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is well known, this early civilization in the Greek world of the second millenium B.c. was almost completely swept away, probably by the political cataclysm of about 1000 B.c. known as the Dorian Migration. Hellenic art proper, in its historical continuity, represents a new start altogether and the beginnings of it need not be sought earlier than about 800 to 700 B.c. The art of painting had then completely lost touch with the graceful naturalism and with the broad generalization of the " Aegean" period, and is represented by figure designs on the so-called "geometric " or " Dipylon " vases of the most primitive kind. For a long time Greek painting is chiefly represented by work on the vases, but that this may be regarded as in the strict sense painting is shown by the fact that tablets or panels (pinakes) that would certainly be called pictures were being painted at the same time by the same technical methods, and in some cases by the same craftsman, as the vases. As Klein remarks (Euphronios* p. 252), " the most ancient material for Greek painting is clay in the form of the vase as well as of the pinax." Now we find in Pliny's account of the beginnings of Greek painting (Nat. Hist. xxxv. 15 seq.) certain stages indicated in the development of technique, and we are able to illustrate these stages from vases which correspond more or less in their chronological order with the succession of the stages in Pliny. The correspondence is not exact, and there are difficulties in the way of interpreting the statements from the monuments, but the two arc certainly to be brought into connexion. According to Pliny the order of development seems to be (i) outlines; (2) [a] outlines filled in with flat tints, or [b] outlines with linear inner markings but no colour. Outline drawing is obviously always the first stage in the graphic art regarded as delineation, not decoration. The flat tints without inner markings are found on " Dipylon " vases of 800-700 B.c., and as for the inner markings, though there is a difficulty in the exact interpretation of Pliny's words, yet inner markings in the form of lines scratched on these silhouettes make their appearance very early. Two further stages are indicated by Pliny as the introduction of a red colour and the distinction between male and female figures by a painter named Eumarus of Athens. This would be by the use of white, which with red, an oxide of iron, appears on vases of about 600 B.c. Eumarus is also said to have " ventured to imitate all kinds of figures," and we cannot fail here to be reminded of the marvellous Francois vase at Florence (fig. 8, Plate III.) of the first half of the 6th century, which is of large size and is decorated with a wealth of figure designs from mythological sources that are among the most remarkable productions of the graphic art in existence. Human figures and animals arc there displayed in an extraordinary variety of poses and illustrating all kinds of scenes, and the execution shows a firmness of hand and patience in the rendering of details to which no praise can do justice. The inner markings arc rendered by lines with the most scrupulous care and finish. Cimon of Cleonae is said to have followed Eumarus with certain improvements which are of the utmost significance for the future of the art in Greece. He is said to have introduced four innovations: (a) "Catagrapha," which Pliny explains as " profile figures" but which must mean something more than this, seeing that profiles had been in use from the first. "Forcshortcnings " is a possible and an intelligible rendering which moreover corresponds with what is further ascribed to him; (b) the representation of "countenances in different positions, looking backwards or upwards or downwards." The other improvements, in giving (c) the details of anatomy and (d) " the wrinkles and folds of drapery," are not of so much importance as such advance is normal and necessary. The introduction of foreshortened views is the matter of real moment, for this is the point at which Greek painting parts company with the older oriental traditions, and enters on a course of its own which leads directly to all the modern developments of the art.
The words of Pliny explaining the term "catagrapha " can be aptly illustrated from the vase paintings connected with the name of Epictclus. Epictetus was the leading figure among a company of Athenian vase decorators of the last decides of the 6th
century B.c. and the beginning of the sth, who usher in the period of the most gifted and original masters of the craft. Their work is marked by efforts to give to the human figure a vigour and expressiveness it had never before attained, and to gain their end they essay all sorts of novel and difficult problems in drawing. In connexion with Pliny's words, Klein remarks (Euphronios, p. 47) that on their vases "the running figures look behind them; those that arc jumping, revelling or fighting look up; the lifting or bending ones look down." Some of the best vases decorated by this set of artists, who are the first to use the so-called "redfigured" technique instead of painting as the older masters had done in black on red, arc for qualities of strength, variety and animation unequalled by any of their successors of the later periods, yet it is significant of the whole character of this ancient painting that they are always conspicuously more successful with profiles and objects in an upright plane at right angles to the line of sight than with any forms which involve foreshortening or perspective. They are masters of contour but are still struggling for the full command over form, and it is noteworthy that the generation of these greatest of the vase-painters had passed away before these difficulties of foreshortening had been conquered.
We have now followed on the vases the development of Greek painting up to about the time of the Persian wars, and it must be noted that in other forms, as on terra-cotta tablets or pinakes, on the flat edges of sarcophagi in the same material, and occasionally on marble slabs or stelae, the same technical characteristics arc to be observed. Of painting on a monumental scale Greece proper has hitherto shown no trace, yet at this very juncture, in the decades immediately after the Persian wars, there suddenly makes his appearance one of the greatest representatives of monumental wall-painting known (o the annals of the art. This is Polygnotus, who, with some worthy associates, displayed on the walls of public buildings at Athens and at Delphi a series of noble compositions on a large scale that woo the admiration of the whole Hellenic community.
To find any remains of mural painting that may seem to lead up to Polygnotus and his school we have to pass beyond the bounds of Greece proper into Italy, where, alike in the Greek and Etruscan cities and also at Rome, painting in this form was practised from an early date. Pliny mentions paintings at Ardea older than the city of Rome, and some very ancient ones at Caere. Two sets of early paintings, not actually on walls but on terra-cotta slabs meant for the coating of walls, have come to light in recent times at Ccrvelri, the ancient Caere, some of which, in the British Museum, were dated by the late A. S. Murray at about 600 B.c. (Journal of Hdlenit Studies, x. 243), while others in the Louvre may be about half a century later. True wall-paintings, of possibly a still earlier date and certainly of more primitive design, were found in the Campaa* tomb at Veil (Dennis, Etruria, ch. i.). The paintings from Caere are executed on a white or yellowish "slip" in A. few simple colours, and exhibit single figures in a frieze-like arrangement with little attempt at action and none at grouping. The flesh of the women is left the colour of the white ground, that of the men is painted a ruddy hue. To the 6th, and first half of the sth century, belong wall-paintings in Italian tombs, which, whether in Greek cities or in Etruscan, show distinct signs of Hellenic influence. Some of these wall-paintings (Antitt Dcnkmdler, ii.p Taf. 41-43) show considerable liveliness in colouring and in action, and a freedom and gaiety in female costume that remind us of what we read about the painting of Polygnolus (q.v.). The place of this great painter in the general history of lhe*graphic art is given to him for his ethical greatness and the austere beauty of his single figures, which ancient writers extol. All we have to do here is fix his place in the development of painting by noting the stage at which he had arrived in the representation of nature.
The wall-paintings of Polygnotus and his school must have exhibited a large number of figures powerfully characterised in action and expression, not in a confused mass nor summarized as at Cnossus, nor grouped together as in a modern composition.
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 sljown in fig. g, one side ol which exhibits the destruction o( 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-figirc" masters were struggling, but later designs both on vases and else
where do show that in the 4th century at any rate these had been
instead of just two thousand years afterwards! So far however
_...... , _ , from ancient paintings (Herr
FlG. o.—Vase painting m the Louvre, illustrating the style of Polygnotus. n , .. , ., . . ,
. * mann, Denkmalcr dc" Alalcrci des
Altertums, Munich, 1006, &c.) to see that the perspective researches of the philosophers had not resulted in a general comprehension among the artists of the science of receding
overcome. The drawing on the so-<alled Ficoronian Cista, and on the best of the Greek mirror-backs, may be instanced. The ancients recognized that in the latter part of the $th 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 focus 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 tlial when suck objects were figured on an upright plane at right-angles to the line of sight some should appear to recede and others to comcfonvards, 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 51 h century B.c.,
planes. For example, in the famous wall-painting of " Zeus and Hera on Mount Ida "in the House of the Tragic Poet at Pompeii, the feet of the standing figure of the goddess arc nearer to the spectator than the seat of her lord, but the upper part of hcrform is 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. In 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 the picture. In the Pompcian 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 is much smaller than Paris, who is a long way back in the composition.
It is an additional confirmation of this view to find early Christian and early medieval painting confined to the representation of the few near objects, which the older Oriental artists had all along envisaged. If classical painters had really revolutionized design, as it was actually revolutionized in the i"ih century of our era, and had followed out to their logical consequence 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: (1) the wall-paintings in the catacombs; (2) the pictorial decorations in books; (3) the mosaic pictures on the walls of the churches. (1) The first are in themselves of little importance, but are of historical interest as a link of connexion 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 Illum INATED 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, and 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 13th 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 Italy 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 cn 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, Wandge. mälde der St Georgskirche zu Oberzell auf der Insel Reichenia, 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 Wandgemälde von S. Angelo in Ferris, Berlin, 1893). To the middle of the 12th century belongs one of the most complete and interesting cycles of medieval wall-decorction, 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 Romanesque in its severity (E. Aus'm Weerth, Wandmalereien des Mittelalters inder 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 Bruns. wick, from the first decades of the 13th century. The picture of Herod's 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. 11, Plate III.). Distinctively Gothic in their feeling were the wall-paintings in the chapel at Ramersdorf, opposite Bonn, dating from the beginning of the 14th 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 Angelico's came the tender angels making music where the virgin is receiving her celestial crown (E. Aus'm Weerth, loc. cit.). From the end ci 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 colours 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 connexion with the revival of painting in the 13th 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, docrs 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 custoni 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 or 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 favour 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. § 11. 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 14th 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 Richmond is a good example. The subject is the “Three Maries 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 is a 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 controlling 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 cxpression 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 Dürer, and a little later in that of Hans Holbein the younger. Contemporary with Dürer, Mathias Grunewald of Colmar exhibits a dramatic power sh his creations that compensates for their exaggerated realism, and Bartholomäus 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. Holbein’s 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 Italianizers 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 youth of tfte 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 ailer 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 i ath century, as represented in some Rhincland churches and cloisters, is immeasurably better than anything of the same period south of the Alps. In the arts 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 i2th 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 colour, nothing can surpass the stained-glass windows of the Gothic churches, while the exteriors of the same buildings were enriched with hundreds of statues of monumental dignity endowed 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 arc few epochs in human history the spirit of which is to us more congenial. The 12th century, which witnessed the growlh 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 " Prolo-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 excellent as the " Provincia." To this is due the remarkable development of decorative sculpture in the first decades of the izth century, which gave to that region the storied portals of St Gilles, and of St Trophime at Aries. Somewhat later, in the early part of the i3th, 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. Bcrtaux in his L'Art dans I'Jlalu meridionale (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 protoRcnaissance can be associated wilh 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 followc-d on this was influenced by the fact of the existence in those regions of abundant remains of classical art.
The Gothic movement was essentially northern in its origin, and its influence radiated from the lie 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, e'ach 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 prolo-Rcnaissancc, 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 Painting.—The revival of the arts in Italy in the latter part of the rjth 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 Niccola's 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 Niccola's 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 Duccto di Buoninsegna of Siena. The condition of painting in Italy in late medieval days has already been indicated. Cavallini and Dqccio now produce, in two standard forms of the art, the mural painting of the " Last Judgment " and the enthroned Madonna with angels—works characterized by good taste, by largeness and suavity of treatment, and by an execution which, if still somewhat primitive and laboured, at any rate aims at beauty of form and colour. The recently uncovered fresco of the Last Judgment by Cavallini, executed about 1293 on the western wall of S. Cecilia in Trastcvere at Romp, is classical in fcelinp and represents an immense advance on the older rendering of the same subject in S. Angelo in Formis (see § 10). The vast