Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

even if technical differences had escaped them, should not have seen a lack of Rembrandt's power about this work.

156. A STUDY OF HORSES.

Van Dyck (Flemish : 1599-1641). See under 49, p. 226.

An interesting sketch as illustrating Van Dyck's affection for the horse. “In painting, I find that no real interest is taken in the horse until Van Dyck's time, he and Rubens doing more for it than all previous painters put together. Rubens was a good rider, and rode nearly every day, as, I doubt not, Van Dyck also. The horse has never, I think, been painted worthily again, since he died” (Modern Painters, vol. v. pt. ix, ch, vi. $ 22).

The particular choice of subject in this sketch shows further in its literary connection a lover of the horse. The subject, as we know from the words equi Achillis on a scroll in the left corner of the picture, is the horses of Achilles, said for their swiftness to be the sons of the wind Zephyrus : in the upper part of the picture is a sketch of a zephyr's head. “The gentleness of chivalry, properly so called, depends on the recognition of the order and awe of lower and loftier animal-life, ... taught most perfectly by Homer in the fable of the horses of Achilles. There is, perhaps, in all the Iliad nothing more deep in significance-there is nothing in all literature more perfect in human tenderness, and honour for the mystery of inferior life, than the verses that describe the sorrow of the divine horses at the death of Patroclus, and the comfort given them by the greatest of the gods.1 You shall read Pope's translation ; it does not give you the manner of the original, but it entirely gives you the passion

“ Meanwhile, at distance from the scene of blood,

The pensive steeds of great Achilles stood ;
Their god-like master slain before their eyes
They wept, and shar'd in human miseries ...
Nor Jove disdain'd to cast a pitying look,
While thus relenting to the steeds he spoke :

• Unhappy coursers of immortal strain !
• Exempt from age, and deathless now in vain !

It is interesting that another contemporary man of letters, the late Matthew Arnold, singled out these same lines for special praise : “no passage in poetry," he said, "has moved and pleased me more" (Fort. nightly Review, August 1887, p. 299).

• Did we your race on mortal man bestow,
*Only, alas ! to share in mortal woe?' ...

He said, and breathing in th' immortal horse
Excessive spirit, urg'd them to the course ;
From their high manes they shake the dust, and bear
The kindling chariot through the parted war."

(Fors Clavigera, 1871, ix. 13.) 237. A WOMAN'S PORTRAIT.

Rembrandt (Dutch : 1607-1669). See under 672, p. 223.

Of interest as being one of the painter's last works. It is dated 1666. 1014, THE MARTYRDOM OF ST. LAWRENCE. Adam Elzheimer, called also Adamo Tedesco (German settled

in Italy: 1578–1620). St. Lawrence (for whose legend see XI. 747, p. 277) is being prepared for martyrdom. Beside him there is an image of Cæsar, unto whom will be rendered Cæsar's due—the saint's life; but over his head is an angel from heaven, for unto God will go the saint's soul. The emperor is crowned on earth; the angel brings the saint a palm branch, an earnest of the martyr's crown in heaven. 659. PAN AND SYRINX.

Johann Rottenhammer (German: 1564-1623). The nymph Syrinx, beloved by Pan and flying from his pursuit, takes refuge among some bulrushes. The god, thinking to grasp her, finds only reeds in his hand

And while he sighs his ill-success to find,
The tender canes were shaken by the wind,
And breathed a mournful air, unheard before,
That, much surprising Pan, yet pleased him more.

Dryden, from Ovid's Metamorphoses. He formed the reeds into a pipe, hence the name of Syrinx given to the “ Pan's pipe,” see XIII. 94, p. 309. 924. A GOTHIC INTERIOR.

Picter Neefs (Flemish : 1570-about 1651). “ Neefs did for the Roman Catholic Churches of Antwerp what, thirty years later, Emanuel de Witte was destined to do for the Protestant Churches of Delft” (see 1053, p. 238).

994 A STREET IN A TOWN.

Jan van der Heyden (Dutch : 1637–1712).

See under XII. 866, p. 289. 955. WOMEN BATHING.

Cornelis van Poelenburg (Dutch : 1586–1667). This painter, a native of Utrecht, visited Italy, and studied the works of Elzheimer (1014, p. 248). “On his way home he painted for the Court at Florence; and was received with great consideration when he returned to his native country, which was before 1649 : for in that year he was made principal of the Painter's Guild at Utrecht. Charles I. had invited him to England, but in vain ” (Dulwich Cata. logue). The figures in Both's landscape, 209, p. 237, are by him. 797. A MAN'S PORTRAIT.

Cuyp (Dutch : 1605–1691). See under 53, p. 218. This excellent portrait serves to remind us that, unlike most of his fellow landscape painters, Cuyp could paint his own figures. Indeed we have seen that he sometimes painted them in others' landscapes, see above 152, p. 223. 1061. DELFT: SCENE OF AN EXPLOSION.

Egbert van der Poel (Dutch : died about 1690). One of the many views painted by this artist of the explosion of a powder mill at Delft, October 12, 1654. One might think the mill exploded specially to be painted, so neatly and in order is everything represented. 1095. PORTRAIT OF ANNA MARIA SCHURMANN.

Jan Lievens (Dutch : 1607-1663). Lievens " is one of the band of Dutch painters who visited England. He set out for London in 1630, then settled at the Hague, where it is said he died insolvent. Although he was the comrade of Rembrandt, with whom he always preserved bonds of friendship, he conceived a strong admiration for Van Dyck during his stay at Antwerp, traces of which are to be found in his portraits" (Havard : The Dutch School, P. 115). 221. HIS OWN PORTRAIT.

Rembrandt (Dutch : 1607-1669). Compare 672, p. 223. That was painted when he was about thirty; this, thirty years later. We see here the same features, though worn by age; the same self-reliant expression, though broken down by care.

954. A LANDSCAPE.

Cornelis Huysman (Flemish : 1648-1727). This landscape painter settled in Mechlin, and hence is sometimes called “Huysman of Mechlin.”

1021. PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN.

Frans Hals (Dutch : 1584–1666). Not a characteristic example of one of the merriest and brightest-witted of all the Dutch portrait painters.

1000. THE ESTUARY OF A RIVER.

Bakhuizen (Dutch : 1631-1708). See under 223, p. 214.

54. A WOMAN BATHING (dated 1654).

Rembrandt (Dutch : 1607-1669). See under 672, p. 223.

“Those who have been in Holland,” says Mrs. Jameson, “must often have seen the peasant-girls washing their linen and trampling on it, precisely in the manner here depicted. Rembrandt may have seen one of them from his window, and snatching up his pencil and palette, he threw the figure on the canvas and fixed it there as by a spell.” Possibly, however, the picture may be a Susannah-a subject of which Rembrandt was fond.

963. A SKATING SCENE.

Isaac van Ostade (Dutch : 1621-1657)

See under 1137, p. 231. A scene such as Isaac van Ostade (the younger brother and pupil of Adrian, XII. 846, p. 290) specially loved—combining “all the delicate poetry with all the delicate comfort of the frosty season ”—a season expressive “ of a perfect impassivity, or at least of a perfect repose” (Pater : Imaginary Portraits, p. 91).

SCREEN I 998. SINGING A DUET.

Schalcken (Dutch : 1643–1706). See under 199, p. 252.

A lover holds a guitar, his mistress some music; on the table is a rose

If love were what the rose is,

And I were like the leaf,
Our lives would grow together
In sad or singing weather ...
If love were what the rose is
And I were like the leaf.

SWINBURNE: A Match. 1132. THE VESTIBULE OF A LIBRARY.

Hendrick Steenwyck (Dutch : 1550–1604). “This painter first established himself in Antwerp, where he found numerous pupils, notably Pieter Neefs (924, p. 248); but he finally fixed himself at Frankfort, where he died. He has with reason been regarded as having perfected the architectural style of painting. It is to him that we owe those first interiors, which later became a speciality among various painters. He was the first also to give in painting the effect of light thrown from candles and tapers on architectural forms. As the creator of a new style he merits to be recorded” (Havard : The Dutch School, p. 53).

A picture for architects to look at. It is the interior of a vestibule giving access to a library, and is full of inventiveness. Notice, too, how beautifully the accessories, the tablecloth, the vase of flowers, etc., are painted. 896. THE PEACE OF MÜNSTER. Terburg (Dutch : 1608–1681). See under XII. 864, p. 285.

One of the “gems” of the National Collection--"priceless” because not only of its great artistic merit, but of its unique historical interest. It is an exact representation by a contemporary Dutch painter of one of the turning-points in Dutch history—the ratification, namely, by the delegates of the Dutch United Provinces, on 15th May 1684, of the Treaty of Münster, with which the eighty years' war between Spain and the United Provinces was concluded, altogether to the advantage of the latter. The clerk (in a scarlet cloak) is reading the document. The plenipotentiaries are standing nearest to the table. Six of them, holding up the right hand, are the delegates of the United Provinces; two, with their right hands resting on an open copy of the Gospels, are the representatives of Spain. One of the Dutch delegates and one of the Spanish hold copies of the document, which they follow as it is being read by the clerk. The brass chandelier, it is interesting to note, still hangs in the hall at Münster. The painter has introduced his own portrait among the figures on the left, in three-quarter

« ZurückWeiter »