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in different phases of art, attained to very high rank among the artists of Holland.
Matthew Maris seems to have acquired his knowledge of painting at an early age, and he became a great admirer of the old masters. He went with his brothers to Antwerp, and there first came under the Romantic influence, which later had such an effect on him. He afterwards went with them to Paris, where he stayed until some years after the Commune, and then he made his home in London. There he lives the live of a recluse, apart from his fellows, an enthusiast in art, yet unable to paint much, as he is ever seeking an ideal he finds it impossible to realize.
Before this a feeling of dissatisfaction had been growing on him, and he gradually gave up painting those charmingly realistic yet ideal pictures, like the works of the old masters in their careful attention to detail, and their strong and even quality, which he had produced from about 1860 until 1874. These were full of beautiful bright colour, and showed great delicacy of execution, like the well-known paintings called the “Butterflies,” and “He is coming." These and similar ones reveal the artist of consummate skill, endowed with a rare gift of colour, and they are held by many to be his finest efforts.
Still, to others the few pictures that he has painted since about 1880 have a fascination and a charm greater, though much more elusive, than his earlier ones possess. They are mostly in colour tones of pearly grey and delicate brown, and the drawing is much more vague. But they have a strangely suggestive power which makes them linger in the memory. “The Bride” in the Mesdag Museum belongs to this period, and the lovers dreamily strolling along “The Walk," as seen in one of the loveliest of water-colour drawings, and to these, and others of similar fantastic beauty, one turns again and again. We realize that here is something that has never before been painted with success, something that is new in art, the spirit made of more importance than the form. For as we look at these pictures, the figures, at first hardly distinguished, seem slowly to emerge from the dim background and assume the appearance of form and life; yet so immaterial do they appear, we feel they
might at any time vanish away into the mys“He is the terious realm from which they have been painter of door
drawn out by the genius of the artist. For the border land be- this is his period of painting the dream-land tween the seen and
in which he lives; but it has grown more and the unseen more difficult for him to satisfy himself with world.” Dr. F. W. his work, and his over-sensitiveness about this Gunsaulus.
has resulted in his producing almost nothing in recent years.
Matthew Maris is an etcher of great ability, and he has made some very characteristic original plates with imaginative subjects, that are very quaint and attractive. His achievement in this line is not great in volume, but
he has etched one superb plate after J. F. See plate Millet's painting of “The Sower,” and the No. 18.
impressions printed from it are among the most beautiful examples of the art. It is not etching in its purest form, that is, the use of the fewest possible lines to suggest the subject, as is the custom of painter-etchers such as Rembrandt, Whistler, and Seymour Haden. The object in this case is to reproduce the effect of the picture. To do this more than