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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.
must be broad and
NATURE AND THE POETS
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
Or the following masterpieces in the use of
“The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
“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;
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
The Island of Shalott.
“ Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
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