Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

THE NIGHTINGALES OF OUSE. And yet, I venture to maintain,
(To her who steers.)

To read your stories through were best, MORE mellow falls the light and still more

A course whereby their plots would gain

No inconsiderable zest ; mellow, Flushing our Ouse that bears the boat So, Mabel, in the tale of life,

Whatever lot the fates may send, along

Fulfil each day as best you may, 'Tween grassy banks we love where, tall

Nor strive too soon to know the end ! and strong,

Temple Bar. ANTHONY C. DEANE. The buttercups stand gleaming golden yel

low. And hear the nightingales of Porto Bello !Love makes us know each bird ! In all

IN A LONDON SQUARE. that throng No voice seems like another; soul is song, BELOVED city, whence thy potent charm And never nightingale was like its fellow.

To call the wanderer back? Thy dome,

above For, whether born in breast of Love's own Whose summit shines the cross, where bird,

lights the dove, Singing its passion in those islet-bowers Holding dear ashes in its sheltering arm Whose sunset-colored maze of leaves and Of happy warriors, safe from war's alarm ? flowers

Or thy fair fane, bidding the fancy rove The rosy river's glowing arms engird,

From fretted fanwork down through Or born in human souls — twin-souls like

marble grove? ours

Not these remembered make my heart Song leaps from deeps unplumbed by

grow warm ; spoken word.

Not towers of Parliament, or hall of Steven. THEODORE WATTS. But, shut with iron gates, a quiet square, “ The River of Slepe,” near Houghton,

Green-turfed, tree-shaded, still, where all May 14, 18—

Athenæum.

arow The tall, pale virgins of the garden grow, Where I, with easeful book or friend may

share

The peace of lilies in the hush of even.
TO MABEL.

Argosy.

MARION METEYARD. THOUGH, Mabel, scarce an hour is past

Since first you opened that romance,
Already now to Part the Last"
You turn a surreptitious glance.

TO THE LOYALISTS OF IRELAND.
Why, surely soon enough you'll learn
The fate of each fictitious friend ;

Sons of the strong stern race that forced

the ford You've scarcely done with Chapter One Before you want “to know the end !” Through Boyne's dun water when the triple

might The heroine's stupendous feats,

Of Stuart, Pope, and Bourbon strove to The hero's indignation fine,

smite At which the wicked duke retreats

From out their grasp the liberating sword, Quite routed all along the line,

And held at bay the savage-swarming horde The noble deeds, the stirring scenes,

From Foyle's bare bank and Derry's naked To none of these will you attend

height, Till certain quite that all comes right,

Fear not lest your hereditary right

Of brotherhood with Britain be ignored. That marriage-bells are at the end.

It is not to be borne, nor thought, that we Well, if the bard might moralize,

Should now abandon you who saved us He would remark, I think, that man,

then, Throughout existence, ever tries

Or watch, with hands inert, flagitious men To imitate your simple plan ;

Rob you of freedom whose sires kept us In guessing what is still to come

free. Long days with scant result we spend ; Stand you but firm, we will enforce again We too would look throughout the book, One realm, one rule, unsevered by the sea. We too would like to know the end !

National Review, ALFRED AUSTIN.

[ocr errors]

our

From Blackwood's Magazine. the Vatican chapels; as the masterREMBRANDT AND THE DUTCH SCHOOL.1

pieces of Raphael and Correggio alThe range of the paiuter's art is tracted crowds of worshippers to the intivite. There is the art which is the shrines they adorned, so the gorgeous expression of the sublime and the pageants which were the pride of Venconception of the ideal ; the art which ice in its palmy days suggested subjects reflects the charms of nature ; the art for the brushes of the Titians and which is the handmaid of history and Tintorettos. Mutatis mutundis, it was biography; and the art which is the much the same in Spain ; for the Spanmore or less realistic interpretation of islı monarchs, through their politics contemporary life and manners. There and zeal for their religion, were alwäys are the paintings which should be left in close relations with Italy. to their appropriate resting-places over The Dutch School, on the other the high altars of stately cathedrals hand, may be said to have created and churches, in the refectories of con- itself. No doubt it reflected the influvents or in the reception-halls of pal- ences of the Renaissance, as the arctic aces ; and there are the paintings which icebergs rellect the cold rays of the

; seem destined for quiet domestic inte same sun which is diffusing its warnı riors, and which grow upon us as the lustre on the slopes of the Riviera. friendly familiars of solitude. But the real Dutch Revaissance was For, after all, the collections in the when the struggling and persecuted great public and private galleries, al- people shook off the foreign yoke, ani though their value is inappreciable and found themselves at the close of the their interest inexhaustible, are essen- war of liberation in a position to make tially heterogeneous and incongruous. money and enjoy life. It is undeniable The gems are there and the sparkle that the Dutchman has a genius for may be undimmed ; but they are so art as for commerce. But even wheir many jewels torn from their settings. the Dutch traffickers began to be merIn the rough and inadequate classifica- chant princes, the conditions were tion we have indicated by way of illus- greatly against the Dutch painter. tration, there is no difficulty in detining When all around him were making forthe place of the Dutch School. There tunes or living comfortably by trade, are ambitious exceptions which serve the commodities he produced ruled low to prove the rule, but it is essentially in the market. He had neither the local, dramatic, and realistic ; were we habit nor the means of travelling, and to express ils characteristics and con- thus his genius was thrown back upon ditions in a word, we should say it was itself. Moreover, his temperament was self-contained. The great artists of rather pr aic and practical than rothe Italian Renaissance, for example, mantic and imaginative. His surroundrevived and regenerated the traditions ings were quiet and tame, though they they haul inherited from Greece and had a quaint picturesqueness of their Rome from westhetic paganism and own. He lived among polders and the devotion of primitive Christianity ; dreary sand - dunes, and looked out they breathed the atmosphere of cul- upon meadows traversed by canals and ture and refinement; they flourished (reuched in the reeking sea-fogs. We under the patronage of the Church they naturally associate lively sensibilities glorified, and of princes who rivalled with brightness and sunshine, and the each other in the cultivated splendors Dutch scenery is depressing as the cliof their courts. Nor were the south- mate. The flat monotony of the rurak ern republics less favorable to the arts. landscape was only broken by the sails As Michael Angelo's majestically Ti- of the windmills, or by the tall spires tanic genius decorated the ceilings of of the villaye churches, which often

scarcely touched the sea-level. The 1 Rembrandt, sa Vie, son Euvre, et son Temps. Par Emile Michel, Membre de l'Institut. Paris : consequence was that these isolated Libraire Hachette et Cie. 1893.

and indepeudent Dutchmen founded a

school of their own. In so far as they in case of there being any mischance merely painted what they saw, their in the matter, he generally took care, realism was marvellous ; and within like Rembrandt, to multiply presentcertain definite limits, with almost ments of himself. invisible shortcomings, they even ex- But, after all, the demand for porcelled in the sublime. As for the rise trails was necessarily restricted; and, and rapid growth of the school, it is moreover, the veritable artistic genius unparalleled in art-listory. Almost refused to work always for lucre in entirely home-educated, but eminently the same regular grooves. Then the conscientious and laborions, they soon painter turned his attention to domestic became masters of coloring and tech-decoration. The Dutch of all classes, nique. In little more than a single from the patricians of Amsterdam and generation the school had attained its the Hague to the cattle-breeders of highest level. Circumstances, as well Friesland and the fishermen of the as their naturally artistic temperament, Zuyder Zee, still delight to adorn the indicated or enforced the choice of the walls of their living-rooms with china subjects. The man who lived by the that is often invaluable, and engravbrush or the graving-tools was bound to ings that are generally indifferent. sell liis pictures or etchings. The Hol- The well-to-do townsfolk in the Dutch landers, who were simple in their Renaissance had taken to purchasing tastes and liomely in their habits, had pictures. What they most appreciated adopted the Reformed religion. There were the faithful reproductions of the was little demand, as in the superb familiar scenes they loved. So we have edifices of Catholic Flanders, for Cru- the delightful reflections of that peacecifixions, Transfigurations, or Descents ful and industrious life which has from the Cross. The patrons of the scarcely altered appreciably at the prespainters were the wealthy guilds and ent day. There was a quai-corner or a municipal corporations, or private indi- canal bridge, with the bright brass viduals in comfortable circumstances. knockers on the house doors, the little It is to the patronage of the guilds that mirrors at each side of the parlor winmodern connoisseurs are indebted for dows, and the hay-barge lying at its such masterpieces as the miscalled moorings, with the bargeman smoking

Night-watch ” of Rembrandt, or Van on the caboose. There were the bustle der Helst's “ Congress of Munster.” in the open-air Bourse and the bargainThe scientific societies and the univer- ing in the open-air fish-market. Then sities suggested such technical subjects the literally realistic turned to the realas the famous “ Lesson of Anatomy.” istically humorous. The Dutchmen of And as the prominent personages in the seventeenth century were far from these great paintings were painted being generally licentious, but they from the life, so the fashion had arisen were gross; the matrons were not among the private burghers of be- given to bluslring, and the men would queathing their portraits to their fami- shake their sides at coarse buffoonery. lies. In England we are apt to talk So we have the village Kirmess and contemptuously of the gifted artist who the suburban fairs; the boors smoking

; takes to portrait-painting as "going in and drinking in the wayside alehouses;

; for pot-boilers.” In Holland the por- and the troopers halting for refreshitrait-painting at first, and for long, was ment, and Airting with the rustic belles. the highest, as it was the most profit- Even Rembrandt, in his younger days, able, branch of the profession. It ap- must be condemned as a flagrant ofpealed strongly to the ambition of the fender against our notions of decency. aspirant, for it was by the portraits of There are side-scenes and byplay in statesmen and merchants, which would some of the best of his works which be carefully preserved as heirlooms, would be pronounced most offensive that he might best hope to immortalize now, were they not sanctified by his himself. And, with Dutch forethought' memory.

We doubt not that Teniers

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ever

and Ostade and their confrères drew the country is laid down in grass ; and shrieks of laughter by their grotesque if they have a passionate attachment to studies of unsophisticated surgery ; the anything besides finance and comboor having his tooth drawn by the merce, it is for ornamental gardening. blacksmith's forceps, and the patient The dream of the Dutchman is malabeing cut for the stone by the razor of rious retirement to a summer-house the village barber. More soberly droll overhanging a stagnant canal, where were the quaint domestic romances of he inhales the odors of his jonquils and Gerard Dou, – the savant in spectacles admires the blaze of his tulip-beds bemusing over a case with a skinny finger tween the puffs of his pipe and the sips on the pulse, or the wrinkled beldame of his schiedam. Scott credits even the bending over her spindle, while the truculent Dirk Hatteraick with the granddaughter, seated demurely in the dream of retiring to a blooming garten background, lends an ear to the lover's like a burgomaster. Thus there could whispers. Those artists who multiplied be no more suitable embellishment of a their pet subjects, addressed themselves rural lust-haus than paintings of flowerhabitually to the popular taste. Assur- beds and flowers, and that gave an imedly they aimed low, but they had well pulse to the fashion of flower-painting. measured their powers, and they inva- Not even Sneiders and Honde-Koeter, riably hit the mark. Now and then in their studies of dead game and lively there was an exception like Terburg, poultry, are more true to the tints and who, without attempting original con- the forms than the most famous of the ception, struck into a line of his own. flower-painters. We do not know that Terburg's pictures seem to have been the farmers and graziers were meant for tlie boudoir and the fashion- great patrons of art. But the wealthy able beauty ; and there were very few merchants of Amsterdam and Rotterboudoirs or ladies of fashion in the dam had their country estates, and the Holland of his day. He left compara- stock they raised for the dairy or the tively few of his works, and when any butcher was bound to be represented one of them comes into the market, it on the walls of the city mansions. No fetches a fancy price. In one respect animal painter has ever surpassed Paul they are worth any money that may be Potter. He lived fast and died young, given for them. No Dutchman has a but happily he made the most of his more exquisite command of delicate brief span, and worked with the briltechnique; and not even Vandyke, liant indefatigability of the Dutchman. when draping his corpses in their He is best known by his “Young shrouds, shows so marvellous a gift for Bull” at the Hague, which was reshandling whites in contrast with all cued for Holland at the Congress of shades of complexion. The gloss of Vienna, after it had been stolen by Terburg's white satins and the shim- that intelligent connoisseur Napoleon. mer of his brocades are inimitable. We should never have kuown how rich Yet at the best it seems to us the pros- even England was in Potters had it not titution of fine art to the glorification of been for the exhibitions of the old the haberdasher and milliner, When masters at Burlington House. And, by Worth was at the height of his fame the way, there is a little Potter at in imperial Paris, he might have ap- Bearwood, which would be worth any propriately lung a Terburg over his money in reason to any millionaire if chimneypiece, with the certainty, be- it ever were sent to the hammer. Yet sides, of having made an excellent in- in those pictures the characteristic vestment.

Dutch realism is almost exaggerated. From the scents of the boudoir and Our English cattle - painters always the full-flavored atmosphere of the fish- seem to us, as a rule, to assume that market, it is pleasant to turn to the their beasts have had every attention. landscape and marine pictures. The They might have been fattened at the Dutch are boru seamen ; great part of Home Farm at Windsor, or if High

a

landers or Aberdeenshire at the Mains lind banks of lowering cloud, it was of Abergeldie. In the coat of the easy to present the scenes of a shipyoung bull at the Hague we read the wreck, when the cumbrous Iudiaman signs of the changing temperature and was drifting dismasted at the mercy of the brine-salted pasturage of the pol- winds and waves. A still more favorylers, although his shapely frame is not ite subject for these marine realists, runclothed with flesh. Were he shown because it came within the range of this season at the Royal Academy, we their every-day experiences, was coulil tell at a glance that he knew as scattered fishing feet from Schevenlittle of oilcake as a Kanaka of caviare. ingen or the Texel scudding for shelter Yet in his degree the game-looking like so many frightened sea-fowl, beast displays as much character as though no mere realist could have done any English courtier by Vandyke or such magnificent justice to the minany Spanish grandee by Velasquez. gling of sea and spray and spindrist ;

We said that within certain definite and in many of these marine pieces it limits the realistic Dutchmen gave the would almost seem that we can see the rein to their imaginations. That is very set of the wind and measure its shown by their marine painters in their strength. Next came the triumphs of magnificent sea-pieces. Turner lim- the marine-battle painters. After the self in his prime, and before he went United Provinces had asserted their mad, never brought such marvels of independence, the Dutch army, being meaning out of dim obscurity, or played chiefly a volunteer force, clid little landmore effectively with fou and cloul and lighting. They were all the more storm). Before the enterprise of Am- proud of the glories of their great seasterdam made the North Holland Caval, captains. As their naval explorers the Dutclı pilots had to bring the heavy- were to be found in every sea - and laden Indiamen with their costly car- perhaps we seldom remember that the goes to the shelter of the Texel, terrible Cape Horn took its name from through a labyrinth of shifting shoals the grass-grown old town on the Zuyand outlying islands. Frequently, and (er Zee — so their fleets disputed the for days together, the low-lying shores supremacy of the ocean with England were enveloped in curtains of impene- and France in the days when the trable fog. These dangers and the Dutch bombarded Chatham and Van possible catastrophes came feelingly Tromp swept the Channel with the home to the anxious liearts of specu- broom fastened to his mast-head. It lative merchants and underwriters. was a characteristic and appropriate Nothing could be pleasanter, when the touch of grim satire for that homely good ship from Batavia was quietly but heroic people to go into battle undischarging her freight before the win- der the familiar emblem of the bustling dows, than to gaze placidly through a Dutch housewife. Many of the rising haze of wine-lumes and tobacco-smoke artists had either served on board the at a picture of the perils she had ships, or shipped for the sake of find. escaped, and which had encompasseling subjects, like the contributors to her even to that threshold. And so, as own illustrated journals. The a laste for the sublime and terrible was greatest masters of landscape, like developed, the painters turned their Ruysdael, were amphibious, and equally attention to subjects which, doubtless, at home on sea and land. So we bave demanded vigorous and even original the brilliant battle-scenes in the galtreatment, but which drew little on the leries, where three-deckers or frigates, imagination. To one who had been with yards interlocked, are belching familiar from boy hood with the turmoil forih fire and smoke in the lurid atmoof the elements in a country only dle sphere, which is fitfully illuminated by fended against the fury of the ocean the flashes of the guys or the gleam of by its formidable dykes ; who had the red jerseys of the combatants. watched the gathering of the storm be- As for the landscape-painters, they

our

« VorigeDoorgaan »