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fully 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 paint-
ing. 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, give from Sir Joshua Reynolds. The author says that some of the impressionists of to-day seem to place little importance on 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 O'Clock.” of his picture, that the result may be beautiful,


Maris ridi

heart and

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 cules people player that he may sit on the piano. That who say that nature is always right is an assertion artistically nature is 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

say, the condition of things that shall bring soul, that 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 Marius in Whistler Exhibition in Boston, in 1904, must “Dutch Painters of have been struck with the very fine composition

displayed in his works. The greatest attention 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

G. H.

the Nineteenth


PLATE XLII. – A Bend of the Canal. J. H. Weissenbruch.

tion to the rules of the artist." Turner is H. R.

Poore, reported to have said that nature gave him A. N. A. a great deal of trouble in painting his pictures. “It must of necessity be,” says Sir Joshua Reynolds, “that even works of genius, as they must have their cause, must also have their rules. Unsubstantial as these may seem, and difficult as it may be to convey them in writing, they are still seen and felt in the mind of the artist, and he works from them with as much certainty as if they were embodied upon paper." The great artists in the past discovered or adopted instinctively, as the best for the composition of their pictures, certain forms based on the triangle, as an example in Raphael's Dresden “Madonna,” the circle, in Corot's Ibid. “Ville d'Avray,” the cross, in Guido Reni's

Crucifixion," and the curved line, in Rubens's “Descent from the Cross.” In looking over any collection of the great pictures of the world, it is evident that these fundamental forms, with variations, appealed to the artistic sense of the painters, or were found out by them, for they are used in their greatest works, and their use continues to the present day.

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