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Speaking of the “St. George and the Dragon” teller than do the pictures in S. Giorgio degli in the series, and especially of the distant figures Schiavoni. Though he afterward painted some of the sultan and his daughter, Ruskin says: pictures which are to be ranked higher as art,
they are more under the technical influence of For truly,- and with hard-earned and secure the greater painters of the school in which he knowledge of such matters, I tell you, through had his training — a training which, like that all this round world of ours, searching what the best life of it has done of brightest in all its times of Tintoretto, was interfered with by what must and years, - you shall not find another piece be considered as a refractory originality. He quite the like of that little piece of work, for su- had the Venetian sense of color in a high depreme, serene, unassuming, unfaltering sweet- gree, but in his use of the material he never ness of painter's perfect art. Over every other attained the technical perfection of the seconprecious thing, of such things known to me, it dary masters, such as Palma and Lotto. The rises, in the compass of its simplicity; in being telling of his story was evidently more imporable to gather the perfections of the joy of ex- tant to him than his technic, and the painting treme childhood, and the joy of a hermit's age, in the Slavonian series is thin and in parts with the strength and sunshine of mid-life, all in one. Which is indeed more or less true of all Car- slovenly. What is said of his method by Capaccio's work and mind; but in this piece you valcaselle, referring to his best work, I accept have it set in close jewellery, radiant, inestimable. as proof that he had never attained the com
plete mastery of oils that some of his contemNo one can dispute Ruskin's enjoyment of poraries gained. He began like Bellini with this phase of art, or his right to establish his tempera, but unlike Bellini he never rid himown standard of art for his own enjoyment and self of the influence of his original method of teaching. I can only point out that the stan- working. dard is one which does not conform to that of the greater experts in art, the painters them- That a glowing, ruddy, perhaps uniform tone selves, or with my view of a healthy definition the “Christ at Emmaus” preserved in San Sal
was habitual to him in these days, is proved by of art itself. The infirmity of his judgment is vatore at Venice, under the name of Giovanni further shown in what he says of some little Bellini; a picture in which we neither notice Belpictures in the church of St. Alvise, which he lini's types, nor his feeling as a colorist, nor his attributes to Carpaccio, but which the highest line as a draughtsman. If we look at the contrasts living authority in that particular line of judg- of tints and their harmony, we detect the art fament, — not only in my opinion but in that miliar to Carpaccio in pitting one shade against of Cavalcaselle, and whose knowledge is even another to make up the chord; there is no subadmitted by Mr. Ruskin,—C. F. Murray, dis- tle agency at work to blend tints together, the tinctly declares to have no trace of the work- flesh is not broken up or varied to produce ef
. manship of Carpaccio beyond the evident imi- fect. Warmth, on the contrary, is obtained by an tation of some of his peculiarities of drawing glazes.
even red film thrown over all, and without partial by a follower whose inherent feebleness Ruskin mistakes for the youth of the master. But he This is the method of a painter whose massays, with that peremptoriness of opinion which tery of the technical appliances is incomplete. leaves no chance of modification, except in con- A great colorist would never be obliged to comfession of ignorance, that "in all these pictures plete his harmony by a general glaze warming the qualities of Carpaccio are already entirely the entire scheme, this being a rude device to pronounced; the grace, quaintness, simplicity, cure a recognized crudeness. and deep intentness on the meaning of inci. As a story-teller Carpaccio has had no sudents.” It is true that Crowe and Cavalcaselle perior in the school of Venice, and perhaps enter these pictures in the catalogue of works none in Italian art. His imagination is wayof Carpaccio, but as “school pictures," a term ward, subtle, full of minute inventions and at which Ruskin inveighs, but which is in pre- happy surprises, and his originality is distinct cise accordance with the opinion of Mr. Murray. and, in his most matured and characteristic To give the best view of such an extraordinary work, almost separates him from the contemestimate of the qualities of Carpaccio, I can porary Venetian art, though in his methods he only say that Ruskin forms his opinion of the at times adheres to one or another of the teachpainter (and to a great extent of all art) on the ers with whom he was associated in his early quality of story-telling, which I hold is not, training. He leaves upon me the impression properly speaking, the art at all, but is the of an artist in whom the subject had always thought of the man, and is always to be held overpowered the art, in whom invention ran utterly distinct from the manner in which the so far ahead of the power of delivery that he story is presented, which is his art.
had no time to wait for his brush to do its work The “ History of St. Ursula” gives higher completely. To the dilettante who studies him proof of Carpaccio's preëminence as a story- completely, and who is not led aside from the intellectual conception by the critical study of ciation of art had been fed to the utmost by methods and technical mastery, he offers more daily study of the greatest triumphs of color intense satisfaction than some of the greater the world has seen, his life and his exit from painters — a satisfaction which I must hold it, as well as his works, attracted less attention to be apart from the purely artistic standard. than they merited. Thus it is that we know noIt is on this ground that Ruskin does him thing of Carpaccio personally, and know not honor. Living and dying as he did in the midst when or where he was born and died. of a community in which the technical appre
W. J. Stillman.
NOTES BY TIMOTHY COLE.
THE ture in the Venice Academy, which is itself one finger) that the king and his court shall receive baptism;
for other than a perfect Christian I cannot wed. of a series of nine large works showing scenes from the legend of St. Ursula. The entire picture represents
The size of the entire work is 8 feet 9/2 inches high the ambassadors of the king of England before the by 19 feet 3 inches long. That of the detail given is 3 king of Brittany to prefer their prince's request for feet 3 inches wide by 5 feet 6 inches high. It is painted
. the hand of his daughter Ursula. The compartment on canvas, and is very rich and soft in color. It is to the right of the picture, separated from it by a pillar broadly and simply treated, though upon close inspec. and showing conventionally another room of the palace, tion we find it full of the most exquisite detail. The is the detail that I have chosen. It is in itself a com- king's robe, for instance, is richly worked in embroiplete composition, and very charming it certainly is. dery too delicate to allow of engraving on so small a
Much embarrassed, the king has retired from the scale. I have stippled it, and have thus given some council to his private chamber; for he knows that his impression of its rich effect. It is of a glowing, sost daughter has made a vow of perpetual chastity and has tone of yellow like old gold. This is relieved against dedicated herself to Christ, yet he fears to offend the the white bedspread and the canopy above, which is of powerful monarch of England by refusing his suit. a rich, soft red. The background is warm gray, and He has delayed the answer till the morrow, and now appears to be of marble. Through grating above sits meditating his reply. He leans his head upon one is seen the ceiling of another room. The Madonna on hand. The other, gloved, still holds the letter of the the wall is enshrined in a yellow frame like gold. The king of England. While in this mood his daughter casing of the window is of a soft, dull red, the book beUrsula enters, and, learning the cause of his melan- neath it of a brighter red, and under all there is a charmcholy, bids him be of good cheer, and proceeds to detail ing dado of flowers. The head of the princess is relieved to him the conditions under which she will wed the king. against a dark panel. Her complexion and hair are
fair. She is clothed in a delicate, soft, neutral blue, ions ten virgins of the noblest blood in his kingdom, nation of the whole is most harmonious and pleasing.
First, he shall give to he as my ladies and compan- draped with a mantle of rich, bright red. The combiand to every one of these a thousand attendants, and to me also a thousand maidens to wait on me. Second, St. Ursula is the patroness of young girls, particuhe shall permit me for the space of three years to honor larly school-girls, and of all women who devote themmy virginity, and with my companions to visit the holy selves especially to the care and education of their own shrines where repose the bodies of the saints. And my third demand is (we can imagine the maid in the picture
THE GREAT UNKNOWN.
In mare multa latent.
IR CHARLES LYELL, the Ridicule had dealt most bitterly with the
eminent geologist, and a most gentle souls who in the innocence of their wellintelligent observer of natural assured integrity had given a heartless world phenomena, while in this coun- their simple “word for it.” It was now a temptry asked his friend Colonel tation to forswear, or at least to ignore, all
Perkins of Boston what he knowledge of any strange creature, marine or knew of the so-called sea-serpent. The latter terrestrial; though all the while, in mental rereplied, “ Unfortunately, I have seen it.” The serve, they were ready to affirm with Galileo, guarded qualification of his remark betrays the “E pur si muove”; or, perhaps, with the chronic condition of wounded sensibility enter- righteous old negro preacher
, in equal faith tained by the eye-witnesses of the “strange oc- and with like spirit, to insist that “the sun do currence" at that time.
Students of the present day have become so proportions, correspond so nearly to the living familiar with the remarkable remains of extinct ocean creature which has been seen in various reptilian forms, of species differing essentially parts of the Atlantic Ocean and is known as the in size and aspect from those of the present,"sea-serpent,” that it is tolerably well settled
“ yet evidently nearly allied, that it has come to among zoologists that the existence of such an be a rational and legitimate thought that animal in the present geological time is not
improbable. Such things be,
Up to the present our recorded knowledge And overcome us like a summer's cloud, of such creatures, quite aside from the idle tales Without our special wonder.
that periodically appear in print, has originated
from the most respectable sources; and it is It is a well-known scientific truth that races most fortunate that in several instances the of terrestrial and aquatic animals now extinct, observers chanced to be practical zoologists.
but not far removed from some present living forms, were of the most surprising magnitude.
The examples of "findings" pointing strongly to the coetaneous relations of man and mastodon are accumulating with much signifi- Small wonder, therefore, that the theme, alcance. In the phosphate beds of South Caro- beit peculiarly susceptible to misconstruction, lina, and in the greensands of New Jersey, lie should be held by zoologists as involving great the bones of gigantic reptiles, cetaceans, and possibilities. sharks. The “Bad Lands” of Kansas and the It is the all but actual discovery lately of a adjacent Territories teem with buried forms, all great creature evidently allied to the “ Unstrange and all gigantic. The halls of Prince- known" that has prompted the gathering of ton, Yale, and Columbia, and the Central Park these scraps of history appertaining to the Museum of Natural History, contain many a subject. “cross-bone ” and cranium, pelvis and verte- Having been familiar with the early testibra, whose restored relations would greatly mony concerning the appearance on the New astonish us. The great mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, England coast of the so-called sea-serpent, and ichthyosaurs, and numerous other sea-reptiles, having had personal acquaintance with some whose bones are found buried along the Atlan- of the
eye-witnesses,—now all passed away,— tic shores and represent creatures of gigantic and having personal knowledge of the views
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of the elder Agassiz, and some other eminent our theme. His descriptions and figures, so zoologists, whose faith in the probable existence much like those of modern times, have been of such was well known, I have recorded from preserved in his great folio. time to time any facts tending to elucidate the All the above-mentioned authors gravely theme. Some recent developments, to be re- refer to the fact that they have carefully proferred to anon, tended to strengthen the in- cured “affidavit,” and “ from the proper auterest, and it seemed most advisable that what- thorities,” but the requirements of science in ever has borne the semblance of truth in the those days were not hedged about by the keen several remarkable testimonies should be brought to the archives of science for preservation
At a recent session of the New York Academy of Sciences I had the pleasure of presenting a résumé of the subject, which was subsequently published in the Academy's “ Transactions,” with some appropriate remarks by the president, Dr. J. S. Newberry, and others, eliciting the fact that a general feeling exists favorable to the views herein expressed.
The subject is interesting, and tempts one to give a historical presentation, but the valuable pages of THE CENTURY cry aloud for conciseness. It is necessary, therefore, to present the historical connections “by title."
As in all that appertains to human book knowledge, Aristotle forms the starting-point of this history. Pliny follows, and tells some startling, if not altogether reliable, things. Then follow the usual vision of profound, exacting research which learned authors whose ponderous folios and obtains at present. great copper-etchings, elaborate and costly, It is not altogether the fact that few or many picture all that is told about sea-monsters with good people subscribe under oath to what they a latitude sufficient, perhaps, for the liveliest have seen that can satisfy the modern zoologist. imagination.
It is the fact that the actual bony remains of preSome of the later of the ancient authors speak cisely such creatures as have been described of sea-serpents that inhabit the Indian Ocean as “sea-serpents” are found in various places and some parts of the Pacific. These records on our coast. It is this more than all else that have been verified, but the length of the crea- induces a belief in the probable existence of tures is never more than twelve feet. It is now similar creatures in the great depths. well known in scientific ichthyology that there Near the close of the second decade of the are several species of the genera Pelamys, Hy- present century there appeared off the coast of drophis, and Platurus inhabiting the oceans Massachusetts Bay one or more strange creamentioned, that they are true ocean-snakes, tures, differing essentially in general aspect and are more or less venomous. Several small from anything hitherto observed. They were forms of the genera are in the collection at evidently sea-going creatures, oceanic ones, and Central Park. The tails are flattened vertically, impressed all of their many observers as serand serve the purpose of oars, “sculling” being pentine or saurian-like in shape and movements. their true method of propulsion. In the Cata- Colonel Perkins of Boston communicated combs of Rome several sarcophagi were found his observations of one of these “ appearances” containing remains of early Christians. On one to the “Boston Daily Advertiser” at the time. of the inscriptions is a likeness of a great serpent swallowing a man, though it is entitled Wishing to satisfy myself on a subject on which " Jonah and the Whale." The oldest chron- there existed a great excitement, I visited Glouicler of " sea-serpent” lore, independent of cester, Cape Ann, with Mr. Lee. We met sevthe purely imaginary tales, is Olaus Magnus, creature had not been seen during several days.
eral persons returning who reported that the Archbishop of Upsala, who devotes an entire We, however, continued on our route to Glouchapter to the subject. Bishop Pontoppidan, cester. All the town, as you may suppose, were whose “Natural History of Norway " is so well on the alert, and almost every individual, both known, fills a notable place in the literature of great and small, had been gratified, at a greater
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ENGRAVED BY J. DALZIEL.
was situated on high ground overlooking the bay, within less than a mile of the creature at times.
Colonel Harris, commanding at Fort Independence, Boston Harbor, stated that such a creature had been seen and reported by his sentinels, while it was swimming around the fort in the early hours.
Many other accounts were stated and recorded, agreeing in the main with the above. I select that of Mr. Nathan D. Chase of Lynn, Massachusetts, as especially trustworthy and valuable from the fact that he was one accustomed to observe closely, and to record his observations in the light of much reading on semi-technical subjects. I am inclined to give unusual weight to his statement, also, from having known him intimately through life as a neighbor and friend, and, as such, having heard from him the “oft-told tale.” The following
refers to the second appearance of the seaor less distance, with a sight of him. The wea- serpent, in 1819, at Lynn. In a letter written ther was fine, the sea smooth, and Mr. Lee and in 1881 for the purpose of conveying concisely myself sat on a point of land overlooking the har- all he knew of the circumstances, with referbor, and about fifty feet from the water. In a few moments I saw on the opposite side of the har
ence to recording them, Mr. Chase says: bor, at about two miles' distance from where I had been sitting, an object moving with a rapid mo
In relation to the account given by myself of tion up the harbor on the western shore. As he a strange fish, serpent, or other marine animal, approached us it was easy to see that his motion I have to say that I saw him on a pleasant, calm was not that of a common snake, either on land summer morning of August, 1819, from Long or in the water, but evidently the vertical move- Beach, Lynn, now called Nahant. The water was ment of a caterpillar. As nearly as I could judge smooth, and the creature seemed about a quarter there was visible at a time about forty feet of his of a mile away; consequently we could see him body. It was very evident that the length must distinctly, and the motion of his body. Later in have been much greater than what appeared, as the day I saw him again off Red Rock. He then in his movements he left a considerable wake in passed along about one hundred feet from where his rear.
I stood, with head about two feet out of the water. I had a fine glass, and was within a third of a His speed was about that of an ordinary steamer. mile of him. The head vas flat in the water, and
What I saw of his length was about sixty feet. the animal was, as far as I could distinguish, of It was difficult to count the humps, or undulations, a chocolate color.
There were a great many people collected, many of whom had seen the same object. From the time I first saw him until he passed by where I stood, and soon after disappeared, was about twenty minutes.
One of the revenue cutters, whilst in the neighborhood of Cape Ann, had an excellent view of the animal at a few yards' distance. He moved slowly, and at the approach of the vessel sank, and was not seen again.
In 1817, the Linnæan Society of Boston, Massachusetts, published a “Report relative to the appearance of a large marine monster, supposed to be a sea-serpent, seen near Cape Ann, Massachusetts, in August of that year.” A good deal of care was taken to obtain evidence, and the depositions of eleven witnesses of marked integrity were taken. There was great uniformity in the testimony.
The Hon. Amos Lawrence, one of the most eminent of Boston's citizens, gave similar testimony from personal observation. His cottage
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