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photographic accuracy. But that would destroy his object, which is to represent the landscape as a whole, bathed in atmosphere, and to get this result sacrifices have to be made. The lower truth of photographic accuracy must be dispensed with, but the whole character of the animals is always perfectly kept in view, and the way in which they are put in his pictures shows absolute knowledge of their forms and habits and perfect executive skill.
There is in fact no deficiency in the drawing, but on the contrary, though details may be wanting, the greatest attention is given to representing the essential features of the forms of the cattle, and the very weight of them as they press down the grass. It is all very boldly and skilfully done, and the real truth about them, as they appear reflecting the light and modified by the atmosphere and forming part of a country scene, is much better shown in this way than by painstaking drawing of the anatomy. It is in short the truth of the impression on the eye that is given, and that art should always present, and not the latest scientific knowledge.
“The Corot in a very interesting and well-known Barbizon
passage tells how for him the early morning School.” “Corot.” and late evening, the mysterious parts of day, D. C.
are the only times in which he cares to paint. Thomson.
When the sun is fully up, all poetical effect is gone. But William Maris selects this very time of day as for him specially desirable, and he sees mystery and poetry in the wonderful effect of the sun pouring its bright rays down on animals and pasture land. For this he is called the silvery Maris, and very re
markable are the effects he gets. It is true, Similarly as it is sometimes remarked, that he is always Claude Monet painting cattle and ducks. But it does not painted matter how many times he paints them, the more than thirty pic- pictures are always different, and no two are tures of the alike in subject and treatment. We never with the find him repeating himself, and there is inHouses of Parliament
deed no occasion for him to do so. For the in the dis- sky, the atmosphere, and the light are always tance, and each one is changing, and as they change and nature's different
hues shift subtly from the mystery of dawn in the treatment of the through noonday to the quiet of the evening, light and
and vary with each gleam of sunshine, each the atmosphere. shadow of darkening storm, new pictures are
formed in countless number. It is these fleeting effects that William Maris seeks, and so his subjects are endless. Though he really shows us the very meadows of Holland that he sees, yet is he an imaginative painter, and they come from his brush tinged with his own poetical sentiment. He is sometimes taken for a rigid realist, but they misunderstand him who do this. For no one could paint cattle and their grazing grounds, and the skies that overarch them, so simply, apparently, yet so suggestively, unless he were gifted with a very sympathetic imagination.
The work of William Maris has a certain family likeness, as it were, to that of his brother James. It has similar power, vigour, freshness, boldness, and fine colour, but each is individual. He does not paint the stormy skies, with tumultuous masses of clouds, that his brother delights in. His favourites are those of clear bright summer blue, and he uses in painting them innumerable shades of blue flecked over with a misty haze of almost invisible white. We learn from him that the clearest of blue Northern skies can only be