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Title: Landseer - A collection of fifteen pictures and a portrait of the - painter with introduction and interpretation
Author: Hurll, Estelle M. (Estelle May), 1863-1924
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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(This file was produced from images generously made


      [Illustration: From an Engraving by Frank Cousins, John Andrew
        & Son, Sc.
      THE CONNOISSEURS
      _Property of King Edward VII_]



         The Riverside Art Series


                LANDSEER


     A COLLECTION OF FIFTEEN PICTURES

      AND A PORTRAIT OF THE PAINTER

         WITH INTRODUCTION AND

            INTERPRETATION



                  BY

           ESTELLE M. HURLL



           BOSTON AND NEW YORK

      HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY

     The Riverside Press, Cambridge

                  1901



  COPYRIGHT, 1901, BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.


  _Published November, 1901._



PREFACE


The wide popularity of Landseer has been chiefly due to the
circulation of engravings after his works. This little book is, so far
as I know, the first attempt to bring together a collection of his
pictures made in the modern process of half tone, from photographs
direct from the original paintings. It is hoped that they may give a
fairly good idea of the range and character of his art.

  ESTELLE M. HURLL.

  NEW BEDFORD, MASS.
  September, 1901.



CONTENTS AND LIST OF PICTURES


  PAGE

  THE CONNOISSEURS. PAINTED BY LANDSEER. (_Frontispiece_)
  Picture from Engraving by Frank Cousins


  INTRODUCTION

          I. ON LANDSEER'S CHARACTER AS AN ARTIST            vii

         II. ON BOOKS OF REFERENCE                             x

        III. HISTORICAL DIRECTORY OF THE PICTURES OF THIS
                     COLLECTION                                x

         IV. OUTLINE TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN
                     LANDSEER'S LIFE                         xii

          V. SOME OF LANDSEER'S CONTEMPORARIES              xiii


     I. KING CHARLES SPANIELS                                  1
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

    II. SHOEING                                                7
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

   III. SUSPENSE                                              13
               Picture from Photograph of the original Painting

    IV. THE MONARCH OF THE GLEN                               19
               Picture from Engraving by Thomas Landseer

     V. THE TWA DOGS                                          25
               Picture from Photograph of the original Painting

    VI. DIGNITY AND IMPUDENCE                                 31
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

   VII. PEACE                                                 37
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

  VIII. WAR                                                   43
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

    IX. A DISTINGUISHED MEMBER OF THE HUMANE SOCIETY          49
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

     X. A NAUGHTY CHILD                                       55
               Picture from Photograph of the original Painting

    XI. THE SLEEPING BLOODHOUND                               61
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

   XII. THE HUNTED STAG                                       67
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

  XIII. JACK IN OFFICE                                        73
               Picture from Photograph of the original Painting

   XIV. THE HIGHLAND SHEPHERD'S CHIEF MOURNER                 79
               Picture from Photograph of the original Painting

    XV. A LION OF THE NELSON MONUMENT                         85
               Picture from Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl

   XVI. THE CONNOISSEURS                                      91



INTRODUCTION


I. ON LANDSEER'S CHARACTER AS AN ARTIST.

If the popularity of a painter were the measure of his artistic
greatness, Sir Edwin Landseer's would be among the foremost of the
world's great names. At the height of his career probably no other
living painter was so familiar and so well beloved throughout the
English-speaking world. There were many homes in England and America
where his pictures were cherished possessions.

While popular opinion is never a safe basis for a critical estimate,
it must be founded on reasons worth considering. In the case of
Landseer there is no doubt that a large element in his success was his
choice of subjects. The hearts of the people are quickly won by
subjects with which they are familiar in everyday life. A universal
love for animals, and especially for domestic pets, prepared a cordial
welcome for the painter of the deer and the dog. His pictures supplied
a real want among the class of people who know and care nothing about
"art for art's sake."

The dramatic power with which Landseer handled his subjects was the
deeper secret of his fame. He knew how to tell a story with a simple
directness which has never been surpassed. With almost equal facility
for humor and pathos, he alternated between such inimitable satire as
the Jack in Office and such poignant tragedy as the Highland
Shepherd's Chief Mourner. Before pictures like these, the keenest
criticism must confirm the popular verdict. Poetic imagination is one
of the most coveted of the artist's gifts, and Landseer's rich
endowment commands universal admiration.

The artist who is a story teller finds it one of the most difficult
tasks to keep within proper limits. He is under a constant temptation
to emphasize his point too strongly, to exaggerate his meaning in
order to make it plain. That Landseer never fell into such error none
would dare to claim. In interpreting the emotions of dumb animals he
sometimes overdrew, or seemed to overdraw, their resemblance to human
beings. Only those who have observed animals as closely as he--and how
few they are--are competent to decide in this matter. When one
thoroughly considers the question, the wonder is less that he
sometimes made mistakes, than that he made so few. As a sympathetic
critic has said: "Nothing short of the most exquisite perception of
propriety on his part could have enabled him to give innumerable
versions of the inner life of animals with so little of the
exaggeration and fantasticalness which would have easily become
repugnant to the common sense of Englishmen."[1]

[Footnote 1: Henrietta Keddie ("Sarah Tytler").]

Among Landseer's technical qualities the critic has highest praise for
his drawing. He was a born draughtsman, as we see in the astonishing
productions of his boyhood. He was besides a painstaking and faithful
student in the youthful years when the foundations of good work must
be laid. Another valuable quality was his artistic discrimination,
that which a certain critic has called "the selective glance that
discerns in a moment what are the lines of character and of life."
Seizing these, he transferred them to his canvas in the decisive
strokes which reproduce not merely the body but the vitality of the
subject.

His dexterity in texture-painting was remarkable. The glossy coat of
the bay mare, the soft long hair of the Newfoundland dog, the polished
surface of metal, were rendered with consummate skill. There are
marvellous tales of the rapidity of his workmanship. In the moment of
inspiration his practised hand made the single telling brush stroke
which produced the desired effect.

With apparently little systematic effort towards orderly composition,
he often felt his way instinctively, as it were, to some admirable
arrangements. He sometimes showed a feeling for pose almost plastic in
quality, as when he painted A Distinguished Member of the Humane
Society and The Sleeping Bloodhound. His sense of the picturesque is
quite marked. He was fond of sparkle, and disposed very cleverly the
points of bright light in his pictures.

Landseer's admirers are wont to regret that he devoted himself to so
limited a range of subjects. The patronage of the rich absorbed much
of his time in unimportant work,--time which might better have been
spent in those works of creative imagination of which he showed
himself capable. His pictures of deer subjects reveal an otherwise
unsuspected power in landscape-painting which with cultivation might
have led him into another field of success. In portrait-painting, too,
his work was admirable, especially in the delineation of children.

It is idle to speculate upon what he might have been had he not been
what he was. Much greater artists than he might well envy him his
unique fame. To exceptional artistic ability he united a sympathetic
imagination which divined some of the most precious secrets of common
life. It was his peculiar glory that he touched the hearts of the
people.


II. ON BOOKS OF REFERENCE.

In the year following Landseer's death (_i.e._, in 1874), a memoir of
the painter was published by F. G. Stephens, made up in part of
material previously issued by the writer on the Early Works of
Landseer. A few years later (in 1880), this memoir served in turn, as
the substantial material, revised and somewhat enlarged, for Stephens'
biography of Landseer in the series "Great Artists." Besides Stephens,
Cosmo Monkhouse has devoted valuable critical work to the art career
of Landseer. Full of suggestive and illuminating comment is his large
volume "The Works of Sir Edwin Landseer, with a History of his Art
Life." The book is illustrated with forty-four engravings.

An interesting article on Landseer's art appeared in "The British
Quarterly Review" soon after his death, and was reprinted in Littell's
"Living Age," December 26, 1874. Some pleasant chapters on Landseer
are to be found in Elbert Hubbard's "Little Journeys to the Homes of
Eminent Painters." Comments on the artist's pictures and methods are
scattered through the works of Ruskin and Hamerton.

A catalogue of Landseer's works was issued by Henry Graves, London,
1875.


III. HISTORICAL DIRECTORY OF THE PICTURES OF THIS COLLECTION.

_The Connoisseurs._ Painted in 1865. The property of King Edward VII.

1. _King Charles Spaniels._ Painted in 1832, according to the
authority of F. G. Stephens. Monkhouse gives the date as 1845. In the
National Gallery, London. Size: 2 ft. 3-1/2 in. by 2 ft. 11-1/2 in.

2. _Shoeing._ Exhibited in 1844. Bequeathed by Mr. Jacob Bell to the
National Gallery, London, where it now hangs. Size: 4 ft. 8 in. by 3
ft. 8 in.

3. _Suspense._ Exhibited in 1834. In the South Kensington Museum,
London. Size: 2 ft. 11-3/4 in. by 2 ft. 3-1/2 in.

4. _The Monarch of the Glen._ Painted in 1851. Catalogued by Graves as
the property of Lord Fitzgerald in 1875.

5. _The Twa Dogs._ Signed E. L. 1822. In the South Kensington Museum,
London. Size: 1 ft. 9 in. by 1 ft. 4-3/4 in.

6. _Dignity and Impudence._ Exhibited in 1839. Bequeathed by Mr. Jacob
Bell to the National Gallery, London, where it now hangs. Size: 2 ft.
11-1/2 in. by 2 ft. 3-1/2 in.

7. _Peace._ Exhibited at the Royal Academy, in 1846. In the National
Gallery, London. Size: 2 ft. 10 in. by 4 ft. 4 in.

8. _War._ Exhibited at the Royal Academy, in 1846. In the National
Gallery, London. Size: 2 ft. 10 in. by 4 ft. 4 in.

9. _A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society._ Exhibited at the
Royal Academy, in 1838. In the National Gallery, London. Size: 3 ft.
6-1/2 in. by 4 ft. 7 in.

10. _A Naughty Child._ Exhibited at the British Institution, in 1834.
In the South Kensington Museum, London. Size: 1 ft. 3 in. by 11 in.

11. _The Sleeping Bloodhound._ Exhibited at the British Institution in
1835. Bequeathed by Mr. Jacob Bell to the National Gallery, London,
where it now hangs. Size: 3 ft. 3 in. by 4 ft. 1 in.

12. _The Hunted Stag._ Exhibited at the Royal Academy, in 1833. In the
National Gallery, London. Size: 2 ft. 3-1/2 in. by 2 ft. 11-1/2 in.

13. _Jack in Office._ Exhibited at the Royal Academy, in 1833. In the
South Kensington Museum, London. Size: 2 ft. 2 in. by 1 ft. 7-3/4 in.

14. _The Highland Shepherd's Chief Mourner._ Exhibited at the Royal
Academy, in 1837. In the South Kensington Museum, London. Size: 2 ft.
by 1 ft. 6 in.

15. _A Lion of the Nelson Monument._ Commission received in 1859.
Lions set up in Trafalgar Square, 1868.


IV. OUTLINE TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN LANDSEER'S LIFE.

  1802. Landseer born in London.
  1815. "Honorary Exhibitor" at Royal Academy, studies
        under Haydon.
  1816. Admittance to Royal Academy as student.
  1817. Portrait of Brutus exhibited.
  1818. Fighting Dogs exhibited.
  1822. Premium of £150 awarded by Directors of British
        Institution for Larder Invaded.
  1824. First visit to Highlands and to Sir Walter Scott
          at Abbotsford.
        Cat's-Paw exhibited.
  1825. Removal to house in St. John's Wood, London.
  1826. Associate of Royal Academy.
  1830. Royal Academician.
  1834. Landseer's highest level in art; Suspense exhibited.
        Highland Shepherd Dog rescuing Sheep from
          Snowdrift.
  1837. Highland Shepherd's Chief Mourner.
  1840. Travel on Continent.
  1843. The Sanctuary.
  1846. Peace; and War.
        The Stag at Bay.
  1848. A Random Shot.
  1850. Knighthood conferred.
  1853. Gold medal from Paris Exhibition.
  1859. Commission for lions of Nelson Monument.
  1860. Flood in the Highlands.
  1868. Lions placed in Trafalgar Square.
  1869. The Swannery Invaded.
  1873. Death, October 1.
        Funeral in St. Paul's, October 11.


V. SOME OF LANDSEER'S CONTEMPORARIES.

  ARTISTS:--

  Sir Charles Eastlake, 1793-1865  }
  C. R. Leslie, 1794-1859.         }
  Henry Fuseli, 1741-1825.         }
  William Mulready, 1786-1863.     } Painters
  J. M. W. Turner, 1775-1851.      }
  Benjamin West, 1738-1820.        }
  Sir David Wilkie, 1785-1841.     }
  John Gibson, sculptor, 1790-1866.
  Thomas Landseer, engraver, 1796-1880.

  AUTHORS:--

  Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1809-1861.
  Robert Browning, 1812-1889.
  Lord Byron, 1788-1824.
  Charles Dickens, 1812-1870.
  George Eliot, 1819-1880.
  James Hogg, 1770-1835.
  Walter Savage Landor, 1775-1864.
  John Ruskin, 1819-1900.
  Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832.
  Tennyson, 1809-1892.
  Thackeray, 1811-1863.
  Wordsworth, 1770-1850.



I

KING CHARLES SPANIELS


Edwin Henry Landseer was the most gifted member of a family of
artists. His father was a well-known engraver, and his brother Thomas
distinguished himself in the same profession. As soon as he could hold
a pencil, the boy Edwin began to draw. The family were then living in
the outskirts of London, and there were open fields near the house.
Here the future animal--painter used to spend long afternoons
sketching cows and sheep, and at the end of the day his father would
criticise his work.

At an early age the young artist began to show a preference for the
dog above other animals. A drawing of a foxhound made when he was five
years old is still exhibited as a remarkable production. At the age of
fourteen he became a pupil at the Royal Academy, "a bright lad with
light curling hair, and a very gentle, graceful manner and much
manliness withal." The following year all the critics were surprised
when he exhibited an admirable portrait of a dog called Brutus. The
painter Fuseli was at this time at the head of the Academy, and was
very fond of his precocious pupil, whom he playfully called his
"little dog boy," in reference to the Brutus.

It was by means of another dog picture that the artist took his next
step towards fame. "The Fighting Dogs" was a remarkable work for a
painter sixteen years old, and upon its exhibition in 1818 it was
purchased by an English nobleman. This was the real beginning of
Landseer's professional career, and from this time forward his success
was assured.

It became a fashion among people of means to bring their dogs to
Landseer for their portraits. He even counted royalty among his
patrons, painting the favorite pets of Queen Victoria and her husband,
Prince Albert.

The spaniels of our picture were the pets of a certain Mr. Vernon, who
not unnaturally deemed the beautiful little creatures a worthy subject
for a master's brush. This kind of dog, as its name implies, is
supposed to have come originally from Spain. Both Stuart kings,
Charles I. and Charles II., were specially fond of the breed, each
having a favorite variety. One of the dukes of Marlborough was also a
lover of spaniels, and imported into England the variety called, from
his palace, the Blenheim. The difference of color between the King
Charles and the Blenheim is seen in the picture, the former being
black and tan, with a few white touches; the other white, with spots
of liver color. Both have characteristic silky coats, round heads, big
lustrous eyes set wide apart, and long ears hanging in folds.

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    KING CHARLES SPANIELS
    _National Gallery, London_]

The little dogs lie side by side on a table. The Blenheim has his paws
over the edge, resting his nose comfortably upon them. The King
Charles nestles upon the brim of a high-crowned hat ornamented with a
long ostrich plume drooping over the brim. Such a hat was worn among
the Cavaliers or king's party in the reign of Charles I.; hence the
title of the Cavalier's Pets,[2] often given to the picture. The hat,
it must be understood, serves an important artistic purpose in the
composition, the height, from crown to feather tip, relieving the
otherwise flat effect of the picture.

[Footnote 2: The idea suggested in this title is made the basis of an
imaginary story woven about the picture in Sarah Tytler's little book,
_Landseer's Dogs and their Stories_.]

The attention of the dogs seems attracted by some object across the
room. It is the painter talking to them soothingly over his sketch: he
has learned the secret of dog language. As his pencil moves rapidly
over the paper, they watch him with wide eyes, full of wonder but with
no fear. They are like spoiled children gazing at a visitor with an
expression half wilful, half beseeching. The fresh ribbon bows they
wear are evidence of the fond care bestowed upon them.

Though the spaniel is not of the highest order of canine intelligence,
it is an affectionate and lovable pet often known to fame in
distinguished company. Tradition has it that it was one of these
little creatures which followed the unfortunate Mary Stuart to the
executioner's block--

  "The little dog that licked her hand, the last of all the crowd
  Which sunned themselves beneath her glance and round her footsteps
    bowed."

It is also supposed that Sir Isaac Newton's little dog Diamond was a
spaniel, the mischief-maker who destroyed his master's priceless
calculations, and drew from the philosopher the mild exclamation,
"Diamond, Diamond, thou little knowest the mischief thou hast done."
Again, it was a spaniel whom Elizabeth Barrett Browning cherished as
the companion of weary hours of illness and confinement. The charming
verses to Flush celebrate the dog's beauty and affection.

The history of our picture illustrates Landseer's remarkable facility
of workmanship. After making the first sketch at Mr. Vernon's house in
Pall Mall, the painter was for a long time too busy to do any further
work upon it. One day artist and patron chanced to meet upon the
street, and the former was reminded of his promise. The sketch was
taken out and, two days later, the finished painting was delivered to
the owner. The picture lost nothing, however, by the haste with which
it was executed. A competent critic (Cosmo Monkhouse) has said that
Landseer never excelled it as a piece of painting. Much praise has
been bestowed upon the few dexterous strokes which have so perfectly
reproduced the texture of the plume on the hat. Even in the black and
white reproduction we can appreciate some of the best points of the
picture.



II

SHOEING


At the blacksmith's shop the bay mare Betty is being fitted to new
shoes. Already the fore feet are nicely shod and the blacksmith now
has the near hind foot in hand. The other occupants of the place are a
small donkey and the bloodhound Laura.

Betty is a sensible horse and enjoys the shoeing process. When the
time comes around for her regular visit to the forge, she walks off of
her own accord and unattended to the familiar spot. No halter is
necessary to keep her standing; in fact, she would not tolerate such
an indignity. She takes her place by the window as if perfectly at
home.

Blacksmith and horse are old friends who understand each other well.
The man has won the animal's confidence by the care he has taken to
fit the shoes comfortably. Though a plain, rough fellow, he is of a
kindly nature and knows his business thoroughly.

The shop is a quaint little place such as one finds in English
villages. The thick masonry of the walls shows how old the building
is; the floor is paved with large blocks of stone. Between the anvil
and the forge there is only space enough for the horse to stand. Yet
all the necessary tools are at hand, and a good blacksmith may shoe a
horse as well here as in the most elaborate city establishment.

At this stage of the process the preparations are all over. The old
shoes were first removed and the feet pared and filed. New shoes were
chosen as near the right size as possible, and one by one shaped for
each foot. Holding the shoe in his long tongs, the blacksmith thrusts
it into the fire, while he fans the flames with the bellows. Thence it
is transferred, a glowing red crescent, to the anvil. Now the workman
swings his hammer upon it with ringing strokes, the sparks fly out in
a shower, and the soft metal is shaped at will. The shoe may be made a
little broader or a little longer, as the case may be; bent a trifle
here or there, to accommodate the foot to be fitted. The steel toe
calk is welded in, the ends are bent to form the heels, the holes for
nails are punctured, the shoe taking an occasional plunge into the
flames during these processes.

Now there must be a preliminary trying-on. The shoe still hot is held
to the foot for which it is intended, and the air is filled with the
fumes of burning hoof. Yet the horse does not flinch, for the thick
hoof is a perfect protection for the sensitive parts of the foot. If
the careful blacksmith is not quite satisfied with the fit, there must
be more hammering on the anvil, and another trying on. When the shoe
is satisfactory, it is thrust hissing into a barrel of cold water,
and, cooled and hardened, is ready to be nailed on.

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    SHOEING
    _National Gallery, London_]

It is at this point in the story that we come upon Betty. The farrier,
after the approved method of his trade, holds the foot firmly between
his knees, and bends to his task. The nails, long and flat, are in the
tool-box on the floor beside him. A few firm blows of the hammer drive
each one into place, first on one side, then on the other; the
projecting points are twisted off every time, and finally, all the
rough ends are filed smoothly on the outside of the hoof. Betty is at
last fully shod and will step complacently home.

Our painter has arranged the four figures of the picture in a sort of
circular composition, so that we may see each one in a characteristic
pose. The bay mare is, of course, the chief attraction, a fine
high-bred creature, with straight legs, arching neck, and gentle face
marked on the forehead with a pure white star. Landseer exerted his
utmost skill in reproducing the texture of the glossy hide. Its
beautiful sheen is more striking by contrast with the shaggy hair of
the donkey. It was a clever thought to place this plebeian little
beast beside the aristocratic, high-spirited horse.

The donkey bends his head in a deprecating way below Betty's handsome
neck, and the horse permits the companionship of an inferior with
gentle tolerance. There is something very appealing about the donkey,
a patient little beast of burden, meekly bearing his saddle. The
bloodhound shows no little curiosity as to the shoeing process, as if
it were something new to her. She sits on her haunches, thrusting her
head forward, the long ears drooping, the sensitive nose sniffing the
strange odors.

Among these dumb companions the blacksmith feels himself surrounded by
friends. He is a lover of pets, as we see by the birdcage hanging in
the window. His sturdy frame looks equal to the demands of his trade,
which are in fact very laborious. It is grimy work, and only the
roughest clothes can be worn. A big leather apron with a cut down the
middle is, as it were, his badge of office. Our farrier does his work
with conscientious earnestness, concentrating all his thought and
energy upon each blow of the hammer. The task completed, he will take
an honest pride in the good piece of work he has done for Betty.

It is interesting to know that old Betty's owner was Mr. Jacob Bell,
an intimate friend and business adviser of Landseer.



III

SUSPENSE


A wounded knight has been brought home to his castle, and a line of
blood-stains on the floor shows where he was carried through the hall
to the room beyond. The family and servants press after, the door is
closed, and the favorite hound is shut out in the hall alone. Only the
meaningless murmur of voices, broken perhaps by the groans of his
master, tells what is going on within. It is a moment of suspense, and
the dog waits with drooping head, and eyes fixed mournfully on the
barrier which separates him from the object of his devotion.[3] So
alert is every sense that at the slightest touch upon the door he will
spring forward and push his way in.

[Footnote 3: A similar situation is described in the story of _Bob,
Son of Battle_, where the shepherd dog waits in suspense outside the
sickroom of his mistress.]

It is some such story as this which the painter tells us in the
picture called Suspense.[4] Every detail is full of meaning to the
imagination. The heavy door, studded with great nails, calls to mind
the old Norman castle; the gauntlets on the table and the plume on the
floor suggest the armor of the mediæval knight. The picture is like an
illustration for one of Scott's novels. Our knight may have been
wounded, like Ivanhoe, in a tournament. The scene of the lists rises
before us, the opposite lines of mounted knights charging upon each
other with their lances, the shock of the meeting, the unhorsing of
many, the blows of the battle axe upon helmet and coat of mail, and
finally the entrance of the squires to bear their wounded masters to a
place of safety.

[Footnote 4: A pretty imaginary story is woven about the picture in
Sarah Tytler's little book, _Landseer's Dogs and their Stories_.]

The hound had no part in the sports of the tourney, but the scene of
his glory was the chase. When the knight went forth for a day's
hunting in the forest, the whole pack went with him, waking the
woodland echoes with their baying. Some familiar verses tell of

  "The deep-mouthed bloodhound's heavy bay
  Resounding up the rocky way,
  And faint from farther distance borne,
  The echo of the hoof and horn."

The dogs' delicate sense of smell enables them to track game with
unerring precision. It seems impossible to exhaust their perseverance
or their wind, and it is surely not their fault if a hunting-party
returns unsuccessful.

While hunting brings out the more ferocious elements of the nature,
the hound is on the other hand capable of an affectionate devotion
which makes him a valued friend of man. The English country gentleman
is a lover of dogs and horses, and knows how to appreciate their good
qualities. Out of the many animals in his kennels one dog is usually a
chosen favorite which becomes his master's inseparable companion.
Such a favorite is the dog of our picture, and we like to fancy that
the knight is worthy the love of so noble a creature.

    [Illustration: John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    SUSPENSE
    _Kensington Museum, London_]

The hound is represented in his best and noblest aspect: all the
forces of his being seem concentrated in loving anxiety. It is as if
suffering brought out in the dog's nature those higher qualities by
which he is allied to human beings. His countenance is intensely
expressive yet thoroughly canine. Every line of the drawing brings out
the dog's character,--the squat of the haunches, the position of the
legs far apart, the rising of the hair on the crest of the back, the
droop of the head, the flattening of the tail.

The broad collar with the ring is a symbol of his subjection. The
privilege of man's friendship has cost the dog his freedom. To offset
the hours of delightful companionship with his friendly master are the
weary times when he must tug impotently at the chain which keeps him
within the castle enclosure.

It has been said that Landseer looked upon most animals with the eyes
of the artist, the poet, and the natural historian, but the dog alone
he painted as a friend. Our picture is good evidence of the truth of
the statement. Every resource of the painter's art was lavished upon
his favorite subject with the loving care that one gives only to a
friend.

The massive size of the dog is seen by comparing the figure with the
height of the table and the door. The great creature practically
fills the canvas. The pose is so finely conceived, the figure itself
so admirably "modelled," to use the critic's phrase, that it seems
almost like a work of sculpture. The light and shadow are carefully
studied. The light seems to come from some source at the right,
bringing out strongly the expressiveness of the dog's face. Landseer,
we are told, was fond of introducing into his pictures a bit of
sparkling metal. Here the reflected light on the gauntlets, like that
on the spurs beside the King Charles Spaniels and on the helmet near
the Sleeping Bloodhound, adds an effective touch to the composition.

Suspense has been a popular favorite among Landseer's works, and is
one of the pictures referred to in the Memorial Verses published in
"Punch" after the artist's death. This is the stanza describing it:--

    "The lordly bloodhound with pricked ear,
  And scent suspicious, watches for his lord
  At the locked door, from whose sill, trickling clear,
  The blood bespeaks surprise and treacherous sword."



IV

THE MONARCH OF THE GLEN


An annual visit to the Scottish Highlands was one of Landseer's
pleasures. It was here that he learned to know the habits of the deer,
the subject of many of his noblest paintings. His first journey to
this region was as a young man of twenty-two, in company with a friend
and fellow painter, Leslie. An incident of the excursion was a visit
to Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott. The painter and the
novelist had much in common in their attachment to dogs, their
fondness for vigorous out-of-door exercise, and their love of nature.

Landseer was deeply impressed with the rugged grandeur of the Highland
scenery. Especially was his imagination stirred by the mountain
solitudes, the haunt of the deer, which Scott had described in his
poems. A favorite resort was the valley of Glencoe, a singularly wild
and romantic spot where a long narrow ravine is shut in between almost
perpendicular hills.

The painter first made the acquaintance of the deer after the ordinary
manner of the sportsman. For sport in itself, however, he cared little
or nothing; the great attraction of hunting was the chance to study
the action of animals. His friends laughed at him for a poor shot,
but his true weapon was the pencil, not the gun. One day, while
deerstalking, just as a magnificent shot came his way, the gillies
were astonished to have the painter thrust the gun into their hands,
and hastily take out his sketch-book. It was the life and not the
death of the animal in which he was chiefly interested.

The Monarch of the Glen seems to be a picture caught in just this way.
The very life and character of the animal are transferred to the
canvas as by a snap shot of the camera. The stag has heard some
strange sound or scented some new danger, and, mounting a hill, looks
abroad to see if all is well. The responsibility of the herd is his,
and he has a tender care for the doe and the young deer. He must
always be on the alert.

His attitude reminds one of Scott's "antlered monarch" in "The Lady of
the Lake," which

  "Like crested leader proud and high
  Tossed his beamed frontlet to the sky;
  A moment gazed adown the dale,
  A moment snuffed the tainted gale."

It is with a proud sense of ownership that the monarch surveys his
domain. With head erect he seems to defy the whole world of sportsmen.
Behind him are piled the massive crags of the mountain peaks, with the
mist rising from the valley below. This fog, so dangerous to the
traveller, is a blessing to the deer, tempering the heat of the summer
sun and hiding him from his enemy, man. It appealed to Landseer on
account of its weird sublimity, and he liked to get the effect of
it in his landscapes, especially when illumined by a burst of
sunlight.

    [Illustration: From an Engraving by Thomas Landseer, John Andrew &
      Son, Sc.
    THE MONARCH OF THE GLEN]

The Monarch of the Glen is a splendid specimen of his kind. The
spreading horns above his head are like the boughs of an oak tree. We
know from the number of branches that he is seven years old. The horns
are developed at the end of the first year, and every year thereafter
are displaced by new ones with an additional branch.

The large ears are held erect as if the animal could fairly see with
them. His fine eyes scan the horizon with a searching glance which
misses nothing. His sensitive nose detects from afar the approach of
any stranger to his fastnesses. The end is always moist, in order that
he may catch the way of the wind, as the hunter catches it on his
moistened finger. His neck is encircled with a heavy mane, falling in
a broad band, like the collar of a royal order. His body is rather
short, thick, and round.

The legs, which are seen only half their length, seem strangely
disproportioned to the weight of so heavy an annual. That the deer's
horns are so large and his legs so small are two perpetual mysteries
about this wild creature. An amusing fable by La Fontaine relates how
a stag, gazing at his reflection in the water, deplores the
awkwardness of his legs, and admires the beauty of his antlers. A
moment later, fleeing for his life, he learns the value of his
despised legs, while the boasted horns impede his progress by catching
in the branches of the forest trees.

The speed of which the deer is capable is indeed marvelous. He adds to
his power of fleet running a wonderful trick of bounding through
space. It is said that a deer may leap six or eight feet into the air,
and cover in a single bound a distance of eighteen to thirty feet. The
leap is performed without apparent haste or effort, the animal rising
gracefully into the air by a tiny toe-touch of the dainty hoofs. It is
a sort of wingless flying.[5] The deer is besides a strong swimmer,
and lakes and streams are no obstacles in his way.

[Footnote 5: See _The Trail of the Sandhill Stag_, by Ernest
Seton-Thompson, from which is also drawn the information about the
deer's moist nose.]

As we look into the noble face of the Monarch of the Glen, we feel a
sense of kinship with him, like the experience of Yan in the beautiful
story of "The Sandhill Stag." It was after following the trail of the
deer many days that the youth at last came suddenly face to face with
the object of his desire, "a wondrous pair of bronze and ivory horns,
a royal head, a noble form behind it." As they gazed into each other's
eyes, every thought of murder went out of Yan's heart, and gave place
to a strange sense of fellowship. "Go now without fear," he said, "but
if only you would come sometimes and look me in the eyes, and make me
feel as you have done to-day, you would drive the wild beast wholly
from my heart, and then the veil would be a little drawn, and I should
know more of the things that wise men have prayed for knowledge of."



V

THE TWA DOGS


The Scotch poet Robert Burns, who died a few years before Landseer's
birth, was a kindred spirit of the painter in his love of dogs and his
sense of humor. An early picture by Landseer illustrating the poem of
"The Twa Dogs" fits the verses as if painter and poet had worked
together. We are told that Burns once had a collie which he named
Luath, after a dog in Ossian's "Fingal." The favorite came to an
untimely end, through some one's cruelty, and the poet was
inconsolable. He determined to immortalize Luath in a poem, and this
is the history of the tale of "The Twa Dogs."

The poem relates how

  "Upon a bonny day in June
  When wearing through the afternoon,
  Twa dogs, that were na thrang[6] at hame,
  Forgather'd ance upon a time."

[Footnote 6: Busy.]

Of the two dogs, one is the collie Luath, here represented as the
friend and comrade of a ploughman. He is described in broad Scotch
as

      "A gash[7] and faithfu' tyke
  As ever lap a sheugh[8] or dike.
  His honest, sonsie,[9] baws'nt[10] face,
  Aye gat him friends in ilka place.
  His breast was white, his touzie[11] back
  Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
  His gaucie[12] tail, wi' upward curl,
  Hung o'er his hurdies[13] wi' a swirl."

[Footnote 7: Knowing.]

[Footnote 8: Ditch.]

[Footnote 9: Comely.]

[Footnote 10: White-striped.]

[Footnote 11: Shaggy.]

[Footnote 12: Bushy.]

[Footnote 13: Hips.]

Luath's companion was a foreign dog, from "some far place abroad,
where sailors gang to fish for cod," in short, Newfoundland. He was,
moreover, a dog of "high degree," whose "lockèd, letter'd, braw brass
collar showed him the gentleman and scholar." The "gentleman" is
appropriately called Cæsar, a name commonly given to Newfoundland
dogs.

The picture carries out faithfully the poet's conception of both
animals. Luath is here to the very life, with shaggy black back, white
breast, and honest face. We only regret that his position does not
allow us to see the upward curl of his bushy tail. Cæsar is a black
and white Newfoundland dog with a brass collar. The model is said to
have been Neptune, the dog of a certain Mr. Gosling.[14]

[Footnote 14: Two years later (1824) Landseer painted the portrait of
Mr Gosling's Neptune, showing head and shoulders in front view.]

Though representing opposite stations in life, The Twa Dogs were
excellent friends. On this occasion, weary of their usual diversions,
they sat down together on a hillock

  "And there began a lang digression
  About the lords o' the creation."

It is Cæsar who opens the conversation, expressing curiosity as to how
the poor man can endure his life. Luath owns that the cotter's lot is
a hard one, but declares that in spite of poverty and hardships the
poor are "maistly wonderfu' contented." The talk then drifts to the
corruption of politics and the vices of the rich. Cæsar at last brings
it to an end by describing the wearisome monotony and emptiness of the
fashionable life.

    [Illustration: John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    THE TWA DOGS
    _South Kensington Museum, London_]

By this time it was sundown, and the two friends separated, rejoicing
"that they were na men, but dogs."

The contrast between the two canine types is well brought out in our
picture. Even the attitudes show their opposite temperaments. The
collie is a somewhat awkward figure, sitting on his haunches, with
legs far apart, nervously alert. The Newfoundland dog lies at his ease
with one paw elegantly crossed over the other. They talk muzzle to
muzzle, the one long and pointed, the other thick and square.

In those days the collie was chiefly the poor man's dog, the
indispensable aid of the shepherd, and the friend of the laborer. It
was not until later years that, following the example of the Queen,
the rich began to notice his good qualities, and he became a popular
favorite. But neither Burns nor Landseer needed to be taught by the
dictates of fashion to understand the collie's fine nature. The dog
they portrayed, however, was not the luxuriously reared pet we know
to-day, but the unkempt companion of humble folk.

The Newfoundland dog, though of plebeian origin, and a hard worker in
his native land, is generally regarded as an aristocrat. He is
dignified, gentle, and kindly in nature.

Both dogs are very sagacious, and the painter and poet agreed in
giving them the thoughts and feelings of human beings. In the picture
Cæsar seems to be describing the fashionable revels he has witnessed,
while honest Luath listens in amazement to the recital. The landscape
is such as one might see in Scotland. At the foot of the hill lies a
lake, beyond which is a range of low mountains.

Two years after painting the picture of The Twa Dogs, Landseer made a
pilgrimage to Ayr, the birthplace of Burns, and rambled about the
spots associated with the poet's memory. That he took a peculiar
interest in the subject of the poem is shown by the fact that over
thirty years after he painted it a second time, with some slight
variations.



VI

DIGNITY AND IMPUDENCE


Any one with a sense of humor must often be struck by the resemblance
between the ways of dogs and the ways of men. The dignified dog, the
vulgar dog, the nervous dog, the lazy dog, the impudent dog, are all
types of which there are many human counterparts. The dog, indeed,
seems at times almost to mimic the manners of men. So in our picture
of Dignity and Impudence we are at once reminded of a corresponding
situation in human life.

The hound Grafton, posing as Dignity, lies at the entrance of his
kennel, his paws overhanging the edge. His handsome head is held erect
as he surveys an approaching visitor with the air of an elderly
statesman receiving a political candidate. There can be no doubt that
his opinions are decidedly conservative.

A small Scotch terrier has been playing about him, having no awe of
his big host, but making himself quite at home in his cosy quarters.
He is like a frolicsome child, playing about the statesman's chair,
while the old gentleman pursues his train of thought quite
undisturbed. Now at the sound of approaching footsteps the
impertinent creature peeps forth, with the curiosity of his kind, to
see who the newcomer is. His tongue is thrust halfway out at one side
like that of a saucy street boy making faces at the passers by. Though
Dignity apparently ignores the presence of Impudence, we may be sure
that the little fellow's antics afford him a quiet amusement. Plainly
the two dogs are the best of friends.[15]

[Footnote 15: A story of a dog friendship as odd as that between
Dignity and Impudence is told apropos of this picture in Sarah
Tytler's little book, _Landseer's Dogs and their Stories_.]

There is the greatest possible contrast between them, both in
character and appearance. The bloodhound is of a ponderous nature
which does not act without deliberation. Thoroughly aroused he may
become quite terrible, but he is not hasty in his judgments. The
terrier is a nervous creature, full of activity. We can see from the
tense position of his head in the picture that his whole body is
quivering with motion.

The bloodhound seems large even for his breed, which averages about
twenty-seven inches in height. One of his huge paws is almost as large
as the terrier's head and could easily crush the little creature. But
in spite of his reputation for fierceness his expression here is not
at all savage. It is rather grave and judicial, as if carefully
summing up the character of his visitor. While the terrier saucily
asks "Who are you?" the bloodhound is steadily gazing at the intruder,
as if to read his secret thoughts. A modern authority on dogs quaintly
says of the bloodhound's discrimination, "If he puts you down as a bad
character, or one who cannot be thoroughly trusted, there must be
something radically wrong about you, indeed."

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    DIGNITY AND IMPUDENCE
    _National Gallery, London_]

Perhaps something of the gravity of the hound's countenance is due to
the looseness of the skin about the head, making folds which suggest
the wrinkles in an old man's face. The eyes, too, are rather deep set
and impress one with the unfathomable depths of the dog's
intelligence. How unlike are the shining round orbs of the little
terrier. The hound's sleek short-haired coat comports well with his
dignity, while the long tangled hair of the terrier suits his impudent
character. With the long overhanging ears of the larger dog are
amusingly contrasted the small sharp points standing upright on his
companion's head. Finally, were the two dogs to lift up their voices
to greet the new arrival, an odd duet would be produced by the deep
baying of one, broken by the short sharp yelps of the other. Dignity
and Impudence would each find perfect vocal expression.

Our picture illustrates admirably Landseer's genial gift of humor and
shows us how varied was his power. As we have occasion to see
elsewhere in our book, some of his works deal with pathetic, even
tragic, subjects.[16] Like other men of poetic imagination the painter
seemed equally ready to call forth smiles or tears. While no one can
look at Dignity and Impudence without smiling at the contrast, the fun
is without irony. Pomposity and impertinence are amusing qualities
alike in dogs and men, but are altogether harmless.

[Footnote 16: See Suspense, The Highland Shepherd's Chief Mourner, War,
and The Hunted Stag.]

The painter has here kept strictly within the proper limits of his
art. A few slight changes would entirely transform the character of
the picture. By exaggerating only a little the human quality of
expression in the dogs' faces and suggesting a resemblance to some
particular individuals, the picture would become a caricature.
Cartoonists have not scrupled to borrow the design and adapt it to
such purposes. Landseer himself, however, had no aim but to produce a
humorous effect of contrast between the two dogs.



VII

PEACE


A flock of sheep and goats are pasturing on the meadowland above some
cliffs which rise abruptly from the sea. To those familiar with the
scenery of England the place recalls at once the white cliffs of
Dover. The caretakers are a lad and his sister, who have brought with
them a younger child. A shepherd dog is their assistant, one of those
intelligent animals trained to keep the flock together and to lead it
about.

It is noontide of a bright summer day. The sea lies blue and still
under the clear sky. The flock no longer graze industriously, but rest
in scattered groups. The young people amuse themselves quietly on the
grass, and the dog has stretched himself for a nap. Overhead two large
sea gulls take their flight through the air.

There is a single reminder here of a time when all was not so
peaceful,--the rusty old cannon in the midst. From these uplands a
battery once frowned across the Channel, threatening destruction to
the approaching enemy. The booming of guns resounded where now is
heard only the lowing of cattle and the laughter of children. Happily
the cannon has now so long been out of use that it has become a part
of the cliff, like one of the rocks. The flock gather about it as a
rallying place, and in its black mouth grow tender herbs for the lambs
to crop.

No cottage is in sight, and we judge that our young people have
brought their flock from a little distance. Two sturdy goats act as
beasts of burden in the family, both equipped with saddle and bridle.
As they rest now at one side they are the impersonations of docility
and dignity, but a hint of mischief lurks in their complacent
expressions. One feels decidedly suspicious of the old fellow with the
long beard. Twin lambs lying at the cannon's mouth are the softest and
daintiest little creatures of the flock. So, evidently, thinks the
sheep beside them, gently nosing the woolly back of the one nearest.

The children are of the best type of English villagers, with fresh,
sweet, happy faces. All three are well dressed and have the tidy
appearance which is the sign of family thrift and prosperity. The girl
has her hair brushed back smoothly from her forehead and knotted at
the back like a little woman's. She bears herself with a pretty air of
motherliness toward her brothers. Like other English village maidens,
she is skilled in all sorts of domestic duties and has few idle
moments through the day. Her sewing-basket lies beside her on the
ground, and while the dog looks after the sheep, she busies herself
with her work.

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    PEACE
    _National Gallery, London_]

Evidently she has some knitting under way, and the work comes to a
pause while she winds a new skein of yarn. The little toddler may now
make himself useful by holding the skein. He is proud of the honor and
watches the rapidly moving thread with fascinated eyes. So deftly do
the fingers untangle the snarls that the task is converted into a game
as absorbing as a cat's cradle puzzle. Even the older lad, of the
manly age to feel himself superior to such amusements, peers over the
little one's shoulder with genuine curiosity. In the excitement of
their occupation, the little knitter's straw bonnet has slipped from
her head far down her back, leaving the plump neck exposed to the sun.

The full significance of the picture is best understood in contrast
with the companion subject, War. The two pictures have been called by
a critic "true poem-pictures." The painter means to show here that the
choicest blessing of Peace is the prosperity of the humbler classes,
who are the bulwark of the nation. Agricultural pursuits can flourish
only when arms are laid down. Happy is the land where innocent
children and dumb beasts can roam in safety over the country.

The long level stretch of land and sea adds much to the impression of
tranquillity in the picture. The imagination has a delightful sense of
liberty in great spaces. Ruskin has told us that this is because space
is the symbol of infinity. However we may explain it, we certainly
have here a pleasant sense of looking across illimitable space over a
world flooded with sunshine.

The picture recalls the stories of Landseer's first lessons in drawing
in the pastures near his boyhood home. Here he practised all day on
sheep, which are the best subjects for the beginner, because they keep
still so long! In later years his preference was for animals of
livelier action, but in this exceptional instance, as if in
reminiscence of his youth, he painted a pastoral scene with much
artistic feeling.

There are a good many more figures in the picture than are usual with
our painter, and he therefore had a more difficult problem in bringing
all the parts into harmonious relations. It is interesting to contrast
it with the altogether different kind of composition in the companion
picture of War.



VIII

WAR


In the exigencies of war a stone cottage seems to have been used as a
part of some rudely improvised earthworks. A detachment of cavalry has
made a charge against this rampart, and the place now lies in ruins.
To the smoke of battle is added the smoke of burning timbers rising in
a dense cloud, which shuts out the surrounding scenes as with an
impenetrable curtain. Below the breach, in a confused heap amidst the
débris, lie some of the victims of the disaster. There are two
dragoons, vigorous men in the prime of life, and their two splendid
horses.

The man lying most plainly in sight has the appearance of an officer,
from the sash worn diagonally over his steel coat. He has fallen
backward on the ground beside his horse, one booted leg still resting
across the saddle. His face, well cut and refined, is turned slightly
away, and the expression is that of a peaceful sleeper.

On the other side of his horse, his comrade lies in a trench hemmed in
by heavy beams. Both men are already apparently quite dead: it is too
late for the army surgeon or nurse. Death has come swiftly in the
midst of action, and the tide of battle has swept on, leaving them
behind. The horse belonging to the man in the trench has died with his
rider; we see only his fine head.

The other horse, though unable to rise, is still alive. As he lies
stretched on the ground, we see what muscular strength he had,--a
beautiful creature whose glossy hide and sweeping mane and tail show
the pride his owner took in him. The two have shared together all the
hardships of the campaign,--long journeys, short rations, extremes of
cold and heat, fatigue and privation. The horse has learned to listen
for the familiar voice, so strong in command, so reassuring in danger.
Now even in his dying agony he turns with touching devotion to his
master. Not a sound comes from the closed lips, not a flutter of the
eyelids disturbs the calm of the face.

Lifting his head for a last effort, the splendid creature sends forth
a prolonged whinny. This must surely arouse the sleeper, and he fixes
his eyes on the impassive countenance with an almost human expression
of anxiety and entreaty. All in vain, and in another moment the flames
and smoke will envelop them, and soon nothing will remain to show
where they fell.

This is the story we read in our picture of War. There is nothing here
to tell us whether the fallen riders are among the victors or the
vanquished. We do not care to know, for in either case their fate is
equally tragic. It was England's iron duke who said "Nothing except
a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won."

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    WAR
    _National Gallery, London_]

Various small touches in the composition add to the significance of
the scene. Fresh flowers among the heaps of stones show how recently
there was a smiling garden where now all is so ghastly. On the ground
lie an embroidered saddle-cloth, a bugle, and a sword, emblems of the
military life.

It is said that the horrors of war have never yet been faithfully
portrayed. Those who have lived through the experience are unwilling
to recall it, while those who draw upon their imaginations must fall
short of the reality. Whenever any powerful imagination comes
somewhere near the truth, people turn away shocked, unable to endure
the spectacle.[17] Even this picture is almost too painful to
contemplate, yet it selects only a single episode from a battlefield
strewn with scenes of equal horror.

[Footnote 17: As when the exhibition of Verestschagin's pictures was
forbidden.]

Landseer had himself seen nothing of war. The Napoleonic wars had
ended in his childhood and the Crimean war was still ten years in the
future. It was in the quiet interim of the early reign of Victoria
when the picture was painted. The object was to emphasize by contrast
the blessings of peace illustrated in the companion picture. As in
Peace we have a delightful sense of light, space, and liberty, in War
we have a suffocating sense of darkness, limitation, and horror.

Of the many tragedies of the battlefield, naturally the sort which
would most appeal to Landseer's imagination would be the relations
between horses and their riders. Always in close sympathy with animal
life, he had a keen sense of the suffering which the horses undergo in
the stress of conflict. The real hero of our picture is the horse.

In an artistic sense also the dying horse dominates the composition,
his great bulk lying diagonally across the centre of the foreground,
and his lifted head forming the topmost point of the group. All the
other figures are subordinated, both literally and in point of
sentiment. Their conflict is over and they are at rest, but the
suffering animal is even now at the climax of his agony, his terror
increased by a desolate sense of loneliness. The pathos of the
situation is the deeper because of the animal's inability to
understand his master's silence.

The sentiment is one common with Landseer, as we see in other pictures
of our collection. It is the favorite animal's love for his master
made manifest in some great trial. Like the bloodhound in the picture
of Suspense, and like The Highland Shepherd's Chief Mourner, the horse
is raised by the dignity of suffering to the level of human emotion.



IX

A DISTINGUISHED MEMBER OF THE HUMANE SOCIETY


In his walks about the city and in the country Landseer's eye was
always quick to catch sight of a fine animal of any kind. To his
remarkable habits of observation is due the perfect fidelity to nature
which we find in all his work. One day, in a street in London, he met
a Newfoundland dog carrying a basket of flowers. He was struck at once
with the singular beauty of the dog's color. Newfoundland dogs of
various colors were at that time common about London, red, brown,
bronze, black, and black and white. Landseer had already painted a
black and white one in the picture of The Twa Dogs, which we have
examined.

Here, however, was a dog of a beautiful snowy white with a head quite
black save the muzzle. The painter was not long in making his
acquaintance, and learned that he was called Paul Pry. Permission
being obtained to make the dog's portrait, our beautiful picture was
the result. It is probably this picture which gave rise to the later
custom of calling the white Newfoundland dog the Landseer
Newfoundland, to distinguish it from the black.

The Newfoundland dog is a general favorite for his many good
qualities. He is very sagacious and faithful, and unites great
strength with equal gentleness. He is at once an excellent watchdog
and a companionable member of the household. Children are often
intrusted to his care: he makes a delightful playmate, submitting
good-naturedly to all a child's caprices and apparently enjoying the
sport. At the same time he keeps a watchful eye against any danger to
his charge, and no suspicious character is allowed to molest.

It is possible to train such dogs to all sorts of useful service. In
their native country of Newfoundland they do the work of horses, and
harnessed to carts or sledges draw heavy loads. They learn to fetch
and carry baskets, bundles, and letters, and are quick, reliable
messengers.

Perhaps their most striking peculiarity is their fondness for the
water; they take to it as naturally as if it were their proper
element. They are not only strong swimmers, but also remarkable
divers, sometimes keeping their heads under the surface for a
considerable time. Nature seems specially to have fitted them for the
rescue of the drowning, and in this humane calling they have made a
noble record.

Innumerable stories are told of people, accidentally falling from
boats, bridges, or piers, who have been brought safely to land by
these dog heroes. The dog seizes the person by some part of the
clothing, or perhaps by a limb, and with the weight dragging at his
mouth, makes his way to the shore. He seems to take great pains to
hold the burden as gently as possible, keeping the head above water
with great sagacity. Some one has told of seeing a dog rescue a
drowning canary, holding it so lightly in his mouth that it was quite
uninjured.

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    A DISTINGUISHED MEMBER OF THE HUMANE SOCIETY
    _National Gallery, London_]

It is in his capacity as a life saver that the Newfoundland dog of our
picture is represented, called by the pleasant jest of the painter, A
Distinguished Member of the Humane Society. Surely no member of the
honorable body could be more efficient than he in that good cause. He
lies at the end of a stone jetty, his fore paws hanging over its edge
a little above water level. Nothing can be seen behind him but the
gray sky, with sea gulls flying across: against this background the
massive head stands out grandly. He seems to look far out to sea, as
if following the course of a distant vessel. A gentle lifting of the
ears shows how alert is his attention; he is constantly on duty, ready
to spring into the water in an instant.

His attitude shows his great size to full advantage,--the splendid
breadth of his breast and the solidity of his flank. The open mouth
reveals the powerful jaw. A sense of his strength is deeply impressed
upon us. The pose suggests that of a couching lion, and has the same
adaptability to sculpture, as we may see by comparing it with the
bronze lion of the Nelson monument.

As the dog lies in the full sunlight, the picture is an interesting
study in the gradations of light and shadow, or of what in technical
phrase is called _chiaroscuro_. A critic calls our attention to "the
painting of the hide, here rigid and there soft, here shining with
reflected light, there like down; the masses of the hair, as the dog's
habitual motions caused them to grow; the foreshortening of his paws
as they hang over the edge of the quarry."[18]

[Footnote 18: F. G. Stephens.]

Other Newfoundland dogs are known to fame through epitaphs written in
their honor by distinguished men, such as Lord Byron, Lord Grenville,
and the Earl of Eldon. Never has dog had a nobler monument than this
Distinguished Member of the Humane Society, whose portrait ranks among
Landseer's best works.

The owner of the dog, Mr. Newman Smith, became likewise the owner of
the picture, and by him it was bequeathed to the English National
Gallery, where it now hangs.



X

A NAUGHTY CHILD


In stories of the English village life of half a century ago we often
read of the "dame school," where children took the first steps in
their education. This would be held in the cottage of the
schoolmistress, who, in our imagination, was always a kindly old woman
in a big cap and short petticoats. The children sat in rows on hard
wooden seats, or "forms," and gabbled their lessons aloud. Each was
provided with a slate on which letters and figures were laboriously
inscribed. By the great fireplace sat the mistress, and the big-faced
clock ticked off the slow hours. A striking contrast was this to the
kindergarten of the twentieth century!

Our picture shows us a corner of a dame school where a naughty child
is in a fit of temper. The rough board walls, with great projecting
beams, show how little thought was given to schoolroom adornment in
those days. The high bench, without back, is as uncomfortable a seat
as one could imagine. It is supposed that the children of that period
were strictly disciplined in good behavior, but it appears that
naughtiness was no less common then than now. The refractory pupil who
would not learn his lessons was condemned to sit on the dunce stool,
wearing the tall pointed cap. Naturally he did not yield readily to
his punishment, and there was often a struggle with the mistress
before peace was restored.

The child of our picture is evidently giving the good dame a great
deal of trouble. Neither threatening nor coaxing can induce him to
study his lesson. The book is turned face down on the form, and in a
storm of rage the boy has thrown his slate crashing to the floor. This
exhibition of temper is followed by a fit of sulks. He squeezes
himself into the smallest possible space in the corner, huddling his
feet together, toes turned in, and pressing his arms close to his
side. The raising of the shoulders reminds one of the way a cat raises
its back as it shrinks from its enemy. The child's mouth is twisted,
pouting in a scornful curve. His eyes, bright with unshed tears, glare
sullenly before him into space. Here is wilfulness and obstinacy to a
degree.

If the boy's face were not disfigured by anger, we should see in him a
handsome little fellow. He is of a sturdy build, with plump arms and
shoulders, a noble head with a profusion of flaxen curls, and a face
which might be charming in another mood. If the schoolmistress could
once win him she would have a pupil to be proud of. Such a head as his
might produce a Daniel Webster.

The episode of the schoolroom is the story the painter wished us to
read in his work. The real story of the picture is quite a
different tale. The scene of the Naughty Child's temper was Landseer's
own studio, and the child was angry, not because he had to learn a
lesson, but because he must sit for his picture. In those days, before
the invention of photography, it was indeed a tedious process to
obtain a child's portrait. It is scarcely to be wondered at that an
active boy like this should not relish the prospect of a long sitting.

    [Illustration: John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    A NAUGHTY CHILD
    _South Kensington Museum, London_]

Landseer was struck by the child's beauty and was eager to make the
picture. The outburst of temper did not trouble him a bit. Seizing his
sketch-book he hastily drew the little fellow exactly as he looked.
It was characteristic of his art to reproduce accurately every
peculiarity of pose and motion, and he found this attitude of the
child far more novel and interesting than the stiff pose of a
commonplace portrait. It seems hardly probable that the parents could
have been pleased to have their son's ill-temper perpetuated. What
they thought of the picture we can only surmise. Certain it is that
later generations of mothers, leading their children through the
gallery where the picture hangs, could not have failed to pause and
point the moral.

Our picture emphasizes the fact that Landseer's artistic skill was not
limited to the portrayal of animal life. How natural it was to think
of him chiefly as a painter of dogs is illustrated in the familiar
witticism of Sydney Smith. Being asked if he was about to sit to
Landseer for a portrait, he asked, "Is thy servant a dog that he
should do this thing?" Had not Landseer's tastes gradually limited
his work to animal subjects, he might have become well known both for
his landscapes and his portraits. He was especially happy in the
delineation of children, whose unconscious motions display the same
free play of muscle as do the animals. We have seen in our picture of
Peace how sympathetically he entered into the heart of childhood.

Two English painters who preceded Landseer are famous for their
pictures of children, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Thomas Lawrence. It
has not been thought unsuitable to compare Landseer with these great
men, in the treatment of child subjects. His works, says a critic,[19]
"without the color or subtlety of character of Reynolds or the
superfineness of Lawrence, are quite equal to the first in naturalness
and to the second in real refinement, and are without the mannerism or
affectation of either."

[Footnote 19: Cosmo Monkhouse.]



XI

THE SLEEPING BLOODHOUND


If a universal dog-lover like Landseer could be said to have a
preference for any particular kind, it was certainly for the
bloodhound. This noble animal is of very ancient origin, known
apparently to the Romans, and introduced early in English history into
Great Britain. Apparently many gentlemen of Landseer's acquaintance
were possessors of fine specimens. One of these we have already seen
in the picture of Suspense, where the dog's senses are all in intense
concentration. Here, by contrast, the Sleeping Bloodhound is seen in
complete relaxation.

We might almost fancy the picture a sequel to Suspense, and carry on
our story to another chapter, in which, the knight's wounds being
stanched, the door is opened and the dog admitted to his master's
presence. Quiet having fallen on the household, the hound retires to a
corner for a well-deserved nap. He lies on a fur rug spread in front
of an ottoman, beside which stands his master's helmet. His forelegs
are stretched out straight before him, his body curled around, his
head pushed forward in a position which from a dog's point of view
represents solid comfort.

Though asleep he is still on guard; the painter has conveyed the
impression of the dog's latent power, even in repose. Like Rab, in Dr.
John Brown's famous story, he is "a sort of compressed Hercules of a
dog." As he lies at his ease, we note the characteristics of his
kind,--the loose skin, the long soft ears, the long thick tail. Of his
most striking quality there is no visible evidence, namely, his
exquisite sense of smell. It is this which has made him so valuable to
man, both as a companion of his sports and a protector of life and
property.

In former times when the resources of government were limited,
bloodhounds often served in the useful capacity of a detective force.
In the border country between England and Scotland, before the union
of the kingdoms, these dogs were kept to maintain safety, and to track
criminals. In Cuba they were put on the pursuit of outlaws and
fugitives from justice. This explains why the dog has sometimes been
called a sleuthhound; that is, a dog set upon a _sleuth_, or trail.

In our own Southern States bloodhounds were once used to recover
runaway slaves, as we may read in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." There have been
times, too, when the dog's unique gift of scent has enabled him to
find lost children and exhausted travellers, and thus be a benefactor
to humanity.

Whatever the task set him, whether for good or ignoble ends, the
bloodhound has always fulfilled it with unflagging perseverance and
devotion. He is a dog to command both fear and admiration, and we
count ourselves fortunate if we win his good opinion.

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    THE SLEEPING BLOODHOUND
    _National Gallery, London_]

The original of the portrait was Countess, the bloodhound of Mr. Jacob
Bell, of whom we have also heard as the owner of the bay mare Betty.
The dog had long been waiting for a portrait sitting, but the busy
painter seemed to have no time for the work. Finally occurred a
strange accident which was the immediate cause of the picture. Poor
Countess fell one night from a parapet at Mr. Bell's residence, in
some unknown way losing her balance, or missing her footing. The
distance was between twenty and thirty feet, and the dog was killed.
Mr. Bell immediately took the animal to Landseer's studio, and there
in an incredibly short time was produced this portrait.

The story explains why the painter chose the unusual theme of a
sleeping dog. Ordinarily he delighted in showing the expressiveness of
a dog's eye. This being here impossible on account of the model's
condition, we have instead a picture which we would not exchange even
for Suspense or Dignity and Impudence. If we have here less of those
higher qualities which are brought out in the dog's human
relationships, we see the better the purely animal side of his nature.

The union of power with repose is a rare combination in art, and one
we associate with Greek sculpture. The picture of the Sleeping
Bloodhound has what we call plastic qualities. We have a sense of the
massive solidity of the dog's body, as if he were modelled in clay.
In this respect the picture should be compared with the Newfoundland
dog called the Distinguished Member of the Humane Society, and with
the lion of the Nelson monument.

The helmet beside the dog is one of those picturesque accessories
which Landseer enjoyed putting into his works. Like the gauntlets in
the picture of Suspense, it suggests the knightly deeds of chivalry
with which the bloodhound seems appropriately associated. The
reflection of light from the polished surface of the metal makes an
effective touch in the picture.

It is by no accident that the helmet occupies the place it does; it is
an essential part of the composition, serving precisely the same
purpose which the cavalier's hat does in the picture of the King
Charles Spaniels. Both compositions gain by this device the necessary
height to balance their horizontal lines.



XII

THE HUNTED STAG


In his study of the deer in the Scottish Highlands, Landseer found
almost inexhaustible material for his art. In fact, nothing of
interest escaped him in the life of this noble animal. If we could
have a complete collection of his pictures on this subject, they would
set forth the entire story of the deer. The painter, as we have seen,
did his hunting with a sketch-book, and brought home, instead of so
many head of game, so many pictures with which to delight future
generations. Many of these pictures deal with tragic subjects, as in
our illustration of a Hunted Stag borne down a mountain torrent with
the hounds upon him. The pathetic side of animal life appealed
strongly to Landseer's dramatic imagination. He who could see so
readily the comic aspects of a situation was equally quick in his
appreciation of suffering.

It has been said by a close observer of animal life that no wild
animal dies a natural death.[20] Every creature of the woods lives in
the midst of perpetual dangers from some one of which, sooner or
later, he comes to a violent or tragic end. The rigor of the elements
sometimes overcomes him,--rain or snow, heat or cold, flood or
avalanche, the falling tree or the crashing rock. It may be that some
other animal which is his natural enemy finally falls upon him and
destroys him. The most cruel fate of all is when he falls into the
power of the sportsman, matching against the wild creature's instincts
his wits, his dogs, and his rifle. In such an unequal contest man
seldom fails to win.

[Footnote 20: Ernest Seton-Thompson in _Wild Animals I have known_.]

Deerstalking was long the favorite sport in England, dating from the
early days of semi-barbarism, when the only serious pursuits of the
rich were war and the chase. The forest laws of the old Norman kings
set the punishment for killing a deer, except in the chase, as great
as for taking a human life. Large tracts of land were reserved for
hunting grounds in districts which might otherwise have been covered
with prosperous villages. Down to our own times, a large pack of
hounds was maintained by the English crown solely for the use of royal
hunting parties. At length, at the beginning of the twentieth century,
the new king, Edward VII., has abolished the custom.

It would seem that the deer was well fitted by nature to cope with his
enemy the sportsman. His senses are so exquisitely delicate that he
detects the approach of the hunter at a great distance. As soon as he
takes alarm he flees from the danger, covering the ground in flying
leaps with incredible speed. From time to time he pauses on some
hilltop to locate anew the position of the enemy.

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    THE HUNTED STAG
    _National Gallery, London_]

As he begins to tire, he resorts to stratagem as a substitute for
speed. Sometimes another deer comes to his aid, taking the track he
has made, while he hides in some thicket or flies in a different
direction. One of his tricks is to run backward over his course for a
number of yards, and then leap aside to start in another way. The
story of the Sandhill Stag tells how a deer used this device three
times in succession, the last time returning to a thicket near his
track from which he could discern his pursuer long before the trail
would bring him too near. After this, grown more desperate, the stag
circled round till he joined his old track, and then bounded aside to
let the hunter follow the cold scent.

When all such artifices fail, the hunted deer's last resort is the
water. Plunging into a lake or mountain stream, he swims up the
current, taking care not to touch any brush on the bank, lest he leave
a scent for the hounds. It is said that he can even hide under the
water, leaving only the tip of his nose above the surface.

The stag of our picture has reached the water too late; already the
hounds are upon him. The mass of struggling animals is swept along the
current of a mountain stream to an inevitable doom. The hunted
creature raises his noble head in his dying agony, seeking to escape
his tormentors. Even yet he strikes out in a brave attempt to swim,
but the end is only too plain.

The painter's art has set the tragedy very forcibly before us. Behind
is a lake, around which rises a range of high hills. A single break
in their outline admits a ray of sunlight into the sombre grandeur of
the scene. The narrow stream which issues from the lake falls between
huge boulders, in a steep descent. The struggle of the dogs with their
prey churns the torrent into foam about the body of the stag.

While we admire the art which can produce such a picture, the subject,
like that of War, is too painful for enjoyment. We must turn again to
the Monarch of the Glen, and from the contrast of the dying with the
living, we enjoy the more the splendid vitality of the animal.



XIII

JACK IN OFFICE


In the time of Landseer a familiar figure about the streets of London
was the itinerant dealer in dog's meat. His outfit consisted of a
square covered wheelbarrow in which he carried the meat, a basket, a
pair of scales, knives, skewers, and similar tools of his trade. His
assistant was a dog, whose duty was to guard the meat barrow while the
butcher called for orders or delivered his goods. In this capacity a
dog would serve even better than a boy, in keeping hungry animals from
his master's property. There is a quaint old saying that "it takes a
rogue to catch a rogue." The dog's wages were all the meat he could
eat, and having satisfied himself to the point of gluttony, there
would be no danger of any inroads on the meat from him.

In our picture a butcher has left his barrow standing on the
cobble-stone pavement at the corner of the narrow entrance to a
square. His dog Jack controls the situation in his absence, and rules
with undisputed authority.

Such is the master's confidence in the dog's ability to manage, that
he has taken no pains to put the meat away in the barrow. A large cut
is left in the scale pan, and a basket on the pavement contains some
choice bits. Naturally the tempting odor has drawn a number of stray
street dogs to the place.

From his elevated position Jack surveys them as a monarch receiving a
throng of obsequious courtiers. As a matter of fact he is himself a
low mongrel cur, vastly inferior in origin to some of the surrounding
dogs. Circumstances having raised him to a position of authority he
regards them all with supercilious disdain. A miserable, half starved
hound approaches the basket with eyes fixed hungrily on the contents,
the tail drooping between the shaking legs, the attitude expressing
the most abject wretchedness. He is a canine Uriah Heep professing
himself "so 'umble." Behind is a retriever, uplifting a begging paw,
and farther away are other eager dogs. A puppy in front has just
finished eating, and, still gnawing the skewer, looks up to ask for
more.

Not one of them all dares touch the meat, though Jack moves not a
muscle to prevent them. It is a question whether an overfed,
tight-skinned animal like this would prove a very redoubtable enemy in
a fight. Jack's influence, however, is due in no small measure to his
sagacious air of importance. Seated on his haunches, he holds between
his fore legs the handle of the scales as the insignia of office. A
broad collar and a small leather harness show he has to take his own
turn in serving another. Ignoring the appeal of the puppy, he turns to
the group of larger dogs, regarding them with a contemptuous
expression of his half-closed eyes. He has been a keen observer of dog
nature, and knows what value to place upon the professions of these
fawning creatures.

    [Illustration: John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    JACK IN OFFICE
    _South Kensington Museum, London_]

The situation inevitably suggests corresponding relations in human
life. It often happens that a man of inferior qualities is raised to
some position of authority which he holds with arrogant assumption.
Himself the servant of another, he delights in the exercise of a petty
tyranny. He is forthwith surrounded by a throng of flatterers seeking
the benefits he has to bestow. It is pitiable to see how some who were
originally his superiors humiliate themselves before him. Like the
sycophant hound and the imploring retriever, they seem to lose all
sense of self-respect.

One can see how easily the picture of Jack in Office could be
converted into a caricature, and it is not surprising to learn that it
has been used in England as a political cartoon. American politics
might also produce many a parallel situation. The party boss in a
municipal government holding petty appointments in his control is a
veritable Jack in Office surrounded by his followers.

The humor of the picture is, as we see, a trifle keener than in
Dignity and Impudence. Arrogance and sycophancy are such despicable
qualities, whether in dog or man, that they are held up not only for
our laughter but for our contempt.

As may be inferred from our previous illustrations, the greater
number of Landseer's dog subjects were drawn from animals of the finer
breeds. Jack in Office is unique in our collection as dealing with the
commoner animals of the street. Even here, however, the painter found
material for his favorite theme of the dog's fidelity to his master.
Jack is, as it were, the butcher's business partner, sharing alike in
his labors and his gains. As we are to see again in our next picture,
the dog which is made the companion of daily labor is even more to his
master than one which is merely a playmate.

It is instructive to examine one by one the details of the
composition, which the painter has rendered with much technical skill.
The vista of the square at the end of the alley is a pleasant feature
of the composition, giving a more spacious background to the group.



XIV

THE HIGHLAND SHEPHERD'S CHIEF MOURNER


While the mountains of the Scottish Highlands are haunted by deer, the
valleys are the pasture ground for large flocks of sheep. Here our
painter, Landseer, made the acquaintance of two unique characters, the
Highland shepherd and his dog. In former times the shepherds of
Scotland were no ordinary men. The loneliness of the life in these
wilds left an impress upon their nature, making it stern and serious.
Not infrequently great readers were found among them, and even poets.
The Ettrick shepherd James Hogg was one of Scotland's first men of
letters.

The poet Wordsworth, whose boyhood was passed in the north of England,
describes in "The Prelude" his admiration for the shepherds of that
region:--

  "There, 't is the shepherd's task the winter long
  To wait upon the storms: of their approach
  Sagacious, into sheltering coves he drives
  His flock, and thither from the homestead bears
  A toilsome burden up the craggy ways,
  And deals it out, their regular nourishment
  Strewn on the frozen snow. And when the spring
  Looks out, and all the pastures dance with lambs,
  And when the flock, with warmer weather, climbs
  Higher and higher, him his office leads
  To watch their goings, whatsoever track
  The wanderers choose.

       *       *       *       *       *

            A rambling schoolboy, thus
  I felt his presence in his own domain,
  As of a lord and master, or a power,
  Or genius, under Nature, under God,
  Presiding; and severest solitude
  Had more commanding looks when he was there."

The shepherd would be helpless without his dog, the collie, whose
astuteness and skill can hardly be overstated. The trained sheep dog
learns to know every individual member of the flock, so that if a
straggler goes beyond bounds, he will reclaim it; if an intruder
enters he will drive it out. When the flock is to be led home, he
gathers the scattered portions into a compact body and keeps them in
the way. A sagacious dog belonging to Hogg once amazed his master by
gathering together a flock of seven hundred lambs which had broken up
at midnight and scattered in three directions.

The collie is fitted by nature with special qualifications for his
peculiar work. His neck is long and arched, that he may put his nose
well to the ground and stretch it when running. His half pricked ears
are the best possible for distinguishing sounds at a distance, and the
part that falls over protects the inner ear from the rain. His thick
coat is proof against rain, snow, or wind, and the heavy mane shields
the most vulnerable part of his chest, like a natural lung protector.
With bare hind legs, long and springy, he can make his way easily in
the heather. The long, tapering muzzle gives a peculiarly
intelligent look to the face. An authority on dogs says, "There is, if
the expression may be used, a philosophic look about him which shows
thought, patience, energy, and vigilance."

    [Illustration: John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    THE HIGHLAND SHEPHERD'S CHIEF MOURNER
    _South Kensington Museum, London_]

The shepherd and his dog are constant companions from dawn to sunset,
sharing the responsibilities of their charge. Common hardships seem to
knit the friendship, and the tie between them is unusually close. We
can easily understand that a faithful dog deprived of his master would
mourn him deeply. Such grief is the subject of our picture, The
Highland Shepherd's Chief Mourner.

An old shepherd living alone in his rude cottage has thrown down his
hat and staff for the last time. His neighbors have prepared his body
for decent burial, the coffin has been closed and nailed, and now
stands on the trestles ready for removal. The shepherd's plaid has
been laid over it as a sort of pall, and a bit of green is added by
some reverent hand. For the moment the house is deserted, and the dog
is left alone with all that represents his master's life to him. His
mute grief is intensely pathetic; speech could not express more
plainly his utter despair.

A beautiful description by Ruskin suggests the important points to
notice in the picture,--"the close pressure of the dog's breast
against the wood, the convulsive clinging of the paws, which has
dragged the blanket off the trestle, the total powerlessness of the
head laid close and motionless upon its folds, the fixed and tearful
fall of the eye in its utter hopelessness, the rigidity of repose
which marks that there has been no motion or change in the trance of
agony since the last blow was struck on the coffin-lid, the quietness
and gloom of the chamber, the spectacles marking the place where the
Bible was last closed, indicating how lonely has been the life--how
unwatched the departure of him who is now laid solitary in his sleep."

The critic shows that the skill with which the painting is executed,
remarkable as it is, is not so great a thing to praise the painter for
as the imagination which could conceive so pathetic a scene. The
picture is, he says, "one of the most perfect poems which modern times
have seen."

The incident which Landseer imagined has doubtless many a parallel in
actual life. There is a story of a traveller who was killed by a fall
from a precipice near Mt. Helvellyn. Three months later his remains
were discovered, watched over by the faithful dog. Scott's poem
"Helvellyn" commemorates the incident,[21] and the line telling how--

  "Faithful in death, his mute favorite attended,"

expresses well the spirit of our picture.

[Footnote 21: Wordsworth's verses on Fidelity apparently refer to the
same story.]



XV

A LION OF THE NELSON MONUMENT


Our conception of the range of Landseer's art would be quite
inadequate if we failed to notice his studies of the lion. Though his
works on this subject were not numerous, he was all his life greatly
interested in the noble animal called the king of beasts. As a boy, he
used to visit a certain menagerie called Exeter Change, and make
drawings of the beasts there. A drawing of a Senegal lion, made here
at the age of nine, is very creditable. The same menagerie furnished,
many years later, the material for his first serious lion study. One
of the animals having died, Landseer obtained the body for dissection.
His methods of work were always thorough. He believed that it was only
by mastering an animal's anatomy that a painter could faithfully
reproduce its motions and attitudes. The result of his studies on this
occasion was an interesting series of pictures,--A Lion disturbed at
his Repast, A Lion enjoying his Repast, and A Prowling Lion.

Naturally opportunities for dissecting lions were not frequent, and
the painter had to bide his time for further studies. A friend who
could help him in this respect was Mr. Mitchell, secretary of the
Zoölogical Society. Whenever the secretary happened to have a dead
lion on his hands, he offered Landseer the first chance to obtain it.
An amusing story is told of one of Mr. Mitchell's efforts in his
friend's behalf. A company of guests was gathered one evening at
Landseer's house, when suddenly a man servant appeared at the
drawing-room door, and quietly asked, "Did you order a lion, sir?" The
inquiry was made in a matter-of-fact tone, precisely as if ordering
lions were an every-day affair, like ordering a rib of beef, or a leg
of mutton. There was a sensation among the guests, and much merriment
was caused by their pretended alarm. Tradition says that Charles
Dickens was of the party, and it was he who often told the story
afterwards. As it proved, Mr. Mitchell had sent the painter a lion
which had died that day in the Zoölogical Garden of Regent's Park.

In 1859 Landseer received an important commission from the English
government requiring all his knowledge of the lion. His task was to
model some lions to ornament the Nelson monument in Trafalgar Square,
London. This monument had been erected more than fifteen years before
(1843), in memory of the admiral under whose leadership the English
fleet had won their victory off Cape Trafalgar, October 21, 1805. It
consisted of a tall granite column surmounted by a statue of Nelson.
To make the base of the column more imposing, it now seemed desirable
to place colossal bronze figures of lions at the four corners.

    [Illustration: Fr. Hanfstaengl, photo. John Andrew & Son, Sc.
    A LION OF THE NELSON MONUMENT
    _Trafalgar Square, London_]

With characteristic thoroughness, the artist made his preparatory
studies. Two of these are rough sketches on canvas in the National
Gallery of London, and show distinctly the original data for his final
conception. Apparently they are studies from menagerie animals. One is
in profile, showing the beast as he creeps in snarling discontent
within the limited area of his cage. The other sketch has caught the
attitude of the animal lifting his head to scan an approaching
visitor. In these two studies, Landseer obtained the proper
proportions of the side face, from nosetip to ear, and the length of
the front face, from the crest of the mane to the lower jaw. They also
show completely the manner in which the mane grows, both along the
back and on each side the face.

It could not be expected that a man who had been all his life a
painter would immediately acquire proficiency as a sculptor. Landseer
had his lions under way nearly ten years, and in the mean time
practised himself in the new art by modelling the figure of a stag.
Certain qualities of sculpture he had already shown in some of his
paintings. The pose of the Newfoundland dog called A Distinguished
Member of the Humane Society is conceived in the spirit of plastic
art. So also is The Sleeping Bloodhound. When it came, therefore, to
modelling a figure, the artist understood well how to secure a
monumental pose. In this point his work is especially successful.

The lion lies in a grand, majestic attitude. The mane rises like a
crown on his brow, and falls in splendid masses on either side his
head. The mouth is open, and the expression a little mild for dignity.
One is reminded of the tamed spirit of the menagerie captive rather
than of the proud majesty of the animal in his native wilds. A work of
this sort must necessarily have a certain stiffness and
conventionality which we should not like in a painting.

It is said that Landseer modelled only a single figure, and the others
were cast from the same model with slight variations. When at last the
work was completed, the colossal figures were mounted on huge
pedestals radiating diagonally from the four corners of the square
base of the monument.



XVI

THE CONNOISSEURS


The story of Landseer's art career was a series of continuous
successes from his precocious boyhood to his honored old age. He was
an exhibitor at the Royal Academy when he was in his teens, and early
in his twenties he was successful enough in his profession to set up
an establishment of his own. He then took a small house in a pleasant
part of London known as St. John's Wood, and fitted up the barn into a
studio. The place was called Maida Villa, as a compliment to the
famous staghound which was Sir Walter Scott's favorite dog. Here
Landseer lived, like Sir Walter himself, surrounded by dogs. He never
married, and his sister, Mrs. Mackenzie, was for many years his
housekeeper.

His life was, of course, a very busy one, filled with commissions
which came much more rapidly than he could execute them. His house was
enlarged as his means permitted, and became a delightful resort for
many favored guests. The painter was of a frank nature, genial and
kindly among his friends, witty in conversation, and a clever mimic.
An invitation to one of his parties was a privilege. Many were the
distinguished patrons who visited his studio; even the royal
carriages were sometimes seen standing at the door of Maida Villa.

His work was duly rewarded with the proper honors. At the age of
twenty-eight, the painter was elected to membership in the Royal
Academy, and twenty years later he was knighted. Thereafter he was
known as Sir Edwin Landseer, probably the most popular painter of his
day.

He is described as a man of heavy figure, six feet in height, with a
weather-beaten countenance. He used to wear a sober gray tweed suit,
and had the general appearance of an English country gentleman. His
movements were quick and energetic.

Our portrait shows him at the age of sixty-two, when his beard was
white. His face is attractive because of the kindly expression, but it
is by no means handsome. The redeeming feature is the high broad
forehead, the sign of the fine poetic temperament of which so many of
his works are proof.

It was characteristic of Landseer to paint his portrait with his dogs.
Neither the man nor his art can be separated from the animal to which
he devoted his best gifts. The dogs give the title to the picture, and
with the genial humor natural to the painter, he represents himself as
the subject of their criticism. Holding his sketch-book across his
knees, he appears to be making a pencil study of some dog subject,
while over each shoulder peers the grave face of a canine
"Connoisseur." The dog at the painter's right seems to express
approval, while his more critical comrade on the other side reserves
judgment till the picture is completed.

It would appear that Landseer's dog pictures were faithful enough to
satisfy the judgment of the originals. "We cannot help believing,"
writes an admiring critic,[22] "that the manner in which Landseer drew
the forms and expressed the character of the canine race would have
been rewarded with the gratitude, if not the full satisfaction of such
a critic.... On the whole, seeing that he was but a man [the
Connoisseurs] must, we fancy, have allowed that he was a good artist,
a fair judge of character, and meant kindly by them."

[Footnote 22: Cosmo Monkhouse.]

The honors bestowed upon Landseer culminated at the time of his death
in the magnificent funeral ceremonies attending his burial at St.
Paul's Church, London. His body was laid near those of Sir Joshua
Reynolds, Turner, Fuseli, and other famous English painters. In the
memorial sermon following the funeral, the painter's character was
fittingly summed up in a few lines from Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner."

  "He prayeth well who loveth well
  Both man and bird and beast,

  "He prayeth best who loveth best
  All things, both great and small,
  For the dear God who loveth us
  He made and loveth all."



The Riverside Press

_Electrotyped and printed by H. O. Houghton & Co._

_Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A._



AUTHORS' PORTRAITS

FOR SCHOOL USE

_Sample of the portraits in "Masterpieces of American Literature" and
"Masterpieces of British Literature," described on the second page of
this circular._

    [Illustration: Oliver Wendell Holmes.]



PORTRAITS OF AUTHORS

AND PICTURES OF THEIR HOMES

_FOR THE USE OF PUPILS IN THE STUDY OF LITERATURE_

We have received so many calls for portraits of authors and pictures
of their homes suitable for class and note-book use in the study of
reading and literature, that we have decided to issue separately the
twenty-nine portraits contained in "Masterpieces of American
Literature" and "Masterpieces of British Literature," and the homes of
eight American authors as shown in the Appendix to the _newly revised_
edition of "Richardson's Primer of American Literature."


             PORTRAITS

            _AMERICAN._

  BRYANT.    HAWTHORNE.   O'REILLY.
  EMERSON.   HOLMES.      THOREAU.
  EVERETT.   IRVING.      WEBSTER.
  FRANKLIN.  LONGFELLOW.  WHITTIER.
             LOWELL.

            _BRITISH._

  ADDISON.   COLERIDGE.   MACAULAY.
  BACON.     COWPER.      MILTON.
  BROWN.     DICKENS.     RUSKIN.
  BURNS.     GOLDSMITH.   TENNYSON.
  BYRON.     GRAY.        WORDSWORTH.
             LAMB.


          HOMES OF AUTHORS

  BRYANT.    HOLMES.      LOWELL.
  EMERSON.   LONGFELLOW.  STOWE.
  HAWTHORNE.              WHITTIER.

_Sold only in lots of ten or more, assorted as desired._

Ten, assorted, postpaid, 20 cents.

Each additional one in the same package, 1 cent.

In lots of 100 or more, assorted, 1 cent each, postpaid.

_For mutual convenience please send a remittance with each order.
Postage stamps taken._

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.

4 PARK STREET, BOSTON; 11 EAST 17TH STREET, NEW YORK; 378-388 WABASH
AVENUE, CHICAGO.



ORNAMENTS FOR SCHOOL-ROOMS


_THE ATLANTIC LIFE-SIZE PORTRAITS_

Of Whittier, Lowell, Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Holmes, Bryant.
Size, 24 by 30 inches. Lithographs, $1.00, _net_, each, postpaid.
Teachers' price, 85 cents, _net_, each, postpaid.


_MASTERPIECES PORTRAITS._

For descriptions and prices see other pages of this circular.


_HOMES OF AMERICAN AUTHORS._

For descriptions and prices see other pages of this circular.


_LONGFELLOW'S RESIDENCE._

A colored lithograph of the historic mansion ("Washington's
Headquarters") at Cambridge, in which Mr. Longfellow lived for forty
years. Size, 12 by 16 inches. Price, 50 cents, _net_, postpaid.


_FINE STEEL PORTRAITS_

(The size of cabinet photographs) of over ninety of the most
celebrated American and European Authors. The 25-cent portraits and
the 75-cent portraits are printed on paper measuring 9 by 12 inches,
and the $1.00 portraits 11 by 14 inches. _A list with prices to
teachers may be had on application._


HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.

4 PARK STREET, BOSTON; 11 EAST 17TH STREET, NEW YORK: 378-388 WABASH
AVENUE, CHICAGO.


AUTHORS' HOMES, FOR SCHOOL USE.

_Sample of the pictures of author's homes in the newly revised edition
of Richardson's Primer of American Literature, described on the second
page of this circular._

    [Illustration: HOLMES'S BIRTHPLACE. _The Gambrel Roofed House,
    Cambridge._]





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