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of the Romans in their decline, with fascinating skill, but whose work had no speaking power to his fellow-men.' What would be 1«The Art
of Engthought of Corot if we only had his early land.o. tightly-painted pictures to judge from, and not Page 102.
Ruskin. his Biblis or Le Soir? What of Mauve, whose great work was in his later years? Indeed, thus does it nearly always happen with true artists. As they grow older they find that the technical perfection they sought for at first is only the language they have to use, and that the all-important matter is to use the language they have learned, to render in proper manner the big things in nature and in art as they appear to the sympathetic imagination of the artist. Filled with this idea their work grows broader and broader, though to the beholders apparently more simple, through 24 All great the perfect mastery of the subject. Thus it actions have
been simple, was with Weissenbruch, and, charming as and all great his work always is, it is in his last period that pictures his real genius is expressed. For this his “Essay on whole life had been the preparation. “It Emer
Emerson. took Weissenbruch,” said a Dutch critic, “sixty years to learn how to paint that pic
ture of the Storm on the Coast of Zeeland.” “How easy to do that,” we are apt to exclaim, as we look at one of his simple seashore
subjects, just a vast expanse of sea, sky, and “Il est bien shore, with a boat on the water or a figure rare que les an
on the sand! That is our first impression, grands hommes and only after careful study do we observe soient outrés dans the skilful composition of beautiful forms and leur ou
graceful lines, in the use of which he is a vrages.” Journal de master, which rivets the attention on the Eugène
different important features, so that the eye Delacroix.
does not leave the picture, but moves from one accentuated point to another, usually in an irregular ever-returning and always interesting circle. The aerial perspective, with its subtle gradations of colour, the atmospheric sky, and the absolutely right tone and true values throughout, complete the effect the painter sought to produce. This perfect tone is a thing to be noted in his work, for in it Weissenbruch excels, and his eye never fails him.
If a picture be not a mere copy of nature, but a creation of the mind of the artist, it follows that as a work of art it must be carefully composed out of the materials supplied by nature. Composition is thus of primary importance to the artist and must be the foundation of the technical side of his painting. This subject is treated very fully and ably, and in very attractive style, in the book on Pictorial Composition already referred to, H. R. and to it we are indebted for the extract we Poore,
A. N. A. give from Sir Joshua Reynolds. The author says that some of the impressionists of to-day seem to place little importance cn the matter, and he quotes one of them as follows:“Opposed to the miserable law of composition, symmetry, balance, arrangements of parts, filling up space, as though nature does not do that ten thousand times better, in her own pretty way”; and adds, “The assertion that composition is a part of nature's law, that it is done by her and well done, we are glad to hear in the same breath of invective that seeks to annihilate it.” But Whistler sees farther and knows better than this impressionist, and writes in his incisive way: “The artist is bound to pick and “Ten choose and group with science the elements of
Whistler. of his picture, that the result may be beautiful,
as the musician gathers his notes, and forms his chords, until he brings forth from chaos,
glorious harmony. To say to the painter that “Matthew nature is to be taken as she is, is to say to the Maris ridicubes poole player that he may sit on the piano. That who say that nature is always right is an assertion artistically everything. as untrue as it is one whose truth is univerIt is not in
sally taken for granted. It might almost be the visible, but in the said that nature is usually wrong, that is to heart and soul, that
say, the condition of things that shall bring the source about the perfection of harmony worthy a of power must be picture is rare, and not common at all." looked for."
” Anyone who had the pleasure of seeing the G, H. Marius in Whistler Exhibition in Boston, in 1904, must “Dutch
have been struck with the very fine composition the Nine- displayed in his works. The greatest attention teenth Century.” is paid to this and to maintaining the interest
of the observer, which is not allowed to wander out of the canvas, but is held and attracted by the varied points of interest chosen and emphasized by the artist. He knows that “anything” will not make a picture. Science must be there, but must not obtrude itself. “The picture which looks most like nature to the uninitiated will probably show the most atten