Imágenes de páginas

Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, and Velasquez, we find that the combination of these two views is always there. From the technical and decorative standpoint they are the ad

miration of the artist, and by their subjects, “ Let artists and their suggestive power, they fascinate remember

the observer and draw him into sympathy that nothing is more rare with the painters' ideas. We find the same than that the finite

thing in the pictures of Turner, Reynolds, should

Corot, Mauve, and Whistler. The highest art idea of the contains both these views intimately combined. infinite. To

As we descend in the scale there is a gradual do this they

separation, the decoration sometimes, and deep, piti- sometimes the subject, being forced into less against prominence, until we reach the level of mere the seductive surface decoration on the one hand, and a subject pretti

inartistically treated on the other. Separated nesses." Jules they are of little value, combined they make

the world's greatest pictures.

awaken the

must be broad and




It is very interesting to see how the poets treat nature. They differ from the painters in the means they use, but the aim of each is to appeal to the head and the heart, and their higher efforts must reach both. The poets give many descriptions of nature and these fall into classes similar to those of the painters, as they are merely descriptive, or subjective, giving the effect of the scene on the narrator. As in painting the landscape was often found necessary as a background for the figures, so the poet describes the scenery in which the action of his story is placed. These are often passages of great beauty, but they are usually merely descriptive, appealing to the intellect but not to the feelings. Splendid as many of them are, they do not reach the highest point of art, that in which the objective and subjective are combined, and nature is moulded by humanity. For instance, take the beautiful

description of the effect of the dawn on Loch Katrine, in which the lake is depicted as bright and happy in itself, without reference to any human interest:

"The Lady of the Lake." Canto III. Sir Walter Scott.

“The Summer dawn's reflected hue
To purple chang'd Loch Katrine blue;
Mildly and soft the Western breeze
Just kiss'd the lake, just stirr'd the trees;
And the pleas'd lake, like maiden coy,
Trembled but dimpled not for joy.
The mountain shadows on her breast
Were neither broken nor at rest;
In bright uncertainty they lie
Like future joys to fancy's eye.”

Book IV.

Or the following masterpieces in the use of
words, describing the coming on of quiet,
peaceful night:
“Now came still evening on, and twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad;
Silence accompany'd; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk all but the wakeful nightingale;
She all night long her amorous descant sung;
Silence was pleased. Now glow'd the firmament
With living Sapphires; Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw."

“The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.”

“Elegy in a Country Churchyard.” Thomas Gray.

Or this of the seashore and hamlet where Enoch Arden lived:

“Enoch Arden." Tennyson.

“Long lines of cliff, breaking, have left a chasm;
And in the chasm are foam and yellow sand;
Beyond, red roofs about a narrow wharf,
In cluster; then a moulder'd church; and higher
A long street climbs to one tall-tower'd mill;
And high in heaven behind it a gray down
With Danish barrows; a hazelwood,
By Autumn nutters haunted, flourishes
Green in a cuplike hollow of the down."

This is a minute and pre-Raphaelite piece of landscape work, but uninteresting until we come to the last three lines. It describes very realistically the scene in which the story is laid, but clearly the poet's interest is elsewhere and this is merely the setting.

More poetical is the account of the home of the mysterious lady who dwelt near Camelot, but it still only describes the island and the obvious view of the country road through fields of grain, though the second stanza gives

a hint that nature is vaguely apprehensive of the impending catastrophe:

“The Lady of Shalott.” Tennyson.

'On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow,
Round an island there below,

The Island of Shalott.

“ Willows whiten, aspens quiver,

Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs forever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers

The Lady of Shalott."

These are all like the artists' backgrounds in which the subject is set. But the poets, like the painters, also hold very strongly the view that nature is intimately associated with the joys and sorrows of men, and for showing this their medium, the use of words, gives them greater opportunities. In this, the higher

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