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were at least as essentially national as genius has made the most of the mateany of their confrères. They went in rial. There is no background of snowy by preference for what was exception- mountain or foreground of sunlit scene. ally and especially Dutch. Naturally But what can be more savage or more they give us colored photograplis in picturesque, within its limits, than the abundance of the general features of merry mill-wheels over the rushing the landscape ; a broad expanse of stream, breaking in tiny cascades and monotonous flat, with a stretch of canal swirling pools beneath the branches of or a stagnant pool in the foreground, the shattered pines ? What can be and steepies or windmills standing out more pathetically dramatic than the against the sky-line. But fully to ap- verdant loneliness of the Jews' burypreciate the characteristic handling and ing-place, with the flat slabs of the the exquisite truth of their effects, we gravestones withi their time-worn inmust have walked or driven in the scriptions, among the thickets of bramhalf-submerged islands, – say in Wal- ble with the background of copsc ? cheren. Walcheren is a verdant cup As for Cuyp, he was the Dutch Claude, or saucer, sunk within the circle by its and to do justice to his genius we must lofty dykes, and perpetually steeped in bave travelled in his own country, and water. When it does not rain there, seen it, moreover, under favorable cirit always drizzles; and the heavy dew cumstances. His shapely cattle, neveris impregnated by the saline sea-fogs. theless showing shoulder-blades and The herbage and the very seaweeds ribs, and his comfortable horsemen have tints of the most vivid emerald. in their scarlet tunics, are comparaOr if you would see how the painter lively common and conventional. But passed from the abstract to a romanti- neither Claude at his best, nor Turner cally suygestive bit of the concrete, you when he souglit to rival Claude, ever will come upon some sixteenth-century surpassed Cuyp when he steeps the chateau, embosomed in a dense growth Dutch mists in the mellow warmth of a of storm-beaten trees, which would be vapory sunshine. The struggle of the all the better for thinning. As in the sun, though just falling short of sucparks and woods around the Hague in cess, pervades everything, and misses the autumn, you tread on a thick carpet no opportunity. Each landscape is inof fallen leaves, which have been spired by cheerfulness within the limits rotting through successive seasons. of credibility, though the pale luminary From brown tiles to basement the that irradiates the mists from the Doghouse is tapestried with velvety moss ; ger Bank would cut but a poor ligure at the moat is overspread with a sheet of Palermo or Cairo. glossy duckweed. The Dutchman, de- It is a proof of the truthfulness of lighting in the expression of details, these Dutchmen, as well as of the conhas rendered all that with microscopic servatism of Holland, that their picfelicity. When we consider the de- tures are faithfully reflected in the life pressing atmosphere he inhaled, we of the present day. Railways and wonder at the exhilarating lightness of steamers have facilitated communicahis touch. But the most brilliant pro- tions, but have scarcely changed manfessors of landscape seem to have ners and customs. It is not only in wearied of that out-of-doors cabinet- the little fishing community of the work. Ruysdael and Hobbema must island of Marken, or in the dead cities have sought for subjects in the more of the Zuyder Zee -- which, by the broken country of eastern Utrecht or way, are again beginning to awaken to in secluded nooks among the sedgy life — that you see the old rich and meres of Friesland. Necessarily there quaint costumes, or the quaint old cotis no such sublimity in their scenes as tage interiors with their wealth of in the savage Apennines of Salvator pottery and wood-carving. As the Rosa, or in the glowing landscapes steamer takes a turn backwards at a of Claude Lorraine or Poussin. Yet I quai, the figures of the little crowd, in

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its cumbrous, work-a-day dress in the itable Velasquez as a painter of sujets

| many-buttoned jacket or bodice, the de genre, and lie is noways inferior to balloon-like breeches and petticoats, the Spaniard in brilliant versatility. and the sabots a world too big for the Rembrandt is the glory of the Dutch sturdy feet — might have stepped out school, and he has found a critic and of some

canvas by Teniers. The biographer who does his genius justice. groups in the village gardens watching Our article has been suggested by the the skittles from behind their beer- magnificently illustrated work by M. jugs, or the gapers looking on at the Emile Michel, which has beeu brought horse-shoeing at the forge, might be out by the Libraire Hachette, with all the ancestors immortalized by Brouwer the adventitious luxury of type and or Ostade. Only nowadays we are apt binding. M. Michel has devoted himto miss the long church warden pipes, self to the elucidation of his subject which are being replaced by rank and with an enthusiasm and industry bemalodorous cigars. It is true that in youd all praise. Years ago he hall the towns the dresses have been mod- written a monograph on the artist, ernized. But there is no mistaking the which has been expanded into a portly old Dutch type of features ; for few and sumptuous quarto. Since then he nations have intermarried less with has visited all the public galleries of the foreigner, and the latest family Europe, as well as many private collecportraits in some of the civic private tions. He has explored unknown portcollections show resemblances to the folios filled with the author's sketches old burgomasters that are almost ludi- and etchings. He has ransacked all crous. We know not whether those the accessible literature in print or practical and worldly minded men of manuscript relating to the painter. genius would have been more delighted | And as the result, not even Rembrandt or disgusted could they have foreseen himself ever brought a striking subject the future. Some of them were hard- into more effective relief. M. Michel's working husbands and fathers ; others Rembrandt is the grand central figure were gay Bohemians, indulging freely on a broad canvas which conjures up in the rough joviality they depicted. the Holland of the first half of the But almost all had to struggle hard for seventeenth century. The Dutch Vea decent livelihood and a respectable lasquez, his genius was as versatile as appearance. They were frequently that of the immortal Spaniard. Like patronized by the guilds and the rich him, he not only excels in the spirited householders ; they were grateful for fidelity of his portraits, but shows a an invitation to a good dinner; they most masterly and humorous command were seldom or never honored by mu- of sujets de genre. As for his landnicipal diguities; their greatest pictures scapes, they seem to deserve even fetched moderate prices, and many higher praise than has generally been were given away for a mere song. given. For we may remark, by the While they lived they found no foreign way, for the benefit of those who bave patrons, and it was only an exception not travelled in Spain, that Velasquez which proved the 'rule when Rem- as a landscape-painter is only to be brandt was flattered by commissions studied and appreciated in the gallery from the stadtholder. Now those of Madrid. Every one is familiar with Dutch cabinet paintings are among the engravings of liis 6 Meniñas" and priceless gems of every famous gallery “ Hilanderas ; " but so far as we know, in Europe. The blacksmith and the no one has thought it worth while to boor divide admiration with the Vir- reproduce the sylvan enchantments of gius by Raphael and the Madonnas by his “Gardens of Aranjuez.” Murillo. As a master of portraiture To return to Rembrandt; his life, Rembrandt holds his own against the bis rise, and his triumphs are a repretriumphs of Vandyck, Titian, or Velas-sentative illustration of the difficulties quez. He scarcely yields to the inim-' with which the early Dutch painters had to contend, and which those who brandt and taught him invaluable leswere gifted with genius nobly sur- sons. It is extremely likely. The niounted. Like most of his contempo- career of Lucas had been brilliant as it raries and successors, he was humbly was brief. As Rembrandt was to do, born. The Dutch had always a keen he began young, worked hard, suceye to the main chance, and the sons ceeded early, and lavished his genius of wealthy families, imbued with the in extravagances, which landed him hereditary prejudices of the mercantile prematurely in difficulties. Nor had caste, would never have dreamed of Rembrandt lost his time when he turning Bohemians and trusting their shirked his classes. When he played fortunes to the hazarıls of the brush. truant, he loved to wander in the enRembrandt was the fifth child of a virons of the city, among the peaceful miller of Leyden, who was blessed with scenes which had a charm of their a large family. Like so many other re- own, and which stirred the fancy of a markable men, he was fortunate in his patriotic Hollander. His own genius mother. She appreciated his talents, developed itself less precociously than and was specially solicitous as to his that of Lucas. He was anibitious iu religious instruction. No doubt that his subjects as Clive Newcome, when subsequently influenced him greatly - Clive painted his grand battle-piece of and as we shall see, not always to the Assaye ; and all M. Michel — who is advantage of his reputation in his better acquainted with them than we strong partiality for Biblical subjects. are cau say for those productions is, But the atmosphere in which he was that they contain precious indications brought up must inevitably have biassed for the critic. But the artist's natural him in the same direction. The heroic good sense made him retrace his steps Leyden of the memorable siege was in the mean time. When he could invited to ask a boon of the grateful afford the leisure, le again launched stadtholder. The half-ruined citizens, out upon sacred subjects ; but now, for in place of a money grant or a remis- a time, he shook himself free from the sion of taxes, preferred to apply for the seductions of the Delilahs and Susanfoundation of a university. So trans- nahs, and fell back upon portraits and formed, their town not only became a the subjects which surrounded him. school of the arts and sciences, but a He enjoyed few advantages; he had great theological centre. The worthy no professional models, for Leyden, miller sent his son to college, where unlike Amsterdam, though it turned the education was sufficiently cheap. out an extraordinary proportion of emiBut the youth scarcely repaid the nent artists, did not then possess a money expended upon him, and among school of painting. But he set himself the precocious evidences of his special seriously to self-education, and laid genius was neglect of his regular violent hands on all accessible subjects. studies. On the other hand, he soon The wealthy miller had indulged in the began to make himself a domestic nui- luxury of looking-glasses, and so the sance by sketching the members of his young artist could always paint himfamily à tort et à travers. Latterly, as self. To that early necessity, which they began to recognize his powers and became a habit, we are indebted for take encouragement from the gulden perhaps the most interesting series of with which he was rewarded, his par- auto-pictorial studies in existence. ents resigned themselves to sit with The first of them shows us a raw Dutch the best grace in the world, and so their youth, with heavy features and dreamy faces are continually reappearing in all eyes in deep shadow, with a shock manner of characters and disguises. head of luxuriantly curly hair, which

M. Michel suggests that the works of might have done credit to Samson beLucas of Leyden, which were among fore the clipping. Yet the sketch is the glories of his native town, may doubly interesting and significant ; for have stimulated the ambition of Rem-' in the harsh contrasts of its strong

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shadow and light, it is the forecast of domestic were on the most magnifithe favorite manner which became cent scale. His person is draped in almost a trick of his art. There are sumptuous robes, eminently unsuited precisely similar characteristics, but to that sultry climate ; he shades his with a clisplay of marvellous progress, swarthy countenance with a Dutch in another portrait, executed wlien he umbrella, and he is escorted by splenmay have been twenty-three. The «lilly appointed guards. The captain features have fined down, the locks are of the troop is a gay and glittering caytrimmed ; he wears the black surcoat alier, who ought to bave worn the and falling collar of a well-lo-do young spurs and belt of chivalry. The party burgher ; but, above all, the lights bad come upon a solitary pool or water and shades are managed with far brook after a weary march through greater delicacy. His powerful treat- thirsty deserts ; but the luxuriant vegement of the chiaro-oscuro still obvi-lation overhanging the limpic wave ously leaves something to desire, but it might have been nursed'in the dripping has all the promise of the perfection foys of the Dutch Hats. It is' bard to it was destined to attain.

conceive a quainter combination of the There were other aspiring young fantastic, uneducated, and untravelled painters in Leyden at the time; the imagination with the deep-seated inbest known and most distinguished was stincts of Dutch realism. Yet, as Lievens, for Gerard Dou was consid- said, it is eminently characteristic. For erably younger. Much of the more the artist, when many orders bad made ambitious work in which Rembrandt him affluent, sought to inspire himself, indulged has disappeared. We cannot like Balzac, with a collection of costly believe that those grand canvases are properties. Even in the indulgence of much to be regretted, but it would be a prodigal fancy, he would still be real. interesting to know what became of istic. He surrounded himself in his them. Probably they were consigued studio with rich Venetian hangings and to the family lumber-room ; but had rare Eastern carpets ; he decks the the shrewd Dutchmen surmised the object of his adoration in a profusion future of the famous master, we may of gold and gems ; and then he reprobe very sure they would have been luces the very texture of the finely carefully preserved. We have said woven fabrics, and the flashes and the that their suppression is not to be re- colors of the glittering stones. gretted, because, strangely enough, we It is to that early period, ere he had know exactly what they were. Among left Leyden, that we owe many of his Rembrandt's comracles was a certain cleverest etchings and sketches. He Van Vliet, who had little talent but a had to draw upon fancy for bis bigh sufficiency of good sense. He soon priests and magi en grande tenue, but resigned himself to the conviction that everywhere he found studies in abunhe had no originality, and gave up dance for bis tranıps and beggars. painting to devote himself to engrav- The devastated Netherlands were long ing. As an engraver he was clever in recovering from the consequences and extremely faithful, and many of of the war ; and the streets of Leyden the lost works of Lievens and Rem- swarmed with mendicants and crippled brandt survive in his very admirable old soldiers. Rembrandt dashed them etchings. Already we note the delight down and scratched them in, iu every in gorgeous decoration which charac- attitude and in all conceivable circumterized the later pieces by Rembrandt. stances. Those grotesque and basty He made choice for the most part of studies in the manner of Callot, as they the conventional subjects which were indicate his quick appreciation of the much in favor with slevout Catholics. humorous, gave his hand a marvellous One of these was “ Philip baptizing the facility. Some of them do him do Eunuch.” The travelling arrangements great credit from a moral point of of the queen of Ethiopia's confidential view. The Dutchmen of the day were

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not over-refined, and were tickled by prostitute, and engaged at the street the broadest and coarsest humor. Nor, corner for the purposes of the studio. although the practice which they gave In fact, the close obsequiousness of the paid him well in the end, did the study is literally stamped by the imsketches turn to gold in the mean time. pression of the garter on the leg of the His reputation was increasing fast, but goddess. By far the finest of his many his art was far from remunerative. mythological pictures is the “Rape of

So he took a bold resolution and re- Proserpine.” The subject lends itself moved to Amsterdam. The great city happily to the artist's powers, and we on the Zuyder Zee was already growing may say that he shows himself at home rich again. The banks already trans- in hell. The shrinking Ariadne in her acted the business of western Europe ; robes of white is really a subsidiary the bourse crowded with mer- figure. What strikes us is the fiery chants, who did business with all quar- love or passion of the Prince of Tartaters of the world. Ships from the rus, as he throws the reius over the Dutch colonies (lischarged their cargoes necks of his infernal coursers, the of silks and spices at the doors of contrast between the smiling plains of stately mansions, which the owners Enna, under the Sicilian sun, and the loved to embellish. Syndics and burgo- gloom and bleak desolation beyond the masters perpetuated their features and stream of the Styx. Yet even in the those of their wives and daughters blooming vale of Enna we never leave in the family portrait-galleries. The Haarlem behind; and the flowers guilds and the civic corporations had which the beauty has been gathering become patrons of the arts, though for the banquet are the Dutch tulips probably they drove hard bargains, and and ranunculuses and corn-towers. took every legitimate advantage of the The most masterly and perhaps the necessities of a rising artist. But it is most famous of all his paintings is the to that period we owe some of the most famous “ Lesson of Anatomy," which brilliant of the works that hung upon is one of the glories of the Hague Galthe walls of the ill-lighted old Treppen-lery. At that time the Dutch schools huis, with its creaking wooden stairs, of medicine were already renowned ; and which have since been transferred and assuredly their alumni must have to the new National Museum. And it had ample opportunities for surgical is by comparing Rembrandt there with and medical practice during the wars. his contemporaries and scholars that They carried a certain coquetry into we can come to a very definite conclu- the arrangement of their anatomical sion, and pronounce him the incompa- theatres, and Rembrandt and others rable master and lord paramount of the have made us familiar with all the unDutch School. Yet still in his passion pleasant technical details. The demfor the realistic he illustrates the con-onstrations drew crowds of amateurs as fines of his genius. Imagination can well as professional students ; and the never carry him far into the regions of subject lies extended on a slab in the the ideal, and liis imitation of what he centre, surrounded by the cushioned sees before him is almost servile. It is circular benches, rising lier over tier. certain his reputation will never rest The walls are embellished with skeleon his conception of the graceful shapes tons of men and horses and various of classical or Scriptural beauties. His anatomical preparations. These picfair Susannah, emerging from the bath, tures, unpleasant or revolting in themwould never have tempted anybody selves, and rather resenibling architec.but matter-of-fact Dutch elders, who tural drawings, are chiefly interesting worshipped the substantial. Still less as indicating the wealth and popularity attractive is the chaste goddess Diana, of the medical guilds. The “Lesson who, in the ungainly attitude and the of Anatomy” is of a different order stolid expression of the face, gives us altogether. The dignity of the treatthe idea of a peasant woman turned ment is as remarkable as the vigor of

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