Imágenes de páginas

boom is all wrong. He does not draw correctly from the architect's standpoint, but he does something far more difficult and much finer. He gives us the effect of airy atmospheric spacious interiors. He reaches the end he sought splendidly, and produces wonderfully beautiful and poetical pictures, but not architectural drawings.” In his later years, so inspired is he with this quality of space, and so intent on securing it, his brush work gets very broad, details almost vanish, and the fine colour of his earlier work becomes almost monochromatic. Perhaps his finest period is when his work is broadening and yet keeps its colour, but it is a difficult matter to decide, so much depends on individual feeling; for those masterpieces of his late years, in the Mesdag Museum at the Hague, are extremely grand and attractive, and, on the other hand, there is no question regarding the great beauty of the paintings he made about 1870 to 1880.

Bosboom painted some very attractive scenes on the beach at Scheveningen, which are highly prized and much admired, and also


PLATE XXIV. — Interior of Church. J. Bosboom.

out-door views and interiors of farmhouses, but his typical pictures are those of churches. Of these he has given us a great number of examples, but they nearly all belong to one or other of two types: the cathedrals of Belgium, with their long aisles and lofty pillars losing themselves in the duskiness of the pointed arches and vaulted ceiling, while the light comes in through the Gothic window and shines brightly on wall, column, and floor, burnishing the organ as it passes into rich yellow brown, regilding the golden pipes, and lightening up the fantastic carving of the dark mediæval pulpit; or the simpler Protestant churches of Holland, with their grey undecorated walls, their sombre pulpits, and box-like reading desks and pews.

There are some very interesting things to be noticed about these interiors; how level and flat the floors are, for instance — only Bosboom and Israels paint them so, the secret seeming to be in the delicate gradation of colour that gives the aerial perspective, as the floor recedes into the distance; then how finely the crowd of people in the church is indicated — a broad firm touch puts each in the right place, and though they seem unfinished when examined closely, at the right distance the effect is perfect; and with what skill he hangs the brass chandeliers on their long chains down from the lofty roof, verily suspended in air. Indeed everything he paints is done with the one object always before him, to put on his canvas the interiors as he sees them, full of light and shadow, with every detail enveloped in atmosphere, and so well does he render their mystery and poetry that he has been called the “Corot" of interiors.

We often wonder what it is exactly in Bosboom's pictures that makes us like them so much. We do not specially care for architecture; there is little human interest in his interiors; the cathedrals and churches are used for services, but it is not the use of their shadowy halls by man, nor their religious side, that appeals to him, and that he shows to us. What is it then? It can only be that, no matter what he paints, the genius of the man puts into it the poetry and the love of beauty that belong to his own nature; and his great ability

« AnteriorContinuar »