Imágenes de páginas


2 “When a


1« Essay on formal manner. Gradually his style changed,

and his brush work grew vigorous and broad.

He discovered how much he could leave out, friend of in trying to give the essentials only, to secure mine, who painted as

that simplicity and suggestiveness, the best well as any part of every work of art. The beginner sees man of his school in only detail, the artist sees the essence and the Paris of that day,

suggests detail. Here it is that so many fail. came to They cannot see what are the essentials. Millet, to lay all this Happy they who can, and are enabled to sub

ordinate everything else, leaving out the plishment at his feet “prose of nature and giving only the spirit and ask for

and splendour.”1 direction, It is well, A time comes to every artist, after he has said Jean

learned the technical side of his art and has François,

become what Ruskin calls a “respectable can paint. – But what artificer,” when he must begin to give his have you to

message and thoughts to the world through “Consider- the medium of his works. If he has nothing ations on Painting.”

to tell,” he is not a living force, no matter how

much admiration brilliant technique may draw. Farge.

“You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet;' Juan."

and you

say? »

John La

Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?”
Canto III.

are the words the great critic quotes for the
artist who depicted the luxurious idleness



PLATE XLI. – Autumn near the Hague. J. H. Weissenbruch.


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.” tightly-painted pictures to judge from, and not Page 102. 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 2« 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

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

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 Delacroix.

different important features, so that the eye 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 care

« AnteriorContinuar »