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PAINTING, in art, the action of laying color on a surface, or the representing of objects by the laying of color on a surface. It is with painting in the last sense, considered as one of the fine arts, that this article deals. In the first sense, in so far as painting is a part of the builders and decorators trade it is treated above under the heading PAINTER-WORK. The verb to paint is derived through Fr. peindre (peint, the past participle, was possibly the earliest part adopted, as is suggested in the New English Dictionary), froln Lat. pingere, to paint. From the past participle pictus comes pictura, picture, and from the root pig, pigment. The ultimate meaning of the root is probably to decorate, adorn, and is seen in Gr. lrou4Xos, manycoloured, variegated.
In Part I. of this article, after a brief notice of the general character of the art and an account of its earliest manifestations, a sketch is given of the course of its development from the ancient Egyptian period to modern. times. (An account, by countries, of recent schools of painting will be found as an appendix at the end of Part III.) The point of view chosen is that of the relation of painting to nature, and it is shown how the art, beginning with the delineation of contour, passes on through stages when the effort is to render the truth of solid form, to the final period when, in the 17th century, the presentment of space, or nature in all her extent and variety, becomes the subject of representation. Certain special forfns of painting characteristic of modern times, such as portraiture, genre painting, landscape, still-life, &c., are briefly discussed.
Part II. consists in tables of names a,nd dates intended to afford a conspectus of the different historical schools of painting from the 12th century A.D. downwards.
Part III. is devoted to a comprehensive treatment of the different technical processes of painting in vogue in. ancient and modern times.
AuTHoRrrIEs.There is one elaborate general treatise on the whole art of painting in all its branches and connections. It is by Paillot de Montabert, and was published in Paris (1829-1850). It is entitled Trail complet de la pe-inture, and is in nine substantial volumes, with an additional volume of plates. It begins with establishing the value of rules for the art, and giving a dictionary of terms, lists of artists and works of art, &c. Vols. ii. and ni. give the history of the art in ancient, medieval and modern times. Vols. iv., v., vi. and vii. contain discussions on choice of subjects, design, composition, &c.; on proportions, anatomy, expression, drapery; on geometry, perspective, light and shade, and color. In vol. viii., pp. 1285 deal with color, aerial perspective and execution; pp. 285503 take up the different kinds of painting, history, portrait, landscape, genre, &c.; and pp. 50366! are devoted to materials and processes, which subject is continued through vol. ix. To encaustic painting 125 pages are given, and 100 to painting in oil. A long discussion on painting grounds and pigments follows, while other processes of painting, in tempera, water-color, enamel, mosaic, &c., are more briefly treated in about 200 pages, while the work ends with a notice of various artistic impedimenta. Vol. i., it should be said, contains on 70 pages a complete synopsis of the contents of the successive volumes. The best general History of Painting is that by Woltmann and Woermann (Eng. trans., London, 1880, &c.), but it does not go beyond the 16th century AD. See also the separate articles on CHINA (Art), JAPAN (Art), EGYPT (Art), GREEK ART, ROMAN ART, &c.
For the Italian schools of painting may be consulted: Crowe and Cavalcaselle, History of Painting in Daly (2nd ed., London, 1902, &c.). The original edition was published in London under the titles History of Painting in Italy (3 vols., 1864-1866), and History of Painting in North Italy (2 vols., f87I), Venturi, Stor-ia deli arte italiana (Milan, 1901, &c.).
For the German: Janitschek, Geschichte der deutschen Malerei (Berlin, 1890).
For the Early Flemish: Crowe and Cavalcaselle, The Early Flemish Painters (2nd ed., London, 1872); Wurzbach, Niederidndisches Kunsller-Lexicon (Vienna and Leipzig, 1906, &c.); Weale, Hubert and John van Eyck (London, 1907). -
For the Dutch: Wurzbach; Bode, Stud-ien zur Geschichte der Holidndischen Maierei (Braunschweig, 1883) and Rembrandt und seine Zeitgenossen (Leipzig, 1906); Havard, The Dutch School of ~ainting (trans., London, 1885).
For the French: Lady Dilke, French Painters of the Eighteenth century (London, I899); D. C. Thomson, The Barbizon School.
For the English: Redgrave, A Century of Painters of the English School (London, 1890).
For the Scottish: W. D. McKay, R.S.A., The Scottish School of Painting (London, 1906).
For the American: J. C. Van Dyke (ed), History of American Art (New York, 1903, &c.); S. Isham, A Ilistory of American Painting (N. Y., 1905).
The modern schools generally are treated fully, with copious bibliographical references, by Richard Muther, The History of Modern Painting (2nd ad., Eng. trans., London, 1907).
PART IA SKETCH OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ART
I. Constituents and General Clzaracter.If we trace back to the parent stock the various branches that support the luxuriant modern growth of the graphic art, we see that this parent stock is in its origin twofold. Painting begins on the one side in outline delineation and on the other in the spreading of a colored coating over a surface. In both cases the motive is at first utilitarian, or, at any rate, non-artistic. In. the first the primary motive is to convey information. It has been. noticed of certain. savages that if one of them wants to convey to a companion the impression of a particular animal or object, he will draw with his finger in the air the outline of some characteristic feature by which it may be known, and if this do not avail he will sketch the same with a pointed stick upon the ground. It is but a step from this to delineation on. some portable tablet that retains what is scratched or drawn upon it, and in this act a monument of the graphic art has come into being.
In the ether case there are various motives of a non-aesthetic kind that lead to the covering of a surface with a coat of another substance. The human body, the first object of interest to man, is tender and is sensitive to cold. Wood, one of the earliest building materials and the one material for any sort of boatbuilding, is subject, especially when exposed to moisture, to decay. Again, ,the early vessel of clay, of neolithic date, because imperfectly burned, is porous. Now the properties of certain substances suitable for adhesive coatings on. anything that needed protection or reinforcement would soon. be noticed. Unctuous and oily substances like animal fat, mixed with ashes or some such material, are smeared by some savages on their bodies to keep them, warm in cold regions and to defend them against insect bites in the tropics. Wax and resin and pitch, liquefied by the heat of the sun or by fire, would lend themselves readily for the coating of wood with a substance impervious to moisture. Vitreous glazes, first no doubt the result of accident, fused over the surface of the primitive clay vessel would give it the required impermeability. This is no more art than the mere delineation which is the other source of painting, but it begins to take on itself an aesthetic character when color plays a part in it. There are physiological reasons why the color red exercises an exciting influence, and strong colors generally, like glittering surfaces, make an aesthetic appeal. In prehistoric times the flesh was sometimes stripped from the skeleton of a corpse and the bones rubbed with red earth or ruddlle; while the same easily procured coloring substance is used to decorate the person or the implement of the savage. In this sensibility to color we find a second and distinct origin of the art of painting.
What a perspective does a glance back at the development of painting afford! Painting, an art that on a flat surface can suggest to illusion the presence of solid forms with length, breadth and thickness; that on the area of a few square inches can convey the impression of the vast spaces of the universe, and carry the eye from receding plane to plane till the persons or objects that people them grow too minute for the eye to discern; painting that can deck the world in Elysian brightness or veil it in the gloom cf the Crucifixion, that intoxicates the senses with its revelation of beauty, or magician-like withdraws the veil from the mysterious complexity of nature; the art that can exhibit all this, and yet can suggest a hundredfold more than it can show, and by a line, a shade, a touch, can stir within us thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears this Painting, the most fascinating, because most illusive in its nature, of all the arts of form, is in its first origin at one time a mere display to attract attention, as if one should cry out See here! and at another time a prosaic answer to a prosaic question about some natural object, What is it like? The coat or streak or dab of color, the informing outline, are nbt in themselves aesthetic products. The former becomes artistic when the element of arrangement or pattern is introduced. There is arrangement when the shape and size of the mark or marks have a studied relation to those of the surface on which they are displayed; there is pattern when they are combined among themselves so that while distinct and contrasted they yet present the appearance of a unity. Again, the delineation, serving at first a purpose of use, is not in itself artistic, and it is a difficult question in aesthetic whether any representation of nature that aims only at resemblance really comes into the domain of art. It is of course acknowledged that a mere prosaically literal likeness of a natural object is not a work of art; but when the representation is of such a kind as to bring out the character of the object with discriminatiOn and emphasis, to give the soul of it, as it were, and not the mere lineaments, then, logically or illogically, art claims it as its child. In the strict sense the delineation only becomes artistic when there is present the element of beauty in arrangement or composition. The insight and sympathy just referred to are qualities rather intellectual than artistic, and the really artistic element would be the tasteful fitting of the representation to the space within which it is displayed, and the harmonious relations of the lines or masses or tones or colors that ii presents to the eye. In other words, in artistic delineation there will be united elements drawn from both the sources above indicated. The representation of nature will be present, and so will also a decorative effect produced by a pleasing combination of forms and lines.
2. Limitations of the Meaning of the word Painting.If delineation take on itself a decorative character, so too decoration, relying at first on a pleasing arrangement of mere lines or patches that have in themselves no significance, soon goes on to impart to these the similitude, more or less exact, of natural objects. Here we arrive at a distinction which must be drawn at the outset so as duly to limit the field which this survey of painting has to cover. The distinction is that between. ornamental or, in a narrow sense, decorative painting on the one side, and painting proper on. the other. In the first, the forms employed have either in themselves no significance or have a resemblance to nature that is orJy distant or conventional. In painting proper the imitation of nature is more advanced and is of greater importance than the decorative effect to the eye. It is not only present but preponderant, while in ornamental work the representative element is distinctly subordinate to the decorative effect. In Greek vase decoration the conventional floral forms, or the mannered animal figures that follow each other monotonously round vases of the Oriental style, belong to the domain of ornament, while the human forms, say, on the earliest red-figured vases, while displayed in pleasing patterns and in studied relation to the shape and structure of the vessel, exhibit so much variety and so great an effort on the part of the artist to achieve similitude to nature, that they claim a place for themselves in the annals of the painters art.
A further limitation is also necessary at the outset. Pictorial designs may be produced without the equipment of the painter proper; that is to say, without the use of pigments or colored substances in thin films rubbed on to or attached by a binding material upon a surface. They may be executed by setting together colored pieces of some hard substance in the form of Mosaic (q.v.); by interweaving dyed threads of wool, linen or silk into a textile web to produce Tapestry or Embroidery (qv.); by inlaying into each other strips of wood of different colors in the work called Tarsia or Mar quetry (q.v.); by fusing different colored vitreous pastes into contiguous cavities, as in Enamelling (see ENAMEL); or by framing together variously shaped pieces of transparent colored glass into the stained glass window (see GLASS, STAINED).
These special methods of producing pictorial effects, in so far as the technical processes they involve are concerned, are excluded from view in this article and are dealt with under their own headings. Only at those periods when pictorial design was exclusively or especially represented by work in these forms will the results of these decorative processes be brought in to illustrate the general character of the painting of the time. For example, in the 5th and 6th Christian centuries the art of painting is mainly represented by the mosaics in the churches at Rome and Ravenna, and these must be included from the point of view of design in any review of painting, though as examples of mosaic technique and style they are treated in an article apart. Greek vase painting, again, is a special subject (see GREEK ART and CERAMICS), yet the designs on early Greek vases are the only extant monuments that illustrate for us the early stages of the development of classical painting as a whole. It will be understood therefore that in this article the word painting means the spreading of thin. films of coloring matter over surfaces to which they are made by different means to adhere, and it will only be taken in a wider sense in certain exceptional cases just indicated.
3. Importance in the Art of the Representation of Nature. If we regard painting as a whole, the imitation of nature may be established as its most distinctive characteristic and the guiding principle of its development. It must at the same time be understood that in the advanced criticism of painting, as it is formulated in modern times, no distinction is allowed among the different elements that go to make up a perfect production of the art. In such a production the idea, the form, the execution, the elements of representation and of beauty, and the individual expression of the artist in his handiwork, are essentially one, and none of them can be imagined as really existing without the others. It is not the case of a thought, envisaged pictorially, and deliberately clothed in an artistic dress, but of a thought that would have no existence save in so far as it is expressible in paint. This is the modern truth of the art, and the importance of the principle here involved will be illustrated in a later Section, but it must be borne in mind that the painting to which this principle applies is a creation of comparatively modern times. As in music so in painting, it has been reserved for recent epochs to manifest the full capabilities of the art. Whereas the arts of architecture and sculpture, though they have found in the modern era new fields to conquer, yet grew to their full stature in ancient Hellas, those of music and painting remained almost in their infancy till the Renaissallce. It was only in the 16th and 17th centuries that painters obtained such a mastery on the one hand over the forms of nature, and on the other over an adequate technique, that they were able to create works in which truth and beauty are one and the artistic speech exactly expresses the artistic idea. For this the painter had to command the whole resources of the science of perspective, linear and aerial, and all the technical capabilities of the many-sided processes of oil-paint. Till that stage in the development of the art was reached work was always on one side or another tentative and imperfect, but all through these long periods of endeavour there is one constant feature, and this is the effort of the artist to attain to truth in the representation of nature. No matter what was the character of his task or the material equipment of which he disposed, this ideal was for ever before his eyes, and hence it is that in the relation of the painters work to nature we find that permanent feature which makes the development of the art from first to last a unity.
4. General Scheme of the Development of the Art.From this point of view, that of the relation of the work of the painter to nature, we may make a rough division of the whole history of the art into four main periods.
The first embraces the efforts of the older Oriental peoples, best represented by the painting of the Egyptians; the second includes the classical and medieval epochs up to the beginning of the 15th century; the third, the 15th and 16th centuries; and the fourth the time from the beginning of the 17th century onwards.
In the first period the endeavour is after truth of contour, in the second and third after truth of form, in the fourth after truth of space.
The Egyptian artist was satisfied if he could render with accuracy, and with proper emphasis on what is characteristic, the silhouettes of things in nature regarded as little more than flat objects cut out against a light background. The Greek and the medieval artist realized that objects had three dimensions, and that it was possible on a flat surface to give an indication of the thickness of anything, that is of its depth away from the spectator, as well as its length and breadth, but they cannot be said to have fully succeeded in the difficult task they set themselves. For this there was needful an efficient knowledge of perspective, and this the 15th century brought with it. During the 15th century the painter fully succeeds in mastering the representation of the third dimension, and during the next he exercises the power thus acquired in perfect freedom, producing some of the most convincing and masterly presentments of solid forms upon a fiat surface that the art has to show. During this period, however, and to a more partial extent even in the earlier classical epoch, efforts were being made to widen the horizon of, the art and to embrace within the scope of its representations not only solid objects in themselves, but such objects as a whole in space, in due relation to each other and to the universe at large. It was reserved, however, for the masters of the 17th century perfectly to realize this ideal of the art, and in their hands painting as an art of representation is widened out to its fullest possible limits, and the whole of nature in all its aspects becomes for the first time the subject of the picture.
5. The Place of Classical Painting in the Development of the Art.This limitation of classical painting to the representation of form may be challenged, for some hold that Greek artists not only attempted but succeeded in the task of portraying objects in space in due relation to each other and to the system of things as a whole, and that the scope of their work was as extended as that of the Italian painter of the 16th century. The view taken in this article will presently be justified, but a word may be said here as to Greek painting in general and its relation to sculpture. The main arguments in favor of the more exalted view of this phase of the art are partly based on general considerations, and partly on the existence of some examples which seem to show the artist grappling with the problems of space. The general argument, that because Greek sculptors achieved so much, we must assume that the painters brought their art to the same level, is of no weight, because it has been already pointed out that painting and music are not in their development parallel to sculpture and architecture. Nothing, moreover, is really proved by the facts that painting was held by the ancients in higher estimation than its sister art, and that the painters gained great wealth and fame. Painting is a more attractive, more popular art than sculpture. It represents nature by a sort of trick or illusion, whereas sculpture with its three dimensions is more a matter of course. It is a puzzle how the object or scene, with its colors as well as its forms, can be made to appear on a few square inches of flat surface, and the artist who has the secret of the illusion is at once a man of mark. In Greece this was specially the case, because painting there made its appearance rather later than sculpture and so was from the first more conspicuous. Hence literary writers, when they refer to the arts generally, quote a painter rather than a sculptor. The people observed the painters, and these naturally made the most of themselves and of their art. The stories of the wealth and ostentation of some of these show that there was an atmosphere of reclame about the painters that must have affected the popular estimate, in an aesthetic sense, of their work. Then, too, popular criticism of painting has no standard. To the passer-by who watches the pavement artist, the result of his operations seems nature itself. Better than I saw not who saw the truth, writes Dante (Purg. xii. 68) of incised outlines on a pavement, that cannot go very far in natural similitude. Vasari, though a trained artist, writes as if they vied with nature of certain works that, though excellent for their day, do not approach the modern type. We think ourselves that Raphaels babies are like nature till we see Correggios, and that Venetian Venuses are real flesh and blood till that of Velazquez comes to prove them paint. The fact is that the expression true to nature is a relative one, and very little weight should be given to a merely popular or literary judgment on a question of the kind. Hence we must not assume that because ancient painting was extravagantly praised by those who knew no other, it therefore covered all the field of the art.
6. The Earliest Representative Art.Naturalistic design of a very effective kind appears at a very early stage of human development, and is practised among the most primitive races of the actual world, such as the Australians, the Bushmen of South Africa and the Eskimo. Of the existence of such art different explanations have been offered, some finding for the representations of natural objects motives of a religious or magical kind, while others are content to see in them the expression of a simple artistic delight in the imitation of objects of interest. The extraordinary merit, within certain limits, of this early naturalistic work can be accounted for on sociological lines. As Grosse has put it (The Beginnings of Art, p. 198), Power of observation and skill with the hand are the qualities demanded for primitive naturalistic pictorial art, and the faculty of observation and handiness of execution are at the same time the two indispensable requisites for the primitive hunter life. Primitive pictorial art, with its peculiftr characteristics, thus appears fully comprehensible to us as an aesthetic exercise of two faculties which the struggle for existence has developed and improved among the primitive peoples. So far as concerns the power of seizing and rendering the characteristics of natural objects, some of the earliest examples of representative artin the world are among the best. The objects are animals, because these were the only ones that interested the early hunter, but tens of thousands of years ago the Palaeolithic cave-dwellers of western France drew and carved the mammoth, the reindeer, the antelope, and the horse, with astonishing skill and spirit.
Fig. 6, Plate III., shows the famous sketch of a mammoth made by a prehistoric hunter and artist of western France. The tusks, the trunk, the little eye, the forehead, and especially the shaggy fell of the long-haired elephant, are all effectively rendered.
Figs. I, 2 and 3, Plate I., show three examples of the marvellous series of prehistoric carvings and incised drawings, from the caves of southern France, published by the late Edouard Piette. We note especially the remarkable effort to portray a stag turning its head, and the close observation displayed in the representation of the action of a running buck.
Even. more striking are the Palaeolithic paintings discovered in the cave of Altamira at Santillane, near Santander in Spain. These are less ancient than the carvings and sketches mentioned above, but they date from a time when what is now Great Britain was not yet divided from the continent by the Channel, when the climate of southern Europe was still cold, and when animals now extinctsuch as the European bisonwere still common. These paintings, boldly sketched in three colors, may be reckoned as some 50,000 years old. They display the same power of correct observation and artistic skill as the earlier carvings. Notice in the remarkable examples given on Plate II. the black patches on the bisons winter coat and the red color of the hide where, with the progress of the spring, he has got rid of the long hair from the more prominent parts of his body by rubbing himself against the rocks. The impressionist character of some of these sketches is doubtless partly due to the action of time; but note how, in the case of the great boar, the artist has represented the action of the legs in running as well as standing in much the same way as might be done in a rapid sketch by a modern painter. The mystery of these astounding paintings is increased by the fact that they are found in a cave to which no daylight has ever penetrated, sometimes in places almost inaccessible to sight or reach, and that they are surrounded by symbols of which none can read the meaning (see the two lozenges in fig. 3, Plate I.).
Palaeolithic art is, however, a phenomenon remote and isolated, and in the history of painting its main interest is to show how ancient is the striving of man after the accurate and spirited representation of nature. Modern savages on about the same plane of civilization do the same work, though not with equal artistic deftness, and Grosse reproduces(loc.cit., ch.vii.)some characteristic designs of Australians and Bushmen. Some of these are of single figures, but there are also large associated groups of men and animals with the landscapes around them. The pictures consist in outlines engraved or scratched on stone or wood or on previously blackened surfaces of hide, generally, though not always, giving profile views, and are sometimes filled in with flat tints of color. There is no perspective, except to this extent, that objects intended to appear distant are sometimes made smaller than near ones. In the extended scenes the figures and objects are dispersed over the field, without any arrangement on planes or artistic composition, but each is delineated with spirit and. in essential features with accuracy.
It is a remarkable fact, but one easily explained, that when man advances from the hunter stage to a more settled agricultural life these spontaneous naturalistic drawings no longer appear. Neolithic man shows a marked advance on the capacity of his Palaeolithic predecessors in all the useful arts of life: his tools, his pottery, his weapons; but as an artist he was beyond comparison inferior. His attempts to draw men and beasts resulted in no. more than conventional symbols, such as an intelligent child might scribble; of the Palaeolithic mans taste for design, as shown in the carved work of the caves, or of his power of reproducing nature, there is not a sign. Keenness of observation and deftness of hand are no longer developed, because no longer needed for the purposes of existence, and representative art almost dies out, to be, however, revived at a further stage of civilization. At this further stage the sociological motive of art is commemoration. It is in connection with the tomb, the temple and the palace that in early but still fully organized communities art finds its field of operations. Such communities we find in ancient Egypt and Babylonia, while similar phenomena showed themselves in old Oriental lands, such as India and China.
7. The Painting of Contour: Egypt and Babylonia.In ancient Egypt we find this graphic delineation of natural objects, so spontaneous and free among the hunter tribes, reduced to a system and carried out with certain well-established conventions. The chief of these was the almost universal envisagement in profile of the subject to be represented. Only in the case of subsidiary figures might a front or a back view or a three-quarter face be essayed. To bring the human figure into profile it was conventionalized, as fig. ~, Plate III., will show. The subject is an Egyptian of high rank, accompanied by his wife and son, fowling in the marshes of the Delta. It is part of a wall-painting from a tomb at Thebes dating about 1500 B.C. The head, it will be seen, is in profile, but the eye is drawn full-face. The shoulders are shown in front view, though by the outline of the breast, with its nipple, on the figures right, and by the position far to the right of the navel, an indication is given that the view here is three-quarters. At the hips the figure is again in profile, and this is the position also of the legs. It will be observed that the two feet have the big toe on the same side, a device to escape the necessity of drawing the four toes as seen in the outside view of a foot. As a rule the action of these figures is made as clear as possible, and they are grouped in such a way that each is clearly seen, so that a crowd is shown either by a number of parallel outlines each a little in advance of the other suggesting a row seen in slight obliquity, or else by parallel rows of figures on lines one above the other. Animals are treated in the same way in profile, save that oxen will show the two horns, asses the two ears, as in front view, and the legs are arranged so that all are seen.
Within these narrow limits the Egyptian artist achieved extraordinary success in the truthful rendering of nature as expressed in the contours of figures and objects. If the human form be always conventionalized to the required flatness, the draughtsman is keen to seize every chance of securing variety. He fastens on the distinctive traits of different races with the zeal of a modern ethnologist, and in the case of royal personages he achieves success in individual portraiture. Though he could not render varieties of facial expression, he made the action of the limbs express all it could. The traditional Egyptian gravity did not exclude humour, and some good caricatures have been preserved. Egyptian drawing of animals, especially birds (see fig. 7, Plate III.), has in its way never been surpassed, and the specific points of beasts are as keenly noted as the racial characteristics of human beings. Animals, domestic or wild, are given with their particular gait or pose or expression, and the accent is always laid on those features that give the suggestion of strength or swiftness or lithe-agility which marks the species. The precision of drawing is just as great in the case of lifeless objects, and any set of early, carefully-executed, hieroglyphic signs will give evidence of an eye and hand trained to perfection in the simplef tasks of the graphic art.
The representation of scenes, as distinct from single figures or groups, was not wholly beyond the Egyptian artists horizon. His most ambitious attempts are the great battle-scenes of the period of the New Empire, when a Sati or a Rameses is seen driving before him a host of routed foemen. The king in his chariot with the rearing horses is firmly rendered in the severe conventional style, but the crowd of fugitives, on a comparatively minute scale, are not arranged in the original clear fashion in parallel rows, but are tumbled about in extraordinary confusion all over the field, though always on the one flat plane. By another convention objects that cannot be given in profile are sometimes shown in ground plan. Thus a tank with trees round it will be drawn square in plan and the trees will be exhibited as if laid out flat on the ground, pointing on each side outwards from the tank.
In Babylonia and Assyria the mud-brick walls of palaces were coated with thin stucco, and this was in the interior sometimes painted, but few fragments of the work remain. On the exterior considerable use was made of decorative bands and panels of enamelled tiles, in which figure subjects were promi-. nent, as we learn by the passage from Ezek. xxiii., about men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pour~ trayed with vermilion. The best idea of Assyrian graphic design is gained from the slabs carved in very low relief, which contain annalistic records of the acts of the king and his people in war and peace. The human figure is treated here in a less conventional scheme, but at the same time with less variety and in a less spirited and interesting fashion than in Egypt,. Of animals far fewer species are shown, but in the portrayal of the nobler beasts, notably the horse, the lion and the mastiff, there is an element of true grandeur that we seldom find in Egyptian design. Furthermore, the carver of the reliefs had a better idea of giving the impression of a scene than his brother of the Nileland, and in his representations of armies marching and fighting he introduces rivers, hills, trees, groups of buildings and the like, all of course delineated without perspective, but in far truer and more telling fashion than is the case with the scenes from the campaigns of Egyptian conquerors.
8. Painting in Pre-Izistoric Greece.A new chapter in the history of ancient painting was opened by the discovery of relics of the art in the palaces and tombs of the Mycenaean period on the coasts and islands of the Aegean. The charming naturalistic representations of marine plants and animals on the painted vases are quite unlike anything which later Greek art has to offer, and exhibit a decorative taste that reminds us a little of the Japanese. What we are concerned with, however, are rather the examples of wall-painting in plaster found at Tiryns and Mycenae and in Crete. Of the former the first to attract notice was the well-known bull from Tiryns, represented in profile and in action, and accompanied by a human figure; but of far greater importance, because foreshadowing an advance in the pictorial art, are certain wall-paintings discovered more recently by Dr Evans at Cnossos in Crete. The question is not of the single figures in the usual profile view, like the already celebrated Cup-bearer, however important these may be from the historical side, but of the so-called miniature wallpaintings that are now preserved in the museum at Candia, in which figures on a small scale are represented not singly but in crowds and in combination with buildings and landscape features that seem to carry us forward to far more advanced stages of the art of painting. To borrow a few sentences fiom Dr Arthur Evanss account of them on their first discceery (Annual of British School at Athens, vi. 46): A special characteristic of these designs is the outline drawing in fine dark lines. This outline drawing is at the same time combined with a kind of artistic shorthand brought about by the simple process of introducing patches of reddish brown or of white on which groups belonging to one or other sex are thus delineated. In this way the respective flesh-tints of a series of men or women are given with a single sweep of the brush, their limbs and features being subsequently outlined on the background thus obtained. There is here, it is true, no perspective, but there is a distinct effort to give the general effect of objects in a mass, which corresponds curiously with the modern development of the art of painting called impressionism.
9. The Painting of Form: Ancient Greece and Italy.As nor yet arranged in formal rows one above the other, but distributed at different levels on the one plane of the picture, the levels being distinguished by summary indications of a landscape setting. Parts of some of the figures were hidden by risings of the ground. The general effect is probably represented by the paintings on the vase in the Louvre shown in fig. 9, one side of which exhibits the destruction of the children of Niobe, and the other the Argonauts. Simplicity in design and ethical dignity in the single forms are here unmistakable.
It is probable that Polygnotus had not fully mastered the difficulties of foreshortening with which the early red-figure masters were struggling, but later designs both on vases and elsewhere do show that in the 4th century at any rate these had been FIG. 9.Vase painting in the Louvre, illustrating the s overcome. The drawing on the so-called Ficoronian Cista, and on the best of the Greek mirror-backs, may be instanced. The ancients recognized that in the latter part of the 5th century B.C. painting made a great technical advance, so that all that had gone before seemed archaic, while for the first time the gates of art were opened and the perfect masters entered in. The advance is in the direction of the representation not of form only but of space, and seems from literary notices to have implied a considerable acquaintance with perspective science. The locus classicus, one of great importance, is in Vitruvius. In the preface to his seventh book he writes of Agatharcus, a painter who flourished at Athens in the middle and third quarter of the 5th century, that he executed a scene-painting for Aeschylus, and wrote a treatise upon it which inspired the philosophers Democritus and Anaxagoras to take up the subject, and to show scientifically from the constitution of the eye and the direction of rays of light how it was possible in scenic paintings to give sure images of objects otherwise hard to fix correctly, so that when such objects were figured on an upright plane at right-angles to the line of sight some should appear to recede and others to come forwards. It would not be easy to summarize more aptly the functions of perspective, and if philosophers of the eminence of those just mentioned worked out these rules and placed them at the disposal of the artists, the transition from ancient to modern painting should have been accomplished in the 5th century B.C.,
instead of just two thousand years afterwards! So far however as the existing evidence enables us to judge, this was not actually the case, and in spite of Agatharcus and the philosophers, painting pursued the even tenor of its way within the comparatively narrow limits set for it by the genius of ancient art (see GREEK ART). It may be admitted that in many artistic qualities it was beyond praise. In beauty, in grace of line, in composition, we can. imagine works of Apelles, of Zeuxis, of Protogene~, excelling even the efforts of the Italian painters, or only matched by the finest designs of a Raphael or a Leonardo. In the small encaustic pictures of a Pausias there may have been all the richness and force we ,admire in a Chardin or a Monticelli. We may even concede that the Greek artist tried at times to transcend the natural limits of his art, and to represent various planes of space in perspective, as in the landscape scenes from the Odyssey, or in figure compositions such as the Alexander and Darius at Issus, preserved to us in a mosaic, or the Battle-piece by Aristides that contained a hundred combatants. The facts, however, remain, first that the Greek pictures about which we chiefly read were of single figures, or subjects of a very limited and compact order with little variety of planes; and second, that the existing remains of ancient painting are so full of mistakes in perspective that the representation of distance cannot have been a matter to which the artists had really set themselves. The monumental evidence available on the last point is sufficient to override arguments to the contrary that may be built up on literary notices. No competent artist, or even teacher of drawing, who examines what is left of ancient painting, can fail to see that the problem \.~ of representing correctly the third dimension of space, though it may have been attacked, had certainly ~- not been solved. It is of no avail to urge that these remains are not n from the hands of the great ~- artists but of mere decorators.
In. modern times the mere decora 5. tor, if he had passed through a (- school of art, would be as far above such childish blunders as a Royal Academician. We have only to consider dispassionately the photographic reproductions from ancient paintings (Herr yle of Polygnotus. mann, Denkmdler der Malerei des Altertums, Munich, 1906, &c.) to see that the perspective researches of the philosophers had not resulted in a general :omprehension among the artists of the science of receding ~ilanes. For example, in. the famous wall-painting of Zeus and Elera on Mount Ida in the House of the Tragic Poet at Pompeii, Lhe feet of the standing figure of the goddess are nearer to the Ipectator than the seat of her lord, but the upper part of her form s away on the farther side of him (see fig. 10, Plate III). No one who could draw at all would be capable now of such a mistake. En interiors the perspective of the rafters of a roof, of a table, a stool, a throne, is in most cases faulty; and the scale of the figures seems often to be determined rather by their relative importance in the scene than by their position on the planes of ~he picture. In the Pompeian landscape-piece of Paris on Mount Ida (Herrmann, No. 8) there is no sense of the relative proportions of objects, and a cow in the foreground s much smaller than Paris, who is a long way back in the :omposition.
It is an additional confirmation of this view to find early Thristian and early medieval painting confined to the representa:ion of the few near objects, which the older Oriental artists had dl along envisaged. If classical painters had really revoluionized design, as it was actually revolutionized in the 15th ~entury of our era, and had followed out to their logical conseiuence the innovations of Agatharcus~ we may be sure that the influence of these innovations would not have been wholly lost even in the general decline of the arts at the break-up of the Roman Empire of the West. In any case, the influence would have survived in Byzantine art, where there was no such cataclysm. Yet we fail to see in the numerous pictorial miniatures from the 5th century onwards, or in the mosaics or the wall-paintings of the same epoch, any more effective grasp of the facts of the third dimension of space than was possessed by the pre-classical Egyptian.
All through the middle ages, therefore, the facts concerning painting with which we are here concerned remain the same, and the art appears almost exclusively concerned with the few selected objects and the single plane. The representation is at most of form and not of space.
10. Early Christian and Early Medieval Painting.The extant remains of early Christian painting may be considered under three heads: (I) the wall-paintings in the catacombs; (2) the pictorial decorations in books; (3) the mosaic pictures on the walls of the churches. (I) The first are in themselves of little importance, but are of historical interest as a link of connection between the wall-painting of classical times and the more distinctively Christian forms of the art. They are slightly executed and on a small scale, the earliest, as being more near to classical models, are artistically the best. (2) That form of painting devoted to the decoration and illustration of books belongs more to the art of ornament than to painting proper (see ILLUMINATED MSS. and ILLUSTRATION). (3) Early Christian mosaics are noble monuments of the graphic art, and are its best representatives during the centuries from the 5th to the 8th. A dignified simplicity in design suits their large scale and architectural setting, and the aim of the artist is to present in forms of epic grandeur the personages of the sacred narratives. They are shown as in repose or engaged in some typical but simple action; the backgrounds being as a rule plain blue or gold and the accessories of the simplest possible description. The finest Christian mosaic is also the earliest. It is in the apse of S. Pudentiana, Rome, apd displays Christ enthroned as teacher with the Apostles seated on each side of Him. It may date from the 4th century. Next to this the best examples are at Ravenna, in the tomb of Galla Placidia, the Baptistery, S. Apollinare Nuovo and S. Vitale, dating from the 5th and 6th centuries. The picture in the baptistery of the Baptism of Christ is the most artistic piece of composition and pictorial effect, and next to this comes the Good Shepherd of the tomb of Galla Placidia. The finest single figures are those of the whiterobed saints between the windows of the nave of S. Apollinare Nuovo, and the most popular representations are the two processions of male and female saints lower down on the same walls. The famous mosaics in S. Vitale depicting Justinian and Theodora with courtiers in attendance, though historically interesting, are designed in a wooden fashion, and later mosaics at Palermo, Venice, Rome and other places are as a rule rather decorative than pictorial. Where the costly material of glass mosaic was not available, the churches of this period would show mural paintings on plaster of much the same design and artistic character, though comparatively ineffective.
In monumental painting the interval between the early Christian mosaics and mural pictures and the revival of the f3th century is filled by a series of wall and ceiling paintings of Carolingian, Romanesque and early Gothic date, in Italy, Germany and England. The earliest of which account need be taken are those in the recently excavated church of S. Maria Antiqua by the Forum at Rome (Rushworth, in Papers of the British School at Rome, vol. i., London, 1902), where there is a complete and, on the whole, well-preserved series consisting for the most part in single figures and simply composed scenes. Most of the work can be dated to the time of Pope John VII. at the beginning of the 8th century. Its style shows a mixture of Byzantine motives with elements that are native to Rome. It must be remembered that at the time Rome was strongly under Byzantine influence. Passing over some more fragmentary specimens, we may refer next to several series of mural paintings in and near the island of Reichenau at the western end of the lake of Constance, where a school of painting flourished in the latter part of the 10th century. The work here is quite as good as anything Ita]y has to show, and represents a native German style, based on early Christian tradition, with very little dependence on Byzantine models. The most interesting piece is the Last Judgment in the church of St George at Oberzell on Reichenau, where, in a very simple but dignified and effective form, we find the earliest existing representation of this standard theme of later medieval monumental art (F. X. Kraus, Wandgemlde der St Georgskirclze zu Oberzell auf der Insel Reichenau, Freiburg-i.-Br., 1884).
About a hundred years later, in the latter part of the 11th century, a mural painting of the same theme was executed in the church of S. Angelo in. Formis near Capua in southern Italy, the style of which shows a mixture of Latin and Byzantine elements (F. X. Kraus, Die Wand gemalde von S. Angelo in Formis, Berlin, 1893).
To the middle of the 12th century belongs one of the most complete and interesting cycles of medieval wall-decoration, the display of a series of figures and scenes illustrating the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, in the chapter-house of the now secularized monastery of Brauweiler, near Cologne, in the Rhineland. Here the pictorial effect is simple, but the decorative treatment in regard to the filling of the spaces and the lines of composition is excellent. The design is Rmanesque in its severity (E. Ausm Weerth, Wandmalereien des Mitlelalters in den Rheinlanden, Leipzig 1879). Romanesque also, but exhibiting an increase in animation and expressiveness, is the painting of the flat ceiling of the nave of the fine church of St Michael at Hildesheim. In the general decorative effect, the distribution of the subjects in the spaces, the blending of figures and ornament, the work, the main subject of which is the Tree of Jesse, is a masterpiece. Two nude figures of Adam and Eve are for the period remarkable productions. The date is the close of the 12th century.
Succeeding examples show unmistakable signs of the approach of the Gothic period. In the wall-paintings of the nuns choir of the church of Gurk in Carinthia, a certain grace and tenderness begin to make themselves felt, and the same impression we gain from the extensive cycle in the choir of the cathedral of Brunswick, from the first decades of the 13th century. The picture of Herods birthday feast is typical of the style of German painting of the time; there is nothing about it in the least rude or tentative. It is neither childish nor barbarous, but very accomplished in a conventional style that is exactly suited from the decorative point of view to a mural painting. The story is told effectively but in quaint fashion, and several incidents of it are shown in the same composition. There is no attempt to represent the third dimension of space, nor to give the perspective setting of the scene, but the drawing is easy and true and expressive. The studied grace in the bend of certain figures and the lively expressions of the faces are traits which prefigure Gothic art (see fig. II, Plate III.).
Distinctively Gothic in their feeling were the wall-paintings in the chapel at Ramersdorf, opposite Bonn, dating from the beginning of the I4th century. They are only preserved in copies, but these enable us to see with what grace and feeling the slender figures were designed, how near to Angelicos came the tender angels making music where the virgin is receiving her celestial crown (E. Ausm Weerth, bc. cit.). From the end of the 14th ,century, Castle Runkelstein, near Botzen in Tirol, has preserved an extensive cycle of secular wall-paintings, much repainted, but of unique interest as giving an idea how a medieval residence of the kind might be adorned. The style is of native growth and no influence from south of the Alps is to be discerned (Janitschek, Geschichte der deutschen Malerei, Berlin, 1890, 198 seq.). Technically speaking, all these mural paintings consist in little more than outlines filled in with flat tints, neither modelling of the forms nor perspective effect in the setting is attempted, but the work so far as it goes is wholly satisfactory. There is no coarseness of execution nor anything in the forms, gestures or expressions that offends the eye. The colors are bright and pure, the decorative effect often charming.
In the matter of panel paintings on wood, we have the interesting notice in Bede that Abbot Benedict of Wearmouth at the end of the 7th century brought from Italy portable pictures on wooden panels for the decoration,of his church, part of which still remains. The style of the painting on these, it has recently been noticed, would resemble the existing wall-paintings of the beginning of the 8th century in S. Maria Antiqua in Rome, already referred to. Movable panel pictures in the form of representations of the Madonna and Child were produced in immense numbers at Byzantium and were imported largely into Italy, where they became of importance in connection with the revival of painting in the I3th century. As a rule, however, paintings on panel were not movable but were attached to a screen, a door, or similar structure of wood consisting in framing and panels. This form of decoration. is of special importance as it is really the origin of the modern picture. The painted panel, which at first forms an integral part of an architecturally designed structure of wood, gradually comes to attract to itself more and more importance, till it finally issues from its original setting and, emancipated from all relations to its surroundings, claims attention to itself as an independent work of art.
Painted panels in an architectural setting were used for the decoration of altar-fronts or antependia, of altar-backs or, as they are commonly called, altar-pieces, choir-screens, doors of presses and the like; or again for ceilings. There was painting also on the large wooden crucifixes displayed in churches, where a picture of Christ on the Cross might take the place of the more life-like carved image. In Italy painted panels were used as decoration of furniture, notably of the large carved chests or cassoni so common at the epoch of the Renaissance.
Examples of early medieval date do not appear to have survived. In Germany, where, as has been noticed, the arts in the 11th and 12th centuries stood at a higher level than in Italy 2r elsewhere in the west, certain antependia or altar-fronts from Soest in Westphalia of the 12th century are said to be the earliest known examples of German panel painting. One is preserved in the museum at Berlin. A little later the number of such panels introduced as part of the decoration of altar-backs, generally with folding doors, becomes very great. Painted panels as part of the decoration of screens are preserved in the choir at Cologne from the middle of the 14th century. In Italy the painted crucifix shared popular favor with the imported or imitated Byzantine Madonna-panels. A good example of the early painted altar-screen is preserved in Westminster Abbey.
Later, in the 15th century, the painted panel, generally with a single figure of a saint, becomes a common part of the carved, painted and gilded chancel screen in English churches, and many specimens are still to be seen, especially in East Anglia.
II. Beginnings of the Picture: German and Early Flemish Panel Painting.From the decorative panels introduced into wooden screen-work was developed in Germany and Flanders the picture proper, the mural painting passing out of use owing to the prevalence in the north of Gothic architecture, which does not admit of wall spaces for the display of pictures, but substitutes as a form of painting the stained-glass window. In Italy, where Gothic was treated as a plaything, the wall spaces were never sacrificed, and in the development of the art the mural picture took the lead, the painted panel remaining on. the whole of secondary importance.
Priority in this development of the picture is claimed in Germany for the school of Prague, where a gild of painters was founded in 1348, but the first northern school of painting that influenced other schools and plays a part in the history of painting as a whole is the so-called school of Cologne, where painters such as Meister Wilhelm and Hermann Wynrich achieved reputation in the I4th century, and produced as their successor in the 15th Stephan Lochner, author of the so-called Dombild in the cathedral, and of the Virgin of the Priests Seminary. A little later than the earliest Cologne masters appears Hubert van Eyck, born near Maestricht at no great distance from the Rhineland capital, who with his younger brother, Jan, heads the Early Flemish school of painting. Hubert is one of the great names in the history of the art, and is chiefly responsible for the altar-piece of the Adoration of the Lamb at Ghent, the most important masterpiece of the northern schools before the 17th century, and the earliest monument of the then newly developed art of oil painting. Table No. I. in. Part II. of this article gives the names of the chief successors of the Van Eycks, and the school ends with the life and work of Quintin Matsys of Antwerp; in the first quarter of the 16th century. The spirit of the early Cologne school, and in the main of that of Flanders, is idyllic and devotional, but the artists of the latter school achieve extraordinary force and precision. in their representation of the facts of nature. They are, moreover, the first painters of landscape, for in their hands the gold background of the medieval panels yields place to a rendering of natural scenery and of effects of distance, minute in details and fresh and delightful in feeling. The famous picture ascribed by some to Hubert van Eyck in the collection of Sir Francis Cook at Richmoiid is a good example. The subject is the Three Manes at the Sepulchre, and the background is a wonderful view of a city intended for Jerusalem (see fig. 12, Plate IV.).
In Germany, on the other hand, the tendency of the 15th century was towards a rather crude realism in details, to which the higher artistic qualities of beauty and devotional sentiment were often sacrificed. This isa new phenomenon in the history of the art. In the older Oriental, the classical and the medieval phases of painting, though there is a constant effort to portray the truth of nature, yet the decorative instinct in the artist, his feeling for pattern, was a ~ontrolling element in the work, and the representation was conventionalized into a form that satisfied the ideal of beauty current at the time. Jan van Eyck was matter-of-fact in his realism, but avoided ugliness, whereas in Germany in the 15th and 16th centuries we find action and expression exaggerated to contortion and grimace, and all artistic qualities sacrificed to a mistaken idea of force. German art was, however, saved by the appearance of some artists of great genius who more than made up for the national insensibility to beauty by their earnestness and truth. Martin Schongauer of Colmar learnt his art from the painters of the Flemish Netherlands, and imbibed something of the feeling for beauty which the successors of Hubert van Eyck had never wholly lost. After Schongauer German art culminates at Nuremberg in the person of Albrecht Dflrer, and a little later in that of Hans Holbein the younger. Contemporary with DUrer, Mathias Grunewald of Colmar exhibits a dramatic power in his creations that compensates for their exaggerated realism, and Bartholomgus Bruyn, of Cologne, prefigures the future success of the northern schools in portraiture. In Germany, however, the wars of religion in the 16th century checked the further growth of a national art. Holbeins migration to England is a significant sign of this, and German art in this phase of it may be said to come to an end in the person of Adam Elsheimer of Frankfort, who introduced German painting at Rome about the year 1600.
In the Netherlands the early religious school ends, as we have seen, with Quintin Matsys, and the next generation of Flemish painters for the most part practise their art in Italy, and import Italian fashions into the painting of their own country. From the ranks of these so-called Italiahizer~ in the Flanders of the 16th century proceeds a little later the commanding personality of Rubens.
12. The Rise of Schools of Painting.The expression school of painting has more than once been used; what is the meaning of it? The history of painting has hitherto been treated in the article as a development that proceeded according to a natural law of evolution in independence of individuals. In painting, however, as in all the higher operations of the arts, the initiative of the individual counts for much, and the action and reaction on each other of individuals, and those groups of individuals whom common aims and practice draw together into schools, make up for us a good part of the interest of the historical study of painting. At certain periods this particular interest has been. lacking. In ancient Egypt, for example, and among the older Oriental peoples generally, schools of painting in the modern sense did not exist, for the arts were carried on on traditional lines and owed little, so far as records tell, to individual initiative. In ancient Greece, on the contrary, we find ourselves at once in an atmosphere of names and achievements which give all the glamour of personal and biographical interest to the story of art. In the early Christian and early medieval periods, we return again to a time when the arts were practised in the same impersonal fashion as in the oldest days, but with the later medieval epoch we emerge once more into an era where the artist of genius, with his experiments and triumphs, his rivals and followers, is in the forefront of interest; when history is enlivened with anecdote, and takes light and shade from the changing fortunes of individuals.
There is a danger lest ~the human interest of such a period may lead us to forget the larger movements, impersonal and almost cosmic, which are all the time carrying these individuals and groups forward on their destined course. The history of painting cannot be understood if it be reduced to a notice, however full, of separate schools or to a series of biographies~ fascinating as these may be made, of individual artists. Hence in what follows it is still the main course of the development of the art in its relation to nature that will be kept in view, while the information about names and dates and mutual relations of artists and schools, which is in its own way equally important, will be furnished in the tables constituting Part II. of this article.
What has just been said will prepare the reader for the fact that the first schools of painting here mentioned are those of Germany and Flanders, not those of Italy, though the latter are more important as well as actually prior in point of time.
13. The Gothic Movement and the Proto-Renaissance, in their Influence on Painting -north and south of the Alps.The revival of the arts of sculpture and painting in the Italy of the last part of the I3th century was an event of capital importance, not only for that country but for the west at large. Its importance has, however, been exaggerated, when it has been said to imply the rediscovery of the arts after a period in which they had suffered an. entire eclipse. So far as Italy is concerned, both sculpture and painting had in the previous period sunk to a level so low that they could hardly be said to exist, but at the same epoch in lands north of the Alps they were producing works of considerable merit. Romanesque wall-painting of the 12th century, as represented in some Rhineland churches and cloisters, is immeasurably better than anything of the same period south of the Alps. In the ~rts of construction and ornament the lead remained for a long time with the northern peoples, and in every branch of decorative work with the exception of mosaic the craftsmanship of Germany and France surpassed anything that native Italian workmen could produce. By the middle of the 12th century the intellectual and social activity of the French people was accompanied by an artistic movement that created the most complex and beautiful architectural monuments that the world has seen. The adornment of the great French Gothic cathedral was as artistically perfect as its fabric was noble. For one, at any rate, of the effects at which the painter aims, that of glowing and sumptuous color, nothing can surpass th~ stained-glass windows of the Gothic churches, while the exteriors of the same buildings were enriched with hundreds of statues of monumental dignity endowect with a grace and expressiveness that reflect the spirit of the age.
The Gothic age in France was characterized by humanity, tenderness and the love of nature, and there are few epochs in human history the spirit of which is to us more congenial. The 12th century, which witnessed the growth of the various elements of culture that combined to give the age its ultimate character, saw also a movement of revival in another sphere. The reference is to what has been aptly termed a Proto-Renaissance, the characteristic of which was a fresh interest in surviving remains of classical antiquity. In more than one region of the west, where these remains were specially in evidence, this interest manifested itself, and the earliest sign of it was in Provence, the highly Romanized part of southern Gaul known par excellence as the Provincia. To this is due the remarkable development of decorative sculpture in the first decades of the 12th century, which gave to that region. the storied portals of St Gilles, and of St Trophime at Arles. Somewhat later, in the early part of the 13th, those portions of southern Italy under the direct rule of the emperor Frederick II. presented a similar phenomenon that has been fully discussed by M. Bertaux in his LArt dens lItalie mridionale (Paris, 1904). There were other centres of this same movement, and a recent writer enumerates no fewer than seven. The Gothic movement proper depended in no degree on the study of the antique, and in art the ornamental forms which express its spirit are naturalistic, not classical, while the fine figure sculpture above referred to is quite independent of ancient models, which hardly existed in the central regions of France where the Gothic movement had its being. Still the protoRenaissance can be associated with it as another phase of the same awakening of intellectual life that marked the 12th century. Provence took the lead in the literary revival of the time, and the artistic movement that followed on this was influenced by the fact of the existence in those regions of abundant remains of classical art.
rhe Gothic movement was essentially northern in its origin, and its influence radiated from the Tie de France. What has been described as the idyllic grace, the tenderness, that mark the works of the early Cologne school, and to some extent those of the early Flemings, were Gothic in their origin, while the feeling for nature in landscape that characterizes van Eyck, and the general tendency towards a realistic apprehension of the facts of things, may also be put down to the quickening of both thought and sympathy due to the Gothic movement. Hence it is that the northern schools of painting are noticed before the Italian because they were nearer to the source of the common inspiration. All the lands of the West, however, exhibit, each in its own special forms, the same stir of a new intellectual, religious and artistic life. In Italy we meet with the same phenomena as in France, a proto-Renaissance, first in southern Italy and then, as we shall presently see, at Rome and at Pisa, and a religious and intellectual movement on Gothic lines that was embodied in the attractive personality of St Francis of Assisi. Francis was as perfect an embodiment of the Gothic temper as St Louis himself, and in his romantic enthusiasm, his tenderness, his humanity is in spirit more French than Italian.
14. The Rise of the Italian Schools of PaintingThe revival of the arts in Italy in the latter part of the 13th century was the outcome of the two movements just noticed. The art of Niccola Pisano is now recognized as a phase of the proto-Renaissance of southern Italy, whence his family was derived. It represents a distinct advance on the revived classical sculpture of Provence or Campania because Niccolas artistic personality was a strong one, and he gives to his work the impress of the individual of genius. Throughout its history Italian art depends for its excellence on this personal element, and Niccolas achievement is epoch-making because of his personal vigour, not because he reinvented a lost art. Towards the end of the I3th century, painting began to show, the results of the same renewed study of antique models, and here again the revival is connected with the names of gifted individuals. Among these the most noteworthy are the Roman Pietro Cavallini and Duccio di Buoninsegna of Siena. The condition of painting in Italy in late medieval days has already been indicated. Cavallini and Duccio now produce, in two standard forms of the art, the mural painting of the Last Judgment and the enthroned Madonna with angelsworks characterized by good taste, by largeness and suavity of treatment, and by an. execution which, if still somewhat primitive and labored, at any rate aims at beauty of form and color. The recently uncovered fresco of the Last Judgment by Cavallini, executed about 1293 on the western wall of S. Cecilia in Trastevere at Rome, is classical in feeling and represents an immense advance on the older rendering of the same subject in S. Angelo in Formis (see ~ 10). The vast enthroned Madonna in the Rucellai chapel of S. Maria Novella at Florence, ascribed by Vasari to Cimabue, is now assigned by many to Duccio of Siena, and presents similar attractive qualities. Cimabue, a Florentine contemporary of Cavallini and Duccio, is famed in story as the chief representative of the painting of this period, but we possess no certain works from his hand except his mosaic at Pisa. His style would probably correspond to that of the painters just mentioned. His chief importance for our purpose resides in the fact that he was the teacher of the Florentine Giotto.
If the artists just referred to represent a revived classicism rather than a fresh and independent study of nature, Giotto is essentially a creation of the Gothic movement and his close association with the Franciscan cycle of ideas brings this fact into clearer relief. Giotto is in no way dependent on the study of the antique, but relies on his own steady and penetrating outlook upon man and upon nature. He is Gothic in his humanity, his sympathy, his love of truth, and he incorporates in his own person many of the most pleasing qualities of Gothic art as it had already manifested itself in France, while by the force of his own individual genius he raises these qualities to a higher level of artistic expression.
In the work of Giotto painting begins to enter on its modern era. The demonstrative element permanently takes the preeminence over the more decorative element we have called pattern-making. Though the pattern is always present, the elements of it become of increasing value in themselves as representations of nature, and the tendency henceforward for a couple of centuries is to exaggerate their importance so that the general decorative effect becomes subordinate. Giottos greatness depends on the gift he possessed for holding the balance even among opposed artistic qualities. If he was interesting and convincing as a narrator, he had a fine eye at the same time for composition and balanced his masses with unerring tact. Neither he nor any of the Florentine frescoists had much sense of color, and at this stage of the development of painting compositions of light and shade were not thought of, but in line and mass he pleases the eye as much as he satisfies the mind by his clear statement of the meaning and intention of his figures and groups.
In putting these together he is careful above all things to make them tell their story, and primitive as he is in technique he is as accomplished in this art as Raphael himself. Moreover, he holds the balance between. the tendency, always so strong among his countrymen as among the Germans, to over-emphasis of action and expression, and the grace and self-restraint which are among the most precious of artistic qualities. He never sacrifices beauty to force, nor on the other hand does he allow his sense of grace of line to weaken the telling effect of action or grouping. A good example of his style, and one interesting also from the comparative standpoint, is his fresco of Herods Birthday Feast in S. Croce at Florence (fig. 13, Plate IV.). We contrast it with the earlier wall-painting of the same subject in the cathedral at Brunswick (fig. If, Plate III.). Giotto has reduced the number of actors to the minimum necessary for an effective presentation of the scene, but has charged each figure with meaning and presented the ensemble with a due regard for space as well as merely for form. The flatness of the older work has already been exchanged for an effective, if not yet fully correct, rendering of planes. The justice of the actions and expressions will at once strike the observer.
The Florentine school as a whole looks to Giotto as its head, because he embodies all the characteristics that made it great; but at the same time the artists that came after him in most cases failed by over-emphasis of the demonstrative element, and sacrificed beauty and sentiment to vigour - and realism. The school as a whole is markedly intellectual, and as a result is at times prosaic, from which fault Giotto himself was saved by his Gothic tenderness and romance. His personality was so outstanding that it dominated the school for nearly a century. The Giotteschi is a name given to a number of Florentine painters whose labors cover the rest of the i4th century among whom only one, Andrea di Cione, called Orcagna, lifted himself to any real eminence.
At Siena the Gothic movement made itself felt in the next artistic generation after that of Duccio. Its chief representative was Simone Martini. With him Sienese art takes upon itself a character contrasting markedly with the Florentine. It is on the demonstrative side less intellectual, less vigorous, less secular; and a dreamy melancholy, a tenderness that is a little sentimental, take the place Of the alertness and force with which the personages in Florentine frescoes are endued. On the other hand, in decorative feeling, especially in regard to color, Sienese painting surpasses that of the Florentines. Simone was followed by a number of artists who answered to the Florentine Giotteschi and carry on the style through the century, but as Florence produces an Orcagna, so at Siena about the middle of the 14th century there appear in the brothers Lorenzetti two artists of exceptional vigour, who carry art into new fields. Ambrogio Lorenzetti, the younger of the brothers, is specially represented by some frescoes in the Public Palace at Siena of a symbolical and didactic kind, representing Good and Bad Government, from which is selected a figure representing Peace (fig. 14, Plate V.). Sienese sentiment is here very apparent. Simone Martinis masterpiece had been a great religious fresco of an edifying kind on the wall of the chapel, and now in the rooms devoted to the secular business of the city Lorenzetti covers the walls with four large compositions on the subject named.
The painters of the Sienese school were on the whole faithful to the style indicated, and later on in the century they extend the boundaries of their school by spreading its influence into the hill country of Umbria. In the cities of this region Taddeo di Bartoli, one of the best of the followers of Simone, worked about the end of the century, and early Umbrian art in. consequence exhibits the same devotional character, the same dreaminess, the same grace and decorative charm, that are at home in Siena.
Elsewhere in Italy the art of the i4th century represents a general advance beyond the old medieval standard, but no outstanding personality made its appearance and there was nothing that can be strictly termed a revival. At Rome, where on the foundation of the noble design of Cavallini there might have been reared a promising artistic structure, the removal early in the 14th century of the papal court to Avignon in France led to a cessation of all effort.
15. The Fifteenth Century, and its Influence on the Development of Painting at Florence.We come now to what was indicated in 4 as the third of the main periods into which the history of painting may be divided. It is that in which, by the aid of the new agency of perspective, truth of form was for the first time perfectly mastered, and an advance was made in the rendering of the truth of space.
The opening of the 15th century in Italy is the most important epoch in the whole history of painting, for it -was the real beginning of the modern era. Here Florence, the first home of Renaissance culture, unmistakably assumes the lead, and the new era is again opened by the agency of an individual of genius. The father of modern painting is the Florentine Masaccio. He not only advanced the art in those qualities in which Giotto had already made it great, but pointed the way towalds the representation of the third dimension of objects and of space as a whole which had for so long been almost ignored. His short life course, for he died before he was thirty, only allowed him to execute one work of the first importance, the frescoes in the Brancacci chapel of the Carmine at Florence. There in the Tribute Money he told the story with all Giottos force and directness, but with an added power in the creation of exalted types of human character, and in the presentation of solid shapes that seem to live before us. In the Expulsion from Eden he rose to greater heights. In the whole range of demonstrative art no more convincing, more moving, figures have ever been created than those of our first parents, Adam veiling his face in his hands, Eve throwing back her head and wailing aloud in agony, while in the foreshortened form of the angel that hovers above we discern the whole future development of the art for a century to come (see fig. 15, Plate V.). Above all qualities in Masaccios work we are impressed with the simplicity and the ease of the, work. The youthful artist possessed a reserve of power that, had he lived, would have carried him at one bound to heights that it took his actual successors in the school well nigh a, century to climb.
The 15th century at Florence presents to us the picture of a progressive advance on the technical side of art, in the course of which various problems were attacked and one by one vanquished, till the form of painting in the style recognized in the school was finally perfected, and was then handed on to the great masters of expression, such as Raphael and Michelangelo, who used it as the obedient instrument of their wills. The efforts of the artists were inspired by a new intellectual and social movement of which this century was the scene. If the Gothic movement in the 14th century had inspired Giotto and Simone Martini, now it was the revived study of the antique, the true Renaissance, that was behind all the technical struggles of the artists. Painting was not, however, directly and immediately, affected by the study of antique models. This was only one symptom of a general stir of intellectual life that is called by the apt term humanism. In the early Gothic epoch the movement had been also in the direction of humanity, that is to say, of softness in manners and of the amenities and graces of life, but it wa~ also a strictly religious movement. Now, in the 15th century, the inspiration of thought was rather pagan than, Christian, and men were going back to the ideas and institutions of the antique world as a substitute for those which the Church had provided for thirty generations. The direct influence of these studies on art was chiefly felt in. the case of architecture, which they practically transformed. Sculpture was influenced to a lesser degree, and painting least of all. It was not till the century was pretty far advanced that classical subjects of a mythological kind were adopted by artists like Botticelli and Piero di Cosimo, the first, figures borrowed from the antique world being those of republican worthies displayed for purposes of public edification.
The elements which the humanistic movement contributed to Florentine art are the following: (v) The scientific study of perspective in all its branches, linear and aerial, including the science of shadows. (2) Anatomy, the study of the nude form both at rest and in action. (3) Truth of fact in details in, animate and inanimate subjects. (4) The technique of oil painting. It must be observed that in this work the Florentines were joined by certain painters of Umbria, who were not satisfied with the TJmbro-Sienese tradition already spoken of, but allied themselves with the leaders of the advance who were fighting under the banner of Masaccio.
Of the studies mentioned above by far the most important was that of perspective. Anatomy and realism in details only represented an advance along the lines painting had been already following. The new technique of oil painting, though of immense importance in connection with the art as a whole, affected the Florentines comparatively little. Their favorite form of painting was the mural picture, not the self-contained panel or canvas for which the oil medium was specially designed, and for mural work fresco remained alwa~s supreme (see Part III., 35). In this mural work the introduction of scientific perspective effected something like a transformation. The essence of the work from the decorative point of view had been its flatness. It was primarily pattern-making, and nature had been represented by contours which stood for objects without giving them their full dimensions. When the artist began to introduce varying planes of distance and to gain relief by light and shade, there was at once a change in the relation of the picture to the wall. It no longer agreed in. its flatness with the facts of the surf ac of which it formed the enrichment, but opposed these by its suggestion of depth and distance. Hence while painting as a whole advanced enormously through this effort after the, truth of space, yet decorative quality in this particular form of the art propor.~ tionately suffered.
The study of perspective owed much to the architect and scholar Brunellesco, one of the oldest as well as ablest of the men in whom the new movement of the 15th century was embodied. Brunellesco taught all he knew to Masaccio, for whose genius he felt strong admiration; but the artist in whom the result of the new study is most obvious is Paolo Uccello, a painter of much power, who was born as early as 1397. Uccello, as extant works testify, sometimes composed pictures mainly with a view to the perspective effects for which they furnished the opportunity. See fig. 16, Plate V., where in a fresco of a cavalry skirmish he has drawn in foreshortened view the figure of a warrior prone on the ground, as well as various weapons and other objects under the feet of the horses. A fresco of The Flood at Florence is even more naive in its parade of the painters newly won skill in perspective science. The intarsists, or workers in inlaid woods, who were very numerous in Florence, also adopted perspective motives for their designs, and these testify to the fascination of the study during all the last part of the century and the beginning of the next.
The advance in anatomical studies may be illustrated in the person of Antonio Pollaiuolo. Masaccio had been as great in this department of the painters craft as in any other; and in the Adam and Eve of the Expulsion, and the famous nudes shown in the fresco of Peter Baptizing, he had given the truth of action and expression as few have been able to render it; but in the matter of scientific accuracy in detail more anatomical study was needful, and to this men like Pollaiuolo now devoted themselves. Pollaiuolos Martyrdom of St Sebastian, in the London National Gallery, is a very notable illustration of the effOrts which a conscientious and able Florentine of the period would make to master these problems of the scientific side of art. (See fig. I,, Plate V.)
On the whole, however, of the men of this group it was not a Florentine but the Umbrian Piero de Franceschi that represents the greatest achievement on the formal side of art. His theoretical studies were profound. He wrote a treatise on perspective, representIng an advance on the previous treatment of the science by Alberti; and to this study of linear perspective Piero united those of aerial perspective and the science of shadows. A fresco of his at Arezzo entitled the Dream of Constantine is epoch-making in presenting a night effect into the midst of which a bolt of celestial radiance is htlrled, the incidence of which on the objects of the various planes of the picture has been carefully observed and accurately reproduced. (See fig. 18, Plate V.)
Piero handed on his scientific accomplishments to a pupil, also an Umbrian of Florentine sympathies, Luca Signorelli of Cortona. He achieved still greater success than Pollaiuolo in the rendering of the nude form in action, but more conspicuously than any others of this group he sacrificed beauty to truth, and the nudes in his great series of frescoes on the Last Things at Orvieto are anatomized like corc/is, and are in color and texture positively repellent. Lucas work is, however, of historical importance as leading on to that of Michelangelo.
A great power in the Florentine school of the 15th century was Andrea del Castagno, an artist with much of the vigour, the feeling for the monumental, of Masaccio, but without Masaccios saving gift of suavity of treatment. He is best represented by some single figures representing Florentine worthies, whom he has painted as if they were statues in niches. They formed part of the decoration of a villa, and are noteworthy as wholly secular in subject. There is a massiveness about the forms which shows how thoroughly the 15th century Florentines were mastering the representation of solid objects in all their three dimensions. Other painters attracted attention at the time for their realistic treatment of details. Vasari singles out Alessio Baldovinetti.
The importance for art of the Florentine school of the 15th century resides in these efforts for the perfecting of painting on the formal side, which its representatives were themselves making and were inspiring in others. The general historian of the art will dwell rather on this aspect of the work of the school than on the numerous attractive features it offers to the superficial observer. The Fra Angelicos, the Filippo Lippis, the Benozzo Gozzolis, the Botticellis, the Filippino Lippis of the century express pleasantly in their work various phases of feeling, devotional, idyllic or pensive, and enjoy a proportionate popularity among the lovers of pictures. Exigencies of space preclude anything more than a mention of their names, but a sentence or two must be given to a painter of the last half of the century who represents better than any other the perfection of the monumental style in fresco painting. This painter is Ghirlandajo, to whom is ascribed a characteristic saying. When disturbed in hours of work about some domestic affair he exclaimed: Trouble me not about these household matters; now that I begin to comprehend the method of this art I would fain they gave me to paint the whole circuit of the walls of Florence with stories. Ghirlandajo was entering into the heritage of technical knowledge and skill that had been laboriously acquired by his countrymen and their Timbrian comrades since the beginning of the century, and he spread himself upon the plastered walls of Tuscan churches with easy copiousness, in works which give us a better idea than any others of the time of how much can be accomplished in a form of art of the kind by sound tradition and a businesslike system of operation.
The mural painting of Ghirlandajo represents in its perfection one important phase of the art. It was still decorative in the sense that lime color-washes were the natural finish of the lime plaster on the wall, and that these washes were arranged in a color-pattern pleasing to the eye. The demonstrative element, that is, the significance of these patches of color as representations of nature, was however in the eyes of both painter and public the matter of primary importance, and similitude was now carried as far as knowledge of anatomy and linear perspective rendered possible. Objects were rendered in their three dimensions and were properly set on their planes and surrounded with suitable accessories, while aerial perspective was only drawn on to give a general sense of space without the eye being attracted too far into the distance. As a specimen of the monumental style nothing can be better than Ghirlandajos fresco of the Burial of S. Fina at S. Gimignano in Tuscany (see fig. 19, Plate V.). We note with what architectural feeling the composition is balanced, how simple and monumental is the effect.
16. The Fifteenth Century in- the other Italian Schools.It has been already noticed that the painting of the 14th century in the IJmbrian cities was inspired by that of Siena. Through the I5th century the Umbrian school developed on the same lines. Its artists were as a whole content to express the placid religious sentiment with which the Sienese had inspired them, and advanced in technical matters almost unconsciously, or at any rate without making the pronounced efforts of the Florentines. While Piero de Franceschi and Luca Signorelli vied with the most ardent spirits among the Florentines in grappling with the formal problems of the art, their countrymen generally preserved the old flatness of effect, the quiet poses, the devout expressions of the older school. This Umbro-Sienese art produced in the latter part of the century the typical Umbrian painter Perugino, whose chief importance in the history of his art is the fact that he was the teacher of Raphael.
An Umbrian who united the suavity of style and feeling for beauty of the Peruginesques with a daring and scientific mastery that were Florentine was Piero de Franceschis pupil, Melozzo da Forli. His historical importance largely resides in the fact that he was the first master of the so-called Roman school. As was noticed before in connection with the early Roman master, Pietro Cavallini, the development of a native Roman school was checked by the departure of the papal court to France for the best part of a century. After the return, when affairs had been set in order, the popes began to gather round them artists to carry out various extensive commissions, such as the decoration of the wulls of the newly-erected palace chapel of th~ Vatican, called from its founder the Sistine. These artists were not native Romans but Florentines and Umbrians, and among them was Melozzo da Forli, who by taking up his residence permanently at Rome became the founder of the Roman school, that was afterwards adorned by names like those of Raphael and Michelangelo.
In thestory of the development of Italian painting Melozzo occupies an important place. He carried further the notion of a perspective treatment of the figure that was started by Masaccios angel of the Expulsion, and preceded Correggio in the device of representing a celestial event as it would appear to a spectator who was looking up at it from below.
On the whole, the three Umbrians, Piero de Franceschi, with his two pupils Luca Signorelli and Melozzo, are the most important figures in the central Italian art of the formative period. There is one other artist in another part of Italy whose personality bulks more largely than even theirs, and who, like them a disciple of the Florentines, excelled the Florentines in science and power, and this is the Paduan Mantegna.
We are introduced now to the painters of north Italy. Their general character differs from that of the Umbro-Sienese school in that their work is somewhat hard and sombre, and wanting in the naivete and tenderness of the masters who originally drew their inspiration from Simone Martini. Giotto had spent some time and accomplished some of his best work at Padua in the earliest years of the 14th century, but his influence had not lasted. Florentine art, in the more advanced form it wore in the first half of the 15th century, was again brought to it by Donatello and Paolo Uccello, who were at work there shortly before 1450. At that time Andrea Mantegna was receiving his first education from a painter, or rather impresario, named Francesco Squarcione, who directed his attention to antique models. Mantegna learnt ftom Donatello a statuesque feeling for form, and from Uccello a scientific interest in perspective, while, acting on the stimulus of his first teacher, he devoted himself to personal study~of the remains of antique sculpture which were common in the Roman cities of north Italy. Mantegna built up his art on a scientific basis, but he knew how to inspire the form, with a soul. His own personality was one of the strongest that we meet with in the annals of Italian art, and he stamped this on all he accomplished. No figures stand more firmly than Mantegnas, none have a more plastic fullness, in none are details of accoutrement or folds of drapery more clearly seen and rendered. The study of antique remains supplied him with a store of classical details that he uses with extraordinary accuracy ,and effectiveness in his representations of a Roman triumph, at Hampton Court. Ancient art invested, too, with a certain austere beauty his forms of women or children, and in classical nudes there is a firmness of modelling, a suppleness in thovement, that we look for in vain among the Florentines. Fig. 20, Plate VI., which shows a dance of the Muses with Venus and Vulcan, is typical. Mantegna was not only a great personality, but he exercised a powerful and wide-reaching influence upon all the art of north Italy, including that of Venice. His perspective studies led him in the same direction as Melozzo da Forli, and in some decorative paintings in the Camera degli Sposi at Mantua he pointed out the way that was afterwards to be followed by Correggio.
Mantegnas relations with the school of Venice introduce us to the most important and interesting of all the Italian schools save that of Florence. Venetian painting occupies a position by itself that corresponds with the place and history of the city that gave it birth. The connections of Venice were not with the rest of Italy, but rather with the East and with Germany. Commercially speaking, she was the emporium of trade with both. Into her markets streamed the wealth of the Orient, and from her markets. this was transferred across the Alps to cities like Nuremberg. From Germany had come a certain Gothic element into Venetian architecture in the x4th century, and a little later an influence of the same kind began to affect Venetian painting. Up to that time ,Venice had depended for her painters on the East, and had imported Byzantine Madonna pictures, and called in Byzantine mosaic-workers to adorn the walls and roof of her metropolitan church. The first sign of native activity is to be found at Murano, where, in the first half of the 15th century, a German, Justus of Allemagna, worked in partnership with a Muranese family. A little later a stranger from another quarter executes important commissions in the city of the lagoons. This was an Ijmbrian, Gentile da Fabriano, who possessed the suavity and tenderness of his school.
The natural tendency of Venetian taste, nourished for centuries on opulent Oriental stuffs, on gold and gems, ran in the direction of what was soft and pleasing to the sense. The northern Gothic and the Umbrian influences corresponded with this and flattered the natural tendency of the people. For the proper development of Venetian painting some element of Florentine strength and science was absolutely necessary, and his was imparted to the Venetian school by Mantegna through the medium of the Bellini.
The Bellini were a Venetian family of painters, of whom the father was originally an assistant to Gentile da Fabriano, but lived for a \vhile at Padua, where his daughter Nicolosia became the wife of Mantegna. With the two Bellini sons, Gentile and Giovanni, Man tegna became very intimate, and a mutual influence was exercised that was greatly to the benefit of all. Mantegna softened a little what has been termed his iron style, through the assimilation of some of the suavity and feeling for beauty and color that were engrained in the Venetians, while on the other hand Mantegna imparted some of his own sternness and his Florentine science to his brothers-in-law, of whom the younger, Giovanni, was the formative master of the later Venetian school.
I 7. The Painting of the Sixteenth Century: the Mastery of Form.If we examine a drawing of the human figure by Raphael, Michelangelo, or Correggio, and compare it with the finest examples of Greek figure design on the vases, we note at once that to the ancient artist the form presented itself as a silhouette, and he had to put constraint on himself to realize its depth; whereas the moderns, so to say, think in the third dimension of space and every touch of their pencil presupposes it. The lovely Aphrodite riding on a Swan, on the large Greek kylix in the British Museum, is posed in an impossible position between the wing of the creature and its body, where there would be no space for her to sit. The lines of her figure are exquisite, but she is pure contour, not form. In a Raphael nude the strokes of the chalk come forward from the back, bringing with them into relief the rounded limb which grows into plastic fullness before our eyes. Whether the parts recede or approach, or sway from side to side, the impression on the eye is equally clear and convincing. The lines do not merely limit a surface but caress the shape and model it by their very direction and comparative force into relief. In other words, these 16th-century masters for the first time perfectly realize the aim which was before the eyes of the Greeks; and Raphael, whom grace and truth and composition may have been only the peer of Apelles, probably surpassed his great predecessor in this easy and instinctive rendering of objects in their solidity.
In so far as the work of these masters of the culminating period, in its relation to nature, is of this character it needs no further analysis, and attention should rather be directed to those elements in Italian design of the 16th-century which have a special interest for the after development of the art.
Not only was form mastered as a matter of drawing, but relief was indicated by a subtle treatment of light and shade. Foreshortening as a matter of drawing requires to be accompanied by correct modulation of tone and color, for as the form in question recedes from the eye, changes of the most delicate kind in the illumination and hue of the parts present themselves for record and reproduction. The artist who first achieved mastery in these refinements of chiaroscuro was Leonardo da Vinci, while Correggio as a colorist added to Leonardesque modelling an equally delicate rendering of the modulation of local color in relation to the incidence of light, and the greater or less distance of each part from the eye. This represented a great advance in the rendering of natural truth, and prepared the way for the masters of the iith century. It is not only by linear perspective, or the progressive diminution in size of objects as they recede, that the effect of space and distance can be compassed. This depends more on what artists know as tone or values, that is, on the gradual degradation of the intensity of light and shadow, and the diminishing saturation of colors, or, as we may express it in a word that is not however quite adequate, aerial perspective. That which Leonardo and Correggio had accomplished in the modelling, lighting and tinting of the single form in space had to be applied by succeeding artists to space as a whole, and this was the work,not of the 16th but of the 17th century, and not of Italians but of the masters of the Netherlands and of Spain.
18. The Contribution of Venice.Before we enter upon this fourth period of the development of the art, something must be said of an all-important contribution that painting owes to the masters of Venice.
The reference is not only to Venetian coloring. This was partly, as we have seen, the result of the temperament and circumstances of the people, and we may ascribe also to the peculiar position of the city another Venetian characteristic. There is at Venice a sense of openness and space, and the artists seem anxious on their canvases to convey the same impression Of a large entourage. The landscape background, which we have already found on early Flemish panels, becomes a feature of the pictures of the Venetians, but these avoid the meticulous detail of the Flemings and treat their spaces in a broader and simpler fashion. An indispensable condition however for the rich and varied effects of color shown on Venetian canvases was the possession by the painters of an adequate technique. In the third part of this article an account is given of the change in technical methods due, not so much to the introduction of the oil medium by the Van Eycks, as to the exploitation at Venice of the unsuspected resources which that medium could be made to afford. Giovanni Bellini, not Hubert van Eyck, is really the primal painter in oil, because he was the first to manipulate it with freedom, and to play off against each other, the various effects of opaque and transparent pigment. His noble picture at Murano, representing the Doge Barbarigo adoring the Madonna, represents his art at its best (see fig. 21, Plate VI.).
Bellini rendered possible the painters of the culminating period of Venetian art, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, with others hardly less great. Giorgione was the first who made the art, as an art of paint not merely of design, speak to the soul. His melting outlines and the crisp clean touches that wake the piece to life; his glowing hues and the pearly neutrals that give them repose and quality; the intimate appeal of his dreamy faces, his refined but voluptuous forms, and the large freedom of his spaces of sky and distance, all combine to impress us with~ a sense of the poetry and mystery of creation that we derive from the works of no other extant painter. The Concert of the Louvre, fig. 22, Plate VII. is typically Giorgionesque.
Tintoretto, more intellectually profound, more passionate, writes for us his message in his stormy brush-strokes, now shaking us with terror, now lifting our souls on the wings of his imagination; but with him as with the younger master it is always the painter who speaks, and always in the terms of color and texture and handling. Lastly, between the two, unapproachable in his majestic calm, stands Titian. Combining the poetry of Giorgione with much of Tintorettos depth and passion, he is the first, and still perhaps the greatest, of the supreme masters of the painters art. His masterpiece is the great Presentation of the Venice Academy, fig. 23, Plate VII. Painting, it is true, has to advance in its development beyond the ideals of Titians century, but it loses on the ethical side more than on the technical side it wins, and without the Venetians the world would have never known the full possibilities of the art that began so simply and at so early a stage of human civilization.
19. The Fourth Period: the Realization of the Truth of Space. Changed Relation of Painting to Nature.By the 17th century the development of painting had passed through all its stages, and the picture was no longer a mere silhouette or a transcript of objects against a flat background, but rather an enchanted mirror of the world, in which might be reflected space beyond space in infinite recession. With this transformation of the picture there was connected a complete change in the relation of the artist to nature. Throughout all the earlier epochs of the art that painter had concerned himself not with nature as a whole, but with certain selected aspects of nature that furnished him with his recognized subjects. These subjects were selected on account of their intrinsic beauty or importance, and as representing intrinsic worth they claimed to be delineated in the clearest and most substantial fashion. In the j7th century, not only was the world as a whole brought within the artists view, but it presented itself as worthy in every part of his most reverent attention. In other words the art of the 17th century, and of the modern epoch in general, is democratic, and refuses to acknowledge that difference in artistic value among the aspects of nature which was at the basis of the essentially aristocratic art of the Greeks and Italians. It does not follow that selection is of any less importance ,in modern painting than it was of old; the change is that the basis of selection is not now a fixed intrinsic gradation amongst objects, but rather a variable difference dependent not on the object itself but on certain. accidents of its position and lighting. The artist still demands that nature shall inspire him with her beauty, but he has learned that this beauty is so widely diffused that he may find it anywhere. It was a profound saying of John Constable that there is nothing ugly in nature, for, as he explained it, let the actual form and character of an object be what it would, the angle at which it might be viewed, and the effect upon it of light and color, could always make it beautiful. It is when objects and groups of objects have taken on themselves this pictorial beauty, which only the artistically trained eye can discern, that the modern painter finds himself in the presence of his subject, and he knows that this magical play of beauty may appear in the most casual and unlikely places, in mean and squalid corners, and upon the most ordinary objects of daily life. Sometimes it will be a heap of litter, sometimes a maidens face, that will be touched with this pictorial charm. Things to the common eye most beautiful may be barren of it, while it may touch and glorify a clod.
The artist who was the first to demonstrate convincingly this principle of modern painting was Rembrandt. With Rembrandt the actual intrinsic character of the object before him was of small concern. Beauty was with him a matter of surface effect that depended on the combined influence of the actual local color and superficial modelling of objects, with the passing condition of their lighting, and the greater or less clearness of the air through which they were seen. Behind the effect produced in this fortuitous fashion the object in itself vanished, so to say, from view. It was appearance that was important, not reality. Rembrandts art was related essentially not to things as they were but as they seemed. The artists of the I5th century, whose careful delineation of objects gives them the title of the earliest realists, portrayed these objects in precise analytical fashion each for itself. More advanced painters regarded them not only in themselves but in their artistic relations as combining beauties of form and color that together made up a pictorial effect. Rembrandt in his later work attended to the pictorial effect alone and practically annulled the objects, by reducing them to pure tone and color. Things are not there at all, but only the semblance or effect or impression of things. Breadth is in this way combined with the most delicate variety, and a new form of painting, now called impressionism, has come into being.
To give back nature just as she is seen, in a purely pictorial aspect, is the final achievement of the painters craft, but as the differences of tone and color on which pictorial beauty depends are extremely subtle, so it is only by a skill of touch that seems like the most accomplished sleight of hand that the required illusion can be produced, and in this way the actual handling of the brush assumes in modern painting an importance which in the old days it never possessed. The effect is produced not by definite statements of form and color, but by what Sir Charles Eastlake termed the judicious unfinish of a consummate workman, through which the flat surface is transformed into space. Frans Hals of Haarlem, who was born in 1580, was perhaps the first to reveal the artistic possibilities of a free suggestive handling in oil paint, and Van Dyck is said to have marvelled how Hals was able to sketch in a portrait with single strokes of the brush, each in the right place, without altering them and without fusing them together. In the wonderful late Velazquez at Vienna, the portrait of the Infant Philipp Prosper as a child of two years old, the white drapery, the minute fingers, the delicate ~baby face from which look out great eyes of darkest blue, are all indicated with touches so loosely thrown upon the canvas that seen near by they are all confusionyet the life and truth are in them, and at the proper focal distance nature herself is before us. The touches combine to give the forms, the local colors, the depth, the solidity of nature, while at the same time the chief impression they convey is that of the opalescent play of changing tones and hues which, eluding the limitations of definite contours, make up to the painters eye the chief beauty of the external world. Moreover it will be understood that this realization of the truth of space, which is the distinguishing quality of modern painting, does not mean that the artist is always to be rendering large views of sky and plain. The gift of setting objects in space, so that the atmosphere plays about them, and their relations of tone to their surroundings are absolutely correct and convincing, is shown just as well in a group of things close at hand as in a wide landscape. The backgrounds in the pictures by Velazquez of The Surrender Of Breda and Don Balthazar Carlos at Madrid are magnificent in their limitless suggestion of the free spaces of earth and sky, but the artists power in this respect is just as effectively shown in the creation of space in the interiors of The Maids of Honor and the Spinners, and the skill with which he brings away the hand of the sitter from his white robe, in the Innocent X. of the Doria Palace at Rome. The fact is that the scale on which the modern painter works, and the nature of isis subjects, make no difference in the essential character of the result. A very few square feet of canvas were sufficient for Ruysdael to convey in his Haariem from the Dunes the most sublime impression of infinity; and a Dutch interior by De Hooch gives us just as much feeling of air and distance as one of the vast panoramic landscapes of De Koningk or Rubens.
20. Impressionism.The term impressionism, much heard in artistic discussions of to-day, is said to date from a certain exhibition in Paris in 1871, in the catalogue of which the word was often used; a picture being called Impression de mon pot d-feu, or Impression dun chat qui se promne, &c. An influential critic summed up these impressions, and dubbed the exhibition Salon des Impressionistes (Muther, Modern Painting, 1896, ii. 718). It is a mistake however to suppose that the style of painting denoted by this term is an invention of the day, for, in so far as it is practised seriously and with adequate artistic powers, it is essentially the same style as that of some of the greatest 17th-century masters, such as Rembrandt and Velazquez. Modern investigation into the reasons of things has provided the system with a scientific basis and justification, and we can see that it really corresponds with the experimentally determined facts of human vision. The act of seeing may mean one or two different things. We may (I) allow our glance to travel leisurely over the field of vision, viewing the objects one by one, and forming a clear picture to ourselves of each in turn; or (2) we may try to take in the whole field of vision at a glance, ignoring the special objects and trying to frame before ourselves a sort of summary representation of the whole; or again, (3) we may choose a single point in thc field of vision, and focus on that our attention, allowing the surrounding objects to group themselves in an indistinct general mass. We can look at nature in any one of these three ways; each is as legitimate as the others; but since in most ordinary cases we look at things in order to gain information about them, our vision is usually of the first or analytical kind, in which we fix the objects successively, noting each by each their individual characteristics. As the object of painting is to reproduce what is seen as we see it, so in the majority of cases painting corresponds to this, our usual way, of viewing nature. That is to say, all painters of the early schools, and the majority of painters at all times, represent nature in a way that answers to this analytical vision. The treatment of groups of objects in the mass, though, as we have seen, occasionally essayed even in ancient times (see ~ 8, 9), does not become the painters ideal tifi the 17th century. We find then, and we find here and there through all the later periods of the art, efforts on the part of the artist to reproduce the effect of vision of the other two kinds, to show how objects look when regarded all together and not one by one, or how they look when we focus our attention on one of them but notice at the same time how all the others that are in the field of vision group themselves round in a penumbra, in which they are seen and yet not seen. The special developments of impressionistic art in recent times in France and England are dealt with in the article on IMpREssIoNIsM (see also the appendix to this article on Recent Schools of Painting), but it is mentioned~ here as a style of painting that is the logical outcome of the evolution of the art which has been traced from the earliest times to the 17th century. For the particular pictorial beauty, on which the modern painter trains his eye, is largely a beauty of relation, and depends on the mutual effect on each other of the elements in a group. Unless these are looked at in the mass their pictorial quality will be entirely missed. This word on impressionism, as corresponding to certain ways of looking at nature, is accordingly a necessary adjunct to the critique of modern painting since the 17th century.
21. Painting in the Modern Schools.The history of the art has been presented here as an evolution, the ultimate outcome of which was the impressionist painting of 17th-century masters such as Rembrandt and Velazquez. In this form of painting the artist is only concerned with those aspects of nature which give him the sense of pictorial beauty in tone and color, and these aspects he reproduces on his canvas, not as a mere mirror would, but touched, pervaded, transfigured by his own artistic personality. It does not follow however that these particular ideals of the art have inspired modern painters as a body. No one who visits the picture exhibitions of the day, or even our galleries of older art, will fail to note that a good deal of modern painting since the 17th century has been academic and conventional, or prosaically natural, or merely popular in its appeal. With work of this kind we are not concerned, and accordingly, in the table (VIII.) which follows in Part II. of the article, the names with few exceptions are those of artists who embody the maturer pictorial aims that have been under discussion.
Of the schools of the 17th century that of Spain, owing much to the so-called Italian naturalists, produced the incomparable Velazquez with one or two notable contemporaries, and later on in the 18th century the interesting figure of Goya; while the influence of Velazquez on Whistler and other painters of to-day is a more important fact connected with the school than the recent appearance in it of brilliant technical executants such as Fortuny.
The schools of Flanders and of France are closely connected, and both owe much to Italian influence. The land of Italy, rather than any works of Italian painters, has been the inspiration of the, so-called classical landscapists, among whom the Lorrainer Claude and the French Poussin take the rank of captains of a goodly band of followers. In figure painting the Venetians inspire Rubens, and Raphael stands at the head of the academic draughtsmen and composers of historical pieces who have been especially numerous in France. Rubens and Raphael together formed Le Brun in the days of Louis XIV., David and Delaroche in the two succeeding centuries, and the modern decorative figure painters, such as Baudry, whose works adorn the public buildings of France. Flemish influence is also strong in the French painting in a gallant vein of the 18th century -
from the serious and beautiful art of Watteau (fig. 24, Plate VIII.) to the slighter productions cif a Fragonard. Van Dyck, another Fleming of genius, is largely responsible for the British portraiture of the 18th century, which is affiliated to him through Kneller and Sir Peter Lely. There is something of the courtly elegance of Van Dyck in the beautiful Gainsborough at Edinburgh representing the Hon. Mrs Graham (fig. 25, Plate VIII.). On the whole, though the representative masters of these two schools are original, or at any rate personal, in technique, they are in their attitude towards nature largely dependent on the traditions established in the great Italian schools of figure-painting of the 16th century. The contrast when. we turn from France and Flanders to Holland is extraordinary. This country produced at the close of the 16th century and in the first half of the I7th a body of painters who owed no direct debt at all to Italy, and, so far as appears, would have been what they were had Titian and Raphael and Michelangelo never existed. They took advantage, it is true, of the mastery over nature and over the material apparatus of painting which had been won for the world by the Italians of the 15th and 16th centuries, but there their debt to the peninsula ended, and in their outlook upon nature they were entirely original. -
The Dutch school is indeed an epitome of the art in its modern phase, and all that has been said of this applies with special force to the painting of Holland. Democratic in ,choice of subject, subtle in observation of tone and atmosphere, refined in color, free and yet precise in execution, sensitive to every charm of texture and handling, the Dutch painter of the first half of the I 7th century represents the most varied and the most finished accomplishmunt in paint that any school can show. Such work as he perfected could not fail to exercise a powerful effect on later art, and accordingly we find a current of influence flowing from Holland through the whole course of modern painting, side by side with the more copious tide that had its fountain-head in Italy. Hogarth and Chardin and Morland in the 18th century, the Norwich painters and Constable in the 19th, with the French Barbizon landscapists who look to the last as their head, all owe an incalculable debt to the sincere and simple but masterly art of the countrymen of Rembrandt.
22. The Different Kinds of Painting represented in the Modern Schools.The fact that the Dutch painters have left us masterpieces in so many different walks of painting, makes it convenient that we should add here some brief notes on characteristic modern phases of the art on which they stamped the impress of their genius. The normal subject for the artist, as we have seen, up to the 17th century, was the figure-subject, generally in some connection with religion. The Egyptian portrayed the men and women of his time, but the pictures, through their connection with the sepulchre, had a quasi-religious significance. The Assyrian chronicled the acts of semi-divine kings. Greek artists, whether sculptors or painters, were in the majority of cases occupied with the doings of gods and heroes. Christian art, up to the 16th century, was almost exclusively devoted to religious themes. In all this art, as well as in the more secular figure-painting of the modern schools, the personages represented, with their doings and surroundings, were of intrinsic importance, and the portrayal of them was in a measure an act of service and of honor. Portraiture is differentiated from this kind of subject-picture through stages which it would be interesting to trace, but the portrait, though secular, is always treated in such a way as to exalt or dignify the sitter. Another kind of figure-piece, also differentiated by degrees from the subjectpicture of the loftier kind, is the so-called Genre Painting, in which the human actors and their goings-on are in. themselves indifferent, trivial, or mean and even repellent; and in which, accordingly, intrinsic interest of subject has disappeared to be replaced by an artistic interest of a different kind. Landscape, in modern times so important a branch of painting, is also an outcome of the traditional figure-piece, for at first it is nothing but a backgrcund to a scene in which human figures are prominent. Marine Painting is a branch of landscape art differentiated from this, but supplied at first in the same way with figure-interest.
The origin of Animal Painting is to be sought partly in figure-pieces, where, as in Egypt and Assyria, animals play a part in scenes of human life, and partly in landscapes, in which cattle, &c., are introduced to en.liven the foreground. The Hunting Picture, combining a treatment of figures and animals in action with landscape of a picturesque character, gives an artist like Rubens a welcome opportunity, and the picture of Dead Game may be regarded as its offshoot. This brings us to the important class of Still-Life Painting, the relation of which to the figure-piece can be traced through the genre picture and the portrait. As a natural scene in the background, so on the nearer planes, a judiciously chosen group of accessory objects adds life and interest to the representation of a personage or scene from human life. Later on these objects, when regarded with the eyes of an artist fully opened to the beauty of the world, become in themselves fit for artistic, aye, even ideal, treatment; and a Vollon will by the magic of his art make the interior of a huge and polished copper caldron look as grand as if it were the very vault of heaven itself.
23. Portraiture.Attention has already been called in 7 to the skill of the Egyptian artist in marking differences of species and race in animals and men. In the case of personages of special distinction, notably kings, individual lineaments were portrayed with the same freshness, the same accent of truth. There is less of this power among the artists of Assyria. The naturalism of Cretan and Mycenaean art is so striking that we should expect to find portraiture represented among its remains, and this term may be fairly applied to the gold masks that covered the faces of bodies in the tombs opened by Dr Schliemann. In early (historical) Greek art some archaic vases show representations of named personages, of the day, such as King Arkesilas of Cyrene, that may fall under the same heading, and portraiture was no doubt attempted in the early painted tombstones. The ideal character of Greek art however kept portraiture in the background till the later period after Alexander the Great, whose effigy limned by Apelles was one of the most famous pictures in antiquity. Our collections of works of classical art have been recently enriched by a series of actual painted portraits of men and women of the late classical period, executed on mummy cases in Egypt, and discovered in GraecoEgyptian cemeteries. ~n attempt has been made by comparison with coins to identify some of the personages represented with members of the Ptolemaic house, including the famous Cleopatra, but it is safer to regard them, with Flinders Petrie, as portraits of ordinary men and women of the earliest centuries A.D. Technically they are of the highest interest, as will be noticed in 42. From the artistic point of view one notes their variety, their hf elike character, and the pleasing impression of the human personality which some of them afford. There are specimens in the London National Gallery and British Museum.
During the early Christian and early medieval periods portraits always existed. The effigies of rulers appeared, for example, on their coins, and there are some creditable attempts at portraiture on Anglo-Saxon pieces of money. In. painting we find the most continuous series in the illuminated MSS. where they occur in the so-called dedicatory pictures, in MSS. intended for royal or distinguished persons, where the patron. is shown seated in state and perhaps receiving the volume. The object here, as Woltmann says, always appears to be to give a true portrait of the exalted personage himself (Hist. of Painting, Eng. trans., i. 212). Julia Anicia, granddaughter of Valentinus III., in the 6th century; the Carolingian emperor, Lothair, in the 9th; the Byzantine emperors, Basil II. in the 10th, and Nikephoros Botaniates in the 11th, &c., appear in this fashion. Some famous mosaic pictures in S. Vitale, Ravenna, contain effigies of Justinian, Theodora, and the Ravennese bishop, Maximian. In very many medieval works of art a small portrait of the donor or the artist makes its appearance as an accessory.
With the rise of schools of painting in the s4th and I5th centuries, especially in the north, the portrait begins to assume greater prominence. The living personage of the day not only figures as donor, but takes his place in the picture itself as one of the actors in the sacred or historical scene which is portrayed. A good deal of misplaced ingenuity has been expended in older and more modern days in identifying by guess-work historical figures in old pictures, but there is no doubt that such were often introduced. Dante and some of his famous contemporaries make their appearance in a fresco ascribed to Giotto in the chapel of the Bargello at Florence. One is willing to see the face and form of the great Masaccio in the St Thomas with the red cloak, on the right of the group, in the fresco of the Tribute Money (see Is). Durer certainly paints himself as one of the Magi in his picture in the Uffizi. In Italy Ghirlandajo (see Is) carried to an extreme this fashion, and thereby unduly secularized his biblical representations. The portrait proper, as an independent artistic creation, comes into vogue in the course of the 15th century both north and south of the Alps, and Jan van Eyck, Memlinc, and Drer are in this department in advance of the Florentines, for whereas the latter almost confine themselves to flat profiles, Van Eyck introduces the three-quarter face view, which represents an improvement in the rendering of form. Mantegna and Antonello da Messina portray with great firmness, and to Uccello is ascribed an interesting series of heads of his contemporaries. It is Gentile and Giovanni Bellini however who may be regarded as the fathers of modern portrait painting. Venetian art was always more secular in spirit than that of the rest of Italy, and Venetian portraits were abundant. Those by Gentile Bellini of the Sultan Mahomet II., and by Giovanni of the Doge Loredano are specially famous. Vasari in his notice of the Bellini says that the Venetian palaces were full of family portraits going back sometimes to the fourth generation. Some of the finest portraits in the world are the work of the great Venetians of the 16th century, for they combine pictorial quality with an air of easy greatness which later painters find it hard to impart to their creations. Though greatly damaged, Titians equestrian portrait of Charles V. at Madrid (fig. 26, Plate VIII.) is one of the very finest of existing works of the kind. It is somewhat remarkable that of the other Italian painters who executed portraits the most successful was the idealist Raphael, whose papal portraits of Julius II. and Leo X. are masterpieces of firm and accurate delineation. Leonardos Monna Lisa is a study rather than a portrait proper.
The realistic vein, which, as we have seen, runs through northern painting, explains to some extent the extraordinary merit in portraiture of Holbein, who represents the culmination of the efforts in this direction. of masters like Jan van Eyck and Dtirer. Holbein is one of the greatest delineators that ever lived, and in many of his portraits he not only presents his sitter in life-like fashion, but he surrounds him with accessory objects, painted in an analytical spirit, but with a truthfulness that has seldom been equalled. The portrait of Georg Gysis at Berlin represents this sde of Holbeins art at its best (fig. 27, Plate VIII.). Some fine portraits by Itahianizing Flemings such as Antonio Moro (see Table I.) bring us to the notable masters in portraiture of the I7th century. All the schools of the period were great in this phase of the art, but it flourished more especially in Holland, where political events had developed in the people self-reliance and a strong sense of individuality. As a consequenm the Dutch men and women of the period from about 1575 to 1675 were incessantly having their portraits painted, either singly or in groups. The so-called corporation picture was a feature of the times. This had for its subject some group of individuals associated as members of a company or board or military mess. Such works are almost incredibly numerous in Holland, and their artistic evolution is interesting to trace. The earlier ones of the 16th century are merely collections of single portraits each treated for itself, the link of connection between the various members of the group being quite arbitrary. Later on efforts, that were ultimately successful, were made to group the portraits into a single composition so that the picture became an artistic whole. Frans Hals of Haariem, one of the most brilliant painters of the impressionist school that he did much to found, achieved remarkable success in the artistic grouping of a number of portraits; st~ that each should have the desired prominence while yet the effect of the whole was that of a unity. His masterpieces in this department in the townhall at Haarlem have never been equalled.
As portraitists the other great 17th-century masters fall into two sets, Rembrandt and Velazquez contrasting with Rubens and his pupil Van Dyck. The portraits of the two former are individualized studies in which the sitter has been envisaged in an artistic aspect, retaining his personality though sublimated to a harmonious display of tone and color. The Flemings are more conventional, and representing rather the type than the individual, are disposed to sacrifice the individuality of the sitter to their predetermined scheme of beauty. Both Velazquez and Rubens have left portraits of Isabel de Bourbon, first wife of Philip IV. of Spain, but whereas the Spaniards version gives us an uncomely face but one full of character, that of the Fleming shows us merely the big-eyed buxom wench we are accustomed to meet on all his canvases. Rembrandt was much less careful than Velazquez or Holbein or Hals to preserve the individuality of the sitter. He did not however, like the Flemings, conventionalize to a type, but worked each piece into an artistic study of tone, color and texture, in the course of which he might deal somewhat cavalierly with the actual facts of the piece of nature before him. The result, though incomparable in its artistic strength, may sometimes, in comparison with a Velazquez, seem labored, but there is one Rembrandt portrait, that of Jan Six at Amsterdam, that is painted as directly as a Hals, and with the subtilty of a Velazquez, while it possesses a richness of pictorial quality in which Rembrandt surpasses all his ancient or modern compeers (see fig. 28, Plate IX.).
In the 18th century, though France produced some good limners and Spain Goya, yet on the whole England was the home of the best portraiture. Van Dyck had been in the service of Charles I., and foreign representatives of his style carried on afterwards the tradition of his essentially courtly art, but there existed at the same time a line of native British portraitists of whom the latest and best was Hogarth. One special form of portraiture, the miniature (q.v.), has been characteristically English throughout. The greater English and Scottish portraitists of the latter part of the 18th century, headed by Reynolds, owed much to Van Dyck, and their work was of a pronounced pictorial character. Every portrait, that is to say, was before everything beautiful as a work of art. Detail, either of features or dress, was not insisted on; and the effort was rather to generalize than to accentuate characteristic points. In a word, while the artist recognized the claims of the facts before him to adequate portrayal, he endeavoured to fuse all the elements of the piece into one lovely artistic unity, and in so doing he secured in his work the predominant quality of breadth. This style, handed on to painters of less power, died out in the first half of the I9th century in attenuated productions, in which harmony became emptiness. To this has succeeded in Britain, still the home of the best European portraiture, a more modern style, the dominant notes of which have been truth and force. While the older school was seen at its best when dealing with the softer forms of the female sex~ and of youth, these moderns excelled in the delineation of character in strongly-marked male heads, and some of them could hardly succeed wth a womans portrait. The fine appreciation of character in portraiture shown by Sir John Watson Gordon about the middle of the 19th century marked the beginning of this forcible style of the later Victorian period, a style suited to an age of keen intellectual activity, of science and of matterof-fact. More recently still, with the rapid development in certain circles of a taste for the life of fashion and pleasure, the portrait of the showily-dressed lady has come again into vogue, and if any special influence is here to be discerned it may be traced to Paris.
24. Genre Painting. The term gente is ellipticalit stands for genre bas, and means the low style, or the style in which there is no grandeur of subject or scale. A genre piece is a picture of a scene of ordinary human life without any religious or historical significance, and though it makes its appearance earlier, it was in the Netherland schools of the first half of the 17th century that it was established as a canonical form of the art. In Egypt we have seen that the subjects from human life have almost always a quasi-religious character, and the earliest examples of genre may be certain designs on early black-figured vases of the 6th century B.C. in Greece. Genre painting proper was introduced at a later period in Greece, and attracted special attention because of its contrast to the general spirit of classical art. It had a special name about which there is some difficulty but which seems to denote the same as genre bas. In early Christian and early medieval painting genre can hardly be recognized, but it makes its appearance in some of the later illuminated MSS. and becomes more common, especially north of the Alps, in the 15th century. It really begins in the treatment in a secular spirit of scenes from the sacred story. These scenes, in Italy, but still more among the prosaic artists of the north, were made more life-like and interesting when they were furnished with personages and accessories drawn from the present world. Real people of the day were as we have just seen introduced as actors in the scriptural events, and in the same way all the objects and accessories in the picture were portrayed from existing models. It was easy sometimes for the spectator to forget that he was looking at biblical characters and at saints and to take the scene from the standpoint of actuality. Rembrandt, one of whose chief titles to fame is derived from his religious pictures, often treats a Holy Family as if it were a mere domestic group of his own day. It was a change sure to come when the religious significance was abandoned, and the persons and objects reduced to the terms of ordinary life. This of course represented a break with a very long established tradition, and it was only by degrees, and in Germany and Flanders rather than in Italy, that the change was brought about. Thus for example, St Eloi, the patron of goldsmiths, might be portrayed as saint, but also as artificer with the impedimenta of the craft about him. The next stage, represented by a charming picture by Quintin Matsys at Paris, shows us a goldsmith, no longer a saint, but busy with the same picturesque accessories (fig. 29, Plate IX.). He has however his wife by his side and she is reading a missal which preserves to the piece a faint religious odour. Afterwards all religious suggestion is dropped, and we have the familiar goldsmith or money changer in his everyday surroundings, of which northern painting has furnished us with so many examples.
Genre painting, however, is something a little more special than is here implied. The term must not be made to cover all figure-pieces from ordinary life. There are pictures by the late Italian naturalists of this kind; Caravaggios Card Players at Dresden is a familiar example. These are too large in scale to come under this heading, and the same applies to the bodegones or pictures of kitchens and shops full of pots and pans and eatables, which, largely influenced by the Italian pictures just noticed, were common in Spain in the early days of Velazquez. Nor again are the large and showy subject pictures, which constitute the popular items in the catalogues of Burlington House and the Salon, to be classed as genre. The genre picture, as represented by its acknowledged masters, is small n scale, as suits the nature of its subject, but is studied in every part and finished with the most fastidious care. The particular incident or phase of life portrayed is as a rule of little intrinsic importance, and only serves to bring figures together with some variety of pose and expression and to motive their surroundings. It is rarely that the masters of genre charge their pictures with satiric or didactic purpose. Jan Steen in Holland and Hogarth in England are the exceptions that prove the rule. The interest is in the main an artistic one, and depends on the nice observance of relations of tone and color, and a free and yet at the same time precise touch. All these qualities combine to lend to the typical genre picture an intimit, a sympathetic charm, that gives the masters of the style a firm hold on our affections. Probably the most excellent painters of genre are Terborch, Metsu and Brouwer, the two first painters of the life of the upper classes, the last of peasant existence in some of its most unlovely aspects. The pictures of Brouwer are among the most instructive documents of modern painting. They are all small pictures and nearly all exhibit nothing but two or three boors drinking, fighting, or otherwise characteristically employed, but the artists feeling for color and tone, and above all his inimitable touch, has raised each to the rank of a masterpiece. He is best represented in the Munich Pinacotek, from which has been selected fig. 30, Plate IX. Hardly less admirable are Teniers in Flanders; De Hooch, Ver Meer of Delft, Jan Steen, A. van Ostade, in Holland, while in more modern times Hogarth, Chardin, Sir David Wilkie, Meissonier, and a host of others carry the tradition of the work down to our own day (see Table VIII.). Greuze may have the, doubtful honor of having invented the sentimental figurepiece from ordinary life that delights the non-artistic spectator in our modern exhibitions.
25. Landscape and Marine Painting. This is one of the most important and interesting of the forms of painting that belong especially to modern times. It is true that there is sufficient landscape in ancient art to furnish matter for a substantial book (Woermann, Die Landschaft in der Kunst der alten Volker, Munich, 1876), and the extant remains of Pompeian and Roman wall-painting contain a very fair proportion of works that may be brought under this heading. By far the most important examples are the half-dozen or so of pictures forming a series of illustrations of the Odyssey, that were found on the Esquiline at Rome in 1848, and are now in the Vatican library. As we shall see it to be the case with the landscapes of the late medieval period, these have all figure subjects on the nearer planes to which the landscape proper forms a background, but the latter is far more important than the figures. In some of these Odyssey landscapes there is a feeling after space and atmospheric effect, and in a few cases an almost modern treatment of light and shade, which give the works a prominent place among ancient productions which seem to prefigure the later developments of the art. In the rendering of landscape detail, especially in the matter of trees, nothing in antique art equals the pictures of a garden painted on the four walls of a room in the villa of Livia at Prima Porta near Rome. They are reproduced in Antike Denkmaler (Berlin, 1887, &c.). These may be the actual work of a painter of the Augustan age named Ludius or Studius, who is praised by Pliny (Hist. Nat. xxxv. 116) for having introduced a style of wall decoration in which villas, harbours, landscape, gardens, sacred groves, woods, hills, fish-ponds, straits, streams and shores, any scene in short th~et took his fancy were depicted in lively and facile fashion. Pompeian wall paintings exhibit many pieces of the kind, and we find the same style illustrated in the low reliefs in modelled stucco, of which the specimens found near the Villa Farnesina, and now in the Terme Museum at Rome, are the best known.
In medieval painting landscape was practically reduced to a few typical objects, buildings, rocks, trees, clouds, &c., which stood for natural scenery. Occasionally however in the MSS. these objects are grouped in pictorial fashion, as in a Byzantine Psalter of the ioth century in the National Library at Paris. The beginning of the i5th century may be reckoned as the time when the modern development of landscape art had its origin, and Masaccio here, as in other walks of painting, takes the lead. Throughout the century the landscape background, always in strict subordination to the figure interest, is a common feature of Flemish and Italian pictures, but, in the latter especially, the forms of natural objects are very conventional, and the impression produced on the city-loving Tuscan or Paduan of the time by mountain scenery is shown by the fact that rocks are commonly shown not only as perpendicular but overhanging. Titian is the first painter who, as mountain-bred, depicts the soaring peaks with real knowledge and affection (see the distance in fig. 22, Plate VII.), and the Venetians are the first to paint landscape with some breadth and sense of spaciousness, while, as we have seen, the Flemings, from Hubert van Eyck downwards, distinguish themselves by their minute rendering of details, in which they were followed later on by Durer, who was fond of landscape, and by Altdorfer. Of DUrer indeed it has been said that some of his landscape sketches in water-color are the first examples in which a natural scene is painted for its own sake alone. Some of the northern artists of the Italianizing school of the 16th century, such as Patinir, whom Durer, about 1520, calls Joachim the good landscape painter, Paul Bril later in the century, and Adam Elsheimer, who worked at Rome about 1600, with several of their contemporaries, must not be omitted in any sketch of the history of the art. South of the Alps, the late Italian Salvator Rosa treats the wilder aspects of nature with some imaginative power, and his work, as well as the scenery of his native land, had an influence in the rapid development of landscape art in the 17th century, which was in part worked out in the peninsula. What is known as classical landscape was perfected in the 17th century, and its most notable masters were the Lorrainer Claude Gele and the French Poussin and Dughet, while the Italianizing Dutch painters Both and Berchem modify the style in accordance with the greater naturalism of their countrymen.
The landscapes of Claude are characteristic productions of the 17th century, because they convey as their primary impression that of space and atmosphere. The compositions, in which a few motives~uch as rounded masses of foliage are constantly repeated, are conventional; and there is little effort after naturalism or variety in detail; but the pictures are full of art, and reproduce in teffing fashion some of the larger and grander aspects of the material creation. There are generally figures in the foreground, and these are often taken from classical fables or from scripture, but instead of the landscape, as in older Italian art, being a background to the figures, these last come in merely to enliven and give interest to the scenery. The style, in spite of a certain. conventionality which offends some modern writers on art, has lived on, and was represented in our own country by Richard Wilson, the contemporary of Reynolds; and in some of his work, notably in the Liber Studiorum, by Turner. Even Corot, though so individual a painter, owes something to the tradition of classical landscape.
The prevailing tendency of modern. landscape art, especially in more recent times, has been in the direction of naturalism. Here the masters of the Dutch school have produced the canonical works that exercise a perennial influence, and they were preceded by certain northern masters such as the elder Breughel, whose Autumn at Vienna has true poetry; Savary, Roghman, and Hercules Seghers. Several of the Dutch masters, even before the time of Rembrandt, excelled in the truthful rendering of the scenes and objects of their own simple but eminently paintable country; but it was Rembrandt, with his pupil de Koningk and his rival in. this department Jacob Ruysdael, who were the first to show how a perfectly natural and unconventional rendering of a stretch of country under a broad expanse of sky might be raised by poetry and ideal feeling to the rank of one of the worlds masterpieces of painting. Great as was Rembrandt in what Bode has called the landscape of feeling, the Haarlem from the Dunes of Ruysdael (fig. 31, Plate IX.) with some others of this artists acknowledged successes, surpass even his achievement.
Nearer our own time Constable caught the spirit of the best Dutch landscapists, and in robust naturalism, controlled by art and elevated to the ideal region by greatness of spirit, he became a worthy successor of the masters just named, while on the other side he furnished inspiration to the French painters of the so-called Barbizon school, and through them to many of the present-day painters in Holland and in Scotland.
To fix the place of J. M. W. Turner in landscape art is not easy, for the range of his powers was so vast that he covered the whole field of nature and united in his own person the classical and naturalistic schools. The special merits of each of these phases of the art are united in this artists Crossing the Brook in the National Gallery, that is probably the most perfect landscape in the world (fig. 32, Plate IX.). Iji a good deal of Turners later work there was a certain theatrical strain, and at times even a garishness in color, while his intense idealism led him to strive after effects beyond the reach of human art. We may hOwever put out of view everything in Turners -euvre to which reasonable exception may on these grounds be taken, and there will still remain a body of work which for extent, variety, truth and artistic taste is like the British fleet among the navies of the world.
Among Turners chief titles to honor is the fact that he portrayed the sea in all its moods with a knowledge and sympathy that give him a place alone among painters of marine. Marine painting began among the Greeks, who were fond of the sea, and the Odyssey and other classical l~ndscapes are stronger on this side than the landscapes of the Tuscans or Umbrians, who cared as little for the ocean as for the mountains. The Venetians did less for the sea in their paintings than might have been expected, and in. northern art not mucI~ was accomplished till the latter part of the 16th century, when the long line of the marine painters of Holland is opened by Hendrick Cornelius Vroom, who found a worthy theme for his art in the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Simon de Vlieger of Rotterdam, who was born about the beginning of the 1 7th century, was the master of W. Vandevelde the younger (1633-1707), who has never been equalled for his truthful representation of calm seas and shipping. He painted innumerable pictures of the sea-fights of the time between the English and the Dutch, those representing the victories of the Dutch being in Holland, while at Hampton Court the English are triumphant. There are exquisite artistic qualities in the painting of Vandevelde, who is reckoned the canonical master in this branch of art; but the few sea-pieces by Ruysdael, especially the Dykes of the Louvre, and the Stormy Sea at Berlin., exhibit the element under far more imaginative aspects. Besides Turner there are many British artists of modern days who have won fame in this branch of art that is naturally attractive to islanders.
26. Animal Painting.In all early schools of representative art from the time of the cave-dwellers downwards, the artist has done better with animals than with the human figure, and there is no epoch of the art at which the portrayal of animals has not flourished. (On Egyptian and Assyrian animals see ~i.) In Greece the representations of animals on coins are so varied and so excellent that we may be sure that the praise given to the pictures of the same creatures by contemporary artists is not overdrawn. In northern art animals have always played an important part, and the motives of medieval decoration are largely drawn from this source, while beast symbolism brings them into vogue in connection with religious themes. In Italian and early Flemish and German art animals ~re as a rule only accessories, though some artists in all these schools take special delight in them; and when, early in the 17th century, they begin to take the chief place, the motive is often found in Paradise, where Adam and Eve lord it over the animal creation. If De Vlieger and Ruysdael are the first to show the se~ in agitation, Rubens may have the same credit for revealing the passion and power of the animal nature in the violent actions of the combat or the chase. In this his contemporary Frans Snyders (1579-1657), and after Snyders Jan Fyt, specialized, and the first named is generally placed at the head of animal painters proper.
In Holland, in the 17th century, the animal nature presented itself under the more contemplative aspect of the ruminants in the lush water-meadows. True to their principle of doing everything they attempt in the best possible way, the Dutch paint horses (Cuyp, Wouwerman) and cattle (Cuyp, Adrian Vandevelde, Paul Potter) with canonical perfection, while Hondekoeter delineates live cocks and hens, and Weenix dead hares and moor-fowl, in a way that makes us feel that the last word on such themes has been. spoken. There is a large white turkey by Hondekoeter in which the truth of mass and of texture in the full soft plumage is combined with a delicacy in the detail of the airy filaments, that is the despair of the most accomplished modern executant.
But animals have been treated more nobly than when shown in Flemish agitation or in Dutch phlegmatic calm. Leonardo da Vinci was specially famed for his horses, which he may have treated with something of the majesty of Pheidias. Durer has a magnificent horse in the Knight and Death, but this is studied from the Colleoni monument. Nearer our own time the painter of Napoleonic France, Gricault, gave a fine reading of the equine nature. Rembrandts drawings of lions are notable features in his work, and in our own day in France and England the lion. and other great beasts have been treated with true imaginative power.
27. Still-Life Fainting.Like portraiture and landscape, the painting of objects on near planes, or as it is called still-life painting, is gradually differentiated from the figure-piece which was supreme in the early, and has been the staple product in all, the schools. Just as is the case with the other subsidiary branches of painting, it appears, though only as a by-product, in the history of ancient classical painting, passes practically out of existence in medieval times, begins to come to a knowledge of itself in the 15th and 16th centuries, and attains canonicity in the Dutch school of the first half of the 17th century. Stilllife may be called the characteristic form of painting of the modern world, because - the intrinsic worth of the objects represented is a matter of complete indifference when compared with their artistic treatment in tone, color and texture., By virtue of this treatment it has been noted (~ I9, 20) that a study 01 a group of ordinary objects, when seen and depicted by a Rembrandt, may have all the essential qualities of the highest manifestations of the art. There is no finer Rembrandt for pictorial quality than the picture in the Louvre representing the carcase of a flayed ox in a fleshers booth. As illustrating the principle of modern painting this form of the graphic art has a value and importance which in itself it could hardly claim. It is needless to repeat in this connection what has been said on modern painting in general, and it will suffice here to indicate briefly the history of this particular phase of the art.
The way was prepared for it as has been noticed by the minute and forcible rendering of accessory objects in the figurepieces and portraits of the early Flemish masters, of DUrer, and above all of Holbein. The painting of flower and fruit pieces without figure interest by Jan Breughel the younger, who was born in 1601, represents a stage onward, and contemporary with him were several other Dutch and Flemish specialists in this department, among whom Jan David de Heem, born 1603, and the rather older Willem Klaasz Heda may be mentioned. Their subjects sometimes took the form of a luncheon table with vessels, plate, fruit and other eatables; at other times of groups of costly vessels of gold, silver and glass, or of articles used in art or science, such as musical instruments and the like; and it is especially to be noted that the handling stops always short of any illusive reproduction of the actual textures of the objects, while at the same time the differing surfaces of stuffs and metal and glass, of smooth-rinded apples and gnarled lemons, are all most justly rendered. In some of these pieces we realize the beauty of what Sir Charles Eastlake has called the combination of solidity of execution with vivacity and grace of handling, the elasticity of surface which depends on the due balance of sharpness and softness, the vigorous touch and the delicate markingall subservient to the truth of modelling. In this form of painting the French 18th-century artist Chardin, whose impasto was fuller, whose coloring more juicy than those of the Dutch, has achieved imperishable fame (see fig. 33, Plate X.); and the modern French, who understand better than others the technical business of painting, have carried on the fine tradition which has culminated in the work of Vollon. The Germans have also painted still-life to good result, but the comparative weakness in technique of British painters has kept them in this department rather in. the background.
PART II., 28.Sc 0 GOTHIC INFLUENCE ON
GIOTTO, 1267-1337, great in composition and in natural and dramatic treatment of sacred themea.
Painting carried on on traditional lines by the Giottesques to the end of the century. At Florence painters company founded 1349.
TADDEO GADDI, STEFANO, MASO DI BANCO, BEENARDO DADDI, ANDREA ofmcAGNA, AGNOLO GADDI, SPfNELLO ARETfNO, GIOVANNI DA MILANO, ANDREA DI FfRENZE, STARNINA, &C
Revival hardly begins in XIVth century. Best work &
FRA ANGELICO DA FIESOLE, 1387-1455, sun ITALIAN SCHOOLS OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY
Painting advances at Florence declines at Si FLORENCE. SIENA.
MASOLINO DA PANICALE, 1383C. 1440 TADDEO BARTOn Teacher of 1363-1422. C
MASAcCIO, 1402142g. Great as Giott, with DOM. DI BARTOLO added knowledge and unique sense of the monumental in painting.
FILIPP0 LIPPI, 1406-1469. Idyllic charm.
SANDRO BorrIcELLI, 1444-1510. Sentiment ~o MAT. DI GIOVANNI
and beauty. Treats classical subjects. Exh FftfPPINO LISp!. 1460-1505. Grace, classical I Sien details. hi I FRAN. DI GIORGIO.
BENOZZO GOZZOLI, 1424-1498. Copious in detail. ~ O~ &C, &C
COSIILO ieossELLI, HERO DI COIIMO.
- carry art through PAOLO UCCELLO~ I52~, devotee of Perspective 2 ~ the century on the PIES
1475 same lines as in AND. DEL CASTAGNO, c. 1390-1457. vigour. 1~, the XIVth cent. C.
DON. VENEZIANO, C. 1400f?) 1461, tries oil-paint? d~
but has a late Norman doorway, and contains a carved and painted pulpit, and in the Kirkham chapel several interesting monuments of the Kirkham family, and a beautiful though damaged stone screen. Among other buildings and institutions are a novitiate of Marist Fathers, a science and art school, a pier with pavilion and concert rooms, and a yacht club. Little remains of an old palace of the bishops of Exeter apart from the 14th-century Bible Tower. Its last tenant was Bishop Miles Coverdale, who in 1535 published the first English translation of the whole Bible. The town owes its popularity to a firm expanse of sand, good bathing facilities, and a temperate climate.
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