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and they are the stuff of the civic popula- | suited to the enjoyment of all rare detion of Turkestan. One glance at them lights. As soon as the field is clear, these shows how a handful of Russians holds Central Asia down.
carcass-butchers of glory will cut off the heads of all the Russians who are left behind, put them in sacks, and take them to the Emir's palace at Samarcand. Here they will be tumbled out for princely inspection in the inner court-yard, amid contrasted effects of
In the fighting, Russia is not invariably the winner; and when the luck is on the other side, the horde will celebrate its victory in the slow, deliberate, prolonging way
pale marble, and columns carved as minute- | his marble courts. When the heads are ly as the intaglio of a precious stone. His heaped, he will graciously come out to inHighness needs these contrasts to heighten spect them, with a few courtiers in his train;. his sense of the exceptional advantages and if any head attract his curiosity, he may of his own position; and his foul and turn it up to the light with his foot. When noisome dungeons-one of which Were- he has done with them, the trophies will be schagin has painted-are, artistically speak- taken down into the Reghistan, or great ing, as much a part of his pleasure-house as square, to form the chief attraction of a
public fête. It will be holiday in Samarcand that day. They will be set up on poles before the Mosque of Shirdari-almost too beautiful, in color and carving, to form a background even for such materials of artistic composition. The people will form around in a natural amphitheater, the innermost row sitting cross-legged on the ground to give the others a fair view of the scene. All classes will meet and mingle here on the common footing of patriotic satisfaction -dervishes and beggars who are not in holy orders, magnates of the district on horseback, languid invalids on camels, and in the foreground still more languid dogs, whose lolling tongues are in themselves pictorial effect of sunlight and summer heat. In the very midst of the throng, and as the main point of interest, is the fashionable preacher of the day, improving the occasion by the citation of passages from the Koran, which point the moral of this crowning mercy. The name of Tamerlane will be invoked almost as often as the name of the Deity. The celebration is in the true spirit of that hero's work, who saw no more in humanity than something to kill; and these poor "dim populations" reverence him as all peoples reverence the men who have taught them what they believe to be essential truths of national well-being. His mosque and tomb are objects of pious veneration. Wereschagin has painted them, with their pear-shaped domes without and their blocks of marble within, huge and solid, as if to keep the dreaded man-destroyer in his trap.
Wereschagin's first merit is individuality. No living painter treats character in the human subject better. He seems to see the innermost meaning of a face. That is the form of his intense reverence for fact, the given line in which he is preferably true. His blunt way of putting down what he sees makes him, as a painter, rather regardless of composition, as taught in the schools. Nature does not always compose, so he sometimes leaves her in her ruggedness; and he has been known to go further, and to leave in uncertainty what she has not taken pains to define In some of his scenes there are mere hints of hands and faces, and painters have made this a reproach. As a colorist he loves striking contrast, and within those limits of taste has a good eye. No man can better flood a picture with light. At a first glance, some of his paintings seem all black and white, all intense light and shadow, but it
is absolutely what he has seen on these great sun-baked plains; and no one who knows the Mediterranean will decline to take on trust the intense blue of his Central Asian lake. He has sometimes succeeded in more delicate effects, but they are rare in his work. His passion for contrast shows the influence of Munich, where he has painted a good deal his drawing of the figure, and his taste for Eastern character, the influence of Gérôme. It is still too early to say whether he will develop a true national style, and take away from Russian art its peculiar reproach. The Russian voice in art, say the French, is but an echo. The Academy students of St. Petersburg and Moscow make haste to leave home for Munich and Paris, and their work is generally no more than a clever lad's remembrance of a lesson well learned. Russian art in subject is latent in history and manners; in treatment it has yet to be. Wereschagin's example may teach it the courage which of all qualities it most lacks.
He returned from a second Asiatic journey to settle at Munich for three years; and here he built his first "open-air studio." "If you are to paint outdoor scenes," he says, "your models must sit in the open;" and so he fashioned a movable room on wheels, running on a circular tram-way, and open to sun and air on the side nearest the center of the circle, where the model stood. The artist, in fact, worked in a huge box with one side out, while the thing he saw was in the full glare of day; and, by means of a simple mechanical contrivance, he made his room follow the shifting light.
After a long rest at Munich, he was impatient for action once more, and in 1873 he set off for British India. Here he broke fresh ground for himself, and for all the art world. It is extraordinary that such an El Dorado of art should have been left so long unexplored. There is color in India, there is costume, there is variety of type, there is architecture, there is even landscape, there is every possible element of the picturesque, -and yet, for years and for centuries, men have found nothing newer to paint than Italy and Spain. Régnault was on the verge of this great discovery, but death prevented him from accomplishing it. He had traced a sketch chart of the voyage, but he was never to set sail.
Wereschagin filled one entire room at the exhibition with his Indian studies. They form a definite part of his collection, a section of his life-work. Amazing studies they
are, though they are still inferior to those dealing with Central Asia. The end of his sojourn coincided with the visit of the Prince of Wales, and he saw India both at its best and at its worst. In one immense canvas he has represented the royal entry into Jeypore, the prince and his native entertainer on a richly caparisoned elephant, and a long line of lesser magnates similarly mounted in the rear. A scene of prayer in a mosque is noble in feeling, and it exhibits an amazing mastery of technique. The Temple of Indra, the Caves of Ellora-all the great show-places-are there, with their furniture of priests, deities, monsters, and men-atarms; still the general effect of the collection is that of a vague longing left unsatisfied. Perhaps the painter made a mistake in trying to take all India in his grasp. He made a prodigious journey—from St. Petersburg by Constantinople to Egypt, Hindostan, the Himalayas, and Thibet.
On his return from India he found a great national subject at last-the late RussoTurkish war. He followed the armies, and saw it all, still as a civilian in name, but as a soldier in fact. He could not keep out of it, both from patriotism and from artistic conscientiousness. He wanted to study the effect of a gun-boat in the air, and so he shipped himself on one of the torpedo launches detailed for service on the Danube. They stole up to a Turkish craft; the sentries saw them, and gave the alarm; there was a hail of shot. They pushed on, thrust the torpedo under the bows, and-it did not go off. The launch had to turn tail, and the Turkish fire redoubled in intensity. Wereschagin suddenly felt a sickening sensation, as if he had been roughly pushed, and putting his hand to the place found a wound that would admit his three fingers. This very nearly finished his artistic career. He lay between life and death for weeks, but a devoted Russian nurse of a religious order brought him around. Of course he went back to work as soon as he could move, and in one way or other saw and painted nearly all of it, especially Shipka, and the final rush on Constantinople.
difference in spirit between his little military gallery and the big one at Versailles. The earlier Frenchmen give us pretty uniforms, a monarch prancing on his steed in the moment of victory, an elegantly wounded warrior or two in the foreground, obviously in the act of crying, "Vive la France!" a host in picturesque flight, a host in picturesque pursuit, waving banners, and a great curtain of smoke to hide the general scene of butchery, with supplementary puffs for every disgusting detail. Wereschagin's manner, on the contrary, passing like a breeze of wholesome truthfulness, lifts this theatrical vapor, and shows us what is below-men writhing out their lives in every species of agony by shot and bayonet wounds, by the dry rot of fever, by the wet rot of cold and cramp; and finding their last glance to heaven intercepted by the crows or the vultures, waiting for a meal. All this is very shocking, but looked at in the right way it is supremely moral.
As a war-painter he is a great moralist, and he is a great moralist because he is quite sincere. He paints exactly what he sees on the battle-field, and he is far in advance of the French, who are the fathers of this species of composition, in his rendering of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about this bloody sport of kings. There was a whole wide world of
After the war he settled definitely in France. He had his own ideas about a studio, and he carried them out at Maisons Laffitte, a charming place, the home of many painters, within an easy railway journey of Paris. His house is surrounded on all sides by trees; in fact, he lives in the clearing of a wood, with no one but his wife to share his solitude.
His manner of life is becoming the basis of legend in the neighborhood. This mysterious foreigner, who takes his walks with a couple of blood-hounds by his side, and speaks to no man, rather alarms the French peasant. What does he do inside that house? One who has crossed the threshold may tell. He is painting from morning to night in, perhaps, the largest studio in the world. These are the figures: The floor is one hundred feet by fifty, the roof is thirty-three feet high, the door twentythree feet, and the window measures forty feet by twenty-seven. The painter is a mere speck in it; his lightest word raises an echo. It dwarfs his largest compositions to the proportions common to genre.
Beyond is a smaller room on wheels, thirty-three feet square, a copy of the open-air studio built at Munich. Part of the larger studio is boarded off to form a lumber-room for canvases,—some of them as large as stage scenes, and at the other end there are dressing-rooms for models, and an art wardrobe, rich in the sartorial spoils of the East. The studio walls are hung with weapons, shields, suits of chain-armor, masks worn