A Short History of Art  

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"The danger of exaggeration in regard to the style of decoration was especially great after Michelangelo's bold transgressions of established limits; and thus we find, even in the seventeenth century, that the decorations of the Venetian palaces are often ornate and excessive. Bernini, the first of Michelangelo's imitators, who did not possess anything of his genius, set the example ; and his successors carried his vivid imitation of movement to such a degree that all the laws of sculpture came to be disregarded ; exaggerated and violent action took the place of repose ; distorted facial expressions, coarse colouring, and violent chiaroscuro succeeded to the moderation and grace of Raphael and Titian. At the head of this naturalistic school stands Caravaggio, who painted vigorously but painfully the night-side of life, as, for example, in the "Cheating at Cards." - With him we may contrast Caracci, Domenichino, Albani, Guercino, and Guido Reni, who sought to combine and revive the excellences of all the great schools. The latter, the greatest of this so-called eclectic school, charms us by his soft and harmonious colouring, by his touching rendering of grief, as in the " Ecce Homo," and by the delicate beauty of his female figures, especially Magdalenes. In the Dulwich Gallery is a very beautiful St. Sebastian."--A Short History of Art (1885) by Francis C. Turner

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PREFACE

IN the following pages I have aimed at giving a readable sketch of the history of Art, with some indications of the causes and intluences that have determined it I have therefore avoided, as far as I could, giving mere lists of artists, without descriptions of their works. Many famous names are unavoidably omitted ; but fuller descrip- tions are furnished of a few important works of art than are usually found in short treatises such as this. An elementary book like the present should, I hold, aim solely at exciting the interest of the reader, and inducing him to seek more thorough knowledge from the larger works of original research and monographs, which treat in detail the various periods here shortly summarized, and still more to study with intelligence the works of art to which he has access in our picture galleries, museums, and cathedrals. My own debts to other books are so numerous that I have found it impossible to acknowledge them individually in the text ; instead of doing so I give a list of the works I have consulted, thinking that it may at the same time be of use to the student as a guide to his further reading. My greatest obligations are to the works of Mr. James Fergusson on architecture and Messrs. Crowe and Cavalcaselle on Italian painting.

This book was originally undertaken by me as an adaptation of the German work of K. Gopel ; but after having translated a portion of it I felt that it was not well suited for English readers, re- wrote many chapters, and finished the rest independently. A few chapters however (notably chapters v.-x.) have been very little altered, and a few passages of the translation have been retained in other places ; for the rest I am alone re sponsible.

FRANCIS C. TURNER. KENSINGTON.



THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST. ANDREA SANSOVINO.


INTRODUCTION

WITH one exception the earliest surviving works of the hand of man are to be found in Egypt. The land of the Nile is geologically reckoned as a recent formation, its soil is the alluvium of the river ; but in history and civilization it is the oldest country in the world. In the journey we are about to undertake, it is in Egypt that we must start, passing thence into Greece, where we -shall see Art developing from small beginnings and rising to the highest perfection to which human labour has ever attained. The course of this development was materially affected by Egyptian art. From Greece we pass to Italy, on whose soil Greek art in its decline revived under Christian influence into new forms, and after many centuries of darkness sprang up once more into fresh life and vigour, under the direct influence of the rediscovery of ancient Greek literature and art, which formed one of the chief features of the great movement known as the Renascence. From the Renascence we pass on without a break to our own day.

But though in Egypt we find the earliest works of art dating probably from about fifty centuries before the birth of Christ we are still a long way from the beginning. The ancient Egyptian statues which are found in the tombs of the 5th and 6th dynasties, and the pyramids, which belong to the same age, are the work of


OF ART.


a people far advanced in civilization. Little or nothing remains to us to show the long series of tentative efforts by which they arrived at the perfect command of the chisel which produces the Scribe of the Louvre and the Schoolmaster of Boulaq.

One or two small fragments of bone found in the cave of La Madeleine in the Dordogne, afford the only ray of light to illuminate the obscurity of the earlier past ; but they are sufficient to tell us that at a time when man lived a painful and laborious existence, making his home in caves, clothing himself in skins, and with no weapons for defence or attack but those he made of chipped flints and fragments of bones, the impulse to adorn those weapons and to imitate natural forms already existed in him. One piece of bone is carved into the form of a reindeer without hoofs ; on another a group of reindeer, roughly scratched ; on a third a mammoth is drawn. All this work is free from con- ventionality, and probably as true to nature as it was possible to be with such rude materials as the cave men of the Dordogne possessed. These simple sketches belong to the time, according to geologists more than 50,000 years ago, when the reindeer and the mammoth wandered freely over southern France ; before them the antiquity of Egyptian monuments fades into insignificance. It is curious that no similar relics have been found among the remains of the later race, whose polished and perforated stone tools astonish us by the patient skill they exhibit. It is impossible then to arrive at any certainty with regard to the earliest history of Art, except on the assumption that modern savages resemble primitive man.

The sense of beauty no doubt existed in man from the first, for we find it existing even in lower animals, like the Australian bower bird. Indeed, on the evolution theory, all the beauty of colour in flowers and in the plumage of birds is due to the existence of a sense of beauty in the animal kingdom. " Miserable


INTRODUCTION.


indeed," writes the clothes' philosopher, " was the condition of the aboriginal savage, glaring fiercely from under his fleece of hair, which, with the beard, reached down to his loins and hung about him like a matted cloak, the rest of his body sheeted in its thick natural felt. He loitered in the sunny glades of the forest, living on wild fruits ; or, as the ancient Caledonian, squatted himself in morasses, lurking for his bestial or human prey ; without imple- ments, without arms, save the ball of heavy flint to which, that his sole possession and defence might not be lost, he had attached a long cord of plaited thongs, thereby recovering as well as hurling; it with deadly, unerring skill. Nevertheless, the pains of hunger and revenge once satisfied, his next care was not comfort but decoration. Warmth he found in the toils of the chase, or amid dry leaves, in his hollow tree, in his bark shed, or natural grotto ; but for decoration he must have clothes. Nay, among wild people, we find tattooing and painting even prior to clothes. The first spiritual want of a barbarous man is decoration, as indeed we see. among the barbarous classes in civilized countries."

The remains from Dordogne point to the conclusion that the earliest form of ornament was the imitation of natural forms. The interesting anthropological collections of General Pitt-Rivers afford numerous examples of the conventional treatment of natural forms, passing by a well-defined series of simplifications to a purely decorative design. The collection of paddles froni the Solomon Islands, in which the decorative head becomes more and more decorative until the face has entirely disappeared, is only one example out of many.

General Pitt-Rivers traces the form of ornament known as the Greek fret through endless varieties of form, and reduces them all to a double spiral, which is suggested by the tendrils of plants. At the same time, tribes are to be found whose ornamentation is purely geometrical, and it is probable that most ornamentation

B


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


grew out of a combination of these two tendencies. The homes of primitive man showed little architectural skill a cave, a hut of woven sticks, or a straw roof supported on poles, formed sufficient shelter for him ; it is in the expression of his love and reverence for the dead that he first displayed constructive ability. The extraordinary megalithic constructions which meet our view in all parts of Europe and Asia are, however, the work of primitive peoples of a far later age than that of the cave-men. Numerous examples are to be met with, especially in Brittany, of huge slabs of unhewn stone, supported by uprights two, three, or more in number. These Dolmens, as they are called, have for the last two centuries been the subject of fantastic conjectures and explana- tions, and it is only during the last twenty years that their sepulchral character has been clearly proved. It is now clear, from perfect examples that have been discovered and explored, that the dolmen was covered with a mound of earth and formed the sepulchral chamber ; upon the summit of the mound stood an upright stone called a menhir, which marked the site of the tomb. Often a menhir is found without a dolmen.

In the complete dolmens which have been explored at Morbihan, in Brittany, jewellery, and pottery, as well as tools, have been brought to light. The Keltic race, to whom these mighty monuments are now attributed, employed stone weapons ; \vhich, however, differed greatly from those of the cave-men. Their stone hatchets (celts) are shaped and polished with marvellous perfection, and are some- times perforated with a circular hole for the handle a work of extraordinary difficulty for men possessing no metal tools. The beautiful forms found among the pottery have by some antiquaries been traced back to the original source of the Keltic race in India, where they may have been suggested by the graceful curves of the opening lotus flower. The ornamentation of the pottery displays considerable variety feather ornament, triangles, zigzags, circles


INTRODUCTION.

concentric and intersecting in various ways, wave lines, and spirals combined without monotonous repetitions.

We may next come to our own country to find primitive struc- tures still more marvellous. On the broad undulating table-land of Salisbury Plain, on whose lonely tracts vast flocks of sheep graze on the short grass that clothes the chalk, numerous artificial mounds or barrows may be found which served the same purpose as the dolmens of Brittany, and in the midst of the Plain stands the mighty relic of Stonehenge. The origin and purpose of this vast structure is uncertain ; it belongs to an age before recorded history began in our island, but it must have been the work of the Keltic or pre-Keltic inhabitants. It consists, or rather consisted for it is now hardly more than a shapeless pile of huge stones of two complete and two partial circles of stone blocks, arranged concentrically. The outer circle was formed of uprights, about sixteen feet high, and connected by horizontal blocks laid across them. The inner circle was of smaller blocks formed of granite, which must have been conveyed from a considerable distance, probably from Devon. Within stood the larger stones, twenty-five feet high, in pairs, with a lintel to each pair, and in the centre of all stood a number of granite columns. Was it a place of assembly, or a colossal sepulchre ; or did the Druids on this spot perform their solemn rites and sacrifices ?

The Teuton, like the Kelt, strove by similar constructions of rough stones to raise an imperishable monument over the mortal remains of the heroes of his race, a monument which was symbolic of his belief that the perishable included an imperishable part. In the northern island of Riigen in the Baltic we find monuments like that given in the illustration. Later, in Germany and Scandinavia, sculptured stones with tooth and coil ornament, and runic inscrip- tions, take the place of the unhewn stones. These beginnings of art we cannot trace downwards in fieir natural development, as


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


both Kelt and Teuton came early into contact with the Roman Empire, and learnt more advanced forms both of construction and decoration.

Other isolated phenomena there are which do not connect them- selves with the development of European art. In the fabulous Empire of Montezuma many marvels met the gaze of Cortes and his companions ; their descriptions of the city and palaces of the unfortunate Emperor of Mexico are too vague to be reproduced here. Of all these marvels the Teocalli, the pyramids on which stood the temples in which the Aztec priests performed monstrous



HUN'S GRAVE IN RUGEN.

human sacrifices, alone survive. The greatest of these, the Pyramid of Cholula, more than rivals in size the similar structures in Egypt. Its form is that of a truncated pyramid divided into four terraces. Its perpendicular height is one hundred and seventy-seven feet ; its base is more than fourteen hundred feet long, that is to say twice as long as that of the pyramid of Cheops. Its base, which is square, covers more than forty-four acres, while the platform at its summit is more than one. It is composed of stone and earth thickly incrusted with alternate layers of brick


INTRODUCTION.


and clay. The Teocalli was ascended by flights of steps so arranged that at each terrace the path passed right round the building. " Within the temple they found themselves in a spacious apartment incrusted on the side with stucco on which various figures were sculptured, representing the Mexican calendar, perhaps, or the priestly ritual. At one end of the saloon was a recess with a roof of timber richly carved and gilt. Before the altar in this sanctuary stood the colossal image of Huitzilopotchli, the tutelary deity and war-god of the Aztec. His countenance was distorted into hideous lineaments C-? symbolic import In his right hand he wielded a bow, and in his left a bunch of golden arrows, which a mystic legend had connected with the victories of his people. The huge folds of a serpent, consisting of pearls and precious stones, were coiled round his waist, and the same rich materials were profusely sprinkled over his person. On his left foot were the delicate feathers of the humming-bird, which, singu- larly enough, gave its name to the dread deity. The most con- spicuous ornament was a chain of gold and silver hearts alternate, suspended round his neck, emblematical of the sacrifice in which he most delighted. A more unequivocal evidence of this was afforded by the three human hearts smoking and almost palpita- ting as if recently torn from the victim, and now lying on the altar before him."

Sculpture in relief and painting ornamented the walls of the buildings, some fragments of which still remain to show us that the Aztecs had attained to some considerable power of realism and grotesque imagination, but were wanting in the higher artistic qualities, the grace and harmony of line that we find in the deco- rative figures on the walls of Egyptian temples.

In the Inca kingdom of Peru we find similar wonders : the city of Cuzco with its triple walls and towers hewn out of the rock, and ravines spanned by marvellous bridges. The ruins scattered over


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


the country bear witness to the former activity of life here. Sepulchral chambers with square walls, the ruins of temples and of triumphal arches, can still be found to indicate the character of their architecture. The walls and floors of the temples were adorned with grotesque human figures and natural representations of animals, tortoises, and snakes with crowned heads, forming a rich and luxuriant ornamentation in character with the barbaric splendours of the kingdom conquered by Pizarro.

The arts of China and Japan would deserve a special study but that they are without influence upon the development of European art. It is only within the last two centuries that Chinese and Japanese decorative work have been known in the West, and it is not till the last ten years that they exercised any decided influence on decoration here. The Chinese, even more than the primitive peoples of the West, paid high honours to the dead, and lavished great skill and labour on their tombs. Of their colossal works the Great Wall is the most famous. Their architecture is for the most part of a light description, the principal materials being wood and bamboo. But though for domestic purposes they were content with this, for temples and towers, gateways and palaces, they employed harder materials, stone and porcelain. Two principal forms which give the character to Chinese architecture can be traced back to their beginnings : the tent-form, which was adopted from their Mongol conquerors, and appears in the typical pagoda in the form of the broad overhanging eaves which divide its stories. The porcelain tower at Pekin is a famous example of this form of architecture. The second form of architecture was introduced with the worship of Buddha from India, and is exemplified in the multiple and projecting lintels of the gateway at Amoy, of which we give an illustration.

In Kuisai, the city of heaven, the Chinese wonder of the world, the king's palace stood in a park ten miles in extent. The palace


INTRODUCTION.


was enclosed by countless terraces shaded by golden roofs, resting on thousands of columns. Endless picture galleries, and vast wealth of wood carving adorned it. Within lay a gigantic court- yard, paved with many coloured marbles, from which through many arches charming views were opened of lakes and lawns and groves. Pavilions and bridges with semicircular arches richly painted, added brightness and gaiety to the scene. Every part, up to the loftiest roof, was decorated with the same minute care. The old Venetian traveller Marco Polo, who describes these



PORCELAIN TOWER OF PEK1N.

wonders, laments the expenditure of noble labour on that which no eye can ever see or value again.

In painting, the Chinese excel rather by careful execution of details than by boldness of conception. The Chinese painter is not so much an artist as a craftsman ; his work is purely decora- tive. Even the paintings on rice paper, which are the best known


io A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

examples of Chinese pictorial work, are quite decorative in feeling, they are worked up with wonderful care, and the execution is remarkably smooth. The painting on porcelain and the lacquer ware, which are the highest achievements of Chinese art, are too well known to need any description here. In sculpture they achieved far less success than in painting. Their figures are for the most part grotesque rather than beautiful, though in this too we see the same careful execution of detail.

But in all these arts the Japanese have surpassed the Chinese. Japanese architecture has frequently been spoken of with con- tempt by Europeans, who remark that their temples, like their houses, are of wood. But when we visit one of these temples, we find double porticos with columns one hundred feet high leading into a temple vast enough to contain a colossal Buddha, the nimbus around whose head is nearly ninety feet in diameter. This great temple of Todaiji, the structure of which is as perfect, and the decoration of which is almost as bright and gorgeous as when first it was built, is really older than any cathedral in Europe. Where in Europe are buildings to be found that have stood for a thousand years, and scarce show any sign of age ? And yet in Europe foundations can be laid on the firm rock, while in Japan the earth is constantly shaken by earthquakes, which would rapidly destroy any building solidly attached to it. Great then must have been the ingenuity which could solve the problem of erecting a lofty tower like the Pagoda at Nikko. The walls are of unusually solid construction, and in the centre from summit to base is a huge block of timber increasing from summit to base to about six feet in diameter. Upon examination this is found to be suspended from the summit like a pendulum, and this pendulum by its swinging has no doubt kept the equilibrium of the building through all the shocks that have shaken it for many a hundred years.


INTRODUCTION. n


In decorated pottery and lacquer ware the Japanese are un- ivalled. In Japan there is still a living tradition, such as we shall ind existed in Europe when the great Gothic cathedrals were milt, and a more intense devotion of the workman to his work foi its own sake than is to be found in any other land at any period. It is to be feared that the requirements of the European market are gradually undermining this thorough truthfulness and honesty. By the social conditions of the country the workman is free from all anxiety for his daily needs or for his sustenance in old age : these are secured to him from his feudal superior, and more he does not ask ; he is an artist, completing for the most part the work he begins with little division of labour. This minute thoroughness is the general characteristic of Japanese art, and is as visible in the decoration of the vastest temple as in the enamelling on a snuffbox.

The special characteristic is the intense love of the animal world, especially of birds, which it displays ; this is probably due to the influence of religion, as Buddhism insists very strongly on the sacredness of animal life. But be that as it may, the Japanese artist delineates bird and beast with a loving and lifelike truthful- ness that cannot well be surpassed. This is to be seen as well in

he groups of storks that may be found adorning lacquer boxes, as

bronze pigeons or eagles, every feather of which is sculptured r ith unwearying patience and skill. But it is in colour, still more lan in form, that the Japanese decorator most clearly displays his merring instinct. He uses the brightest colours and the strongest mtrasts : reds, blues, greens of the most intense tone, such as no English decorator would dare to use now-a-days ; and rightly too, for, if we may judge by comparison with the past, he would most certainly fail. It is especially since they became acquainted with Japanese decoration that their English rivals adopted the subdued scale of colour now in vogue. It is a confession of the superiority


12


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


of the Japanese, who boldly combines his colours in intricate patterns set off with bright masses of leading colours. The rich colouring of St. Mark's at Venice fades into insignificance before the splendour of the great Japanese temples. It does not lie within the plan of our journey to study the arts of Japan or of China in detail. It is enough for us to observe that outside the continuous history which includes Egypt, Greece, Italy and modern Europe, Art has in various regions and at various times attained to a degree of beauty of form and harmony of colour that can teach us useful lessons, without, however, displaying the moral dignity and intel- lectual beauty that characterize its highest achievements.



A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


CHAPTER I. INDIAN ART.

THIS wonderful land, which has lived its own life separated from the rest of the world, has always excited the greatest interest among Western nations. From the earliest times, till the conquest actually accomplished in the last century substituted knowledge for fable, it was regarded as El Dorado, where infinite wealth might be found. Thither the gods and heroes of the Greeks Bacchus and Hercules turned their adventurous steps.

This strange and wonderful land formed the ultimate goal of the ambition of the great Eastern monarchs, but even Darius and Alexander scarcely succeeded in penetrating within its boundaries. No traces, however, now remain of that magnificence which dazzled the imagination of Persians, Greeks, and Romans. In India we find no buildings old as the Parthenon or the Temple of Jupiter or the Capitol. The earliest remains belong to considerably later than the beginning of the Christian era. The people of India as we now know it, has been formed by successive immigrations from the north-west. As early as we can go back, the Tamul race, which now forms the substratum of the people of Southern India, inhabited


14 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

the peninsula. Of their earlier history, or even of their origin, we know nothing, no monuments remain to tell us to what degree of civilization they had arrived. The other race came from the west, in times far remote, and gradually spread through the whole valleys of the Indus and Ganges. This race has been traced by its language and traditions to the same stock as the Persian, the Greek, the Latin, and the Teuton, and like the latter their religion gave no encouragement to Art. When first we meet with the German race, we find that they build no temples, and erect no tombs : for, says Tacitus, they think that to confine the gods with- in walls, or to represent them in any human shape, is unworthy of the greatness of the heavenly beings ; . . . they have no care for tombs, they burn the bodies of their greatest men with special woods, they burn their arms and horses with them, and despise the burdensome honour of monuments.

The same views we find in the Vedas, the ancient hymns of the Hindoo race ; they had no temples and no images of the gods. Each man prayed by himself to his god in the immediate presence of the deity.

It was only after the introduction of the new religion of Buddha that architecture began. Whether the religion began with Sinha the present Buddha, who attained to Buddhahood in 588 B.C., or whether there is any real foundation for the mythical accounts of the previous Buddhas, is a question which the greatest scholars can- not answer with certainty. Nor is it known whether the religion met at once with general acceptance. Chandragupta, the contem- porary of Alexander, still adhered to the old Brahminical faith ; Asoka, his grandson, adopted that of Buddha : with him the art history of India begins. The remains of Buddhist architecture which come down to us from the twelve centuries during which the religion was almost universal in India, consist chiefly of three classes, topes, temples, and monasteries. Of the first, single


INDIAN ART.


columns rising to height of about forty feet, and surmounted by a figure of a lynx seated on the capital, are found in various parts of India. All, including the capital, are formed out of a single block ; all are inscribed with edicts expounding the laws and creed of the religion. They must have stood originally in front of sacred buildings ; but none at present remain. The other and more common form of tope is that shown in our illustration of the Tope of Sanchi. It consists of an almost hemispherical dome



THE TOPE OF SANCHI.

with a flat platform at the top. The dome rests on a base which leaves a path six feet wide around it. The centre of the mound is quite solid. A fence of stone surrounds the whole, and is entered by four gateways, consisting of square stone sculptured posts with elephant capitals crossed by three wavy lintels one above the other. Many of these contain relic chambers, though it is probable that the relics were generally kept, not within the mound but in the square shrine or Tee which stood on the top of it, no example of which however remains. These relics, which are traditionally accounted for by the distribution of the remains of Buddha, have ever been objects of worship. His doctrine taught " there are no gods ; every man is capable of assimilating himself to the one God, the source of his being, by penance and the sup- pression of earthly desires, and of becoming a saint, nay, a god


1 6 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

upon earth." It is supposed that topes were invariably surmounted by the umbrella, a universal symbol of royalty in the East. We have seen it in the Chinese Pagoda ; and when in the rock-cut temple this came to be imitated in stone, several umbrellas one above the other passed gradually into a more architectural or- nament forming a spire.

Of the Chaityas (temples) and Viharas (monasteries) no built examples exist, we therefore know nothing of their external appearance ; but their internal architecture and the fagade, we can study in detail in the rock-cut temples which are so numerous and so perfect. Within they are in form not unlike an early Christian church, consisting of a nave and side aisles, with a terminal apse. In the gorge of Ajunta we find a number of these. Above the door is a horseshoe window between two columned galleries. In entering through the pointed arch of the door two figures on either side attract our attention ; they have their legs folded beneath them, and wear an expression of gentle tranquillity and contemplation. Upon the walls are reliefs of a similar character. The second door, which is similar to the first, admits us into the nave. The columns are slender and have elephant capitals. At the end of the nave is a gigantic half-nude seated figure of Buddha. A small Tope (sometimes called Dagope, which is probably another form of the word Pagoda) supports the reli- quary. The Dagope has the form of a bubble, to which Buddha compared the transitory nature of earthly life. At the back \ve find a smaller sanctuary not vaulted, and on either side the apart- ments of the priests and hermits.

Returning into the temple itself we see on the walls sketches in colour of scenes taken from the life of Buddha, among them a procession in his honour. In the midst of the human figures is a white elephant ; the drawing is good and unconventional, but without expression.


INDIAN ART. 17


Each of the twenty-seven temples and monasteries in this valley served the same purpose, and is similar in its main design, but with endless varieties of the piers and columns, as the style developed. Already in the monoliths of Asoka we find that the capitals take the form of the lotus-flower, and the necking below shows the honeysuckle ornamentation and leaf.

The Buddhist priesthood and religious orders became so numer- ous, that it began to perish from internal decay. The luxury and immorality of the priests was more burdensome than in Europe at the end of the middle ages. Jainism was the outcome of this ; a faith which repudiated the Buddha Sakya Sinha, and claimed to go back to an earlier form of the religion, one of whose chief saints was Mahavira, acknowledged by the orthodox to have been the teacher and friend of Buddha ; but in competition with the growing claims of Hindooism it sunk into superstition and idolatry. The characteristic of the Jaina architecture is the dome, a dome not built like the Roman domes, of voussoirs or radiating wedges, but of horizontal layers of masonry, like the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae, and many arches from that to Christian times. This method of building was only available to cover small spaces ; but had the advantage over the Roman of escaping the outward thrust which is always likely to destroy arch or dome built on the Roman method. The ornament of these domes ran therefore in concentric horizontal circles, instead of in vertical radiations, and it was possible to employ pendants without the risks and difficulties with which our Tudor architects employed them (see Henry VII.'s chapel). For beauty of arrangement and detail no building in India surpasses the Jaina temple of Sadree.

Let us now go south to the Hindoo temples, the chief of which are south of the line joining Madras and Mandalore. This country, within the Ghats, seerns always to have been inhabited by people of almost pure Tamul race. It was the scene of the most pro-


18 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

longed struggle between the Buddhist and Hindoo religions, and so completely was the former extirpated in the end that there is no Buddhist monument known south of the Kistna.

With the transition from Buddhism to Brahminism the develop- ment of sculpture really begins : the only sculpture under Bud- dhism consisted of the cross-legged, calm, expressionless figures of Buddha ; while the monstrous Brahminical gods gave opportunity for imagination and vigorous work.

The two opposing sects into which Brahminism was divided do- not differ in their architecture : we can only distinguish whether a temple belongs to the worshippers of Vishnu or of Siva by look- ing at the attributes of the gods. There is a striking similarity between these figures and those we see in Assyrian sculpture : the eagle-headed Vahana seems identical with the familiar figure of the Nineveh sculptures, Ormazd ; Dagon, with the fish Avatar of Vishnu ; the man-lion appears in both ; Bali shows his western origin by his name ; and Maha Assura, the bull-headed man, is clearly to be identified with the man-headed bull of Assyria ; the ninth Avatar of Vishnu is always Buddha, and thus we see the connection of the Jains and Vishnaves, who by the fourteenth century differed hardly appreciably. The temple Vimana was always square, surmounted by a pyramidal roof of several stories. The perpendicular part is generally a cube, always of stone, ornamented with pilasters, niches, etc. The roof is gene- rally of brick, covered with stucco. In some temples, as at Tanjore, it is fourteen stories high. A square porch (Mantapa) covers the entrance. The rectangular enclosure in which the temple is placed is entered by gates over which are Gopuras or gate-pyramids. These enclosures and Gopuras have often been multiplied and increased so as to entirely hide the Vimana itself. Between the various enclosures are found choultries or pillared colonnades, which are sometimes used for the performances of the



INTERIOR OF THE JAINA TEMPLE CF MONT-ABU.


[To face p. ig.



STRASSBURG CATHEDRAL (WEST FRONT).

[To face p. 19.



INDIAN ART. 19


dancing girls attached to the temple ; but chiefly for the celebra- tion of the mystic union of the gods.

One of the most interesting monuments of Hindoo architecture is the rock-cut temple of Ellora. Unlike the Buddhist chaityas, it is not merely a cave scooped in the rock, but it is a complete temple from which the rock has been cut away outside as well as in. The central Vimana, a great part supported on elephants, a detached porch connected by bridges with the Vimana, another gateway, two detached pillars and two life-sized elephants being left free. Around the court is a peristylar cloister with cells, and other buddings which give it astonishing completeness and beauty.

In the charming snow-bound valleys of Cashmere we find graceful temples, some old, some modern, within which the primitive Brahminical worship is typified in the union of the three heads of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, on one body. Here there are, sloping roofs broken by dormer windows, like those of mediaeval European buildings. The roofs of the porches and doorways have the same sloping lines as the main roofs. The shafts of the columns have a curious likeness to Greek Doric forms. The typical example of Cashmere architecture is the Temple of Marttand, five miles east of Islamabad, the ancient capital of the valley. Its beauty is due, in a great measure, to its situa- tion.

" Its stands well on an elevated plateau, from which a most extensive view is obtained over a great part of the valley. No tree or house interferes with its solitary grandeur ; and its ruins shaken down apparently by an earthquake lie scattered as they fell, and are unobscured by vegetation, nor are they vulgarized by any modern accretions. Add to this the mystery that hangs over their origin, and a Western impress on its details unusual in the East, but which calls back the memory of familiar forms, and suggests thoughts that throw a veil of poetry over its history more


20 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

than sufficient to excite admiration in the most prosaic spectators." (FERGUSSON.)

Its plan is interesting, from its resemblance to the plan of the Temple of the Jews. The dimensions of the court that encloses the cella are two hundred and twenty feet by a hundred and forty-two feet. The interior of this court was probably filled with water, and stepping-stones led from the entrance gate to the cella. The reason for erecting temples in water was, that they might be more directly under " the protection of the Nagas, or human-bodied and snake-tailed gods, who were jealously worshipped for ages throughout Cashmere."

The Mahometan invaders of India adopted the Jaina style of architecture modified in accordance with Saracenic tendencies. The principal characteristic of their Indian architecture is the prevalence of tombs : the mosques are an adjunct to the tomb, not vice versa as in Egypt and Persia. The finest of the tombs is the Taje Mehal at Agra, the chef-d'oeuvre of Shah Jehan's reign (1628- 1658 A.D.). The Taje, or tomb, with its dome and its minarets, stands on a platform in a court eight hundred and eighty feet square. Beyond this there is an outer court, the same width and half the depth. It has three gateways of its own, and in the middle of the inner wall is the far-famed gateway of the garden court. The plan of the mausoleum is a square a hundred and eighty-six feet, with the corners cut off. The dome is fifty-eight feet in diameter, and eighty feet high. The tombs are under the dome. The bodies, in accordance with the Indian practice, are in- terred in vaults directly below the apparent tomb. The whole build- ing is of white marble : light is admitted through double screens of white marble trellis-work, which, in the brilliant Indian climate, temper the light very agreeably. The ornamentation of the building consists of precious stones inlaid in the walls.

"The long rows of cypresses, which line the marble paths that


INDIAN ART. 21


intersect the garden at right angles, are all of venerable age, and, backed up by masses of evergreen foliage, lend a charm to the whole which the founder and his children could hardly have realized. Each of the main avenues among these trees has a canal along its centre studded with marble fountains, and each vista leads to some beautiful architectural object. With the Jumna in front, and this garden with its fountains and gateways behind, with its own purity of material and grace of form, the Taje may challenge comparison with any creation of the same sort in the whole world. Its beauty may not be of the highest class, but in its class it is unsurpassed." (FERGUSSON'S Indian <ind Eastern Architecture!)


CHAPTER II. EGYPTIAN ART.

T N the rapid journey we have taken we have seen the primitive

  • - efforts at art of savage races who are still plunged in bar-

barism, the art of half-civilized races whose progress has been checked, either by conquest or by internal decay, and the first rude efforts of those European races which have since attained to a fairly high position in the kingdom of Art, under the influence of other nations. The ornamentation on the paddle of the South-sea Islander bears no historical relation to modern decorative art. The Chinese pagoda has no traceable relationship to the cam- panile of Giotto. It is only within the last century that Chinese and Japanese art has been known in Europe ; it is scarcely ten years since its influence on decorative art became widely visible. The Parthenon would not have been other than it is, the Madonna di S. Sisto would have been in no way differently painted, had Chinese civilization never existed. The art of these countries that we have been visiting produced much that is magnificent, much that is sensuously beautiful ; but for us there is no history of them, they are isolated phenomena having no bearing on the central events which give value to the history of Art, Greek sculpture and Italian painting. .

It is quite otherwise when we come to Egypt. It is with Egypt that the true history of Art begins. Though we may guess that


EGYPTIAN ART. 23


the achievements of Egyptian art were preceded by feebler efforts which may have resembled the simple unmannered sketch of the cave-man or the highly conventionalized decoration of the modern savage, we can do no more than guess, and must content ourselves with beginning the history of Art from the earliest monuments which the industry and zeal of MM. Mariette and Maspero have been able to discover. Recent discoveries have indeed greatly enlarged our view of art in Egypt. Until quite recently it has been the habit to speak as if Egypt were out of the influence of that great law of development which governs all human events. The error is ancient, and is due to the fact that all the im- portant monuments belong to the later period. Plato supposes that this apparent changelessness is due to the wisdom of law- givers, " Long ago they appear to have recognised the principle that their young citizens must be habituated to forms and strains of virtue. Thus they fixed and exhibited the forms and patterns of them in their temples ; and no painter or artist is allowed to innovate upon them and to leave the traditional forms and invent new ones. You will find that their works of art are painted or moulded in the same forms which they had ten thousand years ago ; this is literally true and no exaggeration their ancient paintings and sculptures are not a whit better or worse than the work of to-day, but are made with just the same skill."

These ideas of Plato are still the popular ideas about Egyptian art ; and naturally so, for all the sculptures in which the museums of Europe are so rich belong to the period of decadence, when art was paralyzed by conventionalism.

There is no country in the world whose history has excited such profound interest as Egypt. Amid the darkness that en- velopes the early history of mankind the life of the people of the Nile valley stands out like a beacon and casts a flood of light


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


from the dim vistas of the past. At a time when the inhabitants of Europe had not yet learned the use of metals, the Egyptians were erecting monuments which have been the admiration of all succeeding ages. It is indeed not to be wondered at that this has been so ; nowhere has man lived under more favourable conditions for rapid development. " Egypt," says Herodotus, "is the gift of the Nile." The floods of other rivers are occa- sional, violent, and destructive ; those of the Nile occur regularly every year almost on the same day : the waters rise gradually



to a height of from twenty-five to thirty feet above the ordinary level, and then as gradually retire, leaving the land saturated with moisture and overspreading it with a thin layer of rich and fertile soil. The lightest plough is sufficient to its tillage, and with scarcely an effort the Egyptian is ensured a rich and plenteous harvest. But while his subsistence is secured thus easily, he is taught to rely on a regular and calculable natural phenomenon to secure the full benefits of which requires the ex- ercise of considerable forethought and ingenuity. Thus the Nile


EGYPTIAN ART.


first taught men to cope with the forces of nature and turn them to his profit. On the other hand, he had a terrible and destructive enemy constantly threatening him ; the land that was given him by the Nile was wrested from him by the desert He was a constant witness of the contest between the river and the sand-storm ; between the power of good and the power of evil. Thus while his material wants were easily supplied his intellectual energies were called into play, and his religious emotions profoundly excited. " The Egyptians," says Herodotus, " are very religious, and surpass all after men in the worship they render to the gods." A clear and full description of the religion of Egypt has never yet been written. The subject is one of great difficulty ; during the forty or fifty centuries over which the records of Egyptian history are spread, many changes and much progress must have been made in the religious conceptions of the race, and at all times the religion held by the cultured sages of the priestly class must have differed widely from the primitive belief of the mass of the people. Looking at the highest form which religion took under the eighteenth and nine- teenth dynasties, we seem to find the conception of unity of cause and unity of vital principle ; for these philosophers, the innumerable gods of the Egyptian Pantheon are but special manifestations of this great unity. But in practice the religion was frankly polytheistic, the mass of the people never rose above the conception of personal, corporeal, and begotten gods ; and this limitation was confirmed by the artistic instincts which have ever succeeded, in spite of all declarations of the Bible and the Church, in embodying Jehovah in the form of a venerable old man. For the Egyptians there was no such struggle. The Egyptian peasant was only one stage removed from fetichism : while the priests of Thebes and Heliopolis worshipped the supreme power under the names of Ammon-Rha, Osiris and Horus, the lower people,


26 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

though acknowledging and paying public honours to these names, lavished their worship on the sacred animals, the bulls Apis and Mnevis, the cat and the goat, the ibis and the vulture. It is true these animals were regarded by Egyptian theology as symbols of the gods, but that symbolism is now generally supposed to be the result of the more primitive worship of those things and animals that were useful to man. To the present day the Egyptian fellah retains something of the primitive feeling with regard to birds. " In England the law protects these public benefactors. Egypt does still more, she reveres and loves them. Though they are no longer worshipped as of old, they are received by them with the same friendly hospitality as at the time of the Pharaohs. Ask an Egyptian fellah why he allows himself to be besieged and deafened by the birds, why he endures patiently the insolence of the magpie who perches on the horn of his ox or the hump of his camel, or roosts in flocks on the date-trees and knocks down the fruit, he will say nothing. All licence is given to the bird. Older than the pyra- mids, he is the original inhabitant of the country ; man is there only through his help ; he could not exist there without the persistent labour of the ibis, the stork, the hawk, and the vulture." The crocodile, the scavenger of the river, claimed and received a similar respect.

This side of the Egyptian religion exercised a great influence on art. When the Egyptian sculptor wished to personify his god, he combined the animal's head with the human body, and produced a symbolic image which could be recognised at a glance : the hawk's head symbolises Horus ; the ibis, Thoth ; the cat, Sekhet ; the cow, Isis-Hathor ; or, reversing the combination, the lion-bodied Sphinx is the sun-god Ammon-Rha. None of the delicacy and refinement of character which the Greek artist found necessary to distinguish Phoebus from Dionysus, Aphrodite


EGYPTIAN ART. 27


from Artemis, and in which he was so successful that we can say of a mere fragment of statue whether it belonged to a Zeus or an Ares, was needed here. It can no longer be said that this refinement is not found because the Egyptian artist had not the skill to give it. In the sculpture of the ancient empire we find a very high degree of realism is attained. The wooden and limestone statues in the museum of Boulaq show nothing of the conventional simplicity of form, and the calm dignity which we find in the later work with which we are most familiar. Nothing in Greek or modern art surpasses the figure of a Scribe, now in the Louvre, in vigour or intensity of expression. The scribe is seated with his legs crossed, a common oriental attitude ; he is looking up at the speaker with keen eyes and profound attention. His shoulders are high and square, the muscles of his chest are highly developed, his arms are free and not attached to his sides. The marvellous realism of the face is greatly due to the ingenious structure of the eyes, which are made of rock-crystal pupils im- bedded in white quartz, and a small metallic button in the middle. This work probably belongs to the sixth dynasty, and many other examples are to be found in the museum at Boulaq, indeed the sculpture of the ancient empire, though often rude and ungraceful, is characterized by a frank realism and truth to nature that simply astounds us, accustomed as we are to the conventionalism of the later monarchy.

Our first visit must be to Gizeh, the titanic burial-ground of the ancient kings. These mighty pyramids and the colossal sphinx which guards them on the east have been the wonder of the world since the old Greek traveller described them. How were they made ? They are built of blocks of stone so huge that it would try the resources of Brunei or Lesseps to convey them from the quarry and raise them into position. What was their purpose ? That they are tombs we know ; but what was the idea


28 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

of the Egyptian in building tombs so vast ? This problem has been studied and discussed over and over again ; measurements have been taken, and men have thought to find in the structure of the pyramids the embodiment of all the wisdom of the Egyp- tians. The accuracy of astronomical observation incorporated in the great pyramid is undoubted, its orientation is wonderfully exact, and it appears itself to have been used as a transit instrument for astronomical observations. But these inquiries, which have been made ridiculous by the absurd length to which they have been pushed by crotcheteers, who professed to find Hebrew prophecies recorded in their stones, do not concern us here. That which does concern us is to understand why it is that so much labour was bestowed upon the dead. The belief in a life after death was universal among the Egyptians ; they appear to have held that when a man died, that which survived him was his Ka or double, a second copy of the body in less dense but coloured matter exactly like the original, and subject to the same material con- ditions. For this being, a home had to be provided, and food supplied at regular intervals. A tomb therefore in Egypt was no mere resting-place for the corpse, but the eternal dwelling for that which could not die. This conception of the double was not confined to Egypt : the e&wXov of the Greek lingered around the spot where lay the unburied corpse ; and even after he had gone to his home among the dwellings of the dead, remained in close relation with the living, receiving draughts of blood and wine, which restored him to a kind of temporary consciousness. The arms and food buried with the dead among most primitive peoples, the Hindoo custom of Suttee, and holocausts of human victims, wives and servants, at the funerals of primitive Greek heroes, indicate the same belief. The man who had been great in this world should not be without servants to wait upon him in the next. The Egyptians, at the earliest time that we know


EGYPTIAN ART. 29


them, were too civilized and humane to practise such barbarous rites ; instead of massacring the servants, they painted portraits of them on the walls of the tomb, engaged in all the occupations of daily life ; they painted too those necessaries of life which the descendants should actually supply, for fear that some accident might stop the pious custom. It is thus that we find the walls of the tombs covered with representations of scenes from the daily life of the people, and that we find within the tombs countless objects of personal property and figures in enamelled terra-cotta of mummies. The same ideas gave rise to the art of statuary. It was possible that the corpse might by some evil chance be de- stroyed, and then the Ka would have no material form to which to attach itself ; but a statue of granite was almost imperishable, and with several granite statues this danger could be minimised. But every care should be taken that the corpse should be pre- served. It was embalmed with such wonderful skill that mum- mies which have been opened in Egypt at the present day have seemed to have undergone no decay. In that rainless region raised above the flood level in the rocky caves and valleys of the bordering mountains which lie towards the setting sun, the conditions were favourable for the preservation. Robbery was the only remaining danger, and this was guarded against by all possible ingenuities of construction. "There certainly are in Egypt/' Sa 7 s Mariette, " mummies so well concealed that they can never be discovered."

But it is not from the pyramids that we learn all this ; though they are at first sight the most imposing, and are often the only tombs of ancient Egypt that the Englishman who visits Cairo sees, they are by no means the best examples of the funeral architecture of the early dynasties. These pyramids of Gizeh form but a small part of the vast necropolis of Memphis. The majority are rectangular flat topped buildings, with walls sloping inwards,


30 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

plain on the outside, but containing chambers generally orna- mented within. The outer walls are of brick or faced stone, but the mass of the building is filled in with rubble One or more chambers are entered from without, these were open to the public and contained a tablet with votive inscriptions, at the head of which generally appeared this formula : " Offering to Osiris, (or some other god), that he may give provision of bread, liquid, oxen, geese, milk, wine, beer, clothing, perfumes, and all good and pure things on which the gods subsist, to the double of N. the son of M." In the centre of the chamber was a table for offerings ; besides these there were generally several other chambers to which there was no access from without (Serdabs), and in these were placed the statues of the deceased. The serdabs contained no ornamentation nor any inscriptions, except those upon the statues themselves. But so far we have not arrived at the tomb itself, the actual depository of the corpse. To find this we mount on the roof, to which there is no approach by stairs either from within or without ; here in the middle of the mass of the building we find a rectangular well at least forty, and sometimes as much as eighty feet deep, at the bottom of which is a crooked passage leading into the mortuary chamber. The mouth of the well was usually carefully sealed with slabs of stone, so as to exactly resemble the rest of the roof or floor of the building. In the chamber we discover a splendidly ornamented sarcophagus of black basalt ; but the remains of the corpse that we find within show that in those early days the art of embalming was only imperfectly understood, and hence the necessity for these elaborate contrivances for the preservation of the corpse or its images. When once the corpse was placed and shut in the sarcophagus, and the necessaries and provision for the dead put in its funeral chamber, the passage at the bottom of the well was bricked up, the well itself filled up with stones, and its mouth


EGYPTIAN ART.


made undistinguishable from the rest of the roof. These mastaba are then the tombs of private persons in the great Memphitic necropolis.

We can now pass to the mighty royal tombs, which form the overpowering attraction of Gizeh. " For the pyramids are tombs, massive, solid ; tombs without windows, without doors, without external openings. They are the gigantic and ever im-. penetrable envelope of a mummy. . . . It is no use to quote their immense size, to prove that they had other purposes ; some are found which are only six yards high. Besides, we must notice that there is no pyramid or group of pyramids in Egypt which does not form the centre of a necropolis, and this alone is sufficient to prove their funereal character." (MARIETTE.) The pyramid contains two parts only of the more complete tomb, the well and the mortuary chamber ; the third, the chapel, could not well be constructed in the solid pile of masonry, it would have been crushed by the weight of the superincumbent mass. The chapel was therefore separated from the tomb, and has in most cases disappeared, though its ruins are traceable on the eastern side of the pyramids of Cephren and Mycerinus ; but the temple was very small compared to the pyramid. Whether either temple or pyramid contained serdabs is as yet a doubtful question ; the temples are in far too ruined a condition to answer the question : the pyramids may contain countless chambers which have as yet been undiscovered. M. Maspero believes that he has found a serdab in the pyramid of King Dunas of the fifth dynasty. The appearance of Gizeh to-day is far different from that which it presented in the days of Herodotus. The surface of the pyramid, instead of showing the blocks of which it is formed ranged in steps one above the other, presented a polished surface, so that it looked as if it were carved out of one block of stone. The facing was probably of syenite and other differently coloured

D


32 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

granite arranged in bands, so that it presented an appearance similar to that of the campanile of Giotto. The pyramids stood on a vast paved platform surrounded by a massive wall, and were approached by those broad smooth avenues built of vast block? of stone, which excited the wonder and admiration of Herodotus, and which, after being used without yielding for the transport of the huge masses of material, formed worthy approaches to the necropolis for royal funerals and the constant stream of visitors. At the entrance to the cemetery facing east stood the huge sphinx, carved out of a single rock, seventy feet high, the image of Harmachis, the rising sun, the motionless and eternal guardian of this vast cemetery, the personification of the resurrection, of that life which like the morning light is ever renewed, is ever triumphing over darkness and night. The whole body is now buried beneath the sand, and the head, which alone is visible, has been disfigured and mutilated, so that the smile on its calm and serene face is scarcely traceable.

There is a break in the monumental records as at ppesent known between the sixth and the twelfth dynasties, l/nder the first Theban Empire began the custom of burying in jiaves in the sides of the mountains which fringed the valley. , There is indeed a cemetery belonging to this time at Abydos, but that seems to have been due to the specially sacred character of the place, its close association with Osiris, and the traditional proximity of the cleft through which the sun daily descended on his nightly pilgrimage. There are indeed scarcely any remains of this necropolis ; its tombs, according to Mariette, consisted of small pyramids of brick containing two chambers.

The caves of Beni- Hassan are of much greater interest, and deserve something more than a flying visit. At the entrance and within the chambers we find the earliest examples of columns used to support lintel and roof. These primitive columns are often


EGYPTIAN ART. 33


spoken of as being the type which suggested the Doric order ; they are generally polygonal without capitals ; the square abacus at the top is part of the monolith and is not independent, showing that this is a development from the square pillar. But in the tombs of Beni-Hassan we also find true columns with rounded surface and capitals of that lotus form which during the later Theban Empire became the principal type of Egyptian columns. In these tombs there was none of the skilful concealment of their treasures such as we find at Memphis, and they were therefore early despoiled ; no statues, no treasures of any sort, have been found there in recent times. But there remain the walls with their pictures and inscriptions, pictures like those at Memphis, of the daily life and occupations of the people, as well as scenes from the personal history of the individual ; these have only suffered at the hands of the modern European tourist. Here then is another volume of history in which we can read the life of the Egyptian people. Let us read the inscriptions in the tomb of Prince Entef: "O you who exist on this earth, private men, priests, scribes, who enter into this syrinx, if you love life and know not death, if you will be in favour of the gods of your town and not taste the terror of the other world, but be buried in your tombs and bequeath your dignities to your children ; whether, being scribe, you recite the words written on this tablet, or whether you hear them read, say, 'Offering to Ammon, lord of Karnak, that he may give thousands of loaves, thousands of vessels of drink, thousands of oxen, thousands of geese, thousands of garments, thousands of good and pure things to the double of Prince Entef/ " " He turned aside the hand of the oppressor, he opposed brute force with brute force, met disdain with disdain ; . . . . was an exceptional man, wise, learned, displaying true moderation of mind, distinguishing the fool from the wise man, honouring the able and turning his back on the ignorant, a father to the unfor-


34 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

tunate, a mother to the motherless, the terror of the cruel, the protector of the disinherited, the defender of all the oppressed, the husband of the widow, the refuge of the orphan."

This custom of burying in caves seems to have gained rather than lost favour as time went on. After the obscure period of the Hycsos occupation, we find cave burial adopted by the monarchs of the later Theban Empire. To visit the royal tombs of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth dynasties, we must cross the river and ascend into a wild and sombre valley of the Libyan chain, known as the Bab-el-Molouk, the gate of kings. " The place chosen was well suited for its melancholy purpose, an arid valley enclosed by very lofty rocks broken into points or by mountains in full decomposition, almost all presenting broad cleft* occasioned either by the heat or by internal disturbances, an< whose slopes are covered with black stripes as if they had beei partly burned. No living animal frequents this valley of death I do not reckon the flies, foxes, wolves, and hyenas, because i1 was our sojourn in the tombs and the odour of our cooking that attracted these hungry races." (CHAMPOLLION.) A valley lik< this was admirably adapted for the concealment of the mummy here long passages, called by the Greeks syringes, were driven far into the rock, and these could easily be hid by a few stones and by the sand which is driven in clouds into the valley.

The syrinx, unlike the well of the mastaba, descends at a gentle incline for sixty or a hundred yards, and terminates in a chamber where the sarcophagus is placed. The walls of these passages are often covered with reliefs, but the subjects are now different from those of the old tombs : instead of servants ploughing and reaping, baking and spinning, we have here presented the pilgrimage of the soul from this world to the next ; the last judgment before the throne of Osiris, whither the soul is conducted by the goddess Mat, his heart weighed in the scales by Har and Anapu against


EGYPTIAN ART.


35


the symbolic ostrich feather, and the sentence passed upon him recorded by Thoth upon his tablets. The monkey and pig above indicate that if the soul is weighed and found wanting, it must pass a period of punishment in the body of an animal before it meets with the second death, which is annihilation. These figures serve also to remind us that one striking feature of Egyptian art was an intense love of the grotesque.

But though the gate of kings was a fitting burial-place, it was by no means a spot suitable for the erection of public monuments worthy of conquerors like the Thoutmes and Rameses ; so they



built memorial temples where the mountain descends into the plain, several of which are standing to this day at or near Medinet Abou. If we visit the Ramesseum we shall see how great is the change that has come over the Egyptian conception of immor- tality. This magnificent temple is not an abode for the Ka of the monarch, but a monument of his earthly greatness. There is of course another reason for the change from the pyramids of Memphis to the temple of Medinet Abou. Although the handi- work of the early dynasties displayed wonderful skill, and in sculp- ture an extraordinary perfection had been reached, the art of architectural construction was in its infancy.


36 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

The form of building which Cheops or Chephren could con- struct on a large scale, was one of the most primitive. It carries us back to the period, of which no actual trace remains in Egypt, but which we find in almost all other countries, when the last honour done to a hero or king was to heap a mound of earth over his body. The pyramid is only a stone, and therefore definitely shaped, tumulus. They could move about and heap up huge stones, but they could not build temples. But during the long period that had elapsed since the days of the Memphitic Empire, the art of construction by column and architrave had been developed. In the caves at Beni-Hassan we already met with columns, and even the beginning of orders, and between that time and the days of the eighteenth dynasty, Egyptian architecture developed till it reached its culmination in the temples of Karnak and Luxor. The steps of this development have not yet been accurately traced, for little is left us of the intermediate stage of architecture, as the kings of the later empire not only built but destroyed that they might build. Apart therefore from other causes, it is natural that in the funeral monuments of the Thoutmes and Rameses the highest efforts should have been bestowed on the temple rather than on the hiding-place of the mummy.

The walls and columns of the Ramesseum are covered with illustrations of the great achievements of Rameses II. We see his colossal figure towering over his enemies, and his heavy mace dealing death among the Khetas ; we see him leading them home captive ; every picture that decorates the walls records his martial deeds or his grandeur and magnificence at home. Within the court we can no longer see the statue which rose to a height of more than fifty feet it lies in fragments on the ground but all that remains commemorates his glory. That which the Ramesseum is for Rameses II. the temple of Medinet Abou is for Rameses III. ; its central subject is his victory over the peoples of the sea, one




^Tofacc p. 37.


EGYPTIAN ART. 37


of the most important events in ancient history. But the most striking objects in this region are the two colossal figures which stand up in majestic dignity out of the plain, and are known as the statues of Memnon. Seen from a distance during the floods in the autumn, when they rise in solitary grandeur from the waters which cover the plain, and thrown into clear outline by the rays of the setting sun, they form a picture which can never be for- gotten. These figures are really statues of Amenophris III. (eighteenth dynasty), and formerly, no doubt, fronted a temple similar to those we have just seen, which formed the cenotaph of this monarch. The distance of the temple from the tomb, the importance given to the personal achievements of this monarch in the decorative pictures, though the scenes of domestic service are also found, point to great modifications of the crude primitive belief in the double, whose personal wants were to be satisfied.

Let us now turn to Thebes itself, and visit the great temple of Karnak, the most vast of all the great monuments of the Egyptian race ; this, like almost all the temples whose remains have sur- vived, is the work of the later monarchy. We approach the temple by a broad paved road flanked on either side by sphinxes at short intervals. This approach is nearly a mile in length, and the sphinxes must have numbered upwards of a thousand. Before us we see the pylone fronted by two obelisks a short distance from the gate, and by six colossal figures of the monarch under whom this part of the temple was erected, standing against it. The mas- sive structure of the pylone entirely conceals the temple behind ; it consists of a square stone gateway supported on each side by a pyramidal structure of unbaked brick, which rises to a height considerably above that of the gate. These are decorated with reliefs, and like the gate itself are surmounted by a broad pro- jecting cornice. The whole temple is surrounded with high walls of unbaked brick, which have of course long since crumbled into


38 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

a shapeless mass of ruins. These walls entirely concealed the temple from the people without. The privacy of this temple at once strikes us. "We must beware," says Mariette, "of confound- ing the Egyptian temple with the Greek temple, the Christian church, or the Mussulman mosque. The temple is not a place where the faithful assemble to offer up prayer in common ; no public act of worship takes place here; nobody, indeed, is admitted save the priests and the king. The temple is a royal act of worship, that is to say, a monument that the piety of the king has caused him to erect, to earn the favour of the gods. It is a sort of royal oratory and nothing more." After passing through the last pylone we find ourselves in the peristyle court, a vast square area surrounded by columns and enclosed by walls. We cross this court between a line of columns, and enter through a second pylone into the hypostyle hall, the glory of Karnak, and the crowning work of Egyptian architecture. One hundred and thirty-four massive columns support, or rather supported, the ceil- ing, for the covering has for the most part fallen ; a double line of columns more lofty and more massive than the rest form a centra) avenue. These are the largest columns that have ever been employed in the interior of a building ; in circumference they are equal to Trajan's Column, and their height from base to architrave is about seventy feet. The columns on either side are about thirty feet less in height. Of the size of the hypostyle hall we can form some idea if we reflect that except for height Westminster Abbey could easily be placed within it. In the hypostyle hall we find the two principal types of Egyptian capitals, which are known as the lotiform and the campaniform ; the former being supposed to resemble a truncated lotus bud, while the latter is sometimes said to represent the same flower in full bloom ; but be that as it may, this spreading bell-shaped capital is the most beautiful invention of Egyptian architecture. Were it not for the small size of the


EGYPTIAN ART. 39


abacus which rests upon it, it would be inferior to none of the Greek orders. The lotiform capital is by no means so happy, it has rather the effect of an excrescence of the shaft, and seems hardly to fulfil the purpose of a capital at all, for the top on which the abacus rests is no larger than the shaft itself. Two other forms of capital one, which we find at Karnak in the hall of Thoutmes III. in the inner temple, is bell-shaped with the mouth of the bell downwards ; the other consists of a mask of Hathor, the goddess with the head, or at least the horns, of a cow.

Of the temples of the early and middle empires scarcely any remains have come down to us except that curious temple or tomb close by the sphinx of Gizeh, which Mariette excavated : it is unique among Egyptian temples as being entirely without orna- ment ; its roof was supported by pillars composed of rough rectan- gular blocks of rose granite which supported a ceiling of slabs of alabaster. For all other knowledge we have of the early architec- ture we are indebted to the pictures in the tombs. Here we learn that for a long period wood and metal were the chief Njilding materials used ; we see slender columns, some surmounted by lotus- bud capitals, and others by the open lotus flower, represented exactly, with all its petals distinct ; even the non-inverted bell form appears here as a natural form of termination for a metal support which fits into a hole in the crossbeam.

From the hypostyle hall we pass into the inner temple, which contained the sanctuary. The first part we enter is that known as the Hall of the Caryatides, a hall of little depth, extending the whole width of the building and entirely surrounded by Osiriac pillars. Passing on we come to certain chambers built of rose granite, the central one of which, a narrow chamber lying in the axis of the building, is by many supposed to have been the sanctuary itself. Amidst the present confusion of ruins, the re- maining part of the inner temple can hardly be identified, till at


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


the far end we find a kind of repetition of the hypostyle hall known as the Gallery of Thoutmes.

This grand temple is connected by avenues of sphinxes with the neighbouring temples of Luxor and Thons. These differ in some details from Karnak, especially in not having a hypostyle hall separated by an intercolumnal wall from the pronaos ; at Thons, and indeed in most Egyptian temples, the pronaos concludes with a portico of three or four rows of columns, at the back of which



THE TEMPLE OF PHIL^E.

is the door leading through the caryatid hall to the sanctuary. It is impossible to visit all the ^emples which abound in Upper Egypt and Nubia. The grand temple of Abou Simbel, with its four colossal statues of Rameses II. fronting the pylones, though more ornate, is not comparable in beauty with the temples of Thebes ; the temple of Edfou, which belongs to a still later time, has the advantage of being far better preserved than the temples lower down the river.


EGYPTIAN ART. 41

Egyptian sculpture by the time of the eighteen tlL_dynasty had submitted to the rigid conventional type spoken of by Plato. A strict canon existed which the sculptor followed rather as an artisan than an artist. The conventional attitude of the seated figure, with the arms attached to the sides, the hands spread out on the knees, and the legs attached to the stool, alternates with the equally conventional walking or standing figure, with both feet flat on the ground one in front of the other. The head and face are of the same uniform type ; a type, however, which seems to have been a perfect representation of the race ancient and modern the broad sensual and slightly protruding lips, the forehead in a line with the upper lip, but separated by no projection from the broad flat nose, the eye not set deep under the brow, but pro- minent and turning slightly up at the outer corner, are all to be observed in the Egyptian of to-day. The corners of the mouth, too, have a slight upward inclination, and give the statue a somewhat contemptuous smile. The rigidity of the type may be partly due to the authority of the priestly class, partly to the influence of the material, which throughout the later empire was invariably of the hardest kind, granite, syenite, or basalt The manner in which it was wrought, as we can see from wall paintings, must have been painfully laborious.

The earliest statues of the Ancient Empire show no signs of this conventional treatment. The wooden and limestone statues which have been discovered in the early mastaba are vivid realistic portraits. This is just what we should expect : the statue in those days was the substitute for the body, the actual and palpable form to which the Ka might for ever attach himself, and was therefore an individual portrait. Under the third or fourth dynasty we have the seated figures of Rahotep and his wife Nefert, the former with deepset eyes and strongly marked features expressive of great force of will, the latter with round


42 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

genial smiling face. The wooden panels from the tomb of Hosi display the same vigour of characterization combined with ex- ceedingly stiff treatment of drapery. Of all the early work the wooden statue of the Schoolmaster at Boulaq is the most striking a round-faced, well-fed, self-satisfied man, who might be taken for a type of the jovial self-indulgent friar of the middle ages. The fellaheen who were with Mariette when he discovered it were so struck with its living resemblance to some local dignitary, that it is now generally known as the Sheik-el- Beled. The portrait of the dwarf Nemhotep, with his long clumsy body, short legs, and a strangely flattened head, carries the conviction of truthful portraiture. The same excellence is to be noticed in the delineation of the ass, ox, and other domestic animals, and was maintained in regard to them throughout the Jatejr periods.

The most interesting of all the early statues is that of King Chephren, a monarch whose name is associated with one of the pyramids of Gizeh. The face is handsome, with strongly marked features and indications of intellectual superiority and com- manding character. It is obviously a true portrait, but, unlike the portraits we have seen, it contains something beyond portraiture. The proportions, which exceed nature, the rich decoration of the seat supported by him, the formal disposition of the daft (the symbol of royalty in Lower Egypt) which is tied back and falls in broad flat bands upon the shoulder, the beard of con- ventional type, are all indications that the artist has a further aim than a reproduction of the features of Chephren. He gives a striking likeness, but he has already formed an ideal of an Egyptian monarch which he has attempted to realize while giving a truthful portrait. We see here the first effort of the imagination, the first aspiration towards the ideal. From this point it is easy to understand how the conventions that reigned supreme over


EGYPTIAN ART.


43


later Egyptian sculpture became stronger and stronger. A type had been created which satisfied the prevailing conception of the grandeur and dignity of a monarch ; the primitive belief in the Ka, which was the chief incentive to realistic portraiture, became fainter, and, henceforth, no deviation from the prevailing type could be permitted.



CHAPTER III. ASSYRIAN AND PERSIAN ART.

UR journey leads us next through Babylon and Nineveh to Persepolis. Mesopotamia, the country watered by the Tigris and the Euphrates, formed the rich and powerful kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon. The history of this country divides itself into three periods, the central one being the occupation of the country by the Egyptians. Inscriptions in Egypt tell us that Mesopotamia was conquered by Thoutmes III., and regained its independence during the reign of Rameses II., both kings of the eighteenth dynasty ; of this long domination no trace is to be found in the architectural remains in the country. To the earlier period belong the migrations of Nimrod and Asshur, the building of Nineveh, and the erection of the tower of Babel. Of these buildings no remains are known : the huge pyramid called the Birs Nimroud, which has frequently been supposed to be the biblical tower of Babel, is now known to be a building of the time of Nebuchadnezzar. The architecture of this earlier period was probably simple, with little or no sculptured ornament ; for the religion of the Aryan people, who formed the dominant race, did not allow them to make sculptured representations of their divinities. The character of their dwellings was influenced by the conditions under which they lived. The alluvial plains of the Euphrates and Tigris produced but little wood suitable for


ASSYRIAN AND PERSIAN ART.


45


building material, while stone was equally rare. The climate during the ten months of drought was one of fierce and incessant heat. Hence in the Median lands where forests abounded, a simple and natural architecture existed which can be seen to the present day ; wooden columns forked at the top support beams

crossed by rafters, and on this simple roof earth is piled to a



WINGED FIGURE FROM THE RUINS OF NINKVEH.

considerable thickness, to keep out the blazing heat of the summer sun and the fierce rains of the wet season.

At the time of the revolt from the Egyptian yoke the archi- tectural history of Assyria began. The earliest excavated build- ing is the western palace of Nimroud. This, like all the Assyrian palaces, was built on an artificial mound or platform of sundried


46 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

bricks, which could be ascended by steps or by gentle inclines for chariots on either side. The whole building seems to have formed a square about 340 feet each way. Two entrances adorned with winged bulls led into the great hall or throne room, behind which through a smaller hall we pass into the central court of the palace. On either side of this the rooms were arranged three deep, and behind is a double series of banqueting halls. The walls of all these apartments were lined with sculptured slabs representing chiefly the dignity of the king, his achievements and war, and his skill in the chase ; besides these many were devoted to religious subjects.

Much more perfect are the remains of the palace at Khorsabad, about fifteen miles north of Nineveh. The mound of the palace stands half within, half without the walls of the city, so that while it is not in the town its gates are protected by the city walls. On the side away from the town at Nimroud and at Sennacherib's palace of Koyunjik, the river Tigris protected the palace ; while here probably an artificial lake served the same purpose. The great winged bulls now in the British Museum formed the outer portal on the city side. Passing these, a flight of steps led to the outer court, from which magnificent portals on the south side led into the inner court of the palace. On the north-east corner was the principal court, open on two sides to the country, out of which the three principal rooms of the palace opened. The walls of all these parts of the palace are panelled within and without with alabaster slabs, sculptured with the history of the wars, amuse- ments, and devotional exercises of King Sargon, its founder. These slabs are generally about nine feet high, though the huge bulls which guard the portals are considerably higher. Above the sculptured slabs the regular courses of brickwork can be traced to a height of three or four feet more ; but the height of the bulls indicates that the walls cannot have been less than eighteen feet.


UNIV '>'



ASSYRIAN THRONE ROOM.


[To face p. 47.


ASSYRIAN AND PERSIAN ART. 47

Above this the rest of the building can only be guessed at. The superstructure was entirely of wood ; and from the conditions of climate, the remains at Persepolis, and the modern buildings found in the country, it is possible to make a fair attempt at restoring it. The great temple of Sennacherib was far more magnificent than that of his father ; the panellings have been excavated of a large number of apartments, but the extent of the mound leads us to believe that this formed by no means the whole of the palace. These monuments of oriental splendour and luxury were as ephemeral as the dynasties of their builders ; their wooden roofs were burned and the palaces were buried beneath the masses of earth which covered the roofs. The thick walls of clay crumbled away ; and were it not for the sculptured slabs which have been so beautifully preserved in the destruction of the rest, there would be nothing in these formless masses of clay and bricks to indicate the palaces which have thus perished.

It is therefore not surprising that all attempts to discover traces of the magnificence of the great city of Nebuchadnezzar and Semiramis have been utterly futile. The huge mounds, called Mujelibe Kasr and Amran, which can now be seen on the site of the city, probably supported the palaces which excited the wonder and admiration of Herodotus. That extraordinary archi- tectural work, the hanging garden, which the Greek historian describes, is more intelligible to us since we have noticed the prevailing custom of covering the roofs of houses and palaces with a layer of five or six feet of earth. Had the Babylonian buildings survived, they would have formed a connecting link between the Assyrian and the Persian.

The want of accessible material prevented the Assyrians achieving any independent success in free sculpture: the few known statues are conventional figures of the Egyptian type. But in wall decoration, either coloured glazed tiles, or the low


48 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

reliefs carved upon alabaster slabs which have been already re- ferred to, they attained magnificent results. The rich treasures unearthed by Sir H. Layard, and now in the British Museum, include numerous slabs, some representing solemn processions of kings and priests and winged figures with heads of birds and beasts ; others giving battle scenes, sieges, victorious returns of kings with their captives ; and others of sporting scenes, especially lion hunts, the favourite amusement of the Assyrian monarchs. It is in these last that Assyrian sculpture is seen at its best ; nothing at any period can surpass the truthfulness and vigour with which the various animals, antelope, elephant, rhinoceros and lion, are represented ; the wounded animals, lions especially, are drawn with marvellous truth and sympathy. The manner in which the animal forms are conventionalized, with the result of emphasizing their typical character, is admirable. In the human figure the same careful study of nature is to be observed as in the animals ; but here it results in an over-emphasis of muscles and joints, which gives an appearance of heaviness, and forms a strong contrast to the figures in the Egyptian reliefs, in which the light flexible form of the Egyptian fellah is shown in simple lines with all muscular prominence suppressed. The Assyrian figure was studied from nature more directly than the Egyptian ; but instead of being refined was exaggerated and coarsened. Nevertheless, the decorative purpose is always strictly kept in view even in the most truthful lines of the body.

The empire of Babylon fell into the hands of the Persians. Cyrus, the founder of the Achaemenid dynasty, "the righteous man from the East," who seemed to the Hebrews in their captivity a deliverer sent by God, utterly destroyed the Babylonian tyranny and founded his empire on its ruins. These Persian monarchs henceforth lived a good deal at Babylon, and no doubt added to the buildings and beauty of the city of Nebuchadnezzar. But


ASSYRIAN AND PERSIAN ART. 49

their favourite home was in their own land, at Persepolis, where Darius built his palace and his son Xerxes added to it. We must now turn our course thither, passing eastwards, across the broad table-land which forms the chief part of Persia, to the mountains of the southern border. While the northern mountains are raw and snowclad, these are hot and dry, but amid their valleys we find pleasant streams and lakes, around which the hills are clothed with oranges, myrtles, and vines. In these beautiful valleys grow fine rose-trees, amid which the nightingale pours forth her sweet complaint, and the spring seems never to end.

In one of these oases in the desert land of Persia stood the city of Persepolis, and here we can still see the remains of the temple or palace of Xerxes. Although the style of architecture here must have been very similar to that of Nineveh, the appearance of the ruins is very different ; for owing to the nature of the country, which afforded a plentiful supply of building stone, the super- structure was of that material instead of wood, and compara- tively thin walls took the place of the massive brick structures of Nineveh. Here then the columns remain standing, while the walls have succumbed to the influences of the atmosphere, Two vast flights of steps lead up to the great hall : the lower one is without sculptured ornament ; the upper is ornamented with three tiers of sculpture, representing the people bringing presents and the subject-nations tribute to lay at the feet of the great king. All the stairs are arranged in double flights. The central halls are studded with pillars, the number varying according to size four, sixteen, thirty-six, or one hundred. Two orders of pillars are employed to support the roof of this splendid building ; one with double bull capitals, the other with an acanthus capital sur- mounted by Ionic volutes. Very interesting are the sculptures in the joints of the doorways of the large hundred-columned hall. The king is seated on his throne, and around him are various



50 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

mythological personages. Upon these sculptures are cuneiform inscriptions, which tell us of the history of the building and its religious purpose :

" I am Xerxes, whom the great God Ormuzd made king ; the god who created the earth, and created pleasure for men, and made Xerxes king and sole ruler over many peoples ; and king of lands inhabited by many races ; king of this earth, and moreover son of King Darius, the Achaemenid : through the favour of Ormuzd I have made this doorway."

We know how this Xerxes extended his power over the sea into European lands, as his father had subdued the Hellenic colonies of Asia Minor. In the struggle with Greece, the freemen of the Hellenic States drove back the hordes of slaves with which Xerxes flooded their fatherland.

Later, Alexander of Macedon, in the intoxication of victory, threw his torch into this wonderful palace, after he had defeated the Persians, forgetting the Greek faith that the gods avenge ex- cess of pride, and unconscious of his own fate. The city of the dead cut in the rock alone remains untouched.



CHAPTER IV. GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD.

"XT OW that we have taken a rapid journey through the oriental kingdoms, we can pass at length into European lands and study the art of a people far more nearly related to us in race. The difference will strike us immediately between the changeless perfection and solemn calm of the later Egyptian statues and the lifelike movement of the Greek. In the later Egyptian Empire sculpture was purely architectural, the statue formed an essential part of the temple and corresponded to it in majestic dignity ; all movement, all individuality, was sternly excluded, and a rigid canon of form and proportion was imposed upon the sculptor.

In Greece, on the contrary, the statue was from the first inde- N pendent ; the artist strove, with ever growing power, to be true to nature, to represent the human form realistically, to show it as he saw it, in all the fulness of life and motion.

Hence while the Egyptian art settled down into uniformity, the Greek grew and developed with surprising rapidity from the earliest times to the days when Pheidias created his glorious Athene and his majestic Zeus, and Praxiteles produced his noble Hermes and his lovely Aphrodite. The contrast is marked in this, that in speaking of the Greek work we at once think of the artist who created it ; but no one asks the name of the sculptor of the


52 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

sphinx, or seeks to identify the individual to whom we owe the statue of Memnon.

It is with a feeling of familiarity that we approach the land of Hellas : Hindostan, Assyria, Egypt are nations which must remain strange and mysterious to us : their life and history are almost lost in the dim obscurity of the past ; and though we may be able through the patient investigations of oriental scholars to become acquainted with many facts in their history and many details of their daily life, their life and thought are so far removed from ours that it is impossible to feel that sympathy and human fellowship with them that we feel with the heroes who assembled on the plains of Troy, with the politicians who debated in the Athenian Ecclesia, or with the philosophers who lectured in the academic groves. The features of the landscape are familiar to all our minds, literature and art have made them ours with their mythical and historical associations. The rugged Mount Olympus, which rising precipitously by the sea and forming an outwork of the wild chain of Pindus, lifts its snowclad marble summit above the green hills, fringed with olive and myrtle groves. It is a home worthy of the gods ; from it Zeus sends forth his thunder, and Hermes and Athene descend to shower blessings on the favoured children of men. At the foot of this majestic mountain gentle nymphs send silver brooks babbling down to the river Peneius, while the Hama- dryads build him bowers of laurels and plantains, and the goddess Chloris decks the lovely valley with bright flowering creepers. Across the sea to the east, we see the steep dark sides of Mount Athos rising sheer out of the water beyond the limits of the Salonic Gulf. This narrow gorge of Tempe is the only passage into the rich Thessalian plain ; and as we look at its sheer sides, so close that they hardly leave room for the river to flow between, we realize how grand are the fortifications with which nature has guarded Hellas. The vale of Tempe forms indeed the only outlet :


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 53

ion the north lies Olympus, to the west the main range of Pindus, and towards the sea Pelion and Ossa form an impenetrable (bulwark. Passing to the south of the plain we come to the i double line of defences which branch off from Pindus to the west- ward. Orthrys the southern boundary of Thessaly, and Aeta, the northern boundary of Central Greece. The only passage south- wards is by the narrow pass of Thermopylae between Mount Aeta and the sea. The monuments which marked this world-renowned scene of Spartan heroism have perished ; no trace can be seen of the lion which stood on the spot where Leonidas fell, but the epitaph by Simonides still lives :

" Go tell the Spartans, thou that passest by, That here obedient to their laws we lie."

These mountains on the north, and the range of Parnassus and the purple hills . of flowery Hymettus on the south completely enclose the fertile land of Bceotia. Close beneath Mount Parnassus lies the site of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, the centre of the Hellenic world, the oracle which exercised so extra- ordinary an influence over the fate of Hellas. From this point we descend to the levels of the isthmus at the south end of which stands Corinth, the natural, though never the political capital of Greece. Immediately to the south of Corinth rise the Onean hills, which form a barrier guarding the entrance to the Peloponnesus. The central lands of Arcadia are entirely enclosed by mountains except for a narrow opening on the west through which the Alpheus escapes to the sea ; from the Arcadian mountains, other ranges branch out in all directions enclosing and separating the plains of Argolis, Laconia, Messenia, Elis, and Achaea.

Thus we find that the land of Hellas is by nature divided into a number of small fertile plains separated by lofty mountains, the most impassable of barriers. One high road only is open to them


54 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

the sea, to which the broken coast-line gives easy access and affords countless harbours. Thus Nature herself laid the foundation of those numerous independent states which form the most striking feature of ancient Greece, and made their peoples into hardy sailors and mountaineers, free, adventurous and impressionable. The sea did not form a boundary ; but was rather a high road by which men passed to and fro between the islands and the cities of the Asiatic coast, all of which formed essential parts of Hellas. As we sail across from Egypt we soon see in the distance the long island of Crete, and the snowclad summits of Mount Ida, and we pass back in thought to the old days when King Minos ruled here ; we think of the Minotaur and his human victims, of the exploits of Theseus and the desertion of Ariadne. On passing Crete we find ourselves in the Hellenic waters of the ^Egean ; far away on our left we see the purple rocks, white peaks, and deep bays of the Peloponnesus, the steep and barren promontory of Cape Malea, that stormy point to pass which seemed to the Athenian sailor a bold and perilous adventure. On our right we pass the volcanic peaks of Thera, and then run close by Melos, a name associated of old with the worst deeds of Athenian tyranny, but now for evermore bound up with the most beautiful example of Athenian art, that perfect type of womanly beauty and majesty, the Venus found in that island forty years ago. Before us the deep bay of Argos lies open, and beyond its head we see the broken line of the Arcadian mountains, and we picture to ourselves the fair Danae and her babe Perseus floating down these blue waters in her frail craft, to find a refuge from her cruel father in the rocky isle of Seriphos. Beyond this we see the countless islands of the Archipelago, Paros and Naxos, and the sacred isle of Phcebus, all fraught with memories of the beautiful legends of the gods and heroes and the stirring events of history. Our ship now turns to enter the Saronic Gulf, and on our right rises a lofty rocky


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 55

promontory, " Sunium's marbled steep," on whose summit the white columns of the Doric temple of Poseidon still, as of old, stand out against the sky, and as the sun lights them, welcome home the Athenian sailor on his return from his distant voyage. Far away from the southern sea this magnificent landmark is visible, and though earthquakes have thrown down many of its columns it still looks much as it must have done of old. We pass ^Egina, and run straight for the isle of " seaborn Salamis," but see no sign of harbour till turning sharply to the right we suddenly find ourselves in the narrow entrance of the Peiraeus. That narrow sea which separates the rocky isle from the precipitous shore was the scene of one of the most memorable achievements of Hellenic patriotism. On the lofty point of Mount ^Egaleos close to the Peiraeus, Xerxes had placed his throne to witness the destruction of the combined fleets of the chief Hellenic states by his vast navy.

" A king sate on the rocky brow That looks o'er seaborn Salamis ; And ships by thousands lay below, And men in nations all were his ! He counted them at break of day And when the sun set where were they ?"

This little body of men, not naturally brave for personal courage and contempt of danger has never in ancient or modern times characterized the Greek but inspired to heroic deeds by their ardent patriotism, had crushed the power of the Persian monarch. Within sight of this memorable spot we land on Hellenic soil.

At Athens we find the highest achievements of Greek genius ; it is the centre of the Hellenic race. Greek civilization settled round the ^Egean : the Doric branch on the western side, in Hellas ; the Ionic on the eastern, in Asia ; Athens by its natural position


56 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


seemed destined to become the point of union of the two races, and, therefore, the scene of their highest development. The ancient legend of the return of the Heracleidse, and the con- sequent migration of the Ionic race eastward ; the tales of the Argonautic voyage, and of the ten years' siege at Troy, are all evidence of the intercourse between Europe and Asia, and are at least historical in giving a correct distribution of the two main races. The Homeric poems form the earliest record to which we can appeal for evidence as to the beginning of Greek art, and it is remarkable that though these poems give proof of a very high intellectual development, they show a condition of art far below that of Egypt or Asia. The Greek of Homer's time had not yet learnt to make images of the gods, nor to build columned temples in their honour. The palaces of the Homeric kings were of the simplest kind, and seem to have resembled the primitive Aryan homestead. The whole arrangement is described when Ulysses re- turns to his home in Ithaca : the buildings surround a court-yard or rather farm-yard, for at the gate of it, Argus, the faithful old watch-dog, lay dying on the dung-hill when his master entered. A gate led from this to the inner court, on one side of which lay the men's and on the other the women's chambers, while the third side was occupied by the hall. The buildings were apparently of the most primitive kind ; the ceiling was supported by upright beams of wood blackened with smoke : the cross horizontal beams rested on the wall, and the spaces between them were probably left open for the admission of light and air, spaces which correspond with the metopes in Doric architecture. There was no attempt at an inner ceiling to conceal the structure of the roof, for we read of Epicaste being hanged upon a ceiling beam. The walls were no doubt covered with thin plates of polished metal, as we are told was the case with the palace of Menelaus.

Isolated in the court stood the circular thesauron or treasure


GREEK ART. -FIRST PERIOD. 57

house, in which the gold lay piled upon the floor and the rich garments were stored in niches. The building seems to have resembled that puzzling monument of antiquity, the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae. That the latter was a tomb rather than a treasury is probably true ; but at least its circular dome rising from the floor to a pointed apex, and its entrance passage show us the sort of construction employed in early days. The building is not a true vault, that is to say it is not constructed with voussoirs, but, like those we saw in Egypt, it is composed of horizontal courses of masonry the faces of which have been shaped after they were in position. The doorway, which has been skilfully restored, is remarkable for the engaged columns tapering from summit to base and adorned with zigzag and spiral ornament, as well as for the triangular slab surmounting the lintel. A still more interesting monument at Mycenae is the Cyclopean wall with the famous Lion Gate. The gate consists of two upright jambs and a lintel laid across them : the jambs slope inwards ; but still the span is ten feet, and the massive walls could not be continued across it without too great strain in the lintel. The triangular slab is consequently introduced to relieve the pressure, and affords scope for ornamentation Possibly the sculpture upon it was also intended to divert by sacred symbolism attacks from this weak point in the defensive structure. The lions stand facing one another with their fore-feet raised, and are separated by a column of similar form to those we saw at the door of the Treasury of Atreus ; the heads were turned to the front, and as they were separate pieces they are now lost. The attitude and form remind us of Assyrian work. These remains at Mycenae have great interest, because the city was in ruins all through the historical period.

The customary Doric building had, as we have already seen, a gabled roof of low pitch. The flat stone ceiling of the Egyptian


58 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

temple was well suited to ward off the fierce heat of the sun beneath a rainless sky. In Greece, however, heavy rains were usual at certain seasons of the year, and some slope was therefore required, though not so great as is needed to afford protection against the snows of more northern climes. The pine forests which clad the mountain slopes afforded the Greek the most natural and convenient material. It results, therefore, that the structure of even the most advanced and perfect Greek temples shows everywhere forms and ornamentation clearly representing an original timber construction. Originally each beam united a pair of rafters : on the horizontal timbers boards were laid which con- cealed the inclined roof, and formed the coffers, the developed form of which may be seen in the ceiling of the Parthenon. The ends of the horizontal beams, as well as of the rafters, were visible from without ; the latter projected beyond the wall and formed eaves, which protected the walls of the building from the water. As the spaces between the beams were covered by the eaves they required nothing to close them, and were left open to admit light and air. The rough-hewn ends of the beams were finished off and protected by three narrow vertical strips of wood, the chamfering of which at once gave rise to the triglyph, the universal decora- tion of the beam ends. The upper ends of these strips touched the rafters, the lower were covered with a continuous board. This continuous strip was securely and visibly fastened by large trunnels. The rafter ends were also finished off and brought into harmony with the frieze. The boards covering the underside of the eaves required very distinct attachment, and the nail heads by which this was effected were called in later architecture guttae, though from their position it is obvious that they could not have been intended to represent drops of water. The triangle formed by the end rafters was boarded up, and in this as well as in the spaces between the beams, votive offerings were placed,


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD.


59


We see then that the entablature developed before the column f the shaft, which to our ideas is an essential part of the order, appears to have been a later addition. There is no indication in



Doric Column from the Parthenon.


Ionic Column. Corinthian Column from the Pantheon.


ORDERS OF COLUMNS.


Homer of the existence of external columns ; the attached columns of Mycenae, too, are very far removed from the Doric shaft, their roundness indicates a wooden original, and the spiral


60 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

ornament upon them suggests a metal sheathing. How and when the Doric column originated we have no means of ascertain- ing : it may have been developed independently from the rectan- gular support which would be left by making openings in the wall at short distances, or it may be traced back to an Egyptian origin. The latter is the more probable supposition, for we have found the Doric shaft with its tapering form and channelings at the entrance to the caves of Beni-Hassan a thousand years before. But if the Greeks adopted the column from Egypt, they made it their own by observing and amending its faults. The shafts at Beni-Hassan spring immediately from the ground, and are separated only by a thin rectangular abacus from the horizontal beam ; they are with- out end or beginning. The introduction of the echinus served excellently to break the contrast, the expanding curve formed a transition from the shaft to the broader lintel as well as from the vertical to the horizontal.

If we suppose that the Doric column was imported from Egypt, it is probable that it was first employed as we find it employed at Beni-Hassan, where two columns fill up the front opening between the prolonged side walls ; the form of temple known as In Antis The next step was, that a corner column took the place of these' side walls, and the temple was then called Prostyle. The substitu- tion of columns for the front wall necessitated the erection of another wall, in front of the cella or sanctuary ; so that the temple was divided into two, the temple itself or Naos, and the portico or Pronaos. The abolition of the wall involved the addition of a new part to the entablature to support the beams of the ceiling : this was called the Epistyle.

The width of the temple was the large dimension of the pro- naos, and hence a change was introduced by placing the beams from the columns to the new front wall of the naos. This had an important architectural effect in that it gave alternating beam


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD.


6l


ends and metopes above the epistyle in the front entablature. Thus the metopes and triglyphs would alternate along the front and along that part of the side which corresponded with the naos, while at the side of the pronaos would be a continuous beam. The temptation to symmetry led to the continuation of the same ornament where there were, and could be, no beam ends.

When, for the sake of getting rid of the ugly blank wall at the back, a portico similar to that in front was added behind and metope and triglyph made continuous all round, the temple became A mphiprostyle.

The final step was to change side walls into columns, and make the entablature an independent ornament ; thus the ultimate enduring form of Greek temple was reached, the cella entirely surrounded by columns the Peripteros.

This form once attained came to be considered the only ad- missible form for important temples unless peculiarities of site necessitated modification : the prostyle and amphiprostyle forms were only used for secondary temples. The adoption of a stone construction throughout the visible portions of the building in- volved still further changes : the columns were increased in thick- ness and brought nearer together, until the intercolumniations little exceeded the basal diameter of the columns. Then as the cornice had only about half the height of the epistyle it could not bear the same span, and an additional triglyph was consequently in- troduced over each intercolumniation, whereby the metopes were reduced to a size about the same as the triglyphs themselves. Finally, as in the peripteros the metopes were no longer required as windows, an additional decorative effect was gained by filling these with thin slabs, which were decorated, first with dark colours, and later with reliefs on a dark ground. A difficulty arose in re- gard to the corner : the metope was not properly a support, and was therefore out of place at the corner ; it became necessary,


62 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

therefore, to push the triglyph from over the corner column right to the end of the entablature, and then either leave a larger metope or equalize the metopes by reducing the last intercolumniation.

But such a rough account as this of the history of the peripteral temple does no justice to the extraordinary delicacy of perception with which the Greek architects corrected every real or apparent want of grace in form and line. They observed that if the columns were conical, that is, if the line on the surface from base to summit were straight, the columns would have the ap- pearance of being slightly concave: hence they gave it just sufficient swelling (entasis) to correct this optical effect. Again, a straight horizontal beam if seen from below appears to fall in the middle : a counteracting curve was therefore given to it. For a similar reason the axes of the columns are not exactly vertical, they have an inclination inward. In fact, Mr. Penrose found, in measuring the Parthenon, that nowhere had it straight lines or regular figures, but that every deviation from regularity must have been calculated and executed with the utmost delicacy. The lighting of the cella of a peripteral temple has been a diffi- culty which has greatly exercised architects and archaeologists. Some have asserted that there was a hypaethron or unroofed opening in the centre ; others that it was fully roofed over, and could have received no light except through the door ; while a third party, which has the weight of Mr. Fergusson's authority, maintain that it was lighted by a system corresponding to the Gothic clerestory, the prototype of which we found in the roof of the temple of Karnak. The first hypothesis is now generally acknowledged to be inadmissible ; the second seems absurd when we remember that the cella was very long and narrow, and was generally prostylous or amphiprostylous, and at the same time bear in mind that the famous chryselephantine statue of Athene and other beautiful statues of the gods stood at the far end of the




TEMPLE OF POSEIDON AT PAESTUM.


[To face p. 63.


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 63

cella. There is very little direct evidence to support the third hypothesis ; but the fact that the clerestory was known in Egypt is of itself of weight ; if they knew of such an excellent artifice, the Greek architects would hardly be likely to neglect it. In most Greek temples the cella was divided by two rows of columns into a nave and two aisles, and it is at least possible that these pillars supported the flat roof of the aisles, and another smaller order above this supported the roof of the nave.

The earliest Doric temples are not to be seen in Athens : to study them we must take an excursion to the greater Greece the colonies in Italy. First let us visit the temple of Poseidon at Psestum, It is of marble and of colossal size, 88 feet wide and 210 feet long. It stands, as do most Doric temples, on a massive marble platform of three steps ; the upper, on which walls and pillars rest immediately, is called the stylobate. These steps are not intended to afford a continuous approach all round the temple ; they are far too high for that. The temple need only be approached from one side, and on that side a suitable flight of steps is cut. The pediment of the temple contained, no doubt, the representation of some achievement of the gods, the metopes were without sculpture. It is difficult for us to realize the appearance of the temple when its coloured decora- tion was unfaded. The lower parts were in light tints, probably a golden brown colour ; the triglyphs and mutules blue, the metopes dark red, to suggest dark open spaces ; the cornice of bright and varied colours. The rich colouring of the upper part of the entablature is probably another relic of the time when these parts were of wood and required painting to pre- serve them from decay. Other temples of a still earlier age are to be found at Selinus, a city in the extreme west of Sicily, founded in 628 B.C. Of the three temples on the Acro- polis, the northern must have been built in quite the early days


64 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

of the colony, and is remarkable for the width of its intercolum- niations, which are two and two-third times the basal diameter, and for the breadth of the pteroma. The middle temple is pro- bably half a century later in date, and in its metopes on the front affords us remarkable examples of primitive sculpture. Of the ten sculptured metopes two remain in almost perfect preservation, the one representing Perseus slaying the Gorgon, the other Hercules carrying off the two Kerkopes by the heels. When discovered they still retained sufficient traces of the an- cient colouring to show how they had been decorated ; the background was red, the draperies bore traces of green, blue, and yellow, while the features were coloured with a brownish black. The figures themselves show an extraordinary degree of archaic naivete* ; the details are executed with a seriousness, accuracy of observation, and elaborate care, that give some promise of future greatness. The figures are stumpy and thick, the feet all turn to the right, while the faces and bodies look to the front ; the upper part of the left leg of Medusa is reduced to half its proper size by the limitation of the size of the panel ; the feet of Perseus and of Hercules rest flat on the ground, although both are in a walking position. The head of Medusa is grotesque, but its grossness is subdued by a considerable grace- fulness in the separate lines. The Hercules panel is the work of an abler sculptor, but shows the same love of deeds of vio- lence, and the same tendency to the ludicrous. The bones of the knees and ankles, and the muscles of legs and arms indi- cate a degree of knowledge which can only have been arrived at by the careful study of the human figure in action. The drapery is arranged in light and graceful, but formal folds.

Let us now pass to the other extremity of Hellas to study the monument known as the " Harpy Tomb," which stood on the Acropolis of Xanthus, in Lycia. The structure of the tomb itself


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 65

is interesting as an example of a purely wooden form of construc- tion reproduced in stone ; the projecting beams and curved ribs of the roof, in size and shape represent the original timbers. On one side of the tomb a warrior hands his helmet to the seated judge of the dead, beneath whose throne lurks a bear ; on another a suppliant is offering a cock to the judge of the lower world ; while on various parts harpies with oval bodies, and full, sensuous facial expression, are carrying off the souls of the departed. The figures have the same heaviness that we observed in the Selinus metopes ; the drapery falls in delicate folds, which are, however, formally arranged with great preci- sion and symmetry ; the eyes of all the figures are sloping and are set to the side, not in profile. A marble frieze, also from Xanthus, shows us human figures of a similar type with those of the Harpy Tomb, together with horses of extraordinary grace and accuracy. The remarkable likeness between these and some fragments of horses found at Persepolis leads us to infer that Persian influence was very effective in Lycia ; but the beauty of the figures is thoroughly Greek. The harpies and sphinxes which characterize this early work at Xanthus were probably introduced into Hellas from Egypt, as symbolic representations of death. Remaining still in Asia we find a frieze at Issus in the Troad (now in the Louvre), in which the artist's humour has been allowed free play : one slab represents two lions, one attacking and devouring a goat, while the other sits by with an air of proud satisfaction ; on another slab are a pair of bulls butting at one another ; while a third represents Hercules seiz- ing Nereus. An ingenious device gives the effect of colossal size to the hero and the monster, for the figures of six nymphs, who are regarding the combat with expressions of horror, fill the whole height of the frieze, while Hercules is placed in a sloping position, which enables him to have three times their stature.


66 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


After seeing these fragments of early sculpture we can now return to Athens, visiting on the way the Temple of Athene on the island of ^Egina in the Saronic Gulf. Here for the first time we meet with important examples of detached sculpture ; the figures which filled the pediments of the eastern and western fronts of the temple are now preserved in the Glyptothek at Munich. Of the western, ten figures remain ; of the eastern, only five : it is remarkable that, though, when in position on the tem- ple, only one side of the figures could be seen, the backs are finished with as great care as the visible parts. In the centre of each group stands Athene protecting a wounded warrior ; the other figures seem to be very carefully balanced, and to be grouped primarily with reference to the shape of the space to be filled. From the opposite side a man reaches forward to seize the wounded hero ; next on either side is a warrior stand- ing erect brandishing a spear ; behind these archers are drawing the bow ; then a spearman who, rushing impetuously onward and thrusting forward with his spear, has fallen on one knee : at either extremity lies a wounded man. The balance of the composition is to a great extent destroyed by the shields ; on the one side the shield is behind the figure, on the other two figures are almost wholly concealed by their shields. This de- fect was no doubt greatly reduced by the colouring, though no amount of colouring can make the stone shield show the figure behind it. The scene probably represents the death of Patroclus, and the archer with the Phrygian cap is doubtless Paris. It remains for us to examine the execution. We observed at Selinus that the early Greek sculpture dealt mainly with the legendary exploits of heroes, and shrank from attempting to represent the gods ; these legends it treated with the coarse realism that was likely to attract the attention of the vulgar From the heroes the sculptors turned to the athletes, and while


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 67

they lost the opportunity of realism of action, they advanced still further towards realism of form. The sculptor of the pedi- ment had clearly athletes for his models, but he has idealized his athlete so that the stomach sinks in sharply below the ribs, and the bones of the legs as well as the ribs are made remark- ably visible, and the muscles are most carefully given. The legs are proportionately too long, the arms too short, and the width across the hips too small. The outer corners of the eyes turn downward, while the corners of the mouth curve upward to meet them, and give that strange smile which is so characteristic of archaic sculpture ; the chins are pointed and the beards, where there are any, project. The figure of Athene is far inferior in conception and execution to the rest of the work, whether be- cause the sculptor was unused to the representation of the gods, or because he felt that there was no need of action in the case of the goddess, who could without a movement envelope the fallen warrior in a mist, and conceal him from his enemies. The arrangement of her drapery is stiff and artificial, but her head and hair show more vigour and independence than those of the other figures. The eastern pediment represented a similar scene, and the figures were probably grouped in much the same way as those we have been looking at. In execution they are, how- ever, far superior. The subject is supposed to be the war of Heracles and Telamon, the father of Ajax, against Laomedon, king of Troy. The kneeling figure of the archer, which the lion's skin on the head is supposed to identify as Heracles, is finer in form and attitude than the corresponding figure of Teucer on the western pediment. It shows, too, a greater freedom in the treatment of drapery. The faces of the eastern pediment wear the same unmeaning smile as those on the west- ern, but the attitude of the wounded warrior on the eastern is that of a man suffering from a mortal wound, while the figures


68 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


on the western seem rather to be men reclining at their ease. In all the figures the firm line separating the ribs from the stomach is less marked. These differences between the two pediments are rather to be attributed to the difference of skill in the two sculptors than to the one being prior to the other. In the ^Egina temple we notice a further departure from the tradition of the original wooden construction, in the substitution of a con- tinuous sculptured frieze (zoophorus) around the cella for the frieze of metope and triglyphs. This feature is found in all the Attic Doric temples.

From JEgina. we cross to the Peirseus, and proceed between the Long Walls to Athens, whose rapid development soon eclipsed the glories of ^Egina. The city is three miles from the sea, and the road to it lies between the famous walls. The plain of Attica is enclosed by mountains on all sides but the south, where it is open to the sea. Cithaeron, Parnes, Pentelicus and Hymettus bound the plain, in the midst of which a group of isolated crags stand out from the level ; the largest of these, Lycabettus, is without the city and occupies a position with regard to it similar to that of Arthur's Seat at Edinburgh, "the modern Athens." South-west of Lycabettus lies the Acropolis, and the three other hills that lie within the city, Areopagus, Pnyx and the Museum. The Acropolis is a flat-topped hill rising about 150 feet precipitously out of the plain ; the Museum is as high or higher, but less steep and imposing. The Agora, or market-place, lay between these hills. Two streams drain and water the plain : Cephisus, which passes the city on the north-west, nearly half a mile without the walls ; and Ilissus, which flows within the walls of Themistocles on the south ; both bright and sparkling streams, fringed with olive groves and myrtle-trees and mossy banks. The first im- pression of the town is not altogether favourable. The houses are low generally of one storey and built of timber or unburnt


GREEK ART. -FIRST PERIOD. 69

brick ; they present a hard unbroken wall to the street, and are in striking contrast with the majestic public buildings which are scattered over the city and occupy the Acropolis. After the time of the Persian invasion this had ceased to be used for purposes of residence, and was given up entirely to public use. From its summit the colossal figure of Athene looks over plain and sea far away into the Peloponnesus, and seems to stand as a sentinel to keep watch for the enemies of the land she had snatched from Poseidon. To her left rises her own majestic temple, while beneath her feet lies the beautiful entrance hall, the Propylaea, and the broad marble steps that form the only approach. From the Agora we follow a winding path until we find ourselves at the foot of these beautiful steps hewn on the surface of the rock. At the top of the steps are six white marble Doric columns which support a temple-like pediment. The capitals and entablature have a scheme of colour similar to that which we saw at Paestum ; but the columns are more slender and more finely moulded ; the columns of the Propylaea and of the Parthenon are in height more than 54 times the basal diameter. The loftier building in the centre sinks away on either side into wings, whose fronts are at right angles to the principal fagade and stand over the steps ; these also have Doric columns supporting pediments. That on the left forms the entrance of a hall known as the Pinacotheca or picture gallery ; the other only forms an open gallery, but in front of it to the west stands the famous little temple of Wingless Victory. Passing now under the central pediment we enter the hall of the Propylaea, and from this another hexastyle portico leads us on to the platform of the Acropolis. The coffered ceiling of the hall of the Propylaea is supported by six columns of a form which differs greatly from that Doric type with which we are acquainted. The characteristics of the columns are a moulded base with convex and concave mouldings, a more slender


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


shaft, a capital in which the echinus is surmounted by a double roll or volute. It is the latter feature that is the most striking characteristic of the Ionic style, and many have been the efforts to account for it. According to one, it was suggested by the curling down of the bark of a wooden column ; another supposes that it represents the ram's horns or spiral shells with which the primitive wooden capital may have been adorned ; while Vitruvius suggests that it represents the female, as the Doric represents the male sex ; the spiral being then symbolic of the locks of hair, while the flutes and fillets of the shaft stood for the drapery and the base for the sandals. All are agreed that the Ionic style is characterized by a softness and refinement which borders on effeminacy ; but such fantastic explanations as that just given fall to the ground when we recall the fact than in Assyria and Persia we met with the volute and with columns resembling these both in base and capital. The Ionian inhabitants of Asia, among whom this style originated, had with their wealth and luxury acquired a soft and effeminate character which at once dis- tinguishes them from the inhabitants of European Greece, whether Dorians or their Ionic kinsmen in Attica. The vigour, sublimity, and simplicity of the Doric is gone, and its place has been supplied by mere delicacy and refinement. While the ratio of height to base is considerably greater in the Ionic shaft, amounting to from eight to ten diameters, it has diminution and entasis like the Doric. Its flutings are markedly different ; they are increased to twenty-four in number ; instead of being shallow like the Doric they have a semicircular section ; but, as they could not have a semicircular section if they intersected, they are separated by broad fillets. This column then does not appear to-be de- veloped from a polygonal form, but to be a circular shaft ornamented with channels. The flutings terminate at top and bottom in a semicircle. The base has a series of horizontal


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 71

channelings convex and concave, variously arranged to form a- graceful transition from the floor to the column. The typical capital consists of an echinus with sculptured leaf ornament or egg and dart moulding surmounting a narrow astragal moulding ; this echinus is almost entirely concealed by the spiral roll, which projects on the two sides in the line of the architrave and forms a transition from the circular column to the horizontal beam ; a thin moulded abacus surmounts the capital. The entablature is in character with the column of a lighter description than the Doric ; it consists of three members, architrave, frieze and cornice. In some degree the frank display of the details of the original! timber construction is wanting here in comparison with the Doric ;, but it shows its own evidences of the exigences of material.. The architrave is not single but in three steps, one projecting, over the other, a relic of an arrangement of beams necessitated by the slender character of oriental timber. Along the top edge of the architrave ran astragal and cyma mouldings. The frieze retains no sign of a constructive origin, it is a continuous sculp- tured band : the dentils, which are the constructive indication of the ceiling, are thrust upwards and become the lower member of the cornice. The latter, which is highly ornamented, includes a curved gutter with lions' heads or anthemions, or both. The Ionic column must certainly have originated in temples in antis, and a great difficulty presented itself when it was necessary to use it as a corner column ; it then became necessary to have the spirals on two consecutive sides of the capital, and as in that case they would intersect, the two were bent out in the direction of the diagonal in such a way that the projection from either of these sides should give the appearance of a normal column. This artifice cannot be executed in a natural manner, and the result is that the corner Doric capital is entirely without constructive significance as well as individual beauty.


72 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

The Ionic style, with a variation of capital, partly suggested by this corner contrivance, has been raised into a separate order by the Roman architects under the name of the Corinthian order. This beautiful capital,

"With many a woven acanthus leaf divine,"

was no doubt suggested by the calyx capital decorated with lotus and papyrus that we have seen so often in Egypt. In adapting the suggestion, native plants were substituted and con- ventionalized. The acanthus or Greek thistle is beautifully suited for conventional treatment. The Corinthian capital in its origin was merely a concave calyx, with varied foliage decoration ; it was not raised into an order with a rigid canon until Roman times ; in its ultimate form the calyx was surrounded with a treble wreath of acanthus leaves, the corner leaves being suf- ficiently high to support the spirals which projected at the corners and connected the capital with the square abacus ; be- tween the spirals the surface of the calyx was adorned with anthemions. With the Corinthian capital the shaft tended to become still more slender. The floral decoration was in time extended to the entablature, and ultimately took the place of the figured frieze. The Corinthian capital had the advantage over the Ionic that it removed the corner difficulty.

It is time now that we should proceed on our road ; we had stopped in the hall of the Propylsea on observing that its roof was supported by six Ionic columns, while the porticos at either end are Doric. It has been suggested that this combination of style symbolised the union of Sparta and Athens against the Persians. We pass on then through the eastern portico and see before us the great bronze statue of Athene Promachos ; beyond it is the Erechtheion, and to the right the Parthenon, the most perfect of Greek temples. Other temples and monuments



GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD.


73


which stood on the platform of the Acropolis have perished, Athene has long since ceased to keep guard over her city ; but the temple of the sacred olive and the shrine of the virgin goddess still remain to bear witness to her former greatness.

The Parthenon has suffered much at the hands of barbarians and degenerate Greeks : Christian iconoclasm and Turkish in- difference have defaced it ; the victorious Venetians destroyed much by their unsuccessful spoliation. The Turks used it as a powder magazine, which exploded and destroyed nearly half of



METOPE OF THE PARTHENON.


the building. Then the chief part of the sculpture which remained was carried off by Lord Elgin to England, and is now in the British Museum. This includes the statues of both pedi- ments, about half of the frieze of the eel la, and a number of the metopes. The Parthenon is an octostyle Doric temple, having an amphiprostyle cella ; the intercolumniations are small, so that the width of the pteroma is only ij diameter. The interior of the cella is divided into two parts, one more than twice as long as the other. The ceilings of both these were supported by double rows of columns. The larger chamber was


74 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

the naos, and contained the famous chryselephantine statue of Athene, the masterpiece of Pheidias. A statuette discovered at Athens a few years ago has been generally accepted as an inferior imitation of the famous Athene Parthenos. The goddess stands erect with her head slightly bent forward, her left arm resting on her shield, and holding her spear which rested against her shoulder ; her right hand outstretched supported a figure of Victory which turned toward the goddess and offered her a golden wreath. The goddess wore a sphinx-crested helmet and was clothed in the sleeveless chiton. Her shield, we are told, represented on the inside the Gigantomachia, and without, the Gorgon's head and the battle of the Amazons. A marble fragment in the British Museum is no doubt an inferior copy of this shield, and upon it we may possibly recognize, in the figure of the bald-headed man with uplifted axe, the portrait of the artist himself, which afforded his enemies an opportunity of ruining him. The temple, grand and majestic as it is, is not of extraordinary size. The dimensions of the stylobate are 228 feet long and 101 feet wide. The height of the top of the pediment is 66 feet ; but the per- fection of its proportions gives it a beauty and grandeur possessed by no other temple. Its architect, Ictinus, considering that he had surpassed all other work of the kind, wrote a special treatise on the Parthenon. Several modern architects, especially Pen rose, have with great care and labour measured accurately every part of the building, and have discovered many of the secrets of its beauty. The whole of the sculptured work is said to have been executed under the superintendence of Pheidias. First, there are the sculptures of the two pediments, the mutilated remains of which still retain their pre-eminence of beauty. The frieze of the entablature consists of metopes and triglyphs ; the metopes sculptured in high relief represent the battles of the Centaurs, of the Amazons, and of the Giants. These metopes are


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 75

for the most part destroyed, or so disfigured as to be unintelligibler The difficulty of filling ninety-two spaces, each about four feet square, with sculptured groups distinct but similar in character must have been immense. Around the cella, at the same height as the outer frieze, ran a zoophorus or continuous frieze in very low relief, which is the best preserved of the sculptured remains. From ancient writers we learn that the subject of the eastern pediment was the birth of Athene from the brain of Zeus, and that of the western the contest of Athene and Poseidon for the land of Attica. In both the whole central portion is missing, and the chief authority for understanding the designs consists in drawings made at the beginning of the last century by an architect named Carrey. Already when he visited Athens the central group of the eastern pediment was missing. It appears, however, that the moment chosen by the artist was not the actual occurrence of the goddess springing fully armed from the head of Zeus, a scene which could not be free from the ludicrous, but the moment after, when she appears before the assembled gods on Olympus. The scene, Olympus, and the time of the occurrence, are marked by the rising chariot of Helios and the descending car of Selene, which form the limits of the composition. Only the heads of the horses and the upper body of the deity are visible in either case, as the former rises from the sea, and night disappears before the dawn. Of the four horses of Helios two were represented in relief on the back of the pediment, the other two sculptured in the round, the outer one projecting beyond the plane of the cornice. The fiery impatience with which the horses of Helios toss their heads upwards is in striking contrast to the downturned head and distended nostril of the horse of Selene. The latter especially is perfect in technical skill. "This work," writes Goethe, "whether created by the imagination or seen by him in nature, seems the revelation of a prototype ; it combines real truth with the highest


76 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

poetical conception." The three figures next to Helios have been preserved though mutilated. Dionysus, resting in his tiger's skin, faces the upspringing horses of the sun ; he is resting in an easy attitude on his left arm, the right arm is bent and probably held a spear. A recent critic has interpreted this figure as Mount Olympus illuminated by the first rays of the rising sun. Next come two female figures seated on square seats half concealed by their flowing drapery; they are slightly turned one from the other, but probably the head of the taller figure was turned to her com- panion, whose left arm rests affectionately on her shoulder. By their attitude they are obviously nearly related, and are identified as Demeter and Persephone. These three figures are finely con- trasted in respect to the central action ; Dionysus is lying in calm tranquillity unconscious of the great news, Persephone is only half aroused to attention, while Demeter appears just to have heard the news of the birth. On the other side, next to Selene, is a group of three female figures, Aphrodite lying in the lap of Peitho, in an attitude of dignified repose, and with averted gaze, as if the news of the great event had not yet reached her ; Peitho leaning forward with her feet drawn under her as if on the point of spring- ing up erect, and nearer to the centre Hestia turning to receive the tidings. Iris and Hermes, as messengers of the gods, bear the news to these two groups. The figure of Nike (Victory) is the only other that remains. These figures for their truthful and perfect modelling of form and drapery, for their simple unaffected beauty, surpass all the works of human hands.

On the western pediments Athene and Poseidon in their chariots, driven by Nike and Amphitrite, are turning from the olive-tree in the centre, the symbol of the victory of Athene, and the rescue from the salt waves of the land watered by Cephisus and Ilissus, whose figures bound the composition and indicate that the scene is the Acropolis itself.


GREEK ART, FIRST PERIOD. 77

Of the subordinate figures the remains are not sufficient for identification. The chariot group of Athene was destroyed by the Venetians, who attempted to remove it with insufficient appliances.

The noble frieze of the cella we can study with less difficulty. Its subject is a sacrificial procession, usually identified with the greater Panathenaea, the festival in honour of Athene Polias, the protector of the city. The procession is a double one, commencing from the south-western corner and meeting in the middle of the eastern front. Along the western front are cavalry preparing to start, some already mounted and reining in their horses, others adjusting their harness, and marshals ordering the procession. Along the north side runs the procession of horsemen, the fiery irregular movements of the horses contrasting with the firm seats and steady attitudes of their riders. In front of the cavalry pro- cession come the chariots, several groups of which are lost, and others mutilated. The animation of the chariot groups is in striking contrast with the quiet and leisurely walk of the old men Thallophori, bearers of the olive branches who precede them. In advance of these is a band of musicians, then men bearing trays of offerings, and next the victims for sacrifice. On the eastern: frieze a group of male figures receive the advancing processions. Between these groups are twelve seated figures of the gods on either side ; in the centre is a group supposed to represent the offering of the peplos to Athene Polias. The whole is filled with that feeling of fulness of joy which should characterize the religious festivals of a people whose gods are not cruel and awful, but majestic and benevolent, "living the great life, centred in eternal calm." From this frieze more is to be learnt of the true prin- ciples of art, of the union of natural truth and dignity, than from all the books that have ever been written. The Panathenaic explan- ation of the frieze presents certain difficulties many things that we know were present in the procession are absent, the festival seems


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


not to concern Athene alone as all the gods are present, and further- more the peplos was not presented to Athene Parthenos, but to the ancient wooden statue of Athene Polias, whose home was else- where on the Acropolis. A theory has lately been put forward, which if it can be maintained would add to the glorious history and associations of the Parthenon. The temple was built soon after the defeat of the Persians and the victory of Salamis, and must have been thought of by the Athenians as a monument commemorative of the rescue of Hellas from the barbarians. But



EQUESTRIAN GROUP FROM THE FRIEZE OF THE PARTHENON.

it is recorded by Plutarch in his life of Pericles, that when Greece had in some degree recovered from the Persian wars, the Athenians on the proposal of Pericles sent ambassadors to the other Hellenic states, inviting them to send deputies to confer about the restora- tion of the temples which had been destroyed, to take part in a thanksgiving sacrifice, and to take measures for the preservation of the security of the sea, and of universal peace. These words appear to cover a great and statesmanlike scheme for uniting the whole of Hellas into one confederation, and putting an end to the


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD.


79


fratricidal wars which had been so nearly fatal to Greek independ- ence. These negotiations were taking place while the Parthenon was building, and it is pleasant to believe that Pericles wished to associate its inauguration not only with the triumph over the barbarians, but with the great results which he hoped to bring about through the panhellenic enthusiasm which the struggle must have excited. Nothing then could be more natural than that he should record on the commemorative temple the festival which he hoped would mark its completion. The double proces-



GROUP OF GODS FROM THE FRIEZE OF THE PARTHENON.

sion, and the two groups of gods, thus become natural. On the left comes the Doric procession, and the gods on the left can be identified as those chiefly worshipped in Doric lands Zeus, Hera, Ares, Artemis, and the Dioscuri. On the right are seated the Attic divinities Athene and Hephoestion, Poseidon and Phoebus, Persephone and Demeter. Thus the temple gains in significance and moral grandeur, and the noble dream of Pericles is for ever commemorated in the noblest temple the world has ever known. From the Parthenon we turn to the other remaining temple of


8o A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

the Acropolis, the Erechtheion. It is of later date than the Parthenon, and a remarkably graceful example of the Ionic style. It is a striking proof, if proof were needed, that the Greek archi- tect was free from anything like slavery to an established model, and could adapt his style to the conditions imposed on him by the nature of the site or the circumstances of the case. The Erech- theion had several conditions to fulfil : it was sacred to Athene Polias, and had to cover the sacred olive and the salt spring, the living memorials of her contest with Poseidon. Hence it required three parts, the shrine of Athene Polias, the enclosure of the sacred olive, and the shrine of the nymph Pandrosos, which con- tained the salt spring. The irregularity of the ground made the threefold division a great difficulty, and led to the interesting and picturesque grouping of the upper part of the Erechtheion.

The portico of the east front with its six rich Ionic columns, with doubled volutes, egg and dart echini, and a sculptured band of anthemions below, led into the shrine of Athene Polias. The portico on the north side, which projected beyond the back, led into the narrow shrine of Pandrosos, and from this a door opposite the portico opened into the herkos or enclosure of the sacred olive, often called the Porch of the Caryatides, since its light entablature is supported on the heads of six female figures. This is one of the most beautiful features of the building ; the figures are graceful, erect, and strong, and do not seem oppressed by the weight they carry. So great is their beauty indeed, and so appropriate their position, that they have made people forget that they are an example of essentially false art, and they have been frequently imitated more or less unsuccessfully. The end wall between the herkos and the north-western portico has four attached columns along its upper part which separate the windows an unusual feature in a Greek temple. Within, three doors lead from the shrine of Pandrosos to the three remaining shrines which complete


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 81

the building. The graceful proportions of the columns, their rich capitals, and the elaborate carving of the cornice, combine to render the building worthy of the Acropolis on which it stands.

Descending from the Acropolis and passing round it to the left, we find the New Theatre hewn out of the hillside. It is indeed the theatre par excellence, for upon its scene the tragedies of ^Eschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and the comedies of Aristo- phanes were first given to the world. It was the model from which all other theatres were imitated. Around a circular floor, on which the chorus moved and danced and in the centre of which stood the altar of Dionysus, the seats rose tier above tier in expanding circles around nearly three-quarters of the circle. A quarter of the circle was cut off by the front line of the stage. The stage or proscenium was backed by a wall with three doors called the scene, and bounded at the sides by parascenia. Between the line of the stage and the theatron were spaces in the level of the orchestra, from which the chorus advanced into the orchestra. The new theatre was so vast that it could hold fifty thousand people. Its acoustic qualities were so good that with the aid of the tragic mask the voices of the actors could be heard throughout ; a colonnade round the top of the theatre is said to have had much to do with its excellence in this respect. The scene threw the sound forward, and prevented it being lost. Here in the days of Pericles the Athenians listened to the grand heroic tragedies of ^Eschylus in which they were shown the stern relent- less action of fate, and the more perfect works of Sophocles.

Before exploring Athens any further we will make an excursion to the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. The Corinthian Gulf lies behind us. Over by the bay of Orissa there rise sheer rocks, separated by a dark ravine ; they belong to the poets' mountain, Parnassus. Its precipitous summit would indeed be accessible only with the aid of the winged horses that the poets have


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


imagined. We may content ourselves with mounting the terrace from which the old Doric temple looks down on the Peitho stream. From a height of two hundred feet the Castalian spring, at which the poets drink inspiration, plunges down behind the temple. A second spring waters the laurel grove which surrounds the temple, a third provides the inhabitants of Delphi with water. There is no sound but the noise of the water, else all is still. From this silence we enter the temple where the oracle gives its answers. Within the temple we see upon the walls the words of the sev<



HEAD OF ZEUS OTRICOL1.


sages, " Know thyself ; " " Know the opportunity ; " " Nothing t( much : " the latter, the statement of that principle of moderatioi which the Greeks applied so thoroughly in life and in art. Aroun< the cella are pictures, coloured figures on coloured ground, bul without light and shade, and with no outline. These are th< celebrated pictures by Polygnotus, the painter who decorated th< Stoa Poikila and the Pinacotheca at Athens. The subjects wei taken from the Iliad and Odyssey. Though these pictures an described as being without light and shade, the fact that Luciai speaks of Cassandra's red cheeks shows that there must hav been


GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD. 83

more than one tint within one outline. Aristotle speaks of his figures as surpassing nature, and everything we are told about him points to a grandeur and richness of composition and a breadth of style to which none of his successors attained, though they surpassed him in technique.

The Parthenon affords us abundant scope for estimating the work of Pheidias and his school ; his greatest creation is the chrys- elephantine statue of Olympian Zeus, in which he embodied the Homeric description :

" He spake and nodded with low shadowy brows, Waved on th' immortal head the ambrosial locks, And all Olympus trembled at his nod."

The Zeus of Otricoli at Rome is usually supposed to be a copy of this grand head in which power and gentleness were so wonder- fully combined ; but others have been inclined to take this for a later type, and to find the nearest approach to the conception of Pheidias in the head of Zeus on a coin of Hadrian.



HEAD OF EROS BY PRAXITELES.


CHAPTER V. GREEK ART. SECOND PERIOD.

ATHENS.

The Sculptures of Scopas, Praxiteles, and Lysippus.

THE days of Pericles are past. We find Athens still in the highest artistic and scientific activity ; but the spirit of its inhabitants is changed. The Peloponnesian war has roused men's passions. The faith, in the gods, long since buried by the learned, is vanishing in wider circles. The moral principle of moderation has grown weaker. If we go into the theatre we find that the poet Euripides, who was formerly condemned for his disregard of morality and of the gods, is now held in honour. Endowed with no less talent than the elder dramatists, he is in some respects more intelligible to us moderns. As Mrs. Browning writes :

" Our Euripides is human,

With his droppings of warm tears, And his touching of things common, Till they rise and touch the spheres."

Another poet, Aristophanes, attempted with the scourge of wit to call the attention of his contemporaries to the shallowness of this poet, and to other weaknesses of the times. He held up to ridicule the moral and political blindness of the Greeks, showed the Athenians their reflection in a faithful mirror, and thought to

lead them back into the right path. But he did not succeed.

8 4


GREEK ART. SECOND PERIOD. 85

The spirit of the time shows itself in the subjects chosen for works of art. The group representing the destruction of the children of Niobe by Apollo and Artemis no longer exists, but the figures copied from it which are collected at Florence are sufficient to make us feel the greatness and originality of this extraordinary work. Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus, in her maternal pride mocked Leto, and declared that she, the mother of fourteen beautiful children, was more worthy of worship than the goddess who had but two. The children of Leto avenged this insult to their mother by slaying Niobe's children before her eyes. Niobe in the centre of the group is clasping her youngest child to her bosom in the vain hope of saving her, while at the same time she seems trying to cover her face and hide from her eyes the heart- rending tragedy that is being enacted before them. Her figure is bowed, but not contorted, with despair. Her face is raised as if in prayer, and seems to express the whole depth of her sorrow ; but not without pride and dignity in the consciousness that such terrible suffering was undeserved. The resignation of her daughter mortally wounded at her side affords a mitigating contrast, and these, like the other groups of the children who are hurrying towards their mother, display fear, pain, and fortitude in various degrees, but all with that dignity and moderation that raises the work to the highest tragic level. The original was probably the work of Scopas, and contrasts both by its subject and its pathos with the perfect tranquillity of the school of Pheidias.

In a temple surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers we see the goddess of love as she rises the embodiment of the spirit of nature from the sea foam. In naked beauty, with tender eyes, and a soft smile on her parted lips, she captivated all beholders. The Medici Venus now at Florence is supposed to be a copy of this masterpiece. This was the work of Praxiteles. A head of Eros in the Vatican by many supposed to be the genius of death is


A SHORT HJ STORY OF ART.


generally regarded as his ideal of youthful beauty. The thought- ful downcast look, the beauty as of an opening bud, form a com- plete contrast to the mischievous little Puck with arrow and bow, who did service for the love-god in later times. If we were to judge of Praxiteles from these indications, we should be right in attributing to his work a grace bordering on effeminacy. The great discovery made during the German explorations at Olympia has however entirely contradicted this judgment. The Hermes bearing the infant Dionysus is an authentic work from the hand of Praxiteles, seen and described by Pausanias, and discovered on the very spot at the entrance of the Heraion where Pausanias saw it. The manly beauty and grace of this figure, the perfection of the head, and the loving tender expression with which he looks at the child, surpass any other statue of ancient or modern times. It is indeed the only great work of Greek sculpture of the authorship of which we have certain knowledge. To the same master are attributed a wonderfully graceful young Apollo on the point of killing a lizard, and a satyr leaning against the trunk of a tree with a flute in his hand, and a delicate smile on his face. He is also said to have delineated the labours of Hercules grandly at Thebes.

This latter hero was treated by Lysippus, a famous artist of the Peloponnesus. The so-called Farnese Hercules, at Naples, is sup- posed to be a later copy of his work. The colossal figure ex- presses strength of muscle and movement, while the relatively small head looks sadly on the ground with an indication of severe labour and internal strife. A similar characteristic is noticeable in the existing portraits of Alexander the Great. The attitude is overstrained and affected, and the muscular development excessive.

One figure there is that we have not yet looked at the Venus of Melos, now in the Louvre a figure so pure and womanly, so


GREEK ART.-SECOND PERIOD. 87

noble and divine, that it has been a mystery how anything so grand and dignified could have been produced after the days of Pheidias. The discovery of the Olympian Hermes has now shown that Praxiteles did conceive a type of manly beauty worthy to stand beside this perfect embodiment of true woman- hood. Her left foot is raised on a slight elevation, and the left knee turned inwards, she is draped from the hips downward. Her two arms are unfortunately lost, and it is therefore impro- bable that the question of her attitude, her action, and her attribu- tion, will ever be finally settled. She is unlike the known types of Aphrodite, in the fulness and strength of* her form, in her attitude, and in her drapery ; but more than all in her maidenly pride and dignity. In comparison with the Venus de Medici, she. is the heavenly Aphrodite, the offspring of Uranos, and the latter the earthly Aphrodite, the daughter of Zeus and Dione. In pose- and drapery she resembles the Roman figures of Victory, and the.- only restoration of her arms that can be tolerated is as Victory holding with her left hand a shield, which rests on her knee, and inscribing the names of victors upon it with her right. A recent archaeologist has boldly taken up the thesis that this is the iden- tical statue from the temple of Nike Apteros on the Acropolis at Athens.



H


CHAPTER VI.

ART IN THE GREEK COLONIES OF ASIA MINOR.

'The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Painting of the Ionian and Sikonyi Schools. The Colossus of Rhodes. Sculpture.

\ \ 7"E now turn our steps to the colonies on the coast of Ast;

  • * Minor, which formed so important a part of Hellas, am

spread Greek culture over Asia, while their connection with their earlier home was kept up by the panhellenic games and festivals. The famous tomb raised at Halicarnassus by Artemisia to her husband, a Persian satrap, stands before us. Upon a lofty podiui which contained the sepulchral chamber, stands a peripteral Ioni< temple. The temple is surmounted by a stepped pyramid, th< truncated summit of which supports a colossal quadriga, con- taining the figures of Artemisia and her husband. The hors< of the chariot and the lions which stand round the cornice ai of distinctly Asiatic character, and the latter have all the lifelik< character of Assyrian lions. The most beautiful of the remaii of the Mausoleum is the zoophorus of the temple probably then was a second running round the substructure it represents battles with the Amazons, and is said to be partly by Scopas ; it vigorous and beautiful in conception, but the execution is inferior It shows moreover a greater degree of mental emotion in the expression of the eyes and face than is usually to be found in the work of that early period. Some important remains of the



THE MAUSOLEUM AT HALICARNASSUS (RESTORATION). '


ART IN THE GREEK COLONIES OF ASIA MINOR. 89

[ausoleum were discovered by Mr. Newton, in 1856-7, and are

>w in the British Museum ; these include a great part of the frieze, portions of all parts of the structure, and the figures of Mausolus and Artemisia from the surmounting car which have >een reconstructed from innumerable fragments, and exemplify

ie change in the direction of realism which took place when

rreek art passed over into Asia.

The grandeur of the temple of Artemis, at Ephesus, is known to us by description, and the recent excavations, which have excited such general interest, have confirmed the report. In size far exceeding other Greek temples, the richness of its sculptured columns, a few drums of which have been brought to England, must have given an effect of wonderful luxuriant beauty. Erato- stratus burned it to immortalize his name, and the Greeks of Asia made it a point of honour to restore it in all its original splendour. Ephesus was the home of the painter Parrhasius, and the adopted home of Zeuxis. To describe the paintings of tnese artists, and of the rival Sikyonic school, we have only the descriptions of ancient writers and such illustration as we can get from the remains of Roman wall-painting at Pompeii. The pictures of Parrhasius, unlike those of Polygnotus ; were chiefly on panel, not on fresco. Of his Helen, we are told that the most beautiful maidens of Crotona stood as models to htm. But his aim seems not to have been so lofty as that of Polygnotus; he sought beauty of detail and excellence of composition rather than grand representations of character. Aristotle says that his works were wanting in ethic significance. He made great technical advances in chiaroscuro and illusive effects, and we are told that the grapes he painted were pecked at by the birds. Zeuxis, notwithstanding his vanity which was as great as his skill, had to acknowledge a superior in Parrhasius, who also painted both historical and genre pictures. The latter showed great skill of facial expression, as in the picture


90 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

of the Demos, in which he represented all the passions and char- acteristics of the populace ; his drawing was more correct than that of Zeuxis, and he succeeded in giving the appearance of motion to his figures and in separating them from the background. Parrhasius was himself vanquished in a competition by Timanthes, who in later life took up his residence at Sikyon. With equal skill he showed a deeper motive and greater moderation, if we may judge by the description of his Sacrifice of Iphigenia, wherein the spectators show every variety of expression of grief ; but the father's sorrow is too deep for representation, and he is shown hiding his face.

Of the Sikyonic school were also Aristides, who excelled in the representation of pathetic scenes, tender as well as painful ; Euphranor, who dealt with the same heroic subjects as Parrhasius, but with a stronger and more masculine touch ; and ^Etion, whose celebrated picture of the marriage of Alexander and Roxana is possibly faintly represented by the Aldobrandini marriage at Rome. This picture is composed of a row of figures reminding us of a frieze. The groups are naturally divided into three. On a couch in the centre is seated the bride veiled, with her head modestly bent down. A woman half draped and crowned with a garland is seated in attendance on her, a third holds the necessaries of the toilette. The bridegroom, also garlanded, with the upper part of his body bare, waits seated at the door of the nuptial chamber. On the left women are preparing the bath, and on the right three more are performing a sacrifice with music and song. The picture exhibits several individual motives with much beauty, soft and harmonious colouring, and is instinct with that placid and serious charm that belongs only to the antique. In actual painting, how- ever, it does not rise above the ordinary technique of the Roman house decorator.

According to the unanimous judgment of his contemporaries,


ART IN THE GREEK COLONIES OF ASIA MINOR. 91

Greek painting must have reached its highest perfection in Apelles. The most celebrated of all his pictures was the Venus Anadyo- mene, wherein the goddess of love was represented as rising from the sea and wringing the water from her dripping hair. The goddess in this picture was not an ideal figure, but was a portrait of the celebrated beauty Phryne, it was therefore absolutely free from any devotional feeling. Allegorical figures and portraits were also produced by Apelles with equal success. His Alexander was said to be a creation rather than a mere portrait. Greek painting appears to have been executed in tempera.

Innumerable designs upon coins, vases, and stone, are preserved, and show how the whole life of the Greeks was instinct with the feeling of beauty.

In the third century we find that the love of splendour has gained the upper hand throughout Hellas, and still more at Alexandria. The great conqueror Alexander wished to raise in that city an eternal monument of his victories and of the union of Europe and Asia. A new art was called for to achieve this work. But the Greek spirit had fallen, alas ! from its height, and sub- ordinated the simple, noble beauty of earlier times to the Asiatic preference for the colossal and ornate, especially in architecture and sculpture.

Floating palaces now sailed on the sea. The Colossus of Rhodes, like a bronze sun-god, lighted the sailor's path in storm and dark- ness. One hundred and twenty feet high it stood ; its thumb was the size of a man. After fifty years an earthquake destroyed the giant. The oracle, in harmony with the genius of Greece, for- bade its restoration.

A famous work of sculpture of the Rhodian school is the Laocoon group. We see the priest, who warned the infatuated Trojans against the wooden horse, at the moment of his dire punishment. The serpents have enveloped him and his two sons


92 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

in their folds ; Laocoon is striving to concentrate all the strength of his soul to endure his terrible suffering. With swelling muscles and nerves strained by torture, his resolute mind is shown in the swollen veins of his forehead, his chest distended by the obstructed breath and suppressed outburst of feeling, in order that he may endure and keep within himself the pain which tortures him. The work is a tour deforce, a subject chosen on account of the almost insurmountable difficulties it presented, and is too exclusively worked out with a view to pathetic effect. There is no suggestion



THE DYING GLADIATOR.


of the cause of suffering, nothing that is to give it an ethic value ; it falls short of tragedy.

The so-called Farnese Bull, at Naples, is another famous work of the same period ; like the Laocoon, it shows a marvellous mastery over technical difficulties and great excellence of com- position. The moment chosen is when Zephos and Amphion, being on the point of executing the cruel command of Dirke to bind Antiope to the maddened bull, recognise the latter as their mother, and avenge her wrongs by inflicting on Dirke the punish- ment she had intended for her victim. The bull rears and


ART IN THE GREEK COLONIES OF ASIA MINOR. 93


struggles, and it requires all the strength of the brothers to hold" it. Dirke has fallen almost beneath the feet of the animal, and is clasping the knees of one brother while the other is about to fling the noose around her neck. At the side stands Antiope, taking no part in the action. The effect is enhanced by the



THE DISCOBOLUS OR QUOIT THROWER.

elaborate accessories showing the nature of the ground and other circumstances.

The beautiful figure known as the Dying Gladiator, which no doubt represents a barbarian herald, is probably a copy, if not an original figure, from the monument raised by Attilos of Per- gamon, to commemorate his victory over the Gauls in 229 B.C.


94


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


The wounded man lies on an oblong shield, on which is thrown a broken horn, about his neck is a cord with a knot beneath his chin. Exhausted with pain, and faint with loss of blood, he wearily supports his body, with one hand on the ground and the other on his knee, and with bowed head awaits his fate.

The still more profoundly pathetic group of a Gaul killing his wife to save her -from captivity and dishonour, may have been another part of the same monument. The principal character in the Ludovisi group retains, even in this impressive moment, a certain triumphant, even theatrical air ; while with one hand he supports his wife who is sinking under the blow he has dealt her, with the other he raises the sword against his own bosom.

Plutarch tells us that Greek art came to an end between 300 and 150 B.C., and the activity of these schools of Rhodes and Pergamon seems like a continuance of the art of sculpture after it was already dead in its own home.



CHAPTER VII.

DECADENCE OF GREEK ART. ATHENS, ROME.

/~\NCE more we return to Athens to find the city turned into ^^ a Roman province after the last victory of Sulla. As many as three thousand works of art are said to have been carried off to Rome. A very charming ornate building has arisen in the third century to receive the prize of the Choregus Lysicrates. Upon a tall square base stands a light round building, with graceful Corinthian half-columns. A frieze in relief surmounted by a rich cornice supports a dome roof, adorned with acanthus leaves and tendrils, out of which a luxurious flower unfolds its crown. On its ten- drils rested the offering, a golden tripod, signifying the victory of the Choregus. We observe in the Corinthian column, as in the whole structure, the increasing love of spendour of the Greeks.

Not far from this we find a lofty octagonal building of later date, beneath the cornice of which the eight chief winds are per- sonified ; on the summit a bronze triton, who points out with a rod the wind for the time being ; beneath the reliefs are seen the lines of a sun-dial. Everywhere there is visible the union of the useful with the beautiful, in which the Greeks are still our models. At the side of the tower of the winds we are astonished by the semicircular arches of an aqueduct which carries the water to a

95


96 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

water-clock in the interior of the tower. The vestibule shows foreign influence in the Corintho-Egyptian capitals.

Besides this evidence of an external direction in architecture, 'we find everywhere in Athens splendid palaces, ornamented in the Sikyonic, Corinthian, and Egyptian manners. In the place of the statues of the gods we find those of princes, local divinities, and famous men. Much as this may flatter the Greeks, they are no longer a free people, and the genuine creative power has been lost along with their liberty.

But once more the downfallen spirit of ancient Greece rises and lives an endless life in numerous imitations of ancient works. In these the sunshine of the zenith shines on us once more, though its na'fvete' and warm inspiration is wanting. Out of this time a relatively large number of works have survived to our day, and have been with endless labour dug out of ruins and rubbish.

We will turn in our thought-journey to Rome, and look at these imitations of Greek originals, whose authors were chiefly slaves. Much of which we have already spoken we have only been able to describe through these works or from the writings of ancient authors. Many important works which yet enchant the civilized world, and serve for studies to the artists who travel to Italy, we have hitherto not seen at all. Among the very excellent works in the galleries of the Vatican, a torso attracts our attention which is attributed to the sculptor Apollonius. Nothing remains but the thighs and lower body, in an attitude which shows us that the statue was sitting and his head upraised. It is supposed to be Heracles at the moment when, after the struggles of his life, Olym- pus receives him and the youthful Hebe presents him the cup of immortality. Even its ruins reflect the whole ideal treatment of the Greeks in the best times. If we look closer at it, we are filled with wonder how so much life could be breathed even into a fragment of the human body represented in cold marble. What


DECADENCE OF GREEK ART. 97

beauty there is in the soft curves of these mighty swelling muscles ! How softly and beautifully the neck bends forward ! Many assert that this torso is the work of Michael Angelo, who made a wager that no critic would be able to distinguish his modern work from an antique. It is certain that Michael Angelo had so much ad- miration for it, that in his blind old age he would be brought to it and pass his hands over its form.

Then we enter a small round chamber, and in it we encounter a perfectly executed figure of brilliant beauty, the sun-god Apollo when, as the avenger of his outraged mother, Latona, he slew the chidren of Niobe, or more probably as with the aegis he stayed the advancing Greeks. In the statue we recognise the beautiful conception of the days of ancient Greece, in spite of the badly restored arm, and in spite of the theatrical attitude of the figure.

The colossal statue of the Nile in another gallery in the Vati- can is less finely executed, and belongs to a class of allegorical representations peculiar to the Roman spirit ; but still it pleases us by its pleasant cheerfulness. A troop of little boys laughingly clamber on the mighty god who is resting contentedly with extended limbs ; the first of them is looking triumphantly out of a cornucopeia full of grapes, and the whole allegory signifies the blessings which the overflowing of the river confers.

The figure of the Sleeping Ariadne belongs, notwithstanding its beauty, to a date later than the time of Alexander. That it is rightly named is proved by a bas-relief placed near it, in which Ariadne is sleeping, in an attitude almost identical, while Theseus is embarking on one side and Bacchus arriving on the other. The pose is graceful, but not free from affectation ; the arrangement of the drapery is complicated, and indefinite, so that what is taken for a mantle by some is regarded as a blanket by others.

Among the Romans we find numbers of excellent portrait



98 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

statues ; the men no longer wearing the toga, but chiefly in Greek di^

Greek tendency to idealize was not altogether overcome the native preference of the individual, especially when re- presenting the emperors as heroes or gods, in which case the figure was purely ideal, and the head had only so much likeness as to identify it.

is was especially successful in the female figures, e.g. the Agrippina in the Capitol. Womanly dignity, combined with an amiable and refined attitude and perfect handling of the drapery, is to be seen in the Pudicitia in the Vatican, as well as in the Her- culanean woman in Dresden. Another charming face and bust is the portrait known as Clytie at London. Many excellent portrait statues are to be seen in the British Museum, from the wonderfully intellectual and refined head of Julius Caesar to the brutal and bloated face of Nero. The numerous figures of the beautiful youth Antinous, the favourite of Hadrian, show efforts in the ideal direc- tion, often indeed only by the addition of divine attributes through which the beautiful, voluptuous, but petulant face of the youth, who was sacrificed to a superstition of Hadrian, is visible.

If we turn our eyes to other regions in which good copies of Greek originals exist, we shall find in Florence the Medici Venus in her youthful beauty, the original of which is supposed to be by Cleomenes ; in Paris a statue of Jason and the Diana of Gabii ; in Munich a sleeping faun, wonderfully natural, the dejight of all lovers of art ; in the hall of the Orcagna at Florence the captivating group of Menelaus with the corpse of Patroclus, the Discobolus and the Boy taking a thorn out of his foot ; the former attracting by its true and yet graceful manner of dealing with a difficult attitude, the latter, as a delightful genre figure belonging to the good copies of ancient work. In sarcophagi of the time of the Roman emperors, representing subjects like the death of


DECADENCE OF GREEK ART. 99

Adonis, the story of Meleager, and the oft-repeated battle of the Amazons in noble relief, the Greek spirit can be clearly recog- nised.

We now bid farewell to Greece and its art. Except a splendid colossal temple of Jupiter, completed under Hadrian, we find in later times nothing more there that can give us pleasure. Yet the Greek spirit lives on in other peoples. We shall meet with its effects in the course of our further travels.



HEAD OF HERA (LUUOVISI VILLA).


CHAPTER VIII.


ROMAN ART.

Pompeii and Neighbourhood. Greek and Roman Dwelling-houses. Wall Paintings.

ONTINUING our journey, we cross over to Sicily, where the ruins of mighty Greek temples rest on the hillsides. Then in Lower Italy we pass Paestum, where we studied the Doric style in the temple of Poseidon. On all sides we see monuments of Greek art.

Now at the foot of Vesuvius in the sunny Campagna we will examine the Greek as well as the Roman dwelling-house, and see once more how the Greeks especially contrived skilfully to unite beauty with utility.

Wandering through the excavated ruins we get a good idea of the Roman provincial town of Pompeii at the time of destruction in the year 79, A.D. It stands on the sea-shore in the midst of a grove of olives, poplars, mulberries, among which are visible its temples, porticos, theatres, and houses of one and two stories. An amphitheatre of lofty hills surrounds the valley. The nearest of these, Vesuvius, with its two cones sends a grey cloud of vapour floating over the town, while the black lava of the first eruption ha's rolled threaten- ingly into the luxuriant life of its fields and vineyards. In the hedgerows we notice orange and peach-trees joined by fes-


ROMAN ART. 101


toons of vines with the finest grapes. The rich soil bestows this threefold gift.

We enter through a round arched gate into the outer district of the town within the wall, and walk along the street of the tombs and through a second gate into the inner city. From without, these low houses with their small windows appeal very little to our modern ideas. However, we presently notice elegant shop windows with outspread wares. Gods and heroes adorn the coloured walls, and the inscription over the doors bids us " salve " (welcome). On a slim square pillar we find busts of Apollo. here called ^Egyrius, the guardian of the streets. Such pillars are called Hermes, and are found in great numbers both here and in other cities of the Old World. Let us choose for our first visit a house which is pointed out as Greek by Overbeck. A Hermes stands in the entrance, which is plain and free from ornament. But then what spacious, cheerful, pleasing prospect the unsightly exterior concealed from us. First we enter a court (atrium) open in the centre, but surrounded by a covered corridor (peristyle) supported by columns, and set round with statues. Beyond, through a second door, we can see into an inner hall with a double row of columns, and still further through a narrow passage into the garden, which looks out on to the open landscape or a pic- ture painted to imitate it. After we have enjoyed the general effect, we look around more carefully, and see on the right, through a half open door, the horses, who are lodged under the same roof as the men, on the left a small room for the use of the attendant slaves. Other apartments are sometimes let out to merchants or mechanics, and these have doors and windows from without. We next pass through the door (thyroreion) of the house, and find ourselves in the first hall (aula), in the middle of which stands an altar dedicated to Zeus, the guardian (Herceus). Around this hall are situated the dining-room, the reception room, and other

i


102 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

chambers, forming the whole of the men's apartments. In the middle of it stands the domestic altar with the sacred figures of the gods, casting a poetic glamour over the whole house. Frescoes of myths and heroic deeds of olden times adorn the walls. The simple, convenient, and finely designed furniture is in complete harmony with these surroundings. After we have looked at these rooms, we enter the second hall. This can be shut off by a door from the rest of the building, for around it are grouped the women's apartments. This arrangement of the house reminds us of the social isolation of women in ancient Greece. Only those who were distinguished by their talent and wit, like Sappho, Melitta, Aspasia, shared the social and intellectual life of the men. At the back of the second court a further passage takes us into the work- room ; here stands the statue of the goddess Athene Ergane, the instructress in the domestic arts. She watches over the making of the splendid fabrics which come from the hands of the house- wife, her daughters and slaves. The room is lighted by two windows looking out into the garden. In the garden we see gay beds with a wreath of flowers, vines, and fountains, and an altar on which offerings are made to the god of the garden. The flowers are used for garlands for the heads of men and women, and to decorate the rooms on festive occasions. On our way back we pass by the bridal chamber lying to the left, close to the work-room. In an alcove stands the bridal couch beautifully worked in bronze, wood, or ivory. The toilet table is covered with charming vessels artistically decorated. The treasure chest too, which is kept here, is simple and beautiful.

The opposite room seems to have been the daughters' bedroom. The rest of the rooms at the side of the court formed the do- mestic offices. Even the kitchen is pleasant to look at ; the utensils, from the bronze bowl to the commonest pot, are as convenient as they are graceful in form and decoration, and are



ROMAN ART. 103


often of exceeding beauty. Arabesques and wreaths of flowers are even to be seen in the grouping of the meshes of a sieve. Elegant lamps with three wicks are suspended by chains, and the weights for the scales are little busts. '

Still more do the wine jars, bowls, and cups show in form and decoration the most natural feeling of beauty, and can be at once distinguished from the Roman by this, that no useless decoration ever appears on them. For example, plates and dishes are never decorated where the ornament would be covered in use, but only on the border or handle, and frequently indicate their purpose by some painted or sculptured object, or even by the form itself. Thus a water jar is distinguished from an oil jar, not only by the width of the neck, but also by the wavy ornamentation which indicates the ripple of the water.

All these things teach us the principle that true beauty is to be attained by the simplest means, while excessive elegance and splendour are hateful to a refined taste. Sense of beauty and poetry will easily discover the right way of producing an agree- able effect in furniture and dress with the simplest decoration, by arrangement alone.

We wander further through the Greek house, and find the furniture like the other fittings, not rich but beautiful and ap- propriate. Chairs and tables are only ornamented about the legs, benches have voluted ends for convenience of use. The vases should be carefully examined, not merely the varieties of form, but still more the figures with which they are decorated. These figures, usually in red and yellow on a black ground, afford a rich and progressive series of illustrations of the history and principles of decorative art. The lamps and candelabra are also for the most part beautiful works of art. The highest decoration, the frescoes, we must examine in a Roman house, for in the Greek houses all the paintings have perished.


104 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

The kindly welcome, " Salve," we do not meet with over the door of the Roman house, but instead of it, in the vestibule, the warning, " Cave Canem," beware of the dog. Fortunately it is only in picture, in mosaic on the pavement, that the dog jumps upon us in entering. The walls are harmoniously decorated with coloured marbles. We see at once on the opening of the door that the Roman house is more ornate than the Greek ; but the general view of the two courts and the garden, with the landscape painted on the wall, is the same. The first court, called the Atrium, has instead of the altar a reservoir (impluvium) for the rain water, which falls through the opening (compluvium) of the roof. The roof is not supported by columns as in the Greek house, but by beams ornamented with arabesques.

Instead of the passage with a door into the second court, we find here a room with curtains in the place of the front and back walls. This space, which is called the Tabulinum, on account of the family portraits kept in it, is decorated not only with pictures and statues, but also with a hanging lamp and candelabra. Here the guests are received, and are at once reminded of the family history by the portraits on the walls. The mosaic of the floor represents a dramatic rehearsal.

The atrium is attractive on account of its charming paintings. On red, blue, and yellow ground, the leading scenes of the Iliad stand out, gaily surrounded by smaller landscapes, birds, flowers, and fruit : all are suitably grouped, one colour softening the other, and combined in such a happy harmony that the multiplicity is not confusing. The paintings aim at deceptive realism ; these birds which seem to have just flown in, these flowers brought for a feast, soften the seriousness of the picture. The whole is only slightly sketched, and yet is in part suggested by the works of the most famous Greek painters. Here is the surrender of Briseis to the herald of Agamemnon. How noble is the heroic


ROMAN ART.

figure of Achilles on his throne; what anger and grief in his beau- tiful face ! In obedience to the other Greek generals, he has just given the signal for the sad departure of the sweet and beautiful maiden, who in painful agitation is led away on the arm of Patroclus. Behind the tents are seen the heads of the heralds. A foreboding of the evil that is to arise from the withdrawal of the greatest hero of the Greeks, pervades the scene.

In a second fresco we see Hera on Mount Ida trying to persuade the father of the gods to help the Greeks to victory over the



ORPHEUS (AFTER A FRESCO AT POMPEII).

Troj'in ravishers of Helen. She has the grandeur and dignity which befit the goddess who watches over the fidelity of marriage, and one feels that in spite of his promise to Thetis Zeus will follow her counsels ; this conception of Hera is entirely different to Homer's. Between these pictures there are figures conceived in a lighter vein a triton riding on a sea-horse carrying off a nymph ; Cupid mounted on a dolphin ; Venus, whose dove carries a sprig of myrtle in its beak ; fruit, and other charming trifles. In one of the apartments we might think ourselves in an


106 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

aviary, so accurately is the movement of the little inhabitants of the air portrayed on the red and yellow wall. Another room contains more important mythological pictures Phryxus and Helle, the rape of Europa, and some others which indicate the decline of morality which accompanied the establishment of the empire.

We now reach the second court (peristyle) ; not by way of the tabulinum, the curtains of which are usually drawn, but through a narrow passage called the Fauces. There we seem to see columns, steps, and even a pond with swans on it beyond ; all these are frescoes on the walls of the passage. The court we come into is open and surrounded by a peristyle with Corinthian columns, into which the rooms open. The courtyard within the peristyle is often laid out as a garden, with laurels, fountains, etc., if there is no other in the house. Generally this space contains the best works of sculpture. It is never shut The Roman lady had certainly a much freer position both in the family and in society than her Greek sister.

Near the sitting-rooms and bedrooms we find a sort of chapel with an altar and the statue of the tutelary god. Looking into the dining-rooms, of which there is a shady one for the summer and a warm one for the winter, we see that the walls are covered with humorous pictures to amuse the guests as they lie on the three couches around the table Leda with a nest of children, the sale of Cupids, etc. All the pictures are surrounded with broad frames of arabesques. Dancing girls and warriors, as well as the myth of Narcissus, are charmingly delineated on the walls of one of the houses in Pompeii. The dancers charm us by the gracefulness of their movements, and sometimes rise to the ex- pression of a certain sublimity of motion. It is supposed that they were drawn from real figures of persons of humble station, who earned their living by dancing at banquets. Beautiful figures


ROMAN ART. 107


like these are still to be met with among the Contadini in Italy.

We almost hesitate to step on the mosaics of the pavement, for upon it are swans and fishes as if alive. This is quite as unnatural as the rehearsal. The Greeks had too fine an aesthetic insight ever to transgress the principles of decorative art in this way; they invariably confined the decoration of the floor to arabesques and geometrical figures. The habit of covering the floor with realistic designs the most absurd example of which is the scattering of the dining-room floor with bones, orange peel, and bread crumbs only arose when good taste had begun to decline.

The fresco of the Sacrifice of Iphigenia at the end of the peristyle is refreshing to look at after this, being probably a copy after one of the old Greek masters. The father hides his face in the extremity of his grief, the young and beautiful daughter looks passionately to heaven, where Artemis is just appearing to save her.

In one of the houses at Pompeii, the most important mosaic of the ancient world has been excavated. It represents the battle of Issus, and is probably a copy of a picture by a lady artist Helena, which, it is recorded, was brought to Rome by Vespasian, Alexander, bareheaded, is charging furiously at the head of his cavalry, and has struck down a Persian noble whose horse has just fallen. Darius, standing in his chariot, stretches out his arms towards his wounded friend. The other Persian officers call on the king to flee, the charioteer is flogging the horses into a gallop, while a trusty follower has just leapt from his horse and is offering it to his sovereign to escape upon. The king, however, sees nothing but the struggle raging round his fallen general. The composition is admirable ; the whole incident is shown with wonderful simplicity and clearness ; the figures are drawn with


io8 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

extraordinary vigour and truth. Such faults as it has, the fore- shortening of the horse in the centre for example, are probably due to the copyist. Goethe and other critics have spoken of it as the greatest historical picture the world has seen.

Much as we have found to admire in the paintings at Pompeii, their excellence is in design rather than execution ; the actual painting is by no means of extraordinary merit. This is exactly what we might expect, for the designs are probably taken from the works of great artists, but have been carried out by the ordinary house decorators. We cannot therefore draw any conclusions about the technical merits of ancient painting from an examin- ation of these works.



FRESCO FROM POMPEII.


CHAPTER IX.

ROMAN ART (continued}.

Rome. The Campagna with the Aqueducts. The Street of Tombs. Colum- baria. The Tomb of Hadrian. The Pantheon. The Theatre of Mar- cellus.The Forum. The Arch of Titus. The Temple of Vesta at Tivoli. The Colosseum. The Baths of Caracalla. Sculptures.

AFTER this last grand scene we must bid farewell to the interesting city of Pompeii. The visit to the Greek and Roman houses has shown us the beauty of ancient art even in everyday life. The one thing which has struck us at every step has been the complete union of beauty with convenience ; every- thing, down to the commonest object, is not only beautiful in form and decoration, but by its form and decoration is admirably fitted to fulfil its purpose. This is most completely carried out in the Greek house : in the Roman, the most striking feature was the respect paid to ancestors and the sanctity which was imparted to the family life by the domestic worship of the gods. The house is the expression of the spirit of the inhabitants, just as dress is the expression of the character of the individual. So that it is not a matter of indifference to us what pictures and utensils have surrounded us from the moment of our first entrance into the world, and have occupied our attention in childhood. Little as our northern houses have in common with ancient houses in architec-


no A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

ture and other respects, we can nevertheless grasp this central idea and apply it to the conditions of our own life.

The grand composition of the battle of Issus, reminding us of the victory of European culture over Asiatic despotism, brings us back into the wider stage of the world. It catches the central moment of the battle, and brings out the grandeur of the individual in the midst of the confusion and terror of the fight. Thus we are lifted above the terrible details. Art is indeed of Divine origin, for it brings Divine consolation, since it alone can tear aside the veil which conceals from us the deeper unity of nature ; it alone shows us how, in the lives of races and of individuals, a higher power is invisibly working for the good of both race and individual.

As we approach Rome, the capital of the world, the queen of all cities and of all ages, let us halt for a few minutes where the Appian Way leaves the Alban Mount and look around us. The broad Campagna, the tomb of countless flourishing cities, lies at our feet ; on the one side it is bounded by the sea, on the other by the lofty Sabine, Volscian and Alban mountains. Wonderfully beautiful in its picturesque undulation, solemn in its autumnal stillness, it seems like a grand elegy on the glory that has here perished. The setting sun produces magic tones in the autumnal brown, which change again and again ere it sinks into the sea. On our right there stretches an aqueduct with its two stones of vaulted arches a grand work. The Romans were the first successfully to apply the vault, invented by the Etruscans, to important architectural purposes, and to forsake the straight lines of the Grecian temple. Like the vault of heaven which is the type of the dome, Rome overshadowed the people of the world. With astounding skill she succeeded in establishing her conquests, and in promulgating laws which formed a bond of union between peoples widely differing in race, language and character, and which


ROMAN ART. in


still form the basis of the existing law of almost every European

nation. Whatever the task she undertook, small or great, she achieved it by the force of her iron will.

During a campaign, a girl in the Sabine mountains gave the general a draught of excellent water. Immediately the spring was carried to Rome by an aqueduct forty miles long which has remained to the present day. It is still quite firm and solid, as if it were built to endure for all eternity. The pavement of the road to Lower Italy constructed by the consul Appius, and bearing his name, shows no indication that it is over two thousand years old. Like a long broad band, this road, studded with tombs, stretches through the Campagna. The oldest of these tombs, that of Aruns the son of Porsena, but traditionally dedicated to the heroic Horatii, rises in five conical turrets upon a rectangular base in the ancient Etruscan style. For many miles this row of tombs of all forms and sizes, now partially or entirely destroyed, stretches along the Appian Way, and shafts of columns and capitals lie scattered around. A few towers better preserved, are still standing, and were utilized as fortresses during the middle ages. Now many are occupied by peasant families, for instance, that of Caecilia Metella, the wife of the millionaire Crassus. All, especially those of the time of the emperors, tell of a people to whom glory was the highest good, and who liked to be reminded of their great dead in the midst of the bustle of the highway.

Among the vineyards and gardens nearer Rome simpler tombs, called Columbaria, are seen. They have niches all round the walls, in which the vases containing the ashes or bones of the dead were preserved, and look not unlike dovecotes. We visit the family tomb of the Scipios, and find ourselves in a deep vault. The walls, in which are the openings for the cinerary urns, bear inscriptions, and in some places simple paintings and reliefs. In the recently excavated columbaria of the time of Augustus we


ii2 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

find these shrines of loving memories adorned with beautiful medallions on the roof.

The most colossal of all the tombs in Rome itself is on the south side of the Tiber ; it is that of the Emperor Hadrian.

The conquered Greeks had given the Romans more than their little land, they had given them their art and learning. Not until the time of Augustus did the imperial city, hitherto, in part at least, timber-built and straw-roofed, transform itself into a marble city whose ruins tell us of the mighty spirit of ancient Rome.



INTERIOR OF A COLUMBARIUM.

The giant dome of the Pantheon, with its Grecian portico and Roman circular cella, stands in the middle of a small piazza sur- rounded by modern houses and churches, and shows us Roman art at its height. The temple stood originally on a platform of seven steps, now covered. In the triangle of the Greek pediment the war of the Titans with Zeus attracts our attention. We might think ourselves back in Greece. Two circular arched niches in the back wall, containing statues of Augustus and Agrippa, remind us that we are in Rome ; and as we now pass through the vestibule into the huge rotunda, and see how grandly its vault rises above us, forming a majestic dome firm as the solid rock out of which its


ROMAN ART. 113


stone was hewn, we find the character of the Roman people expressed in this building.

The loudest noise in the street without is inaudible in this vast building, which in its majestic silence and strength seems destined to stand as long as this world shall endure. Eight large niches, whose stone arches are supported by yellow columns with Corinthian capitals, form the sanctuaries where stood the statues of the chief gods of Olympus. Above these niches smaller recesses and half-



TilE PANTHEON (FACADE).

columns repeat the harmony of the lower circle, and support the cornice out of which the vaulting of the dome springs. The dome itself depends for its effect on its form and structure rather than on the deep coffers and the bronze flowers which formerly adorned it. Its summit is pierced by a single aperture, 25 feet in diameter, through which the sunlight streams in a broad beam, shedding a great circle of light on the porphyry and marble floor. So vast is the elevation that neither cold, heat, nor tempest produces any effect through this opening. The rain falls vertically and slowly


A SHORT HISTORY OP" ART.


through it, making a circle of moisture on the floor. There is but a single entrance from the portico.

How great is the contrast between the Greek portico and the Roman rotunda ! Each is beautiful in itself, but the two do not belong together. It is like two excellent people who would gladly be friends, but have never advanced beyond the ordinary courtesies. A living building must have all its parts united by an inner,



M II I U 1

THE PANTHEON (SECTION).


organic necessity into a harmonious whole. When Greek columns do not support a flat roof, they are not fulfilling their natural function, and become a mere ornament. The Greek portico leads us to expect something quite different from what we find inside, and looks like a tasteful dress which does not fit its wearer, and suggests the idea that it is borrowed. This, however, need not prevent us enjoying each of the parts for its own sake.

Its founder Agrippa, the great general of Augustus intended


ROMAN ART. 115


it originally as a part of some grand public baths for the people, who were to listen to orators and readers there. Later, its sur- prising beauty led to its dedication to the gods. Still in good preservation, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Rome. To the circumspect Agrippa, who gave Augustus such good advice for the benefit of the Roman people, Rome also owes the grand aqueduct from the Sabine mountains, the arches of which we were recently admiring. To this very day one of these springs spurts out of the magnificent triton fountain of the Aqua Virginia, and many a stranger takes one last draught from it before departing, that he may, according to the popular superstition, see Rome again. One hundred and thirty water towers formerly distributed an immense volume of this pure water over the city, 700 tanks were used by the washerwomen, and 400 marble columns marked the many wells. Even in their ruins they show their beauty. The bridges were designed on the same grand scale. Later architects laboured in vain, after a destructive flood, to restore them on the original plan.

Let us take a look at the Theatre of Marcellus, the first built at Rome, the grand vaulted arches of which are now used for work- men's dwellings. These vaults supported the auditorium, which did not, as at Athens, rest on a hill-side. Doric and Ionic pilasters adorn the pillars of the vaults, and combine Greek grace with Roman grandeur.

But first let us turn our steps to the Forum, the simple market- place of ancient Rome, with which, however, so many memories are connected that it is imposing merely by force of them. The more we study the history of this great city and understand its signifi- cance, the stronger will be the interest that every detail of this historic site will have for us. In coming from the Pantheon we have ascended and descended the Capitoline Hill. A world of ruins lies at our feet, the fragments of the buildings of many


u6 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

centuries. At the time of Augustus the Forum was already sur- rounded by temples and marble buildings, with statues and porticos in which the spectators were stationed at the time when the circus was held here. Later, new buildings arose, especially upon the Palatine, the hill which stretches away on the south side of the Forum, and which was the cradle of the oldest legendary Rome ; upon it stand the houses of Livia and Cicero, the golden palace of Nero, and the other imperial buildings of fabulous splendour, the remains of which are still to be seen in mighty arches and subterranean chambers. Marble columns and frescoes are also still visible. Almost all the columns we find here have Corinthian capitals, the foliage of which is surmounted by volutes. The principle of the development of the capital out of plant form is thus ignored. The shaft is slighter, and frequently without flutings (Tuscan). The Capitoline Hill stands immediately above the Forum, rising steeply from it into two flattened summits, on one of which stands a venerable Etruscan temple dedicated to Jupiter, Minerva, and Juno, ornamented in gold and rich colours, with an uncouth statue of Jupiter ; on the other the splendid, but overdecorated, temple of Jupiter erected by Augustus. In the hollow between the two lay a broad, beautiful, and graceful building, the Treasury. Below the Treasure House, standing out into the Forum, we see the orator's pulpit of yellow marble, adorned with the prows of ships.

Once, a word spoken from this place could determine the fate of the world. At a little distance hence the spot is pointed out where Julius Caesar was murdered. A second large pulpit stood by the temple of Vesta, in front of the Julian Basilica. This Basilica (Court of Justice), begun by Julius Caesar and completed by Augustus, we will look at rather more closely. Two rows of columns divide a spacious building into three naves. At the extreme end is a round apse containing an elevated tribune, where


ROMAN ART. 117


the matters in dispute were discussed and settled. Such buildings we find in all places where markets were held, even where smaller household requirements were sold, which was not the case in the Forum Romanum. The side aisles were often provided with galleries, the backs of which were supported by small pilasters, Caesar and Pompey vied with each other in providing them with splendid decoration in the way of statues and reliefs. These buildings were a worthy monument of the respect paid by the Romans to the law, and the value they set on the study of juris- prudence: to us they are interesting from an entirely different standpoint ; for, as we shall presently see, they exercised a great influence on the development of Christian church architecture.

We wander along the foot of the Palatine to the Arch of Titus.

This is the Via Sacra along which the proud triumphal processions

used to pass on their way to the Capitol. The triumphal arch

is that dedicated to the conqueror of Jerusalem. Its Greek

pilasters have Ionic volutes between the acanthus leaves of the

Corinthian capitals. The reliefs within and without show realistic

. figures, noble and dignified, but still scarcely idealized at all. We

see the victor entering, led by the goddess Roma, surrounded

! by citizens and warriors, on a car drawn by four high-mettled

horses : the goddess of Victory confers on him his well-earned

j crown. On the other side the spoils are being carried in pro-

I cession, among them the seven-branched candlestick and the ark

of the covenant.

In this we see Roman sculpture at its best. The striving after !pure naturalism is also shown in the lofty column with which the noble Emperor Trajan adorned his Forum. The story of his 'life is faithfully told on a broad band of relief coiled round it, especially his achievements against the Dacians. How simply, jnaturally, and characteristically are the passions of the combatants and the prayers of the wives and children of the vanquished


u8 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

portrayed. Many touching stories are told of the kindliness and humanity of this emperor.

Hence we turn our steps to the round, purely Roman temple of Vesta, surrounded with Corinthian columns. Here white-veiled maidens tend the sacred and eternal fire of the hearth which symbolised the sanctity of family life. In the service of the



THE TEMPLE OF VESTA AT TIVOLI.


chaste goddess Vesta they have renounced the blessings of love and home, and are held in high honour. Passing in thought back to those ancient days, we see them assembled in the round portico ; whence they pass along the Forum to a spectacle from which in our day even the strongest women would shrink in horror : duty summons these priestesses to the gladiatorial contests.


ROMAN ART. 119


We follow their steps, and before us rises a building like aT caverned rock. It is the amphitheatre (Colosseum) begun by Vespasian and completed by Titus, who during his short reign of two years raised himself this eternal monument. Three rows of arcades, one above the other, surround the immense circle. On the massive pillars between these arcades, Doric half- columns stand out in the first storey, Ionic in the second, Corinthian in the third ; above which, at a height of 200 feet, lofty pilasters support the cornice of the building. Roofless, like the Greek theatre, it was protected against the blazing sun by a tent-like awning (velarium) supported on poles, the sockets for which can still be seen. We wander round this colossal building, looking at its arcades with ever-increasing pleasure, and enter the interior through one of its 300 entrances. A fabulous splendour is dis- played in the amphitheatre adorned with statues and columns. Three tiers of seats correspond to the external stories. Eighty thousand men are seated there, watching with feverish attention the arena below, into which the wild beasts are springing forth from their cages to enter into an unequal contest with wretched slaves and Christians. We enjoyed the attempt to realize the scene in a Greek theatre ; but to this horrible spectacle we are glad to close our eyes.

The beauty of this indescribably grandiose building makes us at moments forget its purpose ; but it is not possible to blot it entirely from our mind if we bring with us to Rome and its monuments some knowledge of the scenes of history and of their significance.

The setting sun is still shining into the building ; the bold sweep of the arches stands out sharply as Apollo, going to rest, pours on one side of the Colosseum a flood of red light. One moment more and the darkness of night overshadows the whole. The torch of a guide shines here and there ; now above,


120 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

now below. Now we can see one of the dark hollows far below the shattered entrances, out of which the torchlight fantastically flickers. Here, perhaps, stood the cages of the beasts. In fancy we see them suddenly thrown open, and the lions and tigers spring forth upon the devoted Christians, who have just uttered their greeting to their crowned executioner, " Ave, Caesar, moritun te salutant ! " calmly and reliantly, for they are dying for their faith.

Their courage grows every moment as the struggle continues ; the faith within gives them superhuman power. "Pardon, pardon !" the Romans may well shout as a youth or maiden falls in this unequal combat. " Pardon, pardon ! " sounds from a thousand tongues. In vain. The emperor shakes his head. Only to the intercession of a vestal is he bound to yield. These intercessions grew rarer and rarer as time went on ; the lust of blood grew even in women, and the suppliants' appeal for mercy was met remorselessly with the downturned thumb. But these heroic deaths gain for Christianity hundreds of noble converts, who joy- fully meet the martyr's death ; the horror at the brutality it has witnessed passes away in admiration of its martyrs. And now the moon, whose light has long been shimmering unheeded through upper windows, rises above the topmost story with beauty greater than the setting sun or the fantastic torches which have before lighted the building. With what peaceful light it suddenly illuminates these glorious arches and this vast amphi- theatre ! How solemnly the great dome of heaven rises over the building! It seems as though we were only now made aware of the harmonies of this grand building which surrounds us. " Victory, victory ! " the bright light, surrounded with rainbow colours in the autumnal mist, seems to cry to us, Victory in the eternal, Divine justice and wisdom ; yesterday, to-day, and for ever; victory of beauty, truth, and goodness.


ROMAN ART. 121


Let us now turn to a group of buildings which, in splendour and extent, surpass everything else that Rome has to show us. The luxury of the baths, which at first merely fulfilled a neces- sary purpose, grew by degrees to a fabulous height, and weakened body and soul by the increased temperature and other refinements of luxury. The effeminate and inhuman Emperor Caracal] a, who murdered his brother in the arms of his mother, and disgraced his reign with a continuous series of crimes, sought to conciliate the pleasure-seeking Romans by the foundation of baths like these.

In the beginning of the third century after Christ, if we ascend the Ccelian Hill, near the Via Appia, we see before us a splendid two-storied square building, surrounded by plane-trees. Above the centre of it a majestic dome rises into the blue sky. To the south a somewhat lower building projects from it on one side only, forming a pleasant contrast with the main body. The whole is surrounded and shaded by a pleasant garden. Before descending the hill to examine the building we involuntarily pause to enjoy the view. To the south lies the Via Appia, with its tombs and columbaria of the old days of the republic the first charac- teristic features of Rome that met our eye. Then we entered Rome and enjoyed the simple, beautiful, and suitable buildings of the time of Augustus. But how these marble palaces, with which the first emperor replaced the low timber and brick houses, have sprung up around us ! With higher and higher fagades they have risen, like Aladdin's palace. On their flat roofs gardens bloom, not merely with the rarest flowers but with high trees oranges, myrtles, and planes. Thence the eye sweeps over the majestic city and the paradise of the Campagna, to the crown of blue mountains and the silver streak of the Mediterranean. Over there on the Pincian the gardens of Lucullus stretch far away, with their villas, extending the architectural taste into the land-


122


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


scape in regular beds, trim trees, straight avenues, grove < and grottoes, which in Italy certainly bring the houses and gardens well into harmony with the outlines of the hills. This taste, un- fortunately, grew more and more artificial. Native beauty was no longer sufficient ; all quarters of the world had to contribute fresh luxuries to satiate the aesthetic craving as well as the palate.

With the Egyptian, Persian, and Indian religions the art of these lands was also introduced. Ridicule and satire soon



THE BATHS OF CARACALLA.


attacked these excesses, as they had attacked the faith in the Roman gods and in foreign philosophies, and destroyed this stimulant amid sensual enjoyments. An attempt was made to stem the tide of riotous luxury by the adoption of a Spartan serenity and indifference, but it only extended to individuals.

While reflecting on these things we have reached the batha themselves, and stand lost in wonder before a row of majestic columns in red granite, in the middle of which a flight of white marble steps leads up to a portico. Upon these columns rests


ROMAN ART.

the second storey of the palace, which surrounds the exterior of the baths. To the right and left we see two flights of marble steps before us, an endless number of antechambers adorned with paintings and swarming with slaves. They have accompanied

Klieir masters, bringing his countless requirements for the bath i proud procession, and are waiting for his return from the ntertainments of the bath, which often thrust its principal object uto the background. A lofty vaulted passage leads us through a broad open space of plane-trees into the interior. Here we can rest a moment on one of the marble seats, of which there are supposed to be 16,000 in the building, beneath the shade of the spreading trees. Then we pass through a long series of chambers to the left, looking back at the corresponding part on the other side, and stand before a wonderfully beautiful round outbuilding, which is open towards the plane-trees, and forms a semicircular tribune with marble seats. From this we pass along a long passage to a crescent-shaped portico, through which a loud noise is heard. Here we see old and young in the midst of a spacious hall (stadium) of marble and stucco amusing themselves with various games of ball. As soon as we are tired of watching this we visit another large hall and two small ones. In these, sophists and orators interchange their opinions and writers read their works. Wandering once more into the open we arrive at he back of the building, where there is a large space surrounded by plane-trees and flower-beds. Here in motley crowds traders and artists throng the broad paths to serve the requirements of the pleasure-seekers.

But where shall we find the baths ? From the middle of the large piazza, we can at least see the two-storied water reservoir, approached by a huge staircase, and the extensive arrangements for carrying the water to the baths. To the left are rooms for the attendants who look after the bath, and at last, in the middle


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


of the plantations, two antechambers with mosaic pavement and marble walls catch our eye. Then we enter the dressing-room, and through this the great open hall of the cold bath (frigid- arium). The marble swimming tank has not the extent of that of Diocletian, in which a thousand men could bathe at once r while 3,000 dressing-rooms were at their service, but it is so charming that one might think it a resort of gods and nymphs. Through the clear crystal water the glorious colours of the marble bottom are reflected ; on the walls tritons beckon ; everything that lives in the water seems assembled to do us honour. A number of other smaller covered rooms surround the large hall,. and are decorated with bright and lively arabesques and frescoes. The apartments for special diseases are splendid.

In the lukewarm baths we are surrounded by a rotunda of immense size. The dome above it rests on eight porphyry columns and a cross framework. Its circumference was so great that architects of our own time have declared it impossible. Radiating mosaic arabesques branch out from the centre and enclose the pictures on it ; the walls up to the slope of the dome consist of polished porphyry.

We return to the outer building and wander through the magnificent palace on the second storey. What a splendid vaulted roof in the hall which we enter ! How beautifully its white stucco sets off the dark marble walls surmounted with a golden frieze \ Then we hasten up a broad marble staircase into a picture gallery, in the halls of which are collected the works of great Greek and Roman painters, many of which we can recognise,, Etruscan vases, metal mirrors with pictures on the back, many beautiful and in good taste.

We now leave the baths of Caracalla. They are the last work of art at Rome in the contemplation of which we can find any pleasure ; and indeed we may really find more artistic value in


ROMAN ART.


12$


a single coin of the time of Augustus than in all the splencHd- frescoes of these baths. In the heads and figures on these coins there is a reflection of the national spirit which gives them a deep interest. Under this emperor we see art develop, under Greek influence, with an almost miraculous rapidity, and then sink again almost as quickly, till, under Hadrian, it once more rises into a momentary life ; in which, however, traces of artificial forms are to be seen, as, for example, in a double temple of Venus. Hence- forth art is lost in extravagance of proportion and exuberance of unnatural and tawdry decoration. We see this in the gaudy voluted capitals and the rough, worthless sculpture. This is already visible in the statue of the excellent but weak emperor, Marcus Aurelius, in the Capitol ; it is still more evident in the triumphal arch of Septimius Severus and its sculptures.

But the breath of true life is felt in the figures on the Sarco- phagus, which present the significant myth of Cupid and Psyche as a symbol of the immortality of the soul. Thus even the fantastic Oriental tendency, which is growing stronger, is pro- ducing a disposition favourable to the reception of Christianity.

The decline of architecture is well shown in the palace of Diocletian at Spalatro ; it is surrounded by walls and towers, highly picturesque but not harmonious, rich in excess of dis- connected detail.



ROMAN COIN ^EMPEROR VALERIAN).


CHAPTER X.

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. EARLY CHRISTIAN ART AT ROME.

Catacombs. Basilicas. Sculptures.

F N passing to ancient Christian art we encounter on all A sides monuments of the heathen days of Rome. In the charming valley of the undulating Campagna, through which the little river Almo flows, on a lofty base, stands a small temple oi Bacchus, decorated with half-columns. In the worship here, as in other temples, we at once see vividly the moral degradation of the time. True, the customary offerings on the altars before the portico send up the flames to the blue heavens ; but it is criminal hands that are raised there, scoffing lips which there stammer lying prayers, from hearts which mock and despise both faith in the gods and all that is sacred and noble in the human breast. Its real blessings are lost for them altogether, or have sunk into handmaids to their base passions and desires. The Divine seed of knowledge, out of which spiritual life developed itself, is now dead. Its hull is shrivelled now that its life has flown. The grandeur of the world has become loathsome to mad, intoxicated men, even while the advance of knowledge extends her limitless wealth more perfectly than ever before their

eyes.

126



THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 127


Confused noise is heard from the temple, louder and louder,, the riotous sounds of bestial pleasures. We flee before it, but it follows us to the street of tombs, with its monuments of the noblest heroes, beneath whose shadows we seek rest from the riotous sounds, and from the fearful thought that no hope remains for mankind which has sunk so low. But as we sit here another sound meets our ears, the sound of voices singing in sweet unison. We listen, and look round to find whence it comes. It is not from heaven, nor from the earth, but from the depth of the tomb. It seems to call louder and louder, in lamentation, in hope, and



MONOGRAM OF CHRIST (CATACOMBS).

in joy, and it guides us to a dark opening beneath the ground. A veiled figure hands us a common lamp with dull glimmering flame, like those we saw at Pompeii. Then we descend a steep stair, deeper and deeper, and wind through labyrinthine paths. Our ear listening distinguishes an alternating song by different voices, words poured forth by the Jewish people in their deepest need, Zacharias' song of praise, and the salutation of the angel to Mary. Now there opens to us a small round hall, lighted by the scanty light of a single lamp, and we see men and women kneeling on their knees with their eyes turned to heaven and their hands folded in prayer. It is the persecuted communion of


128 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Christians, who here, in the tombs of their martyrs, are praying in spirit and in truth to their God and Saviour, whose loving hand is always ready to aid them amidst many and great dangers. And as the hymns swell, as the blessing of the president is spoken, as one after another they take their lamps and disappear among the lines of graves, each is ready to meet the most painful death for his faith, his hope, and his love, like Him who has gone before. But these are no longer only slaves and paupers. Yes- terday heathens revelling in wealth, to-day they apply all their goods to the benefit of the community, and have on their own lands hollowed out these spaces in the yielding lava. They are desperate men, in whom the Divine spark began to glimmer in the midst of the night of sin, proud thinkers who sought in vain for truth in the writings of philosophers, men weary of life who were already sharpening their daggers against their own bosoms, when the words rang in their ears, "Follow Me, and you shall find rest for your souls."

But we, as we try to carry ourselves back into this lofty, pure enthusiasm of the early Christians, whatever may be our own religious faith, cannot but feel ourselves raised and blessed by its contemplation. And as we attentively regard the coffin niches (locnli), right and left, we wander through the first cen- turies of Christian art. Simple symbolism, in itself perhaps hardly worthy of the name of art at all, but interesting for its own sake and for its influence on future development, is what first attracts our attention. On the rock walls and on the coffins we see a series of incised figures : a heart symbol of self-sacrificing love ; an anchor steadfastness and hope ; a dove the Holy Spirit ; a peacock omniscience and immortality ; a palm with a bowl or chalice, chiefly on the graves of martyrs, signifying victory over death and destruction. Little lamps in the form of these symbols stand in small niches (carrieres). Amid these pictorial symbols



THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 129


we read the names of the departed, often with the pregnant in- scription, " She sleepeth."

Thus, as many as fifteen rows rest one above another in hori- zontal hollows. Had they rested side by side these narrow passages would have had to be continued for 400 miles to contain the seven million graves which hold the remains of the Christian community of Rome for four centuries, and of whom 170,000 suffered a martyr's death.



CHAPEL IN THE CATACOMBS OF ST. AGNESE AT ROME.


I One of the round or octagonal tomb chapels which they exca- ted for the blessed martyrs, as well as for popes, bishops, and the Dre wealthy members, is adorned with pictures and domed. Four divisions, each surrounded with flowers, arabesques, and symbols, form the frames of larger pictures : the dove with a palm twig signifying the soul as victor after a hard battle ; the fish with three-pronged spit Christ who suffered and rose again after three days, like the prophet Jonas, who spent three days in the


130 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

fish's belly ; a fish with a basket of bread the Last Supper. The larger picture shows us Moses bringing water out of the rock Christ, the living spring ; Noah's Ark resting on the waves the Christian Church in the storm of the times ; the three men in the fiery furnace, a dove over their heads the sufferings of the Chris- tians, the Holy Spirit the Comforter.

The whole of nature, as the work of the Creator, was drawn upon by the Christians for their symbolism. The art of the earliest Christians does not seem to have extended beyond this symbolism. Judaism had never developed art, for it rejected all attempts to personify the Divine. The Jews despised the heathen gods, the work of men's hands, which had eyes and saw not. The instances



FISH SYMBOL FOR CHRIST (CATACOMBS).

in which plastic art was applied to religious purposes among them may be counted on the fingers the seraphim overshadowing the ark of the covenant, the brazen serpent, the golden calf. Thus the apostles brought with them to Rome no tendency towards the personification of the Divine ; but, on the contrary, an inclination to regard all material imagery as a relapse to idolatry. This aversion shows itself very strongly in the early father Tertullian. But as Christianity outstepped the narrow circle of Judaism, and came to embrace cultivated Greeks and Romans, this spirit could not continue. Sculpture is indeed banished entirely, but painting is admitted for decorative purposes. The old Roman custom of making the tomb a copy of the dwelling-house is adopted, and paintings such as we see in the houses at Pompeii flowers, dolphins,



THE ROMANESQUE ART Ob THE MIDDLE AGEb. 131


tritons, and winged genii are seen on the walls. Domestic articles, personal ornaments, coins and toys, are also to be found in the Christian tombs a curious survival of the spirit of antiquity, when the dead were supplied with all the ordinary requirements of life to furnish them forth in the world of the dead. Gradually the decorations adapt themselves to Christian thought, and the Saviour Himself is symbolised under various forms. A picture of Orpheus with his lute symbolises Christ taming the passions ; and later, the



CHRIST AS THE GOOD SHEPHERD,


figure of a shepherd boy among his flock, which is frequently met with in Pompeian decorations, is adapted to Christ, and becomes the famous symbol of the Good Shepherd a gentle and childlike boy among his sheep surrounded by vines. Later still, in the fifth

I and sixth centuries, while the catacombs were still used as places of pilgrimage and reverential regard for the dead, we see Christ in His own person, with parted flowing hair, deep thoughtful eyes,

ij gentle features, and bearded mouth, almost youthful. The one


132 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

hand holds the Book of Life, and the other points to heaven. Though certain of the fathers may have maintained that Christ walked the earth as a servant, without comeliness, still the spirit of ancient art was too strong to allow the painter to follow out such an idea. Two ideals of Christ are found the earlier one, the gentle graceful youth that we see as the Good Shepherd ; and this later one, which became fixed as the conventional representa- tion of Christ in the art of the Middle Ages.

So, too, with other types: the apostles, evangelists, and pro- phets, early gained distinctive conventional features, which, in the case of Peter and Paul, good Churchmen have endeavoured to prove to be copies of traditional portraits. The facts, however, are opposed to this theory ; the bronze statue of St. Peter at Rome, whose toe has been worn away by the lips of the faithful, is really that of a Roman consul.

Thus we see the reason why this art is called Romanesque. Founded upon that of ancient Rome, it at first differs not at all from pagan art ; then only so far as is involved in the adaptation of the subjects to Christian purposes ; and not till after Christian art had ascended above ground, in the time of Constantine, did it show any signs of advancing upon its prototype. The art it copied was in its decline ; that of the early Christians showed the same tendency.

In re-entering Rome now we pass by the domes of the baths of Caracalla, the palaces and temples (with their din ing-halls), the villas of the Pincian, where Lucullus elaborated the various pleasures of the palate with unheard-of luxury these no longer attract us. We pause a moment to look at the glorious triumphal arch of Constantine near the Colosseum. The decaying art of the fourth century had to borrow reliefs from that of Trajan, where- with to decorate it. The victorious emperor passes through it, welcomed by the cheers of the Christians, who have fought with


(E ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 133



him against the heathen Maxentius. Henceforth they may att raise their heads under the free light of day. The catacombs come no more than places of sacred memories used for festival rvices and for burials. Even earlier, the Christians had carried n their devotions above ground under the milder emperors. Henceforth they will continue to do so, and will build new churches. The hour of deliverance has struck. Christian art begins to develop a life of its own.

We enter an early Christian basilica. Is not this a commercial



THE ARCH OF CONSTANTINE.


exchange, with an apse for the judges in the background ? Surely we have seen it before, and that was its purpose ! But we hear within the same solemn music that met our ears when we entered the catacombs, that music which Luther calls a garden of beautiful flowers. No, this is no trading or judgment hall. The Christian community has dedicated it to the worship of the Lord of heaven and earth. A few slight changes have fitted these three naves for Christian worship. Instead of the noisy market, it opens on a quiet courtyard, and is separated by this and two vestibules from the bustle of life. The central nave is unusually lofty, and


134 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

is lighted by circular arched windows in the walls above the roofs of the side aisles. A cross points upwards on the summit of the roof. In the middle of the courtyard, which is surrounded by a low arcade, is a fountain, the symbol of purification. Opposite us opens the bright vestibule in which the youth who are being educated to Christianity await the admittance into the congre- gation. Three doors open into the long aisles which lead up to the altar in the apse. We next enter the inner vestibule for novices and penitents; then through a wicket gate we enter the centre nave a row of columns and pillars separate it from the side aisles. Round arches bridge the spaces between these, and support the lofty wall, which is covered with pictorial decorations, Old Tes- tament stories bearing on the New ; and the sunlight enters softly through small thin marble panes.

At first the walls were painted on a blue ground. It was in the fifth century that mosaics of coloured glass began to be used as mural decorations. True, this is mechanics' work ; the artist can only give the cartoon to guide the workman in fitting his tiny blocks together. But the mosaic compels thoroughness of exe- cution, and in the hands of skilled workmen, it becomes superior as decoration to the careless work of the decorative painter. A wonderfully rich effect is hereby given to the interior. Our eyes sweep over this vast wealth of colour, up to the gilded beams of the roof, and run along this beautiful perspective to the altar niche. Its opening is spanned by a grand triumphal arch, representing the victory of Christ over death and the grave. Here beneath the altar is the crypt, in which is deposited as much as can die of the apostle or martyr to whom the church is dedicated. Over the altar is a bronze baldachino, supported on graceful columns ; symbolical golden vessels are there for the Lord's Supper, a pyx

(to hold the Host) in the form of a dove or beacon, crown os cross.

-^

As we walk up the nave we see the men in the right aisle, the


h .


THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 135

women in the left. On both sides a number of worshippers lead- e singing of the hymns. In the apse the elders of the congre- gation are seated, the bishop's throne being raised in the centre. Between the hymns we hear passages out of the Gospels read, rom the triumphal arch above, the head of Christ looks down pon us. On the roof of the half dome of the apse we see Him aching among His disciples, His hand pointing to heaven. Be-



HEAD OF CHRIST, FROM A MOSAIC IN THE CHURCH OF SS. COSMA AND DAMIANO, AT ROME (SIXTH CENTURY).

low is the symbol of the Good Shepherd with His sheep, among the richer congregations in mosaic, among the poorer in painting.

Basilicas of the same design, differing only in detail, we find in all parts of the world to which Christianity spread ; indeed, this form lies at the basis of the highest development of church architecture. In the sixth, or according to some authorities in the eighth century, towers begin to arise, with gay peals of bells instead of


136


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


hammer blows to summon the people to prayer. For baptistries, the round or polygonal form was chosen.

Though sculpture did not stand in high favour with the early Christians, towards the end of the fourth century we begin to meet with reliefs and independent figures. This is chiefly in sarcophagi,



BYZANTINE HEAD OF CHRIST (SIXTH CENTURY).

and follows classic work very closely both in form, drapery, and grouping.

The sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, which we see in the vaults at St. Peter's, is one of the most interesting of these works ; it is in a number of partitions, in two stories, divided by Corinthian columns. In the compartments are subjects from the Old and




wn

i

enl


THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 137

New Testaments : the sacrifice of Isaac ; Daniel in the lions' den^j- the Temptation ; the entry into Jerusalem, etc. ; the figures are heavy, and the grouping awkward.

Ancient Rome with its works of art falls into ruin and decay, while the new Christian Rome develops. But both are in danger destruction by the invasion of the barbarians. True, Pope o the First nobly stemmed the destructive fury of Attila ; but nthusiasm was chilled and the development of Christian art was seriously checked. The various forms of faith are forced into a single unyielding mould by the power of the clergy. Thus they hope to strengthen the Church in the struggle against paganism and to protect it against schism. After its hopeful beginning art in Rome comes to a standstill. Whither then must we turn to find it again in active movement ?



CHAPTER XL

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES

(continued).

BYZANTINE ART.

(i.) At Constantinople : The Church of St. Sophia, Mosaics, Sculptures. (ii.) In Russia and Asia.

IT is to the East, to ancient Thrace, that we must now turn our steps. Here, in the earliest times, the bard Orpheus purified and ennobled mankind : Orpheus, whom we have seen rescuing his beloved from the lower world, and whom Christian art held worthy of being adopted as a symbol of the Saviour.

Later, we hear little of this strange land. After the days of the Macedonian empire, it led an isolated existence far away from the principal stage, under petty princes, and was then conquered by the Roman Emperor Vespasian.

The great Constantine, perhaps foreseeing the fall of Rome, recognised the importance of the site of Byzantium, and founded there a second Rome. There, on seven hills, surrounded on three sides by the rocky ranges of Roumelia, arise temples, palaces, theatres, markets, circuses, Christian basilicas and baptisteries in oriental splendour. A wonderful building of red brick is the Church of St. Sophia, crowned by a flattened dome surrounded by countless smaller ones.

138




SECTION AND PLAN OF ST. SOPHIA AT CONSTANTINOPLE.

[To face p. 138.




THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 139

We enter from the west, through an arch supported by columns, into a quadrangular court surrounded by gay arcades, in the middle of which a fountain splashes its waters, as before remarked, a symbol of purification. A narrow entrance hall for penitents receives us. Our eye at once rests on the Saviour enthroned over the entrance to the interior : a mosaic figure on a golden ground. Solemnly and majestically He raises His right hand to bless, while in His left He holds a book. His eyes look far away above the world, and He seems scarcely to see the Emperor Justinian lying at His feet in his imperial robes. Two half-lengths in medallion are on either side. These figures are very different from the child- like simplicity of those in the catacombs and the mosaics in the basilicas. They are characterized by great splendour and extreme formality, though on looking at them closely we are impressed by their piety and humility. It seems as though the soul were struggling to be free from blind ecclesiastical formalism ; as though Christ came to set men free in art as well as in life. Through one of the bronze gates we enter the second entrance hall and get a free view of the interior. Dazzling brilliancy of colour from the variegated marbles and mosaics meets our eyes. A sea of light streams down on us from the dome, which covers the central area of the building, and is supported by four massive pillars. The whole glitters and glimmers with the most varied play of colours from the gold and jewels on the walls, columns, domes, and sacred figures, and awakes memories of the distant lands through which we have travelled green serpentine columns from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, porphyry from the Temple of the Sun at Baalbek, shining white marble from the sanctuary of Cybele. How simple and harmoniously beautiful was the Greek temple in the Acropolis compared to this ! And yet it was wanting in the highest spiritual significance which is revealed here even in the very extravagances.


140


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


Here we at once feel that the vaulting seems to express the striving after higher things which is the central thought of Christendom better than the flat roof of the basilica. In the dome which surmounts the vaulting we are reminded of the unity which embraces the whole world in love and faith. Christ, the Judge of the world, looks down on us from the splendid mosaics of the dome ; and in the four pendentives which form the link between the piers and the dome, we see the seraphim of the Apocalypse with their six wings, " with twain they covered their heads, with twain they covered their feet, and with twain



MOSAIC FROM ST. SOPHIA.


did they fly." Two semidomes, equal in diameter to the great dome, lead up to it on the east and the west. To each of these 'three smaller semidomes are added, the middle one to the west extending to the vestibule, that at the east over the apse. The oblong space arched by this magnificent system of domes is enclosed by a low aisle surmounted by a gallery for the women. The lines of the gallery and aisles are broken where they pass through the arches of the piers, and the general effect is of a vast central court surrounded by tiers of arcades. The apse at the extremity of the long nave is the only thing that reminds us of the Roman basilicas.




THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 141


In this central building Christian art has begun to find ^ clearer expression, and to seek for new forms ; chiefly, however, mder the influence of the external form of worship, which is tending towards mere ceremonial, and threatens to stifle this first spiritual impulse in its birth. Gradually its solemnity changes ito stiffness and formality ; the symbolism loses all its signifi-

ance. But technical execution advances in small works of ivory

uid gold, memorial tablets and miniature altar pieces, many of 'hich are to be seen in the South Kensington Museum. So too in manuscripts portraits beautifully executed are frequently to be found.

By the eleventh century a gradual decline of technical skill md conception has begun. The Eastern Church has fallen into deathlike formalism.

THE SPREAD OF BYZANTINE ART IN RUSSIA AND

ASIA.

It is impossible to follow all the paths by which Byzantine art spread into almost all quarters of the earth in which the Christian Church had taken root. The earliest development of Byzantine architecture was among the oriental Christians. The churches of Thessalonica, and numerous buildings in Armenia and Georgia, greatly resemble those of Constantinople, and date from the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries. The most numerous groups of these buildings are found in Syria : the earliest buildings of this style in Servia belong to the ninth and tenth centuries.

In Russia, the Byzantine style acquired a special stamp, modified by the national character, and has continued to flourish there till modern times. Indeed, wherever the worship of the Greek Church continues, traces of the old character can still be seen. We must advance somewhat in time, as Christianity was


142 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

only established in Russsia in the tenth century. Passing, then, across the Black Sea, and past Odessa, over the lonely Russian Steppes, we arrive at the ancient city of Kiev, where Christianity first found a warm supporter in Vladimir. On these hills, separated from the neighbouring town of Petschersk by a deep ravine, we behold a group of golden domes, faithful copies of those we have seen at Constantinople. The sight of these sanctuaries carries us back to Byzantium. The interiors were decorated by Greek artists with gold and silver, marble and mosaics.

From Kiev let us travel on to Moscow, the cradle of the empire of the Czars, the centre around which, amid bloodshed and treachery, the great empire was formed, the heart of the empire in the past as in the present. Amid the forests which surround the city, countless gilded domes arise ; but chief among them stands the Kremlin, the most sacred sanctuary of the Russian people, in which are treasured the jewels of their heroes, sceptres, thrones, and swords, and within its vast boun- daries the most varied buildings out of seven centuries record the national history. The mass of the building shows little originality ; it is simply Byzantine. Amid the endless external wars and internal dissensions Russia never enjoyed the tran- quillity necessary for the development of art, until the acces- sion of Peter the Great ; when the style of which we are speaking came to an end, the country had hardly emerged from barbarism. One art they had indeed possessed from the earliest times : Herodotus speaks of the skill of the Scythians in metal work, especially in the casting of bells, and to-day the bells of Moscow throw into insignificance all those of western Europe. This necessitated some original building. Towers did not form a feature of Byzantine architecture, and their builders produced nothing capable of supporting bells weighing fifty or one hundred tons. So the Russian builders set to work inde-



M


TH


THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 143

pendently, and constructed independent towers. Those of Ivan Veliki form the most picturesque groups in the Kremlin. Octa- gonal in form they rise in three decreasing sections, and are sur- mounted by dome, crescent, and cross. Other towers rising in lyramid and spire adorn the walls of the Kremlin. It is these hich form the most characteristic feature of the building. From the time of Peter the Great all signs of a characteristic Russian style of architecture have passed away. The next stage of our journey must be to Italy to see the effects of Byzantine influence there.



BYZANTINE ORNAMENT.


CHAPTER XII.

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES

(continued)*

ART UNDER THEODORIC.

Ravenna. The Tomb of Theodoric. Church of St. Vitale.

\ T 7E have seen Byzantine art among a race alien from the

  • * Western nations, in a land entirely strange to us, attaining

to a considerable height of success, which excites our interest and even our sympathy, although its splendour is hardly in har- mony with our mode of thought. Now returning to Italy we meet with a form of art which has much in common with the Byzantine, but originated under Theodoric, a Teutonic hero.

Let us turn back to the time when we left early Christian Rome, and glance for a few minutes at the course of history.

The long threatening storm of Teutonic hordes at length burst over Italy. For a moment it seemed as though its whole glory would be swept away by Attila, Genseric, and their successors. But the Teutonic races coming from the north were overmastered by the genius of art, for the influence of which Christianity had prepared them, and stayed their hand. The spring of a strong young life touched the fading twigs, and art blossomed forth once more into a new existence.

Amid unspeakable barbarism and violence we see in this great







THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 145

thunderstorm the impure elements swept away. Indeed some such destructive force was necessary to clear the air and to awaken a new life. Our road takes us to Theodoric's residence at Ra- venna. Hero in war, and greater hero in peace, the poetry of German sagas has crowned him with glory as Dietrich of Bern.

As we approach the old city which spreads itself out over the sea on the ridges of the Apennines, these old songs ring in our ears. At the source of old German poetry stand gods more serious than those of the pleasant land of Greece. Sensual pleasure and charm fall into the background. Bold daring, great endurance, faithfulness to death, are the prevalent qualities in Teutonic epic as in Teutonic life. A love pure and chaste, deep and strong, as glorified in the song of the Nibelungen and in Gudrun, lives in the heart of the Teutonic woman, who is a sympathetic companion to her husband and a divine priestess to her people. Freedom in the noblest sense was the watchword, the forest the temple, the strong oak the dwelling of the most revered of their gods, Thor, the warrior and thunderer. These early myths of our race have been of late years restored to us in England in the poems of William Morris.

The energy and enduring courage of the Germanic peoples which drove them into Italy time after time to meet with slavery and death, impelled them in the day of their success, when they had adopted the religion of the vanquished, to seek to raise worthy temples for Christian worship.

In England, France, and Germany we see basilicas rising up. That of San Apollinare Nuovo at Ravenna, built by Theodoric, is one of the finest examples of early Romanesque style. In those at Rome the materials to hand in minor temples were utilized by the Christian architects, and thus unity was generally wanting. At Ravenna there were no such spoils to be found, so that the builders had to design all their details for themselves.


146 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

The columns are uniform, and are surmounted by a block which represents the ancient architrave, and is sufficient to support the arches. The triforium is adorned with figures, and the remaining space up to the roof is filled with windows which correspond with arches and are separated by figures. The apse, as in the Roman basilica, still contains the bishop's throne, and is surrounded by tiers of seats for the presbytery.

Here too, at Ravenna, we see the tomb of Theodoric, a strong decagonal building of freestone in two stories about fifty feet high. On each side is a deep recess. The building was evi- dently suggested by the tomb of Hadrian at Rome; only, in accordance with the change that has taken place, arcades replace the older straight architraves. On the upper storey an arcade formerly surrounded the central building. The most interesting part of the whole is the flat dome which surmounts it. It is formed of one huge block of granite, thirty-five feet in diameter, an appropriate covering for a tomb, and especially suitable to Theodoric's resting-place, as it reminds us of the huge blocks which covered the primitive cromlechs beneath which the ances- tors of his race lay buried in the distant north. Within, a cruci- form vaulted chamber contained the sarcophagus.

A charming harmonious building is the Church of St. Vitale, the most beautiful of all the circular churches of this time. It was begun in 526 A.D., and is therefore older than St. Sophia. Its form is octagonal with a central dome. When we have passed through the narrow, obscure vestibule, we raise our eyes and behold the dome supported by eight slender pillars, and see the brilliant mosaic of Christ on the globe in the attitude of an ancient orator. The piers alternating with circular columns; the galleries with their columns all aid in giving an effect of grace and eloquence. In Theodoric's palace we find the corresponding style applied to secular buildings. The decorations represent historical events,




THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 147


chiefly out of his own life. Here too we see his bronze equestrian statue, with a panther's hide thrown over the mighty shoulders. Art is beginning to take the first step out of the world of symbolic thought into that of reality. In many other buildings at Ravenna from the time of Thedosius and his daughter Placidia, we could see both the pure use of the form of the basilica and the gradual transition to that of the cross, and finally the influence of Byzantine art during the next two centuries. But it would take too long to attempt this, it is neither useful nor pleasant to look hurriedly at a number of things. In every journey one must pass much by, and especially in so long a one as ours. We must there- fore forbear stopping at the Chapel of Cividale, or the Lombardic buildings at Brescia, Milan, etc., all of which show the further development of architecture in the same direction as the Byzantine. We must now return to the north with the Prankish Emperor Charlemagne, to his northern capital at Aachen.


I



CHAPTER XIII.

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES

(continued).

ART UNDER CHARLEMAGNE.

Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle.

IN the year 800 A.D., Charles King of the Franks, who had foi more than twenty years been the actual ruler of Italy as well as of all Prankish lands, returned to his northern home with the title of Emperor. The authority of the Emperors in Constanti- nople had long been merely nominal, and the opportunity was eagerly seized of casting it off altogether.

Let us glance for a moment at the growth of this Prankish empire. We can trace its origin to the low mountain range which extends from the Hartz to the Seven Mountains. There first we find the name applied to this brightest and most vigorous branch of the Teutonic race. Its meaning has been much dis- puted : that it means simply " free " there is hardly evidence to show, our own word " franklin " would rather indicate that it meant freeholder or free lord. But be that as it may, the quality that it implies the franchise thus described in Chaucer's version of the old Romance of the Rose, has ever most truly characterized the Prankish race :

  • ' And next him daunced Dame Fraunchise : ty>

With eyen glad, browes bent, 148


THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 149

Her hair down to her heeles went, Full debonaire of herte was she ; She durste neither say ne do But that, that her 'longeth to."

By the end of the fifth century the Franks had spread over the northern part of Gaul, and their rulers gradually displaced the re- presentatives of the old Roman government. The descendants of Clovis, the Merovingians, fell from crime into weakness, and were ousted by a race from the eastern side of the Prankish dominion, the family of Charles Martel, whose son Pepin deposed Chilperic, and assumed the title as he had long exercised the power of king. Having established himself in Frankia, he went at the call of the Pope to save Rome from the Lombards and won back Theodoric's city of Ravenna from their hands.

But it was more than the name of Emperor that Charles brought back with him from Italy to his capital in the north : art and culture first find a real home in Teutonic lands through him. The art that he found in Rome and Ravenna he carried home to his imperial city of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle). There we see theatres, palaces, aqueducts, Christian basilicas, and baths ; his palaces at Nimeguen and Ingelheim have long since perished, but his court chapel, now the cathedral of Aix, stands as a lasting memorial of his greatness. In this building, an octagon surrounded by chapels, we see a noble imitation of St. Vitale at Ravenna. Eight massive pillars support the central octagon, and divide it from the two storied aisles which surround it. These support a similar series of arches, above which is a triforium open to the roof adorned with double rows of columns of marble and granite brought by Charles from Rome and Ravenna, and this again is surmounted by eight lofty windows which give light to the dome. The mosaics which formerly adorned it have perished ; but ex- cellent modern imitations have now been put in their place. In


ISO A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

a chapel adjoining the church was the tomb of the Emperor, where for three hundred years he sat on his marble throne, till Barbarossa placed his remains in the antique sarcophagus which may still be seen in the Hochmlinster (the aisle of the second story). The throne was used for the coronation of the emperors,, which for many centuries took place beneath the venerable vaults- of the first western Emperor.

Of the magnificent palace of Charles little now remains, except some fragments built into the Rathhaus. The coronation hall was- decorated with a hundred columns brought from Italy ; within were paintings from the history of his life. On the walls of his palaces, at Ingelheim and Nimeguen, historical events from the Old and New Testaments were for the first time arranged side by side, Roman and early Christian art was spread far and wide by the influence of Charles and his successors.

But in visiting the home of Charles we must not confine our attention to great works of art ; for at this time much thought,, skill and labour were bestowed on smaller works ; shrines and chests for the precious relics of Christian saints and martyrs were adorned with paintings and enriched with golden ornaments. Gospels, psalters, and mass books were filled with miniatures,, clumsy in design, but coloured and gilded with the greatest elaborateness. Upon the altars shone not only the vessels for the mass, in imitation of Byzantine designs, but also shrines decorated with quaint but charming pictures ; these were made with wings which opened like the writing tablets which the ancient Romans used to carry about with them, and now Christians carried with them small ones adorned with miracles and legends of the saints. Thus Charlemagne had in daily use a Diptych, the work of Abbot Tutilo, which has been preserved to our day. It is in ivory, elaborately carved ; in the midst is seated Christ between the seraphim, surrounded by the four Evangelists with



THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 151


their symbolic animals, figures of the sun and the moon, earth and . ocean, houses and towers, to indicate the landscape. Numerous examples of these quaint ivory shrines may be seen in the South Kensington Museum. The monasteries began at this time to be the special centres of this sort of culture.



DIPTYCH OF THE ABBOT TUTII.O.


CHAPTER XIV.

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES

(continued}.

ART IN GERMANY.

The Castle Church at Qvedlinburg. The Cathedral of St. Michael at Hildesheim.

\\ 7"E have now to travel far north into Germany, to the

  • * northern limit of the mountainous district of Central

Europe, the fantastic, precipitous chain of the Hartz. Just on the limit of the northern plain lies the quaint old town of Quedlinburg, the cradle and home of the famous emperor Henry the Fowler. Here he dwelt peacefully in his youth, till, suddenly raised to the imperial throne, he grasped the sword to assert his power against those who refused to recognise his authority. Then, while he lay ill, the wild Hungarians advanced their frontier further and further into Germany. With wise self-control he bought of them a nine years' peace, to prepare for the struggle. After his great victory had been gained, a period of peace ensued, in which the moral effect of the struggle showed itself in the general development of the country, of which art was one of the most precious fruits. The Emperor founded churches, abbeys, and convents, in those days the usual centres of higher culture. Then villages grew into walled towns. The middle class the chief element of national



THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 153

life and liberty in Germany as elsewhere began to grow up ami flourish. The work was continued under the Ottos and Henry the Lion.

The church of Quedlinburg is of the eleventh century. How much nearer to us than the Aachen Minster does this basilica already appear, even only regarded externally, with its two mas- jive towers with round arched windows built over the vestibule, 'hree porticos, also of the round arched form, re-echo in a series >f small arches supported by columns the beautiful curve. In the vestibule there stands instead of the fountain a piscina, from rhich believers sprinkle themselves/ symbolical of inward purifi- ition. What a beautiful perspective in the principal nave to the icightened altar-niche ! Below are the minor round arches sup- >rted alternately by pillars and columns. The clerestory again repeats them in long galleries of columns. A blind arch over iach smaller arch brings the harmony to a graceful conclusion.

Instead of the glittering mosaics on the walls, we here see solemn and more natural figures painted on a blue ground. The dignity of the Byzantine style, degenerated into fossilization,. is already transfigured by German feeling. The column capitals in solid cube manifest here and there fantastic forms. The cross vault is freer for eye and feeling than the flat the widened altar-niche gives room for a larger number of priests. Under it, as now common, a sepulchral church for the sarcophagus in this case that of Henry I. Next to it a relic-chest, of ivory, with scenes from the life of Christ, still awkward, but worked with na'fve pious feeling.

Far more richly adorned is the Cathedral of St, Michael in Hildesheim, with its six picturesque towers. The church dates from the eleventh century, founded by the learned and art-loving Bishop Bernward. Two of the towers surmount the widened cross- shaped choir; two at the entrance, where there is a second


154 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

cross nave with a choir; two smaller ones on the gable sides of the cross wings. The perspective of the choir is grandly beautiful ; the serious, solemn figures instinct with life, particularly in the drapery.

On the bronze doors are sixteen reliefs, by Bernward's own hand, which already show emancipation from Byzantine tutelage. The short figures, it is true, are rather unwieldy, with the upper part of the body standing out. One wing of the door is devoted to the Fall of Man, the other to the Redemption. Noteworthy, too, in the church are a baptismal font, with the four rivers of Paradise, a candelabra, with the heavenly Jerusalem, and a pillar like Trajan's, on a small scale, with the life of Christ.

In the midst of the Teutoburger Forest, where the German hero Arminius defeated the legions of Varus, we come upon a precious monument of early German art. Surrounded by limes and beeches, on the right bank of a tiny rivulet, the " Wembache " is a significant, interesting rendering, on a colossal scale, right against the solid rock, of the " Descent from the Cross," freely yet symmetrically grouped.

In the midst towers the cross. On the right stands Nicodemus on a bent palm, with countenance bowed with pain, having let the sacred corpse gently slide. Joseph of Arimathea takes it carefully on his shoulder. On the left, Mary behind Joseph in German costume lifting the Son's head for holy kiss. To the right, behind Nicodemus, John bends his head with right hand uplifted sadly, the left holding a book. Adjacent to the cross, sun and moon personified in beautiful shimmer. In a second picture, beneath this, cinctured by viperiform dragon symbol of sin Adam and Eve, representatives of erring humanity, lift their hands prayerfully to the Saviour. We forget the rigorous regularity of the drapery, in contemplating the beauty of the pinnacled group instinct with deep symbolic feeling. The rock-wall still shows the now deserted



THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 155


entrance of a former chapel. It is said in pre-Christian times to have served for abode to Vellede, the Teutonic priestess, who vainly warned the Roman general on his disastrous way to encounter Hermann the Cheruscan.



CHAPTER XV.

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES

(continued}.

ART IN THE RHENISH PROVINCES.

Cathedrals of Mayence, Worms, and Spires.

r I ^O see 'the highest achievements of German architecture we -* must travel along the banks of the Rhine. The commercial prosperity of Germany in the middle ages, before the rise of the Hanseatic League, centred in the towns of this beautiful valley. Between Cologne and Strasburg we find countless examples of churches and cathedrals in the Romanesque style, which the Germans had made their own, and developed into the original and characteristic architecture which we find at its best in the double- apsed cathedrals of Mayence, Treves, and Spires. In the two greatest towns of the river, indeed, the cathedrals belong to another style. Just as in the eighteenth century Germany aban- doned herself in art, literature, language and manners, to the servile imitation of France : so in the thirteenth century, no sooner did the Gothic style spring up in the Prankish lands of what is now Northern France, than the German Romanesque style was abandoned, and German architects devoted themselves entirely to the imitation of the French with what success we shall see later,

156




THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 157


when we come back to visit the most complete of Gothic buildings, the Cathedral of Cologne.

The general plan of these churches is the same : double apses,

upported on each side by small circular or polygonal towers,



ARCHES IN ST. MICHAEL'S, HILDESHEIM.

with steep pointed roofs ; at the intersection of the nave and transepts a hexagonal or octagonal dome ; arcaded galleries under the eaves of the roof of the apses, sometimes continued along the whole length of the straight side a feature which we shall find to be characteristic of the Lombard style, to which this bears so

N


158 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

great a resemblance. A very perfect example of the style is the church at Gernrode, a little town in the Hartz mountains, near Quedlinburg, which shows very well one curious feature of German churches the gallery which joins the two towers, and rising considerably above the roof of the church forms with the apse a striking facade. The chief decoration is bestowed on the doorways and the capitals of the columns. The latter are generally cubical, and are boldly, though often roughly, carved with natural and fantastic designs. Amid the wealth of choice among the churches we may glance for a moment at the Church of St. Michael in Hildesheim, in which the piers, columns, and round arches separating the aisles from the nave are strikingly graceful and well-proportioned, and, with the arabesques and figures ornamenting the arches and wall, form a whole of extreme beauty. The flat roof of this church is one of the best-preserved examples of twelfth century painting in Germany ; the figures of Adam and Eve in one of the larger panels show the strangely conven- tional treatment of the human figure handed down by tradition by the Byzantine Church.

All the greater buildings have grown up slowly, and the original designs have been added to from time to time as the works went on. To find one complete in design we will go up from the Rhine into the volcanic mountains of the Eifel, and there, amid the wooded hills by the blue waters of the lake, we find the beautiful church of the Abbey of Laach, with its varied and picturesque towers and its simple but graceful ornament. Though comparatively small, its effect is as striking and dignified as any of the larger cathedrals.


CHAPTER XVI.

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES

(continued].

ART IN FRANCE AND ITALY.

\ T 7HILE the German builders of the Rhineland have developed

  • * for themselves a style, the source of which we found in the

early basilicas, in Lombardy and Southern France a similar de- velopment has been taking place.

In the volcanic region of the Auvergne, at the foot of the Puy de Dome, lies the little town of Clermont, where in 1075 a Council of the Church was held in which Pope Urban II. proclaimed the crusade. Peter the Hermit, who had done more than any one to stir the enthusiasm of Europe for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre from the hands of the infidel, was a native of Amiens. The enthusiasm extended far beyond its original object : churches and cathedrals were built with renewed vigour, and possibly on their voyages to the Holy Land the crusaders' eyes were opened to new artistic possibilities.

The most characteristic part of these cathedrals is the chevet or apse surrounded with chapels. In Germany, the simple apse of the Roman basilicas, solid in the lower part, was universal. Else- where things seem to have taken a somewhat different course, and we saw in Aachen the circular church adopted, to which later a choir


160 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

was added by the clergy for their own use. In France too the Roman circular form was frequent ; but the result was different, for the clergy kept the circular building, placing in it their relics or shrine ; and to provide for the people a nave had to be added, this was generally made as wide as the circular part. Thus originated the French chevet, " which is an apse always enclosed by an open screen of columns on the ground floor, and opening into an aisle, which again opened into a number of apsidal chapels."

A beautiful example of the chevet is to be found in the church of Notre Dame du Port, in this little town of Clermont. The four chapels, each rather more than a semicircle, seem an essential part of the design, and not, as is often the case, as if they had been added as an afterthought. The chapels here are naturally divided from each other by a single window, the buttresses are light and graceful, the columns and string-courses perfectly suitable. Under the eaves, instead of the arcade of the Rhine and Lombard churches, we have here a mosaic decoration of various coloured lavas, which this volcanic region plentifully supplied. This, and the other churches of Auvergne, are more perfect and beautiful than the larger churches of Aquitaine, the most important of which is that of St. Sernin, at Toulouse. Here we have the most beautiful central ornament an octagonal dome or spire in five diminishing similar stories, topped by a pointed roof. In Provence the architecture retains more distinctly than elsewhere the classical character ; and this is very natural, for nowhere north of the Alps were the remains of Roman buildings so numerous or so beautiful as in Provence. At Nismes and Aries, the beautiful amphitheatres and temples still excite our admiration. It is, therefore, not sur- prising that here we find in churches Corinthian columns and cornices worthy of the best classical times. The apse of the ruined church of Alet is most graceful both within and without ; the Corinthian columns at the outer angles, and supporting the trium-




THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 161

phal arch within, are boldly executed, without slavish following of classical details. The roof of St. Sernin, as indeed of most of the Aquitanian and Provencal churches, is a tunnel vault, sometimes round, as in the nave of St. Sernin, but generally pointed ; the flat wooden roof of the old basilicas has been given up, and builders are now experimenting in new forms. Many books have been written about the history of the pointed arch, and much unnecessary difficulty has been made about it. Men did not require to go to the east to learn to make it ; it was the natural outcome of the round arch. If we attempt to lay roofing tiles on a round barred vault, the result is that a large angle requires filling up on the top, and thus a heavy weight is accumulated just at the point where the round arch is weakest and can bear it worst : by adopting the pointed arch, this central burden is dispensed with. Unfortunately, elsewhere, architects did not work so thoroughly as these Provencals, and we shall find that in our own country this advantage of the pointed arch as an actual roof was not utilized, but that almost invariably in our cathedrals and churches a separate timber roof is built above the vault, which is thus rendered merely a false ceiling. The ruin into which so many Gothic buildings have fallen all over Europe is very largely due to this.

If we pass now into Italy we shall meet with much that re- minds us of what we saw on our Rhine journey and in Provence ; but while in Germany, in France, and in England, we see one style being worked out step by step with something of a real unity, here there is nothing of the kind. At Pisa we find one style, at Milan another, at Venice a third, entirely different. Milan we will not visit till we have followed out the rise of pointed Gothic in France, and its adoption in Germany, for it was German masters who built the marble pile of Milan. Strange that the city which fought so long and fiercely against the German rule of Barbarossa


162 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

should now show the strongest signs of the German influence in art of all the towns of Italy !

At Pisa, on the contrary, there are no signs of Gothic influence ; the cathedral, of white and dark green marble, is most beautifully adorned with round arched arcades. These give a lighter and more graceful exterior than the northern cathedrals possess. Within, the form of the basilica is followed, except that the Pisan duomo has a triforium gallery in the place of the usual mosaics. Graceful granite columns with classical capitals support the arcades of the nave. In the upper arcades we see sculptures and mosaics, which are however of no great importance. The beauty of the interior is in the proportions, which give it a magnificence quite unusual in a building of its size, for its total length is only 173 feet In the baptistery opposite, a building similar in character, we find masterly sculptures of Niccola Pisano. Above the columns and arches are allegorical figures, saints and evangelists ; along the walls, reliefs representing the chief scenes in the life of Christ. The bell-tower at the other end of the cathedral is also beautiful with its arcades, though the effect of a number of similar stories one above the other is rather monotonous. It attracts our attention by the accident that it is very much out of the perpendicular : its foundations appear to have given way before the upper stories were completed, as may be proved by examining their construction ; but many have main- tained that it was designedly built as now it stands. The success of the style was so great that we find the Pisan cathedral almost reproduced in the churches of St. Michele and St. Martino at Lucca, and find many examples as graceful but more simple in and near Florence.

To Venice, the queen of the Adriatic, we must now take our way. So strangely different is she from any other city we have ever seen, that we will seek the poet's aid to call her up before our eyes.


THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 163

. ,

" There is a glorious city of the sea.

The sea is in the broad, the narrow streets,

Ebbing and flowing, and the salt sea-weed

Clings to the marble of her palaces.

No track of men, no footsteps to and fro,

Lead to her gates. The path lies o'er the sea,

Invincible ; and from the land we went,

As to a floating city steering in,

And gliding up her streets, as in a dream,

So smoothly, silently by many a dome,

Mosque-like, and many a stately portico,

The statues ranged along an azure sky ;

By many a pile, in more than eastern pride,

Of old the residence of merchant kings ;

The fronts of some, though time hath shattered them,

Still glowing with the richest hues of art,

As though the wealth within them had run o'er."

Towards the end of the ninth century, the vigorous and warlike people who had founded, four hundred years before, on the little islands of the Adriatic, a city of refuge from the troubles and dangers which constantly threatened them on the mainland, had grown to such a height of commercial prosperity as to rival the ancient grandeur of Tyre and Carthage. Tradition tells how in this ninth century they possessed themselves of the body of St. Mark, which had hitherto rested at Alexandria; while further legends show how their claim on the patronage of St. Mark was traced to a far earlier date, in that the apostle was the founder of the Church of Aquileia, and therefore the father of that of the Venetian isles. But be this as it may, the possession of the body of the saint stimulated the people, whose strong commer- cial instincts were combined with a religious faith equally strong, to raise a noble temple for the glorification of their saint and city.

As we pass through the Bocca di Piazza into the Piazza of San Marco we are almost dazzled by the splendour and variety


164 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

of the building that meets our gaze, a splendour far removed from anything else we meet with in Western Europe : clusters- of pillars of porphyry, white domes, gold and opal, brilliant mosaics and delicately sculptured alabaster, palm leaves and lilies, pomegranates and grapes, twisted fantastically together into a network, amidst which birds are nestling, and out of which angels peer, all resting on a ground of gold, the bril- liancy of which dims figure and leaf like the summer sun. This first glimpse of St. Mark's at once tells us that these Venetians, in their intercourse with the East, aided perhaps by the ever-varying beauty of the colour of the sea and sky amidst which their life at home was spent, had acquired a feeling for beauty of colour, essentially oriental.

The architecture of St. Mark's is an architecture of colour, not of form. Unlike the chief buildings of the West, it is not a. building which displays the nature and principles of its con- struction. The visible parts are purely decorative ; the shafts support no weight, the walls are faced with thin slabs of por- phyries and marbles, which make no pretence of forming part of the solid structure, but are merely attached to the rough walls in the lightest manner compatible with security. The plinths, cornices, and string-courses which hold the parts of the covering together are so light and delicate that it is obviously impossible that they can perform any function in supporting the solid building. The circumstances of Venice may perhaps partly account for this superficial character : having no quarries of stone in their islands, they were dependent for that material on the mainland, to which, moreover, in those disturbed times access might often be impossible. The ships which brought them stone were of small tonnage ; hence the tendency would be to make up for the small bulk of each cargo by the value of the material, and, if possible, to save weight by bringing stone which was



ST. MARK'S, AT VENICE (s. w. CORNER).


[To face p. 164.


THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 165

already sculptured. Thus, by the peculiar circumstances of his position, the stone material at the hands of the Venetian architect consisted of small quantities of valuable marbles, which, therefore, he was constrained to use for decoration rather than for construc- tion. But this is not all. The Venetians had, as we have already said, and as we shall further see when we come to look at their painting two or three hundred years later, a wonderful sense of colour, and to satisfy this, it was unavoidable that their architects should use the incrusted method ; every bit of jasper, of alabaster, and of porphyry formed a cake of unfading and indestructible colour in their hands. The refinements of internal construction are unimportant, for solid walls and large piers form an additional field for decoration. The building is not lofty, for as the pleasure it gives depends on harmony of detail in colour, it must not be too far removed from the eye. Entering the church, we find ourselves in deep twilight, and for some minutes can scarcely discern the form of the hollow cross ; the daylight only enters through small starlike openings in the domes, and a few windows far up and away. Other light is given by lamps which burn before the shrines in each recess, and whose feeble light is thrown back from every side by the golden glory which covers wall and roof.

When, however, we have grown accustomed to the half light, we must make a careful study of these mosaics, for in them the devotional spirit of the Venetian builders is really expressed. They formed the Bible of these old Venetians ; for in those days when the printing press was not, they had no other, but gladly spelt out these inscriptions which the visitor now passes by with a careless glance. Within and without the sacred history is continued ; on either side of the nave are the porticos or atria, which were specially reserved for the unbaptized, who could not enter the church itself. These show us the early history of the


c66 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Old Testament, closing very significantly with the indication of the higher spiritual food which awaited them within : " Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead." Entering the church by the main door, through the central one of the five great porches, and looking back, we see Christ enthroned, holding a book inscribed : " I am the door : by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved." Then the first dome, which represents the descent of the Holy Spirit. In passing to the second cupola we see the essential facts of Christianity that Christ died, rose again, and ascended into heaven to prepare a place for His chosen. In the third cupola, over the altar, is shown the evidence of the Old Testament, and in the side cupolas and chapels the life of Christ ; but to explore these requires time. The ordinary worshipper hurrying in a few moments snatched from his daily business was greeted always by these two great facts, " Christ is risen ! Christ shall come ! "

In the Piazza of San Marco stand the two famous columns, one surmounted by the bronze lion of St. Mark, the other by St Theodore, the protector of the republic. The shafts of these columns were brought home by the Doge Michael, and were set up to commemorate the achievements of the city of the waters against the Saracen. The two shafts are unlike ; the one is slim, the other massive. For nearly fifty years no one could be found to erect them ; but when at last engineering skill had been found to accomplish the task, these beautiful Corinthian capitals were designed so as to bring the two into harmony, the light shaft being surmounted by a broad capital, the massive shaft by a light one. The lion himself is a beautiful piece of bronze work of the eleventh or twelfth century. He had new wings given him at the end of the fifteenth century, wings too small to raise his body his former wings were of far wider sweep. St. Theodore represents the power of God in contest with material evil, and so stands on the crocodile, the slime-begotten god of the Egyptians.



NOTRE DAME, PARIS (WEST FRONT).


[To face p. 167,.


CHAPTER XVII.

GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE AND GERMANY.

Amiens Cathedral. Notre Dame at Paris. Cologne Cathedral.

have seen something of the developments that architec- ture took in Provence and in Northern Italy, and we have now to recross the Alps to see the new form which originated in the Prankish lands of Central France, and rapidly became supreme, not only on its native soil, but in England, Germany, and even in Lombardy. We must not forget that though, for convenience, we speak of France, yet in the time of St. Louis the country was only beginning to develop into a united nationality. The people of the south differed widely from the people of the north in origin,, language, and character. South of the Loire was a race of almost pure Romanic origin ; north of that river, the Frankish race pre- dominated. In language the same distinction was marked by the names Langue d'oc and Langue d'ceil. Further differences of race might be noted : the Provencal differed from the Aquitanian,. and again from the Burgundian, the Norman from the Angevin and from the Frank. These differences are clearly visible in the architecture of the different provinces ; but it would lead us too far to trace them.

We must content ourselves with visiting the most typical homes of Gothic architecture, and first we will turn our steps to Amiens.

167 O


168


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


Like Venice, Amiens is a city of the waters. The Somme breaks up here into a number of little streams, and on the islands thus formed the city is built. Its commercial prosperity was great at the time when the present cathedral was built, exporting velvets and other fabrics to all parts of the world ; but like the Venetians, its merchants, though keenly employed in money-making, found time and will to build this glorious monument the Parthenon of Gothic architecture, as M. Viollet le Due justly calls it to the glory of God, of St. Firmin and their city. " The present cathe- dral," for it is far from being the first raised upon this spot, was begun in 1220; at that time, we are told, the old cathedral was falling into ruins. The first building seems to have been a memorial chapel to St. Firmin, the genial kindly missionary who first preached the gospel in Amiens. This was before the Prankish invasion, and in the struggles of that time St. Firmin's chapel suffered destruction ; but soon, the Franks having been converted by the people they had conquered, a regular cathedral was built, which in its turn was destroyed by the Normans. This next, and two succeeding ones, seem to have been destroyed by lightning, anyhow by fire. So now the bishop and citizens of Amiens set to work to build a more lasting temple for their beloved city. The story of the building is told in a little rhyme cut on the floor of the cathedral :


En 1'an de Grace mil deux cent

Et vingt, fu 1'ceuvre de cheens Premierement encomenchie. A done y ert de cheste evesquie Evrart, e'veque benis ; Et, Roy de France, Loys Qui fut fils Phelippe le Sage. Qui maistre y est de 1'ceuvre Maistre Robert estoit nomes Et de Luzarches surnomes.


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE AND GERMANY. 169


Maistre Thomas fu apres lui

De Cormont Et apres, son filz

Maistre Regnault, qui mestre

Fist a chest point chi cheste lectre

Que 1'incarnation valoit

Treize cent, moins douze, en faloit."

Thus much we are told by the master who completed the work. But he ought not to have been content to mention Louis, the son of Philip the Wise, who was king during the first six years of the work ; but should have told us also of St. Louis, who was king during forty-four years of the sixty-eight years that the work was going on. Before entering the cathedral, let us consider for a moment what were the aims of a Gothic builder. First, and most important, as we found in St. Mark's, so here, the cathedral was to be the people's Bible ; it was to tell the story of Christ's life, and the Redemption, visibly to the eyes of all. In the south the story was told in frescoes on the walls and roofs; here, the coloured glass of the windows takes the place of the frescoes. We do not indeed always find painted glass windows in Gothic churches : hundreds are now built with the large windows, and tracery carefully im- itated from older buildings, and filled with plain white glass ; but this shows complete misunderstanding of the meaning of Gothic architecture. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, no one built a Gothic window without intending that it should ultimately be filled with stained glass, telling some sacred history. While within the sacred story was told in the windows, without it was continued in sculpture. The former recorded events, while the latter would be, by its necessary conditions of adaptation to the architecture, chiefly confined to single figures of sacred personages, saints, and virtues, so grouped and chosen as to symbolise all the essentials of the Christian faith. Besides this, the Gothic builder aimed at raising as spacious and lofty and majestic a building as


i/o A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

the resources of his city would allow with the material that lay to his hand. We rarely, if ever, find him importing costly marbles and porphyries, as did the Romanesque and Byzantine architects. He was contented with his native stone, and he used it in its natural character, keeping the stratification and thickness as .he found it in the quarry, and merely shaping the blocks, not dividing it with the stone-saw. M. Viollet le Due says of it : " Cette me- thode est excellente, elle conserve a la pierre toute sa force naturelle, tous ses moyens de resistance." So this cathedral of Amiens is built with the chalk from the cliffs of the Somme.

But let us now approach the cathedral, passing along the narrow streets and bridges, till we suddenly see the west front before us with delight at the sight of its three rich doorways and arcades, but not without some sense of disappointment at the insufficiency of the western towers, and the slim central spire. Let us, how- ever, obey Mr. Ruskin, and avoiding entering here, pass round to the southern porch, so as to see the choir on entering from the most advantageous point of view. As we enter we notice in the central position of the porch a charming gay figure of the Virgin, which in the fourteenth century was substituted for St. Honore, to whom the porch was originally dedicated. Within, the beautiful tracery and glass of the rose-window of the north transept at once catches our eye. Then we are struck by the lightness and elegance of the clusters of columns, as we look around us through the aisles into the choir and the nave ; then as we advance further, we look up at the full height of the apse, and the grace of the windows of the clerestory, whose traceries M. Viollet le Due speaks of as perfect. Then having enjoyed the beauty of the interior, we can go out again to examine and under- stand better the exterior ; for without we see the means by which the interior structure is carried out. It is only when we come to examine it from without that we become fully aware of the skill


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE AND GERMANY. 171

with which that beautiful clerestory is constructed. Lofty as" if looks, the whole height of the roof is only 150 feet, and how won- derful is the art which has given such an effect with such a moderate degree of actual loftiness ! Having seen the interior, we can now with care understand the use and meaning of the com- plex system of flying buttresses, which are visible above the roof of the side aisles and the chapels of the chevet.

To understand these we must consider shortly the chief points of difference between the Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals.

The ground plan of a Gothic cathedral consists generally of a Latin cross, the main axis being the nave, running east and west, flanked by one, or sometimes two, aisles on either side ; the tran- septs, which form the arms of the cross, are comparatively short, and the intersection with the nave is generally nearer to the eastern extremity ; the part of the nave east of the intersection forms the choir, and for the most part differs somewhat in style from the nave, being more richly decorated. The aisles are separated from the nave by arcades, the arches of which support walls rising considerably above 'the roofs of the aisles. These nave walls are pierced by windows which give light to the nave- Between the arches and the windows, there is usually a series of arcades opening into the lofts between the ceiling and the roof of the aisle. The nave wall is thus divided into three stories the first, the main arcade opening into the aisle ; the second, the smaller arcade opening into the loft, and known as the blind-story or triforium ; the third, the windows above the aisle roofs, known as the clerestory. The outer walls of the aisles are pierced with large windows. The western extremity generally forms the prin- cipal entrance ; the northern and southern extremities of the tran- septs forming secondary entrances similar in character The form of the eastern extremity is variable, being sometimes a semi- circular or polygonal apse, surrounded by chapels, sometimes rect-


172 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

angular. The principal chapel forms the eastern extremity of the main axis, and is called the Lady-chapel, as it was invariably dedi- cated to the Virgin ; the side chapels were dedicated to various saints. Henry VI I. 's chapel at Westminster is a magnificent example of a Lady-chapel. The floor of the choir and its sur- roundings is always at a higher level than that of the nave, and rests upon a subterranean vaulted structure called the crypt. In most of these features the plan of the Gothic church differs little from that of the Romanesque. The transept and the lengthened choir are the chief distinguishing points ; the intersection is generally surmounted by a tower, often terminating in a slender and lofty spire. The western front is also flanked by a pair of towers, though in few cathedrals have all three towers been completed.

The greatest and most distinctive advance achieved by the Gothic builders is in the roofing of the building. In the Roman- esque cathedrals that we have hitherto studied, we found that the nave was roofed either by a flat, wooden, painted ceiling, or by a vault of simple construction ; the aisles were more often vaulted. We have seen that the builders of the Rhineland, and still more those of Provence and Aquitaine, had been experimenting in vaulted roofs ; but they had for the most part confined themselves to wagon-head or barrel vaults, either of semicircular or pointed sections. The pressure of these vaults was equally distributed along the length of the walls. The next advance was made when two of these cylindrical vaults intersected, and thus generated angular edges running from corner to corner of the intersection, having a semi-elliptical form in a vertical plane. By the intersec- tion of double cylindrical vaults, the portion of the wall on which the vault would rest became reduced to a square pier. The edges formed by the intersections being strengthened by brick or stone work, the intervening spaces could be filled in with weaker


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE AND GERMANY, 173

material, and the main part of the weight and strain be made -to _ rest upon the points from which these groins spring.

The flattened elliptical form of the diagonal groin was wanting in beauty and in strength, and was rarely used. Roman builders had remedied this by making the diagonal groins spring from a higher level than the transverse and wall ribs, and thus gained the circular section for both at the expense of the symmetrical appear- ance. Another remedy was to make the diagonal groin circular, with the effect of squeezing the transverse rib into a horseshoe form. This may be seen in the aisles of St. John's chapel in the Tower. The only true solution of the difficulty was found in the adoption of the pointed arch, and this the Gothic builders utilized with admirable skill, exercising the greatest ingenuity in vaulting oblong spaces. The introduction of ribs on the walls and along the ridges completed in principle this system of vaulting. We shall find further developments of vaulting when we come to the later Gothic buildings in England ; the English architects showed greater daring and invention in attempting new reforms than their continental brethren.

The effect of groined vaulting is to cast the whole weight of the vault upon certain points, and to relieve the rest of the wall from the pressure. Hence it naturally followed that the thickness of the wall, except at these points, might be greatly reduced, and could,, be safely pierced by windows of large area. On the con- trary, the points from which the vaults spring require strengthen- ing, not only for carrying weight, but still more against the. outward thrust which is the resultant of the thrusts of all th& groins. The method by which the Gothic builders met this was; by the use of buttresses, which may be described simply as pieces, of wall built at right angles to the wall. This mode of support could be quite simply applied to support the vaulting of the aisle, but obviously not to the vaulting of the nave. The support for


174 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

this was obtained by heightening the buttresses of the aisles, and carrying from them half-arches to the springing point of the main vault. These supports, called flying buttresses, form the most distinctive feature of Gothic cathedrals. Much of the beauty of the exterior is due to the manner in which the wall is broken by the buttresses, and the roof line by these pinnacles and flying buttresses. In Amiens Cathedral something of the external effect of the supporting system is lost by the spaces between the principal buttresses being filled up with chapels. But the sculptures must now be examined in detail. Just as in St. Mark's we traced the unity of design in the whole series of mosaics, so here a corresponding system can be traced. Before the printing press gave the actual words, the church was really and truly the Bible of the people.

The deep porches which we find here, as in most cathedrals of the time, are clearly intended to give the largest possible area available for sculpture, and to afford it protection. In the central porch, on the central dividing pillar called the trumeau, stands the figure of Christ, gentle, tender and loving. On either hand stand the twelve apostles, and the four greater prophets above them ; on Christ's left, Peter, on his right, Paul. Across the front stand the minor prophets. The pedestal on which Christ stands is a square one ; in a niche in the front is David with sceptre and scroll, king and prophet, for Christ is the son of David. On the sides, and the capital above, are the floral symbols to which Christ likened Himself the rose, the lily, and the vine ; above the rose and lily are the symbols of evil principles, which still are rightly placed as supporters of Christ, since He turneth them to His own good purposes, the basilisk and the deaf adder, pride spiritual and intellectual : this sin is not ex- clusively human "by that sin fell the angels." Human anger and lust, the lion and the dragon, are crushed beneath Christ's



GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE AND GERMANY. 175


feet. The series of apostles and prophets, with the quatrefoHs beneath them, which in the case of the former represent the virtues which their lives chiefly teach and the vices which they warn against, while in that of the latter they illustrate important events in the prophet's career, are well worthy of study. Beneath Paul, for instance, we have Faith, holding the received symbol, the cup with the cross above it, and Idolatry bowing down and worshipping a monster ; beneath Daniel, the lions and the writing at the feast of Belshazzar. Thus the Amiens architect worked out his system of biblical instruction.

In the side porches, to Christ's right, are thirteen local saints, St. Firmin occupying the central column ; in the quatrefoils beneath are the zodiacal signs and the occupations of the seasons. The porch to Christ's left is the Madonna's porch ; Mary Queen forming the central figure, and the rest giving the' chief events in the story of the Madonna. An interesting comparison has been drawn between this figure and that that we saw in entering at the south transept door, as they illustrate two distinct con- ceptions of the Madonna, as queen and as nursing mother. Before leaving the cathedral we must go back within and bestow particular attention on the wood-carving of the stalls in the choir. This work belongs to the early sixteenth century, it was begun in 1508 and finished in 1522, and is unequalled for carpenter's and wood-carver's work. " Sweet and young-grained wood it is : oak, trained and chosen for such work, sound now as four hundred years since. Under the carver's hand it seems to cut like clay, to fold like silk, to grow like living branches, to leap like living flame. Canopy crowning canopy, pinnacle piercing pinnacle it shoots and wreathes itself into an enchanting glade, inextricable, imperishable, fuller of leafage than any forest, and fuller of story than any book." (RUSKIN.)

While Amiens was building, other cathedrals were springing


176 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

up all over Isle de France, Picardy, and Normandy ; and as a consequence of this activity, freemasonry began to rise in im- portance, and later, in Germany especially, exercised a very con- siderable influence on art. During the middle ages all trades were organized in guilds that could only be entered by art apprenticeship, which imposed strict rules on their members, and no man could exercise the trade without belonging to the guild. Owing to the circumstances under which their work was carried on, the masonic guilds or lodges were of far greater importance than those of most trades ; for as the mason had to go to his work, travelling from place to place, and remaining for weeks, months, or even years in towns far from his own home, among men who were personally strangers to him, it was of great importance that he should be at once recognised by his fellow-masons and helped on the road, and that on arriving at a new lodge he should be able at once to take the position to which his skill and standing in the trade entitled him. Hence that elaborate system of secret signs was invented, and is still maintained, though the need which called it into being has long since passed away. In France, in the thirteenth century, the masons always worked under the guidance of some superior, generally an ec- clesiastic. We need hardly wonder that the work could thus be carried out with such skill and perfection without professional architects. When the rebuilding of Amiens Cathedral was de- signed, the Abbot or Maistre Robert de Luzarches would con- sult with his master mason, who had probably been working at the cathedral of Notre Dame at Paris ; they would observe that the clerestory there was not sufficiently spacious, and that the side aisles were too low, and they would proceed in their new building to remedy these defects ; thus the art was con- tinually advancing.

The cathedral of Paris, though, being one of the earlier efforts,


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE AND GERMANY. 177-


the construction was wanting in that lightness and facility- which we find elsewhere, is dignified and imposing, especially its- western fagade, which is thoroughly in harmony with the rest of the building. Like Amiens, the effect of its buttresses is some- what spoilt by the insertion of chapels in the spaces between, them. The western fagade of Rheims is perhaps the most beautiful of all with its deeply recessed portals and the exquisite tracery of its rose-window. These circular windows appear to have been the special delight of French builders : all their skill of invention was bestowed on elaborating their traceries ; nearly a. hundred of them may be found, no two alike. The west window of St. Ouen at Rouen, where, by the use of smaller and larger ribs,, a remarkable clearness of design is kept amid the greatest elaborateness of tracery, is the highest culmination of this work, at a somewhat later period. This church, among its many other beauties, is also remarkable for its beautiful central tower or lantern, a square pinnacled tower, within which rises an octagon, in two stories, while the passage from the square tower to the octagon is charmingly broken by the lofty triple gables of the- windows of the square tower. The tracery of the whole is ex- quisite ; indeed St. Ouen, though it belonged to a period later than the best time, and is somewhat over decorated, is both, within and without one of the most beautiful of Gothic buildings. We must now follow the style into Germany, and in Cologne we find the largest and most perfect example of northern Gothic. Most beautiful and imposing it looks, with its mass of pinnacles,, and its lofty spires towering above the surrounding houses as we approach the city by the Rhine. These spires have only been completed within the last few years, six hundred years after the building was commenced. But though it has been six hundred years building, it is one of the very few great cathedrals, which have been completed according to its original design. In.


178 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

nearly all our own cathedrals, and most of those in France, one part after another has been added, each in the style of the time when it was built : and this very irregularity has a wonderful charm. We feel that the building is, as it were, a living organism, whose life-history is written upon it in characters sometimes immediately intelligible, at others only to be deciphered by careful study of its nooks and corners. The quaint recesses and varied details in which we trace out the story of Westminster Abbey or of Canterbury Cathedral are wanting in Cologne, and their -charm is hardly atoned for by the perfection and symmetry of the magnificent pile. There is nothing here to tell us that the beautiful open tracery of the spires, and the majestic columns of the choir, differ in age by more than five hundred years. As we approach, the immense height of the spires five hundred and twenty feet makes the building appear far too short. When we get round to the west front we are first fully made conscious of the magnificence of the great Rhenish cathedral : here no disproportion takes off from the grand effect. The whole fagade is harmonious and beautiful, and perfectly corresponds to the internal structure. The central door is flanked on either side by a door and window which terminate the double aisles ; then five gables rise to break the line of the second story, without interfering with the effect of the lofty windows which terminate the nave and aisles. Massive but graceful buttresses divide the doors and mark the lines of the nave, and lighter ones divide the aisles. These massive buttresses, rising into pinnacles, enable the transition to the octagon of the spires to take place without any perceptible break. In the drawing the doors seem dwarfed by the mass above them, but in reality it is not so ; their greater nearness to the spectator enables them to assert their proper importance. Of the sculptures of these doors, and of the other details of the decoration of the front, time will not allow us to




IP*


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE AND GERMANY. 179


speak ; the former are chiefly later work, good imitations of the^ best time, and the latter display all the beauties that are to be found elsewhere. We enter the nave ; its immense height is very imposing. It is the festival of the Three Kings, and the golden shrine is being borne in procession, preceded by acolytes swing- ing censers and followed by priests in gorgeous vestments ; but the gorgeous ceremonial looks insignificant in this vast building, men look like pigmies beneath this lofty roof, even the peal of the grand organ seems hardly to fill the space. The choir reminds us of that of Amiens ; indeed, standing in the centre of the transept, it appears an almost exact imitation both in form and dimensions. Each pier is surrounded by a group of twelve shafts, which give the appearance of strength necessary to support the lofty roof ; a very low triforium surmounts the lofty arches of the lower story, so as to leave full space for the glorious and vast windows of the clerestory, like those of Amiens, through which the sunlight plays in varied colours on the floor and walls. Beyond the double aisles vast windows with beautiful traceries fill up the whole wall space. Much more is there which is worthy our attention here the leaf carvings of the capitals, the figures of saints standing out from the columns of the choir, the carvings above the choir stalls, and the woodwork of the stalls themselves ; though we shall find nothing here or elsewhere to be compared with the work of Arnold Boulin and his fellows in the great cathedral of Picardy.



CHAPTER XVIII.

GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND.

Waltham Abbey. Peterborough Cathedral. Salisbury Cathedral. West- minster Abbey. Houses.

IT is now time for us to return to our own country, which has not claimed our attention since we looked at the barbarous massiveness of Stonehenge ; but which now makes the new Prankish style of architecture thoroughly its own, discovering new beauties and inventing new forms in a way quite different from the merely imitative manner in which it was adopted in Germany. During the days before the Norman Conquest our Saxon ancestors never showed any architectural skill: their homes, and probably their churches, were generally built of wood ; of stone construction they knew but little. All the buildings we find are built either of rubble loosely put together with mortar, or, even if the stones are shaped, the joints between them are always wide. Of the buildings of this time, hardly anything remains : a few towers, a crypt or two, and an occasional chancel arch, complete the list. These are for beauty or architectural skill quite unworthy of our notice : their interest for us is in showing how people who were accustomed to build in wood imitated wooden constructions in stone. Thus we find these towers ornamented with pilaster- like slips with straight cross-bracing, which remind us of the

beams in our old half-timber houses.

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GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND. 181

It is only when the union of the country is completed, when the shock of the Danish invasions is vanishing in the past, and the increased prosperity which excited the envy of William the Norman begins to make itself felt, that we find any advance upon this. The intimate connection with Normandy which followed on the exile of Ethelred and his children, during the time that Cnut ruled in England, did much to bring about the change Even before 1066, it was Normans who planned, and Normans who carried out the work. But even their work was very rough compared with contemporary buildings in France. Though shaped stones were used, wide jointing still prevailed. Let us visit the Abbey Church which King Harold built for the holy rood of Waltham. Grace and lightness are entirely wanting : huge circular pillars support the round arches of the nave; the thick walls are pierced by small round-arched windows, the roof consists of flat boards painted the present roof, however, is not the original one but a modern restoration. The nave of Peterborough is a far grander example of the massive round-arched style of the early Normans. Large rectangular piers terminated by triple columns to support the arch, repeated with double minor arches in the triforium, and again with pairs of independent columns in the clerestory ; the whole so massive that we cannot but suppose that the intention of the builder was that it should ultimately be surmounted by a stone vault. Be that as it may, the roof of Peterborough nave is of painted wood, and one of the most beautiful and oldest in the country. The aisles, however, are vaulted. The vault is a simple one, with semicircular groin ribs so that the arch ribs are compressed into a horseshoe form. This simplest form of vaulting may be found in the Tower of London, in the beautiful chapel in the White Tower, the most perfect example of pure Norman architecture. But at Peterborough the most beautiful part of the cathedral is the west front, and this

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182 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

is more worthy of notice, as generally in England the west fronts are far inferior to those of continental cathedrals. In France the greatest skill was bestowed on making a beautiful fagade, and at Cologne and Strasburg it was the perfection of the western fagade which created the deepest impression on our minds ; within we might feel that the building at Cologne was far too short, and the height too great in proportion to the width, but looking up at the western doors and spires, nothing could disturb our admiration. Here in England, on the contrary, in the proportions of con- struction our architects were far superior to their French and German rivals. The length was far greater in proportion to the width; and in order that the narrowness might not be noticeable the height was also greatly below that of foreign cathedrals. To avoid monotony, the great length was broken by transepts, some- times double. In the western facade, however, they were generally inferior to their foreign rivals. In many of our cathedrals the principal entrance is not from the west, but by a side door into the nave at Canterbury for example, at Gloucester, Winchester and Norwich while the west entrance is mean and insignificant No- where in England do we find those beautiful sculptured doorways which are the glory of Amiens, Chartres, and other French cathedrals. At Wells, indeed, we have a fagade which, in wealth ol sculpture and beauty of architectural ornament, may be compared with Rheims and Bourges ; but the doorways are quite insignifi- cant in size and ornament. At Lichfield such a west doorway exists, and is hardly anywhere surpassed in harmony of design and ornament, but this is quite exceptional. The west front oi Peterborough, which meets our view as we pass through the arch of the western gateway, " as a portico is the grandest and finest in Europe." Three great arches, eighty-one feet high, that in the centre being narrower than the others, support gables each containing a rose-window, and ornamented with arcades and



GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND. 183

niches for statues ; the arches are supported by triangular piers which stand away from the west wall and are faced by banded shafts ; on either side is a square turret surmounted by a spire. The capitals of the shafts have very beautiful leaf ornament, and the mouldings of the arches themselves are exceedingly graceful. The symbolic reference to the Trinity which the Gothic builders had in mind in designing their triple doors is worthily indicated by these majestic arches. In the central arch a projecting portico and chapel has been built at a later period than the central piers ; this, though in itself a beautiful piece of Perpendicular work, mars the effect of the whole. It was not, however, wilful ; owing to some constructive defect, the west wall had begun to bulge, and this building was most ingeniously designed to sup- port it.

It is curious that there is no record of the building of this western front : from the purity of its style it must clearly have been built shortly after 1200 A.D. The most recent addition to the cathedral is the retrochoir, which forms as it were an additional transept at the east end. This is approached from the choir aisle by an arch with square ornaments in the hollow of the mouldings : it consists of five bays vaulted with beautiful groined roof with fan tracery. This and the battlement with which it is crowned with- out are so similar to those of King's College Chapel, at Cambridge, that it is sometimes supposed that both must have been planned by the same master. Both were begun before the middle of the fifteenth century, left unfinished for some time during the dis- tractions of the civil war, and completed early in the reign of Henry VIII.

Let us next pass to the most complete work of the Early English style, Salisbury Cathedral. From afar its beautiful spire attracts our eye as we approach. When we arrive at the city and enter the Cathedral Close from the north-east, we at once become aware


1 84 ^ SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

what a much deeper sense of proportion and harmony of parts our English builders had than their continental rivals. The surroundings enable us to see it at its best ; a broad stretch of greensward, studded with trees, surrounds the building. The summit of this spire which rises so gracefully into the sky is indeed some feet lower than that of the central fleche at Amiens ; but how much grander it appears ! The immense height of the Amiens roof makes the spire look disproportionately small ; here the roof instead of being more than two hundred, is less than ninety feet high. The outline of the building is broken by the two transepts, the north-western porch which forms the chief entrance to the nave, and the lower level of the roof of the Lady-chapel, and thus a beautiful and varied outline is obtained without the use of unnecessary pinnacles and buttresses. The flying buttresses are merely those that are required for the support of the vaulting, and are of the simplest character.

This central tower and spire, which renders Salisbury one of the most imposing examples of Gothic architecture in Europe, was not built till the reign of Edward III. ; but from the abutments running through the clerestory in nave, choir, and transepts, it is clear that it formed part of the original design. The walls of the upper stories of the tower are covered with a blind arcade pierced by double windows on all four sides ; the parapets, with bands of lozenge-shaped traceries, surround the tower. The four corner turrets are surmounted by small crocketed spires, and within these are highly decorated pinnacles rising from the base of the great spire. The sculptures of the west front, which had almost all disappeared, have been of late years well restored.

Entering at the north-west porch we go at once to the west end to enjoy the general view. The arches of the nave are supported by clustered columns of Purbeck marble ; above is the beautiful triforium wiHi its thickly clustered shafts and subdivided arches



GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND. 185

and plate tracery pierced with quatrefoil between the larger, and trefoil between the minor arches. The clerestory consists of double lancet windows in the bays of the vaulting. The vaulting springs from corbels with triple marble shafts and foliated capitals. The great length of the cathedral, with its uniformity of style, broken however by the double transepts, has a most pleasing and majestic effect Salisbury escaped better than most English cathedrals the ravages committed by the zeal of the Puritans ; but it has since undergone a more systematic violation at the hands of Wyatt the architect, who at the end of the last century was let loose on this and other Gothic buildings to restore them with the ruthlessness of ignorance. The painted glass of the clerestory, which formerly cast a warm glow over the nave, he deliberately destroyed. The tombs and monuments he tore from their original positions, and placed in formal rows on the con- tinuous plinth between the piers ; and whether from carelessness or ignorance, the architectural part of the tombs is often made up of fragments which could not possibly have originally belonged to them. Chapels and chantries, porch and reredos, he swept away, and remains of ancient paintings he carefully obliterated. But though the cathedral now looks cold and bare, the beauty of its piers and vaults could not be injured.

As we pass up the nave we must look at some of the monuments, especially that of William Longespee, Earl of Salis- bury, the son of Henry II. and Fair Rosamond. "The manly warrior character of the figure is particularly striking, even in its recumbent attitude, while the turn of the head and the graceful flow of the lines in the right hand and arm, with the natural heavy fall of the chain armour on that side, exhibit a feeling of art which would not do discredit to a very advanced school."

Passing the transepts we notice their clerestory windows with slender pilasters and graceful lines, beautifully rilling the end


1 86 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

of the vault. The bare and empty look given by the loss of the stained glass and the removal of the reredos, by which the low Lady-chapel and eastern aisles are thrown open to the nave, is greater here than in the nave itself. When, however, we reach the Lady-chapel, we can fully enjoy its unusual grace and beauty. It is divided from the eastern aisles by groups of slender reedlike shafts ; similar shafts, either in clusters or singly, divide it into three aisles and support the vault, which is similar in design to that of the nave and choir, but has its transverse ribs decorated with tooth ornament, and in the narrow side aisles is very sharply pointed so as to rise to the same height as that of the central aisle, which is double their width. At the east end is a triple lancet window, and single lancets on either side.

Passing out of the cathedral we enter the cloisters, which are among the most beautiful in the country. The windows are double arched, subdivided by a single slender pilaster, the intermediate groups of shafts being larger than the central ones ; each arch is surmounted by a quatrefoil ornament, and the whole by a large sixfoil opening; opposite is a blind arcade. The vault, like that within the cathedral, has no ridge ribs. From the cloisters we pass to the chapter-house, which is octagonal in form like most others, and has an internal diameter of 58 feet. On each side there is a four-light window, with good geometrical tracery ; beneath each window an arcade of seven prebendal stalls ; at the east a raised seat, with double shafts to the arcade, for the bishop and his chief dignitaries. The vaulting of the roof is supported by clusters of banded shafts of Purbeck marble at each angle and about a central pier. Similar chapter- houses are found attached to most of our cathedrals ; that at Wells far surpasses Salisbury in the beauty of its traceries ; that at Westminster, which for more than two centuries was used as the national Parliament House, is equally beautiful. For


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND. 187

a hall of assembly or debate the central column was a serious disadvantage ; but for some time no architect ventured to attempt to construct a Gothic dome ; but this was at last accomplished with perfect success in the chapter-house of York Minster, and in the pride of their achievement its builders placed on it the inscription :

"Ux ROSA FLOS FLORUM

SIC DOMUS ISTA DOMORUM."

But by that time all cathedrals had their chapter-houses, so this success was never followed out.

It is impossible, in the short time at our disposal, to visit many of our English cathedrals, or to trace step by step the passage from the pure Early English style of Salisbury, through the Decorated style, into the Perpendicular style. The most beautiful example of the former is probably to be found in the octagon and part of the choir of Ely Cathedral. "Here the triforium and clerestory are equal ; but the upper window is so spread out, and so much is made of it, that it looks equal to the compartment below. The pier arch below is also subdued to less than half the whole height, so as to give great value to the upper division. The proportions are derived from the very beautiful Early English presbytery beyond ; but they are here used with such exquisite taste and such singular beauty of detail that there is perhaps no single portion of any Gothic building in the world which can vie with this part of the choir of Ely for poetry of design or beauty of detail." (FERGUSSON.)

Of the Perpendicular style, the third and last stage of English- Gothic, the three royal chapels which were built in the beginning of the sixteenth century are the most characteristic and perfect examples. This form of Gothic is purely English, and has no equivalent upon the continent. It has already been remarked that


i88 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

the English architects showed greater boldness and originality in their vaulting than their French or German compeers. In covering oblong spaces they had in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries already introduced secondary ribs springing from the same point as the transverse and diagonal groins, and meeting the ridge ribs obliquely between the intersections. One such additional rib was often introduced in vaulting a square space, and in oblong spaces two or even three are found. A good example of this vault may be seen in the west transept of Westminster Abbey The next innovation was to join these by small cross-ribs, which formed star-like patterns around the central bosses, and to ornament the intersections with carved bosses ; these cross-ribs are called " tiernes." Excellent examples of this vaulting may be seen in the oriel windows at Crosby and Eltham Halls. From this to the fan vaulting of the royal chapels was but a step. The ribs in the system just described radiated out from a centre, and all that was necessary was to round the angle of the vaulted surface of the main vault and window bay, and thus form a concave conoid, the horizontal section of which at any point would be part of a circle. Circular mouldings intersect the ribs at equal distances from the springing point, and two of the curved surfaces meet in the ridge rib. A central boss or flat moulded surface occupies the space between the four conoids. The roof of the nave of St. George's Chapel at Windsor is the most perfect example of this style. In Henry VII.'s chapel the architect has gone farther, and attempted a tour de force by the introduction of massive pendants, which give the effect of a tripartite vault of nave and aisles from which the columns have been removed at the springing points of the roof. The first glance at this shows that it cannot really depend for support on its visible construction. These pendants are really only extended voussoirs of an arch, the con- structive character of which is concealed. The whole arrangement


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND. 189

is far too complicated to be made clear in words ; it is sufficient to say that the multiplication of ribs has destroyed their con- structive use, and they have become mere ornament. In fact, in the fan vaulted roof the ribs are not independently formed, but are a tracery ornament carved upon the blocks of which the roof is formed. Beautiful as these chapels are, they represent an art in its decline, in which ingenuity has overreached itself and run counter to the principle upon which the art was based. In them we see the dying glories of Gothic architecture.

But there is one building to which we must pay a detailed visit. Westminster Abbey is so bound up with our history and our literature since it has become our Campo Santo, that every English man or woman who has any love or reverence for the past lingers beneath its lofty roof and in its dark aisles with a strange feeling of awe and affection.

Let us enter from the west, where Wren's towers remind us how completely the meaning of Gothic architecture had been for- gotten before the end of the seventeenth century. From Victoria Street, indeed, the effect is good until we get near enough to see the details, for though the time in which he lived made it impossible for him to understand Gothic detail, the great architect could not err in regard to the proportions. As we enter we pass beneath the monument of Lord Chatham. To the left of the door the epitaph of some long forgotten worthy tells us, with honest admiration of genius, that his bones rest "opposite the great Newton."

The nave, in which we now stand, is one of the noblest and most solemn in England. It is unusually high, compared to other English cathedrals, being upwards of one hundred and ten feet from floor to the top of the vault, and has all the effect that such a height should give. The principal arcade consists of pillars with detached shafts of Purbeck marble, with moulded capitals and


19 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

acute pointed arches. The triforium arcades form the most striking and beautiful feature of the building : the two arches which fill each bay are separated by a group of clustered shafts tfith moulded capitals, while the arch mouldings are enriched with leaf or diaper ornament. Each of these arches is subdivided into two, a single shaft supporting foliated subarches. The head of the arch is filled with a circle enclosing a cinquefoil with ornamented cusps. This shaft and tracery is repeated behind on the triforium side at a distance of about two feet. It is this doubling of the arcades that gives the rich effect, which at once strikes the spectator. The wall surface of the triforium and of the main arcade is covered with diaper ornament, a form of decoration supposed to be imitated from the oriental silks which were in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries imported from the East, and largely copied by the manufacturers of Ypres and Ghent ; it is not usually found in the Early English period to which the eastern or choir bays belong. The clerestory windows are probably the earliest example of bar tracery in this country. The most peculiar feature of Westminster is the eastern extremity, which is not rectangular like other English cathedrals, but a polygonal apse, with a number of apsidal chapels. This is the only example in this country of the French chevet ending being adopted. The rebuilding of the church was begun in 1245, when Amiens had been twenty years building, and no doubt its builders carefully studied the work of the Picard capital. The beautiful rose-.vindows at the two extremities of the transepts also belong to a variety of ornament which was much more cultivated in France tha*~ England : these, and one in the south transept of Lincoln Cathedral, are our best examples. The details of the Abbey would afford material for a complete history of Gothic architecture in England : from the rude massive Norman vaulting of the chapel of the Pyx, beneath the dormitory, to the fan tracery and pendants of Henry VII.'s chapel,



HENRY VII. CHAPEL, WESTMINSTER ABBEY (NORTH AISLE).

[To face p. 191.


GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND. 191

every variety of vault can be found there. The entrance of the chapter-house in the great cloister presents a magnificent example of Gothic sculpture, and well illustrates the combination of the beautiful and the grotesque, and the subordination to architectural effect which is characteristic of sculpture in the hands of Gothic builders.

From the end of Henry VII.'s reign Gothic began to lose its purity : it had long since died out in other countries. At the time when the three royal chapels were being built, St. Peter's had been begun at Rome ; but none of the three show any trace of classical influence. From that time the transition begins and goes steadily on, until in Charles I.'s time the style had become quite Renascence. During the period of transition, which was the period of the Reformation, no cathedrals or churches were built, and Elizabeth did very little in the way of palace building : part of the terrace front at Windsor alone represents her time. But the nobility, whose families and estates were recovering from the devastation of the civil wars, and who found that the days when fortified castles were needed had passed away, occupied themselves largely in building pleasant dwelling houses. From her reign date Longleat and Woollaton > Knowle and Hardwicke, Burghley and Westwood, and a hundred others ; some of them, like Longleat, being quite in the Italian Renascence style, as we should naturally expect ; for in her reign, and some time before it, the fashion prevailed for young men of good family to travel for a year or two in Italy to complete their education, and to come back admiring everything Italian, speaking a fantastic and affected tongue, imitated from the academies of Padua and Verona, where literature had degenerated into elaborate and ingenious commentaries on the Sonnets of Petrarch and the Divine Comedy, and conversation consisted in ingenious quotation and far-fetched simile. Naturally, men brought up in this school


192 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

sent to Italy, not only for their doublets, but for their architects. Other houses, like Hardwicke and Hatfield, are far more Gothic than Classic in conception and outline, though an occasional Classic arcade or order shows the foreign influence at work. The English Renascence buildings we will visit later.

As Gothic architecture lingered here longer than in other coun- tries, so it was here that the modern revival of the style began. Indeed, it never entirely died out. We have seen the Gothic towers that were added by Wren to Westminster Abbey ; and two churches in London St. Michael's, Cornhill, and St. Dunstan's in the East, show his efforts to imitate the older style ; but no general movement took place then. The present revival dates back to Horace Walpole's villa at Strawberry Hill. Here are Gothic details, cloisters, traceried windows, imitated in lath and plaster.



CHAPTER XIX. GOTHIC ART IN ITALY.

The Cathedrals of Milan and Florence. Early Florentine Painters: Cimabue and Giotto. The Cathedral of Siena. Sienese Painters: Duccio and Memmi. Pisa. Sculptors: Niccola, Giovanni and Andrea Pisano.

T T is impossible, in the space of a few pages, to do justice to the wealth and variety of the Gothic buildings in France and England ; many cathedrals might be described, each of which possesses some special beauty, some original feature, not to be found in Amiens, Westminster, or Cologne. It is only by studying in detail, not only the great cathedrals, but the churches and abbeys which abound in both countries, that it becomes possible to realize in any degree the wealth of thought and fancy that the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries lavished on every part of their ecclesiastical buildings. Our next step must be to trace the in- fluence of the Gothic movement south of the Alps, and to study the monuments of Gothic architecture which are to be found on the fertile plains of Italy, beneath the blue Italian sky.

We have seen how the new development of architecture began and flourished in the Prankish kingdom and in the adjacent Teutonic lands ; how it grew more and more independent, rising into loftier arches and lighter columns, and with wonderful skill stretching the roofs by ingenious vaultings over ever-increasing spaces. Lofty windows filled nearly the whole space of the walls

193


194 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

and of the clerestory, and all the beauties of detail were obtained by the manner in which the window spaces were broken up by tra- ceries and filled with painted glass, and by the sculptured decora- tion of capitals and other architectural features. The details of the decoration were carried out with wonderful originality, extending into the grotesque. Gothic architecture in this form never became naturalized in Italy ; the Perpendicular style was never adopted ; the brightness of the Italian sky made the large and numerous windows of the Northern Gothic not only unnecessary but impos- sible to the Italian adapters. The older form of the basilicas was retained, and thus vast wall spaces were left which were far too large to fill up with the sculptured decoration, the sole resource of the builders north of the Alps. Hence the conditions of Italian Gothic were especially favourable to the development of painting, which had in Germany only an intermittent life. The spirit of chivalry had not taken root in Italy, and the sentimentality and phantastic idealism which characterized it, remained foreign to the Italian mind. The nobility in Italy was less sharply separated, as a caste, from the bourgeoisie ; they lived for the most part in towns, and their standing depended on the possession of real power ; they took active part in the faction-struggles which raged in the small Italian republics; and their ranks were recruited from the commer- cial classes. Thus the romantic poetry of the age of chivalry had no meaning for the Italian. The subjects of painting were even more exclusively ecclesiastical than in the North ; but the treat- ment of them was more realistic. The feeling of the significance and force of individual character which the Italians inherited from classical antiquity made itself felt in Italy earlier than in other lands, and came into sharp opposition to the ascetic ideal concep- tions of mediaeval Christianity. Even in their treatment of sacred subjects, the Italians express real sensations and passions, real actions and circumstances.


GOTHIC ART IN ITALY. 195


The old struggles of Guelph and Ghibelline, the papal against the imperial power, ended with the fall of the House of Hohen- staufen. But the papal power was not strong enough to replace the imperial. During the struggle the Popes had thrown them- selves into the arms of France, and moved the seat of the papal power from Rome to Avignon. Thus the Italian republics were left to work out their own development. The names of Guelph and Ghibelline still remained, but they only covered local party strifes. These struggles, however, were not destructive, but were rather expressive of the energy of intellectual life. The free cities of Tuscany and of Northern Italy, especially Florence, Siena, and Milan, rose, in spite of party strife, to a high degree of material prosperity. Manufactories flourished, and the business of banking originated and developed with remarkable rapidity. This pros- perity was accompanied by an increase of luxury in dress and manners, as well as by a development of the highest artistic sense throughout all classes.

The peculiar artistic faculty of the Italians, their capacity for enjoyment, their independence, their power of grasping the spiritual in the sensible form, now first made itself known, and introduced the development of a national art which lasted on for three centuries. It is true that it is only in the details, the pointed arches, flying buttresses, and clustered columns, that the Gothic cathedrals in Italy can claim the name ; the central thought is in all cases much more closely related to the Romanesque style, and the Gothic details are a more or less inorganic decoration. But still, as we stand before the richest and, with the exception of the Cathedral of Seville, the most vast of Gothic cathedrals, that of Milan, we cannot withhold our admiration. Its countless pinnacles, gorgeous tracery, and the wealth of sculpture lavished on its spires and angles, are unrivalled in Europe. In material, too, it is unique; the white marble of which it is wholly built, shines with an almost

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196 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

transparent radiance in the bright sunlight. The cathedral was begun by Gian Galeazzo in 1385, and was designed by Heinrich Parler, of Gmiinden, who is generally said to be the architect of another famous building of an entirely different character, the Certosa ; near Pavia. The central spire was completed by Brunel- leschi, in 1440, while the western fa$ade remained unfinished till the beginning of the present century, and was ultimately com- pleted, though by no means in accordance with the original in- tention of the architect, by order of Napoleon. The cathedral consists of a nave with four aisles, and short transepts, which scarcely extend beyond the line of the walls of the outer aisle. The eastern apse is, as is usual in Italy, a compromise between the French chevet and the Italian basilican choir ; its outer wall is polygonal, like the apse of a Rhenish cathedral, but it includes a circlet of columns like the French, and is lighted by three magnificent windows. The transepts terminate in small polygonal apses. The columns of the nave are richly clustered and not too widely spaced. They have each eight subsidiary shafts, and capitals which form one of the most beautiful and original features of the building. The lower members of these capitals consist of wreaths of foliage combined with figures of children and animals ; above these are circles of eight niches corresponding to the spaces between the shafts, each surmounted by a canopy, and separated by continuations of the shafts, terminating in pinnacles ; the statues in the niches represent apostles and saints. These capitals are in themselves excessively beautiful, but as they do not support the springing of the vaults, much of their effect is lost. Above the lofty arches is a disproportionately small clerestory, and a still smaller one in the inner aisle. In consequence of this, the lighting of the building depends chiefly on the lofty windows of the outer aisle, an effect quite contrary to the true nature of Gothic architecture.


GOTHIC ART IN ITALY. 197

From without, the clerestory is altogether invisible ; but the forest of pinnacles and flying buttresses which cover the aisle roofs prevent it being much missed. The fagade, as originally designed, would have been similar to that of Cologne, with two lofty spires ; the actual facade without spires, and with portals of insignificant proportions, does much to diminish the grand effect of the building. In a word, Milan Cathedral is an Italian building decorated in the German-Gothic style. It is strange that the city which made so heroic a resistance to Barbarossa, and fell a victim to his vengeance, should, two centuries later, display in its architecture a more com- plete subordination to German influence than any other city in Italy.

Owing to the violence of faction, Florence was behind the neighbouring cities in erecting public monuments ; but when, tardily, the citizens resolved to rebuild their Church of S. Maria del Fiore, they made up their minds to erect a cathedral which in size and magnificence should surpass any building ever erected by the Greeks or Romans. Arnolfo's design was in accordance with the grandiose idea. The ground area of the Duomo con- siderably exceeds that of Cologne Cathedral. Entering from the west, we pass up a vast nave which terminates in a mighty octagon with three apses. The conception is magnificent ; but Arnolfo made the mistake of supposing that greatness of the whole involved greatness of the parts, and that the vast span of his arches would enhance the effect of his broad and lofty nave. The contrary is the case; the four great arches which fill the length of the nave make it appear half as high and less than half as wide as that of Cologne, though the actual dimensions are about the same. Even more than other Italian-Gothic archi- tects, Arnolfo has failed to realize how essential large windows are to the effect of a Gothic building. The windows here are few and narrow, and between them lie large areas of blank wall. The


198 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

marble panelling without changes these wall spaces into beautiful and varied masses of colour ; but within they are sombre and oppressive. It is hardly just to attribute this fault to Arnolfo : he probably intended that the walls should be painted, and the windows filled with white glass ; but unfortunately, with the mistaken idea of rivalling the glories of Northern Gothic, his successors left the walls bare, and filled the windows, already barely sufficient for lighting purposes, with the beautiful glass that still darkens the interior. Arnolfo did not live to complete his task by roofing the octagon : probably he intended to cover it with a dome similar to that of the church at Chiaravalle near Milan, a series of diminishing octagons surmounted by a conical roof. Had such a roof been carried out, with its subsidiary spires, it would have formed the noblest of Gothic buildings. But after Arnolfo's death the work languished, and for a hundred years no one ventured upon the task of covering this vast space. The Duomo was begun about 1394, and at the same time Arnolfo was engaged in erecting Santa Croce, as well as the massive palace Delia Signoria with its belfry of the Vacca, from which the great bell boomed out its summons and warning to the citizens. The Palazzo is rather a feudal fortress than a town hall ; and this character is a striking indication of the condition of the times. Its very form is illustrative of the fierce spirit of Florentine parties : it is not rectangular, for to have completed the rectangle it would have been necessary for some of its stones to have stood on the site of the houses of the Uberti, " traitors to Florence, and Ghibellines."

We have hitherto been able to speak of the art of painting only at second hand from descriptions, or from the copies of the inferior decorators who adorned the walls of the houses at Pompeii and at Rome. All these remains are either in fresco or tempera ; no specimen of ancient oil painting has ever been discovered


GOTHIC ART IN ITALY.


199


These two methods of painting are both used upon a basis "of prepared plaster ; in tempera painting the plaster is first prepared and allowed to dry, and is painted upon with a sort of body colour prepared with gum or albumen ; in fresco, on the other hand, the colour is applied when the plaster is wet and fresh, so that the whole layer is impregnated with colour, and each portion has to be painted once and for all. In either case there is no blending of colours on the surface of the picture. Whether oil painting was known to the Greeks, is a question that has never been decided ; but if it was, the art was entirely lost during the dark ages. Painting was kept up, as we have seen in Constanti- nople, though it had fallen to a very low condition ; the mosaic pictures with which the Byzantine architecture was adorned, best preserved the traditions of ancient painting. In the early centuries of the Eastern Church, painting was used to decorate both church and palace, within and without ; then an iconoclastic reaction set in ; but again, from the ninth to the twelfth centuries, the Eastern emperors encouraged the art of painting both of ecclesiastical and secular subjects. All the wealth of pictures in Constantinople disappeared under the destroying zeal of the Mahometan con- querors, and all our knowledge of it is gathered from fragments which have been carried westward, and from the imitations of early Italian painters.

The zeal which inspired the iconoclasts of the eighth century, had left its disastrous effects on art. The Byzantine paintings are rigid and lifeless ; the prudery which forbade study from the model reduced the human figure to a few ungraceful and im- possible lines, till the divorce between art and nature was complete. But the movement which sprang up in the latter part of the thirteenth and continued throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that great movement called the Renascence effected a revolution in painting, as in all other arts and sciences. The


200 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Renascence is a great effort of the human mind to emancipate itself from the trammels into which it had gradually fallen : to look at things as they are, and not as they had been traditionally represented : to extend its horizon by opening up the literature and art of ancient Greece and Rome, which had fallen into neglect during the long period of the dark ages. The fall of Constanti- nople, in 1453 was one out of many causes that contributed to make the Renascence what it was ; it determined the direction that the intellectual activity of the time took towards the study of Greek art and literature. Long before the actual capture of the city Greek scholars had migrated westward in search of more peaceful homes. It is therefore natural that the paintings of the end of the thirteenth century should closely resemble Byzantine work. It is in Florence, Siena, and Pisa, that Italian painting first developed. The Florentine feuds, and the actors in them, are for ever familiar through the Divine Comedy of Dante. Friend and enemy are met with at various stages in that marvellous voyage through the regions of the dead, .and describe the events in which each played his part. But through all the struggles, both parties pursued intently the object which was common to all the aggrandizement and decoration of the city. Guelph and Ghibelline alike welcomed Giotto and delighted in his work. The Divine Comedy makes little mention of the painters except a passing word, mentioning Cimabue's pre-eminence in painting, and in another place a note that Giotto had surpassed his master. It is difficult for us to realize the enthusiasm that Cimabue's painting excited in Florence. A great modern painter has painted the joyous procession with which his Madonna was brought home to its destination in the Rucellai Chapel, S. Maria Novella. The picture is painted upon wood on a gold background ; the Virgin is enthroned with the child Christ on her lap ; on either side of the throne are three angels on a far smaller scale, symmetrically arranged one above the other,


GOTHIC ART IN ITALY. 201

kneeling in reverent attitudes. The head of the Virgin is archaic in type, with long thin nose, almond-shaped eyes, and strikingly small mouth and chin. The long thin hands of the Virgin, and the feet of the Child, afford clear evidence of the weakness of the painter's anatomical knowledge ; the drapery is conventionally arranged, but with a bolder sweep than in the Byzantine paintings. This, and two other pictures, ill preserved, are the only authentic easel pictures by Cimabue. It is in the double church at Assisi, which had been founded in 1228, in memory of St. Francis, the founder of the mendicant orders, that we find this painter's most important work. The building was consecrated in 1253, and became a field in which all the greatest artists of the time com- peted in friendly rivalry. Messer Giorgio Vasari, who becomes henceforth our chief guide, tells us that Cimabue painted the vault of the lower church together with several Greek artists, by which expression he probably meant Italian painters of the old Byzantine school. Some part of the upper church was also painted by Cimabue ; but in both, the paintings are in such bad condition that they are only sufficient to show that in style they resemble the pictures we have just been looking at, but are of course more rapidly and boldly executed.

Cimabue's work at Assisi was surpassed by that of his more famous pupil whose genius he discovered and developed. The story runs that the noble painter, riding one day in the country ? saw a shepherd boy sketching one of his sheep on a piece of stone, was struck by the boldness of the rough outline, took the boy to Florence, and trained him as a painter. In the upper church at Assisi, the story of St. Francis, begun by Cimabue, is carried on by him. We see St. Francis parting from his father after the latter has been reproaching him for having sold his goods to get money to build a church, and the son answers by laying his clothes at his father's feet and returning naked to his work. Then follow/


202 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

miracles, the driving out of devils, the trial by fire, the miraculous production of a spring, the famous sermon to the birds, the saint receiving the stigmata, and many other stories from the rich treasure of legends which has accumulated round the name of this pure and gentle saint. The subjects afforded free play for originality and imagination, for there was no tradition to control the painter as there was in the biblical subjects ; there is a dramatic unity in the treatment, and a truthfulness of expression which connect this with Giotto's later work. j We have only to descend into the lower church to see some of the finest works of the peasant painter ; these are the three allegorical pictures embodying the three vows of the order poverty, chastity, and obedience. The first, the marriage of St. Francis with Poverty, is suggested by the lines of Dante :

"He with his father was, in youthful hour, At war for one, to whom, as unto death, None openeth the gate of pleasure's bower ; And he before his pastor's court did with This lady wed, and in his father's sight ; Then ever loved her with most steadfast faith."

The metaphor of Dante is turned into actuality by the artist : Poverty, clothed in rags, with thin pale face and angular figure, standing with her bare feet in the thorns and a wild rose behind her head, is reaching out her hand to St. Francis, who is "placing the ring on her finger. Christ joins their hands, and looks on the young saint with a loving, tender look. On the other side of the bride Faith kneels, and Love, with a heart in her hand : angels are kneeling on either side. In the foreground a dog barks at Poverty, and boys threaten her with stones and sticks. " Blessed are ye, if men shall revile you and persecute you." In the picture of Obedience a winged figure is seated under a canopy, placing the yoke upon the neck of the saint ; on her right is Prudence with


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Janus face, on her left Humility Humility holding a torch. On the right, within the canopy, kneel a man and a woman, whose -attention is directed to the principal action by an angel ; on the right a centaur, the type of self-will and resistance to authority, recoils, dazzled by the light of the mirror of Prudence. Above the building St. Francis is being raised to heaven by the yoke of Obedience, while on either side troops of angels kneel in adoration.

Allegorical figures had been frequent indeed a leading feature in art for the whole Christian era and can be traced back to classical antiquity ; [but that was only the personification of moral qualities in single figures, while here the allegory is no mere mythological personification, but the sensible representation of a mental conception, an idea embodied in an action. In these all the characteristics of Giotto are visible. Like all great artists, he is glorified by his contemporaries for his truth to Nature;] and though he is far removed from the later realism thouglTTquite inferior painters in the fifteenth century drew the human figure more accurately than he it is easy to see that for his contem- poraries the distance between him and his predecessors must have been immense.

The building and decoration of the church at Assisi gave the first great impulse to the development of painting in Italy ; but we do not know Giotto thoroughly till we return to Florence and visit the Franciscan church of S. Croce. Of the four chapels which he painted there the works in two have irretrievably perished, and in the others they have only been partially recovered from beneath the whitewash with which, by an incredible vandalism, they had been overlaid. The subjects here, in the Bardi Chapel, are, like those at Assisi, taken from the life of St. Francis. The incidents chosen are better suited for pictorial art tliaa those at Assisi, and are conceived in a more thoroughly dramatic spirit:


204 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

the deep spiritual feeling that pervades them is evident to every one who studies the picture of the lamentation over the body of St. Francis. In these pictures, too, greater space is given to archi- tectural backgrounds, which are treated with greater thorough- ness and solidity than elsewhere. But these paintings and others, among the most notable of which is the altar-piece of the Bar- gello Chapel, in which he has introduced portraits of Dante and of himself, are not the only, perhaps not the greatest, treasures that Florence owes to Giotto. Like many of his great followers, Giotto was not a man of one art. At Rome he executed mosaics ; at Lucca he planned an impregnable fortress ; and at Florence, when called upon late in life, he turned architect and sculptor and produced the beautiful Campanile, the crowning glory of the city. It is covered with sculpture, set in inlaid ornamentation of coloured marbles ; in form it is square with octagonal projections at the corners, and very slight diminution from base to summit. For about a third of its height it is almost without openings ; then two stories, with double-pointed gable windows, form the next third, the upper portion being lighted by one large opening of the same form on either side, the gable point of which reaches to the bottom of the cornice. The sculptures which adorn it rank among the most beautiful work of the Renascence. Mr. Ruskin has described them with all his marvellous power of word paint- ing, and traced out the symbolism with which Giotto has recorded upon it his living Christian faith. Nowhere does Giotto's sym- pathetic love of nature appear so charmingly as in the animal life which is to be found among the sculpture of the Cam- panile.

If we now travel to Siena we find ourselves in the presence of one of the most beautiful and perfect of the Gothic buildings in Italy. The magnificence of the material alternate courses of black and white marble the rich cornices with their portraits of



THE CATHEDRAL OF SIENNA (WESTERN FACADE).

[To face p. 204.


GOTHIC ART IN ITALY. 205;

the popes, the shrines and altars, the rich inlaid marble pave- ment, the wrought ironwork and the coloured decoration, delight our eyes and distract our attention from the building itself. The effect of all these details is marvellously beautiful, but they are not, as they would be in a northern cathedral, all subservient to the architectural plan. The piers are circular, the arches are- round and pointed, the centre of the cross surmounted by a hexagonal dome. The fagade is a marvel of rich sculptured decoration ; its three lofty portals are of equal height, and are surmounted in the centre by the customary round window and crowned by three triangular gables flanked by pinnacles the decided horizontal lines which divide it form the distinguishing features of Italian-Gothic. The upward striving which is the essential character of Gothic architecture, was never understood by the Italian architects ; they return always to the horizontal* lines of the basilicas. The spire, which was the culmination of the English cathedral, was never embodied in the building, but re- mained essentially a separate structure, as we saw was the case at Florence with the Campanile.

While Cimabue was painting at Florence and Assisi, a painter of equal merit, Duccio di Buoninsegna, was at work at Siena. He painted the famous altar-piece in the Duomo, the central; panel of which, the Virgin and Child, is remarkably similar in type- to that of Cimabue. The same stiff attitude, long taper fingers, and rigid drapery concealing the form the same type of face and figure are to be found in both ; but Duccio is more graceful and more accurate in his anatomy. After him, contemporary with Giotto at Florence, came Simone Martini (or Memmi), whose great fresco in the Council Hall of the Palazzo Publico was- completed in 1315. In this work the independence of the Sienese school is complete ; it differs from the Giottesque in retaining the mystic pietism of the earlier times, and is rather delicate and


206 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

graceful than strong. The sweet charm of his faces is Simone's most striking characteristic.

Passing on to Pisa we find indeed no school of painting and no Gothic architecture. The Duomo, the Campanile, and the Baptistery were all built, as we have seen, two centuries before the Gothic movement, and are the most beautiful group of Romanesque buildings to be found in Italy. Though Pisa has no school of painting, the frescoes of the Campo Santo rank among the most important work of the fourteenth century. The Triumph of Death, which Vasari wrongly attributes to Orcagna, is a vast, complex composition. To the left, three kings with their retinue and dogs returning from the chase, suddenly encounter as they come out of a ravine three open sarcophagi, in which snakes devour three royal corpses ; a venerable hermit comes down from the rocks to warn them of the vanity of all earthly things. Above them are others reading before their hermitage and milking their goats ; thus presenting the contrast between the active and the contemplative life. The scene on the right is separated from this by the rocks : there Death, a powerful female figure with bat's wings, is sweeping off men and women with her scythe ; beneath her lies a heap of her victims of all sorts and conditions, praying for mercy but finding none. The souls of the dead pass forth from their mouths like little children, but are immediately seized upon by devils, grotesque monsters, who carry them off and cast them into the fiery gulf at the summit of the rocky moun- tain towards the left, to be consigned to everlasting punishment ; a few souls are borne off by the angels, and over a few angel and devil are contesting. The angels who hold the inscription over the dead are the first example we meet with of the child angels which the Renascence adopted in imitation of the child loves of the antique. The group of the blessed in the right lower corner is simply taken from the social life of the higher classes, men and


GOTHIC ART IN ITALY. 207

women seated on a lawn beneath the plane-trees with hawk and hound and music, or walking in the shade like lovers. This is the life of the blessed who have overcome sin.

But although her buildings are Romanesque, the Gothic im- pulse was not wholly wanting in Pisa : far more than Florence in painting, Pisa stands at the head of the revival of sculpture. Before Cimabue or Giotto, Niccola Pisano had once for all settled the direction that the revival of art should take, had united the two guiding currents of the Renascence, the study of life and nature with the study of the antique. Lord Crawford, in his 4t History of Christian Art," writes thus of him : " Neither Dante nor Shakespeare can boast such extent and durability of influence ; for whatever of highest excellence has been achieved in sculpture and painting, not in Italy only, but throughout Europe, has been in obedience to the impulse he primarily gave, and in following up the principle he first struck out." Niccola's achievement, as evidenced by his two great pulpits in the Baptistery of Pisa and the Duomo of Siena, was to bring about a classical revival in the depth of the middle ages. He found a few classical fragments, a sarcophagus and a sculptured vase, which he studied with such effect that he discovered the secret of the grand style ; he learnt like the ancients to be content with beauty of form without seek- ing inner symbolism. Let us look at the famous hexagonal pulpit of the Baptistery : the columns which support it rest on the backs of lions, types of the watchfulness of the Church, and, through an old scale of legendary natural history, emblems of the resurrection. The arches are Gothic, and the spandrels show Gothic tracery with single figures. Five sculptured panels form the sides of the pulpit, upon which are carved the Birth of Christ, the Adoration of the Magi, the Circumcision, the Crucifixion, and the Last Judgment. In the Adoration the figure of the Virgin, seated in dignified re- pose, is thoroughly classic, and the horses' heads on the other side


208 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

of the same composition are pure Greek. Two of the kings kneeB before the infant Saviour and present their offerings, while the third stands behind; angels fill up the background. The figures- are not all correctly drawn, and are not in proportion to each other, but they are evidently the work of a man who had dis- covered a great truth and was struggling to realize it in spite of the opposing influences under which he lived. His work is quite distinct from the fantastic carving of animals which is to be seen on the fagades of many Lombard cathedrals, and is the only beautiful and imaginative work to be found amid the feeble child- ishness of Byzantine and Romanesque sculpture; it is equally far removed from the lovely and original statuary which so richly adorns the porches and fagades of the great Gothic cathedrals ot the North. With Niccola Pisano begins the true Renascence of art in all its varied character, and, with this work of his, the antagonism between the spirit of the Renascence and the Middle Ages first becomes strikingly manifest. From these pulpits the priest might preach the mortification of the flesh, but the con- gregation could see the human body glorified as the embodiment of beauty with almost Greek frankness on the very panels over which he leant.

The pulpit in the cathedral of Pisa, the work of Niccola's son, Giovanni Pisano, no longer exists. In the Campo Santo one frag- ment from it may still be seen, a symbolic figure of the city of Pisa, supported by the four cardinal virtues, not beautiful but intensely vigorous and significant ; but though we cannot see this work, a beautiful pulpit by Giovanni can be seen at Pistoja, which in composition, in architecture, in effect and richness of imagina- tion, surpasses either of his father's pulpits. In the panels we see that Giovanni had added to the qualities of his father the dramatic force of the Northern sculptors, a quality which is nowhere found in Niccola's work. Look at the relief of the Massacre of the Inno-



GOTHIC ART IN ITALY. 209

cents upon this pulpit : we see mothers struggling with soldiers for their living children, and others weeping over the dead. At one side Herod is seated on his throne, before which men and women stand imploring his mercy, or calling down curses on his head. There is in this an intensity of life and energy alien to the antique spirit. To Giovanni we also owe the building and sculp- tures of the Campo Santo, and the facade of the Duomo at Siena, which we have already visited. If we may accept Vasari's state- ment, he also worked upon the marvellous sculptures of the Duomo at Orvieto, which, by the field it afforded for the energy and imagi- nation of the sculptors, holds as important a position in the history of the Pisan school as the Church of St. Francis at Assisi holds in the history of Florentine painting. At Pisa and Siena a body of sculptors certainly existed who worked under the inspiration and guidance of the Pisani, the nameless artists whose record is to be found in the sculptures at Orvieto. The most famous of the school, called Andrea Pisano, came to Florence and worked under Giotto on the Campanile, and thus brought the Pisan school of sculpture under the powerful influence of the Florentine painters, whereby sculpture became subordinated to painting, and acquired that distinctly picturesque character which so clearly marks Renas- cence sculpture. The first bronze gates of the Florentine Baptistery form his most famous work, and exhibit this character together with a simplicity of design and purity of emotion that distinguish them from the more elaborate and more famous work of Ghiberti. Under Andrea and Giotto there also worked a famous artist, Orcagna, goldsmith, sculptor, and painter, whose beautiful taber- nacle of the Madonna of Or' San Michele, in the church which he himself completed, is a perfect example of delicate workmanship. His paintings may best be seen in the Strozzi Chapel of S. Maria Novella, where stand his three famous frescoes of the Last judgment, Hell, and Paradise. The Hell is a marvellous imagi-

R


210


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


native exposition of Dante. In all technical qualities he is equal to any of the Giottesque school, and in the drawing and fore- shortening of the extremities surpasses his contemporaries. From Giotto, Andrea Pisano, and Orcagna we pass to the second group of the great Florentine artists, and the second period of the Renas- cence.



CHAPTER XX.

THE RENASCENCE IN THE FIFTEENTH 6- SIXTEENTH

CENTURIES.

ITALY.

Florence: the Dome of the Cathedral. Brunelleschi. Donatella. Ghi- berti. Delia Robbia. Fra Angelico. Masaccio. Filippino Lippi. Perugia: Pietro Perugino.

our return to Florence we find that after a hundred years had passed, during which Giotto and his successors, Taddeo Gaddi and Andrea Orcagna, had been adding from time to time to the decoration of the Duomo, still no one had been found to attempt the completion of Arnolfo's design by building the cupola. But now, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, we find a .new life in Florence. A change had come over her. While the old nobility had been exterminated in the daily struggles of the past century, a new nobility had sprung up out of the bosom of the people. The wealthy bankers, whose commerce extended over the whole of Europe the Medici, the Albizzi, the Bardi were now struggling for supreme power, as the Neri and the Bianchi had done a century before ; and the recall of the Medici from exile in 1435 gave to Florence her first despot. But art flourished under this despotism : Cosmo de Medici was the founder of S. Marco ; his grandson, Lorenzo the Magnificent, the patron of Michel- angelo.


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


The outcome of the prosperity and free life of the cities of Northern Italy, of the gradual revival of Latin literature which had lain in neglected manuscripts in the libraries of the convents, the additional impulse given by the immigration of Greek scholars driven westward by the fall of Constantinople, brought about this period of wide culture, free thought, and grandeur of art. " The name Renascence is significant in more than one respect. It implies the new birth of the antique, the renewed study of ancient art and sciences which now began and forms an essential factor of the whole movement : but it implies also a new birth of a deeper character, a new birth of nature, the recovery of nature for man." The influence of the Church had replaced nature by tradition ; but since the thirteenth century art had been gaining freedom and gradually opening its eyes to nature ; the Renascence tears the veil aside.

The movement aimed at a complete development of the in- dividual in all directions, and this is notably visible in regard to the artists. The arts are not separated ; the bottegas (shops) of the Florentine artists were not only painters' studios but goldsmiths' workshops. The same men achieve great things in painting, sculpture, and architecture. Art is with them a whole and un- divided. The first great work that we look at is the bronze doors of the Baptistery begun by Ghiberti in 1403, after the competition of designs in which Brunelleschi and Donatello were unsuccessful competitors.

Ghiberti and Brunelleschi, whom later on we shall find com- pleting the unfinished work of Arnolfo, both worked as goldsmiths. For forty-nine years Ghiberti devoted himself to the execution of these great gates ; and although the task set him was an artistic mistake, yet the beauty of his reliefs and the perfection of his work commands our admiration. The two doors consist of ten panels, on each of which is a story out of the Old Testament in


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 213

small figures in high relief, which in the perspective gradually pass into low relief, and in the most distant background into lines which almost disappear as in a picture. Each of these panels is enclosed in a frame of heads, figures, leafwork, and the whole door is surrounded by a splendid wreath of acanthus flowers and leaves. When we look closer at a particular panel, say the story of Joseph,


IHiail !.;;.. ,:!'- : : ^



PANEL FROM THE SECOND DOORS OF THE BAPTISTERY AT FLORENCE, BY GHIBRRTI.

we see with what wonderful vividness it is told, how natural and noble is the conception, and how accurately the figures are charac- terized and distinguished from each other. On another panel we see the sacrifice of Isaac. Often as we have read the story, the pain- ful obedience, and the joy mingled with humility of the grand old patriarch, has never so deeply touched our hearts. The storming of the walls of Jericho shows us a long train of warriors who are


214 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

marching up the steep hill to the city along a winding road ; the figures becoming gradually smaller and smaller, until they almost vanish. All this is so lifelike and beautiful that we gladly paidon Ghiberti for having overstepped the limits of sculpture and sought to give a perspective which is suitable only to painting. Burck- hardt calls these gates the greatest work of the early Renascence, and Michelangelo spoke of them as the gates of Paradise.

This great work was followed by another still greater, the completion of the Duomo by a cupola. Brunelleschi having failed to gain the commission for the gates, set off to Rome to study architecture, supporting himself meanwhile by working as a jeweller ; then, after four years, he returned to Florence, having thoroughly mastered the principles of his art, and endeavoured to persuade the Signoria to carry out his design ; but it was not till 1420 that he was appointed, in concert with Ghiberti, to carry out the work. Ghiberti soon disappeared from the office, and went back to work at his gates So many were the difficulties before it was completed, that the Florentines declared that the heavens were jealous of their beautiful dome, which rivalled the beauty of the blue vault above. Beautifully poised on the walls of Arnolfo's building, it rises with a majestic grace which surpasses that of St. Peter's, and forms the centre and crown of the city. Many another building did Brunelleschi give to his city the Pitti Palace, afterwards the residence of Magnifico, and the Church of S. Spirito with its round-arched roofs and domes.

The third of the three competitors for the Baptistery gates worked chiefly at sculpture. He was thoroughly realistic, repro ducing real life with wonderful skill. The story is told how, when a young artist, he had made a crucifix, and in simple pride showed it to his friend Brunelleschi. The latter said : " It is. not a Christ, but a contadino." Donate, annoyed, answered : " Take wood and make one yourself." Brunelleschi did so, and surprised his friend


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 215

by showing it to him ; when Donate, swallowing his pride, gave vent to his admiration : "To you it is granted to make the Christ; to me, only contadini ! " Still Donate did himself achieve great things. His St. George at the Or' San Michele, affords con- vincing evidence of his power. St. George is standing with his legs slightly astride, in a bold defiant attitude, his body and head thrown back ; his long shield rests upon its point between his feet, and is held by his left hand ; his right hand hangs at his side with clenched fist ; his cloak, which is buckled round his neck, hangs down his back. Vasari, speaking of it, says, " In his face beams the beauty of youth, courage and doughtiness in arms. Proud threatening energy of life and wonderful lightness of movement penetrate the hard stone. Indeed, among modern figures one has never seen so much life and spirit in the marble as nature and art have here reached through Donatello's hand." His works are very numerous, especially his panels in high and low relief of the Virgin and Child and other subjects, and had vast influence upon the history of Italian sculpture.

Before leaving the Duomo we must not overlook the decoration of the organ loft, the beautiful groups of singing boys by Luca della Robbia. In the sombre light of this vast building their beautiful workmanship was almost lost, though Vasari writes of them thus : " Though raised seventeen braccia from the ground, you can see the dilatation of the throat in him who sings, the measured beating of him who conducts the music over the shoulder of the smaller figure, and other diverse expressions of playing, singing, dancing, and all those charming movements which form the delights of music." Whatever effect they may have produced in their original position, now that they are re- moved and can be seen close, the bright joyousness and lively vigour can never be forgotten, and no one who has seen them can regret their perfect workmanship. But it is in glazed earthen-



216 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

ware that Luca and his nephew Andrea executed those works which made them famous over the whole of Italy. On a clear blue, green, or white ground we see sacred figures and scenes raised in relief in wonderfully delicate tones. Plastic beauty, like the lofty style of the antique, is combined with the most natural depth of expression. Houses, churches, and palaces were orna- mented with friezes and lunettes of this ware. Bowls and other vessels, as well as single figures and groups, were in this way formed out of clay. The Madonna, in thoughtful repose, sur- rounded by worshipping angels, shows the most beautiful union

earlier and later tendencies.

Meanwhile, men no longer felt the limitation that had hitherto definitely bound thought and form ; and each artist strove by his own efforts to overstep it. The new scientific discoveries, and the deeper knowledge of nature and of antiquity of which we spoke above, opened for each a wider circle of thought and emotion, and each man combined the characteristics of his own view with subject matter taken from the Bible and legends. Jacopo della Quercia, called della Fonte, had already established this tendency in the sculptures on a fountain at Siena, and Masaccio in the frescoes of the Church of S. Maria della Carmine at Florence. There, in the Brancacci chapel, we can study the transition from the simple child- like style of the quatrocentisti, the school of Cimabue and Giotto, to the broader and more intensely human work of the quincentisti, Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo,,

The paintings of Masaccio and his predecessor Masolino upon these walls form the connecting link. We trace in them both the style of the earlier school and the growing effort to attain to a higher level of naturalism and a greater degree of pictorial effect. At the same time they retain much of the simplicity of colouring of their predecessors of the fourteenth century. The subject of the principal pictures of Masolino are The Calling of Peter and


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 217

Andrew ; the Denial of Peter; the Disciples in the Storm upon the Sea of Galilee ; the Healing of the Lame ; and the Preaching of Peter. The treatment of the nude in these pictures is clearly the result of a thoroughness of study of the living model that was unknown in the days of Giotto. The attitudes of the figures are far more lifelike, and attempt the representation of action outside the Giottesque range ; the limbs are foreshortened with far greater skill. The linear perspective, too, exhibits an equal advance..

Masaccio's work displays the same characteristics to a still higher degree. If we compare the two pictures of Adam and Eve, Masolino's Temptation and Masaccio's Expulsion, the difference between the two painters becomes evident. Masolino has mastered the forms and lines of the human body in a way that separates him from all previous painters. His Eve is an exceedingly beauti- ful and carefully studied female figure. But Masaccio has gone far beyond this : for the first time since the days of the great Greek sculptors an attempt has been successfully made to use the whole body as a vehicle for the expression of mental conditions. In these two figures can be seen the feelings of sorrow and shame which overwhelm them as the angel drives them forth out of Paradise: the distinction of sex is shown not in form only, but in the manner in which these emotions are expressed. They are the prototypes of the works of Raphael and Michelangelo. Raphael indeed was so strongly impressed by them that he has almost literally reproduced them in the Loggie of the Vatican. Masaccio's larger pictures are Peter Baptizing a picture in which there are further examples of his mastery over the nude, much vigour and liveliness of action in the crowd of those who are pressing forward to receive the rite, and a unity and completeness in the grouping which is wanting in Masolino ; Peter and John giving Alms ; the Shadow of Peter Healing the Sick; and the Miracle of the Tribute Money. All these deserve special study for the excellence of the


2i8 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

grouping, the nobility and expressiveness of the heads, and for the natural ease of the attitudes. The last mentioned is particularly noteworthy for the excellence of the landscape. The background is composed of round undulating hills extending away into the distance, and is perhaps the earliest example of the truthful repre- sentation of the distant landscape. The Brancacci chapel formed the principal school of painting for the next generation of Floren- tine painters.

But let us turn into the convent of S. Marco, and see the sweet paintings of the angelical painter, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole. Enter- ing into the outer cloister we find, among later work, three lunettes which at once attract us. St. Dominic, the patron of the order> Thomas Aquinas, and Peter the Martyr with his finger on his lip,, to indicate that silent obedience is the rule within these walls. Over the entrance to the hospice one of the most beautiful con- ceptions of Fra Angelico meets our view. Two brothers of the order, with tender, loving hospitality, are welcoming a pilgrim whom they find to be the Saviour Himself " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."

From the cloister we enter the chapter-house, in which the mas- ter's greatest works meet our eyes. Christ crucified between the two thieves surrounded by saints ; nearest the cross St. John and the women ; beyond these the patrons of the convent, the city, and the Medici family ; on the other side stand the founders of the monastic orders ; prophets, sibyls, and saints of the order adorn the frames. The faces show every variety of devotional feeling to which the sight of Christ's passion would give rise. It is this which distinguishes Fra Angelico. In most respects he is a follower of the school of Giotto, and closely resembles Masaccio and Masolino. In knowledge of figure drawing he was the inferior of the latter, as the good friar probably never studied from the




CENCE IN FIFTEENTHS SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 219

nude, and drew his female figures from his younger brethren-4 though even in his drawing his sense of beauty astonishes us. The clearness and liveliness of his colours is in beautiful harmony with the genial piety of his work. But it is in the delicate shades of expression in his heads that he stands in advance of all his predecessors. His devotional religious disposition finds a more genuinely human expression than any of them attained to, and takes hold of us by its spiritual beauty and peaceful purity. It is the expression of the beautiful soul of the painter. Let us look at him in Vasari's description: "Tin's truly angelical brother spent his life in the service of God and his neighbour ; he was simple and spiritual in his ways, a friend of the poor, and kept himself far removed from all worldly affairs. He always devoted himself to painting, but would never paint anything but sacred subjects. ' He who practises art,' he used to say, ' must live in peace, and have no other thought.' Whatever he had painted he never attempted to retouch or improve, believing that, such as it was, it was God's will that it should be so. Some say that he never took his brush in his hand without a prayer, and never painted the Lord crucified without tears ; and thus one sees in the counte- nances and attitudes of his figures the strength and uprightness of his Christian faith."

Upstairs in the dormitory we find in almost every cell some work of his, often mere sketches, but still possessing the same simple charm and beauty. Later, he was summoned to Rome by Pope Eugenius IV. One chapel which he painted there has perished ; but in the chapel of Nicolas V., in the Vatican, we find some of his most beautiful work : St. Laurentius bestowin^

&

alms is characterized by all the old charm of sweetness and piety, but shows that he was not altogether uninfluenced by his contem- poraries. In these Roman pictures there is a great advance in figure drawing and in freedom of movement.


220 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Thus he painted what he felt in constant intercourse with God and with heavenly things, and then again felt what he painted. No one succeeded in imitating him, though many tried like him to pray and to take the sacrament before their work ; but in vain. His pupils, even the amiable Benozzo Gozzoli, soon followed other paths.

While Fra Angelico was peacefully devoting his life to beautify- ing his convent of S. Marco in the simple style of the fourteenth century painters, a new school was springing up in Florence. In the academy at Florence we see the Coronation of the Virgin, by Fra Filippo Lippi, and recognise at once the change in the realism of the faces, which seem to be all portraits, in the natural folding of the drapery, and in the lilies which the angels hold. In the centre, God the Father places the crown on the head of the kneel- ing Virgin, while troops of angels crowd on either side. In either corner is a majestic figure John the Baptist on the right, and St. Ambrose on the left ; a group of kneeling figures fills up the centre of the foreground ; on one side is the portrait of the painter kneel- ing, with the inscription : " Id perfecit opus."

But while in technical matters this is far in advance of earlier works, we cannot but feel that the old devotional spirit is wanting. In the bottega of Fra Filippo we find a pupil of his, who has far eclipsed the fame of his master. Sandro Botticelli charms us chiefly by the wonderful pensive sadness and dreamy undefined longing of his faces. In the Magnificat, one of his many circular pictures at Florence, we feel this perhaps most strongly. With a sad look, foreboding future sorrow, Mary is stretching out her right hand to write the Magnificat. Sweet-faced angels, with looks of sympathy, are holding the tablet and the inkpot. With her left hand she supports the holy Infant, who looks up sadly and pathetically into His mother's face. Two other angels hold the crown over the Virgin's head. All seem overwhelmed by the same foreboding,


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 221

and look at one another and at the Virgin in awestruck pity. The Virgin and Child in the National Gallery is less sad ; the Virgin looks out of the picture with an expression of sweet dreamy tran- quillity. All the faces in these pictures have the same typical form scarcely a beautiful one, and yet so attractive that one school of painters in England at the present day has adopted the type. The face is a long oval, with sharply marked cheekbone and pointed chin, the nose somewhat retrousst and broad at the base, high arched eyebrows, and full lips. But into this typical face he can throw wonderful expressions of poetic dreaminess, sadness, longing, and dignity. Sandro, like other painters of his time, did not confine himself to sacred subjects. He was a man of the Renascence, and studied ancient and modern literature and art. His beautiful picture of Venus Anadyomene at Florence, is an example of his classical subjects. The goddess of love stands on the scallop-shell, partly covered with her flowing hair; on the left, the winds are scattering flowers upon her, while on the shore, covered with her laurel groves, a Cyprian woman holds a robe for her. Not only the subject, but the execution, is inspired by anti- quity; the figure of the goddess is evidently suggested by a statue of the type of the Venus de Medici.

In later days, when the great preacher Savonarola denounced, with his scathing eloquence, the worldly, irreligious, almost pagan life of the Florentines under the great Lorenzo, Sandro is said to have joined the Piagnoni, the Puritan party. A picture of his in the National Gallery, of the Shepherds worshipping the new- born Saviour^ and surrounded by the heavenly host, bears an inscription stating that it was painted in the midst of Italy's troubles in the year 1500 (that is just after the tragic end of the prophet). But indeed all his pictures seem impressed with the spirit and sentiment of the Piagnoni, though most of them must have been painted before the name was invented, and


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


indeed before Fra Girolamo began his eight years' preaching in the Duomo.

A still warmer follower of the Piagnoni was Lorenzo di Credi, who studied in the bottega of Andrea Verocchio, goldsmith, sculptor, painter, musician, and mathematician, in company with Leonardo da Vinci and Perugino. Let us look at his Birth of Christ: the Child lies on the ground, the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and the angels are adoring it. The painting is wonderfully careful in all details. The naked body of the child Christ is, as usual with this painter, plump and round and thoroughly babylike.

The son and, like Sandro, the pupil of Fra Filippo, is Filippino Lippi, whose beautiful frescoes of the History of Peter and Paul, we may see by the side of Masaccio's in the Brancacci Chapel. In that of Peter and Paul before Nero the grouping is excellent. Nero is represented accurately, according to the monuments ; the group surrounding him are portraits of Filippino himself, Polla- juolo, Sandro, and other well-known Florentines.

We spoke of Andrea Verocchio as the master of Lorenzo di Credi. His own work we find in the graceful and natural figure of a boy over the fountain in the court of the Palazzo Vecchio, and in the energetic strength of the equestrian statue of the Colleoni at Venice ; but it is as the master of Leonardo da Vinci that he chiefly interests us. Leonardo was born in 1452, at the Castle of Vinci in Val d'Arno, but it is not till the sixteenth century, at the height of the Renascence, that we shall see him at his best. Even as a little boy we find him working eagerly under his master, Verocchio, and there we see him revelling in his strength, fighting, carving, drawing, hunting on the wildest horses. His strong and beautiful figure, with his bright, lively eyes, awoke interest every- where. Even at home he showed his most extraordinary talent for design. With Verocchio, who trained his pupils to follow nature strictly, he surpassed all his fellows. He sought to attain to




RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH fr SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 223

the firmest basis of the imitation of nature. Anatomy, geometry mathematics, and mechanics, he studied with the greatest zeal. His mighty soul and body surmounted all difficulties. As the young artist is rising from his easel, we seem to see before us a hero ; but his noble features also reveal great depth of sensibility. Presently, as twilight advances, we hear him playing the violin and singing or improvising poems of his own. From time to time he designs wonderful figures, of which a Medusa's head still remains. In his pictures he strives to show us natural, purely human figures, amid beautiful landscapes. Somewhat later, we see Michelangelo Buonarotti, born in 1474, a youthful figure of similar gigantic pro- portions, though, indeed, less beautiful, working at the side of David and Domenichino Ghirlandajo. Even in his fifteenth year, he has surpassed his teacher of painting and his teacher of sculp- ture Bertholdo, pupil of Donatello in the splendid gardens of his patron, Lorenzo di Medici, which were turned by the Exhibition of Antique Sculpture into a school of art. In his eighteenth year, he had made himself famous by his Laughing Faun, which many took for an antique, and by two Madonnas, a Hercules, etc. ; but the highest achievements of his genius belong to a later time.

We have only been able to look at a few of the great artists who were to be found in Florence in the fifteenth century. Many must remain unmentioned, for Florence was then alive with the bottegas of artists; and the chief citizens, through all their contests and jealousies, vied with each other in adding to the artistic glory of the city. One, however, must not remain unmentioned, Baccio, who as a young painter was an enthusiastic admirer of the great preacher, and, after the martyrdom of Savonarola, became himself one of the brotherhood of S. Marco, under the name of Fra Bartolomeo. With him the history of San Marco, which has so important a place in the history of art, comes to an end. To him we owe the truthful likeness of the Florentine prophet, who exer-


224 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

cised so great an influence over the life of Baccio and his fellow - citizens.

Between the outlying ridges of the Apennines we travel up a steep road to Perugia. On the left, near the steepest slope on one of the highest peaks, which, like a sea of rock, rise out of the waters of the Adriatic, stands the little town of Urbino, with its castle and double towers, on a precipitous crag. Within a few years there were born in this little town two men who were to- have immortal names in the history of the Renascence Brainante r the architect of St. Peter's, and Raphael Sanzio. In one of the steep streets which are ascended by steps, Giovanni Sanzio used to paint his sacred pictures; and his beautiful boy Raphael, and sweet angelic wife Magia, are to be seen on many a panel as the Holy Mother and Child. Soon, when still quite a child, in the midst of these mountains which no human eye ever beholds with- out emotion, little Raphael's great genius began to develop under his father's care. It was fostered by the pictures in the castle of the Prince of Urbino, a famous patron of art. Here, among many beautiful pictures of all Italian schools, he saw a masterpiece of Van Eyck, and thus his early years were spent in an atmosphere thoroughly suitable for his development. Too soon, alas ! was the harmony of their family life broken, first by the death of the beautiful spiritual mother, and soon after by that of the brave energetic father.

Raphael was born in 1483 ; in 1495 we find him, now an orphan, at Perugia. Before entering the town, let us look around us. From the clump of evergreen oaks, we can see far away on three sides over the plain below. A more beautiful scene can scarcely be seen in Italy. In the clear bright sunlight we see the great fig- trees, purple olives, and vineclad elms clothing the hills, which stretch in long waves out into the plain below. Lake Thrasymene sparkles in the sunshine. To the south the convent of St. Francis


RENASCENC


'E IN FIFTEENTH &> SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 225

at Assisi, with its Gothic church, like an eagle's nest, is perched on the lonely rocks. It is natural that in the land of Umbria Gothic art took a firmer hold and continued longer than elsewhere in Italy, for it was in accordance with the character of these Umbrian mountaineers.

We enter the town, passing along streets hewn out of the rock by the Etruscans in ancient times, till we come to the "Piazza., around which all the chief buildings of the city are collected. The cathedral, half Romanesque, half Gothic, seems at once to carry us far back into the middle ages. Hard by stands the splendid Gothic Corso. The statue of the Pope, with his hand raised, seems to keep guard before the neighbouring church. The fountain which plays in the centre is the work of Giovanni Pisano, and is surrounded by bronze reliefs which he has covered with charming natural figures. The romantic art of the middle ages surrounds us too in the signorial palace with its imposing but irregular fagade ; within, at the base of the grand staircase, stand two white marble lions, at the top the griffin and she-wolf com- memorate the victory of the Perugians over their neighbours in Siena, the memory of which was still fresh in all men's minds when young Raphael came here to study. But here, as we found at Florence, these struggles are an impulse rather than a drawback to art ; they are the expression of the freedom and energy which was stirring in all men's minds and deepened their religious enthusiasm.

Niccola's pupil, Pietro Vannucci, known as Perugino, though he was born at the little town of Pieve, had studied the new style in Florence with success, and had then spent several years in painting his famous frescoes at Rome ; but after a time he returned to his old home at Perugia, and remained there for the rest of his life, excepting for occasional excursions to execute com- missions at Florence. In returning to Perugia he adopted the

S


226


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


more strictly ecclesiastical attitude of his Umbrian masters, which, however, he always softened by that sweet kindly piety which was characteristic of him, and which was his legacy to his great pupil Raphael. At this time many of his best pictures were painted frescoes in the Cambio (the Exchange), Roman, mythical, imperial figures, all with that expression of deep tender- ness and sensibility, like the saints with which he enchanted his contemporaries and all generations to come. Many other pictures



of sacred subjects are due to him, a few of which we will look at Here Mary is kneeling in sacred meditation, her thoughtful face bent down towards her child, who is seated on a cushion half covered with the corner of her mantle, which falls in majestic folds and is supported by a kneeling angel. Earnest, faithful devotion to God can be read in the faces of both. In the background the child John holding the cross indicates the future of the holy babe.




NASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 227

eavenly peace pervades the scene. Such angelically pure features might have been met with among the ^Apennines, and can be seen there even at the present day. High culture and depth of feeling were spread by the courts of the princes and

bles in their little capitals. The women too in Florence, as eaders of literary society, preserve the most spotless feminine purity amidst the immorality which ambitious wars produced. There, artists striving to realize their ideals, always found living models, as Goethe so charmingly shows us in his Tasso.

Perugino assembled a rich circle of talented pupils around him ; among them we find the boy Raphael. It is generally supposed that in many of his later and most beautiful pictures the altar- piece of the Certosa, for example, the three lower panels of which form one of the most precious treasures of our National Gallery Perugino was assisted by his greater pupil. The central panel represents the Virgin adoring the infant Saviour, who is held before her by an angel ; other angels are standing and singing upon the distant clouds. The side panels represent the Arch- angels Michael and Raphael, the latter leading Tobias by the hand. A drawing of Raphael's in silver point, at Oxford, appears to be a study for this panel, and both the side panels show a more accurate study of nature than is usual with Perugino. The fish, which Tobias carries, has been chosen by Mr. Ruskin as an ex- ample of perfect Tightness in the representation of still life. The warm and brilliant colouring of the whole picture is the best and most characteristic example of Perugino's colour at its best period. In the central compartment, the mass of that deep warm blue drapery, so characteristic of his and Raphael's peruginesque pictures, balancing, as it does, the contrasted colours, has a mar- vellously rich and brilliant effect. His painting has withstood the influence of time almost as completelv as Van Eyck's.


CHAPTER XXI.



THE RENASCENCE IN THE FIFTEENTH d- SIXTEENTH

CENTURIES (continued).

FLANDERS.

Ghent and Bruges. The Van Eycks and their followers.

'THHE realism, the individuality of the artist, and the sense -* of beauty, which we have found to be characteristic of the Renascence, really first appeared in the lowlands of Flanders, ts people, though chiefly of Low German blood, contained also Prankish and Romanic elements.

Towards the end' of the fourteenth century, the House of Burgundy gradually replaced the various superior lords on whom different parts of their territory were dependent, and a league sprang up politically independent of France and Germany, and allowing full municipal freedom to the towns of which it was composed. The people, a vigorous and enduring race, had had its practical character and readiness of resource developed by the struggle in which its land had been won from the sea and preserved against the forces of nature. The southern provinces developed rapidly in trade and commerce, and the towns of Flanders especially reached a high state of prosperity. Wealth, gained by labour and self-denial, awoke among the people a sense

228


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH &> SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 229

of the enjoyment of life ; and as time went on the inclination for comfort, nay, for luxury of living, was raised, by the emulation of the well-to-do free municipalities and the brilliant court, into stateliness and splendour of display.

During the middle ages, as long as art was dependent on architecture, the Netherlands followed sometimes France, some- times Germany, but hardly formed a style of their own. The new development of Flemish painting, in which the individual character of the artist becomes strongly marked, begins with the brothers Van Eyck.

The most important and most independent of the Flemish commercial cities at the end of the fourteenth century were Ghent and Bruges. To these, then, we shall first turn our steps. Here, in these towns, alive with the bustle of trade and com- merce, showing on all sides signs of well being, is a good foundation for art, especially in these Renascence days, when real life is endeared to us by nobler pleasures. True, the poetry of mountain and forest is wanting to these towns ; but instead, they have the broad heaven above them and the reflection of the water below, in the countless canals and rivers, alive with heavily-laden ships and white-sailed boats by which the towns are united. The rich and splendid city of Ghent is intersected on all sides by water dividing its twenty-four islands.

After wandering across its countless bridges, we reach the Town Hall, standing in an open square. The rich and elaborate ornamentation of its pointed arches indicates the degeneration of Gothic art ; the same thing may be noticed in the facade of the Church of St. Bavon in the same square. We hasten to the chapel of the Vydt family in this church, and find there an altar-piece with closed wings ; *~he outside painted in grays on a gray ground. In the centre compartments of the top we


230 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

see the Cumean and Erythrean sibyls as a link between paganism and Christianity. The outer lunettes are filled with the heads of two prophets. The panels beneath contain beautiful heads and figures of the Angel of the Annunciation and Mary. They are in an ordinary room of a Flemish house, with so low a ceiling that the figures could not stand upright. The small central compartments contain a washing-basin in a Gothic niche and a round-arched window. Both the heads and the archi- tecture show an extraordinary command of perspective. In the outer panels of the lower division kneel two pious founders, in the centre stone-gray statue-like figures of the two St. Johns, the patron saints ; this is the everyday side. When the wings are opened the festival side is displayed in its rich splendour, with bright-coloured robes, jewels, luxuriant greens in the landscapes, and rich gold ground in the central compartment. Its thirteen panels contain a symbolic representation of the work of salvation. The large central panel below displays a flower-clad meadow in all the fresh greenness of spring, enclosed by wooded hills, houses, and tower ; in the foreground is the Christian symbol of the well of life. Farther back, the lamb standing on the altar is shedding its blood into a golden cup, surrounded by worshipping angels ; the dove of the Holy Spirit sheds its light upon the lamb below. In a long procession, full of individual character, saints and angels, patriarchs and prophets, apostles and martyrs, are approaching ; and, in the side panels, hermits and pilgrims, warriors of Christ armed and carrying banners and the cross, are all making the pilgrimage to Christ.

In the upper compartments, God the Father is enthroned in the centre in a brilliant red robe, with the papal tiara on His head ; His mouth and chin surrounded by a reddish beard. In calm dignity He looks out upon life, His right hand raised to bless, the sceptre of majesty in His left. At His side, in shorter


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 231

round-topped panels, sit, on His right Mary, and on the left John the Baptist. The former, with full oval face, delicate mouth, fair waving hair, and most gentle looks, clothed in a broad blue mantle, and wearing a jewelled crown surmounted with lilies and other flowers, is reading from a prayer-book that she holds in her hands. Her expression is one of humility and purity, but she is a real and thoroughly German woman. Realistic art cannot continue to use the disklike nimbus ; a deli- cate beam of rays has taken its place in these three figures. The Baptist is teaching from a book, with hand upraised, and wears his "camel skin" raiment with a blue mantle thrown over it. Next to Mary is a group of youthful angels in splendid vestments, singing vigorously ; on the other side a heavenly orchestra with St. Cecilia at the organ. The outer panels contain Adam and Eve. These figures are indeed far from the normal types of Greek antiquity ; but they show a won- derful power over the figure gained by observation alone, without the aid of anatomical study. For the first time for more than a thousand years an artist had again ventured to paint from the nude living model. How much of this great work is due to Hubert, and how much to Jan, is not to be absolutely decided. No other work of the former is known. The three central figures are usually attributed to the elder brother. The most striking characteristic of their work is its absolute truth of conception. The Van Eycks opened their eyes completely to nature, and had mastered the means by which to represent what they saw. They are sometimes spoken of as the inventors of oil painting. This cannot be claimed for them ; but they did make wonderful advances in the use of their material. " The most essential part, the chief merit of their innovation, was not so much in the mixing as in the use of colours. While in tempera painting the colours were separately prepared and mixed,


232 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

and in the execution were applied by the side of, or as a new wash upon, tones already dry, the Van Eycks introduced a new method of painting with wet colour upon wet. The fact that oil colour remained wet so long, which had been a hindrance to its use for the older painters, gave it its especial value to the Van Eycks. They mixed the colours on the palette, and



MADONNA BY VAN EYCK.


combined them on the panel itself, so that they not only gainec* increased brilliancy, but also the power of giving finer grada- tions, by which they approached infinitely nearer to nature.' (WOLTMANN.)

Many charming Madonnas and portraits by Jan van Eyck exist. Let us look carefully at one John Arnolfini and his


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH &* SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 233

Wife in our own National Gallery. Husband and wife stand hand in hand, and their faces tell us that they will remain united for ever in heart and soul. The perfection of detail in this picture is most wonderful ; one can scarcely tire of looking at the fur on her dress or his cloak, at the rough little terrier in the foreground, the carpet, the sabots in the corner, the tiny panes of the window, and the peaches lying on the sill. The convex mirror behind reflects the open door of the room, and shows us two people entering, one of whom, according to one of the inscriptions on the picture, is the artist himself. The frame of the mirror is decorated with ten little pictures of the passion of our Lord. All this perfection of detail is so skilfully given that it does not distract us from the central figures.

Van Eyck had many pupils, and a similar school sprang up during his lifetime in Brussels, the head of which was Roger van der Weyden. He represented the scenes of sacred history in a new light ; take for example his Death of Christ, when the Holy Mother holds the corpse of her Son upon her knees in truly human sorrow. While the Van Eycks in their pictures seemed to be singing joyous songs of praise, Roger gives a vivid dramatic representation of a tragedy. The most perfect of his pictures is the little Altar at Berlin in three compartments, the one containing the Birth of Christ, in which Joseph's face has a solemnity which is almost comic ; the next, the lamentation which we mentioned above ; and the third, Christ appearing to the Virgin after His resurrection. In the golden chamber of the Brussels Town Hall are four pictures by him, and at Madrid a beautiful Descent from the Cross.

At Bruges we find the shrine of St. Ursula, and many other works of Hans Memling, who was probably a pupil of Roger, but surpasses both him and Van Eyck in his sense of beauty and th~ modernness of his feeling. The shrine of St. Ursula, a relic


234 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

chest in the form of a Gothic church, is his greatest work. St. Ursula, according to the legend, was the daughter of a British King, and left the country in obedience to a vision, rather than marry a heathen prince. She set sail, accompanied by knights and virgins, and arrived at Cologne, where Christianity was toler- ated by order of the Emperor Severus. Thence, in obedience to a further revelation, she set out for Rome, by way of Bale, and the Pope himself joined her company on the homeward journey. Meanwhile, Julian had succeeded to the empire, and, on arriving at Cologne, St. Ursula, virgins, and Pope, were all massacred by his officers. The shrine is decorated with eight pictures, on the sides and ends, and six medallions on the roof. The principal scenes are the Landing at Cologne, the Arrival at Bale, the Reception at Rome, the Return to Bale, the Massacre at Cologne, and the subsequent martyrdom of St. Ursula. This latter panel, in which the saint stands awaiting the arrow of the old man, who is aiming at her, is the most striking of the series. The armour of the soldiers especially is executed with marvellous skill ; in the polished surface of the steel, the surrounding groups are reflected over and over again from all points of view.

The simple dignity and grace of the numerous pictures in which the history of the saint is told, charms us inexpressibly. Nothing of Van Eyck's has such power to touch our hearts.

Justus van Ghent is excellent for the clearness of his lines and the beauty of his grouping. Justus painted the Last Supper in the castle at Urbino, Raphael's birthplace.

Hugo van der Goes, a pupil of Hubert van Eyck's, was charac- terized by the fullest realism, and that in pictures painted on a larger scale than is usual among Flemish painters. Of all his works only one is known, a triptych in the Church of S. Maria Nuova at Florence, which was painted for Lorenzo de Medici through his Bruges agent. The central compartment is the




RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 235

Adoration of the Shepherds, the details of which a bundle of straw, a glass, and a jug containing flowers, and a sabot in the corner are painted with really deceptive accuracy.

Quentin Matsys, born at Antwerp, and originally a blacksmith, became a great artist for love of a girl who would only marry him if he were a painter. His chief work, now in the Antwerp Museum, is a powerful picture of the lamentation about the body Christ, with truthful character painting and enchanting harmony of colour. Another famous painting of his is the Misers, at Windsor Castle : two old merchants are busy counting their money and making up their accounts. Their avaricious faces, their eager dirty hands, and all their characteristic surroundings, are painted with marvellous skill and humour.

Towards the end of the century, Flemish painters sought to gain the freedom and beauty of the Italian school by a thorough study of the human body ; thus Gerhard von Haarlem painted a series of female saints almost life-size, and afterwards visited Italy at the time when the great masters were painting in the beginning of the sixteenth century.

Jan Gossaert (called Mabuse) began to paint in the style of the Van Eycks and their followers, and then, after a visit to Italy, adopted an Italianized style, by which he is chiefly known in con- tinental galleries. His masterpiece, however, the Adoration of the Magi, at Castle Howard, belongs entirely to the earlier period, and is one of the most elaborate and perfect works of the Flemish school. In finish and delicacy of execution it is equal to the finest works of Jan Van Eyck, and in the character and refinement of the heads surpasses the earlier masters. In the centre of the group, clad in blue, is seated the Virgin, holding the child Christ on her lap, and golden chalice in her left hand, the gift of the elder King, who kneels in adoration at her feet. On the left advances the Ethiopian king, richly dressed with high-


236 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

pointed cap ; on the right stands the third king, holding in his hands a richly traced golden monstrance. The scene takes place in the ruins of a palace ; attendants are standing behind the prin- cipal figures. In the background Joseph, in a red robe, is seen entering the building. In the distance are to be seen the towers of Bethlehem, lit up by the sunset. Shepherds are leaning on a broken paling, looking with deep interest on the scene. To the right the procession of the kings is seen advancing. In the sky hovers the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, surrounded by angels, one of whom bears a scroll with the inscription, " Gloria in Excelsis Deo ! " The guiding star rests high over the spot. An ox and an ass are to be seen within the building, and in the fore- ground are two dogs, one of whom is gnawing a bone. Every detail of the picture deserves close study : the long, delicate hands of the kings, the fabrics of the robes, the jewels, and, above all, the faces of the kings, are marvels of strong and delicate work- manship.

During the later years of Mabuse the Italianized style in- troduced by him and Gerhard became general in Flanders until a reaction set in and the painters deliberately returned to the extreme limit of naturalism and ugliness.

The German schools did not pass at once to the full realism of the Flemish, though they made some progress in that direction. The chief centre of early German painting was Cologne, and the greatest work of the school, the so-called cathedral picture by Master Stephen, painted about 1425. On the outside of the wings we have the Annunciation. The Holy Virgin is kneeling at the foot of the bed ; her face, the most charming on the altar has the loveliest childlike expression as she looks down in deep humility. When the shrine is opened we see Mary crowned, with the sweet and loving expression ; the Child upon her lap stretches out its hand to the eldest of the three holy kings, who gazes at it





RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTHS SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 237

with his venerable face upturned, while his followers are offering gifts. On the wings are the patron saints of Cologne, St. Gereuii with his knight, and St. Ursula with her virgins who are destined to the most horrible death. The long oval form that characterizes the faces of the earlier pictures of the school has become rounder, and the figures fuller and more human ; but we still have the high forehead, the small mouth and the soft gentle eyes, the expression of gentle piety and resignation on the virgins' faces, without any sign of fear at the horrors which await them. What distinguishes this clearly from the Flemish school is, that no attempt is made to give any definition to the background by architecture or land- scape.

Later in the century the influence of Flemish painting became stronger, as we see in the series called the Lyversberg Passion, by a nameless master. These pictures are marked by Flemish realism, but are not free from exaggeration.

Of the Prankish school little exists except a few unimportant pictures and many celebrated engravings of Martin Schongauer. His engravings are both firm and delicate ; and with all the realism that he acquired from his Flemish master, Roger van der Weyden, he retains touches of the ideal feeling of the early German school.

The tendencies which characterize the Flemish school soon spread over the whole of Germany, France, and England. The hearty joy in the truthful representation of nature, which chiefly marks it, though sometimes united with a deep feeling for ideal beauty, more often led men to revel in representing repulsive and grotesque ugliness a tendency of which we have already seen indications in Quentin Matsys. Only the greatest men escaped this danger. We must now visit two German towns, the home of the two great German painters Holbein and Diirer. Let U5 first go to Augsburg.


CHAPTER XXII.

THE RENASCENCE IN THE FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES (continued)

GERMANY.

Augsburg. Hans Holbein.

WE have been rejoicing in watching art advancing from a one-sided conventional view to the fulness of life, Though progress has in some directions been hesitating and un- certain, yet the joyousness of youth with which it moves delights us like spring buds, which are often sweeter than the glory of the perfect flower. We are now approaching this perfect flower, and begin by visiting Hans Holbein in his native town of Augs- burg. With a free constitution, under which the simplest workmen might rise to almost princely wealth and dignity, the city had risen early in the sixteenth century to the highest prosperity. Her situation, on one of the highest ridges of the Bavarian moun- tains, made her of great military importance ; and being on the high road from Germany to Italy, she became the centre of commerce between the two countries. Under the beneficent rule of the Emperor Maximilian, and favoured by her intercourse with Italy, Augsburg became a centre of culture. New buildings with frescoes, friezes, and reliefs, light rows of windows with festoons

of flowers, meet our eyes. A quarter of the town, with charming

238



< THE MADONNA OF THE BURGOMASTER MEYER. HOLBEIN.


[To face p. 239.


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH fr SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 239

little dwellings, was built by the Fugger family for the poor. We- see many beautiful faces, especially among the women. The active spiritual life and profound sense of beauty has sunk deep into the life and interests of the people. This has made faces really less beautiful become pleasing, has elevated the middle- classes, and has charmed even the great ones of the earth. Duke Albrecht III. married the daughter of a barber ; Philippine Welser, the Archduke Ferdinand ; Clara von Detten, the Elector Palatine, Frederick the Victorious. These rich flourishing towns contain the germs of the best popular strength.

Augsburg had long been an art centre. Her masters, formerly allied with the Cologne school of Master Stephen, have now heartily and skilfully joined the new movement. We here hear of a Holbein, father of the most famous Hans, and see Hans as a six-year-old boy standing before us in a picture of the Baptism of Christ by the side of the noble patroness of both father and son. The father also appears looking down on his little one, as if he were saying, " He will some day be a great man." Of his early life and work we know little ; a St. Catherine attributed to him is proved not to be genuine. On a table in Zurich are paintings representing St. Nobody sitting in the midst of the fragments of the things he has broken ; around are scattered letters, papers, and a pair of spectacles : this was painted in 1515. The same humorous style of work appears in his pen and ink illustrations to Erasmus' " Praise of Folly," which he must have executed when at Basle in about 1516. During this visit he painted portraits of the Burgomaster Meyer and his wife, for whom he after- wards painted the famous Madonna at Darmstadt. About 1520 we find him at work on historical pictures, in eight scenes of the r< Passion, conceived in a vigorous dramatic manner quite different from the religious tone in which such subjects had hitherto been treated. The influence of Mantegna and Leonardo da Vinci is


240 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

clearly visible here, though it does not replace his thoroughly German style. He was employed in Basle, not in painting pictures but in illustrating books, designing for glass, and decorating houses ; the well-known Peasants' Dance formed part of the decor- ation of one of these. The Meyer Madonna is a family group of eight figures. In the centre stands the Holy Mother with the child Christ in her arms ; on one side kneels the Burgomaster, his hands clasped on the shoulder of his son, beside whom stands a naked child ; on the other kneel three female figures the one nearer the Virgin is supposed to be his first wife ; next, his young wife, of whose portrait mention has just been made; and out- side, her daughter holding a rosary. This picture has given rise to much discussion : first, as to the meaning, the question has been raised, Which boy is the child Christ? The traditional interpretation is a beautiful one, with which we may be well content. The father and mother have prayed to her for their sick child. She appears to them, her own Christ in her arms. She puts her child Christ down beside them, takes their child into her arms instead. It lies upon her bosom and stretches its hand to its father and mother, saying farewell.

" That there are signs of suffering on the features of the child in the arms of the Virgin, is beyond question ; and if this child be intended for Christ, it would not be doubtful to my mind that of the two Raphael or Holbein the latter has given the truest aspect and deepest reading of the early life of the Re- deemer. Raphael sought to express His power only, but Holbein His labour and sorrow." (RUSKIN.)

There are two examples of the picture, one in Dresden, the other in Darmstadt, both of which were long asserted to be by Holbein. This controversy has only recently been decided by a careful comparison of the pictures ; but the Dresden copy is so beautifully executed., that we are at least forced to acknowledge




RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH &+ SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 241

that the copyist must have been almost equal to the maste~r. Besides these pictures Holbein produced in Basle many engravings, especially the famous Dance of Death. The light-hearted en- joyment of life at that day gave rise to many such works as this, in which we see Death as a skeleton dancing with persons of all ages and conditions. The series begins with Adam and Eve escorted by Death out of Eden, and after passing through all ranks of life ends with the Last Judgment, and a curious design representing the arms of Death. Another series of Old Testament plates, treated with great vigour and reality, must have been drawn about this time, though they only appear under the date 1538. His greatest reputation in his own day was for his portraits, most of which were painted in England. While at Basle he painted portraits of Erasmus and Melancthon. On his canvases we see all the chief men and women of his time in England. Henry VIIL, bluff and massive, standing with his legs apart, his right hand on his hip, and his left hand on his dagger (apparently his favourite attitude) ; he seems to embody that force of will and domineering spirit which so strongly characterized him. In this portrait, and the numerous copies of it, we seem to read the character of the man. The painting itself, a fresco, was destroyed by fire in the seventeenth century ; all that remains now is a copy made by order of Charles I., and a portion of the original cartoon now at Hardwick. Many other beautiful portraits might be mentioned. Some of the finest are Lady Jane Seymour at Vienna ; the Duchess of Milan, belonging to the Duke of Norfolk, painted when a proposal of marriage between her and Henry was made by the Emperor : her charming childlike face is beautifully set off by her black widow's dress and close-fitting cap. In beautiful simplicity, full of intelligence and life, she looks out of the canvas ; no wonder that Henry was enamoured of her from the sight of this picture. Excellent too, are the portraits


242 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

of Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell and the Duke of Norfolk. That of Hubert Morett, goldsmith, is a fine piece of character painting.

" In the portrait of Hansmann George Gyzon, every accessory s perfect with a fine perfection : the carnations in the glass vase by his side, the ball of gold shaded with blue enamel suspended on the wall, the books, the steelyard, the papers on the table, the seal ring with its quartered bearings all intensely there, and there in beauty of which no one could have dreamt that even flowers or gold were capable, far less parchment or steel. But every shade is felt, every rich and rubied line of petal followed ; every subdued gleam in the soft-blue of the enamel, and bending of the gold touched with a hand whose patience of regard creates rather than paints. The man himself is what he was not more, but to all conceivable proof of sight, in all aspect of life or thought not less. He sits alone in his accus- tomed room, his common work laid out before him ; he is conscious of no presence, assumes no dignity, bears no sudden or superficial look of care or interest, lives only as he lived but for ever." (RUSKIN.)

Many allegorical pieces were painted by him in England. Riches and Poverty a contrast as strong then as to-day. The causes of these Idleness, Negligence, Stupidity, and Avarice, he contrasts with Industry, Work, Attention, and Self-restraint, in figures strongly characterized. Hope looks down on all from heaven. The Wheel of Fortune, at Chatsworth, is a curious fan- tastic allegory containing four figures, one seated on the top, one climbing on, a third falling off, and a fourth lying on the ground. It is covered with mottoes in German.

The painting of the Triumph of Riches, made for the German merchants of the steelyard, has been lost ; the engraving remains, in which we see Pluto on a car with his golden treasures beneath


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH fr SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 243

his feet, and Fortune, as a graceful woman, seated below him scat- tering gold among the crowd which follows, among the figures of which are well-known rich men and allegorical figures of various vices, pride, treachery and sensual pleasures. Above the group flies Nemesis.

Holbein died in England in 1453. He left many imitators but no worthy successor ; and England continued for two centuries longer without any native artists whose names are now remembered.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE RENASCENCE IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES (CONTINUED}.

GERMANY, NUREMBERG.

Adam Krafft. Veit Stoss. Peter Fischer. Michael Wohlgemuth. Albrecht Dilrer.

THE old free city of Nuremberg, though not situated on a great trade route like Augsburg, had early attained to a great height of commercial prosperity ; and, just as the Italian republics, her merchants formed an aristocracy of their own, which grew to such importance that its leaders were created nobles of the empire. As in Italy, success in trade was accompanied with pre-eminence in art, and for two centuries Nuremberg was a centre for the highest artistic achievements. There is no town in Europe which has so completely retained the aspect which it wore in the middle ages. The old walls which formed its defence in the days of private and civil war, are still standing, with their numerous pointed towers. The houses within have scarcely under- gone any change ; their lofty gables, which contain within them several floors, surmount buildings of exceptional height ; and the monotony of the front is broken by projecting windows and carved wood-work.

The ground floors of these houses formed covered courtyards, entered by wide porte-cocheres, and were often not divided into



INTERIOR OF


ST. SEBALD'S CHU$CQ,;fe?$E:gpURG. ; >.

"' [To face p. 244.




RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH 6- SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 245,

rooms at all. On the summits of the roofs are little turrets or~ watch-towers, which take many fantastic forms. The plan of the house brings clearly home to us the conditions of life in the middle ages : the necessity of confining the town within narrow walls, and the frequent occurrence of personal and party contests within the city itself.

The two churches of St. Lawrence and St. Sebald are both noble Gothic buildings ; the latter combining the form of the double apsed Rhenish church with the general characters and detail of the Gothic.



The immediate surroundings do not always -show the same degree of beauty. Augsburg, through its extensive commerce, was known over half the world. The citizens of Nuremberg travelled far less beyond the limits of their home. On the other hand, owing to its situation near the centre of the Reformation, Witten- berg, it was strongly touched by the spirit of the new movement, and took an active part in the spiritual struggles and actual fight- ing which accompanied this great change. We can read something of this in the strongly-marked but scarcely beautiful features of its inhabitants. Less regular beauty, but a world of thought far


246 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

richer, meets us here, and is in harmony with the strong and regular music of the Meistersanger which we hear around us. The in- tellectual activity of the Nurembergers is to be seen not merely in their achievements in art and literature, but primarily in the mechanical arts. The catalogue of their successes in these is a long one ; foremost therein stands the watch, the Nuremberg egg, invented by Peter Hehlheim, and improved by Caspar Werner ;. besides these we may mention the wheel-lock, the globe of the world, and improvements in the compass, the sun-dial, and screw machinery.

We enter into the Church of St. Lawrence, and admire in the stone figures of the shrine the sharp clear outline of the figures of Master Adam Krafft, whom we see in his own stone effigy, supporting with the help of his assistants the whole weight of the shrine on his broad shoulders : in the Seven Stations of the Cross in St. John's churchyard, the expression and energy of the figures. The town scales show his fresh lively humour : the superintendeni of the weighing is watching the beam tumble, while on the left the merchant's apprentice has his hand on his pocket as if expect- ing a bribe.

On turning our eyes to the roof we see a crown of roses, carve< in wood and delicately painted, the work of Veit Stoss. In the middle is the figure of Mary seated on the clouds and supported by an angel, the angel of the annunciation by her side, and many heavenly beings surrounding her. Within the rose-wreath the seven joys of her life are shown, and above it a half-length figure of God the Father. Beneath the wreath the serpent of paradise with the apple ; the whole is conceived in a more idealistic manner than Krafft's.

We next pass to the Church of St. Sebald. As we enter we can see the shrine of the saint. The relic chest is placed within a canopy of wrought iron, which rises in eight light Gothic pillars,


RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH fr SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 247

and is covered by three baldachini. As we approach nearer we, see the silvered chest covered with the arms of the city, resting on a high bed, at one end of which stands a figure of the saint in pilgrim's garb, and at the other Master Fischer himself in his leather apron, with honest vigorous face and brawny limbs. Along the sides reliefs tell the legends of the life of the saint. The



canopy rests on the back of twelve colossal snails, probably a fancy of the artist, perhaps symbolic of the silence of death.

Looking closely we find around the base numbers of delightful little figures, couchant lions, nymphs and genii, heroes of antiquity, and allegorical figures of the cardinal virtues. Mermaids cling to the pillars and hold the candles. Round the chest charming figures of children are lying, playing with dogs. In the little


248 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

niches higher up stand noble and dignified figures of the apostles. In striking contrast to the earnestness and dignity of the apostles are numerous whimsical figures, on the low arched structures which unite the pillars, of children playing all sorts of foolish tricks, to symbolize the follies of mankind. On the summit of the central baldachino stands the child Christ lighting the darkness of the grave. The perfect execution and the thorough naturalness of the figures remind us at once of the beautiful work of Ghiberti at Florence, and on inquiry we find that Peter Fischer worked for some years under the great Florentine metal-worker ; and after his return to Italy worked with his sons for thirteen years upon this immortal monument.

If we now turn to the workshop of Michael Wohlgemuth, who stands at the head of the Franconian school, we shall find pictures painted with the most thorough-going realism, which are indeed often hideous, though sometimes the strength of his colouring atones for want of beauty. Under him we find Albrecht Diirer, at fifteen, working with energy and thoroughness in the imitation of nature. Even here in his early youth the great artist is visible ; the deep thoughtfulness of his conceptions and the rapid progress of his technical knowledge are astonishing. His earnest, firm-set features indicate great force of will, upon which the severe home discipline then customary exercised a powerful influence. When his strict apprenticeship was over, he set forth on his travels. We may suppose that during this period he had become well ac- quainted with the works of Ma'rtin Schongauer of Colmar, and had learnt the art of engraving. On his journey to Stuttgart he executed a pen-and-ink drawing of four knights resisting the attack of four skeletons. After his return he attained his master- ship in his guild by a diploma work " Bacchanal, Orpheus slain by the Maenads " ; then, according to the habit of the time, his father chose a wife for him.




RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH & SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 249

From this time he is at work on pictures, portraits, and wood- cuts, of which those taken from the Revelation survive. In one of these we see the angels slaying a third of mankind. They make the attack on horseback, and horse and rider fall beneath their swords. Then he shows the angel Michael righting with a dragon. Another, the Judge of the world enthroned with one hand outstretched holding the stars, flames shooting from His eyes, and a sword going forth from His mouth. The spirit of the Reformation seems already to inspire the youthful artist For ten years Diirer worked in his native town in intimate in- tercourse with Wilibald Pirkheimer, a man of high cultivation, who had enriched his mind by travel in Italy, and incited his friend's creative activity. Among the many portraits of this time is one of Pirkheimer, a noble, thoughtful, serious face, excellently drawn. Besides this, the Adoration of the Magi, a most charming work, in which the landscape is particularly beautiful : for Diirer, like other painters of the Renascence, took the most lively delight in combining the events of human life with beautiful landscape.

Then he went to Italy, and resided for some time in Venice. Of his life there, and the recognition accorded to his genius by his Italian contemporaries, we may let him speak for himself In one of his letters to Pirkheimer he writes thus :

" There are many fine fellows among the painters, who get more and more friendly with me ; it holds one's heart up. Well- brought-up folks, good lute players, skilled pipers, and many noble and excellent people are in the company, all wishing me very well and being very friendly. On the other hand, here arc the falsest, most lying, thievish villains in the whole world, I believe, appearing to the unwary the pleasantest fellows pos- sible. I laugh to myself when they try it on with me ; the fact is, they know their own rascality is public, although one says nothing.


250 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

"The good friends I have among the painters warn me I should not even eat nor drink with these others, because of their hostility to me and my church work, abusing me while they have a chance and making a disturbance. They say my art is not as the antique, and therefore is not good. But Gian Bellini, who has praised me much before many gentlemen, wishes to have something from my hand. He has come to me himself and asked me to do something, and he will pay me well for it. Several people have told me I am in great favour with him, and I understand he is a very pious man ; he is very old indeed, and yet the best among them."

While at Venice he painted one of the most beautiful of his works, the " Feast of the Crown of Roses," for a German com- munity. This glorious work shows us Mary, surrounded by angels, half concealed in the clouds, a crown set with stars held up by heavenly spirits over her head, while the Emperor Maximilian is kneeling at her feet and offering her a crown of roses.

He delights in the bright sky and free air of Venice, where the artist enjoys consideration and independence, instead of being a simple handicraftsman and dependent on a patron, as at home. " Alas!" he writes, "how shall I live in Nuremberg after the bright sun of Venice : here I am a lord, at home only a parasite ! "

On his return he produced a number of larger pictures, in which the influence of his Italian journey is apparent. The most important among these is that called the Landauer altar- piece, or All Saints' picture, in beauty and thoughtfulness oi conception unsurpassed by any other work of the master. In- stead of the gorgeous beauty of the glorified Christ of the Italian painters, he shows the Almighty holding up the crucified Saviour before the eyes of the people : below, people of every



THE ADORATION OF THK SMSpHKRDS (THE SMALL PASSION). ALBRECHT DURER.

[To face p. 251-




RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH 6- SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 251

standing the Emperor Charlemagne, cardinals and priests, sol- diers and burghers ; to the left kneel the donor and his family. His face exhibits the deepest awe : the cardinal in front of him looks round with a glance of encouragement It is a striking illustration of the differences of the conditions under which Italian and German artists were working, that this, Dlirer's principal work, is of quite small dimensions. The frame in which it is set is worthy of notice. It is an architectural design by Durer, so admirable in its proportions that we are forced in looking at it to acknowledge that the painter was also an architect

But his paintings did not form his principal work. On copper he produced the great and small Passions ; on wood, the life of Mary. It is in the latter medium that he is able most vividly to express his thoughts and feelings. Without regard to ex- ternal beauty, he manifests in these a power, depth, and touching truthfulness which take a firm hold upon us.

Diirer's conceptions of the Divine persons is worthy of careful notice. The Holy Mother appears always in direct and un- equivocal connection with the infant Jesus, and derives all importance from Him : she is nearly always occupied in some (iuty towards the Child. His Virgin has none of the indepen- dence, grace, and material beauty which the Italian painters delighted in lavishing upon the mother of Christ No aureole surrounds her head. She is simply a mother, such as might be seen every day in Nuremberg a worthy German matron. We see her sitting in the carpenter's shop spinning, surrounded by angels simple playful children. The only sentiment which Durer attempts to embody, is that of maternal love. In his Christ, too, he departs altogether from the traditional conception . his own beautiful, serious, and thoughtful face served him more

or less consciously as a model.

u


A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


The famous engraving of Knight, Death, and the Devil, is a striking example of the deep thoughtfulness of his work. The knight rides on undisturbed by the staring eyes of Death, who threateningly shakes his hour-glass, or by the devil, who follows under a fantastic form : a smile of self-confidence and contempt plays on his lips. The whole conception seems far in advance i>f his age ; the supernatural horrors with which the Middle Ages



sought to frighten men to right-doing are treated with con- tempt. We are reminded of the answer to the devil in Goethe's prologue in Heaven :

Divert

This mortal spirit from his source Divine, And canst thou seize on him, thy power exert To draw him downward and to make him thine. Then stand abashed, \\hen bafrbd thou must own A good man in the direful grasp of ill His consciousness of right retaineth still."




RENASCENCE IN FIFTEENTH fr SIXTEENTH CENTURIES. 253

Some think that this is intended as a contrast to the phite called " Melancholia," and embodies the sanguine temperament in a series which was not completed.

Later, Diirer made a long journey through the Netherlands, where he painted some admirable portraits ; but his time seems to have been chiefly spent in doing small and imperfect works to pay his daily expenses. His love of his native city brings him back to Nuremberg, though, as we learn from his petition for a pension, far better prospects were offered him elsewhere.



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. ITALY.

Full Development of Art. Milan. Leonardo da Vinci. RaphaeFs Youth. Renascence Architecture. The Certosa at Pavia.

"XT OW that we have seen the most important and most beauti-

  • ^ ful products of the Renascence north of the Alps, we can

once more return to Italy and delight in the fulness of the glory, the spring-tide of which has already enchanted us.

We will first return to Milan. We see once more the great marble cathedral, with its countless pinnacles sparkling in the sunshine ; but this time we are most interested in the early Renascence palaces which have sprung up since we were last here, with their stately arcade windows, their terra-cotta ornaments, and their beautiful arcades in their courts, a union of the old with the new. In the churches we see similar combinations of sculpture and painting.

Leonardo came to Milan in 1483 to take to the Duke of Milan, Gian Gallazzo, a silver lute of his own making, and in the Ambrosian library we find portraits of the Duke and his wife Isabella of Calabria. Leonardo superintended the festivities of their marriage. But Lodovico Sforza was already practically ruler of Milan, and some few years later he succeeded in crushing

254


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 255

his nephew and ward, and in making himself duke. Lodovico Sforza, though a cruel tyrant, was a liberal patron of art and learning, and Leonardo, confident of his own powers, offered to serve him as engineer, inventor of ordnance, architect, painter, and sculptor. In concluding this curious letter he writes, " I could engage to execute the bronze horse in lasting memory of your father and of the illustrious house of Sforza." This colossal monument of the great condottiere, Francesco Sforza, who made himself Duke of Milan, occupied a great part of Leonardo's life. The statue was never cast, and nothing of it now remains but Leonardo's numerous drawings for it at Windsor.

Fate has dealt most hardly with Leonardo : his reputation for all time depends only on one work, and that work has suffered most terribly from the ravages of time. The large fresco in the refectory of the convent delle Grazie in Milan, even in its present condition, is sufficient proof of the extraordinary genius of the Florentine artist. When now its beauty has perished, we are able from the countless early copies and engravings (and from Leonardo's own drawings) to restore the details.

The poet Goethe may serve as our guide here ; he saw it before the hall in which it stands was demolished during the French wars. The artist was commissioned by the Duke and the convent to deco- rate the refectory. The subject of the Lord's Supper, so important an event for every Christian, was a natural and frequent one for the decoration of refectory walls. The painting occupies the entire breadth of the end wall of the hall over the door, so that the monks sat at table on three sides of the hall, and on the fourth their eyes fell on the colossal figures of the disciples, seated at table with their Lord and Master united at that sacred feast. We see the surrounding objects, the long table spread just like that of the brothers, the striped cloth falling into the same folds, the plates, cups, and dishes upon it like those at their own tables. The


256 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

moment chosen is when the disciples have just been startled by the word of their Lord, " This night one of you shall betray Me," and are expressing their doubt and anxiety, and their desire to know by whom their Master is to be betrayed. In the faces of all appear love, terror, anger, or grief, or bewilderment, unable as they are to fathom the meaning of their Lord. The Saviour alone is seated : in the midst of them with outstretched hands and bowed head He has spoken the terrible prophecy.

The words are uttered, and the whole company is thrown into consternation ; but He inclines His head, with bent-down looks, while the whole attitude, the motion of the arms, the hands, and everything, seems to repeat the inauspicious expressions which the silence itself confirms. " Verily, verily, there is one amongst you who betrays Me."

The figures on both sides of our Lord may be considered in groups of three, and thus they appear as if formed into unities corresponding in a certain relation with each other. Next to Christ on the right hand are John, Judas, and Peter.

Peter, the farthest, on hearing the words of our Lord, rises suddenly, in conformity with his vehement character. Judas, with terrified countenance, leans across the table, tightly clutching the purse with the right hand, whilst with the left he makes an involuntary convulsive motion, as if to say, "What may this mean ? What is to happen ? " In the meanwhile, Peter with his left hand has seized John by the right shoulder, who bends towards him, and pointing to Christ, apparently signifies that he should ask who is the traitor. With the handle of a knife, which he holds in his right hand, he accidentally touches the side of Judas. The pose of the latter, who, stooping forward alarmed, upsets a salt-cellar, is thus successfully managed. This group may be regarded as the leading one in the picture : it is certainly the most perfect.



THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 257

While on the right hand, with a certain degree of emotion, im-_ mediate revenge seems to be threatened, horror and detestation of the treachery manifest themselves on the left. James the Elder draws back in terror, and with arms outspread he gazes transfixed, his head bowed, like one who imagines that he already sees with his eyes those fearful things which he hears with his ears. Behind his shoulder Thomas approaches our Lord and raises the forefinger of his right hand to his forehead. Philip, the third of the group, completes it in a most pleasing manner. Rising, he bends forward towards the Master, and with his hands on his breast, he is clearly saying : " It is not I, Lord ; Thou knovvest it ! Thou knowest my pure heart ; it is not I."

And now the three last figures on this side afford us new matter for contemplation. They are conversing together about the terrible news. Matthew turns eagerly to his two companions on the left, hastily stretching out his hands towards the Master. By an admirable contrivance of the artist, he is thus made to connect the foregoing group with his own. Thaddeus shows the utmost surprise, doubt, and suspicion ; his left hand rests upon the table, while he lifts the right as though he were about to strike the two together, a common action in every-day life, as when at some unlooked-for occurrence a man should say, "Did I not tell you so ? Did I not always suspect it ? " Simon, the eldest of all, sits with great dignity at the bottom of the table ; we then get a full view of his figure, which is clad in a long flowing garb. His countenance and movement show him to be troubled in mind and full of thought ; he does not, however, display any marked


agitation.


If we turn our eyes at once to the opposite end of the table, we shall see Bartholomew, who rests on his right foot, crossing the left over it, and bending his body forward, which he supports with both his hands leaning on the table. He


258 A SHUK1 HISTORY OF ART.

listens as if to hear what John will ask of the Lord ; indeed,, that disciple's anxiety is shared in by the whole group. James- the Younger, standing behind Bartholomew, rests his left hand on Peter's shoulder in the same way as the latter leans on that of St. John. On James's face we only see a placid request for explanation ; Peter, again, seems to threaten revenge.

And as Peter behind Judas, so James the Younger stretches out his hand behind Andrew, who, being one of the most pro- minent figures, expresses by half-lifted arms and outspread hands the fixed horror with which he is seized. This expression occurs only once in the picture ; although, alas ! it is too often repeated in works composed with less genius and less reflection.

The story runs that Leonardo left unfinished the heads of Christ and Judas, and could scarcely be brought to complete them. The head of Christ in the fresco has suffered, more than other parts,, both from decay and restoration. Even the best copies are not satisfactory in this respect ; but there exist drawings which were probably studies for it, and these give some conception of the noble type of manly beauty that Leonardo had imagined for the Saviour,

The Mona Lisa, a portrait of the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, occupied him four years, and was then left unfinished. In this portrait there is so pleasing an expression, and a smile so sweet, that while looking at it one thinks it rather Divine than human ; and it has ever been esteemed a wonderful work, since life itself could exhibit no other appearance. This, a John the Baptist with an expression of the intoxication of joy, and another portrait called La Belle Ferroniere, are almost the only originals that have come down to our times uninjured. The other pictures are : The Vierge aux Rochers, in the Louvre and the National Gallery, in which " St. John the Baptist is kneeling with folded hands before the Saviour, whereby is ex- pressed childlike awe and obedience, while the Madonna in






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wonder regards him, her countenance full of mingled joy and expectancy, while with face of radiant beauty the seraph seems wrapt in the contemplation of that boundless bliss which shall go forth to mankind as the outcome of the mystery on which he now looks " ; the St. Anne, which is hardly finished, and differs considerably from the beautiful cartoon in the Royal Academy.

Of the great picture of the Battle of Anghiari nothing now remains but engravings and Vasari's description. He writes : <: Leonardo da Vinci represents the history of Niccolo Piccenino, captain-general of the Duke Filippo of Milan, in which he depicted a troop of horsemen fighting round a standard, and struggling for the possession thereof. Among other peculiarities (f this scene, it is to be remarked that not only are rage, disdain, and the desire for revenge apparent in the men, but in the horses also ; two of these animals, with their forelegs inter- twined, are attacking each other with their teeth no less fiercely than do the cavaliers who are fighting for the standard. One of the combatants has seized the object of their strife with both hands, and is urging his horse to its speed, while he, lending the whole weight of his person to the effort, clings with his utmost strength to the shaft of the banner, and strives to tear it by main force from the hands of four others, who are all labouring to defend it with uplifted swords, which each brandishes in the attempt to divide the shaft with one of his hands while he grasps the cause of contention in the other.

. . On the earth, among the feet of the horses, are two other figures foreshortened, who are obstinately fighting in that position ; one has been hurled to the ground, while the other has thrown himself upon him, and, raising his arm to the utmost height, is bringing down his dagger with all his force on the throat of his enemy. It would be scarcely possible adequately


260 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

to describe the skill shown by Leonardo in this work, or to do justice to the beauty of design with which he has depicted the warlike habiliments of the soldiers, with their helmets, crests, and other ornaments, infinitely varied as they are ; or the won- derful mastery he exhibits in the form and movements of the horses. These animals were indeed more admirably treated by Leonardo than by any other master. The muscular develop- ment, the animation of their movements, and their exquisite beauty are rendered with the utmost fidelity."

Among those who attached themselves to this great master, there is one especially whose acquaintance we make in Milan, and whose naiVete" and sweet grace at once endear him to us. This is Luini, whose Crucifixion at Lugano shows, besides these characteristics, great beauty and depth of feeling. We recognise in him the influence of Raphael exercised on a style formed -after Leonardo.

Andrea Luini's pupil, Soddoma, painted the beautiful frescoes which illustrate the life of St. Catherine of Siena. They are full of tenderness and grace, though the grouping is in some overcrowded and the action over-dramatized. His work resembles the best of Guido Reni.

While at Milan we can look at one of Raphael's youthful works, the Marriage of the Virgin and Joseph. The Virgin is looking down with that sweet expression of childlike devotion which characterized the work of his master, Perugino. In the figure of the priest and other details, as well as in the colours, he is obviously copying his master.


CHAPTER XXV.

THE HEIGHT Of THE RENASCENCE. ROME.

St. Peters. Michelangelo.

\ THOUSAND years have elapsed since we left the smoking

    • ruins of ancient Rome and passed through many and distant

countries, following the progress of Art Great events have hap- pened and great changes have taken place ; and now once more Rome has become a great centre of Art. When we first came hither from dying Greece, by way of Pompeii and Herculaneum, two- of those cities of the Italian coast where Greece and Rome met, we saw the grand arches of the aqueducts in the Campania, the massive tombs, built as if for eternity, the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, the Pantheon, works which seemed to embody the character of the people who built them, a people resolute and vigorous, caring little for beauty and much for conquest, with one dominant idea, to- rule and endure. As their early faith faded away, how rapidly they fell into the basest slavery to self-indulgence and corruption and forgot the old virtues which had laid half the world at their feet ! But while all belief in the Divine origin of humanity seemed shattered in the contemplation of imperial Rome, we found some comfort and hope in the dark recesses of the catacombs ;

there was the germ of a new life ; there were men who for their

261


262 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

faith had courage to face the lions in the arena and the scorn of the cultured Epicureans of Rome. The simple and earnest faith of these men, unskilled in the practice of ancient Art, found expression in a rude way on the walls of the tombs to which for a time they were banished. Later, when they were tolerated in the open day, they built their basilicas for worship, and endeavoured to adorn them as best they might. But the spirit of ancient Art had passed away before the Christian enthusiasm had a chance of inspiring it with new life ; and therefore Christian Art, passing to the East, retained the character of child-like faith, but departed further and further from nature. But under Christian influence the Prankish barbarians of the North developed a new and noble expression of their religious feeling, which finds its highest embodiment in the cathedrals of Amiens, Salisbury, and Cologne. At the same time Italy began to awaken from the long slumber of the Middle Ages, and to seek other intellectual food than the barren philosophy or the Christian fathers, and to study not only the literature and art of Greece and Rome, but the greater book of nature. Thus a new literature began with Dante, and a new art of painting with Cimabue and Giotto, which rapidly rose to the highest perfection But the new development of architecture, which had spread so rapidly throughout the North, never became thoroughly assimilated in Italy. The northern Gothic depended for its beauty on its constructive features, and on vast expanse of windows ; while to cover the wall space with windows would have been absurd beneath the burning Italian sun, and would moreover have left little field upon which to exercise the powers of their painters. Besides, the revived interest in the past had led men not only to excavate and study the remains of ancient buildings, but also to take them as their models in whatever new buildings they should erect. Therefore, when we now approach Rome afresh, the build- ing which first meets our eyes as we catch a glimpse of the eternal




THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 263

city from the undulating hills of the Campagna, is not a Goth~tc tower or spire, but the majestic dome of St. Peter's. Amid all the towers, obelisks, and domes, this one, with its lantern crowned by a cross, stands out against the sky, leaving far below it the Pantheon, Trajan's Column, and the towers of the countless churches which -now fill the old imperial city.

This dome covers the tomb of St. Peter, and is supposed to be erected on the site of his martyrdom. The old basilica of St. Peter had long since fallen into decay ; and besides it was felt that, though larger than any church in Christendom, it was not worthy of being the principal church in Europe, and the symbol of the unity of the Christian religion, which was to hold the world bound together in one Church, one faith, and one bond of love. In the middle of the fifteenth century, Pope Nicholas V. had plans drawn up of a most magnificent cathedral, which would be well worthy of its place in Christendom ; but he died before anything more had been done than to build a few feet of the walls of the apse. No further step was taken till Pope Julius II., having brought Michel- angelo to Rome to construct him a tomb more magnificent than any that ever covered the remains of mortal man, found that no existing building was vast enough to contain the monument they planned. So Julius revived the plan of Nicholas, and set Bramante, Raphael's uncle, and the chief architect at Rome, to make plans for the new cathedral. Starting with the tribune of Nicholas, which had been begun, he proposed to have a dome equal and similar to that of the Pantheon, whose centre should be 275 feet from the tribune, and add tribunes at equal distances north and south ; to the east he designed a nave 400 feet square. The three tribunes and the position of the dome were retained in all subsequent variations of the plan. The corner stone was laid in 1506 and the work at once begun. Julius died eight years later, and Bramante in the year after him. Raphael was appointed to succeed him, but did little.


264 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

It was found that Bramante's work had been so hurried that the piers which were to carry the dome already showed signs of giving way. Raphael died, and was succeeded by San Gallo, who made a design for its completion, a model of which still exists and which is very beautiful ; but nothing was done towards it. On his death the work was placed in Michelangelo's hands, and for eighteen years he worked steadily at it ; and before he died he had the satisfaction of seeing the dome completed.

Michelangelo's plans were not carried out without much opposition ; many men in authority were jealously opposed to his alterations in San Gallo's design, and used every effort to discredit him with the Pope. On one occasion, Vasari tells us the Pope said to him that the Congregation (who administered the works) asserted that the niches in the transept would admit too little light. Michelangelo answered that he wished to hear what the deputies had to say. Cardinal Cervini replied ; " We ourselves are the deputation." Michelangelo then said : " Monsignor, above these windows, in the roof of travertine that is being built, there will occur three other windows." " You have never told us this," rejoined the cardinal. " I have not," said the architect, " nor do I choose to be obliged to mention either to you, Signor, or to any one, what I ought or what I intend to do. Your office is to bring hither the money and to keep it out of the hands of robbers : as to the design of the building, you have to leave the responsibility of that to me." Then turning to the Pope, " Holy Father," said he, "see how little I gain ! the labours which I endure do no good to my soul, whilst I lose both time and work." The Pope, who loved him much, laying his hand on his shoulder, answered, " You are a gainer in body and soul. Do not doubt it." Michelangelo then resigned his office ; but the Pope would not accept his resignation.

The intention of Michelangelo was to confine the building to the form of the Greek cross ; but at the time of his death the


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 265

eastern portico was not yet begun, and later, at the beginning-of- the seventeenth century, the nave and the present portico were added. The Piazza and its fountains were built by Bernini in the latter half of the same century. The beautiful outline of the dome is well worthy of the master mind that conceived it ; but with the present facade it is impossible to see it properly in approaching from the west. Indeed, even had Michelangelo's design been carried out, the slope of the ground from the Tiber would have prevented us seeing the lower part of the dome. We cross the bridge of S. Angelo, and passing through narrow streets arrive at the entrance of the Piazza. It is surrounded by triple colon- nades. At the far end, approached by broad steps, is the facade of St. Peter's, surmounted by its lofty dome topped by a golden cross ; a smaller dome flanks it on either side. In the centre of the Piazza stands one of the largest of the Egyptian monoliths which the Romans brought back with them from the conquered land. On either side of this the water of two fountains rises and tails back in silvery showers. On the parapets of the colonnades are ranged statues of saints and martyrs, which seem to form a guard to protect the sanctuary beyond. Colossal statues of St. Peter and St. Paul adorn the high broad steps which lead up to the church. It is difficult to realize the vast size of the Piazza : as we enter, a carriage drives rapidly past us, and by the time it stops looks quite small in the distance before the gigantic steps. The time it takes us to walk to the entrance gives us a more exact idea of the space inclosed by these colonnades : beyond their circular part, there is a long space in which they run parallel up to the extremities of the facade, When we have reached the obelisk, the dome has almost disappeared from our sight, and we begin to realize the size of the building. This is the case with all Renascence churches, that both within and without it requires an intellectual effort to realize their size ; while, on the contrary, the


266 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

best Gothic buildings often give us the impression of much greater size than they really possess. The portico is ineffective because the columns are stuck up against the wall, instead of standing out free. The huge Corinthian pilasters, which form the chief ornament of all the walls of the building, do much to dwarf and spoil its effect. This order, which is 108 feet high, includes two stories of windows, and is surmounted by an attic 39 feet high, giving the external effect of a vast palace, rather than a church. San Gallo, in his unexecuted plan intended to change all this ; instead of this huge Corinthian order and attic, he intended to have had a Doric order to the height of the side aisles, a mezzanine or intermediate story, and over this an Ionic order. But let us now enter the building, not however without pausing to look at the relief over the entrance, which shows Christ giving the keys to St. Peter, and at the mosaics within the vestibule, especially Giotto's, of St. Peter coming to Christ on the water. We now find ourselves in the most vast temple ever constructed by the hands of man. We cannot at first realize its immensity ; we must walk the length of the nave, place ourselves close to one of the massive piers, and examine some of the details on the floor level, before it becomes fully clear to us how much more vast this is than any other building we have ever entered. The prospect before us is magni- ficent. The variegated marble pavement beneath our feet, and the golden vault above ; the lofty Corinthian pilasters, with their brilliant capitals and bold entablature ; the niches and statues between ; all combine to impress us with the rich splendour of the whole. But it is only when we arrive at the foot of the altar, whence we can see down all four arms of the cross, and look up into the vast vault of the dome, that the full splendour of the building is revealed to us.

Here the- architectural defects, which force themselves upon our attention in the nave and transepts are almost absent ; the


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 267

gigantic Corinthian order, 100 feet high, does not appear dispro- portionate beneath a dome whose total height is upwards of 330 feet ; but in the nave, where the total height is only 140 feet, the excessive size of arch and pilaster oppresses us as soon as we come to realize it ; and the intellectual conviction which is forced upon us, that the figures, apparently life size, which fill the spandrils are really those of giants, who would stand about twenty feet high, give rise to a painful feeling by the insufficiency of support on which they rest. But with all its faults, the vastness, the grandeur of conception, and the richness of the decoration of St. Peter's overcome the critical judgment and leave a great and solemn impression on our minds.

It was during the last twenty years of his long life that Michel- angelo was engaged on this great architectural work. Within St. Peter's we can see the most celebrated work of his early life, executed during his first visit to Rome, at' the age of twenty-five, the Pieta. This wonderful composition, far more than any pre- vious work, shows the extraordinary power Michelangelo had of making the marble speak out his own thoughts and feelings. The forms of the naked body of the dead Christ are treated with marvellous softness and beauty of line ; every part of the body seems to bear evidence of the sufferings of the Passion ; and the whole displays the complete collapse of death. How beautiful is the calm, sad, peaceful look, full of deep love, with which the holy mother bends her head over her dead Son. The beauty of the Virgin is of that youthful but solemn type which Michel- angelo usually gives to his women, the beauty which is retained late into life by those who live free from the storms of earthly passions.

In following out Michelangelo's work in Rome, we must next turn our steps to the Vatican. The palace of the Popes consists of a series of buildings connected together by halls of


268 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

various kinds, and with its 333 rooms really forms a small town in itself. Entering by the Scala Regia, we pass through a lofty door into the Sistine Chapel. This chapel is not regularly used for the offices, and is not fitted up with the regular fittings of a church. It is only on the occasion of a papal election that the College of Cardinals meets here for its daily prayer and voting.

The chapel is a striking example of the neglect of architectural ornament which accompanied the devotion of the Italians of the Renascence to painted decoration. " Externally," says Fergusson, "it is as devoid of ornament as a barn. Internally, it is an oblong hall, less than 50 feet in width, and 140 feet in length, the walls are nearly plain to a height equal to the width of the chapel, where a coved ceiling in plaster of very ordinary design springs from a string course which is cut through by the round heads of the windows six on each side, and originally two at each end (these latter were closed to prepare the wall for the Last Judgment). Below the bottom of these windows another string course supports a slight pilaster to carry the pilasters from which the arches of the cove spring, and a third lower down separates the whole into three nearly equal belts." The lowest of these belts was adorned (within the sanctuary) by the Raphael tapestries. The next, on the left of the altar, by frescoes repre- senting types from the Old Testament, and on the right by their anti-types from the New. The frescoes are by Signorelli, Ghirlandajo, Cosimo Roselli, and Perugino, and many of them are of the highest beauty and value ; but our attention is drawn away from them to Michelangelo's work above. In the third division the spaces between the windows are filled with single figures. From the springing of the vault begins Michelangelo's work. Sybils, prophets, and numerous minor figures fill up the spaces between the window heads. Along the continuous part of the roof come the famous series of the Creation. Compare


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 269

this with King's College Chapel, where the decoration is purely constructive, and where the subjects of the wall panels of the Sistine are approximately reproduced in the windows, and we have the contrast of the two styles clearly before us. One mistake there certainly is in the Sistine the pictures on the roof; for standing at the altar, one sees them upside down ; and to see them at all demands an amount of strain and discomfort to the neck that few people would undergo, were it not that they knew that some of Michelangelo's grandest work was on the ceiling above them. The pictured ceiling, painted by Rubens, in Charles I.'s Banqueting Hall, now the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, nobody ever troubles to look at.

The plainness of the vault is counteracted by a false architec- tural design, the decoration of which consists entirely of human figures, boys and youths in every variety of action and attitude. The flat part of the ceiling is divided by the architectural design into nine panels, alternately large and small. The entablature which surrounds this space is supported by groups of children's figures of extraordinary grace and beauty. Above the entablature are seated figures in great variety of attitude, while between these are bronze medallions. The charm and grace of these is in striking contrast to the force and sternness of the figures in the subject pictures. In the spaces of the architectural design are the figures of the prophets and sybils. These are the grandest draped figures which are to be met with in the whole history of Art. Figures in youth and age ; some buried in deep thought, others vividly occupied with the world without, all showing in their movement the most profound emotion. They are souls which, far removed from the present, live in the future, and are clothed in bodies which could not by any possibility belong to the present. The whole of these single figures have the effect of sculpture, and bear out Michelangelo's own opinion of his powers, when he


270 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

signs himself, as he was wont to do while engaged on this great work of painting which he had "been compelled to undertake, Michelangelo, Sculptor in Rome.

Let us now look at these grand scenes which Michelangelo's genius has executed up here. First, in majestic flight, with violet mantle borne up by the wind, God the Father moves over the darkness with the fiery ball of the sun in His arm, and lets its rays of light go forth to lighten the void. From beneath His mantle heavenly spirits peer forth. We have often before seen efforts to represent the Almighty as an old man, full of fatherly dignity and majesty, but none of them have raised in us such feelings of awe and reverence. "The Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters." It is a conception of the Almighty which was only possible at a time when men became most intensely conscious of the greatness, beauty, and dignity of human life, and even then only to a man of the most exalted genius.

In the second picture the world is flooded with Divine light. In deep contentment the Creator is surveying the works that He has made, and finds that they are very good. So grandly sublime are these two pictures, so profoundly do they touch our hearts that we are hardly willing to look on at the next picture ; but that again is incomparably noble ; it represents the moment when God, again surrounded by angels, is stretching out His hand to Adam and touches his finger tips, imparting to man the heavenly spark of His Divine being. There Adam stands before us, un- speakably grand, and in beauty not yet degraded to the earthly level ; he stands here a citizen of two worlds. The nobility of the human race, the glory and consolation of our Divine descent is here declared before our eyes. Farther on, we see Eve, adorned with the same wonderful beauty by the loving Almighty, taken out of Adam's side to live in perfect union with him. These creations stand alone in the history of Art ; nothing that human hands


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 27 j


ever fashioned exercises so much power over our minds. In the short time that is allowed us, let us try to impress these few on our memory. Upon the rest of the long flat stretch of the roof we see the principal events of the development of the human race up to the Flood and the time of the patriarchs. The happiness of the first human pair is past ; the Fall, as its effects widen, is presented to us in all its sadness. We look for comfort, and find in the large triangular spaces of the sides of the roof the prophets and sybils sitting there with looks of intense thought and highest inspiration, which seem to announce the future salvation : Isaiah buried in sad memories, Ezekiel looking prophetically outwards, John illuminated by his genius. To these beings miraculous power seems to belong almost by nature. The Delphic sybil, strong and beautiful, every fold of her mystic garment full of meaning, seems already to see the fulfilment ; Joel and Jeremiah seem as they read to be shaken with the deepest inward emo- tion ; Jonah is seen in the midst of the new life to which he was restored. In the window spaces and lunettes we see in beautiful groups the ancestors of the mother of Christ. Scenes of family life full of gentleness and purity of soul. The corner spaces are filled with scenes illustrating the wonderful salvation of the people of Israel, the brazen serpent, the giant Goliath, Judith, Esther, etc. Michelangelo completed this stupendous work in an extra- ordinarily short time, even if we refuse to believe in the traditional twenty months. We cannot but feel that in the little we have seen here we have gained a deeper insight into the wonderful works of God, and into the history of the human race. We have learnt to know Michelangelo better, and to love and reverence: him more. We see that besides Architecture and Sculpture he used the sister art, Painting, to give expression to the fulness of his thoughts, and we can only be thankful that Julius II. gave him this opportunity.


272 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


After a short period of rest, to recover from the fatigue of look- ing up so long, we will take a rapid look at the smoke-stained picture of the Last Judgment over the altar. The master, working thirty years later, under Paul III., has represented the conse- quences of sin in their naked horror with all that wonderful power that he possessed. At first glance we feel that there is no re- demption here ; but yet it shines forth in the saints both above and below, as we find when we come to look closer into the several groups which are almost lost in the magnitude of the whole, In the midst stands Christ as the wrathful Judge of the world, with Mary the loving suppliant at His side. Below, on the left of Christ, the wicked are rising out of their graves, and their bones become clothed again in flesh and skin. The memory of their sinful lives awakes in them, and an unspeakable anxiety seizes them, as with great wailing they clamber on to the saving boat. Some, caught in the act of rising, are seized by angels and thrust back. Many scenes out of the Divine Comedy are represented, in which the sinners, borne down again by the weight of the sinful natures they cannot overcome, fall from want of strength of will to rise : in these cases we may very well regard the physical punishment as a symbol of the soul's remorse. Near by, a group of angels is swooping down, helping the saved upwards. One of the angelb fighting around them is forcibly driven back by the devil. The flying motion of these figures is unspeakably beautiful and admir- able. Higher up we see groups of those who meet again above and are locked in fond embraces. Then again we come upor. scenes of horror : a hypocrite who approaches the Judgment throne of Christ, apparently thinking to be able to carry through his deceptions even here, is admirably portrayed. Next we see, in the midst of the upward flight, a beautiful maiden bearing her sleeping father on her knees. Above Christ stand the martyrs, holding the symbols of their tortures, crowned and re ward el for



MOSES. MICHELANGELO.


[To face p. 273.


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 27$

their sufferings. All eyes are intently turned upon the face of trie- Judge of the world. Beneath the heavenly group sweep the seven- angels who are sounding the last trumpet, and in whom not only the full cheeks, but every movement of the body bespeaks their function. But a few minutes' contemplation is quite inadequate to realize the beauties of this marvellous work ; we ought to come to it again and again, and each time we should discover some new depth of meaning, some unnoticed beauty of form. It is lament- able that the tapers on the altar have been allowed to blurr and disfigure with their smoke this immortal work.

Michelangelo's profound anatomical knowledge and the titanic force of his mind find their fullest expression in the colossal ideal figures of the Medici tombs. His Moses, intended to be part of the magnificent tomb of Julius II., which was never carried out,, is one of the grandest figures ever conceived. Seated with the tables of the law under his arm, his face glowing with righteous- anger at the people who had forgotten God, he seems at every moment on the point of springing up to annihilate the foes of the- people whom he has brought out of Egypt Two other figures- belonging to this monument were also completed, and are now in the Louvre. They are both nude figures of chained captives, one finished with all the delicacy of the Pieta, the other only rough- hewn. These are among Michelangelo's finest works ; they excel in boldness and grace of line, and in the suppleness and force of the modelling. Had the whole work been carried out, it would have been one of the grandest works of architecture and sculpture that the world had ever seen. Let us look at one other work, the Christ in the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva a figure with? downcast eyes, earnest and full of pain, bearing His cross but not sinking under it. The Saviour's features express rather sorrow for the men who are leading Him to a miserable death, than fear of the approaching terrors of that death itself.


274 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Michelangelo lived to be ninety years old. His herculean frame .and his mighty spirit survived the struggles of his age as welt as the troubles of his life. When the weak hands and blind eyes could work no more, the muse of Poetry still remained faithful to him. How indeed could he have lived without poetry and the artistic creations of his rich heart and soul ? He had sought in Ihis youth among the works of the ancient sculptors for a universal type of perfect beauty, and had thus freed himself from the pre- vailing idea of individuality, and came to emphasize less the struc- ture of the head than the movement and forms of the whole body. Even the greatest and best of his painted figures are the con- ceptions of a sculptor. His titanic spirit struggled against the material and traditional limitations of his art, and found its fullest expression in colossal superhuman forms. In him, the giant, the "Terrible" as his contemporaries called him, this struggle led to the triumph of thought over forms. His weaker followers, 'however, were often enough worsted in the struggle. Michel- angelo, of all modern sculptors, is the one whom we most naturally think of comparing with the Greeks, and \ve find both a striking likeness and a striking contrast ; like the Greeks, Michelangelo saw in the human form, nobly represented, the expression of the highest thought and the greatest action. We cannot understand the Sistine chapel or the Medicean tombs unless we have grasped the thought expressed in one of his sonnets to Vittoria Colonna:

Nor hath God deigned to show Himself elsewhere More clearly than in human forms sublime ; Which, since they image Him, compel my love.

But the groups of the Parthenon express a calmness and joyous- ness widely differing from the passionate and terrible energy of Michelangelo. This difference expresses the change that has taken place in two thousand years the change from the calm serenity of paganism to the intense hopes and aspirations of Christianity.


CHAPTER XXVI.

RAPHAEL AT ROME.

Raphael as Architect. Frescoes. Madonnas. Death.

r I A HE next morning we start with fresh energy for the Vatican,. -* to study the creations of Raphael in the days of his greatest power. In one of the many courts we look up at the slim pillars- of the Loggie of the three-storied court of San Damaso, which he completed after Bramante's death, and which is justly considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Rome. In this, and a few- other buildings, as well as in his capacity as director of the excava- tions of the city, he showed himself an accomplished architect.

After passing through many passages, we arrive at the Stanza della Signatura, so called because the Pope in this hall decided and signed the deeds and pardons laid before him. From the ceiling high above us, four allegorical figures, emblematic of the use of the room, look down upon us : Justice, holding the scales,, serious but full of heavenly gentleness and beauty, wiih the epigraph, "Who giveth to every man his right." Then Poetry, witU a laurel crown and the words, "She is moved by the spirit." The deep soulful look of the glorious face, the whole figure full of life,, expresses the essence of the Divine spirit more fully than any other

figure of his we have seen ; it is one of his most sublime creations.

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376 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

The influence of Rome and Michelangelo, and the great tasks which Raphael is with restless zeal striving to carry out, have raised him above himself. Next Theology, in full richness of life and beauty symbolizing the knowledge of things Divine, as Philosophy does the knowledge of causes. Beneath Poetry stands Apollo with his lyre and the Muses at his side, on the left stands Homer, and on the other side Dante, Petrarch, and other Italian poets a pleasant company united in silent joy and spiritual enjoyment, in glorious ideal raiment and charmingly grouped. To the figure of Justice on the roof correspond the Judgment of Solomon and other Old Testament and mythical judgments. To the Theology corresponds a great picture, covering the whole length of the wall, the famous " Dispute on the Holy Sacrament." Around the altar, in the centre, we see figures standing and sitting, some at rest and some in motion ; some are walking up to the altar and in great agitation. Above the earthly throng Christ appears in heavenly peace, borne by angels in the clouds with His disciples, with Adam and Moses, .and above them God the Father amidst the cherubim stretching out His hand in blessing over all. A flash of lightning plays upon the altar among those who are reverently kneeling there ; the 'heavens have opened above them. One of the teachers of the Church, seated near the altar, is pointing upwards with his hand, others are looking upon the vision ; some are studying the Scrip- tures, some writing, some discussing with one another, some are disturbed, some tranquil, others deeply moved by the heavenly vision. Three youths have sunk down on their knees in prayer. Among the saints assembled near the altar we see four types, St. Jerome, typifying the thinker ; St. Ambrose, the soldier ; St. Gregory, the administrator; and St. Augustine, the student of the Scriptures. Among the figures without the circle of saints we recognise Dante, the greatest of Christian poets, and the two great Florentine monks of St. Marco, Fra Girolamo, the great


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 277

preacher, and Fra Angelico da Fiesole, the most reverent of Chris- tian painters.

But great as is the " Disputa," it can bear no comparison with the next fresco, " The School of Athens."

The picture represents the historical development of Greek Philo- sophy. The group in the foreground to the left represents the early philosophy, and centres in the figure of Pythagoras, above which stands Socrates, who is engaged in discussing some question among his pupils and adversaries. The noble, youthful figure of Alcibiades stands opposite, intently watching his teacher. In the centre, at the top of the steps, stand Plato and Aristotle ; the former pointing upwards, to indicate our intimate relation with the Divine, while the latter appears to be engaged in calling attention to the necessity of the study of nature. On the steps lies Diogenes, the Cynic, regardless of what is going on around him. To the right stand the Eclectics and Sceptics, in attitudes expressive of the tendencies of their doctrines to inaction and indifference ; beyond them is the group of the Stoics. In the foreground is a group of mathematicians and geographers engaged in demonstrations, among whom Raphael has introduced the portrait of his friend Bramante, and has placed himself and his master, Perugino, among the listeners. The splendid architectural frame- work in which the figures are grouped is said to have been designed for Raphael by Bramante, and shows the most perfect mastery of an elaborate perspective. Statues of the gods, and antique reliefs, adorn the structure ; all symbolical of the triumph of virtue over vice.

In the room into which we pass from the Stanza della Signatura, Raphael illustrates the Church rescued from dangers from within and from without. First, we look at the Imprisonment of Peter, which surrounds the window. Above the window we see the vener- able apostle, loaded with chains, slumbering between his keepers. Before him stands the angel, in the radiancy of youthful beauty.


278 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

The light shed from the angelic figure alone illuminates the whole scene; an effect similar to Correggio's famous "Notte." To the right of the win Jo w we see Peter led by the angel down the steps out of the prison ; to the left, the keepers discover the escape of their prisoner. This scene is lighted by a torch and the moon shining through the clouds, and forms a most striking contrast to the light effects of the other scenes. The next scene is the Discomfiture of the Hordes of Attila by the apparition of St. Peter and St. Paul.. The Hunnish leader, advancing with his followers through a moun- tain pass, encounters the Pope calmly advancing to meet him, and is seized with panic. Above, Saints Peter and Paul stand with flaming swords in their hands. On the opposite wall is a still more dramatic picture. The robber, Heliodorus, who was stealing; the treasures of the sanctuary, is being driven out by three angels. Trembling stand the men, women, and children there, unable ta flee or to save the treasure ; now suddenly Heliodorus lies prostrate beneath the hoofs of the horse of the celestial avenger, and the other angels press on him in righteous fury. In the centre are priests in prayer, and in the foreground on the left, amid the horror-stricken spectators, sits the Pope enthroned. The fourth wall contains the miracle of the Mass of Bolsena. Above the window stands the priest at the altar, humbled by this miraculous proof of his error; at the side, the Pope in prayer, and Church dignitaries, soldiers, and people, variously affected by it. On either side the window we see the steps leading up to the altar, with groups of spectators. These frescoes of the Stanza d'Eliodoro surpass in dramatic power Raphael's previous work. During their progress Julius II. died, and thus Leo X. figures in the Deliverance of St. Peter.

Passing into a third room, the Stanza del Incendio del Borgo, let us look at the picture which gives its name to the room. The ceiling had already been decorated by Perugino with scenes from




THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE, 279

the life of Christ, which the Pope was quite ready to destroy H- make room for Raphael's work, had the latter allowed it. The Pope, Leo IV., in a balcony of the Vatican, has stayed the flames with his prayers ; before him the people are kneeling. In the foreground, to the right and left, are groups of soldiers ; in the centre, a beautiful group of terrified women and children praying for help. The rescue of a child from the flames, a young man trying to save himself, and another, like ^Sneas, carrying his old father and leading a boy, are among the excellent figures on the left of the picture ; while on the right is the lovely form of a girl carrying a water-jar, descending the steps, and a woman whose garments, flying in the wind, reveal the beautiful contours of her figure. In the Sala di Constantino is the colossal Battle of Con- stantine, painted by Giulio Romano from Raphael's designs. It is full of life, spirit, and dramatic power. Constantine, on a grand war-horse, has driven Maxentius and his army into the river. Horses and soldiers lie in complete confusion, engaged in mortal struggle, behind him. Pathetic incidents are visible amid the horrors of war. Three angels above Constantine's head proclaim the victory of the Christian emperor.

Now we pass into those charming, narrow passages, open on one side to the air, the Loggie, the walls of which Raphael's skilful pupil, Giovanni du Udine, decorated with beautiful arabesques, and the cupolas of which form " Raphael's Bible." In the first of these, the Almighty reminds us of Michelangelo's conception. In the scenes in Paradise, and the following events, we are rather reminded of his sweet, graceful, earlier manner ; while the pictures of the Patriarchs show that dramatic power of historical invention that we have seen growing in the frescoes of the Stanze, and be- coming more and more free from the influence of ecclesiastical tradition. Lot's Flight from Sodom, Joseph before Pharaoh, the Worship of the Golden Calf, God Appearing to Moses in the Bush.

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280 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

and many other scenes, are unsurpassed in beauty and richness of life and action.

But while he has been completing this immense work, his labours have not been confined to fresco-painting. The designs for the tapestries of the Sistine Chapel, those magnificent cartoons which form one of our greatest national treasures, were painted while he was at work upon the Loggie. These grand designs were laid aside as rubbish at the tapestry factory at Arras, until they were seen by Rubens, who persuaded % Charles I. to buy them ; three of the ten had, however, absolutely vanished. The tapestries them- selves passed through many reverses. They were carried off when Rome was sacked in 1527, and ultimately came into the hands of the Constable Montmorency, who restored them. In 1789 they were stolen, and one destroyed ; the rest being redeemed by Pius VII., in 1808. ' The subjects are : Christ's Charge to Peter ; Feed My Sheep, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, St. Peter and St. John Healing the Lame Man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple ; The Death of Ananias ; Elymas the Sorcerer Struck Blind ; Paul and Barnabas at Lystra ; and Paul preaching at Athens. These cartoons are so well known in this country that any detailed de- scription of them is unnecessary. The Draught of Fishes, and St. Paul at Athens, are supposed to be almost entirely from Raph^^l's hand. The others are chiefly by Giulio Romano and Penni, though many of the heads are by Raphael himself.

Let us next go a little way out of Rome to the Villa Farnesina, built in the best style of the Renascence by one of Bramante's suc- cessors. Doric pilasters and a graceful frieze of fruit clusters adorn the two projecting wings. In the middle is an open arcaded court, through which we pass to enter the hall, the walls of which are adorned with the story of Psyche by Raphael. But first we will look into a smaller room opening out of it, in which we find one of his most charming creations, the Galatea, a fresco painted in 1514.


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 28\

Drawn by dolphins, and surrounded by Nereids, the goddess stands upon her shell car, with her eyes upturned to heaven with a look of joyous contemplation, while Love hovers above her head unre- garded, and shoots his arrows at the nymphs, who ride on tritons and centaurs at her side. Countless as are the copies of this, none give the ineffable charm of the original that triumphal song of Love raised to heaven, as it has been called.

Returning to the larger hall, we see the two great frescoes of the ceiling, which, had they been actually carried out by Raphael, would have rivalled his work in the Vatican ; but under the pressure of work he left the execution to others, and only painted one figure one of the three Graces which, however, is sufficient to mark the difference between him and his best pupils. In the one, while Cupid is defending himself against his mother's accusations before the assembled gods, Psyche is receiving the cup of ambrosia, by which she is admitted into the Olympian circle. In the second, the gods are seated at the marriage feast.

It seems almost incredible that this immense range of work, that we have now shortly described, by no means represents the whole of Raphael's activity during the ten years he has been at Rome. During this time we have not mentioned any easel pictures from his hand : but we now find that he painted upwards of forty Madonnas, many portraits, and other pictures. The Madonna di Fuligno in the Vatican, a large altar piece, shows us the Virgin seated in clouds of glory, surrounded by beautiful angel heads, below St. Francis, St. Jerome, John the Baptist, and the founder of the church, look up and worship. Still more beautiful is the Madonna del Pesce, painted for a chapel where prayers were offered specially for the cure of blindness. Graciously the Madonna turns her face to young Tobias, who, guided by a beautiful angel, is praying for his father's cure, while on the other side stands the noble and dignified figure of St. Jerome reading


282 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

a book. Of the smaller Madonnas, that of the Duke of Alba in St. Petersburg, the Madonnas della Sedia and del Baldacchino at Florence, the Madonna della Tenda at Munich, the Madonna called the Pearl at Madrid, the Madonna of the Bridgewater Gallery, the Madonna with the Candelabra, and the two Madonnas at Panshanger, are perhaps the most beautiful, and are all well- known by engravings. In these we see the gradual transition from the earlier devotional style of his master Perugino, the down- cast eyes and sweet piety of his earlier Madonnas to a conception more in harmony with his later style, in which the religious sentiment, though not lost, is subordinated to the human relationship of mother and child. The Madonna della Sedia, with the intense sweetness of the mother's face, and the child-like confidence and innocence of the infant Saviour, seems to us the highest idealization of the tender bond of mother and child.

But the last and most glorious of all his Madonnas, that picture which gained him the appellation of " the Divine," is the Sisttne Madonna in the Dresden Gallery. None who have looked on her face can ever forget it; none has ever been able adequately to reproduce it.

The Virgin is standing upon the clouds with the infant Christ in her arms ; behind her are bright clouds which resolve themselves into a mass of cherubs' heads, each of angelic beauty. To her right and left kneel St. Barbara and St. Sextus, both seem to be interceding for the people below, St. Barbara looking down on them with loving tender gaze, whilst St. Sextus points to them with his hand and looks up at the Holy Mother. At the bottom of the picture two charming little boys with angels' wings look out of the picture.

The Vision of Ezekiel in the Pitti Palace is taken from the Revelation. God the Father enthroned between the cherubim. His awful majesty He reminds us of the sublime creations




THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 283

of Michelangelo. Below we see the four great beasts of the Vision which symbolize the four evangelists.

The Saint Cecilia listening to the song of the angels is full of deep religious feeling. Overcome by the grandeur of the heavenly music, she has cast down her own instruments, feeling how small they are compared to the heavenly music. The saints around her typify the Christian virtues ; St. Paul, in deep thought, stands resting on his naked sword ; St. John's face is suffused with heavenly love ; St. Augustine, with firm-set mouth, shows true Christian courage ; St. Mary Magdalene, with head erect, looks with perfect confidence in the Divine mercy.

Of Raphael's portraits, it is enough to mention his beautiful portrait of himself, the Pope Julius II., of whose resolute face one portrait is in our National Gallery, and the beautiful Fornarina.

The last work we have to look at is the Transfiguration^ said to have been painted as a tour de force, because it was being said that his powers were on the decline. The painting itself bears out this statement, for no work of his shows such wonderful compo- sition, such command of the human figure, and such perfect drawing.

But grand and beautiful as are the figures of Christ, Moses, and Elias, the attention is chiefly drawn away from the principal event to the kneeling figure of the mother of the afflicted boy, who with entreaty, nay, almost with scorn, is calling on the disciples to cure her son. They can do nothing themselves but share her troubles, and point upwards to the mountain whither their Master has gone, who alone is able to help. Unlike his earlier pictures, we think more of the marvellous skill of the painter than of the spiritual significance of the scene.

Raphael had scarcely completed this picture when he passed away, in the full vigour of his powers, at the early age of thirty- seven.


CHAPTER XXVII. THE PUPILS AND CONTEMPORARIES OF RAPHAEL.

Giulio Romano. Francesco Francta. Correggio.

A MONG the numerous pupils of Raphael who worked under

      • his direction upon the vast pictures and frescoes that he

undertook, the most famous was Giulio Romano. After the master's death he took the chief part in completing his unfinished works. With few exceptions, these pupils of Raphael lost all their originality and personal identity in working for the master. Giulio alone has left behind him original and important works. As Raphael's assistant his independence was a disadvantage; being of a lower nature than his master, he habitually translated the cartoons which he had to carry out into his own coarser language. His colouring is hard and unrefined by the side of his master's; his flesh colours have a brick-red tone, and his shadows a smoky appearance, by which his work can generally be distinguished. Moreover the influence of Michelangelo contests in his work with that of Raphael. Under Raphael he worked in the Stanza del Incendio, in the Farnese, where he executed the Story of Cupid and Psyche, and in the Hall of Constantine, in which, after Raphael's death, he painted the great battle-piece. To see his greatest work we must go to Mantua and visit the Palazzo del


Th HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 285

Te, which he decorated with frescoes for Federigo Gonzaga. The first hall is covered with life-size portraits of the Duke's favourite horses, which form an epoch in the history of animal painting. The ceiling of the second hall is reckoned as Giulio's masterpiece ; on it he has dealt with the same subject which he painted from Raphael's designs in the Farnese Palace, the story of Cupid and Psyche. In the centre is the feast of the gods in honour of their union ; in the lunettes around, twenty incidents of the labours and love and sufferings of Psyche. In comparison with Raphael, some of the pictures appear coarse and fantastic, others trivial -and forced. The walls below are filled with the preparations for the marriage of Psyche, and with love scenes of the other gods. These contain many noble forms and great wealth of realistic detail, especially animals of various kinds and satyrs. The third hall is known as the Hall of the Giants, and here there is no separation of pictures in the fresco ; the spectator appears to have fallen in the midst of the overwhelming confusion ; on all sides the vast forms of the giants lie amid the falling masonry.

This is an example of the overstrained exaggeration which characterizes the decadence of Italian art. In the castle at Mantua the scenes from the Trojan war are especially noticeable for their novelty of subject and treatment. The accuracy of his antiquarian knowledge is most extraordinary in that age, when such matters were usually treated with indifference by painters : the armour and the dress, the weapons and the chariots are all genuinely antique; the smallness of the horses' heads may also be due to the following of ancient models. The designs show extraordinary fertility of invention and great clearness of realiza- tion, but the movements are strained and the colouring cold and hard, as in most of his pictures. Of his religious pictures, the Holy Family at Dresden, in which the infant Christ is shown in his bath, with the child John pouring the water, and Elizabeth


286 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


standing behind with the towel, is a really charming and graceful genre picture, which may well be compared with the beautiful altar- piece by Perugino near them.

Starting from entirely different basis and with entirely different aims, we find at Parma a pointer who is working with grand creative energy, Antonio Allegri, named, after a little country town in Modena, Correggio. He aims at pure realism, en- deavouring especially to give what is sensuously charming, and by the play of lights and shadows in semi-darkness to add a further charm.

His colour, which rivalled the Venetians in beauty, is extra- ordinarily harmonious and pleasing in its transitions ; his figures are wonderfully full of motion ; he delighted in skilful and accurate foreshortenings, and indeed frequently chose subjects for the difficulties they presented in this respect ; for example, the " Glory of Heaven," on the dome of the church of St. Giovanni at Parma. This was regarded as the triumph of painting by the perverted taste of his contemporaries and successors. The beauty of his colouring and the depth of spiritual feeling are visible in the " Ecce Homo" in the National Gallery. To see and enjoy the perfection of his chiaroscuro, we must go to Dresden and look at the " Notte." Mary is sitting before the manger, and has both her arms clasped round the body of the infant Christ, from which a brilliant light not only shines on the loving mother's face but disperses the darkness of the night, sheds a pale twilight far out into the landscape, and illuminates the figure of Joseph, the angels high above, and the two shepherds below, the younger of whom looks up entranced, while the elder leans forward on his staff inquiringly. Both these figures show that wonderful sense of motion that we have already noticed. Here Correggio has founded his chiaroscuro on the profound idea of the light irradiated from Christ, the Light of the world, and at the



IL NOTTE I THE ADORATION OF THE


" r *- * " ' V \ < \ l^q/face p.




THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE. 28-

same time shown the mother's deep joy in the glow of thcr Divine light.

In Siena we found a school of painting at the time when* Cimabue and Giotto were working in Florence, and we must now return there to study the works of Giov. Ant. Bazzi, better known- under the name of Soddoma. In his earlier pictures, the Descent from the Cross and the scenes from the life of St. Benedict in. the Benedictine convent at Siena, we observe a strong resemblance to the manper of Leonardo, modified, however, by a grace and pathos peculiar to himself. When, later, he visited Rome in 1507^ and worked in the Stanza della Signatura and the Farnese Palace, his style became assimilated to that of Raphael. The greatest and most famous of his frescoes in the Farnese, the Marriage of Alexander and Roxana, is in its details one of the most beautiful- pictures drawn from ancient history that the Renascence produced.. On the rich ornate nuptial couch is seated the bride, in form the perfection of voluptuous beauty, with downcast modest look. Ta the left her maidens pause as they depart, unwilling to turn away from so beautiful a sight ; on the right, Alexander approachesr hesitatingly, offering her a crown; beyond him stands Hephaistion,. leaning on the god Hymen. About the bride, above the bed, and all around, hover the most lovely little Cupids. The head of Roxana must rank among the most exquisite types of womanly beauty. It may be said that the composition is somewhat want- ing in unity, and that, perhaps not without design, the attitude of Alexander is hesitating and unsteady ; but the beauty of the figures carries our thoughts away from these slight imperfections Of his later work at Siena we can only look at the pictures in the Chapel of St. Catherine. In the one the Saint has fallen back fainting into the arms of two women, on beholding the vision of Christ. The attitude is marvellously natural, and conveys most

  • >swincingly the idea of fainting, as the companion picture conveys


288 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

that of ecstasy. Few pictures awaken such intense feeling of pathos. Here, too, the faces are of remarkable beauty, and the draperies are represented with a delicacy and grace that is sug- gestive of Greek work. The rich ornamentation of the massive pilasters which support the architectural canopy places Soddoma in the foremost rank among decorative artists. The landscape in the background is graceful and beautifully lighted.

Pacchia, Peruzzi, and Domenico Beccafumi, contemporaries and successors of Soddoma, continued the Sienese school somewhat in his spirit, but without his intense pathos. We cannnot leave Siena without returning to the cathedral, to admire the wonderful pave- ment, the bold and beautiful figures for which were designed by Domenico, and executed in black enamel inlaid upon white marble. This method of decoration has been recently revived in this country, and applied to coloured designs by Baron Triqueti in the Memorial Chapel at Windsor.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE IN ITALY.

VENICE.

Gothic and Re?iascence Buildings. Sansovino, Architect and Sculptor. Venetian Painters: Giovanni Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian^ Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese. Paduan : Squarcione, Andrea Mantegna. Brescian: Romanino, II Moretto,

T N visiting St. Mark's at Venice, we observed that the Venetians had in those early days formed a style of their own, which was less related to the Romanesque architecture of Lombardy than to the contemporary Oriental style of Constantinople, a style rich and magnificent in decoration and colour, but in which all the received laws of construction are set at defiance. Upon returning to Venice, we find that through the great changes of style she pre- served something at least of the same individuality and the same disregard for statical conditions. Venetian Gothic, the faults and beauties of which are best represented by the Doge's Palace, is generally characterized by this defect. The massive walls of this imposing building rest upon the light columns of the loggie, and these themselves rest again upon the lower arcade in a manner quite opposed to the principles of stability, the columns of the loggie resting alternately above column and apex of the arches below. But this notwithstanding, the facade of the Doge's Palace has a beauty of its own, not only in the magnificent rich- ness of colour and the wealth of delicate carving, but even in the

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general effect produced by its bizarre construction. The details are excessively beautiful the sculptures which fill the spandrils of the lower arcade, the graceful ogives, surmounted by circles en- closing quatrefoils of the loggie, the coloured marbles of the wall. The Gothic spirit took deeper root in Venice than elsewhere in Italy, and held its ground longer. And even when the Renascence superseded Gothic, its influence still remained, and is visible in the early Renascence buildings, thus forming a transitional style of great grace and beauty. The most important example of this style is the inner court of the Doge's Palace, which was rebuilt during the first half of the sixteenth century. The lower story is round, arched with polygonal piers, which look strong but not heavy. In the second, the pointed arch is used, with an effect scarcely happy ; the next two floors are separated by belts of ornament, and the windows by decorated panels, which have a rich and elegant appearance.

The palaces which line the grand canal are the most character- istic buildings in Venice, being built right up to the water's edge, and generally with a somewhat narrow frontage, the conditions under which the architect worked were peculiar, and called for special treatment. The Gothic palaces which exist those of the Foscari and Pisani for example are delicate in detail and graceful in design, and one of somewhat later time, the Ca d'oro, remark- able for the richness and splendour of its ornamentation, and the almost Moorish lightness of the design. Of the Renascence palaces, that of the Vandramini is considered a chef-d'ceuvre ; the graceful proportions of its cornices, the mullioned windows, the three-quarter columns by which they are separated, doubled so as to place the two outer windows in separate divisions from the three in the centre, the subordination of all other ornament to the orders, all combine to give it a pleasing and satisfactory effect. We are by the excessive lightness of these buildings, in contrast


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE IN ITALY. 291

to the sombre darkness of the contemporary palaces at Florence. The Grimani Palace, now used as the Post Office, is a stately building, the only fault of which is the manner in which the cor- nices of the smaller order break up the spaces of the larger. Like many others, the Cornaro Palace is rusticated in the lower story. It is very rich in detail, and the doubling of the columns through- out the orders gives a very fine effect. The sculptured details by Sansovino, are admirable ; the Army and Navy Club-house is copied from this building. The Library of St. Marco, Sansovino's most famous work, consists of an open Doric, surmounted by a glazed Ionic order. The entablature of the upper story is very high, and appropriately decorated. The sculpture of the spandrils, though good in itself, like all Sansovino's work, is wanting in that constructive appropriateness of character which marks the sculp- tures of the lower arcade of the Ducal Palace. The strictly classical style, the principles of which are laid down in the cele- brated treatise of Palladio, is exemplified by Palladio himself, in the church of the Redentore with Corinthian portico and dome. A favourite feature in Venetian Renascence is the semicircular heading of doors and windows filled with the radiating decoration known as shell ornament.

Let us now turn our steps towards the church of San Zacaria, one of the most famous churches of the early semi-Gothic Renas- cence. Its front is delicately panelled, and the portico is sur- mounted with a semicircular pediment instead of a gable. It is not, however, principally for the sake of the church itself that we have come here. From a side chapel the rich glow of colour in a picture of the Virgin and Child, enthroned with three saints on either side, attracts our sight. Three angels with lute and cither seem to be discoursing divine music at their feet, in a way that is quite in harmony with the happy and lofty group of sacred figures, and with the warmth and brilliancy of the colouring, which has


292 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

upon us much the same effect as music. The Venetians are indeed the true masters of colour, which is the offspring of light, and finds a natural home here amid the wonderful reflections of the water. This picture is by the founder of the school, Giovanni Bellini, the friend of Diirer, and was painted with all the vigour of youth, at the age of eighty.

It was only in his sixtieth year that he attained to that high position as an artist ; and, by the nobility of his expression, the dignity of his attitudes, and the brilliant harmony of his colours, subsequently established his claim to perfect mastery. Those who have once properly seen this master at his best, always feel drawn towards him in spite of the somewhat stiff drawing of the figure, which he shares with the quattrocentisti, to whom indeed, by the date of his birth (1426), he really belongs. One among many of his best works is the St. Christopher carrying, according to the charming old story, the child Christ across a rapid river during the flight to Egypt. But the grandest of all is the Christ at Emmaus, an altarpiece beneath the flattened cupolas and cylindrical vaults of one of Sansovino's most beautiful churches. There sits the Master after His Resurrection among a few of His disciples, His face is full of the noblest majesty and Divine grace, and is so irresistibly attractive that we hardly look at the other figures. He has been described as the most sublime Christ that Art has ever produced. Just as there is sacred music which seems to carry us into the holy of holies, so it is with this work. This seems really to be the Saviour as He dwelt among men. "Abide with us, for it is towards evening, and the day is far spent," seems to ring in our ears when we have to turn away from it ; the features, once seen, can never be forgotten, even though memory, after long years, may only be able to present it before the mind's eye in faint colours, and the fancy may call up the heavenly expression with decreasing vividness.




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Bellini was among the first Venetian or Italian painters who began to use oil-colour ; he is said to have learnt to do so from the Elder Vivarini and from Antonello da Messina, who had been in the Netherlands and studied under the Van Eycks. Bellini's work combines the exactness of detail, the direct truthful painting of the Van Eycks, with a richness and harmony of colouring and a grace of line that they did not know. His great altar- piece, spoken of above, and now in the Venetian Academy, may be taken as a standard of all that is right and good in painting. It is supposed that Bellini was the first to introduce this form of altarpiece, known as a " Santa Conversazione," in which the saints are not treated in separate panels from the Madonna, but are grouped around her throne in graceful and characteristic attitudes, displaying the symbols of their ministry or martyrdom, but without violent emotional expression. In this altarpiece, for example, St. Sebastian, who, with St. Domenic and St. Louis occupies the right of the throne, though pierced with the arrows that symbolize his martyrdom, displays neither in body nor face any signs of physical suffering. St. Francis, on the other side, holds out his hands to display the stigmata. It is enough to study the portrait of the Doge Leonardo Loredano, to understand the beauty and thoroughness of Bellini's work.

Contemporary with Bellini, and only inferior to him in com- position and harmony of colour, Victor Carpaccio painted with a realism so thorough as to become at times almost grotesque. His imagination was vivid and concrete. His principal pictures are two series at Venice, the story of St. Ursula and the life of St. George, both now in the Academy at Venice. The Life of St. Ursula has been shortly referred to when we were looking at the " Shrine " of Hans Memling ; but, except for the thoroughness of his work, the Venetian's treatment of the subject bears no relation to that of the Bruges painter. If we look at these pictures, we


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find details perfectly painted, but no continuity in the whole. The St. Ursula is a different type of woman in each picture ; but in several of them, especially in the meeting between the saint and the Pope, Carpaccio's satirical humour shows itself. The Cardinals and bishops in this picture are evidently portraits, showing completely all the varied characters of the priesthood of his time, many of them pure, simple-hearted, grave, and re- fined, but one a mere handsome boy, taking no interest whatever in the proceedings, and another opposite him entirely a man of the world two types of the most scandalous abuses of the Church. The pictures in the chapel of St. George dei Schiavone are in far better preservation ; and in them we can see the characteristics of Carpaccio's work still better. The thoroughness with which he realizes, not human characters only, but symbols and allegorical figures : the St. George, the ideal of all knightly qualities ; the dragon, the most ferocious and terrible of monsters in the first picture, the most flabby, tame, and submissive beast in the second, in which St. George is leading it captive by the bit of broken spear that is sticking in its head. In the third, St. George is baptizing the Sultan, taking up the water in a brass platter, and with quaint care holding back his cloak to avoid the splash. Among the groups of bystanders, two most prominent are a scarlet parrot and a dog, both comic in themselves and apparently quite out of place amid this religious festival of baptism. The next picture, " St. Tryphonius and the Basilisk," is worthy of notice for the complete simplicity of the saint and the grotesque absurdity of the strange deadly animal painted, as Carpaccio always paints,. in every detail as if he had had the beast standing before him. The comic element is most irresistible in the picture of St. Jerome and the lion the latter with a broad smile on its face, as if to- disarm the fears of the terrified monks, who are fleeing helter skelter before the unwonted novice introduced among them.


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE IN ITALY. 295

In the very first pictures we see of Bartolomeo Vivarini, we recognise the thorough and severe handling of the figure which the school ot Padua acquired by the study of the antique. Through him and other good sculptors the Venetian painters learnt to combine accurate and firm drawing with their devotion to colour, as we see in the works of the younger Vivarini majestic figures of saints with shining garments, the solemn folds and delicate colouring of which remind us of the Van Eycks. Antonello of Messina brought hither their colouring, and the sun- shine on the lagunes was their other teacher. Messina, instead of following the Flemish school, adopted the freer manner of Bellini. The latter is ever rising higher and higher towards perfect har- mony of colour, and changing from the earlier severity to a tender and vivid grandeur. It is wonderful that Bellini's latest works, executed in his ninetieth year, are among his most beautiful. The peace which breathed through and ennobled his purely human figures had sunk deep into his soul, and kept mind and body evenly balanced ; and thus the vigour of life was retained so long. In his case, then, as in many others, Art was his helper in the search for happiness and eternal youth.

Of Bellini's two famous pupils, the elder, Giorgione, showed the more precocious genius, and during his short lifetime enjoyed by far the greater reputation ; but Titian, surviving his fellow pupil and second master for nearly fifty years, in the end eclipsed his meteoric fame. The exceptional position that Giorgione holds in the history of the Venetian School is rather due to the mar- vellous promise of the few works of his that we possess than to the actual value of his legacy to posterity. While Titian's pictures are to be found in every church in Venice and in every gallery in Europe, Giorgione's may be counted on the fingers ; and of those hitherto accepted as his, modern criticism has robbed him of nearly all. "The Tempest," that dark, coarse illustration of a famous


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Venetian legend, redeemed by the beautiful clearing light in one corner, is given to Paris Bordone. The Dresden pictures, "Jacob and Rachel," to the Palmese, and " The Knight Embracing a Lady," to the Brescian School. The two beautiful pictures in the Louvre, " The Holy Family," and the " Fete Champdtre " are no longer regarded as his works. The few pictures that remain, however, establish his extraordinary and brilliant mastery more firmly than ever. Like all the Venetian painters, Giorgione had a most correct appreciation of the limitations of his art ; he understood perhaps more thoroughly than any that in the first instance decorative effect is the painter's aim, and that no realism, mys- ticism, or sentiment, can throw that in the background. The picture in the first place must be a space of beautiful line and colour, subordinated in the case of the earlier painters to architectu- ral effect. Giorgione is the innovator who freed himself from this latter restriction, and invented genre painting pictures moveable, set in their own carved frames, and with no devotional alle- gorical or historical purpose. "The Concert," in the Pitti Palace a genuine and undisputed work is the first and most precious of genre pictures. A monk is seated at the harpsichord with his fingers on the keys. The chord he strikes is true, for the two bystanders listen approvingly, and the monk turns to them with a look of triumphant appeal. His face and glance are all inquiry. The baldheaded clerk behind him touches his shoulder, grasps the handle of the viol, and assents. To the left, a younger man, with long hair and plumed hat gives token of pleasure and acqui- escence, and seems waiting the right interval to begin to sing. The motive thought and purpose of the story are concentrated in the player, on him the light is thrown a clear, sparkling, but subdued light such as we meet with within the walls of Italian palaces. His hood and cowl are black, and his aristocratic but muscular hand is relieved on a iurred sleeve interposed to prevent a violent


THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE IN ITALY. 297

contrast. The other figures stand outside the focus of the highest light. No simpler and more effective picture than this is to "be- found among all the masterpieces of the sixteenth century. The subtlety with which the tones are broken is extreme, but the soberness of the general intonation is magical ; warm lights, strong shadows, delicate reflections, gay varieties of tints, yield perfect harmony.

At Giorgione's native town of Villafranco we can visit his masterpiece in religious painting, " The Virgin and Child, with SS. Francis and Liberate," a picture which displays as exquisite a feeling for colour as "The Concert." It is more brilliant in tone than the latter, the flesh is clear, the darks transparent, the armour perfect in its metallic lustre. The Virgin is clad in white cloth, with a green tunic of that exquisite green that is only known to the Venetians and red mantle. The subordinate figures are symmetrically arranged, the perspective correct. The cloudless sky and pallid straw are in perfect harmony with the rest, and shed a quiet, serene tranquillity over the scene.

Sebastian Del Piombo, a pupil of Bellini and Giorgione, struggled to combine the Venetian colouring with the form and manner of Michelangelo, under whom he worked at Rome. His grand picture of the Raising of Lazarus, in our National Gallery, so far approaches the titanic force of the great master, that the figure of Lazarus in it is generally supposed to have been designed by Michelangelo.

Palma Vecchio, also a pupil of Bellini's, is gentler and sweeter in his work than Giorgione. But the greatest of all Bellini's pupils is Titian (Tiziano Vicellio). In one of the most beautiful little valleys of Istria in the Carnic Alps, surrounded by nver, rock, and luxuriant foliage, lies the little town, Pieve di Cadore, which contains the humble little house where he was born. These native hills of his are visible from the sea-girt city, which was his home


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for eighty years. Their deep blue peaks and gorges are seen in the lovely landscapes which form the backgrounds of many of his pictures. At first Titian followed closely the severe style of his beloved master ; but soon his genial fellow-pupil Giorgione had great influence in his work. Gradually his own style formed it- self ; fulness of life and a strong sense of the harmony of existence, a deep feeling of truth to nature and a still stronger love of beauty, these are the characteristics which marked his style as it grew more and more perfect throughout his long life.

One of the earliest works which shows signs of his formed style, is the Tribute Money in the Dresden Gallery. The highest glow of colour, the wonderful depth and tranquillity of Christ's expres- sion, as He reproves the insolent Pharisee, would make us at once feel the lofty mission of the Saviour, even had we never heard of Him before. The contrast between the delicate hand of the Saviour and the rough fist of the Pharisee, and the penetrating but yet gentle look with which Christ looks through his opponent, are inimitable. The victory of the Divine is marked here in quite a different way to what it used to be ; and the scene cannot but exercise a great moral influence on every attentive beholder.

The days of Titian's youth, spent in the Carnic Alps, as -well as the rest of the hundred years of life, until the death of his son, was a thoroughly happy one, happiness partly due to the peaceful harmony of his nature. In the evening his gondola glided througli the water in the enchanted colouring of the sunset or the trembling light of the moon, accompanied by the music of the mandoline. His observant eye was constantly discovering fresh beauties in nature, in man, and fresh harmonies of colour. He rarely chose scenes of suffering ; and when he did so, as in " The death of Peter the Martyr " and " St. Laurentius," he took care to counterbalance the painful side of the subject by beauty of the landscape, choirs of angels with palms, or the play of torchlight.



THE TRIBUTE MONEY. TITIAN.


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THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE IN ITALY. 299.

In his portraits he gives us a harmonious picture combining all the striking characteristics of the individual. The beautiful women" whom he painted as Venus, are by his wonderful colouring raised to the rank of goddesses. Let us look more closely at one of his pictures; The holy Virgin, a beautiful and powerful figure, is rising to heaven upon the clouds; her expression is one of deep devotion, her beautiful eyes are raised to heaven in intense longing, her arms outstretched and her cheeks slightly tinged with red. In the clouds, which turn from the deepest grey to light fleecy white, a band of angels of more than earthly beauty surround her. Each single face among them attracts us by its loveliness as they peep hall hidden through the clouds, and nestle against the dark blue mantle which covers the folds of her red robe, and then, rising higher and higher, form a glory round God the Father, who, half concealed, looks down from the clouds. The group of the disciples below, like that of the angels above, shows the deepest feeling of the grandeur of the occasion. The one in the foreground raises his nervous arms aloft, as though he were exclaiming, "Take me with the Holy Mother ! " Another, with his hand on his heart, looks up in deep reverence. A third holds his hands above his head, and another hides his dazzled eyes. Drapery and colour strike the grandest harmonies with the golden sunlight above and the deep blue sky below. Through the almost classic calm of Venetian art, a higher inspiration seems to breathe in this glorification of real life.

In studying his sacred pictures, however, we by no means see the whole of Titian's art. The inspiration that he drew from the old mythology we can well see in the " Bacchus and Ariadne" in our own National Gallery. The picture delights us with its com- plete joyousness and fulness of life. Ariadne, startled by the arrival of the god, gathers her garments about her, and turns to flee. Bacchus is in the act of throwing himself from his tiger-drawn car to pursue the flying nymph. His body is full of impetuous


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movement ; his beautiful face, of tender passion. Behind the car follows a joyous crowd of revellers, lovely maenads make merry music with tambourines and cymbals ; satyrs entwined with snakes, flourish the limbs of a freshly sacrificed steer. Beside the car, dragging behind him the victim's head at the end of a string, dances a tiny satyr, the embodiment of the overflowing happiness and exuberant life of childhood. The flowered meadow, the rich blue sky and sea, the full foliage, all contrasting with warm flesh-tints and the beautiful draperies, add to the bright gaiety of the scene. Nothing of the coarseness or sensuality of bacchanalian revels offends us here ; it is the happiness of full vitality ; the drunken Silenus on his ass is far away in the back- ground.

Continuing our wanderings in Venice, we go next to the Doge's palace, and at once remark the Renascence style in the fountain and staircase of the open court, now decorated for the first time. Two colossal statues of Mars and Neptune by Sansovino have given a name to this staircase (Scala dei Giganti). It is to these gods of sea and war that the settlers who took refuge from the Huns in the Venetian lagunes owe the beginning of their power in the Middle Ages ; though peace, combined with that iron severity of the executive which was necessitated by the free constitution of the city, established the power and greatness of Venice after her foreign wars were over. We feel this when we behold the gigantic proportions of the hall in which the Great Council used to assem- ble, and which almost carries us back to ancient Rome. Numerous pictures on the roof tell of the glory and grandeur of Venice ; the "Marriage of the Doge with the Sea," in which the head of the city, in the midst of crowds of men and brilliant gondolas, casts his ring into the waves of the wide harbour. Other pictures tell of the victories of the Venetians against the Turks, under the Doge Dandolo ; thus, " the blind general bags for the command."



THE ENTOMBMENT. JACOPO '

(Relief on the door of the sacristy of St. MarkV.)


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Grand figures in splendid pictures celebrate the defeat of Zara and the capture of Constantinople. Lively and passionate action contrasts with the calmness of the earlier works. Tintoretto, the creator of these vast ambitious works, attempted wonders, and, among many failures, astounds us at times by the grandeur of his achievements. His restless, passionate spirit could ill endure that any hand but his should glorify the great deeds of his beloved city. When another artist had been chosen to do one part of the work, Tintoretto at once offered to undertake it as a gift to the city. He studied anatomy with the greatest zeal, he strove to imitate the style of Michelangelo, he tried wonderful experiments in light and shade. He always worked rapidly, frequently carelessly, but when he succeeded his work was unsurpassed. His colossal picture ot Paradise, though at first, from its immense size and the enormous number of figures it contains, it confuses the eye, when carefully studied, displays not only charmingly beautiful details, but a mag- nificent ensemble.

The "Marriage of Bacchus and Ariadne" is, for poetic beauty of conception and for grace of outline, unequalled in the Venetian or any other school.

Returning to the inexhaustible paintings of the roof, we meet with pictures equally removed from the bright beauty of Titian and the passion of Tintoretto. Paolo Cagliari, called after his native city Veronese, shows us " The Triumph of Venice " in the coronation of a beautiful stately figure resting in the clouds ; while on the walls he has delineated the inhabitants of Venice in their dignity and varied characters as he knew them, beautifully grouped in mag- nificent dresses and holiday aspect. Without religious enthusiasm or wealth of thought, we find his graceful kindly manner very delightful, especially in the lively groups of figures with which he fills even his religious pictures, especially " The Marriage in Cana," in the Louvre, which is generally considered to be his masterpiece.


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The miraculous marriage is taking place in a vast open portico of Ionic order, with columns of the rose porphyry of Verona. Surmounting the entablature are balustrades, over which are leaning a few spectators. The table, arranged in a horseshoe, stands on a magnificent mosaic pavement. A terrace with balus- trades, the end of which descends into the banqueting-hall, almost cuts the composition into two zones, and forms a happy division. Splendid architecture, with white marble fagade and Corinthian columns, enclose the background, and stand out luminously against one of those turquoise blue skies on which are floating clouds of silvery grey that Paul Veronese understands so well how to paint, and which are peculiar to the Venetian climate. An elegant open campanile, surmounted by a statue which recalls the golden angel of the campanile of the piazza, of S. Marco, allows the air and the doves to play over the arcade. In the middle of the composition, in the place of honour, Jesus Christ, the heavenly Guest, shines in His bright serenity, with His divine mother at His side, and pronounces the miraculous words which change the water into wine ; around Him are grouped the guests in different attitudes of astonishment, indifference, and incredulity ; in the vacant space in the middle of the horseshoe musicians are performing a con- certo ; servants are pouring the water from the amphoras into vessels in which it is changed into a generous wine. On the terrace behind, a whole concourse of slaves, serving men, butlers, carvers, who are bringing in the dishes, carving the joints, and fetching the plates from a large sideboard arranged under one of the colonnades ; on the balustrades of the roof a crowd of curious spectators is leaning and looking from a distance at this vast symbolic supper. Notwithstanding the epoch at which the miracle took place, the people are dressed in the fashion of the days of Paul Veronese, or in a fantastic style which is by no means antique. Pedants have criticized these anachronisms of


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costume, which have certainly been deliberately committed by so learned an artist as Paul Veronese.

Other fine examples of his work are the " Supper in the House of Levi " and " Christ bearing the Cross," at Dresden, and " Alex- ander and the Family of Darius," in the National Gallery. The tatter is said to be one of the finest examples of the perfection Df Venetian colouring. The single figure of St. Catherine shows not only the delicacy of his colouring, but a grandeur in the treatment of the figure and the drapery almost worthy of the days of Phidias.

In the numerous rooms of the Doge's palace we see exceedingly tasteful decoration of furniture, chimney-pieces, and vessels, with designs from mythology and the animal kingdom in the true spirit of the Renascence. Splendid tombs charm us here, as elsewhere in Italy, especially however in the churches at Verona.

From Venice we must cross to Padua to study the works of Andrea Mantegna. The School of Padua, of which he is the only great representative, was founded by Francesco Squarcione, by no means a great painter himself, but the master of upwards of one hundred pupils, in whom, by the aid of casts from antique statues and paintings from Florence and Rome, he succeeded in de- veloping a characteristic style. It was not from him, however, or from the imitation of his grotesque and ill-formed figures, that Mantegna acquired that genuine and appreciative love of classical antiquity which is his distinguishing character. His real teachers were the great Florentines Fra Filippo and Donatello who worked in Padua, and John Bellini, who was allied to him by friend- ship and by marriage. The enormous influence that Donatello exercised, not only on sculpture but on painting, throughout Northern Italy we have already noticed, and nowhere is it more strongly visible than in the statuesque figures of Mantegna. The chief work of the Paduan School is to be found in the frescoes

A A


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which cover the walls, roof, and apse of the Chapel of Eremitani a building which holds the same position in the history of the Paduan, as the Brancacci Chapel does in that of the Florentine School. The principal figures of the ceiling are coarse arid ugly, and may be regarded as characteristically Squarcionesque ; the angela in the corners of the ceiling are modelled after Donatello's work.

The " Assumption " in the apse is a pure example of Mantegna. His first great work is the altarpiece of St. Luke in prison, painted for the Church of St. Giustina of Padua. The saint is seated on 3. marble throne, and is writing at a round table ; about him are standing St. Benedict, a bishop, St. Euphemia, and a nun. In the second course are a half length of Christ, the Mater Dolorosa. St. Jerome, and others, all on gold ground with stamped nimbuses. St. Luke's face is thoughtful and attractive, and its expression natural and grave. The hand and feet are remarkably correct in drawing and perspective. St. Benedict is a genial figure of the kind familiar to us in the work of Era Filippo. St. Euphemia is both in form and pose thoroughly antique. The Saviour rests passive as marble in the tomb ; the Virgin is wringing her long thin hands. The whole work is characterized by remarkable purity of outline and decision of shadows. Mantegna has been said to unite the qualities of Michelangelo and Dtirer. His tempera is bright, transparent, and melodious, superior in colour to that of the contemporary Venetians. He combines the stately composure cf statuary with the momentary action of nature, and with ex- cessive simplicity of realism. The illustrations of the "Life of St. James," also in a Paduan church, are magnificent examples both of this use of the antique and of the extraordinary command of perspective. " The Triumphs of Scipio," of Hampton Court, and other Roman processional subjects, suggested by the reliefs on the Arch of Titus, and well-known through his own and Marc Antonio's magnificent engravings, were probably intended for the decoration


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of the proscenium of a theatre. These, and some beautiful single figures in grisaille, recently acquired by the National Gallery, are the best examples of his work in England.

Towards the end of the fifteenth century the influence of Venetian art spread over the whole of North Italy. A short journey from the great city of the Adriatic brings us to Brescia, where we find two great masters at work. Girolamo Romanino had studied at Venice, and acquired the power of Venetian colouring. His pictures are wanting in grandeur of design, and show very insufficient treatment of the figure and of the arrange- ment of drapery. One of the great altar-pieces he painted for a church in Brescia is now in our National Gallery. The infant Christ lies on a white cloth in the centre, while the Virgin kneels at the side in adoration, and St. Joseph leans on his staff reverently regarding the child with a thoughtful but kindly expression. To the left, St. Alexander, in armour, holds a banner, and looks with bowed head on the Saviour ; while on the other side is St. Roch, beating his breast with a stone. Two other saints complete the group. The warmth and variety of colour, the vigour and bright- ness of the treatment, the rich tone of the flesh, give a charm to the picture which makes us pardon the faulty drapery and the shapeless angels that hover above.

A painter of far greater power and skill is Alessandro Bonvicino, known as II Moretto. His works form the great attraction of Brescia to all lovers of Art, and in dignity and natural simplicity remind us wonderfully of Titian. Every church in Brescia contains examples. Let us look at the " Coronation of the Virgin " at SS. Nazzaro e Celso. The Saviour is in the act of crowning the Virgin, who kneels before Him encircled by a halo of clouds and a glory of angels. Below are the figures of four saints, among whom St. Michael with the dragon beneath his feet and transfixed on his spear, attracts the greatest attention. The grace of attitude,


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the charm of expression, and the harmony of colour, recall the work of Raphael.

The danger of exaggeration in regard to the style of decoration was especially great after Michelangelo's bold transgressions of established limits; and thus we find, even in the seventeenth century, that the decorations of the Venetian palaces are often ornate and excessive. Bernini, the first of Michelangelo's imitators, who did not possess anything of his genius, set the example ; and his successors carried his vivid imitation of movement to such a degree that all the laws of sculpture came to be disregarded ; exaggerated and violent action took the place of repose ; dis- torted facial expressions, coarse colouring, and violent chiaroscuro succeeded to the moderation and grace of Raphael and Titian. At the head of this naturalistic school stands Caravaggio, who painted vigorously but painfully the night-side of life, as, for ex- ample, in the " Cheating at Cards." - With him we may contrast Caracci, Domenichino, Albani, Guercino, and Guido Reni, who sought to combine and revive the excellences of all the great schools. The latter, the greatest of this so-called eclectic school, charms us by his soft and harmonious colouring, by his touching rendering of grief, as in the " Ecce Homo," and by the delicate beauty of his female figures, especially Magdalenes. In the Dulwich Gallery is a very beautiful St. Sebastian.

In naming these latter painters, we have already left Venice and paused at Bologna; and now we must bid farewell to Italy and the age of the Renascence and cross the Pyrenees.


CHAPTER XXIX.

SPANISH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

Aforales, The Ribaltas, Ribera, Velasquez, Zurbaran, Alonzo Cano,

Murillo.


  • Tr*HE rapid development of the wealth and power of the

-*- Spanish Monarchy, and its still more rapid decay, are exactly figured in the history of Spanish art. Within a century of the union of Castile and Aragon under Ferdinand and Isabella, Spain had risen to the first place among European monarchies, had conquered the new world, and filled her treasury from the inexhaustible mines of Peru. Before another century had passed, the successor of Philip II. was as feeble as his kingdom, Peru sent no more gold, and Castile ceased to produce soldiers and states- men. So, in the realm of Art, a great school of painting grew up with the growth of the Spanish power, and added glory to its decline. In the other branches of Art Spain never rose to a high level ; at an earlier period indeed magnificent cathedrals had been built throughout the Peninsula buildings worthy of a people who had inherited the monuments and traditions of Rome, and won with the sword those of the Saracen. The carved decoration of capital and stall in these old churches is as light and delicate as anything that can be found in the native home of Gothic architec- ture, and is often unequalled in luxuriance ; but the independent


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sculptures, the statues of Virgins and saints, are for the most part vulgar and worthless. The architecture of the Renascence in Spain is either plain and bare or loaded with tawdry decoration and altogether unworthy of comparison with the Italian palaces of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The pride and dignity which are characteristic of the Spanish nation, and the earnestness and religious fervour which pervaded all classes, are reflected in its paintings. Painting in Spain is distinctly a religious art. With scarcely an exception, the great Spanish painters drew the inspiration of their greatest works from Christian sources ; unlike the great Italians, who, when free from the requirements of ecclesiastical patrons, painted with delight the birth of the goddess of love or the joyous triumph of Galatea. It may be that the influence of the Holy Office had much to do with this seriousness of subject; but it was only the national solemnity and decorum that could make it possible for the Inquisition to forbid painting from the nude. Spanish painting in general is therefore solemn and religious, showing rarely remarkable anatomical skill, but always great ability in handling drapery, not only the finer tissues which clothe the Virgin and saint, but the coarse material of the frocks of friars, black, white, and grey. In colour, the Castilian school is distinguished by a sombreness of colour, greys and dull browns being the pervading tints ; in the southern schools of Seville and Valencia brighter hues prevail. In portraiture Velasquez rivals Titian and Van Dyck, although Philip IV. and his court did not afford such noble specimens of humanity as the Venetian Senate or the English nobility ; and the proverbial jealousy of Spanish husbands made it rare for young and beautiful ladies to sit for their portraits.

The first of the great artists of Castile is Morales, who painted for the chief part of his life in obscurity in Estramadura. His great works remain to this day in his native province. His


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subjects were always devotional, "Qirist bearing the Cross," "Christ with the Crown of Thorns," "The Crucifixion;" and generally his strength is shown in the expression of anguish of soul. The Virgin he paints is always the Mater Dolorosa ; the Christ, the Man of Sorrows, in whose wasted frame the utter prostration of physical force is shown with terrible truth. In his method Morales approaches the early Italian and Flemish painters. His pictures are all painted on panel, and are finished with excessive elaboration and smoothness. Like Diirer, he seems to paint each separate hair ; and the amber locks of his cherubs are " curled like the little rings of the vine."

The Valentian school, founded by a. painter known as Joanes, who had studied in Italy and imitated Raphael with considerable success, rose into high repute through the genius of Francisco de Ribalta and his son Juan.

Of the pictures of the elder Ribalta many excellent specimens ire in the Museum of Valencia ; the finest, " Our Lady of Sorrows," represents the Virgin with her bosom pierced with the seven em- blematic swords, and a table before her on which lie the linen cloth, hammer, nails, scourge, and the other instruments of the Passion. On either side kneel St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Veronica, and numerous devotees and penitents, male and female, the latter old and ugly, except one bright little maiden dressed coquettishly with scarlet ribbons and showing in her eyes neither penitence nor devotion. Ribalta's best pictures show a great knowledge of anatomy, excellent composition, great freedom of drawing, and admirable colouring. His style seems principally formed upon that of Sebastian del Piombo.

Ribalta's most famous pupil, Josef de Ribera, also studied and painted in Italy, but his coarse, vigorous mind was attracted by the work of Michelangelo Caravaggio, "a ruffianly painter of ruffians," and he has imitated the strong lights and shades and


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exaggerated expressions of that painter. The work by which he first made his position at Naples is characteristic the flaying of St. Bartholomew, a picture with life-sized figures on which this revolting martyrdom is represented with accurate fidelity, without one detail suppressed or softened. " Ribera's strength lay in the delineation of anatomy and his pleasure in seizing the exact expression of the most hideous pain." Of his pictures which do not contain horrors the finest is "Jacob's Dream," in which the profound slumber of fatigue is so perfectly shown that the spectator involuntarily treads softly as if in fear of waking the sleeper. The Mary of Egypt in the Dresden Gallery is not only not brutal, but charming, the childlike innocence and sweetness of the face and attitude as she kneels almost enveloped in her brown wavy hair are no doubt intended to form a striking contrast to the foul story of her martyrdom.

Contemporary with Ribera, but with a style formed by the direct contact of his own personality with nature, and little influenced by his study of the great Italian painters, Don Diego de Silva y Velasquez was painting at Madrid. Though by birth an Andalu- sian, Velasquez very early made the capital his home, and belongs really to the Castilian school. After spending a short time as pupil of the bold dashing painter, Herrera, and then a few months under the pedantic painter and author, Pacheco, he appears to have taken his education into his own hands on the most realistic principles, painting nothing except from the object itself. "In order that he might have a model of the human countenance ever at hand," writes his master, Pacheco, "he kept a peasant lad as an apprentice, who served him for a study in different actions and postures sometimes crying, sometimes laughing till he had grappled with every difficulty of expression ; and from him he executed an infinite variety of heads in charcoal and chalk, OP blue paper, by which he arrived at certainty in taking likenesses."


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By practice like this he acquired that decision and rapidity of execution that form the distinguishing marks of his portraits. There is no character in history whose person and character are so perfectly recorded upon canvas as King Philip IV. Two of these portraits are in the National Gallery, a head and a full length. The truth and unity of these portraits are said to have been attained by Velasquez's method of painting the entire portrait at one sitting, never changing or retouching. Velasquez excelled not in portraiture only, but in every branch of his art. Before he left Seville he spent much time upon studies of still life, and produced results worthy of the best Dutch painters : his animals, too, are admirable, not only the horses in his equestrian portraits of the king and the Duke d'Olivarez, but dogs as life-like as any to be seen on the canvases of Sniders or Rubens.

In his Andalusian home, too, he must have painted some of those wonderful scenes of low life, exact representations of the squalid but picturesque subjects that the street and roadside afforded, a class of work that in this country is more associated with the name of Murillo than that of Velasquez. The most famous of these is the " Water Seller," one of the gems of the Apsley House gallery. The composition consists of three figures, the tattered sunburnt retailer of water and two boys, his customers. The details, jars, glass pipkins, and rags, are all perfectly reproduced. The heads are admirable, and the grave dignity with which the aguador carries on his humble trade has in it a touch of excellent humour.

His religious pictures are chiefly scenes of every-day Spanish life, as for example, the "Adoration of the Shepherds," in the National Gallery, and the more famous picture of the same subject in the Louvre. In these the influence of Ribera is to be seen in the scale of colour and in the strong, coarse lights and shadows.

Not only the adoring shepherds but the Virgin and Child are extremely coarse and vulgar So completely does Velasquez


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follow Ribera here, that the picture has been considered a copy from that painter.

But the beautiful Crucifixion of St. Placido is by itself sufficient to show that if Velasquez did not treat the loftiest subjects in the highest ideal style, it was not for lack of power. The cross stands on a plain, dark ground, set off by neither clouds nor landscape. The head of the figure droops on the shoulder, over which a mass of dark hair falls ; the delicacy and anatomical truth of the body and limbs is above all praise.

In landscape, too, Velasquez holds a high rank. " Titian," says Sir David Wilkie, " seems his model, but he has also the breadth and picturesque effect for which Claude and Salvator Rosa are remarkable. His pictures are too abstract for much detail or imitation ; but they have the very same sun we see and the air we breathe, the very soul and spirit of nature." The Boar Hunt, in the National Gallery, is an admirable example of his work : this is simple in colour, but the figures, which are excellently grouped and life-like, harmonize with their brilliant colouring upon the brown landscape. The picture, which has ordinarily been ac- counted his masterpiece, Las Meninas, shows a wonderful mastery of perspective and complex lights. The room represented is hung round with pictures and lighted by three windows on a side wall, and a door at the end. At the extreme right at the back stands the painter behind his easel. In the centre the little Infanta is taking a cup of water from a kneeling maid of honour ; to the left two maids of honour seem to be courtesying to her highness ; two dwarfs playing with a dog are in the foreground. Farther in the background a lady and gentleman are conversing; through the open door the queen's confessor is seen ascending a staircase, and in a mirror beside the door the figure of the king and queen, who are not seen in the picture, are reflected.

While Velasquez was only Castilian by adoption, a great painter,


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Francisco di Zurbaran, had come out of the province itself. Zur- baran resembles Velasquez in his strict inflexible realism ; from the first, like him, he resolved to paint nothing except from nature, not merely every figure, but every shadow, and the texture and folds of every piece of drapery. What Velasquez was for king and courtier, what Titian was for the Venetian Senate, that was Zurbaran for the monastic orders. Upon his canvas the friars " black, white, and grey, in all their trumpery," stand before us, living images of the intense devotion and fanaticism of the

subjects of the Most Catholic king. The kneeling monks in the

\

Louvre and National Gallery, with their faces turned upwards, but almost hidden beneath the cowl, an intense unearthly expression vaguely seen in the dark eyes beneath, must remain stamped for ever on the memory. Out of Spain it is hard to realize that the same pencil could do justice to scenes of gentleness and love. His Virgin and Infant Saviour at Stafford House is "one of the most delicious creations " of Spanish Art.

Alonzo Cano, of Granada, displayed still greater variety of powers, excelling in painting and sculpture, and showing consider- able ability in architecture. His statues are, with hardly an exception, coloured in imitation of nature, but with unusual sweet- ness and delicacy. His pictures are among the most beautiful produced in Spain, and are free from Italian influence. The correctness of his drawing, and the simplicity of his composition, suggest the study of the antique ; his colouring is rich and varied. The Madonna of Belem is unsurpassed in Spanish Art for the divine beauty of her expression, and might justify the legends of supernatural visitation so frequent among the earlier painters. The Virgin's hand and the tiny hand of the Child which rests upon it are painted with admirable truth and care.

Bartolome Esteban Murillo began painting at Seville, when Velasquez was at the height of his fame. After painting under


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Castillo, and selling his pictures in the Market Place, he set out for Madrid to seek Velasquez's aid to enable him to study at Rome. At Madrid he studied and copied the works of Ribera, Velasquez, and Van Dyck ; and after two years, instead of going to Italy, he returned to Seville, where he soon made his mark by the series of pictures in the cloister of the Franciscan convent at Seville, several of which were among the plunder carried off by Marshal Soult, and were thus saved from destruction by fire. His style, however, in these earlier pictures has not that softness of outline, transparency of colour, and depth of atmospheric effect which it afterwards ac- quired, and which characterize what is known as his second style. In the Cathedral of Seville are several portraits and pictures of saints ; an infant Christ descending in a flood of golden light amid a company of lovely-faced cherubs, in the presence of a brown-frocked shaven monk, St. Anthony of Padua, who kneels looking up at the Saviour with outstretched arms. It is told of this picture as of Zeuxis's grapes, that the birds have pecked at the lilies in a vase beside the saint. A still more beautiful picture in the Cathedral is " The Guardian Angel." The angel, in a rich yellow robe and purple mantle, leading a lovely child, points with its right hand to heaven ; a beautiful allegory of the passage of the soul through the world. The transparent texture of the child's robe is very rare in Spanish pictures.

The greatest works of Murillo are the eight pictures of Charity, painted for the Hospital de la Caridad, three of which only escaped from the hands of Soult " Moses Striking the Rock," " The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes," " The Charity of St. Juan de Dios." In the former the prophet is standing with clasped hands and upturned eyes thanking God for the stream that answered his prayer. Aaron stands behind his brother with an expression of astonishment in his face. Around them a group of figures are eagerly drinking of the fountain. To the left is a smaller group,


SPANISH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 315

among which the most striking figure is a mother who holds a cup to her younger son, while with her other hand she pushes back the elder brother, who would snatch it from him. A camel wait- ing patiently for his draught, mules, dogs and sheep add variety to the crowd. In the background more men and animals are descending a rough path to the miraculous spring. The grand figure of the prophet, with silver beard and flowing violet robe, standing out erect in front of the huge brown rock, filled with noble feelings of gratitude and devotion, is in striking contrast with the eager, selfish struggle of the others to enjoy the gift without a thought of the giver. " The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes " is not so grand a work as the other, but contains some excellent humorous figures of Sevillian street life. The remaining picture represents a grey-frocked friar walking through the streets of Granada bearing a sick man on his shoulders, and sinking beneath the weight until relieved by an angel whose presence he has just discovered, and to whom he is looking up with reverent gratitude. The colouring is of great strength ; the brightness of the angel's face and yellow drapery in contrast with the dark shadowy forms of the human figures. " St. Elizabeth, of Hungary, Tending the Sick," is a picture magnificent in composition, light and colour though somewhat revolting in detail ; the sores of the man seated in the foreground, and of the boy whose head the saint is washing, are painted with an exactness which sickens the spectator as much as the reality does the attendant ladies. "The Return of the Prodigal," and " Abraham Receiving the Angels " are now in Stafford House. " The Healing of the Paralytic," also in England, is not inferior in colour to the St. Elizabeth. The head of the Saviour is one of the noblest conceptions of Murillo ; above in the sky, in a blaze of glory, the angel that troubled the water is seen. Our Lord's robe is of a delicate violet tone, and St. Peter's of the deep brown peculiar to the Sevillian painter.


3i6 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

A still larger number of pictures Murillo painted for the Fran- ciscan Convent of the Capuchins, of which the most famous is the Charity of St. Thomas of Villanueva, now in the Museum at Seville ; the saint in black, wearing a white mitre, is standing at the door of the Cathedral bestowing alms upon a lame beggar who is kneeling at his feet ; other expectant recipients of his charity are grouped around, and in the foreground a ragged street-boy is triumphantly showing his mother the treasures he has just re- ceived. The saint's pale face, which shows traces of vigorous penance, wears a kindly and benevolent look, which inspires con- fidence and love.

Murillo has been called par excellence, the painter of the Immaculate Conception ; four pictures of this subject are to be seen at Seville, one famous one at Paris, and twenty more in various collections. This dogma is the favourite tenet of the Spanish Church, and Murillo succeeds in giving to his Virgins that look of perfect purity and spotless innocence which is its outward expression. The cherubs, which in most of these pictures surround the Virgin, are among the loveliest to be found on canvas.

As a painter of children, too, Murillo is supreme in the Spanish school. The pictures of " Our Lord as a Child " in several English collections, and the Duke of Westminster's " St. John, and the Lamb," are full of the most natural charms and grace of childhood.

With the death of Murillo the decline of Spanish painting began.


CHAPTER XXX. To FLANDERS.

FLEMISH AND DUTCH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.


1 ^ROM the land where Catholicism was most fanatical we pass -*- to that country which fought so long and so bravely for religious and civil freedom against Spanish oppression. The first place we arrive at is Antwerp ; but here we only see traces of the failure of the revolt. The city which half a century before was the market of the world has become a desert under the influence of the crushing power of the Society of Jesus. The great painter, whose " Descent from the Cross " in the Cathedral has attracted us hither, is himself the product of the history of the revolt in the Southern Netherlands. His father, suspected of Calvinistic ten- dencies, had been forced to live in exile for the greater part of his life. It was only to the exertions and devotions of his heroic wife that his return to his native city was made possible and the remnants of his property saved. She resolved to save her son from the difficulties and struggles which she had so bravely shared with her husband, and took care therefore that he should be brought up by the Jesuits in strict orthodoxy. The picture before us is the work of a man of the world, without devotional enthu- siasm, but free from doubts and difficulties about religion, a man who was a courtier and a gentleman, who enjoyed life with

3'7


318 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

thorough zest, and in full faith expiated his sins by the gift of magnificent altar-pieces to the churches of his native city.

The "Descent from the Cross "is in striking contrast to the pictures of Murillo that we have just been contemplating. Instead of the fervent devotion which breathes through his religious pictures, we have here a work of far greater technical skill, with grand dramatic composition, with a wealth of colouring almost Venetian, with mar- vellous power over the human figure ; but a picture that might have been painted by a Pagan or Pantheist. The body of the crucified Lord still shows traces of the recent death agony; but it is only the human death that we see, without any feeling or indica- tion of the divine life which will raise up the temple of the body in three days. The grouping is natural and pleasing. Two of the disciples, leaning over the top of the cross, from which they have detached the body, are in the act of letting it slide gently down a sheet, which one holds in his teeth the other in his hand ; John stands below, with his foot on the ladder, and catches the body as it descends. To the left is the group of three women. The Magda- lene, kneeling, catches his foot fervently as it rests upon her shoulder, behind her kneels the other Mary, while the Virgin with tearstained face and figure bowed with grief has risen painfully to her feet to catch the drooping head and arm as they fall.

It was immediately after his return from Italy that Rubens painted this picture ; he did not, however, follow the types of the Italian painters, but painted from the life the men among whom he lived people like those whose portraits he so successfully painted, stately and full figured, of powerful muscular development. This habit he invariably followed in his religious and mythological pictures. In the latter he is in general seen to greater advantage than in the former ; but his highest power appears in his animal pictures : lion hunts, boar hunts, horses and elephants (in his adaptations from Mantegna) are represented with the most perfect



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FLEMISH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 319

sympathy. The feline suppleness and activity combined with force in Lord Normanton's young lion give it a life-like vividness that equals, nay, is almost more lion-like than nature. All these works bear the stamp of the geniality of the man his wonderful power of grouping and colour. His own favourite branch of his art was landscape-painting ; when, in later life, he was able to paint and please himself, it was in the direction of the scenery of his own country, wide expanse and distinct views that his taste led him. It was through him that landscape-painting became known and popular in this country; so that Rubens may be regarded as the father of the English landscape school.

In portraiture, Rubens' marvellous power of handling, his rich colouring, and the seductive grace that he succeeds in giving to his faces, overpower the judgment and tempt us to believe that he is as great in portrait as in other branches of his art. For picturesque effect, his own portrait at Windsor, and the Chapeau de Foil (Faille) in the National Gallery are unequalled ; but the mind and character of the subject are not recorded in his portraits as in those of Holbein and Van Dyck. The large prominent eyes, the small chin, the clear fresh complexion, and the round broad forehead of the " Chapeau de Faille " are the leading fea- tures of a type to which Helena Fourment, Isabel Brandt, and Marie de Medici are alike assimilated. The portraits of Helena Fourment and her children in the Louvre, and of his two sons at Dresden, are of the few which rise to the highest ideal of portraiture.

In one branch of his art, the treatment of the animal world, Frans Snyders may almost claim to be his equal. Many pictures exist in which Rubens has painted the figures, amid hunting scenes, dogs, and wild boars or lions, or surrounded by flowers and vegetables by Snyders. So broad and strong was his touch, and so glowing his colouring, that in this double work there seems to be no want of unity. He had like Rubens an extraordinary power of


320 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

representing animals in the violent movement and excited action of the chase, and had a very keen sense of artistic arrangement in grouping his animals upon the canvas.

We pass now to the best of the pupils of Rubens, Antony Van Dyck, and see both in his portraits and his religious pictures a greater depth and refinement of feeling, and a greater power to express profound emotion, than his master possessed. Though in range and audacity of invention he bears no comparison to Rubens, in mastery of means he can almost claim equality ; his brush works with the same firm, rapid, and unerring stroke ; his colour, if less brilliant, is more truthful, and his drawing more accu- rate. In his early historical pictures the influence of Rubens is very strongly felt in the warm yellowish semi-transparent flesh tones and the coarse realism of the heads. His visit to Italy pro- duced a great advance in his style. The bold, but often clumsy, forms of his early pictures were gradually abandoned for the more graceful forms of his later work, his colouring became deeper and more closely allied to that of Titian and Giorgione. The Crucifixion in the Cathedral of Mechlin is one of the finest of his works, painted shortly after his return from Italy. The expression of the Saviour in the moment of death is profoundly touching ; the composition is beautifully balanced, and the expressions of the other figures, the deep sorrow of the Virgin, the passionate grief of the Magdalene, and the confident faith of the Centurion are all admirably given. In some of his religious pictures, Samson and Delilah at Vienna, for example, he has worked upon compositions by Rubens, but has made them his own by his treatment. It is, however, by his por- traits that Van Dyck's pre-eminence is assured. The grace and ease of bearing, and the aristocratic refinement of the courtiers of King Charles I. he has succeeded in representing with the highest degree of truth. Titian in Venice, and Velasquez in Spain, are alone his equals. His portraits are familiar to everybody ; Charles



PORTRAIT OF HIMSELF. VAN

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I., weak and vacillating but not wanting in nobility and kingly dignity, may be seen on a dozen canvases, the best of which are the equestrian portraits in the Louvre and at Windsor, a third formerly in the Blenheim collection has now passed into the hands of the nation. Queen Henrietta Maria and her children, in the charming unconsciousness of childhood ; the stern and resolute face of Wentworth, Earl of Strafford ; the gentle beauty of the family of the Earl of Pembroke may be mentioned among the countless portraits which illustrate the history of those troubled times. These English portraits are as rich and harmonious in tone as his earlier works, but have also that silvery light which adds so much to their charms, and to which, in his later years, he sacrificed much of the warmth of his colour and the solidity of his treatment.

The other celebrated scholar of Rubens, Jacob Jordaens, exagger- ated the coarseness and vulgarity which is often to be found in Rubens' work ; he had still less feeling for beauty and clearness of form ; but in colour he has all the strength and transparency of his master, and much depth of chiaroscuro. His historical pictures at the Hague show great mastery in the treatment of allegory ; but it is especially in subjects from peasant life, treated with strong coarse humour, that he excels. The Village Feast, in the Vienna Gallery, is powerfully painted and full of incident.

Though not a pupil of Rubens, David Teniers the younger belongs distinctly to his school. Teniers' principal work in the style known as genre painting, the representation of incidents of popular everyday life finds its parallel in the Village Fair of Rubens. His life was long, and is represented by an enormous number of pictures, single figures of peasants, groups of men and women drinking, ale-houses, village fairs and sports, guard rooms, cattle pieces and landscapes, besides a number of religious pictures treated in the same style as his peasant subjects, and imitations of other masters. His marvellous technical facility is displayed in


322 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

these latter, two especially representing the gallery of the Arch- duke Leopold William, the Stadt-holder of the Spanish Nether- lands, of which he was the keeper, in each of which forty or fifty pictures are represented on the walls. The charm of his original work lies in the exquisite harmony of colouring, and the free and masterly touch with which the separate strokes of the brush are left distinct and unbroken, painted once and for all rightly, a power in which he stands far and away above all other genre painters. " His manner of touching," says Sir Joshua Reynolds, " or of what we call handling, has, perhaps, never been equalled ; there is in his pictures that exact mixture of softness and sharpness which is so difficult to execute." The Queen's collection at Buckingham Palace, and the gallery of Bridgwater House contain a number of exquisite masterpieces of Teniers ; and since the purchase of the Peel collection, the National Gallery is not far behind them.

In passing on to Holland, we come to quite a distinct school. When the temporary enthusiasm of the southern Netherlanders vanished away, and they sank back into a resigned acceptance of the old religion, the people of the northern provinces were left to sustain the struggle alone. The dogged heroism with which they defended their little land against all the forces of the Spanish monarchy is one of the grandest chapters of history : rather than admit the Spaniard into it again, they would give it back to the sea from which they had taken it ; and that this threat was not an idle one the Haarlemer Zee is witness to this day. A victory gained with such sacrifices as this was certain to bring out the best powers of the people. In the seventeenth century, Amster- dam acquired much of the trade that Antwerp had lost. A school of painting arose which gained its whole inspiration from the domestic life of its people. Fresh from the great struggle, the Dutch would have nothing to remind them of the hated tyranny from which they had at last freed themselves ; nothing in art



THE RAISING OF


[To face p. 322.


DUTCH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 323.

should remind them of priests ; scarcely would they venture ta paint church pictures. Portraits they would have and small pictures to adorn the low rooms of the houses of the merchants of Amsterdam ; larger pictures, when combined portrait groups were wanted for town halls or hospitals. The subjects of the old Flemish painters Abraham and Isaac, Samson and Delilah, the Brazen Serpent appear no more on the canvases of this new school ; but Peasants in a Tavern, the Music Master with his Pupil, the Shopkeeper and his Wares. This tendency was natural in a country freed from the influence of the Church, and not saturated with the literature and culture of the past, as was the Italy of the renascence. It had been visible even among the early Flemish painters : Quentin Matsys painted his Misers, and John Van Eyck his John Arnolfini and Wife ; and though the exigencies- of the market kept these painters employed on devotional subjects, the tendency of Dutch art was already declared.

This change did not take place suddenly the school of Mabuse and Van Orley, under the influence of the great Italian painters, aimed at a greater grace and roundness of form, a greater depth and brilliancy of colour, than their predecessors : they chose literary and historic subjects, and endeavoured to treat them with the same breadth and grandeur as the great Italian masters. The succeeding generation, the painters of the latter half of the six- teenth century, returned in subject to the life of their own country its landscape, its sea, the life of its peasantry, and the portraiture of its leading men ; but in all this they were especially concerned with the varied - effects of light and shade, the more difficult problems of chiaroscuro, some especially affecting the bold and violent contrasts of Caravaggio, while others subordinated details to the general harmonies produced by intense concentrated lights. The principal subjects of painting for these men, especially for painters of Haarlem and Amsterdam, were large canvases


324 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

containing groups of portraits of the members of guilds, societies of archers, and other corporations. Among the finest of these is the group by Joannes van Ravensteyn of the "Civic Guards" of the Hague, a picture of remarkable warmth of tone and depth of colour, the brown tones and golden flesh tints of which suggest the work of Rembrandt. But the most direct and immediate predecessor of Rembrandt, the most original and genial of Dutch jfigure-painters, is Franz Hals. He was the first to introduce into Holland the full and free treatment of the school of Rubens, and to paint with rapidity, breadth, and certainty, laying in his -flesh tones side by side, without scumbling, with such marvellous skill as to excite the admiration of Van Dyck. In the Hotel de Ville at Haarlem a number of his portrait groups are to be seen; the Civic Guard, a group of four seated and nine erect figures, one of his earlier works before he had attained to the full boldness of his touch. The other pictures in the same place show the -same vigorous and lively conception, and the most marvellous freedom and finish of execution. The colouring is rich and clear, and the geniality and feeling of good fellowship which appears to have characterized the painter perhaps in an excessive degree make themselves irresistibly felt. It is especially in the depth and skill of chiaroscuro which characterizes these pictures that <he is most closely related to the greatest of Dutch painters.

The earliest important pictures of Rembrandt van Ryn are the Presentation in the Temple, dated 1631, and the Anatomical Lecture painted in the succeeding year, both in the gallery at the Hague. The former shows the complete separation of Rembrandt from the Italian schools, the earlier painters of the Netherlands, and his contemporaries in Belgium. In some degree this separation is due to the difference of religion ; the costume, architecture, and accessories being all taken from his protestant -surroundings. Even in this early work the concentration of light


DUTCH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 325.

and the tone of colour indicate the direction in which his style- was forming itself; the execution, however, displays a minuteness^ which is far removed from the broad, firm style of his late works. There is a great advance in this respect to be noticed in the Lecture on Anatomy : in it the interest is concentrated on one point, which is also the centre of the intense light which illu- minates the body of the corpse and the faces of Professor Tulp- and his fellow-surgeons, and throws the surrounding objects ii> the shade. The excellence of the portraits, the characteristic intensity of the expressions, and the power of the colouring*, would alone place this in the first rank ; but it is the intellectual vigour and unity of conception that give it its unique position. Portraits of himself and his wife Saskia, whom he loved to- paint in countless characters, form the most interesting portion of his work for the next ten years. Of these, that in the Dresden- Gallery, in which he is seated with his wife on his knee, holding a glass of wine up to the light, is one of the finest ; in it the- warm richness and harmony of colour, and the intense geniality of expression and tone, command universal sympathy. Nowhere has Rembrandt achieved more complete success. The next great picture which marks an epoch in Rembrandt's life is that of the- Sortie of the Company of Frans Banning Cock, commonly, but wrongly, entitled the Night Watch. The original darkness of the picture, intensified by varnish and dirt, no doubt gave rise to- the mistake of supposing that it represents a night scene ; but on looking at the picture, it is clear that the lighter portion of it is illuminated by strong sunlight. The scene chosen for the- picture appears to be the confused rush of the members of the- company out of their hall on hearing the signal for the beginning, of their exercises. The captain and his lieutenant have come out first, and occupy the centre of the picture the former with, the blackest dress and hat and deep crimson sash, his face and


326 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

-collar only being caught by the strong light which wholly illu- minates the latter. To the extreme right the drummer is beating the call ; in the door in the background stands the ensign dis- playing the colours ; nurnerous other figures are engaged in a variety of actions, cleaning or charging their pieces and arranging their accoutrements. In harmony of colour and delicate gradation of tone, as well as in the natural bustle and movement, it is a com- plete proof of the genius of the master. All the qualities that go to make a great painter, except grace of form and feeling for female beauty, are to be found in his works. In his portraits he shows a decided preference for the strongly marked types that he could find among the old Jewish traders of Amsterdam, and the hideous features of wrinkled old women to whom he succeeded in im- parting a dignity and power of attraction by the uncompromising realism of his work. Rembrandt's love of nature, and his extra- ordinary power of exhibiting light and shade, are exemplified in his etchings as strongly as in his pictures. It is an unsettled question, when and where the art of etching the production of an engraved plate by the action of acid upon copper covered with a film of varnish from which the lines have been scratched away with a pointed instrument first originated. It appears to have been used by the German schools of the beginning of the sixteenth century, by Schongauer and Dtirer, but its earlier history is involved in obscurity. Diirer's etchings are few in number, and tentative and uncertain in the handling. His great qualities were not those which go to make a good etcher he understood little of chiaroscuro. Rembrandt was the first to understand fully the capabilities and limits of this art. In all his work, widely varied though it is, he keeps clearly before him the principle that an etching is essentially a rapid sketch in which the bold suggestiveness should never be replaced by the finished detail of the line engraving. It has been described by a well-


DUTCH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 327

known writer as a kind of artistic shorthand, in which the different features are indicated by a few bold lines, entirely with reference to the broad effects ot light and shadow. Among Rembrandt's etchings there is the widest variation in the amount of detail repre- sented, from the slight sketch of the Cottage in the White Pales to the fine line shading of the portrait of the Burgomaster Six. It is the vast difference between the style of these works that has led many critics to believe that Rembrandt combined other processes engraving and mezzotint upon his etched plates.

So great was the influence of Rembrandt that we find the characteristics of his work impressed, not merely on his pupils, but on the whole of Dutch painting throughout the seventeenth century.

The wonderful thing about these Dutch painters is the charm that they succeed in giving to the simplest events of everyday life by the perfection of their execution and the affectionate care that they bestow on the most trivial details. After years of war and suffering, the peaceful, simple scenes of everyday life had become doubly dear to the Hollanders.

Ferdinand Bol was one of Rembrandt's earliest pupils, and was so completely under his master's influence that many of his pictures have been attributed to the master himself. Later he grew to exaggerate the characteristics of Rembrandt, and attempted strange effects of chiaroscuro in scenes lighted by a single candle. Excellent examples of his best work are the Astronomer and the portrait of himself in our National Gallery.

Gerard Dow is a pupil of Rembrandt of more independent genius. He takes us into simple, sombre rooms, and shows us a girl spinning or knitting, a man comfortably smoking his pipe, a fruit or vegetable seller with her wares everything true to nature, painted with a loving hand, and worked up to the highest perfection of detail, with light and shade thoroughly in harmony with his


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subject. A hermit praying in his lonely cell, portraits of himself,, a physician surrounded by his instruments, are among his charming pictures. From his portraits, he appears a kindly, genial man,, with a thorough enjoyment of the good things of this life, and a genuine sense of humour.

His pupil, Peter van Glingeland, introduces us into a company of smokers in one picture, in another to a lace-maker ; through an open window we see an old woman who offers her a cock for sale, The same subject is more charmingly, clearly, and, indeed, humor- ously handled by Gabriel Metzu. A pretty cook is negotiating with a most important air for a splendid specimen with an old poultry dealer, who is hesitating whether he shall lower his price.

Another charming picture of his is the Fishwife, in Bridgwater House, where the fish are painted with such wonderful perfection that they could almost deceive the eye. His pictures are always agreeable and refined, and he specially affected the life of the rich, like Terburg, whom he seems to have imitated.

In its own way, Gerard Terburg's picture of the Congress of Munster is one of the most perfect productions of art. Being present at the Congress, he was engaged to paint this picture by the Spanish envoy; and on the small space of this metal plate, only twenty inches long, he has realized the features and characters of the individual members of the Congress, and the various spirits that animated the parties. On his little panels, charming little love-stories are told by him, and by Caspar Netscher, his friend and pupil. Letters are written and read, music lessons are given to young ladies, and many other incidents of domestic life are presented. In one a noble father is lecturing his daughter, while the mother is hiding her face in the glass from which she is drinking. In another a maiden stands with an open letter in the sunlight that streams in through the window. There is a whole story told in this expressive but hardly pretty picture. These


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painters have worked in pure joy, without ulterior motive, on scenes like these taken from ordinary life, and have given them the charm of poetry and art, now sadly, now merrily, with the most delicate execution. Terburg has attained the highest per- fection of them all, especially in his painting of fabrics, the light on the satin of a dress or bodice, and often painted just for the sake of showing these effects.

Jan Steen shrewdly lights up scenes from low life with a poetic humour, as he tells us a little story, or represents merriment so charmingly that nobody can help laughing. The personal idiosyncrasies of the Dutch bourgeois are humorously portrayed on his canvases, from the self-satisfied pomposity of the burgo- master to the stolid stupidity of his cook. In the minute perfec- tion of his details, and still more in the expression of character in his faces, Jan Steen is unsurpassed even among the Dutch school. Adrian van Ostade and his brother, Isaac van Ostade, delineate in as warm and powerful tones, and with equal careful execution, the out-of-door life of peasants, their gatherings at the alehouse doors, drinking bouts, and scenes of wild merriment.

But these illustrations of domestic life do not form the whole of Dutch art ; we find other painters who drew their whole inspiration from nature. This flat, uniform country, with its canals and its dykes, its level meadows, its straight roads and formal lines of trees, seems at first singularly wanting in beauty, compared with the snow-capped mountains and rocky gorge, the undulating wooded hills and flowery valleys of other lands ; but when we look at the landscapes of Albert Cuyp, which show us these things, we are forced to confess that we have been mistaken. It is but a gross and blunted view of God's works which sees beauty only in the colossal or extraordinary. " God is not in the earthquake, nor in the fire ; but in the still small voice. It is in the quiet and subdued passages of unobtrusive majesty, the deep, the calm, the perpetual,

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that which must be sought ere seen, and loved ere it is under- stood ; things which the angels work out for us daily, and yet vary eternally ; which are never wanting, and never repeated ; which are to be found always, yet each found but once ; it is through these that the lesson of devotion is chiefly taught, and the blessing of beauty given "

Such thoughts must in some degree occur to all of us, when we contrast this tranquil scene before us with the Tempest of Salvator Rosa. A sluggish Dutch river, a few cows tranquilly grazing or drinking at the banks, a level meadow beyond. The haze of the early morning, through which the sunlight scarcely breaks, softens every outline, and almost annihilates the separation of earth and sky. Through the mist we see the disk of the yellow sun, not yet high in the heavens, which floods the whole scene with a fresh soft light. All is so tranquil as the waters flow gently by, and the cattle ruminate in placid contentment, that in looking upon it we feel raised above the passions, the struggles and difficulties which beset our daily life, into a realm where, away from all these things, there is peace. What is it that lends such deep charm to these simple scenes ? Beautiful and natural indeed is the delineation of these quiet, contented animals ; but it is rather to the soft harmonious light which pervades the whole that its influence upon us is due. The marvellous atmospheric changes of this damp and foggy land afford the painter greater opportunities of touching our sympathies than anything that can be seen under the clear blue sky of Italy. Such mastery of the changing lights of morning, noon, and sunset, of the ever- varying effects of the atmosphere through which only we can see the world around us, we have never before met with, except in Claude. Other painters show much of the same charm. Paul Potter painted cattle with marvellous care and excellence, though he hardly gained such effects as Cuyp's by such simple means ; still his sheep, cows, and goats, now calmly still, now in


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active life, charm us and keep our attention long engaged. In much the same spirit the Vandeveldes delight in painting fishing- boats on a broad expanse of sea, sometimes buffeting the stormy waves, but more often lying with their sails flapping idly against the masts in the calm of a warm summer's day.

Wooded scenes, brooks, and water-falls form the favourite subjects of Jacob Ruysdael, and are treated with a poetic imagination, masterly composition, and harmonious unity of colouring that place him in the highest rank among landscape painters. We wonder where he could have found such subjects, living as he did amid the dykes of Haarlem and Amsterdam. But whether he was representing the scenery of Norway or of the Ardennes, his pictures have a simple charm, though their colours have grown dark with age.

Meindert Hobbema, a pupil of Ruysdael's, gives us sunny, wooded scenes, with a pool of water or a mill. His Avenue, in the National Gallery, is a delightfully characteristic Dutch landscape : a long avenue of straight-clipped trees runs up the centre of the picture, with a broad ditch on either side, and leads up to a village. On either side are plantations, and a man is seen pruning trees, while a sportsman with dog and gun is coming along the road from the village.

The people whose art has given us such a pleasant glimpse into their domestic life, had, by its resolute industry, wrested its home from the sea, had fought the stormy waves, and established its trade in distant lands, and thus attained to great prosperity. With the same indomitable force of will, the Dutch, in the i6th and i/th centuries, made themselves masters of the treasures of classical antiquity. Great thinkers, like Hugo Grotius, who won a world-wide renown as jurist, philosopher, statesman, historian, and poet, bear witness to this. Moreover, poetry flourished among them, and was cultivated in the domestic circles of well-to-do men


332 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

and cultivated women. One of their most celebrated poets, Baudel, originally a weaver, won himself a position by his talent and energy. In the same way humour played its part in Holland, as is shown by the native epic of Reynard the Fox. On ground like this, kindly domestic life became doubly dear to soldiers returning home after the long and hard struggle for the noblest blessings of mankind, religious and national freedom. For to this comfortable domestic life it is that their painters introduce us. They show it to us in the fullest detail, with great appreciation of character and delicacy of execution, and with bold humour delineate the wildest scenes of low life. Only the most loving and quiet observation could thus truly and faithfully reveal the poetry of trifles ; only a true and hearty delight in nature could give such an inexplicable enchantment to the simplest forms of landscape.



CHAPTER XXXI. FRENCH PAINTING.

FN the I4th and I5th centuries, painting in France had but an intermittent and feeble life, and consisted chiefly in imita- tions of Flemish and Italian work, and was practically confined to miniatures in manuscripts. It was only when the Italian wars of Charles VIII. and Francis I. brought before the eyes of the French kings the treasures of Italian art that the French school really had a beginning. Francis I. brought back with him Italian painters to decorate his chateau of Fontainebleau ; among these was Leonardo da Vinci, who was still at work in France when he died in 1519. ,-X

The Italian painter who enjoyed the greatest fame in France was Francisco Primaticcio, a Bolognese artist, who worked at Fontainebleau for upwards of twenty years. At the same time that is, in the middle of the i6th century two independent painters were at work, Jean Cousin and Frangois Clouet ; the former, a man of great moderation and severe taste ; the latter, the third of a family of artists of Belgian origin, who painted with extreme attention to details, and whose portraits have sometimes been attributed to Holbein and Mabuse.

The succeeding generation of painters followed the Italians, either studying at Rome or at Fontainebleau, where there was

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a rich collection of Italian paintings formed by Primaticcio for Francis I. These painters, Simon Vouet, Valentin, Perrier, Callot and le Nain, attached themselves principally to the school of Caravaggio, but on the whole they are crude in colour and super- ficial in style.

The greatest of French painters, Nicholas Poussin, though con- temporary with these men and their successors, lived outside the influences which affected them. Although he did not get to Rome till he was thirty years old, he formed his style upon his studies there. Slowly he worked out a style of his own, influenced much by Giulio Romano, less by Titian, but most of all by the antique. With a view to grasping thoroughly the spirit of antiquity, he read eagerly the classics, studied ancient sculpture and architecture, and worked hard at anatomy. His antiquarian learning is most profound, but does not in any degree lessen the picturesque effect of his work. Let us look at one of his pictures in the Louvre, the Arcadie. Three shepherds and a shepherdess are grouped about a tomb, and the kneeling shepherd has just read to his companions the inscription upon it, " Et in Arcadia ego " (I too lived in Arcadia). The solemn warning of the presence of death strikes them all with sudden sadness. The landscape is in harmony with the painter's thought, and expresses the same melancholy feeling. This is a good typical example of Poussin's work ; he has always a clear, definite thought to express, and expresses it with a unity of composition, a sobriety of judg- ment, and a rigid adherence to truth of detail that is quite excep- tional. The moral or philosophic motive is always the first con- sideration: he is never content to give a mere realistic reproduction of nature. His landscape is always full of accurate detail: sky, tree, and flower are all faithfully studied from nature, but always sub- ordinate to the leading motive. It is in his classical subjects that Poussin is seen at his best ; in his religious pictures, the absence of


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ideal imagination and enthusiasm are conspicuous, and some of his virgins are beneath contempt. In colouring, he avoided the rich- ness of the Venetians, and is often cold and dull. In this, as in his other characteristics, he is typical of the French school.

Eustache le Sueur is an exception among French painters, in that he appeals to the emotions rather than the intellect, and displays a deep religious fervour in his sacred subjects.

Charles le Brun is the most celebrated painter of the age of Louis XIV. He studied under Poussin, and for some time so closely followed his master that some of his works were attributed to him ; but after his return to Paris, he worked in a somewhat different direction, producing a vast number of works, all, however, with the same characteristics. The first important pictures he executed for the king formed a series representing the life of Alexander pictures planned on a vast scale, and with much osten- tation. They have great technical merits, and show great power of invention and vivid expression of movement. But there is want- ing in them that reality of feeling which alone could entitle them to rank as great works of art. Though we admire the correctness of the drawing and the grandeur of the conception, the pictures of Le Brun entirely fail to move us.

Le Brun's chief rival was Pierre Mignard, who first gained his reputation as a painter of historical pictures in the style of Caracci, but became more famous for his portraits, in which he displays, to an unusual degree, the art of flattering his sitter without losing the likeness. His painting was smooth and highly finished, and his colouring harmonious.

The theatrical style of Le Brun and the affectation of Mignard were both imitated and exaggerated by their successors. Philippe de Champagne alone, of the fashionable painters at Paris, painted seriously and with moderation. His landscapes are transparent in colouring, and show some feeling for nature ; his portraits of


536 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII. set before us the very men as they lived and moved.

Although Poussin's landscapes are most truthful and harmonious, they were surpassed by the work of his younger contemporary, Claude Gellee, commonly known as Claude Lorraine. Like Poussin, Claude belongs to the French school only in name. For the whole of his long life he lived and worked at Rome, painting the scenery of the Campagna. His pictures generally represent tranquil scenes with open distance in the centre, and masses of trees or masonry enclosing the composition on either side. In the foreground or middle distance he generally places figures or cattle, but rarely gives them sufficient prominence to distract the attention from the landscape itself. Classical ruins are almost invariably used by him as accessories in the limits of the composition ; his favourite tree is the evergreen oak, one of the most common trees in the neighbourhood of Rome. In his early pictures the tone of the colour is cold and bluish with silvery light, but gradually his colours grew warmer and more golden as he attempted, with increasing boldness, to represent the golden hues and rich atmos- pheric effects of the rising or setting sun. The sunlight playing on the waves, or illuminating the foliage, or glistening amid the morning dew, were the themes that he loved to paint. Claude's sun- light seems pale and faint by the side of the rich glow that in this century Turner and his successors have dared to attempt to repro- duce ; but it is beautiful and true within the limits to which he, perhaps wisely, confined himself. Claude's fame was as great during his lifetime as it has been since his death, and numbers of imitations of his works were passed off as his own. It was to frustrate these tricks that he adopted the habit of keeping those sketches in sepia of every picture that he painted, which form his " Liber Veritatis."

The historical school of Le Brun passed, in the days of Louis


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XV., into further mannerisms and greater disregard for truth. The qualities that characterize this decadence are brilliant colouring, inaccurate drawing, and bold but heavy composition. It is not, however, to these ambitious works that the reign of Louis XV. owes its prominent position in the history of French art, but to the charming trivialities of Watteau and his fellows. Amid the corrupt society of the regency, no place could be found for religious or historical painting ; but an art which reflected the superficial charm, the graceful manners, and the elegant frivolity of that society was from the first sure of success, as it was completely representative of the spirit of the times.

It is, then, to the fetes chainpetres and galantes of Watteau, Lancret, and Pater, that we must look for the best painting of the time. Elegant and fashionably dressed ladies and gentlemen dance gracefully amid artificial sylvan scenes upon the canvases of Watteau ; but trivial as are his subjects, there is a charming grace and touch of nature about his treatment of them that saves him from vulgarity or triviality, and gives him an enduring posi- tion. Lancret and Pater treated similar subjects without the delicate genius of Watteau.

Watteau shows us only the amiable and charming side of society in the i8th century, the coarse and vicious side is to be seen on the canvases of Frangois Boucher, overlaid, indeed, with a grace and charm worthy of Watteau. The versatile genius of Jean Honore Fragonard rivalled Watteau in the poetic feeling of some of his fttes galantes, and in others surpassed Boucher in indecency ; his work is the culmination of this graceful style which alone brightens up the decadence of the i8th century.

Two painters, indeed, returned from this artificial society to the truthful representation of real life : Jean Baptiste Chardin, who for his firm, truthful, unaffected painting, the direct simplicity of his composition, and, above all, the genuine humour which pervades


338 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

all his work, has been justly called the French Hogarth ; and Jean Baptiste Greuze, who is best known among us for the charming but mannered heads of girls that are to be seen in every public or private collection. His juster fame is as a painter of simple scenes of bourgeois life "The Village Bridegroom/' "The Father explaining the Bible to his Children," and many others, scenes often full of exaggerated sentiment, frequently showing weaknesses of execution, but always touching and graceful. G It is, however, not to these men, but to Jacques Louis David, that the reform of French painting is due. The excavations of Pompeii, which were begun in the middle of the eighteenth century, and the consequent studies of Greek art, the results of which were embodied in Winckelmann's Treatise and Lessing's famous Essay, gave a new impulse to the study of ancient art. When David went as a student at Rome, Canova was already at work there. Although much had been discovered at that time, the works from which David and Canova studied represented the decadence of Greek art ; and thus we find in David's pictures a somewhat affected and effeminate type of figure. From these studies he learned to draw accurately, but he never so thoroughly mastered the real spirit of his models as to be able to give life and action to his figures. He painted scenes like the Sabine Women, taken from classical antiquity, but they are wanting in life and reality. /""~Uavid's really great merit is not so much in what he achieved himself, as in having broken away from the affectations and the indecency of the preceding generation, and in having taught his successors to draw with severe accuracy a lesson greatly needed without imposing upon them his own faults and idiosyncracies. -Of his pupils, Francois Gerard was the most famous, both for portraits and historical pictures. His best work, the Entry of Henry IV. into Paris, is excellently grouped, accurately drawn, and shows great ability in the variety of expressions on the faces.


FRENCH PAINTING. 339 .

Of the contemporaries of David, several followed the classical tendency, but without carrying it to the same excess ; of these, J. B. Regnault, P. N. Guerin, and P. P. Prudhon, were the most celebrated. Prudhon studied the works of Raphael and Correggio, and painted some charming pictures in imitation of the latter.

The reaction against the classical school in favour of an art more directly inspired by life and nature, and more in harmony with the spirit of the age, began among David's own pupils. The romantic movement in literature began within a few years of the fall of the empire, and went on growing till the middle of the century under the leadership of Victor Hugo. The first impulse showed itself in Baron Gros, a pupil of David, who, beginning by clothing classical figures in modern dress, came to exhibit in his work a high degree of life and movement. This is to be seen at its best in the pictures of the Napoleonic wars " Napoleon visiting the Plague-stricken Soldiers at Jaffa," and " Napoleon at Eylau." In the former, the contrasts of colour between the brilliant uniform and the pallid features of the sufferers is most striking, and the energy of expression remarkable.

Baron Gros, on the death of David, in 1815, accepted the head- ship of his school, and returned to his master's manner.

Theodore Gericault, whose famous picture of the " Raft of the Medusa " strikes every visitor to the Louvre, returned to the study of nature without altogether breaking away from the tradition of David. In the figures of the dying and suffering men, we can see both the vivid study of nature and passion, and the influence of the Greek ideal.

The influence of) David was combined with the love of nature in J. A. Domenique Ingres, and the union produced the most perfect work of the French school. He seized, far more deeply than his master, the beauty of ancient statues, and his figures, though classic, are endowed with life and character. His colouring


340 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

is slight, and wanting in lights and shadows. A beautiful figure, La Source, begun in early life, and finished not long before his death, embodies all his best characteristics, and has been called the finest figure in the French school.

The real leader of the romantic school was Eugene Delacroix, a brilliant colourist, caring more for colour than for accuracy or beauty of drawing. Thoroughly imbued with the ideas of the romantic school, he sought inspiration in Dante and Byron. Care- less of the ideal form, and occupied in endowing his figures with individual character, his forms are often entirely wanting in beauty. Ary Scheffer, his fellow-pupil under Guerin, tended to a poetic mysticism, and, unlike Delacroix, made colour and effect sub- ordinate to the sentiment he had to express. His Francesca da Rimini, in the collection of Sir R. Wallace, is a beautiful example of the intense sympathy with which he worked out an idea.

Paul Delaroche, with far more limited genius, succeeded in mastering a small field. Choosing well-known subjects from history, he tells the story dramatically, with great accuracy and fulness of detail : for example, in the " Death of the Duke of Guise," " Cinq Mars led to Execution," the " Execution of Mary Stuart," and " Stafford leaving the Tower," at Stafford House. His sacred pictures painted in later life are full of tenderness and pathos, and free from trickery ; except the well-known " Christian Martyr," in which the attitude of the principal figure is unreal and im- possible.

Horace Vernet, the grandson of Joseph Vernet, the painter of the great battle pieces, at Versailles, gained an easy reputation by the brilliancy and facility of his work. It was not, however, till after the age of forty that he took up the decisive line by which he is now known the representation of scenes of Algerian and military life. Every one who has visited the Luxembourg will remember the striking picture of the Desert Post, the camel advancing


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out of the picture with its long shambling trot, the Arab rider balancing himself easily above the saddle.

The modern French landscape school, which has achieved such remarkable successes, traces its parentage to the English, especially to Constable and Bonington, whose works were first exhibited in Paris in 1824. The first great pioneer of landscape painting in France was Theodore Rousseau. He painted nature in all her variety, forest or heath, mountain, plain, or river, under all aspects of light or darkness ; but above all he loved the sunset and sunrise, and the accompanying aerial effects. It is in the imaginative, poetic treatment of nature that Camille Corot is pre-eminent. In his striving after harmony, he often treated details witk-~great vagueness, and overspread the whole picture with a misty haze. In general, though the general effect is imaginative, the details are accurately studied from nature.

Allied to Corot and Rousseau in friendship and in sympathy, but still more by the contemptuous neglect with which they were treated by the public in their lifetime, Jean Francois Millet, the peasant painter, worked on without discouragement painting the life of his fellow-men, the peasants of Barbizon. Representing nature with absolute fidelity, his sympathetic imagination enabled him to perceive the modern labourer with something of the eye of Michelangelo. His figures are simple peasants, but they have also the grandeur and sublime dignity of the antique. Millet seems so deeply impressed with the sublime dignity of labour, that man and nature seem with him to form a harmony of which both are necessary factors. The " Angelus," his most famous picture, represents simply two peasants at the end of their day's toil bowing the head before God at the sound of the evening bell ; the deep pathos which breathes through the realism of this picture can be felt, but not described.

Many of the landscape painters were attracted by the bright


342 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

lights and brilliant effects of African and Oriental scenery: foremost among these stands Decamps, the first artist of note in the new- realistic landscape school. He and Marilhat, a painter trained in the classic school, were the first to discover and study Eastern effects. Eugene Fromentin did the same for Algeria Arab chiefs and horses in spirited action, and the desert in all its phases, formed his subject. No more brilliant effort to paint the wind has ever been made than his Sorocco. Many were the new and beautiful harmonies of colour that he discovered in this field.

Intense vividness of impression, and an extraordinary mastery of brilliant colour, characterize the pictures of Henri Regnault, the promising young painter whose career was cut short in the war of 1871. His latest and most famous picture, the "Moorish Execution," is dazzling in effect of colour. The very brilliancy helps to diminish the horror of the scene, which is represented frankly, without any attempt to soften its brutality. The execu- tioner is calmly wiping his sword, while the head and bleeding trunk roll upon the marble step. The oriental indifference to suffering pervades the picture, and takes possession also of the spectator.

With this picture we may leave the French school. Its living representatives have followed out the direction indicated by Regnault, they seek technical difficulties for the sake of con- quering them : attempt strange and striking effects of colour, and choose, by preference, horrible and revolting subjects.


DD



GODFREY DE BOUILLON APPROACHING JERUSALEM. BY W. V. KAULBACH.

[To face p. 343.


CHAPTER XXXII.

ART IN TPJE EIGHTEENTH AND NINETEENTH CENTURIES.

GERMAN PAINTING. SCULPTURE.

'"T^HE great German painters of the sixteenth century left no

  • worthy successors ; the importance of Germany in art in the

days of Holbein and Durcr did not survive them. After the death of Holbein, German painters became mere imitators of the great Italians. A few of them enjoyed a great reputation during their lifetime, which has not been confirmed by the judgment of posterity. Heinrich Goltzius, the engraver, for example, painted pictures in imitation of Michelangelo, and produced results false, distorted and extravagant. Johann Rothenheimer copied Tinto- retto, and produced works of some merit, one of which, Pan and Syrinx, is to be seen in the National Gallery.

A painter of far greater merit and originality, Adam Elzheimer, formed for himself a style of landscape painting in which he was unrivalled. His landscapes usually contain historical figures, and are finished with exquisite minuteness ; his drawing of the figure is correct ; his design, though conventional, displays great taste, and his colouring is of great beauty. Rubens had a great admira- tion for his work, and bought many of his pictures. David Teniers the elder is said to have been greatly indebted to him.

Balthazzar Denner enjoyed, during his own time, a great repu-


344 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

tation as a portrait painter, and worked for many German princes. He also visited England on the invitation of George I. His por- traits are only interesting as curiosities of minute execution.

Dietrich is a copyist and imitator chiefly of Van Ostade and Gerard Dow, but also of painters of other schools Sal vator Rosa, Watteau, and Raphael. In the National Gallery, there is one of his best works The Itinerant Musicians. But it was as a land- scape painter, imitating the style of Berghem or Claude, that he was most successful.

The most admired German painter of the eighteenth century was Anton Raphael Mengs. The son of a painter, he was brought up to his art almost from the cradle, and received the severest training in the school of the great Italian masters, a training which was successful in making him far superior to his contemporaries in taste, judgment, and execution. But though better than his contemporaries, he is far from meriting the extravagant praise lavished upon him by the critics of his time, as his work is without originality or depth of feeling. His copies from Raphael's frescoes are admirable ; his best original work, the Apotheosis of Trajan one of a number of works with which he decorated the royal palaces in Spain.

A painter of far greater creative power and mind Asmus Jacob Carstens struggled during his short life against adverse fortune, and died just as he seemed to be achieving success. His compositions are marked by a severe simplicity and fine poetic conception. It was not until the latter years of his life that he succeeded in reaching Rome, and the benefit that he gained from the study of Raphael and Michelangelo is evident in his beautiful work, " The Visit of the Argonauts to the Centaur Chiron."

Carstens was the immediate forerunner of the German revival, of which Friedrich Overbeck was the leader. We have already seen how a revival took place in French art under David, at the



ECCE HOMO. STEINLE.



HEAD OF CHRIST. OVERBECK.


[To face p. 345.


GERMAN ART, EIGHTEENTH & NINETEENTH CENTURIES. 345

beginning of the nineteenth century : a movement connected, of course, with the political and literary activity of the time of the revolution, but drawing its immediate inspiration from the researches of Winckelmann and others into the history of ancient art, and the antique statues and reliefs that the explorations of the eighteenth century had brought to light at Rome. The German school at Rome was founded some ten years later than the begin- ning of the French revival, at the time when the romantic move- ment was in full force. Friedrich Schlegel, the leading spirit of the Romantic school in literature, was the critic who heralded the new school of German art. The avowed tendency of the school was preraphaelite, it being distinctly laid down by its leaders that the decadence of art began from Raphael; and that, therefore, to find a pure source of inspiration it is necessary to go back to the teachers and predecessors of Raphael. Full of deep devotional feeling, and strongly impressed by the writings of Schlegel, Overbeck soon adopted the principles he preached, both in painting and in reli- gion, entered the Catholic Church, took up his residence in Rome, and studied Fra Angelico. He endeavoured to adapt antique forms and Raphael's types to the mystic style of the Florentine monk. He worked laboriously, and elaborately corrected his designs. His works are marked by considerable delicacy of inven- tion, but they are generally cold and mannered. Like his suc- cessors, Cornelius and Kaulbach, he is no colourist.

Peter von Cornelius studied at Rome in the school founded by Overbeck, and did even more than the latter to determine the character of the modern German school.

Overbeck was chiefly followed in Diisseldorf; Cornelius in Munich. His work is characterized by extraordinary grandeur of design, devotional feeling, and profound knowledge. The vast opportunities offered to him at Munich in the immense wall-spaces that he was called upon by King Louis to decorate with frescoea


346 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.


suited the grandeur of his style. His drawing of the figure is very accurate, but often academic and lifeless. The vast mythological compositions on the walls of the Glyptothek at Munich are his finest works.

Cornelius' most famous pupil, Wilhehn von Kaulbach, is inferior to his master in all the qualities that go to make a great painter. Like Cornelius, he is most ambitious in his designs, and has had the opportunity of covering vast wall-spaces with frescoes. His drawing is accurate, but tends to abstraction, and is wanting in the spontaneity of life ; he has caught much of the poetic symbolical style of his master. His principal works, "The Battle of the Huns," and the " Destruction of Jerusalem," have both been re- peated by him in the series of frescoes on the grand staircase of the Berlin Museum. The latter is an excellent example of the attempt the chief characteristic of the modern German school to unite the real with the ideal, in contrast to the strict realism of modern French and English schools. "The Destruction of Jerusalem" is indicated by Titus planting the Roman eagle upon the high altar. Above the eagle are seen the prophets who foretold the dispersion of the Jews. In the central foreground the priests recognising the fulfilment of prophecy, kill themselves in despair, and Jewish women are weeping for the calamities that have come upon them, and the desecration of the Lord's house. To the right, angeh; are conducting the Christians safely from the fallen city, amid a bright light that foreshadows their ultimate triumph. To the left, the wandering Jew, the type of the eternal remorse of those who have failed to recognise the new Light of the world, as in the act of flight. Far more successful than these abstractions is Kaulbach's- animal drawing in the illustrations to Goethe's Version of the old beast epic of Reineke Fuchs, though these and his other illus- trations to Goethe display an extraordinary lack of right feeling for the distribution of light and shade.


GERMAN ART, EIGHTEENTH & NINETEENTH CENTURIES. 347




In sculpture there has been in modern times really only one school, the members of which belong to various nations, but all- alike have studied at Rome, and founded their style upon the antique; each individual may have displayed in his work something of his national character, but there has been no sufficient separa- tion to make it desirable to treat of them according to their nationalities. The first to return to purity of style, and truth to- nature, was Antonio Canova, of Venice. His works are marked by a simplicity of design and grace of line worthy of the highest admiration. They are not, however, free from affectation in atti- tude and expression. His male figures are somewhat effeminate, and his female figures approximate rather to the types of the later Greek schools. This is no doubt due to the fact that the antiques known in his time belonged all to the Roman reproductions of originals of the later Greek schools, the works of the grand style being then entirely unknown. It was only a few years before his. death that he came to England to see the Elgin marbles.

Contemporary with Canova, and far inferior to him in execution- and the technical treatment of the marble, John Flaxman ap- proached far nearer to the severe simplicity and grandeur of the antique. Indeed, for purity of design Flaxman is the greatest of modern sculptors, and the simple nobility of his life and work command our love and admiration. In the earlier years of his life he was engaged in making designs for the Wedgwoods, to be executed in that beautiful ware which holds a unique position in the history of English industrial art During a seven years' sojourn at Rome he studied the antique, and produced his famous series of designs illustrative of the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Divine Comedy. During the same period he produced several beautiful marble groups, - the Cephalus, Aurora, and Athamas. After his return to England, he devoted himself chiefly to low- reliefs of subjects from the New Testament and sepulchral monu-


348 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

ments, in which, from his deep devotional disposition, he was pre- -eminently happy. The most famous works of his later life were the Shield of Achilles and the Archangel Michael subduing Satan, 'two of the most splendid achievements of modern sculpture. The 4atter work, and many of his original plaster designs and drawings, -are collected at University College, London, where alone an .adequate idea of his work can be formed.

A few years later there came to Rome Thorwaldsen, a young Dane, in whom Canova recognised an equal, and even acknow- ledged that Thorwaldsen's work approached nearer to grand style -than his own. Thorwaldsen made his mark by a statue of Jason, -and obtained a commission to execute it in marble at the very moment when, at the end of his resources, he was on the point of tleaving Rome and giving up the attempt to gain his living as a -sculptor. His native town is filled with his statues.



THE SEASONS. THORWALDSEN.


[To face p.


CHAPTER XXXIII.

ART IN ENGLAND IN THE EIGHTEENTH AND NINETEENTH CENTURIES.

BEFORE the end of the seventeenth century, Architecture in England as elsewhere had ceased to be original. In the time of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth a great change took place in secular architecture : the firm government of the Tudors gave rise to so widespread a feeling of security, that the necessity for the fortification of the house of the nobles seemed to have passed away : the feudal castle was replaced by the modern mansion. At the same time frequent intercourse with Italy led to the introduction of Renascence forms and ornaments, which became grafted on to the Gothic design, and thus formed the style that we call Elizabethan. The examples of this style are very numerous in England. Holland House, Kensington, Hardwick in Derby- shire, Knowle near Sevenoaks, and Burleigh and Hatfield, the homes of the two branches of the house of Cecil, are among the most famous. Some houses built at this time are entirely Renascence, and were, like Longleat, designed and carried out by Italian architects. By the time of Charles I. the Renascence style had entirely prevailed, and all the work of Inigo Jones was purely classic. His grand design for Whitehall Palace was un- fortunately never carried out, and the Chapel Royal, originally the Banqueting Hall, is all that remains of the magnificent

349


350 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

palace he conceived. This fragment is, however, sufficiently- beautiful to justify the high reputation Inigo Jones enjoyed.

The fire of London gave Sir Christopher Wren exceptional opportunities. Not only did he rebuild St. Paul's Cathedral, but he also designed a large number of churches in the city, many of which are worthy monuments of his genius. The square church of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, with its graceful dome and elegant proportions ; the spires of Bow Church and St. Benetfink the first Renascence spires are all indications of practical ability and invention of the architect. St. Paul's is only second to St. Peter's at Rome among the domed cathedrals of the Renascence. Externally indeed it is superior : in its unity of design, in the beauty of the colonnade which surrounds the base of the dome, and in the success with which the dome, which surmounts the centre of the cross, is from every point of view the dominant feature of the building. The western towers and portico are excellently adapted in size and design to accord with the rest of the structure. Internally, the want of decoration gives an impression of cold and bareness. The construction shows many evidences of ingenious and economical contrivances, especially the brick cone between the inner and outer domes which supports the weight of the stone lantern and cross. After Wren's time the classic architecture in England became heavier and more ornate, though in the middle of the last century some excellent work is to be found, as the Church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, and the Radcliffe Library at Oxford.

In the time of Queen Anne a curious hybrid style of house building arose semi-gothic, with debased Renascence ornament, executed generally in red brick. Of late years this style has been revived and widely applied to domestic architecture, but now a tendency is showing itself to seek better examples in the Netherlands




ART IN ENGLAND. 351


It is in the eighteenth century that the English school of painting first established its reputation. Previously painting had indeed been admired and patronized in England ; but without the result of developing a school of original native painters. Foreign painters of various schools came over and worked in England. Henry VIII. and the nobles and merchants of his time live on the canvas of Holbein ; the Court of Charles I. has been immortalized by Vandyck ; the beauties of the reign of Charles II. were por- trayed by Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller. Holbein, Rubens, and Vandyck paid long visits to England and found nowhere more munificent patronage. The private galleries of England rival their native countries in the works of these painters. Lely and Kneller took up their residence permanently in Eng- land, and painted portraits, not, indeed, entirely without merit, but for the most part false in sentiment, stilted in attitude, and full of extravagant and ridiculous allegory. These and other foreign painters did, indeed, attract pupils, but none whose reputa- tions have endured.

Sir James Thornhill is the earliest English painter whose works, by the fact that they still remain before our eyes on the dome of St. Paul's and the walls of Greenwich Hospital, are not entirely forgotten. His drawing is correct, and his pictures have some thing of the facile grandeur of the school of Le Brun.

The English school, at the beginning, can scarcely be said to have any common style or character : those painters who did not travel to Italy came under the influence of the great masters of other schools through the study of their works in the private galleries of England. Our first great painter, however, came little under foreign influence : William Hogarth is of all English painters the most national and the most original. He owes as little to his predecessors in England as to foreign masters ; his style and his execution are alike his own. Of those qualities

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352 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

that go to form a style he cared little. He thought nothing of colour, or design, or composition ; his only care was to tell his story truly, fully, and vigorously, and to point a plain moral, emphasized and brought home by every detail of the picture. Hogarth, in painting, like his contemporary Fielding in literature, displayed that earnestness of purpose which is to be found in all the best of English literature, and which displays itself in direct, vigorous preaching. As a boy, Hogarth was apprenticed to a silver engraver, but after working through his apprenticeship his natural tastes led him to devote himself to working on copper. He was an engraver before he was a painter, and many of his best plates were never executed with the brush. His best pictures consist in those series, engraved and painted, which tell simple moral stones: "The Industrious and Idle Apprentice," "The Rake's Progress," " The Harlot's Progress," " The Marriage a la Mode." The latter, which is in the National Gallery, we will examine in some detail. It consists of six pictures. The first, " Signing the Marriage Contract," is the opening act of the drama. The old earl, his gouty foot raised on a footstool, and his crutch resting on the back of the chair, is evidently making clear to the bride's father the honour that is being done him in being allowed to unite his daughter with a family of such importance and antiquity, and a personage so noble and dignified as himself. The money that lies on the table before him, part of the price of this favour, appears entirely beneath his notice. The old trades- man, however, is too much occupied with the contract itself to pay attention to his lordship's person or pedigree. To the left the Viscount and his bride are seated side by side on a causeuse, in a manner that promises little future happiness ; the bridegroom, in face and attitude the type of senseless affected dandyism, is turning away to look at himself in the mirror, at the same time taking a pinch of snuff with the grand air of a French marquis



.MASKS OF DYING WARRIORS. SCHLUTER. [TofdCep. 352.


ART IN ENGLAND. 353


of the old school. The worn-out libertine is unmistakably a gentleman. The bride, one of the prettiest figures that Hogarth ever painted, with an air of ennui and indifference is playing with a ring that she has slipped off her finger, and is swinging on her handkerchief, while listlessly attending to the flattering words of the handsome young advocate at her side. Through the window are to be seen the new buildings, begun on a magnificent scale, in classical style, and left unfinished for want of money, and now to be completed at the cost of the parvenu ; on the walls are pictures which satirize the prevailing taste of connoisseurs, especially the allegorical portraits of the school of Lely and Kneller, a fine example of which is to be seen in the Earl's noble ancestor decorated with all his orders, wielding the thunder of Jove. A cloud of floating draperies surrounds him, between his legs is a cannon, from which the ball is just issuing. The next scene shows us the domestic life of the newly wedded pair, seated on either side of the hearth : the lady yawning, the husband showing in face and attitude the utter disgust and weariness that follow a night spent in debauchery. The old steward going out with his account books and bundles of unpaid bills, holds up his hands in horror at the proceedings of the house. The inner room still retains the disorder in which it was left early in the morning at the conclusion of the lady's entertainment ; in the foreground is lying a chair with a guitar and music that had been upset in the confusion. The decoration of the rooms is a satire on the indiscriminate taste for collecting pictures and bric-a-bac so common in the last century. The pictures and ornaments are as ill-assorted as their owners. A row of three saints is followed by some mythological subject which, even in this house, has to be hidden by a curtain ; a broken-nosed Roman emperor on the chimney-piece half conceals a picture of Cupid playing the bag-pipes, and is supported on either side by crowds


354 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

of Egyptian and Chinese figures. Nowhere in the whole history of art is a figure to be found more true to nature and more tragic in its uncompromising realism than that of the " Viscount." It is generally considered Hogarth's highest achievement. The third scene, "The Visit to the Quack Doctor," shows the personal punishment of vice, and is not essential to the story. In the fourth, "The Levee of the Countess," we see another stage in the lady's career, the Councillor in attendance upon her whispering and making an assignation while she is in the hands of her coiffeur. Other ladies and gentlemen are present, in toilette de matin, with curl papers in their hair, drink chocolate and listen to an Italian singer ; and in the foreground to the right a little negress is playing with a basketful of curios just arrived from an auction, and points laughingly to the horns of a figure of Acteon. Events move quickly to the fifth scene, in which the Countess has been discovered by the Earl in the arms of her lover after a masquerade ; a duel has been fought on the spot, and the Earl mortally wounded. The moment chosen is when the lover is seen escaping by the window just as the police, alarmed by the noise, are breaking in at the door of the Countess, terrified in kneeling before her husband, imploring forgiveness. Here, as usual, the details are given with Hogarth's unsparing fidelity the bareness of the room, the confusion of articles of dress and toilette, the masks and other trumpery enhance the tragedy. The lighting in this picture is most skilful. Light is thrown partly by the fire which is out of the picture to the left, by a candle in the background near the window, and by the policeman's lantern. In the last plate the Countess is seen in her father's house over- looking the river : a paper and a bottle on the ground at her feet show us that, having learnt that her lover had been hanged, she has taken poison. While she is still alive, her father, true to his character, is taking the rings from her fingers ; the doctor, re-


ART IN ENGLAND. 355


gardless of his patient now beyond his skill, is quarrelling with the servant who bought the poison ; the old nurse alone shows some natural feeling as she holds the poor child upon whom its parents' sins are visited, to receive its mother's last embrace. The starving dog avails himself of the opportunity, rare in this thrifty house, to carry of! the joint from the table. The coarse and grotesque Dutch pictures upon the walls, the meanness of the furniture, the alderman's gown, his pipe and broken punch bowl, tell in the clearest terms the character of the father. This last act completes the retribution which Hogarth relentlessly shows to be the consequence of folly and sin. The description here given can only convey a slight idea of the completeness with which this story is told by Hogarth ; the pictures themselves should be studied. Hogarth, like Fielding, looks facts in the face and speaks out clearly and without prudery about them, in a way that is likely to shock this fastidious age, which cannot bear that evil should be spoken of at all.

Some of Hogarth's portraits are excellent, especially when his sympathy with the character of his sitter and his sense of humour came to his aid. Among them we may note Captain Coram, the founder of the Foundling Hospital, Garrick as Richard III., and in his own character, and John Wilkes. The latter a brilliant caricature embodying all Wilkes' vices. In his historical pictures, which are indeed of little value, his humour finds play ; as for example in his Danae, in which the old nurse is biting a piece of gold to see if it is genuine.

The painters who follow Hogarcii owe little to him ; whatever influence he had in the succeeding generation is to be seen rather among the caricaturists than the painters, in the work of Gillray and Rowlandson rather than in that of Reynolds and Gains- borough. Hogarth, indeed, has the credit of having dealt the death blow to the falsehood and pompous absurdity of the school


3,6 A SHOR7 HISTORY OF ART.

of painting which he found in existence, a merit which we shall easily underestimate if we do not reflect on the persistency of error, and the force of established authority. In doing this he attacked the old masters, represented in England by bad copies and forgeries or originals darkened and hidden with varnish veritable " black masters," and as he says himself " grew so profane as to admire nature beyond the finest production of art."

At the time when the Royal Academy was founded, in 1768, Hogarth had been dead four years, and there were three great painters living who were then at the height of their power and fame, Wilson, Reynolds, and Gainsborough : the former standing alone and working, with little encouragement from his con- temporaries, at ideal landscape ; the two latter dividing between them the fame and profit of portrait painters to London Society.

Sir Joshua Reynolds, son of a clergyman and schoolmaster, succeeded by industry and good fortune in obtaining an early opportunity of visiting Italy and studying the Italian masters. He thus formed for himself an eclectic style, with a certain pre- dilection for the grace and delicacy of Gorreggio, but with a thorough knowledge of what was right and true in art, and a complete command of colour. Unfortunately his fondness for experimenting in the use of pigments, in his anxiety to rival the Venetians, especially his frequent use of bitumen, has so damaged the colouring of most of his pictures that it is difficult to realize its full beauty. On his return from Italy he rapidly gained the leading position among the portrait painters of his time, and for the rest of his long life was the idol of society, portraying upon his canvases all the leading men, fashionable ladies, and charming children of nearly half a century. It is a striking evidence of the thoroughness of his genius, that amid a success so easily gained, and living in a constant atmosphere of social flattery, his hand never lost its cunning, and his work retained its simplicity


ART IN ENGLAND. 3$T

and directness, never degenerating into the facile flattering grace into which it is so easy for a fashionable portrait painter to fall. It is in the treatment of the tender relation of mother and child that the charm and grace of Sir Joshua's style rise to their highest achievement. This sentiment of maternal love is the secret of the beauty and attractiveness of the countless Madonnas of the great Italian painters whom Reynolds had so effectively studied. Let us look at a picture of a mother and child, " Lady Galway and her Three-year-old Son." The lady appears walking across the canvas carrying her child on her shoulder : there is no pose, she is walking, and the painter seems to have caught her image as she passes. She is young, hardly more than a girl, retaining much of the grace and simplicity of maidenhood. Her head, in less than profile, stands out against the foliage tinged with autumnal gold ; her hair, just lightly touched with powder, is turned back from the roots according to the fashion of the day. A piece of gauze, striped with gold and tied gracefully beneath the chin, covers her head. From behind her ear, pink and pearly as a shell, hangs the long curl, known in the fantastic language of the toilette of the day as the repentance. The powder has been shaken off this, and it is browner than the rest of the hair, so that it throws out the rich whiteness of the neck and the delicate rose of the cheek. The costume is charming for its fresh simplicity ; a dress of white muslin, a mantle of pink taffeta. Above her shoulder her hand is raised to hold her baby, a delicate transparent hand of the most aristocratic elegance, full of life in its patrician paleness, and such as only a great colourist like Reynolds could paint. The child is marvellous : his straw hat, a halo round his head, his chin is resting on his mother's shoulder, and his face wears that air of astonishment and joy that a child shows when carried. His fore- head, shaded by loose fair hair, glows with the light of a satin skin. In his round and ruddy little face his blue eyes stand out like


358 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

two blue bells in a bouquet of roses. The rest of the canvas is filled with a background of park land, in which the red tints of the setting sun mingle amid the trees with the warm autumnal tints.

As may be supposed, Reynolds does not attain this delicate grace by elaborate and fine brush work. On the contrary, he paints in full colour at the first stroke with a brush, the free handling of which is evident. He is robust, almost violent, in his tender and exquisite passages. Almost everywhere his tones are pure, boldly laid on with the rapid decision of a master quick at grasping nature ; the accessories and the background are some- what sketchy and decorative. Nowhere does the finish efface the bold touch, the signature of genius.

Of his children's portraits, " The Age of Innocence," a little girl seated with her legs under her, and an arch half-pouting expres- sion on her face ; " The Princess Sophia Matilda," a baby lying on the ground in a most natural attitude, with one chubby arm round a shaggy little terrier, and her big eyes looking out of the canvas with a perfect babylike astonishment ; and " Penelope Boothby," quaintly seated with her hands crossed and mittened, with white dress and large white cap, broken by black sash and ribbon, from beneath which her peaceful dreamy face peers out, are all masterpieces of simplicity, truthfulness, and colour. The five heads of angels in the National Gallery, studies from a single child, are perhaps the most beautiful children's heads he ever painted, and will bear comparison with any angels of the Italian painters. They are wanting indeed in that intense devotional feeling that we have observed in the angels of Fra Angelico and Boticelli, but they are the most graceful apotheosis of the natural beauty of child nature that art has ever produced. In the language of the present day the picture might be described as a harmony in flesh colour and gold.

Let us turn now to his portraits of ladies and admire Georgiana


ART IN ENGLAND. 359


Spencer, the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, playing with her little child on her knees ; a noble example of ripe womanhood. The other portrait of this same lady, in a magnificent court dress of white satin, fringed with gold, has all the qualities worthy of its- subject, elegance, majesty, and dignity of execution. The portrait of Nellie O'Brien, painted entirely in neutral tints, has a mar- vellous charm, which seems almost to defy analysis : the face is^ wanting in regular beauty, but has an attractive and mischievous^ humour in the eyes that seems to mock at the admiration it excites.

" Mrs. Siddons, as the Tragic Muse," brings us into the region of semi-historical painting. The famous actress, seated on a throne- in a brocaded dress draped with crape, is in the act of declaiming ;. her left hand is raised, her face wears an expression of intense and haughty rapture. On either side the throne are faintly seen* the tragic masks, " Pity and Fear."

It has sometimes been the fashion to regret that circumstances made Sir Joshua a painter of portraits, and that he did not devote himself to historical painting. This regret we can hardly share after seeing the few historical pictures he has left us. Two are in the Dulwich Gallery, " Ugolino," and the " Death of Cardinal Beaufort," and these are sufficient to prove that Sir Joshua was quite incapable of attaining to any degree of success in historical art The design is stagy, and the expressions perfectly inadequate- to the tragic nature of the subject. Portraiture, with a slight setting of simple allegory, as in the well-known " Snake in the Grass," is the nearest approach which Sir Joshua can successfully make to historical or ideal art.

In his feverish anxiety to discover the " Venetian Secret,"" Reynolds never ceased to experiment in colours and media, with the result that hardly any of his pictures have retained their colour to the present day; many indeed faded during his lifetime., Thomas Gainsborough's portraits have preserved their tones far


36o A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

'better than those of his great rival. The " Mrs. Siddons," in the National Gallery, for example, has freshness of colour and an unbroken surface such as can hardly be found on a single canvas of Reynolds.

Its details are rapidly and broadly sketched as was Gains- borough's custom it was only on the face that he bestowed all the finish and elaboration that he was capable of giving yet the blue and white strips of the silk vest, the satin and ostrich feather of the hat, give without any apparent effort a most truthful impression of the texture of the material. On looking at this portrait we feel "that without Sir Joshua's art and learning Gainsborough's genius has succeeded spontaneously in giving us a picture as harmonious

  • and a portrait as truthful. This difference may be noticed, that

in the case of Mrs. Siddons, Sir Joshua shows us the genius of the actress, and Gainsborough the beauty of the woman. Numerous -are the portraits of ladies, whose tender charms and sweetness of character are revealed to us in his canvases: "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire," of whom a marvellous portrait was lost a few years since ; " Miss Graham," a wonderful speaking portrait and a magnificent example of Gainsborough's richest colouring ; and " Mrs. Halkett," an exquisite effect of light draperies in greys. These and a hundred others all share the same half melan- choly charm. The most famous example alike of Gainsborough's -portraiture and colouring is " The Blue Boy " (Master Buttall), two versions of which exist, one in the collection of the Duke of Westminster. The attitude of the boy as he stands with his broad feathered hat swinging in his left hand, and his right hand on his hip, is the perfection of natural grace and ease. The figure is of a boy of about fifteen, but his handsome face and dark brown eyes convey the impression of a tenderness and delicacy of feeling hardly belonging to his age, and a dreamy intensity almost ^amounting to genius. In colour the rich blue of his dress is



ART IN ENGLAND. 36*

thrown out against a deep reddish-brown background, and is in effect equal to anything Vandyck ever achieved. It is usually said that Gainsborough intended this as a tour de force, in> challenge of a dictum of Reynolds that blue could not enter into a picture as the dominant colour, and that the strongest tones- should be found in the centre of the composition. It is satis- factory to find that no such motive could have existed for the- picture, as the words had not been spoken till after the "Blue Boy" was painted. One more portrait we must look at to convince ourselves of the depth of sympathetic insight to which Gains- borough's genius sometimes attained ; this is the " Parish Clerk," in> the National Gallery. The execution is as perfect, and far more robust, than that of the " Mrs. Siddons " upon the same wall ; but it is not the execution that attracts here, it is the revelation of the innermost nature of the man, the simple, earnest faith absolutely^ free from harshness and bigotry, the kindly geniality, the warmth of affection, the sympathetic breadth of mind that sometimes- comes with age. This picture shows that, in its highest flights,. Gainsborough's genius soared above the heights on which Sir Joshua walked.

Though Gainsborough's reputation depended during his life- time on his portraits, his first and favourite occupation was land- scape painting, and he was described by Sir Joshua as "our greatest landscape painter." The quality for which his landscapes- were praised by his contemporaries was the portrait-like repre- sentation of nature, a quality which in the sense of exact specific treatment of details is certainly not to be found in them. Gains- borough forsook, if indeed he ever followed, the Dutch school,, and formed a style of his own. He was not led away by hi* elder contemporary, Wilson, into following the classical ideal school of Poussin and Claude ; his love for his native Suffolk scenery saved him from that temptation. But in painting the


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streams and woods of his native country he thought more of the general character of the landscape than of the details the stratification of the rocks, the discrimination of different species of trees, the exact portraiture of foreground weeds, matters with which artists of more recent times have especially occupied -themselves.

Thirteen years older than Gainsborough, Richard Wilson has the glory of being the first of our great English landscape painters, who are the chief of our artists surpassing all other schools in their particular branch of art. Before him there had, indeed, been a few imitators of Claude and Poussin, and a few sea painters, pupils of the Van der Weldes, who had enjoyed an ephemeral reputation, but had no originality or power. Wilson, like Reynolds and Gainsborough, began life as a portrait painter ; and when in middle life his genius for landscape revealed itself, and he quitted his old pursuit, he bade farewell to profit and almost to subsistence. It was in Italy that he first adopted his new line, studying Claude and Poussin, without imitation, and working in the same field the scenery of the Campagna. He worked on the old principle, that "the skill and genius of a landscape painter is shown in giving the general effect" Possibly he carried the principle too far, and pushed his suppression of detail to an extreme ; but in doing so he never lost the truth of the impression. His compositions, though really worked out by rule, have all the appearance of natural truth : his colour is harmonious and delicate, though many of his tones have faded, and no longer retain the original effect.

Besides these three leading men, the Academy at its foundation included several foreign painters of inferior rank, flower painters, miniature painters, medal engravers, and architects. Of these we need only mention Angelica Kaufifmann, whose wit, beauty, and romantic life gained her a far higher reputation than from her


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painting she would have deserved. The engravings of Bartolozzi familiarize us with her graceful but weak style of semi-classical design.

In portrait painting, George Romney, John Opie, and John Hoppner succeeded Reynolds and Gainsborough. Romney stood aloof from the Academy, and, favoured by fashion, posed for some years as a successful rival of Sir Joshua. There is in his portraits a certain breadth and solidity of painting ; but he wanted anatomical knowledge and thoroughness of training, and his works are rarely more than sketches. His colour is wanting in variety, and his flesh tints tend to a bricky red, without lumin- osity. His best work is associated with the name of Emma Lyon, Lady Hamilton, whose beauty and charm enslaved him in the days when she was in the lowest depths of poverty and degradation, and whose lovely features figure on numberless can- vases with every variety of captivating expression.

John Hoppner painted charming portraits of ladies and chil- dren, with great facility of execution, and with much imitation of the peculiarities of Reynolds' style. Opie, too, while attempt- ing historical painting, owes his chief reputation to portraits of the same type. But the most famous of Reynolds' successors the great portrait painter of the beginning of the present century was Sir Thomas Lawrence. His portraits are effective and brilliant at first sight, but are wanting in all the more solid merits of really great painting. His flesh tints are pretty, but without the natural purity of Reynolds or Gainsborough. Al- though his drawing is often faulty, his figures are life-like, and he has the skill to hide his weaknesses. He has little feeling for simple, natural beauty, but succeeds in reproducing the fashionable affectations of society which pass for beauty at the time, and makes an especial study of all the details of the toilette of his fashionable sitters. Among his best portraits may be


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reckoned his "George IV.," "the first gentleman in Europe," ire the robes of a Knight of the Garter. His children's portraits- are less satisfactory. He has none of that sympathy for child nature that we find in Sir Joshua, and gives us only afTected,. dressed-up dolls. In the portrait of young Lambton, called " The Red Boy," he has challenged comparison with Gainsborough, a comparison which brings out strongly the staginess and want of simplicity in his work. His portrait of "John Kemble as Hamlet," one of his many costume portraits, though dignified, is theatrical in attitude and opaque already in colour ; and his more ambitious efforts, the " Satan," at the Royal Academy, for example, are ill drawn and ineffective.

If we turn now to the historical painters, we sink down to a still lower level of mediocrity. Hogarth and Sir Joshua Reynolds, as we have seen, both attempted historical painting without success. The early days of the Royal Academy witnessed still more ambitious attempts by men who, with little or no- thoroughness of training, and with a self-confidence begotten of their ignorance of the conditions of the highest artistic achieve- ments, claimed to have rivalled the greatest Italian painters. Of these men, Benjamin West, who succeeded Sir Joshua in the presidency of the Royal Academy, James Barry, and Singleton Copley, were the chief. West, who enjoyed an enormous repu- tation in his lifetime, and was largely employed by George III., never rose above a respectable mediocrity. The principal work of Barry, the large pictures which decorate the theatre of the Society of Arts, are not without considerable merits ; the chief of them, " The Olympian Victors," shows considerable skill in com- position, learnt from the study of the works of Mantegna and Giulio Romano, and a certain degree of accuracy in the drawing of the figure. Barry's study of the antique had not, however, been thorough enough to teach him to represent figures really


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in action. His athletes are wanting in firmness and distinction of muscle, and look like lay figures. Singleton Copley's chief pictures, "The Death of Lord Chatham," and " The Death of Major Pearson," in the National Gallery, are perhaps the best specimens of the historical painting of the end of the last century. Others followed of equally high pretensions and inadequate equipment for their self-imposed tasks. Henry Fuseli, endowed with a vivid but erratic imagination, but with little power of execution, had grasped the feeling and power of Michelangelo more completely than any other painter ; but his want of thorough study, and his habit of working without the living model, made this under- standing of little or no effect. In colour, too, he had some natural gifts ; but, being without training, he adopted wrong methods, and failed to develop his powers. His pictures are now for the most part destroyed by the use of improper materials, and in their wildness and exaggeration of action rather suggest a regret for the waste of so much originality and genius, than admiration for the works themselves.

Benjamin Robert Haydon was another historical painter whose overweening vanity led him to believe that, having had the first opportunity of studying the Elgin marbles, he had grasped the Greek spirit, and was perfectly qualified to enter into competition with any of the greatest painters. His own estimate of his work may be seen in the words he writes concerning his " Lazarus": " O God ! grant that it may reach the National Gallery in a few years, and be placed in fair competition with the Sebastian del Piombo. I ask no more to obtain justice from the world." The wish has since been realized, but its effect has been to show the insufficiency of Haydon's art.

William Etty, after the first few years of his career, devoted himself especially to the study of the nude, working daily till quite late in life in the Academy life school, and acquiring a complete

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mastery of the human figure. All his best works are studies from the nude, especially of the female figure, and his flesh tones are rich and brilliant. His subjects are almost always chosen to give play to his favourite study, and the least pre- tentious are the best. " Youth and Pleasure," and " The Bathers," at the National Gallery, may be given as examples. Indeed his best work may be seen in the studies he executed at the Royal Academy school, many of which were worked up for the dealers and sold as finished pictures, though a few are still to be found as he left them.

The English school of landscape painting, which had been worthily founded by Wilson and Gainsborough, working in quite different directions, was destined to become the most important branch of the English school. Its growth was especially stimu- lated by the birth of what was practically a new art of purely English origin the art of water-colour painting, which began to develop in the later years of the last century. The processes of water-colour painting were of course not new. Water-colour painting in opaque colours had been employed by the old minia- ture painters ; and in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the portrait limners working on ivory and vellum had begun to use transparent washes. The Dutch landscape painters also occa- sionally made water-colour sketches, some of which can be seen in the British Museum ; but they never fully appreciated its value for works of art. It is not, however, to either of these sources that the English landscape school owes its origin. The first painters in water-colours were antiquarians, or draughtsmen who worked for antiquarians. These men made accurate drawings of buildings or other objects of interest, often putting in details elaborately with the pen. These drawings they coloured with transparent washes in a simple style, without much sense of beauty, or any thought of regarding their drawings as works



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of art It happened that one of these draughtsmen, John Cozens, gifted with a genius which made him raise the simple method of tinted drawing to the level of a fine art, was employed by Mr. Beckford to make drawings of the places he visited in Switzerland and Italy. In these Alpine views, as in the tinted drawings of his predecessors, there is no attempt at more than a mere suggestion of colour, though a great advance is made in the use of pigments. In light and shade, however, and in the power of indicating atmospheric effects, he is immeasurably above his contemporaries, and there is a simple grandeur in his views that goes far to justify the high esteem in which Turner and Constable held his works. The next advance in the art was the abandonment of the ink outline, an innovation first found in the works of William Payne.

These three men raised tinted drawing to a fine art, and paved the way for their more famous successors, Girtin and Turner, who boldly attempted in water-colour to imitate the tones of nature. Both these, as young men, were pupils of topographical draughtsmen, and had the advantage of studying thoroughly the works of their predecessors in the collection of Dr. Munro. Thomas Girtin always aimed at great breadth of tone, generali- zation and suppression of detail, and a certain gloomy grandeur. In the largeness of parts his colouring resembles the broad, simple washes employed by Cozens ; but in richness and depth of colour, in clearness and transparency, boldness and freedom of execution, his works show an enormous advance. During his short life he continued to perfect his style with so great uniformity of method that he was in danger of becoming a mere mannerist. In this, as in other respects, he differed very widely from his fellow-student and rival, J. M. W. Turner. From the first Turner's natural bent led him in a different direction ; from the beginning to the end of his life his one paramount artistic aim was the


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representation of light and atmosphere. Working in the upper scale, giving the true value to his darkened objects and shadows, he was often forced to sacrifice the distinctness of his lights, and was for ever struggling to increase their brightness and breadth and to multiply the number of gradations in his high lights. It is only by degrees that he arrived at that perfect mastery of his means that we find in his best drawings. There is a gradual transition from tinted drawing to local colouring, and a gradual increase of the number of processes employed to give variety of quality and texture ; but always without using white or opaque pigments, the mixing of which with transparent colour he most strongly deprecated. Throughout life he constantly used water-colour for his immediate studies from nature ; and amid the thousands of sketches which form part of his priceless bequest to the nation, every variety of scenery in England and abroad may be found represented, treated in the most varied manner, some being simply a few blots of colour to show the relation of light and tone between two objects, others careful studies of single objects, and a few finished pictures. Besides these there are numerous rapid pencil sketches of unerring draughtsmanship, details of foliage and architecture, forms of mountain and tree, birds, beasts, and men in every variety of action and attitude.

His earlier oil paintings, exhibited at the Academy, were on the lines of his early studies topographical pictures of buildings and scenery ; but soon he began to devote his attention to atmospheric effects, and we find in the catalogues second titles, such as " Hazy Morning," " Clearing-up after a Shower," " Thun- derstorm Approaching Sunset" ; and frequently quotations from his strange, formless, and often unintelligible poetry describing similar conditions. These efforts more and more completely absorbed him, especially after he had visited Italy and become fired with the ambition to reproduce its brilliant atmosphere,



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intense blue sky, and golden sunlight. Whether the peculiarities of his later pictures are simply the natural outcome of these endeavours, or whether some growing defect of vision or mind must be assumed to account for them, is a question that may be left to the numerous writers who have devoted themselves to the study and discussion of Turner's works. There is sufficient of his work about which no such controversy is possible.

The division of his work into three periods, based on the heightening of the scale of colour, and the increasing efforts to represent sun, light, and atmosphere, is of great help in studying his work; but so wide and varied is the field which he covered that no such division can be exhaustive. Throughout the first thirty years of the century we meet with English and Swiss landscapes, which in comparison with his later imaginative work may be spoken of as realistic, and beautiful scenes, as " Totnes " ; "Ivy Bridge, Devonshire"; "The Frosty Morning." The first, broad in effect but minute in execution, the varied reflections in the clear still water, the marvellous light and truthful foliage of the group of poplars in the middle distance, the castle, town, and distant hills, form a whole of tranquil beauty entirely free from mannerism. "The Devil's Bridge in the Simplon " displays the most exact painting of rock, mountain peak, and rushing water, and produces a sublime effect by the contrast of this bold work of man with the mighty forces of nature.

In another large group of pictures, we see Turner placing him- self in deliberate rivalry with the great masters of the past : with Vandevelde, in the " Fishing Boats in a Squall," at Bridgewater House, in " Calais Pier," and " The Shipwreck," pictures in which the force of the sea is felt more truly than in the Dutch master ; and the boats and figures are introduced with that marvellous skill and appropriateness that generally marks the figures in Turner's landscapes. The figures are often inaccurately and clumsily drawn*


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but are always in harmony with the effect and sentiment of the landscape.

The same spirit of rivalry led Turner to challenge comparison with the genre painters, especially with Wilkie, whose "Village Politicians " had suddenly placed him in the front rank of English painters. The " Forge " shows that Turner could hold his own in this field, and produce the effects of Wilkie's minute, laborious pictures, while working in his bolder, broader style.

But the rivalry which he began comparatively early, and main- tained for the rest of his life, was with the acknowledged king of landscape art, Claude Lorraine. So completely was Claude's supremacy acknowledged in those days, that his pictures were taken as the canon of landscape art, and modern works judged by comparison with his. This comparison Turner deliberately challenged, and made it a condition of his munificent bequest to the nation, that his " Carthage," and " The Sun Rising in Mist," should be placed side by side with the two great works of Claude, in the National Gallery. Nor can he be said to be worsted in the contest. Comparing the "Carthage" with the "Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba," we notice that the figures in the foreground of the former are crude and painty by the side of Claude's aereal perspective, but in thought and appropriateness Turner is far superior ; the group of children with their toy boats, and the shipbuilding beyond, indicate an intellectual insight that is wanting in the earlier master, and the gradual transition from the foreground to the extreme distance, the misty vagueness of the rocks, the perspective of the water, give a richness which contrasts with the emptiness and hardness of the " Embarkation." In the roll of the waves and in the execution generally, the latter is, however, superior ; and, even in the short time that has elapsed, the colour of Turner's sunlight is changed and lost.

It is, no doubt, in his poetic imaginative works that his great-


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ness is most strongly felt ; such epic works as " Apollo and the Python," and " Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus " are alone sufficient to place him far above all rivals. The grandeur of the landscape, nature shattered and ruined by the dying struggles of the monster, the tree bent beneath its weight, the rocks torn from their seats, the earth dyed black with its gore, the fearful form of the monster, according to Mr. Ruskin, almost the only possible dragon conceived by a painter, and only comparable with Turner's other dragon, " Ladon," in the Garden of the Hesperides its agony and the contortions of its unwieldly body, the radiant beauty and tranquillity of the small form of the youthful god, all these things cannot be adequately described. So, too, the rich crimson sunset of the Polyphemus, the vast, vague, massive figure of the giant, Ulysses' crowded ship, and the nymphs surrounding it, form a whole not less remarkable for grandeur of conception than for beauty and brilliancy of colouring.

Glorious as is the colouring and composition of Turner's Italian pictures, such works as " Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," " The Bay of "Baiae," " Palestrina " and "Phryne," and magnificent as is the conception of " Italy," with its rich, clear sunlight, its wealth of vegetation, its historic and mythological associations, he is probably further from truth to nature in these than in his other works. His later pictures, in which he attempted to give a truer representation of Venice than is to be found in Canaletto a truth not of architec- tural detail but of sunlight and reflection, and came more and more to flood his scenes with vast masses of intense white and yellow lights need not be discussed here. But among the works of his later years we find such pictures as " The Fighting Te*meraire," a perfect symphony of colour, and the grandest sunset effect ever painted ; " The Slave Ship," glorious in colour and magnificent sea, evoking intense emotional sympathy, but verging on the ridiculous in the sharks, corpses and floating fetters ; " The


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Snowstorm," a glorious attempt to paint the unpaintable ; " The Burial of Wilkie," a beautiful and harmonious monument of his sorrow at the death of his old friend and companion, notable also for the appropriate use of intense dead black in the sails of the ship. Even in the dazzling confusion of his later Venetian pictures much beauty may be discovered.

We have found that Turner began as a water-colourist, and developed his art chiefly under the influence of the early water- colour school, and this is the case also with the other great members of the English landscape school. Among the young painters who frequented Dr. Munro's house, John Varley was one of the most vigorous and original minds. Following the method of Girtin rather than of Turner, and modifying it into an original style by his appreciative study of the classical landscape of Poussin and Claude, he became a perfect master of the rules of composi- tion, those great truths that have been acknowledged in the practices of all the greatest artists, and which, though they may from time to time be treated with contempt in the enthusiasm ol a realistic reaction, will, nevertheless, ultimately always reassert themselves.

John Varley's vigorous personality impressed itself upon his pupils, among whom may be numbered W. Hunt, John Linnell, Samuel Palmer, and, probably, Constable.

Constable, though in age contemporary with Turner, did not achieve his first success as a landscape painter until after Turner's reputation was established and he had been admitted to the full honours of the Academy. During his early years Constable had tried portrait and historical painting, and only after losing many years, settled down to his true art as a landscape painter. His work is thoroughly English in subject and feeling ; thoroughly his own in treatment and execution. Unlike his great predecessors^ nature was his only teacher In his pictures we see no trace of



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the influence of Claude and Poussin, as we do in those of Wilson and Turner, of Teniers, as in Morland, or of Ruysdael and Hobbema, as in Crome and the Norwich school. In subject he loved the flat pastures and slow streams of his native Suffolk or the purely English scenery of Hampstead Heath. In treatment he rejected the superstition of the " brown tree " of the old school, and boldly painted, with loving preference, the most brilliant greens of spring. He worked under the sun when it stood high in the heavens before him, and illuminated grass, and foliage, and water with brilliant reflections, so brilliant that the high lights with which he endeavours truly to represent them were mocked at by those who had not the eyes to appreciate their truth, by the name of Constable's snow. As he loved the greenness of his native land, so he loved her moisture too ; and his skies are, by preference, those showery skies warm, grey, silver-edged clouds, with many a rift through which the deep blue heaven is seen. In the details of his foreground, Constable shows the greatest and most loving accuracy of observation ; every weed and flower is appropriate to the situation in which it is placed, and the peculiarities of growth of different trees are carefully observed and recorded. His studies display the same exact reproduction of a bit of nature that by many more recent painters has been regarded as the whole aim of landscape painting. In his finished pictures, however, he did not work on this method ; he painted in the studio, not in the field, and sought first the general effect, adding whatever detail he thought necessary. He loved especially to paint scenes such as are frequent in his native country : small streams amid woodlands, or rivers with thickly weeded banks, such as " The Valley Farm," and " The Lock."

The English painters, whom we have hitherto studied, all worked and lived in the capital and were subject to the influences of their predecessors and contemporaries. In one provincial town,


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however, a separate local school of landscape painting sprang up towards the end of the eighteenth century. This Norwich school was the outcome of the natural genius of John Crome, who began life as a house painter in his native town, and gradually established for himself a position as an artist, and gathered round him a number of pupils and fellow workers, who, like him, remained in their native town, taught drawing, and exhibited their works there. The Norwich of Crome's day was very different from the capital of the eastern counties now, though even at the present day it retains more of its picturesque mediaeval air than any other town of its size in England. The facility of communication with the Netherlands, and the excellent grazing land of the eastern counties, had combined in the Middle Ages to make Norwich the headquarters of the woollen industries ; and thus, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, it was one of the most prosperous manufacturing towns in England. In the course of the eighteenth century, however, the development of the northern coal-fields led to the migration of this trade to Yorkshire, and Norwich ceased to advance, but enjoyed the fruits of its long prosperity. The picturesque irregularity of its streets of red brick houses, the old-fashioned thatched cottages and homesteads scattered over the country surrounding it, its stretches of heath- land, and its silvery river widening into the wooded lakes, known as the " broads," over which the tan-sailed barges came and went, formed a rich field wherein the genius of Crome might develope itself, and were painted by him with loving accuracy of detail and effect. So great was the artist's attachment to his native scenery that, though he travelled in England and abroad, he has left scarcely any pictures of any but Norfolk subjects. The young house painter found friends among the neighbouring gentry, who recognised his genius and obtained for him employment as drawing master, whereby he obtained the means of pursuing his



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art. In their houses he became acquainted with the works of the Dutch and Flemish masters, to which, rather than to those of his English predecessors, his works are allied. Hobbema and Ruysdael were his masters. Here and there, indeed, a picture of his may be found in which he has copied or imitated the classic landscape of Wilson, or the broader style of Turner, but such influences were transitory and unimportant ; his own style had been formed upon Norfolk scenery under Dutch influence. From his masters he had learnt to paint with uncompromising fidelity what he saw, and nothing but what he saw. His truthful and exact observation is especially noticeable in his trees, which he studied and painted with untiring persistency. At a time when Turner generally painted the tall oval tree which appears repeatedly in his pictures, and belongs to no known botanical species, Crome knew every knot and gnarl upon an oak trunk, and every detail of growth on the willow, and noted the differences in the forms of trees when they are growing in proximity to one another. Never, however, does Crome allow his carefulness of detail to overpower or interfere with the breadth of treatment and the general features of his landscape.

His famous picture of "Household Heath," in the National Gallery, may be studied as a fine example of his style. A broad stretch of heather-clad common, with a bank in the foreground on which a few thistles and weeds are growing, is not in itself a very- promising subject for a picture, but the manner in which it is treated has produced a really beautiful work. The effect of the clear atmosphere of a stormy day is marvellously given : the rolling masses of cloud sweeping over the sky throw shadows over the foreground and distance, and leave a clear, cool light over the middle distance. In looking at this picture we seem to revel in freedom of space and air.

Several of Crome's friends and pupils carried on the tradition


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of his work : his son, J. Bernay Crome, whose pictures of water- mills are well known to amateurs ; James Stark, who published a work on the rivers of Norfolk ; George Vincent, whose picture of Greenwich Hospital gives promise of rivalling the great landscape- painters of the time a promise which the pressure of daily wants prevented him fulfilling, and J. S. Cotman, who came more under the influence of his contemporaries in London, and formed one of the brilliant circle of students who were wont to meet in Dr. Munro's rooms. Cotman's best work was in water colour, and his subjects chiefly architectural detail. These three men all left Norwich and came to reside in London, and the Norwich school ceased to have a separate existence.

While the landscape painters were raising English art to a foremost place among modern schools during the first half of this century, genre painting was, as it still is, the most popular and profitable vocation for a painter, not the genre painting of Hogarth's famous satires, but an enfeebled and genteel imitation of the pictures of the Dutch school, which have always been great favourites with English collectors. The subjects chosen were generally tame and common-place, having neither the thorough realism of Teniers, the broad merriment of Franz Hals, nor the satiric humour of Jan Steen. Neither did the English painters approach the technical skill and minuteness or the knowledge of physiognomy of Steen or Terburg. Wilkie, Leslie, Mulready, and Collins alone rise above the level of mediocrity, and through their keen observation and sense of humour enjoy a reputation which is far higher than they would claim on their artistic merits.

The first and greatest of this school of genre painters, Sir David Wilkie, made his reputation shortly after the beginning of the century by his picture of " Pitlassie Fair," and established his position in public favour by "The Village Politicians," and " The Blind Fiddler " ; all three pictures painted before he was



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twenty-one. "The Village Festival," "The Rent Day," "Distraining for Rent," "The Parish Beadle," and "Reading the Gazette of Waterloo" (the latter painted on commission for the Duke of Wellington) are a few of the best of the numerous pictures which he exhibited at the Academy during the succeeding twenty years. In all these there is a rich fund of humorous observation of charactei and incident of homely English life. During his later years, after visiting Spain and Italy, a great change is visible in his style; the subjects of his pictures become more serious, and he loses himself in a vain endeavour to form a new style for himself in imitation of the painters who excited his strongest admiration in the course of his travels, Velasquez, Murillo, and Rembrandt.

C. R. Leslie, unlike Wilkie, did not invent his own subjects ; but for the most part devoted himself to illustrating scenes from Shakespeare and Cervantes. With more sense of beauty and better feeling for colour than Wilkie though by no means strong in these respects his humour was by no means so rich and spontaneous. But his merit is great to have succeeded in repre- senting characters so familiar as Falstaff, Sancho Panza, and Uncle Toby, without doing violence to the ideas which every reader of Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Sterne must have formed of these figures.

William Mulready, in his early years, studied landscape under John Varley ; but soon devoted himself to character painting. The effect of his earlier teaching is, however, evident in the ex- cellent landscape backgrounds to many of his pictures, " Crossing the Ford," and " Giving a Bite," for example. His best work is to be found in his illustrations of village life, and especially in such subjects as " Idle Boys," " The Last In," in both of which boys and dominie are represented with the fullest sympathy and humorous appreciation of character. In drawing, in execution,


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and in colour, Mulready's work is excellent, and approaches far nearer to the excellences of Teniers and Steen than that of any other painter in the English school.

During the last thirty years, a great change has come over the English school. A far higher standard of technical excellence has been achieved, and a deeper and clearer insight into natural truth has been attained. The beginning of this change is to be traced to the influence of a small group of painters, who represent in art that spiritual revival which found its religious expression in the Tractarian movement at Oxford, The prae-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Three great painters, Dante Rosetti, Holman Hunt, and J. E. Millais, were among the members of this little society ; and though their paths have widely diverged, the effect of the prae-Raphaelite propaganda is visible in the work of all three. Three other painters Ford Madox Brown, Sir Noel Paton, and E. Burne Jones, belong in spirit to the same school, though they were never actually members of the P. R. B. The ground thought which underlay the theory and practice of the school was an intense and enthusiastic belief in the moral value of truth exact literal truthfulness of detail founded upon the most exhaustive analysis, in historical art, of motives and attendant conditions, and in landscape of the objects composing the particular scene chosen. This minuteness of detail is carried out with .the most marvellous skill of execution in Mr. Millais' earlier pictures, "Apple Blossoms," and "The Carpenter's Shop." This devotion to detail, and the intense sympathy with the early Italian painters which accompanied it, took the form of an elaborate symbolism in the works of Holman Hunt and Rossetti. In the masterpiece of the latter, "Dante's Dream," a work of marvellous beauty of form and colour, every detail has a symbolic meaning the flowers scattered around, the lilies in the hand of Love, the crimson roses on the pall, the doves seen on either side. Holman



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Hunt, who alone has remained true to his original faith, spent years in Palestine studying to attain to historic and typical accuracy in his pictures. "Christ Disputing with the Doctors," and 41 The Shadow of the Cross," and the reductio ad absurdum of the prae-Raphaelite method is to be found in the well-known story of the Hebrew lady who observed, in looking at the former picture, that the doctors in it have the flat feet which distinguish the tribe of Reuben, and not the high instep of the house of Judah.

Mr. Millais has long since abandoned his early practice of minute finish and adopted a style absolutely opposed to it, painting with the greatest breadth, and seeking truth of general effect and mass of colour with an execution as masterly as he displayed in his earlier style.

Mr. Hunt and Mr. Millais have both painted landscape strictly upon prae-Raphaelite principles. In a little picture by the former, M. Pouchet could name not only the butterfly in the shepherd's hand, but every species of plant which is visible in the turf beneath his feet. In Millais' "Fringe of the Moor," and "Chill October," the same minute accuracy is found in the painting of the foreground plants, while at the same time a broad effect is sought and obtained.

Messrs. Hook, Vicat Cole, Leader, and Brett, are all painters of this class. Their work is illustrative of the vast influence that the pre-Raphaelite idea had over English art, partly, no doubt, on account of the eloquence with which Mr. Ruskin has preached and defended it.

At the same time the school of ideal landscape (the Impres- sionist, to use the modern word) is strongly represented among living painters, and carries on the tradition of Turner, Constable, and their famous contemporary, David Cox, the water-colour painter.


LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL BOOKS CONSULTED.

  • G. Perrot et C. Chipiez. Histoire de l'Art dans l'Antiquite'. Vol. i., Egypte ; vol. ii., Assyrie et Phdnicie. [English Translation in 4 vols., 1883.]
  • F. von Reber. History of Ancient Art. (Trans., J. T. Clarke.) 8vo, 1883.
  • A. S. Murray. History of Greek Sculpture. 2 vols. 8vo, 1880-83.
  • Lord Lindsay (Earl of Crawford). History of Christian Art. 3 vols. 8vo, 1847.
  • J. Fergusson. History of Architecture. 2 vols. 8vo [1865], 1874. History of Modern Architecture. 8vo [1870], 1873.

The Parthenon. 4to, 1883.

  • Sir G. Gilbert Scott. Lectures on the Rise and Development of Mediaeval Architecture. 2 vols. 8vo, 1879.
  • E. E. Viollet-le-Duc. Dictionnaire raisonne de 1' Architecture Franchise du xi. au xvi. Siecle. 10 vols., 1868.
  • Gio. Vasari. Lives of the Painters. (Trans, in " Bohn's Standard Library.")
  • Dr. A. Woltmann and Dr. K. Woermann. History of Painting. (Trans, ed. S. Colvin.) 4to. Vol. i., 1880, Ancient, Early Christian, and Mediaeval ; vol. ii., in course of publication.
  • J. C. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle. A New History of Painting in Italy from the Second to the Sixteenth Centuries.

3 vols. 8vo, 1864-66. History of Painting in North Italy. 2 vols. 8vo, 1871. Early Flemish Painting. 8vo [1872], 1879. Titian, his Life and Times. 2 vols. 8vo [1877], 1881. Raphael, his Life and Works. 2 vols. 8vo, 1882-5.

GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL WORDS USED IN THIS BOOK.

G., Greek; L., Latin; F., French; K., Keltic; I., Italian.


Abacus, G. A square slab placed on the top of the capital of a column. Acanthus, G. A plant, the ornamental foliage of which is largely employed

for architectural decoration, especially on the Corinthian capital. There

are two principal species, acanthus mollis and acanthus spinosa, the latter

somewhat resembling a thistle. Acropolis, G. A fortified city, or the fortified part of a city, on the summit

of a hill.

Adytum, G. The secret sanctuary at the back of the cella in a Greek temple. sEgis, G. Lit. a goat-skin. The shield of Pallas Athene, which bore on its

centre the Gorgon's head. Agora, G. The market-place of a Greek city, used as place of assembly, and

hence applied to the assembly itself. Amphiprostyle, G. A Greek temple, having two open porticos in front and

rear projecting beyond the side walls.

Amphitheatre, G. A building for gladiatorial and other shows, generally ellip- tical in form.

Amphora, L. An earthenware wine-jar with two handles. Angels. In mediaeval art divided into nine degrees :

Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones,

Domination, Virtues, Powers,

Princedom, Archangels, Angels.

The Cupid-like angels were only introduced in the time of the Renascence. Annulus, | Rings or mouldings above the lower part of the echinus of Doric Annulet. ) capitals.

Antce, G. Rectangular pilasters forming the ends of the walls of the cella

of a Greek temple, and supporting the extremities of the architrave. A

temple of this form was called a temple " in antis? Antefixa. Terracotta ornaments placed above the cornice and on the ridge of

the roof of Greek temples. Apse (L. absis). The extremity of a church, generally semicircular in form

and surmounted by a semi-dome. Aquatint. A process of engraving by acid laid on in even washes with

a brush, upon a broken surface formed by a crackled film of resin on

the copper.

381 G G


382 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Arabesque, An ornament composed of stems, foliage, leafage of plants, scrolls,

and fantastic animals. Not, as its name implies, an Arab invention, but

found in Greek and Roman architecture. Arcade. A series of arches. Arch, G. A curved structure, generally a segment or segments of the circle.

Semicircular arches were used by the Romans ; horseshoe arches by the

Byzantines and Moors ; pointed arches formed of two intersecting seg- ments of circles by the Gothic builders. For trefoil, cinque/oil, ogee arches,

see those words. Archaic, G. The early period of art when forms were stiff, conventional, and

symbolic. Architrave, G. The horizontal part of a structure resting immediately on the

capital of column or pilaster. Astragal, G. A small semicircular moulding at the top of a column beneath

the capital, also used to divide the architrave horizontally into parts.

Named from its supposed resemblance to a row of knucklebones. Atlantes, G. Human male figures, employed instead of columns to support the

architrave. Atrium, R. A covered court in a Roman house, with an opening in the centre

(compluvium) and roof sloping inwards.

Baldachino, I. A canopy over seats and other places of honour. Barrel vault. A vault of cylindrical form. Baroque, F. v. Rococo. Base, G. The lower division of a column on which the shaft is placed ; absent

in the Doric order. Basilica. A rectangular hall divided by rows of columns into three naves, and

used by the Romans as a court of justice. Adopted as the typical form of

early Christian churches. Bas relief (Basso relievo). Figures sculptured on panel projecting less than half

their proportions from the surface.

Bastion. A projecting polygonal buttress on a fortification. Battlement. A parapet of a fortification, consisting of alternate raised portions

and spaces, the latter called crenels or embrasures. Bay. A portion of a structure marked off by the division of the vaulting, the

arches, or the buttresses. Body colour. In water-colour painting, colour made opaque by intermixture

with white. Boss. An architectural ornament of ceilings, placed generally where the ribs

of the vault meet. Buttress. A piece of wall built at right angles to the wall of a building to

strengthen the structure, either immediately against the wall or connected

by an arch called a flying buttress. Byzantine. The style of architecture and painting in use at Constantinople

from the sixth to the twelfth century.



GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL WORDS. 383

G. A wand of laurel or olive on which two snakes are intertwined :

the emblem of Hermes. Capital, G. The, usually ornamented, member which crowns the top of a

column or pillar, and by the form of which the different orders are

characterized. Caryatides, G. Female figures, employed instead of columns to support the

architrave.

Cella, G. The internal part inclosed by the walls of a Greek temple. Chamfer. The cutting off of a rectangular edge, or a channelling on the surface

of a column.

Chevron. A zigzag moulding used in Romanesque architecture. Chevet. A form of apse enclosed by an arcade with a series of chapels round

it, common in Romanesque and Gothic churches in France. Chiaroscuro. The distribution of light and shade. Choragic monument. A pedestal or shrine, raised by the winner of a choral

contest to display the tripod which formed the prize. Chryselephantine. Composed of gold and ivory. Cinerarium. A recess in a Roman tomb to contain the urn in which were

deposited the ashes of the dead.

Cinquefoil. An ornamental foliation, consisting of five projecting cusps. Clerestory. The row of windows forming the third or upper division of the

nave wall of a church, rising above the roof of the outer portion of the

structure.

Cloister. A quadrangular covered walk, forming a portion of a monastic building. Clustered column. A pier formed by a number of shafts clustered together,

either united or separate. Columbaria, L. (lit. dovecotes.) Niches in a sepulchral chamber for holding

cinerary urns.

Column, L. A column consists of three principal parts : base, shaft, and capi- tal. See " Order? Compluvium, L. An opening in the middle of the atrium, with gutters all

round, which convey the rain-water from roof into central basin (impluvium). Composite. The last of the five Roman architectural orders, formed by the

combination of the Ionic volute with the foliage capital of the Corinthian. Corinthian. The third order in the Roman classification, of Greek origin.

Shaft slender and smooth ; capital richly decorated with acanthus leaf

ornaments.

Cornice. The horizontal moulded projection terminating a building. Corona. A moulding forming part of a conical, with lower part grooved to

form a dripstone.

Corbel. A bracket, projecting from a wall, to support a column or arch. Crocket. An architectural ornament of foliage on a sloping ridge. Cromlech, K. A sepulchral inclosure, formed by large stones placed in a circle. Crypt. A subterranean chapel beneath a church.


584 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Cupola. A concave roof.

Cusp. Pointed foliations in architectural tracery.

Cyma, G. An undulated moulding, formed of a concave and convex arc. When

the upper arc is convex it is called cyma reversa; when the upper is hollow

it is called cyma recta.

Damascened. Metal, ornamented by inlaying another metal. Decorated. The second of the pointed or Gothic styles of architecture in

England.

Dentils, L. Ornaments in the form of small cubes or teeth. Diaper. A mode of decoration by a repeated pattern. Dipteral, G. A building having double wings (double range of columns). Diptych. Double folding tablets. Dolmen, K. A stone table used in Keltic sepulchres. Doric, G. The oldest and simplest of the Greek orders of architecture. Dormer, F. A gabled window in the sloping side of a roof. Drum. The upright part of a cupola.

Dry-point. Direct engraving upon copper with the etching needle. Echinus, G. The ovolo moulding of a capital.

Egg and Dart. A carving commonly inserted on the ovolo moulding. Elevation. The vertical plan of a building. Entablature, L. The horizontal superstructure which lies upon the columns in

classic architecture.

Entasis, G. The swelling of the shaft of a column. Epinaos, G. The portico situated at the back of a temple. Etching. Engraving by the action of acid on a copperplate covered with a wax

ground on which lines have been scratched by the etching needle. Facade. The face or front of a building.

Fan Tracery. Elaborate carved work spread over an arched surface. Fillet. A plain band used in architecture to separate ornaments and mouldings. Finial. An ornament of carved work representing foliage on a pinnacle or

spire.

Flamboyant, F. The style of French architecture peculiar to the fifteenth cen- tury, contemporary with perpendicular in England. Flutes. Small semicircular grooves or channels cut in the shafts of columns or

pilasters. Foreshortening. The art of representing objects on a plane surface as they

appear to the eye in perspective.

Fresco, I. Painting executed on a freshly laid ground of stucco. Fret. An angular interlaced architectural ornament. Frieze, G. (i) The middle division of an entablature which lies between the

architrave and cornice. (2) Any horizontal sculptured band. Gable. The triangular end of a house from the eaves to the top. Gargoyle, F. The projecting extremity of a gutter. Genre, F. Scenes from domestic life.




GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL WORDS. 385

Grisaille, F. A style of painting in grey by which solid bodies are represented

as if in relief.

Groin. The angular curve formed at the intersections of a vaulted roof. Gymnasium. A large building used by the Greeks in which gymnastics were

taught and practised.

Hathor. The Egyptian goddess of light, represented with head of a cow. Helix. A small volute like the tendril of a vine placed under the Corinthian

abacus. Jrlenncr, G. Pedestals surmounted by heads or busts of Hermes which stood

before the doors of Athenian houses.

Hexastyle, G. A facade of which the roof is supported by six columns. Hieratic, G. The archaic style of religious art under the rule of a priestly

caste.

Hyposthral, G. A temple in which some part of the cella is unroofed. JHypostyle, G. A roof supported by columns. Imbrex, L. A ridge tile of semicylindical form.

Impasto, I. The thickness of the body of pigment laid on to a painting. Impluvium, L. The cistern in the centre of the floor of the atrium in a Roman

house in which the rainwater was collected. Jn ant is. V. Antae.

Indented. One of the dividing and border lines resembling saw teeth. Intaglio. A stone in which the design is sunk beneath the surface, and gives

impression of a bas relief.

Intercolumniation. The space between two columns. Ionic, G. The second order in Greek architecture. Distinguished by the

voluted ornaments of its capital. Jamb. The side of any opening in a wall. Keystone. The top stone of an arch. Klaft. A royal Egyptian headdress forming a kind of hood and terminating in

two flaps, which fall over the breast.

Lancet. A pointed arch, obtuse at the point, resembling a surgeon's lancet. Lantern, F. A small turret above the roof of a building having windows all

round it.

Lintel. The stone or beam placed across the top of a door or window. Loculi, L. Cells for coffins. Loggia, I. The gallery or corridor of a palace. Lotus. A water lily. In Egypt and India held sacred. Mansard, F. A roof with two sets of rafters of which the upper part is less steep

than the lower. Named after a French architect.

Marquetry, F. Inlaid work of ornamental woods and stones of various colours. Mausoleum, G. (i) The tomb of Mausolus, king of Caria. (2) Any tomb of

imposing size and magnificence.

Medallion. A circular or oval tablet on the face of a building. Menhir. A Keltic monument consisting of a huge stone fixed upright in the

ground.


386 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Metope, G. A kind of panel between the triglyphs in the Doric Frieze.

Mezzanine, I. A small storey intermediate between two others of larger size.

Mezzo relievo, I. Sculpture in relief in which half of the figure projects.

Mezzo tinto, I. A method of engraving by smoothing away the lights from a ground mechanically roughened.

Monolith. An object formed of a single block of stone.

Mosaic. An imitation of painting by joining together minute pieces of hard substances of different colours.

Mullion. The slender pieces which separate a window into compartments.

Mutule, G. An architectural ornament of the Doric order, consisting of a square block placed at equal intervals in a Doric cornice.

Naos, G. The interior apartment of a Greek temple.

Narthex, L. The vestibule of a church beyond which the catechumens could not enter.

Nave, L. The middle part or body of a church from the choir to principal en- trance between the aisles.

Nimbus, L. A halo or circular disk around the heads of sacred personages. After eighth century living persons were in Italy distinguished by a square nimbus, which sometimes assumes the form of a scroll partly unrolled. The heads of statues of gods and of Roman emperors were decorated with a crown of rays. The same is found in the Oriental representation of Buddha.

Nirvana. In the Buddhist religion, the last and highest existence to which the soul can attain.

Ogee. An arch described with four centres so as to be concave in lower and convex in upper part.

Ogive. A pointed arch.

Opisthodomus, G. A small chamber at the back of a temple to which the priests alone had access.

An order, in architecture, consists of two parts : the one, vertical, consisting of a column and its base and capital ; the other a horizontal entablature, con- sisting of architrave, frieze, and cornice. The word is only used when the order is one of the five whose dimensions and details were fixed and defined by Palladio and other architects of the sixteenth century : these are the Doric Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan (supposed to be a simpler form of Doric), and Composite (a Roman modification of Corinthian).

Oriel. A projecting angular window, generally triangular or pentagonal in shape.

Ovolo, L. A convex moulding much used in classical architecture.

Pagoda. A religious building of the Hindoos.

Palcpstra, G. A place for wrestling, formerly part of the gymnasium.

Pediment. A triangular crowning of a portico usually supported by a row of columns.

Pendentive. The part of a vault between two arches supporting a dome.



GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL WORDS. 387

Peripteral~\ Q A name given to a temple which had a portico of six columns

Peripteros ) on each front and a detached colonnade of 1 1 on each side of the cella.

Peristyle, G. A building the interior of which is surrounded with columns.

Perspective. The art of representing on a flat surface the appearance of objects from one given point of view.

Pier. Perpendicular supports from which arches spring.

Pilaster. Square pillar on a wall partly embedded in it, less than of its thick- ness projecting.

Pinnacle. A small spire.

Piscina. A stone basin usually placed in a niche in the wall of the chancel at which the priest might wash his hands.

Plinth^ G. The lower projecting base of a column.

Pronaos, G. The portico situated in front of a temple.

Propyl&a, G. Gateway or entrance to an Egyptian temple.

Pseudo-peripteros, G. A temple which presents the appearance of being sur- rounded by a colonnade, the columns being attached to the walls of the cella.

Pteroma. The space between the walls of a temple and the columns of the peristyle.

Pylon. A term used in Egyptian architecture to describe the tower-like struc- tures which flanked the gateway of an Egyptian temple.

Quatrefoil. An ornament in pointed architecture, consisting of four foils.

Rococo, I. A style of decoration distinguished by a superfluity of confused and discordant detail.

Romanesque. The debased style of architecture and ornament adopted in the later Roman empire, and the styles founded upon it.

Rose window. A large, circular window divided into compartments by curved mullions.

Rubble. Rough stones and broken bricks, used to fill up between walls.

Rustication. Hewn stone masonry, the joints of which are rendered conspicu- ous by grooves or channels.

Sarcophagus. A stone coffin.

Scumbling. The process of going over a painting with a brush nearly dry, to soften and blend the tints.

Shaft. The body of a column.

Splayed. A sloped or slanting surface.

Sphynx. A human head on a lion's body, typifying the union of intellectual and physical power. An Egyptian emblem, signifying the religious mystery.

Stela, G. Sepulchral slabs or columns, which in ancient times answered the purpose of gravestones.

Stereobate, G. The base of a plain wall.

Stoa, G. A porch.

Stylobate, G. The common base of a row of columns.


388 A SHORT HISTORY OF ART.

Tania, G. A band which separates the Doric frieze from the architrave.

Telamones, L. Latin name for Atlantes.

Tempera, I. Painting with pigments mixed with chalk or clay, and diluted

with size. Teocalli (lit. God's house). A pyramid for the worship of the gods among the

aboriginal Mexicans.

Thalamus. The nuptial chamber in a Roman house. Tholus, G. A dome and cupola of a circular building. Tope. Buddhist sepulchral monuments are shaped and round at the tops. Torso, I. The trunk of the statue of a human figure. Tracery. Geometrical ornament, such as is found in the upper part of Gothic

windows. Transept. A transverse nave, passing in front of the choir and crossing the

longitudinal nave of a church. Transo?n. The horizontal cross-bar in a window. Trefoil. An ornament of three foils. Triforium. The second or middle storey of the nave wall of a Gothic church,

consisting of a gallery over the ceiling of the side aisle and below its roof. Triglyph, G. An ornament, consisting of three flutings or upright groupings,

separating the hiltopes in a Doric frieze. Triptych. A form of pictures in three panels.

Tumulus. Sepulchral mound of ancient and prehistoric construction. Tympanum, G. The triangular space between the horizontal and sloping,

cornices. The name is also given to the space included between the

lintel of a door and the arch over it. Vault. An arched ceiling or roof of stone.

Velarium. An awning stretched over a theatre or amphitheatre. Volute. A spiral scroll.

Voussoirs. The wedge-shaped stones used in constructing an arch. Whorl. See Volute.

Zoophorus. ") (Lit. bearing animals.) A continuous frieze, decorated with Zophorus. ) figures of animals, conventional and real.



INDEX

ABOU-SiMBEL, Temple of, 40.

./Egina Sculptures, 66.

^Etion, 90.

Aix-la-Chapelle, Cathedral of, 139.

Aldobrandini Marriage, 90.

Ajunta, rock temples, 16.

Amiens Cathedral, 167.

Apelles, 91.

Apollonius, 96.

Aqueduct of Agrippa, 1 14.

Ariadne, The Sleeping, 97.

Aristides, 90.

Arnolfo, 197.

Asoka, temples, 17.

Athene Parthenos, 74.

Athens, Acropolis, 68.

Erectheion, 72.

Parthenon, 73.

Propylaea, 69.

Temple of Winds, 95. Aztec monuments, 6. BARRY, 364. Bartolomeo, Fra, 223. Bartolozzi, 363. Basilica (Christian), 132.

Julia, 1 1 6. Bellini, Giovanni, 292. Beni Hassan, Caves, 32. Bol, F., 327. Botticelli, Sandro, 220. Boucher, Frangois, 337. Bramante, 264. Brown, Madox, 378. Brunelleschi, 196, 214. CANO, Alonzo, 313. Canova, Antonio, 347. Caracalla, Baths of, 121. Caravaggio, M. A., 306. Carpaccio, Victor, 293. Carstens, 344. Caryatides, 80. Chardin, 337.


Cheops, Pyramid of, 32. Chephren, Pyramid of, 31. Cholula, Pyramid of, 6. Choregic monument, 95. Cimabue, 200. Clermont, Church of, 160. Colisseum, 119. Cologne Cathedral, 177. Colossus of Rhodes, 91. Columbaria, in. Constable, 372. Copley, 364. Corinthian Order, 72. Cornelius, 345. Corot, 341. Correggio, 286. Cotman, 376. Cozens, 367. Credi, Lorenzo di, 222. Crome, J. B., 376.

J. (Old), 374- Cuyp, A., 329. DAVID, 338. Decamps, 342. Delacroix, E., 340. Delia Quercia, Jacopo, 216. Delia Robbia, Luca, 215. Delphi, temple, 81. Del Piombo, Sebastian, 297. Denner, 343. Dietrich, 344.

Diocletian, Palace of, at Spalatro, 125 Discobolos, 98. Donatello, 214. Doric architecture, 57. Dow, G., 328. Duccio, 205. Diirer, Albrecht, 248. Dying Gladiator, 93. ELGIN Marbles, 73. Elizabethan houses, 191. Ellora, Rock-cut temples, 19.


389


39


INDEX.


Ely Cathedral, 187.

Elzheimer, 343.

Ephesus, Temple of Artemis, 89.

Erectheion, 80.

Etching, 326.

Etty, W., 365.

Euphranor, 90.

FARNESE Bull, 92.

Farnese Hercules, 86.

Fischer, Peter, 247.

Shrine of St. Sebaldi, 247. Flaxman, 347. Florence, cathedral, 197.

dome, 212.

palace Delia Signoria, 198. Fra Angelico, 218. Fragonard, 337. Fromentin, 342. Fuseli, 365. GAINSBOROUGH, 360. Gerard, 338.

Gerhard von Haarlem, 235. Ge'ricault, 339. Gernrode, church, 158. Ghiberti, 212. Giotto (at Assisi), 201. (at S. Croce), 203. Campanile, 204. Giorgione, 295. Girtin, 367. Gizeh, 27.

Goltzius, 343. [171.

Gothic architecture, characteristics of, Gothic vaulting, 173. Greuze, 338. Gros, Baron, 339. Gue'rin, 339. Guido, 306.

HALICARNASSUS, mausoleum, 88. Hals, F., 324. Haydon, 365. Hildesheim, cathedral, 153.

St. Michael's Church, 158.

Hobbema, M., 331. Hogarth, 351.

Marriage a la Mode, 352.


Holbein, Hans, 238.

Meyer Madonna, 239..

Dance of Death, 24 1,.

Portraits, 241. Hunt, Holman, 378. INGRES, 339. Ionic order, 69. Issus, archaic frieze from, 65. Battle of (mosaic), 107.

JOANES, 309.

Jordaens, 321.

KARNAK, 37.

Kauffmann, 362.

Kaulbach, 346.

King's College Chapel (Cambridge), 183.

Kneller, 351.

Kolyunjik Palace, 46.

Krafft, Adam, 246.

Kremlin, 142.

Kuisai, 8.

LAACH, Abbey of, 158,

Lancret, 337.

Laocoon Group, 91.

Lawrence, 363.

Lely, 351.

Leonardo da Vinci, 254.

Leslie, 377.

Lichfield Cathedral, 182.

Lippi, Fra Filippo, 220.

Filippino, 222. Luini, 260.

Luxor, Temple of, 40. Lysippus, 86. Lyversberg Passion, 237. MABUSE, 235. Mantegna, 303. Marilhat, 234. Marttand, Temple of, 12. Masaccio, 271. Masolino, 216. Matsys, Quentin, 235. Mausoleum, 88. Mayence, 156. Medici Venus, 85. Medinet Abou, Temple of, 35 Memling, 233.


INDEX.


39'




Memmi, 205. Memnon, statues of, 37. Mengs, 344. Metzu, G., 328. Michelangelo, 223.

St. Peter's, 264.

Pieta, 267-

Sistine Chapel, 268.

Last Judgment, 272.

Moses, 273.

Captives, 273.

Millais, 378. Milan Cathedral, 185. Millet, 341. Morales, 308. Moretto, 305.

Morbihan, Keltic remains, 4. Mulready, 377. Murillo, 313.

Mycerinus, Pyramid of, 31. Mycenae, Lion Gates, 57.

Treasury, 57. NETSCHER, C, 328. Nikko, Pagoda of, 10. Nile Group, 97. Nimroud Palace, 45. Niobe Group, 85. Notre Dame (Paris), 176. Nuremburg, 244. OPIE, 363. Orcagna, 209. Ostade, Adrian van, 329.

Isaac van, 329. Overbeck, 345.

P^STUM, Doric temple at, 63. Palma Vecchio, 297. Pantheon, 112. Parrhasius, 82. Parthenon, Pediments, 75.

Frieze, 77. Pater, 337. Payne, 367.

Pekin, Porcelain Tower, 8. Persepolis, 40. Perugino, 225. Peterborough Cathedral, 181.


Pheidias, 74.

Philae, Temple of, 40.

Pisa, Cathedral of, 162.

Campo Santo of, 206. Pisano, Andrea, 209. Giovanni, 208. Niccola, 162, 207. Pompeian houses, 101.

painting, 105. Potter, P., 330. Praxiteles, 81.

Hermes of Olympia, 86. Prud'hon, 339.

QUEDLINBURG, church of, 153.

RAMESSEUM, 35. Raphael, 227, 260, 263.

Frescoes in Vatican, 275.

School of Athens, 277.

Loggie, 279.

Cartoons, 280.

Galatea, 280.

Madonnas, 281.

Sistine Madonna, 282.

Transfiguration, 283. Ravenna, 146.

Tomb of Theodoric, 145.

S. Apollinare Nuovo, 145.

S. Vitale, 146. Ravensteyn, 324. Regnault, J. B., 339.

Henri, 342. Rembrandt van Ryn, 324.

Anatomical Lesson, 325.

Night-watch, 325.

Etchings, 327. Reynolds, 356. Rheims, Cathedral of, 177. Ribalta, F., 309.

J- 309. Ribera, J. de, 309. Roman portraits, 98.

tombs, in. Romanino, 305. Romano, Guilio, 284. Rome, Forum, 115. S. Peter's, 261.


392


INDEX.


Romney, 363.

Rossetti, 378.

Rothenheimer, 343.

Rouen, Church of S. Ouen, 171.

Rousseau, 341.

Rubens, 317.

Riigen, Isle of, 5,

Ruysdael, J., 331.

SADREE, Jaina temple, 17.

Salisbury Cathedral, 183.

St. Mark's, Venice, 163.

St. Paul's Cathedral, 350.

St. Peter's, Rome, 263.

St. Sophia, Constantinople, 138.

St. Vitale, Ravenna, 146.

San Gallo, 264.

Sanzio, Giovanni, 224.

Sanzio, Raphael (see Raphael).

Scheffer, 340.

Schongauer, 237.

Scopas, 85.

Selinus, Doric temples, 63.

Sienna, Cathedral of, 204.

Sistine Chapel, 268.

Slingeland, P. van, 328.

Snyders, 319.

Soddoma, 287.

Spinario, The, 98.

Squarcione Francesco, 303.

Stark, 376.

Steen, Jan, 329.

Stephen of Cologne, 236.

Stonehenge, 5.

Stoss, Veit, 246.

TAJE Mehal,^2o.

Teniers, D., 321.

Teocallis, 6.

Terburg, G., 328.

Theatre of Marcellus, 115.

Thornhill, 351.

Thorwaldsen, 348.

Tintoretto, 300.

Titian, 297.

Titus, Arch of, 117.

Todaiji, Temple of, 10.

Tope of Sanchi, 15


Toulouse, Church of St'Sernin, 161. Tower of London, Chapel of St. John

181.

Trajan's Column, 117. Turner, J. M. W., 367. VAN DER GOES, 234. Vandervelde, 331. Van der Weyden, 233. Van Dyck, 320. Van Eyck, Hubert, 230. Jan, 229, 231 Varley, 372. Vasari, 201. Velasquez, 310. Venice, 162.

St. Mark's, 163.

Gothic architecture, 290.

Doge's Palace, 289, 300.

Renascence palaces, 290. Venus of Melos, 86. Vernet, Horace, 340.

Joseph, 340. Verocchio, 222. Veronese, 301.

Marriage in Cana, 302. Vesta, Temple of, 118. Via Appia, in. Vincent, 376. Vinci, Leonardo da, 222. Last Supper, 255.

Mona Lisa, 258.

Battle of Anghiari, 259.

WALTHAM Abbey, 181. Water-colour Painting, 306. Watteau, 337. Wells Cathedral, 182. West, 364.

Westminster Abbey, 189. Wilkie, 376. Wilson, 362.

Windsor, St. George's Chapel, 188. XANTHUS, Harpy Tomb, 64. YORK Minster, chapter house, 187. ZEUS of Otricoli, 83. Zeuxis, 89. Zurbaran, 313.

CONTENTS

CONTENTS.


INTRODUCTION

Keltic and early Teutonic Monuments. Aztec Remains in Mexico. The Incas in Peru. Chinese and Japanese Art.

I. INDIAN ART

II. EGYPTIAN ART ..........

1III. ASSYRIAN AND PERSIAN ART

Babylon, Nineveh, and Persepolis. HV. GREEK ART. FIRST PERIOD 51

Mycenae. Doric Temples: Paestum, Xanthus, Selinus, ^Egina. Athens : Propylaea, Ionic and Corinthian orders. Parthenon, Theatre Delphi.

V. GREEK ART. SECOND PERIOD .... 84

Athens. The Sculptures of Scopas, Praxiteles, and Lysippus. VI. ART IN THE GREEK COLONIES OF ASIA MINOR ... 88 The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Painting of the Ionian and Sikyonian Schools. The Colossus of Rhodes. Sculpture.

VII. DECADENCE OF GREEK ART 95

Athens. Rome. VIII. ROMAN ART 100

Pompeii and Neighbourhood. Greek and Roman Dwelling- houses. Wall Paintings.


CONTENTS.


109,


CHAPTER

IX. ROMAN ART (continued)

Rome : The Campagna, with the Aqueducts. The Street of Tombs. Columbaria. The Tomb of Hadrian. The Pan- theon. The Theatre of Marcellus. The Forum. The Arch of Titus. The Temple of Vesta at Tivoli. The Colosseum. The Baths of Caracalla. Sculptures.


X.


XI.


XII.


XIII.


THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES

Early Christian Art at Rome. Catacombs. Basilicas. Sculptures.

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (continued] .

Byzantine Art. (i.) At Constantinople : The Church of St.

Sophia. Mosaics. Sculptures, (ii.) In Russia and Asia.

THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (continued) . Art under Theodoric. Ravenna. The Tomb of Theodoric. Church of St. Vitale.


THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (continued} . Art under Charlemagne. Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle.

XIV. THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (continued] . Art in Germany. The Castle Church at Quedlinburg. The Church of St. Michael at Hildesheim.

XV. THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (continued) . Art in the Rhenish Provinces. Cathedrals of Mayence, Worms, and Spires.

XVI. THE ROMANESQUE ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES (continued} . Art in France and Italy.

XVII. GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE AND GERMANY

Amiens Cathedral. Notre Dame at Paris. Cologne Cathedral.

XVIII. GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND

Waltham Abbey. Peterborough Cathedral. Salisbury Cathedral. Westminster Abbey. Houses

XIX. GOTHIC ART IN ITALY

Its Characteristics. The Cathedrals of Milan and Flo- rence. The Early Renascence Painters at Florence: Cimabue and Giotto. The Cathedral of Siena. The Sienese Painters Uuccio and Martini. The Sculptures of Niccola and Andrea Pisano.


126


i 3 a


144


152


156


159


167


180


193


CONTENTS.


CHAPTER

XX. THE


THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH


211


RENASCENCE IN

CENTURIES

Italy. Florence : The Dome of the Cathedral, Brunal- leschi, Donatello, Ghiberti, Delia Robbia, Fra Angelico, Masaccio, Filippino Lippi. Perugia : Pietro Perugino.

XXI. THE RENASCENCE IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH

CENTURIES (continued) 228

Flanders. Ghent and Bruges. The Van Eycks and their Followers.

XXII. THE RENASCENCE IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH

CENTURIES (continued] 238

Germany. Augsburg : Hans Holbein.

XXIII. THE RENASCENCE IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH

CENTURIES (continued] . . v. . . 244

Germany. Nuremberg : Adam Krafft, Veit Stoss, Peter Fischer, Michael Wohlgemuth, Albrecht Diirer.

XXIV. THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE 254

Italy. Full Development of Art Milan : Leonardo da Vinci. Raphael's Youth. Renascence Architecture: the Certosa at Pavia.

XXV. THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE 261

Rome. St. Peter's. Michelangelo. The Sistine Chapel.

Moses' Death.

Florence. Michelangelo. The Chapel of the Medici.

THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE 275

Raphael's Work at Rome.

XXVII. THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE 284

Raphael's Pupils and Successors : Giulio Romano, Fran- cesco Francia, Correggio.

XXVIII. THE HEIGHT OF THE RENASCENCE IN ITALY

Venice. Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, The Doge's Palace, Sansovino, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese. Brescia: Moretto. Padua: Andrea Mantegna.

XXIX. SPANISH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY . Spain. Murillo, Velasquez, Ribera.

XXX. FLEMISH AND DUTCH PAINTING IN THE SEVENTEENTH

CENTURY

The A r et/tertands. Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Gerard Dow, Ruysdael, Snyders, Terburg, Jan Steen, Cuyp, Potter, Hobbema.


289


3<>7


317


viii CONTENTS.


CHAPTER PACK

XXXI. FRENCH PAINTING 333

France. Renascence and Rococo. Poussin, Claude Lorraine, Le Brun, Watteau, David, Delacroix, Dela- roche, Corot, Rousseau, Millet, Regnault.

XXX11. ART IN THE EIGHTEENTH AND NINETEENTH CENTURIES

German Painting. Mengs, Carstens,Overbeck, Cornelius, Kaulbach. Sculpture. Canova, Flaxman,Thorwaldsen.

XXXIII. ART IN ENGLAND IN THE EIGHTEENTH AND NINETEENTH

CENTURIES 349

Hogarth's Predecessors. Hogarth. Reynolds. Gains- borough. Wilson. Kauffmann. Romney. Opie. Hoppner. West. Copley. Barry. Fuseli. Hay- don. Etty. The Early Water Colour Painters. Girtin. Turner. Varley. Constable. The Norwich School : Old Crome. Wilkie. Leslie. M ulready. The pre-Raphaelite Movement

LIST OF AUTHORITIES 380

GLOSSARY 381

INUEX . . . 389






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