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already mentioned, produced a strong effect See on the French artists of the Romantic move- Chap ment, and largely influenced the work of the Barbizon school. But the manner of Constable was perhaps too rugged and strong for the times, and not exactly suited to the ideas “None since
evalent in France. Though he had a nro. Constable found effect on the artists there, they cannot dered
clouds, the be said to have carried his ideas any further. mass and They adopted them, but the soil was not gai
the shadow adapted to their growth and development. It and the remained for the artists of Holland to do more mystery and
light, the than this. It was long ago pointed out by the wonder
and the W. E. Henley, in the Memorial Catalogue of the French and Dutch Loan Collection held in
sight into Edinburgh in 1886, that James Maris was essentials, the great successor of Constable in painting command of
and such a skies with masses of moving clouds, and that appropriate
and moving the modern Dutch artists were the successors terms, as of the traditions and the greatness of the James,
Maris.” French school of 1830.
“Memorial But it is not only in special instances like Edinburgh,
Catalogue.” that referred to that they show this develop- 1886.
W. E. ment of the ideas of Constable. For probably Henley through the works of the Barbizon school,
which were greatly admired in Holland, the artists there learned his principles and put them into general practice, and carried them further than had been seen before. His main idea was to give the effect of atmosphere and light in nature, and he realized that this could only be done by giving the appearance of great simplicity in his paintings and leaving out all detail that could be dispensed with.
To see how these principles could be developed and applied to figure painting, and to interiors as well as to landscapes, we have only to look at the late work of the Marises, Mauve, Israels, Weissenbruch, and Bosboom, and to notice its great boldness and breadth in execution, and its extreme simplicity in appearance. In the later works of James Maris and of Weissenbruch the generalization of Constable has been carried out to the latest development so far known.
Whatever subjects these modern Dutch artists paint, those who have made a careful study of their works know how completely they are taken up with the fascinating problem of light, and realize the wonderful success
they have achieved in depicting the effects of atmosphere. To this everything in their paintings is put in a subordinate place, and whether they render the mysterious grey of early morning, the bright sunshine of day, or the falling of the shadows of evening, the atmosphere surrounding everything is their first consideration. For this they leave out and discard many things, for this they blur the outlines, for this they make the form and drawing indistinct and vague, and for this they are willing to sacrifice much. They feel that it is the most important thing to be secured. Their intimate knowledge of pigments, and their masterly use of them, usually in low tones of greys and browns, but often, as in the work of the Marises, in schemes of brilliant colour, help largely in producing true aerial perspective. This all gives their pictures an appearance and feeling of simplicity and naturalness, which is peculiar to them and very remarkable.
This is an important matter and it is worthy of more than a passing mention. If art is to give a true representation of nature as far as