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Title: Art Principles - With Special Reference to Painting Together with Notes on the Illusions Produced by the Painter
Author: Govett, Ernest
Language: English
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  [Illustration: Detail from "The Pursuit" of Fragonard.
  (_Frick Collection_)]


ART PRINCIPLES

With Special Reference to Painting
Together with Notes on the

by

ERNEST GOVETT

With Thirty-one Illustrations



G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press
1919

Copyright, 1919
by
Ernest Govett

The Knickerbocker Press, New York



PREFACE


This book is put forward with much diffidence, for I am well aware of
its insufficiencies. My original idea was to produce a work covering all
the principles of painting, but after many years spent in considering
the various recorded theories relating to æsthetic problems, and in
gathering materials to indicate how the accepted principles have been
applied, I came to the conclusion that a single life is scarcely long
enough for the preparation of an exhaustive treatise on the subject.
Nevertheless, I planned a work of much wider scope than the one now
presented, but various circumstances, and principally the hindrance to
research caused by the war, impelled me to curtail my ambition. Time was
fading, and my purpose seemed to be growing very old. I felt that if one
has something to say, it is better to say it incompletely than to run
the risk of compulsory silence. The book will be found little more than
a skeleton, and some of its sections, notably those dealing with
illusions in the art, contain only a few suggestions and instances, but
perhaps enough is said to induce a measure of further inquiry into the
subject.

That part of the work dealing with the fine arts generally is the result
of long consideration of the apparent contradictions involved in the
numerous suggested standards of art. In a little book on _The Position
of Landscape in Art_ (published under a nom de plume a few years ago),
I threw out, as a _ballon d'essai_, an idea of the proposition now
elaborated as the Law of General Assent, and I have been encouraged to
affirm this proposition more strongly by the fact that its validity was
not questioned in any of the published criticism of the former work; nor
do I find reason to vary it after years of additional deliberation.
I have not before dealt with the other propositions now put forward.

The notes being voluminous I have relegated them to the end of the book,
leaving the feet of the text pages for references only.

Where foreign works quoted have been translated into English, the
English titles are recorded, and foreign quotations are given in
English, save in one or two minor instances where the sense could not
be precisely rendered in translation.

                                                                 E. G.

  NEW YORK, January, 1919.



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                                                         1

    Definitions of "Art" and "Beauty"--Æsthetic systems--The
    earliest Art--Art periods--The Grecian and Italian
    developments--National and individual "Inspiration"--
    Powers of imagination and execution--Nature of "Genius"--
    The Impressionist Movement--Sprezzatura--The broad manner--
    Position in art of Rembrandt and Velasquez--Position of
    Landscape in art.


  _BOOK I_

    CHAPTER

    I.--CLASSIFICATION OF THE FINE ARTS                               52

        The Arts imitative of Nature--Classified according to
        the character of their signs--Relative value of form in
        Poetry--Scope of the Arts in the production of beauty.

    II.--LAW OF RECOGNITION IN THE ASSOCIATED ARTS                    59

        Explanation of the Law--Its application to Poetry--To
        Sculpture--To Painting--To Fiction.

    III.--LAW OF GENERAL ASSENT                                       72

        General opinion the test of beauty in the Associated
        Arts.

    IV.--LIMITATIONS OF THE ASSOCIATED ARTS                           78

        Production of beauty in the respective Arts--Their
        limitations.

    V.--DEGREES OF BEAUTY IN THE PAINTER'S ART                        83

    VI.--EXPRESSION. PART 1.--THE IDEAL                               86

    VII.--EXPRESSION. PART 2.--CHRISTIAN IDEALS                       91

        The Deity--Christ--The Madonna--Madonna and Child.

    VIII.--EXPRESSION. PART 3.--CLASSICAL IDEALS                     106

        Ideals of the Greeks--Use of the ancient divinities
        by the Painter.

    IX.--EXPRESSION. PART 4.--GENERAL IDEALS                         135

    X.--EXPRESSION. PART 5.--PORTRAITURE                             141

        Limitations of the Portrait Painter--Emphasis and
        addition of qualities in portrait painting--Practice
        of the ancient Greeks--Dignity--Importance of
        Simplicity--Some of the great masters--Portraiture
        of women--The English masters--The quality of
        Grace--The necessity for Repose.

    XI.--EXPRESSION. PART 6.--MISCELLANEOUS                          167

        Grief--The Smile--The Open Mouth--Contrasts--
        Representation of Death.

    XII.--LANDSCAPE                                                  192

        Limitations of the Landscape Painter--Illusion of
        opening distance--Illusion of motion in Landscape--
        Moonlight scenes--Transient conditions.

    XIII.--STILL-LIFE                                                214

    XIV.--SECONDARY ART                                              219

        Paintings of record--Scenes from the Novel--From
        the written drama--From the acted drama--Humorous
        subjects--Allegorical paintings.

    XV.--COLOUR                                                      228


  _BOOK II_

    INTRODUCTORY.--ILLUSION IN THE PAINTER'S ART                     236

    CHAPTER
      I.--ILLUSION OF RELIEF                                         239
     II.--ILLUSION OF MOTION WITH MEN AND ANIMALS                    249
    III.--ILLUSION OF SUSPENSION AND MOTION IN THE AIR               259


  NOTES                                                              273


  INDEX OF ARTISTS AND WORKS OF ART MENTIONED IN THIS BOOK           357


  GENERAL INDEX                                                      369



LIST OF PLATES


                                                                    PAGE
  FRONTISPIECE.--DETAIL FROM FRAGONARD'S THE PURSUIT (FRICK
    COLLECTION, NEW YORK).

    This work, which is one of the celebrated Grasse series of
    panels, offers a very fine example of the use of an ideal head
    in a romantic subject. (See Page 139.)

  PLATE 1.--THE EARLIEST GREAT SCULPTURES                              6

    (a). Head from a statue of Chefren, a king of the 4th Egyptian
    Dynasty, about 3000 B.C. (Cairo Museum.)

    (b). Head from a fragmentary statuette of Babylonia, dating
    about 2600 B.C. (Louvre: from Spearing's "Childhood of Art.")

    The first head is generally regarded as the finest example of
    Egyptian art extant, and certainly there was nothing executed
    in Egypt to equal it during the thirty centuries following the
    5th Dynasty. The Babylonian head is the best work of Chaldean
    art known to us, though there are some fine fragments remaining
    from the period of about a thousand years later. It will be
    observed that the tendency of the art in both examples is
    towards the aims achieved by the Greeks. (See Page 7.)

  PLATE 2.--"LE BON DIEU D'AMIENS", IN THE NORTH PORCH, AMIENS
    CATHEDRAL                                                         18

    This figure by a French sculptor of the thirteenth century,
    was considered by Ruskin to be the finest ideal of Christ in
    existence. It is another example of the universality of ideals,
    for the head from the front view might well have been modelled
    from a Grecian work of the late fourth or early third century
    B.C. (See Page 319.)

  PLATE 3.--AFTER AN ANCIENT COPY OF THE CNIDIAN VENUS OF PRAXITELES.
    (VATICAN)                                                         30

    It is commonly agreed that this is the finest model in existence
    after the great work of Praxiteles, which itself has long
    disappeared. The figure as it now stands at the Vatican, has the
    right arm restored, and the hand is made to hold up some metallic
    drapery with which the legs are covered, the beauty of the form
    being thus seriously weakened. (See Pages 111 _et seq._)

  PLATE 4.--VENUS ANADYOMENE                                          42

    (a). Ancient Greek sculpture from the design of Venus in the
    celebrated picture of Apelles. (Formerly Chessa Collection, now in
    New York.)

    The immense superiority of the sculpture over the painting (Plate
    5), from the point of view of pure art, is visible at a glance. It
    is an indication of the far-reaching scope of the sculptor when
    executing ideals. (See Page 113.)

  PLATE 5.--VENUS ANADYOMENE, FROM THE PAINTING BY TITIAN.
    (BRIDGEWATER COLLECTION.) Compare with the Sculpture on
    Plate 4. (See Page 115)                                           42

  PLATE 6.--VENUS REPOSING, BY GIORGIONE. (DRESDEN GALLERY)           54

    This is the finest reposing Venus in existence in painting. It was
    the model for the representation of the goddess in repose used by
    Titian, and many other artists who came after him. (See Page 116.)

  PLATE 7.--DEMETER                                                   66

    (a). Head from the Cnidos marble figure of the fourth century B.C.,
    attributed to Scopas. (British Museum.)

    (b). Small head in bronze of the third century B.C. (Private
    Collection.)

    In each of these heads the artist has been successful in maintaining
    the ideal, while indicating a suggestion of the sorrowful
    resignation with which Grecian legend has enveloped the mind picture
    of Demeter. Nevertheless, even this slight departure from the
    established rule tends to lessen the art, though in a very small
    degree. (See Page 122.)

  PLATE 8.--RAPHAEL'S SISTINE MADONNA (DRESDEN GALLERY), WITH THE FACE
    OF THE CENTRAL FIGURE IN FRAGONARD'S THE PURSUIT SUBSTITUTED FOR
    THAT OF THE VIRGIN                                                80

    This and the two following plates show very clearly that in striving
    for an ideal, artists must necessarily arrive at the same general
    type. (See Pages 138 _et seq._)

  PLATE 9.--RAPHAEL'S VIRGIN OF THE ROSE (MADRID), WITH THE FACE
    OF THE FIGURE REPRESENTING PROFANE LOVE IN TITIAN'S PICTURE
    SUBSTITUTED FOR THAT OF THE VIRGIN                                92

  PLATE 10.--RAPHAEL'S HOLY FAMILY (MADRID), WITH THE FACE OF LUINI'S
    SALOME SUBSTITUTED FOR THAT OF THE VIRGIN                        102

  PLATE 11.--THE PURSUIT, BY FRAGONARD. (FRICK COLLECTION, N. Y.)    114

    A detail from this picture forms the Frontispiece. It will be
    observed that in the complete painting the central figure apparently
    wears a startled expression, but that this is entirely due to the
    surroundings and action, is shown by the substitution of the face of
    the central figure for that of the Virgin in the Sistine Madonna,
    Plate 8. (See Page 139.)

  PLATE 12.--PORTRAIT HEADS OF THE GREEK TYPE, FOURTH CENTURY, B.C.
    (See Page 145)                                                   130

    (a). Head of Plato. (Copenhagen Museum.) (b). Term of Euripides.
    (Naples Museum.)

  PLATE 13.--PORTRAIT HEADS OF THE TIME OF IMPERIAL ROME. (SEE PAGE
    145)                                                             146

    (a). Vespasian. (Naples Museum.) (b). Hadrian. (Athens Museum.)

  PLATE 14.--SACRIFICE OF IPHIGENIA, FROM A POMPEIAN FRESCO. (ROUX
    AINÉ'S HERCULANUM ET POMPEI, VOL. III)                           160

    This work is presumed to be a copy of the celebrated picture of
    Timanthes, in which the head of Agamemnon was hidden because the
    artist could see no other way of expressing extreme grief without
    distorting the features. (See Pages 168 and 339.)

  PLATE 15.--ALL'S WELL, BY WINSLOW HOMER. (BOSTON MUSEUM, U. S. A.) 176

    An instance where the permanent beauty of a picture is killed by an
    open mouth. After a few moments' inspection, it will be observed
    that the mouth appears to be kept open by a wedge. (See Page 176.)

  PLATE 16.--HERCULES CONTEMPLATING DEATH, BY A. POLLAIUOLO. (FRICK
    COLLECTION, NEW YORK.)                                           190

    The only known design of this nature which appears to exist in any
    of the arts. (See Pages 190 and 343.)

  PLATE 17.--ARCADIAN LANDSCAPE, BY CLAUDE LORRAINE. (NATIONAL
    GALLERY, LONDON)                                                 198

    A fine illusion of opening distance created by the precise rendering
    of the aerial perspective. The illusion is of course unobservable in
    the reproduction owing to its small size and the want of colour.
    (See Page 198).

  PLATE 18.--LANDSCAPE, BY HOBBEMA. (MET. MUSEUM, NEW YORK)          210

    A fine example of Hobbema's work. A strong light is thrown in from
    the back to enable the artist to multiply his signs for the purpose
    of deepening the apparent distance. (See Page 202.)

  PLATE 19.--LANDSCAPE, BY JACOB RUYSDAEL, (NATIONAL GALLERY,
    LONDON)                                                          220

    Example of an illusion of movement in flowing water. (See Page 204.)


    PLATE 20.--THE STORM, BY JACOB RUYSDAEL. (BERLIN GALLERY) 232

    Exhibiting an excellent illusion of motion, due to the faithful
    representation of a series of consecutive movements of water as the
    vessel passes through it. The illusion is practically lost in the
    reproduction, but the details of design may be observed. (See Page
    206.)

  PLATE 21.--THE LITTA MADONNA, BY LIONARDO DA VINCI. (HERMITAGE)    240

    This is perhaps the best example known of an illusion of relief
    secured by shading alone. (See Page 240.)

  PLATE 22.--CHRIST ON THE CROSS, BY VAN DYCK. (ANTWERP MUSEUM)      252

    A superb example of relief obtained by the exclusion of accessories.
    Van Dyck took the idea from Rubens, who borrowed it from Titian,
    this artist improving on Antonella da Messina. The relief of course
    is not well observed in the reproduction because of its miniature
    form. The work is usually regarded as the finest of its kind in
    existence. (See Page 244.)

  PLATE 23.--PATRICIA, BY LYDIA EMMET. (PRIVATE POSSESSION, N. Y.)   264

    A very excellent example of the plan of securing relief described
    in Book II, Chap. I. Here also the relief is not observed in the
    reproduction, but the original is of life size and provides an
    illusion as nearly perfect as possible. (See Page 247.)

  PLATE 24.--THE CREATION OF ADAM, BY MICHELANGELO. (VATICAN)        276

    Instance of the use of an oval form of drapery to assist in
    presenting an illusion of suspension in the air. (See Page 260.)

  PLATE 25.--THE PLEIADS, BY M. SCHWIND. (DENNER COLLECTION.)        288

    One of the finest examples of illusion of motion in the air.
    (See Page 269.)

  PLATE 26.--ST. MARGARET, BY RAPHAEL. (LOUVRE)                      302

    Perhaps the best example in existence of a painted human figure in
    action. It will be seen that every part of the body and every fold
    of the drapery are used to assist in the expression of movement.
    (See Page 250.)

  PLATE 27.--DIANA AND NYMPHS PURSUED BY SATYRS, BY RUBENS. (PRADO)  318

    A good example of an illusion of motion created by showing a number
    of persons in different stages of a series of consecutive actions.
    (See Page 254.)

  PLATE 28.--AUTOMEDON WITH THE HORSES OF ACHILLES, BY H. REGNAULT.
    (BOSTON MUSEUM, U. S. A.)                                        334

    The extraordinary spirit and action of these horses are above the
    experience of life, but they do not appear to be beyond the bounds
    of possibility. In any case the action is perfectly appropriate
    here, as the animals are presumed to be immortal. (See Page 256.)

  PLATE 29.--MARBLE FIGURE OF ARIADNE. (VATICAN)                     348

    This work, of the Hellenistic period, illustrates the possibility of
    largely varying the regular proportions of the human figure without
    injury to the art, by the skilful use of drapery. (See Page 329.)



Art Principles



INTRODUCTION


In view of the many varied definitions of "Art" which have been put
forward in recent times, and the equally diverse hypotheses advanced for
the solution of æsthetic problems relating to beauty, it is necessary
for one who discusses principles of art, to state what he understands by
the terms "Art" and "Beauty."

Though having a widely extended general meaning, the term "Art" in
common parlance applies to the fine arts only, but the term "Arts" has
reference as well to certain industries which have utility for their
primary object. This work considers only the fine arts, and when the
writer uses the term "Art" or "Arts" he refers to one or more of these
arts, unless a particular qualification is added. The definition of
"Art" as applied to the fine arts, upon which he relies, is "The
production of beauty for the purpose of giving pleasure," or as it is
more precisely put, "The beautiful representation of nature for the
purpose of giving disinterested pleasure." This is, broadly, the
definition generally accepted, and is certainly the understanding of
art which has guided the hands of all the creators of those great works
in the various arts before which men have bowed as triumphs of human
skill.

There has been no satisfactory definition of "Beauty," nor can the term
be shortly interpreted until there is a general agreement as to what it
covers. Much of the confusion arising from the contradictory theories of
æstheticists in respect of the perception of beauty is apparently due to
the want of separate consideration of emotional beauty and beauty of
mind, that is to say, the beauty of sensorial effects and beauty of
expression respectively.[1] There are kinds of sensorial beauty which
depend for their perception upon immediately preceding sensory
experience, or particular coexistent surroundings which are not
necessarily permanent, while in other cases a certain beauty may be
recognized and subsequently appear to vanish altogether. From this it is
obvious that any æsthetic system based upon the existence of an
objectivity of beauty must fall to the ground. On the other hand,
without an objectivity there can be no system, because in its absence a
line of reasoning explaining cause and effect in the perception of
beauty, which is open to demonstration, is naturally impossible. Nor may
we properly speak of a philosophy of art.[2] We may reasonably consider
æsthetics a branch of psychology, but the emotions arising from the
recognition of beauty vary only in degree and not in kind, whether the
beauty be seen in nature or art. Consequently there can be no separate
psychological enquiry into the perception of beauty created by art as
distinguished from that observable in nature.

It must be a natural attraction for the insoluble mysteries of life that
has induced so many philosophers during the last two centuries to put
forward æsthetic systems. That no two of these systems agree on
important points, and that each and every one has crumbled to dust from
a touch of the wand of experience administered by a hundred hands, are
well-known facts, yet still the systems continue to be calmly presented
as if they were valuable contributions to knowledge. Each new critic in
the domain of philosophy carefully and gravely sets them up, and then
carefully and gravely knocks them down.[3] An excuse for the systems has
been here and there offered, that the explanations thereof sometimes
include valuable philosophical comments or suggestions. This may be, but
students cannot reasonably be expected to sift out a few oats from a
bushel of husks, even if the supply be from the bin of a Hegel or a
Schopenhauer. Is it too much to suggest that these phantom systems be
finally consigned to the grave of oblivion which has yawned for them so
long and so conspicuously? Bubbles have certain measurements and may
brilliantly glow, but they are still bubbles. It is as impossible to
build up a system of philosophy upon the perception of beauty, which
depends entirely upon physical and physiological laws, as to erect a
system of ethics on the law of gravitation, for a feasible connection
between superstructure and foundation cannot be presented to the mind.

We may further note that a proper apprehension of standards of judgment
in art cannot be obtained unless the separate and relative æsthetic
values of the two forms of beauty are considered, because the beauty of
a work may appear greater at one time than at another, according as it
is more or less permanent or fleeting, that is to say, according as the
balance of the sensorial and intellectual elements therein is more or
less uneven; or if the beauty present be almost entirely emotional,
according as the observer may be affected by independent sensorial
conditions of time or place. Consequent upon these considerations, an
endeavour has been made in this work to distinguish between the two
forms of beauty in the various arts, and the separate grades thereof.

It will be noticed that the writer has adopted the somewhat unusual
course of including fiction among the fine arts. Why this practice is
not commonly followed is hard to determine, but no definition of a fine
art has been or can be given which does not cover fiction. In the
definition here accepted, the art is clearly included, for the primary
object of fiction is the beautiful representation of nature for the
purpose of giving disinterested pleasure.

       *       *       *       *       *

Art is independent of conditions of peoples or countries. Its germ is
unconnected with civilization, politics, religion, laws, manners, or
morals. It may appear like a brilliant flower where the mind of man is
an intellectual desert, or refuse to bloom in the busiest hive of human
energy. Its mother is the imagination, and wherever this has room to
expand, there art will grow, though the ground may be nearly sterile,
and the bud wither away from want of nourishment. Every child is born a
potential artist, for he comes into the world with sensorial nerves, and
a brain which directs the imagination. The primitive peoples made
beautiful things long before they could read or write, and the
recognition of harmony of form appears to have been one of the first
understandings in life after the primal instincts of self-preservation
and the continuation of the species. Some of the sketches made by the
cave men of France are equal to anything of the kind produced in a
thousand years of certain ancient civilizations, commencing countless
centuries after the very existence of the cave men had been forgotten;
and even if executed now, would be recognized as indicating the
possession of considerable talent by the artists. The greatest poem ever
written was given birth in a country near which barbaric hordes had
recently devastated populous cities, and wrecked a national fabric with
which were interwoven centuries of art and culture. That the author of
this poem had seen great works of art is certain, or he could not have
conceived the shield of Achilles, but the laboured sculpture that had
fired his imagination, and the legends which had perhaps been the seed
of his masterpieces were doubtless buried with his own records beneath
the tramp of numberless mercenaries. Fortunately here and there the
human voice could draw from memory's store, and so the magic of Homer
was whispered by the dying to the living; but even his time and place
are now only vaguely known, and he remains like the waratah on the
bleached pasture of some desert fringe--a solitary blaze of scarlet
where all else is drear and desolate.

Strong is the root of art, though frail the flower. Stifled in sun-burnt
ground ere it can welcome the smile of light; fading with the first
blast of air upon its delicate shoots; shrivelling back to dust when the
buds are ready to break; or falling in the struggle to spread its
branches after its beautiful blossoms have scattered their fragrance
around: whatever condition has brought it low, it ever fights
again--ever seeks to assure mankind that while it may droop or
disappear, its seed, its heart, its life, are imperishable, and surely
it will bloom again in all its majesty. Sometimes with decades it has
run a fitful course; sometimes with centuries; sometimes with
millenniums. It has heralded every civilization, but its breath is
freedom, and it flourishes and sickens only with liberty. Trace its
course in the life of every nation, and the track will be found parallel
with the line of freedom of thought. A solitary plant may bloom
unimpeded far from tyranny's thrall, but the art and soul of a nation
live, and throb, and die, together.

  [Illustration: PLATE 1 (See page 7)
  Head of Cephren, 4th Egyptian Dynasty (_Cairo Museum_)
  Chaldean Head: About 2600 B.C. (_Louvre_)]

Egypt, Babylon, Crete, Greece, Rome, tell their stories through
deathless monuments, and all are alike in that they demonstrate the
dependence of art expansion upon freedom of action and opinion. An art
rises, develops another and another, and they proceed together on their
way. Sooner or later comes catastrophe in the shape of crushing
tyranny which curbs the mind with slavery, or steel-bound sacerdotal
rules which say to the artist "Thou shalt go no further," or
annihilation of nation and life. What imagination can picture the
expansion of art throughout the world had its flight been free since the
dawn of history? Greece reached the sublime because its mind was
unfettered, but twenty or thirty centuries before Phidias, Egyptian art
had arrived at a loftier plane than that on which the highest plastic
art of Greece was standing but a few decades before the Olympian Zeus
uplifted the souls of men, while whole civilizations with their arts had
lived and died, and were practically forgotten.

It is to be observed that while in its various isolated developments,
art has proceeded from the immature to the mature, there has been no
general evolution, as in natural life, but on the other hand there seems
to be a limit to its progress. So far as our imagination can divine, no
higher reaches in art are attainable than those already achieved. The
mind can conceive of nothing higher than the spiritual, and this cannot
be represented in art except by means of form; while within the range of
human intelligence, no suggestion of spiritual form can rise above the
ideals of Phidias. Of the purely human form, nothing greater than the
work of Praxiteles and Raphael can be pictured on our brains. There may
be poets who will rival Homer and Shakespeare, but it is exceedingly
doubtful. In any case we must discard the law of evolution as applicable
to the arts, with the one exception of music, which, on account of the
special functioning of its signs, must be put into a division by
itself.[a]

  [a] See Chap. III.

But although there has been no general progression in art parallel with
the growth of the sciences and civilization, there have been, as already
indicated, many separate epochs of art cultivation in various countries,
sometimes accompanied by the production of immortal works, which epochs
in themselves seem to provide examples of restricted evolution.[4] It is
desirable to refer to these art periods, as they are commonly called,
for the purpose of removing, if possible, a not uncommon apprehension
that they are the result of special conditions operating an æsthetic
stimulus, and that similar or related conditions must be present in any
country if the flame of art there is to burn high and brightly.[5] The
well-defined periods vary largely both in character and duration, the
most important of them--the Grecian development and the Italian
Renaissance--covering two or three centuries each, and the others, as
the French thirteenth century sculpture expansion, the English literary
revival in the sixteenth century,[6] and the Dutch development in
painting in the seventeenth, lasting only a few decades. These latter
periods can be dispensed with at once because they were each concerned
with one art only, and therefore can scarcely have resulted from a
general æsthetic stimulus. But the Grecian and Italian movements applied
to all the arts. They represented natural developments from the crude to
the advanced, of which all nations produce examples, and were only
exceptional in that they reached higher levels in art than were attained
by other movements. But there is no evidence to show that they were
brought about by special circumstances outside of the arts themselves.
While there were national crises preceding the one development, there
was no trouble of consequence to herald the other, nor was there any
parallel between the conditions of the two peoples during the progress
of the movements. A short reference to each development will show that
its rise and decline were the outcome of simple matter-of-fact
conditions of a more or less accidental nature, uninfluenced by an
æsthetic impulse in the sense of inspiration.

The most common suggestion advanced to account for the rise in Grecian
art, is that it was due to the exaltation of the Greek mind through the
victories of Marathon, Platæa, and Salamis. That a people should be so
trampled upon as were the Greeks; that their cities should be razed,
their country desolated, and their commerce destroyed; that
notwithstanding all this they should refuse to give way before enemies
outnumbering them twenty, fifty, or even a hundred to one; and that
after all they should crush these enemies, was no doubt a great and
heroic triumph, likely to exalt the nation and feed the imagination of
the people for a long time to come; but that these victories were
responsible for the lofty eminence reached by the Greek artists, cannot
be maintained. From what we know of Calamis, Myron, and others, it is
clear that Grecian art was already on its way to the summit reached by
Phidias when Marathon and Salamis were fought, though the victories of
the Greek arms hastened the development for the plain reason that they
led to an increased demand for works of art. And the decline in Grecian
art resulted purely and simply from a lessened demand. Though this was
the reason for the general decay, there was a special cause for the
apparent weakening with the commencement of the fourth century B.C. In
the fifth century Phidias climbed as high in the accomplishment of
ideals as the imagination could soar. He reached the summit of human
endeavour. Necessarily then, unless another Phidias arose, whatever in
art came after him would appear to mark a decline. But it is scarcely
proper to put the case of Phidias forward for comparative purposes. He
carried the art of sculpture higher than it is possible for the painter
to ascend, and so we should rather use the giants of the fourth
century--Scopas, Praxiteles, Lysippus, Apelles--as the standards to be
compared with the foremost spirits of the Italian Renaissance--Raphael
and Michelangelo--for each of these groups achieved the human ideal,
though failing with the spiritual ideal established by Phidias.

It must be remembered that all good art means slow work--long thinking,
much experiment, tedious attention to detail in plan, and careful
execution. Meanwhile men have to live, even immortal artists, and rarely
indeed does one undertake a work of importance on his own account. It is
true that in the greater days of Greece the best artists were almost
entirely employed by a State, or at least to execute works for public
exhibition, and doubtless the payment they received was quite a
secondary matter with them, but nevertheless few could practise their
art without remuneration. During the fifth and fourth centuries great
events were constantly happening in Greece, and in consequence there
were numberless temples to build and adorn, groves to decorate, men to
honour, and monumental tombs to erect. Innumerable statues of gods and
goddesses were wanted, and we must not forget the wholesale destruction
of Athenian and other temples and sculptures during the Persian
invasion. In fact for a century and a half after Platæa, there was
practically an unlimited demand for works of art, and it was only when
the empire of Alexander began to crumble away that conditions changed.
While Greece was weakening Rome was growing and her lengthening shadows
were approaching the walls of Athens. Greece could build no more temples
when her people were becoming slaves of Rome; she could order no more
monuments when defeat was the certain end of struggle. And so the
decline was brought about, not by want of artists, but through the
dearth of orders and the consequent neglect of competition.

In the case of the Italian Renaissance the decadence was not due to the
same cause. The art of Greece declined gradually in respect of quantity
as well as quality, while in Italy after the decay in quality set in,
art was as nourishing as ever from the point of view of demand. The
change in the character of the art was due entirely to Raphael's
achievements. As with the early Greek, nearly the whole of the early
Italian art was concerned with religion, though in this case there were
very few ideals. The numerous ancient gods of Greece and Rome were long
gone, to become only classical heroes with the Italians, and their
places were taken by twenty or thirty personages from the New Testament.
Incidents from the Old Testament were sometimes painted, but nearly all
the greater work dealt with the life of Christ and the Saints. The
painters of the first century of the Renaissance distributed their
attention fairly equally among these personages, but as time went on and
the art became of a superior order, artists aimed at the highest
development of beauty that their imaginations could conceive, and hence
the severe beauty that might be shown in a picture of Christ or a
prominent Saint, had commonly to give way to a more earthly perfection
of feature and form, which, suggesting an ideal, could only be given to
the figure of the Virgin. And so the test of the power of an artist came
to be instinctively decided by his representation of the Madonna. No
doubt there were many persons living in the fifteenth century who
watched the gradually increasing beauty of the Madonna as depicted by
the succession of great painters then working, and wondered when and
where the summit would be reached--when an artist would appear beyond
whose work the imagination could not pass, for there is a limit to human
powers.

The genius arose in Raphael, and when he produced in the last ten or
twelve years of his life, Madonna after Madonna, so far in advance of
anything that had hitherto been done, so great in beauty as to leave his
fellow artists lost in wonder, so lofty in conception that the term
"divine" was applied to him in his lifetime, it was inevitable that a
decadence should set in, for so far as the intelligence could see,
whatever came after him must be inferior. He did not ascend to the
height of Phidias, for a pure ideal of spiritual form is beyond the
power of the painter,[b] but as with Praxiteles he reached a perfect
human ideal, and so gained the supreme pinnacle of his art. But while
there was an inevitable decadence after him, as after Praxiteles, it
was, as already indicated, only in the character of the art, for in
Italy artists generally were as busy for a hundred years after Raphael,
as during his time. Michelangelo, Titian, and the other giants who were
working when Raphael died, kept up the renown of the period for half a
century or so, but it seemed impossible for artists who came on the
scene after Raphael's death, to enter upon an entirely original course.
The whole of the new generation seemed to cling to the models put
forward by the great Urbino painter, save some of the Venetians who had
a model of their own in Titian.

  [b] See Chap. IX.

Thus it is clear that the rise and decline of the Grecian and Italian
movements were due to well ascertained causes which had nothing to do
with a national æsthetic impulse; nor is there evidence of such an
impulse connected with other art developments.

The suggestion that a nation may be assisted in its art by emotional or
psychological influences arising from patriotic exaltation, is only an
extension of an opinion commonly held, that the individual artist is
subject to similar influences, though due to personal exaltation
connected with his art. It is as well to point out that there is only
one way to produce a work of art, and that is to combine the exercise of
the imagination with skill in execution. The artist conceives an idea
and puts it into form. He does nothing more. He can rely upon no
extraneous influence. It is suggested that to bring about a supreme
accomplishment in art, the imagination must be associated with something
outside of our power of control--some impulse which acts upon the brain
but is independent of it. This unmeasured force or lever is usually
known by the term "Inspiration." It is supposed that this force comes to
certain persons when they have particular moods upon them, and gives
them a great idea which they may use in a painting, a poem, or a musical
composition. The suggestion is attractive, but in the long range of
historical record there is no evidence that accident, in the shape of
inspiration or other psychological lever, has been responsible in the
slightest degree for the production of a work of art. The writer of a
sublime poem, or the painter of a perfect Madonna, uses the same kind of
mental and material labour as the man who chisels a lion's head on a
chair, or adds a filigree ornament to a bangle. The difference is one of
degree only. The poet or painter is gifted with a vivid imagination
which he has cultivated by study; and by diligence has acquired
superlative facility in execution, which he uses to the best advantage.
The work of the furniture carver or jeweller does not require such high
powers, and he climbs only a few steps of the ladder whose uppermost
rungs have been scaled by the greater artists.

If in the course of the five and twenty centuries during which works of
high art have been produced, some of them had been executed with the
assistance of a psychological impulse directed independently of the
will, there would certainly have been references to the phenomenon by
the artists concerned, or the very numerous art historians, but without
a known exception, all the great artists who have left any record of the
cause of their success, or whose views on the subject are to be gained
by indirect references, have attributed this success to hard study, or
manual industry, or both together. We know little of the opinion of the
ancient Greeks on the matter, but the few anecdotes we have, indicate
that their artists were very practical men indeed, and hardly likely to
expect mysterious psychological influences to help them in their work.
So with the Romans, and it is noticeable that the key to the production
of beauty in poetry, in the opinion of Virgil and Horace, is careful
preparation and unlimited revision. This appears to be the view of some
modern poets, and if Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton, had experienced
visionary inspiration, we should surely have heard of it. Fortunately
some of the most eminent painters of modern times have expressed
themselves definitely upon the point. Lionardo observed that the painter
arrives at perfection by manual operation; and Michelangelo asserted
that Raphael acquired his excellence by study and application. Rubens
praised his brushes, by which he meant his acquired facility, as the
instruments of his fortune; and Nicholas Poussin attributed his success
to the fact that he neglected nothing, referring of course to his
studies. According to his biographers, the triumphs of Claude were due
to his untiring industry, while Reynolds held that nothing is denied to
well directed labour. And so with many others down to Turner, whose
secret according to Ruskin, was sincerity and toil.

It would seem to be possible for an artist to work himself into a
condition of emotional excitement,[7] either involuntarily when a great
thought comes to him, or voluntarily when he seeks ideas wherewith to
execute a brilliant conception; and it is comprehensible that when in
this condition, which is practically an extreme concentration of his
mental energy upon the purpose in hand, images or other æsthetic
suggestions suitable for his work may present themselves to his mind.
These he might regard as the result of inspiration, but in reality they
would be the product of a trained imagination operating under
advantageous conditions.

Nor can any rule be laid down that the character or temperament of an
artist influences his work, for if instances can be given in support of
such an assertion, at least an equal number may be adduced which
directly oppose it. If we might approximately gauge the true characters
of Fra Angelico and Michelangelo from a study of their work, it is
certain that no imagination could conjure up the actual personalities of
Perugino and Cellini, from an examination of the paintings of the one
and the sculptures of the other. What can be said on the subject when
assassins of the nature of Corenzio and Caravaggio painted so many
beautiful things, and evil-minded men like Ribera and Battistello
adorned great churches with sacred compositions? If the work of Claude
appears to harmonize with his character, that of Turner does not.
"Friendless in youth: loveless in manhood; hopeless in death." Such was
Turner according to Ruskin, but is there any sign of this in his works?
Not a trace. If any conclusion as to his character and temperament can
be drawn from Turner's paintings, it is that he was a gay, light-hearted
thinker, with all the optimism and high spirits that come from a delight
in beautiful things. The element of mood is unquestionably of importance
in the work of an artist, but it is not uncommon to find the character
of his designs contrary to his mood. Poets, as in the case of Hood, or
painters as with Tassaert, may execute the most lively pieces while in
moods verging on despair. With some men adversity quickens the
imagination with fancies; with others it benumbs their faculties.

The tendency of popular criticism to search for psychological phenomena
in paintings, apparently arises largely from the difficulty in
comprehending how it is that certain artists of high repute vary their
styles of painting after many years of good work, and produce pictures
without the striking beauty characterizing their former efforts.
Sometimes when age is beginning to tell upon them, they broaden their
manner considerably, as with Rembrandt and others of the seventeenth
century, and many recent artists of lesser fame. The critic, very
naturally perhaps, is chary of condemning work from the hand of one who
has given evidence of consummate skill, and so seeks for hidden beauties
in lieu of those to which he has been accustomed. A simple enquiry into
the matter will show that the change of style in these cases has a
commonplace natural cause.

  [Illustration: PLATE 2 (See page 319)
  "Le Bon Dieu d'Amiens" (_Amiens Cathedral_)]

To be in the front rank an artist must have acquired a vast knowledge of
the technique of his art, and have a powerful imagination which has been
highly cultivated. But the qualifications must be balanced. Commonly
when this balance is not present the deficiency is in the imagination,
but there are instances where, though the power of execution is supreme,
the imagination has so far exceeded all bounds as to render this power
of comparatively small practical value. The most conspicuous example of
this want of balance is Lionardo, who accomplished little though he was
scarcely surpassed in execution by Raphael or Michelangelo. His
imagination invariably ran beyond his execution; his ideas were always
above the works he completed or partly finished: he saw in fact far
beyond anything he could accomplish, and so was never satisfied with the
result of his labour. At the same time he was filled with ideas in
the sciences, and investigated every branch of knowledge without
bringing his conclusions to fruition. During the latter part of his
life, Michelangelo showed a similar defect in a lesser degree, for his
unfinished works of the period exceed in number those he completed.
Naturally such intellectual giants, whose imaginations cannot be
levelled with the highest ability in execution, are few, but the lesser
luminaries who fail, or who constantly fail, in carrying out their
conceptions, are legion, though they may have absorbed the limit of
knowledge which they are capable of acquiring in respect of execution.
It is common for a painter to turn out a few masterpieces and nothing
else of permanent value. This was the case with numerous Italian artists
of the seventeenth century, and it is indeed a question whether there is
one of them, except perhaps Domenichino, whose works have not a
considerable range in æsthetic value.

There have been still more artists whose powers of execution were far
beyond the flights of their imaginations. They include the whole of the
seventeenth century Dutch school with Rembrandt at their head, and the
whole of the Spanish school of the same period, except El Greco,
Zurbaran, and Murillo. When an artist is in the first rank in respect of
execution, but is distinctly inferior in imaginative scope, his work in
all grades of his art, except the highest, where ideals are possible,
seems to have a greater value than it really possesses because we are
insensibly cognizant that the accomplishment rises above the idea upon
which it is founded. On the other hand his work in the highest plane
appears to possess a lower value, because we are surprised that ideals
have not been attempted, and that the types of the spiritual and
classical personages represented are of the same class of men and women
as those exhibited in works dealing with ordinary human occupations or
actions. This is why the sacred and classical pictures of Rembrandt,
Vermeer of Delft, and the other leading Dutch artists, appear to be
below their portrait and genre work in power.

The course of variation in the work of a great painter follows the
relative power of his imagination and his execution. Where there is a
fair balance between the two, the work of the artist increases in
æsthetic value with his age and experience; but when his facility in
execution rises above the force of his imagination, then his middle
period is invariably the best, his later work showing a gradual
depreciation in quality. The reason is obvious. The surety of the hand
and eye diminishes more rapidly than the power of the mind, which in
fact is commonly enhanced with experience till old age comes on. Great
artists who rely mostly upon their powers of execution, and exhibit
limited fertility in invention, such as Rembrandt, have often a manner
which is so interwoven with the effects they seek, that they are seldom
or never able to avail themselves of the assistance of others in the
lesser important parts of their work. A man with the fertile mind of a
Rubens may gather around him a troupe of artists nearly as good as
himself in execution, who will carry out his designs completely save
for certain details. Thus he is not occupied with laborious toil, and
the decreasing accuracy of his handiwork troubles him but little. On the
other hand a Rembrandt, whose merits lie chiefly in the delicate
manipulation of light effects and intricate shades in expression,
remains tied to his canvas. He feels intensely the decreasing facility
in the use of his brush which necessarily accompanies his advancing
years, and his only recourse from a stoppage of work is an alteration in
manner involving a reduction of labour and a lessened strain upon the
eyesight. With few exceptions the great masterpieces of Rembrandt were
produced in his middle period. During the last ten or fifteen years of
his life he gradually increased his breadth of manner. He was still
magnificent in general expression, but the intimate details which
produced such glorious effects in the great Amsterdam picture, and fifty
or more of his single portraits, could not be obtained with hog's
hair.[8]

Disconnecting then the work of the artist with inspiration or other
psychological force, we may now enquire what is mean by "Genius,"
"Natural gift," or other term used to explain the power of an artist to
produce a great work? It would appear that the answer is closely
concerned with the condition of the sensorial nerves at birth, and the
precocity or otherwise of the infantile imagination. From the fact that
we can cultivate the eye and ear so as to recognize forms of harmony
which we could not before perceive, and seeing that the effect of this
cultivation is permanent, it follows that exercise must bring about
direct changes in the nerves associated with these organs, attuning them
so to speak, and enabling them to respond to newer harmonies arising
from increased complexity of the signs used.[9] It is matter of common
knowledge that the structure of the sensorial nerves varies largely in
different persons at birth, and when a boy at a very early age shows
precocious ability in music or drawing, we may properly infer that the
condition of his optic or aural nerves is comparatively advanced, that
is to say, it is much less rudimentary than that of the average person
at the same age; in other words accident has given him a nerve
regularity which can only be gained by the average boy after long
exercise. The precocious youth has not a nerve structure superior in
kind, but it is abnormally developed, and so he is ahead of his
confreres in the matter of time, for under equal conditions of study he
is sooner able to arrive at a given degree of skill.

But early appreciation of complex harmony, and skill in execution, are
not enough to produce a great artist, for there must be associated with
these things a powerful imagination. While the particular nerves or
vessels of the brain with which the imagination is concerned have not
been identified, we know by analogy and experience that the exercise of
the imagination like that of any other function, is necessary for its
development, and according as we allow it to remain in abeyance so we
reduce its active value. Clearly also, the seat of the imagination at
birth is less rudimentary in some persons than in others. From these
facts it would appear that when both the sensory nerve structure and the
seat of the imagination are advanced at birth, then we have the basis
upon which the precocious genius is built up. With such conditions,
patient toil and deep study are alone necessary to produce a sublime
artist. Evidently it is extremely rare for the imagination and nerve
structure to be together so advanced naturally, but commonly one is more
than rudimentary, and the deficiency in the other is compensated for by
study.[10]

Of course these observations are general, for there arises the question,
to what extent can the senses and imagination be trained? We may well
conceive that there is a limit to the development of the sense organs.
There must come a period when the optic or aural nerves can be attuned
no further; and is the limit equal in all persons? The probability is
that it is not. The physical character of the nerves almost certainly
varies in different persons, some being able to appreciate more complex
harmonies than others, granted the limit of development. This is a point
which has to be considered, particularly in the case of music wherein as
a rule, the higher the beauty the more complex the combinations of
signs. There is a parallel problem to solve in respect of the
imagination. We can well believe that there was something abnormal in
the imagination of Shakespeare, beyond the probability that in his case
the physiological system controlling the seat of the imagination was
unusually advanced at birth. It is quite certain that with such a man a
given training would result in a far greater advance in the functioning
capacity of the imagination, than in the vast majority of persons who
might commence the training on apparently equal terms; and he would be
able to go further--to surpass the point which might be the limit of
development with most persons.

These questions are of the highest importance, but they cannot be
determined. We are acquainted with certain facts relating to the general
development of the sense organs, and of the imagination; and in regard
to the former we know that there is a limit within comprehensible
bounds, but we see only very dimly anything finite in the scope of the
imagination. With what other term than "limitless" can we describe the
imagination of a Shakespeare? But in all cases, whatever the natural
conditions at birth, it is clear that hard work is the key to success in
art, and though some must work harder than others to arrive at an equal
result, it is satisfactory to know that generally Carlyle was right when
he described "genius" as the transcendent capacity for taking trouble,
and we are not surprised that Cicero should have come to the conclusion
that diligence is a virtue that seems to include all the others.

Seeing that the conclusions above defined (and some to be later drawn),
are not entirely in accord with a large part of modern criticism based
upon what are commonly described as new and improved forms of the
painter's art, it is necessary to refer to these forms, which are
generally comprehended under what is known as Impressionism.[c] Alas, to
the frailty of man must we ascribe the spread of this movement, which
has destroyed so many bright young intellects, and is at this moment
leading thousands of gentle spirits along the level path which ends in
despair. For the real road of art is steep, and difficult, and long.
Year upon year of patient thought, patient observation, and patient
toil, lie ahead of every man who covets a crown of success as a painter.
He must seek to accumulate vast stores of knowledge of the human form
and its anatomy, of nature in her prolific variety, of linear and aerial
perspective, of animals which move on land or through the air, of the
laws of colours and their combinations. He must sound the depths of
poetry, and sculpture, and architecture; absorb the cream of sacred and
profane history; and with all these things and many more, he must
saturate his mind with the practical details of his art. Every artist
whose work the world has learned to admire has done his best to gain
this knowledge, and certainly no great design was ever produced by one
whose youth and early manhood were not worn with ardent study. For
knowledge and experience are the only foundations upon which the
imagination can build. Every new conception is a rearrangement of known
signs, and the imagination is powerless to arrange them appropriately
without a thorough comprehension of their character and significance.

  [c] The varied interpretations of Impressionism are referred to
    elsewhere (see page    ). When using the term in this book
    without qualification, the writer means thereby the subordination
    of design to colour, which definition covers all the forms of the
    "new art" without going beyond any of them.

This then is the programme of work which must be adopted by any serious
aspirant to fame in the art of the painter, and it is perhaps not
surprising that the number of artists who survive the ordeal is strictly
limited. In any walk of life where years of struggle are necessary for
success, how small the proportion of men who persevere to the end; who
present a steel wall to misfortune and despair, and with an indomitable
will, overcome care, and worry, and fatigue, for year after year, till
at last the clouds disappear, and they are able to front the world with
an all-powerful shield of radiant knowledge! But unfortunately in the
painter's art it is difficult to convince students of the necessity for
long and hard study, because there is no definite standard for measuring
success or failure which they can grasp without long experience. In
industries where knowledge is applied to improvement in appliances, or
methods with definite ends, or to the realization of projects having a
fixed scope, failure is determined by material results measured commonly
by mathematical processes of one kind or another. A man produces a new
alloy which he claims will fulfil a certain purpose. It is tested by
recognized means: all concerned admit the validity of the test, and
there the matter ends. But in the arts, while the relative value of the
respective grades is equally capable of demonstration, the test is of a
different kind. Instead of weights and measures which every man can
apply, general experience must be brought in. The individual may be
right in his judgment, and commonly is, but he is unable to measure the
evidence of his senses by material demonstration, and as he has no means
of judging whether his senses are normal, except by comparison, he is
liable to doubt his own experience if it clash with that of others.
Thus, he may find but little beauty in a given picture, and then may
read or hear that the work has a high æsthetic value, and without
calling to mind the fact that no evidence in the matter is conclusive
unless it be based on general experience, he is liable to believe that
his own perception is in some way deficient.

Thus in the arts, and particularly in painting, there is ample scope for
the spread of false principles. Poetry has an advantage in that the
intellect must first be exercised before the simplest pictures are
thrown on the brain, so feeble or eccentric verse appeals to very few
persons, and seldom has a clientèle, if one may use the word, outside of
small coteries of weak thinkers. It is difficult also in sculpture to
put forward poor works as of a high order, because this art deals almost
entirely with simple human and animal forms in respect of which the
knowledge is universal, and so as signs they cannot be varied except in
the production of what would be immediately recognized as monstrosities.
But in painting an immense variety in kind of beauty may be produced,
from a simple colour harmony to the representation of ideal forms
involving the highest sensorial and intellectual reaches, and there is
ample scope for the misrepresentation of æsthetic effects--for the
suggestion that a work yielding a momentary appeal to the senses is
superior to a high form of permanent beauty.

It is to the ease with which simple forms of ephemeral beauty may be
produced in painting that is due the large number of artists who should
never have entered upon the profession. Nearly every person of average
intelligence is capable with a few lessons of producing excellent
imitations of natural things in colour, as for instance, flowers, bits
of landscape, and so on, and great numbers of young men and women,
surprised at the facility with which this work can be done, erroneously
suppose that nature has endowed them with special gifts, and so take up
the art of painting as a career. Hence for every sculptor there are
twenty painters. Now these youthful aspirants usually start with
determination and hope, but although they know the value of studious
toil, they rarely comprehend that this toil, long continued, is the only
key to success. Most of them seem under the impression that inspiration
will come to their assistance, and that their genius will enable them to
dispense with much of the labour which others, less fortunate, must
undertake. They do not understand that all painters, even a Raphael,
must go through long years of hard application.

We need not be surprised that there should be occasional eruptions in
art circles tending to the exaltation of the immature at the expense of
the superior, or even the sublime, for we have always with us the
undiligent man of talent, and the "unrecognized genius." But hitherto,
movements of the kind have not been serious, for with one exception they
are lost in oblivion, and the exception is little more than a vague
memory. That the present movement should have lasted so long is not
difficult to understand when we remember the modern advantages for the
spread of new sensations--the exhibitions, the unlimited advertising
scope, and above all the new criticism, with its extended vocabulary,
its original philosophy, and its boundless discoveries as to the
psychological and musical qualities of paint. That history is silent as
to previous eruptions of the kind before the seventeenth century is a
matter of regret. It is unlikely that the greatest of all art epochs
experienced an impressionist fever, for one cannot imagine the spread of
spurious principles within measurable distance of a State (Thebes) which
went so far as to prohibit the representation of unbeautiful things. In
respect of poetry we know that the Greeks stood no nonsense, for did not
Zoilus suffer an ignominious death for venturing upon childish criticism
of Homer? In Rome eccentric painters certainly found some means to
thrive, for where "Bohemian" poets gathered, who neglected the barber
and the bath, and pretended an æsthetic exclusiveness, there surely
would painters of "isms" be found in variety. Naturally in the early
stages of the Renaissance, when patronage of the arts was almost
confined to the Church, and so went hand in hand with learning, inferior
art stood small chance of recognition; and a little later when Lorenzo
gathered around him the intellectual cream of Italy; when the pupils of
Donatello were spreading the light of his genius; when the patrician
beauties of Florence were posing for Ghirlandaio and his brilliant
confrères, and when the minds of Lionardo and Michelangelo were
blooming; who would have dared to talk of the psychological qualities of
paint, or suggest the composition of a fresco "symphony"?

  [Illustration: PLATE 3 (See page 111)
  Ancient Copy of the Cnidian Venus of Praxiteles (_Vatican_)]

But another century and more passed away. The blaze of the Renaissance
had gone down, but the embers were kept alive, for Italy still seemed to
vibrate with a desire to paint. Simultaneously in Flanders, in Holland,
in France, and in England, private citizens appeared to develop a sudden
demand for pictures, and quite naturally artists multiplied and fed the
flame. Outside of Italy the hustle and bustle in the art world were
novelties to the general public, though pleasant ones withal, and for
half a century or more they delighted in the majestic designs of Rubens
and Van Dyck, the intimate scenes of the Dutch artists, and the delicate
landscapes of Claude and Poussin and their followers, which were
continually finding their way from Rome. The simplicity of the people
protected the arts. They knew the hard labour involved in the production
of a picture; the worries, the struggles, the joys of the painters; and
daily saw beautiful imitations of every-day life in the shops and
markets. They must have been proud of them--insensibly proud of the
value of human endeavour. For them the sham and immature had no place:
there is not a single example of spurious art of the first three
quarters of the seventeenth century that has come down to us from
Holland or Flanders. But while the Dutch school was at the height of its
fame, a change was marking Italian art conditions. The half score of
academies scattered through the country were still in a state of
activity, carrying on, as far as they could, the traditions of the
Renaissance: from all parts of Europe students were still pouring in,
endeavouring to glean the secrets of the immortals; and there was no
apparent decrease in the demand for pictures from the religious
foundations and private buyers. But the character of the art produced
was rapidly declining: the writing on the wall was being done by the
hand that wielded the brush. As a necessary consequence the trader was
called in and art began to be commercialized. Worse still, fashions
appeared, guided by successive masters in the various centres, often
with an influence quite out of proportion with their merits.

By the middle of the century a general fall in activity and enthusiasm
was noticeable. The disciples of the Roman school, largely through the
pernicious influence of Bernini, had nearly forgotten the great lessons
taught by the followers of Raphael, and later by the three Carracci, and
were fast descending below mediocrity; the Florentine school included
half a dozen good painters, mostly students of Berritini: Venice was
falling into a stagnation in which she remained till the appearance of
Longhi and Tiepolo and their brethren; Bologna was living on the
reputation of the Carracci, and had yet to recover with the aid of
Cignani: Milan and Genoa as separate schools had practically faded away;
and the Neapolitan school was relying on Salvator Rosa, though Luca
Giordano was growing into an inexhaustible hive of invention. This was
the condition of Italian art, while political and other troubles were
further complicating the position of artists. For most of them the time
was gloomy and the future dark. A few turned to landscape; others
extended the practice of copying the early masters for the benefit of
foreign capitals, while some sought for novelty in still-life, or in the
then newly practised pastel work. But there was a considerable number
who would have none of these things; some of them with talent but
lacking industry, and others with industry but void of imagination. What
were these to do at a time when at the best the outlook was poor?

An answer came to this question. A new taste must be cultivated, and for
an art that required less study and trouble to produce than the sublime
forms with which the Renaissance culminated. So whispers went round that
Raphael was not really so great a master as was supposed, and that with
Michelangelo he was out of date and did not comprehend the real meaning
of art--very similar conclusions with which the modern impressionist
movement was heralded.[11] The discovery was made in Rome, but the news
expanded to Florence and Naples, and Venice, and behold the
result--Sprezzatura, or to use the modern word, Impressionism, that is
to say, the substitution of sketches for finished pictures, though this
is not the definition usually given to it. But fortunately for the art
of the time the innovation was chiefly confined to coteries. All that
could be said or done failed to convince the principal patrons of the
period that a half finished work is so beautiful as a completed one, and
so the novelties rarely found entrance into great collections, nor were
they used to adorn the interiors of public buildings. But a good many of
them were executed though they have long ceased to interest anybody. Now
and again one comes across an example in a sleepy Italian village, or in
the smaller shops of Rome or Florence, but it is quickly put aside as a
melancholy memento of a disordered period of art when talented painters
had to struggle for fame, and the untalented for bread.

The cult of Sprezzatura faded to a glimmer before the end of the
seventeenth century. Bernini was dead, and Carlo Maratta with a few
others led the way in re-establishing the health if not the brilliancy
and renown of Italian art. Nor did a recurrence of the movement occur in
the next century. During this period there was comparatively little call
for art in Italy, and at the end of it, when political disturbances made
havoc with academies and artists, the principal occupation of Italian
painters with talent was precisely that of their skilled brethren in
Holland and Flanders--the manufacture of "old" masterpieces. It was
reserved for the second half of the nineteenth century for Sprezzatura
to make its reappearance, and this time Italy followed the lead of
France.

There are many methods and mannerisms which go under the name of
Impressionism, but they are mostly suggestions in design or experiments
in tones which were formerly produced solely as studies to assist
artists in executing their complete works, or else eccentricities which
are obviously mere camouflage for lack of skill.[12] Sometimes the
sketches are slightly amplified with more or less finished signs, and
now and then novelties are present in the shape of startling colour
effects; but in all cases the impartial observer sees in the pictures
only sensorial beauty of a kind which is inevitably short lived, while
his understanding is oppressed with the thought, firstly that the
picture is probably the result of a want of diligence on the part of the
artist, and secondly that its exhibition as a serious work is somewhat
of a reflection upon the intelligence of the public.

Obviously the fundamental basis of Impressionism is weak and illogical,
for in our conception of nature it invites us to eliminate the
understanding. What the impressionist practically says is: "We do not
see solid form; we see only flat surface in which objects are
distinguished by colours. The artist should reproduce these colours
irrespective of the nature of the objects." But the objects are
distinguished by our knowledge and experience, and if we are to
eliminate these in one art, why not in another? Why trouble about
carving in the round when we only actually see in the human figure a
flat surface defined by colour? There is no scene in nature such as the
impressionist paints, nor can such a scene be thrown upon the mind of
the painter as a natural scene. Except in absolute deserts there are no
scenes without many signs which are clearly defined to the eye, and
which the artist can paint. He cannot of course produce all the signs in
a view, but he can indicate sufficient of them to make a beautiful
picture apart from the tones, and there can be no valid æsthetic reason
for substituting for these signs vague suggestions of colour infinitely
less definite than the signs as they appear in nature. Nor is there any
such atmosphere in nature as the impressionist usually paints. We do not
see blotched outlines of human figures, but the outlines in nature,
except at a considerable distance, appear to us clear and decisive
though delicately shaded, and not as seen through a veil of steam. Nor
has any valid reason been advanced for juxtaposing pure colours instead
of blending them before use.[13] Why should the eye have to seek a
particular distance from a painting in order that the colours might
naturally blend, when the artist can himself blend them and present a
harmony which is observable at any reasonable distance? We do not carve
a statue with blurred and broken edges, and then tell the observer that
the outlines will appear correct if he travel a certain distance away
before examining them.

In giving nearly his whole attention to colour the impressionist limits
his art to the feeblest form, and produces a quickly tiring, ephemeral
thing, as if unconscious of natural beauty. Sylvan glades and fairy
dales, where the brooks ripple pleasantly as they moisten the roots of
the violet, and gently lave the feet of the lark and the robin; where
shady trees bow welcome to the wanderer; where the grassy carpet is
sprinkled with flowers, and every bush can tell of lovers' sighs! Does
the impressionist see these things? Offer him the sweetest beauties of
nature, and he shows you in return a shake of a kaleidoscope. Mountain
peaks towering one above the other till their snowy crests sparkle the
azure sky; mighty rivers dividing the hills, crumbling the granite
cliffs, or thundering their course over impeding rocks; cascades of
flowing crystal falling into seething seas of foam and mist; the angry
ocean convulsively defying human power with its heaving walls and
fearsome caverns! Nature in her grandest form: sublime forces which
kindle the spirit of man: exhibit them to the impressionist, and he
presents to you a flat experiment in the juxtaposition of pure colours!
And the majesty of the human form, with its glorious attributes; the
noble woman and courageous man; incidents of self-sacrifice; the realms
of spiritual beauty, and the great ideals which expand the mind to the
bounds of space and lift the soul to Heaven! What of these? Ask the
impressionist, and he knows nothing of them. For his pencil they are but
relics of the past, like the bones of the men who immortalized them in
art.

This is perhaps an overstatement of impressionism as applied to the
works of a large number of artists, who although commonly sacrificing
form to colour, infuse more or less interest in the human poses and
actions which are nominally the subjects of their pictures. But one can
only deal generally with such a matter. The evil of Impressionism does
not lie in the presentation of colour harmonies as beautiful things, for
they are unquestionably pleasing, though the beauty is purely sensorial
and of an ephemeral character. The mischief arises from the declaration,
overt or implied, that these harmonies represent the higher reaches of
the painter's art, and that form or design therein is of secondary
importance. Let something false in thought or activity be propagated in
any domain where the trader can make use of it, then surely will the
evil grow, each new weed being more rank than its predecessor.
Impressionism is not a spurious form of art, but seeing that its
spurious claims were widely accepted, with substantial results, there
soon appeared innumerable other forms inferior to it. There is no
necessity to deal here with these forms, with the crude experiments of
Cézanne, the vagaries of Van Gogh,[14] the puerilities of Matisse, or
the awful sequence of "isms," commencing with "Post-Impressionism," and
ending in the lowest depths of art degradation; but it is proper to
point out that so long as Impressionism puts forward its extravagant
pretensions, these corrupt forms will continue to taint the realm of art
to the detriment of both artists and public.

The significance of Impressionism is alleged by its advocates to be of
such considerable import that in the public interest they should have
brought forward the most cogent arguments for its support. But we have
no such arguments, nor has any logical reason been advanced to offset
the obvious practical defects of the innovation, namely, that in the
general opinion the art is incomplete and decidedly inferior, and that
the leading critics of every country have ignored or directly condemned
it as an immature form of art. Nevertheless, although there has been no
determined attempt to upset the basis of art criticism as this basis has
been understood for more than twenty centuries; although the whole of
the arguments in support of the various forms of Impressionism have
failed to indicate any comprehensible basis at all, but have dealt
entirely with vague sensorial theories, and psychological suggestions
which have no general meaning; although it has never been remotely
advanced that the beauty produced by means of Impressionism is connected
with intellectual activity, as any high form of art must necessarily be:
notwithstanding all this, there has been gradually growing up in the
public mind, a vague and uncertain signification of the comparative
forms of art, which tends to the general confusion of thought amongst
the public, and a chaos of ideas in the minds of young artists.

The root of these spreading branches of mysticism is to be found in the
insistent affirmation that the broad manner of painting is necessary for
the production of great work, and that only those old masters who used
this manner are worthy of study. It is, as if the advocates of the new
departure declare, "If we cannot demonstrate the superiority of our
work, we can at least affirm that our methods are the best." Where a
small minority is persistent in advocating certain views, and the great
majority do not trouble about replying thereto, false principles are
likely to find considerable area for permeation among the rising
generation, who are easily impressed with the appearance of undisputed
authority. In the matter we are discussing, the limited authority is
particularly likely to be recognized by the inexperienced of those
mostly concerned, that is to say, young artists, because it sanctions a
method of work which reduces to a minimum the labour involved in
arriving at excellence by the regular channels.

Now the artist is at liberty to use any method of painting in producing
his picture providing he presents something beautiful. There is no
special virtue in a broad manner, a fine manner, or any other manner,
and the public, for whom the artist toils, is not concerned with the
point. It is as indifferent to the kind of brushwork used by the
painter, as to the variety of chisel handled by the sculptor. The
observer of the picture judges it for its beauty, and if it be well
painted, then the character of the brushwork is unconsidered. If,
however, the brushwork is so broad that the manner of painting protrudes
itself upon the observer at first sight, then the work cannot be of a
high class. All the paintings which we recognize as great works of art
are pictured upon the brain as complete things immediately they are
brought within the compass of the eye, and to this rule there is no
exception. If, when encompassed by the sight we find that a picture is
so broadly painted that we must move backwards to an unknown point
before the character of the work can be thoroughly comprehended as a
complete whole, then it is distinctly inferior as a work of art,
because, being incomprehensible on first inspection, it is necessarily
unbeautiful, and the act of converting it into a thing of beauty, by
means of a mechanical operation, complicates the picture on the brain
and so weakens its æsthetic value.[15] This is axiomatic. There are
proportions and propriety in all the arts, and the good artist is quite
aware of the lines to be drawn in respect of the manner he adopts. Jan
Van Eyck's picture of Arnolfini and his Wife, and Holbein's Ambassadors,
both painted in the fine manner, are equally great works of art with
Titian's portraits; and Raphael's portrait of Julius II. (the Pitti
Palace example),[16] which is in a manner midway between that of Holbein
and Titian, is superior to the work of all other portrait artists.

But the most remarkable outcome of the spread of Impressionism is not
the extravagant use of the broad manner, for vagaries of this sort will
always find support among immature minds and undiligent hands, but the
establishment of a species of cult connected with certain old masters
who are not in the very first rank, and the attempted relegation to the
background of public opinion, of the few sublime painters whose colossal
genius and superiority are recognized by well balanced minds wherever
the breath of man can open the door of his soul. It is unnecessary to
enter upon a long enquiry as to the validity of these proceedings, but
the new position in which two great masters have been placed can
scarcely be ignored. These masters are Rembrandt and Velasquez, who
appear to have been set upon the loftiest of pedestals in order that
some of their glory may be shed upon the new varieties of Sprezzatura.
It has been frequently said that these masters were the first of
impressionists, but the connection between their work and Impressionism
is hard to find.[17] Not only is Rembrandt entirely distinct in his
manner from Velasquez; not only were they both portrait painters
primarily, while the great bulk of impressionist work is landscape; but
their aims, their ideas, and the whole of their works are as far removed
from the new school as the poles are asunder. The work of the two great
painters deals almost entirely with expression, that of the
impressionists with colour harmonies. In the one case intellectual
beauty is sought to accompany the sensorial, in the other the production
of beauty which is not purely or almost entirely sensorial, is not even
pretended. While these differences are obvious, and while no man of
ordinary intelligence is likely to be confused in his mind in respect of
them, the fact remains that the movement, which was born with
Impressionism some forty years ago, to raise Rembrandt and Velasquez to
an elevation in art to which they are not entitled, has met with much
success amongst that considerable section of the community which is
interested in art and appreciates its value, but suffers from the
delusion that special knowledge, which it has not acquired, is necessary
for the recognition of high æsthetic merit. No definite propositions
have been laid down in support of the movement: there has been no line
of reasoning for the critic to handle, nor have the old standards been
upset in the slightest degree: the position has been brought about
chiefly by a continuous reiteration of vague assertions and mystic
declarations, and by the glamour arising from the enormous prices paid
by collectors for the works of the masters named, consequent upon the
skilful commercial exploitation of this exaggerated approbation.

  [Illustration: PLATE 4 (See Page 113)
  Venus Anadyomene (_Sculpture after the painting of Apelles_)]

  [Illustration: PLATE 5 (See page 115)
  Venus Anadyomene (_The painting of Titian_)]

Portraiture is necessarily on a lower scale of art than historical
painting (using this term in its higher application), firstly because
ideals are not possible therein, and secondly in that the imagination of
the artist is very restricted. The greatest portrait ever painted is
immeasurably below a picture where a beautiful ideal form, with ideal
expression is depicted; as far below in fact as the best ancient
sculptured busts were inferior to the gods of Praxiteles. Neither
Rembrandt nor Velasquez was capable of idealization of form, and so
neither left behind him a single painted figure to take its place as a
type. Rembrandt was a master of human expression, and in the
representation of character he was perhaps unsurpassed by any painter,
but if we analyze the feeling that is at the bottom of the appreciation
of his portraits, we find that it largely consists of something apart
from admiration of them as things of beauty. There enters into
consideration recognition of the extraordinary genius of the artist in
presenting character in such a way that the want of corporeal beauty
seems to be unfelt. Instead of observing that the expression in a
countenance harmonizes with the features, we involuntarily notice
that the features harmonize perfectly with the expression, which seems
in itself to be the picture. Of course inasmuch as the expression
invariably appeals to the good side of our nature, it means intellectual
beauty, but as the depth of any impression of this kind of beauty
depends upon the development of the mind, the admiration must, except
where the artist presents corporeal beauty, be confined generally to the
cultivated section of the community. From the point of view of pure art,
his fame as a great painter can only rest upon those of his pictures
which are also appreciated for the corporeal beauty exhibited.

The extraordinary power of Velasquez lay in the sure freedom of his
execution, and in this he was equal to Titian. He was besides a master
of balance, and so every portrait he painted is one complete whole, and
has exactly the effect that a portrait should have--to direct the mind
of the observer to the subject, and away altogether from the painter.
But these high qualities as portrait painters do not place Rembrandt and
Velasquez on a level with Raphael, and Michelangelo, and Correggio.
Whatever the individual opinion, it is impossible to move aside from the
long path of experience and the laws dependent upon natural functions,
and so long as the world lasts, a work of ideal beauty, whether it be a
Madonna by Raphael, a Prophet by Michelangelo, or a symbolical figure by
Fragonard, will live in general estimation, which is the only test of
high beauty, far above portraits from life and scenes of every day
labour, however they may be painted. The beauty of the one is eternal
and exalting; and of the other, sympathetic and more or less passive.
The appreciation of Raphael and Michelangelo is universal, spontaneous,
emphatic; of Rembrandt and Velasquez, sometimes imperative, but usually
deliberative and cultivated. In fact it is only amongst a section of
cultivated people, that is to say, a small percentage of the community,
that Rembrandt and Velasquez are given a status which is not, and cannot
be, accorded them if we adhere to the natural and time-honoured
standards of judgment accepted by the first artists and philosophers
known to the world since art emerged from the prehistoric shade. To
place these artists above, or on a level with, the Italian artists
named, is to cast from their pedestals Homer, Phidias, Praxiteles,
Apelles, Shakespeare, Dante, and every other admittedly sublime genius
in art of whom we have record.

Another baneful result of Impressionism is the attempt to raise
landscape to a higher level in art than that to which it is properly
entitled. This is perhaps a natural consequence of the elevation of
colour at the expense of form, for the movement is based upon new
methods of colouring, and the significance of colour is vastly greater
in landscape than in any other branch of art. Elsewhere the disabilities
of the landscape painter are pointed out, and it will be seen that fixed
and unalterable restrictions compel an extreme limitation to his work.
It is because of these restrictions that the very greatest artists have
refrained from paying close attention to this branch of art as a
separate department.

From indirect records we may presume that landscape painting was well
understood in the days of ancient Greece, but there is no evidence that
it then formed a separate branch of art. In Roman times according to
Pliny, landscape was used for mural decoration. Of its character we can
only judge from the examples exposed during the excavations at Pompeii
and Herculaneum, which indicate that the pictures had but a
topographical interest, or formed settings for the representation of
industrial pursuits or classical adventures. Certainly there is no
instance in Greek or Roman art recorded or exhibited, of any landscape
as we understand it, that is, a work built up as a beautiful
representation of nature, to be instantly recognized by the observer as
a complete whole, as one sign in fact. The artists of the Italian
Renaissance did not paint landscapes as separate pictures unless by way
of study or experiment. They evidently considered landscape signs purely
as accessories, and composed their natural views with special reference
to figure designs. Some of them, particularly the leaders of the
Venetian School, occasionally painted pictures in which landscape
appears to play an important part, but in these cases the landscape is
really subsidiary, though essential to the design; and the works cannot
be compared in any way with those of Claude and others who often added
figures to their landscapes in order to comply with the wishes of their
patrons. The fifteenth century Flemish artists also dealt with landscape
purely as background, and so with Martin Schongauer, Dürer, and other
early German painters. But all the great painters down to the decline
of the Renaissance, closely studied landscape, as is evidenced by the
numerous sketches still existing, and the finished pictures remaining
clearly indicate that by the middle of the sixteenth century artists had
little or nothing to learn in landscape art, save the management of
complex aerial perspective.

Since landscape painting was introduced as a separate art towards the
end of the sixteenth century, it has only commanded general attention
when the higher art of the painter has appeared to decline. In Flanders
the spurt in landscape due to Paul Bril was terminated with the last of
the Breughels by the overpowering splendour of Rubens in historical
work, and the attempts of even Rubens himself to create a greater
interest in landscape signally failed. There were some good landscape
painters in Holland during the flourishing period of the Dutch school,
but it was only when Rembrandt, Dow, Terburg, and the rest of the bright
constellation of figure painters had passed their zenith, or were
resting in quiet graves, that landscape painting became in any way
general. Then it was that Hobbema, Jacob Ruysdael, and their numerous
followers, with coast painters like Van der Cappelle, and sea painters
as William van de Velde, turned out the many fine works which are now so
highly prized.

The Italians of the seventeenth century were too close to Raphael, and
Michelangelo, and Titian, to permit of a landscape being generally
received as a great work of art, but there appeared at this time in
Rome numerous foreigners from France, and Flanders, and Holland, who
were devoted to landscape, and amongst them the greatest genius known in
the art--Claude Lorraine. He was the first to put the sun in the sky on
canvas for the purpose of pure landscape; the first to master thoroughly
the intricate difficulties of aerial perspective; the first to adorn the
earth with fairy castles and dreamy visions of nature, such as we might
suppose to have been common in the days of the Golden Age, ere yet men
fought for power, or toiled from morn to eve for daily bread. With his
magic wand he skimmed the cream of natural beauty and spread it over the
Roman Campagna, transforming this historic ground into a region of
palaces, terraces, cascades, and glorious foliage. At the same time
Nicholas Poussin was also using the Campagna for the landscape settings
of his classical compositions--such perfect settings that it is
impossible to imagine the figures separated from their surroundings.
These two artists with their disciples, and many Flemish and Dutch
painters headed by Berghem and the two Boths, formed a landscape colony
of considerable importance, but no Italian landscape school was founded
from it. In the next century there was little pure landscape in Italy.
Some fine works of topographical, and a few of general interest were
produced by Canaletto and his followers, and a kind of landscape school
was maintained in Venice for half a century or more, but elsewhere in
Italy the cultivation of landscape was spasmodic and feeble.

In England and France, landscape as a separate art has only made
considerable headway quite recently, though there have been local
schools, as the Norwich and Barbizon, which followed particular methods
in design. Meanwhile England produced some isolated giants in landscape,
as Wilson, Gainsborough, Turner, and Constable, Turner standing out as
the greatest painter of strong sun effects on record. It will be seen
that until the last generation or so, in no country has landscape been
admitted to high rank as a separate art, universal opinion very properly
recognizing that the highest beauty in the handiwork of man is to be
found in the representation of the human figure. Profound efforts of the
imagination are not required in landscape, for it consists of a
particular arrangement of inanimate signs which have no direct influence
upon the mind, and cannot appeal to the higher faculties. There is no
scope therein for lofty conceptions, and consequently the sensorial
beauty exhibited must be very high to have more than a quickly passing
effect upon the observer. This high beauty is most difficult to obtain,
and can only be reached by those who have a supreme knowledge of the
technique of their art; who have made a long and close study of natural
signs and effects; and who are possessed of uncommon patience and
industry. We need not be surprised that scarcely one out of every
hundred landscape painters executes a work which lasts a generation, and
not one out of a thousand secures a permanent place on the roll of art.
The man who does not give his life from his youth up, to his work,
concentrating his whole energy upon it, to the exclusion of everything
else, will paint only inferior landscapes. The four greatest landscape
painters known to us are Claude and Turner in distance work, and Hobbema
and Jacob Ruysdael in near-ground. Claude was labouring for twenty-five
years before he succeeded in accomplishing a single example of those
lovely fairy abodes so forcibly described by Goethe as "absolute truth
without a sign of reality." Turner took more than twenty years to master
the secrets of Claude; Jacob Ruysdael spent a quarter of a century in
working out to perfection the representation of flowing water, and
Hobbema passed through more than half of his long life before arriving
at his superlative scheme of increasing his available distance by
throwing in a powerful sunlight from the back of his trees. And a long
list of landscape painters of lesser lustre might be given, who went
through from fifteen to thirty years of painstaking labour before
executing a single first-class picture.

Great landscapes of the pure variety are of two kinds, and two kinds
only. The highest are those where an illusion of opening distance or
other movement is provided, and the second class are where natural
scenes of common experience, under common conditions of atmosphere, are
faithfully reproduced. The lighter landscapes representing phases, as
the sketches of the Barbizon school,[18] with the moonlight scenes, and
the thousand and one sentimental colour harmonies unconcerned with human
motives, which are turned out with such painful regularity every month,
serve their purpose as wall decorations of the moment, but then die and
fade from memory like so many of the unfortunate artists who drag their
weary way to the grave in the vain struggle for fame by means of them.

No landscape of the phase class can be anything more than a simple
harmony of tone and design, more ephemeral than the natural phase
itself. The quiet harmony is restful for the fatigued eye, and every eye
is fatigued every day; and because the eye feels relieved in glancing at
the picture, the conclusion arises to the unthinking that it must be a
great work of art. Glowing eulogies were pronounced upon Whistler's
Nocturne, in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, when it was first
placed there, but is there anything less like a work of beauty than the
dark meaningless patch as it is now seen? And the same thing has
happened with a thousand other landscapes of the kind--first presented
to the tired eyes of business and professional men, and then placed in
collections to be surrounded by permanently beautiful works. All these
phase pictures must quickly lose their beauty in accordance with natural
laws which cannot be varied. Let it not be supposed that the writer
means to suggest that these simple works should not be executed. They
are surely better than no decoration at all in the many homes for which
really fine pictures are unavailable, but it is entirely wrong to
endeavour to pervert the public judgment by putting them forward as
works of high art.

And what of the struggling artists? Look around in every city and see
the numbers of bright young men and women wearing away the bloom of
their youth in vain endeavours to climb the heights of art by the easy
track of glowing colours! It is the call of Fame they think, that leads
them along, for they know not the voice of the siren, and see not the
gaping precipice which is to shatter their dreams. There is but one sure
path to the top of the mountain, but it is drab-coloured, and many are
the slippery crags. Few of the strongest spirits can climb it, but all
may try, and at least they may direct their minds upwards, and keep ever
in front of them a vision of the great idealists wandering over the
summit through the eternal glow of the fires they lit ere death
consecrated their glory.



BOOK I



CHAPTER I

Classification of the fine arts

     The arts imitative of nature--The arts classified according to the
     character of their signs--Poetry not a compound art, primarily--The
     extent to which the arts may improve upon nature.


Since art uses natural signs for the purpose of representing nature, it
is necessarily mimetic in character.[19]

Poetry represents all that the other arts imitate, and in addition,
presumed divine actions. Specially it imitates human and presumed
spiritual actions, with form and expression; expression directly, form
indirectly.

Sculpture imitates human and presumed spiritual form and expression;
form directly, expression indirectly. It also represents animal forms,
and modifications of natural forms in ornament.

Painting imitates natural forms and products, and specially human form
and expression; form directly, expression indirectly.

Fiction imitates human actions, and form and expression; expression
directly, form indirectly.

Music imitates natural sounds and combines them and specially represents
human emotional effects.

Architecture is the least imitative of the arts, its freedom in the
representation of nature being restricted by the necessity of serving
the end of utility. It combines geometrical forms, and in the positions
and proportions of these, is compelled to represent what we understand
from experience of nature as natural balance.

The poet may give to a character sublime attributes far above
experience, or expand form as Homer raises the stature of Strife to the
heavens, but he cannot provide attributes beyond experience in kind, or
any part of a form outside of nature. He may combine or rearrange, and
enlarge or diminish as he will, and so may the painter, the sculptor, or
musician, but he is powerless to create signs unknown to nature. It
follows then, that he who imitates nature in the most beautiful way,
that is to say, he who combines the signs of nature to form the most
beautiful whole, produces the greatest work of art.

It would appear that upon the character of their principal signs is
dependent the relative position of the arts in respect of the
recognition of beauty therein. Of the six fine arts, namely, Poetry,
Sculpture, Painting, Fiction, Music, and Architecture, the first four,
which hereafter in this work will be known as the Associated Arts, have
for their principal sign the human figure, to which everything else is
subordinate; while in music the signs consist of tones, and in
architecture, of lines.

All the other arts whose object is to give pleasure, as the drama,
dancing, etching, are either modifications of one of the fine arts, or
combinations of two or more of them. In recent times it has been held
that poetry is a combined art, owing to the almost invariable use of a
simple form of music in its construction, but it would appear that
primarily poetry is independent of metrical assistance. This was clearly
laid down by Aristotle, but modern definitions of the art have usually
included some reference to metre.[20] Now in our common experience two
things are observable in respect of poetry. The first is, that when by
way of admiration or criticism, we discuss the works of those poets whom
all the world recognizes as the greatest known to us, we deal only with
the substance of what is said, and the manner of saying it, without
reference to the metrical form. In the second place we observe that the
higher the poetry, the more simple is the metrical form with which it is
associated. The great epics, which necessarily take first rank in
poetry, have only metre, the higher musical measures in which lyrics are
set being avoided. But as we descend in the scale of the art, metrical
form becomes of more importance, and when simple subjects are dealt
with, and a grand style is inappropriate, the production would not be
called poetry unless in the form of verse.

  [Illustration: PLATE 6 (See page 116)
  The Reposing Venus of Giorgione (_Dresden Gallery_)]

In epic and dramatic poetry, we call one poet greater than another
because of his superior invention and beauty of expression, let the
measure be what it will. But the invention comes first, for only high
invention can be clothed with lofty expression. The actions of deathless
gods or god-like men; qualities of goodness, nobility, courage,
grandeur, so high as to be above human reach: only these can form the
subject of language and sentiment soaring into regions of the sublime,
and indifferent to metrical artifice. In the sacred books of all great
religions we may find the loftiest poetry without regular form, and any
prose translation of the Greek poets will provide many examples,[21]
though often there is a cadence--a rise and fall in the flow of words
which is more or less regular, and has the effect of emphasizing the
sentiment, and of throwing the images upon the mind with directness and
force. We must conclude then that in poetry, while metrical form is
generally essential, it is not vital to the highest flights of the poet,
and so strictly, poetry is primarily a pure and not a compound art.

Seeing that art uses the signs of nature of which man is at once a
product and a tool, it must in its progress follow the general course of
nature. In her development of life, nature is chiefly concerned in the
improvements of types for her own purposes, and only uses the individual
in so far as he can assist in this end, while the natural instinct of
the individual is to conserve and improve his type. The art which
represents life is compelled to deal chiefly with types, for it is only
by the use of a type that the artist can apply his imagination to the
production of high beauty, to whatever extent he may use the individual
to help him in this purpose, and it is instinctive in the human being to
maintain and improve the æsthetic attraction of the species. The highest
art, as the highest work of nature, consists of the presentation of a
perfected type. The artist therefore must consider the species before
the individual; the essential before the accidental; the general before
the particular.

The living signs of nature with which art deals are of two classes. In
the one sign the position of parts is the same throughout the species,
and is fixed and invariable, as in fully developed animals; in the other
the position is irregular, and variable within limits, as in plants. In
the latter case the position of parts may be commonly varied
indefinitely without a sense of incongruity arising, as in a tree, and
hence there can be no conceivable general form or type upon which art
may build up perfected parts and proportions. In respect of such a sign
therefore, art cannot improve, or appear to improve, upon nature, by
combining perfected parts into a more beautiful whole than nature
provides.

In the case of a fully developed animal, where the position of parts is
fixed, a type may be conceived which is superior in symmetry and harmony
to any individual of the species produced by nature, for the imagination
is restricted to an unchangeable form, and has but to put together
perfected parts and proportions. But this conception can only be applied
in art to human beings, because in respect of other animals, while no
two are alike, the members of each species, or each section of a
species, seem to be alike, or so closely alike in form and expression,
that no perfected type can be conceived which will appear to be superior
in general beauty to the normal individual of the species, or section
thereof, coming within actual experience. Thus, the most perfect
conceivable racehorse painted on canvas, might in reality be more
perfect in form than any actual racehorse, but to the observer of the
picture it would not appear to be of greater perfection or higher beauty
than racehorses that come, or may come, within experience. The poet may
describe the actions and appearance of a courser in such a way as to
suggest that the animal has qualities far above experience, but the form
of the animal when thrown on the mind of the reader, would still appear
to be within the bounds of experience.

With the human being, in addition to the general form there enters into
consideration the countenance, which is the all-important seat of
beauty, is the principal key to expression, and which, to the common
knowledge, differs in every person in character and proportions. Nature
never produces a perfect form with a perfect countenance, and she
actually refuses to provide a countenance which is free from elements
connected with purely human instincts and passions. But it is within the
power of art to correct the work of nature in these respects--to put
together perfect parts, and to provide a general expression approaching
our highest conceptions of human majesty. Homer, Phidias, and Raphael
have enabled us to throw upon our minds images far above any of actual
experience.

Apart from these ideal forms, nature cannot be surpassed by art in the
production of beauty, either in respect of animate or inanimate signs,
separately or collectively, the latter because within the limitations
of art, there is no grouping or arrangement of signs possible which
would not appear to correspond with what may be observed in nature,
unless something abnormal and less beautiful than any natural
combination be presented.

Poetry, painting, and sculpture may be concerned with ideals. In fiction
an ideal is impossible because the writer must treat of life as it is,
or as it appears to be, within the bounds of experience. In neither
music nor architecture is there a basic sign or combination of signs
upon which the imagination may build up an ideal.



CHAPTER II

LAW OF RECOGNITION IN THE ASSOCIATED ARTS

     Explanation of the law--Its application to poetry--To sculpture--To
     painting--To fiction.


While we are unable to explain, logically and completely, our
appreciation of what we understand as beauty, experience has taught us
that there are certain phenomena connected with æsthetic perception
which are so regular and undeviating in their application as to have all
the force of law. The first and most important of these phenomena
relates to the interval of time elapsing between the sense perception of
a thing of art, and the recognition by the mind of the beauty therein.

We know from common experience of the Associated Arts that if one fails
to appreciate a work almost immediately after comprehending its nature
and purport, he arrives at the conclusion that there is no beauty
therein, or at least that the beauty is so obscure as to be scarcely
worth consideration. But sometimes on further acquaintance with the work
the view of the observer may be changed, and he may become aware of a
certain beauty which he did not before appreciate. We notice also that
when the beauty is comparatively high, it is more rapidly recognized
than when it is comparatively low. Continuing the examination we arrive
at what is evidently an unalterable law, namely, that the higher the
æsthetic value in a particular sphere of art, the more rapidly is the
beauty therein recognized; that is to say, given any two works, other
things being equal, that is the higher art the beauty in which is the
more quickly conveyed to the mind of the observer after contact with it,
and precisely to the extent to which the reasoning powers are required
to be exercised in comprehending the work, so the beauty therein is
diminished. The law may be called for convenience the Law of
Recognition.

But there are different kinds of beauty as well as degrees. One kind may
be more quickly recognized, and yet make a weaker impression on the
mind, a condition which is due to the varying relations between the
sensorial and intellectual elements in the works. We note that in all
the Associated Arts, as the works therein descend in æsthetic value, the
emotional element becomes more evident, and consequently the impression
received, less permanent. But sensorial beauty is the first essential in
a work of art: hence while the direct appeal to the mind must be made as
strong as possible, this must not be done at the expense of the
emotional elements. We unconsciously measure the emotional with the
intellectual effect, and if the former does not at least equal the
latter, we reject the work as inferior art. A painted Madonna wanting in
beauty of features is instantly and properly condemned even if her
figure be enshrined within surroundings of saintly glories which in
themselves make a powerful appeal to the mind. In fact the highest
reaches in art were probably originally suggested by the necessity of
balancing the one with the other form of beauty. The highest
intellectual considerations seem to rise far above any emotional
experiences connected with ordinary life, and hence to enable these
considerations to enter the domain of art, the divine must be introduced
so that the artist may extend his imaginative scope for the provision of
emotional effects commensurate, as far as possible, with the importance
of his appeal to the mind. Hence in all arts which combine an
intellectual with an emotional appeal, the highest forms must ever be
connected with the spiritual.

In other grades of these arts also, the artist has to use special means
to maintain a due balance between the two kinds of beauty. Shakespeare
could not give men and women of every-day experience the wisdom, the
judgment, and the foresight necessary for the presentation of the
powerful pictures which some of his characters throw upon the mind, so
he raises them above the level of life by according them greater virtues
and nobler passions than are to be found in people of actual experience.
The supreme emotional effects he produces seem perfectly appropriate
therefore to the intellectual appeals. In the next lower form of art,
where the representation does not go beyond life experience, the
emotional appeal is of still greater relative importance because the
appeal to the mind is rarely striking. The emotional effect here may
indeed be so overpowering that the purely mental considerations are
lost sight of, and we observe that in all the greater works of art in
the division, whether of poetry, painting, sculpture, or fiction, the
intellectual appeal is vastly exceeded by the emotional. When we reach
the grade which deals with subjects inferior to the average level of
human life, as the representation of animals, landscape, humour,
still-life, the sensorial effect must be exceedingly strong relatively,
otherwise the art would scarcely be recognizable, the appeal to the mind
being necessarily weak.

It is clearly compulsory then that the Associated Arts, all of which may
appeal to the mind as well as to the senses, should be separated into
divisions for the purpose of applying the Law of Recognition, and these
divisions are obvious, for they are marked by the strongest natural
boundary lines. They are: 1. The art which deals with divinities. 2.
That which exhibits beauty above life experience, but does not reach the
divine. 3. That which represents life. 4. That which produces
representations inferior to life. This separation corresponds with that
applied by Aristotle to poetry and painting, except that he joined the
two first sections into one, which he described as better than life. But
the division of the great philosopher, while being sufficient for his
purpose, is hardly close enough for the full consideration of the kinds
of beauty, since it puts in the same class, representations of the
divinity and the superman--joins Homer and Phidias with Praxiteles and
Raphael. In dealing with the divine the artist need place no limit to
his imagination in the presentation of his picture, whereas with the
superman he must circumscribe his fancy within the limits of what may
appear to the senses to be possibly natural. It is true that the poet
may use the supernatural as distinguished from the divine, to enable him
to extend his imaginative scope, and so give us beautiful pictures which
would be otherwise unpresentable. Shakespeare makes us imagine Puck
encircling the earth in forty minutes, and Shelley shows us iron-winged
beings climbing the wind, but we immediately recognize these pictures as
figures of fancy, or as in the nature of allegory, and they do not
impress us so deeply as the miraculous flight of a goddess of Homer, or
an assemblage of the satellites of Satan in the Hell of Milton, for we
involuntarily regard these events as compatible with the religious faith
of great nations, and so as having a nearer apparent semblance of truth.
Sacred art therefore, being capable of providing beauty of a much higher
kind than any other form, should be placed in a separate section for the
purpose of considering the law under discussion. Only poetry among the
arts is capable of appropriately representing divine actions, and only
sculpture of producing a form so perfect as to bring a divinity to mind.
Hence these arts are alone concerned with the Law of Recognition as
applied to the first section of the Associated Arts.

The law applies to all the Associated Arts, and to all sections of them,
except the lowest form of painting--that represented by harmony of
colour without appeal to the mind of any kind--but this form is so weak
and exceptional that it need hardly be considered in the general
proposition. Indeed we might reasonably argue that it does not come
within the fine arts, as it is produced by a mechanical arrangement of
things with fixed and unalterable physical properties.

The law cannot apply to music and architecture, for the effects of these
are purely emotional, and so directly vary with conditions of time and
place respectively. A work of architecture may seem more beautiful in
one place than in another; and a work of music more or less beautiful
according as it more or less synchronizes with emotional conditions of
human activity surrounding the hearer at the time of the performance.

While this law is unvarying in the Associated Arts, there are artificial
restrictions which must be considered in order that apparent deviations
from it may be understood. Special restrictions in relation to the
higher poetry and sculpture are mentioned later on, but there is also an
important general restriction. The sense nerves and the imagination,
like all other functions, must be exercised in order that normal healthy
conditions may be retained; but a large section of the people, by force
of circumstances or want of will, have neglected this exercise, and so
through disuse or misuse these functions are often in a condition which
is little more than rudimentary. Hence such persons are practically
debarred from appreciation of many forms of art, and particularly those
wherein intellectual beauty is a marked feature. In discussing the
operation of this law amongst people in general therefore, the writer
must be understood to refer only to that section of the community whose
sense nerves and imaginations may be supposed to be in a healthy, active
condition.

Experience with all the Associated Arts has clearly demonstrated the
validity of this law. The strength of the devices used by the poet lies
in simplifying the presentation of his pictures. Metaphor is necessary
to the poet, for without it he would be powerless to present pictures
made up of a number of parts, but he also uses it for the purpose of
throwing simple images upon the mind more rapidly, and consequently more
forcibly, than would be possible if direct means were employed; and the
beauty of the metaphor appears the greater according as it more
completely fills in the picture which the poet is desirous of
presenting. When other artifices than metaphor or simile are applied,
the result only appears very beautiful when the condensation of the
language used is extreme, and when there is no break in the delineation
of the action. A few supreme examples of beauty derived from the
principal devices of the poet for presenting his pictures may be
instanced, and it will be found that in each case the power of the image
is directly due to the brevity of expression, the simplicity of
description and metaphor, or the unimpeded representation of action.

More than three thousand years have passed since the period assigned to
Helen of Troy, and yet each generation of men and women as they learn of
her, have deeply sealed upon their minds the impression that she was of
surpassing beauty, almost beyond the reach of human conception. We have
practically no details of her appearance from Homer or Hesiod, except
that she was neat-ankled, white-armed, rich-haired, and had the
sparkling eyes of the Graces, but already in the time of Hesiod her
renown "spread over the earth." What was it then that established the
eternal fame of her beauty? Simply a few words of Homer indicating the
startling effect of her appearance before the elders of Troy. We are
allowed to infer that these dry, shrunken-formed sages, shrill-voiced
with age, became passionately disturbed by a mere glance at her figure,
and nervously agreed with each other that little blame attached to the
Greeks and Trojans for suffering such long and severe hardships on
account of her, for only with the goddesses could she be compared. How
wondrous must be the beauty when a glimpse of it suffices to hasten the
blood through shrivelled veins, and provoke tempestuous currents to
awake atrophied nerves! Without the record of this incident, the vague
notices of Helen's appearance would be very far from sufficient to
account for the universal recognition of her marvellous beauty.[22]

  [Illustration: PLATE 7 (See page 122)
  Greek Sculpture, 4th Century B.C. Attributed to Scopas
  Greek Bronze, 3d Century B.C.
  Heads of Demeter]

One of the finest lines of Shakespeare is, "How sweet the moonlight
sleeps upon this bank." The beauty of the line rests entirely upon the
use of the word "sleeps" to express something which could not be
otherwise said without the use of many words. The moonbeam is apparently
perfectly still, the atmosphere calm, and there is nothing in the
surroundings to disturb the natural tranquillity, these conditions
inducing a feeling of softness and rest in the observer. If it had been
necessary to say all this, Shakespeare would certainly have omitted
reference to the moonlight, but his powerful imagination brings to mind
the word "sleeps" to express the conditions, and we are overwhelmed with
a beautiful picture suddenly thrown on the brain as if by a brilliant
flash of light.

Among the many illustrations of the point which may be found in the
Bible, is the great passage, "And God said, 'Let there be Light,' and
there was Light." This is described by Longinus as nobly expressed, but
he does not suggest any cause for its æsthetic effect. It is true that
nothing could be finer, but the nobility of the expression is derived
from its brevity--from the extreme rapidity with which so vast and
potent an event as an act of creation is pictured on the brain.[23] A
description of an act of creation, although involving psychological
considerations of sublimity, is not necessarily so beautiful in
expression as to be a work of art.

In the case of lyric poetry, brevity of expression, though still of high
importance, is not of so much moment as in epic or dramatic verse,
because the substance is subordinated to beauty of expression and
musical form. Devices are used chiefly for strengthening the sensorial
element, the appeal to the mind being in most cases secondary.
Nevertheless the lyric poet wastes no words. Take for example Sappho's
_Ode to Anactoria_. The substance of these amazing lines is
comparatively insignificant, being merely the expression of emotion on
the part of an individual consequent upon disappointment, yet the
transcendent beauty of the poem has held enthralled fourscore
generations of men and women, and still the world gasps with
astonishment at its perfection. Obviously the beauty of the ode rests
mainly on qualities of form which cannot be reproduced in translation,
but the substance may be, and it will be observed that the description
of the action is unsurpassable. The picture, the whole picture, and
nothing but the picture, is thrown on the mind rapidly and directly; so
rapidly that the movement of the brush is scarcely discernible, and so
simply that not a thought is required for its elucidation. With the
chain of symptoms broken or less closely connected, the passion
indicated would be comparatively feeble, whatever the force of the
artifices in rhythm and expression which Sappho knew so well how to
employ.[24]

As with poetry, so with the arts of sculpture and painting: the greatest
works result from simple designs. All the sculptures which we recognize
as sublime or highly beautiful, consist of single figures, or in very
rare cases, groups of two or three, and indeed it is difficult to hold
in our minds a carved group of several figures. The images of the Zeus
and Athena of Phidias, though we know little of them except from
literary records and inferior copies, are far more brilliantly mirrored
upon our minds than the Parthenon reliefs. The importance of simplicity
is perhaps more readily seen in sculpture than in any other art, for the
slightest fault in design has an immediate effect upon the mind of the
observer. It is noticeable that the decadence of a great art period is
usually first marked by complications in sculptured figures.[25]

In painting, the pictures which we regard as great are characterized by
their simplicity, and the immediate recognition of their purport. They
are either ideal figures, or groups where at least the central figure is
idealized and commonly known. The work must be grasped at one glance for
the beauty to be of a high order. Hence in the case of frescoes great
artists have not attempted to make the beauty of any part dependent upon
the comprehension of the whole. It is impossible for the eye to take in
at a single glance the whole of a large fresco painting, and this
explains why a fresco celebrated for its beauty is often disappointing
to one who sees it for the first time, and endeavours to impress it on
his mind as a single picture by rapidly piecing together the different
parts.[26] Polygnotus could well paint forty scenes from Homer as mural
decoration in one hall, for they could only be examined and understood
as separate pictures; and the ceiling of Michelangelo at the Vatican is
so arranged that there is no necessity for combining the parts in the
mind. So with the Parma frescoes of Correggio. Raphael had a different
task in his Vatican frescoes, but he accomplished it by arranging his
figures so that each separate group is a beautiful picture; and Lionardo
in his great work at Milan divided the Apostles into groups of three in
order to minimize the consideration necessary for the appreciation of so
large a work.

Fiction is divided into two sections, the novel and the short story, and
they are so distinct in character that they must necessarily be
considered separately in the application of the law under discussion.
Form is of high importance in both classes of the art, but weighs more
in the short story because here the appeal to the mind is unavoidably
restricted. The novelist is capable of producing a higher beauty than is
within the range of the short-story writer. The latter is limited in his
delineation of character to the circumstances surrounding a single
experience, while the novelist, in describing various experiences, may
add shade upon shade in expression and thus elevate the characters and
actions above the level possible of attainment by means of a single
incident. But within his limit the short-story writer may provide his
beauty more easily than the novelist, because a picture can be more
readily freed from complications when away from surroundings, than when
it forms one of a series of pictures which must have connecting links. A
good short story consists of a single incident or experience in a life
history. It is clearly cut, without introduction, and void of a
conclusion which is not directly part of the incident. The subject is of
general interest; the language simple, of common use, and free from
mannerisms; while there are no accessories beyond those essential for
the comprehension of the scheme. These conditions, which imply the most
extreme simplicity, are present in all the greatest short stories known
to us--the best works of the author of the _Contes Nouvelles_, of
Sacchetti, Boccaccio, Margaret of Navarre, Hoffman, Poe, and De
Maupassant. The novel differs from the short story in that it is a large
section of a life with many experiences, but the principles under which
the two varieties of fiction are built up, are precisely the same.
Obviously the limit in length of a novel is that point beyond which the
writer cannot enhance the beauty of character and action, while
maintaining the unity of design. This means the concentration of effort
in the direction of simplicity, facilitating the rapid reception of the
pictures presented by the writer upon the mind of the reader.

It is thus evident that the higher the beauty in the Associated Arts,
the simpler are the signs or sign combinations which produce it; and
hence the Law of Recognition rests on a secure foundation, for the
simple must necessarily be recognized before the complex.



CHAPTER III

LAW OF GENERAL ASSENT

     General opinion the test of beauty in the Associated Arts.


The first aim of art is sensorial beauty, because sensorial experience
must precede the impression of beauty upon the mind. The extent to which
something appears to be sensorially harmonious depends upon the
condition or character of the nerves conveying the impression of it to
the brain. We know from experience that exercise of these nerves results
in the removal or partial removal of natural irregularities therein, and
enables a complex form of beauty to be recognized which was not before
perceived. The vast majority of the people have not cultivated their
sense nerves except involuntarily, and consequently can only recognize
more or less simple beauty: thus, as the sign combinations become more
complicated, so is diminished the number of persons capable of
appreciating the beauty thereof.

The highest form of beauty conceivable to the imagination is that of the
human being, because here corporeal and intellectual beauty may be
combined. This is universally admitted and has been so since the first
records of mental activity. The human figure must be regarded as a
single sign since the relation of its parts to each other is fixed and
invariable; and further it is the simplest, because of all signs none is
so quickly recognized by the rudimentary understanding. In the
Associated Arts therefore, the highest beauty is to be found in the
simplest sign, and this is the one supremely important sign in these
arts, for without it only the lowest forms may be produced.

From all this we determine that the higher the beauty in a work of the
Associated Arts, the larger is the number of persons capable of
recognizing it; so that if we say that something in these arts is
beautiful because it pleases, we imply that it is still more beautiful
if we say that it generally pleases, and the highest of all standards of
beauty is involved in the interpretation of Longinus: "That is sublime
and beautiful which always pleases, and takes equally with all sorts of
men." Thus, in the Associated Arts, the general opinion as to the
æsthetic value of a work of high art is both demonstration and law.[27]

In music the significance of the signs is inverted compared with the
progression in the Associated Arts, for while in the latter the highest
form of beauty is produced by the simplest of single signs, in music the
higher forms are the result of complex combinations of signs. The
greatest musical compositions consist of an immense variety of signs
arranged in a hitherto unknown order. Thus, while the immature or
uncultivated mind recognizes the higher forms of beauty before the lower
in the Associated Arts, it first recognizes the lower forms in music. In
the Associated Arts therefore, cultivation results in the further
appreciation of the forms of art as they descend, and in music as they
ascend.

In painting, the most uncultivated persons, even those who have never
exercised their organs of sight except involuntarily, will always admire
the higher forms before the lower.[28] They will more highly appreciate
a picture of a Madonna or other beautiful woman than an interior where
the scene is comparatively complicated by the presence of several
persons, and they will prefer the interior to a landscape, and a
landscape to a still-life picture. So in sculpture. Other things being
equal, a figure of a man or woman will be preferred to a group, and the
group to an animal or decorative ornament. An exception must however be
made in respect of the sublime reaches of Grecian sculpture in the fifth
and fourth centuries B.C., owing to an artificial restriction. There is
very little of this sculpture to be actually seen, nearly all the more
important works being known only from records or variable copies.
Considerable observation, comparison, and study, are necessary before
one can gain a fair conception of the Grecian ideals, and so they are
practically lost to the bulk of the people.

In fiction it is common knowledge that the greatest works from the point
of view of art are always the most popular, as they are invariably the
most simple in construction and diction. In considering poetry we must
exclude the great epics, as those of Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton,
because where the actions of supernatural persons are described, the
sentiments and language employed are so elevated in character, and the
images and literary references so numerous, that a certain superior
education is required before the sense of the poems can be comprehended.
Subject to this artificial restriction, the rule holds entirely good.
Shakespeare is at once the greatest and most popular of our poets:
Shelley, Byron, and Burns, are as far ahead of Tennyson and Browning in
popularity as they are in general beauty and simplicity.

In music on the other hand the lower forms are the simplest and
consequently the most popular. Songs, dance measures, and ditties of
various kinds, are enjoyed by the mass of the people in preference to
Beethoven and Wagner, a certain cultivation of the aural nerves being
necessary for the appreciation of the greater artists. The architect is
under the necessity of meeting the ends of utility, but subject to this
restriction it is obvious that simplicity must be the keynote to his
design, for the highest quality of beauty in his power to produce is
grandeur, and this diminishes with an increase in the complexity of his
sign combinations. The combination of simplicity with grandeur is the
first form of beauty that would be recognized by the immature eye, and
consequently in respect of the general test of art excellence,
architecture falls into line with the Associated Arts, and not with
music.

From what has been said it will be understood how it is that in the
Associated Arts opinion as to the æsthetic value of particular works
begins to differ as soon as we leave the recognized masterpieces of the
first rank, and why the divergence widens with every step downwards. As
the character of the art is lowered so is diminished the number of
persons capable of appreciating it. In painting and sculpture this
diminution is direct with the increased complexity of the signs used,
and indirect according as the character of the signs weakens. In poetry
the same rule applies generally, but in the lower forms alliance with
the art of music may bring about a variation. Only the very lowest forms
of music may be used with the higher forms of poetry because the poet
must have the minimum of restriction when dealing with the character and
actions of the personages who constitute the principal signs in his
work, but as the art descends the musical form becomes of more
importance, and the substance more simple. Hence the sensorial beauty of
a lyric may be appreciated more quickly than that of a poem which is, in
substance, of a much higher order, though the kind of beauty recognized
will differ in the two cases. But even in the greatest lyric the musical
form is comparatively very simple, its beauty being recognized without
special cultivation of the aural nerves: thus, subject to the division
of poetry into its natural grades--the two sections where substance and
form respectively predominate--the measure of its beauty is the extent
to which it is generally appreciated. None of the other Associated Arts
may be allied with a second art without crippling it as a fine art,
because of the extraordinary limitations forced upon the artist by the
alliance; and hence in respect of sculpture, painting, and fiction,
there is no exception to the rule that the beauty capable of being
produced diminishes strictly with an increase in the complexity of the
signs used.

These facts appear sufficiently to establish what may be called the Law
of General Assent in the Associated Arts; that is to say, in the arts of
poetry, sculpture, painting, and fiction, the supreme test of the
æsthetic value of a work, is general opinion; and a corollary of this is
that the smaller the number of persons to whom a work of one of these
arts appeals, the weaker is the art therein.



CHAPTER IV

LIMITATIONS OF THE ASSOCIATED ARTS

     The production of beauty in the respective arts--How they differ
     in scope.


The Associated Arts have all the same method of producing beauty: they
throw pictures on the brain.[29] Sensorial or intellectual beauty, or
both together, may be exhibited, but in the arts of the painter and
sculptor the picture is transferred to the brain through the optic
nerves, and is necessarily presented before the intellect can be brought
to bear upon the impression. The arts of the poet and the story writer
involve the presentation of a picture representing the complete
composition, and in addition when the work is lengthy, of a series of
pictures each of which strengthens the relief of the general design. The
painter and sculptor each presents a complete picture, the meaning of
which is immediately determined through the sense of sight, and the
extent of the beauty is bounded by what can be recognized by this sense.
All the signs necessary to perfect the composition are simultaneously
indicated, the artist exhibiting at one blow a full description of what
makes up his thing of beauty. But the poet cannot so produce a picture
because he presents the parts successively and not simultaneously, and
in the most important of all the forms which he represents--that of the
human countenance--both beauty and expression have to be defined, and
the separate elements are indescribable. Consequently, however, we may
combine the features of a countenance as described by the poet, we
cannot throw a picture of the whole upon our minds. A particular form of
beauty must be presented to the eye before it can be mentally pictured.
The poet therefore does not attempt to dovetail his picture of the human
form with descriptive details, but relies upon imagery, suggestion, or
other artifice, to indicate his meaning in the most rapid way
possible.[30] The novelist is in the same position as the poet in this
respect, except that some of the devices of the latter are denied him.

But although the poet or novelist cannot put together the parts in his
description, he may in certain cases present natural beauty to the mind,
his scope depending upon the nature of the parts and the extent to which
they depend upon each other for the completion of the picture. Where the
beauty of the whole rests upon a combination of perfected parts of form
only, as in the case of a horse, then the poet is able to present beauty
of form notwithstanding that the separate parts are in themselves not
beautiful, though the beauty would be that of the type and not of the
individual. The beauty of a horse depends upon its possession of a
collection of features which have each a particular significance. If we
are able to recognize from a description that a horse has qualities of
form and action indicating speed, high spirits, proud bearing, and so
on, and at the same time has a harmonious symmetry in its general
outline, a beautiful animal is thrown on the mind without difficulty. We
readily picture the courser described by Shakespeare in his _Venus and
Adonis_ as a beautiful horse, but we should not be able to differentiate
it from the courser of Mazeppa. Where the parts of the thing described
are in themselves beautiful, then the poet may successfully throw on the
mind a series of pictures of æsthetic interest. Thus, he may call to the
imagination parts of a landscape which are in themselves beautiful
scenes, as for instance a deep gorge opening on to a lake, or a flowery
valley, though the parts could not be put together on the mind so that
the beauty of the whole may be presented.[31]

Summing up the limits of the Associated Arts in the presentation of the
two kinds of beauty, the poet and the novelist can present general or
particular beauty of mind, and general sensorial beauty, but are
powerless with particular sensorial beauty; the sculptor and painter may
present general or particular sensorial beauty, and general, but not
particular, beauty of mind. Particular sensorial beauty may be suggested
by the poet or novelist, by indicating its emotional effect, or by
symbols in the form of metaphor; and particular intellectual beauty may
be suggested by the sculptor or painter by representing the effect in
expression of a particular action, or by symbols in the form of human
figures of beauty.

  [Illustration: PLATE 8 (See page 139)
  Raphael's Sistine Madonna, with the Face of the Central Figure in
  Fragonard's "The Pursuit" Substituted for that of the Virgin]

But while the poet cannot throw upon the brain a particular form of
human beauty, he may suggest a greater beauty than that which the
painter or sculptor can depict, and further produce emotional effects
relating to spiritual and human actions and passions which are beyond
the plastic arts: hence his art is capable of the highest reaches. Next
to him come the sculptor and painter, for they may represent ideal forms
which must be excluded from fiction. Theoretically, painting and
sculpture are equal in respect of the production of human beauty, for
there is no form designed by the one which may not be presented by the
other; but practically the painter cannot attain to the height of the
sculptor in the representation of ideal beauty.[a]

  [a] See Chapter IX.

The sculptor and painter are at a disadvantage compared with the poet
and novelist, for the limitation of their arts compels them to confine
their imaginations to structural work. Each of the Associated Arts
consists nominally of three parts: (_a_) the scheme, or idea, or fable;
(_b_) the design or invention[32]; (_c_) the execution. In a
representation of action, the painter or sculptor can only depict a
particular moment of it, neither the beginning nor the end being
visible. He must therefore choose an action of which the beginning and
end are known, for while either may be suggested in a simple design,
both cannot be implied so that the whole story is obvious. He has
consequently to take his moment of action from a fact or fable in one of
the literary arts, or from actual life experience.[33] Where no
particular action is indicated, as in many pastoral and interior scenes
in painting, or ornamental figures in sculpture, the conception and
invention are one. Thus, the painter or sculptor is confined to only two
parts of his art, the design and execution. While therefore the scope of
the poet and novelist is as unlimited as the sea of human motives and
passions, that of the painter and sculptor is held within strictly
marked bounds.

All the Associated Arts are alike in that they cannot be specially used
for moral or social purposes without suffering a marked deterioration.
This is because of the limitations imposed upon the artist. His wings
are clipped: his imagination is confined within a narrow groove: he is
converted from a master to a slave. Hence no great work of one of these
arts has been produced where the conception of the artist was bound by
the necessity of pointing a moral, or of conforming to some idea of
utility.[34]



CHAPTER V

DEGREES OF BEAUTY IN THE PAINTER'S ART


The degrees of beauty which the art of the painter can exhibit appear to
be, in order of their value, as follows:

1. That which appeals to the senses with form, and to the mind with
expression, above the possibility of life experience. This double beauty
can only be found in ideals, and the real cannot be associated with it
except as accessory. The highest art of the painter is therefore
confined to sacred, mythological, and symbolical subjects.

2. That which appeals to the senses through representation of the human
form, without, or with only partial idealization, and to the mind
through the indication in expression of high abstract qualities. This
section comprises subjects of profane history, and high class
portraiture. It varies from the succeeding section in that the artist
may represent the human being as he ought to be, or would be with the
higher physical and abstract qualities emphasized, or in certain cases,
with these qualities added.

3. That which appeals to the senses through the harmony of tone and
design, and to the mind through the representation of human action
within the compass of life experience. This section comprises interiors
and exteriors relating to daily life and labour, and portraiture which
is merely accurate imitation of features. It differs from the previous
section in that it represents the human being as he is, and not as he
ought to be.

4. That which appeals to the senses through harmony of colour and
design, in respect of the imitation and the things imitated, in addition
to pleasing because it excites admiration of the skill in imitation.
This section comprises landscape, flowers, fine plumaged birds, and
certain symmetrical animal forms.

5. That which appeals to the senses through harmony of tone and design,
and indirectly to the mind through association of ideas connected with
the other arts; in addition to pleasing because of the excellent
imitation, and possibly because of the beauty of the things imitated.
This section comprises paintings of things connected with the other
arts, and which are neither beautiful nor displeasing, such as books and
musical instruments; or which are imitations of products of another art,
as plate, marble reliefs, or architectural forms.

6. That which appeals to the senses through harmony of tone and design,
in addition to pleasing because of the excellent imitation. This class
of beauty comprises paintings of objects which in themselves are not
beautiful, as vegetables, kitchen utensils, and certain animals; or
which are even repellent, as dead animals.

7. That which appeals to the senses through harmony of colour, the
design having no beauty in itself. This form of art, which is the lowest
in the scale of the painter, is only adapted for the simplest formal
decoration.

The first three sections may produce both sensorial and intellectual
beauty; the others only sensorial. Limited abstract qualities are
associated with certain animals in nature, but cannot be indicated in
the uncombined art of the painter.

Beyond these sections, there are classes of pictures which do not belong
to the pure art of the painter, namely, those executed for use and not
for beauty[35]; those painted to illustrate sports, or to record passing
events; certain allegorical paintings; and those works which, while they
cannot represent the ideal, require the assistance of another art for
their interpretation; as for instance, incidents to illustrate
particular morals or stories; scenes from the drama other than tragedy;
portraits of persons in character; humorous subjects, and so on. Such
works, on account of the restrictions imposed on the artist, can exhibit
but limited and fleeting beauty. Elsewhere they are noticed under the
heading of "Secondary Art."



CHAPTER VI

EXPRESSION. PART I.--THE IDEAL


The human being is the only sign in the arts capable of idealization,
because, while its parts are fixed and invariable, it is the only sign
as to which there is a universal agreement in respect of the value of
abstract qualities connected with it. There can be no ideal of the human
form separately, because this implies expression which results from
abstract qualities. Nor can there be an ideal combination of these
qualities, except a general expression covering all the virtues and
eliminating all the passions, which expression cannot be disassociated
from form. The ideal human being is therefore a perfect generalization
of the highest conceivable qualities of form and expression.

Necessarily in matters of art, when we use the term "Ideal," we mean a
general ideal, that is to say, an ideal that would be accepted as such
by the general body of men and women. From the fact that the sensorial
nerves in all persons are alike in form and character, and that they act
in the same way under like conditions, it follows that there must be a
general agreement as to degrees of beauty, and thus a common conception
of the ideal human being. Experience has demonstrated this at all
times, both in respect of the general ideal we are now discussing, and
of particular ideals involving special types and characters; and so
invariable is this experience that the progression towards similar
ideals has all the force of law.[36] This general agreement is subject
to certain restrictions. The first is in regard to form in which the
imagination cannot proceed beyond experience. The component parts of an
ideal form cannot include any which are higher in quality than those
which have come within the experience of the person compounding the
ideal. Secondly, in regard to abstract qualities, the estimation of
these depends upon intelligence and education, and the accumulated
experience of these things, which we measure in terms of degrees of
civilization. Consequently, different interpretations would be placed
upon the phrase "the highest conceivable qualities of form and
expression," by the various races of mankind. According as the
experience was greater, so would the ideal form be higher in type; and
as the civilization was more advanced, so would the abstract qualities
exhibited be more perfect in character. But among civilized peoples what
is, within our understanding, the ultimate form of the ideal, would not
change in respect of abstract qualities, and as to form would only vary
in comparatively insignificant details with the width of experience.

It is obvious that there can be only one general ideal covering
perfection of form and mind, and this being beyond human experience, can
only be associated with a spiritual personage, and necessarily with the
highest conceivable spiritual personage--the Supreme Being. In its
absolute perfection it may be significant of the Supreme Being of any
religion of civilized peoples, but not of other spiritual personages to
whom such perfection may also be attributed, because absolute power can
only be implied in one such personage. This power cannot be indicated in
an ideal expression, and hence there is no alternative but to leave the
one general ideal to the Supreme Being.

There are only two religions in which an ideal human form has been used
in art to typify the Supreme Being, and these are the ancient Grecian
and the Christian; but the one general ideal referred to has only been
used by the Greeks. The Christian conception of the Deity is far nobler
than that which the Greeks had of Zeus, but in art nothing greater than
the Grecian ideal has been executed. As a type of an Almighty Power the
best Christian representation is distinctly inferior, and it must
necessarily be so because convention requires that a particular feature
of expression must be indicated therein which is not compulsory in the
Grecian ideal. Forgiveness of sins is a cardinal principle in the
Christian doctrine, and consequently whatever the character of
expression given to the Deity, a certain gentleness has to be exhibited
which materially limits the comprehensive nature of the expression. The
Grecian ideal, as sculptured, strictly denied any particular
characteristic, while covering every good quality, and hence for the
Christian it is not so suitable as the accepted modification.

Among the Greeks, ideal types of the gods and goddesses other than
Zeus varied considerably. Those representations that have come down
to us are usually deviations from the Zeus type with certain special
characteristics, though often they can only be distinguished from
each other by symbols. They are above human life and so cannot be
appropriately associated with human surroundings. Ideals appertaining to
Christianity are practically fixed by convention, or are interchangeable
with ideals in allegorical and symbolical art.

Art is not concerned with what are termed ideal physical qualities
because beauty is its first consideration. A form with powerful limbs
and muscles may be generally accepted as an ideal form of strength, but
these very limbs and muscles would detract from the beauty of the
figure, and so separately such a form would be inferior art.

An ideal can only be applied to excellence. In art, moral or physical
deformity cannot be exaggerated for the purpose of emphasis or contrast
without lessening the deformity or injuring the art. In the work of the
greater artists the former result follows; in that of less skilful
artists, the latter. Homer could not deal with evil characters without
exciting a certain sympathy with them, thus diminishing the deformity in
the minds of his readers. There is a measure of nobility about
Shakespeare's bad men, and Milton distinctly ennobled Satan in
portraying his evil powers and influence. In painting and sculpture
there is no place for hideous forms of any description, for they either
revolt the imagination and so neutralize the appreciation of the
beautiful figures present in the composition, or they verge upon the
ridiculous and disturb the mind with counteracting influences. With rare
exceptions the greater artists have not failed to recognize this
truth,[37] and in respect of the very greatest men, no really hideous
figure is to be found in any of their works, if we except certain
instances where the artist had to comply with fixed rules and
conditions, as for example in Michelangelo's Last Judgment where evil
beings had perforce to be presented, and could only be shown as
deformities.

Attempts to emphasize ugliness by artists of inferior rank result in the
fantastic or the ludicrous, as in the representation of evil spirits on
the old Etruscan tombs, and the whimsical imps of the Breughels and the
younger Teniers.



CHAPTER VII

EXPRESSION. PART II.--CHRISTIAN IDEALS

     The Deity--Christ--The Madonna--The Madonna and Child.


In considering the scope for the exhibition of ideals in art, it should
be remembered that ideal types of some of the principal personages in
religious and mythological history have been already fixed by great
artists, and it is impossible to depart from them without producing what
would appear to be abnormal representations. Homer led the way with
occasional hints of the presumed physical appearance of some of the
leading deities of Greece, and except in the case of Aphrodite the later
Grecian sculptors closely followed him. The Zeus of Homer as improved by
Phidias has been the model of this deity in respect of form for nearly
every succeeding sculptor to this day, while it was also the model which
suggested the Christian Father as represented by the first artists of
the Renaissance, though, as already indicated, the majestic dignity of
the Phidian Zeus was partly sacrificed by the Christian artists. Phidias
in fact created a type which, so far as human foresight can judge, must
ever guide the artistic mind, whether portraying the mighty son of
Kronos, or the God of the Christians. Only very rarely nowadays is the
Christian Deity pictured in art, and as time goes on His introduction in
human shape in a painting will become still more rare in conformity with
changing religious ideas and practices; but now and hereafter any artist
who contemplates the representation, must, voluntarily or involuntarily,
turn to the frescoes of Raphael and Michelangelo for his guide.

There is no tradition upon which to base an actual portrait of Christ.
For the first four centuries A.D., when He was represented in art,
it was usually by means of symbols, or as a young man without beard, but
there are some Roman relics of the fifth century remaining in which He
is depicted much in the later generally accepted type, with short beard
and flowing hair. During the long centuries of the Dark Age, when
religious art was practically confined to the Byzantine Greeks, Christ
was almost invariably portrayed with a long face and emaciated features
and limbs, as the epitome of sadness and sorrow. This expression was
modified as the arts travelled to the north and west of Europe, and
gradually His face began to assume more regularity and beauty. Then came
Cimabue to sow the seed of the Renaissance, and with him the ideal of
Christ was changed to a perfect man of flesh and blood. A century or
more was occupied in establishing this ideal, but it was so established,
and has maintained its position to this day.[38]

  [Illustration: PLATE 9 (See page 138)
  Raphael's Virgin of the Rose with the Face of "Profane Love" in
  Titian's Picture Substituted for that of the Virgin]

This ideal represents the Saviour as a man of about thirty-three
years--His age at the Crucifixion. He wears flowing hair with a short
beard and usually a moustache. His face is rather long, often oval; the
features have a perfect regularity, and the expression is commonly one
of patient resignation. Naturally His body must appear well nourished,
otherwise corporeal beauty cannot be expressed. This is the type which
has been used since the height of the Renaissance, though there have
been a few exceptional representations. Thus, the face of Christ in
Lionardo's Last Supper at Milan is that of a beardless young man of some
twenty-five years[a] and Raphael in an early picture shows Him
beardless, but gives Him an age of about thirty.[b] Some early Flemish
artists also rendered Him beardless at times, notably the Maitre de
Flémalle, Van der Weyden, and Quentin Matsys. Michelangelo in his Last
Judgment represents the Saviour sitting in judgment as a robust, stern,
commanding figure, beardless, and with an expression and bearing
apparently serving the idea of Justice.[c] Strange to say the artist
gives a very similar face to St. Stephen in the same series of frescoes.
A still more unusual representation is that of Francisco di Giorgio, who
gives Christ the appearance of an Apollo,[d] while Bramantino depicts
His face worn with heavy lines.[e] In one picture Marco Basaiti shows
Him as a young man with long hair but without beard, and in another with
a thick beard without moustache.[f] There was considerable variation in
the type among the Venetians of the sixteenth century, but not in
important features, and since then very few artists indeed have ventured
to depart from the ideal above described. The only notable exception in
recent times is in a work by Burne-Jones who represents Christ as a
beardless youth, though indicating the wound to St. Thomas.[g] It is
supposed that the artist presumed that the Person of Christ underwent a
complete change after the Resurrection.

  [a] And in the drawing for the picture at the Brera.

  [b] Christ Blessing at the Brescia Gallery.

  [c] In the Sistine Chapel frescoes.

  [d] Christ bereft of His clothes before the Crucifixion, Sienna
        Academy.

  [e] Christ, Mayno Collection.

  [f] The Dead Christ, and Calling of the Children of Zebedee, Academy,
        Venice.

  [g] Dies Domini.

It is evident that the ideal Christ as established by the Italians can
scarcely be improved upon in art within the prescribed limitations.
Christ having lived as an actual man, His representation must be within
the bounds of possible experience; and since He died at the age of
thirty-three, intellectual power cannot be suggested in His countenance,
for this in life means an expression implying large experience warranted
only by mature age. The representation is therefore confined to that of
a man who, while exhibiting a healthy regularity of form and feature,
has lost all sense of earthly pleasure. The beauty achieved by this type
is negative, the only marked quality being a suggestion of sadness
which, in painting, is necessarily present in all expression where an
unconcern with human instincts and passions is depicted. The Italians in
their representation of Christ were thus unable to reach the height of
the Greek divine portrayals. They were confined to earth, while the
Greek figures were symbols of spiritual forms which were pure products
of the imagination. Giotto and his successors sought a physically
perfect man with all purely human features in expression eliminated. The
Greeks, even when representing divinities below Zeus, generalized all
human attributes, excluding nothing but the exceptional. They embodied
in their forms, truths acknowledged by the whole world; summed up human
life to the contentment of all men: there was nothing in their
divinities which would prevent their acceptance as spiritual symbols in
all religions of civilized peoples. To them human instincts were sacred:
all human passions could be ennobled: everything in the natural
progression of life came within the purview, and under the protection,
of the gods. So the course of their art was definite: there was never a
difference as to the goal, for it was universal.

From the point of view of the development of art the ideal Christ has
been of little importance compared with the ideal Madonna, though here
also the Italians aimed for a particular instead of a general type. They
wanted a living woman with the form and features of a pulsating mother;
a woman of ordinary life in fact, but infinitely superior in physical
beauty, and endowed with the highest grace that their imaginations could
conceive and their hands execute. This ideal seemed to germinate with
Cimabue, but an immense advance upon him was made by Giotto who was
unsurpassed in the representation of the Holy Mother for more than a
century. But the ideal was yet purely formal and continued so till past
the middle of the fifteenth century, both in Italy and Flanders. Giotto
was then excelled by many artists, but the Madonnas they produced,
though often very beautiful, are not humanly attractive. They are on the
side of the Angels; have never been women evidently, and are far, far
away from the human type with tingling veins and heaving breath. Filippo
Lippi marked the border line between this type of Madonna, and the
advanced pattern produced by the series of great artists of the latter
part of the fifteenth century. But with Lionardo, Ghirlandaio,
Botticelli, and the rest, the Madonna was scarcely an ideal woman.
Living persons were commonly taken as models, and although the portraits
were no doubt "improved," they have little connection with the ideal
which the artists evidently had in mind. The very life which the artist
transfers to canvas in a portrait is destructive of the ideal, for it is
a particular life with evidence of particular emotions and passions from
which the Madonna should be free.

A mighty barrier must be passed before a woman is translated on canvas
into the type of Madonna sought by the first Renaissance artists. She
must be a woman of the earth; a woman who has grown up amidst human
surroundings from infancy to girlhood, and from girlhood to womanhood;
with human aspirations and sympathies, and experience of joys and
trials: she must have all these, and as well have become a mother; and
yet with human beauty, her countenance must be such that by no stretch
of the imagination can the possibility of desire be suggested. This was
the problem, and certainly only a genius of the highest order could
arrive at a solution, for the task appears on the face of it to be
almost superhuman. But Raphael succeeded in accomplishing it, and his
achievement will stand for all time as one of the greatest epoch-making
events in history. Even Michelangelo, who created so many superb forms,
never succeeded with an ideal suitable for a Madonna.[39]

It is clear that in reaching for his ideal, Raphael did not strive for
an expression relating to the spiritual. His purpose was to eliminate
from the features anything which might possibly be construed as
indicating earthly desires, and yet retain the highest conceivable human
beauty. With this double object contentment is a quality in expression
which is indispensable, and this Raphael was careful to give, sometimes
emphasizing it with a suggestion of happiness. It is not possible to go
further with an expression which is to generalize the highest human
physical and abstract qualities, while keeping the figure within the
range of apparent feasible realization in life. The result was ideal but
not exclusive. It is a universal type, and is suited to the Madonna
because there is nothing humanly higher within our comprehension; but it
has a further general import which is dealt with elsewhere.

Although the aim achieved by Raphael must necessarily be the goal of all
artists in the representation of the Madonna, it is of course not
essential that he should be accepted as the only guide to her form. Her
features may vary indefinitely so long as the ideal is maintained, and
Raphael himself painted no two Madonnas with the same features. But
certain traditions must be observed, however much one may depart from
the actual circumstances of her life. The first is in respect of her
presumed age. In pictures dealing with her life soon after marriage, as
for instance, the Nativity and the Flight into Egypt, the Madonna is
invariably represented as many years older than she appears in
Annunciation subjects, though only a year or so actually passed between
the respective events. The reason for this is obvious. She must be shown
with the bloom of a matured woman. The highest form of nobility cannot
be disassociated from wisdom and experience, which could not be
indicated in the countenance of a girl in her teens. Innocence and
purity may be present, and a certain majesty even, but our conception of
the Madonna as a woman involves the triumph over known evils, the full
knowledge of right and wrong, and the consciousness of a supreme
position above the possibility of sin. Hence in all representations of
the Madonna at the Nativity and afterwards, she must be shown at an age
suggesting the fullest knowledge of good and evil.

While, between the Annunciation and incidents occurring during the
infancy of Christ, many years must be presumed to have passed, from this
latter period on, the Madonna must be supposed to have aged very little,
if at all, right up to the Crucifixion. It is not often that we find her
included in a design illustrating the life of Christ between His infancy
and the Death Scene, a fact probably due to the age difficulty. In the
exceptions her face is often partly or wholly hidden. But in scenes of
the Crucifixion, where the Virgin is almost invariably introduced,
artists of all periods, with few exceptions, have been careful to avoid
suggesting the full presumed age. Commonly the age indicated is between
twenty-five and thirty years, but as the face is always pale, and often
somewhat drawn, her comparatively youthful appearance is not
conspicuous. Obviously under no circumstances should lines be present in
the features, for this would suggest a physical decay not in conformity
with Christian ideas.[40] Even in pictures relating to her death, which
is presumed to have occurred at an age between fifty and sixty years,
her face is shown with perfectly regular and smooth features, though an
extreme pallor may be painted. But from the point of view of art, the
Virgin must be regarded as an accessory in works relating to the
Crucifixion, for to throw her into prominence would result in dividing
the attention of the observer of the picture on first inspection, and so
lessening the art. In any case she must be painted with an expression of
grief, and hence an unalloyed ideal of transcendent beauty is out of the
question.

The custom of representing the Madonna in costume and surroundings
indicating a higher social level than that in which she actually moved,
is now firmly established, and cannot be departed from without lowering
the ideal. A woman in a lowly position of life, who is compelled to bear
all the responsibilities of a home, with the care of a husband and
child, is seldom seen except in the performance of household duties. We
cannot see her without associating her in our minds with toil and
possible privation, and we naturally expect that the effect of these
will be indicated in her expression and general bearing. If away from
her home her costume would usually declare her position, while habits of
mind connected with her daily occupation commonly engender mannerisms in
air and gait which support the inference drawn from the character of her
attire. It would appear anomalous to paint a woman so situated with such
beauty of form and expression that she appears to have never experienced
earthly cares of any kind, much less the long repeated daily worries
consequent upon the charge of a poor household. Perfect beauty of form
being essential in the representation of the Madonna, she must be
painted amidst surroundings conformable with the supposition that she is
free from earthly responsibilities, and that her mind is entirely
occupied with the boundless joy and happiness arising from the
contemplation of the divine Mission of her Son.[41]

  [Illustration: PLATE 10 (See Page 139)
  Raphael's Holy Family (Madrid), with the Face of Luini's
  Salome Substituted for that of the Virgin]

The difficulty in painting the Madonna is complicated when the Infant
Christ is introduced, because of the liability of the Child to interfere
with a fine presentation of her figure. A similar problem was met with
by the early Greeks, and doubtless they dealt with it in their paintings
as in their sculptures, a few of which, showing an adult holding a
child, have come down to us. These represent the child reduced in size
as far as possible, and carried at the side of the adult figure.[a] A
like system was followed by most of the Byzantine workers, and it is
very noticeable in some of the fine French sculpture of the thirteenth
century.[b] In the same period Giovanni Pisano in sculpture,[c] and
Cimabue in painting,[d] maintained the tradition in Italy, and in the
century following, Giotto,[e] Duccio,[f] Lorenzetto,[g] and others,
often adopted the plan. Towards the middle of the fifteenth century, the
relative importance attached to the Child in the group generally
increased, and by the end of it, the old practice had been almost
entirely abandoned. Meanwhile the artists had some hard problems to
meet. The first was as to the size of the Child. It appeared to be
generally agreed that an older Child should be represented than had been
the custom, though a few artists held back, notably Fra Angelico, while
in sculpture, Donatello maintained his habit of moulding the Child as
only a few weeks old. With an increased age of the Child, the difficulty
of securing repose for the group was enhanced, for it seemed to be
proper with a child past its infancy, that it should be pictured as
engaged in one of the charming simple actions common to childhood. These
questions were settled in different ways according to the genius and
temperament of the artists. A few of them, as Mantegna,[h] Lorenzo
Costa,[i] and Montagna,[j] gave the Child an age of two years or more,
and in some of their designs the figures seem to be of equal
significance, Mantegna and Montagna in several examples actually
standing the Child in the Virgin's lap with the heads touching each
other.

  [a] See the Olympian Hermes of Praxiteles, and Irene and Pluto after
        Cephisodostus at Munich.

  [b] Groups in the Southern and Western porches of Amiens Cathedral.

  [c] Madonna and Child, Arena Chapel, Padua.

  [d] Groups at the Florence Academy and the Louvre.

  [e] Florence Academy.

  [f] National Gallery, London.

  [g] San Francisco, Assisi.

  [h] Madonna and Angels, at Milan, and other works.

  [i] Coronation of the Virgin, Bologna.

  [j] Enthronement of the Virgin, Brera, Milan.

The plans usually adopted by the greatest masters, were, to present the
maximum repose with the Child sitting in the lap of the Virgin; or to
place Him apart from her, and engaged in some slight action; or to show
Him in the arms of the Virgin, either held at the side, or in front,
with the Virgin more or less in profile. In all of these schemes the
serene contemplation of the Holy Mother is practically undisturbed. In
his many groups of the Virgin and Child, and of the Holy Family, Raphael
only varied twice from these plans,[a] and in both the exceptions the
Child reclines across the lap of the Virgin, so that very little of her
figure is hidden. Titian has the Child standing by her side,[b] or held
away from her, and in one example the Virgin is placing Him in the hands
of St. Joseph.[c] Correggio, when away from the influence of Mantegna,
usually showed the Child held apart from the Mother, or placed on the
floor, or on a bench. It is a common device to show the Child on the
lap of the Virgin, but leaning over to take a flower or other object
offered Him,[d] and numerous artists allow Him to play around
separately.[e] In Holbein's fine group at Augsburg, the Child stands
between the Virgin and St. Anne, and another German painter shows Him
held up by the same personages, but clear from both of them.[f] Murillo
commonly stands the Child at the side of the Virgin, but in one picture
adopts the novel method of placing Him in the arms of St. Joseph.[g]

  [a] Madonna and Child, Bridgewater Coll., England; and same group with
        St. John, Berlin.

  [b] Madonna of the Cherries, Imperial Gallery, Vienna.

  [c] Meeting of Joachim and Anna, Bridgwater Coll., England.

  [d] Filipino Lippi's Madonna and Angels, Corsini Palace, Florence.

  [e] Luca Signorelli's group at Munich, and Bonfiglio's at Perugia.

  [f] Hans Fries, National Museum, Nuremburg.

  [g] Holy Family, Petrograd.

When the Child is shown distinctly apart from the Virgin, or leaning
away from her lap, great care is necessary in avoiding strength in the
action, otherwise it will draw attention away from the Virgin. A notable
example of this defect is in a picture by Parmigiano, where the Child
leans over and has his head brought close to that of a kneeling Saint
who is caressing Him, the effect being most disturbing.[a] Bramantino
shows the Child in an extraordinary attitude, for He holds His head
above His arms without any apparent reason, the action confusing the
design.[b] Many artists represent Him in the act of reaching out his
hand for flowers, without choosing for the moment of portrayal, an
instant of transition from one part of the action to another,[c] a point
rarely overlooked by the first masters.[d] Occasionally variety is
given in the introduction of nursery duties, as for instance, washing
the Child,[e] but these are inappropriate for reasons already indicated,
apart from the over strong action necessarily exhibited in such designs.
Nor should the Child have an unusual expression, as this will
immediately catch the eye of the observer. In one work Del Sarto
actually makes Him laugh,[f] and a modern artist gives Him an expression
of fear.[g] It is questionable whether Masaccio[h] and others (including
A. della Robbia and Rossellino in sculpture) did not go too far in
portraying the Child with a finger in its mouth, for although such an
incident is common with children, in this case it seems opposed to
propriety. Generally the first artists have striven to free the figure
of the Virgin as far as possible, and this is in conformity with first
principles, for it simplifies the view of the chief figure in the
composition. In all cases repose should be the keynote of the design.

  [a] Madonna and Child with Saints, Bologna Academy.

  [b] Virgin with a Turban, Brera, Milan.

  [c] As in B. da Bagnacavallo's Holy Family, Bologna; and Boltraffio's
        Holy Family, Milan.

  [d] See Titian's Madonna with SS. Anthony and John, Uffizi Gallery.

  [e] Giulio Romano's Holy Family, Dresden.

  [f] Holy Family, Hermitage, Petrograd.

  [g] Uhde's The Three Magi, Magdeburg Museum.

  [h] Madonna enthroned, Sutton Coll., England.

There are no general ideals in Christian art other than those mentioned.
The presumed occupants of the Celestial regions beyond these Personages,
are painted as the fancy of the artist may dictate, subject only to the
limitations of the accepted Christian doctrines. There are certain
conventions in respect of Angels and Saints, but they are by no means
strict; and for the Old Testament prophets, Michelangelo's work in the
Sistine Chapel is commonly taken as a guide. It is scarcely likely that
his examples will ever be exceeded in majestic beauty.



CHAPTER VIII

EXPRESSION. PART III.--CLASSICAL IDEALS

     Ideals of the Greeks--Aphrodite--Hera--Demeter--Athena--Apollo--
     Diana--Neptune--Mars--Mercury--Bacchus--Vulcan--General classical
     compositions.


What human being can appropriately describe the great ideals in art of
ancient Greece? Above us all they stand, seemingly as upon the pinnacle
of the universal mind, reflecting the collective human soul, and
exhibiting the concentrated essence of human nature. The best of men and
women of all ages is combined in these ideal heads, which look from an
endless past to an eternal future; which embody every passion and every
virtue; every religion and every philosophy; all wisdom and all
knowledge. They are ideal gods and goddesses, but are independent of
legends and history. They represent no mythological deities except in
name, and least of all do they assort with the deities of Homer and
Hesiod. In all other religions the ideals expressed in art fail entirely
to reach the height of the general conceptions, and are far below the
spiritual beings as depicted in the sacred books; but the Grecian ideals
as recorded in stone are so far beyond the legendary gods of the ancient
poets, that we are unable to pass from the stone to the literature
without an overwhelming feeling of astonishment at the contrast. It is
unfortunate that we are powerless to re-establish these ideals
definitely, for the originals have been mostly lost; nevertheless the
ancient copies, a few contemporary complete sculptures, and many
glorious fragments; as well as intimate descriptions and repeated
eulogies, often reaching to hyperbole, of eminent men, expressed over a
succession of centuries when the great works were still exposed to
view--all this assembled evidence indelibly stamps upon our minds the
nature of the ideals; gives us a clear impression of the most profound
conceptions that have emanated from the human brain.

The people who accomplished these great monuments seem to have thought
only in terms of the universe. They did not seek for the embodiment of
goodness, nobility, and charity, perfection in which qualities we regard
as divine, but they aimed at a majesty which included all these things;
which comprehended nothing but the supreme in form and mind; and with an
all-reaching knowledge of the human race, stood outside of it, but
covered it with reflected glory, as the sun stands ever away from the
planets but illumines them all. The wonder is not that these ideals were
created in the minds of the Greeks, for there is no boundary to the
imagination, but that minds could be found to set them down in design,
and hands to mould and shape them in clay and stone; and that many minds
and hands could do these things in the same epoch. That these
sculptured forms have never been equalled is not wonderful; that they
never will be surpassed is as certain as that death is the penalty of
life. So firmly have they become grafted into the minds of men as things
unapproachable in beauty, that they have themselves been converted into
general ideals towards which all must climb who attempt to scale the
heights of art. The greatest artists known to us since the light of
Greek intelligence flickered away, have been content to study these
marble remains, and to cull from them a suggestion here, and an idea
there, with which to adorn their own creations. Indeed it is clear that
from the time of Niccolo Pisano, who leaped at one bound to celebrity
after studying the antique sculptures at Pisa, through Giotto to the
fifteenth and sixteenth century giants, there was hardly a great artist
who was not more or less dependent upon Grecian art for his skill, and
the most enduring of them all--Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian,
Correggio--were the most deeply versed in the art.[42]

Bellori affirmed that the Roman school, of which Raphael and
Michelangelo were the greatest masters, derived its principles from the
study of the statues and other works of the ancients.[a] This is not
strictly exact, but it is near the truth, and certain it is that
Michelangelo, the first sculptor known to the world since the Dark Age,
willingly bowed his head before the ancient triumphs of art presented to
his view. And yet he did not see the Parthenon sculptures and other
numerous works of the time of Phidias, with the many beautiful examples
of the next century which have been made available since his day. What
he would have said in the presence of the glories of the Parthenon, with
the Hermes of Praxiteles and the rest of the collection from Olympia, is
hard to conjecture, though it may well be suggested that they would have
prompted him to still higher work than any he accomplished. With these
stupendous ideals in front of us, it seems almost unnecessary to talk of
the principles of art. Their very perfection indicates that they were
built up on eternal principles, so that in fact and in theory they form
the surest guide for the sculptor and painter.

  [a] _Le Vite de' Pittori, Scultori, e Architteti moderni._

But how is the painter to use these ancient gods and goddesses, for the
time has gone by to gather them together on the heights of Olympus, or
to associate them with human frailties? Surely he may leave aside the
fables of the poets, and try to portray the deities as the Grecian
populace saw them in their hearts--noble forms of adoration, or images
of terror, objects of curses veneered with prayer and of offerings
wrapped in fear. The artist has not now to be troubled with pangs of
dread, nor will his imagination be limited by sacerdotal scruples. The
rivalry of Praxiteles need not concern him, for there are wondrous
ideals yet to be wrought, which will be comprehended and loved even in
these days of hastening endeavour. But the painter must leave alone the
Zeus and the variation of this god in the pictured Christian Deity, for
the type is so firmly established in the minds of men that it would be
useless to depart from it. The other important Grecian deities with
which art is concerned may be shortly considered from the point of view
of the painter, though they are naturally of far more importance to the
sculptor because it is beyond the power of the painter to suggest an
illusion of divine form, since he must associate his figures with human
accessories.[43]


APHRODITE

Astarte, Aphrodite, Venus, Spirit of Love, or by whatever name we call
her; the one eternal divinity recognized by all ages, all races; the
universal essence whose fragrance intoxicates every soul: the one queen
before whom all must bow: the one imperial autocrat sure of everlasting
rule--sure of the devoted allegiance of every living thing to the end of
time! Such is Aphrodite, for that is the name under which we seem to
love her best--the Aphrodite of the Greeks, without the vague terrifying
aspect of Astarte, or the more earthly qualities of the Roman Venus. Who
loves not the Aphrodite sprung from the foam of the sea; shading the sun
on the Cytheran isle with the light of her glory; casting an eternal
hallow over the groves of Cyprus; flooding the god-like mind of Greece
with her sparkling radiance? What conception of her beauty can rise high
enough when the grass in astonishment grows beneath her feet on desert
rocks; when lions and tigers gently purr as she passes, and the rose and
the myrtle throw out their scented blossoms to sweeten the air? Hera
and Athena leave the heavens to help man fight and kill: Aphrodite
descends to soothe despairing hearts, and kindle kindly flame in the
breast of the loveless. The spear and the shield with the crested helmet
she knows not, nor the fiery coursers accustomed to the din of strife.
Serenely she traverses space at the call of a lover's prayer, her car a
bower of celestial blooms. From the ends of the earth fly the sparrows
to draw it, till their myriads hide the sun, and mortals learn that the
time has come when their thoughts may turn to the spirit of love.

This was the Aphrodite of Grecian legend and poetry, if we except Homer
and Hesiod. It is the type of the goddess whom Sappho implored, and must
be accepted as the general ideal of the Grecian worshippers who desired
divine mediation when troubled with pangs of the heart. But it was not
the type of Phidias and his school, for Phidias passed over Hesiod and
purified Homer, representing Aphrodite with the stately mien and lofty
bearing of a queen of heaven, daughter of the all-powerful Dione:
goddess of beauty and love certainly, but so far above the human
understanding of these terms that all efforts to associate her with
mundane ideas and aspirations must signally fail.[44]

So far as we know it was Praxiteles who first attempted to realize in
stone the popular ideal of the goddess, and certainly the Cnidian
Aphrodite was better understood by the people of Greece as a type of
this ideal than any work that preceded it. We can attach to it in our
minds but very few of the Homeric and other legends surrounding the
history of the goddess, but we can well imagine that a deity who was the
subject of so much attention and so much prayer, could rest in the
hearts of the people only as one with every supreme earthly charm,
combined with a divine bearing and dignity. These qualities the
Aphrodite of Praxiteles appears to have possessed, though it lacked the
majesty and exclusiveness of the Parthenon gods.[45]

Thus there was formed a type of beauty acceptable to the average human
mind as an unsurpassable representation of an ideal woman: to the
worshipper at the ancient shrines, a comprehensible goddess; to all
other men the personification of sublime beauty. The fifth century
goddess was left aside as beyond mortal reach, and from the time it left
the sculptor's hands to this day, the Cnidian Venus has been regarded as
a model for all that is true and beautiful in women. To the sculptor it
is an everlasting beacon; to all men a crowning glory of human
handiwork. And this notwithstanding that so far as we know, the original
figure has long been lost, and we have preserved little more than
records of its renown, a fair copy of it, and a single authentic example
of the other work of the sculptor. But if we had the actual Aphrodite
before us, it could not occupy a higher place in our minds than the
goddess which our imagination builds upon this framework.

As in all cases where a supreme artist rises above his fellows and
creates works of which emulation appears hopeless, the period succeeding
the time of Praxiteles seems to mark a decline in the art of sculpture,
and though the decline was more apparent than real for about half a
century, there was naturally a depreciation in the representation of the
deities of whom the great man had fashioned masterpieces. This was so in
the case of Aphrodite. Whoever the sculptor it seemed impossible to
approach the Cnidian ideal, and the result was a series of variations
stamped with artificial devices as if to emphasize the departure. But
meanwhile the painter's art had developed upon much the same lines as
sculpture, and Apelles produced an Aphrodite, which, considering the
limitation of the painter, appears to have been almost, if not quite, as
marvellous as the stone model of Praxiteles. Nearly two thousand years
have passed since the painting was last known to exist, but its fame was
so great that the reverberations from the thunder of praise accorded it
have scarcely yet died away. No close description of the painting
remains, but from certain references to it by ancient authors we know
that it represented the sea-born goddess walking towards the shore to
make her first appearance on earth, holding in each hand a tress of hair
as if in the act of wringing out the water therein.[46] These are
practically all the written details we have of the famous Venus
Anadyomene, but we really know much more of it from the existence of
certain pre-Roman sculptures. All but one are broken, with parts
missing, but the exception, which dates from about the beginning of the
third century B.C., enables us to gain a good idea of the picture. The
figure represents the goddess with her lower limbs cut off close to the
hips; that is to say, it produces the whole of that part of the figure
in the picture of Apelles which is visible above the water.[a] Clearly a
subject in which Venus is shown to be walking in the sea, so foreign to
the art of the sculptor, could not have suggested itself independently
to a Grecian artist, nor would we expect to find one attempting a work
which necessitated amputation of the lower limbs, unless a very special
occasion warranted the design. The special occasion in this case was the
picture of Apelles, which was at the time renowned through the whole of
Greece as an extraordinary masterpiece, and with this work in their
minds the sculptured head and torso would appear quite appropriate to
those Greeks interested in the arts, that is to say, the entire citizen
population.

  [a] See Plate 4.

These two works then, the Cnidian Venus and the Venus Anadyomene of
Apelles, constitute the models upon which the world relies for its
conceptions of the goddess of beauty. Both models depend more or less
upon the imagination for completion, but they are sufficiently definite
for the artist, who, of course, desires general rather than particular
ideas for his purpose.

  [Illustration: PLATE 11 (See page 139)
  The Pursuit, by Fragonard (_Frick Collection_)]

It must be confessed that the attempts to rival Apelles in the creation
of a Venus Anadyomene have not been very successful. Raphael painted a
small picture of the subject, introducing the figure of Time putting an
end to the power of the Titans.[a] Venus stands in the water with one
foot on a shell, while holding a tress of hair with her left hand. As
may be expected the execution is perfect, but the design is less
attractive than that of Apelles. The only important work of the
Renaissance directly based upon the Greek design, is from the hand of
Titian.[b] He represents the goddess walking out of the water, the
surface of which only reaches half way up the thighs, with the result
that considerably more action is indicated than is necessary. But the
great artist was evidently at a loss to know how to give the figure the
size of life or thereabouts, while indicating from the depth of water
that she had an appreciable distance to go before touching dry land. He
solved the problem by placing the line of the front leg to which the
water rises, at the bottom of the canvas, so that the picture suggests
an accident which has necessitated the cutting away of the lower portion
of the work. The master also varies the scheme of Apelles by crossing
the left hand over the breast. This inferior device was imitated by
Rubens, who, however, exhibits the goddess rising from the water amongst
a group of nymphs and tritons.[c] Modern artists in designs of the birth
of Venus, usually represent her as having reached the shore,[d] the best
work of this scheme being perhaps that of Cabanel who shows the goddess
lying at the water's edge and just awaking, suggesting a state of
unconsciousness while she floated on the waves.[e] Another exception is
by Thoma, who exhibits the goddess walking in only a few inches of
water, reminding one of the old Roman bronze workers who imitated the
form as painted by Apelles, but modelled the whole figure.

  [a] In the bathroom of Cardinal Bibiena, Vatican. There is a drawing
        for the figure of the goddess at the Munich Gallery.

  [b] Bridgewater Coll., England. See Plate 5.

  [c] Birth of Venus, at Potsdam.

  [d] Notable examples are those of Ingres and Bouguereau.

  [e] At the Luxembourg, Paris. There are several replicas of this
        picture.

Repose being the first compulsory quality in the representation of
Aphrodite, it is not surprising to find that the greatest picture of the
goddess extant--the masterpiece of Giorgione--shows her asleep.[a] She
rests on a verdure couch in a landscape of which the signs indicate a
soft and tranquil atmosphere, with no suggestion to disturb the repose
or remove the illusion of life so strongly marked by the skilful
drawing. Only the calm sleeping beauty is there without appearance of
fatigue or recovery from it: no expression save of perfect dreamless
unconsciousness. The work is the nearest approach to a classical ideal
that exists in Venetian painting. Titian in his various pictures of
Venus reposing never reached the excellence of his master. In all, he
painted the goddess in a resting position, sometimes radiant and
brilliant, and invariably with a contented expression which precludes
sensual suggestions: still there is ever a distinctly earthy tone about
the figures. His Venuses in fact are pure portraits. He did not seek to
represent profound repose. His most important example is at the Uffizi
Gallery,[b] the design of which was taken from Giorgione's work. The
goddess is a figure of glowing beauty, but the pose indicates
consciousness of this fact and calls the model to mind. Perhaps the
surroundings tend to accentuate the drawback, for in this, as in most of
his other pictures of Venus, the artist has introduced Venetian
accessories of the period. Palma Vecchio also took Giorgione's work as a
guide for his reposing Venus, but he represents her fully awake with
Cupid present.[c] An exceptional work of the subject was designed by
Michelangelo, and painted by Pontormo[d] and others. It represents the
goddess reclining with Cupid at her head; but the form is entirely
opposed to all our conceptions of Venus, for she is seen as a broad
massive woman with a short neck, and a strongly formed head--a fit
companion for some of the figures in the Sistine Chapel. Proud dignity
and a certain majesty are suggested in the expression, but the figure is
without the grace and charm usually associated with the goddess. The
only other early Italian reposing Venus of interest is Botticelli's,
where he shows her in deep thought with two cupids by her side.[e]

  [a] Dresden Gallery. See Plate 6. Titian added a Cupid to this
        picture, but the little god was subsequently painted out by
        a restorer. (L. Venturi, _Giorgione e il Giorgionismo_, 1913.)

  [b] The sitter is supposed to have been the model also for La Bella
        in the Uffizi, and the Woman in Fur at the Vienna Gallery.

  [c] Dresden Gallery.

  [d] Hampton Court Palace, England.

  [e] National Gallery, London.

In the seventeenth century Venus was rarely represented reposing.
Nicholas Poussin has a fine picture on the subject, but unfortunately
for the repose a couple of cupids are in action beside the sleeping
goddess, while the heads of two satyrs are dimly seen.[a] In the
Sleeping Venus of Le Sueur, which was much praised in former times,
Cupid is present with a finger to his mouth to indicate silence, but
Vulcan is seen in an adjoining room wielding a heavy hammer, the
suggestion of repose being thus destroyed. No reposing Venus of
importance has since been produced, though a few French artists have
treated the subject in a light vein, notably Boucher in his Sleeping
Venus, and Fragonard in a delicate composition of Venus awakened by
Aurora.

  [a] Dresden Gallery.

Venus cannot be represented as conscious of her beauty, or the design
would immediately suggest vanity. Consequently when shown looking into a
mirror, she should be engaged at her toilet, or at least the reflection
should be accidental. Titian painted the first great picture of the
goddess at her toilet, but this is just completed and her hands are at
rest.[a] The attitude would be extravagant were it not that any
suggestion of satisfaction is overcome by the artist making Cupid hold
the mirror, and giving Venus an expression of unconcern as she glances
at her reflection. The work suggested to Rubens a similar design, but he
shows the goddess dressing her hair, this being apparently the only
definite action which may be properly introduced into such a
composition.[b] Albani has a delightful picture in which Cupid compels
Venus to hold a mirror,[c] and some later artists have represented her
adorning her tresses with the aid of a water reflection. The only
notable _faux pas_ in a painting of this subject is in the Venus and
Cupid assigned to Velasquez, in which Venus lies on her side and looks
into a mirror held by Cupid at her feet.[d] There is no suggestion of
toilet or accident, and hence the attitude is quite inapplicable to a
goddess.

  [a] The Hermitage, Petrograd.

  [b] Hofmuseum, Vienna.

  [c] The Louvre.

  [d] National Gallery, London.

It should be remembered that the province of Aphrodite is to infuse the
gentle warmth of love into the human race, and not to attract love to
herself. The rays are presumed to proceed from her only, for a mortal
having no divine powers would be incapable of reflecting them. Zeus was
required to bring about the adventure with Anchises. Hence a voluptuous
form should never be given to the goddess, and if an artist err at all
in the matter, it should be on the side of restraint lest the art be
affected by a suggestion of the sensuous. The surest means of preventing
this is to represent the goddess in an attitude of repose, with perfect
contentment as a feature in expression. If any action be indicated, it
must be light and purely accidental in its nature. To introduce an
action involving an apprehension of human failings tends to bring the
goddess down to the human level, and thus to destroy the ideal. The
Venus de' Medici is a superb sculpture of a woman, but an inferior
representation of Venus, for modesty is a human attribute arising from
purely artificial circumstances of life, its meaning varying with race
conditions and customs. To depict a goddess in an action suggestive of
modesty or other antidote to the coarser effects of natural instincts,
is therefore an anomaly.


HERA

There is no fixed type in art of the ox-eyed sister and spouse of Zeus,
the Queen of Olympus, whose breast heaves ever high, and flaming, with
the rushing fire of jealousy; the Virgilian incarnation of bitter rage;
yet withal the symbol of eternal Earth, yearly renewing her fruitful
youth with the burning kiss of the sun. The sculptors of Greece saw in
her only the supreme Matron-Spouse, serenely pondering the march of time
beneath the awful sway of her lord. A mantle she wore, and a
high-throated tunic, as she looked into space from a square-wrought
throne; or she stood in her temple with flowing robe and diadem,
inscrutable, before the offerings of an adoring multitude. But
nevertheless she was not insensible to the radiance of Aphrodite.
Polyclitus did well to place a cuckoo on her sceptre, and who can forget
how the lotus and the hyacinth cushioned the ground on the heights of
Ida beneath a golden cloud, which held suspended around the glittering
couch a screen of sparkling dew?

It is unfortunate that the painter is at a loss to deal with the
majestic scenes in great Juno's story. How is he to depict her flying in
the celestial chariot between heaven and earth, each leap of the fiery
coursers measuring the range of the eye from a lofty peak across the sea
to the endless haze? How can he paint her anointed with ambrosial oil
which is ever struggling for freedom to bathe the rolling earth in
fragrance? He may add a hundred tassels to her girdle; perhaps give her
the triple grace-showering eardrops, and even the dazzling sun-bright
veil; but the girdle of Aphrodite, which peeps from her bosom, will fail
to turn the brains of men, or pierce their hearts with rays of soft
desire. And the more dreadful side of Hera's history would equally
trouble the despairing artist, for dire anger and jealousy ill-become
the countenance of a goddess. The smouldering fire must never leap into
flame. Eyes may not flash, not the lips quiver, and the noble brow must
be free from fitful thought.

So with Hera there is no middle course for the painter. He must
represent her alone, calm and passionless, unfathomable, with a sublime
disregard of earth; or else join with his predecessors and drag her down
to a mundane level in scenes of trivial fable. But there is room for
untold Heras of the higher type.


DEMETER

Matron-Guardian of the yielding soil; heart-stricken wanderer over the
earth; mysterious silent Food-Mother whom all men love and the gods
revere; eternal life-preserver; fruitful, but passionless save where the
vision of Pluto looms, Iasus and Poseidon notwithstanding! Such was the
Demeter of the ancient Greeks till the hordes of Alexander mingled her
fame with the lustre from Isis and De. So the mourning _haute dame_ of
Olympus came nearer the seat of her care, nearer the dread home of her
daughter: passed from Homer to Theocritus; from the adoration of the
higher priesthood of Greece, to become merged in the Ceres of Rome, the
goddess beloved of the lowly, who received the first fruits of the field
amidst joyful measures of dance and song. But it is the _haute dame_
that strikes our imagination--the staid and mystic Demeter of Eleusis,
and not the Ceres of the Roman lyric. The light-hearted Ceres, as a
beautiful woman in the prime of life, may be adorned with poppies and
wheat-ears, may stand serene and smiling as a symbol of harvest or the
goddess of a Latin temple; but paint her as one will, she will do little
more than serve to show how fallen are the idols--how immeasurable is
the descent from the stately Earth-Mother whose image would be stamped
on the brain of a Phidias.

But where is the Phidian Demeter? Surely such a goddess, "deeply musing
in her hallowed shrine," was a theme for the carver of the immortal Zeus
and Athena! Perhaps those inscrutable headless "Fates" from the
Parthenon, so wonderful in noble grace that the conception of befitting
heads is beyond the reach of our minds, include the Earth-Mother and her
daughter! How easy it is to imagine the reclining figure as Persephone
leaning upon the mother who loved her so well! But we must be content
with what we have of Demeter in art, which is little more than a few
fifth century frieze reliefs, the figure from Cnidos attributed to
Scopas,[a] and some Damophon memories of Phidias.

  [a] See Plate 7.

So the artist is free and untrammelled in respect of the representation
of the far-famed goddess. There is no definite type of her which has
fixed itself on the minds of men, though the legend and story weaved
about her name are beautiful and wonderful in a high degree.


ATHENA

Though swathed in legend and surrounded with a hallow of Grecian
reverence, Athena is always cold. She may dim the sun with the radiance
of her armour; ride in a flaming car, and have Strength and Invisibility
for her allies; but she fights only on the side of the strong, and uses
the tactics of spies against her enemies. With the Gorgon's head on her
shield, and a helmet which will cover the soldiers of a hundred towns,
she yet whispers advice to Grecian heroes, and deflects a Trojan arrow
in its flight. Truly as Goddess of War she is somewhat difficult to
generalize. But she is also the divinity of the arts and sciences;
invents the pipe and the shuttle, and becomes the depository of all
industrial knowledge. Hence she embodies the triumphs of peace and
war--combines the extremes of human exertion.

How Phidias overcame the task of representing the goddess is well known.
He generalized war and wisdom, and from his great work of the Parthenon
there can be little departure in respect of bearing and attitude, so
long as the province of war is symbolized in the design. The actual work
of the Greek master has disappeared, but from various records and
copies, it would appear that the Parthenon Athena was the loftiest
conception ever worked out in sculpture, if we except the Olympian Zeus.
Majestic grace and the unconscious power derived from supreme knowledge,
seem to have been the first qualities exhibited in the statue. In the
fourth century there was no great departure from the Phidian ideal, and
it is difficult to see how there could be much modification in the
direction of bringing the conception closer to earth, for the goddess
had no special presumed form which could be adapted by the artist to
popular ideas. A nude figure would be impossible because in this the
force and power implied in a hero of war could not be combined with
feminine attributes. The Greeks drew the line at observable muscular
developments, invariably clothing nearly the whole of the figure, but
they did not, and could not, free her general bearing from certain
masculine qualities. It is true that the costume of the goddess might be
modified, and Phidias himself represented her in one or two statues
without a helmet, an example followed by several artists of the
Renaissance,[a] but so long as the symbols of war are included in her
habit, she can be only of formal use to the painter.

  [a] See Piero di Cosimo's Marsyas and the Pipes of Athena,[47] and
        Botticelli's Athena and the Centaur.


APOLLO

Although in mythology Apollo is connected with everything on earth which
is useful or pleasing to mankind, in art custom has so confined his
representation in respect of both appearance and symbols, that a type
has been established from which it would be difficult to depart without
a suggestion of incongruity arising. This type is of a more purely
formal character than that of any other god, except perhaps Mercury, a
circumstance probably arising from the fact that the reputed hard nature
of Apollo fails to lend itself to sympathetic idealization. He does not
appear to have been a favourite subject with the greatest sculptors of
ancient times, for nearly all the innumerable statues of him which have
come down to us, are reproductions of two or three types which in
themselves vary but little. It is difficult to see how a really noble
ideal of such a god can be suggested. Stern and inflexible, with many
human vices but no weaknesses or gentle traits, and withal a model of
physical beauty without strength or apparent power--in fact an
emphasized feminine form: such is the Apollo of tradition and art. We
cannot wonder that the type was quickly fixed, the limitations to avoid
the abnormal being so well defined.

The painter then has small scope with the figure of this god. He may
only slightly vary the accepted form, which admits of but a negative
expression. The best representation of Apollo in modern art is the one
by Raphael in the Parnassus fresco at the Vatican, though the beautiful
figure in the Marsyas work at the Louvre is very nearly as perfect.[48]
Raphael does not give to the god the rounded swellings of a female form,
but overcomes the difficulty by showing him as a young man of perfect
figure who has just reached maturity. The expression is entirely
general, but does not suggest a god-like power.


DIANA

It would scarcely be natural to be sympathetic with Artemis. She seems
to be the feminine type of a cold flint-like nature, as Apollo is the
masculine, and one can well understand that mythology makes of them
brother and sister. Mistress of wild beasts and goddess of sudden death,
she was always worshipped from fear: her wrath had ever to be appeased;
she inspired neither affection nor respect. True, she wore the mantle of
Ililythia, but only to be dreaded, and even the attempt to throw a warm
halo over her by the theft of the Endymion story for her benefit, failed
to lift her reputation for the tireless satisfaction of a supernatural
spleen. Nevertheless for the painter Diana has always had a certain
attraction, because the legends connected with her offer opportunities
for the exercise of skill in the representation of the nude. But there
is an end of all things, and the bathing and hunting scenes have been
fairly exhausted. For the sculptor only is Artemis likely to live.
Bright colours are not the vehicle to represent the symbol of an idea
which is beyond, but not above, nature--a useless abstraction which
neither warms the heart nor elevates the soul. Callisto draws our
sympathy, and Niobe our tears: the goddess freezes our veins.


NEPTUNE

Brother of Jupiter and Pluto; sire of Theseus, of Polyphemus, and of the
titanic lads who threatened to pile mountain on mountain in order to
destroy the home of the deities; the god whose footsteps tremble the
earth; who disputes with the sun; who uses floods and earthquakes for
weapons; who owns vast palaces in the caverns of the deep; for whom the
angry waves sink down beneath the shining sea, and ocean monsters play
around his lightning track across the waters: this is the divinity whom
the painter is accustomed to portray as a rough bearded man with
dishevelled hair and rugged features, holding a three-pronged fork, and
associating with dolphins, mermaids, and shells. But Neptune is not a
popular god. He does not appeal to the mind as a good-natured god like
Jupiter or Mercury, with many of the virtues and some of the failings of
mankind. His acts are mostly violent; he punishes but does not reward;
grows angry but is never kind. There is consequently no sympathetic
attitude towards him on the part of the artist, who would sooner paint
good than bad actions. Beyond his violent acts, the circumstances which
make up the history of the god, provide subjects more suitable for the
poet than the painter, who is practically confined to unimportant and
casual incidents which, with changes of accessories, would answer a
thousand scenes in mythological history. Neptune then may well disappear
from the purview of the painter, with the tritons and the seaweed
entourage.


MARS

From the point of view of the painter, there is little to say about the
Grecian Ares. He has not a single good trait in legend or story, and we
know nothing of his presumed personal form beyond the military
externals. It is difficult to understand how such a god came to be
included among the deities of a civilized race. Of what service could be
prayer when it is addressed to a blatant, bloodstained, genius of the
brutal side of war, without feeling or pity, and apparently so wanting
in intelligence that he has to leave the direction of battles to a
goddess? One would think that Homer intended him as the god of bullies,
or he would not have made him roar like ten thousand men when struck
with a stone, nor would he have allowed him to be imprisoned by two
young demigods, and contemptuously wounded by a third. But who is
responsible for the association of such a wretched example of divinity
with the radiant Aphrodite, for surely it is only the cloak of Homer
that covers the story! Was it a painter who had sought in vain from the
poets a suggestion for a composition in which the god would at least
appear normal, or a cynical critic who wished to incite ridicule as well
as contempt for the divinity? In any case the painter must sigh in vain
for an inspiriting design with Ares as the leading figure: he cannot
harmonize love and terror.

The Roman Mars has a slight advantage over Ares, for the name of Silvia
is sweetly-sounding, but she should be represented alone, as the star of
the wild Campagna, while yet it was forest-clad: the gleaming light
whose rays are to illumine the earth. Mars may disappear with the wolf,
but who can hide the glory of Rome?


MERCURY

It is difficult to connect the Hermes of the poet with the tedious
expressionless figure commonly seen in painting, whose only costume is a
helmet, and whose invariable province is apparently to look on and do
nothing. For the sculptor he is a god; for the painter a symbol of
subordination. A Rubens may give him the pulse of life, but only the
sculptor can suggest the divinity. With the painter the winged helmet is
a bizarre ornament; the immortal sandals are shrunken to leather; the
caduceus is a thing of inertia which is ever in the way. But with the
sculptor all these things may be endowed with the quickening spirit of a
soaring mind, for does not Giovanni di Bologna show the lithesome god
speeding through space ahead of the wind, the feathery foot-wings
humming with delirium, the trembling air dividing hastily before the
wand? True, the painter may represent the divine herald on his way
through space, as when he conducts Psyche to Olympus, or leads the
shades of the suitors to Hades; but the accessories present must
surround him with an earthy framework, unless the design be confined to
a ceiling, and shut away from things mundane with architectural forms,
as in the plan of Raphael at the Farnese Villa, or to a fresco executed
in the manner of a Flaxman drawing. Beyond these artifices the artist
cannot go with propriety.

Few and worn are the scenes in the history of the god in which he takes
a leading part. The head of Argus seems to be cut off, or awaiting
separation, in nearly every collection, sometimes with Juno on a cloud
deeply frowning with revengeful ire, occasionally with the peacock
expectant of its glorious fan, but always with the weak-looking helmeted
piper, passive and unconcerned as if fulfilling a daily task. A
Correggio may weave his golden fancy around a scene where Cupid learns
to strengthen his arrows with the rules of science and the wiles of art;
but let the painter beware of the infant Bacchus in the arms of the
messenger-god, lest a vision of the Olympian group arise and enfold his
work in a robe of charity. The schemes whereby the cradled thief
deceived the Pythian god are beyond the scope of the painter, though
there is a certain available range in the charming actions surrounding
the invention of the lyre. And if the designs relating to the
unfortunate Lara be properly consigned to oblivion, surely the
connection of Hermes with Pandora offers a field for the sprightly
imagination. But save where the god is a symbol of commerce or speed,
the helmet should be dispensed with, for it is hackneyed beyond
endurance. The modern painter is not bound by custom unless the
provision of beauty conflict with the lucidity of the design or the
reverence for universal sentiment. Let the winged heels suffice, for the
shadow of Persius will scarcely rise in protest.

  [Illustration: PLATE 12 (See page 145)
  Greek Portraiture
  Head of Plato Head of Euripides]


BACCHUS

Centuries of bacchanalian festivities and revelries have nearly killed
Bacchus for the painter. Who can further interest himself in meaningless
processions, where the most prominent figure is a fat, drunken,
staggering man, supported by goat-hoofed monstrosities, and attended by
all the insignia of vinous royalty? Silenus is no more the loving nurse
of the infant god; the satyrs are no more the followers of a
reed-playing woodland deity; the nymphs have long forgotten the flowery
dales, the faithful trees that lived and died with them, the fairy
bowers where first Semele's offspring clapped his hands to the measure
of dance and pipe. Why should the dance be turned into a drunken revel?
Why should the artist remember the orgies of Rome, and forget the
Grecian pastoral fancies? What has become of Dionysus, inheritor of
Vishnu traditions, the many-named father of song, the leader of the
Muses, and the fire-born enemy of pirates? Nothing remains of him worth
remembering, save Ariadne the golden-haired, and she must in future be
left on the desert isle lest the pathos of her figure be disturbed by
the motley followers of her rescuer.

It is passing strange that the artists of the Renaissance did not
attempt to lift Bacchus out of the ditch of ignominy into which he had
fallen. They seem to have taken their ideas from the recorded accounts
of the Roman rites and vine festivals, overlooking the Grecian
suggestions relating to Dionysus, and even the later restrained reliefs
picturing incidents in his history. In their art, however, as is
evidenced by Pompeian frescoes, the Romans often treated Bacchus in a
serious manner, associating him with higher interests than those
connected with festival orgies. It may be that the figure of the god
carved by Michelangelo[a] had something to do with the later coarse
representations of him, for it would have been impossible for artists
succeeding so great a sculptor, to ignore the types he created. But it
will be an eternal mystery how he came to design such a Bacchus. A
voluptuous semi-realistic god, opposed to everything else that was
conceived by the sculptor, and antagonistic to all that was known in
Greece, it can never be anything more than a sublime example of a purely
earthly figure. One stands amazed before the perfect modelling, but
aghast at the conception. It represents the most extraordinary
transition from the god-like man of the Greeks, to a man-like god, ever
seen in art.

  [a] In the Bargello, Florence.

The painter then has little left to use of the conventional Bacchus and
his history, except the never-dying Ariadne, but there is nothing to
prevent him from reverting to the pastoral Dionysus, to the delightful
abodes of the nymphs his foster-mothers, where Pan played and the Muses
sang, while the never-tiring son of Maia breathed tales of love into
willing ears.


VULCAN

The poet may continue to hold our fancy with volcanic fires and
cyclopean hammers, but on canvas Etna becomes a blacksmith's forge, and
the figure of a begrimed human toiler is given to the divinity
responsible for the golden handmaids, and the brazen bull whose breath
was scorching flame. There is rarely a painting of Vulcan without a
forge and leather bellows, with a smith who is stripped to the waist,
which earthly things necessarily kill all suggestions of celestial
interest, notwithstanding the presence of Venus, or the never-fading
bride of palsied Peleus. Occasionally we have the incident with Mars,
and strangely look for the invisible net, but not finding it we are
immediately called back to earth to ponder over the wiles of the ancient
legend gatherers. The art is lost behind the unreality. But why does not
the painter revert to the childhood of Vulcan, when he was hiding in the
glistening cavern beneath the roll of ocean, fashioning resplendent
eardrops for silver-footed Thetis? Here is scope for the imagination--to
indicate the fancies of the budding genius who was to carve the wondrous
shield, and adorn the heaven-domed halls of Olympus. Let Hephæstus
mature as he will for the poet: he should only bloom for the painter.


GENERAL CLASSICAL COMPOSITIONS

Scenes of adventure from the ancient poets in which the gods and
goddesses are concerned, appear to be rapidly becoming things of the
past for the painter. This is partly due to the circumstance that these
scenes have been so multiplied since the early days of the Renaissance,
that they are now positively fatiguing to both artists and the public;
but there is a deeper reason. If we try to number the paintings of
classical subjects by first-class artists which are enshrined in our
minds, we can count very few, and nearly all of these are single
figures, as a Venus, a Leda, a Psyche, or a Pandora. We do not call up a
Judgment of Paris, or a Diana and Actæon, or any other design where
divinities are mixed with mortals in earthly actions. The cause of this
seems to be that our minds naturally revolt against a glaring
incongruity. The imagination is unable to harmonize the qualities of a
god with the possession of human instincts and frailties, or strike a
balance between divine actions and human motives. We see these pictures
and admire the design and execution, but they leave us cold: we are
unable to kindle enthusiasm over patent unreality. The general
conclusion is that painters would be wise to avoid such compositions,
and confine their attention in classical work to single figures of
goddesses or heroines, leaving to the poet suggestion of miraculous
powers.



CHAPTER IX

EXPRESSION. PART IV.--GENERAL IDEALS

     Limitation of the painter with general ideals--Ideal heads
     interchangeable in sacred and symbolical art--Ideal male human
     countenances impossible for the painter.


In the arts of sculpture and painting, where it is necessary that the
beauty should be immediately recognized by the eye, it is obvious that a
general expression is superior to the particular. This is so because the
general covers universal experience and the particular does not. But in
the art of the painter there is a limit to the expression of general
beauty. Theoretically there is no beauty possible to the sculptor which
the painter cannot produce, but practically there is. A sculptor may
carve what we understand as a god-like figure--a glorious image
embodying all the highest qualities that may be conceived by man,
with a general expression covering supreme wisdom and every noble
attribute--such a figure as the greatest Grecian artist chiselled. This
figure would stand in front of us, isolated, serene in its glory, and we
should look and wonder, and a second or two would suffice to fill our
entire mind with the image. For it would be above the earth, above all
our surroundings. We could connect nothing on earth with it--neither
human beings, nor green fields, nor the seas, and certainly not human
habitations, and ways, and manners, and actions. A Phidian god can have
no setting. Everything on earth is too small, too insignificant to bear
it company. The reflection from the majesty of the design throws into
shadow our loftiest earthly conceptions.

Let us suppose that a painter could be found who could execute such a
figure: how could he isolate it to the mind? He may not use accessories,
for these could not be separated by the eye, and the association with
earth which they would imply would destroy the illusion. But the figure
must have relief, and hence tones. A monochrome would not do, for the
frame or sides of the wall containing the picture would flatten it, and
suggest a painted imitation of a sculpture. We may imagine a colossal
figure painted on an immense wall whose bounds are hidden by the
concentration of all the available light on the figure. Even then the
colouring of the wall must be unseen. The figure must stand out as if
against infinite space, surrounded by ambient air, in majestic solitude,
pondering over the everlasting roll of life towards perfection. In this
way only could the painter match the sculptor, but the practical
difficulties are so enormous as to render the scheme to all intents and
purposes impossible.

For the painter then there is a limit to expression. He cannot proceed
with his ideal higher than Praxiteles. His limit is the most supreme
form and expression conceivable by his imagination, which does not
exceed the apparent possibility of human experience. Apparent, because
an ideal must necessarily be actually above the possibility of
experience, but it may not appear to be so. For instance a Raphael
Madonna does not seem to represent a supernatural woman. There is no
single feature painted which cannot be matched in life, and hence it
would not occur to the observer that the expression is contrary to the
possibility of experience. But the expression cannot be met with in
life, for besides being entirely general, it excludes all phases due to
the emotions or passions. One cannot imagine a woman with the expression
of a Raphael Madonna having concern with any special human interest, and
least of all with feelings and failings arising from natural instincts.
Yet the expression covers every form of noble endeavour; every phase of
innocent pleasure; every degree of mental activity within the province
of woman. And herein lies the art--the exclusion of the bad in our
nature, with the exaltation of the good.

Now it is obvious that if the expression be so general that no
particular quality can be identified therein, the countenance will serve
for the head of any personage painted in whose expression it is
desirable to indicate the possession of high attributes, without
suggesting a particular condition of mind. Thus, the head of a Raphael
Madonna would equally serve for the head of a Saint Cecilia or a Judith;
or, providing the age were suitable, for a heroine of the stamp of Joan
of Arc, so long as the character of her actual features were unknown.
Further it would be well adapted for a symbolical figure, as Prudence or
Truth.

But a far wider significance than is thus indicated, is conveyed by the
necessity for generalizing expression in order to reach the painter's
ideal. It has already been noted that inasmuch as all men have the same
general idea of beauty--that they generally agree as to what is, or is
not, beautiful, it follows that there must be a common opinion as to
degrees of beauty, and so a universality of ideal; that is of course,
among people with similar experience of life, as for instance the white
races of the world.[49] Hence the ideals of all painters must be
similar. They must necessarily aim for the same generalization--exclude
or emphasize like. Manner or style, or national type may vary; purely
sensorial effects may differ as the minds of the painters have been
variously trained, but the combination of features and effects which
regulate the expression will be practically identical in every realized
ideal. Consequently, subject to changes in attitude or age, ideal heads
of all artists are interchangeable without incongruity resulting,
irrespective of the motive of the design, for the ideal countenance
indicated adapts itself to any character where no emotional or
passionate expression is required. The head of the figure representing
"Profane Love" in Titian's great picture, would serve to express
spiritual nobility in a Madonna,[a] and when a head in a Madonna by
Raphael is exchanged with that of the central figure in Fragonard's The
Pursuit,[b] there is no resulting suggestion of impropriety in either
picture.[c] Ideal countenances have sometimes been given to evil
characters, as in Luini's Salome,[d] and the head in this picture would
equally well serve for a Madonna.[e]

  [a] See Plate 9.

  [b] Frick Collection, New York.[50]

  [c] See Plate 8.

  [d] Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

  [e] See Plate 10.

An ideal head then will suggest any expression that the design in which
it is included seems to require, subject to the restrictions before
noted. In The Pursuit the face of the woman presumed to be fleeing from
her lover indicates some concern, and even a little fear,[a] but that
this is due to the surroundings in the work, is shown when the head is
substituted for another in a different picture, for the concern has
disappeared, and the expression becomes one which may properly represent
the highest attributes connected with the Madonna.

  [a] See Frontispiece and Plate 11.

The limits within which the form and countenance of a woman may be
idealized, are prescribed by Raphael in his works. The presumed age must
be that when she reaches the full bloom of womanhood. Youth will not do
because it involves an expression denying experience, while physically a
girl cannot be supposed to have reached an age where her form has ceased
to progress towards perfection. Beauty of feature and form is the first
consideration of the artist, and hence his difficulty in fixing an
expression which shall be entirely free from the possibility of
suggesting desire. For this reason no model, or series of models, will
suffice the painter: he has always to bring his imagination to bear, as
Raphael admitted he had to do.[a]

  [a] "E di belle donne, io mi servo di certa idea che mi viene nella
        mente." Letter to Castiglione.

It is impossible to find a head of a woman, painted before the time of
Raphael, which fulfils the requirements of art as an ideal. The figures
are either too formal, or too distinctive in type, or are evidently
portraits, while in many of the greatest pictures of the fifteenth
century the artists had not yet learned how to put warm blood into their
Madonnas. Raphael, however, after taking up his sojourn at Florence,
became an object lesson for nearly every school, and ideal countenances
were produced by other masters, though no painter other than Raphael
succeeded with more than one or two. Nowadays the ever increasing hustle
in the struggle for existence, does not lend itself to deep study and
long contemplation on the part of painters, but hope springs eternal,
and surely the list of immortals is not yet closed.

An ideal man of flesh and blood is not possible in the art of the
painter, for there is no general conception of male beauty below the
level of the god-like. Perfection of form can be given, but a supreme
expression in the face of a man implies deep wisdom, and this must
necessarily be associated with maturity when high sensorial beauty of
feature can scarcely be expected.



CHAPTER X

EXPRESSION. PART V.--PORTRAITURE

     Limitations of the portrait painter--Generalizations--Emphasis
     and addition of qualities--Practice of the ancient Greeks--
     Dignity--Importance of simplicity--Some of the great masters--
     Portraiture of women--The English masters--The quality of
     grace--The necessity of repose.


While in the scale of the painter's art, portraiture ranks next to the
higher branches of historical work, yet it is some distance behind them,
for apart from the commonplace of scenic arrangement, the imagination of
the portrait painter cannot be carried further than the consideration of
added or eliminated details of form and expression in relation to a set
subject. But these details are very difficult, and so it comes about
that a good portrait involves a far greater proportion of mental labour
than the result appears on the surface to warrant. It is indirectly
consequent upon the complexity of his task that the work of the artist
who devotes practically his whole time to portraiture, often varies so
largely in quality. He paints some portraits which are generally
appreciated, but as time goes on he is overwhelmed with orders which he
cannot possibly fulfil without reducing the value of his work. He thus
acquires a habit of throwing his whole power into his work only when
the personage he represents is of public importance, or has a
countenance particularly amenable to his manner or style. It is
necessary that this fact should be borne in mind, otherwise erroneous
standards are likely to be set up when artists like Van Dyck, Reynolds,
or Romney, are referred to as examples.

In a general sense nearly all painting where the human figure is
introduced, is portraiture, and it has been so since soon after the
middle of the fifteenth century, when artists commenced to use living
men and women for secondary or accessory figures in sacred pictures. The
increasing importance attached to the anatomy of the figure resulted in
the extensive use of models, and so in a measure portraiture rose to be
a leading feature in the work of the artist. The figures in the larger
compositions of every kind by the greater painters of the late fifteenth
and early sixteenth centuries, consist almost entirely of portraits of
friends and acquaintances of the artists, the exceptions being the
countenances of the Deity and Christ, which had to be modelled from
accepted types, and those of the later Saints the character of whose
features had been handed down by tradition. A few painters, as Raphael
and Correggio, idealized the Virgin away from suggestion of portraiture,
but others, as Del Sarto and Pontormo, even in this case took a wife or
other relative as a model. The practice was continued by many artists in
respect of central figures, till the end of the seventeenth century,
after which time the identity of the figures was, as a rule, purposely
lost. Nevertheless the figures, other than ideals, used in all good
compositions, must necessarily be portraits or adaptations thereof, for
only from life can superior representation of life be obtained.

The first duty of the portraitist is to generalize the expression of his
subject. A face seen once will be thrown upon the mind only with the
particular expression observable at the moment of view. If seen a second
time we involuntarily combine the effects of the dual experience, and
the more often we see the countenance, the more closely will our mental
picture of it correspond with the general or average expression worn. It
is this average appearance that the portraitist tries to represent,
emphasizing of course whatever good qualities may be indicated. The
second most important task of the artist is to balance every part of the
picture, so that neither setting, nor colour, nor handling, is
strikingly noticeable. The portrait should appear at first glance as one
complete whole, in order that the mind of the observer be immediately
directed to the subject, and away from the artist or the manner of
execution. The painter is limited to the actual character and
physiognomy of the figure. He must make each feature harmonize with the
others, and add or subtract, hide or reveal, without changing the
general individuality, but he cannot do more. His scope is, therefore,
strictly limited. Very naturally some of the greatest portraitists have
rebelled at this limit. They appear to have painted with an eye to
posterity, rather than to satisfy their patrons and the people of the
time with an effective generalization of character and bearing. If we
compare the portraits executed by Titian with those representing certain
accessory figures in some important compositions of the great masters,
as for instance, the School of Athens of Raphael,[a] and the Death of
St. Francis of Ghirlandaio,[b] we find a marked difference. The latter
are obviously true portraits of living men, with little accentuated or
eliminated, just such portraits as Carlyle wanted from which to obtain
real instruction for his biographies. Titian painted no portraits of
this kind. He gives a lofty bearing to every person he portrays. His
figures seem to belong to a special race of men, endowed with rare
qualities of nobility and dignity, with little interest in the doings of
ordinary people. Yet we know that some of his characters lived in an
atmosphere of evil. We cannot really believe that the Aretino of
Titian[c] was Aretino the man, and we find it hard to imagine that
Philip II.,[d] or the Duke of Alba,[e] as Titian painted him, could grow
into the monster he proved to be. Nevertheless Titian was justified. It
is not the business of the artist to consider the historian: his art is
all that concerns him. Titian produced beautiful pictures which are
commonly recognized as great portrayals of character; whose character
matters not, though when we have data upon which to rest a judgment, we
find the lineaments in his works are fully sufficient for purposes of
identification.

  [a] At the Vatican.

  [b] Fresco at Santa Trinita, Florence.

  [c] Frick Collection, N. Y.

  [d] The Padro, Madrid, and elsewhere.

  [e] Huescar Coll., Madrid.

While Titian went further than any other Renaissance painter in
ennobling his subjects, he did not approach the ancient Greeks in this
respect. Their sculptured busts and terms represent the highest
portraiture known to us. Many examples remain, mostly copies it is true,
but quite fifty of them are clearly faithful reproductions, made
apparently in the early days of Imperial Rome, and accord closely with
the few existing originals. The Grecian portraits differ from the Roman,
and all later painted or carved portraits in a most important
feature.[a] The latter aimed at what is still understood as the highest
level in portraiture. They endeavoured to give a general individualism
of mind and bearing, avoiding particular expression; in fact to
represent character. Since the Christian era commenced neither sculptor
nor painter has gone further than this, with very few exceptions in
Roman days when Grecian sculptors of the time imitated the practice of
the fourth and early third centuries. The earlier Greeks on the other
hand not only generalized portraits in an extreme degree, but, except in
the case of athletes, they altered the contour of the head and varied
the actual features of the subject, so that the possession of the higher
human attributes should be indicated as clearly as possible. They
invariably showed a large facial angle, placed the ears well close to
the head, sunk the eyes deep in their sockets, and ennobled the brows to
suggest majesty or profound thought. In fact the Grecian portrait heads
only differ from their sculptured gods in that particular countenances
are depicted, and consequently the expression in them does not appear to
be above the possibility of human experience. Apparently in Grecian
times, only men who had become celebrated in some way were represented
in stone, and hence the artist had features to depict which could be
semi-idealized without impropriety. Even Socrates, whose ugliness was
proverbial, was given a noble and dignified expression.[b]

  [a] See Plates 12 and 13.

  [b] See heads in the National Museums of Rome and Naples.

That the painter is at liberty to follow the example of the Greeks,
there can be no question from the point of view of art, for his first
object is to produce a beautiful picture; but in portraiture, practical
and conventional considerations have to be met, with which other
branches of painting are not concerned. With rare exceptions the
portraits executed are of living persons, and extreme accentuation of
high qualities would be likely to result in a representation of the
sitter that would appear false to contemporary observers, though we
might well imagine that a work exhibiting this accentuation would seem
to be of high excellence in the judgment of future generations. There
must therefore be a line drawn in respect of added or accentuated
qualities, and the position of this line would naturally vary with the
celebrity of the subject and the power of the artist. Something definite
may, however, be said in regard to the emphasis of certain qualities of
form, and particularly of dignity, a feature that has occupied the
attention of some of the greatest masters.

  [Illustration: PLATE 13 (See page 145)
  Roman Portraiture
  Head of Vespasian
  Head of Hadrian]

The question arises, how far may the artist go in imitating the
manner of the stage with his portraits? On the theatrical stage
formalities are required with certain characters in order to emphasize
their position--to assist in the recognition of their standing or
relative significance in the drama, for it is of the first importance
that the audience should comprehend the meaning of the actions presented
as rapidly as possible. The actor must often exaggerate life habits of
pose and manner in order to heighten the contrast between two
characters, or to give special significance to the words. And the
elevation of the diction sometimes compels this exaggeration. In high
drama where the language used is above experience of ordinary life in
measure and force, there must be appropriate pose and action to
accompany it, and hence a height of dignity or even majesty may appear
perfectly proper on the stage, which would be ridiculous in surroundings
away from it. From the practice of certain painters it would seem that
they have looked upon portraiture as the transference of their subjects
to the public stage as it were, so that they might appear to occupy a
higher position in the drama of life than that to which they are
habituated. No harm can arise from this provided the portraitist does
not pass beyond the custom of the theatrical stage, where, whatever the
exaggeration, the representation appears, or should appear, appropriate
to the action; that is to say, where the exaggeration is not recognized
as such. Accentuation of high qualities of expression, or even
variations in certain physical features, such as the Greeks brought
about, would not appear exaggerations in a portrait, but where dignity
of form is added to such an extent that the observer immediately
recognizes it as untrue to experience, then the artist goes too far.
While this is so, we do not condemn Titian, Van Dyck, and the few other
portrait painters who emphasized the quality of dignity of form in past
times. The reason for this appears to be that the usual methods of
teaching history lead us to suppose that nobles and leaders of society
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who were usually the
portrait subjects of the greater artists, commonly assumed a demeanour
and bearing far above our own experience. At the present day, when it is
a matter of universal knowledge that a formal dignified pose is very
rarely assumed by any one, such a bearing in a portrait would be
regarded as untrue.

The portraitist may improve the expression of his subject, adding any
good quality within his power, and he may remove from the features or
figure any marked physical defect, because the portrait would still
appear to be correct; but if he add a strong dignified pose, then the
result would be something that is possibly, but improbably accurate, and
therefore inferior art. The quality of dignity should be expressed
rather in the countenance than in the pose, the bearing of the form
being produced as in life, for this lends assistance to the true
representation of character. A dignified expression may well be
appropriate to an awkward form whose personality would be
undistinguished by dignity of pose.

Titian was the first great artist to give a pronounced dignity of form
to his subjects, and he never varied from the practice unless the
subject were exhibited in action,[a] or too old to be represented as an
upright figure.[b] Nor did he once exaggerate the pose so that arrogance
might be suggested. Though he squared the shoulders, he rarely threw
back the head to emphasize the bearing,[c] and only in one portrait is
the body slightly arched as the result of the pose.[d] In fact so
careful was the artist in avoiding over-emphasis, that there is a
tendency in two or three of his figures for the upper part of the body
to lean a little forward.[e] Obviously Titian gave this dignified
attitude to his portrait subjects of set purpose, as in his general
compositions there is no suggestion of it.[51]

  [a] Portrait of his daughter, Berlin Gallery, and of Jacopo di Strada
        at Vienna.

  [b] Paul III. at Naples, and his own portrait at the Uffizi Gallery.

  [c] An exception is Charles V. at Mühlberg, Prado, Madrid.

  [d] Portrait of his daughter as a bride, at Dresden.

  [e] Notably in the portrait of the Duke of Ferrara, Pitti Palace.

Velasquez no doubt acquired his habit of lending dignity to his
important subjects from the examples of Titian's portraits which came
under his view in Spain. Except in one notable instance where the
bearing is much over-emphasized,[a] he was equally successful with the
Italian master in the practice, though many of his characters are far
from lending him any natural assistance. In the case of a Court Dwarf,
however, the high dignity given to him by the painter seems to require
explanation.[b]

  [a] Count-Duke Olivares, Holford, Coll., London.

  [b] Don Antonio el Ingles, Prado.

Before he went to Italy, Van Dyck followed the natural system of Rubens
in posing his portrait subjects, but at Genoa he painted under the spell
of Titian's memory, and thereafter during his whole life, he gave a
dignified bearing to his figures whenever this was not opposed to
individual traits. During his English period, when he undertook more
work than he could properly accomplish, he sometimes over-emphasized the
dignity of a figure by arching the body,[a] but as a rule he produced a
just balance of pose and setting, completing altogether a magnificent
series of portraits which remain the astonishment of the world.

  [a] Earl of Newport, Northbrook Coll., England; Earl of Bedford
        Spencer Coll.; and Queen Henrietta (three-quarter length),
        Windsor Castle.

It is obviously the duty of the portraitist so to design his work that
the attention of the observer is concentrated upon the countenance of
the subject immediately he has grasped the whole composition, and it is
in the successful accomplishment of this object that the power of
Rembrandt lies. He rarely used accessories, and in only a few cases a
background of any kind. He avoided portraits where an elaborate setting
was required, as for instance full length standing figures, of which he
only painted two[a]; and in his many three-quarter length portraits,
there is seldom more than a table or chair to be seen apart from the
figure. With this simplicity of design, and with nearly all the
available light directed full upon the head of the subject, the eye of
the observer of the picture is necessarily centred instantaneously upon
the features. These are invariably cast into bold relief by perfect
management of the chiaroscuro, and the correspondence with life seems as
complete as it well can be. Rembrandt thus accomplishes the aim of every
great artist: he executes a faithful picture, and throws it on the mind
of the observer with the maximum of rapidity. Only artists of a high
order can successfully ignore a more or less elaborate setting for a
portrait, particularly if it be larger than bust size. Great care has to
be taken with such a setting lest the eye of the observer be attracted
by the pose of the figure and the general harmony of the work before
being directed to the countenance. If we take the general opinion of
known portraits, so far as it can be gauged, we find that the most
highly esteemed of them are: the Julius II. of Raphael, the Mona Lisa of
Lionardo, the Man with the Gloves by Titian, the Old Man with a Boy by
Ghirlandaio, and Innocent X. by Velasquez.[b] All of these except Mona
Lisa are remarkable for the simplicity of the setting, and in the
exception the formal landscape is altogether subordinated to the figure.
Raphael was the first artist who saw the value of avoiding accessories
in portraiture. His half-length portraits painted after his arrival in
Florence, are all free from them, and his Julius II. has only the chair
on which the Pope is seated.

  [a] Martin Day and Machteld van Doorn, both in Gustave Rothschild
        Coll., Paris.

  [b] The first at the Pitti Palace, the last at the Doria Gallery, and
        the others at the Louvre.

Rembrandt further aided the concentration of attention on the
countenance of a sitter by the use of warm inconspicuous tones in the
clothing, which harmonize with all kinds of surroundings in which the
picture may be seen. The colours never specially attract the eye, and
the attire consequently forms so completely a part of the figure, that
after an inspection of the work one can rarely describe the costume.
This subordination of colour is of the highest importance in
portraiture, though it is not sufficiently practised nowadays. Velasquez
used quiet tones whenever possible, that is, when he was not painting
great personages, and Titian, Rubens, and Van Dyck, followed the same
course in half-length portraits. None of these, however, seemed so
careful as Rembrandt in adapting the tones to the general character of
the figure, so that the impression left on the mind of the observer
should relate entirely to the personality. Rembrandt, in fact, aimed at
a representation of the man, and the man only; and he gave us a natural
human being of a commonly known type, with his virtues somewhat
emphasized, and his faults a little veiled.

The extraordinary power of Velasquez as a portraitist was due to the
same general cause operating in the case of Rembrandt, namely, extreme
simplicity in design. Apart from those instances where royal or official
personages had to be represented in decorative attire, every portrait of
Velasquez is merely the impress of a personality. There are no
accessories; the clothing is subordinated to the last degree, and there
is nothing for the eye to grasp but a perfectly drawn set of features
thrown into strong relief by a method of chiaroscuro unsurpassed in
depth and accuracy. Thus, as in the case of Rembrandt, the portrait
fulfils the first law of art--the picture is thrown on the brain in the
least possible fraction of time.

Velasquez was remarkable in a greater degree than any other artist, if
we except Hals, for his facility in execution. In his brush-work he
appeared to do the right thing at all times without hesitation,
achieving the most perfect balance as if by instinct. So far as we can
judge from those instances where his subjects were painted also by other
artists, his portraits are good likenesses, but he followed the best
practice in generalizing the countenance to the fullest extent. It is
unfortunate that his work was confined to so poor a variety of sitters.
Of his known portraits more than half represent Philip IV. or his
relatives; eight others are nobles of the time, and another half dozen
are dwarfs and buffoons, leaving only seventeen examples of the artist's
work amongst ordinary people. There never was a weaker royal family than
that of Philip IV., and it is really astonishing how Velasquez was able
to produce such excellent works of art by means of their portraits. With
his abnormal lips and weak face, the king himself must have been a most
difficult person to ennoble, yet the painter managed in three portraits
to give him a highly distinguished countenance and bearing, without in
any way suggesting exaggeration.[a] Of another weak man--Innocent
X.--Velasquez painted what Reynolds described as the greatest portrait
he saw in Rome; and it is truly one of the most amazing life
representations ever executed.[b] A reddish face peers out through a
blaze of warm surroundings and background; a face in full relief as if
cut out of apoplectic flesh--almost appalling in its verity. It is like
nothing else that Velasquez painted: it overpowers with its combined
strength and realism. But it is a picture to see occasionally, and
admire as a great imitation. If one lived with it, the colour would hurt
the eye, the unpleasant face would tire the mind. Such a face should not
be painted: it should be carved in stone, where truth may be given to
form without the protrusion of mortal decay. Bernini sculptured the
countenance, and gave the Pope a certain majesty which no painting could
present. As a life portrait the work of Velasquez is unrivalled, but as
a pure work of art, it is behind the three portraits of Philip IV.
already mentioned. A distinctly unhealthy face cannot be produced in
portraiture without injuring the art, for it is a variety of distortion.

  [a] The full example at the Prado; the Parma full length, in the Frick
        Coll., N. Y.; and the three-quarter length portrait at the
        Imperial Gallery, Vienna.

  [b] In the Doria Gallery, Rome.

Velasquez was so naturally a portraitist that apart from his actual
portrait work, every figure composition he painted seems to consist
merely of the portraits of a group of persons. He took little pains to
connect the figures in a life action, often painting them with a look of
unconcern with the proceedings around them, as if specially posing for
the artist. In several of his works there are faces looking right out
of the picture, and it is evident that in these the artist had little
thought in his mind away from portrait presentation.[a] The Surrender of
Breda and Las Meninas,[b] regarded generally as his best compositions,
are admittedly portrait groupings, but the setting in each case is one
of action, and hence the faces looking out of the picture are a great
drawback, as they disrobe the illusion of a natural scene. That a man so
accurate in his drawing, so perfect in his chiaroscuro, and so skilful
in his brushwork, should yet be so conspicuously limited in imagination,
is a problem which art historians have yet to solve.

  [a] See The Breakfast, Hermitage; Christ in the House of Martha,
        National Gallery, London; and The Drinkers, Prado.

  [b] Both at the Prado.

Franz Hals was on a level with Velasquez in respect of facility in
execution, and like him seems to have been a born portraitist. His
brushwork was so rapid and decisive that in scarcely any of his designs
is there evidence of deliberation. He seems to have been able to take in
the essential features of a subject at a glance, and to transfer them to
canvas without preliminaries, producing an amazing countenance with the
least possible detail. Though some of his large groups are a little
stiff, this is rather through his want of capacity in invention than a
set purpose of exaggeration with a view to heightening the dignity of
pose, for it is obvious that Hals had little imagination, and knew
nothing of the boundless possibilities of his art in general
composition. He appears to have passed through life without concern for
his work beyond material results, being well convinced that the magic
of his execution would leave nothing further for the public to desire.
In the last forty years of his life he made no advance in his art except
in one respect, but the change was great, for it doubled the art value
of his portraits. He learned how to subordinate his colours; how to
modify his chiaroscuro in order to force the immediate attention of the
observer on the countenance of his subject.[52] Such an advance with
such an artist placed him in the rank of the immortals among the
portraitists.

It will be seen that in the judgment of the greatest painters,
decoration in a portrait should be altogether subordinated to the
truthful representation of character, this practice being only varied
when the personage portrayed is of public importance, and the portrait
is required more or less as a monument. The rule is natural and
reasonable, being based upon the universal agreement that the
all-important part of a man comprehended by the vision is his
countenance. But the rule only strictly applies to a single figure
portrait, for when the painter goes beyond this, and executes a double
portrait or a multiple group, he restricts the scope of his art. Other
things being equal a double portrait is necessarily inferior art to a
single figure picture, since the dual objective complicates the
impression of the work on the brain, and the only remedy, or partial
remedy, for this drawback possessed by the painter is to introduce
accessories and arrange his group in a subject design. This plan results
in detracting from the force of the actual portraits, as it divides the
attention of the observer, but there is no help for it unless one is
content with the representation of the figures in a stiff and formal way
which extinguishes the pictorial effect of the work.

The greatest artists have avoided dual or triple portrait works where
possible except in cases of gatherings of members of the same family, as
one of these groups may be regarded as a unity by the observer.
Nevertheless in his picture of Leo X., and the two younger Medici,[a]
Raphael was careful to subordinate the cardinals so that they should
appear little more than accessories in a painting of the Pope; an
example which was followed not quite so successfully by Titian in his
triple portrait of Paul III. with the two brothers Farnese.[b] A group
of two persons who are in some way associated with each other, though
unconnected in action, rarely looks out of place, as in the pictures of
father and son, or of two brothers, painted by Van Dyck, or in The
Ambassadors of Holbein,[c] but no painter has yet succeeded in producing
a first-class work of art out of a multiple portrait group when the
personages represented are unconnected with each other, either directly
in action, or indirectly through association derived from the title. The
picture of Rubens representing Lipsius and three others, would appear
much more stiff and formal than it is, without one of the two titles
given to it, notwithstanding the general excellence of the
composition.[d] When the figures introduced are very numerous, as in the
many groups of civic organizations painted by Hals, Ravesteyn, and
others, the compulsory formality seriously detracts from the æsthetic
value of the works, however superior they may be in execution, or
whatever the connection of the personages represented; and when we come
to such crowded paintings as Terburg's Signing the Peace of Münster,[e]
we obtain but little more than a record, though it be of absorbing
historical interest.

  [a] Pitti Palace, Florence.

  [b] Naples Museum.

  [c] National Gallery, London.

  [d] The Four Philosophers, or Lipsius and his Disciples, Pitti Palace.

  [e] National Gallery, London.

It is observable that as a rule portraitists have been more successful
with delineations of men than of women. This is to be accounted for by
the necessity for subordinating the representation of character to the
art in the case of women unless they have passed the prime of life;
while with men the art is usually subordinated to the portrait,
character being sought independently of sensorial beauty. Strictly it is
the duty of the artist to make his portrait, whether of a man or a
woman, sensorially attractive, but here again in portraiture custom and
convention have to be considered with the rules of art. It is agreed
that with a woman sensorial beauty must be produced if that be possible,
even with the sacrifice of certain elements of character; but with a man
the portrait must be recognized by the acquaintances of the subject as
corresponding in most details with his life appearance. The future of
the portrait is out of the question for the time being. Nevertheless the
painter has certain advantages in dealing with the features of a man,
for the presence of lines in the brow, or other evidence of experience,
does not interfere with the nobility or dignity which may be added to
his general bearing; but what would be lines in the countenance of a man
would be wrinkles in that of a woman, because here they can scarcely be
neutralized by attitude and expression which imply strength of
character, without destroying what is best described as womanly charm,
which is a compulsory feature in every woman's portrait. With a man
therefore the portraitist considers character first and emphasizes
qualities of form within his power; while with a woman, during the
period of her bloom, beauty of form and feature must be the first care
of the artist, unconflicting qualities of character being emphasized or
added.

All this was of course recognized by the great portraitists of the
Renaissance and the seventeenth century, but while most of them
endeavoured to enhance the sensorial beauty of their men subjects,
little attempt was made to add intellectual grace to the portrayals of
women. Antonio Moro[a] and Van Dyck, in their full length portraits of
women, sometimes succeeded in converting dignity of form into what we
understand as grandeur, which implies dignity of expression as well as
grace and dignity of form, but they were largely handicapped by the
dress fashions of their times. They had to deal with heavy formal
drapery which hung over the figures like elongated bells, and bid
defiance to freedom of pose. When fashions and customs had so changed as
to allow of definition being given to the figures, Van Dyck had been
dead for many years. Meanwhile Hals, Rembrandt, Velasquez, and hundreds
of lesser lights, were casting around their flowers of form and mind,
but all on the old plan, for it is difficult to find a portrait of a
woman painted during the century succeeding Van Dyck, where beauty of
feature is allied to nobility in expression.

  [a] Catilina of Portugal, and Maria of Austria, both at the Prado.

  [Illustration: PLATE 14 (See page 168)
  Sacrifice of Iphigenia (Pompeian Fresco)
  Supposed copy of a painting by Timanthes]

The production of this combination awaited the maturity of Reynolds, who
with Gainsborough, broke into a new field in the portraiture of women.
Gainsborough took the grandeur of Van Dyck for his pattern, but improved
upon it by substituting simplicity for dignity and elaboration, which he
was able to manage without great difficulty, as he had a clear advantage
over the Flemish master in that the costumes in use in his time were
lighter in character, and permitted of the contour of form being
properly exhibited. This simple grace of form allied to grandeur in
bearing, naturally brings about an apparent modification in expression
in conformity with it, so long as there are no conflicting elements in
expression present, which Gainsborough was careful to avoid. Reynolds
went further than Gainsborough, for after the middle of his career he
directly added an expression of nobility to his portraits of women
whenever the features would admit of it, and so brought about the
highest type of feminine portraiture known in art. He was more nearly
allied to Titian than Van Dyck, and though in sheer force of sensorial
beauty he did not reach the level of the Venetian master, yet in pure
feminine portraiture, where high beauty of expression is combined with a
perfect generalization of the features, Reynolds is unsurpassed in
the history of painting, so far as we can judge from examples remaining
to us. For we must estimate an artist from his best work. Reynolds
painted forty or fifty portraits of women of the character indicated,
and a few of them, notably Mrs. Siddons as Tragedy,[a] and Mrs.
Billington as St. Cecilia,[b] are amongst the most luminous examples of
feminine portraiture in existence. There are many artists who equalled
Reynolds in the representation of men, but there are very few indeed who
even attempted to strike a just balance between sensorial and
intellectual effects in the countenance of a woman.

  [a] Westminster Coll., London.

  [b] New York Public Library.

With such great leaders as Reynolds and Gainsborough, it might have been
hoped that the school they founded in portraiture would have taken a
long lease of life, but it rapidly died away, leaving very few indeed of
footsteps sunk deep in the sands of glory, save those of Raeburn,
Hoppner, Lawrence, and Romney. But between Reynolds and Romney there is
a wide gulf, for while the former sought for his beauty among the higher
gifts of nature, Romney, with rare exceptions, was content with a formal
expression allied to grace of pose. We may shortly consider this
graceful attitude for it seems to be often regarded as an all-sufficing
feature in the representation of women.[53]

The charm of grace lies chiefly in movement, and a graceful attitude in
repose implies rest from graceful movement, but this attitude is
ephemeral in nature, for if prolonged it quickly becomes an artificial
pose. In art therefore, a graceful pose, whether exhibited in action or
at rest, must soon tire unless attractive expression be present to
deepen the impress of the work upon the mind of the observer. The
general æsthetic value of graceful form in a painted figure varies with
the scale to which the figure is drawn. With a heroic figure, grace is
of the smallest importance; in one of life size, as a portrait for
instance, the quality is of considerable assisting value; and as the
scale is diminished, so does the relative value of grace increase. This
is because details of expression can be less truthfully rendered in
small figures than in those of life size, while in miniature figures
certain high qualities of expression, as nobility, or a combined
expression of mind and form, as grandeur, can be scarcely indicated at
all, so that purely sensorial beauty, as that arising from grace of
pose, becomes of comparatively vast importance. This was well understood
in ancient times. The Grecian sculptured life-size figures are nearly
always graceful, but the grace arises naturally from perfection of form
and expression, and not from a specially added quality, a particular
grace of pose being always subordinated, if present at all. On the other
hand, in the smaller Grecian figures, such as those found at Tanagra and
in Asia Minor, anything in expression beyond regularity of features is
not attempted, but grace is always present, and it is entirely upon this
that the beauty of the figurines depends. We may presume from the
frescoes opened out at Pompeii, that the ancients were well aware of the
value and limitations of grace in art. In all these decorations where
the figures are of a general type, as fauns, bacchantes, nereids,
dancers, and so on, they are represented in motion, flying drapery being
skilfully used to provide illusion. Grace is the highest quality evident
in these forms, while the expression is invariably negative. For pure
wall decorations, which are observed in a casual way, a high quality of
grace such as these frescoes provide is all-sufficient, but as with the
Greeks, the Romans did not make grace a leading feature in serious art.

With the great painters of the Renaissance, nobility, grandeur, and
general perfection of form and expression, though necessarily implying a
certain grace in demeanour, altogether dwarfed the feature of grace of
pose. In the seventeenth century, grace was subordinated to dignity of
form in the case of Van Dyck and Velasquez, and to actual life
experience with Rubens and Rembrandt. When either of these last two
added a quality of form to their figures, it was always dignity and not
grace. Murillo was the first Spanish painter to pay particular attention
to the grace of his figures, but he never gave it predominance. The
French masters of the period, Le Brun, Le Sueur, Poussin, Mignard, and
Rigaud, leaned too closely to classical traditions to permit of grace
playing a leading part in their designs, though some of slightly lesser
fame as Noel and Antoine Coypel, appeared to attribute considerable
value to the quality. It was during this century in Italy that grace
first appeared as a prominent feature in figure painting. In his
pastoral and classical scenes, Albani seems to have largely relied upon
it for his beauty, and Cignani, Andrea Sacchi, Sassoferrato, and others
followed in his footsteps in this respect, though up to the end of the
century no attempt was made in portraiture to sacrifice other features
to grace of pose. Rosalba then made her appearance as a portraitist, and
she was the first to rest the entire beauty of her work on sensorial
charm of feature and grace of pose. She developed a weakened school in
France which culminated with Nattier; and in England, Angelica
Kauffmann, and some miniature painters, notably Cosway and Humphrey,
took up her system for their life-size portraits, while many artists "in
small" as Cipriani and Bartolozzi, assisted in forming a cult of the
style. But of the greater British painters, only Romney gave high
importance to grace of pose in portraits of women. It is safer for an
artist to eschew grace of pose altogether than to sacrifice higher
qualities to it. A little added dignity is always preferable to a
graceful attitude in a portrait, because in nature it is not so
evanescent a feature. Grace is a good assisting quality, but an inferior
substitute.

The greatest repose possible is necessary in a portrait, as a suggestion
of action tends to draw the attention of the observer to it, thus
impeding the impression of the whole upon his mind. The leading
portraitists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries never erred in
this matter, unless we except a single work by Titian--the portrait
group of Paul III. and the Cardinals Farnese, where the last named has
just arrived and is apparently in the act of bowing before completing
his final step; but even here it may be fairly argued that a moment of
rest between two parts of the final action is to be presumed. It was not
an uncommon practice of Van Dyck to pose a subject arrested in the act
of walking, or with one foot on the lowest step of a stairway as if
about to ascend; but in each of these instances the head is turned, and
it is obvious that the motion is temporarily stayed.[a] A similar pose
was sometimes adopted by British artists of the eighteenth century with
conspicuous success. If a portrait figure be painted in the act of
walking on level ground, the feet must be together even if the moment
represented be that between two steps in the action, because it is
contrary to all experience for a man to rest while so walking, with one
foot in front of the other. In a general composition the representation
of a man walking with the feet separated is permissible, because it is
part of a general action, and accessory in its nature, but in a portrait
the beginning and end of the action depicted are usually unknown, and
hence any action must be meaningless and disturbing to the observer.[b]

  [a] See Earl of Pembroke, Wilton Coll., Countess of Devonshire,
        Chatsworth, and Philip le Roy, Wallace Coll., all in England.

  [b] See Chase's Master Roland, private Coll., N. Y.; and Manet's Boy
        with a Sword, Met. Museum, N. Y.

The French and English artists of the eighteenth century followed the
practice of their predecessors in avoiding the exhibition of movement in
their portraits, but occasionally they departed from the rule. In his
fine portrait of Mrs. Thomas Raikes, Romney shows the lady playing a
harpsichord, with the fingers apparently in motion; and in his group of
the Ladies Spencer, one of them is fingering a harp. The result in each
case is a stiff attitude which detracts from the beauty of the work. Van
Dyck managed such a design in a much better way, for in his portrait of
his wife with a cello, she holds the bow distinctly at rest.[a] Titian
also, when representing a man at an organ, shows his hands stayed, while
turning his head.[b] Reynolds moved aside once from the custom in
respect of action,[c] and Raeburn seems also to have erred only on a
single occasion.[d]

  [a] Munich Gallery.

  [b] Venus and the Organ Player, Prado.

  [c] Viscountess Crosbie, Tennant Coll., London.

  [d] Dr. Nathaniel Spens, Royal Co. of Archers, Edinburgh.



CHAPTER XI

EXPRESSION. PART VI--MISCELLANEOUS

     Grief--The smile--The open mouth--Contrasts--Representation of
     death.


The painter has ever to be on his guard against over-emphasis of facial
expression. His first object is to present an immediately intelligible
composition, and this being accomplished, much has already been done
towards providing appropriate expressions for his characters. It has
been seen that attitude alone may appear to lend to a countenance
suitable expression which is not observed when the head of the figure is
considered separately; and while such a condition is not frequent, its
possibility indicates that the painter is warranted in relying more or
less upon the details of his action for conveying the state of mind of
the personages concerned therein. It is not the purpose here to deal
with the various forms of expression that may be of use to the painter,
nor indeed is it necessary. The work of Raphael alone leaves little to
be learned in respect of the expression of emotion so far as it may be
exhibited in a painting[54]; but there are a few matters in relation to
the subject which appear to require attention, judging from experience
of modern painting, and short notes upon them are here given.


GRIEF

Intense grief is the most difficult expression to depict in the whole
art of painting, because in nature it usually results in distortion of
the features, which the artist must avoid at all cost. Of the thousands
of paintings of scenes relating to the Crucifixion, where the Virgin is
presumed to be in great agony at the foot of the Cross, very rarely has
an artist attempted to portray this agony in realistic manner.[a] He
generally substitutes for grief an expression of sorrow which is
produced without contraction of the features. This expression, which is
invariably accompanied with extreme pallor, does not prevent the
addition of a certain nobility to the countenance, and hence no
suggestion of insufficiency arises in the mind of the observer. But the
sublime expression which may be given to the Virgin would be out of
place in her attendants who are not infrequently made hideous through
attempts to represent them as overcome with grief.

  [a] A notable exception is Poussin's Descent from the Cross,
        Hermitage.

A method of avoiding the difficulty is to conceal the face of the
personage presumed to be suffering from grief. Timanthes is recorded by
Pliny as having painted a picture of the Sacrifice of Iphigenia in which
the head of Agamemnon was completely covered by his robe; and a picture
of the same subject in a Pompeian fresco represents the Grecian monarch
hiding his face with his right hand, while the left gathers up his
robe.[a] This invention was the subject of considerable discussion in
Europe in the eighteenth century, in which Reynolds, Falconet, Lessing,
and others took part. Reynolds said of the device that an artist might
use it once, but if he did so a second time, he would be justly
suspected of improperly evading difficulties. Falconet compared the
action of Timanthes to that of a poet who avoided expressing certain
sentiments on the ground that the action of his hero was above anything
that could be said[b]; while Lessing held that the grief which overcame
Agamemnon could only find expression in distortion, and hence the artist
was right in covering the face.[c] Unquestionably Lessing was justified,
for nothing more is demanded of the painter than to impress the
imagination of the observer with the intensity of the grief depicted,
and in this he succeeds. Obviously the poet is in a different position
from the painter because he can express deep grief easily enough without
suggesting distortion of the features.

  [a] See Plate 14[55].

  [b] "Traduction des 34me, 35me, et 36me livres de Pline."

  [c] Laocoon.

The artifice of Timanthes was practically unused during the Renaissance,
though Botticelli once conceals the face of a woman lamenting over the
body of Christ,[a] and Richardson quotes a drawing by Polidoro where the
Virgin hides her face in drapery in a lamentation scene. In Flanders at
a little earlier period, Roger van der Weyden used the device,[b] and
the Maître de Flémalle shows St. John turning his head away and holding
his hand to his face in a Crucifixion scene.[c] In the succeeding
centuries little was known of the practice, but quite lately it has come
into use again. Boecklin painted a Pietà in which the Virgin has thrown
herself over the dead body of Christ in an agony of grief, her whole
form being covered by a cloak. Feuerbach has a somewhat similar
arrangement, and in a picture of the Departure of Jason, he hides the
face of an attendant of Medea, a plan adopted in two or three frescoes
of the subject at Pompeii. Prud'hon, in a Crucifixion scene, hides the
face of the Magdalene in her hands, and Kaulbach in his Marguerite so
bends her head that her face is completely concealed from the observer.
Where the face cannot altogether be hidden owing to the character of the
design, it is sometimes thrown into so deep a shade that the features
are indistinguishable, this being an excellent device for symbolical
figures typifying great anguish.[d]

  [a] The Brera, Milan.

  [b] In a scene of The Eucharist, Antwerp.

  [c] Christ on the Cross, Berlin.

  [d] As in Hacker's Cry of Egypt.

It is not a good plan in a tragic design merely to turn the head away to
indicate grief or sorrow, because in such a case the artist is unable to
differentiate between a person experiencing intense grief, and one who
turns his head from horror of the tragedy.[a] The scheme of half veiling
the face is not often successful, since the depth of emotion that would
be presumed from such an action may be more than counterbalanced by the
very limited feeling which can be indicated by the part of the face
remaining exposed. On account of a neutralizing effect of this kind,
Loefftz's fine picture of the Dead Christ at Munich is much weakened,
for there is no stronger expression on the part of the Virgin than
patient resignation. Sorrow may well be displayed by semi-concealment of
the features, because here the necessary expression may be produced by
the eyes alone.[b] In ancient art, to half conceal the face indicated
discretion, as in the case of a Pompeian fresco where a nurse of the
young Neptune, handing him over to a shepherd for education, has her
mouth and chin covered, the meaning of this being that she is acquainted
with the high birth of the boy, but must not reveal it.

  [a] See Gros's Timoleon of Corinth.

  [b] Leighton's Captive Andromache.


THE SMILE

A pronounced smile in nature is always transitory, and hence should be
avoided when possible in a painting. The only smile that does not tire
is that which is so faint as to appear to be permanent in the
expression, and it has been the aim of many painters to produce this
smile. An examination of numerous pictures where a smile is expressed in
the countenance has convinced the writer that when either the eyes
alone, or the eyes and mouth together, are used to indicate a smile, it
is invariably over-pronounced as a suggestive permanent feature, and
that in every case of such permanence, success arises from work on the
mouth alone.

The permanent smile was not studied in Europe till the Milanese school
was founded, and in this nearly every artist gave his attention to it,
following the example of Lionardo. This great master, who was well
acquainted with the principles of art, is not likely to have had in his
mind an evanescent expression when he experimented with the smile, and
one can hardly understand therefore why this feature is almost
invariably over-emphasized in his works. In his portrayal of women he
used both eyes and mouth to bring about the smile,[a] and more commonly
than not paid most attention to the eyes. Perhaps he had in view the
production of a permanent smile solely by means of the eyes, which play
so great a part in general expression. In nature it is physically
impossible for a smile to be produced without a faint variation in the
mouth line, while the lower eyelids may remain perfectly free from any
change in light and shade, even with a smile more pronounced than is
necessary for apparent permanence. In the Mona Lisa at Boston,[56] the
smile is very faintly indicated by the eyes, and most pronounced at the
mouth, while in the famous Paris picture, the eyes are chiefly
responsible for the smile, the mouth only slightly assisting.[57] Many
smiling faces were produced by others of the Milanese school, and as a
rule the mouth only was used, often with complete success, notably by
B. Luini,[b] Pedrini,[c] and Ferrari.[d] Raphael never used the eyes to
assist in producing a smile, except with the Child Christ,[e] and in all
cases where he exhibits a smile in a Madonna[f] or portrait,[g] it
appears definitely permanent. As a rule the great artists of the
Renaissance other than the disciples of Lionardo, rarely produced a
smile with the intention of suggesting a permanently happy expression,
and in the seventeenth century little attention was given to it.

  [a] An exception where the mouth only is used is a drawing for the
        Madonna and Child with St. Anne, Burlington House, London.

  [b] Salome, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

  [c] Madonna and Child, Arezzo.

  [d] Madonna and Child, Brera, Milan.

  [e] Cowper Madonna, Panshanger, England.

  [f] See Casa Tempi Madonna, Munich; and Virgin with a Goldfinch,
        Uffizi.

  [g] Portrait of a Young Man, Budapest; and the Fornarina, Barberini
        Gallery, Florence.

The great French portraitists of the eighteenth century frequently made
the smile a feature in expression, and a few of them, notably La Tour,
seldom produced a countenance without one. In most cases the smile is a
little too pronounced for permanence, but there are many examples of a
faint and delicate smile which may well suggest an habitual condition.
Rigaud's Louis XV. as a Boy is an instance,[a] though here the illusion
quickly passes when we bring to mind the other portraits of the monarch.
Nattier,[b] Boucher,[c] Dumont le Romain,[d] Perronneau,[e] Chardin,
Roslin, and others, sometimes succeeded, but the French master of the
smile was La Tour who executed quite a dozen examples which Lionardo
might have envied.[f] Of British artists Romney was the most adept in
producing a permanent smile,[g] but strange to say there is no instance
of one in his many portraits of Lady Hamilton, beyond her representation
as a bacchante.[h] Here the smile is far too pronounced for a plain
portrait, but a bacchante may reasonably be supposed to be ever engaged
in scenes of pleasure, and hence the feature does not seem to be out of
place. Reynolds commonly used both eyes and mouth in creating his
smiles,[i] but Raeburn was nearly equal to Romney in the number of his
felicitous smiles, while he seldom exceeded the minimum expression
required for permanence.[j] Gainsborough produced a few portraits of
women with a vague furtive smile, sweet and expressive beyond degree.[k]
They are invariably brought about by a faint curvature of the mouth
line.

  [a] At Versailles.

  [b] Madame Louise, at Versailles.

  [c] Portrait of a Young Woman, the Louvre.

  [d] Two examples in the group Madame Mercier and Family, Louvre.

  [e] Madame Olivier, Groult (formerly), Coll., Paris.

  [f] See Madame de la Popelinière and Mdlle. Carmago, both at Saint
        Quentin Museum; and Madame Pompadour, Louvre.

  [g] See Mrs. Yates, Llangattock Coll.; William Booth, Lathom Coll.;
        and Mrs. Tickle, A. de Rothschild (formerly) Coll., all England.

  [h] T. Chamberlayne Coll., England.

  [i] For exceptions see Hon. Lavinia Bingham, Spencer Coll., and Mrs.
        Abington, Fife Coll., both England.

  [j] See Farmer's Wife, Mitchell Coll.; Mrs. Lauzun, National Gallery,
        London; and Mrs. Balfour, Beith Coll., Scotland.

  [k] Lady Sheffield, Alice Rothschild Coll.; and Mrs. Leybourne, Popham
        Coll.


THE OPEN MOUTH

If there be one transient feature more than another which should be
avoided in a painting, and particularly in the principal figure, it is
a wide-open mouth. Necessarily, after a short acquaintance with a
picture containing such a feature, either the mouth appears to be kept
open by a wedge, or, as in the case of a laugh, the face is likely to
wear an abnormal expression approaching to idiocy, for it is altogether
contrary to experience of normal persons in real life, for a mouth to be
kept open longer than for an instant or two. Hence the first artists
have studiously refrained from exhibiting a wide-open mouth, or indeed
one that is open at all except to such an extent that the parted lips
appear a permanent condition. But a few great men have erred in the
matter. Thus, Mantegna shows the child Christ with the mouth widely open
in a half-vacant and half-startled expression, which is immediately
repelling.[a] Dosso Dossi has several pictures much injured by the
feature,[b] and in Ercole di Roberti's Concert, no less than three
mouths are wide open.[c] One of the figures in Velasquez's Three
Musicians opens his mouth far too widely,[d] while Hals has half a dozen
pictures with the defect.[e] A rare mistake was made by Carlo Dolci when
showing Christ with His mouth open wide in the act of utterance,[f] and
Mengs erred similarly in St. John Baptist Preaching.[g] In more modern
times the fault is seldom noticeable among artists of repute, though
occasionally a bad example occurs, as in Winslow Homer's All's Well.[h]
Even when an open mouth seems unavoidable, the effect is by no means
neutralized.[i]

  [a] Virgin and Child at Bergamo.

  [b] Notably A Muse Instructing a Court Poet, and Nymph and Satyr,
        Pitti Palace.

  [c] National Gallery, London.

  [d] Berlin Gallery.

  [e] See Merry Company at Table, Met. Mus., N. Y., and similar
        pictures.

  [f] Christ Blessing, a single figure picture.

  [g] Hermitage, Petrograd.

  [h] Boston Museum, U. S. A. See Plate 15.

  [i] As in Dow's The Dentist, Schwerin Mus., and a similar work at the
        Louvre.

When the blemish is in an accessory figure, it is of lesser importance
as there it becomes an incidental circumstance on the mind of the
observer. Thus, in Reynolds's Infant Hercules, where Alcmena, on seeing
the child holding the snakes, opens her mouth with surprise and alarm,
the action of the central figure is so strong that the importance of the
others present is comparatively insignificant.[a] Nevertheless in a
Pompeian fresco of the same subject, care has been taken to close the
mouth of Alcmena. Where the design represents several persons singing,
it is well possible to indicate the action without showing the mouths
open, as in Raphael's St. Cecilia.[b] In a picture of a like subject,
with the Saint in the centre of a group of five singers, Domenichino
shows only the two outside figures with open mouths, and one of these is
in profile. There are several works where David is seen singing to the
accompaniment of a harp, but though his mouth is open, the figure is in
profile, and the lips are hidden by moustache and beard.[c]

  [a] Hermitage, Petrograd.

  [b] Bologna Museum.

  [c] For example, Rubens's David's Last Song, Frankfort Museum.

It may be observed, however, that in certain cases artificial
conditions may render an open mouth in a picture of comparatively little
significance. A painted laugh for instance may only become objectionable
to the observer when the work is constantly before him; but when it is
in a picture gallery and he sees it but rarely, the lasting character of
the feature is not presented to his mind. The Laughing Cavalier of Franz
Hals, though violating the principle, does not appear in bad taste to
the average visitor to the Wallace Collection. In the case of
Rembrandt's portrait of himself with Saskia on his knee, where the
artist has his lips parted in the act of laughing, there is an
additional reason why the transient expression should not tire. Because
of the number of self-portraits he painted, the countenance of Rembrandt
is quite familiar to most picture gallery visitors, and to these the
laugh in the Dresden picture could not possibly pass as an habitual
expression.

  [Illustration: PLATE 15 (See page 176)
  Winslow Homer's All's Well (_Boston Museum_)]


CONTRASTS

Designs specially built up for the purpose of contrasting two or more
attributes or conditions are almost invariably uninteresting unless the
motive be hidden behind a definite action which appears to control the
scheme. This is because of the difficulty of otherwise connecting the
personages contrasted in a particular action of common understanding. A
design of Hercules and Omphale affords a superior contrast of strength
and beauty to a composition of Strength and Wisdom. In each case a
herculean figure and a lovely woman represent the respective qualities,
but in the first the figures are connected by expression and action, and
in the second no connection can be established. So in contrasting beauty
of mind with that of form, this is much better represented by such a
subject as Hippocrates and the Bride of Perdiccas than in the Venetian
manner of figures unconnected in the design. And in respect of
conditions, Frith's picture of Poverty and Wealth, where a carriage full
of fashionable women drives through a poor section of London, has little
more than a topographical interest, but in a subject such as The First
Visit of Croesus to Æsop, the contrast between poverty and wealth
would deeply strike the imagination.

In contrasts of good and evil, vice and virtue, and similar subjects, it
is inferior art to represent the evil character by an ugly figure. As
elsewhere pointed out, deformity of any kind injures the æsthetic value
of a picture because it tends to neutralize the pleasurable feeling
derived from the beauty present. The poet may join physical deformity
with beauty because he can minimize the defect with words, but the
painter has no such recourse.[58] A deformed personage in a composition
is therefore to be deprecated unless as a necessary accessory in a
historical work, in which case he must be subordinated to the fullest
extent possible. The figure of Satan, of an exaggerated satyr type, has
often been introduced into subjects such as the Temptation of Christ,
though not by artists of the first rank.[a] Such pictures do not live as
high class works of art however they be painted. Correggio makes a
contrast of Vice and Virtue in two paintings,[b] representing Vice by a
man bound, but usually in the mature time of the Renaissance, Vice was
shown as a woman, either beautiful in features, or with her face partly
hidden, various accessories indicating her character. A notable
exception is Salviati's Justice where a hideous old woman takes the rôle
of Vice.[c] Even in cases where a witch has to be introduced, as in
representations of Samuel's Curse, it is not necessary to follow the
example of Salvator Rosa, and render her with deformed features, for
there are several excellent works where this defect is avoided.[d]

  [a] See examples by Ary Scheffer, Luxembourg; and H. Thoma, Burnitz
        Coll.

  [b] Both at the Louvre.

  [c] The Bargello, Florence.

  [d] As in K. Meyer's picture.

An effective design with the purpose of contrasting the ages of man is
not possible, firstly, because the number of ages represented must be
very limited, and, secondly, for the reason that the figures cannot be
connected together in a free and easy manner. Hence all such pictures
have been failures, though a few great artists have attempted the
subject. Titian tried it with two children, a young couple, and an old
man, assorting the personages casually in a landscape without attempting
to connect them together in action.[a] At about the same time Lotto
produced a contrast, also with three ages represented, namely, a boy, a
young man, and an elderly man.[b] These personages sit together as if
they had been photographed for the purpose, without a ray of
intelligence passing between them. But this is far better than Grien's
Three Ages,[c] for here the artist has strangely confused life and
death, exhibiting a grown maiden, a middle-aged woman, and a skin-coated
skeleton holding an hour-glass. The best design of the subject is Van
Dyck's Four Ages.[d] He shows a child asleep near a young woman who is
selling flowers to a soldier, and an old man is in the background.
There is thus a presumed connection between three of the personages, but
naturally the composition is somewhat stiff. The only other design worth
mentioning is by Boecklin, who also represents four ages.[e] Two
children play in the background of a landscape; a little farther back is
a young woman; then a cavalier on horseback; and finally on the top of
an arch an old man whom Death in the form of a skeleton is about to
strike. But here again there is no connection between the figures, the
consequent formality half destroying the æsthetic value of the work.
From these examples than which there is none better, it may be gauged
that it is hopeless to expect a good design from a subject where the
ages of man are contrasted. If represented at all, the ages should be
contrasted in separate pictures, as Lancret painted them.

  [a] Bridgewater Coll., England.

  [b] Pitti Palace, Florence.

  [c] The Prado, Madrid.

  [d] Vincenza Museum.

  [e] Vita somnium breve.

The practice of presenting nude with clothed figures where the subject
does not absolutely compel it, is commonly supposed to be for the
purpose of contrast. This may have been the object in some cases, but
in very few is the interest in the contrast not outweighed by the
bizarre appearance of the work. As a rule in these pictures there is
nothing in the expressions or actions of the personages depicted to
suggest a reason for the absence of clothes from some of them, and so to
the average observer they form a "problem" class of painting. The first
important work of the kind executed was Sebastiano del Piombo's Concert,
in which the group consists of two nude women, one with a reed pipe, and
two men attired in Venetian costume, of whom one handles a guitar.[a]
The figures are very beautiful and the landscape is superb, but as one
cannot account for the nude figures in an open-air musical party, the
æsthetic value of the work is largely diminished. This painting has
suggested several designs to modern artists, the most notable being
Manet's Déjeuner sur l'Herbe, where a couple of nude women with two men
dressed in modern clothes are shown in a picnic on the grass. Not only
is the scheme inexplicable, but the invention is so extravagant as to
provoke the lowest of suggestions. In a composition of this kind only a
great artist can build up a harmonious design.

  [a] At the Louvre. Formerly attributed to Giorgione.

Titian's picture known as Sacred and Profane Love,[a] where the figure
of a nude woman is opposed to one clothed, may really signify any of a
dozen ideas, but the artist probably had no other scheme in his mind
than to represent different types of beautiful women. Crowe and
Cavalcaselli's suggested title of L'Amour ingénu et l'Amour satisfait,
was certainly never conceived by Titian, nor is Burckhardt's proposal,
Love and Prudery, possible in view of the flowers in the hand of the
draped figure. In any case this picture is the greatest of its kind, for
the composition is so delicate and harmonious, and the art so perfect,
as to render its precise meaning a matter of little consideration.
Another picture of Sacred and Profane Love was painted by Grien.[b] He
shows a nude woman from whom Cupid has just drawn the drapery, and
another woman concealing her figure with loose drapery. The effect is
weak. The nude figures in the well-known Drinkers of Velasquez[c] are
undisturbing because they are not very prominent in the picture, but
their significance is not apparent.

  [a] Borghese Gallery, Rome.

  [b] Frankfort Museum.

  [c] The Prado, Madrid.

No one has yet properly explained the meaning of the nude male figures
standing at ease in the background of Michelangelo's celebrated Holy
Family.[a] They are apparently pagan gods, and it is suggested that the
artist intended to signify the overthrow of the Grecian deities by the
coming of Christ. Such an explanation might be possible with another
painter, but it does not accord with our conception of the mind of
Michelangelo. A still greater puzzle is offered by Luca Signorelli who,
in the landscape background of the bust portrait of a man, shows two
nude men to the right of the portrait, and two attired women at the
left.[b] It is impossible to suggest any meaning of this extraordinary
invention.

  [a] Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

  [b] Berlin Gallery.


THE REPRESENTATION OF DEATH

Death is a subject inappropriate to the art of painting except where it
is dealt with symbolically or as an historical incident. Naturally in
either of these cases any realistic representation of death, or of
distortion connected therewith, should be studiously avoided. For while
many aspects of death may not be unpleasant to the senses, its actual
presence--the cold immobility; the pulseless soulless, decaying thing;
the appalling mirror of our own fate--these things are most unpleasant,
and hence should have no place in painting. In sculpture, represented in
a certain way, death is admissible, for in marble or bronze a body may
be carved indicating only the eternal composure of a beautiful form.
This is how the Greeks showed death, whether in the case of a warrior
fallen on the battlefield, or as the twin brother of Sleep. But the
painter is less fortunate: for him death is decay.

The presence of so many scenes of death in the paintings of the past was
the result of accident. For a long while after the dawn of the
Renaissance, those controlling churches and other religious institutions
of the Christians were the chief and almost the only patrons of art, and
they required paintings as well for didactic purposes as for decoration.
For some time pictures often took the place of writing, where
comparatively few could read, in the inculcation of Christian doctrines
and history, and they were largely used as images before which people
could kneel in prayer. The most important facts bearing upon Christian
faith are concerned with death, and so there have been accumulated
thousands of paintings of scenes of the Crucifixion, the death-beds of
saints, instances of martyrdom, and so on. While these paintings have
been highly useful as tending to invite reverence for a sublime creed,
it would be injurious to suggest that generally they take a high place
in art. Some of them do, but the very large number of them which
indicate dying agony, or recent death with all its mortal changes, must
not be approved from a strict art point of view, for any beauty which
may be present apart from the subject is instantly neutralized by the
pain and horror arising from the invention. But it is evidently
unnecessary to produce such pictures, even in the case of the
Crucifixion, for there are ample works in existence to show that the
face and body of Christ can be so presented as to be free from
indications of physical suffering or decay.

But if we are to protest against designs exhibiting forbidding aspects
of death in sacred works, what can we say of the pictures of executions,
massacres, plagues, and so on, which ever and again have been produced
since the middle of the nineteenth century? Deeds of heroism or
self-sacrifice on the battlefield where bodies of the fallen may be
outlined are well, but simple wholesale murders as presented by
Benjamin-Constant, Heim, and fifty others, where the motive does not
pretend to be anything else than massacre or other ghastly event, can
only live as examples of degraded art. There may be something said for
Verestchagin, who painted heaps of heads and skulls, and scattered
corpses, in order to show the evils of war, but if the arts are to be
used at all for such a purpose, the poet or orator would be much more
impressive because he could veil the hideous side of the subject with
pathos and imagery, and further differentiate between just and unjust
wars. The painter is powerless to do these things. He can only represent
the horrors of war by depicting horrible things which is entirely beyond
the province of his art. The purpose of art is to give pleasure, and if
the design descend below the line where displeasure begins, then the art
is no more.

How easy it is for the æsthetic value of a picture to be lowered by the
representation of a corpse, is shown in three celebrated paintings--the
anatomical works of Rembrandt[a] and De Keyser.[b] Probably these works
were ordered to honour the surgeons or schools concerned, but the object
would have been better served by a composition such as Eakin's Dr.
Cross's Surgical Clinic.[c] Here the leading figure is also giving a
lesson to students, and practical demonstration is proceeding, but there
is no skeleton or corpse to damage the picture. Fromentin said that the
Tulp work left him very cold,[d] and although he endeavoured to find
technical ground for this, it is more than likely that the principal
reason lay in the involuntary mental disturbance brought about by the
corpse. Another fine design largely injured by corporeal evidence of
death is Ingres's Oedipus and the Sphinx,[e] where a foot rises out of
a hole in the rock near the Sphinx, the presumption of course being that
the body of a man who had failed with the riddle had lately been thrown
there. The invention is most deplorable in such a picture.

  [a] Lesson in Anatomy of Professor Tulp, and the fragment of a similar
        work, both at The Hague.

  [b] Rijks Museum, Amsterdam.

  [c] Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.

  [d] Masters of Other Days.

  [e] At the Louvre.

The use of a skeleton as a symbol of death in painting seems to have
been unusual during the Renaissance till towards the end of the
fifteenth century. The earliest artist of note in this period to adopt
it, was Jean Prevost who represented a man taking a letter from a
skeleton without seeing the messenger.[a] Then came Grien who painted
three works of the kind. In the first Death holds an hour-glass at the
back of a woman, and points to the position of the sand[b]; in the
second the bony figure has clutched a girl by the hair[c]; and the third
represents a skeleton apparently kissing a girl.[d] They are all hideous
works, and might well have acted as a warning to succeeding artists.
After Grien the use of a skeleton in design was practically confined to
the smaller German masters till the middle of the second half of the
sixteenth century, when it disappeared from serious work. From this time
on, for the next three centuries artists of repute rarely introduced a
skeleton into a painting, though it is to be found occasionally in
engravings. One might have supposed that the unsightly form had been
abandoned with the imps, evil spirits, and other crudities of past days,
but it was not to be. The search for novelties in recent times has only
resulted in the resuscitation of bygone eccentricities, and we must not
be surprised that the skeleton is amongst them.

  [a] Old Man and Death, Bruges.

  [b] Imperial Gallery, Vienna.

  [c] Girl and Death, Basle Museum.

  [d] Basle Museum.

Modern artists have displayed considerable ingenuity in the use of the
skeleton, but the results have necessarily only succeeded in degrading
the art. Rethel figures a skeleton in the costume of a monk who is
ringing a bell at a dance.[a] Several of the dancers have fallen dead,
apparently from plague, and the whole scene is ghastly. Henneberg has a
Fortune allegory in which Death is about to seize a horseman who is
chasing a nude woman,[b] this design being a slight modification of a
variety of prints executed in the sixteenth century. Thoma uses a
skeleton in a most bizarre manner. He substitutes it for the serpent in
a picture of Adam and Eve,[c] and in another work associates it with
Cupid.[d] Two lovers are talking, and Death stands behind the woman
whose hat Cupid is lifting. A terrible picture with a political bearing
was painted by Uhde.[e] It represents a crowd of revolutionists rushing
towards a bridge, while a skeleton in modern costume waves a sword and
cheers them on. These instances suffice to indicate the difficulty in
the production of a fine work of art with so hideous a form as a
skeleton thrown into prominence.

  [a] Death at a Masked Ball.

  [b] Race for Fortune.

  [c] Sin and Death.

  [d] Cupid and Death.

  [e] Revenge.

How simply one may avoid the introduction of a skeleton in a design
concerned with death, is shown by an example where three artists deal
with the same motive--Death, the Friend. The first composition shows an
old man sitting dead in a chair while a skeleton costumed as a monk,
tolls a bell[a]: in the second there is also an old man in a chair, but
an Angel with a scythe is substituted for the skeleton[b]: in the third
an Angel with huge folded wings forming an oval framework for her
figure, leans over the body of a child which has its face hidden.[c] The
second design is a vast improvement over the first, but the third is
incomparably the best of the three. It may be remarked that a scythe is
too trivial an emblem for the Angel of Death, for whom indeed an emblem
of any kind is only admissible when Death is represented as the result
of eternal justice, in which case a flaming sword is appropriate.

  [a] Woodcut by A. Rethel.

  [b] Lithograph by O. Redon.

  [c] Painting by G. F. Watts.

Very rarely indeed can a good picture be made out of a funeral scene.
Such a scene attending the death of a great man may be fitly produced,
so long as the imagination can be used in the composition; that is to
say, if there are few or no records of the actual funeral[a]; but
paintings relating to the modern burial of unnamed persons are of little
value as works of art, for the imagination of the artist cannot extend
beyond unpleasant prosaic incidents of common acquaintance. The purpose
of the funeral scenes of Courbet[b] and Anne Ancher[c] has never been
explained; and the various interiors, each with a coffin and distracted
relatives of the dead, by Wiertz,[d] Dalsgaard,[e] and other modern
artists, are capable of bringing only misery instead of pleasure to the
observer.

  [a] As in Rubens's Funeral of Decius, Vienna.

  [b] The Burial at Ornans.

  [c] The Funeral.

  [d] The Orphans.

  [e] The Child's Coffin.

But while funerals are unsuitable for the painter, interior scenes where
death has occurred and friends are watching the body, offer special
inducements to artists, because the perfect stillness of the living
persons represented may be properly assumed, and so the illusion of life
is little likely to be disturbed through the non-completion of an
indicated action. On this account these works appear very impressive
when well executed, and they may take high rank even when the artist is
limited in his scope by the conditions of an actual scene. Very little
is required however to destroy the illusion of continuity. In Kampf's
picture of the lying-in-state of William I.,[a] where many watchers are
shown who are presumed to be motionless, a boy in the middle distance in
the act of walking, is a most disturbing element. An example where an
illusion of continuity is perfectly maintained is Orchardson's Borgia,
where Cæsar Borgia stands in contemplation over the body of his poisoned
victim. The silence indicated appears practically as permanent as the
painted design, for any reasonable time spent by the observer in
examining the picture, is not likely to be longer than that during which
Cæsar may be presumed to have remained still at the actual occurrence.
Scenes of approaching death may be arranged to produce a similar
illusion, as for instance where those present are praying, or a single
figure is waiting for the life to pass from the sick person.

  [a] The Night of March 31, 1888, at Berlin.

  [Illustration: PLATE 16 (See page 190)
  Hercules Contemplating Death, in Bronze, by Pollaiuolo
  (_Frick Collection_)]

Little attention has been paid in art to the expression of dying
persons. There are many pictures representing celebrated men and women
in their dying moments, but very few of them exhibit an expression of
noble resignation and fearlessness, qualities which are naturally
associated with a great man as his end draws near. No doubt the artist
is often limited in his invention by the actual circumstances of the
death scene, as in Copley's Death of Chatham,[a] for the statesman was
unconscious at the moment of representation. Other than this the best
known works of the kind relate to the death of Seneca,[b] Queen
Elizabeth,[c] and General Wolfe.[d] In the last instance only is there a
fine expression. How it was that Rubens missed his opportunity with
Seneca is hard to understand. The presence of a clerk taking down the
utterances of a philosopher as he bleeds to death, gives the design a
theatrical appearance, and removes any suggestion of unconcerned
resignation which might have arisen. One of the most powerful designs in
existence relating to approaching death, is a sculptured figure in
bronze of Hercules contemplating death.[e] The demi-god is
represented standing on an altar. His left foot is raised upon the skull
of an ox; his head is slightly bent, and the whole attitude suggests a
few moments of rest while he contemplates his coming fate. The
conception is as fine as the subject is rare.

  [a] National Gallery, London.

  [b] By Rubens, at Munich.

  [c] By Delaroche, at the Louvre.

  [d] By Benjamin West, Westminster Coll., London.

  [e] By A. Pollaiuolo, Frick Coll., New York. See Plate 16[59].

The artist should glorify death if possible, but he can only do this
when the subject has a general application. Many painters have
introduced the Angel of Death into scenes where death has occurred, and
have thus converted them into work of pathos and beauty. Notable
examples of this are Watts's Death, the Friend, already referred to, and
H. Levy's Young Girl and Death, where the Angel gently clasps the body
of a girl whose face is hidden. One of the finest designs of the kind is
Lard's Glory Forgets not Obscure Heroes. On a battlefield, where all
else has gone, lies the body of a soldier over whom stoops a lovely
winged figure who raises the head of the hero, and seems to throw a halo
of glory over him.[a] In historical paintings the appearance of sleep is
often given to a dead body, as in Cogniet's Tintoretto Painting his Dead
Daughter, a pathetic picture, bringing to mind the story of Luca
Signorelli painting his dead son.[b]

  [a] The design for this picture was probably suggested by Longepied's
        fine sculptured group of Immortality at the Louvre, the idea
        of which was no doubt drawn from Canova's L'Amour et Psyche.
        There are Tangara groups and fragments of larger works in
        existence showing that the Greeks executed many designs of
        a similar character.

  [b] See also Girodet's Burial of Atala, and Le Brun's Death of Cato.



CHAPTER XII

LANDSCAPE

     Limitations of the landscape painter--Illusion of opening
     distance--Illusion of motion in landscape--Moonlight
     scenes--Transient conditions.


Considered as a separate branch of the painter's art, landscape is on a
comparatively low plane, because the principal signs with which it
deals, and the arrangement of them to form a view, may be varied
indefinitely without a sense of incongruity arising. Thus there can be
no ideal in the art; that is to say, no ideal can be conceived which is
general in its character. The artist can aspire to no definite goal: his
imagination is limited to the arrangement of things which are inanimate
and expressionless. He may produce sensorial, but not intellectual,
beauty. The nobler human attributes and passions, as wisdom, courage,
spiritual exaltation, patriotism, cannot be connected with landscape,
and so it is unable to produce in the mind the elevation of thought and
grandeur of sentiment which are the sweetest blossoms of the tree of
art.[60]

Another drawback in landscape is the necessity for painting it on an
extraordinarily reduced scale. Because of this the highest qualities of
beauty in nature--grandeur and sublimity--can only with difficulty be
suggested on canvas, for actual magnitude is requisite for the
production of either of these qualities in any considerable degree. A
volcano in eruption has no force at all in a painting, a result which is
due, not so much to the inability of the painter to represent moving
smoke and fire, as to the impossibility of depicting their enormous
masses. The disability of the painter in respect of the representation
of magnitude is readily seen in the case of a cathedral interior. This
may or may not have the quality of grandeur, but a picture cannot
differentiate between one that has, and one that has not, because no
feeling of grandeur can arise in looking at a painted interior, the
element of actual space being absent.

Seeing that an ideal in landscape is impossible, the landscape painter
cannot improve upon nature. In the case of the human figure the painter
may improve upon experience by collecting excellencies from different
models and putting them into one form, thus creating what would be
universally regarded as ideal physical beauty; and he may give to this
form an expression of spiritual nobility which is also beyond experience
because it would imply the absence of inferior qualities inseparable
from man in nature. Thus to the physical, he adds intellectual beauty.
Such a perfect form may be said to be an improvement upon nature, for it
is not only beyond experience, but is nature purified. But the landscape
painter cannot improve upon the signs which nature provides. He may vary
the parts of a tree as he will, but it would never be recognized as
beyond possible experience unless it were a monstrosity.[61] And even if
he could improve upon experience with his signs, this would help him but
little, for the beauty of a landscape depends upon the relation of the
signs to each other, and not upon the beauty of the separate signs which
vary in every work with the character of the design. In colour also the
painter cannot apply to his landscape an appropriate harmony which the
sun is incapable of giving. From all this it follows that the æsthetic
value of a landscape depends entirely upon its correspondence with
nature.

A good landscape must necessarily be invented, because it is impossible
to reproduce the particular beauty of a natural scene.[62] This beauty
is due to a relation of parts of the view, infinite in number, to each
other, but what this relation is cannot be determined by the observer.
Further, whatever be the relation, the continuous changing light and
atmospheric effects bring about a constant variation in the character of
the beauty. It is possible for an actual view to suggest to the artist a
scheme for a beautiful landscape, but in this the precise relation of
the parts would have to be invented by the painter and fixed by
experiment. The principal features from a natural view may be taken out,
but not those which together bring about the beauty. There is no great
landscape in existence which was painted for the purpose of representing
a particular view. There have of course been scenes painted to order,
even by notable artists, but these only serve the purpose of record, or
as mementoes. The great view of The Hague, painted by Van Goyen under
instructions from the syndics of the town, is the feeblest of his works,
and the many pictures of the kind executed by British and German artists
of the eighteenth century have now only a topographical interest.
Constable painted numerous scenes to order, and there are something like
forty views of Salisbury Cathedral attributed to him, but only those in
which he could apply his own invention are of considerable æsthetic
value. A good artist rarely introduces into a painting even a small
sketch of a scene made from nature. Titian is known to have drawn
numerous sketches in particular localities, but not one has been
identified in his pictures. In nearly every painting of Nicholas Poussin
the Roman Campagna may be recognized, and here he must have made
thousands of sketches during the forty years he spent in the district,
yet the most patient examination has failed to identify a single spot in
his many beautiful views. So with Gaspar Poussin, who, unlike his famous
brother-in-law, occasionally set up his easel in the open air; and with
Claude who never left off sketching in his long life. The greatest
landscapes are those which are true to nature generally, but are untrue
in respect of any particular natural scene.

Seeing that in landscape the production of sensorial beauty only is
within the power of the painter, and that the beauty is enhanced as
nature is the more closely imitated, it is obvious that for the work to
have a permanent interest, the scene depicted and the incidents therein
should be of common experience, otherwise the full recognition of the
beauty is likely to be retarded by the reasoning powers being
involuntarily set to work in the consideration of the exceptional
conditions. Naturally the term "common experience" has a varied
application. What is of common experience in scenery among people in a
temperate climate, is rare or unknown to those living under the burning
sun of Africa. The artist is fully aware of this, and in designing his
work he takes into account the experience of the people who are likely
to see his paintings. A view of a scene in the East, say in Palestine or
Siam, may be a beautiful work and be recognized as true because the
conditions depicted are commonly known to exist; it would further have
an informative value which would result in added pleasure; but among
people habituated to a temperate climate it would tire more quickly than
a scene of a kind to which they are daily accustomed. In the one case an
effort, however slight, is required to accommodate the view to
experience, and in the other the whole meaning of the scene is
instantaneously identified with its beauty.

In nature there is always movement and sound. Even on those rare days
when the wind has ceased and the air seems still and dead, there is
motion with noise of some kind. A brook trickles by, insects buzz their
zigzag way, and shadows vary as the sun mounts or descends. But most
commonly there is a breeze to rustle the trees and shrubs, to ripple the
surface of the water, and to throw over the scene evidence of life in
its ever charming variety. The painter cannot reproduce these movements
and sounds. All he represents is silent and still as if nature had
suddenly suspended her work--stayed the tree as it bent to the breeze,
stopped the bird in the act of flight, fixed the water, and fastened the
shadows to the ground. What is there then to compensate the artist for
this limitation? Why, surely he can represent nature as she is at a
particular moment, over the hills and valleys, or across great plains,
with sunlight and atmosphere to mark the breadth and distance and so
produce an illusion of movement to delight the eyes of the observer with
bewitching surprise. For the eye as it involuntarily travels from the
foreground of the picture to the background, proceeds from sign to sign,
each decreasing in definition in conformity with the changes in nature,
till vague suggestions of form announce that far distance has been
reached. The effect is precisely that of the cinematograph, except that
the eye moves instead of the picture. The apparent movement corresponds
closely with the opening of distance in nature when one proceeds in a
fast moving vehicle along a road from which a considerable stretch of
country may be observed. Very rarely is the illusion so marked that the
apparent movement is identified to the senses. When it is so marked the
distance seems to come forward, but is instantaneously stayed before
consideration can be brought to bear upon it. Clearly if one specially
seek the illusion, it becomes impossible because search implies reason
and an examination slow out of all proportion with the rapidity of the
sensorial effect. Accident alone will bring about the illusion, for it
can only arise when the eye travels at a certain rate over the picture,
the minimum of which rate is indeterminable.

It is evident that any landscape of fair size in which considerable
depth is indicated must necessarily produce an illusion of opening
distance if the varying signs are sufficiently numerous and properly
painted in accordance with the aerial perspective; and this illusion is
undoubtedly the key to the extraordinary beauty observed in the works of
the great masters of landscape since Claude unveiled the secrets of
distance painting. That the apparent movement is rarely actually defined
is immaterial, for it must be there and must act upon the eye, producing
an involuntary sensation which we interpret as pleasure arising from
admiration of the skill of the artist in giving us so good a
representation of distance in his imitation.

  [Illustration: PLATE 17 (See page xii)
  Arcadian Landscape, by Claude Lorraine (_National Gallery, London_)]

As will presently be seen there are other kinds of illusion of motion
which may be produced in landscape, but this illusion of opening
distance is the most important, and it should be produced wherever
distance is represented. In nature the effect of the unfolding of
distance is caused by a sequence of signs apparently diminishing in size
and clearness as the eye travels back, and a sequence of this kind
should be produced by the artist in his picture. It is not sufficient
that patches of colour of the tone and shape of sections of vegetation,
trees, varied soils, and so on, be given, for while these may indicate
distance as any perspective must do, yet an illusion cannot be
produced by such signs because they are not sufficiently numerous for
the eye to experience a cinematographic effect when passing over them.
It is not distance that gives the beauty, but an illusion of opening
distance, without which, and presuming the absence of any other
illusion, only simple harmonies of tone and inanimate forms are
possible. Moreover the patches of colour do not properly represent
nature either as she appears to the eye, or as she is understood from
experience. If one were to take a momentary glance at a view specially
to receive the general colour impression, he might conceivably retain on
his mind a collection of colour masses such as is often put forward as a
landscape, but natural scenes are not observed in this way, and the
artist has no right to imply that a view should be painted as it is
observed at an instantaneous glance. One cannot be supposed to keep his
eyes closed, except for a moment, when in front of nature, and he cannot
be in front of nature for more than a moment without involuntarily
recognizing thousands of signs. There must necessarily be a certain
clearness of the atmosphere for distance to be represented, and in the
minimum clearness, trees, bushes, rivulets, and buildings of every kind,
are well defined at least to the middle distance. These can and should
be painted, and there can be no object whatever in omitting them, except
the ignominious end of saving trouble.

And it is necessary that the signs, whether shadow or substance, should
be completely painted as they appear to the eye in nature when observed
with average care by one inspecting a view for the purpose of drinking
in all its beauties, for this is how a painted landscape is usually
examined. There is no place in the painter's art for a suggestive sign
in the sense that it may suggest a required complete sign. A sign must
be painted as completely as possible in conformity with its appearance
as seen from the presumed point from which the artist sketched his view,
for the reason that its value as a sign depends upon the readiness with
which it is understood.[63] This is incontrovertible, otherwise the art
of painting would be an art of hieroglyphics. In poetry suggestion is of
great importance, and it may be so glowing as to present to the
imagination a higher form of beauty than can be painted; but the signs
of the painter cannot suggest beauty in this way, because the exercise
of the imagination in respect of them is limited by their form. A sign
painted less distinctly than as it is seen in nature is obviously
removed from its proper relative position, or else is untrue, and in
either case it must have a weakening effect upon the picture.

The successful representation of aerial perspective depends upon the
careful and close gradation of tones in conformity with the varying
atmospheric density. This is difficult work because of the disabilities
arising from the reduction of the scene into miniature form, which
necessitates the omission of many tones and effects found in nature,
just as a portrait in miniature involves the exclusion of various
elements of expression in the human countenance. But fortunately in
landscape the variableness of nature greatly assists the artist. Only
rarely is the atmosphere of equal density over a considerable depth of
ground, and this fact enables the painter to simplify his work in
production of the illusion without appearing to depart from nature. Thus
he may deepen or contract his foreground within wide limits. The changes
in the appearance of the atmosphere in nature have to be greatly
concentrated in a painting, and as this concentration becomes more
difficult as distance is reached, it follows that the artist has a
better chance of success by making the foreground of his picture begin
some way in front of him, rather than near the spot where he is presumed
to stand when he executes his work. He may of course maintain some very
near ground while materially shortening his middle distance, but this
method must obviously lower the beauty of the painting as a distance
landscape, and make the execution vastly more difficult. Claude adopted
this plan sometimes, but it is seen in very few of his important works.
In his best time Turner was careful to set back his foreground, and to
refrain from restricting his middle ground.

If a scene be taken from the middle distance only, as in many Barbizon
works, the labour is much simplified because neither the close
delineation of foliage, nor any considerable gradation of atmosphere is
required, but then the beauty resulting from either of these two
exercises is missing. It is equally impossible for such a scene to
indicate growth and life, or the charm of a changing view. Some modern
artists have a habit of blotting out the middle and far distance by the
introduction of a thick atmosphere but this is an abuse of the art,
because however true the aspect may be in the sense that a natural view
is sometimes obscured by the atmosphere, the beauty of the scene as a
whole is hidden, and the picture consists largely of an imitation of the
mist, where an illusion of movement is impossible. The painter should
imitate the more beautiful, and not the less beautiful aspects of
nature. Jupiter has been sometimes painted as an incident in a picture,
nearly wholly concealed by a cloud, but to exhibit a separate work of
the god so concealed, would only be regarded as an excuse for avoiding
exertion, however well the cloud may be painted; yet this would not be
more reprehensible than to hide the greater part of a view by a dense
atmosphere.

With a clear atmosphere an illusion of opening distance may be secured
with the far distance and the greater part of the middle distance
unobservable, but in such a case a successful design is difficult to
accomplish owing to the limited number of signs available. Many signs,
as trees and houses, either darken or hide the view, while sunlight
effects on unobstructed ground, sufficiently definite to be used as
signs, could not be very numerous without appearing abnormal. The only
really first-class method of producing a satisfactory near-ground
illusion was invented by Hobbema in the later years of his life. This is
to use skilfully placed trees and other signs through which paths wind,
or appear to wind, and to throw in a strong sunlight from the back.[a]
The light enables far more signs to be used in depth than would
otherwise be possible, and so the eye has a comparatively long track to
follow. That the remarkable beauty of the pictures of Hobbema composed
in this way is almost entirely due to the illusion thus created, is
readily seen when they are compared with some of his other works, very
similar in all respects except that the light is thrown in from the
front or the side. Before placing his light at the back, the artist
tried the side plan in many pictures, and while this was a decided
improvement upon his earlier efforts to secure depth of near-ground
signs, it was naturally inferior to the latest scheme. Jacob Ruysdael
adopted the plan of Hobbema in two or three works with great effect.[b]

  [a] See Plate 18.

  [b] For example, The Marsh, Hermitage.

When the middle distance is hidden by a rising foreground, an illusion
may be created by the far distance alone if this be of considerable
depth. Since the fifteenth century it has been a frequent practice to
conceal the middle distance, though mostly in pictures of figure
subjects.[64] The Dutch artists of the seventeenth century who painted
open-air scenes of human and animal life, as Paul Potter, Wouverman, and
Albert Cuyp, avoided the middle distance whenever possible, but often
managed to secure a fair illusion. In pure landscape the system is less
often practised, and never by great artists.

The only means available to the painter of land views for creating an
illusion of motion, apart from that of opening distance, is by the
representation of flowing water so that a series of successive events in
the flow, each connected with, but varying in character from, the
preceding one, can be exhibited. Thus, a volume of water from a fall
proceeds rapidly over a flat surface to a ledge, and thence perhaps to
another ledge of a different depth, from which it passes over or round
irregular rocks and boulders, and thence over smaller stones or into a
stream, creating in its passage every kind of eddy and current.[a] Here
is a series of progressive natural actions in which the progression is
regular and continuous, while the separate actions cover such time and
space that they may be readily separated by the eye. If, therefore, the
whole series be properly represented, an illusion of motion will
result.[65] Obviously the canvas must be of considerable size, and the
breaks in the flow of water as varied in character and as numerous as
possible. Everdingen and Jacob Ruysdael seem to have been the first
artists to recognize the significance of this progression, but Ruysdael
far surpassed his master in the exhibition of it. He examined the
problem in all its variations, solved it in a hundred ways, and at his
death left little for succeeding painters to learn regarding it. Very
rarely, one meets with a landscape where the double illusion of motion
of water and opening distance is provided, and needless to say the
effect is superb.[b]

  [a] See Plate 19.

  [b] For examples see S. Bough's Borrowdale, and Thoma's View of
        Laufenburg.

Sea views occupy a position by themselves inasmuch as there is a fixed
horizontal distance for the artist. He cannot shorten this depth
without making his work look abnormal, and an effort to increase it by
presuming that the picture is painted from a considerable height above
the sea level, is seldom successful because the observer of the work
finds a difficulty in fitting in the novelty with his experience. Except
when depicting stormy weather, or showing a thick atmosphere, the
painter of a sea view has no trouble in obtaining absolute accuracy in
his linear perspective, but this is not sufficient, for if a variety of
trees, herbage, brooks, and so on, requires an illusion of movement,
then certainly does a sea view which has monotony for its keynote. The
motion of the waves in fine weather cannot be suggested on canvas
because it is continuous and equal. One wave displaces another and so
far as the eye can reach there is only a succession of similar waves.
Thus the motion appears unbroken, and from the canvas point of view the
waves must be motionless as the sand hillocks of a desert. Of course in
the actual view, the expanse, the "immeasurable stretch of ocean," is
impressive and to some extent weird, but nothing of this feeling is
induced by a painted miniature. With a bright sky and clear atmosphere
the painter of a sea view cannot well obtain an illusion of opening
distance by means of a multiplication of signs as on land, for the
introduction of many vessels would give the work a formal appearance,
but the problem can be satisfactorily solved by putting the sun in the
sky towards the setting, and using cloud shadows as signs. Aivasovsky,
one of the greatest marine painters of modern times, was very successful
with this class of work. His long shadows thrown at right angles to the
line of sight, carry back the distance till the horizon seems to be
further off than experience warrants, the illusion being perfect. An
illusion of opening distance may, however, be easily obtained in a sea
view when there is a haze covering, but not hiding, the horizon, by
introducing as signs, two or three vessels, the first in the middle
distance.

Another method of giving a suggestion of motion, which may be used by
the sea painter, is in truthfully representing the appearance of the
water round a vessel passing through it. What is probably the finest
example of this work in existence is Jacob Ruysdael's The Rising
Storm.[a] The sea is shown close to a port, and half a dozen smacks and
small boats are being tossed about by choppy, breaking waves. In the
centre of the picture is a large smack over the weather bow of which a
huge foaming wave has broken, and part is spending its force on the lee
bow, from which the water gradually becomes quieter till at the stern of
the boat little more than a black concavity is seen. The progression of
wave movement is completely represented, and the effect is very
impressive.

  [a] Berlin Gallery. See Plate 20.

The coast painter can produce an excellent illusion of motion from waves
breaking on a beach, for in nature this action is made up of a series of
different consecutive acts each of which is easily distinguishable to
the eye. The wave rises, bends over its top which becomes crested, and
splashes forward on the beach, to be converted into foam which races
onwards, breaking up as it goes till it reaches the watermark, then
rapidly falling back to be met by another wave. Here is a series of
consecutive incidents which can all be painted so as to deceive for a
moment with the idea of motion. The attempt to represent the action of
waves breaking against steep rocks is invariably a failure, because of
the great reduction of the apparent number of incidents forming the
consecutive series. In nature the eye is not quick enough to follow the
separate events, and so they cannot be distinguished in a painting.
Thomson's fine picture of Fast Castle is distinctly marred by a wide
irregular column of water shown splashing up against a rock. There is no
possibility here of representing a series of actions, and so an instant
suffices to fix the water on the rock. In another work by the same
artist there are waves breaking against precipitous rocks, but in this
case the water first passes over an expanse of low lying rocks, and a
sequence of actions is shown right up to the cliff, an excellent
illusion of movement being brought about.[a]

  [a] Dunluce Castle, which with Fast Castle, is in the Kingsborough
        Collection, Scotland.

Apart from those exhibiting an illusion of motion of some kind, the only
landscapes which have a permanent value, are near-ground scenes in which
conditions of atmosphere of common experience, as rain or storm are
faithfully rendered. In these works the signs must be numerous and
varied in character, for it is only in the multiplication of small
changes of form and tone that the natural effects of a particular
weather condition can be imitated. Jacob Ruysdael and Constable were
the greatest masters of this form of landscape, Crome and Boecklin
closely approaching them, but it is uncommon for a serious worker in
landscape to attempt a picture where distance is not recorded. The best
paintings of Constable present an illusion of opening distance, and when
Jacob Ruysdael painted near-ground only, it was nearly always a hilly
slope with water breaking over low rocks.

Moonlight and twilight scenes are not good subjects for the painter of
landscape, because, shown as they must be in daylight, or with
artificial light, they become distinctly uninteresting after the first
impression of tonal harmony has passed away, owing to the unconscious
revolt of the mind against something with an unreal appearance.[66] This
is the chief reason why no scene has lived which depended for its beauty
entirely upon moonlight effects. It is about two hundred and fifty years
since Van der Neer died, and he still remains practically the only
moonlight painter known to us whose works seem of permanent interest.
But he did not rely altogether upon moonlight effects for his beauty,
for the representation of distance is the principal feature in all his
works. Further he commonly makes us acquainted with the human life and
habitations of his time, and in this way enhances our appreciation of
his pictures. Before Van der Neer, moonlight scenes were very rarely
executed, and only two or three of these have remained which are worthy
of serious consideration. The best of them is a view by Rubens, where
the light is comparatively strong, and practically the whole of the
beauty rests in the opening distance, which can hardly be surpassed in a
work of this kind.[a]

  [a] Landscape by Moonlight, Mond Collection, London.

It is not necessary to deal with varieties of pure landscape other than
those mentioned. They are painted in their myriads, and form pleasant
tonal harmonies, or have local interest, but they do not live. As the
foliage in springtime they are fresh and welcome to the eye when they
first appear, but all too soon they fade and disappear from memory like
the leaves of the autumn.

In landscape as in all other branches of painting, whatever is ephemeral
in nature, or of uncommon experience, should be avoided. Rare sun
effects and exceptional phases of atmosphere should not find their way
into pictures, while strokes of lightning and rainbows should only be
present when they are necessitated by the design, and then must be
subordinated as far as possible. Of all these things the most strongly
to be deprecated are strange sunlight effects, for they have the double
drawback for the painter, of rarity and evanescence in nature. A stroke
of lightning is not out of place where the conditions may be presumed to
be more or less permanent, as in the celebrated picture of Apelles,
where Alexander was represented in the character of Jupiter casting a
thunderbolt, and forks of lightning proceed from his hand; or where the
occurrence is essential in the composition, as in Gilbert's Slaying of
Job's Sheep.[a] So in Danby's The Sixth Seal Opened, the lightning is
quite appropriate, for all nature is disturbed. In Martin's Plague of
Hail, and The Destruction of Pharaoh, the first a night scene, and the
second a view darkened by dense black clouds, lightning is well used for
lighting purposes; and in Cot's The Storm,[b] where the background is
dark and no sky is visible, lightning is the only means possessed by the
artist of explaining that the fear expressed by the lovers in the
foreground, arises from the approaching storm. Great masters like
Giorgione,[c] Rubens,[d] Poussin,[e] used a stroke of lightning on rare
occasions, but took every care that it should not be conspicuous, or
interfere in any way with the first view of the picture. The lightning
is invariably placed in the far background, and no light is apparently
reflected from it.

  [a] The fire of God is fallen from Heaven, and hath burned up the
        sheep and the servants. Job 1, 16.

  [b] Metropolitan Museum, N. Y.

  [c] Adrastus and Hypsipyle, Venice.

  [d] Landscape with Baucis and Philemon, Munich.

  [e] Jonah cast into the sea.

  [Illustration: PLATE 18 (See page 202)
  Landscape, by Hobbema (_Metropolitan Museum, N. Y._)]

A rainbow in nature has a life of appreciable duration, and so may be
appropriately used in landscape, but obviously it should be regarded as
a minor accessory except where it forms a necessary feature in the
design.[a] The great drawback in a prominent rainbow is that it forces
itself upon the attention of the observer to the detriment of the
picture as a whole, and if it be very conspicuous and crosses the middle
of the painted view, as in Turner's Arundel Castle, the picture appears
divided in two parts, and the possibility of an illusion of opening
distance is destroyed.[b] Almost as bad is the effect when a rainbow
cuts off a corner of a picture, for this suggests at first sight an
accidental interference with the work.[c] Of all artists Rubens seemed
to know best how to use a rainbow. He adopts three methods. The first
and best is to put the bow entirely in the sky[d]; the second to throw
it right into the background where part of it is dissolved in the
view[e]; and the third to indicate the bow in one part of the picture,
and overshadow it with a strong sunlight thrown in from another part.[f]
Any of these forms seems to answer well, but they practically exhaust
the possibilities in general design. A section of a rainbow may be shown
with one end of it on the ground, because this is observable in
nature[g]; but to cut off the top of the arch as if there were no room
for it on the canvas is obviously bad, for the two segments left appear
quite unnatural.[h]

  [a] As in Martin's I have Set My Bow in the Clouds.

  [b] In the Rivers of England series.

  [c] The Rainbow of Millet, and a similar work of Thoma.

  [d] Harvest Landscape, Munich Gallery.

  [e] Harvest Landscape, Wallace Collection, London.

  [f] Landscape with a Rainbow, Hermitage, Petrograd.

  [g] Rubens's Shipwreck of Æneas, Berlin Gallery.

  [h] A. P. Van de Venne's Soul Fishery, Amsterdam.

The small rainbows sometimes seen at waterfalls are occasionally
introduced into paintings, but rarely with success because they tend to
interfere with the general view of the scene. Such views are necessarily
near ground, and so a bow must seriously injure the picture unless it be
placed at the side, as in Innes's fine work of Niagara Falls (the
example of 1884).

The use of a rainbow as a track in classical pictures is sometimes
effective, though the landscape is largely sacrificed owing to the
compulsory great width and bright appearance of the bow, which must
indeed practically absorb the attention of the observer. The best known
picture of this kind is Schwind's Rainbow, which shows the beautiful
form of Iris wrapped in the sheen of the bow, and descending with great
speed, the idea being apparently taken from Virgil.[a] To use the top of
the rainbow for a walking track is bad, as the mind instinctively repels
the invention as opposed to reason.[b]

  [a] Æneid V., where Juno sends Iris to the Trojan fleet.

  [b] Thoma's Progress of the gods to Walhalla.

But if fleeting natural phenomena become disturbing to the observer of a
picture, how much more objectionable are the quickly disappearing
effects of artificial devices, as the lights from explosions. In a
battle scene covering a wide area of ground, a small cloud of smoke here
and there is not out of place, because under natural conditions such a
cloud lasts for an appreciable time; but no good artist will indicate in
his work a flash from a gun, for this would immediately become stagy and
unreal to the observer. Nor can fireworks of the ordinary kind be
properly represented in a picture. The beauty of these fireworks lies in
the appearance out of nothing, as it were, of brilliant showers of
coloured lights, and their rapid disappearance, to be replaced by others
of different form and character, the movement and changes constituting
important elements in their appreciation. But the painter can only
indicate them by fixed points of light which necessarily appear
abnormal. Stationary points of light can have no resemblance whatever to
fireworks, and if the title of the picture forces the imagination to see
in them expiring sparks from a rocket, the impression can only last a
moment, and will be succeeded by a revolt in the mind against so glaring
an impossibility as a number of permanent sparks. The only painted
firework display that does not appear abnormal is a fountain of fire and
sparks which may be presumed to last for some time, and therefore would
not quickly tire the mind.[a]

  [a] See examples by La Touche, notably La Fête de Nuit, Salon, 1914.



CHAPTER XIII

STILL-LIFE

     Its comparative difficulty--Its varieties--Its limitations.


Right through the degrees of the art of the painter till we reach
still-life, the difficulty in producing the art is in proportion to the
general beauty therein, but in the case of still-life the object is much
less readily gained than in simple landscape which is on a higher level
in painting. The causes of this apparent anomaly appear to be as
follows:--Firstly in miniature painting one does not expect such close
resemblance to nature as in still-life which usually represents things
in their natural size: secondly, in still-life the relative position of
the parts can never be such as to appear novel, whereas in landscape
their position is always more or less unexpected: thirdly, in still-life
the colours are practically fixed, for the painter cannot depart from
the limited variety of tints commonly connected with the objects
indicated, while in landscape the colouring may vary almost indefinitely
from sun effects without appearing to depart from nature.

The beauty in still-life paintings may arise from several causes,
namely, the pleasure experienced from the excellence of the imitation;
the harmony of tones; the beauty of the things imitated; the association
of ideas; and the pleasure derived from the acquisition of knowledge.
Aristotle seemed to think this last one of the principal reasons for our
appreciation of the painter's work, though he agreed that the better the
imitation, the greater the pleasure to the observer. The argument
appears to apply particularly to the lower forms of life because in
nature they are not often closely examined. A cauliflower for instance
may be seen a thousand times by one who would not carefully note its
structure, but if he see an imitation of it painted by a good artist,
his astonishment at the excellence of the imitation might cause him to
observe the representation closely, and learn much about the vegetable
which he did not know before. In this way the information gained would
add to his pleasure.

As in landscape, from the absence of abstract qualities from the things
represented, and since the position of the signs may be indefinitely
varied without a sense of incongruity resulting, there can be no ideal
in still-life, and so the painter cannot pass beyond experience without
achieving the abnormal.

The painter of still-life has the choice of four kinds of imitation,
namely, the representation of products of nature which are in themselves
beautiful, as roses and fine plumaged birds; the imitation of products
of human industry which are in themselves beautiful, as sculptured plate
or fine porcelain; the representation of natural and manual products
which in themselves are neither beautiful nor displeasing, but interest
from association of ideas, as certain fruits, books, and musical
instruments; and the imitation of things which in themselves are not
pleasing to the sight, as dead game, kitchen utensils, and so on.
Obviously the artist may assort any two or more of these varieties in
the same picture. He may also associate them with life, but here he is
met with a grave difficulty which goes to the very root of art. If two
forms, not being merely accessories, are associated together in a
design, the lower form must necessarily be subordinated, otherwise the
mind of the observer will be disturbed by the apparent double objective.
A live dog or other animal in a still-life composition will immediately
attract the eye of the observer, drawing off his attention from the
inanimate objects represented, which will consequently thereafter lose
much of their interest. The presence of a man is still worse. Not only
is it natural and inevitable that a human being should take precedence
of whatever is inanimate in a work of art, but in the case of
still-life, where he is painted of natural size, he must necessarily
overshadow everything else in the picture. Further, his own
representation is much injured because the surroundings exercise a
disconcerting influence. Even with the human figures of such a work
executed by a painter of the first rank, they are quite
uninteresting.[a]

  [a] See still-life pictures at the Hague and Vienna Museums by
        Van Dyck and Snyders.

Beautiful products of nature such as brilliant flowers and butterflies,
cannot be imitated so well that the representations appear as beautiful
as the things themselves, and so are unsuited as entire subjects for
paintings, for we are usually well acquainted with these things, and
consciously or unconsciously recognize the inferiority of the imitation.
The greatest flower painters have therefore wisely refrained from
introducing into their works more than a few fine roses or similar
blooms. The presence of many less beautiful flowers in which the
imitation is, or appears to be, more pleasing than the natural forms,
neutralizes or overcomes the effect of the inferior imitation of the
more beautiful. In fact the extent to which natural products which are
necessarily more beautiful than the imitations, may be used in painting,
except as incidentals, is very limited. They cannot appropriately be
used at all on walls and curtains where they continually cross the
vision, for they would there quickly tire owing to the involuntary
dissatisfaction with the representation. The Japanese, whose whole art
of painting was for centuries concentrated upon light internal
decoration, rightly discard from this form of art all natural products
which are necessarily superior to the imitations, and confine their
attention to those signs which, while being actually more beautiful,
when closely seen, than the imitations, do not appear to be so in nature
where they are usually observed at some distance from the eye. Thus,
waterfowl of various kinds, small birds of the hedges, storks, herons,
branches of fruit blossoms, light trees and vegetation, are infinitely
preferable to the more beautiful products for purely decorative
purposes. A common pigeon with an added bright feather, is better on a
wall or screen than the most brilliant pheasant, for in the one case the
representation appears above ordinary experience, and in the other case,
below it.

The decorative artist then is at liberty to enhance the beauty of his
signs, but not to take for them things which are commonly observed in
nature, and whose beauty he cannot equal. But there should be no wide
divergence between the natural beauty and the art, and nothing which in
itself is unpleasing is suitable for decoration. It may be introduced in
a hanging picture, because here a sense of beauty may be derived from
the excellence of the imitation, as in the case of a dead hare or a
basket of vegetables; but in pure decoration the effect is general and
not particular, and so the imitation yields no beauty apart from that of
the thing imitated.



CHAPTER XIV

SECONDARY ART

     Paintings of record--Scenes from the novel and written drama--From
     the acted drama--Humorous subjects--Allegorical works.


When the invention of the painter is circumscribed by the requirements
of another art, whether a fine art or not, then his art ceases to be a
pure art and becomes an art of record, subordinate to the art by which
his work is circumscribed. This may be termed the Secondary Art of
painting. The art may be of importance outside the purposes of the fine
arts, and in certain cases may be productive of good pictures, but only
by way of accident: hence a work of secondary art never engages the
attention of a great artist unless he be specially called upon to
execute it. Hard and fast lines dividing the pure from the secondary art
cannot be laid down, as one often verges on the other, but there is a
general distinction between them which is easily comprehensible in the
separate branches of painting.

  [Illustration: PLATE 19 (See page 204)
  Landscape, by Jacob Ruysdael (_National Gallery, London_)]

Secondary art is not produced from incidents or characters taken from
sacred or mythological history, because here the general invention of
the painter is never circumscribed, for he is able to produce form and
expression above experience. In profane history the art is secondary
when the painter confines his invention to recorded details. Thus in a
picture of the Coronation of Charlemagne, the composition is entirely
invented by the artist, and so the work becomes one of pure art; but the
representation of the Coronation of Queen Victoria, where the artist
reproduces the scene as it actually occurred, is secondary art, for he
is precluded from the exercise of his imagination in the design, the end
of art being subordinated to that of record or history. Such a picture
is necessarily stiff and formal. Where the scene represents a number of
actions, as in a battle design, the artist is unable to record the
actual occurrence, though he may represent particular actions;
consequently he has large scope for his imagination, and may limit his
representation to those actions which together make a fine example of
pure art. But a battle scene where a particular event, as a meeting of
generals, has to be painted, immediately becomes secondary art, for then
the surrounding battle events would be accessory in their nature. It is
possible for simple historical works painted to order centuries ago to
appear now as of high art value, because we commonly connect a strict
formality with old pictures of the kind, whether executed from records
or invention. Thus Holbein's Henry VIII. presenting a Charter to the
Barber-Surgeons no doubt closely depicts the actual event, yet the
stiffness of the design does not seem out of place.[a] Nevertheless
it is a refreshing change from this picture to Richard III. offered
the Crown by London Merchants, which is a magnificent modern work of
pure invention.[b]

  [a] Barbers' Hall, London.

  [b] Royal Exchange, London.

A scene from a story of actual life is necessarily secondary art,
because here the painter imitates what is already an imitation, and
cannot ascend above experience. He is confined to the invention of the
novelist, and is therefore subordinate to him.

The written drama is available for the painter as a source for designs
only in cases of high tragedy, or mixed plays containing strong dramatic
events of tragic import. Seeing that the drama is itself an imitative
art, only such actions or characters can be used by the painter which
are above life experience, and it is only in tragedy that the dramatist
can exalt human attributes, and ennoble the passions above this
experience. Tragedy deals directly with the two great contrasting human
mysteries--life and death. From one to the other is the most awful and
sublime action within human knowledge, and consequently the motives and
sentiments relating to it may be carried to the loftiest reach of the
understanding. An exaggeration of ordinary life, where the combination
of perfected parts in form and expression is not possible, means only
the abnormal; while comedy, which imitates conditions inferior to
ordinary life, cannot be exaggerated except into distortion. High
tragedy therefore is the only section of the written drama that concerns
the painter. If he draw from any other work of the dramatist he only
produces secondary art, as when he draws from the novelist. The picture
may be interesting, but both interest and beauty will be fleeting.

While the painter may use the written drama in certain cases, he can by
no means be concerned with the acted drama. It is useless to attempt to
produce a good picture by imitating an imitation accomplished by a
combined art, as the opera or drama. A painted scene from a play as it
is acted, is merely the execution of another man's design which in
itself is entirely circumscribed by conditions of action and speech
wholly foreign to the art of the painter. A picture of a particular
moment of action in a written play, as it is thrown upon the brain in
the course of reading, is interesting, firstly because our imagination
has wide limits of invention, and we naturally and instinctively adopt a
harmonious rendering of the scene so far as the writing will allow; and
secondly for the reason that we pass rapidly from impression to
impression, and so the whole significance of each picture, separately
and relatively, is conveyed to us. But a painting of an acted scene is
meaningless, for it can represent only one in a series of a thousand
moments of action which are all connected, and of which the
comprehension of any one is dependent upon our knowledge of the whole.
The painter has no scope. He simply copies a number of figures in a
fixed setting, and the result is necessarily inferior art to a copy of
the poorest original picture, since in this case the artist at least
copies the direct product of the imagination, while in the other he has
only before him a series of dummies who are imitating the product. The
sense of unreality arising from such a picture must instantly overpower
any harmony of colour or form that may be present.

Where the portrait of an actor is painted in a stage rôle, the same
principle is involved, though the result is not so disastrous. We still
have the unreal, but it is painted and put forward as a living person.
The artist moreover has a little imaginative scope. He can choose a
moment of action best suited to his art, and may even vary the character
of the action, which is not possible where an acted scene is depicted.
But notwithstanding all the relative advantages, a Raphael could not
make a fine picture out of a man in character. He may largely overcome
the disabilities arising from the limitation to his invention; he may
introduce great effects of light and shade; may ennoble expression and
give grandeur to form; but he will never hide the sham--never conceal
the fact that he is representing an imitation of life. The actor on the
stage is one of a number of signs used by the dramatist. His identity
apart from the sign is lost, or presumed to be lost for the time being,
and so he is not a sham; but outside of the stage his use or meaning as
a sign does not exist. Hence the representation of this sign as a
subject of a painting is only a degree less incongruous than would be
the introduction of a painted figure as one of the characters of a stage
scene.

It is an indication of the sure public instinct in matters of art
principles, that general opinion has always tacitly condemned paintings
of stage scenes and characters. They have not infrequently been
produced, and sometimes artists of high rank, as Reynolds and Lawrence,
have painted portraits of actors in stage rôles, but never has one met
with public appreciation as a work of art. Probably in most cases these
works were executed as mementoes rather than as works of art, for it is
scarcely possible to conceive a painter of the stamp of Reynolds, who
was so well acquainted with first principles, putting forward even a
portrait of Garrick in a stage rôle, as a serious work, notwithstanding
that he might well know that it was a masterpiece in respect of
execution.

Humour is not a subject for the painter to deal with, for a humorous
picture cannot be comprehended without the assistance of another art.
Further, comedy is founded upon a sense of the ridiculous, which means
distortion of form or idea. Distortion of form would tend to destroy the
art if reproduced, and distortion of idea implies events in time which
are beyond the scope of the painter. If any humour were exhibited in the
representation of a single moment of action in a story, it would quickly
disappear, for a permanent joke is beyond the range of human
understanding. In poetry and fiction, humour may be appropriately
introduced, because here it is of a fugitive character, and may serve as
a possible relief of the mind, as a discordant note in music; but in a
painting, the moment of humour is fixed, and a fixed laugh suggests
mental disorder.

Nor is there place in the art of the painter for works intending to
convey satire or irony, for such pictures also mean distortion. Moreover
they are merely substitutes for, or adjuncts to, the art of writing.
The object of caricature is to present an idea in a more direct and
rapid way than it can be expressed in writing, and not specially to
exhibit beauty, which is the purpose of the painter. Hogarth's many
caricatures are composed of superlative signs of writing, and not of any
fine art. Cartoons (as the word is commonly understood) are of the
nature of allegory, and may afford scope for the painter, but as they
necessarily refer to more or less fleeting conditions of a political or
social character, they cannot retain permanent interest.

Allegorical paintings are secondary art when they endeavour to cover
more than a moment of time in a single design, or when the allegory is
merely a metaphor applying to action. The first variety is rarely seen
in modern works, but it was not very uncommon from the fifteenth to the
seventeenth century, though it was never produced by first-class
artists, and seldom indeed by those of the second rank. Quite a number
of works of this period, formerly supposed to have an allegorical
signification, are now properly identified as rarely represented
mythological legends, or historical incidents which have only lately
been unearthed,[a] and we may rest assured from internal evidence that
many others of the same kind will yet be newly interpreted. A good
design cannot be produced from an event in time because the figures in a
presumed action must be shown in repose,[b] or else the action appears
incongruous and opposed to experience, as when a goddess is overpowered
by a personage with the appearance of a human being.[c] In both cases
the figures must seem to be falsities. Designs of the first kind can
only be properly represented in a sequence of pictures, each indicating
a particular action, as in the Marie de' Medici series of Rubens; and
those of the second by commonly accepted figures of sacred or
mythological history or legend, as where St. Michael and the Dragon
typify Good overcoming Evil.

  [a] Examples are Lorenzo Costa's Cupid Crowning Isabella d'Este,
        Giorgione's Adrastus and Hypsipyle, and Piero di Cosimo's
        Marsyas picture.

  [b] Religion Succoured by Spain, the Prado, Madrid.

  [c] Lotto's Triumph of Chastity, Rospigliosi Gallery, Rome.

It is scarcely necessary to do more than barely refer to the use of
metaphor by the painter when the representation of action is involved,
as for instance if he should produce a picture of a heaving ship in a
storm, to meet the metaphor "As a ship is tossed on a rough sea, so has
been the course of my life," though this kind of picture has been
occasionally executed, the artist forgetting that it is not the object
depicted that is compared, but the action--in the example quoted, the
tossing of the ship--which cannot be represented on canvas. Another form
of metaphor sometimes used by the painter is that where a comparison of
ideas is represented by physical proportions, as in Wiertz's Things of
the Present as seen by the Future, in which the things of the present
are indicated by liliputian figures on the hand of a woman of life size
who represents the future. Needless to say that such designs, of which
there are about a dozen in existence, can only suggest distortion, for
the smaller figures must appear too small, and the larger ones too
great; or if our experience with miniature imitations of the human
figure warrants us in regarding the smaller figures as reasonable, then
the larger ones must appear as giants of the Brobdingnagian order.

The only form of metaphor which may be used by the painter is that
wherein a beautiful symbol typifies a high abstract quality. Metaphor
belongs properly to the arts of the poet and novelist who can indicate
the symbol and things symbolized in immediate succession, so that the
whole meaning is apparent. The painter can only represent the symbol,
and unless this is beautiful and its purport readily comprehended, his
sign is merely a hieroglyph--a sign of writing. Secondary art includes
symbolic painting when the symbol may represent either the symbol itself
or the thing symbolized, for such a condition involves a confusion of
ideas which tends to destroy the æsthetic effect of the work. The most
notable painting of this kind is Holman Hunt's The Scapegoat, where the
design shows only a goat in desert country. The scapegoat has ceased to
be an actuality for centuries, and the only meaning of the term as it is
now used applies to a man: hence, with the title the goat appears to be
a symbol of both a man and an animal, while without the title it is
merely the image of a goat without symbolism. But the conception of an
animal of any kind as a symbol is foreign to the art of the painter
whose symbol should always be beautiful, whatever the nature of the
representation.



CHAPTER XV

COLOUR


In itself colour has no virtues which are not governed by immutable
laws. These are apart from the exercise of human faculties, the
recognition of colour harmony being involuntary and entirely dependent
upon the condition of the optic nerves. Thus there can be no meaning in
colour apart from its application to form, and the extent to which it
may be properly used in the representation of form is necessarily bound
by our experience of nature. Other things being equal, the most perfect
painting is that wherein there is a just balance between the colour and
the form, that is to say, where the colour is not so vivid as to act
upon the sense nerves before the general beauty of the work is
appreciated, or so feeble or discordant that its want of natural truth
is immediately presented to the mind, thus disturbing the impression of
the design.

As with metrical form in poetry, the importance of colour in painting
varies inversely with the character of the art. In the highest art,
where ideals are dealt with, colour is of the least importance. A
composition with ideal figures may be produced by drawing only, that is
to say, by the use of a single tone in outline and shading. The
addition of colour heightens the beauty of a composition of this kind,
not so much because of the new sensorial harmony acquired, as for the
reason that a painting in colours, corresponding better than a
colourless drawing with our experience of nature, assists in defining
the work and so reduces the fractional time necessary for the
recognition of the general beauty of the design, which is a matter of
importance. The comparatively small value of colour in the highest art
is demonstrated by experience. If we were to choose from paintings known
to us, those which general opinion regards as the very greatest works,
we should unquestionably name the frescoes of Raphael and Michelangelo
at the Vatican, and those of Correggio at Parma. These, with a few easel
pictures of Raphael, and perhaps a dozen other pictures by various
masters, are the only works of the painter's art to which the term
"sublime" may be properly applied. As with the great epic poems, they
are concerned entirely with ideals--with personages far above the level
of life, rising to the spiritual domain--or with human beings as they
would be if the highest conceptions of our imagination were possible of
realization. When we recall these splendid legacies of genius to our
minds, and ponder over the apparently limitless range of human vision
which they evidence, it is the designs that absorb us, and not the
colour--the forms and expression, and not the tints by which their
definition is assisted. We do not usually analyse the impression we
receive from these frescoes and pictures, but were we to do so, it
would be borne in upon our minds that while a Raphael, a Michelangelo,
or a Correggio, would be required to conceive and execute such
stupendous designs, many thousands of unknown patient workers could be
found to colour them efficiently. On the other hand if we remove the
colour from the greatest landscape known to us, we find that most of the
beauty of the work has disappeared, and that we have only a kind of
skeleton left, for the beauty of such a picture rests very largely upon
the aerial perspective, which is unobtainable without colour.

That the appreciation of colour is relative to the character of the
design may be observed from common experience. We may see the Sistine
Madonna half a dozen times and then be unable to recall the colours when
bringing the picture to mind, so small an effect have they had upon us
as compared with that of the majesty and general beauty of the central
figure. So with many of Raphael's other pictures. It is a common thing
for one to call attention to the superb colouring of an easel picture by
Correggio, but how rarely does an observer notice the colouring of his
frescoes at Parma, which are his masterpieces? With some of the Venetian
artists, the colouring is often so brilliant, not to say startling, that
it seems to overpower the observer for a moment, and necessity compels
him to accustom himself to the tones before considering the design. The
colouring of Titian is not so strong, but it is always forcible;
nevertheless one seldom hears a comment upon the colours in his works,
the superior design and general beauty of the compositions far
outweighing the purely sensorial elements therein. Titian in fact
secured an approximately just balance between form and colour, while
with his great followers the colour usually exceeded in strength the
requirements of the design. In the time of Tintoretto and Veronese the
prestige and prosperity of Venice were rapidly declining, but we have
been so accustomed to associate with this city during the Renaissance, a
luxurious life with something of the character of an Eastern court, that
gorgeous colour of any kind does not seem out of place as one of its
products. But this special appropriateness has not the effect of
elevating the gay coloured voluptuous forms of the artists named,
observable in their classical and allegorical works, to a high level in
art. We cannot accommodate the forms to the ideas of the poets who
invented or described them, or to the attributes with which they were
commonly associated; and the colouring tends to bring them closer to
earth. While we feel bound to admire the colouring, we are equally
compelled to regret the particular application.[67]

Speaking generally, when the design is good we remember the composition
irrespective of the colours, but when the beauty of the work depends
upon the colour harmony it fades from our memory as soon as our eyes
experience new colour combinations. The imagination may call up the
harmony again upon the mind, but the pleasure experienced from this
reflection must be very feeble indeed because the senses are not
directly affected thereby. It can have no more effect than a written
description of the harmony.

  [Illustration: PLATE 20 (See page 206)
  The Storm, by Jacob Ruysdael (_Berlin Museum_)]

The painter is at liberty to make what use he will of colour so long as
he provides a thing of beauty, but he must remember that the
appreciation of colour harmony is dependent not only upon the condition
of the optic nerves of the observer, but also upon his experience at the
time of observation. As to the first consideration little heed need be
taken, because rudimentarily the nerve structure is equal or nearly so,
in all persons, and while accident at birth may provide in some an
advanced condition which in others is only obtained by exercise, yet in
respect of colours, experience in complex harmony is gained
involuntarily in contact with every-day nature. Hence for the purpose of
the painter, all men may be considered alike in regard to the
recognition of colour harmony. But individual experience at the time of
observation of a painting varies largely,[68] a circumstance which is
not of importance in dealing with works of the higher art, but becomes
of great significance when considering the lower forms. No organ of the
body is so susceptible to fatigue as the eye, and a painting of the kind
known as a colour scheme may or may not be pleasing according as the
tone is a relief or otherwise to the sight. Sometimes a few seconds are
sufficient to fatigue the eye, as for instance when it is directed
towards a vivid maroon hanging, but let a landscape with a grey tone be
placed on the hanging and considerable pleasure will be involuntarily
experienced through the relief to the optic nerves. Remove the picture
to a grey wall, and it will instantly lose its charm, except such as
it may possess apart from the colour.

As with particular tones, so with colours generally. People habituated
to conditions of nature where extremes of sun effects are uncommon, as
in the northern latitudes, may be temporarily pleased with schemes of
glowing colours on their walls, because these relieve the monotony of
daily experience, but they must necessarily quickly tire, as with all
exceptional conditions of life which are concerned with the senses only.
How soon one is fatigued with bright colours generally is obvious to any
visitor to a public gallery which is crowded with pictures. In an hour
or less the fatigue of his eyes becomes so extreme that his whole
nervous system is affected, and he loses energy of both mind and body.
But brilliant colors used sparingly with good designs may be a perpetual
source of pleasure. Place a fine work by Rubens or Paolo Veronese in a
living-room and it will attract attention every time one enters, for the
colouring will always be a change from the normal eye experience. One
turns to the picture involuntarily, and then the design is observed, and
so one passes from sensual to intellectual pleasure. This process is
repeated day by day, and the work never tires. Of course it is a
condition that the design is able to hold the attention, otherwise the
bright colours would serve little better purpose than if they defined a
geometrical pattern.

Nowadays quite a number of paintings are produced in which unusual tones
are given to signs or shadows, but these are not to be taken seriously
by the earnest student. In the sunlight, amidst certain surroundings,
the arm of a woman may appear for some moments to have a bluish tone,
but the artist would be entirely wrong to paint a bluish arm. The
picture is to be seen under all lights, and if the tones be contrary to
general experience under any of these lights, then the work appears to
be a falsity, for the artist does not, and cannot, reproduce the
conditions which together bring about the exceptional colours. To the
normal eye under ordinary circumstances, the arm of a woman is of flesh
colour, and the artist is not at liberty to vary this tone. He has to
represent what appears to be true in general opinion, whether it be
really true or not under certain conditions. The dictum of Aristotle in
regard to poetry--that what appears probable, though in reality is
impossible, is better than what seems improbable but is really
possible--is equally true in painting. In fact it is of more importance
that this maxim should be remembered in painting than in poetry, because
the signs of the painter are permanent. A poet or novelist may refer to
a passing exceptional sun effect, for the impression on the mind of the
reader would probably be as transient as, or more transient than, the
effect itself, but with the painter the transient effect becomes fixed.
The blue arm is always blue, and in a very short time becomes a
disagreeable unreality. It may be claimed that the objectionable sun
effects are not really exceptional, though they are seldom noticed; but
for the purpose of art, what appears to be exceptional must be
definitely regarded as so, and for this reason discarded by the artist
who desires to paint a good picture.

Generally then, the value of colour lies firstly in its correspondence
with nature, for upon this depends its harmony and the assistance it
lends to the recognition of the beauty in the whole composition. Beyond
this it may or may not have an ephemeral value according to local
conditions. In any case colour must ever be subordinated to design in a
picture, and this is what Poussin meant when he said that particular
attention to colour is an obstacle to the art student.



BOOK II



ILLUSIONS IN THE PAINTER'S ART

INTRODUCTORY


The painter is occupied in a perpetual struggle to produce an illusion.
He does not directly aim for this, but except in the very highest art
where ideals are realized, the better the picture he paints, the greater
the illusion. The natural test of the value of his work is its
correspondence with nature, and the nearer it so corresponds, the more
complete the illusion. But the whole picture is never an illusion (we
leave out of consideration those instances where artificial devices are
used to conceal the surroundings of the actual painted surface), for the
frame and other material evidence inform us of the art. The illusion,
when it exists, is forced upon our minds from moment to moment as our
eyes travel over the work. It occurs to us perhaps that a face "lives,"
that the drapery is true to life, that the tones are real, and so on,
and obviously these circumstances cannot impress us in this way unless
we are momentarily deceived. And it is a sign of good quality in the
work when we are so struck. This does not mean that the closer the
imitation, the better the picture: on the contrary it is rare to find a
good work of art produced by an exact imitator. The duty of the artist
is to generalize everything that can be generalized without departing
from the character of the thing represented. True there are degrees of
generalization which depend on the nature of the design, the size of the
work, the accessories, and other matters, but if a just balance of
generalization be secured throughout, then the imitation is better than
a closely detailed reproduction, because a work is always involuntarily
judged from general, and not from particular, experience. A portrait for
instance is a much better work of art if we can say of it "This is a
good portrait of a man," than if we are compelled to confine ourselves
to "This is a good portrait of Mr. Jones," even if the lineaments of the
particular countenance are better defined in the latter example than in
the former. The illusion would be stronger, for we are more intimately
acquainted with "a man" than with "Mr. Jones." And so with accessories.
An exceptionally fine rose or cabbage is never so good in a painting as
one of these articles which is of an average type, because with this the
illusion is more certain, for it is not likely to be disturbed with a
mental inquiry into the unusual article.

The painter may produce his illusions then without sacrificing anything
in his art, and with the surety that good paintings necessarily result
in momentary illusions except when form or expression above life
experience are dealt with.

The first and most important illusion in the art is that of relief, for
without this no other illusion can be produced. It is a general
condition applying to all work on a flat surface. The other illusions
that may be provided are: (a) of opening distance in landscape; (b) of
motion in natural actions, as in flowing water; (c) of human and animal
actions; (d) of suspension and motion in the air. The two first are
dealt with under "Landscape"; the others are now considered.



CHAPTER I

ILLUSION OF RELIEF


The greatest value in the illusion of relief lies in its assistance to
recognition, for with the forms rounded by shading and separated with
the appearance of relief which they have in nature, details of the work
are less likely to complicate the design to the eye, than if the flat
surface of the canvas be emphasized by the avoidance of relief. For the
eye has to be considered before the mind, and it is of immense
importance that the brain should have the least possible work to do in
assisting the eye to interpret a thing of art. It would appear then that
the minimum extent to which relief should be given in a painting is that
point below which the things painted do not seem to have their three
dimensions indicated. Beyond this the painter is at liberty to proceed
as he pleases. Some great artists, notably Lionardo, were inclined to
think that it is impossible to give too much relief to a figure, and
this may be so theoretically, but practically there is a line to be
drawn because life is limited, and after a certain point is reached, the
work of shading for relief is so tedious an operation, that half a
lifetime would be required to execute a picture of three or four
figures if the artist wished to produce the strongest illusion in his
power to give. A Russian artist of high merit who essayed the task,
spent an average time of five years in ceaseless toil on each figure he
completed, and even then frequently remarked that he had not given to
his figures the full relief he desired to exhibit. It is well known that
Lionardo gave long and close attention to this matter in his pictures,
and he produced some extraordinary examples of relief, of which the
finest is, perhaps, the Litta Madonna,[a] but one cannot help regretting
that he did not rest satisfied with a lower point of excellence in
respect of the illusion, so that he could spend more time in general
design.

  [a] At the Hermitage. See Plate 21.

Apart from the relief given by shading in painting, there is an
important mechanical method of improving the illusion, though this can
only be occasionally adopted. The figures in any well painted picture
will appear to stand out in high relief if we lose sight of the frame
and other surroundings which distinctly inform us that the work is a
flat surface. This is why a painting invariably seems to improve if seen
through a tube of such diameter that the frame is excluded from the
vision. Advantage of this fact has been many times taken in the
exhibition of single pictures, when, by the exclusion of the frame, the
concealment of the edges of the work by curtain arrangements, and the
concentration of all the available light upon the canvas, such perfect
relief has been obtained that observers have been sometimes unable to
distinguish the art from the life. It was the effect of the
surroundings of a picture upon the sight, that led to a practice in
design resulting in the exclusion of these surroundings to some extent
when the eye is directed towards the centre of the work where the
principal figure is commonly stationed. This practice is to avoid
accessories as far as possible near the figure, and to provide
considerable open space above it, and also at the sides when the
composition allows, so that the observing eye has not of necessity to
range close to the frame of the picture. In a good design of this kind
the central figure or figures come out in strong relief, the attraction
of the work being consequently much enhanced. Obviously the painted
figures should be of life size, or nearly so, for the illusion of relief
to be strikingly marked, and the conditions necessarily prevent the
adoption of the scheme in a design of many figures. It is most
successful with a single figure, and has been carried out with two
figures, but never with more than two except in a few pictures of great
size.

  [Illustration: PLATE 21 (See page 240)
  The Litta Madonna, by Lionardo da Vinci (_Hermitage_)]

The number of artists who have taken advantage of this mechanical device
is not large, but it includes some of the first masters. The plan may be
used in both exterior and interior scenes. In the former the figures
must be thrown against the sky, and it is a distinct advantage if there
be no trees or other objects on either side of the figures, which also
stand out above the horizon, though this is immaterial if the figure be
set in a confined space, as an arch, or between the columns of a loggia,
and the foliage is not seen through this space.

The most famous pictures where the scheme is used in exterior work are
amongst the finest portraits known to us, namely, Lionardo's Mona Lisa,
and Raphael's Maddalena Doni and Angelo Doni.[a] In 1504 or thereabouts,
Lionardo painted a portrait of Mona Lisa sitting in a loggia, the wall
of which reached to a third of the height of the canvas.[b] On the wall
at each side of the design is a column divided down the centre by the
edge of the canvas. There is a landscape setting, in which the middle
distance is hidden by rising ground, and only part of the head appears
above the horizon. In 1505 Raphael made a study from this picture in
which he retained the columns, but raised the wall, and threw the whole
head of the figure against the sky. He used this study for the portrait
of Maddalena Doni, but in this he still further improved the design by
removing the columns, and extending to the shoulders that part of the
figure above the horizon, the line of which divides the picture in equal
halves, instead of being drawn at two thirds of the height as in the
first Mona Lisa. When Lionardo executed the Louvre portrait of this
lady, he removed the columns, but slightly reduced the portion of the
head seen against the sky. Raphael's plan, which was also used in the
portrait of Angelo Doni, is obviously far superior to that in the Mona
Lisa design, for the relief is necessarily better marked. The scheme was
not new to Raphael at the time, except in portraiture, for it is
exhibited in three of his very early sacred works.[c]

  [a] The first at the Louvre, and the others at the Pitti Palace,
        Florence.

  [b] This painting, or one corresponding to it, is in the Boston
        Museum, U. S. A. See Note 56.

  [c] Saint Sebastian, at Bergamo; The Redeemer at Brescia; and The
        Prophets and Sybils at Perugia.

One of the best examples in existence of this method of securing relief
is Tintoretto's Presentation of the Virgin.[a] On the right of the
picture is a wide flight of stairs, curving round as they ascend. The
Virgin is moving up these steps in advance of some attendants, and the
curved stairway enables all the figures to stand out in fine relief
against the sky. If well managed some considerable space above the
figures is sufficient for the illusion even if the sides are partly
closed, as in Albertinelli's beautiful Salutation.[b] Where only a small
portion of the figure can be shown above the horizon, the use of a faint
far distance helps in the scheme of relief. Thus, in Marco Basaiti's
Christ on the Mount of Olives,[c] where Christ stands on the top of a
rock which hides the middle distance, His head only is above the
horizon, but the rest of the figure is thrown against a faint far
distance, the relief being excellent. A modification of this plan is
observable in Lionardo's Virgin and Child with St. Anne.[d]

  [a] Madonna del Orto, Venice.

  [b] Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

  [c] Venice Academy.

  [d] The Louvre.

So far as the writer has been able to ascertain, the first known
painting where a crucifix is thrown against the sky is by Antonella da
Messina.[a] The Cross is fixed in the foreground and extends to the top
of the picture, being cut half-way up and just below the feet of Christ
by the line of the horizon. The relief is very fine. This scheme was
imitated with more or less success but never quite so perfectly, till
Titian produced his magnificent Cross. Here the Crucifix is cast against
a sombre evening sky, with the Virgin and two imploring Saints at the
foot.[b] Rubens improved upon this design with several variations. In
one he hid the foot of the Cross, though the tops of buildings are seen
in the middle distance[c]; and in another, which is still finer, the
time of the scene is late evening, and dark vague outlines suggest a
landscape. But all these examples are cast into the shade by Van Dyck's
Antwerp picture, than which there is certainly no more impressive
painted Crucifixion in existence. In this the foot of the Cross is not
shown, nor is there any ground to be seen, and the figure stands out
against a dark forbidding sky, awful, but sublimely real, as if set in
boundless space for all eternity.[d]

  [a] National Gallery, London.

  [b] Ancona Gallery.

  [c] Antwerp Museum.

  [d] This work was repeated several times with variations. See
        Plate 22.

There are many variations of the above designs, particularly among the
Works of Venetian artists, but those quoted may be regarded as typical.
How easy it is to hinder the illusion is seen in Sodoma's Sacrifice of
Abraham,[a] where both figures are set against the sky, but trees behind
them and at the side destroy the relief, though the foliage is by no
means thick. In Girolami da Libri's Madonna and Child with St. Anne, a
pomegranate tree interposes[b]; and a curtain falls at the back of a
group by Bernadino da Conti,[c] the illusion in both cases being
consequently robbed of its effect.

  [a] Pisa Cathedral.

  [b] National Gallery, London.

  [c] Poldo Pezzoli Museum, Milan.

Some of the Dutch artists of the seventeenth century used a clear sky
for the purpose of enhancing the relief of their figures, but as these
are usually of a comparatively small size, the result is only partially
effective. Albert Cuyp and Philip Wouverman painted many pictures with
men and animals silhouetted above the horizon, and Paul Potter executed
a few of the kind, but of all Dutch painters, Jan Steen secured the best
relief with his Terrace Scene.[a] In more recent times the scheme has
seldom been adopted for the purpose of relief, but a few Scottish
painters practised it in the early nineteenth century. Simson followed
Cuyp's plan,[b] and Dyce in a sacred piece equalled the best of the old
masters in his manner of producing the illusion.[c] Grant also painted a
fine example.[d] Some portrait painters of the English school of the
eighteenth century used the scheme in a partial way, but they commonly
placed clouds behind the figures thrown against the sky, thus disturbing
the illusion.

  [a] National Gallery, London.

  [b] National Gallery, Edinburgh.

  [c] St. John Leading the Virgin from the Tomb, National Gallery of
        British Art, London.

  [d] The Countess of Chesterfield and Mrs. Anson, Gilmour Collection,
        Scotland.

There is only one method of using this device for assisting in the
production of relief in interiors. This is to throw the figure against a
high wall which is undecorated or nearly so. The figure must be some
little distance in front of the wall, and it is observable that the best
effect is obtained when the light throughout the room is equal, but in
any case the wall should not have less light than the figure. Inasmuch
as the figure has to be of life size or nearly so, to produce the
desired result, a very large picture would be necessary for the
representation of a standing adult; hence the plan is not attempted with
a life-size figure, except with a sitting adult or a standing child.
Before this scheme was used for the human figure, that master of relief,
M. A. Caravaggio, adopted it for a simple still-life work.[a] A basket
of fruit on a plain table, with a high bare wall at the back--the canvas
now sombre and darkened, like the soul of the artist, but still
remarkable for the relief: this was the first application to interiors
of a plan which had been used in exteriors by some of the greatest
masters for more than a century.

  [a] Ambrogia Museum, Milan.

So far as can be gathered from existing works, thirty or forty years
elapsed after the picture of Caravaggio was painted before the scheme
was brought into use for the human figure in interiors. In 1630, or
thereabouts, Velasquez produced his Christ at the Column.[a] Here the
wall is not actually high, but Christ is shown seated on the floor, and
hence there is ample wall space over which the eye may rove. It is
possible that the adoption of the plan in this instance was the result
of accident, but the very unusual pose of Christ hardly warrants the
suggestion. Velasquez painted no more pictures of the kind till a
quarter of a century later, when he produced Las Meninas. In this the
relief is excellent, but it would have been still better without the
picture on the wall, and the open door in the background, though the
figure seen on the steps through the doorway lends assistance to the
illusion.

  [a] The Prado, Madrid.

Towards the middle of the seventeenth century, some followers of the
Neapolitan school used the plan occasionally, but the best existing
Italian works of the time where it is seen are from the hand of Evaristo
Baschenis, a Bergamese monk. He was an excellent painter of still-life,
and produced several pictures, each with a boy or a woman seated in the
middle of a room near a plain table on which rests a dish of fruit or a
gathering of various articles, while at the back there is a high bare
wall. In all of these works a fine relief is exhibited, though they are
now considerably marred by darkened shadows. A few years later the plan
was adopted by some Dutch artists, and later still in France and
Germany. Chardin, who in more ways than one seems to have been a French
Baschenis, used it in several pictures. In recent times since the study
of Velasquez has become a vogue, many artists have successfully followed
the plan, and one of the finest examples of it in existence--Lydia
Emmet's Patricia[a]--dates as late as 1915.

  [a] Exhibition of the National (American) Association of Portrait
        Painters, N. Y., 1915. See Plate 23.

There are several minor mechanical ways of enhancing relief, most of
them providing a setting which acts as a kind of inner frame to the
design, the object being to reduce the effect of the actual frame in
disturbing the illusion. Portrait painters of the Dutch, Flemish, and
English schools, have often placed half length figures in painted ovals
on canvas rectangles, and in the case of Hals he sometimes further
improved the illusion by extending a hand of the subject over the oval.
Hanneman used this oval in a most exceptional way. On a large canvas he
painted the bust portraits of Constantine Huygens and his six children,
each in a separate oval, the father being in the centre.[a] The scheme
is strangely effective, for the attention of the observer is
involuntarily confined to one portrait at a time. In genre pictures a
doorway may act as the inner frame, but this is only of material value
if the picture be of considerable size. The Dutch painters, notably
Gerard Dow, loved to paint figures leaning over window-sills, this
method usually enhancing the relief, because the eye is apt to be
confined for a time to the window-frame. Perhaps the best use of a
window for the purpose of relief is Rembrandt's Samson Menacing His
Father-in-law, where the old man's head and hands, of life size, are
seen protruding from a small window.[b]

  [a] Hague Gallery.

  [b] Berlin Gallery.



CHAPTER II

ILLUSION OF MOTION

     With human figures--With animals.


From the earliest times great sculptors, in producing a single figure in
action, have chosen for the representation a moment of rest between two
steps in the action, so that the character of these steps is instantly
recognized by the observer, whose imagination unconsciously carries
through the action. If every part of the figure is built up conformably
with the action, with due regard to the position from which the statue
is to be seen, an illusion of motion will follow, though this is
necessarily so rapid that the effect upon the observer is indirect: he
translates the impression into appreciation of the lifelike attitude of
the figure. Nearly all the ancient Greek sculptured figures known to us,
commencing with those of Myron, are characterized by this excellence in
design, and so with the best work of the Italian Renaissance. Modern
sculptors of repute have also endeavoured to provide the illusion, Rodin
in particular holding that it should be the aim of every sculptor.[69]

The painter is in a different position from the sculptor because the
latter may design his figure with special reference to the position it
is to occupy, and so he can in a measure compel the observer to see it
in a particular way. Thus, the base of the statue may be some height
above the ground, in which case the observer must necessarily run his
eyes up the figure from the feet; or it may be seen first in a
three-quarter view so that the position of the limbs will apparently
change as the observer moves to the front. Such accidental circumstances
may be considered by the sculptor in his plan. The painter has no such
advantage, for his figure is the same from whichever point it is to be
seen, within reasonable limits; but he has compensation in the use of
tones and accessories of which the sculptor is deprived. That the
painter may provide an excellent illusion with a single figure in action
is evidenced by Raphael's superb St. Margaret, where the Saint is seen
stepping over the dragon.[a] Every part of her body, and every fold of
drapery is used in the expression of movement, the effect being so
perfect that we cannot disassociate the figure from the action.[70]

  [a] At the Louvre. See Plate 27.

The painters of the first century of the Renaissance never properly
represented a figure in the act of walking, and there are few pictures
even of the fifteenth century where a serious attempt is made to choose
the best moment in which to exhibit such a figure. The first successful
essay in the task seems to have been in The Tribute Money of
Masaccio,[a] who indeed was fifty years ahead of his fellows in the
faithful representation of action. There was a jump of two decades or
so after Masaccio to the next good figure, which was that of an
attendant in Filipo Lippi's complex tondo at Florence.[b] This figure
must have caused considerable surprise at the time, for it was copied
into several works by subsequent artists, notably Domenico
Ghirlandaio,[c] and probably suggested the fine figure carrying a jar of
water on her head in Raphael's Fire at the Borgo.[d] But Raphael, who
mastered every problem in composition, solved this one so completely
that he left nothing for his successors to learn respecting it. Not only
are the limbs of his moving figures so perfectly arranged that we see
only action, but folds of the drapery used on the figures are sufficient
to indicate preceding movements,[e] and this is so even when the figures
are stationary, but the head, arms, or upper part of the body have
moved.[f] This extraordinary feature of Raphael's work will ever form a
subject of astonishment and admiration.

  [a] Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence.

  [b] Madonna and Child with other scenes from her life, Uffizi,
        Florence.

  [c] Birth of St. John Baptist, Santa Maria Novello, Florence.

  [d] Fresco at the Vatican.

  [e] See Deliverance of St. Peter, Flight of Lot and his Family, Moses
        Striking the Rock, and others at the Vatican.

  [f] The Transfiguration, Vatican.

  [Illustration: PLATE 22 (See page 244)
  Christ on the Cross, by Van Dyck (_Antwerp Museum_)]

The painter has a comparatively easy task in presenting an illusion with
several figures presumed to be moving, for he has only to comply with
two simple conditions. The first is that the particular step represented
in the act of progression of any individual should vary from the steps
of the persons immediately behind or in front of him; and secondly that
the actions of the different persons be connected with each other so far
as possible. With these conditions reasonably fulfilled, illusion of
motion necessarily follows. Naturally in such a mechanical matter, the
character of the invention depends upon the scale of the design. When
the moving figures are presumed to be comparatively near at hand, the
position of the limbs must be entirely presented, or the progression
will appear broken. The effective illusion presented in Burne-Jones's
Golden Staircase is due to his ingenuity in so arranging the numerous
figures descending the winding stairs, that all their feet are visible.
In the case of a crowd of figures of whom some are supposed to be moving
and others standing still, the visibility of the limbs is of less
importance than the connection of the various actions. In Menzel's
Market in Verona,[a] the illusion, which is remarkable, is entirely
produced by the skill in which innumerable instances of action are made
dependent upon others. An illusion is created in the same way though in
a lesser degree by Gustave Doré in several works.[b] When the motion
arises from the actions of the arms of a number of persons, it suffices
if the arms are in various positions, as in Menzel's Iron Mill, and
Cavalori's Woolworkers[c] where many men are using long tools; but if
the limbs are working together, an illusion is impossible. The beauty of
Guardi's great picture, Regatta on the Grand Canal, is much diminished
by the attitude of the gondoliers, who all hold their poles in the
same position.

  [a] Dresden Gallery.

  [b] See Samson Slaying the Philistines.

  [c] Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

Where many persons are moving together in the same direction, great care
has to be exercised in presenting the actions conformably with the rate
at which the movement is proceeding, for upon this of course depends the
angles of the bended knees, and the extent to which some of the feet may
be carried from the ground. In slow natural movements, as where a number
of men are dragging a heavy burden, it is rare to find an artist wrong
in his representation[a]; but in the case of numerous figures walking
irregularly, a true nearground design is uncommon, the painter usually
giving insufficient action, with the result that his figures present a
stagy appearance.[b] But a defect of this kind is not so serious as
where several men, not being in marching order, are moving in the same
direction with their feet in similar positions, and each with a foot off
the ground,[c] for this is only an aggravation of a case where the
picture shows but a single figure walking with one foot in the air.

  [a] For good examples see Benoit's Morning of July 14, 1789,
        Poynter's Building the Treasure City, and Colton's Royal
        Artillery Memorial (sculptured relief).

  [b] Dehodencq's Bohemians Returning from a Fête, Chaumont Museum.

  [c] As in Breton's Cry of Alarm.

An illusion of motion may be given to a line of figures in the middle
distance of a landscape by simply winding the road along which they
pass[a]; but the angles of the turns must be large, for when they are
small, or when there is a distinct zigzag, the illusion is destroyed
through the lengthy operation of the eye in comprehending the whole
scene.

  [a] Diaz's Descent of the Bohemians.

When many figures are moving close together, even if they be marching to
the same step, an illusion of movement may be given by the
representation of a flying figure proceeding in the same direction. This
scheme has been adopted in sculpture with high success, as in the Shaw
Memorial at Boston,[a] and the Marseillaise of Rude.[b] In painting,
several horizontal figures may be used, but they must be placed
irregularly to avoid the appearance of formality. Some modern French
artists are responsible for effective designs indicating the arrival of
spring by an overhead figure flying above young people moving through
flowery fields.[c]

  [a] By A. Saint-Gaudens.

  [b] Arc de Triomphe, Paris.

  [c] See Aman-Jean's decorative panels at the Sorbonne.

A suggestion of motion may be obtained by exhibiting a number of persons
engaged in similar actions, but shown in a consecutive series of stages
thereof. This plan is admirably worked out by Watteau in his Embarkation
for Cythera.[a] A line of couples commences at the right of the picture,
proceeds towards the left, and then descends a slope to the place of
embarkation. The first couple are sitting and conversing, the next are
in the act of rising, and the third have just risen and are about to
follow the other couples already walking, the whole device being most
effective. A similar kind of illusion is caused by Rubens in his Diana
and Nymphs pursued by Satyrs.[b] On the extreme right of the picture
some of the figures are stationary; then come a few who are struggling,
and finally some running nymphs and satyrs, a perfect progression of
events being suggested.

  [a] In the Louvre, and repeated with variations at Berlin.

  [b] The Prado, Madrid. See Plate 27.

Illusion of motion is more easily obtained with animals than with human
figures, providing they are fairly large, because of the greater number
of their feet and the consequent wider variation between the apparent
and the real movements. It is exceedingly difficult to produce a
suggestion of motion with a single animal represented in a natural
attitude, but the painter is only concerned with what appears to be
natural or probable, and not with what is actually so. We have only a
general idea of the action of a horse in nature from what we see, and
consequently in design this action must be generalized irrespective of
natural possibilities. Some artists combine parts of different actions
as exhibited in a series of photographs in order to represent a moment
of action as it is generalized to the eye, but this is only serviceable
where the presumed action of the animal is one of a series of similar
events, as in walking or trotting. It would not answer in the case of an
isolated action, as jumping or rearing, because such actions vary with
the circumstances surrounding them, as the height of the jump or the
cause of the rearing. In these events therefore the artist may
exaggerate to a great extent without appearing to present impossible
movements. In fact nearly all good pictures of one or two horses in
action are strong exaggerations of nature, but this hardly affects
their æsthetic worth because the action is not recognized as abnormal or
impossible. The finest painting of horses in action known to us, is
Regnault's Automedon with the Horses of Achilles,[a] where the animals
exhibit spirit and movement far above experience, but even if we did not
know that they are presumed to be immortal, we should only regard the
action as exceptional, for it does not appear to be impossible.

  [a] Boston Museum, U. S. A. See Plate 28.

There is ample scope for the presentation of an illusion with a number
of moving animals. All that is necessary is that they should be kept
fairly well together with their legs in various moving attitudes. This
illusion is perfectly managed by many of the French painters of battle
scenes in the nineteenth century, notably Horace Vernet,[a] Gros,[b]
Chartier,[c] Morot,[d] and Meissonier.[e] The action in the cavalry
charges of Morot and Chartier is amazingly true to life. Even three or
four animals will suffice for an illusion,[f] but this cannot be
provided with the smaller animals, as sheep or goats, because although a
series of progressive actions may be given to those outside animals in a
flock whose legs are visible to the spectator of the picture, the scale
to which they are painted is necessarily so small that the eye has an
entirely insufficient range for operating the illusion. Where several
horses are represented as moving at considerable speed, it is necessary
that some of their feet should touch the ground, otherwise the illusion
is destroyed, or else the animal may appear to be racing through the
air.[g] The effect is not so disturbing when all the feet of the moving
animals are on the ground,[h] or where they are hidden by herbage,[i] or
where all the animals are on their hind legs,[j] though in these
instances an illusion is almost impossible.

  [a] La Smalah at Versailles.

  [b] The Combat of Nazareth.

  [c] Jena, 1806, and Hanau, 1813.

  [d] Reichsoffen.

  [e] 1814.

  [f] Rosa Bonheur's Ploughing in Nivernois.

  [g] Fromentin's Couriers des Ooled Nayls, Luxembourg; Schreyer's The
        Attack, N. Y. Public Library; and Gericault's Epsom, Louvre.

  [h] A. Brown's The Drove.

  [i] Uhde's Cavalry Soldiers Going into Action, Muffel Collection.

  [j] Snyder's Hunt, Munich Gallery.

In cases where horses and men are crowded together, and are struggling
in confusion, it is only necessary in order to provide an illusion, that
no action should be entirely separated from the others. There was a fine
example of this work in a lost drawing or painting of Titian, of
Pharaoh's Host Overwhelmed in the Red Sea[a]; and many artists of the
Renaissance produced like illusions in pictures of the rape of the
Sabines. Where the movement is spread over a large area, and the scale
to which the animals are drawn is comparatively small, the various
groups engaged must obviously be connected together in a series. Franz
Adam arranges a scheme of this kind in a battle scene, using running
soldiers or hauled guns as links in the chain.[b]

  [a] An engraving on wood by A. Andreani is in existence.

  [b] A Bavarian Regiment before Orleans, Munich.

An illusion of motion is sometimes assisted by the title of the picture.
A remarkable example of this is Robert's The Israelites Depart. Although
individual action cannot be distinguished owing to the scale of the
design, yet when one is acquainted with the title, the imagination is
instinctively set to work, and the enormous crowds packing the wide
streets seem to be streaming in one direction. Obviously for the title
to have this effect, the number of signs must be overwhelming, and there
must be no possibility of interpreting the picture in two ways; that is
to say, accessory signs must be used to indicate the direction in which
the crowd is moving.[71]



CHAPTER III

ILLUSION OF SUSPENSION AND MOTION IN THE AIR

     With the assistance of drapery--Of clouds--Of winged
     figures--Miscellaneous devices.


The representation of figures suspended in the air, or moving through
it, has never offered much trouble to painters, though necessarily
involving an apparent miracle. The very slightest pretended physical
assistance suffices for the illusion, and this help is usually rendered
in the shape of flying drapery, winged figures, clouds, or artificial
devices based upon the contact of two or more figures. The only
difficulty met with is in respect of an upward vertical movement. Here,
wings or clouds can scarcely be made to differentiate between a rising
and a falling movement, and flying drapery is of little service inasmuch
as a rush through the air would, if the feat were actually performed,
cause the drapery to cling to the figure. The surest remedy for the
disabilty is to support the figure directly by winged figures placed at
a considerable angle from the vertical, but this plan is only rarely
adopted by great masters because of the consequent complications in the
design of the group. Since flying drapery is commonly added to the
figure presumed to be ascending, and seeing that artists almost
invariably insist upon giving their ascending figures upright attitudes,
it is seldom that the movement is correctly expressed. Usually the
figure appears to be held immovably in suspension, but occasionally,
owing to the drapery arrangement, a descending movement is indicated.[a]
Without the assistance of winged figures, the illusion of ascension can
only be given when the figure is shown directed upwards at an angle of
at least fifteen or twenty degrees from the vertical. As a rule the
larger the angle, the more easy is the production of an illusion. With a
fairly large angle, and an appropriate arrangement of limbs and drapery,
heavy figures can be made to appear naturally ascending, as in Rubens's
Boreas and Orithyia, both voluptuous forms.[b]

  [a] As in Murillo's Ascension of Christ, Madrid Academy.

  [b] Venice Academy.

Only a very few of the first artists have been able to give an illusion
of movement in the air by use of drapery alone, the device adopted by
Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel frescoes being perhaps the most
effective. He throws behind the moving figure of the Deity a large fold
of drapery, which assumes an oval or nearly round shape, the whole
acting as a concave framework for the Deity and attending Angels.[a] The
success of the plan arises of course from the apparent resistance to the
air offered by a large and compact surface. This form with more or less
marked modifications in the concavity was probably used by the ancient
Greeks in their paintings, as a nearly similar arrangement is found in a
sculptured figure which has come down to us, though in this case a
running movement is indicated.[b] It is also seen in some Pompeian
frescoes, where it is applied to figures moving through the air and on
the ground.[c] Raphael adopted the device occasionally,[d] but generally
varied it with excellent effect by flowing out from the waist a large
scarf-like fold to take a circular form above the head and shoulders of
the figure,[e] or by causing heavy drapery to flow out from the lower
part of the body.[f] No doubt in the case of Raphael, the extraordinary
grace of figure, and the perfect pose of the limbs, assist the illusion.
Tintoretto and other artists of the Renaissance used an oval drapery in
a similar way; while sometimes the figure is half hidden within it,[g]
and Le Sueur wrapped part of the figure in folds before forming the
oval.[h] There seems to be a simple virtue in any oval form connected
with figures presumed to be suspended in the air. It was quite common in
the early days of the Renaissance for the Deity or Virgin and Child to
be placed in a regular oval framework, sometimes supported by Angels or
cherubs, and the illusion was usually successful.[i] Rubens by way of
experiment went a little further in one picture, for he placed the
Virgin and Child in an oval picture frame supported by cherubs.[j] This
however does not seem so novel as some of Perugino's ovals which are
bordered with the heads of cherubs.[k]

  [a] See Plate 24.

  [b] The Son of Niobe, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.[72]

  [c] Herculanum et Pompei, vol. iv., by Roux Ainé.

  [d] Ceiling of the Hall of Heliodorus, Vatican.

  [e] Vatican frescoes God Separating Water and Earth, and God Appearing
        to Isaac.

  [f] The Creation of the Sun and Moon.

  [g] Poussin's St. Francis Zavier, Louvre.

  [h] The Virgin appearing to St. Martin.

  [i] See the Assumption of Orcagna, and of Luca di Tome; Giunto
        Pisano's Christ and the Virgin; and Mainardi's Madonna giving
        her Girdle to St. Thomas.

  [j] Virgin and Child, Chiesa Nuovo, Rome.

  [k] Ascension of Christ, Perugia; Assumption, Florence Academy, and
        others.

Wings are seldom sufficient to suggest lightness in the air, because
they can scarcely be designed of the size and strength which we judge to
be proportionate to the presumed weight of the body, without making the
form appear abnormal, though there are instances in which partial
success has been achieved by using comparatively small figures and
giving them unusually large wings.[a] The use of more than a single pair
of wings is hardly permissible because of the apparent anomaly. Actually
one pair is not less incomprehensible from an anatomical point of view
than several pairs, but custom has driven from our minds any suggestion
of incongruity in respect of the representation of the common type of
Angel. Naturally when skilfully arranged, the more wings, the stronger
the illusion of flight, and if a habit of giving four wings to an Angel
were engendered, we should perhaps see nothing strange in them. Even six
wings have been given to Angels without making them appear
ungraceful.[b]

  [a] J. H. Witt's Bless the Lord.

  [b] Picart's The Burning Coal.

When there is no assistance, as clouds or flowing drapery, lent to
Angels to promote the illusion of suspension, it is necessary to give
them an attitude which is nearly horizontal. Properly managed, a pair
of comparatively small wings may in this way appear to support a heavy
form.[a] Luini actually adds the weight of the body of St. Catherine to
three Angels, flying horizontally, who carry her to the tomb[b]; an
invention, strangely enough, followed by Kulmbach in Germany at about
the same time.[c] In both cases the illusion is excellent. Some of the
early Flemish and German masters, including Van Eyck[d] and Holbein,[e]
employed Angels in scenes with the Virgin to hold suspended behind her
seat, large falls of brocaded material, and it is curious to note that
the Angels themselves seem to be supported by the drapery. In order to
assist the suggestion of lightness, Perugino sometimes arched the lower
limbs of the Angels, adding a narrow tape scroll[f]; an addition
improved upon by Raphael who substituted for the scroll a loosened
girdle flying out from the waist.[g]

  [a] Rembrandt's The Angel quitting Tobias, Louvre.

  [b] The Brera, Milan.

  [c] St. Mary's, Krakan.

  [d] Virgin and Child at the Fountain, Antwerp.

  [e] Virgin and Child, Augsburg.

  [f] The Ascension, Borgo San Sepolcro, Perugia.

  [g] Creation of Woman, Castello Gallery; Prophets and Sybils, Perugia,
        and others.

The most frequently used form of support for figures in suspension are
irregular masses of clouds, upon which the figures sit or stand, and
occasionally are partly enfolded therein. Sometimes the cloud bank is
more or less shaped for the purpose of relief, or for variety in design.
Thus, Raphael makes part of the cloud a perfect footrest for the
Virgin,[a] and Palma Giovane does a similar thing for a figure of
Christ,[b] but in this case the illusion is hazarded as the seat is not
directly indicated. Ingres produces an excellent illusion by making the
footrest a small separate cloud,[c] which is a variation from the
practice of many painters of the Renaissance, who used a separate cloud
for each personage in the composition, or even with each foot as with
Carlo Crivelli.[d] In a fresco of the Evangelists at Florence, each of
them sits with his insignia on a foliated bank of clouds.[e] Perugino in
using a similar plan sometimes places the clouds at the bottom of the
picture, no part of the earth being seen, so that the illusion is
considerably enhanced.[f] At other times he shows Angels apparently
running through the air, with each front foot resting on a tiny cloud,
giving the impression that it is fastened there.[g] Durer extended this
plan by directly attaching a small cloud to each foot, the effect being
somewhat whimsical.[h] Titian was unsuccessful in the use of an isolated
cloud.[i] In a Resurrection scene Christ stands on a small thin cloud,
and holds a flag-pole, the lower end of which rests upon the cloud.
Obviously with such a design no suggestion of ascent can enter the mind.

  [a] Foligna Madonna, Vatican.

  [b] Christ in Judgment, Venice.

  [c] The Oath of Louis XIII.

  [d] Coronation of the Virgin, Milan.

  [e] Santa Maria. By an unknown artist of the Ghirlandaio school.

  [f] Christ's Rule.

  [g] Madonna and Child with Penitents, and others.

  [h] The Virgin with a Canary, Berlin.

  [i] Urbino Gallery.

  [Illustration: PLATE 23 (See page 247)
  Patricia, by Lydia Emmet (_Private owner, N. Y._)]

Some artists, as Luca Signorelli,[a] hide the lower part of the figure
behind clouds, but this method, while indicating suspension, cannot
provide an illusion of movement without an assisting device. Thus
Schonherr shows an Angel so concealed in a nearly horizontal position
with wings fully expanded, the effect being good.[b] When a figure is
suspended on clouds, very rarely indeed is repose emphasized by placing
it in a horizontal position, but Poussin once adopts the plan,[c] and
Guercino goes so far as to represent a reclining Angel resting her head
on her hand as if suffering from fatigue.[d] Perfect repose of the Deity
in an upright position on clouds is produced by Gustave Doré, who
reduces the size of the earth, above which He stands, to an
insignificant proportion, so that the imagination sends it moving round
below Him.[e]

  [a] Madonna and Child in Glory, Arezzo.

  [b] The Agony in the Garden.

  [c] Adam and Eve.

  [d] Martyrdom of St. Peter, Modena.

  [e] Creation of the Earth.

Quite a number of artists represent the suspended figures standing on
the backs of cherubs or cupids, which in their turn are supported by
clouds, as for instance, R. Ghirlandaio,[a] Liberale di Verona,[b] and
Francesco da Cotignola.[c] Fra Bartolommeo places a single foot of the
Deity on a cherub who holds a banderole, the illusion being
excellent.[d] Domenichino adopts a most ingenious device in St. Paul's
Vision. He shows the Apostle being carried to Heaven by winged cherubs,
who appear to find the weight considerable, and to struggle under it.
There is little else to induce the illusion, which is complete.[e] A
similar scheme is successfully managed in Prud'hon's Abduction of
Psyche. Tassaert uses a like device, but in addition has a cherub
supporting each arm of the Virgin. Palma Vecchio makes the Virgin stand
on the outstretched wings of a cherub, but her robe blows upwards,
giving her the appearance of descending instead of ascending.[f] Rubens
has three alternatives in the use of cherubs. The figure sits on clouds
with feet resting on small globes sustained by cherubs[g]; or the
cherubs hold the dress and mantle of the Virgin; or they help to control
the clouds upon which she sits.[h] In some of his pictures of the
Immaculate Conception, Murillo also uses globes, but places the cherubs
on them instead of under. Francia has a picture in which cherubs hold up
clouds bearing the Virgin,[i] a device once used by Rembrandt.[j] Genga
shows the Deity kneeling upon the heads of cherubs, a scheme not
satisfactory.[k] Cherubs were used by Titian to hold up the Virgin and
clouds,[l] while Velasquez rested the robes on clouds, but used cherubs
to sustain the Holy Mother.[m]

  [a] The Madonna giving her Girdle to St. Thomas, Prato.

  [b] The Magdalene and Saints.

  [c] Adoration of the Shepherds, Ravenna Academy.

  [d] The Deity with SS. Catherine and Magdalene.

  [e] Assumption of the Virgin.

  [f] Assumption of the Virgin, Venice.

  [g] The Deity and Christ, Weimar.

  [h] Assumption of the Virgin at Dusseldorf, Augsburg, Brussels, and
        Vienna.

  [i] Madonna and Child in Glory, Berlin.

  [j] The Ascension, Munich.

  [k] The Magdalene and Saints, Milan.

  [l] Assumption of the Virgin, Venice.

  [m] Coronation of the Virgin, Madrid.

The illusion is usually more complete when Angels are used instead of
cherubs for support, apparently because they may be presumed to have
greater strength, and the plan was adopted by some of the earlier
masters of the Renaissance. The simple design of Rubens in resting the
foot of Christ on the arm of a flying Angel is quite successful.[a]
Fontana places the Deity on clouds supported by Angels,[b] a method
adopted by Granacci, who however assists the illusion by adding two
Angels who are directly supporting the figure.[c] Peter Cornelius has
the Deity with His foot on a small globe which is held in position by
Angels.[d] A fine example of their use is shown by Gutherz. Two Angels
with large outstretched wings are bearing the body of a woman to Heaven.
She lies recumbent upon a lengthy hammock formed by the robes of the
Angels, the ends of the drapery being gathered up by the flying
cherubs.[e] The illusion is perfect. Rembrandt also has a beautiful
design in a Resurrection scene, for he shows the figure of Christ as a
shade whose hands are held by a flying Angel lifting Him to Heaven.[f] A
few artists, as Poussin[g] and Bouguereau,[h] use Angels to carry the
figure with no other assisting device, but if the body is recumbent it
is necessary that the Angels should be in a nearly upright position,
otherwise they will appear to be moving horizontally.[i] Rubens in an
Ascension uses the strange method of placing an Angel beneath Christ,
but without touching Him.[j] The drapery flies out at the back, so that
without some assistance he would appear to be descending; but the Angel
below, with her hands held up, seems to correct the position. Guido Reni
carries the Virgin up with Angels who support her beneath, and she seems
in fact to be standing on their shoulders.[k] In one instance Correggio
substitutes a smiling boy for an Angel, and he holds up a cloud on which
the Virgin sits.[l] There are many works where winged figures hold a
body in suspension, most of them providing excellent illusions. Among
the best is Lux's Sarpedon, where the body of the Trojan is held up for
Jupiter to kiss.[m]

  [a] Ascension of Christ, Vienna.

  [b] Vision of the Resurrection.

  [c] The Virgin giving her Girdle to St. Thomas, Uffizi Gallery,
        Florence.

  [d] Let there be Light.

  [e] "They shall bear thee up."

  [f] Munich Gallery.

  [g] Assumption of the Virgin, and Vision of St. Paul.

  [h] Assumption of the Virgin.

  [i] Bouguereau's Une Ame au Ciel.

  [j] The Academy, Venice.

  [k] Assumption of the Virgin, Munich.

  [l] Madonna and Child with Saints, Parma.

  [m] The Luxembourg.

Even a simple banderole or scarf suffices to indicate movement in the
air if well arranged. Usually a flying cherub holds an end of the
banderole, and Ferri shows a wingless putto even, flying with no other
assistance.[a] Boucher creates an illusion by the bold device of
connecting two cupids with a narrow scarf blown out into a
semicircle[b]; and in another instance very narrow tape streamers
suffice.[c]

  [a] David plans a Temple.

  [b] Birth of Venus.

  [c] Altdorfer's Nativity at Berlin.

The use of thick smoke for suspension purposes is nearly always
successful, because volumes of smoke in nature necessarily tend to move
upwards; but obviously this scheme can only be arranged when an altar is
possible. The plan is not uncommon in pictures relating to Cain and
Abel, and the Translation of Enoch. In one of the latter subject, Hoet
makes part of the smoke from an altar envelop the surrounding ground so
as to widen the volume, while Schnorr achieves the same end by curling
round the smoke as it ascends into the form of a large saucer upon which
the Deity sits,[a] a method slightly varied by Amiconi.[b]

  [a] God's Promise to Abraham.

  [b] God Appearing to Moses.

Where a number of figures are connected together in a circular form in
the air, the double illusion of suspension and motion follows naturally,
provided their attitudes indicate a circular movement. An excellent
example of this is shown in a picture by Botticelli, where Angels dance
in the air over the hut of the Nativity.[a] The finest work of the kind
in existence is probably Schwind's Pleiads, in which the stars are
represented by a circle of beautiful nude women.[b] Extraordinary
activity is suggested by the perfect arrangement of the limbs and light
flowing drapery used. Bouguereau has a work of a similar kind, The Lost
Pleiad, but here the dancers are upright, and the circle is only
accessory to the title figure.[c] Watteau is fairly successful in giving
an illusion of suspension to cupids even with a half circle, though the
invention is somewhat formal.[d]

  [a] National Gallery, London.

  [b] Denner Collection. See Plate 25.

  [c] Brooklyn Museum, New York.

  [d] The Berlin example of the Embarkation for Cythera.

Some of the devices used to bring about an illusion are most ingenious.
Thus in his Bacchus and Ariadne,[a] Tintoretto actually applies a
disability of his art for the purpose. Venus is shown in a horizontal
position in the air, placing a crown of stars upon the head of Ariadne.
Bacchus is standing by, and the form of the goddess floats just at the
back of him, the lower side of her hip being on a level with the top of
his head. Seeing that the head is covered with a profusion of vine
leaves, it is impossible for the artist to indicate, or the observer to
recognize, that the goddess does not actually touch the head of Bacchus,
and she apparently balances herself upon his head while crowning
Ariadne, the artist having been careful to place the centre of gravity
of her figure over the apparent point of contact. A similar kind of
illusion is provided by Burne-Jones, whose Angel of the Annunciation is
upright in midair near the ground, but her feet seem to find support
on the branches of a shrub.[b] Rossetti, in the same subject, shows the
Angel with his feet wrapped in flames, the weight being thus apparently
removed. The design seems bizarre, perhaps because of the absence of an
expression of surprise which one would expect to see on the countenance
of the Virgin at so extraordinary a phenomenon.[73] Schwind also uses a
disability of his art for an illusion in his Phantom of the Forest.[c]
She moves near the ground away from the spectator with such rapidity
that her robe, a simple rectangular piece of drapery, has opened out
wide from the front, and hides her figure from the shoulders down, so
that from the point of view of the observer she may, or may not, be
touching the ground as she moves.

  [a] Ducal Palace, Venice.

  [b] Tate Gallery, London.

  [c] Schack Gallery, Munich.

How slight the apparent support need be, is indicated in Bouguereau's
Aurora and Twilight. Each figure is represented by a nude woman holding
a light scarf, the first rapidly, and the second slowly, skimming the
surface of a stream of water with soft touches of the feet, and yet
there is no anomaly that strikes the mind. A still more daring device is
used by Battistello, though quite successfully. He places two wingless
putti in the air, but one holds up the other, and this action seems to
sustain them both.[a] Another amazing design is from the hand of A. P.
Roll, who shows a nude-man in the air clutching another, and apparently
struggling to pull him down, yet the action seems perfectly natural.[b]

  [a] Adoration of the Shepherds, San Martino, Naples.

  [b] Design for the Petit Palais, Paris.


       *       *       *       *       *



NOTES



NOTE 1. PAGE 2

It is usual and proper to distinguish three kinds of beauty in painting,
namely, of colour, of form, and of expression. But form must be defined
by tones, and colour without form is meaningless: hence in the general
consideration of the painter's art, it is convenient to place form and
colour together as representing the sensorial element of beauty.
Nevertheless colour and form are not on the same plane in regard to
sense perception. Harmony of colour is distinguished involuntarily by
nerve sensations, but in the case of harmony of form there must be a
certain consideration before its æsthetic determination. The recognition
of this harmony commonly appears to be instantaneous, but still it is
delayed, the delay varying with the complexity of the signs, that is to
say, with the quality of the beauty.



NOTE 2. PAGE 2

Benedetto Croce, the inventor of the latest serious æsthetic system,
talks of the "science of art," but he says[a]:

     Science--true science, is a science of the spirit--Philosophy.
     Natural sciences spoken of apart from philosophy, are complexes
     of knowledge, arbitrarily abstracted and fixed.

It is perhaps needless to say that Croce's æsthetic system, like all the
others, collapses on a breath of inquiry. On the purely philosophical
side of it, further criticism is unnecessary, and its practical outcome
from the point of view of art is not far removed from the amazing
conclusions of Hegel. From the latter philosopher we learn that an idol
in the form of a stone pillar, or an animal set up by the primitive
races, is higher art than a drama by Shakespeare, or a portrait by
Titian, because it represents the Idea (Hegel's unintelligible
abstraction--see Note 5), while Croce tells us that "the art of savages
is not inferior, as art, to that of civilized peoples, provided it be
correlated to the impressions of the savages." Clearly if this be so, we
are not surprised to learn from Croce that Aristotle "failed to discern
the true nature of the æsthetic." Nevertheless, whatever be the outcome
of Croce's arguments, his system is at least more plausible than that of
either Hegel or Schopenhauer, for while these two invent highly
improbable abstractions upon which to base their systems, Croce only
gives new functions to an old and reasonable abstraction.

  [a] _Æsthetic_, Douglas Ainslie Translation, 1909.



NOTE 3. PAGE 3

The writer does not mean to suggest that these systems are set up for
the purpose of being knocked down: he desires only to indicate surprise
that in new works dealing with the perception of beauty, it is
considered necessary to restate the old æsthetic theories and to point
out their drawbacks, albeit the fatal objections to them are so numerous
that there is always fresh ground available for destructive criticism.
The best of the recent works on the subject that have come under the
notice of the writer, is E. F. Carritt's review of the present position
in respect of æsthetic systems. Though profound, he is so comprehensive
that he leaves little or nothing of importance for succeeding critics to
say till the next system is put forward. Yet here is his conclusion[a]:

     If any point can be thought to have emerged from the foregoing
     considerations, it is this: that in the history of æsthetics we
     may discover a growing pressure of emphasis upon the doctrine that
     all beauty is the expression of what may be generally called
     emotion, and that all such expression is beautiful.

This is all that an acute investigator can draw from the sum of the
æsthetic systems advanced. Now what does this mean? Let us turn to the
last page of Carritt's book and find the object of the search after a
satisfactory æsthetic system. It is, he says, "the desire to understand
goodness and beauty and their relations with each other or with
knowledge, as well as to practise or enjoy them." If we accept beauty as
the expression of emotion, how far have we progressed towards the
indicated goal? Not a step, for we have only agreed upon a new way of
stating an obvious condition which applies to the animal world as well
as to human beings. Beyond this there is nothing--not a glimpse of
sunshine from all the æsthetic systems laid down since the time of
Baumgarten.

More than twenty years ago Leo Tolstoy pointed out the unintelligible
character of these systems, but no further light has been thrown upon
them. Nevertheless Tolstoy's own interpretation of the significance of
beauty cannot possibly meet with general approval. He disputes that art
is directly associated with beauty or pleasure, and finds in fact that
what we call the beautiful representation of nature is not necessarily
art, but that[b]

     Art is a human activity, consisting in this, that one man
     consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others
     feelings he has lived through, and that other people are affected
     by these feelings, and also experience them.

This definition may mean almost anything, and particularly it may imply
pure imitation which Tolstoy condemns as outside of art. But it
certainly does not include many forms of what we call art, the author
specially condemning for instance, _Romeo and Juliet_, and declaring
that while _Faust_ is beautiful, "it cannot produce a really artistic
impression." The definition then seems to represent little more than a
quibble over terms. Tolstoy says that the beautiful representation of
nature is not art, but something else is. Very well then, all we have to
do is to find a new term for this representation of nature, and the
position remains as before except that the meaning of the term "art" has
been changed.

  [a] _The Theory of Beauty_, 1914.

  [b] _What is Art?_ Aylmer Maude Translation.



NOTE 4. PAGE 8

The evolutionary principle has been applied to art by Herbert Spencer
and J. A. Symonds, but not in the sense in which it is used in
connection with the development of living organisms. Spencer traces a
progression from the simple to the complex in the application of the
arts, but not in the arts themselves[a]; and Symonds endeavours to prove
that each separate marked period of art shows a progression which is
common to all; that is, from immature variations to a high type, then
downwards through a lower form represented by romanticism or elegance,
to realism, and from this to hybrid forms.[b] Spencer's argument is
suggestive, but his conclusions have been mostly upset by archaeological
discoveries made since his great book was published. The illustrations
given by Symonds are highly illuminating, but they are very far from
postulating a general law of evolution operating in the production of
art.

  [a] _First Principles_.

  [b] Essay on _Evolutionary Principles_.



  [Illustration: PLATE 24 (See page 260)
  The Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo (_Vatican_)]



NOTE 5. PAGE 8

It seems necessary to mention Hegel's art periods, though one can only
do so with a feeling of regret that a man who achieved a high reputation
as a philosopher should have entered the province of art only to
misconstrue its purpose with fantastic propositions which have no
historical or other apparent foundation. He divides art history into
Symbolic, Classic, and Romantic periods respectively. To accomplish this
he invents or discovers a new abstraction which he calls the Idea, this
representing man's conception, not of God, but of His perfection--His
supreme qualities, so that in one sense the Idea may be called the
Absolute, in another the Spirit, and in another, Truth. These terms are
in fact interchangeable, and each may be a manifestation of another, or
of God. This Idea, he says, being perfect beauty, is the basic concept
of art. In archaic times man was unable to give expression to this
concept, so he represented it by symbols: hence the earliest art was
Symbolic art. In the time of the Greeks man had so advanced that he was
able to give higher expression to the Idea, and he embodied it in a
perfect human form. This is the Classic period, which Hegel indicates
continued till Christianity spread abroad, when Classic form, though
perfect as art, was found insufficient for the now desired still higher
expression of the Idea. This expression could not be put into stone, so
other arts than sculpture were used for it, namely, poetry, painting,
and music, which are placed together as Romantic art. This is as nearly
as possible a statement of the periods of Hegel in short compass. It is
impossible to interpret logically his arguments, nor is it necessary,
for his conclusions when tested in the light of experience, develop into
inexplicable paradoxes and contradictions which border on the
ridiculous. Needless to say, the acceptance of this division means the
annihilation of our ideas of the meaning of art, and the condemnation to
the limbo of forgetfulness of nearly all the artists whose memory is
honoured.

The general interpretation of the terms "Classic Art" and "Romantic Art"
widely differs from that of Hegel, and varies with the arts. In the
literary arts the distinction is obvious, but the terms are used to
define both periods and classes; in architecture the Gothic period is
usually called the Romantic epoch; and in painting the terms have
reference to manner, the more formal manner being called Classic, and
the soft manner, Romantic; though it is commonly understood that
Romantic art is especially concerned with subjects associated with the
gentler side of life. But there is no general agreement. Some writers
assert that Giorgione was the first of the romanticists, others give the
palm to Watteau, a third section to Delacroix, and a fourth to the
Barbizon School. We must await a clear definition of "Romantic Art."



NOTE 6. PAGE 8

It may be reasonably argued that the want of development of the plastic
arts in England during the literary revival, was largely due to
artificial restrictions. Fine paintings were ordered out of the churches
by Elizabeth, and many were destroyed; while, following the lead of the
court, there was little or no encouragement offered by the public to
artists except perhaps in portraiture. Flaxman truly said of the
destruction of works of art in this period, that the check to the
national art in England occurred at a time which offered the most
essential and extraordinary assistance to its progress.



NOTE 7. PAGE 16

During the last half century or so, various writers of repute, including
Ruskin and Dean Farrar, have professed to find in the poorer works of
the Italian painters of the fourteenth century, and even in paintings of
Margaritone and others of the previous century, evidence of strong
religious emotion on the part of the artists. It is claimed that their
purpose in giving simple solemn faces to their Madonnas and Saints, was
"to tell the sacred story in all its beauty and simplicity"; that they
possessed a "powerful sincerity of emotion"; that they "delivered the
burning messages of prophecy with the stammering lips of infancy," and
so on. It is proper to say that there is nothing to support this view of
the early painters. We find no trace of any suggestions of the kind till
the last of these artists had been dead for about four hundred years,
while their lives, so far as we have any record, lend no warranty to the
statements. The painters of the fourteenth century took their art
seriously, but purely as a craft, and it was not uncommon with them to
combine two or three other crafts with that of painting. They designed
mostly sacred subjects for the simple reason that the art patrons of the
day seldom ordered anything else. In their private lives they associated
together, were generally agreeable companions, and not averse to an
occasional escapade. Moreover the time in which they lived was notable
for what we should call loose habits, and indeed from the thirteenth
century to the end of the fifteenth, religious observances and practices
were of a more hollow and formal character than they have ever been
since.

The position occupied by these painters in the progression of art from
the crude Byzantine period upwards, corresponds with that of the Roman
painters of the third and fourth centuries in the progression downwards
to the Byzantine epoch, and there is no more reason for supposing that
the Italians were actuated by special emotions in their work, than that
the Romans were so moved. In both cases the character of the work, as
Reynolds put it in referring to the Italians, was the result of want of
knowledge. The countenances usually presented by both Roman and Italian
artists have a half sad, half resigned expression, because this was the
only kind of expression that could be given by an immature painter whose
ideal was restricted by the necessity of eliminating elements which
might indicate happiness. Giotto, Taddeo Gaddi, Duccio, and a few more,
were exceptions in that their art was infinitely superior to the average
of the century, but all from Giotto downwards, laboured as craftsmen
only. No doubt they often worked with enthusiasm, and in this way their
emotions may have been brought into play, but there is no possible means
of identifying in a picture the emotions which an artist may have
experienced while he was painting it.

As to the sad expression referred to in these Italian works, it may be
observed that Edgar A. Poe held that the tone of the highest
manifestation of beauty is one of sadness. "Beauty of whatever kind," he
says, "in its supreme development invariably excites the sensitive soul
to tears."[a] But Poe is clearly mistaken here. It is not the beauty of
the work that affects the emotions to tears, when they are so affected,
but the subject of the design exhibiting the beauty. A picture or poem
representing a sad subject may be very beautiful, but the sadness itself
would not assist the beauty, though it might increase the emotional
effect. The higher forms of beauty rarely draw our tears, but elicit our
admiration without direct thought of anything but the beauty.

Who would weep when in front of the greatest marvels of Greek sculpture?

  [a] _The Philosophy of Composition._



NOTE 8. PAGE 21

It is commonly, but wrongfully, supposed that Rembrandt used his
broadest manner in painting commissioned portraits. The number of his
portraits known to exist is about 450, of which fifty-five are
representations of himself, and fifty-four of members of his household,
or relatives. There are, further, more than seventy studies of old men
and women, and thirty of younger men. The balance are commissioned
portraits or groups. This last section includes none at all of his
palette knife pictures, and not more than two or three which are
executed with his heaviest brushes. Generally his work broadened in his
later period, but up to the end of his life his more important works
were often painted in a comparatively fine manner, though the handling
was less careful and close.[a] The broadest style of the artist is
rarely exhibited except in his studies and family portraits. Further it
is extremely unlikely that a palette-knife picture would have been
accepted in Holland during Rembrandt's time as a serious work in
portraiture.

  [a] See among works dating after 1660, The Syndics of the Drapers,
        Portrait of a Young Man, Wachtmeister Collection; Lady with
        a Dog, Colmar Museum; and Portrait of a Young Man, late Beit
        Collection.



NOTE 9. PAGE 22

Darwin pointed out the permanent character of the changes in the nerves,
though he submitted another demonstration[a]:

     That some physical change is produced in the nerve cells or nerves
     which are habitually used can hardly be doubted, for otherwise it
     is impossible to understand how the tendency to certain acquired
     movements is inherited.

  [a] _The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals._



NOTE 10. PAGE 23

Reynolds evidently had little faith in original genius. Addressing Royal
Academy students, he said[a]:

     You must have no dependence on your own genius. If you have great
     talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate
     abilities, industry will supply the deficiency. Nothing is denied
     to well-directed labour; nothing is to be obtained without it.... I
     will venture to assert that assiduity unabated by difficulty, and a
     disposition eagerly directed to the object of its pursuit, will
     produce effects similar to those which some call the result of
     natural powers.

On another occasion Reynolds observed of Michelangelo[b]:

     He appears not to have had the least conception that his art was to
     be acquired by any other means than great labour; and yet he of all
     men that ever lived, might make the greatest pretensions to the
     efficacy of native genius and inspiration.

Gibbon said that Reynolds agreed with Dr. Johnson in denying all
original genius, any natural propensity of the mind to one art or
science rather than another.[c] Hogarth also agreed with Reynolds, for
he describes genius as "nothing but labour and diligence."

Croce says that genius has a quantitative and not a qualitative
signification, but he offers no demonstration.[d] Evidently he is
mistaken, for the signification is both quantitative and qualitative. It
is true that what a Phidias, or a Raphael, or a Beethoven puts together
is a sum of small beauties, any one of which may be equalled by another
man, but he does more than represent a number of beauties, for he
combines these into a beautiful whole which is superior in quality and
cannot be estimated quantitatively. We may possibly call Darwin a genius
because of the large number of facts he ascertained, and the correct
inferences he drew from them, but we particularly apply the term to him
by reason of the general result of all these facts and inferences, this
result being qualitative and not quantitative. Croce probably took his
dictum from Schopenhauer, who, however, represented degrees of quality
as quantitative,[e] which is of course confusing the issue.

  [a] Reynolds's Second Discourse.

  [b] His Fifth Discourse.

  [c] Gibbon's _Memoirs of my Life and Writings_.

  [d] _Æsthetic._

  [e] Essay on "Genius."



NOTE 11. PAGE 32

It is often observed by advocates of "new" forms of art that the work of
many great artists has been variously valued at different periods--that
leaders of marked departures in art now honoured, were frequently more
or less ignored in their own time, while other artists who acquired a
great reputation when living, have been properly put into the background
by succeeding generations. For the first statement no solid ground can
be shown. In painting, the artists since the Dark Age who can be said to
have led departures of any importance, are Cimabue, Giotto, the Van
Eycks, Masaccio, Lionardo, Dürer, Giorgione, Raphael, Michelangelo,
Titian, Holbein, Claude, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Watteau,
Reynolds, and Fragonard. All of these had their high talents recognized
and thoroughly appreciated in their lifetime. In sculpture the
experience is the same, for there is no sculptor now honoured whose work
was not highly valued by his contemporaries. So with poetry, but before
the invention of printing and in the earlier days of this industry,
poetry of any kind was very slow in finding its way among the people.
What might seem nowadays to have been inappreciation of certain poets
was really want of knowledge of them.

There is more truth in the assertion that many artists who had a high
reputation in their lifetime are now more or less disregarded, though
it does not follow from this that there has been a reversal of opinion
on the part of the public, or a variation in the acuteness of æsthetic
perception. Generally we find that these artists very properly held the
position they occupied in their time and country, and if they do not now
stand on exalted pedestals it is only because we compare them with men
of other periods and places, which their contemporary countrymen did
not do, at least for the purpose of establishing their permanent
position in art. Carlo Maratta for instance was celebrated in Italy as
the best painter of his country in his time, and even now we must so
regard him, but his contemporaries as with ourselves did not place him
on so high a level as his great predecessors of the sixteenth century,
and some of the seventeenth. A special reason why many of the
seventeenth century artists of Italy have fallen in public esteem may be
found in the fact that they excelled mostly in the production of
sensorial beauty, paying little attention to intellectual grace, and the
ripening of general intelligence as time goes on makes us more and more
sensitive to beauty of mind.



NOTE 12. PAGE 34

There have been many definitions of "Impressionism" given, but they vary
considerably. Professor Clausen describes it as the work of a number of
artists whose interest is in recording effects of light, seeking to
express nature only and disregarding old conventions.[a] Mr. D. S.
MacColl says that an impressionist is[b]

     a painter who, out of the completed contacts of vision constructs
     an image moulded upon his own interest in the thing seen, and not
     on that of any imaginary schoolmaster.

This definition is insufficient by itself, but the writer makes his
meaning clearer in the same article when he says:

     Impressionism is the art that surveys the field, and determines
     which of the shapes and tones are of chief importance to the
     interested eye, and expresses these and sacrifices the rest.

According to C. Mauclair, an acknowledged authority on impressionism,
the impressionist holds:

     Light becomes the one subject of a picture. The interest of the
     objects on which it shines is secondary. Painting thus understood
     becomes an art of pure optics, a seeking for harmonies, a species
     of natural poem, entirely distinct from expression, style, drawing,
     which have formed the main endeavour of preceding painting. It is
     almost necessary to invent a new word for this special art, which,
     while remaining throughout pictural, approaches music in the same
     degree as it departs from literature or psychology.[c]

What can be said of so amazing a declaration? The arts of painting and
music do not, and cannot, have any connection with each other. They are
concerned with different senses and different signs, and by no stretch
of the imagination can they be combined. Seeing that musical terms when
used in respect of painting by modern critics are almost invariably made
to apply to colour harmonies, we may infer that a confusion of thought
arises in the minds of the writers from the similar physical means by
which colour and sound are conveyed to the senses concerned. But this
similarity has nothing to do with the appreciation of art. The æsthetic
value of a work is determined when it is conveyed to the mind,
irrespective of the means by which it is so conveyed.

According to La Touche it was Fantin Latour who invented modern
impressionism. Braquemond relates that La Touche told him the following
story.[d] He (La Touche) was one day at the Louvre with Manet, when they
saw Latour copying Paolo Veronese's Marriage at Cana in a novel manner,
for instead of blending his colours in the usual way, he laid them on in
small touches of separate tones. The result was an unexpected brilliancy
("papillotage imprevu") which amazed but charmed the visitors.
Nevertheless when Manet left the Louvre with La Touche, he appeared
anything but satisfied with what he had seen, and pronounced it humbug.
But Latour's method evidently sunk into his mind, for a few days later
he commenced to use it himself. Thus, added La Touche, was modern
impressionism unchained. The date of this visit was not given by La
Touche, but 1874 was subsequently suggested. This account does not fit
in with the statement of MacColl that when Monet and Pissarro were in
London during the siege of Paris, the study of Turner's pictures gave
them the suggestion of these broken patches of colour.[e] If this be
true Monet must have antedated Manet in the application of isolated
tones.

D. S. Eaton asserts that in the Salon of 1867, there was exhibited a
picture by Monet which was entitled Impressions,[f] and from this arose
the word "Impressionist"; but Phythian says that the word resulted from
Monet's "Impression, soleil levant," exhibited in 1874 at the Nadar
Gallery in Paris with other works from Le Société Anonyme des Artistes,
Peintres, Sculpteurs, et Graveurs. Phythian adds[g]:

     Thus, unwittingly led by one of the exhibitors, visitors to the
     exhibition came to use the word "impressioniste," and within a few
     days a contemptuously unfavourable notice of the exhibition
     appeared in _Le Charivari_ under the heading "Exposition des
     Impressionistes." It was not until the lapse of several years that
     the name came into general use. The painters to whom it was applied
     disowned it because it was used in a depreciatory sense. Eventually
     however, unable to find a better one, they adopted it.

Another origin of Impressionism is given by Muther. He says[h]:

     The name "Impressionists" dates from an exhibition in Paris which
     was given at Nadar's in 1871. The catalogue contained a great deal
     about impressions--for instance, "Impression de mon pot au feu,"
     "Impression d'un chat qui se promene." In his criticism Claretie
     summed up the impressions, and spoke of the Salon des
     Impressionistes.

But the real origin of impressionism must be sought earlier than 1871,
for in 1865 Manet exhibited his Olympia in the Salon des Refusés. This
picture did not represent what was understood as impressionism ten years
later, but it led the way towards the establishment of the innovation,
in that it pretended that healthy ideas and noble designs were secondary
considerations in art. Certainly Manet could not descend lower than this
wretched picture, and in this sense his subsequent work was a distinct
advance.

  [a] Royal Academy Lectures.

  [b] Article on "Impressionism," _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th
        Edition.

  [c] _L'Impressionism, son histoire, son esthétique, ses maîtres._

  [d] _Le Journal des Arts_, 1909.

  [e] Article on "Impressionism," _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th
        edition.

  [f] _Handbook of Modern French Painting._

  [g] _Fifty Years of Modern Painting._

  [h] _History of Modern Painting_, vol. iii.



NOTE 13. PAGE 35

The reason given by impressionists for the juxtaposition of pure colours
is that the natural blend produced is more brilliant than the tone from
the mixed colours applied, but it is pointed out by Moreau-Vauthier that
the contrary is the case. He says[a]:

     We find in practice that the parent colours do not, with material
     colours, produce the theoretical binaries. We get dark, dull
     greens, oranges, and violets, that clash with the parent colours.
     To make them harmonize we should be obliged to dim these material
     colours, to transform them, and consequently to lose them partly.

  [a] _The Technique of Painting_, 1912.



NOTE 14. PAGE 37

Cézanne and Van Gogh are not usually put forward as representative
impressionists, but it is impossible to differentiate logically between
the various "isms" of which impressionism is the mother, and to attempt
a serious argument upon them would be apt to reflect upon the common
sense of the reader. The sincere impressionist certainly produces a
thing of beauty, however ephemeral and lacking in high character the
beauty may be, but most of the productions of the other "isms" only
serve the purpose of degrading the artist and the art.



NOTE 15. PAGE 40

This form of picture is by no means new, though except among the
inventors of sprezzatura, and the modern impressionists, it has always
been executed as a rough sketch for the purpose of settling harmonies
for serious work. Lomazzo relates that Aurelio, son of Bernadino Luini,
while visiting Titian, asked him how he managed to make his landscape
tones harmonize so well. For reply the great master showed Aurelio a
large sketch, the character of which could not be distinguished when it
was closely inspected, but on the observer stepping back, a landscape
appeared "as if it had suddenly been lit up by a ray of the sun."[a]
From Luini's surprise, and inasmuch as we have no record of similar work
before his time, it is reasonable to suppose that Titian was the first
great artist to use this form of sketch for experimental purposes.

  [a] _Trattato dell' Arte de la Pittura._



  [Illustration: PLATE 25 (See page 269)
  The Pleiads, by M. Schwind]



NOTE 16. PAGE 40

The example of this picture at the Pitti Palace is specially noted
because it seems impossible that the duplicate in the Uffizi Gallery can
be by Raphael, for it has obvious defects, some of which have many times
been pointed out. The expression is vastly inferior to that in the Pitti
portrait, for instead of a calm, noble, benign countenance, we have a
half-worried senile face which is anything but pleasant. Raphael was the
last man to execute a portrait of a Pope without generalizing high
character in the features. It will be observed also that in the Uffizi
portrait, the left hand is stiff and cramped, and the drapery
ungracefully flowing, while both uprights of the chair are actually out
of drawing. There are other examples of the same picture in different
museums, but the Pitti work is far above these in every respect, and
seems the only one which can be properly attributed to the master.
Passavant affirms that some of the repetitions of the work were
certainly made in the studio of Raphael under his orders, and thinks
that the duplicates passed for originals even in his time.[a]

  [a] _Raphael d'Urbin_, vol. ii.



NOTE 17. PAGE 41

To the knowledge of the writer, the only logical connection between the
work of Rembrandt and impressionism that has been suggested, is from the
pen of Professor Baldwin Brown, who remarks[a]:

     Rembrandt in his later work attended to the pictorial effect alone,
     and practically annulled the objects by reducing them to pure tone
     and colour. Things are not there at all, but only the semblance, or
     effect, or impression of things. Breadth is in this way combined
     with the most delicate variety, and a new form of painting, now
     called "impressionism" has come into being.

The professor is mistaken here. During the last fifteen years of his
life, apart from portraits, a few studies of heads, and some colour
experiments with carcases of meat, Rembrandt executed, so far as is
known, about three dozen pictures, and in all of these he effectually
prevents us from forming a general impression of the designs before
considering the more important details, by concentrating nearly all the
available light upon the countenances of the principal personages
represented; while in the management of the features, the whole purpose
of the chiaroscuro is for the purpose of obtaining relief. Moreover the
pictures are nearly all groups of personages in set subjects, and there
would be no meaning in the designs if the objects were "practically
annulled," for particular action and expression are necessary for their
comprehension.

As to Velasquez there is no evidence tending to support the statement
that he was an impressionist. The first authority on the artist has
definitely pointed out that he never took up his brushes except for an
important and definite work: "he neither painted impressions nor
daubs."[b]

  [a] Article on "Painting," _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th edition.

  [b] _Velasquez_, by De Beruete, 1902.



NOTE 18. PAGE 49

It will always be a matter of surprise that so much popularity was
secured by the light sketches of the Barbizon School, considering their
general insignificance from the point of view of art, and the
conspicuously artificial means adopted for their exploitation. Some of
the artists of this school, having accomplished many studio works of
merit, acquired the habit of painting in the open air. By this method
it is impossible to execute a comprehensive natural scene, and the
painters did not attempt the task, but they produced numberless sketchy
works of local scenes under particular atmospheric conditions. They
laboured honestly and conscientiously, and their sketches were put out
for what they were and nothing more. The paintings would probably have
retained their place as simple studies had not some commercial genius
conceived the idea of putting them into heavy, gorgeous, gilt frames.
With this embellishment they were successfully scattered round the
world, mostly in the newer portions, much to the general astonishment.
The _raison d'être_ of the frames puzzled many persons, though it was
frequently observed that the pictures do not look well unless surrounded
by ample gold leaf. Thus, C. J. Holmes, Director of the London National
Gallery, and an authority on impressionism, notes[a]:

     Barbizon pictures are almost invariably set in frames with an
     undeniably vulgar look. Yet in such a rectangle of gilded
     contortion a Corot or a Daubigny shows to perfection: place it in a
     frame of more reticent design, and it becomes in a moment flat,
     empty, and tame.

The purpose of this frame is obvious. The eye is caught by the dazzling
glitter, and feels immediate relief when it rests upon the quiet grey
tone of the painting, the pleasurable sensation resulting therefrom
being mistaken for involuntary appreciation of the beauty of the work.

As finished paintings these Barbizon sketches are novel, but as studies
they are not, for similar work has been executed for two or three
centuries, and particularly by the Dutch artists of the seventeenth
century. In every considerable collection of drawings such sketches may
be found, and there is scarcely a Barbizon painter whose work was not
anticipated by a Dutch master. One has only to examine the drawings in
the public art institutions of Europe by De Molyn, Blyhooft, Jan de
Bischop, Lambert Doomer, Berghem, Avercamp, and others, to find examples
which, if executed now, might easily be taken for works by the Barbizon
masters.

  [a] _Notes on the Science of Picture-Making._



NOTE 19. PAGE 52

In recent times attempts have been made to upset the dictum of Aristotle
as to the imitative character of the arts generally, exception being
taken in respect of music and architecture. The first objection as to
music arose with Schopenhauer, though he does not appear to have been
quite certain of his position. He stated that while the other arts
represent ideas, music does not, but being an art it must represent
something, and he suggested that this something is the "Will," the term
being used in the Schopenhauer philosophical sense, that is to say,
implying the active principle of the universe, not being God. This means
nothing at all from the point of view of art, and cannot even be
seriously considered. The most notable essay on the subject since
Schopenhauer is from the pen of Sidney Colvin who places music and
architecture in a non-imitative group by themselves, the former on the
principal ground that "it is like nothing else; it is no representation
or similitude of anything whatever"; while architecture, he says,
"appeals to our faculties for taking pleasure in non-imitative
combinations of stationary masses."[a] But what Aristotle meant is that
the arts are imitative in character, and not that they necessarily
attempt to produce works of similitude with nature, this being evident
from the fact that he pointed out that the higher works of art surpass
nature, and he divided poetry and painting into three sections, of
which the first is better than life, and the third inferior to it.

The musician in producing his art proceeds in precisely the same way as
the poet or painter. He takes natural signs and rearranges them in a new
order, producing a combination which is not to be found complete in
nature, but every sign therein is natural and must necessarily be so.
The higher the flight of the poet, or musician, or painter, or sculptor,
the farther is the result from nature, but nevertheless the whole aim of
the musician, as of the poet, is to represent emotional effects or
natural phenomena beyond experience in life, as the great sculptor
represents form and expression, and the great poet besides these things,
every abstract quality, passion, and emotional effect, above this
experience; but he cannot do more; he cannot represent something outside
of nature, and so must imitate, that is, in the sense of representation.

Darwin notes that even a perfect musical scale can be found in nature.
He says[b]:

     It is a remarkable fact that an ape, a species of the gibbon
     family, produces an exact octave of musical sounds, ascending and
     descending the scale by half tones. From this fact, and from the
     analogy of other animals, I have been led to infer that the
     progenitors of man probably uttered musical tones, and that
     consequently, when the voice is used under any strong emotion, it
     tends to assume, through the principle of association, a musical
     character.

It has been further demonstrated that the strength of the sensory
impressions from certain sounds is due to the structure of the ear, and
that generally a particular kind of sound produces a similar kind of
emotional effect in animals as in man. Obviously the musician is
powerless to do more than widen or deepen this effect. Colvin admits
that the musician sometimes directly imitates, as when he produces the
notes of birds or the sounds of natural forces, or when he represents
particular emotions; but he regards the former instances as hazardous
and exceptional, and indicates that a particular emotional harmony may
affect the hearers differently. True, but the hazard of the first
condition is the result of the limitations of the artist, and the second
condition is the consequence of the limitations of the art. The effect
of music being purely sensorial must vary with the emotional conditions
surrounding the hearer. The musician does what he can, but he is unable
to go so far as the poet and produce an emotional effect which will with
certainty be recognized by every person affected, at all times, as
having the same particular bearing.

Taine separates music ("properly so called" as distinguished from
dramatic music) and architecture from the imitative arts, as they
"combine mathematical relationships so as to create works that do not
correspond with real objects."[c] Obviously the whole purpose of
dramatic music is to imitate the effects of the passions, but its
necessary inclusion amongst the imitative arts upsets the dictum of
Taine, for the emotional effects of one kind of music only differ from
those of another kind when they differ at all, in the character of the
natural emotional effects represented.

In the case of the architect, seeing that his art is subordinated to
utility, his scheme, his measurements, and the character of his
materials, are largely or almost entirely governed by conditions outside
of his art, and consequently it is only possible for him to represent
nature to a limited extent. Rarely can he vaguely suggest a natural
aisle beneath the celestial dome, a rock-walled cave whose roof soars
into obscurity, or a fairy grotto backed by a beetling cliff. Sometimes
he may cause us to experience similar effects in kind to those we feel
when we recognize grandeur in nature, but usually he is compelled to
confine his beauty to harmonies produced by symmetrical designs of
straight lines and curves. But in his simplest as in his most complex
designs, he must follow nature as closely as possible. Purely ornamental
forms always appear more beautiful when the parts have a direct
mathematical relationship with each other than when they have not; that
is to say, when the parts appear to be naturally related. Thus, that a
cross appears to be less agreeable to the sight when the horizontal bar
is below the centre of the perpendicular than when it is above this
point, is due to what appears to be a want of balance because the form
is unobservable in nature. In trees the horizontal parts are usually
above the middle of the height of the observable trunk, and in the
exceptions nature gives the whole tree a conical or other shape, the
relative position of the horizontal parts being obscured in the general
form.

As with parts of forms, so with the forms as wholes. Other things being
equal, that design is the best where the forms are directly proportioned
one with the other and with the whole, and this is because we are
accustomed to the order of design in nature where everything is balanced
by means of direct proportions and corresponding relations. The
architect therefore, like the musician or poet, must represent nature so
far as he can within the limits of his art, though his representation is
comparatively weak owing to the artificial restrictions imposed upon
him.

  [a] Article on "Fine Arts," _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th Edition.

  [b] _The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals._

  [c] _On the Ideal in Art._



NOTE 20. PAGE 54

The dictum of Aristotle in reference to metre in poetry related only to
epic and dramatic verse, for what we understand as lyric poetry was
separated by the Greeks as song in which of course metre is compulsory.
It is doubtful whether a single definition can cover both epic poetry,
whose beauty lies almost wholly in the substance, and lyric verse where
the beauty rests chiefly in qualities of expression and musical form,
and in which indeed the substance may be altogether negligible. A
cursory examination of Watts-Dunton's definition of "Poetry," which is
admittedly the best put forward in recent times, shows its entire
inadequacy. "Absolute poetry," he says, "is the concrete and artistic
expression of the human mind in emotional and rhythmical language."[a]
This would exclude from the art some of the finest sacred verse, which,
though in the form of prose, has been recognized as poetry from time
immemorial. Metre is only one of the devices of the poet for
accomplishing his end---the presentation of beautiful pictures upon the
mind, but in high poetry there is a still more compulsory artifice which
is not included in Watts-Dunton's definition, and that is metaphor. In
the form of words the details of a picture can only be dealt with
successively, and not simultaneously, and without metaphor the poet
would sometimes be in the position of the painter who should present a
dozen different pictures each containing only one part of a composition,
and call upon the observer to put the pieces together in his mind.
Further the term "absolute" in the definition quoted has no
comprehensible meaning if it does not exclude a good deal of verse which
is commonly recognized as poetry, while, as is admitted by Watts-Dunton,
there is much accepted lyric verse without concrete expression.

In high poetry as in high painting, the beauty appeals both to the
senses and the mind, and in each art the quality descends as the
sensorial overbalances the intellectual appeal, and the effect becomes
more ephemeral. In the very highest of the plastic arts, colour has
little value except in assisting definition; and in the very highest
poetry musical form has only an emphasizing value, for the sensorial
beauty arising from form in the one case, and form and action in the
other, entirely overpowers the harmonies of colour and tone
respectively. But colour without design is meaningless, so that it
cannot be applied in the fine arts apart from design: hence in painting,
colour presents no complication in respect of definition. On the other
hand music, with or without association with poetry, is equally an art
since in either case it imitates the effects of human emotions in a
beautiful way. Thus, where metre is present poetry is a combined art,
and seeing that metre may not be present, a definition of "Poetry" must
cover what may be in one case a pure, and in another, a compound art.

  [a] Article on "Poetry," _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th edition.



NOTE 21. PAGE 55

There seems to be a tendency to overestimate the disparity between
translations of high poetry and the originals. The value of a
translation depends primarily upon the character of the thing
translated, since it is the form that is unreproducible in another
tongue, and not the substance. In epic and dramatic poetry where the
form is of secondary importance, a good literal translation may come
much nearer to the original than a translation of a lyric where the form
is usually of at least equal importance with the substance. We lose less
of Homer or Sophocles than of Sappho or Theocritus in translation. In
the case of epic poetry the higher its character, the closer to the
original appears the translation, because the form is of less relative
importance. More of Dante is lost than of Homer in literal translation,
but the difference narrows when the new versions are in metrical form,
for the use of metre in translation is necessarily more detrimental as
the substance of the original increases in power, and this relative
weakening is emphasized as the beauty of form in the translation is
raised. Pope is farther from Homer than Chapman, and Chapman than the
prose translations of Buckley and Lang. As we descend in the scale of
the art, so it becomes more difficult to reproduce the poet in
translation, and in most lyric poetry the beauty seems almost entirely
lost in another tongue from the original, though when the substance is
of weight, and the translator is himself a good poet, he sometimes gives
us a paraphrase with a high beauty of its own. Some modern poets seem to
eschew substance altogether. Much of the verse of esteemed French and
Belgian poets is quite meaningless in literal translation, the authors
relying for the effects entirely upon musical form and beauty of
expression.



NOTE 22. PAGE 66

Lessing points out this remarkable picture of Homer as emphasizing the
beauty of Helen, observing:

     What could produce a more vivid idea of beauty than making old age
     confess that it is well worth while the war which cost so much
     blood, and so much treasure?

Nevertheless the remark of the old men does not seem to mean so much as
the description of the sages and their reference to the goddesses. It is
difficult to imagine several wise men agreeing that the sanguinary war
of nine years was really excusable in view of Helen's beauty, and the
statement therefore is naturally received as a permissible overcolour.
Consequently the effect of the remark would be discounted, and unlikely
to be sufficient for the purpose of the poet. True, the Greeks seem to
have been childlike sometimes in their simplicity, but there is no
evidence that they were so wanting in a sense of proportion as to accept
literally this opinion of the elders. But when we observe the senility
of the elders, and the physical feebleness which has apparently rendered
them incapable of sensual pleasures, then indeed we must marvel at a
beauty which excites their emotions so powerfully as to bring the
goddesses to their minds.[a]

In discussing the suitableness of this incident as a subject for a
painting, Lessing remarks that the passion felt by the old men was "a
momentary spark which their wisdom at once extinguished," but later on,
referring to the possibility that the veil worn by Helen when she passed
through the streets of Troy had not been removed when she was seen by
the elders, he points out[b]:

     When the elders displayed their admiration for her, it must not be
     forgotten that they were not seeing her for the first time. Their
     confession therefore did not necessarily arise from the present
     momentary view of her, for they had doubtless often experienced
     before the feelings which they now for the first time acknowledged.

This is very true, but it only serves to deepen the impression of
Helen's beauty, for the element of surprise is removed from the minds of
the elders, the mere sight of her, veiled or unveiled, being sufficient
to recall the passionate thrills previously experienced.

  [a] See on this subject Quintilian, viii., 4.

  [b] _Laocoon_, Rönnfeldt translation.



NOTE 23. PAGE 67

In nearly all the instances of sublimity quoted by Longinus there is
this particular merit of brevity---the picture is thrown upon the brain
immediately, without pause or anything whatever to complicate the
beauty. But the learned critic directs attention only to the magnificent
thoughts and the appropriate use of them, without pointing out the
extraordinary condensation of the language employed. Apart from the
instance from Genesis given, there is another of his examples in which
practically the whole beauty of the picture is produced by the rapidity
of its presentation. This is the exclamation of Hyperides when accused
of passing an illegal decree for the liberation of slaves--"It was not
an orator that made this decree, but the battle of Chæronea." Longinus
observes[a]:

     At the same time that he exhibits proof of his legal proceedings,
     he intermixes an image of the battle, and by that stroke of art
     quite passes the bounds of mere persuasion.

But it was rather the manner in which the battle was introduced than the
fact of its introduction, that gave force to the argument. If instead of
confining himself to a short brilliant observation, Hyperides had
carefully traced cause and effect in the matter, he would still have
intermixed an image of the battle, but he would not then have produced a
work of art.

Still finer instances of the use of brevity in expresssion by the orator
are to be found in the speeches of Demosthenes. For example in his
oration On the Crown he says: "Man is not born to his parents only, but
to his country." A whole volume on the meaning and virtue of patriotism
could not say more: hence the sublime art. The simple statement lights
a torch by which we examine every convulsion in history; presents a
moving picture in which we see the motives and aspirations guiding the
patriots of a hundred generations; sets an eternal seal of nobility upon
the love of man for his native country. And a few words suffice. The
same thought might be elaborated into a large volume, but the art would
fly with the brevity.

  [a] _On the Sublime_, XV., William Smith translation.



NOTE 24. PAGE 68

There are many translations of the Ode to Anactoria, but the best of
them reflects only slightly the depth of passion in the original. The
version which most nearly represents the substance, while maintaining
the unhalting flow of language, is perhaps that of Ambrose Philips
(1675-1749), which runs thus:--

  Blest as th' immortal gods is he,
  The youth who fondly sits by thee,
  And hears, and sees thee all the while
  Softly speak, and sweetly smile.

  'Twas this deprived my soul of rest,
  And raised such tumults in my breast;
  For while I gazed, in transport tost,
  My breath was gone, my voice was lost.

  My bosom glowed; the subtle flame
  Ran quick through all my vital frame;
  O'er my dim eyes a darkness hung;
  My ears with hollow murmurs rung.

  In dewy damps my limbs were chilled;
  My blood with gentle horrors thrilled;
  My feeble pulse forgot to play;
  I fainted, sunk, and died away.

The English reproductions of this ode in the Sapphic measure are not
very successful, the difficulty of course being due to the practical
impossibility of fulfilling the quantitative conditions of the strophe
without stilting the flow of language, or unduly varying the substance.
But it has been shown by Dr. Marion Miller in his translation of
Sappho's Hymn to Aphrodite, which is much higher in substance and
somewhat less condensed in expression than the Ode to Anactoria, that
with certain liberties in respect of quantities, a very beautiful
semblance of the Sapphic measure may be produced in English. His
translation of this hymn is unquestionably the best in our language,
though this is perhaps partly due to the fact that he is almost the only
translator who has adhered to the text in regard to the sex of the loved
person. To make the object of affection a man seems inappropriate to the
language employed in the verse. (It is proper to mention that a license
taken by Dr. Miller in his translation---where he renders the passage
relating to the sparrows, as "clouding with their pinions, Earth's wide
dominions"--suggested to the present writer the somewhat similar picture
to be found on Page 111.)



  [Illustration: PLATE 26 (See page 250)
  St. Margaret, by Raphael (_Louvre_)]



NOTE 25. PAGE 68

The gradual decadence of the great period of Grecian sculpture is well
marked by the successive variations of the Cnidian Aphrodite of
Praxiteles. The copy of this at the Vatican is no doubt a close
representation of the original, but later there was commenced a long
series of variations, all of them more or less complicating the design.
First a pillar was substituted for the vase, reaching nearly to the
armpits, and the left forearm rested upon it, while drapery fell down
the front, so that some exertion was required to separate the figure to
the eye. Then a dolphin was substituted for the pillar, the head of the
animal resting on the ground, and the body rising up straight with
the bent tail forming the support. Then for this was placed a dolphin
with its body corkscrew shaped, which was particularly weak as it tended
to deprive the figure of repose. After this, while the dolphin was
maintained, a cestus was sometimes added, and heavy drapery applied in
various folds. Finally the attitude of the figure was changed, that of
the Venus de' Medici being adopted, while the pillar or dolphin was
retained. Each alteration necessarily diminished the beauty of the
figure.



NOTE 26. PAGE 69

Reynolds seems to have been disappointed with the frescoes of Raphael
when he first saw them, and this fact has been called in evidence by
some modern critics to support their contention that the art of the
great masters is really inferior to that wherein design is subordinated
to colour. But Reynolds very definitely admitted that his first
impression was wrong, for after studying the frescoes, he notes[a]:

     In a short time a new taste and a new perception began to dawn upon
     me, and I was convinced that I had originally formed a false
     opinion of the perfection of art, and that this great painter was
     well entitled to the high rank which he holds in the admiration of
     the world.

Reynolds was quite a young man when he went to Rome, and his
appreciation of Raphael increased as his experience matured. More than
twenty years after the visit, he remarked that Raphael had "a greater
combination of the high qualities of the art than any other man,"[b] and
ten years later he affirmed that the Urbino artist stood foremost among
the first painters.[c] Reynolds supposed that his lack of appreciation
of the frescoes when he first saw them arose from want of immediate
comprehension of them: he was unaccustomed to works of such great power,
but it is to be observed that his inspection was a very short one, and
we may reasonably draw the conclusion that changing light conditions had
much to do with the effect the paintings left upon him at the time. When
one enters a room where the light differs materially in intensity or
quality from that experienced just previously, it is advisable to rest
quietly for a little while before examining works defined by colour, in
order that the eyes may become accustomed to the new light.

  [a] Reynolds's _Italian Note Book_.

  [b] His Fifth Discourse at the Royal Academy.

  [c] His Twelfth Discourse.



NOTE 27. PAGE 73

That the judgment of the public upon a work of art is final seems to
have been recognized by all the ancient writers who dealt with the
matter, and that the Greeks generally held this view is evident from
many incidents, notably the reference to public judgment in the great
competition between Phidias and Alcamenes. During the Renaissance also
the opinion held good, and it is worth noting that the suggestion
sometimes made that Michelangelo did not conform to this view is
unsupported by evidence. Vasari relates the following anecdote[a]:

     He [Michelangelo] went to see a work of sculpture which was about
     to be sent out because it was finished, and the sculptor was taking
     much trouble to arrange the lights from the windows to the end that
     it might show up well; whereupon Michelangelo said to him: "Do not
     trouble yourself, the important thing will be the light of the
     piazza"; meaning to infer that when works are in public places, the
     people must judge whether they are good or bad.

Lionardo went so far as to advise artists to hear any man's opinion on
his work, "for," he said, "we know very well that though a man may not
be a painter, he has a true conception of the form of another man."[b]
It is a common misconception with the general public, though not among
serious artists, that by reason of their profession artists are better
judges of works of art than other men. Obviously the recognition of
beauty in art is apart altogether from the means by which it is created,
and subject to the exceptions noted elsewhere, all men are alike able to
appreciate high beauty. Winckelmann even advised his readers against the
judgment of artists on the ground that they generally preferred what is
difficult to what is beautiful,[c] but experience with the great art
bodies in Europe who hold exhibitions does not support this view. It is
only the weaker artists who are liable to be prejudiced in such matters,
and when the judges are of high attainments in art, they almost
invariably make the same choice in competitions that would be made if
general opinion were solicited. But although artists cannot be better
judges of high-class works of art (as beautiful things) than other men
of equal intelligence, their training usually enables them to
distinguish obscure forms of beauty which would be unrecognized by the
general public, and in matters of colour to differentiate between
ephemeral and more or less permanent harmonies. Hence while the public
interests would not suffer from the introduction of the lay element in
judging high class sculpture and painting, it is obvious that the
consideration of works where the lower forms of beauty only are
produced, as in formal decoration, should be confined to the profession.

In music alone of the arts, for reasons already given, special
cultivation is necessary for the judgment of the higher forms of beauty.

  [a] _Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti_, De Vere translation.

  [b] McCurdy's _Lionardo da Vinci's Note Books_.

  [c] _History of Ancient Art_, Part V., 6.



NOTE 28. PAGE 74

It is commonly supposed that the vast multitude of men and women--the
toilers in the fields and factories, and their families, do not
appreciate great works of art; that rarely they take an interest in any
kind of art, and then only in simple representations of everyday
incidents. This is so apparently, but it is not strictly true. The great
bulk of working people grow up amidst surroundings where they do not
have an opportunity of seeing good works of art. They toil from morn to
eve during their whole life: their imaginations are almost entirely
confined to their means of livelihood, their daily routine of labour,
and their household duties. A "mute inglorious Milton" remains mute
because he wants the knowledge and experience around which his fancy may
roam, and a potential Raphael dies in obscurity from the enforced
rigidity of his imagination. But even so, notwithstanding that the
nervous activities and the imaginations of the poorer workers remain
undeveloped, they are still subservient to the irrevocable laws of
nature. Their faculties may be little changed from childhood in respect
of matters appertaining to the higher senses, but they still exist. So
it comes about that in all times since art has been practised, the
paintings and sculptures of the greater masters have been well
appreciated by the multitude when they could come into contact with
them. In modern times great works of art are seldom available to the
masses except in public galleries where their sense perception and minds
are quickly confused and fatigued--in fact rendered incapable of
legitimate use, but the trend of popular opinion is very decidedly
settled by the experience of those business houses which undertake the
reproduction of important works. There are many times the demand for
prints and cards of pictures belonging to the higher forms of art, as
for instance, sacred and historical subjects, and portraits, than for
interiors and landscapes, and so incessant is this demand for the better
works, that a painter desiring to copy one of the great Raphael or
Correggio Madonnas at Florence for reproduction, will usually have to
wait three or four years after entering his name, before his turn comes
to set up his easel. It is rather the want of intelligent contact with
them, than indifference to them, that is due the apparent lack of
interest in great works of art on the part of the labouring classes.

There is a deal of truth in the incisive remarks of Leo Tolstoy when
dealing with this question. He says [a]:

     Art cannot be incomprehensible to the great masses only because it
     is very good, as artists of our day are fond of telling us. Rather
     we are bound to conclude that this art is unintelligible because it
     is very bad art, or even is not art at all. So that the favourite
     argument (naïvely accepted by the cultured crowd), that in order to
     feel art one has first to understand it (which really means to
     habituate oneself to it), is the truest indication that what we are
     asked to understand by such a method, is either very bad art,
     exclusive art, or is not art at all.

One may observe however that, as a rule, it is only inferior artists who
complain of the want of public appreciation of great works of art.

  [a] _What is Art?_ Aylmer Maude translation, 1904.



NOTE 29. PAGE 78

According to Lessing and Watts-Dunton, what the former calls the
dazzling antithesis of Simonides--"Poetry is speaking painting, and
painting dumb poetry"--has had a wide and deleterious effect upon art
criticism. Lessing, who wrote _Laocoon_ about 1761, said in his preface
in reference to this saying:

     It was one of those ideas held by Simonides, the truth of which is
     so obvious that one feels compelled to overlook the indistinctness
     and falsehood which accompany it.... But of late many critics, just
     as though no difference existed, have drawn the crudest conclusions
     one can imagine from this harmony of painting and poetry.

Watts-Dunton, writing a few years ago, added to this[a]:

     It [the saying of Simonides] appears to have had upon modern
     criticism as much influence since the publication of Lessing's
     _Laocoon_ as it had before.

Lessing points out that the Greeks confined the saying to the effect
produced by the two arts, and (evidently referring to Aristotle) did not
forget to inculcate that these arts differed from each other in the
things imitated and the manner of imitation.

Since the business of both poetry and painting is to throw pictures on
the mind, the declaration of Simonides must be accepted, but it has no
particular meaning as applied either to criticism or the practice of the
arts. It is merely a fact of common knowledge put into the form of a
misleading _jeu d'esprit_, though one has a natural reluctance in so
describing a time-honoured saying. There is room for doubt whether it
really had the effect upon criticism that is alleged. Annibale Carracci
varied it slightly into a better form with "Poets paint with words, and
painters speak with the pencil," and it was certainly as well known in
his time as in the eighteenth century, yet we find no particular
evidence of weak art criticism either in the sixteenth or seventeenth
century. Moreover allegorical painting was not less common in these
centuries than in the century following; and while there was
unquestionably a spurt of descriptive poetry in the eighteenth, it is
difficult to trace a connection between this phenomenon and general
criticism based upon the dictum of Simonides. In regard to later times,
the statement of Watts-Dunton wants demonstration.

  [a] Article on "Poetry," _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th edition.



NOTE 30. PAGE 79

A few distinguished poets have attempted to portray beauty of form by
description of features, but they have all been signally unsuccessful.
The best known essay of the kind is Ariosto's portrait of Araminta,
where he closely describes all details of her features and form, using
forty lines for the purpose; but put together the pieces as one will, it
is quite impossible to gain from them an idea of the beauty of her
countenance.[a] This is pointed out by Lessing. The very length of the
catalogue is apt to kill the beauty as one endeavours to dovetail the
separate elements. Perhaps the lines of Cornelius Gallus to Lydia form
the most perfect poetical delineation of a beautiful face known to us,
but as will be seen from the translation below, they are quite
insufficient to enable us to picture the beauty of the combined features
on our minds.[b]

  Lydia! girl of prettiest mien,
  And fairest skin, that e'er were seen:
  Lilies, cream, thy cheeks disclose;
  The ruddy and the milky rose;
  Smooth thy limbs as ivory shine,
  Burnished from the Indic mine.
  Oh, sweet girl! those ringlets spread
  Long and loose, from all thy head;
  Glistening like gold in yellow light
  O'er thy falling shoulders white.
  Show, sweet girl! thy starry eyes,
  And black brows that arching rise:
  Show, sweet girl! thy rose-bloom cheeks,
  Which Tyre's vermillion scarlet streaks:
  Drop those pouting lips to mine,
  Those ripe, those coral lips of thine.

  [a] _Orlando Furioso_, C. VII.

  [b] C. A. Elton translation.



NOTE 31. PAGE 80

If there be one example of descriptive poetry relating to landscape
which throws upon the mind a complete natural scene during the process
of reading, it is the beautiful chant of the Chorus in _Oedipus
Coloneus_. The perfection of form and majestic diction of this poetry
are remarkable, but the successful presentation of the picture on the
mind is largely due to the simple and direct language used, and the
astonishing brevity with which the many features of the scene are
described. Green dells, fields, plains, groves, rocks, flowers, fruit,
and rushing waters, are all brought in, and the few lines used do not
prevent the introduction of the Muses, the jovial Bacchus with the
nursing nymphs, and radiant Aphrodite. All modern poetry descriptive of
landscape entirely fails in presenting a comprehensive view. It is too
discursive--over descriptive, to permit of the mind collecting the
details together as one whole. Here is the best prose version of the
lines of Sophocles[a]:

     Thou hast come, O stranger, to the seats of this land, renowned for
     the steed; to seats the fairest on earth, the chalky Colonus; where
     the vocal nightingale, chief abounding, trills her plaintive note
     in the green dells, tenanting the dark-hued ivy, and the leafy
     grove of the god, untrodden, teeming with fruits, impervious to the
     sun, and unshaken by the winds of every storm; where Bacchus the
     reveller ever roams attending his divine nurses. And ever day by
     day the narcissus, with its beauteous clusters, bursts into bloom
     by heaven's dew, the ancient coronet of the mighty goddesses, and
     the saffron with golden ray; nor do the sleepless founts of
     Cephisus that wander through the fields fail, but every day it
     rushes o'er the plains with its limpid wave, fertilizing the bosom
     of the earth; nor have the choirs of the Muses loathed this clime;
     nor Aphrodite too, of the golden reign.

  [a] Oxford translation.



NOTE 32. PAGE 81

It is perhaps necessary to remind some readers that the term "invention"
is used in two senses in art, referring to the original idea or scheme,
or to the preparation of the design embodying the idea. In poetry and
fiction the term has the former significance; in painting and sculpture
the latter. The restriction in the use of the term in the last named
arts is compulsory. (See Chap. III., and Note 33.)



NOTE 33. PAGE 81

Apparently Lessing did not observe that inasmuch as the painter cannot
present the beginning and end of an incident, he must necessarily take
his moment of action from the literary arts or from nature. The critic
notices that the painter does not invent the action he depicts, but
states that this is due to his indifference towards invention, developed
by the natural readiness of the public to dispense with the merit of
invention in his case. That is to say, the public expects the painter to
take his idea from the poet or from nature, and looks to him only for
correct design and execution: hence the painter is under no necessity to
invent his own scheme.

It is curious that a reason of this kind for the practice of the painter
should be put forward by so keen a critic as Lessing, but it is not
altogether surprising when we remember the discussion as to whether
Virgil drew his representation of the Laocoon incident from the
celebrated sculptured group, or the sculptors adopted the device of the
poet. Lessing definitely settled the point in favour of the poet as the
author of the design, and since his time this decision has been
confirmed over and over again by practical evidence. But the conclusion
of Lessing seems obvious in the absence of any such evidence. As we
must exclude the possibility of both poet and sculptors taking the
design from the same original source, it is clear that the poet could
only have imitated the sculptors on the supposition that they had so
widely varied the legend as to necessitate a new beginning and end of
the story, these being provided by the poet. Consideration of such a
series of events is not permissible, as it would reflect upon the common
sense of the sculptors, and actually degrade the poet.

Consequent upon the inability of the painter to originate a scheme for a
picture, the famous proposition of Lessing as to the relative importance
of invention and execution with the poet and painter, must fall to the
ground. The critic states that our admiration of Homer would be less if
we knew that he took certain of his work from pictures, and asks[a]:

     How does it happen that we withdraw none of our esteem from the
     painter when he does no more than express the words of the poem in
     forms and colours?

He suggests as an answer to this:

     With the painter, execution appears to be more difficult than
     invention: with the poet on the other hand the case seems to be
     reversed, and his execution seems to be an easier achievement than
     the invention.

The word "invention" is to be taken here in the sense of plot or fable,
and not as the details of design invented by the painter for the purpose
of representing the action described by the poet. The premisses of
Lessing's argument therefore will not stand, for the painter cannot
originate a fable by means of a picture. And sequential to this of
course, the painter can be of no service to the poet. Homer could not
draw an original scheme from a painting. Nor may the poet take a detail
from the painter, for this has already been borrowed. A poet may vary a
detail in a legend because he can make the successive parts of his
relation fit in with the variation, but the painter can only deal with a
single moment of action, and if this does not correspond with an
accepted legend, then his design appears to be untrue.

It may be said in regard to painting, that the relative difficulty of
the invention (the work of gathering and arranging the signs) and the
execution, varies with the character of the art. In the higher forms, as
sacred and historical work, the invention is the more difficult; in
ordinary scenes of life and labour the trouble involved in invention
would about equal that in execution; while in the lower forms, as
landscape and still-life, the execution is obviously the more difficult.
In the case of the poet, the idea or fable is the hardest part of his
work, but the relative difficulty of the arrangement of the parts, and
the execution, would naturally depend upon the general character of the
composition, and the form of the poem.

  [a] _Laocoon_, Phillimore translation.



NOTE 34. PAGE 82

The works here referred to are those designed for the purpose of
achieving a political or social aim, or conveying instruction or moral
lessons. There are many examples of good art where advocacy of a social
or administrative reform is presented by way of incident or accessory,
though the art itself is never, and cannot be, assisted thereby.
"Didactic Art," if such a term may be appropriately used, is practically
a thing of the past, but judging from certain conventions the opinion
seems to be rather widely held that art should point a moral when
possible, and an opinion of Aristotle is not infrequently called in to
support this view. But when Aristotle connected morals with art, he
evidently did not mean to suggest that art should have a moral purpose,
but that it should have a moral tendency in not being morally harmful,
for art which is not morally harmful must necessarily be morally
beneficial. The general connection of the good with the beautiful in
ancient Greece seems to have merely implied that what is good is
beautiful, and what is beautiful is good, or should be good, and not
that goodness is a manifestation of beauty, or beauty of goodness. It
was admitted that the two things may not coincide.



NOTE 35. PAGE 85

That landscape painting may be of considerable value in assisting
scientific exploration is instanced by an anecdote related to the writer
by a geological friend. Professor Jack, formerly Government Geologist of
Queensland, while travelling in that colony, having put up one night at
the house of a small squatter, noticed on the walls of the interior, a
number of colour drawings which had been painted by a son of the settler
from views in the neighbouring hills. One of these drawings showed a
reddish-brown tint running down the slope of a grey and nearly barren
hill. This caught the eye of the professor who asked the artist if the
colours roughly represented the natural conditions, and receiving an
affirmative reply, recommended the squatter to prospect the ground for
minerals. This was done with the result that profitable copper deposits
were found. It seems that in Australia many of the best mineral veins
are capped with iron, and run through schistose rocks traversed by
dioritic dykes. Professor Jack was well aware that the hills in the
district were formed of these rocks and dykes, and as the reddish-brown
streak indicated iron oxide, it occurred to him that the iron might be
the cap of a lode holding valuable minerals.[a]

  [a] This note is from _The Position of Landscape in Art_, by the
        present author.



NOTE 36. PAGE 87

Remarkable evidence of the universality of ideals, is afforded by the
galaxy of French sculptors who appeared in the thirteenth century. They
could have had no teachers beyond those responsible for the stiff and
formal works characterizing the merging of Norman with Gothic art; they
could have seen few of the fragments of ancient sculpture; and yet they
left behind them monuments which rival in noble beauty much of the work
produced in the greatest art period. How their art grew, and how it
withered; how such a brilliant bloom in the life of a nation should so
quickly fade, needs too detailed an argument to be ventured upon here,
if indeed a properly reasoned explanation can be given at all; but the
flower remains, as great a pride to mankind as it is a glory to France:
remains, though sadly drooping, for the petals of Rheims are gone.

Now these Frenchmen were in much the same position as the early Greeks.
They were confronted with the task of making images of their objects of
worship for great temples. They had no more real knowledge of the
Personality of Christ, the Virgin, and most of the Saints than had the
Greeks of the Homeric gods and legendary heroes, and like the Grecian
sculptors they fully believed in the spiritual personages and religious
events with which they dealt. The Grecian and French artists therefore
started from the same line with similar general ideals, for the ancient
workers took no heed of Homer and Hesiod in respect of the failings of
their gods; and they both had only pure formalities in sculpture behind
them. And what was the result? The ideal divine head of the Christian
Frenchman is much the same as that of the Greeks in regard to form, and
only varies in expression with the character of the respective religious
conceptions.

The French sculptors did not reach the sublime height of the Phidian
school, nor did they attempt the more human beauty typified by the
giants of the fourth century B.C.; but apart from these, and leaving
aside considerations of the nude with which they were little concerned,
they climbed to the highest level of the latter end of the fourth
century and the beginning of the third--the level attained by those
Grecian sculptors who more or less idealized portrait heads by adding
Phidian traits. And it would appear that in reaching towards their goal
they followed the same line of thought as the Greeks, and arrived at
similar conclusions in respect to every detail of the head and pose of
the figure. As a rule they gave to the faces of Christ and the Saints a
large facial angle, set the eyes in deeply and the ears close to the
head, and generally worked on parallel lines with the principal
sculptors of Peloponesia living sixteen hundred years before their time.
It is perhaps natural that they should make similar variations in the
proportions of the figures to provide for the different levels from
which they were to be seen, but it is curious that they should adopt the
practice followed by the Greeks in the representation of children in
arms, by minimizing to the last degree the figure of the Infant Christ
in the arms of the Madonna. They could not have more closely imitated
the Greeks in this respect had they had Grecian models in front of them.
No doubt they fixed the position of the Child at the side of the Virgin
in order that the line of her majestic form might not be broken, and
that her face might be revealed to observers below the level of the
statues, but that they should have made the Child so extremely small and
insignificant considering His relative importance compared with that of
the Grecian infant in arms, is remarkable.



NOTE 37. PAGE 90

It is too early yet to fix definitely the position of Rodin in art.
There is much sifting of his works to be done, for of all artists with a
wide reputation, he was perhaps the most variable. Still he may be
called one of the greater artists, and so is amongst the rare exceptions
mentioned, for he executed one or two hideous figures, the most notable
being La Vieille Heaulmière.[a] This cannot properly be described as a
work of art because it is revolting to the senses: it is merely a
species of writing--a hieroglyph, and Rodin's own apology for it is a
direct condemnation, since a work of sculpture cannot be good if general
opinion does not approve of it. He says[b]:

     What matters solely to me is the opinion of people of taste, and I
     have been delighted to gain their approbation for my La Vieille
     Heaulmière. I am like the Roman singer who replied to the jeers of
     the populace, _Equitibus Cano_. I sing only for the nobles; that is
     to say for the connoisseurs. The vulgar readily imagine that what
     they consider ugly is not a fit subject for the artist. They would
     like to forbid us to represent what displeases and offends them in
     nature. It is a great error on their part. What is commonly called
     "ugliness" in nature can in art become full of great beauty. In the
     domain of art we call ugly what is deformed, whatever is
     unhealthy.... Ugly also is the soul of the vicious or criminal
     man.... But let a great artist or writer make use of one or other
     of these uglinesses, instantly it becomes transfigured: with a
     touch of his fairy wand he has turned it into beauty: it is
     alchemy: it is enchantment.

Rodin then goes on to refer to the description of ugly objects by the
poets, in support of his argument that they may be represented by the
painter! It was his error in confusing the objects of the literary with
those of the plastic arts, that led him to carve La Vieille Heaulmière,
for he admitted that he wished to put into sculpture what Villon had put
into a poem. Professor Waldstein properly pointed out that, this being
so, the observer of the sculpture should be provided with a copy of the
poem when in front of the statue, adding[c]:

     and even then the work remains only the presentation of a female
     figure deformed in every detail by the wear and tear of time, and
     of a life ending in disease and nothing more. It is the worst form
     of literary sculpture, of which we have had so much by artists who
     represent the very opposite pole of the modern realists.

Elsewhere the respective positions of the poet and painter (or sculptor)
in the representation of ugliness are dealt with, but it may be added
that in the case of La Vieille Heaulmière, Rodin does not render in
sculpture the poem of Villion, but only a part of it, for of course he
could not show the progression in the life of the courtesan, indicated
by the poet, which progression puts an entirely different complexion
upon the ugly figure of the poet compared with that of the sculptor.
Clearly Rodin was misled when he said that people of taste have given
their approbation to his appalling figure, for it has been condemned
among all classes, while its few defenders have failed to support their
opinions by reason or experience.

We may note that at another time Rodin reflected upon the character of
the ancient Greek sculpture for the very reason upon which he bases his
claim for public approval of La Vieille Heaulmière. He says[d]:

     That was the fault of the Hellenic ideal. The beauty conceived by
     the Greeks was the order dreamed of by intelligence, but it only
     appealed to the cultivated mind, disdaining the humble.

Here also is a confusion of ideas, for the intelligence cannot dream of
a special kind of beauty which would not be recognized by the humble,
unless it were so feeble as to be altogether below Greek conceptions.
The aim of the Greek sculptors was to appeal to all classes, and in this
they were eminently successful.

  [a] At the Luxembourg.

  [b] Gsell's _Art, by Auguste Rodin_.

  [c] _Greek Sculpture and Modern Art_, 1914.

  [d] Gsell's _Art, by Auguste Rodin_.



  [Illustration: PLATE 27 (See page 254)
  Diana and Nymphs, by Rubens (_Prado, Madrid_)]



NOTE 38. PAGE 92

Ruskin considered the figure of Christ, known as Le Bon Dieu d'Amiens,
at Amiens Cathedral, the noblest ideal of Christ in existence,[a] and
Dean Farrar wrote of it: "Christ is represented as standing at the
central point of all history, and of all Revelation."[b] It is true that
the sculpture is a noble representation of Christ, but this is not
because it is a Christian ideal. In type it is purely Greek of the late
fourth or early third century B.C. The expression is general, exhibiting
the calm repose that the Greeks gave to a great philosopher.

  [a] _The Bible of Amiens._ See Plate 2.

  [b] _The Life of Christ as Represented in Art._



NOTE 39. PAGE 97

In the case of the Madonna, Michelangelo does not appear to produce an
ideal woman: he only gives an improved woman. His nearest approach to
the ideal is in his early Pieta at St. Peter's, but even here the Virgin
is only a less earthly prototype of his later figures. The Madonna in
the Holy Family at the Uffizi is much inferior, being merely a slightly
ennobled Italian peasant. The other Madonnas are far higher in character
and seem to suggest the antique, except that the more material
qualities of woman are always present. The Madonnas at the Bargello and
San Lorenzo are of the same general type as the figure in the Last
Judgment, the Night in the Medici Chapel, the Leda in the Bargello, and
the Venus in the sketch made for Pontormo. This being so, it may be
imagined when the Leda is called to mind, that it is hard to associate
the two Madonnas with Christian ideals. The figures are magnificent
works, but they are behind the Madonnas of Raphael from the point of
view of Christian conceptions. The expression is general, and all the
countenances except one, indicate unconcern with surroundings; not the
sublime unconcern of a Phidian god, which implies an apparent disregard
of particulars because they are necessarily understood with an
all-powerful comprehension of principles, but an unconcern which
suggests a want of deep interest in life. The exception is the San
Lorenzo Madonna, in which a certain calm resignation is the principal
feature in expression. Michelangelo was more successful with his men
than with his women. His painted prophets in the Sistine Chapel are as
sublime as his scenes from the Creation; and his Moses in St. Peter's is
rightly regarded as the first sculpture of the Renaissance.



NOTE 40. PAGE 99

When the Pieta of Michelangelo (in St. Peter's, Rome) was first exposed,
some comment was made upon the comparatively youthful appearance of the
Virgin, and Condivi relates that he spoke to the sculptor on the
subject. In reply Michelangelo said[a]:

     Don't you know that chaste women preserve their beauty and youthful
     character much longer than those who are not chaste? How youthful
     then must appear the immaculate Virgin who cannot be supposed ever
     to have had a vitiated thought. And this is only according to the
     natural order of things: but why may not we suppose in this
     particular case, that nature might be assisted by Divine
     interposition, to demonstrate to the world the virginity and
     perpetual purity of the Mother? This was not necessary in the Son,
     nay, rather on the contrary, since Divine omnipotence was willing
     to show that the Son of God would take upon Him, as he did, the
     body of man, with all his earthly infirmities except that of sin.
     Therefore it was not necessary for me to make the human subordinate
     to the Divine character, but to consider it in the ordinary course
     of nature under the actual existing circumstances. Hence you ought
     not to wonder that from such a consideration, I should make the
     most holy Virgin-Mother of God, in comparison with the Son, much
     younger than would otherwise be required, and that I should have
     represented the Son at His proper age.

  [a] Lanzi's _History of Painting in Italy_, Roscoe translation,
        vol. i.



NOTE 41. PAGE 100

A few modern painters have produced works in which the Holy Family are
pictured in lowly surroundings, but generally they appear to shock the
public sense of propriety. Many persons will remember the sensation
caused by Millais's The Carpenter's Shop, where Christ is shown as a boy
of about ten years of age in the workshop of St. Joseph, and Holman
Hunt's Shadow of the Cross. Later artists have been still more
realistic, notably Uhde, whose sacred scenes almost stagger one with
their modern suggestions, and Demont-Breton, whose Divine Apprentice
represents the Boy Christ sharpening a tool at a grindstone which is
turned by the Virgin.



NOTE 42. PAGE 108

Unquestionably the rapid advance in Italian art in the fifteenth century
was largely due to the influence of the ancient Greek and Roman remains.
Indeed there are very few sculptors of the period who fail to show
evidence of studies in Greek forms and ornaments, while in painting
there are hundreds of figures which could scarcely have been designed in
the absence of antique models. True in some cases the artists do not
appear to have gone beyond the ancient literature, as with Masaccio who
must have had Homer in his mind when he painted his figures of Eve in
the Florence frescoes, and Piero di Cosimo, whose fanciful compositions
savour of the old legends wrapped up in fairy stories; but many painters
were steeped both in the art and literature of Greece and Rome, and made
good use of them.

But the most direct evidence of the influence of Greek art upon Italian
artists of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, is to be found
in the splendid series of bronze statuettes of the period. In their
monumental figures the sculptors were more or less confined in their
designs by considerations of portraiture, conventional drapery and
symbols, and local requirements, and while they were greatly assisted by
Greek experience, yet only rarely were they strictly at liberty except
with ornaments and accessories. But in the small bronze figures their
fancy could roam at will, and they made good use of this freedom in
displaying their ready acceptance of the first principle in the design
of the human figure recognized by the Greeks--that the sculptor must
arrive at perfection of form if that be possible; that this perfection
is not to be found in any single form in life, and consequently the
artist must combine perfected parts into a harmonious whole,
independently of particular models. The agreement with this principle
was general, with scarcely an exception amongst the bronze figure
designers, and the result was that in the period say, from 1450 to 1525,
there was executed a series of bronzes fully representative of the
highest level which plastic art has reached since the greater days of
Greece. Right up to the time of the maturity of Michelangelo, nearly
every bronze figurine cast is purely Grecian in type, and every
ornament, and even every accessory which is not from its nature of
contemporary style, can be traced to Greece, either directly or through
Rome.

Michelangelo brought about a change in accentuating the muscular
development of the body, and before the middle of the sixteenth century
most sculptors had come under his influence. This was unfortunate for he
alone seemed to be capable of harmoniously combining Greek lines with
muscular power. A few of his contemporaries, as Sansovino, Leone,
Cellini, learned how to join, with due restraint, his innovations with
modifications of the Greek torso, but generally the imitation of the
great Florentine initiated a decadence, as it was bound to do, for it
was accompanied with life modelling, and so meant a radical departure
from the Greek forms. Giovanni di Bologna alone among the later
sixteenth century sculptors, was strong enough to move in an independent
direction. He restrained the accentuation of the muscles, and lightened
the Greek type of torso, combining with these conditions an elegance in
design which has never since been surpassed.

This then is the principal cause of the high æsthetic value of the
Renaissance bronzes: the human form exhibited by them is altogether more
beautiful than the form coming within the compass of life experience.
Then the details of work on the bronzes are immensely superior to those
of the general modern handiwork. For instance the chiselling of such men
as Riccio and Cellini, has never been equalled since their time, save
perhaps by Gouthière. And how poor, comparatively, are the present-day
castings! How carefully the old masters worked; how particular they were
with their clay; how skilfully they prepared their wax, and how slowly
and deliberately the mould! How many artists now would have the patience
to make such a mould? For the beautiful patinas on many of the
Renaissance bronzes, age is mostly responsible, though lacquers were
often used for the provision of artificial patinas, particularly after
the middle of the sixteenth century, the finest being found on some of
the works of Giovanni di Bologna. The tone of natural patina depends
largely upon the kind of oxidation to which the bronze has been
subjected, and it is no doubt often affected by the alloy used. Few
modern artists have given close attention to the alloys, while the
method of casting is now usually regarded as a detail of minor
importance.

Seeing that the production of figurines accompanied every civilization
from the dawn of history to the collapse of the Roman Empire, it is
curious that the renaissance of sculpture after the Dark Age should have
progressed a long way before general attention was again turned to these
bronzes. There are a few figures of animals which seem to be Italian
work of the late trecento, but beyond these the small cast bronzes made
in Italy before the maturity of Ghiberti, were practically confined to
Madonnas and Saints, mostly gilt, made to fill Gothic niches, or adorn
the altars of churches and private chapels. Slender Saints they were as
a rule, but always elegant, with serene countenances and delicate
features; beautifully modelled as became the inheritors of the
traditions of the Pisanos. It was somewhere about the middle of the
fifteenth century that Italy commenced to make ungilt statuettes
suitable for household ornaments, and fully ten or fifteen years more
passed away before they were produced with any regularity. The earliest
of them of any importance appear to be a couple of Flagellators from the
design of Ghiberti. They are fine pieces of work, evidently from clay
models made for the scourging scene in one of the gates of the Florence
Baptistry--gates described by Michelangelo as worthy to fill the portals
of Paradise. These figures date about 1440. There is a Child Christ of a
few years later by Luca della Robbia; and two or three figures from
models of Donatello may be assigned to the neighbourhood of 1450. In the
next ten years were turned out some figures from remaining models of
Donatello which had been used for his work at Prato and Padua.

So far the small bronzes made were from studies for larger works of
sculpture, but about this time intense interest began to be taken in the
remains of Greek and Roman art, and no doubt it was the increased
importance attached to the antique bronze figures, mostly household gods
of the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans, that first led the principal
Renaissance artists to turn their attention to similar work. From this
time on, for a century and a half, these bronze figures were regularly
made. The existing figurines may be broadly classified in four
divisions, namely, the Paduan and Florentine figures executed prior to
1525; those of the school of Michelangelo; those of the Venetian school
headed by Sansovino; and those of Giovanni di Bologna and his school.
Leaving out of consideration the small ornaments for inkstands, vases,
etc., the little animals, and the purely commercial imitations, chiefly
Venetian, made at the end of the sixteenth century, the total number of
Renaissance bronzes now known is roughly six thousand. Of these under a
hundred are from models for larger works by Ghiberti, Donatello,
Verrocchio, Lionardo, Michelangelo, and a few lesser lights; about two
thousand represent original designs specially prepared for bronze
production; some three thousand five hundred are duplicates of, or
slight variations from, these originals, executed by pupils or near
contemporaries of the masters; and the balance of four hundred or so,
are direct reproductions of, or variations from, antique sculptures.
Naturally all collectors aim for the first two sections, but the third
section contains many fine bronzes, often close to the originals, with
equally good patinas. They vary greatly, though they are all ascribed in
commerce to the artists responsible for the originals.

The character of these variations is best seen in the case of Riccio,
the most prolific of the bronze workers of the Renaissance. He designed
and executed under forty small bronze figures and groups, besides some
large bronze works of high importance. Of his small pieces there are in
existence about a hundred duplicates made by his pupils and immediate
contemporaries, who also adapted into household ornaments, various
details from his larger works, bringing up the number of Riccios made
from his models during his lifetime, other than by himself, to about a
hundred and fifty. These are all bronzes of a high order. Then about an
equal number of both kinds of models were reproduced during the twenty
years following his death, all fairly good, but often slightly varied
from the originals; and finally there are Riccios copied by Venetian
craftsmen in the third quarter of the sixteenth century, sometimes
considerably varied, and occasionally with purely Venetian ornaments
added. These last mark the first distinct decadence in the small bronze
art of the period. Next to Riccio among the earlier sculptors, in the
number of bronzes designed, was his great contemporary, Antico, who
accomplished some thirty or so. He differed from Riccio in that while
the latter adhered to the Grecian practice in the design of details and
ornaments, but varied the modelling somewhat to bring it more in
conformity with the contemporary ideas of elegance, Antico kept strictly
to the Grecian modelling, but commonly varied the ancient designs.
There are few duplicates of Antico's work, made either during his
lifetime or after. As with Riccio, his imitators overcame the difficulty
of the chiselling by leaving it out, relying upon the wax to give close
enough resemblance to the originals.

Of the other small bronze sculptors prior to the maturity of
Michelangelo, few executed more than half a score of figures. The best
known are the immediate successors of Donatello in the Paduan school, as
Bertoldo and Bellano, and the giants of the Florentine school, as
Filarete and A. Pollaiuolo. Bronzes by these artists are very rare, and
so are the duplicates of them made by pupils, though Bertoldo, who
reminds one strangely of Lysippus, had occasional imitators for the next
two centuries. These bronzes include many models which have not been
equalled by the greatest of later sculptors, and they will never be
matched until there arises a new school of sculptors resolved to imbibe
the truths which the Renaissance artists gleaned from the ancient
Greeks.



NOTE 43. PAGE 110

The writer has used Greek and Roman names for these gods to some extent
indiscriminately, in accordance with the universal custom in art.
Nevertheless the practice is to be regretted as it tends to complicate
the general ideas of the Greek and Roman religions. Notwithstanding the
occasional direct association of some of their deities with human
personages by their poets, the Romans regarded their gods as purely
spiritual beings, having no special earthly habitation, or sex relations
with the human race, while their powers widely differed from those of
the respective Greek deities with whom they are commonly identified.
Authorities differ as to whether the gods were supposed to have
spiritual marital relations with each other.[a] In any case the whole
nature of their religion precluded the development amongst the Romans of
a separate sacred art. Their sculptured gods, which were taken from
Grecian models, were symbols rather than presumed types.

  [a] See J. G. Frazer's _Adonis, Attis, Osiris_, 1914, vol. ii.; and W.
        W. Fowler's _Religious Experience of the Roman People_, 1911.



NOTE 44. PAGE 111

If we may judge from the headless figures of the goddesses, commonly
known as the Three Fates, from the east pediment of the Parthenon, there
seems to be little difference between the general lines of the feminine
torso represented by the Phidian ideal, and those of the Praxitelean
model. The Parthenon torsos are more massive proportionately, but the
object of both Phidias and Praxiteles was evidently to straighten the
outer lines of the torso as nearly as possible, making due allowance for
the varied natural swellings of their respective forms. It is obvious
that the use of attire gave Phidias (presuming the Parthenon figures
referred to were designed by him, as they probably were) a latitude in
varying the proportions of the torsos which he could not have exercised
in the case of nude forms. Unclothed, the figures would appear unwieldy,
and the graceful flowing lines resulting from the partly clinging
drapery could not be so completely presented with nude reclining or
semi-reclining figures. There are other features also which prevent the
nude representation of such massive forms. Thus, the breasts would
necessarily be out of proportion in size, and widely separated. These
conditions are common in fifth century and archaic figures, and do not
appear to be defects in forms of life size or less, but they would be
strikingly noticeable in super figures of the broad massive type with
Phidian lines. The addition of light drapery, however, converts the
apparent faults into virtues, for the artist is enabled therewith to
give new sweeping curves to the forms which conspicuously enhance the
general beauty of the figure.

A still more amazing instance where the use of drapery allows the artist
to vary the recognized proportions of the feminine form to an extent
which would be impossible with nude figures, is the celebrated Ariadne
at the Vatican.[a] This beautiful work, which is of the Hellenistic
period, shows the daughter of Minos attired in a light flowing single
garment, and reclining on a couch, asleep. The upper part of her body
leans against the head of the couch, but the remainder is extended
nearly at full length. The extraordinary feature of the work is that the
length of the figure is altogether out of proportion with the head and
with the breadth of the torso, being much too great, and yet so
skilfully is the drapery arranged that this very defect becomes an
advantage, for it enables a lofty grace, almost approaching grandeur, to
be given to the figure, which would be impossible without the
exaggeration. By the excellent device of a closely arranged cross fold
of drapery passing round the middle of the figure, the artist apparently
shortens it, so that the eye of the observer is not held by its great
length. Only one other example of the supreme use of drapery in this way
seems to be known--a bronze sitting figure of Calliope,[b] which is of
the late Hellenistic period, and is obviously of the same school as the
Ariadne marble.

  [a] See Plate 29.

  [b] Dreicer Collection, New York.



NOTE 45. PAGE 112

Praxiteles is known to have executed at least four other statues of
Aphrodite besides the Cnidian example, but this last is the only one as
to which we have fairly complete records, and of which copies have been
closely identified. It is also the most celebrated. We may therefore
accept the work as typical for comparative purposes.



NOTE 46. PAGE 113

There has been much discussion as to whether Apelles showed the same
extent of figure as is represented in the sculpture, a common suggestion
being that he brought the surface of the water to the waist line; but it
is evident that the painting corresponded with the sculpture in this
particular. The artist had to represent the goddess walking towards the
shore. If he brought the water to the waist line he could not definitely
suggest movement, as a deflection of the shoulder line might mean that
the goddess was in an attitude of rest, corresponding to the pose of
nearly all the sculptured figures of the Praxitelean school. On the
other hand if he carried the water line down towards the knees, the
advance of the right leg would be most marked, and the effect disturbing
because of the loss of repose, a quality at all times valuable in a
painting of a single figure, and really necessary in the representation
of Venus. The artist very properly reduced the portion of the thighs
visible to the smallest fraction possible compatible with an expression
of movement, in order to give the figure the greatest repose attainable.
Under any circumstances there was nothing to gain by showing the water
reaching to the waist.

Certain details of the picture by Apelles are to be obtained from
Grecian epigrams. Thus, one by Antipater of Sidon contains these
lines[a]:

  Venus, emerging from her parent sea,
    Apelles' graphic skill does here portray:
  She wrings her hair, while round the bright drops flee,
    And presses from her locks the foamy spray.

From this it would appear that the position of the goddess when painted
was presumed to be comparatively near the artist, otherwise the separate
drops of falling water would not have been observed. The last line in
the following epigram by Leonides of Tarentum indicates the ideal
character of the countenance, though evidence of this is scarcely
necessary[b]:

  As Venus from her mother's bosom rose
  (Her beauty with the murmuring sea-foam glows),
  Apelles caught and fixed each heavenly charm;
  No picture, but the life, sincere and warm.
  See how those finger tips those tresses wring!
  See how those eyes a calm-like radiance fling!

  [a] Translated by Lord Neaves.

  [b] Translated by Lord Neaves.



NOTE 47. PAGE 124

So far as the writer knows, Piero was the only artist of the Renaissance
who used this mythological story for a composition (his picture has
hitherto been called an allegory), a circumstance which is rather
singular considering the suitableness of the subject for the provision
of effective designs. The Greek sculptors in dealing with the legend
confined themselves to the moment when Athena threw down the pipes,
apparently for the reason that this instant gave an opportunity of
rendering Marsyas in a strong dramatic action. The famous statue of the
faun after Myron in Rome, is supposed to have formed part of a group
representing Athena and Marsyas immediately after the pipes were
dropped, and the design appears on still existing coins and vases of the
fifth and fourth centuries B.C. Piero takes a later moment, showing
Marsyas comfortably squatting in the foreground of a delightful fanciful
landscape, expressing boyish satisfaction with the prizes he is about to
try. He is properly shown as a satyr instead of in the faun form of the
sculptor. There appears to be no legitimate place in painting for a
faun, while a satyr may at times be appropriately introduced into a
pastoral composition.



NOTE 48. PAGE 125

Controversy has raged around this picture for something like seventy
years. The work came to light before 1850 at a public auction sale when
it was attributed to Mantegna, with whom of course it had nothing to do.
Then it was pronounced a Raphael, but this was disputed by Passavant who
held that on account of the thin lower limbs of the figures, and the
minute way in which the landscape was painted, it could not be by
Raphael, but was of the school of Francia, or by Timoteo della Viti.
Morelli brought back the attribution to Raphael, and the work then came
into the possession of the Louvre. Subsequently Pinturicchio and
Perugino were alternately suggested as the painter, and to the latter
the picture was assigned by the Louvre authorities. All are agreed that
the date of the work is about 1502. It does not seem possible that
Perugino could have painted the picture, for the subject and invention
are entirely foreign to him, while the lithe active form of Apollo does
not consort with the least formal of his known figures. The landscape is
much in his manner, but so it is also in the style of Raphael's early
period, while the small buildings therein are closely finished as in
some of Raphael's other works of the time.[a] Perugino used similar
towers and buildings, but being a more experienced painter he did not so
finely elaborate the details. The suggestion relating to the school of
Francia was afterwards very properly withdrawn, and Pinturicchio must be
ruled out on account of the landscape, apart from the supple figure of
Apollo of which he was incapable. There remain then only Timoteo della
Viti and Raphael as the possible painters of the work. But it cannot
reasonably be suggested that Timoteo could have accomplished so perfect
a figure as the Apollo, and moreover so original a figure. It certainly
required an exceptionally bold mind to overcome the difficulty in
rendering the traditionally semi-feminine form of Apollo by representing
him as a young man just past his teens. Besides, the general delicacy of
the work is not in the style of Timoteo. Passavant's objection to the
limbs is overruled by the presence of similar limbs in the Mond
Crucifixion. It would seem then that Morelli was right in assigning the
beautiful little picture to the youthful period of the greatest of all
painters.

  [a] See Portrait of a young Man at Budapest, and the Terranuova Virgin
        and Child at Berlin.



NOTE 49. PAGE 138

The white races are here referred to merely by way of example, and there
is no intention to suggest that the more or less uncivilized peoples
have no perception of beauty. It is well known that both semi-civilized
and savage races differ from the whites in the matter of beauty, and the
fact has been partly responsible for several theories for explaining
æsthetic perception, notably that of association, laid down by Alison
and Jeffrey, but long since discarded. Seeing that there is no
difference in kind between the sense nerves of the whites and the
blacks, they must necessarily act in the same way. That the blacks
appreciate as beautiful forms which the whites disregard, seems to
arise partly from want of experience, partly from training, and partly
from neglect in the exercise of the sense nerves. Take for example an
inhabitant of Morocco where corpulency is commonly regarded as an
element of beauty in women. If none but Moroccan women are seen or
pictured, it is impossible for a higher form of beauty than is to be
found amongst them to be conceived, for the imagination cannot act
beyond experience. In cases where the Moroccan has had experience of
both white and black, it is certain that, other things being equal, the
white woman would be the more admired, for this is the general
experience among the black races, and is strikingly noticeable in
America with the descendants of African tribes. The appreciation of very
fat women can easily be understood on the ground of custom or training.
A youthful Moroccan may be firmly of opinion that corpulency is not an
element of beauty, but seeing that his older acquaintances hold a
contrary view, he may well form the conclusion that his judgment is
wrong, and so accept the decision of his more mature countrymen. It is
quite common among the whites for people to doubt their own æsthetic
perceptions when an inferior work of art is put forward as a thing of
beauty. The general want of appreciation of certain musical harmonies on
the part of uncivilized peoples is undoubtedly due to the neglect of the
sense nerves concerned, for these are not cultivated except to a small
extent involuntarily. The most ignorant and poor of the whites
unavoidably come into frequent contact with the simpler forms of art,
but the savage races see only the result of their own handiwork. The
uncivilized races can scarcely be expected to admire the higher reaches
of art wherein intellectual considerations enter, except for their
sensorial excellence.



  [Illustration: PLATE 28 (See page 256)
  Automedon and the Horse of Achilles, by Regnault (_Boston Museum_)]



NOTE 50. PAGE 139

There seems to be some uncertainty as to whether Fragonard intended his
splendid series of the Frick collection to represent the subjects
usually assigned to them, namely, The Pursuit (or The Flight of Design,
a title given to the original sketch for the picture); The Rendezvous
(or The Surprise, or The Escalade); Souvenirs (or Confidences, or The
Reader); The Lover Crowned (or Before the Painter); and The Abandonment
(or The Reverie). It is suggested that the works have an allegorical
signification connected with art, and certainly three of them--the
first, second, and fourth--could be so interpreted. But magnificent
paintings of this kind are usually fitted for many allegorical
suggestions. Each picture represents an incident of common experience,
elaborated with beautiful figures in a perfect setting. This approaches
the summit of the painter's art, for no conception can be greater apart
from spiritual ideals. It is symbolism in its highest form--of universal
experience in which all are interested. The works are not to be taken as
a necessary sequence (the last of the series was painted twenty years
after the others), but the scheme of one or more of them has come within
the experience of every man and woman since the world began.



NOTE 51. PAGE 149

Seeing that this precise dignified pose, coming so near the line of
exaggeration, but never crossing it, is present in all the authenticated
portraits of Titian, save those of very aged persons, we may reasonably
consider the pose an important factor in determining the validity of
certain portraits as to which a doubt has arisen. Thus in the case of
the Physician of Parma[a] (this title is admittedly wrong), which has
been variously given to Titian and Giorgione, the verdict must be in
favour of Titian, for the pose is certainly his, while it is unknown in
any work of Giorgione. On the other hand, the portrait of Catherine
Cornara,[b] commonly ascribed to Titian, but also attributed to
Giorgione,[c] cannot be by the former master; nor is the Portrait of a
Man (with his hand on a bust),[d] which seems to pair with the Cornara
portrait. The portrait known as An Old Man Asleep,[e] sometimes given to
Titian, clearly does not belong to him.

It should be noted that the general confusion observable for many years
in the estimation of Giorgione's work arose from the attribution to him
of paintings executed in the comparatively broad manner of Titian, but
which this artist did not adopt till Giorgione had been dead for a
decade or more. The recent exhaustive critique of Lionelli Venturi[f] of
the earlier master has cleared the air, and we now know the range of his
work very positively. Giorgione was less fine in some of his paintings
than in others, for he paid more attention to chiaroscuro as he matured,
but there is no instance where he painted in the broader manner
occasionally exhibited by Titian. All the works in the style of The
Concert and The Three Ages are now known to be by other hands than those
of Giorgione, and it must be unfortunately admitted that not a single
painting by him exists either in England or America.

  [a] Vienna Gallery.

  [b] Cook Collection, London.

  [c] By Herbert Cook in _Giorgione_.

  [d] Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

  [e] The Brera, Milan.

  [f] _Giorgione e il Giorgionismo_, 1913.



Note 52. Page 156

Hals is another artist as to whom many misconceptions have arisen in
regard to his use of a very broad manner in his portraits. There is a
total of about 350 works attributed to him, of which some two thirds are
single portraits, and twenty are portrait groups. The balance includes
over thirty genre pictures, mostly with single figures, and fifty heads
of boys and girls generally shown in the act of laughing. It is in his
genre work that the broad manner is mostly observable, and only very
occasionally is it to be found in his portraits. In the more important
works of the artist, even during his later period, his manner is by no
means broad,[a] though it is not so fine as in his best years, say from
1635 to 1650. This estimate can however only be general, as his dated
paintings of different periods after 1630 often correspond so closely
that it is difficult to assign dates to the other pictures with
certainty.

Perhaps the frequent attribution to Hals of works by his pupils and
imitators, has had something to do with the public estimation of the
breadth of his manner. This was often greatly exaggerated by his
followers, and many portraits are given to him which he could not
possibly have painted. In his important work on the artist, Dr. von Bode
points out that some of the duplicates of his pictures were apparently
executed by his pupils, but these are not separated in the book.[b] It
is a simple matter to divide the works painted by Hals from the studio
copies and the portraits of imitators. His brushwork and impasto were
quite exceptional. He had a firm direct stroke, never niggled or
scumbled, and his loading was restrained though very effective. Quite
naturally his pupils, however industrious and skilled, could not
closely imitate his remarkable freedom in handling. They were incapable
of firm decisive strokes throughout a portrait, and endeavoured to
overcome the loading difficulty by using brushes of a coarseness foreign
to the master when rendering light tones. Moreover Hals was nearly
perfect in drawing, and in this there are usually marked defects in the
studio copies.

  [a] See Stephanus Gereardts, Antwerp Museum; Isabella Coymans,
        E. Rothschild Collection, Paris; Lady with a Fan, National
        Gallery, London; and William van Heythuysen, Liechtenstein
        Collection, Vienna.

  [b] _Frans Hals: his Life and Work_, 1914.



NOTE 53. PAGE 161

The term "grace" as applied in art has so many significations that it is
difficult to deal with one of them without confusion. What is here
specially referred to is the grace of pose designed by the artist. The
object of the portrait painter is to pose his sitter so that the grace
indicated shall appear natural and habitual, a feature as important now
in the appearance of women as it was twenty-five centuries ago when
Sappho asked[a]:

  What country maiden charms thee,
    However fair her face,
  Who knows not how to gather
    Her dress with artless grace?

But the grace of pose never appears to be artless, after the first
inspection, unless there is something in the expression to hold the
mind. Without this appeal to the mind the portrait must soon tire, and
the pose become artificial and stiff, that is to say, in representations
of life size, for in miniature portraiture the countenance seldom or
never crosses the vision involuntarily.

In the ancient Greek forms, Winckelmann distinguishes four kinds of
grace--lofty, pleasing, humble, and comic--but the grace exhibited by
sculptured forms necessarily depends upon the harmony of expression,
character of form, and pose. This should be the case with painted
portraits also, but drapery restrictions and accessories commonly compel
a limitation in the design of the artist. In three quarter and full
length portraits it is impossible to depart from the dress customary at
the period of execution, unless the sitter assume a classical character,
and this is only possible in comparatively few instances. In any case
the pose should always be subordinated to the expression.

  [a] Free translation (quoted by Wharton), the term "artless grace"
        being implied but not expressed by Sappho.



NOTE 54. PAGE 167

The remarkable range of Raphael in expression has been commented upon by
many critics, and practically all agree with Lanzi in his eloquent
summary[a]:

     There is not a movement of the soul, there is not a character of
     passion known to the ancients and capable of being expressed in
     art, that he (Raphael) has not caught, expressed, and varied in a
     thousand different ways, and always within the bounds of
     propriety.... His figures are passions personified; and love, hope,
     fear, desire, anger, placability, humility, and pride, assume their
     places by turns as the subject changes; and while the spectator
     regards the countenances, the air, and the gestures of the figures,
     he forgets that they are the work of art, and is surprised to find
     his own feelings excited, and himself an actor in the scene before
     him.

  [a] _History of Painting in Italy_, vol. i., Roscoe translation.



NOTE 55. PAGE 169

This Pompeian fresco is supposed to be a copy of the picture of
Timanthes, but there is an ancient marble relief of the same subject at
Florence, the design of which is also said to have been taken from the
Grecian painter, though it differs considerably from the fresco.
Quintilian observes as to the work of Timanthes, that having rendered
Calchas sad, Ulysses still more sad, and Menelaus with the deepest
expression of grief possible in art, the painter could not properly
portray the countenance of Agamemnon, who as father of Iphigenia was
presumed to be the most deeply affected of all present, and so covered
his head, leaving the intensity of his suffering to be understood.[a]

  [a] _School of Oratory_, ii.



NOTE 56. PAGE 172

The authenticity of the Boston example of Mona Lisa is still in dispute.
So far no serious objection to it has been brought forward, and there
are certain points in its favour, as the presence of the columns which
are reproduced in Raphael's sketch, and the bold brushwork of the
drapery where this can be distinguished. But there is another example of
the work in existence, and this fact, with the natural hesitation in
pronouncing definitely on so important a matter, will probably leave the
authenticity of the picture undecided for a long time. Meanwhile the
literature upon Mona Lisa is ever increasing, and some important facts
have been recently brought out. Amongst these is an announcement by A.
C. Coppier that the lady was not a Florentine, but a Neapolitan of the
Gheradini family, and that she was married in 1495, when eighteen years
of age.[a] She would therefore be twenty-seven years old in 1504 when
the picture which Raphael sketched is supposed to have been painted. But
the Mona Lisa in the Louvre was completed between 1515 and 1519; hence
there is much to ascertain as to the history of the work.

  [a] _Les Arts_, No. 145, 1914.



NOTE 57. PAGE 172

The various suggestions that have been made as to the meaning of Mona
Lisa's smile, seem to have no other foundation than the fancies of
mystic minds. The smile has been called dangerous, sinister, ambiguous,
provocative, purposely enigmatic, significant of a loose woman,
expressive of sublime motherhood, reminiscent of Eastern intrigue, and
so on, the mildest criticism of this kind affirming that the smile will
ever remain an enigma. It is of course impossible for any meaning to be
put into a smile by the painter, other than that of pleasure.
Psychological suggestions are possible with the poet or novelist, but
not with the painter. If there be any enigma or mystery in a picture,
then the art is bad, for the work is incomprehensible, but there is no
problem to be solved in Mona Lisa's smile. It is not different from any
other smile except in degree, and of course in the quality appertaining
to the particular countenance. Lionardo, with his scientific turn of
mind, was not likely to attempt the impossible by trying to mix
psychology with paint.



NOTE 58. PAGE 178

It is necessary to dissent from the conclusion of Lessing as to the
representation of ugliness by the poet. He says in referring to Homer's
portrayal of Thersites[a]:

     Why in the case of ugliness did he adopt a method from which he so
     judiciously refrained in that of beauty? Does not a successive
     enumeration of its compound parts diminish the effect of ugliness,
     just as a similar enumeration of its parts destroys that of beauty?
     Undoubtedly it does, but in this very fact lies Homer's
     justification. For the very reason that ugliness in the poet's
     description is reduced to a less repulsive appearance of bodily
     imperfection, and in point of its effect ceases as it were to be
     ugliness, the poet is enabled to make use of it.

It is true that as he cannot present a particular form of beauty by
description, so the poet cannot describe an ugly countenance in such a
way that it may be pictured on the mind as a whole; but on the other
hand, as he can, by reference to its effect, or by imagery, present a
greater beauty than the painter can portray, so he may by similar means
suggest a more hideous form of ugliness. And apart from this, while a
detail in the description of a beautiful countenance is immaterial until
it is combined with other details, a detail of ugliness may in itself be
sufficient to render the countenance wholly repulsive to the reader.
Thus, if one said of a maid that her cheeks were a compound of the lily
and the rose, this would not necessarily imply that she was generally
beautiful; but if it were said of a man that he had a large bulbous
nose, we should consider him ugly whatever the character of his other
features. It was only necessary for Milton to refer to one or two
details of the figure of Sin, to throw upon our minds a form of
appalling ugliness.[b]

A successive enumeration of its component parts, does not therefore
diminish the effect of ugliness, as Lessing claims, but increases it. On
the other hand a successive enumeration of the parts of beauty does not
destroy the beauty, but simply fails to represent it.

The poet may use ugliness where the painter cannot, because his ugly
form does not dominate the scene, save for an instant or two, being
quickly subordinated by surrounding conditions of speech and action;
whereas the ugly figure of the painter is fixed for ever. Further, the
poet may surround his description of the ugly thing with beautiful
imagery and lofty sentiment, practically hiding the ugliness with a
cloak of beauty; but the painter can only depict the ugly thing as it
is, naked to the sight, without gloss or apology.

  [a] _Laocoon_, Ronnfeldt translation.

  [b] _Paradise Lost_, ii.



NOTE 59. PAGE 190

It has been suggested that the foot of Hercules in this fine bronze was
placed upon the skull of an ox to indicate a successful hunt,[a] but
Hercules was a demigod, and so could not be connected in art with any
but a superhuman task or exploit. Moreover the only instance recorded in
mythological history where Hercules fought with an ox (unless the feat
of strength against the white bull of Augeas be called a fight), is that
of the Cretan bull, which was captured and not killed. There is no other
sculptured figure now known where a foot is placed on the skull of an
ox, but Pausanias records that he saw one in a temple of Apollo at
Patræ, the figure being that of the god himself.[b] Pausanias attributes
the motive of the design to Apollo's love of cattle. There is no doubt
about the significance of the Frick bronze. The skull of an ox, and
rams' heads are frequently found on ancient tombs, and acanthus leaves
were commonly used both in Greece and Rome as funereal signs, while the
base of the statuette, which is cast with the figure, is clearly
intended to represent an altar. It is noticeable that the form of
acanthus leaf used is Roman, suggesting that Pollaiuolo had access to
the reproductions of tomb inscriptions made to the order of Lorenzo de'
Medici.

There is apparently no other existing design of a hero contemplating
death, but Lysippus carved several figures, now lost, of Hercules in a
sad or depressed mood. In the most celebrated of these, the demigod was
seated in a thoughtful attitude on a lion's skin, and it is possible
that this design was connected with the contemplation of death, because
it was produced in relief soon after the time of Lysippus, and later in
a Pompeian fresco, in both cases in the presence of Lichas, the bearer
of the poisoned garment.

  [a] Bode's Preface to the _Catalogue of the Morgan Bronzes_.

  [b] Pausanias, vii.



NOTE 60. PAGE 192

The attempt of Ruskin to raise landscape to a high level in the art of
the painter[a] need scarcely be referred to here, so completely have his
arguments been refuted elsewhere.

The authority of Alexander Humboldt has been sometimes quoted in support
of the assertion that landscape can appeal to the higher attributes, the
passage relied upon affirming that descriptive poetry and landscape
painting "are alike capable in a greater or lesser degree of combining
the visible and invisible in our contemplation of nature." But it is
clear from the whole references of the writer to these arts, that he
means nothing more by his statement than that a painting or descriptive
poem may, like an actual landscape, induce a feeling of wonder at the
powers of the original Cause of nature. The opinion of Humboldt upon the
position of landscape painting may be gathered from his definite
observation that it has "a more material origin and a more earthly
limitation than the art which deals with the human form."[b]

  [a] _Modern Painters_, vols i. and ii., and the preface to the second
        edition of the work.

  [b] _Cosmos_, vol. ii.



NOTE 61. PAGE 194

It is doubtful whether an artist can invent a form of tree which does
not exist in nature, without producing something of the character of a
monstrosity. From the point of view of dimensions, the two extreme forms
of trees used in painting, are represented in Raphael's Madonna with
the Goldfinch[a] as to the slender forms, and as to the giant trunks, in
two or three of Claude's pictures. The very beautiful trees of Raphael
have been often regarded as pure inventions, and Ruskin was actually
surprised that the artist did not delineate the "true form of the trees
and the true thickness of the boughs";[b] but as a matter of fact
precisely similar trees (a variety of ash) are to be found in the
valleys of the Apennines to this day. All the change that Raphael made
was to transport the trees from a sheltered spot to an open position.
Very similar trees are introduced in the same master's Apollo and
Marsyas.[c] Perugino was the first painter to use them, and in some of
his earlier works he made them of great height,[d] but he gradually
modified the form till he approached the perfect symmetry and delicacy
of Raphael's examples.[e] Marco Basaiti introduced them into at least
three of his pictures, and they are also to be found in works by Timoteo
della Viti and Francia.[f] Higher and equally slender trees have been
appropriately used by Antonio della Ceraiuolo,[g] and even by so late a
painter as Nicholas Poussin.[h]

  [a] Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

  [b] _Modern Painters_, vol. iv.

  [c] The Louvre.

  [d] Baptism of Christ, Perugia; and The Crucifixion, Florence.

  [e] The Deposition, Pitti Palace.

  [f] Madonna and Child in a Rose Garden, Munich.

  [g] The Crucifixion, Florence Academy.

  [h] Diana sleeps in the Forest, Prado, Madrid.



NOTE 62. PAGE 194

In noting the fact that the great landscape artist invents his designs,
Byron observes that nature does not furnish him with the scenes that he
requires, and adds[a]:

     Nature is not lavish of her beauties; they are widely scattered,
     and occasionally displayed, to be selected with care, and gathered
     with difficulty.

Had Byron been a painter, he would have known that the trouble of the
artist is due to the over, and not the under, supply of beauty by
nature. The artist sees the beauty, but cannot identify it with
particular signs, and so has to invent a scene himself, using nature
only for sketches or ideas.

  [a] _Art and Nature._



NOTE 63. PAGE 200

"The force of natural signs," says Lessing, "consists in their
resemblance to the things they represent."[a] In a criticism upon the
second part of _Faust_, G. H. Lewes writes[b]:

     The forms which are his (the artist's) materials, the symbols which
     are his language, must in themselves have beauty and an interest
     readily appreciable by those who do not understand the occult
     meaning. Unless they have this they cease to be art: they become
     hieroglyphs. Art is picture painting, not picture writing.

While this is generally true, beauty in the lesser signs of the poet is
of greater importance than in those of the painter, because a painting
is looked upon direct as a whole, while a poem has to be comprehended in
its parts before it can be properly considered as a whole.

  [a] Laocoon.

  [b] _Life of Goethe_, 2d edition.



NOTE 64. PAGE 203

Although those of the fifteenth-century artists who treated landscape
seriously did not thoroughly understand perspective, yet they were
seldom at a loss in representing distance, that is, in the clear
atmosphere which they invariably used. They were diffident in attempting
distance with unbroken level country, and till quite the end of the
century there is no instance where middle and far distance are shown
together, even with the assistance of hilly ground. The almost
invariable practice of the leading painters who made landscape a feature
in their works, was to introduce water leading back from the foreground,
so that breaks therein could be used to indicate distance. More or less
numerous jutting forks of low lying land were thrown into the stream
from either side, this plan being successfully adopted in Italy,[a]
Flanders,[b] and Germany.[c]

Early in the sixteenth century much improvement was made in the use of
water for providing distance, and a few of the Venetian painters gave
some consideration to aerial perspective, but the most perfect example
of this perspective in the period is contained in an early work of
Raphael.[d] In the background is a lake extending into a gradually
deepening haze, and in this a boat is so skilfully placed as to increase
considerably the apparent distance to the horizon. This picture is a
distinct advance upon the Venetian distance work of the time.[e] Later
on in the century an artist rarely introduced water into a view
specially to assist in producing distance by means of boats, more
advanced methods being adopted. Titian used sunlight effects with
varying shadows,[f] or alternating clear and wooded ground.[g] These
plans, and the use of water with the addition of trees and low hills,[h]
constitute the chief devices to be found in the late sixteenth-century
Italian pictures. Some of the sun effects rendered for distance purposes
even before Titian's best time are quite effective, though formal.[i]

  [a] See Piero di Cosimo's Death of Procris, National Gallery, London,
        and Mars and Cupid, Berlin.

  [b] Van Eyck's Chancellor Rollin before the Virgin, and Bout's
        Adoration of the Magi.

  [c] Lucas Moser's Voyage of the Saints (1431), Tiefenbroun, Germany.

  [d] Central panel in a triptych of the Crucifixion, Hermitage,
        Petrograd. This picture has been sometimes attributed to
        Perugino, but it is unquestionably from the hand of Raphael.

  [e] See Titian's Jacopo Pesaro presented to St. Peter, Antwerp.

  [f] Charles V. at Mühlberg, Madrid.

  [g] Meeting of Joachim and Anna, Padua; and others.

  [h] Bronzino's Venus and Cupid, Uffizi, Florence.

  [i] Schiavone's Jupiter and Io, Hermitage.



NOTE 65. PAGE 204

Lessing apparently overlooked the possibilities of landscape painting in
his dictum as to progressive actions. He writes[a]:

     If painting on account of the signs and means of imitation which it
     employs, and which can only be combined in space, must entirely
     renounce time, then progressive actions cannot, in so far as they
     are progressive, be included in the number of its subjects, but it
     must content itself with coexistent actions, or with mere bodies,
     which on account of their position cause an action to be suspected.

It is true that a series of progressive human actions cannot be included
in one painting, but progressive natural actions can be so included when
the progression is regular and repeated and the actions are clearly
separated to the eye. Although the painter can only depict a moment of
time, he can show the whole progression, which is not the case in a
series of human actions, as in the example quoted by Lessing, of
Pandarus arranging his bow, opening his quiver, choosing an arrow, and
so on.

Strange to say, De Quincey, in an explanatory note to Lessing's
observations, also overlooks the movement of water broken by rocks,
though he refers specially to landscape painting. He says[b]:

     In the succession of parts which make up appearance in nature,
     either the parts simply repeat each other (as in the case of a man
     walking, a river flowing, etc.), or they unfold themselves through
     a cycle, in which each step effaces the preceding, as in the case
     of a gun exploding, where the flash is swallowed up by the smoke
     effaced by its own dispersion.

But for the purpose of the painter, the action of water breaking over
ledges and boulders does not correspond with the case of a man walking
or a river flowing, because the series of events forming the progression
in the case of the water breaking, cover such time and space that the
events can be distinctly separated by the eye. Clearly also this action
should not be included in De Quincey's second category, because the
repetition is both regular and (to all intents and purposes) perpetual.
There should therefore be a third category to comprise those repeated
progressive acts in which the events can be so separated by the eye as
to be portrayed on canvas in the order of their progression, and in such
a way that the whole progression, and the meaning of it, are at once
apparent.

  [a] _Laocoon_, Phillimore translation.

  [b] Essay on "Lessing."



  [Illustration: PLATE 29 (See page 329)
  Greek Sculpture of Ariadne (_Vatican_)]



NOTE 66. PAGE 208

Professor Clausen relates that Whistler told him that his object in
painting nocturnes was to try and exhibit the "mystery and beauty of the
night." It is obvious that Whistler was here confusing psychological
with visual impressions. The depth of gloom, the apparently limitless
dark void which the eye cannot penetrate, mean mystery in a sense,
because we can never accustom ourselves to the suggestion of infinity
involved in something which is boundless to the senses. A sensation of
the sublime may consequently arise, and this means beauty in a
psychological sense. But we are considering art and not psychology.
Where nothing is distinguished, nothing can be painted, and if there be
sufficient light for objects to be determined, there can be no mystery
for the painter. If he be desirous of representing Night, he must follow
the example of Michelangelo and symbolize it.

It is curious that since the death of Whistler, a picture entitled
Mysteries of the Night has been painted by another American artist--J.
H. Johnston. A figure of a beautiful nude woman is standing on a rocky
shore in a contemplative attitude, with the moonlight thrown upon her.
The design is excellent, but the realistic modelling of the figure
effectually kills any suggestion of mystery.



NOTE 67. PAGE 231

Vasari mentions that Michelangelo, though admiring the colour and manner
of Titian regretted that the Venetian painters did not pay more
attention to drawing in their studies.[a] In quoting this, Reynolds
observed[b]:

     But if general censure was given to that school from the sight of a
     picture by Titian, how much more heavily and more justly would the
     censure fall on Paolo Veronese, and more especially on Tintoretto.

Reynolds himself rightly excluded Titian when he condemned the later
Venetian painters of the Renaissance for their exaggeration of colour,
and no doubt Titian was also exempted by J. A. Symonds in his trenchant
criticism of the work of this school. When dealing with the decline of
Lesbian poetry after the brilliant period of Sappho, he wrote[c]:

     In this the Lesbian poets were not unlike the Provençal
     troubadours, who made a literature of love, or the Venetian
     painters, who based their art on the beauty of colour, the
     voluptuous charms of the flesh. In each case the motive of
     enthusiastic passion sufficed to produce a dazzling result. But as
     soon as its freshness was exhausted there was nothing left for art
     to live on, and mere decadence to sensuality ensued.

  [a] _Life of Titian_.

  [b] Reynolds's Fourth Discourse.

  [c] _Studies of the Greek Poets_, vol. i.



NOTE 68. PAGE 232

Sir George Beaumont relates of Reynolds[a]:

     On his return from his second tour over Flanders and Holland, he
     observed to me that the pictures of Rubens appeared much less
     brilliant than they had done on his former inspection. He could not
     for some time account for this little circumstance; but when he
     recollected that when he first saw them he had his notebook in his
     hand for the purpose of writing down short remarks, he perceived
     what had occasioned their now making a less impression than they
     had done formerly. By the eye passing immediately from the white
     paper to the picture, the colours derived uncommon richness and
     warmth; but for want of this foil they afterwards appeared
     comparatively cold.

  [a] Cunningham's _Lives of the British Painters_.



NOTE 69. PAGE 249

Rodin[a] observes that in giving movement to his personages, the artist

     represents the transition from one pose to another--he indicates
     how insensibly the first glides into the second. In his work we
     still see a part of what was, and we discover a part of what is to
     be.

Rodin points to Rude's fine statue of Marshal Ney, and practically says
that here the illusion is created by a series of progressive actions
indicated in the attitude: the legs remaining as they were when the
sword was about to be drawn, and the hand still holding the scabbard
away from the body, while the chest is being thrown out and the sword
held aloft. Thus the sculptor

     compels, so to speak, the spectator to follow the development of an
     act in an individual. The eyes are forced to travel upwards from
     the lower limbs to the raised arm, and as in so doing they find the
     different parts of the figure represented at successive instants,
     they have the illusion of beholding the movement performed.

Rodin himself has followed a similar course with much success. The
ancient Greek sculptors, when representing a figure in action,
invariably chose a moment of rest between two progressive steps in the
action. The Discobolus and Marsyas of Myron, and particularly the
Atalanta in the Louvre, are fine examples.

  [a] _Art, by Auguste Rodin_, compiled by Paul Gsell, 1916.



NOTE 70. PAGE 250

Mengs, in referring to the arrangement of the drapery in Raphael's
figures, says[a]:

     With him every fold has its proper cause; either in its own weight
     or in the motion of the limbs. Sometimes the folds enable us to
     tell what has preceded; herein too Raphael has endeavoured to find
     significance. It can be seen by the position of the folds, whether
     an arm or a leg has been moved forwards or backwards into the
     attitude which it actually occupies; whether a limb has been, or is
     being, moved from a contracted position into a straightened one, or
     whether it was extended at first and is being contracted.

  [a] _The Works of Anton Raphael Mengs_, vol. ii., D'Azara translation.



NOTE 71. PAGE 258

Besides assisting in providing an illusion, the title of a picture may
lend great additional interest to it. Thus in Millet's The Angelus the
associations called up by the title act most powerfully on the mind, and
one almost listens for the sound of the bell.[a] A work of a
similar character is Bonvin's Ave Maria, where the nuns of a convent are
answering the call[b]; and Horace Walker has a picture with the same
title, in which a boy who is driving cattle, stops in front of a
Crucifix by the wayside[c]. An excellent example of this added interest
is the title of Turner's great picture of the _Temeraire_,[d] as to
which R. Phillimore writes[e]:

     It is not difficult to imagine the picture of an old man-of-war
     towed by a steam tug up a river. The execution of such a subject
     may deserve great praise and give great satisfaction to the
     beholder. But add to the representation the statement that it is
     "The fighting Temeraire towed to her last berth, " and a series of
     the most stirring events of our national history fills our
     imagination.

  [a] The Louvre.

  [b] The Luxembourg.

  [c] Corcoran Gallery, Washington.

  [d] National Gallery, London.

  [e] Preface to translation of Lessing's _Laocoon_.



NOTE 72. PAGE 261

There is an antique sculptured group in the Vatican in which a precisely
similar figure of the son of Niobe has his left hand on the shoulder of
his sister who has fallen to her knees from the effect of a wound, and
it is very reasonably suggested that the Florence figure originally
formed part of a like group. But the explanation of the act given by
Perry[a] and others, that the drapery was raised by the brother to
shield the girl, will scarcely hold good, as the folds are spread out at
the back, forming a concavity, whereas they would fall loosely if the
youth were resting. Apart from this, his legs are widely separated, and
in a running position. It may therefore be surmised that in the Vatican
group the artist intended to represent the precise moment when the
fleeing youth reached his sister.

  [a] _Greek and Roman Sculpture._



NOTE 73. PAGE 270

It is curious that among the countless pictures of the Annunciation, in
very few indeed has surprise been expressed in the countenance and
attitude of the Virgin, though it is impossible to imagine an incident
more properly calling for profound astonishment on the part of the
principal personage in a composition, even in the absence of startling
miraculous accessories such as that introduced by Rossetti. Probably the
reason for this is connected with the difficulty of expressing great
surprise unaccompanied with some other feeling, as pleasure, or sorrow,
or fear, but there does not seem to be any cause why an exalted joyful
excitement should not be exhibited. Mrs. Jameson thinks that the Virgin
should not appear startled, as She was "accustomed to the perpetual
ministry of Angels who daily and hourly attended on Her,"[a] but it is
questionable whether this can be properly assumed by the artist, and in
any case from the point of view of art, the action should correspond
with the nature of the event as it is generally understood. Of the few
masters who have indicated surprise in an Annunciation picture,
Tintoretto has gone the farthest. He shows the Virgin with Her lips
parted, and both hands held up, evidently with astonishment,[b] an
example followed by Paris Bordone.[c] Raphael in an early picture
represents Her holding up one hand, but the attitude might signify the
reception of an announcement of importance.[d] Perugino shows Her with
both hands raised, but otherwise She appears unconcerned.[e] A few other
artists, including Venusti and Foppa, and among modern men, Girodet,
adopt Raphael's method of composition. Rubens goes a step farther, and
represents the Virgin apparently standing back with surprise, though
this is only faintly suggested by the facial expression.[f]

  [a] _Legends of the Madonna._

  [b] Scuolo di San Rocoo, Venice.

  [c] Sienna Gallery.

  [d] The Vatican.

  [e] Santa Maria Nouvo, Perugia.

  [f] Vienna Gallery.



INDEX OF SCULPTORS, PAINTERS, AND WORKS OF ART


NOTE.--The Schools to which the earlier Italian painters belonged are
given in brackets.


A

  Adam, Franz, 1815-1886, German
    --Bavarian Regiment before Orleans, 257

  Aivasovsky, I. K., 1817-1900, Russian, 205

  Albani, Francesco, 1578-1660, Italian, 163
    --Toilet of Venus, 118

  Albertinelli, Mariotto, 1467-1512, Italian [Florentine]
    --The Salutation, 243

  Alcamenes, fifth century B.C., Greek, 304

  Altdorfer, A., 1480 (_c._)-1538, German
    --The Nativity, 268

  Aman, Jean, 1860-, French
    --Sorbonne panels, 254

  Ancher, Anna K., 1859-, Danish
    --The Funeral, 189

  Andreani, A., 1540-1623, Italian, 257

  Angelico, Fra (Giovanni da Fiesole), 1387-1455,
          Italian [Florentine], 17, 101

  Antico (Pier Giacomo Ilario), worked late 15th and early 16th century,
          Italian, 326

  Antonella da Messina, 1421 (_c._)-1493, Italian [Venetian]
    --Crucifixion, 243

  Antonio del Ceraiolo, worked first half sixteenth century,
          Italian [Florentine], 345

  Apelles, fourth century B.C., Greek, 10, 44
    --Venus Anadyomene, 113, 330, Plate 4;
    Alexander in the character of Jupiter, 209

  Avercamp, Hendrick van, 1585-1663, Dutch, 292


B

  Bartolommeo da Bagnacavallo (Bart. Ramenghi), 1484-1542,
          Italian [Bolognese]
    --Holy Family, 103

  Bartolommeo, Fra (Baccio della Porta, or Bart. di Pagholo), 1475-1517,
          Italian [Florentine]
    --Adoration of the Shepherds, 265

  Bartolozzi, Francesco, 1725-1815, Italian, 164

  Basaiti, Marco, died after 1521, Italian [Venetian]
    --The Dead Christ, 93;
    Calling of the Children of Zebedee, 93;
    Christ on the Mount of Olives, 243

  Baschenis, Evaristo, 1617-1677, Italian, 247

  Battistello (Giovanni Battista Caracciolo), 1580-1641, Italian, 17
    --Adoration of the Shepherds, 271

  Bellano, Bartolommeo, 1430-1498, 327

  Benjamin-Constant, J. J., 1845-1902, French, 184

  Benoit-Levy, Jules, 1866-, French
    --Morning of July 4, 1789, 253

  Berghem, Nicholas (or Berchem), 1620-1683, Dutch, 47, 292

  Bernadino da Conti, died 1525, Italian [Venetian]
    --Virgin and Child, 245

  Bernini, G. L., 1598-1669, Italian, 31, 33

  Berritini, Pietro, 1596-1669, Italian, 31

  Bertoldo di Giovanni, 1420 (_c._)-1491, Italian, 327

  Bischop, C, 1630-1674, Dutch, 292

  Blyhooft, Z., 1622 (_c._)-1698, Dutch, 292

  Boecklin, A., 1827-1901, German, 208
    --Vita Somnium breve, 180;
    Pietà, 170

  Boltraffio, G. A., 1467-1516, Italian [Milanese]
    --Virgin and Child, 103

  Bonfiglio, Benedetto, 1420-1496 (_c._) Italian [Perugian]
    --Virgin and Child, 103

  Bonheur, Rosa, 1822-1899, French
    --Ploughing in Nivernois, 256

  Bordone, Paris, 1500-1570, Italian [Venetian]
    --Annunciation, 354

  Both, Andries, 1609-1644, Flemish, 47

  Both, Jan, 1610 (_c._)-1652, Flemish, 47

  Botticelli, Sandro (Alessandro di Mariano dei Filippi), 1444-1510,
          Italian [Florentine] 96
    --Pietà, 169;
    Nativity, 269;
    Reposing Venus, 117;
    Athena and the Centaur, 124

  Boucher, François, 1704-1770, French
    --Louvre Portrait, 173;
    Sleeping Venus, 118;
    Birth of Venus, 268

  Bough, S., 1822-1878, British
    --Borrowdale, 204

  Bouguereau, A. W., 1825-1905, French
    --Assumption of the Virgin, 267;
    Une âme au Ciel, 267;
    Birth of Venus, 115;
    Aurora, 271;
    Twilight, 271;
    The Lost Pleiad, 269

  Bouts, Dirk, 1400-1475, Flemish
    --Adoration of the Magi, 347

  Braquemond, J. F., 1833-, French, 285

  Bramantino (Bartolommeo Suardi), 1468-(_c._) 1530, Italian [Milanese]
    --Christ, 93;
    Virgin and Child, 103

  Breton, Jules, 1827-1906, French
    --Cry of Alarm, 253

  Breughel, Jan, 1569-1642, Flemish, 46

  Breughel, Pieter, 1528-1569, Flemish, 90

  Bril, Paul, 1554-1626, Flemish, 46

  Bronzino (Angelo Allori), 1502-1572, Italian [Florentine]
    --Venus and Cupid, 348

  Brown, Arnesby, 1866-, British
    --The Drove, 257

  Burne-Jones, E. B., 1833-1898, British
    --Annunciation, 270;
    Golden Stairs, 252;
    Dies Domini, 93


C

  Cabanel, Aexandre, 1823-1889, French
    --Venus Anadyomene, 115

  Calamis, fifth century B.C., Greek, 9

  Canaletto (Antonio Canale), 1697-1768, Italian, 47

  Canova, Antonio, 1757-1822, Italian
    --L'Amour et Psyche, 191

  Cappelle, Jan van de, 1624(_c._)-1679, Dutch, 46

  Carracci, Agostino, 1558-1601, Italian, 31

  Carracci, Annibale, 1560-1609, Italian, 31

  Carracci, Ludovico, 1555-1619, Italian, 31

  Caravaggio, M. (Michelangelo Amerighi), 1569-1609, Italian, 17, 246

  Cavalori, Mirabello, middle sixteenth century, Italian [Florentine]
    --The Carpet Weavers, 252

  Cellini, Benvenuto, 1500-1571, Italian, 17, 323

  Cephisodostos, early fourth century B.C., Greek
    --Irene and Pluto, 101

  Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906, French, 37, 288

  Chardin, J. S., 1699-1779, French, 173, 247

  Chartier, H., 1870 (_c._)-, French
    --Jena, 256;
    Hanan, 256

  Chase, W. M., 1849-1916, American
    --Master Roland, 165

  Cignani, Carlo, 1628-1719, Italian, 32, 164

  Cimabue, Giovanni, 1240 (_c._)-1302, Italian [Florentine] 92, 95, 283
    --Virgin and Child, 101

  Cipriani, G. B., 1727-1785, Italian, 164

  Claude Lorraine (Claude Gelée), 1600-1682,
          French, 17, 30, 47, 195, 198, 201, 283
    --Arcadian Landscape, Plate 17

  Clausen, George, 1852-, British, 284, 349

  Cogniet, L., 1794-1880, French.
    --Tintoretto Painting his Dead Daughter, 191

  Colton, W. R., 1867-, British
    --Royal Artillery Memorial, 253

  Constable, John, 1776-1837, British, 48, 195, 208

  Copley, J. S., 1737-1815, American
    --Death of Chatham, 190

  Corenzio, Bellisario, 1588 (_c._)-1643, Greek, 17

  Cornelius, Peter, 1783-1867, German
    --Let there be Light, 267

  Correggio (Antonio Allegri), 1494-1534,
          Italian [Parma], 43, 69, 102, 108, 142
    --Vice, 179;
    Virtue, 179;
    Mercury instructing Cupid, 130;
    Madonna and Child with Saints (Parma), 268;
    Parma frescoes, 229

  Costa, Lorenzo, 1460-1535, Italian [Ferrarese]
    --Coronation of the Virgin, 102;
    Cupid crowning Isabella d'Este, 225

  Cosway, Richard, 1742-1821, British, 164

  Cot, P. A., 1837-1883, French
    --The Storm, 210

  Courbet, G., 1819-1877, French
    --Funeral at Ornans, 189

  Coypel, Antoine, 1661-1742, French, 163

  Coypel, Noel, 1628-1707, French, 163

  Crivelli, Carlo, 1440 (_c._)-1496, Italian (Venetian)
    --Coronation of the Virgin, 264

  Crome, John, 1769-1821, British, 208

  Cuyp, Albert, 1605-1691, Dutch, 203, 245


D

  Dalsgaard, Christen, 1824-, Danish
    --The Child's Coffin, 189

  Damophon, second century B.C., Greek, 122

  Danby, F., 1793-1861, British, 209

  Dehodencq, E. A., 1822-1882, French
    --Bohemians returning from a Fête, 253

  Delacroix, E. V. E., 1798-1863, French, 278

  Delaroche, Paul (Hippolyte Delaroche), 1797-1856, French
    --Death of Queen Elizabeth, 190

  Demont-Breton, V., 1859-, French
    --The Divine Apprentice, 321

  Diaz, N., 1807-1876, French
    --Descent of the Bohemians, 253

  Dolci, Carlo, 1616-1686, Italian
    --Christ Blessing, 175

  Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri), 1581-1641, Italian, 19
    --St. Cecilia, 176;
    St. Paul's Vision, 265

  Donatello (Donate di Betto Bardi), 1385 (_c._)-1466,
          Italian, 30, 101, 108, 325

  Doomer, Lambert, 1647 (_c._)-1694, Dutch, 292

  Doré, Gustave, 1832-1883, French
    --Creation of the Earth, 265;
    Samson Slaying the Philistines, 252

  Dossi, Dosso, 1479-1552, Italian [Ferrarese]
    --Muse instructing a Court Poet, 175;
    Nymph and Satyr, 175

  Dow, Gerard, 1613-1675, Dutch, 46, 248
    --The Dentist, 176

  Duccio, Boninsegna di, 1260 (_c._)-1340, Italian [Siennese], 280
    --Madonna and Child, 101

  Dumont, Jacques (Le Romain), 1701-1781, French
    --Madame Mercier and Family, 173

  Dürer, Albrecht, 1474-1528, German, 45
    --The Virgin with a Canary, 264

  Dyce, William, 1806-1864, British
    --St. John leading the Virgin from the Tomb, 245


E

  Eakins, Thomas, 1844-1916, American
    --Dr. Cross's Surgical Clinic, 185

  Emmet, Lydia, 1866-, American
    --Patricia, 247, Plate 23

  Ercole di Roberti (E. di R. Grandi), 1470 (_c._)-1531,
          Italian [Ferrarese]
    --The Concert, 175

  Everdingen, E. van, 1612-1675, Dutch, 204


F

  Falconet, P. E., 1741-1791, French, 169

  Ferrari, Gaudenzio, 1484-1549, Italian [Milanese]
    --Madonna and Child, 173

  Ferri C., 1634-1689, Italian
    --David plans a Temple, 268

  Feuerbach, A., 1828-1880, German
    --Medea, 170

  Filarete (Antonio Averlino), (_c._) 1399-1470, Italian, 327

  Flaxman, John, 1755-1826, British, 130

  Fontana, B. (G. B. Farinati), 1532-1592, Italian
    --Vision of Resurrection, 267

  Foppa, Vincenzo, 1427 (?)-1515, Italian [Milanese]
    --Annunciation, 354

  Fragonard, J. H., 1732-1806, French, 43, 283
    --The Pursuit, 139;
    The Rendezvous, 335;
    Souvenirs, 335;
    The Lover Crowned, 335;
    The Abandonment, 335;
    Venus Awakened by Aurora, 118

  Francesco da Cotignola (F. dei Zaganelli), worked early sixteenth
          century, Italian [Parma]
    --Adoration of the Shepherds, 265

  Francia (Francesco Raibolini), 1450-1517, Italian [Bolognese], 332
    --Madonna and Child in Glory, 266;
    Madonna and Child in a Rose Garden, 345

  Fries, Hans, (_c._) 1450-1520, German
    --Virgin and Child with St. Anne, 103

  Frith, W. P., 1819-1909, British
    --Poverty and Wealth, 178

  Fromentin, E., 1820-1886, French, 185
    --Couriers des Ooled Nayls, 257


G

  Gaddi, Taddeo, 1300-1366, Italian [Florentine], 280

  Gainsborough, T., 1727-1788, British, 160
    --Mrs. Leybourne, 174;
    Lady Sheffield, 174

  Genga, Girolamo, 1476-1551, Italian.
    Magdalene with Saints, 266

  Géricault, Jean Louis, 1791-1824, French
    --Epsom, 257

  Ghiberti, Lorenzo, 1381-1455, Italian, 324

  Ghirlandaio, Domenico, 1449-1494, Italian [Florentine], 30, 96
    --Old Man and Boy, 151;
    Birth of St. John Baptist, 251;
    Death of St. Francis, 144

  Ghirlandaio, Ridolfo, 1483-1560, Italian [Florentine]
    --Madonna giving her girdle to St. Thomas, 265

  Gilbert, John, 1817-1897, British
    --Slaying of Job's Sheep, 209

  Giordano, Luca, 1632-1705, Italian, 32

  Giorgio, Francesco di, 1439-1502, Italian [Siennese]
    --Christ bereft of His clothes before the Crucifixion, 93

  Giorgione (Giorgio Barbarelli), 1477-1510,
          Italian [Venetian], 278, 283, 336
    --Adrastus and Hysipyle, 210, 225;
    The Sleeping Venus, 116

  Giotto (Giotto di Bondone), 1267 (_c._)-1337,
          Italian [Florentine], 95, 108, 280, 283
    --Madonna and Child, 101

  Giovanni di Bologna (Jean de Douai), 1524-1608, French or Flemish, 323
    --Mercury, 129

  Girodet de Roncy, A. L., 1767-1842, French
    --Burial of Atala, 191;
    Annunciation, 355

  Girolamo da Libri, 1472-1555, Italian [Venetian]
    --Virgin and Child, 244

  Gouthière, Pierre, 1740-1806, French, 323

  Goyen, Jan van, 1596-1656, Dutch
    --View of The Hague, 195

  Granacci, Francesco, 1477-1544, Italian [Florentine]
    --The Virgin giving her girdle to St. Thomas, 267

  Grant, Francis, 1803-1878, British
    --Countess of Chesterfield and Mrs. Anson, 245

  Greco, El (Dominico Theotocopuli), 1547 (_c._)-1614, Greek, 19

  Grien, Hans Baldung, 1480-1545, German
    --The Three Ages, 180;
    Sacred and Profane Love, 182;
    Pictures representing Death, 186

  Gros, A. J., 1771-1835, French
    --The Combat of Nazareth, 256;
    Timoleon of Corinth, 170

  Guardi, Francesco, 1712-1793, Italian
    --Regatta on the Grand Canal, 252

  Guercino (G. F. da Cento), 1590-1666, Italian
    --Martyrdom of St. Peter, 265

  Gutherz, C, 1844-1907, Swiss
    --"They shall bear thee up," 267


H

  Hacker, A., 1858-, British
    --The Cry of Egypt, 170

  Hals, Franz, 1580-1666, Dutch, 155, 248, 336
    --The Laughing Cavalier, 177;
    Stephanus Gereardts, 337;
    Isabella Coymans, 337;
    Lady with a Fan, 337;
    Willem van Heythuysen, 337;
    Merry Company at Table, 175

  Hanneman, Adrian, 1611-1680, Dutch
    --Constantine Huygens and Children, 248

  Heim, F. J., 1787-1865, French, 184

  Henneberg, R. F., 1825-1876, German
    --Race for Fortune, 187

  Hobbema, M., 1638-1709, Dutch, 46, 49, 202
    --Landscape, Plate 18

  Hoet, G., 1648-1733, Dutch
    --Translation of Enoch, 269

  Hogarth, W., 1697-1764, British, 225, 282

  Holbein, Hans, 1497-1543, German, 283
    --The Barber Surgeons, 220;
    Holy Family, 103;
    The Ambassadors, 40, 157;
    Virgin and Child, 263

  Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910, American
    --All's Well, 176, Plate 15

  Hoppner, John, 1758-1810, British, 161

  Humphrey, Ozias, 1742-1810, British, 164

  Hunt, W. H., 1827-1910, British
    --Shadow of the Cross, 321;
    The Scapegoat, 227


I

  Ingres, J. A. D., 1780-1867, French
    --Oath of Louis XIII., 264;
    [OE]dipus and the Sphinx, 186;
    Birth of Venus, 115

  Innes, George, 1825-1894, American
    --Niagara Falls, 211


J

  Johnstone, J. H., 1857-, American
    --Mysteries of the Night, 350


K

  Kampf, Arthur, 1864-, German
    --Night of March 31, 1888, 189

  Kauffmann, Maria Angelica, 1741-1807, German, 164

  Kaulbach, W. von, 1805-1874, German
    --Marguerite, 170

  Keyser, Thomas de, 1596 (_c._)-1679, Dutch
    --Lesson in Anatomy, 185

  Kulmbach, Hans (Hans Suess), 1476 (_c._)-1522, German
    --Entombment of St. Catherine, 263


L

  Lancret, Nicolas, 1660-1743, French, 180

  Lard, F. M., late nineteenth century, French
    --Glory Forgets not Obscure Heroes, 191

  La Touche, G., 1854-1913, French, 285
    --Firework pictures, 213

  La Tour, Maurice Q., 1704-1788, French
    --Madame de la Popelinière, 174;
    Mdlle. Camargo, 174;
    Madame de Pompadour, 174

  Latour, I. H. Fantin, 1836-1904, French, 285

  Lawrence, Thomas, 1769-1830, British, 161, 224

  Le Brun, Charles, 1619-1690, French, 163
    --Death of Cato, 191

  Leighton, F., 1830-1896, British
    --Captive Andromache, 171

  Leoni, Leone, died 1590, Italian, 323

  Le Sueur, E., 1616-1655, French, 163
    --Venus reposing, 118;
    The Virgin appearing to St. Martin, 261

  Levy, H. L., 1840-1904, French
    --Young Girl and Death, 191

  Liberale di Verona, 1452-1519, Italian [Veronese]
    --Magdalene with Saints, 265

  Lionardo da Vinci, 1452-1519,
          Italian [Milanese], 16, 18, 30, 96, 172, 283, 325
    --The Last Supper, 69, 93;
    Mona Lisa (Paris), 151, 242, 341
      --(formerly Boston), 242, 340;
    Litta Madonna, 240, Plate 21;
    Virgin and Child with St. Anne, 172, 243

  Lippi, Filippo, 1406-1469, Italian [Florentine], 96
    --Virgin and Child, 103, 251

  Loefftz, L., 1845-, German
    --The Dead Christ, 171

  Longepied, L., 1849-1888, French
    --Immortality, 191

  Longhi, Pietro, 1702-1762, Italian, 31

  Lorenzetto, P., first half fourteenth century, Italian [Siennese]
    --Madonna and Child, 101

  Lotto, Lorenzo, 1480-1556, Italian [Venetian]
    --Three Ages of Man, 179;
    Triumph of Chastity, 226

  Luca di Tome, first half fourteenth century, Italian [Siennese], 261

  Luini, Aurelio (A. del Lupino), 1530-1593, Italian [Milanese], 288

  Luini, Bernadino (B. del Lupino), 1475 (_c._)-1536, Italian [Milanese]
    --Entombment of St. Catherine, 263;
    Salome, 173

  Lux, H. L., late nineteenth century, French
    --Sarpedon, 268

  Lysippus, fourth century B.C., Greek, 10
    --Hercules in depressed mood, 344


M

  Mainardi, S., died about 1515, Italian [Florentine]
    --Madonna giving her girdle to St. Thomas, 261

  Maître de Flemelle (Robert Campin), 1375 (_c._)-1444,
          French or Flemish, 93, 170

  Manet, Edouard, 1832-1883, French, 286
    --Boy with a Sword, 165;
    Déjeuner sur l'Herbe, 181;
    Olympia, 287

  Mantegna, Andrea, 1431-1506, Italian [Paduan]
    --The Infant Christ, 102;
    Virgin and Child, 175

  Margaritone of Arezzo, 1216-1293, Italian [Tuscan], 279

  Maratta, Carlo, 1625-1713, Italian, 33, 284

  Martin, John, 1789-1854, British
    --Plague of Hail, 210;
    Destruction of Pharaoh, 210;
    "I have Set My Bow in the Cloud," 210

  Masaccio (Tommaso Guidi), 1402-1429, Italian [Florentine], 283, 322
    --The Madonna enthroned, 104;
    Tribute Money, 250

  Matisse, Henry, 1876-, French, 37

  Matsys, Quentin, 1463 (_c._)-1530, Flemish, 93

  Meissonier, J. L. E., 1815-1891, French
    --1814, 256

  Mengs, Anton R., 1728-1779, German, 352
    --St. John Baptist Preaching, 175

  Menzel, A., 1815-1905, German
    --Market Place in Verona, 252;
    Iron Mill, 252

  Meyer, K., 1618-1689, Swiss, 179

  Michelangelo Buonarotti, 1475-1564,
          Italian [Florentine, Roman], 10, 13, 16, 18, 19, 30, 43, 69,
          92, 229, 260, 233, 350
    --Holy Family (Florence), 182;
    Last Judgment, 90, 93;
    Reposing Venus, 117;
    Leda, 320;
    Night, 320;
    San Lorenzo Madonna, 320;
    Bargello Madonna, 320;
    Pietà, 320;
    Moses, 320;
    Bacchus, 132;
    St. Stephen, 93;
    Creation of Adam, Plate 24

  Mignard, Pierre, 1610-1695, French, 163

  Millais, J. E., 1829-1896, British
    --The Carpenter's Shop, 321

  Millet, J. F., 1814-1875, French
    --The Angelus, 352

  Molyn, P., 1592(_c._)-1661, Dutch, 292

  Monet, C. J., 1840-, French, 286

  Montagna, B., 1450(_c._)-1523, Italian [Venetian]
    --The Virgin Enthroned, 102

  Moro, Antonio, 1512-1575, Flemish
    --Catilina of Portugal, 159;
    Maria of Austria, 159

  Morot, A. N., 1850-, French
    --Reichsoffen, 256

  Moser, Lucas, first half fifteenth century, German
    --Voyage of the Saints, 347

  Murillo, B. E., 1618-1682, Spanish, 19, 163
    --Holy Family, 103;
    Ascension of Christ, 260;
    Immaculate Conception pictures, 266

  Myron, fifth century B.C., Greek, 9, 249
    --Discobolus, 352;
    Marsyas, 331, 352


N

  Nattier, J. M., 1685-1766, French, 164
    --Madame Louise, 173


O

  Orcagna (Andrea di Cione), 1308(_c._)-1370, Italian [Florentine]
    --Assumption of the Virgin, 261

  Orchardson, W. Q., 1835-1907, British
    --The Borgia, 189


P

  Palma Giovane (Jacopo Palma), 1544-1628, Italian [Venetian]
    --Christ in Judgment, 264

  Palma Vecchio (Jacopo Palma), 1480(_c._)-1528, Italian [Venetian]
    --Reposing Venus, 117;
    Assumption, 266

  Parmigiano (Francesco Mazzuoli), 1504-1540, Italian [Parma]
    --Madonna and Child with Saints, 103

  Pedrini, Giovanni (Giampietrino), late fifteenth and early sixteenth
          centuries, Italian [Milanese]
    --Madonna, 173

  Perronneau, J. B., 1715-1783, French
    --Madame Olivier, 173

  Perugino, Pietro (Pietro Vanucci), 1446-1524,
          Italian [Umbrian], 17, 332
    --Christ's Rule, 264;
    Deposition, 345;
    Assumption of the Virgin, 262;
    Ascension, 262, 263;
    Baptism of Christ, 345;
    Madonna with Child and Penitents, 264;
    Annunciation, 354;
    Crucifixion (Florence), 345

  Phidias, fifth century B.C., Greek, 7, 10, 44, 57, 91, 108, 122, 328
    --Olympian Zeus, 68;
    Parthenon Athena, 68, 123

  Picart, B., 1673-1733, French
    --The Burning Coal, 262

  Piero di Cosimo (Piero Rosselli or Piero di Lorenzo), 1462-1521,
          Italian [Florentine], 322
    --Marsyas and the Pipes of Athena, 124, 225, 331;
    Death of Procris, 347;
    Mars and Cupid, 347

  Pinturicchio, B., 1454-1513, Italian [Umbrian], 332

  Pisano, Giovanni, fourteenth century, Italian
    --Madonna and Child, 101

  Pisano, Giunto, first half thirteenth century, Italian
    --Christ and the Virgin, 261

  Pisano, Niccolo, 1206 (_c._)-1278, Italian
    --Infant Christ, 108

  Pissarro, C., 1830-1903, French, 286

  Polidoro da Caravaggio (Polidoro Caldara), died 1543,
          Italian [Neapolitan], 169

  Pollaiuolo, Antonio (A. di Jacopo Benci), 1429-1498,
          Italian [Florentine], 327
    --Hercules contemplating death, 190, Plate 16, 343

  Polyclitus, fifth century B.C., Greek
    --Hera, 120

  Polygnotus, fifth century B.C., Greek
    --Frescoes from Homer, 69

  Pontormo (Jacopo Carrucci), 1493-1558, Italian [Florentine], 142
    --Venus Reposing, 117

  Potter, Paul, 1625-1654, Dutch, 203, 245

  Poussin, Gaspar (Gaspar Dughet), 1613-1675, French, 195

  Poussin, Nicholas, 1594-1665, French, 16, 30, 47, 163, 195
    --Jonah cast into the sea, 210;
    Assumption of the Virgin, 267;
    St. Francis Xavier, 261;
    Vision of St. Paul, 267;
    Venus Reposing, 117;
    Adam and Eve, 265;
    Diana Sleeps in the Forest, 345;
    Descent from the Cross, 168

  Poynter, E. J., 1836-, British
    --Building the Treasure City, 253

  Praxiteles, fourth century B.C., Greek, 7, 10, 13, 44, 136, 328
    --The Cnidian Aphrodite, 112, 329;
    Hermes and the Infant Bacchus, 101, 109, 129

  Prevost, Jean, died 1529, French
    --Old Man and Death, 186

  Prudhon, P. P. 1758-1823, French
    --Crucifixion, 170;
    Abduction of Psyche, 266


R

  Raeburn, Henry, 1756-1823, British, 161
    --The Farmer's Wife, 174;
    Mrs. Lauzun, 174;
    Mrs. Balfour, 174;
    Dr. N. Spens, 166

  Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio), 1473-1520,
          Italian [Umbrian, Florentine, Roman], 7, 10, 13, 16, 18, 28,
          43, 57, 69, 92, 108, 125, 137, 142, 167, 229, 283
    --God Appearing to Isaac, 261;
    God Separating Water from Earth, 261;
    Creation of the Sun and Moon, 261;
    Transfiguration, 251;
    Julius II., 40, 151, 289;
    School of Athens, 144;
    Parnassus, 125;
    Prophets and Sybils, 243, 263;
    Foligna Madonna, 263;
    Creation of Woman, 263;
    Maddalena Doni, 242;
    Angelo Doni, 242;
    Study from Mona Lisa, 242;
    The Redeemer, 243;
    Madonna and Child (Bridgewater), 102;
    Madonna and Child with St. John (Berlin), 102;
    Holy Family (Madrid), Deliverance of St. Peter, 251;
    Fire at the Borgo, 251;
    Flight of Lot and his Family, 251;
    Crucifixion, 347;
    Moses Striking the Rock, 251;
    Saint Cecilia, 176;
    Saint Sebastian, 243;
    Venus Anadyomene, 113;
    Christ Blessing, 93;
    Casa Tempi Madonna, 173;
    Cowper Madonna, 173;
    Leo N. and the Cardinals Medici, 157;
    Fornarina, 173;
    Portrait of a Young Man, 173;
    Mercury and Psyche, 129;
    St. Margaret, 250, Plate 26;
    Annunciation, 354;
    Apollo and Marsyas, 125, 332, 345;
    Virgin with a Goldfinch, 173, 345;
    Sistine Madonna, 230

  Ravestyn, Jan van, 1572-1657, Dutch, 158

  Redon, O., died 1917, French
    --Death, the Friend, 188

  Regnault, H., 1843-1871, French
    --Automedon and the Horses of Achilles, 256, Plate 28

  Rembrandt van Ryn, H., 1606-1669, Dutch, 20, 21, 152, 160, 283, 289
    --Rembrandt and Saskia, 177;
    Angel quitting Tobias, 263;
    Lesson in Anatomy, 185;
    Lady with a Dog, 281;
    Ascension of Christ, 266, 267;
    Night Watch, 21;
    Syndics of the Drapers, 281;
    Portrait Young Man (Beit Coll.), 281;
    do. (Wachtmeister Coll.), 281;
    Martin Day, 150;
    Machteld von Doorn, 150;
    Samson menacing his father-in-law, 248

  Reni, Guido, 1575-1642, Italian
    --Assumption of the Virgin, 268

  Rethel, A., 1816-1859, German
    --Death at a Masked Ball, 187;
    Death the Friend, 188

  Reynolds, Joshua, 1723-1792, British, 142, 154, 160, 224, 282, 350
    --The Infant Hercules, 176;
    Mrs. Siddons as Tragedy, 161;
    Mrs. Billington as Cecilia, 161;
    Hon. Lavinia Bingham, 174;
    Mrs. Abington, 174;
    Viscountess Crosbie, 166

  Riccio (Andrea Briosco), 1470-1532, Italian, 323, 326

  Ribera, Giuseppe, 1593-1656, Italian, 17

  Rigaud, H., 1659-1743, French, 163
    --Louis XV. as a boy, 173

  Robbia, Luca della, 1400-1482, Italian, 325

  Robbia, Andrea della 1435-1525, Italian, 104

  Roberts, David, 1796-1864, British
    --The Israelites depart, 257

  Rodin, A., 1840-1917, French, 249, 351
    --La Vieille Heaulmière, 317

  Roll, A. P., 1847-, French, 271

  Romano, Giulio (G. Pippi), 1492-1546, Italian [Roman]
    --Holy Family, 104

  Romney, George, 1734-1802, British, 142, 161, 164
    --Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante, 174;
    William Booth, 174;
    Mrs. Thomas Raikes, 165;
    The Ladies Spencer, 166;
    Mrs. Yates, 174;
    Mrs. Tickle, 174

  Rosa, Salvator, 1615-1673, Italian, 32
    --Samuel's Curse, 179

  Rosalba (Rosalba Carriera), 1675-1757, Italian, 164

  Roslin, A., 1718-1793, French, 173.

  Rossellino, Antonio, 1429-1479, Italian, 104

  Rossetti, D. G., 1828-1882, British
    --Annunciation, 270

  Rubens, P. P., 1577-1640, Flemish, 16, 20, 30, 46, 152, 226, 283
    --Assumption of the Virgin (Dusseldorf), 266;
    do. (Vienna), 266;
    do. (Augsburg), 266;
    do. (Brussels), 266;
    Ascension (Vienna), 267;
    do (Venice), 268;
    Deity and Christ, 266;
    Diana and Nymphs, 254, Plate 27;
    Harvest Landscape (Munich), 211;
    do. (Wallace Coll.), 211;
    Virgin and Child (Rome), 262;
    Birth of Venus, 115;
    Landscape with a Rainbow, 211;
    Shipwreck of Æneas, 211;
    Annunciation (Vienna), 355;
    Landscape with Baucis and Philemon, 210;
    Funeral of Decius, 188;
    Boreas and Oreithyia, 260;
    Landscape by Moonlight, 209;
    Toilet of Venus, 118;
    Christ on the Cross, 244;
    Death of Seneca, 190;
    The Four Philosophers, 157;
    David's Last Song, 176;
    Marie de' Medici series, 226

  Rude, François, 1794-1855, French
    --Marshal Ney, 351;
    Marseillaise, 254

  Ruysdael, Jacob, 1628 (_c._)-1682, Dutch, 49, 203, 208
    --The Rising Storm, 206, Plate 20;
    Landscape with flowing water, 204, Plate 19;
    The Marsh, 203


S

  Sacchi, Andrea, 1600-1661, Italian, 164

  Saint-Bonvin, F., 1817-1887, French
    --Ave Maria, 353

  Saint-Gaudens, A., 1848-1907, American
    --Shaw Memorial Relief, 254

  Salviati, F. (Francesco de Rossi), 1510-1563, Italian [Florentine]
    --Justice, 179

  Sansovino (Jacopo Tatti), 1486-1570, Italian, 323

  Sarto, Andrea del (Andrea Agnolo), 1488-1530,
          Italian [Florentine], 142
    --Holy Family (Hermitage), 104

  Sassoferrato (Giovanni Battisto Salvi), 1605-1685, Italian, 164

  Scheffer, Ary, 1795-1858, Dutch
    --Temptation of Christ, 178

  Schiavone, Andrea, 1462-1522, Italian [Venetian]
    --Jupiter and Io, 348

  Schnorr, J. von K., 1794-1872, German
    --God's Promise to Abraham, 269

  Schongauer, Martin, (_c._) 1445-1491, German, 45

  Schonherr, C., nineteenth century, German
    --Agony in the Garden, 265

  Schreyer, Adolf, 1828-1899, German
    --The Attack, 257

  Schwind, M., 1804-1871, Austrian
    --The Pleiads, 269, Plate 25;
    Rainbow, 212;
    Phantom in the Forest, 270

  Scopas, fourth century B.C., Greek, 10
    --Demeter, 122, Plate 7

  Sebastiano del Piombo (Sebastiano Luciani), 1485-1547,
          Italian [Venetian]
    --Concert, 181

  Signorelli, Luca, 1440 (_c._)-1521, Italian [Umbrian], 191
    --Portrait of a Man, 182;
    Madonna and Child, 103, 264

  Simson, William, 1800-1847, British, 245

  Snyders, Frans, 1579-1677, Flemish, 216, 257

  Sodoma, Il, (Giovanni A. Bazzi), 1477-1549, Italian [Siamese]
    --Sacrifice of Abraham, 244

  Steen, Jan, 1629-1679, Dutch
    --Terrace Scene, 245


T

  Tassaert, O., 1800-1874, French, 17
    --Assumption of the Virgin, 266

  Teniers, David, 1610-1690, Dutch, 90

  Terburg (or Terborch), Gerard, 1617-1681, Dutch, 46
    --Peace of Munster, 158

  Thoma, Hans, 1839-, German
    --Temptation of Christ, 187;
    Cupid and Death, 178;
    Sin and Death, 187;
    Progress of the gods to Walhalla, 212;
    Rainbow, 211;
    View of Laufenburg, 204

  Thomson, John, 1778-1840, British
    --Fast Castle, 207;
    Dunluce Castle, 207

  Tiepolo, G. B., 1692-1769, Italian, 31

  Timanthes, fourth century B.C., Greek
    --Sacrifice of Iphigenia, 168, Plate 14, 339

  Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), 1518-1594, Italian [Venetian], 261
    --Bacchus and Ariadne, 270;
    Annunciation, 354;
    Presentation of the Virgin, 243

  Titian (Titiano Vecelli), 1477-1576,
          Italian [Venetian], 13, 40, 108, 148, 152, 283, 336, 350
    --Assumption of the Virgin, 266;
    Sacred and Profane Love, 138, 181;
    Resurrection, 264;
    Madonna of the Cherries, 102;
    Meeting of Joachim and Anna, 102;
    Three Ages of Man, 179;
    Madonna with SS. Anthony and John, 104, 348;
    Jacopo Pesaro presented to St. Peter, 347;
    Paul III. with the two Brothers Farnese, 157, 164;
    Reposing Venus (Uffizi), 116;
    Venus Anadyomene, 115;
    Aretino, 144;
    Man with the Gloves, 151;
    Duke of Alba, 144;
    portraits of Philip II., 144;
    Charles V. at Mühlberg, 149, 347;
    portraits of his Daughter, 149;
    Duke of Ferrara, 149;
    Physician of Parma, 336;
    Toilet of Venus, 118;
    Christ on the Cross, 244;
    Pharaoh's Host overwhelmed, 257;
    self-portrait, 149;
    Venus and the Organ Player, 166

  Turner, J. M. W., 1775-1851, British, 16, 17, 201
    --Arundel Castle, 210;
    The _Temeraire_ towed to her last berth, 353


U

  Uhde, Fritz von, 1848-, German, 321
    --Cavalry going into action, 257;
    Revenge, 187;
    The Three Magi, 104


V

  Van der Neer, A., 1619-1683, Dutch, 208

  Van de Velde, W., 1633-1707, Dutch, 46

  Van der Venne, A. P., 1589-1661, Dutch
    --The Soul Fishery, 211

  Van der Weyden, Roger, 1400 (_c._)-1464, Flemish, 93, 170

  Van Dyck, Anthony, 1599-1641, Flemish, 142, 148, 157, 216
    --Four Ages, 180;
    Christ on the Cross, 244, Plate 22;
    Earl of Pembroke, 165;
    Earl of Bedford, 150;
    Philip le Roy, 165;
    Henrietta Maria (Windsor), 150;
    portrait of his Wife, 166;
    Earl of Newport, 150;
    Countess of Devonshire, 165

  Van Eyck, Jan, 1385 (_c._)-1441, Flemish, 283
    --Virgin and Child at the Fountain, 263;
    Arnolfini and his Wife, 40;
    Chancellor Rollin before the Virgin, 347

  Van Gogh, V., 1853-1890, Dutch, 37, 288

  Velasquez, D. R. de Silva, 1599-1660, Spanish, 152 _et seq._, 283
    --Christ at the Column, 246;
    Las Meninas, 155, 247;
    Coronation of the Virgin, 266;
    The Drinkers, 182;
    The Three Musicians, 175;
    The Breakfast, 155;
    portraits of Philip IV., 153;
    Olivares, 149;
    Innocent X., 151;
    Don Antonio el Ingles, 149;
    Rokeby Venus, 119;
    Surrender of Breda, 155;
    Christ in the house of Martha, 155

  Venusti, Marcello, died after 1579, Italian [Florentine]
    --Annunciation, 354

  Verestchagin, V., 1842-1904, Russian, 184

  Vermeer, Jan (of Delft), 1632-1675, Dutch, 20

  Vernet, E. J. Horace, 1789-1863, French
    --La Smalah, 256

  Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Caliari), 1528-1588,
          Italian [Venetian], 231, 286, 350

  Verrocchio, Andrea del, 1435-1488, Italian, 325

  Viti, Timoteo della, 1470-1523, Italian [Umbrian], 332, 345


W

  Walker, Horatio, 1858-, American
    --Ave Maria, 353

  Watteau, Antoine, 1684-1721, French, 278, 283
    --Embarkation for Cythera (Paris), 254;
    do. (Berlin), 269

  Watts, George F., 1817-1904, British
    --Death, the Friend, 188, 191

  West, Benjamin, 1738-1820, American
    --Death of General Wolfe, 190

  Whistler, J. A. McN., 1834-1903, American, 50, 349

  Wiertz, A., 1806-1865, Belgian
    --The Orphans, 189;
    Things of the Past, 226

  Wilson, Richard, 1714-1782, British, 48

  Witt, J. H., 1840-1901, American
    --Bless the Lord, 262

  Wouverman, Philip, 1614-1670, Dutch, 203, 245


Z

  Zurbaran, Francisco, 1598-1662, Spanish, 19



GENERAL INDEX


A

  Actors in stage rôles, portraits of, 223

  Aerial perspective, Claude the first master of, 47;
    its importance, 198;
    method of producing, 200

  Æsthetic systems, all of them untenable, 3, 274;
    Carritt on, 274;
    of Hegel, 277;
    of Croce, 273

  Ages of man, pictures contrasting the, 179

  Allegorical painting, when secondary art, 225

  Angel of Death in art, instances of, 191;
    symbol of, 188

  Angels, representation of, in aerial suspension and flight, 262, 266

  Animal painting, in action, 255;
    ideals in, not possible, 56

  Annunciation, The, indication of surprise in expression, 270, 354

  Apelles, his Venus Anadyomene, 113, 330;
    epigrams on, 331

  Aphrodite (_see_ Venus)

  Apollo, his representation in art, 124

  Architecture, its position in the Fine Arts, 53;
    imitative character of, 53, 294;
    unconcerned with ideals, 58;
    produces sensorial beauty only, 64;
    simplicity its keynote, 75;
    standard of judgment in, 75;
    S. Colvin on, 292

  Ares (_see_ Mars)

  Aristotle, on imitation in art, 215, 292;
    on metrical form in poetry, 54, 296;
    his division of the painter's art, 62;
    his connection of morals with art, 314

  Art, definition of, 1;
    its mimetic character, 52;
    sensorial beauty, first aim of, 72;
    must deal chiefly with types, 55;
    independent of social and political conditions, 4;
    of psychological impulses, 8, 14;
    great periods of, 8;
    suggested evolution in, 7;
    "Classic" and "Romantic," 278;
    relation of, to nature, 55;
    popular appreciation of, 74;
    Grecian, cause of its decline, 10;
    Italian Renaissance of, cause of its decline, 11;
    limitation of sculpture and painting in, 81;
    Tolstoy's definition of, 275;
    ideals in (_see_ The Ideal in Art)

  Artemis (_see_ Diana)

  Artists, training necessary for, 25;
    cause of variation in work of, 20;
    reputations of great, 283;
    as judges of works of art, 305

  Arts (_see_ Fine Arts)

  Assent, Law of General, 72 _et seq._

  Associated Arts, the arts associated, 53;
    first law of the, 60;
    highest art in, recognized by general opinion, 77;
    ideals in, 58;
    cannot properly be used for moral or social purposes, 82;
    their method of producing beauty, 78 _et seq._;
    limitations of, 80

  Athena, her representation in art, 123

  Atmospheric effects, limitations in producing, 202;
    exceptional phases, 202


B

  Bacchus, his representation in art, 131

  Barbizon School, anticipated by Dutch masters, 291;
    sketches of the, of little importance, 290;
    use of heavy gilt frames for works of the, 291

  Beauty, definitions of, unsatisfactory, 2, 59;
    alleged objectivity of, 2;
    highest form of, 72;
    unconnected with philosophy, 2;
    first law of, in the Associated Arts, 60;
    ideal, 86;
    kinds of, in the arts, 4, 60, 273;
    degrees of, in the arts generally, 60, in painting, 83;
    sensorial (or emotional), 60, 72;
    intellectual (or beauty of expression), 2, 273;
    of form, 273;
    of color, 228 _et seq._;
    methods of producing, 78;
    as the "expression of emotion," 275;
    Longinus on the highest, 73;
    standard of judgment of, in poetry, 77,
      in sculpture, 77,
      in painting, 77,
      in architecture, 75,
      in fiction, 77,
      in landscape, 194,
      in still-life, 214,
      in secondary art, 219 _et seq._;
    general agreement in respect of, 86

  Bon Dieu d'Amiens, Ruskin on, 319;
    Farrar on, 319;
    corresponds with certain Greek art, 319, Plate 2

  Brevity in expression, highest beauty in poetry, marked by, 65

  Broad style of painting, cause of, with great artists, 21;
    its limitations, 39;
    advocacy of, by impressionists, 38;
    as used by Rembrandt, 281;
    by Hals, 336

  Bronze statuettes of the Renaissance, 321 _et seq._

  Byron on nature and art in respect of landscape, 345


C

  Caricature, its place in art, 225

  Carritt, E. F., on the result of æsthetic systems, 275

  Cave men, their art, 5

  Ceres (_see_ Demeter)

  Chaldean Art, Illustration of, Plate 1

  Character of Artists, influence of, in their work, 16

  Cherubs, use of, in assisting illusion of suspension in the air, 265

  Christ, representation in art, 92;
    the established ideal, 92;
    Ruskin on the best ideal of, 319

  Christian conception of the Deity, its effect in art, 88

  "Classic Art," Hegel's definition, 277;
    varied meanings of the term, 278

  Claude Lorraine, the first great landscape painter, 47;
    the cause of his success, 16;
    Goethe on, 49;
    the model for Turner, 49

  Clausen, G., his definition of Impressionism, 284;
    on Whistler's nocturnes, 349

  Clouds, use of, in relation to air-suspended figures, 263

  Coast views, illusion of motion in, 206

  Color, beauty of, 228 _et seq._;
    its relative importance, 228;
    in landscape, 194;
    juxtaposition of pure colors, 35, 287;
    by Venetian artists, 231, 350;
    exceptional color effects, 234;
    its use by impressionists, 34 _et seq._

  Colvin, S., claims music and architecture as non-imitative arts, 292

  Comedy, its place in the painter's art, 224

  Contentment, quality of expression in the Madonna, 97;
    in Venus, 119

  Contrast, its use in composition, 177;
    of forms, 177;
    of ages, 179;
    of beauty and strength, 177;
    of Good and Evil, 178;
    of Poverty and Wealth, 178;
    of Vice and Virtue, 178;
    of nude and clothed figures, 180

  Correggio, and the sublime, 229

  Criticism, the new, 29

  Croce, B., his æsthetic system, 273;
    on genius, 282


D

  Darwin, C., on the result of nerve exercise, 281;
    on natural music, 293

  Death, representation of, 183 _et seq._;
    in the Crucifixion, 184;
    typified by a skeleton, 186;
    in massacres and executions, 184;
    in interior scenes, 190;
    funeral scenes, 188;
    scenes of approaching, 190;
    Angel of, 188

  Decorative art, imitation in, 218

  Deformity in art, 89

  Deity, the, representation of, 92;
    ideals of, 91

  Demeter, representation of, 121, Plate 7

  Demosthenes, example of his art, 300

  De Quincey, T., on the representation of progressive actions, 348

  Descriptive poetry, its limits, 79;
    in the seventeenth century, 308;
    example from Sophocles, 310,
      from Cornelius Gallus, 309

  Diana, representation of, 126

  Dignity, in portraiture, 146;
    practice of Titian, 148;
    of Van Dyck, 148;
    of Velasquez, 149

  Dionysus (_see_ Bacchus)

  Drama, The, pictures from the written, 221;
    from the acted, 222;
    importance of tragedy in painting, 221

  Drapery, with use of in sculpture,
    proportions possible which are not feasible in nude figures, 328;
    use of, in painting by Raphael, 251, 352;
    for assisting illusions, 260

  Dutch painters of the seventeenth century,
    their limited imaginations, 19


E

  Eaton, D. C., on the origin of impressionism, 286

  Egyptian art, its early high development, 7, Plate 1

  Emotional element in beauty (_see_ Beauty)

  Emotions, The, influence of, in the work of artists, 16;
    expression of, in relation to beauty, 275

  Evolution, not applicable to art generally, 7;
    Spencer on, 276;
    Symonds on, 276

  Execution in painting, must be balanced with imagination, 18;
    of Hals, 155;
    of Lionardo, 18;
    of Rembrandt, 19;
    of Velasquez, 153

  Expression, in ideals generally, 86;
    in Christian ideals, 91 _et seq._;
    in classical ideals, 106 _et seq._;
    in portraiture, 141 _et seq._;
    in the representation of grief, 168;
    with the smile, 171;
    the open mouth, 174;
    in the exhibition of deformity, 89;
    in scenes of death, 183;
    of Raphael, 339;
    of Rembrandt, 42;
    of the fourteenth century Italian painters, 279;
    of the thirteenth century French sculptors, 315;
    in the literary arts, 65 _et seq._


F

  Falconet, E., on the representation of grief, 169

  Farrar, Dean, on the ideal of Christ, 319;
    on the early Italian painters, 279

  Fiction, as a fine art, 4, 52;
    one of the Associated Arts, 53;
    imitation in, 52;
    forms of, 69;
    basic and structural in character, 81;
    standard of judgment in, 73;
    in relation to sensorial beauty, 79;
    unconcerned with ideals, 58
    (_see also_ Novel)

  Fine Arts, imitative in character, 52;
    classified according to their signs, 53;
    their methods of producing beauty, 78;
    standards of judgment in the, 77

  Fireworks, unsuitable for the painter, 212

  Flight, representation of
    (_see_ Illusion of suspension and motion in the air)

  Flowers, their representation in still-life, 216;
    in decorative art, 217

  Foreground in landscape, illusion of opening distance in, 202

  Form, beauty of, 273;
    ideal, 86

  Frames of pictures, their use in Barbizon works, 291;
    exclusion of, in artificial means to secure relief, 240

  French sculptors of the thirteenth century,
    their forms in the Greek manner, 315;
    their representation of the Virgin and Child, 101, 315

  Frescoes, necessarily divided into sections, 69;
    Reynolds on Raphael's, 303

  Funeral scenes in art, 188


G

  General opinion, standard of judgment in all arts except music, 73, 77

  Genius, how produced, 21 _et seq._;
    Reynolds on, 282;
    Johnson on, 282;
    Hogarth on, 282

  Geology, study of, may be assisted by landscape painting, 315

  Gods, Mythological (_see_ Grecian, under their separate headings);
    Roman, 328

  Grace, inferior as a special quality in portraiture, 164;
    as applied in Greece and Rome, 162;
    in sixteenth century art, 163;
    in seventeenth century art, 163;
    in England in the eighteenth century, 164;
    in France, 163;
    kinds of, 338

  Grandeur, highest quality of beauty in architecture, 75;
    practically impossible in landscape, 193;
    in portraiture, 160;
    in Van Dyck's works, 160;
    in Gainsborough's works, 160

  Grecian art, cause of its decline, 10;
    development of, compared with that of the Renaissance, 10 _et seq._

  Grecian sculpture, its high place in art, 106;
    ideals in, 88, 95;
    representation of adults with children in, 100;
    studied by the great masters of the Renaissance, 108;
    in portraiture, 145


H

  Hals, Franz, his facility, 155;
    his limited imagination, 155;
    his broad manner, 336;
    the works of pupils attributed to him, 337

  Hegel, G. W., his "periods" in art, 277

  Hephæstus (_see_ Vulcan)

  Hera (_see_ Juno)

  Hercules, his representation as contemplating death, 190

  Hermes (_see_ Mercury)

  Historical painting, its place in art, 83

  Hogarth, W., on genius, 282

  Holmes, C. J., on the framing of Barbizon pictures, 291

  Homer, example of his art, 65

  Hood, T., his moods and his work, 17

  Horses, representation in action, 255

  Human figure, principal sign in the Associated Arts, 53, 73;
    produces highest form of beauty, 72;
    general ideal of, 86;
    Greek ideals, 106

  Humboldt, A., on the position of landscape in art, 344

  Humorous subjects, their place in the painter's art, 224

  Hyperides, example of his art, 300


I

  Ideal in art, The, only possible in respect of the human form, 57, 87;
    inapplicable to form without expression, 86;
    definition of, 86;
    must be general, 86;
    general agreement in respect of, 87;
    can only be applied to excellence, 89;
    limitation of, 56;
    ideals of the Greeks, 89, 91,
      of the early Italians, 94,
      of the thirteenth century French sculptors, 315,
      of the Deity, 88, 91,
      of Christ, 92, 94,
      of the Madonna, 95,
      of Zeus, 88,
      of the other Grecian deities, 89,
      of Phidias, 10,
      of Raphael, 97, 137,
      of Praxiteles, 10,
      in, of Michelangelo, 320;
    general ideals, 135;
    universality of, 138, 315;
    ideal qualities, 89

  Illusion of continuity, in death scenes, 189

  Illusion of movement, in landscape, 197;
    in sea views, 205;
    in coast views, 206;
    in sculpture, 249, 351;
    in figure painting, 250 _et seq._;
    in animal painting, 255 _et seq._;
    may be suggested by title of work, 257

  Illusion of opening distance, in distance landscape, 197;
    in nearground work, 203;
    in sea views, 205

  Illusion of relief, its value in painting, 236;
    mechanical methods of producing, 240

  Illusion of suspension and motion in the air, with the assistance
    of flowing drapery, 260;
    of clouds, 263;
    of cherubs, 265;
    of Angels, 266;
    of smoke, 268

  Imagination, The,
    influence of precocious, in the production of genius, 23;
    must be balanced with skill in execution, 18;
    of Lionardo, 18;
    of the Dutch painters, 19;
    of the Spanish painters, 19;
    of Shakespeare, 23, 24

  Imitation, the province of art, 52;
    should be generalized, 237;
      in landscape, 194,
      in still-life, 214,
      in decorative art, 218,
      in architecture, 294,
      in music, 293;
    of other arts by the painter, 221 _et seq._;
    Aristotle on, 215;
    S. Colvin on, in respect of the fine arts, 292

  Impressionism, definitions of, 25, 284 _et seq._;
    its origin, 285 _et seq._;
    its influence, 38;
    its limitations, 35;
    its defects, 34 _et seq._;
    its effects, 51;
    its correspondence with Sprezzatura, 32

  Industry, the key to success in art, 24, 282

  Inspiration in art, not recognized by great artists, 16;
    actual instances of, unknown, 15;
    suggested national, 9 _et seq._;
    individual, 14

  Interiors, pictures of, their place in art, 84

  Invention in art, its relative importance, 54;
    in poetry, 54;
    in painting, 312;
    Lessing on, in poetry and painting, 312;
    in landscape, 193;
    the term used in two senses, 311

  Irony, works conveying, unsuitable for the painter, 224

  Italy, Art of, decline of the Renaissance, 11 _et seq._;
    in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 30 _et seq._;
    Renaissance ideals, 12


J

  Japanese, their practice in decoration, 217

  Johnson, Dr., on genius, 282

  Juno, representation of, by the painter, 120

  Jupiter, Greek representation of, 88, 89;
    ideal of, 89, 91;
    by the painter, 109


L

  Landscape painting, its place in art, 48, 84;
    produces only sensorial beauty, 192;
    Humboldt on, 344;
    signs in, 199;
    disadvantages of, 44;
    limitations in, 192 _et seq._, 348;
    varieties of, 49;
    relative difficulty of execution in, 48;
    compositions must be invented, 194;
    illusion of motion in, 197 _et seq._;
    precise imitation necessary in, 194;
    as a useful art, 314;
    early development of, 46,
      in ancient Rome, 45,
      in Italy, 47,
      in Holland, 46,
      in England and France, 48

  Lanzi, A. L., on the range of Raphael in expression, 339

  La Touche, G., on the origin of impressionism, 286

  Latour, Fantin, and the origin of impressionism, 285

  Laugh, a, when unobjectionable in painting, 177

  Lessing, G., on progressive actions, 348;
    on the relative importance of invention and execution, 312;
    on the representation of grief, 169;
    on descriptive poetry, 309;
    on signs in art, 346;
    on Homer and the beauty of Helen, 298;
    on the Laocoon design, 311;
    on the dictum of Simonides, 307;
    on ugliness in poetry and painting, 341

  Lewes, G. H., on the execution of signs in art, 346

  Lightning, its use in landscape, 209;
    must be subordinated, 209;
    where used in painting by great masters, 210

  Lionardo da Vinci, his imagination compared with his execution, 18;
    his relief, 239;
    on success in painting, 16;
    his representation of Christ, 93

  Literary arts,
    the painter must take his action from them or from nature direct, 81
    (_see_ Poetry and The Novel).

  Literary movement in England in the sixteenth century, 278

  Longinus, on the test of the sublime and beautiful, 73;
    on certain examples of beauty in the literary arts, 300

  Luini, A., On an "impressionist" landscape by Titian, 288


M

  MacColl, D. S., on the origin of impressionism, 284

  Madonna, The, her representation,
      the test of art during the Renaissance, 12,
      by Cimabue and Giotto, 95,
      in Crucifixion scenes, 99;
    her surroundings in art, 99,
      her representation at different ages, 98,
      Michelangelo on her presumed age, 320;
    her presumed social condition, 100;
    the ideal of the early Italian, 12, 95,
      of Raphael, 97,
      Michelangelo's portrayals of, 320;
    limitations in the ideal of, 98

  Madonna and Child,
    representation of, by thirteenth century French sculptors, 101, 315;
    in Italy, 101;
    changes in grouping of, in the fifteenth century, 101;
    practice of later artists, 102 _et seq._

  Manner in painting, its limitations, 39;
    the public indifferent to, 39;
    of Rembrandt, 21;
    of Hals, 336

  Manet, E., his connection with the rise of impressionism, 287

  Marine painting (_see_ Sea views)

  Mars, representation of, in painting, 128

  Mauclair, C., on impressionism, 285

  Mengs, A. R., on Raphael's treatment of drapery, 352

  Mercury, his representation in painting, 129

  Metaphor, with the poet, 65, 227, 296;
    with the painter, 226

  Michelangelo, and the sublime, 229;
    his studies in Greek art, 108;
    Reynolds on, 282;
    his ideals of the Madonna, 320;
    on her presumed age at the Crucifixion, 320;
    on the cause of Raphael's success, 16;
    on the public judgment of works of art, 304;
    on the Venetian painters, 350

  Miller, Marion M., his translation of Sappho's Hymn to Aphrodite, 302

  Minerva (_see_ Athena)

  Modesty, quality in expression unsuitable to a goddess, 119

  Mona Lisa, the Louvre example, 151, 172;
    the Boston example, 172;
    her reputed age in the picture, 240;
    her smile, 341

  Mood, influence of, in the work of artists, 17

  Moonlight scenes, their place in art, 208

  Morals, pictures illustrating, their place in art, 85

  Moreau-Vautier, C., on the juxtaposition of pure colors, 287

  Music,
    highest beauty in, produced by complex combinations of signs, 73;
    greatest works in, the least popular, 75;
    ideals not possible in, 58;
    cannot present intellectual beauty, 64;
    standard of judgment in, 305;
    cannot be connected with painting, 285;
    its connection with poetry, 54, 76;
    imitative character of, 53, 293;
    claimed by Colvin as non-imitative, 292;
    Darwin on natural, 293

  Muther, R., on the origin of Impressionism, 287

  Mystery in painting, indicates inferior art, 341

  Mythological subjects, their place in painting, 83, 133


N

  Nature, relation of, to art, 57;
    and landscape, Byron on, 345

  Near-ground painting in landscape, 202

  Neptune, his representation in painting, 127

  Nerves of the senses,
    their advanced condition at birth cause of precocity in art, 21;
    alike in all people, 86;
    connection of genius with development of, 22;
    physiological changes in, 22, 72;
    Darwin on the, 281

  Night, should be symbolized in painting, 350;
    Whistler attempts to represent beauty of, 349

  Nocturnes, origin of Whistler's, 349

  Norwich school of painting, 48

  Novel, the, compared with the short story, 70;
    limit of, 71;
    of little service to the painter, 221 (_see_ Fiction)

  Nude with clothed figures, contrasts of, 180


O

  Objectivity of beauty, 2

  Open Mouth, The, 174;
    when not objectionable, 177


P

  Painter, the, his requirements, 25

  Painting, imitative character of, 52;
    degrees of beauty in, 83;
    compared with sculpture, 135;
    its relation to poetry, 307;
    general ideals in, 86 _et seq._;
    classical ideals in, 106 _et seq._;
    Christian ideals in, 91 _et seq._;
    action cannot be originated in, 81;
    great, marked by simplicity, 69;
    standard of judgment in, 73;
    general expression in, 167;
    relation of invention to execution in, 312;
    broad manner of, 39;
    of divinities, 109;
    of classical scenes, 133;
    of humorous subjects, 224;
    of contrasts, 177 _et seq._;
    of scenes from fiction, 221,
      from the written drama, 221,
      from the acted drama, 222;
    of portraits in character, 222;
    of ugliness, 341;
    deformity in, 178;
    representation of death in, 183;
    portrait, 141 _et seq._;
    landscape, 192 _et seq._;
    of moonlight scenes, 208;
    of still-life, 214;
    secondary art of, 85, 219;
    metaphor in, 226;
    color in, 228 _et seq._;
    impressionist, 25;
    of events in time, 219;
    symbolical, 227;
    Barbizon school of, 290;
    quality of grace in, 161,
      of contentment, 97,
      of modesty in respect of goddesses, 119;
    illusion of relief in, 239 _et seq._;
    illusion of movement in, 249,
      in animal action, 255,
      of opening distance, 197,
      of suspension in the air, 259,
      in representation of progressive actions, 204,
      of continuity, 189,
      assisted by title, 257;
    portraiture, 141 _et seq._

  Pastoral occupations, pictures representing, 84

  Periods of art, not attributable to national æsthetic stimulus, 8;
    Hegel's, 277

  Phidias, his exalted position in art, 10;
    his ideals, 91

  Philips, A., his translation of Sappho's Ode to Anactoria, 301

  Philosophy, art not specially related to, 2

  Pythian, F., on the origin of impressionism, 286

  Poe, Edgar A., on sadness and beauty, 280

  Poetry, the highest art, 81;
    its imitative scope, 52;
    not primarily a combined art, 55;
    value of metrical form in, 54;
    its association with music, 76;
    its relation to painting, 307;
    cannot depict sensorial beauty by description, 79;
    descriptive, 309;
    in relation to human beauty, 79,
      to natural beauty, 79;
    basic and structural in character, 81;
    its range unlimited, 81;
    ugliness in, 341;
    standard of judgment in, 73, 76;
    Watts-Dunton's definition of, 296;
    translations of, 297

  Pompeian Frescoes, 45, 162, 169, 170, 171, 261, 344

  Popular appreciation of art, 73 _et seq._, 306;
    Tolstoy on, 307

  Portraiture, its position in art, 141;
    variation in work of portraitists, 141;
    generalization, 143;
    added qualities in, 148;
    quality of dignity in, 146;
    quality of nobility in, 161;
    action in, 164;
    use of the smile in, 171;
    of stage characters, 223;
    in ancient Greece, 145, 162;
    in ancient Rome, 145;
    of women, 158;
    of Raphael, 151;
    of Titian, 148;
    of Moro, 159;
    of Van Dyck, 150;
    of Rembrandt, 150;
    of Velasquez, 149, 152;
    of Hals, 155;
    of Reynolds, 160;
    of Gainsborough, 160;
    of Romney, 161;
    effects of fashion in, 159;
    quality of grace in, 161;
    limitations in, 141, 143;
    decoration in, should be subordinated, 156;
    multiple portraits, 156

  Poseidon (_see_ Neptune)

  Praxiteles, his development of new ideals, 111;
    his Cnidian Aphrodite, 111

  Precocity in art, cause of, 22

  Progressive actions, in figure subjects, 254;
      in sea views, 204;
      in coast scenes, 206;
      in landscape, 203;
    Lessing on, 348;
    De Quincey on, 349

  Psychological influence in art conceptions, alleged, 14


Q

  Quintilian: on the Sacrifice of Iphigenia, by Timanthes, 340


R

  Rainbow, its use in landscape, 210 _et seq._

  Raphael, and the sublime, 229;
    his superiority the cause of the decline of the Renaissance, 11;
    his achievement in the ideal Madonna, 12 _et seq._, 140;
    the composition of his ideal, 97;
    his range in expression, 167;
    Lanzi on, 339;
    his representation of movement, 250;
    his portraiture, 151;
    his drapery arrangements, 250;
    his representation of suspension in the air, 261;
    his study of ancient art, 108;
    his fresco work, 69;
    Michelangelo on, 16;
    his trees, 345

  Recognition, Law of, explanation of, 57;
    examples of, 65 _et seq._;
    music and architecture excluded from the, 64;
    division of the arts in applying, 62

  Relief (_see_ "Illusion of Relief")

  Rembrandt, his imagination compared with his execution, 20;
    cause of variation in his work, 21;
    his simplicity, 150;
    his broad work, 289;
    his use of color, 152;
    his position in art, 44;
    his representation of character, 42;
    suggested as impressionist, 41, 290;
    compared with the idealists, 43;
    his palette-knife pictures, 281;
    classification of his portraits, 281

  Renaissance (_see_ Italy, Art of)

  Repose, in portraiture, 164;
    in the representation of Venus, 116

  Reynolds, Joshua, his high position in portraiture, 160;
    on color, 350;
    on the representation of grief, 169;
    on the cause of excellence in painting, 282;
    on genius in art, 282;
    nobility in his portraits, 160;
    as a painter of women, 161;
    on the work of Raphael, 303;
    on Michelangelo, 282;
    on the early Italian painters, 280;
    on the Venetian painters, 350;
    his portraits of actors in character, 224;
    his use of the smile, 174

  Rodin, A., on the suggestion of movement in sculpture, 249, 351;
    on ugliness in art, 317;
    his La Vieille Heaulmière, 317;
    on Greek ideals, 319

  Romans, The ancient, had no separate sacred art, 328

  "Romantic Art," its various meanings, 278;
    Hegel's period of, 277

  Romney, G., the quality of grace in his portraits, 161

  Ruskin, J., on the trees of Raphael, 345;
    on the ideal of Christ, 319;
    on the position of landscape in art, 344;
    on the Italian painters of the fourteenth century, 279

  Ruysdael, Jacob, his painting of breaking water, 204, 206;
    his near-ground work, 203


S

  Sacred Art, offers highest scope for the artist, 63;
    in Greece, 91;
    in Italy, 12

  Sadness, as a quality of beauty, 280

  Saints, representation of, 104

  Sappho, her Ode to Anactoria, and the cause of its beauty, 67;
    translation of the Ode, 301;
    her Hymn to Aphrodite, 302

  Satan, representation of, 178

  Satire, works conveying, unsuited to the painter, 224

  Schopenhauer, on music as a non-imitative art, 292

  Sculpture, its imitative scope, 52;
    ideals in, 135;
    compared with painting, 135;
    importance of simplicity in, 68;
    standard of judgment in, 73;
    illusion of motion in, 249;
    Rodin on the illusion, 351;
    in ancient Greece, 106;
    in Greek and Roman portraiture, 145;
    thirteenth century French, 315

  Sea views, illusion of opening distance in, 204;
    progressive actions in, 206

  Secondary Art, its nature, 85;
    in historical work, 220;
    in actions drawn from the novelist, 221;
    from the written drama, 221;
    from the acted drama, 222;
    humorous pictures, 224;
    in allegorical and symbolical painting, 225 _et seq._

  Shakespeare, his imagination, 23;
    example of his art, 66;
    represents characters above experience, 61

  Short story, the, its essentials, 70;
    compared with the novel, 69 (_see also_ Fiction)

  Signs, of the fine arts, 56;
    separation of the arts according to character of, 53;
    the two classes of, in art, 56;
    must be completely painted, 199;
    Lewes on, 346;
    Lessing on, 346;
    suggestive, belong to the poet and not to the painter, 200

  Simonides, on the relation of poetry to painting, 307

  Simplicity, necessary in the higher forms of the Associated Arts, 71

  Skeleton, as a symbol in art, 186 _et seq._

  Smile, the, transitory, should be avoided in art, 171;
    in Raphael's work, 173;
    in Lionardo's, 172, 341;
    of the Milanese artists generally, 172;
    in portraiture, 173;
    in French portraits, 174;
    in British, 174

  Smoke, use of, in illusions of air suspension, 268

  Sophocles, example of descriptive poetry from, 310

  Spencer, Herbert, on evolution in art, 276

  Sporting pictures, their place in art, 85

  Sprezzatura, origin of, in the seventeenth century, 30 _et seq._;
    correspondence with impressionism, 32

  Stage scenes, pictures of, 222

  Still-life, its place in art, 85, 214;
    beauty in, 214;
    its varieties, 215;
    in decoration, 218;
    custom of the Japanese in, 217

  Stories, pictures illustrating, their place in art, 85, 221;
    painter of, subordinate to the writer, 221

  Sublime, The, Longinus on, 73;
    painters who have achieved, 229

  Supreme Being, final ideal of human form can only apply to, 88

  "Symbolic" period of painting, Hegel's, 277

  Symbolical painting, when secondary art, 227

  Symonds, J. A., on evolution in art, 271;
    on the Venetian artists, 350


T

  Taine, H., on music as a non-imitative art, 294

  Tanagra figures, quality of grace in, 162

  Temperament, influence of, on the work of artists, 16

  Titian, as a portrait painter, 144;
    the dignified pose in his figures, 148;
    the pose a test of his portraiture, 335;
    his impressionist landscape, 288;
    his coloring, 231;
    some doubtful attributions to, 336

  Titles of pictures, may assist in providing illusion of motion, 257;
    may add interest to a work, 352

  Tolstoy, Leo, on the meaning of "art," 275;
    on popular appreciation of art, 307

  Tragedy, only section of drama which the painter may properly use, 221

  Translations of poetry, varying values of, 297

  Trees in art, the slender trees of Raphael, 345;
    of other artists, 345

  Turner, J. M. W., secret of his success, 16

  Twilight scenes, their place in art, 208

  Types, importance of, in nature and art, 55


U

  Ugliness in art, may be used in poetry, but not in painting, 342;
    Rodin on, 317;
    Lessing on, 341;
    Waldstein on, 318

  Uncivilized races, their understanding of beauty, 333


V

  Van Dyck, A., 30;
    his portraiture, 150

  Velasquez, his place in art, 44;
    his simplicity in design, 152;
    his limited imagination, 155;
    his execution, 153;
    compared with the idealists, 43;
    his perfect balance, 43;
    claimed as an impressionist, 41, 290

  Venus, her representation in art, 110;
    Anadyomene, 114 _et seq._;
    reposing, 116;
    at her toilet, 118;
    of Phidias, 111;
    of Praxiteles, 111 _et seq._;
    of Apelles, 113;
    of Raphael, 114;
    of Michelangelo, 117;
    de' Medici, 119;
    of Titian, 115;
    of other artists, 115 _et seq._

  Verestchagin, V., his war pictures, 184

  Vinci, Lionardo da (_see_ Lionardo)

  Virgin, The (_see_ Madonna, The)

  Virtue and Vice, pictures representing, 178

  Vulcan, representation in painting, 132


W

  Waldstein, C., on ugliness in sculpture, 318

  Watts-Dunton, T., his definition of poetry, 296

  Whistler, J. McN., his nocturnes, 349

  Wings, use of, in suspended figures, 262

  Women in portraiture, during the Renaissance, 159;
    by Moro, 159;
    by Van Dyck, 159;
    by the eighteenth century British artists, 161;
    Reynolds preeminent in painting of, 160


Z

  Zeus (_see_ Jupiter)





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