Puslapio vaizdai

crops and for the raising of cattle, there was little to attract men, civilized or uncivilized, to make their homes here. Nature was forbidding, and offered few natural products for the subsistence of human beings; fuel was scarce and poor. water was of the meanest description, and a climate of the utmost rigor prevailed. The presence of fur-bearing animals in great abundance in former times, now sadly lessened, alone held out inducement to wandering tribes of Indians. who could clothe themselves from the fruits of the chase and feed their hungry bodies with the carcasses of the slain. More than two hundred years ago the early French voyageurs, traversing Lake Superior and penetrating among the tribes of Indians on the upper Mississippi, pushed their adventurous journeys northward also, and learned of the beaver, the buffalo, the otter, the fox, the sable, and other valuable fur-bearing animals existing in great numbers in a hitherto unexplored region. The Hudson's Bay Trading Company, one of the most remarkable commercial organizations of all history, entered and took possession of a waste of which as yet civilized men had no need. For two centuries, with their few European retainers and the dependent aborigines who gathered about them engaged in hunting and trapping, they held almost unchallenged possession of a territory nearly as large as the entire United States. A teeming population with settled homes and busy towns and cities was no part of their desire, and they took measures to exclude all except such servitors and dependents as could assist in gathering the annual stores of peltries and in transporting them to Montreal. When a few years ago this company was forced by the necessities of the times to dispose of its proprietary rights to the Canadian Dominion, the paucity of both human and animal life throughout these regions became apparent. The animals had been hunted and trapped, destroyed by powder and by poison until their skins no longer furnished a source of profitable trade, and the Indian tribes had largely perished by starvation and disease. The few remnants of once noble tribes were taken in hand by a paternal government and were gathered upon farms and reservations, deprived of the possibility of getting intoxicating liquor, and controlled by an efficient mounted police force, the like of which is not known on this side of the boundary line. Thus it is that the traveler of to-day in these lonely regions may journey for weeks at a time without encountering a single human being outside his own party, or finding a sign of former or present human occupancy, while the only tokens of the former abundance of animal life re those which betoken its extinction.

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The early grass of spring is bright green in hue, like the springing wheat of the farmer; but as the season advances the prevailing tint is a sage-green, which forms an admirable background for the display of the colors of the flowers. The flora is abundant and varied, and of the usual character of the semi-arid regions, but the hues and tints of color in blossom and leaf and stem are of remarkable depth, purity, and intensity. The common orange-lily lifts its chalices of blood like that drawn fresh from living veins. The primroses flaunt their white and yellow in splendid magnificence, and the cactus blossoms flame against the graygreen surface. In favorable localities curious cypripediums, and the spiranthes, and other members of the orchis family, attract admiring attention. But the roses far surpass all other flowers; they nod and blush in perfect abandon over miles and miles of waste, to gladden the eye of the infrequent traveler.

C. A. Kenaston.


PAUL VERONESE.-1528-1588.


AUL VERONESE, the greatest of the decorative painters of the sixteenth century, judged as decorator simply, was born at Verona when Titian was in his prime, and the true art of color had been developed to its highest attainment, while the sister-arts of sculpture and architecture had been carried to a luxuriance which already had begun to stifle the Renaissance, and to produce forms rather artificial than artistic, but which at the same time gave an opportunity for decoration such as the world had not seen since the Roman emperors. Veronese, as he is generally called in our day, was of a family of artists, his father being a sculptor and his uncle a painter. He began as a pupil of the former, but found the art of the latter more to his taste; and his father, impressed, no doubt, by his success in imitating the work of his uncle Badile, put him under the direction of Giovanni Carotto of Verona. Before he was twenty years old he had become an artist of note and recognized promise, and he found in the Cardinal Ercole di Gonzaga his first protector, and his first considerable commissions were executed for Mantua. But enthusiasm for the arts in the grand-ducal family was no longer what it had been in the days of Mantegna. Veronese burned to spread his conceptions over surfaces of a vastness which was not accorded to him in Mantua, and he returned to Verona and undertook the decoration of the villa of the Porti family near Vicenza. Here he had full liberty in choice and treatment of his subjects, and he covered the walls with scenes from mythology and classic history conceived in the pure spirit of the life of his day, in which Venetian gentlemen and ladies with all the picturesque paraphernalia of the most brilliant epoch of Italian history hobnobbed with the gods of Olympus and the worthies of old Rome.

From Vicenza he went to Treviso, then a portion of the Venetian state, where he decorated the Villa Emi at Tanzolo, near by; and here again he filled his space with visions of a resuscitated past masquerading in the garb of Venice. But the City of the Doges was the goal of all artistic ambition of the day, and in 1555 he went there with letters of recommendation to a compatriot, Bernardo Torlioni, Prior

of the Convent of St. Sebastian, who obtained for him from his brotherhood the commission to decorate the sacristy with the "Crowning of the Virgin" and four other subjects, a commission which he fulfilled with such brilliant success that he received a further order for the church of the convent, where he painted the history of Esther. The moment was most favorable for his entry into the capital of the arts. Tintoretto was absorbed in his great undertaking at the School of St. Rochus; and Titian, the supreme authority in matters of art in Venice, who was now growing old, became at once the friend and protector of the newcomer. In 1563 Titian was the foremost to support the claims of Veronese to the award of the decorations of the Library of St. Mark, in the competition which was invited by the Council, and in which his protégé gained one of his greatest triumphs. This is the date of the production of the "Marriage Feast at Cana," now in the Louvre. The details of the history of this, which is regarded as the greatest of his pictures, are interesting, as giving us at once an idea of the power of the painter and the value of art at the day of its production. The contract for it was signed on June 6, 1562, and the picture was delivered on September 8, 1563. The canvas and colors were found for him, the convent provided for his subsistence, and promised him a pipe of wine as a bonus, and he was to be paid 324 ducats, the ducat being of the value of three francs. When the difference in the value of the precious metals is estimated, the sum was equivalent to about $1500 to-day.

By this time the reputation of the painter had reached France and Spain, and Louis XIV. made propositions for the purchase of one of his pictures. Upon the "Supper with Simon" the lot fell to be the subject of contention between France and Spain. The picture belonged to the Convent of the Servants of the Madonna, who were willing to sell it; but the Council interfered, and purchased the picture, which they presented to the king of France, for the law of the time forbade the exportation of works of art, which the state regarded as important to the dignity of Venice.

In 1565 Veronese went to Rome; but with all due consideration for the critics who find in his later work the influence of Michelangelo,

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I cannot see that the art of the southern schools affected that of Veronese more than it had that of Titian. He remained as faithful an interpreter of his surroundings as he had been before the journey, and no factitious ideal of a time gone by ever came in to disturb his vision of the things that constituted his actual world. This is shown by his being called in 1573 before the Inquisition to respond for blasphemy in one of his pictures, a "Last Supper" painted for the Friars of St. John and St. Paul, in which he had introduced the customs of his time. A French writer, M. Armand Basquet, in his researches in the archives of Venice, discovered the report of this curious trial. In it the painter is being questioned by the inquisitor :

Q. "What is the signification of the figure of one whose nose is bleeding."

A. "It is a servant who has met with an accident which set his nose to bleeding."

Q. "What is the meaning of these people armed and dressed in the German manner, holding halberds in their hands?" The painter replies that he works according to the fashion of painters and fools, and had found no other way to express the fact that the master of the house was rich and lived splendidly, and must have had servants who might have been thus occupied.

Q. "But there is a buffoon with a parrot on his wrist; what is he doing?" And so he is questioned as to all the personages of his drama. He replies finally: "I believe, to tell the truth, that at that Supper there were only Christ and the Apostles; but when in a picture there is a space left, I fill it with figures of my invention."


Q." But does it seem decent to you, in the Last Supper of our Lord, to represent buffoons, drunken Germans, dwarfs, and other stupidities? Do you not know that in Germany, and in other countries infested by heresies, it is customary in their pictures, full of foolish things, to caricature and ridicule the holy things of the Church, so as to teach false doctrines to ignorant people?"

Veronese calls to his aid the example of Michelangelo, who in his "Last Judgment " had painted Christ and most of the judged naked.

But the inquisitor asks if he was of the opinion that that was proper and decent. Veronese replies:

"My very illustrious lords, I had not taken such matters into consideration. I was far from imagining such irregularities. I paint with such study as is natural to me, and as my mind can comprehend." He was, however, obliged to paint out his buffoons and dwarfs and similar heresies, and we have in the Academy of Venice the picture as the Inquisition willed it to be.

In 1577 the fire that destroyed the works of Bellini, Carpaccio, and Titian made a place for the pencil of Veronese. The Senate nominated a commission to which was given the charge of finding the means to repair the disaster. The artist gave himself no concern in the matter, but kept at work in his studio while his competitors canvassed the commission. Contarini reproached him with his indifference to the opportunity, and he replied that he was more concerned about the execution of his works than to get commissions. His confidence in his merit was perhaps more the cause of his tranquillity, though the demand for his pictures must have made him really indifferent to the reception of new orders. He was, however, in spite of his indifference, commissioned to paint the ceiling of the council-chamber, on which he did the "Triumph of Venice "; and he executed for the republic the great pictures of the campaigns of Mocenigo and Loredano, the "Return of Contarini from the victory at Chioggia "; the "Emperor Frederic at the feet of Pope Alexander III."; and others among his noblest works. From this time to the date of his death he was occupied with commissions from all the princes and notables of Europe, as well as from the rich cities of the Venetian state, which were all competitors for his work. His life was without incident in its unbroken triumph. In the year 1588, while taking part in a procession to celebrate the jubilee of Sixtus V., he caught a cold and fever, from which he died in a few hours. He was buried in the midst of his works in St. Sebastian, where his tomb is marked by a stone beneath a portraitbust. W. J. Stillman.



N the black jungle of the sky now wakes The Lightning's writhing brood of fiery snakes, And lion Thunder from his lair of cloud

Startles the dusky world with challenge loud.

Frank Dempster Sherman.

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