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The last portion of the nineteenth century will be remembered in art as the time when the work of these men, whose powers gradually developed to the end of their lives, reached its highest point. Matthew Maris, the wonderful painter of dreams, whose canvases are the artists' and the picture-lovers' delight; Josef Israels, the father of the school, the revered of his countrymen, the sympathetic portrayer of the homes and occupations of the peasants of the land, and William Maris, the unrivalled painter of cattle and river scenes, sparkling in the sunshine, are the only ones that survive of the original band that has revolutionized Dutch art. The rest have passed away; Bosboom — but not his visions of spacious churches permeated with light and air, the sunbeam pouring its rays through the windows, radiating warmth everywhere, lingering lovingly round the great pillars, and half revealing the darkness of the dim recesses beyond; Mauve — but not his landscapes, with ploughmen, cattle, or flocks of sheep, all bathed in atmosphere, and painted with a rare tenderness and beauty; James
Maris – but not those vigorous and boldlyhandled seashores, canals, and grand, massive, cloudy skies, which have made him famous; and Weissenbruch — but not his poetical renderings of the Holland he loved so well, the clear, cool morning skies, the darkening shades of evening, and the mysteries of moonlight he delighted in.
These men are the inheritors, probably through the French, of the principles and methods of Constable, who himself learned from Ruysdael and the other Dutch artists of the seventeenth century, developing their ideas much further and adding to them. So that we see the spirit of the old masters of their country descending through Constable and the French artists on the nineteenth century Dutch painters. That same spirit that made them so keenly alive to the new ideas of their day has fallen on their modern fellow countrymen in full measure.
Constable was the first artist who strove to give the very actual and natural out-of-door feeling in his pictures, showing the very personal way nature affected him. In this he
inaugurated a new departure in art, and stands out a very prominent figure in its history. He found it necessary to adopt very bold and vigorous brush work, and to paint in the broadest way, leaving out details and
all so-called finish to gain the end he wanted. " Memorial “He recorded his experience in terms so perCatalogue.” sonal in their masculine directness and sinEdinburgh,
cerity as to make his innovations irresistible. Henley.
Never had so much nature been set forth in art. He demonstrated once for all the eternal principles of generalization. The results obtained and the conventions through which he obtained them were new and right. They foreshadowed a world of possibilities, the right of way through which was only to be won by close and patient intercourse with nature. They suggested the basis of an art which should deal broadly with man's impressions of the natural appearance of weather, atmosphere, and distance, and their correspondence with his moods."
His work was not appreciated in his lifetime, in his own country, but some of his paintings were exhibited in Paris, and, as has been