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Title: Modern Painters, Volume V (of 5)
Author: Ruskin, John, 1819-1900
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Modern Painters, Volume V (of 5)" ***

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   Library Edition






            / OF LEAF BEAUTY
            \ OF IDEAS OF RELATION












The disproportion, between the length of time occupied in the
preparation of this volume, and the slightness of apparent result, is so
vexatious to me, and must seem so strange to the reader, that he will
perhaps bear with my stating some of the matters which have employed or
interrupted me between 1855 and 1860. I needed rest after finishing the
fourth volume, and did little in the following summer. The winter of
1856 was spent in writing the "Elements of Drawing," for which I thought
there was immediate need; and in examining with more attention than they
deserved some of the modern theories of political economy, to which
there was necessarily reference in my addresses at Manchester. The
Manchester Exhibition then gave me some work, chiefly in its magnificent
Reynolds' constellation; and thence I went on into Scotland, to look at
Dumblane and Jedburgh, and some other favorite sites of Turner's; which
I had not all seen, when I received notice from Mr. Wornum that he had
obtained for me permission, from the Trustees of the National Gallery,
to arrange, as I thought best, the Turner drawings belonging to the
nation; on which I returned to London immediately.

In seven tin boxes in the lower room of the National Gallery I found
upwards of nineteen thousand pieces of paper, drawn upon by Turner in
one way or another. Many on both sides; some with four, five, or six
subjects on each side (the pencil point digging spiritedly through from
the foregrounds of the front into the tender pieces of sky on the back);
some in chalk, which the touch of the finger would sweep away;[1] others
in ink, rotted into holes; others (some splendid colored drawings among
them) long eaten away by damp and mildew, and falling into dust at the
edges, in capes and bays of fragile decay; others worm-eaten, some
mouse-eaten, many torn half-way through; numbers doubled (quadrupled, I
should say) up into four, being Turner's favorite mode of packing for
travelling; nearly all rudely flattened out from the bundles in which
Turner had finally rolled them up and squeezed them into his drawers in
Queen Anne Street. Dust of thirty years' accumulation, black, dense, and
sooty, lay in the rents of the crushed and crumpled edges of these
flattened bundles, looking like a jagged black frame, and producing
altogether unexpected effects in brilliant portions of skies, whence an
accidental or experimental finger mark of the first bundle-unfolder had
swept it away.

About half, or rather more, of the entire number consisted of pencil
sketches, in flat oblong pocket-books, dropping to pieces at the back,
tearing laterally whenever opened, and every drawing rubbing itself into
the one opposite. These first I paged with my own hand; then unbound;
and laid every leaf separately in a clean sheet of perfectly smooth
writing paper, so that it might receive no farther injury. Then,
enclosing the contents and boards of each book (usually ninety-two
leaves, more or less drawn on both sides, with two sketches on the
boards at the beginning and end) in a separate sealed packet, I returned
it to its tin box. The loose sketches needed more trouble. The dust had
first to be got off them (from the chalk ones it could only be blown
off); then they had to be variously flattened; the torn ones to be laid
down, the loveliest guarded, so as to prevent all future friction; and
four hundred of the most characteristic framed and glazed, and cabinets
constructed for them which would admit of their free use by the public.
With two assistants, I was at work all the autumn and winter of 1857,
every day, all day long, and often far into the night.

The manual labor would not have hurt me; but the excitement involved in
seeing unfolded the whole career of Turner's mind during his life,
joined with much sorrow at the state in which nearly all his most
precious work had been left, and with great anxiety, and heavy sense of
responsibility besides, were very trying; and I have never in my life
felt so much exhausted as when I locked the last box, and gave the keys
to Mr. Wornum, in May, 1858. Among the later colored sketches, there was
one magnificent series, which appeared to be of some towns along the
course of the Rhine on the north of Switzerland. Knowing that these
towns were peculiarly liable to be injured by modern railroad works, I
thought I might rest myself by hunting down these Turner subjects, and
sketching what I could of them, in order to illustrate his compositions.

As I expected, the subjects in question were all on, or near, that east
and west reach of the Rhine between Constance and Basle. Most of them
are of Rheinfelden, Seckingen, Lauffenbourg, Schaffhausen, and the Swiss

Having made what notes were possible to me of these subjects in the
summer (one or two are used in this volume), I was crossing Lombardy in
order to examine some points of the shepherd character in the Vaudois
valleys, thinking to get my book finished next spring; when I
unexpectedly found some good Paul Veroneses at Turin. There were several
questions respecting the real motives of Venetian work that still
troubled me not a little, and which I had intended to work out in the
Louvre; but seeing that Turin was a good place wherein to keep out of
people's way, I settled there instead, and began with Veronese's Queen
of Sheba;--when, with much consternation, but more delight, I found that
I had never got to the roots of the moral power of the Venetians, and
that they needed still another and a very stern course of study. There
was nothing for it but to give up the book for that year. The winter was
spent mainly in trying to get at the mind of Titian; not a light
winter's task; of which the issue, being in many ways very unexpected to
me (the reader will find it partly told towards the close of this
volume), necessitated my going in the spring to Berlin, to see Titian's
portrait of Lavinia there, and to Dresden to see the Tribute Money, the
elder Lavinia, and girl in white, with the flag fan. Another portrait,
at Dresden, of a lady in a dress of rose and gold, by me unheard of
before, and one of an admiral, at Munich, had like to have kept me in
Germany all summer.

Getting home at last, and having put myself to arrange materials of
which it was not easy, after so much interruption, to recover the
command;--which also were now not reducible to a single volume--two
questions occurred in the outset, one in the section on vegetation,
respecting the origin of wood; the other in the section on sea,
respecting curves of waves; to neither of which, from botanist or
mathematicians, any sufficient answer seemed obtainable.

In other respects also the section on the sea was wholly unsatisfactory
to me: I knew little of ships, nothing of blue open water. Turner's
pathetic interest in the sea, and his inexhaustible knowledge of
shipping, deserved more complete and accurate illustration than was at
all possible to me; and the mathematical difficulty lay at the beginning
of all demonstration of facts. I determined to do this piece of work
well, or not at all, and threw the proposed section out of this volume.
If I ever am able to do what I want with it (and this is barely
probable), it will be a separate book; which, on other accounts, I do
not regret, since many persons might be interested in studies of the
shipping of the old Nelson times, and of the sea-waves and sailor
character of all times, who would not care to encumber themselves with
five volumes of a work on Art.

The vegetation question had, however, at all cost, to be made out as
best might be; and again lost me much time. Many of the results of this
inquiry, also, can only be given, if ever, in a detached form.

During these various discouragements, the preparation of the Plates
could not go on prosperously. Drawing is difficult enough, undertaken in
quietness: it is impossible to bring it to any point of fine rightness
with half-applied energy.

Many experiments were made in hope of expressing Turner's peculiar
execution and touch by facsimile. They cost time, and strength, and, for
the present, have failed; many elaborate drawings, made during the
winter of 1858, having been at last thrown aside. Some good may
afterwards come of these; but certainly not by reduction to the size of
the page of this book, for which, even of smaller subjects, I have not
prepared the most interesting, for I do not wish the possession of any
effective and valuable engravings from Turner to be contingent on the
purchasing a book of mine.[2]

Feebly and faultfully, therefore, yet as well as I can do it under these
discouragements, the book is at last done; respecting the general course
of which, it will be kind and well if the reader will note these few
points that follow.

The first volume was the expansion of a reply to a magazine article; and
was not begun because I then thought myself qualified to write a
systematic treatise on Art; but because I at least knew, and knew it to
be demonstrable, that Turner was right and true, and that his critics
were wrong, false, and base. At that time I had seen much of nature, and
had been several times in Italy, wintering once in Rome; but had chiefly
delighted in northern art, beginning, when a mere boy, with Rubens and
Rembrandt. It was long before I got quit of a boy's veneration for
Rubens' physical art-power; and the reader will, perhaps, on this ground
forgive the strong expressions of admiration for Rubens, which, to my
great regret, occur in the first volume.

Finding myself, however, engaged seriously in the essay, I went, before
writing the second volume, to study in Italy; where the strong reaction
from the influence of Rubens threw me at first too far under that of
Angelico and Raphael, and, which was the worst harm that came of that
Rubens influence, blinded me long to the deepest qualities of Venetian
art; which, the reader may see by expressions occurring not only in the
second, but even in the third and fourth volumes, I thought, however
powerful, yet partly luxurious and sensual, until I was led into the
final inquiries above related.

These oscillations of temper, and progressions of discovery, extending
over a period of seventeen years, ought not to diminish the reader's
confidence in the book. Let him be assured of this, that unless
important changes are occurring in his opinions continually, all his
life long, not one of those opinions can be on any questionable subject
true. All true opinions are living, and show their life by being capable
of nourishment; therefore of change. But their change is that of a
tree--not of a cloud.

In the main aim and principle of the book, there is no variation, from
its first syllable to its last. It declares the perfectness and eternal
beauty of the work of God; and tests all work of man by concurrence
with, or subjection to that. And it differs from most books, and has a
chance of being in some respects better for the difference, in that it
has not been written either for fame, or for money, or for
conscience-sake, but of necessity.

It has not been written for praise. Had I wished to gain present
reputation, by a little flattery adroitly used in some places, a sharp
word or two withheld in others, and the substitution of verbiage
generally for investigation, I could have made the circulation of these
volumes tenfold what it has been in modern society. Had I wished for
future fame, I should have written one volume, not five. Also, it has
not been written for money. In this wealth-producing country, seventeen
years' labor could hardly have been invested with less chance of
equivalent return.

Also, it has not been written for conscience-sake. I had no definite
hope in writing it; still less any sense of its being required of me as
a duty. It seems to me, and seemed always, probable, that I might have
done much more good in some other way. But it has been written of
necessity. I saw an injustice done, and tried to remedy it. I heard
falsehood taught, and was compelled to deny it. Nothing else was
possible to me. I knew not how little or how much might come of the
business, or whether I was fit for it; but here was the lie full set in
front of me, and there was no way round it, but only over it. So that,
as the work changed like a tree, it was also rooted like a tree--not
where it would, but where need was; on which, if any fruit grow such as
you can like, you are welcome to gather it without thanks; and so far as
it is poor or bitter, it will be your justice to refuse it without


  [1] The best book of studies for his great shipwrecks contained about
    a quarter of a pound of chalk débris, black and white, broken off the
    crayons with which Turner had drawn furiously on both sides of the
    leaves; every leaf, with peculiar foresight and consideration of
    difficulties to be met by future mounters, containing half of one
    subject on the front of it, and half of another on the back.

  [2] To Mr. Armytage, Mr. Cuff, and Mr. Cousen, I have to express my
    sincere thanks for the patience, and my sincere admiration of the
    skill, with which they have helped me. Their patience, especially,
    has been put to severe trial by the rewardless toil required to
    produce facsimiles of drawings in which the slightness of subject
    could never attract any due notice to the excellence of workmanship.

    Aid, just as disinterested, and deserving of as earnest
    acknowledgment, has been given me by Miss Byfield, in her faultless
    facsimiles of my careless sketches; by Miss O. Hill, who prepared the
    copies which I required from portions of the pictures of the old
    masters; and by Mr. Robin Allen, in accurate line studies from
    nature, of which, though only one is engraved in this volume, many
    others have been most serviceable, both to it and to me.




  PREFACE                                      v

  CHAPTER I.--The Earth-Veil                   1
     "   II.--The Leaf Orders                  6
     "  III.--The Bud                         10
     "   IV.--The Leaf                        21
     "    V.--Leaf Aspects                    34
     "   VI.--The Branch                      39
     "  VII.--The Stem                        49
     " VIII.--The Leaf Monuments              63
     "   IX.--The Leaf Shadows                77
     "    X.--Leaves Motionless               88



  CHAPTER I.--The Cloud Balancings           101
      "  II.--The Cloud-Flocks               108
      " III.--The Cloud-Chariots             122
      "  IV.--The Angel of the Sea           133



  CHAPTER I.--The Law of Help                153
      "  II.--The Task of the Least          164
      " III.--The Rule of the Greatest       175
      "  IV.--The Law of Perfectness         180



  CHAPTER I.--The Dark Mirror                193
      "  II.--The Lance of Pallas            202
      " III.--The Wings of the Lion          214
      "  IV.--Durer and Salvator             230
      "   V.--Claude and Poussin             241
      "  VI.--Rubens and Cuyp                249
      " VII.--Of Vulgarity                   261
      " VIII.--Wouvermans and Angelico       277
      "  IX.--The Two Boyhoods               286
      "   X.--The Nereid's Guard             298
      "  XI.--The Hesperid Æglé              314
      " XII.--Peace      339





                                         Drawn by                  Engraved by

  Frontispiece, Ancilla Domini        _Fra Angelico_              WM. HALL

  Plate                                                                    Facing page

  51. The Dryad's Toil                _J. Ruskin_                 J. C. ARMYTAGE    12
  52. Spirals of Thorn                _R. Allen_                  R. P. CUFF        26
  53. The Dryad's Crown               _J. Ruskin_                 J. C. ARMYTAGE    36
  54. Dutch Leafage                   _Cuyp and Hobbima_          J. COUSEN         37
  55. By the Way-side                  _J. M. W. Turner_           J. C. ARMYTAGE   38
  56. Sketch by a Clerk of the Works  _J. Ruskin_                 J. EMSLIE         61
  57. Leafage by Durer and Veronese   _Durer and Veronese_        R. P. CUFF        65
  58. Branch Curvature                _R. Allen_                  R. P. CUFF        69
  59. The Dryad's Waywardness         _J. Ruskin_                 R. P. CUFF        71
  60. The Rending of Leaves           _J. Ruskin_                 J. COUSEN         94
  61. Richmond, from the Moors        _J. M. W. Turner_           J. C. ARMYTAGE    98
  62. By the Brookside                _J. M. W. Turner_           J. C. ARMYTAGE    98
  63. The Cloud Flocks                _J. Ruskin_                 J. C. ARMYTAGE   109
  64. Cloud Perspective (Rectilinear) _J. Ruskin_                 J. EMSLIE        115
  65.   "        "      (Curvilinear) _J. Ruskin_                 J. EMSLIE        116
  66. Light in the West, Beauvais     _J. Ruskin_                 J. C. ARMYTAGE   121
  67. Clouds                          _J. M. W. Turner_           J. C. ARMYTAGE   118
  68. Monte Rosa                      _J. Ruskin_                 J. C. ARMYTAGE   339
  69. Aiguilles and their Friends     _J. Ruskin_                 J. C. ARMYTAGE   125
  70. The Graiæ                       _J. Ruskin_                 J. C. ARMYTAGE   127
  71. "Venga Medusa"                  _J. Ruskin_                 J. C. ARMYTAGE   127
  72. The Locks of Typhon             _J. M. W. Turner_           J. C. ARMYTAGE   142
  73. Loire Side                      _J. M. W. Turner_           J. RUSKIN        165
  74. The Mill Stream                 _J. M. W. Turner_           J. RUSKIN        168
  75. The Castle of Lauffen           _J. M. W. Turner_           R. P. CUFF       169
  76. The Moat of Nuremberg           _J. Ruskin_                 J. H. LE KEUX    233
  78. Quivi Trovammo                  _J. M. W. Turner_           J. RUSKIN        298
  79. Hesperid Æglé                   _Giorgione_                 WM. HALL         314
  80. Rocks at Rest                  / _J. Ruskin, from J. M._ \  J. C. ARMYTAGE   319
                                     \   _W. Turner_           /
  81. Rocks in Unrest                / _J. Ruskin, from J. M._ \  J. C. ARMYTAGE   320
                                     \   _W. Turner_           /
  82. The Nets in the Rapids          _J. M. W. Turner_           J. H. LE KEUX    336
  83. The Bridge of Rheinfelden       _J. Ruskin_                 J. H. LE KEUX    337
  84. Peace                           _J. Ruskin_                 J. H. LE KEUX    338


  Figure 56,              to face page 65
     "   61,                     "     69
     "   75 to 78,               "     97
     "   85,                     "    118
     "   87,                     "    127
     "   88 to 90,               "    128
     "   98,                     "    184
     "  100,                     "    284

[Illustration: Ancilla Domini.]






§ 1. "To dress it and to keep it."

That, then, was to be our work. Alas! what work have we set ourselves
upon instead! How have we ravaged the garden instead of kept it--feeding
our war-horses with its flowers, and splintering its trees into

"And at the East a flaming sword."

Is its flame quenchless? and are those gates that keep the way indeed
passable no more? or is it not rather that we no more desire to enter?
For what can we conceive of that first Eden which we might not yet win
back, if we chose? It was a place full of flowers, we say. Well: the
flowers are always striving to grow wherever we suffer them; and the
fairer, the closer. There may indeed have been a Fall of Flowers, as a
Fall of Man; but assuredly creatures such as we are can now fancy
nothing lovelier than roses and lilies, which would grow for us side by
side, leaf overlapping leaf, till the Earth was white and red with them,
if we cared to have it so. And Paradise was full of pleasant shades and
fruitful avenues. Well: what hinders us from covering as much of the
world as we like with pleasant shade and pure blossom, and goodly fruit?
Who forbids its valleys to be covered over with corn, till they laugh
and sing? Who prevents its dark forests, ghostly and uninhabitable,
from being changed into infinite orchards, wreathing the hills with
frail-floretted snow, far away to the half-lighted horizon of April, and
flushing the face of all the autumnal earth with glow of clustered food?
But Paradise was a place of peace, we say, and all the animals were
gentle servants to us. Well: the world would yet be a place of peace if
we were all peacemakers, and gentle service should we have of its
creatures if we gave them gentle mastery. But so long as we make sport
of slaying bird and beast, so long as we choose to contend rather with
our fellows than with our faults, and make battlefield of our meadows
instead of pasture--so long, truly, the Flaming Sword will still turn
every way, and the gates of Eden remain barred close enough, till we
have sheathed the sharper flame of our own passions, and broken down the
closer gates of our own hearts.

§ 2. I have been led to see and feel this more and more, as I considered
the service which the flowers and trees, which man was at first
appointed to keep, were intended to render to him in return for his
care; and the services they still render to him, as far as he allows
their influence, or fulfils his own task towards them. For what infinite
wonderfulness there is in this vegetation, considered, as indeed it is,
as the means by which the earth becomes the companion of man--his friend
and his teacher! In the conditions which we have traced in its rocks,
there could only be seen preparation for his existence;--the characters
which enable him to live on it safely, and to work with it easily--in
all these it has been inanimate and passive; but vegetation is to it as
an imperfect soul, given to meet the soul of man. The earth in its
depths must remain dead and cold, incapable except of slow crystalline
change; but at its surface, which human beings look upon and deal with,
it ministers to them through a veil of strange intermediate being; which
breathes, but has no voice; moves, but cannot leave its appointed place;
passes through life without consciousness, to death without bitterness;
wears the beauty of youth, without its passion; and declines to the
weakness of age, without its regret.

§ 3. And in this mystery of intermediate being, entirely subordinate to
us, with which we can deal as we choose, having just the greater power
as we have the less responsibility for our treatment of the unsuffering
creature, most of the pleasures which we need from the external world
are gathered, and most of the lessons we need are written, all kinds of
precious grace and teaching being united in this link between the Earth
and Man: wonderful in universal adaptation to his need, desire, and
discipline; God's daily preparation of the earth for him, with beautiful
means of life. First a carpet to make it soft for him; then, a colored
fantasy of embroidery thereon; then, tall spreading of foliage to shade
him from sunheat, and shade also the fallen rain, that it may not dry
quickly back into the clouds, but stay to nourish the springs among the
moss. Stout wood to bear this leafage: easily to be cut, yet tough and
light, to make houses for him, or instruments (lance-shaft, or
plough-handle, according to his temper); useless it had been, if harder;
useless, if less fibrous; useless, if less elastic. Winter comes, and
the shade of leafage falls away, to let the sun warm the earth; the
strong boughs remain, breaking the strength of winter winds. The seeds
which are to prolong the race, innumerable according to the need, are
made beautiful and palatable, varied into infinitude of appeal to the
fancy of man, or provision for his service: cold juice, or glowing
spice, or balm, or incense, softening oil, preserving resin, medicine of
styptic, febrifuge, or lulling charm: and all these presented in forms
of endless change. Fragility or force, softness and strength, in all
degrees and aspects; unerring uprightness, as of temple pillars, or
undivided wandering of feeble tendrils on the ground; mighty resistances
of rigid arm and limb to the storms of ages, or wavings to and fro with
faintest pulse of summer streamlet. Roots cleaving the strength of rock,
or binding the transience of the sand; crests basking in sunshine of the
desert, or hiding by dripping spring and lightless cave; foliage far
tossing in entangled fields beneath every wave of ocean--clothing with
variegated, everlasting films, the peaks of the trackless mountains, or
ministering at cottage doors to every gentlest passion and simplest joy
of humanity.

§ 4. Being thus prepared for us in all ways, and made beautiful, and
good for food, and for building, and for instruments of our hands, this
race of plants, deserving boundless affection and admiration from us,
become, in proportion to their obtaining it, a nearly perfect test of
our being in right temper of mind and way of life; so that no one can be
far wrong in either who loves the trees enough, and every one is
assuredly wrong in both, who does not love them, if his life has
brought them in his way. It is clearly possible to do without them, for
the great companionship of the sea and sky are all that sailors need;
and many a noble heart has been taught the best it had to learn between
dark stone walls. Still if human life be cast among trees at all, the
love borne to them is a sure test of its purity. And it is a sorrowful
proof of the mistaken ways of the world that the "country," in the
simple sense of a place of fields and trees, has hitherto been the
source of reproach to its inhabitants, and that the words "countryman,"
"rustic," "clown," "paysan," "villager," still signify a rude and
untaught person, as opposed to the words "townsman," and "citizen." We
accept this usage of words, or the evil which it signifies, somewhat too
quietly; as if it were quite necessary and natural that country-people
should be rude, and towns-people gentle. Whereas I believe that the
result of each mode of life may, in some stages of the world's progress,
be the exact reverse; and that another use of words may be forced upon
us by a new aspect of facts, so that we may find ourselves saying: "Such
and such a person is very gentle and kind--he is quite rustic; and such
and such another person is very rude and ill-taught--he is quite

§ 5. At all events, cities have hitherto gained the better part of their
good report through our evil ways of going on in the world
generally;--chiefly and eminently through our bad habit of fighting with
each other. No field, in the middle ages, being safe from devastation,
and every country lane yielding easier passage to the marauders,
peacefully-minded men necessarily congregated in cities, and walled
themselves in, making as few cross-country roads as possible: while the
men who sowed and reaped the harvests of Europe were only the servants
or slaves of the barons. The disdain of all agricultural pursuits by the
nobility, and of all plain facts by the monks, kept educated Europe in a
state of mind over which natural phenomena could have no power; body and
intellect being lost in the practice of war without purpose, and the
meditation of words without meaning. Men learned the dexterity with
sword and syllogism, which they mistook for education, within cloister
and tilt-yard; and looked on all the broad space of the world of God
mainly as a place for exercise of horses, or for growth of food.

§ 6. There is a beautiful type of this neglect of the perfectness of the
Earth's beauty, by reason of the passions of men, in that picture of
Paul Uccello's of the battle of Sant' Egidio,[1] in which the armies
meet on a country road beside a hedge of wild roses; the tender red
flowers tossing above the helmets, and glowing between the lowered
lances. For in like manner the whole of Nature only shone hitherto for
man between the tossing of helmet-crests; and sometimes I cannot but
think of the trees of the earth as capable of a kind of sorrow, in that
imperfect life of theirs, as they opened their innocent leaves in the
warm spring-time, in vain for men; and all along the dells of England
her beeches cast their dappled shade only where the outlaw drew his bow,
and the king rode his careless chase; and by the sweet French rivers
their long ranks of poplar waved in the twilight, only to show the
flames of burning cities, on the horizon, through the tracery of their
stems: amidst the fair defiles of the Apennines, the twisted
olive-trunks hid the ambushes of treachery; and on their valley meadows,
day by day, the lilies which were white at the dawn were washed with
crimson at sunset.

§ 7. And indeed I had once purposed, in this work, to show what kind of
evidence existed respecting the possible influence of country life on
men; it seeming to me, then, likely that here and there a reader would
perceive this to be a grave question, more than most which we contend
about, political or social, and might care to follow it out with me

The day will assuredly come when men will see that it is a grave
question; at which period, also, I doubt not, there will arise persons
able to investigate it. For the present, the movements of the world seem
little likely to be influenced by botanical law; or by any other
considerations respecting trees, than the probable price of timber. I
shall limit myself, therefore, to my own simple woodman's work, and try
to hew this book into its final shape, with the limited and humble aim
that I had in beginning it, namely, to prove how far the idle and
peaceable persons, who have hitherto cared about leaves and clouds, have
rightly seen, or faithfully reported of them.


  [1]: In our own National Gallery. It is quaint and imperfect, but of
    great interest.



§ 1. As in our sketch of the structure of mountains it seemed advisable
to adopt a classification of their forms, which, though inconsistent
with absolute scientific precision, was convenient for order of
successive inquiry, and gave useful largeness of view; so, and with yet
stronger reason, in glancing at the first laws of vegetable life, it
will be best to follow an arrangement easily remembered and broadly
true, however incapable of being carried out into entirely consistent
detail. I say, "with yet stronger reason," because more questions are at
issue among botanists than among geologists; a greater number of
classifications have been suggested for plants than for rocks; nor is it
unlikely that those now accepted may be hereafter modified. I take an
arrangement, therefore, involving no theory; serviceable enough for all
working purposes, and sure to remain thus serviceable, in its rough
generality, whatever views may hereafter be developed among botanists.

§ 2. A child's division of plants is into "trees and flowers." If,
however, we were to take him in spring, after he had gathered his lapful
of daisies, from the lawn into the orchard, and ask him how he would
call those wreaths of richer floret, whose frail petals tossed their
foam of promise between him and the sky, he would at once see the need
of some intermediate name, and call them, perhaps, "tree-flowers." If,
then, we took him to a birch-wood, and showed him that catkins were
flowers, as well as cherry-blossoms, he might, with a little help, reach
so far as to divide all flowers into two classes; one, those that grew
on ground; and another, those that grew on trees. The botanist might
smile at such a division; but an artist would not. To him, as the child,
there is something specific and distinctive in those rough trunks that
carry the higher flowers. To him, it makes the main difference between
one plant and another, whether it is to tell as a light upon the ground,
or as a shade upon the sky. And if, after this, we asked for a little
help from the botanist, and he were to lead us, leaving the blossoms, to
look more carefully at leaves and buds, we should find ourselves able in
some sort to justify, even to him, our childish classification. For our
present purposes, justifiable or not, it is the most suggestive and
convenient. Plants are, indeed, broadly referable to two great classes.
The first we may, perhaps, not inexpediently call TENTED PLANTS. They
live in encampments, on the ground, as lilies; or on surfaces of rock,
or stems of other plants, as lichens and mosses. They live--some for a
year, some for many years, some for myriads of years; but, perishing,
they pass as the tented Arab passes; they leave _no memorials of
themselves_, except the seed, or bulb, or root which is to perpetuate
the race.

§ 3. The other great class of plants we may perhaps best call BUILDING
PLANTS. These will not live on the ground, but eagerly raise edifices
above it. Each works hard with solemn forethought all its life.
Perishing, it leaves its work in the form which will be most useful to
its successors--its own monument, and their inheritance. These
architectural edifices we call "Trees."

It may be thought that this nomenclature already involves a theory. But
I care about neither the nomenclature, nor about anything questionable
in my description of the classes. The reader is welcome to give them
what names he likes, and to render what account of them he thinks
fittest. But to us, as artists, or lovers of art, this is the first and
most vital question concerning a plant: "Has it a fixed form or a
changing one? Shall I find it always as I do to-day--this Parnassia
palustris--with one leaf and one flower? or may it some day have
incalculable pomp of leaves and unmeasured treasure of flowers? Will it
rise only to the height of a man--as an ear of corn--and perish like a
man; or will it spread its boughs to the sea and branches to the river,
and enlarge its circle of shade in heaven for a thousand years?"

§ 4. This, I repeat, is the _first_ question I ask the plant. And as it
answers, I range it on one side or the other, among those that rest or
those that toil: tent-dwellers, who toil not, neither do they spin; or
tree-builders, whose days are as the days of the people. I find again,
on farther questioning these plants who rest, that one group of them
does indeed rest always, contentedly, on the ground, but that those of
another group, more ambitious, emulate the builders; and though they
cannot build rightly, raise for themselves pillars out of the remains of
past generations, on which they themselves, living the life of St.
Simeon Stylites, are called, by courtesy, Trees; being, in fact, many of
them (palms, for instance) quite as stately as real trees.[1]

These two classes we might call earth-plants, and pillar-plants.

§ 5. Again, in questioning the true builders as to their modes of work,
I find that they also are divisible into two great classes. Without in
the least wishing the reader to accept the fanciful nomenclature, I
think he may yet most conveniently remember these as "Builders with the
shield," and "Builders with the sword."

Builders with the shield have expanded leaves, more or less resembling
shields, partly in shape, but still more in office; for under their
lifted shadow the young bud of the next year is kept from harm. These
are the gentlest of the builders, and live in pleasant places, providing
food and shelter for man. Builders with the sword, on the contrary, have
sharp leaves in the shape of swords, and the young buds, instead of
being as numerous as the leaves, crouching each under a leaf-shadow, are
few in number, and grow fearlessly, each in the midst of a sheaf of
swords. These builders live in savage places, are sternly dark in color,
and though they give much help to man by their merely physical strength,
they (with few exceptions) give him no food, and imperfect shelter.
Their mode of building is ruder than that of the shield-builders, and
they in many ways resemble the pillar-plants of the opposite order. We
call them generally "Pines."

§ 6. Our work, in this section, will lie only among the shield-builders,
sword-builders, and plants of rest. The Pillar-plants belong, for the
most part, to other climates. I could not analyze them rightly; and the
labor given to them would be comparatively useless for our present
purposes. The chief mystery of vegetation, so far as respects external
form, is among the fair shield-builders. These, at least, we must
examine fondly and earnestly.


  [1] I am not sure that this is a fair account of palms. I have never
    had opportunity of studying stems of Endogens, and I cannot
    understand the description given of them in books, nor do I know how
    far some of their branched conditions approximate to real
    tree-structure. If this work, whatever errors it may involve,
    provokes the curiosity of the reader so as to lead him to seek for
    more and better knowledge, it will do all the service I hope from it.



§ 1. If you gather in summer time an outer spray of any shield-leaved
tree, you will find it consists of a slender rod, throwing out leaves,
perhaps on every side, perhaps on two sides only, with usually a cluster
of closer leaves at the end. In order to understand its structure, we
must reduce it to a simple general type. Nay, even to a very inaccurate
type. For a tree-branch is essentially a complex thing, and no "simple"
type can, therefore, be a right one.

This type I am going to give you is full of fallacies and inaccuracies;
but out of these fallacies we will bring the truth, by casting them
aside one by one.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

§ 2. Let the tree spray be represented under one of these two types, A
or B, Fig. 1, the cluster at the end being in each case supposed to
consist of three leaves only (a most impertinent supposition, for it
must at least have four, only the fourth would be in a puzzling
perspective in A, and hidden behind the central leaf in B). So, receive
this false type patiently. When leaves are set on the stalk one after
another, as in A, they are called "alternate;" when placed as in B,
"opposite." It is necessary you should remember this not very difficult
piece of nomenclature.

If you examine the branch you have gathered, you will see that for some
little way below the full-leaf cluster at the end, the stalk is smooth,
and the leaves are set regularly on it. But at six, eight, or ten inches
down, there comes an awkward knot; something seems to have gone wrong,
perhaps another spray branches off there; at all events, the stem gets
suddenly thicker, and you may break it there (probably) easier than
anywhere else.

That is the junction of two stories of the building. The smooth piece
has all been done this summer. At the knot the foundation was left
during the winter.

The year's work is called a "shoot." I shall be glad if you will break
it off to look at; as my A and B types are supposed to go no farther
down than the knot.

The alternate form A is more frequent than B, and some botanists think
includes B. We will, therefore, begin with it.

§ 3. If you look close at the figure, you will see small projecting
points at the roots of the leaves. These represent buds, which you may
find, most probably, in the shoot you have in your hand. Whether you
find them or not, they are there--visible, or latent, does not matter.
Every leaf has assuredly an infant bud to take care of, laid tenderly,
as in a cradle, just where the leaf-stalk forms a safe niche between it
and the main stem. The child-bud is thus fondly guarded all summer; but
its protecting leaf dies in the autumn; and then the boy-bud is put out
to rough winter-schooling, by which he is prepared for personal entrance
into public life in the spring.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

Let us suppose autumn to have come, and the leaves to have fallen. Then
our A of Fig. I, the buds only being left, one for each leaf, will
appear as A B, in Fig. 2. We will call the buds grouped at B, terminal
buds, and those at _a_, _b_, and _c_, lateral buds.

This budded rod is the true year's work of the building plant, at that
part of its edifice. You may consider the little spray, if you like, as
one pinnacle of the tree-cathedral, which has taken a year to fashion;
innumerable other pinnacles having been built at the same time on other

§ 4. Now, every one of these buds, _a_, _b_, and _c_, as well as every
terminal bud, has the power and disposition to raise himself in the
spring, into just such another pinnacle as A B is.

This development is the process we have mainly to study in this chapter;
but, in the outset, let us see clearly what it is to end in.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

Each bud, I said, has the power and disposition to make a pinnacle of
himself, but he has not always the opportunity. What may hinder him we
shall see presently. Meantime, the reader will, perhaps, kindly allow me
to assume that the buds _a_, _b_, and _c_, come to nothing, and only the
three terminal ones build forward. Each of these producing the image of
the first pinnacle, we have the type for our next summer bough of Fig.
3; in which observe the original shoot A B, has become thicker; its
lateral buds having proved abortive, are now only seen as little knobs
on its sides. Its terminal buds have each risen into a new pinnacle. The
central or strongest one B C, has become the very image of what his
parent shoot A B, was last year. The two lateral ones are weaker and
shorter, one probably longer than the other. The joint at B is the knot
or foundation for each shoot above spoken of.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.]

Knowing now what we are about, we will go into closer detail.

[Illustration: 51. The Dryad's Toil.]

§ 5. Let us return to the type in Fig. 2, of the fully accomplished
summer's work: the rod with its bare buds. Plate 51, opposite,
represents, of about half its real size, an outer spray of oak in
winter. It is not growing strongly, and is as simple as possible in
ramification. You may easily see, in each branch, the continuous piece
of shoot produced last year. The wrinkles which make these shoots look
like old branches are caused by drying, as the stalk of a bunch of
raisins is furrowed (the oak-shoot fresh gathered is round as a
grape-stalk). I draw them thus, because the furrows are important clues
to structure. Fig. 4 is the top of one of these oak sprays magnified for
reference. The little brackets, _x_, _y_, &c., which project beneath
each bud and sustain it, are the remains of the leaf-stalks. Those
stalks were jointed at that place, and the leaves fell without leaving a
scar, only a crescent-shaped, somewhat blank-looking flat space, which
you may study at your ease on a horse-chestnut stem, where these spaces
are very large.

§ 6. Now if you cut your oak spray neatly through, just above a bud, as
at A, Fig. 4, and look at it with a not very powerful magnifier, you
will find it present the pretty section, Fig. 5.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

That is the proper or normal section of an oak spray. Never quite
regular. Sure to have one of the projections a little larger than the
rest, and to have its bark (the black line) not quite regularly put
round it, but exquisitely finished, down to a little white star in the
very centre, which I have not drawn, because it would look in the
woodcut black, not white; and be too conspicuous.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.]

The oak spray, however, will not keep this form unchanged for an
instant. Cut it through a little way above your first section, and you
will find the largest projection is increasing till, just where it
opens[1] at last into the leaf-stalk, its section is Fig. 6. If,
therefore, you choose to consider every interval between bud and bud as
one story of your tower or pinnacle, you find that there is literally
not a hair's-breadth of the work in which the _plan_ of the tower does
not change. You may see in Plate 51 that every shoot is suffused by a
subtle (in nature an _infinitely_ subtle) change of contour between bud
and bud.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.]

[Illustration: FIG. 8.]

§ 7. But farther, observe in what succession those buds are put round
the bearing stem. Let the section of the stem be represented by the
small central circle in Fig. 8; and suppose it surrounded by a _nearly_
regular pentagon (in the figure it is quite regular for clearness'
sake). Let the first of any ascending series of buds be represented by
the curved projection filling the nearest angle of the pentagon at 1.
Then the next bud, above, will fill the angle at 2; the next above, at
3, the next at 4, the next at 5. The sixth will come nearly over the
first. That is to say, each projecting portion of the section, Fig. 5,
expands into its bud, not successively, but by leaps, always to the
_next but one;_ the buds being thus placed in a nearly regular spiral

§ 8. I say nearly regular--for there are subtleties of variation in plan
which it would be merely tiresome to enter into. All that we need care
about is the general law, of which the oak spray furnishes a striking
example,--that the buds of the first great group of alternate builders
rise in a spiral order round the stem (I believe, for the most part, the
spiral proceeds from right to left). And this spiral succession very
frequently approximates to the pentagonal order, which it takes with
great accuracy in an oak; for, merely assuming that each ascending bud
places itself as far as it can easily out of the way of the one beneath,
and yet not quite on the opposite side of the stem, we find the interval
between the two must generally approximate to that left between 1 and 2,
or 2 and 3, in Fig. 8.[2]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.]

§ 9. Should the interval be consistently a little _less_ than that which
brings out the pentagonal structure, the plant seems to get at first
into much difficulty. For, in such case, there is a probability of the
buds falling into a triangle, as at A, Fig. 9; and then the fourth must
come over the first, which would be inadmissible (we shall soon see
why). Nevertheless, the plant seems to like the triangular result for
its outline, and sets itself to get out of the difficulty with much
ingenuity, by methods of succession, which I will examine farther in the
next chapter: it being enough for us to know at present that the
puzzled, but persevering, vegetable _does_ get out of its difficulty and
issues triumphantly, and with a peculiar expression of leafy exultation,
in a hexagonal star, composed of two distinct triangles, normally as at
B, Fig. 9. Why the buds do not like to be one above the other, we shall
see in next chapter. Meantime I must shortly warn the reader of what we
shall then discover, that, though we have spoken of the projections of
our pentagonal tower as if they were first built to sustain each its
leaf, they are themselves chiefly built by the leaf they seem to
sustain. Without troubling ourselves about this yet, let us fix in our
minds broadly the effective aspect of the matter, which is all we want,
by a simple practical illustration.

§ 10. Take a piece of stick half-an-inch thick, and a yard or two long,
and tie large knots, at any _equal_ distances you choose, on a piece of
pack-thread. Then wind the pack-thread round the stick, with any number
of equidistant turns you choose, from one end to the other, and the
knots will take the position of buds in the general type of alternate
vegetation. By varying the number of knots and the turns of the thread,
you may get the system of any tree, with the exception of one character
only--viz., that since the shoot grows faster at one time than another,
the buds run closer together when the growth is slow. You cannot imitate
this structure by closing the coils of your string, for that would alter
the positions of your knots irregularly. The intervals between the buds
are, by this gradual acceleration or retardation of growth, usually
varied in lovely proportions. Fig. 10 shows the elevations of the buds
on five different sprays of oak; A and B being of the real size (short
shoots); C, D, and E, on a reduced scale. I have not traced the cause
of the apparent tendency of the buds to follow in pairs, in these longer

[Illustration: FIG. 10.]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.]

§ 11. Lastly: If the spiral be constructed so as to bring the buds
nearly on opposite sides of the stem, though alternate in succession,
the stem, most probably, will shoot a little away from each bud after
throwing it off, and thus establish the oscillatory form _b_, Fig. 11,
which, when the buds are placed, as in this case, at diminishing
intervals, is very beautiful.[3]

§ 12. I fear this has been a tiresome chapter; but it is necessary to
master the elementary structure, if we are to understand anything of
trees; and the reader will therefore, perhaps, take patience enough to
look at one or two examples of the spray structure of the second great
class of builders, in which the leaves are opposite. Nearly all
opposite-leaved trees grow, normally, like vegetable weathercocks run to
seed, with north and south, and east and west pointers thrown off
alternately one over another, as in Fig. 12.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.]

This, I say, is the normal condition. Under certain circumstances, north
and south pointers set themselves north-east and south-west; this
concession being acknowledged and imitated by the east and west pointers
at the next opportunity; but, for the present, let us keep to our simple

The first business of the budding stem, is to get every pair of buds set
accurately at right angles to the one below. Here are some examples of
the way it contrives this. A, Fig. 13, is the section of the stem of a
spray of box, magnified eight or nine times, just where it throws off
two of its leaves, suppose on north and south sides. The crescents below
and above are sections through the leaf-stalks thrown off on each side.
Just above this joint, the section of the stem is B, which is the normal
section of a box-stem, as Fig. 5 is of an oak's. This, as it ascends,
becomes C, elongating itself now east and west; and the section next to
C, would be again A turned that way; or, taking the succession
completely through two joints, and of the real size, it would be thus:
Fig. 14.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.]

The stem of the spotted aucuba is normally hexagonal, as that of the box
is normally square. It is very dexterous and delicate in its mode of
transformation to the two sides. Through the joint it is A, Fig. 15.
Above joint, B, normal, passing on into C, and D for the next joint.

[Illustration: FIG. 15.]

[Illustration: FIG. 16.]

While in the horse-chestnut, a larger tree, and, as we shall see
hereafter, therefore less regular in conduct, the section, normally
hexagonal, is much rounded and softened into irregularities; A, Fig. 16,
becoming, as it buds, B and C. The dark diamond beside C is a section
through a bud, in which, however small, the quatrefoil disposition is
always seen complete: the four little infant leaves with a queen leaf in
the middle, all laid in their fan-shaped feebleness, safe in a white
cloud of miniature woollen blanket.

§ 13. The elementary structure of all important trees may, I think, thus
be resolved into three principal forms: three-leaved, Fig. 9;
four-leaved, Figs. 13 to 16; and five-leaved, Fig. 8. Or, in well-known
terms, trefoil, quatrefoil, cinqfoil. And these are essential classes,
more complicated forms being usually, it seems to me, resolvable into
these, but these not into each other. The simplest arrangement (Fig.
11), in which the buds are nearly opposite in position, though alternate
in elevation, cannot, I believe, constitute a separate class, being only
an accidental condition of the spiral. If it did, it might be called
difoil; but the important classes are three:--

  Trefoil,    Fig.  9: Type, Rhododendron.
  Quatrefoil, Fig. 13: Type, Horse-chestnut.
  Cinqfoil,   Fig.  5: Type, Oak.

§ 14. The coincidences between beautiful architecture and the
construction of trees must more and more have become marked in the
reader's mind as we advanced; and if he will now look at what I have
said in other places of the use and meaning of the trefoil, quatrefoil,
and cinqfoil, in Gothic architecture, he will see why I could hardly
help thinking and speaking of all trees as builders. But there is yet
one more subtlety in their way of building which we have not noticed. If
the reader will look carefully at the separate shoots in Plate 51, he
will see that the furrows of the stems fall in almost every case into
continuous spiral curves, carrying the whole system of buds with them.
This superinduced spiral action, of which we shall perhaps presently
discover the cause, often takes place vigorously, producing completely
twisted stems of great thickness. It is nearly always existent slightly,
giving farther grace and change to the whole wonderful structure. And
thus we have, as the final result of one year's vegetative labor on any
single spray, a twisted tower, not similar at any height of its
building: or (for, as we shall see presently, it loses in diameter at
each bud) a twisted spire, correspondent somewhat in principle to the
twisted spire of Dijon, or twisted fountain of Ulm, or twisted shafts of
Verona. Bossed as it ascends with living sculpture, chiselled, not by
diminution but through increase, it rises by one consistent impulse from
its base to its minaret, ready, in spring-time, to throw round it at the
crest at once the radiance of fresh youth and the promise of restoration
after that youth has passed away. A marvellous creation: nay might we
not almost say, a marvellous creature full of prescience in its infancy,
foreboding even, in the earliest gladness of its opening to sunshine,
the hour of fainting strength and falling leaf, and guarding under the
shade of its faithful shields the bud that is to bear its hope through
winter's shieldless sleep?

Men often look to bring about great results by violent and unprepared
effort. But it is only in fair and forecast order, "as the earth
bringeth forth her bud," that righteousness and praise may spring forth
before the nations.


  [1] The added portion, surrounding two of the sides of the pentagon,
    is the preparation for the stalk of the leaf, which, on detaching
    itself from the stem, presents variable sections, of which those
    numbered 1 to 4, Fig. 7, are examples. I cannot determine the proper
    normal form. The bulb-shaped spot in the heart of the uppermost of
    the five projections in Fig. 6 is the root of the bud.

  [2] For more accurate information the reader may consult Professor
    Lindley's _Introduction to Botany_ (Longman, 1848), vol. i. p. 245,
    _et seqq._

  [3] Fig. 11 is a shoot of the line, drawn on two sides, to show its
    continuous curve in one direction, and alternated curves in another.
    The buds, which may be seen to be at equal heights in the two
    figures, are exquisitely proportioned in their distances. There is no
    end to the refinement of system, if we choose to pursue it.



§ 1. Having now some clear idea of the position of the bud, we have next
to examine the forms and structure of its shield--the leaf which guards
it. You will form the best general idea of the flattened leaf of
shield-builders by thinking of it as you would of a mast and sail. More
consistently with our classification, we might perhaps say, by thinking
always of the arm sustaining the shield; but we should be in danger of
carrying fancy too far, and the likeness of mast and sail is closer, for
the mast tapers as the leaf-rib does, while the hand holding the
uppermost strap of the buckler clenches itself. Whichever figure we use,
it will cure us of the bad habit of imagining a leaf composed of a short
stalk with a broad expansion at the end of it. Whereas we should always
think of the stalk as running right up the leaf to its point, and
carrying the expanded, or foliate part, as the mast of a lugger does its
sail. To some extent, indeed, it has yards also, ribs branching from the
innermost one; only the yards of the leaf will not run up and down,
which is one essential function of a sailyard.

§ 2. The analogy will, however, serve one step more. As the sail must be
on one side of the mast, so the expansion of a leaf is on one side of
its central rib, or of its system of ribs. It is laid over them as if it
were stretched over a frame, so that on the upper surface it is
comparatively smooth; on the lower, barred. The understanding of the
broad relations of these parts is the principal work we have to do in
this chapter.

§ 3. First, then, you may roughly assume that the section of any
leaf-mast will be a crescent, as at _a_, Fig. 17 (compare Fig. 7 above).
The flat side is the uppermost, the round side underneath, and the flat
or upper side caries the leaf. You can at once see the convenience of
this structure for fitting to a central stem. Suppose the central stem
has a little hole in the centre, _b_, Fig. 17, and that you cut it down
through the middle (as terrible knights used to cut their enemies in the
dark ages, so that half the head fell on one side, and half on the
other): Pull the two halves separate, _c_, and they will nearly
represent the shape and position of opposite leaf-ribs. In reality the
leaf-stalks have to fit themselves to the central stem, _a_, and as we
shall see presently, to lap round it: but we must not go too fast.

[Illustration: FIG. 17.]

[Illustration: FIG. 18.]

[Illustration: FIG. 19.]

§ 4. Now, _a_, Fig. 17, being the general type of a leaf-stalk, Fig. 18
is the general type of the way it expands into and carries its leaf;[1]
this figure being the enlargement of a typical section right across any
leaf, the dotted lines show the under surface foreshortened. You see I
have made one side broader than the other. I mean that. It is typically
so. Nature cannot endure two sides of a leaf to be alike. By encouraging
one side more than the other, either by giving it more air or light, or
perhaps in a chief degree by the mere fact of the moisture necessarily
accumulating on the lower edge when it rains, and the other always
drying first, she contrives it so, that if the essential form or idea of
the leaf be _a_, Fig. 19, the actual form will always be _c_, or an
approximate to it; one half being pushed in advance of the other, as at
_b_, and all reconciled by soft curvature, _c_. The effort of the leaf
to keep itself symmetrical rights it, however, often at the point, so
that the insertion of the stalk only makes the inequality manifest. But
it follows that the sides of a straight section across the leaf are
unequal all the way up, as in my drawing, except at one point.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.]

§ 5. I have represented the two wings of the leaf as slightly convex on
the upper surface. This is also on the whole a typical character. I use
the expression "wings of the leaf," because supposing we exaggerate the
main rib a little, the section will generally resemble a bad painter's
type of a bird (_a_, Fig. 20). Sometimes the outer edges curl up, _b_,
but an entirely concave form, _c_, is rare. When _b_ is strongly
developed, closing well in, the leaf gets a good deal the look of a boat
with a keel.

[Illustration: FIG. 21.]

§ 6. If now you take this oblique form of sail, and cut it into any
number of required pieces down to its mast, as in Fig. 21, A, and then
suppose each of the pieces to contract into studding-sails at the side,
you will have whatever type of divided leaf you choose to shape it for.
In Fig. 21, A, B, I have taken the rose as the simplest type. The leaf
is given in separate contour at C; but that of the mountain ash, A,
Fig. 22, suggests the original oval form which encloses all the
subdivisions much more beautifully. Each of the studding-sails in this
ash-leaf looks much at first as if he were himself a mainsail. But you
may know him always to be a subordinate, by observing that the
inequality of the two sides which is brought about by accidental
influences in the mainsail, is an organic law in the studding-sail. The
real leaf tries to set itself evenly on its mast; and the inequality is
only a graceful concession to circumstances. But the subordinate or
studding-sail is always _by law_ larger at one side than the other; and
if he is himself again divided into smaller sails, he will have larger
sails on the lowest side, or one more sail on the lowest side, than he
has on the other. He always wears, therefore, a servant's, or, at least,
subordinate's dress. You may know him anywhere as not the master. Even
in the ash leaflet, of which I have outlined one separately, B, Fig. 22,
this is clearly seen; but it is much more distinct in more finely
divided leaves.[2]

[Illustration: FIG. 22]

§ 7. Observe, then, that leaves are broadly divisible into mainsails and
studding-sails; but that the word _leaf_ is properly to be used only of
the mainsail; leaflet is the best word for minor divisions; and whether
these minor members are only separated by deep cuts, or become complete
stalked leaflets, still they are always to be thought of merely as parts
of a true leaf.

It follows from the mode of their construction that leaflets must always
lie more or less _flat_, or edge to edge, in a continuous plane. This
position distinguishes them from true leaves as much as their oblique
form, and distinguishes them with the same delicate likeness of system;
for as the true leaf takes, accidentally and partially, the oblique
outline which is legally required in the subordinate, so the true leaf
takes accidentally and partially the flat disposition which is legally
required in the subordinate. And this point of position we must now
study. Henceforward, throughout this chapter, the reader will please
note that I speak only of true _leaves_, not of _leaflets_.

[Illustration: FIG. 23.]

§ 8. LAW I. THE LAW OF DEFLECTION.--The first law, then, respecting
position in true leaves, is that they fall gradually back from the
uppermost one, or uppermost group. They are never set as at _a_, Fig.
23, but always as at _b_. The reader may see at once that they have more
room and comfort by means of the latter arrangement. The law is carried
out with more or less distinctness according to the habit of the plant;
but is always acknowledged.

[Illustration: FIG. 24.]

In strong-leaved shrubs or trees it is shown with great distinctness and
beauty: the phillyrea shoot, for instance, Fig. 24, is almost in as true
symmetry as a Greek honeysuckle ornament. In the hawthorn shoot,
central in Plate 52, opposite, the law is seen very slightly, yet it
rules all the play and fantasy of the varied leaves, gradually
depressing their lines as they are set lower. In crowded foliage of
large trees the disposition of each separate leaf is not so manifest.
For there is a strange coincidence in this between trees and communities
of men. When the community is small, people fall more easily into their
places, and take, each in his place, a firmer standing than can be
obtained by the individuals of a great nation. The members of a vast
community are separately weaker, as an aspen or elm leaf is thin,
tremulous, and directionless, compared with the spear-like setting and
firm substance of a rhododendron or laurel leaf. The laurel and
rhododendron are like the Athenian or Florentine republics; the aspen
like England--strong-trunked enough when put to proof, and very good for
making cartwheels of, but shaking pale with epidemic panic at every
breeze. Nevertheless, the aspen has the better of the great nation, in
that if you take it bough by bough, you shall find the gentle law of
respect and room for each other truly observed by the leaves in such
broken way as they can manage it; but in the nation you find every one
scrambling for his neighbor's place.

This, then, is our first law, which we may generally call the Law of
Deflection; or, if the position of the leaves with respect to the root
be regarded, of Radiation. The second is more curious, and we must go
back over our ground a little to get at it.

[Illustration: 52. Spirals of Thorn.]

§ 9. LAW II. THE LAW OF SUCCESSION.--From what we saw of the position of
buds, it follows that in every tree the leaves at the end of the spray,
taking the direction given them by the uppermost cycle or spiral of the
buds, will fall naturally into a starry group, expressive of the order
of their growth. In an oak we shall have a cluster of five leaves, in a
horse-chestnut of four, in a rhododendron of six, and so on. But
observe, if we draw the oak-leaves all equal, as at _a_, Fig. 25, or the
chestnut's (_b_), or the rhododendron's (_c_), you instantly will feel,
or ought to feel, that something is wrong; that those are not foliage
forms--not even normally or typically so--but dead forms, like crystals
of snow. Considering this, and looking back to last chapter, you will
see that the buds which throw out these leaves do not grow side by side,
but one above another. In the oak and rhododendron, all five and all
six buds are at different heights; in the chestnut, one couple is above
the other couple.

[Illustration: FIG. 25.]

§ 10. Now so surely as one bud is above another, it must be stronger or
weaker than that other. The shoot may either be increasing in strength
as it advances, or declining; in either case, the buds must vary in
power, and the leaves in size. At the top of the shoot, the last or
uppermost leaves are mostly the smallest; of course always so in spring
as they develope.

[Illustration: FIG. 26.]

Let us then apply these conditions to our formal figure above, and
suppose each leaf to be weaker in its order of succession. The oak
becomes as _a_, Fig. 26, the chestnut shoot as _b_, the rhododendron,
_c_. These, I should think, it can hardly be necessary to tell the
reader, are true normal forms;--respecting which one or two points must
be noticed in detail.

§ 11. The magnitude of the leaves in the oak star diminishes, of course,
in alternate order. The largest leaf is the lowest, 1 in Figure 8, p.
14. While the largest leaf forms the bottom, next it, opposite each
other, come the third and fourth, in order and magnitude, and the fifth
and second form the top. An oak star is, therefore, always an oblique
star; but in the chestnut and other quatrefoil trees, though the
uppermost couple of leaves must always be smaller than the lowermost
couple, there appears no geometrical reason why the opposite leaves of
each couple should vary in size. Nevertheless, they always do, so that
the quatrefoil becomes oblique as well as the cinqfoil, as you see it is
in Fig. 26.

[Illustration: FIG. 27.]

[Illustration: FIG. 28.]

The normal of four-foils is therefore as in Fig. 27, A (maple): with
magnitudes, in order numbered; but it often happens that an opposite
pair agree to become largest and smallest; thus giving the pretty
symmetry, Fig. 27, B (spotted aucuba). Of course the quatrefoil in
reality is always less formal, one pair of leaves more or less hiding or
preceding the other. Fig. 28 is the outline of a young one in the maple.

[Illustration: FIG. 29.]

§ 12. The third form is more complex, and we must take the pains to
follow out what we left unobserved in last chapter respecting the way a
triplicate plant gets out of its difficulties.

Draw a circle as in Fig. 29, and two lines, AB, BC, touching it, equal
to each other, and each divided accurately in half where they touch the
circle, so that AP shall be equal to PB, BQ, and QC. And let the lines
AB and BC be so placed that a dotted line AC, joining their extremities,
would not be much longer than either of them.

[Illustration: FIG. 30.]

Continue to draw lines of the same length all round the circle. Lay five
of them, AB, BC, CD, DE, EF. Then join the points AD, EB, and CF, and
you have Fig. 30, which is a hexagon, with the following curious
properties. It has one side largest, CD, two sides less, but equal to
each other, AE and BF; and three sides less still, and equal to each
other, AD, CF, and BE.

[Illustration: FIG. 31.]

[Illustration: FIG. 32.]

Now put leaves into this hexagon, Fig. 31, and you will see how
charmingly the rhododendron has got out of its difficulties. The next
cycle will put a leaf in at the gap at the top, and begin a new hexagon.
Observe, however, this geometrical figure is only to the rhododendron
what the _a_ in Fig. 25 is to the oak, the icy or dead form. To get the
living normal form we must introduce our law of succession. That is to
say, the five lines A B, B C, &c., must continually diminish, as they
proceed, and therefore continually approach the centre; roughly, as in
Fig. 32.

[Illustration: FIG. 33.]

§ 13. I dread entering into the finer properties of this construction,
but the reader cannot now fail to feel their beautiful result either in
the cluster in Fig. 26, or here in Fig. 33, which is a richer and more
oblique one. The three leaves of the uppermost triad are perfectly seen,
closing over the bud; and the general form is clear, though the lower
triads are confused to the eye by unequal development, as in these
complex arrangements is almost always the case. The more difficulties
are to be encountered the more licence is given to the plant in dealing
with them, and we shall hardly ever find a rhododendron shoot fulfilling
its splendid spiral as an oak does its simple one.

Here, for instance, is the actual order of ascending leaves in four
rhododendron shoots which I gather at random.

[Illustration: FIG. 34.]

Of these, A is the only quite well-conducted one; B takes one short
step, C, one step backwards, and D, two steps back and one, too short,

[Illustration: FIG. 35.]

§ 14. LAW III. THE LAW OF RESILIENCE.--If you have been gathering any
branches from the trees I have named among quatrefoils (the box is the
best for exemplification), you have perhaps been embarrassed by finding
that the leaves, instead of growing on four sides of the stem, did
practically grow oppositely on two. But if you look closely at the
places of their insertion, you will find they indeed spring on all four
sides; and that in order to take the flattened opposite position, each
leaf twists round on its stalk, as in Fig. 35, which represents a
box-leaf magnified and foreshortened. The leaves do this in order to
avoid growing downwards, where the position of the bough and bud would,
if the leaves regularly kept their places, involve downward growth. The
leaves always rise up on each side from beneath, and form a flattened
group, more or less distinctly in proportion to the horizontality of the
bough, and the contiguity of foliage below and above. I shall not
trouble myself to illustrate this law, as you have only to gather a few
tree-sprays to see its effect. But you must note the resulting
characters on _every_ leaf; namely, that not one leaf in a thousand
grows without a fixed turn in its stalk; warping and varying the whole
of the curve on the two edges, throughout its length, and thus producing
the loveliest conditions of its form. We shall presently trace the law
of resilience farther on a larger scale: meanwhile, in summing the
results of our inquiry thus far, let us remember that every one of these
laws is observed with varying accuracy and gentle equity, according not
only to the strength and fellowship of foliage on the spray itself, but
according to the place and circumstances of its growth.

§ 15. For the leaves, as we shall see immediately, are the feeders of
the plant. Their own orderly habits of succession must not interfere
with their main business of finding food. Where the sun and air are, the
leaf must go, whether it be out of order or not. So, therefore, in any
group, the first consideration with the young leaves is much like that
of young bees, how to keep out of each other's way, that every one may
at once leave its neighbors as much free-air pasture as possible, and
obtain a relative freedom for itself. This would be a quite simple
matter, and produce other simply balanced forms, if each branch, with
open air all round it, had nothing to think of but reconcilement of
interests among its own leaves. But every branch has others to meet or
to cross, sharing with them, in various advantage, what shade, or sun,
or rain is to be had. Hence every single leaf-cluster presents the
general aspect of a little family, entirely at unity among themselves,
but obliged to get their living by various shifts, concessions, and
infringements of the family rules, in order not to invade the privileges
of other people in their neighborhood.

§ 16. And in the arrangement of these concessions there is an exquisite
sensibility among the leaves. They do not grow each to his own liking,
till they run against one another, and then turn back sulkily; but by a
watchful instinct, far apart, they anticipate their companions' courses,
as ships at sea, and in every new unfolding of their edged tissue, guide
themselves by the sense of each other's remote presence, and by a
watchful penetration of leafy purpose in the far future. So that every
shadow which one casts on the next, and every glint of sun which each
reflects to the next, and every touch which in toss of storm each
receives from the next, aid or arrest the development of their advancing
form, and direct, as will be safest and best, the curve of every fold
and the current of every vein.

§ 17. And this peculiar character exists in all the structures thus
developed, that they are always visibly the result of a volition on the
part of the leaf, meeting an external force or fate, to which it is
never passively subjected. Upon it, as on a mineral in the course of
formation, the great merciless influences of the universe, and the
oppressive powers of minor things immediately near it, act continually.
Heat and cold, gravity and the other attractions, windy pressure, or
local and unhealthy restraint, must, in certain inevitable degrees,
affect the whole of its life. But it is _life_ which they affect;--a
life of progress and will,--not a merely passive accumulation of
substance. This may be seen by a single glance. The mineral,--suppose an
agate in the course of formation--shows in every line nothing but a dead
submission to surrounding force. Flowing, or congealing, its substance
is here repelled, there attracted, unresistingly to its place, and its
languid sinuosities follow the clefts of the rock that contains them, in
servile deflexion and compulsory cohesion, impotently calculable, and
cold. But the leaf, full of fears and affections, shrinks and seeks, as
it obeys. Not thrust, but awed into its retiring; not dragged, but won
to its advance; not bent aside, as by a bridle, into new courses of
growth: but persuaded and converted through tender continuance of
voluntary change.

§ 18. The mineral and it differing thus widely in separate being, they
differ no less in modes of companionship. The mineral crystals group
themselves neither in succession, nor in sympathy; but great and small
recklessly strive for place, and deface or distort each other as they
gather into opponent asperities. The confused crowd fills the rock
cavity, hanging together in a glittering, yet sordid heap, in which
nearly every crystal, owing to their vain contention, is imperfect, or
impure. Here and there one, at the cost and in defiance of the rest,
rises into unwarped shape or unstained clearness. But the order of the
leaves is one of soft and subdued concession. Patiently each awaits its
appointed time, accepts its prepared place, yields its required
observance. Under every oppression of external accident, the group yet
follows a law laid down in its own heart; and all the members of it,
whether in sickness or health, in strength or languor, combine to carry
out this first and last heart law; receiving, and seeming to desire for
themselves and for each other, only life which they may communicate, and
loveliness which they may reflect.


  [1] I believe the undermost of the two divisions of the leaf
    represents vegetable tissue _returning_ from the extremity. See
    Lindley's _Introduction to Botany_ (1848), vol. i. p. 253.

  [2] For farther notes on this subject, see my _Elements of Drawing_,
    p. 286.



§ 1. Before following farther our inquiry into tree structure, it will
rest us, and perhaps forward our work a little, to make some use of what
we know already.

It results generally from what we have seen that any group of four or
five leaves presenting itself in its natural position to the eye,
consists of a series of forms connected by exquisite and complex
symmetries, and that these forms will be not only varied in themselves,
but every one of them seen under a different condition of

The facility of drawing the group may be judged of by a comparison.
Suppose five or six boats, very beautifully built, and sharp in the
prow, to start all from one point, and the first bearing up into the
wind, the other three or four to fall off from it in succession an equal
number of points,[1] taking each, in consequence, a different slope of
deck from the stem of the sail. Suppose, also, that the bows of these
boats were transparent, so that you could see the under sides of their
decks as well as the upper;--and that it were required of you to draw
all their five decks, the under or upper side, as their curve showed it,
in true foreshortened perspective, indicating the exact distance each
boat had reached at a given moment from the central point they started

If you can do that, you can draw a rose-leaf. Not otherwise.

§ 2. When, some few years ago, the pre-Raphaelites began to lead our
wandering artists back into the eternal paths of all great Art, and
showed that whatever men drew at all, ought to be drawn accurately and
knowingly; not blunderingly nor by guess (leaves of trees among other
things): as ignorant pride on the one hand refused their teaching,
ignorant hope caught at it on the other. "What!" said many a feeble
young student to himself. "Painting is not a matter of science then, nor
of supreme skill, nor of inventive brain. I have only to go and paint
the leaves of the trees as they grow, and I shall produce beautiful
landscapes directly."

Alas! my innocent young friend. "Paint the leaves as they grow!" If you
can paint _one_ leaf, you can paint the world. These pre-Raphaelite
laws, which you think so light, lay stern on the strength of Apelles and
Zeuxis; put Titian to thoughtful trouble; are unrelaxed yet, and
unrelaxable for ever. Paint a leaf indeed! Above-named Titian has done
it: Correggio, moreover, and Giorgione: and Leonardo, very nearly,
trying hard. Holbein, three or four times, in precious pieces, highest
wrought. Raphael, it may be, in one or two crowns of Muse or Sibyl. If
any one else, in later times, we have to consider.

§ 3. At least until recently, the perception of organic leaf form was
absolutely, in all painters whatsoever, proportionate to their power of
drawing the human figure. All the great Italian designers drew leaves
thoroughly well, though none quite so fondly as Correggio. Rubens drew
them coarsely and vigorously, just as he drew limbs. Among the inferior
Dutch painters, the leaf-painting degenerates in proportion to the
diminishing power in figure. Cuyp, Wouvermans, and Paul Potter, paint
better foliage than either Hobbima or Ruysdael.

§ 4. In like manner the power of treating vegetation in sculpture is
absolutely commensurate with nobleness of figure design. The quantity,
richness, or deceptive finish may be greater in third-rate work; but in
true understanding and force of arrangement the leaf and the human
figure show always parallel skill. The leaf-mouldings of Lorenzo
Ghiberti are unrivalled, as his bas-reliefs are, and the severe foliage
of the Cathedral of Chartres is as grand as its queen-statues.

§ 5. The greatest draughtsmen draw leaves, like everything else, of
their full-life size in the nearest part of the picture. They cannot be
rightly drawn on any other terms. It is impossible to reduce a group so
treated without losing much of its character; and more painfully
impossible to represent by engraving any good workman's handling. I
intended to have inserted in this place an engraving of the cluster of
oak-leaves above Correggio's Antiope in the Louvre, but it is too
lovely; and if I am able to engrave it at all, it must be separately,
and of its own size. So I draw, roughly, instead, a group of oak-leaves
on a young shoot, a little curled with autumn frost: Plate 53. I could
not draw them accurately enough if I drew them in spring. They would
droop and lose their relations. Thus roughly drawn, and losing some of
their grace, by withering, they, nevertheless, have enough left to show
how noble leaf-form is; and to prove, it seems to me, that Dutch
draughtsmen do not wholly express it. For instance, Fig. 3, Plate 54, is
a facsimile of a bit of the nearest oak foliage out of Hobbima's Scene
with the Water-mill, No. 131, in the Dulwich Gallery. Compared with the
real forms of oak-leaf, in Plate 53, it may, I hope, at least enable my
readers to understand, if they choose, why, never having ceased to rate
the Dutch painters for their meanness or minuteness, I yet accepted the
leaf-painting of the pre-Raphaelites with reverence and hope.

[Illustration: 53. The Dryad's Crown.]

[Illustration: 54. Dutch Leafage.]

§ 6. No word has been more harmfully misused than that ugly one of
"niggling." I should be glad if it were entirely banished from service
and record. The only essential question about drawing is whether it be
right or wrong; that it be small or large, swift or slow, is a matter of
convenience only. But so far as the word may be legitimately used at
all, it belongs especially to such execution as this of
Hobbima's--execution which substitutes, on whatever scale, a mechanical
trick or habit of hand for true drawing of known or intended forms. So
long as the work is thoughtfully directed, there is no niggling. In a
small Greek coin the muscles of the human body are as grandly treated as
in a colossal statue; and a fine vignette of Turner's will show separate
touches often more extended in intention, and stronger in result, than
those of his largest oil pictures. In the vignette of the picture of
Ginevra, at page 90 of Roger's Italy, the forefinger touching the lip is
entirely and rightly drawn, bent at the two joints, within the length of
the thirtieth of an inch, and the whole hand within the space of one of
those "niggling" touches of Hobbima. But if this work were magnified, it
would be seen to be a strong and simple expression of a hand by thick
black lines.

§ 7. Niggling, therefore, essentially means disorganized and mechanical
work, applied on a scale which may deceive a vulgar or ignorant person
into the idea of its being true:--a definition applicable to the whole
of the leaf-painting of the Dutch landscapists in distant effect, and
for the most part to that of their near subjects also. Cuyp and
Wouvermans, as before stated, and others, in proportion to their power
over the figure, drew leaves better in the foreground, yet never
altogether well; for though Cuyp often draws a single leaf carefully
(weedy ground-vegetation especially, with great truth), he never felt
the connection of leaves, but scattered them on the boughs at random.
Fig. 1 in Plate 54 is nearly a _facsimile_ of part of the branch on the
left side in our National Gallery picture. Its entire want of grace and
organization ought to be felt at a glance, after the work we have gone
through. The average conditions of leafage-painting among the Dutch are
better represented by Fig. 2, Plate 54, which is a piece of the foliage
from the Cuyp in the Dulwich Gallery, No. 163. It is merely wrought with
a mechanical play of brush in a well-trained hand, gradating the color
irregularly and agreeably, but with no more feeling or knowledge of
leafage than a paperstainer shows in graining a pattern. A bit of the
stalk is seen on the left; it might just as well have been on the other
side, for any connection the leaves have with it. As the leafage retires
into distance, the Dutch painters merely diminish their _scale_ of
touch. The touch itself remains the same, but its effect is falser; for
though the separate stains or blots in Fig. 2, do not rightly represent
the forms of leaves, they may not inaccurately represent the number of
leaves on that spray. But in distance, when, instead of one spray, we
have thousands in sight, no human industry, nor possible diminution of
touch can represent their mist of foliage, and the Dutch work becomes
doubly base, by reason of false form, and lost infinity.

§ 8. Hence what I said in our first inquiry about foliage, "A single
dusty roll of Turner's brush is more truly expressive of the infinitude
of foliage than the niggling of Hobbima could have rendered his canvas,
if he had worked on it till doomsday." And this brings me to the main
difficulty I have had in preparing this section. That infinitude of
Turner's execution attaches not only to his distant work, but in due
degree to the nearest pieces of his trees. As I have shown in the
chapter on mystery, he perfected the system of art, as applicable to
landscape, by the introduction of this infiniteness. In other qualities
he is often only equal, in some inferior, to great preceding painters;
but in this mystery he stands alone. He could not paint a cluster of
leaves better than Titian; but he could a bough, much more a distant
mass of foliage. No man ever before painted a distant tree rightly, or a
full-leaved branch rightly. All Titian's distant branches are ponderous
flakes, as if covered with seaweed, while Veronese's and Raphael's are
conventional, being exquisitely ornamental arrangements of small perfect
leaves. See the background of the Parnassus in Volpato's plate. It is
very lovely, however.

[Illustration: 55. By the Way-side.]

§ 9. But this peculiar execution of Turner's is entirely uncopiable;
least of all to be copied in engraving. It is at once so dexterous and
so keenly cunning, swiftest play of hand being applied with concentrated
attention on every movement, that no care in facsimile will render it.
The delay in the conclusion of this work has been partly caused by the
failure of repeated attempts to express this execution. I see my way now
to some partial result; but must get the writing done, and give
undivided care to it before I attempt to produce costly plates.
Meanwhile, the little cluster of foliage opposite, from the thicket
which runs up the bank on the right-hand side of the drawing of
Richmond, looking up the river, in the Yorkshire series, will give the
reader some idea of the mingled definiteness and mystery of Turner's
work, as opposed to the mechanism of the Dutch on the one side, and the
conventional severity of the Italians on the other. It should be
compared with the published engraving in the Yorkshire series; for just
as much increase, both in quantity and refinement, would be necessary in
every portion of the picture, before any true conception could be given
of the richness of Turner's designs. A fragment of distant foliage I may
give farther on; but, in order to judge rightly of either example, we
must know one or two points in the structure of branches, requiring yet
some irksome patience of inquiry, which I am compelled to ask the reader
to grant me through another two chapters.


  [1] I don't know that this is rightly expressed; but the meaning will
    be understood.



§ 1. We have hitherto spoken of each shoot as either straight or only
warped by its spiral tendency; but no shoot of any length, except those
of the sapling, ever can be straight; for, as the family of leaves which
it bears are forced unanimously to take some given direction in search
of food or light, the stalk necessarily obeys the same impulse, and
bends itself so as to sustain them in their adopted position, with the
greatest ease to itself and comfort for them.

In doing this, it has two main influences to comply or contend with: the
first, the direct action of the leaves in drawing it this way or that,
as they themselves seek particular situations; the second, the pressure
of their absolute weight after they have taken their places, depressing
each bough in a given degree; the leverage increasing as the leaf
extends. To these principal forces may frequently be added that of some
prevalent wind, which, on a majority of days in the year, bends the
bough, leaves and all, for hours together, out of its normal position.
Owing to these three forces, the shoot is nearly sure to be curved in at
least two directions;[1] that is to say, not merely as the rim of a
wine-glass is curved (so that, looking at it horizontally, the circle
becomes a straight line), but as the edge of a lip or an eyebrow is
curved, partly upward, partly forwards, so that in no possible
perspective can it be seen as a straight line. Similarly, no perspective
will usually bring a shoot of a free-growing tree to appear a straight

§ 2. It is evident that the more leaves the stalk has to sustain, the
more strength it requires. It might appear, therefore, not unadvisable,
that every leaf should, as it grew, pay a small tax to the stalk for its
sustenance; so that there might be no fear of any number of leaves being
too oppressive to their bearer. Which, accordingly, is just what the
leaves do. Each, from the moment of his complete majority, pays a stated
tax to the stalk; that is to say, collects for it a certain quantity of
wood, or materials for wood, and sends this wood, or what ultimately
will become wood, _down_ the stalk to add to its thickness.

§ 3. "Down the stalk?" yes, and down a great way farther. For, as the
leaves, if they did not thus contribute to their own support, would soon
be too heavy for the spray, so if the spray, with its family of leaves,
contributed nothing to the thickness of the branch, the leaf-families
would soon break down their sustaining branches. And, similarly, if the
branches gave nothing to the stem, the stem would soon fall under its
boughs. Therefore, by a power of which I believe no sufficient account
exists,[2] as each leaf adds to the thickness of the shoot, so each
shoot to the branch, so each branch to the stem, and that with so
perfect an order and regularity of duty, that from every leaf in all the
countless crowd at the tree's summit, one slender fibre, or at least
fibre's thickness of wood, descends through shoot, through spray,
through branch, and through stem; and having thus added, in its due
proportion, to form the strength of the tree, labors yet farther and
more painfully to provide for its security; and thrusting forward into
the root, loses nothing of its mighty energy, until, mining through the
darkness, it has taken hold in cleft of rock or depth of earth, as
extended as the sweep of its green crest in the free air.

§ 4. Such, at least, is the mechanical aspect of the tree. The work of
its construction, considered as a branch tower, partly propped by
buttresses, partly lashed by cables, is thus shared in by every leaf.
But considering it as a living body to be nourished, it is probably an
inaccurate analogy to speak of the leaves being taxed for the
enlargement of the trunk. Strictly speaking, the trunk enlarges by
sustaining them. For each leaf, however far removed from the ground,
stands in need of nourishment derived from the ground, as well as of
that which it finds in the air; and it simply sends its root down along
the stem of the tree, until it reaches the ground and obtains the
necessary mineral elements. The trunk has been therefore called by some
botanists a "bundle of roots," but I think inaccurately. It is rather a
messenger to the roots.[3] A root, properly so called, is a fibre,
spongy or absorbent at the extremity, which secretes certain elements
from the earth. The stem is by this definition no more a cluster of
roots than a cluster of leaves, but a channel of intercourse between the
roots and the leaves. It can gather no nourishment. It only carries
nourishment, being, in fact, a group of canals for the conveyance of
marketable commodities, with an electric telegraph attached to each,
transmitting messages from leaf to root, and root to leaf, up and down
the tree. But whatever view we take of the operative causes, the
external and visible fact is simply that every leaf does send down from
its stalk a slender thread of woody matter along the sides of the shoot
it grows upon; and that the increase of thickness in stem, proportioned
to the advance of the leaves, corresponds with an increase of thickness
in roots, proportioned to the advance of their outer fibres. How far
interchange of elements takes place between root and leaf, it is not our
work here to examine; the general and broad idea is this, that the whole
tree is fed partly by the earth, partly by the air;--strengthened and
sustained by the one, agitated and educated by the other;--all of it
which is best, in substance, life, and beauty, being drawn more from the
dew of heaven than the fatness of the earth. The results of this
nourishment of the bough by the leaf in external aspect, are the object
of our immediate inquiry.

§ 5. Hitherto we have considered the shoot as an ascending body,
throwing off buds at intervals. This it is indeed; but the part of it
which ascends is not seen externally. Look back to Plate 51. You will
observe that each shoot is furrowed, and that the ridges between the
furrows rise in slightly spiral lines, terminating in the armlets under
the buds which bore last year's leaves. These ridges, which rib the
shoot so distinctly, are not on the ascending part of it. They are the
contributions of each successive leaf thrown out as it ascended. Every
leaf sent down a slender cord, covering and clinging to the shoot
beneath, and increasing its thickness. Each, according to his size and
strength, wove his little strand of cable, as a spider his thread; and
cast it down the side of the springing tower by a marvellous
magic--irresistible! The fall of a granite pyramid from an Alp may
perhaps be stayed; the descending force of that silver thread shall not
be stayed. It will split the rocks themselves at its roots, if need be,
rather than fail in its work.

So many leaves, so many silver cords. Count--for by just the thickness
of one cord, beneath each leaf, let fall in fivefold order round and
round, the shoot increases in thickness to its root:--a spire built
downwards from the heaven.

[Illustration: FIG. 36.]

And now we see why the leaves dislike being above each other. Each seeks
a vacant place, where he may freely let fall the cord. The turning aside
of the cable to avoid the buds beneath, is one of the main causes of
spiral curvature, as the shoot increases. It required all the care I
could give to the drawing, and all Mr. Armytage's skill in engraving
Plate 51, to express, though drawing them nearly of their full size, the
principal courses of curvature in even this least graceful of trees.

§ 6. According to the structure thus ascertained, the body of the shoot
may at any point be considered as formed by a central rod, represented
by the shaded inner circle, _a_, Fig. 36, surrounded by as many rods of
descending external wood as there are leaves above the point where the
section is made. The first five leaves above send down the first dark
rods; and the next above send down those between, which, being from
younger leaves, are less liable to interstices; then the third group
sending down the side, it will be seen at a glance how a spiral action
is produced. It would lead us into too subtile detail, if I traced the
forces of this spiral superimposition. I must be content to let the
reader peruse this part of the subject for himself, if it amuses him,
and lead to larger questions.

§ 7. Broadly and practically, we may consider the whole cluster of woody
material in Fig. 36 as one circle of fibrous substance formed round a
small central rod. The real appearance in most trees is approximately as
in _b_, Fig. 36, the radiating structure becoming more distinct in
proportion to the largeness and compactness of the wood.[4]

[Illustration: FIG. 37.]

Now the next question is, how this descending external coating of wood
will behave itself when it comes to the forking of the shoots. To
simplify the examination of this, let us suppose the original or growing
shoot (whose section is the shaded inner circle in Fig. 36) to have been
in the form of a letter Y, and no thicker than a stout iron wire, as in
Fig. 37. Down the arms of this letter Y, we have two fibrous streams
running in the direction of the arrows. If the depth or thickness of
these streams be such as at _b_ and _c_, what will their thickness be
when they unite at _e_? Evidently, the quantity of wood surrounding the
vertical wire at _e_ must be twice as great as that surrounding the
wires _b_ and _c_.

§ 8. The reader will, perhaps, be good enough to take it on my word (if
he does not know enough of geometry to ascertain), that the large
circle, in Fig. 38, contains twice as much area as either of the two
smaller circles. Putting these circles in position, so as to guide us,
and supposing the trunk to be bounded by straight lines, we have for the
outline of the fork that in Fig. 38. How, then, do the two minor circles
change into one large one? The section of the stem at _a_ is a circle;
and at _b_, is a circle; and at _c_, a circle. But what is it at _e_?
Evidently, if the two circles merely united gradually, without change of
form through a series of figures, such as those at the top of Fig. 39,
the quantity of wood, instead of remaining the same, would diminish from
the contents of two circles to the contents of one. So for every loss
which the circles sustain at this junction, an equal quantity of wood
must be thrust out somehow to the side. Thus, to enable the circles to
run into each other, as far as shown at _b_, in Fig. 39, there must be a
loss between them of as much wood as the shaded space. Therefore, half
of that space must be added, or rather pushed out on each side, and the
section of the uniting branch becomes approximately as in _c_, Fig. 39;
the wood squeezed out encompassing the stem more as the circles close,
until the whole is reconciled into one larger single circle.

[Illustration: FIG. 38.]

[Illustration: FIG. 39.]

§ 9. I fear the reader would have no patience with me, if I asked him to
examine, in longitudinal section, the lines of the descending currents
of wood as they eddy into the increased single river. Of course, it is
just what would take place if two strong streams, filling each a
cylindrical pipe, ran together into one larger cylinder, with a central
rod passing up every tube. But, as this central rod increases, and, at
the same time, the supply of the stream from above, every added leaf
contributing its little current, the eddies of wood about the fork
become intensely curious and interesting; of which thus much the reader
may observe in a moment by gathering a branch of any tree (laburnum
shows it better, I think, than most), that the two meeting currents,
first wrinkling a little, then rise in a low wave in the hollow of the
fork, and flow over at the side, making their way to diffuse themselves
round the stem, as in Fig. 40. Seen laterally, the bough bulges out
below the fork, rather curiously and awkwardly, especially if more than
two boughs meet at the same place, growing in one plane, so as to show
the sudden increase on the profile. If the reader is interested in the
subject, he will find strangely complicated and wonderful arrangements
of stream when smaller boughs meet larger (one example is given in Plate
3, Vol. III., where the current of a smaller bough, entering upwards,
pushes its way into the stronger rivers of the stem). But I cannot, of
course, enter into such detail here.

[Illustration: FIG. 40.]

[Illustration: FIG. 41.]

§ 10. The little ringed accumulation, repelled from the wood of the
larger trunk at the base of small boughs, may be seen at a glance in any
tree, and needs no illustration; but I give one from Salvator, Fig. 41
(from his own etching, _Democritus omnium Derisor_), which is
interesting, because it shows the swelling at the bases of insertion,
which yet, Salvator's eye not being quick enough to detect the law of
descent in the fibres, he, with his usual love of ugliness, fastens on
this swollen character, and exaggerates it into an appearance of
disease. The same bloated aspect may be seen in the example already
given from another etching, Vol. III., Plate 4, Fig. 8.

[Illustration: FIG. 42.]

§ 11. I do not give any more examples from Claude. We have had enough
already in Plate 4, Vol. III., which the reader should examine
carefully. If he will then look forward to Fig. 61 here, he will see how
Turner inserts branches, and with what certain and strange instinct of
fidelity he marks the wrinkled enlargement and sinuous eddies of the
wood rivers where they meet.

And remember always that Turner's greatness and rightness in all these
points successively depend on no scientific knowledge. He was entirely
ignorant of all the laws we have been developing. He had merely
accustomed himself to see impartially, intensely, and fearlessly.

[Illustration: FIG. 43.]

§ 12. It may, perhaps, be interesting to compare, with the rude
fallacies of Claude and Salvator, a little piece of earliest art,
wrought by men who could see and feel. The scroll, Fig. 42, is a portion
of that which surrounds the arch in San Zeno of Verona, above the
pillar engraved in the _Stones of Venice_, Plate 17, Vol. I. It is,
therefore, twelfth, or earliest thirteenth century work. Yet the foliage
is already full of spring and life; and in the part of the stem, which I
have given of its real size in Fig. 43, the reader will perhaps be
surprised to see at the junctions the laws of vegetation, which escaped
the sight of all the degenerate landscape-painters of Italy, expressed
by one of her simple architectural workmen six hundred years ago.

We now know enough, I think, of the internal conditions which regulate
tree-structure to enable us to investigate finally, the great laws of
branch and stem aspect. But they are very beautiful; and we will give
them a separate chapter.


  [1] See the note on Fig. 11, at page 17, which shows these two
    directions in a shoot of lime.

  [2] I find that the office and nature of cambium, the causes of the
    action of the sap, and the real mode of the formation of buds, are
    all still under the investigation of botanists. I do not lose time in
    stating the doubts or probabilities which exist on these subjects.
    For us, the mechanical fact of the increase of thickness by every
    leaf's action is all that needs attention. The reader who wishes for
    information as accurate as the present state of science admits, may
    consult Lindley's _Introduction to Botany_, and an interesting little
    book by Dr. Alexander Harvey on _Trees and their Nature_ (Nisbet &
    Co., 1856), to which I owe much help.

  [3] In the true sense a "mediator," ([Greek: mesitês]).

  [4] The gradual development of this radiating structure, which is
    organic and essential, composed of what are called by botanists
    medullary rays, is still a great mystery and wonder to me.



§ 1. We must be content, in this most complex subject, to advance very
slowly: and our easiest, if not our only way, will be to examine, first,
the conditions under which boughs would form, supposing them all to
divide in one plane, as your hand divides when you lay it flat on the
table, with the fingers as wide apart as you can. And then we will
deduce the laws of ramification which follow on the real structure of
branches, which truly divide, not in one plane, but as your fingers
separate if you hold a large round ball with them.

The reader has, I hope, a clear idea by this time of the main principle
of tree-growth; namely, that the increase is by addition, or
superimposition, not extension. A branch does not stretch itself out as
a leech stretches its body. But it receives additions at its extremity,
and proportional additions to its thickness. For although the actual
living shoot, or growing point, of any year, lengthens itself gradually
until it reaches its terminal bud, after that bud is formed, its length
is fixed. It is thenceforth one joint of the tree, like the joint of a
pillar, on which other joints of marble may be laid to elongate the
pillar, but which will not itself stretch. A tree is thus truly edified,
or built, like a house.

§ 2. I am not sure with what absolute stringency this law is observed,
or what slight lengthening of substance may be traceable by close
measurement among inferior branches. For practical purposes, we may
assume that the law is final, and that if we represent the state of a
plant, or extremity of branch, in any given year under the simplest
possible type, Fig. 44, _a_, of two shoots, with terminal buds,
springing from one stem, its growth next year may be expressed by the
type, Fig. 44, _b_, in which, the original stems not changing or
increasing, the terminal buds have built up each another story of
plant, or repetition of the original form; and, in order to support this
new edifice, have sent down roots all the way to the ground, so as to
enclose and thicken the inferior stem.

[Illustration: FIG. 44.]

But if this is so, how does the original stem, which never lengthens,
ever become the tall trunk of a tree? The arrangement just stated
provides very satisfactorily for making it stout, but not for making it
tall. If the ramification proceeds in this way, the tree must assuredly
become a round compact ball of short sticks, attached to the ground by a
very stout, almost invisible, stem, like a puff-ball.

For if we take the form above, on a small scale, merely to see what
comes of it, and carry its branching three steps farther, we get the
successive conditions in Fig. 45, of which the last comes already round
to the ground.

[Illustration: FIG. 45.]

"But those forms really look something like trees!" Yes, if they were on
a large scale. But each of the little shoots is only six or seven inches
long; the whole cluster would but be three or four feet over, and
touches the ground already at its extremity. It would enlarge if it went
on growing, but never rise from the ground.

§ 3. This is an interesting question: one, also, which, I fear, we must
solve, so far as yet it can be solved, with little help. Perhaps nothing
is more curious in the history of human mind than the way in which the
science of botany has become oppressed by nomenclature. Here is perhaps
the first question which an intelligent child would think of asking
about a tree: "Mamma, how does it make its trunk?" and you may open one
botanical work after another, and good ones too, and by sensible
men,--you shall not find this child's question fairly put, much less
fairly answered. You will be told gravely that a stem has received many
names, such as _culmus_, _stipes_, and _truncus_; that twigs were once
called _flagella_, but are now called _ramuli_; and that Mr. Link calls
a straight stem, with branches on its sides, a _caulis excurrens_; and a
stem, which at a certain distance above the earth breaks out into
irregular ramifications, a _caulis deliquescens_. All thanks and honor
be to Mr. Link! But at this moment, when we want to know _why_ one stem
breaks “at a certain distance," and the other not at all, we find
no great help in those splendid excurrencies and deliquescencies.
“At a certain distance?" Yes: but why not before? or why then? How
was it that, for many and many a year, the young shoots agreed to
construct a vertical tower, or, at least, the nucleus of one, and then,
one merry day, changed their minds, and built about their metropolis in
all directions, nobody knows where, far into the air in free delight?
How is it that yonder larch-stem grows straight and true, while all its
branches, constructed by the same process as the mother trunk, and under
the mother trunk's careful inspection and direction, nevertheless have
lost all their manners, and go forking and flashing about, more like
cracklings of spitefullest lightning than decent branches of trees that
dip green leaves in dew?

§ 4. We have probably, many of us, missed the point of such questions as
these, because we too readily associated the structure of trees with
that of flowers. The flowering part of a plant shoots out or up, in some
given direction, until, at a stated period, it opens or branches into
perfect form by a law just as fixed, and just as inexplicable, as that
which numbers the joints of an animal's skeleton, and puts the head on
its right joint. In many forms of flowers--foxglove, aloe, hemlock, or
blossom of maize--the structure of the flowering part so far assimilates
itself to that of a tree, that we not unnaturally think of a tree only
as a large flower, or large remnant of flower, run to seed. And we
suppose the time and place of its branching to be just as organically
determined as the height of the stalk of straw, or hemlock pipe, and the
fashion of its branching just as fixed as the shape of petals in a pansy
or cowslip.

§ 5. But that is not so; not so in anywise. So far as you can watch a
tree, it is produced throughout by repetitions of the same process,
which repetitions, however, are arbitrarily directed so as to produce
one effect at one time, and another at another time. A young sapling has
his branches as much as the tall tree. He does not shoot up in a long
thin rod, and begin to branch when he is ten or fifteen feet high, as
the hemlock or foxglove does when each has reached its ten or fifteen
inches. The young sapling conducts himself with all the dignity of a
tree from the first;--only he so manages his branches as to form a
support for his future life, in a strong straight trunk, that will hold
him well off the ground. Prudent little sapling!--but how does he manage
this? how keep the young branches from rambling about, till the proper
time, or on what plea dismiss them from his service if they will not
help his provident purpose? So again, there is no difference in mode of
construction between the trunk of a pine and its branch. But external
circumstances so far interfere with the results of this repeated
construction, that a stone pine rises for a hundred feet like a pillar,
and then suddenly bursts into a cloud. It is the knowledge of the mode
in which such change may take place which forms the true natural history
of trees:--or, more accurately, their moral history. An animal is born
with so many limbs, and a head of such a shape. That is, strictly
speaking, not its history, but one fact of its history: a fact of which
no other account can be given than that it was so appointed. But a tree
is born without a head. It has got to make its own head. It is born like
a little family from which a great nation is to spring; and at a certain
time, under peculiar external circumstances, this nation, every
individual of which remains the same in nature and temper, yet gives
itself a new political constitution, and sends out branch colonies,
which enforce forms of law and life entirely different from those of the
parent state. That is the history of the state. It is also the history
of a tree.

§ 6. Of these hidden histories, I know and can tell you as little as I
did of the making of rocks. It will be enough for me if I can put the
difficulty fairly before you, show you clearly such facts as are
necessary to the understanding of great Art, and so leave you to pursue,
at your pleasure, the graceful mystery of this imperfect leafage life.

I took in the outset the type of a _triple_ but as the most general
that could be given of all trees, because it represents a prevalently
upright main tendency, with a capacity of branching on both sides. I
would have shown the power of branching on _all_ sides if I could; but
we must be content at first with the simplest condition. From what we
have seen since of bud structure, we may now make our type more complete
by giving each bud a root proportioned to its size. And our elementary
type of tree plant will be as in Fig. 46.

[Illustration: FIG. 46.]

§ 7. Now these three buds, though differently placed, have all one mind.
No bud has an oblique mind. Every one would like, if he could, to grow
upright, and it is because the midmost one has entirely his own way in
this matter, that he is largest. He is an elder brother;--his birthright
is to grow straight towards the sky. A younger child may perhaps
supplant him, if he does not care for his privilege. In the meantime all
are of one family, and love each other,--so that the two lateral buds do
not stoop aside because they like it, but to let their more favored
brother grow in peace. All the three buds and roots have at heart the
same desire;--which is, the one to grow as straight as he can towards
bright heaven, the other as deep as he can into dark earth. Up to light,
and down to shade;--into air and into rock:--that is their mind and
purpose for ever. So far as they can, in kindness to each other, and by
sufferance of external circumstances, work out that destiny, they will.
But their beauty will not result from their working it out,--only from
their maintained purpose and resolve to do so, if it may be. They will
fail--certainly two, perhaps all three of them: fail
egregiously;--ridiculously;--it may be agonizingly. Instead of growing
up, they may be wholly sacrificed to happier buds above, and have to
grow _down_, sideways, roundabout ways, all sorts of ways. Instead of
getting down quietly into the convent of the earth, they may have to
cling and crawl about hardest and hottest angles of it, full in sight of
man and beast, and roughly trodden under foot by them;--stumbling-blocks
to many.

Yet out of such sacrifice, gracefully made--such misfortune, gloriously
sustained--all their true beauty is to arise. Yes, and from more than
sacrifice--more than misfortune: from _death_. Yes, and more than
death:--from the worst kind of death: not natural, coming to each in
its due time; but premature, oppressed, unnatural, misguided--or so it
would seem--to the poor dying sprays. Yet, without such death, no strong
trunk were ever possible; no grace of glorious limb or glittering leaf;
no companionship with the rest of nature or with man.

[Illustration: FIG. 47.]

§ 8. Let us see how this must be. We return to our poor little threefold
type, Fig. 46, above. Next year he will become as in Fig. 47. The two
lateral buds keeping as much as may be out of their brother's way, and
yet growing upwards with a will, strike diagonal lines, and in moderate
comfort accomplish their year's life and terminal buds. But what is to
be done next? Forming the triple terminal head on this diagonal line, we
find that one of our next year's buds, _c_, will have to grow down
again, which is very hard; and another, _b_, will run right against the
lateral branch of the upper bud, A, which must not be allowed under any

What are we to do?

[Illustration: FIG. 48.]

§ 9. The best we can. Give up our straightness, and some of our length,
and consent to grow short, and crooked. But _b_ shall be ordered to
stoop forward and keep his head out of the great bough's way, as in Fig.
48, and grow as he best may, with the consumptive pain in his chest. To
give him a little more room, the elder brother, _a_, shall stoop a
little forward also, recovering himself when he has got out of _b_'s
way; and bud _c_ shall be encouraged to bend himself bravely round and
up, after his first start in that disagreeable downward direction. Poor
_b_, withdrawn from air and light between _a_ and A, and having to live
stooping besides, cannot make much of himself, and is stunted and
feeble. _c_, having free play for his energies, bends up with a will,
and becomes handsomer, to our minds, than if he had been straight; and
_a_ is none the worse for his concession to unhappy _b_ in early life.

[Illustration: FIG. 49.]

So far well for this year. But how for next? _b_ is already too near the
spray above him, even for his own strength and comfort; much less, with
his weak constitution, will he be able to throw up any strong new
shoots. And if he did, they would only run into those of the bough
above. (If the reader will proceed in the construction of the whole
figure he will see that this is so.) Under these discouragements and
deficiencies, _b_ is probably frostbitten, and drops off. The bough
proceeds, mutilated, and itself somewhat discouraged. But it repeats its
sincere and good-natured compliances, and at the close of the year, new
wood from all the leaves having concealed the stump, and effaced the
memory of poor lost _b_, and perhaps a consolatory bud lower down having
thrown out a tiny spray to make the most of the vacant space near the
main stem, we shall find the bough in some such shape as Fig. 49.

§ 10. Wherein we already see the germ of our irregularly bending branch,
which might ultimately be much the prettier for the loss of _b_. Alas!
the Fates have forbidden even this. While the low bough is making all
these exertions, the boughs of A, above him, higher in air, have made
the same under happier auspices. Every year their thicker leaves more
and more forbid the light; and, after rain, shed their own drops
unwittingly on the unfortunate lower bough, and prevent the air or sun
from drying his bark or checking the chill in his medullary rays. Slowly
a hopeless languor gains upon him. He buds here or there, faintly, in
the spring; but the flow of strong wood from above oppresses him even
about his root, where it joins the trunk. The very sap does not turn
aside to him, but rushes up to the stronger, laughing leaves far above.
Life is no more worth having; and abandoning all effort, the poor bough
drops, and finds consummation of destiny in helping an old woman's

When he is gone, the one next above is left with greater freedom, and
will shoot now from points of its sprays which were before likely to
perish. Hence another condition of irregularity in form. But that bough
also will fall in its turn, though after longer persistence. Gradually
thus the central trunk is built, and the branches by whose help it was
formed cast off, leaving here and there scars, which are all effaced by
years, or lost sight of among the roughnesses and furrows of the aged
surface. The work is continually advancing, and thus the head of foliage
on any tree is not an expansion at a given height, like a flower-bell,
but the collective group of boughs, or workmen, who have got up so far,
and will get up higher next year, still losing one or two of their
number underneath.

§ 11. So far well. But this only accounts for the formation of a
vertical trunk. How is it that at a certain height this vertical trunk
ceases to be built; and irregular branches spread in all directions?

First: In a great number of trees, the vertical trunk never ceases to be
built. It is confused, at the top of the tree, among other radiating
branches, being at first, of course, just as slender as they, and only
prevailing over them in time. It shows at the top the same degree of
irregularity and undulation as a sapling; and is transformed gradually
into straightness lower down (see Fig. 50). The reader has only to take
an hour's ramble, to see for himself how many trees are thus
constructed, if circumstances are favorable to their growth. Again, the
mystery of blossoming has great influence in increasing the tendency to
dispersion among the upper boughs: but this part of vegetative structure
I cannot enter into; it is too subtle, and has, besides, no absolute
bearing on our subject; the principal conditions which produce the
varied play of branches being purely mechanical. The point at which they
show a determined tendency to spread is generally to be conceived as a
place of _rest_ for the tree, where it has reached the height from the
ground at which ground-mist, imperfect circulation of air, &c., have
ceased to operate injuriously on it, and where it has free room, and
air, and light for its growth.

[Illustration: FIG. 50.]

§ 12. I find there is quite an infinite interest in watching the
different ways in which trees part their sprays at this resting-place,
and the sometimes abrupt, sometimes gentle and undiscoverable, severing
of the upright stem into the wandering and wilful branches; but a
volume, instead of a chapter or two, and quite a little gallery of
plates, would be needed to illustrate the various grace of this
division, associated as it is with an exquisitely subtle effacing of
undulation in the thicker stems, by the flowing down of the wood from
above; the curves which are too violent in the branches being filled up,
so that what was at _a_, Fig. 50, becomes as at _b_, and when the main
stem is old, passes at last into straightness by almost imperceptible
curves, a continually gradated emphasis of curvature being carried to
the branch extremities.

[Illustration: FIG. 51.]

§ 13. Hitherto we have confined ourselves entirely to examination of
stems in one plane. We must glance--though only to ascertain how
impossible it is to do more than glance--at the conditions of form which
result from the throwing out of branches, not in one plane, but on all
sides. "As your fingers divide when they hold a ball," I said: or,
better, a large cup, without a handle. Consider how such ramification
will appear in one of the bud groups, that of our old friend the oak. We
saw it opened usually into five shoots. Imagine, then (Fig. 51), a
five-sided cup or funnel with a stout rod running through the centre of
it. In the figure it is seen from above, so as partly to show the
inside, and a little obliquely, that the central rod may not hide any of
the angles. Then let us suppose that, where the angles of this cup were,
we have, instead, five rods, as in Fig. 52, A, like the ribs of a
pentagonal umbrella turned inside out by the wind. I dot the pentagon
which connects their extremities, to keep their positions clear. Then
these five rods, with the central one, will represent the five shoots,
and the leader, from a vigorous young oak-spray. Put the leaves on each;
the five-foiled star at its extremity, and the others, now not quite
formally, but still on the whole as in Fig. 3 above, and we have the
result, Fig. 52, B--rather a pretty one.

[Illustration: FIG. 52.]

§ 14. By considering the various aspects which the five rods would take
in Fig. 52, as the entire group was seen from below or above, and at
different angles and distances, the reader may find out for himself what
changes of aspect are possible in even so regular a structure as this.
But the branchings soon take more complex symmetry. We know that next
year each of these five subordinate rods is to enter into life on its
own account, and to repeat the branching of the first. Thus, we shall
have five pentagonal cups surrounding a large central pentagonal cup.
This figure, if the reader likes a pretty perspective problem, he may
construct for his own pleasure:--which having done, or conceived, he is
then to apply the great principles of subjection and resilience, not to
three branches only, as in Fig. 49, but to the five of each cup;--by
which the cups get flattened out and bent up, as you may have seen
vessels of Venetian glass, so that every cup actually takes something
the shape of a thick aloe or artichoke leaf; and they surround the
central one, not as a bunch of grapes surrounds a grape at the end of
it, but as the petals grow round the centre of a rose. So that any one
of these lateral branches--though, seen from above, it would present a
symmetrical figure, as if it were not flattened (A, Fig. 53)--seen
sideways, or in profile, will show itself to be at least as much
flattened as at B.

[Illustration: FIG. 53.]

§ 15. You may thus regard the whole tree as composed of a series of such
thick, flat, branch-leaves; only incomparably more varied and enriched
in framework as they spread; and arranged more or less in spirals round
the trunk. Gather a cone of a Scotch fir; begin at the bottom of it, and
pull off the seeds, so as to show one of the spiral rows of them
continuously, from the bottom to the top, leaving enough seeds above
them to support the row. Then the gradual lengthening of the seeds from
the root, their spiral arrangement, and their limitation within a
curved, convex form, furnish the best _severe_ type you can have of the
branch system of all stemmed trees; and each seed of the cone
represents, not badly, the sort of flattened solid leaf-shape which all
complete branches have. Also, if you will try to draw the spiral of the
fir-cone, you will understand something about tree-perspective, which
may be generally useful. Finally, if you note the way in which the seeds
of the cone slip each farther and farther over each other, so as to
change sides in the middle of the cone, and obtain a reversed action of
spiral lines in the upper half, you may imagine what a piece of work it
would be for both of us, if we were to try to follow the complexities of
branch order in trees of irregular growth, such as the rhododendron. I
tried to do it, at least, for the pine, in section, but saw I was
getting into a perfect maelström of spirals, from which no efforts would
have freed me, in any imaginable time, and the only safe way was to keep
wholly out of the stream.

[Illustration: FIG. 54.]

§ 16. The alternate system, leading especially to the formation of
forked trees, is more manageable; and if the reader is master of
perspective, he may proceed some distance in the examination of that for
himself. But I do not care to frighten the general reader by many
diagrams: the book is always sure to open at them when he takes it up. I
will venture on one which has perhaps something a little amusing about
it, and is really of importance.

[Illustration: FIG. 55.]

[Illustration: J. Ruskin J. Emslie

56. Sketch by a Clerk of the Works.]

§ 17. Let X, Fig. 54, represent a shoot of any opposite-leaved tree. The
mode in which it will grow into a tree depends, mainly, on its
disposition to lose the leader or a lateral shoot. If it keeps the
leader, but drops the lateral, it takes the form A, and next year by a
repetition of the process, B. But if it keeps the laterals, and drops
the leader, it becomes first, C and next year, D. The form A is almost
universal in spiral or alternate trees; and it is especially to be noted
as bringing about this result, that in any given forking, one bough
always goes on in its own direct course, and the other leaves it softly;
they do not separate as if one was repelled from the other. Thus in Fig.
55, a perfect and nearly symmetrical piece of ramification, by Turner
(lowest bough but one in the tree on the left in the "Château of La
belle Gabrielle"), the leading bough, going on in its own curve, throws
off, first, a bough to the right, then one to the left, then two small
ones to the right, and proceeds itself, hidden by leaves, to form the
farthest upper point of the branch.

The lower secondary bough--the first thrown off--proceeds in its own
curve, branching first to the left, then to the right.

The upper bough proceeds in the same way, throwing off first to left,
then to right. And this is the commonest and most graceful structure.
But if the tree loses the leader, as at C, Fig. 54 (and many opposite
trees have a trick of doing so), a very curious result is arrived at,
which I will give in a geometrical form.

§ 18. The number of branches which die, so as to leave the main stem
bare, is always greatest low down, or near the interior of the tree. It
follows that the lengths of stem which do not fork diminish gradually to
the extremities, in a fixed proportion. This is a general law. Assume,
for example's sake, the stem to separate always into two branches, at an
equal angle, and that each branch is three quarters of the length of the
preceding one. Diminish their thickness in proportion, and carry out the
figure any extent you like. In Plate 56, opposite, Fig. 1, you have it
at its ninth branch; in which I wish you to notice, first, the delicate
curve formed by every complete line of the branches (compare Vol. IV.
Fig. 91); and, secondly, the very curious result of the top of the tree
being a broad flat line, which passes at an angle into lateral shorter
lines, and so down to the extremities. It is this property which renders
the contours of tops of trees so intensely difficult to draw rightly,
without making their curves too smooth and insipid.

Observe, also, that the great weight of the foliage being thrown on the
outside of each main fork, the tendency of forked trees is very often to
droop and diminish the bough on one side, and erect the other into a
principal mass.[1]

§ 19. But the form in a perfect tree is dependent on the revolution of
this sectional profile, so as to produce a mushroom-shaped or
cauliflower-shaped mass, of which I leave the reader to enjoy the
perspective drawing by himself, adding, after he has completed it, the
effect of the law of resilience to the extremities. Only, he must note
this: that in real trees, as the branches rise from the ground, the open
spaces underneath are partly filled by subsequent branchings, so that a
real tree has not so much the shape of a mushroom, as of an apple, or,
if elongated, a pear.

§ 20. And now you may just begin to understand a little of Turner's
meaning in those odd pear-shaped trees of his, in the "Mercury and
Argus," and other such compositions: which, however, before we can do
completely, we must gather our evidence together, and see what general
results will come of it respecting the hearts and fancies of trees, no
less than their forms.


  [1] This is Harding's favorite form of tree. You will find it much
    insisted on in his works on foliage. I intended to have given a
    figure to show the results of the pressure of the weight of all the
    leafage on a great lateral bough, in modifying its curves, the
    strength of timber being greatest where the leverage of the mass
    tells most. But I find nobody ever reads things which it takes any
    trouble to understand, so that it is of no use to write them.



§ 1. And now, having ascertained in its main points the system on which
the leaf-workers build, let us see, finally, what results in aspect, and
appeal to human mind, their building must present. In some sort it
resembles that of the coral animal, differing, however, in two points.
First, the animal which forms branched coral, builds, I believe, in calm
water, and has few accidents of current, light, or heat to contend with.
He builds in monotonous ramification, untormented, therefore
unbeautiful. Secondly, each coral animal builds for himself, adding his
cell to what has been before constructed, as a bee adds another cell to
the comb. He obtains no essential connection with the root and
foundation of the whole structure. That foundation is thickened
clumsily, by a fused and encumbering aggregation, as a stalactite
increases;--not by threads proceeding from the extremities to the root.

§ 2. The leaf, as we have seen, builds in both respects under opposite
conditions. It leads a life of endurance, effort, and various success,
issuing in various beauty; and it connects itself with the whole
previous edifice by one sustaining thread, continuing its appointed
piece of work all the way from top to root. Whence result three great
conditions in branch aspect, for which I cannot find good names, but
must use the imperfect ones of "Spring," "Caprice," "Fellowship."

§ 3. I. SPRING: or the appearance of elastic and progressive power, as
opposed to that look of a bent piece of cord.--This follows partly on
the poise of the bough, partly on its action in seeking or shunning.
Every branch-line expresses both these. It takes a curve accurately
showing the relations between the strength of the sprays in that
position (growing downward, upward, or laterally), and the weight of
leaves they carry; and again, it takes a curve expressive of the will
or aim of those sprays, during all their life, and handed down from sire
to son, in steady inheritance of resolution to reach forward in a given
direction, or bend away from some given evil influence.

And all these proportionate strengths and measured efforts of the bough
produce its loveliness, and ought to be felt, in looking at it, not by
any mathematical evidence, but by the same fine instinct which enables
us to perceive, when a girl dances rightly, that she moves easily, and
with delight to herself; that her limbs are strong enough, and her body
tender enough, to move precisely as she wills them to move. You cannot
say of any bend of arm or foot what precise relations of their curves to
the whole figure manifest, in their changeful melodies, that ease of
motion; yet you feel that they do so, and you feel it by a true
instinct. And if you reason on the matter farther, you may know, though
you cannot see, that an absolute mathematical necessity proportions
every bend of the body to the rate and direction of its motion; and that
the momentary fancy and fire of the will measure themselves, even in
their gaily-fancied freedom, by stern laws of nervous life, and material
attraction, which regulate eternally every pulse of the strength of man,
and every sweep of the stars of heaven.

§ 4. Observe, also, the balance of the bough of a tree is quite as
subtle as that of a figure in motion. It is a balance between the
elasticity of the bough and the weight of leaves, affected in curvature,
literally, by the growth of _every_ leaf; and besides this, when it
moves, it is partly supported by the resistance of the air, greater or
less, according to the shape of leaf;--so that branches float on the
wind more than they yield to it; and in their tossing do not so much
bend under a force, as rise on a wave, which penetrates in liquid
threads through all their sprays.


[Illustration: 57. Leafage by Durer and Veronese.]

[Illustration: FIG. 56. _To face page 65._]

§ 5. I am not sure how far, by any illustration, I can exemplify these
subtle conditions of form. All my plans have been shortened, and I have
learned to content myself with yet more contracted issues of them after
the shortening, because I know that nearly all in such matters must be
said or shown, unavailably. No saying will teach the truth. Nothing but
doing. If the reader will draw boughs of trees long and faithfully,
giving previous pains to gain the power (how rare!) of drawing
_anything_ faithfully, he will come to see what Turner's work is,
or any other right work, but not by reading, nor thinking, nor idly
looking. However, in some degree, even our ordinary instinctive
perception of grace and balance may serve us, if we choose to pay any
accurate attention to the matter.

§ 6. Look back to Fig. 55. That bough of Turner's is exactly and
exquisitely poised, leaves and all, for its present horizontal position.
Turn the book so as to put the spray upright, with the leaves at the
top. You ought to see they would then be wrong;--that they must, in that
position, have adjusted themselves more directly above the main stem,
and more firmly, the curves of the lighter sprays being a deflection
caused by their weight in the horizontal position. Again, Fig. 56
represents, enlarged to four times the size of the original, the two
Scotch firs in Turner's etching of Inverary.[1] These are both in
perfect poise, representing a double action: the warping of the trees
away from the sea-wind, and the continual growing out of the boughs on
the right-hand side, to recover the balance.

Turn the page so as to be horizontal, and you ought to feel that,
considered now as branches, both would be out of balance. If you turn
the heads of the trees to your right, they are wrong, because gravity
would have bent them more downwards; if to your left, wrong, because the
law of resilience would have raised them more at the extremities.

§ 7. Now take two branches of Salvator's, Figs. 57 and 58.[2] You ought
to feel that these have neither poise nor spring: their leaves are
incoherent, ragged, hanging together in decay.

[Illustration: FIG. 57.]

[Illustration: FIG. 58.]

Immediately after these, turn to Plate 57, opposite. The branch at the
top is facsimiled from that in the hand of Adam, in Durer's Adam and
Eve.[3] It is full of the most exquisite vitality and spring in every
line. Look at it for five minutes carefully. Then turn back to
Salvator's, Fig. 57. Are you as well satisfied with it? You ought to
feel that it is not strong enough at the origin to sustain the leaves;
and that if it were, those leaves themselves are in broken or forced
relations with each other. Such relations might, indeed, exist in a
partially withered tree, and one of these branches is intended to be
partially withered, but the other is not; and if it were, Salvator's
choice of the withered tree is precisely the sign of his preferring
ugliness to beauty, decrepitude and disorganization to life and youth.
The leaves on the spray, by Durer, hold themselves as the girl holds
herself in dancing; those on Salvator's as an old man, partially
palsied, totters along with broken motion, and loose deflection of limb.

§ 8. Next, let us take a spray by Paul Veronese[4]--the lower figure in
Plate 57. It is just as if we had gathered one out of the garden. Though
every line and leaf in the quadruple group is necessary to join with
other parts of the composition of the noble picture, every line and leaf
is also as free and true as if it were growing. None are confused, yet
none are loose; all are individual, yet none separate, in tender poise
of pliant strength and fair order of accomplished grace, each, by due
force of the indulgent bough, set and sustained.

§ 9. Observe, however, that in all these instances from earlier masters,
the expression of the universal botanical law of poise is independent of
accuracy in rendering of species. As before noticed, the neglect of
specific distinction long restrained the advance of landscape, and even
hindered Turner himself in many respects. The sprays of Veronese are a
conventional type of laurel; Albert Durer's an imaginary branch of
paradisaical vegetation; Salvator's, a rude reminiscence of sweet
chestnut; Turner's only is a faithful rendering of the Scotch fir.

[Illustration: 58. Branch Curvature.]

[Illustration: FIG. 59.]

[Illustration: FIG. 60.]

[Illustration: FIG. 61 _To face page 69._]

§ 10. To show how the principle of balance is carried out by Nature
herself, here is a little terminal upright spray of willow, the most
graceful of English trees (Fig. 59). I have drawn it carefully; and if
the reader will study its curves, or, better, trace and pencil them with
a perfectly fine point, he will feel, I think, without difficulty, their
finished relation to the leaves they sustain. Then if we turn suddenly
to a piece of Dutch branch-drawing (Fig. 60), facsimiled from No. 160,
Dulwich Gallery (Berghem), he will understand, I believe, also the
qualities of that, without comment of mine. It is of course not so dark
in the original, being drawn with the chance dashes of a brush loaded
with brown, but the contours are absolutely as in the woodcut. This
Dutch design is a very characteristic example of two faults in
tree-drawing; namely, the loss not only of grace and spring, but of
woodiness. A branch is not elastic as steel is, neither as a carter's
whip is. It is a combination, wholly peculiar, of elasticity with
half-dead and sapless stubbornness, and of continuous curve with pauses
of knottiness, every bough having its blunted, affronted, fatigued,
or repentant moments of existence, and mingling crabbed rugosities
and fretful changes of mind with the main tendencies of its growth. The
piece of pollard willow opposite (Fig. 61), facsimiled from Turner's
etching of "Young Anglers," in the Liber Studiorum, has all these
characters in perfectness, and may serve for sufficient study of them.
It is impossible to explain in what the expression of the woody strength
consists, unless it be felt. One very obvious condition is the excessive
fineness of curvature, approximating continually to a straight line. In
order to get a piece of branch curvature given as accurately as I could
by an unprejudiced person, I set one of my pupils at the Working Men's
College (a joiner by trade) to draw, last spring, a lilac branch of its
real size, as it grew, before it budded. It was about six feet long, and
before he could get it quite right, the buds came out and interrupted
him; but the fragment he got drawn is engraved in flat profile, in Plate
58. It has suffered much by reduction, one or two of its finest curves
having become lost in the mere thickness of the lines. Nevertheless, if
the reader will compare it carefully with the Dutch work, it will teach
him something about trees.

§ 11. II. CAPRICE.--The next character we had to note of the
leaf-builders was their capriciousness, noted, partly, in Vol. III.
chap. ix. § 14. It is a character connected with the ruggedness and
ill-temperedness just spoken of, and an essential source of branch
beauty: being in reality the written story of all the branch's life,--of
the theories it formed, the accidents it suffered, the fits of
enthusiasm to which it yielded in certain delicious warm springs; the
disgusts at weeks of east wind, the mortifications of itself for its
friends' sakes; or the sudden and successful inventions of new ways of
getting out to the sun. The reader will understand this character in a
moment, by merely comparing Fig. 62, which is a branch of Salvator's,[5]
with Fig. 63, which I have traced from the engraving, in the Yorkshire
series, of Turner's "Aske Hall." You cannot but feel at once, not only
the wrongness of Salvator's, but its dulness. It is not now a question
either of poise, or grace, or gravity; only of wit. That bough has got
no sense; it has not been struck by a single new idea from the beginning
of it to the end; dares not even cross itself with one of its own
sprays. You will be amazed, in taking up any of these old engravings, to
see how seldom the boughs _do_ cross each other. Whereas, in nature, not
only is the intersection of extremities a mathematical necessity (see
Plate 56), but out of this intersection and crossing of curve by curve,
and the opposition of line it involves, the best part of their
composition arises. Look at the way the boughs are interwoven in that
piece of lilac stem (Plate 58).

[Illustration: FIG. 62.]

[Illustration: FIG. 63.]

[Illustration: 59. The Dryad's Waywardness.]

§ 12. Again: As it seldom struck the old painters that boughs must cross
each other, so it never seems to have occurred to them that they must be
sometimes foreshortened. I chose this bit from "Aske Hall," that you
might see at once, both how Turner foreshortens the main stem, and how,
in doing so, he shows the turning aside, and outwards, of the one next
to it, to the left, to get more air.[6] Indeed, this foreshortening lies
at the core of the business; for unless it be well understood, no
branch-form can ever be rightly drawn. I placed the oak spray in Plate
51 so as to be seen as nearly straight on its flank as possible. It is
the most uninteresting position in which a bough can be drawn; but it
shows the first simple action of the law of resilience. I will now turn
the bough with its extremity towards us, and foreshorten it (Plate 59),
which being done, you perceive another tendency in the whole branch, not
seen at all in the first Plate, to throw its sprays to its own right (or
to your left), which it does to avoid the branch next it, while the
_forward_ action is in a sweeping curve round to your right, or to the
branch's left: a curve which it takes to recover position after its
first concession. The lines of the nearer and smaller shoots are very
nearly--thus foreshortened--those of a boat's bow. Here is a piece of
Dutch foreshortening for you to compare with it, Fig. 64.[7]

[Illustration: FIG. 64.]

§ 13. In this final perfection of bough-drawing, Turner stands _wholly
alone_. Even Titian does not foreshorten his boughs rightly. Of course
he could, if he had cared to do so; for if you can foreshorten a limb or
a hand, much more a tree branch. But either he had never looked at a
tree carefully enough to feel that it was necessary, or, which is more
likely, he disliked to introduce in a background elements of vigorous
projection. Be the reason what it may, if you take Lefèvre's plates of
the Peter Martyr and St. Jerome--the only ones I know which give any
idea of Titian's tree-drawing, you will observe at once that the boughs
lie in flakes, artificially set to the right and left, and are not
intricate or varied, even where the foliage indicates some
foreshortening;--completing thus the evidence for my statement long ago
given, that no man but Turner had ever drawn the stem of a tree.

[Illustration: FIG. 65.]

[Illustration: FIG. 66.]

§ 14. It may be well also to note, for the advantage of the general
student of design, that, in foliage and bough drawing, all the final
grace and general utility of the study depend on its being well
foreshortened; and that, till the power of doing so quite accurately is
obtained, no landscape-drawing is of the least value; nor can the
character of any tree be known at all until not only its branches, but
its minutest extremities, have been drawn in the severest
foreshortening, with little accompanying plans of the arrangements of
the leaves or buds, or thorns, on the stem. Thus Fig. 65 is the
extremity of a single shoot of spruce foreshortened, showing the
resilience of its swords from beneath, and Fig. 66 is a little
ground-plan, showing the position of the three lowest triple groups of
thorn on a shoot of gooseberry.[8] The fir shoot is carelessly drawn;
but it is not worth while to do it better, unless I engraved it on
steel, so as to show the fine relations of shade.

§ 15. III. FELLOWSHIP.--The compactness of mass presented by this little
sheaf of pine-swords may lead us to the consideration of the last
character I have to note of boughs; namely, the mode of their
association in masses. It follows, of course, from all the laws of
growth we have ascertained, that the terminal outline of any tree or
branch must be a simple one, containing within it, at a given height or
level, the series of leaves of the year; only we have not yet noticed
the kind of form which results, in each branch, from the part it has to
take in forming the mass of the tree. The systems of branching are
indeed infinite, and could not be exemplified by any number of types;
but here are two common types, in section, which will enough explain
what I mean.

[Illustration: FIG. 67.]

§ 16. If a tree branches with a concave tendency, it is apt to carry its
boughs to the outer curve of limitation, as at A, Fig. 67, and if with a
convex tendency, as at B. In either case the vertical section, or
profile, of a bough will give a triangular mass, terminated by curves,
and elongated at one extremity. These triangular masses you may see at a
glance, prevailing in the branch system of any tree in winter. They may,
of course, be mathematically reduced to the four types _a_, _b_, _c_,
and _d_, Fig. 67, but are capable of endless variety of expression in
action, and in the adjustment of their weights to the bearing stem.

§ 17. To conclude, then, we find that the beauty of these buildings of
the leaves consists, from the first step of it to the last, in its
showing their perfect fellowship; and a single aim uniting them under
circumstances of various distress, trial, and pleasure. Without the
fellowship, no beauty; without the steady purpose, no beauty; without
trouble, and death, no beauty; without individual pleasure, freedom, and
caprice, so far as may be consistent with the universal good, no beauty.

[Illustration: FIG. 68.]

[Illustration: FIG. 69.]

§ 18. Tree-loveliness might be thus lost or killed in many ways.
Discordance would kill it--of one leaf with another; disobedience would
kill it--of any leaf to the ruling law; indulgence would kill it, and
the doing away with pain; or slavish symmetry would kill it, and the
doing away with delight. And this is so, down to the smallest atom and
beginning of life: so soon as there is life at all, there are these four
conditions of it;--harmony, obedience, distress, and delightsome
inequality. Here is the magnified section of an oak-bud, not the size of
a wheat grain (Fig. 68). Already its nascent leaves are seen arranged
under the perfect law of resilience, preparing for stoutest work on the
right side. Here is a dogwood bud just opening into life (Fig. 69). Its
ruling law is to be four square, but see how the uppermost leaf takes
the lead, and the lower bends up, already a little distressed by the
effort. Here is a birch-bud, farther advanced, Fig. 70. Who shall say
how many humors the little thing has in its mind already; or how many
adventures it has passed through? And so to the end. Help, submission,
sorrow, dissimilarity, are the sources of all good;--war, disobedience,
luxury, equality, the sources of all evil.

[Illustration: FIG. 70.]

§ 19. There is yet another and a deeply laid lesson to be received from
the leaf-builders, which I hope the reader has already perceived. Every
leaf, we have seen, connects its work with the entire and accumulated
result of the work of its predecessors. Their previous construction
served it during its life, raised it towards the light, gave it more
free sway and motion in the wind, and removed it from the noxiousness of
earth exhalation. Dying, it leaves its own small but well-labored
thread, adding, though imperceptibly, yet essentially, to the strength,
from root to crest, of the trunk on which it had lived, and fitting that
trunk for better service to succeeding races of leaves.

We men, sometimes, in what we presume to be humility, compare ourselves
with leaves; but we have as yet no right to do so. The leaves may well
scorn the comparison. We who live for ourselves, and neither know how
to use nor keep the work of past time, may humbly learn,--as from the
ant, foresight,--from the leaf, reverence. The power of every great
people, as of every living tree, depends on its not effacing, but
confirming and concluding, the labors of its ancestors. Looking back to
the history of nations, we may date the beginning of their decline from
the moment when they ceased to be reverent in heart, and accumulative in
hand and brain; from the moment when the redundant fruit of age hid in
them the hollowness of heart, whence the simplicities of custom and
sinews of tradition had withered away. Had men but guarded the righteous
laws, and protected the precious works of their fathers, with half the
industry they have given to change and to ravage, they would not now
have been seeking vainly, in millennial visions and mechanic servitudes,
the accomplishment of the promise made to them so long ago: "As the days
of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the
work of their hands; they shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for
trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their
offspring with them."

§ 20. This lesson we have to take from the leaf's life. One more we may
receive from its death. If ever in autumn a pensiveness falls upon us as
the leaves drift by in their fading, may we not wisely look up in hope
to their mighty monuments? Behold how fair, how far prolonged, in arch
and aisle, the avenues of the valleys; the fringes of the hills! So
stately,--so eternal; the joy of man, the comfort of all living
creatures, the glory of the earth,--they are but the monuments of those
poor leaves that flit faintly past us to die. Let them not pass, without
our understanding their last counsel and example: that we also, careless
of monument by the grave, may build it in the world--monument by which
men may be taught to remember, not where we died, but where we lived.


  [1] They are enlarged, partly in order to show the care and
    minuteness of Turner's drawing on the smallest scale, partly to save
    the reader the trouble of using a magnifying glass, partly because
    this woodcut will print safely; while if I had facsimiled the fine
    Turner etching, the block might have been spoiled after a hundred

  [2] Magnified to twice the size of the original, but otherwise
    facsimiled from his own etching of Oedipus, and the School of Plato.

  [3] The parrot perched on it is removed, which may be done without
    altering the curve, as the bird is set where its weight would not
    have bent the wood.

  [4] The largest laurel spray in the background of the "Susanna,"
    Louvre--reduced to about a fifth of the original. The drawing was
    made for me by M. Hippolyte Dubois, and I am glad it is not one of my
    own, lest I should be charged with exaggerating Veronese's accuracy.

    This group of leaves is, in the original, of the life-size; the
    circle which interferes with the spray on the right being the outline
    of the head and of one of the elders; and, as painted for distant
    effect, there is no care in completing the stems:--they are struck
    with a few broken touches of the brush, which cannot be imitated in
    the engraving, and much of their spirit is lost in consequence.

  [5] The longest in "Apollo and the Sibyl," engraved by Boydell.
    (Reduced one-half.)

  [6] The foreshortening of the bough to the right is a piece of great
    audacity; it comes towards us two or three feet sharply, after
    forking, so as to look half as thick again as at the fork;--then
    bends back again, and outwards.

  [7] Hobbima. Dulwich Gallery, No. 131. Turn the book with its inner
    edge up.

  [8] Their change from groups of three to groups of two, and then to
    single thorns at the end of the spray, will be found very beautiful
    in a real shoot. The figure on the left in Plate 52 is a branch of
    blackthorn with its spines (which are a peculiar condition of branch,
    and can bud like branches, while thorns have no root nor power of
    development). Such a branch gives good practice without too much



[Illustration: FIG. 71.]

§ 1. It may be judged, by the time which it has taken to arrive at any
clear idea of the structure of shield-builders, what a task would open
to us if we endeavored to trace the more wonderful forms of the wild
builders with the sword. Not that they are more complex; but they are
more definite, and cannot be so easily generalized. The conditions which
produce the spire of the cypress, and flaked breadth of the cedar, the
rounded head of the stone pine, and perfect pyramid of the black spruce,
are far more distinct, and would require more accurate and curious
diagrams to illustrate them, than the graceful, but in some degree
monotonous branching of leaf-builders. In broad principle they are,
however, alike. The leaves construct the sprays in the same accumulative
way: the only essential difference being that in the sword-builders the
leaves are all set close, and at equal intervals. Instead of admitting
extended and variable spaces between them, the whole spray is one tower
of leaf-roots, set in a perfect spiral. Thus, Fig. 71, at A, represents
a fragment of spray of Scotch fir of its real size. B is the same piece
magnified, the diamond-like spaces being the points on which the leaves
grew. The dotted lines show the regularity of the spiral. As the minor
stems join in boughs, the scars left by the leaves are gradually
effaced, and a thick but broken and scaly bark forms instead.

§ 2. A sword-builder may therefore be generally considered as a
shield-builder put under the severest military restraint. The graceful
and thin leaf is concentrated into a strong, narrow, pointed rod; and
the insertion of these rods on them is in a close and perfectly timed
order. In some ambiguous trees connected with the tribe (as the arbor
vitæ) there is no proper stem to the outer leaves, but all the
extremities form a kind of coralline leaf, flat and fern-like, but
articulated like a crustacean animal, which gradually concentrates and
embrowns itself into the stem. The thicker branches of these trees are
exquisitely fantastic; and the mode in which the flat system of leaf
first produces an irregular branch, and then adapts itself to the
symmetrical cone of the whole tree, is one of the most interesting
processes of form which I know in vegetation.

§ 3. Neither this, however, nor any other of the pine formations, have
we space here to examine in detail; while without detail, all discussion
of them is in vain. I shall only permit myself to note a few points
respecting my favorite tree, the black spruce, not with any view to art
criticism (though we might get at some curious results by a comparison
of popular pine-drawing in Germany, America, and other dark-wooded
countries, with the true natural forms), but because I think the
expression of this tree has not been rightly understood by travellers in
Switzerland, and that, with a little watching of it, they might easily
obtain a juster feeling.

§ 4. Of the many marked adaptations of nature to the mind of man, it
seems one of the most singular, that trees intended especially for the
adornment of the wildest mountains should be in broad outline the most
formal of trees. The vine, which is to be the companion of man, is
waywardly docile in its growth, falling into festoons beside his
cornfields, or roofing his garden-walks, or casting its shadow all
summer upon his door. Associated always with the trimness of
cultivation, it introduces all possible elements of sweet wildness. The
pine, placed nearly always among scenes disordered and desolate, brings
into them all possible elements of order and precision. Lowland trees
may lean to this side and that, though it is but a meadow breeze that
bends them, or a bank of cowslips from which their trunks lean aslope.
But let storm and avalanche do their worst, and let the pine find only a
ledge of vertical precipice to cling to, it will nevertheless grow
straight. Thrust a rod from its last shoot down the stem;--it shall
point to the centre of the earth as long as the tree lives.

§ 5. Also it may be well for lowland branches to reach hither and
thither for what they need, and to take all kinds of irregular shape and
extension. But the pine is trained to need nothing, and to endure
everything. It is resolvedly whole, self-contained, desiring nothing but
rightness, content with restricted completion. Tall or short, it will be
straight. Small or large, it will be round. It may be permitted also to
these soft lowland trees that they should make themselves gay with show
of blossom, and glad with pretty charities of fruitfulness. We builders
with the sword have harder work to do for man, and must do it in
close-set troops. To stay the sliding of the mountain snows, which would
bury him; to hold in divided drops, at our sword-points, the rain, which
would sweep away him and his treasure-fields; to nurse in shade among
our brown fallen leaves the tricklings that feed the brooks in drought;
to give massive shield against the winter wind, which shrieks through
the bare branches of the plain:--such service must we do him steadfastly
while we live. Our bodies, also, are at his service: softer than the
bodies of other trees, though our toil is harder than theirs. Let him
take them as pleases him, for his houses and ships. So also it may be
well for these timid lowland trees to tremble with all their leaves, or
turn their paleness to the sky, if but a rush of rain passes by them; or
to let fall their leaves at last, sick and sere. But we pines must live
carelessly amidst the wrath of clouds. We only wave our branches to and
fro when the storm pleads with us, as men toss their arms in a dream.

And finally, these weak lowland trees may struggle fondly for the last
remnants of life, and send up feeble saplings again from their roots
when they are cut down. But we builders with the sword perish boldly;
our dying shall be perfect and solemn, as our warring: we give up our
lives without reluctance, and for ever.[1]

§ 6. I wish the reader to fix his attention for a moment on these two
great characters of the pine, its straightness and rounded perfectness;
both wonderful, and in their issue lovely, though they have hitherto
prevented the tree from being drawn. I say, first, its straightness.
Because we constantly see it in the wildest scenery, we are apt to
remember only as characteristic examples of it those which have been
disturbed by violent accident or disease. Of course such instances are
frequent. The soil of the pine is subject to continual change; perhaps
the rock in which it is rooted splits in frost and falls forward,
throwing the young stems aslope, or the whole mass of earth around it is
undermined by rain, or a huge boulder falls on its stem from above, and
forces it for twenty years to grow with weight of a couple of tons
leaning on its side. Hence, especially at edges of loose cliffs, about
waterfalls, or at glacier banks, and in other places liable to
disturbance, the pine may be seen distorted and oblique; and in Turner's
"Source of the Arveron," he has, with his usual unerring perception of
the main point in any matter, fastened on this means of relating the
glacier's history. The glacier cannot explain its own motion; and
ordinary observers saw in it only its rigidity; but Turner saw that the
wonderful thing was its non-rigidity. Other ice is fixed, only this ice
stirs. All the banks are staggering beneath its waves, crumbling and
withered as by the blast of a perpetual storm. He made the rocks of his
foreground loose--rolling and tottering down together; the pines,
smitten aside by them, their tops dead, bared by the ice wind.

§ 7. Nevertheless, this is not the truest or universal expression of the
pine's character. I said long ago, even of Turner: "Into the spirit of
the pine he cannot enter." He understood the glacier at once; he had
seen the force of sea on shore too often to miss the action of those
crystal-crested waves. But the pine was strange to him, adverse to his
delight in broad and flowing line; he refused its magnificent erectness.
Magnificent!--nay, sometimes, almost terrible. Other trees, tufting crag
or hill, yield to the form and sway of the ground, clothe it with soft
compliance, are partly its subjects, partly its flatterers, partly its
comforters. But the pine rises in serene resistance, self-contained; nor
can I ever without awe stay long under a great Alpine cliff, far from
all house or work of men, looking up to its companies of pine, as they
stand on the inaccessible juts and perilous ledges of the enormous wall,
in quiet multitudes, each like the shadow of the one beside it--upright,
fixed, spectral, as troops of ghosts standing on the walls of Hades, not
knowing each other--dumb for ever. You cannot reach them, cannot cry to
them;--those trees never heard human voice; they are far above all sound
but of the winds. No foot ever stirred fallen leaf of theirs. All
comfortless they stand, between the two eternities of the Vacancy and
the Rock: yet with such iron will, that the rock itself looks bent and
shattered beside them--fragile, weak, inconsistent, compared to their
dark energy of delicate life, and monotony of enchanted
pride:--unnumbered, unconquerable.

§ 8. Then note, farther, their perfectness. The impression on most
people's minds must have been received more from pictures than reality,
so far as I can judge;--so ragged they think the pine; whereas its chief
character in health is green and full roundness. It stands compact, like
one of its own cones, slightly curved on its sides, finished and quaint
as a carved tree in some Elizabethan garden; and instead of being wild
in expression, forms the softest of all forest scenery; for other trees
show their trunks and twisting boughs: but the pine, growing either in
luxuriant mass or in happy isolation, allows no branch to be seen.
Summit behind summit rise its pyramidal ranges, or down to the very
grass sweep the circlets of its boughs; so that there is nothing but
green cone and green carpet. Nor is it only softer, but in one sense
more cheerful than other foliage; for it casts only a pyramidal shadow.
Lowland forest arches overhead, and chequers the ground with darkness;
but the pine, growing in scattered groups, leaves the glades between
emerald-bright. Its gloom is all its own; narrowing into the sky, it
lets the sunshine strike down to the dew. And if ever a superstitious
feeling comes over me among the pine-glades, it is never tainted with
the old German forest fear; but is only a more solemn tone of the fairy
enchantment that haunts our English meadows; so that I have always
called the prettiest pine glade in Chamouni, "Fairies' Hollow." It is in
the glen beneath the steep ascent above Pont Pelissier, and may be
reached by a little winding path which goes down from the top of the
hill; being, indeed, not truly a glen, but a broad ledge of moss and
turf, leaning in a formidable precipice (which, however, the gentle
branches hide) over the Arve. An almost isolated rock promontory,
many-colored, rises at the end of it. On the other sides it is bordered
by cliffs, from which a little cascade falls, literally down among the
pines, for it is so light, shaking itself into mere showers of seed
pearl in the sun, that the pines don't know it from mist, and grow
through it without minding. Underneath, there is only the mossy silence,
and above, for ever, the snow of the nameless Aiguille.

§ 9. And then the third character which I want you to notice in the pine
is its exquisite fineness. Other trees rise against the sky in dots and
knots, but this in fringes.[2] You never see the edges of it, so subtle
are they; and for this reason, it alone of trees, so far as I know, is
capable of the fiery change which we saw before had been noticed by
Shakespeare. When the sun rises behind a ridge crested with pine,
provided the ridge be at a distance of about two miles, and seen clear,
all the trees, for about three or four degrees on each side of the sun,
become trees of light, seen in clear flame against the darker sky, and
dazzling as the sun itself. I thought at first this was owing to the
actual lustre of the leaves; but I believe now it is caused by the
cloud-dew upon them,--every minutest leaf carrying its diamond. It seems
as if these trees, living always among the clouds, had caught part of
their glory from them; and themselves the darkest of vegetation, could
yet add splendor to the sun itself.

§ 10. Yet I have been more struck by their character of finished
delicacy at a distance from the central Alps, among the pastoral hills
of the Emmenthal, or lowland districts of Berne, where they are set in
groups between the cottages, whose shingle roofs (they also of pine) of
deep gray blue, and lightly carved fronts, golden and orange in the
autumn sunshine,[3] gleam on the banks and lawns of hill-side,--endless
lawns, mounded, and studded, and bossed all over with deeper green
hay-heaps, orderly set, like jewellery (the mountain hay, when the
pastures are full of springs, being strangely dark and fresh in verdure
for a whole day after it is cut). And amidst this delicate delight of
cottage and field, the young pines stand delicatest of all, scented as
with frankincense, their slender stems straight as arrows, and crystal
white, looking as if they would break with a touch, like needles; and
their arabesques of dark leaf pierced through and through by the pale
radiance of clear sky, opal blue, where they follow each other along the
soft hill-ridges, up and down.

§ 11. I have watched them in such scenes with the deeper interest,
because of all trees they have hitherto had most influence on human
character. The effect of other vegetation, however great, has been
divided by mingled species; elm and oak in England, poplar in France,
birch in Scotland, olive in Italy and Spain, share their power with
inferior trees, and with all the changing charm of successive
agriculture. But the tremendous unity of the pine absorbs and moulds the
life of a race. The pine shadows rest upon a nation. The Northern
peoples, century after century, lived under one or other of the two
great powers of the Pine and the Sea, both infinite. They dwelt amidst
the forests, as they wandered on the waves, and saw no end, nor any
other horizon;--still the dark green trees, or the dark green waters,
jagged the dawn with their fringe, or their foam. And whatever elements
of imagination, or of warrior strength, or of domestic justice, were
brought down by the Norwegian and the Goth against the dissoluteness or
degradation of the South of Europe, were taught them under the green
roofs and wild penetralia of the pine.

§ 12. I do not attempt, delightful as the task would be, to trace this
influence (mixed with superstition) in Scandinavia, or North Germany;
but let us at least note it in the instance which we speak of so
frequently, yet so seldom take to heart. There has been much dispute
respecting the character of the Swiss, arising out of the difficulty
which other nations had to understand their simplicity. They were
assumed to be either romantically virtuous, or basely mercenary, when in
fact they were neither heroic nor base, but were true-hearted men,
stubborn with more than any recorded stubbornness; not much regarding
their lives, yet not casting them causelessly away; forming no high
ideal of improvement, but never relaxing their grasp of a good they had
once gained; devoid of all romantic sentiment, yet loving with a
practical and patient love that neither wearied nor forsook; little
given to enthusiasm in religion, but maintaining their faith in a purity
which no worldliness deadened and no hypocrisy soiled; neither
chivalrously generous nor pathetically humane, yet never pursuing their
defeated enemies, nor suffering their poor to perish: proud, yet not
allowing their pride to prick them into unwary or unworthy quarrel;
avaricious, yet contentedly rendering to their neighbor his due; dull,
but clear-sighted to all the principles of justice; and patient, without
ever allowing delay to be prolonged by sloth, or forbearance by fear.

§ 13. This temper of Swiss mind, while it animated the whole
confederacy, was rooted chiefly in one small district which formed the
heart of their country, yet lay not among its highest mountains. Beneath
the glaciers of Zermatt and Evolena, and on the scorching slopes of the
Valais, the peasants remained in an aimless torpor, unheard of but as
the obedient vassals of the great Bishopric of Sion. But where the lower
ledges of calcareous rock were broken by the inlets of the Lake Lucerne,
and bracing winds penetrating from the north forbade the growth of the
vine, compelling the peasantry to adopt an entirely pastoral life, was
reared another race of men. Their narrow domain should be marked by a
small green spot on every map of Europe. It is about forty miles from
east to west; as many from north to south: yet on that shred of rugged
ground, while every kingdom of the world around it rose or fell in fatal
change, and every multitudinous race mingled or wasted itself in various
dispersion and decline, the simple shepherd dynasty remained changeless.
There is no record of their origin. They are neither Goths, Burgundians,
Romans, nor Germans. They have been for ever Helvetii, and for ever
free. Voluntarily placing themselves under the protection of the House
of Hapsburg, they acknowledged its supremacy, but resisted its
oppression; and rose against the unjust governors it appointed over
them, not to gain, but to redeem, their liberties. Victorious in the
struggle by the Lake of Egeri, they stood the foremost standard-bearers
among the nations of Europe in the cause of loyalty and life--loyalty in
its highest sense, to the laws of God's helpful justice, and of man's
faithful and brotherly fortitude.

§ 14. You will find among them, as I said, no subtle wit nor high
enthusiasm, only an undeceivable common sense, and an obstinate
rectitude. They cannot be persuaded into their duties, but they feel
them; they use no phrases of friendship, but do not fail you at your
need. Questions of creed, which other nations sought to solve by logic
or reverie, these shepherds brought to practical tests: sustained with
tranquillity the excommunication of abbots who wanted to feed their
cattle on other people's fields, and, halbert in hand, struck down the
Swiss Reformation, because the Evangelicals of Zurich refused to send
them their due supplies of salt. Not readily yielding to the demands of
superstition, they were patient under those of economy; they would
purchase the remission of taxes, but not of sins; and while the sale of
indulgences was arrested in the church of Ensiedlen as boldly as at the
gates of Wittenberg, the inhabitants of the valley of Frütigen[4] ate no
meat for seven years, in order peacefully to free themselves and their
descendants from the seigniorial claims of the Baron of Thurm.

§ 15. What praise may be justly due to this modest and rational virtue,
we have perhaps no sufficient grounds for defining. It must long remain
questionable how far the vices of superior civilization may be atoned
for by its achievements, and the errors of more transcendental devotion
forgiven to its rapture. But, take it for what we may, the character of
this peasantry is, at least, serviceable to others and sufficient for
their own peace; and in its consistency and simplicity, it stands alone
in the history of the human heart. How far it was developed by
circumstances of natural phenomena may also be disputed; nor should I
enter into such dispute with any strongly held conviction. The Swiss
have certainly no feelings respecting their mountains in anywise
correspondent to ours. It was rather as fortresses of defence, than as
spectacles of splendor, that the cliffs of the Rothstock bare rule over
the destinies of those who dwelt at their feet; and the training for
which the mountain children had to thank the slopes of the Muotta-Thal,
was in soundness of breath, and steadiness of limb, far more than in
elevation of idea. But the point which I desire the reader to note is,
that the character of the scene which, if any, appears to have been
impressive to the inhabitant, is not that which we ourselves feel when
we enter the district. It was not from their lakes, nor their cliffs,
nor their glaciers--though these were all peculiarly their possession,
that the three venerable cantons or states received their name. They
were not called the States of the Rock, nor the States of the Lake, but
the States of the _Forest_. And the one of the three which contains the
most touching record of the spiritual power of Swiss religion, in the
name of the convent of the "Hill of Angels," has, for its own, none but
the sweet childish name of "Under the Woods."

§ 16. And indeed you may pass under them if, leaving the most sacred
spot in Swiss history, the Meadow of the Three Fountains, you bid the
boatman row southward a little way by the shore of the Bay of Uri.
Steepest there on its western side, the walls of its rocks ascend to
heaven. Far, in the blue of evening, like a great cathedral pavement,
lies the lake in its darkness; and you may hear the whisper of
innumerable falling waters return from the hollows of the cliff, like
the voices of a multitude praying under their breath. From time to time
the beat of a wave, slow lifted, where the rocks lean over the black
depth, dies heavily as the last note of a requiem. Opposite, green with
steep grass, and set with chalet villages, the Fron-Alp rises in one
solemn glow of pastoral light and peace; and above, against the clouds
of twilight, ghostly on the gray precipice, stand, myriad by myriad, the
shadowy armies of the Unterwalden pine.[5]

I have seen that it is possible for the stranger to pass through this
great chapel, with its font of waters, and mountain pillars, and vaults
of cloud, without being touched by one noble thought, or stirred by any
sacred passion; but for those who received from its waves the baptism of
their youth, and learned beneath its rocks the fidelity of their
manhood, and watched amidst its clouds the likeness of the dream of
life, with the eyes of age--for these I will not believe that the
mountain shrine was built, or the calm of its forest-shadows guarded by
their God, in vain.


  [1] "Croesus, therefore, having heard these things, sent word to the
    people of Lampsacus that they should let Miltiades go; and, if not,
    he would cut them down like a pine-tree."--_Herod._ vi. 37.

  [2] Keats (as is his way) puts nearly all that may be said of the
    pine into one verse, though they are only figurative pines of which
    he is speaking. I have come to that pass of admiration for him now,
    that I dare not read him, so discontented he makes me with my own
    work: but others must not leave unread, in considering the influence
    of trees upon the human soul, that marvellous ode to Psyche. Here is
    the piece about pines:--

      "Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
       In some untrodden region of my mind,
       Where branchéd thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
       Instead of pines, shall murmur in the wind:
       Far, far around shall those dark-clustered trees
       _Fledge the wild-ridged mountains_, steep by steep;
       And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
       The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull'd to sleep;
       And in the midst of this wide quietness
       A rosy sanctuary will I dress
       With the wreath'd trellis of a working brain,
       With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
       With all the Gardener Fancy e'er could feign,
       Who, breeding flowers, will never breed the same.
       And there shall be for thee all soft delight
       That shadowy thought can win;
       A bright torch, and a casement ope, at night,
       To let the warm Love in."

  [3] There has been much cottage-building about the hills lately, with
    very pretty carving, the skill in which has been encouraged by
    travellers; and the fresh-cut larch is splendid in color under rosy

  [4] This valley is on the pass of the Gemmi in Canton Berne, but the
    people are the same in temper as those of the Waldstetten.

  [5] The cliff immediately bordering the lake is in Canton Uri: the
    green hills of Unterwalden rise above. This is the grandest piece of
    the shore of Lake Lucerne; the rocks near Tell's Chapel are neither
    so lofty nor so precipitous.



§ 1. It will be remembered that our final inquiry was to be into the
sources of beauty in the tented plants, or flowers of the field; which
the reader may perhaps suppose one of no great difficulty, the beauty of
flowers being somewhat generally admitted and comprehended.

Admitted? yes. Comprehended? no; and, which is worse, in all its highest
characters, for many a day yet, incomprehensible: though with a little
steady application, I suppose we might soon know more than we do now
about the colors of flowers,--being tangible enough, and staying longer
than those of clouds. We have discovered something definite about colors
of opal and of peacock's plume; perhaps, also, in due time we may give
some account of that true gold (the only gold of intrinsic value) which
gilds buttercups; and understand how the spots are laid, in painting a

Art is of interest, when we may win any of its secrets; but to such
knowledge the road lies not up brick streets. And howsoever that
flower-painting may be done, one thing is certain, it is not by

§ 2. Perhaps, it may be thought, if we understood flowers better, we
might love them less.

We do not love them much, as it is. Few people care about flowers. Many,
indeed, are fond of finding a new shape of blossom, caring for it as a
child cares about a kaleidoscope. Many, also, like a fair service of
flowers in the greenhouse, as a fair service of plate on the table. Many
are scientifically interested in them, though even these in the
nomenclature rather than the flowers. And a few enjoy their gardens; but
I have never heard of a piece of land, which would let well on a
building lease, remaining unlet because it was a flowery piece. I have
never heard of parks being kept for wild hyacinths, though often of
their being kept for wild beasts. And the blossoming time of the year
being principally spring, I perceive it to be the mind of most people,
during that period, to stay in towns.

§ 3. A year or two ago, a keen-sighted and eccentrically-minded friend
of mine, having taken it into his head to violate this national custom,
and go to the Tyrol in spring, was passing through a valley near
Landech, with several similarly headstrong companions. A strange
mountain appeared in the distance, belted about its breast with a zone
of blue, like our English Queen. Was it a blue cloud? A blue horizontal
bar of the air that Titian breathed in youth, seen now far away, which
mortal might never breathe again? Was it a mirage--a meteor? Would it
stay to be approached? (ten miles of winding road yet between them and
the foot of its mountain.) Such questioning had they concerning it. My
keen-sighted friend alone maintained it to be substantial: whatever it
might be, it was not air, and would not vanish. The ten miles of road
were overpassed, the carriage left, the mountain climbed. It stayed
patiently, expanding still into richer breadth and heavenlier glow--a
belt of gentians. Such things may verily be seen among the Alps in
spring, and in spring only. Which being so, I observe most people prefer
going in autumn.

§ 4. Nevertheless, without any special affection for them, most of us,
at least, languidly consent to the beauty of flowers, and occasionally
gather them, and prefer them from among other forms of vegetation. This,
strange to say, is precisely what great painters do _not_.

Every other kind of object they paint, in its due place and office, with
respect;--but, except compulsorily and imperfectly, never flowers. A
curious fact, this! Here are men whose lives are spent in the study of
color, and the one thing they will not paint is a flower! Anything but
that. A furred mantle, a jewelled zone, a silken gown, a brazen corslet,
nay, an old leathern chair, or a wall-paper if you will, with utmost
care and delight;--but a flower by no manner of means, if avoidable.
When the thing has perforce to be done, the great painters of course do
it rightly. Titian, in his early work, sometimes carries a blossom or
two out with affection, as the columbines in our Bacchus and Ariadne.
So also Holbein. But in his later and mightier work, Titian will only
paint a fan or a wristband intensely, never a flower. In his portrait of
Lavinia, at Berlin, the roses are just touched finely enough to fill
their place, with no affection whatever, and with the most subdued red
possible; while in the later portrait of her, at Dresden, there are no
roses at all, but a belt of chased golden balls, on every stud of which
Titian has concentrated his strength, and I verily believe forgot the
face a little, so much has his mind been set on them.

§ 5. In Paul Veronese's Europa, at Dresden, the entire foreground is
covered with flowers, but they are executed with sharp and crude touches
like those of a decorative painter. In Correggio's paintings, at
Dresden, and in the Antiope of the Louvre, there are lovely pieces of
foliage, but no flowers. A large garland of oranges and lemons, with
their leaves, above the St. George, at Dresden, is connected
traditionally with the garlanded backgrounds of Ghirlandajo and
Mantegna, but the studious absence of flowers renders it almost
disagreeably ponderous. I do not remember any painted by Velasquez, or
by Tintoret, except compulsory Annunciation lilies. The flowers of
Rubens are gross and rude; those of Vandyck vague, slight, and subdued
in color, so as not to contend with the flesh. In his portraits of King
Charles's children, at Turin, an enchanting picture, there is a
rose-thicket, in which the roses seem to be enchanted the wrong way, for
their leaves are all gray, and the flowers dull brick-red. Yet it is

§ 6. One reason for this is that all great men like their inferior forms
to follow and obey contours of large surfaces, or group themselves in
connected masses. Patterns do the first, leaves the last; but flowers
stand separately.

Another reason is that the beauty of flower-petals and texture can only
be seen by looking at it close; but flat patterns can be seen far off,
as well as gleaming of metal-work. All the great men calculate their
work for effect at some distance, and with that object, know it to be
lost time to complete the drawing of flowers. Farther, the forms of
flowers being determined, require a painful attention, and restrain the
fancy; whereas, in painting fur, jewels, or bronze, the color and touch
may be varied almost at pleasure, and without effort.

Again, much of what is best in flowers is inimitable in painting; and a
thoroughly good workman feels the feebleness of his means when he
matches them fairly with Nature, and gives up the attempt
frankly--painting the rose dull red, rather than trying to rival its
flush in sunshine.

And, lastly, in nearly all good landscape-painting, the breadth of
foreground included implies such a distance of the spectator from the
nearest object as must entirely prevent his seeing flower detail.

§ 7. There is, however, a deeper reason than all these; namely, that
flowers have no sublimity. We shall have to examine the nature of
sublimity in our following and last section, among other ideas of
relation. Here I only note the fact briefly, that impressions of awe and
sorrow being at the root of the sensation of sublimity, and the beauty
of separate flowers not being of the kind which connects itself with
such sensation, there is a wide distinction, in general, between
flower-loving minds and minds of the highest order. Flowers seem
intended for the solace of ordinary humanity: children love them; quiet,
tender, contented ordinary people love them as they grow; luxurious and
disorderly people rejoice in them gathered: They are the cottager's
treasure; and in the crowded town, mark, as with a little broken
fragment of rainbow, the windows of the workers in whose heart rests the
covenant of peace. Passionate or religious minds contemplate them with
fond, feverish intensity; the affection is seen severely calm in the
works of many old religious painters, and mixed with more open and true
country sentiment in those of our own pre-Raphaelites. To the child and
the girl, the peasant and the manufacturing operative, to the grisette
and the nun, the lover and monk, they are precious always. But to the
men of supreme power and thoughtfulness, precious only at times;
symbolically and pathetically often to the poets, but rarely for their
own sake. They fall forgotten from the great workmen's and soldiers'
hands. Such men will take, in thankfulness, crowns of leaves, or crowns
of thorns--not crowns of flowers.

§ 8. Some beautiful things have been done lately, and more beautiful are
likely to be done, by our younger painters, in representing blossoms of
the orchard and the field in mass and extent. I have had something to do
with the encouragement of this impulse; and truly, if pictures are to
be essentially imitative rather than inventive, it is better to spend
care in painting hyacinths than dead leaves, and roses rather than
stubble. Such work, however, as I stated in my first essay on this
subject, in the year 1851,[1] can only connect itself with the great
schools by becoming inventive instead of copyist; and for the most part,
I believe these young painters would do well to remember that the best
beauty of flowers being wholly inimitable, and their sweetest service
unrenderable by art, the picture involves some approach to an
unsatisfying mockery, in the cold imagery of what Nature has given to be
breathed with the profuse winds of spring, and touched by the happy
footsteps of youth.

§ 9. Among the greater masters, as I have said, there is little
laborious or affectionate flower-painting. The utmost that Turner ever
allows in his foregrounds is a water-lily or two, a cluster of heath or
foxglove, a thistle sometimes, a violet or daisy, or a bindweed-bell;
just enough to lead the eye into the understanding of the rich mystery
of his more distant leafage. Rich mystery, indeed, respecting which
these following facts about the foliage of tented plants must be noted

§ 10. Two characters seem especially aimed at by Nature in the
earth-plants: first, that they should be characteristic and interesting;
secondly, that they should not be very visibly injured by crushing.

I say, first, characteristic. The leaves of large trees take
approximately simple forms, slightly monotonous. They are intended to be
seen in mass. But the leaves of the herbage at our feet take all kinds
of strange shapes, as if to invite us to examine them. Star-shaped,
heart-shaped, spear-shaped, arrow-shaped, fretted, fringed, cleft,
furrowed, serrated, sinuated; in whorls, in tufts, in spires, in wreaths
endlessly expressive, deceptive, fantastic, never the same from
footstalk to blossom; they seem perpetually to tempt our watchfulness,
and take delight in outstripping our wonder.

§ 11. Secondly, observe, their forms are such as will not be visibly
injured by crushing. Their complexity is already disordered: jags and
rents are their laws of being; rent by the footstep they betray no
harm. Here, for instance (Fig. 72), is the mere outline of a
buttercup-leaf in full free growth; which, perhaps, may be taken as a
good common type of earth foliage. Fig. 73 is a less advanced one,
placed so as to show its symmetrical bounding form. But both, how
various;--how delicately rent into beauty! As in the aiguilles of the
great Alps, so in this lowest field-herb, where rending is the law of
being, it is the law of loveliness.

[Illustration: FIG. 72.]

§ 12. One class, however, of these torn leaves, peculiar to the tented
plants, has, it seems to me, a strange expressional function. I mean the
group of leaves rent into _alternate_ gaps, typically represented by the
thistle. The alternation of the rent, if not absolutely, is
effectively, peculiar to the earth-plants. Leaves of the builders are
rent symmetrically, so as to form radiating groups, as in the
horse-chestnut, or they are irregularly sinuous, as in the oak; but the
earth-plants continually present forms such as those in the opposite
Plate: a kind of web-footed leaf, so to speak; a continuous tissue,
enlarged alternately on each side of the stalk. Leaves of this form have
necessarily a kind of limping gait, as if they grew not all at once, but
first a little bit on one side, and then a little bit on the other, and
wherever they occur in quantity, give the expression to foreground
vegetation which we feel and call "ragged."

[Illustration: FIG. 73.]

[Illustration: 60. The Rending of Leaves.]

§ 13. It is strange that the mere alternation of the rent should give
this effect; the more so, because alternate leaves, completely separate
from each other, produce one of the most graceful types of building
plants. Yet the fact is indeed so, that the alternate rent in the
earth-leaf is the principal cause of its ragged effect. However deeply
it may be rent symmetrically, as in the alchemilla, or buttercup, just
instanced, and however finely divided, as in the parsleys, the result is
always a delicate richness, unless the jags are alternate, and the
leaf-tissue continuous at the stem; and the moment these conditions
appear, so does the raggedness.

§ 14. It is yet more worthy of note that the proper duty of these
leaves, which catch the eye so clearly and powerfully, would appear to
be to draw the attention of man to spots where his work is needed, for
they nearly all habitually grow on ruins or neglected ground: not noble
ruins, or on _wild_ ground, but on heaps of rubbish, or pieces of land
which have been indolently cultivated or much disturbed. The leaf on the
right of the three in the Plate, which is the most characteristic of the
class, is that of the Sisymbrium Irio, which grows, by choice, always on
ruins left by fire. The plant, which, as far as I have observed, grows
first on earth that has been moved, is the colts-foot: its broad
covering leaf is much jagged, but only irregular, not alternate in the
rent; but the weeds that mark habitual neglect, such as the thistle,
give clear alternation.

§ 15. The aspects of complexity and carelessness of injury are farther
increased in the herb of the field, because it is "herb yielding seed;"
that is to say, a seed different in character from that which trees form
in their fruit.

I am somewhat alarmed in reading over the above sentence, lest a
botanist, or other scientific person, should open the book at it. For of
course the essential character of either fruit or seed being only that
in the smallest compass the vital principle of the plant is rendered
portable, and for some time, preservable, we ought to call every such
vegetable dormitory a "fruit" or a "seed" indifferently. But with
respect to man there is a notable difference between them.

A seed is what we "sow."

A fruit, what we "enjoy."

Fruit is seed prepared especially for the sight and taste of man and
animals; and in this sense we have true fruit and traitorous fruit
(poisonous); but it is perhaps the best available distinction,[2] that
seed being the part necessary for the renewed birth of the plant, a
fruit is such seed enclosed or sustained by some extraneous substance,
which is soft and juicy, and beautifully colored, pleasing and useful to
animals and men.

§ 16. I find it convenient in this volume, and wish I had thought of the
expedient before, whenever I get into a difficulty, to leave the reader
to work it out. He will perhaps, therefore, be so good as to define
fruit for himself. Having defined it, he will find that the sentence
about which I was alarmed above is, in the main, true, and that tented
plants principally are herb yielding seed, while building plants give
fruit. The berried shrubs of rock and wood, however dwarfed in stature,
are true builders. The strawberry-plant is the only important
exception--a tender Bedouin.

§ 17. Of course the principal reason for this is the plain, practical
one, that fruit should not be trampled on, and had better perhaps be put
a little out of easy reach than too near the hand, so that it may not be
gathered wantonly or without some little trouble, and may be waited for
until it is properly ripe: while the plants meant to be trampled on have
small and multitudinous seed, hard and wooden, which may be shaken and
scattered about without harm.

Also, fine fruit is often only to be brought forth with patience; not by
young and hurried trees--but in due time, after much suffering; and the
best fruit is often to be an adornment of old age, so as to supply the
want of other grace. While the plants which will not work, but only
bloom and wander, do not (except the grasses) bring forth fruit of high
service, but only the seed that prolongs their race, the grasses alone
having great honor put on them for their humility, as we saw in our
first account of them.

[Illustration: FIG. 74.]

[Illustration: FIG. 75.]

[Illustration: FIG. 76.]

[Illustration: FIG. 77.]

[Illustration: FIG. 78.   _To face page 97._]

§ 18. This being so, we find another element of very complex effect
added to the others which exist in tented plants, namely, that of
minute, granular, feathery, or downy seed-vessels, mingling quaint brown
punctuation, and dusty tremors of dancing grain, with the bloom of the
nearer fields; and casting a gossamered grayness and softness of plumy
mist along their surfaces far away; mysterious evermore, not only with
dew in the morning or mirage at noon, but with the shaking threads of
fine arborescence, each a little belfry of grain-bells, all a-chime.

§ 19. I feel sorely tempted to draw one of these same spires of the fine
grasses, with its sweet changing proportions of pendent grain, but it
would be a useless piece of finesse, as such form of course never enters
into general foreground effect.[3] I have, however, engraved, at the top
of the group of woodcuts opposite (Fig. 74), a single leaf cluster of
Durer's foreground in the St. Hubert, which is interesting in several
ways; as an example of modern work, no less than old; for it is a
facsimile twice removed; being first drawn from the plate with the pen,
by Mr. Allen, and then facsimiled on wood by Miss Byfield; and if the
reader can compare it with the original, he will find it still come
tolerably close in most parts (though the nearest large leaf has got
spoiled), and of course some of the finest and most precious qualities
of Durer's work are lost. Still, it gives a fair idea of his perfectness
of conception, every leaf being thoroughly set in perspective, and drawn
with unerring decision. On each side of it (Figs. 75, 76) are two pieces
from a fairly good modern etching, which I oppose to the Durer in order
to show the difference between true work and that which pretends to give
detail, but is without feeling or knowledge. There are a great many
leaves in the piece on the left, but they are all set the same way; the
draughtsman has not conceived their real positions, but draws one after
another as he would deliver a tale of bricks. The grasses on the right
look delicate, but are a mere series of inorganic lines. Look how
Durer's grass-blades cross each other. If you take a pen and copy a
little piece of each example, you will soon feel the difference.
Underneath, in the centre (Fig. 77), is a piece of grass out of
Landseer's etching of the "Ladies' Pets," more massive and effective
than the two lateral fragments, but still loose and uncomposed. Then
underneath is a piece of firm and good work again, which will stand with
Durer's; it is the outline only of a group of leaves out of Turner's
foreground in the Richmond from the Moors, of which I give a reduced
etching, Plate 61, for the sake of the foreground principally, and in
Plate 62, the group of leaves in question, in their light and shade,
with the bridge beyond. What I have chiefly to say of them belongs to
our section on composition; but this mere fragment of a Turner
foreground may perhaps lead the reader to take note in his great
pictures of the almost inconceivable labor with which he has sought to
express the redundance and delicacy of ground leafage.

§ 20. By comparing the etching in Plate 61 with the published engraving,
it will be seen how much yet remains to be done before any approximately
just representation of Turner foreground can be put within the reach of
the public. This Plate has been reduced by Mr. Armytage from a
pen-drawing of mine, as large as the original of Turner's (18 inches by
11 inches). It will look a little better under a magnifying glass; but
only a most costly engraving, of the real size, could give any idea of
the richness of mossy and ferny leafage included in the real design. And
if this be so on one of the ordinary England drawings of a barren
Yorkshire moor, it may be imagined what the task would be of engraving
truly such a foreground as that of the "Bay of Baiæ" or "Daphne and
Leucippus," in which Turner's aim has been luxuriance.

[Illustration: 61. Richmond from the Moors.]

[Illustration: 62. By the Brookside.]

§ 21. His mind recurred, in all these classical foregrounds, to strong
impressions made upon him during his studies at Rome, by the masses of
vegetation which enrich its heaps of ruin with their embroidery and
bloom. I have always partly regretted these Roman studies, thinking that
they led him into too great fondness of pandering luxuriance in
vegetation, associated with decay; and prevented his giving
affection enough to the more solemn and more sacred infinity with which,
among the mightier ruins of the Alpine Rome, glow the pure and
motionless splendors of the gentian and the rose.

§ 22. Leaves motionless. The strong pines wave above them, and the weak
grasses tremble beside them; but the blue stars rest upon the earth with
a peace as of heaven; and far along the ridges of iron rock, moveless as
they, the rubied crests of Alpine rose flush in the low rays of morning.
Nor these yet the stillest leaves. Others there are subdued to a deeper
quietness, the mute slaves of the earth, to whom we owe, perhaps,
thanks, and tenderness, the most profound of all we have to render for
the leaf ministries.

§ 23. It is strange to think of the gradually diminished power and
withdrawn freedom among the orders of leaves--from the sweep of the
chestnut and gadding of the vine, down to the close shrinking trefoil,
and contented daisy, pressed on earth; and, at last, to the leaves that
are not merely close to earth, but themselves a part of it; fastened
down to it by their sides, here and there only a wrinkled edge rising
from the granite crystals. We have found beauty in the tree yielding
fruit, and in the herb yielding seed. How of the herb yielding _no_
seed,[4] the fruitless, flowerless lichen of the rock?

§ 24. Lichen, and mosses (though these last in their luxuriance are deep
and rich as herbage, yet both for the most part humblest of the green
things that live),--how of these? Meek creatures! the first mercy of the
earth, veiling with hushed softness its dintless rocks; creatures full
of pity, covering with strange and tender honor the scarred disgrace of
ruin,--laying quiet finger on the trembling stones, to teach them rest.
No words, that I know of, will say what these mosses are. None are
delicate enough, none perfect enough, none rich enough. How is one to
tell of the rounded bosses of furred and beaming green,--the starred
divisions of rubied bloom, fine-filmed, as if the Rock Spirits could
spin porphyry as we do glass,--the traceries of intricate silver, and
fringes of amber, lustrous, arborescent, burnished through every fibre
into fitful brightness and glossy traverses of silken change, yet all
subdued and pensive, and framed for simplest, sweetest offices of grace.
They will not be gathered, like the flowers, for chaplet or love-token;
but of these the wild bird will make its nest, and the wearied child his

And, as the earth's first mercy, so they are its last gift to us. When
all other service is vain, from plant and tree, the soft mosses and gray
lichen take up their watch by the head-stone. The woods, the blossoms,
the gift-bearing grasses, have done their parts for a time, but these do
service for ever. Trees for the builder's yard, flowers for the bride's
chamber, corn for the granary, moss for the grave.

§ 25. Yet as in one sense the humblest, in another they are the most
honored of the earth-children. Unfading, as motionless, the worm frets
them not, and the autumn wastes not. Strong in lowliness, they neither
blanch in heat nor pine in frost. To them, slow-fingered,
constant-hearted, is entrusted the weaving of the dark, eternal,
tapestries of the hills; to them, slow-pencilled, iris-dyed, the tender
framing of their endless imagery. Sharing the stillness of the
unimpassioned rock, they share also its endurance; and while the winds
of departing spring scatter the white hawthorn blossom like drifted
snow, and summer dims on the parched meadow the drooping of its
cowslip-gold,--far above, among the mountains, the silver lichen-spots
rest, star-like, on the stone; and the gathering orange stain upon the
edge of yonder western peak reflects the sunsets of a thousand years.


  [1] _Pre-Raphaelitism._ The essay contains some important notes on
    Turner's work, which, therefore, I do not repeat in this volume.

  [2] I say the "best available distinction." It is, of course, no real
    distinction. A peapod is a kind of central type of seed and
    seed-vessel, and it is difficult so to define fruit as to keep clear
    of it. Pea-shells are boiled and eaten in some countries rather than
    pease. It does not sound like a scientific distinction to say that
    fruit is a "shell which is good without being boiled." Nay, even if
    we humiliate ourselves into this practical reference to the kitchen,
    we are still far from success. For the pulp of a strawberry is not a
    "shell," the seeds being on the outside of it. The available part of
    a pomegranate or orange, though a seed envelope, is itself shut
    within a less useful rind. While in an almond the shell becomes less
    profitable still, and all goodness retires into the seed itself, as
    in a grain of corn.

  [3] For the same reason, I enter into no considerations respecting
    the geometrical forms of flowers, though they are deeply interesting,
    and perhaps some day I may give a few studies of them separately. The
    reader should note, however, that beauty of form in flowers is
    chiefly dependent on a more accurately finished or more studiously
    varied development of the tre-foil, quatre-foil, and cinq-foil
    structures which we have seen irregularly approached by leaf-buds.
    The most beautiful six-foiled flowers (like the rhododendron-shoot)
    are composed of two triangular groups, one superimposed on the other,
    as in the narcissus; and the most interesting types both of six-foils
    and cinq-foils are unequally leaved, symmetrical on opposite sides,
    as the iris and violet.

  [4] The reader must remember always that my work is concerning the
    _aspects_ of things only. Of course, a lichen has seeds, just as
    other plants have, but not effectually or visibly for man.





§ 1. We have seen that when the earth had to be prepared for the
habitation of man, a veil, as it were, of intermediate being was spread
between him and its darkness, in which were joined, in a subdued
measure, the stability and insensibility of the earth, and the passion
and perishing of mankind.

But the heavens, also, had to be prepared for his habitation.

Between their burning light,--their deep vacuity, and man, as between
the earth's gloom of iron substance, and man, a veil had to be spread of
intermediate being;--which should appease the unendurable glory to the
level of human feebleness, and sign the changeless motion of the heavens
with a semblance of human vicissitude.

Between earth and man arose the leaf. Between the heaven and man came
the cloud. His life being partly as the falling leaf, and partly as the
flying vapor.

§ 2. Has the reader any distinct idea of what clouds are? We had some
talk about them long ago, and perhaps thought their nature, though at
that time not clear to us, would be easily enough understandable when we
put ourselves seriously to make it out. Shall we begin with one or two
easiest questions?

That mist which lies in the morning so softly in the valley, level and
white, through which the tops of the trees rise as if through an
inundation--why is _it_ so heavy? and why does it lie so low, being yet
so thin and frail that it will melt away utterly into splendor of
morning, when the sun has shone on it but a few moments more? Those
colossal pyramids, huge and firm, with outlines as of rocks, and
strength to bear the beating of the high sun full on their fiery
flanks--why are _they_ so light,--their bases high over our heads, high
over the heads of Alps? why will these melt away, not as the sun rises,
but as he descends, and leave the stars of twilight clear, while the
valley vapor gains again upon the earth like a shroud?

Or that ghost of a cloud, which steals by yonder clump of pines; nay,
which does _not_ steal by them, but haunts them, wreathing yet round
them, and yet--and yet, slowly: now falling in a fair waved line like a
woman's veil; now fading, now gone: we look away for an instant, and
look back, and it is again there. What has it to do with that clump of
pines, that it broods by them and weaves itself among their branches, to
and fro? Has it hidden a cloudy treasure among the moss at their roots,
which it watches thus? Or has some strong enchanter charmed it into fond
returning, or bound it fast within those bars of bough? And yonder filmy
crescent, bent like an archer's bow above the snowy summit, the highest
of all the hill,--that white arch which never forms but over the supreme
crest,--how is it stayed there, repelled apparently from the
snow--nowhere touching it, the clear sky seen between it and the
mountain edge, yet never leaving it--poised as a white bird hovers over
its nest?

Or those war-clouds that gather on the horizon, dragon-crested, tongued
with fire;--how is their barbed strength bridled? what bits are these
they are champing with their vaporous lips; flinging off flakes of black
foam? Leagued leviathans of the Sea of Heaven, out of their nostrils
goeth smoke, and their eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. The
sword of him that layeth at them cannot hold the spear, the dart, nor
the habergeon. Where ride the captains of their armies? Where are set
the measures of their march? Fierce murmurers, answering each other from
morning until evening--what rebuke is this which has awed them into
peace? what hand has reined them back by the way by which they came?

§ 3. I know not if the reader will think at first that questions like
these are easily answered. So far from it, I rather believe that some
of the mysteries of the clouds never will be understood by us at all.
"Knowest thou the balancings of the clouds?" Is the answer ever to be
one of pride? "The wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge?"
Is _our_ knowledge ever to be so?

It is one of the most discouraging consequences of the varied character
of this work of mine, that I am wholly unable to take note of the
advance of modern science. What has conclusively been discovered or
observed about clouds, I know not; but by the chance inquiry possible to
me I find no book which fairly states the difficulties of accounting for
even the ordinary aspects of the sky. I shall, therefore, be able in
this section to do little more than suggest inquiries to the reader,
putting the subject in a clear form for him. All men accustomed to
investigation will confirm me in saying that it is a great step when we
are personally quite certain what we do _not_ know.

§ 4. First, then, I believe we do not know what makes clouds float.
Clouds are water, in some fine form or another; but water is heavier
than air, and the finest form you can give a heavy thing will not make
it float in a light thing. _On_ it, yes; as a boat: but _in_ it, no.
Clouds are not boats, nor boat-shaped, and they float in the air, not on
the top of it. "Nay, but though unlike boats, may they not be like
feathers? If out of quill substance there may be constructed eider-down,
and out of vegetable tissue, thistle-down, both buoyant enough for a
time, surely of water-tissue may be constructed also water-down, which
will be buoyant enough for all cloudy purposes." Not so. Throw out your
eider plumage in a calm day, and it will all come settling to the
ground: slowly indeed, to aspect; but practically so fast that all our
finest clouds would be here in a heap about our ears in an hour or two,
if they were only made of water-feathers. "But may they not be
quill-feathers, and have air inside them? May not all their particles be
minute little balloons?"

A balloon only floats when the air inside it is either specifically, or
by heating, lighter than the air it floats in. If the cloud-feathers had
warm air inside their quills, a cloud would be warmer than the air about
it, which it is not (I believe). And if the cloud-feathers had hydrogen
inside their quills, a cloud would be unwholesome for breathing, which
it is not--at least so it seems to me.

"But may they not have nothing inside their quills?" Then they would
rise, as bubbles do through water, just as certainly as, if they were
solid feathers, they would fall. All our clouds would go up to the top
of the air, and swim in eddies of cloud-foam.

"But is not that just what they do?" No. They float at different
heights, and with definite forms, in the body of the air itself. If they
rose like foam, the sky on a cloudy day would look like a very large
flat glass of champagne seen from below, with a stream of bubbles (or
clouds) going up as fast as they could to a flat foam-ceiling.

"But may they not be just so nicely mixed out of something and nothing,
as to float where they are wanted?"

Yes: that is just what they not only may, but must be: only this way of
mixing something and nothing is the very thing I want to explain or have
explained, and cannot do it, nor get it done.

§ 5. Except thus far. It is conceivable that minute hollow spherical
globules might be formed of water, in which the enclosed vacuity just
balanced the weight of the enclosing water, and that the arched sphere
formed by the watery film was strong enough to prevent the pressure of
the atmosphere from breaking it in. Such a globule would float like a
balloon at the height in the atmosphere where the equipoise between the
vacuum it enclosed, and its own excess of weight above that of the air,
was exact. It would, probably, approach its companion globules by
reciprocal attraction, and form aggregations which might be visible.

This is, I believe, the view usually taken by meteorologists. I state it
as a possibility, to be taken into account in examining the question--a
possibility confirmed by the scriptural words which I have taken for the
title of this chapter.

§ 6. Nevertheless, I state it as a possibility only, not seeing how any
known operation of physical law could explain the formation of such
molecules. This, however, is not the only difficulty. Whatever shape the
water is thrown into, it seems at first improbable that it should lose
its property of wetness. Minute division of rain, as in "Scotch mist,"
makes it capable of floating farther,[1] or floating up and down a
little, just as dust will float, though pebbles will not; or gold-leaf,
though a sovereign will not; but minutely divided rain wets as much as
any other kind, whereas a cloud, partially always, sometimes entirely,
loses its power of moistening. Some low clouds look, when you are in
them, as if they were made of specks of dust, like short hairs; and
these clouds are entirely dry. And also many clouds will wet some
substances, but not others. So that we must grant farther, if we are to
be happy in our theory, that the spherical molecules are held together
by an attraction which prevents their adhering to any foreign body, or
perhaps ceases only under some peculiar electric conditions.

§ 7. The question remains, even supposing their production accounted
for,--What intermediate states of water may exist between these
spherical hollow molecules and pure vapor?

Has the reader ever considered the relations of commonest forms of
volatile substance? The invisible particles which cause the scent of a
rose-leaf, how minute, how multitudinous, passing richly away into the
air continually! The visible cloud of frankincense--why visible? Is it
in consequence of the greater quantity, or larger size of the particles,
and how does the heat act in throwing them off in this quantity, or of
this size?

Ask the same questions respecting water. It dries, that is, becomes
volatile, invisibly, at (any?) temperature. Snow dries, as water does.
Under increase of heat, it volatilizes faster, so as to become dimly
visible in large mass, as a heat-haze. It reaches boiling point, then
becomes entirely visible. But compress it, so that no air shall get
between the watery particles--it is invisible again. At the first
issuing from the steam-pipe the steam is transparent; but opaque, or
visible, as it diffuses itself. The water is indeed closer, because
cooler, in that diffusion; but more air is between its particles. Then
this very question of visibility is an endless one, wavering between
form of substance and action of light. The clearest (or least visible)
stream becomes brightly opaque by more minute division in its foam, and
the clearest dew in hoar-frost. Dust, unperceived in shade, becomes
constantly visible in sunbeam; and watery vapor in the atmosphere, which
is itself opaque, when there is promise of fine weather, becomes
exquisitely transparent; and (questionably) blue, when it is going to

§ 8. Questionably blue: for besides knowing very little about water, we
know what, except by courtesy, must, I think, be called Nothing--about
air. Is it the watery vapor, or the air itself, which is blue? Are
neither blue, but only white, producing blue when seen over dark spaces?
If either blue, or white, why, when crimson is their commanded dress,
are the most distant clouds crimsonest? Clouds close to us may be blue,
but far off, golden,--a strange result, if the air is blue. And again,
if blue, why are rays that come through large spaces of it red; and that
Alp, or anything else that catches far-away light, why colored red at
dawn and sunset? No one knows, I believe. It is true that many
substances, as opal, are blue, or green, by reflected light, yellow by
transmitted; but air, if blue at all, is blue always by transmitted
light. I hear of a wonderful solution of nettles, or other unlovely
herb, which is green when shallow,--red when deep. Perhaps some day, as
the motion of the heavenly bodies by help of an apple, their light by
help of a nettle, may be explained to mankind.

§ 9. But farther: these questions of volatility, and visibility, and
hue, are all complicated with those of shape. How is a cloud outlined?
Granted whatever you choose to ask, concerning its material, or its
aspect, its loftiness and luminousness,--how of its limitation? What
hews it into a heap, or spins it into a web? Cold is usually shapeless,
I suppose, extending over large spaces equally, or with gradual
diminution. You cannot have, in the open air, angles, and wedges, and
coils, and cliffs of cold. Yet the vapor stops suddenly, sharp and steep
as a rock, or thrusts itself across the gates of heaven in likeness of a
brazen bar; or braids itself in and out, and across and across, like a
tissue of tapestry; or falls into ripples, like sand; or into waving
shreds and tongues, as fire. On what anvils and wheels is the vapor
pointed, twisted, hammered, whirled, as the potter's clay? By what hands
is the incense of the sea built up into domes of marble?

And, lastly, all these questions respecting substance, and aspect, and
shape, and line, and division, are involved with others as inscrutable,
concerning action. The curves in which clouds move are unknown;--nay,
the very method of their motion, or apparent motion, how far it is by
change of place, how far by appearance in one place and vanishing from
another. And these questions about movement lead partly far away into
high mathematics, where I cannot follow them, and partly into theories
concerning electricity and infinite space, where I suppose at present no
one can follow them.

What, then, is the use of asking the questions?

For my own part, I enjoy the mystery, and perhaps the reader may. I
think he ought. He should not be less grateful for summer rain, or see
less beauty in the clouds of morning, because they come to prove him
with hard questions; to which, perhaps, if we look close at the heavenly
scroll,[2] we may find also a syllable or two of answer illuminated here
and there.


  [1] The buoyancy of solid bodies of a given specific gravity, in a
    given fluid, depends, first on their size, then on their forms.

    First, on their size; that is to say, on the proportion of the
    magnitude of the object (irrespective of the distribution of its
    particles) to the magnitude of the particles of the air.

    Thus, a grain of sand is buoyant in wind, but a large stone is not;
    and pebbles and sand are buoyant in water in proportion to their
    smallness, fine dust taking long to sink, while a large stone sinks
    at once. Thus, we see that water may be arranged in drops of any
    magnitude, from the largest rain-drop, about the size of a large pea,
    to an atom so small as not to be separately visible, the smallest
    rain passing gradually into mist. Of these drops of different sizes
    (supposing the strength of the wind the same), the largest fall
    fastest, the smaller drops are more buoyant, and the small misty rain
    floats about like a cloud, as often up as down, so that an umbrella
    is useless in it; though in a heavy thunder-storm, if there is no
    wind, one may stand gathered up under an umbrella without a drop
    touching the feet.

    Secondly, buoyancy depends on the amount of surface which a given
    weight of the substance exposes to the resistance of the substance it
    floats in. Thus, gold-leaf is in a high degree buoyant, while the
    same quantity of gold in a compact grain would fall like a shot; and
    a feather is buoyant, though the same quantity of animal matter in a
    compact form would be as heavy as a little stone. A slate blows far
    from a house-top, while a brick falls vertically, or nearly so.

  [2] There is a beautiful passage in _Sartor Resartus_ concerning this
    old Hebrew scroll, in its deeper meanings, and the child's watching
    it, though long illegible for him, yet "with an eye to the gilding."
    It signifies in a word or two nearly all that is to be said about



§ 1. From the tenor of the foregoing chapter, the reader will, I hope,
be prepared to find me, though dogmatic (it is said) upon some
occasions, anything rather than dogmatic respecting clouds. I will
assume nothing concerning them, beyond the simple fact, that as a
floating sediment forms in a saturated liquid, vapor forms in the body
of the air; and all that I want the reader to be clear about in the
outset is that this vapor floats in and with the wind (as, if you throw
any thick coloring matter into a river, it floats with the stream), and
that it is not blown before a denser volume of the wind, as a fleece of
wool would be.

§ 2. At whatever height they form, clouds may be broadly considered as
of two species only, massive and striated. I cannot find a better word
than massive, though it is not a good one, for I mean it only to signify
a fleecy arrangement in which no _lines_ are visible. The fleece may be
so bright as to look like flying thistle-down, or so diffused as to show
no visible outline at all. Still if it is all of one common texture,
like a handful of wool, or a wreath of smoke, I call it massive.

On the other hand, if divided by parallel lines, so as to look more or
less like spun-glass, I call it striated. In Plate 69, Fig. 4, the top
of the Aiguille Dru (Chamouni) is seen emergent above low striated
clouds, with heaped massive cloud beyond. I do not know in the least
what causes this striation, except that it depends on the nature of the
cloud, not on the wind. The strongest wind will not throw a cloud,
massive by nature, into the linear form. It will toss it about, and tear
it to pieces, but not spin it into threads. On the other hand, often
without any wind at all, the cloud will spin itself into threads fine as
gossamer. These threads are often said to be a prognostic of storm; but
they are not produced by storm.

[Illustration: J. Ruskin   J.C. Armytage

63. The Cloud-Flocks.]

§ 3. In the first volume, we considered all clouds as belonging to three
regions, that of the cirrous, the central cloud, and the rain-cloud. It
is of course an arrangement more of convenience than of true
description, for cirrous clouds sometimes form low as well as high; and
rain sometimes falls high as well as low. I will, nevertheless, retain
this old arrangement, which is practically as serviceable as any.

Allowing, also, for various exceptions and modifications, these three
bodies of cloud may be generally distinguished in our minds thus. The
clouds of upper region are for the most part quiet, or seem to be so,
owing to their distance. They are formed now of striated, now of massive
substance; but always finely divided into large ragged flakes or
ponderous heaps. These heaps (cumuli) and flakes, or drifts, present
different phenomena, but must be joined in our minds under the head of
central cloud. The lower clouds, bearing rain abundantly, are composed
partly of striated, partly of massive substance; but may generally be
comprehended under the term rain-cloud.

Our business in this chapter, then, is with the upper clouds, which,
owing to their quietness and multitude, we may perhaps conveniently
think of as the "cloud-flocks." And we have to discover if any laws of
beauty attach to them, such as we have seen in mountains or

§ 4. On one of the few mornings of this winter, when the sky was clear,
and one of the far fewer, on which its clearness was visible from the
neighborhood of London,--which now entirely loses at least two out of
three sunrises, owing to the environing smoke,--the dawn broke beneath a
broad field of level purple cloud, under which floated ranks of divided
cirri, composed of finely striated vapor.

It was not a sky containing any extraordinary number of these minor
clouds; but each was more than usually distinct in separation from its
neighbor, and as they showed in nearly pure pale scarlet on the dark
purple ground, they were easily to be counted.

§ 5. There were five or six ranks, from the zenith to the horizon; that
is to say, three distinct ones, and then two or three more running
together, and losing themselves in distance, in the manner roughly shown
in Fig. 79. The nearest rank was composed of more than 150 rows of
cloud, set obliquely, as in the figure. I counted 150 which was near
the mark, and then stopped, lest the light should fail, to count the
separate clouds in some of the rows. The average number was 60 in each
row, rather more than less.

[Illustration: FIG. 79.]

There were therefore 150×60, that is, 9,000, separate clouds in this one
rank, or about 50,000 in the field of sight. Flocks of Admetus under
Apollo's keeping. Who else could shepherd such? He by day, dog Sirius by
night; or huntress Diana herself--her bright arrows driving away the
clouds of prey that would ravage her fair flocks. We must leave fancies,
however; these wonderful clouds need close looking at. I will try to
draw one or two of them before they fade.

§ 6. On doing which we find, after all, they are not much more like
sheep than Canis Major is like a dog. They resemble more some of our old
friends, the pine branches, covered with snow. The three forming the
uppermost figure, in the Plate opposite, are as like three of the fifty
thousand as I could get them, complex enough in structure, even this
single group. Busy workers they must be, that twine the braiding of them
all to the horizon, and down beyond it.

And who are these workers? You have two questions here, both difficult.
What separates these thousands of clouds each from the other, and each
about equally from the other? How can they be drawn asunder, yet not
allowed to part? Looped lace as it were, richest point--invisible
threads fastening embroidered cloud to cloud--the "plighted clouds" of
Milton,--creatures of the element--

  "That in the colors of the rainbow live
   And play in the plighted clouds."

Compare Geraldine dressing:--

  "Puts on her silken vestments white,
   And tricks her hair in lovely plight."

And Britomart's--

                      "Her well-plighted frock
  She low let fall, that flowed from her lanck side
  Down to her foot, with careless modesty."

And, secondly, what bends each of them into these flame-like curves,
tender and various, as motions of a bird, hither and thither? Perhaps
you may hardly see the curves well in the softly finished forms; here
they are plainer in rude outline, Fig. 80.[1]

[Illustration: FIG. 80.]

§ 7. What is it that throws them into these lines?

Eddies of wind?

Nay, an eddy of wind will not stay quiet for three minutes, as that
cloud did to be drawn; as all the others did, each in his place. You
see there is perfect harmony among the curves. They all flow into each
other as the currents of a stream do. If you throw dust that will float
on the surface of a slow river, it will arrange itself in lines somewhat
like these. To a certain extent, indeed, it is true that there are
gentle currents of change in the atmosphere, which move slowly enough to
permit in the clouds that follow them some appearance of stability. But
how to obtain change so complex in an infinite number of consecutive
spaces;--fifty thousand separate groups of current in half of a morning
sky, with quiet invisible vapor between, or none--and yet all obedient
to one ruling law, gone forth through their companies;--each marshalled
to their white standards, in great unity of warlike march, unarrested,
unconfused? "One shall not thrust another, they shall walk every one in
his own path."

[Illustration: FIG. 81.]

§ 8. These questions occur, at first sight, respecting every group of
cirrus cloud. Whatever the form may be, whether branched, as in this
instance, or merely rippled, or thrown into shield-like segments, as in
Fig. 81--a frequent arrangement--there is still the same difficulty in
accounting satisfactorily for the individual forces which regulate the
similar shape of each mass, while all are moved by a general force that
has apparently no influence on the divided structure. Thus the mass of
clouds disposed as in Fig. 81, will probably move, mutually, in the
direction of the arrow; that is to say, sideways, as far as their
separate curvature is concerned. I suppose it probable that as the
science of electricity is more perfectly systematized, the explanation
of many circumstances of cloud-form will be rendered by it. At present I
see no use in troubling the reader or myself with conjectures which a
year's progress in science might either effectively contradict or
supersede. All that I want is, that we should have our questions ready
to put clearly to the electricians when the electricians are ready to
answer us.

§ 9. It is possible that some of the loveliest conditions of these
parallel clouds may be owing to a structure which I forgot to explain,
when it occurred in rocks, in the course of the last volume.

[Illustration: FIG. 82.]

When they are finely stratified, and their surfaces abraded by broad,
shallow furrows, the edges of the beds, of course, are thrown into
undulations, and at some distance, where the furrows disappear, the
surface looks as if the rock had flowed over it in successive waves.
Such a condition is seen on the left at the top in Fig. 17, in Vol. IV.
Supposing a series of beds of vapor cut across by a straight sloping
current of air, and so placed as to catch the light on their edges, we
should have a series of curved lights, looking like independent clouds.

§ 10. I believe conditions of form like those in Fig. 82 (turn the book
with its outer edge down) may not unfrequently be thus, owing to
stratification, when they occur in the nearer sky. This line of cloud is
far off at the horizon, drifting towards the left (the points of course
forward), and is, I suppose, a series of nearly circular eddies seen in

Which question of perspective we must examine a little before going a
step farther. In order to simplify it, let us assume that the under
surfaces of clouds are flat, and lie in a horizontal extended field.
This is in great measure the fact, and notable perspective phenomena
depend on the approximation of clouds to such a condition.

[Illustration: 64. Cloud Perspective. (Rectilinear.)]

[Illustration: 65. Cloud Perspective. (Curvilinear.)]

§ 11. Referring the reader to my Elements of Perspective for statements
of law which would be in this place tiresome, I can only ask him to take
my word for it that the three figures in Plate 64 represent limiting
lines of sky perspective, as they would appear over a large space of the
sky. Supposing that the breadth included was one-fourth of the horizon,
the shaded portions in the central figure represent square fields
of cloud,[2] and those in the uppermost figure narrow triangles, with
their shortest side next us, but sloping a little away from us.

In each figure, the shaded portions show the perspective limits of
cloud-masses, which, in reality, are arranged in perfectly straight
lines, are all similar, and are equidistant from each other. Their exact
relative positions are marked by the lines connecting them, and may be
determined by the reader if he knows perspective. If he does not, he may
be surprised at first to be told that the stubborn and blunt little
triangle, _b_, Fig. 1, Plate 64, represents a cloud precisely similar,
and similarly situated, to that represented by the thin triangle, _a_;
and, in like manner, the stout diamond, _a_, Fig. 2, represents
precisely the same form and size of cloud as the thin strip at _b_. He
may perhaps think it still more curious that the retiring perspective
which causes stoutness in the triangle, causes leanness in the

§ 12. Still greater confusion in aspect is induced by the apparent
change caused by perspective in the direction of the wind. If Fig. 3 be
supposed to include a quarter of the horizon, the spaces, into which its
straight lines divide it, represent squares of sky. The curved lines,
which cross these spaces from corner to corner, are precisely parallel
throughout; and, therefore, two clouds moving, one on the curved line
from _a_ to _b_, and the other on the other side, from _c_ to _d_,
would, in reality, be moving with the same wind, in parallel lines. In
Plate 66, which is a sketch of an actual sunset behind Beauvais
cathedral (the point of the roof of the apse, a little to the left of
the centre, shows it to be a summer sunset), the white cirri in the high
light are all moving eastward, away from the sun, in perfectly parallel
lines, curving a little round to the south. Underneath, are two straight
ranks of rainy cirri, crossing each other; one directed south-east; the
other, north-west. The meeting perspective of these, in extreme
distance, determines the shape of the angular light which opens above
the cathedral. Underneath all, fragments of true rain-cloud are floating
between us and the sun, governed by curves of their own. They are,
nevertheless, connected with the straight cirri, by the dark
semi-cumulus in the middle of the shade above the cathedral.

[Illustration: FIG. 83.]

§ 13. Sky perspective, however, remains perfectly simple, so long as it
can be reduced to any rectilinear arrangement; but when nearly the whole
system is curved, which nine times out of ten is the case, it becomes
embarrassing. The central figure in Plate 65 represents the simplest
possible combination of perspective of straight lines with that of
curves, a group of concentric circles of small clouds being supposed to
cast shadows from the sun near the horizon. Such shadows are often cast
in misty air; the aspect of rays about the sun being, in fact, only
caused by spaces between them. They are carried out formally and far in
the Plate, to show how curiously they may modify the arrangement of
light in a sky. The woodcut, Fig. 83, gives roughly the arrangement of
the clouds in Turner's Pools of Solomon, in which he has employed a
concentric system of circles of this kind, and thus lighted. In the
perspective figure the clouds are represented as small square masses,
for the sake of greater simplicity, and are so beaded or strung as it
were on the curves in which they move, as to keep their distances
precisely equal, and their sides parallel. This is the usual condition
of cloud: for though arranged in curved ranks, each cloud has its face
to the front, or, at all events, acts in some parallel line--generally
another curve--with those next to it: being rarely, except in the form
of fine radiating striæ, arranged on the curves as at _a_, Fig. 84; but
as at _b_, or _c_. It would make the diagram too complex if I gave one
of intersecting curves; but the lowest figure in Plate 65 represents, in
perspective, two groups of ellipses arranged in equidistant straight and
parallel lines, and following each other on two circular curves. Their
exact relative position is shown in Fig. 2, Plate 56. While the
uppermost figure in Plate 65 represents, in parallel perspective, a
series of ellipses arranged in radiation on a circle, their exact
relative size and position are shown in Fig. 3, Plate 56, and the lines
of such a sky as would be produced by them, roughly, in Fig. 90, facing
page 128.[4]

[Illustration: FIG. 84.]

§ 14. And in these figures, which, if we look up the subject rightly,
would be but the first and simplest of the series necessary to
illustrate the action of the upper cirri, the reader may see, at once,
how necessarily painters, untrained in observance of proportion, and
ignorant of perspective, must lose in every touch the expression of
buoyancy and space in sky. The absolute forms of each cloud are, indeed,
not alike, as the ellipses in the engraving; but assuredly, when moving
in groups of this kind, there are among them the same proportioned
inequalities of relative distance, the same gradated changes from
ponderous to elongated form, the same exquisite suggestions of
including curve; and a common painter, dotting his clouds down at
random, or in more or less equal masses, can no more paint a sky, than
he could, by random dashes for its ruined arches, paint the Coliseum.

§ 15. Whatever approximation to the character of upper clouds may have
been reached by some of our modern students, it will be found, on
careful analysis, that Turner stands more absolutely alone in this gift
of cloud-drawing, than in any other of his great powers. Observe, I say,
cloud-_drawing_; other great men colored clouds beautifully; none but he
ever drew them truly: this power coming from his constant habit of
drawing skies, like everything else, with the pencil point. It is quite
impossible to engrave any of his large finished skies on a small scale;
but the woodcut, Fig. 85, will give some idea of the forms of cloud
involved in one of his small drawings. It is only half of the sky in
question, that of Rouen from St. Catherine's Hill, in the Rivers of
France. Its clouds are arranged on two systems of intersecting circles,
crossed beneath by long bars very slightly bent. The form of every
separate cloud is completely studied; the manner of drawing them will be
understood better by help of the Plate opposite, which is a piece of the
sky above the "Campo Santo,"[5] at Venice, exhibited in 1842. It is
exquisite in rounding of the separate fragments and buoyancy of the
rising central group, as well as in its expression of the wayward
influence of curved lines of breeze on a generally rectilinear system of

[Illustration: FIG. 85. _To face page 118._]

[Illustration: 67. Clouds.]

§ 16. To follow the subject farther would, however, lead us into
doctrine of circular storms, and all kinds of pleasant, but infinite,
difficulty, from which temptation I keep clear, believing that enough is
now stated to enable the reader to understand what he is to look for in
Turner's skies; and what kind of power, thought, and science are
involved continually in the little white or purple dashes of
cloud-spray, which, in such pictures as the San Benedetto, looking to
Fusina, the Napoleon, or the Temeraire, guide the eye to the horizon
more by their true perspective than by their aërial tone, and are
buoyant, not so much by expression of lightness as of motion.[6]

§ 17. I say the "white or purple" cloud-spray. One word yet may be
permitted me respecting the mystery of that color. What should we have
thought--if we had lived in a country where there were no clouds, but
only low mist or fog--of any stranger who had told us that, in his
country, these mists rose into the air, and became purple, crimson,
scarlet, and gold? I am aware of no sufficient explanation of these hues
of the upper clouds, nor of their strange mingling of opacity with a
power of absorbing light. All clouds are so opaque that, however
delicate they may be, you never see one through another. Six feet depth
of them, at a little distance, will wholly veil the darkest mountain
edge; so that, whether for light or shade, they tell upon the sky as
body color on canvas; they have always a perfect surface and
bloom;--delicate as a rose-leaf, when required of them, but never poor
or meagre in hue, like old-fashioned water-colors. And, if needed, in
mass, they will bear themselves for solid force of hue against any rock.
Facing p. 339, I have engraved a memorandum made of a clear sunset after
rain, from the top of Milan cathedral. The greater part of the outline
is granite--Monte Rosa--the rest cloud; but it and the granite were dark
alike. Frequently, in effects of this kind, the cloud is darker of the
two.[7] And this opacity is, nevertheless, obtained without destroying
the gift they have of letting broken light through them, so that,
between us and the sun, they may become golden fleeces, and float as
fields of light.

Now their distant colors depend on these two properties together;
partly on the opacity, which enables them to reflect light strongly;
partly on a spongelike power of gathering light into their bodies.

§ 18. Long ago it was noted by Aristotle, and again by Leonardo, that
vaporous bodies looked russet, or even red, when warm light was seen
through them, and blue when deep shade was seen through them. Both
colors may, generally, be seen on any wreath of cottage smoke.

Whereon, easy conclusion has sometimes been founded by modern reasoners.
All red in sky is caused by light seen through vapor, and all blue by
shade seen through vapor.

Easy, indeed, but not sure, even in cloud-color only. It is true that
the smoke of a town may be of a rich brick red against golden twilight;
and of a very lovely, though not bright, blue against shade. But I never
saw crimson or scarlet smoke, nor ultramarine smoke.

Even granting that watery vapor in its purity may give the colors more
clearly, the red colors are by no means always relieved against light.
The finest scarlets are constantly seen in broken flakes on a deep
purple ground of heavier cloud beyond, and some of the loveliest
rose-colors on clouds in the east, opposite the sunset, or in the west
in the morning. Nor are blues always attainable by throwing vapor over
shade. Especially, you cannot get them by putting it over blue itself. A
thin vapor on dark blue sky is of a warm gray, not blue. A
thunder-cloud, deep enough to conceal everything behind it, is often
dark lead-color, or sulphurous blue; but the thin vapors crossing it,
milky-white. The vividest hues are connected also with another attribute
of clouds, their lustre--metallic in effect, watery in reality. They not
only reflect color as dust or wool would, but, when far off, as water
would; sometimes even giving a distinct image of the sun underneath the
orb itself;--in all cases becoming dazzling in lustre, when at a low
angle, capable of strong reflection. Practically, this low angle is only
obtained when the cloud seems near the sun, and hence we get into the
careless habit of looking at the golden reflected light as if it were
actually caused by nearness to the fiery ball.

[Illustration: 66. Light in the West, Beauvais.]

§ 19. Without, however, troubling ourselves at all about laws, or causes
of color, the visible consequences of their operation are notably
these--that when near us, clouds present only subdued and uncertain
colors; but when far from us, and struck by the sun on their under
surfaces--so that the greater part of the light they receive is
reflected--they may become golden, purple, scarlet, and intense fiery
white, mingled in all kinds of gradations, such as I tried to describe
in the chapter on the upper clouds in the first volume, in hope of being
able to return to them "when we knew what was beautiful."

The question before us now is, therefore, What value ought this
attribute of clouds to possess in the human mind? Ought we to admire
their colors, or despise them? Is it well to watch them as Turner does,
and strive to paint them through all deficiency and darkness of
inadequate material? Or, is it wiser and nobler--like Claude, Salvator,
Ruysdael, Wouvermans--never to look for them--never to portray? We must
yet have patience a little before deciding this, because we have to
ascertain some facts respecting the typical meaning of color itself;
which, reserving for another place, let us proceed here to learn the
forms of the inferior clouds.


  [1] Before going farther, I must say a word or two respecting method
    of drawing clouds.

    Absolutely well no cloud _can_ be drawn with the point; nothing but
    the most delicate management of the brush will express its variety of
    edge and texture. By laborious and tender engraving, a close
    approximation may be obtained either to nature or to good painting;
    and the engravings of sky by our modern line engravers are often
    admirable;--in many respects as good as can be, and to my mind the
    best part of their work. There still exist some early proofs of
    Miller's plate of the Grand Canal, Venice, in which the sky is the
    likest thing to Turner's work I have ever seen in large engravings.
    The plate was spoiled after a few impressions were taken off by
    desire of the publisher. The sky was so exactly like Turner's that he
    thought it would not please the public, and had all the fine
    cloud-drawing rubbed away to make it soft.

    The Plate opposite page 118, by Mr. Armytage, is also, I think, a
    superb specimen of engraving, though in result not so good as the one
    just spoken of, because this was done from my copy of Turner's sky,
    not from the picture itself.

    But engraving of this finished kind cannot, by reason of its
    costliness, be given for every illustration of cloud form. Nor, if it
    could, can skies be sketched with the completion which would bear it.
    It is sometimes possible to draw one cloud out of fifty thousand with
    something like fidelity before it fades. But if we want the
    arrangement of the fifty thousand, they can only be indicated with
    the rudest lines, and finished from memory. It was, as we shall see
    presently, only by his gigantic powers of memory that Turner was
    enabled to draw skies as he did.

    Now, I look upon my own memory of clouds, or of anything else, as of
    no value whatever. All the drawings on which I have ever rested an
    assertion have been made without stirring from the spot; and in
    sketching clouds from nature, it is very seldom desirable to use the
    brush. For broad effects and notes of color (though these, hastily
    made, are always inaccurate, and letters indicating the color do
    nearly as well) the brush may be sometimes useful, but, in most
    cases, a dark pencil, which will lay shade with its side and draw
    lines with its point, is the best instrument. Turner almost always
    outlined merely with the point, being able to remember the relations
    of shade without the slightest chance of error. The point, at all
    events, is needful, however much stump work may be added to it.

    Now, in translating sketches made with the pencil point into
    engraving, we must either engrave delicately and expensively, or be
    content to substitute for the soft varied pencil lines the finer and
    uncloudlike touches of the pen. It is best to do this boldly, if at
    all, and without the least aim at fineness of effect, to lay down a
    vigorous black line as the limit of the cloud form or action. The
    more subtle a painter's finished work, the more fearless he is in
    using the vigorous black line when he is making memoranda, of
    treating his subject conventionally. At the top of page 224, Vol.
    IV., the reader may see the kind of outline which Titian uses for
    clouds in his pen work. Usually he is even bolder and coarser. And in
    the rude woodcuts I am going to employ here, I believe the reader
    will find ultimately that, with whatever ill success used by me, the
    means of expression are the fullest and most convenient that can be
    adopted, short of finished engraving, while there are some conditions
    of cloud-action which I satisfy myself better in expressing by these
    coarse lines than in any other way.

  [2] If the figures are supposed to include less than one-fourth of
    the horizon, the shaded figures represent diamond-shaped clouds; but
    the reader cannot understand this without studying perspective laws

  [3] In reality, the retiring ranks of cloud, if long enough, would,
    of course, go on converging to the horizon. I do not continue them,
    because the figures would become too compressed.

  [4] I use ellipses in order to make these figures easily
    intelligible; the curves actually _are_ variable curves, of the
    nature of the cycloid, or other curves of continuous motion; probably
    produced by a current moving in some such direction as that indicated
    by the dotted line in Fig. 3, Plate 56.

  [5] Now in the possession of E. Bicknell, Esq., who kindly lent me
    the picture, that I might make this drawing from it carefully.

  [6] I cannot yet engrave these; but the little study of a single rank
    of cirrus, the lowest in Plate 63, may serve to show the value of
    perspective in expressing buoyancy. It is not, however, though
    beautifully engraved by Mr. Armytage, as delicate as it should be, in
    the finer threads which indicate increasing distance at the
    extremity. Compare the rising of the lines of curve at the edges of
    this mass, with the similar action on a larger scale, of Turner's
    cloud, opposite.

  [7] In the autobiography of John Newton there is an interesting
    account of the deception of a whole ship's company by cloud, taking
    the aspect and outline of mountainous land. They ate the last
    provision in the ship, so sure were they of its being land, and were
    nearly starved to death in consequence.



§ 1. Between the flocks of small countless clouds which occupy the
highest heavens, and the gray undivided film of the true rain-cloud,
form the fixed masses or torn fleeces, sometimes collected and calm,
sometimes fiercely drifting, which are, nevertheless, known under one
general name of cumulus, or heaped cloud.

The true cumulus, the most majestic of all clouds, and almost the only
one which attracts the notice of ordinary observers, is for the most
part windless; the movement of its masses being solemn, continuous,
inexplicable, a steady advance or retiring, as if they were animated by
an inner will, or compelled by an unseen power. They appear to be
peculiarly connected with heat, forming perfectly only in the afternoon,
and melting away in the evening. Their noblest conditions are strongly
electric, and connect themselves with storm-cloud and true
thunder-cloud. When there is thunder in the air, they will form in cold
weather, or early in the day.

§ 2. I have never succeeded in drawing a cumulus. Its divisions of
surface are grotesque and endless, as those of a mountain;--perfectly
defined, brilliant beyond all power of color, and transitory as a dream.
Even Turner never attempted to paint them, any more than he did the
snows of the high Alps.

Nor can I explain them any more than I can draw them. The ordinary
account given of their structure is, I believe, that the moisture raised
from the earth by the sun's heat becomes visible by condensation at a
certain height in the colder air, that the level of the condensing point
is that of the cloud's base, and that above it, the heaps are pushed up
higher and higher as more vapor accumulates, till, towards evening, the
supply beneath ceases; and at sunset, the fall of dew enables the
surrounding atmosphere to absorb and melt them away. Very plausible.
But it seems to me herein unexplained how the vapor is held together in
those heaps. If the clear air about and above it has no aqueous vapor in
it, or at least a much less quantity, why does not the clear air keep
pulling the cloud to pieces, eating it away, as steam is consumed in
open air? Or, if any cause prevents such rapid devouring of it, why does
not the aqueous vapor diffuse itself softly in the air like smoke, so
that one would not know where the cloud ended? What should make it bind
itself in those solid mounds, and stay so:--positive, fantastic,
defiant, determined?

§ 3. If ever I am able to understand the process of the cumulus
formation,[1] it will become to me one of the most interesting of all
subjects of study to trace the connection of the threatening and
terrible outlines of thunder-cloud with the increased action of the
electric power. I am for the present utterly unable to speak respecting
this matter, and must pass it by, in all humility, to say what little I
have ascertained respecting the more broken and rapidly moving forms of
the central clouds, which connect themselves with mountains, and may,
therefore, among mountains, be seen close and truly.

§ 4. Yet even of these, I can only reason with great doubt and continual
pause. This last volume ought certainly to be better than the first of
the series, for two reasons. I have learned, during the sixteen years,
to say little where I said much, and to see difficulties where I saw
none. And I am in a great state of marvel in looking back to my first
account of clouds, not only at myself, but even at my dear master, M. de
Saussure. To think that both of us should have looked at drifting
mountain clouds, for years together, and been content with the theory
which you will find set forth in § 4, of the chapter on the central
cloud region (Vol. I.), respecting the action of the snowy summits and
watery vapor passing them. It is quite true that this action takes
place, and that the said fourth paragraph is right, as far as it
reaches. But both Saussure and I ought to have known--we both did know,
but did not think of it--that the covering or cap-cloud forms on hot
summits as well as cold ones;--that the red and bare rocks of Mont
Pilate, hotter, certainly, after a day's sunshine than the cold
storm-wind which sweeps to them from the Alps, nevertheless have been
renowned for their helmet of cloud, ever since the Romans watched the
cloven summit, gray against the south, from the ramparts of Vindonissa,
giving it the name from which the good Catholics of Lucerne have warped
out their favorite piece of terrific sacred biography.[2] And both my
master and I should also have reflected, that if our theory about its
formation had been generally true, the helmet cloud ought to form on
every cold summit, at the approach of rain, in approximating proportions
to the bulk of the glaciers; which is so far from being the case that
not only (A) the cap-cloud may often be seen on lower summits of grass
or rock, while the higher ones are splendidly clear (which may be
accounted for by supposing the wind containing the moisture not to have
risen so high), but (B) the cap-cloud always shows a preference for
hills of a conical form, such as the Mole or Niesen, which can have very
little power in chilling the air, even supposing they were cold
themselves, while it will entirely refuse to form round huge masses of
mountain, which, supposing them of chilly temperament, must have
discomforted the atmosphere in their neighborhood for leagues. And
finally (C) reversing the principle under letter A, the cap-cloud
constantly forms on the summit of Mont Blanc, while it will obstinately
refuse to appear on the Dome du Goûte or Aiguille Sans-nom, where the
snow-fields are of greater extent, and the air must be moister, because

[Illustration: J. Ruskin.   J. C. Armytage.

69. Aiguilles and their Friends.]

[Illustration: FIG. 86.]

§ 5. The fact is, that the explanation given in that fourth paragraph
can, in reality, account only for what may properly be termed "lee-side
cloud," slightly noticed in the continuation of the same chapter, but
deserving most attentive illustration, as one of the most beautiful
phenomena of the Alps. When a moist wind blows in clear weather over a
cold summit, it has not time to get chilled as it approaches the
rock, and therefore the air remains clear, and the sky bright on the
windward side; but under the lee of the peak, there is partly a back
eddy, and partly still air; and in that lull and eddy the wind gets time
to be chilled by the rock, and the cloud appears as a boiling mass of
white vapor, rising continually with the return current to the upper
edge of the mountain, where it is caught by the straight wind, and
partly torn, partly melted away in broken fragments. In Fig. 86 the dark
mass represents the mountain peak, the arrow the main direction of the
wind, the curved lines show the directions of such current and its
concentration, and the dotted lines enclose the space in which cloud
forms densely, floating away beyond and above in irregular tongues and
flakes. The second figure from the top in Plate 69 represents the actual
aspect of it when in full development, with a strong south wind, in a
clear day, on the Aiguille Dru, the sky being perfectly blue and lovely

So far all is satisfactory. But the true helmet cloud will not allow
itself to be thus explained away. The uppermost figure in Plate 69
represents the loveliest form of it, seen in that perfect arch, so far
as I know, only over the highest piece of earth in Europe.

§ 6. Respecting which there are two mysteries:--First, why it should
form only at a certain distance above the snow, showing blue sky between
it and the summit. Secondly, why, so forming, it should always show as
an arch, not as a concave cup. This last question puzzles me especially.
For, if it be a true arch, and not a cup, it ought to show itself in
certain positions of the spectator, or directions of the wind, like the
ring of Saturn, as a mere line, or as a spot of cloud pausing over the
hill-top. But I never saw it so. While, as above noticed, the lowest
form of the helmet cloud is not white as of silver, but like Dolon's
helmet of wolf-skin,--it is a gray, flaky veil, lapping itself over the
shoulders of a more or less conical peak; and of this, also, I have no
word to utter but the old one, "Electricity," and I might as well say

§ 7. Neither the helmet cloud, nor the lee-side cloud, however, though
most interesting and beautiful, are of much importance in picturesque
effect. They are too isolated and strange. But the great mountain cloud,
which seems to be a blending of the two with independent forms of vapor
(that is to say, a greater development, in consequence of the mountain's
action, of clouds which would in some way or other have formed
anywhere), requires prolonged attention, as the principal element of the
sky in noblest landscape.

§ 8. For which purpose, first, it may be well to clear a few clouds out
of the way. I believe the true cumulus is never seen in a great mountain
region, at least never associated with hills. It is always broken up and
modified by them. Boiling and rounded masses of vapor occur continually,
as behind the Aiguille Dru (lowest figure in Plate 69); but the quiet,
thoroughly defined, infinitely divided and modelled pyramid never
develops itself. It would be very grand if one ever saw a great mountain
peak breaking through the domed shoulders of a true cumulus; but this I
have never seen.

§ 9. Again, the true high cirri never cross a mountain in Europe. How
often have I hoped to see an Alp rising through and above their
level-laid and rippled fields! but those white harvest-fields are
heaven's own. And, finally, even the low, level, cirrus (used so largely
in Martin's pictures) rarely crosses a mountain. If it does, it usually
becomes slightly waved or broken, so as to destroy its character.
Sometimes, however, at great distances, a very level bar of cloud will
strike across a peak; but nearer, too much of the under surface of the
field is seen, so that a well-defined bar across a peak, seen at a high
angle, is of the greatest rarity.

[Illustration: J. Ruskin.   J. C. Armytage.

70. The Graiæ.]

[Illustration: 71. "Venga Medusa."]

[Illustration: FIG. 87. _To face page 127._]

§ 10. The ordinary mountain cloud, therefore, if well defined, divides
itself into two kinds: a broken condition of cumulus, grand in
proportion as it is solid and quiet,--and a strange modification of
drift-cloud, midway, as I said, between the helmet and the lee-side
forms. The broken, quiet cumulus impressed Turner exceedingly when he
first saw it on hills. He uses it, slightly exaggerating its
definiteness, in all his early studies among the mountains of the
Chartreuse, and very beautifully in the vignette of St. Maurice in
Rogers's Italy. There is nothing, however, to be specially observed of
it, as it only differs from the cumulus of the plains, by being smaller
and more broken.

§ 11. Not so the mountain drift-cloud, which is as peculiar as it is
majestic. The Plates 70 and 71 show, as well as I can express, two
successive phases of it on a mountain crest; (in this instance the great
limestone ridge above St. Michel, in Savoy.) But what colossal
proportions this noble cloud assumes may be best gathered from the rude
sketch, Fig. 87, in which I have simply put firm black ink over the
actual pencil lines made at the moment, giving the form of a single
wreath of the drift-cloud, stretching about five miles in a direct line
from the summit of one of the Alps of the Val d'Aosta, as seen from the
plain of Turin. It has a grand volcanic look, but I believe its aspect
of rising from the peak to be almost, if not altogether, deceptive; and
that the apparently gigantic column is a nearly horizontal stream of
lee-side cloud, tapered into the distance by perspective, and thus
rising at its apparently lowest but in reality most distant point, from
the mountain summit whose shade calls it into being out of the clear

Whether this be so or not, the apparent origin of the cloud on the peak,
and radiation from it, distinguish it from the drift-cloud of level
country, which arranges itself at the horizon in broken masses, such as
Fig. 89, showing no point of origin; and I do not know how far they are
vertical cliffs or horizontally extended fields. They are apt to be very
precipitous in aspect, breaking into fragments with an apparently
concentric motion, as in the figure; but of this motion also--whether
vertical or horizontal--I can say nothing positive.

§ 12. The absolute scale of such clouds may be seen, or at least
demonstrated, more clearly in Fig. 88, which is a rough note of an
effect of sky behind the tower of Berne Cathedral. It was made from the
mound beside the railroad bridge. The Cathedral tower is half-a-mile
distant. The great Eiger of Grindelwald is seen just on the right of it.
This mountain is distant from the tower thirty-four miles as the crow
flies, and ten thousand feet above it in height. The drift-cloud behind
it, therefore, being in full light, and showing no overhanging
surfaces, must rise at least twenty thousand feet into the air.

§ 13. The extreme whiteness of the volume of vapor in this case (not, I
fear, very intelligible in the woodcut[3]) may be partly owing to recent
rain, which, by its evaporation, gives a peculiar density and brightness
to some forms of clearing cloud. In order to understand this, we must
consider another set of facts. When weather is thoroughly wet among
hills, we ought no more to accuse the mountains of forming the clouds,
than we do the plains in similar circumstances. The unbroken mist buries
the mountains to their bases; but that is not their fault. It may be
just as wet and just as cloudy elsewhere. (This is not true of Scottish
mountain, by the way.) But when the wet weather is breaking, and the
clouds pass, perhaps, in great measure, away from the plains leaving
large spaces of blue sky, the mountains begin to shape clouds for
themselves. The fallen moisture evaporates from the plain invisibly; but
not so from the hill-side. There, what quantity of rain has not gone
down in the torrents, ascends again to heaven instantly in white clouds.
The storm passes as if it had tormented the crags, and the strong
mountains smoke like tired horses.

§ 14. Here is another question for us of some interest. Why does the
much greater quantity of moisture lying on the horizontal fields send up
no visible vapor, and the less quantity left on the rocks glorify itself
into a magnificent wreath of soaring snow?

First, for the very reason, that it is less in quantity, and more
distributed; as a wet cloth smokes when you put it near the fire, but a
basin of water not.

[Illustration: FIG. 88.]

[Illustration: FIG. 89.]

[Illustration: FIG. 90. _To face page 128._]

The previous heat of the crags, noticed in the first volume, p. 249, is
only a part of the cause. It operates only locally, and on remains of
sudden showers. But after any number of days and nights of rain, and in
all places exposed to returning sunshine and breezes, the _distribution_
of the moisture tells. So soon as the rain has ceased, all water that
can run off is of course gone from the steep hill-sides; there remains
only the thin adherent film of moisture to be dried; but that film is
spread over a complex texture--all manner of crannies, and bosses, and
projections, and filaments of moss and lichen, exposing a vast extent of
drying surface to the air. And the evaporation is rapid in proportion.

§ 15. Its rapidity, however, observe, does not account for its
visibility, and this is one of the questions I cannot clearly solve,
unless I were sure of the nature of the vesicular vapor. When our breath
becomes visible on a frosty day, it is easily enough understood that the
moisture which was invisible, carried by the warm air from the lungs,
becomes visible when condensed or precipitated by the surrounding chill;
but one does not see why air passing over a moist surface quite as cold
as itself should take up one particle of water more than it can
conveniently--that is to say, invisibly--carry. Whenever you _see_
vapor, you may not inaccurately consider the air as having got more than
it can properly hold, and dropping some. Now it is easily understood how
it should take up much in the lungs, and let some of it fall when it is
pinched by the frost outside; but why should it overload itself there on
the hills, when it is at perfect liberty to fly away as soon as it
likes, and come back for more? I do not see my way well in this. I do
not see it clearly, even through the wet cloth. I shall leave all the
embarrassment of the matter, however, to my reader, contenting myself,
as usual, with the actual fact, that the hill-side air does behave in
this covetous and unreasonable manner; and that, in consequence, when
the weather is breaking (and sometimes, provokingly, when it is not),
phantom clouds form and rise in sudden crowds of wild and spectral
imagery along all the far succession of the hill-slopes and ravines.

[Illustration: FIG. 91.]

§ 16. There is this distinction, however, between the clouds that form
during the rain and after it. In the worst weather, the rain-cloud keeps
rather high, and is unbroken; but when there is a disposition in the
rain to relax, every now and then a sudden company of white clouds will
form quite low down (in Chamouni or Grindelwald, and such high
districts, even down to the bottom of the valley), which will remain,
perhaps, for ten minutes, filling all the air, then disappear as
suddenly as they came, leaving the gray upper cloud and steady rain to
their work. These "clouds of relaxation," if we may so call them, are
usually flaky and horizontal, sometimes tending to the silky cirrus, yet
showing no fine forms of drift; but when the rain has passed, and the
air is getting warm, forms the true clearing cloud, in wreaths that
ascend continually with a slow circling motion, melting as they rise.
The woodcut, Fig. 91, is a rude note of it floating more quietly from
the hill of the Superga, the church (nearly as large as St. Paul's)
appearing above, and thus showing the scale of the wreath.

[Illustration: FIG. 92.]

§ 17. This cloud of evaporation, however, does not always rise. It
sometimes rests in absolute stillness, low laid in the hollows of the
hills, their peaks emergent from it. Fig. 92 shows this condition of it,
seen from a distance, among the Cenis hills. I do not know what gives it
this disposition to rest in the ravines, nor whether there is a greater
chill in the hollows, or a real action of gravity on the particles of
cloud. In general, the position seems to depend on the temperature.
Thus, in Chamouni, the crests of La Côte and Taconay continually appear
in stormy weather as in Plate 36, Vol. IV., in which I intended to
represent rising drift-cloud, made dense between the crests by the chill
from the glaciers. But in the condition shown in Fig. 92, on a
comparatively open sweep of hill-side, the thermometer would certainly
indicate a higher temperature in the sheltered valley than on the
exposed peaks; yet the cloud still subsides into the valleys like folds
of a garment; and, more than this, sometimes conditions of morning
cloud, dependent, I believe, chiefly on dew evaporation, form first on
the _tops_ of the soft hills of wooded Switzerland, and droop down in
rent fringes, and separate tongues, clinging close to all the
hill-sides, and giving them exactly the appearance of being covered with
white fringed cloth, falling over them in torn or divided folds. It
always looks like a true action of gravity. How far it is, in reality,
the indication of the power of the rising sun causing evaporation, first
on the hill-top, and then in separate streams, by its divided light on
the ravines, I cannot tell. The subject is, as the reader perceives,
always inextricably complicated by these three necessities--that to get
a cloud in any given spot, you must have moisture to form the material
of it, heat to develop it, and cold[4] to show it; and the adverse
causes inducing the moisture, the evaporation, and the visibility are
continually interchanged in presence and in power. And thus, also, the
phenomena which properly belong to a certain elevation are confused,
among hills at least, with those which in plains would have been lower
or higher.

I have been led unavoidably in this chapter to speak of some conditions
of the rain-cloud; nor can we finally understand the forms even of the
cumulus, without considering those into which it descends or diffuses
itself. Which, however, being, I think, a little more interesting than
our work hitherto, we will leave this chapter to its dulness, and begin


  [1] One of the great difficulties in doing this is to distinguish the
    portions of cloud outline which really slope upwards from those which
    only appear to do so, being in reality horizontal, and thrown into
    apparent inclination by perspective.

  [2] _Pileatus_, capped (strictly speaking, with the cap of
    liberty;--stormy cloud enough sometimes on men's brows as well as on
    mountains), corrupted into Pilatus, and Pilate.

  [3] I could not properly illustrate the subject of clouds without
    numbers of these rude drawings, which would probably offend the
    general reader by their coarseness, while the cost of engraving them
    in facsimile is considerable, and would much add to the price of the
    book. If I find people at all interested in the subject, I may,
    perhaps, some day systematize and publish my studies of cloud
    separately. I am sorry not to have given in this volume a careful
    study of a rich cirrus sky, but no wood-engraving that I can employ
    on this scale will express the finer threads and waves.

  [4] We might say light, as well as cold; for it wholly depends on the
    degree of light in the sky how far delicate cloud is seen.

    The second figure from the top in Plate 69 shows an effect of morning
    light on the range of the Aiguille Bouchard (Chamouni). Every crag
    casts its shadow up into apparently clear sky. The shadow is, in such
    cases, a bluish gray, the color of clear sky; and the defining light
    is caused by the sunbeams showing mist which otherwise would have
    been unperceived. The shadows are not irregular enough in
    outline--the sketch was made for their color and sharpness, not their
    shape,--and I cannot now put them right, so I leave them as they were
    drawn at the moment.



§ 1. Perhaps the best and truest piece of work done in the first volume
of this book, was the account given in it of the rain-cloud; to which I
have here little, descriptively, to add. But the question before us now
is, not who has drawn the rain-cloud best, but if it were worth drawing
at all. Our English artists naturally painted it often and rightly; but
are their pictures the better for it? We have seen how mountains are
beautiful; how trees are beautiful; how sun-lighted clouds are
beautiful; but can rain be beautiful?

I spoke roughly of the Italian painters in that chapter, because they
could only draw distinct clouds, or violent storms, "massive
concretions," while our northern painters could represent every phase of
mist and fall of shower.

But is this indeed so delightful? Is English wet weather, indeed, one of
the things which we should desire to see Art give perpetuity to?

Yes, assuredly. I have given some reasons for this answer in the fifth
chapter of last volume; one or two, yet unnoticed, belong to the present
division of our subject.

§ 2. The climates or lands into which our globe is divided may, with
respect to their fitness for Art, be perhaps conveniently ranged under
five heads:--

1. Forest-lands, sustaining the great mass of the magnificent vegetation
of the tropics, for the most part characterized by moist and unhealthy
heat, and watered by enormous rivers, or periodical rains. This country
cannot, I believe, develop the mind or art of man. He may reach great
subtlety of intellect, as the Indian, but not become learned, nor
produce any noble art, only a savage or grotesque form of it. Even
supposing the evil influences of climate could be vanquished, the
scenery is on too large a scale. It would be difficult to conceive of
groves less fit for academic purposes than those mentioned by Humboldt,
into which no one can enter except under a stout wooden shield, to avoid
the chance of being killed by the fall of a nut.

2. Sand-lands, including the desert and dry-rock plains of the earth,
inhabited generally by a nomade population, capable of high mental
cultivation and of solemn monumental or religious art, but not of art in
which pleasurableness forms a large element, their life being
essentially one of hardship.

3. Grape and wheat lands, namely, rocks and hills, such as are good for
the vine, associated with arable ground forming the noblest and best
ground given to man. In these districts only art of the highest kind
seems possible, the religious art of the sand-lands being here joined
with that of pleasure or sense.

4. Meadow-lands, including the great pastoral and agricultural districts
of the North, capable only of an inferior art: apt to lose its
spirituality and become wholly material.

5. Moss-lands, including the rude forest-mountain and ground of the
North, inhabited by a healthy race, capable of high mental cultivation
and moral energy, but wholly incapable of art, except savage, like that
of the forest-lands, or as in Scandinavia.

We might carry out these divisions into others, but these are I think
essential, and easily remembered in a tabular form; saying "wood"
instead of "forest," and "field" for "meadow," we can get such a form
shortly worded:--

  Wood-lands     Shrewd intellect      No art.
  Sand-lands     High intellect        Religious art.
  Vine-lands     Highest intellect     Perfect art.
  Field-lands    High intellect        Material art.
  Moss-lands     Shrewd intellect      No art.

§ 3. In this table the moss-lands appear symmetrically opposed to the
wood-lands, which in a sort they are; the too diminutive vegetation
under bleakest heaven, opposed to the too colossal under sultriest
heaven, while the perfect ministry of the elements, represented by bread
and wine, produces the perfect soul of man.

But this is not altogether so. The moss-lands have one great advantage
over the forest-lands, namely, sight of the sky.

And not only sight of it, but continual and beneficent help from it.
What they have to separate them from barren rock, namely, their moss and
streams, being dependent on its direct help, not on great rivers coming
from distant mountain chains, nor on vast tracts of ocean-mist coming up
at evening, but on the continual play and change of sun and cloud.

§ 4. Note this word "change." The moss-lands have an infinite advantage,
not only in sight, but in liberty; they are the freest ground in all the
world. You can only traverse the great woods by crawling like a lizard,
or climbing like a monkey--the great sands with slow steps and veiled
head. But bare-headed, and open-eyed, and free-limbed, commanding all
the horizon's space of changeful light, and all the horizon's compass of
tossing ground, you traverse the moss-land. In discipline it is severe
as the desert, but it is a discipline compelling to action; and the
moss-lands seem, therefore, the rough schools of the world, in which its
strongest human frames are knit and tried, and so bent down, like the
northern winds, to brace and brighten the languor into which the repose
of more favored districts may degenerate.

§ 5. It would be strange, indeed, if there were no beauty in the
phenomena by which this great renovating and purifying work is done. And
it is done almost entirely by the great Angel of the Sea--rain;--the
Angel, observe, the messenger sent to a special place on a special
errand. Not the diffused perpetual presence of the burden of mist, but
the going and returning of intermittent cloud. All turns upon that
intermittence. Soft moss on stone and rock;--cave-fern of tangled glen;
wayside well--perennial, patient, silent, clear; stealing through its
square font of rough-hewn stone; ever thus deep--no more--which the
winter wreck sullies not, the summer thirst wastes not, incapable of
stain as of decline--where the fallen leaf floats undecayed, and the
insect darts undefiling. Cressed brook and ever-eddying river, lifted
even in flood scarcely over its stepping-stones,--but through all sweet
summer keeping tremulous music with harp-strings of dark water among the
silver fingering of the pebbles. Far away in the south the strong river
Gods have all hasted, and gone down to the sea. Wasted and burning,
white furnaces of blasting sand, their broad beds lie ghastly and bare;
but here the soft wings of the Sea Angel droop still with dew, and the
shadows of their plumes falter on the hills: strange laughings, and
glitterings of silver streamlets, born suddenly, and twined about the
mossy heights in trickling tinsel, answering to them as they wave.[1]

§ 6. Nor are those wings colorless. We habitually think of the
rain-cloud only as dark and gray; not knowing that we owe to it perhaps
the fairest, though not the most dazzling of the hues of heaven. Often
in our English mornings, the rain-clouds in the dawn form soft level
fields, which melt imperceptibly into the blue; or when of less extent,
gather into apparent bars, crossing the sheets of broader cloud above;
and all these bathed throughout in an unspeakable light of pure
rose-color, and purple, and amber, and blue; not shining, but
misty-soft; the barred masses, when seen nearer, composed of clusters or
tresses of cloud, like floss silk; looking as if each knot were a little
swathe or sheaf of lighted rain. No clouds form such skies, none are so
tender, various, inimitable. Turner himself never caught them.
Correggio, putting out his whole strength, could have painted them, no
other man.[2]

§ 7. For these are the robes of love of the Angel of the Sea. To these
that name is chiefly given, the "spreadings of the clouds," from their
extent, their gentleness, their fulness of rain. Note how they are
spoken of in Job xxxvi. v. 29-31. "By them judgeth he the people; he
giveth meat in abundance. With clouds he covereth the light.[3] He hath
hidden the light in his hands, and commanded that it should return. He
speaks of it to his friend; that it is his possession, and that he may
ascend thereto."

That, then, is the Sea Angel's message to God's friends; _that_, the
meaning of those strange golden lights and purple flushes before the
morning rain. The rain is sent to judge, and feed us; but the light is
the possession of the friends of God, and they may ascend
thereto,--where the tabernacle veil will cross and part its rays no

§ 8. But the Angel of the Sea has also another message,--in the "great
rain of his strength," rain of trial, sweeping away ill-set foundations.
Then his robe is not spread softly over the whole heaven, as a veil, but
sweeps back from his shoulders, ponderous, oblique, terrible--leaving
his sword-arm free.

The approach of trial-storm, hurricane-storm, is indeed in its vastness
as the clouds of the softer rain. But it is not slow nor horizontal, but
swift and steep: swift with passion of ravenous winds; steep as slope of
some dark, hollowed hill. The fronting clouds come leaning forward, one
thrusting the other aside, or on; impatient, ponderous, impendent, like
globes of rock tossed of Titans--Ossa on Olympus--but hurled forward
all, in one wave of cloud-lava--cloud whose throat is as a sepulchre.
Fierce behind them rages the oblique wrath of the rain, white as ashes,
dense as showers of driven steel; the pillars of it full of ghastly
life; Rain-Furies, shrieking as they fly;--scourging, as with whips of
scorpions;--the earth ringing and trembling under them, heaven wailing
wildly, the trees stooped blindly down, covering their faces, quivering
in every leaf with horror, ruin of their branches flying by them like
black stubble.

§ 9. I wrote Furies. I ought to have written Gorgons. Perhaps the reader
does not know that the Gorgons are not dead, are ever undying. We shall
have to take our chance of being turned into stones by looking them in
the face, presently. Meantime, I gather what part of the great Greek
story of the Sea Angels, has meaning for us here.

Nereus, the God of the Sea, who dwells in it always (Neptune being the
God who rules it from Olympus), has children by the Earth; namely,
Thaumas, the father of Iris; that is, the "wonderful" or miracle-working
angel of the sea; Phorcys, the malignant angel of it (you will find him
degraded through many forms, at last, in the story of Sindbad, into the
Old Man of the Sea); Ceto, the deep places of the sea, meaning its bays
among rocks, therefore called by Hesiod "Fair-cheeked" Ceto; and
Eurybia, the tidal force or sway of the sea, of whom more hereafter.

§ 10. Phorcys and Ceto, the malignant angel of the sea, and the spirit
of its deep rocky places, have children, namely, first, Graiæ, the soft
rain-clouds. The Greeks had a greater dislike of storm than we have, and
therefore whatever violence is in the action of rain, they represented
by harsher types than we should--types given in one group by
Aristophanes (speaking in mockery of the poets): "This was the reason,
then, that they made so much talk about the fierce rushing of the moist
clouds, coiled in glittering; and the locks of the hundred-headed
Typhon; and the blowing storms; and the bent-clawed birds drifted on
the breeze, fresh, and aërial." Note the expression "bent-clawed birds."
It illustrates two characters of these clouds; partly their coiling
form; but more directly the way they tear down the earth from the
hill-sides; especially those twisted storm-clouds which in violent
action become the waterspout. These always strike at a narrow point,
often opening the earth on a hill-side into a trench as a great pickaxe
would (whence the Graiæ are said to have only one beak between them).
Nevertheless, the rain-cloud was, on the whole, looked upon by the
Greeks as beneficent, so that it is boasted of in the Oedipus Coloneus
for its perpetual feeding of the springs of Cephisus,[4] and elsewhere
often; and the opening song of the rain-clouds in Aristophanes is
entirely beautiful:--

"O eternal Clouds! let us raise into open sight our dewy existence, from
the deep-sounding Sea, our Father, up to the crests of the wooded hills,
whence we look down over the sacred land, nourishing its fruits, and
over the rippling of the divine rivers, and over the low murmuring bays
of the deep." I cannot satisfy myself about the meaning of the names of
the Graiæ--Pephredo and Enuo--but the epithets which Hesiod gives them
are interesting: "Pephredo, the well-robed; Enuo, the crocus-robed;"
probably, it seems to me, from their beautiful colors in morning.

§ 11. Next to the Graiæ, Phorcys and Ceto begat the Gorgons, which are
the true storm-clouds. The Graiæ have only one beak or tooth, but all
the Gorgons have tusks like boars; brazen hands (brass being the word
used for the metal of which the Greeks made their spears), and golden

Their names are "Steino" (straitened), of storms compressed into narrow
compass; "Euryale" (having wide threshing-floor), of storms spread over
great space; "Medusa" (the dominant), the most terrible. She is
essentially the highest storm-cloud; therefore the hail-cloud or cloud
of cold, her countenance turning all who behold it to stone. ("He
casteth forth his ice like morsels. Who can stand before his cold?") The
serpents about her head are the fringes of the hail, the idea of
coldness being connected by the Greeks with the bite of the serpent, as
with the hemlock.

§ 12. On Minerva's shield, her head signifies, I believe, the cloudy
coldness of knowledge, and its venomous character ("Knowledge puffeth
up." Compare Bacon in Advancement of Learning). But the idea of serpents
rose essentially from the change of form in the cloud as it broke; the
cumulus cloud not breaking into full storm till it is cloven by the
cirrus; which is twice hinted at in the story of Perseus; only we must
go back a little to gather it together.

Perseus was the son of Jupiter by Danaë, who being shut in a brazen
tower, Jupiter came to her in a shower of gold: the brazen tower being,
I think, only another expression for the cumulus or Medusa cloud; and
the golden rain for the rays of the sun striking it; but we have not
only this rain of Danaë's to remember in connection with the Gorgon, but
that also of the sieves of the Danaïdes, said to represent the provision
of Argos with water by their father Danaüs, who dug wells about the
Acropolis; nor only wells, but opened, I doubt not, channels of
irrigation for the fields, because the Danaïdes are said to have brought
the mysteries of Ceres from Egypt. And though I cannot trace the root of
the names Danaüs and Danaë, there is assuredly some farther link of
connection in the deaths of the lovers of the Danaïdes, whom they slew,
as Perseus Medusa. And again note, that when the father of Danaë,
Acrisius, is detained in Seriphos by storms, a disk thrown by Perseus is
carried _by the wind against his head_, and kills him; and lastly, when
Perseus cuts off the head of Medusa, from her blood springs Chrysaor,
"wielder of the golden sword," the Angel of the Lightning, and Pegasus,
the Angel of the "Wild Fountains," that is to say, the fastest flying or
lower rain-cloud; winged, but racing as upon the earth.

§ 13. I say, "wild" fountains; because the kind of fountain from which
Pegasus is named is especially the "fountain of the great deep" of
Genesis; sudden and furious, (cataracts of heaven, not windows, in the
Septuagint);--the mountain torrent caused by thunderous storm, or as our
"fountain"--a Geyser-like leaping forth of water. Therefore, it is the
deep and full source of streams, and so used typically of the source of
evils, or of passions; whereas the word "spring" with the Greeks is like
our "well-head"--a gentle issuing forth of water continually. But,
because both the lightning-fire and the gushing forth, as of a fountain,
are the signs of the poet's true power, together with perpetuity, it is
Pegasus who strikes the earth with his foot, on Helicon,[5] and causes
Hippocrene to spring forth--"the horse's well-head." It is perpetual;
but has, nevertheless, the Pegasean storm-power.

§ 14. Wherein we may find, I think, sufficient cause for putting honor
upon the rain-cloud. Few of us, perhaps, have thought, in watching its
career across our own mossy hills, or listening to the murmur of the
springs amidst the mountain quietness, that the chief masters of the
human imagination owed, and confessed that they owed, the force of their
noblest thoughts, not to the flowers of the valley, nor the majesty of
the hill, but to the flying cloud.

Yet they never saw it fly, as we may in our own England. So far, at
least, as I know the clouds of the south, they are often more terrible
than ours, but the English Pegasus is swifter. On the Yorkshire and
Derbyshire hills, when the rain-cloud is low and much broken, and the
steady west-wind fills all space with its strength,[6] the sun-gleams
fly like golden vultures: they are flashes rather than shinings; the
dark spaces and the dazzling race and skim along the acclivities, and
dart and dip from crag to dell, swallow-like;--no Graiæ these,--gray
and withered: Grey Hounds rather, following the Cerinthian stag with the
golden antlers.

§ 15. There is one character about these lower rain-clouds, partly
affecting all their connection with the upper sky, which I have never
been able to account for; that which, as before noticed, Aristophanes
fastened on at once for their distinctive character--their obliquity.
They always fly in an oblique position, as in the Plate opposite, which
is a careful facsimile of the first advancing mass of the rain-cloud in
Turner's Slave Ship. When the head of the cloud is foremost, as in this
instance, and rain falling beneath, it is easy to imagine that its
drops, increasing in size as they fall, may exercise some retarding
action on the wind. But the head of the cloud is not always first, the
base of it is sometimes advanced.[7] The only certainty is, that it will
not shape itself horizontally, its thin drawn lines and main contours
will always be oblique, though its motion is horizontal; and, which is
still more curious, their sloping lines are hardly ever modified in
their descent by any distinct retiring tendency or perspective
convergence. A troop of leaning clouds will follow one another, each
stooping forward at the same apparent slope, round a fourth of the

§ 16. Another circumstance which the reader should note in this cloud of
Turner's, is the witch-like look of drifted or erected locks of hair at
its left side. We have just read the words of the old Greek poet: "Locks
of the hundred-headed Typhon;" and must remember that Turner's account
of this picture, in the Academy catalogue, was "Slaver throwing
overboard the Dead and Dying. _Typhoon_ coming on." The resemblance to
wildly drifted hair is stronger in the picture than in the engraving;
the gray and purple tints of torn cloud being relieved against golden
sky beyond.

[Illustration: 72. The Locks of Typhon.]

§ 17. It was not, however, as we saw, merely to locks of hair, but to
serpents, that the Greeks likened the dissolving of the Medusa cloud in
blood. Of that sanguine rain, or of its meaning, I cannot yet speak.
It is connected with other and higher types, which must be traced in
another place.[8]

But the likeness to serpents we may illustrate here. The two Plates
already given, 70 and 71 (at page 127), represent successive conditions
of the Medusa cloud on one of the Cenis hills (the great limestone
precipice above St. Michel, between Lanslebourg and St. Jean di
Maurienne).[9] In the first, the cloud is approaching, with the lee-side
cloud forming beyond it; in the second, it has approached, increased,
and broken, the Medusa serpents writhing about the central peak, the
rounded tops of the broken cumulus showing above. In this instance, they
take nearly the forms of flame; but when the storm is more violent, they
are torn into fragments, and magnificent revolving wheels of vapor are
formed, broken, and tossed into the air, as the grass is tossed in the
hay-field from the toothed wheels of the mowing-machine; perhaps, in
common with all other inventions of the kind, likely to bring more evil
upon men than ever the Medusa cloud did, and turn them more effectually
into stone.[10]

§ 18. I have named in the first volume the principal works of Turner
representing these clouds; and until I am able to draw them better, it
is useless to say more of them; but in connection with the subject we
have been examining, I should be glad if the reader could turn to the
engravings of the England drawings of Salisbury and Stonehenge. What
opportunities Turner had of acquainting himself with classical
literature, and how he used them, we shall see presently. In the
meantime, let me simply assure the reader that, in various byways, he
had gained a knowledge of most of the great Greek traditions, and that
he felt them more than he knew them; his mind being affected, up to a
certain point, precisely as an ancient painter's would have been, by
external phenomena of nature. To him, as to the Greek, the storm-clouds
seemed messengers of fate. He feared them, while he reverenced; nor does
he ever introduce them without some hidden purpose, bearing upon the
expression of the scene he is painting.

§ 19. On that plain of Salisbury, he had been struck first by its
widely-spacious pastoral life; and secondly, by its monuments of the two
great religions of England--Druidical and Christian.

He was not a man to miss the possible connection of these impressions.
He treats the shepherd life as a type of the ecclesiastical; and
composes his two drawings so as to illustrate both.

In the drawing of Salisbury, the plain is swept by rapid but not
distressful rain. The cathedral occupies the centre of the picture,
towering high over the city, of which the houses (made on purpose
smaller than they really are) are scattered about it like a flock of
sheep. The cathedral is surrounded by a great light. The storm gives way
at first in a subdued gleam over a distant parish church, then bursts
down again, breaks away into full light about the cathedral, and passes
over the city, in various sun and shade. In the foreground stands a
shepherd leaning on his staff, watching his flock--bare-headed; he has
given his cloak to a group of children, who have covered themselves up
with it, and are shrinking from the rain; his dog crouches under a bank;
his sheep, for the most part, are resting quietly, some coming up the
slope of the bank towards him.[11]

§ 20. The rain-clouds in this picture are wrought with a care which I
have never seen equalled in any other sky of the same kind. It is the
rain of blessing--abundant, but full of brightness; golden gleams are
flying across the wet grass, and fall softly on the lines of willows in
the valley--willows by the watercourses; the little brooks flash out
here and there between them and the fields. Turn now to the Stonehenge.
That, also, stands in great light; but it is the Gorgon light--the sword
of Chrysaor is bared against it. The cloud of judgment hangs above. The
rock pillars seem to reel before its slope, pale beneath the lightning.
And nearer, in the darkness, the shepherd lies dead, his flock

I alluded, in speaking before of this Stonehenge, to Turner's use of the
same symbol in the drawing of Pæstum for Rogers's Italy; but a more
striking instance of its employment occurs in a Study of Pæstum, which
he engraved himself before undertaking the Liber Studiorum and another
in his drawing of the Temple of Minerva, on Cape Colonna: and observe
farther that he rarely introduces lightning, if the ruined building has
not been devoted to religion. The wrath of man may destroy the fortress,
but only the wrath of heaven can destroy the temple.

§ 21. Of these secret meanings of Turner's, we shall see enough in the
course of the inquiry we have to undertake, lastly, respecting ideas of
relation; but one more instance of his opposed use of the lightning
symbol, and of the rain of blessing, I name here, to confirm what has
been noted above. For, in this last instance, he was questioned
respecting his meaning, and explained it. I refer to the drawings of
Sinai and Lebanon, made for Finden's Bible. The sketches from which
Turner prepared that series were, I believe, careful and accurate; but
the treatment of the subjects was left wholly to him. He took the Sinai
and Lebanon to show the opposite influences of the Law and the Gospel.
The Rock of Moses is shown in the burning of the desert, among fallen
stones, forked lightning cleaving the blue mist which veils the summit
of Sinai. Armed Arabs pause at the foot of the rock. No human habitation
is seen, nor any herb or tree, nor any brook, and the lightning strikes
without rain.[12] Over the Mount Lebanon an intensely soft gray-blue sky
is melting into dewy rain. Every ravine is filled, every promontory
crowned, by tenderest foliage, golden in slanting sunshine.[13] The
white convent nestles into the hollow of the rock; and a little brook
runs under the shadow of the nearer trees, beside which two monks sit

§ 22. It was a beautiful thought, yet an erring one, as all thoughts are
which oppose the Law to the Gospel. When people read, "the law came by
Moses, but grace and truth by Christ," do they suppose that the law was
ungracious and untrue? The law was given for a foundation; the grace (or
mercy) and truth for fulfilment;--the whole forming one glorious Trinity
of judgment, mercy, and truth. And if people would but read the text of
their Bibles with heartier purpose of understanding it, instead of
superstitiously, they would see that throughout the parts which they are
intended to make most personally their own (the Psalms) it is always the
Law which is spoken of with chief joy. The Psalms respecting mercy are
often sorrowful, as in thought of what it cost; but those respecting the
law are always full of delight. David cannot contain himself for joy in
thinking of it,--he is never weary of its praise:--"How love I thy law!
it is my meditation all the day. Thy testimonies are my delight and my
counsellors; sweeter, also, than honey and the honeycomb."

§ 23. And I desire, especially, that the reader should note this, in now
closing the work through which we have passed together in the
investigation of the beauty of the visible world. For perhaps he
expected more pleasure and freedom in that work; he thought that it
would lead him at once into fields of fond imagination, and may have
been surprised to find that the following of beauty brought him always
under a sterner dominion of mysterious law; the brightness was
continually based upon obedience, and all majesty only another form of
submission. But this is indeed so. I have been perpetually hindered in
this inquiry into the sources of beauty by fear of wearying the reader
with their severities. It was always accuracy I had to ask of him, not
sympathy; patience, not zeal; apprehension, not sensation. The thing to
be shown him was not a pleasure to be snatched, but a law to be learned.

§ 24. It is in this character, however, that the beauty of the natural
world completes its message. We saw long ago, how its various _powers_
of appeal to the mind of men might be traced to some typical expression
of Divine attributes. We have seen since how its _modes_ of appeal
present constant types of human obedience to the Divine law, and
constant proofs that this law, instead of being contrary to mercy, is
the foundation of all delight, and the guide of all fair and fortunate

§ 25. Which understanding, let us receive our last message from the
Angel of the Sea.

Take up the 19th Psalm and look at it verse by verse. Perhaps to my
younger readers, one word may be permitted respecting their
Bible-reading in general.[14] The Bible is, indeed, a deep book, when
depth is required, that is to say, for deep people. But it is not
intended, particularly, for profound persons; on the contrary, much more
for shallow and simple persons. And therefore the first, and generally
the main and leading idea of the Bible, is on its surface, written in
plainest possible Greek, Hebrew, or English, needing no penetration, nor
amplification, needing nothing but what we all might give--attention.

But this, which is in every one's power, and is the only thing that God
wants, is just the last thing any one will give Him. We are delighted to
ramble away into day-dreams, to repeat pet verses from other places,
suggested by chance words; to snap at an expression which suits our own
particular views, or to dig up a meaning from under a verse, which we
should be amiably grieved to think any human being had been so happy as
to find before. But the plain, intended, immediate, fruitful meaning,
which every one ought to find always, and especially that which depends
on our seeing the relation of the verse to those near it, and getting
the force of the whole passage, in due relation--this sort of
significance we do not look for;--it being, truly, not to be discovered,
unless we really attend to what is said, instead of to our own feelings.

§ 26. It is unfortunate also, but very certain, that in order to attend
to what is said, we must go through the irksomeness of knowing the
meaning of the words. And the first thing that children should be taught
about their Bibles is, to distinguish clearly between words that they
understand and words that they do not; and to put aside the words they
do not understand, and verses connected with them, to be asked about, or
for a future time; and never to think they are reading the Bible when
they are merely repeating phrases of an unknown tongue.

§ 27. Let us try, by way of example, this 19th Psalm, and see what plain
meaning is uppermost in it.

"The heavens declare the glory of God."

What are the heavens?

The word occurring in the Lord's Prayer, and the thing expressed being
what a child may, with some advantage, be led to look at, it might be
supposed among a schoolmaster's first duties to explain this word

Now there can be no question that in the minds of the sacred writers, it
stood naturally for the entire system of cloud, and of space beyond it,
conceived by them as a vault set with stars. But there can, also, be no
question, as we saw in previous inquiry, that the firmament, which is
said to have been "called" heaven, at the creation, expresses, in all
definite use of the word, the system of clouds, as spreading the power
of the water over the earth; hence the constant expressions dew of
heaven, rain of heaven, &c., where heaven is used in the singular; while
"the heavens," when used plurally, and especially when in distinction,
as here, from the word "firmament," remained expressive of the starry
space beyond.

§ 28. A child might therefore be told (surely, with advantage), that our
beautiful word Heaven may possibly have been formed from a Hebrew word,
meaning "the high place;" that the great warrior Roman nation, camping
much out at night, generally overtired and not in moods for thinking,
are believed, by many people, to have seen in the stars only the
likeness of the glittering studs of their armor, and to have called the
sky "The bossed, or studded;" but that others think those Roman soldiers
on their might-watches had rather been impressed by the great emptiness
and void of night, and by the far coming of sounds through its darkness,
and had called the heaven "The Hollow place." Finally, I should tell
the children, showing them first the setting of a star, how the great
Greeks had found out the truest power of the heavens, and had called
them "The Rolling." But whatever different nations had called them, at
least I would make it clear to the child's mind that in this 19th Psalm,
their whole power being intended, the two words are used which express
it: the Heavens, for the great vault or void, with all its planets, and
stars, and ceaseless march of orbs innumerable; and the Firmament, for
the ordinance of the clouds.

These heavens, then, "declare the _glory_ of God;" that is, the light of
God, the eternal glory, stable and changeless. As their orbs fail
not--but pursue their course for ever, to give light upon the earth--so
God's glory surrounds man for ever--changeless, in its fulness

"And the firmament showeth his _handywork_."

§ 29. The clouds, prepared by the hand of God for the help of man,
varied in their ministration--veiling the inner splendor--show, not His
eternal glory, but His daily handiwork. So He dealt with Moses. I will
cover thee "with my hand" as I pass by. Compare Job xxxvi. 24: "Remember
that thou magnify his work, which men behold. Every man may see it." Not
so the glory--that only in part; the courses of these stars are to be
seen imperfectly, and but by a few. But this firmament, "every man may
see it, man may behold it afar off." "Behold, God is great, and we know
him not. For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain
according to the vapor thereof."

§ 30. "Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth
knowledge. They have no speech nor language, yet without these their
voice is heard. Their rule is gone out throughout the earth, and their
words to the end of the world."

Note that. Their rule throughout the earth, whether inhabited or
not--their law of right is thereon; but their words, spoken to human
souls, to the end of the inhabited world.

"In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun," &c. Literally, a
tabernacle, or curtained tent, with its veil and its hangings; also of
the colors of His desert tabernacle--blue, and purple, and scarlet.

Thus far the psalm describes the manner of this great heaven's message.

Thenceforward, it comes to the matter of it.

§ 31. Observe, you have the two divisions of the declaration. The
heavens (compare Psalm viii.) declare the eternal glory of God before
men, and the firmament the daily mercy of God towards men. And the
eternal glory is in this--that the law of the Lord is perfect, and His
testimony sure, and His statutes right.

And the daily mercy in this--that the commandment of the Lord is pure,
and His fear is clean, and His judgments true and righteous.

There are three oppositions:--

Between law and commandment.

Between testimony and fear.

Between statute and judgment.

§ 32. I. Between law and commandment.

The law is fixed and everlasting; uttered once, abiding for ever, as the
sun, it may not be moved. It is "perfect, converting the soul:" the
whole question about the soul being, whether it has been turned from
darkness to light, acknowledged this law or not,--whether it is godly or
ungodly? But the commandment is given momentarily to each man, according
to the need. It does not convert: it guides. It does not concern the
entire purpose of the soul; but it enlightens the eyes, respecting a
special act. The law is, "Do this always;" the commandment, "Do _thou_
this _now_:" often mysterious enough, and through the cloud; chilling,
and with strange rain of tears; yet always pure (the law converting, but
the commandment cleansing): a rod not for guiding merely, but for
strengthening, and tasting honey with. "Look how mine eyes have been
enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey."

§ 33. II. Between testimony and fear.

The testimony is everlasting: the true promise of salvation. Bright as
the sun beyond all the earth-cloud, it makes wise the simple; all wisdom
being assured in perceiving it and trusting it; all wisdom brought to
nothing which does not perceive it.

But the fear of God is taught through special encouragement and special
withdrawal of it, according to each man's need--by the
earth-cloud--smile and frown alternately: it also, as the commandment,
is clean, purging and casting out all other fear, it only remaining for

§ 34. III. Between statute and judgment.

The statutes are the appointments of the Eternal justice; fixed and
bright, and constant as the stars; equal and balanced as their courses.
They "are right, rejoicing the heart." But the judgments are special
judgments of given acts of men. "True," that is to say, fulfilling the
warning or promise given to each man; "righteous altogether," that is,
done or executed in truth and righteousness. The statute is right, in
appointment. The judgment righteous altogether, in appointment and
fulfilment;--yet not always rejoicing the heart.

Then, respecting all these, comes the expression of passionate desire,
and of joy; that also divided with respect to each. The glory of God,
eternal in the Heavens, is future, "to be _desired_ more than gold, than
much fine gold"--treasure in the heavens that faileth not. But the
present guidance and teaching of God are on earth; they are now
possessed, sweeter than all earthly food--"sweeter than honey and the
honeycomb. Moreover by them" (the law and the testimony) "is thy servant
warned"--warned of the ways of death and life.

"And in keeping them" (the commandments and the judgments) "there is
great reward:" pain now, and bitterness of tears, but reward

§ 35. Thus far the psalm has been descriptive and interpreting. It ends
in prayer.

"Who can understand his errors?" (wanderings from the perfect law.)
"Cleanse thou me from secret faults; from all that I have done against
thy will, and far from thy way, in the darkness. Keep back thy servant
from presumptuous sins" (sins against the commandment) "against thy will
when it is seen and direct, pleading with heart and conscience. So shall
I be undefiled, and innocent from the great transgression--the
transgression that crucifies afresh.

"Let the words of my mouth (for I have set them to declare thy law), and
the meditation of my heart (for I have set it to keep thy commandments),
be acceptable in thy sight, whose glory is my strength, and whose work,
my redemption; my Strength, and my Redeemer."


  [1] Compare the beautiful stanza beginning the epilogue of the
    "Golden Legend."

  [2] I do not mean that Correggio is greater than Turner, but that
    only _his_ way of work, the touch which he has used for the golden
    hair of Antiope for instance, could have painted these clouds. In
    open lowland country I have never been able to come to any
    satisfactory conclusion about their height, so strangely do they
    blend with each other. Here, for instance, is the arrangement of an
    actual group of them. The space at A was deep, purest ultramarine
    blue, traversed by streaks of absolutely pure and perfect rose-color.
    The blue passed downwards imperceptibly into gray at G, and then into
    amber, and at the white edge below into gold. On this amber ground
    the streaks P were dark purple, and, finally, the spaces at B B,
    again, clearest and most precious blue, paler than that at A. The
    _two_ levels of these clouds are always very notable. After a
    continuance of fine weather among the Alps, the determined approach
    of rain is usually announced by a soft, unbroken film of level cloud,
    white and thin at the approaching edge, gray at the horizon, covering
    the whole sky from side to side, and advancing steadily from the
    south-west. Under its gray veil, as it approaches, are formed
    detached bars, darker or lighter than the field above, according to
    the position of the sun. These bars are usually of a very sharply
    elongated oval shape, something like fish. I habitually call them
    "fish clouds," and look upon them with much discomfort, if any
    excursions of interest have been planned within the next three days.
    Their oval shape is a perspective deception dependent on their
    flatness; they are probably thin, extended fields, irregularly

    [Illustration: FIG. 98.]

  [3] I do not copy the interpolated words which follow, "and
    commandeth it _not to shine_." The closing verse of the chapter, as
    we have it, is unintelligible; not so in the Vulgate, the reading of
    which I give.

  [4] I assume the [Greek: aupnoi krênai nomades] to mean clouds, not
    springs; but this does not matter, the whole passage being one of
    rejoicing in moisture and dew of heaven.

  [5] I believe, however, that when Pegasus strikes forth this
    fountain, he is to be regarded, not as springing from Medusa's blood,
    but as born of Medusa by Neptune; the true horse was given by Neptune
    striking the earth with his trident; the divine horse is born to
    Neptune and the storm-cloud.

  [6] I have been often at great heights on the Alps in rough weather,
    and have seen strong gusts of storm in the plains of the south. But,
    to get full expression of the very heart and meaning of wind, there
    is no place like a Yorkshire moor. I think Scottish breezes are
    thinner, very bleak and piercing, but not substantial. If you lean on
    them they will let you fall, but one may rest against a Yorkshire
    breeze as one would on a quickset hedge. I shall not soon
    forget,--having had the good fortune to meet a vigorous one on an
    April morning, between Hawes and Settle, just on the flat under
    Wharnside,--the vague sense of wonder with which I watched
    Ingleborough stand without rocking.

  [7] When there is a violent current of wind near the ground, the rain
    columns slope _forward_ at the foot. See the Entrance to Fowey
    Harbor, of the England Series.

  [8] See Part IX. chap. 2, "The Hesperid Æglé."

  [9] The reader must remember that sketches made as these are, on the
    instant, cannot be far carried, and would lose all their use if they
    were finished at home. These were both made in pencil, and merely
    washed with gray on returning to the inn, enough to secure the main

  [10] I do not say this carelessly, nor because machines throw the
    laboring man "out of work." The laboring man will always have more
    work than he wants. I speak thus, because the use of such machinery
    involves the destruction of all pleasures in rural labor; and I doubt
    not, in that destruction, the essential deterioration of the national

  [11] You may see the arrangement of subject in the published
    engraving, but nothing more; it is among the worst engravings in the
    England Series.

  [12] Hosea xiii. 5, 15.

  [13] Hosea xiv. 4, 5, 6. Compare Psalm lxxii. 6-16.

  [14] I believe few sermons are more false or dangerous than those in
    which the teacher professes to impress his audience by showing "how
    much there is in a verse." If he examined his own heart closely
    before beginning, he would often find that his real desire was to
    show how much he, the expounder, could make out of the verse. But
    entirely honest and earnest men often fall into the same error. They
    have been taught that they should always look deep, and that
    Scripture is full of hidden meanings; and they easily yield to the
    flattering conviction that every chance idea which comes into their
    heads in looking at a word, is put there by Divine agency. Hence they
    wander away into what they believe to be an inspired meditation, but
    which is, in reality, a meaningless jumble of ideas; perhaps very
    proper ideas, but with which the text in question has nothing
    whatever to do.





§ 1. We have now reached the last and the most important part of our
subject. We have seen, in the first division of this book, how far art
may be, and has been, consistent with physical or material facts. In its
second division, we examined how far it may be and has been obedient to
the laws of physical beauty. In this last division we have to consider
its relations of art to God and man. Its work in the help of human
beings, and service of their Creator.

We have to inquire into the various Powers, Conditions, and Aims of mind
involved in the conception or creation of pictures; in the choice of
subject, and the mode and order of its history;--the choice of forms,
and the modes of their arrangement.

And these phases of mind being concerned, partly with choice and
arrangement of incidents, partly with choice and arrangement of forms
and colors, the whole subject will fall into two main divisions, namely,
expressional or spiritual invention; and material or formal invention.

They are of course connected;--all good formal invention being
expressional also; but as a matter of convenience it is best to say what
may be ascertained of the nature of formal invention, before attempting
to illustrate the faculty in its higher field.

§ 2. First, then, of INVENTION FORMAL, otherwise and most commonly
called technical composition; that is to say, the arrangement of lines,
forms, or colors, so as to produce the best possible effect.[1]

I have often been accused of slighting this quality in pictures; the
fact being that I have avoided it only because I considered it too great
and wonderful for me to deal with. The longer I thought, the more
wonderful it always seemed; and it is, to myself personally, the
quality, above all others, which gives me delight in pictures. Many
others I admire, or respect; but this one I rejoice in. Expression,
sentiment, truth to nature, are essential; but all these are not enough.
I never care to look at a picture again, if it be ill composed; and if
well composed I can hardly leave off looking at it.

"Well composed." Does that mean according to rule?

No. Precisely the contrary. Composed as only the man who did it could
have done it; composed as no other picture is, or was, or ever can be
again. Every great work stands alone.

§ 3. Yet there are certain elementary laws of arrangement traceable a
little way; a few of these only I shall note, not caring to pursue the
subject far in this work, so intricate it becomes even in its first
elements: nor could it be treated with any approach to completeness,
unless I were to give many and elaborate outlines of large pictures. I
have a vague hope of entering on such a task, some future day. Meantime
I shall only indicate the place which technical composition should hold
in our scheme.

And, first, let us understand what composition is, and how far it is

§ 4. Composition may be best defined as the help of everything in the
picture by everything else.

I wish the reader to dwell a little on this word "Help." It is a grave

In substance which we call "inanimate," as of clouds, or stones, their
atoms may cohere to each other, or consist with each other, but they do
not help each other. The removal of one part does not injure the rest.

But in a plant, the taking away of any one part does injure the rest.
Hurt or remove any portion of the sap, bark, or pith, the rest is
injured. If any part enters into a state in which it no more assists the
rest, and has thus become "helpless," we call it also "dead."

The power which causes the several portions of the plant to help each
other, we call life. Much more is this so in an animal. We may take away
the branch of a tree without much harm to it; but not the animal's limb.
Thus, intensity of life is also intensity of helpfulness--completeness
of depending of each part on all the rest. The ceasing of this help is
what we call corruption; and in proportion to the perfectness of the
help, is the dreadfulness of the loss. The more intense the life has
been, the more terrible is its corruption.

The decomposition of a crystal is not necessarily impure at all. The
fermentation of a wholesome liquid begins to admit the idea slightly;
the decay of leaves yet more; of flowers, more; of animals, with greater
painfulness and terribleness in exact proportion to their original
vitality; and the foulest of all corruption is that of the body of man;
and, in his body, that which is occasioned by disease, more than that of
natural death.

§ 5. I said just now, that though atoms of inanimate substance could not
help each other, they could "consist" with each other. "Consistence" is
their virtue. Thus the parts of a crystal are consistent, but of dust,
inconsistent. Orderly adherence, the best help its atoms can give,
constitutes the nobleness of such substance.

When matter is either consistent, or living, we call it pure, or clean;
when inconsistent, or corrupting (unhelpful), we call it impure, or
unclean. The greatest uncleanliness being that which is essentially most
opposite to life.

Life and consistency, then, both expressing one character (namely,
helpfulness, of a higher or lower order), the Maker of all creatures and
things, "by whom all creatures live, and all things consist," is
essentially and for ever the Helpful One, or in softer Saxon, the "Holy"

The word has no other ultimate meaning: Helpful, harmless, undefiled:
"living" or "Lord of life."

The idea is clear and mighty in the cherubim's cry: "Helpful, helpful,
helpful, Lord God of Hosts;" _i.e._ of all the hosts, armies, and
creatures of the earth.[2]

§ 6. A pure or holy state of anything, therefore, is that in which all
its parts are helpful or consistent. They may or may not be homogeneous.
The highest or organic purities are composed of many elements in an
entirely helpful state. The highest and first law of the universe--and
the other name of life, is, therefore, "help." The other name of death
is "separation." Government and co-operation are in all things and
eternally the laws of life. Anarchy and competition, eternally, and in
all things, the laws of death.

§ 7. Perhaps the best, though the most familiar example we could take of
the nature and power of consistence, will be that of the possible
changes in the dust we tread on.

Exclusive of animal decay, we can hardly arrive at a more absolute type
of impurity than the mud or slime of a damp over-trodden path, in the
outskirts of a manufacturing town. I do not say mud of the road, because
that is mixed with animal refuse; but take merely an ounce or two of the
blackest slime of a beaten footpath on a rainy day, near a large
manufacturing town.

§ 8. That slime we shall find in most cases composed of clay (or
brickdust, which is burnt clay) mixed with soot, a little sand, and
water. All these elements are at helpless war with each other, and
destroy reciprocally each other's nature and power, competing and
fighting for place at every tread of your foot;--sand squeezing out
clay, and clay squeezing out water, and soot meddling everywhere and
defiling the whole. Let us suppose that this ounce of mud is left in
perfect rest, and that its elements gather together, like to like, so
that their atoms may get into the closest relations possible.

§ 9. Let the clay begin. Ridding itself of all foreign substance, it
gradually becomes a white earth, already very beautiful; and fit, with
help of congealing fire, to be made into finest porcelain, and painted
on, and be kept in kings' palaces. But such artificial consistence is
not its best. Leave it still quiet to follow its own instinct of unity,
and it becomes not only white, but clear; not only clear, but hard; not
only clear and hard, but so set that it can deal with light in a
wonderful way, and gather out of it the loveliest blue rays only,
refusing the rest. We call it then a sapphire.

Such being the consummation of the clay, we give similar permission of
quiet to the sand. It also becomes, first, a white earth, then proceeds
to grow clear and hard, and at last arranges itself in mysterious,
infinitely fine, parallel lines, which have the power of reflecting not
merely the blue rays, but the blue, green, purple, and red rays in the
greatest beauty in which they can be seen through any hard material
whatsoever. We call it then an opal.

In next order the soot sets to work; it cannot make itself white at
first, but instead of being discouraged, tries harder and harder, and
comes out clear at last, and the hardest thing in the world; and for the
blackness that it had, obtains in exchange the power of reflecting all
the rays of the sun at once in the vividest blaze that any solid thing
can shoot. We call it then a diamond.

Last of all the water purifies or unites itself, contented enough if it
only reach the form of a dew-drop; but if we insist on its proceeding to
a more perfect consistence, it crystallizes into the shape of a star.

And for the ounce of slime which we had by political economy of
competition, we have by political economy of co-operation, a sapphire,
an opal, and a diamond, set in the midst of a star of snow.

§ 10. Now invention in art signifies an arrangement, in which everything
in the work is thus consistent with all things else, and helpful to all

It is the greatest and rarest of all the qualities of art. The power by
which it is effected is absolutely inexplicable and incommunicable; but
exercised with entire facility by those who possess it, in many cases
even unconsciously.[3]

In work which is not composed, there may be many beautiful things, but
they do not help each other. They at the best only stand beside, and
more usually compete with and destroy, each other. They may be connected
artificially in many ways, but the test of there being no invention is,
that if one of them be taken away, the others are no worse than before.
But in true composition, if one be taken away, all the rest are helpless
and valueless. Generally, in falsely composed work, if anything be taken
away, the rest will look better; because the attention is less
distracted. Hence the pleasure of inferior artists in sketching, and
their inability to finish; all that they add destroys.

§ 11. Also in true composition, everything not only helps everything
else a _little_, but helps with its utmost power. Every atom is in full
energy; and _all_ that energy is kind. Not a line, nor spark of color,
but is doing its very best, and that best is aid. The extent to which
this law is carried in truly right and noble work is wholly
inconceivable to the ordinary observer, and no true account of it would
be believed.

§ 12. True composition being entirely easy to the man who can compose,
he is seldom proud of it, though he clearly recognizes it. Also, true
composition is inexplicable. No one can explain how the notes of a
Mozart melody, or the folds of a piece of Titian's drapery, produce
their essential effect on each other. If you do not feel it, no one can
by reasoning make you feel it. And, the highest composition is so
subtle, that it is apt to become unpopular, and sometimes seem insipid.

§ 13. The reader may be surprised at my giving so high a place to
invention. But if he ever come to know true invention from false, he
will find that it is not only the highest quality of art, but is simply
the most wonderful act or power of humanity. It is pre-eminently the
deed of human creation; [Greek: poiêsis], otherwise, poetry.

If the reader will look back to my definition of poetry, he will find it
is "the suggestion, by the imagination, of noble grounds for the noble
emotions" (Vol. III. p. 10), amplified below (§ 14) into "assembling by
help of the imagination;" that is to say, imagination associative,
described at length in Vol. II., in the chapter just referred to. The
mystery of the power is sufficiently set forth in that place. Of its
dignity I have a word or two to say here.

§ 14. Men in their several professed employments, looked at broadly, may
be properly arranged under five classes:--

1. Persons who see. These in modern language are sometimes called
sight-seers, that being an occupation coming more and more into vogue
every day. Anciently they used to be called, simply, seers.

2. Persons who talk. These, in modern language, are usually called
talkers, or speakers, as in the House of Commons, and elsewhere. They
used to be called prophets.

3. Persons who make. These, in modern language, are usually called
manufacturers. Anciently they were called poets.

4. Persons who think. There seems to be no very distinct modern title
for this kind of person, anciently called philosophers; nevertheless we
have a few of them among us.

5. Persons who do: in modern language, called practical persons;
anciently, believers.

Of the first two classes I have only this to note,--that we ought
neither to say that a person sees, if he sees falsely, nor speaks, if he
speaks falsely. For seeing falsely is worse than blindness, and speaking
falsely, than silence. A man who is too dim-sighted to discern the road
from the ditch, may feel which is which;--but if the ditch appears
manifestly to him to be the road, and the road to be the ditch, what
shall become of him? False seeing is unseeing,--on the negative side of
blindness; and false speaking, unspeaking,--on the negative side of

To the persons who think, also, the same test applies very shrewdly.
Theirs is a dangerous profession; and from the time of the Aristophanes
thought-shop to the great German establishment, or thought-manufactory,
whose productions have, unhappily, taken in part the place of the older
and more serviceable commodities of Nuremberg toys and Berlin wool, it
has been often harmful enough to mankind. It should not be so, for a
false thought is more distinctly and visibly no thought than a false
saying is no saying. But it is touching the two great productive classes
of the doers and makers, that we have one or two important points to
note here.

§ 15. Has the reader ever considered, carefully, what is the meaning of
"doing" a thing?

Suppose a rock falls from a hill-side, crushes a group of cottages, and
kills a number of people. The stone has produced a great effect in the
world. If any one asks, respecting the broken roofs, "What did it?" you
say the stone did it. Yet you don't talk of the deed of the stone. If
you inquire farther, and find that a goat had been feeding beside the
rock, and had loosened it by gnawing the roots of the grasses beneath,
you find the goat to be the active cause of the calamity, and you say
the goat did it. Yet you don't call the goat the doer, nor talk of its
evil deed. But if you find any one went up to the rock, in the night,
and with deliberate purpose loosened it, that it might fall on the
cottages, you say in quite a different sense, "It is his deed: he is the
doer of it."

§ 16. It appears, then, that deliberate purpose and resolve are needed
to constitute a deed or doing, in the true sense of the word; and that
when, accidentally or mechanically, events take place without such
purpose, we have indeed effects or results, and agents or causes, but
neither deeds nor doers.

Now it so happens, as we all well know, that by far the largest part of
things happening in practical life _are_ brought about with no
deliberate purpose. There are always a number of people who have the
nature of stones; they fall on other persons and crush them. Some again
have the nature of weeds, and twist about other people's feet and
entangle them. More have the nature of logs, and lie in the way, so that
every one falls over them. And most of all have the nature of thorns,
and set themselves by waysides, so that every passer-by must be torn,
and all good seed choked; or perhaps make wonderful crackling under
various pots, even to the extent of practically boiling water and
working pistons. All these people produce immense and sorrowful effect
in the world. Yet none of them are doers: it is their nature to crush,
impede, and prick: but deed is not in them.[4]

§ 17. And farther, observe, that even when some effect is finally
intended, you cannot call it the person's deed, unless it is _what_ he

If an ignorant person, purposing evil, accidentally does good, (as if a
thief's disturbing a family should lead them to discover in time that
their house was on fire); or _vice versâ_, if an ignorant person
intending good, accidentally does evil (as if a child should give
hemlock to his companions for celery), in neither case do you call them
the doers of what may result. So that in order to be a true deed, it is
necessary that the effect of it should be foreseen. Which, ultimately,
it cannot be, but by a person who knows, and in his deed obeys, the laws
of the universe, and of its Maker. And this knowledge is in its highest
form, respecting the will of the Ruling Spirit, called Trust. For it is
not the knowledge that a thing is, but that, according to the promise
and nature of the Ruling Spirit, a thing will be. Also obedience in its
highest form is not obedience to a constant and compulsory law, but a
persuaded or voluntary yielded obedience to an issued command; and so
far as it was a _persuaded_ submission to command, it was anciently
called, in a passive sense, "persuasion," or [Greek: pistis], and in so
far as it alone assuredly did, and it alone _could_ do, what it meant to
do, and was therefore the root and essence of all human deed, it was
called by the Latins the "doing," or _fides_, which has passed into the
French _foi_ and the English _faith_. And therefore because in His
doing always certain, and in His speaking always true, His name who
leads the armies of Heaven is "Faithful and True,"[5] and all deeds
which are done in alliance with those armies, be they small or great,
are essentially deeds of faith, which therefore, and in this one stern,
eternal, sense, subdues all kingdoms, and turns to flight the armies of
the aliens, and is at once the source and the substance of all human
deed, rightly so called.

§ 18. Thus far then of practical persons, once called believers, as set
forth in the last word of the noblest group of words ever, so far as I
know, uttered by simple man concerning his practice, being the final
testimony of the leaders of a great practical nation, whose deed
thenceforward became an example of deed to mankind:

  [Greek: Ô xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois, hoti têde Keimetha, tois
          keinôn rhêmasi peithomenoi.]

"O stranger! (we pray thee), tell the Lacedæmonians that we are lying
here, having _obeyed_ their words."

§ 19. What, let us ask next, is the ruling character of the person who
produces--the creator or maker, anciently called the poet?

We have seen what a deed is. What then is a "creation"? Nay, it may be
replied, to "create" cannot be said of man's labor.

On the contrary, it not only can be said, but is and must be said
continually. You certainly do not talk of creating a watch, or creating
a shoe; nevertheless you _do_ talk of creating a feeling. Why is this?

Look back to the greatest of all creation, that of the world. Suppose
the trees had been ever so well or so ingeniously put together, stem and
leaf, yet if they had not been able to grow, would they have been well
created? Or suppose the fish had been cut and stitched finely out of
skin and whalebone; yet, cast upon the waters, had not been able to
swim? Or suppose Adam and Eve had been made in the softest clay, ever so
neatly, and set at the foot of the tree of knowledge, fastened up to
it, quite unable to fall, or do anything else, would they have been well
created, or in any true sense created at all?

§ 20. It will, perhaps, appear to you, after a little farther thought,
that to create anything in reality is to put life into it.

A poet, or creator, is therefore a person who puts things together, not
as a watchmaker steel, or a shoemaker leather, but who puts life into

His work is essentially this: it is the gathering and arranging of
material by imagination, so as to have in it at last the harmony or
helpfulness of life, and the passion or emotion of life. Mere fitting
and adjustment of material is nothing; that is watchmaking. But helpful
and passionate harmony, essentially choral harmony, so called from the
Greek word "rejoicing,"[6] is the harmony of Apollo and the Muses; the
word Muse and Mother being derived from the same root, meaning
"passionate seeking," or love, of which the issue is passionate finding,
or sacred INVENTION. For which reason I could not bear to use any baser
word than this of invention. And if the reader will think over all these
things, and follow them out, as I think he may easily with this much of
clue given him, he will not any more think it wrong in me to place
invention so high among the powers of man.[7]

Or any more think it strange that the last act of the life of
Socrates[8] should have been to purify himself from the sin of having
negligently listened to the voice within him, which, through all his
past life, had bid him "labor, and make harmony."


  [1] The word composition has been so much abused, and is in itself so
    inexpressive, that when I wrote the first part of this work I
    intended always to use, in this final section of it, the word
    "invention," and to reserve the term "composition" for that false
    composition which can be taught on principles; as I have already so
    employed the term in the chapter on "Imagination Associative," in the
    second volume. But, in arranging this section, I find it is not
    conveniently possible to avoid the ordinary modes of parlance; I
    therefore only head the section as I intended (and as is, indeed,
    best), using in the text the ordinarily accepted term; only, the
    reader must be careful to note that what I spoke of shortly as
    "composition" in the chapters on "Imagination," I here always call,
    distinctly, "false composition;" using here, as I find most
    convenient, the words "invention" or "composition" indifferently for
    the true faculty.

  [2] "The cries of them which have reaped have entered into the ears
    of the Lord of Sabaoth (of all the creatures of the earth)." You will
    find a wonderful clearness come into many texts by reading,
    habitually, "helpful" and "helpfulness" for "holy" and "holiness," or
    else "living," as in Rom. xi. 16. The sense "dedicated" (the Latin
    _sanctus_), being, of course, inapplicable to the Supreme Being, is
    an entirely secondary and accidental one.

  [3] By diligent study of good compositions it is possible to put work
    together so that the parts shall help each other, a little, or at all
    events do no harm; and when some tact and taste are associated with
    this diligence, semblances of real invention are often produced,
    which, being the results of great labor, the artist is always proud
    of; and which, being capable of learned explanation and imitation,
    the spectator naturally takes interest in. The common precepts about
    composition all produce and teach this false kind, which, as true
    composition is the noblest, being the corruption of it, is the
    ignoblest condition of art.

  [4] We may, perhaps, expediently recollect as much of our botany as
    to teach us that there may be sharp and rough persons, like spines,
    who yet have good in them, and are essentially branches, and can bud.
    But the true thorny person is no spine, only an excrescence; rootless
    evermore,--leafless evermore. No crown made of such can ever meet
    glory of Angel's hand. (In Memoriam, lxviii.)

  [5] "True," means, etymologically, not "consistent with fact," but
    "which may be trusted." "This is a true saying, and worthy of all
    acceptation," &c., meaning a trusty saying,--a saying to be rested
    on, leant upon.

  [6] [Greek: Chorous te ônomakenai para tês charas emphyton onoma].
    (Dé leg. II. 1.)

  [7] This being, indeed, among the visiblest signs of the Divine or
    immortal life. We have got a base habit of opposing the word "mortal"
    or "deathful" merely to "_im_-mortal;" whereas it is essentially
    contrary to "divine" (to [Greek: theios], not to [Greek: athanatos],
    Phaedo, 66), that which is deathful being anarchic or disobedient,
    and that which is divine ruling and obedient; this being the true
    distinction between flesh and spirit.

  [8] [Greek: Pollakis moi phoitôn to auto enypnion en tô parelthonti
    biô, allot' en allê opsei phainomenon, ta auta de legon, Ô Sôkra tes,
    ephê, mousikên poiei kai ergazou]. (Phaedo, 11.)



§ 1. The reader has probably been surprised at my assertions made often
before now, and reiterated here, that the _minutest_ portion of a great
composition is helpful to the whole. It certainly does not seem easily
conceivable that this should be so. I will go farther, and say that it
is inconceivable. But it is the fact.

We shall discern it to be so by taking one or two compositions to
pieces, and examining the fragments. In doing which, we must remember
that a great composition always has a leading emotional purpose,
technically called its motive, to which all its lines and forms have
some relation. Undulating lines, for instance, are expressive of action;
and would be false in effect if the motive of the picture was one of
repose. Horizontal and angular lines are expressive of rest and
strength; and would destroy a design whose purpose was to express
disquiet and feebleness. It is therefore necessary to ascertain the
motive before descending to the detail.

§ 2. One of the simplest subjects, in the series of the Rivers of
France, is "Rietz, near Saumur." The published Plate gives a better
rendering than usual of its tone of light; and my rough etching, Plate
73, sufficiently shows the arrangement of its lines. What is their

To get at it completely, we must know something of the Loire.

The district through which it here flows is, for the most part, a low
place, yet not altogether at the level of the stream, but cut into steep
banks of chalk or gravel, thirty or forty feet high, running for miles
at about an equal height above the water.

[Illustration: 73. Loire-side.]

These banks are excavated by the peasantry, partly for houses, partly
for cellars, so economizing vineyard space above; and thus a kind of
continuous village runs along the river-side, composed half of caves,
half of rude buildings, backed by the cliff, propped against it,
therefore always leaning away from the river; mingled with overlappings
of vineyard trellis from above, and little towers or summer-houses for
outlook, when the grapes are ripe, or for gossip over the garden wall.

§ 3. It is an autumnal evening, then, by this Loire side. The day has
been hot, and the air is heavy and misty still; the sunlight warm, but
dim; the brown vine-leaves motionless: all else quiet. Not a sail in
sight on the river,[1] its strong, noiseless current lengthening the
stream of low sunlight.

The motive of the picture, therefore, is the expression of rude but
perfect peace, slightly mingled with an indolent languor and
despondency; the peace between intervals of enforced labor; happy, but
listless, and having little care or hope about the future; cutting its
home out of this gravel bank, and letting the vine and the river twine
and undermine as they will; careless to mend or build, so long as the
walls hold together, and the black fruit swells in the sunshine.

§ 4. To get this repose, together with rude stability, we have therefore
horizontal lines and bold angles. The grand horizontal space and sweep
of Turner's distant river show perhaps better in the etching than in the
Plate; but depend wholly for value on the piece of near wall. It is the
vertical line of its dark side which drives the eye up into the
distance, right against the horizontal, and so makes it felt, while the
flatness of the stone prepares the eye to understand the flatness of the
river. Farther: hide with your finger the little ring on that stone, and
you will find the river has stopped flowing. That ring is to repeat the
curved lines of the river bank, which express its line of current, and
to bring the feeling of them down near us. On the other side of the road
the horizontal lines are taken up again by the dark pieces of wood,
without which we should still lose half our space.

Next: The repose is to be not only perfect, but indolent: the repose of
out-wearied people: not caring much what becomes of them.

You see the road is covered with litter. Even the crockery is left
outside the cottage to dry in the sun, after being washed up. The steps
of the cottage door have been too high for comfort originally, only it
was less trouble to cut three large stones than four or five small. They
are now all aslope and broken, not repaired for years. Their weighty
forms increase the sense of languor throughout the scene, and of
stability also, because we feel how difficult it would be to stir them.
The crockery has its work to do also;--the arched door on the left being
necessary to show the great thickness of walls and the strength they
require to prevent falling in of the cliff above;--as the horizontal
lines must be diffused on the right, so this arch must be diffused on
the left; and the large round plate on one side of the steps, with the
two small ones on the other, are to carry down the element of circular
curvature. Hide them, and see the result.

As they carry the arched group of forms down, the arched window-shutter
diffuses it upwards, where all the lines of the distant buildings
suggest one and the same idea of disorderly and careless strength,
mingling masonry with rock.

§ 5. So far of the horizontal and curved lines. How of the radiating
ones? What has the black vine trellis got to do?

Lay a pencil or ruler parallel with its lines. You will find that they
point to the massive building in the distance. To which, as nearly as is
possible without at once showing the artifice, every other radiating
line points also; almost ludicrously when it is once pointed out; even
the curved line of the top of the terrace runs into it, and the last
sweep of the river evidently leads to its base. And so nearly is it in
the exact centre of the picture, that one diagonal from corner to corner
passes through it, and the other only misses the base by the twentieth
of an inch.

If you are accustomed to France, you will know in a moment by its
outline that this massive building is an old church.

Without it, the repose would not have been essentially the laborer's
rest--rest as of the Sabbath. Among all the groups of lines that point
to it, two are principal: the first, those of the vine trellis: the
second, those of the handles of the saw left in the beam:--the blessing
of human life and its labor.

Whenever Turner wishes to express profound repose, he puts in the
foreground some instrument of labor cast aside. See, in Roger's Poems,
the last vignette, "Datur hora quieti," with the plough in the furrow;
and in the first vignette of the same book, the scythe on the shoulder
of the peasant going home. (There is nothing about the scythe in the
passage of the poem which this vignette illustrates.)

§ 6. Observe, farther, the outline of the church itself. As our
habitations are, so is our church, evidently a heap of old, but massive,
walls, patched, and repaired, and roofed in, and over and over, until
its original shape is hardly recognizable. I know the kind of church
well--can tell even here, two miles off, that I shall find some Norman
arches in the apse, and a flamboyant porch, rich and dark, with every
statue broken out of it; and a rude wooden belfry above all; and a
quantity of miserable shops built in among the buttresses; and that I
may walk in and out as much as I please, but that how often soever, I
shall always find some one praying at the Holy Sepulchre, in the darkest
aisle, and my going in and out will not disturb them. For they _are_
praying, which in many a handsomer and highlier-furbished edifice might,
perhaps, not be so assuredly the case.

§ 7. Lastly: What kind of people have we on this winding road? Three
indolent ones, leaning on the wall to look over into the gliding water;
and a matron with her market panniers, by her figure, not a fast rider.
The road, besides, is bad, and seems unsafe for trotting, and she has
passed without disturbing the cat, who sits comfortably on the block of
wood in the middle of it.

§ 8. Next to this piece of quietness, let us glance at a composition in
which the motive is one of tumult: that of the Fall of Schaffhausen. It
is engraved in the Keepsake. I have etched in Plate 74, at the top, the
chief lines of its composition,[2] in which the first great purpose is
to give swing enough to the water. The line of fall is straight and
monotonous in reality. Turner wants to get the great concave sweep and
rush of the river well felt, in spite of the unbroken form. The column
of spray, rocks, mills, and bank, all radiate like a plume, sweeping
round together in grand curves to the left, where the group of figures,
hurried about the ferry boat, rises like a dash of spray; they also
radiating: so as to form one perfectly connected cluster, with the two
gens-d'armes and the millstones; the millstones at the bottom being the
root of it; the two soldiers laid right and left to sustain the branch
of figures beyond, balanced just as a tree bough would be.

§ 9. One of the gens-d'armes is flirting with a young lady in a round
cap and full sleeves, under pretence of wanting her to show him what she
has in her bandbox. The motive of which flirtation is, so far as Turner
is concerned in it, primarily the bandbox: this and the millstones
below, give him a series of concave lines, which, concentrated by the
recumbent soldiers, intensify the hollow sweep of the fall, precisely as
the ring on the stone does the Loire eddies. These curves are carried
out on the right by the small plate of eggs, laid to be washed at the
spring; and, all these concave lines being a little too quiet and
recumbent, the staggering casks are set on the left, and the
ill-balanced milk-pail on the right, to give a general feeling of things
being rolled over and over. The things which are to give this sense of
rolling are dark, in order to hint at the way in which the cataract
rolls boulders of rock; while the forms which are to give the sense of
its sweeping force are white. The little spring, splashing out of its
pine-trough, is to give contrast with the power of the fall,--while it
carries out the general sense of splashing water.

[Illustration: 74. The Mill-stream.]

[Illustration: Painted by J. N. W. Turner. Drawn by J. Ruskin. Engraved
by R. P. Cuff.

75. The Castle of Lauffen.]

§ 10. This spring exists on the spot, and so does everything else in the
picture; but the combinations are wholly arbitrary; it being Turner's
fixed principle to collect out of any scene whatever was characteristic,
and put it together just as he liked. The changes made in this instance
are highly curious. The mills have no resemblance whatever to the real
group as seen from this spot; for there is a vulgar and formal
dwelling-house in front of them. But if you climb the rock behind them,
you find they form on that side a towering cluster, which Turner has put
with little modification into the drawing. What he has done to the
mills, he has done with still greater audacity to the central rock. Seen
from this spot, it shows, in reality, its greatest breadth, and is heavy
and uninteresting; but on the Lauffen side, exposes its consumed base,
worn away by the rush of water, which Turner resolving to show, serenely
draws the rock as it appears from the other side of the Rhine, and
brings that view of it over to this side. I have etched the bit with the
rock a little larger below; and if the reader knows the spot, he will
see that this piece of the drawing, reversed in the etching, is almost a
bonâ fide unreversed study of the fall from the Lauffen side.[3]

Finally, the castle of Lauffen itself, being, when seen from this spot,
too much foreshortened to show its extent, Turner walks a quarter of a
mile lower down the river, draws the castle accurately there, brings it
back with him, and puts it in all its extent, where he chooses to have
it, beyond the rocks.

I tried to copy and engrave this piece of the drawing of its real size,
merely to show the forms of the trees, drifted back by the breeze from
the fall, and wet with its spray; but in the endeavor to facsimile the
touches, great part of their grace and ease has been lost; still, Plate
75 may, if compared with the same piece in the Keepsake engraving, at
least show that the original drawing has not yet been rendered with

§ 11. These two examples may sufficiently serve to show the mode in
which minor details, both in form and spirit, are used by Turner to aid
his main motives; of course I cannot, in the space of this volume, go on
examining subjects at this length, even if I had time to etch them; but
every design of Turner's would be equally instructive, examined in a
similar manner. Thus far, however, we have only seen the help of the
parts to the whole: we must give yet a little attention to the mode of
combining the smallest details.

I am always led away, in spite of myself, from my proper subject here,
invention formal, or the merely pleasant placing of lines and masses,
into the emotional results of such arrangement.

The chief reason of this is that the emotional power can be explained;
but the perfection of formative arrangement, as I said, cannot be
explained, any more than that of melody in music. An instance or two of
it, however, may be given.

§ 12. Much fine formative arrangement depends on a more or less
elliptical or pear-shaped balance of the group, obtained by arranging
the principal members of it on two opposite curves, and either
centralizing it by some powerful feature at the base, centre, or summit;
or else clasping it together by some conspicuous point or knot. A very
small object will often do this satisfactorily.

If you can get the complete series of Lefèbre's engravings from Titian
and Veronese, they will be quite enough to teach you, in their dumb way,
everything that is teachable of composition; at all events, try to get
the Madonna, with St. Peter and St. George under the two great pillars;
the Madonna and Child, with mitred bishop on her left, and St. Andrew on
her right; and Veronese's Triumph of Venice. The first of these Plates
unites two formative symmetries; that of the two pillars, clasped by the
square altar-cloth below and cloud above, catches the eye first; but the
main group is the fivefold one rising to the left, crowned by the
Madonna. St. Francis and St. Peter form its two wings, and the kneeling
portrait figures, its base. It is clasped at the bottom by the key of
St. Peter, which points straight at the Madonna's head, and is laid on
the steps solely for this purpose; the curved lines, which enclose the
group, meet also in her face; and the straight line of light, on the
cloak of the nearest senator, points at her also. If you have Turner's
Liber Studiorum, turn to the Lauffenburg, and compare the figure group
there: a fivefold chain, one standing figure, central; two recumbent,
for wings; two half-recumbent, for bases; and a cluster of weeds to
clasp. Then turn to Lefèbre's Europa (there are two in the series--I
mean the one with the two tree trunks over her head). It is a wonderful
ninefold group. Europa central; two stooping figures, each surmounted by
a standing one, for wings; a cupid on one side, and dog on the other,
for bases; a cupid and trunk of tree, on each side, to terminate above;
and a garland for clasp.

[Illustration: FIG. 94.]

§ 13. Fig. 94, page 171, will serve to show the mode in which similar
arrangements are carried into the smallest detail. It is magnified four
times from a cluster of leaves in the foreground of the "Isis" (Liber
Studiorum). Figs. 95 and 96, page 172, show the arrangement of the two
groups composing it; the lower is purely symmetrical, with trefoiled
centre and broad masses for wings; the uppermost is a sweeping
continuous curve, symmetrical, but foreshortened. Both are clasped by
arrow-shaped leaves. The two whole groups themselves are, in turn,
members of another larger group, composing the entire foreground, and
consisting of broad dock-leaves, with minor clusters on the right and
left, of which these form the chief portion on the right side.

[Illustration: FIG. 95.]

[Illustration: FIG. 96.]

§ 14. Unless every leaf, and every visible point or object, however
small, forms a part of some harmony of this kind (these symmetrical
conditions being only the most simple and obvious), it has no business
in the picture. It is the necessary connection of all the forms and
colors, down to the last touch, which constitutes great or inventive
work, separated from all common work by an impassable gulf.

By diligently copying the etchings of the Liber Studiorum, the reader
may, however, easily attain the perception of the existence of these
relations, and be prepared to understand Turner's more elaborate
composition. It would take many figures to disentangle and explain the
arrangements merely of the leaf cluster, Fig. 78, facing page 97; but
that there _is_ a system, and that every leaf has a fixed value and
place in it, can hardly but be felt at a glance.

It is curious that, in spite of all the constant talkings of
"composition" which goes on among art students, true composition is just
the last thing which appears to be perceived. One would have thought
that in this group, at least, the value of the central black leaf would
have been seen, of which the principal function is to point towards, and
continue, the line of bank above. See Plate 62. But a glance at the
published Plate in the England series will show that no idea of the
composition had occurred to the engraver's mind. He thought any leaves
would do, and supplied them from his own repertory of hack vegetation.

§ 15. I would willingly enlarge farther on this subject--it is a
favorite one with me; but the figures required for any exhaustive
treatment of it would form a separate volume. All that I can do is to
indicate, as these examples do sufficiently, the vast field open to the
student's analysis if he cares to pursue the subject; and to mark for
the general reader these two strong conclusions:--that nothing in great
work is ever either fortuitous or contentious.

It is not fortuitous; that is to say, not left to fortune. The "must do
it by a kind of felicity" of Bacon is true; it is true also that an
accident is often suggestive to an inventor. Turner himself said, "I
never lose an accident." But it is this not _losing_ it, this taking
things out of the hands of Fortune, and putting them into those of force
and foresight, which attest the master. Chance may sometimes help, and
sometimes provoke, a success; but must never rule, and rarely allure.

And, lastly, nothing must be contentious. Art has many uses and many
pleasantnesses; but of all its services, none are higher than its
setting forth, by a visible and enduring image, the nature of all true
authority and freedom; Authority which defines and directs the action of
benevolent law; and Freedom which consists in deep and soft consent of
individual[4] helpfulness.


  [1] The sails in the engraving were put in to catch the public eye.
    There are none in the drawing.

  [2] These etchings of compositions are all reversed, for they are
    merely sketches on the steel, and I cannot sketch easily except
    straight from the drawing, and without reversing. The looking-glass
    plagues me with cross lights. As examples of composition, it does not
    the least matter which way they are turned; and the reader may see
    this Schaffhausen subject from the right side of the Rhine, by
    holding the book before a glass. The rude indications of the figures
    in the Loire subject are nearly facsimiles of Turner's.

  [3] With the exception of the jagged ledge rising out of the foam
    below which comes from the north side, and is admirable in its
    expression of the position of the limestone-beds, which, rising from
    below the drift gravel of Constance, are the real cause of the fall
    of Schaffhausen.

  [4] "Individual," that is to say, distinct and separate in character,
    though joined in purpose. I might have enlarged on this head, but
    that all I should care to say has been already said admirably by Mr.
    J. S. Mill in his essay on _Liberty_.



§ 1. In the entire range of art principles, none perhaps present a
difficulty so great to the student, or require from the teacher
expression so cautious, and yet so strong, as those which concern the
nature and influence of magnitude.

In one sense, and that deep, there is no such thing as magnitude. The
least thing is as the greatest, and one day as a thousand years, in the
eyes of the Maker of great and small things. In another sense, and that
close to us and necessary, there exist both magnitude and value. Though
not a sparrow falls to the ground unnoted, there are yet creatures who
are of more value than many; and the same Spirit which weighs the dust
of the earth in a balance, counts the isles as a little thing.

§ 2. The just temper of human mind in this matter may, nevertheless, be
told shortly. Greatness can only be rightly estimated when minuteness is
justly reverenced. Greatness is the aggregation of minuteness; nor can
its sublimity be felt truthfully by any mind unaccustomed to the
affectionate watching of what is least.

But if this affection for the least be unaccompanied by the powers of
comparison and reflection; if it be intemperate in its thirst, restless
in curiosity, and incapable of the patient and self-commandant pause
which is wise to arrange, and submissive to refuse, it will close the
paths of noble art to the student as effectually, and hopelessly, as
even the blindness of pride, or impatience of ambition.

§ 3. I say the paths of noble art, not of useful art. All accurate
investigation will have its reward; the morbid curiosity will at least
slake the thirst of others, if not its own; and the diffused and petty
affections will distribute, in serviceable measure, their minute
delights and narrow discoveries. The opposite error, the desire of
greatness as such, or rather of what appears great to indolence and
vanity;--the instinct which I have described in the "Seven Lamps,"
noting it, among the Renaissance builders, to be an especial and
unfailing sign of baseness of mind, is as fruitless as it is vile; no
way profitable--every way harmful: the widest and most corrupting
expression of vulgarity. The microscopic drawing of an insect may be
precious; but nothing except disgrace and misguidance will ever be
gathered from such work as that of Haydon or Barry.

§ 4. The work I have mostly had to do, since this essay was begun, has
been that of contention against such debased issues of swollen insolence
and windy conceit; but I have noticed lately, that some lightly-budding
philosophers have depreciated true greatness; confusing the relations of
scale, as they bear upon human instinct and morality; reasoning as if a
mountain were no nobler than a grain of sand, or as if many souls were
not of mightier interest than one. To whom it must be shortly answered
that the Lord of power and life knew which were His noblest works, when
He bade His servant watch the play of the Leviathan, rather than dissect
the spawn of the minnow; and that when it comes to practical question
whether a single soul is to be jeoparded for many, and this Leonidas, or
Curtius, or Winkelried shall abolish--so far as abolishable--his own
spirit, that he may save more numerous spirits, such question is to be
solved by the simple human instinct respecting number and magnitude, not
by reasonings on infinity:--

  "Le navigateur, qui, la nuit, voit l'océan étinceler de lumière,
  danser en guirlandes de feu, s'égaye d'abord de ce spectacle. Il fait
  dix lieues; la guirlande s'allonge indéfiniment, elle s'agite, se
  tord, se noue, aux mouvements de la lame; c'est un serpent monstrueux
  qui va toujours s'allongeant, jusqu'à trente lieues, quarante lieues.
  Et tout cela n'est qu'une danse d'animalcules imperceptibles. En quel
  nombre? A cette question l'imagination s'effraye; elle sent là une
  nature de puissance immense, de richesse epouvantable.... Que sont ces
  petits des petits? Rien moins que les constructeurs du globe où nous
  sommes. De leurs corps, de leurs débris, ils ont préparé le sol qui
  est sous nos pas.... Et ce sont les plus petits qui ont fait les plus
  grandes choses. L'imperceptible rhizopode s'est bâti un monument bien
  autre que les pyramides, pas moins que l'Italie centrale, une notable
  partie de la chaîne des Apennins. Mais c'était trop peu encore; les
  masses énormes du Chili, les prodigieuses Cordillères, qui regardent
  le monde à leurs pieds, sont le monument funéraire où cet être
  insaisissable, et pour ainsi dire, invisible, a enseveli les débris de
  son espèce dïsparue."--(Michelet: _L'Insecte_.)

§ 5. In these passages, and those connected with them in the chapter
from which they are taken, itself so vast in scope, and therefore so
sublime, we may perhaps find the true relations of minuteness,
multitude, and magnitude. We shall not feel that there is no such thing
as littleness, or no such thing as magnitude. Nor shall we be disposed
to confuse a Volvox with the Cordilleras; but we may learn that they
both are bound together by links of eternal life and toil; we shall see
the vastest thing noble, chiefly for what it includes; and the meanest
for what it accomplishes. Thence we might gather--and the conclusion
will be found in experience true--that the sense of largeness would be
most grateful to minds capable of comprehending, balancing, and
comparing; but capable also of great patience and expectation; while the
sense of minute wonderfulness would be attractive to minds acted upon by
sharp, small, penetrative sympathies, and apt to be impatient,
irregular, and partial. This fact is curiously shown in the relations
between the temper of the great composers and the modern pathetic
school. I was surprised at the first rise of that school, now some years
ago, by observing how they restrained themselves to subjects which in
other hands would have been wholly uninteresting (compare Vol. IV., p.
19); and in their succeeding efforts, I saw with increasing wonder, that
they were almost destitute of the power of feeling vastness, or enjoying
the forms which expressed it. A mountain or great building only appeared
to them as a piece of color of a certain shape. The powers it
represented, or included, were invisible to them. In general they
avoided subjects expressing space or mass, and fastened on confined,
broken, and sharp forms; liking furze, fern, reeds, straw, stubble, dead
leaves, and such like, better than strong stones, broad-flowing leaves,
or rounded hills: in all such greater things, when forced to paint them,
they missed the main and mighty lines; and this no less in what they
loved than in what they disliked; for though fond of foliage, their
trees always had a tendency to congeal into little acicular
thorn-hedges, and never tossed free. Which modes of choice proceed
naturally from a petulant sympathy with local and immediately visible
interests or sorrows, not regarding their large consequences, nor
capable of understanding more massive view or more deeply deliberate
mercifulness;--but peevish and horror-struck, and often incapable of
self-control, though not of self-sacrifice. There are more people who
can forget themselves than govern themselves.

This narrowly pungent and bitter virtue has, however, its beautiful
uses, and is of special value in the present day, when surface-work,
shallow generalization, and cold arithmetical estimates of things, are
among the chief dangers and causes of misery which men have to deal

§ 6. On the other hand, and in clear distinction from all such workers,
it is to be remembered that the great composers, not less deep in
feeling, are in the fixed habit of regarding as much the relations and
positions, as the separate nature, of things; that they reap and thrash
in the sheaf, never pluck ears to rub in the hand; fish with net, not
line, and sweep their prey together within great cords of errorless
curve;--that nothing ever bears to them a separate or isolated aspect,
but leads or links a chain of aspects--that to them it is not merely the
surface, nor the substance, of anything that is of import; but its
circumference and continence: that they are pre-eminently patient and
reserved; observant, not curious;--comprehensive, not conjectural; calm
exceedingly; unerring, constant, terrible in steadfastness of intent;
unconquerable: incomprehensible: always suggesting, implying, including,
more than can be told.

§ 7. And this may be seen down to their treatment of the smallest

For there is nothing so small but we may, as we choose, see it in the
whole, or in part, and in subdued connection with other things, or in
individual and petty prominence. The greatest treatment is always that
which gives conception the widest range, and most harmonious
guidance;--it being permitted us to employ a certain quantity of time,
and certain number of touches of pencil--he who with these embraces the
largest sphere of thought, and suggests within that sphere the most
perfect order of thought, has wrought the most wisely, and therefore
most nobly.

§ 8. I do not, however, purpose here to examine or illustrate the
nature of great treatment--to do so effectually would need many examples
from the figure composers; and it will be better (if I have time to work
out the subject carefully) that I should do so in a form which may be
easily accessible to young students. Here I will only state in
conclusion what it is chiefly important for all students to be convinced
of, that all the technical qualities by which greatness of treatment is
known, such as reserve in color, tranquillity and largeness of line, and
refusal of unnecessary objects of interest, are, when they are real, the
exponents of an habitually noble temper of mind, never the observances
of a precept supposed to be useful. The refusal or reserve of a mighty
painter cannot be imitated; it is only by reaching the same intellectual
strength that you will be able to give an equal dignity to your
self-denial. No one can tell you beforehand what to accept, or what to
ignore; only remember always, in painting as in eloquence, the greater
your strength, the quieter will be your manner, and the fewer your
words; and in painting, as in all the arts and acts of life, the secret
of high success will be found, not in a fretful, and various excellence,
but in a quiet singleness of justly chosen aim.



§1. Among the several characteristics of great treatment which in the
last chapter were alluded to without being enlarged upon, one will be
found several times named;--reserve.

It is necessary for our present purpose that we should understand this
quality more distinctly. I mean by it the power which a great painter
exercises over himself in fixing certain limits, either of force, of
color, or of quantity of work;--limits which he will not transgress in
any part of his picture, even though here and there a painful sense of
incompletion may exist, under the fixed conditions, and might tempt an
inferior workman to infringe them. The nature of this reserve we must
understand in order that we may also determine the nature of true
completion or perfectness, which is the end of composition.

§ 2. For perfectness, properly so called, means harmony. The word
signifies, literally, the doing our work _thoroughly_. It does not mean
carrying it up to any constant and established degree of finish, but
carrying the whole of it up to a degree determined upon. In a chalk or
pencil sketch by a great master, it will often be found that the deepest
shades are feeble tints of pale gray; the outlines nearly invisible, and
the forms brought out by a ghostly delicacy of touch, which, on looking
close to the paper, will be indistinguishable from its general texture.
A single line of ink, occurring anywhere in such a drawing, would of
course destroy it; placed in the darkness of a mouth or nostril, it
would turn the expression into a caricature; on a cheek or brow it would
be simply a blot. Yet let the blot remain, and let the master work up to
it with lines of similar force; and the drawing which was before
perfect, in terms of pencil, will become, under his hand, perfect in
terms of ink; and what was before a scratch on the cheek will become a
necessary and beautiful part of its gradation.

All great work is thus reduced under certain conditions, and its right
to be called complete depends on its fulfilment of them, not on the
nature of the conditions chosen. Habitually, indeed, we call a colored
work which is satisfactory to us, finished, and a chalk drawing
unfinished; but in the mind of the master, all his work is, according to
the sense in which you use the word, equally perfect or imperfect.
Perfect, if you regard its purpose and limitation; imperfect, if you
compare it with the natural standard. In what appears to you consummate,
the master has assigned to himself terms of shortcoming, and marked with
a sad severity the point up to which he will permit himself to contend
with nature. Were it not for his acceptance of such restraint, he could
neither quit his work, nor endure it. He could not quit it, for he would
always perceive more that might be done; he could not endure it, because
all doing ended only in more elaborate deficiency.

§ 3. But we are apt to forget, in modern days, that the reserve of a man
who is not putting forth half his strength is different in manner and
dignity from the effort of one who can do no more. Charmed, and justly
charmed, by the harmonious sketches of great painters, and by the
grandeur of their acquiescence in the point of pause, we have put
ourselves to produce sketches as an end instead of a means, and thought
to imitate the painter's scornful restraint of his own power, by a
scornful rejection of the things beyond ours. For many reasons,
therefore, it becomes desirable to understand precisely and finally what
a good painter means by completion.

§ 4. The sketches of true painters may be classed under the following

I. _Experimental._--In which they are assisting an imperfect conception
of a subject by trying the look of it on paper in different ways.

By the greatest men this kind of sketch is hardly ever made; they
conceive their subjects distinctly at once, and their sketch is not to
try them, but to fasten them down. Raphael's form the only important
exception--and the numerous examples of experimental work by him are
evidence of his composition being technical rather than imaginative. I
have never seen a drawing of the kind by any great Venetian. Among the
nineteen thousand sketches by Turner--which I arranged in the National
Gallery--there was, to the best of my recollection, _not one_. In
several instances the work, after being carried forward a certain
length, had been abandoned and begun again with another view; sometimes
also two or more modes of treatment had been set side by side with a
view to choice. But there were always two distinct imaginations
contending for realization--not experimental modifications of one.

§ 5. II. _Determinant._--The fastening down of an idea in the simplest
terms, in order that it may not be disturbed or confused by after work.
Nearly all the great composers do this, methodically, before beginning a
painting. Such sketches are usually in a high degree resolute and
compressive; the best of them outlined or marked calmly with the pen,
and deliberately washed with color, indicating the places of the
principal lights.

Fine drawings of this class never show any hurry or confusion. They are
the expression of concluded operations of mind, are drawn slowly, and
are not so much sketches, as maps.

§ 6. III. _Commemorative._--Containing records of facts which the master
required. These in their most elaborate form are "studies," or drawings,
from Nature, of parts needed in the composition, often highly finished
in the part which is to be introduced. In this form, however, they never
occur by the greatest imaginative masters. For by a truly great inventor
everything is invented; no atom of the work is unmodified by his mind;
and no study from nature, however beautiful, could be introduced by him
into his design without change; it would not fit with the rest. Finished
studies for introduction are therefore chiefly by Leonardo and Raphael,
both technical designers rather than imaginative ones.

Commemorative sketches, by great masters, are generally hasty, merely to
put them in mind of motives of invention, or they are shorthand
memoranda of things with which they do not care to trouble their memory;
or, finally, accurate notes of things which they must _not_ modify by
invention, as local detail, costume, and such like. You may find
perfectly accurate drawings of coats of arms, portions of dresses,
pieces of architecture, and so on, by all the great men; but you will
not find elaborate studies of bits of their pictures.

[Illustration: FIG. 97.]

§ 7. When the sketch is made merely as a memorandum, it is impossible to
say how little, or what kind of drawing, may be sufficient for the
purpose. It is of course likely to be hasty from its very nature, and
unless the exact purpose be understood, it may be as unintelligible as a
piece of shorthand writing. For instance, in the corner of a sheet of
sketches made at sea, among those of Turner, at the National Gallery,
occurs this one, Fig. 97. I suppose most persons would not see much use
in it. It nevertheless was probably one of the most important sketches
made in Turner's life, fixing for ever in his mind certain facts
respecting the sunrise from a clear sea-horizon. Having myself watched
such sunrise, occasionally, I perceive this sketch to mean as follows:--

(Half circle at the top.) When the sun was only half out of the sea, the
horizon was sharply traced across its disk, and red streaks of vapor
crossed the lower part of it.

(Horseshoe underneath.) When the sun had risen so far as to show
three-quarters of its diameter, its light became so great as to conceal
the sea-horizon, consuming it away in descending rays.

(Smaller horseshoe below.) When on the point of detaching itself from
the horizon, the sun still consumed away the line of the sea, and looked
as if pulled down by it.

(Broken oval.) Having risen about a fourth of its diameter above the
horizon, the sea-line reappeared; but the risen orb was flattened by
refraction into an oval.

(Broken circle.) Having risen a little farther above the sea-line, the
sun, at last, got itself round, and all right, with sparkling reflection
on the waves just below the sea-line.

This memorandum is for its purpose entirely perfect and efficient,
though the sun is not drawn carefully round, but with a dash of the
pencil; but there is no affected or desired slightness. Could it have
been drawn round as instantaneously, it would have been. The purpose is
throughout determined; there is no scrawling, as in vulgar sketching.[1]

§ 8. Again, Fig. 98 is a facsimile of one of Turner's "memoranda," of a
complete subject,[2] Lausanne, from the road to Fribourg.

[Illustration: FIG. 98. _To face page 184._]

This example is entirely characteristic of his usual drawings from
nature, which unite two characters, being _both_ commemorative and
determinant:--Commemorative, in so far as they note certain facts about
the place: determinant, in that they record an impression received from
the place there and then, together with the principal arrangement of the
composition in which it was afterwards to be recorded. In this mode of
sketching, Turner differs from all other men whose work I have studied.
He never draws accurately on the spot, with the intention of modifying
or composing afterwards from the materials; but instantly modifies as he
draws, placing his memoranda where they are to be ultimately used, and
taking exactly what he wants, not a fragment or line more.

§ 9. This sketch has been made in the afternoon. He had been impressed
as he walked up the hill, by the vanishing of the lake in the golden
horizon, without end of waters, and by the opposition of the pinnacled
castle and cathedral to its level breadth. That must be drawn! and from
this spot, where all the buildings are set well together. But it
lucklessly happens that, though the buildings come just where he wants
them in situation, they don't in height. For the castle (the square mass
on the right) is in reality higher than the cathedral, and would block
out the end of the lake. Down it goes instantly a hundred feet, that we
may see the lake over it; without the smallest regard for the military
position of Lausanne.

§ 10. Next: The last low spire on the left is in truth concealed behind
the nearer bank, the town running far down the hill (and climbing
another hill) in that direction. But the group oi spires, without it,
would not be rich enough to give a proper impression of Lausanne, as a
spiry place. Turner quietly sends to fetch the church from round the
corner, places it where he likes, and indicates its distance only by
aërial perspective (much greater in the pencil drawing than in the

§ 11. But again: Not only the spire of the lower church, but the peak of
the Rochers d'Enfer (that highest in the distance) would in reality be
out of sight; it is much farther round to the left. This would never do
either; for without it, we should have no idea that Lausanne was
opposite the mountains, nor should we have a nice sloping line to lead
us into the distance.

With the same unblushing tranquillity of mind in which he had ordered up
the church, Turner sends also to fetch the Rochers d'Enfer; and puts
_them_ also where he chooses, to crown the slope of distant hill, which,
as every traveller knows, in its decline to the west, is one of the most
notable features of the view from Lausanne.

§ 12. These modifications, easily traceable in the large features of the
design, are carried out with equal audacity and precision in every part
of it. Every one of those confused lines on the right indicates
something that is really there, only everything is shifted and sorted
into the exact places that Turner chose. The group of dark objects near
us at the foot of the bank is a cluster of mills, which, when the
picture was completed, were to be the blackest things in it, and to
throw back the castle, and the golden horizon; while the rounded touches
at the bottom, under the castle, indicate a row of trees, which follow a
brook coming out of the ravine behind us; and were going to be made very
round indeed in the picture (to oppose the spiky and angular masses of
castle) and very consecutive, in order to form another conducting line
into the distance.

§ 13. These motives, or motives like them, might perhaps be guessed on
looking at the sketch. But no one without going to the spot would
understand the meaning of the vertical lines in the left-hand lowest

They are a "memorandum" of the artificial verticalness of a low
sandstone cliff, which has been cut down there to give space for a bit
of garden belonging to a public-house beneath, from which garden a path
leads along the ravine to the Lausanne rifle ground. The value of these
vertical lines in repeating those of the cathedral is very great; it
would be greater still in the completed picture, increasing the sense of
looking down from a height, and giving grasp of, and power over, the
whole scene.

§ 14. Throughout the sketch, as in all that Turner made, the observing
and combining intellect acts in the same manner. Not a line is lost, nor
a moment of time; and though the pencil flies, and the whole thing is
literally done as fast as a piece of shorthand writing, it is to the
full as purposeful and compressed, so that while there are indeed dashes
of the pencil which are unintentional, they are only unintentional as
the form of a letter is, in fast writing, not from want of intention,
but from the accident of haste.

§ 15. I know not if the reader can understand,--I myself cannot, though
I see it to be demonstrable,--the simultaneous occurrence of idea which
produces such a drawing as this: the grasp of the whole, from the laying
of the first line, which induces continual modifications of all that is
done, out of respect to parts not done yet. No line is ever changed or
effaced: no experiment made; but every touch is placed with reference to
all that are to succeed, as to all that have gone before; every addition
takes its part, as the stones in an arch of a bridge; the last touch
locks the arch. Remove that keystone, or remove any other of the stones
of the vault, and the whole will fall.

§ 16. I repeat--the power of mind which accomplishes this, is yet wholly
inexplicable to me, as it was when first I defined it in the chapter on
imagination associative, in the second volume. But the grandeur of the
power impresses me daily more and more; and, in quitting the subject of
invention, let me assert finally, in clearest and strongest terms, that
no painting is of any true imaginative perfectness at all, unless it has
been thus conceived.

One sign of its being thus conceived may be always found in the
straightforwardness of its work. There are continual disputes among
artists as to the best way of doing things, which may nearly all be
resolved into confessions of indetermination. If you know precisely what
you want, you will not feel much hesitation in setting about it; and a
picture may be painted almost any way, so only that it can be a straight
way. Give a true painter a ground of black, white, scarlet, or green,
and out of it he will bring what you choose. From the black, brightness;
from the white, sadness; from the scarlet, coolness; from the green,
glow: he will make anything out of anything, but in each case his method
will be pure, direct, perfect, the shortest and simplest possible. You
will find him, moreover, indifferent as to succession of process. Ask
him to begin at the bottom of the picture instead of the top,--to finish
two square inches of it without touching the rest, or to lay a separate
ground for every part before finishing any;--it is all the same to him!
What he will do if left to himself, depends on mechanical convenience,
and on the time at his disposal. If he has a large brush in his hand,
and plenty of one color ground, he may lay as much as is wanted of that
color, at once, in every part of the picture where it is to occur; and
if any is left, perhaps walk to another canvas, and lay the rest of it
where it will be wanted on that. If, on the contrary, he has a small
brush in his hand, and is interested in a particular spot of the
picture, he will, perhaps, not stir from it till that bit is finished.
But the absolutely best, or centrally, and entirely _right_ way of
painting is as follows:--

§ 17. A light ground, white, red, yellow, or gray, not brown, or black.
On that an entirely accurate, and firm black outline of the whole
picture, in its principal masses. The outline to be exquisitely correct
as far as it reaches, but not to include small details; the use of it
being to limit the masses of first color. The ground-colors then to be
laid firmly, each on its own proper part of the picture, as inlaid work
in a mosaic table, meeting each other truly at the edges: as much of
each being laid as will get itself into the state which the artist
requires it to be in for his second painting, by the time he comes to
it. On this first color, the second colors and subordinate masses laid
in due order, now, of course, necessarily without previous outline, and
all small detail reserved to the last, the bracelet being not touched,
nor indicated in the last, till the arm is finished.[3]

§ 18. This is, as far as it can be expressed in few words, the right, or
Venetian way of painting; but it is incapable of absolute definition,
for it depends on the scale, the material, and the nature of the object
represented, _how much_ a great painter will do with his first color; or
how many after processes he will use. Very often the first color, richly
blended and worked into, is also the last; sometimes it wants a glaze
only to modify it; sometimes an entirely different color above it.
Turner's storm-blues, for instance, were produced by a black ground,
with opaque blue, mixed with white, struck over it.[4] The amount of
detail given in the first color will also depend on convenience. For
instance, if a jewel _fastens_ a fold of dress, a Venetian will lay
probably a piece of the jewel color in its place at the time he draws
the fold; but if the jewel _falls upon_ the dress, he will paint the
folds only in the ground color, and the jewel afterwards. For in the
first case his hand must pause, at any rate, where the fold is fastened;
so that he may as well mark the color of the gem: but he would have to
check his hand in the sweep with which he drew the drapery, if he
painted a jewel that fell upon it with the first color. So far, however,
as he can possibly use the under color, he will, in whatever he has to
superimpose. There is a pretty little instance of such economical work
in the painting of the pearls on the breast of the elder princess, in
our best Paul Veronese (Family of Darius). The lowest is about the size
of a small hazel-nut, and falls on her rose-red dress. Any other but a
Venetian would have put a complete piece of white paint over the dress,
for the whole pearl, and painted into that the colors of the stone. But
Veronese knows beforehand that all the dark side of the pearl will
reflect the red of the dress. He will not put white over the red, only
to put red over the white again. He leaves the actual dress for the dark
side of the pearl, and with two small separate touches, one white,
another brown, places its high light and shadow. This he does with
perfect care and calm; but in two decisive seconds. There is no dash,
nor display, nor hurry, nor error. The exactly right thing is done in
the exactly right place, and not one atom of color, nor moment of time
spent vainly. Look close at the two touches,--you wonder what they mean.
Retire six feet from the picture--the pearl is there!

§ 19. The degree in which the ground colors are extended over his
picture, as he works, is to a great painter absolutely indifferent. It
is all the same to him whether he grounds a head, and finishes it at
once to the shoulders, leaving all round it white; or whether he grounds
the whole picture. His harmony, paint as he will, never can be complete
till the last touch is given; so long as it remains incomplete, he does
not care how little of it is suggested, or how many notes are missing.
All is wrong till all is right; and he must be able to bear the
all-wrongness till his work is done, or he cannot paint at all. His mode
of treatment will, therefore, depend on the nature of his subject; as is
beautifully shown in the water-color sketches by Turner in the National
Gallery. His general system was to complete inch by inch; leaving the
paper quite white all round, especially if the work was to be delicate.
The most exquisite drawings left unfinished in the collection--those at
Rome and Naples--are thus outlined accurately on pure white paper, begun
in the middle of the sheet, and worked out to the side, finishing as he
proceeds. If, however, any united effect of light or color is to embrace
a large part of the subject, he will lay it in with a broad wash over
the whole paper at once; then paint into it using it as a ground, and
modifying it in the pure Venetian manner. His oil pictures were laid
roughly with ground colors, and painted into with such rapid skill, that
the artists who used to see him finishing at the Academy sometimes
suspected him of having the picture finished underneath the colors he
showed, and removing, instead of adding, as they watched.

§ 20. But, whatever the means used may be, the certainty and directness
of them imply absolute grasp of the whole subject, and without this
grasp there is no good painting. This, finally, let me declare, without
qualification--that partial conception is no conception. The whole
picture must be imagined, or none of it is. And this grasp of the whole
implies very strange and sublime qualities of mind. It is not possible,
unless the feelings are completely under control; the least excitement
or passion will disturb the measured equity of power; a painter needs to
be as cool as a general; and as little moved or subdued by his sense of
pleasure, as a soldier by the sense of pain. Nothing good can be done
without intense feeling; but it must be feeling so crushed, that the
work is set about with mechanical steadiness, absolutely untroubled, as
a surgeon,--not without pity, but conquering it and putting it
aside--begins an operation. Until the feelings can give strength enough
to the will to enable it to conquer them, they are not strong enough. If
you cannot leave your picture at any moment;--cannot turn from it and go
on with another, while the color is drying;--cannot work at any part of
it you choose with equal contentment--you have not firm enough grasp of

§ 21. It follows also, that no vain or selfish person can possibly
paint, in the noble sense of the word. Vanity and selfishness are
troublous, eager, anxious, petulant:--painting can only be done in calm
of mind. Resolution is not enough to secure this; it must be secured by
disposition as well. You may resolve to think of your picture only; but,
if you have been fretted before beginning, no manly or clear grasp of it
will be possible for you. No forced calm is calm enough. Only honest
calm,--natural calm. You might as well try by external pressure to
smoothe a lake till it could reflect the sky, as by violence of effort
to secure the peace through which only you can reach imagination. That
peace must come in its own time; as the waters settle themselves into
clearness as well as quietness; you can no more filter your mind into
purity than you can compress it into calmness; you must keep it pure, if
you would have it pure; and throw no stones into it, if you would have
it quiet. Great courage and self-command may, to a certain extent, give
power of painting without the true calmness underneath; but never of
doing first-rate work. There is sufficient evidence of this, in even
what we know of great men, though of the greatest, we nearly always know
the least (and that necessarily; they being very silent, and not much
given to setting themselves forth to questioners; apt to be
contemptuously reserved, no less than unselfishly). But in such writings
and sayings as we possess of theirs, we may trace a quite curious
gentleness and serene courtesy. Rubens' letters are almost ludicrous in
their unhurried politeness. Reynolds, swiftest of painters, was gentlest
of companions; so also Velasquez, Titian, and Veronese.

§ 22. It is gratuitous to add that no shallow or petty person can paint.
Mere cleverness or special gift never made an artist. It is only
perfectness of mind, unity, depth, decision, the highest qualities, in
fine, of the intellect, which will form the imagination.

§ 23. And, lastly, no false person can paint. A person false at heart
may, when it suits his purposes, seize a stray truth here or there; but
the relations of truth,--its perfectness,--that which makes it wholesome
truth, he can never perceive. As wholeness and wholesomeness go
together, so also sight with sincerity; it is only the constant desire
of, and submissiveness to truth, which can measure its strange angles
and mark its infinite aspects; and fit them and knit them into the
strength of sacred invention.

Sacred, I call it deliberately; for it is thus, in the most accurate
senses, humble as well as helpful; meek in its receiving, as magnificent
in its disposing; the name it bears being rightly given to invention
formal, not because it forms, but because it finds. For you cannot find
a lie; you must make it for yourself. False things may be imagined, and
false things composed; but only truth can be invented.


  [1] The word in the uppermost note, to the right of the sun, is
    "red;" the others, "yellow," "purple," "cold" light gray. He always
    noted the colors of the skies in this way.

  [2] It is not so good a facsimile as those I have given from Durer,
    for the original sketch is in light pencil; and the thickening and
    delicate emphasis of the lines, on which nearly all the beauty of the
    drawing depended, cannot be expressed in the woodcut, though marked
    by a double line as well as I could. But the figure will answer its
    purpose well enough in showing Turner's mode of sketching.

  [3] Thus, in the Holy Family of Titian, lately purchased for the
    National Gallery, the piece of St. Catherine's dress over her
    shoulders is painted on the under dress, after that was dry. All its
    value would have been lost, had the slightest tint or trace of it
    been given previously. This picture, I think, and certainly many of
    Tintoret's, are painted on dark grounds; but this is to save time,
    and with some loss to the future brightness of the color.

  [4] In cleaning the "Hero and Leander," now in the National
    collection, these upper glazes were taken off, and only the black
    ground left. I remember the picture when its distance was of the most
    exquisite blue. I have no doubt the "Fire at Sea" has had its
    distance destroyed in the same manner.





§ 1. In the course of our inquiry into the moral of landscape (Vol.
III., chap. 17), we promised, at the close of our work, to seek for some
better, or at least clearer, conclusions than were then possible to us.
We confined ourselves in that chapter to the vindication of the probable
utility of the _love_ of natural scenery. We made no assertion of the
usefulness of _painting_ such scenery. It might be well to delight in
the real country, or admire the real flowers and true mountains. But it
did not follow that it was advisable to paint them.

Far from it. Many reasons might be given why we should not paint them.
All the purposes of good which we saw that the beauty of nature could
accomplish, may be better fulfilled by the meanest of her realities than
by the brightest of imitations. For prolonged entertainment, no picture
can be compared with the wealth of interest which may be found in the
herbage of the poorest field, or blossoms of the narrowest copse. As
suggestive of supernatural power, the passing away of a fitful
rain-cloud, or opening of dawn, are in their change and mystery more
pregnant than any pictures. A child would, I suppose, receive a
religious lesson from a flower more willingly than from a print of one,
and might be taught to understand the nineteenth Psalm, on a starry
night, better than by diagrams of the constellations.

Whence it might seem a waste of time to draw landscape at all.

I believe it is;--to draw landscape mere and solitary, however beautiful
(unless it be for the sake of geographical or other science, or of
historical record). But there _is_ a kind of landscape which it is not
inexpedient to draw. What kind, we may probably discover by considering
that which mankind has hitherto contented itself with painting.

§ 2. We may arrange nearly all existing landscape under the following

I. HEROIC.--Representing an imaginary world, inhabited by men not
perhaps perfectly civilized, but noble, and usually subjected to severe
trials, and by spiritual powers of the highest order. It is frequently
without architecture; never without figure-action, or emotion. Its
principal master is Titian.

II. CLASSICAL.--Representing an imaginary world, inhabited by perfectly
civilized men, and by spiritual powers of an inferior order.

It generally assumes this condition of things to have existed among the
Greek and Roman nations. It contains usually architecture of an elevated
character, and always incidents of figure-action and emotion. Its
principal master is Nicolo Poussin.

III. PASTORAL.--Representing peasant life and its daily work, or such
scenery as may naturally be suggestive of it, consisting usually of
simple landscape, in part subjected to agriculture, with figures,
cattle, and domestic buildings. No supernatural being is ever visibly
present. It does not in ordinary cases admit architecture of an elevated
character, nor exciting incident. Its principal master is Cuyp.

IV. CONTEMPLATIVE.--Directed principally to the observance of the powers
of Nature, and record of the historical associations connected with
landscape, illustrated by, or contrasted with, existing states of human
life. No supernatural being is visibly present. It admits every variety
of subject, and requires, in general, figure incident, but not of an
exciting character. It was not developed completely until recent times.
Its principal master is Turner.[1]

§ 3. These are the four true orders of landscape, not of course
distinctly separated from each other in all cases, but very distinctly
in typical examples. Two spurious forms require separate note.

(A.) PICTURESQUE.--This is indeed rather the degradation (or sometimes
the undeveloped state) of the Contemplative, than a distinct class; but
it may be considered generally as including pictures meant to display
the skill of the artist, and his powers of composition; or to give
agreeable forms and colors, irrespective of sentiment. It will include
much modern art, with the street views and church interiors of the
Dutch, and the works of Canaletto, Guardi, Tempesta, and the like.

(B.) HYBRID.--Landscape in which the painter endeavors to unite the
irreconcileable sentiment of two or more of the above-named classes. Its
principal masters are Berghem and Wouvermans.

§ 4. Passing for the present by these inferior schools, we find that all
true landscape, whether simple or exalted, depends primarily for its
interest on connection with humanity, or with spiritual powers. Banish
your heroes and nymphs from the classical landscape--its laurel shades
will move you no more. Show that the dark clefts of the most romantic
mountain are uninhabited and untraversed; it will cease to be romantic.
Fields without shepherds and without fairies will have no gaiety in
their green, nor will the noblest masses of ground or colors of cloud
arrest or raise your thoughts, if the earth has no life to sustain, and
the heaven none to refresh.

§ 5. It might perhaps be thought that, since from scenes in which the
figure was principal, and landscape symbolical and subordinate (as in
the art of Egypt), the process of ages had led us to scenes in which
landscape was principal and the figure subordinate,--a continuance in
the same current of feeling might bring forth at last an art from which
humanity and its interests should wholly vanish, leaving us to the
passionless admiration of herbage and stone. But this will not, and
cannot be. For observe the parallel instance in the gradually
increasing importance of dress. From the simplicity of Greek design,
concentrating, I suppose, its skill chiefly on the naked form, the
course of time developed conditions of Venetian imagination which found
nearly as much interest, and expressed nearly as much dignity, in folds
of dress and fancies of decoration as in the faces of the figures
themselves; so that if from Veronese's Marriage in Cana we remove the
architecture and the gay dresses, we shall not in the faces and hands
remaining, find a satisfactory abstract of the picture. But try it the
other way. Take out the faces; leave the draperies, and how then? Put
the fine dresses and jewelled girdles into the best group you can; paint
them with all Veronese's skill: will they satisfy you?

§ 6. Not so. As long as they are in their due service and
subjection--while their folds are formed by the motion of men, and their
lustre adorns the nobleness of men--so long the lustre and the folds are
lovely. But cast them from the human limbs;--golden circlet and silken
tissue are withered; the dead leaves of autumn are more precious than

This is just as true, but in a far deeper sense, of the weaving of the
natural robe of man's soul. Fragrant tissue of flowers, golden circlets
of clouds, are only fair when they meet the fondness of human thoughts,
and glorify human visions of heaven.

§ 7. It is the leaning on this truth which, more than any other, has
been the distinctive character of all my own past work. And in closing a
series of Art-studies, prolonged during so many years, it may be perhaps
permitted me to point out this specialty--the rather that it has been,
of all their characters, the one most denied. I constantly see that the
same thing takes place in the estimation formed by the modern public of
the work of almost any true person, living or dead. It is not needful to
state here the causes of such error: but the fact is indeed so, that
precisely the distinctive root and leading force of any true man's work
and way are the things denied concerning him.

And in these books of mine, their distinctive character, as essays on
art, is their bringing everything to a root in human passion or human
hope. Arising first not in any desire to explain the principles of art,
but in the endeavor to defend an individual painter from injustice,
they have been colored throughout,--nay, continually altered in shape,
and even warped and broken, by digressions respecting social questions,
which had for me an interest tenfold greater than the work I had been
forced into undertaking. Every principle of painting which I have stated
is traced to some vital or spiritual fact; and in my works on
architecture the preference accorded finally to one school over another,
is founded on a comparison of their influences on the life of the
workman--a question by all other writers on the subject of architecture
wholly forgotten or despised.

§ 8. The essential connection of the power of landscape with human
emotion is not less certain, because in many impressive pictures the
link is slight or local. That the connection should exist at a single
point is all that we need. The comparison with the dress of the body may
be carried out into the extremest parallelism. It may often happen that
no part of the figure wearing the dress is discernible, nevertheless,
the perceivable fact that the drapery is worn by a figure makes all the
difference. In one of the most sublime figures in the world this is
actually so: one of the fainting Marys in Tintoret's Crucifixion has
cast her mantle over her head, and her face is lost in its shade, and
her whole figure veiled in folds of gray. But what the difference is
between that gray woof, that gathers round her as she falls, and the
same folds cast in a heap upon the ground, that difference, and more,
exists between the power of Nature through which humanity is seen, and
her power in the desert. Desert--whether of leaf or sand--true
desertness is not in the want of leaves, but of life. Where humanity is
not, and was not, the best natural beauty is more than vain. It is even
terrible; not as the dress cast aside from the body; but as an
embroidered shroud hiding a skeleton.

§ 9. And on each side of a right feeling in this matter there lie, as
usual, two opposite errors.

The first, that of caring for man only; and for the rest of the
universe, little, or not at all, which, in a measure, was the error of
the Greeks and Florentines; the other, that of caring for the universe
only;--for man, not at all,--which, in a measure, is the error of modern
science, and of the Art connecting itself with such science.

The degree of power which any man may ultimately possess in
landscape-painting will depend finally on his perception of this
influence. If he has to paint the desert, its awfulness--if the garden,
its gladsomeness--will arise simply and only from his sensibility to the
story of life. Without this he is nothing but a scientific mechanist;
this, though it cannot make him yet a painter, raises him to the sphere
in which he may become one. Nay, the mere shadow and semblance of this
have given dangerous power to works in all other respects unnoticeable;
and the least degree of its true presence has given value to work in all
other respects vain.

The true presence, observe, of sympathy with the spirit of man. Where
this is not, sympathy with any higher spirit is impossible.

For the directest manifestation of Deity to man is in His own image,
that is, in man.

§ 10. "In his own image. After his likeness." _Ad imaginem et
similitudinem Suam._ I do not know what people in general understand by
those words. I suppose they ought to be understood. The truth they
contain seems to lie at the foundation of our knowledge both of God and
man; yet do we not usually pass the sentence by, in dull reverence,
attaching no definite sense to it at all? For all practical purpose,
might it not as well be out of the text?

I have no time, nor much desire, to examine the vague expressions of
belief with which the verse has been encumbered. Let us try to find its
only possible plain significance.

§ 11. It cannot be supposed that the bodily shape of man resembles, or
resembled, any bodily shape in Deity. The likeness must therefore be, or
have been, in the soul. Had it wholly passed away, and the Divine soul
been altered into a soul brutal or diabolic, I suppose we should have
been told of the change. But we are told nothing of the kind. The verse
still stands as if for our use and trust. It was only death which was to
be our punishment. Not _change_. So far as we live, the image is still
there; defiled, if you will; broken, if you will; all but effaced, if
you will, by death and the shadow of it. But not changed. We are not
made now in any other image than God's. There are, indeed, the two
states of this image--the earthly and heavenly, but both Adamite, both
human, both the same likeness; only one defiled, and one pure. So that
the soul of man is still a mirror, wherein may be seen, darkly, the
image of the mind of God.

These may seem daring words. I am sorry that they do; but I am helpless
to soften them. Discover any other meaning of the text if you are
able;--but be sure that it _is_ a meaning--a meaning in your head and
heart;--not a subtle gloss, nor a shifting of one verbal expression into
another, both idealess. I repeat, that, to me, the verse has, and can
have, no other signification than this--that the soul of man is a mirror
of the mind of God. A mirror dark, distorted, broken, use what blameful
words you please of its state; yet in the main, a true mirror, out of
which alone, and by which alone, we can know anything of God at all.

"How?" the reader, perhaps, answers indignantly. "I know the nature of
God by revelation, not by looking into myself."

Revelation to what? To a nature incapable of receiving truth? That
cannot be; for only to a nature capable of truth, desirous of it,
distinguishing it, feeding upon it, revelation is possible. To a being
undesirous of it, and hating it, revelation is impossible. There can be
none to a brute, or fiend. In so far, therefore, as you love truth, and
live therein, in so far revelation can exist for you;--and in so far,
your mind is the image of God's.

§ 12. But consider farther, not only _to_ what, but _by_ what, is the
revelation. By sight? or word? If by sight, then to eyes which see
justly. Otherwise, no sight would be revelation. So far, then, as your
sight is just, it is the image of God's sight.

If by words,--how do you know their meanings? Here is a short piece of
precious word revelation, for instance. "God is love."

Love! yes. But what is _that_? The revelation does not tell you that, I
think. Look into the mirror, and you will see. Out of your own heart you
may know what love is. In no other possible way,--by no other help or
sign. All the words and sounds ever uttered, all the revelations of
cloud, or flame, or crystal, are utterly powerless. They cannot tell
you, in the smallest point, what love means. Only the broken mirror

§ 13. Here is more revelation. "God is just!" Just! What is that? The
revelation cannot help you to discover. You say it is dealing equitably
or equally. But how do you discern the equality? Not by inequality of
mind; not by a mind incapable of weighing, judging, or distributing. If
the lengths seem unequal in the broken mirror, for you they are unequal;
but if they seem equal, then the mirror is true. So far as you recognize
equality, and your conscience tells you what is just, so far your mind
is the image of God's: and so far as you do _not_ discern this nature of
justice or equality, the words "God is just" bring no revelation to you.

§ 14. "But His thoughts are not as our thoughts." No: the sea is not as
the standing pool by the wayside. Yet when the breeze crisps the pool,
you may see the image of the breakers, and a likeness of the foam. Nay,
in some sort, the same foam. If the sea is for ever invisible to you,
something you may learn of it from the pool. Nothing, assuredly, any

"But this poor miserable Me! Is _this_, then, all the book I have got to
read about God in?" Yes, truly so. No other book, nor fragment of book,
than that, will you ever find;--no velvet-bound missal, nor
frankincensed manuscript;--nothing hieroglyphic nor cuneiform; papyrus
and pyramid are alike silent on this matter;--nothing in the clouds
above, nor in the earth beneath. That flesh-bound volume is the only
revelation that is, that was, or that can be. In that is the image of
God painted; in that is the law of God written; in that is the promise
of God revealed. Know thyself; for through thyself only thou canst know

§ 15. Through the glass, darkly. But, except through the glass, in

A tremulous crystal, waved as water, poured out upon the ground;--you
may defile it, despise it, pollute it at your pleasure, and at your
peril; for on the peace of those weak waves must all the heaven you
shall ever gain be first seen; and through such purity as you can win
for those dark waves, must all the light of the risen Sun of
righteousness be bent down, by faint refraction. Cleanse them, and calm
them, as you love your life.

Therefore it is that all the power of nature depends on subjection to
the human soul. Man is the sun of the world; more than the real sun. The
fire of his wonderful heart is the only light and heat worth gauge or
measure. Where he is, are the tropics; where he is not, the ice-world.


  [1] I have been embarrassed in assigning the names to these orders of
    art, the term "Contemplative" belonging in justice nearly as much to
    the romantic and pastoral conception as to the modern landscape. I
    intended, originally, to call the four schools--Romantic, Classic,
    Georgic, and Theoretic--which would have been more accurate; and more
    consistent with the nomenclature of the second volume; but would not
    have been pleasant in sound, nor to the general reader, very clear in



§ 1. It might be thought that the tenor of the preceding chapter was in
some sort adverse to my repeated statement that all great art is the
expression of man's delight in God's work, not in _his own._ But
observe, he is not himself his own work: he is himself precisely the
most wonderful piece of God's workmanship extant. In this best piece not
only he is bound to take delight, but cannot, in a right state of
thought, take delight in anything else, otherwise than through himself.
Through himself, however, as the sun of creation, not as _the_ creation.
In himself, as the light of the world.[1] Not as being the world. Let
him stand in his due relation to other creatures, and to inanimate
things--know them all and love them, as made for him, and he for
them;--and he becomes himself the greatest and holiest of them. But let
him cast off this relation, despise and forget the less creation around
him, and instead of being the light of the world, he is as a sun in
space--a fiery ball, spotted with storm.

§ 2. All the diseases of mind leading to fatalest ruin consist primarily
in this isolation. They are the concentration of man upon himself,
whether his heavenly interests or his worldly interests, matters not; it
is the being _his own_ interests which makes the regard of them so
mortal. Every form of asceticism on one side, of sensualism on the
other, is an isolation of his soul or of his body; the fixing his
thoughts upon them alone: while every healthy state of nations and of
individual minds consists in the unselfish presence of the human spirit
everywhere, energizing over all things; speaking and living through all

§ 3. Man being thus the crowning and ruling work of God, it will follow
that all his best art must have something to tell about himself, as the
soul of things, and ruler of creatures. It must also make this reference
to himself under a true conception of his own nature. Therefore all art
which involves no reference to man is inferior or nugatory. And all art
which involves misconception of man, or base thought of him, is in that
degree false, and base.

Now the basest thought possible concerning him is, that he has no
spiritual nature; and the foolishest misunderstanding of him possible
is, that he has or should have, no animal nature. For his nature is
nobly animal, nobly spiritual--coherently and irrevocably so; neither
part of it may, but at its peril, expel, despise, or defy the other. All
great art confesses and worships both.

§ 4. The art which, since the writings of Rio and Lord Lindsay, is
specially known as "Christian," erred by pride in its denial of the
animal nature of man;--and, in connection with all monkish and fanatical
forms of religion, by looking always to another world instead of this.
It wasted its strength in visions, and was therefore swept away,
notwithstanding all its good and glory, by the strong truth of the
naturalist art of the sixteenth century. But that naturalist art erred
on the other side; denied at last the spiritual nature of man, and
perished in corruption.

A contemplative reaction is taking place in modern times, out of which
it may be hoped a new spiritual art may be developed. The first school
of landscape, named, in the foregoing chapter, the Heroic, is that of
the noble naturalists. The second (Classical), and third (Pastoral),
belong to the time of sensual decline. The fourth (Contemplative) is
that of modern revival.

§ 5. But why, the reader will ask, is no place given in this scheme to
the "Christian" or spiritual art which preceded the naturalists? Because
all landscape belonging to that art is subordinate, and in one essential
principle false. It is subordinate, because intended only to exalt the
conception of saintly or Divine presence:--rather therefore to be
considered as a landscape decoration or type, than an effort to paint
nature. If I included it in my list of schools, I should have to go
still farther back, and include with it the conventional and
illustrative landscape of the Greeks and Egyptians.

§ 6. But also it cannot constitute a real school, because its first
assumption is false, namely, that the natural world can be represented
without the element of death.

The real schools of landscape are primarily distinguished from the
preceding unreal ones by their introduction of this element. They are
not at first in any sort the worthier for it. But they are more true,
and capable, therefore, in the issue, of becoming worthier.

It will be a hard piece of work for us to think this rightly out, but it
must be done.

§ 7. Perhaps an accurate analysis of the schools of art of all time
might show us that when the immortality of the soul was practically and
completely believed, the elements of decay, danger, and grief in visible
things were always disregarded. However this may be, it is assuredly so
in the early Christian schools. The ideas of danger or decay seem not
merely repugnant, but inconceivable to them; the expression of
immortality and perpetuity is alone possible. I do not mean that they
take no note of the absolute fact of corruption. This fact the early
painters often compel themselves to look fuller in the front than any
other men: as in the way they usually paint the Deluge (the raven
feeding on the bodies), and in all the various triumphs and processions
of the Power of Death, which formed one great chapter of religious
teaching and painting, from Orcagna's time to the close of the Purist
epoch. But I mean that this external fact of corruption is separated in
their minds from the main conditions of their work; and its horror
enters no more into their general treatment of landscape than the fear
of murder or martyrdom, both of which they had nevertheless continually
to represent. None of these things appeared to them as affecting the
general dealings of the Deity with His world. Death, pain, and decay
were simply momentary accidents in the course of immortality, which
never ought to exercise any depressing influence over the hearts of men,
or in the life of Nature. God, in intense life, peace, and helping
power, was always and everywhere. Human bodies, at one time or another,
had indeed to be made dust of, and raised from it; and this becoming
dust was hurtful and humiliating, but not in the least melancholy, nor,
in any very high degree, important; except to thoughtless persons, who
needed sometimes to be reminded of it, and whom, not at all fearing the
things much himself, the painter accordingly did remind of it, somewhat

§ 8. A similar condition of mind seems to have been attained, not
unfrequently, in modern times, by persons whom either narrowness of
circumstance or education, or vigorous moral efforts have guarded from
the troubling of the world, so as to give them firm and childlike trust
in the power and presence of God, together with peace of conscience, and
a belief in the passing of all evil into some form of good. It is
impossible that a person thus disciplined should feel, in any of its
more acute phases, the sorrow for any of the phenomena of nature, or
terror in any material danger which would occur to another. The absence
of personal fear, the consciousness of security as great in the midst of
pestilence and storm, as amidst beds of flowers on a summer morning, and
the certainty that whatever appeared evil, or was assuredly painful,
must eventually issue in a far greater and enduring good--this general
feeling and conviction, I say, would gradually lull, and at last put to
entire rest, the physical sensations of grief and fear; so that the man
would look upon danger without dread,--accept pain without lamentation.

§ 9. It may perhaps be thought that this is a very high and right state
of mind.

Unfortunately, it appears that the attainment of it is never possible
without inducing some form of intellectual weakness.

No painter belonging to the purest religious schools ever mastered his
art. Perugino nearly did so; but it was because he was more
rational--more a man of the world--than the rest. No literature exists
of a high class produced by minds in the pure religious temper. On the
contrary, a great deal of literature exists, produced by persons in that
temper, which is markedly, and very far, below average literary work.

§ 10. The reason of this I believe to be, that the right faith of man is
not intended to give him repose, but to enable him to do his work. It is
not intended that he should look away from the place he lives in now,
and cheer himself with thoughts of the place he is to live in next, but
that he should look stoutly into this world, in faith that if he does
his work thoroughly here, some good to others or himself, with which,
however, he is not at present concerned, will come of it hereafter. And
this kind of brave, but not very hopeful or cheerful faith, I perceive
to be always rewarded by clear practical success and splendid
intellectual power; while the faith which dwells on the future fades
away into rosy mist, and emptiness of musical air. That result indeed
follows naturally enough on its habit of assuming that things must be
right, or must come right, when, probably, the fact is, that so far as
we are concerned, they are entirely wrong; and going wrong: and also on
its weak and false way of looking on what these religious persons call
"the bright side of things," that is to say, on one side of them only,
when God has given them two sides, and intended us to see both.

§ 11. I was reading but the other day, in a book by a zealous, useful,
and able Scotch clergyman, one of these rhapsodies, in which he
described a scene in the Highlands to show (he said) the goodness of
God. In this Highland scene there was nothing but sunshine, and fresh
breezes, and bleating lambs, and clean tartans, and all manner of
pleasantness. Now a Highland scene is, beyond dispute, pleasant enough
in its own way; but, looked close at, has its shadows. Here, for
instance, is the very fact of one, as pretty as I can remember--having
seen many. It is a little valley of soft turf, enclosed in its narrow
oval by jutting rocks and broad flakes of nodding fern. From one side of
it to the other winds, serpentine, a clear brown stream, drooping into
quicker ripple as it reaches the end of the oval field, and then, first
islanding a purple and white rock with an amber pool, it dashes away
into a narrow fall of foam under a thicket of mountain ash and alder.
The autumn sun, low but clear, shines on the scarlet ash-berries and on
the golden birch-leaves, which, fallen here and there, when the breeze
has not caught them, rest quiet in the crannies of the purple rock.
Beside the rock, in the hollow under the thicket, the carcass of a ewe,
drowned in the last flood, lies nearly bare to the bone, its white ribs
protruding through the skin, raven-torn; and the rags of its wool still
flickering from the branches that first stayed it as the stream swept it
down. A little lower, the current plunges, roaring, into a circular
chasm like a well, surrounded on three sides by a chimney-like
hollowness of polished rock, down which the foam slips in detached
snow-flakes. Round the edges of the pool beneath, the water circles
slowly, like black oil; a little butterfly lies on its back, its wings
glued to one of the eddies, its limbs feebly quivering; a fish rises and
it is gone. Lower down the stream, I can just see, over a knoll, the
green and damp turf roofs of four or five hovels, built at the edge of a
morass, which is trodden by the cattle into a black Slough of Despond at
their doors, and traversed by a few ill-set stepping-stones, with here
and there a flat slab on the tops, where they have sunk out of sight;
and at the turn of the brook I see a man fishing, with a boy and a
dog--a picturesque and pretty group enough certainly, if they had not
been there all day starving. I know them, and I know the dog's ribs
also, which are nearly as bare as the dead ewe's; and the child's wasted
shoulders, cutting his old tartan jacket through, so sharp are they. We
will go down and talk with the man.

§ 12. Or, that I may not piece pure truth with fancy, for I have none of
his words set down, let us hear a word or two from another such, a
Scotchman also, and as true hearted, and in just as fair a scene. I
write out the passage, in which I have kept his few sentences, word for
word, as it stands in my private diary:--"22nd April (1851). Yesterday I
had a long walk up the Via Gellia, at Matlock, coming down upon it from
the hills above, all sown with anemones and violets, and murmuring with
sweet springs. Above all the mills in the valley, the brook, in its
first purity, forms a small shallow pool, with a sandy bottom covered
with cresses, and other water plants. A man was wading in it for cresses
as I passed up the valley, and bade me good-day. I did not go much
farther; he was there when I returned. I passed him again, about one
hundred yards, when it struck me I might as well learn all I could about
watercresses: so I turned back. I asked the man, among other questions,
what he called the common weed, something like watercress, but with a
serrated leaf, which grows at the edge of nearly all such pools. 'We
calls that brooklime, hereabouts,' said a voice behind me. I turned, and
saw three men, miners or manufacturers--two evidently Derbyshire men,
and respectable-looking in their way; the third, thin, poor, old, and
harder-featured, and utterly in rags. 'Brooklime?' I said. 'What do you
call it lime for?' The man said he did not know, it was called that.
'You'll find that in the British 'Erba,' said the weak, calm voice of
the old man. I turned to him in much surprise; but he went on saying
something drily (I hardly understood what) to the cress-gatherer; who
contradicting him, the old man said he 'didn't know fresh water,' he
'knew enough of sa't.' 'Have you been a sailor?' I asked. 'I was a
sailor for eleven years and ten months of my life,' he said, in the same
strangely quiet manner. 'And what are you now?' 'I lived for ten years
after my wife's death by picking up rags and bones; I hadn't much
occasion afore.' 'And now how do you live?' 'Why, I lives hard and
honest, and haven't got to live long,' or something to that effect. He
then went on, in a kind of maundering way, about his wife. 'She had
rheumatism and fever very bad; and her second rib grow'd over her
hench-bone. A' was a clever woman, but a' grow'd to be a very little
one' (this with an expression of deep melancholy). 'Eighteen years after
her first lad she was in the family-way again, and they had doctors up
from Lunnon about it. They wanted to rip her open and take the child out
of her side. But I never would give my consent.' (Then, after a pause:)
'She died twenty-six hours and ten minutes after it. I never cared much
what come of me since; but I know that I shall soon reach her; that's a
knowledge I would na gie for the king's crown.' 'You are a Scotchman,
are not you?' I asked. 'I'm from the Isle of Skye, sir; I'm a McGregor.'
I said something about his religious faith. 'Ye'll know I was bred in
the Church of Scotland, sir,' he said, 'and I love it as I love my own
soul; but I think thae Wesleyan Methodists ha' got salvation among them,

Truly, this Highland and English hill-scenery is fair enough; but has
its shadows; and deeper coloring, here and there, than that of heath and

§ 13. Now, as far as I have watched the main powers of human mind, they
have risen first from the resolution to see fearlessly, pitifully, and
to its very worst, what these deep colors mean, wheresoever they fall;
not by any means to pass on the other side looking pleasantly up to the
sky, but to stoop to the horror, and let the sky, for the present, take
care of its own clouds. However this may be in moral matters, with which
I have nothing here to do, in my own field of inquiry the fact is so;
and all great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without
shrinking into the darkness. If, having done so, the human spirit can,
by its courage and faith, conquer the evil, it rises into conceptions of
victorious and consummated beauty. It is then the spirit of the highest
Greek and Venetian Art. If unable to conquer the evil, but remaining in
strong, though melancholy war with it, not rising into supreme beauty,
it is the spirit of the best northern art, typically represented by that
of Holbein and Durer. If, itself conquered by the evil, infected by the
dragon breath of it, and at last brought into captivity, so as to take
delight in evil for ever, it becomes the spirit of the dark, but still
powerful sensualistic art, represented typically by that of Salvator. We
must trace this fact briefly through Greek, Venetian, and Dureresque
art; we shall then see how the art of decline came of avoiding the evil,
and seeking pleasure only; and thus obtain, at last, some power of
judging whether the tendency of our own contemplative art be right or

§ 14. The ruling purpose of Greek poetry is the assertion of victory, by
heroism, over fate, sin, and death. The terror of these great enemies is
dwelt upon chiefly by the tragedians. The victory over them by Homer.

The adversary chiefly contemplated by the tragedians is Fate, or
predestinate misfortune. And that under three principal forms.

A. Blindness, or ignorance; not in itself guilty, but inducing acts
which otherwise would have been guilty; and leading, no less than guilt,
to destruction.[2]

B. Visitation upon one person of the sin of another.

C. Repression, by brutal or tyrannous strength, of a benevolent will.

§ 15. In all these cases sorrow is much more definitely connected with
sin by the Greek tragedians than by Shakspere. The "fate" of Shakspere
is, indeed, a form of blindness, but it issues in little more than haste
or indiscretion. It is, in the literal sense, "fatal," but hardly

The "I am fortune's fool" of Romeo, expresses Shakspere's primary idea
of tragic circumstance. Often his victims are entirely innocent, swept
away by mere current of strong encompassing calamity (Ophelia, Cordelia,
Arthur, Queen Katharine). This is rarely so with the Greeks. The victim
may indeed be innocent, as Antigone, but is in some way resolutely
entangled with crime, and destroyed by it, as if it struck by pollution,
no less than participation.

The victory over sin and death is therefore also with the Greek
tragedians more complete than with Shakspere. As the enemy has more
direct moral personality,--as it is sinfulness more than mischance, it
is met by a higher moral resolve, a greater preparation of heart, a more
solemn patience and purposed self-sacrifice. At the close of a Shakspere
tragedy nothing remains but dead march and clothes of burial. At the
close of a Greek tragedy there are far-off sounds of a divine triumph,
and a glory as of resurrection.[3]

§ 16. The Homeric temper is wholly different. Far more tender, more
practical, more cheerful; bent chiefly on present things and giving
victory now, and here, rather than in hope, and hereafter. The enemies
of mankind, in Homer's conception, are more distinctly conquerable; they
are ungoverned passions, especially anger, and unreasonable impulse
generally ([Greek: atê]). Hence the anger of Achilles, misdirected by
pride, but rightly directed by friendship, is the subject of the
_Iliad_. The anger of Ulysses ([Greek: Odysseus] "the angry"),
misdirected at first into idle and irregular hostilities, directed at
last to execution of sternest justice, is the subject of the _Odyssey_.

Though this is the central idea of the two poems, it is connected with
general display of the evil of all unbridled passions, pride,
sensuality, indolence, or curiosity. The pride of Atrides, the passion
of Paris, the sluggishness of Elpenor, the curiosity of Ulysses himself
about the Cyclops, the impatience of his sailors in untying the winds,
and all other faults or follies, down to that--(evidently no small one
in Homer's mind)--of domestic disorderliness, are throughout shown in
contrast with conditions of patient affection and household peace.

Also, the wild powers and mysteries of Nature are in the Homeric mind
among the enemies of man; so that all the labors of Ulysses are an
expression of the contest of manhood, not only with its own passions or
with the folly of others, but with the merciless and mysterious powers
of the natural world.

§ 17. This is perhaps the chief signification of the seven years' stay
with Calypso, "the concealer." Not, as vulgarly thought, the concealer
of Ulysses, but the great concealer--the hidden power of natural things.
She is the daughter of Atlas and the Sea (Atlas, the sustainer of
heaven, and the Sea, the disturber of the Earth). She dwells in the
island of Ogygia ("the ancient or venerable"). (Whenever Athens, or any
other Greek city, is spoken of with any peculiar reverence, it is called
"Ogygian.") Escaping from this goddess of secrets, and from other
spirits, some of destructive natural force (Scylla), others signifying
the enchantment of mere natural beauty (Circe, daughter of the Sun and
Sea), he arrives at last at the Phæacian land, whose king is "strength
with intellect," and whose queen, "virtue." These restore him to his

§ 18. Now observe that in their dealing with all these subjects the
Greeks never shrink from horror; down to its uttermost depth, to its
most appalling physical detail, they strive to sound the secrets of
sorrow. For them there is no passing by on the other side, no turning
away the eyes to vanity from pain. Literally, they have not "lifted up
their souls unto vanity." Whether there be consolation for them or not,
neither apathy nor blindness shall be their saviours; if, for them, thus
knowing the facts of the grief of earth, any hope, relief, or triumph
may hereafter seem possible,--well; but if not, still hopeless,
reliefless, eternal, the sorrow shall be met face to face. This Hector,
so righteous, so merciful, so brave, has, nevertheless, to look upon his
dearest brother in miserablest death. His own soul passes away in
hopeless sobs through the throat-wound of the Grecian spear. That is one
aspect of things in this world, a fair world truly, but having, among
its other aspects, this one, highly ambiguous.

§ 19. Meeting it boldly as they may, gazing right into the skeleton face
of it, the ambiguity remains; nay, in some sort gains upon them. We
trusted in the gods;--we thought that wisdom and courage would save us.
Our wisdom and courage themselves deceive us to our death. Athena had
the aspect of Deiphobus--terror of the enemy. She has not terrified him,
but left us, in our mortal need.

And, beyond that mortality, what hope have we? Nothing is clear to us on
that horizon, nor comforting. Funeral honors; perhaps also rest; perhaps
a shadowy life--artless, joyless, loveless. No devices in that darkness
of the grave, nor daring, nor delight. Neither marrying nor giving in
marriage, nor casting of spears, nor rolling of chariots, nor voice of
fame. Lapped in pale Elysian mist, chilling the forgetful heart and
feeble frame, shall we waste on forever? Can the dust of earth claim
more of immortality than this? Or shall we have even so much as rest?
May we, indeed, lie down again in the dust, or have our sins not hidden
from us even the things that belong to that peace? May not chance and
the whirl of passion govern us there; when there shall be no thought,
nor work, nor wisdom, nor breathing of the soul?[4]

Be it so. With no better reward, no brighter hope, we will be men while
we may: men, just, and strong, and fearless, and up to our power,
perfect. Athena herself, our wisdom and our strength, may betray
us;--Phoebus, our sun, smite us with plague, or hide his face from us
helpless;--Jove and all the powers of fate oppress us, or give us up to
destruction. While we live, we will hold fast our integrity; no weak
tears shall blind us, no untimely tremors abate our strength of arm nor
swiftness of limb. The gods have given us at least this glorious body
and this righteous conscience; these will we keep bright and pure to the
end. So may we fall to misery, but not to baseness; so may we sink to
sleep, but not to shame.

§ 20. And herein was conquest. So defied, the betraying and accusing
shadows shrank back; the mysterious horror subdued itself to majestic
sorrow. Death was swallowed up in victory. Their blood, which seemed to
be poured out upon the ground, rose into hyacinthine flowers. All the
beauty of earth opened to them; they had ploughed into its darkness, and
they reaped its gold; the gods, in whom they had trusted through all
semblance of oppression, came down to love them and be their helpmates.
All nature round them became divine,--one harmony of power and peace.
The sun hurt them not by day, nor the moon by night; the earth opened no
more her jaws into the pit; the sea whitened no more against them the
teeth of his devouring waves. Sun, and moon, and earth, and sea,--all
melted into grace and love; the fatal arrows rang not now at the
shoulders of Apollo the healer; lord of life and of the three great
spirits of life--Care, Memory, and Melody. Great Artemis guarded their
flocks by night; Selene kissed in love the eyes of those who slept. And
from all came the help of heaven to body and soul; a strange spirit
lifting the lovely limbs; strange light glowing on the golden hair; and
strangest comfort filling the trustful heart, so that they could put off
their armor, and lie down to sleep,--their work well done, whether at
the gates of their temples[5] or of their mountains;[6] accepting the
death they once thought terrible, as the gift of Him who knew and
granted what was best.


  [1] Matt. v. 14.

  [2] The speech of Achilles to Priam expresses this idea of fatality
    and submission clearly, there being two vessels--one full of sorrow,
    the other of great and noble gifts (a sense of disgrace mixing with
    that of sorrow, and of honor with that of joy), from which Jupiter
    pours forth the destinies of men; the idea partly corresponding to
    the scriptural--" In the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the
    wine is red; it is full mixed, and He poureth out of the same." But
    the title of the gods, nevertheless, both with Homer and Hesiod, is
    given not from the cup of sorrow, but of good; "givers of good"
    ([Greek: dotêres heaon]).--_Hes. Theog._ 664: _Odyss._ viii. 325.

  [3] The Alcestis is perhaps the central example of the _idea_ of all
    Greek drama.


    [Greek: tô kai tethneiôti noon pore Persephoneia,
            oiô pepnusthai; toi de skiai aissousin].

              Od. x. 495.

  [5] [Greek: ouketi anestesan, all' en telei toutô eschonto.] Herod,
    i. 31.

  [6] [Greek: ho de apopempomenos, autos men ouk apelipeto ton de paida
    sustrateuomenon, eonta oi mounogenea, apepempse.] Herod, vii. 221.



§ 1. Such being the heroic spirit of Greek religion and art, we may now
with ease trace the relations between it and that which animated the
Italian, and chiefly the Venetian, schools.

Observe, all the nobleness, as well as the faults, of the Greek art were
dependent on its making the most of this present life. It might do so in
the Anacreontic temper--[Greek: Ti Pleiadessi, kamoi]; "What have I to
do with the Pleiads?" or in the defiant or the trustful endurance of
fate;--but its dominion was in this world.

Florentine art was essentially Christian, ascetic, expectant of a better
world, and antagonistic, therefore, to the Greek temper. So that the
Greek element, once forced upon it, destroyed it. There was absolute
incompatibility between them. Florentine art, also, could not produce
landscape. It despised the rock, the tree, the vital air itself,
aspiring to breathe empyreal air.

Venetian art began with the same aim and under the same restrictions.
Both are healthy in the youth of art. Heavenly aim and severe law for
boyhood; earthly work and fair freedom for manhood.

§ 2. The Venetians began, I repeat, with asceticism; always, however,
delighting in more massive and deep color than other religious painters.
They are especially fond of saints who have been cardinals, because of
their red hats, and they sunburn all their hermits into splendid russet

They differed from the Pisans in having no Maremma between them and the
sea; from the Romans, in continually quarrelling with the Pope; and from
the Florentines in having no gardens.

They had another kind of garden, deep-furrowed, with blossom in white
wreaths--fruitless. Perpetual May therein, and singing of wild, nestless
birds. And they had no Maremma to separate them from this garden of
theirs. The destiny of Pisa was changed, in all probability, by the ten
miles of marsh-land and poisonous air between it and the beach. The
Genoese energy was feverish; too much heat reflected from their torrid
Apennine. But the Venetian had his free horizon, his salt breeze, and
sandy Lido-shore; sloped far and flat,--ridged sometimes under the
Tramontane winds with half a mile's breadth of rollers;--sea and sand
shrivelled up together in one yellow careering field of fall and roar.

§ 3. They were, also, we said, always quarrelling with the Pope. Their
religious liberty came, like their bodily health, from that
wave-training; for it is one notable effect of a life passed on
shipboard to destroy weak beliefs in appointed forms of religion. A
sailor may be grossly superstitious, but his superstitions will be
connected with amulets and omens, not cast in systems. He must accustom
himself, if he prays at all, to pray anywhere and anyhow. Candlesticks
and incense not being portable into the maintop, he perceives those
decorations to be, on the whole, inessential to a maintop mass. Sails
must be set and cables bent, be it never so strict a saint's day, and it
is found that no harm comes of it. Absolution on a lee-shore must be had
of the breakers, it appears, if at all, and they give it plenary and
brief, without listening to confession.

Whereupon our religious opinions become vague, but our religious
confidences strong; and the end of it all is that we perceive the Pope
to be on the other side of the Apennines, and able, indeed, to sell
indulgences, but not winds, for any money. Whereas, God and the sea are
with us, and we must even trust them both, and take what they shall

§ 4. Then, farther. This ocean-work is wholly adverse to any morbid
conditions of sentiment. Reverie, above all things, is forbidden by
Scylla and Charybdis. By the dogs and the depths, no dreaming! The first
thing required of us is presence of mind. Neither love, nor poetry, nor
piety, must ever so take up our thoughts as to make us slow or unready.
In sweet Val d'Arno it is permissible enough to dream among the
orange-blossoms, and forget the day in twilight of ilex. But along the
avenues of the Adrian waves there can be no careless walking.
Vigilance, might and day, required of us, besides learning of many
practical lessons in severe and humble dexterities. It is enough for the
Florentine to know how to use his sword and to ride. We Venetians, also,
must be able to use our swords, and on ground which is none of the
steadiest; but, besides, we must be able to do nearly everything that
hands can turn to--rudders, and yards, and cables, all needing workmanly
handling and workmanly knowledge, from captain as well as from men. To
drive a nail, lash a spear, reef a sail--rude work this for noble hands;
but to be done sometimes, and done well, on pain of death. All which not
only takes mean pride out of us, and puts nobler pride of power in its
stead; but it tends partly to soothe, partly to chasten, partly to
employ and direct, the hot Italian temper, and make us every way
greater, calmer, and happier.

§ 5. Moreover, it tends to induce in us great respect for the whole
human body; for its limbs, as much as for its tongue or its wit. Policy
and eloquence are well; and, indeed, we Venetians can be politic enough,
and can speak melodiously when we choose; but to put the helm up at the
right moment is the beginning of all cunning--and for that we need arm
and eye;--not tongue. And with this respect for the body as such, comes
also the sailor's preference of massive beauty in bodily form. The
landsmen, among their roses and orange-blossoms, and chequered shadows
of twisted vine, may well please themselves with pale faces, and finely
drawn eyebrows, and fantastic braiding of hair. But from the sweeping
glory of the sea we learn to love another kind of beauty;
broad-breasted; level-browed, like the horizon;--thighed and shouldered
like the billows;--footed like their stealing foam;--bathed in cloud of
golden hair, like their sunsets.

§ 6. Such were the physical influences constantly in operation on the
Venetians; their painters, however, were partly prepared for their work
by others in their infancy. Associations connected with early life among
mountains softened and deepened the teaching of the sea; and the
wildness of form of the Tyrolese Alps gave greater strength and
grotesqueness to their imaginations than the Greek painters could have
found among the cliffs of the Ægean. Thus far, however, the influences
on both are nearly similar. The Greek sea was indeed less bleak, and
the Greek hills less grand; but the difference was in degree rather than
in the nature of their power. The moral influences at work on the two
races were far more sharply opposed.

§ 7. Evil, as we saw, had been fronted by the Greek, and thrust out of
his path. Once conquered, if he thought of it more, it was
involuntarily, as we remember a painful dream, yet with a secret dread
that the dream might return and continue for ever. But the teaching of
the church in the middle ages had made the contemplation of evil one of
the duties of men. As sin, it was to be duly thought upon, that it might
be confessed. As suffering, endured joyfully, in hope of future reward.
Hence conditions of bodily distemper which an Athenian would have looked
upon with the severest contempt and aversion, were in the Christian
church regarded always with pity, and often with respect; while the
partial practice of celibacy by the clergy, and by those over whom they
had influence,--together with the whole system of conventual penance and
pathetic ritual (with the vicious reactionary tendencies necessarily
following), introduced calamitous conditions both of body and soul,
which added largely to the pagan's simple list of elements of evil, and
introduced the most complicated states of mental suffering and

§ 8. Therefore the Christian painters differed from the Greek in two
main points. They had been taught a faith which put an end to restless
questioning and discouragement. All was at last to be well--and their
best genius might be peacefully given to imagining the glories of heaven
and the happiness of its redeemed. But on the other hand, though
suffering was to cease in heaven, it was to be not only endured, but
honored upon earth. And from the Crucifixion, down to a beggar's
lameness, all the tortures and maladies of men were to be made, at least
in part, the subjects of art. The Venetian was, therefore, in his inner
mind, less serious than the Greek: in his superficial temper, sadder. In
his heart there was none of the deep horror which vexed the soul of
Æschylus or Homer. His Pallas-shield was the shield of Faith, not the
shield of the Gorgon. All was at last to issue happily; in sweetest
harpings and seven-fold circles of light. But for the present he had to
dwell with the maimed and the blind, and to revere Lazarus more than

§ 9. This reference to a future world has a morbid influence on all
their conclusions. For the earth and all its natural elements are
despised. They are to pass away like a scroll. Man, the immortal, is
alone revered; his work and presence are all that can be noble or
desirable. Men, and fair architecture, temples and courts such as may be
in a celestial city, or the clouds and angels of Paradise; these are
what we must paint when we want beautiful things. But the sea, the
mountains, the forests, are all adverse to us,--a desolation. The ground
that was cursed for our sake;--the sea that executed judgment on all our
race, and rages against us still, though bridled;--storm-demons churning
it into foam in nightly glare on Lido, and hissing from it against our
palaces. Nature is but a terror, or a temptation. She is for hermits,
martyrs, murderers,--for St. Jerome, and St. Mary of Egypt, and the
Magdalen in the desert, and monk Peter, falling before the sword.

§ 10. But the worst point we have to note respecting the spirit of
Venetian landscape is its pride.

It was observed in the course of the third volume how the mediæval
temper had rejected agricultural pursuits, and whatever pleasures could
come of them.

At Venice this negation had reached its extreme. Though the Florentines
and Romans had no delight in farming, they had in gardening. The
Venetian possessed, and cared for, neither fields nor pastures. Being
delivered, to his loss, from all the wholesome labors of tillage, he was
also shut out from the sweet wonders and charities of the earth, and
from the pleasant natural history of the year. Birds and beasts, and
times and seasons, all unknown to him. No swallow chattered at his
window,[1] nor, nested under his golden roofs, claimed the sacredness of
his mercy;[2] no Pythagorean fowl taught him the blessings of the
poor,[3] nor did the grave spirit of poverty rise at his side to set
forth the delicate grace and honor of lowly life.[4] No humble thoughts
of grasshopper sire had he, like the Athenian; no gratitude for gifts of
olive; no childish care for figs, any more than thistles. The rich
Venetian feast had no need of the figtree spoon.[5] Dramas about birds,
and wasps, and frogs, would have passed unheeded by his proud fancy;
carol or murmur of them had fallen unrecognized on ears accustomed only
to grave syllables of war-tried men, and wash of songless wave.

§ 11. No simple joy was possible to him. Only stateliness and power;
high intercourse with kingly and beautiful humanity, proud thoughts, or
splendid pleasures; throned sensualities, and ennobled appetites. But of
innocent, childish, helpful, holy pleasures, he had none. As in the
classical landscape, nearly all rural labor is banished from the
Titianesque: there is one bold etching of a landscape, with grand
ploughing in the foreground, but this is only a caprice; the customary
Venetian background is without sign of laborious rural life. We find
indeed often a shepherd with his flock, sometimes a woman spinning, but
no division of fields, no growing crops nor nestling villages. In the
numerous drawings and woodcuts variously connected with or
representative of Venetian work, a watermill is a frequent object, a
river constant, generally the sea. But the prevailing idea in all the
great pictures I have seen, is that of mountainous land with wild but
graceful forest, and rolling or horizontal clouds. The mountains are
dark blue; the clouds glowing or soft gray, always massive; the light,
deep, clear, melancholy; the foliage, neither intricate nor graceful,
but compact and sweeping (with undulated trunks), dividing much into
horizontal flakes, like the clouds; the ground rocky and broken somewhat
monotonously, but richly green with wild herbage; here and there a
flower, by preference white or blue, rarely yellow, still more rarely

§ 12. It was stated that this heroic landscape of theirs was peopled by
spiritual beings of the highest order. And in this rested the dominion
of the Venetians over all later schools. They were the _last believing_
school of Italy. Although, as I said above, always quarrelling with the
Pope, there is all the more evidence of an earnest faith in their
religion. People who trusted the Madonna less, flattered the Pope more.
But down to Tintoret's time, the Roman Catholic religion was still real
and sincere at Venice; and though faith in it was compatible with much
which to us appears criminal or absurd, the religion itself was
entirely sincere.

§ 13. Perhaps when you see one of Titian's splendidly passionate
subjects, or find Veronese making the marriage in Cana one blaze of
worldly pomp, you imagine that Titian must have been a sensualist, and
Veronese an unbeliever.

Put the idea from you at once, and be assured of this for ever;--it will
guide you through many a labyrinth of life, as well as of
painting,--that of an evil tree, men never gather good fruit--good of
any sort or kind;--even good sensualism.

Let us look to this calmly. We have seen what physical advantage the
Venetian had, in his sea and sky; also what moral disadvantage he had,
in scorn of the poor; now finally, let us see with what power he was
invested, which men since his time have never recovered more.

§ 14. "Neither of a bramble bush, gather they grapes."

The great saying has twofold help for us. Be assured, first, that if it
were bramble from which you gathered them, these are not grapes in your
hand, though they look like grapes. Or if these are indeed grapes, it
was no bramble you gathered them from, though it looked like one.

It is difficult for persons, accustomed to receive, without questioning,
the modern English idea of religion, to understand the temper of the
Venetian Catholics. I do not enter into examination of our own feelings;
but I have to note this one significant point of difference between us.

§ 15. An English gentleman, desiring his portrait, gives probably to the
painter a choice of several actions, in any of which he is willing to be
represented. As for instance, riding his best horse, shooting with his
favorite pointer, manifesting himself in his robes of state on some
great public occasion, meditating in his study, playing with his
children, or visiting his tenants; in any of these or other such
circumstances, he will give the artist free leave to paint him. But in
one important action he would shrink even from the suggestion of being
drawn. He will assuredly not let himself be painted praying.

Strangely, this is the action, which of all others, a Venetian desires
to be painted in. If they want a noble and complete portrait, they
nearly always choose to be painted on their knees.

§ 16. "Hypocrisy," you say; and "that they might be seen of men." If we
examine ourselves, or any one else, who will give trustworthy answer on
this point, so as to ascertain, to the best of our judgment, what the
feeling is, which would make a modern English person dislike to be
painted praying, we shall not find it, I believe, to be excess of
sincerity. Whatever we find it to be, the opposite Venetian feeling is
certainly not hypocrisy. It is often conventionalism, implying as little
devotion in the person represented, as regular attendance at church does
with us. But that it is not hypocrisy, you may ascertain by one simple
consideration (supposing you not to have enough knowledge of the
expression of sincere persons to judge by the portraits themselves). The
Venetians, when they desired to deceive, were much too subtle to attempt
it clumsily. If they assumed the mask of religion, the mask must have
been of some use. The persons whom it deceived must, therefore, have
been religious, and, being so, have believed in the Venetians'
sincerity. If therefore, among other contemporary nations with whom they
had intercourse, we can find any, more religious than they, who were
duped, or even influenced, by their external religiousness, we might
have some ground for suspecting that religiousness to be assumed. But if
we can find no one likely to have been deceived, we must believe the
Venetian to have been, in reality, what there was no advantage in

§ 17. I leave the matter to your examination, forewarning you,
confidently, that you will discover by severest evidence, that the
Venetian religion was true. Not only true, but one of the main motives
of their lives. In the field of investigation to which we are here
limited, I will collect some of the evidence of this.

For one profane picture by great Venetians, you will find ten of sacred
subjects; and those, also, including their grandest, most labored, and
most beloved works. Tintoret's power culminates in two great religious
pictures: the Crucifixion, and the Paradise. Titian's in the Assumption,
the Peter Martyr, and Presentation of the Virgin. Veronese's in the
Marriage in Cana. John Bellini and Basaiti never, so far as I remember,
painted any other than sacred subjects. By the Palmas, Vincenzo, Catena,
and Bonifazio, I remember no profane subject of importance.

§ 18. There is, moreover, one distinction of the very highest import
between the treatment of sacred subjects by Venetian painters and by all

Throughout the rest of Italy, piety had become abstract, and opposed
theoretically to worldly life; hence the Florentine and Umbrian painters
generally separated their saints from living men. They delighted in
imagining scenes of spiritual perfectness;--Paradises, and companies of
the redeemed at the judgment;--glorified meetings of martyrs;--madonnas
surrounded by circles of angels. If, which was rare, definite
portraitures of living men were introduced, these real characters formed
a kind of chorus or attendant company, taking no part in the action. At
Venice all this was reversed, and so boldly as at first to shock, with
its seeming irreverence, a spectator accustomed to the formalities and
abstractions of the so-called sacred schools. The madonnas are no more
seated apart on their thrones, the saints no more breathe celestial air.
They are on our own plain ground--nay, here in our houses with us. All
kind of worldly business going on in their presence, fearlessly; our own
friends and respected acquaintances, with all their mortal faults, and
in their mortal flesh, looking at them face to face unalarmed: nay, our
dearest children playing with their pet dogs at Christ's very feet.

I once myself thought this irreverent. How foolishly! As if children
whom He loved _could_ play anywhere else.

§ 19. The picture most illustrative of this feeling is perhaps that at
Dresden, of Veronese's family, painted by himself.

He wishes to represent them as happy and honored. The best happiness and
highest honor he can imagine for them is that they should be presented
to the Madonna, to whom, therefore, they are being brought by the three
virtues--Faith, Hope, and Charity.

The Virgin stands in a recess behind two marble shafts, such as may be
seen in any house belonging to an old family in Venice. She places the
boy Christ on the edge of a balustrade before her. At her side are St.
John the Baptist, and St. Jerome. This group occupies the left side of
the picture. The pillars, seen sideways, divide it from the group formed
by the Virtues, with the wife and children of Veronese. He himself
stands a little behind, his hands clasped in prayer.

§ 20. His wife kneels full in front, a strong Venetian woman, well
advanced in years. She has brought up her children in fear of God, and
is not afraid to meet the Virgin's eyes. She gazes steadfastly on them;
her proud head and gentle, self-possessed face are relieved in one broad
mass of shadow against a space of light, formed by the white robes of
Faith, who stands beside her,--guardian, and companion. Perhaps a
somewhat disappointing Faith at the first sight, for her face is not in
any way exalted or refined. Veronese knew that Faith had to companion
simple and slow-hearted people perhaps oftener than able or refined
people--does not therefore insist on her being severely intellectual, or
looking as if she were always in the best company. So she is only
distinguished by her pure white (not bright white) dress, her delicate
hand, her golden hair drifted in light ripples across her breast, from
which the white robes fall nearly in the shape of a shield--the shield
of Faith. A little behind her stands Hope; she also, at first, not to
most people a recognizable Hope. We usually paint Hope as young, and
joyous. Veronese knows better. That young hope is vain hope--passing
away in rain of tears; but the Hope of Veronese is aged, assured,
remaining when all else had been taken away. "For tribulation worketh
patience, and patience experience, and experience hope;" and _that_ hope
maketh not ashamed.

She has a black veil on her head.

Then again, in the front, is Charity, red-robed; stout in the arms,--a
servant of all work, she; but small-headed, not being specially given to
thinking; soft-eyed, her hair braided brightly, her lips rich red,
sweet-blossoming. She has got some work to do even now, for a nephew of
Veronese's is doubtful about coming forward, and looks very humbly and
penitently towards the Virgin--his life perhaps not having been quite so
exemplary as might at present be wished. Faith reaches her small white
hand lightly back to him, lays the tips of her fingers on his; but
Charity takes firm hold of him by the wrist from behind, and will push
him on presently, if he still hangs back.

§ 21. In front of the mother kneel her two eldest children, a girl of
about sixteen, and a boy a year or two younger. They are both wrapt in
adoration--the boy's being the deepest. Nearer us, at their left side,
is a younger boy, about nine years old--a black-eyed fellow, full of
life--and evidently his father's darling (for Veronese has put him full
in light in the front; and given him a beautiful white silken jacket,
barred with black, that nobody may ever miss seeing him to the end of
time). He is a little shy about being presented to the Madonna, and for
the present has got behind the pillar, blushing, but opening his black
eyes wide; he is just summoning courage to peep round, and see if she
looks kind. A still younger child, about six years old, is really
frightened, and has run back to his mother, catching hold of her dress
at the waist. She throws her right arm round him and over him, with
exquisite instinctive action, not moving her eyes from the Madonna's
face. Last of all, the youngest child, perhaps about three years old, is
neither frightened nor interested, but finds the ceremony tedious, and
is trying to coax the dog to play with him; but the dog, which is one of
the little curly, short-nosed, fringy-pawed things, which all Venetian
ladies petted, will not now be coaxed. For the dog is the last link in
the chain of lowering feeling, and takes his doggish views of the
matter. He cannot understand, first, how the Madonna got into the house;
nor, secondly, why she is allowed to stay, disturbing the family, and
taking all their attention from his dogship. And he is walking away,
much offended.

§ 22. The dog is thus constantly introduced by the Venetians in order to
give the fullest contrast to the highest tones of human thought and
feeling. I shall examine this point presently farther, in speaking of
pastoral landscape and animal painting; but at present we will merely
compare the use of the same mode of expression in Veronese's
Presentation of the Queen of Sheba.

§ 23. This picture is at Turin, and is of quite inestimable value. It is
hung high; and the really principal figure--the Solomon, being in the
shade, can hardly be seen, but is painted with Veronese's utmost
tenderness, in the bloom of perfect youth, his hair golden, short,
crisply curled. He is seated high on his lion throne; two elders on each
side beneath him, the whole group forming a tower of solemn shade. I
have alluded, elsewhere, to the principle on which all the best
composers act, of supporting these lofty groups by some vigorous mass of
foundation. This column of noble shade is curiously sustained. A
falconer leans forward from the left-hand side, bearing on his wrist a
snow-white falcon, its wings spread, and brilliantly relieved against
the purple robe of one of the elders. It touches with its wings one of
the golden lions of the throne, on which the light also flashes
strongly; thus forming, together with it, the lion and eagle symbol,
which is the type of Christ throughout mediæval work. In order to show
the meaning of this symbol, and that Solomon is typically invested with
the Christian royalty, one of the elders, by a bold anachronism, holds a
jewel in his hand of the shape of a cross, with which he (by accident of
gesture) points to Solomon; his other hand is laid on an open book.

§ 24. The group opposite, of which the queen forms the centre, is also
painted with Veronese's highest skill; but contains no point of interest
bearing on our present subject, except its connection by a chain of
descending emotion. The Queen is wholly oppressed and subdued; kneeling,
and nearly fainting, she looks up to Solomon with tears in her eyes; he,
startled by fear for her, stoops forward from the throne, opening his
right hand, as if to support her, so as almost to drop the sceptre. At
her side her first maid of honor is kneeling also, but does not care
about Solomon; and is gathering up her dress that it may not be crushed;
and looking back to encourage a negro girl, who, carrying two toy-birds,
made of enamel and jewels, for presenting to the King, is frightened at
seeing her Queen fainting, and does not know what she ought to do; while
lastly, the Queen's dog, another of the little fringy-paws, is wholly
unabashed by Solomon's presence, or anybody else's; and stands with his
fore legs well apart, right in front of his mistress, thinking everybody
has lost their wits; and barking violently at one of the attendants, who
has set down a golden vase disrespectfully near him.

§ 25. Throughout these designs I want the reader to notice the purpose
of representing things as they were likely to have occurred, down to
trivial, or even ludicrous detail--the nobleness of all that was
intended to be noble being so great that nothing could detract from it.
A farther instance, however, and a prettier one, of this familiar
realization, occurs in a Holy Family, by Veronese, at Brussels. The
Madonna has laid the infant Christ on a projecting base of pillar, and
stands behind, looking down on him. St. Catherine, having knelt down in
front, the child turns round to receive her--so suddenly, and so far,
that any other child must have fallen over the edge of the stone. St.
Catherine, terrified, thinking he is really going to fall, stretches out
her arms to catch him. But the Madonna looking down, only smiles, "He
will not fall."

§ 26. A more touching instance of this realization occurs, however, in
the treatment of the saint Veronica (in the Ascent to Calvary), at
Dresden. Most painters merely represent her as one of the gentle,
weeping, attendant women; and show her giving the handkerchief as though
these women had been allowed to approach Christ without any difficulty.
But in Veronese's conception, she has to break through the executioners
to him. She is not weeping; and the expression of pity, though intense,
is overborne by that of resolution. She is determined to reach Christ;
has set her teeth close, and thrusts aside one of the executioners, who
strikes fiercely at her with a heavy doubled cord.

§ 27. These instances are enough to explain the general character of the
mind of Veronese, capable of tragic power to the utmost, if he chooses
to exert it in that direction, but, by habitual preference, exquisitely
graceful and playful; religious without severity, and winningly noble;
delighting in slight, sweet, every-day incident, but hiding deep
meanings underneath it; rarely painting a gloomy subject, and never a
base one.

§ 28. I have, in other places, entered enough into the examination of
the great religious mind of Tintoret; supposing then that he was
distinguished from Titian chiefly by this character. But in this I was
mistaken; the religion of Titian is like that of Shakspere--occult
behind his magnificent equity. It is not possible, however, within the
limits of this work, to give any just account of the mind of Titian: nor
shall I attempt it; but will only explain some of those more strange and
apparently inconsistent attributes of it, which might otherwise prevent
the reader from getting clue to its real tone. The first of these is its
occasional coarseness in choice of type of feature.

§ 29. In the second volume I had to speak of Titian's Magdalen, in the
Pitti Palace, as treated basely, and that in strong terms, "the
disgusting Magdalen of the Pitti."

Truly she is so as compared with the received types of the Magdalen. A
stout, redfaced woman, dull, and coarse of feature, with much of the
animal in even her expression of repentance--her eyes strained, and
inflamed with weeping. I ought, however, to have remembered another
picture of the Magdalen by Titian (Mr. Rogers's, now in the National
Gallery), in which she is just as refined, as in the Pitti Palace she is
gross; and had I done so, I should have seen Titian's meaning. It had
been the fashion before his time to make the Magdalen always young and
beautiful; her, if no one else, even the rudest painters flattered; her
repentance was not thought perfect unless she had lustrous hair and
lovely lips. Titian first dared to doubt the romantic fable, and reject
the narrowness of sentimental faith. He saw that it was possible for
plain women to love no less than beautiful ones; and for stout persons
to repent as well as those more delicately made. It seemed to him that
the Magdalen would have received her pardon not the less quickly because
her wit was none of the readiest; and would not have been regarded with
less compassion by her Master because her eyes were swollen, or her
dress disordered. It is just because he has set himself sternly to
enforce this lesson that the picture is so painful: the only instance,
so far as I remember, of Titian's painting a woman markedly and entirely
belonging to the lowest class.

§ 30. It may perhaps appear more difficult to account for the
alternation of Titian's great religious pictures with others devoted
wholly to the expression of sensual qualities, or to exulting and bright
representation of heathen deities.

The Venetian mind, we have said, and Titian's especially, as the central
type of it, was wholly realist, universal, and manly.

In this breadth and realism, the painter saw that sensual passion in man
was, not only a fact, but a Divine fact; the human creature, though the
highest of the animals, was, nevertheless, a perfect animal, and his
happiness, health, and nobleness depended on the due power of every
animal passion, as well as the cultivation of every spiritual tendency.

He thought that every feeling of the mind and heart, as well as every
form of the body, deserved painting. Also to a painter's true and highly
trained instinct, the human body is the loveliest of all objects. I do
not stay to trace the reasons why, at Venice, the female body could be
found in more perfect beauty than the male; but so it was, and it
becomes the principal subject therefore, both with Giorgione and Titian.
They painted it fearlessly, with all right and natural qualities; never,
however, representing it as exercising any overpowering attractive
influence on man; but only on the Faun or Satyr.

Yet they did this so majestically that I am perfectly certain no
untouched Venetian picture ever yet excited one base thought (otherwise
than in base persons anything may do so); while in the greatest studies
of the female body by the Venetians, all other characters are overborne
by majesty, and the form becomes as pure as that of a Greek statue.

§ 31. There is no need, I should think, to point out how this
contemplation of the entire personal nature was reconcilable with the
severest conceptions of religious duty and faith.

But the fond introduction of heathen gods may appear less explicable.

On examination, however, it will be found, that these deities are never
painted with any heart-reverence or affection. They are introduced for
the most part symbolically (Bacchus and Venus oftenest, as incarnations
of the spirit of revelry and beauty), of course always conceived with
deep imaginative truth, much resembling the mode of Keats's conception;
but never so as to withdraw any of the deep devotion referred to the
objects of Christian faith.

In all its roots of power, and modes of work;--in its belief, its
breadth, and its judgment, I find the Venetian mind perfect.

How, then, did its art so swiftly pass away? How become, what it became
unquestionably, one of the chief causes of the corruption of the mind of
Italy, and of her subsequent decline in moral and political power?

§ 32. By reason of one great, one fatal fault;--recklessness in aim.
Wholly noble in its sources, it was wholly unworthy in its purposes.

Separate and strong, like Samson, chosen from its youth, and with the
spirit of God visibly resting on it,--like him, it warred in careless
strength, and wantoned in untimely pleasure. No Venetian painter ever
worked with any aim beyond that of delighting the eye, or expressing
fancies agreeable to himself or flattering to his nation. They could not
be either unless they were religious. But he did not desire the
religion. He desired the delight.

The Assumption is a noble picture, because Titian believed in the
Madonna. But he did not paint it to make any one else believe in her. He
painted it because he enjoyed rich masses of red and blue, and faces
flushed with sunlight.

Tintoret's Paradise is a noble picture, because he believed in Paradise.
But he did not paint it to make any one think of heaven; but to form a
beautiful termination for the hall of the greater council.

Other men used their effete faiths and mean faculties with a high moral
purpose. The Venetian gave the most earnest faith, and the lordliest
faculty, to gild the shadows of an ante-chamber, or heighten the
splendors of a holiday.

§ 33. Strange, and lamentable as this carelessness may appear, I find it
to be almost the law with the great workers. Weak and vain men have
acute consciences, and labor under a profound sense of responsibility.
The strong men, sternly disdainful of themselves, do what they can, too
often merely as it pleases them at the moment, reckless what comes of

I know not how far in humility, or how far in bitter and hopeless
levity, the great Venetians gave their art to be blasted by the
sea-winds or wasted by the worm. I know not whether in sorrowful
obedience, or in wanton compliance, they fostered the folly, and
enriched the luxury of their age. This only I know, that in proportion
to the greatness of their power was the shame of its desecration and the
suddenness of its fall. The enchanter's spell, woven by centuries of
toil, was broken in the weakness of a moment; and swiftly, and utterly,
as a rainbow vanishes, the radiance and the strength faded from the
wings of the Lion.


  [1] Anacreon, Ode 12th.

  [2] Herod, i. 59.

  [3] Lucian (Micyllus).

  [4] Aristophanes, Plutus.

  [5] Hippias Major, 208.




§ 1. BY referring to the first analysis of our subject, it will be seen
we have next to examine the art which cannot conquer the evil, but
remains at war with, or in captivity to it.

Up to the time of the Reformation it was possible for men even of the
highest powers of intellect to obtain a tranquillity of faith, in the
highest degree favorable to the pursuit of any particular art. Possible,
at least, we see it to have been; there is no need--nor, so far as I
see, any ground, for argument about it. I am myself unable to understand
how it was so; but the fact is unquestionable. It is not that I wonder
at men's trust in the Pope's infallibility, or in his virtue; nor at
their surrendering their private judgment; nor at their being easily
cheated by imitations of miracles; nor at their thinking indulgences
could be purchased with money. But I wonder at this one thing only; the
acceptance of the doctrine of eternal punishment as dependent on
accident of birth, or momentary excitement of devotional feeling. I
marvel at the acceptance of the system (as stated in its fulness by
Dante) which condemned guiltless persons to the loss of heaven because
they had lived before Christ, and which made the obtaining of Paradise
turn frequently on a passing thought or a momentary invocation. How this
came to pass, it is no part of our work here to determine. That in this
faith, it was possible to attain entire peace of mind; to live calmly,
and die hopefully, is indisputable.

§ 2. But this possibility ceased at the Reformation. Thenceforward human
life became a school of debate, troubled and fearful. Fifteen hundred
years of spiritual teaching were called into fearful question, whether
indeed it had been teaching by angels or devils? Whatever it had been,
there was no longer any way of trusting it peacefully.

A dark time for all men. We cannot now conceive it. The great horror of
it lay in this:--that, as in the trial-hour of the Greek, the heavens
themselves seemed to have deceived those who had trusted in them.

"We had prayed with tears; we had loved with our hearts. There was no
choice of way open to us. No guidance from God or man, other than this,
and behold, it was a lie. 'When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He
shall guide you into all truth.' And He has guided us into _no_ truth.
There can be no such Spirit. There is no Advocate, no Comforter. Has
there been no Resurrection?"

§ 3. Then came the Resurrection of Death. Never since man first saw him,
face to face, had his terror been so great. "Swallowed up in victory:"
alas! no; but king over all the earth. All faith, hope, and fond belief
were betrayed. Nothing of futurity was now sure but the grave.

For the Pan-Athenaic Triumph and the Feast of Jubilee, there came up,
through fields of spring, the dance of Death.

The brood of weak men fled from the face of him. A new Bacchus and his
crew this, with worm for snake and gall for wine. They recoiled to such
pleasure as yet remained possible to them--feeble infidelities, and
luxurious sciences, and so went their way.

§ 4. At least, of the men with whom we are concerned--the artists--this
was almost the universal fate. They gave themselves to the following of
pleasure only; and as a religious school, after a few pale rays of
fading sanctity from Guido, and brown gleams of gipsy Madonnahood from
Murillo, came utterly to an end.

Three men only stood firm, facing the new Dionysiac revel, to see what
would come of it.

Two in the north, Holbein and Durer, and, later, one in the south,

But the ground on which they stood differed strangely; Durer and
Holbein, amidst the formal delights, the tender religions, and practical
science, of domestic life and honest commerce. Salvator, amidst the
pride of lascivious wealth, and the outlawed distress of impious

§ 5. It would be impossible to imagine any two phases of scenery or
society more contrary in character, more opposite in teaching, than
those surrounding Nuremberg and Naples, in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. What they were then, both districts still to all general
intents remain. The cities have in each case lost their splendor and
power, but not their character. The surrounding scenery remains wholly
unchanged. It is still in our power, from the actual aspect of the
places, to conceive their effect on the youth of the two painters.

[Illustration: 76. The Moat of Nuremberg.]

§ 6. Nuremberg is gathered at the base of a sandstone rock, rising in
the midst of a dry but fertile plain. The rock forms a prolonged and
curved ridge, of which the concave side, at the highest point, is
precipitous; the other slopes gradually to the plain. Fortified with
wall and tower along its whole crest, and crowned with a stately castle,
it defends the city--not with its precipitous side--but with its slope.
The precipice is turned to the town. It wears no aspect of hostility
towards the surrounding fields; the roads lead down into them by gentle
descents from the gates. To the south and east the walls are on the
level of the plain; within them, the city itself stands on two swells of
hill, divided by a winding river. Its architecture has, however, been
much overrated. The effect of the streets, so delightful to the eye of
the passing traveller, depends chiefly on one appendage of the roof,
namely, its warehouse windows. Every house, almost without exception,
has at least one boldly opening dormer window, the roof of which
sustains a pulley for raising goods; and the underpart of this strong
overhanging roof is always carved with a rich pattern, not of refined
design, but effective.[1] Among these comparatively modern structures
are mingled, however, not unfrequently, others, turreted at the angles,
which are true Gothic of the fifteenth, some of the fourteenth, century;
and the principal churches remain nearly as in Durer's time. Their
Gothic is none of it good, nor even rich (though the façades have their
ornament so distributed as to give them a sufficiently elaborate
effect at a distance); their size is diminutive; their interiors mean,
rude, and ill-proportioned, wholly dependent for their interest on
ingenious stone cutting in corners, and finely-twisted ironwork; of
these the mason's exercises are in the worst possible taste, possessing
not even the merit of delicate execution; but the designs in metal are
usually meritorious, and Fischer's shrine of St. Sebald is good, and may
rank with Italian work.[2]

§ 7. Though, however, not comparable for an instant to any great Italian
or French city, Nuremberg possesses one character peculiar to itself,
that of a self-restrained, contented, quaint domesticity. It would be
vain to expect any first-rate painting, sculpture, or poetry, from the
well-regulated community of merchants of small ware. But it is evident
they were affectionate and trustworthy--that they had playful fancy, and
honorable pride. There is no exalted grandeur in their city, nor any
deep beauty; but an imaginative homeliness, mingled with some elements
of melancholy and power, and a few even of grace.

This homeliness, among many other causes, arises out of one in chief.
The richness of the houses depends, as I just said, on the dormer
windows: but their deeper character on the pitch and space of roofs. I
had to notice long ago how much our English cottage depended for
expression on its steep roof. The German house does so in far greater
degree. Plate 76 is engraved[3] from a slight pen-and-ink sketch of mine
on the ramparts of Nuremberg, showing a piece of its moat and wall, and
a little corner of the city beneath the castle; of which the tower on
the extreme right rises just in front of Durer's house. The character
of this scene approaches more nearly that which Durer would see in his
daily walks, than most of the modernized inner streets. In Durer's own
engraving, "The Cannon," the distance (of which the most important
passage is facsimiled in my Elements of Drawing, p. 111) is an actual
portrait of part of the landscape seen from those castle ramparts,
looking towards Franconian Switzerland.

§ 8. If the reader will be at the pains to turn to it, he will see at a
glance the elements of the Nuremberg country, as they still exist.
Wooden cottages, thickly grouped, enormously high in the roofs; the
sharp church spire, small and slightly grotesque, surmounting them;
beyond, a richly cultivated, healthy plain bounded by woody hills. By a
strange coincidence the very plant which constitutes the staple produce
of those fields, is in almost ludicrous harmony with the grotesqueness
and neatness of the architecture around; and one may almost fancy that
the builders of the little knotted spires and turrets of the town, and
workers of its dark iron flowers, are in spiritual presence, watching
and guiding the produce of the field,--when one finds the footpaths
bordered everywhere, by the bossy spires and lustrous jetty flowers of
the black hollyhock.

§ 9. Lastly, when Durer penetrated among those hills of Franconia he
would find himself in a pastoral country, much resembling the Gruyère
districts of Switzerland, but less thickly inhabited, and giving in its
steep, though not lofty, rocks,--its scattered pines,--and its
fortresses and chapels, the motives of all the wilder landscape
introduced by the painter in such pieces as his St. Jerome, or St.
Hubert. His continual and forced introduction of sea in almost every
scene, much as it seems to me to be regretted, is possibly owing to his
happy recollections of the sea-city where he received the rarest of all
rewards granted to a good workman; and, for once in his life, was

§ 10. Among this pastoral simplicity and formal sweetness of domestic
peace, Durer had to work out his question concerning the grave. It
haunted him long; he learned to engrave death's heads well before he had
done with it; looked deeper than any other man into those strange rings,
their jewels lost; and gave answer at last conclusively in his great
Knight and Death--of which more presently. But while the Nuremberg
landscape is still fresh in our minds, we had better turn south quickly
and compare the elements of education which formed, and of creation
which companioned, Salvator.

§ 11. Born with a wild and coarse nature (how coarse I will show you
soon), but nevertheless an honest one, he set himself in youth hotly to
the war, and cast himself carelessly on the current of life. No
rectitude of ledger-lines stood in his way; no tender precision of
household customs; no calm successions of rural labor. But past his
half-starved lips rolled profusion of pitiless wealth; before him glared
and swept the troops of shameless pleasure. Above him muttered Vesuvius;
beneath his feet shook the Solfatara.

In heart disdainful, in temper adventurous; conscious of power,
impatient of labor, and yet more of the pride of the patrons of his
youth, he fled to the Calabrian hills, seeking, not knowledge, but
freedom. If he was to be surrounded by cruelty and deceit, let them at
least be those of brave men or savage beasts, not of the timorous and
the contemptible. Better the wrath of the robber, than enmity of the
priest; and the cunning of the wolf than of the hypocrite.

§ 12. We are accustomed to hear the south of Italy spoken of as a
beautiful country. Its mountain forms are graceful above others, its
sea-bays exquisite in outline and hue; but it is only beautiful in
superficial aspect. In closer detail it is wild and melancholy. Its
forests are sombre-leafed, labyrinth-stemmed; the carubbe, the olive,
laurel, and ilex, are alike in that strange feverish twisting of their
branches, as if in spasms of half human pain:--Avernus forests; one
fears to break their boughs, lest they should cry to us from their
rents; the rocks they shade are of ashes, or thrice-molten lava; iron
sponge, whose every pore has been filled with fire. Silent villages,
earthquake-shaken, without commerce, without industry, without
knowledge, without hope, gleam in white ruin from hill-side to
hill-side; far-winding wrecks of immemorial walls surround the dust of
cities long forsaken: the mountain streams moan through the cold arches
of their foundations, green with weed, and rage over the heaps of their
fallen towers. Far above, in thunder-blue serration, stand the eternal
edges of the angry Apennine, dark with rolling impendence of volcanic

§ 13. Yet even among such scenes as these, Salvator might have been
calmed and exalted, had he been, indeed, capable of exaltation. But he
was not of high temper enough to perceive beauty. He had not the sacred
sense--the sense of color; all the loveliest hues of the Calabrian air
were invisible to him; the sorrowful desolation of the Calabrian
villages unfelt. He saw only what was gross and terrible,--the jagged
peak, the splintered tree, the flowerless bank of grass, and wandering
weed, prickly and pale. His temper confirmed itself in evil, and became
more and more fierce and morose; though not, I believe, cruel,
ungenerous, or lascivious. I should not suspect Salvator of wantonly
inflicting pain. His constantly painting it does not prove he delighted
in it; he felt the horror of it, and in that horror, fascination. Also,
he desired fame, and saw that here was an untried field rich enough in
morbid excitement to catch the humor of his indolent patrons. But the
gloom gained upon him, and grasped him. He could jest, indeed, as men
jest in prison-yards (he became afterwards a renowned mime in Florence);
his satires are full of good mocking, but his own doom to sadness is
never repealed.

§ 14. Of all men whose work I have ever studied, he gives me most
distinctly the idea of a lost spirit. Michelet calls him "Ce damné
Salvator," perhaps in a sense merely harsh and violent; the epithet to
me seems true in a more literal, more merciful sense,--"That condemned
Salvator." I see in him, notwithstanding all his baseness, the last
traces of spiritual life in the art of Europe. He was the last man to
whom the thought of a spiritual existence presented itself as a
conceivable reality. All succeeding men, however powerful--Rembrandt,
Rubens, Vandyke, Reynolds--would have mocked at the idea of a spirit.
They were men of the world; they are never in earnest, and they are
never appalled. But Salvator was capable of pensiveness, of faith, and
of fear. The misery of the earth is a marvel to him; he cannot leave off
gazing at it. The religion of the earth is a horror to him. He gnashes
his teeth at it, rages at it, mocks and gibes at it. He would have
acknowledged religion, had he seen any that was true. Anything rather
than that baseness which he did see. "If there is no other religion
than this of pope and cardinals, let us to the robber's ambush and the
dragon's den." He was capable of fear also. The gray spectre,
horse-headed, striding across the sky--(in the Pitti Palace)--its bat
wings spread, green bars of the twilight seen between its bones; it was
no play to him--the painting of it. Helpless Salvator! A little early
sympathy, a word of true guidance, perhaps, had saved him. What says he
of himself? "Despiser of wealth and of death." Two grand scorns; but,
oh, condemned Salvator! the question is not for man what he can scorn,
but what he can love.

§ 15. I do not care to trace the various hold which Hades takes on this
fallen soul. It is no part of my work here to analyze his art, nor even
that of Durer; all that we need to note is the opposite answer they gave
to the question about death.

To Salvator it came in narrow terms. Desolation, without hope,
throughout the fields of nature he had to explore; hypocrisy and
sensuality, triumphant and shameless, in the cities from which he
derived his support. His life, so far as any nobility remained in it,
could only pass in horror, disdain, or despair. It is difficult to say
which of the three prevails most in his common work; but his answer to
the great question was of despair only. He represents "Umana Fragilita"
by the type of a skeleton with plumy wings, leaning over a woman and
child; the earth covered with ruin round them--a thistle, casting its
seed, the only fruit of it. "Thorns, also, and thistles shall it bring
forth to thee." The same tone of thought marks all Salvator's more
earnest work.

§ 16. On the contrary, in the sight of Durer, things were for the most
part as they ought to be. Men did their work in his city and in the
fields round it. The clergy were sincere. Great social questions
unagitated; great social evils either non-existent, or seemingly a part
of the nature of things, and inevitable. His answer was that of patient
hope; and twofold, consisting of one design in praise of Fortitude, and
another in praise of Labor. The Fortitude, commonly known as the "Knight
and Death," represents a knight riding through a dark valley overhung by
leafless trees, and with a great castle on a hill beyond. Beside him,
but a little in advance, rides Death on a pale horse. Death is
gray-haired and crowned;--serpents wreathed about his crown; (the sting
of death involved in the kingly power). He holds up the hour-glass, and
looks earnestly into the knight's face. Behind him follows Sin; but Sin
powerless; he has been conquered and passed by, but follows yet,
watching if any way of assault remains. On his forehead are two horns--I
think, of sea-shell--to indicate his insatiableness and instability. He
has also the twisted horns of the ram, for stubbornness, the ears of an
ass, the snout of a swine, the hoofs of a goat. Torn wings hang useless
from his shoulders, and he carries a spear with two hooks, for catching
as well as wounding. The knight does not heed him, nor even Death,
though he is conscious of the presence of the last.

He rides quietly, his bridle firm in his hand, and his lips set close in
a slight sorrowful smile, for he hears what Death is saying; and hears
it as the word of a messenger who brings pleasant tidings, thinking to
bring evil ones. A little branch of delicate heath is twisted round his
helmet. His horse trots proudly and straight; its head high, and with a
cluster of oak on the brow where on the fiend's brow is the sea-shell
horn. But the horse of Death stoops its head; and its rein catches the
little bell which hangs from the knight's horse-bridle, making it toll,
as a passing bell.[4]

§ 17. Durer's second answer is the plate of "Melencholia," which is the
history of the sorrowful toil of the earth, as the "Knight and Death" is
of its sorrowful patience under temptation.

Salvator's answer, remember, is in both respects that of despair. Death
as he reads, lord of temptation, is victor over the spirit of man; and
lord of ruin, is victor over the work of man. Durer declares the sad,
but unsullied conquest over Death the tempter; and the sad, but
enduring conquest over Death the destroyer.

§ 18. Though the general intent of the Melencholia is clear, and to be
felt at a glance, I am in some doubt respecting its special symbolism. I
do not know how far Durer intended to show that labor, in many of its
most earnest forms, is closely connected with the morbid sadness, or
"dark anger," of the northern nations. Truly some of the best work ever
done for man, has been in that dark anger;[5] but I have not yet been
able to determine for myself how far this is necessary, or how far great
work may also be done with cheerfulness. If I knew what the truth was, I
should be able to interpret Durer better; meantime the design seems to
me his answer to the complaint, "Yet is his strength labor and sorrow."

"Yes," he replies, "but labor and sorrow are his strength."

§ 19. The labor indicated is in the daily work of men. Not the inspired
or gifted labor of the few (it is labor connected with the sciences, not
with the arts), shown in its four chief functions: thoughtful, faithful,
calculating and executing.

Thoughtful, first; all true power coming of that resolved, resistless
calm of melancholy thought. This is the first and last message of the
whole design. Faithful, the right arm of the spirit resting on the book.
Calculating (chiefly in the sense of self-command), the compasses in her
right hand. Executive--roughest instruments of labor at her feet: a
crucible, and geometrical solids, indicating her work in the sciences.
Over her head the hour-glass and the bell, for their continual words,
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do." Beside her, childish labor
(lesson-learning?) sitting on an old millstone, with a tablet on its
knees. I do not know what instrument it has in its hand. At her knees, a
wolf-hound asleep. In the distance, a comet (the disorder and
threatening of the universe) setting, the rainbow dominant over it. Her
strong body is close girded for work; at her waist hang the keys of
wealth; but the coin is cast aside contemptuously under her feet. She
has eagles' wings, and is crowned with fair leafage of spring.

Yes, Albert of Nuremberg, it was a noble answer, yet an imperfect one.
This is indeed the labor which is crowned with laurel and has the wings
of the eagle. It was reserved for another country to prove, for another
hand to portray, the labor which is crowned with fire, and has the wings
of the bat.


  [1] To obtain room for the goods, the roofs slope steeply, and their
    other dormer windows are richly carved--but all are of wood; and, for
    the most part, I think, some hundred years later than Durer's time. A
    large number of the oriel and bow windows on the façades are wooden
    also, and of recent date.

  [2] His piece in the cathedral of Magdeburg is strangely inferior,
    wanting both the grace of composition and bold handling of the St.
    Sebald's. The bronze fountains at Nuremberg (three, of fame, in as
    many squares) are highly wrought, and have considerable merit; the
    ordinary ironwork of the houses, with less pretension, is, perhaps,
    more truly artistic. In Plate 52, the right-hand figure is a
    characteristic example of the bell-handle at the door of a private
    house, composed of a wreath of flowers and leafage twisted in a
    spiral round an upright rod, the spiral terminating below in a
    delicate tendril; the whole of wrought iron. It is longer than
    represented, some of the leaf-links of the chain being omitted in the
    dotted spaces, as well as the handle, which, though often itself of
    leafage, is always convenient for the hand.

  [3] By Mr. Le Keux, very admirably.

  [4] This was first pointed out to me by a friend--Mr. Robin Allen. It
    is a beautiful thought; yet, possibly, an after-thought, I have some
    suspicion that there is an alteration in the plate at that place, and
    that the rope to which the bell hangs was originally the line of the
    chest of the nearer horse, as the grass-blades about the lifted hind
    leg conceal the lines which could not, in Durer's way of work, be
    effaced, indicating its first intended position. What a proof of his
    general decision of handling is involved in this "repentir"!

  [5] "Yet withal, you see that the Monarch is a great, valiant,
    cautious, melancholy, commanding man"--Friends in Council, last
    volume, p. 269; Milverton giving an account of Titian's picture of
    Charles the Fifth. (Compare Ellesmere's description of Milverton
    himself, p. 140.) Read carefully also what is said further on
    respecting Titian's freedom, and fearless with holding of flattery;
    comparing it with the note on Giorgione and Titian.



§ 1. It was stated in the last chapter that Salvator was the last
painter of Italy on whom any fading trace of the old faithful spirit
rested. Carrying some of its passion far into the seventeenth century,
he deserved to be remembered together with the painters whom the
questioning of the Reformation had exercised, eighty years before. Not
so his contemporaries. The whole body of painters around him, but
chiefly those of landscape, had cast aside all regard for the faith of
their fathers, or for any other; and founded a school of art properly
called "classical,"[1] of which the following are the chief

§ 2. The belief in a supreme benevolent Being having ceased, and the
sense of spiritual destitution fastening on the mind, together with the
hopeless perception of ruin and decay in the existing world, the
imagination sought to quit itself from the oppression of these ideas by
realizing a perfect worldly felicity, in which the inevitable ruin
should at least be lovely, and the necessarily short life entirely happy
and refined. Labor must be banished, since it was to be unrewarded.
Humiliation and degradation of body must be prevented since there could
be no compensation for them by preparation of the soul for another
world. Let us eat and drink (refinedly), for to-morrow we die, and
attain the highest possible dignity as men in this world, since we shall
have none as spirits in the next.

§ 3. Observe, this is neither the Greek nor the Roman spirit. Neither
Claude, nor Poussin, nor any other painter or writer, properly termed
"classical," ever could enter into the Greek or Roman heart, which was
as full, in many cases fuller, of the hope of immortality than our own.

On the absence of belief in a good supreme Being, follows, necessarily,
the habit of looking to ourselves for supreme judgment in all matters,
and for supreme government. Hence, first, the irreverent habit of
judgment instead of admiration. It is generally expressed under the
justly degrading term "good taste."

§ 4. Hence, in the second place, the habit of restraint or
self-government (instead of impulsive and limitless obedience), based
upon pride, and involving, for the most part, scorn of the helpless and
weak, and respect only for the orders of men who have been trained to
this habit of self-government. Whence the title classical, from the
Latin _classicus_.

§ 5. The school is, therefore, generally to be characterized as that of
taste and restraint. As the school of taste, everything is, in its
estimation, beneath it, so as to be tasted or tested; not above it, to
be thankfully received. Nothing was to be fed upon as bread; but only
palated as a dainty. This spirit has destroyed art since the close of
the sixteenth century, and nearly destroyed French literature, our
English literature being at the same time severely depressed, and our
education (except in bodily strength) rendered nearly nugatory by it, so
far as it affects common-place minds. It is not possible that the
classical spirit should ever take possession of a mind of the highest
order. Pope is, as far as I know, the greatest man who ever fell
strongly under its influence; and though it spoiled half his work, he
broke through it continually into true enthusiasm and tender thought.[2]
Again, as the school of reserve, it refuses to allow itself in any
violent or "spasmodic" passion; the schools of literature which have
been in modern times called "spasmodic," being reactionary against it.
The word, though an ugly one, is quite accurate, the most spasmodic
books in the world being Solomon's Song, Job, and Isaiah.

§ 6. The classical landscape, properly so called, is therefore the
representative of perfectly trained and civilized human life, associated
with perfect natural scenery and with decorative spiritual powers.

I will expand this definition a little.

1. Perfectly civilized human life; that is, life freed from the
necessity of humiliating labor, from passions inducing bodily disease,
and from abusing misfortune. The personages of the classical landscape,
therefore, must be virtuous and amiable; if employed in labor, endowed
with strength such as may make it not oppressive. (Considered as a
practicable ideal, the classical life necessarily implies slavery, and
the command, therefore, of a higher order of men over a lower, occupied
in servile work.) Pastoral occupation is allowable as a contrast with
city life. War, if undertaken by classical persons, must be a contest
for honor, more than for life, not at all for wealth,[3] and free from
all fearful or debasing passion. Classical persons must be trained in
all the polite arts, and, because their health is to be perfect, chiefly
in the open air. Hence, the architecture around them must be of the most
finished kind, the rough country and ground being subdued by frequent
and happy humanity.

§ 7. 2. Such personages and buildings must be associated with natural
scenery, uninjured by storms or inclemency of climate (such injury
implying interruption of the open air life); and it must be scenery
conducing to pleasure, not to material service; all cornfields,
orchards, olive-yards, and such like, being under the management of
slaves,[4] and the superior beings having nothing to do with them; but
passing their lives under avenues of scented and otherwise delightful
trees--under picturesque rocks, and by clear fountains.

§ 8. 3. The spiritual powers in classical scenery must be decorative;
ornamental gods, not governing gods; otherwise they could not be
subjected to the principles of taste, but would demand reverence. In
order, therefore, as far as possible, without taking away their
supernatural power, to destroy their dignity, they are made more
criminal and capricious than men, and, for the most part, those only are
introduced who are the lords of lascivious pleasures. For the appearance
of any great god would at once destroy the whole theory of the classical
life; therefore, Pan, Bacchus, and the Satyrs, with Venus and the
Nymphs, are the principal spiritual powers of the classical landscape.
Apollo with the Muses appear as the patrons of the liberal arts. Minerva
rarely presents herself (except to be insulted by judgment of Paris);
Juno seldom, except for some purpose of tyranny; Jupiter seldom, but for
purpose of amour.

§ 9. Such being the general ideal of the classical landscape, it can
hardly be necessary to show the reader how such charm as it possesses
must in general be strong only over weak or second-rate orders of mind.
It has, however, been often experimentally or playfully aimed at by
great men; but I shall only take note of its two leading masters.

§ 10. I. Claude. As I shall have no farther occasion to refer to this
painter, I will resume, shortly, what has been said of him throughout
the work. He had a fine feeling for beauty of form and considerable
tenderness of perception. Vol. I., p. 76; vol. III., p. 318. His aërial
effects are unequalled. Vol. III., p. 318. Their character appears to me
to arise rather from a delicacy of bodily constitution in Claude, than
from any mental sensibility; such as they are, they give a kind of
feminine charm to his work, which partly accounts for its wide
influence. To whatever the character may be traced, it reads him
incapable of enjoying or painting anything energetic or terrible. Hence
the weakness of his conceptions of rough sea. Vol. I., p. 77.

II. He had sincerity of purpose. Vol. III., p. 318. But in common with
other landscape painters of his day, neither earnestness, humility, nor
love, such as would ever cause him to forget himself. Vol. I., p. 77.

That is to say, so far as he felt the truth, he tried to be true; but he
never felt it enough to sacrifice supposed propriety, or habitual method
to it. Very few of his sketches, and none of his pictures, show evidence
of interest in other natural phenomena than the quiet afternoon sunshine
which would fall methodically into a composition. One would suppose he
had never seen scarlet in a morning cloud, nor a storm burst on the
Apennines. But he enjoys a quiet misty afternoon in a ruminant sort of
way (Vol. III., p. 322), yet truly; and strives for the likeness of it,
therein differing from Salvator, who never attempts to be truthful, but
only to be impressive.

§ 11. III. His seas are the most beautiful in old art. Vol. I., p. 345.
For he studied tame waves, as he did tame skies, with great sincerity,
and some affection; and modelled them with more care not only than any
other landscape painter of his day, but even than any of the greater
men; for they, seeing the perfect painting of sea to be impossible, gave
up the attempt, and treated it conventionally. But Claude took so much
pains about this, feeling it was one of his _fortes_, that I suppose no
one can model a small wave better than he.

IV. He first set the pictorial sun in the pictorial heaven. Vol. III.,
p. 318. We will give him the credit of this, with no drawbacks.

V. He had hardly any knowledge of physical science (Vol. I., p. 76), and
shows a peculiar incapacity of understanding the main point of a matter.
Vol. III., p. 321. Connected with which incapacity is his want of
harmony in expression. Vol. II., p. 151. (Compare, for illustration of
this, the account of the picture of the Mill in the preface to Vol. I.)

§ 12. Such were the principal qualities of the leading painter of
classical landscape, his effeminate softness carrying him to dislike all
evidences of toil, or distress, or terror, and to delight in the calm
formalities which mark the school.

Although he often introduces romantic incidents and mediæval as well as
Greek or Roman personages, his landscape is always in the true sense
classic--everything being "elegantly" (selectingly or tastefully), not
passionately, treated. The absence of indications of rural labor, of
hedges, ditches, haystacks, ploughed fields, and the like; the frequent
occurrence of ruins of temples, or masses of unruined palaces; and the
graceful wildness of growth in his trees, are the principal sources of
the "elevated" character which so many persons feel in his scenery.

There is no other sentiment traceable in his work than this weak dislike
to entertain the conception of toil or suffering. Ideas of relation, in
the true sense, he has none; nor ever makes an effort to conceive an
event in its probable circumstances, but fills his foregrounds with
decorative figures, using commonest conventionalism to indicate the
subject he intends. We may take two examples, merely to show the general
character of such designs of his.

§ 13. 1. St. George and the Dragon.

The scene is a beautiful opening in woods by a river side, a pleasant
fountain springs on the right, and the usual rich vegetation covers the
foreground. The dragon is about the size of ten bramble leaves, and is
being killed by the remains of a lance, barely the thickness of a
walking-stick, in his throat, curling his tail in a highly offensive and
threatening manner. St. George, notwithstanding, on a prancing horse,
brandishes his sword, at about thirty yards' distance from the offensive

A semicircular shelf of rocks encircles the foreground, by which the
theatre of action is divided into pit and boxes. Some women and children
having descended unadvisedly into the pit, are helping each other out of
it again, with marked precipitation. A prudent person of rank has taken
a front seat in the boxes,--crosses his legs, leans his head on his
hand, and contemplates the proceedings with the air of a connoisseur.
Two attendants stand in graceful attitudes behind him, and two more walk
away under the trees, conversing on general subjects.

§ 14. 2. Worship of the Golden Calf.

The scene is nearly the same as that of the St. George; but, in order
better to express the desert of Sinai, the river is much larger, and the
trees and vegetation softer. Two people, uninterested in the idolatrous
ceremonies, are rowing in a pleasure boat on the river. The calf is
about sixteen inches long (perhaps, we ought to give Claude credit for
remembering that it was made of ear-rings, though he might as well have
inquired how large Egyptian ear-rings were). Aaron has put it on a
handsome pillar, under which five people are dancing, and twenty-eight,
with several children, worshipping. Refreshments for the dancers are
provided in four large vases under a tree on the left, presided over by
a dignified person holding a dog in a leash. Under the distant group of
trees appears Moses, conducted by some younger personage (Nadab or
Abihu). This younger personage holds up his hands, and Moses, in the
way usually expected of him, breaks the tables of the law, which are as
large as an ordinary octavo volume.

§ 15. I need not proceed farther, for any reader of sense or ordinary
powers of thought can thus examine the subjects of Claude, one by one,
for himself. We may quit him with these few final statements concerning

The admiration of his works was legitimate, so far as it regarded their
sunlight effects and their graceful details. It was base, in so far as
it involved irreverence both for the deeper powers of nature, and
carelessness as to conception of subject. Large admiration of Claude is
wholly impossible in any period of national vigor in art. He may by such
tenderness as he possesses, and by the very fact of his banishing
painfulness, exercise considerable influence over certain classes of
minds; but this influence is almost exclusively hurtful to them.

§ 16. Nevertheless, on account of such small sterling qualities as they
possess, and of their general pleasantness, as well as their importance
in the history of art, genuine Claudes must always possess a
considerable value, either as drawing-room ornaments or museum relics.
They may be ranked with fine pieces of China manufacture, and other
agreeable curiosities, of which the price depends on the rarity rather
than the merit, yet always on a merit of a certain low kind.

§ 17. The other characteristic master of classical landscape is Nicolo

I named Claude first, because the forms of scenery he has represented
are richer and more general than Poussin's; but Poussin has a far
greater power, and his landscapes, though more limited in material, are
incomparably nobler than Claude's. It would take considerable time to
enter into accurate analysis of Poussin's strong but degraded mind; and
bring us no reward, because whatever he has done has been done better by
Titian. His peculiarities are, without exception, weaknesses, induced in
a highly intellectual and inventive mind by being fed on medals, books,
and bassi-relievi instead of nature, and by the want of any deep
sensibility. His best works are his Bacchanalian revels, always brightly
wanton and wild, full of frisk and fire; but they are coarser than
Titian's, and infinitely less beautiful. In all minglings of the human
and brutal character he leans on the bestial, yet with a sternly Greek
severity of treatment. This restraint, peculiarly classical, is much too
manifest in him; for, owing to his habit of never letting himself be
free, he does nothing as well as it ought to be done, rarely even as
well as he can himself do it; and his best beauty is poor, incomplete,
and characterless, though refined. The Nymph pressing the honey in the
"Nursing of Jupiter," and the Muse leaning against the tree, in the
"Inspiration of Poet" (both in the Dulwich Gallery), appear to me
examples of about his highest reach in this sphere.

§ 18. His want of sensibility permits him to paint frightful subjects,
without feeling any true horror: his pictures of the Plague, the Death
of Polydectes, &c., are thus ghastly in incident, sometimes disgusting,
but never impressive. The prominence of the bleeding head in the Triumph
of David marks the same temper. His battle pieces are cold and feeble;
his religious subjects wholly nugatory, they do not excite him enough to
develop even his ordinary powers of invention. Neither does he put much
power into his landscape when it becomes principal; the best pieces of
it occur in fragments behind his figures. Beautiful vegetation, more or
less ornamental in character, occurs in nearly all his mythological
subjects, but his pure landscape is notable only for its dignified
reserve; the great squareness and horizontality of its masses, with
lowness of tone, giving it a deeply meditative character. His Deluge
might be much depreciated, under this head of ideas of relation, but it
is so uncharacteristic of him that I pass it by. Whatever power this
lowness of tone, light in the distance, &c., give to his landscape, or
to Gaspar's (compare Vol. II., Chapter on Infinity, § 12), is in both
conventional and artificial.

I have nothing, therefore, to add farther, here, to what was said of him
in Vol. I. (p. 89); and, as no other older masters of the classical
landscape are worth any special note, we will pass on at once to a
school of humbler but more vital power.


  [1] The word "classical" is carelessly used in the preceding volumes,
    to signify the characters of the Greek or Roman nations.
    Henceforward, it is used in a limited and accurate sense, as defined
    in the text.

  [2] Cold-hearted, I have called him. He was so in writing the
    Pastorals, of which I then spoke; but in after-life his errors were
    those of his time, his wisdom was his own; it would be well if we
    also made it ours.

  [3] Because the pursuit of wealth is inconsistent at once with the
    peace and dignity of perfect life.

  [4] It is curious, as marking the peculiarity of the classical spirit
    in its resolute degradation of the lower orders, that a
    sailing-vessel is hardly admissible in a classical landscape, because
    its management implies too much elevation of the inferior life. But a
    galley, with oars, is admissible, because the rowers may be conceived
    as absolute slaves.



§ 1. The examination of the causes which led to the final departure of
the religious spirit from the hearts of painters, would involve
discussion of the whole scope of the Reformation on the minds of persons
unconcerned directly in its progress. This is of course impossible.

One or two broad facts only can be stated, which the reader may verify,
if he pleases, by his own labor. I do not give them rashly.

§ 2. The strength of the Reformation lay entirely in its being a
movement towards purity of practice.

The Catholic priesthood was hostile to it in proportion to the degree in
which they had been false to their own principles of moral action, and
had become corrupt or worldly in heart.

The Reformers indeed cast out many absurdities, and demonstrated many
fallacies, in the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. But they
themselves introduced errors, which rent the ranks, and finally arrested
the march of the Reformation, and which paralyze the Protestant Church
to this day. Errors of which the fatality was increased by the
controversial bent which lost accuracy of meaning in force of
declamation, and turned expressions, which ought to be used only in
retired depth of thought, into phrases of custom, or watchwords of
attack. Owing to which habits of hot, ingenious, and unguarded
controversy, the Reformed churches themselves soon forgot the meaning of
the word which, of all words, was oftenest in their mouths. They forgot
that [Greek: pistis] is a derivative of [Greek: peithomai], not of
[Greek: pisteuô], and that "fides," closely connected with "fio" on one
side, and with "confido" on the other, is but distantly related to

§ 3. By whatever means, however, the reader may himself be disposed to
admit, the Reformation _was_ arrested; and got itself shut up into
chancels of cathedrals in England (even those, generally too large for
it), and into conventicles everywhere else. Then rising between the
infancy of Reformation, and the palsy of Catholicism;--between a new
shell of half-built religion on one side, daubed with untempered mortar,
and a falling ruin of outworn religion on the other, lizard-crannied,
and ivy-grown;--rose, on its independent foundation, the faithless and
materialized mind of modern Europe--ending in the rationalism of
Germany, the polite formalism of England, the careless blasphemy of
France, and the helpless sensualities of Italy; in the midst of which,
steadily advancing science, and the charities of more and more widely
extended peace, are preparing the way for a Christian church, which
shall depend neither on ignorance for its continuance, nor on
controversy for its progress; but shall reign at once in light, and

§ 4. The whole body of painters (such of them as were left) necessarily
fell into the rationalistic chasm. The Evangelicals despised the arts,
while the Roman Catholics were effete or insincere, and could not retain
influence over men of strong reasoning power.

The painters could only associate frankly with men of the world, and
themselves became men of the world. Men, I mean, having no belief in
spiritual existences; no interests or affections beyond the grave.

§ 5. Not but that they still painted scriptural subjects. Altar-pieces
were wanted occasionally, and pious patrons sometimes commissioned a
cabinet Madonna. But there is just this difference between the men of
this modern period, and the Florentines or Venetians--that whereas the
latter never exert themselves fully except on a sacred subject, the
Flemish and Dutch masters are always languid unless they are profane.
Leonardo is only to be seen in the Cena; Titian only in the Assumption;
but Rubens only in the Battle of the Amazons, and Vandyck only at court.

§ 6. Altar-pieces, when wanted, of course either of them will supply as
readily as anything else. Virgins in blue,[2] or St. Johns in red,[3] as
many as you please. Martyrdoms also, by all means: Rubens especially
delights in these. St. Peter, head downwards,[4] is interesting
anatomically; writhings of impenitent thieves, and bishops having their
tongues pulled out, display our powers to advantage, also.[5]
Theological instruction, if required: "Christ armed with thunder, to
destroy the world, spares it at the intercession of St. Francis."[6]
Last Judgments even, quite Michael-Angelesque, rich in twistings of
limbs, with spiteful biting, and scratching; and fine aërial effects in
smoke of the pit.[7]

§ 7. In all this, however, there is not a vestige of religious feeling
or reverence. We have even some visible difficulty in meeting our
patron's pious wishes. Daniel in the lion's den is indeed an available
subject, but duller than a lion hunt; and Mary of Nazareth must be
painted, if an order come for her; but (says polite Sir Peter), Mary of
Medicis, or Catherine, her bodice being fuller, and better embroidered,
would, if we might offer a suggestion, probably give greater

§ 8. No phenomenon in human mind is more extraordinary than the junction
of this cold and worldly temper with great rectitude of principle, and
tranquil kindness of heart. Rubens was an honorable and entirely
well-intentioned man, earnestly industrious, simple and temperate in
habits of life, high-bred, learned, and discreet. His affection for his
mother was great; his generosity to contemporary artists unfailing. He
is a healthy, worthy, kind-hearted, courtly-phrased--Animal--without any
clearly perceptible traces of a soul, except when he paints his
children. Few descriptions of pictures could be more ludicrous in their
pure animalism than those which he gives of his own. "It is a subject,"
he writes to Sir D. Carleton, "neither sacred nor profane, although
taken from Holy Writ, namely, Sarah in the act of scolding Hagar, who,
pregnant, is leaving the house in a feminine and graceful manner,
assisted by the patriarch Abram." (What a graceful apology, by the way,
instantly follows, for not having finished the picture himself.) "I have
engaged, as is my custom, a very skilful man in his pursuit to finish
the landscapes solely to augment the enjoyment of Y. E.!"[8]

Again, in priced catalogue,--

"50 florins each.--The Twelve Apostles, with a Christ. Done by my
scholars, from originals by my own hand, each having to be retouched by
my hand throughout.

"600 florins.--A picture of Achilles clothed as a woman; done by the
best of my scholars, and the whole retouched by my hand; a most
brilliant picture, and full of many beautiful young girls."

§ 9. Observe, however, Rubens is always entirely honorable in his
statements of what is done by himself and what not. He is religious,
too, after his manner; hears mass every morning, and perpetually uses
the phrase "by the grace of God," or some other such, in writing of any
business he takes in hand; but the tone of his religion may be
determined by one fact.

We saw how Veronese painted himself and his family, as worshipping the

Rubens has also painted himself and his family in an equally elaborate
piece. But they are not _worshipping_ the Madonna. They are _performing_
the Madonna, and her saintly entourage. His favorite wife "En Madone;"
his youngest boy "as Christ;" his father-in-law (or father, it matters
not which) "as Simeon;" another elderly relation, with a beard, "as St.
Jerome;" and he himself "as St. George."

§ 10. Rembrandt has also painted (it is, on the whole, his greatest
picture, so far as I have seen) himself and his wife in a state of ideal
happiness. He sits at supper with his wife on his knee, flourishing a
glass of champagne, with a roast peacock on the table.

The Rubens is in the Church of St. James at Antwerp; the Rembrandt at
Dresden--marvellous pictures, both. No more precious works by either
painter exist. Their hearts, such as they have, are entirely in them;
and the two pictures, not inaptly, represent the Faith and Hope of the
17th century. We have to stoop somewhat lower, in order to comprehend
the pastoral and rustic scenery of Cuyp and Teniers, which must yet be
held as forming one group with the historical art of Rubens, being
connected with it by Rubens' pastoral landscape. To these, I say, we
must stoop lower; for they are destitute, not of spiritual character
only, but of spiritual thought.

Rubens often gives instructive and magnificent allegory; Rembrandt,
pathetic or powerful fancies, founded on real scripture reading, and on
his interest in the picturesque character of the Jew. And Vandyck, a
graceful dramatic rendering of received scriptural legends.

But in the pastoral landscape we lose, not only all faith in religion,
but all remembrance of it. Absolutely now at last we find ourselves
without sight of God in all the world.

§ 11. So far as I can hear or read, this is an entirely new and
wonderful state of things achieved by the Hollanders. The human being
never got wholly quit of the terror of spiritual being before. Persian,
Egyptian, Assyrian, Hindoo, Chinese, all kept some dim, appalling record
of what they called "gods." Farthest savages had--and still have--their
Great Spirit, or, in extremity, their feather idols, large-eyed; but
here in Holland we have at last got utterly done with it all. Our only
idol glitters dimly, in tangible shape of a pint pot, and all the
incense offered thereto, comes out of a small censer or bowl at the end
of a pipe. Of deities or virtues, angels, principalities, or powers, in
the name of our ditches, no more. Let us have cattle, and market

This is the first and essential character of the Holland landscape art.
Its second is a worthier one; respect for rural life.

§ 12. I should attach greater importance to this rural feeling, if there
were any true humanity in it, or any feeling for beauty. But there is
neither. No incidents of this lower life are painted for the sake of the
incidents, but only for the effects of light. You will find that the
best Dutch painters do not care about the people, but about the lustres
on them. Paul Potter, their best herd and cattle painter, does not care
even for sheep, but only for wool; regards not cows, but cowhide. He
attains great dexterity in drawing tufts and locks, lingers in the
little parallel ravines and furrows of fleece that open across sheep's
backs as they turn; is unsurpassed in twisting a horn or pointing a
nose; but he cannot paint eyes, nor perceive any condition of an
animal's mind, except its desire of grazing. Cuyp can, indeed, paint
sunlight, the best that Holland's sun can show; he is a man of large
natural gift, and sees broadly, nay, even seriously; finds out--a
wonderful thing for men to find out in those days--that there are
reflections in water, and that boats require often to be painted upside
down. A brewer by trade, he feels the quiet of a summer afternoon, and
his work will make you marvellously drowsy. It is good for nothing else
that I know of: strong; but unhelpful and unthoughtful. Nothing happens
in his pictures, except some indifferent person's asking the way of
somebody else, who, by their cast of countenance, seems not likely to
know it. For farther entertainment perhaps a red cow and a white one; or
puppies at play, not playfully; the man's heart not going even with the
puppies. Essentially he sees nothing but the shine on the flaps of their

§ 13. Observe always, the fault lies not in the thing's being little, or
the incident being slight. Titian could have put issues of life and
death into the face of a man asking the way; nay, into the back of him,
if he had so chosen. He has put a whole scheme of dogmatic theology into
a row of bishops' backs at the Louvre. And for dogs, Velasquez has made
some of them nearly as grand as his surly kings.

Into the causes of which grandeur we must look a little, with respect
not only to these puppies, and gray horses, and cattle of Cuyp, but to
the hunting pieces of Rubens and Snyders. For closely connected with the
Dutch rejection of motives of spiritual interest, is the increasing
importance attached by them to animals, seen either in the chase or in
agriculture; and to judge justly of the value of this animal painting it
will be necessary for us to glance at that of earlier times.

§ 14. And first of the animals which have had more influence over the
human soul, in its modern life, than ever Apis or the crocodile had
over Egyptian--the dog and horse. I stated, in speaking of Venetian
religion, that the Venetians always introduced the dog as a contrast to
the high aspects of humanity. They do this, not because they consider
him the basest of animals, but the highest--the connecting link between
men and animals; in whom the lower forms of really human feeling may be
best exemplified, such as conceit, gluttony, indolence, petulance. But
they saw the noble qualities of the dog, too;--all his patience, love,
and faithfulness; therefore Veronese, hard as he is often on lap-dogs,
has painted one great heroic poem on the dog.

§ 15. Two mighty brindled mastiffs, and beyond them, darkness. You
scarcely see them at first, against the gloomy green. No other sky for
them--poor things. They are gray themselves, spotted with black all
over; their multitudinous doggish vices may not be washed out of
them,--are in grain of nature. Strong thewed and sinewed, however,--no
blame on them as far as bodily strength may reach; their heads
coal-black, with drooping ears and fierce eyes, bloodshot a little.
Wildest of beasts perhaps they would have been, by nature. But between
them stands the spirit of their human Love, dove-winged and beautiful,
the resistless Greek boy, golden-quivered; his glowing breast and limbs
the only light upon the sky,--purple and pure. He has cast his chain
about the dogs' necks, and holds it in his strong right hand, leaning
proudly a little back from them. They will never break loose.

§ 16. This is Veronese's highest, or spiritual view of the dog's nature.
He can only give this when looking at the creature alone. When he sees
it in company with men, he subdues it, like an inferior light in
presence of the sky; and generally then gives it a merely brutal nature,
not insisting even on its affection. It is thus used in the Marriage in
Cana to symbolize gluttony. That great picture I have not yet had time
to examine in all its bearings of thought; but the chief purpose of it
is, I believe, to express the pomp and pleasure of the world, pursued
without thought of the presence of Christ; therefore the Fool with the
bells is put in the centre, immediately underneath the Christ; and in
front are the couple of dogs in leash, one gnawing a bone. A cat lying
on her back scratches at one of the vases which hold the wine of the

§ 17. In the picture of Susannah, her little pet dog is merely doing his
duty, barking at the Elders. But in that of the Magdalen (at Turin) a
noble piece of bye-meaning is brought out by a dog's help. On one side
is the principal figure, the Mary washing Christ's feet; on the other, a
dog has just come out from beneath the table (the dog under the table
eating of the crumbs), and in doing so, has touched the robe of one of
the Pharisees, thus making it unclean. The Pharisee gathers up his robe
in a passion, and shows the hem of it to a bystander, pointing to the
dog at the same time.

§ 18. In the Supper at Emmaus, the dog's affection is, however, fully
dwelt upon. Veronese's own two little daughters are playing, on the
hither side of the table, with a great wolf-hound, larger than either of
them. One with her head down, nearly touching his nose, is talking to
him,--asking him questions it seems, nearly pushing him over at the same
time:--the other, raising her eyes, half archly, half dreamily,--some
far-away thought coming over her,--leans against him on the other side,
propping him with her little hand, laid slightly on his neck. He, all
passive, and glad at heart, yielding himself to the pushing or
sustaining hand, looks earnestly into the face of the child close to
his; would answer her with the gravity of a senator, if so it might
be:--can only look at her, and love her.

§ 19. To Velasquez and Titian dogs seem less interesting than to
Veronese; they paint them simply as noble brown beasts, but without any
special character; perhaps Velasquez's dogs are sterner and more
threatening than the Venetian's, as are also his kings and admirals.
This fierceness in the animal increases, as the spiritual power of the
artist declines; and, with the fierceness, another character. One great
and infallible sign of the absence of spiritual power is the presence of
the slightest taint of obscenity. Dante marked this strongly in all his
representations of demons, and as we pass from the Venetians and
Florentines to the Dutch, the passing away of the soul-power is
indicated by every animal becoming savage or foul. The dog is used by
Teniers, and many other Hollanders, merely to obtain unclean jest; while
by the more powerful men, Rubens, Snyders, Rembrandt, it is painted only
in savage chase, or butchered agony. I know no pictures more shameful to
humanity than the boar and lion hunts of Rubens and Snyders, signs of
disgrace all the deeper, because the powers desecrated are so great. The
painter of the village ale-house sign may, not dishonorably, paint the
fox-hunt for the village squire; but the occupation of magnificent
art-power in giving semblance of perpetuity to those bodily pangs which
Nature has mercifully ordained to be transient, and in forcing us, by
the fascination of its stormy skill, to dwell on that from which eyes of
merciful men should instinctively turn away, and eyes of high-minded men
scornfully, is dishonorable, alike in the power which it degrades, and
the joy to which it betrays.

§ 20. In our modern treatment of the dog, of which the prevailing
tendency is marked by Landseer, the interest taken in him is
disproportionate to that taken in man, and leads to a somewhat trivial
mingling of sentiment, or warping by caricature; giving up the true
nature of the animal for the sake of a pretty thought or pleasant jest.
Neither Titian nor Velasquez ever jest; and though Veronese jests
gracefully and tenderly, he never for an instant oversteps the absolute
facts of nature. But the English painter looks for sentiment or jest
primarily, and reaches both by a feebly romantic taint of fallacy,
except in one or two simple and touching pictures, such as the
Shepherd's Chief Mourner.

I was pleased by a little unpretending modern German picture at
Dusseldorf, by E. Bosch, representing a boy carving a model of his
sheep-dog in wood; the dog sitting on its haunches in front of him,
watches the progress of the sculpture with a grave interest and
curiosity, not in the least caricatured, but highly humorous. Another
small picture, by the same artist, of a forester's boy being taught to
shoot by his father,--the dog critically and eagerly watching the
raising of the gun,--shows equally true sympathy.

§ 21. I wish I were able to trace any of the leading circumstances in
the ancient treatment of the horse, but I have no sufficient data. Its
function in the art of the Greeks is connected with all their beautiful
fable philosophy; but I have not a tithe of the knowledge necessary to
pursue the subject in this direction. It branches into questions
relating to sacred animals, and Egyptian and Eastern mythology. I
believe the Greek interest in _pure_ animal character corresponded
closely to our own, except that it is less sentimental, and either
distinctly true or distinctly fabulous; not hesitating between truth and
falsehood. Achilles' horses, like Anacreon's dove, and Aristophanes'
frogs and birds, speak clearly out, if at all. They do not become feebly
human, by fallacies and exaggerations, but frankly and wholly.

Zeuxis' picture of the Centaur indicates, however, a more distinctly
sentimental conception; and I suppose the Greek artists always to have
fully appreciated the horse's fineness of temper and nervous
constitution.[9] They seem, by the way, hardly to have done justice to
the dog. My pleasure in the entire Odyssey is diminished because Ulysses
gives not a word of kindness or of regret to Argus.

§ 22. I am still less able to speak of Roman treatment of the horse. It
is very strange that in the chivalric ages, he is despised; their
greatest painters drawing him with ludicrous neglect. The Venetians, as
was natural, painted him little and ill; but he becomes important in the
equestrian statues of the fifteenth and sixteenth century, chiefly, I
suppose, under the influence of Leonardo.

I am not qualified to judge of the merit of these equestrian statues;
but, in painting, I find that no real interest is taken in the horse
until Vandyck's time, he and Rubens doing more for it than all previous
painters put together. Rubens was a good rider, and rode nearly every
day, as, I doubt not, Vandyck also. Some notice of an interesting
equestrian picture of Vandyck's will be found in the next chapter. The
horse has never, I think, been painted worthily again, since he
died.[10] Of the influence of its unworthy painting, and unworthy use, I
do not at present care to speak, noticing only that it brought about in
England the last degradations of feeling and of art. The Dutch, indeed,
banished all deity from the earth; but I think only in England has
death-bed consolation been sought in a fox's tail.[11]

I wish, however, the reader distinctly to understand that the
expressions of reprobation of field-sports which he will find scattered
through these volumes,--and which, in concluding them, I wish I had time
to collect and farther enforce--refer only to the chase and the turf;
that is to say, to hunting, shooting, and horse-racing, but not to
athletic exercises. I have just as deep a respect for boxing, wrestling,
cricketing, and rowing, as contempt of all the various modes of wasting
wealth, time, land, and energy of soul, which have been invented by the
pride and selfishness of men, in order to enable them to be healthy in
uselessness, and get quit of the burdens of their own lives, without
condescending to make them serviceable to others.

§ 23. Lastly, of cattle.

The period when the interest of men began to be transferred from the
ploughman to his oxen is very distinctly marked by Bassano. In him the
descent is even greater, being, accurately, from the Madonna to the
Manger--one of perhaps his best pictures (now, I believe, somewhere in
the north of England), representing an adoration of shepherds with
nothing to adore, they and their herds forming the subject, and the
Christ being "supposed" at the side. From that time cattle-pieces become
frequent, and gradually form a staple art commodity. Cuyp's are the
best; nevertheless, neither by him nor any one else have I ever seen an
entirely well-painted cow. All the men who have skill enough to paint
cattle nobly, disdain them. The real influence of these Dutch
cattle-pieces, in subsequent art, is difficult to trace, and is not
worth tracing. They contain a certain healthy appreciation of simple
pleasure which I cannot look upon wholly without respect. On the other
hand, their cheap tricks of composition degraded the entire technical
system of landscape; and their clownish and blunt vulgarities too long
blinded us, and continue, so far as in them lies, to blind us yet, to
all the true refinement and passion of rural life. There have always
been truth and depth of pastoral feeling in the works of great poets and
novelists; but never, I think, in painting, until lately. The designs of
J. C. Hook are, perhaps, the only works of the kind in existence which
deserve to be mentioned in connection with the pastorals of Wordsworth
and Tennyson.

We must not, however, yet pass to the modern school, having still to
examine the last phase of Dutch design, in which the vulgarities which
might be forgiven to the truth of Cuyp, and forgotten in the power of
Rubens, became unpardonable and dominant in the works of men who were at
once affected and feeble. But before doing this, we must pause to settle
a preliminary question, which is an important and difficult one, and
will need a separate chapter; namely, What is vulgarity itself?


  [1] None of our present forms of opinion are more curious than those
    which have developed themselves from this verbal carelessness. It
    never seems to strike any of our religious teachers, that if a child
    has a father living, it either _knows_ it has a father, or does not:
    it does not "believe" it has a father. We should be surprised to see
    an intelligent child standing at its garden gate, crying out to the
    passers-by: "I believe in my father, because he built this house;" as
    logical people proclaim that they believe in God, because He must
    have made the world.

  [2] Dusseldorf.

  [3] Antwerp.

  [4] Cologne.

  [5] Brussels.

  [6] Brussels.

  [7] Munich.

  [8] Original Papers relating to Rubens; edited by W. Sainsbury.
    London, 1859: page 39. Y. E. is the person who commissioned the

  [9] "A single harsh word will raise a nervous horse's pulse ten beats
    a minute."--Mr. Rarey.

  [10] John Lewis has made grand sketches of the horse, but has never,
    so far as I know, completed any of them. Respecting his wonderful
    engravings of wild animals, see my pamphlet on Pre-Raphaelitism.

  [11] See "The Fox-hunter's Death-bed," a popular sporting print.



§ 1. Two great errors, coloring, or rather discoloring, severally, the
minds of the higher and lower classes, have sown wide dissension, and
wider misfortune, through the society of modern days. These errors are
in our modes of interpreting the word "gentleman."

Its primal, literal, and perpetual meaning is "a man of pure race;" well
bred, in the sense that a horse or dog is well bred.

The so-called higher classes, being generally of purer race than the
lower, have retained the true idea, and the convictions associated with
it; but are afraid to speak it out, and equivocate about it in public;
this equivocation mainly proceeding from their desire to connect another
meaning with it, and a false one;--that of "a man living in idleness on
other people's labor;"--with which idea, the term has nothing whatever
to do.

The lower classes, denying vigorously, and with reason, the notion that
a gentleman means an idler, and rightly feeling that the more any one
works, the more of a gentleman he becomes, and is likely to
become,--have nevertheless got little of the good they otherwise might,
from the truth, because, with it, they wanted to hold a
falsehood,--namely, that race was of no consequence. It being precisely
of as much consequence in man as it is in any other animal.

§ 2. The nation cannot truly prosper till both these errors are finally
got quit of. Gentlemen have to learn that it is no part of their duty or
privilege to live on other people's toil. They have to learn that there
is no degradation in the hardest manual, or the humblest servile, labor,
when it is honest. But that there _is_ degradation, and that deep, in
extravagance, in bribery, in indolence, in pride, in taking places they
are not fit for, or in coining places for which there is no need. It
does not disgrace a gentleman to become an errand boy, or a day
laborer; but it disgraces him much to become a knave, or a thief. And
knavery is not the less knavery because it involves large interests, nor
theft the less theft because it is countenanced by usage, or accompanied
by failure in undertaken duty. It is an incomparably less guilty form of
robbery to cut a purse out of a man's pocket, than to take it out of his
hand on the understanding that you are to steer his ship up channel,
when you do not know the soundings.

§ 3. On the other hand, the lower orders, and all orders, have to learn
that every vicious habit and chronic disease communicates itself by
descent; and that by purity of birth the entire system of the human body
and soul may be gradually elevated, or by recklessness of birth,
degraded; until there shall be as much difference between the well-bred
and ill-bred human creature (whatever pains be taken with their
education) as between a wolf-hound and the vilest mongrel cur. And the
knowledge of this great fact ought to regulate the education of our
youth, and the entire conduct of the nation.[1]

§ 4. Gentlemanliness, however, in ordinary parlance, must be taken to
signify those qualities which are usually the evidence of high breeding,
and which, so far as they can be acquired, it should be every man's
effort to acquire; or, if he has them by nature, to preserve and exalt.
Vulgarity, on the other hand, will signify qualities usually
characteristic of ill-breeding, which, according to his power, it
becomes every person's duty to subdue. We have briefly to note what
these are.

§ 5. A gentleman's first characteristic is that fineness of structure in
the body, which renders it capable of the most delicate sensation; and
of structure in the mind which renders it capable of the most delicate
sympathies--one may say, simply, "fineness of nature." This is, of
course, compatible with heroic bodily strength and mental firmness; in
fact, heroic strength is not conceivable without such delicacy.
Elephantine strength may drive its way through a forest and feel no
touch of the boughs; but the white skin of Homer's Atrides would have
felt a bent rose-leaf, yet subdue its feeling in glow of battle, and
behave itself like iron. I do not mean to call an elephant a vulgar
animal; but if you think about him carefully, you will find that his
non-vulgarity consists in such gentleness as is possible to elephantine
nature; not in his insensitive hide, nor in his clumsy foot; but in the
way he will lift his foot if a child lies in his way; and in his
sensitive trunk, and still more sensitive mind, and capability of pique
on points of honor.

§ 6. And, though rightness of moral conduct is ultimately the great
purifier of race, the sign of nobleness is not in this rightness of
moral conduct, but in sensitiveness. When the make of the creature is
fine, its temptations are strong, as well as its perceptions; it is
liable to all kinds of impressions from without in their most violent
form; liable therefore to be abused and hurt by all kinds of rough
things which would do a coarser creature little harm, and thus to fall
into frightful wrong if its fate will have it so. Thus David, coming of
gentlest as well as royalest race, of Ruth as well as of Judah, is
sensitiveness through all flesh and spirit; not that his compassion will
restrain him from murder when his terror urges him to it; nay, he is
driven to the murder all the more by his sensitiveness to the shame
which otherwise threatens him. But when his own story is told him under
a disguise, though only a lamb is now concerned, his passion about it
leaves him no time for thought. "The man shall die"--note the
reason--"because he had no pity." He is so eager and indignant that it
never occurs to him as strange that Nathan hides the name. This is true
gentleman. A vulgar man would assuredly have been cautious, and asked
"who it was?"

§ 7. Hence it will follow that one of the probable signs of
high-breeding in men generally, will be their kindness and mercifulness;
these always indicating more or less fineness of make in the mind; and
miserliness and cruelty the contrary; hence that of Isaiah: "The vile
person shall no more be called liberal, nor the churl said to be
bountiful." But a thousand things may prevent this kindness from
displaying or continuing itself; the mind of the man may be warped so as
to bear mainly on his own interests, and then all his sensibilities will
take the form of pride, or fastidiousness, or revengefulness; and other
wicked, but not ungentlemanly tempers; or, farther, they may run into
utter sensuality and covetousness, if he is bent on pleasure,
accompanied with quite infinite cruelty when the pride is wounded, or
the passions thwarted;--until your gentleman becomes Ezzelin, and your
lady, the deadly Lucrece; yet still gentleman and lady, quite incapable
of making anything else of themselves, being so born.

§ 8. A truer sign of breeding than mere kindness is therefore sympathy;
a vulgar man may often be kind in a hard way, on principle, and because
he thinks he ought to be; whereas, a highly-bred man, even when cruel,
will be cruel in a softer way, understanding and feeling what he
inflicts, and pitying his victim. Only we must carefully remember that
the quantity of sympathy a gentleman feels can never be judged of by its
outward expression, for another of his chief characteristics is apparent
reserve. I say "apparent" reserve; for the sympathy is real, but the
reserve not: a perfect gentleman is never reserved, but sweetly and
entirely open, so far as it is good for others, or possible, that he
should be. In a great many respects it is impossible that he should be
open except to men of his own kind. To them, he can open himself, by a
word, or syllable, or a glance; but to men not of his kind he cannot
open himself, though he tried it through an eternity of clear
grammatical speech. By the very acuteness of his sympathy he knows how
much of himself he can give to anybody; and he gives that much
frankly;--would always be glad to give more if he could, but is obliged,
nevertheless, in his general intercourse with the world, to be a
somewhat silent person; silence is to most people, he finds, less
reserved than speech. Whatever he said, a vulgar man would misinterpret:
no words that he could use would bear the same sense to the vulgar man
that they do to him; if he used any, the vulgar man would go away
saying, "He had said so and so, and meant so and so" (something
assuredly he never meant); but he keeps silence, and the vulgar man goes
away saying, "He didn't know what to make of him." Which is precisely
the fact, and the only fact which he is anywise able to announce to the
vulgar man concerning himself.

§ 9. There is yet another quite as efficient cause of the apparent
reserve of a gentleman. His sensibility being constant and intelligent,
it will be seldom that a feeling touches him, however acutely, but it
has touched him in the same way often before, and in some sort is
touching him always. It is not that he feels little, but that he feels
habitually; a vulgar man having some heart at the bottom of him, if you
can by talk or by sight fairly force the pathos of anything down to his
heart, will be excited about it and demonstrative; the sensation of pity
being strange to him, and wonderful. But your gentleman has walked in
pity all day long; the tears have never been out of his eyes: you
thought the eyes were bright only; but they were wet. You tell him a
sorrowful story, and his countenance does not change; the eyes can but
be wet still; he does not speak neither, there being, in fact, nothing
to be said, only something to be done; some vulgar person, beside you
both, goes away saying, "How hard he is!" Next day he hears that the
hard person has put good end to the sorrow he said nothing about;--and
then he changes his wonder, and exclaims, "How reserved he is!"

§ 10. Self-command is often thought a characteristic of high-breeding:
and to a certain extent it is so, at least it is one of the means of
forming and strengthening character; but it is rather a way of imitating
a gentleman than a characteristic of him; a true gentleman has no need
of self-command; he simply feels rightly on all occasions: and desiring
to express only so much of his feeling as it is right to express, does
not need to command himself. Hence perfect ease is indeed characteristic
of him; but perfect ease is inconsistent with self-restraint.
Nevertheless gentlemen, so far as they fail of their own ideal, need to
command themselves, and do so; while, on the contrary, to feel unwisely,
and to be unable to restrain the expression of the unwise feeling, is
vulgarity; and yet even then, the vulgarity, at its root, is not in the
mistimed expression, but in the unseemly feeling; and when we find fault
with a vulgar person for "exposing himself," it is not his openness, but
clumsiness; and yet more the want of sensibility to his own failure,
which we blame; so that still the vulgarity resolves itself into want of
sensibility. Also, it is to be noted that great powers of self-restraint
may be attained by very vulgar persons, when it suits their purposes.

§ 11. Closely, but strangely, connected with this openness is that form
of truthfulness which is opposed to cunning, yet not opposed to falsity
absolute. And herein is a distinction of great importance.

Cunning signifies especially a habit or gift of over-reaching,
accompanied with enjoyment and a sense of superiority. It is associated
with small and dull conceit, and with an absolute want of sympathy or
affection. Its essential connection with vulgarity may be at once
exemplified by the expression of the butcher's dog in Landseer's "Low
Life." Cruikshank's "Noah Claypole," in the illustrations to Oliver
Twist, in the interview with the Jew, is, however, still more
characteristic. It is the intensest rendering of vulgarity absolute and
utter with which I am acquainted.[2]

The truthfulness which is opposed to cunning ought, perhaps, rather to
be called the desire of truthfulness; it consists more in unwillingness
to deceive than in not deceiving,--an unwillingness implying sympathy
with and respect for the person deceived; and a fond observance of truth
up to the possible point, as in a good soldier's mode of retaining his
honor through a _ruse-de-guerre_. A cunning person seeks for
opportunities to deceive; a gentleman shuns them. A cunning person
triumphs in deceiving; a gentleman is humiliated by his success, or at
least by so much of the success as is dependent merely on the falsehood,
and not on his intellectual superiority.

§ 12. The absolute disdain of all lying belongs rather to Christian
chivalry than to mere high breeding; as connected merely with this
latter, and with general refinement and courage, the exact relations of
truthfulness may be best studied in the well-trained Greek mind. The
Greeks believed that mercy and truth were co-relative virtues--cruelty
and falsehood co-relative vices. But they did not call necessary
severity, cruelty; nor necessary deception, falsehood. It was needful
sometimes to slay men, and sometimes to deceive them. When this had to
be done, it should be done well and thoroughly; so that to direct a
spear well to its mark, or a lie well to its end, was equally the
accomplishment of a perfect gentleman. Hence, in the pretty
diamond-cut-diamond scene between Pallas and Ulysses, when she receives
him on the coast of Ithaca, the goddess laughs delightedly at her hero's
good lying, and gives him her hand upon it; showing herself then in her
woman's form, as just a little more than his match. "Subtle would he be,
and stealthy, who should go beyond thee in deceit, even were he a god,
thou many-witted! What! here in thine own land, too, wilt thou not cease
from cheating? Knowest thou not me, Pallas Athena, maid of Jove, who am
with thee in all thy labors, and gave thee favor with the Phæacians, and
keep thee, and have come now to weave cunning with thee?" But how
completely this kind of cunning was looked upon as a part of a man's
power, and not as a diminution of faithfulness, is perhaps best shown by
the single line of praise in which the high qualities of his servant are
summed up by Chremulus in the Plutus--"Of all my house servants, I hold
you to be the faithfullest, and the greatest cheat (or thief)."

§ 13. Thus, the primal difference between honorable and base lying in
the Greek mind lay in honorable purpose. A man who used his strength
wantonly to hurt others was a monster; so, also, a man who used his
cunning wantonly to hurt others. Strength and cunning were to be used
only in self-defence, or to save the weak, and then were alike
admirable. This was their first idea. Then the second, and perhaps the
more essential, difference between noble and ignoble lying in the Greek
mind, was that the honorable lie--or, if we may use the strange, yet
just, expression, the true lie--knew and confessed itself for such--was
ready to take the full responsibility of what it did. As the sword
answered for its blow, so the lie for its snare. But what the Greeks
hated with all their heart was the false lie; the lie that did not know
itself, feared to confess itself, which slunk to its aim under a cloak
of truth, and sought to do liars' work, and yet not take liars' pay,
excusing itself to the conscience by quibble and quirk. Hence the great
expression of Jesuit principle by Euripides, "The tongue has sworn, but
not the heart," was a subject of execration throughout Greece, and the
satirists exhausted their arrows on it--no audience was ever tired
hearing ([Greek: to Euripideion ekeino]) "that Euripidean thing" brought
to shame.

§ 14. And this is especially to be insisted on in the early education of
young people. It should be pointed out to them with continual
earnestness that the essence of lying is in deception, not in words; a
lie may be told by silence, by equivocation, by the accent on a
syllable, by a glance of the eye attaching a peculiar significance to a
sentence; and all these kinds of lies are worse and baser by many
degrees than a lie plainly worded; so that no form of blinded conscience
is so far sunk as that which comforts itself for having deceived,
because the deception was by gesture or silence, instead of utterance;
and, finally, according to Tennyson's deep and trenchant line, "A lie
which is half a truth is ever the worst of lies."

§ 15. Although, however, ungenerous cunning is usually so distinct an
outward manifestation of vulgarity, that I name it separately from
insensibility, it is in truth only an effect of insensibility, producing
want of affection to others, and blindness to the beauty of truth. The
degree in which political subtlety in men such as Richelieu, Machiavel,
or Metternich, will efface the gentleman, depends on the selfishness of
political purpose to which the cunning is directed, and on the base
delight taken in its use. The command, "Be ye wise as serpents, harmless
as doves," is the ultimate expression of this principle, misunderstood
usually because the word "wise" is referred to the intellectual power
instead of the subtlety of the serpent. The serpent has very little
intellectual power, but according to that which it has, it is yet, as of
old, the subtlest of the beasts of the field.

§ 16. Another great sign of vulgarity is also, when traced to its root,
another phase of insensibility, namely, the undue regard to appearances
and manners, as in the households of vulgar persons, of all stations,
and the assumption of behavior, language, or dress unsuited to them, by
persons in inferior stations of life. I say "undue" regard to
appearances, because in the undueness consists, of course, the
vulgarity. It is due and wise in some sort to care for appearances, in
another sort undue and unwise. Wherein lies the difference?

At first one is apt to answer quickly: the vulgarity is simply in
pretending to be what you are not. But that answer will not stand. A
queen may dress like a waiting maid,--perhaps succeed, if she chooses,
in passing for one; but she will not, therefore, be vulgar; nay, a
waiting maid may dress like a queen, and pretend to be one, and yet need
not be vulgar, unless there is inherent vulgarity in her. In Scribe's
very absurd but very amusing _Reine d'un jour_, a milliner's girl
sustains the part of a queen for a day. She several times amazes and
disgusts her courtiers by her straightforwardness; and once or twice
very nearly betrays herself to her maids of honor by an unqueenly
knowledge of sewing; but she is not in the least vulgar, for she is
sensitive, simple, and generous, and a queen could be no more.

§ 17. Is the vulgarity, then, only in trying to play a part you cannot
play, so as to be continually detected? No; a bad amateur actor may be
continually detected in his part, but yet continually detected to be a
gentleman: a vulgar regard to appearances has nothing in it necessarily
of hypocrisy. You shall know a man not to be a gentleman by the perfect
and neat pronunciation of his words: but he does not pretend to
pronounce accurately; he _does_ pronounce accurately, the vulgarity is
in the real (not assumed) scrupulousness.

§ 18. It will be found on farther thought, that a vulgar regard for
appearances is, primarily, a selfish one, resulting, not out of a wish,
to give pleasure (as a wife's wish to make herself beautiful for her
husband), but out of an endeavor to mortify others, or attract for
pride's sake;--the common "keeping up appearances" of society, being a
mere selfish struggle of the vain with the vain. But the deepest stain
of the vulgarity depends on this being done, not selfishly only, but
stupidly, without understanding the impression which is really produced,
nor the relations of importance between oneself and others, so as to
suppose that their attention is fixed upon us, when we are in reality
ciphers in their eyes--all which comes of insensibility. Hence pride
simple is not vulgar (the looking down on others because of their true
inferiority to us), nor vanity simple (the desire of praise), but
conceit simple (the attribution to ourselves of qualities we have not),
is always so. In cases of over-studied pronunciation, &c., there is
insensibility, first, in the person's thinking more of himself than of
what he is saying; and, secondly, in his not having musical fineness of
ear enough to feel that his talking is uneasy and strained.

§ 19. Finally, vulgarity is indicated by coarseness of language or
manners, only so far as this coarseness has been contracted under
circumstances not necessarily producing it. The illiterateness of a
Spanish or Calabrian peasant is not vulgar, because they had never an
opportunity of acquiring letters; but the illiterateness of an English
school-boy is. So again, provincial dialect is not vulgar; but cockney
dialect, the corruption, by blunted sense, of a finer language
continually heard, is so in a deep degree; and again, of this corrupted
dialect, that is the worst which consists, not in the direct or
expressive alteration of the form of a word, but in an unmusical
destruction of it by dead utterance and bad or swollen formation of lip.
There is no vulgarity in--

  "Blythe, blythe, blythe was she,
     Blythe was she, but and ben,
   And weel she liked a Hawick gill,
     And leugh to see a tappit hen;"

but much in Mrs. Gamp's inarticulate "bottle on the chumley-piece, and
let me put my lips to it when I am so dispoged."

§ 20. So also of personal defects, those only are vulgar which imply
insensibility or dissipation.

There is no vulgarity in the emaciation of Don Quixote, the deformity of
the Black Dwarf, or the corpulence of Falstaff; but much in the same
personal characters, as they are seen in Uriah Heep, Quilp, and

§ 21. One of the most curious minor questions in this matter is
respecting the vulgarity of excessive neatness, complicating itself with
inquiries into the distinction between base neatness, and the
perfectness of good execution in the fine arts. It will be found on
final thought that precision and exquisiteness of arrangement are always
noble; but become vulgar only when they arise from an equality
(insensibility) of temperament, which is incapable of fine passion, and
is set ignobly, and with a dullard mechanism, on accuracy in vile
things. In the finest Greek coins, the letters of the inscriptions are
purposely coarse and rude, while the relievi are wrought with
inestimable care. But in an English coin, the letters are the best done,
and the whole is unredeemably vulgar. In a picture of Titian's, an
inserted inscription will be complete in the lettering, as all the rest
is; because it costs Titian very little more trouble to draw rightly
than wrongly, and in him, therefore, impatience with the letters would
be vulgar, as in the Greek sculptor of the coin, patience would have
been. For the engraving of a letter accurately[3] is difficult work,
and his time must have been unworthily thrown away.

§ 22. All the different impressions connected with negligence or
foulness depend, in like manner, on the degree of insensibility implied.
Disorder in a drawing-room is vulgar, in an antiquary's study, not; the
black battle-stain on a soldier's face is not vulgar, but the dirty face
of a housemaid is.

And lastly, courage, so far as it is a sign of race, is peculiarly the
mark of a gentleman or a lady: but it becomes vulgar if rude or
insensitive, while timidity is not vulgar, if it be a characteristic of
race or fineness of make. A fawn is not vulgar in being timid, nor a
crocodile "gentle" because courageous.

§ 23. Without following the inquiry into farther detail,[4] we may
conclude that vulgarity consists in a deadness of the heart and body,
resulting from prolonged, and especially from inherited conditions of
"degeneracy," or literally "un-racing;"--gentlemanliness, being another
word for an intense humanity. And vulgarity shows itself primarily in
dulness of heart, not in rage or cruelty, but in inability to feel or
conceive noble character or emotion. This is its essential, pure, and
most fatal form. Dulness of bodily sense and general stupidity, with
such forms of crime as peculiarly issue from stupidity, are its material

§ 24. Two years ago, when I was first beginning to work out the subject,
and chatting with one of my keenest-minded friends (Mr. Brett, the
painter of the Val d'Aosta in the Exhibition of 1859), I casually asked
him, "What is vulgarity?" merely to see what he would say, not supposing
it possible to get a sudden answer. He thought for about a minute, then
answered quietly, "It is merely one of the forms of Death." I did not
see the meaning of the reply at the time; but on testing it, found that
it met every phase of the difficulties connected with the inquiry, and
summed the true conclusion. Yet, in order to be complete, it ought to be
made a distinctive as well as conclusive definition; showing _what_
form of death vulgarity is; for death itself is not vulgar, but only
death mingled with life. I cannot, however, construct a short-worded
definition which will include all the minor conditions of bodily
degeneracy; but the term "deathful selfishness" will embrace all the
most fatal and essential forms of mental vulgarity.


  [1] We ought always in pure English to use the term "good breeding"
    literally; and to say "good nurture" for what we usually mean by good
    breeding. Given the race and make of the animal, you may turn it to
    good or bad account; you may spoil your good dog or colt, and make
    him as vicious as you choose, or break his back at once by ill-usage;
    and you may, on the other hand, make something serviceable and
    respectable out of your poor cur or colt if you educate them
    carefully; but ill bred they will both of them be to their lives'
    end; and the best you will ever be able to say of them is, that they
    are useful, and decently behaved ill-bred creatures. An error, which
    is associated with the truth, and which makes it always look weak and
    disputable, is the confusion of race with name; and the supposition
    that the blood of a family must still be good, if its genealogy be
    unbroken and its name not lost, though sire and son have been
    indulging age after age in habits involving perpetual degeneracy of
    race. Of course it is equally an error to suppose that, because a
    man's name is common, his blood must be base; since his family may
    have been ennobling it by pureness of moral habit for many
    generations, and yet may not have got any title, or other sign of
    nobleness attached to their names. Nevertheless, the probability is
    always in favor of the race which has had acknowledged supremacy, and
    in which every motive leads to the endeavor to preserve their true

  [2] Among the reckless losses of the right service of intellectual
    power with which this century must be charged, very few are, to my
    mind, more to be regretted than that which is involved in its having
    turned to no higher purpose than the illustration of the career of
    Jack Sheppard, and of the Irish Rebellion, the great, grave (I use
    the words deliberately and with large meaning), and singular genius
    of Cruikshank.

  [3] There is this farther reason also: "Letters are always ugly
    things"--(Seven Lamps, chap. iv. s. 9). Titian often wanted a certain
    quantity of ugliness to oppose his beauty with, as a certain quantity
    of black to oppose his color. He could regulate the size and quantity
    of inscription as he liked; and, therefore, made it as neat--that is,
    as effectively ugly--as possible. But the Greek sculptor could not
    regulate either size or quantity of inscription. Legible it must be,
    to common eyes, and contain an assigned group of words. He had more
    ugliness than he wanted, or could endure. There was nothing for it
    but to make the letters themselves rugged and picturesque; to give
    them--that is, a certain quantity of organic variety.

    I do not wonder at people sometimes thinking I contradict myself when
    they come suddenly on any of the scattered passages, in which I am
    forced to insist on the opposite practical applications of subtle
    principles of this kind. It may amuse the reader, and be finally
    serviceable to him in showing him how necessary it is to the right
    handling of any subject, that these contrary statements should be
    made, if I assemble here the principal ones I remember having brought
    forward, bearing on this difficult point of precision in execution.

    It would be well if you would first glance over the chapter on Finish
    in the third volume; and if, coming to the fourth paragraph, about
    gentlemen's carriages, you have time to turn to Sydney Smith's
    Memoirs and read his account of the construction of the "Immortal,"
    it will furnish you with an interesting illustration.

    The general conclusion reached in that chapter being that finish, for
    the sake of added truth, or utility, or beauty, is noble; but finish,
    for the sake of workmanship, neatness, or polish, ignoble,--turn to
    the fourth chapter of the Seven Lamps, where you will find the
    Campanile of Giotto given as the model and mirror of perfect
    architecture, just on account of its exquisite completion. Also, in
    the next chapter, I expressly limit the delightfulness of rough and
    imperfect work to developing and unformed schools (pp. 142-3, 1st
    edition); then turn to the 170th page of the Stones of Venice, Vol.
    III., and you will find this directly contrary statement:--

    "No good work whatever can be perfect, and the demand for perfection
    is always a sign of the misunderstanding of the end of art." ... "The
    first cause of the fall of the arts in Europe was a relentless
    requirement of perfection" (p. 172). By reading the intermediate
    text, you will be put in possession of many good reasons for this
    opinion; and, comparing it with that just cited about the Campanile
    of Giotto, will be brought, I hope, into a wholesome state of not
    knowing what to think.

    Then turn to p. 167, where the great law of finish is again
    maintained as strongly as ever: "Perfect finish (finish, that is to
    say, up to the point possible) is always desirable from the greatest
    masters, and is always given by them."--§ 19.

    And, lastly, if you look to § 19 of the chapter on the Early
    Renaissance, you will find the profoundest respect paid to
    completion; and, at the close of that chapter, § 38, the principle is
    resumed very strongly. "As _ideals of executive perfection_, these
    palaces are most notable among the architecture of Europe, and the
    Rio façade of the Ducal palace, as an example of finished masonry in
    a vast building, is one of the finest things, not only in Venice, but
    in the world."

    Now all these passages are perfectly true; and, as in much more
    serious matters, the essential thing for the reader is to receive
    their truth, however little he may be able to see their consistency.
    If truths of apparent contrary character are candidly and rightly
    received, they will fit themselves together in the mind without any
    trouble. But no truth maliciously received will nourish you, or fit
    with others. The clue of connection may in this case, however, be
    given in a word. Absolute finish is always right; finish,
    inconsistent with prudence and passion, wrong. The imperative demand
    for finish is ruinous, because it refuses better things than finish.
    The stopping short of the finish, which is honorably possible to
    human energy, is destructive on the other side, and not in less
    degree. Err, of the two, on the side of completion.

    [4] In general illustration of the subject, the following extract
    from my private diary possesses some interest. It refers to two
    portraits which happened to be placed opposite to each other in the
    arrangement of a gallery; one, modern, of a (foreign) general on
    horseback at a review; the other, by Vandyck, also an equestrian
    portrait, of an ancestor of his family, whom I shall here simply call
    the "knight:"

    "I have seldom seen so noble a Vandyck, chiefly because it is painted
    with less flightiness and flimsiness than usual, with a grand
    quietness and reserve--almost like Titian. The other is, on the
    contrary, as vulgar and base a picture as I have ever seen, and it
    becomes a matter of extreme interest to trace the cause of the

    "In the first place, everything the general and his horse wear is
    evidently just made. It has not only been cleaned that morning, but
    has been sent home from the tailor's in a hurry last night. Horse
    bridle, saddle housings, blue coat, stars and lace thereupon, cocked
    hat, and sword hilt--all look as if they had just been taken from a
    shopboard in Pall Mall; the irresistible sense of the coat having
    been brushed to perfection is the first sentiment which the picture
    summons. The horse has also been rubbed down all the morning, and
    shines from head to tail.

    "The knight rides in a suit of rusty armor. It has evidently been
    polished also carefully, and gleams brightly here and there; but all
    the polishing in the world will never take the battle-dints and
    battle-darkness out of it. His horse is gray, not lustrous, but a
    dark, lurid gray. Its mane is deep and soft: part of it shaken in
    front over its forehead--the rest, in enormous masses of waving gold,
    six feet long, falls streaming on its neck, and rises in currents of
    softest light, rippled by the wind, over the rider's armor. The
    saddle cloth is of a dim red, fading into leathern brown, gleaming
    with sparkles of obscure gold. When, after looking a little while at
    the soft mane of the Vandyck horse, we turn back to the general's, we
    are shocked by the evident coarseness of its hair, which hangs,
    indeed, in long locks over the bridle, but is stiff, crude, sharp
    pointed, coarsely colored (a kind of buff); no fine drawing of
    nostril or neck can give any look of nobleness to the animal which
    carries such hair; it looks like a hobby-horse with tow glued to it,
    which riotous children have half pulled out or scratched out. The
    next point of difference is the isolation of Vandyck's figure,
    compared with the modern painter's endeavor to ennoble his by
    subduing others. The knight seems to be just going out of his castle
    gates; his horse rears as he passes their pillars; there is nothing
    behind but the sky. But the general is reviewing a regiment; the
    ensign lowers its colors to him; he takes off his hat in return. All
    which reviewing and bowing is in its very nature ignoble, wholly
    unfit to be painted: a gentleman might as well be painted leaving his
    card on somebody. And, in the next place, the modern painter has
    thought to enhance his officer by putting the regiment some distance
    back, and in the shade, so that the men look only about five feet
    high, being besides very ill painted to keep them in better
    subordination. One does not know whether most to despise the
    feebleness of the painter who must have recourse to such an artifice,
    or his vulgarity in being satisfied with it. I ought, by the way,
    before leaving the point of dress, to have noted that the vulgarity
    of the painter is considerably assisted by the vulgarity of the
    costume itself. Not only is it base in being new, but base in that it
    cannot last to be old. If one wanted a lesson on the ugliness of
    modern costume, it could not be more sharply received than by turning
    from one to the other horseman. The knight wears steel plate armor,
    chased here and there with gold; the delicate, rich, pointed lace
    collar falling on the embossed breastplate; his dark hair flowing
    over his shoulders; a crimson silk scarf fastened round his waist,
    and floating behind him; buff boots, deep folded at the instep, set
    in silver stirrup. The general wears his hair cropped short; blue
    coat, padded and buttoned; blue trowsers and red stripe; black shiny
    boots; common saddler's stirrups; cocked hat in hand, suggestive of
    absurd completion, when assumed.

    "Another thing noticeable as giving nobleness to the Vandyck is its
    feminineness: the rich, light silken scarf, the flowing hair, the
    delicate, sharp, though sunburnt features, and the lace collar, do
    not in the least diminish the manliness, but _add_ feminineness. One
    sees that the knight is indeed a soldier, but not a soldier only;
    that he is accomplished in all ways, and tender in all thoughts:
    while the general is represented as nothing but a soldier--and it is
    very doubtful if he is even that--one is sure, at a glance, that if
    he can do anything but put his hat off and on, and give words of
    command, the anything must, at all events, have something to do with
    the barracks; that there is no grace, nor music, nor softness, nor
    learnedness, in the man's soul; that he is made up of forms and

    "Lastly, the modern picture is as bad painting as it is wretched
    conceiving, and one is struck, in looking from it to Vandyck's,
    peculiarly by the fact that good work is always _enjoyed_ work. There
    is not a touch of Vandyck's pencil but he seems to have revelled
    in--not grossly, but delicately--tasting the color in every touch as
    an epicure would wine. While the other goes on daub, daub, daub, like
    a bricklayer spreading mortar--nay, with far less lightness of hand
    or lightness of spirit than a good bricklayer's--covering his canvas
    heavily and conceitedly at once, caring only but to catch the public
    eye with his coarse, presumptuous, ponderous, illiterate work."

    Thus far my diary. In case it should be discovered by any one where
    these pictures are, it should be noted that the vulgarity of the
    modern one is wholly the painter's fault. It implies none in the
    general (except bad taste in pictures). The same painter would have
    made an equally vulgar portrait of Bayard. And as for taste in
    pictures, the general's was not singular. I used to spend much time
    before the Vandyck; and among all the tourist visitors to the
    gallery, who were numerous, I never saw one look at it twice, but all
    paused in respectful admiration before the padded surtout. The reader
    will find, farther, many interesting and most valuable notes on the
    subject of nobleness and vulgarity in Emerson's Essays, and every
    phase of nobleness illustrated in Sir Kenelm Digby's "Broad Stone of
    Honor." The best help I have ever had--so far as help depended on the
    sympathy or praise of others in work which, year after year, it was
    necessary to pursue through the abuse of the brutal and the base--was
    given me, when this author, from whom I had first learned to love
    nobleness, introduced frequent reference to my own writings in his
    "Children's Bower."



§ 1. Having determined the general nature of vulgarity, we are now able
to close our view of the character of the Dutch school.

It is a strangely mingled one, which I have the more difficulty in
investigating, because I have no power of sympathy with it. However
inferior in capacity, I can enter measuredly into the feelings of
Correggio or of Titian; what they like, I like; what they disdain, I
disdain. Going lower down, I can still follow Salvator's passion, or
Albano's prettiness; and lower still, I can measure modern German
heroics, or French sensualities. I see what the people mean,--know where
they are, and what they are. But no effort of fancy will enable me to
lay hold of the temper of Teniers or Wouvermans, any more than I can
enter into the feelings of one of the lower animals. I cannot see why
they painted,--what they are aiming at,--what they liked or disliked.
All their life and work is the same sort of mystery to me as the mind of
my dog when he rolls on carrion. He is a well enough conducted dog in
other respects, and many of these Dutchmen were doubtless very
well-conducted persons: certainly they learned their business well; both
Teniers and Wouvermans touch with a workmanly hand, such as we cannot
see rivalled now; and they seem never to have painted indolently, but
gave the purchaser his thorough money's worth of mechanism, while the
burgesses who bargained for their cattle and card parties were probably
more respectable men than the princes who gave orders to Titian for
nymphs, and to Raphael for nativities. But whatever patient merit or
commercial value may be in Dutch labor, this at least is clear, that it
is wholly insensitive.

The very mastery these men have of their business proceeds from their
never really seeing the whole of anything, but only that part of it
which they know how to do. Out of all nature they felt their function
was to extract the grayness and shininess. Give them a golden sunset, a
rosy dawn, a green waterfall, a scarlet autumn on the hills, and they
merely look curiously into it to see if there is anything gray and
glittering which can be painted on their common principles.

§ 2. If this, however, were their only fault, it would not prove
absolute insensibility, any more than it could be declared of the makers
of Florentine tables, that they were blind or vulgar because they took
out of nature only what could be represented in agate. A Dutch picture
is, in fact, merely a Florentine table more finely touched: it has its
regular ground of slate, and its mother-of-pearl and tinsel put in with
equal precision; and perhaps the fairest view one can take of a Dutch
painter is, that he is a respectable tradesman furnishing well-made
articles in oil paint: but when we begin to examine the designs of these
articles, we may see immediately that it is his inbred vulgarity, and
not the chance of fortune, which has made him a tradesman, and kept him
one;--which essential character of Dutch work, as distinguished from all
other, may be best seen in that hybrid landscape, introduced by
Wouvermans and Berghem. Of this landscape Wouvermans' is the most
characteristic. It will be remembered that I called it "hybrid," because
it strove to unite the attractiveness of every other school. We will
examine the motives of one of the most elaborate Wouvermans
existing--the landscape with a hunting party, No. 208 in the Pinacothek
of Munich.

§ 3. A large lake in the distance narrows into a river in the
foreground; but the river has no current, nor has the lake either
reflections or waves. It is a piece of gray slate-table, painted with
horizontal touches, and only explained to be water by boats upon it.
Some of the figures in these are fishing (the corks of a net are drawn
in bad perspective); others are bathing, one man pulling his shirt over
his ears, others are swimming. On the farther side of the river are some
curious buildings, half villa, half ruin; or rather ruin dressed. There
are gardens at the top of them, with beautiful and graceful trellised
architecture and wandering tendrils of vine. A gentleman is coming down
from a door in the ruins to get into his pleasure-boat. His servant
catches his dog.

§ 4. On the nearer side of the river, a bank of broken ground rises from
the water's edge up to a group of very graceful and carefully studied
trees, with a French-antique statue on a pedestal in the midst of them,
at the foot of which are three musicians, and a well-dressed couple
dancing; their coach is in waiting behind. In the foreground are
hunters. A richly and highly-dressed woman, with falcon on fist, the
principal figure in the picture, is wrought with Wouvermans' best skill.
A stouter lady rides into the water after a stag and hind, who gallop
across the middle of the river without sinking. Two horsemen attend the
two Amazons, of whom one pursues the game cautiously, but the other is
thrown headforemost into the river, with a splash which shows it to be
deep at the edge, though the hart and hind find bottom in the middle.
Running footmen, with other dogs, are coming up, and children are
sailing a toy-boat in the immediate foreground. The tone of the whole is
dark and gray, throwing out the figures in spots of light, on
Wouvermans' usual system. The sky is cloudy, and very cold.

§ 5. You observe that in this picture the painter has assembled all the
elements which he supposes pleasurable. We have music, dancing, hunting,
boating, fishing, bathing, and child-play, all at once. Water, wide and
narrow; architecture, rustic and classical; trees also of the finest;
clouds, not ill-shaped. Nothing wanting to our Paradise: not even
practical jest; for to keep us always laughing, somebody shall be for
ever falling with a splash into the Kishon. Things proceed,
nevertheless, with an oppressive quietude. The dancers are uninterested
in the hunters, the hunters in the dancers; the hirer of the
pleasure-boat perceives neither hart nor hind; the children are
unconcerned at the hunter's fall; the bathers regard not the draught of
fishes; the fishers fish among the bathers, without apparently
anticipating any diminution in their haul.

§ 6. Let the reader ask himself, would it have been possible for the
painter in any clearer way to show an absolute, clay-cold, ice-cold
incapacity of understanding what a pleasure meant? Had he had as much
heart as a minnow, he would have given some interest to the fishing;
with the soul of a grasshopper, some spring to the dancing; had he half
the will of a dog, he would have made some one turn to look at the hunt,
or given a little fire to the dash down to the water's edge. If he had
been capable of pensiveness, he would not have put the pleasure-boat
under the ruin;--capable of cheerfulness, he would not have put the ruin
above the pleasure-boat. Paralyzed in heart and brain, he delivers his
inventoried articles of pleasure one by one to his ravenous customers;
palateless; gluttonous. "We cannot taste it. Hunting is not enough; let
us have dancing. That's dull; now give us a jest, or what is life! The
river is too narrow, let us have a lake; and, for mercy's sake, a
pleasure-boat, or how can we spend another minute of this languid day!
But what pleasure can be in a boat? let us swim; we see people always
drest, let us see them naked."

§ 7. Such is the unredeemed, carnal appetite for mere sensual pleasure.
I am aware of no other painter who consults it so exclusively, without
one gleam of higher hope, thought, beauty, or passion.

As the pleasure of Wouvermans, so also is his war. That, however, is not
hybrid, it is of one character only.

The best example I know is the great battle-piece with the bridge, in
the gallery of Turin. It is said that when this picture, which had been
taken to Paris, was sent back, the French offered twelve thousand pounds
(300,000 francs) for permission to keep it. The report, true or not,
shows the estimation in which the picture is held at Turin.

§ 8. There are some twenty figures in the mêlée whose faces can be seen
(about sixty in the picture altogether), and of these twenty, there is
not one whose face indicates courage or power; or anything but animal
rage and cowardice; the latter prevailing always. Every one is fighting
for his life, with the expression of a burglar defending himself at
extremity against a party of policemen. There is the same terror, fury,
and pain which a low thief would show on receiving a pistol-shot through
his arm. Most of them appear to be fighting only to get away; the
standard-bearer _is_ retreating, but whether with the enemies' flag or
his own I do not see; he slinks away with it, with reverted eye, as if
he were stealing a pocket-handkerchief. The swordsmen cut at each other
with clenched teeth and terrified eyes; they are too busy to curse each
other; but one sees that the feelings they have could be expressed no
otherwise than by low oaths. Far away, to the smallest figures in the
smoke, and to one drowning under the distant arch of the bridge, all are
wrought with a consummate skill in vulgar touch; there is no good
painting, properly so called, anywhere, but of clever, dotty, sparkling,
telling execution, as much as the canvas will hold, and much delicate
gray and blue color in the smoke and sky.

§ 9. Now, in order fully to feel the difference between this view of
war, and a gentleman's, go, if possible, into our National Gallery, and
look at the young Malatesta riding into the battle of Sant' Egidio (as
he is painted by Paul Ucello). His uncle Carlo, the leader of the army,
a grave man of about sixty, has just given orders for the knights to
close: two have pushed forward with lowered lances, and the mêlée has
begun only a few yards in front; but the young knight, riding at his
uncle's side, has not yet put his helmet on, nor intends doing so, yet.
Erect he sits, and quiet, waiting for his captain's orders to charge;
calm as if he were at a hawking party, only more grave; his golden hair
wreathed about his proud white brow, as about a statue's.

§ 10. "Yes," the thoughtful reader replies; "this may be pictorially
very beautiful; but those Dutchmen were good fighters, and generally won
the day; whereas, this very battle of Sant' Egidio, so calmly and
bravely begun, was lost."

Indeed, it is very singular that unmitigated expressions of cowardice in
battle should be given by the painters of so brave a nation as the
Dutch. Not but that it is possible enough for a coward to be stubborn,
and a brave man weak; the one may win his battle by a blind persistence,
and the other lose it by a thoughtful vacillation. Nevertheless, the
want of all expression of resoluteness in Dutch battle-pieces remains,
for the present, a mystery to me. In those of Wouvermans, it is only a
natural development of his perfect vulgarity in all respects.

§ 11. I do not think it necessary to trace farther the evidences of
insensitive conception in the Dutch school. I have associated the name
of Teniers with that of Wouvermans in the beginning of this chapter,
because Teniers is essentially the painter of the pleasures of the
ale-house and card-table, as Wouvermans of those of the chase; and the
two are leading masters of the peculiar Dutch trick of white touch on
gray or brown ground; but Teniers is higher in reach, and more honest in
manner. Berghem is the real associate of Wouvermans in the hybrid school
of landscape. But all three are alike insensitive; that is to say,
unspiritual or deathful, and that to the uttermost, in every
thought,--producing, therefore, the lowest phase of possible art of a
skilful kind. There are deeper elements in De Hooghe and Gerard Terburg;
sometimes expressed with superb quiet painting by the former; but the
whole school is inherently mortal to all its admirers; having by its
influence in England destroyed our perception of all purposes of
painting, and throughout the north of the Continent effaced the sense of
color among artists of every rank.

We have, last, to consider what recovery has taken place from the
paralysis to which the influence of this Dutch art had reduced us in
England seventy years ago. But, in closing my review of older art, I
will endeavor to illustrate, by four simple examples, the main
directions of its spiritual power, and the cause of its decline.

§ 12. The frontispiece of this volume is engraved from an old sketch of
mine, a pencil outline of the little Madonna by Angelico, in the
Annunciation preserved in the sacristy of Santa Maria Novella. This
Madonna has not, so far as I know, been engraved before, and it is one
of the most characteristic of the Purist school. I believe through all
my late work I have sufficiently guarded my readers from over-estimating
this school; but it is well to turn back to it now, from the wholly
carnal work of Wouvermans, in order to feel its purity: so that, if we
err, it may be on this side. The opposition is the most accurate which I
can set before the student, for the technical disposition of Wouvermans,
in his search after delicate form and minute grace, much resembles that
of Angelico. But the thoughts of Wouvermans are wholly of this world.
For him there is no heroism, awe, or mercy, hope, or faith. Eating and
drinking, and slaying; rage and lust; the pleasures and distresses of
the debased body--from these, his thoughts, if so we may call them,
never for an instant rise or range.

§ 13. The soul of Angelico is in all ways the precise reverse of this;
habitually as incognizant of any earthly pleasure as Wouvermans of any
heavenly one. Both are exclusive with absolute exclusiveness;--neither
desiring nor conceiving anything beyond their respective spheres.
Wouvermans lives under gray clouds, his lights come out as spots.
Angelico lives in an unclouded light: his shadows themselves are color;
his lights are not the spots, but his darks. Wouvermans lives in
perpetual tumult--tramp of horse--clash of cup--ring of pistol-shot.
Angelico in perpetual peace. Not seclusion from the world. No shutting
out of the world is needful for him. There is nothing to shut out. Envy,
lust, contention, discourtesy, are to him as though they were not; and
the cloister walk of Fiesole no penitential solitude, barred from the
stir and joy of life, but a possessed land of tender blessing, guarded
from the entrance of all but holiest sorrow. The little cell was as one
of the houses of heaven prepared for him by his master. "What need had
it to be elsewhere? Was not the Val d'Arno, with its olive woods in
white blossom, paradise enough for a poor monk? or could Christ be
indeed in heaven more than here? Was he not always with him? Could he
breathe or see, but that Christ breathed beside him and looked into his
eyes? Under every cypress avenue the angels walked; he had seen their
white robes, whiter than the dawn, at his bedside, as he awoke in early
summer. They had sung with him, one on each side, when his voice failed
for joy at sweet vesper and matin time; his eyes were blinded by their
wings in the sunset, when it sank behind the hills of Luni."

There may be weakness in this, but there is no baseness; and while I
rejoice in all recovery from monasticism which leads to practical and
healthy action in the world, I must, in closing this work, severely
guard my pupils from the thought that sacred rest may be honorably
exchanged for selfish and mindless activity.

§ 14. In order to mark the temper of Angelico, by a contrast of another
kind, I give, in Fig. 99, a facsimile of one of the heads in Salvator's
etching of the Academy of Plato. It is accurately characteristic of
Salvator, showing, by quite a central type, his indignant, desolate, and
degraded power. I could have taken unspeakably baser examples from
others of his etchings, but they would have polluted my book, and been
in some sort unjust, representing only the worst part of his work. This
head, which is as elevated a type as he ever reaches, is assuredly
debased enough; and a sufficient image of the mind of the painter of
Catiline and the Witch of Endor.

[Illustration: FIG. 99.]

§ 15. Then, in Fig. 100, you have also a central type of the mind of
Durer. Complete, yet quaint; severely rational and practical, yet
capable of the highest imaginative religious feeling, and as gentle as a
child's, it seemed to be well represented by this figure of the old
bishop, with all the infirmities, and all the victory, of his life,
written on his calm, kind, and worldly face. He has been no dreamer, nor
persecutor, but a helpful and undeceivable man; and by careful
comparison of this conception with the common kinds of episcopal ideal
in modern religious art, you will gradually feel how the force of Durer
is joined with an unapproachable refinement, so that he can give the
most practical view of whatever he treats, without the slightest taint
or shadow of vulgarity. Lastly, the fresco of Giorgione, Plate 79, which
is as fair a type as I am able to give in any single figure, of the
central Venetian art, will complete for us a series, sufficiently
symbolical, of the several ranks of art, from lowest to highest.[1] In
Wouvermans (of whose work I suppose no example is needed, it being so
generally known), we have the entirely carnal mind,--wholly versed in
the material world, and incapable of conceiving any goodness or
greatness whatsoever.

[Illustration: FIG. 100. _To face page 284._]

In Angelico, you have the entirely spiritual mind, wholly versed in the
heavenly world, and incapable of conceiving any wickedness or vileness

In Salvator, you have an awakened conscience, and some spiritual power,
contending with evil, but conquered by it, and brought into captivity to

In Durer, you have a far purer conscience and higher spiritual power,
yet, with some defect still in intellect, contending with evil, and
nobly prevailing over it; yet retaining the marks of the contest, and
never so entirely victorious as to conquer sadness.

In Giorgione, you have the same high spiritual power and practical
sense; but now, with entirely perfect intellect, contending with evil;
conquering it utterly, casting it away for ever, and rising beyond it
into magnificence of rest.


  [1] As I was correcting these pages, there was put into my hand a
    little work by a very dear friend--"Travels and Study in Italy," by
    Charles Eliot Norton;--I have not yet been able to do more than
    glance at it; but my impression is, that by carefully reading it,
    together with the essay by the same writer on the Vita Nuova of
    Dante, a more just estimate may be formed of the religious art of
    Italy than by the study of any other books yet existing. At least, I
    have seen none in which the tone of thought was at once so tender and
    so just.

    I had hoped, before concluding this book, to have given it higher
    value by extracts from the works which have chiefly helped or guided
    me, especially from the writings of Helps, Lowell, and the Rev. A. J.
    Scott. But if I were to begin making such extracts, I find that I
    should not know, either in justice or affection, how to end.



§ 1. Born half-way between the mountains and the sea--that young George
of Castelfranco--of the Brave Castle:--Stout George they called him,
George of Georges, so goodly a boy he was--Giorgione.

Have you ever thought what a world his eyes opened on--fair, searching
eyes of youth? What a world of mighty life, from those mountain roots to
the shore;--of loveliest life, when he went down, yet so young, to the
marble city--and became himself as a fiery heart to it?

A city of marble, did I say? nay, rather a golden city, paved with
emerald. For truly, every pinnacle and turret glanced or glowed,
overlaid with gold, or bossed with jasper. Beneath, the unsullied sea
drew in deep breathing, to and fro, its eddies of green wave.
Deep-hearted, majestic, terrible as the sea,--the men of Venice moved in
sway of power and war; pure as her pillars of alabaster, stood her
mothers and maidens; from foot to brow, all noble, walked her knights;
the low bronzed gleaming of sea-rusted armor shot angrily under their
blood-red mantle-folds. Fearless, faithful, patient, impenetrable,
implacable,--every word a fate--sate her senate. In hope and honor,
lulled by flowing of wave around their isles of sacred sand, each with
his name written and the cross graved at his side, lay her dead. A
wonderful piece of world. Rather, itself a world. It lay along the face
of the waters, no larger, as its captains saw it from their masts at
evening, than a bar of sunset that could not pass away; but, for its
power, it must have seemed to them as if they were sailing in the
expanse of heaven, and this a great planet, whose orient edge widened
through ether. A world from which all ignoble care and petty thoughts
were banished, with all the common and poor elements of life. No
foulness, nor tumult, in those tremulous streets, that filled, or fell,
beneath the moon; but rippled music of majestic change, or thrilling
silence. No weak walls could rise above them; no low-roofed cottage, nor
straw-built shed. Only the strength as of rock, and the finished setting
of stones most precious. And around them, far as the eye could reach,
still the soft moving of stainless waters, proudly pure; as not the
flower, so neither the thorn nor the thistle, could grow in the glancing
fields. Ethereal strength of Alps, dream-like, vanishing in high
procession beyond the Torcellan shore; blue islands of Paduan hills,
poised in the golden west. Above, tree winds and fiery clouds ranging at
their will;--brightness out of the north, and balm from the south, and
the stars of the evening and morning clear in the limitless light of
arched heaven and circling sea.

Such was Giorgione's school--such Titian's home.

§ 2. Near the south-west corner of Covent Garden, a square brick pit or
well is formed by a close-set block of houses, to the back windows of
which it admits a few rays of light. Access to the bottom of it is
obtained out of Maiden Lane, through a low archway and an iron gate; and
if you stand long enough under the archway to accustom your eyes to the
darkness, you may see on the left hand a narrow door, which formerly
gave quiet access to a respectable barber's shop, of which the front
window, looking into Maiden Lane, is still extant, filled in this year
(1860), with a row of bottles, connected, in some defunct manner, with a
brewer's business. A more fashionable neighborhood, it is said, eighty
years ago than now--never certainly a cheerful one--wherein a boy being
born on St. George's day, 1775, began soon after to take interest in the
world of Covent Garden, and put to service such spectacles of life as it

§ 3. No knights to be seen there, nor, I imagine, many beautiful ladies;
their costume at least disadvantageous, depending much on incumbency of
hat and feather, and short waists; the majesty of men founded similarly
on shoebuckles and wigs;--impressive enough when Reynolds will do his
best for it; but not suggestive of much ideal delight to a boy.

"Bello ovile dov' io dormii agnello:" of things beautiful, besides men
and women, dusty sunbeams up or down the street on summer mornings;
deep furrowed cabbage leaves at the greengrocer's; magnificence of
oranges in wheelbarrows round the corner; and Thames' shore within three
minutes' race.

§ 4. None of these things very glorious; the best, however, that
England, it seems, was then able to provide for a boy of gift: who, such
as they are, loves them--never, indeed, forgets them. The short waists
modify to the last his visions of Greek ideal. His foregrounds had
always a succulent cluster or two of greengrocery at the corners.
Enchanted oranges gleam in Covent Gardens of the Hesperides; and great
ships go to pieces in order to scatter chests of them on the waves. That
mist of early sunbeams in the London dawn crosses, many and many a time,
the clearness of Italian air; and by Thames' shore, with its stranded
barges and glidings of red sail, dearer to us than Lucerne lake or
Venetian lagoon,--by Thames' shore we will die.

§ 5. With such circumstance round him in youth, let us note what
necessary effects followed upon the boy. I assume him to have had
Giorgione's sensibility (and more than Giorgione's, if that be possible)
to color and form. I tell you farther, and this fact you may receive
trustfully, that his sensibility to human affection and distress was no
less keen than even his sense for natural beauty--heart-sight deep as

Consequently, he attaches himself with the faithfullest child-love to
everything that bears an image of the place he was born in. No matter
how ugly it is,--has it anything about it like Maiden Lane, or like
Thames' shore? If so, it shall be painted for their sake. Hence, to the
very close of life, Turner could endure ugliness which no one else, of
the same sensibility, would have borne with for an instant. Dead brick
walls, blank square windows, old clothes, market-womanly types of
humanity--anything fishy and muddy, like Billingsgate or Hungerford
Market, had great attraction for him; black barges, patched sails, and
every possible condition of fog.

§ 6. You will find these tolerations and affections guiding or
sustaining him to the last hour of his life; the notablest of all such
endurances being that of dirt. No Venetian ever draws anything foul; but
Turner devoted picture after picture to the illustration of effects of
dinginess, smoke, soot, dust, and dusty texture; old sides of boats,
weedy roadside vegetation, dung-hills, straw-yards, and all the
soilings and stains of every common labor.

And more than this, he not only could endure, but enjoyed and looked for
_litter_, like Covent Garden wreck after the market. His pictures are
often full of it, from side to side; their foregrounds differ from all
others in the natural way that things have of lying about in them. Even
his richest vegetation, in ideal work, is confused; and he delights in
shingle, débris, and heaps of fallen stones. The last words he ever
spoke to me about a picture were in gentle exaltation about his St.
Gothard: "that _litter_ of stones which I endeavored to represent."

§ 7. The second great result of this Covent Garden training was,
understanding of and regard for the poor, whom the Venetians, we saw,
despised; whom, contrarily, Turner loved, and more than
loved--understood. He got no romantic sight of them, but an infallible
one, as he prowled about the end of his lane, watching night effects in
the wintry streets; nor sight of the poor alone, but of the poor in
direct relations with the rich. He knew, in good and evil, what both
classes thought of, and how they dwelt with, each other.

Reynolds and Gainsborough, bred in country villages, learned there the
country boy's reverential theory of "the squire," and kept it. They
painted the squire and the squire's lady as centres of the movements of
the universe, to the end of their lives. But Turner perceived the
younger squire in other aspects about his lane, occurring prominently in
its night scenery, as a dark figure, or one of two, against the
moonlight. He saw also the working of city commerce, from endless
warehouse, towering over Thames, to the back shop in the lane, with its
stale herrings--highly interesting these last; one of his fathers best
friends, whom he often afterwards visited affectionately at Bristol,
being a fish-monger and glueboiler; which gives us a friendly turn of
mind towards herring-fishing, whaling, Calais poissardes, and many other
of our choicest subjects in after life; all this being connected with
that mysterious forest below London Bridge on one side;--and, on the
other, with these masses of human power and national wealth which weigh
upon us, at Covent Garden here, with strange compression, and crush us
into narrow Hand Court.

§ 8. "That mysterious forest below London Bridge"--better for the boy
than wood of pine, or grove of myrtle. How he must have tormented the
watermen, beseeching them to let him crouch anywhere in the bows, quiet
as a log, so only that he might get floated down there among the ships,
and round and round the ships, and with the ships, and by the ships, and
under the ships, staring and clambering;--these the only quite beautiful
things he can see in all the world, except the sky; but these, when the
sun is on their sails, filling or falling, endlessly disordered by sway
of tide and stress of anchorage, beautiful unspeakably; which ships also
are inhabited by glorious creatures--redfaced sailors, with pipes,
appearing over the gunwales, true knights, over their castle
parapets--the most angelic beings in the whole compass of London world.
And Trafalgar happening long before we can draw ships, we, nevertheless,
coax all current stories out of the wounded sailors, do our best at
present to show Nelson's funeral streaming up the Thames; and vow that
Trafalgar shall have its tribute of memory some day. Which, accordingly,
is accomplished--once, with all our might, for its death; twice, with
all our might, for its victory; thrice, in pensive farewell to the old
Temeraire, and, with it, to that order of things.

§ 9. Now this fond companying with sailors must have divided his time,
it appears to me, pretty equally between Covent Garden and Wapping
(allowing for incidental excursions to Chelsea on one side, and
Greenwich on the other), which time he would spend pleasantly, but not
magnificently, being limited in pocket-money, and leading a kind of
"Poor-Jack" life on the river.

In some respects, no life could be better for a lad. But it was not
calculated to make his ear fine to the niceties of language, nor form
his moralities on an entirely regular standard. Picking up his first
scraps of vigorous English chiefly at Deptford and in the markets, and
his first ideas of female tenderness and beauty among nymphs of the
barge and the barrow,--another boy might, perhaps, have become what
people usually term "vulgar." But the original make and frame of
Turner's mind being not vulgar, but as nearly as possible a combination
of the minds of Keats and Dante, joining capricious waywardness, and
intense openness to every fine pleasure of sense, and hot defiance of
formal precedent, with a quite infinite tenderness, generosity, and
desire of justice and truth--this kind of mind did not become vulgar,
but very tolerant of vulgarity, even fond of it in some forms; and, on
the outside, visibly infected by it, deeply enough; the curious result,
in its combination of elements, being to most people wholly
incomprehensible. It was as if a cable had been woven of blood-crimson
silk, and then tarred on the outside. People handled it, and the tar
came off on their hands; red gleams were seen through the black,
underneath, at the places where it had been strained. Was it
ochre?--said the world--or red lead?

§ 10. Schooled thus in manners, literature, and general moral principles
at Chelsea and Wapping, we have finally to inquire concerning the most
important point of all. We have seen the principal differences between
this boy and Giorgione, as respects sight of the beautiful,
understanding of poverty, of commerce, and of order of battle; then
follows another cause of difference in our training--not slight,--the
aspect of religion, namely, in the neighborhood of Covent Garden. I say
the aspect; for that was all the lad could judge by. Disposed, for the
most part, to learn chiefly by his eyes, in this special matter he finds
there is really no other way of learning. His father taught him "to lay
one penny upon another." Of mother's teaching, we hear of none; of
parish pastoral teaching, the reader may guess how much.

§ 11. I chose Giorgione rather than Veronese to help me in carrying out
this parallel; because I do not find in Giorgione's work any of the
early Venetian monarchist element. He seems to me to have belonged more
to an abstract contemplative school. I may be wrong in this; it is no
matter;--suppose it were so, and that he came down to Venice somewhat
recusant, or insentient, concerning the usual priestly doctrines of his
day,--how would the Venetian religion, from an outer intellectual
standing-point, have _looked_ to him?

§ 12. He would have seen it to be a religion indisputably powerful in
human affairs; often very harmfully so; sometimes devouring widows'
houses, and consuming the strongest and fairest from among the young;
freezing into merciless bigotry the policy of the old: also, on the
other hand, animating national courage, and raising souls, otherwise
sordid, into heroism: on the whole, always a real and great power;
served with daily sacrifice of gold, time, and thought; putting forth
its claims, if hypocritically, at least in bold hypocrisy, not waiving
any atom of them in doubt or fear; and, assuredly, in large measure,
sincere, believing in itself, and believed: a goodly system, moreover,
in aspect; gorgeous, harmonious, mysterious;--a thing which had either
to be obeyed or combated, but could not be scorned. A religion towering
over all the city--many buttressed--luminous in marble stateliness, as
the dome of our Lady of Safety shines over the sea; many-voiced also,
giving, over all the eastern seas, to the sentinel his watchword, to the
soldier his war-cry; and, on the lips of all who died for Venice,
shaping the whisper of death.

§ 13. I suppose the boy Turner to have regarded the religion of his city
also from an external intellectual standing-point.

What did he see in Maiden Lane?

Let not the reader be offended with me; I am willing to let him
describe, at his own pleasure, what Turner saw there; but to me, it
seems to have been this. A religion maintained occasionally, even the
whole length of the lane, at point of constable's staff; but, at other
times, placed under the custody of the beadle, within certain black and
unstately iron railings of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. Among the
wheelbarrows and over the vegetables, no perceptible dominance of
religion; in the narrow, disquieted streets, none; in the tongues,
deeds, daily ways of Maiden Lane, little. Some honesty, indeed, and
English industry, and kindness of heart, and general idea of justice;
but faith, of any national kind, shut up from one Sunday to the next,
not artistically beautiful even in those Sabbatical exhibitions; its
paraphernalia being chiefly of high pews, heavy elocution, and cold
grimness of behavior.

What chiaroscuro belongs to it--(dependent mostly on candlelight),--we
will, however, draw considerately; no goodliness of escutcheon, nor
other respectability being omitted, and the best of their results
confessed, a meek old woman and a child being let into a pew, for whom
the reading by candlelight will be beneficial.[1]

§ 14. For the rest, this religion seems to him
discreditable--discredited--not believing in itself, putting forth its
authority in a cowardly way, watching how far it might be tolerated,
continually shrinking, disclaiming, fencing, finessing; divided against
itself, not by stormy rents, but by thin fissures, and splittings of
plaster from the walls. Not to be either obeyed, or combated, by an
ignorant, yet clear-sighted youth; only to be scorned. And scorned not
one whit the less, though also the dome dedicated to _it_ looms high
over distant winding of the Thames; as St. Mark's campanile rose, for
goodly landmark, over mirage of lagoon. For St. Mark ruled over life;
the Saint of London over death; St. Mark over St. Mark's Place, but St.
Paul over St. Paul's Churchyard.

§ 15. Under these influences pass away the first reflective hours of
life, with such conclusion as they can reach. In consequence of a fit of
illness, he was taken--I cannot ascertain in what year--to live with an
aunt, at Brentford; and here, I believe, received some schooling, which
he seems to have snatched vigorously; getting knowledge, at least by
translation, of the more picturesque classical authors, which he turned
presently to use, as we shall see. Hence also, walks about Putney and
Twickenham in the summer time acquainted him with the look of English
meadow-ground in its restricted states of paddock and park; and with
some round-headed appearances of trees, and stately entrances to houses
of mark: the avenue at Bushy, and the iron gates and carved pillars of
Hampton, impressing him apparently with great awe and admiration; so
that in after life his little country house is,--of all places in the
world,--at Twickenham! Of swans and reedy shores he now learns the soft
motion and the green mystery, in a way not to be forgotten.

§ 16. And at last fortune wills that the lad's true life shall begin;
and one summer's evening, after various wonderful stage-coach
experiences on the north road, which gave him a love of stage-coaches
ever after, he finds himself sitting alone among the Yorkshire hills.[2]
For the first time, the silence of Nature round him, her freedom sealed
to him, her glory opened to him. Peace at last; no roll of cart-wheel,
nor mutter of sullen voices in the back shop; but curlew-cry in space of
heaven, and welling of bell-toned streamlet by its shadowy rock. Freedom
at last. Dead-wall, dark railing, fenced field, gated garden, all passed
away like the dream of a prisoner; and behold, far as foot or eye can
race or range, the moor, and cloud. Loveliness at last. It is here then,
among these deserted vales! Not among men. Those pale, poverty-struck,
or cruel faces;--that multitudinous, marred humanity--are not the only
things that God has made. Here is something He has made which no one has
marred. Pride of purple rocks, and river pools of blue, and tender
wilderness of glittering trees, and misty lights of evening on
immeasurable hills.

§ 17. Beauty, and freedom, and peace; and yet another teacher, graver
than these. Sound preaching at last here, in Kirkstall crypt, concerning
fate and life. Here, where the dark pool reflects the chancel pillars,
and the cattle lie in unhindered rest, the soft sunshine on their
dappled bodies, instead of priests' vestments; their white furry hair
ruffled a little, fitfully, by the evening wind, deep-scented from the
meadow thyme.

§ 18. Consider deeply the import to him of this, his first sight of
ruin, and compare it with the effect of the architecture that was around
Giorgione. There were indeed aged buildings, at Venice, in his time, but
none in decay. All ruin was removed, and its place filled as quickly as
in our London; but filled always by architecture loftier and more
wonderful than that whose place it took, the boy himself happy to work
upon the walls of it; so that the idea of the passing away of the
strength of men and beauty of their works never could occur to him
sternly. Brighter and brighter the cities of Italy had been rising and
broadening on hill and plain, for three hundred years. He saw only
strength and immortality, could not but paint both; conceived the form
of man as deathless, calm with power, and fiery with life.

§ 19. Turner saw the exact reverse of this. In the present work of men,
meanness, aimlessness, unsightliness: thin-walled, lath-divided,
narrow-garreted houses of clay; booths of a darksome Vanity Fair, busily

But on Whitby Hill, and by Bolton Brook, remained traces of other
handiwork. Men who could build had been there; and who also had wrought,
not merely for their own days. But to what purpose? Strong faith, and
steady hands, and patient souls--can this, then, be all you have left!
this the sum of your doing on the earth!--a nest whence the night-owl
may whimper to the brook, and a ribbed skeleton of consumed arches,
looming above the bleak banks of mist, from its cliff to the sea?

As the strength of men to Giorgione, to Turner their weakness and
vileness, were alone visible. They themselves, unworthy or ephemeral;
their work, despicable, or decayed. In the Venetian's eyes, all beauty
depended on man's presence and pride; in Turner's, on the solitude he
had left, and the humiliation he had suffered.

§ 20. And thus the fate and issue of all his work were determined at
once. He must be a painter of the strength of nature, there was no
beauty elsewhere than in that; he must paint also the labor and sorrow
and passing away of men; this was the great human truth visible to him.

Their labor, their sorrow, and their death. Mark the three. Labor; by
sea and land, in field and city, at forge and furnace, helm and plough.
No pastoral indolence nor classic pride shall stand between him and the
troubling of the world; still less between him and the toil of his
country,--blind, tormented, unwearied, marvellous England.

§ 21. Also their Sorrow; Ruin of all their glorious work, passing away
of their thoughts and their honor, mirage of pleasure, FALLACY OF HOPE;
gathering of weed on temple step; gaining of wave on deserted strand;
weeping of the mother for the children, desolate by her breathless
first-born in the streets of the city,[3] desolate by her last sons
slain, among the beasts of the field.[4]

§ 22. And their Death. That old Greek question again;--yet unanswered.
The unconquerable spectre still flitting among the forest trees at
twilight; rising ribbed out of the sea-sand;--white, a strange
Aphrodite,--out of the sea-foam; stretching its gray, cloven wings among
the clouds; turning the light of their sunsets into blood. This has to
be looked upon, and in a more terrible shape than ever Salvator or Durer
saw it. The wreck of one guilty country does not infer the ruin of all
countries, and need not cause general terror respecting the laws of the
universe. Neither did the orderly and narrow succession of domestic joy
and sorrow in a small German community bring the question in its
breadth, or in any unresolvable shape, before the mind of Durer. But the
English death--the European death of the nineteenth century--was of
another range and power; more terrible a thousand-fold in its merely
physical grasp and grief; more terrible, incalculably, in its mystery
and shame. What were the robber's casual pang, or the rage of the flying
skirmish, compared to the work of the axe, and the sword, and the
famine, which was done during this man's youth on all the hills and
plains of the Christian earth, from Moscow to Gibraltar. He was eighteen
years old when Napoleon came down on Arcola. Look on the map of Europe,
and count the blood-stains on it, between Arcola and Waterloo.

§ 23. Not alone those blood-stains on the Alpine snow, and the blue of
the Lombard plain. The English death was before his eyes also. No
decent, calculable, consoled dying; no passing to rest like that of the
aged burghers of Nuremberg town. No gentle processions to churchyards
among the fields, the bronze crests bossed deep on the memorial tablets,
and the skylark singing above them from among the corn. But the life
trampled out in the slime of the street, crushed to dust amidst the
roaring of the wheel, tossed countlessly away into howling winter wind
along five hundred leagues of rock-fanged shore. Or, worst of all,
rotted down to forgotten graves through years of ignorant patience, and
vain seeking for help from man, for hope in God--infirm, imperfect
yearning, as of motherless infants starving at the dawn; oppressed
royalties of captive thought, vague ague-fits of bleak, amazed despair.

§ 24. A goodly landscape this, for the lad to paint, and under a goodly
light. Wide enough the light was, and clear; no more Salvator's lurid
chasm on jagged horizon, nor Durer's spotted rest of sunny gleam on
hedgerow and field; but light over all the world. Full shone now its
awful globe, one pallid charnel-house,--a ball strewn bright with human
ashes, glaring in poised sway beneath the sun, all blinding-white with
death from pole to pole,--death, not of myriads of poor bodies only, but
of will, and mercy, and conscience; death, not once inflicted on the
flesh, but daily, fastening on the spirit; death, not silent or patient,
waiting his appointed hour, but voiceful, venomous; death with the
taunting word, and burning grasp, and infixed sting.

"Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe." The word is spoken in
our ears continually to other reapers than the angels--to the busy
skeletons that never tire for stooping. When the measure of iniquity is
full, and it seems that another day might bring repentance and
redemption,--"Put ye in the sickle." When the young life has been wasted
all away, and the eyes are just opening upon the tracks of ruin, and
faint resolution rising in the heart for nobler things,--"Put ye in the
sickle." When the roughest blows of fortune have been borne long and
bravely, and the hand is just stretched to grasp its goal,--"Put ye in
the sickle." And when there are but a few in the midst of a nation, to
save it, or to teach, or to cherish; and all its life is bound up in
those few golden ears,--"Put ye in the sickle, pale reapers, and pour
hemlock for your feast of harvest home."

This was the sight which opened on the young eyes, this the watchword
sounding within the heart of Turner in his youth.

So taught, and prepared for his life's labor, sate the boy at last alone
among his fair English hills; and began to paint, with cautious toil,
the rocks, and fields, and trickling brooks, and soft, white clouds of


  [1] Liber Studiorum. "Interior of a church." It is worthy of remark
    that Giorgione and Titian are always delighted to have an opportunity
    of drawing priests. The English Church may, perhaps, accept it as
    matter of congratulation that this is the only instance in which
    Turner drew a clergyman.

  [2] I do not mean that this is his first acquaintance with the
    country, but the first impressive and touching one, after his mind
    was formed. The earliest sketches I found in the National Collection
    are at Clifton and Bristol; the next, at Oxford.

  [3] "The Tenth Plague of Egypt."

  [4] "Rizpah, the Daughter of Aiah."



§ 1. The work of Turner, in its first period, is said in my account of
his drawings at the National Gallery to be distinguished by "boldness of
handling, generally gloomy tendency of mind, subdued color, and
perpetual reference to precedent in composition." I must refer the
reader to those two catalogues[1] for a more special account of his
early modes of technical study. Here we are concerned only with the
expression of that gloomy tendency of mind, whose causes we are now
better able to understand.

§ 2. It was prevented from overpowering him by his labor. This,
continual, and as tranquil in its course as a ploughman's in the field,
by demanding an admirable humility and patience, averted the tragic
passion of youth. Full of stern sorrow and fixed purpose, the boy set
himself to his labor silently and meekly, like a workman's child on its
first day at the cotton-mill. Without haste, but without
relaxation,--accepting all modes and means of progress, however painful
or humiliating, he took the burden on his shoulder and began his march.
There was nothing so little, but that he noticed it; nothing so great
but he began preparations to cope with it. For some time his work is,
apparently, feelingless, so patient and mechanical are the first essays.
It gains gradually in power and grasp; there is no perceptible _aim_ at
freedom, or at fineness, but the force insensibly becomes swifter, and
the touch finer. The color is always dark or subdued.

[Illustration: 78. Quivi Trovammo.]

§ 3. Of the first forty subjects which he exhibited at the Royal
Academy, thirty-one are architectural, and of these twenty-one are of
elaborate Gothic architecture (Peterborough cathedral, Lincoln
cathedral, Malmesbury abbey, Tintern abbey, &c.). I look upon the
discipline given to his hand by these formal drawings as of the highest
importance. His mind was also gradually led by them into a calmer
pensiveness.[2] Education amidst country possessing architectural
remains of some noble kind, I believe to be wholly essential to the
progress of a landscape artist. The first verses he ever attached to a
picture were in 1798. They are from Paradise Lost, and refer to a
picture of Morning, on the Coniston Fells:--

  "Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
   From hill or streaming lake, dusky or gray,
   Till the sun paints your fleecy skirts with gold,
   In honor to the world's great Author rise."

By glancing over the verses, which in following years[3] he quotes from
Milton, Thompson, and Mallet, it may be seen at once how his mind was
set, so far as natural scenes were concerned, on rendering atmospheric
effect;--and so far as emotion was to be expressed, how consistently it
was melancholy.

He paints, first of heroic or meditative subjects, the Fifth Plague of
Egypt; next, the Tenth Plague of Egypt. His first tribute to the memory
of Nelson is the "Battle of the Nile," 1799. I presume an unimportant
picture, as his power was not then availably developed. His first
classical subject is Narcissus and Echo, in 1805:--

  "So melts the youth and languishes away,
   His beauty withers, and his limbs decay."

The year following he summons his whole strength, and paints what we
might suppose would be a happier subject, the Garden of the Hesperides.
This being the most important picture of the first period, I will
analyze it completely.

§ 4. The fable of the Hesperides had, it seems to me, in the Greek mind
two distinct meanings; the first referring to natural phenomena, and the
second to moral. The natural meaning of it I believe to have been

The Garden of the Hesperides was supposed to exist in the westernmost
part of the Cyrenaica; it was generally the expression for the beauty
and luxuriant vegetation of the coast of Africa in that district. The
centre of the Cyrenaica "is occupied by a moderately elevated
table-land, whose edge runs parallel to the coast, to which it sinks
down in a succession of terraces, clothed with verdure, intersected by
mountain streams running through ravines filled with the richest
vegetation; well watered by frequent rains, exposed to the cool sea
breeze from the north, and sheltered by the mass of the mountain from
the sands and hot winds of the Sahara."[4]

The Greek colony of Cyrene itself was founded ten miles from the
sea-shore, "in a spot backed by the mountains on the south, and thus
sheltered from the fiery blasts of the desert; while at the height of
about 1800 feet an inexhaustible spring bursts forth amidst luxuriant
vegetation, and pours its waters down to the Mediterranean through a
most beautiful ravine."

The nymphs of the west, or Hesperides, are therefore, I believe, as
natural types, the representatives of the soft western winds and
sunshine, which were in this district most favorable to vegetation. In
this sense they are called daughters of Atlas and Hesperis, the western
winds being cooled by the snow of Atlas. The dragon, on the contrary, is
the representative of the Sahara wind, or Simoom, which blew over the
garden from among the hills on the south, and forbade all advance of
cultivation beyond their ridge. Whether this was the physical meaning of
the tradition in the Greek mind or not, there can be no doubt of its
being Turner's first interpretation of it. A glance at the picture may
determine this: a clear fountain being made the principal object in the
foreground,--a bright and strong torrent in the distance,--while the
dragon, wrapped in flame and whirlwind, watches from the top of the

§ 5. But, both in the Greek mind and Turner's, this natural meaning of
the legend was a completely subordinate one. The moral significance of
it lay far deeper. In the second, but principal sense, the Hesperides
were not daughters of Atlas, nor connected with the winds of the west,
but with its splendor. They are properly the nymphs of the sunset, and
are the daughters of night, having many brothers and sisters, of whom I
shall take Hesiod's account.

§ 6. "And the Night begat Doom, and short-withering Fate, and Death.

"And begat Sleep, and the company of Dreams, and Censure, and Sorrow.

"And the Hesperides, who keep the golden fruit beyond the mighty Sea.

"And the Destinies, and the Spirits of merciless punishment.

"And Jealousy, and Deceit, and Wanton Love; and Old Age, that fades
away; and Strife, whose will endures."

§ 7. We have not, I think, hitherto quite understood the Greek feeling
about those nymphs and their golden apples, coming as a light in the
midst of cloud; between Censure, and Sorrow,--and the Destinies. We must
look to the precise meaning of Hesiod's words, in order to get the force
of the passage.

"The Night begat Doom;" that is to say, the doom of unforeseen
accident--doom essentially of darkness.

"And short-withering Fate." Ill translated. I cannot do it better. It
means especially the sudden fate which brings untimely end to all
purpose, and cuts off youth and its promise; called, therefore (the
epithet hardly ever leaving it), "black Fate."

"And Death." This is the universal, inevitable death, opposed to the
interfering, untimely death. These three are named as the elder
children. Hesiod pauses, and repeats the word "begat" before going on to
number the others.

"And begat Sleep, and the company of Dreams."

"And _Censure_." "Momus," the Spirit of Blame--the spirit which desires
to blame rather than to praise; false, base, unhelpful, unholy
judgment;--ignorant and blind, child of the Night.

"And Sorrow." Accurately, sorrow of mourning; the sorrow of the night,
when no man can work; of the night that falls when what was the light of
the eyes is taken from us; lamenting, sightless sorrow, without
hope,--child of Night.

"And the Hesperides." We will come back to these.

"And the Destinies, and the Spirits of Merciless Punishment." These are
the great Fates which have rule over conduct; the first fate spoken of
(short-withering) is that which has rule over occurrence. These great
Fates are Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos. Their three powers are--Clotho's
over the clue, the thread, or connecting energy,--that is, the conduct
of life; Lachesis' over the lot--that is to say, the chance which warps,
entangles, or bends the course of life. Atropos, inflexible, cuts the
thread for ever.

"And Jealousy," especially the jealousy of Fortune, in balancing all
good by evil. The Greeks had a peculiar dread of this form of fate.

"And Deceit, and sensual Love. And Old Age that fades, and Strife that
endures;" that is to say, old age, which, growing not in wisdom, is
marked only by its failing power--by the gradual gaining of darkness on
the faculties, and helplessness on the frame, such age is the forerunner
of true death--the child of Night. "And Strife," the last and the
mightiest, the nearest to man of the Night-children--blind leader of the

§ 8. Understanding thus whose sisters they are, let us consider of the
Hesperides themselves--spoken of commonly as the "Singing Nymphs." They
are four.

Their names are Æglé,--Brightness; Erytheia,--Blushing; Hestia,--the
(spirit of the) Hearth; Arethusa,--the Ministering.

O English reader! hast thou ever heard of these fair and true daughters
of Sunset, beyond the mighty sea?

And was it not well to trust to such keepers the guarding of the golden
fruit which the earth gave to Juno at her marriage? Not fruit only:
fruit on the tree, given by the earth, the great mother, to Juno (female
power), at her marriage with Jupiter, or _ruling_ manly power
(distinguished from the tried and _agonizing_ strength of Hercules). I
call Juno, briefly, female power. She is, especially, the goddess
presiding over marriage, regarding the woman as the mistress of a
household. Vesta (the goddess of the hearth[5]), with Ceres, and Venus,
are variously dominant over marriage, as the fulfilment of love; but
Juno is pre-eminently the housewives' goddess. She, therefore,
represents, in her character, whatever good or evil may result from
female ambition, or desire of power: and, as to a housewife, the earth
presents its golden fruit to her, which she gives to two kinds of
guardians. The wealth of the earth, as the source of household peace and
plenty, is watched by the singing nymphs--the Hesperides. But, as the
source of household sorrow and desolation, it is watched by the Dragon.

We must, therefore, see who the Dragon was, and what kind of dragon.

§ 9. The reader will, perhaps, remember that we traced, in an earlier
chapter, the birth of the Gorgons, through Phorcys and Ceto, from
Nereus. The youngest child of Phorcys and Ceto is the Dragon of the
Hesperides; but this latest descent is not, as in Northern traditions, a
sign of fortunateness: on the contrary, the children of Nereus receive
gradually more and more terror and power, as they are later born, till
this last of the Nereids unites horror and power at their utmost.
Observe the gradual change. Nereus himself is said to have been
perfectly _true_ and _gentle_.

This is Hesiod's account of him:--

"And Pontus begat Nereus, simple and true, the oldest of children; but
they call him the aged man, in that he is errorless and kind; neither
forgets he what is right; but knows all just and gentle counsel."

§ 10. Now the children of Nereus, like the Hesperides themselves, bear a
twofold typical character; one physical, the other moral. In his
physical symbolism, Nereus himself is the calm and gentle sea, from
which rise, in gradual increase of terror, the clouds and storms. In his
moral character, Nereus is the type of the deep, pure, rightly-tempered
human mind, from which, in gradual degeneracy, spring the troubling

Keeping this double meaning in view, observe the whole line of descent
to the Hesperides' Dragon. Nereus, by the earth, begets (1) Thaumas (the
wonderful), physically, the father of the Rainbow; morally, the type of
the enchantments and dangers of imagination. His grandchildren, besides
the Rainbow, are the Harpies. 2. Phorcys (Orcus?), physically, the
treachery or devouring spirit of the sea; morally, covetousness or
malignity of heart. 3. Ceto, physically, the deep places of the sea;
morally, secretness of heart, called "fair-cheeked," because tranquil in
outward aspect. 4. Eurybia (wide strength), physically, the flowing,
especially the tidal power of the sea (she, by one of the sons of
Heaven, becomes the mother of three great Titans, one of whom, Astræus,
and the Dawn, are the parents of the four Winds); morally, the healthy
passion of the heart. Thus far the children of Nereus.

§ 11. Next, Phorcys and Ceto, in their physical characters (the grasping
or devouring of the sea, reaching out over the land and its depth),
beget the Clouds and Storms--namely, first, the Graiæ, or soft
rain-clouds; then the Gorgons, or storm-clouds; and youngest and last,
the Hesperides' Dragon--Volcanic or earth-storm, associated, in
conception, with the Simoom and fiery African winds.

But, in its moral significance, the descent is this. Covetousness, or
malignity (Phorcys), and Secretness (Ceto), beget, first, the darkening
passions, whose hair is always gray; then the stormy and merciless
passions, brazen-winged (the Gorgons), of whom the dominant, Medusa, is
ice-cold, turning all who look on her to stone. And, lastly, the
consuming (poisonous and volcanic) passions--the "flame-backed dragon,"
uniting the powers of poison, and instant destruction. Now, the reader
may have heard, perhaps, in other books of Genesis than Hesiod's, of a
dragon being busy about a tree which bore apples, and of crushing the
head of that dragon; but seeing how, in the Greek mind, this serpent was
descended from the sea, he may, perhaps, be surprised to remember
another verse, bearing also on the matter:--"Thou brakest the heads of
the dragons in the waters;" and yet more surprised, going on with the
Septuagint version, to find where he is being led: "Thou brakest the
head of the dragon, and gavest him to be meat to the Ethiopian people.
Thou didst tear asunder the strong fountains and the storm-torrents;
thou didst dry up the rivers of Etham, [Greek: pêgas kai cheimarrhous],
the Pegasus fountains--Etham on the edge of the wilderness."

§ 12. Returning then to Hesiod, we find he tells us of the Dragon
himself:--"He, in the secret places of the desert land, kept the
all-golden apples in his great knots" (coils of rope, or extremities of
anything). With which compare Euripides' report of him:--"And Hercules
came to the Hesperian dome, to the singing maidens, plucking the apple
fruit from the golden petals; slaying the flame-backed dragon, who
twined round and round, kept guard in unapproachable spires" (spirals or
whirls, as of a whirlwind-vortex).

Farther, we hear from other scattered syllables of tradition, that this
dragon was sleepless, and that he was able to take various tones of
human voice.

And we find a later tradition than Hesiod's calling him a child of
Typhon and Echidna. Now Typhon is volcanic storm, generally the evil
spirit of tumult.

Echidna (the adder) is a descendant of Medusa. She is a daughter of
Chrysaor (the lightning), by Calliröe (the fair flowing), a daughter of
Ocean;--that is to say, she joins the intense fatality of the lightning
with perfect gentleness. In form she is half-maiden, half-serpent;
therefore she is the spirit of all the fatalest evil, veiled in
gentleness: or, in one word, treachery;--having dominion over many
gentle things;--and chiefly over a kiss, given, indeed, in another
garden than that of the Hesperides, yet in relation to keeping of
treasure also.

§ 13. Having got this farther clue, let us look who it is whom Dante
makes the typical Spirit of Treachery. The eighth or lowest pit of hell
is given to its keeping; at the edge of which pit, Virgil casts a _rope_
down for a signal; instantly there rises, as from the sea, "as one
returns who hath been down to loose some anchor," "the fell monster with
the deadly sting, who passes mountains, breaks through fenced walls, and
firm embattled spears; and with his filth taints all the world."

Think for an instant of another place:--"Sharp stones are under him, he
laugheth at the shaking of a spear." We must yet keep to Dante,
however. Echidna, remember, is half-maiden, half-serpent;--hear what
Dante's Fraud is like:--

  "Forthwith that image vile of Fraud appear'd,
   His head and upper part exposed on land,
   But laid not on the shore his bestial train.
   His face the semblance of a just man's wore,
   So kind and gracious was its outward cheer;
   The rest was serpent all: two shaggy claws
   Reach'd to the armpits; and the back and breast,
   And either side, were painted o'er with nodes
   And orbits. Colors variegated more
   Nor Turks nor Tartars e'er on cloth of state
   With interchangeable embroidery wove,
   Nor spread Arachne o'er her curious loom.
   As oft-times a light skiff moor'd to the shore,
   Stands part in water, part upon the land;
   Or, as where dwells the greedy German boor,
   The beaver settles, watching for his prey;
   So on the rim, that fenced the sand with rock,
   Sat perch'd the fiend of evil. In the void
   Glancing, his tail upturn'd, its venomous fork
   With sting like scorpion's arm'd."

§ 14. You observe throughout this description the leaning on the
character of the _Sea_ Dragon; a little farther on, his way of flying is
told us:--

  "As a small vessel backing out from land,
   Her station quits; so thence the monster loos'd,
   And, when he felt himself at large, turn'd round
   There, where the breast had been, his fork'd tail.
   Thus, like an eel, outstretch'd at length he steer'd,
   Gathering the air up with retractile claws."

And lastly, his name is told us: Geryon. Whereupon, looking back at
Hesiod, we find that Geryon is Echidna's brother. Man-serpent,
therefore, in Dante, as Echidna is woman-serpent.

We find next that Geryon lived in the island of Erytheia, (blushing),
only another kind of blushing than that of the Hesperid Erytheia. But it
is on, also, a western island, and Geryon kept red oxen on it (said to
be near the red setting sun); and Hercules kills him, as he does the
Hesperian dragon: but in order to be able to reach him, a golden boat is
given to Hercules by the Sun, to cross the sea in.

§ 15. We will return to this part of the legend presently, having enough
of it now collected to get at the complete idea of the Hesperian dragon,
who is, in fine, the "Pluto il gran nemico" of Dante; the demon of all
evil passions connected with covetousness; that is to say, essentially
of fraud, rage, and gloom. Regarded as the demon of Fraud, he is said to
be descended from the viper Echidna, full of deadly cunning, in whirl on
whirl; as the demon of consuming Rage, from Phorcys; as the demon of
Gloom, from Ceto;--in his watching and melancholy, he is sleepless
(compare the Micyllus dialogue of Lucian); breathing whirlwind and fire,
he is the destroyer, descended from Typhon as well as Phorcys; having,
moreover, with all these, the irresistible strength of his ancestral

§ 16. Now, look at him, as Turner has drawn him (p. 298). I cannot
reduce the creature to this scale without losing half his power; his
length, especially, seems to diminish more than it should in proportion
to his bulk. In the picture he is far in the distance, cresting the
mountain; and may be, perhaps, three-quarters of a mile long. The actual
length on the canvas is a foot and eight inches; so that it may be
judged how much he loses by the reduction, not to speak of my imperfect
etching,[6] and of the loss which, however well he might have been
engraved, he would still have sustained, in the impossibility of
expressing the lurid color of his armor, alternate bronze and blue.

§ 17. Still, the main points of him are discernible enough; and among
all the wonderful things that Turner did in his day, I think this nearly
the most wonderful. How far he had really found out for himself the
collateral bearings of the Hesperid tradition I know not; but that he
had got the main clue of it, and knew who the Dragon was, there can be
no doubt; the strange thing is, that his conception of it throughout,
down to the minutest detail, fits every one of the circumstances of the
Greek traditions. There is, first, the Dragon's descent from Medusa and
Typhon, indicated in the serpent-clouds floating from his head (compare
my sketch of the Medusa-cloud, Plate 71); then note the grovelling and
ponderous body, ending in a serpent, of which we do not see the end. He
drags the weight of it forward by his claws, not being able to lift
himself from the ground ("Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell");
then the grip of the claws themselves as if they would clutch (rather
than tear) the rock itself into pieces; but chiefly, the designing of
the body. Remember, one of the essential characters of the creature, as
descended from Medusa, is its coldness and petrifying power; this, in
the demon of covetousness, must exist to the utmost; breathing fire, he
is yet himself of ice. Now, if I were merely to draw this dragon as
white, instead of dark, and take his claws away, his body would become a
representation of a greater glacier, so nearly perfect, that I know no
published engraving of glacier breaking over a rocky brow so like the
truth as this dragon's shoulders would be, if they were thrown out in
light; there being only this difference, that they have the form, but
not the fragility of the ice; they are at once ice and iron. "His bones
are like solid pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron; by his
neesings a light doth shine."

§ 18. The strange unity of vertebrated action, and of a true bony
contour, infinitely varied in every vertebra, with this glacial
outline;--together with the adoption of the head of the Ganges
crocodile, the fish-eater, to show his sea descent (and this in the year
1806, when hardly a single fossil saurian skeleton existed within
Turner's reach), renders the whole conception one of the most curious
exertions of the imaginative intellect with which I am acquainted in the

§ 19. Thus far, then, of the dragon; next, we have to examine the
conception of the Goddess of Discord. We must return for a moment to the
tradition about Geryon. I cannot yet decipher the meaning of his oxen,
said to be fed together with those of Hades; nor of the journey of
Hercules, in which, after slaying Geryon, he returns through Europe like
a border forager, driving these herds, and led into farther battle in
protection or recovery of them. But it seems to me the main drift of the
legend cannot be mistaken; viz., that Geryon is the evil spirit of
wealth, as arising from commerce; hence, placed as a guardian of isles
in the most distant sea, and reached in a golden boat; while the
Hesperian dragon is the evil spirit of wealth, as possessed in
households; and associated, therefore, with the true household
guardians, or singing nymphs. Hercules (manly labor), slaying both
Geryon and Ladon, presents oxen and apples to Juno, who is their proper
mistress; but the Goddess of Discord, contriving that one portion of
this household wealth shall be ill bestowed by Paris, he, according to
Coleridge's interpretation, choosing pleasure instead of wisdom or
power;--there issue from this evil choice the catastrophe of the Trojan
war, and the wanderings of Ulysses, which are essentially, both in the
Iliad and Odyssey, the troubling of household peace; terminating with
the restoration of this peace by repentance and patience; Helen and
Penelope seen at last sitting upon their household thrones, in the
Hesperian light of age.

§ 20. We have, therefore, to regard Discord, in the Hesperides garden,
eminently as the disturber of households, assuming a different aspect
from Homer's wild and fierce discord of war. They are, nevertheless, one
and the same power; for she changes her aspect at will. I cannot get at
the root of her name, Eris. It seems to me as if it ought to have one in
common with Erinnys (Fury); but it means always contention, emulation,
or competition, either in mind or in words;--the final work of Eris is
essentially "division," and she is herself always double-minded; shouts
two ways at once (in Iliad, xi. 6), and wears a mantle rent in half
(Æneid, viii. 702). Homer makes her loud-voiced, and insatiably
covetous. This last attribute is, with him, the source of her usual
title. She is little when she first is seen, then rises till her head
touches heaven. By Virgil she is called mad; and her hair is of
serpents, bound with bloody garlands.

§ 21. This is the conception first adopted by Turner, but combined with
another which he found in Spenser; only note that there is some
confusion in the minds of English poets between Eris (Discord) and Até
(Error), who is a daughter of Discord, according to Hesiod. She is
properly--mischievous error, tender-footed; for she does not walk on the
earth, but on heads of men (Iliad, xix. 92); _i.e._ not on the solid
ground, but on human vain thoughts; therefore, her hair is glittering
(Iliad, xix. 126). I think she is mainly the confusion of mind coming of
pride, as Eris comes of covetousness; therefore, Homer makes her a
daughter of Jove. Spenser, under the name of Até, describes Eris. I have
referred to his account of her in my notice of the Discord on the Ducal
palace of Venice (remember the inscription there, _Discordia sum,
discordans_). But the stanzas from which Turner derived his conception
of her are these--

  "Als, as she double spake, so heard she double,
   With matchlesse eares deformed and distort,
   Fild with false rumors and seditious trouble,
   Bred in assemblies of the vulgar sort,
   That still are led with every light report:
   And as her eares, so eke her feet were odde,
   And much unlike; th' one long, the other short,
   And both misplast; that, when th' one forward yode,
   The other backe retired and contrárie trode.

  "Likewise unequall were her handës twaine;
   That one did reach, the other pusht away;
   That one did make the other mard againe,
   And sought to bring all things unto decay;
   Whereby great riches, gathered manie a day,
   She in short space did often bring to nought,
   An their possessours often did dismay:
   For all her studie was, and all her thought
   How she might overthrow the thing that Concord wrought.

  "So much her malice did her might surpas,
   That even th' Almightie selfe she did maligne,
   Because to man so mercifull He was,
   And unto all His creatures so benigne,
   Sith she herself was of his grace indigne:
   For all this worlds faire workmanship she tride
   Unto his last confusion to bring,
   And that great golden chaine quite to divide,
   With which it blessed Concord hath together tide."

All these circumstances of decrepitude and distortion Turner has
followed, through hand and limb, with patient care: he has added one
final touch of his own. The nymph who brings the apples to the goddess,
offers her one in each hand; and Eris, of the divided mind, cannot

§ 22. One farther circumstance must be noted, in order to complete our
understanding of the picture,--the gloom extending, not to the dragon
only, but also to the fountain and the tree of golden fruit. The reason
of this gloom may be found in two other passages of the authors from
which Turner had taken his conception of Eris--Virgil and Spenser. For
though the Hesperides in their own character, as the nymphs of domestic
joy, are entirely bright (and the garden always bright around them), yet
seen or remembered in sorrow, or in the presence of discord, they deepen
distress. Their entirely happy character is given by Euripides:--"The
fruit-planted shore of the Hesperides,--songstresses,--where the ruler
of the purple lake allows not any more to the sailor his way, assigning
the boundary of Heaven, which Atlas holds; where the ambrosial fountains
flow, and the fruitful and divine land increases the happiness of the

But to the thoughts of Dido, in her despair, they recur under another
aspect; she remembers their priestess as a great enchantress; who _feeds
the dragon_ and preserves the boughs of the tree; sprinkling moist honey
and drowsy poppy; who also has power over ghosts; "and the earth shakes
and the forests stoop from the hills at her bidding."

§ 23. This passage Turner must have known well, from his continual
interest in Carthage: but his diminution of the splendor of the old
Greek garden was certainly caused chiefly by Spenser's describing the
Hesperides fruit as growing first in the garden of Mammon:--

  "There mournfull cypresse grew in greatest store;
   And trees of bitter gall; and heben sad;
   Dead sleeping poppy; and black hellebore;
   Cold coloquintida; and tetra mad
   Mortal samnitis; and cicuta bad,
   With which th' uniust Atheniens made to dy
   Wise Socrates, who, thereof quaffing glad,
   Pourd out his life and last philosophy.

       *     *     *     *     *

  "The gardin of Prosèrpina this hight:
   And in the midst thereof a silver seat,
   With a thick arber goodly over dight,
   In which she often usd from open heat
   Herselfe to shroud, and pleasures to entreat:
   Next thereunto did grow a goodly tree,
   With braunches broad dispredd and body great,
   Clothed with leaves, that none the wood mote see,
   And loaden all with fruit as thick as it might bee.

  "Their fruit were golden apples glistring bright,
   That goodly was their glory to behold;
   On earth like never grew, ne living wight
   Like ever saw, but they from hence were sold;
   For those, which Hercules with conquest bold
   Got from great Atlas daughters, hence began.

       *     *     *     *     *

  "Here eke that famous golden apple grew,
   The which emongst the gods false Até threw."

There are two collateral evidences in the picture of Turner's mind
having been partly influenced by this passage. The excessive darkness of
the stream,--though one of the Cyrene fountains--to remind us of
Cocytus; and the breaking of the bough of the tree by the weight of its
apples--not healthily, but as a diseased tree would break.

§ 24. Such then is our English painter's first great religious picture;
and exponent of our English faith. A sad-colored work, not executed in
Angelico's white and gold; nor in Perugino's crimson and azure; but in a
sulphurous hue, as relating to a paradise of smoke. That power, it
appears, on the hill-top, is our British Madonna; whom, reverently, the
English devotional painter must paint, thus enthroned, with nimbus about
the gracious head. Our Madonna,--or our Jupiter on Olympus,--or, perhaps
more accurately still, our unknown god, sea-born, with the cliffs, not
of Cyrene, but of England, for his altar; and no chance of any Mars'
Hill proclamation concerning him, "whom therefore ye ignorantly

§ 25. This is no irony. The fact is verily so. The greatest man of our
England, in the first half of the nineteenth century, in the strength
and hope of his youth, perceives this to be the thing he has to tell us
of utmost moment, connected with the spiritual world. In each city and
country of past time, the master-minds had to declare the chief worship
which lay at the nation's heart; to define it; adorn it; show the range
and authority of it. Thus in Athens, we have the triumph of Pallas; and
in Venice the assumption of the Virgin; here, in England, is our great
spiritual fact for ever interpreted to us--the Assumption of the Dragon.
No St. George any more to be heard of; no more dragon-slaying possible:
this child, born on St. George's Day, can only make manifest the Dragon,
not slay him, sea-serpent as he is; whom the English Andromeda, not
fearing, takes for her lord. The fairy English Queen once thought to
command the waves, but it is the sea-dragon now who commands her
valleys; of old the Angel of the Sea ministered to them, but now the
Serpent of the Sea; where once flowed their clear springs now spreads
the black Cocytus pool; and the fair blooming of the Hesperid meadows
fades into ashes beneath the Nereid's Guard.

Yes, Albert of Nuremberg; the time has at last come. Another nation has
arisen in the strength of its Black anger; and another hand has
portrayed the spirit of its toil. Crowned with fire, and with the wings
of the bat.


  [1] Notes on the Turner Collection at Marlborough House. 1857.
    Catalogue of the Sketches of J. M. V. Turner exhibited at Marlborough
    House. 1858.

  [2] The regret I expressed in the third volume at Turner's not having
    been educated under the influence of Gothic art was, therefore,
    mistaken; I had not then had access to his earlier studies. He _was_
    educated under the influence of Gothic architecture; but, in more
    advanced life, his mind was warped and weakened by classical
    architecture. Why he left the one for the other, or how far good
    influences were mingled with evil in the result of the change, I have
    not yet been able to determine.

  [3] They may be referred to with ease in Boone's Catalogue of
    Turner's Pictures, 1857.

  [4] Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. Art.

  [5] Her name is also that of the Hesperid nymph; but I give the
    Hesperid her Greek form of name, to distinguish her from the goddess.
    The Hesperid Arethusa has the same subordinate relation to Ceres; and
    Erytheia, to Venus. Æglé signifies especially the spirit of
    brightness or cheerfulness including even the subordinate idea of
    household neatness or cleanliness.

  [6] It is merely a sketch on the steel, like the illustrations before
    given of composition; but it marks the points needing note. Perhaps
    some day I may be able to engrave it of the full size.



§ 1. Five years after the Hesperides were painted, another great
mythological subject appeared by Turner's hand. Another dragon--this
time not triumphant, but in death-pang; the Python, slain by Apollo.

Not in a garden, this slaying, but in a hollow, among wildest rocks,
beside a stagnant pool. Yet, instead of the sombre coloring of the
Hesperid hills, strange gleams of blue and gold flit around the mountain
peaks, and color the clouds above them.

The picture is at once the type, and the first expression of a great
change which was passing in Turner's mind. A change, which was not
clearly manifested in all its results until much later in his life; but
in the coloring of this picture are the first signs of it; and in the
subject of this picture, its symbol.

§ 2. Had Turner died early, the reputation he would have left, though
great and enduring, would have been strangely different from that which
ultimately must now attach to his name. He would have been remembered as
one of the severest of painters; his iron touch and positive form would
have been continually opposed to the delicacy of Claude and richness of
Titian; he would have been spoken of, popularly, as a man who had no eye
for color. Perhaps here and there a watchful critic might have shown
this popular idea to be false; but no conception could have been formed
by any one of the man's real disposition or capacity.

It was only after the year 1820 that these were determinable, and his
peculiar work discerned.

§ 3. He had begun by faithful declaration of the sorrow there was in the
world. It is now permitted him to see also its beauty. He becomes,
separately and without rival, the painter of the loveliness and light of
the creation.

[Illustration: 79. The Hesperid Æglé.]

Of its loveliness: that which may be beloved in it, the tenderest,
kindest, most feminine of its aspects. Of its light: light not merely
diffused, but interpreted; light seen pre-eminently in color.

Claude and Cuyp had painted the sun_shine_, Turner alone the sun

Observe this accurately. Those easily understood effects of afternoon
light, gracious and sweet so far as they reach, are produced by the
softly warm or yellow rays of the sun falling through mist. They are low
in tone, even in nature, and disguise the colors of objects. They are
imitable even by persons who have little or no gift of color, if the
tones of the picture are kept low and in true harmony, and the reflected
lights warm. But they never could be painted by great colorists. The
fact of blue and crimson being effaced by yellow and gray, puts such
effect at once out of the notice or thought of a colorist, unless he has
some special interest in the motive of it. You might as well ask a
musician to compose with only three notes, as Titian to paint without
crimson and blue. Accordingly the colorists in general, feeling that no
other than this yellow sunshine was imitable, refused it, and painted in
twilight, when the color was full. Therefore, from the imperfect
colorists,--from Cuyp, Claude, Both, Wilson, we get deceptive effect of
sunshine; never from the Venetians, from Rubens, Reynolds or Velasquez.
From these we get only conventional substitutions for it, Rubens being
especially daring[1] in frankness of symbol.

§ 4. Turner, however, as a landscape painter, had to represent sunshine
of one kind or another. He went steadily through the subdued golden
chord, and painted Cuyp's favorite effect, "sun rising through vapor,"
for many a weary year. But this was not enough for him. He must paint
the sun in his strength, the sun rising _not_ through vapor. If you
glance at that Apollo slaying the Python, you will see there is rose
color and blue on the clouds, as well as gold; and if then you turn to
the Apollo in the Ulysses and Polyphemus--his horses are rising beyond
the horizon,--you see he is not "rising through vapor," but above it;
gaining somewhat of a victory over vapor, it appears.

The old Dutch brewer, with his yellow mist, was a great man and a good
guide, but he was not Apollo. He and his dray-horses led the way through
the flats, cheerily, for a little time; we have other horses now flaming
out "beyond the mighty sea."

A victory over vapor of many kinds; Python-slaying in general. Look how
the Python's jaws smoke as he falls back between the rocks:--a vaporous
serpent! We will see who he was, presently.

The public remonstrated loudly in the cause of Python: "He had been so
yellow, quiet, and pleasant a creature; what meant these azure-shafted
arrows, this sudden glare into darkness, this Iris message;
Thaumantian;--miracle-working; scattering our slumber down in Cocytus?"
It meant much, but that was not what they should have first asked about
it. They should have asked simply, was it a true message? Were these
Thaumantian things so, in the real universe?

It might have been known easily they were. One fair dawn or sunset,
obediently beheld, would have set them right; and shown that Turner was
indeed the only true speaker concerning such things that ever yet had
appeared in the world. They would neither look nor hear;--only shouted
continuously, "Perish Apollo. Bring us back Python."

§ 5. We must understand the real meaning of this cry, for herein rests
not merely the question of the great right or wrong in Turner's life,
but the question of the right or wrong of all painting. Nay, on this
issue hangs the nobleness of painting as an art altogether, for it is
distinctively the art of coloring, not of shaping or relating. Sculptors
and poets can do these, the painter's own work is color.

Thus, then, for the last time, rises the question, what is the true
dignity of color? We left that doubt a little while ago among the
clouds, wondering what they had been made so scarlet for. Now Turner
brings the doubt back to us, unescapable any more. No man, hitherto, had
painted the clouds scarlet. Hesperid Æglé, and Erytheia, throned there
in the west, fade into the twilights of four thousand years,
unconfessed. Here is at last one who confesses them, but is it well? Men
say these Hesperids are sensual goddesses,--traitresses,--that the
Graiæ are the only true ones. Nature made the western and the eastern
clouds splendid in fallacy. Crimson is impure and vile; let us paint in
black if we would be virtuous.

§ 6. Note, with respect to this matter, that the peculiar innovation of
Turner was the perfection of the color chord by means of _scarlet_.
Other painters had rendered the golden tones, and the blue tones, of
sky; Titian especially the last, in perfectness. But none had dared to
paint, none seem to have seen, the scarlet and purple.

Nor was it only in seeing this color in vividness when it occurred in
full light, that Turner differed from preceding painters. His most
distinctive innovation as a colorist was his discovery of the scarlet
_shadow_. "True, there is a sunshine whose light is golden, and its
shadow gray; but there is another sunshine, and that the purest, whose
light is white, and its shadow scarlet." This was the essentially
offensive, inconceivable thing, which he could not be believed in. There
was some ground for the incredulity, because no color is vivid enough to
express the pitch of light of pure white sunshine, so that the color
given without the true intensity of light _looks_ false. Nevertheless,
Turner could not but report of the color truly. "I must indeed be lower
in the key, but that is no reason why I should be false in the note.
Here is sunshine which glows even when subdued; it has not cool shade,
but fiery shade."[2] This is the glory of sunshine.

§ 7. Now, this scarlet color,--or pure red, intensified by expression of
light,--is, of all the three primitive colors, that which is most
distinctive. Yellow is of the nature of simple light; blue, connected
with simple shade; but red is an entirely abstract color. It is red to
which the color-blind are blind, as if to show us that it was not
necessary merely for the service or comfort of man, but that there was a
special gift or teaching in this color. Observe, farther, that it is
this color which the sunbeams take in passing through the _earth's
atmosphere_. The rose of dawn and sunset is the hue of the rays passing
close over the earth. It is also concentrated in the blood of man.

[Illustration: 80. Rocks at Rest.]

§ 8. Unforeseen requirements have compelled me to disperse through
various works, undertaken between the first and last portions of this
essay, the examination of many points respecting color, which I had
intended to reserve for this place. I can now only refer the reader to
these several passages,[3] and sum their import: which is briefly,
that color generally, but chiefly the scarlet, used with the hyssop, in
the Levitical law, is the great sanctifying element of visible beauty
inseparably connected with purity and life.

[Illustration: 81. Rocks in Unrest.]

I must not enter here into the solemn and far-reaching fields of thought
which it would be necessary to traverse, in order to detect the mystical
connection between life and love, set forth in that Hebrew system of
sacrificial religion to which we may trace most of the received ideas
respecting sanctity, consecration, and purification. This only I must
hint to the reader--for his own following out--that if he earnestly
examines the original sources from which our heedless popular language
respecting the washing away of sins has been borrowed, he will find that
the fountain in which sins are indeed to be washed away, is that of
love, not of agony.

§ 9. But, without approaching the presence of this deeper meaning of the
sign, the reader may rest satisfied with the connection given him
directly in written words, between the cloud and its bow. The cloud, or
firmament, as we have seen, signifies the ministration of the heavens to
man. That ministration may be in judgment or mercy--in the lightning, or
the dew. But the bow, or color, of the cloud, signifies always mercy,
the sparing of life; such ministry of the heaven, as shall feed and
prolong life. And as the sunlight, undivided, is the type of the wisdom
and righteousness of God, so divided, and softened into color by means
of the fundamental ministry, fitted to every need of man, as to every
delight, and becoming one chief source of human beauty, by being made
part of the flesh of man;--thus divided, the sunlight is the type of the
wisdom of God, becoming sanctification and redemption. Various in
work--various in beauty--various in power.

Color is, therefore, in brief terms, the type of love. Hence it is
especially connected with the blossoming of the earth; and again, with
its fruits; also, with the spring and fall of the leaf, and with the
morning and evening of the day, in order to show the waiting of love
about the birth and death of man.

§ 10. And now, I think, we may understand, even far away in the Greek
mind, the meaning of that contest of Apollo with the Python. It was a
far greater contest than that of Hercules with Ladon. Fraud and avarice
might be overcome by frankness and force; but this Python was a darker
enemy, and could not be subdued but by a greater god. Nor was the
conquest slightly esteemed by the victor deity. He took his great name
from it thenceforth--his prophetic and sacred name--the Pythian.

It could, therefore, be no merely devouring dragon--no mere wild beast
with scales and claws. It must possess some more terrible character to
make conquest over it so glorious. Consider the meaning of its name,
"THE CORRUPTER." That Hesperid dragon was a treasure-guardian. This is
the treasure-destroyer,--where moth and rust doth corrupt--the worm of
eternal decay.

Apollo's contest with him is the strife of purity with pollution; of
life, with forgetfulness; of love, with the grave.

§ 11. I believe this great battle stood, in the Greek mind, for the type
of the struggle of youth and manhood with deadly sin--venomous,
infectious, irrecoverable sin. In virtue of his victory over this
corruption, Apollo becomes thenceforward the guide; the witness; the
purifying and helpful God. The other gods help waywardly, whom they
choose. But Apollo helps always: he is by name, not only Pythian, the
conqueror of death; but Pæan--the healer of the people.

Well did Turner know the meaning of that battle: he has told its tale
with fearful distinctness. The Mammon dragon was armed with adamant; but
this dragon of decay is a mere colossal worm: wounded, he bursts asunder
in the midst,[4] and melts to pieces, rather than dies, vomiting
smoke--a smaller serpent-worm rising out of his blood.

§ 12. Alas, for Turner! This smaller serpent-worm, it seemed, he could
not conceive to be slain. In the midst of all the power and beauty of
nature, he still saw this death-worm writhing among the weeds. A little
thing now, yet enough; you may see it in the foreground of the Bay of
Baiæ, which has also in it the story of Apollo and the Sibyl; Apollo
giving love; but not youth, nor immortality: you may see it again in the
foreground of the Lake Avernus--the Hades lake--which Turner surrounds
with delicatest beauty, the Fates dancing in circle; but in front, is
the serpent beneath the thistle and the wild thorn. The same Sibyl,
Deiphobe, holding the golden bough. I cannot get at the meaning of this
legend of the bough; but it was, assuredly, still connected, in
Turner's mind, with that help from Apollo. He indicated the strength of
his feeling at the time when he painted the Python contest, by the
drawing exhibited the same year, of the Prayer of Chryses. There the
priest is on the beach alone, the sun setting. He prays to it as it
descends;--flakes of its sheeted light are borne to him by the
melancholy waves, and cast away with sighs upon the sand.

How this sadness came to be persistent over Turner, and to conquer him,
we shall see in a little while. It is enough for us to know at present
that our most wise and Christian England, with all her appurtenances of
school-porch and church-spire, had so disposed her teaching as to leave
this somewhat notable child of hers without even cruel Pandora's gift.

He was without hope.

True daughter of Night, Hesperid Æglé was to him; coming between
Censure, and Sorrow,--and the Destinies.

§ 13. What, for us, his work yet may be, I know not. But let not the
real nature of it be misunderstood any more.

He is distinctively, as he rises into his own peculiar strength,
separating himself from all men who had painted forms of the physical
world before,--the painter of the loveliness of nature, with the worm at
its root: Rose and cankerworm,--both with his utmost strength; the one
_never_ separate from the other.

In which his work was the true image of his own mind.

I would fain have looked last at the rose; but that is not the way
Atropos will have it, and there is no pleading with her.

So, therefore, first of the rose.

§ 14. That is to say, of this vision of the loveliness and kindness of
Nature, as distinguished from all visions of her ever received by other
men. By the Greek, she had been distrusted. She was to him Calypso, the
Concealer, Circe, the Sorceress. By the Venetian, she had been dreaded.
Her wildernesses were desolate; her shadows stern. By the Fleming, she
had been despised; what mattered the heavenly colors to him? But at
last, the time comes for her loveliness and kindness to be declared to
men. Had they helped Turner, listened to him, believed in him, he had
done it wholly for them. But they cried out for Python, and Python
came;--came literally as well as spiritually;--all the perfectest beauty
and conquest which Turner wrought is already withered. The cankerworm
stood at his right hand, and of all his richest, most precious work,
there remains only the shadow. Yet that shadow is more than other men's
sunlight; it is the scarlet shade, shade of the Rose. Wrecked, and
faded, and defiled, his work still, in what remains of it, or may
remain, is the loveliest ever yet done by man, in imagery of the
physical world. Whatsoever is there of fairest, you will find recorded
by Turner, and by him alone.

§ 15. I say _you_ will find, not knowing to how few I speak; for in
order to find what is fairest, you must delight in what is fair; and I
know not how few or how many there may be who take such delight. Once I
could speak joyfully about beautiful things, thinking to be
understood;--now I cannot any more; for it seems to me that no one
regards them. Wherever I look or travel in England or abroad, I see that
men, wherever they can reach, destroy all beauty. They seem to have no
other desire or hope but to have large houses and to be able to move
fast. Every perfect and lovely spot which they can touch, they

§ 16. Nevertheless, though not joyfully, or with any hope of being at
present heard, I would have tried to enter here into some examination of
the right and worthy effect of beauty in Art upon human mind, if I had
been myself able to come to demonstrable conclusions. But the question
is so complicated with that of the enervating influence of all luxury,
that I cannot get it put into any tractable compass. Nay, I have many
inquiries to make, many difficult passages of history to examine, before
I can determine the just limits of the hope in which I may permit myself
to continue to labor in any cause of Art.

Nor is the subject connected with the purpose of this book. I have
written it to show that Turner is the greatest landscape painter who
ever lived; and this it has sufficiently accomplished. What the final
use may be to men, of landscape painting, or of any painting, or of
natural beauty, I do not yet know. Thus far, however, I _do_ know.

§ 17. Three principal forms of asceticism have existed in this weak
world. Religious asceticism, being the refusal of pleasure and knowledge
for the sake (as supposed) of religion; seen chiefly in the middle ages.
Military asceticism, being the refusal of pleasure and knowledge for the
sake of power; seen chiefly in the early days of Sparta and Rome. And
monetary asceticism, consisting in the refusal of pleasure and knowledge
for the sake of money; seen in the present days of London and

"We do not come here to look at the mountains," said the Carthusian to
me at the Grande Chartreuse. "We do not come here to look at the
mountains," the Austrian generals would say, encamping by the shores of
Garda. "We do not come here to look at the mountains," so the thriving
manufacturers tell me, between Rochdale and Halifax.

§ 18. All these asceticisms have their bright, and their dark sides. I
myself like the military asceticism best, because it is not so
necessarily a refusal of general knowledge as the two others, but leads
to acute and marvellous use of mind, and perfect use of body.
Nevertheless, none of the three are a healthy or central state of man.
There is much to be respected in each, but they are not what we should
wish large numbers of men to become. A monk of La Trappe, a French
soldier of the Imperial Guard, and a thriving mill-owner, supposing each
a type, and no more than a type, of his class, are all interesting
specimens of humanity, but narrow ones,--so narrow that even all the
three together would not make a perfect man. Nor does it appear in any
way desirable that either of the three classes should extend itself so
as to include a majority of the persons in the world, and turn large
cities into mere groups of monastery, barracks, or factory. I do not say
that it may not be desirable that one city, or one country, sacrificed
for the good of the rest, should become a mass of barracks or factories.
Perhaps, it may be well that this England should become the furnace of
the world; so that the smoke of the island, rising out of the sea,
should be seen from a hundred leagues away, as if it were a field of
fierce volcanoes; and every kind of sordid, foul, or venomous work which
in other countries men dreaded or disdained, it should become England's
duty to do,--becoming thus the off-scourer of the earth, and taking the
hyena instead of the lion upon her shield. I do not, for a moment, deny
this; but, looking broadly, not at the destiny of England, nor of any
country in particular, but of the world, this is certain--that men
exclusively occupied either in spiritual reverie, mechanical
destruction, or mechanical productiveness, fall below the proper
standard of their race, and enter into a lower form of being; and that
the true perfection of the race, and, therefore, its power and
happiness, are only to be attained by a life which is neither
speculative nor productive; but essentially contemplative and
protective, which (A) does not lose itself in the monk's vision or hope,
but delights in seeing present and real things as they truly are; which
(B) does not mortify itself for the sake of obtaining powers of
destruction, but seeks the more easily attainable powers of affection,
observance, and protection; which (C), finally, does not mortify itself
with a view to productive accumulation, but delights itself in peace,
with its appointed portion. So that the things to be desired for man in
a healthy state, are that he should not see dreams, but realities; that
he should not destroy life, but save it; and that he should be not rich,
but content.

§ 19. Towards which last state of contentment, I do not see that the
world is at present approximating. There are, indeed, two forms of
discontent: one laborious, the other indolent and complaining. We
respect the man of laborious desire, but let us not suppose that his
restlessness is peace, or his ambition meekness. It is because of the
special connection of meekness with contentment that it is promised that
the meek shall "inherit the earth." Neither covetous men, nor the Grave,
can inherit anything;[6] they can but consume. Only contentment can

§ 20. The most helpful and sacred work, therefore, which can at present
be done for humanity, is to teach people (chiefly by example, as all
best teaching must be done) not how "to better themselves," but how to
"satisfy themselves." It is the curse of every evil nation and evil
creature to eat, and _not_ be satisfied. The words of blessing are, that
they shall eat and be satisfied. And as there is only one kind of water
which quenches all thirst, so there is only one kind of bread which
satisfies all hunger, the bread of justice or righteousness; which
hungering after, men shall always be filled, that being the bread of
Heaven; but hungering after the bread, or wages, of unrighteousness,
shall not be filled, that being the bread of Sodom.

§ 21. And, in order to teach men how to be satisfied, it is necessary
fully to understand the art and joy of humble life,--this, at present,
of all arts or sciences being the one most needing study. Humble
life--that is to say, proposing to itself no future exaltation, but only
a sweet continuance; not excluding the idea of foresight, but wholly of
fore-sorrow, and taking no troublous thought for coming days: so, also,
not excluding the idea of providence, or provision,[7] but wholly of
accumulation;--the life of domestic affection and domestic peace, full
of sensitiveness to all elements of costless and kind
pleasure;--therefore, chiefly to the loveliness of the natural world.

§ 22. What length and severity of labor may be ultimately found
necessary for the procuring of the due comforts of life, I do not know;
neither what degree of refinement it is possible to unite with the
so-called servile occupations of life: but this I know, that right
economy of labor will, as it is understood, assign to each man as much
as will be healthy for him, and no more; and that no refinements are
desirable which cannot be connected with toil.

I say, first, that due economy of labor will assign to each man the
share which is right. Let no technical labor be wasted on things useless
or unpleasurable;[8] and let all physical exertion, so far as possible,
be utilized, and it will be found no man need ever work more than is
good for him. I believe an immense gain in the bodily health and
happiness of the upper classes would follow on their steadily
endeavoring, however clumsily, to make the physical exertion they now
necessarily take in amusements, definitely serviceable. It would be far
better, for instance, that a gentleman should mow his own fields, than
ride over other people's.

§ 23. Again, respecting degrees of possible refinement, I cannot yet
speak positively, because no effort has yet been made to teach refined
habits to persons of simple life.

The idea of such refinement has been made to appear absurd, partly by
the foolish ambition of vulgar persons in low life, but more by the
worse than foolish assumption, acted on so often by modern advocates of
improvement, that "education" means teaching Latin, or algebra, or
music, or drawing, instead of developing or "drawing out" the human

It may not be the least necessary that a peasant should know algebra, or
Greek, or drawing. But it may, perhaps, be both possible and expedient
that he should be able to arrange his thoughts clearly, to speak his own
language intelligibly, to discern between right and wrong, to govern his
passions, and to receive such pleasures of ear or sight as his life may
render accessible to him. I would not have him taught the science of
music; but most assuredly I would have him taught to sing. I would not
teach him the science of drawing; but certainly I would teach him to
see; without learning a single term of botany, he should know accurately
the habits and uses of every leaf and flower in his fields; and
unencumbered by any theories of moral or political philosophy, he should
help his neighbor, and disdain a bribe.

§ 24. Many most valuable conclusions respecting the degree of nobleness
and refinement which may be attained in servile or in rural life may be
arrived at by a careful study of the noble writings of Blitzius
(Jeremias Gotthelf), which contain a record of Swiss character not less
valuable in its fine truth than that which Scott has left of the
Scottish. I know no ideal characters of women, whatever their station,
more majestic than that of Freneli (in Ulric le Valet de Ferme, and
Ulric le Fermier); or of Elise, in the Tour de Jacob; nor any more
exquisitely tender and refined than that of Aenneli in the Fromagerie
and Aenneli in the Miroir des Paysans.[9]

§ 25. How far this simple and useful pride, this delicate innocence,
might be adorned, or how far destroyed, by higher intellectual education
in letters or the arts, cannot be known without other experience than
the charity of men has hitherto enabled us to acquire.

All effort in social improvement is paralyzed, because no one has been
bold or clear-sighted enough to put and press home this radical
question: "What is indeed the noblest tone and reach of life for men;
and how can the possibility of it be extended to the greatest numbers?"
It is answered, broadly and rashly, that wealth is good; that knowledge
is good; that art is good; that luxury is good. Whereas none of them are
good in the abstract, but good only if rightly received. Nor have any
steps whatever been yet securely taken,--nor, otherwise than in the
resultless rhapsody of moralists,--to ascertain what luxuries and what
learning it is either kind to bestow, or wise to desire. This, however,
at least we know, shown clearly by the history of all time, that the
arts and sciences, ministering to the pride of nations, have invariably
hastened their ruin; and this, also, without venturing to say that I
know, I nevertheless firmly believe, that the same arts and sciences
will tend as distinctly to exalt the strength and quicken the soul of
every nation which employs them to increase the comfort of lowly life,
and grace with happy intelligence the unambitious courses of honorable

Thus far, then, of the Rose.

§ 26. Last, of the Worm.

I said that Turner painted the labor of men, their sorrow, and their
death. This he did nearly in the same tones of mind which prompted
Byron's poem of Childe Harold, and the loveliest result of his art, in
the central period of it, was an effort to express on a single canvas
the meaning of that poem. It may be now seen, by strange coincidence,
associated with two others--Caligula's Bridge and the Apollo and Sibyl;
the one illustrative of the vanity of human labor, the other of the
vanity of human life.[10] He painted these, as I said, in the same tone
of mind which formed the Childe Harold poem, but with different
capacity: Turner's sense of beauty was perfect; deeper, therefore, far
than Byron's; only that of Keats and Tennyson being comparable with it.
And Turner's love of truth was as stern and patient as Dante's; so that
when over these great capacities come the shadows of despair, the wreck
is infinitely sterner and more sorrowful. With no sweet home for his
childhood,--friendless in youth,--loveless in manhood,--and hopeless in
death, Turner was what Dante might have been, without the "bello ovile,"
without Casella, without Beatrice, and without Him who gave them all,
and took them all away.

§ 27. I will trace this state of his mind farther, in a little while.
Meantime, I want you to note only the result upon his work;--how,
through all the remainder of his life, wherever he looked, he saw ruin.

Ruin, and twilight. What was the distinctive effect of light which he
introduced, such as no man had painted before? Brightness, indeed, he
gave, as we have seen, because it was true and right; but in this he
only perfected what others had attempted. His own favorite light is not
Æglé, but Hesperid Æglé. Fading of the last rays of sunset. Faint
breathing of the sorrow of night.

§ 28. And fading of sunset, note also, on ruin. I cannot but wonder that
this difference between Turner's work and previous art-conception has
not been more observed. None of the great early painters draw ruins,
except compulsorily. The shattered buildings introduced by them are
shattered artificially, like models. There is no real sense of decay;
whereas Turner only momentarily dwells on anything else than ruin. Take
up the Liber Studiorum, and observe how this feeling of decay and
humiliation gives solemnity to all its simplest subjects; even to his
view of daily labor. I have marked its tendency in examining the design
of the Mill and Lock, but observe its continuance through the book.
There is no exultation in thriving city, or mart, or in happy rural
toil, or harvest gathering. Only the grinding at the mill, and patient
striving with hard conditions of life. Observe the two disordered and
poor farm-yards, cart, and ploughshare, and harrow rotting away; note
the pastoral by the brook side, with its neglected stream, and haggard
trees, and bridge with the broken rail, and decrepit
children--fever-struck--one sitting stupidly by the stagnant stream; the
other in rags, and with an old man's hat on, and lame, leaning on a
stick. Then the "Hedging and ditching," with its bleak sky and blighted
trees--hacked, and bitten, and starved by the clay soil into something
between trees and firewood; its meanly-faced, sickly laborers--pollard
laborers, like the willow trunk they hew; and the slatternly
peasant-woman, with worn cloak and battered bonnet--an English Dryad.
Then the Water-mill, beyond the fallen steps overgrown with the thistle:
itself a ruin, mud-built at first, now propped on both sides;--the
planks torn from its cattle-shed; a feeble beam, splintered at the end,
set against the dwelling-house from the ruined pier of the watercourse;
the old millstone--useless for many a day--half buried in slime, at the
bottom of the wall; the listless children, listless dog, and the poor
gleaner bringing her single sheaf to be ground. Then the "Peat bog,"
with its cold, dark rain, and dangerous labor. And last and chief, the
mill in the valley of the Chartreuse. Another than Turner would have
painted the convent; but he had no sympathy with the hope, no mercy for
the indolence of the monk. He painted the mill in the valley. Precipice
overhanging it, and wildness of dark forest round; blind rage and
strength of mountain torrent rolled beneath it,--calm sunset above, but
fading from the glen, leaving it to its roar of passionate waters and
sighing of pine-branches in the night.

§ 29. Such is his view of human labor. Of human pride, see what records.
Morpeth tower, roofless and black; gate of old Winchelsea wall, the
flock of sheep driven _round_ it, not through it; and Rievaulx choir,
and Kirkstall crypt; and Dunstanborough, wan above the sea; and
Chepstow, with arrowy light through traceried windows; and Lindisfarne,
with failing height of wasted shaft and wall; and last and sweetest,
Raglan, in utter solitude, amidst the wild wood of its own pleasance;
the towers rounded with ivy, and the forest roots choked with
undergrowth, and the brook languid amidst lilies and sedges. Legends of
gray knights and enchanted ladies keeping the woodman's children away at
the sunset.

These are his types of human pride. Of human love: Procris, dying by the
arrow; Hesperie, by the viper's fang; and Rizpah, more than dead, beside
her children.

§ 30. Such are the lessons of the Liber Studiorum. Silent always with a
bitter silence, disdaining to tell his meaning, when he saw there was no
ear to receive it, Turner only indicated this purpose by slight words of
contemptuous anger, when he heard of any one's trying to obtain this or
the other separate subject as more beautiful than the rest. "What is the
use of them," he said, "but together?"[11] The meaning of the entire
book was symbolized in the frontispiece, which he engraved with his own
hand: Tyre at sunset, with the Rape of Europa, indicating the symbolism
of the decay of Europe by that of Tyre, its beauty passing away into
terror and judgment (Europa being the mother of Minos and

[Illustration: J. M. W. Turner   J. H. Le Keux

82. The Nets in the Rapids.]

[Illustration: 83. The Bridge of Rheinfelden.]

§ 31. I need not trace the dark clue farther, the reader may follow it
unbroken through all his work and life, this thread of Atropos.[13] I
will only point, in conclusion, to the intensity with which his
imagination dwelt always on the three great cities of Carthage,
Rome, and Venice--Carthage in connection especially with the thoughts
and study which led to the painting of the Hesperides' Garden, showing
the death which attends the vain pursuit of wealth; Rome, showing the
death which attends the vain pursuit of power; Venice, the death which
attends the vain pursuit of beauty.

How strangely significative, thus understood, those last Venetian dreams
of his become, themselves so beautiful and so frail; wrecks of all that
they were once--twilights of twilight!

§ 32. Vain beauty; yet not all in vain. Unlike in birth, how like in
their labor, and their power over the future, these masters of England
and Venice--Turner and Giorgione. But ten years ago, I saw the last
traces of the greatest works of Giorgione yet glowing, like a scarlet
cloud, on the Fondaco de Tedeschi.[14] And though that scarlet cloud
(sanguigna e fiammeggiante, per cui le pitture cominciarono con dolce
violenza a rapire il cuore delle genti) may, indeed, melt away into
paleness of night, and Venice herself waste from her islands as a wreath
of wind-driven foam fades from their weedy beach;--that which she won of
faithful light and truth shall never pass away. Deiphobe of the
sea,--the Sun God measures her immortality to her by its sand. Flushed,
above the Avernus of the Adrian lake, her spirit is still seen holding
the golden bough; from the lips of the Sea Sibyl men shall learn for
ages yet to come what is most noble and most fair; and, far away, as the
whisper in the coils of the shell, withdrawn through the deep hearts of
nations, shall sound for ever the enchanted voice of Venice.

[Illustration: 84. Peace.]

[Illustration: 68. Monte Rosa. Sunset.]


  [1] There is a very wonderful, and almost deceptive, imitation of
    sunlight by Rubens at Berlin. It falls through broken clouds upon
    angels, the flesh being chequered with sunlight and shade.

  [2] Not, accurately speaking, shadow, but dark side. All shadow
    proper is negative in color, but, generally, reflected light is
    warmer than direct light; and when the direct light is warm, pure,
    and of the highest intensity, its reflection is scarlet. Turner
    habitually, in his later sketches, used vermilion for his pen outline
    in effects of sun.

  [3] The following collected system of the various statements made
    respecting color in different parts of my works may be useful to the

    1st. Abstract color is of far less importance than abstract form
    (vol. i. chap. v.); that is to say, if it could rest in our choice
    whether we would carve like Phidias (supposing Phidias had never used
    color), or arrange the colors of a shawl like Indians, there is no
    question as to which power we ought to choose. The difference of rank
    is vast; there is no way of estimating or measuring it.

    So, again, if it rest in our choice whether we will be great in
    invention of form, to be expressed only by light and shade, as Durer,
    or great in invention and application of color, caring only for
    ungainly form, as Bassano, there is still no question. Try to be
    Durer, of the two. So again, if we have to give an account or
    description of anything--if it be an object of high interest--its
    form will be always what we should first tell. Neither leopard spots
    nor partridge's signify primarily in describing either beast or bird.
    But teeth and feathers do.

    2. Secondly. Though color is of less importance than form, if you
    introduce it at all, it must be right.

    People often speak of the Roman school as if it were greater than the
    Venetian, because its color is "subordinate."

    Its color is not subordinate. It is BAD.

    If you paint colored objects, you must either paint them rightly or
    wrongly. There is no other choice. You may introduce as little color
    as you choose--a mere tint of rose in a chalk drawing, for instance;
    or pale hues generally--as Michael Angelo in the Sistine Chapel. All
    such work implies feebleness or imperfection, but not necessarily
    error. But if you paint with full color, as Raphael and Leonardo, you
    must either be true or false. If true, you will paint like a
    Venetian. If false, your form, supremely beautiful, may draw the
    attention of the spectator from the false color, or induce him to
    pardon it--and, if ill-taught, even to like it; but your picture is
    none the greater for that. Had Leonardo and Raphael colored like
    Giorgione, their work would have been greater, not less, than it is

    3. To color perfectly is the rarest and most precious (technical)
    power an artist can possess. There have been only seven supreme
    colorists among the true painters whose works exist (namely,
    Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoret, Correggio, Reynolds, and
    Turner); but the names of great designers, including sculptors,
    architects, and metal-workers, are multitudinous. Also, if you can
    color perfectly, you are sure to be able to do everything else if you
    like. There never yet was colorist who could not draw; but faculty of
    perceiving form may exist alone. I believe, however, it will be found
    ultimately that the _perfect_ gifts of color and form always go
    together. Titian's form is nobler than Durer's, and more subtle; nor
    have I any doubt but that Phidias could have painted as nobly as he
    carved. But when the powers are not supreme, the wisest men usually
    neglect the color-gift, and develope that of form.

    I have not thought it worth while at present to enter into any
    examination of the construction of Turner's color system, because the
    public is at present so unconscious of the meaning and nature of
    color that they would not know what I was talking of. The more than
    ludicrous folly of the system of modern water-color painting, in
    which it is assumed that every hue in the drawing may be beneficially
    washed into every other, must prevent, as long as it influences the
    popular mind, even incipient inquiry respecting color-art. But for
    help of any solitary and painstaking student, it may be noted that
    Turner's color is founded more on Correggio and Bassano than on the
    central Venetians; it involves a more tender and constant reference
    to light and shade than that of Veronese; and a more sparkling and
    gem-like lustre than that of Titian. I dislike using a technical word
    which has been disgraced by affectation, but there is no other word
    to signify what I mean in saying that Turner's color has, to the
    full, Correggio's "morbidezza," including also, in due place,
    conditions of mosaic effect, like that of the colors in an Indian
    design, unaccomplished by any previous master in painting; and a
    fantasy of inventive arrangement corresponding to that of Beethoven
    in music. In its concurrence with and expression of texture or
    construction of surfaces (as their bloom, lustre, or intricacy) it
    stands unrivalled--no still-life painting by any other master can
    stand for an instant beside Turner's, when his work is of life-size,
    as in his numerous studies of birds and their plumage. This
    "morbidezza" of color is associated, precisely as it was in
    Correggio, with an exquisite sensibility to fineness and intricacy of
    curvature: curvature, as already noticed in the second volume, being
    to lines what gradation is to colors. This subject, also, is too
    difficult and too little regarded by the public, to be entered upon
    here, but it must be observed that this quality of Turner's design,
    the one which of all is best expressible by engraving, has of all
    been least expressed, owing to the constant reduction or change of
    proportion in the plates. Publishers, of course, require generally
    their plates to be of one size (the plates in this book form an
    appalling exception to received practice in this respect); Turner
    always made his drawings longer or shorter by half an inch, or more,
    according to the subject; the engravers contracted or expanded them
    to fit the books, with utter destruction of the nature of every curve
    in the design. Mere reduction necessarily involves such loss to some
    extent; but the degree in which it probably involves it has been
    curiously exemplified by the 61st Plate in this volume, reduced from
    a pen-drawing of mine, 18 inches long. Fig. 101 is a facsimile of the
    hook and piece of drapery, in the foreground, in my drawing, which is
    very nearly true to the Turner curves: compare them with the curves
    either in Plate 61, or in the published engraving in the England
    series. The Plate opposite (80) is a portion of the foreground of the
    drawing of the Llanberis (England Series), also of its real size; and
    interesting as showing the grace of Turner's curvature even when he
    was drawing fastest. It is a hasty drawing throughout, and after
    finishing the rocks and water, being apparently a little tired, he
    has struck out the broken fence of the watering-place for the cattle
    with a few impetuous dashes of the hand. Yet the curvature and
    grouping of line are still perfectly tender. How far the passage
    loses by reduction, may be seen by a glance at the published

    [Illustration: FIG. 101.]

    4. Color, as stated in the text, is the purifying or sanctifying
    element of material beauty.

    If so, how less important than form? Because, on form depends
    existence; on color, only purity. Under the Levitical law, neither
    scarlet nor hyssop could purify the deformed. So, under all natural
    law, there must be rightly shaped members first; then sanctifying
    color and fire in them.

    Nevertheless, there are several great difficulties and oppositions of
    aspect in this matter, which I must try to reconcile now clearly and
    finally. As color is the type of Love, it resembles it in all its
    modes of operation; and in practical work of human hands, it sustains
    changes of worthiness precisely like those of human sexual love. That
    love, when true, faithful, well-fixed, is eminently the sanctifying
    element of human life: without it, the soul cannot reach its fullest
    height of holiness. But if shallow, faithless, misdirected, it is
    also one of the strongest corrupting and degrading elements of life.

    Between these base and lofty states of Love are the loveless states;
    some cold and horrible; others chaste, childish, or ascetic, bearing
    to careless thinkers the semblance of purity higher than that of

    So it is with the type of Love--color. Followed rashly, coarsely,
    untruly, for the mere pleasure of it, with no reverence, it becomes a
    temptation, and leads to corruption. Followed faithfully, with
    intense but reverent passion, it is the holiest of all aspects of
    material things.

    Between these two modes of pursuing it, come two modes of refusing
    it--one, dark and sensual; the other, statuesque and grave, having
    great aspect of nobleness.

    Thus we have, first, the coarse love of color, as a vulgar person's
    choice of gaudy hues in dress.

    Then, again, we have the base disdain of color, of which I have
    spoken at length elsewhere. Thus we have the lofty disdain of color,
    as in Durer's and Raphael's drawing: finally, the severest and
    passionate following of it, in Giorgione and Titian.

    5. Color is, more than all elements of art, the reward of veracity of
    purpose. This point respecting it I have not noticed before, and it
    is highly curious. We have just seen that in giving an account of
    anything for its own sake, the most important points are those of
    form. Nevertheless, the form of the object is its own attribute;
    special, not shared with other things. An error in giving an account
    of it does not necessarily involve wider error.

    But its color is partly its own, partly shared with other things
    round it. The hue and power of all broad sunlight is involved in the
    color it has cast upon this single thing; to falsify that color, is
    to misrepresent and break the harmony of the day: also, by what color
    it bears, this single object is altering hues all round it;
    reflecting its own into them, displaying them by opposition,
    softening them by repetition; one falsehood in color in one place,
    implies a thousand in the neighborhood. Hence, there are peculiar
    penalties attached to falsehood in color, and peculiar rewards
    granted to veracity in it. Form may be attained in perfectness by
    painters who, in their course of study, are continually altering or
    idealizing it; but only the sternest fidelity will reach coloring.
    Idealize or alter in that, and you are lost. Whether you alter by
    abasing, or exaggerating,--by glare or by decline, one fate is for
    you--ruin. Violate truth wilfully in the slightest particular, or, at
    least, get into the habit of violating it, and all kinds of failure
    and error will surround and haunt you to your fall.

    Therefore, also, as long as you are working with form only, you may
    amuse yourself with fancies; but color is sacred--in that you must
    keep to facts. Hence the apparent anomaly that the only schools of
    color are the schools of Realism. The men who care for form only, may
    drift about in dreams of Spiritualism; but a colorist must keep to
    substance. The greater his power in color enchantment, the more stern
    and constant will be his common sense. Fuseli may wander wildly among
    gray spectra, but Reynolds and Gainsborough must stay in broad
    daylight, with pure humanity. Velasquez, the greatest colorist, is
    the most accurate portrait painter of Spain; Holbein, the most
    accurate portrait painter, is the only colorist of Germany; and even
    Tintoret had to sacrifice some of the highest qualities of his color
    before he could give way to the flights of wayward though mighty
    imagination, in which his mind rises or declines from the royal calm
    of Titian.

  [4] Compare the deaths of Jehoram, Herod, and Judas.

  [5] Thus, the railroad bridge over the Fall of Schaffhausen, and that
    round the Clarens shore of the lake of Geneva, have destroyed the
    power of two pieces of scenery of which nothing can ever supply the
    place, in appeal to the higher ranks of European mind.

  [6] "There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four
    things say not, it is enough: the grave; and the barren womb; the
    earth that is not filled with water; and the fire, that saith not, It
    is enough!"

  [7] A bad word, being only "foresight" again in Latin; but we have no
    other good English word for the sense into which it has been warped.

  [8] I cannot repeat too often (for it seems almost impossible to
    arouse the public mind in the least to a sense of the fact) that the
    root of all benevolent and helpful action towards the lower classes
    consists in the wise direction of purchase; that is to say, in
    spending money, as far as possible, only for products of healthful
    and natural labor. All work with fire is more or less harmful and
    degrading; so also mine, or machine labor. They at present develope
    more intelligence than rural labor, but this is only because no
    education, properly so called, being given to the lower classes,
    those occupations are best for them which compel them to attain some
    accurate knowledge, discipline them in presence of mind, and bring
    them within spheres in which they may raise themselves to positions
    of command. Properly taught, a ploughman ought to be more
    intelligent, as well as more healthy, than a miner.

    Every nation which desires to ennoble itself should endeavor to
    maintain as large a number of persons as possible by rural and
    maritime labor (including fishing). I cannot in this place enter into
    consideration of the relative advantages of different channels of
    industry. Any one who sincerely desires to act upon such knowledge
    will find no difficulty in obtaining it.

    I have also several series of experiments and inquiries to undertake
    before I shall be able to speak with security on certain points
    connected with education; but I have no doubt that every child in a
    civilized country should be taught the first principles of natural
    history, physiology, and medicine; also to sing perfectly, so far as
    it has capacity, and to draw any definite form accurately to any

    These things it should be taught by requiring its attendance at
    school not more than three hours a day, and less if possible (the
    best part of children's education being in helping their parents and
    families). The other elements of its instruction ought to have
    respect to the trade by which it is to live.

    Modern systems of improvement are too apt to confuse the recreation
    of the workman with his education. He should be educated for his work
    before he is allowed to undertake it; and refreshed and relieved
    while he practises it.

    Every effort should be made to induce the adoption of a national
    costume. Cleanliness and neatness in dress ought always to be
    rewarded by some gratification of personal pride; and it is the
    peculiar virtue of a national costume that it fosters and gratifies
    the wish to look well, without inducing the desire to look better
    than one's neighbors--or the hope, peculiarly English, of being
    mistaken for a person in a higher position of life. A costume may
    indeed become coquettish, but rarely indecent or vulgar; and though a
    French bonne or Swiss farm-girl may dress so as sufficiently to
    mortify her equals, neither of them ever desires or expects to be
    mistaken for her mistress.

  [9] This last book should be read carefully by all persons interested
    in social questions. It is sufficiently dull as a tale, but is
    characterized throughout by a restrained tragic power of the highest
    order; and it would be worth reading, were it only for the story of
    Aenneli, and for the last half page of its close.

  [10] "The Cumæan Sibyl, Deiphobe, was, in her youth, beloved by
    Apollo; who, promising to grant her whatever she would ask, she took
    up a handful of earth, and asked that she might live as many years as
    there were grains of dust in her hand. She obtained her petition.
    Apollo would have granted her perpetual youth in return for her love,
    but she denied him, and wasted into the long ages--known, at last,
    only by her voice."--(See my notes on the Turner Gallery.)

  [11] Turner appears never to have desired, from any one, care in
    favor of his separate works. The only thing he would say sometimes
    was, "Keep them together." He seemed not to mind how much they were
    injured, if only the record of the thought were left in them, and
    they were kept in the series which would give the key to their
    meaning. I never saw him, at my father's house, look for an instant
    at any of his own drawings: I have watched him sitting at dinner
    nearly opposite one of his chief pictures--his eyes never turned to

    But the want of appreciation, nevertheless, touched him sorely;
    chiefly the not understanding his meaning. He tried hard one day for
    a quarter of an hour to make me guess what he was doing in the
    picture of Napoleon, before it had been exhibited, giving me hint
    after hint in a rough way; but I could not guess, and he would not
    tell me.

  [12] I limit myself in this book to mere indication of the tones of
    his mind, illustration of them at any length being as yet impossible.
    It will be found on examining the series of drawings made by Turner
    during the late years of his life, in possession of the nation, that
    they are nearly all made for the sake of some record of human power,
    partly victorious, partly conquered. There is hardly a single example
    of landscape painted for its own abstract beauty. Power and
    desolation, or soft pensiveness, are the elements sought chiefly in
    landscape; hence the later sketches are nearly all among mountain
    scenery, and chiefly of fortresses, villages or bridges and roads
    among the wildest Alps. The pass of the St. Gothard, especially, from
    his earliest days, had kept possession of his mind, not as a piece of
    mountain scenery, but as a marvellous road; and the great drawing
    which I have tried to illustrate with some care in this book, the
    last he made of the Alps with unfailing energy, was wholly made to
    show the surviving of this tormented path through avalanche and
    storm, from the day when he first drew its two bridges, in the Liber
    Studiorum. Plate 81, which is the piece of the torrent bed on the
    left, of the real size, where the stones of it appear just on the
    point of being swept away, and the ground we stand upon with them,
    completes the series of illustrations of this subject, for the
    present, sufficiently; and, if compared with Plate 80, will be
    serviceable, also, in showing how various in its grasp and its
    delight was this strange human mind, capable of all patience and all
    energy, and perfect in its sympathy, whether with wrath or quietness.
    Though lingering always with chief affection about the St. Gothard
    pass, he seems to have gleaned the whole of Switzerland for every
    record he could find of grand human effort of any kind; I do not
    believe there is one baronial tower, one shattered arch of Alpine
    bridge, one gleaming tower of decayed village or deserted monastery,
    which he has not drawn; in many cases, round and round, again and
    again, on every side. Now that I have done this work, I purpose, if
    life and strength are spared to me, to trace him through these last
    journeys, and take such record of his best-beloved places as may
    fully interpret the designs he left. I have given in the three
    following plates an example of the kind of work which needs doing,
    and which, as stated in the preface, I have partly already begun.
    Plate 82 represents roughly two of Turner's memoranda of a bridge
    over the Rhine. They are quite imperfectly represented, because I do
    not choose to take any trouble about them on this scale. If I can
    engrave them at all, it must be of their own size; but they are
    enough to give an idea of the way he used to walk round a place,
    taking sketch after sketch of its aspects, from every point or
    half-point of the compass. There are three other sketches of this
    bridge, far more detailed than these, in the National Gallery.

    A scratched word on the back of one of them, "Rheinfels," which I
    knew could not apply to the Rheinfels near Bingen, gave me the clue
    to the place;--an old Swiss town, seventeen miles above Basle,
    celebrated in Swiss history as the main fortress defending the
    frontier toward the Black Forest. I went there the moment I had got
    Turner's sketches arranged in 1858, and drew it with the pen (or
    point of brush, more difficult to manage, but a better instrument) on
    every side on which Turner had drawn it, giving every detail with
    servile accuracy, so as to show the exact modifications he made as he
    composed his subjects. Mr. Le Keux has beautifully copied two of
    these studies, Plates 83 and 84; the first of these is the bridge
    drawn from the spot whence Turner made his upper memorandum;
    afterwards, he went down close to the fishing house, and took the
    second; in which he unhesitatingly divides the Rhine by a strong
    pyramidal rock, in order to get a group of firm lines pointing to his
    main subject, the tower (compare § 12, p. 170, above); and throws a
    foaming mass of water away to the left, in order to give a better
    idea of the river's force; the modifications of form in the tower
    itself are all skilful and majestic in the highest degree. The
    throwing the whole of it higher than the bridge, taking off the peak
    from its gable on the left, and adding the little roof-window in the
    centre, make it a perfectly noble mass, instead of a broken and
    common one. I have added the other subject, Plate 84,--though I could
    not give the Turner drawing which it illustrates,--merely to show the
    kind of scene which modern ambition and folly are destroying
    throughout Switzerland. In Plate 83, a small dark tower is seen in
    the distance, just on the left of the tower of the bridge. Getting
    round nearly to the foot of it, on the outside of the town, and then
    turning back so as to put the town walls on your right, you may, I
    hope, still see the subject of the third plate; the old bridge over
    the moat, and older wall and towers; the stork's nest on the top of
    the nearest one; the moat itself, now nearly filled with softest
    grass and flowers; a little mountain brook rippling down through the
    midst of them, and the first wooded promontory of the Jura beyond.
    Had Rheinfelden been a place of the least mark, instead of a nearly
    ruinous village, it is just this spot of ground which, costing little
    or nothing, would have been made its railroad station, and its
    refreshment-room would have been built out of the stones of the

  [13] I have not followed out, as I ought to have done, had the task
    been less painful, my assertion that Turner had to paint not only the
    labor and the sorrow of men, but their death. There is no form of
    violent death which he has not painted. Pre-eminent in many things,
    he is pre-eminent also, bitterly, in this. Durer and Holbein drew the
    skeleton in its questioning; but Turner, like Salvator, as under some
    strange fascination or captivity, drew it at its work. Flood, and
    fire, and wreck, and battle, and pestilence; and solitary death, more
    fearful still. The noblest of all the plates of the Liber Studiorum,
    except the Via Mala, is one engraved with his own hand, of a single
    sailor, yet living, dashed in the night against a granite coast,--his
    body and outstretched hands just seen in the trough of a mountain
    wave, between it and the overhanging wall of rock, hollow, polished,
    and pale with dreadful cloud and grasping foam.

    And remember, also, that the very sign in heaven itself which, truly
    understood, is the type of love, was to Turner the type of death. The
    scarlet of the clouds was his symbol of destruction. In his mind it
    was the color of blood. So he used it in the Fall of Carthage. Note
    his own written words--

      "While o'er the western wave the _ensanguined_ sun,
       In gathering huge a stormy signal spread,
       And set portentous."

    So he used it in the Slaver, in the Ulysses, in the Napoleon, in the
    Goldau; again and again in slighter hints and momentary dreams, of
    which one of the saddest and most tender is a little sketch of dawn,
    made in his last years. It is a small space of level sea shore;
    beyond it a fair, soft light in the east; the last storm-clouds
    melting away, oblique into the morning air; some little vessel--a
    collier, probably--has gone down in the night, all hands lost; a
    single dog has come ashore. Utterly exhausted, its limbs failing
    under it, and, sinking into the sand, it stands howling and
    shivering. The dawn-clouds have the first scarlet upon them, a feeble
    tinge only, reflected with the same feeble blood-stain on the sand.

    The morning light is used with a loftier significance in a drawing
    made as a companion to the Goldau, engraved in the fourth volume. The
    Lake of Zug, which ripples beneath the sunset in the Goldau, is
    lulled in the level azure of early cloud; and the spire of Aart,
    which is there a dark point at the edge of the golden lake, is, in
    the opening light, seen pale against purple mountains. The sketches
    for these two subjects were, I doubt not, made from the actual
    effects of a stormy evening, and the next following daybreak; but
    both with earnest meaning. The crimson sunset lights the valley of
    rock tombs, cast upon it by the fallen Rossberg; but the sunrise
    gilds with its level rays the two peaks which protect the village
    that gives name to Switzerland; and the orb itself breaks first
    through the darkness on the very point of the pass to the high lake
    of Egeri, where the liberties of the cantons were won by the
    battle-charge of Morgarten.

  [14] I have engraved, at the beginning of this chapter, one of the
    fragments of these frescos, preserved, all imperfectly indeed, yet
    with some feeling of their nobleness, by Zanetti, whose words
    respecting them I have quoted in the text. The one I saw was the
    first figure given in his book; the one engraved in my Plate, the
    third, had wholly perished; but even this record of it by Zanetti is
    precious. What imperfections of form exist in it, too visibly, are
    certainly less Giorgione's than the translator's; nevertheless, for
    these very faults, as well as for its beauty, I have chosen it, as
    the best type I could give of the strength of Venetian art; which was
    derived, be it remembered always, from the acceptance of natural
    truth, by men who loved beauty too well to think she was to be won by

    The words of Zanetti himself respecting Giorgione's figure of
    Diligence are of great value, as they mark this first article of
    Venetian faith: "Giorgione per tale, o per altra che vi fosse,
    contrassegnolla con quella spezie di mannaja che tiene in mano; per
    altro tanto ci cercava le sole bellezze della natura, che poco
    pensando al costume, ritrasse qui una di quelle donne Friulane, che
    vengono per servire in Venezia; non alterandone nemmeno l'abito, è
    facendola alquanto attempata, quale forse ci la vedea; senza voler
    sapere che per rappresentare le Virtù, si suole da pittori belle è
    fresche giovani immaginare."

    Compare with this what I have said of Titian's Magdalen. I ought in
    that place to have dwelt also upon the firm endurance of all
    terribleness which is marked in Titian's "Notomie" and in Veronese's
    "Marsyas." In order to understand the Venetian mind entirely, the
    student should place a plate from that series of the Notomie always
    beside the best engraving he can obtain of Titian's "Flora."

    My impression is that the ground of the flesh in these Giorgione
    frescos had been pure vermilion; little else was left in the figure I
    saw. Therefore, not knowing what power the painter intended to
    personify by the figure at the commencement of this chapter, I have
    called her, from her glowing color, Hesperid Æglé.



§ 1. Looking back over what I have written, I find that I have only now
the power of ending this work; it being time that it should end, but not
of "concluding" it; for it has led me into fields of infinite inquiry,
where it is only possible to break off with such imperfect result as
may, at any given moment, have been attained.

Full of far deeper reverence for Turner's art than I felt when this task
of his defence was undertaken (which may, perhaps, be evidenced by my
having associated no other names with his--but of the dead,--in my
speaking of him throughout this volume),[1] I am more in doubt
respecting the real use to mankind of that, or any other transcendent
art; incomprehensible as it must always be to the mass of men. Full of
far deeper love for what I remember of Turner himself, as I become
better capable of understanding it, I find myself more and more helpless
to explain his errors and his sins.

§ 2. His errors, I might say, simply. Perhaps, some day, people will
again begin to remember the force of the old Greek word for sin; and to
learn that all sin is in essence--"Missing the mark;" losing sight or
consciousness of heaven; and that this loss may be various in its guilt:
it cannot be judged by us. It is this of which the words are spoken so
sternly, "Judge not;" which words people always quote, I observe, when
they are called upon to "do judgment and justice." For it is truly a
pleasant thing to condemn men for their wanderings; but it is a bitter
thing to acknowledge a truth, or to take any bold share in working out
an equity. So that the habitual modern practical application of the
precept, "Judge not," is to avoid the trouble of pronouncing verdict, by
taking, of any matter, the pleasantest malicious view which first comes
to hand; and to obtain licence for our own convenient iniquities, by
being indulgent to those of others.

These two methods of obedience being just the two which are most
directly opposite to the law of mercy and truth.

§ 3. "Bind them about thy neck." I said, but now, that of an evil tree
men never gathered good fruit. And the lesson we have finally to learn
from Turner's life is broadly this, that all the power of it came of its
mercy and sincerity; all the failure of it, from its want of faith. It
has been asked of me, by several of his friends, that I should endeavor
to do some justice to his character, mistaken wholly by the world. If my
life is spared, I will. But that character is still, in many respects,
inexplicable to me; the materials within my reach are imperfect; and my
experience in the world not yet large enough to enable me to use them
justly. His life is to be written by a biographer, who will, I believe,
spare no pains in collecting the few scattered records which exist of a
career so uneventful and secluded. I will not anticipate the conclusions
of this writer; but if they appear to me just, will endeavor afterwards,
so far as may be in my power, to confirm and illustrate them; and, if
unjust, to show in what degree.

§ 4. Which, lest death or illness should forbid me, this only I declare
now of what I know respecting Turner's character. Much of his mind and
heart I do not know;--perhaps, never shall know. But this much I do; and
if there is anything in the previous course of this work to warrant
trust in me of any kind, let me be trusted when I tell you, that Turner
had a heart as intensely kind, and as nobly true, as ever God gave to
one of his creatures. I offer, as yet, no evidence in this matter. When
I _do_ give it, it shall be sifted and clear. Only this one fact I now
record joyfully and solemnly, that, having known Turner for ten years,
and that during the period of his life when the brightest qualities of
his mind were, in many respects, diminished, and when he was suffering
most from the evil-speaking of the world, I never heard him say one
depreciating word of living man, or man's work; I never saw him look an
unkind or blameful look; I never knew him let pass, without some
sorrowful remonstrance, or endeavor at mitigation, a blameful word
spoken by another.

Of no man but Turner, whom I have ever known, could I say this. And of
this kindness and truth[2] came, I repeat, all his highest power. And
all his failure and error, deep and strange, came of his faithlessness.

Faithlessness, or despair, the despair which has been shown already
(Vol. III., chap. xvi.) to be characteristic of this present century,
and most sorrowfully manifested in its greatest men; but existing in an
infinitely more fatal form in the lower and general mind, reacting upon
those who ought to be its teachers.

§ 5. The form which the infidelity of England, especially, has taken,
is one hitherto unheard of in human history. No nation ever before
declared boldly, by print and word of mouth, that its religion was good
for show, but "would not work." Over and over again it has happened that
nations have denied their gods, but they denied them bravely. The Greeks
in their decline jested at their religion, and frittered it away in
flatteries and fine arts; the French refused theirs fiercely, tore down
their altars and brake their carven images. The question about God with
both these nations was still, even in their decline, fairly put, though
falsely answered. "Either there is or is not a Supreme Ruler; we
consider of it, declare there is not, and proceed accordingly." But we
English have put the matter in an entirely new light: "There _is_ a
Supreme Ruler, no question of it, only He cannot rule. His orders won't
work. He will be quite satisfied with euphonious and respectful
repetition of them. Execution would be too dangerous under existing
circumstances, which He certainly never contemplated."

I had no conception of the absolute darkness which has covered the
national mind in this respect, until I began to come into collision with
persons engaged in the study of economical and political questions. The
entire naïveté and undisturbed imbecility with which I found them
declare that the laws of the Devil were the only practicable ones, and
that the laws of God were merely a form of poetical language, passed all
that I had ever before heard or read of mortal infidelity. I knew the
fool had often said in his heart, there was _no_ God; but to hear him
say clearly out with his lips, "There is a foolish God," was something
which my art studies had not prepared me for. The French had indeed, for
a considerable time, hinted much of the meaning in the delicate and
compassionate blasphemy of their phrase "_le bon Dieu_," but had never
ventured to put it into more precise terms.

6. Now this form of unbelief in God is connected with, and necessarily
productive of, a precisely equal unbelief in man.

Co-relative with the assertion, "There is a foolish God," is the
assertion, "There is a brutish man." "As no laws but those of the Devil
are practicable in the world, so no impulses but those of the brute"
(says the modern political economist) "are appealable to in the world."
Faith, generosity, honesty, zeal, and self-sacrifice are poetical
phrases. None of these things can, in reality, be counted upon; there is
no truth in man which can be used as a moving or productive power. All
motive force in him is essentially brutish, covetous, or contentious.
His power is only power of prey: otherwise than the spider, he cannot
design; otherwise than the tiger, he cannot feed. This is the modern
interpretation of that embarrassing article of the Creed, "the communion
of saints."

7. It has always seemed very strange to me, not indeed that this creed
should have been adopted, it being the entirely necessary consequence of
the previous fundamental article;--but that no one should ever seem to
have any misgivings about it;--that, practically, no one had _seen_ how
strong work _was_ done by man; how either for hire, or for hatred, it
never had been done; and that no amount of pay had ever made a good
soldier, a good teacher, a good artist, or a good workman. You pay your
soldiers and sailors so many pence a day, at which rated sum one will do
good fighting for you; another, bad fighting. Pay as you will, the
entire goodness of the fighting depends, always, on its being done for
nothing; or rather, less than nothing, in the expectation of no pay but
death. Examine the work of your spiritual teachers, and you will find
the statistical law respecting them is, "The less pay, the better work."
Examine also your writers and artists: for ten pounds you shall have a
Paradise Lost, and for a plate of figs, a Durer drawing; but for a
million of money sterling, neither. Examine your men of science: paid by
starvation, Kepler will discover the laws of the orbs of heaven for
you;--and, driven out to die in the street, Swammerdam shall discover
the laws of life for you--such hard terms do they make with you, these
brutish men, who can only be had for hire.

§ 8. Neither is good work ever done for hatred, any more than hire--but
for love only. For love of their country, or their leader, or their
duty, men fight steadily; but for massacre and plunder, feebly. Your
signal, "England expects every man to do his duty," they will answer;
your signal of black flag and death's head, they will not answer. And
verily they will answer it no more in commerce than in battle. The cross
bones will not make a good shop-sign, you will find ultimately, any more
than a good battle-standard. Not the cross bones, but the cross.

§ 9. Now the practical result of this infidelity in man, is the utter
ignorance of all the ways of getting his right work out of him. From a
given quantity of human power and intellect, to produce the least
possible result, is a problem solved, nearly with mathematical
precision, by the present methods of the nation's economical procedure.
The power and intellect are enormous. With the best soldiers, at present
existing, we survive in battle, and but survive, because, by help of
Providence, a man whom we have kept all his life in command of a company
forces his way at the age of seventy so far up as to obtain permission
to save us, and die, unthanked. With the shrewdest thinkers in the
world, we have not yet succeeded in arriving at any national conviction
respecting the uses of life. And with the best artistical material in
the world, we spend millions of money in raising a building for our
Houses of Talk, of the delightfulness and utility of which (perhaps
roughly classing the Talk and its tabernacle together), posterity will,
I believe, form no very grateful estimate;--while for sheer want of
bread, we brought the question to the balance of a hair, whether the
most earnest of our young painters should give up his art altogether,
and go to Australia,--or fight his way through all neglect and obloquy
to the painting of the Christ in the Temple.

§ 10. The marketing was indeed done in this case, as in all others, on
the usual terms. For the millions of money, we got a mouldering toy: for
the starvation, five years'work of the prime of a noble life. Yet
neither that picture, great as it is, nor any other of Hunt's, are the
best he could have done. They are the least he could have done. By no
expedient could we have repressed him more than he has been repressed;
by no abnegation received from him less than we have received.

My dear friend and teacher, Lowell, right as he is in almost everything,
is for once wrong in these lines, though with a noble wrongness:--

  "Disappointment's dry and bitter root,
   Envy's harsh berries, and the choking pool
   Of the world's scorn, are the right mother-milk
   To the tough hearts that pioneer their kind."

They are not so; love and trust are the only mother-milk of any man's
soul. So far as he is hated and mistrusted, his powers are destroyed. Do
not think that with impunity you can follow the eyeless fool, and shout
with the shouting charlatan; and that the men you thrust aside with gibe
and blow, are thus sneered and crushed into the best service they can do
you. I have told you they _will_ not serve you for pay. They _cannot_
serve you for scorn. Even from Balaam, money-lover though he be, no
useful prophecy is to be had for silver or gold. From Elisha, savior of
life though he be, no saving of life--even of children's, who "knew no
better,"--is to be got by the cry, Go up, thou bald-head. No man can
serve you either for purse or curse; neither kind of pay will answer. No
pay is, indeed, receivable by any true man; but power is receivable by
him, in the love and faith you give him. So far only as you give him
these can he serve you; that is the meaning of the question which his
Master asks always, "Believest thou that I am able?" And from every one
of His servants--to the end of time--if you give them the Capernaum
measure of faith, you shall have from them Capernaum measure of works,
and no more.

Do not think that I am irreverently comparing great and small things.
The system of the world is entirely one; small things and great are
alike part of one mighty whole. As the flower is gnawed by frost, so
every human heart is gnawed by faithlessness. And as surely,--as
irrevocably,--as the fruit-bud falls before the east wind, so fails the
power of the kindest human heart, if you meet it with poison.

§ 11. Now the condition of mind in which Turner did all his great work
was simply this: "What I do must be done rightly; but I know also that
no man now living in Europe cares to understand it; and the better I do
it, the less he will see the meaning of it." There never was yet, so far
as I can hear or read, isolation of a great spirit so utterly desolate.
Columbus had succeeded in making other hearts share his hope, before he
was put to hardest trial; and knew that, by help of Heaven, he could
finally show that he was right. Kepler and Galileo could demonstrate
their conclusions up to a certain point; so far as they felt they were
right, they were sure that after death their work would be acknowledged.
But Turner could demonstrate nothing of what he had done--saw no
security that after death he would be understood more than he had been
in life. Only another Turner could apprehend Turner. Such praise as he
received was poor and superficial; he regarded it far less than censure.
My own admiration of him was wild in enthusiasm, but it gave him no ray
of pleasure; he could not make me at that time understand his main
meanings; he loved me, but cared nothing for what I said, and was always
trying to hinder me from writing, because it gave pain to his fellow
artists. To the praise of other persons he gave not even the
acknowledgment of this sad affection; it passed by him as murmur of the
wind; and most justly, for not one of his own special powers was ever
perceived by the world. I have said in another place that all great
modern artists will own their obligation to him as a guide. They will;
but they are in error in this gratitude, as I was, when I quoted it as
a sign of their respect. Close analysis of the portions of modern art
founded on Turner has since shown me that in every case his imitators
misunderstood him:--that they caught merely at superficial brilliancies,
and never saw the real character of his mind or his work.

And at this day, while I write, the catalogue allowed to be sold at the
gates of the National Gallery for the instruction of the common people,
describes Calcott and Claude as the greater artists.

§ 12. To censure, on the other hand, Turner was acutely sensitive, owing
to his own natural kindness; he felt it, for himself, or for others, not
as criticism, but as cruelty. He knew that however little his higher
powers could be seen, he had at least done as much as ought to have
saved him from wanton insult; and the attacks upon him in his later
years were to him not merely contemptible in their ignorance, but
amazing in their ingratitude. "A man may be weak in his age," he said to
me once, at the time when he felt he was dying; "but you should not tell
him so."

§ 13. What Turner might have done for us, had he received help and love,
instead of disdain, I can hardly trust myself to imagine. Increasing
calmly in power and loveliness, his work would have formed one mighty
series of poems, each great as that which I have interpreted,--the
Hesperides; but becoming brighter and kinder as he advanced to happy
age. Soft as Correggio's, solemn as Titian's, the enchanted color would
have glowed, imperishable and pure; and the subtle thoughts risen into
loftiest teaching, helpful for centuries to come.

What we have asked from him, instead of this, and what received, we
know. But few of us yet know how true an image those darkening wrecks of
radiance give of the shadow which gained sway over his once pure and
noble soul.

§ 14. Not unresisted, nor touching the heart's core, nor any of the old
kindness and truth: yet festering work of the worm--inexplicable and
terrible, such as England, by her goodly gardening, leaves to infect her

So far as in it lay, this century has caused every one of its great men,
whose hearts were kindest, and whose spirits most perceptive of the work
of God, to die without hope:--Scott, Keats, Byron, Shelley, Turner.
Great England, of the Iron-heart now, not of the Lion-heart; for these
souls of her children an account may perhaps be one day required of her.

§ 15. She has not yet read often enough that old story of the
Samaritan's mercy. He whom he saved was going down from Jerusalem to
Jericho--to the accursed city (so the old Church used to understand it).
He should not have left Jerusalem; it was his own fault that he went out
into the desert, and fell among the thieves, and was left for dead.
Every one of these English children, in their day, took the desert
bypath as he did, and fell among fiends--took to making bread out of
stones at their bidding, and then died, torn and famished; careful
England, in her pure, priestly dress, passing by on the other side. So
far as we are concerned, that is the account _we_ have to give of

§ 16. So far as _they_ are concerned, I do not fear for them;--there
being one Priest who never passes by. The longer I live, the more
clearly I see how all souls are in His hand--the mean and the great.
Fallen on the earth in their baseness, or fading as the mist of morning
in their goodness; still in the hand of the potter as the clay, and in
the temple of their master as the cloud. It was not the mere bodily
death that He conquered--that death had no sting. It was this spiritual
death which He conquered, so that at last it should be swallowed
up--mark the word--not in life; but in victory. As the dead body shall
be raised to life, so also the defeated soul to victory, if only it has
been fighting on its Master's side, has made no covenant with death; nor
itself bowed its forehead for his seal. Blind from the prison-house,
maimed from the battle, or mad from the tombs, their souls shall surely
yet sit, astonished, at His feet who giveth peace.

§ 17. Who _giveth_ peace? Many a peace we have made and named for
ourselves, but the falsest is in that marvellous thought that we, of all
generations of the earth, only know the right; and that to us, at
last,--and us alone,--all the scheme of God, about the salvation of men,
has been shown. "This is the light in which _we_ are walking, Those vain
Greeks are gone down to their Persephone for ever--Egypt and Assyria,
Elam and her multitude,--uncircumcised, their graves are round about
them--Pathros and careless Ethiopia--filled with the slain. Rome, with
her thirsty sword, and poison wine, how did she walk in her darkness! We
only have no idolatries--ours are the seeing eyes; in our pure hands at
last, the seven-sealed book is laid; to our true tongues entrusted the
preaching of a perfect gospel. Who shall come after us? Is it not peace?
The poor Jew, Zimri, who slew his master, there is no peace for him:
but, for us? tiara on head, may we not look out of the windows of

§ 18. Another kind of peace I look for than this, though I hear it said
of me that I am hopeless.

I am not hopeless, though my hope may be as Veronese's, the dark-veiled.

Veiled, not because sorrowful, but because blind. I do not know what my
England desires, or how long she will choose to do as she is doing
now;--with her right hand casting away the souls of men, and with her
left the gifts of God.

In the prayers which she dictates to her children, she tells them to
fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Some day, perhaps, it
may also occur to her as desirable to tell those children what she means
by this. What is the world which they are to "fight with," and how does
it differ from the world which they are to "get on in"? The explanation
seems to me the more needful, because I do not, in the book we profess
to live by, find anything very distinct about fighting with the world. I
find something about fighting with the rulers of its darkness, and
something also about overcoming it; but it does not follow that this
conquest is to be by hostility, since evil may be overcome with good.
But I find it written very distinctly that God loved the world, and that
Christ is the light of it.

§ 19. What the much-used words, therefore, mean, I cannot tell. But
this, I believe, they _should_ mean. That there is, indeed, one world
which is full of care, and desire, and hatred: a world of war, of which
Christ is not the light, which indeed is without light, and has never
heard the great "Let there be." Which is, therefore, in truth, as yet no
world; but chaos, on the face of which, moving, the Spirit of God yet
causes men to hope that a world will come. The better one, they call it:
perhaps they might, more wisely, call it the real one. Also, I hear them
speak continually of going to it, rather than of its coming to them;
which, again, is strange, for in that prayer which they had straight
from the lips of the Light of the world, and which He apparently thought
sufficient prayer for them, there is not anything about going to another
world; only something of another government coming into this; or rather,
not another, but the only government,--that government which will
constitute it a world indeed. New heavens and new earth. Earth, no more
without form and void, but sown with fruit of righteousness. Firmament,
no more of passing cloud, but of cloud risen out of the crystal
sea--cloud in which, as He was once received up, so He shall again come
with power, and every eye shall see Him, and all kindreds of the earth
shall wail because of Him.

Kindreds of the earth, or tribes of it![4]--the "earth-begotten," the
Chaos children--children of this present world, with its desolate seas
and its Medusa clouds: the Dragon children, merciless: they who dealt as
clouds without water: serpent clouds, by whose sight men were turned
into stone;--the time must surely come for their wailing.

20. "Thy kingdom come," we are bid to ask then! But how shall it come?
With power and great glory, it is written; and yet not with observation,
it is also written. Strange kingdom! Yet its strangeness is renewed to
us with every dawn.

When the time comes for us to wake out of the world's sleep, why should
it be otherwise than out of the dreams of the night? Singing of birds,
first, broken and low, as, not to dying eyes, but eyes that wake to
life, "the casement slowly grows a glimmering square;" and then the
gray, and then the rose of dawn; and last the light, whose going forth
is to the ends of heaven.

This kingdom it is not in our power to bring; but it is, to receive.
Nay, it has come already, in part; but not received, because men love
chaos best; and the Night, with her daughters. That is still the only
question for us, as in the old Elias days, "If ye will receive it." With
pains it may be shut out still from many a dark place of cruelty; by
sloth it may be still unseen for many a glorious hour. But the pain of
shutting it out must grow greater and greater:--harder, every day, that
struggle of man with man in the abyss, and shorter wages for the fiend's
work. But it is still at our choice; the simoom-dragon may still be
served if we will, in the fiery desert, or else God walking in the
garden, at cool of day. Coolness now, not of Hesperus over Atlas,
stooped endurer of toil; but of Heosphorus over Sion, the joy of the
earth.[5] The choice is no vague or doubtful one. High on the desert
mountain, full descried, sits throned the tempter, with his old
promise--the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them. He still
calls you to your labor, as Christ to your rest;--labor and sorrow, base
desire, and cruel hope. So far as you desire to possess, rather than to
give; so far as you look for power to command, instead of to bless; so
far as your own prosperity seems to you to issue out of contest or
rivalry, of any kind, with other men, or other nations; so long as the
hope before you is for supremacy instead of love; and your desire is to
be greatest, instead of least;--first, instead of last;--so long you are
serving the Lord of all that is last, and least;--the last enemy that
shall be destroyed--Death; and you shall have death's crown, with the
worm coiled in it; and death's wages with the worm feeding on them;
kindred of the earth shall you yourself become; saying to the grave,
"Thou art my father;" and to the worm, "Thou art my mother, and my

I leave you to judge, and to choose, between this labor, and the
bequeathed peace; this wages, and the gift of the Morning Star; this
obedience, and the doing of the will which shall enable you to claim
another kindred than of the earth, and to hear another voice than that
of the grave, saying, "My brother, and sister, and mother."


  [1] It is proper, however, for the reader to know, that the title
    which I myself originally intended for this book was "_Turner and the
    Ancients_;" nor did I purpose to refer in it to any other modern
    painters than Turner. The title was changed; and the notes on other
    living painters inserted in the first volume, in deference to the
    advice of friends, probably wise; for unless the change had been
    made, the book might never have been read at all. But, as far as I am
    concerned, I regretted the change then, and regret it still.

  [2] It may perhaps be necessary to explain one or two singular points
    of Turner's character, not in defence of this statement, but to show
    its meaning. In speaking of his truth, I use the word in a double
    sense;--truth to himself, and to others.

    Truth to himself; that is to say, the resolution to do his duty by
    his art, and carry all work out as well as it could be done. Other
    painters, for the most part, modify their work by some reference to
    public taste, or measure out a certain quantity of it for a certain
    price, or alter facts to show their power. Turner never did any of
    these things. The thing the public asked of him he would do, but
    whatever it was, only as _he_ thought it ought to be done. People did
    not buy his large pictures; he, with avowed discontent, painted small
    ones; but instead of taking advantage of the smaller size to give,
    proportionally, less labor, he instantly changed his execution so as
    to be able to put nearly as much work into his small drawings as into
    his large ones, though he gave them for half the price. But his aim
    was always to make the drawing as good as he could, or as the subject
    deserved, irrespective of price. If he disliked his theme, he painted
    it slightly, utterly disdainful of the purchaser's complaint. "The
    purchaser must take his chance." If he liked his theme, he would give
    three hundred guineas' worth of work for a hundred, and ask no
    thanks. It is true, exceptionally, that he altered the engravings
    from his designs, so as to meet the popular taste, but this was
    because he knew the public could not be got otherwise to look at his
    art at all. His own drawings the entire body of the nation repudiated
    and despised: "the engravers could make something of them," they
    said. Turner scornfully took them at their word. If that is what you
    like, take it. I will not alter my own noble work one jot for you,
    but these things you shall have to your minds;--try to use them, and
    get beyond them. Sometimes, when an engraver came with a plate to be
    touched, he would take a piece of white chalk in his right hand and
    of black in his left: "Which will you have it done with?" The
    engraver chose black or white, as he thought his plate weak or heavy.
    Turner threw the other piece of chalk away, and would reconstruct the
    plate, with the added lights or darks, in ten minutes. Nevertheless,
    even this concession to false principles, so far as it had influence,
    was injurious to him: he had better not have scorned the engravings,
    but either done nothing with them, or done his best. His best, in a
    certain way, he did, never sparing pains, if he thought the plate
    worth it: some of his touched proofs are elaborate drawings.

    Of his earnestness in his main work, enough, I should think, has been
    already related in this book; but the following anecdote, which I
    repeat here from my notes on the Turner Gallery, that there may be
    less chance of its being lost, gives, in a few words, and those his
    own, the spirit of his labor, as it possessed him throughout his
    life. The anecdote was communicated to me in a letter by Mr.
    Kingsley, late of Sidney College, Cambridge; whose words I give:--"I
    had taken my mother and a cousin to see Turner's pictures; and, as my
    mother knows nothing about art, I was taking her down the gallery to
    look at the large Richmond Park, but as we were passing the
    Sea-storm, she stopped before it, and I could hardly get her to look
    at any other picture: and she told me a great deal more about it than
    I had any notion of, though I had seen many sea-storms. She had been
    in such a scene on the coast of Holland during the war. When, some
    time afterwards, I thanked Turner for his permission for her to see
    the pictures, I told him that he would not guess which had caught my
    mother's fancy, and then named the picture; and he then said, 'I did
    not paint it to be understood, but I wished to show what such a scene
    was like: I got the sailors to lash me to the mast to observe it; I
    was lashed for four hours, and I did not expect to escape, but I felt
    bound to record it if I did. But no one had any business to like the
    picture.' 'But,' said I, 'my mother once went through just such a
    scene, and it brought it all back to her.' 'Is your mother a
    painter?' 'No.' 'Then she ought to have been thinking of something
    else.' These were nearly his words; I observed at the time, he used
    'record' and 'painting,' as the title 'author' had struck me before."

    He was true to others. No accusation had ever been brought forward
    against Turner by his most envious enemies, of his breaking a
    promise, or failing in an undertaken trust. His sense of justice was
    strangely acute; it was like his sense of balance in color, and shone
    continually in little crotchets of arrangement of price, or other
    advantages, among the buyers of his pictures. For instance, one of my
    friends had long desired to possess a picture which Turner would not
    sell. It had been painted with a companion; which was sold, but this
    reserved. After a considerable number of years had passed, Turner
    consented to part with it. The price of canvases of its size having,
    in the meantime, doubled, question arose as to what was then to be
    its price. "Well," said Turner, "Mr. ---- had the companion for so
    much. You must be on the same footing." This was in no desire to do
    my friend a favor; but in mere instinct of equity. Had the price of
    his pictures fallen, instead of risen in the meantime, Turner would
    have said, "Mr. ---- paid so much, and so must you."

    But the best proof to which I can refer in this character of his mind
    is in the wonderful series of diagrams executed by him for his
    lectures on perspective at the Royal Academy. I had heard it said
    that these lectures were inefficient. Barely intelligible in
    expression they might be; but the zealous care with which Turner
    endeavored to do his duty, is proved by a series of large drawings,
    exquisitely tinted, and often completely colored, all by his own
    hand, of the most difficult perspective subjects; illustrating not
    only directions of line, but effects of light, with a care and
    completion which would put the work of any ordinary teacher to utter
    shame. In teaching generally, he would neither waste his time nor
    spare it; he would look over a student's drawing, at the
    academy,--point to a defective part, make a scratch on the paper at
    the side, saying nothing; if the student saw what was wanted, and did
    it, Turner was delighted, and would go on with him, giving hint after
    hint; but if the student could not follow, Turner left him. Such
    experience as I have had in teaching, leads me more and more to
    perceive that he was right. Explanations are wasted time. A man who
    can see, understands a touch; a man who cannot, misunderstands an

    One of the points in Turner which increased the general falseness of
    impression respecting him was a curious dislike he had to _appear_
    kind. Drawing, with one of his best friends, at the bridge of St.
    Martin's, the friend got into great difficulty over a colored sketch.
    Turner looked over him a little while, then said, in a grumbling
    way--"I haven't got any paper I like; let me try yours." Receiving a
    block book, he disappeared for an hour and a half. Returning, he
    threw the book down, with a growl, saying--"I can't make anything of
    your paper." There were three sketches on it, in three distinct
    states of progress, showing the process of coloring from beginning to
    end, and clearing up every difficulty which his friend had got into.
    When he gave advice, also, it was apt to come in the form of a keen
    question, or a quotation of some one else's opinion, rarely a
    statement of his own. To the same person producing a sketch, which
    had no special character: "What are you in _search_ of?" Note this
    expression. Turner knew that passionate seeking only leads to
    passionate finding. Sometimes, however, the advice would come with a
    startling distinctness. A church spire having been left out in a
    sketch of a town--"Why did you not put that in?" "I hadn't time."
    "Then you should take a subject more suited to your capacity."

    Many people would have gone away considering this an insult, whereas
    it was only a sudden flash from Turner's earnest requirement of
    wholeness or perfectness of conception. "Whatever you do, large or
    small, do it wholly; take a slight subject if you will, but don't
    leave things out." But the principal reason for Turner's having got
    the reputation of always refusing advice was, that artists came to
    him in a state of mind in which he knew they could not receive it.
    Virtually, the entire conviction of the artists of his time
    respecting him was, that he had got a secret, which he could tell, if
    he liked, that would make them all Turners. They came to him with
    this general formula of request clearly in their hearts, if not
    definitely on their lips: "You know, Mr. Turner, we are all of us
    quite as clever as you are, and could do all that very well, and we
    should really like to do a little of it occasionally, only we haven't
    quite your trick; there's something in it, of course, which you only
    found out by accident, and it is very ill-natured and unkind of you
    not to tell us how the thing is done; what do you rub your colors
    over with, and where ought we to put in the black patches?" This was
    the practical meaning of the artistical questioning of his day, to
    which Turner very resolvedly made no answer. On the contrary, he took
    great care that any tricks of execution he actually did use should
    not be known.

    His _practical_ answer to their questioning being as follows:--"You
    are indeed, many of you, as clever as I am; but this, which you think
    a secret, is only the result of sincerity and toil. If you have not
    sense enough to see this without asking me, you have not sense enough
    to believe me, if I tell you. True, I know some odd methods of
    coloring. I have found them out for myself, and they suit me. They
    would not suit you. They would do you no real good; and it would do
    me much harm to have you mimicking my ways of work, without knowledge
    of their meaning. If you want methods fit for you, find them out for
    yourselves. If you cannot discover them, neither could you use them."

  [3] It is strange that the last words Turner ever attached to a
    picture should have been these:--

    "The priest held the poisoned cup."

    Compare the words of 1798 with those of 1850.

  [4] Compare Matt. xxiv. 30.

  [5] Ps. xlviii. 2.--This joy it is to receive and to give, because
    its officers (governors of its acts) are to be Peace, and its
    exactors (governors of its dealings), Righteousness.--Is. lx. 17.





  Aiguille Blaitière, iv. 186, 188, 399;
    Bouchard, iv. 39, 186, 200, 209-211;
    de Chamouni, iv. 163, 183;
    des Charmoz, iv. 177, 190, 191,192, 206;
    du Gouté, iv. 206;
    duMoine, iv. 189 (note);
    du Plan, iv. 187;
    Pourri (Chamouni), iv. 196, 214;
    de Varens (Chamouni), iv. 161.

  Aletsch glacier, ravine of, iv. 258.

  Alps, angle buttress of the chain of Jungfrau and Gemmi, iv. 286.

  Amiens, poplar groves of, iii. 181, iv. 348;
    banks of the Somme at, iv. 10 (note).

  Annecy, lake of, cliffs round, iv. 247.

  Apennine, the Lombard, iii. plate 14.

  Ardon (Valais), gorge of, iv. 152.

  Beauvais, destruction of old houses at, ii. 6 (note).

  Berne, scenery of lowland districts of, v. 83, iv. 132.

  Bietschhorn, peak of, iv. 178.

  Bolton Abbey (Yorkshire), iv. 249.

  Breven (Chamouni), precipices of, iv. 229.

  Calais, tower of, iv. 26.

  Carrara mountains, peaks of, iv. 357;
    quarries of, iv. 299.

  Chamounix, beauty of pine-glades, v. 82. See Valley.

  Chartres, cathedral, sculpture on, v. 35.

  Cluse, valley of, iv. 144.

  Col d'Anterne, iv. 124.

  Col de Ferret, iv. 124.

  Cormayeur, valley of, iv. 176.

  Cumberland, hills of, iv. 91.

  Cyrene, scenery of, v. 300.

  Dart, banks of, iv. 297.

  Dent de Morcles (Valais), peaks of, iv. 160.

  Dent du Midi de Bex, structure of, iv. 241.

  Derbyshire, limestone hills of, iv. 100.

  Derwent, banks of, iv. 297.

  Eiger (Grindelwald), position of, iv. 166.

  Engelberg, Hill of Angels, v. 86.

  Faïdo, pass of (St. Gothard), iv. 21.

  Finster-Aarhorn (Bernese Alps), peak of, iv. 164, 178.

  Florence, destruction of old streets and frescoes in, ii. 7 (note).

  France, scenery and valleys of, i. 129, 250; iv. 297, 344.

  Fribourg, district surrounding, iv. 132;
    towers of, iv. 32.

  Geneva, restorations in, ii. 6 (note).

  Goldau, valley of, iv. 312.

  Grande Jorasse (Col de Ferret), position of, iv. 166.

  Grindelwald valley, iv. 164.

  Highland valley, described, v. 206.

  Il Resegone (Comasque chain of Alps), structure, iv. 153.

  Jedburgh, rocks near, iv. 131.

  Jura, crags of, iv. 152, 157.

  Lago Maggiore, effect of, destroyed by quarries, iv. 120.

  Langholme, rocks near, iv. 131.

  Lauterbrunnen Cliffs, structure of, iv. 149.

  Loire, description of its course, v. 164.

  Lucca, San Michele, mosaics on, i. 105;
    tomb in Cathedral of, ii. 70.

  Lucerne, wooden bridges at, iv. 325, 375;
    lake, shores of, the mountain-temple, v. 85, 87.

  Matlock, via Gellia, v. 207.

  Matterhorn (Mont Cervin), structure of, iv. 160, 181, 237, 260;
    from Zermatt, iv. 232, 238;
    from Riffelhorn, iv. 235.

  Milan, sculpture in cathedral, ii. 206.

  Montanvert, view from, iv. 178.

  Montagne de la Côte, crests of, iv. 206, 208, 212, 282; v. 121.

  Montagne de Taconay, iv. 206, 208, 213, 282; v. 131.

  Montagne de Tacondy (Chamouni), ridges of, i. 298.

  Montagne de Vergi, iv. 247.

  Mont Blanc, arrangement of beds in chain of, iv. 174 (note), 394.

  Monte Rosa, iv. 165.

  Mont Pilate, v. 124; iv. 227.

  Monte Viso, peak of, iv. 178.

  Niagara, channel of, iv. 95.

  Normandy, hills of, iv. 353.

  Nuremberg, description of, v. 232-235.

  Oxford, Queen's College, front of, i. 104.

  Pélerins Cascade (Valley of Chamouni), iv. 282.

  Pisa, destruction of works of art in, ii. 6 (note);
    mountain scenery round, iv. 357.

  Petit Salève, iv. 161.

  Rhone, valley of, iv. 95.

  Rheinfelden (Switzerland), description of, v. 335 (note).

  Riffelhorn, precipices of, iv. 234.

  Rochers des Fys (Col d'Anterne), cliff of, iv. 241.

  Rome, pursuit of art in, i. 4;
    Temple of Antoninus and Faustus, griffin on, iii. 100.

  Rouen, destruction of mediæval architecture in, ii. 6 (note).

  Saddleback (Cumberland), i. 298.

  Sallenche, plain of the Arve at, i. 273;
    walk near, iii. 136.

  Savoy, valleys of, iv. 125.

  Salisbury Crags (Edinburgh), structure of, iv. 149.

  Schauffhausen, fall of, i. 349; v. 325.

  Schreckhorn (Bernese Alps), iv. 164.

  Scotland, hills of, iv. 91, 125.

  Sion (Valais), description of (mountain gloom), iv. 338-341.

  Switzerland, character of, how destroyed by foreigners, iv. 374;
    railways,  v. 325.

  Taconay, Tacondy. See Montagne.

  Tees, banks of, iv. 297.

  Thames, description of, v. 288.

  Tours, destruction of mediæval buildings in, ii. 6 (note).

  Trient, valley of (mountain gloom), iv. 259, 318.

  Twickenham, meadows of, v. 293.

  Underwalden, pine hills of, v. 87.

  Valais, canton, iv. 165;
    fairies' hollow in, v. 82.

  Valley of Chamouni, iv. 177, 375;
    formation of, iv. 165;
    how spoiled by quarries, iv. 121;
    of Cluse, iv. 144;
    of Cormayer, iv. 176;
    of Grindewald, iv. 166;
    of Frütigen (Canton of Berne), v. 86.

  Venice, in the eighteenth century, i. 110;
    modern restorations in, ii. 8  (note);
    Quay of the Rialto, market scene on, i. 343;
    St. Mark's, mosaics on, i. 343;
    described, v. 286. See Topical Index.

  Verona, griffin on cathedral of, iii. 100;
    San Zeno, sculpture on arch in, v. 46.

  Villeneuve, mountains of, iv. 246, 287.

  Vosges, crags of, iv. 152.

  Wales, hills of, iv. 125.

  Weisshorn, peak of, 178.

  Wetterhorn (Grindelwald), iv. 166, 178.

  Wharfe (Yorkshire), shores of, iv. 250, 297.

  Yorkshire, limestone hills of, iv. 100, 246; v. 293.

  Zermatt, valley of, chapel in, iv. 325.

  Zmutt Glacier, iv. 236.



  Angelico da Fiesole, angel choirs of,  ii. 224;
    attained the highest beauty, ii. 136;
    cramped by traditional treatment, ii. 178;
    decoration of, ii. 219;
    distances of, iv. 355;
    finish of, ii. 82, iii. 122;
    his hatred of fog, iv. 55;
    influence of hills upon, iv. 355;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures by, ii. 120, iii. 33;
    his purity of life, iii. 72;
    spiritual beauty of, iii. 33;
    treatment of Passion subjects by, ii. 129;
    unison of expressional with pictorial power in, iii. 29;
    contrast between, and Wouvermans, v. 283;
    contrast between, and Salvator, v. 283;
    Pictures referred to--
      Annunciation, ii. 174;
      Crucifixion, i. 82, ii. 220;
      Infant Christ, ii. 222;
      Last Judgment, i. 85;
      Last Judgment and Paradise, ii. 224, iii. 57;
      Spirits in Prison at the Feet of Christ, fresco in St. Mark's, ii.
        56 (note);
      St. Dominic of Fiesole, ii. 56;
      Vita di Christo, ii. 219.

  Art-Union, Christian Vanquishing Apollyon (ideal stones), iv. 307.

  Bandinelli, Cacus, ii. 184;
    Hercules, ii. 184.

  Bartolomeo, introduction of portraiture by, ii. 120.

  Bartolomeo, Fra. Pictures referred to--
    Last Judgment, ii. 182;
    St. Stephen, ii. 224.

  Basaiti, Marco, open skies of, i. 84. Picture--St. Stephen, ii. 224.

  Bellini, Gentile, architecture of the Renaissance style, i. 103, 107;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures, ii. 120.

  Bellini, Giovanni, finish of, ii. 83;
    hatred of fog, iv. 56;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures, ii. 129;
    landscape of, i. 85, iv. 38;
    luminous skies of, ii. 44;
    unison of expressional and pictorial power in, iii. 29;
    use of mountain distances, iv. 355;
    refinement and gradation, i. 85.
    Pictures referred to--
      Madonna at Milan, i. 85;
      San Francesco della Vigna at Venice, i. 85;
      St. Christopher, ii. 120;
      St. Jerome, ii. 216;
      St. Jerome in the Church of San. Chrysostome, i. 85.

  Berghem, landscape, Dulwich Gallery, i. 37, iii. 126, v. 282.

  Blacklock, drawing of the inferior hills, i. 307.

  Blake, Illustrations of the Book of Job, iii. 98.

  Bonifazio, Camp of Israel, iii. 318;
    what subjects treated by, v. 221.

  Both, failures of, i. 197, v. 315.

  Bronzino, base grotesque, iii. 98.
    Pictures referred to--
      Christ Visiting the Spirits in Prison, ii. 56.

  Buonarotti, Michael Angelo, anatomy interfering with the divinity of
      figures, ii. 221;
    conception of human form, ii. 124, 126;
    completion of detail, iii. 122;
    finish of, ii. 83;
    influence of mountains upon, iv. 358;
    use of symbol, ii. 215;
    repose in, ii. 69 (note);
    impetuous execution of, ii. 187 (note);
    expression of inspiration by, ii. 214.
    Pictures referred to--
      Bacchus, ii. 186 (note);
      Daniel, i. 62;
      Jonah, ii. 204;
      Last Judgment, ii. 181, 183;
      Night and Day, ii. 203, iii. 96;
      Pietà of Florence, ii. 185;
      Pietà of Genoa, ii. 83;
      Plague of the Fiery Serpents, ii. 69 (note);
      St. Matthew, ii. 185;
      Twilight i. 33;
      Vaults of Sistine Chapel, i. 30-33.

  Callcott, Trent, i. 189.

  Canaletto, false treatment of water, i. 341;
    mannerism of, i. 111;
    painting in the Palazzo Manfrini, i. 200;
    Venice, as seen by, i. 111;
    works of, v. 195.

  Canova, unimaginative work of, ii. 184;
    Perseus, i. 62.

  Caracci, The, landscape of, iii. 317, iv. 75;
    use of base models of portraiture by, ii. 120.

  Caravaggio, vulgarity of, iii. 257;
    perpetual seeking for horror and ugliness, ii. 137;
    a worshipper of the depraved, iii. 33.

  Carpaccio, Vittor, delineation of architecture by, i. 107;
    luminous skies of, ii 44;
    painting of St. Mark's Church, i. 108.

  Castagno, Andrea del, rocks of, iii. 239.

  Cattermole, G., foliage of, i. 406;
    Fall of the Clyde, i. 116;
    Glendearg, i. 116.

  Claude, summary of his qualities, v. 244;
    painting of sunlight by, iii. 318, v. 315;
    feeling of the beauty of form, i. 76, iii. 318, v. 244;
    narrowness of, contrasted with vastness of nature, i. 77;
    aërial effects of, iii. 318, v. 244;
    sincerity of purpose of, iii. 317, v. 244;
    never forgot himself, i. 77, v. 244;
    true painting of afternoon sunshine, iii. 321, v. 245, 315;
    effeminate softness of, v. 244;
    landscape of, iii. 318, i. xxxviii. preface, v. 244;
    seas of, i. 77, 345, v. 244, 245;
    skies of, i. 208, 227;
    tenderness of perception in, iii. 318;
    transition from Ghirlandajo to, iv. 1;
    absence of imagination in, ii. 158;
    waterfalls of, i. 300;
    treatment of rocks by, iv. 253, 308, iii. 322;
    tree drawing of, iii. 118, 333;
    absurdities of conception, iii. 321;
    deficiency in foreground, i. 179, 399;
    distances of, i. 278;
    perspective of, i. 409.
    Pictures referred to--
      Morning, in National Gallery (Cephalus and Procris), i. 317;
      Enchanted Castle, i. 208;
      Campagna at Rome, i. xl. preface;
      Il Mulino, i. xxxix. preface, v. 245, ii. 149;
      Landscape, No. 241, Dulwich Gallery, i. 208;
      Landscape, No. 244, Dulwich Gallery, i. 284;
      Landscape in Uffizii Gallery, i. 339;
      Seaport, St. Ursula, No. 30, National Gallery, i. 208;
      Queen of Sheba, No. 14, National Gallery, i. 409;
      Italian Seaport, No. 5, National Gallery, i. 230;
      Seaport, No. 14, National Gallery, i. 22;
      Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca, i. 176, 194, 208, 278, 388;
      Moses at the Burning Bush, iii. 320;
      Narcissus, i. 388;
      Pisa, iv. 1;
      St. George and the Dragon, v. 246;
      Worship of the Golden Calf, v. 246;
      Sinon before Priam, i. 169, 279;
      Liber Veritatis, No. 5, iv. 308;
      Liber V., No. 86, iv. 220;
      L. V., No. 91, iv. 253, 254;
      L. V., No. 140, iii. 117;
      L. V., No. 145, iii. 321;
      L. V., No. 180, iii. 321.

  Conegilano, Cima da, entire realization of foreground painting, iii. 128;
    painting in church of the Madonna dell' Orto, i. 82.

  Constable, landscape of, iii. 126;
    simplicity and earnestness of, i. 94;
    aspen drawing of, iv. 78;
    Helmingham Park, Suffolk, iii. 119;
    Lock on the Stour, iii. 118;
    foliage of, i. 406, iii. 119;
    landscape of, iv. 38.

  Correggio, choice of background, iii. 316;
    painting of flesh by, iii. 97;
    leaf drawing of, v. 35;
    power of, to paint rain-clouds, v. 136 (note);
    love of physical beauty, iii. 33;
    morbid gradation, ii. 47;
    morbid sentimentalism, ii. 174;
    mystery of, iv. 62;
    sensuality of, ii. 125, 136;
    sidelong grace of, iii. 28;
    tenderness of, iii. 42.
    Pictures referred to--
      Antiope, iii. 63, v. 36, 90, 136;
      Charioted Diana, ii. 126;
      Madonna of the Incoronazione, ii. 125;
      St. Catherine of the Giorno, ii. 126.

  Cox, David, drawings of, i. xliii. preface, i. 96;
    foliage of, i. 406;
    rain-clouds of, i. 248;
    skies of, in water-color, i. 257;
    sunset on distant hills, i. 96.

  Creswick, tree-painting of, i. 397.
    Pictures referred to--
      Nut-brown Maid, i. 397;
      Weald of Kent, i. 407.

  Cruikshank, G., iv., 387; Noah Claypole ("Oliver Twist"), v. 266.

  Cuyp, principal master of pastoral landscape, v. 194;
    tone of, i. 150;
    no sense of beauty, i. 76;
    sky of, i. 215, 225, 209;
    cattle painting of, v. 259;
    sunlight of, v. 254, 315;
    water of, i. 346;
    foliage of, v. 35, 37;
    and Rubens, v, 249, 260.
    Pictures referred to--
      Hilly Landscape, in Dulwich Gallery, No. 169, i. 150, 209;
      Landscape, in National Gallery, No. 53, i. 150, v. 37;
      Waterloo etchings, i. 92;
      Landscape, Dulwich Gallery, No, 83, i. 340, No. 163, v. 37.

  Dannaeker, Ariadne, iii. 65.

  Dighton, W. E., Hayfield in a Shower, ii. 229;
    Haymeadow Corner, ii. 229.

  Dolci, Carlo, finish for finish's sake, iii. 113;
    softness and smoothness, iii. 113;
    St. Peter, ii. 204.

  Domenichino, angels of, ii. 222;
    landscape of, iii. 317;
    Madonna del Rosario, and Martyrdom of St. Agnes, both utterly
      hateful, i. 88, ii. 222.

  Drummond, Banditti on the Watch, ii. 230.

  Durer, Albert, and Salvator, v. 230, 240;
    deficiency in perception of the beautiful, iv. 332;
    education of, v. 231-232;
    mind of, how shown, v. 284;
    decision of, iv. 79, ii. 227;
    tree-drawing, v. 67;
    finish of, iii. 42, 122;
    gloomily minute, i. 90;
    hatred of fog, iv. 56;
    drawing of crests, iv. 201;
    love of sea, v. 234.
    Pictures referred to--
      Dragon of the Apocalypse, iv. 217;
      Fall of Lucifer, iv. 201;
      The Cannon, v. 234;
      Knight and Death, iii. 93, v. 235, 237;
      Melancholia, iv. 48, iii. 96, v. 235, 238;
      Root of Apple-tree in Adam and Eve, iii. 116, v. 65;
      St. Hubert, v. 97, 234;
      St. Jerome, v. 234.

  Etty, richness and play of color of, ii. 203;
    Morning Prayer, ii. 229;
    Still Life, ii. 229;
    St. John, ii. 229.

  Eyck, Van, deficiency in perception of the beautiful, iv. 333.

  Fielding, Copley, faithful rendering of nature, i. 97;
    feeling in the drawing of inferior mountains, i. 307;
    foliage of, i. 406;
    water of, i. 348;
    moorland foreground, i. 188;
    use of crude color, i. 98;
    love of mist, iv. 75;
    rain-clouds of, i. 248;
    sea of, i. 351;
    truth of, i. 248. Picture referred to--Bolton Abbey, i. 100.

  Flaxman, Alpine stones, iv. 308;
    Pool of Envy (in his Dante), iv. 308.

  Francia, architecture of the Renaissance style, i. 103;
    finish of, iii. 122;
    treatment of the open sky, ii. 43;
    Madonnas of, ii. 224;
    Nativity, iii. 48.

  Gaddi, Taddeo, treatment of the open sky, ii. 43.

  Gainsborough, color of, i. 93;
    execution of i. xxii. preface;
    aërial distances of, i. 93;
    imperfect treatment of details, i. 82.

  Ghiberti, Lorenzo, leaf-moulding and bas-reliefs of, v. 35.

  Ghirlandajo, architecture of the Renaissance style, i. 103;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures, ii. 120;
    reality of conception, iii. 59;
    rocks of, iii. 239, 314;
    symmetrical arrangement of pictures, ii. 74;
    treatment of the open sky, ii. 44;
    quaintness of landscape, iii. 322;
    garlanded backgrounds of, v. 90.
    Pictures referred to--
      Adoration of the Magi, iii. 312;
      Baptism of Christ, iii. 313;
      Pisa, iv. 1.

  Giorgione, boyhood of, v. 287-297;
    perfect intellect of, v. 285;
    landscape of, i. 86;
    luminous sky of, ii, 44;
    modesty of, ii. 123, 124;
    one of the few who has painted leaves, v. 35;
    frescoes of, v. 284, 337;
    sacrifice of form to color by, ii. 202;
    two figures, or the Fondaco de'Tedeschi, i. 110;
    one of the seven supreme colorists, v. 318 (note).

  Giotto, cramped by traditional treatment, ii. 178;
    decoration of, ii. 220;
    influence of hills upon, iv. 357;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures, ii. 120;
    landscape of, ii. 217;
    power in detail, iii. 57;
    reality of conception, iii. 57;
    symmetrical arrangement in pictures, ii. 73;
    treatment of the open sky, ii. 44;
    unison of expressional and pictorial power in detail, iii. 29;
    use of mountain distances, iv. 354.
    Pictures referred to--
      Baptism of Christ, ii. 176;
      Charity, iii. 97;
      Crucifixion and Arena frescoes, ii. 129;
      Sacrifice for the Friedes, i. 88.

  Gozzoli Benozzo, landscape of, ii. 217;
    love of simple domestic incident, iii. 28;
    reality of conception, iii. 57;
    treatment of the open sky, ii. 44.

  Guercino, Hagar, ii. 129.

  Guido, sensuality, ii. 125, 136;
    use of base models for portraiture, ii. 120.
      Susannah and the Elders, ii. 126.

  Harding, J. D., aspen drawing of, iv. 78;
    execution of, i. 179, 403, iv. 78;
    chiaroscuro of, i. 179, 405;
    distance of, i. 189;
    foliage, i. 387, 401;
    trees of, v. 61 (note), i. 387;
    rocks of, i. 313;
    water of, i. 350.
    Pictures referred to--
      Chamouni, i. 287;
      Sunrise on the Swiss Alps, i. 102.

  Hemling, finish of, iii. 122.

  Hobbima, niggling of, v. 36, 37;
    distances of, i. 202;
    failures of, i. 202, 398;
    landscape in Dulwich Gallery, v. 36.

  Holbein, best northern art represented by, v. 209-231;
    the most accurate portrait painter, v. 322;
    Dance of Death, iii. 93;
    glorious severity of, ii. 123;
    cared not for flowers, v. 90.

  Hooghe, De, quiet painting of, v. 282.

  Hunt, Holman, finish of, i. 416 (note).
    Pictures referred to--
      Awakened Conscience, iii. 90;
      Claudio and Isabella, iii. 27;
      Light of the World, iii. 29, 40, 57, 76, 340, iv. 61 (note);
      Christ in the Temple, v. 347.

  Hunt, William, anecdote of, iii. 86;
    Farmer's Girl, iii. 82;
    foliage of, i. 407;
    great ideality in treatment of still-life, ii. 203.

  Landseer, E., more a natural historian than a painter, ii. 203 (note);
    animal painting of, v. 257;
    Dog of, ii. 202;
    Old Cover Hack, deficiency of color, ii. 226;
    Random Shot, ii. 226;
    Shepherd's Chief Mourner, i. 9, 30;
    Ladies' Pets, imperfect grass drawing, v. 98;
    Low Life, v. 266.

  Laurati, treatment of the open sky, ii. 44.

  Lawrence, Sir Thomas, Satan of, ii. 209.

  Lewis, John, climax of water-color drawing, i. 85;
    success in seizing Spanish character, i, 124.

  Linnell, cumuli of, i. 244 (note).
    Picture referred to--
      Eve of the Deluge, ii. 225.

  Lippi, Filippino, heads of, ii. 220;
    Tribute Money, iii. 314.

  Mantegna, Andrea, painting of stones by, iv. 302;
    decoration of, ii. 220.

  Masaccio, painting of vital truth from vital present, iii. 90;
    introduction of portraiture into pictures, ii. 120;
    mountain scenery of, i. 95, iv. 299;
    Deliverance of Peter, ii. 222;
    Tribute Money, i. 85, 95, iii. 314.

  Memmi, Simone, abstract of the Duomo at Florence, at Santa Maria
      Novella, i. 103;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures, ii. 120.

  Millais, Huguenot, iii. 90.

  Mino da Fiesole, truth and tenderness of, ii. 184;
    two statues by, ii. 201.

  Mulready, Pictures by--
    the Butt, perfect color, ii. 227;
    Burchell and Sophia, ii. 227;
    Choosing of the Wedding Gown, ii. 227;
    Gravel Pit, ii. 228.

  Murillo, painting of, ii. 83.

  Nesfield, treatment of water by, i. 349.

  Orcagna, influence of hills upon, iv. 358;
    intense solemnity and energy of, iii. 28;
    unison of expressional and pictorial power in detail of, iii. 28;
    Inferno, ii. 128;
    Last Judgment, ii. 181, iii. 57;
    Madonna, ii. 201;
    Triumph of Death, iii. 57, 95.

  Perugino, decoration of, ii. 220;
    finish of, ii. 83;
    formalities of, iii. 122, 315;
    hatred of fog, iv. 56;
    landscape of, ii. 218;
    mountain distances of, iv. 355;
    right use of gold by, i. 109;
    rationalism of, how affecting his works, v. 205;
    sea of, i. 346;
    expression of, inspiration by, ii. 223.
    Pictures referred to--
      Annunciation, ii. 44;
      Assumption of the Virgin, ii. 44;
      Michael the Archangel, ii. 223;
      Nativity, iii. 48;
      Portrait of Himself, ii. 136;
      Queen-Virgin, iii. 52;
      St. Maddelena at Florence, i. 346.

  Pickersgill, Contest of Beauty, ii. 229.

  Pinturicchio, finish of, ii. 83;
    Madonnas of, ii. 224.

  Pisellino, Filippo, rocks of, iii. 239.

  Potter, Paul, Landscape, in Grosvenor Gallery, ii. 226;
    Landscape, No. 176, Dulwich Gallery, i. 340;
    foliage of, compared with Hobbima's and Ruysdael's, v. 35;
    best Dutch painter of cattle, v. 254.

  Poussin, Gaspar, foliage of, i. 386-395;
    distance of, i. 202;
    narrowness of, contrasted with vastness of nature, i. 179;
    mannerism of, i. 90, ii. 45, iv. 38;
    perception of moral truth, i. 76;
    skies of, i. 227, 231;
    want of imagination, ii. 158;
    false sublimity, iv. 245.
    Pictures referred to--
      Chimborazo, i. 208;
      Destruction of Niobe's Children, in Dulwich Gallery, i. 294;
      Dido and Æneas, i. 257, 391, ii. 159;
      La Riccia, i. 386, 155, ii. 159;
      Mont Blanc, i. 208;
      Sacrifice of Isaac, i. 195, 208, 230, ii. 159.

  Poussin, Nicolas, and Claude, v. 241-248;
    principal master of classical landscape, v. 194, 247;
    peculiarities of, v. 247;
    compared with Claude and Titian, v. 247;
    characteristics of works by, v. 247;
    want of sensibility in, v. 247;
    landscape of, v. 247; trees of, i. 401;
    landscape of, composed on right principles, i. 90, iii. 323, ii. 159.
    Pictures referred to--
      The Plague, v. 248;
      Death of Polydectes, v. 248;
      Triumph of David, v. 248;
      The Deluge, v. 248;
      Apollo, ii. 207;
      Deluge (Louvre), i. 345, iv. 244;
      Landscape, No. 260, Dulwich Gallery, i. 144;
      Landscape, No. 212, Dulwich Gallery, i. 231;
      Phocion, i. 144, 159, 178, 258;
      Triumph of Flora, iii. 323.

  Procaccini, Camillo.
    Picture referred to--
      Martyrdom (Milan), ii. 129.

  Prout, Samuel, master of noble picturesque, iv. 13;
    influence on modern art by works of, i. 103;
    excellent composition and color of, i. 112, 114;
    expression of the crumbling character of stone, i. 96, 112, 114.
    Pictures referred to--
      Brussels, i. 113;
      Cologne, i. 113;
      Flemish Hotel de Ville, i. 115;
      Gothic Well at Ratisbon, i. 114;
      Italy and Switzerland, i. 113;
      Louvain, i. 113;
      Nuremberg, i. 113;
      Sion, i. 113;
      Sketches in Flanders and Germany, i. 113;
      Spire of Calais, iv. 13;
      Tours, i. 113.

  Punch, instance of modern grotesque from, iv. 388.

  Pyne, J. B. drawing of, i. 314.

  Raffaelle, chiaroscuro of, iv. 47;
    completion of detail by, i. 82, iii. 122;
    finish of, ii. 83;
    instances of leaf drawing by, v. 35;
    conventionalism of branches by, v. 38;
    his hatred of fog, iii. 126, iv. 56;
    influence of hills upon, iv. 357;
    influenced by Masaccio, iii. 315;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures by, ii. 120;
    composition of, v. 182;
    lofty disdain of color in drawings of, v. 320 (note);
    landscape of, ii. 217;
    mountain distance of, iv. 355;
    subtle gradation of sky, ii. 47, 48;
    symbolism of, iii. 96.
    Pictures referred to--
      Baldacchino, ii. 44;
      Charge to Peter, iii. 53, 315;
      Draught of Fishes, i. preface, xxx., ii. 204;
      Holy Family--Tribune of the Uffizii, iii. 313;
      Madonna della Sediola, ii. 44, iii. 51;
      Madonna dell' Impannata, ii. 44;
      Madonna del Cardellino, ii. 44;
      Madonna di San Sisto, iii. 56;
      Massacre of the Innocents, ii. 130, 179;
      Michael the Archangel, ii. 223;
      Moses at the Burning Bush, iii. 115;
      Nativity, iii. 341;
      St. Catherine, i. preface, xxxi., i. 34, 139, ii. 98, 224;
      St. Cecilia, ii. 136, 218, iii. 15, 54;
      St. John of the Tribune, ii. 44;
      School of Athens, iii. 26;
      Transfiguration, iii. 54 (note).

  Rembrandt, landscape of, i. 192;
    chiaroscuro of, iii. 35, iv. 42-47;
    etchings of, i. 405 (note);
    vulgarity of, iii. 257.
    Pictures referred to--
      Presentation of Christ in the Temple, ii. 42;
      Spotted Shell, ii. 203;
      Painting of himself and his wife, v. 252.

  Rethel, A.
    Pictures referred to--
      Death the Avenger, iii. 98;
      Death the Friend, iii. 98.

    Pictures referred to--
      Illustrations to Schiller's Fight of the Dragon, ii. 171.

  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, swiftest of painters, v. 191;
    influence of early life of, on painting of, v. 289;
    lectures quoted, i. 7, 44, iii. 4;
    tenderness of, iv. 67 (note).
    Picture referred to--
      Charity, iii. 97.

  Roberts, David, architectural drawing of, i. 118;
    drawings of the Holy Land, i. 118;
    hieroglyphics of the Egyptian temples, i. 119;
    Roslin Chapel, i. 120.

  Robson G., mountain scenery of, i. 95, iii. 325.

  Rosa, Salvator, and Albert Durer, v. 230-240;
    landscape of, i. 390;
    characteristics of, v. 237, 285;
    how influenced by Calabrian scenery, v. 236;
    of what capable, v. 236;
    death, how regarded by, v. 237;
    contrast between, and Angelico, v. 285;
    leaf branches of, compared with Durer's, v. 67, 68;
    example of tree bough of, v. 45;
    education of, v. 235, 236;
    fallacies of contrast with early artists, v. 46;
    narrowness of, contrasted with freedom and vastness of nature, i. 77;
    perpetual seeking for horror and ugliness, ii. 128, 137, v. 46-67;
    skies of, i. 227, 230;
    vicious execution  of, i. 39, ii. 83;
    vigorous imagination of, ii. 159;
    vulgarity of, iii. 33, iii. 317, 257.
    Pictures referred to--
      Apollo and Sibyl, v. 79;
      Umana Fragilita, v. 237;
      Baptism of Christ, ii. 176 (note);
      Battles by, ii. 127;
      Diogenes, ii. 159;
      finding of Oedipus, iii. 115, v. 65;
      Landscape, No. 220, Dulwich Gallery, i. 231, 240, 294, 312;
      Landscape, No. 159, Dulwich Gallery, i. 254;
      Sea-piece (Pitti Palace), i. 345;
      Peace burning the arms of War, i. 390;
      St. Jerome, ii. 159;
      Temptation of St. Anthony, ii. 45, (note);
      Mercury and the Woodman (National Gallery), i, 157.

  Rubens and Cuyp, v. 249-260;
    color of, i. 169;
    landscape of, i. 91, 220, iii. 182, 318;
    leaf drawing of, v. 35;
    flowers of, v. 90;
    realistic temper of, iii. 97;
    symbolism of, iii. 96;
    treatment of light, ii. 41, i. 165;
    want of feeling for grace and mystery, iv. 14;
    characteristics of, v. 251;
    religion of, v. 252;
    delight in martyrdoms, v. 251;
    painting of dogs and horses by, v. 257, 258;
    descriptions of his own pictures by, v. 252;
    imitation of sunlight by, v. 315 (note);
    hunts by, v. 258.
    Pictures referred to--
      Adoration of the Magi, i. 37;
      Battle of the Amazons, v. 251;
      Landscape, No. 175, Dulwich Gallery, iv. 15;
      His Family, v. 252;
      Waggoner, iii. 114;
      Landscapes in Pitti Palace, i. 91;
      Sunset behind a Tournament, iii. 318.

    Pictures referred to--
      Running and Falling Water, i. 325, 344;
      Sea-piece, i. 344.

  Schöngauer, Martin, joy in ugliness, iv. 329;
    missal drawing of, iv. 329.

  Snyders, painting of dogs by, v. 257.

  Spagnoletto, vicious execution of, ii.  83.

  Stanfield, Clarkson, architectural drawing of, i. 121;
    boats of, i. 122;
    chiaroscuro of, i. 281;
    clouds of, i. 224, 243;
    a realistic painter, i. 121, iv. 57 (note);
    knowledge and power of, i. 353.
    Pictures referred to--
      Amalfi, ii. 228;
      Borromean Islands, with St. Gothard in the distance, i. 282;
      Botallack Mine (coast scenery), i. 313;
      Brittany, near Dol, iv. 7;
      Castle of Ischia, i. 122;
      Doge's Palace at Venice, i. 122;
      East Cliff, Hastings, i. 313;
      Magra, ii. 228;
      Rocks of Suli, i. 307;
      Wreck on the Coast of Holland, i. 121.

  Taylor, Frederick, drawings of, power of swift execution, i. 35, 257.

  Teniers, scenery of, v. 253;
    painter of low subjects, v. 256.
    Pictures referred to--Landscape, No. 139,
     Dulwich Gallery, i. 315.

  Tintoret, coloring of, iii. 42;
    delicacy of, iii. 38;
    painting of vital truth from the vital present, iii. 90;
    use of concentrically-grouped leaves by, ii. 73;
    imagination, ii. 158, 159, 173, 180;
    inadequacy of landscapes by, i. 78;
    influence of hills upon, iv. 358;
    intensity of imagination of, ii. 173, iv. 66;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures, ii. 120;
    luminous sky of, ii. 44;
    modesty of, ii. 123;
    neglectful of flower-beauty, v. 90;
    mystery about the pencilling of, ii. 64;
    no sympathy with the humor of the world, iv. 13;
    painter of space, i. 87;
    realistic temper of, iii. 97;
    sacrifice of form to color by, ii. 201;
    slightness and earnest haste of, ii. 82 (note), 187 (note);
    symbolism of, iii. 96.
    Pictures referred to--
      Agony in the Garden, ii. 159;
      Adoration of the Magi, iii. 78, 122, iv. 66;
      Annunciation, ii. 174;
      Baptism, ii. 176;
      Cain and Abel, i. 399(note);
      Crucifixion, ii. 178, 183, iii. 72, v. 197, 221;
      Doge Loredano before the Madonna, ii. 204;
      Entombment, ii. 174, iii. 316;
      Fall of Adam, i. 80 (note);
      Flight into Egypt, ii. 159, 202;
      Golden Calf, ii. 207;
      Last Judgment, ii. 181;
        picture in Church of Madonna dell' Orto, i. 109;
      Massacre of the Innocents, ii. 130, 179, 183;
      Murder of Abel, i. 391;
      Paradise, i. 338, iv. 66, v. 221, 229;
      Plague of Fiery Serpents, ii. 183;
      St. Francis, ii. 207;
      Temptation, ii. 159, 189.

  Titian, tone of, i. 148;
    tree drawing of, i. 392;
    want of foreshortening, v. 71;
    bough drawing of, i. 392;
    good leaf drawing, v. 35;
    distant branches of, v. 38;
    drawing of crests by, iv. 218;
    color in the shadows of, iv. 47;
    mind of, v. 226, 227;
    imagination of, ii. 159;
    master of heroic landscape, v. 194;
    landscape of, i. 78, iii. 316;
    influence of hills upon, iv. 358;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures, ii. 120;
    home of, v. 287, 288;
    modesty of, ii. 123;
    mystery about the pencilling of, iv. 62;
    partial want of sense of beauty, ii. 136;
    prefers jewels and fans to flowers, v. 90;
    right conception of the human form, ii. 123, v. 228;
    sacrifice of form to color by, ii. 202;
    color of, v. 317, 318;
    stones of, iv. 304, 305;
    trees of, i. 392, ii. 73.
    Pictures referred to--
      Assumption, iv. 202 (note), v. 221, 229, 251, 312;
      Bacchus and Ariadne, i. 83, 148, iii. 122, v. 89;
      Death of Abel, i. 80 (note);
      Entombment, iii. 122;
      Europa (Dulwich Gallery), i. 148; Faith, i. 109;
      Holy Family, v. 133 (note);
      Madonna and Child, v. 170;
      Madonna with St. Peter and St. George, v. 170;
      Flagellation, ii. 44;
      Magdalen (Pitti Palace), ii. 125, v. 226, 338 (note);
      Marriage of St. Catherine, i. 91;
      Portrait of Lavinia, v. 90, preface, viii.;
      Older Lavinia, preface, viii.;
      St. Francis receiving the Stigmata, i. 214 (note);
      St. Jerome, i. 86, ii. 159;
      St. John, ii. 120;
      San Pietro Martire, ii. 159, 207;
      Supper at Emmaus, iii. 19, 122;
      Venus, iii. 63;
      Notomie, v. 338.

  Turner, William, of Oxford, mountain drawings, i. 305.

  Turner, Joseph Mallord William, character of, v. 340, 342, 348;
    affection of, for humble scenery, iv. 248, 249;
    architectural drawing of, i. 109, 199;
    his notion of "Eris" or "Discord," v. 308, 309;
    admiration of, for Vandevelde, i. 328;
    boyhood of, v. 288, 297;
    chiaroscuro of, i. 134, 143, 148, 281, 366, iv. 40-55;
    only painter of sun-color, v. 315;
    painter of "the Rose and the Cankerworm," v. 324;
    his subjection of color to chiaroscuro, i. 171;
    color of, i. 134, 151, 157, 160, 166, 169, 171, ii. 202, iii. 236
      (note), iv. 40, v. 319 (note);
    composition of, iv. 27, 303;
    curvature of, i. 125, iii. 118, iv. 192, 293;
    tree drawing of, i. 394, v. 38, 65, 69, 72;
    drawing of banks by, iv. 293, 297;
    discovery of scarlet shadow by, v. 316, 317, 319;
    drawing of cliffs by, iv. 246;
    drawing of crests by, iv. 220, 222, 225;
    drawing of figures by, i. 189;
    drawing of reflections by, i. 151, 359, 361, 379;
    drawing of leaves by, v. 38, 99;
    drawing of water by, i. 355, 382;
    exceeding refinement of truth in, i. 411;
    education of, iii. 309, v. 299 (note);
    execution of, v. 38;
    ruin of his pictures by decay of pigments, i. 136 (note);
    gradation of, i. 259;
    superiority of intellect in, i. 29;
    expression of weight in water by, i. 367, 376;
    expression of infinite redundance by, iv. 291;
    aspects, iii. 279, 307;
    first great landscape painter, iii. 279, v. 325;
    form sacrificed to color, ii. 201;
    head of Pre-Raphaelitism, iv. 61;
    master of contemplative landscape, v. 194;
    work of, in first period, v. 297;
    infinity of, i. 239, 282, iv. 287;
    influence of Yorkshire scenery upon, i. 125, iv. 246, 296, 300, 309;
    his love of stones and rocks, iii. 314, iv. 24;
    love of rounded hills, iv. 246;
    master of the science of aspects, 305;
    mystery of, i. 198,257, 413, iv. 34, 61, v. 33;
    painting of French and Swiss landscape by, i. 129;
    spirit of pines not entered into by, v. 80, 81;
    flowers not often painted by, v. 92;
    painting of distant expanses of water by, i. 365;
    rendering of Italian character by, i. 130;
    skies of, i. 138, 201, 236, 237;
    storm-clouds, how regarded by, v. 142;
    study of clouds, by, i. 221, 236, 242, 250, 261, v. 118;
    study of old masters by, iii. 322;
    sketches of, v. 183, 184, 333, 334, (note), v. preface, v. vi.;
    system of tone of, i. 143, 152, 363;
    treatment of foregrounds by, i. 319, v. 98;
    treatment of picturesque by, iv. 7-15;
    treatment of snow mountains by, iv. 240;
    memoranda of, v. 185, 187, 335 (note);
    topography of, iv. 16-33;
    unity of, i. 320;
    views of Italy by, i. 132;
    memory of, iv. 27, 30;
    ideal conception of, i. 388;
    endurance of ugliness by, v. 283, 289;
    inventive imagination of, dependent on mental vision and truth of
      impression, iv. 21-24, 308;
    lessons to be learnt from Liber Studiorum, v. 332, 333;
    life of, v. 341;
    death of, v. 349.
    Pictures referred to--
      Æsacus and Hesparie, i. 394;
      Acro-Corinth, i. 221;
      Alnwick, i. 127, 269;
      Ancient Italy, i. 131;
      Apollo and Sibyl, v. 331;
      Arona with St. Gothard, i. 262;
      Assos, i. 201 (note);
      Avenue of Brienne, i. 178;
      Babylon, i. 236;
      Bamborough, i. 375;
      Bay of Baiæ, i. 132, 324, iii. 311, v. 98, 323;
      Bedford, i. 127;
      Ben Lomond, i. 258;
      Bethlehem, i. 242;
      Bingen, i. 268;
      Blenheim, i. 268;
      Bolton Abbey, i. 394, iii. 118, iv. 249;
      Bonneville in Savoy, i. 133;
      Boy of Egremont, i. 372;
      Buckfastleigh, i. 267, iv. 14;
      Building of Carthage, i. 29, 136, 147, 162, 171, iii. 311;
      Burning of Parliament House, i. 269;
      Cærlaverock, i. 202 (note), 264;
      Calais, i. 269;
      Calder Bridge, i. 183;
      Caldron Snout Fall, i. 268;
      Caliglula's Bridge, i. 131, v. 331;
      Canale della Guidecco, i. 362;
      Carew Castle, i. 268;
      Carthages, the two, i. 131, v. 337;
      Castle Upnor, i. 267, 359;
      Chain Bridge over the Tees, i. 368, 394;
      Château de la Belle Gabrielle, i. 394, v. 61;
      Château of Prince Albert, i. 357;
      Cicero's Villa, i. 131, 136, 146, 147;
      Cliff from Bolton Abbey, iii. 321;
      Constance, i. 367;
      Corinth, i. 267;
      Coventry, i. 254, 268;
      Cowes, i. 268, 363, 365;
      Crossing the Brook, i. 131, 170, 394;
      Daphne and Leucippus, i. 200, 201 (note), 293, 300, iv. 291, v. 98;
      Dartmouth (river scenery), i. 212;
      Dartmouth Cove (Southern Coast), i. 394;
      Dazio Grande, i. 372;
      Departure of Regulus, i. 131;
      Devenport, with the Dockyards, i. 159 (note), 366;
      Dragon of the Hesperides, iii. 97, v. 306, 311;
      Drawing of the spot where Harold fell, ii. 200;
      Drawings of the rivers of France, i. 129;
      Drawings of Swiss Scenery, i. 129;
      Drawing of the Chain of the Alps of the Superga above Turin, iii.
      Drawing of Mount Pilate, iv. 227, 298;
      Dudley, i. 173 (note), 269;
      Durham, i. 267, 394;
      Dunbar, i. 376;
      Dunstaffnage, i. 231, 285;
      Ely, i. 410;
      Eton College, i. 127;
      Faïdo, Pass of, iv. 21, 222;
      Fall of Carthage, i. 146, 171;
      Fall of Schaffhausen, v. 167, 325 (note);
      Flight into Egypt, i. 242;
      Fire at Sea, v. 189 (note);
      Folkestone, i. 242, 268;
      Fort Augustus, i. 305;
      Fountain of Fallacy, i. 131;
      Fowey Harbor, i. 267, 376, v. 142 (note);
      Florence, i. 132;
      Glencoe, i. 285;
      Goldau (a recent drawing) i. 264 (note);
      Goldau, i. 367, iv. 312, v. 337 (note);
      Golden Bough, iv. 291;
      Gosport, i. 257;
      Great Yarmouth, i. 383 (note);
      Hannibal passing the Alps, i. 130;
      Hampton Court, i. 178;
      Hero and Leander, i. 131, 177, 242, 375, 409, v. 188 (note);
      Holy Isle, iii. 310;
      Illustration to the Antiquary, i. 264;
      Inverary, v. 65;
      Isola Bella, iii. 125;
      Ivy Bridge, i. 133, iii. 121;
      Jason, ii. 171;
      Juliet and her Nurse, i. 135, 137 (note), 269;
      Junction of the Greta and Tees, i. 372, iv. 309;
      Kenilworth, i. 268;
      Killie-Crankie, i. 371;
      Kilgarren, i. 127;
      Kirby Lonsdale Churchyard, i. 267, 394, iv. 14, 315;
      Lancaster Sands, i. 340;
      Land's End, i. 251 (note), 253, 352, 376, 377;
      Laugharne, i. 376;
      Llanberis, i. 93, 268, v. 320 (note) (English series);
      Llanthony Abbey, i. 127, 173 (note), 251, 321, 371;
      Long Ship's Lighthouse, i. 253;
      Lowestoft, i. 267, 352, 383 (note);
      Lucerne, iv. 227;
      "Male Bolge"(of the Splugen and St. Gothard), iv. 315;
      Malvern, i. 268;
      Marly, i. 80, 399;
      Mercury and Argus, i. 145, 167, 172 (note), 198, 221, 318, 324,
        372, v. 62;
      Modern Italy, i. 132, 172 (note), iv. 291;
      Morecambe Bay, i. 258;
      Mount Lebanon, i. 293;
      Murano, view of, i. 138;
      Napoleon, i. 151, 162, 163, 170, 221, 268, 310, v. 118, 330 (note);
      Napoleon at St. Helena, iv. 314;
      Narcissus and Echo, v. 299;
      Nemi, i. 268;
      Nottingham, i. 268, 359, iv. 29;
      Oakhampton, i. 127, 258, 267, 400;
      Oberwesel, i. 268, 305;
      Orford, Suffolk, i. 267;
      Ostend, i. 380;
      Palestrina, i. 132;
      Pas de Calais, i. 339, 380;
      Penmaen Mawr, i. 323;
      Picture of the Deluge, i. 346;
      Pools of Solomon, i. 237, 268, v. 116;
      Port Ruysdael, i. 380;
      Pyramid of Caius Cestius, i. 269;
      Python, v. 315, 316;
      Rape of Proserpine, i. 131;
      Rheinfels, v. 335 (note);
      Rhymer's Glen, i. 371;
      Richmond (Middlesex), i. 268;
      Richmond (Yorkshire), i. 261, iv. 14, v. 93;
      Rome from the Forum, i. 136, v. 359;
      Salisbury, v. 144;
      Saltash, i. 268, 359;
      San Benedetto, looking toward Fusina, i. 362, 138, v. 118;
      Scarborough, iii. 121;
      Shores of Wharfe, iv. 248;
      Shylock, i. 221, 268;
      Sketches in National Gallery, v. 182, 183;
      Sketches in Switzerland, i. 138;
      Slave Ship, i. 135, 137 (note), 146, 151, 170, 261, 268, ii. 209,
        iv. 314, v. 142, 336;
      Snowstorm, i. 130, 170, 352, v. 342 (note);
      St. Gothard, iv. 27, 292, 300;
      St. Herbert's Isle, i. 269;
      St. Michael's Mount, i. 261, 263;
      Stonehenge, i. 260, 268, v. 143 (English series);
      Study (Block of Gniess at Chamouni), iii. 125;
      Study (Pæstum) v. 145;
      Sun of Venice going to Sea, i. 138, 361;
      Swiss Fribourg, iii. 125;
      Tantallon Castle, i. 377;
      Tees (Upper Fall of), i. 319, 323, 367, iv. 309;
      Tees (Lower Fall of), i. 322, 371;
      Temptation on the Mountain (Illustration to Milton), ii. 210;
      Temple of Jupiter, i. 131, iii. 310;
      Temple of Minerva, v. 145;
      Tenth Plague of Egypt, i. 130, v. 295 (note), 299;
      The Old Téméraire, i. 135, iv. 314, v. 118, 290;
      Tivoli, i. 132;
      Towers of Héve, i. 269;
      Trafalgar, v. 290;
      Trematon Castle, i. 268;
      Ulleswater, i. 322, 258, iv. 300;
      Ulysses and Polypheme, iv. 314, v. 336 (note);
      various vignettes, i. 267;
      Venices, i. 109, 268, v. 337, 338;
      Walhalla, i. 136 (note);
      Wall Tower of a Swiss Town, iv. 71;
      Warwick, i. 268, 394;
      Waterloo, i. 261, 269;
      Whitby, iii. 310;
      Wilderness of Engedi, i. 201 (note), 269;
      Winchelsea (English series), i. 172 (note), 268;
      Windsor, from Eton, i. 127;
      Wycliffe, near Rokeby, iv. 309.
    Finden's Bible Series:--
      Babylon, i. 236;
      Bethlehem, i. 242;
      Mount Lebanon, i. 293, v. 145;
      Sinai, v. 145;
      Pyramids of Egypt, i. 242;
      Pool of Solomon, i. 237, v. 116;
      Fifth Plague of Egypt, i. 130, v. 299.
    Illustrations to Campbell:--
      Hohenlinden, i. 267;
      Second Vignette, i. 258;
      The Andes, i. 277;
      Vignette to the Beech-tree's Petition, i. 177;
      Vignette to Last Man, i. 264.
    Illustrations to Rogers' "Italy:"--
      Amalfi, i. 239;
      Aosta, i. 277;
      Battle of Marengo, i. 273, 285;
      Farewell, i. 285;
      Lake of Albano, i. 268;
      Lake of Como, i. 238;
      Lake of Geneva, i. 238, 267;
      Lake of Lucerne, i. 263, 367;
      Perugia, i. 174;
      Piacenza, i. 268, 296;
      Pæstum, i. 260, 268;
      Second Vignette, i. 264, 372;
      The Great St. Bernard, i. 263;
      Vignette to St. Maurice, i. 263, 263 (note), v. 127.
    Illustrations to Rogers' "Poems:"
      Bridge of Sighs, i. 269;
      Datur Hora Quieti, i. 145, 268, v. 167;
      Garden opposite title-page, i. 177;
      Jacqueline, i. 277, ii. 210;
      Loch Lomond, i. 365;
      Rialto, i. 242, 269;
      Sunset behind Willows, i. 147;
      Sunrise, i. 212;
      Sunrise on the Sea, i. 222, 263;
      the Alps at Daybreak, i. 223, 264, 267, 276;
      Vignette to Human Life, i. 267;
      Vignette to Slowly along the Evening Sky, i. 217;
      Vignette to the Second Part of Jacqueline, ii. 210;
      Villa of Galileo, i. 132;
      Voyage of Columbus, i. 242, 267, ii. 201.
    Illustrations to Scott:--
      Armstrong's Tower, i. 178;
      Chiefswood Cottage, i. 394;
      Derwentwater, i. 365;
      Dryburgh, i. 366;
      Dunstaffnage, i. 261, 285;
      Glencoe, i. 285, 293;
      Loch Archray, i. 285;
      Loch Coriskin, i. 252, 292, iv. 220;
      Loch Katrine, i. 298, 365;
      Melrose, i. 336;
      Skiddaw, i. 267, 305.
    Liber Studiorum:--
      Æsacus and Hesperie, i. 130, 400 (note), ii. 162;
      Ben Arthur, i. 126, iv. 308, 309;
      Blair Athol, i. 394;
      Cephalus and Procris, i. 394, 400 (note), ii. 160, 207, iii. 317,
        v. 334;
      Chartreuse, i. 127, 394, iii. 317;
      Chepstow, v. 333;
      Domestic subjects of L. S., i. 127;
      Dunstan borough, v. 333;
      Foliage of L. S., i. 128;
      Garden of Hesperides, iii. 310, v. 310;
      Gate of Winchelsea Wall, v. 330;
      Raglan, v. 333;
      Rape of Europa, v. 334;
      Via Mala, v. 336 (note), iv. 259;
      Isis, v. 171, 172;
      Hedging and Ditching, i. 127, 394, v. 333;
      Jason, i. 130, ii. 171, 199, iii. 317;
      Juvenile Tricks, i. 394;
      Lauffenbourg, i. 128, iii. 327, v. 170;
      Little Devil's Bridge, i. 127, iv. 27;
      Lianberis, i. 258;
      Mer de Glace, i. 126, 287, iv. 191;
      Mill near Grande Chartreuse, iv. 259, v. 333;
      Morpeth Tower, v. 333;
      Mont St. Gothard, i. 127, 311 (note);
      Peat Bog, iii. 317, v. 333;
      Rivaulx choir, v. 333;
      Rizpah, i. 130, iii. 317, iv. 14, v. 295, 334;
      Solway Moss, iii. 317;
      Source of Avernon, iv. 308, v. 80;
      Study of the Lock, iv. 7, v. 332;
      Young Anglers, v. 333;
      Water Mill, v. 333.
    Rivers of France, i. 129;
      Amboise, i. 184, 269;
      Amboise (the Château), i. 184;
      Beaugency, i. 184;
      Blois, i. 183;
      Blois (Château de), i. 183, 202, 269;
      Caudebec, i. 269, 302, 366;
      Château Gaillard, i. 183;
      Clairmont, i. 269, 303;
      Confluence of the Seine and Marne, i. 364;
      Drawings of, i. 130;
      Havre, i. 224;
      Honfleur, i. 304;
      Jumièges, i. 250, 364;
      La Chaise de Gargantua, i. 364;
      Loire, i. 363;
      Mantes, i. 269;
      Mauves, i. 303;
      Montjan, i. 269;
      Orleans, i. 183;
      Quilleboeuf, i. 377, 170;
      Reitz, near Saumur, v. 164, 165;
      Rouen, i. 410, v. 118;
      Rouen, from St. Catherine's Hill, i. 240, 366;
      St. Denis, i. 264, 269;
      St. Julien, i. 184, 269;
      The Lantern of St. Cloud, i. 268;
      Troyes, i. 269;
      Tours, i. 184, 269;
      Vernon, i. 364.
    Yorkshire Series:--
      Aske Hall, i. 394, v. 70;
      Brignall Church, i. 394;
      Hardraw Fall, iv. 309;
      Ingleborough, iv. 249;
      Greta, iv. 14, 248;
      Junction of the Greta and Tees, i. 322, 372, iv. 309;
      Kirkby Lonsdale, i. 267, 394, iv. 14, 313;
      Richmond, i. 261, iv. 14, v. 38;
      Richmond Castle, iii. 230;
      Tees (Upper Fall of), i. 319, 323, 367, iv. 309;
      Zurich, i. 367.

  Uccello, Paul, Battle of Sant' Egidio,  National Gallery, v. 5, 281.

  Uwin's Vineyard Scene in the South of France, ii. 229.

  Vandevelde, reflection of, i. 359;
    waves of, iii. 324;
    Vessels Becalmed, No. 113, Dulwich Gallery, i. 340.

  Vandyke, flowers of, v. 90;
    delicacy of, v. 275 (note).
      Portrait of King Charles' Children, v. 90;
      the Knight, v. 273 (note).

  Veronese, Paul, chiaroscuro of, iii. 35, iv. 41, 47;
    color in the shadows of, iv. 47;
    delicacy of, iii. 38;
    influence of hills upon, iv. 350;
    love of physical beauty, iii. 33;
    mystery about the pencilling of, iv. 61;
    no sympathy with the tragedy and horror of the world, iv. 14;
    sincerity of manner, iii. 41;
    symbolism of, iii. 96;
    treatment of the open sky, ii. 44;
    tree drawing of, v. 67;
    foreground of, v. 90;
    religion of, (love casting out fear), v. 222;
    animal painting, compared with Landseer's, ii. 202;
      Entombment, ii. 44;
      Magdalen washing the feet of Christ, iii. 19, 30;
      Marriage in Cana, iii. 122, iv. 66, v. 196, 220, 221;
      two fresco figures at Venice, i. 110;
      Supper at Emmaus, iii. 30, 60;
      Queen of Sheba, v. preface, vii. 224;
      Family of Veronese, v. 222, 224;
      Holy Family v. 225;
      Veronica, v. 226;
      Europa, v. 90, 170;
      Triumph of Venice, v. 170;
      Family of Darius, National Gallery, v. 189.

  Vinci, Leonardo da, chiaroscuro of, iv. 47 (and note);
    completion of detail by, iii. 122;
    drapery of, iv. 48;
    finish of, ii. 84, iii. 261;
    hatred of fog, iv. 56;
    introduction of portraiture in pictures, ii. 120;
    influence of hills upon, iv. 356;
    landscape of, i. 88;
    love of beauty, iii. 41;
    rocks of, iii. 239;
    system of contrast of masses, iv. 42.
      Angel, ii. 176;
      Cenacolo, ii. 215;
      Holy Family (Louvre), i. 88;
      Last Supper, iii. 26, 341;
      St. Anne, iv. 302, iii. 122.

  Wallis, snow scenes of, i. 286 (note).

  Wouvermans, leaves of, v. 33;
    landscape of, v. 195;
    vulgarity of, v. 278, 281;
    contrast between, and Angelico, v. 283.
    Pictures referred to--
      Landscape, with hunting party, v. 278;
      Battle piece, with bridge, v. 280.

  Zeuxis, picture of Centaur, v. 258.


  Abstraction necessary, when realization is impossible, ii. 206.

  Æsthetic faculty, defined, ii. 12, 16.

  Age, the present, mechanical impulse of, iii. 301, 302;
    spirit of, iii. 302, 303;
    our greatest men nearly all unbelievers, iii. 253, 264;
    levity of, ii. 170.
    See Modern.

  Aiguilles, structure of, iv. 174;
    contours of, iv. 178, 190;
    curved cleavage of, iv. 186, 192, 193, 210-214;
    angular forms of, iv. 179, 191;
    how influencing the earth, iv. 193;
    Dez Charmoz, sharp horn of, iv. 177;
    Blaitière, curves of, iv. 185-188;
    of Chamouni, sculpture of, 160, 182.
    See Local Index.

  Alps, Tyrolese, v. 216;
    aërialness of, at great distances, i. 277;
    gentians on, v. 89;
    roses on, v. 99;
    pines on, iv. 290, v. 86;
    ancient glaciers of, iv. 169;
    color of, iii. 233;
    influence of, on Swiss character, iv. 356, v. 83;
    general structure of, iv. 164;
    higher, impossible to paint snow mountains, iv. 240;
    precipices of, iv. 260, 261;
    suggestive of Paradise, iv. 346;
    sunrise in, i. 264.
    See Mountains.

  Anatomy, development of, admissible only in subordination to laws of
      beauty, ii. 221;
    not to be substituted for apparent aspect, iv. 187.

  Animals, proportion in, ii. 58 (note), 64;
    moral functions of, ii. 94, 95, 97;
    lower ideal form of, ii. 104;
    noble qualities of, v. 203.

  Animal Painting, of the Dutch school, v. 254, 258;
    of the Venetian, 255, 258;
    of the moderns, v. 257, 273.

  Architecture, influence of bad, on artists, iii. 311;
    value of signs of age in, i. 104, 106;
    importance of chiaroscuro in rendering of, i. 106, 107;
    early painting of, how deficient, i. 103;
    how regarded by the author, v. 197;
    Renaissance chiefly expressive of pride, iii. 63;
    lower than sculpture or painting, the idea of utility being dominant,
      ii. 10 (note);
    and trees, coincidences between, v. 19;
    of Nuremberg, v. 232;
    Venetian, v. 295.

  Art, definition of greatness in, i. 8, 11, iii. 3-10, 39;
    imitative, noble or ignoble according to its purpose, iii. 20, 202;
    practical, ii. 8;
    theoretic, ii. 8;
    profane, iii. 61;
    ideality of, ii. 110;
    in what sense useful, ii. 3, 4;
    perfection of, in what consisting, i. 357;
    first aim of, the representation of facts, i. 45, 46;
    highest aim of, the expression of thought, i. 45, 46;
    truth, a just criterion of, i. 48;
    doubt as to the use of, iii. 19;
    laws of, how regarded by imaginative and unimaginative painters, ii.
    neglect of works of, ii. 6, 8 (note);
    nobleness of, in what consisting, iii. 21, 22;
    noble, right minuteness of, v. 175;
    meaning of "style," different selection of particular truths to be
      indicated, i. 95;
    bad, evil effects of the habitual use of, iv. 334;
    love of, the only effective patronage, ii. 3;
    sacred, general influence of, iii. 55;
    misuse of, in religious services, iii. 59, 60;
    religious, of Italy, abstract, iii. 48, 58, v. 219;
    religious, of Venice, Naturalistic, iii. 78, v. 214, 226;
    Christian, divisible into two great masses, symbolic and imitative,
      iii. 203;
    Christian, opposed to pagan, ii. 222, 223;
    "Christian," denied, the flesh, v. 203;
    high, consists in the truthful presentation of the maximum of beauty,
      iii. 34;
    high, modern ideal of, iii. 65;
    highest, purely imaginative, iii. 39;
    highest, dependent on sympathy, iv. 9;
    highest, chiaroscuro necessary in, i. 79;
    modern, fatal influence of the sensuality of, iii. 65;
    allegorical, iii. 95;
    essays on, by the author, distinctive character of, v. preface, x. v.
    influence of climate on, v. 133;
    influence of scenery on, v. 214, 232, 235, 287;
    Venetian, v. 188, 214, 226;
    classical defined, v. 242;
    Angelican, iii. 50-57, v. 282;
    Greek, v. 209;
    Dutch, v. 277.
    See Painting, Painters.

  Art, Great, definition of, i. 8-11, iii. 3, 10, 41;
    characteristics of, i. 305, iii. 26-41, 88, v. 158, 175, 178, 202;
    not to be taught, iii. 43, 141;
    the expression of the spirits of great men, iii. 43, v. 179;
    represents something seen and believed, iii. 80;
    sets forth the true nature and authority of freedom, v. 203;
    relation of, to man, v. 203.
    See Style.

  Artists, danger of spirit of choice to, ii. 26;
    right aim of, i. 425, 426, iii. 19;
    their duty in youth, to begin as patient realists, i. 423;
    choice of subject by, ii. 188, iii. 27, 28, iii. 35, iv. 290, iv. 18
    should paint what they love, ii. 217;
    mainly divided into two classes, i. 74, 315;
    necessity of singleness of aim in, i. 423, 424, v. 179.
    See Painters.

  Artists, Great, characteristics of, i. 8, 123, 327, ii. 42, iii. 26-41;
    forgetfulness of self in, i. 84;
    proof of real imagination in, i. 306;
    calmness of, v. 191;
    delight in symbolism, iii. 93;
    qualities of, v. 191;
    keenness of sight in, iv. 188;
    sympathy of, with nature, ii. 90, iii. 177, iv. 13, 70, ii. 92;
    with humanity, iv. 9, 11, 13, iii. 63, ii. 169, v. 198, 203;
    live wholly in their own age, iii. 90.

  Artists, Religious, ii. 174, 176, 180, 216, iii. 48-60, iv. 355;
    imaginative and unimaginative, distinction between, ii. 154, 156;
    history of the Bible has yet to be painted, iii. 58.

  Asceticism, ii. 114, three forms of, v. 325.

  Association, of two kinds, accidental and rational, ii. 33, 34;
    unconscious influence of, ii. 34;
    power of, iii. 17, ii. 45, v. 216;
    charm of, by whom felt, iii. 292, 309;
    influence of, on enjoyment of landscape, iii. 289.

  Bacon, master of the science of essence, iii. 307;
    compared with Pascal, iv. 361.

  Banks, formation of, iv. 262;
    curvature of, iv. 262, 278, 282;
    luxuriant vegetation of, iv. 125.

  Beauty, definition of the term (pleasure-giving) i. 26, 27;
    sensations of, instinctive, i. 27, ii. 21, 46, 135;
    vital, ii. 88, 100, 110;
    typical, ii. 28, 38, 85, 115, 135;
    error of confounding truth with, iii. 31 (note);
    of truths of species, i. 60;
    of curvature, ii. 46, iv. 192, 197, 200, 262, 263, 264;
    love of, in great artists, iii. 33, v. 209;
    moderation essential to, ii. 84;
    ideas of, essentially moral, ii. 12, 18;
    repose, an unfailing test of, ii. 68, 108;
    truth the basis of, i. 47, ii. 136;
    how far demonstrable by reason, ii. 27;
    ideas of, exalt and purify the human mind, i. 26, 27;
    not dependent on the association of ideas, ii. 33, 34;
    the substitution of, for truth, erroneous, iii. 61, 254;
    sense of, how degraded and how exalted, ii. 17, 18, v. 209;
    of the sea, v. 215;
    influence of moral expression on, ii. 96, 97;
    lovers of, how classed, iii. 33;
    consequences of the reckless pursuit of, iii. 23;
    modern destruction of, v. 325;
    Renaissance, principles of, to what tending, iii. 254;
    false opinions respecting, ii. 28, 29, 30, 136;
    arising out of sacrifice, v. 53;
    sense of, often wanting in good men, ii. 135, 138;
    false use of the word, ii. 28;
    not necessary to our being, ii. 16;
    unselfish sympathy necessary to sensations of, ii. 17, 93;
    degrees of love for, in various authors, iii. 285, 288;
    and sublimity, connection between, i. 42;
    custom not destructive to, ii. 32;
    natural, Scott's love of, iii. 271, 272;
    natural, lessons to be learnt from investigation of, v. 147;
    natural, when terrible, v. 197;
    of animal form, depends on moral expression, ii. 97, 98;
    Alison's false theory of association, ii. 28, 33;
    sense of, how exalted by affection, ii. 18;
    abstract of form, how dependent on curvature, iv. 262, 263;
    ideal, definition of, i. 28;
    physical, iii. 67;
    physical, Venetian love of, v. 295;
    vulgar pursuit of, iii. 67.

  Beauty, human, ancient, and mediæval admiration of, iii. 197, 198;
    Venetian painting of, v. 227;
    consummation not found on earth, ii. 134;
    Greek love of, iii. 177, 189, 197;
    culture of, in the middle ages, iii. 197.

  Beauty of nature, character of minds destitute of the love of, iii. 296.

  Benevolence, wise purchase the truest, v. 328 (note).

  Browning, quotation on Renaissance spirit, iv. 369.

  Buds, typical of youth, iii. 206;
    difference in growth of, v. 8;
    formation and position of, v. 11, 14, 17, 27;
    of horse-chestnut, v. 19;
    accommodating spirit of, v. 53;
    true beauty of, from what arising, v. 53;
    sections and drawings of, v. 13, 73, 74.

  Business, proper, of man in the world, iii. 44, 336.

  Byron, use of details by, iii. 8;
    character of works of, iii. 235, 263, 266, 270, 296, i. 3 (note);
    love of nature, iii. 285, 288, 295, 297;
    use of color by, iii. 235;
    death, without hope, v. 350.

  Carlyle, iii. 253;
    on clouds, v. 107.

  Cattle, painting of, v. 259, 260.

  Change, influence of, on our senses, ii. 54;
    love of, an imperfection of our nature, ii. 54, 55.

  Charity, the perfection of the theoretic faculty, ii. 90;
    exercise of, its influence on human features, ii. 115.

  Chasteness, meaning of the term, ii. 81.

  Chiaroscuro, truth of, i. 173-184;
    contrasts of systems of, iv. 41;
    great principles of, i. 173, 180;
    necessity of, in high art, i. 181;
    necessity of, in expressing form, i. 69, 70;
    nature's contrasted with man's, i. 141;
    natural value of, i. 182;
    rank of deceptive effects in, i. 73;
    fatal effects of, on art, iii. 140 (note);
    treatment of, by Venetian colorists, iv. 45, 46.

  Chiaroscurists, advantages of, over colorists, iv. 48.

  Choice, spirit of, dangerous, ii. 26, iv. 18 (note);
    of love, in rightly tempered men, ii. 137;
    importance of sincerity of, iii. 27, 35;
    effect of, on painters, iii. 28;
    of subject, when sincere, a criterion of the rank of painters, iii. 27;
    difference of, between great and inferior artists, iii. 35;
    of subject, painters should paint what they love, ii. 219;
    error of Pre-Raphaelites, iv. 19.

  City and country life, influence of, v. 4, 5.

  Classical landscape, iii. 168, 190;
    its features described, v. 242;
    spirit, its resolute degradation of the lower orders, v. 243 (note).

  Clay, consummation of, v. 157.

  Cliffs, formation of, iv. 146, 149, 158, 241;
    precipitousness of, iv. 230, 257;
    Alpine, stability of, iv. 261;
    Alpine, sublimity of, iv. 245, 261, v. 81;
    common mistake respecting structure of, iv. 297.
    See Mountains.

  Clouds, questions respecting, v. 101-107, 110-113;
    truth of, i. 216, 266;
    light and shade in, iv. 36;
    scriptural account of their creation, iv. 82-88;
    modern love of, iii. 244, 248;
    classical love of, iii. 245;
    connected with, not distinct from the sky, i. 207;
    balancings, v. 101-107;
    high, at sunset, i. 161;
    massive and striated, v. 108;
    method of drawing, v. 111 (note);
    perspective of, v. 114-121;
    effects of moisture, heat, and cold, on formation of, v. 131;
    "cap-cloud," v. 124;
    "lee-side cloud," v. 124, 125;
    mountain drift, v. 127, 128;
    variety of, at different elevations, i. 216;
    brighter than whitest paper, iv. 36;
    never absent from a landscape, iv. 69;
    supremacy of, in mountain scenery, iv. 349;
    level, early painters' love of, iii. 244;
    love of, by Greek poets, iii. 244;
    as represented by Aristophanes, iii. 249, v. 139;
    Dante's dislike of, iii. 244;
    wave-band, sign of, in thirteenth century art, iii. 209;
    Cirrus, or Upper Region, extent of, i. 217, v. 109;
    color of, i. 224, v. 119, 120, 149;
    purity of color of, i. 219;
    sharpness of edge of, i. 218;
    symmetrical arrangement of, i. 217;
    multitude of, i. 218, v. 109, 110;
    Stratus, or Central Region, extent of, i. 226;
    connection of with mountains, v. 123;
    majesty of, v. 122;
    arrangement of, i. 228;
    curved outlines of, i. 64, 229;
    perfection and variety of, i. 229, v. 111, 112;
    Rain, regions of, definite forms in, i. 245, v. 122-138;
    difference in colors of, i. 244, v. 136;
    pure blue sky, only seen through the, i. 256;
    heights of, v. 137 (note);
    functions of, v. 135, 137;
    condition of, on Yorkshire hills, v. 141;
    influence of, on high imagination, v. 141.

  Color, truth of, i. 67-71, 155, 173;
    purity of, means purity of colored substance, ii. 75, 79;
    purity of in early Italian masters, ii. 220;
    the purifier of material beauty, v. 320 (note);
    associated with purity, life, and light, iv. 53, 123, v. 320;
    contrasts of, iv. 40;
    gradation of, ii. 47, 48;
    dulness of, a sign of dissolution, iv. 124;
    effect of distance on, iv. 64, 65;
    effect of gradation in, iv. 71;
    noble, found in things innocent and precious, iv. 48;
    pale, are deepest and fullest in shade, iv. 42;
    sanctity of, iv. 52, v. 320 (note), 149, 319;
    true dignity of, v. 318, 320 (note), effect of falsifying, v. 321
    Venetian love of, v. 212;
    rewards of veracity in, v. 321 (note);
    of sunshine, contrasted with sun color, v. 317, 318;
    perfect, the rarest art power, v. 320 (note);
    pleasure derived from, on what depending, i. 10;
    chord of perfect, iii. 99, v. 317, 318, iii. 275, iv. 52;
    anything described by words as visible, may be rendered by, iii. 97;
    variety of, in nature, i. 70, 168;
    no brown in nature, iii. 235;
    without texture, Veronese and Landseer, ii. 202;
    without form, ii. 202;
    faithful study of, gives power over form, iv. 54, v. 320 (note);
    perception of form not dependent on, ii. 77, v. 320 (note);
    effect of atmosphere on distant, i. 97, iv. 188;
    less important than light, shade, and form, i. 68, 172, v. 321 (note);
    sombreness of modern, iii. 251, 257;
    sentimental falsification of, iii. 31;
    arrangement of, by the false idealist and naturalist, iii. 77;
    done best by instinct (Hindoos and Chinese), iii. 87;
    use of full, in shadow, very lovely, iv. 46, v. 317;
    ground, use of, by great painters, v. 188, 190;
    nobleness of painting dependent on, v. 316;
    a type of love, v. 319, 320 (note);
    use of, shadowless in representing the supernatural, ii. 219;
    right splendor of in flesh painting, ii. 124;
    delicate, of the idealists, ii. 221;
    local, how far expressible in black and white, i. 404;
    natural, compared with artificial, i. 157;
    destroyed by general purple tone, i. 169;
    manifestation of, in sunsets, i. 161, 210;
    quality of, owes part of its brightness to light, i. 140, 148;
    natural, impossibility of imitating (too intense), i. 157, 164;
    imitative, how much truth necessary to, i. 22;
    effect of association upon, i. 69;
    delight of great men in, iii. 257;
    cause of practical failures, three centuries' want of practice, iii.
    mediæval love of, iii. 231;
    Greek sense of, iii. 219;
    brightness of, when wet, iv. 244;
    difference of, in mountain and lowland scenery, iv. 346, 347;
    great power in, sign of art intellect, iv. 55;
    why apparently unnatural when true, iv. 40, v. 317;
    of near objects, may be represented exactly, iv. 39;
    of the earth, iv. 38;
    in stones, iv. 129, 305;
    in crystalline rocks and marbles, iv. 104, 106, 107, 129, 135;
    of mosses, iv. 130, v. 99;
    solemn moderation in, ii. 84, 85;
    of mountains, i. 157, 158, 168, iv. 351;
    on buildings, improved by age, i. 105;
    of the open sky, i. 206;
    of clouds, v. 120, 121, 136, 149;
    reflected, on water, i. 330, 332;
    of form, i. 349;
    of old masters, i. 159;
    of the Apennines, contrasted with the Alps, iii. 233;
    of water, i. 349;
    the painter's own proper work, v. 316.

  Colorists, contrasts of, iv. 40;
    advantages of, over chiaroscurists, iv. 47-51;
    great, use of green by, i. 159 (note);
    seven supreme, v. 318 (note);
    great, painting of sun color, v. 317, 318.

  Completion, in art, when professed, should be rigorously exacted, ii. 82;
    of portraiture, iii. 90;
    on what depending, v. 181;
    meaning of, by a good painter, v. 181, 191;
    right, v. 272 (note);
    abused, v. 273.

  Composers, great, habit of regarding relations of things, v. 178, 179;
    determinate sketches of, v. 182.

  Composition, definition of, v. 155;
    use of simple conception in, ii. 148;
    harmony of, with true rules, ii. 150, iii. 86;
    transgression of laws allowable in, iv. 274;
    true not produced by rules, v. 154;
    necessity of every part in, v. 158;
    true, the noblest condition of art, v. 158;
    law of help in, v. 158, 163;
    great, has always a leading purpose, v. 163;
    law of perfectness, v. 180.

  Conception, simple, nature of, ii. 147;
    concentrates on one idea the pleasure of many, ii. 193;
    how connected with verbal knowledge, ii. 148;
    of more than creature, impossible to creature, ii. 133, 134, 212, 215;
    of superhuman form, ii. 215;
    use of, in composition, ii. 148;
    ambiguity of things beautiful changes by its indistinctness, ii. 92;
    partial, is none, v. 190.

  Conscience, power of association upon, ii. 35.

  Consistence, is life, v. 156;
    example of its power, jewels out of mud, v. 156.

  Crests, mountain, formation of, i. 295, iv. 197, 198;
    forms of, i. 295, iv. 195-209;
    beauty of, depends on radiant curvature, iv. 201, 204;
    sometimes like flakes of fire, i. 278.

  Crimean War, iii. 326-332.

  Criticism, importance of truth in, i. 48;
    qualifications necessary to good, i. 418, iii. 23;
    technical knowledge necessary to, i. 4;
    how it may be made useful, iii. 22;
    judicious, i. 11, 420;
    modern, general incapability and inconsistency of, i. 419;
    general, iii. 16;
    when to be contemned, i. 338;
    true, iii. 22.

  Curvature, a law of nature, ii. 46, iv. 192;
    two sorts of, finite and infinite, iv. 263;
    infinity of, in nature, ii. 46, iv. 272;
    curves arranged to set off each other, iv.  272;
    beauty of, ii. 46, iv. 263, 264, 287;
    beauty of moderation in, ii. 84;
    value of apparent proportion in, ii. 59, 60;
    laws of, in trees, i. 400;
    in running streams and torrents, i. 370;
    approximation of, to right lines, adds beauty, iv. 263 264, 268;
    in mountains, produced by rough fracture, iv. 193;
    beauty of catenary, iv. 279;
    radiating, the most beautiful, iv. 203 (note);
    measurement of, iv. 269 (note);
    of beds of slaty crystallines, wavy, iv. 150;
    of mountains, iv. 282, 285, 287;
    of aiguilles, iv. 184, 191;
    in stems, v. 21, 56;
    in branches, v. 39, 63;
    loss of, in engraving, v. 320 (note).

  Custom, power of, ii. 24, 34, 55;
    twofold operation, deadens sensation, confirms affection, ii. 24, 34,
    Wordsworth on, iii. 293.

  Dante, one of the creative order of poets, iii. 156;
    and Shakspere, difference between, iv. 372 (note);
    compared with Scott, iii. 266;
    demons of, v. 256;
    statement of doctrine by (damnation of heathen), v. 230.

  Dante's self-command, iii. 160;
    clear perception, iii. 156;
    keen perception of color, iii. 218, 220, 222, 223, 234;
    definiteness of his Inferno, compared with indefiniteness of
      Milton's, iii. 209;
    ideal landscape, iii. 213;
    poem, formality of landscape in, iii. 209, 211;
    description of flame, ii. 163;
    description of a wood, iii. 214;
    makes mountains abodes of misery, iii. 231,
    and is insensible to their broad forms, iii. 240;
    conception of rocks, iii. 232, 238;
    declaration of mediæval faith, iii. 217;
    delight in white clearness of sky, iii. 242;
    idea of the highest art, reproduction of the aspects of things past
      and present, iii. 18;
    idea of happiness, iii. 217;
    representation of love, iii. 197;
    hatred of rocks, iii. 238, 275;
    repugnance to mountains, iii. 240;
    symbolic use of color in hewn rock, iv. 109 (note);
    carefulness in defining color, iii. 222;
    Vision of Leah and Rachel, iii. 216;
    use of the rush, as emblem of humility, iii. 227;
    love of the definite, iii. 209, 212, 223;
    love of light, iii. 243, 244;
    Spirit of Treachery, v. 305;
    Geryon, Spirit of Fraud, v. 305;
    universality, Straw street and highest heavens, iv. 84.

  David, King, true gentleman, v. 263.

  Dead, the, can receive our honor, not our gratitude, i. 6.

  Death, fear of, v. 231, 236;
    conquest over, v. 237;
    vulgarity, a form of, v. 275;
    English and European, v. 296;
    following the vain pursuit of wealth, power, and beauty (Venice), v.
    mingled with beauty, iv. 327;
    of Moses and Aaron, iv. 378-383;
    contrasted with life, ii. 79.

  Débris, curvature of, iv. 279, 284, 285;
    lines of projection produced by, iv. 279;
    various angles of, iv. 309;
    effect of gentle streams on, iv. 281;
    torrents, how destructive to, iv. 281.

  Deception of the senses, not the end of art, i. 22, 74, 76.

  Decision, love of, leads to vicious speed, i. 39.

  Decoration, architectural effects of light on, i. 106;
    use of, in representing the supernatural, ii. 219.

  Deity, revelation of, iv. 84;
    presence of, manifested in the clouds, iv. 84, 85;
    modes of manifestation of, in the Bible, iv. 81;
    his mountain building, iv. 37;
    warning of, in the mountains, iv. 341;
    art representations of, meant only as symbolic, iii. 203;
    purity, expressive of the presence and energy of, ii. 78, 79;
    finish of the works of, ii. 82, 87;
    communication of truth to men, ii. 137;
    Greek idea of, iii. 170, 177;
    modern idea of, as separated from the life of nature, iii. 176;
    presence of, in nature, i. 57, iii. 305, 306, v. 85, 137;
    manifestation of the, in nature, i. 324, iii. 196;
    love of nature develops a sense of the presence and power of, iii.
      300, 301;
    directest manifestation of the, v. 198.

  Deflection, law of, in trees, v. 25, 26.

  Delavigne, Casimir, "La toilette de Constance," iii. 162.

  Details, use of variable and invariable, not the criterion of poetry,
      iii. 7-10;
    Byron's use of, iii. 8;
    careful drawing of, by great men, iii. 122;
    use of light in understanding architectural, i. 106;
    swift execution secures perfection of, i. 202;
    false and vicious treatment of, by old masters, i. 74.

  Devil, the, held by some to be the world's lawgiver, v. 345.

  "Discord," in Homer, Spenser, and Turner, v. 309-311.

  Distance, effect of, on our perception of objects, i. 186, 191, 192;
    must sometimes be sacrificed to foreground, i. 187;
    effect of, on pictorial color, iv. 64;
    expression of infinity in, ii. 41;
    extreme, characterized by sharp outlines, i. 283;
    effect of, on mountains, i. 277, 280;
    early masters put details into, i. 187.

  Dog, as painted by various masters, v. 224, 255.

  Dragon, of Scripture, v. 305;
    of the Greeks, v. 300, 305;
    of Dante, v. 306;
    of Turner, v. 300, 307-312, 314, 316, 323.

  Drawing, noble, mystery and characteristic of, iv. 56, 59, 63, 214;
    real power of, never confined to one subject, i. 416;
    of mountain forms, i. 286, 305, iv. 188-191, 242;
    of clouds, v. 111 (note), 118;
    necessary to education, v. 330 (note);
    figure, of Turner, i. 189;
    questions concerning, v. 36;
    landscape of old and modern painters, iii. 249;
    of artists and architects, difference between, i. 118;
    distinctness of, iii. 36;
    of Swiss pines, iv. 290;
    modern, of snowy mountains, unintelligible, i. 286;
    as taught in Encyclopædia Britannica, iv. 295;
    inviolable canon of, "draw only what you see," iv. 16;
    should be taught every child, iii. 299.

  Earth, general structure of, i. 271;
    laws of organization of, important in art, i. 270;
    past and present condition of, iv. 140, 141;
    colors of, iv. 38;
    the whole not habitable, iv. 95, 96;
    noblest scenes of, seen by few, i. 204;
    man's appointed work on, v. 1;
    preparation of, for man, v. 3;
    sculpturing of the dry land, iv. 89.

  Economy of labor, v. 328.

  Education, value of, iii. 42;
    its good and bad effect on enjoyment of beauty, iii. 64;
    of Turner, iii. 319, v. 287-297;
    of Scott, iii. 308;
    of Giorgione, v. 286, 287, 291;
    of Durer, v. 230, 231;
    of Salvator, v. 235, 236;
    generally unfavorable to love of nature, iii. 298;
    modern, corrupts taste, iii. 65;
    logical, a great want of the time, iv. 384;
    love of picturesque, a means of, iv. 12;
    what to be taught in, v. 328 (note);
    what it can do, iii. 42;
    can improve race, v. 262;
    of persons of simple life, v. 328 (note).

  Emotions, noble and ignoble, iii. 10;
    true, generally imaginative, ii. 190.

  Enamel, various uses of the word, iii. 221-223.

  Energy, necessary to repose, ii. 66;
    purity a type of, ii. 76;
    how expressed by purity of matter, ii. 79;
    expression of, in plants, a source of pleasure, ii. 92.

  English art culminated in the 13th century, iv. 350.

  Engraving, influence of, i. 101;
    system of landscape, i. 260, v. 38, 98, 328.

  Evil, the indisputable fact, iv. 342;
    captivity to, v. 217, 285;
    contest with, v. 285;
    conquered, v. 285;
    recognition and conquest of, essential to highest art, v. 205-209, 217;
    war with, v. 231.

  Exaggeration, laws and limits of, ii. 208-210;
    necessary on a diminished scale, ii. 208.

  Excellence, meaning of the term, i. 14, 15 (note);
    in language, what necessary to, i. 9;
    the highest, cannot exist without obscurity, iv. 61;
    passing public opinion no criterion of, i. 1, 2;
    technical, superseding expression, iii. 29.

  Execution, meaning of the term, i. 36;
    three vices of, ii. 188 (note);
    qualities of, i. 36, 37, 39 (note);
    dependent upon knowledge of truth, i. 36;
    essential to drawing of water, i. 350;
    swift, details best given by, i. 202;
    legitimate sources of pleasures in, i. 36, 38;
    mystery of, necessary in rendering space of nature, i. 203;
    rude, when the source of noble pleasure, ii. 82 (note);
    determinate, v. 37, 38.

  Expression, three distinct schools of--Great, Pseudo, and
      Grotesque-Expressional, iv. 385;
    subtle, how reached, iv. 55;
    influence of moral in animal form, ii. 97, 98;
    perfect, never got without color, iv. 54 (note);
    unison of expressional, with technical power, where found, iii. 29;
    superseded by technical excellence, iii. 29;
    of inspiration, ii. 214;
    of superhuman character, how attained, ii. 213.

  Eye, focus of, truth of space dependent on, i. 186-190;
    what seen by the cultivated, iv. 71;
    what seen by the uncultivated, iv. 71;
    when necessary to change focus of, i. 186, 355;
    keenness of an artist's, how tested, iv. 188.

  Faculty Theoretic, definition of, ii. 12, 18.

  Faculty Æsthetic, definition of, ii. 12, 18.

  Faith, derivation of the word, v. 161;
    developed by love of nature, iii. 299;
    want of, iii. 252-254;
    our ideas of Greek, iii. 169;
    of the Scotch farmer, iii. 189;
    source and substance of all human deed, v. 161;
    want of, in classical art, v. 242;
    right, looks to present work, v. 205;
    brave and hopeful, accompanies intellectual power, v. 205;
    tranquillity of, before the Reformation, v. 230;
    want of, in Dutch artists, v. 251;
    of Venetians, v. 218;
    how shown in early Christian art, iii. 49-51, v. 205;
    in God, in nature, nearly extinct, iii. 251.

  Fallacy, Pathetic defined, iii. 155;
    not admitted by greatest poets, iii. 156;
    Pope's, iii. 158;
    emotional temperament liable to, iii. 158;
    instances illustrating the, iii. 160, 167;
    characteristic of modern painting, iii. 168.

  Fancy, functions of, ii. 150;
    never serious, ii. 169;
    distinction between imagination and, ii. 166-170;
    restlessness of, ii. 170;
    morbid or nervous, ii. 200.

  Fear, destructive of ideal character, ii. 126;
    distinguished from awe, ii. 126;
    expressions of, only sought by impious painters, ii. 128;
    holy, distinct from human terror, ii. 127.

  Ferocity, always joined with fear, ii. 127;
    destructive of ideal character, ii. 126.

  Field Sports, v. 259.

    See Grass.

  Finish, two kinds of--fallacious and faithful, iii. 109;
    difference between English and continental, iii. 109, 111;
    human often destroys nature's, iii. 112;
    nature's, of rock, iii. 112;
    of outline, iii. 114;
    vain, useless conveying additional facts, iii. 116, 123, v. 271, 272
    in landscape foregrounds, i. 200;
    mysteriousness of, i. 193;
    esteemed essential by great masters, ii. 83, v. 271, 272 (note);
    infinite in God's work, ii. 82;
    how right and how wrong, i. 82-84, iii. 114;
    of tree stems, iii. 115 (plate).

  Firmament, definition of, iv. 83, v. 148.

  Flowers, mediæval love of, iii. 193;
    mountain variety of, iv. 347;
    typical of the passing and the excellence of human life, iii. 227;
    sympathy with, ii. 91, v. 88;
    no sublimity in, v. 91;
    alpine, v. 93;
    neglected by the great painters, v.  89;
    two chief peculiarities, v. 92, 93;
    beauty of, on what depending, v. 97 (note).

  Foam, two conditions of, i. 373;
    difficulty of representing, i, 373;
    appearance of, at Schaffhausen, i. 349;
    sea, how different from the "yeast" of a tempest, i. 380 (note).

  Foliage, an element of mountain glory, iv. 348;
    unity, variety, and regularity of, 394, 398;
    as painted on the Continent, i. 401;
    and by Pre-Raphaelites, i. 397;
    study of, by old masters, i. 384.

  Forbes, Professor, description of mountains, quoted, iv. 182, 235.

  Foreground, finer truths of, the peculiar business of a master, i. 315;
    lesson to be received from all, i. 323;
    mountain attractiveness of, i. 99;
    of ancient masters, i. 308, 313;
    increased loveliness of, when wet, iv. 245;
    Turner's, i. 323, 324;
    must sometimes be sacrificed to distance, i. 187.

  Form, chiaroscuro necessary to the perception of, i. 69, 70;
    more important than color, i. 68-71, ii. 77, iv. 54, v. 318 (note);
    multiplicity of, in mountains, i. 280;
    animal, typical representation of, ii. 203, 204;
    without color, ii. 201;
    without texture, Veronese and Landseer, ii. 202;
    natural curvature of, ii. 60, 61;
    animal beauty of, depends on moral expression, ii. 98;
    what necessary to the sense of beauty in organic, ii. 94, 95;
    ideal, ii. 104, iii. 78;
    animal and vegetable, ii. 105;
    ideal, destroyed by pride, sensuality, etc., ii. 122, 123;
    rendering of, by photography, iv. 63;
    mountain, iv. 135, 139, 159-262;
    natural, variety of, inconceivable, iv. 189;
    of aiguilles, how produced, iv. 189;
    beauty of, dependent upon curvature, ii. 46.

  French art culminated in 13th century, iv. 358.

  Fuseli, quotations from, i. 16, ii. 153, 171.

  Genius, unrecognized at the time, i. 6;
    not the result of education, iii. 42;
    power of, to teach, i. 414.

  Gentility, an English idea, iv. 4.

  Gentleman, the characteristics of a, sensibility, sympathy, courage, v.

  German religious art, "piety" of, iii. 253.

  Glacier, description, iv. 137; action of, iv. 161;
    gradual softener of mountain form, iv. 169;
    non-rigidity of, v. 86.

  Gloom, of Savoyard peasant, iv. 320;
    appearance of, in southern slope of Alps, iv. 326.
    See Mountain.

  Gneiss, nature of, iv. 206, 209;
    color of, iv. 136;
    Matterhorn composed of, iv. 160.

    See Deity.

  Gotthelf, works of, iv. 135, v. 330.

  Gracefulness, of poplar grove, iii. 181;
    of willow, v. 67;
    of Venetian art, 229.

  Gradation, suggestive of infinity, ii. 47;
    constant in nature, ii. 47;
    necessary to give facts of form and distance, i. 149;
    progress of the eye shown in sensibility to effects (Turner's Swiss
      towers), iv. 71;
    of light, Turnerian mystery, iv. 73;
    in a rose, iv. 46.

  Granite, qualities of, iv. 109, 110;
    color of, iv. 136.

  Grass, uses of, iii. 227;
    type of humility and cheerfulness, and of the passing away of human
      life, iii. 227, 228, v. 96;
    Greek mode of regarding as opposed to mediæval, iii. 223, 224;
    enamelled, Dante's "green enamel" description of, iii. 222, 226;
    damp, Greek love of, iii. 222;
    careful drawing of, by Venetians, iii. 317;
    mystery in, i. 315, iii. 221;
    man's love of, iii. 224;
    first element of lovely landscape, iii. 224.

  Gratitude, from what arising, ii. 15;
    a duty to the living can't be paid to the dead, i. 6.

  Greatness, tests of, i. 323, iii. 260, 261, v. 175.
    See Art, Artists.

  Greek, conception of Godhead, iii. 170, 175;
    art, spirit of, v. 209, 213;
    poetry, purpose of, the victory over fate, sin, and death, v. 209, 210;
    religion, the manful struggle with evil, v. 211-213;
    ideas of truthfulness, v. 267, 268;
    mythology, v. 300, 307, 308, 322;
    distrust of nature, v. 324;
    culture of human beauty, iii. 179, 180, 198, 204;
    landscape, composed of a fountain, meadow, and grove, iii. 181;
    belief in the presence of Deity in nature, iii. 169-177;
    absence of feeling for the picturesque, iii. 187;
    belief in particular gods ruling the elements, iii. 171-177;
    and Mediæval feeling, difference between, iii. 218;
    ideal of God, ii. 223;
    faith, compared with that of an old Scotch farmer, iii. 188;
    feeling about waves, iii. 169;
    indifference to color, iii. 219, 220;
    life, healthy, iii. 175;
    formalism of ornament, iii. 208;
    not visionary, iii. 188;
    delight in trees, meadows, gardens, caves, poplars, flat country, and
      damp grass, iii. 182-186, 221;
    preference of utility to beauty, iii. 181, 185;
    love of order, iii. 181, 189;
    coins, v. 36;
    description of clouds, v. 137-144;
    design, v. 196.

  Grief, a noble emotion, ii. 129, iii. 10.

  Grotesque, third form of the Ideal, iii. 92-107;
    three kinds of, iii. 92;
    noble, iii. 93, 102;
    true and false (mediæval and classical) griffins, iii. 101-107;
    Spenser's description of Envy, iii. 94;
    how fitted for illumination, iii. 101;
    modern, iv. 385-403.

  Grotesque Expressional, iv. 385;
    modern example of, "Gen. Fèvrier turned traitor," iv. 388.

  Habit, errors induced by; embarrasses the judgment, ii. 24;
    modifying effects of, ii. 32;
    power of, how typified, iv. 215.
    See Custom.

  Heavens, fitfulness and infinity of, i. 135;
    means in Scripture, clouds, iv. 86;
    relation of, to our globe, iv. 88, v. 148;
    presence of God in, iv. 88;
    Hebrew, Greek, and Latin names for, v. 147-150;
    meaning of, in 19th Psalm, v. 148.

  Help, habit of, the best part of education, v. 328 (note).

  Helpfulness, law of, v. 155-158;
    of inventive power, v. 192.
    See Consistence.

  Homer, a type of the Greek mind, iii. 188;
    poetical truth of, iii. 162;
    idea of the Sea-power, iii. 169;
    intense realism, iii. 185;
    conception of rocks, iii. 232, 239-241;
    pleasure in woody-scenery, iii. 184, 212;
    love of aspens, iii. 182, 185;
    love of symmetry, iii. 180;
    pleasure in utility, iii. 181, 184, 185;
    ideal of landscape, iii. 179-182;
    feelings traceable in his allusion to flowers, iii. 226;
    Michael Angelo compared to, by Reynolds, iii. 13;
    poetry of, v. 209;
    Iliad and Odyssey of, v. 210, 211, 309;
    his "Discord," v. 308;
    the victory over fate, sin, and death, v. 209;
    heroic spirit of, v. 211, 212;
    pride of, v. 217;
    faith of, v. 217.

  Hooker, his definition of a law, ii. 84;
    referred to, ii. 9, 14, 24;
    quotation from, on Divine Unity, ii. 50;
    quotation on exactness of nature, ii. 82.

  Horse, Greek and Roman treatment of, v. 257;
    Vandyke, first painter of, v. 258.

  Humility, means a right estimate of one's own powers, iii. 260;
    how symbolized by Dante, iii. 227;
    a test of greatness, iii. 260;
    inculcated by science, iii. 256;
    necessity of, to enjoyment of nature, iii. 269, iv. 69;
    grass, a type of, iii. 226, 228, v. 96;
    of inventive power, v. 192;
    distinguishing mark between the Christian and Pagan spirit, iii. 226.

  Ideal, definition of the word, i. 28;
    its two senses referring to imagination or to perfection of type, ii.
      102, 103;
    how to be attained, i. 44;
    form in lower animals, ii. 104;
    form in plants, ii. 105;
    of form to be preserved in art by exhibition of individuality, ii.
      109, 210;
    the bodily, effect of intellect and moral feelings on, ii. 113-115;
    form, of what variety susceptible, ii. 221;
    of human form, destroyed by expression of corrupt passions, ii. 122,
    of humanity, how to be restored, ii. 112, 118, 121;
    form to be obtained only by portraiture, ii. 119, iii. 78;
    form, necessity of love to the perception of, ii. 121, 130;
    pictures, interpreters of nature, iii. 141;
    general, of classical landscape, v. 244;
    modern pursuit of the, iii. 44, 65, 69;
    Angelican, iii. 49, 57, v. 283, i. 82;
    false Raphaelesque, iii. 53-57.

  Ideal, the true, faithful pursuit of, in the business of life, iii. 44;
    relation of modern sculpturesque to the, iii. 63;
    operation of, iii. 77;
    three kinds of--Purist, Naturalist, and Grotesque (see below), iii. 71.

  Ideal, true grotesque, iii. 92-107;
    limited expression of, iii. 99, 100.

  Ideal, true naturalist, character of, iii. 77-91;
    high, necessity of reality in, iii. 80, 81, 91;
    its operation on historical art, iii. 89-91;
    in landscape produces the heroic, v. 206.

  Ideal, true purist, iii. 71-76.

  Ideal, false, various forms of, iii. 69, iv. 308, 310 (plates);
    results of pursuit of the, iii. 61, 63;
    religious, iii. 44, 60;
    well-executed, dulls perception of truth, iii. 48-52;
    profane, iii. 61-69;
    of the modern drama, iv. 321.

  Ideal, superhuman, ii. 212, 224;
    expression of, by utmost degree of human beauty, ii. 214.

  Ideality, not confined to one age or condition, ii. 109-117;
    expressible in art, by abstraction of form, color, or texture, ii.

  Illumination, distinguished from painting by absence of shadow, iii.
    pigments used in, iii. 223;
    decline of the art of, to what traceable, iv. 359;
    of MSS. in thirteenth century, illustrating treatment of natural
      form, iii. 207, 208, iv. 76;
    of MSS. in fifteenth century, illustrating treatment of landscape
      art, iii. 201;
    of MSS. in sixteenth century, illustrating idea of rocks, iii. 239;
    of missals, illustrating later ideas of rocks and precipices, iv.
    of missal in British Museum, illustrating German love of horror, iv.
    of MSS. in fifteenth century, German coarseness contrasted with grace
      and tenderness of thirteenth century, iv. 335;
    representation of sun in, iii. 318.

  Imagination, threefold operation of, ii. 146;
    why so called, iii. 132;
    defined, ii. 151;
    functions of, ii. 10, 143, 188, iii. 45, iv. 31;
    how strengthened by feeding on truth and external nature, i. 427, ii.
    tests of presence of, ii. 155, 169, 207;
    implies self-forgetfulness, i. 306;
    importance of in art, iii. 38;
    Dugald Stewart's definition of, ii. 143, 145;
    conscious of no rules, ii. 155;
    makes use of accurate knowledge, ii. 109, iii. 40;
    noble only when truthful, ii. 161, iii. 123, iv. 30;
    entirety of its grasp, ii. 156, 179, v. 187, 190;
    its delight in the character of repose, ii. 66;
    verity of, ii. 161, 188, 211, iii. 30, 107, 133;
    power of, ii. 158, 206, iii. 10, 11, 131, 287, iv. 19, 30;
    calmness essential to, v. 191;
    always the seeing and asserting faculty, iii. 211;
    charm of expectant, iv. 131;
    pleasure derived from, how enhanced, iii. 281;
    highest form of, ii. 146;
    always right when left to itself, iii. 106;
    how excited by mountain scenery, iv. 23, 222, v. 216, 235;
    influence of clouds on, v. 141;
    searching apprehension of, ii. 164, 165, 169, 183, 188, 195, iii. 107;
    distinguished from fancy, ii. 166-170, 194, 201;
    signs of, in language, ii. 165;
    how shown in sculpture, ii. 184-187;
    work of, distinguished from composition, ii. 154-158;
    what necessary to formation of, v. 189-191.

  Imagination, penetrative, ii. 163-191;
    associative, ii. 147-162;
    contemplative, ii. 192-211.

  Imitation, power of deceiving the senses, i. 17;
    why reprehensible, i. 18, 19, 21, 34, 73, 416, iv. 136;
    no picture good which deceives by, i. 25;
    when right, in architectural ornament, ii. 205;
    of flowers, v. 92;
    was least valued in the thirteenth century, iii. 18, 199, 209;
    general pleasure in deceptive effects of, iii. 16;
    when made an end of art, i. 74, 143;
    began, as a feature of art, about 1300, iii. 203;
    of what impossible, i. 77, 157, 164, 371, 372, ii. 203, iii. 20, 129,
      v. 91;
    definition of ideas of, i. 13, 20.

  Infinity, typical of redeemed life, iv. 80;
    expressed in nature by curvature and gradation, ii. 45-48;
    of gradation, i. 210, 224, ii. 47;
    of variety in nature's coloring, i. 168, 172, 325, iv. 127;
    of nature's fulness, i. 195, v. 99;
    of clouds, i. 218, 235, v. 110, 113;
    of detail in mountains, i. 290, 297;
    of curvature, i. 315, ii. 60, iv. 262-269, v. 39;
    expressed by distance, ii. 41;
    not implied by vastness, ii. 49;
    the cause of mystery, iv. 58;
    of mountain vegetation, iv. 288;
    absence of, in Dutch work, v. 37;
    general delight in, ii. 42-44.

  Inspiration, the expression of the mind of a God-made great man, iii.
    expression of, on human form, ii. 214;
    as manifested in impious men, ii. 137, 138;
    revelations made by, how communicable, ii. 133;
    condition of prophetic, iii. 159.

  Intellect, how affected by novelty, ii. 54;
    how connected with pleasure derived from art, i. 10, 28;
    its operation upon the features, ii. 113-115;
    connection of beauty with, i. 27;
    how influenced by state of heart, ii. 17, 114;
    affected by climatic influences, v. 134;
    how rendered weak, v. 205, 247;
    abuse of, v. 266 (note);
    culture of, in mechanical arts, v. 328 (note);
    comparison between Angelico's, Salvator's, Durer's, and Giorgione's,
      v. 284, 285;
    beauty of animal form increased by expression of, ii. 98;
    decay of, shown by love of the horrible, iv. 328;
    popular appreciation of, i. 418;
    influence of mountain scenery on, iv. 274, 351-363;
    condition of, in English and French nations, from thirteenth to
      sixteenth century, iv. 358;
    great humility of, iii. 260;
    seriousness of, iii. 258;
    sensibility of, iii. 159, 286;
    power of, in controlling emotions, iii. 160;
    sees the whole truth, v. 205;
    greater, not found in minds of purest religious temper, v. 204.

  Intemperance, nature and application of the word, ii. 13, 14.

  Invention, characteristic of great art, i. 305, iii. 38, 88;
    greatest of art-qualities, v. 158;
    instinctive character of, ii. 155, iii. 84, 87, v. 154, 158;
    evil of misapplied, i. 117;
    liberty of, with regard to proportion, ii. 61;
    operation of (Turnerian Topography), iv. 18, 23, 24;
    "never loses an accident," v. 173;
    not the duty of young artists, i. 422;
    verity of, v. 191;
    absence of, how tested, v. 157;
    grandeur of, v. 187;
    material, v. 153-163;
    spiritual, v. 193-217;
    sacred, a passionate finding, v. 192;
    of form, superior to invention of color, v. 320 (note).

  Joy, a noble emotion, ii. 16, iii. 10;
    necessity of, to ideas of beauty, ii. 17, 29;
    of youth, how typified in bud-structure and flowers, iii. 206, 227;
    of humble life, v. 328.

  Judgment, culture and regulation of, i. 49-56, ii. 22-25;
    distinguished from taste, i. 25, ii. 34;
    right moral, necessary to sense of beauty, ii. 96, 99;
    right technical knowledge necessary to formation of, ii. 4;
    equity of, illustrated by Shakspere, iv. 332;
    substitution of, for admiration, the result of unbelief, v. 244.

  Keats, subdued by the feeling under which he writes, iii. 160;
    description of waves by, iii. 168;
    description of pine, v. 82;
    coloring of, iii. 257;
    no real sympathy with, but a dreamy love of nature, iii. 270, 285;
    death of, v. 349;
    his sense of beauty, v. 332.

  Knowledge, connection of, with sight, i. 54;
    connection of, with thought, i. 47;
    pleasure in, iv. 69;
    communication of, railways and telegraphs, iii. 302;
    what worth teaching, iii. 298, v. 330;
    influence of, on art, i. 45, 47, 238;
    necessary to right judgment of art, i. 121, 411, 418;
    feeling necessary to fulness of, v. 107;
    highest form of, is Trust, v. 161;
    coldness of, v. 140;
    how to be employed, v. 330;
    refusal of, a form of asceticism, v. 326.

  Labor, healthful and harmful, v. 329, 331.

  Lands, classed by their produce and corresponding kinds of art, v.

  Landscape, Greek, iii. 178-187, v. 211-213;
    effect of on Greek mind, iv. 351;
    of fifteenth century, iii. 201;
    mediæval, iii. 201, 209, 219, iv. 77-79;
    choice of, influenced by national feeling, i. 125;
    novelty of, iii. 143-151;
    love of, iii. 280, 294;
    Scott's view of, iii. 257;
    of Switzerland, iv. 132, 290 (see Mountains, Alps, &c.);
    of Southern Italy, v. 235;
    Swiss moral influences of, contrasted with those of Italy, iv.
    colors of, iv. 40, 345;
    lowland and mountain, iv. 363;
    gradation in, i. 182;
    natural, how modified by choice of inventive artists, iv. 24, 26
    dependent for interest on relation to man, v. 193, 196;
    how to manufacture one, iv. 291.

  Landscape Painters, aims of great, i. 44, iv. 23;
    choice of truths by, i. 74-76;
    in seventeenth century, their vicious and false style, i. 5, 185,
      328, 387;
    German and Flemish, i. 90;
    characteristics of Dutch, v. 253, 259;
    vulgarity of Dutch, v. 277;
    English, i. 83, 92-95.

  Landscape Painting, modern, i. 424;
    four true and two spurious forms of, v. 194, 195;
    true, dependent for its interest on sympathy with humanity (the
      "dark mirror"), v. 195-201, iii. 248, 250, 259, 325, iv. 56;
    early Italian school of, i. 81-85, 165, ii. 217;
    emancipation of, from formalism, iii. 312;
    Venetian school of, expired 1594, iii. 317, v. 214, 219;
    supernatural, ii. 219-222;
    Purist ideal of, iii. 70-76;
    delight in quaint, iii. 313;
    preservation of symmetry in, by greatest men, ii. 74;
    northern school of, iii. 323;
    doubt as to the usefulness of, iii. 144, v. 193;
    symbolic, iii. 203;
    topographical, iv. 16;
    Dutch school of, i. 92;
    modern love of darkness and dark color, the "service of clouds," iii.

  Landscape Painting, Classical, v. 242-248;
    absence of faith in, v. 242;
    taste and restraint of, v. 242;
    ideal of, v. 244.

  Landscape Painting, Dutch, v. 277-281.

  Landscape Painting, Heroic, v. 194-198.

  Landscape Painting, Pastoral, v. 253-260.

  Language of early Italian Pictures, i. 10;
    of Dutch pictures, i. 10;
    distinction between ornamental and expressive, i. 10;
    painting a, i. 8;
    accuracy of, liable to misinterpretation, iii. 5.

  Law, David's delight in the, v. 146;
    helpfulness or consistence the highest, v. 156.

  Laws of leaf-grouping, v. 25, 26, 32;
    of ramification, v. 49-62;
    of vegetation, how expressed in early Italian sculpture, v. 46.

  Leaf, Leaves, how treated by mediæval ornamental artists, iii. 204;
    of American plane, iii. 205;
    of Alisma plantago, iii. 205;
    of horse-chestnut, iii. 205;
    growth of, iv. 193, v. 31;
    laws of Deflection, Radiation, and Succession, v. 25, 26;
    ribs of, law of subordination in, iii. 206, v. 24;
    lessons from, v. 32, 74, 75;
    of the pine, v. 78;
    of earth-plants, shapes of, v. 92-95;
    life of, v. 31, 32, 40, 41, 63;
    structure of, 21-25;
    variety and symmetry of, i. 394, ii. 72, 92;
    drawing of, by Venetians, iii. 316;
    drawing of, by Dutch and by Durer, v. 37, 90;
    curvature in, iv. 271-273;
    mystery in, i. 191, 396;
    strength and hope received from, ii. 140.

  Leaflets, v. 33.

  Liberty, self-restrained, ii. 84;
    love of, in modern landscapes, iii. 250;
    Scott's love of, iii. 271;
    religious, of Venetians, v. 215;
    individual helplessness (J. S. Mill), v. 174.

    See Moss.

  Life, intensity of, proportionate to intensity of helpfulness, v. 155;
    connection of color with, iv. 53, 123, v. 322;
    man's, see Man, Mediæval.

  Light, power, gradation, and preciousness of, iv. 34, 37, 53, 69, 71-73;
    mediæval love of, iii. 200;
    value of, on what dependent, ii. 48;
    how affected by color, i. 68, 70;
    influence of, in architecture, i. 106;
    table of gradation of different painters, iv. 42;
    law of evanescence (Turner), iv. 70;
    expression of, by color, i. 98, 171;
    with reference to tone, i. 147, 149;
    a characteristic of the thirteenth century, iv. 49;
    love of, ii. 75, 76, iii. 244;
    a type of God, ii. 78;
    purity of, i. 147, ii. 75;
    how related to shadows, i. 140, 173;
    hues of, i. 149, 157, 161;
    high, how obtained, i. 173, 182, ii. 48;
    high, use of gold in, i. 106;
    white of idealists to be distinguished from golden of Titian's
      school, ii. 221;
    Dutch, love of, v. 254, 278;
    effects of, as given by Turner, iv, 71.

  Limestone, of what composed, i. 309;
    color of, iii. 231-233;
    tables, iv. 127-129.

  Lines of fall, iv. 276;
    of projection, iv. 279;
    of escape, iv. 279;
    of rest, iv. 309;
    nature of governing, iv. 187;
    in faces, ii. 114;
    undulating, expressive of action, horizontal, of rest and strength,
      v. 164;
    horizontal and angular, v. 164;
    grandeur of, consists in simplicity with variation, iv. 247;
    curved, iv. 263;
    apparent proportion in, ii. 61;
    all doubtful, rejected in armorial bearings, iii. 200.

  Literature, greatest not produced by religious temper, v. 205;
    classical, the school of taste or restraint, v. 242;
    spasmodic, v. 242;
    world of, divided into thinkers and seers, iii. 262;
    modern temper of, iii. 252, 261-263;
    reputation of, on what dependent (error transitory) i. 1, 2.

  Locke, quoted (hard to see well), i. 51, 67.

  Love, a noble emotion, iii. 10;
    color a type of, v. 320 (note);
    source of unity, ii. 50;
    as connected with vital beauty, ii. 89;
    perception quickened by, i. 52;
    want of, in some of the old landscape painters, i. 77;
    finish proceeding from, i. 84;
    nothing drawn rightly with out, iv. 33;
    of brightness in English cottages, iv. 320;
    of horror, iv. 328;
    characteristic of all great men, ii. 90;
    higher than reason, ii. 114;
    ideal form, only to be reached by, ii. 121;
    loveliest things wrought through, ii. 131, v. 348;
    good work only done for, v. 346-348;
    and trust the nourishment of man's soul, v. 348.

  Lowell, quotation from, v. 347.

  Lowlander, proud of his lowlands (farmer in "Alton Locke"), iii. 182.

  Magnitude, relation of, to minuteness, v. 175-177;
    love of mere size, v. 176;
    influence of, on different minds, v. 177.

  Man, his use and function, ii. 4;
    his business in the world, iii. 44, v. 1;
    three orders of, iii. 286;
    characteristics of a great, iii. 260;
    perfection of threefold, v. 326;
    vital beauty in, ii. 111-131;
    present and former character of, iii. 149-151;
    intelligibility necessary to a great, iv. 74;
    adaptation of plants to needs of, v. 2, 3;
    influence of scenery on, v. 133-135;
    lessons learnt by, from natural beauty, v. 146;
    result of unbelief in, v. 345;
    how to get noblest work out of, v. 346-348;
    love and trust necessary to development of, v. 347;
    divided into five classes, v. 159-162;
    how to perceive a noble spirit in, iv. 18;
    when intemperate, ii. 13;
    pursuits of, how divided, ii. 8, v. 159-162;
    life of, the rose and cankerworm, v. 324, 332;
    not intended to be satisfied by earthly beauty, i. 204, iv. 131;
    his happiness, how constituted, iii. 303, v. 327-330;
    his idea of finish, iii. 113;
    society necessary to the development of, ii. 116;
    noblest tone and reach of life of, v. 331.

  Marble, domestic use of, iv. 370;
    fitted for sculpture, iv. 127;
    colors of, iv. 140.

  Mediæval, ages compared with modern, iii. 250;
    not "dark," iii. 252;
    mind, how opposed to Greek, iii. 193;
    faith, life the expression of man's delight in God's work, iii. 217;
    admiration of human beauty, iii. 197;
    knights, iii. 192-195;
    feeling respecting mountains, iii. 192, 196, 229, iv. 377;
    want of gratitude, iii. 193;
    sentimental enjoyment of nature, iii. 192;
    dread of thick foliage, iii. 213;
    love for color, iii. 219, 220;
    dislike of rugged stone, iv. 301;
    love of cities, v. 4;
    love of gardens, iii. 191;
    love of symmetry, iii. 199;
    neglect of earth's beauty, v. 5, iii. 146;
    love of definition, iii. 209;
    idea of education, v. 5;
    landscape, the fields, iii. 191-228;
    the rocks, iii. 229-247.

  Mica, characteristics of, iv. 105;
    connected with chlorite, iv. 113;
    use of the word, iv. 114;
    flake of, typical of strength in weakness, iv. 239.

  Michelet, "L'Insecte," quoted on magnitude, v. 176.

  Middle Ages, spirit of the, iii. 151;
    deficiency in Shakspere's conception of, iv. 364-368;
    baronial life in the, iii. 192, 195;
    neglect of agriculture in, iii. 192;
    made earth a great battlefield, v. 5.
    See Mediæval.

  Mill, J. S., "On Liberty," v. 174.

  Milton, characteristics of, ii. 144, iii. 285, 296;
    his use of the term "expanse," iv. 83;
    and Dante's descriptions, comparison between, ii. 163, iii. 209;
    misuse of the term "enamelled" by, iii. 223;
    instances of "imagination," ii. 144.

  Mind, independence of, ii. 191;
    visibleoperation of, on the body, ii. 113.

  Minuteness, value of, v. 175-177;
    influence of, on different minds, v. 177.
    See Magnitude.

  Mist, of what typical, iv. 70;
    Copley Fielding's love of, iv. 75.

  Mistakes, great, chiefly due to pride, iv. 50.

  Moderation, value of, ii. 84.

  Modern age, characteristics of, iii. 251, 254, 264, 276;
    costume, ugliness of, iii. 255, v. 273 (note);
    romance of the past, iii. 255;
    criticism, iv. 389;
    landscape, i. 424, ii. 159, iii. 248;
    mind, pathetic fallacy characteristic of, iii. 168.

  Moisture, expressed by fulness of color, iv. 245.

  Moss, colors of, iv. 130, v. 99;
    beauty and endurance of, v. 100.

  Mountaineer, false theatrical idea of, iv. 321;
   regarded as a term of reproach by Dante, iii. 241;
    same by Shakspere, iv. 371;
    his dislike of his country, iii. 182;
    hardship of, iv. 335;
    his life of, "gloom," iv. 320.

  Mountains (see also Banks, Crests, Débris, &c.), uses and functions of,
      iv. 91;
    influences of, on artistic power, iv. 356;
    influence on purity of religion, doctrine, and practice, iv. 351;
    monkish view of, iv. 377, iii. 196;
    structure of, i. 300, iv. 157;
    materials of, i. 271, iv. 90;
    principal laws of, i. 270, 302;
    spirit of, i. 271;
    false color of (Salvator and Titian), i. 158;
    multiplicity of feature, i. 299;
    fulness of vegetation, iv. 291;
    contours of, i. 298, iv. 141, 157, 182, 276, 309;
    curvature of, i. 296, iv. 186, 192, 282, 287;
    appearances of, i. 281, 283;
    foreground, beauty of, i. 99, iv. 99;
    two regions in, iv. 172;
    superior beauty of, iv. 91, 346, 348;
    false ideal of life in, iv. 319;
    decomposition, iv. 103, 137, 169, 309;
    sanctity of, iii. 196;
    lessons from decay of, iv. 315;
    regularity and parallelism of beds in, iv. 207;
    exaggeration in drawing of, ii. 208, iv. 175, 190;
    love of, iii. 250, 259, 288, iv. 376;
    mentions of, in Scripture, iii. 196, iv. 377;
    Moses on Sinai, iv. 378;
    Transfiguration, iv. 381;
    construction of Northern Alpine, iv. 286, iv. 324;
    glory, iv. 344, 345;
    lift the lowlands on their sides, iv. 92;
    mystery of, unfathomable, iv. 155, 174;
    material of Alpine, a type of strength in weakness, iv. 239;
    Dante's conception of, iii. 229, 230, 239;
    Dante's repugnance to, iii. 240;
    influence of the Apennines on Dante, iii. 231;
    mediæval feeling respecting, iii. 191, 229;
    symbolism of, in Dante, iii. 240;
    not represented by the Greeks, iii. 145;
    scenery not attempted by old masters, i. 278;
    influence of, iv. 344, 356;
    the beginning and end of natural scenery, iv. 344.

  Mountains, central, their formation and aspect, i. 275-287.

  Mountain gloom, iv. 317-343;
    life in Alpine valleys, iv. 320;
    love of horror, iv. 328-332;
    Romanism, iv. 333;
    disease, iv. 335;
    instance, Sion in the Valais, iv. 339.

  Mountains, inferior, how distinguished from central, i. 290;
    individual truth in drawing of, i. 304.

  Mystery, of nature, i. 37, iv. 67, 80;
    never absent in nature, iv. 58;
    noble and ignoble, iv. 70, 73, 74;
    of execution, necessary to the highest excellence, i. 37, iv. 62;
    in Pre-Raphaelitism, iv. 61;
    sense of delight in, iv. 69;
    Turnerian, essential, iv. 56-67;
    wilful, iv. 68-81.

  Mythology, Renaissance paintings of, iii. 62;
    Apollo and the Python, v. 322;
    Calypso, the concealer, v. 211;
    Ceto, deep places of the sea, v. 138, 304;
    Chrysaor, angel of lightning, v. 140;
    Danae's golden rain, v. 140;
    Danaïdes, sieves of, v. 140;
    Dragon of Hesperides, v. 302, 308, 309;
    Eurybia, tidal force of the sea, v. 138, 304;
    Fates, v. 301;
    Garden of Hesperides, v. 300-316;
    Goddess of Discord, Eris, v. 305-310;
    Gorgons, storm-clouds, v. 138, 304;
    Graiæ, soft rain-clouds, 138, 304;
    Hesperides, v. 303, 310;
    Nereus, god of the sea, v. 138, 303;
    Minerva's shield, Gorgon's head on, v. 140;
    Muses, v. 163;
    Pegasus, lower rain-clouds, v. 140;
    Phorcys, malignant angel of the sea, v. 138, 303;
    Thaumas, beneficent angel of the sea, v. 138, 304.

  Nature, infinity of, i. 64, 66, 164-168, 198, 219, 224, iii. 121
     (drawing of leafage), iv. 29, 267, 303, i. 77;
    variety of, i. 55, 169, 291, v. 2-5;
    gradation in, ii. 47, iv. 122, 287;
    curvature in, ii. 46, 60, iv. 271, 272;
    colors of, i. 70, 169, 352, iii. 35;
    finish of, iii. 112, 121, 122;
    fineness of, iv. 304;
    redundancy of, iii. 122, v. 99;
    balance of, v. 64;
    inequality of, v. 22;
    pathetic treatment of, v. 177;
    always imaginative, ii. 158;
    never distinct, never vacant, i. 193;
    love of, intense or subordinate, classification of writers, iii. 285;
    love of, an indication of sensibility, iii. 285;
    love of (moral of landscape), iii. 285-307;
    want of love of in old masters, i. 77, iii. 325;
    lights and shadows in, i. 180, 311, iv. 34;
    organic and inorganic beauty of, i. 286, ii. 96;
    highest beauty rare in, i. 65, iv. 131;
    sympathy with, iii. 194, 306, ii. 91, 93, iv. 16-67;
    not to be painted, i. 64;
    imagination dependent on, ii. 191;
    how modified by inventive painters, v. 181;
    as represented by old masters, i. 77, 176;
    treatment of, by old landscape painters, i. 75;
    feeling respecting, of mediæval and Greek knight, iii. 177, 192, 193,
      197, v. 5;
    drawing from (Encyclopædia Britannica), iv. 295.
    See Beauty, Deity, Greek, Mediæval, Mystery, also Clouds, Mountains,

  Neatness, modern love of, iii. 109, iv. 3-6;
    vulgarity of excessive, v. 271.

  Nereid's guard, the, v. 298-313.

  Niggling, ugly misused term, v. 36;
    means disorganized and mechanical work, v. 37.

  Obedience, equivalent of, "faith," and root of all human deed, v. 161;
    highest form of, v. 161, 163;
    law of, v. 161.

  Obscurity, law of, iv. 61;
    of intelligible and unintelligible painters, iv. 74.
    See Mystery.

  Ornament, abstract, as used by Angelico, ii. 220;
    realized, as used by Filippino Lippi, etc., ii. 220;
    language of, distinct from language of expression, i. 10;
    use of animal form in, ii. 204;
    architectural, i. 105, 107, ii. 205;
    symbolic, ii. 204-205;
    vulgar, iv. 273;
    in dress, iv. 364;
    curvature in, iv. 273, 274;
    typical, iii. 206;
    symmetrical, iii. 207;
    in backgrounds, iii. 203;
    floral, iii. 207-208.

  Outline exists only conventionally in nature, iii. 114.

  Painters, classed by their objects, 1st, exhibition of truth, 2nd,
      deception of senses, i. 74;
    classed as colorists and chiaroscurists, iv. 47;
    functions of, iii. 25;
    great, characteristics of, i. 8, 124, 326, ii. 42, iii. 26-43, iv.
      38, v. 189, 190, 332;
    great, treatment of pictures by, v. 189;
    valgar, characteristics of, i. 327, ii. 82, 128, 137, iii. 32, 63,
      175, 257, 318;
    religious, ii. 174, 175, 181, 217, iii. 48, 59, iv. 355;
    complete use of space by, i. 235;
    duty of, with regard to choice of subject, ii. 219, iv. 18 (note);
    interpreters of nature, iii. 139;
    modern philosophical, error respecting color of, iii. 30;
    imaginative and unimaginative, ii. 154-157;
    should be guides of the imagination, iii. 132;
    sketches of, v. 180;
    early Italian, i. 247, iii. 244;
    Dutch, i. xxxii. preface, iii. 182; v. 35, 37, 278;
    Venetian, i. 80, 346, v. 214, 229, 258;
    value of personification to, iii. 96;
    contrast between northern and Italian, in drawing of clouds, v. 133;
    effect of the Reformation on, v. 250.
    See Art, Artists.

  Painting, a language, i. 8;
    opposed to speaking and writing, not to poetry, iii. 13;
    classification of, iii. 12;
    sacred, iii. 46;
    historical, iii. 39, 90;
    allegorical, delight of greatest men, iii. 95;
    of stone, iv. 301;
    kind of conception necessary to, v. 187;
    success, how found in, v. 179;
    of the body, v. 228;
    differs from illumination in representing shadow, iii. 29;
    mode of, subordinate to purpose, v. 187;
    distinctively the art of coloring, v. 316;
    perfect, indistinctness necessary to, iv. 64;
    great, expressive of nobleness of mind, v. 178, 191.
    See Landscape Painting, Animal Painting, Art, Artist, Truth,
      Mediæval, Renaissance.

  Past and present, sadly sundered, iv. 4.

  Peace, v. 339-353;
    of monasticism, v. 282;
    choice between the labor of death and the peace of obedience, v. 353.

  Perfectness, law of, v. 180-192.

  Perspective, aërial, iii. 248;
    aërial, and tone, difference between, i. 141;
    despised in thirteenth century art, iii. 18;
    of clouds, v. 114, 118;
    of Turner's diagrams, v. 341 (note).

  Pharisaism, artistic, iii. 60.

  Photographs give Turnerian form, and Rembrandtesque chiaroscuro, iv.

  Pictures, use of, to give a precious, non-deceptive resemblance of
      Nature, iii. 126-140;
    noblest, characteristic of, iii. 141;
    value of estimate by their completeness, i. 11, 421;
    Venetian, choice of religious subjects in, v. 221;
    Dutch, description of, v. 277, advantages of unreality in, iii. 139,
    as treated by uninventive artists, iii. 20;
    finish of, iii. 113;
    of Venice at early morn, i. 343;
    of mountaineer life, iv. 320-322.
    See Realization, Finish.

  Picturesque, nobleness of, dependent on sympathy, iv. 13;
    Turnerian, iv. 1-15;
    dependent on absence of trimness, iv. 5;
    and on actual variety of form and color, iv. 6;
    lower, heartless delight in decay, iv. 11;
    treatment of stones, iv. 302;
    Calais spire an instance of noble, iv. 7.

  Plagiarism, greatest men oftenest borrowers, iii. 339.

  Plains, structure of, i. 272;
    scenery of compared with mountains, iv. 344, 345;
    spirit of repose in, i. 271;
    effect of distance on, i. 273.
    See Lowlander.

  Plants, ideal of, ii. 105-107;
    sense of beauty in, ii. 92, 99;
    typical of virtues, iii. 227;
    influence of constructive proportion on, ii. 63;
    sympathy with, ii. 91;
    uses of, v. 2, 3;
    "tented" and "building," earth-plants and pillar-plants, v. 8;
    law of succession in, v. 26;
    seed of, v. 96;
    roots of, v. 41;
    life of, law of help, v. 155;
    strawberry, v. 96;
    Sisymbrium Irio, v. 95;
    Oxalis acetosella, i. 82 (note);
    Soldanella and ranunculus, ii. 89, 108;
    black hollyhock, v. 234.

  Pleasure of overcoming difficulties, i. 16;
    sources of, in execution, i. 36;
    in landscape and architecture, iv. 345. See Pictures.

  Pleasures, higher and lower, ii. 15-18;
    of sense, ii. 12;
    of taste, how to be cultivated, ii. 23.

  Poetry, the suggestion by the imagination of noble ground for noble
      emotion, iii. 10, v. 163;
    use of details in, iii. 8;
    contrasted with history, iii. 7-9;
    modern, pathetic fallacy characteristic of, iii. 168.

  Poets, too many second-rate, iii. 156;
    described, v. 163;
    two orders of (creative and reflective), iii. 156 (note), 160;
    great, have acuteness of, and command of, feeling, iii. 163;
    love of flowers by, v. 91;
    why not good judges of painting, iii. 133.

  Poplar grove,  gracefulness of, Homer's love of, iii. 91, 182, 185.

  Popularity, i. 2.

  Porphyry, characteristics of, iv. 108-112.

  Portraits, recognition, no proof of real resemblance, i. 55.

  Portraiture, use of, by painters, ii. 119, iii. 78, 89, 91, iv. 358;
    necessary to ideal art, ii. 119;
    modern foolishness, and insolence of, ii. 122;
    modern, compared with Vandyke's, v. 273 (note);
    Venetians painted praying, v. 220.

  Power, ideas of, i. 13, 14;
    ideas of, how received, i. 32;
    imaginative, iii. 39;
    never wasted, i. 13;
    sensations of, not to be sought in imperfect art, i. 33;
    importance technical, its relation to expressional, iii. 29.

  Precipices, how ordinarily produced, i. 290, iv. 148;
    general form of, iv. 246;
    overhanging, in Inferior Alps, iv. 241;
    steepness of, iv. 230;
    their awfulness and beauty, iv. 241, 260;
    action of years upon, iv. 147;
    rarity of high, among secondary hills, i. 301.

  Pre-Raphaelites, aim of, i. 425;
    unwise in choice of subject, iv. 18;
    studies of, iii. 58, 71 (note);
    rank of, in art, iii. 141, iv. 57;
    mystery of, iv. 61, iii. 29, 127-129;
    apparent variance between Turner and, iii. 129;
    love of flowers, v. 91;
    flower and leaf-painting of, i. 397, v. 35.

  Pride, cause of mistakes, iv. 50;
    destructive of ideal character, ii. 122;
    in idleness, of mediæval knights, iii. 192;
    in Venetian landscape, v. 218.

  Proportion, apparent and constructive, ii. 57-63;
    of curvature, ii. 60, iv. 266, 267;
    how differing from symmetry, ii. 73;
    of architecture, ii. 59;
    Burke's error, ii. 60-62.

  Prosperity, evil consequences of long-continued, ii. 4-5.

  Psalm 19th, meaning of, v. 147-149.

  Purchase, wise, the root of all benevolence, v. 328 (note).

  Puritans and Romanists, iii. 252.

  Purity, the expression of divine energy, ii. 75;
    type of sinlessness, ii. 78;
    how connected with ideas of life, ii. 79;
    of color, ii. 79;
    conquest of, over pollution, typified in Apollo's contest, v. 323;
    of flesh painting, on what dependent, ii. 124;
    Venetian painting of the nude, v. 227. See Sensuality.

  Python, the corrupter, v. 323.

  Rays, no perception of, by old masters, i. 213;
    how far to be represented, i. 213.

  Realization, in art, iii. 16;
    gradually hardened feeling, iv. 47-51;
    not the deception of the senses, iii. 16;
    Dante's, iii. 18. See Pictures.

  Refinement, meaning of term, ii. 81;
    of spiritual and practical minds, v. 282-284;
    unconnected with toil undesirable, v. 328.

  Reflection, on distant water, i. 355 et seq.;
    effect of water upon, i. 329-331;
    to what extent visible from above, i. 336.

  Reformation, strength of, v. 249;
    arrest of, v. 250;
    effect of, on art, iii. 55, v. 251.

  Relation, ideas of, i. 13, 29, 31.

  Religion, of the Greeks, v. 208-213;
    of Venetian painters, v. 220;
    of London and Venice, v. 291;
    English, v. 343.

  Renaissance, painting of mythology, iii. 62;
    art, its sin and its Nemesis, iii. 254;
    sensuality, iii. 63;
    builders, v. 176;
    spirit of, quotation from Browning, iv. 368.

  Repose, a test of greatness in art, ii. 65-68, 108, 222;
    characteristic of the eternal mind, ii. 65;
    want of, in the Laocoon, ii. 69;
    in scenery, i. 272;
    Turner's "Rietz" (plate), v. 164, 168;
    instance of, in Michael Angelo's "Plague of Serpents," ii. 69 (note);
    how consistent with ideal organic form, ii. 108.

  Reserve, of a gentleman (sensibility habitual), v. 269.

  Resilience, law of, v. 30, 71.

  Rest, lines of, in mountains, iv. 276, 310, 312.

  Revelation, v. 199.

  Reverence, for fair scenery, iii. 258;
    false ideas of (Sunday religion), iii. 142;
    for mountains, iii. 230;
    inculcated by science, iii. 256;
    Venetian, the Madonna in the house, v. 224.

  Reynolds, on the grand style of painting, iii. 23;
    on the influence of beauty, iii. 23.

  Rocks, iv. 99-134; formation of, iv. 113;
    division of, iv. 99, 102, 157;
    curvature of, iv. 150, 154, 213, i. 295;
    color of, iv. 107, 121, 136, 123, 125, 129, i. 169;
    cleavages of, iv. 391;
    great truths taught by, iv. 102;
    aspect of, i. 295, 309, iv. 101, 108, 120, 128;
    compound crystalline, iv. 101, 105;
    compact crystalline, characteristics of, iv. 107, 102, 114, 159, 205;
    slaty coherent, characteristics of, iv. 122, 205, 251;
    compact coherent, iv. 128, 159;
    junction of slaty and compact crystalline, iv. 114, 173, 202;
    undulation of, iv. 116, 118, 150;
    material uses of, iv. 119, 127;
    effect of weather upon, iv. 104;
    effect of water on, iv. 213;
    power of, in supporting vegetation, iv. 125, 130;
    varied vegetation and color of, i. 169;
    contortion of, iv. 116, 150, 152, 157;
    débris of, iv. 119;
    lamination of, iv. 113, 127, i. 291;
    limestone, iv. 130, 144, 209, 250, 258;
    sandstone, iv. 132;
    light and shade of, i. 311;
    overhanging of, iv. 120, 254, 257;
    mediæval landscape, iii. 229-247;
    early painters' drawing of, iii. 239;
    Dante's dislike of, iii. 230;
    Dante's description of, iii. 231, 236;
    Homer's description of, iii. 232, 239;
    classical ideal of, iii. 186;
    Scott's love of, iii. 242, 275. See Stones.

  Romanism, modern, effect of on national temper, iv. 333, and
      Puritanism, iii. 252, 253.

  Saussure, De, description of curved cleavage by, iv. 395;
    quotation from, iv. 294;
    on structure of mountain ranges, iv. 172;
    love of Alps, iv. 393.

  Scenery, interest of, rooted in human emotion, v. 194;
    associations connected with, iii. 290, 292;
    classical, Claude and Poussin, v. 244;
    Highland, v. 206;
    two aspects of, bright and dark, v. 206;
    of Venice, effects of, v. 216;
    of Nuremberg, effect of, v. 233;
    of Yorkshire hills, effect of, i. 126, v. 293;
    Swiss influence of, iv. 337-376, v. 84-87;
    of the Loire, v. 165;
    effect of mountains on, iv. 343-346. See Nature, Pictures.

  Scent, artificial, opposed to natural, ii. 15;
    different in the same flower, i. 67-68.

  Science, subservient to life, ii. 8;
    natural, relation to painting, iii. 305;
    interest in, iii. 256;
    inculcates reverence, iii. 256;
    every step in, adds to its practical applicabilities, ii. 9;
    use and danger of in relation to enjoyment of nature, iii. 306;
    gives the essence, art the aspects, of things, iii. 306;
    may mislead as to aspects, iv. 391.

  Scott, representative of the mind of the age in literature, iii. 259,
      263, 277;
    quotations from, showing his habit of looking at nature, iii. 268,
    Scott's love of color, iii. 273-276;
    enjoyment of nature associated with his weakness, iii. 269-287;
    love of liberty, iii. 271;
    habit of drawing slight morals from every scene, iii. 276, 277;
    love of natural history, iii. 276;
    education of, compared with Turner's, iii. 308, 309;
    description of Edinburgh, iii. 273;
    death without hope, v. 349.

  Scripture, sanctity of color stated in, iv. 52, v. 319;
    reference to mountains in, iv. 98, 119, 377;
    Sermon on the Mount, iii. 305, 338;
    reference to firmament, iv. 80, 86 (note), 87;
    attention to meaning of words necessary to the understanding of, v.
    Psalms, v. 145, 147.

  Sculpture, imagination, how manifested in, ii. 184, 185;
    suitability of rocks for, iv. 111, 112, 119;
    instances of gilding and coloring of (middle ages), ii. 201;
    statues in Medici Chapel referred to, ii. 208;
    at the close of 16th century devoted to luxury and indolence, iii.
    of 13th century, fidelity to nature in, iii. 203-208, v. 46-48.

  Sea, painting of, i. 373-382;
    has never been painted, i. 328;
    Stanfield's truthful rendering of, i. 353;
    Turner's heavy rolling, i. 376;
    seldom painted by the Venetians, i. 346;
    misrepresented by the old masters, i. 344;
    after a storm, effect of, i. 380, 381;
    Dutch painting of, i. 343;
    shore breakers inexpressible, i. 374;
    Homer's feeling about the, iii. 169;
    Angel of the, v. 133-151. See Foam, Water.

  Seer, greater than thinker, iii. 134, 262.

  Sensibility, knowledge of the beautiful dependent on, i. 52;
    an attribute of all noble minds, i. 52;
    the essence of a gentleman, v. 263;
    want of, is vulgarity, v. 273;
    necessary to the perception of facts, i. 52;
    to color and to form, difference between, i. 416;
    want of, in undue regard to appearance, v. 269;
    want of, in Dutch painters, v. 277.

  Sensitiveness, criterion of the gentleman, v. 262, 266;
    absence of, sign of vulgarity, v. 273;
    want of, in Dutch painters, v. 277, 278.

  Sensuality, destructive of ideal character, ii. 123;
    how connected with impurity of color, ii. 124;
    various degrees of, in modern art, ii. 126, iii. 66;
    impressions of beauty, not connected with, ii. 12. See Purity.

  Seriousness of men of mental power, iii. 258;
    want of, in the present age, ii. 169.

  Shade, gradation of, necessary, ii. 47;
    want of, in early works of nations and men, i. 54;
    more important than color in expressing character of bodies, i. 70;
    distinctness of, in nature's rocks, i. 311;
    and color, sketch of a great master conceived in, i. 405;
    beautiful only when showing beautiful form, ii. 82 (note).

  Shadow, cast, importance of, i. 331-333;
    strangeness of cast, iv. 77;
    importance of, in bright light, i. 174-175;
    variety of, in nature, i. 168;
    none on clear water, i. 331;
    on water, falls clear and dark, in proportion to the quantity of
      surface-matter, i. 332;
    as given by various masters, iv. 47;
    of colorists right, of chiaroscurists untrue, iv. 49;
    exaggeration of, in photography, iv. 63;
    rejection of, by mediævals, iii. 200.

  Shakspere, creative order of poets, iii. 156 (note);
    his entire sympathy with all creatures, iv. 362-363;
    tragedy of, compared with Greek, v. 210;
    universality of, iii. 90, 91;
    painted human nature of the sixteenth century, iii. 90, iv. 367;
    repose of, ii. 68;
    his religion occult behind his equity, v. 226;
    complete portraiture in, iii. 78, 91, iv. 364;
    penetrative imagination of, ii. 165;
    love of pine trees, iv. 371, v. 82;
    no reverence for mountains, iv. 363, 370;
    corrupted by the Renaissance, iv. 367;
    power of, shown by his self-annihilation, i. xxv. (preface).

  Shelley, contemplative imagination a characteristic of, ii. 199;
    death without hope, v. 349.

  Sight, greater than thought, iii. 282;
    better than scientific knowledge, i. 54;
    impressions of, dependent on mental observations, i. 50, 53;
    elevated pleasure of, duty of cultivating, ii. 26;
    of the whole truth, v. 206;
    partial, of Dutch painters, v. 278;
    not valued in the present age, ii. 4;
    keenness of, how to be tested, ii. 37;
    importance of, in education, iv. 401, v. 330.

  Simplicity, second quality of execution, i. 36;
    of great men, iii. 87.

  Sin, Greek view of, v. 210;
    Venetian view of, v. 217;
    "missing the mark," v. 339;
    washing away of (the fountain of love), v. 321.

  Sincerity, a characteristic of great style, iii. 35.

  Singing, should be taught to everybody, v. 329 (note), 330.

  Size. See Magnitude.

  Sketches, experimental, v. 181;
    determinant, v. 182;
    commemorative, v. 182.

  Sky, truth of, i. 204, 264;
    three regions of, i. 217, cannot be painted i. 161, iv. 38;
    pure blue, when visible, i. 256;
    ideas of, often conventional, i. 206;
    gradation of color in, i. 210;
    treated of by the old masters as distinct from clouds, i. 208;
    prominence of, in modern landscape, iii. 250;
    open, of modern masters, i. 214;
    lessons to be taught by, i. 204, 205;
    pure and clear noble painting of, by earlier Italian and Dutch
      school, very valuable, ii. 43, i. 84, 210;
    appearance of, during sunset, i. 161;
    effect of vapor upon, i. 211;
    variety of color in, i. 225;
    reflection of, in water, i. 327;
    supreme brightness of, iv. 38;
    transparency of, i. 207;
    perspective of, v. 114;
    engraving of, v. 108, 112 (note).

  Snow, form of, on Alps, i. 286, 287;
    waves of, unexpressible, when forming the principal element in
      mountain form, iv. 240;
    wreaths of, never properly drawn, i. 286.

  Space, truth of, i. 191-203;
    deficiency of, in ancient landscape, i. 256;
    child-instinct respecting, ii. 39;
    mystery throughout all, iv. 58.

  Spiritual beings, their introduction into the several forms of
      landscape art, v. 194;
    rejected by modern art, v. 236.

  Spenser, example of the grotesque from description of envy, iii. 94,
    description of Eris, v. 309;
    description of Hesperides fruit, v. 311.

  Spring, our time for staying in town, v. 89.

  Stones, how treated by mediæval artists, iv. 302;
    carefully realized in ancient art, iv. 301;
    false modern ideal, iv. 308;
    true drawing of, iv. 308. See Rock.

  Style, greatness of, iii. 23-43;
    choice of noble subject, iii. 26;
    love of beauty, iii. 31;
    sincerity, iii. 35;
    invention, iii. 38;
    quotation from Reynolds on, iii. 13;
    false use of the term, i. 95;
    the "grand," received opinions touching, iii. 1-15.

  Sublimity, the effect on the mind of anything above it, i. 41;
    Burke's treatise on, quoted, i. 17;
    when accidental and outward, picturesque, iv. 2, 6, 7.

  Sun, first painted by Claude, iii. 320;
    early conventional symbol for, iii. 320;
    color of, painted by Turner only, v. 315.

  Sunbeams, nature and cause of, i. 211;
    representation of, by old masters, i. 211.

  Sunsets, splendor of, unapproachable by art, i. 161;
    painted faithfully by Turner only, i. 162;
    why, when painted, seem unreal, i. 162.

  Superhuman, the, four modes of manifestation, always in the form of a
      creature, ii. 212, 213.

  Superiority, distinction between kind and degrees of, i. 417.

  Surface, examples of greatest beauty of, ii. 77;
    of water, imperfectly reflective, i. 329;
    of water, impossible to paint, i. 355.

  Swiss, character, iv. 135, 338, 374;
    the forest cantons ("Under the Woods"), v. 86, 87.

  Symbolism, passionate expression of, in Lombardic griffin, iii. 206;
    delight of great artists in, iii. 97;
    in Calais Tower, iv. 3.

  Symmetry, type of divine justice, ii. 72-74;
    value of, ii. 222;
    use of, in religious art, ii. 73, iv. 75;
    love of, in mediæval art, iii. 199;
    appearance of, in mountain form, i. 297;
    of curvature in trees, i. 400, v. 34;
    of tree-stems, v. 58, 60;
    of clouds, i. 219.

  Sympathy, characteristics of, ii. 93, 169;
    condition of noble picturesque, iv. 10, 12, 14;
    the foundation of true criticism, iii, 22;
    cunning associated with absence of, v. 266;
    necessary to detect passing expression, iii. 67;
    with nature, ii. 91, 93, iii. 179, 193, iv. 14, 15;
    with humanity, ii. 169, iv. 11;
    absence of, is vulgarity, iii. 83, v. 264;
    mark of a gentleman, v. 263, 264.

  System, establishment of, often useless, iii. 2;
    of chiaroscuro, of various artists, iv. 42.

  Taste, definition of, i. 26;
    right, characteristics of, ii. 25;
    a low term, indicating a base feeling for art, iii. 64, 65;
    how developed, ii. 21;
    injustice and changefulness of public, i. 418;
    purity of, how tested, ii. 25;
    classical, its essence, v. 243;
    present fondness for unfinished works, i. 420, ii. 82.

  Temperate, right use of the word, ii. 13.

  Tennyson, rich coloring of, iii. 257;
    subdued by the feelings under which he writes, iii. 160;
    instances of the pathetic fallacy in, iii. 167, 267;
    sense of beauty in, v. 332;
    his faith doubtful, iii. 253.

  Theoretic Faculty, first perfection of, is Charity, ii. 90;
    second perfection of, is justice of moral judgment, ii. 96;
    three operations of, ii. 101;
    how connected with vital beauty, ii. 91;
    how related to the imagination, ii. 157;
    should not be called æsthetic, ii. 12;
    as concerned with moral functions of animals, ii. 97, 98.

  Theoria, meaning of, ii. 12, 18;
    derivation of, ii. 23;
    the service of Heaven, ii. 140;
    what sought by Christian, ii. 18.

  Thought, definition of, i. 29;
    value of, in pictures, i. 10;
    representation of the second end of art, i. 45-47;
    how connected with knowledge, i. 47;
    art, in expression of individual, i. 44;
    choice of incident, expressive of, i. 29;
    appreciation of, in art, not universal, i. 46.

  Thoughts, highest, depend least on language, i. 9;
    various, suggested in different minds by same object, iii. 283, 284.

  Tone, meaning of, right relation of shadows to principal light, i. 140;
    truth of, i. 140-154;
    a secondary truth, i. 72;
    attention paid to, by old masters, i. 75, 141;
    gradation more important than, i. 149;
    cause of want of, in pictures, i. 141.

  Topography, Turnerian, iv. 16-33;
    pure, preciousness of, iv. 10, 17;
    slight exaggeration sometimes allowed in, iv. 32;
    sketch of Lausanne, v. 185.

  Torrents, beneficent power of, iv. 285;
    power of, in forcing their way, iv. 258, 259, 318;
    sculpture of earth by, iv. 262;
    mountains furrowed by descent of, i. 297, iv. 312;
    curved lines of, i. 370, iv. 312.

  Transparency, incompatible with highest beauty, ii. 77;
    appearance of, in mountain chains, i. 281;
    wanting in ancient landscape, not in modern, i. 215, 234;
    of the sky, i. 207;
    of bodies, why admired, ii. 77;
    ravelling, best kind of, iii. 293.

  Tree, aspen, iv. 77, 78; willow, v. 68;
    black spruce, v. 78.

  Tree boughs, falsely drawn by Claude and Poussin, i. 389, 391, v. 65;
    rightly drawn by Veronese and Durer, v. 66, 67;
    complexity of, i. 389;
    angles of, i. 392;
    not easily distinguished, i. 70;
    diminution and multiplication of, i. 388-389;
    appearance of tapering in, how caused, i. 385;
    loveliness of, how produced, v. 64;
    subtlety of balance in, v. 64;
    growth of, v. 61;
    nourishment of, by leaves, v. 41;
    three conditions of branch-aspect--spring, caprice, and fellowship,
      v. 63-71.

  Trees, outlines of, iii. 114;
    ramifications of, i. 386, v. 58, 60, 62;
    the most important truth respecting (symmetrical terminal curve), i.
    laws common to forest, i. 385;
    poplar, an element in lovely landscape, i. 129, iii. 186;
    superiority of, on mountain sides, iv. 348, v. 78-79;
    multiplicity of, in Swiss scenery, iv. 289, 290;
    change of color in leafage of, iv. 261;
    classical delight in, iv. 76, iii. 184;
    examples of good and bad finish in (plates), iii. 116, 117;
    examples of Turner's drawing of, i. 394;
    classed as "builders with the shield" and "with the sword," v. 8;
    laws of growth of, v. 17, 49, 72;
    mechanical aspect of, v. 40;
    classed by leaf-structure--trefoil, quatrefoil, and cinqfoil, v. 19;
    trunks of, v. 40, 56;
    questions concerning, v. 51;
    how strengthened, v. 41;
    history of, v. 52;
    love of, v. 4;
    Dutch drawing of, bad, v. 68, 71;
    as drawn by Titian and Turner, i. 392, 394;
    as rendered by Italian school, i. 384.

  Trees, pine, v. 8-30, 79, 92;
    Shakspere's feeling respecting, iv. 371, v. 83;
    error of painters in representing, iv. 346 (note);
    perfection of, v. 80-83;
    influence on Swiss and northern nations, v. 84.

  Truth, in art, i. 21, 46, 47, 74, iii. 35;
    Greek idea of, v. 267;
    blindness to beauty of, in vulgar minds, v. 268;
    half, the worst falsehood, v. 268;
    standard of all excellence, i. 417;
    not easily discerned, i. 50, 51, 53;
    first quality of execution, i. 37;
    many-sided, the author's seeming contradiction of himself, v. 271
    essential to real imagination, ii. 161, 188;
    essential to invention, v. 191;
    highest difficulty of illustrating the, i. 410;
    laws of, in painting, iii. vii. (preface);
    ideas of, i. 23, 24;
    infinity essential to, i. 239;
    sometimes spoken through evil men, ii. 137;
    imaginative preciousness of, iv. 30;
    individual, in mountain drawing, i. 305;
    wisely conveyed by grotesque idealism, iii. 96;
    no vulgarity in, iii. 82;
    dominion of, universal, iii. 167;
    error of confounding beauty with, ii. 30, iii. 32 (note);
    pictures should present the greatest possible amount of, iii. 139;
    sacrifice of, to decision and velocity, i. 39;
    difference between imitation and, i. 21, 22;
    absolute, generally attained by "colorists," never by
      "chiaroscurists," iv. 42, 48;
    instance of imaginative (the Two Griffins), iii. 100.

  Truths, two classes of, of deception and of inner resemblance, iii.
    most precious, how attained, iv. 38;
    importance of characteristic, i. 59, 62;
    of specific form most important, i. 72;
    relative importance of, i. 58;
    nature's always varying, i. 55;
    value of rare, i. 64;
    particular, more important than general, i. 58;
    historical, the most valuable, i. 71;
    the finer, importance of rendering, i. 316;
    accurate, not necessary to imitation, i. 21, 22;
    geological, use of considering, i. 303;
    simplest, generally last believed, iii. 300;
    certain sacred, how conveyed, iii. 289, 300;
    choice of, by artists, the essence of "style," iii. 33, iv. 46;
    as given by old masters, i. 75;
    selected by modern artists, i. 76.

  Types--light, ii. 75;
    purity, ii. 75-79, v. 156;
    impurity, v. 156;
    clouds, v. 110, 114;
    sky, ii. 40-42;
    mountain decay, iv. 315;
    crags and ravines, iv. 215;
    rocks, ii. 79, iv. 102, 117;
    mountains, iv. 343;
    sunlight, v. 332;
    color, v. 331 (note), 332;
    mica flake, iv. 239;
    rainbow, v. 332;
    stones, weeds, logs, thorns, and spines, v. 161;
    Dante's vision of Rachel and Leah, iii. 216;
    mythological, v. 140, 300, 301;
    beauty, ii. 30, 86, v. 145;
    symmetry, Divine justice, ii. 72, 74;
    moderation, ii. 81-85;
    infinity, ii. 41, iv. 79;
    grass, humility and cheerfulness, iii. 226, 228;
    rush, humility, iii. 228;
    buds, iii. 206, v. 20, 53, 74;
    laws of leaf growth, v. 31, 32, 33, 53, 74;
    leaf death, v. 74, 95;
    trees, v. 52, 78, 80;
    crystallization, v. 33.

  Ugliness, sometimes permitted in nature, i. 64;
    is a positive thing, iii. 24;
    delight in, Martin Schöngauer, iv. 329, 333;
    of modern costume, v. 273 (note), iii. 254, 255;
    of modern architecture, iii. 253, v. 347.

  Unbelief, characteristic of all our most powerful men, iii. 253;
    modern English, "God is, but cannot rule," v. 347.

  Unity, type of Divine comprehensiveness, ii. 50, 52, 56, 152, 153;
    in nature, i. 398;
    apparent proportion, a cause of, ii. 57, 64;
    instinct of, a faculty of the associative imagination, ii. 151.

  Utility, definition of, ii. 4;
    of art, ii. 3;
    of details in poetry, iii. 8;
    of pictures, iii. 125, 142;
    of mountains, iv. 91.

  Valleys, Alpine beauty of, iv. 311, 316;
    gloom in, iv. 326;
    English, iv. 297;
    French, i. 129, iv. 297.

  Variety, necessity of, arises out of that of unity, ii. 53-55;
    love of, ii. 55;
    when most conspicuous, i. 213;
    in nature, i. 55, 65, 169, 198, 219, 224, 291.

  Vapor, v. 109, 120, 127, 129.

  Vegetables, ideal form in, ii. 107.

  Vegetation, truth of, i. 384, 408;
    process of form in, v. 78;
    in forest-lands, v. 133;
    appointed service of, v. 2;
    in sculpture, v. 35.

  Velocity in execution, i. 37, ii. 187 (note);
    sacrifice of truth to, i. 38.

  Venetian art ("The Wings of the Lion"), v. 209, 214;
    conquest of evil, v. 214, seq., 217, 229;
    scenery, v. 214, 217;
    idea of beauty, v. 294;
    faith, v. 219;
    religious liberty, v. 214;
    mind, perfection of, v. 227;
    contempt of poverty, v. 289;
    unworthy purposes of, v. 227;
    reverence, the Madonna in the house, v. 223-228.

  Virtue, effect of, on features, ii. 117;
    set forth by plants, iii. 228;
    of the Swiss, v. 84, 85.

  Vulgarity of mind, v. 261-276;
    consists in insensibility, v. 274-275;
    examples of, v. 269, 270;
    seen in love of mere physical beauty, iii. 67;
    in concealment of truth and affectation, iii. 82, 83;
    inconceivable by the greatest minds, iii. 82;
    of Renaissance builders, v. 176;
    "deathful selfishness," v. 277;
    among Dutch painters, v. 277-285;
    how produced by vicious habits, v. 262. See Gentlemen.

  War, a consequence of injustice, iii. 328;
    lessons to be gathered from the Crimean, iii. 329;
    at the present day of what productive, iii. 326;
    modern fear of, iii. 256.

  Water, influence of, on soil, i. 273;
    faithful representation of, impossible, i. 325-326;
    effect produced by mountains on, iv. 93;
    functions of, i. 325;
    laws of reflection in, i. 329, 336;
    clear, takes no shadow, i. 331;
    most wonderful of inorganic substances, i. 325;
    difference in the action of continuous and interrupted, i. 369;
    in shade most reflective, i. 330;
    painting of, optical laws necessary to, i. 336;
    smooth, difficulty of giving service to, i. 355, 356;
    distant, effect of ripple on, i. 335;
    swift execution necessary to drawing of, i. 350;
    reflections in, i. 326;
    motion in, elongates reflections, i. 335-336;
    execrable painting of, by elder landscape masters, i. 328;
    as painted by the modern, i. 348-354;
    as painted by Turner, i. 355-383;
    as represented by mediæval art, iii. 209;
    truth of, i. 325-383. See Sea, Torrents, Foam.

  Waves, as described by Homer and Keats, iii. 168;
    exaggeration of size in, ii. 209;
    grander than any torrent, iv. 347;
    breakers in, i. 377;
    curves of, i. 375.

  Wordsworth, his insight into nature (illustration of Turner), i. 177;
    love of plants, ii. 91;
    good foreground described by, i. 83-84;
    skies of, i, 207;
    description of a cloud by, ii 67;
    on effect of custom, iii 293;
    fancy and imagination of, ii. 196-200;
    description of the rays of the sun, i. 220.

  Work, the noblest done only for love, v. 346.

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