Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

with his friend Feuchères at Vincennes. Next He went generally by preference toward Valday, to his chagrin, he found himself thrown mondois, Auvers, or Isle-Adam, on the banks out of the competition, and there was no ap- of the Oise, some twenty miles or more north peal. Thus he failed to go to Rome, which of Paris. It was at the first village that he seeming misfortune may have proved a bless- spent the early years of his life, in charge of ing to the art world. He much regretted it at the good Mère Bazot, his old nurse, and he the time, as did Delaroche also, who said that always retained a deep affection for the vicinity. “all might yet be repaired,"and that “after this He immortalized Mère Bazot's cottage in one he should come to the studio without paying." of his first etchings, “ The Village Wedding," The prize for landscape was given but once in where it appears among some trees to the right, four years; he soon became weary of so long and again in one of his last Salon pictures, in a delay, and gave up the studio.

1874, painted when the good old woman had One day he went out sketching with some long since passed away, and the master himfriends, and the real world seemed suddenly self was nearing the end of his journey. to impress him most forcibly. All the false, After his debut in 1838, and the “St. Jeartificial productions of the schools seemed to rome" of 1840, we find him continuously repvanish before the living beauties of the open- resented at the Salons, excepting those of 1842– ing spring. Thenceforward he resolved that 46. He often suffered from the restrictions of

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Nature, and she alone, should be his guide. He the Academic jury, as did his contemporaries wished to spend all his time with her, and set- Millet, Rousseau, Corot, and others; but he ting up his easel under the open sky, exploring bore his reverses bravely, almost gaily, and, asby-paths and glens, riversides, woods, and measuring his daily bread by constant practical dows, to paint all that charmed him. But, marry- work, went cheerfully on. About the year 1848 ing about this time, family cares and necessities a little inheritance fell to him, and he was engrossed much of his attention, and he was able to take a trip into the Dauphiné and obliged to redouble his energies in order to Morvan, whence he brought back a number cope with them. A less strong character would of interesting and delicate studies, six of which have sunk under duties that only added force he exhibited in the Salon of 1848, and was to a nature so well tempered as his. Rarely a awarded a second medal. Thus encouraged, volume passed from the principal publishers from this period he begins to take an important of Paris that did not contain illustrations from position. At the Salon of 1850-51 he exhibihis hand. He worked steadily both day and ted “The Washerwomen of the River Oullins,” evening, often burning the midnight oil, and “The Willows,” “ Boat on the River Oise," when the week's work was done he would and “ The Vintage,” all of which created a start off in the night with his friend Geffroy- veritable sensation among artists and connoisDechaume, so that all the next day might be seurs. Daubigny was now a declared master. spent amid the delights of the open country. The following year brought forth “ The Har

a

vest,” which also received much applause for silence, and the valley, welcoming you as its its vigorous composition and effect. The busy guest, takes up again under your very eye its movement of harvest, the wheat-fields, the mysterious work. It is this effect, these colors reapers, the binders, the carrying in and build- and harmonies, that M. Daubigny has rendered ing of stacks, were all given with a powerful in “ The Lake of Gylieu.” The limpidity of the outdoor feeling and brilliant quality. Here water, the lightness and finesse of the sky, the

freshness of the air, are indescribable. One and there the painter had increased its vigor by breathes in this picture while looking at it, and laying on color broadly with the palette-knife, there escapes I know not what intoxicating aroma and some critics of the day thought the draw- of wet foliage. The truth of the second picture,

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ing of details rather sacrificed to the unity of “ The Valley of Optevoz,” is felt even more. impression, which latter quality Daubigny al. The eye rests on every part with pleasure, and ways considered, and properly too, of primary floats undecided between the sapphire of the sky importance. The following year “ The Lake and the velvet of the vegetation. One seems to of Gylieu,” “ The Valley of Optevoz,” and the smell the clover and hay, to hear the hum of the “ Entry of the Village" satisfied the most ex

insects, and catch the sparkling of the light over

the wheat-fields. acting, and gained their author a first-class medal. The impression produced by these

Amid the mass of work exhibited by the ofworks is perhaps best given in the following ficial masters of the day at the Universal Expodescription by Count Clément de Ris, a critic sition of 1855, the pictures of Daubigny were of the time:

somewhat pushed out of place, but among them Have you not had it happen to you, in your the Luxembourg, having been bought by the

was "The Sluice of Optevoz," afterward at explorations as a tourist, to see opening before you, under your very feet, a break in the ground, Government. The jury, too, does not seem to a little valley, calm in repose, and full of elegant have been very generous, awarding him only and tranquil forms of discreet, harmonious col- a third-class medal. “ The Springtime," and ors, of shadows and softened lights, bordered by “The Valley of Optevoz,” exhibited in the Sahillsides with advancing and retiring crests, and lon of 1857, marked the highest degree of perwhere no step seems to have troubled the poetic fection he had yet attained, and gained him a silence? A lake, placed there like a mirror, re- first-class medal for the second time. Any one flects its image, and carries on its brink sheaves who has seen “The Springtime,” formerly in the of rushes, coltsfoot, reeds, water-strawberries, Luxembourg and now at the Louvre, must apwhite and yellow lilies, among which swarm a humming world of gnats and insects. At your preciate its merit. Under a sky where the light, approach some stork occupied in arranging its vaporous clouds of spring relieve themselves plumage flies off snapping its beak; a snipe runs on delicate atmospheric azure spreads out a away piping its little cry; then all falls again into fresh, green landscape. The ground rises gently

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

to the right, covered with growing wheat-fields, ties, and was bought by the Emperor Napoleon while to the left an orchard in full bloom relieves III. At the Salon of 1859 were seen “ The its pink blossoms against a woody grove, and, Graves of Villerville ” and “The Banks of the higher still, against the sky. Birds sing their Oise,” both of which had a great success, the songs of joy from the topmost branches, and latter picture being especially desired by coneverything expresses the season when nature is noisseurs; but it was already possessed by a budding into the fullness of new life. Near M. Nadar, who afterward sold it to the musethe foreground, on a path leading through the um of Bordeaux. On July 15 of the same year fields, comes a peasant woman seated on a Daubigny was named Chevalier of the Legion donkey, while farther back two lovers are seen of Honor, and the state favored him with two almost hidden by the grain. Both in sentiment important decorative orders for the palace of and execution this picture is all that one could the Louvre; two panels,“ Deer" and "Herons," desire, filled with a fresh poetic beauty, vigor- for the Department of State, and in the following ously and frankly expressed. In it the real and year with “ The Ancient Pavilion of Flora the ideal unite under the sure and delicate hand and the “Grand Basin of the Tuileries Garof a master, and one feels that this is great and dens” for the staircase of the same department. classic art, which can well stand by the side of The success of “ The Banks of the Oise" any works the past has given us. “ The Valley caused him to reproduce the subject several of Optevoz" was also a landscape of noble quali- times, and as a demand seemed to grow for

[ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

subjects of a like kind, with which his tempera- material cares, living close to nature, he proment was fully in sympathy, Daubigny prepared duced those marvelous studies of river life by himself to satisfy it. He wished to be free from which he is perhaps most widely known. Befollowing on foot the banks of rivers, to be in- sides the accomplishment of much serious work, dependent of hotels, to be on hand at sunrise there was a gay and amusing side to these voyand sunset, when the effects were most enchant- ages, which Daubigny noted in a series of etching, and to move about stream at will. Withings in memory of the Botin, done first to amuse

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

a

this desire he went to see his friend Baillet the his family and friends, and afterward published. boat-builder at Asnières, and explained his pro- Often did the rustics at the villages where they ject. “Hold !” said Baillet,“ I have just what stopped take them for gipsies, fortune-tellers, you want, a boat intended to be used for a or quack-doctors; but they were not long in ferry.” Daubigny, who was accompanied by gaining the good will of these country-people, his son Karl, looked over the boat, which was who had never before seen a like craft or crew. some twenty-eight feet long, six feet beam, flat- Corot was the “Grand Admiral Honoraire,” bottomed, and drew only eighteen inches of but took no part in the voyages. Yet the gay water. Baillet agreed to complete it, so that old“ père” was often present at the startingthree or six rowers could be used, and a sail at out dinners and on the completion of a trip, will. At the stern was to be placed a cabin in when good things both in art and edibles were pine sufficiently large to work and sleep in, plentiful, and his joyous nature had full play. with lockers on each side to contain bedding, An intimate and familiar friend, he designed cooking-utensils, provisions, and artist's ma- the decorations of Daubigny's studio when the terials. Thus equipped with a plentiful supply latter built his country-house at Auvers, about of provisions on board, and accompanied by his the time that the Botin made her appearance. son Karl, other pupils, or a chance friend, Dau- Oudinot, who was the architect, also assisted bigny made extensive voyages on the Bolin in the decoration, reproducing a lovely Italian for so was this curious little craft christened by scene, after Corot's “ Maquette,” along the an impudent rustic — along the Oise, Seine, largest side of the studio, while Daubigny and Marne, and adjoining rivers. Here, freed from his son Karl laid in the studies at each end.

Vol. XLIV.- 44.

These prove how extremely decorative and door interpretation. “The Sheepfold” and the poetic Corot's designs appear on a large scale. “Moonrise" of the Salon of 1861 were the first The “ Villa des Vallées," as it was named, is examples of this new departure, and although still preserved carefully by the widows of Dau- they possessed much poetic feeling, the public, bigny and his son Karl,1 two most amiable who had been used to the more vigorous interladies, and is a worthy monument to the spirit pretations of his brush, could not recognize of the builder. Out in the garden, drawn up their old favorite in the more hesitating technic under the apple-trees, and overrun with grass consequent on a change of style. He soon and vines, rests the Botin, now serving as a regained his place in their hearts, however, sort of summer-house, and sadly recalling in by such works as “ The Morning" and "The its loneliness the departed masters. For sev- Banks of the Oise at Auvers ” in the Salon of eral years the writer has lived near by, and one 1863, “The Château and Park of St. Cloud” summer occupied the larger studio, thus be- in 1865, “The Banks of the Oise, near Bonnecoming a more careful student of the genius of ville,” of 1866, “ The Meadows of the Graves Daubigny. Many and famous were the guests at Villerville" in 1870, the pictures called of this hospitable house in the old days; Millet“ Moonrise " of 1865 and 1868, and “ The and Rousseau were among the number. One Pond in the Morvan" of 1869. Several of these likes to think of these men, simple in habit, but pictures were reëxhibited at the Universal Exgreat in thought and deed, meeting around position of 1867, gaining their author another a common board and discussing the burning first-class medal. At the Universal Exposition questions of the art-world of their day. of Vienna, in 1873, Daubigny did much to sus

Here, too, removed from the interruptions tain the honor of French art by such works and feverish life of Paris, in the heart of a pic- as the “ Moonrise” from the Salon of 1868, and turesque country to which he was bound by “The Beach of Villerville at Sunset,” in which

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

associations reaching back to his infancy, Dau- both deep sentiment and great science unite. bigny felt able to attempt the production of The first-named marks perhaps the highest several works that he had for a long time medi- point he ever reached in rendering the mystated. Having succeeded in painting effects that terious poetry of twilight, the hour when the would, as it were, wait to be painted, noting moon takes the throne of the heavens, and tired down living truths in the daylight and the fresh man and beast go to their well-earned rest. open air, he wished to record his impressions of These works gained him a promotion to the those most beautiful but more delicate effects grade of Officer of the Legion of Honor. Then which last for so short a time that their realiza- came “The Fields in June," full of brilliant tion must be the result of careful thought and scarlet poppies, and The House of Mère patient creative labor, rather than of direct out- Bazot,” his old nurse, in 1874.

1 Charles-Pierre Daubigny, called Karl to distinguish him a medal. “The Plateau of Belle-Croix, Forest of him from his father, was born in 1846. Always at his Fontainebleau,” gained him yet another, and is now father's side, he soon developed a taste for painting, owned by the museum of Bordeaux. He was then only which in the strong art-atmosphere in which he grew twenty-two years old. He continued his work, conup was not long in becoming skill. To the Salon of stantly striving to improve, and every succeeding Salon 1863 he sent two landscapes done at Auvers. He was found him in the line of progress. Fishing-life, and the then only seventeen, but this precocious success did not rustic surroundings of 'Auvers, mostly occupied his prevent his continuing to study assiduously. Not wish. brush, and he had attained an eminent position when ing to follow exactly in the same line with his father, he a rapid consumption, the result of a boat accident, sudfelt that it would be best to attempt subjects where fig- denly carried him off in 1886, at the age of forty. Sev, ures would have the chief interest, and, always having eral of his works were bought by the Government, and possessed a taste for the sea, he spent several seasons were placed in the national museums. The future along the Brittany and Normandy coasts. “The Win. would'in all probability have brought him still greater nowers of Kérity-Finistère" in the Salon of 1868 gained successes.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »