Paris - Louvre - Long Gallery
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
NOW proceed into the Long Gallery, which contains in its first compartment works of the high Renaissance masters, transitional from the conventionality of the fifteenth, to the freedom of the sixteenth, and the theatrical tendency of the seventeenth centuries. Begin on the left, and follow that wall as far as the first archway.
Francia. Crucifixion, with Madonna and St. John, and Job extended at the foot of the cross, probably indicating a votive plague offering. A tolerable example of the great Bolognese painter, from the church of San Giobbe, patriarch and plague-saint, at Bologna.
Ansuino (?) Adoration of the Magi. Note coincidences with others.
308. Francia. Madonna. A fair example.
168. Dosso. St. Jerome in the Desert. Interesting as showing a later treatment of this familiar subject.
230. Luini. Holy Family. A good specimen of Luini's easel work. Compare with the frescoes in the Salle Duchâtel. The hair is characteristic, also the oval face and cast of features.
Near it, two works by Marco da Oggiono, a pupil of Lionardo. His work and Luini's should be compared with that of the founder of the school. The differences and agreements should be observed. Notice also the survivals from earlier treatment.
354. Sacchi. The Four Doctors of the Church, attended by the symbols of the four Evangelists. This is a composition which frequently recurs in early art. On the left St. Augustine, holding his book " De Civitate Dei," with the eagle of St. John. Next, St. Gregory, inspired by the Holy Spirit as a dove, and accompanied by the bull of St. Luke. Then, St. Jerome, in his cardinal's hat, with the angel of St. Matthew. Lastly, St. Ambrose with his scourge (alluding to his action in closing the doors of the church at Milan on the Emperor Theodosius after the massacre of Thessalonica), accompanied by the winged lion of St. Mark. An interesting symbolical composition, deserving close study.
232. Luini. The daughter of Herodias with the head of St. John Baptist. A favourite subject with the artist, who often repeated it. Compare it with his other works in this gallery, till you feel you begin to understand Luini.
Above it, Borgognone. Presentation in the Temple. In the pallid colouring peculiar to this charming Lombard master. Observe the positions of the high priest and other personages.
85. Borgognone. St. Peter Martyr introducing or commending a lady donor to the Ma-donna. One panel of a triptych ; the rest of it is wanting. Look out for similar figures of saints introducing votaries. St. Peter Martyr has usually a wound or a knife in his head, to indicate the mode of his martyrdom.
Beneath, a quaint little Lionardesque Annunciation.
Solario. Calvary, characteristic of the school of Lionardo.
Beneath it, 394, *Solaria. Madonna with the Green Cushion. His masterpiece, a graceful and tender work, exhibiting the growing taste of the Renaissance.
458. Attributed to Lionardo. The young St. John Baptist. Hair, smile, and treatment characteristic ; but possibly a copy. You will meet with many similar St. Johns in Florentine sculpture below hereafter.
465. School of Lionardo. Holy Family. St. Michael the Archangel oddly introduced in order to permit the Child Christ to play with the scales in which he weighs souls, —a curious Renaissance conception, wholly out of keeping with earlier reverential feeling.
460. Lionardo. " La Vierge aux Rochers." A replica of the picture in the National Gallery in London. Much faded, but probably genuine. Examine closely the rocks, the Madonna, and the angel.
395. Solario. Good portrait of Charles d'Amboise, a member of the great French family, who will frequently crop up in connection with the Renaissance.
461. Attributed to Lionardo, more probably Bernardino de' Conti. Portrait of a Lady. Compare with the Mona Lisa, as exhibiting well the real advance in portraiture made by Lionardo.
463. Attributed to Lionardo, but probably spurious ; Bacchus, a fine youthful figure, be-gun as a St. John Baptist, and afterward altered. Compare with the other St. John Baptist near it.
Belt raffle. The Madonna of the Casio family. A characteristic Lionardesque virgin, at-tended by St. John Baptist and the bleeding St. Sebastian. (A votive picture.) By her side kneel two members of the Casio family, one the poet of that name, crowned with laurel. Intermediate Renaissance treatment of the Madonna and donors.
78 and 79. Good Franciscan saints, by Moretto.
Between them, 298. Charming Girolamo dai Libri.
We now come upon a magnificent series of works by Titian, in whom the Venetian school, ill-represented in its origin in the Salle des Primitifs, finds its culminating point.
** 440. Titian. The Madonna with the Rabbit. This is one of a group of Titian's Ma-donnas (several examples here) in which he endeavours to transform Bellini's type (see the specimen in the Salle des Primitifs) into an ideal of the sixteenth century. The Madonna is here attended by St. Catherine of Alexandria marked as a princess by her coronet and pearls. The child, bursting from her arms, plays with the rabbit. Once more a notion far-removed from primitive piety. Notice the background of Titian's own country. Landscape is now beginning to struggle for recognition. Earlier art was all figures, first sacred, then also mythological.
445. Titian. The Crown of Thorns. A powerful but very painful painting. The artist is chiefly occupied with anatomy and the presentation of writhing emotion. The spiritual is lost in muscular action.
443. Titian. The Disciples at Emmaus. Treated in the contemporary Venetian manner. This is again a subject whose variations can be well traced in this gallery.
451. Titian. Allegory of a husband who leaves for a campaign, commending his wife to Love and Chastity. Finely painted.
450. Titian. Portrait of François. Famous as having been painted without a sitting, — the artist had never even seen the king. He took the face from a medal.
448. Titian. Council of Trent. Very much to order.
Above it, * Titian. Jupiter and Antiope. Charming Giorgionesque treatment of the pastoral nude. Compare with the Giorgione in the Salon Carré, in order to understand how deeply that great painter influenced his contemporaries.
453. Titian. Fine portrait.
439. Titian. Madonna with St. Stephen, St. Ambrose, and St. Maurice the soldier. Observe the divergence from the older method of painting the accompanying saints. Originally grouped on either side the Madonna, they are here transformed into the natural group called in Italian a " santa conversazione." Look at the stages of this process in the Salle des Primitifs and this Long Gallery.
442. Titian. Another Holy Family. Interesting from the free mode of its treatment, in contrast with Bellini and earlier artists.
455. Titian. Magnificent portrait.
Above these are several excellent Bassanos, worthy of study. Compare together all these Venetian works (Bonifazio, etc.), lordly products of a great aristocratic mercantile community ; and with them, the Veroneses of the Salon Carré, where the type attains a characteristic development.
Now return to the door by the Salon Carré and examine the right wall.
Poor Pinturicchio and two inferior Peruginos.
403. Lo Spagna. Nativity. Characteristic example of this scholar of Perugino and fellow pupil of Raphael. Notice its Peruginesque treatment. Examine in detail and compare with the two other painters. As a Nativity, it is full of the conventional elements.
189. Raffaellino del Garbo. Coronation of the Virgin, beheld from below by four attendant saints of, or connected with, the Vallombrosan order, — St. Benedict, St. Salvi, San Giovanni Gualberto, and San Bernardo degli Uberti. These were the patrons of Vallombrosa ; and the picture comes from the church of St. Salvi, at Florence.
246. Manni. Baptism in Jordan. Observe, as usual, the attendant angels, though the simplicity of early treatment has wholly disappeared. The head-dresses are characteristic of the school of Perugino. Compare with Lo Spagno's Nativity.
Above it (496), Florentine Madonna, with St. Augustin, St. John Baptist. St. Antony, and St. Francis. Observe their symbols. I do not always now call attention to these ; but the more you observe them, the better you will understand each picture as you come to it.
390. Luca Signorelli. Adoration of the Magi. A fine example of the mode of treatment of this excellent anatomical painter, the forerunner of Michael Angelo. It needs long looking into.
289. Piero di Cosimo. Coronation of the Virgin, with St. Jerome, St. Francis, St. Louis of Toulouse, and St. Bonaventura. Compare with Raffaellino del Garbo, close by, for the double scene, on earth and in heaven. Notice the crown which Louis refused, in order to embrace the monastic profession. This is a Franciscan picture ; you will find it casts much light on assemblages of saints if you know for what order each picture was painted. The grouping always means something.
i6. Albertinelli. Madonna on a pedestal, with St. Jerome and St. Zenobius. Scenes from their legends in the background. A characteristic example of the Florentine Renaissance. The grouping is in the style then fast becoming fashionable. Compare with Lorenzo di Credi in the Salle des Primitifs.
144. Pontormo. Visitation. Showing the older Renaissance tendencies. Compare with the Ghirlandajo, and note persistence of the arch in the background.
57. Fra Bartolommeo. Marriage of St. Catherine of Siena. This is a variant on the legend of the other St. Catherine, — of Alexandria. The infant Christ is placing a ring on the holy nun's finger. Around are attendant saints, — Peter, Vincent, Stephen, etc. The composition is highly characteristic of the painter and his school.
380. Andrea del Sarto. Holy Family. Exquisitely soft in outline and colour.
372. Doubtful. Attributed to Raphael. Charming portrait of a young man.
Beyond it, two most delicate little pictures of St. George (a man) and St. Michael (an angel, winged) of Raphael's very early period. Note the princess in the St. George; you will come upon her again. Simple and charming. Trace Raphael's progress in this gallery, by means of Kugler.
Beyond them, again, two portraits by Raphael, of which 373 is of doubtful authenticity.
366. Raphael. The Young St. John ; a noble figure.
367. Raphael. St. Margaret : issuing triumphant from the dragon which has swallowed her. A figure full of feeling and movement, and instinct with his later science. It was painted for François Ier, out of compliment to his sister, Queen Margaret of Navarre.
All these Raphaels should be carefully studied. The great painter began with a certain Peruginesque stiffness, through which, nevertheless, his own native grace makes itself felt at once ; he progressed rapidly in knowledge and skill at Florence and Rome, but showed a tendency in his last works towards the incipient faults of the later Renaissance. By following him here, in conjunction with Florence and Rome, you can gain an idea of the course of his development.
The second compartment of the Long Gallery, which we now enter, though containing several works by Titian and other masters of the best period, is mainly devoted to painters of the later sixteenth and seventeenth century, when the decline in taste was rapid and progressive. Notice throughout the substitution of rhetorical gesture and affected composition for the simplicity of the early masters, or the dignity and truth of the High Renaissance. Begin again on the left wall, containing finer pictures than that opposite.
441. Titian. Another Holy Family, with St. Catherine. Both women here are Venetian ladies of high rank and of his own period. Observe, however, the persistence of the Ma-donna's white head-covering. Also, the play-fulness introduced in the treatment of St. Catherine's palm of martyrdom, and the childish St. John with his lamb. These attributes would have been treated by earlier painters with reverence and solemnity. Titian transfers them into mere pretty accessories. Characteristic landscape background. The female saint in this work is usually described as St. Agnes, because of the lamb : I think erroneously. The lamb is St. John's, and the St. Catherine merely plays with it.
88. Calcar. Fine portrait of a young man. 38. Attributed (very doubtfully) to Giorgione. Holy Family, with St. Sebastian, St. Catherine, and the donor, kneeling. A good example of the intermediate treatment of saints in groups of this character.
Above it (92) Paolo Veronese. Esther and Ahasuerus. Treated in the lordly fashion of a Venetian pageant. Try now to understand this Venetian ideal in style and colour.
91. Paolo Veronese. Similar treatment of Susanna and the Elders, a traditional religious theme, here distorted into a mere excuse for the nude, in which the Renaissance delighted.
274. Palma Vecchio. Adoration of the shepherds. A noble example of this great Venetian painter. Observe how he transforms the traditional accessories in the background, and employs them in the thorough Venetian spirit.
Beyond it, several small Venetian pictures. Self-explanatory, but worthy of close attention ; especially 94, a delicate Paolo Veronese, on a most unusual scale, —a Venetian Dominican nun presented by her patroness, St. Catherine, and St. Joseph to the Madonna. Also, 93, by the same artist, St. George and St. Catherine presenting a Venetian gentleman to the Ma-donna and Child. These two saints were the male and female patrons of the Venetian territory ; hence their frequency in Venetian pictures.
99. The Disciples at Emmaus. Another characteristic transformation by Veronese of a traditional scene. The pretence of sacredness is very thin.
98. Paolo Veronese. Calvary. Similarly treated.
335. Tintoretto. Susanna at the Bath. Admirable example of this artist's bold and effective method. In him the Venetian school attains its last possible point before the decadence.
Beneath it, two good Venetian portraits.
336. Tintoretto. A characteristic Paradise (sketch for the great picture in the Doge's Palace at Venice), whose various circles of saints and angels should be carefully studied. Gloomy glory.
Above it, 17. A Venetian gentleman introduced to the Madonna by St. Francis and a sainted bishop, with St. Sebastian in the back-ground. Doubtless, a votive picture in gratitude for the noble donor's escape from the plague.
Beyond these, we come chiefly upon Venetian pictures of the Decadence, among which the most noticeable are the Venetian views by Canaletto and Guardi, showing familiar aspects of the Salute, the Doge's Palace, San Zaccaria, and other buildings.
Further on, this compartment contains Spanish pictures, — an artificial arrangement not without some real justification, since, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Spain, enriched by her American possessions, be-came, for a short period, the material and artistic inheritor of Italy, and accepted in full the mature fruits of the Italian Renaissance. At the same time, she imbued the developed arts she received from Italy with Spanish showiness and love of mere display, to the exclusion of deeper spiritual feeling. The most famous among the few Spanish pictures of the Louvre are : 552. Velasquez. Philip IV. of Spain.
Beneath it, Murillo. One of his favourite Boy Beggars, killing fleas. A curious subject, excellently rendered.
548. Ribera. Adoration of the Shepherds. 540. Murillo. Birth of the Virgin, where the transformation of the traditional element is even more marked than in the Italian Renaissance. The colouring splendid. St. Anne is always seen in bed ; other points you could notice in the enamels at Cluny. With Murillo, they become mere excuses for display of art-faculty.
Further on, Murillo. The occupants of a poor monastery in Spain miraculously fed by angels, known as "La Cuisine des Anges."
I do not recommend more than a cursory examination of these fine Spanish works, which can only be properly understood by those who have visited Madrid and Seville. It will suffice to note their general characteristics, and the way in which they render traditional subjects. The best point of view for the Cuisine des Anges " is obtained from the seat nearly opposite, beneath the archway, when the splendid luminous qualities of this theatrical picture can be better appreciated. From this point, also, many of the other Spanish pictures are well seen with an opera-glass. They are not in-tended for close examination.
The columns which separate these compartments have an interesting history. They first belonged to a classical temple in North Africa. They were brought thence by Louis XIV. to support a baldacchino at St. Germain-des-Prés. Finally, the Revolution transferred them to the Louvre.
Return again, now, to the last archway, and begin once more on the right side, which contains for the most part tawdry works of the Baroque period, which should, however, be studied to some extent in illustration of the decadence of art in the later sixteenth century, and also as examples of further transformation of the traditional motives.
53. Barocci. Madonna in Glory with St. Antony and St. Lucy. A good example of the insipid style which took its name from this master.
Below it, 309. Bagnacavallo. Circumcision, with twisted pillars, showing the decline in architectural taste. The crowded composition may be instructively compared with earlier and simpler examples of this subject ; also, with Fra Bartolommeo, whose fine but complex arrangements rapidly resulted in such confused grouping.
52. Barocci. Same scene. The tradition now entirely ignored, and an unpleasantly realistic, yet theatrical and mannered treatment, introduced.
304. After Primaticcio. Mythological concert, exhibiting the taste of the school of Fontainebleau (the Italian artists of Raphael's group, scholars of Giulio Romano, introduced into France by François Ier).
349. Rosselli. Triumphant David, with the head of Goliath. Marking the advance of the histrionic tendency.
A very cursory examination of the rest of the works on this wall will probably be sufficient. Look them over in an hour. The most celebrated are two by Salvator Rosa : 318, Guido Reni's Ecce Homo, full of tawdry false sentiment ; and, Domenichino's St. Cecilia (often copied), with the angel reduced to the futile decorative winged boy of the period. 324, Guido's St. Sebastian, may be well compared with Perugino's, as marking the decline which art had suffered. It is on works like these that the Spanish school largely based itself.
This completes the Italian collection of the Louvre, to which the visitor should return again and again, until he feels he has entered somewhat into the spirit and tone of its various ages. ' Between the next two archways, we come to a small collection of works of the early French school, too few of which unfortunately remain to us.
Left wall. Two portraits of François Ier may be well compared with the Titian of the same king, as indicating the gulf which still separated France from the art-world of Italy. The hard, dry, wooden manner of these French works is strongly contrasted with the finished art of the Italian Renaissance. Recollect that these seemingly archaic portraits are painted by contemporaries of Raphael and Titian.
Between them, good miniatures, by Nicolas Froment, of King René and his queen.
Above, 650. Admirable Dead Christ, with the Madonna, Magdalen, Joseph of Arimathea, etc. In the best style of the French school of the fifteenth century. Observe the action of the various personages : all are conventional.
Beyond it, several good small pictures of the early French Renaissance which should be carefully examined. Fouquet's portrait of Charles VII. is a capital example of the older method.
Above them, 875, characteristic fifteenth century Crucifixion, with Last Communion and Martyrdom of St. Denis. The executioner's face is French all over. (Scenes from the Passion have often in French art such side-scenes from lives of saints. Several at Cluny.) This picture has been employed as a basis for the restoration of the reliefs in the portals at St. Denis.
Beyond again, portraits of the early Renaissance exhibiting considerable advance in many cases.
On the right wall are some works more distinctly characteristic of the school of art which grew up round Primaticcio and his scholars at Fontainebleau. Among them are a Diana hunting (D. de Poitiers again), and a Continence of Scipio. They reflect the style of Giulio Romano. Beneath the first, two good portraits, with patron saints (John and Peter). All the works in this compartment should be examined carefully, as showing the raw material upon . which subsequent French art was developed.
Beyond the next archway, we come to the pictures of the Flemish school, which deserve almost equal attention with the Italian, as individual works, but which, as of less interest in the general history of art, I shall treat more briefly. Begin here on the right side, for chronological order.
Among the most noticeable pictures are Adam and Eve, unnumbered, good specimens of the frank, unidealised Northern nude.
595. An exquisite early Anunciation, the spirit of which should be compared with the early Italians. Notice the general similarity of accessories, combined with the divergence in spirit, the dwelling on detail, the Flemish love for effects of light and shade on brass-work, fabrics, glasses, etc. Notice that this charming picture gives us the early stage in the evolution of that type of art which culminates in the Gerard Dou in the Salon Carré.
Beside it, an exquisitely tender Dead Christ. Remarkable for the finish in the background.
The Quentin Matsys is not a worthy representative of the master.
Beside it, a quaint and striking group of votaries, listening to a sermon. Probably a mere excuse for portrait-painting. The character in the faces is essentially Flemish.
Fine portrait of a young man with a pink, in a red cap.
Triptych, with the Madonna and Child (who may be well compared with those of the Memling in the Salle Duchâtel). On the flaps, the donor and his wife, introduced by their patrons, St. John and St. Christopher.
Now cross over to the left side.
699. Rosier Van der Weyden. Excellent Deposition, with a touching St. John, and a very emaciated Dead Christ. These scenes of death are extremely common in Flemish and German art, and resulted in a great effort to express poignant emotion, as contrasted with the calmer ecstatic character of Italian art.
** 279. Quentin Matsys. Banker and his wife. An admirable and celebrated picture, with marvellous detail, of which there are variants elsewhere. Notice the crystal vase, mirror, leaves of book, and objects on shelves in background. The fur is exquisitely painted.
288 and 289. Two beautiful little Memlings.
588. Most characteristic and finished Holy Family.
699. Memling. St. Sebastian, Resurrection, Ascension. Compare the first with Italian ex-amples. Notice the extraordinarily minute work in the armour and accessories, contrasted with the blank and meaningless face of the Risen Saviour. Flemish art, perfect in execution, seldom attains high ideals.
277 and 278. Mabuse. Virgin and donor. Excellent.
596. Gerard David. Marriage at Cana. A splendid specimen of this great and insufficiently recognised painter. Background of buildings at Bruges. Every face and every portion of the decorative work, including the jars in the foreground, should be closely noticed. The kneeling donor is an admirable portrait. As a whole, what a contrast to the Paolo Veronese ! The pretty, innocent face of the bride, with her air of mute wonder, is excellently rendered. I believe the donor in this work is a younger portrait of the canon who appears in the glorious Gerard David in the National Gallery.
Skied above all these pictures on either side are several works by Van Veen, jan Matsys, Snyders, and others, mostly worthy of notice. Among them, 136, Van Dyck, good Madonna with the Magdalen and other saints.
We now come to the great series by Rubens narrating the history of Marie de Médicis, in the inflated allegorical style of the period. To understand them, the spectator should first read an account of her life in any good French history. These great decorative canvases were painted hurriedly, with even more than Rubens's usual dash and freedom, to Marie's order, after her return from exile, for the decoration of her rooms at the Luxembourg, which she had just erected. Though designed by Rubens, they were largely executed by the hands of pupils ; and while possessing all the master's exuberant artistic qualities in composition, they are not favour-able specimens of his art, as regards execution and technique. It is to be regretted that most Englishmen and Frenchmen form their impressions of the painter from these vigorous but rapid pictures, rather than from his far nobler works at Antwerp, Munich, and Vienna. I give briefly the meaning of the series.
1. The Three Fates spin Marie's destiny. A small panel for the side of à door.
2. Birth of Marie at Florence. Lucina, goddess of birth, with her torch, attends the mother. Genii scatter flowers ; others hold her future crown. In the foreground, the River God of the Arno, with his stream issuing from an urn, and accompanied by the Florentine lion, as well as by boys holding the Florentine lily. This curious mixture of allegorical personages and realities is continued throughout the series.
3. Her education, presided over by Minerva, with the aid of Mercury (to indicate her rapidity in learning), and Apollo, as teacher of the arts. Close by are the Graces, admirable nude figures. Among the accessories, bust of Socrates, painting materials, etc.
4. The Genius of France in attendance upon Henri IV., while Love shows him Marie's portrait. The attitude of the king expresses delight and astonishment. In the clouds, Jupiter and Juno smile compliance. Below, little Loves steal the king's shield and helmet.
5. Marriage of Marie by proxy. The Grand Duke Ferdinand represents the king. Hymen holds the torch.
6. Marie lands at Marseilles, and is received by France, while Tritons and Nereids give easy passage to her vessel. Above, her Fame. On the vessel, the balls or palli of the Medici family.
7. Consummation of the marriage at Lyons. The town itself is seen in the background. In the foreground, the (personified) city, crowned with a mural coronet, and designated by her lions. Above, the king, as Jupiter, with his eagle, and the queen, as Juno, with her peacocks.
8. Birth of her son, afterwards Louis XIII., at Fontainebleau. Health receives the infant. Fortune attends the queen.
9. The king, setting out to his war against Germany, makes Marie regent, — allegorically represented by passing her the ball of empire, — and confides to her their son.
Larger pictures : No. ro, the coronation of the queen, and No. II, the apotheosis of Henri, the painful scene of his death being avoided. He is represented as raised to the sky by Jupiter on one side, and Death with his sickle on the other. Beneath, the assassin, as a serpent, wounded with an arrow. Victory and Bellona mourning. Beyond, the allegorical figure of France presenting the regency to Marie, with the acclamation of the nobility and people.
12. The queen's government approved of by Jupiter, Juno, and the heavenly powers. In the foreground Apollo, Mars, and Minerva (the first copied from the antique statue known as the Belvedere), representing courage, art, and literature, dispel calumny and the powers of darkness.
Continue on the opposite side, crossing over directly.
13. Civil discord arises. Marie starts for Anjou, attended by Victory. Military preparations in the background.
14. The exchange of princesses between allegorical figures of France and Austria — each intended to marry the heir of the other empire.
15. The happiness of the regency. The queen bears the scales of justice. Plenty prevails. Literature, science, art, and beauty predominate over evil, slander, and baseness.
16. Louis XIII. attains his majority (at four-teen) and mans the ship of state in person, still attended by the counsels of his mother. The Virtues row it.
17. Calumny overcomes the queen. By the advice of her counsellors, she takes refuge at Blois, escorted by Wisdom.
18. Mercury, as messenger, brings an olive branch to Marie, as a token of reconciliation from her son, through the intermediation of Richelieu and the Church party.
19. Marie enters the Temple of Peace, escorted by Mercury and Truth with her torch, while blind Rage and the evil powers stand baffled behind her.
20. Apotheosis of Marie and Louis : their reconciliation and happiness. Final overthrow of the demons of discord.
21. Time brings Truth to light. Louis recognises the good influence of his mother.
The history, as given in these pictures, is of course envisaged from the point of view of a courtier, who desires to flatter and please his patroness.
Beneath this great series of Rubens are .a number of Dutch and Flemish pictures, mostly admirable and well worthy of attention, but, so to speak, self-explanatory. They belong entirely to modern feeling. Dutch and Flemish art, in its later form, is the domestic development of that intense love of minute detail and accessories already conspicuous in Van Eyck, Memling, and Gerard David. Sacred subjects almost disappear ; the wealthy burghers ask for portraits of themselves, their wives and families, or landscapes for their households. I would call special notice to the following among many which should be closely examined to show the progress of art : — 512, Teniers; 691, Rubens; 518, Teniers; 238 and 239, Van Huysum * 425, a charming Rubens, in his smaller and more delicate style ; 147, admirable portrait by Van Dyck ; 513, an excellent Teniers ; * 461, a good portrait by Rubens; 125, exquisite, luminous Gerard Dou; next it ** Van der Heist's Four Judges of the Guild of Crossbowmen deciding on the prizes, one of the most perfect specimens of this great portrait painter. Notice the wonderful lifelike expressions. Then 123, another exquisite luminous Dou ; 542, Van de Velde; 41, splendid portrait by Bol; 130, Gerard Dou by himself ; 404, Rembrandt, Raphael leaving the house of Tobias, a master- . piece of the artist's weird and murky luminosity, — strangely contrasted with Italian examples ; 205, a good Hobbema; 133, fine portrait by Duchâtel; 369, excellent family group by Van Ostade; next it, 126, a delicious little Dou. But, indeed, every one of these Dutch paintings should be examined separately, in order to understand the characteristic Dutch virtues of delicate handling, exquisite detail, and domestic portraiture. They are the artistic outcome of a nation of housewives.
On the opposite side the series is continued with admirable flower-pieces, landscapes by Van der Veldt and Karel du Jardin, and several noteworthy portraits, among which notice the famous *Van Dyck (r43) of the children of Charles I., most daintily treated. Beyond the Rubenses, again, on this side, 144, two noble portraits by Van Dyck, and several excellent examples of Philippe de Champaigne, a Flemish artist who deeply influenced painting in France, where he settled. *' 151, Van Dyck's Duke of Richmond, perhaps his most splendid achievement in portraiture, deserves careful study. I do not further enlarge upon these subjects because the names and dates of the painters, with the descriptions given on the frames, will sufficiently enable the judicious spectator to form his own conceptions. Devote at least a day to Dutch and Flemish art here, and then go back to the Salon Carré, to see how the Rembrandts, Dous, and Metsus, there unfortunately separated from their compeers, fall into the general scheme of Dutch development.
Good view out of either window as you pass the next archway. Look out for these views in all parts of the Louvre. They often give you glimpses of the minor courtyards, to which the general public are not admitted.
The next two compartments contain further Dutch and Flemish pictures of high merit, — portraits, still-life, landscape, and other subjects. The scenes of village life are highly characteristic. Notice in this connection the growing taste for landscape, at first with a pretence of figures and animals, but gradually asserting its right to be heard on its own account. In Italy, under somewhat similar commercial conditions, we saw this taste arise in the Venetian school, with Cima, Giorgione, and Titian ; in Holland, after the Reformation put sacred art at a discount, it became almost supreme. And note at the same time how the Reformation in commercial countries has wholly altered the type of Northern art, focussing it on trivial domestic incidents.
Among the many beautiful pictures in these compartments the spectator should at least not miss, on the left, the very charming ** Portrait by Rubens (not quite finished) of his second wife and two children, scarcely inferior to the lovely specimen at Munich. Near it, an admirable Crucifixion with the Madonna, St. John, and Magdalen, more reminiscent than is usual with Rubens of earlier compositions. On the right side notice a portrait of Elizabeth of France (459), by Rubens, in his other, stiffer, and more courtly manner. We may well put down this peculiarity to the wishes of the sitter. His * Kermesse, near it, is an essay in the style afterwards popularised by Teniers, in which the great artist permits his Flemish blood to overcome him, and produces a clever but most unpleasant picture. The numerous admirable fruit and flower pieces, works in still life, etc., which these compartments contain, must be studied for himself by the attentive visitor. In Rubens's great canvas of the Triumph of Religion, painted for a Spanish commission, observe his curious external imitation of Spanish tendencies.