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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 The early grass of spring is bright green in paucity of both human and animal life through- hue, like the springing wheat of the
farmer; but out these regions became apparent. The ani- as the season advances the prevailing tint is a mals had been hunted and trapped, destroyed sage-green, which forms an admirable backby powder and by poison until their skins no ground for the display of the colors of the flowlonger furnished a source of profitable trade, ers. The flora is abundant and varied, and of and the Indian tribes had largely perished by the usual character of the semi-arid regions, but starvation and disease. The few remnants of the hues and tints of color in blossom and leaf once noble tribes were taken in hand by a pater- and stem are of remarkable depth, purity, and nal government and were gathered upon farms intensity. The common orange-lily lifts its and reservations, deprived of the possibility chalices of blood like that drawn fresh from of getting intoxicating liquor, and controlled living veins. The primroses flaunt their white by an efficient mounted police force, the like and yellow in splendid magnificence, and of which is not known on this side of the boun- the cactus blossoms flame against the graydary line. Thus it is that the traveler of to-day in green surface. In favorable localities curious these lonely regions may journey for weeks at a cypripediums, and the spiranthes, and other time without encountering a single human being members of the orchis family, attract admiring outside his own party, or finding a sign of former attention. But the roses far surpass all other or present human occupancy, while the only flowers; they nod and blush in perfect abandon tokens of the former abundance of animal life over miles and miles of waste, to gladden the
re those which betoken its extinction. eye of the infrequent traveler.
C. A. Kenaston.
ITALIAN OLD MASTERS.
PAUL VERONESE. — 1528–1588.
AUL VERONESE, the greatest of the Convent of St. Sebastian, who obtained
of the decorative painters of the for him from his brotherhood the commission sixteenth century, judged as dec- to decorate the sacristy with the “Crowning orator simply, was born at Ve- of the Virgin ” and four other subjects, a comrona when Titian was in his mission which he fulfilled with such brilliant
prime, and the true art of color success that he received a further order for the had been developed to its highest attainment, church of the convent, where he painted the while the sister-arts of sculpture and architec- history of Esther. The moment was most favture had been carried to a luxuriance which al- orable for his entry into the capital of the arts. ready had begun to stifle the Renaissance, and Tintoretto was absorbed in his great undertakto produce forms rather artificial than artistic, ing at the School of St. Rochus; and Titian, but which at the same time gave an opportunity the supreme authorityin matters of art in Venice, for decoration such as the world had not seen who was now growing old, became at once the since the Roman emperors. Veronese, as he is friend and protector of the newcomer. In 1563 generally called in our day, was of a family of Titian was the foremost to support the claims artists, his father being a sculptor and his uncle of Veronese to the award of the decorations a painter. He began as a pupil of the former, of the Library of St. Mark, in the competition but found the art of the latter more to his taste; which was invited by the Council, and in which and his father, impressed, no doubt, by his suc- his protégé gained one of his greatest triumphs. cess in imitating the work of his uncle Badile, This is the date of the production of the “Marput him under the direction of Giovanni Carotto riage Feast at Cana,” now in the Louvre. The of Verona. Before he was twenty years old he details of the history of this, which is regarded had become an artist of note and recognized as the greatest of his pictures, are interesting, promise, and he found in the Cardinal Ercole as giving us at once an idea of the power of di Gonzaga his first protector, and his first the painter and the value of art at the day of considerable commissions were executed for its production. The contract for it was signed Mantua. But enthusiasm for the arts in the on June 6, 1562, and the picture was delivered grand-ducal family was no longer what it had on September 8, 1563. The canvas and colors been in the days of Mantegna. Veronese were found for him, the convent provided for burned to spread his conceptions over surfaces his subsistence, and promised him a pipe of wine of a vastness which was not accorded to him as a bonus, and he was to be paid 324 ducats, in Mantua, and he returned to Verona and the ducat being of the value of three francs. undertook the decoration of the villa of the When the difference in the value of the precious Porti family near Vicenza. Here he had full metals is estimated, the sum was equivalent to liberty in choice and treatment of his subjects, about $1500 to-day. and he covered the walls with scenes from my- By this time the reputation of the painter thology and classic history conceived in the had reached France and Spain, and Louis pure spirit of the life of his day, in which Ven- XIV. made propositions for the purchase of etian gentlemen and ladies with all the pictur- one of his pictures. Upon the “Supper with esque paraphernalia of the most brilliant epoch Simon" the lot fell to be the subject of conof Italian history hobnobbed with the gods of tention between France and Spain. The picOlympus and the worthies of old Rome. ture belonged to the Convent of the Servants
From Vicenza he went to Treviso, then a of the Madonna, who were willing to sell it; portion of the Venetian state, where he deco- but the Council interfered, and purchased the rated the Villa Emi at Tanzolo, near by; and picture, which they presented to the king of here again he filled his space with visions of France, for the law of the time forbade the a resuscitated past masquerading in the garb exportation of works of art, which the state of Venice. But the City of the Doges was the regarded as important to the dignity of Venice. goal of all artistic ambition of the day, and in In 1565 Veronese went to Rome; but with 1555 he went there with letters of recommen- all due consideration for the critics who find in dation to a compatriot, Bernardo Torlioni, Prior his later work the influence of Michelangelo,
I cannot see that the art of the southern schools But the inquisitor asks if he was of the opinaffected that of Veronese more than it had that ion that that was proper and decent. Veronese of Titian. He remained as faithful an inter- replies: preter of his surroundings as he had been be- · My very illustrious lords, I had not taken fore the journey, and no factitious ideal of a such matters into consideration. I was far from time gone by ever came in to disturb his vision imagining such irregularities. I paint with such of the things that constituted his actual world. study as is natural to me, and as my mind can This is shown by his being called in 1573 be- comprehend.” He was, however, obliged to fore the Inquisition to respond for blasphemy paint out his buffoons and dwarfs and similar in one of his pictures, a “ Last Supper " painted heresies, and we have in the Academy of for the Friars of St. John and St. Paul, in which Venice the picture as the Inquisition willed it he had introduced the customs of his time. A to be. French writer, M. Armand Basquet, in his re- In 1577 the fire that destroyed the works searches in the archives of Venice, discovered of Bellini, Carpaccio, and Titian made a place the report of this curious trial. In it the painter for the pencil of Veronese. The Senate nomiis being questioned by the inquisitor: nated a commission to which was given the
Q. " What is the signification of the figure charge of finding the means to repair the disof one whose nose is bleeding.”
aster. The artist gave himself no concern in A. “It is a servant who has met with an the matter, but kept at work in his studio while accident which set his nose to bleeding." his competitors canvassed the commission.
Q. “What is the meaning of these people Contarini reproached him with his indifference armed and dressed in the German manner, to the opportunity, and he replied that he was holding halberds in their hands?” The painter more concerned about the execution of his replies that he works according to the fashion works than to get commissions. His confidence of painters and fools, and had found no other in his merit was perhaps more the cause of his way to express the fact that the master of the tranquillity, though the demand for his pictures house was rich and lived splendidly, and must must have made him really indifferent to the have had servants who might have been thus reception of new orders. He was, however, occupied
in spite of his indifference, commissioned to Q. “But there is a buffoon with a parrot on paint the ceiling of the council-chamber, on his wrist; what is he doing?” And so he is which he did the “ Triumph of Venice"; and questioned as to all the personages of his drama. he executed for the republic the great pictures
He replies finally: “I believe, to tell the of the campaigns of Mocenigo and Loredano, truth, that at that Supper there were only the “ Return of Contarini from the victory at Christ and the Apostles; but when in a pic- Chioggia"; the “Emperor Frederic at the feet ture there is a space left, I fill it with figures of Pope Alexander III."; and others among of my invention.”
his noblest works. From this time to the date Q.“ But does it seem decent to you, in the of his death he was occupied with commissions Last Supper of our Lord, to represent buffoons, from all the princes and notables of Europe, drunken Germans, dwarfs, and other stupidi- as well as from the rich cities of the Venetian ties? Do you not know that in Germany, and state, which were all competitors for his work. in other countries infested by heresies, it is cus- His life was without incident in its unbroken tomary in their pictures, full of foolish things, triumph. In the year 1988, while taking part to caricature and ridicule the holy things of the in a procession to celebrate the jubilee of SixChurch, so as to teach false doctrines to igno- tus V., he caught a cold and fever, from which rant people ?"
he died in a few hours. He was buried in the Veronese calls to his aid the example of Mi- midst of his works in St. Sebastian, where his chelangelo, who in his “ Last Judgment” had tomb is marked by a stone beneath a portraitpainted Christ and most of the judged naked. bust.
W. J. Stillman.
The Lightning's writhing brood of fiery snakes,
Frank Dempster Sherman.