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pression on me. I am a good Frenchman, therefore; but, as Simon Van den Berg says, it is just because I am a good Frenchman that I am a good Dutchman, since the great Frenchmen of to-day and the great Dutchmen of the past have much in common. Unity, restfulness, earnestness, and, above all, an inexplicable intimacy with nature are what struck me most in these pictures. There were certainly also a few good Dutch pieces, but, generally speaking, when you place them next to the great Parisians, they lack that mellowness, that quality which, so to speak, resembles the deep tones of an organ. rious manner
And yet this luxucame originally from Holland, from our steaming, fat-colored Holland! They were courageous pictures; there was a heart and a soul in them."
In the passage quoted from Bilders there is no mention made of the greatest among the Barbizon men. But the work of the greatest Hague painter, Josef Israëls, suggests more than that of anyone else the influence of Jean François Millet. contemporaries. than Millet in finding his proper vocation. "Israëls first realized himself," writes an admirer, Max Lieberman, “at an age when most painters have already produced their best work; and had he had the misfortune to die at forty, Holland would have been unable to boast of one of her greatest sons."
The two were almost
Zandvoort, a fishing-village, was Israëls' Barbizon. He went there for his health, and stayed in the house of a shipwright, whose domestic life he shared. "Here, far from studios, painters, and the precepts of his masters, he began to observe for himself the daily routine of the fisherman's life"; even as Millet was in Barbizon observing the round of existence among his peasants. It is not possible to believe, however, that these two inspirations went on side by side quite
independently; as by 1856 much of Millet's work had been given to the world. We cannot then credit Israëls with the same sort of genius, with being the same sort of epochal man that was the Barbizon painter. But in many points of technique the Dutchman has the advantage. Israëls' coloring is not always satisfying; in many cases his pictures have a voulu dulness; in others-as, say, in his "Grace before Meat"-there is something of weakness in the yellows and blues. At times, however, he shows himself a really great colorist; and no better proof of this could be given than the "Dutch Fisher-girl" at this moment (while we write) on exhibition in the French Gallery. The complexion of the girl reaches the high-water mark of color-handling; such as we see indeed in the best work of the English Millais, but was beyond the reach of Millet of Barbizon.
The revolt against literary art and against the criticism of art from a purely literary standpoint (such as Ruskin was guilty of when he dealt with Pre-Raphaelite painting) has carried the present generation too far in the opposite direction. We are apt to ignore not alone the literary but the intellectual element in painting. Nothing, on the other hand, could better illustrate what the words "intellectual element" mean than a comparison of the work of the elder Israëls with that of Millet. The subjects chosen by the two artists seem exactly parallel. The one has his wood-cutters, sowers, winnowers, potato-gatherers, shepherds and shepherdesses, his gleaners: once or twice, but most rarely, he steps into an almost lyrical art as in his "Angelus." Israëls has his fisher-folk, sometimes abroad, oftenest in their cottage homes, at grace, crouched before the fire; his philosopher with a guttering candle; his women sitting idle; his women making pancakes; and
in such pictures as "The Drowned Fisherman" he becomes in his way lyrical too. Yet the greatness of result in Millet is wanting in Israëls; and it is difficult to say where lies the defect in the Dutch painter. There is a something of intellectual power, something of intense sincerity which we miss in Israëls. The result is that while we enjoy each individual work of Israëls', the cumulative effect of the whole is wanting. There is no epic grandeur here as in the Frenchman. One felt that when brought face to face with a tolerably large selection of Josef Israëls' work in the French Exhibition of 1900. One felt, too, that his smaller canvases were the best; at that exhibition some were very large, and left on the memory an impression of gloomy space round some one figure, which was rather exaggerated than deeply impressive. On the other hand, as we have said, Israëls is capable of high achievement as a colorist, and in mere technical excellence each picture taken in itself is often a wonder. Take, for example, the "Grace before Meat," as that is now on exhibition in the French Gallery. Though the color-scheme leaves something to be desired, the atmosphere and lighting of the cottage are given with extraordinary subtlety. In no way inferior is "The Sexton and his Wife," which was formerly in the collection of Mr. Staats Forbes. Among Mr. Marius' illustrations are "The Woman at the Window," from one of the galleries in Rotterdam, and "When a Body Grows Old" in a private Dutch collection. The former is one of the most Milletlike of Israëls' peasant poses: it is full of character and individuality. The second, on the other hand, like "The Philosopher," at present in the National Gallery, is, so far as the figure goes, rather conventional: it is a study of surroundings or ensemble-a picture in fine not a subject.
This is of course (as we have already said) in accordance with modern theory; in accordance with the principle on which Willem Maris, though he is a modern Paul Potter, said, "I never paint cows, only effects of light." And if it were replied that Josef Israëls' effects of light are too often of interiors and have a certain monotony, there exist also by him-putting aside his more dramatic fishing scenes -some very charming idylls of out-ofdoor color, such as his "Children of the Sea" in the Municipal Museum in Amsterdam. His gamut therefore is wide. And if we cannot compare Israëls with such a unique genius as Millet, whose name has power to weld into an imposing whole the painters of the "Barbizon school," and serves to raise that school above the level of common experience in modern art, nevertheless Israëls, along with the great men his contemporaries, the Marises and so forth, makes up a group or school who hold their own against any other modern group in Europe save the Barbizon: hold their own against (say) the plein-air painters, or those who gathered about the atelier of Manet on Montmartre or have followed the steps of Monet.
Mr. Marius does not fully include Jacob Maris in his "Hague school." We have already said that there is something factitious in that classification. No doubt the reason why the author of "Dutch Art in the Nineteenth Century" wishes to keep Israëls and Jacob Maris apart is that they have been rather like rivals in their infiuence. As the German students used to dispute over the rival merits of Michael Angelo and Raphael, or as men have done with Velasquez and Rembrandt, "so in our day," says our author, "they did and do over Josef Israëls and Jacob Maris":
"Israëls was the first to give us," he goes on, "life and living man in con
flict with every phase of life, psycholJacob Maris was the ogy in short. first to give us in our day color, the joy of color revealed in the gladness of Holland's skies and cities and fields. color in light, color in shade. . . . All that he sought to achieve he achieved fully; he was in harmony with his conception; he was one with his art. This Israëls. cannot always be said of that lies outside the painter's art, something that may be classified as metaphysical."
We have hinted that we cannot endorse all that is here said in praise of Israëls. We believe, on the contrary, that the latter's failures spring from a vague hope or an unconscious effort to absorb more than he was capable of out of the genius of Millet's inspiration. There is something of Israëls' Jewish origin in this, a sort of (be it said in no harsh sense) acquisitiveness spurred beyond the real capacity for acquiring even as behind the matchless technique of Brahms we detect every now and then an extra desire, the desire to appropriate what is of Beethoven. Of Jacob Maris, on the other hand, our author speaks justly. And because Jacob's aims were more simple and in their measure more sincere, his achievement leaves less room for comment. It is among the misfortunes of all art that the more perfect it is in its kind, the less it calls for criticism. "Good wine needs no bush." Of a good picture you can say little more than that it is good; concerning an odd picture you can write a chapter. And before we come to the end of this article we shall see the fatal effects on modern art which have sprung from this difference: how to gain notice goodness has more and more to be put aside as the artist's aim, oddity sought out more and more. Jacob Maris in his turn came back to Holland with his eyes purged by the Barbizon school. "It was with him
as with another less known modern Dutch landscapist, Willem Roelofs. But Roelofs never threw off the French influence; Jacob Maris did so. To him had been revealed not so much the masters of Barbizon and their works, but the essence of the lowlands of Holland." No other Dutch painter, Mr. Marius thinks (leaving Bosboom out of the question), brought forth about 1870 any work in which "the essence of our Dutch atmosphere and landscape are so exquisitely reproduced" as in Maris' "Ferry Boat," which once and for all marked the return to sheer painting.
Thus Holland seemed to come to her own again. For, after all, the painting of pure landscape is a Dutch invention. It passed over to England and underwent there endless modifications, the history of which Richard Muther has traced in his excellent history of modern painting. Not much of the original inspiration, for instance, remains in the fluid decorative landscape of Gainsborough. Yet it was from England, and through Constable, that a definite, solid, and "real" landscape made its way back to France, and then, as we have seen through the Barbizon painters, to Jacob Maris and his contemporaries. Mr. Marius is not afraid to compare the modern painter with Jan Vermeer of Delft, nay he writes:
If we mention not only Vermeer but also Rembrandt and Jacob Maris in one breath we must remember that they who shout "Rembrandt! Rembrandt!" the loudest, without being impressed by Jacob Maris' greatness, would certainly have belonged to those who in Rembrandt's own day most violently reviled him, or for lack of understanding denied him. And yet if our delight, the nature of our emotion in the presence of Jacob Maris is less intense than in that of Rembrandt, it is the same insatiable feeling.
Moreover, this Maris has not confined himself to landscape. We have here a charming reproduction of his, "A Little Girl at the Piano," which is in a private collection at Amsterdam, of his "Cradle," which is at Arnhem, and "The Bird Cage," which was the property of Mr. Forbes.
Though Jacob Maris is, then, more purely and simply a painter than Israëls, a question arises even with him whether we are to regard his art solely as a stage in the history of Dutch painting, or to refer it to wider influences. What relation does it bear to the plein-air work in France? In respect of Maris' landscape very little, though some of the blue-green herbage of France seems to have found its way here into a country where it is not indigenous. In respect of such a picture as "The Bird Cage" outside inspiration is more suggested. Of Willem Maris the same must be said. His work is less striking and less varied than that of his elder brother. But if there were no Jacob and no Matthew, Willem would take a very high place in modern Dutch art. He has followed a national tradition in painting a great number of landscapes with cows; though, as we saw by a quotation, he himself denies having painted cows or anything but effects of light. A reproduction in this volume of Willem Maris' "Luxurious Summer" suggests (only the original could show) with what mastery this aim of his has been achieved. There is a pleasant little anecdote related by Mr. Marius which brings Willem Maris into relation with Mauve. Young Maris was then nineteen:
Mauve has told how at Oosterbeck a pale, delicate little lad came up to him and modestly asked leave to introduce himself and to accompany him, so that they might work together. "At first." says Mauve, "I did not feel much inclined to agree, but I did not like to
refuse the little fellow flatly, so we went off together. My companion did not suffer from loquacity; and, coming to a field that had cows in it, I sat down to go on with a drawing I had begun that morning. The little chap strolled round a bit and then settled down to work himself. We sat there for hours under the pollards, until I grew curious to see what the little fellow was at. He sat sketching with a bit of chalk; but oh! I stood astounded. I seized him by the hand and stammered in my turn, 'My boy, what an artist you are! You stagger me! It's magnificent!'"
The author continues in criticism:
Even as with Jacob, so for Willem, a painting has always been a material reproduction of a momentary aspect of nature. His glorious ditches with their waving reeds, with the gold-green duckweed, so full of rich color, are the synthesis of a series of close observations of such a character that their expression, synchronizing with the painter's mood and with an impregnable truthfulness, presents a scene, simple in itself, so marvellously that we learn through it to see and admire nature. Willem Maris is the last of the great lyrical painters of our time. His sentiment is what it was in the glorious days of 1880 to 1890, and there is none to approach him in that artistry in which every point of view at once becomes lyrical.
The last sentence is somewhat obscure; possibly like others it has suffered at the hands of the translator. But the expression "lyrical painters" is a just one. Of Millet pre-eminently, but of all the Barbizon painters more or less, certainly of Troyon with his monumental kine, we may say that the inspiration is epic. The painting of Manet and his school is epic likewise -a realistic epic, the counterpart in paint of Zola's in prose. In the pleinair painters, passing on to the impressionists we get from the outset a lyric impulse more or less varied, more or
less tame, more or less deep, more or less shrill, till with the newest school of all it sharpens into a shriek. Anton Mauve is far from this last development. Without question he is one of the most delicate and charming among the Dutch painters of our day. And the general picture-lover enjoys at this moment a good opportunity of appreciating Mauve's charm for his "Abreuvoir" or "Horses Drinking," one of Mauve's best-known works, is on exhibition at the National Gallery. It is a picture of immense refinement; the pellucid air which bathes the scene can almost be felt. One hardly likes to make it a reproach to the author that the blues and greens are not quite native, are hardly such (one cannot help thinking) as a Dutch eye if left to itself would have been able to seethe blue of the rider's dress-the bluegreen of the willows and of the herbage generally. Be that as it may, it is a complete poem in color; as, indeed, are almost all Anton Mauve's pictures, of which one or two, "Ploughing" and "Winter," are well reproduced in Mr. Marius' book.
Matthew Maris again may be excellently appreciated in the exhibition of his paintings which, while we write, is on view in the French Gallery (Pall Mall); for the selection passes on from his early and exact work, such as "The Young Cook" or "The Girl at the Well" (not very early work, but still quite simple and direct), to the opening of a more imaginative vein in his "Butterflies" (though the picture here given is, we believe, only a replica), to such dim and fantastic works as his "Enchanted Wood" and "Enchanted Castle." The collection includes too Matthew Maris' beautiful "Lady of Shalott." But though, as we have said, these works are representative, they will hardly express Matthew Maris' genius to any but to those to whose mind they serve to recall a
long series of the artist's pictures, various in character but in many cases of an extraordinary maîtrise; or others of a peculiar charm. Matthew Maris' "In the Slums" is of the same class as "The Girl at the Well," but a stronger piece of work. And there is nothing in this exhibition which at all approaches the merit of the magnificent "Three Mills" of Sir John Day's collection, or of the "Souvenir of Amsterdam," which is reproduced in Mr. Marius' book in photogravure as a frontispiece. The only picture which resembles this particular order of excellence in Maris' work is the "Montmartre" in the French Gallery. "Sisky," which is reproduced here, is the same painter tending to a weaker vein as in his "Butterflies," which has, too, the characteristic tightness of the plein-air painting amid which Maris was thrown in the early seventies. It is known that Mr. Matthew Maris now lives in England. His reputation has been long established. But he has more and more of late years turned to a fantastic and sketchy art in which his admirers see untold depths of imagination, but the soberer critic a good deal of weakness.
A Dutch painter better known possibly in England and in France than any of the moderns we have mentioned, better known maybe than Josef Israëls himself, is Mesdag, whose sea pieces and boats-"Scheveningen Harbor" or what not-have year after year held their place on the walls of the French salons and frequently been seen in this country. Mesdag seems to stand outside any school. There is no reason why he should not have drawn his inspiration direct from his fathers in painting, the seascapists of the seventeenth century. But he is completely modern in style, and nothing would surprise the eye more than the sight of one of Mesdag's pictures hung among a collection of William Van de