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Title: Stories Pictures Tell Book 8
Author: Carpenter, Flora L. (Flora Leona)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                         STORIES PICTURES TELL


                       [Illustration: Decoration]

                             PICTURES TELL

                               BOOK EIGHT

                           FLORA L. CARPENTER

        Instructor in drawing at Waite High School, Toledo, Ohio
         Formerly supervisor of drawing, Bloomington, Illinois

                    Illustrated with Half Tones from

                         RAND McNALLY & COMPANY
                          CHICAGO     NEW YORK


                            Copyright, 1918
                         BY RAND MCNALLY & CO.



                              THE CONTENTS

                         SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER


               “The Death of General     West           1

               “Portrait of the Artist’s Whistler      16


               Mural Decorations and                   27

               “The Frieze of the        Sargent       29

               “The Holy Grail”          Abbey         57

                           FEBRUARY AND MARCH

               “The Wolf Charmer”        La Farge      79
               American Illustrators                   92
               “Evangeline”              Taylor        97

                          APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE

               Cartoons and Caricatures               108

               Engravings, Etchings, and              120

               Lithography                            123

               Review of Pictures and
                 Artists Studied

               The Suggestions to                     125


                              THE PREFACE

Art supervisors in the public schools assign picture-study work in each
grade, recommending the study of certain pictures by well-known masters.
As Supervisor of Drawing I found that the children enjoyed this work but
that the teachers felt incompetent to conduct the lessons as they lacked
time to look up the subject and to gather adequate material. Recourse to
a great many books was necessary and often while much information could
usually be found about the artist, very little was available about his

Hence I began collecting information about the pictures and preparing
the lessons for the teachers just as I would give them myself to pupils
of their grade.

My plan does not include many pictures during the year, as this is to be
only a part of the art work and is not intended to take the place of

The lessons in this grade may be used for the usual drawing period of
from twenty to thirty minutes, and have been successfully given in that
time. However, the most satisfactory way of using the books is as
supplementary readers, thus permitting each child to study the pictures
and read the stories himself.

                                                      FLORA L. CARPENTER


                             PICTURES TELL


                       THE DEATH OF GENERAL WOLFE

=Questions to arouse interest.= What is represented in this picture?
What have these men been doing? What makes you think so? Why have they
stopped? What can you see in the distance? Do you think the soldier
running toward the group in the foreground is the bearer of good or bad
news? What makes you think so? How many of you can tell what battle has
just been fought, or something about General Wolfe?

  =Original Picture=: Grosvenor House, London, England.
  =Artist=: Benjamin West.
  =Birthplace=: Springfield, Pennsylvania.
  =Dates=: Born, 1738; died, 1820

=The story of the picture.= It is little wonder that the artist,
Benjamin West, who overcame so many obstacles to follow his chosen
calling, should admire a man like General Wolfe, who also had a great
many difficulties to overcome. Each was born with an overwhelming
desire,—the one to be a great artist; the other to be a great soldier.
Both achieved their desire through their own earnest and praiseworthy
effort. Perhaps the greatest difficulty James Wolfe had to contend with
was his poor constitution and constant ill health. He could scarcely
endure the long marches by land or voyages by sea—yet he would shirk
neither. Duty to his country was always first.

He was only sixteen years old when he took part in his first campaign.
Abbé H. R. Casgrain tells us: “He was then a tall but thin young man,
apparently weak for the trials of war. Moreover, he was decidedly ugly,
with red hair and a receding forehead and chin, which made his profile
seem to be an obtuse angle, with the point at the end of his nose. His
pale, transparent skin was easily flushed, and became fiery red when he
was engaged in conversation or in action. Nothing about him bespoke the
soldier save a firm-set mouth and eyes of azure blue, which flashed and
gleamed. With it all, though, he had about his person and his manner a
sympathetic quality which attracted people to him.” Although a severe
illness compelled him to give up this first campaign and return home,
Wolfe was by no means discouraged, and he later on managed to
distinguish himself for his courage and military skill.

It was not long after this that the great William Pitt decided that
Wolfe was a man to be trusted with great things. He appointed him
commander of the English troops to be sent against Quebec.

American history had just reached the period when all the English
colonies had been founded except Georgia, and the long struggle had come
between France and England for the possession of Canada.

There were many older generals who thought they ought to have been
appointed to the important command in place of Wolfe, and when the
elated Wolfe made some wild boasts in their presence, they were quick to
carry them to the king and to declare that James Wolfe was a mad fool,
and not fit to command. But King George III liked Wolfe none the less
for his enthusiasm, and declared that if “General Wolfe be mad, he hoped
he would bite some of his generals.”

But even Wolfe’s enthusiasm could not break down the strong
fortification at Quebec. The city was located on a high, rocky cliff in
itself almost inaccessible, and the natural strength of the position was
increased by the strong defense maintained by the French soldiers and
the Indians. Wolfe spent the entire summer trying to find a way to take
Quebec, and probably would not have succeeded but for a combination of
circumstances which left one part of the cliff unprotected.

With the aid of a telescope, General Wolfe had discovered a hidden
pathway up the side of the cliff behind the city at a point which was
lightly guarded. Then came a deserter from the French army who informed
him that the French were expecting some provision boats that night.

Without hesitation, General Wolfe ordered thirty-six hundred of his
soldiers to prepare for the assault. Under cover of night, flying a
French flag and with the aid of those of his generals who spoke French,
Wolfe and his soldiers managed to sail past the sentry and enter the
harbor in the guise of the French provision boats. In absolute silence
they sailed up the river and landed at a spot since called “Wolfe’s
Cove.” The ascent up the steep hill side was difficult but soon
accomplished, and the few guards killed or taken prisoners. All the
British soldiers successfully gained the heights and the next morning
General Wolfe lined them up for battle on a field called the “Field of
Abraham” after the name of its owner.

The French commander, Montcalm, surprised at the presence of the enemy
on his own shore, went to meet them hurriedly and without proper
support. A fierce battle ensued in which the English were victorious,
and the French fled. General Wolfe was wounded three times in this
battle, the last time fatally. Even then he called out to those nearest
him, “Support me; let not my brave fellows see me fall. The day is ours;
keep it.”

In our picture we see General Wolfe half supported on the ground, with
his friends about him. At the left is the messenger who, history tells
us, bore the news, “They run; see how they run!” The dying general heard
the words and asked, “Who run?” Upon hearing the answer, “The enemy,” he
exclaimed, “Now God be praised. I will die in peace.”

This victory not only gave Canada to England, but established the
permanent supremacy of the English-speaking race in North America. Is it
any wonder, then, that Benjamin West, a good American colonist, should
be interested in this battle and wish to paint a picture of it?

He started it with great enthusiasm, and soon had the figures sketched
in, ready to paint. West was then living in London, and Archbishop
Drummond, happening in his studio at this time, was greatly shocked
because West had dressed his men in costumes such as they actually wore.
Strange as it seems to us now, it was the custom then to use classic
models for everything, and to represent all figures as wearing Greek
costumes, no matter in what period they lived. If we remember Benjamin
West for no other reason, we shall remember him because he was the first
in England and America to change this custom. He believed we should
paint people just as they are. The archbishop tried to dissuade him from
this, and failing, he asked Sir Joshua Reynolds to talk to West.

Finally King George III heard of the artist’s intention and sent for
him. West listened to the king with great respect, and then replied:
“May it please your Majesty, the subject I have to represent is a great
battle fought and won, and the same truth which gives law to the
historian should rule the painter. If instead of the facts of action I
introduce fictions, how shall I be understood by posterity? The classic
dress is certainly picturesque, but by using it I shall lose in
sentiment what I gain in external grace. I want to mark the time, the
place, and the people; to do this I must abide by the truth.”

The king could not fail to be convinced by so sensible an answer, yet he
would not buy the picture. When Sir Joshua Reynolds came to look at the
finished picture he praised it unreservedly, and not only told the
artist it would be popular but predicted that it would lead to a
revolution in art. His prediction was soon fulfilled.

King George III also greatly admired the painting, and said, “There! I
am cheated out of a fine canvas by listening to other people. But you
shall make a copy of it for me.”

And yet the critics tell us that West, with all his love for truth in
dress, took even a greater artist’s license when he painted this
picture. He represented men as standing near Wolfe (the two generals,
Monckton and Barré) who were not there at all. These two men were
fatally wounded in the same battle, but in another part of the field.
Surgeon Adair, too, who is bending over the dying hero, was in another
part of the country at the time. The Indian warrior, who intently
watches the dying general to see if he is equal to the Indian in
fortitude and bravery, was, it is claimed, an imaginary person.

But a far greater number of critics uphold West and consider his
painting the more valuable because he has brought into prominence a
number of the important men of that time, and linked their names in
memory with that of General Wolfe and with the cause they represented.

It is interesting to note the manner in which the artist has grouped his
figures in the foreground. We can separate them into at least three
distinct groups, each complete in itself, yet held together by the
direction of their gaze and the position of their bodies. For a moment
these brave men have forgotten, in grief at the loss of a beloved
companion and hero, even the joy of victory for a great cause.

The interest is centered about the dying general in many different
ways—the light, the position of other figures, the direction of their
gaze, and his position in the picture. Our attention and interest might
remain with the group in the foreground of the picture but that it is
drawn, for a moment, to the figure in the middle distance running toward
us and from that figure to the mass in the background which, though
vaguely outlined, is still distinct enough to give us the impression of
troops in action.

=Questions to help the pupil understand the picture.= Why did the life
of General Wolfe appeal so strongly to the artist Benjamin West? What
great obstacles did General Wolfe have to overcome? Tell about his first
campaign. Describe his personal appearance. Why did William Pitt choose
Wolfe for an important office? What feeling did this cause among the
other generals? What did George III say about General Wolfe? Explain the
difficulties to be overcome in capturing Quebec. How did the English
effect a landing? Where was the battle fought? Which army was
victorious? What events aided the English in gaining this victory? What
new idea did West introduce in this picture? Who opposed him at first?
To what did this change lead? What can you say of the composition of
this picture? What is its value as history?

=The story of the artist.= “What is thee doing, Benjamin?” A small boy,
hearing this question, suddenly becomes quite confused and embarrassed
as he tries to cover up a sheet of paper he has in his hand. His mother
and sister, dressed in the severely plain clothing of the Quakers, are
standing behind him, waiting for an answer. The boy looks up timidly,
his face turning red as he answers hesitatingly, “N-nothing.”

Of course this does not satisfy his mother, and she speaks more sharply
as she asks him again what he is doing and what he has in his hand. The
boy, a little fellow of six, hands her a sheet of paper and nervously
rocks the cradle in which his baby sister is sleeping. He expects to be
punished, for he has done something that must be wrong, for he never
heard of any one else doing it.

The mother and sister study the paper carefully, and find only a drawing
done in red and black ink. They recognize it at once as a picture of the
baby sister Sally, sound asleep, and they are pleased in spite of
themselves. The mother asks him many questions, and he tells her that as
he was taking care of his baby sister he had suddenly felt a great
desire to copy the sleeping child’s face. He had found an old quill pen
and some ink, and they could see what he had been doing. The mother
looks pleased, but says, “I do not know what the Friends would say to
such like.” However, Benjamin feels encouraged, and determines to try
again soon.

This story is often told in giving the history of American art, because
this same Benjamin West was our first native American artist. Other
American men had copied European paintings, but his was the first
original work in America.

Benjamin’s grandfather came to America with William Penn, the two being
intimate friends. Later the West family moved to the small town of
Springfield, Pennsylvania, where, in 1738, the grandson Benjamin was
born, growing up under the stern observances of an early Quaker home.
His father kept a small store, but the family was a large one and many
hardships had to be endured in those early days.

At the age of seven Benjamin began to attend the village school. You
will remember that the Indians remained very friendly after their treaty
with William Penn, and that in those days they often came to visit and
trade with the settlers. The boys in this little school always looked
forward to these visits, as they liked to talk with the Indians in sign
language and to trade with them for bows and arrows and other curious
things the Indians made.

They came one day when Benjamin had been drawing some birds and flowers
on his slate. When shown the sketches they grunted their approval and
the next time they came the big chief brought Benjamin some red and
yellow paint, the kind they used to decorate their bodies.

How delighted Benjamin was as he ran home with his colors; but what
could he do without blue? Then his mother remembered the bluing she used
for her clothes, and gave him a piece of indigo. Now he must have a
brush. You have probably heard of how he cut the fur from the tip of the
cat’s tail, and so made a very good brush, although it did not last
long. This made it necessary for him to cut so much fur that the cat
became a sorry sight indeed. Benjamin’s father thought it must have some
disease and was about to chloroform it, when his son told him the true
state of affairs.

Not long afterwards an uncle who was a merchant in Philadelphia sent
Benjamin a complete painter’s outfit,—paints, brushes, canvas, and all.
It is said that the day these came Benjamin suddenly disappeared from
sight and could not be found either at school, where he should have
been, or in any of his favorite haunts.

At last his mother thought of the attic, and there she found him so
busily absorbed in painting his picture that at first he did not hear
her. She had intended to punish him, but, seeing his pictures, she
forgot all else as she said, “Oh, thou wonderful child!”

When the uncle came to visit them he was so delighted he took Benjamin
back with him to Philadelphia, where he could have good instruction in
drawing. At eighteen he began to paint portraits. Then, after living in
New York several years, he traveled extensively in Europe, finally
settling in London, where he remained the rest of his life.

He became court painter for King George III, and succeeded Sir Joshua
Reynolds as president of the Royal Academy, holding this position until
his death.

Benjamin West caused one complete change in the art of England. Until
his time all art had followed the Greek ideas, the artists using the
Greek costumes for figures of men of all periods. West believed we
should paint people just as they are, so he dressed his people in the
costumes of the day. At first, of course, he was criticized severely,
but soon all the artists were following his example. Benjamin West
became the founder of a school of his own, to which young artists from
both America and England went for help and encouragement. Although he
spent the last years of his life in England, Benjamin West always
remained a patriotic American.

The first few painters of note who followed Benjamin West were greatly
influenced by him. The list of prominent American artists is constantly
increasing. J. Walker McSpadden, in his book called _Famous Painters of
America_, has classified a few of the most prominent in a way that may
help us remember them:

Benjamin West, the painter of destiny.

John Singleton Copley, the painter of early gentility.

Gilbert Stuart, the painter of presidents.

George Inness, the painter of nature’s moods.

Elihu Vedder, the painter of the mystic.

Winslow Homer, the painter of seclusion.

John La Farge, the painter of experiment.

James McNeill Whistler, the painter of protest.

John Singer Sargent, the painter of portraits.

Edwin Austin Abbey, the painter of the past.

William M. Chase, the painter of precept.

=Questions about the artist.= Who was the first American artist of note?
Where was he born? Of what faith were his parents? Relate the
circumstances which led to Benjamin West’s first drawing, and the
result. How old was he at that time? How did he secure his first paints?
his brushes? What gift did his uncle send him? What became of Benjamin
the day this gift was received? What did his mother say? Where did he go
to study art? In what way did he change art in England? What school did
he establish? Name five other American artists, and tell why they are

=To the Teacher=: Several pupils may prepare the subject-matter as
suggested here, then tell it to the class. Later, topics may be written
upon the blackboard and used as suggestive subjects for short
compositions in English.

1. Relate an incident in the life of Benjamin West that persuaded his
parents he would be an artist.

2. Explain some of the difficulties he had to overcome in order to

3. What preparation did he make to become an artist?

4. In what ways was he of special benefit to the world of art?

5. Tell something of the progress of American painting from that time to




=Questions to arouse interest.= What is the name of this picture? Who
painted it? Half close your eyes and tell what part of the picture
stands out most distinctly. Which part should be most distinct? (The
figure, especially the head, holds the center of interest.) From this
glimpse of her, describe the character and disposition of Whistler’s
mother as you would judge them to be. Give reasons. What would make you
think she was neat and orderly? Where is she sitting? How is she
dressed? What can you see in the background?

  =Original Picture=: Luxembourg Gallery, Paris, France.
  =Artist=: James McNeill Whistler.
  =Birthplace=: Lowell, Massachusetts.
  =Dates=: Born, 1834; died, 1903.

=The story of the picture.= Whistler called this picture “An Arrangement
in Gray and Black,” for he felt that the public could not be interested
in a portrait of his mother. He said, “To me, it is interesting as a
picture of my mother; but what can or ought the public to care about the
identity of the portrait?” However, this knowledge of relationship has
appealed so strongly to the people that by common consent the picture
has been renamed by them, “Whistler’s Mother,” or “Portrait of the
Painter’s Mother,” or even “Portrait of My Mother.” Then again many
critics declare the picture might well be called “A Mother,” for it
represents a type rather than an individual. The face seems to speak to
each and every one of us in a language all can understand.

This dear old lady in her plain black dress, seated so comfortably with
her hands in her lap and her feet on a footstool, has an air of peace
and restfulness about her that is good to look upon. A feeling of
stillness and perfect quiet comes to us, and we do not at first realize
the skill of the artist in producing such an effect.

Seated in this restful gray room, she seems to be in a happy reverie of
the days gone by. The simple dignity of the thoughtful figure is
increased by the refinement of her surroundings. A single picture and
part of the frame of another hang on the gray wall behind her. At the
left we see a very dark green curtain hanging in straight folds, with
its weird Japanese pattern of white flowers.

All is gray and dull save the face. This contrast brings out its soft
warmth. The dark mass of the curtain with its severely straight vertical
lines, contrasted with the darker diagonal mass which represents the
figure of the mother, gives us a feeling of solemnity and reverence. The
severity of these dark masses is broken by the head and hands. The
dainty white cap with its suggestion of lace on the cap strings softens
the sweet face and relieves the glossy smoothness of her hair. In her
hands she holds a lace handkerchief which we can barely distinguish from
the lace on her cuffs. But the hands serve as an exquisite bit of light
to lead the eye back to the face, where we study again the calm and
tender dignity of the figure and the mysterious beauty of those
far-seeing eyes.

By this very simplicity, quiet, and repose, Whistler has made us feel
the love and reverence he has for his mother. He leaves us to guess what
the mother herself may be thinking as she looks back over the life now
past. With what reluctance she may have at first consented to pose for
her portrait, believing that this great, wonderful son of hers had
better choose some younger, fairer model, more responsive to his magic
brush! But when she found his heart was set upon painting her portrait,
she would hesitate no longer.

No doubt he knew just which dress he wished his mother to wear. We all
know the dress we like to see our own mother wear. Very likely Whistler
had planned the picture for days and knew exactly where he wished her to
sit and just how the finished portrait was to look. And the mother, with
her faith in her son’s talent, probably thought his wanting her picture
was only a token of his love for her, little realizing that this
portrait alone would make her son famous.

We are moved by the silence and reserve of this gentle lady to an
appreciation of the love, reverence, and respect that are her due.

Held at a distance, our reproduction of this picture seems to consist
merely of a black silhouette against a light gray wall. On closer
examination we soon discover two other values—that of the floor, which
is medium gray, and the darker mass of the curtain.

Whistler was so fond of gray that he always kept his studio dimly
lighted in order to produce that effect. His pictures are full of
suggestions rather than actual objects or details. In his landscapes all
is seen through a misty haze of twilight, early morning, fog, or rain.
They suggest rather than tell their story. He makes us think as well as

=Questions to help the pupil understand the picture.= What did Mr.
Whistler call this painting? Why was the name changed? What is it often
called? why? Which name seems the most appropriate to you? What colors
did the artist use? How many values are represented in this painting?
What are they? What can you say about the division of space in the
picture? of the light and shade? of the interior of the room?

=To the Teacher=: Tell about the picture and the artist, or have some
one pupil prepare the story and tell it to the class. This may be
followed by a written description of the picture and a short sketch of
the artist’s life by the class, given in connection with the English
composition work. These questions may be written upon the blackboard as
a guide or suggestion.

=The story of the artist.= Perhaps there never was a boy more fond of
playing practical jokes than James McNeill Whistler. For this reason he
made many enemies as well as friends, for you know that, although very
amusing in themselves, practical jokes are apt to offend.

But first we should know something about Whistler’s father and mother.
Of a family of soldiers, the father was a graduate of West Point
Military Academy, and became a major in the United States army. During
those peaceful days there was very little to keep an army officer busy,
so the government allowed its West Point graduates to aid in the
building of the railroads throughout the country. Civil engineers were
in great demand, and from a position as engineer on the Baltimore and
Ohio Railroad, Major Whistler became engineer to the Proprietors of
Locks and Canals at Lowell, Massachusetts. To Lowell, then a mere
village, Major Whistler brought his family, and here James was born.
Later the family moved to Stonington, Connecticut.

Whistler’s mother was a strict Puritan and brought up her son according
to Puritan beliefs. Their Sundays were quite different from ours at the
present day. They really began on Saturday night for little James, for
it was then that his pockets were emptied, all toys put away, and
everything made ready for the Sabbath. On that day the Bible was the
only book they were allowed to read.

When they lived in Stonington, they were a long distance from the church
and, as there were no trains on Sunday, the father placed the body of a
carriage on car wheels and, running it on the rails as he would a hand
car, he was able to take his family to church regularly. This ride to
church was the great event of the day for James.

James’s first teacher at school, though a fine man, had unfortunately a
very long neck. In his wish to hide this peculiarity he wore unusually
high collars. One day little James came in tardy, wearing a collar so
high it completely covered his ears. He had made it of paper in
imitation of the teacher’s. As he walked solemnly to his seat, the whole
school was in an uproar. James sat down and went about his work as if
unconscious both of commotion and of the angry glare of his teacher. It
was not many minutes before the indignant man rushed upon him and
administered the punishment he so richly deserved.

When James was nine years old the family moved to Russia. The Emperor
Nicholas I wished to build a railroad from the city of St. Petersburg
(now called Petrograd) to Moscow, and had sent all over Europe and
America in search of the best man to undertake this work, at last
choosing Major Whistler. It was a great honor, of course, and the salary
was twelve thousand dollars a year. Here the family lived in great
luxury until the father died. Then Mrs. Whistler brought her children
back to America to educate them.

When only four years old James had shown considerable talent for
drawing, but although his mother admired his sketches she always hoped
and planned that her son should become a soldier like his father. So at
the age of seventeen she sent him to West Point, where he remained three
years before he was discharged for failure in chemistry.

Although he had failed in most of his other studies, too, he stood at
the head of his class in drawing. He received much praise for the maps
he drew in his geography class, and some of them are still preserved.
Whistler himself tells us: “Had silicon been a gas, I would have been a
major general.” It was during an oral examination, after repeated
failures, that his definition, “Silicon is a gas,” finally caused his

Another story is told of his examination in history. His professor said,
“What! do you not know the date of the Battle of Buena Vista? Suppose
you were to go out to dinner and the company began to talk of the
Mexican War, and you, a West Point man, were asked the date of the
battle, what would you do?”

“Do?” said Whistler. “Why, I should refuse to associate with people who
could talk of such things at dinner.”

Whistler’s real name was James Abbott Whistler, but when he entered West
Point he added his mother’s name, McNeill. He did this because he knew
the habit at West Point of nicknaming students, and he feared the
combination of initial letters would suggest one for him, so he
substituted McNeill for Abbott. He was called Jimmie, Jemmie, Jamie,
James, and Jim.

The older he grew the more Whistler seemed to enjoy playing practical
jokes. Soon after he left West Point he was given a position in a
government office, but was so careless in his work he was discharged. As
he was going past his employer’s desk he caught sight of an unusually
large magnifying glass which that official used only on the most
important occasions and which was held in great awe by the employes.
Whistler quickly painted a little demon in the center of this glass. It
is said that when the official had occasion to use the great magnifying
glass again he hurriedly dropped it thinking he must be out of his head,
for all he could see was a wicked-looking demon grinning up at him.

When Whistler began to paint in earnest he was very successful, and soon
became the idol of his friends. In fact, the admiration of his friends
proved quite a misfortune, for it sometimes made him satisfied with poor
work. A friend coming in would find a half-completed picture on his
easel and go into raptures over it, saying, “Don’t touch it again. Leave
it just as it is!” Whistler, pleased and delighted, would say he guessed
it was rather good, and so the picture remained unfinished.

Many stories are told of the models he chose from the streets. Often
some dirty, ragged little child would find itself taken kindly by the
hand and led home to ask its mother whether it might pose for the great
artist. After some difficulty the mother would be persuaded to let the
child go just as it was, dirt and all. As soon as Whistler began to
paint, he usually forgot everything else and so at last the child would
cry out from sheer weariness. Then with a start of surprise Whistler
would say to his servant, “Pshaw! what’s it all about? Can’t you give it
something? Can’t you buy it something?” Needless to say, the child
always went home happy with toys and candy.

Whistler saw color everywhere, and he was especially quick to feel the
beauty of color combinations. The names of his paintings suggest that
this love of color was of first importance in his work, even before the
object or person studied. So we have “A Symphony in White,” “Rose and
Gold,” “Gray and Silver,” “A Note in Blue and Opal,” and “Green and

=Questions about the artist.= Of what nationality was the artist? What
was his father’s profession? What important positions did he hold? How
did the family observe Sunday? What was the great event of the day for
James McNeill Whistler? To what country did the family move? What
happened after the father’s death? Where was James sent to school? Why
did he fail? Why did he change his name? Tell about the position in the
government office and what happened there. How did praise and admiration
affect him? Name some of his best paintings.


                      MURAL DECORATIONS AND FRESCO

The term “mural decoration” applies to the decoration of walls and
ceilings. These decorations may be done in fresco, oils, sculpture in
low relief, mosaics, carved and paneled woodwork, or tapestries. In
fresco painting a damp plaster ground is prepared on the wall, upon
which the moist colors are painted. These colors become fixed as they
dry, and appear to be a part of the wall. The work must be done while
the plaster is damp, so the painter prepares only that part of the wall
which he expects to cover that day. As it cannot be used after it is
dry, he must scrape away all that is left and prepare a new background
the next day. If the artist wishes to change any part of his picture, he
must scrape off the ground and repaint the entire picture. It is often
easy to see where the new plaster has been added, and hence how much the
artist did in one day.

The damp atmosphere in northern countries soon destroys fresco paints,
while the warm, sunny climate of such countries as Italy and Spain
preserves them. Most of the fresco paintings of such old masters as Fra
Angelico, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo are still to be
seen in much of their original beauty.

In America, fresco is seldom used, as artists find that oil paints on
canvas, which may be fastened to the wall with white lead, are much more
lasting and satisfactory.

Some of the best-known mural paintings in the United States are found in
the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts: “The Holy Grail,” by
Edwin Abbey (American); “The Frieze of the Prophets,” by John Sargent
(American); and “The Muses Welcoming the Genius of Enlightenment,” by
Chavannes (French). In the Congressional Library, Washington, D.C., the
artists represented are: Elihu Vedder (American), J. W. Alexander
(American), H. O. Walker (American), Charles Sprague Pearce (American),
Edward Simmons (American), G. W. Maynard (American), and Frederick
Dielman (American by adoption). In the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York
City, E. H. Blashfield (American) and Edward Simmons are represented. At
the Carnegie Institute the work of John W. Alexander is represented, and
at the Walker Art Building, Bowdoin College, Maine, we find works by
Cox, Thayer, Vedder, and La Farge.



                       THE FRIEZE OF THE PROPHETS

=Questions to arouse interest.= Who were the “prophets”? How many are
represented in this picture? Relate some incident or event in the life
of any one of them. What book tells about the lives of these men? Of
what benefit were they to the world? How many groups are complete in
themselves? How are the five groups held together to form a single

  =Original Picture=: Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.
  =Artist=: John Singer Sargent (sär´j_ĕ_nt).
  =Birthplace=: Florence, Italy.
  =Dates=: Born, 1856.

=The story of the frieze.= This painting is placed on the third floor of
the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts, in what is known as
Sargent Hall. The third floor of the library contains valuable
collections of books on special subjects, and to approach these rooms we
must pass through a long, high gallery. This is Sargent Hall, named in
honor of the artist who decorated its walls. At about the time that Mr.
Abbey was asked to decorate the walls of the Delivery Room, Mr. Sargent,
also an American, received a commission to decorate both ends of this
hall or gallery. He was paid fifteen thousand dollars for the work. So
successful was he in pleasing the people, and so much enthusiasm was
aroused, that immediately an additional sum of fifteen thousand dollars
was raised by popular subscription, and Mr. Sargent was urged to
complete the decoration of the entire hall.

The “Frieze of the Prophets” is only a part of the decorations of
Sargent Hall. Mr. Sargent has described the complete scheme of
decoration as representing “the triumph of religion, showing the
development of religion from early confusing beliefs to the worship of
the one God upon the basis of the Law and the Prophets.”



  _Elijah, Moses, Joshua. The Frieze of the Prophets_


One glance at the picture tells us that the central figure, that of
Moses, is the most important among the nineteen prophets represented. Of
all the prophets Moses is considered the most ideal and superhuman, and
thus Mr. Sargent has tried to represent him. By using more conventional
lines, and by modeling the figure in low relief so that it stands out
from the rest of the picture, he has produced this distinguishing
effect. The face, beard, shoulders, arms, and Tables of the Law stand
out in the painting as if they were carved from stone. In fact, as we
look at him we think more of a monument than of a painting. The wings
crossed so stiffly make the figure seem all the more erect, while the
feathers seem to send out rays of light over the entire picture. The
earnest face with its deep-set eyes suggests the strength and courage of
that great leader who felt that upon him lay the responsibility for the
restless, ignorant idolaters whom he was to lead.

When we read the story of the prophet’s life we are filled with wonder.
From the very first it was unusual. Moses was born at the time when the
wicked king of Egypt commanded that all boy babies of the Israelites
should be drowned. But his mother kept him hidden until he was three
months old. Then she placed him in a small boat or ark which she pushed
out among the flags and grasses of the river.

We all know how the daughter of Pharaoh found the child and adopted him
as her own son. She named him Moses, meaning “to draw out,” for, as she
said, she had drawn him out of the water. Grown to manhood among the
Egyptians, his open sympathy for his own people caused him to be
banished. Then, in the vision of the burning bush, which burns yet never
is consumed, the Lord appeared to him and told him that he was to
deliver the people of Israel out of the hands of the Egyptians. But when
he was told to go to speak to Pharaoh his courage deserted him, and it
was not until after several miracles had been performed and divine help
promised that he was willing to go.

Aaron, brother of Moses, went with him to ask Pharaoh to permit the
Israelites to go on a three days’ journey into the wilderness to offer
sacrifices to the Lord. But Pharaoh only laughed at them. A great many
dreadful things had to happen to Pharaoh’s people before he would give
his consent—the water was turned to blood; the land was covered with
frogs, and lice, and flies; the cattle were afflicted with a dreadful
disease; man and beast were covered with running sores; hail destroyed
most of the crops; locusts came to devour the rest, and the whole
country, except the land in which the Israelites dwelt, was cast into
darkness. During each of these scourges Pharaoh would send for Moses and
beg him to ask God to deliver the land, saying he would let the
Israelites go. But as soon as the danger was removed he would refuse to
keep his promise.

Then came the most dreadful scourge of all—the death of the first-born
in every Egyptian home. Again Pharaoh had failed to heed the warning of
Moses. There was weeping and wailing in Egypt that day, for every home
lost a loved one. In great haste the king sent messengers to Moses,
giving the Israelites his consent to go and even urging them on their

So with their families and their worldly goods the Israelites started
out in search of the promised land under the leadership of Moses and
Aaron. They had scarcely begun their weary journey before Pharaoh
regretted having allowed them to go, and sent spies and an army after
them. But a “pillar of cloud” came between the two camps and hid the
Israelites that night. In the morning the Red Sea, over which they must
cross, divided before them and they walked across on dry land between
the walls of water. When they had passed, the waters closed in again and
destroyed the pursuing Egyptians.

Then comes the wonderful history of those forty years’ wanderings in the
wilderness, led by clouds by day and pillars of fire by night, until the
Israelites reached the promised land. During all this time, under the
guidance of the Lord, Moses taught his people and directed them in all
their affairs. Yet they were not capable of understanding his great
spiritual convictions, for at one time, when Moses remained on Mount
Sinai forty days and forty nights communing with God, he found upon his
return that his people had made themselves an idol and were worshiping
it. Their faith seems never to have been very strong, and they were
constantly in need of the help and encouragement of their great leader.

From Mount Sinai, Moses brought them the two stone tablets, with the Ten
Commandments written upon them.

In his picture Mr. Sargent has represented Moses with two little horns
on his forehead. After Moses came down from Mount Sinai, where God had
spoken to him, his face shone, or, as the Bible says, “sent forth beams
or horns of light.” These horns are also shown very distinctly in
Michelangelo’s wonderful statue of Moses.

Here we see him represented as a sort of spiritual giant, holding toward
us for our observance the two stone tablets containing the Ten
Commandments upon which all Christian living should be based.


During the forty years’ wandering in the wilderness many hostile tribes
were encountered and had to be subdued. Then a young man, strong,
energetic, and skillful in arms, came forward to lead the army. This
young leader was Joshua, represented at the right of Moses in the act of
sheathing his sword.

Moses himself saw the promised land far off from the top of a mountain.
The Lord had told him to go there to look upon it, as he could not live
to reach it. Moses then spent his last days instructing his people and
their new leader, Joshua the warrior, who was to guide them to the end
of their journey.

Having received the promise of divine help, the Israelites under their
new leader again took up the march. When they reached the River Jordan,
it, like the Red Sea, divided and allowed them to walk over on dry land;
the guarded massive walls of Jericho fell that they might enter and
possess the land. But there were still other hostile tribes to be
conquered before they could feel that the land was really theirs. They
were successful in all their battles except one, in which defeat came to
them because one man had stolen plunder and hidden it in his house
contrary to his promise to God. The sin confessed, victory returned.

When all the land was conquered it became Joshua’s duty to divide it
among the different tribes, a long and difficult task. This
accomplished, he gathered his people together and told them that his
time of leadership was about to end. Then he made them decide for
themselves whether they would henceforth worship idols or the one God.
They vowed they would worship the one God, and Joshua caused them to
erect a monument as a reminder of their vow.

In our picture the simple, straight lines of the figure of Joshua are
suggestive of the determined, forceful character of the man. They give
an impression of great strength. Notice how the light falls upon his
upraised arm and the straight folds of his garment. It seems to come
directly from the wings of the figure of Moses, as if to acknowledge the
wisdom and inspiration which Joshua received from the great leader. The
face of Joshua, half hidden under his hood, is thoughtful yet
determined. Here is a man of strong, steady purpose, pressing on
persistently until he, with all his people, should reach the promised

                  *       *       *       *       *

Of a quite different type is the prophet Elijah, whom we see at the left
of Moses. This enthusiastic leader, regardless of physical comforts or
earthly pleasures, bends all his energies toward the one great cause.
His complete forgetfulness of self is well represented here by the
careless draperies, the intense feeling in the face, and the strained
muscles of the neck and arms. We know little about his life until the
time when he was sent as messenger to the palace of the wicked King
Ahab. This king over the Israelites lived in a magnificent palace made
of ivory and gold, with beautiful gardens about it. But his wife,
Jezebel, was a wicked woman, and a worshiper of idols, and she persuaded
Ahab to build a great temple to one of her gods, Baal, and to worship
with her.

One day, without any warning, a strange-looking man wearing a cloak of
camel’s hair and carrying a strong staff in his hand, appeared before
Ahab in the throne room of his magnificent palace. It was Elijah, and
without even bowing to the king or showing him any respect whatever, he
delivered this dreadful message in a loud voice: “As the Lord God of
Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain
these years, but according to my word.” Before the astonished king could
answer, Elijah had disappeared.

Then the Lord warned Elijah to hide by a certain brook called Cherith,
for Ahab would pursue him. Here he lived three months, fed by the ravens
and hiding in caves in the rocks, for this brook was hidden between two
hills of rock covered with leaves. But soon the brook became dry, for
there had been no rain. Then again came the message of the Lord, telling
him to go to a certain widow’s home many miles away, where he would be
taken care of. As Elijah neared the gates of the city where she lived,
he met a woman gathering sticks. He asked her for some water and bread,
but she told him she had just enough meal to make one little cake for
herself and her small son. After that they must die, for she was very
poor. She had been gathering the sticks to bake the cake. Then Elijah
told her to make a cake for him first, and not to be afraid, for the
Lord had told him her meal and oil should not give out before the rain
came. She did as he said, and, sure enough, she had as much meal and oil
as before. Then she knew this to be a man of God, and offered to let him
stay in her home.

Elijah remained there two years, during which time the drought continued
over Israel, and Ahab sought the prophet in vain.

Then came the voice of the Lord commanding him to go again to the king
with a message. Ahab was very angry when Elijah again appeared; but
Elijah was not afraid. He ordered Ahab to gather all the Israelites at
Mount Carmel and to bring there also the prophets of Baal, the heathen
god. But the wicked Jezebel had caused all the prophets of the
Israelites to be put to death, so that Elijah was alone against the four
hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. While he waited, Elijah spent the
time in prayer.

When all were gathered at Mount Carmel, the king in his royal purple
robes, the false prophets in their white robes and high pointed caps,
and all the attendants, officers, and servants, the great figure of
Elijah loomed up before them, demanding in a loud voice how long they
were going to take to decide whether to serve God or Baal. None dared
reply. He told them to bring two oxen; one, the prophets of Baal should
prepare for sacrifice, the other he should prepare. Each should call
upon his God, and the God that answered by fire should be supreme. The
people thought this very fair, as Baal was supposed to be the god of

The prophets of Baal were allowed to try first. In vain they called to
the sun, and danced about the altar, waving their arms wildly, begging
Baal to hear them and to send the fire—but there was no response. Is it
any wonder Elijah said to them: “Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he
is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he
sleepeth, and must be awaked.” They continued their supplication all
day, but to no avail.

Then Elijah called the people close around him, prepared his offering,
and commanded them to pour water over it several times and also to fill
the ditch surrounding it with water, that they might be fully persuaded.
Then Elijah’s prayer was immediately answered by a fire, which not only
burned up the offering but licked up the water around it. Then the
people were persuaded, the false prophets were slain, and rain descended
upon the land.

But Jezebel was very angry when she heard these things, and sent word to
Elijah that he, too, should share the fate of the prophets of Baal.
Elijah fled. It was at this time he rested “under a juniper tree,” which
has since been known as an expression of discouragement.

Again came the message of the Lord, sending him to the land of Israel,
where he should proclaim his successor, Elisha. Elijah spent the rest of
his life instructing young men, of whom Elisha was his most devoted
follower. When his work was over he was taken up into heaven in a
chariot of fire.


Next to Elijah in the frieze stands Daniel, that stanch leader whom
nothing could dismay, not even the fear of being placed in the lions’
den. He does not look as if he could easily be persuaded to turn aside
from what he believed was right. The fixed folds of his garment
correspond with his features and his character as we know it. In his
hands he carries a piece of parchment upon which is inscribed in Hebrew,
“And they that be wise shall shine.”

His was an unusual life full of strange experiences. He was fourteen
years old when the people of Judah were taken captives to Babylon by the
victorious King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was chosen with several other
boys to be trained as pages for the king; then many strange things
happened to him. In the first place his name was changed from Daniel,
which means “God is my judge,” to Belteshazzar, after one of the idols
of the Babylonians. All the pages were given these strange heathen
names. They were treated very kindly but were expected to eat the rich
food from the king’s table, most of which had been offered to the idols.


  _Amos, Nahum, Ezekiel, Daniel. The Frieze of the Prophets_

When Daniel found this out he made his first stand for what he believed
was right. Feeling that it was wrong to eat this food, he persuaded
three of the other boys to go with him and ask the king’s officers to
give them plainer food. The officers consented to test this diet with
the four boys, and at the end of three months found they had gained in
strength more than the other pages, who had continued to eat the rich
food; and so Daniel’s request was granted. All the pages had to study
very hard, for they had to learn the language of the Babylonians besides
many other things. When they were brought before the king to be examined
three years later, Daniel and his three friends were found to be the
brightest scholars of all. People began to look up to them, and to call
them very wise.

Not long after this King Nebuchadnezzar had a very strange dream, but
when he woke up in the morning he could not remember what it was. He
called his wise men together, but none could tell him what he had
dreamed. He became very angry and ordered them all put to death, even
Daniel and his friends, whom he thought ought to be wise enough to tell

All that night Daniel and his friends prayed for help, until, utterly
weary, they fell asleep. In a dream the Lord told Daniel what to tell
the king. King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream had been about his kingdom, and
who should rule after him, and he was amazed that one so young as Daniel
should tell him what he had dreamed and what the dream meant. He gave
Daniel many presents and made him a great ruler.

Daniel continued in favor with Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, Darius. So
much was he favored that the other officers of the king wished to
destroy him. Appealing to his vanity, they persuaded Darius to set aside
thirty days in which all his people should pray to him just as if he
were a god. He made this dreadful law among his people, who were Medes
and Persians. Of course we know how Daniel continued to pray to God, was
watched, and reported to the king. Then King Darius saw the trap which
his officers had set for Daniel. He was greatly distressed, but not even
a king could change a law among the Medes and Persians. He had said that
any one who disobeyed his law should perish in the den of lions.

But we know how Daniel was taken care of; how the king rejoiced to find
him alive the next morning; and how all the people marveled and believed
in the God who had saved him. At this time Daniel was eighty years old.
God sent some wonderful dreams to him, and he was able to prophesy many
things that should happen to the Jews. It was through him that they were
delivered from their captivity.


At the right of Joshua we see Jeremiah, the prophet who so bitterly
lamented the afflictions of his people. He is often called the “weeping
prophet.” So Mr. Sargent has represented him in that attitude of grief
and discouragement, standing there with his eyes cast down in sorrowful
meditation. His whole life was spent in what seemed a fruitless strife
against the evils of his time, for his warnings were disregarded, and
his people were hurrying toward their destruction.


  _Jeremiah, Jonah, Isaiah, Habakkuk. The Frieze of the Prophets_

Mr. Sargent has made us feel the hopeless despair of this strong man who
tried so hard to save his people from all the misery they so willfully
brought upon themselves. He even went about the streets wearing a yoke
on his neck, to symbolize the coming servitude of the nation which
refused to heed his warnings and repent. His life was in constant
danger; he was imprisoned, thrown into a damp, unwholesome cistern, and
was often obliged to hide for months in caves among the rocks to escape
the king’s anger.

Other prophets could declare God’s protection and hold out some hope for
the good to come, but Jeremiah’s message spoke only of evil and sorrow.
It took great courage to go about on so unpopular and sad a mission,
without even a miracle to prove his words true, and always alone among
people who were unfriendly and did not believe in him.

The first one of Jeremiah’s predictions to come true was when Daniel and
the Israelites were taken captives to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.
Again he warned them not to go into Egypt, but they not only went but
compelled him to go with them.

The last we hear of Jeremiah is in Egypt, urging his people to give up
their idols and worship God. He is indeed, as Mr. Sargent has
represented him, “the prophet of sorrow”; and yet the figure is one of
strength. Neither in his face nor in his bearing is there any sign of
indecision or turning back.


Next, partly hidden from view, we see Jonah, the unwilling prophet, who
tried to run away when the Lord told him to take his message of warning
to Nineveh. The people in this city were known to be very wicked, and
Jonah feared they might kill him, so he took a boat and started away in
another direction. We all know of the fearful storm that arose and how
the sailors prayed to their gods and urged Jonah to pray to his. But
Jonah could not pray to God when he was disobeying Him. Then the sailors
drew lots, as was the custom, to find out who had sinned and brought the
fearful storm upon them. The lot fell to Jonah, who told them how he had
run away from Nineveh. He urged the sailors to throw him overboard,
saying the sea would then be still. The men did not want to do this,
but, fearful lest all should be lost, they finally threw him overboard.
At once the wind died down and the sea was still. We know how the whale
was sent to swallow Jonah and to carry him safely to the shore, where he
was left, now very willing to deliver his message to Nineveh.

He was to tell these wicked people that in forty days their city would
be overthrown. He went about the streets dressed in a rough camel’s-hair
cloak, very much like Elijah, and called out his prophecy in a loud
voice. No wonder the people were frightened, and when he told them how
he had not wanted to bring the message and had been forced to, they were
more frightened than ever. All the people, and the king too, wept and
prayed God for forgiveness, neither eating nor drinking. Then God heard
their prayers and forgave them, and their city was not destroyed.

But Jonah felt very much hurt because his message had not proved true.
He thought only of himself, and felt that he had been cheated. He went
away by himself and built a small place of shelter just outside the
walls of the city. Here he sat and waited, still hoping Nineveh would be
destroyed. Suddenly a tree sprang up, its dense leaves protecting him
from the hot sun. Jonah was greatly pleased and refreshed, but the tree
as suddenly withered, and he was left grieving for it. God then spoke to
him and asked him how he could grieve for the tree, yet harden his heart
against the people of Nineveh, who had repented.

Jeremiah’s greatest grief was that the people would not heed his
warnings, while Jonah felt aggrieved because his prophecy was not

In the picture we see Jonah reading a scroll bearing the one word


Next to Jonah we see Isaiah, the enthusiast, prophesying the coming of
Christ’s kingdom. Note how the light falls on the head and shoulders,
and on the upraised arms of the prophet, and is echoed, so to speak, by
the light on the lower folds of his robe. All lines and lights lead the
eye upward, even as Isaiah sought to lift his people up into a higher,
better world. He is the hopeful figure in this group of four.

Habakkuk stands next with his far-seeing eyes missing the heavenly
visions which surround Isaiah, but seeing the sorrows and evils of the
world and trying in vain to remedy them.

The next group to the right represents the three prophets of hope,
Haggai, Malacchi, and Zechariah, all pointing toward the section of the
wall where Mr. Sargent’s new painting, “The Sermon on the Mount,” will
be placed when finished. The one doubtful figure, Micah, who is looking
back, serves to hold this section of the picture to the other figures in
the frieze.


At the left-hand side of the frieze and next to Daniel, stands Ezekiel.
Ezekiel lived at the same time as Daniel and, like him, began his
prophetic career after he was exiled to Babylon. During the twenty-seven
years of his exile he kept his fellow exiles informed as to all dangers
which were besetting and threatening their people at home in Jerusalem
and Judah. His book abounds in visions and poetical images. Mr. Sargent
has given him the absorbed expression of one who sees beyond the present
and whose vision includes both evil and good.


  _Micah, Haggai, Malacchi, Zechariah. The Frieze of the Prophets_

Nahum, standing next to Ezekiel, seems to be predicting the wickedness
and fall of Nineveh, of which he has given us such a powerful and vivid
account; while Amos denounces idolatry and the sins of the nations, also
predicting a brighter future for the people of Israel.

The four figures in the last panel to the left of Moses represent the
prophets of despair. We cannot fail to notice that among the hopeful
prophets there is one discouraged figure, while among the prophets of
despair we find the hopeful figure of Hosea.

Obadiah, Joel, and Zephaniah urged their people to repentance of sin,
and warned them of disaster to come, but their warnings were not heeded.
In the picture Joel is attempting to shut out the sight of the fearful
plague of locusts, of the famine, and of the drought which he knows must
come to his people because they will not repent. The other two prophets
seem crushed by a hopeless despair. But love is the keynote of Hosea’s
pleadings. He speaks of the unquenchable love of Jehovah for his erring

It is interesting to know that Mr. Sargent’s favorite figure in the
frieze is this young prophet in white, Hosea. Is it any wonder he should
choose this one? The name Hosea means salvation. In him we see beauty,
grace, and simplicity, and we feel the steady purpose, the earnest
faith, of that calm, quiet face. There is no despair in that face or
figure; the very folds of his robe give us a feeling of strength and
stability; they suggest marble.


  _Obadiah, Joel, Zephaniah, Hosea. The Frieze of the Prophets_

We are interested in this great mural painting, “The Frieze of the
Prophets,” not only for its intellectual and religious suggestiveness,
but for its composition, its masses of dark and light, and its beauty of
form. Each of the groups of figures is complete in itself, yet by the
position of the figures and by the light upon them, the frieze is held
together as one composition.

Mr. Sargent spent many years, and studied his Bible very thoughtfully,
before he attempted to draw this great picture.

=Questions to help the pupil understand the picture.= Who were the
prophets? What had they to do with the development of religion? Who
painted this picture? Where is the original? What can you say of the
composition of this picture? of the light and shade? What do we call
paintings on a wall? What is there unusual about this painting? For what
do you admire it? Why was Moses given the most important place in this
picture? Tell the story of his life. Why is he often represented with
two little horns on his forehead? Tell something about each one of the
prophets. Which one is Mr. Sargent’s favorite?

=To the Teacher=: Certain pupils may be selected to study and give
orally a description of different portions of this picture.

                        SUBJECTS FOR COMPOSITION

    1. How the Prophets Helped in the Development of Religion.
    2. The Most Interesting Prophet.
    3. The Most Pleasing Group of Prophets.
    4. Life of the Artist.
    5. Reasons Why This Painting Has Become Famous.
    6. How Fresco or Mural Painting Is Done.

=The story of the artist.= We are especially interested in Mr. Sargent
because he is one of the living American artists who has won fame both
in his own country and abroad. Although John Singer Sargent was born in
Florence, Italy, we claim him as an American because his parents were
Americans and because he has always considered himself an American. His
boyhood was spent in Florence, where it was his delight to wander in the
art galleries. He showed an early talent for drawing, and when he was
nineteen years old he went to Paris to become the pupil of some of the
best artists.

Mr. Sargent is famous for his many portraits as well as for his mural
decorations. He has traveled extensively and has visited the United
States many times, painting and exhibiting his paintings here, but most
of his life has been spent in London, where he is now living. In 1908 he
was elected to the Royal Academy. He has won many medals of honor for
his paintings, and is a member of the leading art societies of America
and Europe.

Among the noted pictures by Mr. Sargent are: “Carnation Lily, Lily
Rose,” “Fishing for Oysters at Cancale,” “Neapolitan Children Bathing,”
“El Jaleo” (Spanish Dance), “Fumes of Ambergris,” “Ellen Terry as Lady
Macbeth,” and “La Carmençita.” As a portrait painter Mr. Sargent has
been commissioned by men and women of high distinction in literary,
political, social, and artistic life in America and Europe. Among his
eminent sitters have been: Joseph Chamberlain, Carolus Duran, Theodore
Roosevelt, Secretary Hay, and Octavia Hill.

=Questions about the artist.= Why do we feel an especial interest in Mr.
Sargent? Where was he born? Why do we claim him as an American? Where
did he study drawing and painting? For what kind of paintings is he
famous? Where does he live?



  Copyright by Edwin A. Abbey; from a Copley Print
  Copyright by Curtis & Cameron, Publishers, Boston

                             THE HOLY GRAIL

=Questions to arouse interest.= How many of you have read Tennyson’s
_The Holy Grail_? What was the Holy Grail? Why did men seek it? Tell
what you can of Sir Galahad and his adventures.

  =Original Picture=: Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.
  =Artist=: Edwin Austin Abbey (ăb´ĭ).
  =Birthplace=: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  =Dates=: Born, 1852; died, 1911.

=The story of the picture.= When asked to decorate the walls of the
Delivery Room of the Boston Public Library Mr. Abbey planned to
represent “The Sources of Modern Literature,” thinking this would be
most appropriate, as Mr. Sargent had chosen “The Sources of the
Christian Religion” for the subject of his pictures on the walls of a
gallery on the third floor of the same building. But as Mr. Abbey read
and studied the subject he became impressed with the story of the Holy
Grail, which seemed to be woven in and out through all our literature.
He realized also that he would be the first to represent this subject in
a large decoration, and that it was altogether worthy of his best

The paintings occupy the wall space between the wainscot and the ceiling
of this great room, where books of the library are given out and
returned. The pictures are eight feet in height, but vary in length from
the first, “The Vision,” which is six feet long, to the fifth, “The
Castle of the Grail,” which is thirty-three feet long and extends the
entire length of the north wall.

Mr. Abbey spent seven years in careful research work before he was able
to complete these paintings. He received fifteen thousand dollars for
his work.

According to an old legend, the Holy Grail was the cup from which Christ
drank at the Last Supper. It was bought from Pilate by Joseph of
Arimathæa, who caught in it the divine blood that fell from Christ’s

Joseph placed the cup in a castle, which he kept guarded night and day.
It was passed on to his descendants, who received the charge in sacred
trust and continued to guard it faithfully. The cup itself was most
mysterious and wonderful. It could be seen only by those who were
perfectly pure in word, thought, and deed. If an evil person came near,
it was borne away as if by some invisible hand, completely disappearing
from view.

The sight of it was as food to the one to whom it was revealed and
enabled him “to live and to cause others to live indefinitely without
food,” gave him “universal knowledge,” and made him invulnerable in
battle. But there was one thing it did not do. No matter how perfect the
knight, he could still be tempted. He must continue to resist temptation
as long as he lived.

At length there came a king, keeper of the Grail, called Amfortas, the
Fisher King, who was not strong enough to resist temptation. He yielded
to an evil enchantment and was severely punished. Not only was the sight
of the Grail denied him, but a spell was cast upon him and all his court
so that they lived in a sort of trance, neither sleeping nor waking.
Thus they must remain until a knight pure in body and soul should come
to break the spell and set them free.

Little was known about the enchanted castle, where the king and his men
were held in the power of the spell, but many a young man began to plan
the quest of the Grail. He must so live that by his good thoughts and
deeds he might reach the enchanted castle, see the Holy Grail, and so
set free the unhappy knights. He must be perfect, indeed, if he would
achieve this, and full of courage, perseverance, and patience.

In our picture we see Sir Galahad, the stainless knight, who succeeds in
his quest of the Holy Grail.

Mr. Abbey has told the story in fifteen pictures, beginning with Sir
Galahad as a child.


Galahad was the son of Launcelot and Elaine, for it was according to an
old prophecy that these two should have a son who should become a great
knight and find the Holy Grail.

They placed their small son in a convent to be brought up by the nuns.
In the first picture we see the child attracted by a bright light
visible to him alone. He laughs in great delight and reaches toward the
Grail as he sees it gleaming fiery red through its veil-like covering.
It is held in the hands of an angel radiant in white as the light from
the Grail illumines her face and wings. She is supported by the wings of
doves, upon which she seems to be borne along. These doves signify the
Holy Spirit and are also represented as hovering near the Grail and
acting as informants concerning good and evil. The odor of the incense
from the Grail furnishes a mysterious sustenance to the child which
causes him to grow in mind and body. He is held high in the arms of a
sweet-faced young nun who does not see the vision but seems to feel
vaguely that some unusual event is taking place. In the original
painting the bluish black of her outer robe throws into greater
prominence the creamy white of her draperies as they, too, are flooded
with light from the Grail.

The background gives the effect of heavy tapestry and is made up of
tones of blue and white embroidered in gold. The figures of lions and
peacocks are used to signify the resurrection.

                        “THE OATH OF KNIGHTHOOD”

When the child had grown to manhood, Sir Launcelot was summoned to make
him a knight. In this picture we see Galahad in the convent chapel,
where he has just passed the night in prayer preparatory to his
departure out into the world.

As he kneels at the altar, he is clad in the red robe which is worn by
the hero throughout the series of pictures. Red is chosen as the color
of spiritual purity and means the “spirit cleansed by fire.” “It stands
for activity, conflict, human effort with the knowledge of good and evil
that imparts the strength to achieve the good and resist the evil.”

The honor of knighthood is conferred upon Galahad by Sir Launcelot and
Sir Bors, who can be seen in their heavy armor kneeling behind him. They
fasten the spurs upon his feet as a signal that the moment of departure
has arrived.


  Copyright by Edwin A. Abbey; from a Copley Print
  copyright by Curtis & Cameron, Publishers, Boston
  _The Oath of Knighthood. The Holy Grail_

The time of day is shown by the two candles at the altar which have been
burning all night and are now burned low in their sockets, and by the
faint early light of dawn which comes stealing in through the small
windows at the left of the picture. Just behind the knights stand a
group of nuns, holding tall candles which light up the dark room and
reflect on the white robes and shining armor. The interior decoration of
the church is plainly shown. Our attention is drawn to the quaint
crucifix just back of the kneeling knights, and the figures surrounding

The architecture is that of the Early Christian Romanesque. Sir
Galahad’s face is partly in shadow, as if lost in deep thought. But the
moment of departure has arrived. He will take up the helmet, which lies
near him, and leave the convent for his first glimpse of the outside
world. He must go to the wise teacher, Gurnemanz, to learn not only the
rules of knighthood but the ways of the world, before he may start on
his quest of the Holy Grail.

                    “THE ROUND TABLE OF KING ARTHUR”

Having been fully instructed in all the ways of the world by the good
Gurnemanz, Sir Galahad starts out on his quest. First he goes to the
Round Table of King Arthur and his knights in Camelot. He finds them
holding a solemn meeting, their leader having just declared that this is
the day when, according to prophecy, the stainless knight should come
who should occupy the Siege Perilous. The Siege Perilous was a chair
over which the magician, Merlin, had cast a spell, so that no man could
sit in it without peril of death. Even Merlin himself was lost while
sitting in his own chair. Only a blameless knight could hope for safety
in this perilous seat. While Arthur and the knights are discussing the
prophecy, there suddenly appears a strange old man clothed in white,
whom none has seen before.

He comes toward the throne of King Arthur, leading Sir Galahad by the
hand. The door and windows quietly and mysteriously close of themselves;
the room is filled with a strange light. The Angel of the Grail appears
before them, and gently lifts the red drapery from the chair. The
encircling choir of angels look on silently as all read above the chair,
in letters of fire, the flaming words, “This is Galahad’s seat.”

This picture shows them at that breathless moment when the letters of
golden light appeared over the chair. King Arthur has risen from his
seat to greet Sir Galahad; a small page kneels beside the king, while
the jester half rises at the wondrous sight. Sir Galahad wears the same
red robe, fastened with a golden brown girdle—a gift from the nuns when
he was leaving the convent.

                            “THE DEPARTURE”

A wonderful rock of red marble has been discovered, protruding from the
surface of a river. From its side projects a shining sword which none
has been able to draw out. The king and his knights hasten to see this
sword, but none succeeds in moving it. Now Sir Galahad arrives and draws
the sword without the slightest difficulty, placing it in his empty
scabbard, where it fits exactly. He also secures a shield which had been
left for him by his ancestor, and, thus armed, he is ready to start out
in search of the Grail. Most of the knights, persuaded by this series of
strange events that Sir Galahad is to be the true knight, decide to join
him in his search.

Before they start on their long and perilous journey they gather in the
church for a final benediction. So here again we see the interior of a
church. The bishop’s hands are raised in a parting benediction over the
group of kneeling knights clad in shining armor and holding their lances
erect. Many strange banners float above them. Sir Galahad alone has
bared his head. His helmet is on the floor beside him. Other kneeling
priests may be seen just behind the bishop. The scene is one of
solemnity and dignity.


King Amfortas, keeper of the Grail, who yielded to temptation and so was
denied the sight of the Grail, and his knights, upon whom was cast a
fearful spell which was neither sleeping nor waking, anxiously await the
arrival of Galahad. But, it is not enough that he should come; he must
ask a certain question which alone can free them from their living

Here we see Sir Galahad in the enchanted castle, a puzzled onlooker. He
looks silently about him at the feeble old king and his wretched
company. He sees, too, the procession of the Grail, which, although the
king and his court cannot see it, is constantly passing before them.
This procession includes the Angel, bearer of the Grail, a damsel
carrying a golden dish, two knights who carry seven-branched
candlesticks, and a knight holding a bleeding spear.

Sir Galahad must ask the meaning of what he sees and by his question
remove the enchantment. But, over-confident in his own knowledge, he
tries to solve the mystery by himself, and fails. The procession of the
Grail is shown to the right of the throne upon which King Amfortas half
sits, half reclines, while the rest of the weird company look solemnly
on as Sir Galahad stands transfixed with amazement and perplexity
because the spell is not removed as he expected. Because of his failure
to ask the necessary question, these people must continue to suffer.
Several years later he returns, a wiser man, and releases them. Personal
purity alone was not enough; wisdom was necessary, and to secure this he
must ask a certain question. He could not attain knowledge through
himself alone, but must seek it from the experience and understanding of

                          “THE LOATHLY DAMSEL”

The next morning after his failure the castle seems deserted, but when
Galahad starts out he finds his horse saddled and waiting for him. The
drawbridge is down, so thinking perhaps the king and knights are in the
forest, he rides across the bridge in search of them. Instantly the
drawbridge closes with a crash, and there is a great sound of groaning
and of voices reproaching him for having failed in his quest. The castle
disappears from sight, and Galahad roams disconsolately in the woods.
Finally he sits down to rest and think. He is aroused by the passing of
three enchanted maidens, the Loathly Damsel and her two followers.

In the picture we see her riding a white mule richly caparisoned. Her
form suggests beauty, yet the face is ugly and distorted, her head bald
so that she must wear a hood. In her hands she carries the ghastly head
of a king wearing a crown, and she seems depressed by her burden. Forced
by the spell to go about harming mankind against her will, she is angry
with Sir Galahad for having failed to release her. In her anger she
reproaches him for not having asked the question while within the
castle, and so here for the first time Sir Galahad learns why he failed.

Once a beautiful woman, the Loathly Damsel must ride about thus
unhappily. The head and shoulders are all that is visible of the second
damsel, apparently riding. The third, dressed as a boy, carries a
scourge with which she forces the two mules onward.

Sir Galahad bows his head in silence at their reproaches, humbly feeling
that he deserves them.

Many years of sorrow and suffering must pass before he can again find
the Castle of the Grail.


Continually seeking the Castle of the Grail, Sir Galahad wanders about
in this enchanted land. At length, catching a glimpse of a strange
castle, he makes haste to reach it, and finds it to be the Castle of
Imprisoned Maidens. These maidens represent the Virtues; and their
jailers, the Seven Deadly Sins. Arriving at the gate of the castle, he
finds it guarded by these seven knights. A fierce conflict ensues in
which Sir Galahad is victorious. This is the only picture in the series
in which he is represented in violent physical conflict; the others
represent more of the inner spiritual conflict. The seven knights,
wearing heavy armor and carrying immense shields, are represented in
dull gray colors, while our hero, wearing his chain armor over his red
robe, is easily distinguished by the shining gold of his helmet and the
red of his shield.

                        “THE KEY TO THE CASTLE”

Sir Galahad defeats the seven knights but he does not slay them, and
they turn and flee. This signifies that although the seven sins can no
longer trouble the pure soul, yet they are still about in the world.

Passing the outer gate, Sir Galahad is greeted by the keeper of the
inner gate, an aged man who blesses him and gives him the key to the
castle. With helmet in hand, Sir Galahad kneels reverently before the
saintly man who greets him kindly as he holds toward him the great key.


Sir Galahad enters the castle and is welcomed by the maidens, who have
long been expecting him, for it was according to prophecy that a perfect
knight should come to deliver them.

Mr. Abbey has represented these maidens as most beautiful in form and
feature. They are dressed in pale colors such as blue, white, rose, and
lilac, richly embroidered with gold. Our hero is turned away from us as
he humbly receives the shyly offered gratitude of the fair maidens. His
helmet and shield may be seen on the floor beside him. In size and
importance this large picture is a sort of companion picture to the one
on the opposite side of the room, “The Round Table of King Arthur.” Both
are beautiful in color and symmetry.


Having released the imprisoned Virtues that they may go about in the
world doing good, Sir Galahad returns to King Arthur’s court and marries
the Lady Blanchefleur, to whom he had become betrothed while a pupil of

On his wedding morning the vision of the Grail appears to him many
times, and the thought of poor old King Amfortas, awaiting the knight
who is to release him, saddens Galahad. He is seized with a great desire
to continue his quest, and finding his young bride in sympathy with his
ambition, he decides to start out that day on his journey.

The picture represents the bride Blanchefleur seated in her wedding
clothes, the wreath of roses still on her head and holding a bunch of
roses in her hands. Sir Galahad waves his hand in parting, preparatory
to donning his shield and sword, and goes forth to join the companion
waiting for him at the gate. The bride shows no signs of grief, for she
knows it is according to the prophecy that he should successfully
accomplish his quest, and she feels the high purpose which calls him.
And Galahad goes forth with renewed faith and inspiration to the final
accomplishment of his great quest.

                     “AMFORTAS RELEASED BY GALAHAD”

After many days he again finds the Castle of the Grail. Upon entering,
he sees the same procession passing before the unseeing eyes of the
suffering King Amfortas and his unhappy knights. As before, he cannot
understand it, but grown wiser by his hard-earned experience, he now
knows that he must ask the question. His keen sympathy for the king
brings the involuntary question to his lips, “What aileth thee, O King?
And what mean these things?” At his words the spell is broken, and all
is light and life again.

But King Amfortas wishes for nothing more in life than to be permitted
to die in peace. So in this picture we see Sir Galahad affectionately
bending over the dying Amfortas as he lifts him up that he may see the
vision of the Grail, at last made visible to him again. The Angel is
carrying it away from the castle, and it is not seen again until Sir
Galahad finally achieves it at Sarras.

                        “GALAHAD THE DELIVERER”

Not only has Sir Galahad released the inmates of the enchanted Castle of
the Grail, but he has removed the spell that was upon all the country
round, the Loathly Damsel, and all others. But he has not yet achieved
the Grail itself. So he starts out once more on his noble white charger,
surrounded by the grateful people, chief among them the Loathly Damsel
who so bitterly upbraided him at his first failure. Now restored to
beauty and virtue, she is kneeling in the foreground of the picture.

The hero rides erect, carrying his banner, and looking straight ahead.
We see the houses of the people in the background, and catch a glimpse
of the sea toward which Sir Galahad rides.


According to the legend it was in the time of the wise King Solomon that
a ship of mysterious and wonderful workmanship had been built. Just as
King Solomon was about to go on board strange letters of fire, written
in the air by an angel, warned him not to enter. As he stepped back, the
ship suddenly started off by itself and disappeared out to sea. In some
miraculous way it had been kept all these years to fulfill its destiny
and bring Sir Galahad to Sarras, where he should achieve the Grail. And
so, coming to the shore of the sea, he finds there the ship waiting for
him. Little is known of the city of Sarras, except that it is supposed
to have been in the Holy Land, and that this was the place where the
Holy Grail was to be found.

In the picture is represented the voyage to Sarras on King Solomon’s
ship. It is a frail-looking ship, guided by the Angel of the Grail,
guarding her treasure. Two knights, Percival and Bors, have been
permitted to go with Sir Galahad on this journey. They cannot see the
Grail itself, having sinned once, yet their faith and persistent search
have made it possible for them to go with him.

                          “THE CITY OF SARRAS”

When they arrived at the city of Sarras, Sir Galahad’s shield was at
once recognized, and the voyagers were treated as holy men. The knights
went about doing good, and through the power given them by their purity
they were enabled to heal the sick and the crippled.

The news of their good works aroused the jealousy and anger of the
wicked king of that country, who cast the three knights into prison.
Here they were fed by the Holy Grail. The wicked king grew very ill and
at last sent for them, begging their mercy. Scarcely had they granted it
when the king died. The whole city proclaimed Galahad king.

So here in this picture we see Galahad’s sword and shield laid aside,
his adventures over. Three ships are anchored in the bay of the quiet
city, and the tall buildings with their stately towers are surrounded by
a great red wall.


Galahad had been king of Sarras over a year when sailing one day, in his
ship, he prayed that “when he might ask it, he should pass out of this
world.” He is promised that his request will be granted and that then he
shall see the Holy Grail unveiled.

In this picture the Golden Tree signifies his work on earth completed.
As he kneels and makes his request, his sword and shield, now useless,
fall from him and the Grail is revealed to his sight. Seven angels with
wings of crimson surround him. The Grail is borne heavenward, never to
be seen again on earth. Divine wisdom has been attained.

=Questions to help the pupil understand the picture.= Where are the
original paintings? Why did Mr. Abbey choose this subject? What
preparation did he make before he painted these pictures? What was the
legend of the Holy Grail? What power did the Holy Grail not have? What
happened to King Amfortas? Why did Sir Galahad wish to find the Grail?
What was required of the knight who should find it? What preparation did
Sir Galahad make? What strange events made the other knights decide to
follow Sir Galahad? Why did Sir Galahad fail when he reached the Castle
of the Grail? How did his failure affect the people about him? Tell
about the conquest of the Seven Deadly Sins. What became of the seven
sins, and what does that signify? Tell about Sir Galahad’s final

=To the Teacher=: Pupils may be asked to prepare and give orally short
descriptions of at least one picture; class discussions should be

After the entire series has been studied, pupils may choose one of the
pictures as a subject for English composition work. They will be
interested in reading Tennyson’s _Sir Galahad_, _The Holy Grail_, or
other selections from the _Idylls of the King_.

=The story of the artist.= Mr. Edwin Austin Abbey was born in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is one of the few great American artists
who has won fame both at home and abroad. Living in Philadelphia, he
attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, which he left at the age
of nineteen to enter the art department of Harper and Brothers, New York
City. His first success came as an illustrator for their publications.
It was through the Harpers, too, that he went to England, for they sent
him there to gather material for some poems which they wished him to
illustrate. He was especially interested in literary subjects, and while
in England prepared many of his best illustrations, among them those for
Shakespeare’s comedies and for Goldsmith’s _She Stoops to Conquer_.

His water colors and pastels were also very popular. His most important
work in oils—“The Holy Grail,” is in the United States. When this
picture was almost finished he went, at the request of King Edward VII,
to paint a picture of the coronation. The groups of figures, with their
elaborate costumes and rich coloring, offered every inducement to one
who so loved these things. Mr. Abbey became very popular in England. He
received many medals, and all possible honors both at home and abroad.

                         SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS

  _Idylls of the King_, Tennyson.
  _The Vision of Sir Launfal_, Lowell.
  _The Legend of the Holy Grail_, Baxter.
  _The Quest and Achievement of the Holy Grail_, Henry James.
  _Handbook_ of the Boston Public Library.

=Questions about the artist.= Who painted this picture? Where was he
born? Where did he study? How did he achieve his first success? How did
he happen to go to England? What is his most important work? Where was
it painted?



  From a Copley Print copyright by
  Curtis & Cameron, Publishers, Boston

                            THE WOLF CHARMER

=Questions to arouse interest.= What does this picture represent? What
is the man doing? What effect does that have upon the wolves? Tell some
of the general traits of a wolf. How many ever saw a tame wolf? Why do
you suppose they have not become domesticated like other animals? On
what is the man playing? Why do you suppose this picture is called “The
Wolf Charmer”? What kind of a picture would you call it—realistic or

  =Artist=: John La Farge (lȧ färzh’).
  =Birthplace=: New York City, New York.
  =Dates=: Born, 1835; died, 1910.

=The story of the picture.= The weird charm of this picture lies in the
strange, elfish sympathy which this man seems to have with the
evil-looking wolves, and is increased by our knowledge of the nature and
disposition of those fierce creatures. We have an instinctive fear of
them. Perhaps this is due to the fact that very little good has ever
been said or written about a wolf.

History tells us that packs of wolves once howled around the city of
Paris all night and even tore people to pieces in the very streets of
the city. Stories are told of travelers pursued by hungry packs of
wolves and tales of horror are brought by the very few who have escaped
with their lives. Legends, fables, myths, and traditions which describe
the savage ferocity of the wolf are numerous. How often we hear the
expressions,—“a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and “keep the wolf from the

Such a reputation, coming from so early a date, we may be sure has a
foundation in fact. We have not been taught to fear these animals
without reason. Wolves are among the wildest and fiercest of animals,
and farther removed from human association than any others. Men have
tried again and again to tame them, but have been successful only in
rare instances.

Some authorities argue that the fact that wolves have occasionally been
tamed goes to prove that the wild, ferocious disposition of the wolf is
the result of circumstances. Very rare instances are known in which
these creatures have been captured and tamed, following their masters
like dogs, even making good watch dogs, and learning to bark almost like
a dog. A merchant in Petrograd drove a pair in harness, having trained
them when very young. But then we have the story of the Duke of
Württemberg, who kept a tame wolf in his beautiful Castle of Louisburg.
It had been trained like a dog, and had never been known to attack any
one. But suddenly one day without any provocation whatever it flew at an
officer and bit a piece out of his cheek.

Treachery, caution, and cunning are the qualities usually attributed to
wolves. No one has ever accused them of stupidity, however. On the other
hand, trappers have been amazed and chagrined by the shrewdness
displayed by these animals. When traps have been placed to which a fuse
of gunpowder was attached, they have frequently been known to gnaw the
strings so as to prevent the explosion, and then make away with the
bait, unharmed. Only extreme hunger, however, will ever drive them near
a trap.

Wolves belong to the same family as dogs and look very much like them.
We can see in our picture that they are about the same size as a large
dog, only leaner and more gaunt, and with a wicked expression on their
faces. This expression comes partly from the eyes, which are oblique or
slanting, the pupils round; and partly from the muzzle, which is
somewhat longer than that of most dogs and displays their cruel-looking
teeth. The ears are rather small and are held erect.

Wolves are very powerful and very active, and their claws and teeth are
formidable even to look at. All their senses seem unusually well
developed, so that they can hear, smell, and see an object long before
we could.

They travel with great speed. Hunters tell us of the tireless gallop
with which they pursue their prey. A horse can outrun them, but only
when the distance is not too great.

Wolves are born in dark caverns or in gloomy holes in trees or rocks.
They are of many different kinds and colors—red, black, white, and gray.
They are still to be found in many countries, and chiefly in the
unfrequented and mountainous regions in the northern parts of Europe,
Russia, and North America; but man has almost succeeded in exterminating
them. We usually think and read of wolves in packs, but authorities tell
us that they do not live in communities, and do not go about in groups
or packs unless in search of prey.

Ernest Thompson Seton describes the three calls of the hunting wolf. The
first is “the long-drawn, deep howl, the muster that tells of game
discovered but too strong for the finder to manage alone”; the second
call is higher, “that ringing and swelling is the cry of the pack on a
hot scent”; the last is a sharp bark and short howl, which, “seeming
least of all, is yet a gong of doom, for this is the cry, ‘Close in!
This is the finish.’”

The “Charmer” in this picture does not impress us as a hunter who has
been surrounded by wolves and is now turning his music to account in
making his escape, but rather makes us feel that he has been far within
the wilderness of rocks and woods calling these animals to him with the
music of his bagpipe. He has a sort of wild, wolf-like look himself. One
critic has suggested that he seems to be gnawing the pipes rather than
playing upon them, and that his toes look like the claws of the wolves.

No doubt he sat on one of those great rocks and played in his most
seductive way, until he was quite surrounded by the savage creatures.

Can you not imagine him seated thus, drawing the weird yet sweet notes
from his pipe, as first one pair of shiny eyes peered through the leaves
or around the rocks, then another, and another, until gradually the
creatures surrounded him? That music has charms has never been disputed.
From the earliest history we have read stories of its wonderful subduing
effect upon animals. A familiar quotation is this of Congreve’s:

              “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast,
               To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”

You will remember in the poem by Robert Browning, _The Pied Piper of
Hamelin_, how the old rat explained why he followed the piper: “At the
first shrill notes.... I heard ... a moving away of pickle-tubboards,
and a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards.” He smelled the most delicious
old cheese in the world, and saw sugar barrels ahead of him, and then,
just as a great sugar-puncheon seemed to be saying, “Come, bore me,” he
felt the Weser rolling o’er him. Perhaps it is in some such way as this
that the music holds these wolves as they follow the narrow path between
the rocks. Charmed they are no doubt, but not tamed. See how the first
two fellows seem to be keeping step with the man and the music, as they
move with that soft, cautious tread of the wild animal.

With the artist, La Farge, this picture was purely imaginative. He
delighted in all subjects dealing with fairyland or witchcraft.

In this picture we are left to guess what sort of a man this is, and
where he is going. Some critics speak of him as a sort of centaur, only
instead of being half horse and half man, he is half wolf and half man.
However that may be, he is able to control these animals through the
power of music. He seems a strange, wild creature, indeed, and as we
look at the picture it almost seems as if he were leaving the trees and
the companionship of men to go with these wolves to their caves among
the rocks.

The glimpse of the thick woods in the distance is interesting because of
the variety in the arrangement and size of the tree trunks, the spots of
light, and the suggestion of wildness. The picture is made up of curved
lines which help give us the feeling of rhythm and music.

=Questions to help the pupil understand the picture.= What is there
unusual about this picture? Describe it. Describe the wolves. Tell
something of their characteristics; their habits. Why are they feared?
To what extent should you judge this man has tamed them? Where do they
usually live? Where can we find wolves now? Why are they such a terror
to travelers there? In what ways are they stronger than a horse?
Describe the man in the picture.

=To the Teacher=: Fairy tales which may be read in connection with the
study of this picture are “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” “The Sorceress,”
“The Fisherman and the Genii,” and “The Siren’s Song.”

=Story of the artist.= In reading the life of John La Farge, the artist,
we cannot fail to be interested also in the more adventurous one of his
father before him. For it was in the days of Napoleon the Great that
Jean La Farge, then a young officer under General Leclerc, was sent to
the West Indies to suppress an insurrection in Santo Domingo, Haiti.
Here he was offered the rank of lieutenant if he would remain with the
land forces, and this he decided to do.

Hardly had the small force of men which he commanded reached the shore,
when they were surrounded and captured by the natives. He endured the
agony of looking on while every member of his company was put to death
by slow torture. Expecting every moment that it would be his turn next,
he was quite overcome when told that his life would be spared that he
might teach the rebel leader how to speak and write French. But he was
closely guarded and allowed very little liberty while the rebellion
lasted. Then, although still under guard, he was given more freedom.

Most of the natives were of African blood, or a mixture of Spaniard,
Indian, and negro; but after the rebellion many white men settled on the
island on account of the advantages of commerce. About a year after La
Farge was taken prisoner he learned that a general massacre of all the
white people on the island had been planned. Feeling sure that he would
be included this time, with two others he made his escape. They secured
a small rowboat and rowed along the shore until they reached a part of
the island that belonged to Spain. Here they were fortunate enough to
find a ship just ready to sail to Philadelphia. All took passage at

Arrived in America, Jean La Farge became much interested in this
country. He saw at once the great possibilities in this new land and
decided to make it his home. He became a trader and for twenty-five
years he went from place to place, growing very wealthy. Then he bought
plantations in Louisiana and farm lands in northern New York.

A number of French aristocrats and others formed a French colony in New
York City, and here Mr. La Farge finally came to live. He married the
daughter of a former Santo Domingan planter who had joined the colony,
and it was in New York that their boy, John La Farge, the artist, was
born, March 31, 1835. The boy was named after his father, Jean Frédéric
de La Farge, but the name was abbreviated and the English spelling used,
so that it became John La Farge.

It was a very comfortable home, in some ways luxurious, and his boyhood
was passed under most favorable circumstances. His grandfather was a
miniature painter of some note and he gave La Farge his first drawing
lessons. The boy, however, showed no especial interest or talent for
drawing. After he had finished a classical course at school, he decided
to become a lawyer. When he had completed the law course he was sent
abroad to Paris, to visit his father’s relatives, who were very
prominent people. Here he met many writers and artists of note, and
finally began to study painting under Couture. He spent most of his time
copying the famous paintings in the Louvre, and the etchings of
Rembrandt. His idea at this time was not to become a painter by
profession but only to use art as a pastime—he was to earn his living as
a lawyer. He says, “No one ever struggled more against his destiny than
I. Nor did I for many years fully acquiesce in being a painter, though I
learned the methods and studied the problems of my art.”

It was about this time that he met the enthusiastic American painter,
William Hunt, who so inspired La Farge that he left everything and
followed him back to Newport, Rhode Island, where he began studying in
earnest under his new master. The two men became close friends.

It was at Newport that La Farge married Miss Margaret Perry, who was the
great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin and the granddaughter of
Commodore Perry, so well known as commander of the American fleet in the
Battle of Lake Erie. They lived in Newport during the summer, but spent
their winters in New York City.

At the time of the Civil War, La Farge wished to enlist, but failed to
pass the physical examination because he was nearsighted. Then, giving
himself entirely to his art, he succeeded in working out his own

His first paintings were for church decorations—the most important being
“Saint Paul,” “The Madonna,” and “Saint John.” The last two were painted
for the Church of St. Peter in New York City.

Then came a severe illness from which La Farge recovered very slowly,
and it was nearly three years before he could become an active painter
again. In the meantime he began drawing on wood, illustrating Browning’s
and Longfellow’s poems, and Tennyson’s _Enoch Arden_. Later another trip
abroad resulted in the exhibition of his paintings in the galleries
there. He made a careful study of stained-glass windows and by much
experimenting he discovered a way to produce an opalescent effect in
stained glass and to make the glass look like that in the very old

La Farge was always interested in mural or wall decorations for public
buildings, and he felt that our buildings in America lacked very much in
that respect. He made a special study of this work, and ten years later
he began his mural decorations for Trinity Church in Boston. It was one
of the first buildings so decorated in this country, and the work was
accomplished under great difficulties. The workmen did not understand
just what they were to do, the right kind of materials could not always
be obtained and so had to be prepared, and the people, having no idea of
the task, required that the work be finished in an unreasonably short
time. The result was that La Farge and his assistants were compelled to
work night and day, in very cold weather, and under many disadvantages.
However, when the scaffolding was finally removed the decoration was
considered a great success. La Farge was then asked to decorate St.
Thomas’ Church in New York.

The artist now began to decorate windows too, that they might be a part
of the mural decorations. One of his first window designs was placed in
the Congregational Church at Newport, then one in Memorial Hall, Harvard
University. They are wonderful in color and design, containing almost
every known kind of glass and every precious stone. Then came demands
from all over the country for both public buildings and private homes.
He was honored both in this country and abroad.

In 1886 La Farge went to Japan. While there he sent a series of very
interesting letters to the _Century Magazine_ describing his travels.
These letters have since been published in book form. La Farge also
wrote _Considerations on Painting_, a series of books on the _Great
Masters_, and the Japanese _Hokusai_.

Some of his best-known windows and mural decorations are the Watson
Memorial Window in Trinity Church, Buffalo; “The Ascension,” a fresco in
the Church of Ascension, New York City; “Athens,” in the Art Gallery at
Bowdoin College, Maine; “Law,” in the Supreme Court Room, St. Paul; and
“Lawgivers,” in the Court House, Baltimore.

=Questions about the artist.= Who painted this picture? Tell about his
father’s experiences in the West Indies. How did the elder La Farge
happen to come to America? What did he do in this country? Where and
when was the artist born? What education did he receive? Where did he go
after he finished college? How did he seem to regard painting at this
time? What American artist encouraged him to study art? Tell about his
progress; his marriage; his travels. Tell about his first mural
decoration. Why was it so difficult to accomplish? To what did this
lead? Tell about his window designs. Where can we see some of La Farge’s
work? What books did he write?


                         AMERICAN ILLUSTRATORS

=The antiquity of illustration.= The desire for pictures illustrating
ideas dates back no doubt to the beginning of the world. The cave
dweller left a record of such an ambition on the carved walls of his
rude house and on the handle of his battle ax. Savages made of
themselves living illustrations, by painting their bodies in gay colors
and designs representing their ideas of beauty. The Egyptians used stone
and papyrus for mediums of expression, while a century later parchment
and vellum were used.

Each illustration was a finished piece of work. In order to reproduce
it, the artist must make a new one each time. Then some one discovered
the block print. The design or illustration was cut in wood, then inked
and placed on sheets of paper much as we use block prints now. Playing
cards were produced in this way long before books appeared. It was but a
step from printing a whole page of type to separating the letters so
they could be rearranged and used many times. The Chinese understood
printing with movable type centuries before we ever thought of it.

Since the time the printing press was finally invented there have been
new processes and new methods, but an illustration as such has remained
unchanged. Joseph Pennell tells us in his book on the _Illustration of
Books_ that an illustration “is a design intended to give an artist’s
idea of an incident, episode, or topographical site, or it may be but a
mere diagram referred to by a writer.”

=Requirements for an illustrator.= A good illustrator requires good
preparatory training. He should know how to draw well, and should have a
good education in general subjects, that he may be able to illustrate
intelligently the various subjects that will come before him. He must be
able to select the important things in the author’s work and so
represent them that the attention of the public will be drawn to them.
In order that his pictures may be properly reproduced he must understand
the process and make his work comply with its limitations for good work.
To be successful he must be sure of his material, and his subjects must
please both the author and the general public.

=The process of illustration.= An illustration is usually first sketched
with a pencil on stiff paper or bristol board, the size it is to be when
completed or in some relation to it. That is, it may be enlarged or
reduced when printed. Perhaps the most popular method is to make the
drawing twice as large as the finished print. This pencil sketch is then
corrected and finally drawn in with pen and ink or brush.

The finished drawing is photographed on the plate to be used, and
finished according to some one of many different processes.

=Illustration in the United States.= It was not until after the Civil
War, in 1861, that illustration began to play an important part in the
magazines and books of this country. To be sure, caricature had long
been popular in the newspapers of the day, Thomas Nast having made his
famous political cartoons during the war. Illustration in its more
serious sense, however, received its first awakening when La Farge
illustrated Tennyson’s _Enoch Arden_ and other poems. Some authorities
declare that E. A. Abbey’s pen-and-ink drawings and illustrations of the
works of Goldsmith were the first of importance in America.

Most of our best illustrators have contributed to the leading magazines,
and so we are able to judge their work.

A few of the most prominent names are:

               ARTIST          CHARACTERISTIC WORK

               Howard Pyle     Colonial times in New

               W. A. Woolf     Life of street arabs;

               E. W. Kemble    Negro life.

               W. A. Rogers    Tenement districts;

               A. B. Frost     American life.

               Elihu Vedder    Rubáiyát of Omar Khayám.

               C. D. Gibson    American girl.

               F. Remington    The Indian.

               Reginald Birch  Children’s stories.

               A. B. Wenzell   Society life.

               Alice Barber    Childhood.

               Howard C.       The Christy girl.

               H. B. Taylor    Longfellow’s poems.

=Questions about the art of illustration.= When and how did people first
begin to illustrate? How did these illustrations differ from ours in
execution? Of what use was a wood-block print? To what did this lead?
What preparatory training does a good illustrator need? Tell something
of the process, or how illustrations are made. Tell something of the
history of illustration in the United States. Name some of the
best-known illustrators. Who is your favorite illustrator? why? Is it
the subject of his illustration or his execution that appeals to you the

=To the Teacher=: The lesson may be assigned by topics to various pupils
for preparation and recitation.

    1. The History of Illustration.
    2. Illustration in the United States.
    3. What Constitutes a Good Illustration?
    4. Your Favorite Illustrator and Why.



  Copyright by the Curtis Publishing Co. From a Copley
  Print copyright by Curtis & Cameron, Boston


=Questions to arouse interest.= How many of you have read _Evangeline_
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow? Why do you suppose this picture is so
named? Describe the Evangeline in this picture—her appearance,
expression, and surroundings. Where do you think she is going? why? How
many of you think she is coming home from church? why? Describe the
house near the road; the people you see. What can you say of the
perspective of this road? What impression does this picture give you—one
of peace, plenty, quiet, or the reverse, and why?


 “Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers.
  Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the
  Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her

  Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret
  Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop
  Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them,
  Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her
  Wearing her Norman cap and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings,
  Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom,
  Handed down from mother to child, through long generations.
  But a celestial brightness—a more ethereal beauty—
  Shone on her face and encircled her form, when after confession,
  Homeward serenely she walked with God’s benediction upon her.
  When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.”
                                    —_Evangeline_, by Henry W. Longfellow

  =Artist=: William Ladd Taylor.
  =Birthplace=: Grafton, Massachusetts.
  =Dates=: Born, 1854.

=The story of the picture.= In illustrating Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s
poem _Evangeline_, Mr. Taylor has chosen to represent the heroine during
the happiest part of her life, and before anything very exciting or at
all strange began to happen, unless, perhaps, we feel that it is strange
and wonderful that there should be such a little village as Grand-Pré,
where Evangeline lived. History tells us that such a village did exist
in Acadie—or Nova Scotia, Canada, as we call it now. The French and
English had quarreled bitterly over this island, for each wanted
possession of its fisheries. The English claimed the territory by right
of discovery, and they finally secured possession of it.

Most of the people living there were French and had been given the
privilege of leaving within two years. Though they desired to remain,
yet they refused to take the oath of allegiance, and their oath of
fidelity to the British king was accepted instead. They were exempted
from bearing arms against their own countrymen, allowed to enjoy their
religion, to have magistrates of their own selection, and, in fact, they
had been permitted to do about as they pleased. Each man owned his farm
and his stock, and all that goes to make a life of usefulness as well as
of plenty and content.

Mr. Longfellow tells us:

   “Vast meadows stretched to the eastward,
   Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks without number.

   Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the mighty Atlantic
   Looked on the happy valley, but ne’er from their station descended.
   There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village.
   Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of hemlock,
   Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries.
   Thatched were the roofs, with dormer windows; and gables projecting
   Over the basement below protected and shaded the doorway.”

How carefully Mr. Taylor studied all these details is shown by the way
he represents the main street of the little village of Grand-Pré. How
much more picturesque these thatched-roofed houses are than some of our
more costly and elaborate modern homes! A roof made of simple framework,
however, covered with thick layers of skillfully arranged straw or
reeds, called thatch, does not seem very practicable to us in these

It is not difficult to determine who is the center of interest in this
picture. We recognize Evangeline with her white Normandy cap, her kirtle
or short jacket with its flowing sleeves, and we can even distinguish
her beads. Her missal, or Roman Catholic mass book, is clasped in both
hands as she passes quietly down the street, and the expression in her
face is one of perfect peace and happiness.

She has passed the group of visiting women, as well as the two men
standing by the gate who have turned to look after her. We know that she
has greeted them all pleasantly, if a bit absently, and it is plain that
she has now forgotten them again in the absorption of her mind.

Although the picture does not even suggest the strange and adventurous
future before her, still it is all the more pleasing because it gives us
a glimpse of Evangeline in the hour of peace and happiness. We are made
to feel the secret of the reserve strength of our heroine who, thus
fortified, will be equal to all that must befall her. We shall wish to
read again Mr. Longfellow’s poem _Evangeline_.

According to the story, Evangeline keeps house for her father, who is
known as the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pré. He is well on in years,
genial, kindly, always looking on the bright side of life, and his home
is known far and wide for its hospitality and cheer. The house is out a
little way from the village and is built on the side of a hill, so that
it commands a fine view of the ocean. Meadows, orchards, great barns
with their dovecotes, beehives, a well with its moss-grown bucket,
weathercocks, and sheepfolds complete the picture.

One of the farmer’s best friends is Basil, the blacksmith, who is a much
honored man in the village. He has one son, Gabriel. Evangeline and
Gabriel have played together as children, have grown up together, and
now they are engaged to be married. Already the contract is signed, the
dower of the bride in flocks of sheep and in cattle has been determined,
and all is ready for the wedding feast.

     “Fairest of all the maids was Evangeline, Benedict’s daughter!
      Noblest of all the youths was Gabriel, son of the blacksmith!”

But their wedding is almost forgotten because of the terrible events
which prevent it. For several days a fleet of English ships has been
observed approaching the harbor with their guns pointed toward the
peaceful little village of Grand-Pré. On the very day set for the
wedding, the English soldiers land and demand the surrender of all their
arms in the name of the king. All the men are commanded to assemble in
the meetinghouse at noon of that day. The people drive in from all the
country around, a happy, care-free crowd, thinking that, since they have
harmed no one, no harm can come to them.

But once in the meetinghouse the soldiers lock and bolt the door while
the commander reads the king’s proclamation from the pulpit. It is
terrible beyond all belief, for it not only commands that they forfeit
all their lands, dwellings, and cattle to the crown, but that they and
their families shall be transported to other lands. A great cry arises,
and all the men rush to the doorway. But there is no means of escape,
for the soldiers are well armed and prepared.

Then Basil the blacksmith calls upon them all to resist and is promptly
felled by a soldier. All is angry commotion when the door of the chancel
opens and Father Felician, whom all revere, stands before them
commanding their silence. He appeals to their faith, and their reverence
for the house of God, and by his wise counsel succeeds in quieting his
people. Meanwhile the women wait outside in the churchyard, fearful when
the tumult is greatest but reassured when all is quiet again. Hour after
hour passes by and still they wait.

At length the door of the meetinghouse opens and a soldier appears.
Again the fearful proclamation is read. Then the women are commanded to
pack their household goods and be ready for sailing on the fifth day.

Now indeed a great cry of distress arises, echoed by the men, who are
still held prisoners. Then, in obedience to a second command, the women
depart for their homes. With heavy hearts they begin their packing.
Evangeline, left alone without father or lover, looks at the table set
for the wedding feast and at all the signs of rejoicing, then softly
goes back to the meetinghouse. There she calls Gabriel by name several
times but receives no answer.

On the fifth day all is ready. The great wains empty their loads on the
shore, and the women and children are waiting. At last, at a signal, the
church door is thrown open and the prisoners march to the boats. Then
comes the most terrible part of all. In their haste the soldiers
separate families, placing some members in one ship, some in another.

Gabriel and his father are placed in different ships, while Evangeline
and her father remain on the shore awaiting the last boat. And then
comes the fearful sight of their homes and barns in flames, and the
utter destruction of the village.

The horror and injustice of it all are too great for Evangeline’s
father, who dies there upon the shore. Evangeline, left thus alone and
crushed by her sorrow, scarce knows when she is led into the ship or
when the ships depart.

Many days pass before the people are landed on a foreign shore. Then the
first thought of all is to seek relatives and friends.

The rest of the story tells of Evangeline’s long search for Gabriel and
her many discouragements as she follows this rumor and that. The priest,
Father Felician, goes with her on the journey, encouraging and helping

Once Gabriel and Evangeline pass each other on the water, but it is
during the night and neither is aware that the other is so near. Gabriel
finds his father but, restless and unhappy, he does not remain with him
long. And so it happens that when Evangeline at length finds Basil the
blacksmith, Gabriel is not with him. He had left just the day before. So
Basil sets out with Evangeline in search of his son.

After years of patience and perseverance, rewarded only by failure,
Evangeline ceases her wandering and becomes a nurse. And then it is she
finds Gabriel, on his deathbed.

It is a sad but beautiful story, and it is all founded on facts. Not
only was there such a village as Grand-Pré with just such people living
in it, but it is also true that in 1755 King George II of England sent
his fleet to scatter them among the other British provinces. He believed
that these people aided the Indians and, because of the almost
independent character of the colony, embarrassed the local government.

As we read the story we cannot but be glad that Mr. Taylor chose the
Evangeline of the happy days of Grand-Pré, rather than any other picture
of her that he might have shown us.

The soft tones in the picture are especially pleasing, as well as the
few strong notes of color in the dresses and the houses. The perspective
of the road is made interesting by the figures in it, as well as by the
houses and trees on each side. Note the difference in size of the
various figures according to their distance. This makes the road appear
longer and more winding.

=Questions to help the pupil understand the picture.= Where did
Evangeline live? Describe the village of Grand-Pré. Of what nationality
were most of the people? How did they happen to be under English rule?
What special privileges were they given? Who was the British king at the
time of this story? Why did he wish to dispose of the Acadians? How did
he do this? What became of the village? of the houses? of the people?
their cattle, horses, sheep? Who was Evangeline? Gabriel? Basil the
blacksmith? What event was to take place the day the king’s proclamation
was read? Where was the proclamation read? What effect did it have upon
the men? upon the women? What part of the story is represented in the
picture? If you were to draw just one picture from this story, which
would you choose? why?

=The story of the artist.= As in the case of so many of our living
artists, we know very little of the details of Mr. Taylor’s life. We do
know that William Ladd Taylor was born at Grafton, Massachusetts,
December 10, 1854, and that most of his education was received at
Worcester, Massachusetts. He attended art schools in Boston and New
York, and studied one year in Paris, France. He has traveled
extensively, making a special study of mediæval architecture, costumes,
and customs.

Owing to ill health, Mr. Taylor spent a year in Colorado, which proved
most beneficial. There he produced several paintings, two of the best
known being “The Caribou Hunter” and “Shooting the Rapids.” Mr. Taylor
has lived most of his life in or near Boston.

He has painted a series of pictures representing nineteenth-century New
England; a series of pictures of the pioneer West; and the Longfellow
series, including “Evangeline,” “Minnehaha and Hiawatha,” “The Village
Blacksmith,” “The Hanging of the Crane,” “Maidenhood,” “The Old Clock on
the Stairs,” “The Building of the Ship,” “Priscilla and John Alden,”
“The Children’s Hour,” and others. Other paintings are the Psalm Series;
Old Song Series; Our Home and Country, a book of pictures of American
life; “The Earl’s Return,” illustrating Owen Meredith’s poem; and
“Rosita,” illustrating Bret Harte’s _The Mystery of the Hacienda_.

=Questions about the artist.= Who painted this picture? Where was he
born? What education did he receive? Name some of his best paintings.


                        CARTOONS AND CARICATURES

=Significance of this form of illustration.= Very little or no
distinction is made between the two words, caricature and cartoon, as we
use them at the present day. Yet the word caricature instantly suggests
something made ridiculous or absurd in a spirit of attack or burlesque,
while a cartoon may be merely a suggestive representation of any person
or idea of present interest. A caricature always makes ridiculous, but a
cartoon may either ridicule or praise, and although usually humorous, it
is more serious in its aims and subjects.

To cartoon a public man once meant to insult him. If by any chance he
had some prominent physical defect it was hailed with delight, and made
the butt of the cartoonists’ characterizations. Now our best cartoonists
would not stoop to secure recognition by such means; they are more
considerate, and we are allowed to appreciate their clever
representations without feeling the sting of resentment, even though our
sympathies are on the other side. But our cartoonists of to-day do not
spend all their time representing the political issues; they also deal
with the affairs of everyday life.

We are told that the word cartoon originally meant a design or model for
a large picture in fresco, oil, tapestry, statuary, glass, or mosaic.
The most famous of these are the cartoons of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci,
and Michelangelo. But in 1843 a great exhibit of cartoons was held at
Westminster Hall, London, from which the fresco decorations for the new
houses of Parliament were to be chosen. At that time _Punch_ declared
itself a competitor, and presented its claims in its most humorous
manner. The most absurd caricatures were dignified by the name cartoon,
and the reasons why they should be accepted were set forth in a most
laughable manner. For some time after this _Punch_ continued to use the
name cartoon for its representations, and when it would have gone back
to the term caricature the public would not permit it. Perhaps the fact
that the word cartoon is so much easier to pronounce had something to do
with it.

=To the Teacher=: Pupils should be encouraged to bring good cartoons to
school. These may be collected, and the best put up where all can see
and be ready to discuss as to size, composition, variety, number, and
color of lines used in expressing the idea.

=History of caricature and cartoon.= It is hard for us to realize that
caricature is as old as man’s ability to express himself with chisel,
pen, or ink. Away back in the time of the Assyrians and Egyptians we
find certain caricatures representing grotesque figures drawn on
papyrus. The Greeks caricatured their gods and heroes, although their
sense of the beautiful made it impossible for them to distort the human
figure. In Rome they were not so particular, and one caricature
representing a dwarf philosopher preaching to a fox has been handed down
to us in many different forms. During the Middle Ages caricatures were
made of such unpopular ideas and experiences as Satan, death, pride,
hatred, and so forth.


  By permission of Mr. John T. McCutcheon
  _Baseball, Golf, Election Returns, and Swatting the Fly_

The invention of the printing press greatly increased the power and
influence of the caricature, in spite of the many regulations and
hindrances that had to be complied with. During the Revolution, Napoleon
I tried to repress caricature in France, and on this account the English
made him a special victim of their ridicule. The kings and aristocracy
that held sway after the Restoration next became the subject of satire.
Then in 1830 came the invention of lithography and, with the increasing
freedom of the press, caricature, of course, reached its height. Poor
Louis Philippe, of France, was the most caricatured of all the kings,
because of his pear-shaped head, which was so easy to draw. In London,
caricature became more and more popular with the founding of _Punch_ in
1841. The best-known contributor to _Punch_ was Du Maurier, whose
burlesques of aristocratic society in England were taken in good part.
In Germany, Wilhelm Scholz’s caricatures of Bismarck are famous. And so
on through all the countries, we find traces of the art of caricature.

In America we find Benjamin Franklin first on the list. We are told that
the talent came naturally to him, as his grandfather and father before
him had shown considerable ingenuity in that direction but had not
ventured to express it except in the signs and printed handbills
advertising their trade. It was the custom at that time to advertise by
means of pictures or representations—a gilt Bible in front of a store
meant a book store; an anchor, naval supplies; the figure of a mermaid,
an ale house; a gilt sheaf, a paper store, and so on. The figure of an
East Indian queen gayly dressed in a many-colored gown advertised the
store belonging to Franklin’s grandfather, where he offered “to dye into
colors” all cloth, silk, and calico. The handbills which he sent out
were more elaborate, representing the same queen but with two servants,
one holding up her train, the other holding a parasol over her. All
public buildings were easily recognized by the carved royal lion and

Benjamin’s brother James started the first sensational newspaper in
Boston, Massachusetts, in 1721. This paper was called the _Courant_, and
to it Benjamin Franklin first contributed his articles and caricatures.
Their wit was not appreciated by the sober people of Boston, and it was
not long before the brother was put in prison on account of his
editorials. Benjamin continued the paper, fearlessly ridiculing in
writing and pictures not only Harvard College but the ministers and
well-known church members. The people were now thoroughly aroused, and
soon both brothers were forbidden to print their paper.

So far, however, work in caricature had been crude and was to be
completely overshadowed by the brilliant Thomas Nast, the great
political cartoonist. Mr. William M. Tweed was the first political
“boss,” and the subject of Mr. Nast’s cartoons. He represented that
leader’s face as a money bag with dollar signs as features, and in this
strange way he somehow managed to secure a very good likeness of the
man. It is even said that when at last Tweed was forced to run away to
escape imprisonment, he was recognized and caught through the
familiarity of all with his cartooned face. Mr. Nast’s cartoons were
published in _Harper’s Weekly_, and became so popular that they opened a
way for the publication of a new humorous magazine, _Puck_. Then came
_Judge_ and _Life_. These three are devoted mainly to cartoons.


  By permission of Mr. John T. McCutcheon
  _The Mounted Policeman’s Lot Is Not a Happy One_

Now many weekly journals, as _Harper’s_, _Leslie’s_, and a monthly
magazine called _Cartoons_, make this a special feature. Nearly every
newspaper in the country contains at least one cartoon in each issue,
and many have their own cartoonists, whose time is busily occupied
preparing drawings for the daily issues.

Then, too, the Sunday supplements are full of them, and we have become
well acquainted with Frederick Burr Opper, creator of “Happy Hooligan,”
“The Folks in Funnyville,” “Alphonse and Gaston,” “Maud, the Matchless,”
“John Bull,” and others; Richard Felton Outcault, creator of “Hogan’s
Alley,” “Yellow Kid,” “Buster Brown,” “Buster, Mary Jane, and Tige”; A.
B. Frost, creator of “Tragedy of the Kind Hearted Man and the Ungrateful
Bull Calf” and “The Spinster’s Cat That Ate Rat Poison,”; Carl Emil
Schultze, known as “Bunny,” creator of “Foxy Grandpa” and “Bunny’s Blue
Book,” and many others.

=Requirements.= A good cartoon must show the real characteristics of the
original, exaggerated, yet easy to recognize. A picture that will tell
its story at a glance can be understood by all, and will be remembered
long after paragraphs are forgotten. So it is readily seen what a power
for good may be found in the daily cartoon.

It is necessary that a good cartoonist have a clear sense of form,
although great freedom is allowed in his drawing and no attempt is made
for a studied or accurate representation. He should be a keen observer
and well informed, especially on all topics of daily interest, and
possessed of much originality and a ready pencil.

=Process of making a cartoon.= A general idea may be given of how a
cartoon is made. First, the cartoonist must have a subject or an idea to
be represented. This is sometimes suggested by the city editor, by
members of the staff, or more often left entirely to the judgment of the
artist. Then the idea is usually sketched in with pencil on a piece of
medium weight cardboard, corrected, and then finished in pen and ink.
Black ink is used with pens of various sizes depending upon the width of
line desired. The best cartoonists use lines of different widths. Often
we find a strong bold line for the foreground, a medium line for the
middle distance, and a thin line for extreme distance. The drawing is
usually made twice the size it is to appear in the paper. When sent to
the printer a photograph is made of the drawing of the size required.
The film is then stripped off the plate and put on a heavier, thicker
plate and printed through on a piece of zinc, covered with some
substance which is not affected by acid. The zinc is then placed in an
acid bath which eats away the parts exposed to light in the printing,
leaving the lines of the drawing untouched.

                           JOHN T. McCUTCHEON

One of the best-known of our cartoonists is Mr. John Tinney McCutcheon,
of the _Chicago Tribune_. He is one of a comparatively small number of
cartoonists who have studied art and understand the principles governing
it. Many have not had this special training, and must rely entirely upon
the clever idea represented and the natural skill which they possess.
Besides this preparation Mr. McCutcheon is a graduate of Purdue
University, Purdue, Indiana. He has traveled around the world, and seems
to have qualified himself for his work in an ideal way. An eyewitness of
the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish War, he sent a detailed
account to the _Chicago Record_ which was one of the “most notable
events of journalism in connection with the war.” He also visited many
places in the Orient, in the Philippines, and was with the Boer Army in
Africa as correspondent for the _Record_. In 1900 he returned to Chicago
as political cartoonist for this paper, but later accepted a position
with the _Chicago Tribune_.

Mr. McCutcheon is also an author, having published _Stories of Filipino
Warfare_, and several series of cartoons in book form, as _Boy in
Springtime Series_, and others. As a lecturer he has proved very popular
in Lyceum and Chautauqua courses.

It is interesting to know that the dog appearing so often in his earlier
cartoons was first introduced merely because there was a space in his
picture that needed filling. The same thing happened several times, and
when later he made a cartoon without the dog, people wrote and asked him
what had become of it.


  By permission of Mr. John T. McCutcheon
  _When Newspapers Are Scarce_

George Ade, in his introduction to the _Boy in Springtime Series_, has
summed up Mr. McCutcheon’s qualities as a cartoonist in this way:
“Clever execution, gentle humor, considerate treatment of public men,
and wisdom in getting away from political subjects and giving us a few
pictures of everyday life, which is our real interest.”

=Questions about the art.= What is the difference between a cartoon and
a caricature? How did the word cartoon come to have its present meaning?
What kind of a magazine is _Punch_? Tell something of the early history
of caricatures and cartoons. What effect did the invention of the
printing press have upon them? Who was the first American caricaturist?
Tell about Benjamin Franklin and his newspaper. What magazines publish
cartoons now? What is your idea of a good cartoon? What subjects are
usually chosen in newspaper cartoons? What good can they do in the
world? what harm? What preparation is it necessary for a cartoonist to
have? What preparation has Mr. J. T. McCutcheon made for his work? Tell
something of his life and his cartoons.

=To the Teacher=: The lesson may be prepared by assigning subjects to
various pupils as follows:

  1. Meaning of the Terms Caricature and Cartoon.
  2. Events Leading to the New Meaning of the Word Cartoon.
  3. The History of Caricatures and Cartoons.
  4. Caricatures and Cartoons To-day.
  5. A Good Cartoon.
  6. A Good Cartoonist.
  7. Of What Benefit to the World Are Caricatures and Cartoons?


                      ENGRAVINGS, ETCHINGS, PRINTS

When we visit an art gallery we find pictures in all mediums—oil, water
color, pastel, charcoal, pencil, pen and ink; and then farther on we
find photographs, etchings, engravings (steel, copper, and wood), and

It takes much careful study and practice before we can expect to
recognize the medium or process used. Most of us recognize water color,
oil, pencil, charcoal, and pastel work, but prints made from engravings,
etchings, and photographic plates are more difficult to distinguish.

At the time most of our famous old masters were painting, photography
was unknown and the first etchings and engravings were laboriously done
by hand and usually by the artists themselves. Now, the time and expense
of hand work are so great that, although the important lines are still
put in by hand, yet the camera plays an essential part in most etchings
and engravings. Originally the artist drew direct on the steel, copper,
or wood block, but as the drawing must be reversed, it required a great
deal of skill to do this. It was only after much practice that the
engraver could reverse his sketch as he drew it, and in most cases he
either made a reversed study on paper to work from, or fastened his
drawing opposite a mirror and drew from that. As soon as photography
came into use all this was simplified, as the drawing was reversed in
the photograph and much time was saved. In the case of wood engraving,
which is the cheapest and most perishable, the picture is photographed
directly upon the block of wood. The steel, copper, or zinc plates are
often covered with some waxy substance and the design drawn upon them
with fine engraver’s tools. After the drawing is completed there are
three distinct processes of engraving:

1. The lines of the drawing are sunk below the surface of the plate, as
in etchings and steel and copper-plate engravings.

2. The background is cut away or eaten by acids, leaving the lines in
relief as in wood engravings, half tones, and zinc plates.

3. There is no relief or depression, but the surface is smooth, as in

In etchings and steel and copper plates the surface is usually covered
with a waxy substance, or something which resists the action of acid.
Then it is often smoked so that it will be easier to see the lines of
the drawing which are made with fine steel tools, cutting through the
wax to the surface of the metal. It is not the intention to cut the
metal, but merely to scratch through the coat of wax to expose the
metal. Then the plate is put in acid, and each line is eaten into a
groove varying in depth according to how long it is left in the acid. If
some of the lines are not deep enough, the rest of the plate may be
covered with the waxy substance and it may be put in the acid many times
until all lines are the desired depth.

A print is made from this plate by covering it with ink, allowing the
ink to fill the grooves, and wiping the rest of the plate clean. Then
paper is pressed upon it.

Rembrandt ranks first among etchers. Other well-known artists are
Albrecht Dürer, Van Dyck, and James McNeill Whistler.

In wood engravings, half tones, and zinc plates the picture is either
drawn or photographed upon the plate. Then the spaces between the lines
are either cut away with the sharp steel tools of the engraver, which
vary in shape and size, or, the lines being protected by the waxy
substance, the surfaces between are eaten away by acid. Thus the
original lines are raised higher than the rest of the plate. The raised
lines are then inked and pressed against the paper. A wooden block may
also be molded into a “metal cast” in order to preserve the engraving.



“Lithography is the art of drawing or writing upon stone.” The best
lithograph stone is found in Bavaria, and is usually cut from three to
four inches thick, varying in size from six by eight inches to
forty-four by sixty-four. The larger sizes are very rare. It is said
that drawings may be removed and one stone used as many as two hundred
times. Sometimes zinc or aluminum plates are used as a substitute.

The drawing must be reversed and should be drawn direct upon the stone,
although transfer paper is sometimes used. The ink or crayon used is
made of fatty substances, and when the drawing is complete the stone is
bathed with a solution which fixes the lines permanently and gives them
a greater attraction for fatty substances, such as printers’ ink. The
spaces between the lines, however, do not attract the ink, so that when
a roller of ink is passed over the stone, only the lines are affected. A
piece of paper is then pressed upon the stones by the aid of the
printing press, and every line of the drawing is reproduced.

The art of engraving on metal plates is not new. It is mentioned in the
Bible in the twenty-eighth chapter of Exodus, thirty-sixth verse. The
Israelites probably learned the art from the Egyptians, for they, as
well as the Assyrians, engraved upon both stone and metal. Copper
engravings have been found in mummy cases. The Egyptians do not seem to
have thought of printing from these plates, however. In India and China
the art dates back to remote times. Marco Polo describes money made in
China by stamping it with a seal covered with vermilion.


                      THE SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS

=Studying pictures.= A few days before a picture is to be studied, it
should be placed where all members of the class can see it.

As a preparation for the lessons on Illustration and Cartoons, pupils
should be told at least a week in advance, so that they may save good
examples to bring to class.

Most teachers seem to feel that the pupils are more interested in this
work when it is prepared and presented by members of the class. Equally
good results, however, are sometimes secured when the teacher provides
the subject-matter and leads the discussion.

Pupils are sometimes able to bring in specimens of copper, steel, or
zinc plates, and if a friend or a member of some pupil’s family is a
printer, engraver, or lithographer, permission may be obtained for the
class to visit his place of business. In that case, a visit would be
much more beneficial than a classroom lesson.

Visits to an art museum, when possible, are equally instructive. Pupils
of grammar-school age have a tendency to criticize pictures, or, perhaps
we should say, to make remarks about them which often cause others to
laugh. This practice soon grows into a habit which, unfortunately, is
not confined to children alone, as any visit to an exhibition of
paintings will show. I have used the following little story many times
and found it helped to discourage this habit: The students at an art
school in New York were taken for their first visit to the great
Metropolitan Art Gallery. It was their first week at school, and they
were strangers to the city, to the school, to the teacher, and, with but
few exceptions, to each other. The afternoon passed all too quickly. The
next day their instructor began to question them. What did they think of
this picture? Of that? The first pupil gave a severe criticism of the
picture mentioned, as did his neighbor and others in the class. Were
they not there to study art and to learn how to tell what is wrong in
pictures? Suddenly they were amazed to find their instructor laughing
heartily at them.

“There,” she said, “you have done just what beginners always do. You
have looked only for faults, and you have found faults.”

She then tried to tell them that until they could learn to put
themselves in the artist’s place and to see with his eyes, so to speak,
the picture he wished to paint (which is always infinitely less than the
picture he does paint) they could not hope to appreciate his picture.
They were advised to study carefully two or three pictures which
appealed to them and to leave the others until greater knowledge, gained
through experience, travel, pain, or pleasure, should make it possible
for them to understand the message of the artist.

=The review lesson.= The review lesson should cover all pictures and
artists studied throughout the year. At this time other pictures
available by the same artists should be on exhibition.

The review work may be conducted as a contest in which the pictures are
held up, one at a time, while the class writes the name of the picture
and the artist on slips of paper which have been prepared and numbered
for that purpose.

Many teachers, however, will prefer to use this time for composition
work, although the description of pictures is often given as an English
lesson. Pupils may write a description of their favorite picture. In
fact, the lessons can be made to correlate with history, geography,
English, spelling, reading, or nature study.

In any event the real purpose of the work is that the pupils shall
become so familiar with the pictures that they will recognize them as
old friends whenever and wherever they may see them.

It is hoped that acquaintance with the picture and the interest awakened
by its story will grow into a fuller appreciation and understanding of
the artist’s work. Thus the children will have many happy hours and will
learn to love the good, the true, and the beautiful in everything about


 ● Transcriber’s Notes:
    ○ The Table of Contents includes “Review of Pictures and Artists
      Studied” but there is no section containing that information.
    ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was silently corrected.
    ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
    ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
      when a predominant form was found in this book.
    ○ Text that was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_);
      text that was bold by “equal” signs (=bold=).

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