warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/iovannet/public_html/grandearte/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Randall Davies

The painters of genre, by the number, quality, and diversity of whose pictures the Dutch School is specially distinguished, may be roughly divided into three classes; namely, those who studied the upper, the middle, and the lower classes respectively.

Let us now cross the channel again, and see what is going on there, in 1863. Evidently there is something on, or there would not be so much excitement. As we approach the Capital we are aware of one name being prominent in the general uproar—that of Édouard Manet.

Three names stand out conspicuously from the ranks of Florentine painters in the latter half of the fifteenth century. But progress being one of the essential characteristics of the art at this period, as in all others, it is not surprising that the order of their fame coincides (inversely) pretty nearly with that of their date.

As a link between the painters of genre and the landscapists, we may here mention some of the numerous artists who either made landscape the background for groups of figures and animals, or peopled their landscapes with groups—it matters not which way we put it. Among these we shall find several of the most famous, or at any rate the most popular artists of the Dutch School.

The last revolt of the nineteenth century was effected in a peaceable and business-like, but none the less successful manner, by the establishment, in 1886, of the New English Art Club as a means of defence against the mighty vis inertiæ of the Royal Academy.

Twelve years younger than Botticelli was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1520), whose career as a painter commenced in the workshop of Andrea Verrocchio, goldsmith, painter, and sculptor.

Coming now to the landscape painters we find that Jan Van Goyen, born at Leyden in 1596, was destined to exert a really powerful influence, inasmuch as he was the founder, as is generally acknowledged, of the Dutch school of homely native landscape.

In the opening years of the sixteenth century the art of painting had attained such a pitch of excellence that unless carried onward by a supreme genius it could hardly hope to escape from the common lot of all things in nature, and begin to decline. After Botticelli and Leonardo, the works of Andrea del Sarto, "the perfect painter" as he has been called, fall rather flat; and no less a prodigy than Michelangelo was capable of excelling his marvellous predecessors, or than Raphael of rivalling them.

The origins of the German Schools of painting are obscure, but it is fairly certain that Cologne was the first place in which the art was soonest established to any considerable extent. Here, as in the Netherlands, we cannot find any traces of immediate Italian influences. The first painter who can be identified with any certainty is Wilhelm von Herle, called Meister Wilhelm, whose activity is not traceable earlier than about 1358.

The character and the influence of Raphael are well expressed in the following sentences with which Vasari concludes his biography:—"O happy and blessed spirit! every one speaks with interest of thee; celebrates thy deeds; admires thee in thy works! Well might Painting die when this noble artist ceased to live; for when his eyes were closed she remained in darkness.

Syndicate content