but could be slipshod and incorrect in drawing; exhib- 
ited an extraordinary gift of improvised and occasion- 
ally studied composition, yet could huddle his canvases 
with a superabundance of material ; in one picture would 
display a fine sense of color, to lose it in another; now 
would work with a juicy and limpid brushstroke, now in 
a thin method as dry as brick-dust, and could be indif- 
ferent to tonality, while at other times a tonalist of choice 
distinction. Therefore you cannot measure him as j^ou 
d'o a Terborch or a Vermeer, or, indeed, range him for 
comparison alongside of any of the other genre artists. 
With them, at their best, the pictorial representation is 
the chief concern, and they invite you to judge them by 
their technique. But it is otherwise with Steen. You 
cannot hold him to so narrow a test, any more than you 
can Shakspere. Both are technicians who at times throw 
technique to the winds. You may regret it or resent it ; 
but, to be just, must condone the fact in face of the 
bigness that looms behind. 

The jovial humanity of Steen and the joy that he took 
in humorous characterization were responsible for the de- 
ficiencies he often exhibited as a painter. He would fre- 
quently be more interested in the subject than in the 
technicalities of an artistic problem; which, as we have 
seen, is precisely the reverse of the attitude that most of 
the great genre painters came to adopt. They were con- 
cerned primarily with the making of a picture ; Steen was 

1:1433 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

quite frequently engrossed with the dehneation of a phase 
of life. He was so interested in the story-telling ele- 
ment of the subject that under some circumstances he 
permitted himself to supersede the pictorial quality of 
the presentation. This should be frankly recognized in 
approaching the studj^ of Jan Steen, otherwise by com- 
ing upon one or two of his inferior examples we may be 
led into a hasty depreciation of this great artist. 

He belonged to an old respected family of Leyden, 
where he was born about 1626, his father being a brewer 
in prosperous circumstances. The son's name is in- 
scribed in the records of the University of .Leyden, as 
having been one of its students in 1646; then we hear of 
him as a pupil of Nicolaes Knupfer, the painter of genre 
and of Biblical and mythological subjects. Afterward 
Steen studied with Jan van Goyen, whose daughter 
Margaret he married. He was one of the first members 
of the local Guild of St. Luke, estabhshed in 1648. From 
1649 to 1654 he lived at The Hague; then returned to 
Leyden for seven years, during which time he owned a 
brewery near Delft. From 1661 to 1669 he resided at 
Haarlem, but in the last year lost his wife and returned 
to Leyden, where he remained until his death in 1679. 
In 1672 he had obtained permission from the magistrate 
of Leyden to maintain a cafe at his house, and the fol- 
lowing year took a second wife, Maria van Egmont, the 
M'idow of a local bookseller. Houbraken states that they 
lived happily together, though their larder was often ill- 
stocked; but he is not so charitable toward Steen's con- 
nection ^\ath the liquor trade. This fact, coupled with 
the jovial character of the artist's pictures and enlivened 



JAN STEEN 

by hearsay information from a painter, Carel de Moor, 
led this story-monger into much tittle-tattle about the 
artist's reckless habits. To-day, by the best authorities, 
this view of Steen is discredited. It is, however, quite 
clear that he was often in desperate states ; for example, 
in the February after his first wife's death an apothe- 
cary seized his goods and sold his pictures to satisfy a 
debt of ten florins ! But the reason was not idleness, for 
he was the most prolific painter of his day; it is to be 
found in the miserable price for which he had to sell his 
work. No wonder he tried to eke out his finances by 
keeping a brewery, which, by the way, was a privilege 
specially granted at that time only to a few families of 
particular respectability. As to the cafe, since he had to 
turn to trade, he naturally adopted the one with which 
his family had been connected ; the disgrace, if there were 
any, not being his, but the public's, who paid him better 
for drinks than for his pictures. 

So far as the dates on his pictures show, his period of 
production lasted for twenty-five years, from 1653 to 
1678, so that his output averaged more than twenty pic- 
tures a year. Thebest period may probably be reckoned 
during the years from 1654 to 1669, which covered his 
second sojourn in Leyden and his visit to Haarlem. His 
family was growing up around him, and the children 
from year to year figure in his pictures, and his hand- 
some wife, INIargaret, appears as a center of kindliness 
and comfort, while his own person often adds the note 
of jolhty. To these pleasant times belong the incompa- 
rable "family scenes"— .4 Homely Scene, The Feast of 
St. Nicholas, and The Happy Family of the Rijks Mu- 
[145] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

seiim; The Christening Party of the Berlin Gallery; 
While the Old Ones Sing the Young Ones Pipe of the 
Hague Gallery; and the Cassel Gallery's Twelfth 
Night, where JNIargaret appears for the last time, since 
the picture was painted in the year of her death. 

These and other group-pictures, such as The Prince's 
Birthday of the Rijks INIuseum, are works of genius, 
unique in painting. For they are not constructed ac- 
cording to the methods of the schools, but are the prod- 
ucts of a natural gift of seeing and rendering naturally 
a glimpse of busy life. Yet with a tact that avoids con- 
fusion ; places ever5'"thing in its own plane of space with 
admirable precision and propriety ; leaves no intervals of 
uncertainty or obscurity; but secures to the whole an 
artistic reasonableness and completeness; and all this 
with an art that conceals art, and makes the scene appear 
to be one of complete naturalness. No other artist has 
ever reconciled nature and art quite so happily; and 
when one passes from the technical appreciation to a 
study of the varieties of character, depicted in the per- 
sonages of all ages from the baby to the grandparents, 
and notes the mingling of humor and tenderness in the 
sentiment and the embracing large-heartedness that has 
inspired the whole, it is to marvel at and rejoice in the 
uniqueness of Steen's genius. 

Then, by way of contrast, mark his treatment of a 
subject in which only a few persons figure. To myself 
his series of medical visits presents perhaps the most 
charming example of this concentrated phase of his art. 
Witness The Sick Lady of the Rijks Museum, where 
the young woman sits with her head supported by a pil- 
[1*6] 



JAN STEEN 

low, its whiteness against the pallor of her face, while the 
doctor stands counting her pulse. It is a masterpiece of 
tender characterization, for here the physician also is 
gentle and solicitous. However, he is not so in A Doctor 
Visiting a Sick Young Woman (No. 166) of the Hague 
Gallery. There he is boorish in appearance and sug- 
gests ignorance; in rough contrast to the pathetically 
fragile little lady, lying in bed and so ruefully gazing at 
the medicine-glass in the maid's hand. The picture is 
not dated, but I wonder if it was painted after the 
artist's rude experience with the apothecary who sold 
him up for ten florins ! Again, in The Doctor's Visit of 
the National Gallery, the man presents a different trait 
of behavior. It is not tenderness toward a delicate 
young thing as in the Amsterdam picture, but respectful 
solicitude toward an older woman, who, by the way, re- 
minds one of Steen's wife, Margaret. She is dressed in a 
jacket of old rose, edged with fur, and a silvery-blue 
skirt, while the doctor wears a suit of black with olive 
velvet sleeves. In the Amsterdam picture his black cos- 
tume is relieved by a silk cloak of ashy brown, while the 
young woman is in pearly-gray satin, trimmed with 
white fur, a peep of blue slipper appearing from beneath 
the skirt. In fact, the color of these pictures is exceed- 
ingly choice; differing from the richness and liveliness 
of the family groups; corresponding in its subtle deli- 
cacy to the delicate pointedness of the characterization 
that is not without a certain dry flavor of wit. 

It is between these two extremes of generous freedom 
and highly wrought restraint that the pendulum of 
Steen's art swings, with such wealth of variety that it is 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

impossible to specialize further. However, a word or 
two must be said in conclusion about his treatment of 
Biblical subjects, of which The Marriage at Cana and 
The Expulsion of Hagar, both in the Dresden Gallery, 
may be cited as typical examples. 

Steen's treatment of Biblical, as of occasional mjrtho- 
logical, subjects was purely in the vein of genre; not, 
however, with any resort to emotional or dramatic ap- 
peal, as in the case of Rembrandt. In translating the 
old scene into the vernacular of Dutch middle-class or 
low-class life, Steen preserves nothing of its religious 
significance, or even of its epic dignity. The theme with 
him becomes simply a vehicle for characterization and 
possible humor. Thus, in The Marriage at Cana, Christ 
is standing at the table in the act of blessing a Dutch 
wedding-party, but all this is in the background. The 
salient features of the scene are occurring in the fore- 
ground, where a fat cellarer hands a glass of wine to a 
fiddler, and a slattern woman leans against a cask, giv- 
ing a drink to a boy. In The Expulsion of Hagar, 
Sarah sits inside the door, "examining" the little Isaac's 
head; Hagar weeps as Abraham sadly dismisses her: 
while Ishmael strings his bow, two spaniels are catching 
fieas, and sheep, cows, and poultry are scattered through 
the yard. ^leanwhile, though the pictures make no ap- 
peal to the spiritual imagination, the sensuous imagina- 
tion may be stimulated by the choiceness of their charm 
of color. Perhaps, however, if one wishes to epitomize 
Steen's attitude toward the subjects he took from the 
Bible and the classics, one may best compare his render- 
ing of The Disciples at Emmaus (Rijks Museum) with 
[148] 



JAN STEEN 

Rembrandt's treatment of the same subject in the 
Louvre. Instead of Christ being the pathetic center of 
divine illumination, as in the latter picture, Steen has 
placed Him in the shadow of the background, leaving the 
room, while the disciples, attended by a. serving- woman, 
are gazing disconsolately at the table, which is garnished 
with— of all imaginably incongruous things— a lemon. 



1:149: 



CHAPTER IX 

BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

TO the Dutch method of treating Biblical subjects 
we have already alluded in the case of Rem- 
brandt and Jan Steen. It shows in common the 
motive of translating the story into the vernacular of 
Dutch life, accompanied on the part of Rembrandt with 
strong emotional and dramatic appeal, expressed by 
means of color and chiaroscuro. It was also Rem- 
brandt's practice to employ models selected from the 
Ghetto in Amsterdam. Among his followers was a 
group of men who emulated his treatment of Biblical 
subjects, while they also distinguished themselves in por- 
traiture. Hence the convenience of considering these 
two branches of Dutch painting in the same chapter. 
Moreover, the incongruity between the two is not so 
great as it may appear at first sight, since the Dutch 
perpetuated the Flemish tendency, which was also Ger- 
man, of not only personifying the sacred characters by 
personages of their own day, but of reproducing so 
faithfully their characterization that the heads were 
practically portraits. 

Among the pupils of Rembrandt who varied portrai- 
ture with pictures from the Bible story were, in order of 
their age, Govert Flinck, Ferdinand Bol, Carel Fabri- 
[150 3 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

tius, Gerbrandt van den Eeckhout, and Aert de Gelder ; 
while another, who is known solely as a portrait-painter, 
was Dirck Dircksz Santvoort. 



GO VERT FLINCK 

This artist (1615-1660) began by being so close an 
imitator of Rembrandt's method of chiaroscuro that 
many of his pictures used to be taken for his master's; 
later, however, when the fashion for Italian art was re- 
vived, he abandoned the chiaroscuro and devoted him- 
self to line and form. Indeed, he seems to have been an 
able opportunist; but to mistake him for Rembrandt 
suggests a shallow conception of the latter. Flinck's 
Biblical masterpiece is probably the Isaac Blessing 
Jacob, in the Rijks Museum. The patriarch's half- 
figure, as he sits propped up by pillows, is clad in a 
splendid crimson robe ; the gesture of the arms is full of 
dignity, and the head crowned with the 'majestic charac- 
ter of old age. And the aged face of Rebecca is rever- 
ently characteristic. The color throughout is rich, and 
the light and shadow are warm and luminous. It is an 
effective rendering of a grave incident, but the latter 
has been seen rather than felt, and certainly not with 
the depth and poignancy of feeling that Rembrandt 
would have suggested. Another fine example of 
Flinck's is in the Dresden GduYLerj— David Handing 
the Letter to Uriah. Crimson again appears in the 
king's robe, contrasted with which is a large mass of 
golden yellow with red border, formed by the cloak of 
1:1513 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

a secretary at his side, while Uriah's figure, kept in 
shadow, is clad in peacock blue and purplish brown. 
The whole forms a splendid scheme of color, and again 
the characterization is extremely interesting, especially 
that of the black-haired and -bearded king, who shows a 
certain mingling of hardness and nervousness in his face 
and demeanor. The treatment is seriously conceived, 
but with rather a faint grasp of the dramatic possibil- 
ities involved in the theme. 

In the Angel and the Shepherds of the Louvre there 
is still less feeling for the scene, except in so far as it 
offered an opportunity for chiaroscuro. Even the com- 
position is rather perfunctory, the shepherds being hud- 
dled on the right, balanced by a cow and sheep on the 
opposite side of the foreground, while the angel who 
brings the message of Christ's birth appears above in 
the center with cherubs. Nor is the chiaroscuro satis- 
factory, for while there are some nice passages of color 
in the lighted parts, the shadows are without quality and 
seem used only as foils to the light, and not as having 
individual value. More successful in its recollection of 
the Rembrandt manner, and altogether a picture of 
considerable charm, is the classical subject, Diana and 
Endymion, in the Liechtenstein Gallery, Vienna. 

In the Dresden Gallery are two of the old-men studies 
that this artist frequently painted, while a more impor- 
tant example of his fondness for representing old age is 
shown in the Art-History Museum, Vienna. This 
Gray-Bearded Old Man suggests, like the others, the 
influence of Rembrandt, but superficially. It has the 
venerableness of old age, but not the power of expres- 



Jl 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

sion that makes Rembrandt's treatment of this subject 
so spiritually compelling. 

The Louvre has a charming Portrait of a Little Girl, 
in an olive-green dress, holding a spade. In arrange- 
ment of costume and choice of color it is quite Rem- 
brandtesque. Again, in the Berlin Gallery is a very 
pleasing Portrait of a Young Woman. But it is in the 
Rijks Museum that the portraiture of Flinck can best 
be studied, both in corporation pictures and single fig- 
ures. They vary in quality from the quite impressive 
bust portrait (No. 931) of 31. Johannes Wittenhogaert 
( ?) , with its mellow flesh tints and strong suggestion of 
character, to the showy but perfunctory Fete of the Civil 
Guard, Miinster, 16 AS. In this there is no charm of flesh 
and little of fabrics. The whole is pompously theatrical, 
done apparently for "business," with no eye to anything 
but satisfying the vanity of the subjects. 



FERDINAND BOL 

Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680) in the beginning of his 
career reproduced the manner of Rembrandt. His col- 
oring was mellow and enriched by chiaroscuro. Later, 
about 1650, the chiaroscuro became less pronounced and 
the color insipid. While he is esteemed chiefly for his 
portraits, he also treated Biblical subjects, as may be 
seen by three examples in the Dresden Gallery and two 
in the Rijks Museum. The most pleasing of the Dres- 
den pictures is Jacob Presented to Pharaoh by Joseph. 
There is a very characteristic look of scrutiny in Pha- 



THE STORY. OF DUTCH PAINTING 

raoh's face, while his jewel-bespangled cloak, with its 
broad border of white and black fur, affords a fine mass 
of scintillating color, juxtaposed to the rich creamy cos- 
timie of Joseph and the crimson of the old man's. The 
picture, indeed, presents a very handsome color-scheme, 
though one may discover a certain stiffness and theatri- 
cality in the gesture of Joseph's hands. The accom- 
panying picture. Rest of the Holy Family during Its 
Flight into Egypt, is over six feet high and suggests a 
canvas too large for the material introduced, so that one 
third of it is filled up with supernumerary articles, such 
as a saddle and a basket of tools. One suspects that the 
picture may have been intended as a decoration for some 
wall-space, as the very large example in the Rijks ]Mu- 
seum certainly was. For this, Abraham Receiving the 
Angels was one of five panels painted for a room in a 
house at Utrecht, the other four being now in the abbey 
of ]Middelburg in Zeeland. A mild reflection of Italian 
Renaissance feeling is suggested hy the comme il faut 
disposition of the angels' draperies, but their coloring of 
golden amber is finely Rembrandtesque; so, too, the 
glow of the yello^^ing beech-tree that spires up into the 
top of the composition, and the plum-gray velvet of 
Abraham's robe. The picture, in fact, while shallow in 
its treatment of the incident, is finely decorative. On 
the other hand, the Salome Dancing before Herod, a 
work apparently of Bol's later period, is an absurdly 
bad picture, bright and flimsy in color and entirely 
trifling as a study of form. 

Of Bol's capacity in portrait-painting a good exam- 
ple is Portrait of a Mathematician, in the LomTc. He 
is shown resting one arm on a balustrade, the body, in 
[154] 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

black with a white collar, being in profile, while the 
gray-haired head, covered with a black cap, is facing 
round to the spectator, as he points with a ruler to a 
geometrical figure on a blackboard. It is a piece of 
honest characterization, blending vivacity and dignity. 
In quite a different vein is his portrait of a girl in profile 
in the Liechtenstein Gallery. She has soft pale blond 
hair, and the figure is enveloped in that yellow tonality 
which marks Bol's transition from the Rembrandtesque 
manner to his later one. The girl with her protruding 
forehead bears a striking resemblance to a girl, painted 
by Rembrandt, in Room VI of the same gallery, and a 
comparison of the two pictures offers an interesting 
commentary upon the essential difference between the 
master and one of his most successful pupils. 

Among five portraits by Bol in the Munich Pinako- 
thek No. 338 may be specified as particularly handsome. 
It is that of a man with dark-brown hair and a mustache 
and imperial of lighter hue, possibly Govert Flinck. 
He wears a black cap and cloak and leans his arm upon 
a table. The following number in the catalogue is al- 
lotted to a portrait of this man's wife. She is shown as 
far as the waist, where her hands are folded, the body 
full front, the head a little to the left. The face is beau- 
tifully modeled in clear flesh-tones, surrounded by 
golden-brown hair in ringlets. Beneath her white stom- 
acher is a dull-red gown with olive sleeves. Thus the 
color-scheme is Rembrandtesque, with an envelop of 
warm amber atmosphere, while the serious sympathy 
with which the characterization has been rendered would 
not be unworthy of Bol's great master. 

Unfortunately, Bol by no means maintamed this high 
[155] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

standard, as maj'^ be seen among the numerous examples 
of his portraits in the Rijks ^Museum. They mostly be- 
long to his later period. The best is the earliest one, 
painted in 1657, representing the Sice Governors of the 
Huiszittenhuis, seated round a table in black clothes and 
steeple hats. The heads are well characterized and the 
flesh- tones luminous; but an air of attitudinizing per- 
vades the assemblage, which has rather the prim, set 
manner of a photographic group. And much the same 
feehng is aroused by the Four Governors of the Leper 
House, which is considered in Holland his masterpiece. 
In fact, it is not in the formal arrangement of a corpora- 
tion picture, but in a single figure, that Bol is seen to 
best advantage. Yet some of the examples of these in 
the Rijks Museum, such as the Roelof Meiilenaar and 
Maria Rey, are commonplace parodies of Rembrandt's 
manner, while that of the sculptor Artus QueUinus is a 
parody of Van Dyck's elegance. Bol, in fact, was an 
able assimilator of his master, Rembrandt, and as long 
as he retained the enthusiasm of his youth, painted cred- 
itable and often excellent portraits. Later, however, he 
drifted into the swim of social decadence, and his work is 
characterized by affectation, vapidity, and perfunctori- 
ness. 



CAREL FABRITIUS 

Fabritius (about 1620-1654), after studying wath 
Rembrandt, resided in Delft, where he became, it will 
be recalled, the teacher of Jan Vermeer. His life was 
prematurety cut short by the explosion of a powder- 
[156] 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

magazine, while he was in the act of painting the por- 
trait of Simon Decker, sacristan of the old church at 
Delft. In consequence, the number of his pictures is 
small, and some of those which appear under his name 
in the catalogues are of disputed attribution. He must 
have had a precocious talent, for the Portrait of Abra- 
ham de Notte, in the Rijks INIuseum, is dated 1640, when 
the artist was scarcely twenty. It is a bust portrait 
in which the black-haired head, set against a light 
background, is well enveloped in atmosphere, while the 
features are fluently modeled in warm, luminous tones. 
It proves him to have been an exceptionally apt pupil 
of the master, and helps to justify the attribution to him 
of the other picture in the Rijks Museum, The Decapi- 
tation of St. John the Baptist, a powerful and attractive 
work. A golden luminosity, rich in quality, pervades 
the whole canvas. The characterization of the figures 
is striking. The executioner, a sturdy, brutal figure, 
with a rubicund, swollen face, showing above his white 
shirt, holds the head upon a salver, with the absolute un- 
concern of a butcher serving meat. A corresponding 
lack of emotion is apparent in the two female figures, 
daintily dressed and of girlish refinement, Salome's eyes 
gazing into vacancy with a wistful expression, while 
Herodias, looking but little older, gazes at the head with 
a slight air of curiosity. The conception of these women 
is early Italian rather than what one would associate 
with Dutch of the seventeenth century, and recalls the 
expression of INIantegna's Judith rvith the Head of Ho- 
lof ernes. They suggest a sexless abstraction, moved by 
no active impulse, yet hauntingly fascinating in its 
D573 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

young passionlessness. In the Berlin Gallery a Study 
of a Man Praying is attributed to Fabritius, while in the 
]Munich Pinakothek are two portraits of young men 
associated with his name. The bust portrait, No. 344, 
is definitely assigned to him, while the half-length, No. 
345, once attributed to him, is now^ assigned to Rem- 
brandt. It represents a young man with long hair parted 
in the center, who, holding a sheaf of paper and a pen, 
seems to have paused in his WTiting and is looking up 
and out of the picture M'ith an expression of rapt medita- 
tion. In its different way it is akin to the expression of 
the Salome in the other picture. That so gravely fine a 
picture should have passed for a Fabritius suggests the 
character of the estimation which hangs about the mem- 
ory of this artist, who did not live to fulfil the promise 
of his youth. ^loreover, what is known and what is con- 
jectured about him suggests the value of his influence 
upon Jan Vermeer, whose own tendency to give his fig- 
ures a concentrated absorption may possibly be traced 
to this source. 

GEEBRANDT VAN DEN EECKHOUT 

Eeckhout (1621-1674), the son of an Amsterdam 
goldsmith, was the first pupil to enter Rembrandt's 
studio and one of his closest imitators. For example, in 
The Woman Taken in Adultery of the Rijks Museum, 
the face of the lonely figure of Christ is the center of 
light amid the coruscation of rich coloring formed by 
the costumes of the scribes and Pharisees, while a quieter 
note of dignity appears in the fine green and plum 
[158;] 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

draperies of the kneeling woman. The color is sonorous, 
yet its echo does not penetrate to the depths of the sur- 
roundings, the shadows of which are inclined to be 
opaque and unexplorable. Better in this respect, that 
its shadows are more luminous, is the Christ tvith the 
Doctors of the ]Munich Pinakothek. Here the strongest 
light centers on the head of an old rabbi, so as to bring 
out the color of his turban and beard while leaving his 
face in shadow; a device whicli makes the little face of 
the Child Christ, though it is clearly illuminated, seem 
by comparison pathetically insignificant. Meanwhile 
the light touches here and there the other figures in the 
group and penetrates their environment of shadow. It 
is worth while to compare this picture with the series of 
Biblical subjects by Rembrandt in the same museum, 
particularly the Adoration of the Shepherds. In the 
Berlin Gallery Eeckhout is represented by Raising of 
Jairus's Daughter and a Presentation of Christ in the 
Temple. These pictures, particularly the latter, are 
wonderfully reminiscent of Rembrandt, finely composed 
in masses of light and shade and sumptuous in color. In 
a third example, Mercury and Argus, Eeckhout has 
treated this mythological subject with some charm. The 
young nude figure of Mercury, with a blue drapery over 
his knees, as he sits playing his pipe, is a charming white 
spot against the warm ruddiness of the rocky landscape, 
where beside a white and red cow the brown nude form 
of Argus is stretched, as if in sleep. Farther back in 
shadow are the sheep and goats. The feeling of the pic- 
ture is pleasant ; but its suggestion is inclined to be rather 
superficial. 

1:1593 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Of this artist's portraits there is an example in the 
Brunswick Gallery and one excellent specimen in the 
National Gallery. This is The Wine Contract, in 
which the four governors of the Wine Guild of Amster- 
dam, dressed in black, are seated at a table, examining 
a contract. 



AEKT DE GELDER 

De Gelder was a pupil of Rembrandt's old age. He 
himself was not born until 1645, and, it is supposed, was 
little over fifteen when, after studying with Hoogstraten 
in their native city, Dordrecht, he went to Amsterdam. 
Then he returned to Dordrecht and resided there until 
his death in 1727. He is thus one of the latest of the 
artists of the period we are considering. An early work, 
dated 1671, directly inspired by Rembrandt, is in the 
Dresden Gallery. The Presentation of Christ in the 
Temple is a reproduction in color of Rembrandt's well- 
known etching of this subject, worked out in red and 
brown and olive green, enveloped in a dull, warm glow, 
which, however, has more of mannerism than of sugges- 
tion to the imagination. The accompanying example in 
this gallery. An Important Document, shows a man and 
woman seated at a table, covered with a red cloth, exam- 
ining a paper. The coloring is warm, the hands and 
faces, however, inclining to an unpleasant brickiness of 
red, while the whole aspect of the scene is lifelike but 
uninspired. The Dresden Gallery also owns the Por- 
trait of a Halberdier J a well-painted and fairly interest- 
ing study of a stout man, with rosy, glowing face be- 
D60] 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

neath a fur-brimnied hat, whose uniform is of various 
tones of ohve green. 

De Gelder is also represented by three portraits in the 
Rijks ISIuseum and by a Bibhcal subject, Judah and 
Thamar, in the Hague Gallery, but the best example of 
the latter kind is in the Museum of Art at Budapest. 
This Esther and Mordecai, dated 1685, shows the queen, 
seated at a table before an open book, resplendent in a 
brocaded and jeweled cloak and a tagged and tufted 
dress, listening while JNIordecai, bending forward with 
humble admiration, addresses her. The coloring is rich 
and mellow, and the delineation of character, especially 
in the case of Mordecai, has considerable suggestion of 
the spirit of the story. 



DmCK DIRCKSZ SANTVOOET 

If it is a fact, as generally supposed, that Santvoort 
(1610-1680) was one of Rembrandt's pupils, he did not 
follow the master's use of chiaroscuro, but rather the 
example of his elaborately detailed portraits. In Sant- 
voort's owTi case, as he may be studied in the Rijks IVIu- 
seum, this led at first' to hardness of modehng, as may be 
seen in the portrait group of the Dirck Bas Jacohsz 
Family, dated 1634, where the stiffness of the composi- 
tion is increased by the gaze of every face being focused 
to one point. Still hard, but full of character, is a later 
portrait, dated 1638, of Four Ladies of the Spinhuis. 
The latter was the house of correction, and these guar- 
dians and matrons look competent to rule it firmly. 

cm 3 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

More theatrical in arrangement, with hands pointing 
this way and' that, is the Four Governors of the Serge 
Hall (1643). Meanwhile, three years earlier, Sant- 
voort painted the single portrait of Frederick Dircksz 
Alervyn, which again is harsh in texture and bronze-like 
in color. On the other hand, the portrait of this man's 
-v^dfe, Agatha Geelvinch, has a distinct charm. The light 
falls upon her forehead and soft hair, which is frizzed 
out with little curls, while the features are modeled with 
a dainty discretion that recalls a Florentine primitive. 
Then follow two portraits of children, respectively ten 
and nine years old, Martinus and Clara Alewyn. They 
are represented as a shepherd and shepherdess, the for- 
mer in a rose tunic, with a scarf of goldish sheen, quite 
Rembrandtesque in quality, the latter in a satin dress of 
the hue of strawberries and cream. She carries a bow 
and arrow, and is accompanied b}^ lambs, while the boy 
is attended by a black greyhound. The hands and faces 
are well modeled and have expression, while the painting 
throughout is fluent and limpid. The pictures are in- 
clined to sentimentality, which, however, is more easily 
excused because of the youngness of the children and the 
painter-like quahty of the technique. 



BARTHOLOMEUS VAX DER HELST 

From the above followers of Rembrandt, who reflect the 
manner but so little of the greatness of the master, it is 
a relief to turn to a portrait-painter who, while he owed 
something to Rembrandt in the way of chiaroscuro, was 

[162] 




PORTRAIT OF PAUL POTTER BARTHOLOMEUS VAX DER HELST 

HAGUE MUSEUM 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

an independent personality and one of force. It is Bar- 
tholomeus van der Heist, born in Haarlem in 1613, whose 
life, however, was spent in Amsterdam, where he died in 
1670. It is in the Rijks INIuseum that he is most bril- 
liantly represented, though his single portraits stud the 
galleries of Europe. Their usual feature is direct and 
vivid characterization, conveyed without much persua- 
siveness of manner, but singularly sincere. One exam- 
ple, however, the Portrait of Paul Potter^ is an excep- 
tion, being both in technique and feeling one of the most 
persuasive portraits to be met with. It has in it also a 
suggestion of the feeling for decorative arrangement, 
which was elaborated on so simiptuous a scale in the cor- 
poration pictures of the Rijks Museum. 

In the chapter on Hals I alluded to Van der Heist as 
his inferior in composition and characterization. And 
the judgment stands, especially when you find yourself 
at Haarlem in the presence of the superb facility and 
quality of Hals's genius. None the less, when you face 
the prodigious output of Van der Heist's talent in the 
Rijks Museum, you realize that, while he was less effi- 
cient as a painter, less gifted with the ease, as it were, of 
improvisation, in his compositions, he had yet an exuber- 
ance of invention and a gusto for characteristic general- 
ization, so amazing that from a distance one may be 
disposed to question if Hals, after all, w^as so much 
greater. At his best he undoubtedly was, having the 
artist's fine gift of heightening the significance of what 
he handled, and even in his less memorable work exhibit- 
ing more or less of that magical manipulation which is 
itself an inspiration. Beside him Van der Heist is less 
[1633 



11 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

the artist than a mighty craftsman, and, when one grows 
enthusiastic over him, it is not because he has heightened 
the appeal of his material, but because he realizes so won- 
derfully the prodigal physical exuberance of his day. 
This reaches its culmination in his masterpiece, The 
Banquet of the Civic Guard (No. 1135). Grouped 
around the standard-bearer, who is in black velvet with 
a sash of the same blue silk as the flag, are some two 
dozen figures, arranged in natural positions, with easy 
gestures and heads and hands individually characterized. 
In these particulars and the treatment of the fabrics 
there is more than mere craftsmanship. The latter has 
been regulated by a superior order of intellect. 

It is here that one seems to discover the essential dif- 
ference between Van der Heist and Hals. The former 
is intellectually the bigger man, while Hals's distinction 
is a superiority of feehng. His work, therefore, has the 
sensuous charm in which the other's is deficient. When 
in the light of this you reexamine Van der Heist's mas- 
terpiece, it is to discover that what is lacking in it is the 
esthetic quality. The composition is not pervaded with 
atmosphere, in the various planes of which the figures 
might take on differences of subtle value; and, while 
there is an arrangement of light and shade, it is used 
only to assist -the modeling of the figures, and with no 
feeling for heightening the beauty of the color-scheme 
by the luminosity of the hues. The result is that the 
scene, for all its assertion of vital force, is lacking in 
vivacity. The same test, applied to the other corpora- 
tion pictures and single portraits by this artist in the 
Kijks Museum, corroborates the conviction that, apart 
[;i64] 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

from Rembrandt, Van der Heist was the biggest intel- 
lectual force among the portrait-painters of Holland, 
but that he lacked the esthetic feeling and accordingly 
the quality of technique which alone make him inferior 
to Hals. 



THOMAS DE KEYSER 

Son of an architect and sculptor, Thomas de Keyser was 
born in Amsterdam, 1596 or 1597, and died there in 
1667. His career is divided by a date about 1628. Be- 
fore this his portraits are similar in character to those of 
Nicolaes Elias, with which they have been confused. 
The figures have a hardness and some stiffness, but un- 
mistakable carrying power; the flesh is leathery, dull in 
color, and expressionless, and the composition either for- 
mally arranged in rows, or artlessly strung out in sepa- 
rate items. Thus his earlier portraits present a curious 
mingling of power and naivete. They are representa- 
tive of real people, but are not yet conceived with an 
artist's eye. Then by .1628 a. change begins to appear 
in De Keyser's work, as it also did a few yea^-s later in 
that of Elias. Atmosphere creeps into his pictures; the 
flesh becomes more luminous, the composition at once 
more varied and more unified, and the figures, mthout 
losing their character, acquire amenity and dignity. It 
is said that De Keyser's work influenced the young 
Rembrandt when he first settled in Amsterdam, and it 
would seem as if also the older man gradually gained 
something from the younger. 

In the Rijks Museum an example of De Keyser's 
[165;] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

early style is The Company of Captain Cloeck (No. 
1300) . It is true it is dated 1632 ; but it still exhibits the 
hard-fleshed, vacantly staring faces, the figures in un- 
imaginative poses and in no atmospheric envelop, and 
spiritless treatment of the fabrics. But compare The 
Family Meeheech Cruywaghen (No. 1349). Here the 
group is held together by a pleasing background of trees 
and house, bathed in a yellow glow. It is the homestead, 
and the comfort of it is reflected in the charming spon- 
taneousness of feeling in the figures— father, mother, 
and grandmother, and six happy children. Each is de- 
lightfully individualized, and the expression of the 
whole picture is one of dignity and sweetness. Or for 
dignity, again, of a very refined order, take the eques- 
trian Portrait of Pieter Schout (No. 1650). There is 
here a fine feeling for color, the black horse and its 
rider's black hat and yellow coat showing grandly 
against the drab gray of the lofty sky, below which are 
sand-dunes with light-green verdure. The picture, 
though scarcely three feet high, has a sense of space and 
the bigness of a large canvas. 

The startling difference between De Keyser's two 
styles is well exemplified in the Berlin Gallery, where 
you can compare the hard spread-out arrangement in 
black dresses of An Old Lady and Her Three Daugh- 
ters with the genial dignity oi An Old Man and His 
Two Son^. An exceedingly interesting Portrait of a 
Woman hangs in the Museum of Art in Budapest. 
About fifty years old, she is seated in an arm-chair al- 
most facing us ; in a handsome black silk dress, trimmed 
with brown fur, with a wide starched ruff and a lawn cap 
[;i663 



(I 



BIBLICAL SUBJECTS AND PORTRAITURE 

with wings over the ears. Her honest face is modeled 
in firm planes, and is ruddy with health. This painter- 
like and admirably himian portrait is dated in the year 
that has been adopted as separating the artist's two 
periods: namely, 1628. 

Among the portrait-painters whose work exhibits the 
characteristic qualities of Dutch seventeenth-century 
art are INIichiel Jansz van INIierevelt (1567-1641) and 
Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn, both of whom lived at 
The Hague, where they are well represented in the Mau- 
ritshuis; Salomon de Bray (1597-1664), who lived in 
Haarlem, where he can be seen to. best advantage, and 
Paulus Moreelse (1571-1638), who was born and lived 
the greater part of his hfe in Utrecht. To the average 
student of painting the last named is probably the most 
interesting. The others are highly esteemed in Hol- 
land, though it is pointed out that in the latter part of 
their lives quality gave way to quantity. Indeed, they 
were so prolific that one tires of trying to pick good 
examples out of the mass of mediocrity. In the case of 
Moreelse, however, it is different. His works, less nu- 
merous, have a choiceness of feeling and execution, his 
portraits of women and children being especially gra- 
cious in conception and treatment. Witness, for ex- 
ample, in the Rijks jNIuseimi the Maria van Utrecht and 
the portrait of a child of some seven years. The Little 
Princess. In place of breadth and freedom, these pic- 
tures are precise and meticulous in brushwork, the de- 
tails of the costumes elaborately reproduced, the faces 
softly modeled with faint greenish-gray shadows. Yet 
Ll67n 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

they have character and suggest reality and possess an 
undeniable charm. Somewhat broader in method is his 
Portrait of a Young Lady, in the Budapest Museum. 
Seen to the waist, she is in black velvet, with cuffs and a 
deep collar of exquisite point-lace. Her pleasantly 
thoughtful face is painted with a somewhat dull and 
heavy brush, yet the expression is that of life, and its 
charm is increased by the soft hair being worn in large 
rolls over the ears and confined in a cap, of which only 
the dainty edges of lace appear. It is a portrait of sin- 
gularly choice refinement. 

To the occasional portraiture of the genre artists 
Maes, Terborch, and Netscher we have alluded in an- 
other chapter. 



Hies] 



CHAPTER X 

LANDSCAPE 

IN the Berlin Gallery are two small examples of 
Holland Landscape with the Hamlet of Rhenen. 
They are by Hercules Seghers, whom Bode points 
to as the father of seventeenth-century Dutch landscape. 
Similar in general design, they are distinguished by a 
fine sweep of almost clear sky, swimming with vapor, 
from which a level country, dotted with the roofs and 
church towers of a hamlet and threaded by a stream, 
stretches in pale-yellow tones, broken up with brownish 
shadows, to the foreground. The identification of the 
scene and the assignment of these pictures to Seghers 
have been made possible by comparison with some etch- 
ings of the same artist that modern Dutch research has 
discovered. By the same means other pictures, including 
a Landscape in the Ufiizi Gallery, Florence, which used 
to be attributed to Rembrandt, have been restored to 
Seghers. This one again shows a plain, intersected by 
a stream, but bounded on the right by the abrupt shoul- 
der of a mountain, whose top is merged in dark cloud, 
while the rest of the sky is an open expanse of whitish 
light. In the contrast of this with the dark tones of the 
ground, weirdly interspersed' with fitful gleams, there is 
an extraordinary impressiveness. It is no wonder that 
it was mistaken for a Rembrandt; and the interest in 
" [169] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Seghers deepens when it is ascertained that Kembrandt 
himself was strongly influenced during his earlier years 
in Amsterdam by the older artist. This has been proved 
by a comparison of certain of the etchings of the two 
men. 

Hercules Seghers, in fact, seems to have been in his 
o^n day very much what jNIichel was to the modern re- 
vival of landscape-painting in France. He was a fore- 
runner of the later movement, but unrecognized by the 
world, while almost the only records that exist of him 
are documentary evidences of debts. He was born in 
1590, probably in Haarlem; worked in Haarlem, 
Utrecht, and The Hague, but chiefly in Amsterdam, 
where he died about 1640. 

In the few examples of his work that still survive, we 
can trace the twofold tendency of Dutch landscape: in 
one direction its note of simple truthfulness to the facts 
of nature, and in the other the tincture of these facts with 
a romantic spirit. And, in addition to thus setting the 
motive, Seghers proclaimed the Dutch artist's fondness 
for effects of sky, for tonalities of grays and browns, 
sparingly enlivened with greens. 

For the Dutch landscapists were tonalists. With the 
single exception of Jan Vermeer, who approximated the 
'plein-air of modern art, they transposed the hues of 
nature into a scheme of color which is none the less arbi- 
trary and unnatural, although it preserves the values of 
nature's coloring. In comparison ^^dth the naturalistic 
achievements of the modern artist, who studies nature in 
her own environment of light and renders her hues as 
actual light affects them, the Dutch artist was a com- 

1:1703 



LANDSCAPE 

poser on the theme of nature, but not a naturalist. The 
same, however, in only a less degree, is true of the Barbi- 
zon artists. They, too, were composers of schemes of 
tonality, so that, students of nature though they were, 
their landscapes will not compare in naturalness of sug- 
gestion with the work of many a modern man who will 
probably never enjoy their fame. Let me add that I 
do not mean to imply by this the essential superiority of 
the modern landscape-painter. That is another ques- 
tion, and only to be decided by each person for himself, 
according as he selects or does not select naturalistic 
representation as the standard of his taste. To one who 
does not the tonal transposition may seem preferable. 
Both methods, indeed, have their warrant in art. 

But I press the distinction because, unless it is recog- 
nized, Dutch landscape-painting cannot be properly ap- 
preciated. If people approach it, and it is my experience 
that many do, with modern plein-air achievements in 
their eye and basing their judgment upon them, they can 
only suffer disappointment. The Dutch paintings will 
seem "old-fashioned," false to nature, and uninspired. 
On the other hand, once the necessary attitude is as- 
sumed of accepting this transposition of color and light 
phenomena of nature into an equivalent of tonal values, 
proper appreciation is possible. Then one begins to 
study the examples partly for the quality of their 
tonality, partly for the degree in which they embody the 
character and spirit of the landscape, and partly, and 
probably chiefly, for the quality of the artist's person- 
ality infused into them. ^-. 

cm] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 



EEMBRANDT 

Rembrandt was a master of both landscape motives, 
able alike to record with truthfulness the physical aspects 
of a scene or to infuse it with romantic suggestion ; and 
nowhere more remarkably than in his etchings. In 
these, with a few lines that summarize the salient features 
of the scene, or with tonal effects of light and shade that 
elaborate and em-ich the facts, he executed plates of 
pure landscape or of landscape as a setting for the 
figures. Among his paintings the examples of pure 
landscape are rare. The beautiful Tohit and the Angel 
of the National Gallery may be considered one, as the 
figures are insignificant, and another, which, however, is 
a sea-piece, is in the Liechtenstein Gallery (No. 606) : 
water, dotted with a boat and a few distant sails, stretch- 
ing back to a low horizon, over which spreads a vast open 
creamy sky, with some finely buoyant clouds. It is as a 
setting to figures, especially in the Biblical subjects, that 
Rembrandt's use of landscape may best be studied. Here 
it serves as an orchestration to the theme, enriching it 
with sensuous and emotional suggestion, and giving a free 
range to the artist's romantic and dramatic imagination. 



PHILIPS KONINCK 

Rembrandt's best-known pupil in landscape was Philips 
Koninck, who was born in Amsterdam, 1619, and died 
there in 1688, some of his career being spent abroad. 

cm:] 



f 



LANDSCAPE 

The character of his work suggests that he, too, may- 
have been influenced directly by Hercules Seghers, for 
he affected far-reaching panoramas of flat country, in- 
terrupted by occasional low hills and traversed by 
streams. A fine sky extends above the ground, which is 
constructed in tones of warm pale yellow, olive green, 
and reddish brown. Notwithstanding the comparatively 
large size of the canvases and the extent of the scene 
included, the latter has been felt so sjTithetically, as well 
as comprehensively, that there is no lack of unity. An 
excellent ^example is The Dunes, "The Valley of the 
Rhine near Arnheim," owned by Sir William van 
Home of ^Montreal. Another memorable example is in 
the Dresden Gallery, Dutch Landscape, a view from the 
dunes looking -across the level country. This canvas is 
scarcely so large, but involves the same sense of bigness. 
The foreground, which shows some red-roofed cottages 
amidst the olive greens, is constructed in an ample way ; 
a river occupies the middle distance, and the further 
plain is dotted with httle trees. Overhead is a sky of 
drabbish gray and rosy cream. The Berlin ]\Iuseum 
owns a handsome example with figure and cattle in the 
foreground, and the Rijks Museum contains two. Here 
also are to be seen four portraits by Koninck of Joost 
van den Vondel, two at the age of seventy-eight and two 
at eighty-seven; the subject evidently being a friend of 
the artist, for on the back of one of the pictures is a dedi- 
catory inscription. 

The great nursery of Holland landscape was the city of 

Haarlem. Van Goyen, it is true, belonged to Leyden, 

CITS] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

while Amsterdam, which produced Seghers and Koninck, 
in course of time claimed many others. But the majority 
were citizens of Haarlem or at least spent a portion of 
their working life in that city. They include Salomon 
van Ruisdael and his nephew Jacob ; Pieter Molyn, Jan 
Wynants, Allart van Everdingen, and the painters 
of landscape with animals and figures, Philips Wou- 
werman, Adriaen van de Velde, and Nicolaes Berchem. 

Salomon van Ruisdael (about 1600-1670), it has 
been conjectured, may have been a pupil of Van Goyen's 
because of a similarity between the early work of both, 
that has lead to their pictures being attributed to each 
other. But later the similarity disappears, Van Goyen 
displaying an ampler and more poetic style, while Salo- 
mon van Ruisdael continues to be the industrious painter 
of landscapes that, while admirably faithful to the ap- 
pearance of nature, are comparatively prosaic in feeling. 
While he was a member of the Guild of St. Luke in 
Haarlem and lived there continuously, he visited other 
cities, for some of his pictures exhibit views of Leyden, 
Dordrecht, and Nimwegen. The characteristic of his 
work is a quiet, homely dignity, that, while it gives a 
pleasant record of the Holland of his day, seldom stirs 
one to enthusiasm. Perhaps his chief claim to recogni- 
tion is that he was the teacher of Jacob van Ruisdael. 

Pieter Molyn (about 1600-1661) was a successful 
teacher, who had the capacity to foster the individuality 
of his pupils. Among these the most famous was Gerard 

cm] 



1! 



LANDSCAPE 

Terborch, who occasionally collaborated with his master 
by introducing figures into his landscapes. Molyn's own 
pictures were inclined to be meager in composition, and 
dryly precise in execution. 

Jan Wynants (about 1605-1679), again, was fortu- 
nate in having a collaborator, for more than one hundred 
and fifty of his pictures were enlivened with figures by 
that skilful and attractive artist, Adriaen van de Velde. 
They add brilliance and animation to landscapes that in 
themselves are painstaking but apt to be monotonous. 

Allaet van Everdingen (1621-1675) is not to be con- 
founded with his brother Cassar, who was a rather indif- 
ferent painter of portraits, genre and historical pictures. 
Allart was a pupil of Pieter Molyn and then worked in 
Sweden, subsequently spending seven years in Haarlem 
and the last twenty-two years of liis life in Amsterdam. 
His fame also rests on his connection with Jacob van 
Ruisdael, who was induced by the success of Everdin- 
gen's Swedish landscapes to abandon the direct study of 
nature and to invent scenes of romantic impressiveness. 
In the Rijks Museum there is a chance, in Nos. 2078 
and 907, to compare side by side the work of these two 
men. The result, I think, is to discover that, while they 
may use practically the same material in the same way, 
Ruisdael gives a character to each object, that makes 
you feel as if he had penetrated into the heart as well as 
the marrow of the scene, while Everdingen remains 
merely a lover and recorder of the picturesque. 
[175] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 



AERT VAN DER NEER 

Van DER Neer was born in Gorkum in 1603, and died in 
poverty at Amsterdam in 1677. In his youth he was 
steward in the family of the- Van Arkels, and at this time 
only occasionally indulged his love of painting. Later 
he devoted himself to art, but found few purchasers for 
his pictures and was continually harassed by creditors, 
and at one time, like Jan Steen, kept a tavern. He is 
distinguished particularly for his winter and moonlight 
scenes, the best of which date from about 1646. They 
exhibit not only a close study of nature but a poetic feel- 
ing, which is deep and sincere and often very impressive. 
He was a painter of moods, expressing the sentiment 
usually in delicate tonalities, so delicate, indeed, that his 
pictures, hidden away in the corners of galleries or con- 
fronted with more robust pictures, seem at first monoto- 
nous and cold. It is not until, as Bode points out, they 
are isolated in a good light that their merit becomes ap- 
parent. This famous expert also compares the method 
of Van der Neer's moonlight scenes with that of Rem- 
brandt's interiors. The latter projects a shaft of light 
into the hollow gloom, while Van der Neer represents a 
concavity of light, the luminosity of which is heightened 
by the shadows. His method, in fact, is the exact reverse 
of Renibrandt's. 

Two memorable examples of his moonlight scenes ap- 
pear in the Berlin Gallery, where one is impressively 
somber, while the other is dramatically stirred by the 
yellow and red flare and turbid smoke from a burning 
D76 3 



|| 



LANDSCAPE 

house, and figures in movement agitate the foreground. 
Others are in the National Gallery and in the Imperial 
Art Museum at Vienna. The example in the latter 
shows a darkened canal, with a boat, stretching back to 
a town that broods beneath a sky in which the moon 
rides at full, surrounded by fleecy clouds. 

In the Vienna Gallery also is an example of one of his 
winter scenes, others appearing in the National Gallery 
and in the Wallace Collection. In these the artist in- 
dulges in a freer and livelier use of color, though the ani- 
mation of the ground and its group of figures does not 
interfere with the delicate observation and sensitive feel- 
ing, that still regulate his treatment of the skies. It is 
on this that Van der Neer, like all painters of poetic 
moods, relies chiefly for expression. 

In one of Van der Neer's landscapes in the National 
Gallery, cattle were painted by Cuyp. The reminder 
may serve at this point of our story for an introduction 
to the important part played in Holland landscape by 
those artists who enlivened it with figures and animals. 



LANDSCAPE WITH FIGURES AND ANIMALS 

The popularity of this branch of painting in the seven- 
teenth century can be explained by its affinity to genre 
painting. It is but a step from depicting a party of 
people in an interior to showing them engaged in some 
sport or occupation in the open air. The same tendency 
to depict the incidents of Dutch life, or to use such 
incidents as the theme of a pictorial presentation, ap- 
13 [-177';] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

pears in both ; and some of the artists of this out-of-door 
genre, Wouwerman, Adriaen van de Velde, Cuyp, and 
Berchem, reached proficiency that compares favorably 
with the masterpieces of interior genre. As for the fond- 
ness for depicting cattle, we may recollect how Troyon, 
after visiting Holland, turned from pure landscape to 
cattle studies, while every observant visitor to that coun- 
try has enjoyed the spots of rich color which the grazing 
herds make in the far stretches of green pasture. They 
form one of the notable features of the Holland land- 
scape, and it would have been surprising if the painters, 
so intent on the study of their home surroundings, had 
overlooked it. The signal member of this group of 
painters is Paul Potter. 



PAUL POTTER 

Potter is the prodigy among Dutch artists. At the age 
of twenty-two he produced a masterpiece that, despite 
its shortcomings, has compelled the admiration of the 
world. This is a work of trenchant, even brutal force, 
while the majoritj'- of his work, especially in his later 
years, wins by its charm of persuasiveness. He is per- 
sonally known to us through the beautiful portrait by 
Van der Heist. It was painted in the year of Potter's 
death, and shows him a man of distinguished mien, with 
soft auburn hair curling upon his shoulders, and a face 
that is marked by a high forehead, heav\^-lidded eyes, a 
strong nose, and full, impulsive lips ; a face upon which 
consimiption has set the impress of fell refinement. 

[178:] 







^1 



LANDSCAPE 

The son of an obscure painter, Potter was born at 
Enkhuizen in 1625. From '164<6 to 1648 he resided at 
Delft, where his masterpiece. The Young Bull of the 
Hague Gallery, was painted. In 1649 he moved to The 
Hague and married the daughter of an architect, Adri- 
ana Balckeneijnde. In 1652 he moved to Amsterdam 
and continued to reside there until his death in 1654. 

The Young Bull is an amazing achievement of self- 
discipline and almost passionate pursuit of truth. It 
suggests the attitude of the painter to have been that 
once and for all he would master the creature's appear- 
ance. He set himself a great task of prolonged endur- 
ance and has carried it through to an extraordinary 
realization. The character of the beast, as it shows itself 
to the eye; the incidents of its form and carriage; the 
glossy pelt with its actual surface of hair, the brilliant 
eye, the damp nozzle— every detail is of life. Having 
completed this study, which established for himself 
the knowledge and skill he had sought and became 
a model for the instruction of other artists, he filled 
in the rest of the canvas in a somewhat perfunctory 
manner. The sky has good quality, but remains a 
background in the rear of the composition; the in- 
termediate landscape, overspread effectively with a 
pale light, does not maintain its proper plane. The 
beasts in the foreground are as hard as wood, the de- 
tails of the tree niggling, and the figure of the man ill 
drawn and tamely comprehended. In fact, it is not as a 
picture that the canvas is remarkable, but for its con- 
summately realistic treatment of the one overpowering 
detail. 

[179] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Other large canvases, also products of the artist's ex- 
treme youth, are the Bear Hunt of the Rijks ^luseum 
and the Boar Hunt in the Carstanjen Collection of the 
Berhn Gallery. They are open to the same general 
criticism, without the wonderful exception. They are 
evidences of a young man's exuberant indiscretion, 
though he was probably induced to it by the high value 
that clients set upon such pictures. ^leanwhile, as early 
as 1646, that is to say, when he was twenty-one, he was 
settling down to the smaller pictures, artistically felt and 
rendered, that mark the end of his career. One of the 
earliest of these, dated 1648, is the scene of Cattle and 
Bathers, in the Hague Gallery ; finely composed and full 
of happy observation of country life, but somewhat hard 
in texture. Yet the previous year had produced the 
Horses at the Door of a Cottage of the Louvre, where 
the scene is enveloped in the soft half-light of a glo^ving 
evening sky. Another beautiful evening scene is Land- 
scape with Cattle of the National Gallery. 



PHILIPS WOUWERMAN 

This charmingly original and versatile artist, whose 
works abound in public and private collections, was born 
in Haarlem in 1619 and died there in 1668. He studied 
landscape with Jan Wynants, but the teacher who set 
the tenor of his career was Frans Hals. It was from the 
latter that he derived his skill in handling figures, com- 
posing them in groups, placing them in space, and ren- 
[180] 



LANDSCAPE 

dering them with fluency and vitality of brushwork: 
and the principles thus acquired were applied by him 
also to the treatment of the landscape. On his own part 
he brought to his work a singularlj^ alert observation, 
that was happy in hitting upon the fugitive and acci- 
dental aspects of a scene, and a fancy that invests his 
subject with a lyrical grace. 

His fecundity was such that it is estimated he left 
some seven hundred examples, which may be divided 
into those of his early period, which extended through 
the forties, and those of his maturity, which belong to the 
fifties and early sixties. He was brought up during the 
vicissitudes of the Thirty Years' War, and the impres- 
sions of soldiering suggested many of his subjects of 
cavalry, skirmishing, on the march, or halting at an inn. 
Elsewhere it is hunting parties, riding parties, gay cav- 
alcades of ladies and gentlemen; then, again, scenes of 
farming life: the bringing home of hay, watering of 
horses, scenes in the smithy— an inexhaustible array of 
incidents in which figure men and women and their 
friends, the horse and dog. With such unusual produc- 
tivity it is not strange that some of his pictures suffered 
by haste of execution. This is especially ti-ue of his 
latest pictures, where the shadows have come through 
and destroyed the brilliance of the colors. For, though 
Wouwerman was not a colorist, he was an adept at sug- 
gesting the gaiety of color, and his best pictures are bou- 
quets of animated brilliance. 



nisi: 



i 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 



AELBERT CUYP 

Son of a prosperous portrait-painter of Dordrecht, 
Aelbert Cuyp enjoyed ample means, married a widow, 
rich and well connected, was highly esteemed and held 
public offices in his own community, and throughout the 
eighteenth century continued to be prized by collectors 
as the "Dutch Claude." The result was that he could 
paint to please himself. It is true that occasionally he 
was persuaded to paint portraits of his wife's aristocratic 
connections, some on horseback, but these less character- 
istic pictures are exceptions. Living far from the cen- 
ters of artists, he was devoted to country life, making 
visits occasionally along the ^laas to Nimwegen or up 
the Rhine as far as Bergen, but for the most part indulg- 
ing his love of nature in the neighborhood around his 
native city. The happiness of the man and the artist's 
joy in the life of simple things— his ample means 
made possible the simple life — are reflected in the sunni- 
ness of his landscapes, and in the big, lazy, comfortable 
kine that graze and bask and chew the cud beside slowly 
moving waters in the neighborhood of pleasant home- 
steads, steeped in the warmth of sunshine. "Only in his 
own home on the lower Maas," Avrites the modern artist, 
Jan Veth, himself a native of Dordrecht, "only near 
Dordrecht, could he find this happy country, where a 
delicate vapor from the rich marshy lands lies over the 
meadows, which in the morning and evening hours are 
covered with a peculiar golden veil." 

His best pictures are in private collections in England 
and Paris and in the National Gallery, the Wallace Col- 



LANDSCAPE 

lection, and the galleries of St. Petersburg and Buda- 
pest. They number nearly fifty that can be regarded 
as- masterpieces. On the other hand, the pictures by 
which he is represented in many galleries will disappoint 
the student who has formed a high expectation of this 
artist's merit. For he was as unequal in his manner as 
he was varied in his choice of subjects, which, besides 
landscape and portraiture, included also genre, still-life, 
church interiors, and historical paintings. 

He was born in Dordrecht in 1620 and died there in 
1691. Besides the instruction that he received from his 
father, he is supposed to have been influenced by Van 
Goyen, for his early work shows a recollection of the 
latter's grayish tones. 



ADRIAEN VAN DE VELDE 

In the Rijks Museum is a portrait by Adriaen van de 
Velde that represents himself and his family. In a coun- 
try spot they have alighted from their carriage, and 
while a groom attends to the handsome horses, the artist 
and his young wife, a little child, and a nurse with the 
baby in her arms are grouped' in the road. The artist 
is of refined and gracious mien, while the spirit of the 
whole scene breathes prosperity and happiness. The 
portrait is indicative of his art, of the gracious fresh- 
ness, joyousness, and sweet tranquillity that character- 
ize his landscapes. For, though he painted some Biblical 
and historical subjects, hrs true metier was landscape, 
with the ingratiating addition of groups of figures and 
animals. So highly appreciated was his gift of treating 
[11833 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

these groups that many of the landscape artists of Am- 
sterdam employed him to introduce them into their pic- 
tures. Hobbema was among the number, as may be seen 
in that artist's picture, The Water Mill, owned by Mr. 
J. Pierpont ISIorgan, where the cow and the figures of 
the man and woman are by Van de Velde. 

Born in Amsterdam in 1636, Adriaen belonged to the 
Van de Velde family of artists, his earliest teacher being 
his father, the naval painter, Willem the Elder. Then 
he studied with Jan W\Tiants at Haarlem and later with 
Philips Wouwerman. He was also influenced by Potter 
and Nicolaes Berchem, perhaps gaining from the latter 
his occasional fondness for the Italianized kind of land- 
scape. But this is mere supposition. 

Even Berchem (1620-1683) is only supposed to have 
visited Italy, because of the character of the subjects he 
represented. All that is definitely known about him is 
that he resided in Haarlem and Amsterdam. His treat- 
ment, however, of the Italianized landscape, with its 
goats and cows and peasants, is inferior to the art of 
Van de Velde. It charms at first by its sunny pictur- 
esqueness ; but it is discovered by degrees to be a product 
of routine and mannerism. A studied affectation be- 
comes apparent in the arrangement of the groups, and 
a monotonous reiteration of the effects of light: some 
object always placed near the center to catch the chief 
illumination, while a corresponding formality is re- 
peated again and again in the distribution of the light 
and shade. 

But such mechanics of picture-making never occur in 
Van de Velde's landscapes. There is always a freshness 
[184] 



\\ 



LANDSCAPE 

of vision, characterized, moreover, by delicate observa- 
tion, that puts him on a par with Wouwerman, though 
the sentiment of his pictures is his own. 



THE NAVAL AND MARINE PAINTERS 

It has already been remarked that the naval and marine 
pictures are an exception to the general rule that Dutch 
l^ainting reflects nothing of the war and the turbulence 
of the times. The headquarters of the craft was naturally 
the great shipping and commercial center, Amsterdam. 
Here in the early part of the seventeenth century lived 
Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom. Born in Haarlem in 1566, 
he had, previously to his settling down in the Dutch capi- 
tal, visited France, England, and Italj^ while there is 
good reason to believe that shipwreck had increased his 
experiences by enforced sojourn on the west coast of 
Africa. He makes a brave showing in the Rijks Mu- 
seum with records of Dutch vessels running down 
Spanish galleys and a sea-fight on the Haarlem ^leer, 
and always his signature appears proudly on a pennon 
at the masthead of a winning ship. 

Simon de Vlieger, a native of Rotterdam, where he 
was born in 1693, is another painter of stirring sea- 
fights, though he also represents the peaceful, side of 
shipping; witness A River Scene, in the Rijks Museum, 
where a big-sailed merchantman from the Indies lies 
near some little boats on the wind-flecked water, a pic- 
ture full of bracing suggestion. 

Lieve Verschuier (1630-1686), also a native of Rot- 
[185] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

terdam, could present with vigorous effect the busy as- 
pect of the harbor, as may be seen at the Rijks Museum 
in his Charles II Entering Rotterdam, 24 May, 1660. 

But the greatest of this stalwart group were Willem 
van de Velde the Elder, and his son, Willem the 
Younger. Both were born in Leyden, the former in 
1611, the younger in 1633, and, after a period in Am- 
sterdam, settled in England, where the father died in 
London, 1693, and the son at Greenwich, in 1707. The 
characteristic of these men is their treatment of the ship- 
ping ; for with them, as with the others, the shipping and 
the sky are of more concern than the water. They give 
the great galleons and bulky Indiamen the personality 
almost of sentient things : creatures of power and impor- 
tance, swelling with the pride of consequence. 



Cise] 



CHAPTER XI 

VAN GOYEN AND HOBBEMA 

THE greatest name in Holland landscape, second 
only to Rembrandt, as many believe, in Dutch 
art, is Jacob van Ruisd-ael. Of the comparative 
merits of the other two leaders of Dutch landscape, opin- 
ions may differ; but personally I give the palm to Van 
Goyen. 

Jan Josephsz van Goyen, to give his full name, was 
born in Leyden, in 1576. He was the pupil of several 
teachers, including Esaias van de Velde. At about the 
age of twenty-one he made a journey to France in the 
company of one of his teachers. Later he visited Bel- 
gium and the northern part of France, the sketches of 
this trip being still preserved in the Print Collection of 
Dresden. Moreover, from the subjects of his pictures, 
it is evident that he traveled extensively in Holland. 
Toward 1634 he settled at The Hague, continuing to 
work there until his death in 1656. His pictures found 
ready sale, but he speculated unfortunately in houses 
and pictures and was a victim of that Dutch "South Sea 
Bubble," the speculative mania in tulips. Consequently 
he died poor. 

His work embraces three manners. The first, which 

lasted until about 1630, shows a tendency to brown, with 

highly colored figures in which notes of red predominate. 

This is the period of Esaias van de Velde's influence. In 

iriSTl 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

the second period he begins to be himself; the color be- 
comes more subdued, the skies more clear, and the tonal- 
ity mingles grayness with the browns or becomes green- 
ish. This .lasts for some years, and then gradually a finer 
sense of picturesqueness regulates the compositions ; the 
technique gains in breadth and authority; the tonality 
is attained almost without color. 

An example of the early method is View of Dor- 
drecht, in the Hague Gallery. The town is seen in the 
distance across an expanse of water, furred by the wind; 
in the left foreground, the harbor bank with figures and 
horses; a sail-boat scudding toward the right. It is a 
gray day, translated into tones of brown ; an exquisitely 
impressionistic vision of the occasion and scene. 

A very remarkable picture of the transition stage be- 
tween the first and second periods is the Landscape (No. 
990) of the Rijks Museum, illustrated in this book. In 
the coat of the man on the left the vivid spot of red ap- 
pears ; his companion's coat is blue ; and these two notes 
of color vibrate sharply against the drabbish lowering 
sky. The ground is huffish green and the oaks brown. 
It is a picture of extraordinary dramatic effect. 

Two fine examj^les of the artist's middle and later 
period are in the Berlin Gallery: View of Arnheim 
(1646) and View of Nimwegen (1649). The former 
shows a horseman in the foregroimd and a cart farther 
back, where a gleam of light strikes, while the distant 
town is in shadow; and above this striking contrast is a 
magnificent height of sky filled with .light and scattered 
with a few loose, well-constructed clouds. The tonality 
is composed of cream, gray, brown, and green. The 

Ciss;] 



ii 



VAN GOYEN AND HOBBEMA 

later example already shows the prevalence of brown. 
The architecture is constructed in tones of pale brown 
and buff; the water in front is grayish white, and the 
ample sky admits a little rose amid the grayish blue. It 
is a picture of large feeling, and yet the details are still 
drawn in with that wriggling stroke of the brown brush 
which characterizes Van Goyen's work, especially in the 
beginning and more or less to the end. It exhibits the 
feeling of one who is an engraver, as indeed he was; it 
is drawing rather than painting. The result is that some 
of his pictures seem more than a trifle niggling in their 
method. On the other hand, while he never gets away 
from it, he gets the better of it. He continues to model 
with these diminutive curlicues of vermicelli, now brown, 
now green, but the method disappears in the big impres- 
sion aroused by the ensemble. Other notable examples 
of his later period are The River and Banks of a Canal, 
in the Louvre. 

But in the final analysis it is not the manner of an 
artist that is of most account, but the quality of his ap- 
peal. In the case of Van Goyen it is spirituel, not infre- 
quently expressive of spirituality. Transmuted by his 
vision, the corporeality of the scene has been dissolved 
into a spiritual impression. It is, as it were, a mirage of 
nature that is offered to one's imagination. Van Goyen 
lacks at once the height and depth of Jacob van Ruis- 
dael ; his moods are dreamy rather than poignant, and he 
appeals where the other compels. But his moods are 
those of a highly rarefied spirit, that seeks to* interpret 
the bigness and the subtlety of what it feels by means 
as abstract as possible. 

cm] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 



MEINDERT HOBBEMA 

HoBBEMA is the very contrary to Van Goyen. A plain, 
practical, matter-of-fact man, he is content to paint what 
he sees, the objective appearances of the landscape, 
viewed through the unimaginative medium of a healthy 
naturalism. He was as little addicted to moods of feel- 
ing as to dreams; neither curious for new experiences 
nor moved to artistic ambition, for, having found a mo- 
tive to his liking, he repeated it again and again with 
slight variations. Gifted with a strong sense of form 
and vnth an unusual faculty of representing it, he 
learned from Jacob van Ruisdael to cultivate both, but 
was too phlegmatic to receive inspiration from the mas- 
ter's genius. Now and then he rose from his usual level 
to a height of objective grandeur; but for the most part 
was a prosy bourgeois, pottering round the parish. 

He was born in 1638, his birthplace being variously 
assigned to Haarlem, Koevorden, and the village of 
^Middelharnis, though it may have been Amsterdam, 
where he spent his life. At the age of thirty he married 
a maid-servant four years his senior. She had been in a 
well-to-do family, and through the influence of the latter 
a place was found for Hobbema in the Wines-customs. 
It was sufficient to keep him from actual w^ant, but the 
fact did not spur him on to artistic effort. He painted, 
ifwould seem, only when he "felt like it," which was not 
often, for the number of his pictures is for a Dutch artist 
inconsiderable. The earliest date on any of his pictures 
is 1650; the last that can be assigned ^^ith certainty is 
1670, for though it is generally accepted that the date 
[190: 






p 



VAN GOYEN AND HOBBEMA 

of The Avenue of Middclharnis, in the National Gal- 
lery, is 1689, the "8" is scarcely decipherable. If this 
date is accepted, it leaves the last twenty years of his 
life, for he died in 1709, unproductive. No reason for 
this is known, nor whether he retained his official posi- 
tion; the only fact ascertained being that, like his great 
master and so many other Dutch artists, he died in ex- 
treme poverty. 

Neglected by his own countr\Tnen, his best works 
found their way into English private collections, from 
which they are beginning to emerge into the hands of 
American collectors: witness The Water Mill, known 
as the "Trevor Landscape," and the Wooded Land- 
scape, or "Holford Landscape," now owned by IMr. J. 
Pierpont Morgan, and the Wooded Road, in the pos- 
session of Mrs. William L. Elkins. Meanwhile Hob- 
bema's masterpiece is The Avenue of Middelharnis, in 
the National Gallery, while the Louvre also owns a fine 
example in The Water Mill, and the popularity and 
reputation which these works have so worthily ob- 
tained has led to an overestimation of this artist's rank. 
He has even been classed with Van Ruisdael. On the 
evidence of The Avenue this is intelligible, but unfortu- 
nately this picture is a unique example. The other pic- 
tures mentioned above are also examples to stir enthu- 
siasm, but they, too, are exceptional. You will not find 
their equals anywhere in the galleries of Europe. On 
the contrary, those which you do find are dryly objective 
reiterations of oak-trees, water, mills, and houses, per- 
functorily seen and rendered. They inspire little en- 
thusiasm and weary b}^ repetition. 

The Avenue, on the contrary, is an extraordinary in- 
11191] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

stance of a moment's heightened vision of the facts, 
boldly grasped and carried through unerringly to a 
grand conclusion. Again, in the other pictures named, 
especially in Mr. Morgan's The Water Mill, there is 
evidence of something more than talent. A consummate 
knowledge of forms, skill of compositional construction, 
and ability to create an ensemble of tonality are here 
reinforced by a comprehension of the feeling of the 
scene, that has lifted it out of mere representation and 
enhanced its significance. But unfortunately the talent, 
transfigured in these examples, is, in the general run of 
this artist's pictures, squandered; used without con- 
science and permitted to drift into heartless mannerism. 
The fact is that, judged by the final test of the quality 
of the painter's mental and artistic attitude toward his 
subject, the majority of Hobbema's pictures rank con- 
siderably below par. It is such work as the generality of 
his, which makes the student of Dutch art sometimes 
pause in his wanderings through the galleries and ask 
himself whether there is not a great deal of perfunctori- 
ness and tedious iteration among these old masters of 
Holland. There is, and the fact may as well be grasped 
first as last. It is a school of great craftsmen, who some- 
times worked indifferently, punctuated with a consider- 
able number who rise conspicuously above their fellows, 
but among these exceptions, save on rare occasions, 
Hobbema is not to be reckoned. 



1:1923 




Si 
< 
< 



CHAPTER XII 

JACOB VAN RUISDAEL 

THERE is a* tendency to identify Jacob van Riiis- 
dael too exclusively with his pictures of moun- 
tainous scenery and rocky waterfalls; hence to 
speak of him as a romantic painter. But the true Ruis- 
dael must be sought elsewhere. These romantic sub- 
jects belong to his latest period, in the seventies,, when 
the indifference shown by the public to his own manner 
had induced him to imitate that of Everdingen's Swed- 
ish landscape, and of the pictures of Swiss scenery by 
Roghman and Hackaert. How superior he was to 
Everdingen, we have already noticed^ in comparing the 
examples of these two men that hang close together in 
the INIunich Pinakothek. Ruisdael's knowledge of and 
feeling for form, his power of construction not only of 
the details but also of the ensemble, his mastery of sky 
and cloud effects, and, above all, his individual and pow- 
erful personality combine to produce in these scenes of 
wild solitude with their plunging cataracts a suggestion 
as of great organ music, beside which Everdingen's pic- 
tures have only the tinkle of pictui'esqueness. Yet while 
Ruisdael, as was to be expected, was superior to Ever- 
dingen, he is in these pictui'es inferior to himself. That 
his health was failing may possibly account for it; that 

^See page 175. 

" [;i93] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

he painted on dark grounds and the black has in many 
cases come through and dulled the resonance of the col- 
ors, overdarkening the shadows, is another reason; but 
the chief one is to be found in his changed attitude. He 
was no longer drawing his inspiration direct from na- 
ture itself. 

The finer examples of his latest style, such as the 
Landscape with Waterfall of the National Gallery, still 
exhibit his power in rendering the movement and the 
mass of water, while others are impregnated with that 
solitary grandeur which was a characteristic quality of 
his genius. But it is in these instances touched with 
moroseness, with something possibly of the sentimental 
sorrows of a Werther. The great artist, whose lonely 
bachelor life had been spent in meditating upon the big- 
ness of nature, was now brooding over the littleness of 
the world's appreciation of himself; introspection had 
taken the place of that large looking out upon the world 
which hitherto had been the habit of his life. These ro- 
mantic subjects, in fact, represent the waning of his 
powers; for the complete revelation of his genius we 
must look elsewhere, beyond the invented landscapes, to 
those in which nature itself has inspired the mood which 
dominates its interpretation. 

Meanwhile let us glance at the brief facts of the ar- 
tist's life. He was born in Haarlem, in 1628 or 1629, 
the son of a picture-frame maker, and nephew of Salo- 
mon van 'Kuisdael, who was probably his teacher. At 
about the age of twenty he was enrolled in the Haarlem 
Guild of St, Luke. Some years later he settled in Am- 
sterdam and was admitted to the rights of citizenship. 
1:194: 



JACOB VAN RUISDAEL 

Among his pupils at this period was INIeindert Hob- 
bema. At the age of fifty-three he returned to his native 
city, broken in health and without means of subsistence, 
and through the intervention of some friends of the 
JNIennonite faith was given refuge in the poorhouse. 
Here he lingered a few months and died in 1682, one 
more example among so many in the story of Dutch 
painting of an artist dying in poverty. This is the ugly 
side of the storj^ In telling it we have tried to do justice 
to the part played by the young republic, out of whose 
hard-Avon nationality a great school of artists grew ; but 
at the same time we have not overlooked the quick deca- 
dence of national and social spirit that followed upon 
the attainment of political liberty. And of this sapping 
of the morality of the people the indifference paid to 
her great artists was not the least notable symptom. 

Ruisdael's youth and the prime of his manhood were 
spent in studying the wooded dunes, open country, sea- 
shore, and large stretches of water in the neighborhood 
of Haarlem and Amsterdam. These supplied the sub- 
jects for his finest and most characteristic pictures, while 
others suggest that he traveled in different parts of Hol- 
land and even penetrated into the neighboring German 
principality of JNIiinster, a hilly country with forests and 
old castles: witness Castle Bentheim of the Dresden 
Gallery. The dated pictures are comparatively rare and 
belong chiefly to Ruisdael's earliest period, but it is pos- 
sible to assign approximate dates to many later ones 
through examination of the figures which were intro- 
duced by other artists. As Bode points out, those to 
which Adriaen van Ostade, Nicolaes Berchem, and 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

Wouwerman contributed may with much probabiHty be 
assigned to the Haarlem period, which terminated about 
1655; on the other hand, when, among the Amsterdam 
artists, Adriaen van de Velde was his collaborator, the 
picture must antedate that artist's death in 1672. 

Like all the greatest artists of landscape, Ruisdael 
was a close student of form, his drawings and etchings 
being often so conscientious in treatment as to suggest 
that he was something of a botanist. At any rate, few 
men have shown a more thorough knowledge of trees, 
their character of bulk and build, their branch-growths 
and manner of leafage, while the same constructive sense 
appears in his delineation of ground, rocks, water, and 
in that final test of great landscape-painting, the com- 
prehension and rendering of skies. In his earlier work 
this preoccupation with form results in an excess of de- 
tail and a considerable tightness and hardness of method, 
as may be observed in the little Village in the Wood of 
the Dresden Gallery. 

Later his works acquire breadth; details are treated 
more freely and are less obtrusive; the feeling for en- 
semble is more complete. And corresponding with this 
ampler motive is a clearer eye for the local colors, a 
richer and fuller tonality. Then, by degrees, the true 
Ruisdael discovers himself. As we know him in the 
finest works of the Amsterdam period, his genius is de- 
clared in the amplitude of his conception of nature. We 
are in the presence of one who has comprehended the 
vastness of its suggestion, and entered into it, merging 
therein the pettiness of personaUty. At these great mo- 
ments it would be hard to mention a landscape-painter 
i:i96] 



JACOB VAN RUISDAEL 

whose outlook is larger, freer, and more impersonal than 
Ruisdael's, whose attitude is more truly epic; usually 
with an ample expression of serene benignity, but, even 
when there is stir of conflict, with an all-embracing 
vision that merges the accidental in the universal. 

In the attainment of this magnificent composure it 
is the skies that play the greatest part. They occupy a 
large, often the larger, portion of the canvas. They are 
not only expanses of light, contrasted with the darker 
tones of the ground, as in the case of most Holland land- 
scapes, but are pervaded with vibrating atmosphere that, 
while it penetrates to the front, seems to communicate 
with endless space. To this element of universal sug- 
gestion is added the stimulus of the poised or drifting 
cloud-forms. They are not merely shapes of vapor, but 
have bulk and weight and carrying power. They are to 
the fluid mass of the sky what the wave is to the ocean : 
a manifestation of its boundless energies. While to him 
the ground and its forms of tree and rock or dune are 
symbols of stability and static force, the sky is symbol of 
dynamic energy unbounded. It is because Ruisdael thus 
felt and could interpret the symbolism of nature that his 
finest landscapes and marines create and maintain so 
profound an impression. 

Among the pictures prior to 1655 is View of Haarlem 
from the Hill of Overveen, a subject by which Ruis- 
dael seems to have trained and disciplined himself, for 
he often repeated it. There are said to be twenty exam- 
ples, some of which are in the galleries of The Hague 
and Berlin, in the Rijks Museum, and used to be in- 
cluded in the Holford and Kann collections. From the 

cm] 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

elevation in the foreground one looks down and across 
a stretch of level country, broken up with trees and 
houses and a field where strips of linen are bleaching, to 
the city, over which rises the mass of the Groote Kerk, 
St. Bavon. But two thirds of the canvas is given to the 
sky. The picture presents an elaborate study in the 
art of ground- and sky-construction, in the difficult dif- 
ferentiation of the planes of a level country, and in build- 
ing the sky's volume and depth. Already there are dis- 
tance and spaciousness, but as yet little expression, while, 
in the case of the Berlin example especially, the tech- 
nique is still a trifle hard and dry. 

But, without attempting any chronological order, 
turn to The Beach at the Hague Gallery, a replica of 
which, Shore at Scheveningen, is in the National Gal- 
lery, while there are others elsewhere. A cliff projects 
on the right; otherwise the water, dotted with wading 
figures and sail-boats, extends clear back from the front 
to a low horizon, above which is a sky piled and scattered 
with loose, buoyant clouds. There is wind in them, and 
it ruffles the long reaches of waves that glide in over the 
sand. Here is freedom not only of brushwork but of 
imagination, which has been stirred by the sense of vast- 
ness and of movement. The sea itself spreads far and 
is alive with briskness, but in the endless distance of the 
sky the clouds are moving grandly. This picture al- 
ready gives the clue to Ruisdael's fully developed genius. 
It prefigures his capacity to comprehend the big in na- 
ture; to go out to it and mingle with it; to find it, not in 
stupendous spectacles, but in the sense of vastness that 
even familiar scenes may convey to one who realizes and 



JACOB VAN RUISDAEL 

feels the bigness in nature everywhere about us. For 
compare The Mill near Wyh-hy-Duurstede , Ruisdael's 
masterpiece in the Rijks Museum. Familiar enough in 
Holland are the ingredients of this scene: gray water, 
gray lowering sky, olive-green, brown, and pale-buff 
ground and trees, a gleam of light on the body of the 
mill; yet with what a majesty of conception they are 
clothed! Everything is heightened and made poign- 
antly compelling by a beautiful, tremendous dignity. 

Nor was it only under aspects of stirring movement 
that Ruisdael found bigness. He could find it in calm : 
witness The Swamp in the Wood, in St. Petersburg, and 
the Oah Wood of the Berlin Gallery. In front, pale 
amber-green lily-pads, floating on depths of olive-green 
water, in the mingled light and shade of rich, somber 
golden-green and ruddy foliage; distant water and 
dunes, and over all a sky in which balloons of clouds 
hang drowsily. It recalls another masterpiece, this time 
of the Imperial Art-History Museum, Vienna, The Big 
Wood. Again a clump of oaks and a shattered silver 
birch, massed high and wide against a sky of wonderful 
luminosity. Everything is simplicity, itself , yet expresses 
magisterial authority. The amplitude of conception on 
this occasion has no trace of stress or poignancy, nor is 
it one of calm; it is buoyant with a glorious joyousness. 

Another remarkable example, heightened into gran- 
deur by impulse of the imagination, is the Landscape 
with Fence, in the Vienna Academy: a bit of sloping 
ground vdth some wooden sheep-cotes and a willow. But 
the light from a dull-gray slaty sky pales upon the wil- 
low and gleams with a strange whiteness on the boards 



THE STORY OF DUTCH PAINTING 

of the fence. The picture, moreover, is painted with 
unerring mastery of form and splendid fluency, which, 
combined with its startHng arrangement of Hght, pro- 
duces an effect of extraordinary impressiveness. 

B}^ a method of hghting, somewhat similar, a mood 
of profound and bitter melancholy has been interpreted 
in The Jewish Cemetery of the Dresden Gallery. In 
the murk of the distance a ruin glooms gauntly under 
a heavy purplish slaty sky, where a faint rainbow shows 
amid the turbid clouds. In the foreground a blasted 
tree-trunk cuts white against a dull mass of trees; but 
the brightest light, pallid and cold, is concentrated upon 
one of a group of tombs. The stillness is broken by a 
stream that shatters itself on the stones and rushes on. 
Is this solemn picture an allegory of Ruisdael's o^vn 
darkened life and its approaching end? Possibly, for his 
signature, undated, appears upon a tombstone on the 
left. 

The examples quoted above are fairly representative 
of an artist who handled the prose of nature with so 
large a sense of its significance that he lifts it up to 
poetry, of epic and occasionally tragic grandeur. For 
Ruisdael, like Rembrandt, saw into the soul of facts. 
That in a period of fifty years or thereabouts a school 
of artists could be formed, wherein there are so many 
excellent craftsmen, not a few masters of technique and 
expression, and two great masters of the soul, is a mar- 
velous record. Such was Holland's legacy of the seven- 
teenth century to the civilization of the modern world. 



1:200] 



INDEX 



INDEX 



Abraham Receiving the Angels [Bol], 154 

Actor's instinct in art, 75 

Adoration of the Shepherds [Rembrandt], 
103, 159 

Aertz, Pieter, 19; studied at Amsterdam, 
43 

Albert, Archduke, 45 

Altman, Mr. B., owner of The Sleeping 
Girl [Vermeer], 136 

Alva, Duke of, 22, 23, 46 

Amsterdam, school of painting, 38, 43; 
artists born there: Aertz, 107; Eeck- 
hout, 158; De Keyser, 165; Koninck, 
172 ; Adriaen van de Velde, 184 ; 
school of: Scovel. 16; Rembrandt, 73; 
Maes, 115; Metsu, 117; Fabritius, 
157; Eeckhout, 158; De Gelder, 160; 
De Keyser, 165: Koninck, 170; Hob- 
bema, 190; residence of: Rembrandt, 
76; Aertz, 107; Van Ostade, 109; 
Lairesse, 125 ; De Keyser, 165 ; 
Seghers, 170; Koninck, 170; Van der 
Neer, 176: Potter, 179: Van de Velde, 
Willem, Elder and Younger, 186; Van 
de Velde, Adriaen, 184; Berchem, 
184; Hobbema, 190; Ruisdael, Jacob, 
194 

Angel and the Shepherds [Flinck], 152 

Antwerp, glory of, 7 ; "Image-Breaking" 
at, 22 ; school of painting, 22 ; birth- 
place of Hals, 50 

Antwerp Museum, Day of Judgment [Van 
Orley], 15 

Art: the need of the people, 4; French 
at time of Revolution, 5 ; imitation 
death of national art, 6; decline of 
Dutch in eighteenth century, 6 ; af- 
fected by imperialism, influenced by 
Church, 11 ; by Renaissance, 12 ; con- 
dition at abdication of Charles V, 14; 
realism of Dutch, 27; moral and scien- 
tific character of, 28 ; commencement 
of great period of, 29; still-life, 31; 
portraiture, 49 ; beauty of inanimate 
things, 59; democratic ideal of Dutch, 
72 ; Rembrandt's compared to Greek, 
72; actor's instinct shown by painters, 
75 ; abstract in, 94 ; decorative, 94 ; 
Barbizon, 171 

Art-History Museum, Vienna. See Vienna 

Artist in his Studio [Vermeer], 140 

Asking a Blessing [Maes], 114 

Asselyn, Jan, 44: Enraged Swan, The, 44 

Avenue of Middelharnis [Hobbema], 191 



B 

Bakhuysen, Ludolf, 44 

Balckeneijnde, Adriana, wife of Paul 
Potter, 179 

Bank of a Canal [Van Goyen], 188 

Banquet of the Civic Guard [Van der 
Heist], 164 

Banquet of the Officers of the Archers of 
St. Andrew [Hals], 66 

Banquet of the Officers of the Archers of 
St. George [Hals], 64 

Banquet of the Officers of the Archers of 
St. George [Hals], 65 

Barbizon artists, 171 

Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty, 87 

Beach, The [.Tacob van Ruisdael], 198 

Bear Hunt, The [Potter], 180 

Bega, Cornelis, 110 

"Beggars, The," 21 

"Beggars of the Sea," 23 

Berchem, Nicolaes, 30, 39, 43, 174. 178, 
184, 195 

Berlaymont, 21 

Berlin: pictures in gallery: St. Jerome in 
a Cave, Rembrandt, 76; Portrait of 
Himself, Rembrandt, 78; Portrait of 
Rendrickje Staff eU, Rembrandt, 89; 
Old Woman Peeling Apples, Maes, 
115; Portrait of Old Woman, Metsu, 
118; Family Geelvink, Metsu, 120; 
The Mother, De Hooch, 121; The Con- 
cert, Terborch, 130; Diana with her 
Nymphs, Vermeer, 135 ; Lady with a 
Pearl Necklace, Vermeer, 138; The 
Christening Party. Steen, 146; Por- 
trait of a Young Woman, Flinck, 153 ; 
A Man Praying, Fabritius, 158; Rais- 
ing of Jairus's Daughter, Presentation 
of Christ in the Temple, Mercury and 
Argus, Eeckhout, 159; Old Lady and 
her Daughters, Old Man and his Sons, 
De Keyser, 166 ; Landscape and Cat- 
tle, Koninck, 173; Boar Hunt, Potter, 
180; View of Arnheim, View of Nim- 
icegen. Van Goyen, 188; View of 
Haarlem from the Dunes, Jacob van 
Ruisdael, 197 

Biblical pictures, 74, 103-105, 150; by 
Steen, 148; Flinck, 151; Fabritius, 
156: Bol, 163; Eeckhout, 158; De 
Gelder, 160; Van de Velde, 183 

Big Wood, The [Jacob van Ruisdael], 199 

Blacksmith, The [Metsu], 117 

Boar Hunt, The [Potter], 180 

Bode, W., quoted, 54,114,117,134,176-195 



[203] 



INDEX 



Bol, Ferdinand, 30; school, 43; apprecia- 
tion, 153; Jacob Presented to Pharaoh, 
Rest of the Holy Family, Abraham Re- 
ceiving the Angels, Salome Dancing 
before Herod, 154; Portrait of a Girl, 
Portraits in the Pinakothek, 155 

Boston Museum, pictures in: An Interior, 
De Hooch, 122 

Both, Johannes, 30 

Boucher, 5 

Bray, Jan de, 19 

Bray, Salomon de, 39, 167 

Brederode, feast at, 21 

Bredius, Dr., 136; estimate of Steen, 142 

Brueghel, Pieter the Elder, 107 

Brunswick Gallery, pictures in: The Co- 
quette, Vermeer, 140; Portrait. E'eck- 
hout, 160; Oak Wood, Jacob van 
Ruisdael, 199 

Brussels, scene of abdication of Charles 
V, 7; ancient grandeur of, 7; treaty of 
1577 signed at, 23 

Budapest, Fine Arts Museum, pictures in : 
Portrait of a Man. Maes, 116; Portrait 
of a Lady. Vermeer, 141; Esther and 
Mordecai. De Gelder, 161; Portrait of 
a Woman, De Keyser, 166; Portrait 
of a Young Lady, Moreelse, 168; 
Landscape. Guyp, 183 

Burial, The [Rembrandt], 103 



Cassel Gallery, picture in: Twelfth Night, 

Steen, 146 
Castle Bentheim [Jacob van Ruisdael], 

195 
Cattle and Bathers [Potter], 186 
Cavalier in a Shop [Van Mieris], 124 
Charles V, abdication, 3-8: birth and 

education, 7 ; rule in the Netherlands, 7 
Chiaroscuro, Rembrandt's, 79 
Christ with the Doctors [Eeckhout], 159 
Christening Party, The [Steen], 146 
Church, influence of, on art, 11; attempt 

to fasten Catholic on Holland, 20; 

schism in Protestant. 37 
Codde, Pieter, 126 
Concert, The [Terborch], 136 
Cook, The [Vermeer], 137 
Coquette, The [Vermeer], 139 
Count of Orange, William, 8 
Cradle, The [Maes], 115 
Craftsmanship, Dutch love of, 32 
Cuyp, Aelbert, 30, 178; appreciation, 182 
Czernin Gallery, Vienna, pictures in: The 

Artist in his Studio, Vermeer, 140; 

The Company of Captain Cloeck, De 

Keyser, 166 



Descent from the Cross [Rembrandt], 103 
Diana and her Nymphs [Vermeer], 135 
Diana at her Toilet [Vermeer], 134 
Disciples at Emmaus [Steen], 148 
Doctor Visiting a Young Woman [Steen], 

147 
Doctor's Visit, The [Steen], 147 
Dordrecht, School of, 38, 43; De Gelder, 
160; Cuyp, 182; residence of Cujt), 
Hoogstraten, 43 ; of De Gelder, Potter, 
179 
Dort, assembly of Estates, 23 
Dou, Gerard," 30; school, 40; life, 111; 
appreciation. 111; The Young Mother, 
103; Old Woman Saying Grace, 103; 
The Dropsical Woman. 112; Lady at 
her Toilet. 112; Old Woman who has 
Lo.ft her Thread, 112; Young Man and 
Girl in a Cellar, 113; Night School, 
113 
Dresden Gallery: Old Woman who has 
Lost her Thread, Dou, 112; Young 
Man and Girl in a Cellar, Still-life, 
Portrait of Himself, Dou. 113; Man 
and Woman Selling Poultry, Lovers at 
Breakfast, Metsu, 118: A Lady at her 
Clavichord, Netscher, 125; Officer Writ- 
ing a Letter, Lady Washing her 
Hands, Terborch, 130; The Proposal, 
Vermeer, 134; The Marriage at Cana, 
The Expvhion of Hagar, Steen, 148; 
David Handing the Letter to Uriah, 
Flinck, 151; Jacob PreseyUed to Pha- 
raoh, Bol, 153; Rest of the Holy Fam- 
ily, Bol, 154; Presentation of Christ 
in the Temple, An Important Docu- 
ment, Portrait of a Halberdier, De 
Gelder, 160; Dutch Landscape, Ko- 
ninck, 173; Castle Bentheim, Jacob 
van Ruisdael, 195; Village in the 
Wood, Jacob van Ruisdael, 196; 
Jewish Cemetery, Jacob van Ruisdael, 
200 
Dropsical Woman, The [Dou], 112 
Dunes, Valley of the Rhine near Arnheim 

[Koninck], 173 
Diirer, Albrecht, 15 
Dusart, Cornelis, 110 

Dutch, pioneers of modern era, 3 ; inde- 
pendence of, declared, 24; defeated 
Spain by sea, 26; love of genre, 30, 
31; advance in commerce, science, 
agriculture, and the crafts, 36; politi- 
cal and religious dissensions, 37; art 
one of portraiture, 49; character of 
genre, 107-109; change of conditions 
of society, 124; society pictures, 126; 
landscape, 170; with cattle, 177; oc- 
casional tediousness of landscapes, 192 
Dutch Courtyard [De Hooch], 122 
Dutch Housewife [Maes], 115 
Duyster, Willem Cornelisz, 121, 126 



David Handing the Letter to Uriah 
[Flinck], 151 

Day of Judgment [Van Orley], 15 

Decapitation of St. John the Baptist [Fa- 
britius], 157 

Delft, School of, 38, 41; born in: Ver- 
meer. 132; studied at: Vermeer, 132; 
residence in : Vermeer, 132 ; Steen, 
144; Pabritius, 156 



Eeckhout, Gerbrandt van den, 30; school, 
43, 151; life, 174; appreciation, 175; 
The Woman Taken in Adultery, 158; 
Christ with the Doctors, Raising of 
Jairus's Daughter, Presentation of 
Christ in the Temple, Mercury and 
Argus, 159; The Wine Contract, 160 



[204:] 



INDEX 



Egg Dance, The [Aertz], 107 

Egmont, Count, 22, 46 

Egmont, Maria van, 144 

Elevation of the Cross [Rembrandt], 103, 
104 

Elias, Nicolaes, 165 

Elizabeth of England assists Dutch, 25 

Elkins, Mrs. William L., owner of Wooded 
Road. Hobbema, 191 

Elsheimer, German painter who influenced 
Rembrandt, 74 

Enraged Swan, The [Jan Asselyn], 44 

Esther and Mordecai [De Gelder], 161 

Etchings of Rembrandt, 74: Old Woman's 
Head: Bust of Old Woman: Rem- 
brandt, a Bust; Rembrandt with an 
Open Mouth ; Rembrandt with an Air 
of Grimace: Rembrandt with Haggard 
Eyes; Rembrandt Laughing 

Everdingen, Allart van, 30; school, 39; 
paints in Sweden, 39; in Amsterdam, 
43 

Everdingen, Csesar van, 175 

Expulsion of Hagar [Steen], 148 



Fabritius, Carel, 30: school. 41; in Am- 
sterdam, 43; teacher of Vermeer, 132; 
Biblical subjects, 150; appreciation, 
156: tragic death, 157; Portrait of 
Abraham de Notte, 157; The Decapi- 
tation of St. John the Baptist, 157 

Family Geelvink [Metsu]j 120 

Family Group [De Hooch], 122 

Feast of St. Nicholas [Steen], 145 

Fete of the Civic Guard, Munster, 1648 
[Flinckl, 153 

Fiddler, The [Van Ostade], 110 

Fishers for Souls, The [Van de Venne], 
44 

Flanders, School of, 100, 107 

Flemish nobles aid Holland, 21 

Flinck, Covert, 30; school, 43; Biblical 
pictures. 150; appreciation, 151; Isaac 
Blessing Jacob, David Handing the 
Letter to Uriah, 151; Angel and the 
Shepherds, Gray-Bearded Man, 152; 
Portrait of a Little Girl, of a Young 
Woman, of M. Johannes Wittenbo- 
gaert. Fete of the Civic Guard, Mun- 
ster, 153 

Fragonard, 5 

Frederick Henry, Stadtholder, 37, 45 

Frick, Henry C, owner of The Music 
Lesson, Vermeer, 140 

Fromentin, quoted, 6, 49; on Rembrandt, 
78-85; Terborch, 129 



Gallant Soldier, The [Terborch], 129 
Gelder, Aert de, 151; appreciation of, 
160; Presentation of Christ in the 
Temple, An Important Document, Por- 
trait of a Halberdier, 160; Jxidah and 
Thamar, Esther and Mordecai, Three 
Portraits. 161 
Genre painting, 107; inspiration from 
Hals, 100; high-water mark of, 120; 
decline of, 124; society picture, 126; 



of Terborch, 129; not realistic, 130; 
Valckenborch, Aertz, 107; Van Ostade, 
108; Dou. Ill; Maes, 114; Metsu, 
117; De Hooch, 120; Willem and 
Frans (Elder and Younger) van 
Mieris, 122 ; Lairesse, Netscher, Schal- 
cken, 125 ; Dirck Hals, Duyster, Pala- 
medesz, Codde, Slingeland, 126; Ter- 
borch, 127: Vermeer. 132; Steen, 141 
Gerard, Balthasar, assassin of William of 

Orange. 25 
Ghent, birthplace of Charles V. 7 
Girl before her Mirror [Van Mieris], 124 
Girl with U'atcr-Jug [Vermeer], 134 
Gorkum, 176 

Goyen, Jan Joseph van, 19, 39, 40, 42, 
173, 174, 183; life. 187; appreciation, 
188; compared to Ruisdael, 189; Vieiu 
of Dordrecht, of Arnheim, of Nim- 
rve.fjen. Landscape, 188; The River, 
Banks of a Canal, 189 
Grand Pensionary, 47 
Grange, Justus de la, employer of Pieter 

de Hooch, 121 
Gray-Bearded Man [Flinck], 152 
Greek art compared to Rembrandt's, 72 
Guild of St. Luke, the Painters' Guild, at 
Delft, 121, 132; Haarlem, 51, 174, 
194; Leyden, 111, 117, 144 



H 

Haarlem, school, 39, 50; Scovel, 16; 
Hals, 50: Terborch, 127; De Bray, 
167; Ruisdael, Salomon and Jacob, 
174; Molyn, 174; Wynants, 174; 
Everdingen, 174: Van de Velde, 
174; Berchem, 174; birthplace of 
Seghers, 170; Wouwerman. 180; Ruis- 
dael, 194; residence of Hals, 51; Van 
Ostade, 110; De Hooch, 121; De 
Bray, 157; Seghers, 170; Van de 
Velde, 174; Wouwerman, 180 

Haarlem Municipal Museum, 32, 39, 52; 
corporation pictures, Hals, 64: Ban- 
gnet of the Officers of the Archers of 
St. George, 64; Banquet of the Offi- 
cers of the Archers of St. George, 65; 
Banquet of the Officers of the Archers 
of St. Andrew, 66; Reunion of the 
Officers of the Archers of St. Andrew, 
67; Officers of the Archers of St. 
George, 68; Regents of the Hospital 
for the Poor, 52 ; Regents of the Hos- 
pital of St. Elizabeth, 69 

Hague: Dutch independence declared, 24; 
school, 38, 42; Ravesteyn. 167: Miere- 
velt, 167: residence of De Hooch, 121; 
Steen, 144; Seghers, 170; Potter, 179; 
Van Goyen, 187 

Hague Royal Museum, 37; Portrait of a 
Young Man, St. Simeon in the Temple, 
The Lesson in Anatomy, Rembrandt, 
76: The Young Mother. Dou, 103; 
Peasants' Holiday. Peasants at an Inn, 
Marriage Proposal, The Fiddler. Van 
Ostade, 110; Diana at her Toilet. Neia 
Testament. Head of a Girl. Vermeer, 
135: View of Delft. Vermeer, 136; 
While the Old Ones Sing, etc., Steen, 
146 ; Doctor Visiting a Sick Woman, 



12052 



INDEX 



Steen, 147; Judah and Thamar, De 
Gelder, 161; The Young Bull, Potter, 
179; Cattle and Bathers, Potter, 180; 
View of Dordrecht, Van Goyen, 188; 
"View of Haarlem from the Dunes, 
Jacob van Ruisdael, 197; The Beach, 
Jacob van Ruisdael, 198 

Hals, Dirck, 5; place in art, 126 
Hals, Frans, 19; birth, 29; life, 50; 
Guild of St. Luke, 51; death and 
burial, 51; personal character, 52; 
technique. 52 ; humor, 53 ; point of 
view, 54; still-life, 57; compared with 
Van der Heist, 57; an Impressionist, 
59; use of values, 63; light, 63; brush- 
work, 64; color, 64; simplicity of 
gesture, 67; decline of power, 69; 
Hals and Rembrandt, 96; modern in- 
fluence, 97; overestimated, 97; pupils, 
99; Banquet of the Officers of the 
Archers of St. George, 64; Banquet of 
the Officers of the Archers of St. 
George, 65; Banquet of the Officers of 
the Archers of St. Andrew, 66; Re- 
union of the Officers of the Archers of 
St. Andrew. 67; Officers of the Arch- 
ers of St. George. 68; Regents of the 
Hospital for the Poor, 52 ; Regents of 
the Hospital of St. Elizabeth, 69 

Hals, Harmen, 58 

Happy Family, A [Steen], 145 

Harmen van Rijn, father of Rembrandt, 
73 

Head and Bust of Oriental [Rembrandt], 
104 

Head of a Girl [Vermeer], 135 

Heist, Bartholomeus van der, 43 ; com- 
pared with Hals, 57; appreciation, 
164; Banquet of the Civic Guard, 57, 
164 ; Portrait of Paul Potter, 163, 178 

Hendrickje, 78: Portrait of, 89 

Hermanszoon, Anneke, 50 

Heyden, Jan van der, 31 

Hobbema, Meindert, 31, 39, 43; life, 190; 
appreciation, 192; The Water Mill, 
191, 192; Avenue of Middelharnis. 
Wooded Landscape, Water-Mill 

(Louvre), Wooded Road, 191 

Holland, growth of, 3 ; pioneer of modern 
era, 3; misrule of Philip, 19; inde- 
pendence of, 24 ; birthplace of new 
art, 26; Duchess Isabella, 45; consoli- 
dated, 45 ; Stadtholdership hereditary, 
46 ; familv of Orange entangled with 
Stuarts, 47 

Holy Familv [Rembrandt], 102 

Homely Scene, A [Steen], 145 

Hondecoeter, Melchior d', 31; school, 38; 
in Amsterdam, 43 

Hooch, Pieter de, 31; school, 41; in Am- 
sterdam, 43; life, 120; influence of 
other painters, 138; The Mother, In- 
terior, The Pantry, A Dutch Court- 
yard, Family Group, 122; The Visit, 
138 

Hoogstraten, Samuel van, 43 

Horn, Count van, 22, 46 

Horses at the Door of a Cottage [Potter], 
180 

Houbraken, historian -painter, 52, 120, 
144 

Huntington, Mrs. Collls P., owner of 
Lady with a Lute, Vermeer, 139 



r 

Important Document, An [De Gelder], 160 
Impressionism, 59, 60; of Rembrandt, 86. 

92, 93 
Interior [De Hooch], 122 
Isaac Blessing Jacob [Flinck], 151 
Isabella, Duchess, 45 
Israels, Josef, 106 

J 

Jacob Presented to Pharaoh by Josech 
[Bol], 154 -^ J *' 

Jerome in a Cave, St. [Rembrandt], 76 

Jesus Disputing with the Doctors [Rem- 
brandt], 75 

Jewish Cemetery [Jacob van Ruisdael], 
200 

Johnson, Mr. John G., collector of Phila- 
delphia, 114 

Judah and Thamar [De Gelder], 160 

Judith with the Head of Holof ernes [Man- 
tegna], 157 



Kalf, Willem, 31 

Keyser, Thomas de, 43; appreciation, 165; 
Company of Captain Cloeck, Family 
Meebeeck Cruywaghen, Portrait of 
Pieter Schout. Old Lady and her Three 
Daughters, Old Man and his Two 
Sons, Portrait of a Woman, 166 

Koninck, Philips, 30; in Amsterdam, 43, 
174; appreciation. 172; The Dunes, 
Valley of the Rhine near Arnheim, 
Dutch Landscape, Landscape with 
Cattle (Berlin), Landscape with Cat- 
tle (Rijks), Four Portraits of Joost 
van der. Vondel, 173 



Lace-Maker, The [Vermeer], 139 

Lady and her Doctor [Van Mieris], 124 

Lady at a Spinet [Vermeer], 140 

Lady at her Toilet [Dou], 112 

Lady at the Clavichord [Netscher], 125 

Lady Washing her Hands [Terborch], 136 

Lady with a Lute [Vermeer], 139 

Lady with the Pearl Necklace [Vermeer], 

138 
Lady Writing [Vermeer], 139 
Lairesse, Gerard de, 125 
Landscape, 169; painters of: Seghers, 
169; Rembrandt, 173; Jacob van 
Ruisdael, 173, 193 ; Salomon van 
Ruisdael, 174; Molyn, 173; Berchem, 
174; Wouwerman. 174, 180; "Wynants, 
175; Van der Neer, 176; Van de 
Velde, 183; with cattle, Potter, 179 
Landscape with Cattle [Koninck], 173 
Landscape with Cattle [Potter], 180 
Landscape with Fence [Jacob van Ruis- 
dael], 199 
Landscape with Waterfall [Jacob van 

Ruisdael], 194 
Last Judgment [Van Leyden], 74 
Lastman, Pieter, 73 
League of Nobles, 21 
Lesson in Anatomy [Rembrandt], 76 



[:206 3 



INDEX 






Letter, The [Vermeer], 138 

Leyden, founding of university, 35; 
School of, 38, 40; Dou, 111;' Steen, 
144; birthplace of Rembrandt, 73; 
Dou, 111; Metsu, 117: Mieris, 122; 
Steen, 144; Willem van de Vclde, 
Elder and Younger, 18(5; Van Goyen, 
187; residence of Rembrandt, 74; 
Dou, 111 ; Steen, 144 

Liberty, Statue of, 87 

Liechtenstein Gallery, Vienna: Portrait of a 
Oirl. Bol, 155 

Louvre: The Supper at Emmaus. The 
Good Samaritan, Rembrandt, 82; The 
Dropsical Woman. Dou, 112; Vege- 
table Market. Metsu, 118; The Gallant 
Soldier. Terborch, 129; Angel and the 
Shepherds, Flinck, 152; Portrait of a 
Little Girl. Flinck, 153; Portrait of a 
Mathematician, Bol, 154; Horses at 
the Door of a Cottage, Potter, 180; 
The Rirer. Banks of a Canal. Van 
Goyen, 189; Water Mill, Hobbema, 191 
vers at Breakfast [Metsu], 118 

Lucas van Leyden, 15, 74; The Last Judg- 
ment, 74 

Luminarist, 80 



M 

Maas, River, 182 

Maes, Nicolaes, 31, 144; school, 43; in- 
fluenced by Rembrandt, 105 ; life, 
114; appreciation, 115; A Reverie, 
Asking a Blessing, Nurse and Chil- 
dren, 114; The Young Card-Players, 
114, 116; Old Woman Peeling Apples, 
The Cradle, Dutch Housewife. 115; 
Old Woman Spinning, 115, 116; Por- 
trait of a Man. 116 

Man and Woman Selling Poultry [Metsu], 

iWanet, Edouard, 60 

Mantegna, Judith with the Head of Holo- 
f ernes. 157 

Marine-painters, 44; Vlieger, 44, 185; 
Bakhuysen, 44; Verschuier, 185; Wil- 
lem van de Velde, Elder and Younger, 
44. Vroom. 185 

Marriage at Cana [Steen], 148 

Marriage Proposal, The [Van Ostade], 110 

Matisse, French artist, 93 

Maurice, Stadtholder, 37, 45 

Mercury and Argus [Eeckhout], 159 

Metropolitan Museum, New York, 88, 90; 
A Music Party. Metsu, 119; Girl with 
Water-Jug. Vermeer, 135 

Metsu, Gabriel, 31; school, 40; in Am- 
sterdam, 43; pupil of Hals, 99; in- 
fluenced by Dou, 111; life, 117; ap- 
preciation, 117-119; The Blacksmith, 
117; Old Woman in Meditation, Man 
and Woman Selling Poultry, Lovers at 
Breakfast, 118; A Music Party, Visit 
to the Nursery, 119; Family Geelvink, 
120 

Meyer, Baron A., photographs of, 58 

Mierevelt, Michiel Jansz van, 19, 41, 167 

Mieris, Frans van, the Elder, 40 ; influenced 
by Dou, 111: life, 122; appreciation, 
123; The Sick Woman. The Oyster 
Breakfast, 123; The Girl before a 



Mirror, A Lady and her Doctor, Cava- 
lier in a Shop, 124 

Mill near Wyk-by-Duurstede [Jacob van 
Ruisdael], 199 

Models, Rembrandt's use of, 104, 150 

Monet, Claude, 60 

Moral character of Dutch painting, 27 

Moreelse, Paulus, 167 

Morgan, Mr. J. Pierpont, owner of Visit 
to the Nursery, Metsu, 119; Lady 
Writing, The Lace-Maker, Vermeer, 
139; The Water Mill, Hobbema, 184, 
191; Wooded Landscape, Hobbema, 
191 

Moro, Antonio, 16 

Mother, The [De Hooch], 122 

Munich Pinakothek. See Pinakothek 

Music Lesson, The [Vermeer], 140 



N 

National Gallery, London: Peace of MUn- 
ster, Terborch, 39, 127; The Young 
Card-Players. Maes, 114, 116; The 
Cradle, Dutch Housewife, Maes, 115; 
An Interior, De Hooch, 121; A Dutch 
Courtyard, Family Group, De Hooch, 
122 ; Lady at a Spinet, Vermeer, 140 ; 
The Doctor's Visit, Steen, 147; The 
Wine Contract, Eeckhout, 160; Tobit 
and the Angel, Rembrandt, 172; 
Moonlight Landscape, Landscape with 
Trees, Landscape with Cattle, Van der 
Neer, 177; Landscape with Cattle, 
Potter, 180; Landscape with Cattle, 
Cuyp, 182; Avenue of Middelharnis, 
Hobbema, 191; Landscape with TTater- 
fall, Jacob van Ruisdael, 194; Shore 
at Scheveningen, Ruisdael, 198 

Neer, Aert van der, 30 ; school, 43 ; ap- 
preciation, 176; Moonlight Scenes, in 
National Gallery and Imperial Art Mu- 
seum, Vienna, 177; Winter Scene, 
Scene with Cattle, 177 

Netscher, Caspar, school, 42; apprecia- 
tion, 125 ; A Lady at the Clavichord, 
125 

New Testament, The [Vermeer], 136 

Night School, The [Dou], 113 

Night Watch, The [Rembrandt], 77, 79, 
81, 84 

Nurse and Children [Maes], 114 



Officer Writing a Letter [Terborch], 136 
Old Lady and her Three Daughters [De 

Keyser], 3 66 
Old Man and his Two Sons [De Keyser], 

166 
Old Woman in Meditation [Metsu], 118 
Old Woman Peeling Apples [Maes], 116 
Old Woman Peeling Apples [Terborch], 

136 
Old Woman Saying Grace [Dou], 103 
Old Woman Spinning [Maes], 114 
Old Woman who has Lost her Thread 

[Dou], 112 
Orange, Prince William of, 23, 29, 46 
Oriental art, 94 
Oriental Figure [Rembrandt], 104 



Csot: 



INDEX 



Orley, Barend van, 15 ; The Day of Judg- 
ment, 15 

Ostade, Adriaen van, 30; school, 39; pupil 
of Hals, 99; life, 108; appreciation, 
109; pupils, 110; The Peasants' Holi- 
day, Peasants at an Inn, Marriage 
Proposal, The Fiddler, 110 

Ostade, Isaac van, 110 

Oyster Breakfast, The [Mieris], 123 



Presentation of Christ in the Temple [De 

Gelder], 160 
Presentation of Christ in the Temple [Eeck- 

hout], 159 
Presentation with the Angel [Rembrandt], 

75 
Prince's Birthday [Steen], 146 
Proposal, The [Vermeer], 134 



Palamedesz, Antonie, school, 41 ; apprecia- 
tion, 126 
Pantry, The [De Hooch], 122 
Paul, St. [Rembrandt], 76 
Peace of Miinster, 46 
Peace of Miinster [Terborch], 39, 127 
Peasants at an Inn [Van Ostade], 110 
Peasants' Holiday [Van Ostade], 110 
Petersburg, St., The Swamp in the Wood, 

Jacob van Ruisdael, 199 
Philip I, 3, 9, 10 

Philip II: misrule of Netherlands, 19; 
nobles resist, 21; ambition, 25; close 
of. reign, 26 
Pieter Schout, Portrait of [De Keyser], 166 
Pinakothek, Munich: Holy Family, Rem- 
brandt, 102 ; The Descent from the 
Cross, The Elevation of the Cross, 
Rembrandt, 103, 104; The Burial, The 
Resurrection, Rembrandt, 103; The 
Adoration of the Shepherds, Rem- 
brandt, 104, 159; Old Woman Saying 
Grace, Dou, 103; Lady at her Toilet, 
Dou, 112; The Sick Woman, The 
Oyster Breakfast, Van Mieris, 123 ; 
Girl before a Mirror, Van Mieris, 124; 
Portraits of Man and Wife, three 
others, Bol, 155 
Plein-air, 63, 131, 170, 171 
Portrait of a Girl [Bol], 155 
Portrait of a Little Girl [Flinck], 153 
Portrait of a Man [Maes], 116 
Portrait of a Woman [De Keyser], 160 
Portrait of a Young Man [Flinck], 152 
Portrait of A. de Notte [Fabritius], 157 
Portrait of Elizabeth Bas [Rembrandt], 89 
Portrait of Himself [Rembrandt], 78 
Portrait of M. Johannes Wittenbogaert 

[Flinck], 152 
Portrait of Old Woman [Metsu], 118 
Portrait of Paul Potter [Van der Heist], 

178 
Portraits, painters of, 33 : school of Haar- 
lem, 39; Delft, 41; The Hague, 42; 
Hals, 49; Rembrandt, 89; Maes, 116; 
Terborch, 128; Vermeer, 141; Sant- 
voort, 151, 161: Flinck, 151; Bol, 
155; Fabritius, 156; Eeckhout, 160; 
De Gelder, 160; Van der Heist, 162; 
De Keyser, 165; Mierevelt, 167; Rave- 
steyn, De Bray, Moreelse, 167 
Portraits of Man ' and Wife, three other 

portraits [Bol], 155" 
Portraiture, 150 

Potter, Paul, appreciation, 178; life, 179; 
The Young Bull, 179; Bear Hunt, 
Boar Hunt, Cattle and Bathers, Horses 
at the Door of a Cottage, Landscape 
with Cattle, 180 
Pourbus, Pieter, 16 



Raising of Jairus's Daughter [Eeckhout], 
159 

Ravesteyn, Jan Anthonisz van, 19; school, 
42, 167 

Regents of the Hospital for the Poor 
[Hals], 52 

Regents of the Hospital of St. Elizabeth 
[Hals], 69 

Rembrandt, Harmensz van Rijn, 71; indi- 
tidualitv, 4; birth, 30; School of Ley- 
den, 40; Amsterdam, 43: Holland's 
leading painter, 49 : life, 72 ; etchings, 
74: personality, 75; in Amsterdam, 
76; beginning of fame, 77; marriage 
and death of Saskia, second marriage, 
77; bankruptcy, 78; Fromentin's criti- 
cism, 79, 85 ; chiaroscuro, 80 ; abstract 
idea, 88; color, 91; symbolism, 92; Im- 
pressionist, 93 ; compared with Hals, 
96; influence on genre, 102; use of the 
arch, 104; St. Paul, St. Jerome in a 
Cave, St. Simeon in the Temple. 76; 
The Lesson in Anatomy, 76, 85 ; Sortie 
of the Frans Banning Cock Company 
(The Night Watch), 77, 79, 81, 84; 
The Syndics of the Cloth Guild, 78; 
Portrait of Himself, 78: Shipper at 
Emmaus, 82, 148; Good Samaritan, 
82; Portrait of Elizabeth Bas. 89; 
Holy Family, 102 ; Descent from the 
Cross. 103: Elevation of the Cross, 
103, 104; Burial, Resurrection, Adora- 
tion of the Shepherds, Oriental Figure, 
Head and Bust of an Oriental, 104; 
Tobit and the Angel, 172 

Renaissance art, 72 

Rest of the Holy Family [Bol], 154 

Resurrection, The [Rembrandt], 104 

Reunion of the Officers of the Archers of 
St. Andrew [Hals], 66, 67 

Reverie [Maes], 114 

Reyniers, Lysbeth, 51 

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam, 44, 59; The 
Enraged Swan, Asselyn, 44; Fishers 
for Souls. Van de Venne, 44 ; Syndics 
of the Cloth Guild, Rembrandt, 78; 
Sortie of the Frans Banning Cork 
Company, Rembrandt, 78, 79, 81, 84; 
Portrait of Elizabeth Bas, Rembrandt, 
89: The Egg Dance, Aertz, 107; The 
Night School, Dou, 113: A Reverie, 
Metsu, 114; Asking a Blessing, Old 
Woman Spinning, Metsu, 115, 116: 
The Blacksmith. Metsu, 117; Old 
Woman in Meditation, Metsu, 118; 
The Interior, The Pantry, De Hooch, 
122; The Cook, Vermeer, 137: Totmg 
Woman Reading a Letter. Vermeer, 
138; A Homely Scene, The Happy 
Family, The Feast of St. Nicholas, 
Steen, 145; The Prince's Birthday, 



[208] 



INDEX 



The Sick Lady. Steen, 146; The Dis- 
ciples at Emtnaits. Steen, 148; Isaac 
Blessing Jacob, Flinek, 151: Portrait 
of M. Johannes Wittenboffaert, Fete of 
the Civic Guard, Miinster. 164S, 
Flinek, 153; Abraham Receiving the 
Angels, Salotne Dancing before Herod, 
Bol, 154: iS'ix Governors of the Ilui.izit- 
tenhuis, Four Governors of the Leper 
House, Roelof Metilenaar, 2Iaria Rey. 
Artus Quellinus. Bol, 156: Portrait of 
Abraham de Notte, Decapitation of 
St. John the Baptist. Pabritiiis, 157; 
TTomnn Taken in Adult en/. Eeckhout, 
158; Three Portraits, De Gelder. 161; 
Portrait of Dirck Bas Jacnhsz Family, 
Four Ladies of the Spinhuis, Sant- 
voort, 161; Banquet of the Civic 
Guard, Ynn der Heist, 57, 164; Por- 
trait of Paul Potter, Van der Heist, 
163; Company of Captain Clneck, 
Family Meebeeck Cruyivaghen, Portrait 
of Pieter Schout, De Kevser, 166; 
Maria van Utrecht. The Little Prin- 
cess, Moreelse, 167: Four Portraits of 
Joo.it van den Vondel. Two Land- 
scapes with Cattle. Koninck, 173; 
Landscape. Everdingen, 175; The 
Bear Hunt. Potter, 180; Portrait of 
the Tan de Telde Fatyiily, Van de 
Velde, 183; Charles II Entering Rot- 
terdam, 24 May, 1660, Verschuier, 
186; Landscape, Van Goyen, 188; 
View of Haarlem from the Dunes, 
Jacob van Ruisdael, 197; Mill near 
Wyk-hy-Duurstede, Jacob van Ruis- 
dael. 199 

River [Van Goyen], 188 

Rotterdam, birthplace of De Hooch, 120; 
Mieger. 185 ; Verschuier, 185 

Rubens, Peter Paul, 18 

Ruisdael, Jacob van, compared to Goyen, 
189; appreciation, 193; life, 194; in- 
crease of power, 196 ; compared to 
Rembrandt, 200; Landscape with 
Waterfall, 194; Castle Bentheim. 195; 
Village in the Wood. 196; View of 
Haarlem from the Hill of Overveen, 
197; The Beach. Shore at Schevenin- 
gen, 198; The Mill near Wyk-by-Duur- 
stede. The Swamp in the Wood. The 
Oak Wood, The Big Wood, Landscape 
with Fence, 199; Jewish Cemetery, 200 

Ruisdael, Salomon van, 174 



St. Simeon in the Temple [Rembrandt], 76 

Salome Dancing before Herod [Bol], 151 

Santvoort, Dirck Dircksz, 151; apprecia- 
tion, 161 ; Portrait of Dirck Bas 
Jacobsz Family, Four Ladies of the 
Spinhuis, 161; Four Governors of the 
Serge Hall, Frederick Dircksz Alewyn, 
Agatha Geelvinck, Martinus Alewyn, 
Clara Alewyn, 162 

Saskia van Uylenborch, 77 

Schalcken, Godfried, 42 ; influenced by 
Dou, 111: appreciation, 125 

Schatter, Captain Johan, 66 

Scovel, Jan van, life, 16; appreciation. 



17; portrait group of twelve Knights 
Templars, 17 

Seghers, Hercules, 19 ; born at Amster- 
dam, 43; appreciation, 169; influenced 
Koninck, 173, 174; Holland Landscape 
irith the Hamlet of Rhenen, Landscape, 
169 

Shore at Scheveningen [Jacob van Ruis- 
dael], 198 

Sick Woman, The [Van Mieris], 123 

Sidney, Sir Philip, 25 

Sleeping Girl [Vermeer], 136 

Slingeland, Pieter Cornelisz van, influenced 
by Dou, 111, 126 

Sortie of the Frans Banning Cock Com- 
pany [Rembrandt), 77, 79 

Spain, downfall of, 26 

Spanish Fury, 22 

Steen, Jan, 31; school, 39, 40; apprecia- 
tion, 141; humor, 143; life, 144; 
stories of reckless life, 145; A Homely 
Scene, Fea.tt of St. Nicholas, Happy 
Family, 145; The Christening Party. 
While the Old Ones Sing the Young 
Ones Pipe, Twelfth Night. The Prince's 
Birthday, The Sick Lady. 146; Doctor 
Visiting a Sick Young Woman, A 
Doctor's Visit, 147; The Marriage at 
Cana, Expulsion of Hagar, Disciples 
at Emmaus. 148 

Still-Iife, Dutch interest in, 31; Van 
Heeni, Weenix, Kalf, Hondecoeter, 
31, 38 

Stoffels, Hendrickje, 78 

Supper at Emmaus [Rembrandt], 82, 148 

Swamp in the Wood [Jacob van Ruisdael], 
199 

Swanenburch, Jacob van, 41; teacher of 
Rembrandt, 73 

Symbolism, 95, 197, 200 

Syndics of the Cloth Guild [Rembrandt], 
56 



Technique, as a motive, 28 

Terborch, Gerard, 30; school, 39; pupil 
of Hals, 99; appreciation, 127; life, 
128 ; influence of Hals, Rembrandt, 
and Velasquez, 128; portraits, 128; 
color, 131; The Peace of Miinster, 
127; The Gallant Soldier. 129; The 
Concert, Officer Writing a Letter, Lady 
Washing her Hands, Old Woman Peel- 
ing Apples, 130 

Tintoretto, 14 

Titian, 14 

Tobit and the Angel [Rembrandt], 172 

Tulp, Dr., 76 

Twelfth Night [Steen], 146 



u 

Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Landscape, 

Seghers. 169 
Union of Utrecht, 23 
Utrecht, school of painting: Scovel, 16; 

birthplace of Moreelse, 167; residence 

of Scovel, 16; Moreelse, 167; Seghers, 

170 
Uylenborch, Saskia van, 77 



[209:] 



INDEX 



Valckenborch, Lucas van, 107; apprecia- 
tion, 126 

Values, 134 

Vanderbilt, W. K., collector, 104 

Vegefable Market, The [Metsu], 118 

Velasquez, 60 ; influenced Rembrandt, 93 : 
Hals, 97 

Velde, Adriaen van de, 31, 43, 178; ap- 
preciation, 183, 196; Family of Van 
de Telde, 183 

Velde, Esaias van de, 39, 187 

Velde, Willem van de, the Elder, 30, 184; 
appreciation, 186 

Velde, Willem van de, the Younger, 44 ; 
appreciation, 186 

Venne, Adriaen van de, 44 

Vermeer, Johannes, 31; school, 41; life, 
132; appreciation, 132; comparison 
with Rembrandt, 133; plein-air, 170; 
The Proposal. 134; Girl with Wafer- 
Jug, 135, 139; Diana at her Toilet. 
New Testament. Head of a Girl, Diana 
and her Nymphs, 135: Sleeping Girl, 
Tiew of Delft, 136: The Cook, 137; 
The Letter. Yonng Woman Reading a 
Letter. Lady with Pearl Neel-lace, 
138; Lady with a Lute, Lady Writing. 
The Lace-MaJcer, 139; The Coquette, 
Lady at a Spinet, The Music Lesson, 
The Artist in his Studio, 140; Portrait 
of a Lady, 141 

Veronese, Paolo, 14 

Verschuier, Lieve, 185; Charles II Enter- 
ing -Rotterdam, 186 

Veth, Jan, 182 

Vienna Art-History Museum, 107; A Lady 
and her Doctor. Cavalier in a Shop, 
Mieris, 124; Old Woman Peeling Ap- 
ples, Terborch, 130: Gray-Bearded 
Man, Flinck, 152; The Big Wood, 
Ruisdael, 199 

Vienna Imperial Art Museum: Moonlight 
and Winter Landscapes, "Van der 
Neer, 177: Landscape with Fence, 
Jacob van Ruisdael, 199 

View of Arnheim [Van Goyen], 188 

View of Delft [Vermeer], 137 

View of Dordrecht [Van Goyen], 188 



View of Nimwegen [Van Goyen], 188 
Visit, The [De Hooch], 138 
Visit to the Nursery [Metsu], 119 
Vlieger, Simon de, 34, 44; appreciation, 

185 
Vondel, Joost van den. Portrait of 

[Koninck], 173 
Vroom, Hendrick Cornelisz, 185 



W 

Wagner, quotation on art, 4 

Wallace Collection: Winter Scene, Van 

der Neer, 177; Landscape with Cattle, 

Cuyp, 182 
Water Mill [Hobbema], 191 
Water Mill (Louvre) [Hobbema], 191 
Watteau, 5 

Weenix, Jan, '31; school, 38, 43 
Westphalia, Treaty of, 46 
When the Old Ones Sing the Young Ones 

Pipe [Steen], 146 
Whistler, 95 
William, Prince of Orange, 8: resists 

Spain, 21; price put on his head, 23; 

offered the crown, 24: death, 25 
William III of England, 47 
Wine Contract, The [Eeckhout], 160 
Witt, Johan de, 46 

Woman Taken in Adultery [Eeckhout], 158 
Wooded Landscape [Hobbema], 191 
Wooded Road [Hobbema], 191 
Wouwerman, Philips, 30, 174; school, 39; 

pupil of Hals, 99, 178; appreciation, 

180, 184, 195 
Wynants, Jan, 30, 174, 175; school, 39, 

43, 84 



Young Bull, The [Potter], 179 

Young Card-Players, The [Maes], 114, 

116 
Young Man and Girl in a Cellar [Dou], 

113 
young Mother, The [Dou], 103 
Young Woman Reading a Letter [Ver- 
meer], 138 



[210] 



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