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as we understand the word ; nor did he, perhaps the greatest of his works. It as his celebrated Venetian successors, has more soul, a more elevated religious paint the portraits of his noble patrons in symbolism, and at the same time more different poses of adoration, and among absolute truth, more fidelity to nature, them a soulless, lifeless figure of a wom- than any other. It consists of four figan with an infant, and call it all a “Ma- ures: the central and dominant figure, donna ;” nor (as Caravaggio later) did and idea, is that of the Virgin, a delihe paint a brutal group of models, and cate, pale woman, filled with the feeling give them a high-sounding religious of sweetest piety; and the two supportname. When he has named his picture ing figures, of St. John and an angel,
a Madonna, what he has painted is the are among the most graceful creations most beautiful of all the truths of Chris- of the human mind. It is simple in contianity, and only that—that of a humanly struction, almost to a fault, the color divine motherhood. The central figure well restrained, no landscape suggested, is a woman, as was the historical Virgin; no gorgeous accessories—a simple, noshe is a goddess, as she was to him and ble, divinely beautiful representation of to his world: you do not have to look an equally divine and noble idea. into the corner to find a more or less This picture is in great contrast to a well painted group as a reason for the Coronation of the Virgin ” in the picture.
Uffizi in Florence, in which he seems The National Gallery “Madonna" is to have given free rein to his sense of
the beautiful and luxurious, and yet of this landscape could not be better exthere is not a single note of vicious pressed; the composition is most nattaste. In this the Madonna, of the most ural and original, and were it not for ethereal beauty, sits with an infant upon the lack of truth in the "values” of the her knees, bending gracefully forward, figures, and for the intense piety of the serene and blessed. Around her hover sentiment, it might have been painted a circle of joyous angels; the two at yesterday. In this picture the infant either extreme form an arch with their Saviour is particularly well and feelingarms, holding a crown over her head ; ly given, which was not usual with Bot. three others gaze in artless benignity ticelli
. He seems always to have conupon an open book over which she centrated himself upon the Madonna, as holds a pen; and while it is painted the central and important element of his with a wealth of delicious color-flashes work, and to have given his whole soul of pale rose and turquoise, gold and to the realization of that figure. green, with floating, diaphanous drap It would be asking too much to exeries yet the whole color scheme is kept pect that Botticelli could have remained subservient to the central idea and entirely outside of the current of classisentiment. The glow of light upon the cal thought, so ripe in his time, due to face of the Mother is one of the most the revival and discovery of the remains masterly things in art, and serves to of a great refinement; and yet he did to focus attention upon the real intention an extent. He did not fill his pictures of the work. It is upon these two pict- with broken columns or restored Roman ures that Botticelli must be judged-not buildings, and his heart was evidently but that there are many and varied ex not in the Venuses and allegorical pictcellences in much of his other work, ures his patrons called upon bim to but on them he has shown his ultimate paint. It is not as a pagan painter that strength in his peculiar province.
he excelled, and yet there are passages The Uffizi "
“Annunciation is more in some of his later and heathen work comprehensive and more ambitious in which the world could ill spare, notably composition: two full-length figures; a certain wonderfully truthful figure of the Virgin kneeling at her devotions is Spring in his “Birth of Venus," a most suddenly aware of the presence of God's graceful conception, with flying, flowermessenger, and turns with bowed head embroidered garments ; but in this, aland outstretched arms, meekly and most the latest of his works, is plainly gracefully accepting the great blessing. shown a great advance. This figure is The action of flying, or alighting after studied in the open, and no better effect flight, is most charmingly expressed in of suffused out-door light was the pose of the angel and in the floating painted upon a human face. In his lines of his garments; in color it is dull, large representation of “Spring,” at the owing to the smoke of the altar candles Academy in Florence, painted for one which burned before it for three centu- of the Medici, wrongly and blindly ries, and to injudicious restoration; and called his best work, he has painted a perhaps it is not entirely by the mas group of the Graces with so much ter's hand; yet it shows a great grasp feeling and so tender a grace that they of the truths of nature, and breathes seem to be Madonnas masquerading in a most marked religious sentiment. mythology ; he was far too serious and
Botticelli seems to have deeply felt pious to be able to let himself down to the beauty of nature and endeavored to such work. He simply could not underplace his figure "out-doors,” as in the stand any gods but the gods of the ChrisLouvre “Madonna ;” and though he has tians, and the beauty he gave to them is evidently in this case not studied his as unique in its way, and as different head in the open, yet the charm of from Greek beauty, as the foundation of nature is freely given in the rose blos- Christianity is different from the scheme soming hedge and the foliage in the of Heathenism. background, relieved as it is against a A true painter should be judged from brilliant sky of pale turquoise. With all his work only. He then shows all there our knowledge of to-day, the “values” is of him for good or evil ; he cannot
then disguise his soul. Botticelli's tem- the best order, and his place in art perament, so judged, shows him to have should be in the rare atmosphere of the been of the highest artistic nature-im- greatest heights; but he speaks in so pulsive, pious almost to fanaticism (his- gentle a note, in such quiet tones, that tory tells us he was one of the Piagnone only the gifted can hear them. While of Savonarola)—and to have possessed he lived he was at one time called the an overwhelming love of the beautiful. most considerable painter of Florence, In him there was no power of apostolic and yet he died in poverty, dependent rebuke; he inspires no feeling of terror, upon the bounty of his patron. Like a nor portrays the hysterical horror of true artist he had no time for the comthe crucifixion. He points out the “prim- monplace things of life, and though his rose path” to Heaven, and wins by gen- work was widely sought, he was often tleness. He chose for his theme the idle for a long time, knowing that when most tender of all the doctrines of his the creative faculty is weary, work is but faith, a subject most commonly painted an unworthy sham. by all that brilliant concourse of Cinque Even in his Florence to-day, in the centists before and after him; yet never great Pitti gallery, one of his most sin. in any manner was his conception ap cere and perfect works hangs in an obproached by any of them. His creations scure corner, while all down that succesof the Madonna are more perfect in sion of splendid rooms, in the centre of piety, more Christian in sentiment, and the walls, and in the best and quietest more truthful in detailed perfection than lights, hang the works of Del Sarto and any the world has ever seen, and al- Raphael and their inferiors. But in the ways painted with an originality and English National Gallery, where ten freshness characteristic of only the great- years ago Botticelli's Madonna was hangest of masters.
ing high up and in obscurity, it is toThere was never a question in his day enshrined upon a screen, in the best work ; he instinctively avoided the com- place in that magnificent gallery, and is monplace ; no matter with what fidelity admired by thousands. This incident is he attempted to present nature, animate evidence of the return to true art under or inanimate, his temperament made it the influence of the “New Renaissance" easy for him to render it with the ap --that of the latter half of the nineteenth propriate sentiment. His genius was of century.
BE KIND TO THYSELF.
By E. S. Martin.
Comes the message from above“As thyself, thy neighbor love."
With myself so vexed I grow
Of my weakness weary so,
Take not part of thee for whole.
The ray from Heaven that gilds the clod
Love thou, for it comes from God.
MEMORIES OF THE LAST FIFTY YEARS.
By Lester Wallack.
but did you ever try it with your legs tied ?”
But in answer to this question which has been so often asked concerning my method of study, I may say that the first thing is to get a thorough knowledge of the play. At first I generally studied the other parts even a little more than I thought of my own; and when I came to my own I studied it scene by scene to get the words perfect. I did not think so much of what I was going to do with them until I got them so correctly that I could play with them in two or three different ways. Having one scene in my head I would go to the next, there being perhaps two or three scenes in one act. I would then go to work to perfect the first act as a whole. My first thought was to try to get the author's meaning ; to pay that respect which was his due by carefully following his text. Having done that, I worked on the different modes of expressing the author, picked what I thought was best, etc., and then put that act by. Suppose we had four acts, for instance ; I would then study the second after the same fashion, and so on, using the same
method all through with the four. I Macready
studied alone, of course, at first; but
when I thought myself sufficiently au HAVE frequently been asked, both fait I would get Mrs. Wallack, or one of by interviewing people and by my my sons, to hear me in the part, and then
friends, what my method of study play it in two or three different ways is, almost every actor having a method"; in order to see how it affected them. and apropos of this there comes in an While I was perfect in the room, the anecdote about Macready. He always moment I got upon the stage at rehearsal objected to a redundancy of gesture, the positions, uses of furniture, etc., inand once said to my father : “My dear terrupted all this. The use of these Wallack, you are naturally graceful; I had to be blended properly with what am not. I know that in gesture I do I had done before. With a chair here not excel, and facial expression is what and a table there, and the footlights here I principally depend upon. In fact, I and the audience there, I had to study absolutely make Mrs. Macready tie my how all this could be worked in so as to hands behind my back and I practise make as perfect an ensemble as possible. before a large glass and watch the I do not know the systems of other face.” My father replied: “Well, Ma- artists, but that was mine. Of course, cready, I suppose that is all very good, after all this preparation, when I came