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PLATE XLIII. – Nieuwkoop. J. H. Weissenbruch.

inethods. The power of his pictures lies in the fact that they create in our minds sympathy with their moods and a fellow-feeling in their company. They touch some chord that lies hidden, and which answers only to the mysterious call of a power greater than itself, and yet in unison with it. Thus must Weissenbruch, as time goes on, appeal to and reach an ever-widening circle that is bounded only by the limits of thought and human joy and sadness."

Of all purely landscape painters, Weissen- “The best bruch is the most typically Dutch in his art. pictures are He never strays afield or wanders to other draughts of

a few of the lands for subjects. For him it is not necessary. miraculous For round about Haarlem, the Hague, or Noorden, on the sandy shore of Scheveningen dyes, which or on the flats of Zeeland, he finds material for a lifetime; warm, sunny skies, storm changing

landscape and rain, the great solemn sea, and the everchanging, soft, vaporous atmosphere. These figures ?

amidst big things are the scenes he loves to paint, and which we here his art is at home. No one since Con- dwell.”

“Essay on stable lived has painted moving skies, with Art.” clouds and storm effects, like the Dutch artists


dots and lines and

make up the ever



James Maris and Weissenbruch, the former the more vigorous and robust, the latter the more tender in treatment. Weissenbruch once said: “Only let me get the sky and clouds right in my pictures, and the rest is easy. Atmosphere and light are the great sorcerers. All we want comes from above. We cannot work too hard to get the atmosphere. This is the secret of a good picture.” And if one thing were selected as Weisssenbruch's special achievement in art it would be his wonderful painting of sky, sea, and land, so as to produce the effect of free, open, air-filled space. In this he seems already to be the painter of the future.

It may seem a bold thing to say to-day that Weissenbruch is one of the most original and one of the greatest purely landscape artists that Holland has ever produced. It might be easier seen to be true, however, if we could close our eyes to the glamour thrown over the past by time, if we could get away from the authority of tradition, and if we could forget the commercial value of things for a while. It is very difficult to do this, often impossible,

as the history of art has repeatedly shown in

the past.

“So far as I know,” wrote W. J. Stillman, “Essay on " the best result of practical knowledge of art, of Art."

The Decay applied to the elucidation of the principles of criticism, is in the works of Mr. Hamerton." Yet the difficulty of considering with open and unbiased mind the art that is near us is very clearly shown in Hamerton's case. With all his study of art, and practical experience of landscape painting, and generally right views, he still seemed unable to judge correctly about work that had little in common with his own careful studies of nature, and that he was not in sympathy with. Knowing that the popular thought about anything new and original in contemporary art is so nearly invariably wrong, we cannot help wondering how Hamerton could write that he had “the happiness to be quite of the popular way of thinking, when he heard people laugh at the ‘Woman in White.?” Whistler pillories “The him in one of the most remarkable replies ever

of Making made to hostile criticism. He decides to say Enemies.” absolutely nothing in his own defence, but to

Gentle Art


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