FIFTY PLATES IN COLOUR
By PAUL G. KONODY
MAURICE W. BROCKWELL
JOINT-AUTHORS OF “THE NATIONAL GALLERY: ONE HUNDRED PLATES IN COLOUR”
Editor: T. LEMAN HARE
DODGE PUBLISHING COMPANY
214–220 EAST 23RD STREET
THOSE who wish to make a thorough, comprehensive, and systematic study of the pictures of the great national collection contained in the Louvre, which extend from the early years of the fourteenth century down to almost the present day, will be well advised to deal with the artists by the countries, schools, and periods to which they belong. That is the scheme which we have followed here.
We do not hesitate to refer to painters, especially those of the Italian schools, under the names by which they are generally known to modern critics, as opposed to those under which they are officially catalogued by the Louvre authorities. Thus, Raphael, Titian, and Giulio Romano, and not Santi, Vecelli, and Pippi, are the names which we shall use in this book. Special attention is drawn to the fact that the official attributions of a certain number of the pictures, mainly of the Italian schools, and notably several by Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and Titian, are not accepted by us.
The authors of any critical book on a large national collection which includes several hundred Italian paintings of varying importance must of necessity be under heavy obligations to Mr. Berenson, whose scholarly, scientific, and constructive criticism, following on that of Morelli, has entirely revolutionised the study of Italian art.
It will be noticed that in many instances the dates used in these pages do not coincide with those given in the official Cataloguesvi and repeated in a large number of text-books, while in a few cases it has been thought desirable to draw the attention of the student to the questionable accuracy of some of the titles and “pedigrees.”
The illustrations which have been selected represent, as far as possible, the whole range of the art of each country and school comprised within the limits of the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The Plates are arranged in the order in which reference is made to them in the text, but it has been found impossible to place them opposite the pages on which the critical remarks are given.
In the descriptions of the pictures the terms right and left are used in reference to the right and left of the spectator, unless the text obviously implies the contrary. Moreover, in the titles of pictures containing the Madonna and several Saints, the names of the Saints are given in the order they occupy in the composition regarded from left to right. The titles we have used are descriptive rather than mere translations of those contained in the official Catalogue. The official numbers are those marked in large figures and placed at the top of the frames; the numbers in small figures affixed to the bottom left corner of some of the frames are obsolete.
The surface measures of the pictures are for convenience given in feet and inches as well as in metres, the height preceding the width. The technical conditions as to panel or canvas and tempera or oil are also noted.
Most of the Rooms containing pictures are open:—
On Sundays all the year round, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from April 1 to September 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from October 1 to March 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Thursdays in the Summer Months, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and in the Winter Months, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
viiRooms IX.–XIII., which contain French pictures and Rooms XIX.–XXXV., which contain Flemish and Dutch pictures are not open before eleven o’clock.
The Louvre is closed on Mondays all the year round, and on January 1, July 14, and Ascension Day; it is also closed on the Feast of the Assumption (August 15), All Saints Day (November 1), and Christmas Day, unless these last three days fall on a Sunday.
TO form a just appreciation of the magnificent collection of paintings which the Louvre to-day contains would require an exhaustive study which might be spread over a term of years spent in the famous French capital itself. In the limited space at our disposal we can only touch lightly upon the historical events, the sociological causes, the grandeur of royalty, and the taste of the people, all of which contributed towards bringing about the formation of the great Musée National du Louvre as we now know it. It has been our endeavour to throw into prominent relief the outstanding features in the history of the Gallery and to sketch them in chronological order. The architectural claims of the building, its priceless collections of statuary and of objets d’art of every age do not here immediately concern us; it is to the formation of the superb collection of paintings that we primarily desire to call our readers’ attention.
A small part of the building which is to-day known as the Louvre was first occupied as a royal residence by Philippe-Auguste (reigned 1180–1223), who converted a hunting-seat of the early French kings on this site into a feudal fortress with a strong donjon or keep, the exact plan of which may still be traced by the white line marked since 1868 on the pavement in the southwest corner of the old courtyard. Charles v. (reigned 1364–80), who may be regarded as the first royal collector of art treasures in France, greatly enlarged the building of the Old Louvre as a residential palace; he is also said to have decorated the building with statues and paintings which have long since disappeared.2 The real foundations of the collection of la maison du Roi were laid by François i. (reigned 1515–47), who during his Italian campaigns acquired a respect for art that proved to be an honour to his taste and a dowry for his country. The æsthetic movement had developed rapidly by 1541, when he laid the foundations of the present palace and had already begun to form a collection of easel pictures. François i. invited to his court the master-painter Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), who in 1516 left his native land for France, where he did the king little more than the compliment of dying in his realm, although not, as an unveracious tradition recounts, in his arms. Andrea del Sarto (1486–1531) was also employed at the French court, at which he arrived in 1518. Giovanni Battista Rosso (1494–1541), a painter of little genius but great ability, was summoned by François i. in 1530 to decorate the Château at Fontainebleau. Benvenuto Cellini (1500–71), the Florentine goldsmith, having “determined to seek another country and better luck,” was yet one more artist who set out for France, where, between 1540 and 1544, he adorned the royal tables with objects precious in workmanship and material. Primaticcio (1504–70), who is known to have cleaned at Fontainebleau in 1530 four of the large reputed Raphaels now in the Louvre, remained at the French court until his death. The strict authenticity of these four pictures—The Holy Family of Francis I. (No. 1498), the St. Margaret (No. 1501), the large St. Michael (No. 1504), and the Portrait of Joan of Arragon (No. 1507)—does not here concern us. François i. also possessed at this date, among other notable pictures, Raphael’s La Belle Jardinière (No. 1496, Plate VII.), Leonardo 3da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks (No. 1599), and the same artist’s Mona Lisa or La Joconde (No. 1601, Plate IV.), while the art of Sebastiano del Piombo, Andrea del Sarto, and other painters, Flemish as well as Italian, was well represented in the royal collection during his reign.
“François i. voulant avoir dans Paris un palais digne de sa magnificence et dédaignant le vieux Louvre et l’hôtel des Tournelles, amas irrégulier de tournelles (tourelles) et de pavillons gothiques, avait fait démolir, dès 1528, la grosse tour du Louvre, ce donjon de Philippe-Auguste duquel relevaient tous les fiefs du royaume. C’était démolir l’histoire elle-même; c’était la monarchie de la renaissance abattant la vieille royauté féodale.”—Martin, Hist. de France.
The example set by François i. was followed by his successor, Henri ii. (reigned 1547–59), for whom Niccolò dell’ Abbate (1515–71), an artist of secondary importance, was working from 1552 onwards. Henri ii.’s queen, Catherine de Médicis, was also a patron of art, being herself a collector of coins and medals. To her influence was due the decoration of the Château of Fontainebleau and the erection of the Palace of the Tuileries, which was subsequently connected with the Louvre by means of the Long Gallery, now Room VI. Her eldest son, François ii. (reigned 1559–60), the husband of Mary Queen of Scots, first converted the new buildings of the Louvre into a royal residence. Henry iv. (reigned 1589–1610) enlarged the Tuileries, and almost completed the Long Gallery, which now contains such a large proportion of the pictures. Louis xiii. (reigned 1589–1610), his eldest son, seems to have taken little interest in the royal collection; but his mother, Marie de Médicis, invited Rubens (1577–1640) to Paris to decorate the Palace of the Luxembourg with that series of imposing canvases representing her own life-history which are to-day seen to their best advantage in the Salle Rubens (Room XVIII.) of the Louvre.
An inscription on a tablet placed high up on the left of the Pavillon Sully records that François i. began the Louvre in 1541, and Catherine de Médicis the Tuileries in 1564.
No complete record has been found of the pictures which formed the royal collection previous to the year 1642. To that date belongs a meagre Catalogue of the objects of art which then remained at Fontainebleau, but it is supposed that when Louis xiv. (reigned 1643–1715) succeeded to the throne he in4herited about one hundred pictures, the property of the Crown. With his accession a new era in the history of art in France began.
Meanwhile, across the water, a superb royal collection had been formed. Charles i. of England (reigned 1625–49) had begun his career as a patron of art before his accession, with the acquisition of the paintings and statues collected by his deceased brother, Henry. During his matrimonial visit to Madrid in 1623 he was presented by Philip iv. with Titian’s Venus del Pardo, now in the Louvre (No. 1587). Soon after his accession he began to collect systematically, employing trusty agents to buy for him in different parts of Europe. His most notable purchase was that of the collection of the Duke of Mantua, for which he paid £18,280 between 1629 and 1632. He is said to have possessed in all 1760 pictures by the date of his execution. Most of them were disposed of at auction by order of Cromwell between 1649 and 1652.
One of the most persistent bidders at the sale of Charles i.’s pictures was Eberhard Jabach, a native of Cologne, who settled in Paris and became a naturalised Frenchman in 1647. He was an enthusiastic buyer of pictures, and his collection soon surpassed that of the French king. It was known to all French connoisseurs, and was visited by all travellers of note. In time, however, Jabach’s energies as a buyer exceeded his financial resources, and when his debts amounted to 278,718 livres he offered his collection to Louis xiv., who was most anxious to distinguish his reign by the formation of a gallery of pictures which should be in all respects worthy of it. To this end he purchased Eberhard Jabach’s collection, paying 220,000 livres for the 5542 drawings and 101 pictures which it contained. The price originally asked by Jabach was 463,425 livres. Among the masterpieces thus acquired by the king were Titian’s Entombment 5(No. 1584, Plate XIII.), which Jabach had had the good fortune to purchase from the English royal collection for the absurdly small sum of £128, and Giorgione’s Pastoral Symphony (No. 1136, Plate X.), which had also been among the treasures of the English Crown.
To Cardinal Richelieu (1585–1642), who founded the French Academy in 1635, at one time belonged Andrea Mantegna’s Parnassus (No. 1375, Plate XIV.), the same painter’s Wisdom victorious over the Vices (No. 1376), Lorenzo Costa’s The Court of Isabella d’Este in the Garden of the Muses (No. 1261), and the same painter’s Mythological Scene (No. 1262), together with Perugino’s Combat of Love and Chastity (No. 1567).
Another important buyer at the sale of Charles i.’s collection was Cardinal Mazarin (1602–61), who acquired several valuable pictures, besides statuary, tapestries, and other fabrics. Of Mazarin’s pictures the Louvre now possesses Raphael’s small St. Michael (No. 1502) and a Holy Family (No. 1135), which is catalogued under the name of Giorgione, but it is more probably from the hand of Cariani.
It is said that Louis xiv. preferred the pictures of his own court-painter, Charles Le Brun, to those of the Venetian master, Paolo Veronese, whose large canvas, The Supper at Emmaus (No. 1196), was nevertheless acquired during his reign. Eight pictures by Annibale Carracci, all of which are not now publicly exhibited in the Louvre (Nos. 1218, 1220, 1222, 1226, 1231–34), Albani’s Diana and Actæon (No. 1111), nine compositions by Guido Reni (Nos. 1439–55 and 1457), and ten paintings by Domenichino (Nos. 1609–10 and 1612–19), also enriched the royal collection during Louis xiv.’s reign. Nor were the great French painters neglected. The four pictures (Nos. 736–39) of The Seasons, by Nicolas Poussin, which had been commissioned in 1660 by the Duc de Richelieu for the decoration of the Château de Meudon, together6 with four of the largest Claudes now in the Louvre (Nos. 312, 314, 316, 317), were obtained for the royal galleries by the ever-watchful Colbert (1619–83), who had been appointed Minister of Finance on the death of Mazarin (1602–61). Flemish art, as seen in the stately pictures of Van Dyck, was represented by seven examples (Nos. 1961–63, 1970, 1973–75). On the other hand, Louis xiv. is said to have failed altogether to appreciate the work of Teniers and to have exclaimed, when some of that artist’s pictures were brought to his notice, “Ôtez-moi ces magots-là!” Only one of the thirty-nine pictures by Teniers now in the Louvre, the Interior of a Cottage (No. 2162), passed into the Gallery at that date. The almost entire absence of Dutch pictures is also to be noticed.
An event of extreme importance in this pompous reign was the institution of the French Academy of Arts, in 1648, with Charles Le Brun (1619–90) as Director, the despotic power which he exercised in art matters bringing about his further appointment as Director of the Gobelins tapestry works in 1660.
In 1681 the Crown pictures and other royal art treasures were brought to the Louvre from Versailles and were temporarily exhibited there, the king paying a state visit to the capital on December 5 to see his cabinet de tableaux. We read that the walls of eleven rooms were covered up to the cornices. The collection, putting on one side all doubts as to strict authenticity, included six paintings by Correggio, ten by Leonardo da Vinci, eight by Giorgione, twenty-three by Titian, nineteen by A. Carracci, twelve by Guido Reno, and eighteen by Paolo Veronese. These treasures, however, did not remain long at the Louvre, but were “packed up, loaded on rough carts, and taken back over the paved roads to Versailles,” which had now taken precedence over Fontainebleau as a royal residence; and at Versailles the Court mainly resided until the Revolution, although Louis xiv.7 greatly enlarged the Louvre Palace and planted the Tuileries Gardens. At the death of le Roi Soleil the Crown pictures numbered 1500.
The energy of Louis xiv. was followed by the apathy of his degenerate successor, Louis xv. (reigned 1715–74), who, however, added 300 pictures to the royal collection. The Virgin with the Blue Diadem or Virgin with the Veil (No. 1497), which still passes under the name of Raphael, was among the pictures which then passed out of the collection of the Prince de Carignan into the possession of the Crown. It was now a sorry moment for the pictures which, “scattered through the interminable and then ill-kept country palaces of the French Crown, exposed to every injury of time, ignorance, and weather, regarded at best in the light of old furniture and too often in that of old lumber, pleaded in vain for respect and care. No public Catalogue told of their existence; the generation that had talked of them had passed away; it was nobody’s business to ask for them, and few actually knew where they were. Even the new-comers passed into the same void which had swallowed their predecessors.” Some of the pictures previously recorded now disappeared completely, without leaving a clue to their fate. Eventually, in 1746, M. de la Fonte de Saint-Yenne in a pamphlet directed public opinion to the fact that these Crown pictures had for fifty years been hidden and neglected in “une obscure prison de Versailles.” As a result of this, in 1750, by the king’s permission, 110 pictures selected from the different schools of painting were brought from Versailles to the Palais de Luxembourg, where the large canvases by Rubens (now in the Salle Rubens at the Louvre) were regarded as forming a centre d’études. Here for the first time, and for two days only in the week, they were shown under certain restrictions to a limited public. In 1785 they were again removed to Versailles.
Although Louis xiv.’s well-known grudge against Holland probably accounted for the almost entire absence of Dutch pictures from the Crown possessions, Louis xvi. had the good taste to acquire works by Aelbert Cuyp (No. 2341, Landscape); Jan van Goyen (No. 2375, Banks of a Dutch River, and No. 2377, A River in Holland); B. van der Helst (No. 2394, The Officers of the Arquebusiers of St. Sebastian); G. Metsu (No. 2461, The Alchemist); Adriaen van Ostade (No. 2495, The Painter’s Family[?], and No. 2496, The Schoolmaster); Isaac van Ostade (No. 2510, A Frozen Canal in Holland); Rembrandt (No. 2539, The Pilgrims at Emmaus, No. 2540, and No. 2541, The Philosopher in Meditation, No. 2555, Portrait of Rembrandt aged); Jacob van Ruisdael (No. 2559, Landscape, and No. 2560, Sunny Landscape); Terborgh (No. 2587, The Military Gallant); and Philips Wouverman (No. 2621, The Prize Ox, and No. 2625, The Stag Hunt). Five of the less important of Murillo’s pictures now in the Louvre (Nos. 1712–15 and No. 1717) were also acquired at this period, and the series of twenty-two large canvases illustrating Scenes from the Life of St. Bruno by Eustache Le Sueur were also purchased by Louis xvi.
From 1725 onwards the Salon held its Exhibitions in the Salon Carré (Room IV.), but after 1848 this room was used only for Paintings by the Old Masters.
In 1790 a Commission was appointed by the National Assembly “to register and watch over all that was most valuable,” and on May 26, 1791 a decree was made that the Louvre should be thenceforward dedicated to the conservation of objects of science and of art. On August 26 of the same year a further Commission was appointed by the National Convention to inspect and gather together the treasures of art scattered through les maisons royales. The Convention decided that the “Museum of the Republic” should be officially opened in the Long Gallery of the Louvre on August 10, 1793, and from November 8 of the same year the9 Museum was open to the inspection of the public three days in every ten. This, the first public exhibition of art treasures in the Louvre, was the foundation of the present institution. The Catalogue of this date contains reference to only 537 pictures, the greater number of which came from Paris churches and national buildings. The inhabitants of Versailles now petitioned that their town should not be despoiled of its pictures, “and so be deprived of its last attraction in the eyes of the world”!
The Louvre was now destined to become for a few years the temple of the spolia opima which the victorious French army brought home. “This system of levying pictures, statues, and other objects by means of treaties, so called, in which the conqueror dictated terms to those incapable of refusing them, was a dishonourable novelty in the annals of modern warfare. Disdaining the usages of Christian nations and overleaping especially the traditions of French courtesy and chivalry, Buonaparte turned back to the ages of pagan history for a precedent for his measures of spoliation.” By the Treaty of Bologna of June 23, 1796, and the Treaty of Tolentino of February 19, 1797, he became possessed of twenty pictures from Modena, twenty from Parma, forty from Bologna, ten from Ferrara, while Rome, Piacenza, Cento, Ravenna, Rimini, Pesaro, Ancona, Loreto, and Perugia also had to yield up a portion of their treasures.
The first exhibition of this booty was held in the Louvre in January 1798. Here, during the next few years, were gathered together many of the world’s most famous pictures, including Raphael’s St. Cecilia, now in the Bologna Gallery; Correggio’s St. Jerome and his Madonna della Scodella, now in the Parma Gallery; Raphael’s Transfiguration, now in the Vatican, and his Madonna della Sedia, now in the Pitti Palace at Florence; Domenichino’s Last Communion of St. Jerome, now in the Vatican; Titian’s Martyrdom of St. Peter Martyr, destroyed by fire in 1867,10 and his Assumption, now in the Venice Gallery; Van Eyck’s Adoration of the Lamb, now dismembered and distributed between Ghent, Berlin, and Brussels; Paris Bordone’s Fisherman of St. Mark, now in the Venice Gallery; and Paul Potter’s Bull, now at The Hague. “Here was seen the unexampled sight of twenty-five Raphaels ranked together, the great master complete in every period and walk of his art. Here twenty-three Titians glowed in burning row. Here Rubens revelled in no less than fifty-three pictures and in almost as many classes of subject. Van Dyck followed his illustrious master with thirty-three works, while thirty-one specimens of Rembrandt’s brush shed a golden atmosphere upon the walls. The later Italians especially were magnificently represented—thirty-six pictures by Annibale Carracci, sixteen by Domenichino; twenty-three by Guido; including the largest altarpieces by each; and twenty-six by Guercino, were perhaps the most popular part of the wondrous show.”
However, in September 1815, the pictures and other valuable works of art which France had plundered from her foes had to be given back, and the spoliation of the Louvre began. In all, 5233 objects, of which 2065 were pictures, were taken away from the Royal Museum by the Allied Powers.
An event rare in the history of public galleries took place in 1813, when the Louvre received Carpaccio’s Preaching of St. Stephen (No. 1211), Boltraffio’s Madonna of the Casio Family (No. 1169), Marco d’Oggiono’s Holy Family (No. 1382), Moretto’s St. Bernardino of Siena and St. Louis of Toulouse (No. 1175), and the same artist’s St. Bonaventura and St. Anthony of Padua (No. 1176), in exchange for five pictures by Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Jordaens.
It is curious to notice that at this period very little importance was attached to Italian primitives, which were, indeed,11 deemed “barbarous.” Many beautiful works of the very early Italian schools were actually not considered worth the trouble and expense of transport, and were therefore left for the lasting glory of the Louvre. Among them may be mentioned Fra Angelico’s Coronation of the Virgin (No. 1290); the Madonna and Child and Two Saints, (No. 1114), now officially ascribed to Albertinelli; Bronzino’s Christ and the Magdalene (No. 1183); the Madonna and Angels (No. 1260), which passes under the name of Cimabue; Gentile da Fabriano’s Presentation in the Temple (No. 1278); the Coronation of the Virgin (No. 1303), still officially ascribed to Raffaellino del Garbo; St. Francis of Assisi receiving the Stigmata (No. 1312), which still passes under the name of Giotto; Benozzo Gozzoli’s Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas (No. 1319); Fra Filippo Lippi’s Madonna and Child between Two Saints (No. 1344); Pesellino’s two small predella pictures (No. 1414); Piero di Cosimo’s Coronation of the Virgin (No. 1416); The Madonna in Glory between St. Bernard and St. Mary Magdalene (No. 1482), which is still assigned to Cosimo Rosselli; Lorenzo di Credi’s Madonna and Child with St. Julian and St. Nicholas (No. 1263); Cima’s Madonna and Child (No. 1259); Vasari’s Annunciation (No. 1575), which is now in one of the storerooms of the Louvre; the Ferrarese Madonna and Child with St. Quentin and St. Benedict (No. 1167), which is still assigned to Bianchi; Andrea Mantegna’s Calvary (No. 1373) and Virgin of Victory (No. 1374); Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Visitation (No. 1321); and Perugino’s St. Paul (No. 1566). Further proof of the slight regard in which certain pictures that we cherish to-day were then held is afforded by the readiness with which the authorities sent two panels of Mantegna’s altarpiece, the centre-part of which is now in the Church of San Zeno at Verona, to the Museum at Tours, and parted with Perugino’s altarpieces to the public galleries of Lyons and Marseilles.
Under Louis xviii. (died 1824) 111 pictures were12 purchased for the national collection at a cost of £26,730, but during the reign of Charles x. (1824–30) only 30 were acquired, £2511 being expended on them. An outlay of £2965 by Louis Philippe (reigned 1830–48) enriched the Louvre with 33 more pictures, but that king concentrated his efforts on the restoration and decoration of the Château of Versailles, on which he spent £440,000.
In the early years of the Second Republic a large number of improvements were effected in the Louvre, and in 1848 £8000 was spent on restoring several of the rooms now hung with pictures, which were first systematically arranged three years later. Although the Museum had at that period an annual grant of £2000 for the purchase of pictures, special grants in aid were made from time to time, notably on the occasion of the sale of Marshal Soult, pictures from whose collection were acquired in 1852 for £24,612. In this way Murillo’s Immaculate Conception (No. 1709, Plate XXVI.) passed to the Louvre from the “Plunder-master-General” of the Spanish campaign.
During the Second Empire the Musée du Louvre acquired about 200 Italian primitives from the Campana collection, while seven years later it was further enriched by the important bequest by Dr. La Caze of 275 paintings of different schools. Since 1870, when the Palace of the Tuileries was destroyed, the permanent collection has been increased by the purchase in 1883 for £8000 of the Morris Moore “Raphael” (No. 1509), which has since come to be universally regarded as a work by Perugino; while about 300 other paintings of varying importance have also been acquired from time to time with Government funds. In recent years the national collection has benefited largely by the generosity of private donors, among whom we may mention MM. Duchâtel, Gatteaux, His de la Salle,13 Lallemant, Maciet, Rodolphe Kann, Sedelmeyer, Grandidier, Vandeul, and several members of the Rothschild family.
In 1896, by the sale of a large proportion of the Crown jewels, a Caisse des Musées was organised, and the annual income devoted to the purchase of pictures notably increased. A year later the Société des Amis du Louvre, which corresponds to the National Art-Collections Fund in England, was founded to assist in securing pictures and other works of art for the nation; by that means the Madonna and Child (No. 1300a or 1300b) which passes under the name of Piero dei Franceschi was acquired by the Louvre.
In May 1900, on the inauguration of the Exposition Universelle, the opportunity was taken to rehang a large part of the collection, and the Galerie de Médicis (Room XVIII.) and the eighteen small cabinets built round it were first used for the better exhibition of a large proportion of the Flemish and Dutch pictures. Shortly afterwards, by the death of M. Thomy Thiéry, an Englishman who had become a naturalised Frenchman, over 100 paintings, mostly of the school of Barbizon, became an exceedingly valuable addition to the Louvre, and filled a void in the history of French painting in the nineteenth century. During the last two years the most memorable purchases by the Government have been that of Chardin’s Child with a Top (No. 90a), which was acquired together with the same artist’s Young Man with a Violin (No. 90b) for £14,000, and Hans Memlinc’s Portrait of an Old Lady (Plate XVII.) for £8000.
The national collection of the Musée du Louvre now includes in its Catalogue nearly two thousand eight hundred oil and tempera paintings, about four hundred of which have not been exhibited for many years.
EARLY SIENESE SCHOOL
THIS school of painting, one of the earliest in the history of art in Italy and probably the earliest with which the ordinary student of art in Italy will concern himself, was affected throughout the whole range of its history by the influence of the miniaturists. It was characterised by naïveté, and in the hands of its earliest painter, Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255–1319), strove to realise an effect of hieratic sumptuousness, its precision and grace being that of “a sanctuary swept and garnished.”
The Louvre possesses no picture by Duccio, who derived his technique from the Byzantine miniaturists, although he modified their methods. Standing between the old world and the new, Duccio occupied an important position at the head of the school of Siena, which in the early years of the fourteenth century set a noble example to the other towns and incipient schools of Tuscany. Passing reference may here be made to the artistic aims and religious aspirations of the cities of Rome, Pisa, and Arezzo, but it is Siena which stands out pre-eminently at this early date as interpreting scenes of quiet rapture and sacred peace, its own social life being bound up in “chivalry, the meat of the eye,” and “piety, the wine of the soul.” Both Duccio, who was first employed by the Government of his native city as early as 1278, and Cimabue, his senior by fifteen years (if we are to accept the much contested records), have alike been hailed as the author of the Rucellai Madonna which still hangs in the Church of S. Maria Novella in Florence. This picture was a generation ago almost unanimously accepted by responsible critics as the work of the16 Florentine painter, and those who still advocate the claims of “Florentinism” are loath to destroy their cherished illusions. It is not our duty here to bring forward the arguments in favour of its later ascription to Duccio, who, we are led to believe, painted it early in his career, before he had learnt to free himself from the stiff gestures and Byzantine types of a former tradition. Duccio, it must be conceded, never quite succeeded in giving to his compositions that sense of life, character, and design which we find in the works of Giotto, his junior by some twenty years, who was the first artist to accomplish vast schemes of monumental decoration. Duccio, however, was the bearer of that torch which was to kindle the flame of religious art both in Siena and Florence. Nevertheless, Sienese painting was destined, almost from the moment of its birth, to show signs of dwindling into a school of trite copyists and shallow quietists. Early in the fourteenth century the lofty ideals manifested by emotional Siena spread to scientific Florence, and by the beginning of the fifteenth century the city on the Arno gave unmistakable signs of becoming the leading art centre in Tuscany.
The greatest of Duccio’s followers was Simone Martini (1285?–1344), who was also slightly influenced by Giotto. Simone, whose Christ bearing His Cross (No. 1383, Plate I.) is the earliest Sienese picture in the Louvre, has been well described as “a reactionary who made a whole beautiful world of his own.” In this small picture the colours stand out most clearly, although the drawing and perspective are, of course, faulty. It belongs to a series of which other panels are at Antwerp and in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum at Berlin. A Crucifixion (No. 1665) that is catalogued as being by an unknown Sienese artist may be attributed17 to Ugolino da Siena (fl. 1290–1320); it would seem to be the centre panel of a large and lost altarpiece.
PLATE I.—SIMONE MARTINI
No. 1383.—CHRIST BEARING HIS CROSS
(Jésus-Christ marchant au Calvaire)
Christ, preceded by the executioner, soldiers, and two children, is bearing His Cross to Calvary. He is attended by a large crowd in which may be recognised the Virgin Mary, in blue robes, supported by St. John; St. Mary Magdalene in red, with her long hair falling over her shoulders, raises her hands in grief.
Painted in tempera on panel.
10 in. × 4 in. (0·25 × 0·10.)
Pietro Lorenzetti (fl. 1305–50) was probably a pupil of Duccio, and was influenced by Simone Martini, but Pietro and his younger brother, Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1285?–1348?), who represented a new movement and endeavoured to set forth the civic ideal, are not represented in this collection.
Simone Martini’s brother-in-law, Lippo Memmi (died 1357?), is possibly the author of the St. Peter (No. 1152), a poor picture which is officially assigned to Taddeo di Bartolo (1362?–1422). The art of the latter is, in the opinion of Mr. Berenson, seen in the small Crucifixion (No. 1622), which the Louvre authorities modestly catalogue as being by an unknown fourteenth-century Italian painter.
To Bartolo di Maestro Fredi (1330?–1410), who came under the influence of Lippo Memmi and the Lorenzetti, is given a Presentation in the Temple (No. 1151). Paolo di Giovanni Fei (fl. 1372–1410), whose pictures are rarely met with out of Italy, may be regarded as the author of the Madonna and Saints (No. 1314) which is officially held to be by an unknown Florentine painter of the school of Giotto. The Louvre possesses no example of the art of Sassetta (1392–1450), who, together with Paolo di Giovanni Fei, deeply impressed Giovanni di Paolo (1403?–1482). The latter may be credited with the small panel (No. 1659a) which is officially entitled The Entry of Pope Martin into the Castle of Saint Angelo, and included in the Catalogue as being by an unknown Florentine, but labelled “School of Masaccio.” There can be no doubt that this quaint little picture depicts Pope Gregory the Great’s Vision of the Archangel Michael sheathing his Sword over the Castle of Saint Angelo. According to the legend, Gregory had been indefatigable in nursing the plague-stricken in Rome in the sixth century, and while on his way at the head of a procession18 to offer up prayer for the cessation of the plague, saw “the warrior of God” in the attitude here shown. Gregory, after fleeing from those who wished to make him Pope, was elected to wear the papal tiara under the title of Gregory the Great. He is chiefly known to us as having sent missionaries to preach the gospel in England, having been moved to pity by seeing British captives exposed for sale in Rome, and for his arrangement of the music of the chants which are after him known as Gregorians. The official title of the picture, on the other hand, assumes that we have here Pope Martin v., a man of saintly character, making his entry into Rome in 1421 amid the acclamations of the people. He had been elected Pope in 1417 on the deposition of John xxiii.
By this time the art of Siena had progressed some distance on the road that its religious aspirations and technical accomplishments indicated, but it soon became evident that the more intellectual aims of Florentine art were shaping the course of all the painters of Italy.
THE FLORENTINE SCHOOL
ALTHOUGH we have begun our study of the art of Italy with a review of the Sienese School, which owes its importance to Duccio, the earliest Italian picture in the Louvre is the Madonna and Angels (No. 1260), which may be accepted as a characteristic example of the type of picture that passes under the name of Cimabue (1240?–1302).
Giovanni Cenni de’ Pepi, to give him his full name, has been hailed as “the father of modern painting.” The Louvre Madonna, which was formerly in the Church of San Francesco at Pisa, was carried off to Paris by Napoleon, but not considered worth the trouble of repacking when in 1815 the Allied Armies called upon the French to surrender the pictorial spoils of war. It is known that Cimabue was working at Pisa at the very end of his life, and, although he was engaged there as mosaicist rather than as a painter, the provenance of this large painting, which is executed in tempera on panel, has to be taken into account in any discussion as to its strict authenticity. It is certainly reminiscent of the Rucellai Madonna, and shares much of its character. The painter has repeated, with certain modifications, the Byzantine type of Madonna, whose almond-shaped eyes and long, bony fingers should be noticed. It has been freely restored.
From the same church in Pisa comes Giotto’s St. Francis of Assisi receiving the Stigmata (No. 1312). According to the descriptive account handed down to us by the unveracious Vasari, Giotto (1266–1337) was originally a shepherd boy whose latent talent was recognised by the discerning Cimabue, who forthwith took him as20 his pupil and taught him how to paint, the boy’s genius enabling him early to surpass his master. Although it would be rash unquestioningly to accept this archaic production as an authentic work by Giotto, it is one which any national collection would treasure. It depicts the supreme event in the life of St. Francis, when during his vision virtue passed from the wounded hands, the wounded feet, and the wounded side of the Christ into the same parts of the saint’s body. In the predella are three scenes from the life of St. Francis: (a) Pope Innocent III. dreaming that St. Peter reveals to him that unless the Franciscan Order is founded the Church (typified here by the Church of S. John Lateran in Rome) will fall down; (b) The Pope founding the Order; and (c) St. Francis, wearing the brown robes of his Order, and preaching to the birds: “Whenas St. Francis spake these words to them, those birds began all of them to open their beaks, and stretch their necks, and spread their wings, and reverently bend their heads down to the ground, and by their acts and by their songs to show that the Holy Father gave them joy exceeding great.”
Four school pictures (Nos. 1313, 1315–1317) illustrate the example set by Giotto, who influenced very strongly indeed all art-manifestation during the fourteenth century, an age when the human body was denied all intrinsic significance. His profound feeling, gay colour, high dramatic power, and sense of form mark the emancipation of Italian art from the rigid formalism of the Byzantine manner. He discovered a style which was admirably suited to the spirit of his time, and developed for his own purposes a sense of perspective which he employed with considerable effect, although he never really found a scientific statement of the artistic principles which he instinctively perceived. His indefatigable energy and innate genius21 enabled him to distance his rivals and to bequeath to his countrymen a heritage which profoundly affected the art of Italy.
Foremost among his followers, who imitated his mannerisms without understanding the full significance of his ideas, was Taddeo Gaddi (1300?–1366), to whom are assigned in the official Catalogue the predella pictures (No. 1302) of (a) The Death of St. John the Baptist, (b) Calvary, and (c) Judas Iscariot. Taddeo Gaddi, a painter and architect, was the godson and pupil of Giotto as well as the pupil of his father, Gaddo Gaddi. Taddeo’s desire to give suitable expression to each of his figures often resulted, as in that of the daughter of Herodias in the second of these panels, in exaggeration.
Taddeo’s son, Agnolo Gaddi (1333–1396), who was described by Ruskin as “rather stupid in religious matters and high art,” may be the painter of the Annunciation (No. 1301), in which we see the Virgin seated in a loggia to the right of the picture. The Archangel Gabriel announces, by the gesture of the right hand, that the Virgin shall be the Mother of the Christ. God the Father is shown in the heavens. Notice the gold background and the mosaics of the loggia. The mechanical methods and uninspired aims of the Giottesques, the artists who worked during the century which followed the death of Giotto, are well seen in the productions of Lorenzo di Bicci (fl. 1370–1409), his son Bicci di Lorenzo (fl. 1373–1424), and his grandson Neri di Bicci (1419–1491). Neri is represented by a Madonna and Child (No. 1397). He might justly be described as a mere manufacturer of Giottesque pictures to order. He brought art down to the level of a trade, his work being flat and his colour raw and inharmonious.
A Virgin and Infant Christ (No. 1563), inscribed “tvrinvs vannis de pisis me piqsit p,” is evidently by Turino Vanni (fl. 1390–1398), a rare artist of this group of Florentine painters. The brief list of his pictures might be increased by having added22 to it a few panels at Pisa and Assisi, which are erroneously ascribed to Buffalmacco.
Andrea Orcagna (1308?–1368?) and his brother Nardo are not represented in the Louvre, but we have a follower of Agnolo Gaddi in Lorenzo Monaco (1370?–1425), who is seen to advantage in his Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and his Holy Women preparing the Tomb (No. 1348a), which is inscribed “anno dñi 1408,” and was formerly attributed to Gentile da Fabriano. Lorenzo Monaco is officially credited with a triple picture (No. 1348) of (a) St. Agnes with her lamb and a martyr’s palm branch; (b) St. Lawrence, the artist’s name-saint, holding in his right hand a book and palm branch, and enthroned on a gridiron, the symbol of his martyrdom; and (c) St. Margaret, the patron saint of Woman as Mother, standing on the dragon. Lorenzo Monaco, who is reputed to have been the master of Fra Angelico, usually depicts long, slender, and sinuous bodies. Below this picture hangs a small panel, apparently part of the predella of an unidentified altarpiece. It does not seem to be included in the official Catalogue, and has neither a number by which to identify it nor a label to denote its subject or authorship! The picture has apparently never been referred to or described in any article or book. It certainly represents the Emperor Heraclius carrying the True Cross into Jerusalem. The picture appears to have been painted by Giovanni del Ponte (fl. 1385–1437).
Neither Starnina (1354–1408), who took the traditions of Early Florentine painting to Spain, Masolino (fl. 1383–1435), who is rarely met with out of Italy, nor Masaccio (1401–28), who may be said to have vitalised Italian art, is represented in the Louvre. Tommaso Masaccio, the “Hulking Tom” of Browning, gave to Italy and the world the magnificent series of frescoes which still decorate the Brancacci Chapel of the Carmine Church in Florence. He imparted to his figures such natural movement, vivacity23 of expression, free attitudes, simple draperies, and excellent modelling that he entirely revolutionised the art of Florence. His figures are, as Vasari said, “so lifelike that they seem to live and breathe.” This series of frescoes was studied with enthusiasm by all the great Florentine painters; Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and innumerable other artists derived the greatest possible benefit from them.
On the threshold of the Renaissance stands Fra Angelico (1387–1455), who was trained in the school of miniaturists and influenced by Lorenzo Monaco and Masaccio. His life was devoted to “the service of God, the benefit of the world, and his duty towards his neighbour,” as Vasari says. He regarded painting as one of the duties of the monastic life, and never began to paint without first kneeling in prayer. His pictures are aspirations towards heaven, while the figures with which he peoples his saintly compositions have faces which show peace, joy, hope, and communion with God. They are clothed in draperies of the purest colours, crowned with glories of burnished gold, but are never dramatic in their action. One of his best easel paintings outside Florence, where alone his art can be adequately studied, is his early Coronation of the Virgin (No. 1290). This imposing, if overcrowded, composition is painted to the glory of God and in honour of the Dominican Order, to which the painter belonged. In the right bottom corner we see St. Agnes with her lamb, next to her St. Catherine with her wheel, above is St. Lawrence with his gridiron, and to the latter’s right St. Peter Martyr in Dominican robes and with wounded head. In the foreground kneels St. Mary Magdalene in red, her box of ointment in her left hand. St. Nicholas with the three golden balls at his feet, St. Thomas Aquinas in Dominican robes and holding the theological24 book from which rays of golden light issue, St. Louis (Louis ix., King of France), and St. Dominic himself—all help to swell the heavenly company. In the predella, or lower part, of this panel picture are depicted Scenes from the Life of St. Dominic, the founder of Fra Angelico’s own Order: (a) Pope Innocent iii. in his vision sees St. Dominic supporting the falling Church; (b) the Pope receives, through the agency of St. Peter and St. Paul who hand him a staff and the Gospel, Divine authority to found the Dominican Order; (c) the Saint brings back to life a young noble named Napoleon who had been trampled under foot by a horse; (d) Christ in the tomb, the Virgin and St. John; (e) St. Dominic challenges heretics whose books are consumed in the fire, while his own book of the true Gospel issues forth unhurt by the action of fire; (f) angels descend from heaven to feed the starving monastery of St. Sabina at Rome immediately after St. Dominic has asked a blessing; these two blue-clad figures are among the loveliest of all Fra Angelico’s angelic beings, and perhaps the most inspiring figures in the whole of the Louvre collection; (g) the death of the Saint at Bologna and the passing of his soul up to heaven in accordance with the vision of the monk at Brescia. This early Cinquecento panel picture, which was formerly in the Church of S. Domenico at Fiesole, near Florence, was painted before the Beato went to beautify the cells of S. Marco with frescoes. It is one of the best of the primitive pictures in the Louvre.
From the hand of the same saintly painter are the Adoring Angel (no No.), which until 1909 was in the Victor Gay collection, the Martyrdom of St. Cosmo and St. Damian (No. 1293), part of the predella of a dismembered altarpiece, and the large fresco painting of the Crucifixion (No. 1294) which hangs on the Escalier Daru. The latter was purchased, together with Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Bottle-nosed Man (No. 1322, Plate III.), in 1879 for £1960.25 The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (No. 1291) and the Resurrection (No. 1294a) are unauthentic.
In Benozzo Gozzoli (1420–1498) we have an assistant and follower of Fra Angelico. He worked at different towns in Italy, notably at Montefalco, Orvieto, Florence, San Gimignano, Rome, and Pisa, where he died. Although his earlier work reminds us of Fra Angelico, than whom he is much more dramatic and much less spiritual, in later life he depicts the costumes and life of his time in a more realistic and objective manner. His Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas (No. 1319), which originally hung in the Cathedral at Pisa, deals with a subject often met with in the art of the period. The great Dominican teacher, whom the heathen philosophers, Aristotle on the left, and Plato on the right, recognise as their master in philosophy, is enthroned, his books of theological learning on his knees. At his feet, subdued, is Guillaume de St. Amour, the author of a book entitled De Periculis Novissimorum Temporum, in which he exposed the various abuses then prevalent among the mendicants. The dramatic action seen in the lower part of the panel embraces Pope Alexander iv. presiding over the religious council of Agnani, and the envoys of St. Louis (Louis ix. of France) who took steps to end the religious conflicts of 1256. A large altarpiece (No. 1320) representing the Madonna and Child Enthroned, St. Cosmo, St. Damian, St. Jerome, St. John the Baptist, St. Francis d’Assisi, and St. Lawrence in the central panel is also assigned to Benozzo. The frame also contains seven predella pictures, and at either end is the coat of arms of the Medici family.
The great French Museum, which is weaker than the National Gallery, the Berlin Gallery, and certain other national collections in Italian primitives, affords us no example of the art of Andrea del Castagno (fl. 1410–1457), whose compositions are characterised by harsh colour, hard lines, and crude forms. Nor do we find26 here any painting by that very rare artist, Domenico Veneziano (1400?–1461), who, it has been said, was the first Tuscan artist to work in an oil medium.
Prominent among the masters who were influenced by Donatello, the sculptor, and Lorenzo Ghiberti, the first metal-worker in elegant forms, is Paolo di Dono, generally known as Uccello. His profound study and ultimate discovery of the laws of linear perspective was enhanced by the inquiries into the laws of aerial perspective that Fra Angelico studied so deeply. Paolo Uccello (1397–1475) was a pupil and assistant of Lorenzo Ghiberti, who made the bronze doors for the East Side of the Baptistery at Florence. He gave himself up to the scientific study of perspective, the principles of which he was one of the first to apply to painting, thus rendering incalculable services to art. In his Battlepiece (No. 1273) is seen a mounted soldier in armour with his sword drawn; on the left are horsemen about to charge with couchant lances, while on the right cavalry-men are drawn up awaiting orders, their lances in rest. The correctness of the perspective and the justice of the foreshortenings and the movements of the foot-men in the intervals of the cavalry mark an epoch in art. This is the third and right-hand panel of the series of three battle-pictures which Uccello painted for the Casa Medici (now the Riccardi Palace) in Florence for Cosimo de’ Medici about the year 1457, and not, as the official Catalogue asserts, for the Bartolini family. The best preserved of these three large panel pictures illustrating the Rout of San Romano in 1432 is that in the National Gallery (No. 583), while the second or centre panel of the series is now in the Uffizi (No. 52). The Louvre panel is in a deplorable condition, caused by long neglect.
Uccello’s Portraits of Giotto, Paolo Uccello, Antonio Manetti, and Filippo Brunelleschi (No. 1272), whose names are in this order on the panel, is a work of considerable importance, as marking an early stage in the development of portraiture. This picture, which is referred to at some length by Vasari, constitutes a historical document. The Italian chronicler tells us that Uccello “was a person of eccentric character and peculiar habits, but he was a great lover of ability in those of his own art, and, to the end that their memory should remain to posterity, he drew with his own hand on an oblong picture the portraits of five distinguished men, which he kept in his house as a memorial of them. The first of these portraits was that of the painter Giotto, as one who had given light and new life to the art; the second was Filippo di Ser Brunellesco, for architecture; the third was Donatello, for sculpture; the fourth was himself, for perspective and animals; the fifth was his friend Giovanni (sic) Manetti, for mathematics. With this philosopher Paolo conferred very frequently, and held continual discourse with him concerning the problems of Euclid.” Manetti’s real Christian name, Antonio, is correctly inscribed on the panel, but is inaccurately given as Giovanni by Vasari and on the official label.
The St. John the Baptist as a Child (No. 1274), which hangs in the Long Gallery, is labelled as a picture of the Florentine school, and catalogued as being by Uccello. It is perhaps by Piero di Cosimo.
We enter on the first period of the coming Renaissance with Fra Filippo Lippi (1406–1469), who was trained in the best school of Florentine painting. He was a pupil of Lorenzo Monaco, came under the influence of Fra Angelico, and was affected by the magic spell of Masaccio, whom he must have seen at work in the Brancacci Chapel. In the latter half of the Quattrocento the cult of love and beauty was rapidly dethroning the more austere ideals of an earlier age. Filippo Lippi’s stormy and28 romantic career passes into a new phase with his residence at Prato in 1452. Four years later he was appointed Chaplain to the nuns of S. Margherita in that town. The year before his arrival in Prato, Lucrezia and Spinetta, the orphan daughters (aged eighteen and seventeen respectively) of Francesco Buti, had, apparently much against their will, been placed in the Convent, the abbess of which commissioned the Frate to paint a picture of the Madonna della Cintola. Lucrezia posed to the painter-chaplain for the figure of the Madonna in that picture. On May 1, 1456, on the occasion of the exhibition of the Holy Girdle of the Virgin, a precious relic still preserved at Prato, the painter bore off Lucrezia out of the safe keeping of the convent. A short summary of these well-known facts is suggested by the view which is put forward in the official Catalogue of the Louvre, to the effect that the Madonna della Cintola is to be identified with the Nativity (No. 1343) in this Gallery. The weight of evidence is against this theory; in fact, this large panel picture has little claim to be regarded as the work of Fra Filippo. One critic has given it as his opinion that the Nativity was begun by Fra Filippo and completed by Fra Diamante, who succeeded him as Chaplain at Prato. Others have attributed the picture to Pesellino, Baldovinetti, and Stefano da Zevio respectively. It seems to show the influence of Andrea del Castagno. The official Catalogue does not indicate the provenance of the picture, although it implies that it came from the Convent at Prato at the time when it was brought to Paris by Napoleon. There can be little doubt that the Madonna della Cintola is the painting thus named which still hangs in the place of honour in the Municipal Gallery at Prato.
The Louvre does, however, possess in the Madonna and Child with Angels and Two Abbots (No. 1344, Plate II.) one of the best of the Frate’s creations, although the colouring has suffered considerably. It is an early work, and was painted about 1437 for the 29Barbadori Chapel in Santo Spirito. It contains beauty of line, freshness of colour, and much variety in the composition. The cast of the draperies is ample and the motives are novel and bold, the Renaissance background throwing into prominent relief the soulful and ideal figure of the Madonna. The predella panels of this dismembered altarpiece, for which Fra Filippo received forty gold florins, are now in the Accademia at Florence. They depict (a) St. Frediano deviating the Course of the River Serchio; (b) The Virgin receiving the Announcement of her Coming Decease; and (c) St. Augustine in his Study. The Madonna and Child (No. 1345) is only a school picture.
PLATE II.—FRA FILIPPO LIPPI
No. 1344.—MADONNA AND CHILD, WITH ANGELS AND TWO ABBOTS
(La Vierge et l’Enfant Jésus entre deux abbés)
The Virgin stands before the throne holding the Infant Christ to the adoration of two kneeling abbots and surrounded by six angels carrying lilies. To the left a monk leans over the balustrade, and two small child-angels flank the composition on either side.
Painted in tempera on panel.
7 ft. 1½ in. × 8 ft. 0¼ in. (2·17 × 2·44.)
In 1457, the year that Fra Filippo’s son Filippino was born, his household effects and box of colours were seized for debt. He lived on until October 4, 1469, when he died of a sudden and somewhat mysterious illness. The Frate, who is the connecting link between Masaccio, the first blossom, and Raphael, the full flower of Florentine painting, was the master of Botticelli. A small Madonna and Child (No. 1345) has little claim to be regarded as the work of Fra Filippo.
In our attempt to unravel the skein of Italian art in this collection and to sketch its history in strict chronological order we may now consider two small predella panels of (a) St. Francis receiving the Stigmata and (b) An Incident in the Life of St. Cosmo and St. Damian (No. 1414) by Francesco Pesellino (1422–1457). The former deals with a subject we have already met with in this Gallery (No. 1312); the latter is a new theme. St. Cosmo and St. Damian were wealthy men and spent their time in doing charitable works as doctors without monetary reward, and are thus sometimes known as “the Holy Money-despisers.” According to the legend here represented, a Christian was one day praying to these saints in the church dedicated to them in Rome in the fervent hope that he might be healed of cancer in the leg. While thus at prayer he30 imagined that his leg was amputated and replaced by that of a dead Moor. In this small panel the saints are shown in the act of placing the black man’s limb on the body of the Christian, who, no doubt, will before long be healed. St. Cosmo and St. Damian being patron saints of the Medici family are often met with in Florentine art. We have already in this collection looked at a picture (No. 1293) by Fra Angelico illustrating their martyrdom. Pesellino, who studied the art of Fra Angelico, Masaccio, and Domenico Veneziano, and followed somewhat closely in the steps of Fra Filippo Lippi, can hardly have painted the small three-panel picture officially ascribed to him of (a) The Dead Christ, (b) A Cardinal supporting the Bodies of Two Men who have been hanged, and (c) A Cardinal appearing in a Vision to a Bishop. This small work (No. 1415), which was formerly in the Campana collection, has been claimed by Dr. Venturi and Mr. Berenson to be by the Umbrian artist, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo.
The Madonna and Child and St. Augustin, St. John the Baptist, St. Anthony, and St. Francis (No. 1661), which is officially catalogued as being by an Unknown Florentine artist, and has been variously attributed to Andrea del Castagno, Fra Filippo Lippi, and Andrea Verrocchio, may be assigned to that nameless contemporary of Pesellino whose artistic personality was a few years ago constructed by Mrs. Berenson under the name of “Compagno di Pesellino.”
The art of the Umbrian artist, Piero dei Franceschi (1415?–1492), who is so well represented in the National Gallery, is not seen at the Louvre, where, however, a Madonna and Child passes under his name. This panel (the official number of which is given in the Catalogue as 1300B and on the frame as 1300a) was formerly in the Duchâtel collection before passing into that of the Duc de la Trémoïlle, from whom it was purchased in 1898 for £5200 by the Société des Amis du Louvre. It was recognised over twelve years ago by M. Ary Renan as the work of Alessio Baldovinetti (1427311499), who, like Piero dei Franceschi, was formed on Domenico Veneziano, and was also influenced by the discoveries and methods of Uccello.
Crowe and Cavalcaselle also had made that attribution before the question was taken up by Mr. Berenson, who on morphological and æsthetic grounds unhesitatingly ascribes it to Baldovinetti. “Compared with Baldovinetti,” writes Mr. Berenson, “Piero dei Franceschi is sterner and harder and more monumental. Piero’s Madonnas have a fixed and severe physiognomy, massive structure and immobile pose; never a smile, never a touch of tenderness.” How different from all this is the Madonna by Baldovinetti before us, with her “refined features and her pensive gaze of adoration—a look that unveils her inner life, a look that will soon develop into the mystery which we feel in the face of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.” Vasari tells us that Baldovinetti was “extremely careful and exact in his work, and of all the minutiæ which Mother Nature is capable of presenting, he took pains to be the close imitator. He delighted in the representation of landscape, which he depicted with the utmost exactitude; thus we find in his pictures rivers, bridges, rocks, herbs, fruits, paths, fields, cities, castles, sands, and objects innumerable of the same kind.” A goodly number of these are included in the background of this picture.
With Antonio Pollaiuolo (1429–1498) and his brother Piero (1443–1496) we enter on a more scientific era in Florentine art. Masaccio had already advanced the study of the nude, and the influence of Donatello (1386–1466) and other sculptors had drawn the attention of all art-workers to the fuller significance of the human form. A more serious attempt was now made by the rising generation of sculptors and painters, among whom Antonio Pollaiuolo and Verrocchio (1435–1488) now played the leading parts, to impart to the human figure a more exact physiological accuracy and so give it greater effectiveness. The advance made32 by Baldovinetti in landscape tended also to a more real sense of movement in a natural environment. The Louvre catalogues no picture under the name of either of the Pollaiuoli, but a Madonna (No. 1367a) here credited to Bastiano Mainardi was probably executed by Piero, who frequently worked on his elder brother’s designs.
The influence of Alessio Baldovinetti is reflected in the pictures of Cosimo Rosselli (1437–1507). Nothing is officially ascribed to him in this collection, but the Annunciation, with St. John the Baptist, St. Anthony, St. Catherine, and St. Peter Martyr (No. 1656), which is here catalogued as by an Unknown fifteenth-century Florentine painter, is apparently his work. It is inscribed with the date a.d.m.cccclxxiii.
THE GOLDSMITH PAINTERS
During the generation which preceded the activity of Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449–1494) (who appears in the official Catalogue under the name of Grillandaio) the art of the painter had often been combined with that of the architect and sculptor. In time the influence of the goldsmith is seen in the inclination of the more prosaic painters, among whom Ghirlandaio holds an important place, to subordinate the pictorial qualities of their compositions to the gold-worker’s love of ornamental detail and fanciful jewellery. Paintings carried out in the goldsmith’s shop thus contained in the action of the figures, the treatment of the draperies, and the fanciful head-dresses, imitations of silver and bronze work. Domenico Bigordi owed the name of Ghirlandaio, by which he is now generally known, to his having been apprenticed to a goldsmith who acquired fame as a maker of the jewelled coronals (ghirlande) that became fashionable. This pupil of Alessio Baldovinetti, who was a craftsman quite as much33 as a painter, is to-day best known by the large number of frescoes he painted in Tuscany.
PLATE III.—DOMENICO GHIRLANDAIO
No. 1322.—PORTRAIT OF AN OLD MAN AND HIS GRANDSON
(“The Bottle-Nosed Man”)
(Portrait d’un Vieillard et de son petit-fils)
An old man, wearing a red robe edged with fur, looks down tenderly at his golden-haired little grandson who lifts up his face to be kissed. Through an open casement is seen a landscape.
Painted in tempera on panel.
2 ft. 0½ in. × 1 ft. 6¼ in. (0·62 × 0·46.)
In Ghirlandaio’s Visitation (No. 1321) the Virgin, her conventional robes fastened by a morse such as this goldsmith-painter repeatedly introduced into his pictures, stoops to greet St. Elizabeth. On the left is Mary Cleophas, and from the right Mary Salome trips lightly on to the scene. As always in a painting of this subject, the principal figures are silhouetted against the arch in the background, through which the sky is seen. Characteristic of Ghirlandaio’s paintings is the jewelled architecture which bears the date 1491, three years previous to his death. The Catalogue suggests that this large picture was finished by either Davide or Benedetto, the brothers and assistants of Domenico, but it is possible that his brother-in-law, Bastiano Mainardi, may have worked on it. The French, having pointed out to the Duke of Tuscany in 1815 that Florence possessed many better examples of this painter’s art, were allowed to retain this panel picture, which had been brought in 1806 from the Church of S. Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi at Florence.
The delightful Portrait of an Old Man and his Grandson (No. 1322, Plate III.), which is usually known as The Bottle-nosed Man, is an admirable study from life. The winsome attitude of the little boy and the refined expression of the old man are very pleasing. It is an incontrovertible, but perhaps not obvious, fact that mere physiological ugliness can in the hands of an accomplished artist be transformed into a medium of beauty. The picture has unfortunately been damaged, notably in the forehead of the principal figure. The certainty of touch and the delicacy of the modelling indicate that this panel belongs to the last period of the artist’s activity, when he also executed the magnificent Portrait of Giovanna degli Albizzi, now in the collection of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan.
One of Domenico’s brothers, Benedetto Ghirlandaio (1458–1497)34 is credited with a Christ on the Way to Calvary (No. 1323). His own son, Ridolfo (1483–1561), painted the Coronation of the Virgin (No. 1324) in 1503, the date being inscribed on the panel. Mainardi (fl. 1482–1513), the brother-in-law, pupil, and imitator of Domenico, painted many pictures which usually pass under the name of his more illustrious relation. This pupil has painted in the tondo of the Madonna and Child (No. 1367) a morse somewhat similar to that seen in the Visitation (No. 1321). In this same group of artists must be placed a nameless assistant of Domenico. His pictures have been grouped by Mr. Berenson, who calls him by the descriptive name of “Alunno di Domenico,” and tentatively identifies him with Bartolommeo di Giovanni, of whom very little is known. Alunno di Domenico is thus credited with having executed the companion pictures (No. 1416a and No. 1416b) of the Nuptials of Thetis and Peleus, a pagan subject which suggests the advent of the decadence in Florentine art. These two panels are officially catalogued under the name of Piero di Cosimo.
LEONARDO DA VINCI
We now have to pass from the mediocre artists who worked in the school of Domenico Ghirlandaio to that great master, Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), whose work in the oil medium can nowhere be studied so profitably as in the Louvre. This many-sided genius was the natural and first-born son of a country notary, and became a pupil of the sculptor-painter, Andrea del Verrocchio, in whose workshop he met Botticelli, Lorenzo di Credi, and many less distinguished Florentine painters. His interests and occupations were so various that a detailed study of his life-work reveals him as scientist, philosopher, architect, sculptor, military engineer, mathematician, botanist, and musician. The Annunciation (catalogued as No. 1602a and labelled No. 1265), which in the35 official Catalogue is now only attributed to him after having long passed under the name of Lorenzo di Credi, is doubtless an early work of about 1472 by Leonardo. Some ten years later Leonardo entered the service of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, in which city he shortly afterwards painted the Virgin of the Rocks (No. 1599). This fine painting—whose virtues are concealed under a thick coat of chilled varnish—is reputed to have been in the collection of François i., although it has no continuous pedigree earlier than the year 1625, when it was in the royal collection at Fontainebleau. It is very similar to the painting of the same subject which the National Gallery (No. 1093) purchased in 1880 for £9000. The points of difference between the two versions are numerous but trifling. The nimbi in the National Gallery picture were added much later and are not found in the Louvre panel, which in the greater perfection of detail, in the treatment of the foreground and the brushwork, prove it to be an earlier and more authentic work. A careful examination of the documents which came to light in the year 1893 shows that a dispute arose as to the price to be paid by the Brotherhood of the Conception of Milan for the picture now in the Louvre, and that Ambrogio da Predis and Leonardo da Vinci petitioned the Duke of Milan to intervene. It would seem that the National Gallery picture was executed in great part by Ambrogio, who worked under the supervision of the great Florentine master, in 1494, about twelve years later than the version in this collection. Leonardo’s greatest contribution to Florentine art consisted in his practice of the science of chiaroscuro, the laws of which he was the first to fully investigate.
Having begun his celebrated “Treatise on Painting” and recommenced his work on the colossal equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza, which at the moment of its destruction by the French bowmen in 1500 had earned him lasting fame as a sculptor, Leonardo36 undertook his chef d’œuvre, The Last Supper, at Milan. Executed in tempera on a badly prepared stucco ground, the painting unfortunately soon began to perish, and although it was restored in 1908 with great success by Professor Cavenaghi, only a faint idea of its pristine beauty remains. The Louvre possesses a contemporary copy (No. 1603a) of this fresco by Marco d’Oggiono, which was commissioned by the Constable de Montmorency and long hung in the Château d’Ecouen. A similar copy of Leonardo’s Last Supper was purchased from a grocer in Milan in 1793 for £600, and is now in the Royal Academy, London.
When Lodovico Sforza was conquered by the French and his city occupied by them, Leonardo set out for Mantua and Florence. It may have been in the spring or summer of 1500 that he began to work on the Portrait of Mona Lisa (No. 1601, Plate IV.) which officially passes under the title of La Joconde. Vasari says that Leonardo worked on this picture for four years, and finally left it unfinished. The words of Vasari must not be taken too literally. We know, in fact, that Leonardo did not work in Florence for four consecutive years during the period to which the Louvre’s treasured picture belongs, but in 1502 visited Orvieto, Pœsaro, and Rimini, acting as engineer to Cesare Borgia. He probably began it in 1500, resumed work on it in 1503, and did not complete it until the following year. This would make Vasari’s statement substantially correct. The subject of this world-famous portrait was Lisa di Anton Maria di Noldo Gherardini, the third wife of Francesco di Bartolommeo de Zenobi del Giocondo, whom she married in 1495. It is from the surname of her husband that she derives the name of “La Joconde” by which her portrait is now officially known. (The title has nothing to do with any reference to her jocund outlook on life.) A French critic has shown that Mona Lisa’s child died while37 this portrait was being painted. “Whoever shall desire to see how far Art can imitate Nature,” says Vasari, “may do so to perfection in this head, wherein every peculiarity that could be depicted by the utmost subtlety of the pencil has been faithfully reproduced. The eyes have the lustrous brightness and moisture which is seen in life, and around them are those pale, red, and slightly livid circles also proper to Nature. The nose, with its beautiful and delicately roseate nostrils, might be easily believed to be alive; the mouth, admirable in its outline, has the lips uniting the rose tints of their colour with those of the face, in the utmost perfection, and the carnation of the cheek does not appear to be painted, but truly flesh and blood.” This eulogistic criticism may seem to-day to be somewhat excessive, but allowance must be made for the drastic restorations to which the panel has been subjected from time to time. As early as 1625 it is recorded to have been in a bad condition. Tradition says that it was purchased by François i. for 4000 écus d’or, equal to-day to about £1800, and hung in the Cabinet doré at Fontainebleau. Cassiano del Pozzo has left it on record that the Duke of Buckingham, in 1625, when he was sent to escort Henrietta Maria to England as the bride of Charles i., expressed the hope that he might be permitted to take the picture back with him as a present from Henri iv. of France, who was with difficulty prevented by his courtiers from acting on the suggestion. The picture was at Versailles during the reign of Louis xiv.., and appeared in the Louvre for the first time at the Revolution. In recent years it has been placed in an excellent frame of the period.
By May 1506 Leonardo had returned to Milan, and there entered the service of the French king. About 1508–12 he seems to have worked upon the Madonna, Infant Christ, and St. Anne (No. 1598), which appears to have been in part executed by an assistant, possibly Salaino. This large panel was purchased by Cardinal Richelieu in 1629. A sketch by Leonardo for part of this picture38 is in the Louvre (Drawing No. 391); other sketches are in the Venice Academy and in the Royal Library, Windsor. The name of Andrea Salaino (fl. 1495–1515) has been put forward as the painter of the mysterious picture entitled St. John the Baptist (No. 1597), which was evidently painted from a female model. It is difficult to accept the view put forward by Théophile Gautier that in this androgynous figure we have “another portrait of La Joconde, more mysterious, more strange, freed from material likeness, and showing the soul through the veil of the body.” The picture passed into the collection of Charles I. from Louis XIII. in exchange for Holbein’s Portrait of Erasmus (No. 2715, Plate XXIV.) and a now unrecognisable Holy Family by Titian, but on the dispersal of the English king’s collection was purchased for £140 by Jabach, from whom it ultimately passed to Louis xiv. It is a Milanese production, but not, in all probability, from the hand of Leonardo himself, although officially so regarded. The same criticism applies to the so-called Portrait of Lucrezia Crivelli (No. 1600). Lucrezia was a lady-in-waiting to Beatrice d’Este, and in 1496 Lodovico Sforza became enamoured of her, a historical event which has no bearing on the identity of this portrait or on its official, although uncertain, claim to strict authenticity. It has also been described under the misleading title of La Belle Ferronnière, apparently in reference to the wife of one Ferron, a blacksmith, who had according to tradition been the mistress of François i., but was already dead when Leonardo passed into the service of that king and came to France in 1516. The picture’s pedigree cannot be traced further back than 1645, and the theories put forward in connection with it are largely conjectural. It is, however, a Milanese production of the school of Leonardo. The Profile Portrait of a Woman (No. 1605) was also a century ago loosely described as the Portrait of La Belle Ferronnière; it is catalogued as a school picture, but is regarded by Mr. Berenson as the work of Bernardino de’ Conti. The same39 critic is of the opinion that the Bacchus (No. 1602) is “based no doubt on a drawing by Leonardo,” but the Catalogue accepts it unhesitatingly. It seems to have been originally intended as a St. John the Baptist with a staff, and subsequently altered into a Bacchus with a thyrsus. The Madonna and Child (No. 1603a), an attributed work, is only an old Flemish copy of a slightly warped panel picture of the Madonna with the Carnation (No. 1040a) at Munich. The Madonna of the Scales (No. 1604), which still passes as a school picture, has long been regarded by responsible critics as being by Cesare da Sesto, a pupil of Leonardo. The Holy Family (No. 1606), which was formerly in the His de la Salle collection, is not now exhibited.
In 1516, within three years of his death, the great Florentine left Italy for the Manor House of Cloux, near Amboise, in Touraine, to enter the service of the French king. His right hand was paralysed—he was left-handed and wrote from right to left—and his health was failing fast. The end of that great life came on May 2, 1519, when every one lamented the loss of a man and a painter “whose like Nature cannot produce a second time.”
The Madonna and Child, St. Julian, and St. Nicholas (No. 1263) is perhaps the masterpiece of Lorenzo di Credi (1456?–1537), who was another pupil of Verrocchio. He also painted the Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene (No. 1264). The Annunciation (No. 1602a), which was formerly assigned to Lorenzo in the Catalogue (No. 1265), is, as has already been pointed out, an early work by Leonardo da Vinci.
The ever-increasing regard in which pictures by Botticelli (1444–1510) are held is traceable to the fact that they show the mystic spirit of mediæval times mingled with a fantasy that is almost modern. He was a pupil of Fra Filippo Lippi, and studied40 the more scientific methods which Antonio Pollaiuolo adopted in his treatment of the human figure. Painting in an age when poets penned canzones to many mistresses, and lovelorn gallants spoke in impassioned verse of the great platonic emotions which stirred them to the depth of their love-tormented souls, Botticelli stands forward as the representative of the later years of the Medicean age. The mystic tendency of his genius, his poetic imagination, his highly developed sense of linear design, and the charm of his colour impart to his works a delicacy and refinement which distinguish them from the works of his contemporaries, pupils, and imitators. His fame had long been in eclipse when half a century ago Ruskin rescued it from oblivion. Botticelli, who now has become the object of a cult at the hands of fervent enthusiasts, is, however, not to be ranked as a supreme master. He cannot be placed on the same plane as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Giorgione.
Botticelli is inadequately represented at the Louvre, which possesses only two authentic paintings from his hand. Neither of these is on panel or canvas, but in fresco. He was commissioned in 1486, the year following his Mars and Venus in the National Gallery (No. 915), to execute two wall paintings (No. 1297, Plate V., and No. 1298) in the hall on the piano nobile of the Villa Lemmi, at Chiasso Macerelli, between Fiesole and Florence, to commemorate the marriage of Lorenzo Tornabuoni and Giovanna degli Albizzi. These exquisite, but much injured, frescoes were covered over with whitewash until 1873, and in 1882 they were removed from the wall and sold to the Louvre for £1860. In the first (No. 1298) of the series Lorenzo Tornabuoni, as Bridegroom, is admitted into the Circle of the Liberal Arts, who give a gracious welcome to this friend of all the Muses. This fresco, curiously enough, is in the official Catalogue regarded as only a school picture. The second of these wonderful creations depicts Giovanna Tornabuoni and the Three41 Graces (No. 1297, Plate V.). We see the Three Graces bringing to Giovanna their gifts of Chastity, Beauty, and Love, depicted symbolically as flowers. A tragic fate awaited the loving pair, as Giovanna died within a few years in childbirth, while Lorenzo was condemned to death in 1497 for conspiracy.
No. 1297.—GIOVANNA DEGLI ALBIZZI AND THE THREE GRACES
(Giovanna Albizzi et les Trois Grâces ou les Vertus)
To the right Giovanna, a young woman in a red-brown dress, wearing a white veil on her golden hair and a necklace of pearls round her neck, advances towards four lovely maidens clad in delicately-tinted robes. She holds in her outstretched hands a white linen cloth into which the four maidens throw flowers symbolic of the Virtues.
Fresco painting detached from the wall.
7 ft. 3 in. × 9 ft. 4 in. (2·12 × 2·84.)
The Madonna and Child and St. John (No. 1296), which was formerly put forward by one critic as a “work of Botticelli’s early years, but showing collaboration,” and which is still catalogued as being by the master himself, is now generally recognised as a school picture only. The background is formed by cypresses and rosebushes. The circular panel (No. 1295), which is still credited officially to Sandro, is only a copy of the Madonna of the Magnificat now in the Uffizi at Florence (No. 1267 Bis).
Authenticity cannot be claimed for the Fragment of a Predella (No. 1300), containing the figures of St. Peter Martyr, the Virgin, St. Elizabeth, Christ and the Magdalene, David, St. Francis, St. Dominic, and St. John the Baptist. The Scene from the History of Virginia (No. 1662a or No. 1662 Bis), a cassone front, and the Portrait of a Young Man (No. 1663), which was purchased in 1882 for £600, are catalogued as being by an unknown Florentine painter. These have, however, been included by Mr. Berenson among the numerous pictures painted by the nameless imitator of Botticelli, whom the eminent critic has identified under the significant name of “Amico di Sandro,” i.e. “The friend of Sandro Botticelli.” The Madonna and Child adored by Angels (No. 1300a), bequeathed by the Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild, is regarded by the same high authority as a copy by Jacopo del Sellaio (1442?–1493), a pupil of Fra Filippo Lippi and an imitator of Botticelli, of a lost picture by “Amico di Sandro.” The unbeautiful Venus (No. 1299) from the Cardinal Fesch and Campana collections (which is very similar to a picture (No. 916) in the National Gallery), the Esther crowned by Ahasuerus (No. 1643a), and the St. Jerome42 (No. 1658), must also be included among the mediocre works of Sellaio. In the same group of Florentine painters is placed Francesco Botticini (1446–1497), who worked under and was influenced by Cosimo Rosselli (1437?–1507); the Virgin in Glory between the Magdalene and St. Bernard (No. 1482) is by Botticini although placed under the name of Rosselli in the Catalogue. Many pictures by Botticini pass in public galleries under the more illustrious name of Botticelli.
From Cosimo Rosselli we naturally pass to his pupil Piero di Cosimo (1462–1521), who derived great pleasure from the painting of such scenes from classic fable as enabled him to depict grotesque monsters, strange animals, and fantastic costume. At first sight it might be assumed that the Nuptials of Thetis and Peleus (No. 1416a and No. 1416b) were from his brush; but although these two panels pass under his name in the Catalogue, they are, as we have seen, by “Alunno di Domenico.” Piero is represented in the Louvre exclusively by religious pictures, the most imposing of which is the Coronation of the Virgin, with St. Jerome, St. Francis, St. Bonaventura, and St. Louis of Toulouse (No. 1416). An unpleasing Madonna (No. 1662) has long ago been assigned to Piero di Cosimo, who is also the author of a St. John the Baptist as a Child (No. 1274), which is labelled with the name of Uccello. The two last pictures hang in the Long Gallery on either side of the door leading into Room VII.
The authorities catalogue as the work of Raffaelino del Garbo (1466–1524) the large Coronation of the Virgin, with St. Benedict, St. Salvi, St. John Gualberto, and St. Bernard degli Uberti (No. 1303), which is in reality the centre part of a large altarpiece by Raffaelle dei Carli (1470–1526?), who worked with Garbo and his group.
The great French Museum does not possess one of the only three easel paintings which are now assigned by the safest critics to Michelangelo (1475–1564), who as a painter is best known for his fresco paintings in Rome. This collection is, however,43 fortunate enough to own the two sculptures of the Slaves, represented as fettered and overcome by grief at the death of Pope Julius ii., for whose tomb they were intended.
By the end of the fifteenth century, Florence had become the æsthetic capital of Italy, and painters innumerable were plying their trade within her walls. As they worked in close contact and unconsciously reflected the influences which beset them on every side, it becomes increasingly difficult to assign to any given artist the execution of certain works. The task becomes even more difficult, and indeed thankless, when one is brought face to face with such a composite picture as the Madonna and Child, St. Jerome and St. Zenobius (No. 1114), which is officially ascribed to Albertinelli (1474–1515). The leading authority on Italian art has given it as his opinion that this large canvas, which is inscribed:
MARIOCTI DEBERTINELLIS OPUS
Ā. D̄. M̊. DVI,
was “begun by Filippino Lippi, who laid in the St. Jerome, while Albertinelli was assisted by Bugiardini in the execution of the rest, especially in the child and landscape.” Albertinelli was the intimate friend of Fra Bartolommeo, whose partner he eventually became. When it is remembered that Albertinelli worked in the studio of Cosimo Rosselli with Piero di Cosimo, who was the master of Fra Bartolommeo and had some influence on Filippino Lippi, it will be recognised that it is only the discerning critic of wide experience and consummate flair that can detect the hand of various painters in a composite picture of this kind, as Mr. Berenson has done.
The Christ appearing to the Magdalene (No. 1115), which passes officially as the work of Albertinelli, was most probably an early picture by Fra Bartolommeo (1472–1517), who, having like Botticelli come under the spell of Savonarola, took the vows of a Dominican in July 1500, and temporarily relinquished the professional activity of a painter. The Frate took up his brush again and, while working between 1509 and 1512 as the partner of Albertinelli, achieved the large and imposing Holy Family, with St. Peter, St. Vincent, St. Stephen, and St. Catherine of Siena on the left, and St. Dominic, St. Francis, and St. Bartholomew on the right (No. 1154). It is signed on the base of the throne, in characteristic manner:
ORATE PRO PICTORE
Four years later he also completed his Annunciation (No. 1153), which is inscribed:
F. Barto Florens oris pre.
The introduction of St. Paul, St. John the Baptist, and St. Margaret on the left, and St. Mary Magdalene and St. Francis on the right, tends to destroy the full significance of the principal theme. Fra Bartolommeo’s pictures helped to emancipate Raphael from the mannerisms he had acquired from Perugino; they mark a late period in the Renaissance art of Florence. He lived until 1517, when Florentine painting was on the verge of a fast approaching decadence.
Equally influential in the art of this period was Filippino Lippi (1457–1504), whose tendency to over-ornamentation be45came more advanced in his later years. In his fascinating pictures spiritual significance is at times sacrificed to a love of mere display, the baroque flutterings of his draperies and the air of affectation that he sometimes imparted to his figures. The Louvre exhibits no example of the art of Filippino which in its latest phase shows the early, although unmistakable, signs of decline.
ANDREA DEL SARTO
The highly technical skill and mellow colouring of Andrea del Sarto (1486–1531) have long been known in France, where he was invited by François i. For that monarch he executed the Charity (No. 1514), which, having been transferred from panel to canvas by Picault in 1750 when the process was little understood, suffered accordingly. In its present state we can get little idea of the former brilliance of the picture which secured to the “faultily faultless painter” in 1518—the year he arrived in France—a very considerable income. It is inscribed:
FLORENTINTUS ME PINXIT
A Holy Family (No 1515), by the same facile painter, has been said by some to portray in the features of the Virgin those of his own infamous wife Lucrezia del Fede. It has been enlarged, and has suffered in the operation. Less authentic are the Holy Family (No. 1516), which is said to bear the inscription:
ANDREA DEL SARTO FLORENTINO FACIEBAT
followed by a monogram, and a lunette of the Annunciation (No. 1517). The Portrait of Andrea Fausti, which is given in the Catalogue under the name of Sarto, and described as being the46 work of a pupil, is held by some critics to have been painted by Franciabigio (1482–1525), who came under the influence of Andrea.
The insignificant Portrait of a Young Man (No. 1506), which since 1709 has passed under the quite fictitious title of the Portrait of Raphael, and is indeed still catalogued under his name, is an ill drawn and badly coloured production. It seems to issue from the influences we have just outlined. Morelli regarded it as the work of Bacchiacca (1494–1557), who churned up reminiscences of Andrea del Sarto, Franciabigio, and Perugino. Mr. Berenson has tentatively assigned it to Sogliani, who imitated Albertinelli and many other Florentines.
An unattributed Florentine Portrait of a Young Man (No. 1644), which has been enlarged about three inches all round, had at one time or another been ascribed without much discrimination to Raphael, Giorgione, Sebastiano del Piombo, Francesco Francia, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, and Franciabigio! It is apparently from the hand of Giuliano Bugiardini (1475–1554), a mediocre artist who endeavoured to appropriate all the conflicting influences that he came under. It has long been hung to the left of Raphael’s La Belle Jardinière.
A Florentine painter of no great accomplishment or originality in the first half of the sixteenth century was Jacopo da Pontormo (1494–1557), who painted the Portrait of an Engraver of Precious Stones (No. 1241) and the large Holy Family (No. 1240). The Visitation (No. 1242) is a copy by a pupil of his fresco in the Annunziata, Florence. By another pupil, Agnolo Bronzino (1502–1572), are the Christ and the Magdalene (No. 1183), not now exhibited, and the Portrait of a Sculptor (No. 1184); the Holy Family (No. 1183a or No. 1183b) which was formerly in the Vandeuil collection is only a copy. Giovanni Battista Rosso (1496–1541), who is called Rosso Fiorentino to distinguish him from Francesco Rosso (Il Salviati), came to work at the French47 Court about 1530; he painted a Pietà (No. 1485), and a Challenge of the Pierides (No. 1486), which are hung among the French pictures. The Portrait of a Musician (No. 1608), by Paolo Zacchia; the Madonna, St. John and St. Stephen (No. 1133), by Michelangelo Anselmi; the David overcoming Goliath (No. 1462), a repulsive production painted by Daniele da Volterra (Ricciarelli) on both sides of a large piece of slate; a Flight into Egypt (No. 1209), by Lodovico Cardi (Il Cigoli), and Matteo Rosselli’s Triumph of David (No. 1483), are unworthy of comment. They show unmistakably the characteristics of the Decadence in full operation.
THE LATER SIENESE SCHOOL
WE have already sketched the earliest period of the art of Siena, and seen how for a brief space of time it dominated that of Tuscany. The greater precision of the Florentine technique, and the wider mental outlook of its artists in the fifteenth century, placed it in the van before long.
Sano di Pietro (1406–1481), a pupil of Sassetta, undoubtedly painted the five small characteristic panels (No. 1128–32), which illustrate scenes from the Life of St. Jerome, and at one time formed the predella of a large altarpiece. St. Jerome, with others of his order who run away, kneels under a portico of the monastery he founded at Bethlehem, and is extracting a thorn from the lion’s paw. According to the legend, the lion was afterwards placed in charge of an ass which the monks employed to carry wood; we see here that while the lion was asleep in the heat of the day under a clump of trees, the ass was stolen by merchants. St. Jerome naturally believed that the ass had not been carried off by a passing caravan, but eaten by the lion, who subsequently saw his old friend the ass in the possession of the same merchants that chanced to pass that way again. The lion is here seen (No. 1130) in the act of compelling, one might almost say pushing, the ass and the other beasts of burden laden with provisions back into the monastery, while the merchants flee away in terror.
The Louvre does not contain any work by Vecchietta (1412–1480), who was architect as well as painter. A Birth of the Virgin50 (No. 1660), catalogued as being by an unknown Florentine artist, is most probably from the hand of Matteo di Giovanni (1435?–1495), who was most likely at one time a pupil of Vecchietta. Another of the latter’s pupils, Francesco di Giorgio (1439–1502), perhaps executed the panel of the Rape of Europa (No. 1640a or No. 1640 Bis), which the cataloguer relegates to the lengthy list of unattributed Florentine works.
From these influences spring Girolamo di Benvenuto (1470–1524), whose Judgment of Paris (No. 1668) passes in the Catalogue as a late fifteenth century Bolognese picture. Bernardino Fungai (1460–1516), who trod in the steps of Giovanni di Paolo, Francesco di Giorgio, and the Umbrian artist Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, and yet evinced no real signs of development from within, is unrepresented in this collection.
This rapid survey of the School of Siena shows that it is not well exemplified in the Louvre. The third-rate painters, Pacchiarotto (1474–1540) and Beccafumi (1486–1551), will not detain us. Another accomplished late Sienese eclectic, Girolamo del Pacchia (1477–1535?), has been credited with a Crucifixion (No. 1642), but not by the official cataloguer. Sodoma (1477–1551) also worked in Siena. Towards the year 1501 other artists of the various schools of Central Italy, including Pinturicchio, Signorelli, and Perugino, visited the city, their advent bringing about an artistic revolution. Before long the religious fervour, the delicate ornamentation, the gesso-embellishment, the drawing in the flat, and the miniature-like delicacy of an earlier age became extinct. The artistic glory of Siena was dimmed, and rapidly passed into a period of decadence.
Among the last Sienese artists of any distinction were Baldassare Peruzzi (1481–1536), an architect and painter, and Matteo Balducci (fl. 1509–1553), to whom we may perhaps ascribe the Judgment of Solomon (No. 1571) and the Judgment of Daniel51 (No. 1572). In any case these pictures belong to the Umbro-Sienese period of Central Italian art; they are officially regarded as being by Perugino himself. When all originality had passed out of Sienese painting, Francesco Vanni (1563?–1609) produced his Repose on the Flight into Egypt (No. 1561) and the Martyrdom of St. Irene (No. 1562).
THE UMBRIAN SCHOOL
AT the head of the various local centres of painting which form the school of Umbria we must place Alegretto Nuzi (died 1385), whose works are very rarely met with in museums north of Italy. He inherited the best Giottesque traditions, and became the teacher of Gentile da Fabriano (1360?–1428), an early master whose influence was more far-reaching and inspiring than we can to-day trace in any detail. The Louvre has the good fortune to contain a precious little predella panel of the Presentation in the Temple (No. 1278), which is very decorative and exhibits a strongly marked appreciation of architecture. It is the only separated panel from the predella of Gentile’s large and magnificent altarpiece of the Adoration of the Magi, of 1423, which was seized by Napoleon but was returned in 1815. It is now in the Accademia at Florence.
The Miracle of St. Nicholas giving a Dowry to the Three Daughters of a Nobleman (No. 1659), which is officially classed among the unattributable works of the Florentine school, is now considered to be by Giovanni Francesco da Rimini, while the Madonna and Child (No. 1300a or 1300b) which is officially ascribed to Piero dei Franceschi, the leading painter of his generation in the school of Umbria, must, as we have seen, be given to Alessio Baldovinetti of the Florentine school.
Again, the three-panel picture (No. 1415) which is credited to Pesellino of Florence is in reality from the hand of the Umbrian artist Fiorenzo di Lorenzo (1440–1521). The collection is not rich in the works of the earliest painters of this school, but the Birth of54 the Virgin (No. 1525), a detached panel from a lost or unidentified altarpiece by Luca Signorelli (1441–1523), gives us some idea of the great power of this influential master, whose knowledge of composition and anatomy is best seen in his frescoes at Orvieto. Signorelli’s sense of complicated movement and crowded action mark an epoch in the art of Umbria. The Fragment of a Large Picture (No. 1527) seems to be imbued with his spirit, but the large Adoration of the Magi (No. 1526) which comes from Città di Castello, and a Madonna and Child with St. Louis of Toulouse, St. Catherine, and other Saints (No. 1528), contain none of the vigorous originality of that master from whom even Michelangelo did not disdain to borrow on occasion. Three predella panels (No. 1120) have been dismembered from a large altarpiece by Niccolò da Foligno, and were originally painted for a side altar in the Church of S. Niccolò at Foligno. In the art of this over-emotional Umbrian, what is meant for deep religious feeling is by exaggeration almost transformed into grimacing passion.
Niccolò’s most illustrious contemporary in this school was Pietro Perugino (1446–1523). Over fifty of the religious pictures of this influential and accomplished master were carried off from Central Italy by Napoleon. He is well represented in this Gallery. The contemplative and deeply impressive pictures of his less mannered style are among the best pictures which Umbria has given us, but there is a tendency, notably towards the end of his career, to repeat his compositions, only altering the attitude of a single figure, and so exhibiting a marked lack of originality. His early Holy Family with St. Rose and St. Catherine (No. 1564), painted about 1491, is a little cramped; the tondo hardly provides sufficient space to contain the rather stiff figures, and the treatment55 is unpleasantly conventional. It also recalls the art of Fiorenzo di Lorenzo. The St. Sebastian (No. 1566a, Plate VI.), which is inscribed:
SAGITTÆ TVÆ INFIXÆ SVNT MICHI,
is a favourite subject with this master, who painted it at least eight times on a large scale, as well as in a miniature now lent to the National Gallery by Mr. H. Yates Thompson. The Holy Family with St. Catherine (No. 1565) is said to bear the characteristic signature:
PETRUS PERVSINUS PINXIT.
The Combat of Love and Chastity (No. 1567) was commissioned by Isabella d’Este, Duchess of Mantua, in 1505, and removed at the sack of that city in 1630 to the Château of Richelieu, where it remained down to the Revolution. The St. Paul (No. 1566) is a very late and not very attractive work. In his best pictures Perugino loved to paint a purist landscape with its buoyant spaciousness of view, but too frequently his figures are insufficiently dramatic and have a tendency towards sentimentality. A very late St. Sebastian (No. 1668a), which is on a much smaller scale than the subject of our illustration (Plate VI.), is officially catalogued as being by an Unknown Umbrian painter. The Apollo and Marsyas (No. 1509), which was purchased at Christie’s in 1850 for £70 by Morris Moore, with an ascription to Mantegna, was in 1883 sold to the Louvre for £8000. It long hung in the Salon Carré as a Raphael, but is now only attributed to him by the cataloguer. This gem of Umbrian art has successively been ascribed by critics to Pintoricchio, Timoteo Viti, Francesco Francia, and others, but is to-day generally regarded as a very fine example of the art of Perugino. Two pictures (No. 1573 and No. 1573a) of the Madonna and Child are by unidentifiable pupils of Perugino.
One of the most recent acquisitions is a Madonna by Antoniazzo56 Romano (1440?–1508), the gift of M. Lucien Delamarre. The art of Pintoricchio (1454–1513) is shown in the Madonna and Child with St. Gregory and another Saint (No. 1417), while Lo Spagna (1475?–1528?), a pupil of Perugino, is represented by a Nativity (No. 1539), a Madonna and Child (No. 1540), and by three small pictures illustrating the Dead Christ, the Virgin, and St. John (No. 1568), St. Francis of Assisi receiving the Stigmata (No. 1569), and St. Jerome in the Desert (No. 1570).
A mediocre pupil of Perugino and Pintoricchio, Giannicola Manni (fl. 1493–1544), is doubtless responsible for the Baptism of Christ (No. 1369), the Assumption (No. 1370), the Adoration of the Magi (No. 1371), and the Holy Family (1372) which pass under his name. The last-mentioned panel was attributed by Villot, apparently without much reason, to L’Ingegno.
The majority of the thirteen pictures which in the Louvre are unreservedly catalogued under the great name of Raphael (1483–1520) certainly belong to his third or Roman period, and in many of them he obviously received a large amount of assistance from his pupil, Giulio Romano. It is this fact, no doubt, which has led the compiler of the Catalogue to place the “Divine Urbinate” in the Roman school. It will, however, be readily admitted that such a classification is both arbitrary and misleading.
No. 1566a.-ST. SEBASTIAN
The Saint stands with his hands behind his back bound to a pillar, with his head raised towards heaven. An arrow pierces his right arm and another his left breast. The body is nude, but for a white loin cloth striped with red and blue. In the background is a rounded arch supported by two highly ornamented pillars. Through the archway is seen a beautiful landscape.
Painted in tempera on panel.
Signed:—“sagittæ tvæ infixæ svnt michi.”
5 ft. 7 in. × 3 ft. 10 in. (1·70 × 1·17.)
Although he lived but thirty-seven years, Raphael gave to the world a vast amount of art treasure. Brought up in Urbino, where his father, Giovanni Santi, was poet as well as painter, he passed before he was fifteen under the direct influence of Timoteo Viti, who had worked at Bologna under Francesco Francia. Raphael became the pupil of Perugino at Perugia about 1500, and also worked as the assistant of Pintoricchio. His art 57being thus formed on the best Umbrian tradition, Raphael in October 1504 left Perugia for Florence, and it was only at that date that he began to acquire a distinctive style of his own. During his second or Florentine period he painted the St. George and the Dragon (No. 1503), in which is seen the chivalrous knight mounted on a pure white steed; his lance is broken in his combat with the monster, and he is forced to use his sword, while the little Princess Cleodolinda flees in abject terror into the background. The very small panel of St. Michael (No. 1502), which is a chessboard on the back, was painted for Guidobaldo, Duke of Urbino, and eventually passed into the collections of Cardinal Mazarin and Louis xiv. The Madonna and Child which has come to be known as La Belle Jardinière (No. 1496, Plate VII.) is rather later than the Madonna del Gran’ Duca in the Pitti Palace, the Cardellino Madonna in the Uffizi, and the Ansidei Madonna in the National Gallery. It is one of the most famous of Raphael’s saintly and ideal Madonnas; the pose of the figures is easy, the treatment simple, the colour exquisite. The landscape background is poetic in feeling, and conveys the mood which makes this one of Raphael’s most pleasing creations. The thin feathery trees and the treatment of the Virgin’s hair are still Peruginesque, but the superiority of the pupil to the master is gradually making itself felt. The Infant Christ is standing on the right foot of His mother. Tradition says that Raphael entrusted to Ridolfo Ghirlandaio the task of painting in the blue of the Virgin’s garment. The drapery is apparently inscribed:
VRB. RAPHAELLO MDVII.
After working for four years in Florence, Raphael went in the summer of 1508 to Rome, where he achieved such a vast amount of work for Popes Julius ii. and Leo x. His58 work was increased by his appointment, on the death of Bramante in 1514, as Architect of St. Peter’s and Inspector of Antiquities.
About 1515–16 Raphael delighted to paint the Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (No. 1505, Plate VIII.), who was his lifelong friend and adviser as well as the author of Il Cortegiano. This picture, which is eloquent testimony to Raphael’s skill as a portrait painter, was originally on wood, but it was long ago transferred to canvas, which has unfortunately abraded, the paint having peeled off the hands. After the death of Castiglione in Spain, this picture which he had taken with him passed into the possession of the Duke of Mantua, and thence into the collection of Charles i., where it seems to have been copied by Rubens. It subsequently became the property of a Dutch amateur named Van Asselen, and was copied by Rembrandt. Later, it was sold for 3500 florins to Don Alfonso Lopez, a collector at Amsterdam, and after figuring in the collection of Mazarin was acquired by Louis xiv.
The Holy Family of Francis I. (No. 1498) was commissioned by Lorenzo de’ Medici and presented to the Queen of François i. by Pope Leo x. It was originally painted on wood, and was forwarded to Lyons on April 19, 1518. During the reign of Louis xiv. it hung in the grand appartement at Versailles, and having been placed near a fireplace had to be relined. It then had wings, but they were destroyed at the time of the Revolution. Although it is very ostentatiously signed
RAPHAEL VRBINAS PINGEBAT MDXVIII
on the edge of the robe of the kneeling Madonna, there can be no question that it was only designed by Raphael, the execution being wholly or in great part carried out by the master’s best pupil, Giulio Romano. In the Sistine Madonna and such works as 59Raphael painted at this period entirely with his own hand we see that his technique had become masterly and his powers of composition had developed to the utmost. Compared with La Belle Jardinière of a decade earlier, a greater knowledge of craftsmanship has been accompanied by a loss of purity and simplicity.
No. 1496.—LA BELLE JARDINIÈRE
(La Vierge dite La Belle Jardinière)
The Virgin is seated in a flowery meadow. She wears a red tunic edged with black, yellow sleeves and a blue mantle; a book is on her knees; her fair hair is confined under a transparent veil. She looks down to the left at the Infant Jesus, who leans tenderly against her knee and draws her attention to the little St. John the Baptist who kneels to the right, his reed cross in his right hand. The background shows a landscape containing a small town with its church, and a lake surrounded by mountains.
Painted in oil on panel.
The signature seems to be:—“vrb. raphaello mdvii.”
3 ft. 8 in. × 2 ft. 7½ in. (1·22 × 0·80.)
Two years before his death Raphael had designed the large but by no means imposing St. Michael overcoming Satan (No. 1504), the execution of which on panel was certainly due to Giulio Romano. It was a gift from Lorenzo de’ Medici to François i., the original cartoon being presented by Raphael to the Duke of Ferrara. This picture, like the Holy Family of Francis I., was originally protected by folding wings, the inner sides of which were lined with green velvet, while the outer were gilded and painted with arabesques. The two pictures arrived at Fontainebleau in July 1518, having been carried on the back of mules by way of Florence and Lyons. As early as 1530 the St. Michael was restored by Primaticcio and by many others subsequently, notably in 1752. The picture was transferred to canvas by Picault, who received for his labours the large sum of 11,500 livres, a sum quite out of proportion to its æsthetic or financial value to-day. It was again restored in 1776, 1800, and 1850. It is signed in gilt characters on the edge of the Archangel’s tunic:
RAPHAEL VRBINAS PINGEBAT MDXVIII.
The Demon is not shown, as in the early and small picture of the same subject (No. 1502), as a dragon, but as a half-human monster with horns and tail. The foreshortening is undoubtedly clever, but the picture is too instantaneous in its dramatic action. In the course of time the high lights have gone down and the shadows darkened in the metallic-looking figure of the Archangel.
The Virgin with the Blue Diadem or the Virgin with the Veil (No. 1497) is one of at least ten pictures in this collection which60 were carried out by Giulio Romano (1492?–1546). It is here credited to Raphael. It has been repeatedly restored. A very large number of replicas, variants, and old copies of this panel exist. The following “Raphaels” may be regarded as the work of Giulio: the Small Holy Family with St. Elizabeth (No. 1499); the much restored Saint Margaret (No. 1501); the Portrait of Joan of Arragon (No. 1507), whom Raphael apparently never saw; and the Portraits of Two Men seen to the Bust (which has been called Raphael and his Fencing Master) (No. 1508). Giulio certainly painted the Triumph of Titus and Vespasian (No. 1420), the Venus and Vulcan (No. 1421), and the Portrait of a Man (No. 1422), which are catalogued under his name, and in all probability the three large Cartoons entitled A Triumph, The Triumph of Scipio, and The Taking and Burning of a City, which hang on the Escalier Daru. The Circumcision (No. 1438) which figures officially under the name of the Bolognese painter Bartolommeo Ramenghi (Il Bagnacavallo) (1484–1542) is by Giulio Romano.
The fresco painting of The Eternal Father (No. 1512), which is now inserted over the door of the Salle des Primitifs (Room VII.), was certainly executed during the lifetime of Raphael, and probably under his supervision. It was painted for the chapel attached to the Villa Magliana, a favourite hunting-box of Pope Leo x., who commissioned it. It was purchased in 1873 for the large sum of £8280.
From the hand of Giannicola Manni (fl. 1493–1544) come the Baptism of Christ (No. 1369), the Assumption (No. 1370), the Adoration of the Magi (No. 1371), and a Holy Family (No. 1372), while a fully signed Dead Christ supported by Two Angels (No. 1400) is by the mediocre Umbrian artist Marco Palmezzano (fl. 1456–1538). The latter’s pupil, Zaganelli da Cottignola (1460?–1531), may have painted the Christ bearing His Cross (No. 1641) which is catalogued as an unattributable Italian work.
No. 1505.—PORTRAIT OF BALDASSARE CASTIGLIONE
(Portrait de Balthazar Castiglione, ambassadeur et littérateur)
He is seen nearly in full face. He wears a white linen under-garment, an over-dress of black velvet with grey sleeves, and a cap.
Painted in oil on canvas.
2 ft. 0½ in. × 2 ft. 2½ in. (0·62 × 0·67.)
THE VENETIAN SCHOOL
THE conquest of Byzantium during the Fourth Crusade by Doge Enrico Dandolo in 1204, an epoch-making event in the history of Venice and Venetian art, strengthened the intercourse between the East and the City of the Lagoons. At the same time it riveted the fetters of Byzantinism on to the nascent art of Venice, to which it also imparted a sense of intense Oriental colour.
The frescoes painted in Tuscany on the lines of Giottesque tradition and the environment under which its painters worked, in time gave to the Florentines a sense of line and form which produced a school of idealists: on the other hand, the colour-impressions created on the mind of the Venetian painter by the relics from the East and the brilliant mosaics which he saw around him resulted eventually in the formation of a school of colourists with a realistic tendency.
It will cause little surprise that the Louvre contains no polyptych by the very early Venetians, Niccolò Semitecolo (fl. 1351–1400), Jacobello del Fiore (died 1439), and Michele Giambono (fl. 1420–1462). The Gallery possesses, however, a fourteenth-century Venetian arched panel of the Madonna and Child (No. 1541) which is attributed to Stefano Veneziano.
In the early fifteenth century the dominating influence exerted on the painters of Venice was that of Jacopo Bellini (1400?–1470), whose sons, Gentile and Giovanni, and son-in-law, Andrea Mantegna, were to shape the destinies of the school throughout the Renaissance. Jacopo’s drawing is seen in its full maturity in the62 Sketch-book of about 1450 which belongs to the Louvre but is not publicly exhibited. Another Sketch-book by him of about 1430 is one of the treasured possessions of the British Museum. Jacopo had in early life been the pupil of Gentile da Fabriano, who, together with Alegretto Nuzi, stands at the head of the Umbrian school, and of Antonio Pisanello (1397–1455), the medallist-painter who played such an important part in the art of Verona. Both Gentile da Fabriano and Pisanello worked for a time at Venice. Under the circumstances, therefore, it is not surprising to find that a Madonna and Child with a Donor (No. 1159a, formerly No. 1279 and No. 171), which is now justly ascribed in the Catalogue to Jacopo Bellini, was long assigned officially to Gentile Bellini, although held by some critics to have been painted in the school of Pisanello. The name of the Donor in this picture is given in the Catalogue as Leonello d’Este and on the frame as Pandolfo Malatesta; it would, however, seem to be the portrait of Sigismondo Malatesta.
Four small triptychs (Nos. 1280–83) from the Campana collection still pass officially under the ambiguous designation of “School of Gentile da Fabriano”; they may, however, without much doubt be ascribed to Antonio Vivarini, who remained outside the Bellini sphere of influence, and died about 1470.
The sunny splendour of Venetian painting reached its zenith in the bottega of the Bellini. Gentile, who was sent to Constantinople with the authority of the Republic in 1479, painted portraits, ceremonial, religious, and historical pictures, many of which are on a large scale, while Giovanni was for many years the greatest teacher and the most influential painter in Venetian territory. Giovanni executed a large number of panels and canvases which63 in the period of his maturity exhibit a profound sense of dignity, beauty, religious feeling, and rich deep colour. Most of those which are signed in a cartellino “ioannes bellinus” (in capitals and, of course, in pigment of the period) are authentic works from his own hand. The majority of those which bear what to the unpractised eye might be taken for his personal signature, but are only signed in uncials (“Ioannes Bellinus”), must be regarded as mere studio productions. In the sixteenth century no one was misled by these alternative methods of personal signature and studio-mark. Although the Louvre authorities catalogue two pictures under the name of Gentile and three under that of Giovanni, none of them is from the hand of either of these brothers.
Bartolommeo Vivarini of Murano (fl. 1450–1499) was the pupil of Giovanni d’Allemagna, who worked in Venice, and Antonio Vivarini. He painted a large panel of St. John of Capistrano (No. 1607), which is signed and dated
OPVS BARTHOLOMEI VI[V]ARINI DE MURAHO—1459.
Alvise or Luigi Vivarini (fl. 1461–1503), the nephew of Bartolommeo, was the last and most distinguished painter in the Murano school. He carried on the old traditions of Early Venetian art until the day when the rival school of the Bellini had become supreme in Venice, and so had begun to prepare the way for the triumphs of the Giorgionesque period—the golden age of Venetian painting. The Portrait of a Man (No. 1519), catalogued under the name of Savoldo (1480?–1548?) is by Alvise. This magnificent bust-length picture represents Bernardo di Salla, who holds in his gloved right hand a paper inscribed “Dono Bnardo di Salla.” It vividly recalls the Portrait of a Man with a Hawk at Windsor, which, although it traditionally but erroneously bears the name64 of Leonardo da Vinci and has been ascribed to Savoldo, is in all probability another of the rare portraits by Alvise.
From the Vivarini group issues Carlo Crivelli (1430?–1493?). His morosely ascetic compositions, with their elaborate draperies, jewelled ornamentation, and at times grotesque anatomy, distinguish his polyptychs, all of which are painted in tempera, from those of any other painter in the whole range of art. His large panel picture of St. Bernardino of Siena (No. 1268) is inscribed
OPUS CAROLI CRIVELLI VENETI, 1477.
It belongs to his middle period, and was painted nine years earlier than his magnificent Annunciation, now one of the gems of the National Gallery (No. 739); both these pictures came from the Church of the Annunziata at Ascoli.
Another painter who carried on the Vivarini tradition but was influenced by Giovanni Bellini, was Giovanni Battista Cima (1460?–1517?), whose art is adequately shown in the Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and St. Mary Magdalene (No. 1259). The signature
as well as the internal evidence of the picture show it to be an authentic work.
One of the best, but until recent years one of the least known, members of that brilliant group of painters who flourished at Venice in the early half of the sixteenth century was Lorenzo Lotto (1480–1556). He practised his art in many parts of Italy, and for that reason has been less generally known than many of his contemporaries. He was a pupil of Alvise Vivarini, but benefited largely by the example of Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione. His art is not well seen in the small St. Jerome (No. 1350), which is signed 65and dated “lotvs 1500” and must therefore be one of his earliest and least ambitious works, nor in his Holy Family (No. 1351) which was formerly attributed to Dosso Dossi. Replicas have been found of his Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery (No. 1349).
PLATE IX.—ANTONELLO DA MESSINA
No. 1134.—PORTRAIT OF A CONDOTTIERE
(Portrait d’homme dit le Condottiere)
Bust portrait, turned three-quarters to the left. He wears a black doublet, above the collar of which is visible the edge of a white linen under-garment. Under his cap is seen his zazzara of red-brown hair.
Painted in oil on panel.
Antonellus Messaneus me
1 ft. 1 in. × 11 in. (0·33 × 0·28.)
Although we possess very detailed records of Antonello da Messina (1430–1479), his movements and his life’s work, it is only in recent years that they have been studied with any care. This Sicilian-born artist obviously cannot have set out for Flanders and there have learnt from Jan van Eyck (who died in 1441) the “discovery” of oil as a medium in painting, as Vasari tells us. But he may have seen in Italy a picture by the great Northern artist and from it have acquired some facility in the use of oil and in finishing with glazes of oil panels which had been begun in tempera. He was certainly in Venice in 1475–76, if not earlier, and his Portrait of a Condottiere (No. 1134, Plate IX.), which is characteristically signed and dated
Antonellus Messaneus me
belongs to that period of his full maturity. It was purchased at the Pourtalès-Gorgier sale in 1865 for £4767. In any case, the discoveries with which Antonello is credited within a few years completely revolutionised the methods of painting throughout Italy, and prepare us for the wonderful achievements of the later Venetians, who followed and improved upon the Bellini tradition.
Vittore Carpaccio (1455?–1526) was, like Gentile Bellini, a painter of Venetian fêtes, pageantry, and religious pictures on an imposing scale. Nothing is known of Carpaccio’s artistic descent, but his work shows traces of the influence of Jacopo Bellini and of Lazzaro Bastiani, who was the head of a group of artists whose art was based on the tradition of such early painters as Jacobello66 del Fiore. Carpaccio’s Preaching of St. Stephen at Jerusalem (No. 1211) is one of the series of five incidents from the Life of St. Stephen which were painted by this artist between 1511 and 1520 for the Scuola di S. Stefano at Milan. The others of the series are now in the Milan Gallery (No. 170—signed and dated 1513), at Berlin (No. 23), and at Stuttgart. The Louvre obtained this canvas, which varies from the others in size, from the Milan Gallery in 1813, when together with Boltraffio’s Madonna of the Casio Family (No. 1169) and other pictures it was exchanged for works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens.
To Vincenzo Catena (14..?–1531?) may be assigned, on stylistic grounds, the Reception of a Venetian Ambassador at Cairo in 1512 (No. 1157). In any case, it cannot have been executed by Gentile Bellini, as alleged in the Catalogue, as the audience here depicted did not take place until five years after that master’s death!
Another Bellinesque painter was Bartolommeo Veneto (fl. 1505–1555). We shall, following the suggestion of Venturi, assign to him the excellent but officially unattributed Portrait of a Lady (No. 1673) which hangs to the right of Raphael’s La Belle Jardinière.
Although a large number of really representative examples of the great lyricist Giorgione (1477–1510) have not come down to us, he is to be regarded as the greatest of the Venetian artists, and perhaps the most romantic painter that Europe has ever known. He was, together with his illustrious contemporary Titian, a pupil of Giovanni Bellini. His Pastoral Symphony (No. 1136, Plate X.) is one of the most beautiful idyllic groups in the whole range of painting, and shows that Giorgione could naively reveal the inner depths of thought and feeling and depict “passionate souls in passionate bodies.” Early in the sixteenth century the austere traditions of the 67Bellinesque era were passing away. Giorgione now began to unseal the eyes of his contemporaries, among whom Titian occupied an important place, to the “life-giving and death-dealing waters of love,” making the landscape background of his lyrical compositions respond to the mood of the incident illustrated. The Pastoral Symphony was acquired by Charles i. from the collection of the Duke of Mantua; it then passed to Jabach, and subsequently to Louis xiv. Although it has been slightly restored and has from time to time been without any reason ascribed to Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo and a large number of Venetian artists, it is to-day recognised on all sides as an excellent example of Giorgione.
No. 1136.—PASTORAL SYMPHONY
Two young men are seated on the grass; the one, wearing a green tunic with red sleeves, a red cap and parti-coloured hose, is playing on the lute; his companion bends over to listen to him. Before them a nude woman, her back turned to the spectator, is seated holding a flute. To the left another nude woman, with a drapery across her left hip, is drawing water at a fountain. In the background to the right is seen a shepherd with his flock. In the centre background are some houses.
Painted in oil on canvas.
3 ft. 7½ in. × 4 ft. 6½ in. (1·10 × 1·38.)
The same influences which formed the art of Giorgione inspired the pictures of Palma Vecchio (1480–1528), whose Adoration of the Shepherds with a Female Donor (No. 1399, Plate XI.) is brilliant in colour. The signature in the right foreground of this canvas, tician, is false. Palma left a large number of pictures unfinished at his death.
The Visitation (No. 1352) is an admirable example of the art of Sebastiano del Piombo (1485–1547), and is signed
SEBASTIANVS VENETVS FACIEBAT
It was purchased in the year indicated in the inscription by François i., who added it to his collection at Fontainebleau, whence it was removed by Louis xiv. to Versailles. The canvas, which has been a good deal injured, has at some time been cut into three pieces. The name by which this artist is generally known was derived from the office which he held late in life at the Papal Court. There he forsook the traditions of his native school and gradually came under the influence of Michelangelo. In Rome he also met Raphael, who was much impressed by his colour schemes: the St. John the Baptist in the Desert (No. 1500), here catalogued under the68 name of Raphael, and a few pictures similarly attributed in other galleries, were painted by Sebastiano in his Roman manner.
A prominent place among the less important artists generally included in this school must be accorded to Cariani (1480?–1547?). A large proportion of the pictures of this Bergamask painter usually pass under more imposing names, and it is a remarkable fact that we do not find any work attributed to him in the official Catalogue. He, however, painted a Holy Family (No. 1135), here assigned to Giorgione, as well as the Madonna and Child and St. Sebastian (No. 1159) given to Giovanni Bellini. The Portrait of Two Men (No. 1156), which for no very apparent reason was once regarded as the portraits of Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, must be by Cariani, although still placed to the credit of Gentile.
Another of the less efficient pupils of Giovanni Bellini was Niccolò Rondinelli (fl. 1480–1500), whose Madonna and Child, St. Peter, and St. Sebastian (No. 1158) masquerades as a work by Giovanni Bellini, whose full name, ioannes bellinvs, is inscribed in capitals (not, however, placed in a cartellino) on the parapet which runs across the front of the panel.
Although we have only limited space to deal with the differences of the critics as to the probable date of Titian’s birth, we may point out that it was, until recent times, placed in the year 1477. Mr. Herbert Cook has, however, put forward a very strong case in favour of the year 1489, pointing out the remarkable fact that there is no record of Titian earlier than Dec. 2, 1511, or, according to the usual chronology, until he was thirty-five years of age! Again, L. Dolce, in 1557, wrote that Titian was “scarcely twenty years old when Giorgione was painting the façade of the Fondaco de’ Tedeschi”; and we know that Titian was his assistant on that work in 1507–8. 69Vasari also asserts, as Mr. Cook reminds us, that the famous Venetian was “about seventy-six years old in 1566–67,” when he visited him in Venice. No reliance is to be placed on the date contained in the well-known letter which Titian addressed to Philip II. in 1571, as he evidently had a motive in referring to himself as “an old servant of ninety-five.” There is, however, no doubt that Titian died in 1576.
PLATE XI.—PALMA VECCHIO
No. 1399.—THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS, WITH A FEMALE DONOR
(L’Annonce aux Bergers)
The Virgin is seated and holds the Infant Jesus on a cradle formed of basket-work; she wears a red robe with blue and green draperies and a white veil, under which her brown hair is seen. To her right St. Joseph is seated leaning on his staff; before him a shepherd boy kneels in adoration to the Infant Christ. To the left kneels the donatrice, her hands folded. In the ruined shed behind the Holy Family are the ox and ass. To the right of the composition is a landscape background in which several figures appear. A small group of angels in the sky.
Painted in oil on canvas.
4 ft. 7 in. × 6 ft. 11 in. (1·40 × 2·10.)
Titian, who was a native of Cadore, left his home at an early age for Venice. He was first placed as a pupil of Sebastian Zuccato, a mosaicist and perhaps a painter; he then seems to have worked in the studio of Gentile Bellini before passing into that of Giovanni, where he met Giorgione. Titian, like Giotto, has been called “the Father of modern painting.” The early Florentine had provided his countrymen with a set of fundamental principles of art, but it remained for the illustrious Venetian to endow his contemporaries and artistic descendants with a more complete equipment and a new sense of pictorial effect. The profound impression exerted by Giorgione on the youthful Titian inspired him to achieve those idyllic compositions and “poesies” which stand out so prominently among the world’s pictures.
Titian’s earliest picture in the Louvre is the Virgin and Child, with St. Stephen, St. Ambrose, and St. Maurice (No. 1577), of about 1508–1510. It is very reminiscent of a picture by Titian in the Vienna Gallery (No. 166), in which he has substituted St. Jerome for St. Ambrose.
No doubt can exist as to the authenticity of the so-called Portrait of Alfonso da Ferrara and Laura de’ Dianti (No. 1590), but the title under which it has passed for many years is probably incorrect. It was in the collection of Charles I., and was then described as “Tytsian’s Mrs., after the life by Tytsian.” In the collection of Jabach it was called La Maîtresse du Titien, and as such was sold to Louis xiv. for £100. This picture would correctly70 be described under the less ambitious title of A Woman at her Toilet and a Man holding Two Mirrors. Laura was the daughter of a hatter of Ferrara. She was persona grata at the court of Alfonso i., Duke of Ferrara (reigned 1505–1534), and there held the title of Illustrissima Donna Laura Eustochia d’Este. The Duke’s first wife, Anna Sforza, died in 1497, when he was twenty-one years old. In 1501 he married, as his second wife, Lucrezia Borgia (died 1519), the natural daughter of Pope Alexander vi. It seems probable that shortly afterwards the Duke took Laura as his third wife, and that she was painted by Titian a little later. The Louvre picture (No. 1590) appears on stylistic grounds to be a work of about 1515–1517. A portrait which can be more certainly identified as that of Laura is the single figure picture, painted by Titian about 1523, in the collection of Sir Frederick Cook at Richmond.
The influence of Giorgione is still clearly seen in Titian’s Man with a Glove (No. 1592, Plate XII.). It is a noble portrait of an unknown man; the colour is rich, and the light and shade are contrasted with great mastery; the bare right hand and the gloved left holding the second glove are admirably modelled. The canvas, which seems to have been painted about 1518, is signed “ticianvs f.” Soon afterwards Titian must have painted the Portrait of a Man in Black with the Thumb of his Left Hand in the Belt of his Doublet (No. 1591), the Madonna with the Rabbit (No. 1578), which is inscribed Ticianus F., and the magnificent Entombment (No. 1584, Plate XIII.). This priceless picture, which was painted not later, than 1523 for Federigo Gonzaga, passed from Mantua into the collection of Charles i. It was sold off by Cromwell for £128 and, after being one of the masterpieces for a few years in the collection of Jabach, was acquired by Louis xiv. The deep religious feeling and the rich, sonorous harmony of colour make this one of the world’s most precious pictures. Notice the 71sunburnt arm of Joseph of Arimathæa; it is significant of the art of Venice.
No. 1592.—THE MAN WITH A GLOVE
(L’homme au Gant)
He is standing and seen nearly in full face, the head turned three-quarters to the right, the eyes directed to the right. He wears a black costume with a white pleated under-garment, a gold chain round his neck, and white frills in his sleeves. His right hand, with a ring on the forefinger, holds his girdle. His left hand, gloved and holding the second glove, rests on a stone plinth.
Painted in oil on canvas.
Signed on the plinth:—“ticianvs. f.”
3 ft. 3½ in. × 2 ft. 11 in. (1·00 × 0·89.)
At an interval of about eight years we come to the St. Jerome (No. 1585), a religious scene set, curiously enough, in a moonlight landscape, which has darkened. The exact interpretation to be placed upon the Allegory in honour of Alfonso d’Avalos (No. 1589), of about 1533, has been much discussed; it is supposed to represent Alfonso bidding farewell to his wife on his departure for the wars, and entrusting her to the safe keeping of Chastity, Cupid, who bears a sheaf of arrows, and a third figure. The Portrait of Francis I. (No. 1588), whom Titian never saw, appears to have been painted about 1536 from a medal, and represents the King in profile. François i. died in 1547. It belongs to the same period as the Portrait of a Man in Damascened Armour with a Page holding his Helmet in the collection of Count Potocki. Another portrait, painted about 1543, represents a Man with a Black Beard resting his Hand on the Ledge of a Pilaster (No. 1593). By this time Titian’s art was rapidly maturing, as we see from his magnificent and imposing Supper at Emmaus (No. 1581) of the same year. It had passed from Mantua to England before being acquired by that excellent connoisseur, Jabach. It is said to be signed Ticianus f., while the Christ Crowned with Thorns (No. 1583), which was painted for a church in Milan about 1550, is inscribed titianvs f. When Charles i., as Prince of Wales, visited Madrid in 1623, he was presented with the Jupiter and Antiope (No. 1587), which has the alternative title of the Venus del Pardo. It had been painted for Philip ii., and had already escaped the fire which broke out in the Prado. Jabach acquired it for 600 guineas, and passed it on to Cardinal Mazarin, from whom it was acquired for 10,000 livres tournois by Louis xiv. It escaped destruction by fire in the Old Louvre in 1661. It has been very much repainted from time to time.
The Madonna and Child, with St. Catherine (? St. Agnes), and St. John the Baptist as a Child (No. 1579), which has been enlarged by the addition of a strip of canvas down the left side, contains a glimpse of the country near Pieve di Cadore, the native place of Titian. Fourteen of the twenty pictures here officially credited to him are to be regarded as authentic. Polidoro Lanzani (1515?–1565), an imitator of Titian, however, painted the Holy Family with St. John the Baptist (No. 1580), and the Holy Family and Saints (No. 1596) in the La Caze Room; while Andrea Meldolla (Schiavone), who was a pupil of Titian, no doubt executed the Ecce Homo (No. 1582) credited to the great Venetian artist, as well as the St. John the Baptist (No. 1524) which is rightly assigned to him.
The German painter Johan Stephan von Calcar, who to Italian biographers is known as Giovanni Calcar (1499–1546), was a pupil of Titian. He painted the imposing Portrait of a Man (No. 1185). He is seen at half length standing, and holding a letter in his right hand; his left hand to his waist. On a column in the background is painted the coat of arms, reputed to be that of the Buono family of Venice, which is repeated on the bezel of the ring on the forefinger of his left hand. Below his right hand is the inscription:
Paris Bordone (1500–1570), who “painted women with more of an eye on the fashion-plate than on the expression of their features,” is not the author of a Portrait of a Lady (No. 1180a), nor of the Portrait of a Man and a Child (No. 1180), which seems to be a Flemish rather than a Venetian picture. His Vertumnus73 and Pomona (No. 1178) is less representative than his Portrait (so called) of Jeronimo Croft (No. 1179). It takes its title from the inscription, “Spss. Domino Jeronimo Crofft … Magior suo semper obsero … Augusta,” which is written on the letter held in the right hand.
The last dying echo of the “fire” and poetry of Giorgione is seen in some of the works of Bonifazio Veronese (1487–1553), who was also a pupil of Palma. Bonifazio is now regarded as a single individual, although formerly the varying differences in his style of painting led certain critics to regard him as three different members of the same family. The varied grouping seen in the large canvas entitled Holy Family, with St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Elizabeth, and St. John the Baptist (No. 1171), and the colouring of this canvas, seem to prove its authenticity. The smaller picture of a Holy Family (No. 1172), with a similar pedigree and a Greek inscription, which includes the same saints, is a mediocre work. The Madonna and Child, with St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, St. Paul, and St. Ursula (No. 1674d) is a poor picture.
From the studio of Bonifazio issued Jacopo Bassano (1510?–1592), whose Vintage (No. 1428) shows his predilection for introducing animals and kneeling peasants into genre pictures, the treatment of which is apt to be rugged. This did not prevent his at times painting striking and vigorous portraits. The Louvre contains a good example of this branch of his art in the Portrait of Giovanni da Bologna (No. 1429), which is at present not exhibited. The Animals entering the Ark (No. 1423), Moses striking the Rock (No. 1424), Cana of Galilee (No. 1425), Christ bearing His Cross (No. 1426), and the Descent from the Cross (No. 1427) are also credited to him in the Catalogue.
Leandro Bassano (1558–1623), his son, is represented in the La Caze collection by an Adoration of the Magi (No. 1430) and a Rustic Labour (No. 1431).
The vigorous, ambitious and late Venetian painter Tintoretto (1518–1594), who painted portrait-groups, religious subjects, and mythological compositions on a large scale, and brought his achievements to completion with extraordinary rapidity, is not adequately represented in this Gallery, in which, however, no fewer than eleven works pass under his name. His Susanna and the Elders (No. 1464) testifies to the increasing frequency with which painters or their patrons at that period preferred the representation of sensational incidents from the Apocrypha. The subject is unattractive, but the picture, which is in a very dirty state, is wonderfully painted.
The Paradise (No. 1465) is but a preliminary sketch for the colossal painting, measuring 84 ft. × 34 ft.,—the largest oil-painting by an old master in existence,—which Tintoretto painted for the end wall of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in the Doge’s Palace at Venice. The Portrait of a Man holding a Handkerchief in his Hand (No. 1467) reveals his great power as a portrait painter.
The Portrait of Pietro Mocenigo (No. 1470), signed petrus mocenio senator, and the Portrait of a Venetian Senator (No. 1471), inscribed anno ætatis lvii mvii iacomo tentoreto . f, are among the pictures of the La Caze collection.
In Room XV., which is given up to self-portraits by artists, hangs a picture which passes as an authentic Portrait of Tintoretto (No. 1466) by himself. It is inscribed jacobvs tentoretvs pictor venetivs and ipsivs. f.
The harmonious colour, the sense of material magnificence, and the masterly draughtsmanship of Paolo Veronese (1528–1588) are seen to the greatest advantage in his Marriage at Cana (No. 1192). He signed a contract in June 1562, to paint this large picture, 75which measures 21 ft. × 32 ft., for the refectory of San Giorgio Maggiore at Venice, and completed it by September 8, 1563. According to the agreement, Paolo was to receive 324 ducats, a sum equal to-day to about £200; to be fed during the time he was engaged on the work; to be repaid the cost of the materials; and to receive a pipe of wine. The picture was seized by Napoleon during his victorious campaign of 1797, and brought by road to Paris. In accordance with the terms of the Peace of Campo Formio of 1814, it should have been returned. As it had proved a very difficult matter to take it to Paris, where it had to go into the restorer’s hands, the French urged that it was too vast and too dilapidated to bear a second journey. Astonishing as it may seem to us to-day, the Italians accepted the suggestion and in exchange took Charles Le Brun’s large but mediocre Magdalene at the Feet of Jesus, perhaps because it measured 12 ft. 6 in. × 10 ft. 4 in. Le Brun’s picture now hangs in the Venice Gallery (No. 377), the Catalogue of which pointedly remarks that “the exchange is much to be regretted.”
No. 1584.—THE ENTOMBMENT
(La Mise au Tombeau)
The dead body of the Christ is borne on a white cloth by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathæa. Nicodemus is seen from the back wearing a pale red tunic and a parti-coloured scarf; Joseph of Arimathæa in green robes is in profile towards the right. St. John in a red robe supports the right arm of the Christ. To the left St. Mary Magdalene, with her arms around the Virgin, gazes in profound grief at the Christ. The Virgin with clasped hands bends forward to look at her Son.
Painted in oil on canvas.
4 ft 10½ in. × 7 ft. 1 in. (1·48 × 2·15.)
Paolo Veronese’s masterly work contains no devotional feeling. The Scriptural story merely serves as a pretext for depicting a scene of Venetian festivity and material magnificence with imposing architectural background. The grouping of the figures is varied, dexterously disposed and stately, while the colour is harmonious and sparkling. The changing of the water into wine is, however, merely incidental. It is a significant fact that a work of this description, in which Art in Venice begins to trick herself out in meretricious embellishments, should have been regarded as a seemly decoration for the refectory of a convent. An additional but frankly worldly interest is imparted to the work by the introduction of a portrait of Alfonso d’Avalos (whose portrait by Titian we have already seen) as the bridegroom, on the extreme left of the composition; to his left is the bride, with the features of Eleonora76 of Austria. The other figures include François i., dressed in blue and wearing a curious headdress; Mary of England, sister of Henry viii. and widow of Louis xii., in yellow; the Sultan Soliman, in green, at the side of a negro prince who addresses a servant. On the left of the next figure sits Vittoria Colonna, whom Michelangelo described as “a man within a woman,” plying her toothpick! At the end of the table, speaking to a servant, is the Emperor Charles v., seen in profile and wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece. The introduction of the fool with the bells in the centre of the picture is perhaps intended to express the pomp and pleasure of the world pursued without thought of Christ, who, however, occupies the place of honour in the centre of the composition. The couple of dogs in leash, one gnawing a bone, and a cat, lying on her back as she scratches at one of the vases which hold the wine on the right of the composition, may stand for merely brutal nature.
The painter’s personal interest in the scene is depicted in the group of four artists in the foreground. Paolo himself is playing a viol; just behind him is Tintoretto with a similar instrument; while on the right are Titian, in red with a bass viol, and Bassano playing the flute. The theory put forward by Mr. Herbert Cook that Titian was born as late as 1489, and so would be seventy-four years old in 1562–63, the year in which this picture was painted, certainly seems to find corroboration in the features here given to Titian by Paolo Veronese. He certainly does not look eighty-seven years of age, as he should do if he had been born as early as 1476.
In the Catalogue sixteen pictures are assigned to Paolo Veronese. The Portrait of a Lady and a Child playing with a Dog (No. 1199) is an early work. The Disciples at Emmaus (No. 1196), which is signed “paolo veronese,” is another of the master’s imposing canvases, as also is the Feast in the House of Simon the77 Pharisee (No. 1193), which was presented to Louis xiv. by the Venetian Republic in 1665, and was for many years hung at Versailles. This artist is also officially credited with the Burning of Sodom (No. 1187), a Holy Family, with St. George, St. Catherine, and a Male Donor (No. 1190), a Holy Family, with St. Elizabeth and St. Mary Magdalene, and a Female Donor (No. 1191), a Christ heeding Peter’s Wife’s Mother (No. 1191a), a Christ fainting under the weight of the Cross (No. 1194), a Calvary (No. 1195), and an Esther fainting before Ahasuerus (No. 1189). The Susan and the Elders (No. 1188) is a replica of a picture in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire. The St. Mark crowning the Theological Virtues (No. 1197), and the Jupiter hurling Thunderbolts on Criminals (No. 1198), were originally executed as ceiling paintings for the Doge’s Palace. The Christ with the Terrestrial Globe (No. 1200) and the Portrait of a Lady in Black (No. 1201) are only studio pictures.
Little artistic ability is shown in the empty abstractions, and at times meaningless productions, of many of the late sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century Venetian artists. Felice Riccio (Il Brusasorci the Younger) (1540–1605) is given as the painter of a Holy Family (No. 1463); Alessandro Turchi (Orbetto) (1582–1648) of three pictures (Nos. 1558–1560); Sebastiano Ricci (1659?–1734) of four compositions (Nos. 1458–1461); Antonio Pellegrino (1675–1741) of an Allegory (No. 1413); Alessandro Varotari (1590–1650) of an utterly uninspired Venus and Cupid (No. 1574); and Pietro della Vecchia (1605–1678) of a dull Portrait of a Man (No. 1576).
A century later than the stupendous achievements of Tintoretto and Veronese the art of Venice had passed into decline, but a glimmer of the genius that had found expression in the gorgeously decorative art in Venice in the sixteenth century was yet to be reflected in the work of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1692–1769). His Last Supper (No. 1547) was purchased for £400 in 1877, and his sketch for the Triumph of Religion (No. 1549a) for £120078 in 1903. By him also is the Banner (No. 1549), depicting on the one side St. Martin saying Mass, and on the other The Madonna and Child. An Apparition of the Virgin to St. Jerome (No. 1548) is one of the less striking pictures in the La Caze collection.
Another decorative painter was Antonio Canale, generally known as Canaletto (1697–1768), who is well represented in the View of the Church of Santa Maria della Salute and the Grand Canal (No. 1203). The Louvre appears to contain nothing by Bernardo Bellotto (1720–1780), who is sometimes referred to as Canaletto, and is seen to the best advantage at Dresden.
Canaletto’s pupil, Francesco Guardi (1712–1793), who was born of Austrian parentage, is the painter of seven Venetian scenes: After wedding the Adriatic, the Doge embarks at the Lido on the “Bucentaur” (No. 1328); The Doge proceeds to S. Maria della Salute to commemorate the Preservation of Venice from the Plague in 1630 (No. 1329); Fête du Jeudi Gras in the Piazzetta (No. 1330); The Procession of Corpus Domini in the Piazza of S. Marco (No. 1331); The Visit of the Doge to the Church of S. Zaccharia on Easter Day (No. 1332); The Doge seated on his Throne in the Sala del Collegio (No. 1333); Coronation of the Doge (No. 1334); and a View of the Church of S. Maria della Salute (No. 1335). Guardi’s pupil, François Casanova (1739–1805), a painter of battle-pieces, worked in France; some of his pictures are hung in the French Rooms.
With Guardi we close the chapter of Venetian art which, owing to four centuries of high aspiration and magnificent achievement, came to an end later than the art of any other school of painting in Italy.
THE PADUAN SCHOOL
FAR-REACHING influences were to be exerted by classical Padua on the art of the neighbouring cities of Northern Italy. Padua was a city of great antiquity, and had been sufficiently powerful and prosperous even in Roman times to excite the cupidity of its enemies. Eventually the Goths and other barbarian hordes had destroyed its monuments of the Roman age; the spirit of antiquity, nevertheless, survived until Giotto came at the very beginning of the fourteenth century to decorate the walls of the Chapel of the Madonna dell’ Arena, which had been founded in 1303 by Enrico Scrovegno on the site of an ancient Roman arena. These very precious frescoes by Giotto, which fortunately are still preserved, revolutionised art, and the movement initiated by him quickened the art-life of this University city.
Half a century later, Altichiero Altichieri (fl. 1320–1385) developed his art under the influence of Giotto, and beautified the churches of Padua with frescoes, the figures in which he clothed in fanciful attire. An art movement was now on foot, and the influence of altichieri, who was later to become the founder of the school of Verona, was to be revealed in the work of his follower Pisanello, the Veronese painter and medallist.
The long residence in Padua of Donatello (1386–1466), the great Florentine sculptor, and the erection of his famous equestrian statue of Gattamelata initiated in Padua the Renaissance movement, which soon took deep root in this ancient city. The example of Donatello in sculpture before long brought about the foundation80 of a local school of painting which was rapidly developed through the shrewd commonsense rather than the artistic achievements of Francesco Squarcione (1394–1474). It is noteworthy that Squarcione had travelled in the East, and had there formed a collection of antique works of plastic art which became the basis of his art-teaching.
One of the numerous pupils of Squarcione was Gregorio Schiavone (“The Slavonian”) (fl. 1440–1470), a native of Dalmatia, who in the studio of his Paduan master met Andrea Mantegna. The Louvre authorities with some hesitancy attribute to Schiavone a Madonna and Child (No. 1523). although it is hardly by him, it exhibits some of the characteristics of Schiavone, who was fond of decorating his pictures with festoons of flowers and fruit in much the same way that his Venetian contemporary, Carlo Crivelli, delighted to adorn his large panel pictures.
Andrea Mantegna (1431–1506) was adopted at the age of ten by Squarcione, and so naturally became his pupil. No better training could have been chosen for the boy, who had a natural taste for the classics, proof of which is further afforded by the Latin inscriptions on his pictures. Andrea seems to have quickly realised the connection between the traditions of Paduan antiquities and the classical models of ancient Greece which his adoptive father Squarcione had brought home with him from his travels. Andrea in time became deeply impressed with the methods of Jacopo Bellini, whose daughter Niccolosia he married in 1453, to the great displeasure of Squarcione. Another powerful influence on Mantegna may be traced to the bronzes which Donatello executed for the Church of Sant’ Antonio of Padua in that city.
PLATE XIV.—ANDREA MANTEGNA
On the summit of an arched rock stand Mars and Venus before a draped bed backed by orange trees. To the left is Cupid, while Vulcan stands before his forge. Below, to the extreme left, Apollo plays his lyre to the strains of which the Muses dance. To the right Mercury, wearing the petasus and talaria and carrying the caduceus, leans against Pegasus. Landscape background.
Painted in tempera on canvas.
5 ft. 3 in. × 6 ft. 3½ in. (1·60 × 1·92.)
After painting the frescoes in the Church of the Eremitani at 81Padua, Andrea in 1457 executed a large and striking altarpiece for the Church of San Zeno in Verona. It was removed by Napoleon’s agents to France in 1797, but only the principal panel was returned to that church in 1815. The three predella panels were retained in France. The centre one of these, depicting the Calvary, is now in the Louvre (No. 1373); the other two, representing the Agony in the Garden and the Resurrection, have long hung in the Museum at Tours. The severity of the statuesque figures and the certainty of the drawing seen in the Calvary are characteristic of the early period of the master.
Mantegna now removed to Mantua, where he entered the service of Lodovico ii., Marquis of Mantua, as his Court Painter, remaining there for the rest of his life. The Madonna of Victory (No. 1374) was painted to commemorate the victory gained at the Pass of Fornovo on the Taro on July 6, 1495, by Giovanni Francesco iii., Marquis of Mantua, over Charles viii. of France. In the centre of the picture the Madonna and Child are enthroned. On the left kneels the Marquis, and on the right is St. Elizabeth, the patron saint of Gonzaga’s wife, Isabella d’Este, “at the sound of whose name all the Muses rise and do reverence.” St. Michael standing behind the Duke, and St. George behind St. Elizabeth, hold the robe of the Madonna, who is thus represented as taking under her protection the two principal figures. In the background on the left is St. Andrew, name-saint of the painter and one of the patrons of Mantua. On the right is St. Longinus with the spear with which he pierced the side of Christ. His relics were preserved in the Church of St. Andrea in Mantua. The garlands of flowers and festoons of fruit are a well-known device in Mantegna’s pictures.
Mantegna’s Parnassus (No. 1375, Plate XIV.) illustrates the amours of Mars and Venus, which were discovered by her husband, Vulcan. In the foreground the Muses are dancing. The group of82 the Muses was afterwards appropriated by Giulio Romano for his Dance of Apollo and the Muses in the Pitti Palace at Florence. This painting was executed in 1497, just before the coming of the Renaissance feeling into Venetian art and the representation of classical myth. Notice the excellently drawn and highly characteristic shells and stones placed in the foreground. In the same year Mantegna painted the Triumph of Wisdom and Virtue over the Vices (No. 1376), the last of the four pictures by him in this Gallery. In the corner to the extreme left is Virtus Deserta, who appears under the guise of a laurel tree with a woman’s head; about the stem is wound a scroll with inscriptions in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. The Latin inscription reads:
AGITE PELLITE SEDIBUS NOSTRIS
FAEDA HAEC VICIORV̄ MONSTRA
VIRTUTVM COELITVS AD NOS REDEV̄TIVM
and on the inside of the scroll:
This painting formerly decorated the camerino of Isabella d’Este at Mantua. It was seized at the sack of Mantua by Cardinal Richelieu in 1630, together with the Parnassus (No. 1375), Perugino’s Combat of Love and Chastity (No. 1567), and Lorenzo Costa’s Court of Isabella d’Este (No. 1261). The Mythological Scene (No. 1262), which is not now exhibited, represents the Realm of Erotic Love; it was begun by Mantegna the year he died, and was gone over and completed by Lorenzo Costa.
Mantegna became involved financially towards the end of his life, and the collection he had formed was sold. His last years were clouded by pecuniary embarrassment. His compositions are essentially classic in spirit, his figures noble and painted in imitation of the antique, while his pagan conceptions prepared the way for83 those of a later generation in the art of Venice. By this process of gradual evolution the school of Padua came to be distinguished among the other local schools of Northern Italy in the lifetime of Mantegna, whose example gave a new impulse to contemporary art.
A small Adoration of the Magi (No. 1678), which is officially unattributed, is regarded by Mr. Berenson as the work of Bernardo Parenzano (1437–1531), who was influenced by Mantegna, and imitated the methods of his contemporaries.
Many other artists bore their part in the work of this school, and so contributed to the development of this movement which spread to Veronese and Venetian territory. They are, however, unrepresented in the Louvre.
THE SCHOOL OF VERONA
THE foundations of the art of Verona were laid in Paduan soil by altichieri, who initiated the school of Verona. Veronese art early found expression in the naive pictorial and mediæval style practised by the medallist-painter Antonio Pisanello (1397–1455), whose name appears to have been an endearing diminutive. He was a follower, if not a pupil, of Altichieri. The frequency with which he signed himself “pictor” on his medals leads one to suppose that he looked upon himself as a painter first and foremost, and contemporary records seem to confirm this. His art was so highly reputed in Northern Italy that the Venetians thought it advisable to invite him to Venice in 1421 to assist Gentile da Fabriano in painting frescoes, now destroyed, in the Doge’s Palace.
Jacopo Bellini also worked at Verona. He is known to have painted a picture of the Crucifixion for the Chapel of S. Niccolò in the Cathedral at Verona in 1436, but, after exercising considerable influence on the art of Northern Italy, it was in 1759 hewn down by a Canon with a view to beautifying the chapel!
Unfortunately, there are only two frescoes from the hand of Pisanello at Verona, while no more than four authentic easel paintings by him are known to exist, two of them being in the National Gallery. He is known to have travelled extensively in Italy, and to have worked also at Mantua, Ferrara, and Rimini. The traditions of mediæval chivalry and the pictorial parade of pomp and mundane realism which are reflected in his work show that his contemporaries were justified in the high esteem in which they held him.
Pisanello’s love of depicting birds and animals is shown in his two pictures in the National Gallery, but in the Portrait of a Princess of the Este Family (No. 1422a, or No. 1422 Bis) he is shown to have been a lover of flowers also. This small panel was formerly attributed to Piero dei Franceschi, the Umbrian artist. For many years it hung among the Drawings, being apparently considered unworthy of a place in its proper environment, among the Italian primitive paintings, where it is now hung. It was purchased in 1893 out of the Felix Bamberg collection. The lady is seen in profile to the left. Her hair is dressed according to the fashion of the period, the front hair being plucked out to render the forehead round and high, while the nape of her neck for the same reason is hairless. She wears a white dress with loose-falling red sleeves; a sprig of juniper (ginevra) is let into her dress just above the left shoulder. It has been assumed from this that we here have a Portrait of Ginevra d’Este. She was the daughter of Niccolò ii. d’Este by his second wife, the infamous and ill-treated Parisina Malatesta, who was decapitated in 1425. Ginevra (1419–1440) became the wife of Sigismondo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, in 1433, and died three years later. The background is composed of pinks and columbines, among which fly four highly decorative butterflies. The embroidery on the left sleeve of the dress is patterned with the impresa of a crystal vase set round with pearls. It is interesting to note that Ginevra’s husband, Sigismondo, is probably the Donor in the Madonna and Child and a Kneeling Donor (No. 1159a or No. 1279) by Jacopo Bellini which hangs next to it on the left. The only other painted portrait by Pisanello known is the later, and larger, one of Leonello d’Este in the Bergamo Gallery.
Bono da Ferrara (fl. 1450–1461) was a pupil of Pisanello, and Oriolo (fl. 1450) was a follower of his; their pictures are extremely rare. The Louvre contains no picture by Liberale da Verona (1451–1536), a master who had many pupils, among whom may be included87 Girolamo dai Libri (1474–1556) and Francesco Caroto (1470–1546). The Madonna and Child and St. John the Baptist (No. 1318), which is officially catalogued under the name of Girolamo, has long been held to be by Caroto.
Domenico Brusasorci (“The Rat-burner”) (1494–1567) was the father of Felice Riccio and a pupil of Caroto. He has been claimed as the author of the Madonna and St. Martina (No. 1163), which passes in the Catalogue as being by the very late Roman painter Pietro Berretini da Cortona (1596–1669). Other versions of this composition, representing St. Martina triumphing over the Idols, are known. A large number of the prominent Veronese painters are unrepresented in this collection, but the influence of Liberale is frequently seen. The Council of Trent (No. 1586) may be assigned to Paolo Farinati, although it is regarded by the authorities as coming from the hand of Titian. By the time that Farinati died, art in Verona had passed into decline.
One of the most decorative painters in Italy in the sixteenth century was Paolo Veronese, who although a native of Verona spent the best years of his life in Venice. He is usually included among the artists of Venice.
THE SCHOOL OF FERRARA
ACCORDING to tradition the most famous artist in the school of Ferrara before Tura was Ettore de’ Bonacossi, of whom little is known.
At Ferrara, the city of the Este family, as at all the Italian courts, the art of painting was liberally patronised. All Ferrarese art was more or less Paduan both in origin and style, Cosimo Tura (1430?–1495), the founder of this school, having worked at Padua as a pupil of Squarcione.
The seriousness of Cosimo Tura’s realism was unyielding to those intellectual qualities that dominated the art of Florence in his day; but, in spite of a certain harshness of effect, the vigour of his design and the dignity of his conception give permanent value to the work of this master. Tura is represented in the Louvre by two pictures; the figures seen in his large lunette of the Pietà (No. 1556) are admirably designed to fill up the space they occupy. This panel is a dismembered part of an altarpiece which was painted for the Roverella family, and was formerly in its entirety in the Church of S. Giorgio fuori le Mura at Ferrara. The Pietà eventually passed to the Campana collection, and so to the Louvre. The drapery in this panel, which is cracked horizontally, is tinny, and the flesh is metallic with its white and purple lights, while the bones in the faces being over-prominent create an unpleasant effect. The centre panel of the original altarpiece represents the Madonna and Child Enthroned. It passed in time into the Frizzoni collection at Bergamo, and was90 subsequently purchased in 1867 from Sir Charles Eastlake for the National Gallery (No. 772). The sinister wing of the original altarpiece depicts the Bishop Lorenzo Roverella presented to the Virgin by St. Maurelius and St. Paul, and is now in the private rooms of the Colonna Palace in Rome.
The Church of S. Giorgio fuori le Mura at Ferrara also at one time contained another altarpiece painted by Cosimo Tura. It was placed over the altar of St. Maurelius, but has long ago been dismembered. One of its panels is the Flight into Egypt, in the collection of Mr. R. H. Benson; two others, representing a Scene from the Life of St. Maurelius and The Martyrdom of St. Maurelius, are in the Ferrara Gallery; another is the Adoration of the Magi, in the possession of the Contessa di Santa Fiora, in Rome; while a fifth, the Circumcision, belongs to the Marchesa Passeri, in Rome.
The Louvre possesses an arched panel of A Monk (No. 1557) by Tura. The panel is split and the cheek of the saint injured.
The seriousness of purpose which inspired Cosimo Tura was absorbed by his pupil Francesco Cossa (1435–1477), whose art is not seen at the Louvre. One of Cossa’s pupils was Lorenzo Costa, who in 1483 passed from Ferrara to Bologna, to which city he carried the principles of Tura’s training. Francesco Bianchi (1460–1510) was another of Tura’s pupils, but he belongs more strictly to the school of Modena. Another pupil in the studio of the chef d’ecole of Ferrarese painting was Ercole Roberti (1430?–1496), who also worked at Padua. This painter, whose full name was Ercole de’ Roberti Grandi, has been justly claimed as the author of the two small panels representing St. Apollonia (No. 1677a), holding in her hand the pincers, the symbol of her martyrdom, and St. Michael (No. 1677b). These companion pictures are officially described under the ambiguous designation of91 “Ferrarese School, xvi century.” They, however, clearly belong to the earlier century, and are probably by Roberti.
The Louvre contains nothing by Ercole Roberti’s pupil, Ercole di Giulio Cesare Grandi (1465?–1531). Ercole Grandi’s influence is sometimes seen in the exceedingly rare pictures of Giovanni Battista Benvenuto, who is better known under the name of Ortolano (“the gardener”), and takes his name from the occupation of his father. The art of Ortolano (1460–1529) is seen to the greatest advantage in the St. Sebastian, St. Roch, and St. Demetrius, in the National Gallery (No. 669). An immature work by him is apparently the Nativity in this Gallery (No. 1401), which in the opinion of the compilers of the Catalogue is by Domenico Panetti (1450?–1512?), a pupil of Lorenzo Costa. Panetti’s works are rarely met with out of Italy.
Among the pictures of this school, those of Lodovico Mazzolino (1478?–1528) are perhaps the easiest to recognise. His Holy Family (No. 1387) is not now exhibited, but the Christ preaching to the Multitude on the Sea of Galilee (No. 1388) is evidently by him, although it has been ranked by one critic as a Flemish picture painted under the inspiration of Mazzolino and Dosso Dossi.
Panetti was the master of Benvenuto Tisi, a very prolific painter who is better known by the name of Garofalo (1481?–1559), owing to his occasionally painting a gillyflower into his pictures as a signature. although the Catalogue includes four small works by this artist, a Circumcision (No. 1550), a Holy Family (No. 1552), a Madonna and Child (No. 1554), and a Sleeping Child Jesus (No. 1553), only the last of them is now exhibited.
Another artist in this school who signed his pictures with a rebus was Giovanni Lutero (1479?–1542), who is better known under the name of Dosso Dossi. A typical instance of this punning use of his name is the Money Changers driven out of the Temple, in the Doria Gallery at Rome; it is signed with a “D”92 traversed by a bone (osso), obviously a play on his name of Dosso or D OSSO. No picture by Dosso Dossi is now exhibited.
Francesco Bonsignori (1455–1519), Marco Zoppo (fl. 1471–1498), Michele Coltellini (1480–1542), Ippolito Scarsellino (1551–1620), Girolamo da Carpi, and other Ferrarese painters are unrepresented in this collection.
THE SCHOOL OF MILAN
THE painters who practised in Milan in the fourteenth century were little better than provincial craftsmen who had come within the range of the Giottesque tradition without grasping the more vital of its principles. Those who worked in Milanese territory in the first half of the fifteenth century acquired some of the reflected influences which passed from the work of Pisanello and Jacopo Bellini in Verona, and from the more striking achievements of the Paduan and early Venetian schools, but their work lacked all trace of originality.
A painter of the name of Michelino Molinari da Besozzo (fl. 1394–1442), or Michele da Pavia, was painting at Milan about 1420. However, there cannot be said to have been a school of painting, but only an aggregation of painters in Milanese territory, prior to the arrival at Pavia and Milan of the Brescian-born master, Vicenzo Foppa, about 1458. Previous to that important event, if not throughout the whole range of its activity, Milanese art lacked the higher elements of genius in all matters æsthetic. As a school it was to the end too inclined to mere prettiness and superficial sweetness.
The Umbrian-born architect and painter, Bramante (1444–1514), who had received his education in Florence, painted in Lombardy from 1472–1474, as his Panigarola frescoes now in the Brera testify. Bramante also influenced Foppa, whose work is well defined and whose colouring is subdued.
Side by side with Foppa at the head of the Milanese school comes Bernardino Butinone (fl. 1450–1507), a great deal of whose94 work may still be seen at Milan. A Madonna and Child (No. 1523), which is doubtfully ascribed in the Catalogue to Gregorio Schiavone, a pupil of Squarcione at Padua, may possibly be by Butinone, whose art is marked by an austerity and dryness which are absent from the paintings of Zenale, who was the partner and perhaps a pupil of Butinone.
The Circumcision, with the Portrait of the Donor (No. 1545), although catalogued under the name of Bramantino, may be by Zenale (1436–1526). This panel is inscribed “xl. anno 1491. f͞r] i͞a lapugnanvs p͞p hvmil can̄.” Bramantino (1455?–1536?), whose name was Bartolommeo Suardi, came under the influence of Foppa and Bramante, and from the latter acquired his sobriquet.
The pictures of Borgognone (1455?–1522?) are easily recognised by the ashen grey pallor of his faces, relieved occasionally by eyelids reddened by grief. He was a prolific painter of religious pictures which show simple pathos. With the possible exception of the Family Portraits in the National Gallery (Nos. 779–780), which are indeed fragments of a standard, and may have been painted by Zenale, Borgognone, whose name was Ambrogio da Fossano, is not known to have painted a secular subject. This typical Milanese painter was another of the pupils of Foppa. Being an architect as well as a painter, Borgognone delighted in giving an architectural setting to his compositions. He also loved to introduce brightly coloured carpets and draperies, and minutely painted jewellery into his pictures. These characteristics are seen in his companion pictures of St. Peter Martyr and a Donoress (No. 1182), and St. Augustine and a kneeling Donor (No. 1182a). The latter of this pair of panels of his early period was purchased from Lord Aldenham in 1899 for 1000 guineas. They originally formed part of a dismembered altarpiece, the centre panel of which is now lost or unidentified. His Presentation of Christ in the Temple (No. 1181), although originally painted on panel, was95 transferred to canvas in 1885. Borgognone might almost be termed the Perugino of the Milanese school.
Andrea Solario (1460?–1515?), who was perhaps the pupil of his brother Cristoforo a sculptor and architect, went with him to Venice in 1490 and remained there at least three years. During this time he came under the influence of Alvise Vivarini and Giovanni Bellini. Earlier in his career he was impressed by the pictures of Antonello da Messina, who was in Venice and Milan in 1475–1476. Solario can hardly have become Antonello’s pupil at that early age. He must also have come within the sphere of Leonardo da Vinci’s influence. Leonardo, who worked in Milan between 1482 and 1500 and from 1506 to 1513, was asked by the Cardinal George of Amboise to decorate a chapel in the Château at Gaillon in Normandy. He, however, advised the Cardinal to employ Solario. Solario in consequence went to France in August 1507 to undertake the work. The Louvre is rich in his pictures. His charming Madonna of the Green Cushion (No. 1530) is inscribed:
Andreas de Solario fa.
This small panel was once the property of Marie de Médicis. The Crucifixion (No. 1532) was formerly catalogued under the name of Andrea de Milan, which led some to confuse Andrea Solario with the much less efficient painter, Andrea Salaino. This picture is inscribed:
ANDREAS MEDIOLANENSIS FA 1503,
a form of signature which is said to have been employed by Solario only for such of his pictures as were destined for other towns than96 Milan. The Head of St. John the Baptist on a Charger (No. 1533) is said to be signed and dated
ANDREAS DE SOLARIO, FAT, 1507.
The Portrait of Charles d’Amboise, Seigneur of Chaumont and Governor of Milan (No. 1531), like many other of Solario’s pictures, has in the past, when the range of his art was not so well understood, been attributed to other artists.
In Bernardino Luini (1475?–1533?) we have a lyrical artist. He is said to have been a pupil of one Stefano Scotto, but he was deeply impressed by the art of Borgognone, and early in the sixteenth century came under the influence of Leonardo. Indeed, it was almost impossible at that period of Milanese art for a painter in that school to resist the style of Leonardo. Although Luini’s works are reminiscent of the greater master, he strove after originality; he was an industrious painter rather than an artist of genius. Luini is never very emotional, never passionate, never dramatic. His figures are characterised by sweetness and grace; his types are refined but insipid and are apt to become monotonous. It is as a painter of frescoes that he succeeds best, and the Louvre is fortunate in possessing several of his works in that medium. The best are a Nativity (No. 1359), and an Adoration of the Magi (No. 1360). The Head of Christ (No. 1361) is inscribed:
POSCE NE DUBITA QUOD
QUODCV̄ PATRI IN NOMINE MEo
PETIERIS FIET TIBI.
They were acquired in 1867 from the collection of the Duke97 Antonio Litta Visconti Arese, of Milan. The Louvre also contains fragments of large fresco paintings of the Forge of Vulcan (No. 1356), a Child Seated (No. 1357), and a Child Kneeling (No. 1358). They form part of the series, which is now preserved in Milan, but formerly decorated the Villa Pelucca near Monza; they were removed from there in 1817. These three fragments have been transferred from plaster to canvas or panel. The four frescoes (Nos. 1362–1365) are by a pupil. The art of Luini as a painter on panel is seen to advantage in the Holy Family (No. 1353), the Virgin and the Infant Christ (No. 1354), and Salome receiving the Head of St. John the Baptist (No. 1355).
The arrival of Leonardo da Vinci, when little over thirty years of age, at the court of Lodovico Sforza at Milan revolutionised art in that city. The exquisite rhythm and balance and the remarkable gestures and facial expression seen in his Last Supper must have made a profound impression on all the Milanese, people and painters alike. Not having been educated in the profound principles that gradually built up the school of Florence, whence the great painter came, the majority of the native artists were so overcome by his power that in time they became enslaved by the magic of his brush.
Ambrogio da Predis (1455?–1506?), who worked as Leonardo’s assistant on the National Gallery’s replica of the Virgin of the Rocks in this collection (No. 1599), is not represented here. Another assistant and pupil of Leonardo was Bernardino de’ Conti. As we have seen, he may be the painter of the Profile Portrait of a Lady—or La Belle Ferronnière (No. 1605)—which is officially regarded as being of the “School of Leonardo.” A similar attribution is also given to the Madonna of the Scales (No. 1604), which should rather be assigned to Cesare da Sesto (1477–1523), a sickly and insipid imitator of the master. Another of Leonardo’s imitators was Marco d’Oggiono (1470?–1540). His copy of98 Leonardo’s Last Supper (No. 1603) is perhaps of greater interest than his own Holy Family (No. 1382) and Madonna and Child (No. 1382a).
One of the more original of the imitators of Leonardo was Boltraffio (1467–1516), whose Madonna of the Casio Family (No. 1169) was formerly in the Milan Gallery, where any picture containing a portrait of that poet might reasonably have been expected to remain. This picture is the painter’s masterpiece.
THE SCHOOL OF LOMBARDY
AFTER the activity which had prevailed in Milan during the last half of the fifteenth century and the first quarter of the sixteenth century, art in Lombardy rapidly deteriorated. Before the decline had passed into decadence Pier Francesco Sacchi (fl. 1512–1527) painted at Pavia his Four Doctors of the Church (No. 1488), which is signed in the cartouche
SACHI DE PAPIA
Each of the Doctors duplicates the part of an Evangelist. On the left St. Augustine, with his book inscribed “De Civitate Dei,” is also shown as St. John with his eagle; St. Gregory, with his dove, is also St. Luke with his bull; St. Jerome, with his cardinal’s hat, is also St. Matthew with his angel; while St. Ambrose, with his scourge, is also St. Mark with his lion. The scourge held by St. Ambrose, a patron saint of Milan, alludes to his refusing the Emperor Theodosius admittance into the church at Milan in consequence of the general massacre he ordered with a view to subduing a sedition at Thessalonica in A.D. 390.
Another early-sixteenth-century Pavian painter was Bartolommeo Bononi, whose only known picture is the Madonna and Child, St. Francis, a Bishop, and a Monk (No. 1174). It is signed
OPUS BARTOLOMEI BONONII CIVIS PAPIENSIS 1501.
on the stump of the tree in the centre foreground.
A striking, although mediocre, Family of the Virgin (No. 1284) by Lorenzo de’ Fasoli, who is also known as Lorenzo di Pavia, and who died about 1520, illustrates the tradition that St. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, was three times married, Joachim being her third husband; the other two were Cleophas and Salome. This composition of seventeen figures is signed
LAURENTIVS PAPIEN FECIT MDXIII,
and is one of the latest examples of this tradition, which about 1520 passed out of art.
A large Triptych (No. 1384), signed
DE ALEXĀ PINXIT,
is by Giovanni Massone, who worked at Alessandria in the second half of the fifteenth century; it contains the portraits of Pope Sixtus iv. with St. Francis of Assisi and Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere under the protection of St. Anthony of Padua. Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere was Bishop of Savona about 1483; he was in 1503 elected Pope under the title of Julius ii., and became the patron of Raphael.
The remaining pictures of this school are of little account. Bernardino Campi (1522–1592?) is represented by a Mater Dolorosa (No. 1202); and Bartolommeo Manfredi (1580?–1617) by a Fortune Teller (No. 1368), a subject which demonstrates the Decadence in full operation. Giovanni Paolo Panini (1695–1764), who came to Paris in 1732 and became an Academician, seems to have got some satisfaction out of committing to canvas a Concert given at Rome on Dec. 26, 1729, in Honour of the Birth of the Dauphin, the son of Louis XV. (No. 1409) and a large Interior of St. Peter’s at Rome (No. 1408), the latter being signed and dated 1730.
THE SCHOOL OF FERRARA-BOLOGNA
THE city of Bologna was visited in 1268 by Oderigi of Gubbio (fl. 1268–1295), who had the benefit of personal intercourse with Giotto in Rome. Bologna produced a skilled miniature painter in Franco Bolognese in the fourteenth century, but gave birth to few native painters of merit. Until Francesco Cossa removed from Ferrara to Bologna in 1470, art in the City of the Colonnades was in an undeveloped state. The school of Bologna, which may be considered as an offshoot of the Ferrarese school, was further strengthened by the arrival of Lorenzo Costa.
Lorenzo Costa (1460–1535), who had been a pupil of Francesco Cossa at Ferrara, worked for the Bentivogli family in Bologna until 1509. In that year he was induced to fix his abode in Mantua at the instance of the Marquis Francesco Gonzaga and his wife Isabella d’Este, whose court painter, Andrea Mantegna, had died three years earlier. Costa there painted about 1510 his Court of Isabella d’Este in the Garden of the Muses (No. 1261), which is signed
L. COSTA F.
This famous canvas shows a weakness of drawing and a “want of force that mars what is meant for grace.” Costa’s Mythological Scene (No. 1262) is not now exhibited, but in it, as in the majority of his works, the figures have no real existence. The heads are usually “screwed on—not always at the proper angle—to crosspoles hung about with clothes.” His landscapes, however, “without being in any sense serious studies, are among the loveliest painted in his day.”
Costa’s shortcomings were to dominate to the end the school of Bologna, which was essentially, almost from its incipience, one of Decadence. He became the first direct master of Francesco Francia (1450–1517), the typical Renaissance painter in Bologna who seems to have taken to painting at the relatively advanced age of thirty-five. Francia had matriculated in the Goldsmiths’ Guild in 1482 and was Master of the Guild in 1483, the year of Costa’s arrival; but until he came under the influence of Costa he had worked only as an engraver of paci in niello-work, a die-sinker, and a medallist. They soon went into partnership, the upper storey of their joint workshop being used for the painting of pictures, while metal-work was executed below. Francia is not seen to the best advantage in the Louvre. His Christ on the Cross (No. 1436) is somewhat unusual in treatment, as a nude figure of St. Job, a plague saint, is painted in the foreground. This large picture bears the characteristic signature
and shows his practice of demonstrating the versatility of his many talents. The small Nativity (No. 1435) is an authentic work. The Madonna and Child, with St. George, St. Sebastian, St. Francis, and St. John the Baptist (No. 1436a), is known as the Guastavillani Madonna from the inscription to the effect that Filippo Guastavillani, a Bolognese senator, ordered the picture of Francia. Nevertheless, this large panel appears to have been executed by his son, Giacomo. A Madonna and Child (No. 1437) and a Holy Family with St. Francis d’Assisi (No. 1437a) are only by pupils.
The Louvre contains no example of the work of the Umbrian artist, Timoteo Viti (1467–1524), who was a pupil of Costa, and from July 1490 to April 1495 worked in the studio of Francia. There are no other sixteenth-century Bolognese paintings in this collection.
THE SCHOOL OF CREMONA
THIS small and unimportant school includes Boccaccio Boccaccino (fl. 1460–1518?), who was formed on various Venetian and Milanese influences. The Holy Family (No. 1168) which is credited to him, but not now exhibited, seems to be an unattributable panel by some artist of the Lombard school. This school includes an early-sixteenth-century imitator who has received the significant name of “Pseudo-Boccaccino,” but is not here represented.
The Mater Dolorosa (No. 1202) appears to be by Bernardino Campi, a mediocre sixteenth-century painter of the Lombard and Cremonese schools. Sofonisba Anguissola (1528–1625), a female artist, was his pupil and the wife of Orazio Lomellini.
THE SCHOOL OF BRESCIA
THIS small town seems to have produced little local talent previous to the birth of Foppa. Ottaviano Prandino, who had worked with Altichiero at Padua, and Bartolommeo Testorino (died about 1429) are little more than names.
Vincenzo Foppa (1427?–1516?) was born near Brescia. The theory that he studied under Squarcione at Padua lacks confirmation. On the other hand, he seems to have been little affected by the Squarcionesque traditions, and is rather to be regarded as the artistic product of the school of Verona, where he would have come under the influence of Pisanello and Jacopo Bellini. He may have been a friend of Andrea Mantegna. It is, however, not in Brescia, but in Milan that Foppa’s art may be studied to-day. He arrived in Pavia about 1458, and became the founder of the school of Milan twenty years before Leonardo first took up his abode at the court of Lodovico Il Moro.
Foppa’s pupil Vincenzo Civerchio (1470?–1544) and Floriano Ferramola (1480–1528) were the joint founders of the school of Brescia; Romanino (1485–1566) was a pupil of the latter. The Louvre is singularly poor in its representation of this school, which cannot here be studied earlier than the (so-called) Portrait of Gaston de Foix (No. 1518) by Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo (1480?–1548?). This canvas, which appears to be signed
Opera di Jovanni Jeronimo di Bressia di Savoldi,
shows unmistakably the conflicting influences, mostly Venetian, under which this artist worked.
Moretto (1498?–1555?), who was a pupil of Ferramola and was influenced by Savoldo and Romanino, produced large and striking altarpieces as well as portraits. He met with some success in his attempts to combine a subtlety of feeling peculiar to himself with the “silvery” tones of which he was so fond. His St. Bernardino of Siena and St. Louis of Toulouse (No. 1175) and his St. Bonaventura and St. Anthony of Padua (No. 1176) are arched panels on a much smaller scale than he often uses.
Moretto’s pupil, Giambattista Moroni (1525?–1578), painted many far better portraits than that of An Old Man seated (No. 1395). The only other Brescian painting in this collection seems to be the Portrait of a Man (No. 1646), who is seen at half length, seated three-quarters to the left and wearing a robe trimmed with fur. Although catalogued as an unattributable Italian work, it is in our opinion by Calisto Piazza of Lodi (fl. 1520–1560), the son of Martino Piazza of the Milanese school. To Calisto da Lodi has been assigned the Portrait of a Knight of Malta (No. 1594) which is catalogued as being by Titian.
The Louvre is very inferior to the National Gallery in both the quality and quantity of pictures of this school.
THE SCHOOL OF MODENA
THE city of Modena gave birth to the early painters Tommaso da Modena (1325–1379) and Barnaba da Modena (fl. 1377), who worked in many different parts of Tuscany. The prominent figure in this school, however, is Francesco Bianchi (1460–1510). This painter, whose name is sometimes given as Francesco Bianchi Ferrari, was in all probability a pupil of Cosimo Tura at Ferrara. He left that city about 1480 for Modena. His style of painting has been the subject of much discussion, chiefly because he is regarded as the master of Correggio of Parma. The Madonna and Child, with St. Benedict and St. Quentin (No. 1167), although officially catalogued under his name, is not now generally accepted as his work. In 1725 it was in the Church of St. Quentin at Parma and attributed to Francia. Certain critics have ascribed it to Alessandro da Carpi and others to Pellegrino Munari of Modena (1450?–1523). Bianchi’s work can only be studied in the Pinacoteca Estense and in the churches at Modena.
The three pictures officially catalogued under the name of the third-rate artist Bartolommeo Schidone (1570?–1615) are not exhibited, nor are they missed,—a remark which will also apply to a St. Cecilia (No. 1253) by Jacopo Cavedone (1577–1660).
THE SCHOOL OF VICENZA
THE first Vicentine painter known to us is Battista da Vicenza (fl. 1450), but it was not until the last quarter of the fifteenth century that Vicenza produced a painter of any note. Bartolommeo Montagna (1460?–1523) studied the art of the Vivarini, and so became the central figure in an unimportant school. His Ecce Homo (No. 1393), which bears the signature:
in a cartellino fastened to a twig, is a mature work. The delightful and late picture of Three Angel Musicians (No. 1394), which is signed in a cartellino
shows the unmistakable influence of Gentile Bellini. The same motif is found in the three musician angels in Montagna’s magnificent Madonna and Child, with St. Andrew, St. Monica, St. Ursula, and St. Sigismund, of 1498, in the Brera.
Montagna’s son, Benedetto (fl. 1500–1540), Giovanni Buonconsiglio (1470?–1536?), and Giovanni Speranza (1480–1536) also practised as painters; but Vicentine art from the middle of the sixteenth century has little claim on our attention.
THE SCHOOL OF VERCELLI
ONE of the earliest painters in this school was an obscure artist of the Old Lombard school named Martino Spanzotti. He was the master of Gaudenzio Ferrari (1471–1546), whose frescoes are easily recognisable by the crude colour, exuberant imagination, and forceful, almost brutal, realism which have caused him to be termed, somewhat loosely, the Rubens of Italy. A very late work by him is the St. Paul (No. 1285), which is signed and dated
Another of Spanzotti’s pupils was Sodoma, who was born at Vercelli in Piedmont, in 1477. He is best known for the large amount of work that he executed at Siena. This prolific artist, like a number of other painters of this unimportant school, is not represented in the Louvre. He died in 1551.
A faint echo of the teaching of Spanzotti may at times be detected in the works of Defendente Ferrari (fl. 1500–1535) and Girolamo Giovenone (fl. 1513–1527), who are not represented in the Louvre.
SCHOOL OF PARMA
No. 1117.—THE MYSTIC MARRIAGE OF ST. CATHERINE
(Mariage mystique de Sainte Catherine)
The Virgin, in a red tunic and blue mantle, is seated to the left of the composition holding on her lap the Infant Christ. He is about to place the wedding-ring on the third finger of the outstretched right hand of the kneeling St. Catherine, who wears a gold-brocaded robe. Behind her stands St. Sebastian, looking on with interest and clasping in his hand the arrows, the symbol of his martyrdom. In the landscape background are depicted scenes of the martyrdom of the two Saints.
Painted in oil on panel.
3 ft. 5½ in. × 3 ft. 4 in. (1·05 × 1·02.)
THE SCHOOL OF PARMA
ONE of the most distinctive and perhaps the most sensuous of the Italian masters is Correggio (1494–1534), who takes his name from his birthplace, Il Correggio, a small town near Modena. It was natural, therefore, that he should have become the pupil of Francesco Bianchi of the school of Modena. Correggio came under almost all the leading influences which distinguish the principal Italian schools of the early sixteenth century. His “sidelong grace,” his subtle gradations of tone, his daring foreshortening, his sublimity of space and light, his vivid imagination, his profound knowledge of chiaroscuro, render him an isolated phenomenon in Italian art at the moment when it was passing into precipitate decline. His Marriage of St. Catherine (No. 1117, Plate XV.) entirely lacks the dignity and solemnity which are the dominant features of truly religious art. The figures which make up this fascinating composition are delicate, but by no means of an elevated type. This pseudo-religious picture, when studied together with the Jupiter and Antiope (No. 1118), shows the justice of the criticism that Correggio’s pictures are “hymns to the charm of femininity the like of which have never been known before or since in Christian Europe.” It is more remarkable that this mythological canvas, which is so full of sensuous vitality, should have been added to the royal collection of England in the seventeenth century than that it should have been allowed by Cromwell to leave the country a few years later. Two Allegories of Virtue and Vice,114 executed by Correggio in gouache, hang in one of the Rooms of Drawings.
Parmigianino (1504–1540), an imitator of Correggio and in a less degree of Raphael, who were both shortlived artists, painted the two small panels of a Holy Family (No. 1385), and a Holy Family and Saints (No. 1386).
THE SCHOOL OF BOLOGNA
AFTER the deaths of Francia in 1517 and Lorenzo Costa in 1536, painting in Bologna rapidly decreased in quality, although not in volume. A distinctive feature was the work of Marc Antonio Raimondi (b. 1475), a pupil of Francia, who developed the process of engraving on copper.
Bologna, which like other cities of Italy felt the effects of humanism, acquired an increased importance in political activity through the meeting there of Pope Leo x. and Francis i., in 1515, and by the Coronation of Charles v., on Feb. 24, 1530. It also obtained within a few years a great reputation as an art centre, although it is not easy for us now to realise why. The esteem in which its art was held in foreign countries is also difficult to explain. Innocenzo da Imola, who had studied under Francia, was the master of Primaticcio, who was summoned to France by François i. in 1531. Primaticcio at that time was working at Mantua with Giulio Romano, the favourite pupil and the imitator of Raphael. While Primaticcio took with him the influence of Bolognese art to Fontainebleau, where he died in 1570, Pellegrino Tibaldi (1527–1591), a pupil of Bagnacavallo, carried the Bolognese influence into Spain.
The appreciation by a foreign artist of the art of Bologna is shown in the case of Denis Calvaert of Antwerp, who thought the Bolognese school to be in so flourishing a state, when he passed through on his way to study in Rome, that he decided to abandon his original intention and to stay on in the city of the Colonnades.
A striking feature of the literature and art of painting at116 Bologna was that its University had always accorded equal terms to women students with men, and had women professors. Female painters—they were without exception only of the third rank—had worked in Bologna from the days of Caterina di Vigri, painter and saint, who was born as early as 1413. In the last quarter of the sixteenth century, art in Bologna passed into the complete control of the Eclectics.
THE DECADENT SCHOOLS
IN the Florentine and Roman schools the Decadence may be said to have begun with the death of Raphael in 1520. With the exception of the Venetian school, in which art did not languish until after the death of Tintoretto in 1594, painting rapidly degenerated during the second half of the sixteenth century. Paintings were, of course, produced in great profusion in every art centre of Italy, but form and subject were not in true harmony. To a great extent local traditions were abandoned, the earlier types varied, and three distinctive movements developed—the “Mannerists,” the “Eclectics,” and the “Naturalists.”
Giulio Romano (1492?–1546) was content to imitate the works of Raphael; and Daniele da Volterra (1509–1566) tried, as we have seen in his David overcoming Goliath (No. 1462), to reproduce the swelling muscles of Michelangelo. Baroccio (1526–1612) in his Circumcision (No. 1149), which is signed and dated 1570, and in his Virgin in Glory, with St. Anthony and St. Lucy (No. 1150), sought to reproduce the ineffable grace of Correggio; while others endeavoured to repeat the enigmatic smile, the “greyhound” eye, and the mysterious chiaroscuro of Leonardo da Vinci.
Although the “Mannerists” were to be met with in most of the centres of painting in the sixteenth century, they made Rome the centre of their operations. Domenico Feti (1589–1624) is represented in the Louvre by four canvases, Nero (No. 1286),118 Life in the Country (No. 1287), Melancholy (No. 1288), and The Guardian Angel (No. 1289), the subjects being highly significant.
In the Holy Family (No. 1493) by Sassoferrato (1605–1685) are shown the shallowness and empty formalism which produced the fair-haired, blue-eyed, hyper-sentimental Madonnas with which his name is associated. Carlo Dolci is not represented in the Louvre.
One of the more estimable artists in the Late Roman school is Carlo Maratta (1625–1713), who may be judged by the unsigned Portrait of Marie Madeleine Rospigliosi (No. 1379) and His Own Portrait (No. 1380).
Two paintings of Fruit (Nos. 1254, 1255) stand to the credit of M. A. Cerquozzi (1602–1660), and the art of G. B. Castiglione, of Genoa (1616–1670), is seen in his Abraham and Melchizedek (No. 1250) and Animals and Utensils (No. 1252).
A revolt against the methods of the “Mannerists” was made by the Carracci when they opened their school of art at Bologna in 1589. These “Eclectics” (“Pickers and Choosers”) advocated a careful study of “the drawing of Rome, the Venetian shadow, the terrific force of Michelangelo’s manner, the natural truth of Titian, the pure and sovereign style of Correggio, the true symmetry of Raphael, the dignity and principle of Tibaldi, the invention of the learned Primaticcio, together with a little of the grace of Parmigianino”! It is not surprising that they in their turn soon sank into mere academic mediocrity.
The Louvre is notoriously rich in representative examples of the “Eclectic” painters’ art. The name of Lodovico Carracci (1555–1619), the founder of this school at Bologna, is included in the official Catalogue, but neither of his two pictures is at present exhibited. Lodovico had as cousins, Agostino (1557?–1602) and119 Annibale (1560?–1609), who also worked in Rome. Six of Annibale Carracci’s fifteen pictures in this collection are now exhibited. The Madonna of the Cherries (No. 1217) and the Sleeping Child Jesus (No. 1218) are characteristic, while his huge canvas of The Virgin appearing to St. Luke and St. Catherine (No. 1219) in every way exemplifies the art of this painter and his school. It is inscribed:
ANNIBAL CARACTIUS F. MDXCII.
Pictures of this type were much sought after and prized in the eighteenth century, when this one was seized by Napoleon in Italy, but to-day a higher standard of æsthetics has deservedly ruled them out of fashion. On the other hand, sufficient attention is not now paid to some of the landscape pictures which the “Eclectics” painted; Annibale’s Fishing (No. 1233) and Hunting (No. 1232) are worth the attention of the student. Antonio Carracci (1583–1618), a less-known member of this family, is the author of a large canvas depicting The Deluge (No. 1235).
Guido Reni, after working under Denis Calvaert at Bologna, entered the school of the Carracci. This fitful sentimentalist indulged in idealised abstractions that were neither human nor divine, as may be seen from his David and Goliath (No. 1439) and St. Sebastian (No. 1450) on the one hand, and his Ecce Homo (No. 1447) and Mary Magdalene (No. 1448) on the other. Four of his large mythological paintings (Nos. 1453, 1454, 1455, 1457) show some technical ability.
Francesco Albani (1578–1660) was influenced by the Carracci and Guido Reni. The Diana and Actaeon (No. 1111) may be selected out of his nine productions mentioned in the Catalogue. Domenichino (1581–1641), a pupil of the Carracci, the assistant of Annibale and a friend of Guido Reni in Rome, was a sentimentalist of the most pronounced order. His hard execution and unpleasant colouring can be judged in his St. Cecilia (No. 1613),120—her features are singularly ill-proportioned,—but nine of his other pictures do not take up any of the valuable wall space.
The self-taught artist and insipid Guercino (“The Squintling”) (1591–1666), after working in Rome, settled in 1642 at Bologna, where he died in affluent circumstances. His Raising of Lazarus (No. 1139), the large Patron Saints of Modena (No. 1143), together with a Circe (No. 1147) and The Painters Own Portrait (No. 1148), are now exhibited. These and such pictures as were painted by G. A. Donducci (1575–1655), G. F. Grimaldi (1606–1680), S. Cantarini (1612–1648), and G. M. Crespi (1665–1747), provoked a fresh reaction.
A natural reaction against the selective methods of the “Eclectics” gave rise to the “Naturalists,” who, headed by Michelangelo Caravaggio (1569–1609), made Naples the centre of their operations. The utterly repulsive picture entitled The Death of the Virgin (No. 1121), by Caravaggio, is merely large. Neither The Fortune Teller (No. 1122) nor the Concert of Nine Musicians (No. 1123) can be compared with the really striking and well-painted Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt, Grand-Master of Malta (No. 1124).
Salvator Rosa (1615–1675) is represented by Tobias and the Angel (No. 1477) and a Vision of Saul to Samuel (No. 1478). His Landscape (No. 1480) shows that he delighted in “ideas of desolation, solitude and danger, impenetrable forests, rocky and storm-lashed shores, in lonely dells leading to dens and caverns of banditti, alpine ridges, trees blasted by lightning or sapped by time.” His Battle (No. 1479) is a strange production.
Caravaggio was the master of Ribera (1588–1656), who is also called Spagnoletto, and is included in the Catalogue among the Spanish artists. This “Naturalist” school of Naples also121 included Luca Giordano (1632–1705), who lived in Spain at one period.
The aim of the “Naturalists” is displayed in the prominence they gave to all that was vulgar, coarse, and vile. With them art in Italy came to an ignominious end, although in technical accomplishment, in mere craftsmanship, they can hold their own with painters of much higher rank.
PLATE XVI.—JAN VAN EYCK
EARLY FLEMISH SCHOOL
No. 1986.—THE VIRGIN AND CHILD AND THE CHANCELLOR ROLIN
(La Vierge au donateur)
An angel in a blue alb and with peacock-blue wings is placing an elaborate gold crown on the head of the Madonna, who holds the Infant Christ on her knee, and is seated towards the right of the composition. On the other side the Chancellor, kneeling at a prie-Dieu, and with his hands joined in adoration, wears a richly brocaded robe, and is seen in profile towards the right. The figures are grouped in a portico opening on to a flower-garden and a crenellated wall; in the distance is seen a seven-arched bridge, and beyond it a castled island.
Painted in oil on panel.
2 ft. 2 in. × 2 ft. 0½ in. (0·66 × 0·62.)
THE EARLY FLEMISH SCHOOL
THE early art of Flanders, unlike that of Italy, does not present itself at the Louvre, or indeed at any Gallery, in orderly sequence from the immature groping for artistic expression to masterly achievement. With the exception of the exquisite work of the late-fourteenth-century miniaturists, which forms a special branch of study, there is nothing to bridge the immense gulf that divides Melchior Broederlam, the earliest known Flemish painter, from the brothers Van Eyck, whose earliest known work, the wonderful Ghent polyptych of The Adoration of the Lamb, is, if not quite the starting-point, the noblest achievement of the Early Flemish school. The invention of oil-painting, in the sense of the word as it is applied to-day, with which the Van Eycks are credited, no doubt contributed largely towards this amazingly sudden progress; but their art also marks a new era in the conception of life and pictorial form. An ardent love of truth and nature takes the place of the earlier vague idealism. At the same time, the realism of the brothers Van Eyck and their followers, notwithstanding its insistence on literal truth in the representation of frequently ugly details, was kept in check by deep sentiment, love of splendid colour, and a great sense of style in composition. Details, even in the far-away distance, were certainly elaborated with minute precision, but they are never unduly obtrusive, and are invariably subordinated to the main motive.
JAN VAN EYCK
The earliest important Flemish painting in the Louvre is the famous Virgin and Child with the Chancellor Rolin (No. 1986, Plate XVI.) by Jan van Eyck (c. 1390–1441), which was taken by order of Napoleon I. from the Collegiate Church of Autun in Burgundy. In a three-aisled colonnaded hall with stilted arches and pavement of geometrical inlay is seen Nicholas Rolin, Chancellor of Burgundy and Brabant, kneeling at a prayer-desk before the Virgin, on whose right knee is seated the Infant Saviour holding an orb in His left and raising His right hand in benediction. An angel with peacock-blue wings is floating above the Virgin and holding an elaborately wrought golden crown over her head. The exquisite detail of the river landscape with a view of Maastricht extending beyond the open colonnade, the sumptuous brocaded dresses, the carved capitals of columns and piers, and many other details painted with inimitable minute skill, help towards an ensemble of jewel-like splendour dimmed but not marred by the yellow varnish which covers the surface. The Virgin with the Donor was formerly generally attributed to Hubert, but is most probably a late work by Jan van Eyck, painted perhaps about 1432.
THE SCHOOL OF TOURNAI
Neither Petrus Christus (1412?–1473), the only master who was directly influenced by Jan van Eyck, nor Robert Campin (1365–1444), who is now known to be identical with the so-called “Maître de Flémalle,” and who was the head of the important Tournai school, are represented at the Louvre. The official Catalogue ascribes to Campin’s greatest pupil, Rogier van der Weyden (c. 1400–1464), the two panels The Virgin and Child (No. 2195), and The Deposition from the Cross (No. 2196), of which125 at least the former is only a school version of an often repeated theme by the master, whilst the Deposition is by no means an important example of his work. Rogier was born at Tournai, but went to Brussels after 1432, and practised in that city until his death in 1464. A journey to Italy in 1449 did not appreciably affect his art, which always retained an archaic flavour, especially in the rather tortured rendering of the nude. In this respect, and also in his utter disregard of beauty (except the beauty of rhythmic line), he compares unfavourably with the brothers Van Eyck, as may be clearly seen on comparing his work with Jan van Eyck’s Virgin and Donor. His occasional use of gold backgrounds, as in the Virgin and Child (No. 2195), is another archaic trait.
The hand of a nameless contemporary and follower of Campin and Rogier van der Weyden, who is also represented at the Galleries of Vienna, Turin, and Antwerp, is to be recognised in the small panel of The Annunciation (No. 2202), which was formerly attributed to the much later painter Lucas van Leyden, and has also been claimed to be only a copy of a picture by the Maître de Flémalle.
The influence of Rogier van der Weyden determined the entire course taken by the Flemish school until its decline with the introduction of those Italian Renaissance tendencies which only became a vital factor and led to the birth of a new Flemish art through the genius of Rubens. Again, Rogier’s chief pupil, Dierick Bouts (c. 1410–1475), is unrepresented at the Louvre. In the art of Hans Memlinc (c. 1430?–1494), who was the founder of the great school of Bruges, may be found clear traces of the influence of Rogier and of Bouts, although we have no certain knowledge as to that master’s actual pupilage. He may have been born at Mömlingen, near Aschaffenburg on the Main, and apparently126 had already risen to fame as a painter before 1467, the date of his great altarpiece at Dantzig. By that time he was settled at Bruges. Mr. W. H. J. Weale’s researches have shown that the legend, according to which Memlinc first came to Bruges as a wounded soldier and was nursed back to health at the Hospital of St. John, is not founded on fact. It is probable that Memlinc served his apprenticeship under some Cologne painter, but all theories regarding his early life must remain largely conjectural.
What is of real importance is that he introduced into the detailed realism of his precursors a note of pious fervour and tender idealism, which is the nearest approach in Northern art to the angelic sweetness of Fra Giovanni da Fiesole. Not without good reason has he been called “the Fra Angelico of the North.” Fromentin was certainly right in saying that “Van Eyck saw with his eyes, Memlinc begins to see with his soul.” It is this warmth of feeling that makes Memlinc the most lovable painter of the Flemish school, for he could neither rival the dramatic power and realistic truth of the Van Eycks, nor the firm draughtsmanship of Van der Weyden, nor Bouts’s skill in landscape painting. Nor did he take full advantage of the possibilities of the oil technique, his method remaining that of the tempera painters, although he availed himself of the new medium.
The earliest work by Memlinc in the great French national collection is the charming little diptych, painted about 1475, and representing on one leaf The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (No. 2027), and on the other The Donor, John du Celier, presented by St. John (No. 2027a). In the first the Virgin is seen seated in a flowering meadow in front of a rose-covered trellis and supporting the Infant Christ, who bends forward to place the ring on the finger of St. Catherine on the left. Behind the saintly bride are St. Agnes and St. Cecilia; whilst the group on the right127 comprises St. Barbara, with St. Margaret and St. Lucy, all accompanied by their characteristic attributes. On the other leaf the Donor is seen kneeling, with hands joined in prayer, in front of St. John the Baptist, who is pointing to Our Lord. The landscape background shows, on the left, the Apocalyptic vision of St. John the Evangelist, and on the right, St. George fighting the Dragon. This leaf, after passing through the collection of Mr. Herz and Mr. Heath, was presented to the Louvre in 1895 by Mme. André, and was thus reunited with its companion, which had been bequeathed to the Gallery fourteen years earlier by M. E. Gatteaux. It is on the whole in an excellent state of preservation, although some of the accessories in the background are so thinly painted that they have almost disappeared.
MEMLINC’S “VIRGIN AND CHILD, WITH DONORS”
About 1490 Memlinc must have painted the admirable Virgin and Child, with Donors (No. 2026), which was commissioned by James Floreins, a member of the Bruges Merchant Grocers’ Guild, but subsequently found its way to Spain, whence it was taken to France by General d’Armagnac. The Donor, who is kneeling on the left, in front of his seven sons, is presented by St. James the Great, the same office being performed by St. Dominic for Floreins’s wife and her twelve daughters, on the opposite side. The scene is laid in a Romanesque church, with openings at either side, through which glimpses of the landscape beyond are obtained. The characterisation of all the faces, which bear a strong family likeness, is as admirable as the painting of the noble architecture. Remarkable, too, is the effect of perfect symmetry obtained in the arrangement of the two unequal groups through the simple device of placing the Virgin and Child more towards the less crowded side, although the canopy is in the exact middle of the128 panel. This altarpiece is certainly one of the most important works by Memlinc that are to be found outside Belgium.
The two little panels, St. John the Baptist (No. 2024), and St. Mary Magdalene (No. 2025), both standing in a landscape with small scenes from their respective legends, formed originally, with two further panels representing St. Christopher and St. Stephen, the shutters of a triptych. The centre part had disappeared before the wings, carefully sawn through the thickness of the panels so, as to separate the obverse from the reverse, came into the possession of Lucien Bonaparte, and afterwards of William II. of Holland. The two Saints now at the Louvre were purchased in 1851 for £469.
In 1908 the Louvre obtained, at the high price of £8000, the Portrait of an Old Lady (Plate XVII.), to which attention was first drawn at the Bruges Exhibition in 1902, when it was shown by M. Nardus, from whom it passed into the hands of M. Kleinberger. Both the Paris portrait, which is drawn with exquisite precision but has apparently suffered from over-cleaning, and its companion, the portrait of this anonymous lady’s husband at the Berlin Museum, were until 1884 in the Meazzu collection in Milan.
The triptych (No. 2028) with (a) The Resurrection, (b) The Ascension, and (c) The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, which was bought at Turin in 1860 for £540, and is officially considered to be of doubtful authenticity, is included by Mr. Weale in his catalogue of Memlinc’s works.
The reconstruction and the rescuing from oblivion of the artistic personality of Gerard David, begun by Mr. Weale and completed by Freiherr von Bodenhausen, is one of the triumphs of the modern scientific method of criticism. The Louvre is fortunate in possessing 129two important examples from the brush of this master, who, born at Ouwater in Holland about 1460, was in his early studies influenced by Albert van Ouwater, but, after settling at Bruges in 1483, came under the spell of Van Eyck, Bouts, and above all of Memlinc, whom he succeeded as leader of the Bruges school. On his death in 1523, the supremacy of that school came to an end, and passed on to the city of Antwerp, which by that time had also superseded Bruges as a commercial centre. Gerard David was not Memlinc’s equal as regards intimate charm, but in his work is to be found a summing-up of all the achievement of the Flemish Quattrocento—“the last concentrated expression of the aims of all the great masters of that fertile age.”
PLATE XVII.—HANS MEMLINC
EARLY FLEMISH SCHOOL
No.—.—PORTRAIT OF AN OLD LADY
She is seen in full face and at half-length, wearing the costume of the period; her hands are superposed; landscape background to the left, with a winding sandy path. A porphyry column to the right.
Painted in oil on panel.
1 ft. 2¼ in. × 1 ft. (0·36 × 0·30.)
This picture has not yet received an official number.
After having been successively attributed to Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, Memlinc, and David’s pupil Ysenbrant, the Marriage at Cana (No. 1957, Plate XVIII.) is now generally admitted to be designed and partly executed by Gerard David, although the panel shows unmistakable evidence of being completed by another and less skilful hand. Mr. Weale has shown, on the strength of a certain document, that the picture may have been finished by Ysenbrant, but he has been unable to establish that the document quoted by him refers to this particular picture. There can be no doubt that David himself painted the figure of the Donor, kneeling on the left, a marvellous example of early portraiture, and the Donor’s son, the Christ, and the boy carrying the cake. Some of the other heads are almost wooden in their hardness. The head of the Dominican looking into the hall through an opening beyond which is to be seen the Place du Saint-Sang, at Bruges, is clearly an afterthought, and is introduced so clumsily that the wall and the page-boy with the cake-dish really leave no room for the friar’s body. There is a curious lack of spiritual cohesion in the picture—the majority of the figures look away from the Saviour as well as from the bride, although the significance of the moment is such130 as to demand a concentration of everybody’s attention on the Christ. The picture, of which there are several replicas, notably one at the Stockholm Museum by David’s pupil Ambrosius Benson, was until 1580 in the Chapel of the Saint-Sang at Bruges, and then in the collection of Louis xiv., from which it passed into the Louvre.
The triptych (No. 2202a) of the Virgin and Child, with Two Angels, in the centre, and Two Donors presented by St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, on the wings, is officially catalogued as an anonymous picture of the Flemish sixteenth-century school, but is unquestionably an early work of Gerard David. It is interesting to note that the male Donor is the same as the Donor in the Marriage at Cana, though younger in years, and that the delightful and strangely Italian putti on the capitals of the columns that flank the Virgin’s throne recur again, reversed, in David’s Judgment of Cambyses, at Bruges. The Adam and Eve on the outside of the shutters are inspired by the corresponding figures on the great Van Eyck altarpiece at Ghent. The Louvre triptych was bought at the Garriga sale in Madrid, in 1890, for £248.
Before passing on to the school founded at Antwerp by Quentin Matsys (c. 1466–1530), mention should be made of Hieronymus Bosch van Aeken (c. 1462–1516), who, a follower of Ouwater, has as much right to be counted among the masters of the Dutch as of the Flemish school. Of his life we know but little. His pictures reveal that realistic observation of everyday life which was to become the characteristic of the Dutch school; but, added to it, there is a tendency towards the grotesque which made him delight in subjects that gave him full scope for the invention of weird monsters, devils, and spectres, such as the demons in The Damned (No. 1900), which is attributed to Bosch in the official Catalogue, 131but is, like its companion, Heaven, at the Lille Museum, the work of the unknown painter of the famous Last Judgment at Dantzig, which has by various experts been given in turn to Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, and Memlinc. There is at the Louvre a drawing which corresponds to so remarkable a degree with the panel No. 1900, that it has long been held to be a study from the same hand. This drawing is, however, more probably an early study by the German master Martin Schöngauer after the Louvre panel. The picture was formerly in the Duchâtel collection, and was given to the Louvre by the Duc de la Tremoïlle.
PLATE XVIII.—GERARD DAVID
EARLY FLEMISH SCHOOL
No. 1957.—THE MARRIAGE AT CANA
(Les Noces de Cana)
The scene takes place in a richly appointed chamber, which on the left side looks out on to the Place du Saint-Sang at Bruges. The Bride is seated on the farther side of the table; towards the left the Virgin bows her head in the direction of the Christ. In the left-hand corner of the composition kneels the Donor, wearing the costume of a Provost of the Company of the Holy Blood; on the right kneels the Female Donor. Guests and servants variously disposed complete the picture.
Painted in oil on panel.
3 ft. 2 in. × 4 ft. 2½ in. (0·96 × 1·28.)
THE ANTWERP SCHOOL
Quentin Matsys, the painter of The Banker and his Wife (No. 2029, Plate XIX.), of which numerous replicas and variants are known, some probably from the hand of his pupil Marinus van Roymerswaele, still owes his training to the primitives of his race, but heralds the new era which was to culminate in the art of Rubens, by passing from the earlier minute precision of detail to a certain breadth of style and boldness of brushwork, necessitated partly by the larger scale adopted for his figures. Neither The Saviour Blessing (No. 2030) nor The Virgin and Child (No. 2030a), both of which are catalogued under his name, can be accepted as authentic; but the interesting genre group of The Banker and his Wife is not only fully signed and dated
QVENTIN MATSYS, SCHILDER, 1514,
but is unmistakably the work of his brush, although the woman’s face and hands appear to have been badly repainted. It was bought in 1806 at the low price of £72. The best version of the same subject is the one in the Sigmaringen Gallery. By Quentin Matsys is also, probably, the Pietà (No. 2203), which is catalogued officially132 as “Flemish xvith Century.” Quentin’s son Jan, who followed his father’s tradition and achieved considerable distinction, is the painter of the hideous David and Bathsheba (No. 2030b), which bears the inscription
1562. IOANES MASSIIS PINGEBAT.
Next in importance among the Antwerp masters is Jan Gossart (c. 1470–1533?), better known as Mabuse, from the name of his native town Maubeuge in the Hainault. In his early work he followed the tradition of the great masters of his own country, but a journey to Italy in 1508 made him change his manner, and led him to adopt, together with the amplitude of Italian design, a certain floridness which compares unfavourably with the honest realism of his precursors and which led to the rapid decadence of the Flemish school. In the magnificent portrait of Jean Carondelet, Perpetual Chancellor of Flanders (No. 1997, Plate XX.), although it was painted as late as 1517, he is still faithful to the great tradition of his country for honest, straightforward, shrewdly observed, and delicately wrought portraiture. An inscription on the top of the arched gilt frame reads:
REPRÉSENTACION DE MESSIRE JEHAN CARONDELET,
HAVLT DOYEN DE BESANÇON, EN SON EAGE DE 48Ā,
and, below, “fait l’an 1517.” In a niche behind the panel are the letters “i c” entwined with strings, and the motto “matvra.” The portrait was, therefore, obviously painted just before Carondelet accompanied Charles v. to Spain in 1517.
This portrait panel, together with The Virgin and Child (No. 1998), which bears on the frame the inscription
MEDIATRIX NOSTRA QVE EST POST DEVM
SPES SOLA TVO FILIO ME REPRESENTA,
and the signature “johannes melbodie pingebat,” formed a 133diptych which was bought in 1847 from a Valenciennes architect for the ridiculous price of £40! A later portrait of Carondelet by Mabuse, dated 1531, appeared in 1907 at Christie’s under the name of C. Amberger, and realised the price of £3885. Another portrait of Carondelet, by B. van Orley, is in the Munich Gallery, where it is officially ascribed to Quentin Matsys, who is probably the painter of yet another portrait of the Chancellor which was recently in the Duchâtel collection in Paris. The Portrait of a Benedictine (No. 1999) bears the date 1526 and the signature
JOANNE MALBOLD PINGE.
The decline of the Antwerp school through the introduction of Italian mannerisms is illustrated in Young Tobias restoring Sight to his Father (No. 2001), a fully signed late picture by Jan van Hemessen, who flourished in that city towards the middle of the sixteenth century, and in whose art the last traces of the great national tradition disappear.
PLATE XIX.—QUENTIN MATSYS
No. 2029.—THE BANKER AND HIS WIFE
(Le Banquier et sa femme)
On the far side of a table covered with a green cloth and strewn with various objects, which include a crystal cup and a circular mirror, are seated the banker, wearing a dark blue robe edged with fur, and his wife who is turning over the leaves of an illuminated book of hours. At the back are shelves, on which are displayed books and many decorative objects.
Painted in oil on panel.
Signed on a roll of paper in the background:—“quentin matsys, schilder, 1514.”
2 ft. 5¼ in. × 1 ft. 11¾ in. (0.74 × 0.60.)
BAREND VAN ORLEY
Of the school that flourished in Brussels before Italianism appeared in the person of Barend van Orley (c. 1495–1542), the only name that has come down to posterity is that of Rogier van der Weyden’s follower, Colin de Coter, thanks to the clear inscription
Colin de Coter pinxit me in Brabancia Bruxelle
on the hem of the dress of the kneeling Magdalen in The Holy Women (No. 1952b), which, with The Trinity (No. 1952a) and another lost panel, probably originally formed a triptych. The signed wing was presented to the Gallery in 1903; whilst the Trinity centre-piece was bought two years later from the Abbé Toussaint at St. Omer for £120.
Like Mabuse, Barend van Orley, after showing in his early work clear traces of his descent from the Flemish primitives, drank deeply at the fountain of Italian art. He was profoundly impressed by Raphael, from whom he endeavoured, with a certain degree of success, to learn the noble flow of drapery and the harmonious disposition of the design. On the other hand, he sacrificed the lustrous richness of Early Flemish colour and became addicted to dull grey shadows and pinkish lights. His Holy Family (No. 2067a) does not rank with his finest works, The Last Judgment at Antwerp and the Holy Family at Liverpool. The architectural setting, with a statue of Neptune in a square in the background, indicates the advent of the Renaissance. The picture was bought at the Otlet sale in Brussels, in 1902, for £540. With Barend van Orley closes the chapter of the Early Flemish school. Indeed, he was rather the first of the new era than the last of the primitives.
PLATE XX.—JAN MABUSE
EARLY FLEMISH SCHOOL
No. 1997.—PORTRAIT OF JEAN CARONDELET, PERPETUAL CHANCELLOR OF FLANDERS
(Portrait de Jean Carondelet, chancelier perpétuel de Flandre (1469–1544))
He is bare-headed and wears a blue robe; he is turned three-quarters to the right; his hands are folded in prayer.
Painted in oil on panel.
Inscribed on the frame:—“représentacion de messire jehan carondelet, havlt doyen de besançon, en son eage de 48ā,” and, below, “fait l’an 1517.”
1 ft. 5 in. × 10¾ in. (0·43 × 0·27.)
THE LATE FLEMISH SCHOOL
THE period of the great struggle of the Netherlands for religious and political independence from the yoke of Spain and the Inquisition was not propitious for the fostering of the Fine Arts. Not only did the troubled provinces, as was quite natural, slacken in artistic production, but a vast portion of the treasures owned by churches and monastic establishments were destroyed by the fanaticism of Protestant iconoclasts. The separation of the Protestant North from the Catholic South by the Utrecht Union in 1579 became in a way the determining factor for the future course of painting in Holland and in the Belgic provinces. The Dutchmen practically had no further use for religious painting, and devoted themselves more exclusively to the domestic genre, portraiture, and landscape; whilst the Flemings applied themselves largely to infusing new vitality into the representation of Scriptural characters and incidents which, through constant mechanical repetition, had become mere allegorical hieroglyphics, or generalised ideas without the all-important sense of pulsating life. This regeneration was the great deed of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), who, whilst still benefiting from the example of the great Italians, remained the very embodiment of Flemish character and thought, and became the founder of the second important period of Flemish national art. He was a man of exuberant vitality and boundless energy, endowed with a creative force unequalled in the whole history of art. He must rank for all time among the very giants of the brush, with Rembrandt, Titian, and Velazquez, his contribution to the progress in pictorial art being136 the use of pigment and sweeping brushwork as a constructive element—an advance as significant as the Venetians’ admission of light into the pictorial scheme, which with the Florentines was based entirely on linear design.
But before considering the magnificent array of close on fifty authentic works by the master which form part of the French national collection, reference will have to be made to a few Flemish artists of the singularly barren decades that precede the advent of Rubens. First and foremost among these is Pieter Brueghel (or Breughel) the Elder (1530–1569), who was born at Breda in 1530, became a pupil of Pieter Koeck, and died at Brussels in 1569. In spite of his early travels in Italy—which were then already considered indispensable for the completion of an artist’s training—he remained unaffected by the all-pervading Italian influence. He was pure Flemish in thought and expression, and devoted himself to the realistic painting of peasant life. Certain realistic features which make his pictures sometimes appear obscene and coarse to modern eyes are merely an expression of the humour of his age. The exquisite little painting, The Beggars (No. 1917), which is fully signed
PETER BRUEGHEL, M D L VIII,
is probably some satirical political allusion to the revolutionary party who called themselves the Gueux (beggars). A similar political significance is probably the intention of The Parable of the Blind (No. 1917a). The single file of blind men following their blind leaders into a river is meant to satirise the moral blindness of the artist’s compatriots following their political leaders into disaster. This excellent version of Brueghel’s famous137 masterpiece at Naples was bought at the Leys sale at Antwerp, in 1894, for £724. The type of picture to which the elder Brueghel owes his sobriquet “Peasant Brueghel” is exemplified at the Louvre by two little panels, A Village (No. 1918) and Peasants Dancing (No. 1918a), which can, however, only be accepted as school pictures.
Of Brueghel’s two sons, Pieter the younger, known as “Hell” Brueghel, is not represented at the Louvre, which, on the other hand, boasts possession of eight examples from the brush of “Peasant” Brueghel’s second son, Jan (1568–1625), known to fame as “Velvet” Brueghel, either owing to his love of splendid apparel or to the velvety softness of his brush. He began as a still-life and flower painter, in which capacity he often collaborated with Rubens. Having journeyed to Rome in 1593, he devoted himself more exclusively to landscape enlivened with many small figures, for which some Scriptural or mythological subject generally provided the excuse. Where his pictures contain figures on a larger scale, they are generally put in by Rubens, Rottenhammer, or Van Balen. The last-named is certainly responsible for the figures in Air (No. 1920), one of a series of the Four Elements, painted by Jan Brueghel for his Roman patron, Cardinal Federigo Borromeo, in 1621. To the same series belongs Earth, or The Earthly Paradise (No. 1919), a subject often repeated by him, as for instance in the versions at The Hague and at Budapest. Of his other pictures at the Louvre The Bridge of Talavera (No. 1925), and the Landscape (No. 1926), are signed and dated brueghel, 1619, and j. brueghel, 1620, respectively. The Battle of Arbela (No. 1921) is a characteristic work with many minutely wrought figures. The Landscapes (Nos. 1923 and 1924) are of doubtful authenticity, and were formerly attributed to Paul Bril. They are not now exhibited.
There are scarcely any Flemish characteristics in the art of Paul Bril (1556–1626), the younger brother and pupil of Matthias Bril. He was born at Antwerp, but worked nearly all his life in Rome. There is little to distinguish this precursor of Poussin in the art of landscape from his Italian contemporaries. In Duck Shooting (No. 1908), Diana and her Nymphs (No. 1909), and Pan and Syrinx (No. 1911) the figures are believed to have been painted in by Annibale Carracci. The Fishermen (No. 1910) bears his signature pa. brilli, and the date 1624.
THE FRANCK FAMILY
Although the Louvre owns no picture by Frans Floris, the head of the Italianising mid-sixteenth-century Antwerp school, his uninteresting style may be studied in The Story of Esther (No. 1989) by his pupil Frans Franck (1542–1616). To that second-rate artist’s son, Frans Franck the Younger (1581–1642), who already benefited to a certain extent by the example of Rubens, is given in the official Catalogue Ulysses recognising Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes (No. 1991a). The Parable of the Prodigal Son (No. 1990), which is also catalogued under his name, is obviously by his son Frans Franck iii., since the date 1663 precedes the signature, and F. Franck the younger died in 1642.
Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569–1622) was born at Antwerp, but spent the later part of his life in Paris, where, like his father, he enjoyed considerable reputation as a portrait painter. He had previously been working at the Mantuan Court, and became painter to Marie de Médicis after 1609. Although he occasionally produced altarpieces like the rather uninspired Last Supper (No. 2068) and St. Francis receiving the Stigmata (No. 2069), he was essentially a portrait painter. In this capacity he belongs rather to the age139 that was coming to a close than to the new era initiated by Rubens. His portraits are quite soundly painted, rich in colour, and convincing as likenesses, but lack depth of character and suavity of touch. By far his best pictures at the Louvre are the Portrait of Henri IV. (No. 2071) and the large Portrait of Marie de Médicis (No. 2072), in which the details of the costume are particularly noteworthy. Less important is another Portrait of Henri IV. (No. 2070), and one of Guillaume du Vair (No. 2074).
Octavius van Veen, or Otto Venius (1558–1629), the painter of The Artist and his Family (No. 2191), owes his fame more to the fact that he was one of the three masters under whom Rubens studied than to any intrinsic merit of his art.
PETER PAUL RUBENS
The Louvre owes its almost unequalled wealth in paintings by Rubens to the master’s relations with Marie de Médicis and her Court; and to this reason is due the fact that by far the largest portion of the fifty-one authentic works wholly or partly from his brush, which now form part of this great collection, date approximately from, or immediately before and after, the time during which he was busy with the famous series painted by order of that queen for the decoration of the Luxembourg Palace, and now to be seen in a setting appropriate to their florid sumptuousness in the new Rubens Gallery at the Louvre. Even so, the collection comprises examples of every phase of the master’s colossal activity—religious and historical compositions, allegorical paintings, landscapes, portraits, still life, and even genre-pieces, like the Kermesse (No. 2115), in which he successfully competes with Teniers on a ground peculiarly his own.
Born at Siegen in 1577, Rubens received his artistic education at Antwerp from Tobias Verhaecht, a landscape painter, Adam140 van Noort, and O. van Veen. At the age of twenty-three he went to Italy and entered the service of Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua, studying in their own country the works of the great Italian masters, and especially the Venetians, from whose glorious colour he derived more benefit than from his early training. With the exception of a journey to the Court of Philip III. at Madrid, where he was sent on a mission by the Duke of Mantua in 1603, Rubens spent the eight years from 1600 to 1608 in the various Italian centres, and especially in Rome, where he painted, about 1606, the little Landscape with Ruins (No. 2119), which is of interest not only as showing to what degree he was at that time influenced by the Roman school, and by the Carracci, but also as being the very first landscape known to have been produced by him. The same view of the Palatine Hill is to be recognised in the background of the Four Philosophers at the Pitti Palace, and in the portrait of Woverius in the Arenberg collection. Of about the same time, though the figures would appear to have been added at a considerably later date, is the Landscape with a Rainbow (No. 2118).
RUBENS AT ANTWERP
Having returned to Antwerp in 1608, and married his first wife, Isabella Brant, in the following year, Rubens, who was now made Court painter to Archduke Albrecht, entered upon a period of stupendous artistic activity, which extended to about 1621, when he began to divide his time between art and diplomatic missions, and, having previously organised a vast studio with an army of assistants, often left the execution of his brilliant sketch designs to less capable hands. This early Antwerp period is not particularly well represented at the Louvre, although the collection includes The Virgin surrounded by the Holy Innocents (No. 2078)141— a Virgin of characteristic Flemish coarseness and fulness of form, in the midst of a dense swarm of delicious, plump, dimpled, wingless angel-children, whose rosy baby-flesh is painted with inimitable mastery. The picture was painted about 1615, six years before The Virgin and Child within a Garland of Flowers (No. 2079), executed in 1621 for Cardinal Federigo Borromeo. The tasteless floral wreath in this picture, as in the similar versions at Munich and New York, is from the brush of Jan Brueghel. To about the year 1615 belongs also the Christ on the Cross, with the Virgin, the Magdalen and St. John (No. 2082), which can, however, hardly be entirely from the master’s own hand. The mass of unbroken vermilion in the robe of St. John is one of Rubens’s favourite devices at that period. The Resurrection of Lazarus (No. 2081) is the original sketch for the Berlin picture.
In 1620, when Rubens undertook to paint a series of thirty-nine Miracles of SS. Ignatius Loyola and François Xavier for the ceiling of the Jesuit Church at Antwerp, the business-like organisation of his studio was an acknowledged fact, as may be gathered from the terms of the agreement which stipulated that the master himself should provide the designs, though the execution was to be entrusted to his most competent assistants. The actual paintings were destroyed by fire in 1718, but of the original sketches seventeen have been preserved, and are now distributed between the Louvre, the Vienna Academy, the Museums of Gotha and Brussels, and the Dulwich Gallery. The four in the La Caze collection at the Louvre are Abraham’s Sacrifice (No. 2120), Abraham and Melchisedek (No. 2121), The Elevation of the Cross (No. 2122), and The Coronation of the Virgin (No. 2123). The whole series, but especially the first two of these, is remarkable for the boldness of the foreshortening, calculated for the position of the panels on the ceiling, and for the swift bravura and inimitable expressiveness of the brushwork. To the same period belongs Philopœmen142 recognised by an Old Woman (No. 2124), which is essentially a brilliant still-life study for a lost picture.
THE MÉDICIS SERIES
We come now to the series of twenty-one large allegorical paintings, designed by Rubens and executed mostly by his pupils, from 1621 to 1625, for the decoration of the Luxembourg Palace for Marie de Médicis, whose by no means inspiring career had to furnish the subjects for the series. It was a thankless task which could only be accomplished by a tour de force—by removing the events of the queen’s life from actuality into the sphere of mythology and allegory. That the strange mingling of the real and the ideal should sometimes verge on the grotesque was almost inevitable—as inevitable as that the work of his assistants should have failed to do full justice to the master’s conception, even if it was “pulled together” by the easily recognisable touches added by Rubens to the finished panels. The florid exuberance of design and colour was entirely in keeping with the purpose and the surroundings for which the paintings were intended. It is impossible here to enter into a full description of this extensive series, or to define exactly Rubens’s share in each of the eleven pictures. We must confine ourselves to the brief enumeration of the subjects in the order in which they are now to be seen in the new Rubens Gallery. The series begins with The Fates spinning the Destiny of Marie de Médicis (No. 2085). Then follow The Triumph of Truth (No. 2105); Henri IV. receiving the Portrait of Marie (No. 2088); The Marriage of Marie by Procuration with Henri IV. (No. 2089); Marie landing at Marseilles, Nov. 3, 1600 (No. 2090); The Marriage at Lyons, Dec. 10, 1600 (No. 2091); The Birth of Louis XIII. at Fontainebleau, Sept. 27, 1601 (No. 2092); Henri IV. leaves for the War with Germany and entrusts the Government to the Queen143 (No. 2093, Plate XXI.); The Coronation of the Queen (No. 2094); Apotheosis of Henri IV. and the Queen’s Regency (No. 2095); The Queen’s Journey to Ponts-de-Cé (No. 2097); Exchange of the Two Princesses, Nov. 9, 1615 (No. 2098); The Prosperous Regency (No. 2099); The Majority of Louis XIII. (No. 2100); The Queen’s Nocturnal Flight from Blois (No. 2101); The Reconciliation of the Queen with her Son (No. 2102); The Conclusion of Peace (No. 2103); and Marie’s Interview with her Son (No. 2104). But The Birth of Marie de Médicis, at Florence, on April 26, 1575 (No. 2086); The Education of Marie by Minerva, Mercury, Apollo, and the Graces (No. 2087); and The Gods in Olympus protecting the Queen’s Government (No. 2096), which belong to the same series, have been placed in another room.
Of the first and the last paintings the Louvre owns the original sketch on one panel, by Rubens, for The Triumph of Truth and The Fates spinning the Destiny of Marie (No. 2110), the other preliminary sketches being at the Hermitage and the Munich Gallery. It is interesting to note that all these sketches are designed in a very light key, almost in grisaille, with touches of rose and other tender colour notes, so that apparently Rubens’s assistants were allowed great liberty in the matter of colour.
Several other pictures by Rubens at the Louvre—all of them portraits—are more or less directly connected with the Médicis series, and were painted between 1621 and 1625. These are the Portrait of Anne of Austria (No. 2112), which was formerly known as Elizabeth of Bourbon; the Portrait of Francesco de’ Medici (No. 2106), Grand Duke of Tuscany, and father of Marie de Médicis, which was painted for the Luxembourg Gallery; the Portrait of Johanna of Austria (No. 2107), daughter of the Emperor144 Ferdinand, and wife of Francesco de’ Medici; the Portraits of Marie de Médicis (Nos. 2108 and 2109) (the former in the character of Bellona, and both studio works with the final touches added by the master); and the Portrait of Baron Henri de Vicq (No. 2111), who, as Flemish Ambassador to the French Court, was instrumental in procuring Rubens the important commission for the Luxembourg pictures. This admirable portrait was bought at the King of Holland’s sale in 1850 for £637.
To the same period belongs the beautiful Portrait of Susanne Fourment (Rubens’s handsome, large-eyed sister-in-law, whose features are best known from the Chapeau de Paille at the National Gallery), which is still officially catalogued as Portrait of a Lady of the Boonen Family (No. 2114); and the important composition Lot’s Flight from Sodom (No. 2075), which bears the rare full signature and date
PE.-PA.-RUBENS FE, Ao 1625,
to prove the master’s satisfaction with his own handiwork. It is a design of carefully studied rhythm, dramatic expressiveness, and subtly harmonised colour, carried out with the swift sureness of his later work.
In 1627, a year before his mission to Spain on behalf of the Infanta Isabella, widow of the Archduke Albrecht, Rubens designed for his patroness an important series of tapestries, which were, as was his wont at that period, sketched out by him, executed by his assistants, and touched up by his own hand. The tapestries were subsequently presented by the Infanta to a convent at Madrid; some of the paintings for them perished by fire, others were preserved at the Convent of Loeches, near Madrid. Two of these, The Prophet Elijah in the Desert (No. 2076) and The Triumph of Religion (No. 2083), were part of General Sebastiani’s loot from Spain, and were bought by the Louvre for £2400; whilst four 145others, now at Grosvenor House, were bought by the Marquis of Westminster for £10,500. Of about the same date is the brilliant Adoration of the Magi (No. 2077), with its Titianesque scheme of strong red, blue, and golden yellow, of which a replica is in an Irish private collection.
PLATE XXI.—SIR PETER PAUL RUBENS
No. 2093.—HENRI IV. LEAVES FOR THE WAR WITH GERMANY, AND ENTRUSTS THE GOVERNMENT TO THE QUEEN
(Henri IV. part pour la guerre d’Allemagne et confie à la reine le gouvernement du royaume, 1610)
The King, attended by warriors and holding the banner of France, prepares to leave the country to make war against Germany; he hands the Globe, the emblem of State, to Marie de Médicis; the Queen gives her hand to the little Dauphin, who later became King under the title of Louis xiii.
Painted in oil on canvas.
12 ft. 11 in. × 11 ft. 4 in. (3·94 × 2·95.)
LATE WORKS BY RUBENS
The closing decade of Rubens’s life is represented by five pictures of considerable importance. Of Queen Tomyris with the Head of Cyrus (No. 2084) there is an earlier, large, and deservedly famous version in Lord Darnley’s collection; but the Louvre picture exceeds it in beauty of design and in unity of colour. It was painted about the same time (cca. 1632) as Religion crowned by a Genius (No. 2126), one of the sketches for the ceiling at Whitehall. Of peculiar interest, owing to its unfinished state which reveals the master’s method of portraiture, is the superb portrait group of Hélène Fourment, the Artist’s Second Wife, and Two of her Children (No. 2113, Plate XXII.). Only the heads, which are remarkable for an intensity of expression that is rarely to be found in Rubens’s paintings, are finished. All the rest is loosely and thinly sketched in sepia heightened with swift touches of brighter colour. It was painted about 1636, which is also the approximate date of A Flemish Kermesse (No. 2115), an almost unique instance of the master applying the exuberant energy of his magic brush to a subject in which the expression of intense vitality and full-blooded sensuousness assumes the aspect almost of bestiality—which, however, in no way detracts from the artistic value of the painting. To turn from this to A Joust by the Moat of a Castle (No. 2116) is to pass from coarse realism to pure romanticism, inspired probably by the associations of the picturesque Castle of Steen, which Rubens had bought in 1635, and which forms the setting for this scene of knightly146 prowess. This, and the marvellous and strangely modern little Landscape (No. 2117), in which the morning sun is seen rising from the autumnal mist, belong to the closing years of Rubens’s life. He died at Antwerp on May 20, 1640.
ANTHONY VAN DYCK
Born at Antwerp in 1599, Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), after having worked a few years under Hendrick van Balen, entered Rubens’s studio in 1615, and soon became so conversant with the method of his famous master, that he was at an early age entrusted with the execution of important designs. Before he had reached his twentieth year he was a member of the Guild of St. Luke, and had acquired a reputation second only to that of Rubens himself. The Portraits of Jean Grusset Richardot, President of the Netherlands Council, and his Son (No. 1985), which was bought in 1784 for 16,001 livres, so closely resembles the work of Rubens, especially in the brilliant flesh-painting, that the picture—a posthumous portrait, by the way—for a long time passed under the elder master’s name, although it is now admitted by the best authorities to be an early picture by Van Dyck.
Van Dyck paid a short visit to England in 1620. He went to Italy in the following year, studying the works of the great masters, and especially of Titian, and finally settling in Genoa, where he remained until his return to Antwerp in 1628. During these years he devoted himself almost exclusively to portraiture, in which he endeavoured successfully to emulate the golden warmth of colour which had drawn him towards Titian. Unfortunately this, to some the most attractive, phase of Van Dyck’s art is but indifferently shown at the Louvre, the only example being a Portrait of a Man (No. 1976).
PLATE XXII.—SIR PETER PAUL RUBENS
No. 2113.—PORTRAIT OF HÉLÈNE FOURMENT, THE ARTIST’S SECOND WIFE, AND TWO OF HER CHILDREN
(Portrait d’Hélène Fourment, seconde femme de Rubens, et de ses enfants)
The artist’s second wife, wearing a felt hat trimmed with feathers, is seated in an arm-chair, and turned three-quarters to the left; on her lap is her little son, François; on the left her daughter, Claire-Jeanne, dressed in brown, plays with her white pinafore.
Painted in oil on panel. The picture is unfinished.
5 ft. 8¾ in. × 2 ft. 8½ in. (1·13 × 0·82.)
VAN DYCK’S SECOND ANTWERP PERIOD
Some of the master’s most precious works at the Louvre belong to his second Antwerp period, which extended from his return from Genoa in 1628 to his departure for England in 1632. It was probably then that he painted The Virgin and Child, with the Penitent Sinners (No. 1961) (Mary Magdalen, David, and the Prodigal Son), in which the influence of the Venetian colourists is so clearly to be noticed. Indeed, the bosom of the female penitent is copied from the nymph in Titian’s Education of Cupid at the Borghese Gallery, of which there is a drawing in the Chatsworth Sketch-book with the comment in the artist’s handwriting, “quel admirabil petto.” Shortly after his return from Italy he also painted The Virgin and Child with Donors (No. 1962), one of his greatest masterpieces. The Madonna is of a youthful, pure type, vastly different from the buxom Flemish women so often depicted by his master in saintly characters. The painting of the Infant’s body is as admirable as that of the kneeling Donors, and a spiritual connection is established by the action of the Child and the expression of the man towards whom He is holding out His hand.
The companion groups A Gentleman and a Child (No. 1973) and A Lady and her Daughter (No. 1974), date from about 1630. They are full of that aristocratic distinction which is the hall-mark of Van Dyck’s Genoese portraits, and which in his later English period was apt to degenerate into effeminacy. This air of distinction is also to be noted in the children, although they are perfectly natural in action and expression, and have none of that stiffness which makes so many of the earlier masters’ portraits of children look like undergrown men and women. The imposing equestrian portrait of Francisco d’Aytona, Marqués de Moncada (No. 1971), Generalissimus of the Spanish troops in the Netherlands,148 which in its general disposition recalls the portrait of Charles i. at Windsor Castle; the small study for it of the same sitter’s head and shoulders (No. 1972); and the portrait of The Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, Regent of the Netherlands (No. 1970), in the costume of the Sisters of St. Clare, whom she had joined after the death of her husband the Archduke Albrecht, belong to the same period. Then also was painted the Rinaldo in the Garden of Armida (No. 1966), which is probably the picture bought from the artist at Antwerp by Endymion Porter, on behalf of King Charles i., in March 1629, for the price of £78.
“LE ROI À LA CHASSE”
Van Dyck’s manner of life in England, as the petted Court painter of Charles i., and the factory-like output of his well-organised studio at Blackfriars, are too well known to need further comment. In justice to his fair fame it is necessary to draw a clear distinction between the innumerable replicas turned out by his assistants under his guidance, and such magnificent original works from the master’s own brush as the glorious Portrait of King Charles I. of England (No. 1967, Plate XXIII.), known as “Le Roi à la Chasse,” which is one of the proudest possessions of the French national collection. The king is seen, resting his gloved hand on a stick, in a glade, with the sea in the distance. Behind him are two attendants and his white charger pawing the ground in impatient action. The king’s noble, quiet dignity is such as to dominate the entire composition, without, however, the slightest hint of the theatrical. Here, as in most of his English portraits, Van Dyck has departed from the glowing sumptuousness of his earlier Venetian palette, and arrived at a cooler, mellow, and more personal harmony of decorative colour. As if conscious of the superior merit of this picture, which is more than a mere portrait 149of the king, and depicts the very personification of royalty, the artist, who was not in the habit of signing his pictures, inscribed on a stone the lettering
CAROLUS I REX MAGNÆ BRITANNIÆ · VAN DIICK F.
Painted for the king in 1635 for £100, it passed through many hands before it was bought by Louis xv. for Mme du Barry, by whom it was ceded in 1775 to his successor for 24,000 livres.
PLATE XXIII.—SIR ANTHONY VAN DYCK
No. 1967.—PORTRAIT OF KING CHARLES I. OF ENGLAND
(Portrait de Charles ier, roi d’Angleterre (1600–1649))
The King, wearing a white satin coat, red riding-breeches, boots, spurs, and a large felt hat, stands proudly forward towards the left of the composition; his right hand rests on his stick, his left is placed on his hip. The Marquess of Hamilton, in attendance on the King, grasps the bridle of the charger; in the landscape background is a page.
Painted in oil on canvas.
Signed on a stone in the right foreground:—
“CAROLUS I REX MAGNÆ BRITANNIÆ.
VAN DIICK F.”
8 ft. 11½ in × 7 ft. (2·72 × 2·12.)
To Van Dyck’s English period, which only terminated with his death in 1641, belong the group of Charles Louis, Elector Palatine, and Rupert, Prince of Bavaria (No. 1969), and the Portrait of James Stuart, Duke of Lennox (No. 1975)—not the Duke of Richmond, as stated in the official Catalogue—in the character of Paris. Another twelve pictures are catalogued under Van Dyck’s name, but they are either of minor importance, or, like the Three Children of Charles I. (No. 1968), mere studio repetitions.
The powerful personality of Rubens dominated the art of Flanders during the seventeenth century. His direct or indirect influence is traceable in the art of most of his contemporaries and of the painters of the next generation, who divided his artistic heritage without attaining to his universality. Thus his collaborator Frans Snyders (1579–1657), after studying under “Hell Brueghel” and H. van Balen, acquired the bravura of his brushwork and his unrivalled skill in depicting animals in violent movement from Rubens, in whose pictures of the chase he frequently painted the animals, whilst he often had to seek the assistance of other painters for the figures introduced into his own compositions. Among the thirteen pictures from his brush at the Louvre (Nos. 2141–2153) the Wild Boar Hunt (No. 2144) serves150 best to illustrate Snyders’s power to suggest the furious onrush and wild excitement of the chase. His skill as a still-life painter may be judged from the masterly treatment of the wet glittering fish in the large Fish Merchants (No. 2145).
Whatever appears coarse in the art of Rubens is accentuated to the point of grossness in the paintings by his fellow-student under Van Noort, Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678). He is the painter of Le Roi boit (No. 2014) or The Twelfth Night Feast, which is by no means the best of his many versions of his favourite subject. He was a realist who, as may be seen from this picture and from the Concert after a Meal (No. 2015), found his most congenial subjects in the carousals of Flemish merrymakers, which he depicted with more than a touch of coarse humour. That his temperament and limitations debarred him from achieving success in the higher flights of art is clearly shown by his large but by no means noble canvas Christ driving the Moneylenders from the Temple (No. 2011). On the other hand, his firm grasp of character stood him in good stead in portraiture. The so-called Portrait of Admiral de Ruyter (No. 2016), which was bought in 1824 for £800, is a good example.
We can only briefly refer to a number of seventeenth-century Antwerp painters, who were either pupils of Rubens or close followers of his tradition. Gonzales Coques (1614–1684), the painter of the admirably lighted Family Party (No. 1952), was essentially a portrait painter who became known as “the little Van Dyck,” although his manner had more in common with that of the Dutch “small masters” than with the tempered elegance of Charles i.’s Court-painter.
FOLLOWERS OF RUBENS
Gaspar de Crayer (1584–1669), a pupil of Raphael van Coxie, modelled his art entirely on Rubens, and was equally successful as a portrait painter and in his religious compositions. Both phases of his art figure in the Louvre collection, which owns the St. Augustin in Ecstasy (No. 1953) and the life-size Equestrian Portrait of the Infante Ferdinand, Governor of the Netherlands (No. 1954). It was a portrait of the same sitter that led to Crayer’s appointment to the position of Painter to the Infante’s Court, accompanied by considerable emoluments.
Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1596–1675), Pieter van Mol (1599–1650), and Paul de Vos (1593–1676) need not here detain us. They are all capable followers of their master’s style, without any personal distinction. David Ryckaert (1612–1661), the third of four artists of the same family that bore this name, is outside the immediate circle of Rubens. His Interior of a Studio (No. 2137), which bears the signature “d. ryc. f. 1638,” is of peculiar interest as a document illustrating the milieu in which a Flemish artist of that period lived and worked.
Gerard Seghers (1591–1651), the painter of St. Francis in Ecstasy (No. 2140), although a pupil of Van Balen and Abraham Janssens, and indirectly, through Manfredi, of Caravaggio, must be counted among those who were influenced by the dominating personality of Rubens. An important pupil of Snyders was Jan Fyt (1611–1661), who excelled as an animal painter and colourist. He was at his best when he treated animals more in the manner of still life, but remained vastly inferior to his master when he tried to emulate his hunting scenes. Not all the five pictures catalogued under his name can be accepted as his own work. His great skill in rendering the varied textures of furs and feathers may be judged from Game in a Larder (No. 1993), which is unquestionably152 authentic although it does not bear the signature which testifies to his authorship of A Dog devouring Game (No. 1994).
Both the Flemish school and the Dutch have an equal right to claim Adriaen Brouwer (1605 or 6–1638), who, born at Oudenarde, carried on the tradition of Bouts and the elder Brueghel. While still young, he was at Haarlem powerfully impressed by the art of Frans Hals, although it is extremely doubtful that he ever actually worked in his studio. Finally, having settled at Antwerp in 1631, he benefited by the example of Rubens. The Smoker (No. 1916), in spite of the doubts that have been cast upon it, is a characteristic work of his at the time when, inspired by Frans Hals, he adopted a full impasto instead of his earlier glazes. It is signed with his initials “ab” in the bottom corner on the right. The handling is far coarser than that of the later Interior of a Tavern (No. 1912), which is quite Rembrandtesque in the rendering of light and chiaroscuro. His inclination towards grimacing expression often made him depict such scenes as The Operation (No. 1915), in which the patient’s face is contorted with pain, while the surgeon is bandaging his left shoulder.
Brouwer was the master of Joos van Craesbeeck (1606–1654?), who not only closely followed his teaching, but actually painted many replicas of Brouwer’s pictures which still pass under the better known artist’s name. The Artist painting a Portrait (No. 1952d) was supposed to represent, and to be from the brush of, Brouwer, when the picture was bought for the Louvre. But on technical grounds it must be given to Craesbeeck—quite apart from the extreme improbability that the dissolute Brouwer, who spent most of his time in low taverns, should have lived in the elegant, not to say luxurious, surroundings here depicted, and153 died young. There can be no doubt that the painter seated before his easel, to whom a man-servant is offering a glass of wine, is Joos van Craesbeeck.
There is at the Louvre no picture by the elder David Teniers (1582–1649), who therefore only interests us here as the father and first master of the much greater artist David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690), who completed his artistic education under Rubens, without, however, abdicating his own personality. Indeed, those of his pictures which reflect the manner of Rubens too closely are of little account in the achievement of the younger Teniers, who only begins to be himself when he devotes his prolific brush to the social life of his contemporaries, and especially of the lower classes. His pictures constitute the most realistic and convincing record of the tastes, manners, and amusements of his time. His types are full of character, but without the exaggerations so often found in Brueghel and Brouwer. What he retained of Rubens, even in his Village Fêtes, Tavern Scenes, Dances, and Carousals is the application of the great master’s principles of light and harmonious colour. But apart from this, he rejected the “grand style” and the conscious search for beauty. The ugliness of his types and gestures led Louis xiv. to exclaim in front of his pictures, “Ôtez-moi ces magots-là!”
Few painters are as exhaustively represented at the Louvre as the younger Teniers. The Catalogue includes no fewer than thirty-nine entries under his name, two of which, in the La Caze collection (Nos. 2189 and 2190), are copies after pictures by Lotto and Titian respectively in the collection of the Archduke Leopold William, Governor of the Netherlands, to whom Teniers was appointed Court painter. It would serve no purpose here to enumerate154 the long list of Kermesse, Village Fête, and Alehouse Scenes in the French national collection. Among his most deservedly famous masterpieces is The Return of the Prodigal Son (No. 2156), which belongs to a series of which another scene is to be seen at the Dulwich Gallery. The subject is really only a thinly veiled excuse for the painting of a genre piece of the contemporary life of the better classes of his country. The scene of the feast is laid outside a country inn that figures in many of Teniers’s pictures. Fully signed, and dated 1644, the picture belongs to the beginning of Teniers’s very best period. In The Temptation of St. Anthony (No. 2158) he rivals Bosch in the invention of grotesquely fantastic monsters. Among other important works by the master in the Louvre must be mentioned The Denial of St. Peter (No. 2155), a painting of exquisite silvery quality, signed and dated
DAVID TENIERS, f. AN. 1646;
The Works of Mercy (No. 2157); the Village Fête (No. 2159); and the Peasants dancing by an Inn Door (No. 2161), which was stolen from the collection in 1815 and returned in the following year with a letter explaining that it had been removed by a Frenchman who feared that it might fall into the hands of the Allied Forces.
By Teniers’s pupil, François Duchatel (1616?–1694?) is the excellent Portrait of a Gentleman (No. 1960). Duchatel is a very rare master, whose style in portraiture so closely resembles that of Gonzales Coques that his pictures have been at times ascribed to that painter. Jacob van Artois (1613–1684?), the painter of the Landscape (No. 1901) in the La Caze room, was one of the leading Flemish landscape painters of his time, and frequently collaborated with Teniers, who added the figures to some of his landscapes. He was the master of Cornelis Huysmans (1648–1727), who frequently assisted the battle painter, Van der Meulen, and155 is here represented by eight pictures (Nos. 2002–2009). Among the landscape painters of that period must also be mentioned Jan Siberechts (1627–1703), who spent the closing years of his life in England, but does not seem to have had much influence on the evolution of the English landscape school. By him is the Rustic Scene (No. 2140a).
PHILIPPE DE CHAMPAIGNE
Both Philippe de Champaigne (1602–1674) and Adam Frans van der Meulen (1634–1690), though born at Brussels, resided in France the best part of their life, and are therefore generally classed with the painters of the French school, which accounts for their being represented at the Louvre in a manner which is quite out of proportion to their artistic significance. Still, if Philippe de Champaigne appears second-rate when compared with Rubens and Van Dyck, he is unquestionably the leading portrait painter of the contemporary French school in which he received his training. His powers were insufficient for the higher flights of imagination, and when his ambition led him to such compositions as Christ in the House of Simon (No. 1927) or Christ celebrating Easter with His Disciples (No. 1928), he was as dull and bombastic as most of his French contemporaries, whom he far excelled as a colourist. His portraits, on the other hand, are painted in a broad, honest, straightforward manner which has nothing in common with the monotonous pompousness of his age, as may be seen from the admirable group of two nuns in prayer, Mother Catherine Agnes Arnaud and Sister Catherine de Sainte-Suzanne (No. 1934). The younger of the two nuns represents the artist’s daughter, who was healed from paralysis by a miracle recorded by a Latin inscription on the wall. The twenty pictures from Philippe de Champaigne’s brush, which are actually on view, also include the fine group of the two architects François156 Mansard and Claude Perrault (No. 1944), bought in 1835 for the low price of £80; The Provost and Aldermen of Paris (No. 1945); and the signed and dated portrait of Robert Arnaud d’Andilly (No. 1939).
VAN DER MEULEN
Van der Meulen, a native of Brussels and pupil of Snayers, was the historiographer of Louis xiv.’s campaigns and victories. He was invited by Colbert to come to Paris, and was first employed to furnish designs for the Gobelins manufactory. Afterwards he accompanied Louis xiv. on his warlike expeditions, which he immortalised in numerous large paintings, most of which are now at the Louvre and in the Château at Versailles. His paintings are of considerable topographical interest, as they give accurate representations of the aspect of famous towns and fortresses in the seventeenth century, as in the Entry of Louis XIV. and Marie-Thérèse into Arras (No. 2035), a similar scene at Douai (No. 2033), and the Arrival of the King in the Camp before Maastricht (No. 2040). It was Van der Meulen who founded the “tactical school” of battle painting, which substituted the orderly movement of masses for the wild mêlée of the hand-to-hand combat. Whole armies are seen advancing or retreating in long lines from a high vantage-ground which is generally occupied by the considerably larger figures of the army-leaders on rearing and caracoling horses, and looking for all the world like “gens de qualité qui joueraient aux échecs avec des soldats de plomb.” The official Catalogue mentions no fewer than twenty pictures by Van der Meulen.
MINOR FLEMISH PAINTERS
With the exception of Justus Sustermans (1597–1681), who was Van Dyck’s fellow-student under H. van Balen and afterwards157 rose to great fame as Court painter to Grand-Duke Cosimo ii. of Tuscany (whose kinsman Leopold de’ Medici is portrayed in No. 2154), and Pieter Neefs (1577?–1661?), whose Church Interiors (Nos. 2059–2064) are remarkable for the faultless accuracy and precision of his architectural drawing, there are no other painters of the Flemish school whose works at the Louvre require close attention. We must content ourselves with the mere mention of the landscape painters Jan Frans van Bloemen, called Orizonte, a follower of Poussin and Claude; Jan van Breda, Francisque Millet, and Mathys Schoevaerts; Carl van Falens and Anton Grief, painters of hunting scenes; Jan Miel, who worked most of his life in Italy and was completely influenced by the masters of that country; the still-life painter Gaspard Pieter Verbruggen; the battle painter Sebastiaen Francken; and the prolific painter of large altarpieces, Jacob van Oost the Elder. With Balthasar Paul Ommeganck (1755–1826) and the still-life painter Jan Frans van Dael (1764–1840) we reach the beginning of the nineteenth century, a period of absolute stagnation in Flemish art which preceded the brilliant revival of the modern Belgian school.
THE GERMAN SCHOOL
OF all the important European schools of painting, the Early German school is the one of which it is almost impossible to gain anything like an adequate idea from the pictures that have found their way into the Galleries of foreign countries. The fact is that with the exception of two or three leading masters, like Holbein and Dürer, the Early Germans found but scant favour beyond the confines of their own country until comparatively recent years—that is to say, until the majority of important examples had been systematically gathered in by the museums of Germany. Now that the importance of the German primitives and Early Renaissance painters has been generally recognised, it will be practically impossible to regain the lost ground and to fill up the serious gaps which prevent our forming an adequate idea of the evolution of German art in the museums of other countries. The Louvre is no exception to this rule. The numerical weakness of the German section is unfortunately not atoned for by the importance of the examples included, which, with but few exceptions, are of little artistic account.
Under the circumstances it would be useless to attempt a consecutive narrative of the evolution of German art as illustrated by the pictures at the Louvre, and we must confine ourselves to a brief discussion of the few noteworthy works in the collection.
“THE MASTER OF THE BARTHOLOMEW ALTAR”
The first picture of importance belongs to the period when the idealism of the Early Gothic primitives was already replaced160 by a strong naturalism, and the creation of types by that of clearly characterised individualities. This picture, the Descent from the Cross (No. 2737), by the unknown “Master of the Bartholomew Altar,” is so called, in accordance with German custom, from his best known work, the great altarpiece in the Pinakothek at Munich. In the large Louvre picture, which bears a close resemblance to the precious little panel by the same master in the possession of the Hon. Edward Wood, at Temple Newsam, the Saviour is being lowered from the Cross by Nicodemus into the hands of one of the Holy Women on the left, and of Joseph of Arimathæa on the right. The group is completed by St. John supporting the Virgin on the extreme left, the Magdalen and another Holy Woman on the right, and a Disciple seated on a ladder above the central group. The figures are shown, as in the Temple Newsam painting of the same subject, against a gold background framed with rich Gothic tracery. This altarpiece is believed to be the last picture by this Cologne master, who flourished between 1490 and 1515, and was in his later manner influenced by Rogier van der Weyden and other Flemish masters. This eminently important Early German picture was painted for a Jesuit establishment in the rue St. Antoine, Paris, which accounts for its presence in the French national collection.
The “Master of the Death of Mary,” to whose school belongs the Descent from the Cross, with a predella representing The Last Supper, and a lunette with St. Francis receiving the Stigmata (No. 2738), has been identified by Wauters and Aldenhoven with the early-sixteenth-century Flemish painter Joos van Cleef the Elder, and belongs to the Antwerp rather than the Cologne school. The “Master of St. Severin,” to whom the official Catalogue ascribes161 the two Scenes from the Life of St. Ursula (Nos. 2738c and 2738d), was probably a Flemish painter who worked at Cologne at the beginning of the sixteenth century. But the two panels at the Louvre, which were formerly at the Cluny Museum, are not from his brush. They are the work of his pupil, the “Master of the Ursula Legend,” and belong to a series of which other panels can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum and at Cologne.
The first definite name in the annals of the Cologne school is that of Bartolomäus Bruyn (c. 1493–1555), who was a follower of Joos van Cleef but subsequently became completely imbued with the Italian spirit. His portraits, in which he remained more faithful to the tradition of his country, are of greater significance than his religious compositions, and closely resemble those by Joos van Cleef; but the Portrait of a Man with a White Cross on his Breast (No. 2702) is only a school picture of indifferent quality.
The flourishing school which had its centre at Nuremberg is represented at the Louvre by the master who marks its zenith and who, if his craftsmanship was not always on a level with the perfection of Holbein’s, shares with the Augsburg master the honour of uncontested leadership of all German artists. Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) was born at Nuremberg, of Hungarian descent. He studied his art under Michael Wohlgemut, a very able Nuremberg painter, who was, however, led by his popularity to factory-like production of pictures that passed under his name, although they were largely executed by inferior pupils. Dürer, who excelled equally as an engraver and as a painter, was, on the other hand, one of the most sincere and personal artists of his time—a profound thinker, a shrewd observer, a student of life in all its phases, an idealist who was ever striving162 for beautiful expression, even though the realistic tradition of his country did not allow him to attain to the abstract ideal of beauty which had been reached by some of the contemporary Italians. Indeed, Dürer may with justice be called the Leonardo of the North. He studied Venetian art on a visit to Venice in 1505, whither he had been preceded by his fame. He also travelled to the Netherlands in 1520, the year in which he painted the signed and dated Head of an Old Man (No. 2709), his other picture at the Louvre being the not very masterly Head of a Child (No. 2709a).
Dürer died in 1528 from a disease contracted during his journey to the Netherlands. Among his principal pupils were Georg Pencz (c. 1500–1550), to whom is without sufficient reason attributed the indifferent half figure of St. John the Evangelist (No. 2730); and Hans Sebald Beham (c. 1500–1550), the famous engraver, of whom the Louvre is fortunate to possess the only known painting, a table top divided by golden lances into four compartments, each of which contains a Subject from the Story of David (No. 2701): the Entry of Saul into Jerusalem; David and Bathsheba (in which scene is introduced a portrait of Archbishop Albrecht of Mayence, for whom the work was executed); the Siege of Rabbath; and the Prophet Nathan before David (with a portrait of the artist and the initials of his name, “h. s. b.”).
This same Archbishop Albrecht, whose features are also known to us from two engravings by Dürer and a painting by Grünewald, was one of the most generous patrons of Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553), whose busy workshops at Witten163berg supplied the whole north and east of Germany with portraits, altarpieces, historical and mythological pictures. Lucas Cranach was a follower of Grünewald, the great head of the Colmar school. Apart from his merit as a colourist and an excellent draughtsman, he attracts by the naïve grace of his nude figures and by the complete manner in which he reflects the taste of his time and country. But of the five little pictures that figure in the Louvre Catalogue under his name, not one is from his own hand. Indeed, the Venus in a Landscape (No. 2703) is the only one that may with a degree of safety be attributed to his son, Lucas Cranach the Younger, who carried on the management of the studio some years before his father’s death, and continued to imitate his style until his own death in 1586. The Venus bears the usual Cranach signature of a winged serpent and the date 1520. The same crest, with the date 1532, figures on the portrait of Johann Friedrich III., Elector of Saxony (No. 2704), who is known on one occasion to have given a wholesale order of sixty replicas of the same portrait to the Wittenberg master. It may be imagined that a commission of this nature would not be executed by the head of the studio, but left to his staff of assistants. The Fighting Savages (No. 2702a) and the two Portraits (Nos. 2703a and 2705) are, at the best, studio works.
We now come to the second of the two commanding figures in German art, Hans Holbein the Younger (1497–1543), who was born at Augsburg and studied under his father, the elder artist of the same name. When he reached his maturity the Italian influence had already permeated German art, but he was the first Northern master who knew how to benefit by the real spirit of the Renaissance without imitating the letter; the164 first to develop a noble, dignified style, free from the florid trivialities which so many Northerners took from certain Italian painters. He was above all a marvellous portrait painter who, in his drawings as well as in his paintings, combines the most exquisite delicacy and subtlety with rare strength, the greatest precision of detail with freedom and breadth of handling. Only this phase of his art is represented at the Louvre, which certainly owns one perfect example of Holbein’s portraiture in the Portrait of Erasmus (No. 2715, Plate XXIV.).
Holbein had settled in Basle in 1519. He went to England in 1526, with a letter of introduction from Erasmus to Sir Thomas More. From one of Erasmus’s letters it would appear that Holbein had portrayed him at least three times before 1524; and the picture now in the Louvre was probably the one that was painted for Sir Thomas More—a better recommendation than any letter of introduction! The profile is drawn with inimitable mastery; and the whole character of the man can be read from the expression of the tight-pressed lips and mobile features, as he sits writing at his desk. Note, also, the marvellous expressiveness of the hands, studies for which are to be found in the collection of drawings at the Louvre.
In view of the personal relations which link together Holbein, Erasmus, and Sir Thomas More, it would be pleasant if we could accept the so-called Portrait of Thomas More, Great Chancellor of England (No. 2717), as authentic. It does not, however, represent Holbein’s first English patron, nor does it appear to be from the master’s own brush.
THE KRATZER PORTRAIT
Holbein’s first sojourn in England extended from 1526 to 1528, in which year he returned to Basle. It must have been shortly 165before his departure that he painted the Portrait of Nicolas Kratzer, Astronomer to King Henry VIII. (No. 2713); it is an unquestionably authentic work, although it has been so extensively repainted that little is now left of the original, save the general disposition of the design and the instruments placed on the table and hung on the wall, which are executed with all the loving care that Holbein was wont to bestow upon such accessories. Still, even in its present condition, the portrait is a thoroughly convincing likeness of “a man who is brimful of wit, jest, and humorous fancies”—as Kratzer is referred to by one of his contemporaries. A sheet of paper on the left of the table appears to be inscribed:—
Imago ad vivam effigiem expressa
Nicolai Kratzeri monacensis qui bavarus erat
Quadragessimum annum tempore illo complebat.
PLATE XXIV.—HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER
No. 2715.—PORTRAIT OF ERASMUS
(Portrait de Didier Érasme)
The Humanist is seen at half length and in forefile to the left, before a table at which he is writing. He wears a fur-lined coat and a dark cap. A green figured curtain forms the background.
Painted in oil on panel.
1 ft. 4¾ in. × 1 ft. 0¾ in. (0·42 × 0·32.)
Although decidedly superior to another version of the same picture at Lambeth Palace, the Portrait of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury (No. 2714), which bears the inscription,
ANNO. Dm. MDXXVII. ETATIS. SVE, LXX.,
cannot without hesitation be accepted as an original work. It lacks, at any rate, the finesse of the beautiful drawing at Windsor Castle, upon which it is evidently based.
To the same year belongs the Portrait of Sir Richard Southwell (No. 2719), to whose treacherous accusation was due the execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. But this picture, again, is only a replica, by an inferior hand, of the magnificent portrait in the Uffizi Gallery (No. 765). An inscription in the background, at both sides of the head, reads:
on the left: x.o ivlii. anno.
h. viii. xxviii. and on the right: etatis svæ
It would thus appear that the picture was painted in 1537, the twenty-eighth year of Henry viii.’s reign. The Portrait of a Man holding a Carnation and a Rosary (No. 2720) is a picture of poor quality and has no connection whatever with Holbein.
PORTRAIT OF ANNE OF CLEVES
Of far greater importance and undisputed authenticity is the Portrait of Anne of Cleves, Fourth Wife of Henry VIII. (No. 2718). No credence is to be attached to the legend invented by Bishop Burnet more than a century after that ill-treated lady’s death, according to which Holbein’s flattering portrait was instrumental in “bluff King Hal’s” choice of his fourth spouse and responsible for the king’s disappointment at setting eyes upon Anne. The picture, which was painted in 1539, seven years after Holbein’s definite return to England and to the service of Henry viii., has not only that air of inevitable truthfulness which distinguishes all Holbein’s portraiture, but tallies to a remarkable degree with the descriptions sent to Henry viii. by his agents. Whilst not exactly unpleasant to behold, the features are those of a spiritless, dull woman—an impression which is intensified by the absence of life and character in the hands, which Holbein invariably studied as closely as the face. The painting of the richly embroidered and jewelled costume, the stately symmetry of the design, and the beautiful scheme of colour are really the chief attractions of this picture.
The Adoration of the Magi (No. 2711a), which was at one time attributed to the elder, and subsequently to the younger, Holbein, is now rightly given to the latter’s contemporary and compatriot Gumpold Giltlinger, an Augsburg painter of no particular distinction.
THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
Before the end of the sixteenth century German art had entered upon a period of complete decadence. The only painter who claims attention, not so much for the undeniable merit of his very highly finished landscapes, but for the fact that he exercised a certain influence upon Rembrandt, is the Frankfort painter, Adam Elsheimer (1578–1621?), who worked at Rome, and who is represented at the Louvre by The Flight into Egypt (No. 2710) and The Good Samaritan (No. 2711).
For the rest, the German painters of his period and of the whole of the seventeenth century retained scarcely a trace of national character, and were completely under the sway of the foreign, and particularly of the Italian, schools. Thus, Johann Rottenhammer (1564–1623), the painter of The Death of Adonis (No. 2732) and Diana and Calisto (No. 2733), was successively dominated by Jan Brueghel and by Tintoretto. The flower painter, Abraham Mignon (1640–1679), though born at Frankfort, was a pupil of David de Heem and a Dutchman in his art. His pictures at the Louvre (Nos. 2724–2729) are distributed between the German and the Dutch sections. Philipp Peter Roos, better known as Rosa da Tivoli (1665?–1705), who painted the Wolf devouring a Sheep (No. 2731), lived in Rome and adopted the style of the country of his domicile. The Bear Hunt (No. 2734) is the work of Carl Ruthart, another unimportant Italianising German of the second half of the seventeenth century.
THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
The work of the Hamburg painter, Baltasar Denner (1685–1749), has no claim to be considered as a manifestation of art: it is168 merely a display of mechanical skill in the microscopic rendering of the little lines and pores and stubbly hair on the skin of old people’s faces. He lived for seven years in London, where he painted in 1724 the signed Portrait of an Old Woman (No. 2706), which was bought in 1852 for £756. Another characteristic example of his misapplied skill is the portrait (No. 2707) in the La Caze Room.
Christian Wilhelm Dietrich (1712–1774) and Heinrich Wilhelm Schweickhardt (1746–1787) are too insignificant to deserve serious consideration. The same remark applies to Christian Seybold (1703?–1768), who became Court Painter to the Empress Maria Theresa; and to Johann Ernest Heinsius, who was active as a portrait painter in France during the reign of Louis xvi. All that is to be noted in their pictures at the Louvre is the total absence of all artistic merit.
Of somewhat greater importance, though by no means of the first rank, are the two last German artists who claim our attention: Raphael Mengs (1728–1779) and Angelica Kaufmann, (1741–1807), who is catalogued among the painters of the German school, although she was Swiss by birth, Italian by education, and English by domicile. Her sex was no bar to her becoming one of the Foundation members of the English Royal Academy, and she is generally counted among the English painters. The portrait group of The Baroness von Krüdner and her Daughter (No. 2722) is a poor example of her art, which invariably sought to please by conventional prettiness.
Raphael Mengs, the painter of the portrait of Marie Amelia Christina of Saxony, Wife of Charles III. of Spain, was born at Aussig in Bohemia, studied whilst still a boy in Italy, and became Court Painter to Charles iii., who invited him to Madrid in 1761. Mengs was an exceedingly accomplished technician and draughtsman, who modelled himself on Raphael and the Italian169 eclectics, but was wholly lacking in originality and inspiration. He tried his hand in every branch of his art, and was most successful in portraiture, although even his portraits are lacking in penetration of character. He, however, excelled as a copyist, and died in Rome in 1779.
THE SPANISH SCHOOL
THOUGH numerically by no means imposing, the Spanish pictures at the Louvre form an exceedingly interesting section of the great French national collection, comprising, as they do, characteristic examples of the art of practically all the most prominent figures in the evolution of Spanish painting. Compared with the schools of Italy and Flanders, that of Spain was tardy in its development and very much dependent upon foreign influences. The activity of Flemish and Italian masters in Spain—we need only mention Starnina, Dello Delli, Rubens, Luca Giordano—and the visits of several eminent Spanish masters to Italy, could not fail to leave their clear mark on the art of the Peninsula, the renaissance of which was almost entirely due to the stimulus received from abroad. The short visit of Jan van Eyck to Portugal in 1429 also had a profound influence on the art of the Peninsula. But the local conditions, the strict rule of the Church and the tyranny of the Inquisition, the stiff ceremonial of the Court,—the only rival of the Church in the patronage of the arts,—and especially the sombre, passionate character of the Spanish race,—all helped to transform the imported styles into an art of definite national stamp, an art that is marked by sombreness, asceticism, dramatic intensity, and deep religious feeling. Throughout it is dominated by realistic tendencies and rude strength rather than by the striving for grace and beauty and rhythm which characterise Italian art.
LUIS DE DALMAU
The Louvre is fortunate in possessing an authentic and extremely important, though badly restored, altarpiece by Ludovico172 Luis de Dalmau, the first Spanish painter whose personality emerges definitely from the obscurity of the Gothic period in Spain. Dalmau was a Catalan who flourished about the middle of the fifteenth century, and who, although not a direct pupil of the Van Eycks, shows such close affinity with their style that certain modern critics are inclined to ascribe to him, with insufficient reason, certain pictures, like the Fountain of Living Water at the Prado, by the heads and founders of the Bruges school. In spite of the different types and the increased angularity of the drapery folds in Dalmau’s Enthronement of St. Isidore (No. 1703a), this Eyckian influence is clearly traceable in the Louvre picture, which shows the Virgin enthroned under a Gothic canopy wearing a crown of typically Spanish form, and handing the pallium to the saintly Bishop of Seville, who kneels on the left. Further back on the same side are four angels with the episcopal insignia. The group is balanced on the right by St. Anthony the Hermit in the foreground, and SS. Catherine, Margaret, Agatha, Odilia, and Apollonia grouped around the throne. The picture was originally in a church at Valladolid, and was bought for the Louvre at the Bourgeois sale at Cologne in 1904 for £3025.
We need not here pay attention to the few unimportant pictures by unknown early Spanish masters in the collection, and may pass on to Luis Morales, called “El Divino” (“The Divine”) (1509–1586), who was born at Badajoz, and worked at Toledo, when the whole Spanish school was already addicted to the Italian mannerisms introduced by Berreguete and other native artists trained in Rome. Morales, however, remained faithful to the tradition of his own country, and was essentially a painter of those religious subjects which enabled him to follow the national173 bent for the sombre and tragic—the sufferings of Christ and of the Virgin, and similar themes. The Christ carrying the Cross (No. 1707) is a typical instance of the tragic intensity of his conception. All the suffering of the Saviour is expressed in His drawn features and His heavy, swollen eyelids. The picture is not dated, but was evidently painted before 1564, in which year the master was called to the Escorial and, while in the service of Philip ii., to a great extent lost his individual style in the imitation of the Italians, that was probably forced upon him by the taste of his patrons.
We now come to one of the most interesting figures in the history of Spanish painting—Dominico Theotocopuli, better known as “El Greco” (1548–1614), from the country of his birth. Born in Crete about 1548, El Greco entered at a very early age the studio of Titian in Venice. This at least we know from a letter written by Clovio from Rome in 1570, without which, if we were to judge from the master’s early style, we should be forced to the conclusion that he acquired his art from Tintoretto, and more particularly from Jacopo da Ponte, to whom several of his earliest works in private collections were formerly, and in some cases are still, ascribed. He went to Rome in 1570, and after five or six years took up his abode at Toledo, his first dated picture in that city, the scene of his chief activity, bearing the date 1577. Between that year and his death in 1614, his extant works illustrate the gradual evolution of his art, the change of his Italian into a typically Spanish manner, the rapid acquisition of a very personal style, and the straining of that personal style to extreme mannerism. The notes and flashes of rare, cold, almost acid, but always harmonious, colour lend a peculiar distinction to El Greco’s work. His predilection for long, narrow faces and slender, emaciated bodies led him in his declining years to174 extravagant exaggeration; the ecstatic passionate action and gesture of his figures reveal contortion and frenzy. As a portrait painter El Greco is second only to Velazquez in the school of his adopted country. His biographer, Señor Cossío, has called him “a painter of souls,” because he had that intense power of penetration which perceives and retains at a glance the sum total of a person’s traits of character.
El Greco’s conception of portraiture enters largely into his pictures at the Louvre, from which we must exclude as an imitation by an inferior hand the St. Francis and a Novice (No. 1729a). It is certainly an important feature in the large Christ on the Cross, with Two Donors, one of the comparatively recent acquisitions, which still hangs on a screen in Gallery XV. This great altarpiece has little of the master’s fierce passion and lightning flashes of colour. The expression of the two Donors, Diego and Antonio Covarrubias, who are seen to the waist at the foot of the Cross, does not go beyond normal pious devotion; and the Saviour seems rather to stand with spread arms than to hang on the Cross with all the weight of His characteristically elongated body. A leaden grey dominates the whole colour scheme. The composition is singularly empty and simple for a master who seemed to have a perfect horror of empty spaces. The picture, which is fully signed, must have been painted soon after El Greco’s arrival at Toledo (and not, as Sñr. Cossío thinks, between 1590 and 1600), since one of the Donors, the priest Diego Covarrubias, died in 1577.
Comparison of the two Donors’ faces with their portraits by the same master in the Toledo Library can leave no doubt as to their identity. The Christ on the Cross was offered by the deputy Isaac Pereire of Prades (Pyrenées-Orientales) to the local parish church, but was refused and hung in the Palais de Justice at Prades, whence it was removed to the Mairie in 1904, and finally sold to the Louvre in 1908 for £1000. The picture measures 8 ft. 8 in. by 5 ft. 8 in.
The St. Louis of France and a Page (No. 1729b), which was formerly wrongly catalogued as King Ferdinand the Catholic, is a more typical example of El Greco’s management of colour. The boldly painted armour is identical with that of the St. Martin on horseback, at Toledo. The probable date of the picture, which was bought in 1904 at the high price of £2800, is between 1594 and 1600.
By El Greco’s favourite pupil and assistant, Luis Tristan (1586–1640), is the realistic half-figure of St. Francis of Assisi (No. 1730). A more scientific classification of the works by the Toledo painters has reversed Sir W. Stirling-Maxwell’s judgment that Tristan had all the virtues and none of the faults of his master. He was in reality a mediocre imitator of El Greco, without a spark of his master’s genius and without any of his distinction.
THE SCHOOL OF SEVILLE
The naturalistic tendencies inherent in the national Spanish genius, which even in the period of Italian mannerism were not to be entirely denied, bore full fruit at Seville, where Francisco Herrera “the Old” (1576–1656) was the first entirely to reject the tyranny of the Italian manner, and with it to a certain extent the tyranny of Church patronage. He was a man of fiery character, with whom the technique of his art became a veritable passion. It was left to a painter of a later century and of another race to proclaim that it does not matter what you paint, but how you paint; but Herrera’s work at times almost suggests that he was guided by similar principles, although an instinctive sense of pictorial fitness saved him from the consequences to which their unrestricted application might easily lead.
In spite of the repelling fierceness, the fanaticism, the cruelty of every single face—all of them portraits, no doubt—in the St. Basil176 dictating his Doctrine (No. 1706) at the Louvre, in spite of the essentially Spanish manner in which the design fills the space (the figures being grouped in horizontal courses right across the canvas, with very little space above for the sky, and this little space filled with angels’ heads and with a Holy Ghost as fierce as the rest of the assembly), there is a noble rhythm of line as well as of the distribution of light and shade, which proclaims the mind of a master. The two Saints in the immediate foreground, St. Dominic and St. Bernard, are cut through at the waist—another favourite device of Spanish composition, which we have already noticed in the Donors of El Greco’s Christ on the Cross.
Considerable though it be, Herrera’s artistic achievement does not constitute his chief claim to fame; for his name will ever be best known as that of the first master of the greatest of all Spanish painters, Don Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez. But before discussing the pictures by, or catalogued under the name of, Velazquez at the Louvre, we must consider the work of two other painters of the Naturalistic school: Francisco de Zurbarán (1598–1661) and José de Ribera, called “Lo Spagnoletto” (1588–1656). Zurbarán, a pupil of the Sevillan Juan de las Roelas, was essentially a painter of church pictures, his favourite subjects being types of monks and scenes of monkish life. There is something so sincere and convincing in his unrelenting realism, that even his pictures of rapturous ecstasy and strongly emphasised emotion impress one as truthful renderings of types observed by the artist in the streets and churches of monastic Seville. The sombre passion with which his subjects are instinct is reflected by his colour and masterly chiaroscuro. Zurbarán became Court Painter to Philip iv. in or before 1633, in which year he added the words “Pintor del Rey” to177 his signature on one of his pictures; and in this capacity he painted at Madrid his only known secular pictures, a series of ten Scenes from the History of Hercules.
Two admirable pictures from his brush figure in the Louvre Catalogue as St. Peter Nolasque and St. Raymond de Peñafort (No. 1738) and The Funeral of a Bishop (No. 1739). As a matter of fact they represent two scenes from the life of St. Bonaventura: The Saint presiding at a Chapter of Minor Brothers, and The Funeral of St Bonaventura. The second of these companion pictures which were originally in a convent at Seville is particularly striking for the unconventionality of its composition, the strong character of the heads, and the masterly treatment of the chiaroscuro. Note again the placing of the heads almost in a horizontal line right across the canvas, and the anxious avoidance of empty spaces. The third picture that stands to Zurbarán’s name is the figure of A Lady of Fashion in the Character of St. Apollonia (No. 1740), a work of not very striking merit.
Ribera, though born near Valencia, where he received his early education in the painter’s art in the studio of Ribalta, was still young in years when he left his native land for Italy, never to return. Studying and working at Rome, Parma, and Naples, he was so strongly influenced by Caravaggio, and to a minor extent by Correggio, that, taking also into account his long domicile, there is some justification for those who treat him as belonging to the Italian school of Naturalists. The most prominent feature of his art is the violent and abrupt contrasting of brilliant lights with very deep and heavy shadows, which enforces the almost cruel dramatic intensity of his scenes of torture, convulsions, and suffering. In this use of chiaroscuro he was a true follower of Caravaggio, but178 Ribera, even where he is most Italian, never denies his Spanish nationality and the teaching of his first master.
Nowhere are his racial characteristics more pronounced than in the admirable character-study, in the La Caze Room, of a grinning beggar-boy who suffers from an infirmity from which the picture derives its popular name, The Club-foot (No. 1725). The boy is standing in bold silhouette against a clouded sky. He shoulders his crutch like a gun, and carries in his left hand a sheet of paper with the inscription—da mihi elemosinam propter amorem dei.
If The Club-foot is scarcely typical of the qualities that are generally associated with Ribera’s art, the Louvre owns two thoroughly characteristic examples of his more violent manner, of his dramatic use of sharply contrasted light and shade, in The Entombment (No. 1722) and St. Paul the Hermit (No. 1723), which bears on a stone the signature
JUSEPE DE RIBERA ESPAGNOL P.F.
In The Entombment the master-hand is revealed by the superb breadth with which the limp yet weighty body of the Saviour is painted. It is not modelled in all its plastic roundness, but cut into sharp flat passages of light and shadow, the plastic relief being suggested by the perfection of the anatomical drawing and foreshortening. Poignant grief is expressed in the faces of St. Joseph of Arimathæa, the Virgin Mary, St. John, and Nicodemus, who surround the body, the head of which is supported by St. Joseph. The same subject is treated with less masterly authority in The Entombment (No. 1725a), which can only be accepted as a school picture.
The ascetic fervour tinged with a sense almost of cruel pleasure in self-inflicted suffering, with which Ribera loved to invest his semi-nude figures of emaciated saints, hermits, and martyrs, will be found in the St. Paul the Hermit. The picture was bought in 1875 for £252.
Without loss of realistic power, and without affectation or conscious striving for prettiness, Ribera shows more human tenderness and gentle emotion in The Adoration of the Shepherds (No. 1721), a picture signed and dated on a stone in the right-hand corner,
Juse Ribera español Academico romano, F. 1650.
In accordance with the nature of the subject he has here refrained from making use of abrupt light and shade, the whole scene being enveloped in a warm glow. The types are not idealised, but are apparently faithful portraits of their respective models. Very similar to the central group in this canvas, but more sonorous in its depth of colour, from which gleam forth the strong lights, is the Virgin and Child (No. 1724) in the La Caze Room. The four pictures of Philosophers (Nos. 1726–1729), likewise in the La Caze Bequest, which the official Catalogue gives to Ribera, are certainly not by that master. It has been suggested that they may be the work of Ribera’s facile and versatile pupil, Luca Giordano (“Fa Presto”), but the poor quality of these paintings scarcely justifies even this attribution. They were formerly in the collection of General Mazzavedo.
Ribera had a romantic career, rising as he did from absolute penury to almost despotic power as a member of a triumvirate that would brook no competition in Naples and would shrink from no means to further their schemes. Nothing is known as to how he died. He disappeared in 1656, and probably found his death in the depths of the sea.
The Catalogue of the Louvre collection contains an imposing list of seven works by the king of Spanish painters. Critical examination of these pictures will, however, result in the elimination180 of all but two that figure in the list. Velazquez, who was destined to stamp his great personality on a whole generation of Spanish painters, but whose art was little known in Northern Europe previous to the Peninsular War, has exercised a paramount influence on modern art. He was born of noble descent at Seville in June 1599. Although originally destined for another profession, he showed such talent for art that he was allowed to enter the studio of Francisco Herrera, of whose realistic tendencies and rugged strength we have already had occasion to speak.
From his studio he passed into that of the cultured and erudite Francisco Pacheco, whose artistic achievement at its best was far in advance of his professed academic principles. Summoned to Madrid in 1623 by the powerful Count Duke of Olivarez, Velazquez entered the service of King Philip iv. Velazquez became his favourite Court Painter, received other important offices and emoluments, and after his return from his second visit to Italy in 1651—the first visit had taken place in 1629—he was appointed Aposentador del Rey, a post which approximately corresponds with that of Court-Marshal. He died on the 6th of August 1660, from the results of fatigue and overwork in supervising the arrangements for the betrothal of the Infanta Maria Teresa to Louis xiv. at the Palace on the Isle of Pheasants, at Irun.
With the exception of the early bodegones of his student-years and a few rare excursions into the realm of religious and mythological composition, Velazquez’s life-work, as conditioned by the patronage of the king and the Court, was practically confined to portraiture. His unrivalled greatness in this sphere is due to the perfect clearness of his vision, which made him grasp the person or scene before his eyes at a single glance, and transpose his impression to canvas with undisturbed directness and completeness, and with an apparent disregard of the means of expression. There is dignity and soberness in all his portraits; perfect spacing; noble, firm 181contour; complete unity of all the parts produced by the sense of ambient atmosphere. And never is there the slightest hint of trick of hand, or mannerism, or painting by recipe. Each picture is the result of close observation, recorded with admirable directness and honesty. This supreme master of the painter’s technique seemed to pay no attention to technique—or, at least, the result is invariably so significant and so absorbingly interesting that the spectator, unless he approaches the picture with deliberate intention to probe its secret, never thinks of the technical means by which life so convincing has been breathed on to the canvas.
No. 1731.—PORTRAIT OF THE INFANTA MARGARITA
(Portrait de l’infante Margarita Maria)
The Infanta, who appears to be about four years of age, is wearing a white robe embroidered with black. She is seen standing at half length, her right hand on the arm of a chair.
Painted in oil on canvas.
2 ft. 3¾ in. × 1 ft. 11½ in. (0·70 × 0·59.)
In the Louvre collection there is but one picture from which it is possible to judge the greatness of Velazquez’s art. That picture is the deservedly famous and often-copied portrait of the little Infanta Margarita (No. 1731, Plate XXV.), which has rightly been placed in the Salon Carré among the proudest possessions which the Gallery can boast. The little princess, who was born in 1651, the first child of Mariana of Austria, is here depicted at the age of about four, so that the date of the portrait may safely be assumed to be about the year 1655, and not 1659, as suggested by M. Lafenestre. She is dressed in a white robe with black lace trimmings. A pink ribbon is tied on her right side to her soft light golden hair, which falls in curls to her shoulders; her right hand rests upon a chair, whilst the left, the fingers of which have been repainted owing to the addition of a narrow strip of canvas at the bottom, holds a flower. On the top the words linfante margverite are painted in heavy block letters across the whole width of the canvas. This picture, in which childlike ingenuousness is so happily blended with quaint dignity, and in which even the forbidding ugliness182 of the dress of the period cannot destroy the little princess’s grace and doll-like charm, Velazquez has surely left to the world one of the most entrancing portraits of lovable childhood that is to be found in the whole history of art.
MARIANA OF AUSTRIA
The other unquestionably authentic work by the master at the Louvre is to be found in the La Caze Bequest. It is catalogued as Portrait of the Infanta Maria Teresa, afterwards Queen of France (No. 1735), but is in reality a portrait of Queen Mariana of Austria, the mother of the Infanta Margarita Maria. Mariana was married to Philip iv. as his second wife in 1649, at the age of fourteen. Velazquez was at that time in Italy, so that the duty of painting her first portrait for the royal bridegroom fell to the Court Painter’s son-in-law and chief pupil, Juan Bautista del Mazo (1610–1667).
The portrait at the Louvre was, if we may judge from the apparent age of the child-queen as she is here represented, painted in 1651, when Velazquez had returned from his second Italian journey and when Mariana was sixteen years of age. It was probably a preliminary study from life for the larger portrait in the Vienna Gallery. This admirable portrait is another artistic triumph over unfavourable conditions imposed by the hideousness of contemporary female attire, although the forehead has been spoilt by clumsy repainting. The coiffure in particular, a cascade of false hair, bows, jewels, and feathers, is more suggestive of some exotic idol or fetish than of a human being. In 1863, before the judgment of a tasteless age, which gave Velazquez a position far below the then absurdly overrated Murillo, was revised, this portrait of Mariana appeared at the Viardot sale and failed to realise more than £200!
COPIES AND SCHOOL PICTURES
Two other portraits in the La Caze Room are attributed to Velazquez. One of these, a Portrait of Philip IV. (No. 1733) at the age of about fifty, is unquestionably a wholly uninspired and fairly modern copy of the head in the Prado (No. 1080). The other, a Portrait of a Young Woman (No. 1736), is an extremely feeble imitation of the superficial aspect of Velazquez’s manner—so bad in drawing, especially in the attachment of the nose to the face, that it is difficult to accept Señor Beruete’s attribution of this picture to Juan Carreño de Miranda (1614–1685), an able painter of the Madrid school. M. Henri Rodolphe Elissa, who exposed the “Tiara of Saitaphernes” forgery, has asserted that he can prove both the Philip IV. and the Young Woman to be the work of the Spanish painter Escosura, who died in the last decade of the nineteenth century. There appears to be no reason to doubt his assertion. The head of Philip, more than the other picture, appears to be nineteenth-century work.
The Portrait of Philip IV., King of Spain, in Hunting Costume (No. 1732), with a gun in his right hand and a dog sitting by his side, in a landscape background, is only a contemporary copy of a very similar picture in the Prado, to which it is vastly inferior in execution. It is true that in the Prado picture the king’s hat is on his head, whilst in the Louvre version, which is probably by Mazo, he carries it in his left hand. It is, however, possible to detect in the Prado portrait clear evidence of a pentimento, from which it can be seen that here, too, the hat was originally in the same position as in the Louvre canvas. Presumably Velazquez subsequently made the alteration; but the copy was executed at an earlier date.
THE “MEETING OF THIRTEEN PEOPLE”
There have been great divergences of opinion concerning the strange little painting representing a Meeting of Thirteen People (No. 1734) on a hill. It was formerly known as A Meeting of Artists, because two of the Spanish cavaliers depicted in the group were believed to represent Velazquez and Murillo. Lauded at first as one of Velazquez’s masterpieces by those who were carried away by the truly extraordinary beauty of the pearly, opalescent colour harmony and the atmospheric quality of the painting, the little picture has lately been as violently abused for its “poor design, weak execution, and commonplace arrangement.” As a matter of fact the arrangement is anything but commonplace, and the picture has great qualities of technique which will always be the delight of professional artists. It is moreover admirably varied in gesture and action, even if it has certain weaknesses which render impossible its unqualified attribution to Velazquez. Here we have clearly an excellent example of his son-in-law and imitator, J. B. del Mazo. If any proof were needed for this attribution, it will be found in the figure on the extreme left of the composition. Both his legs are slanting forward so much that his centre of gravity plumbs behind his heels. It would really be impossible to maintain this posture, which, though it offends against the laws of gravity, is to be found in quite a number of Mazo’s pictures, as, for instance, in the small figure of Olivarez (?) in the middle distance on the right in the Duke of Westminster’s Don Baltazar Carlos in the Riding School, in the portrait of Don Baltazar Carlos at The Hague, and in the second boy in The Family of Mazo at the Vienna Gallery.
The soundly painted Portrait of Don Pedro de Altamira, Doyen of the Chapel Royal at Toledo, afterwards Cardinal (No. 1737), inscribed on the background “æt 54 dv, 1633,” is a good character185-study of an energetic and rather worldly-looking Church dignitary, but does not appear to be either by Velazquez or one of his immediate followers.
There is in the Spanish section of the Louvre another superbly painted, but very problematic, Head of a Man (No. 1747), which, on no more plausible grounds than an accidental likeness to one of the figures in The Forge of Vulcan, has by some critics been believed to be by Velazquez. The rich impasto and the careful finish of the painting are utterly unlike Velazquez’s manner; nor does the picture appear to be of his period. But whoever may be its author, it is one of the most remarkable paintings in this section of the Louvre.
By far the best represented of all the masters at the Spanish school is Bartolomé Estéban Murillo (1618?–1682). He was born at Seville, of poor parents, and studied as a boy under Juan del Castillo. Forced before he had reached manhood to gain his livelihood, he took to manufacturing artistically worthless devotional pictures on saga-cloth, for sale at the weekly fairs in the poor quarter of Seville. This early practice of rather mechanical production, and the habit, acquired by necessity, of working to please the public, clung to him in after life and are responsible for much that the modern mind finds distasteful in his art—a certain sickly sentimentality that often takes the place of real sentiment, and an artificiality of arrangement even where the types are realistic renderings of the people among whom he spent his days.
With his small savings from the proceeds of his crude popular pictures Murillo proceeded to Madrid, where Velazquez assisted him by deed, advice, and example, though the two artists were probably186 never in the relation of master and pupil. After about two years thus profitably spent at Madrid, Murillo returned to Seville, where he continued to work until his death in 1682, and rose to the very summit of fame and popularity. At his best Murillo was a colourist of great charm and a technician of the rarest skill. His art is most admirable where he adheres most closely to the realistic tradition of his country. It is scarcely to be credited that the same hand which produced so many vaporous and vapid Madonnas is responsible for a picture painted with such superb breadth and incisive vigour as The Young Beggar (No. 1717), which is almost worthy of the brush of Velazquez in his Sevillan period. The decidedly unsavoury subject is made acceptable by the consummate artistry of the treatment.
“THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION”
It is not, however, to pictures of this type that Murillo owed his widespread popularity. Generations of enthusiastic admirers have stood in silent awe before his large painting of The Immaculate Conception (No. 1709, Plate XXVI.), which is certainly one of the best of innumerable versions of the same subject—the Virgin standing on a crescent moon, with ecstatic gaze, and hands pressed to her breast, and surrounded by swarms of joyous angel-children—painted by Murillo to meet an apparently insatiable demand. There is something of real ecstasy in this conception. To find a similar morbidezza of pigment one must turn to certain famous works by Andrea del Sarto: it is a quality which is generally conspicuously absent from Spanish painting and which, if carried a step farther, as it sometimes was carried by Murillo, would result in fuzzy vapidness. This famous picture has the distinction of being the most costly purchase ever made for the Louvre, the price paid for it at the Marshal Soult sale 187in 1852—that is many years before American competition had established the vastly enhanced standards of value which now prevail—being as much as 615,300 fr., or £24,612.
No. 1709—THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
(La Conception immaculée de la Vierge)
The Virgin, wearing a white robe with a blue mantle over her left shoulder, has her hands crossed over her breast; she is standing in the hollow of a two-horned crescent, and gazing heavenwards. About twenty-one cherubs and ten heads are seen in different parts of the composition.
Painted in oil on canvas.
9 ft. 0 in. × 6 ft. 3 in. (2·74 × 1·90.)
Apparently of earlier date is the other version of the same subject at the Louvre. This Immaculate Conception (No. 1708) is not painted in the same spirit of exaltation as the version just described, but has a happy passage of realistic character-painting in the six kneeling figures on the left. On the right two angels carry a scroll with the inscription in principio dilexit eam. The picture was painted in 1656–57 for the Church of Santa Maria la Blanca at Seville, and was carried off to France, with many other of the master’s works, by Marshal Soult.
THE “BIRTH OF THE VIRGIN”
Another picture that formed part of the loot taken by Napoleon’s general and was taken in 1855 from his son, the Duke of Dalmatia, in liquidation of a debt of £6000, is The Birth of the Virgin (No. 1710). The National Gallery in London owns a small preliminary study for this painting, which was executed in 1655 for Seville Cathedral. The centre is occupied by a beautifully disposed group of four women and four winged heavenly visitors attending to the Infant’s bath; in the background on the left St. Anne, raised in her bed, is receiving visitors, and on the right are seen two attendants airing linen at a fireplace. The strange assemblage, in which the earthly and the heavenly are without incongruity brought into such close contact that one of the boy-angels is actually occupied with a dog, is completed by another four angels floating in the air above the Infant. In composition, distribution of light and shade, and in harmonious blending of mellow colour this picture ranks among Murillo’s highest achievements. According to Cean188 Bermudez, the roundness, beauty of shape, and rosy complexion of the waiting-woman’s arm in the foreground “excited the jealous envy of the ladies of Seville.” It is interesting to note that before its acquisition by the Louvre the Birth of the Virgin was brought to England in 1823, when the owners vainly tried to find a purchaser.
“THE ANGELS’ KITCHEN”
Yet another deservedly famous work by Murillo, removed from a Franciscan convent at Seville by the insatiable greed of Marshal Soult, is the now extensively restored large picture known as The Miracle of San Diego, or The Angels’ Kitchen (No. 1716). The composition is divided by two large figures of angels into two halves. On the left two knights of Calatrava are shown in by a Franciscan brother and behold St. Diego in prayer miraculously raised into the air and surrounded by a flood of light. On the right the angels are occupied with the preparation of the repast for which the Saint has sent his prayer to the Virgin. A Franciscan is watching the scene from the distance with a gesture of amazement. Here again the real and the supernatural are blended with unaffected naïveté, the unity of the contending elements being established by the masterly rendering of light and atmosphere. An account of the miracle is given on a cartouche in the foreground; whilst a piece of paper on the left holds the signature
BART-EST. MURILLO, 1646.
The Angels’ Kitchen was bought from the despoiler’s heirs for £3420.
The Virgin of the Rosary (No. 1712), unlike the majority of Murillo’s representations of the Mother of God, has scarcely a trace of spiritual exaltation, but is merely a handsome type of a189 happy and contented Spanish mother. The folds of her outer garment are arranged in florid and meaningless profusion.
The Holy Family (No. 1713), also known as The Virgin of Seville, is a genuine and characteristic, though strangely overrated work by the master, and bears the signature
BARTOLOM DE MURILLO F. HISPAN.
The Virgin in Glory (No. 1711) is, to say the least, of doubtful authenticity. The small companion pictures, Christ in the Garden of Olives (No. 1714) and Christ at the Column and St. Peter (No. 1715), are painted on marble, to which fact they owe the unpleasant coldness of their colouring.
In the La Caze Room are two portraits, The Poet Quevedo (No. 1718) and The Duke of Ossuña (No. 1719), which the official Catalogue ascribes to Murillo. Quite apart from the fact that the artist was only six years of age when the Duke of Ossuña died, the quality of the painting does not justify these attributions. Like the head of Philip iv. in the same room, they were probably painted by Escosura, a late-nineteenth-century Spaniard
THE SCHOOL OF MADRID
We must now return to Madrid, where the example of Velazquez had inspired a fairly numerous group of able painters without particular genius, whose art, being entirely derivative, carried within itself the germ of decay and sank to complete insignificance before the close of the century. The most distinguished artist of this group is Juan Bautista del Mazo, who has already been referred to as the author of the Meeting of Thirteen People and probably of the Philip IV. in Hunting Costume. So well did he succeed in appropriating his father-in-law’s style that his best works have frequently passed under his illustrious master’s name.
Another important painter of the Madrid school is Carreño de Miranda (Nos. 1614–1685), who benefited by Velazquez’s patronage, became painter of the Palace in 1669, and Court Painter and Assistant Seneschal in 1671. Although in his later years he devoted himself largely to subject pictures which are distinguished by a warmer colouring than most of the productions by the Madrid school of the period, he achieved his greatest successes as a portrait painter. He was considerably influenced by the paintings of Van Dyck, which he had occasion to study in the royal palaces. His large St. Ambrose distributing Alms (No. 1702), in the La Caze Gallery, is a hurriedly executed work which does not show his art to the best advantage. It figured in the sale of the Soult collection, when it failed to realise £20.
Far more typical of its author’s best manner is The Burning Bush (No. 1703) by Francisco Collantes (1599–1656), a Madrid painter who studied under Vincente Carducho, but was influenced by Bassano. He was an excellent colourist, especially in his landscape paintings with small figures. His most famous picture is The Vision of Ezekiel, formerly at the Buen Retiro Palace and now in the Prado Gallery.
Juan de Arellano (1614–1676), the painter of the Flowers (No. 1701), worked at Madrid, unknown and in abject poverty, until at the age of thirty-six he began to devote himself to flower-painting, a branch of art in which he developed considerable skill, and rose to great popularity.
Yet another Madrid painter who is but indifferently represented at the Louvre by a still life of Fruit and Musical Instruments (No. 1720) in the La Caze collection, is Antonio Pereda (1599–1669). Although a contemporary of Velazquez and working in the same city, he was not appreciably influenced by that master. He was a pupil of Pedro de las Cuevas, and his style shows certain191 affinities with Ribera. His works are rarely to be met with outside the galleries and churches of his own country.
The end of the seventeenth century marked the complete decadence of the Spanish school, which was precipitated and received its final seal by the advent in 1692 of the Neapolitan Luca Giordano, whose rare facility in the production of showy, flashy, meretricious works earned for him the sobriquet “Fa Presto,” and whose prodigious success was a powerful incentive to emulation. More fatal even than the influence of Luca Giordano was that of the German artist Raphael Mengs, an uninspired eclectic who became Court Painter to Charles iii., and who is referred to in the chapter dealing with the German pictures at the Louvre.
In this time of complete stagnation the fascinating personality of Francisco Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) flashes like a bright meteor through the dark night of Spanish art. Goya takes a unique position in the art of his country—or, indeed, of the world. He was as much the last of the old masters as he is the first of the moderns. A man of fiery temperament, impulsive, unruly, opposed to authority, he was terribly unequal in his performance. It is as unnecessary to state who were his masters as it is impossible to speak of his style in general terms, for there probably never was an artist who worked in so many different styles, experimented in so many different mediums, and treated so vast a range of subjects as Goya. He was a creature of moods, and changed his method of painting as easily as his political allegiance from Bourbon to Bonaparte and back again to Bourbon.
His four pictures at the Louvre are without exception portraits, and do not therefore illustrate his highly developed sense of the dramatic. But they serve admirably to show his192 active protest against the classicist affectation prevalent at his time, and his return to the healthy realism which is the heritage of his race. The Portrait of F. Guillemardet, Ambassador of the French Republic to Spain (No. 1704), is an admirably honest piece of portraiture, dignified but perfectly natural in pose, strong in expression and pleasing in colour. It was bequeathed to the Louvre by Guillemardet, together with the Young Spanish Woman (No. 1705) in a black mantilla, standing with crossed arms against a pearly-grey landscape background. The seated half-figure of the rather corpulent Young Spanish Woman (No. 1705a) was bought at the Kums sale at Antwerp for £1276; and the portrait of Don Perez de Castro (No. 1705b) was acquired in 1902 for £1200. Goya was an isolated figure in Spanish art of the time. He left no “school,” but his influence was one of the leading factors in the rise of the modern movement in France.
THE DUTCH SCHOOL
WE have already followed the development of the early Flemish or Netherlandish art during the fifteenth century, and observed how it eventually passed under the Italianising influences which are unmistakable in the pictures of Barend van Orley (1495?–1542) and his contemporaries. The early painters of Holland as distinct from Flanders cannot be traced with any certainty much farther back than Albert von Ouwater (fl. 1420–1460), who worked at Haarlem from 1430 to 1460. As we have already seen, the early Flemish painter, Gerard David (1460?–1523), was born at Ouwater, which may well have had its school of painters. Neither Albert von Ouwater, who is represented to-day by a single work, the Raising of Lazarus in the Berlin Gallery, nor his unidentifiable contemporary who painted the Exhumation of St. Hubert, in the National Gallery (No. 783), are included in the collection of pictures at the Louvre.
GERARD OF HAARLEM
The influence of these painters and Dierick Bouts is seen in the rare works of Geertgen tot S. Jans, or Gerard of Haarlem (1465–1493) whose Raising of Lazarus (No. 2563a) in this collection is an achievement of the highest order, and was purchased as recently as 1902 for £4000 from Baron d’Albenas, after having been for many years in Spain. This pupil or follower of the Ouwater master was a native of Leyden, and worked at Haarlem. He took his name from the commandery of the Knights of St.194 John at Haarlem for whom he worked, as we see from the careful inscription, “Gerardus Leydanus pictor ad S. Io. Baptist. Harlem pinxt,” on his triptych at Vienna.
Among his contemporaries were Cornelis Engelbrechtsen, who was born in 1468 at Leyden, where he died in 1533, and Lucas van Leyden (1494–1533). The latter played an important part as an engraver quite as much as a painter in the university town of Leyden, which now possesses his large Last Judgment and became famous as the birthplace of Rembrandt in 1606. The Louvre possesses no picture by either Engelbrechtsen or Lucas van Leyden.
Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen (fl. 1470–1533) is also unrepresented here. Portraits by painters in this group are often confused, as in the case of the Portrait of the Duke of East Friesland, in the Oldenburg Gallery, which has been attributed to both Lucas van Leyden and Jacob Cornelisz. A pupil of the latter may have painted the Cana of Galilee (No. 2640c). It is safe to assign to “the Master of the Female Half Figures,” the Young Lady Reading (No. 2641c), which has a close analogy with the well-known picture in the Harrach collection at Vienna, representing half-length figures of three young ladies in crimson velvet dresses cut square at the neck, and singing to the accompaniment of a flute and a lute. The name of this painter is not known, but his pictures, which are neither numerous nor of any conspicuous merit, are easily recognisable.
To this period of transition and mediocre painting belongs Jan Scorel (1495–1562), whose Portrait of Paracelsus the Doctor (No. 2567a) is inscribed:
“FORMOSO DOCTOR PARASELSUS,”
and is in every way superior to the Portrait of a Man (No. 2641b), which is labelled with the name of Scorel, but catalogued as being195 by an unknown artist. From Scorel, a much travelled Dutch artist, who at one time worked at Nuremburg with Albrecht Dürer and visited Venice and the East, we naturally pass to Jan Mostaert of Haarlem. Mostaert of Haarlem is unrepresented at the Louvre, a remark which equally well applies to the anonymous “Pseudo-Mostaert,” who painted so much in his style that a large number of inferior productions have been credited to him from time to time. Pictures of this type vary so considerably that the name “Pseudo-Mostaert” is little more than a generic designation for unassignable Flemish and Dutch pictures of the middle of the sixteenth century; such pictures bear some relationship to the Christ bearing His Cross (No. 2299), and the Abraham’s Sacrifice (No. 2300), officially attributed to the little-known and quite negligible painter Alart Claeszoon (1498–1564) of Leyden.
SIR ANTONIS MOR
From Leyden we may pass to Utrecht, which was the birthplace of the much-travelled, distinguished, and cosmopolitan painter, Antonis Mor (1512–1578?). He was a pupil of Jan Scorel, but soon freed himself from the hard manner he acquired under that master by his study in Italy of the best works of the Venetians. Indeed, some of his pictures have passed as the work of Calcar, the pupil of Titian. Mor, or Moro, excelled as a painter of vigorous and truthful portraits, and the portraits and replicas he painted of Queen Mary are well known. The Prado Gallery at Madrid and the Vienna Gallery contain good examples of his art, and he is fairly well represented in the Louvre. While he was in the service of Philip II. of Spain he lived in much splendour, and was amply paid for his work. His close intimacy with the monarch induced him on one occasion to take the liberty of touching with a brush dipped in red paint the hand of the king. This serious196 breach of Court etiquette created a profound impression on the courtiers present; and, although the painter sued for pardon and obtained it from the king, he soon recognised that he had made himself obnoxious to the Inquisition, who asserted that Moro had got from the heretic English, while painting the portrait of Queen Mary, a charm that enabled him to bewitch the Spanish monarch. Being thus compelled to leave Spain, he settled in Antwerp, where he died between 1576 and 1578.
The pictures of Mor, who was the contemporary of Titian, at different periods of his art bear traces of the Dutch, Spanish, and Flemish schools. He in turn also had an influence on the portrait painters of Spain half a century before the birth of Velazquez. The Portrait of a Man (No. 2478), which is signed and dated:
“ANT MORO pingebat, 1565,”
was in the past held by some writers to bear the features of Sir Francis Drake, who was, however, at the date here given only twenty-one years of age. The two large paintings in the Duchâtel Bequest which pass as the Portrait of Louis de Rio and His Wife (No. 2480 and No. 2481) are, judging by the attitudes of the figures and the shape of the panels, the wings of a large altarpiece. The Dwarf of Charles V. (No. 2479) reminds us that the painter, while still young, was taken into the service of that emperor. The Portrait of Edward VI. of England (No. 2481a) bears a very suspicious-looking inscription.
The political events of the reign of Philip II. of Spain, the mistaken, mischievous, and oppressive policy he adopted with regard to his territory in the Netherlands, and the contempt with which he treated his Dutch subjects, soon alienated their sympathies;197 but the Duke of Alva by his harshness and bigotry incited them to frenzy. When he set forth in 1567, all hope of peace and mercy fled before him, and within a short period his tyranny and ferocity fanned the flame of rebellion, which after a struggle of eighty years was to end in the Peace of Münster of 1648. In that year Spain ignominiously surrendered, and the independence of the northern Netherlands was recognised. During the long period which elapsed between the Union of Utrecht in 1579 and the negotiations at Osnabrück and Münster in 1648 must have been destroyed innumerable religious pictures, the loss of which renders it almost impossible for us to estimate the full significance of artistic endeavour in Holland in the closing years of the sixteenth century.
A new era in Dutch history, social life and art was beginning to open out by the year 1612, when Abraham Blomaert (1564–1651) painted and signed his very large Nativity (No. 2327), which was formerly attributed to Bernardino Fassolo. Blomaert’s Portrait of a Man (No. 2327a) is also a signed work.
HISTORY AND PORTRAIT PAINTERS
Blomaert’s contemporary, Michiel Jansz Mierevelt (1567–1641), who was at one time Court painter to the Princes of Orange at The Hague, and was with undue flattery hailed as the “New Xeuxis of Delft,” is represented by the Portrait of Olden Barnevelt (No. 2465) and three other portraits, one of which (No. 2466) is in a very bad state. Stiff but characteristic is the Portrait of a Woman (No. 2534), which was painted by Jan van Ravesteyn (1572–1657) in 1633, while his initials are also found on a panel (No. 2535) which was commissioned of him in the following year. Although Gerard Verspronck (1600–1651) was many years his junior, and in 1641, in the period of his maturity, achieved the Portrait of a Lady198 (No. 2576a), the top corners of which have been added, he painted on the lines of tradition, and showed little originality. He came under the influence of Frans Hals, under whose name his pictures often pass.
Nor can it be said that the numerous portraits which Cornelis Janssen van Ceulen (1593–1664?) undertook in England, give signs of the new artistic impulse which was daily manifesting itself in Holland in the early works of Frans Hals. Janssen, who was baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church, Austin Friars, London, throve until the establishment in England of Van Dyck, before whom he quickly had to give way; although he withdrew to Kent and lived in retirement, he did not receive the Speaker’s warrant to pass beyond seas until 1643. That “Cornelius Johnson Picture Drawer” made use of pallid flesh tones and lifeless grey tones, is obvious from the two portraits (No. 2338 and No. 2339) exhibited in the Louvre.
The very modern looking Portrait of a Young Man (No. 2303a), signed “d. bailly,” is officially held to be the work of a Leyden painter of that name who would appear to have been a contemporary of Cornelis Janssen.
Although the great Dutch painter, Frans Hals (1580?–1666) was born at Antwerp, his parents were natives of Haarlem, whither he removed about 1600, and where he settled for the remainder of his eventful, irregular, and improvident career. This lusty and unromantic master by his forceful characterisation, his rapid wielding of his brush, and his frank realism, in a few years transformed the earlier portrait-making of Holland, and the rendering 199of the commonplace and obvious likeness of an individual, as seen in the works of Moreelse and others, into the region of great art. He was by about a quarter of a century the senior of Rembrandt, who is the greatest genius among Dutch painters, and developed his art on logical lines. It is, however, necessary to know the outstanding facts of his personal history, the fluctuating circumstances under which he worked, and the grinding poverty of his latest period. Perhaps no other painter in the whole range of art was so affected by his environment as Hals.
PLATE XXVII.—FRANS HALS
No. 2384.—THE GIPSY GIRL
She wears a red dress, which is open at the neck; she smiles as she turns her eyes to the right; half-length figure.
Painted in oil on canvas.
2 ft. 6 in. × 2 ft. 3 in. (0·76 × 0·68.)
Whether he was a pupil of Cornelis Cornelissen, Hendrick Goltzius, and Karel van Mander (the Dutch Vasari), is not known with any certainty, and no picture painted by him earlier than 1613, when he may have been thirty-three years of age, is known to-day. Early in the year 1616, when he painted his famous Banquet of the Officers of the St. Joris Shooting Guild, one of his early masterpieces still preserved in the small gallery at Haarlem, he was summoned before the Burgomaster of the “town of the tulip,” and reprimanded for his cruelty to his first wife. Exactly a year later he married a second time, and as the years went on he became the father of at least six sons who adopted the profession of the painter but earned no permanent success. The Louvre possesses no example of his Doelen-pieces of archer-groups which won him his earliest fame in his own country, but is fortunate enough to contain the famous Gipsy Girl (No. 2384, Plate XXVII.), which alone would have earned for him the title of “the master of the laugh.” It passed through the Ménars sale in 1792 for 301 livres. The three pictures of the Beresteyn family were bought for £4000 in 1884, when his paintings were not as highly prized as they are to-day. They give an excellent idea of the virility his art had attained by about 1629. The best of these is the Portrait of Nicolaes van Beresteyn (No. 2386), which is inscribed, “Aetat suae 40. 1629.” His hands are superbly painted; while the companion Portrait (No. 2387) of his200 wife is equally striking. The large and imposing Portrait-Group of the Beresteyn Family (No. 2388) is marred by the excessive use in places of a strong red, and has been enlarged by the addition down the right side of the canvas of a strip about fourteen inches broad, but yet shows a certain felicity of grouping, and a joyous and exuberant outlook. The Portrait, of René Descartes, the French Philosopher (No. 2383) is so simple in treatment and so easy in pose, that it makes an instant appeal to the student. Another Portrait of Descartes (No. 78), by Sébastien Bourdon, is in this gallery, and a third was in the Arsène Houssaye collection. The Portrait of a Lady in a Black Dress (No. 2385, Plate XXVIII.) is unaffected and lifelike, while the subtle and hasty brushing in of the gloves could only have been done by a great painter. It seems to have been generally overlooked that a study for this picture is in the collection of Lord Ronald Gower, and has for some time past been on loan to the FitzWilliam Museum, Cambridge. In the study, however, the artist had not yet thought of the gloves.
In 1654, Hals had to appear before a public notary of Haarlem at the instance of his landlord, who sued him for debt. The great Dutch painter in his testimony affirmed that his only possessions were two pictures by Vermander and Van Heemskerck, and three by himself and one of his sons, as well as three mattresses and bolsters, a cupboard and a table! The Louvre exhibits no pictorial record of Hals’s latest phase, when he was deserted by his friends, neglected by art patrons, and no longer possessed any inner moral support.
The colouring of his early portraits is vigorous, the tone deep, and the execution careful; gradually he employs richer colouring, subordinates the local colours, and becomes broader in treatment. From about 1650 his olive-greens gradually take on a more ash-grey hue, until we are inclined to the belief that if the master 201had been able to dispense with colour altogether, he would have willingly done so. It is then that the colours on his palette, like the outer world, became grey and black for him.
PLATE XXVIII.—FRANS HALS
No. 2385.—PORTRAIT OF A LADY IN A BLACK DRESS
(Portrait de Femme)
A middle-aged woman wearing a black dress, with white collar, cuffs and cap, is seen at three-quarter length, standing and turned three-quarters to the left; in her hands, which are superposed, she holds her gloves.
Painted in oil on canvas.
3 ft. 3½ in. × 2 ft. 7½ in. (1·00 × 0·80.)
This great master of the brush some time before his death had to avail himself of poor relief granted by the municipality of Haarlem, and after his death, in 1666, his widow received an allowance of fourteen sous a week! Such was the tragic end of one of the most accomplished of portrait painters in the whole range of art.
Holland after a terrible struggle had ultimately succeeded in throwing off the Spanish yoke before the art of Hals was on the wane. Dutch art then became gradually more independent, self-centred, democratic in outlook, and Protestant in tendency. Religious subjects became less frequent, and domestic scenes dealing with indoor and outdoor life were before long largely on the increase. Before we pass to the detailed study of the most striking characteristics of art in Holland in the last half of the seventeenth century, we must examine at some length the far-reaching influence and the world-famous achievements of Rembrandt, for whom Hals may be said to have prepared the way.
As his name denotes, Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606–1669) was born on the banks of the Rhine, his father being a miller at Leyden. When fourteen years of age he entered the university of his native town and had a classical education, which stood him in good stead through his long and troubled career. Although he was at first placed as a pupil of Jacob van Swanenburgh, he at an early age removed to Amsterdam. There he worked under Pieter202 Lastman (1583–1633), whose Abraham’s Sacrificing Jacob (No. 2443a) of 1616 is hung opposite the works of his illustrious pupil. The independent spirit of Rembrandt soon asserted itself, and as early as 1627 he placed his name on pictures which still exist, notably in the Berlin and Stuttgart museums. His earliest picture in the Louvre is the Old Man Reading (No. 2541a), which is signed and dated 1630, and was presented by M. Kaempfen, a former Director of this gallery, on his retirement. Three years later came the two small and very similar versions (No. 2540 and No. 2541) of the Philosopher in Meditation, the former of which is signed and dated; in 1633 was painted the Portrait of the Artist (No. 2552), while another oval picture of the same subject (No. 2553) is inscribed 1634. In this early period the artist was in the habit of portraying members of his own family, who were naturally his most accessible models.
At this moment of his career Rembrandt had to measure himself with many rivals in Amsterdam, notably with Thomas de Keyser (1596?–1667), whose Portrait of a Man (No. 2438a) was formerly in the Rodolphe Kann collection, while a half-length Portrait of a Man (No. 2438b), also by de Keyser, was formerly at Versailles. From the trammels and restrictions which the art of de Keyser would have been likely to impose on a less gifted and original mind, Rembrandt readily set himself free; and he must have had great hopes for the future when, in 1634, he took to wife the wealthy Saskia van Uylenborch. However, the oval Portrait of Himself wearing a black cap (No. 2554), dated 1637, is of marked inferiority to the dignified and deeply religious panel, The Archangel Raphael leaving Tobias and his Father Tobit (No. 2536), of the same year. A year later he must have painted the Portrait of an Old Man (No. 2544), and his first pure landscape.
The influence of domestic bereavements on Rembrandt’s art is 203clearly reflected in the choice of his subjects, in their more intimate setting, and in the deep feeling which evidently inspired them. No better example of this side of his character and his art could be found than the Holy Family in the Carpenter’s Shop (No. 2542), which he painted in 1640. In that year his mother died, an event which followed rapidly on the death of his two infant daughters and his son, and his wife’s frequent illness. He, however, still went on painting such varied compositions as the Portrait of a Man (No. 2546), of 1645, and the Woman Bathing (No. 2550), which he achieved two years later.
No. 2539.—THE PILGRIMS AT EMMAUS
(Les Pèlerins d’Emmaüs)
In a lofty room in front of a shallow niche in a wall, Christ and the two disciples sit at table; a young serving-man enters from the right, carrying a dish. Christ, whose bare feet are seen underneath the table, gazes heavenward as He breaks bread, by which act the disciples recognise Him as their Lord. The room is lit from the left.
Painted in oil on panel.
Signed below on the left:—“Rembrandt f. 1648.”
2 ft. 2¾ in. × 2 ft. 1¾ in. (0·68 × 0·65.)
The famous Night-Watch, in the Amsterdam Gallery, testifies to his inventive faculty in 1642, the year in which the death of his beloved Saskia caused him intense grief. From this he never really recovered, as we see from the frequency with which during the remainder of his life he painted pathetic subjects. What artist in the whole history of painting has been able to impart to his rendering of the Good Samaritan the kindly solicitude of the principal character in this parable, and the feeling of complete collapse seen in the body of the wounded man, as Rembrandt has done in his superb canvas (No. 2537) of 1648 in this gallery? No less poignant is the grief depicted on the face of the barefooted Man of Sorrows in the Christ and the Pilgrims at Emmaus (No. 2539, Plate XXIX.) of the same year. Here we see convincing proof of the dexterous use that the Dutch “magician-painter” could make of chiaroscuro, which he has handled with such masterly effect in the Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels (No. 2547, Plate XXX.). All these paintings belong to the same period as the soul-moving Polish Rider, which in 1910 passed from the collection of Count Tarnowski at Dzikow in Galicia into that of Mr. H. C. Frick in New York for £60,000. The Portrait of a Man holding a Bâton (No. 2551), in the La Caze collection in this gallery, was painted three years later than the Bathsheba, or Woman Bathing (No. 2549),204 of 1654. The wonderfully realistic and in no way repellent Carcase of an Ox in this gallery (No. 2548), like the picture of the same subject at Glasgow, is an achievement of a very different kind, and belongs to the year 1655.
The Louvre authorities have been well advised in recent years in hanging all the pictures by Rembrandt in this collection in one Bay of the Long Gallery. Here now we may study the Portrait of a Young Man (No. 2545), the wonderful and rather later Portrait of the Artist at his Easel at the age of Fifty-four (No. 2555), and the striking St. Matthew (No. 2538) of 1661. Before these three works were painted, the great Dutch master had been declared bankrupt, the sale of his most treasured possessions realising a ridiculously small sum in the winter of 1657.
Although Rembrandt’s own standard of morality offended his neighbours, and his relations with Hendrickje Stoffels seem to have caused much scandal in Amsterdam, we are not concerned with the morals of one of the greatest and most esteemed of the world’s painters, but only with his œuvre, a high place in which must be accorded to the Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels and her Child as Venus and Cupid (No. 2543), which was painted in 1662, the year that the large Syndics, now in the Amsterdam Gallery, was completed.
He is also to be credited with the alternative version of the Pilgrims at Emmaus (No. 2555a), a painting of the same date, which for many years was at Compiègne, where, however, it passed only as a school picture. This profoundly creative painter, who learnt as time went on to handle his chiaroscuro with increased effect, was also an etcher of the highest order.
We may here note that the art of Jan Lievens (1607–1674), a fellow-pupil with Rembrandt under Pieter Lastman, is seen in the large but far from imposing Visitation (No. 2444).
No. 2547.—PORTRAIT OF HENDRICKJE STOFFELS
(Portrait de Hendrickje Stoffels)
She is seated, and looks at the spectator. Over her rich brown hair she wears a grey cap with narrow red ribbons; pearl pendants are in her ears, and she wears a brooch on her breast. Life-size half-length figure.
Painted in oil on canvas.
2 ft. 4½ in. × 1 ft. 11¾ in. (0·72 × 0·60.)
THE PUPILS OF REMBRANDT
That Govaert Flinck (1615–1660) was a pupil of Rembrandt, is evident from his Announcement to the Shepherds (No. 2372) rather than from his Portrait of a Young Lady (No. 2373), a signed work of 1641. Ferdinand Bol (1617–1680) was a pupil and imitator of the great Dutch master, and his Portrait of a Mathematician (No. 2330) is one of his best paintings; but his Philosopher in Meditation (No. 2328) compares most unfavourably with Rembrandt’s two early pictures of the same subject which hang opposite it.
The ineffectual productions of Jan Victoors (1620–1670) include the Portrait of a Young Lady (No. 2371), a typical example of the “niche” portrait which became so popular, and a large Isaac blessing Jacob (No. 2370), which vividly recalls his small canvas in the Dulwich College Gallery that in less critical days passed as a Rembrandt.
G. van den Eeckhout (1621–1674) in his picture (No. 2364) shows his dependence on Rembrandt; and Cornells Drost’s repulsive Bathsheba (No. 2359a) has no claim to be regarded as a “fort bonne peinture,” as a French critic has thought fit to term it.
VAN DER HELST
Bartholomeus van der Heist (1612–1670), a native of Haarlem, who painted under the early Dutch master, Nicholas Elias, surnamed Pickenoy, and subsequently worked at Amsterdam, has fully signed his Shooting Prize (No. 2394, Plate XXXI.), which is dated 1653. It has been regarded as a replica on a very reduced scale of The Officers of the Brotherhood of St. Sebastian at Amsterdam, in the Amsterdam Gallery, which, curiously enough, bears the date 1657, and is also signed on a slate.
Pieter van der Faes, who is better known as Sir Peter Lely206 (1618–1680), after painting at Haarlem in the school of Pieter de Grebber, went to England in 1641. He there succeeded Van Dyck as Court painter, and at the Restoration became the favourite Royal painter. The affectation and mannerism of his Windsor Beauties, now at Hampton Court, is well known. He had a certain facility in painting
“The sleepy eye that spoke the melting soul.”
Three pictures (Nos. 2367–2369) are placed to his credit here, but
“The bugle eyeball and the cheek of cream”
have done their magic now.
The name of H. van Vliet (1611?–1675) is, doubtless, correctly connected with two portraits on canvas (Nos. 2605 and 2605a), while his contemporaries, Cornelis Saftleven (1606–1681) and D. van Santvoort (1610–1680), are represented by The Artist’s Portrait (No. 2562) and the Pilgrims at Emmaus (No. 2564) respectively. Jakob van Loo (1614–1670), who became a naturalised Frenchman, may be judged by his diploma picture (No. 2451) and a very poor Nude Female (No. 2452).
Such mediocre producers of uninspired and unconvincing panels as Dirk Hals (1591–1656), the brother and pupil of Frans Hals, whose Festive Repast (No. 2389) hangs in Room XXIII.; Cornelis van Poelenburg (1586–1667), whose art is here admirably illustrated (Nos. 2518–2523); Hendrick Pot (1585–1657), who evidently derived some satisfaction from the elaborate inscription he has placed on his quite ineffectual, but fortunately diminutive, Portrait of Charles I. (No. 2525); and the little-known and less-esteemed L. F. Zustris (1526–1600), whose absurd Venus and Love (No. 2640) shows what a waste of time it was for him to study under Titian in Italy—these and many more worked as “business artists” for undiscriminating patrons. In the same category come Adriaen 207van de Venne (No. 2601), Pieter Codde (No. 2339a), Jacob Duck (No. 2360–2361), and A. Palamedesz (No. 2515a).
PLATE XXXI.—VAN DER HELST
No. 2394.—THE SHOOTING PRIZE
(Les Chefs de la Gilde des arbalétriers)
The four officers of the Brotherhood of St. Sebastian at Amsterdam are seated at a table in the foreground, with the insignia of the Brotherhood displayed before them. By the side of the officer who, seated to the right, is addressing his companions, is a slate on which are inscribed their names. In the background to the right are three young men with bows and arrows. From the left enters a maid-servant with a drinking-horn.
Signed on the slate:—“bartholomeus van der helst fecit, 1653.”
Painted in oil on canvas affixed to panel.
1 ft. 7¾ in. × 2 ft. 2½ in. (0·50 × 0·67.)
This rough sketch must suffice for our study of the History and Portrait Painters of Holland. Although, of course, portraiture played a most important part throughout the whole range of Dutch art, we must now deal with those of their contemporaries and successors who are classed as painters of genre subjects, Interiors, Conversation-pieces, and Rustic Scenes. The compositions of these men at first show high technical excellence, and a refined feeling for light and shade; they depict simple scenes and homely incidents which make a wide appeal in any age. By the end of the seventeenth century their scenes become festive, and eventually boisterous, and so degenerate into unimaginative renderings of far-fetched incidents which are treated with a parade of mere imitative skill. In the last phase of their art the subjects become even more uninviting, the panels are smoothly painted, and all originality disappears.
ADRIAEN VAN OSTADE
Adriaen van Ostade (1610–1685), as a pupil of Frans Hals at Haarlem, occupies an important position in his school. He is seen to very great advantage at the Louvre. From his early Interior of a Cabaret (No. 2506), which is signed on a form
“A. V. OSTADE 1641,”
we see the direction his life’s work was to take; and his Interior of a Cottage (No. 2498) of the following year, strengthens that view. although Reading the Gazette (No. 2505), of 1653, is painted208 on a very small panel, it heightens our appreciation of this able and careful painter, who, a year later, must have spent a long time in the completion of a Family Group, which traditionally passes as the Family of the Artist (No. 2495). The Toper (No. 2401), of 1668, and the intensely realistic Smoker (No. 2500), are highly characteristic, while the Schoolmaster (No. 2496) shows great observation. The Fish Market (No. 2497), the Business Man in his Study (No. 2499), the Man Drinking (No. 2502), the Man Reading (No. 2503), the Reading (No. 2504), and the Interior of a School (No. 2507), are both in subject and handling good examples of his methods, which were affected by a study of Adriaen Brouwer and Rembrandt.
Adriaen van Ostade was the elder brother and the master of Isack van Ostade (1621–1649), who is equally well represented at the Louvre. although he painted two Interiors (Nos. 2512 and 2514), a Toit à porcs (No. 2513), a Halt (No. 2509), and an overcrowded Travellers Halting (No. 2508), his best works, here as elsewhere, represent landscapes and frozen river scenes.
Adriaen van Ostade had also as pupils Cornelis Bega (1620–1664), by whom the Louvre possesses a very late Rustic Interior (No. 2312), of 1662; and H. M. Sorgh, called Rokes (1611?–1670), three of whose panels (Nos. 2571–2573) are exhibited.
Gerard Dou (1613–1675) was in his day a highly popular and prosperous painter of petty tragedies. As a boy of fifteen he entered the studio of “the skilled and far-famed Mr. Rembrandt,” who was, however, his senior by only seven years. One is apt to tire of his irritating parade of cleverness in the manipulation of light and shade effects, and over-scrupulous and niggling treatment of detail. Yet it is these very qualities that brought him financial success when in later life Rembrandt was receiving scanty treat209ment at the hands of the art patrons of Holland. The Dentist (No. 2355) is an early work. Dou’s Portrait of an Old Lady (No. 2358) is now held to be a Portrait of Rembrandt’s Mother, and is regarded as the companion picture to the Old Man Reading (No. 2567), by Dou’s pupil, Godfried Schalcken. The Grocer’s Shop (No. 2350), which has been, with needless precision, “ranked about the seventh best of this master’s productions,” is signed in full on the slate, and dated 1647 on the mortar, while the Cook with a Dead Cock (No. 2353) is signed on the window-sill, and dated 1650.
PLATE XXXII.—GERARD DOU
No. 2348.—THE DROPSICAL WOMAN
(La Femme Hydropique)
In a well-appointed room, lighted by an arched window on the left, an old woman is seated in an arm-chair. The sick woman, who raises her eyes to heaven and is taking a spoonful of medicine from a young woman, gives her right hand to a girl who kneels on the left by her side. Towards the right stands the doctor, who holds up to the light a glass full of liquid. A chandelier hangs in the centre, and on the right are a large tapestry curtain and a wine-cooler.
Signed on the edge of the book placed on the reading-desk in the left foreground:—
“1663. g. dov. ovt. 65 jaer.”
Painted in oil on panel.
2 ft. 8¾ in. × 2 ft. 2½ in. (0·83 × 0·67.)
The Trumpeter (No. 2351) is perhaps the pendant to the Girl at a Window, of 1657, now in the Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor. On the window-ledge in the Trumpeter we see the same silver flagon and a dish that also appear in the Dropsical Woman (No. 2348, Plate XXXII.), a world-famous, but not on that account a great, picture. It bears a somewhat enigmatical inscription:
“1663. G. DOV. OVT. 65 JAER”
on the edge of the book placed on the reading-desk. Dou in 1663, the year here given, was only fifty years of age, and the statement of age in the second half of the inscription may be a later addition, or capable of another interpretation. The light comes in from the window on the left. The woman who is dying of dropsy is receiving a dose of medicine, while her daughter in grief kneels and kisses her hand, and the doctor holds up to the light the vial, the contents of which he is carefully examining. The artist in this his largest picture is at much pains to show the dexterity with which he can paint the fabric of the dresses, the large tapestry hanging in folds on the right, and the reflection of light on the chandelier. This panel, which is Dou’s masterpiece and is in an excellent state of preservation, was originally contained in an ebony case, the outside of which (in two pieces) was formerly the still-life painting of a Silver Ewer and Dish (No. 2349).
The Man weighing Gold (No. 2354) is signed in full, and dated 1664; elaborate care and much time have been expended, if not wasted, on every wrinkle in his face, and every hair in his white beard. It has points of analogy with Quentin Matsys’s Banker and his Wife (No. 2029), which was painted in Flanders nearly a century and a half earlier. Dou’s meticulous art is also exemplified in the Old Man Reading (No. 2357), Reading the Bible (No. 2356), the Dutch Cook (No. 2352), and the highly characteristic but quite negligible Portrait of the Painter (No. 2359). In many respects this type of picture warns us that within a few years of Dou’s death, in 1675, the art of Holland passed into decadence.
He had several pupils. Of these Quiryn van Brekelenkam (1620?–1668) holds a respectable place among the Small Masters of Holland, as we see from his Consultation (No. 2337) in this collection rather than from his Monk Writing (No. 2338). Herman van Swanevelt (1620–1655), who from his journeys south earned the name of Herman of Italy, gives us three Landscapes (Nos. 2584–2586). Karel de Moor (1656–1738), a native of Leyden, who has signed his Dutch Family (No. 2477), worked under both Dou and Frans van Mieris the Elder (1635–1681). The latter owes much of his technique and meticulous work to Dou, as is revealed by a hasty inspection of his Tea Party (No. 2471), with two over-dressed women taking tea, and three other panels (Nos. 2469, 2470, and 2472). Ary de Vois (1632–1680) was a pupil of the German painter N. Knupfer and of his own countryman Abraham van den Tempel (1622–1672), who is here represented by a Portrait of a Lady with an Apple (No. 2586a); but he also came under the influence of the painter of the Dropsical Woman (Plate XXXII.), as is testified by his small interior Portrait of a Man (No. 2606), his Portrait of a Painter at his 211Easel (No. 2607), and his feeble Woman cutting a Lemon (No. 2608). Traces of Dou’s art are seen in J. A. van Staveren’s (1624?–1668) Philosopher in his Study (No. 2577); but P. C. van Slingelandt (1640–1691) was a direct pupil. His Dutch Family (No. 2568) is said to have been bought by Louis xvi. from an English brewer, and the Portrait of a Man (No. 2569) and Kitchen Utensils (No. 2570) have long been in the collection. The Magdalene (No. 2570a) and St. Jerome (No. 2570b) were bequeathed to the Louvre.
No. 2589.—THE CONCERT
A young lady in white satin dress and yellow bodice is seated in the centre before a table covered with a richly coloured tablecloth. She is singing to the accompaniment of a lady in the left background; a page-boy enters from the right.
Painted in oil on panel.
1 ft. 6¾ in. × 1 ft. 5 in. (0·47 × 0·43.)
Gerard Terborch (1617–1681) was the creator of the “Conversation-piece,” and one of the earliest to portray the well born engaged in music lessons and similar occupations; he was one of the greatest of the Dutch “small-masters,” and in every way the superior of the uninspired Dou. Terborch invites us to join him in the fine decorum of a noble chamber where the appointments are carefully tended, while its occupants give themselves up to cultured, if not perhaps deeply intellectual, pursuits. We forget all about the carousing and bestial profligates who people the taverns of Jan Steen and much less accomplished painters, and watch the refined fingers stray over the keyboard of the open spinet or sweep the strings of a well-made mandoline, as in the Concert (No. 2589, Plate XXXIII.). Equally fine are the two Music Lessons (No. 2588 and No. 2591), the former being signed and dated 1660.
The Military Galant (No. 2587) exhibits Terborch’s dexterity in the rendering of reflected light on a red tablecloth, although the subject has an innuendo which hardly adds to its charm. The Ecclesiastical Assembly (No. 2590) is only a small sketch on panel, and affords but a feeble echo of this painter’s masterpiece, the Ratification of the Peace of Münster, in the National Gallery. Terborch was a pupil of his father, who had visited Italy, and he studied also under Pieter212 Molyn the Elder at Haarlem previous to visiting England in 1635. He travelled much more extensively than most of his contemporaries, and went to Spain during the best period of art in the Peninsula. He does not seem to have been dependent on his professional success for his living, which was passed in easy circumstances. Nor did he busy himself as a teacher, his only direct pupil being Caspar Netscher (1639–1684), who gives us a Music Lesson (No. 2486), of the approved stamp, and a Violoncello Lesson (No. 2487).
It is not known for certain whether Jan Steen (1626?–1679) was a pupil of Nicholaes Knupfer, a native of Leipzig who resided for a time at Leyden, but he certainly worked under Adriaen van Ostade at Haarlem, and later became a pupil of Jan van Goyen, whose daughter Margaretha he married as his first wife. Steen certainly leased a brewery in Delft for six years, and he is frequently mentioned in the archives of that town about 1656; he subsequently kept a tavern in the Langebrug in Leyden in 1672. His art is vivacious if not boisterous, and the strength and versatility he displayed in the nine hundred pictures with which he is justly credited give him a high place among the artists of Holland in the seventeenth century. The frequency with which he painted the Interior of a Tavern (No. 2578) has suggested that he carried on the tradition of the Flemish-Dutch roysterer Adriaen Brouwer; but such scenes, magnificently as they are handled, are apt to become boring in time. This large canvas is dated 1674, and the coat of arms of Charles v. is fastened on to the balcony in which are spectators. The Merry Company at Table (No. 2579) is somewhat sketchy in parts, but the lighting is well regulated, and the canvas is signed in full on the back of a blue-covered 213chair to the right. That the Bad Company (No. 2580, Plate XXXIV.) is admirably painted will be conceded by all, but refinement is not its distinguishing feature. A young man dressed in a red jacket is sleeping with his head on the lap of a girl, while another girl is relieving him of his watch. The scene is laid in a tavern, on the floor of which are painted with wonderful precision a number of tiny objects. It was not Steen’s habit to paint representations of cultured society such as Terborch delighted in.
PLATE XXXIV.—JAN STEEN
No. 2580.—BAD COMPANY
(La Mauvaise compagnie)
The scene takes place in a tavern. A young man has fallen asleep with his head in the lap of a girl, who is seated to the right of the composition, and holds a glass of wine in her right hand. Another girl has just taken the young man’s watch from his pocket and is giving it to an old woman, who receives it with evident glee. On the left a man sits at a table smoking his pipe, and another is playing the fiddle.
Signed in full in the left bottom corner.
Painted in oil on panel.
1 ft. 6¾ in. × 1 ft. 2¼ in. (0·47 × 0·36.)
PIETER DE HOOCH
The Louvre contains only two paintings by Pieter de Hooch, who was born in 1629 at Rotterdam, a town which played a relatively unimportant part in Dutch painting. He also lived at Delft and Leyden. The Interior of a Dutch House, with a Woman preparing Vegetables (No. 2414), is a good example, and is fully signed in the bottom left-hand corner. The Dutch Interior, with a Lady playing Cards (No. 2415, Plate XXXV.), is full of incidents, contains six figures, and is signed on the base of one of the columns supporting the mantelpiece in the left foreground. No museum in the world exhibits the art of Pieter de Hooch in such excellence as does the National Gallery, which contains three masterpieces from his hands that have indirectly been the cause of assessing the whole of the artist’s life-work on too generous a basis. It is indisputable that during the last ten years of his life, of which nothing is known later than the signature and date, 1677, on the Music Party in the collection of Baron H. A. Steengracht at The Hague, his art deteriorated very considerably both in colouring and draughtsmanship. He may well have been a pupil of Karel Fabritius (1624–1654), but it is almost incredible that he can have been a pupil of the Italianiser Nicholaes Berchem, as Houbraken214 ventured to assert. This museum contains nothing by Ochtervelt, many of whose pictures have from time to time been accepted as the work of Pieter de Hooch.
From the shortlived artist Karel Fabritius derives the almost incomparable master Jan Vermeer van Delft (1642–1675), whose fifty authentic pictures are to-day among those most coveted by collectors. As a painter skilled in the technicalities of his profession Vermeer must be accorded the highest rank. The subtle and mysterious handling of his Lace Maker (No. 2456, Plate XXXVI.), with its cool colour scheme and dominant tones of blue and lemon-yellow, make it difficult for us to realise that until twenty years ago his works were neglected. Indeed, this small canvas was acquired in 1870 at the Vis Blokhuyzen sale for the ridiculous sum of £290. Jan Vermeer (or Van der Meer) van Delft is not to be confused with Jan Van der Meer of Haarlem (1628–1691), who is included in the official catalogue as the painter of the Outside of an Inn (No. 2455, marked No. 2022 on the frame). It is fully signed, and bears the date 1652.
One of the last lingering influences of Rembrandt is seen in the art of Nicolas Maes (1632–1693). The genre pictures of his early period are so vastly superior to his later portraits that it was formerly assumed that there might well have been two artists of the same name. He certainly delighted in painting several versions, which vary considerably in size, of Grace before Meat (No. 2454). In his pictures we see the mind that broods, and women who meditate rather than act. The best examples of his domestic scenes are finely graduated, although the sadness of advancing age becomes monotonous in time.
PLATE XXXV.—PIETER DE HOOCH
No. 2415.—DUTCH INTERIOR WITH A LADY PLAYING CARDS
By the fireplace to the left a lady is seated. She is playing cards with a gentleman, and shows her hand to a cavalier who stands beside her. In the background stand two lovers, and a boy is entering the room, a richly appointed room, hung with gilt leather.
Signed on the base of one of the columns supporting the mantelpiece:—“p. d. hooch.”
Painted in oil on canvas.
2 ft. 2½ in. × 2 ft. 6½ in. (0·67 × 0·77.)
A high place among the painters of “Conversation-pieces” must be accorded to Gabriel Metsu (1630?–1667), a shortlived artist who was born at Leyden and learnt the first principles of his art from Dou. As early as 1644 he seems to have earned some reputation as a painter, his signature appearing on his Court Physician in that year. He came under the influence of Rembrandt, and in later life practised as a painter at Amsterdam, where he died.
Metsu, whose work is at first sight not easily distinguishable from Terborch’s, acquired a facility in the control of the expression and the ever-varying gesture of the hands in his pictures, that was denied to many of his contemporaries. Instances of this are the figure of the Christ writing a long Latin inscription on the ground in the Woman taken in Adultery (No. 2457), the ease with which the young lady in a white satin dress runs her fingers over the keys of the spinet in the Music Lesson (No. 2460), and the treatment of the Dutch Lady (No. 2462), who holds a jug in her right hand. The last-named panel is evidently the companion to the very thinly painted Dutch Cook peeling Apples (No. 2463), which is signed “g. metsu.” Perhaps his best outdoor scene of humble life is the Vegetable Market at Amsterdam (No. 2458), although his handling of the trees suggests that his forte was the Conversation-piece of Dutch tradition, and that he would not have risen to high rank as a landscape painter. The placing of the signature on a letter, which in this instance lies on the ground, is a favourite device with Metsu. He has derived much pleasure from the treatment of the textures of the tablecloth, the curtain, and the chair in the Officer visiting a Lady (No. 2459). The Alchemist (No. 2461) may be the companion picture to the Sportsman in the Gallery at The Hague. Much216 speculative criticism has been indulged in by critics as to whether the so-called Portrait of Admiral Cornelis Tromp (No. 2464) represents that admiral, and some doubt has also been cast on its attribution to Metsu.
The naturalistic treatment of the landscape background in the religious pictures of Jan van Eyck and his successors, Memlinc, Bouts, Hugo van der Goes, and other painters in the Netherlands, in time brought about the promotion of landscape painting to an independent art. Among the earlier Dutch artists who approached the study of Nature were Arent Arentzen (1586?–1635?), as we see from his Landscape with a Fisherman (No. 2300a), and Roeland Roghman, who was born a year later than Jan van Goyen, and lived as late as 1685. He painted the Landscape (No. 2555b), which was formerly in the Paul Mantz collection. Indeed, several Dutchmen of the period sought to commit to panel views of nature, as in the case of Pieter de Bloot (1600–1652), who gives us a Landscape with a River (No. 2327b).
The romantic feeling which so often pervades the background of Rembrandt’s paintings, and is so apparent in such etchings as the Three Trees, can only be touched on here. This new tendency is best exemplified in the works of Jan van Goyen (1596–1656), who may be regarded as the founder of a self-centred school of landscape painting in Holland; but it was his ever handy sketch-book that enabled him to outstrip his rivals in this branch of Dutch art. He is seen to great advantage in his very fine Banks of a Dutch River (No. 2375), his superb River View with eight Men in a Boat (No. 2378), a signed and dated work of 1649, a large light-brown-toned River in Holland (No. 2377), a good Banks of a Canal (No. 2379), as well as a Dutch Canal (No. 2376) and a Dutch River (No. 2377).
PLATE XXXVI.—JAN VER MEER VAN DELFT
No. 2456.—THE LACE MAKER
A girl, wearing a yellow bodice and a blue skirt, is seated behind a table. She is bending her head over a light-blue lace pillow as she adjusts the bobbins with both hands. A dark-blue cushion and a book are on the table to the left.
Signed in the upper right-hand corner:—“J. v. Meer,” the first three letters being intertwined.
Painted in oil on canvas.
9½ in. (0·24) square.
Aert van der Neer (1603–1677) painted with strong contrasts of light, as in his Banks of a Dutch Canal (No. 2483); and his monogram is to be found on the seat at the foot of a tree in his Dutch Village (No. 2484), where his propensity for painting moonlight scenes is well illustrated. Herman Saftleven’s (1609–1685) Banks of the Rhine (No. 2563); Jan Asselyn’s View of the Lamentano Bridge on the Teverone (No. 2301), Landscape (No. 2302), and Ruins in the Roman Campagna (No. 2303); and the two Landscapes (Nos. 2332 and 2333) by Jan Both (1610–1652), who worked in Rome and painted Italian landscapes under the influence of the French artist Claude Lorrain, show the gradual introduction of foreign influences. Joris van der Hagen (died 1669) takes a new line in the representation of a very low horizon in his Environs de Haarlem (No. 2382); but his Landscape with Peasants crossing a Ford (No. 2381) is dull in tone and composed of unrelated parts.
The Banks of a River (No. 2561d) is a superb example of the art of Salomon van Ruysdael (1600?–1670), one of the founders of the Haarlem school of landscape, and the uncle of Jacob van Ruisdael. The Large Tower (No. 2561c) gives a better idea of his power than the Ford (No. 2561b). Another painter in the same school, Cornelis Decker (1618?–1678), has a Landscape (No. 2346). although Isack van Ostade at times gave himself up to trivial subjects, as we have already seen, the merit of his frozen river scenes (Nos. 2510, 2511, 2515) is firmly established, and the happy way in which he combined a genuine appreciation of nature with great skill in the placing and treatment of his figures has earned for him a high place among the Dutch landscape painters.
Unlike most of the artists of his time in Holland, Aelbert Cuyp (1620–1691) was highly esteemed by his contemporaries, his social218 position and his good fortune in money matters freeing him from the poverty which Hobbema and others endured. He painted portraits with much skill, as we see from his Portrait of a Man (No. 2345a) and his Portrait of a Boy and a Girl with a Goat (No. 2344); but he is best known as a cattle painter, his sturdy cattle being artistically grouped in thick green pastures flooded with sunshine, as in his Herdsman with Cattle (No. 2341). He attained much success also with his riding pictures, and the Starting for the Ride (No. 2342) and the Riding Party (No. 2343) are in every way preferable to his Boats on a Rough Sea (No. 2345). Following his usual habit, he has placed no date on any of these six pictures. He had no pupil in the proper sense of the term; but a host of imitators, such as Jacob van Stry and the much later English Royal Academician Sidney Cooper, failed ignominiously in their feeble attempts to copy his methods.
Jan Wynants was another landscape painter in the Haarlem School, although he settled in Amsterdam and died there in 1682. His Outskirts of a Forest (No. 2636) is signed and dated 1668, and is superior to the Landscape (No. 2637) which bears his own signature as well as that of Adriaen van de Velde, who on numerous occasions inserted the figures for him. Wynants has also placed his name on a small Landscape with Sportsman and Falconer (No. 2638).
Adriaen van de Velde has been careful to sign and date each of the seven pictures by which he is represented (Nos. 2593–2599). By Allart van Everdingen (1621–1675), who travelled in Norway and painted rocky scenes and waterfalls, we find two Landscapes (Nos. 2365 and 2366).
JACOB VAN RUISDAEL
The greatest of all Dutch landscape painters, with the possible exception of Jan van Goyen, is Jacob van Ruisdael (1628?–1682),219 who occupied himself more especially with rushing waterfalls and undulating country. His Storm on the Coast (No. 2558) is a fine achievement, but his best picture in this collection is the Landscape (no No.), which was bequeathed by Baron Arthur de Rothschild. His Woody Landscape (No. 2559), the Road (No. 2559a), Landscape (No. 2561), and the Entrance to a Wood (No. 2561a), cannot, however, compare with his Sunny Landscape (No. 2560), which bears the artist’s monogram.
The talents of Meindert Hobbema (1638–1709) were so disregarded by his countrymen that in disgust he, at the age of thirty, took a humble post in the Customs. His woody scenes seen in the pale sunlight of the early afternoon are not copied from any chance scenery, but composed; and his Water Mill (No. 2404), fine though it is, contains passages that will be met with elsewhere. The Farm (No. 2404a) is a very good picture, as also is the Landscape (No. 2403) from the Nieuwenhuys collection. A very large number of painters, including Wyntrack, who gives us a Farm (No. 2639), painted the figures into the foregrounds of Hobbema’s best works.
In a large number of Philips Wouwerman’s pictures the landscapes are of secondary importance to the figures; and although the execution is careful and conscientious, the frequenter of picture galleries is apt to tire of his make-believe genre-pieces, landscapes with horses, riders, sportsmen, soldiers, robbers, gipsies, and the like. The Louvre presents an imposing array of fifteen of the twelve hundred or more pictures by Philips Wouwerman (1619–1668), and his brother and pupil Pieter is credited with a poor220 but historically interesting View of the Porte de Nesles, Paris, in 1664 (No. 2635).
It will be convenient here to group Adam Pynacker (1622–1673) with his three pictures, Willem Romeyn (1624?–1696?) with one, Abraham Begeyn (1637?–1697) with one, Guilliam de Heusch (1625?–1692) with one, Dirk van den Berghen (1645–1690?) with two, and Glauber (1646–1726) with a single Landscape (No. 2374) in which the figures are inserted by Gerard de Lairesse. Mention must, however, be made of Paul Potter, the highly esteemed cattle painter, who died in 1654 at the early age of twenty-nine. One of his latest canvases is the Cows and Sheep in a Field (No. 2527), of 1652; but his Horse in a Field (No. 2528) of the following year, and the Wood at The Hague (No. 2529), give an excellent idea of his art. These and the Horses at the Door of a Cottage (No. 2526) show that Paul Potter had a sound knowledge of animal anatomy. He is seen at his best in small compositions such as are here exhibited, in which the construction and mise-en-scène are simple and the details delicately rendered. It is a popular fallacy that his chief contribution to the fame of Dutch art was his large Bull of 1647, which measures 8 ft. by 12 ft., in The Hague Gallery. He did not live long enough to form a “school.”
THE ITALIAN INFLUENCE
The Italianising influence was already beginning to make itself felt, to the lasting detriment of Dutch painting, and the typical example of this downward movement is Nicolaes Berchem (1620–1683), who was founded on his father, Pieter Claesz, and on Pieter de Grebber, and Jan Wils at Haarlem, while he also was impressed by Claes Moyaert and J. B. Weenix at Amsterdam, where he removed in 1677. There is scarcely a well-furnished gallery in Europe that does not seek to pride itself on possessing221 one of Berchem’s renderings of Crossing the Ford, or a Woman upon an Ass in conversation with another Person. The Louvre is no exception to this rule, and exhibits his Cattle crossing a Ford (No. 2315) and nine other canvases and panels, nearly all of which bear his much-vaunted signature. His art is to-day deservedly out of fashion with discerning collectors.
Berchem’s pupil, Karel du Jardin (1622–1678), who is invariably at much pain to sign his pictures, is seen to some advantage in his very Italian and in every way characteristic Italian Charlatans (No. 2427), the typical Ford in Italy (No. 2428), and eight other works. His attempts to depict a Calvary (No. 2426) have not been crowned with success, as the composition is overcrowded and undramatic; nor do we experience any emotion on regarding his Portrait of Himself (No. 2434), a small production on copper.
Breenberg (1599–1659?), who was born at Deventer, the home of Terborch, has depicted a View of the Campo Vaccino at Rome (No. 2334), and a Ruins of the Palace of the Cæsars (No. 2335) in the Italian manner beloved by Berchem and Pieter van Laer. The latter, who is also named Bamboccio, is represented by two small oval panels. Lingelbach (1622–1674), who frequently collaborated with other Dutch artists, may be judged by his Vegetable Market at Rome (No. 2447) and three other canvases, and Frédéric de Moucheron (1633?–1686) by a Leaving for the Hunt (No. 2482). It will be convenient to mention here Reynier Nooms, whose View of the Old Louvre from the Seine (No. 2491) has some historical interest.
A limited number of painters busied themselves in making faithful transcripts of the streets and the exterior appearance of the buildings. Jan van der Heyden (1637–1712) was perhaps the222 most successful in this direction, and his View of the Town Hall of Amsterdam in 1688 is an excellent example of his methods, while the Louvre also possesses three small panels by him. Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraten (1622–1666), the son of a cooper at Amsterdam, travelled to Italy and the Mediterranean, proof of which is afforded by his Old Town Gate at Genoa (No. 2310). The typical architectural painter is, however, Gerrit Berckheyde (1638–1698). Although he never went to Italy, his View of Trajan’s Column (No. 2324) is a welcome relief from the many versions he painted, with conspicuous success, of The Market-Place of Haarlem.
Hendrik van Steenwyck (1580–1648) almost invariably contented himself with reproducing the Interiors of Churches (Nos. 2582, 2583); but his Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (No. 2581) is an unusual subject with him, and must be his masterpiece. The Vestibule of a Palace (No. 2490), by Isaac van Nickelle (fl. 1660), is very good of its kind; but the Interior of a Guard-Room (No. 2453), by Aart van Maes, is a poor attempt at dramatic action.
The fact that the Dutch had fought with swamp and water and possessed a large maritime commerce, is reflected in the Seascapes of Simon de Vlieger (1600–1660), and in the art of Ludolf Backhuysen (1631–1708), who is represented by a Stormy Sea (No. 2309) and five other canvases; but one of the best works of this class in the Louvre is the Marine-piece (No. 2600) by Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633–1707), who crossed over to England, and after a long career died at Greenwich. These men sought to carry on the earlier tradition of Jan van Goyen and the two Ruisdaels, but they showed less originality and power.
Much appreciation and some extravagant praise has been lavished on the still-life painters who, at the time when the higher aims of artistic endeavour began to die out in Holland, displayed remarkable ability. The cultivation of horticulture at Haarlem, the centre of the tulipomania fever in the middle of the seventeenth century, may have had an influence on the artistic presentation of inanimate nature; this feeling was no doubt stimulated by the display made by the goldsmiths in an age of great prosperity. Willem Claesz Heda, who was born 1594, is among the earliest of the Dutch still-life painters, and his picture (No. 2390) is dated 1637; he, however, did not die until more than forty years later. Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606–1684), the painter of Fruit and a Vase on a Table (No. 2391) and of another and much larger picture (No. 2392), was the pupil of his father, David de Heem; as he spent many years at Antwerp, he is sometimes regarded as a Flemish painter. That Abraham van Beyeren (1620–1675?), who painted several sea-pieces, was specially fond of copying the appearance of fish, is seen from his Still-life: Fish (No. 2326a), at the Louvre, which has in recent years also acquired another work (No. 2312a) by him. Willem Kalf (1621?–1693) may have studied under H. G. Pot, the Haarlem genre-painter. He was evidently impressed with the chiaroscuro of Rembrandt, and often placed the drinking-cups, wine-glasses, and fruit on a richly-coloured tablecloth. He is here represented by four examples, of which the Dutch Interior (No. 2436) is the best. Eight pictures by Jan Huysum (1682–1749), two by Jan van Os (1744–1808), and one by C. van Spaendonck (1756–1839) belong to the latest phase of art in Holland, and mark the decadence in full operation. It will be noticed that the Louvre has a much larger selection of still-life pictures than the National Gallery, which seems to regard achievements of this kind with disdain.
Melchior Hondecoeter (1636–1695), the painter of the farmyard, gives unmistakable proof of his power in his large signed Eagle swooping down on a Farmyard (No. 2405), and two rather smaller pictures (Nos. 2406–7).
Jan Weenix (1640–1719), who usually concerns himself with dead game and birds, is working on the usual lines in three (Nos. 2610, 2611, and 2612a) of his four pictures in the great French museum; the other represents A Seaport (No. 2612). He was the fellow-pupil of Hondecoeter in the studio of his father, Jan Baptist Weenix (1621–1660), who studied for a time under the early Dutch master, Abraham Blomaert, and worked in Italy for four years. For that reason the latter has adopted an Italian mode of signing his only picture (No. 2609) in the Louvre.
Although Gerard Honthorst (“Gerard of the Night”) was born as early as 1590, and was a pupil of Blomaert, he may he relegated to the period of decline. Almost invariably he resorted to the trick of lighting the figures in his pictures, whether he was painting religious subjects, portraits, or conversation-pieces, with a candlelight effect. This habit he had acquired in Italy by studying the style of Caravaggio. Of his five pictures here, the best is perhaps the Portrait of Charles Louis, Duke of Bavaria (No. 2410), of 1640. His Concert (No. 2409), painted sixteen years earlier, is an ill-balanced and overloaded composition.
Such artists as Abraham Hondius, who paints a Man Selling Pigeons (No. 2407a); Karel de Moor, who was a pupil of G. Dou, and gives us an insignificant Dutch Family (No. 2477); Eglon van der Neer, whose name is signed on a small panel, A Man Selling Pigeons (No. 2485); Egbert van Heemskerck, whose Interior (No. 2393) is in the La Caze collection; Jan Verkolie, whose Interior (No. 2602)225 has been engraved; H. van Limborch, whose Pleasures of the Golden Age (No. 2446) was in the collection of Louis xvi.; Louis de Moni, the painter of a Family Scene (No. 2476); and Willem van Mieris, a replica of whose Soap Bubbles (No. 2473) is at The Hague,—all these mediocre painters are the despair of the critic, and afford merely momentary entertainment for the curious.
It is apparent that by this period the art of Holland was marked by mechanical inventions, the surface of these eighteenth-century paintings being highly fused and metallic in appearance. The four panels of Adriaen van der Werff (1659–1722), which include an unpleasant Magdalene in the Desert (No. 2617) and a repulsive Dancing Nymph (No. 2619), are characteristic examples of his monotonous art. The Disembarkation of Cleopatra (No. 2441) and the Hercules between Vice and Virtue (No. 2443) of Gerard de Lairesse (1640–1711), have the enamel-like smoothness and meaningless expression of academic art, although they have their usefulness as museum pieces.
It is a remarkable fact that the Louvre does not contain a single example of the revival of art in Holland in the third quarter of the nineteenth century.
THE EARLY FRENCH SCHOOL
THE early phases of the French school of painting—perhaps it would be more correct to say of painting in France—present one of the most interesting problems to the student of art history. It was not really until the great Exhibition of French Primitives held in Paris in 1904 that any serious attempts were made to construct a history of Early French painting; but the learned arguments that have been brought to bear upon the tangled question have so far failed to establish the existence of an important autochthonous school in the fifteenth century. It is true that contemporary records mention the names of a few painters who seem to have enjoyed great repute at the Courts at which they were employed, but it has been impossible to connect any notable extant pictures with their names; whilst those other “French” painters who have left tangible proofs of their activity are almost without exception of Flemish birth and training. Indeed, most of these early pictures show no characteristics that may be described as French, save the types of the faces, which would naturally be taken from the country where the artists worked.
The difficulty of dealing with the Early French pictures at the Louvre is considerably increased by the uncertainty of their authorship, the attributions being in most cases tentative and much disputed. Throughout we feel the lack of a definite basis for comparative criticism—the absence of properly authenticated works by the very masters whose names have been recorded in contemporary documents. One of the earliest of these masters is Jean Malouel, a Fleming, whose real name was Malwaele, and who worked in the228 service of the Dukes of Burgundy at Dijon, where he died in 1415. To him has been attributed, without sufficient proof, the tondo of The Dead Christ supported by the Eternal Father (No. 996) and mourned by the Virgin, St. John and Angels.
Equally uncertain is the attribution of the Last Communion and Martyrdom of St. Denis, First Bishop of Paris (No. 995), on which are seen, against a gold background, in the centre, the Crucified Saviour and the Eternal Father surrounded by cherubs; on the left, Christ giving the Communion to the imprisoned bishop, with a praying angel in the foreground; and on the right, the Decollation of St. Denis and his two companions, St. Rusticus and St. Eleutherius. An attempt has been made to identify this interesting picture with one ordered by Jean-sans-Peur, Duke of Burgundy, from Jean Malouel, and finished after that master’s death by Henri Bellechose, another Flemish painter, born in Brabant, who worked at Dijon between 1415 and 1431.
The Entombment (No. 997) is the work of an unknown and presumably Flemish painter, who shows a certain affinity with the painter of the famous Parement d’autel de Narbonne (No. 1342 bis) of about 1374. This altar-front is supposed to be by Girard d’Orléans and his son Jean, under whose name both the Parement and the Entombment were shown at the Exhibition of French Primitives in 1904. But all these attributions are largely conjectural.
THE MAÎTRE DE MOULINS
Chauvinistic French critics have made much capital out of the important national school that is supposed to have flourished towards the end of the fifteenth century at Moulins, and especially of the mysterious “Maître de Moulins,” so called from a famous triptych at Moulins which cannot be proved to be the work of a French painter, and shows very marked Italian characteristics,229 although the types of the faces are distinctly French. Italian painters had been working in France ever since Simone Martini (1285?–1344) was employed to decorate the Pope’s Palace at Avignon; and in the absence of definite documentary evidence it will always remain a difficult matter to decide whether certain pictures, Italian in style and French as regards the types, are the work of Italian masters painting in France, or of Frenchmen trained by Italians.
To the Maître de Moulins have been loosely ascribed certain pictures in the Louvre collection, especially since attempts have been made, in the face of great improbability, to identify him with Jehan Perréal, or Jehan de Paris, one of the few painters of that period whose French nationality has been satisfactorily established. Perréal was born at Lyons, and became Court painter in Paris to Charles viii. and Louis xii. In this capacity he was sent to England at the time of the marriage of Louis xii. with Princess Mary Tudor, to design the bride’s toilettes. If Perréal be the painter of The Virgin between Two Donors (No. 998d, formerly No. 1048, and now labelled No. —48), which bears upon the pilasters of a balustrade the letters “I P,” he is certainly not identical with the Maître de Moulins to whom have been attributed the portraits of Pierre II., Sire de Beaujeu, Son-in-Law of Louis XI. (No. 1004), and his wife, Anne of France, Duchess of Bourbon, Daughter of Louis XI. (No. 1005), which are apparently the wings of a triptych of which the centre panel has disappeared. They are utterly lacking in charm of colour and are anything but masterly in treatment. Both the personages are portrayed kneeling, the husband being presented by his Patron Saint and the wife by St. John the Evangelist. The Portrait of Pierre was bought in 1842 by Louis Philippe for £20. The companion panel was presented to the Louvre in 1888 by M. Maciet. M. L. Dimier has rightly pointed out that there is no evidence whatever to prove these two pictures to have been painted by a230 French master. The Virgin between Two Donors (No. 998d) has lately been tentatively attributed to the “Master of the Ursula Legend.”
THE DE SOMZÉE “MAGDALEN”
To the Maître de Moulins has also been attributed the somewhat overrated Magdalen with a Female Donor (No. 1005a), which was formerly in the de Somzée collection at Brussels, and was, some time after the Exhibition of French Primitives in 1904, bought from Messrs. T. Agnew & Son for £5000. The supposed similarities that have been noticed between this picture and the Moulins triptych on the one hand, and Jehan Perréal’s authenticated design for the tomb of the Duke of Brittany at Rennes on the other hand, are not sufficiently convincing either to arrive at a definite conclusion as regards the authorship of this Magdalen, or to establish the identity of the Maître de Moulins with Jehan Perréal.
Of an even more problematic nature are the Pietà (No. 998c, formerly No. 998) and the Calvary (No. 998a), of which it is only safe to affirm that both were painted in France, the background showing in the case of the former the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Seine, the Louvre, and the Butte Montmartre; and in the latter an equally distinguishable view of the Seine, the Louvre, and other buildings. Both pictures appear to be the work of Flemish painters who were not entirely uninfluenced by Italian art. This Calvary is labelled “Retable du Parliament de Paris,” and was formerly in the Palais de Justice in Paris.
We need not dwell at any length upon the school of Douai, which should be considered as a branch of the Flemish rather than a national French school. Jean Bellegambe (c. 1470–1535) is its chief representative, and presumably the author of the small wing of a triptych depicting the figure of St. Adrian (No. 13a) which was formerly catalogued as being of the German school (No. 2739).
Of far greater importance is the school which flourished at Tours, for here at last we meet with clearly marked personalities whose names are definitely connected with extant works, even if the character of their art remains essentially Flemish. The best known artist of this group is Jean Fouquet (c. 1425–1480?), who was Painter to Charles vii. and Louis xi. and wrought the wonderful miniatures in the famous Book of Hours at Chantilly. He was distinctly more successful as an illuminator than as a painter, although his masterpiece, the Chevalier diptych (of which one wing is at the Antwerp and the other at the Berlin Museum), is a work of considerable merit. The Louvre owns an interesting painting from his brush—the portrait of the corpulent Chancellor of France, Guillaume Juvénal des Ursins, Baron de Trainel (No. 288). He is depicted in three-quarter profile to the right, dressed in a fur-edged red robe, with hands folded in prayer, before an open book on a cushion. The pilasters in the rich architectural setting terminate in two bears supporting the Chancellor’s coat of arms. This important picture was bought in 1835 for the sum of £36. It was then attributed to Michael Wohlgemuth!
Fouquet is known to have painted Charles vii. in 1444; but the Portrait of Charles VII., King of France (No. 289), with the inscription along the top, “le très glorieux roy de france,” and below, “charles septiesme de ce nom,” cannot certainly be identified with the picture referred to in contemporary records. The Louvre picture was acquired in 1838 for £18.
The name of Jean Fouquet has for a long time been connected with the admirable little portrait known as The Man with the Wineglass (No. 1000, formerly No. 1000a). It was shown as a work of Fouquet at the Exhibition of French Primitives; and the attribution is still maintained by many French critics, although in the232 official Catalogue the picture is given to an Unknown French painter of the fifteenth century known as “The Master of 1456” from a dated picture in the Liechtenstein Gallery in Vienna. The whole style of the painting would, however, point to German origin, the only thing French about the picture being the type of the personage represented. It is interesting to note that this portrait, which was bought from a Paris dealer in 1906 for £7600, was formerly in the collection of Count Wilczek in Vienna, and was bought by its former owner at Ulm. It is probably the work of a painter of the Swabian school.
Nicolas Froment, the painter of the diptych King René and his Second Wife, Jeanne de Laval (No. 304a), is frequently mentioned by those who have constituted themselves champions of a supposed important Early French national school. The few pictures with which he may be credited include the St. Siffrein, now in the Seminary at Avignon, the Raising of Lazarus, now in the Kaufmann collection at Berlin, and the Burning Bush, which includes the Portraits of King René and Jeanne de Laval, as the Donors who ordered the picture for the Cathedral at Aix, where it still is. But the Louvre diptych is an inferior work. Nothing is known about the dates of his birth and death. He flourished between 1460 and 1480, and was employed by good King René, who was himself a painter of some distinction, if contemporary chroniclers are to be believed. Froment died at Avignon, where he appears to have worked some considerable time, allowing his art to absorb those distinctly Italian tendencies which distinguished the productions of the Avignon school ever since Simone Martini had early in the fourteenth century worked in the Provençal city of the Popes.
A very typical instance of this Avignon school, with its blending of Northern realism and the noble sense of style of the early233 Italians, is the Pietà (No. 1001b). The group of the Virgin with the rigid body of Christ across her knees, St. John on the left and the Magdalen on the right, has a sculpturesque dignity and grandeur not to be found in the Northern art of that period. The Donor on the extreme left rather destroys the balance of the composition. The mourners and the landscape are silhouetted against a gold background. The picture was formerly in the Chartreuse of Villeneuve near Avignon, and was bought by the Société des Amis du Louvre for the great French national collection at the price of £4000. A well-known Spanish critic has claimed that this is one of the very rare works by the Spanish artist Bartolomé Bermejo.
Of the same school, but vastly inferior in conception and execution, is the much restored Christ rising from the Tomb, with a Donor and St. Agricola (No. 1001c). There are in Gallery X. (Salle Jean Fouquet) a few more anonymous fifteenth-century paintings, which need not here be discussed as they are of no real significance.
THE SIXTEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH SCHOOL
THE mere fact that many of the drawings and paintings which are now with good reason believed to be the work of Jean or Jehan Clouet (called Jehannet) passed, at a time when art criticism followed methods less scientific than those which prevail at present, under the name of Holbein, should suffice to indicate that Clouet’s art belongs essentially to the Renaissance, and that the Primitive or Gothic period had come to a close when he arrived in France from the Netherlands, where he was born about 1475. He apparently worked first at Tours, where his presence in 1516 is testified by documentary evidence; and he went to Paris before 1529. Although he was never naturalised, he became Groom of the Chamber to François i., and enjoyed an enormous reputation for his skill in portraiture. He died in 1540 or 1541.
JEAN CLOUET’S DRAWINGS
Not a single drawing or painting that has come down to us from this period, which was remarkable for its enormous production in Court portraiture, bears the signature of Jehan Clouet; but as a number of the best portrait drawings in the famous Chantilly collection—notably that of the Preux de Marignan—are obviously from the same hand, and extend, as can be proved from the age of the personages portrayed, from 1514 to 1540,—the very years236 when Jean Clouet is known to have worked in France,—it is quite reasonable to assume that artist to be the author of this group of drawings. Their superiority over all the other drawings of the period would account for the fame enjoyed by the elder Clouet among his contemporaries.
On the strength of these drawings it has been possible to ascribe to Jean Clouet a few painted portraits which are obviously based on the drawings and show, apart from such differences as must necessarily result from the use of a different medium, the same characteristics—firm draughtsmanship, a sure delicate touch in the delineation of the features, and also a certain stiffness and hardness of contour which are never to be found in the otherwise very similar but always supple and masterly handling of Holbein. It is now known that practically all the painted portraits of the period were executed from the delicate drawings in black and red chalk, of which so vast a number have come down to our day. But the fact that the vast majority of these drawings served as models to different painters leaves the question of attribution in a state of uncertainty. The mere tracing back of a picture to some extant drawing of acknowledged authenticity cannot be taken as proof of their common origin.
Two pictures at the Louvre are attributed to Jean Clouet. Both are portraits of François I., King of France, but only the smaller one (No. 127) appears to be from his hand. Clouet’s royal patron is here depicted in three-quarter profile to the right, at the age of about thirty, so that the picture may be assumed to have been painted about the year 1524. It is based on a drawing in the Chantilly collection. The larger Portrait of François I. (No. 126) has at various times been attributed to Jean Clouet, Mabuse, and Joost van Cleef, but is, as has been pointed out by M. Dimier, pronouncedly Italian in colour and in the treatment of the costume and hands.
Towards the end of his life Jean Clouet was assisted in the execution of his numerous commissions by his brother Clouet de Navarre, to whom is attributed the Portrait of Louis de Saint-Gelais, Lord of Lansac, Captain of one of the “Compagnies des cent Gentilshommes” under Charles IX. (No. 134), and by his son François Clouet (1500?–1572). It has been stated that François Clouet, who was to become after his father’s death the favourite portrait painter of François i., Henri ii., Catherine de Médicis, François ii., and Charles ix., was born at Tours; but it is far more likely that he too was born in the Netherlands, and, while still young, accompanied his father to France. Practically nothing is known of his life before the year 1541, when François i. renounced to Clouet his kingly right to the artist’s inheritance, which could have been claimed by the Crown as the estate of a foreigner. In the same year François Clouet was appointed Groom of the Chamber and Painter-in-Ordinary to the King.
The Louvre is fortunate in possessing one of the exceedingly rare signed pictures by this artist in the Portrait of Pierre Quthe (No. 127a), which was found in Vienna a few years ago by M. Moreau-Nélaton and presented to the Gallery by that active and patriotic institution, the Société des Amis du Louvre. Pierre Quthe was a notable burgher and apothecary of Paris, who owned one of the finest gardens in that city. He was an intimate friend and neighbour of François Clouet in the rue St. Avoye. In the Louvre painting, which bears in the left-hand bottom corner the inscription
FR. IANETII OPVS
E. QUTTO AMICO SINGVLARI
AETATIS SVE XLIII 1562
he is depicted three-quarter-length life size, dressed in a doublet of black velvet with lace insertions, with a herbarium. The picture hangs at present on a screen in Gallery XV.
Another unquestionably authentic work is the charming Portrait of Elizabeth of Austria, Wife of Charles IX. (No. 130), of which a preparatory study in chalk, dated 1571, is to be found in the Paris Print Cabinet. The face is drawn and modelled with rare delicacy, and every detail of the richly jewelled gold brocade costume is rendered with faultless and miniature-like precision.
Yet another precious little picture from the same hand is the small three-quarter-length Portrait of Charles IX., King of France (No. 128), which is a reduced replica of the signed life-size version in the Vienna Museum. Both pictures were originally in Vienna, whence they were removed by Napoleon in 1809, but only the larger picture was taken back to the Austrian capital in 1815.
The Portrait of Claude de Beaune (No. 133a) is possibly another, though not very important, work from the master’s own brush; but neither the Portrait of François de Lorraine, Duc de Guise (No. 131), nor the Portrait of Henri II., King of France (No. 129), are of sufficient merit to justify their attribution to François Clouet; whilst the portraits of Charles IX. (No. 132) and Elizabeth of Austria (No. 133) are frankly admitted to be copies after originals by the master.
CORNEILLE DE LYON
François Clouet’s chief rival in royal favour was another Netherlander domiciled in France, who, from the city in which he spent the years of his greatest activity, has become known as Corneille de Lyon. He was apparently the head of a busy workshop at Lyons, from which were turned out large numbers of thinly painted, daintily touched-in three-quarter profile heads,239 executed almost transparently on a light ground. although these portraits are now generally described under the generic name of Corneille de Lyon, only the best among them can be accepted as the master’s own handiwork. Room XI. at the Louvre contains several insignificant and badly repainted portraits of this type. They are of no importance, as they are only copies or studio productions. Corneille became naturalised in 1547, in which year he was appointed Painter to the King. He died about 1575.
THE SCHOOL OF FONTAINEBLEAU
The death of Perréal and Bourdichon a few years after the accession of François i. had left France without any artists of note, save the few foreign portrait painters employed by the Court. François i., an enthusiastic art lover, who had seen and admired the great Italian masters in their own country, spared no effort to attract the leading masters to France. We have seen that he actually succeeded in securing the services of the aged Leonardo da Vinci, and that for a brief span Andrea del Sarto worked at his Court. When, about 1530, that art-loving king turned his attention to the decoration of his palace at Fontainebleau, there was not a single painter of French nationality, or artist living in France, who could have been entrusted with so formidable a task, and François i. was again forced to enlist the best Italian painters available for the purpose. Having first engaged Pellegrino and other third-rate artists, he succeeded, in 1531, in inducing the Florentine Rosso to undertake the execution and supervision of the decorative work at Fontainebleau; and in the following year the Bolognese Primaticcio entered his service. Both belong to the Italian eclectic schools, and only concern us here in so far as their example led to the founding of what has240 been called the “School of Fontainebleau,” which was really an offshoot of the Italian eclectic school.
In the early years of Rosso’s and Primaticcio’s activity at Fontainebleau practically all the work was done by these two painters and their Italian assistants, whose band was joined by Niccolò dell’ Abbate. It was only after the death of François i. that the teaching of the Italian eclectics at Fontainebleau produced a generation of French artists capable of doing justice to the decorative tasks for which an ever-increasing demand had meanwhile arisen. That the Louvre is singularly poor in works by these painters may partly be accounted for by the comparative scarcity of easel pictures painted by artists who were chiefly employed for interior decoration. There is no reason for crediting any Frenchmen with the three anonymous school of Fontainebleau pictures in Gallery XI.: Diana (No. 1013), The Chastity of Scipio (No. 1014), and The Toilet of Venus (No. 1014a). The Chastity of Scipio in particular would appear to be the work of Niccolò dell’ Abbate.
The most famous of all the French painters of the school is Jean Cousin, who from the Last Judgment (No. 155) at the Louvre—the only known painting from his brush that has been preserved—has been called “The French Michelangelo.” Nothing is known of his life, save that he was born at Soucy, near Sens, that he worked in Paris in the third quarter of the sixteenth century, and that he was still alive in 1583. Comparison of his picture with Michelangelo’s great work in the Sistine Chapel only helps to accentuate the absurd over-estimation to which he owes his sobriquet. He was merely a follower of Primaticcio, an excellent draughtsman with great knowledge of anatomy, but lacking in taste, imagination, and real power.
Ambroise Dubois (1543–1614) was born at Antwerp, but is generally counted among the French painters of the school of Fontainebleau. He was entrusted by Henri iv. with several important series of paintings for the decoration of the apartments at Fontainebleau, notably with eight scenes illustrating Tasso’s “Gerusalemme Liberata” for one of the Queen’s rooms, and fifteen scenes from “Theogenes and Chariclea” by Heliodorus for the “King’s Great Closet.” One from each series has found its way into the Louvre collection: The Baptism of Clorinda (No. 272), and Chariclea, undergoing the Ordeal of Fire, is recognised by her Parents, King Hydaspes and Queen Persina (No. 271).
The only other painter of this group who is represented at the Louvre is Martin Fréminet (1567–1619), who was only indirectly connected with the school of Fontainebleau, as he had received his art education in Florence. His best known work is the ceiling of the Trinity Chapel at Fontainebleau. His picture at the Louvre represents Mercury ordering Æneas to leave Dido (No. 304).
The decline of the school of Fontainebleau was so rapid and complete that, when Marie de Médicis decided to have the great gallery of the Luxembourg Palace decorated, in 1620, there was not a single painter left in France capable to undertake this important work, which was eventually entrusted to Rubens. But the whole direction to be taken by French seventeenth-century art had been determined by François i., and the influence of the Late Italians remained paramount until the dawn of the new era which was to be initiated by Watteau.
THE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH SCHOOL
THROUGHOUT the seventeenth century the impulse for the artistic activity of France emanated from Rome. But before discussing the dominating personalities of the age we must refer to a few painters who occupy a more or less isolated position in the art of their country.
The naturalism of Caravaggio was introduced into France by two of his followers, Jean de Boulongne, called Le Valentin (1591–1634), and Simon Vouet (1590–1649), who was also slightly influenced by the Venetians. Valentin spent the best part of his life in Rome, where he died in 1634. The Louvre owns, among eight pictures from his brush (not all of which are exhibited), his masterpiece, The Innocence of Susannah recognised (No. 56), which has the vigorous handling and bold chiaroscuro of the Neapolitan school.
Simon Vouet, who came to England at the age of fifteen, and subsequently travelled in Turkey and Italy, where he remained until his appointment as Painter to the King took him back to Paris in 1627, tried to combine the naturalism of Caravaggio with the colouring of the Venetians, an endeavour in which he was only partially successful, as he was not equipped by nature with a sensuous appreciation of beautiful colour. The Louvre owns a dozen Scriptural subjects and allegorical figures by Vouet; but even the best of them, The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (No. 971), is but a dull244 and heavy performance; whilst his Portrait of Louis XIII. (No. 976) is wholly devoid of artistic merit. Perhaps he owes his fame chiefly to the fact that he was the master of the absurdly overrated Le Sueur and of that art despot of the Louis xiv. era, Charles Le Brun.
THE BROTHERS LE NAIN
Of far greater artistic significance are the three brothers, Antoine, Louis, and Matthieu Le Nain, who were born at Laon, and flourished in Paris during the first half of the seventeenth century. Antoine and Louis died in 1648, and Matthieu in 1677. Very little is known of their history, but the splendid array of their works in Gallery XIII. proves them to have had close affinities with the contemporary Dutch and Flemish schools, even if their manner of composition suggests close acquaintance with Spanish art. Their subjects, too, like those of many of the Northern masters of their time, are taken from the daily life of the people, which is rendered with naïve honesty, and at times with a real appreciation of beautiful pigment. So far it has been impossible to distinguish between the works of the three brothers, as even the signatures “le nain, fecit 1647,” on the Portraits in an Interior (No. 543), and “le nain, fecit anno 1642,” on the Peasants at their Meal (No. 548, La Caze Gallery), afford no clue to the solution of the problem. The striking differences in brushwork and colouring, which are to be noticed in the eleven Le Nain pictures at the Louvre, would certainly suggest that the three brothers did not, or did only rarely, collaborate on the same pictures. The painter of The Return from Haymaking (No. 542), with its prophetic suggestion of the plein-air effects of late nineteenth-century art, cannot have had much in common with the painter of the dull and dingy Denial of St. Peter (No. 547).
The founder of the Classicist school of French painting, which has had official approval and support from his time to the present day, was Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665). Born at Les Andelys in Normandy, he went to Paris at the age of eighteen, and became so fascinated by the examples of antique sculpture that, in spite of his extreme poverty, he determined to continue his studies in Rome. It is unnecessary here to relate the struggles that preceded his arrival at Rome in 1624. He frequented the school of Domenichino; but what was more decisive for the formation of his style was his unceasing study of antique sculpture, in which he was guided and encouraged by his friend, the sculptor Duquesnoy. After some years of continued poverty, he found at last liberal patronage, and rose to such fame that on his return to Paris in 1640 he was appointed Painter-in-Ordinary to the King. However, the duties and restrictions attached to this position proved so irksome to Poussin, that after two years he returned to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life.
At the Louvre is to be found an imposing array of forty canvases by Poussin, whose art is as typical an expression of French genius as the poetry of Corneille. It is essentially intellectual, based on theoretical rules of design and composition, not in the least sensuous or emotional, but always coldly classical. The vast majority of his paintings at the Louvre are in such a deplorable state of deterioration and neglect that it is almost impossible to form an adequate idea of their original colour, but even the most ardent admirers of the master do not maintain that he was a great colourist. His pictures are entirely dependent on beauty of form and rhythmic design. They might almost be described as painted reliefs. This applies at least to his treatment of the human figure.246 His conception of landscape, though still severely classical, is more pictorial and testifies to a genuine love of Nature—Nature idealised by a lofty imagination. To appreciate his greatness as a landscape painter, one has only to examine the glorious setting to his Orpheus and Eurydice (No. 740). The figures here are really of quite subordinate importance—mere incidents in a landscape painted with consummate mastery, perfect in linear and aerial perspective.
The Shepherds in Arcadia (No. 734, Plate XXXVII.) may be quoted to illustrate the calculated rhythm of his design and his indebtedness to classic art from which he derived his nobility of form. Real dramatic action was beyond Poussin’s range. His famous Rape of the Sabine Women (No. 724) is a striking instance of his failure to grasp the significant difference between dramatic movement and mere heroic posturing. Far more inspired, and therefore more natural and dramatically effective, is the superb circular painting for a ceiling commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu and representing Time rescuing Truth from the Attacks of Envy and Discord (No. 735). The allegory is said to have been intended as an allusion to the circumstances which induced Poussin to leave Paris for good. The design has more real vitality than is generally to be found in Poussin’s work; the action of the figures is more natural; and the colour music is not drowned by the prevalence of dingy browns. The decorative effect heralds in a strange way the art of the next century, and particularly that of Boucher.
To see Poussin in the right perspective as regards the world’s great masters, one need only compare his two Bacchanals (Nos. 729 and 730) with Titian’s rendering of a similar theme. The comparison is disastrous for the eclectic Frenchman. A Portrait of the Painter (No. 743) from Poussin’s own brush is to be found in Room XIV., where no fewer than thirty-seven of his pictures are on view.
PLATE XXXVII.—NICOLAS POUSSIN
No. 734.—THE SHEPHERDS IN ARCADIA
(Les Bergers d’Arcadie)
In the centre of a landscape with receding ranges of hills, three shepherds, leaning on their long staves, and a maiden in classic garb, are gathered around an ancient tomb surrounded by trees. An inscription on the tomb, “Et in Arcadia Ego,” engages their attention. One of the shepherds is kneeling and reading the inscription to his companion on the left, whilst the third man of the group leans forward to point out to the maiden the significance of the inscription.
Painted in oil on canvas.
2 ft. 9½ in. × 3 ft. 11½ in. (0·85 × 1·21.)
Strangely enough, the otherwise very complete collection of French pictures at the Louvre does not contain a single example of Poussin’s brother-in-law, Gaspard Dughet, better known as Gaspard Poussin (1613–1675), who devoted himself more exclusively to landscape than did his more illustrious relative. Nicolas Poussin’s influence also became decisive for the formation of the style of Claude Gellée, called Le Lorrain (1600–1682), who is represented at the Louvre by seventeen pictures (Nos. 310–326), most of which also have suffered considerably from discoloration and neglect. Claude, who was the child of poor parents, started life as a cook. In this capacity he went to Rome, where his talent for art was discovered by the landscape painter Agostino Tassi, to whom he served as cook and apprentice. Having learned all he could from his master, he returned to France in 1625, but, like Poussin, preferred to go back to Rome after two years spent in his native country. In the Papal city he lived the rest of his days, and rose to fame and affluence.
He was essentially a landscape painter. The historical and legendary incidents introduced in such pictures as The Disembarkation of Cleopatra at Tarsis (No. 314), or Ulysses restoring Chryseis to her Father (No. 316), were to him a mere excuse for painting classic landscapes and imaginary buildings of noble proportion bathed in a golden atmosphere, which has hardly been rivalled by any contemporary or later painter. It is only on rare occasions, as in the View of the Campo Vaccino at Rome (No. 311), that he applied his gifts to the portrayal of nature. As a rule, his views are carefully arranged combinations of architectural and landscape elements brought together arbitrarily, and generally disposed in the manner of the wings and backcloth of a stage scene, but connected by the unity of light and atmosphere. Considering this248 method, it is amazing that his memory enabled him to invent such imaginary scenes with so great a degree of truth. The View of a Sea Port (No. 317, Plate XXXVIII.), in the subdued light of a misty day, is a magnificent instance of his masterly management of aerial perspective. It is signed and dated “claude in roma, 1646.” It is generally known how much Turner in his first manner owed to the example of Claude. That even Watteau was indebted to him may be gathered from such pictures as The Village Fête (No. 312), which, signed and dated, “claudio, inv. Romæ, 1639,” contains in germ the elements that constituted the greatness of the eighteenth-century master.
Whilst Poussin and Claude were working in Rome, two pupils of Vouet reaped the highest honours in France. Eustache Le Sueur (1617–1655), whom his compatriots in their incomprehensible over-estimation of his mediocre gifts have called the “French Raphael,” certainly strove to emulate the divine Urbinate; but how badly he succeeded in this endeavour is to be gathered from the fifty-two paintings, by the placing of which his memory is retained at the Louvre. What dignity there is in the simple flow of line in his designs, is completely ruined by the offensive crudeness of his colour. Even allowing for the inevitable fluctuations of taste in matters of art, it is difficult now to understand how enthusiasm could ever have been aroused by the works that were considered his masterpieces, St. Paul preaching at Ephesus (No. 560), which at the beginning of last century was valued at £10,000 (!), and the twenty-two Scenes from the Life of St. Bruno (Nos. 564–585), painted between 1645 and 1648 for the small cloister of the Carthusians in Paris. This series, which is a severe tax on the patience of the conscientious visitor, fills the whole of Gallery XII., whilst other paintings connected with it intrude 249into the adjoining room, which is consecrated to the brothers Le Nain.
PLATE XXXVIII.—CLAUDE GELLÉE, CALLED CLAUDE LORRAIN
No. 317.—VIEW OF A SEAPORT
(Vue d’un Port de Mer: Effet de Brume)
In the foreground, on the beach, are groups of men occupied with unloading merchandise and cattle. Sailing ships are at anchor in the port, and boats are floating on the rippling water. On the left a monumental staircase leads from the landing-steps to a palace, beyond which is seen a fort; a classic temple on the right. Sunset effect, the power of the sun being softened by a mist over the far distance.
Painted in oil on canvas.
Signed on a stone in the left foreground:—“CLAUDE in Roma, 1646”
3 ft. 10¾ in. × 4 ft. 11 in. (1·19 × 1·50.)
Before passing on to Vouet’s most famous pupil, Charles Le Brun, whose despotic power imposed upon French painting during the “grand siècle” its pompous rhetorical character, mention should be made of Sébastien Bourdon (1616–1671), who, but for his prolonged sojourn in Rome, which fed his ambition to excel in the “grand style,” would have been one of the most remarkable artists of his century. This conclusion is, at least, justified by his precious little painting of a group of Beggars (No. 76), which is perhaps unrivalled in French seventeenth-century art for quality of paint and appreciation of tone values; and by his excellent Portrait of the Philosopher René Descartes (No. 78), who was also painted by Frans Hals (No. 2383). In his treatment of scriptural and historical subjects he does not rise above the dull level of his contemporaries.
CHARLES LE BRUN
Charles Le Brun (1619–1690) studied first under Vouet, but, attracted by Poussin’s stronger personality, followed that master to Rome in 1642, and continued his studies under his guidance. When Le Brun returned to Paris four years later, his reputation was already firmly established. Patronised by Louis xiv.’s powerful minister, Colbert, he was placed at the head of the newly founded Academy of Painting, and of the Gobelins Manufactory, became First Painter to the King and “Prince” of the French Academy in Rome; and was, in fact, given absolute power in all matters concerning the fostering of the arts and art industries. This despotic power explains how it was possible that Le Brun, who notwithstanding his brilliant executive skill and extraordinary facility never rose above the level of mediocrity, could impose his250 uninspired personality upon every phase of French artistic activity of his time.
His enormous canvases at the Louvre, which probably occupy more space than has been allotted to any other painter, vainly endeavour to conceal the lack of real emotion and of a central motif by theatrical gestures and overcrowding. His masterpiece at the Louvre is The Tent of Darius (No. 511), which represents the family of Darius imploring Alexander the Great for mercy. But even here one feels the absence of dramatic inspiration and concentration. Less successful are the other scenes from the history of Alexander: The Passage of the Granicus (No. 509), The Battle of Arbela (No. 510), Alexander and Porus (No. 512), Alexander entering Babylon (No. 513). The whole series was painted between 1661 and 1668 for execution in tapestry and was exhibited at the Salon in 1673, the year in which for the first time an official catalogue was compiled. Besides many scriptural and mythological subjects, and a few portraits from Le Bran’s brush, there are at the Louvre his decorative paintings on the ceiling of the Galerie d’Apollon in which the magnificent centre panel was added two centuries later by Delacroix.
Le Bran’s successor in the direction of the Academy and the Gobelin works, Pierre Mignard (1612–1695), called “Le Romain” owing to his long domicile in Rome after the completion of his studies under Vouet, did not have his precursor’s large decorative faculty and sweeping ease of execution. Yet the excessively affected grace and the careful finish of his pictures, of which The Virgin of the Grapes (No. 628) is a thoroughly characteristic instance, helped to raise him to an exalted position in the opinion of his contemporaries. To this day the affected style of prettiness251 of which he was the high priest is known as “mignardise.” His power was altogether insufficient for the ambitious decorative tasks he set himself in emulation of Le Brun. If he has any claim to the esteem of posterity, it is for having left the world a portrait gallery of the notable men and women of his time—portraits which are by no means free from flattery and mannered grace, but constitute, nevertheless, a valuable historical record. Of these the Louvre owns the Portrait of the Artist at Work in his Studio (No. 640); the Portrait of Françoise d’Aubigne, Marquise de Maintenon (No. 639); and the life-size group of Louis of France, Son of Louis XIV., his Wife, and their three Children (No. 638).
Colbert and Le Brun had succeeded but too well in carrying out the powerful minister’s ambition to direct French art towards industrial and decorative aims, to train an army of capable producers, and to place the whole organisation on what may be called a business basis. The system was, however, not favourable for the growth of independent genius. With few exceptions, the whole generation of painters that grew up under Le Brun’s régime are of no significance to the history of art. There were among them many capable craftsmen, but they only repeated in a feebler way what Le Brun had done on a more imposing and dazzling scale. Whole dynasties of painters arose, like the Boulognes and the Coypels, who, under official patronage, filled acres of canvas with florid, theatrical renderings of scriptural subjects, and with the bombastic mock-heroics of classic history and mythology seen through baroque spectacles.
LE BRUN’S FOLLOWERS
It would be giving undue importance to these painters of the Louis xiv. period if we were to go beyond a mere enumeration of their leaders and their chief works at the Louvre. None of252 them possessed any marked individuality; and most of them were linked together, not only by similar aims and ambitions, but also by family ties. Four members of the Coypel family rose to great eminence among their fellow-artists, and to important official positions. Noël Coypel (1628–1707), the painter of the four historical compositions, Solon defending his Laws before the Athenians (No. 157), Ptolomy Philadelphus giving the Jews their Freedom (No. 158), Trajan giving a Public Audience (No. 159), and the Foresight of Septimus Severus (No. 160), all of which were originally executed for the Council Chamber at Versailles; his sons Antoine Coypel (1661–1722), whose best known pictures at the Louvre are the Susannah and the Elders (No. 169) and the Democritos (No. 174), which recalls Jordaens in its exuberant life, and Noël Nicolas Coypel (1692–1734), whose goddesses and nymphs already reflect the taste which dominated the eighteenth century; as well as Antoine’s son, Charles Antoine Coypel (1694–1752), whose uninspired art may best be studied in the Perseus delivering Andromeda (No. 180).
The Triumph of Bacchus (No. 447) and The Annunciation (No. 445), by Charles de La Fosse (1636–1716); Hercules fighting the Centaurs (No. 53), by Bon Boulogne (1649–1717); and The Marriage of St. Catherine (No. 55), by his brother Louis Boulogne (1654–1733), only serve to illustrate the mediocrity of their respective authors. The impersonality of Bon Boulogne’s art had at least the advantage that his teaching left free scope for personal expression to his many pupils.
Even the still-life painting of the “grand siècle,” which found its chief exponent in Jean Baptiste Monnoyer (1634–1699), partakes of the love of pomp and display that characterises this period. Gold and silver vases, precious stuffs and furniture generally accompany his flowers, which are painted without real appreciation of their natural beauty, and in purely local tints without a hint of the effect of each colour upon its surround253ings. The Flowers (No. 648), in the La Caze Gallery, may be mentioned as a typical example.
The battle painter, Jacques Courtois (1621–1676), called Borgognone and Le Bourguignon, though born in France, was so completely under the spell of the art of Italy, the country where he spent almost his entire life, that he can scarcely be reckoned as belonging to the French school. His furious cavalry mêlées, though entirely imaginative (as such confused encounters of horsemen piercing each other’s ranks have never taken place in actual warfare), are painted, like the Cavalry Fight (No. 151), with a touch as swift as it is sure and expressive, and full of exuberant vitality.
Joseph Parrocel (1678–1704), who, during a prolonged visit to Rome had benefited by Borgognone’s teaching, could not, after his return to France in 1675, escape the current of thought which dominated his time, and introduced the stage-heroic note into his master’s sham realism. The glorification of his king is the purpose of such pictures as The Passage of the Rhine by Louis XIV. (No. 678). The chief interest is centred in the richly apparelled group on their prancing steeds in the foreground.
The Descent from the Cross (No. 437), by Jean Jouvenet (1644–1717), which has been honoured by a position among the masterpieces in the Salon Carré, is certainly one of the most estimable compositions produced in France during this active but uninspired century. Not only in the general disposition of the design, but also in the use of colour as a constructive element, Jouvenet here254 acknowledges his indebtedness to Rubens, although he could never rival the luminous glow of the great Fleming’s palette. Most of his other pictures suffer from dull heavy shadows and exaggerated expression. His strong and honest painting of the kneeling group in The Abbé Delaporte officiating at the High altar of Nôtre-Dame (No. 440), makes us regret that he did not devote himself more to subjects taken from the life of his time.
An artist who was less tied to the tyranny of the official school, and imbued with a really profound sense of the beautiful, was Jean Baptiste Santerre (1658–1717). The delicate perfection of form of the nude in Susannah and the Elders (No. 835) approaches him to David and Ingres at their best. But this very perfection carries the germ of decay, because it is incapable of progress, and stagnation in art signifies death. As regards his technique, Santerre was extremely careful and conscientious. He reduced his palette to but five colours, and waited ten years after the completion of a picture before putting on the final coat of varnish.
THE PORTRAIT PAINTERS
The two great portrait painters who flourished under the “Grand Monarque,” Rigaud and Largillière, were preceded by an artist to whom, perhaps owing to the relative scarceness of his works, history has done but scant justice. Whilst the Louvre contains thirteen portraits by Largillière and seventeen by Rigaud, only two pictures stand to the name of Claude Lefebvre (1632–1675); but his Portraits of a Master and his Pupil (No. 529) and the Portrait of a Man (No. 530), are distinguished by a penetrating insight into character and an incisive vigour of style that form a striking contrast to the shallow bombast introduced even into portraiture by the fashionable painters to the Court. Lefebvre has been compared with Van Dyck. The Portrait of a Man (No. 530)255 has more in common with the brilliant audacity of Frans Hals’s brushwork. Lefebvre worked for some years in London, where he was a favourite at the Court of Charles ii.
Rigaud’s manner of portraiture has none of these serious, manly qualities, but his skill in arranging the sumptuous accessories which play so important a part in his portraits,—as important, at least, as the actual features of the sitters,—secured him the patronage of the pomp-loving, haughty nobility. Hyacinthe Rigaud y Ros (1659–1743) was born at Perpignan and educated at Montpellier and Lyons. It was the advice of Le Brun that saved him from the customary pilgrimage to Rome and its inevitable consequences. It was Le Brun who recognised Rigaud’s bent for portraiture, and launched him on the brilliant career which gained for him the title of “the French Van Dyck.” Rigaud was enormously productive. Between 1681 and 1698 he is said to have painted six hundred and twenty-three portraits. And he had then another forty-five years before him!
Rigaud’s best known picture at the Louvre is the stately portrait d’apparat of King Louis XIV. (No. 781), a life-size full length, in which the spirit of the time, the curious blending of supercilious haughtiness, love of display, and affected grace of manner, are happily expressed in the monarch’s attitude and in the whole setting. The picture is signed and dated, “peint par hyacinthe rigaud, 1701.” The same tendencies are to be noted in the full length Portrait of Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux (No. 783), in which it is surprising that the prelate’s personality is not completely smothered by the splendid profusion of the accessories. His gifts appear, however, in a better light in his excellent Portraits of Marie Serre, the Artist’s Mother (No. 784), with the same head, honestly and soberly painted, twice on the same canvas, once in sharp profile looking to the right, and again, facing this, a three-quarter profile to the left. Wholly unexpected is the delicacy256 and softness of one of his pictures in the La Caze Room: the Portrait of the Duke of Lesdiguières as a Child (No. 792). His solitary excursion into the domain of “grand art” at the Louvre is at the same time his last work: The Presentation in the Temple (No. 780), which in grouping and lighting owes much to the study of Rembrandt.
Nicolas de Largillière (1656–1746) was born in Paris, but was taken when still an infant to Antwerp, where he became a pupil of Goebouw. From 1674 to 1680 he worked in London as an assistant of Sir Peter Lely, from whom he acquired the clever tricks and mannerisms in the painting of draperies and the textures of silks and velvets and other materials, which were to form so important a part of his artistic equipment. After Lely’s death Largillière went to Paris, where he not only shared with Rigaud the patronage of the Court as portrait painter, but secured many important commissions for historical paintings which, perhaps to the advantage of his fame, are now all but forgotten. Largillière was not without distinction as a brilliant and daring colourist. Nor was he incapable, on occasion, of seizing the subtleties of his sitters’ character. But his praiseworthy qualities are more than balanced by his unpleasant affectations and by the baroque squirminess of his line. This tendency carried him to such insufferable excesses as the conglomeration of lumpy bosses which does duty for a hand in his Portrait of M. Du Vaucel (No. 484), in the La Caze Room.
His boastful skill in the management of the satins and velvets in the overrated portrait group of Largillière with his Wife and Daughter in a Garden (No. 491), cannot atone for the singularly unfortunate and clumsy composition, and for the self-conscious affectation of each individual pose. More satisfactory, in spite of the superabundance of accessories and outward pomp, which in this case is a fitting attribute to the character of the sitter, is the257 Portrait of Charles Le Brun, First Painter to King Louis XIV. (No. 482), who is depicted in a colossal wig, seated before an easel, and wearing a superbly painted red velvet cloak.
It almost goes without saying that landscape art, which, even in its most artificial and “classic” phase is inspired by the love and study of nature, was sadly neglected in so artificial an age. Among its leading exponents must be mentioned the two Patels, father and son, of whose life we have but scant knowledge, and whose pictures resemble one another’s so closely that it is often difficult to determine which is by Pierre Patel, the father (1620?–1676), and which by Pierre Antoine Patel, the son (1648–1708), especially as both adopted the signature, “p. patel.” In the case of the older artist’s The Exposure of Moses on the Nile (No. 680), and Moses burying the Egyptian whom he had Slain (No. 681), and his son’s four landscapes representing the months, January (No. 684), April (No. 685), August (No. 686), and September (No. 687), all doubts are set aside by the dates which accompany the signature. Both artists were close followers of Claude Lorrain, although their precise technique suggests the influence of Adam Elsheimer.
A truer perception of nature came to France from the North, whence, indeed, throughout the history of French painting vitality was infused into an art that was cramped by officially imposed canons of Italian perfection. As far back as the time of Le Brun, Félibien and Roger de Piles had begun in the field of literary polemics the long struggle between the Poussinistes and Rubenistes, the adherents of an art dominated by design and perfect drawing, against the partisans of colour as a vital element. During the whole seventeenth century the Poussinistes, who commanded all the official support, held the field, though the Netherlandish strain258 was represented by some of the finest painters of that period, like the brothers Le Nain, C. Lefebvre, and Philippe de Champaigne. In the eighteenth century the Northern influence became supreme through Watteau and Chardin on the one hand, and on the other through Boucher and Fragonard, both of whom were powerfully influenced by the study of Rubens’s works.
In landscape the healthy opposition to the prevailing classic style appears first in the work of the Flemish battle painter Van der Meulen, whose backgrounds, sketched on the spot, show a fine feeling for aerial perspective and atmospheric effects. But his example apparently attracted no followers. Though not, strictly speaking, a landscape painter, François Desportes (1661–1743), who owed less to his early training under Nicasius, a third-rate Fleming, than to his habit of using his own eyes and studying nature direct, treated landscape with similar freedom in the backgrounds to his portraits and pictures of the chase. In his paintings of animals, dead or alive, limp bodies of hares and birds arranged as still-life with flowers and fruits, or in a very frenzy of movement in his hunting pieces, he endeavours to emulate Snyders, without quite rivalling the Flemish master. Of his twenty-five pictures at the Louvre, twenty-three (Nos. 225–248) belong to this genre, but not all of them are actually exhibited. The Portrait of a Huntsman (No. 224), and the Portrait of the Artist (No. 249) seated under a tree, holding a gun in his right, and caressing with his left hand a hound whose paw is resting on a pile of dead game, serve to prove that he knew how to manage portraiture with the same bold, frank spirit and summary breadth. He was particularly happy in rendering, without laboured detail, the varying textures of fur and plumage.
Desportes’s only successful rival as a painter of animals and hunting scenes was Jean Baptiste Oudry (1686–1755). How closely his style resembled that of the elder painter is to be seen from his Wolf Hunt (No. 667), the Dog watching Dead Game (No. 668), and one or two similar pieces at the Louvre. Oudry was first taught by his father, and subsequently by Largillière, who encouraged him in the painting of still-life, and directed his study particularly to the observation of tone values and of the interchange of colour that takes place between objects in close proximity to each other. In 1734, Oudry was appointed Director of the Beauvais Tapestry Works, which took a new lease of life under his able management. It was he who supplied the designs for the Fables of La Fontaine, which figure so frequently in the tapestries woven at that great establishment. Perhaps his most interesting picture at the Louvre is the large landscape The Farm (No. 670), signed and dated 1750, one of the earliest examples in French art of a rustic scene painted for its own sake, without any attempt at ennobling the landscape by forcing it into a formal arrangement.
THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH SCHOOL
IT is quite in accordance with the tendencies displayed by these masters, that towards the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century an increasing number of artists preferred to devote their talent to recording the life of their own days to the endless repetition of the “grand-manner” subjects which had occupied the energy of the preceding generations. Thus Jean Alexis Grimou (1678–1740), who was Swiss by birth and entirely self-trained, introduced into French art the drinking scenes beloved of the Flemish masters. From his painting of A Drinker (No. 385) and the two Portraits of Young Soldiers (Nos. 386 and 387), it may be seen how little he was in260 sympathy with the official art of his time; this is scarcely to be wondered at, since, instead of undergoing the customary course of academic training, he had formed his style by copying the works of Rembrandt and other Northern masters.
Pierre Subleyras (1699–1749) was not quite so emancipated. In his large religious compositions he still follows the affectations of the grand style. His chief work of this kind is the Mass of St. Basil, at Sta. Maria degli Angeli in Rome, of which No. 857 at the Louvre is a reduced version. Of far more artistic significance are his small genre pieces, in which he attains to a rich quality of pigment and a justice of tone-values unique in French painting of his period. Subleyras is said to have been of Spanish descent; and there are in his scenes from La Fontaine’s “Fables”—notably in The Hermit (No. 862)—clear indications of his intimate acquaintance with Spanish art. The best of all his pictures at the Louvre is The Falcon (No. 861), which, apart from its general quality of tone, contains some still-life passages worthy of the brush of Chardin.
RAOUX AND DE TROY
Just as Subleyras should be judged by his genre scenes rather than by his scriptural subjects, so Jean Raoux’s (1677–1734) real significance lies in the intimate note he introduced into his fancy portraits, and not in his moderately successful excursions into mythology, like the Telemachus relating his Adventures to Calypso, at the Louvre (No. 764). The Young Woman reading a Letter (No. 765), in the La Caze Room, is perhaps the most charming of many similar pictures from his brush. In sentiment it belongs entirely to the amorous century of Louis xv., which was to produce a Fragonard and a Greuze. Raoux was one of the first French painters of contemporary life. Brought up in the old tradition, he was in his last years influenced by the personality of the great Watteau.
If Raoux was the somewhat sentimental painter of bourgeois life, Jean François de Troy (1679–1752) played not infrequently the chronicler of the elegant life of the leisured classes. Unfortunately this interesting phase of his art is not represented at the Louvre, which, besides the three Portraits (Nos. 886–888) in the La Caze collection, contains two of his famous designs for tapestry, representing scenes from the History of Esther (Nos. 884–885); and his large historical painting, The First Chapter of the Order of the Holy Ghost, held by Henri IV. in 1595 (No. 883).
The master who was to break definitely with the cold, majestic, uninspired art of the seventeenth century, and who in leading French painting into new paths reached the very limits of poetic expressiveness imposed by material means, was Antoine Watteau (1684–1721). Born at Valenciennes six years before that city became French through the peace of Nymwegen, Watteau, the son of a poor Flemish tiler, was French, as it were, by accident only. In his early years, when he studied in his native town under Gérin, a mediocre local painter, he must have had occasion to become closely acquainted with the paintings of the Flemish masters. On the death of Gérin, in 1702, he went to Paris, where he became assistant to the scene-painter Métayer. Watteau suffered dire poverty, and completely undermined his health through privation before his talent attracted the attention of his next master, Claude Gillot, with whom he stayed until 1708, when he became assistant to Claude Audran, a decorative artist of great repute and Keeper of the Luxembourg collections. At the Luxembourg Palace he was enabled to study the masterpieces of Rubens, Titian, and Paolo Veronese, from which he benefited as much as from his work from nature in the Luxembourg gardens.
It was perhaps fortunate that he failed in the competition for the Prix de Rome in 1709, and was dissuaded from going to Italy. He was received by the Academy in 1717, when he painted his “diploma picture.” The Embarkation for the Island of Cythera (No. 982, Plate XXXIX.), which may be considered an epitome of his art. Sketchy as it is, this picture, which he painted in seven days, exceeds in poetic charm and in the beauty of its entrancing sparkle of mellow tones the more highly finished later version in the German Emperor’s collection. It is the most striking instance of a purely imaginary scene of unworldly happiness, tinged with that peculiarly Watteauesque vague melancholy,—the consumptive’s maladie de l’infini to which M. Mauclair has drawn attention,—represented with such absolute atmospheric truth as to make it appear an incomparably beautiful reality. Technically, this picture, like L’Indifférent (No. 984) and La Finette (No. 985) in the La Caze Room, embodies in germ the theories which in the second half of the next century were scientifically worked out by the French Impressionists.
Some time in 1719 or 1720, Watteau was in England to consult a famous physician. But his illness took a turn for the worse, and he had to return to his native country. After six months spent in Paris, he went to live at Nogent-sur-Marne, where he died on July 18, 1721. Watteau’s influence upon eighteenth-century art was prodigious; but his work remained unapproached by any of his followers and imitators, who too often sacrificed artistic considerations to a desire to please the lascivious tastes of a corrupt, pleasure-loving society. The Faux Pas (No. 989) is one of the rare instances where Watteau allowed a certain suggestiveness to enter into his work; but even here “the smallness of the subject is swallowed up in the greatness of the painting.”
PLATE XXXIX.—ANTOINE WATTEAU
No. 982.—THE EMBARKATION FOR THE ISLAND OF CYTHERA
(L’Embarquement pour Cythère)
On a mound in the foreground, under a group of trees on the right, by a garlanded terminal figure of Venus, are seated a young woman and a pilgrim; at their feet is Cupid, whose wings are covered by a black cape. To the left a cavalier helps a young woman to rise from the lawn. In the centre of the composition another pilgrim leads away his partner, encircling her waist with his arm. On the left, in the middle distance, is a procession of lovers in pairs moving towards a gilt barge with a chimera at the prow and two semi-nude rowers. Cupids are floating in the air above the barge. In the background a lake surrounded by bluish mountains.
Painted in oil on canvas.
4 ft. 2 in. × 6 ft. 3½ in. (1·27 × 1·92.)
THE WATTEAUS IN THE LA CAZE GALLERY
It is a strange fact that but for the generosity of La Caze, The Embarkation would be the only example at the Louvre of the greatest master produced by France. The reason for this extraordinary neglect may be found in the scant esteem in which Watteau was held until his eclipsed fame was resuscitated by the de Goncourts. The superb life-size painting of Gilles (No. 983), one of ten pictures by or attributed to Watteau in the La Caze collection, was sold at public auction in 1826 for £26; whilst L’Indifférent and La Finette together realised the sum of £19 at the Marquis de Ménars’ sale! Of the eleven pictures in the La Caze collection that were originally attributed to Watteau, L’Escamoteur (No. 622a, formerly No. 987) is now acknowledged to be by his imitator Philippe Mercier (1689–1760), who was born in Berlin of French parents, and spent the most productive years of his life in London, where he died in 1760. The still-life piece Dead Game (No. 993), officially assigned to Watteau, has rightly been doubted; but the aspersions thrown upon the authenticity of the delicious Pastoral (No. 992) do not seem sufficiently justified. The profound influence of Rubens upon Watteau’s art is nowhere more pronounced than in the sketch The Judgment of Paris (No. 988), and in the beautiful oval composition Jupiter and Antiope (No. 991), which has, however, also much in common with Titian. The superb nude figure symbolising Autumn (No. 990), and another fête galante, entitled Gay Company in a Park (No. 986), are no less creditable to the master’s genius.
Although Watteau indicated the direction that French art was to follow in a century when it had to cater no longer for the state264apartment but for the boudoir, he left no follower worthy to carry on his tradition. Nicolas Lancret (1690–1743), who had studied under Dulin and Gillot, based his style upon Watteau, whom he almost rivalled as a draughtsman. But he was an inferior colourist, and wholly lacking in poetic inspiration. One has only to compare his Actors of the Italian Comedy (No. 470) with Watteau’s Gilles (No. 983), or his Music Lesson (No. 468) and Innocence (No. 469) with their prototypes created by that master, to realise the inferiority of these thin, vulgarised versions of Watteau subjects.
Jean Baptiste Pater (1695–1736), who, like Watteau, was born at Valenciennes, became a pupil of his fellow-townsman in Paris, and benefited considerably by his guidance. Although inferior as a draughtsman to Lancret, whom he did not rival either in originality, he far surpassed him as a colourist. With Lancret, colour was generally an afterthought; with Pater, it entered into the primary conception of the picture. His Academy diploma piece, the Fête Champêtre (No. 689), is painted in the Watteau manner with true pictorial feeling, even if it lacks the master’s precious, jewel-like quality of pigment. The Fête Champêtre (No. 203), by Bonaventure Debar (1700–1729), holds promise of a considerable talent in a similar direction, cut short by a premature death.
THE VAN LOO FAMILY
No fewer than five members of the Flemish Van Loo family, which flourished in France from about 1660 until the death of Julius Cæsar Van Loo in 1821, are represented in the Louvre collection. The most distinguished among them were Louis Van Loo’s sons, Jean-Baptiste and Charles André, better known as Carle. Both of them were brought up in the academic tradition; but their Flemish blood and the taste of a time that had seen the master-work of Watteau, gave their art more vigour and sensuousness265 than is to be found in the paintings of their academic precursors. Still it is unnecessary to linger over their historical and mythological compositions. The picture which does most credit to Carle Van Loo (1705–1765) is The Hunt Picnic (No. 899), which, in spite of a certain crudeness of colour, attracts by the science of the composition, the Watteau feeling of the landscape background, and by its fascinating reality as a record of contemporary life among the leisured, pleasure-loving classes.
François Le Moine (1688–1737) constitutes a link between the decorative style of the preceding generation, which had become dull and ponderous, and the art of Watteau and his followers. In this position he heralds his great pupil François Boucher, whose characteristics, deprived of his elegant grace and suave rhythm of design, are more than hinted at in the Juno, Iris and Flora (No. 536). The Olympus (No. 535), the sketch for a ceiling, recalls in its joyful decorative colour and bravura of brush work the art of Tiepolo and Ricci.
Whilst such painters as Jean Restout (1692–1768) still continued to follow the tradition of the Bolognese eclectics, as may be seen in his Herminia and the Shepherd (No. 775), the art of the Louis xv. period was given its final stamp by François Boucher (1703–1770). This favourite of Mme. de Pompadour, having gained the Prix de Rome in 1723, went to Italy in 1727, whence he returned to Paris four years later. At the age of thirty his Rinaldo and Armida (No. 38a) caused him to be “received” by the Academy—the first of many honours that fell to his share, as he became in turn First Painter to the King, Director of the Academy, and Inspector of the Beauvais Tapestry Manufactory. He was the ideal painter of the age that was dominated by the personality of the Pompadour, who kept him employed with commissions for the266 decoration of her boudoir. Boucher was the true child of his time—licentious, pleasure-loving, light-hearted, and without moral scruples. The astonishing thing is that his pursuit of pleasure did not affect his enormous productivity. His art is in perfect harmony with his character—frankly sensual, exuberant, and unreliable; at times rising to superb decorative splendour of the airy, graceful type demanded by his patrons, and then again careless to the point of slovenliness.
Boucher was not a great colourist in the sense in which this term is applied to masters like Titian or Rubens. Indeed, more often than not his application of purely local colours unaffected by their surroundings is apt to result in the crudeness noticeable in his Pastoral (No. 33), and in the domestic scene called The Breakfast (No. 50a). Other pictures like the Pastoral (No. 34) owe their present tapestry-like mellowness to the fading of the pigments. But it would be unfair to disregard the artist’s intention and to judge his capacity as a colourist from the present appearance of his works at the Louvre or in their usual environment in a public gallery. They were intended for definite decorative purposes, and in their proper Louis xv. setting fulfilled their function in admirable fashion. Few artists excelled Boucher in rhythmic harmony of composition, although it must be confessed that his emphatic insistence on triangular design is apt to become monotonous. This predilection is to be noted in the Rinaldo and Armida (No. 38a), Venus disarming Cupid (No. 44), The Rape of Europa (No. 39), the Pastorals (Nos. 33, 34, and 35), Vulcan presenting Arms to Venus (No. 36, Plate XL.), and, indeed, in the vast majority of his twenty-two exhibited pictures at the Louvre. His mastery in flesh painting is best illustrated by the more unconventionally designed Diana leaving the Bath (No. 30), and the brilliant sketch of The Three Graces (No. 47) in the La Caze Room. Among his other masterpieces at the Louvre, Venus demanding Arms from Vulcan 267(No. 31), which like No. 36 was designed for execution in tapestry, and the charming Portrait of a Young Woman (No. 50), deserve special attention. It is unfortunate that they are not hung in the rooms that contain the magnificent furniture of the period, instead of being piled sky-high among pictures that seem to be primarily regarded by the officials as mere museum specimens of the art of painting. Boucher is better hung, and so may be much more effectively studied in the Wallace collection in London.
PLATE XL.—FRANÇOIS BOUCHER
No. 36.—VULCAN PRESENTING ARMS TO VENUS
(Vulcain présentant à Vénus des Armes pour Énée)
On the right, Vulcan, seated on a tiger-skin with his left elbow resting on an anvil, presents a sword to Venus, who, supported by a nymph, is resting on a cloud in the centre of the composition. In the background, over the head of Vulcan, are two cupids carrying a helmet with a blue plume; between them and Venus, two nymphs on clouds under a rock. Cupids and doves are fluttering around the central group. In the foreground, on the left, are the chariot of Venus, doves, and cupids, one of whom, immediately below the goddess, is holding a garland of white roses.
Painted in oil on canvas.
10 ft. 6 in. × 10 ft. 6 in. (3·20 × 3·20.)
A little drier in touch than Boucher’s nudes, and considerably less coherent in design, but still painted with remarkable ability, are the figures of the goddess and her attendants in The Triumphs of Amphitrite (No. 863), by Boucher’s contemporary, Hugues Taraval (1728–1785).
If Boucher and the army of painters of fêtes galantes and boudoir decorations reflect the tastes of the corrupt society of Louis xv.’s age, Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (1699–1779) is the painter par excellence of the lower bourgeoisie. His was an uneventful, colourless life of unremitting work after the completion of his studies under Cazes and N. N. Coypel. He never went to Rome; he never sought after distinction in the “grand manner”; he never hankered after Court patronage. He simply devoted himself to recording with the utmost technical perfection the peaceful and domestic life of the lower middle class, to which he himself belonged, with all his tastes and habits of life, and to the painting of still-life, in which branch of art he stands without a rival. There are among his thirty-two pictures at the Louvre twenty paintings of Still-life (Nos. 89, 90, 94, 95, 96, 98, 100, 105–116, and the doubtful No. 118), all equally remarkable for their inimitable skill in the rendering of the most varied textures and reflections; for subtle observation of the mutual effect of coloured objects upon each other through268 the interchange of coloured rays; and, above all, for that “sense of intimacy, of life behind the scene,” with which he knew how to invest even inanimate objects.
This same sense of intimacy and of absolute pictorial unity is also the great merit of his domestic genre pieces, into which enters, in addition, the element of spiritual unity, of the absorption of each person in his or her occupation. In the deservedly famous Grace before Meat, at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, of which the Louvre owns two admirable replicas (No. 92, Plate XLI., and No. 93), the most casual observer cannot fail to notice that intimate bond between the mother and the two children, which gives the impression of a scene accidentally overlooked, without anybody being aware of the intruder’s presence. La Mère laborieuse (No. 91), La Pourvoyeuse (No. 99), and even the cat in the still-life piece The Cat in the Larder (No. 89), are equally innocent of “posing,” and absorbed in their respective occupations. The Boy with the Top (No. 90a) and the Young Man with the Violin (No. 90b), under which titles we have the portraits of the two children of the jeweller Charles Godefroy, were bought by the Louvre in 1907 for £14,000. These two pictures and the Castle of Cards (No. 103) are sufficient to establish Chardin’s supremacy in child portraiture.
Chardin for but a few months, and Boucher for two years, were the masters who taught Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) before, having gained the Prix de Rome in 1752 and worked three years under Van Loo, he set out for Rome, where under Natoire’s guidance he applied himself to the copying of old masters. More important for the formation of his style were the sketches he made in the company of his friend Hubert Robert in the romantic gardens of the Villa d’Este, and the deep impression created upon his mind by 269Tiepolo’s decorative paintings in Venice, which city he visited before his return to Paris in 1761. He scored his first great success in 1765 with the large and still somewhat academic composition Coresus and Calirrhoë (No. 290), which was bought by Louis xv. for 24,000 livres for reproduction at his tapestry works.
PLATE XLI.—JEAN-BAPTISTE SIMÉON CHARDIN
No. 92.—GRACE BEFORE MEAT
In the centre of a room, by a round table with a white tablecloth, stands a woman, about to pour the soup from a saucepan into a plate. She turns her head to the left towards her two little girls, who, with folded hands, are saying grace. A drum is suspended from the back of the chair on which the younger child is sitting. In the background, on the left, a dresser with pewter and crockery; on the right, a shelf with a canister, a bowl, and some bottles.
Painted in oil on canvas.
1 ft. 7¼ in. × 1 ft. 3½ in. (0·49 × 0·41.)
Patronised by Mme. du Barry, the dancer Marie Guimard, and other priestesses of Venus, Fragonard now devoted his exceptionally facile and spontaneous talent to subjects that in licentious frivolity, voluptuousness, and suggestiveness had never been equalled even by his master Boucher. It is only his marvellous technique, ranging from the liquid transparency of his swift oil sketches to the rich luminous impasto of the Sleeping Bacchante (No. 294); from the elegant arabesque of the Bathing Women (No. 293), so full of joie de vivre and youthful fire, to the almost brutal strength of the portrait of a writer or poet, known under the title of Inspiration (No. 298). But in all these, as well as in the charming Music Lesson (No. 291, Plate XLII.), The Student (No. 297) and the Young Woman (No. 300), Fragonard proves himself one of the greatest colourists produced by the French School. It was Fragonard’s sad fate to outlive his fame, to witness the collapse of the ancient régime and the triumph of his pupil David’s classicism, and to die in obscurity and neglect.
Twenty-three paintings represent at the Louvre the art of Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805), who trod the safe path of flattering the taste of the multitude by the mawkish sentimentality of his genre-pieces and the prettiness and half-concealed sensuality of his “fancy portraits” of young women, which in their suggestiveness are perhaps more insidious than the frank improprieties of Boucher and Fragonard. The sentimental and melodramatic side of Greuze’s art is strikingly revealed in The Village Engagement270 (No. 369), in The Paternal Curse (No. 370), and in The Punished Son (No. 371), which aroused the enthusiasm of that singularly misguided critic Diderot. But it is the painting of pictures like The Broken Pitcher (No. 372, Plate XLIII.), The Milkmaid (No. 372a), and The Dead Bird (No. 372c; a replica of the picture in the Scottish National Gallery), that has made him the idol of a certain undiscriminating section of the public, and established him among the world’s most popular painters.
The leading position among the portrait painters of Louis xv.’s corrupt Court was occupied by Jean Marc Nattier (1685–1766), who was a good colourist, but was utterly lacking in sincerity, and placed his able brush at the service of the basest flattery. He has left a whole gallery of Court beauties posing as, and invested with the attributes of, Greek goddesses and allegorical personifications in the manner of the group of Mdlle. de Lambesc and the Comte de Brienne (No. 659) as Minerva preparing the hero for warlike exploits. The Magdalen (No. 657) is probably another contemporary portrait in fancy costume. His best picture at the Louvre is the Portrait of a Young Woman (No. 661a).
François Hubert Drouais (1725–1775), the painter of the group of the Comte d’Artois (afterwards Charles X.) and Madame Clotilde, afterwards Queen of Sardinia (No. 266), who received a good share of Court patronage, showed considerable ability when he had sufficient strength to resist the temptation to flatter his sitters. But unfortunately he too often followed the example of Nattier in this respect.
TOCQUÉ, VESTIER, AND LÉPICIÉ
A portrait painter of a very different stamp was Nattier’s son-in-law, Louis Tocqué (1696–1772). Although he, too, was a favourite 271not only at the French, but also at the Russian and Danish Courts, the examples of his art at the Louvre suggest that he was but indifferently successful—from the artistic point of view—with his “official” portraits, like the portrait d’apparat of Marie Leczinska, Queen of Louis XV. (No. 867), or the affected Portrait of the Dauphin Louis at the age of ten (No. 868). On the other hand, when he was not weighed down by the importance of his task, he attained to a solidity of style, strength of character painting, and beauty of technique that place him at the head of the French portraitists of his period. Tocqué was apparently never in England, but such masterpieces from his brush as the Mme. Danger embroidering (No. 868a), and the supposed portrait of Mme. de Graffigny (No. 869), show distinct affinity with Allan Ramsay and Hogarth, with superadded French finesse and suavity.
PLATE XLII.—JEAN HONORÉ FRAGONARD
No. 291.—THE MUSIC LESSON
(La Leçon de Musique)
A fair-haired young girl in a low-cut white dress is seated, in profile towards the right, before a spinet. A youth, standing at her left, behind the instrument, is holding with his left hand the score, whilst his right is clasping the back of the girl’s chair. In the foreground a chair on which are a cat and a mandoline.
Painted in oil on canvas.
3 ft. 9½ in. × 3 ft. 11½ in. (1·10 × 1·20.)
In the case of Antoine Vestier (1740–1824) the pronounced leaning towards the English style of the period is to be accounted for by that artist’s lengthy sojourn in England. The Portrait of a Young Woman (No. 961), in the La Caze Room, might on superficial inspection pass for a work of Francis Cotes. Even in the Portrait of the Painter’s Wife (No. 959), which was painted in 1787, long after Vestier’s return to his native country, the figure of a boy caressing a dog has a curiously English flavour.
Honesty of purpose and serious concern with artistic problems mark the art of Nicolas Bernard Lépicié (1735–1784), whose Portrait of Carle Vernet (549a) is a picture of precious quality. He devoted himself more particularly to the domestic genre, which he treated without the sentimentality and theatricality of a Greuze. Indeed, if there is any contemporary painter with whom he shows affinity, it is Siméon Chardin. That he was a landscape painter of no mean ability may be gathered from his Farmyard (No. 549), which, in spite of the predominating brown, is remarkable for its luminous transparency.
Mme. VIGÉE LE BRUN
Before turning to the landscape painters Joseph Vernet and Hubert Robert, we must close the chapter of eighteenth-century portraiture with Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842), since her art, although her life extended far into the nineteenth century, belongs essentially to the degenerate days of the ancien régime—an art not devoid of grace, but exceeding in shallowness and insipidity the shallowest and most insipid productions of pre-Davidian days. Of the many masters from whom Vigée, herself the daughter of a painter, received advice, Greuze appears to be the one with whom she was most in sympathy. Married at an early age to Le Brun, a painter and picture-dealer from whom she was divorced after many years of wretched conjugal life, her career, of which she has left a full account in her autobiography, was one of adventure and truly extraordinary professional success.
She was the favourite painter of Marie Antoinette, had to leave Paris during the Terror, and made an almost triumphal progress from Court to Court before she definitely settled in Paris in 1809. At Naples, Vienna, Dresden, St. Petersburg, Berlin, London, and other centres, Royalty and the world of fashion crowded to her studio; and her art even gained the unstinted approval of a judge like Sir Joshua Reynolds, which is the more surprising as Vigée Le Brun’s colour was almost invariably cold and unsympathetic. Her personal charms may have been partly responsible for her universal success, if reliance is to be placed on the questionable honesty of her flattering brush from which the Louvre owns two Portraits of the Artist and her Daughter (No. 521 and No. 522, Plate XLIV.). Among her other pictures in the Louvre are the Peace bringing Abundance (No. 520), her reception piece at the Academy, and a portrait of her early friend and master, Joseph Vernet (No. 525).
PLATE XLIII.—JEAN-BAPTISTE GREUZE
No. 372.—THE BROKEN PITCHER
(La Cruche Cassée)
A young girl, in white dress and gauze fichu, stands facing the spectator, holding with both hands some loose flowers in the gathered-up folds of her dress. She carries a broken pitcher on her right arm. In the background, on the right, is a fountain with a crouching lion.
Painted in oil on canvas.
Oval, 3 ft. 10½ in. × 2 ft. 9½ in. (1·18 × 0·85.)
One has to realise that the art of landscape painting had become almost extinct in France, and that the art of seascape had never existed, if one wishes to account for Diderot’s enthusiasm with regard to Claude Joseph Vernet (1714–1789), which made him exclaim, “What pictures! He rivals the Creator in celerity, Nature in truth!” Our cooler judgment cannot so easily pass over all that is cold and formal in his art. But, taken in relation to his contemporaries, he deserves respect for his emotional attitude towards nature, for a sense of the dramatic that approaches Salvator Rosa’s, and for his admirable drawing of the figures introduced into his landscapes. Vernet’s love of the sea awoke when at the age of eighteen he journeyed to Rome, where he became imbued with the classic tradition. He only returned to Paris in 1752, and soon afterwards received from Louis xv. the commission to paint the large series of French Seaports (Nos. 940–954) which are now to be seen in the rooms in this collection given up to the Musée de Marine. In his other marines and landscapes (Nos. 912–939), not all of which are actually exhibited, he allowed his imagination freer play than in the Seaports, which were naturally of more topographic character.
Both his son Carle Vernet (1758–1836), a historical painter who excelled in the rendering of horses in movement, and his grandson Horace Vernet (1789–1863), a popular battle painter, are represented at the Louvre, the former by the Stag Hunt in the Forest of Meudon (No. 955), and the latter by the Barrière de Clichy (Defence of Paris in 1814) (No. 956), and the uninspired Judith and Holofernes (No. 957).
Hubert Robert (1733–1808), of whose classic landscapes the collection contains nineteen examples (Nos. 797–815), was not, as274 might be imagined from the general character of his paintings, influenced by the art of Claude Lorrain, but derived his love of antique buildings and landscapes peopled with classic figures from the general atmosphere of archæological enthusiasm engendered by the excavations on the site of Herculaneum, which prevailed in Rome when the young artist arrived at that Mecca of his profession in 1754. Robert lived and worked in Italy for twelve years, and became thoroughly imbued with this antiquarian spirit. Unlike Claude, he rarely, if ever, drew upon his imagination for the details of his classic landscapes, which are faithful transcripts of existing ruined or half-ruined buildings, though not infrequently they are arranged for greater pictorial effect. Of this half-realistic, half-classic nature—the introduction of people in classic garb among the ruins of buildings, which in classic times wore a very different aspect, is a pardonable anachronism—are the Interior of the Temple of Diana at Nimes (No. 799), and several similar pieces at the Louvre. In his smaller pictures, of which the best are the Fountain under a Portico (No. 812) and the Winding Staircase, with three Figures (No. 813), in the La Caze Room, he rivals the rich quality of pigment and mellow tone of Guardi at his best. Robert was Fragonard’s constant companion in Rome, and exercised considerable influence upon his friend, as may be seen from Fragonard’s landscape drawings.
There is scarcely a trace of Italian classicism in the superb View in the Neighbourhood of Paris (No. 650), by Louis Gabriel Moreau (1740–1806), which in its silvery-grey tonality, in its sense of atmosphere, and in the treatment of the receding distances, rather recalls the manner of the Dutchman Philips de Koninck. That Moreau, who also worked in England, was not always free from conventionality, is proved by the rather formal composition of the View of the Hills of Meudon from Saint-Cloud (No. 651).
PLATE XLIV.—ELISABETH LOUISE VIGÉE LE BRUN
No. 522.—PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AND HER DAUGHTER
(Portrait de Mme. Le Brun et de sa Fille)
The artist, in a white bodice with purple sleeves and a yellow satin skirt, is seated on a green sofa. Her head is inclined towards her right shoulder. She presses towards her, with both arms, her little girl, who is resting on her lap, with her head turned towards the spectator.
Painted in oil on canvas.
3 ft. 5½ in. × 2 ft. 9½ in. (1·05 x 0·85.)
The boudoir art of the ancien régime came to a natural end through the great social upheaval of the Revolution, of which Jacques Louis David (1748–1825) is the very personification in the realm of painting. As a pupil of Boucher, David in his early years was essentially a child of the eighteenth century. That he became the founder and head of a new classicist school, as tyrannical in his sway as had been Le Brun during the reign of Louis xiv., was due to the teaching of Joseph Marie Vien, whom he accompanied to Rome in 1775, the year in which Vien was appointed Director of the École de Rome. Vien was an eclectic and a purist of greater ability than would appear from his two dull pictures at the Louvre, St. Germain and St. Vincent (No. 964) and The Sleeping Hermit (No. 965).
David’s participation in the events of the year 1789 and his ardent republicanism did not, as has often been stated, attract him to subjects from Republican Roman history. Indeed, he had already painted The Oath of the Horatii (No. 189) and The Lictors taking to Brutus the Corpse of his Sons (No 191), for Louis xvi., and was only following the current of taste in devoting himself to the study of the antique and to antiquarian research. These two pictures, in spite of their cold classicism and theatricality, met with sensational success on their first appearance at the Salon. It is not in such works as these, nor in the Rape of the Sabine Women (No. 188), compared with which even Poussin’s version of the same theme appears like a glimpse of actual life, that David’s talent found its happiest expression, but in the unaffected and irresistibly charming Portrait of Mme. Récamier (No. 199, Plate XLV.) reclining on an Empire sofa. Whatever this picture may owe to the sitter’s grace and beauty and to the fact that it was never finished, and thus retained the freshness of a276 sketch, it is certainly one of the most attractive masterpieces of the French school. Here, as in the group of Three Ladies of Ghent (No. 200a), in which the luminous quality of the fresh tones is enhanced by the general greyness of the scheme, we have the work of a real painter, whilst David’s bombastic historical compositions are scarcely more than tinted cartoons.
THE “CORONATION” PICTURE
When Napoleon rose to power, David became his favourite painter. The erstwhile Jacobin was chosen to paint the official Coronation picture (No. 202a), an enormous canvas, which, like most ceremonial pictures of this kind, has more historical than artistic significance. The lifelike portraiture of the numerous personages surrounding the central group of Napoleon placing the crown on Josephine’s head, is the chief point of interest. On the restoration of the Bourbons in 1815, David was sent into exile. He died at Brussels in 1825; but his influence is reflected in official French art to this day. It was he who imposed upon the modern academic school a rigid canon of formal classic beauty which is fatal to evolution and progress, because it does not permit personal emotional expression.
Less severely classic in form, and showing at least an attempt at approaching a little nearer to truth than David, is the painting of the figures of The Three Graces (No. 769), by David’s rival, J. B. Regnault (1754–1829), in the La Caze collection. The worst type of academic art is represented in the bituminous reconstructions of classic antiquity by his pupil, P. N. Guérin (1774–1833), whose Return of Marcus Sextus (No. 393) enjoyed, perhaps owing to its supposed political allusion to the return of the emigrants, a success which cannot be accounted for on artistic grounds.
PLATE XLV.—JACQUES LOUIS DAVID
No. 199.—PORTRAIT OF MME. RÉCAMIER
(Portrait de Mme. Récamier)
The sitter wears a white Empire dress, the train of which hangs down to the ground from the Empire sofa on which she is half reclining, with her left elbow resting on a pair of round horse-hair bolsters. Her face is turned towards her right shoulder. A wide black riband is tied round her fair curled hair. A low footstool in front of the sofa on the right, and a standing candelabrum of classic design on the left.
The candelabrum is said to have been painted by Ingres.
Painted in oil on canvas (unfinished).
5 ft. 7 in. × 7 ft. 10½ in. (1·70 × 2·40.)
Among the numerous pupils and followers of David who rose to fame, honours, and wide popularity before Ingres became the acknowledged head of the official school, the most distinguished were Gérard, Girodet, and Gros. Baron F. P. S. Gérard (1770–1837), whilst following on the whole the principles laid down by his master, knew how to invest his work with more individual character, which stood him in particular good stead in his portraiture. That this was recognised by his contemporaries is proved by the fact that he became the portrait painter par excellence of the First Empire and the Bourbon restoration, although his inclination drew him towards allegory and mythology. There is undeniable distinction and fine characterisation in such portraits as The Painter Isabey and his Daughter (No. 332). The nature of the subject debarred him from showing the strongest side of his talent in the chillingly unemotional, but undeniably graceful, Psyche receiving Cupid’s First Kiss (No. 328), and in the Daphnis and Chloë (No. 329), which was bought in 1825 for £1000. They have their counterpart in the cold and antique French sculpture of the period.
A. L. Girodet de Roucy-Trioson (1767–1824) was of all David’s artistic progeny the one painter who devoted himself to the purely pictorial problem of concentrated light and shade, without, however, being able to free himself from the domination of linear design. The compromise of the two principles led to such unfortunate results as The Sleep of Endymion (No. 361) and The Burial of Atala (No. 362). In The Deluge (No. 360), which was painted later, he shows pronounced leanings towards a crude naturalism which exceeds in horror the most cruel inventions of Ribera’s genius.
Antoine Jean Gros (1771–1835), though a classicist by training, was forced by circumstances, and by the patronage of Napoleon who ennobled him, to devote his brush to an important phase of contemporary life—the glorification of his hero’s warlike achievements. He was by no means a realist; and although he followed Napoleon on many of his campaigns and presumably brought back with him rich material in sketches and vivid recollections, his forceful compositions accentuate the heroic aspect and the imaginative appeal of warfare, and are not spontaneous glimpses of actuality. The whole glamour of the Napoleonic legend is expressed in the group of wounded soldiers who, oblivious of their suffering, cheer their great captain in Napoleon at the Battle of Eylau (No. 389). The sense of the heroic is as pronounced in the large painting, Napoleon visiting the Plague-stricken at Jaffa (No. 388), in the Bonaparte at Arcole (No. 391), and even in the impressive Portrait of Lieutenant-General Fournier-Sarlovèze (No. 392a), silhouetted against a smoke-filled battlefield. A careful inspection of this large canvas shows pentimenti in the painting of the legs, of which the General seems now to have two pair! Gros’s weakness, like that of all David’s pupils, was his neglect of colour. His popularity waned rapidly after the fall of Napoleon. He became a victim to melancholia, and drowned himself in the Seine in 1835.
Though not entirely detached from the ruling school of the period, Pierre Prud’hon (1758–1823) occupies a unique position among his contemporaries. Having absolved his preliminary studies at Dijon, he became the pupil of the old masters—of Correggio and Leonardo—first in Paris and then in Rome, where he worked for seven years before definitely settling at Paris in 1789. To his sympathy with the Italian masters he owed that mellowness of colour and understanding of chiaroscuro which escaped the grasp of the Davidists. He was a real painter as distinguished from the classicist draughtsmen of the official school. Even if it is impossible to share to-day the enthusiasm at one time evoked by the somewhat grotesque allegory, Justice and Divine Vengeance pursuing Crime (No. 747), this picture, which was intended for the Palais de Justice, rises immeasurably above the average of the “imaginative” paintings produced by Prud’hon’s contemporaries.
Vastly superior as regards pictorial quality and the whole conception, is the Abduction of Psyche by Zephyrus (No. 756). In the Crucifixion (No. 744), his last picture, Prud’hon rises to telling dramatic effectiveness of colour, and heralds the advent of Delacroix. But the most masterly of his seventeen paintings at the Louvre is the magnificent Portrait of a Young Man (No. 753), which the Louvre was fortunate enough to secure for £35 in 1895. It is a strangely living evocation of a personality, searching, intimate, and mysterious—a portrait not so much of the superficial features, but of the inner life of the sitter. The large Portrait of the Empress Joséphine (No. 751) suffers from comparison with this masterpiece. The pose is affected, the background dingy, and the red of the shawl introduces a harsh and disconnected note of colour.
THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH SCHOOL
THE revolutionary movement of the Romanticists, which was to find a strong leader in Eugène Delacroix, may be said to have been initiated by Géricault’s epoch-making picture The Raft of the Medusa (No. 338, Plate XLVI.). Théodore Géricault (1791–1824), a pupil of Carle Vernet and Guérin, was an unusually gifted draughtsman, who from the outset strove to go beyond280 the dead perfection of the David school, and to infuse into his work the spark of life. The Raft of the Medusa, which caused an enormous stir at the Salon of 1819, was inspired by a tragic incident from actual life; and Géricault was the first who dared to represent in all its horrible reality this scene of human suffering—the survivors of a shipwreck driven by hunger to madness and mutual destruction. He set aside all arbitrarily ignored canons of formal beauty and the “grand style,” and applied himself to depicting fierce passions and emotions.
Géricault was a passionate lover of horses; but his knowledge of equine anatomy did not prevent him, in his portrait of an Officer of the Guard (No. 339), from exaggerating the action of the charging horse to a point dangerously near the border-line between the sublime and the ridiculous. Most of his other pictures at the Louvre are studies of soldiers, and horses on the race-course or in the stable. He died in 1824 from the effects of a fall from a horse.
The topical interest of the Raft of the Medusa had caused the public to receive this picture with favour, in spite of its daring departure from the generally accepted canons of the “grand style.” The case was different when Delacroix showed at the Salon of 1822 the Dante and Virgil (No. 207, Plate XLVII.), which was inspired by Géricault’s great picture, but applied that artist’s principles to a subject taken from literature,—from Dante’s “Inferno,”—and was therefore considered as a direct challenge to the academic host. To-day it is difficult to understand the indignation aroused by the young artist, who became forthwith the acknowledged head of the so-called Romanticist school, although he refrained from taking part in any propaganda. In this, his first important exhibited picture, he proved himself 281a true painter in the sense in which Rubens was a painter—that is to say, he no longer gave primary importance to drawing, with colour added afterwards in the manner of a tinted cartoon. In the Dante and Virgil colour and the actual sweep of the brush assumed at once a vital and constructive function, no longer separable from drawing and design.
PLATE XLVI.—JEAN LOUIS ANDRÉ THÉODORE GÉRICAULT
No. 338.—THE RAFT OF THE MEDUSA
(Le Radeau de la Méduse)
The raft of the wrecked Medusa, with the survivors of the crew, is floating on the stormy sea. In the foreground on the left, surrounded by dead sailors, a father is holding with his left hand the nude body of his dying son. On the right, a corpse is partly resting on the raft, partly floating on the water. Farther back the officer, Corréard, is seen pointing out to the surgeon, Savigny, the brig Argus, which appears on the far horizon under the clouded sky. At the far end of the raft a mulatto and a sailor have hoisted themselves on to some barrels to wave some rags, so as to attract the attention of the distant ship.
Painted in oil on canvas.
16 ft. 1½ in × 23 ft. 6 in. (4·91 × 7·16.)
Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863), who belonged to a family that had given to France many distinguished statesmen and soldiers, was a pupil of Guérin, whose conventional teaching, however, was little to the taste of a young man whose passionate nature had been fired by his extensive reading of romantic literature, and who preferred to form his style on the works of Rubens and other old masters at the Louvre, and to benefit from his intercourse with Géricault and Bonington. The Dante and Virgil, which is now in a deplorable state of neglect, was bought by the State at the not very generous price of £50. Delacroix’s next Salon picture, The Massacre of Scio (No. 208), caused an even greater storm of abuse of the young artist who had dared to depict the horrors of this scene from the Greek War of Independence, as it was thought, in all their crudeness, without the heroical and theatrical poses that were deemed necessary for pictorial “histories.” The magnificent atmospheric background owes its origin to Delacroix’s first acquaintance with the Hay Wain and two other pictures sent by Constable to the Salon of 1824, which caused the impetuous young artist to repaint in a few days the sky and landscape. The picture was again bought by the State, the price this time being raised to £240. A superb study for the dead mother and child in the right-hand corner has been bequeathed by M. Cheramy, the present owner, to the National Gallery, where it is to be hung next to “the best Constable.”
It is impossible here to give a full account of the twenty282-one paintings by Delacroix at the Louvre, to which should be added his decorative masterpiece, the centre of the ceiling in the Galerie d’Apollon. We must content ourselves with a brief reference to his more important canvases, first of which in order of date is The 28th of July 1830: Liberty leading the People (No. 209), better known as The Barricade. The introduction of a bourgeois with a top-hat in this stirring scene of contemporary heroism was another act of defiance. But the dramatic power of the conception, which suffers but is by no means destroyed by the wretched allegorical figure of Liberty, and the artist’s appeal to political passion, caused the picture to be an enormous success.
DELACROIX’S ORIENTAL PICTURES
Delacroix’s journey to Morocco, with Count Morney’s mission in 1832, was of the greatest benefit to the artist’s progress as a colourist. although he had no time during his travels to paint any pictures, he brought back with him a wealth of rapid sketches which, with his vivid recollections of Eastern life and colour, led to the production of such masterpieces as the Algerian Women in their Apartment (No. 210), the Jewish Wedding in Morocco (No. 211), and The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople (No. 213). In the sumptuous scheme of Crusaders the last traces of the influence of Gros’s colourless palette have vanished. The picture was commissioned by Louis Philippe for the Château at Versailles, the remuneration being fixed at £400. A copy of the picture is in one of the Salles des Croisades at Versailles, and a small sketch is at Chantilly. The Algerian Women is particularly remarkable for the luminous sparkle of rich pigment through the ambient of silvery atmosphere.
Among Delacroix’s masterpieces must be counted the Portrait of the Artist (No. 214), which he left on his death to his servant, 283Jenny le Guillon, stipulating that she should give it to the Louvre on the day of the restoration of the Orléans family—an event which never happened, though the picture reached its destination in 1872 through the generosity of Mme. Durien. The Shipwreck of Don Juan (No. 212), painted in 1840, is based on Lord Byron’s epic poem, of which it is, however, by no means a literal illustration. It is one of the most stirring renderings of human passion and despair in the whole history of art, the livid light and general sombre scheme of colour contributing towards the tragic effect, as though Nature herself were entering into the mood of the horrible scene.
Although, on the whole, an unsatisfactory picture, Delacroix’s Roger delivering Angelica (No. 2845) may serve to illustrate the true significance of his art in its relation to the official school, as there is in the same collection another rendering of the identical subject (No. 419) by his great antagonist Ingres, the greatest draughtsman of his century, and the acknowledged leader of the Classicist school. Comparison between the two works will show that Delacroix’s version, with all its obvious imperfections, far surpasses Ingres’s in emotional intensity and fierce vitality. The academic perfection and exquisite finish of Ingres’s picture only accentuate the dulness and lifelessness of his conception.
PLATE XLVII.—FERDINAND VICTOR EUGÈNE DELACROIX
No. 207.—DANTE AND VIRGIL
(Dante et Virgile aux Enfers)
In a boat, steered by Charon across the river Styx, Virgil, laurel-crowned and dressed in a red cloak, holds with his right hand the left hand of Dante, who, in a blue cloak with a red hood, raises his right arm in a gesture of horror at the sight of the Damned, who, half-buried in the turbulent waters, cling despairingly to the sides of the boat. In the background are seen the towers of the burning city of Dite.
Painted in oil on canvas.
5 ft. 11 in. × 7 ft. 10½ in. (1·80 × 2·40.)
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780–1867) was a pupil of David. Having gained the Prix de Rome in 1801, he did not leave for Italy until 1806, but spent the next eighteen years in Rome and Florence, returning to Paris in 1824. Although Ingres was brought up in the cold tradition of the David school, he had a much clearer perception of the true spirit of Greek art than his master. When he became acquainted with the284 work of Raphael in Rome, he found it the very acme of perfection, and henceforth frankly strove to emulate that master, seeking to arrive at an eclectic ideal of the human form which in its dogmatic rule of the proportions that constitute absolute beauty, allowed none of the accents and variations which make for life and character. Himself greater than his theories, Ingres achieved that perfection of grace and beauty in his deservedly famous The Spring (No. 422, Plate XLVIII.), one of the few “gems” in the Salle Duchâtel, and in the very Raphaelesque Odalisque (No. 422b), which was purchased in 1899 from the Princesse de Sagan for £2400. On the other hand, the imposition of an inflexible, rigid ideal of form did incalculable harm to his numerous and less gifted followers, in whom every spark of individuality was extinguished by the tyranny of the dogma.
Yet Ingres, when he applied himself to portraiture, was as uncompromising a realist as Holbein, of whose sensitive, subtle drawing and plastic modelling, without the introduction of entirely unnecessary shiny high lights, we are forcibly reminded by the Portrait of the Painter’s Friend, M. Bochet (No. 428a). Something of the same perfection of modelling, suggested rather by the sensitive contour than clearly stated by pronounced lights and shadows, is to be noticed in the nude figure of The Odalisque, and in the creamy white drapings of the oval Portrait of Mme. Rivière (No. 427). Perhaps his best portrait at the Louvre is the one of M. Bertin, Founder of the Journal des Débats (No. 428b), a masterpiece of character painting, in which the marvellously drawn fleshy hands, with their tapering fingers, are as expressive as the fine head. This portrait was acquired in 1897 for the sum of £3200.
The less admirable side of Ingres’s talent is illustrated by the circular composition of the Virgin of the Host (No. 416), a 285crude scheme of “Sassoferrato blue” and red, on entirely conventional lines; and by the Apotheosis of Homer (No. 417), a tame Raphaelesque design in which Homer is seen enthroned in the centre, with allegorical figures of the Iliad and Odyssey seated on the steps of the throne, and a winged goddess placing a laurel wreath on his head. To the left of the central group are the figures of Hesiod, Æschylus, Apelles, Raphael, Virgil, Dante, Tasso, Corneille, and Poussin; to the right, Pindar, Plato, Socrates, Alexander, Camoens, Racine, Molière, and Fénelon. There is a touch of the grotesque in the combination of rather mechanical dry portraiture with trite allegory that constitutes the design of the terribly cracked Portrait of the Composer Cherubini (No. 418). His failings as a colourist are most aggressively obvious in the Christ handing the Keys to St. Peter (No. 415). Ingres died in Paris on the 14th January 1867.
PLATE XLVIII.—JEAN AUGUSTE DOMINIQUE INGRES
No. 422.—THE SPRING
A nude figure of a fair-haired young maiden stands facing the spectator, the background being formed by a perpendicular rock partly overgrown with clinging plants. She raises her right arm over her head to hold the foot of a tilted vase, the mouth of which is supported by her left hand, and from which issues a streamlet of water that falls into a pool at the base of the rock, in which are reflected the feet of the maiden.
Signed on a stone on the left:—“ingres, 1856.”
Painted in oil on canvas.
5 ft. 5 in. × 2 ft. 7½ in. (1.65 × 0.80.)
DELAROCHE AND SCHEFFER
Among the painters who were influenced by Delacroix, and whose name was associated with the Romanticist movement, none rose to greater fame than Paul Delaroche (1797–1856), a pupil of Gros, and the Dutchman Ary Scheffer (1795–1858), who, like Delacroix, studied under Guérin. But neither of these artists managed wholly to shake off the trammels of the academic tradition, and both became popular for the very reasons for which a more critical generation has denied them the right to figure among the world’s great artists: Delaroche for the theatricality of his historical anecdotes, of which The Death of Queen Elizabeth (No. 216) and The Princes in the Tower (No. 217) are typical examples; and Scheffer for the sickly sentimentality displayed in such pictures as St. Augustine and St. Monica (No. 841).
Contemporary with the fighters in the great battle between the Romanticists and the Classicists were a group of able painters who were not connected with either of these main currents of artistic thought, but drew their inspiration from the Dutch genre painters. The Arrival of a Diligence at the Messageries (No. 28), by Louis Leopold Boilly (1761–1845), and The Interior of a Kitchen (No. 261), by Martin Drolling (1752–1817), may be quoted as characteristic instances of these “small masters” without possessing the luminosity of their Dutch exemplars.
Something of the precious quality of pigment and of the luminosity of these Dutchmen is to be found in the genre pictures of Alexandre Gabriel Decamps (1803–1860), of which a large number form part of the Thomy Thiéry Bequest—notably The Knife-Grinder (No. 2831) and The Gipsy Encampment (No. 2833). Decamps owes his historical importance to his position as the head of the Orientalists. Unlike his contemporary explorer of the East for pictorial purposes, Delacroix, he found the facts of Eastern life, scenery, and customs sufficiently attractive to be satisfied with the realistic statement of his visual impressions, instead of making them the basis for the invention of romantic incidents. Yet the Street in Smyrna (No. 2827) and similar works are by no means of merely topographic interest, for Decamps was a great painter to whom pigment yielded beauty independent of the subject represented. The Rat retired from the World (No. 2834) vies in quality with the still-life pictures of Chardin. Decamps was also the greatest animal painter of his time, as may be gathered from his Chevaux de halage (No. 204), The Bull-Dog and Scotch Terrier (No. 206), and the precious little genre piece, The Kennel-Boy (No. 2838).
Brought up in the tradition of the Classicist school, Prosper Marilhat (1811–1847) only “formed himself” when the world of colour was discovered to him under the glowing sky of the Holy Land and Egypt, where he painted The Mosque of the Khalif Hakem, at Cairo (No. 615). Another Orientalist of great distinction, who, after being a favourite pupil of Ingres, became attracted by the fiery romanticism of Delacroix, was the Creole Théodore Chassériau (1819–1856). His works at the Louvre illustrate the earlier better than the later phase of his art. Chassériau was still entirely under the spell of Ingres when he painted, in 1844, the decoration of the Cour des Comptes, which building was destroyed under the Commune. Peace (No. 121a) is a fragment of this important decorative work, which may be said to constitute a link between Ingres and Puvis de Chavannes. The Chaste Susannah (No. 121) and the Portrait of Father Lacordaire, Dominican Preacher (No. 121b), are again clear evidence of Ingres’s influence upon Chassériau at the beginning of his brief career.
A man of profound culture and rare critical acumen, Eugène Fromentin (1820–1876) was perhaps greater as a critic than as a painter. He, too, travelled repeatedly in Algeria and Egypt, where he found abundant material both for his brush and pen. He did not look upon the East with the curiosity of the traveller, nor did he let the strange land work upon his romantic imagination. His pictures, somewhat timid in technique but marked by great refinement, reveal, on the other hand, a thorough understanding of the sad monotony of the sun-parched desert, and the chivalrous, noble bearing of its Arab inhabitants. His refined talent shows to best advantage in Hawking in Algeria (No. 305).
The Orient was by no means the uncontested field of the Romanticists. But the followers of the official school who devoted themselves to the depicting of Eastern life and scenery, approached these subjects in the same spirit of parti pris which robs all their work of real significance—unless, like Henri Regnault (1843–1871) in his famous and often reproduced Moorish Execution (No. 771), they treated them as rank melodrama. Regnault is, however, not to be judged by this overrated piece of sensationalism. Killed in the Franco-German War in 1871 at the early age of twenty-eight, this young painter gave rare promise of brilliant achievement in an altogether unacademic direction in his superb equestrian portrait of General Prim (No. 770). There is something truly heroic in the way the Spanish general sits his horse, arresting its forward movement with a sudden jerk at the reins; but the ruggedness and unkempt appearance of the rider displeased General Prim to such an extent that Regnault, who would not alter the picture, preferred to keep it on his hands.
It will suffice here merely to indicate the names and chief works at the Louvre of the principal artists who carried on, about the middle of the nineteenth century, the academic tradition,—capable painters all, but without clearly-marked individuality. Thomas Couture (1815–1879), a pupil of Gros and of Delaroche, in painting the huge composition, Romans of the Decadence (No. 156), produced a picture which may be taken as typical of the ambitions and failings of the whole school—of their literary tendencies, theatricality, and uninspired dulness. He was, however, an accomplished master of technique, which is more than289 can be said of Joseph Devéria (1805–1865), the painter of The Birth of Henri IV. (No. 250); or of Ingres’s pupil, the dull Hippolyte Flandrin (1809–1864), who is only represented by two Portraits (Nos. 284 and 285). Nor is it possible to-day to grow enthusiastic over the historical paintings of Joseph Nicolas Robert-Fleury (1797–1890), whose Conference at Poissy (No. 2982), Galileo before the Inquisition (No. 2983), and Christopher Columbus received by Ferdinand and Isabella on his Return from America (No. 2984), can only be regarded as unnecessarily large coloured illustrations.
MICHEL AND HUET
In the much-neglected branch of landscape painting the classic tradition of Claude ruled supreme until a new conception arose with the victory of the romantics in the third decade of the nineteenth century. Two names only need be mentioned before we pass on to the new movement—the return to nature—which was inaugurated by the group of painters vaguely known as the Barbizon school. Both Georges Michel (1763–1843) and Paul Huet (1804–1868) may be regarded as forerunners of that great movement; and both have only in recent years received the recognition which is their due. Michel developed his style in copying and closely studying the Dutch landscape masters, and must in his maturity have been well acquainted with the art of Constable, who exercised, together with Bonington, a prodigious influence on the whole course of French landscape painting. If Michel’s breadth of style, which may be judged from Near Montmartre (No. 626), had been accompanied by a greater range of subject-matter, he would probably rank more highly in the roll of French artists; but he contented himself with the endless repetition of the same motifs which he found close to Montmartre, where he spent his whole life. The care with which he studied290 the works of Jacob van Ruisdael earned for him the nickname of “the Ruisdael of Montmartre.”
Huet, again, learnt more from the old masters and from his friends, Bonington and Delacroix, than from his actual teachers. He, too, thrust aside the recipes of composing classic or “noble” landscapes, and was inspired by an altogether emotional outlook upon nature, calm and serene, as in The Still Morning (No. 413), or threatening and tempestuous, as in The Inundation at St. Cloud (No. 412), or in his masterpiece, The Breakers at Granville (No. 2952).
THE BARBIZON SCHOOL
The term “Barbizon school” has been extended from its narrower meaning, in which it merely comprises Rousseau, Diaz, Millet and the disciples who joined them, to form a little artistic colony on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau, to a less accurate but now generally accepted wider application, embracing “the men of 1830,” who collectively and individually set out, inspired indirectly by Constable, upon the conquest of light and atmosphere through intimate communion with nature. In a pedantic survey of this Barbizon school, Rousseau would have to take honour of place as the leader of the group, whilst Corot and Daubigny, neither of whom actually worked at Barbizon, would have to be altogether excluded. But in the more liberal interpretation of the term, which we have here adopted, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot (1796–1875) must be given first place as the doyen of the whole group, since he alone was born before the eighteenth century had run its course.
Corot, the son of a coiffeur and a modiste in comfortable circumstances, was destined in his youth for the drapery trade,291 and was only enabled to follow his bent for the artistic profession when, at the age of twenty-five, he entered into possession of a small annual allowance, sufficient to meet his modest requirements and to save him from the desperate struggle for very existence which was the fate of some of his later friends and companions. His early work from nature had already laid the foundations for his subsequent style when he entered the studio, first of the academic painter Michallon, and then of Bertin. In 1825 Corot went to Rome, where he painted, among many pictures of equally rich luscious quality, the View of the Forum Romanum (No. 139), and the View of the Coliseum (No. 140), which he himself bequeathed to the State. Although these early works have none of the elusive charm and lyrical feeling of his mature style, and are of rather topographic character, they reveal in every touch the artist enamoured of atmosphere and of the quality of pigment. The touch is precise, but not tight. The two pictures were painted in 1826, but already they hold more than a hint of that unrivalled mastery of tone-values which found supreme expression in A Street in Douai (No. 141f), painted in 1871.
From the precision of his early manner Corot gradually advanced to freedom and airy looseness of touch; from statement of fact, to the suggestion of the very spirit and essence of nature in terms of paint that, more than any other artist’s work, justify the expression “colour music.” His later canvases are filled with the soft shimmer of vibrating atmosphere and with the tender poetry of dawn and dusk. Whilst retaining a truly classic sense of style, and adapting nature to his purposes by arrangement and generalisation, he never fails to convince the beholder of the reality of the scene represented. Even if his glades are peopled with dancing nymphs and satyrs, as in A Morning (No. 138), these mythical beings no longer suggest classic statuary, but they belong as much to the landscape as do the trees and shrubs292 and clouds, as do the peasant woman and the cow in The Dell (No. 2801, Plate XLIX.), or the piping shepherd in the exquisite Souvenir d’Italie: Castel Gandolfo (No. 141b). Of the twenty-two paintings by the master at the Louvre, no fewer than twelve form part of the Thomy Thiéry Bequest to which the great French national collection owes so many of its chief treasures of nineteenth-century art.
The real head of the Barbizon school was Théodore Rousseau (1812–1867), who was one of the first exponents of the “romantic” as opposed to the “classic” landscape. If Corot was the lyric, Rousseau was the epic poet of Nature. In his early works he was considerably influenced by Constable, but he failed for a long time to gain the approval of the public and of the Salon juries. Fourteen times in succession his pictures were refused admission to the Salon, and success only came to him late in life. In 1851, at about the same time as Millet, he settled at Barbizon, on the outskirts of the Forest of Fontainebleau, where henceforth he found the subjects for his pictures. Rousseau was a most conscientious artist, who “constructed a group of trees with the care that an Academician puts into the construction of a nude figure.” His love of accurate detail did not, however, make him lose sight of the general effect. His insistence on bold silhouettes made him favour the sunset hour when, as in his masterpiece, An Opening in the Forest at Fontainebleau (No. 827), the trees would form effective dark masses against the glowing sunset sky. More characteristic of his favourite manner of composition is the imposing group of oak trees in the middle of a plain in the picture known as Les Chênes (No. 2900). In this, as in Marais dans les Landes (No. 830), which was bought in 1881 for £5160, and, indeed, in all the pictures where cattle are introduced, it will be noticed 293that the animals form part and parcel of the landscape, and are no longer individual “portraits” of animals, as they were apt to be in the pictures by the earlier Dutch cattle-painters. The same unity of vision is to be noted in all his sixteen pictures at the Louvre.
PLATE XLIX.—JEAN-BAPTISTE CAMILLE COROT
No. 2801.—THE DELL
(Le Vallon, avec des paysannes et une vache)
A grass-covered hill descends from the horizon line on the left to the right-hand bottom corner of the picture. A low hedge with a clump of trees in the centre divides the grassy plot from the field rising beyond towards the horizon-line, from which projects a church in the far distance. The sun is behind the trees, which throw a deep shadow on the dale. A cow occupies the centre of the foreground. To the left a group of three peasant women and a child; to the right a farm labourer.
Signed on left:—“corot.”
Painted in oil on canvas.
1 ft. 1¾ in. × 1 ft. 9¼ in. (0·35 × 0·54.)
This oneness of inanimate and animate nature is less completely realised in the art of Constant Troyon (1810–1865), who, having been trained as a porcelain-painter, was subsequently attracted by the romanticism of Dupré, but followed such Dutch masters as Paul Potter in subordinating the landscape to the cattle. It is for this reason that Troyon is known to the public as a “cattle-painter” rather than as a landscape painter. At the same time, he was a close observer of the effects of light on fields and meadows, which he rendered with a skill only rivalled by the solidity, the suggestion of weight and movement, the well-accentuated forms and sinuosities of his cattle. The huge canvas Oxen going to Work (No. 889) is an unrivalled achievement of its kind—a piece of realism that is not without poetry and grandeur. Next to it in importance ranks the Return to the Farm (No. 890). Among the eleven Troyons (Nos. 2906–2916) of the Thomy Thiéry Bequest, the Morning (No. 2909) strikes a more cheerful and hopeful note than is this artist’s wont.
Another artist of this group, who devoted himself almost exclusively to the painting of sheep, is Charles Jacque (1813–1894), from whose brush the Louvre owns the Flock of Sheep in a Landscape (No. 430a), a characteristic work of unusually large dimensions.
Jules Dupré (1811–1889) began, like Troyon, as a china-painter, and, like Rousseau, with whom he was for years on terms of intimate294 friendship, benefited by the example of Constable, whose art he had presumably occasion to study during a visit to England. It was from him that he acquired the sense of movement in nature, which is so much more pronounced in his landscapes than in Rousseau’s, whom he exceeded in breadth of touch and in power. More particularly in his later manner he loved to apply his colours in a thick impasto laid on to every part of the canvas, including the sky. Only on rare occasions did he adopt the more fluid, suave manner shown in Morning (No. 2940) and Evening (No. 2941), the two decorative panels executed for Prince Demidoff, and acquired by the Louvre in 1880 at the San Donato sale. More typical of his virile, forceful style are the twelve signed pictures by Dupré in the Thomy Thiéry Bequest (Nos. 2864–2875), especially the fine autumn landscape The Pond (No. 2867, Plate L.), the intensely sad, sunless Flock in the Landes (No. 2871), The Large Oak (No. 2873), and The Sunset on a Marsh (No. 2874), with the golden glow of the sky reflected in the water.
Before turning to Diaz, who has been aptly called “the most romantic of the Romanticists,” we must briefly mention Eugène Isabey (1804–1886), who connects the art of the First Empire with Romanticism, and who knew how to invest his historical paintings with genuinely pictorial interest at a time when that class of subject was generally treated from the literary and anecdotal point of view. His exuberant temperament led him not infrequently to exaggerated movement. The twelve pictures which bear his signature at the Louvre (Nos. 2878–2884, 2953–2956, and 2953a) are illustrative of every phase of his art. As a landscape painter he may be considered a forerunner of Rousseau.
Narcisse Diaz de la Peña (1809–1876) was born at Bordeaux, the son of political fugitives from Spain, and, like so many artists 295of this group, started his artistic career as a china-painter. He afterwards gained considerable success with his romantic figure pictures of mythological and Oriental subjects, like the Nymphs in a Wood (No. 2854), Venus and Adonis (No. 2858), Venus disarming Cupid (No. 2859), and above all the Fée aux Perles (No. 256). As a landscape painter he delighted in rendering the sparkle of sunlight penetrating through the dense foliage of forest and brushwood. Diaz must be placed between Isabey and Millet, who followed his example in his early figure pieces; but he was also influenced by Rousseau and by Delacroix. Among his eighteen pictures at the Louvre are several landscapes of superb quality, notably the Study of a Birch Tree (No. 252), Sous Bois (No. 253), and Dogs in the Forest (No. 257a).
PLATE L.—JULES DUPRÉ
No. 2867.—THE POND
Autumnal landscape with a pond in the middle distance on the left, bordered on the right, in the centre of the composition, by a group of oak trees. In the foreground some cattle and a cowherd. Cloudy sky.
Signed on left:—“jules dupré.”
Painted in oil on canvas.
1 ft. 1 in. × 1 ft. 6½ in. (0·32 × 0·46.)
Of all the Barbizon painters and their artistic kinship, Charles François Daubigny (1817–1878) is the one who approached nature with the most reverent spirit. He is in a way the least subjective of them all, because his love of nature even in her simplest aspects prevented him from imposing his own personality upon her; and for this very reason he is more varied in his range of landscape subjects than any of the other masters of this important group. The most fugitive effects of light and atmosphere were seized by him with a masterly sureness which found expression in every touch of his summary brush. Every hour of the day, every season of the year, every mood of nature appealed to him with equal intensity, although the choice of his subjects is most frequently inspired by serene optimism.
Daubigny belonged to a family of artists. He received his first instruction from his father, and afterwards studied under Delaroche. Before he began to paint landscapes in the neigh296bourhood of Paris, he gained his livelihood by painting sweet-boxes! He found his best subjects on the banks of the Oise, but worked also in other districts of France, in Italy, and in England. Of his sojourn in England we are reminded by The Thames at Erith (No. 2821), one of the thirteen Daubignys bequeathed to the Louvre by Thomy Thiéry, which also include the sun-flooded Weir Gate at Optevoz (No. 2818, Plate LI.), The Pond with Storks (No. 2815), Les Péniches (No. 2820), Morning on the River (No. 2824), and The Banks of the Oise (No. 2823). The Vintage in Burgundy (No. 184), which was bought by the State at the ridiculously low price of £400, is a picture of unusually large dimensions for an artist who generally needed but a small surface to express his ardent worship of nature. The delicious Spring (No. 185), with its blossoming apple trees and young grass, must be counted among his finest achievements. It is a picture that fills the heart of the beholder with the joy and contentment engendered by the blithe atmosphere of a bright spring day in the country.
The Louvre is fortunate in possessing no fewer than a dozen pictures by Jean François Millet (1814–1875), the great painter of the peasant’s unceasing struggle with the forces of nature to gain his livelihood from the soil. Millet himself was the son of a peasant, and was kept busy with farm work until he had attained the age of twenty, when he began to study art at Cherbourg. His studies were repeatedly interrupted before he definitely took up art as his profession. Before he went to Barbizon, in 1849, to devote himself exclusively to the genre in which he was to achieve immortal fame, he gained popular favour and admission to the Salon by following the eighteenth-century tradition of mythological art, and painted a number of nude studies 297of nymphs, goddesses, and cupids, not unlike in style to those of Diaz, but already marked by that firmness of design and by the monumental character that are so remarkable in his later work. The study of Bathing Women (No. 642) belongs to that period.
PLATE LI.—CHARLES FRANÇOIS DAUBIGNY
No. 2818.—THE WEIR GATE AT OPTEVOZ
(La Vanne d’Optevoz)
In the limpid clear water of the river, in the foreground, are reflected the blue sky and the opposite river bank, which, from a grassy slope on the left changes abruptly, near the weir gate, into a steep, low, sandstone cliff, on the crest of which some trees and bushes are silhouetted against the sky. On the left some ducks are swimming on the mirror-like water.
Signed on left:—“daubigny, 1859.”
Painted in oil on canvas.
1 ft. 7¾ in. × 2 ft. 4¾ in. (0·49 × 0·73.)
After he had settled at Barbizon, Millet, whose peasant origin was probably the cause of his intense sympathy with the struggles and hardships of the field labourers’ fatiguing work, devoted his brush to creating that profoundly moving record of labour and toil which constitutes his claim to be considered one of the world’s great masters. He knew how to invest scenes of humble life with truly monumental grandeur, and brought out the hopeless monotony and cruel hardships of the life led by the tillers of the soil with such incisive strength, that he was accused of propagandist tendencies. Nothing, however, was further from his aim. He was an artist pure and simple, who, in following his own unpopular ideal, preferred to suffer neglect and extreme poverty to a compromise with the taste of the vulgar.
The Women Gleaning (No. 644, Plate LII.) may be considered his supreme achievement, and an epitome of his whole art. Millet alone could have invested so bald and unpromising a subject with so much epic grandeur. There is in the rhythmic repetition of the action of the two women in the centre of the composition a sense of the inevitable hopeless monotony of labour in the fields, even if the picture is not “a plea against the misery of the people.” The same struggle for existence and the resulting physical fatigue are admirably expressed in the statuesquely silhouetted figure of The Weed-burner (No. 2890). The Woodcutter (No. 2895), The Strawbinders (No. 2892), and The Winnower (No. 2893) all exemplify this phase of Millet’s art. The domestic life of the peasantry is treated with equally profound sympathy in Maternal Precaution (No. 2894), La Couseuse (No. 644a), and La Lessiveuse (No. 2891). Among his comparatively rare pure landscape subjects The Church of Gréville298 (No. 641), which was found in an unfinished state in the artist’s studio after his death, takes very high rank. It is as remarkable for the simple telling truth with which the normal aspect of the landscape is rendered, as the Spring (No. 643) is for the realisation of a more uncommon effect—a rainbow and the shrill accent of sunlight in the orchard under the leaden grey of the departing thunder clouds.
What Millet did for the life of the country, Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) did for the life of the town, of which he was a shrewd and critical observer. But his long practice as a caricaturist made him look upon the types that engaged his brush with a certain cruel bitterness which is far removed from Millet’s human sympathy. With a palette restricted almost to black and grey, Daumier yet proved himself a great colourist through the infallible accuracy of his tone-values and the suggestion of rich colour in his almost monochrome schemes. His design is as massive and monumental as Millet’s. The touch of the macabre, which is so characteristic of Daumier’s art, is very evident in The Thieves and the Donkey (No. 2937). The Portrait of the Painter Théodore Rousseau (No. 2938) holds a hint of the caricaturist’s vision.
Equally far removed from, and hostile to, Classicism and Romanticism was Gustave Courbet (1819–1877), who as head and founder of the Realistic school exercised a prodigious influence upon nineteenth-century art. He was essentially a fighting spirit, determined to overcome official hostility to his revolutionary principles. Excluded from public exhibitions, he held a private show of his own works, and defended his theories by spoken and 299written arguments. His just claim was that it did not matter what you paint, but how you paint what you actually see; and in conformity with his loudly proclaimed principles he often chose subjects that were offensive to the taste of his day. At the same time we can see now that he was endowed with a keen instinctive feeling for pictorial fitness, and that most of his pictures are far from being haphazard snapshots of actuality. In his student years he had copied many masterpieces by Rembrandt, Velazquez, Hals, and Van Dyck. How much he benefited from the example of the old masters is to be judged from his portrait of himself, known as The Man with the Leather-belt (No. 147).
PLATE LII.—JEAN FRANÇOIS MILLET
No. 644.—WOMEN GLEANING
In a harvest-field three female gleaners, seen in profile to the left, are occupied with picking up blades of corn. Two of them are bending right down, with their right hands touching the ground; the third woman is half erect. In the background some ricks, a cart and horses, harvesters, a farm building, and a horseman.
Signed on right:—“j. f. millet.”
Painted in oil on canvas.
2 ft. 8¾ in. × 3 ft. 8¼ in. (0·82 × 1·12.)
By far his most famous picture is the gigantic Funeral at Ornans (No. 143), which, as a study of the life and types in a small French provincial town, has aptly been compared with Flaubert’s great novel Madame Bovary. Each individual head in this vast composition is a marvellous study of facial expression. In his landscapes, again, he was by no means photographic, and he never failed to consider the decorative effectiveness of his pictures. His influence upon Whistler’s early work is to be judged from The Wave (No. 147a). If his landscapes retain to a certain extent the atmosphere of the studio, such pieces as La Remise des Chevreuils (No. 145a) and Le Ruisseau du Puits noir (No. 146a) clearly show that he possessed a sound understanding of the way in which colours react upon, and modify, each other. Courbet’s revolutionary tendencies made him take part in the political movement of the Commune, and forced him to leave his native country. He died in Switzerland in 1877.
It was realism of a very different kind that made public opinion place Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier (1815–1891) on a300 pinnacle, from which he has only in recent years been transferred to the more modest position due to him, for the exquisite minute care he bestowed upon the working out of insignificant details. Meissonier was a draughtsman and an illustrator rather than a painter. As a colourist he does not count. He had no appreciation of values, textures, substances, and surfaces. Nothing could be more to the point than Manet’s mordant remark that in Meissonier’s pictures “everything is of iron except the cuirasses.” Still, the mind that finds delight in small things will dwell with pleasure upon the microscopic details of his little costume pictures The Flute Player (No. 2887), The Poet (No. 2889), and several similar “gems” at the Louvre. Strangely enough the Portrait of Mme. Gerriot (No. 2965), which he painted at the age of nineteen, has more breadth and real character than any of his later works. The chief task of Meissonier’s life was the glorification of Napoleon i.’s campaigns. Of this famous series the Louvre includes no example. On the other hand, the collection owns three important historical pictures from his brush in Napoleon III. at Solferino (No. 2957), which long hung in the Luxembourg Gallery, Napoleon III. surrounded by his Staff (No. 2958), and The Siege of Paris (No. 2969), in the painting of which he had at least the advantage of personal experience, as he had followed the Emperor’s army on the Italian campaign, and was in Paris during the siege. Altogether the Louvre owns no fewer than twenty-nine paintings by Meissonier.
If Meissonier is beginning to find his proper level after having been grossly overrated, Louis Gustave Ricard (1824–1873), one of the most remarkable portrait painters of his century, has only just in recent years been rescued from almost complete301 oblivion. A pupil of L. Cogniet, Ricard spent several years in copying the works and analysing the technical methods of the old masters, and in travelling in Italy, Belgium, Holland, and England. It was not before his return to Paris in 1850 that he began to exhibit. Ricard was exclusively a portrait painter. Technically his early studies enabled him to arrive at a method of singular morbidezza and warm luminosity. There is a certain truth in a modern critic’s description of Ricard’s pigments as being composed of “crushed jewels, flower juice, and gold and silver powder.” The great merit of Ricard’s portraits is, however, his extraordinary insight into his sitters’ psychology. To him a portrait meant more than a correct record of the model’s superficial aspect: he endeavoured to paint the very soul in so far as it can be read from eyes and lips. In this respect he is the descendant of Giorgione and the forerunner of Watts and Carrière. The portraits of The Painter Heilbuth (No. 778a), of Mme. de Calonne (No. 778e), of His Own Portrait (No. 778), and the badly cracked Portrait of Paul de Musset (No. 778b), may be quoted as admirable instances of his art.
We must close this necessarily fragmentary survey of French art at the Louvre with the mention of Edouard Manet (1832–1883), whose Olympia (No. 613a, Plate LIII.) is the first, and so far the only painting of the Impressionist school that has gained access to this gallery. It was formerly exhibited at the Luxembourg. Hung as it is now in Gallery VIII. amid the works of David, Gros, Ingres, Delacroix, Delaroche, and other early nineteenth-century painters, this Olympia fully explains the sensation, but certainly not the indignation, caused by its first appearance at the Salon of 1865. It sings out with such brilliant302 purity of colour and is so emphatic in the patterning of its design, so daring in the placing side by side of almost unmodulated but infallibly accurate colour masses, that everything around appears more or less dingy and artificial. Manet’s Olympia marks the dawn of a new era, not because it is based on a revolutionary rejection of tradition, but because it is true to the spirit of the best tradition, which is not carried on by literal and mechanical imitation, but by evolution and adaptation to modern life and thought.
PLATE LIII.—ÉDOUARD MANET
A nude woman, with blue-edged yellow satin slippers on her feet, a narrow black riband round her neck, and a gold bracelet on her right arm, is reclining on a bed, her right arm resting on the cushion. Beneath her is spread a yellowish, flowered Indian shawl. A black cat with raised tail stands at her feet on the bed. Behind the bed is seen a negress, who brings a large bouquet of flowers to her mistress.
Signed on left:—“ed. manet, 1865.”
Painted in oil on canvas.
4 ft. 2 in. × 6 ft. 3 in. (1·27 × 1·90.)
THE BRITISH SCHOOL
IF the representation of French art at the National Gallery in London is admittedly meagre and inadequate, the British section at the Louvre can scarcely be considered worthy of serious consideration. Its entire removal, with the exception of about half a dozen pictures, would not only entail no serious loss to the collection, but would be an act of justice to the reputation of several great artists who are here made responsible for pictures upon which they presumably never set eyes. Under these circumstances it is quite impossible to illustrate the progress of British art by the two-score or so examples in the Long Gallery, part of which is devoted to the English pictures. Of the leading masters, Hogarth (1697–1764) and Gainsborough (1727–1788) will be vainly looked for, since the two Landscapes (Nos. 1811 and 1811b) attributed to the latter in the La Caze Room are inferior conventional compositions in Italian taste, which can no more be connected with the name of Gainsborough than the wretched Still Life which has lately been added to the Louvre collection.
CONSTABLE AND HIS IMITATORS
In view of the powerful influence exercised by Constable and the British Landscape school in general upon modern French art, it is surprising that no attempts should have been made to secure a few examples of greater importance and more certain authenticity than the ones now exhibited. Six pictures are catalogued under the name of John Constable (1776–1837); the only one that304 can be unreservedly accepted as the work of his brush is the little view of Hampstead Heath (No. 1809, Plate LIV.), which was presented to the Louvre in 1877 by the painter’s son, Mr. Lionel Constable. It is a fresh, masterly study for the picture in the Sheepshanks collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Weymouth Bay (No. 1808), which realised as much as £2240 at the Marquis de la Rochebrune’s sale in 1873, has been enthusiastically commented upon by Bürger, but cannot pass the ordeal of searching criticism. It is incoherent, and in the details of the foreground and the painting of the figures and sheep lacks the purposeful sureness of touch which is the hall-mark of Constable’s art. The Cottage (No. 1806) has the same provenance. Mr. P. M. Turner, in an article in the Burlington Magazine, suggests that F. W. Watts, a feeble imitator of Constable, is the real author of this timidly executed painting—an attribution which is certainly more convincing than the one in the official catalogue. The Glebe Farm (No. 1810) tallies closely, as regards the superficial aspect, with the picture of the same title at the National Gallery, to which it is, however, so inferior as to put Constable’s authorship out of the question. The Windmill (No. 1810a), a gift of Mr. Sedelmeyer, seems to be a copy of the Spring at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Rainbow (No. 1807) may possibly be by Constable, although its authorship has been questioned by several reliable authorities.
James Webb (1825?–1895), a painter of undeniable talent for imitating the manner of artists greater than himself, is beyond much doubt responsible both for the Landscape (No. 1820), which is officially given to Richard Wilson (1714–1782), and for the view of the Pont Neuf (No. 1819), which is still exhibited as an example by the greatest English landscape painter J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851). Unfortunately Turner’s name has to be added to Hogarth’s and 305Gainsborough’s in the list of eminent British masters who are not represented at the Louvre.
PLATE LIV.—JOHN CONSTABLE
No. 1809.—HAMPSTEAD HEATH
(Vue de Hampstead Heath)
A wide-spreading landscape view, with little incident, from Hampstead Heath looking in a northerly direction.
Painted in oil on canvas.
1 ft. 1¼ in. × 1 ft. 2¼ in. (0·26 × 0·36.)
That Richard Parkes Bonington (1801–1828) should be seen to better advantage in this collection, is only natural in view of the fact that by his training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and under Gros he belongs to the French rather than to the English school. He was closely allied by the bond of friendship to Delacroix, and played an important part in the romantic movement. The two little pictures François I. and the Duchesse d’Etampes (No. 1802) and Mazarin and Anne of Austria (No. 1803) are conceived quite in the spirit of the French Romanticists. Bonington’s genius as a colourist is, however, best displayed in the sparkling and animated View of Venice (No. 1805). Admirable, too, in their spontaneous freshness are the View of the Gardens at Versailles (No. 1804) and the View of the Coast of Normandy (No. 1804a). The Old Governess (No. 1805a), one of Bonington’s rare attempts at portraiture, is remarkable for the accentuation of the modelling, which somehow suggests the broad treatment of the planes adopted by a wood-carver.
The picture which is catalogued as La Halte (No. 1814), by George Morland (1763–1804), is merely a poor copy of that artist’s painting The Public-house Door, engraved by Ward. It was presented to the Louvre by the proprietors of the magazine L’Art.
When we come to the great school of British portrait painting, we have to record at least two or three masterpieces worthy of being included in a great museum. A picture of unquestioned authenticity and great charm is the Portrait of Master Hare (No. 1818b) by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), who in this, as in other similar pieces, proved himself the painter par excellence of childhood in all its innocence and ingenuousness, even though this306 picture is by no means impeccable as regards draughtsmanship. The Master Hare was bequeathed to the Louvre by Baron Alphonse de Rothschild in 1905. The badly repainted Portrait of a Lady (No. 1818a) in a white dress, and with powdered hair, is certainly not the work of Sir Joshua, under whose name it figures in the catalogue.
Among the recent additions to the Louvre collection is the excellent life-size portrait of Captain Robert Hay of Spot, by Sir Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), which still hangs on a screen in Gallery XV. and has not yet been provided with a number. It is a full-length portrait of the sitter, in uniform of scarlet coat, white breeches, black gaiters, and fur busby, his hand resting upon his gun, standing against a conventional landscape background with a sky of characteristic tawny hue. The picture was formerly in the collection of Mr. Sanderson, at the sale of which, in 1908, it was bought by Messrs. Agnew for 650 gs. To Raeburn are also ascribed the extremely puzzling Portrait of an Old Sailor (No. 1817), which, in spite of certain technical affinities with the British eighteenth-century school, is so un-English in spirit that it would be rash to ascribe it to any master of that school; the negligeable Portrait of Anna Moore, Authoress (No. 1817a); also the utterly commonplace and wretchedly drawn Mrs. Maconochie and Child (No. 1817b), which was bought in 1904, together with the equally questionable Portrait of a Lady and a Young Boy (No. 1812b), by Hoppner, for £4000.
SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE
The strangely exaggerated estimation in which Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830) is held by French connoisseurs, is to a certain307 extent to be accounted for by the superb quality of the picture by which he is best known in France: the portrait group of J. J. Angerstein and his Wife (No. 1813a) at the Louvre, which was acquired in 1896 for £3000. This fine group displays all his bravura and pleasing freshness and brightness of colour, without any of the vulgar tricks and shallow mannerisms of his later years. Next to it should be mentioned the charming half-length life-size Portrait of Mary Palmer (No. 1813c), in a yellow dress, seated in a garden. The completely wrecked Portrait of Lord Whitworth, English Ambassador to France in 1802 (No. 1813), and the Portrait of a Man (No. 1813d), are of no artistic significance.
Neither is it necessary to dwell upon the mediocre Brother and Sister (No. 1801), by Sir William Beechey (1753–1839); the Portrait of Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Princess of Wales (No. 1818), by Allan Ramsay (1713–1784); and the Portrait of Lamartine, French Poet and Politician (No. 1816a), by Henry Wyndham Phillips (1820–1868). The Woman in White (No. 1816) is at least a sound piece of craftsmanship, even if the attribution to John Opie (1761–1807), “the Cornish Wonder,” is subject to doubt.
OTHER PORTRAIT PAINTERS
We have already mentioned the portrait group (No. 1812b), a picture in deplorable condition, to which the name of John Hoppner (1758?–1810) has been attached without sufficient reason. No less doubtful is the authenticity of the Portrait of the Countess of Oxford (No. 1812a), a meretricious picture which serves to show the mannerisms and striving after prettiness of Lawrence’s rival, rather than the more estimable qualities by which his better achievements are distinguished.
George Romney (1734–1802), on the other hand, is seen in his most serious mood in the Portrait of Sir John Stanley (No. 1818c)308— a thoroughly honest “likeness,” well drawn, and painted straight-forwardly, without tricky accents and mechanical recipes. On a screen in Gallery XV. has been temporarily placed a recently acquired Portrait of the Artist, by Romney. He is seated, palette in hand, in a landscape background. The features are well modelled, and the light and shade managed with considerable skill.
Strangely enough the most remarkable English picture at the Louvre is by a little known painter, who is not represented in any of the leading British galleries. Charles Howard Hodges (1764–1837), who was born in London, but went at the age of twenty-four to Holland, where he spent the rest of his life, was really a mezzotint engraver, in which craft he had been trained by John Raphael Smith. He produced many plates after pictures by the Dutch masters, and also painted a few portraits, among them the masterly Portrait of a Woman (No. 1812), at the Louvre. At a time which was too much given to conventionality and to the desire to please by concessions to a popular craving for prettiness, this picture strikes a note of almost brutal realism. It is painted with surprising vigour and with an appreciation of correct tone-values, in a low key, which heralds the art of the Glasgow school in the later decades of the nineteenth century.
With The Bathing Woman (No. 1810b), by William Etty (1787–1849), and The Watering Place (No. 1815), by William Mulready (1786–1863), we reach the full decadence of the British school in early Victorian days before the great revival initiated by the pre-Raphaelites.
I. INDEX OF ARTISTS
Albani, Francesco, 5, 119.
Albertinelli, 11, 43, 46.
Altichieri, Altichiero, 79, 85, 105.
“Alunno di Domenico,” 34, 42.
Amberger, C., 133.
Ambrogio da Fossano, 94.
Ambrogio da Predis, 35, 97.
“Amico di Sandro,” 41.
Andrea dal Castagno, 25, 28, 30.
Andrea de Milan, 193.
Andrea del Sarto, 2, 3, 45–46, 186, 239.
Angelico, Fra, 10, 22–24, 26–27, 126.
Anguissola, Sofonisba, 103.
Anselmi, Michelangelo, 47.
Antonello da Messina, 65, 95.
Portrait of a Condottiere, Plate ix.
Antoniazzo Romano, 55–56.
Arellano, Juan de, 190.
Arentzen, Arent, 216.
Artois, Jacob van, 154.
Asselyn, Jan, 217.
Audran, Claude, 261.
Backhuysen, Ludolf, 222.
Bagnacavallo, H., 60, 115.
Baldovinetti, Alessio, 28, 30–32, 53.
Balducci, Matteo, 50.
Balen, Hendrick van, 137, 146, 149,156.
Bartolo di Maestro Fredi, 17.
Bartolommeo di Giovanni, 34.
Bartolommeo, Fra, 43, 44.
Bartolommeo Veneto, 66.
Bassano, Jacopo, 73, 76, 173.
Bassano, Leandro, 73, 190.
Bastiani, Lazzaro, 65.
Beechey, Sir Wm., 307.
Beerstraten, Abrahamsz, 222.
Bega, Cornells, 208.
Begeyn, Abraham, 220.
Beham, Hans Sebald, 162.
Bellechose, Henri, 228.
Bellegambe, Jan, 230.
Bellini, Gentile, 61–63, 65–66, 68, 69, 109.
Bellini, Giovanni, 61–64, 66, 68–69, 95.
Bellini, Jacopo, 61–65, 80, 85, 105.
Bellini, Niccolosia, 80.
Belotto, Bernardo, 78.
Benozzo Gozzoli, 11, 25.
Benson, Ambrosius, 130.
Benvenuti, Giovanni Battista, 91.
Berchem, Nicolaes, 213, 220–221.
Berckheyde, Gerrit, 222.
Bermejo, Bartolomé, 233.
Berrettini, Pietro, 87.
Bertin, N., 291.
Besozzo, Michelino da, 93.
Bianchi, Francesco, 11, 107, 113.
Bicci di Lorenzo, 21.
Bicci, Lorenzo di, 21.
Blomaert, Abraham, 197, 224.
Bloot, Pieter de, 216.
Boccaccino, Boccaccio, 103.
Bol, Ferdinand, 205.
Boltraffio, 10, 66, 98.
Bonifazio Veronese, 73.
Bonington, R. P., 281,289–290, 305.
Bono da Ferrara, 86.
Bononi, Bartolommeo, 99.
Bordone, Paris, 10, 72.
Borgognone (Ambrogio da Fossano), 94–96.
Borgognone (Le Bourguignon), 253.
Bosch van Aeken, Hieronymus, 130, 154.
Both, Jan, 217.
Botticelli, 29, 34, 39–41.
Giovanna degli Albizzi and the Three Graces, Plate v.
Botticini, Francesco, 42.
Boucher, François, 246, 258, 265–269.
Vulcan presenting Arms to Venus, Plate xl.
Boulogne, Bon, 251–252.
Boulogne, Louis, 251–252.
Boulongne, Jean de, 243.
Bourdon, Sébastien, 200, 249.
Bouts, Dierick, 125–126, 154, 193, 216.
Bramante, 58, 91, 92.
Brekelenkam, Quiryn, 210.
Bril, Matthias, 138.
Bril, Paul, 137–138.
Broederlam, Melchior, 123.
Bronzino, Agnolo, 11, 46.
Brouwer, Adriaen, 152–153, 208, 212.
Brueghel, “Hell,” 149.
Brueghel, Jan, 137, 141, 167.
Brueghel the Elder, Pieter, 136–137, 152.
Brueghel the Younger, Pieter, 137.
Brusasorci, Domenico, 85.
Brusasorci the Younger, 77.
Bruyn, Bartolomäus, 161.
Buonconsiglio, Giovanni, 109.
Butinone, Bernardino, 92.
Calcar, Giovanni, 72, 195.
Calvaert, Denis, 115.
Campi, Bernardino, 100, 103.
Campin, Robert, 124–125.
Canale, Antonio, 78.
Cantarini, S., 120.
Caravaggio, Michelangelo, 120, 151, 177, 224, 243.
Cardi, Lodovico, 47.
Carducho, Vincente, 190.
Caroto, Francesco, 87.
Carpaccio, Vittore, 10, 65.
Carpi, Alessandro da, 107.
Carracci, Agostino, 118.
Carracci, Annibale, 5, 6, 10, 119, 138.
Carracci, Antonio, 119.
Carracci, Lodovico, 118.
Carreño de Miranda, Juan, 183, 190.
Casanova, François, 78.
Castagno, Andrea dal, 25, 28, 30.
Castiglione, G. B., 118.
Catena, Vincenzo, 66.
Caterina di Vigri, 116.
Cavedone, Jacopo, 107.
Cellini, Benvenuto, 2.
Cenni de’ Pepi, Giovanni, 19.
Cerquozzi, M. A., 118.
Cesare da Sesto, 39, 97.
Champaigne, Philippe de, 155, 258.
Chardin, J. B. S., 13, 258, 260, 267–268, 271.
Grace before Meat, Plate xli.
Cigoli, H., 47.
Cima, Giovanni Battista, 11, 64.
Cimabue, 11, 15, 19.
Claesz, Pieter, 220.
Claeszoon, Alart, 195.
Claude, 6, 157, 217, 247–248, 257, 274, 289.
View of a Sea Port, Plate xxxviii.
Clouet, François, 237.
Clouet, Jean, 235–236.
Codde, Pieter, 207.
Cogniet, L., 301.
Collantes, Francisco, 190.
Coltellini, Michele, 92.
“Compagno di Pesellino,” 30.
Constable, John, 281, 289–290, 292, 294, 303–304.
Hampstead Heath, Plate liv.
Conti, Bernardino de, 38, 97.
Cooper, T. Sidney, R.A., 218.
Coques, Gonzales, 150, 154.
Corneille de Lyon, 238.
Cornelissen, Cornelis, 199.
Corot, J. B. C., 290–292.
The Well, Plate xlix.
Correggio, 7, 9, 107, 113–114, 117, 177, 278.
Marriage of St. Catherine, Plate xv.
Cossa, Francesco, 90, 101.
Costa, Lorenzo, 5, 90–91, 101–102, 115.
Coter, Colin de, 133.
Cotes, Francis, 271.
Cottignola, Zaganelli da, 60.
Courbet, Gustave, 298.
Courtois, Jacques, 253.
Cousin, Jean, 240.
Couture, Thomas, 288.
Coxie, Raphael van, 151.
Coypel, Antoine, 252.
Coypel, Charles Antoine, 252.
Coypel, Noël, 252.
Coypel, Noël Nicolas, 252, 267.
Craesbeeck, Joos van, 152.
Cranach the Elder, Lucas, 162.
Cranach the Younger, Lucas, 163.
Crayer, Gaspar de, 151.
Credi, Lorenzo di, 11.
Crespi, G. M., 120.
Crivelli, Carlo, 64, 80.
Cuevas, Pedro de las, 190.
Cuyp, Aelbert, 8, 217.
Dalmau, Luis de, 171–172.
Daniele da Volterra, 47.
Daubigny, Charles François, 295–296.
The Weir Gate at Optevoz, Plate li.
Daumier, H., 298.
David, Gerard, 128–130, 193.
Marriage at Cana, Plate xviii.
David, Jacques Louis, 254, 269, 275–276, 278.
Portrait of Mme. Récamier, Plate xlv.
De La Fosse, Charles, 252.
Debar, B., 264.
Decker, Cornelis, 217.
Delacroix, Eugène, 250, 279, 281–283, 285, 290, 295.
Dante and Virgil, Plate xlvii.
Delaroche, Paul, 285, 288, 295.
Delli, Dello, 171.
Denner, Baltasar, 167.
Desportes, François, 258.
Devéria, Joseph, 289.
Diamante, Fra, 28.
Diaz de la Peña, N., 290, 294–295.
Diepenbeeck, Abraham van, 151.
Dietrich, Christian W., 168.
Dolci, Carlo, 118.
Domenichino, 5, 10, 119, 245.
“Domenico, Alunno di,” 34.
Domenico Veneziano, 26, 31.
Donatello, 27, 31, 79–80.
Donducci, G. A., 120.
Dossi, Dosso, 65, 91–92.
Dou, Gerard, 208–211, 215.
The Dropsical Woman, Plate xxxii.
Drake, Sir Francis, 196.
Drost, Cornelis, 205.
Drouais, F. H., 270.
Dubois, Ambrose, 241.
Duccio di Buoninsegna, 15, 19.
Duchâtel Collection, 30.
Duchatel, François, 154.
Duck, Jacob, 207.
Dupré, Jules, 293–294.
The Pond, Plate l.
Dürer, Albrecht, 159, 161–162, 195.
Eeckhout, G. van den, 205.
Elias, Nicholas, 205.
Elsheimer, Adam, 167, 257.
Engelbrechtsen, Cornelis, 194.
Ercole de’ Roberti Grandi, 90–91.
Ercole Roberti, 90–91.
Escosura, 183, 189.
Ettore de’ Bonacossi, 89.
Etty, William, R.A., 308.
Everdingen, Allart van, 218.
Fabritius, Karel, 213, 214.
Faes, Pieter van der, 205.
Farinati, Paolo, 87.
Fassolo, Bernardino, 197.
Fei, Paolo di Giovanni, 171.
Ferramola, Floriano, 105–106.
Ferrari, Defendente, 111.
Ferrari, Francesco Bianchi, 107, 113.
Ferrari, Gaudenzio, 111.
Feti, Domenico, 117.
Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, 30, 50, 53.
Flandrin, Hippolyte, 289.
Flinck, Govaert, 205.
Floris, Frans, 138.
Foppa, Vincenzo, 93–94, 105.
Fosse, Charles de La, 252.
Fouquet, Jean, 231, 233.
Fragonard, J. H., 258, 260, 268–269, 274.
Music Lesson, Plate xlii.
Francesca, Piero della, or Franceschi, Piero dei, 13, 30, 31, 53, 86.
Francesco di Giorgio, 50.
Francia, Francesco, 46, 55–56, 102, 105, 115.
Francia, Giacomo, 102.
Franck, Frans, 138.
Franck the Third, Frans, 138.
Franck the Younger, Frans, 138.
Francken, Sebastiaen, 157.
Franco Bolognese, 99.
Fréminet, Martin, 241.
Froment, Nicolas, 232.
Fungai, Bernardino, 50.
Fyt, Jan, 151.
Gaddi, Agnolo, 21.
Gaddi, Taddeo, 21.
Gainsborough, T., R.A., 303–304.
Geertgen tot S. Jans, 193.
Gentile de Fabriano, 11, 53, 62, 85.
Gérard, Baron F. P. S., 277.
Gerard of Haarlem, 193.
Géricault, J. L. A. Théodore, 281–282,
The Raft of the “Medusa,” Plate xlvi.
Ghiberti, Lorenzo, 26.
Ghirlandaio, Benedetto, 33.
Ghirlandaio, Davide, 33.
Ghirlandaio, Domenico, 11, 24, 32–34.
Portrait of an Old Man and his Grandson (“The Bottle-nosed Man”), Plate iii.
Ghirlandaio, Ridolfo, 34, 46, 57.
Giambono, Michele, 61.
Gillot, Claude, 261, 264.
Giltinger, Gumpold, 166.
Giordano, Luca, 121, 171, 191.
Giorgione, 6, 40, 46, 64, 66, 68–70, 73.
Pastoral Symphony, Plate x.
Giottesques, 20, 61.
Giotto, 11, 16, 19–21, 27, 69, 79, 101.
Giovanni d’Allemagna, 63.
Giovanni di Paolo, 17, 50.
Giovanni Francesco da Rimini, 53.
Giovenone, Girolamo, 111.
Girard d’Orleans, 228.
Girodet de Roucy-Trioson, A. L., 277.
Girolamo da Carpi, 90.
Girolamo dai Libri, 87.
Girolamo di Benvenuto, 50.
Giulio Romano, 56, 58–60, 115, 117.
Goltzius, Hendrick, 199.
Gossart, Jan, 132–134, 236.
Gozzoli, Benozzo, 11, 25.
Grandi, Ercole de’ Roberti, 90–91.
Grebber, Pieter de, 206, 220.
Greco, El, 173–176.
Greuze, J. B., 269–272.
The Broken Pitcher, Plate xliii.
Grief, Anton, 157.
Grimaldi, G. F., 120.
Grimou, J. A., 259.
Gros, Baron A. J., 277, 278, 282, 288, 305.
Grünewald, M., 162–163.
Guardi, Francesco, 78, 274.
Guercino, 10, 120.
Guerin, P. N., 276, 279, 281, 285.
Hals, Dirk, 206.
Hals, Frans, 152, 198–201, 206, 249, 299.
The Gipsy Girl, Plate xxvii.;
Portrait of a Lady in Black, Plate xxviii.
Heda, Willem Claesz, 223.
Heem, David de, 167, 223.
Heem, J. Davidsz de, 223.
Heemskerck, Egbert van, 224.
Heinsius, Johann E., 168.
Herrera “the Old,” Francisco, 175, 180.
Heusch, Guilliam de, 220.
Hobbema, Meindert, 219.
Hodges, C. H., 308.
Hogarth, W., 271, 303–304.
Holbein the Elder, Hans, 163.
Holbein the Younger, Hans, 38, 159, 161, 163, 236, 284.
Portrait of Erasmus, Plate xxiv.
Hondecoeter, Melchior, 224.
Hondius, Abraham, 224.
Honthorst, Gerard, 224.
Hooch, Pieter de, 213–214.
Dutch Interior, Plate xxxv.
Hoppner, John, R.A., 306–307.
Huet, Paul, 289.
Huysmans, Cornelis, 154.
Huysum, Jan, 223.
Ingegno, L’, 56.
Ingres, J. A. D., 254, 277, 283–285.
The Spring, Plate xlviii.
Innocenzo da Imola, 115.
Isabey, Eugène, 277, 294, 295.
Isenbrant, Adriaen, 129.
Jacobello del Fiore, 61, 66–67.
Jacque, Charles, 293.
Janssen, Cornelis, 198.
Janssens, Abraham, 151.
Jardin, Karel du, 221.
Jordaens, 10, 66, 150, 252.
Jouvenet, Jean, 253.
Kalf, Willem, 223.
Kauffmann, Angelica, 168.
Knupfer, N., 210, 212.
Koeck, Pieter, 136.
Koninck, Philips de, 274.
Laer, Pieter van, 221.
Lairesse, Gérard de, 220, 225.
Lancret, N., 264.
Largillière, Nicolas de, 254, 256, 259.
Lastman, Pieter, 202, 204.
Lawrence, Sir T., P.R.A., 306.
Le Brun, Charles, 5, 75, 244, 249–251, 257, 273.
Le Brun, Mme. Vigée, 272.
Portrait of the Artist and her Daughter, Plate xliv.
Lefebvre, Claude, 254.
Le Guillon, Jenny, 283.
Lely, Sir Peter, 205, 256.
Le Moine, F., 265.
Le Nain, Antoine, 244, 248–249, 258.
Le Nain, Louis, 244, 248–249, 258.
Le Nain, Matthieu, 244, 248–249, 258.
Leonardo da Vinci, 2, 3, 6, 23, 34–40, 64, 95, 97, 117, 162, 239, 278.
Portrait of Mona Lisa, Plate iv. (Frontispiece).
Lépicié, N. B., 271.
Le Sueur, Eustache, 8, 244, 248.
Liberale da Verona, 86.
Lievens, Jan, 204.
Limborch, H. van, 225.
Lippi, Filippino, 29, 43–44.
Lippi, Fra Filippo, 11, 27–30, 39, 41.
Madonna and Child with Angels and Two Abbots, Plate ii.
Lodi, Calisto Piazza of, 106.
Lomellini, Orazio, 103.
Lorenzetti, Ambrogio, 17.
Lorenzetti, Pietro, 17.
Lorenzo de’ Fasoli, 100.
Lorenzo di Bicci, 21.
Lorenzo di Credi, 11, 34–35, 39.
Lorenzo di Pavia, 100.
Lorenzo Monaco, 22–23, 27.
Lotto, Lorenzo, 64, 153.
Lucas van Leyden, 194.
Luini, Bernardino, 96.
Lutero, Giovanni, 89, 91–92.
Mabuse, Jan, 132–134, 236.
Portrait of Jean Carondelet, Plate xx.
Maes, Nicolas, 214.
Mainardi, Bastiano, 32, 33–34.
“Maître de Flémalle,” 124–125.
“Maître de Moulins,” 228–230.
Malouel, Jean, 227.
Malwaele, Jan, 227.
Manet, Edouard, 300–302.
Olympia, Plate liii.
Manfredi, Bartolommeo, 98, 151.
Manni, Giannicola, 56, 60.
Mantegna, Andrea, 5, 11, 55, 61, 80–83, 105.
Parnassus, Plate xiv.
Maratta, Carlo, 118.
Martini, Simone, 16–17, 229, 232.
Christ bearing His Cross, Plate i.
Masaccio, 17, 22–23, 27, 29, 31.
Massone, Giovanni, 100.
“Master of 1456.”
“Master of St. Severin,” 160.
“Master of the Bartholomew Altar,” 159–160.
“Master of the Death of Mary,” 160.
“Master of the Female Half Figures,” 194.
“Master of the Ursula Legend,” 161, 230.
Matsys, Quentin, 130–131, 210.
The Banker and his Wife, Plate xix.
Matteo di Giovanni, 50.
Mazo, J. B. del, 184, 189.
Mazzolino, Lodovico, 91.
Meissonier, J. L. E., 299–300.
Meldolla, Andrea, 72.
Memlinc, Hans, 13, 125–128, 131, 216.
Portrait of an Old Lady, Plate xvii.
Memmi, Lippo, 17.
Mengs, Raphael, 168–169, 191.
Mercier, P., 263.
Metsu, Gabriel, 8, 215–216.
Meulen, A. F. van der, 258.
Michallon, A. E., 291.
Michel, Georges, 289.
Michelangelo, 23, 40, 42, 76, 117–118, 240.
Michelino da Pavia, 91.
Miel, Jan, 157.
Mierevelt, Michiel Jansz, 197.
Mignard, Pierre, 250.
Mignon, Abraham, 167.
Millet, Francisque, 157.
Millet, J. F., 290, 292, 295–298.
Women Gleaning, Plate lii.
Modena, Barnaba da, 107.
Modena, Tommaso da, 107.
Molyn the Elder, Pieter, 211–212.
Moni, Louis de, 225.
Monnoyer, J. B., 252.
Montagna, Bartolommeo, 109.
Montagna, Benedetto, 109.
Moor, Karel de, 210, 224.
Mor, Sir Antonis, 195–196.
Morales, Luis, 172–173.
Moreau, Louis Gabriel, 274.
Moreelse, Paulus, 199.
Moretto, Alessandro, 10, 106.
Morland, George, 305.
Moroni, Giambattista, 106.
Mostaert, Jan, 195.
Moyaert, Claes, 220.
Mulready, William, 308.
Munari, Pellegrino, 107.
Murillo, B. E., 8, 12, 185–189.
The Immaculate Conception, Plate xxvi.
Neefs, Pieter, 157.
Neer, Aart van der, 217.
Neer, Eglon van der, 224.
Neri di Bicci, 21.
Netscher, Caspar, 212.
Niccolò da Foligno, 54.
Niccolò dell’ Abbate, 240.
Nooms, Reynier, 221.
Nuzi, Alegretto, 53.
Oderigi of Gubbio, 101.
Oggiono, Marco d’, 10, 36, 97.
Ommeganck, B. P., 187.
Oostsanen, Jacob Cornelisz van, 194.
Opie, John, R.A., 307.
Orcagna, Andrea, 22.
Orley, Barend van, 133–134.
Oudry, J. B., 259.
Ouwater, Albert van, 129, 193.
Pacchia, Girolamo del, 50.
Palma Vecchio, 67, 73.
Adoration of the Shepherds, with a Female Donor, Plate xi.
Palmezzano, Marco, 60.
Panetti, Domenico, 91.
Panini, Giovanni Paolo, 100.
Paolo di Giovanni Fei, 17.
Parenzano, Bernardo, 83.
Parmigianino, 114, 118.
Parrocel, Joseph, 253.
Patel, Pierre, 257.
Patel, Pierre Antoine, 257.
Pater, J. B., 264.
Pellegrino, Antonio, 77, 239.
Pencz, Georg, 162.
Pereda, Antonio, 190.
Perréal, Jehan, 229–230, 239.
Perugino, 5, 11–12, 46, 50–51, 54–56.
St. Sebastian, Plate vi.
Peruzzi, Baldassare, 50.
“Pesellino, Compagno di,” 30.
Pesellino, Francesco, 11, 28–29, 53.
Phillips, H. W., 307.
Piazza, Calisto, 106.
Piazza, Martino, 106.
Piero di Cosimo, 11, 27, 34, 42–43.
Pietro da Cortona, 87.
Pinturicchio, 50, 55–56.
Piombo, Sebastiano del, 3, 46, 67–68.
Pisanello, Antonio, 62, 79, 85, 86, 103.
Poelenburg, C. van, 206.
Polidoro Lanzani, 72.
Pollaiuolo, Antonio, 31, 40.
Pollaiuolo, Piero, 31–32.
Pontormo, Jacopo da, 46.
Pot, Hendrick, 206, 223.
Potter, Paul, 10, 220, 293.
Pourbus the Younger, Frans, 138.
Poussin, Gaspard, 248.
Poussin, Nicolas, 5, 138, 157, 245–246, 275, 285.
The Shepherds in Arcadia, Plate xxxvii.
Prandino, Ottaviano, 105.
Primaticcio, 2, 59, 115, 118, 239–240.
Prud’hon, Pierre, 278–279.
Pynacker, Adam, 220.
Raeburn, Sir H., R.A., 306.
Raffaelino del Garbo, 11, 42.
Raffaelle dei Carli, 42.
Raimondi, Marc Antonio, 115.
Ramenghi, Bartolommeo, 60.
Ramsay, Allan, 271, 307.
Raoux, Jean, 260.
Raphael, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 23, 29, 40, 46, 55, 56–60, 66–68, 114, 117–118, 134, 248, 284–285.
La Belle Jardinière, Plate vii.;
Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione, Plate viii.
Ravesteyn, Jan van, 197.
Regnault, Henri, 288.
Regnault, J. B., 276.
Rembrandt, 8, 10, 58, 66, 135, 167, 194, 199, 201–205, 208, 214–216, 223, 256, 260.
Christ and the Pilgrims at Emmaus, Plate xxix.;
Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels, Plate xxx.
Reni, Guido, 5–6, 10, 119.
Reynolds, Sir J., P.R.A., 272, 305–306.
Ribera, 120, 176–179, 191, 277.
Ricard, L. G., 300–301.
Ricci, Sebastiano, 77.
Ricciarelli, 47, 117.
Riccio, Felice, 77.
Rigaud y Ros, Hyacinthe, 254, 255.
Robert, Hubert, 268, 273–274.
Robert-Fleury, J. N., 289.
Roberti, Ercole, 90–91.
Roelas, Juan de las, 176.
Roghman, Roeland, 216.
Romano, Giulio, 56, 58–60, 115, 117.
Romney, George, 307–308.
Rondinelli, Niccolò, 68.
Roos, P. P., 167.
Rosa de Tivoli, 167.
Rosa, Salvator, 120, 273.
Rosselli, Cosimo, 11, 32, 42.
Rosselli, Matteo, 47.
Rosso Fiorentino, 2, 46, 239.
Rosso, Francesco, 46.
Rosso, Giovanni Battista, 2, 46, 239.
Rottenhammer, Johann, 137, 167.
Roucy-Trioson, A. L. Girodet de, 277.
Rousseau, Théodore, 290, 292, 294–295, 298.
Roymerswaele, Marinus van, 131.
Rubens, P. P., 3, 7, 10, 66, 111, 125, 131, 135–139, 141, 146, 149, 151–153, 155, 171, 241, 254, 258, 263, 266, 281.
Henry iv. leaves for the War, Plate xxi.;
Hélène Fourment and two of her Children, Plate xxii.
Ruisdael, Jacob van, 8, 218, 222, 290.
Ruthart, Carl, 167.
Ruysdael, Salomon van, 217, 222.
Ryckaert, David, 151.
Sacchi, Pier Francesco, 99.
Saftleven, Cornelis, 206.
Saftleven, Herman, 217.
Salaino, 37–38, 95.
Sano di Pietro, 49.
Santerre, J. B., 254.
Santi, Giovanni, 56.
Santvoort, D. van, 206.
Sassetta, 17, 49.
Savoldo, Giovanni Girolamo, 63–64, 105.
Schalcken, Godfried, 209.
Scheffer, Ary, 285.
Schiavone, Andrea, 72.
Schiavone, Gregorio, 80, 92.
Schidone, Bartolommeo, 107.
Schoevaerts, Mathys, 157.
Schöngauer, Martin, 131.
Schweickhardt, Heinrich Wilhelm, 168.
Scorel, Jan, 194–195.
Scotto, Stefano, 96.
Seghers, David, 151.
Sellaio, Jacopo del, 41.
Semitecolo, Niccolò, 61.
Seybold, Christian, 168.
Siberechts, Jan, 155.
Simone Martini, 16, 17.
Christ bearing His Cross, Plate i.
Slingelandt, J. A. van, 211.
Snyders, Frans, 149, 151, 258.
Sodoma, 50, 111.
Solario, Andrea, 95–96.
Solario, Cristoforo, 95.
Sorgh, H. M., 208.
Southwell, Sir Richard, 165.
Spaendonck, C. van, 223.
Spagnoletto, 120, 176–179, 191, 277.
Spanzotti, Martino, 111.
Speranza, Giovanni, 109.
Squarcione, Francesco, 80, 94, 105.
Starnina, 22, 171.
Steen, Jan, 211–213.
Bad Company, Plate xxxiv.
Steenwyck, Hendrik van, 222.
Stefano da Zevio, 28.
Suardi, Bartolommeo, 94.
Subleyras, P., 260.
Sustermans, Justus, 156.
Swanenburgh, Jacob van, 201.
Swanevelt, Herman van, 210.
Taddeo di Bartolo, 17.
Taraval, H., 267.
Tassi, Agostino, 247.
Tempel, A. van den, 210.
Teniers the Elder, David, 153.
Teniers the Younger, David, 6, 153–154.
Terborch, Gerard, 8, 211–213, 221.
Concert, Plate xxxiii.
Testorino, Bartolommeo, 105.
Theotocopuli, D., 173–176.
Tibaldi, Pellegrino, 115, 118.
Tiepolo, 77, 269.
Tintoretto, 74, 76–77, 117, 167, 173.
Tisi, Benvenuto, 91.
Titian, 4, 6, 9, 38, 66–72, 76, 87, 106, 118, 135, 146, 153, 173, 246, 261, 263, 266.
Man with a Glove, Plate xii.;
Entombment, Plate xiii.
Tocqué, Louis, 270–271.
Tristan, Luis, 175.
Troy, J. F. de, 261.
Troyon, Constant, 293.
Tura, Cosimo, 89–90, 107.
Turchi, Alessandro, 77.
Turner, J. M. W., R.A., 248, 304.
Uccello, Paolo, 26–27, 31, 42.
Ugolino da Siena, 17.
Valentin, Le, 243.
Van Balen, 137, 146, 149, 156.
Van den Berghen, Dirk, 220.
Van Beyeren, A., 223.
Van Bloemen, Jan Frans, 157.
Van Breda, Jan, 157.
Van Cleef the Elder, Joos, 160–161, 236.
Van Dyck, 10, 66, 146–150, 155–156, 190, 198, 206, 254–255, 299.
Portrait of Charles I., Plate xxiii.
Van Eyck, Hubert, 124–125, 130.
Van Eyck, Jan, 10, 65, 123–126, 129–130, 172, 216.
The Virgin and Child and the Chancellor Rolin, Plate xvi.
Van Falens, Carl, 157.
Van der Goes, Hugo, 216.
Van Goyen, Jan, 8, 212, 216, 218, 222.
Van Goyen, Margaretha, 212.
Van der Hagen, Joris, 217.
Van Heemskerck, 200.
Van der Heist, Bartholomeus, 8, 205.
Shooting Prize, Plate xxxi.
Van Hemessen, Jan, 133.
Van der Heyden, Jan, 221.
Van Leyden, Lucas, 125.
Van Loo, Carle, 265.
Van Loo, Charles André, 265.
Van Loo, J. B., 264.
Van Loo, J. C., 264.
Van Loo, Jacob, 206.
Van Mander, Karel, 199.
Van der Meer van Delft, Jan, 214.
Van der Meer of Haarlem, Jan, 214.
Van der Meulen, Adam Frans, 154–156.
Van Mieris the Elder, Frans, 210.
Van Mieris, Willem, 225.
Van Mol, Pieter, 151.
Van der Neer, Aart, 217.
Van Noort, Adam, 140, 150.
Van Oost the Elder, Jacob, 157.
Van Oostsanen, Jacob Cornelisz, 194.
Van Orley, Barend, 133, 193.
Van Ostade, Adriaen, 207, 212.
Van Ostade, Isack, 8, 208, 217.
Van Ouwater, Albert, 129, 193.
Van Roymerswaele, Marinus, 131.
Van Staveren, J. A., 211.
Van Stry, Jacob, 218.
Van Veen, Otto, 139–140.
Van de Velde, Adriaen, 218.
Van de Velde the Younger, Willem, 222.
Van de Venne, Adriaen, 207.
Van Vliet, H., 206.
Van der Weyden, Roger, 124, 126, 129, 131, 133, 160.
Vanni, Francesco, 51.
Vanni, Turino, 21.
Varotari, Alessandro, 77.
Vecchia, Pietro della, 77.
Velazquez, 135, 174, 176, 179–186, 190, 299.
Portrait of Infanta Margarita, Plate xxv.
Veneto, Bartolommeo, 66.
Veneziano, Bartolommeo, 66.
Veneziano, Domenico, 26, 31.
Veneziano, Stefano, 61.
Venius, Octavius, 139–140.
Verbruggen, G. P., 157.
Verhaecht, Tobias, 139.
Verkolie, Jan, 224.
Vermeer van Delft, Jan, 214.
The Lace-Maker, Plate xxxvi.
Vernet, Carle, 273, 279.
Vernet, Claude Joseph, 273.
Vernet, Horace, 273.
Vernet, Joseph, 272–273.
Veronese, Bonifazio, 73.
Veronese, Paolo, 5, 6, 74–77, 87, 261.
Verrocchio, Andrea del, 30–31, 34, 39.
Verspronck, Gerard, 197.
Vestier, Antoine, 271.
Vicenza, Battista da, 107.
Victoors, Jan, 205.
Vien, J. M., 275.
Vigée Le Brun, Mme., 272.
Portrait of the Artist and her Daughter, Plate xliv.
Vinci. See Leonardo da Vinci.
Viti, Timoteo, 55, 56, 102.
Vivarini, Alvise (or Luigi), 63–64, 93, 109.
Vivarini, Antonio, 62–63.
Vivarini, Bartolommeo, 63.
Vlieger, Simon de, 222.
Volterra, Daniele da, 47, 117.
Von Calcar, Johan Stephan, 72, 195.
Vos, Paul de, 151.
Vouet, Simon, 243, 248–250.
Watteau, Antoine, 241, 248, 259–264.
Embarkation for the Island of Cythera, Plate xxxix.
Watts, F. W., 304.
Watts, G. F., 301.
Webb, James, 304.
Weenix, Jan, 224.
Weenix, J. B., 221, 224.
Werff, Adriaen van der, 225.
Wils, Jan, 220.
Wilson, Richard, 304.
Wohlegmut, Michael, 161, 231.
Wouwerman, Philips, 8, 219.
Wouwerman, Pieter, 219.
Wynants, Jan, 218.
Ysenbrant, Adriaen, 129.
Zacchia, Paolo, 47.
Zaganelli da Cottignola, 60.
Zoppo, Marco, 92.
Zuccato, Sebastian, 69.
Zustris, L. F., 206.
II. GENERAL INDEX
Academy of Arts, French, 6.
Adoration of the Lamb, at Ghent, 10.
Aix, Cathedral at, 232.
Albizzi, Giovanna degli, 33, 40.
Albrecht, Archduke, 144, 148.
Albrecht of Mayence, Archbishop, 162.
Alexander iv., Pope, 25.
Alexander vi., Pope, 70.
Alexander the Great, 250.
Alfonso da Ferrara, 69, 70.
Alfonso d’Avalos, 71, 75.
Allied Powers, 10, 19.
Alva, Duke of, 197.
André, Mme., 127.
Anne of Austria, 143.
Antonio Litta Visconti Arese, 97.
Antwerp, 16, 129–130, 133–134, 138–139, 141, 146, 148, 152, 196, 198, 223, 231, 241, 256.
Archduke Leopold William, 153.
Arenberg Collection, 140.
Armagnac, General d’, 127.
Avignon, 229, 232.
Aytona, Francisco d’, 147.
Baltazar Carlos, Don, 184.
Bamberg, Felix, 86.
Barbadori Chapel, 29.
Barbizon, 13, 290, 292, 296–297.
Barnevelt, Olden, 197.
Bavaria, Charles Louis, Duke of, 224.
Bavaria, Rupert, Prince of, 149.
Beauvais Tapestry, 259, 265.
Benson, Mr. R. H., 90.
Bentivoglio Family, 101.
Berenson, Mr. B., v, 17, 30–31, 34, 38, 41, 43.
Berenson, Mrs., 30.
Beresteyn and Family, Nicolaes, 199–200.
Berlin, 10, 16, 25, 66, 128, 202, 231–232, 272.
Bermudez, Céan, 188.
Bernardo di Salla, 63.
Bodenhausen, Freiherr von, 128.
Bologna, 9, 99, 115–116, 118–120.
Bologna, Treaty of, 9.
Bonaparte, Lucien, 128.
Borghese Gallery, 147.
Borgia, Lucrezia, 70.
Borromeo, Cardinal Federigo, 137.
“Bottle-nosed Man,” 24.
Bourgeois Sale, 172.
Brancacci Chapel, Florence, 22, 27.
Brant, Isabella, 140.
Brescia, 93, 105.
Bruges, 125–130, 172.
Brussels, 10, 125, 136, 141, 276.
Buckingham, Duke of, 37.
Buen Retiro Palace, 190.
Burnet, Bishop, 166.
Buti, Francesco, 28.
Buti, Lucrezia, 28.
Buti, Spinetta, 28.
Byron, Lord, 283.
Byzantine Miniaturists, 15.
Caisse des Musées, 13.
Campana Collection, 12, 41, 62, 87.
Campo Formio, Peace of, 75.
Carondelet, Jean, 132–133.
Casio Family, 96.
Castiglione, Baldassare, 58.
Cavenaghi, Prof., 36.
Celier, John du, 126.
Chantilly, 231, 235–236, 282.
Charles i. of England, 4, 37–38, 58, 67, 69, 70, 148, 150, 206.
His Portrait, Plate xxiii.
Charles ii., 255.
Charles iii. of Spain, 168, 191.
Charles v., 1, 76, 115, 132, 196, 212.
Charles vii., 231.
Charles viii., 229.
Charles ix., 237–238.
Charles x., 12, 270.
Charles d’Amboise, 94.
Château Gaillon, 95.
Chatsworth Sketch-book, 147.
Christus (or Cristus) Petrus, 124.
Cloves, Anne of, 166.
Cloux, Manor House of, 39.
Cluny Museum, Paris, 161.
Colbert, 6, 156, 251.
Cologne, 126, 161, 172.
Colonna Palace, Rome, 90.
Colonna, Vittoria, 76.
Cook, Mr. Herbert, 68, 77.
Cook, Sir Frederick, 70.
Cosimo ii., Grand-Duke, of Tuscany, 157.
Cossío, Señor, 174.
Covarrubias, Diego and Antonio, 174.
Crivelli, Lucrezia, 38.
Croft, Jeronimo, 73.
Cromwell, Oliver, 4, 70, 113.
Dandolo, Doge Enrico, 61.
Darnley, Lord, 145.
Delamarre, M. L., 56.
Delft, 212, 213.
Descartes, René, 200, 249.
Devonshire, Duke of, 77.
Dolce, L., 68.
Drawing in the Louvre, 38, 131.
Dresden, 78, 272.
Du Barry, Madame, 149, 269.
Duchâtel, 12, 131, 133, 196, 284.
Dulwich College Gallery, 141, 154, 205.
Dutch Independence, 201.
Ecouen, Château d’, 36.
Edward vi. of England, 196.
Elector of Saxony, Johann Friedrich iii., 163.
Elector Palatine, Charles Louis, 149.
Eleonora of Austria, 76–77.
Elissa, M. H. R., 183.
Elizabeth of Austria, 238.
Emperor, German, 262.
Empire, Second, 12.
Eremetani, Church of the, 80.
Este, Beatrice d’, 38.
Este Family, 89.
Este, Ginevra d’, 86.
Este, Isabella d’, 55.
Este, Leonello d’, 62, 86.
Este, Niccolò d’, 86.
Este, The Court of Isabella d’, 5, 101.
Exposition Universelle of 1900, 13.
Family of the Virgin, 100.
Fausti, Andrea, 45.
Ferdinand, Infante, 151.
Ferrara, 9, 83, 89, 101.
Ferronière, La Belle, 38.
Fesch, Cardinal, 41.
Floreins, James, 127.
Florence Academy, 53.
Foix, Gaston de, 103.
Fondaco de’ Tedeschi, 68.
Fontainebleau, Chateau de, 2–3, 6, 35, 37, 58, 67, 142, 239, 241, 290.
Fourment, Hélène, 145.
Her Portrait, Plate xxii.
Fourment, Susanne, 144.
Fournier-Sarlovèze, Lieutenant-General, 278.
François i., 2–3, 35, 37, 58, 59, 67, 115, 235, 237, 239, 240.
His Portrait, 71, 76.
François ii., 3, 237.
French Primitives, Exhibition of, 227, 228, 231.
Frick, Mr. H. C., 203.
Frizzoni, Dr., 87.
Gatteaux, M., 12, 127.
Gautier, Théophile, 38.
Gay, Mr. Victor, 24.
Genoa, 118, 146–147.
George of Amboise, Cardinal, 95.
Ghent, 10, 123, 130.
Giovanni da Bologna, 73.
Gobelins Manufactory, 6, 156, 249.
Godefroy, C., 268.
Gonzaga, Federigo, 70.
Gonzaga, Francesco, 101.
Gonzaga, Vincenzo, Duke of Mantua, 140.
Goths, The, 79.
Gower, Lord Ronald, 290.
Guastavillani, Filippo, 102.
Guidobaldo, Duke of Urbino, 57.
Guillaume de St. Amour, 25.
Guimard, Marie, 269.
Haarlem, 193, 198, 223.
Hague, 184, 197, 213, 225.
Hague, Potter’s Bull at the, 10, 220.
Hampton Court, 206.
Harrach Collection, 194.
Heath, Mr., 127.
Henri ii., 3, 237–238.
Henri iv., 3, 37, 139, 142, 261, 289.
Henrietta Maria, 37.
Henry viii., 76, 166.
Heraclius, Emperor, 22.
Hermitage Gallery, St. Petersburg, 143, 268, 272.
Herz, Mr., 127.
His de la Salle, M., 12, 39.
Houssaye Collection, Arsène, 200.
Howard, Earl of Surrey, Henry, 165.
Infanta Margarita, 181.
Innocent iii., Pope, 20, 24.
Inquisition, Spanish, 135, 171, 196, 289.
Isabella Clara Eugenia, 148.
Isabella, Infanta, 144.
Italy, Van der Weyden in, 125.
Jabach, Eberhard, 4–5, 38, 67, 69–71.
Jean-sans-Peur, Duke of Burgundy, 228.
Joconde, La, Plate iv. (Frontispiece), 36.
Johanna of Austria, 144.
Josephine, Empress, 276.
Julius ii., Pope, 43, 57, 100.
Kaempfen, M., 202.
Kann Collection, 202.
Kann, M. Rodolphe, 13.
Keyser, Thomas de, 202.
Kleinberger, M., 128.
Kratzer, Nicolas, 164–165.
Krüdner, Baroness von, 168.
La Belle Ferronière, 97.
La Belle Jardinière, 2, 46, 57, 59, 66.
La Caze, Dr., 12, 153.
La Fontaine, 260.
La Joconde, Plate iv. (Frontispiece), 36.
Lallemant, M., 13.
Lambeth Palace, 165.
Laura de’ Dianti, 69, 70.
Leczinska, Marie, Queen of Louis xv., 271.
Lennox, James Stuart, Duke of, 149.
Leo x., Pope, 57–58, 60, 115.
Les Andelys, 245.
Leyden, 193–194, 212.
Leys Sale, 137.
Liechtenstein Gallery, 232.
Loeches, Convent of, 144.
Lopez, Don Alfonso, 58.
Louis ix., 24, 25.
Louis xi., 231.
Louis xii., 76, 229.
Louis xiii., 3, 38, 142, 244.
Louis xiv., 3–8, 38, 58, 67, 130, 156, 244, 249, 251, 253, 255, 257, 275.
Louis xv., 7, 149, 260, 269–270, 273.
Louis xvi., 8, 168, 211, 225, 275.
Louis xviii., 11.
Louis Philippe, 11, 229, 282.
Louvre, Spoliation of the, 10.
Lucrezia Borgia, 70.
Luxembourg, Palais de, 3, 7, 139, 142, 144, 261.
Lyons, 11, 58, 229, 238.
Maciet, M., 13, 229.
Maconochie, Mrs., 306.
Madonna della Sedia, 9.
Maintenon, Marquise de, 251.
Malatesta, Pandolfo, 62.
Malatesta, Parisina, 86.
Malatesta, Sigismondo, 62, 86.
Manetti, Antonio, 27.
Mansard, François, 156.
Mantua, 70–71, 83, 99, 115, 138.
Mantua, Duke of, 4, 140.
Maria Theresa, 168, 182.
Mariana of Austria, 181–182.
Marie Antoinette, 272.
Marriage at Cana, by Paolo Veronese, 75.
Marseilles, Gallery at, 11.
Martin v., Pope, 18.
Mary Cleophas, 33.
Mary of England, 76, 196.
Mazarin, Cardinal, 5–6, 57–58, 71.
Meazzu Collection, 128.
Medici, Casa, 26.
Medici, Cosimo de’, 26.
Medici Family, 30.
Medici, Francesco de’, 143–144.
Médici Leopold de’, 157.
Médici, Lorenzo de’, 58–59.
Médicis, Catherine de’, 3, 237.
Médicis, Marie de’, 3, 93, 138–139, 142, 144, 241.
Médicis Series of paintings by Rubens, 142.
Milan, 66, 71, 105, 128.
Mocenigo, Pietro, 74.
Modena, 9, 90, 107.
Mona Lisa, Portrait of, Plate iv. (Frontispiece), 36.
Moncada, Marqués de, 147.
Montmorency, Constable de, 36.
More, Sir Thomas, 164.
Morgan, Mr. J. Pierpont, 33.
Morris Moore, 12, 55.
Munich, 39, 143.
Münster, Peace of, 197, 211.
Murano School, 63.
Naples, 137, 177, 179, 243, 272.
Napoleon i., 9, 19, 53–54, 75, 119, 124, 187, 238, 276, 278, 300.
Napoleon iii., 300.
Narbonne, Autel de, 228.
Nardus, M., 128.
National Art-Collections Fund, 13.
National Assembly, 8.
National Convention, 8.
National Gallery, 25–26, 35, 40, 57, 64, 86, 90, 91, 94, 97, 144, 193, 211, 213, 223, 281, 303.
“Naturalists,” 117, 120–121.
Nuremberg, 161, 195.
Olivarez, Count Duke of, 180, 184.
Ossuña, Duke of, 189.
Otlet Sale, 134.
Padua, 79, 94.
Parma, 9, 107, 113.
Passeri, Marchesa, 90.
Pavia, 93, 99, 105.
Pazzi, Church of S. Maria Maddalena dei, 33.
Pereire, Isaac, 174.
Perrault, Claude, 156.
Philip ii., 69, 71, 173, 195–196.
Philip iii., 140.
Philip iv., 4, 176, 180, 183, 189.
Pieve di Cadore, 72.
Piles, Roger de, 257.
Pinacoteca Estense at Modena, 107.
Pisa, 15, 19, 25.
Pitti Palace, 9, 57.
Pompadour, Mme. du, 265.
Porter, Endymion, 148.
Potocki, Count, 71.
Pourtalès-Gorgier Sale, 65.
Pozzo, Cassiano del, 37.
Prim, General, 288.
Primitive Italian Pictures, 10.
Primitives, Exhibition of French, 227–228, 231.
Quthe, Pierre, 237.
Récamier, Mme., 275.
Renan, M. Ary, 30.
René, King, 232.
Republic, Second, 12.
Retable du Parliament, 230.
Riccardi Palace, 26.
Richardot, Jean Grusset, 146.
Richelieu, Cardinal, 5, 37, 246.
Richmond, Duke of, 149.
Rimini, 9, 85.
Rio, Louis de, 196.
Rolin, Chancellor Nicholas, 124.
Rome, 9, 15, 18, 24–25, 115, 120, 137–138, 167, 173, 177, 243, 247, 249, 260, 273–274, 278, 283, 291.
Rospigliosi, Marie Madeleine, 118.
Rothschild, Baron Arthur de, 219.
Rothschild, Baroness N. de, 41.
Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor, 209.
Rothschild Family, 13.
Rovere, Cardinal Giuliano della, 100.
Roverella Family, 89.
Royal Academy, London, 36.
Rucellai Madonna, 15.
Ruyter, Admiral de, 150.
St. Bruno, 248.
St. Cosmo and St. Damian, 30–31.
St. Denis, 228.
St. Gregory the Great, 17–18.
St. Jerome, Legend of, 49.
St. Omer, 133.
Saint-Yenne, M. de la Fonte de, 7.
Salon of 1673, 250.
Salon, the, 8.
San Gimignano, 25.
Santa Fiora, Contessa di, 90.
Saskia van Uylenborch, 203.
Scrovegno, Enrico, 79.
Sebastiani, General, 144.
Sedelmeyer, M., 13, 304.
Seville, 187, 188.
Sforza, Anna, 70.
Sforza, Francesco, 35.
Sforza, Lodovico (Il Moro), 35–36, 38, 97, 105.
Siena, 15, 111.
Sixtus iv., Pope, 100.
Sketch-books of Jacopo Bellini, 62.
Société des Amis du Louvre, 13, 30, 237.
Somzée Collection, 230.
Soult, Marshal, 12, 186–187.
Spain, 22, 120, 127, 132, 135, 144, 171, 211, 244, 294.
Steen, Castle of, 145.
Steengracht, Baron H. A., 213.
Stoffels, Hendrickje, 203–204.
Her Portrait, Plate xxx.
Stuttgart, 66, 202.
Sultan Soliman, 76.
Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of, 165.
Tarnowski, Count, 203.
Temple Newsam, 160.
Thompson, Mr. F. Yates, 55.
Thomy Thièry, 13, 292–293, 296.
Tolentino, Treaty of, 9.
Tornabuoni, Giovanna, 40.
Tornabuoni, Lorenzo, 40.
Tours, 11, 231, 235, 237.
Toussaint, Abbé, 133.
Trainel, Baron de, 231.
Transfiguration, Raphael’s, 9.
Trémoïlle, Duc de la, 30, 131.
Tromp, Admiral Cornelis, 216.
Tuileries, Palace of the, 3, 12.
Turin, 125, 128.
Tuscany, Duke of, 33.
Uffizi Gallery, 41, 57, 165.
Ursins, Guillaume Juvénal des, 231.
Utrecht, Union of, 135, 197.
Vair, Guillaume du, 139.
Van Asselen, 58.
Vandeul, 13, 46.
Venice, Doge’s Palace, 74, 77.
Venice, Gallery at, 10, 38, 75.
Venturi, Dr., 30.
Verona, 83, 105.
Verona, Church of San Zeno at, 11.
Versailles, Château de, 6–7, 9, 12, 37, 58, 67, 77, 156, 252, 282.
Vicq, Baron Henri de, 144.
Victoria and Albert Museum, 161, 304.
Vienna, 123, 184, 194–195, 232, 238, 272.
Vienna Academy, 141.
Villa Lemmi frescoes, 40.
Villa Magliana, 60.
Villa Pelucca, 97.
Villeneuve near Avignon, Chartreuse of, 233.
Visconti Arese, Antonio Litta, 95.
Wallace Collection, 267.
Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, William, 165.
Weale, Mr. W. H. James, 126, 129.
Westminster, Marquis of, 145.
Wignacourt, Alof de, 120.
Wilczek Count, 232.
William ii. of Holland, 128.
Windsor Castle, 63, 148.
Windsor, Royal Library, 38.
Wood, Hon. Edward, 160.
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