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in the first half of the isth century, a German, Justus of Allcmagna, worked in partnership with a Murancse family. A little later a stranger from another quarter executes important commissions in the city of the lagoons. This was an TJmbrian, 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 clement of Florentine strength and science was absolutely necessary, and this was imparted to the Venetian school by Mantcgna 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 while at Padua, where his daughter Nicolosia became the wife of Mantcgna. With the two Bellini sons, Gentile and Giovanni, Mantcgna 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 colour that were engrained in the Venetians, while on the other hand Mantcgna 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.
5 17. The Pointing 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, who in grace and truth and composition may have been only the peer of Apclles, 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 colour, 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 Corrcggio as a colourist added to Lconardcsque modelling an equally delicate rendering of the modulation of local colour 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 i7lh 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 oh 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 colours, 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 i6ih but of the i?th 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 colouring. 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 colour 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 ol 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 (sec fig. it, 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. 12, 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 v.ho speaks, and always in the terms of colour and texture and handling. Lastly, between the two, unapproachable in his majestic calm, stands Titian. Combining the poetry of Giorgione with much o' Tintoretto's depth and passion, he is the first, and still perhaps the greatest, of the supreme masters of the painter's art. His masterpiece is the great "Presentation" of the Venice Academy, fig. 23, PUte VII. Painting, it is true, has to advance in its development beyond the ideals of Titian's 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 Spate. Changed Relation of Painting to Nature.—By the I7th 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 ihe 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 i?th century, not only was the world as a whole brought within the artist's view, but it presented itself as worthy in every part of his most reverent attention. In other words the art of the jyth 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 Jobn 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 colour, 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 maiden's 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 colour 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. Rembrandt's art was related essentially not to things as they were but as they seemed. The artists of the isth 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 colour 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 colour. 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 painter's craft, but as the differences of tone and colour 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 colour, but by what Sir Charles Eastlakc termed "the judicious ununish of a consummate workman," through which " the fiat surface is transformed into space." Frans Hals of Haarlem, who was bom 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, arc all indicated with touches so loosely thrown upon the canvas that seen near by they are all confusion—yet the life and truth arc in them, and at the proper focal distance nature herself is before us. The touches combine to give the forms, the local colours, 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 painter's 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, docs 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 arc 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 artist's power in this respect is just as effectively shown in the creation of space in the interiors of "The Maids of Honour "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 Uoria Palace at Rome. The fact is that the scale on which the modern painter works, and the nature of his subjects, make no difference in the essential character of the result. A very few square feet of canvas were sufficient for Ruysdacl to convey in his "Haarlem 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.
§ jo. 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 pota-Jcit, or Impression d'un chat qui se promtne, &c. An influential critic summed up these impressions, and dubbed the exhibition " Salon dcs 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 tie 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 the 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 painter's ideal till the lyth 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 ir*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 I7th 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 modem painting since the i yth century.
§ 21. Painting in Ike 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 qf painting the artist is only concerned with those aspects of nature which give him the sense of pictorial beauty in tone and colour, and these aspects he reproduces on his canvas, not as a mere mirror would, but touched, pervaded, transfigured by his own artistic personality. It docs 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 I7th century has been academic and conventional, or prosaically natural, or merely popular in its appeal. With work of this kind we are net 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 i?th 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 i8th 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 Delarochc in the two succeeding centuries, and the modem 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 i8th century
from the serious and beautiful art of Watteau (fig. 24, Plate to the slighter productions of a Fragonard. Van Dyck, another Fleming of genius, is largely responsible for the British portraiture of the iStb 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 i6th century. The contrast when we turn from France an'd Flanders to Holland is extraordinary. This country produced at the close of the i6th century and in the first half of the i?th 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 ifth and i6th 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 colour, free and yet precise in execution, sensitive to every charm of texture and handling, the Dutch painter of the first half of the lyth centtrry represents the1 most varied and the most finished accomplishment 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 i8th century, the Norwich painters and Constable in the mill, 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 r, I li century, was the figure-subject, generally in some connexion with religion. The Egyptian portrayed the men and women of his time, but the pictures, through their connexion 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 i6th 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 honour. 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. Landsceft, in modern times so important a branch of painting, is also aif outcome of the traditional figure-piece, for at first it is nothing but a background 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 enliven 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 Came 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.
§ 13. 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 Creek art however kept portraiture in the background till the later period after Alexander the Great, whose effigy limned by Apt-lies 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. An 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 lifelike 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" (Hiil. of Painting, Eng. trans., i. 21 a). Julia Anicia, granddaughter of Valentinus III., in the 6th century; the Carolingian emperor, Lothair, in the oth; the Byzantine emperors, Basil II. in the loth, and Nikcphoros Botaniates in the nth, &c., appear in this fashion. Some famous mosaic pictures in S. Vitale, Ravenna, contain effigies of Justinian, Theodora, and the Ravcnnese 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 nth and 151)1 centuries, especially in the north, the portrait begiiij 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 §15). Dllrcr certainly paints himself as one of the Magi in his picture in the Uffizi. In Italy Ghirlandajo (sec § 15) 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 isth century both north and south of the Alps, and Jan van Eyck, Mcmlinc, and Diirer 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 Antoncllo 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 Lorcdano arc 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 i6th 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, Titian's equestrian portrait of Charles V. at Madrid (fig. 16, 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. Leonardo's "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 Dilrer. 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 side of Holbein's art at its best (fig. 27, Plate VIII.). Somefine portraits by Italianizing 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 consequence 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 i6th century are merely collections of single portraits each treated for itself, the link of connexion between the various members of the group being quite arbitrary. Later on efforts, that were ultimately successful, were made fo group the portraits into a single composition so that the picture became an artistic whole. Frans Hals of Haarlem, 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, so 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 jyth-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 colour. 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 Spaniard's 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, colour 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 laboured, 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. iS, Plate IX.).
In the i8th 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' (?.c.), has been characteristically English throughout. The greater English and Scottish portraitists of the latter part of the i8th century, headed by Reynolds, owed much to Van Dyck, and their work was o! 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 ipth 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 woman's portrait. The fine appreciation of character in portraiture shown by Sir John Watson Gordon about the middle of the igth 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 "genre" is elliptical—it stands for tcnre bas, and means the "low style," or the style in which there is no grandeur of subject or scale. A pcnrc 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 171 h 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 isth 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 Park, 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; Caravaggio's "Card Players" at Dresden is a familiar example. These arc too large in scale to come under this heading, and the same applies to the bodcgoncs 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 in 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 Stcen 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 colour, and a free and yet at the same time precise touch. All these qualities combine to lend to the typical genre picture an intimilc,z sympathetic charm, that gives the masters of the style a firm hold on our affections. Probably the most